HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » unhappycamper » Journal

unhappycamper

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 10:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

Journal Archives

Scientists confirm Marines’ poisonous Camp Lejeune water wells date back to mid-century

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/03/15/185993/scientists-confirm-marines-poisonous.html



Jerry Ensminger, a former Marine, spends hours every day researching the contamination of drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

Scientists confirm Marines’ poisonous Camp Lejeune water wells date back to mid-century
By Franco Ordonez | McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Friday, March 15, 2013

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials continue to uncover excessive levels of previous water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. A new study of the North Carolina base’s main water system that was released Friday demonstrates a rapidly increasing level of human carcinogens in the drinking water starting as early as 1948 and peaking in the mid-1980s.

“These are highest levels of drinking water contamination in this country that I’m aware of,” said Richard Clapp, an epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts Lowell who’s studied the findings.

As many as 1 million Marine veterans and family members may have been exposed to poisoned drinking water. Medical experts have linked the contamination to cancer, birth defects, childhood leukemia and other diseases. The levels of human carcinogens such as trichloroethylene in the water systems were more than 150 times higher than what’s considered safe.

“The most likely date that TCE first exceeded its current (maximum contaminant level) is during August 1953; however, this exceedance could have been as early as November 1948,” says the report, by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:55 AM (0 replies)

Drones killing innocent Pakistanis, U.N. official says

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/15/world/asia/u-n-drone-objections/index.html

Drones killing innocent Pakistanis, U.N. official says
By Ben Brumfield and Mark Morgenstein, CNN
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Fri March 15, 2013

(CNN) -- Farmers are on their way to tend their crops when a missile slams into their midst, thrusting shrapnel in all directions.

A CIA drone, flying so high that the farmers can't see it, has killed most of them. None of them were militants.

Such attacks by U.S. drones are common, the United Nations' special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights said Friday in a statement on strikes in Pakistan's tribal region of North Waziristan.

The rapporteur, Ben Emmerson, told CNN the actions are of dubious international legality, despite the United States' assertions.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:28 AM (1 replies)

Study: Iraq War Cost U.S. $2.2 Trillion, Claimed Nearly 200,000 Lives

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/03/14/1721961/study-iraq-war-cost-2-triillion/?mobile=nc



Study: Iraq War Cost U.S. $2.2 Trillion, Claimed Nearly 200,000 Lives
By Ben Armbruster on Mar 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm

A new report by the “Costs of War” project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies finds that nearly 200,000 people, including soldiers and civilians, were killed in the war in Iraq President George W. Bush launched 10 years ago.

The report also found that American taxpayers will ultimately spend roughly $2.2 trillion on the war, but because the U.S. government borrowed to finance the conflict, interest payments through the year 2053 means that the total bill could reach nearly $4 trillion.

~snip~

The Watson Institute project — which involves “30 economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists from 15 universities, the United Nations, and other organizations” — comes on the heals of the Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction’s final report released last week finding that the U.S. spent $60 billion on reconstruction efforts in Iraq and that $10 billion of it was wasted on fraud and abuse.

Reuters reported that Steven Bucci, the military assistant to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the run-up to the war and today a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, didn’t dispute the report’s findings but said the U.S.’s post-invasion battles with al-Qaeda in Iraq — a group that did not exist prior to March 19, 2003 — made the war worth it.



unhappycamper comment: Paul Wolfowitz was correct about one thing:


I mean, we're going to probably debate the Iraq war for at least as long as I'm alive.

Paul Wolfowitz


Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:26 AM (0 replies)

Court: CIA cannot continue to deny basic information on drone program

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/15/court-cia-cannot-continue-to-deny-basic-information-on-drone-program/


Court: CIA cannot continue to deny basic information on drone program
By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, March 15, 2013 12:59 EDT

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will have to rethink how to turn away information requests regarding the agency’s suspected use of drone aircraft to bomb targets overseas thanks to a court ruling issued Friday.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held in a 3-0 vote on Friday that the CIA must reveal whether it has any “involvement” or “interest” in the U.S. drone program, saying its refrain that the agency cannot acknowledge the program’s existence is undermined by officials’ public statements.

Those public statements came from President Barack Obama, newly-minted CIA director John Brennan and former CIA Director Leon Panetta, all of whom have confirmed that some agency of the U.S. government uses drone aircraft to drop bombs. Brennan in particular has even confirmed in public comments that the nation’s intelligence agencies are consulted about drone strikes.

~snip~

“Given these official acknowledgments that the United States has participated in drone strikes, it is neither logical nor plausible for the CIA to maintain that it would reveal anything not already in the public domain to say that the Agency ‘at least has an intelligence interest’ in such strikes,” the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling (PDF) explains. “The defendant is, after all, the Central Intelligence Agency. And it strains credulity to suggest that an agency charged with gathering intelligence affecting the national security does not have an ‘intelligence interest’ in drone strikes, even if that agency does not operate the drones itself.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Mar 16, 2013, 04:50 AM (0 replies)

CIA may target Syrian extremists with drones: LA Times

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/16/cia-may-target-syrian-extremists-with-drones-la-times/



CIA may target Syrian extremists with drones: LA Times
By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, March 16, 2013 1:31 EDT

The US Central Intelligence Agency is collecting information on Islamic radicals in Syria for possible lethal drone strikes against them at a later stage, The Los Angeles Times reported late Friday.

Citing unnamed current and former US officials, the newspaper said President Barack Obama had not authorized any drone missile strikes in Syria yet, and none were under consideration.

However CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, which runs drone programs targeting militants in Pakistan and Yemen, had recently shifted several targeting officers to improve intelligence gathering on militants in Syria.

~snip~

The targeting officers focusing on Syria are based at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, the paper said.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Mar 16, 2013, 04:14 AM (2 replies)

Military Contracts Awarded On 3.14.2013

http://www.defense.gov/contracts/contract.aspx?contractid=4997

Contracts valued at $6.5 million or more are announced each business day at 5 p.m. Contract announcements issued within the past 30 days are listed below.

FOR RELEASE AT
5 p.m. ET No. 145-13
March 14, 2013

CONTRACTS

AIR FORCE

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a revised not-to-exceed amount of $3,543,500,000 contract modification (FA8505-12-C-0001, P00004) for country standard time compliance technical order development, integration and testing fabrication of trial kits to support validation and verification activities, procurement of 68 F-15S to SA conversion kits and the procurement and installation of four base stand-up kits. This modification is a decrease of $456,160,000 for a revised not-to-exceed of $3,543,500,000 for the F-15 S/SA conversion and provisioning program. The location of the performance is St. Louis, Mo. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 19, 2019. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2013. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/WWKA, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Contract involves foreign military sales.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Rolling Meadows, Ill., is being awarded a $173,643,542 firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable-no-fee, time and material contract (FA8523-13-D-0002) for sustainment of the LITENING Targeting Pod System. The location of performance is Rolling Meadows, Ill. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2017. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/WNKCA, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

NAVY

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $128,393,761 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-04-C-3146) for engineering labor to perform extended lifetime fatigue testing, teardown, and post-teardown analysis of the P-8A airframe under the P-8A System Development and Demonstration Program. The engineering tasks and analyses are necessary to authorize P-8A operations for up to 150 percent of the specified service life of the airframe, dependent upon the results of the extended lifetime testing. Work will be performed in Seattle, Wash. (95 percent), and St. Louis, Mo. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2018. Fiscal 2013 Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation, Navy contract funds in the amount of $128,393,761 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River Md., is the contracting activity.

Tetra Tech EC Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded an indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-award-fee contract with a maximum amount of $100,000,000 for environmental remediation services for projects at various locations within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic area of responsibility (AOR). No task orders are being issued at this time. Work will be performed primarily within the NAVFAC Atlantic AOR which includes North Carolina (29 percent); Virginia (25 percent); Maryland (15 percent); Connecticut (5 percent); Maine (5 percent); Massechusetts (5 percent); Washington, D.C. (5 percent); Africa (5 percent); Pennsylvania (4 percent); West Virginia (1 percent); and Vieques, Puerto Rico (1 percent). Although principle geographical areas are identified for the contract, the contractor may be required to perform work at any Navy or Marine Corps activity in the AOR covered by NAVFAC Atlantic. Work may also be added and performed anywhere outside of NAVFAC Atlantic’s AOR, as required by the government. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of March 2018. Fiscal 2013 Environmental Restoration, Navy contract funds in the amount of $10,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-13-D-8007).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

LB and B Associates Inc., Columbia, Md., was awarded contract SP0600-13-C-5307. The award is a firm-fixed-price for a minimum $21,623,595 for bulk contractor owned-contractor operated fuel receipt, storage, and issue services, storage and maintenance services at an existing retail government owned-contractor operator self-service fuel ground station. Locations of performance are Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Maryland with a Sept. 30, 2018 performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2018 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va.

DL FMS Joint Venture*, Clover, S.C., was awarded contract SP0600-13-C-5323. The award is a firm-fixed-price contract for a minimum $12,460,291 for operation, maintenance, product quality surveillance, inventory control and accounting, security, safety, and plant protection. Locations of performance are South Carolina and California with a March 31, 2018 performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 through fiscal 2018 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va.

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY

Raytheon Co., Marlborough, Mass., is being awarded a $21,556,370 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HR0011-13-C-0039). The statement of work for this effort is classified. Work will be performed in Marlborough, Mass. (60 percent) and Cambridge, Mass. (40 percent). The work is expected to be completed by March 13, 2016. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the contracting activity.

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. is being awarded a $15,150,012 modification to a cooperative agreement (HR0011-11-2-0006). This modification is for the autonomous diagnostics to enable prevention and therapeutics: diagnostics on demand (ADEPT: DxOD) program. The digital slipchip platform for use in limited resource settings (LRS) will be designed to provide analytic parity with the equipment typically used in reference laboratories, yet with a user experience and robustness that would permit clinical laboratory improvement amendments (CLIA)-waived status. To allow for a high level of medical care, the device will be readable with a cell phone, so results can be transmitted to reference laboratories or remote physicians. Work will be performed in Pasadena, Calif., (99 percent) and Alachua, Fla., (1 percent). The work is expected to be completed by August, 2014. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the contracting activity.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EDUCATION ACTIVITY

The Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, Mass., was awarded a $11,259,242 firm-fixed-price contract modification exercising the first of four option periods of service contract number HEVAS6-12-C-0001. The contract is for comprehensive education program services, grades pre-Kindergarten through eighth, servicing eligible dependent children of Department of Defense personnel residing on Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. The period of performance for this option is through June 30, 2014. The contracting activity for this action is DoDEA/DDESS, Peachtree City, Ga.



*Small Disadvantaged Business
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Mar 15, 2013, 09:30 AM (0 replies)

By the Order of the Black Colonels

http://watchingamerica.com/News/198943/by-the-order-of-the-black-colonels/

By the Order of the Black Colonels
Vzglyad, Russia
By Anna Analbaeva, Dmitriy Scherbakov
Translated By Joanna Swirszcz
7 March 2013
Edited by Gillian Palmer

~snip~

David Petraeus, the former head of the CIA and commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, was one of the creators of “torture prisons” in Baghdad. There they beat confessions out of prisoners using the most barbaric methods, including pulling out nails and beating the groin. Petraeus did not personally give out these orders, but two colonels under his command engaged in these methods. The British newspaper The Guardian broke this story after an investigation.

According to the publication, Petraeus did not personally give orders on who to torture or how. His head colonels, James Steele and James Coffman, performed these actions and reported all of the successes of their “work” to their chief. Despite the fact that Steele and Coffman did not torture those arrested with their own hands, both have confessed that they were often present during interrogations using torture. One of the main tasks of the torture centers was to crush the growing resistance.

British journalists were able to talk to workers at Iraqi torture centers. According to General Muntadhera al-Samari, who worked at one of these prisons for a year, workers at the centers did not limit themselves at all: They used currents, they pulled out fingernails, they beat prisoners in the groin.

~snip~

It has long been known that the U.S. military uses torture. In early February, former Pentagon chief Leon Panetta confirmed that during the operation to assassinate “Terrorist No. 1,” Osama bin Laden, torture was used. Panetta also frankly admitted that “getting bin Laden” could have been done without the use of torture.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Mar 15, 2013, 08:41 AM (1 replies)

U.S. pledge to help Iraqis who aided occupation largely unfulfilled

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/03/14/185851/us-pledge-to-help-iraqis-who-aided.html



Angela Williams, in black scarf, an American Muslim who works for the U.S. State Department, talks to her friend Ansam, an Iraqi translator for coalition forces whose last name is withheld because of death threats against her, inside Baghdad's Green Zone in March 2007.

U.S. pledge to help Iraqis who aided occupation largely unfulfilled
By Hannah Allam | McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013

WASHINGTON — Ten years after the United States’ invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and set off a sectarian war that continues to this day, thousands of Iraqis are eligible for resettlement to the U.S. because they risked their lives to help the war effort as interpreters, cultural advisers and other support staff.

But of the legislated allotment of about 25,000 “special immigrant visas” – which offer permanent residency as a reward to Iraqis who worked with the U.S. government – just 4,669 cases have been approved since 2008, and the program is scheduled to end in September.

Advocates for the Iraqi applicants say the resettlement process for such U.S. allies has been shamefully slow and complicated, and remains an ordeal despite recent tweaks that have increased the flow of immigrants.

And the glacial bureaucracy in Washington, Iraqi applicants and their advocates say, can have disastrous consequences in Iraq, where people who worked with Americans receive death threats from Sunni and Shiite Muslim militants who still view them as “enemy collaborators,” even though the U.S. military withdrew from the country 15 months ago.


Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Mar 15, 2013, 07:48 AM (1 replies)

Middle East in turmoil 10 years after Iraq invasion that officials said would bring peace

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/03/14/185865/middle-east-in-turmoil-10-years.html



Unrest continues in Egypt

Middle East in turmoil 10 years after Iraq invasion that officials said would bring peace
By Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013

CAIRO — President George W. Bush kept it simple in his short television address the evening of March 19, 2003: U.S. forces had begun their campaign to unseat Saddam Hussein, he said. The goals, he outlined in his first sentence, were straightforward: “to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” Some 522 words later he promised the result: “We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail.”

As he spoke, members of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force were already crossing from Kuwait, where they’d been preparing for weeks, into southern Iraq. In those sands, it was Thursday, March 20, the dawn of a new day.

Ten years later, the era that dawn ushered in looks anything but simple. After tens of thousands of deaths, not just of Americans, but also of Iraqis – many, if not most, at the hands of other Iraqis – that country is still in turmoil. American troops are gone and a democratically elected government rules. But bombings and massacres continue, and the country remains mired in sectarian feuding between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

Elsewhere, conflict rules – in some cases, coincidentally, with anniversaries that fall also around this weekend:
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Mar 15, 2013, 07:42 AM (5 replies)

Gohmert: ‘Vietnam was winnable,’ but ‘people in Washington decided’ to lose

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/14/gohmert-vietnam-was-winnable-but-people-in-washington-decided-to-lose/



Louie gohmerting all over himself

Gohmert: ‘Vietnam was winnable,’ but ‘people in Washington decided’ to lose
By David Edwards
Thursday, March 14, 2013 11:29 EDT

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Thursday asserted that the U.S. war in “Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it!”

“One of the things that we’ve heard over and over again since Vietnam is, you know, we don’t want to get in another un-winnable war like Vietnam,” Gohmert told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “I’m not going to debate the merits of whether we should or should not have gone to Vietnam, but what I will tell you is, Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it!”

“Folks, when you hear people talk about the lesson of Vietnam, it ought to be this: You don’t send American men or women to to harm’s way unless you’re going to give them the authority and what they need to win and then bring them home!”

The Texas Republican went on to suggest that former President Jimmy Carter should have gone to war with Iran in 1979.



unhappycamper comment: Louie spent four years in the Army from 178 to 1982 as a JAG Captain. Went in as a Captain and came out as a Captain. Hmmmm.

Heckova job, Louie!
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Mar 15, 2013, 07:30 AM (1 replies)
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next »