CBS) They are the casualties of wars you don’t often hear about – soldiers who die of self-inflicted wounds. Little is known about the true scope of suicides among those who have served in the military.
But a five-month CBS News investigation discovered data that shows a startling rate of suicide, what some call a hidden epidemic, Chief Investigative Reporter Armen Keteyian reports exclusively.
“I just felt like this silent scream inside of me,” said Jessica Harrell, the sister of a soldier who took his own life.
“I opened up the door and there he was,” recalled Mike Bowman, the father of an Army reservist.
“I saw the hose double looped around his neck,” said Kevin Lucey, another military father.
One of the most prominent current propaganda strategies for those who want to keep American, Australian and British troops in Iraq for as long as possible (or at least until the right oil laws are signed and sealed) is the one that claims that if we leave, all hell will break loose. Or more hell.
But that’s not the case, so far, in Basra. After British troops packed up and left, attacks have plunged by a whopping 90% :
Around 500 British soldiers left one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces in the heart of the city in early September and stopped conducting regular foot patrols.
A spokesman says the Iraqi security forces still come under attack from militants in Basra, but the overall level of violence is down 90% since the British troops left.
The repackaging of such information is now of primary importance to the NeoCons. They will continue to pump and spin the line that attacks in Iraq are dropping because of the Bush “troop surge”, not because foreign troops are packing up and going home, or because some American patrol units are refusing to undertake suicidal missions along IED infested roads.
merican diplomats have been ordered to compile a dossier detailing Iran’s violations of international law that some fear could be used to justify military strikes against the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme.US trains Gulf air forces for war with Iran
Members of the US secretariat in the United Nations were asked earlier this month to begin “searching for things that Iran has done wrong”, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
Some US diplomats believe the exercise – reminiscent of attempts by vice-president Dick Cheney and the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld to build the case against Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war – will boost calls for military action by neo-conservatives inside and outside the administration.
By ROBERT BURNS,
WASHINGTON – Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran, a recently retired commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Monday.
John Abizaid, the retired Army general who headed Central Command for nearly four years, said he was confident that if Iran gained nuclear arms, the United States could deter it from using them.
“Iran is not a suicide nation,” he said. “I mean, they may have some people in charge that don’t appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon.”
The Iranians are aware, he said, that the United States has a far superior military capability.
Personally I would like to see fired USA Iglesias do the criminal 911 investigation, at least he has proven time and again that he has integrity and Cogones.
September 14, 2007 – A conflict of interest is defined as a real or potential conflict between private / professional / political interests and official responsibilities of a government employee, government agency, and / or sub-contractors under government contract that occurs when a situation arises in which there is a divergence between personal, professional, or political interests and the obligations to the public, such that an impartial observer might reasonably question whether the actions and decisions, or lack of actions and decisions, taken by the government employee, government agency, and / or sub-contractors under government contract related to the situation would be influenced by consideration of the government employees’, government agencies’, and / or sub-contractors’ private, professional, or political interests.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), along with its sub-contractors working on the technical investigation to determine how World Trade Center Building Seven (WTC7) collapsed, has an undeniable, clearly definable, conflict of interest. This conflict of interest places NIST in violation of the Data Quality Act.
The biggest threat to our freedoms comes not from al-Qaida but from the security bureaucrats and their cronies
Friday September 14, 2007
I admit it is a grim question for a fine autumn weekend, but is liberty in decline? Have we taken the old girl for granted so long that we cannot see her lined face, frayed garments and sagging bosom? The swimming pool in Baghdad’s Green Zone may be Liberty Pool and American chips Freedom Fries, but the glory days are over. Sex appeal these days has passed from liberty to power.
GOP Operative Ed Gillespie ‘hard-wired’ into Petraeus’s shop
by: Matt Stoller
Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:41:26 PM EDT
As if this is not obvious already.Another new arrival in the West Wing set up a rapid-response PR unit hard-wired into Petraeus’s shop. Ed Gillespie, the new presidential counselor, organized daily conference calls at 7:45 a.m. and again late in the afternoon between the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the U.S. Embassy and military in Baghdad to map out ways of selling the surge.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Air Force squadron commander has been relieved of his command after five nuclear weapons were mistakenly loaded aboard a B-52 and flown cross-country from North Dakota to Louisiana last week, NBC News reported.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 — A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance by his top Iraq envoy in May 2003 of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” a plan that the envoy, L. Paul Bremer, said referred to dismantling the Iraqi Army.
In case you haven’t seen this one.
It’s about the permanent US bases in Iraq
TWO ‘ACTS’ OF TYRANNY ON THE SAME DAY!By Daneen G. Peterson, Ph.D.
December 7, 2006
Updated June 2, 2007
On October 17, 2006, ‘a date which will live in infamy’ . . . there were two acts of tyranny committed. The first was a public signing of the ‘Military Commissions Act of 2006′ which suspended habeas corpus allowing the president to declare you an ‘enemy combatant’ and end your rights to seek legal or judicial relief from unlawful imprisonment.
The second act of tyranny took place in a private Oval Office ceremony, in which the president signed into law the ‘John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2007′ which essentially eliminates the protections of the Posse Comitatus Act and re-wrote the Insurrection Act. The NDAA will allow the president to declare a ‘public emergency’ and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to ‘suppress public disorder’!
About The Military Commissions Act of 2006 . . .
“A writ of habeas corpus which is Latin for ‘you have the body’ [as proof] is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody.”(1)
“The writ of habeas corpus serves as an important check on the manner in which state courts pay respect to federal constitutional rights. The writ is ‘the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action’.”(1)
There is considerable international discussion that the confrontation between Iran and
the international community over its nuclear programme may change in character into
a major war between Iran and either US or Israel or both in conjunction with allies
such as the United Kingdom. This study uses open source analysis to outline what the military option might involve
if it were picked up off the table and put into action. The study demonstrates that an
attack can be massive and launched with surprise rather than merely a contingency
plan needing months if not years of preparation.
The study considers the potential for US and allied war on Iran and the attitude of key
states. The study concludes that the US has made military preparations to
destroy Iran’s WMD, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus and
economic infrastructure within days if not hours of President George W. Bush
giving the order. The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to
deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely. The US retains the option
of avoiding war, but using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping
• Any attack is likely to be on a massive multi-front scale but avoiding a ground
invasion. Attacks focused on WMD facilities would leave Iran too many
retaliatory options, leave President Bush open to the charge of using too little
force and leave the regime intact.
• US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets
in Iran in a few hours.
• US ground, air and marine forces already in the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan
can devastate Iranian forces, the regime and the state at short notice.
• Some form of low level US and possibly UK military action as well as armed
popular resistance appear underway inside the Iranian provinces or ethnic
areas of the Azeri, Balujistan, Kurdistan and Khuzestan. Iran was unable to
prevent sabotage of its offshore-to-shore crude oil pipelines in 2005.
• Nuclear weapons are ready, but most unlikely, to be used by the US, the UK
and Israel. The human, political and environmental effects would be
devastating, while their military value is limited.
• Israel is determined to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons yet has the
conventional military capability only to wound Iran’s WMD programmes.
• The attitude of the UK is uncertain, with the Brown government and public
opinion opposed psychologically to more war, yet, were Brown to support an
attack he would probably carry a vote in Parliament. The UK is adamant that
Iran must not acquire the bomb.
• Short and long term human, political and economic consequences of any war
require innovative approaches to prevent the crisis becoming war.
Read this PDF (80 pages)
Or an excellent excerpt here
THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.
Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
On September 7, 2002, The New York Times White House correspondent Elizabeth Bushmiller treated readers to an explanation of how the Bush administration planned to sell the invasion of Iraq:
White House officials said today that the administration was following a meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein.
The rollout of the strategy this week, they said, was planned long before President Bush’s vacation in Texas last month. It was not hastily concocted, they insisted, after some prominent Republicans began to raise doubts about moving against Mr. Hussein and administration officials made contradictory statements about the need for weapons inspectors in Iraq.
The White House decided, they said, that even with the appearance of disarray it was still more advantageous to wait until after Labor Day to kick off their plan.
”From a marketing point of view,” said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, ”you don’t introduce new products in August.”
A centerpiece of the strategy, White House officials said, is to use Mr. Bush’s speech on Sept. 11 to help move Americans toward support of action against Iraq, which could come early next year.
By DEBORAH HASTINGS 08.24.07, 3:16 PM ET
One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted.
For daring to report illegal arms sales, Navy veteran Donald Vance says he was imprisoned by the American military in a security compound outside Baghdad and subjected to harsh interrogation methods.
There were times, huddled on the floor in solitary confinement with that head-banging music blaring dawn to dusk and interrogators yelling the same questions over and over, that Vance began to wish he had just kept his mouth shut.
Published: Thursday August 23, 2007
Parliament not told, minister says
A new super-weapon being supplied to British soldiers in Afghanistan employs technology based on the “thermobaric” principle which uses heat and pressure to kill people targeted across a wide air by sucking the air out of lungs and rupturing internal organs.
The so-called “enhanced blast” weapon uses similar technology used in the US “bunker busting” bombs and the devastating bombs dropped by the Russians to destroy the Chechen capital, Grozny.
Blackwater USA wants to have a third base.
Blackwater has been trying very hard to get permission to build a third base. This time in Potrero near San Diego.
By Paul Eckert Wed Aug 22, 5:49 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards are using front groups to beat U.N. sanctions and acquire weapons and material for Tehran’s nuclear program, an exiled opponent of the Iranian government said on Wednesday.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, who accurately disclosed important details about Iran’s nuclear program in 2002, called for tighter U.N. curbs and swift U.S. action to rein in the elite corps.
“The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been, consistently over the past few months, violating the United Nations resolutions 1737 and 1747, using different ways to evade the sanctions and import goods and material,” Jafarzadeh said at a news conference in Washington.
Federal No-Bid Contracts On Rise
By Robert O’Harrow Jr.
The Washington Post Wednesday 22 August 2007
Use of favored firms a common shortcut.
Under pressure from the White House and Congress to deliver a long-delayed plan last year, officials at the Department of Homeland Security’s counter-narcotics office took a shortcut that has become common at federal agencies: They hired help through a no-bid contract.
And the firm they hired showed them how to do it.
Scott Chronister, a senior official in the Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement, reached out to a former colleague at a private consulting firm for advice. The consultant suggested that Chronister’s office could avoid competition and get the work done quickly under an arrangement in which the firm “approached the government with a ‘unique and innovative concept,’ ” documents and interviews show.
A contract worth up to $579,000 was awarded to the consultant’s firm in September.
Though small by government standards, the counter-narcotics contract illustrates the government’s steady move away from relying on competition to secure the best deals for products and services.