Posts Tagged ‘ PENTAGON ’

Leaked Memo: Pentagon Exposed U.S. Soldiers To Toxic Waste

Iraq

The Pentagon allegedly endangered U.S. soldiers by implementing and covering-up dangerously toxic waste-incineration practices at Balad Airbase in Iraq during years past, as revealed in a leaked Air Force memo [PDF]. Raw Story, which first reported the leak, writes this:

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Obama picks defense lobbyist as deputy defense secretary

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President-elect Obama's campaign speeches often mentioned reducing the influence of lobbyists and special interests on the federal government.

President-elect Obama’s campaign speeches often mentioned reducing the influence of lobbyists and special interests on the federal government.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President-elect Barack Obama, who campaigned on lessening the influence of lobbyists in government, has chosen a defense expert who is currently a vice president and lobbyist for one of the country’s biggest defense contractors to be his deputy secretary of defense.

Obama’s transition office announced that William Lynn, an undersecretary of defense in President Bill Clinton’s second term, is nominated to Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ deputy.

Lynn is currently a senior vice president at Raytheon, which has billions of dollars in Defense Department contracts and is the maker of the Army’s Patriot Missile system and the Tomahawk missile used by the Navy. The company is also developing a global positioning satellite communication system with the Air Force.

As deputy secretary, Lynn would be involved in the process of budgeting and acquisitions, in addition to running the day-to-day operations of the Defense Department.

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9/11 Victims’ Families Challenge Military Commissions

Thirty-three relatives of people killed in the 9/11 attacks on the US have denounced the Guantanamo war crimes trials as illegitimate and unfair.gitmo-september-11-trails-vlogz

In a letter posted on a civil liberties website, the relatives say the military trials are politically motivated.

Pre-trial hearings began on Monday in Guantanamo for five prisoners charged with plotting the 9/11 attacks.

Other 9/11 relatives brought to the hearings by the Pentagon praised them as giving the accused a fair trial.

“Many of us do not believe these military commissions to be fair, in accordance with American values, or capable of achieving the justice that 9/11 family members and all Americans deserve,” says the statement posted on the website of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

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Blackwater Guards Arrested In Utah For Massacre In Iraq

The indictment caps a yearlong probe into the Sept. 16, 2007, shooting as the guards’ convoy arrived in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square.

blackwater-iraq-courtBlackwater Worldwide security guard 

WASHINGTON — Five Blackwater Worldwide security guards have been charged in a September 2007 shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead and raised questions about the U.S. government’s use of security contractors in combat zones, according to two sources familiar with the case.

The guards, all former U.S. military personnel, worked as security contractors for the State Department, assigned to protect U.S. diplomats and other non-military officials in Iraq.

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(VIDEO) KBR/Halliburton Slave-like Camps in Iraq

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WASHINGTON: A civilian employee of US oil services giant Halliburton and government contractor KBR has charged in a lawsuit the companies exposed thousands of workers to unhealthy, contaminated conditions at an Iraqi military base. 

newsIraq contractor bans cell phones for ‘safety and security’

The suit includes a long list of charges against Halliburton and KBR — formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root, a former subsidiary of Halliburton and the US military’s chief provider in Iraq. 

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Obama Iraq tour produced and released by the Pentagon

If you read New York Times article, “For Obama, a First Step Is Not a Misstep,” you’d assume the two reporters were witnesses to Obama’s meetings in Iraq. However, if you check out the gripes from reporters in Politico’s 24/7 Playbook, you’d find out that reporters didn’t accompany Obama and that the PENTAGON is taking and dispersing the photos:

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball” from Baghdad, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell objects to the “message management” that resulted in three days of images of Senator Obama that were almost entirely – except for a lone Iraq interview with Terry Moran – produced and released by the Pentagon.

Andrea Mitchell, re Obama: “He didn’t have reporters with him. He didn’t have a press pool. He didn’t do a press conference while he was on the ground in either Afghanistan or Iraq. … You’re seeing selected pictures taken by the military … So, there’s a real press issue here. Politically, it’s smart as can be. But we have not seen a presidential candidate do this, in my recollection, ever before.

“I have great respect for the military, of what they do best, which is to fight war, keep the peace, do all sorts of economic and civil reconstruction here in Iraq. I don’t think journalism is the prime thing that we recruit them and pay them for.

Kucinich to investigate police surveillance

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has figured prominently in recent political news for his attempts to begin impeachment hearings against President George W. Bush, today announced that the congressional subcommittee he chairs will look into reports of peace groups being surveilled by police and private investigators.

“I want the subcommittee to determine how widespread these activities are and who ordered them,” the Ohio Democrat and former presidential candidate said.

“[M]ost people would be upset to know that police were spying on lawful citizens and infiltrating peaceful organizations, rather than chasing down real criminals,” said Kucinich in a press release delivered to RAW STORY. “At a minimum, such police spying is clearly a waste of taxpayer dollars and a diversion from the mission of protecting and serving the people. Continue reading