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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 33,637

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Environmental Scientist

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The Democrats' (White) Male Problem

Thereís a cavernous gender gap in this country thatís hindering a partyís electoral potential, threatening its ability to win in November.

This is a common refrain about the Republican Partyís deep-rooted problem with women. But it could just as easily be applied to the Democrats and their disconnect with men.

In fact, in several of the headline U.S. Senate contests of the cycle, Democratsí troubles with males are even more pronounced than the GOPís deficit with the fairer sex, according to a U.S. News analysis of available public polling data.

The male drift from the Democratic Party, particularly white males, isnít an entirely new phenomenon. Reagan Democrats were comprised largely of men who felt the party had abandoned them, and not the other way around. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 62 percent of the white male vote. But in a campaign cycle set to see a handful of margin-of-error races that determine U.S. Senate control, itís an often overlooked and undervalued element of the election.

"If they don't find a way to reverse the trend, there will be a gender gap and it will favor Republicans," says Republican pollster Wes Anderson.

more

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/08/12/the-democrats-white-male-problem

"Burn Pit" Whistleblower Files Suit After Sexual Assault And Forced Discharge


SLIDELL, La., Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Military-Veterans Advocacy has filed suit August 1, 2014, in the United States Court of Federal Claims on behalf of former Navy Environmental Health Officer, Lieutenant Commander Celeste Santana who strongly argued against the unrestricted use of open air burn pits in Afghanistan. Santana was responsible for the environmental health and safety of American Marine forces at Camp Leatherneck and outlying forward operating bases (FOBs) in Afghanistan.

After raising concerns about water purity and bottled water storage procedures, Santana apparently ran afoul of her superiors. Her subsequent efforts to curb the use of open air burn pits at Camp Leatherneck and subordinate FOBs led to further ire. She drew criticism by reporting her concerns to higher authority and for demanding to see the Commanding General. While on a routine mission to FOB Fiddler's Green in 2009, she awoke to find that she was being sexually assaulted. An investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was closed due to the "lack of logical leads or suspects." The Camp Pendleton NCIS office, responsible for the investigation into activities occurring with the Fiddler's Green unit refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Shortly after the sexual assault, LCDR Santana was relieved of her duties. She was told that she was "uncooperative" and created a "hostile" environment. She was returned to the United States where she was immediately relieved of all other duties and it was suggested she take a psychiatric exam. After receiving an adverse fitness report, she was not elected for promotion to Commander. Although she was within three years of retirement, he was not selected for continuation on active duty - the only officer of her grade and experience who was not selected. As a result she was forced to leave the service, two years and eleven months shy of retirement.

Military-Veterans Advocacy Executive Director John B. Wells, a retired Navy Commander, called Santana a "true hero" who lost her career while trying to protect the health of the Marines assigned to Afghanistan.

more

http://news.yahoo.com/burn-pit-whistleblower-military-veterans-advocacy-files-suit-090000870.html

America's real patriots fought to expose and end torture

By JAMEEL JAFFER AND LARRY SIEMS

After more than a decade of denial and concealment on the part of our government, President Obama's recent acknowledgment that "we tortured some folks" felt like a milestone. Even in its spare, reductive phrasing, the president's statement opened up the possibility, finally, of national reflection, contrition and accountability.

But the president moved quickly to limit that conversation, painting those who authorized torture as "patriots" who were making difficult decisions under enormous pressure and urging the public not to feel "sanctimonious" because our military and intelligence leaders have "tough jobs."

Obama was wrong to do this, and not only because patriotism isn't a defense to criminal conduct. The deeper problem with the president's account is that it consigned to obscurity the true heroes of the story: the courageous men and women throughout the military and intelligence services who kept faith with our values, and who fought to expose and end the torture.

Missing from Obama's remarks was any recognition that the decision to endorse torture was a contested one. In fact, that decision was challenged over and over in interrogation rooms and conference rooms and at every level of government. Soldiers intervened to protect prisoners from cruelty. FBI agents refused to participate in abusive CIA and military interrogations. Military judge advocates general decried the withholding of Geneva Convention protections and rejected the arguments of civilian lawyers justifying torture. Military prosecutors at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, resigned rather than prosecute prisoners on the basis of coerced evidence. Some CIA agents were so vocal about the abuses they saw in the field that they sparked a major agency investigation.

more

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0814-jaffer-obama-torture-report-20140814-story.html
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