Posts Tagged ‘Pentagon’

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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Pentagon UFO Program Revealed

December 18, 2017

Pentagon UFO Program Revealed

The Pentagon has confirmed that it ran a multi-million-dollar UFO investigation program for five years. The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP) was initiated through the urging of Harry Reid, then Senate Majority Leader, influenced by a hotel billionaire and the lead singer of the rock group Blink-182.

Still, there’s justification for interest. The military had detected several unexplained aerial phenomena, including a 2004 UFO sighting by two navy pilots:

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Pentagon Won’t Punish ‘Pillow-Talk’ Petraeus

February 4, 2016

Pentagon Won’t Punish 'Pillow-Talk' Petraeus
David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director after revelations he’d shared classified information with his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell, won’t be punished any further by the Pentagon, reported the Washington Post. General Petraeus pleaded guilty to a single count of unauthorized use of classified material last year in a …, um, “sweetheart deal.” Now he won’t even be demoted and will continue to receive a four-star general’s retirement benefits, including a pension of nearly $220,000 a year.

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

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Psychology Association: Okay, We’ll Stop Helping Torturers

August 8, 2015

Psychology Association: Okay, We'll Stop Helping Torturers

“The American Psychological Association voted Friday in favor of a resolution that would bar its members from participating in national security interrogations.

The resolution by the country’s largest professional organization of psychologists passed overwhelmingly. The only dissenting vote came from Col. Larry James, a former Army intelligence psychologist at Guantanamo.”

— “Psychology Group Votes To Ban Members From Taking Part In Interrogations,” Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News

“The association’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, coordinated the group’s public policy statements on interrogations with a top military psychologist … and then received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators while he was working at the association, without the knowledge of the association’s board. Mr. Behnke did not respond to a request for comment.”

— “Outside Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds,” James Risen, New York Times

Related:

“Larry James,” Center for Torture Accountability

“US torture report: psychologists should no longer aid military, group says,” Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian

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Total Information War

May 12, 2011

Total Information War

The U.S. military is determined to prevail on the cyber-psycho-cultural field of battle, winning hearts, minds, and Facebook friends with global information operations. In accordance with Pentagon planning document Joint Vision 2020 (Department of Defense, Joint Vision 2020 [aka DOD JV 2020], 2000), the U.S. military will not rest until it achieves information domain dominance with tactical tweets and barrages of blog posts. The Web has been weaponized, and social media militarized. Sign up now for a career in Information Operations (IO).

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Closet Veterans

November 11, 2010

Closet Veterans 

The Washington Post is observing Veterans Day with a story previewing the Pentagon report on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy:

“More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report’s authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.”

— “Sources: Pentagon group finds there is minimal risk to lifting gay ban during war,” Ed O’Keefe and Greg Jaffe, Washington Post.

The chief authors of the study are Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and the Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, General Carter Ham.

 

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

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Bagel Day

September 11, 2010

Tuesday was Bagel Day at the software development center. I favored Bagels & Baguettes near Stanton Park. There was a line when I got there, around 8:30 AM. The shop is near Senate office buildings and the Heritage Foundation, and the TV is tuned to CNN to keep news-obsessed customers occupied.

By the time I got my two dozen hot bagels, the damnedest thing was on the television. An airplane had crashed right into the middle of a World Trade Center tower in New York, and the building was on fire. It was September 11, 2001.

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Bagel Day

September 11, 2009

Tuesday was Bagel Day at the software development center. I favored Bagels & Baguettes near Stanton Park. There was a line when I got there, around 8:30 AM. The shop is near Senate office buildings and the Heritage Foundation, and the TV is tuned to CNN to keep news-obsessed customers occupied.

By the time I got my two dozen hot bagels, the damnedest thing was on the television. An airplane had crashed right into the middle of a World Trade Center tower in New York, and the building was on fire. It was September 11, 2001.

 I went to the office break room and put out the bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon. I guess I was making coffee when the second plane hit the other tower. I figured people still had to eat.

The developers were plugged into the web, and learned as much – or as little — as anyone that morning. We knew a third plane hit the Pentagon and heard the false report that a fourth had hit the White House. There was a rumor that a plane had hit the Capitol, but we were two blocks away and would have heard that.

I scanned the radio, but the news stations were clueless. I heard some good eyewitness reporting from New York over Pacifica, which I hadn’t expected. I put it on the telephone intercom and went through the office, turning intercoms on for some, off for people who had already heard enough.

I called the boss, got the word to send folks home, and surfed up reports on school systems and Metro. The Red Line at Union Station was shut down until early afternoon. Phones at schools were busy; cell phone systems overloaded. I negotiated some car-pool rides for those suburban commuters game enough to try the roads, shut the center down, and walked home.

It was a quiet walk. There wasn’t a plane in the sky. All civilian aircraft were grounded. I kept the radio off and waited for the Wednesday paper.

 

Versions of this item were posted on September 11, 2008 and September 10, 2007.