Posts Tagged ‘‎Department of Defense’

UFOs Are Coming to Congress

May 24, 2021

UFOs Are Coming to Congress

A declassified report with a “detailed analysis of unidentified aerial phenomena data and intelligence” from the Office of Naval Intelligence Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI will be presented to Congress in June. Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) are more commonly known as Unidentified Flying Objects or UFOs.

More:

“UFOs regularly spotted in restricted U.S. airspace, report on the phenomena due next month,” CBS 60 Minutes

“How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously,” Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker

Updates:

“How UFO sightings went from joke to national security worry in Washington,” Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post

“‘From hearsay to hard evidence’: are UFOs about to go mainstream?” Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

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Image (“Strange Starry Night, after Van Gogh”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Fires Pentagon Brass, Commemorates Veterans Day

November 11, 2020
Trump Fires Pentagon Brass, Commemorates Veterans Day

High School Cadet Capt. Trump. Thank you for your service.

On Wednesday it was raining too hard to play golf, so President Donald Trump commemorated Veterans Day by visiting Arlington National Cemetery and silently laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Mr. Trump had prepared for the event on Monday by firing West Point graduate Mark Esper, his more-or-less 5th Secretary of Defense. Mr. Esper, a veteran of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq. You may recall that Mr. Trump has a service-related disability: he was gravely wounded as soon as he became eligible for the Vietnam draft lottery, and was treated (on paper) at a Queens NY storefront a podiatrist rented from Fred Trump, his dad.

Armed Forces Fact: The Pentagon is in Arlington, Virginia, only 2 miles from Arlington National Cemetery.

More:

“Trump Fires Mark Esper, Defense Secretary Who Opposed Use of Troops on U.S. Streets,”Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Maggie Haberman,  New York Times

“Pentagon sees flurry of resignations after Trump ousts secretary,” Ellen Mitchell, The Hill

“‘Devastating’: Top Pentagon leadership gutted as fears rise over national security,” Lara Seligman and Daniel Lippman, Politico

“Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon,” Ellen Mitchell, The Hill

“Trump administration upends senior Pentagon ranks, installing loyalists,” Dan Lamothe, Missy Ryan, Josh Dawsey and Paul Sonne, Washington Post

“Trump loyalists elevated to powerful roles at the Pentagon after firing of Defense Secretary Esper,” Amanda Macias. CNBC

“Trump Stacks the Pentagon and Intel Agencies With Loyalists. To What End?” David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, New York Times

“Republicans muzzle anger over Trump’s Pentagon culling, afraid antagonizing him could imperil Georgia runoff,” Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post

Updates:

“Military wary that shakeup could upend its apolitical nature,” Lolitia C. Baldor, Associated Press

“Why Trump is suddenly replacing Pentagon officials with loyalists,” Alex Ward, Vox

Related:

“Gen. Milley’s nurse wife gave CPR to bystander who collapsed at ceremony,” Marina Pitofsky, The Hill

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Top image: Cadet Capt. Trump’s high school picture. Download a copy here.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Pentagon Tests Mass Surveillance Balloons in US

September 13, 2019

Pentagon Tests Mass Surveillance Balloons in US

“The US military is conducting wide-area surveillance tests across six midwest states using experimental high-altitude balloons, documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal.

Up to 25 unmanned solar-powered balloons are being launched from rural South Dakota and drifting 250 miles through an area spanning portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri, before concluding in central Illinois.”

“The balloons are carrying hi-tech radars designed to simultaneously track many individual vehicles day or night, through any kind of weather. The tests, which have not previously been reported, received an FCC license to operate from mid-July until September, following similar flights licensed last year.”

— “Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US,” Mark Harris, The Guardian

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Image by Mike Licht (in tribute to Otto Messmer). Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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Petulant President’s Resignation Response

December 23, 2018

Petulant President's Resignation Response
On Thursday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned as Secretary of Defense after President Trump precipitously ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria without Pentagon consultation. His letter of resignation is a clear-eyed, well-reasoned, stinging rebuke to Mr. Trump’s chaotic decision-making and leadership. Secretary Mattis said he would resign at the end of February to allow for a smooth transition of Defense Department leadership. President Trump responded with the  thoughtfulness and grace that has characterized his administration, posting a Tweet announcing that General Mattis will be gone by January 1st. His successor, a Trump appointee, was a Boeing executive for 30 years and, like the Commander-In-Chief, has no military experience.

More:

“Trump, Angry Over Mattis’s Rebuke, Removes Him 2 Months Early,” Helene Cooper, New York Times

Related:

“Mattis is out, and Blackwater is back: ‘We are coming,’” Tara Copp, Military Times

“John McCain Once Called Trump’s New Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan a ‘Fox in the Henhouse’ Over Ties to Boeing,” Ramsey Touchberry, Newsweek

“Someone please get President Trump on the golf course,” Dallas Morning News editorial

Update:

“Trump is now saying he ‘fired’ James Mattis,” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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