Thank General Clark for His Straight Talk, Tell Him To Not Back

Sunday, on Face the Nation, General Wesley Clark spoke honestly and bluntly about what it takes to be Commander in Chief.  In doing so, while he said Senator John McCain’s service made him a hero to millions, including Clark himself, that experience does not trump the poor judgment that Senator McCain has shown on some of the most important issues in recent years.

What General Clark said was right, but the right-wing has been in an uproar. And even CNN accused Clark of “swift-boating” McCain. We need to fight back.


Let’s show General Clark that we have his back, and will not stand for any attempts to shut down this important debate.

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 7:45 am  Comments (14)  

Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure.

Published in: on April 20, 2008 at 11:03 pm  Comments (1)  

It isn’t the homecoming they planned

An Ohio town never gave up hope that a young soldier abducted in Iraq almost four years ago would come back safely. Now it grieves after his remains are identified.

Batavia is the next community over from mine. I knew four years ago that Matt wasn’t coming back, but the Bush administration let the family hold onto hope for political reasons because the election was imminent. Is it a coincidence that now they find his remains? I am sad for his family. At least they don’t have to wonder any more.

A post of mine from a few years back about Matt.

Published in: on April 2, 2008 at 1:04 am  Leave a Comment  

U.S. Soldier Killed Herself in Iraq — After Objecting to Torture

Looking back at all of the sad, tragic and unnecessary deaths in Iraq that I have written about in the past five years, it is hard to identify one that stands out. But one death does still haunt me, above all others.

Alyssa Peterson was one of the first female soldiers killed in Iraq — and she died by her own hand after objecting to interrogation methods used on prisoners. A cover-up, naturally, followed.

Published in: on March 18, 2008 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Military leaders on John McCain’s temperament

It’s 3 a.m. Who do you want answering the phone?

Not John McCain, say some military leaders: “I think his knee-jerk response factor is a little scary.”

Published in: on March 7, 2008 at 11:43 pm  Comments (1)  

Military Doctors Withholding Treatment from Soldiers with Mental Health Problems

By Maggie Mahar, Health Beat
Posted on February 27, 2008, Printed on February 27, 2008

Since 9/11, one Army division has spent more time in Iraq than any other group of soldiers: the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, New York.
Over the past 6 years and six months, their 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) has been the most deployed brigade in the army. As of this month, the brigade had completed its fourth tour of Iraq. All in all, the soldiers of BCT have spent 40 months in Iraq.

Published in: on February 27, 2008 at 10:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

favourite seventeen

[favourite seventeen, originally uploaded by coexistapart.]

another post secret card

Published in: on November 11, 2007 at 6:35 pm  Comments (1)  

Study: 1 out of 4 homeless are veterans

Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.

Published in: on November 8, 2007 at 12:22 am  Comments (3)  

What an honest recruitment ad would look like

Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 9:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Watada court-martial stopped


A federal judge in Tacoma has delayed the court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a Fort Lewis Army officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq.

In a rare intervention of a civilian court in the military justice system, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin H. Settle granted the emergency stay shortly before close of business Friday.

Judge Benjamin Settle’s stay order (PDF, 157kb)

Published in: on October 6, 2007 at 11:45 pm  Comments (1)  

The DC Establishment versus American public opinion

By large majorities, Americans distrust Gen. Petreaus’ report and, in general, claims about Progress in Iraq.

Glenn Greenwald

Published in: on September 9, 2007 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

The waning power of the War Myth

As Iraq dies, Bush is falling back on his old standby: Patriotic blackmail. But this time it won’t work.

By Gary Kamiya

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

U.S. Adviser Tells London Paper: Brits Have Lost Basra

Stephen Biddle, a member of a group that advised U.S. Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq last year, told the Sunday Times that “insurgents are calling the shots” in the southern city.

Published in: on August 21, 2007 at 2:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush’s non-exit exit strategy

Not only is the “surge” not working, it’s destabilizing Iraq. Yet military leaders say troops should stay for the long term.

By Joe Conason (more…)

Published in: on August 3, 2007 at 11:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

PTSD cases greater than Camp Pendleton’s count

By: DONALD P. BENTLEY – Commentary

On July 15, your paper ran an article titled, “Pendleton reports dropoff in PTSD” (post-traumatic stress disorder). The Pentagon report indicating that up to one-third of Marines who served in Iraq and Afghanistan may be affected is definitely more accurate than the Pendleton figure of less than 1 percent.

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 10:41 am  Comments (1)  

Rumsfeld Defends Himself in Tillman Case

WASHINGTON — Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld defended himself and took no personal responsibility Wednesday for the military’s bungled response to Army Ranger Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death in Afghanistan.

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 10:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Retired General Censured in Tillman Case

Wednesday August 1, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Army censured a retired three-star general Tuesday for a “perfect storm of mistakes, misjudgments and a failure of leadership” after the 2004 friendly-fire death in Afghanistan of Army Ranger Pat Tillman.

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  

U.S.-tribal alliances draw Iraqi ire

The strategy is ‘a seed for civil war,’ says a prime minister’s aide.

By Alexandra Zavis
Times Staff Writer

AJI, IRAQ — When U.S. soldiers moved into an abandoned wool factory near here two months ago, they were pounded with bombs, mortar rounds and bullets.

Published in: on July 30, 2007 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bhutto ready to share power if Musharraf drops military role

Published in: on July 30, 2007 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

DoD ‘Black’ Spending Doubled in a Decade

The Pentagon’s 2008 spending blueprint seeks $31.9 billion for classified programs, nearly double the $19.1 billion the U.S. military was devoting to “black” initiatives in 2001, according to a new analysis. That’s 18 percent of the 2008 acquisition total of $176.8 billion, according to the July 25 analysis, compiled by Steven Kosiak of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA).


Published in: on July 28, 2007 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Iraqi leader tells Bush: Get General Petraeus Out

By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent

“Relations between the top United States general in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, the country’s prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President George W Bush.”

Published in: on July 28, 2007 at 3:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Baghdad, top U.S. commander downplay reported tensions

Officials acknowledge differences but deny that Prime Minister Maliki has sought Gen. Petraeus’ ouster.

Published in: on July 28, 2007 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Details on Tillman’s Death

Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

“The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:12 am  Leave a Comment  

9/11 Truth Seeker Arrested by the Military

“Loose Change” producer Korey Rowe arrested by the military

Paul Joseph Watson

Arrests and court martials for deserters are incredibly rare and this appears to be an obvious case of political persecution as the “Loose Change” crew prepare the cinematic release of the final version of their popular documentary.

and just in case anyone reading this hasn’t seen Loose Change, here it is…

[Thx Hecktor D.]

Published in: on July 25, 2007 at 1:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Further Politicization of the U.S. Military’s Public Statements

“The Bush administration has long used the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys and Rich Lowrys and Brit Humes and other ideologically loyal minions as their primary interviewers and vessels for message dissemination, and this is now clearly the U.S. military’s media strategy as well. There is nothing in the Bush administration that is not politicized from top to bottom.”

by Glenn Greenwald

Published in: on July 25, 2007 at 12:13 am  Leave a Comment  

The Last Neocon Attacks Hillary

You might gather from a cursory examination of the wire services that “the Pentagon” has attacked Senator Hillary Clinton for requesting a briefing for her committee from the Department of Defense on contingency plans for withdrawal from Iraq.

But as Fred Kaplan of Slate pointed out, it was a specific bureaucrat who criticized her, undersecretary of defense for planning Eric Edelman. Edelman wrote to Senator Clinton (text at Talkingpointsmemo)

by  Juan Cole

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 4:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Way to Go in Iraq

By Peter Galbraith [This essay appears in the August 16th, 2007 issue of the New York Review of Books ]

On May 30, the Coalition held a ceremony in the Kurdistan town of Erbil to mark its handover of security in Iraq’s three Kurdish provinces from the Coalition to the Iraqi government. General Benjamin Mixon, the U.S. commander for northern Iraq, praised the Iraqi government for overseeing all aspects of the handover. And he drew attention to the “benchmark” now achieved: with the handover, he said, Iraqis now controlled security in seven of Iraq’s eighteen provinces.

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlie Jackson: Troops Invited to Take August Off

President Bush and the U.S. Congress plan to be on vacation throughout the month of August. The Iraqi parliament will leave town as well, according to White House spokesman Tony Snow.

When the heat is on (up to 130 degrees in Baghdad), why should anyone work? Therefore, all U.S. personnel currently serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are hereby encouraged to take August off too.

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Administration Setting Up Petraeus As Fall Guy?

Think Progress reports “some members of the military are worried that the general is being set up by the Bush administration as a scapegoat if conditions in Iraq fail to improve. ‘The danger is that Petraeus will now be painted as failing to live up to expectations and become the fall guy for the administration,’ one retired four-star officer said.”

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Military Community Has Found Its Ross Perot In Ron Paul

“Paul has often reiterated his views that US security has been worsened by its military presence in Iraq,” reports Iraq Slogger. “One might think such criticism of the war and the Commander-in-Chief’s leadership would make Paul a pariah to the military community, however, the latest figures indicate the antiwar Republican is receiving more donations from employees of the US military than any other Republican candidate.”

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Swastikas at Hunter Airfield, and a Rabbi on the Run

A former Army chaplain who has been listed as a deserter by the Department of Defense intends to file a civil rights lawsuit against the United States military for refusing to discipline three Evangelical Christian Army chaplains at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The three allegedly subjected Rabbi Jeffrey Goldman to vulgar displays of anti-Semitism in 2001 and 2002.

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 9:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

You Really Can Get Anything on Ebay!

US army officer puts ‘war solution’ on eBay

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 12:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Failure in Afghanistan risks rise in terror, say generals

Military chiefs warn No.10 that defeat could lead to change of regime in Pakistan

Published in: on July 15, 2007 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Air Force Quietly Building Iraq Presence

Away from the headlines and debate over the “surge” in U.S. ground troops, the Air Force has quietly built up its hardware inside Iraq, sharply stepped up bombing and laid a foundation for a sustained air campaign in support of American and Iraqi forces.

Published in: on July 15, 2007 at 5:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

White House Denies Request for Documents in Ex-NFL Player’s Death

The White House has refused to give Congress documents about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman, with White House counsel Fred F. Fielding saying that certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting “implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”

Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reservist fighting his fifth war call-up

Erik Botta believes he’s done right by his country. Days after Sept. 11, as a young Army reservist, he volunteered to go to war. He was soon in Afghanistan. The next year, he was sent out again, this time to Iraq, part of a Special Operations team. In the next two years, he was sent to Iraq again. And again. He thought he was done. But now, the Army wants Sgt. Botta one more time.

Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 12:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Pentagon criticized for armor contracts

The Defense Department put U.S. troops in Iraq at risk by awarding contracts for badly needed armored vehicles to companies that failed to deliver them on time, according to a review by the Pentagon’s inspector general.

Published in: on July 12, 2007 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Quietly, US Strategy In Iraq Shifting

A report on the ‘surge’ could help determine momentum.
Howard LaFranchi, Christian Science Monitor, July 09, 2007

With little fanfare, at least so far, the stage is being set for a post-“surge” Iraq strategy that reduces US ambitions for the Iraq project, even while keeping some US forces there for years to come.

Published in: on July 9, 2007 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Without a Scratch

A Washington Post Investigation Walter Reed and Beyond

[in case you missed it]

Published in: on July 2, 2007 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Other Side of the Desk

June 27, 2007, 8:55 pm

by Lee Kelley

I will always remember that day in 2004 when I sat on the business side of a Lieutenant Colonel’s desk as he “invited” me to go to Iraq with his battalion. Now, as a company commander in the Utah National Guard, one of my duties has been to send others to fight the war in Iraq.

Published in: on June 30, 2007 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dog Paddling in the Tigris


July 1, 2007


It’s too early to pronounce the U.S. military’s surge in Iraq a failure. It’s not too early to say, though, that there’s no sign that it’s succeeding — that it’s making Iraqi politics or security better in any appreciable, self-sustaining way. At best, the surge is keeping Iraq from descending into full-scale civil war. At best we are dog paddling in the Tigris. Which means at least we should start to think about what happens if we have to get out of the water.

[<a href=””>need access?</a>]

Published in: on June 30, 2007 at 10:55 pm  Comments (4)  

US military in Iraq charges two soldiers for murder

The U.S. military said on Saturday it had charged two U.S. Army soldiers with the “premeditated murder” of three Iraqis.

Published in: on June 30, 2007 at 9:33 pm  Leave a Comment  


The world that Bob made
The new US secretary of defense travels the American world, to Kabul and Baghdad in particular, where he frets about Tehran – only to find himself confronting the consequences of the misdeeds of his younger self. In the first two parts of this three-part series, Roger Morris covered the world and spy agency that “made Bob”. Now, he turns to the world that Bob made. It’s a tale of terror bombs and secret plots, of internecine warfare within the CIA and in the Hindu Kush.
Part 1: The tortured world of US intelligence
Part 2: Great games and famous victories

Published in: on June 27, 2007 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Orleans v. Iraq

Guess where the U.S. is frantically building health clinics and flood-control structures.

Now the Corps is reporting that current levees won’t protect the city from another big flood. But the Corps is busy building new health clinics and flood-control structures in Iraq.

Published in: on June 24, 2007 at 2:14 pm  Comments (1)  

The Intimidation of a Vet

An Interview with Liam Madden

VFW blasts inquiry into anti-war vets

Published in: on June 23, 2007 at 1:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Iraq Deaths Don’t Mean Failure, Pace Says

The recent rise in U.S. troop deaths in Iraq is the “wrong metric” to use in assessing the effectiveness of the new security strategy for Baghdad, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday.

Published in: on June 22, 2007 at 11:13 am  Comments (1)  

Bush and Rumsfeld ‘knew about Abu Ghraib’

The two-star Army General who led the first military investigation into human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has bluntly questioned the integrity of former US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, suggesting he misled the US Congress by downplaying his own prior knowledge of what had happened.

Major General Antonio Taguba also claimed in an interview with The New Yorker magazine published yesterday that President George Bush also “had to be aware” of the atrocities despite saying at the time of the scandal that he had been out of the loop until he saw images in the US media.

Seymour Hersh Reveals Rumsfeld Misled Congress over Abu Ghraib:

How Gen. Taguba was Forced to Retire over his Critical Abu Ghraib Report; and the Site of Another Secret U.S. Prison (Mauritania)
From Democracy Now!:Listen to Segment || Download Show mp3 Watch 128k stream Watch 256k stream Read Transcript

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ex-general at Abu Ghraib says Rumsfeld OK’d abuse

Former US Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was quoted as saying in Spain’s El País newspaper that she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation. Karpinski, who ran the prison until early 2004, said she saw a memorandum signed by Rumsfeld detailing the use of harsh interrogation methods.

Published in: on June 18, 2007 at 11:01 pm  Comments (1)  

100 Killed In 3 Days In Afghanistan

Afghan Officials Say Casualties Include Civilians, Police, Militants; 7 Kids Killed By U.S. Air Strike

Published in: on June 18, 2007 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment