Saturday, December 17, 2011

Karzai vilifies us but wants the cash

'ISI chief Pasha visited Arab countries to discuss military coup in Pakistan' - Times Of India

'ISI chief Pasha visited Arab countries to discuss military coup in Pakistan' - Times Of IndiaISLAMABAD: Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who is at the centre of the Mullen memo-gate controversy, has now claimed that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha had visited Arab countries for discussions on a possible coup by the army.

Ijaz told The Independent newspaper of Britain that a US intelligence source had told him that "their information was that Pasha had traveled to a few of the Arab countries to talk about what would be necessary to do in the event they had to remove (Pakistani President Asif Ali) Zardari from power and so forth".

Ijaz had earlier claimed that the S wing of the ISI was not under the control of Pakistan government and that the army uses it to influence the governments.

He ha said that after the death of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, many things went wrong in Pakistan that showed that there were some hidden hands behind that.

The ISI's S wing had reportedly been involved in many horrible activities and the US had to step forward against that.

The S wing of ISI looks after strategic affairs and is also involved in political affairs of Afghanistan, Ijaz said, adding that it also interfered in the Afghan affairs through the Haqqani Network.

-bth: No Pakistani civilian government has survived without being followed by a military coup.

Children Describe Torture Dungeon At Pakistani Madrasah

Children Describe Torture Dungeon At Pakistani Madrasah

Obama confronted al-Maliki on "secret alliance" with Sadr - White House source Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Obama confronted al-Maliki on "secret alliance" with Sadr - White House source Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Washington, Asharq Al-Awsat – A White House source informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Washington on Monday was “not as diplomatic” as the joint-statements issued to the press by the two world leaders would indicate.

The White House source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said that the two leaders argued over several issues, including guarantees that Americans in Iraq would be protected after the withdrawal of US troops at the end of the year, as well as remarks made by al-Maliki about his intentions to “strike against his enemies” in Iraq. US officials have expressed concern that Iraq’s Sunni community may be vulnerable following the forthcoming withdrawal of US troops.

US President Barack Obama also questioned al-Maliki about his ties to Iran, saying these are far stronger than the Iraqi prime minister has publicly admitted. He also questioned the Iraqi leader’s ability to rein in Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr, who has threatened to kill Americans. According to the source, Obama referred to a “secret alliance” between al-Maliki and Sadr, who are both Shiites.

The White House source characterized the discussions between Obama and al-Maliki as being “diplomatic”, stressing that the two world leaders did not raise their voices or exchange accusations. However, the source added that this discussion was far “less diplomatic” than the joint-statements the two leaders later made to the media, where both Obama and al-Maliki attempted to present a united front, stressing the strong future relations between Baghdad and Washington. ...

- bth: would love to have been a fly on the wall for that meeting.

Wreaths Across America - laying the wreaths at Arlington Cemetery - YouTube

Wreaths Across America - laying the wreaths at Arlington Cemetery - YouTube

Wreaths Across America - Arlington National Cemetery - YouTube

Wreaths Across America - Arlington National Cemetery - YouTube

Volunteers lay 90,000 wreaths at Arlington - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

Volunteers lay 90,000 wreaths at Arlington - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army TimesARLINGTON, Va. — Volunteers honored veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday with a massive effort to lay tens of thousands of holiday wreaths at their tombstones.

Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage and Sen. Olympia Snowe joined thousands of volunteers in placing the wreaths with red bows at the gravesites of about 90,000 veterans. It was the most wreaths ever placed at the cemetery in a 20-year-old tradition. The most wreaths ever given in the past was 25,000, spokeswoman Amber Caron said.

Organizers said they hoped to place 100,000 wreaths this year, but donations fell short of that goal. Still, the nonprofit group Wreaths Across America said they aim to honor every veteran at the cemetery by placing 220,000 wreaths there in the future.

About 15,000 people joined the effort, Caron said. Within a few hours, all the wreaths were distributed across the large cemetery.

“It was pretty incredible,” she said. “We weren’t expecting that many people ... we were really impressed.”

A convoy of more than 20 trucks left Maine last Sunday, bound for the cemetery just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital. The tradition began 20 years ago with little fanfare. Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, and others laid 5,000 wreaths on headstones that first year to give thanks to the nation’s veterans....

Iraqi no shows at the flag ceremony in Iraq

Warning to Gossipy Grunts: Darpa's Eyeing Your E-Mails | Danger Room | Wired.com

Warning to Gossipy Grunts: Darpa's Eyeing Your E-Mails | Danger Room | Wired.com
The Pentagon’s intent on weeding out “insider threats” — troops or other military personnel who might be disgruntled enough to (Wiki)leak some documents, or mentally unhinged enough to go on a shooting rampage. Now, military-funded scientists are plotting a computer system that’d boast unprecedented abilities to scan and interpret every keystroke, log-in and file upload performed over Pentagon networks.

Darpa, the military’s far-out research arm, recently announced a $9 million award to a consortium of five institutions, led by Georgia Tech, to kick off a two-year project called “Proactive Discovery of Insider Threats Using Graph Analysis and Learning,” (PRODIGAL). The initiative is one part of a larger Darpa endeavor, ADAMS, that aims to find malevolent insiders before they cause problems. Already, a team at Columbia University is using ADAMS funding to trick WikiLeaker wannabes with decoy documents.

PRODIGAL would take that threat detection up a few notches. Under the Columbia team’s plan, decoy documents would give military officials a trail of digital breadcrumbs: If the fakes were released online, analysts might be able to backtrack and figure out when and where they were obtained and how they went public. But PRODIGAL, if it works, could lead officials to a WikiLeaker before that person ever breaks the law...

-bth: the latest in entrapment technology.

"Anonymous - NDAA Bill Awareness" !!!!!!!!!! - YouTube

"Anonymous - NDAA Bill Awareness" !!!!!!!!!! - YouTube

"Life, Liberty, & Indefinite Detention Without A Trial" - M.O.C. #100 - YouTube

"Life, Liberty, & Indefinite Detention Without A Trial" - M.O.C. #100 - YouTube

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Adele Someone like you - YouTube

Adele Someone like you - YouTube

U.S. to leave Iraqi airspace clear for strategic Israeli route to Iran - Washington Times

U.S. to leave Iraqi airspace clear for strategic Israeli route to Iran - Washington TimesIraq has yet to assemble a force of jet fighters, and since the shortest route for Israeli strike fighters to Iran is through Iraqi airspace, observers conclude that the U.S. exit makes the Jewish state’s mission planning a lot easier.

Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said the Iraqi military will maintain radars to monitor the country’s airspace, but it has not taken possession of American F-16s to guard that space.

“The country has a capable and improving capability to see the airspace, a viable system to provide command and control, but no system to defeat incoming air threats until it gets either the F-16s or ground-based systems or, optimally, some of both,” Gen. Buchanan told The Washington Times.

Iraq made the first payment in September for 18 F-16s that will not arrive until next fall at the earliest. This means Israel would have a theoretical window of about 12 months if it wants to fly over Iraq unimpeded by the Iraqi air force....

Obama sold us out

Fear of big government in the USA

Siri finds out Steve Jobs died - YouTube

Siri finds out Steve Jobs died - YouTube

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

USAAF bombers damaged/shot down - YouTube

USAAF bombers damaged/shot down - YouTube

Supreme Group Ordered to Repay Taxpayers $760 Million - The Daily Beast

Supreme Group Ordered to Repay Taxpayers $760 Million - The Daily BeastThe Pentagon is ordering Supreme Group, one of its major contractors in Afghanistan, to repay taxpayers a jaw-dropping $756.9 million, just a few weeks after The Daily Beast highlighted the company’s no-bid contract extension and allegations it was overcharging for its work supplying food and fuel to U.S. troops in the war theater....

U.S. authorities probing alleged cyberattack plot by Venezuela, Iran - Washington Times

U.S. authorities probing alleged cyberattack plot by Venezuela, Iran - Washington TimesU.S. officials are investigating reports that Iranian and Venezuelan diplomats in Mexico were involved in planned cyberattacks against U.S. targets, including nuclear power plants.

Allegations about the cyberplot were aired last week in a documentary on the Spanish-language TV network Univision, which included secretly recorded footage of Iranian and Venezuelan diplomats being briefed on the planned attacks and promising to pass information to their governments.

A former computer instructor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico told Univision that he was recruited by a professor there in 2006 to organize a group of student hackers to carry out cyberattacks against the United States, initially at the behest of the Cuban Embassy.

In an undercover sting, instructor Juan Carlos Munoz Ledo and several selected students infiltrated the hackers and secretly videotaped the Iranian and Venezuelan diplomats....

- bth: interesting. I wonder if there is other independent confirmation of this story. The stuff coming from Mexico regarding Iranians has been questionable of late.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Report: Iran says it can control the drone - CNN.com

Report: Iran says it can control the drone - CNN.com
(CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday his country can "control" the U.S. drone aircraft that Iran claims it recently brought down, Venezuelan state TV reported.

"There are people here who can control this spy plane, surely we can analyze this plane too," Ahmadinejad told VTV. "The systems of Iran are as advanced as this system."...

- bth: further evidence it was hacked.

Iran army declines comment on MP's Hormuz exercise remarks - Yahoo! News

Iran army declines comment on MP's Hormuz exercise remarks - Yahoo! NewsTEHRAN (Reuters) – A member of the Iranian parliament's National Security Committee said on Monday that the military was set to practice its ability to close the Gulf to shipping at the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil transit channel in the world, but there was no official confirmation.

The legislator, Parviz Sarvari, told the student news agency ISNA: "Soon we will hold a military maneuver on how to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure."...

-bth: I don't think Iran's contingency plans could be plainer

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Drop-In Solution for Replacing Human Labor? Kawada’s Nextage Robot | Singularity Hub

A Drop-In Solution for Replacing Human Labor? Kawada’s Nextage Robot | Singularity Hub

How a simple tool saved many U.S. lives in Iraq - CBS News

How a simple tool saved many U.S. lives in Iraq - CBS News




(CBS News)

As the war in Iraq draws to a close, one of the most important lessons has come in the field of medicine. In Iraq and Afghanistan, wounded Americans have an 88 percent survival rate -- compared to 72 percent in Vietnam. CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod in Baghdad looks at why.

While it may be hard to look at the carnage at a field hospital in Iraq and draw something good, Col. John McManus has done just that: "It's phenomenal what we've accomplished."

McManus is the doctor who ran the last CSH -- or Combat Support Hospital -- in Iraq.

"We basically erased extremity bleeding as a cause of death on the battlefield," he said.

Extremity bleeding. Severed arms and legs. The consequences of those homemade bombs that were the most dangerous weapon employed in this war. One innovation saved thousands of lives.

It was a simple tool -- the tourniquet -- that saved more lives than any high-tech device developed in the last nine years.

"One of the biggest developments is when we knew a tourniquet worked," said McManus. "As soon as we had that -- whoosh! -- we put it right out into the field."

Tourniquets became standard-issue in 2006 for all troops after doctors realized that applying them to the injured limb right away increased the chance of survival by 30 percent. Every soldier and Marine now carries one, not just medics.

"We used to train everyone in the military a little bit about shock," said McManus, "and loosening clothes, raise the legs, drink water, etc. Now we realize fundamentally that they really need to be trained in some medical skills."

With the war now coming to a close, Col. McManus has treated his last casualty, but the lessons learned here have beaten him home.

"Certainly these tools that we have utilized have saved lives now in America, which is great thing," he said.

An undeniable ray of light lining nearly nine years of darkness.


bth: This interview is wrong in one important regard. 15% improvement in survival was known and universally reported in Feb 2003 by a joint branch medical team recommending universal issuance of single handed tourniquets and blood clotting agents. The Marines implemented this by the summer of 2003. The US Army did not for another 3 years. In 2005 the Iraqi army had issued blood clotting agents and tourniquets before the US army. This occurred after an embarrassing series of articles written by Robert Little of the Baltimore Sun in early 2005 that resulting in a congressional hearing being called which was canceled the day of the hearing when it was announced that the Army had been unable to make up its mind what kind of nylon pouch to put the tourniquets in, but that the hearing had caused that issue to be resolved and there was a commitment to issue single handed tourniquets to all soldiers, plus blood clotting agent and improved medical training to all soldiers in combat without six months (which took longer hence 2006 instead of August 2005). Anyway that is now it happened and yet single handed tourniquets and blood clotting agents have each advanced several generations over the last 5 years and survival rates improved 15% just like the 2003 study based on Vietnam era data predicted.

Pentagon program to limit the threat of roadside bombs faces budget cut - The Washington Post

Pentagon program to limit the threat of roadside bombs faces budget cut - The Washington PostBudget hawks may cut back a five-year-old Pentagon program aimed at curbing casualties from the crude roadside bombs known as IEDs, a leading threat to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has proposed trimming $265 million from the Pentagon’s $3.2 billion budget for the program. The Government Accountability Office and some think tanks have said it’s duplicative, raising questions about the long-term viability of the program.

At issue is whether the hand-made bombs, which the military calls IEDs, for improvised explosive devices, are likely to be continuing threats to U.S. troops, with the Iraq occupation ending this month and forces preparing for an end to the coalition combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The Pentagon created the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in 2006, near the height of the war in Iraq. In the years since, the program has provided hand-held detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs and other tools to help control the danger from the bombs, many of which are made with easily available fertilizer. Forces in Afghanistan encounter about 1,500 of them a month.

Their role in future conflicts is less clear.

Pentagon spokesman Maj. Chris Perrine said, “We are not aware of any proposal to disestablish” the IED program. But another Pentagon official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to relate internal debate over the subject, said, “decision makers in the Defense Department are in discussions about” the program’s future.

Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero, head of the program since March, has argued that the bombs will be a global threat for many years. Beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, he said, more than 500 “IED events” occur each month.

“We are never going to stop all IEDs, but with a holistic, decisive, whole-of-government approach, we will significantly impact the effect the IED has on the battlespace and here at home,” Barbero said in an interview in the September issue of Ground Combat Technology.

Retired Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik, a senior fellow at Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare, wrote in the December issue of Army magazine, “IEDs are becoming more common as domestic threats as well as overseas military threats.”

The fiscal 2012 Defense Department budget request had $3.2 billion set aside for the IED program, with more than $2.7 billion of that to pay for continuing or newly contracted initiatives.

The crude bombs cause about 90 percent of casualties to U.S. troops on foot patrol in Afghanistan. Military officials say the toll would be even higher without the increased intelligence, protective devices and disarming techniques the Pentagon’s IED program has helped develop and disseminate.

The House Armed Services Committee approved full funding for the coming fiscal year, writing in its report that it “expects improvised explosive devices to remain an enduring threat to U.S. forces.” The House Appropriations Committee also endorsed full funding for the IED group.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, however, justified its proposed cut by citing “lack of coordination” with some activities undertaken by the individual services. The committee report said, “The Army and the Marine Corps have pursued their own separate efforts to develop counter-IED mine rollers.”

The committee also noted that the IED program “was established in response to threats confronted by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq” and proposed that its funds be carried in the supplemental budget that finances the war activities instead of the main Defense Department budget.

The Senate appropriators agreed that the budget should be in the war account.

Outside Congress there are other critics. The nonpartisan Center for a New American Security, in a report written in part by retired Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, a former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, suggested that the IED group be shut down in 2017, with “its most promising technologies” integrated into the military services for further development.

- bth: 90% of our dismount casualties in Afghanistan are coming from IEDs and congress wants to keep counter IED funding in the war supplemental because they do not think it will follow to other wars outside of Afghanistan. What a total crock of shit. IEDs have dogged combat forces since Vietnam and probably been the single largest killer of US troops. So why on Earth would anyone think that our enemies would suddenly forget how to make them once we pull out of Afghanistan? This is total bullshit logic from Congress and the Pentagon because to put this program into the regular budget would require that funding be directed to it permanently and away from some other program like building more nuclear subs or weapons. So in a few years we will be back to making Future Combat Vehicles that don't have relevance to the wars we are fighting, are vulnerable to $265 IEDs and will cost us billions in casualties and lives. The Pentagon likes to say our enemies are adaptive and a learning organization. Too bad that doesn't apply to ourselves.

Army General: DoD Must Avoid a Repeat of ‘Hillbilly Armor’ - Blog

Army General: DoD Must Avoid a Repeat of ‘Hillbilly Armor’ - Blog
The end of the Iraq war and a drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan should not be interpreted as cues to stop investing in counter-bomb technologies, said Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.

Investments in both counter-IED technologies and troop training must persist into the future, as U.S. forces will continue to face these threats in most of the world’s likely hotspots, Barbero said Dec. 5 at a conference in Washington, D.C.

JIEDDO was created in 2004 with the sole purpose of helping U.S. forces combat the scourge of roadside bombs in war zones. Buried explosives have killed and wounded thousands of American and allied troops, and have become insurgents’ weapons of choice. They range from home-cooked fertilizer bombs to sophisticated armor-killing penetrators.

Barbero said JIEDDO still has a long list of “capability gaps” that it hopes to fill in the coming months. “We must be able to produce capabilities in months and not in some five-year program,” he said.

Barbero, who commanded troops in Iraq over three separate tours, worries that the Defense Department’s procurement system is not responsive enough to urgent needs. “We must avoid a repeat of the 'hillbilly armor' problem that we saw in Iraq,” he said.

"Hillbilly armor” — a term coined by soldiers in Iraq in 2004 to describe scrap metal they used to armor their Humvee trucks — has become a metaphor for the Pentagon’s failure to equip trucks with armor before the Iraq invasion. At the time, armored Humvees were not a “program of record” in the Army’s budget.

“We cannot go back to those days” when the U.S. military was caught unprepared, Barbero said. “We have to be able to identify these threats and have technologies fielded.”

JIEDDO’s current wish list focuses on technologies for dismounted troops who are exposed to IED attacks as they patrol villages in Afghanistan away from their heavily armored mine-resistant trucks.

Barbero said one of the highest priorities are “pre-detonation” tools, preferably lightweight and easy to carry. Soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan have asked for systems to set off buried bombs at the place and time of their choosing, before the hidden explosives kill U.S. forces, allies or innocent civilians. Current pre-denotation systems are bulky — some as big as a tractor trailer — and are not easy to use in Afghanistan’s rough terrain.

Another immediate need are light robots that soldiers can carry in their rucksacks for surveillance and to help identify possible IEDs without putting themselves at risk.

An even more urgent requirement — more so than technology — is counter-IED training for war-bound troops, said Barbero. Training is the “biggest gap” right now, he said. Units that deploy to Afghanistan, for instance, often don’t have a chance to learn how to operate robots, metal detectors or other counter-bomb systems until they get there. Barbero would like to see more home-station training. JIEDDO recently invested $24 million in 75 kits for home station instruction....

First combat deaths recorded in "double V" hull Stryker | Stryker Brigade - The News Tribune

First combat deaths recorded in "double V" hull Stryker | Stryker Brigade - The News TribuneThe Army has recorded its first combat deaths in new “double V” hull Strykers that were designed to provide better protection against improvised explosives, according to an update on the vehicle in Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Three soldiers from the Alaska-based 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, formerly based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, were killed in separate attacks on double V Strykers last month.

News of their deaths reverberates at Lewis-McChord, the home of three Stryker brigades that have been or could be called up to deploy to Afghanistan.

Commanders in the Alaska brigade told Stars and Stripes that the new Strykers, in the field for more than six months, are saving lives; until last month, soldiers had escaped from attacks with minor injuries. But they declined to compare the new model of the eight-wheeled infantry vehicle to others.

“At this point, we are not going to compromise the success that we have had with these vehicles and point out the weaknesses or the strengths of either vehicle,” Maj. David Mattox told the newspaper.

Stryker brigades were born at Lewis-McChord and have deployed to Iraq several times with their traditional flat-bottom vehicles....

- bth: the Stryker has been made largely obsolete by IEDs.

A Pentagon the Country Can Afford - NYTimes.com

A Pentagon the Country Can Afford - NYTimes.com...Making cuts of this size will not be easy. Logical places to look include reducing the cost of personnel and benefits. Because the wars are winding down, the Army can come down in troops, to 520,000 from roughly 569,000; to a lesser extent, so can the Navy and the Air Force. The premium for Tricare, the military health insurance program, could be raised by $50 a month for employed, working-age military retirees, and other reforms could be applied to pay and benefits. Altogether this could save $20 billion annually.

Cutting the Pentagon civilian work force by 10 percent, or 74,000 people, and retiring old fighter planes and bombers could save $13 billion a year from operations. Closing some bases in the United States and overseas, and curbing construction, including suspending plans to locate families with troops deployed in South Korea, could save at least $5 billion more over the next decade. Tens of billions are spent annually on cold-war systems ill-suited to 21st-century needs — aircraft carriers, nuclear attack submarines, stealth destroyers and manned aerial combat fighters. Some $15 billion could be saved annually by pruning the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter order to 1,000 and ending the V-22 Osprey program and the Joint Tactical Radio System. Another sound target: bloated nuclear-related programs, which could cost upward of $600 billion over the next decade across the government. ...