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unhappycamper's Journal
unhappycamper's Journal
March 31, 2013

'Leading the Targeted Killing Revolution': Weapons Maker General Atomics Gets Punk'd


'Leading the Targeted Killing Revolution': Weapons Maker General Atomics Gets Punk'd
by Jon Queally
03.29.13 - 12:18 PM

Some clever bugger (likely in the UK) has punked weapons manufacturer General Atomics by cloning their website and offering some rather more useful information about the company's role in the global targeting killing campaign operated by US and British forces.

So government military officials looking to purchase a new Predator C Avenger drone might be surprised to learn:

The company is dedicated to providing long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with the ability to provide continual surveillance of suspect populations and the targeted killing of any person deemed a threat to US/UK interests in the Middle East and beyond. Click here to download 'Living Under Drones' a recent Stanford/NYU report demonstrating the effectiveness of our products.

The fake website (www.ga-as.com) is visually identical to the real site (www.ga-asi.com), but the modified version takes the opportunity to link to important resources critical of the operation of the armed, un-piloted machines.
March 31, 2013

Iraq, Afghan Wars Will Cost US 4-6 Trillion Dollars: Report


More than half of the more than 1.5 million troops who have been discharged from active duty since 9/11 have received medical treatment at veterans’ hospitals and have been granted benefits for the rest of their lives.

Iraq, Afghan Wars Will Cost US 4-6 Trillion Dollars: Report
- Jim Lobe
Published on Saturday, March 30, 2013 by Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON - Costs to U.S. taxpayers of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will run between four and six trillion dollars, making them the most expensive conflicts in U.S. history, according to a new report by a prominent Harvard University researcher.

While Washington has already spent close to two trillion dollars in direct costs related to its military campaigns in the two countries, that total “represents only a fraction of the total war costs”, according to the report by former Bill Clinton administration official Linda Bilmes.

“The single largest accrued liability of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the cost of providing medical care and disability benefits to war veterans,” she wrote in the 21-page report, ‘The Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets’.

Bilmes, who since 2008 has co-authored a number of analyses on war costs with the World Bank’s former chief economist, Joseph Stiglitz, noted that more than half of the more than 1.5 million troops who have been discharged from active duty since 9/11 have received medical treatment at veterans’ hospitals and have been granted benefits for the rest of their lives. More than 253,000 troops have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
March 31, 2013

Why the US Government Lacks Legitimacy on Gun Control


Why the US Government Lacks Legitimacy on Gun Control
Friday, 29 March 2013 14:44

It’s laughable to hear our President and members of the legislature argue the fine points of gun control when they go about attacking defenseless and poor countries, murdering hundreds of thousands of people under the phony excuse of national security with weapons of mass destruction ranging from cluster bombs to depleted uranium missiles and chemicals that literally disintegrate flesh and bones to ash as witnessed at Fallujah, Iraq, “Go massive!” Donald Rumsfeld cheered, “Sweep it all up. Things related and not,” while Dick Cheney and his associates drooled over the sadistic methods of torture that he ordered against a people who did absolutely nothing to the United States.

I think of that photo of the five year old Iraqi girl wailing, crouched down with her parents’ blood splattered over her dress after U.S. troops opened fire at their car because they made the mistake of driving through the patrol, an image that circled the world media except in the United States where it was censored.

That image symbolizes the perception of the United States’ rogue government from the Bush years, and it has not really improved under Obama’s given the fact that Obama refused to prosecute the Bush-Cheney administration for committing heinous war crimes: lying about evidence that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction, ordering barbaric torture practices and bragging about how effective the satanic act of torture is when it is anything but, invading a sovereign and civilized nation no different from European nations except that Iraq happened to be in the Middle East and an oil rich country. These are all impeachable offenses under the U.S. Constitution.

Of course, if Obama were to prosecute the Bush-Cheney war criminals, he’d have to include himself—since he has continued to terrorize starving, poor peasants living in clay huts across Afghanistan with drone killings, missiles that explode to pieces remaining houses and shelters; illegal killings that are targeted from computer screens in secret CIA rooms thousands of miles away from Afghanistan in video-game fashion. But the President is the one pulling the trigger, the role model for our society on gun control.
March 31, 2013

This Is Not the Age of Defeat


This Is Not the Age of Defeat
Peace & Justice
by Chris Floyd | March 30, 2013 - 9:44am

This is the age of loss, not the age of defeat.

Drone strikes, kill lists, murderers and torturers approved for high office. Austerity for the poor, record profits for the rich. Truthtellers shackled, liars lauded, ignorance exalted, cruelty and callousness gilded with righteous piety. Everywhere, goodness is driven to its knees, and this brutality is not decried but celebrated.

As in that age of iron that lowered over our forbears during dark night of the Thirties, you see faces once thought kind and kindred turn suddenly feral. Fear is behind it, but not just fear: also a self-hatred for what fear has turned them into, a self-hatred that cannot be borne and so is turned outward, thrown outward, into harsh projections of hatefulness, violence and desolation.

The avid embrace of what was once denounced, or the sad but “savvy” acceptance of the “lesser evil”: this is what we see at every turn today among ourselves, among those we thought were our own, and sometimes, maybe – when the lowering is darkest, heaviest – in mirrors as we pass. When the lowering is darkest, when the soul is lost. In them. In us.
March 31, 2013

How We’re making a Frankenstein’s Monster of our Climate (Giesen)


How We’re making a Frankenstein’s Monster of our Climate (Giesen)
Posted on 03/31/2013 by Juan

The option to avoid 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) of global warming – our goal for more than 10 years – is out of reach: we have emitted too many greenhouse gases and are on a much warmer trajectory. In 2000, we had many choices regarding global warming, but instead of reducing emissions in various ways, we elected to accelerate. Global greenhouse gas emissions have increased in all but one year since 2000, and those compounding emissions increases have dramatically diminished our choices.

By exceeding 3.6 degrees F, we will have caused “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. If we allow warming to reach, say, 7.2 degrees F (4 degrees C) of warming, we will likely have created a chaotic world, i.e. a world with an unstable environment (The World Bank Report, 2012).

Without large reductions in emissions soon, we will have much more warming – 10.8 degrees F (6 degrees C) by 2100 (PriceWaterhouseCoopers 11/5/12). The CIA is a funder for a report that says “climate events will produce consequences that exceed the capacity of affected societies or (the) global system to manage…” (National Research Council 2013).

Those organizations’ and others’ warnings reflect the hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies that form the basis for current concerns.
March 31, 2013

($277 million dollar) U.S. Navy ship removed from Philippine reef (in pieces)


U.S. Navy ship removed from Philippine reef
By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:27 EDT

Salvage teams on Saturday removed the last piece of a US Navy ship that was stuck on a UNESCO World Heritage-listed coral reef in the Philippines for more than 10 weeks, the coast guard said.

The stern of the USS Guardian was lifted off the Tubbataha Reef after the 68-metre (223-foot) vessel was sliced into portions for easier removal, Philippine coast guard spokeswoman Lieutenant Greanata Jude said.

Bad weather had earlier delayed the recovery operations but once the skies cleared, a salvage ship used a huge crane to lift the bow, the deck, the funnel and other pieces of the ship off the reef.


Under Philippine law, ships that run aground on Tubbataha are fined 24,000 pesos ($585) for every square metre of damaged reef, she said.

unhappycamper comment: No bad; it took the United States only ten weeks to remove it.

For more pics, google: uss guardian dismantle
March 31, 2013

Guantanamo hunger strikers ready for death: lawyer


Guantanamo hunger strikers ready for death: lawyer
By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, March 31, 2013 0:10 EDT

His body ravaged and weakened by a 50-day hunger strike staged in protest at alleged mistreatment of Korans at Guantanamo jail, Abd al-Malik Abd al-Wahab has a message for his loved ones.

“Tell my family if I die to forgive me,” said Abd al-Wahab, a 33-year-old Yemeni national who has spent 11 years — or a third of his life — behind bars at the controversial US detention facility in Cuba.

Abd al-Wahab, whose comments were relayed to AFP by his lawyer, is among dozens of detainees who are staging a hunger strike at the military prison amid allegations — vehemently denied by US officials — that guards improperly handled Korans during searches in February.


Several attorneys representing prisoners say the majority of the estimated 130 prisoners at Guantanamo’s Camp 6 wing, which houses “low-value” detainees, are on hunger strike.
March 30, 2013

‘Blue water’ Navy veterans’ long waits often end in denials at VA


About 200 biodegradable orange balloons are lifted by the breeze in honor and recognition of those who served in Vietnam and were affected by Agent Orange during fifth annual Memorial Day ceremony at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth, Fla., May 28, 2012.

‘Blue water’ Navy veterans’ long waits often end in denials at VA
By Beena Raghavendran | McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013

WASHINGTON — Bob Bauman is waiting.

Bauman, of Baltimore, remembers the orange-striped barrels sitting on a pier off Subic Bay in the Philippines. He’s convinced that they were filled with Agent Orange that leaked into the water where he and his fellow sailors went swimming.

Now 65, Bauman has diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, colorectal cancer and essential tremor. He blames the orange-striped barrels, but he hasn’t received disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA grants benefits only to Agent Orange-exposed veterans who served on the ground or in the rivers of Vietnam. Bauman and his fellow sailors – known as blue water Navy veterans – served off the coast of Vietnam and aren’t covered.

The fight between veterans such as Bauman and the VA has resulted in a cycle of denied claims and a lack of benefits for the majority of blue water veterans that can stretch several years, advocates say. Legislation to extend compensation to these veterans was introduced in the House of Representatives in February, but getting it through will be difficult: Five previous attempts to secure benefits have been unsuccessful.

unhappycamper comment: Agent Orange, the DOW gift that just keeps on giving.
March 30, 2013

Iraqi oil: Once seen as U.S. boon, now it’s mostly China’ s


n U.S. Army soldier stands guard near a burning oil well in the Rumaylah Oil Fields in Southern Iraq April 2, 2003

Iraqi oil: Once seen as U.S. boon, now it’s mostly China’s
By Sean Cockerham | McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — Ten years after the United States invaded and occupied Iraq, the country’s oil industry is poised to boom and make the troubled nation the No.2 oil exporter in the world. But the nation that’s moving to take advantage of Iraq’s riches isn’t the United States. It’s China.

America, with its own homegrown energy bonanza, isn’t going after the petroleum that lies beneath Iraq’s sands nearly as aggressively as is China, a country hungry to fuel its rise as an economic power.

Iraq remains highly unstable in terms of security, infrastructure and politics. Chinese state-owned oil companies appear more willing to put up with that than Americans are.

“The Chinese have a higher tolerance for risk,” said Gal Luft, a co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, a Washington research center focused on energy.
March 30, 2013

B-2 bombers based in Missouri send message to North Korea


A B-2 flies over Edwards Air Force Base during a test mission on August 14, 2003. NOTE: In addition to the $2.2 billion dollar cost of the B-2, Cost per Flying Hour is > $139 grand per hour.

B-2 bombers based in Missouri send message to North Korea
Mike McGraw | The Kansas City Star
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2013

Two Missouri-based B-2 stealth bombers have carried a clear message from the U.S. to North Korean leaders.

Following weeks of North Korean bluster, the U.S. on Thursday took the unprecedented step of announcing that the nuclear-capable bombers joined joint military drills with South Korea, dropping dummy practice bombs on an island range.

The bombers made the 13,000-mile nonstop round trip from Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster.

In a statement issued Thursday morning from Seoul, the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman and the U.S. Strategic Command said the mission demonstrates America’s ability to conduct precision strikes “quickly and at will.”

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