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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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Clandestine drones: Obama administration’s critical tool

And the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/under-obama-an-emerging-global-apparatus-for-drone-killing/2011/12/13/gIQANPdILP_story.html
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Jan 5, 2012, 08:58 AM (1 replies)

Afghanistan: US press withdraws

Afghanistan: US press withdraws
By Ben Schreiner
Jan 6, 2012

Lost amid the attention paid to the historic United States withdrawal from Iraq has been the fact that nearly 100,000 US troops (and a near equal number of private contractors) remain entrenched in Afghanistan. The 10-year-long war has indeed become what many in the US have deemed the "forgotten war". For just as American troops have withdrawn from Iraq, the American press has largely packed up and withdrawn from Afghanistan.

According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, coverage of the war in Afghanistan accounted for only 2% of all US press content in 2011.[1] That's down two points from 2010, and three points from 2009. To put this in context, American media coverage of Afghanistan was on par with that of sports in the last year, and only one percent greater than the coverage of celebrity and entertainment related news.

Declining US press coverage of the war has no doubt been hastened by withering resources devoted by major American media outlets to Afghanistan. According to the online press-watch organization, Nieman Watchdog, only five US newspapers now maintain bureaus in Afghanistan, while at any given time a maximum of only ten broadcast correspondents can be found in the country. [2]


Such explanations from the American media establishment, however, fail to illuminate the underlying reason behind the shortcomings of US press coverage of the war in Afghanistan. For the decay in coverage is attributable to a problem greater than that of a press corps prioritizing perceived audience preferences to the detriment of news. Instead, the main factor in the decline in war coverage is a systemic failure of the American press brought about by the internalization of an US imperial ideology.

Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Jan 5, 2012, 08:19 AM (2 replies)

Body of suspect found on Mount Rainier

Pierce County Sheriff's Dept. AP Photo
In this undated photo provided by the Pierce County Sheriff's Dept., Benjamin Colton Barnes, is shown. Officials said Barnes, the suspected killer of ranger Margaret Anderson, was found dead in Paradise Creek at Mount Rainier on Monday.

Body of suspect found on Mount Rainier
Published: 01/02/12 9:55 pm | Updated: 01/02/12 10:11 pm

A man suspected of shooting a ranger to death was found dead Monday in Mount Rainier National Park, likely defeated by the mountain his victim worked to protect.

A day after 34-year-old ranger Margaret Anderson was shot by a driver who ran through a safety checkpoint, the suspect’s body was found partially submerged in Paradise Creek about a mile from the scene, authorities said.

Benjamin Colton Barnes, 24, appeared to have died of exposure to winter conditions, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. The medical examiner was on hand to examine and remove the body and will make the final determination of cause of death. No determination had been made as of Monday night.


Barnes served two years, seven months in the Army before receiving a less than honorable discharge in November 2009, said Maj. Chris Ophardt, an Army spokesman.

Posted by unhappycamper | Tue Jan 3, 2012, 07:56 AM (10 replies)

Panetta's plan for cuts will detail shrinking military

Panetta's plan for cuts will detail shrinking military
The New York Times
© January 3, 2012

By Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is set this week to reveal his strategy that will guide the Pentagon in cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from its budget, and with it the Obama administration's vision of the military that the United States needs to meet 21st century threats, senior officials said.

In a shift of doctrine, Panetta is expected to outline plans for carefully shrinking the military - and in so doing make it clear that the Pentagon will not maintain the ability to fight two sustained ground wars at once.

Instead, he will say that the military will be large enough to fight and win one major conflict, while also being able to "spoil" a second adversary's ambitions in another part of the world while conducting a number of other, smaller operations, like providing disaster relief or enforcing a no-fly zone.

Pentagon officials are in final deliberations about potential cuts to virtually every important area of Pentagon spending: the nuclear arsenal, warships, combat aircraft, salaries, and retirement and health benefits.


unhappycamper comment: Here's my suggestions:

* Stop spending $2+ billion dollars a week on the Afghanistan adventure.
* Stop building $5 billion dollar Zumwalt-class destroyers.
* Stop building $5~$7 billion dollar Virginia-class submarines each and every year.
* Stop building the $40 billion dollar Ford-class aircraft carriers.
* Stop building the not-ready-for-prime-time quarter of a billion dollar F-35.
Posted by unhappycamper | Tue Jan 3, 2012, 07:45 AM (0 replies)

Past lingers for company formerly called Blackwater

Past lingers for company formerly called Blackwater
By Bill Sizemore
The Virginian-Pilot
© January 3, 2012

As it goes about the complicated task of putting its past behind it, the Moyock, N.C.-based company once known as Blackwater is going through some lean times.

Nevertheless, its reach has never been wider. Its workers have deployed to more than a dozen countries around the world, many of them hot spots of civil unrest.

That should be no cause for alarm, the current owners say, because the old company is no more. Blackwater - some of whose security operatives were accused of killing civilians in war zones, and several of whose top executives face felony firearms charges - is dead and buried, a stake plunged into its heart.


The urgency of outrunning the Blackwater legacy is apparent in recent revenue numbers.

Posted by unhappycamper | Tue Jan 3, 2012, 07:36 AM (4 replies)

US Military Buys New Coin Aircraft For 'Only" $18 Million Dollars a Pop


Super Tucano Wins USAF’s Light Attack Contest


The air service is buying 20 Super Ts from Embraer and its U.S. partner, Sierra Nevada Corporation, for $355 million, according to an announcement that Embraer released last night. Remember, a couple of years ago the Air Force planned to buy dozens of cheap, turboprop-driven COIN aircraft that could be used to provide light air support and ISR for troops fighting insurgents in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The planes were supposed to take the burden for such unglamorous missions off of jet fighters like the F-16, which cost far more to operate. However, the draw-down from Iraq combined with shrinking defense budgets forced the air service to dramatically reduce the program. Now, the service will use the small fleet of turboprop planes to help build up the nascent Afghan air force, and “other nations.” Those last two words leave the possibility open for more Super T sales beyond those to the U.S. Air Force and Afghan air force.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Jan 1, 2012, 10:06 AM (8 replies)
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