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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
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Few report sex assaults at military academies


Few report sex assaults at military academies
LOLITA C. BALDOR | December 21, 2012 06:21 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — New details in a Pentagon report show that military academy students report just a fraction of the sexual assaults they say occurred in the past school year, signaling a continued reluctance by victims to seek criminal investigations.

As reported earlier this week, the report shows that reported sexual assaults at the nation's three military academies jumped by 23 percent overall this year. But officials say that at least some of the increase is the result of ongoing efforts to encourage military members and students to report unwelcome sexual contact.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a memo released Friday that he's concerned there hasn't been greater progress in preventing sexual assault and harassment at the academies. He has asked officials to beef up prevention programs.

According to an anonymous survey of academy students, more than 50 percent of women and 10 percent of men said they experienced sexual harassment during the last school year. At the same time, a bit more than 12 percent of women and 2 percent of men enrolled in the three military academies said they experienced "unwanted sexual contact."
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:12 AM (1 replies)

NSA Ready To Launch Classified Mobile Device Service


NSA Ready To Launch Classified Mobile Device Service
By Henry Kenyon
Published: December 20, 2012

The National Security Agency is launching a mobile device capability at the end of this year that will allow its personnel to securely access classified information with their smartphones and tablet computers.

The program, which is a joint effort with the Defense Information Systems Agency, could potentially provide the military services with similar secure information access capabilities.

Secure access to top secret data has been the Holy Grail for mobile device use in the military and intelligence communities. But a number of technological hurdles had prevented this, most notably the fact that commercial mobile operating systems and devices were not developed to meet stringent government security requirements.

In the last few years, the government has worked with industry to develop more secure versions of mobile operating systems. Where a commercial solution has not been available, the military and intelligence communities developed specialized software to increase the security features of civilian handhelds.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:33 AM (0 replies)

Flexible Forces Plus New Drone, Cyber, & Climate Policies Top 2013 Wish List


Flexible Forces Plus New Drone, Cyber, & Climate Policies Top 2013 Wish List
By Rachel Kleinfeld
Published: December 20, 2012

In a world of tumult, which national security problems will really matter in 2013?

The initial list stretches quite a way. Syria appears to be moving chemical weapons into deployable positions to use against its civilians. Egypt teeters on military-backed Islamist dictatorship that could be worse than its previous military-backed secular dictatorship. Al-Qaeda has entrenched an offshoot in Mali, in addition to its spread from Nigeria to Yemen. China is throwing its weight around and threatening its neighbors in the South China Sea. And North Korea launched a pre-inauguration missile to welcome President Obama into his second term with typical open arms.

Meanwhile, we need to add to the list problems we have created for ourselves. Republicans continue to hold our economy hostage to tax breaks for millionaires. They also killed our second chance at desperately needed cybersecurity legislation. And inaction on climate is not only leading to refugees and exacerbated radicalism abroad, it sank a good portion of New York City under water –- Al Gore's movie come to life.

Finally, let's not forget long-standing, less-reported problems, like the ongoing weakness of Europe's economic recovery, continued drug violence in Mexico that tends to lap against our southern border, or water wars and food riots that threaten throughout the developing world.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:29 AM (0 replies)

Air Force asks ESPN for help in analyzing drone footage


Air Force asks ESPN for help in analyzing drone footage
Published December 20, 2012

The Air Force is tapping ESPN to help sift and analyze the massive amounts of video footage from drone missions.

As the number of unmanned aircraft around the world and the flood of footage being transmitted in real-time keeps expanding, the Air Force is faced with the task of pouring through the data. Enter: ESPN.

"We need to be careful we don't drown in the data," David Deptula, a former Air Force lieutenant general, said, according to a report in USA Today.

Drone video transmissions returned some 327,384 hours of surveillance video in 2011. Currently, much of what drones do is complete "pattern of life" missions, which involve recording compounds for days at a time.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:22 AM (2 replies)

Army rolls out brass to defend anti-IED software


Army rolls out brass to defend anti-IED software
By Rowan Scarborough
The Washington Times
Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Army presented two two-star generals and three intelligence specialists Thursday to defend its $2.5 billion battlefield intelligence processor, which has failed operational tests and has been criticized by soldiers as being too slow to analyze the enemy and help find buried bombs in Afghanistan.

In a news conference at the Pentagon, the Army specialists lauded the Defense Common Ground System, an array of computers, servers and programs that is the Army’s principal processor of huge amounts of battlefield data.

The Washington Times first reported in July about an internal battle within the Army. Commanders and intelligence officers in Afghanistan complained in messages to Army headquarters about the Defense Common Ground System.

Some asked for permission to buy Palantir, an off-the-shelf software platform that specializes in linking disparate bits of information to form a clear picture of the battlefield.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:15 AM (0 replies)

Stress on special ops troops 'worse than we thought'


Stress on special ops troops 'worse than we thought'
Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY 12:59a.m. EST December 20, 2012

TAMPA - The nation's most elite fighting forces -celebrated this year in film and best-selling books - are under more emotional strain after a decade of war than commanders realized, according to the senior non-commissioned officer for special operations.

A tragic part of that is record suicides this year, says Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Faris.


A report last month by U.S. Special Operations Command - which oversees 66,000 troops including the Army's secretive Delta Force, Navy SEALs with SEAL Team 6, Army Green Berets and Rangers - cites "an increase in domestic and family relational and behavioral problems, substance abuse and self-medication problems, risk-taking behavior, post-traumatic stress and suicide."

Faris says, "It's worse than we thought." But he added that despite signs of strain, this select category of troops remains capable of meeting any missions they are given.

Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:50 AM (0 replies)

America Being Driven Over the Fiscal Cliff by the Monumental Cost of the Military


America Being Driven Over the Fiscal Cliff by the Monumental Cost of the Military
By michael payne
OpEdNews Op Eds 12/19/2012 at 12:59:57

As the various actors in Washington's latest theatrical presentation of "The Fiscal Cliff", once again take their places on stage, the majority of the American people have this feeling that they have seen this play before; in fact, more times than they would have liked. This is a play that has the same fabricated plot, the same old actors, all leading, without a doubt, to the same contrived ending.

While there is a great need for this government to enact legislation that would substantially increase the tax on the wealthiest of Americans to avoid going over the cliff, this article will concentrate on the one option that I believe holds, by far, the greatest potential for reductions in government spending. It is the staggering, completely out of control spending on the military and security that so far has been declared off-limits.

Does this country need a powerful military to safeguard the security of the American people and defend it against potential attacks by rogue nations? Absolutely, without a question, we must always maintain a powerful military. America, in my opinion, also has a responsibility to be a leader in maintaining peace and stability in the world but that does not call for it to continue to dominate it. It's time for this government to stop acting like the policeman of the world with an expanding empire whose massive costs can no longer be sustained.

There are very competent, knowledgeable individuals within the military establishment that agree with this premise and have presented concrete recommendations for making changes that will maintain the military's strength but that will not lead America into financial collapse. It's time for President Obama to listen to these voices of knowledge, experience, logic and reason.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:30 AM (0 replies)

Marine pleads guilty to urinating on Taliban corpse, loses pay and rank in reduced sentence


Marine pleads guilty to urinating on Taliban corpse, loses pay and rank in reduced sentence
By Associated Press, Published: December 20

WASHINGTON — A Marine general will scale back the punishment announced by a military judge who presided at a court-martial of a Marine who pled guilty to urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters and posing for pictures with them in Afghanistan.

The judge announced a sentence for Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin of 30 days confinement, reduction in rank by three grades, a $2,000 fine and other punishments.

The Marine Corps said Chamblin pleaded guilty to wrongful desecration, failure to properly supervise junior Marines and posing for photos with battlefield casualties.

Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, who is overseeing the Chamblin case, agreed before the court-martial to limit his punishment to the loss of $500 in pay and reduction in rank by one grade.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:06 AM (0 replies)

Military funds to spare?


Military funds to spare?
By Walter Pincus, Published: December 19

Congress and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta showed this week that there are hundreds of millions, if not billions, of loose dollars in the Pentagon’s budget that can be shifted around without apparent harm to national security.

In a speech Wednesday at the National Press Club, Panetta voiced his frustration at changes the House and Senate armed services committees had made in the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill. At one point he said that the committees “had diverted about $74 billion of what we asked for in savings in our proposed budget to the Congress, and they diverted them to other areas that, frankly, we don’t need.”

He spoke about “pressure on the department to retain excess force structure and infrastructure instead of investing in the training and equipment that makes our force agile and flexible and ready.” Without specifying programs, Panetta mentioned having to keep “aircraft, ships, tanks, bases, even those that have outlived their usefulness, (but) have a natural political constituency.”

As if on cue, just two hours after Panetta’s speech, the chairmen of the Senate and House armed services committees — Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) — released summaries of the House-Senate conference report on the fiscal 2013 defense bill that contained funding changes illustrating some of what Panetta had been complaining about.

Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:02 AM (0 replies)

Pakistan's elite dodge tax burden


Pakistan's elite dodge tax burden
By Syed Fazl-e-Haider
Dec 22, 2012

KARACHI - The people who run the government and make revenue policies in Pakistan are involved in massive tax evasion. Over 60% of the country's cabinet and two thirds of its federal lawmakers paid no tax last year, according to a report released by an investigative Pakistani journalist, Umar Cheema.

The report, prepared on the basis of information from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), reveals that President Asif Ali Zardari and 34 of the 55 cabinet members did not file a tax return in 2011, while Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar paid just 142,536 rupees (US$1,466) and 69,619 rupees as income tax.

The report came out after the country's new tax chief, Ali Arshad Hakeem, declared a war on tax evaders and offenders, offering an amnesty for those who choose to accept a small tax burden and warning those unwilling to sign up for the amnesty that their assets would be frozen and they would be banned from travel, while their names would be released to the media.

Cheema's account, entitled "Representation without Taxation", said that among all the lawmakers in the federal parliament, 67% did not file tax returns last year, while78 members of parliament are l not registered with a national taxation number.


Sounds familiar, eh?
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:44 AM (0 replies)
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