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TBR News November 28, 2010

Nov 28 2010

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., November 28, 2010: “We got an email from author Gregory Douglas yesterday, concerning three of the tbr contributors. The facts he set down check out and we have been hearing rumbles in official circles about Obama planning to shut down the Internet. Many reasons given for this but do not forget, Obama is black and has had more than his share of nigger comments while his top henchman on the Internet program of control is Sunstein who is equally furious about anti-Israel sentiment. Israel wants this stopped and the White House follows its orders. It is more or less funny to see that one of the questioned authors spent a good deal of their time trying to get someone they did not approve of fired from his academic position but went way to far in his slanders so that he got himself fired from his own academic position. The rest of this is very interesting.”

To the Editors of TBR News

In recent months, I have noticed that you have run a number of articles on diverse subjects by three different authors. Although these articles are decently written and certainly of interest, I have made a note of the authors: Thomas K. Kimmel, Phillip L. Kushner and one Mohan Srivastava, the latter stated to be a mathematician with FSS International, Vancouver, B.C.

These names are of some interest to me, and I think might also be of interest to your readers for a number of reasons.

Starting in 1995, I started publishing a series of books on the wartime, and post-war, career of one Heinrich Müller, once the chief of Hitler’s Gestapo. The basic thesis of these books, which eventually numbered a total of eight, [two in Russian and two in German], was that Müller escaped to Switzerland in 1945, worked for Swiss intelligence as an expert on Communist subversion, was hired by Jim Critchfield of the CIA-controlled Gehlen Organization in 1948, came to the United States in that year and worked for the CIA, again as an expert on Communism.

Quite naturally, these books infuriated both Colonel Critchfield and his employers, the CIA. The idea that Müller, who was at the top of the wanted war criminal list (CROWCASS), had been employed by post-war American intelligence would have created an enormous outcry from the militant American Jewish community. As no one in official Washington wanted to deal with this, the idea was to either shut down publication of the series or discredit the author.

A number of articles appeared, mostly on the CIA official website, that claimed Müller certainly died in 1945 and could not have worked for the CIA. No one paid any attention to them so a different tactic was brought out. In 2006, one of your authors, Phillip L. Kushner, who claimed to be a PhD (from either Stanford or MIT) and head of the Mathematics Department at the University of Texas at Austin, started a campaign of vicious harassment against Dr. Frank Thayer of the Journalism School at New Mexico State University. Kushner wrote hysterical letters to the head of Dr. Thayer’s school, every newspaper in New Mexico and legions of so-called Holocaust Institutes.

He stated that by writing a thoroughly innocuous foreword to one of the Müller books, Thayer was “calling for a new holocaust of Jews in America” and other lunatic comments. Dr. Thayer’s superiors read the books and decided they were not, as Kushner claimed, calls for a nationwide round up of Jews nor a paean of praise for the evil Nazis. At one point, an obviously deranged Kushner insisted that he would arrive at Thayer’s school “with a bus full of rabbis” and demand that Thayer be fired. The school found his unhinged rantings such a nuisance that they first blocked Kushner’s emails and secondly, informed Kushner’s university to stop his endless rantings and especially because to save money, Kushner was using the UT educational department’s email system.

Further investigation also revealed that the obviously eccentric Kushner did not have a doctorate, having falsified this information, and when the Texas people hired him, he neglected to mention an arrest on a Los Angeles-bound aircraft when air marshals handcuffed Kushner and removed him from the plane because of an assault on a flight attendant. He also forgot to mention the incident in Juarez, Mexico when a young Mexican in a bar there took offense at being propositioned and beat Kushner severely about the face.

And Kushner was most certainly not the head of the mathematics department at the University of Texas at Austin but turned out to be only a part-time lecturer on statistics. However, even here Kushner came off very badly as one can learn from the student evaluations of him found on a official school site. His students found him to be erratic in dress and manner, a very poor teacher, claiming, falsely as it turned out, that he had graduated from either Stanford or MIT and generally behaving in a boorish and aggressive manner.

Very recently we were gratified to learn that the University of Texas sacked Kushner for reasons they will not discuss in public

What his fellow teachers had to say was less complimentary. Kushner, many of them have said, grateful at his dismissal, could work with no one and constantly was in a state of public uproar over some pointless happening. The howls of rage he wrote to the university student paper when his fellow teachers refused to sign Kushner’s petition in praise of the IDF during the Lebanon excursion in 2006 resulted in his being permanently banned from even submitting to the editor, any future essays on Likudist nonsense.

Because Thayer remained at his post, the next attack on the Müller books was the appearance, in August of 2009, of an article entitled “A Diplomatics Analysis of a Document Purported to Prove Prior Knowledge of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.” It appeared in the ‘Intelligence and National Security’ on-line magazine of the Routledge group in England and was jointly authored by one R. Monhan Srivastava, Phillip L. Kushner and Thomas K. Kimmel (Jr)

This was not a well-read article for two reasons; It cost forty dollars to download and all it consisted of was a strange rant against a set of documents published in the books. Although the three authors agreed that the paper and typewriter used were proper to the period, the documents could not be believed because another author had a different view and also, that “diplomatics’ and a ‘statistical study’ “absolutely proved” them to be false!

Both Kushner and Kimmel are known factors. Kimmel is a retired FBI agent who specialized in work with the CIA and, after retirement, continued to work for that agency, and is also involved with the ‘9/11 Truth’ movement, but R. Monhan Srivastava turned out to be far more interesting.

He is a former Indian naval cryptographer who attended Stanford, and laterwas employed by.SAIC, a private firm that worked for the DIA, the CIA and other government entities. SAIC is mostly remembered for their work on the hilarious “Remote Viewing” our-of-body program developed by Stanford Research Institute. This was a throughly bizarre program conceived by one Ingo Swann,, a batty Scientologist and a project that cost the American taxpayers many millions of dollars until it transpired it was an elaborate fraud.

Srivastava was listed in the British article as working for a firm called ‘FSS International’, operating in Vancouver, BC. This firm, it has been discovered, was founded by Srivastava himself and has no address or telephone number listed in that city. Technical papers authored by Srivastava and submitted by him to academic journals for publication always credit him as being an “associate” of this organization, which exists only in his mind and cannot be located anywhere in Canada or the United States.

This strange individual claims, in the main, that he can solve all problems and detect any fake document or theory, by using “mathematics and statistics” and no doubt the reading of tea leaves, to make his observations. Srivastava obviously must have learned much from his employment by the credulous SAIC.

But digging further into this strange creature has disclosed some extremely interesting information that I would like to pass on to your readers.

Srivastava‘s email address IP number is 65.110.29.7.

A check of this IP address using the ipillion web-site:

http://www.ipillion.com/ip/65.110.29.8

turns up the fact that it is a Port Coquitlam address used by a company called Cipher Exchange Corporation. Their web-site:

http://www.cipherkey.com/

This is very obviously a front organization.

The Cipher Exchange Corporation has been positively identified as the origin of several viruses and denial-of-service attacks. Here are a couple of web-sites where Web gurus have exchanged information and complaints about the activities of Cipher Exchange Corporation:

http://www.webmasterworld.com/search_engine_spiders/3988078.htm?highlight=msg4029425

http://www.tonews.com/thread/1051902/hsv/tech/help_tracking_a_virus_source.html

They are clearly engaged in research and experimentation on cyber invasions and remote manipulation of other computers (the “bots” that the first example refers to the so-called “Stuxnet” virus This is a very sophisticated one that seems to target control systems that use a particular Siemens controller commonly used in the centrifuges of the nuclear industry. Intensive digging has also exposed the role of the CIA in Cipher Exchange Corporation and specifically in the development of the Stuxnet virus.) This virus has a two-fold mission.

The first, and obvious one, is to block Iran’s use of Siemens centrifuges now used by Iran, but also by Pakistan and China in the development of nuclear projects. The second one deals exclusively with American domestic policy and will be addressed in turn.

Iran definitely uses the Siemens controllers. That’s why the Stuxnet virus is generally understood to be an attempt to sabotage the nuclear ambitions of Iran.

Siemens was originally the lead contractor for Iran’s reactor project just southwest of the town of Bushehr, but that was back in the 1970s, prior to the Revolution that overthrew the Shah, when Western companies were active in Iran. Siemens ceased work on the reactor by 1982, and Russia’s Atomstroyexport contracted in the mid-1990s to complete the reactor with a Russian design. But Russia’s nuclear firms entered talks in February 2009 with Siemens to establish a commercial partnership – a rather obvious red flag for intelligence – and by the summer of 2010, it had come to the attention of German authorities that Siemens was shipping parts to a Russian middleman who was then forwarding them to Iran.

It seems that the work on the Stuxnet virus began in the spring of 2009, with the specific intention of targeting the Siemens controllers, whose design was well known and whose software and firmware controller logic was well known. Some speculate that the re-introduction of the Siemens controllers has ended up being a kind of Trojan Horse … something that would have appeared to the Iranians to be a great gift but which has turned out to be a backdoor through which Western agencies can attempt to undermine the Iranian program.

As a former Indian intelligence operative, Srivastava also acts as liaison between elements of the U.S. government and India. That country has become increasingly alarmed by Chinese expansion into Burma as well as by obvious military build-ups along the Indian northern border with China. As both Pakistan and China are potential enemies, the Indians hope that by acquiring, under the counter as it were, the virus designed to sabotage the Siemens equipment now being used in Iran, India can effectively sabotage the atomic energy programs in their two major potential enemies.

The second use of the Stuxnet virus is being prepared for American domestic use.

The Obama administration has been attempting, for some time now, to find a method by which they could control the Internet. Obama views the Internet, with its unrestricted flow of generally unwelcome news, as a great danger to his administration and for this reason, he has hired one Cass Sunstein, an academic who also wants to be able to shut down the Internet. Part of this is political policy. Since the mass American media is not longer in control of the dissemination of news and has been replaced by the Internet, Obama’s people feel that they must somehow find a methodology to either control the Internet or find a way to shut it down.

Since the former course is virtually impossible due to diversity, the second choice is now being worked on. Initially, Obama hoped to coordinate his efforts with certain emergency plans of the U.S. military but eventually he came to distrust the military, and for good reason; The Pentagon simply does not trust Obama, who threatened to withdraw all troops from Iraq and shut down the very profitable Afghanistan war.

Sunstein then went to the CIA for assistance and was warmly greeted. Presidential needs and their ability to address them has made the CIA the immense power that it is today. That is why the Stuznet virus being developed in Vancouver is so valuable. Used properly, it could easily create a mass cyber-attack that Obama could then use to shut everything down “to defend the American people against Taliban attacks.”

They are, in essence, using the same tired ploy that the Bush people did with their worthless DHS and its growing control over the American people. This is called inside the CIA as the “fright quotient” but its use might work in theory but at this point in time, the American public has heard the cry of ‘wolf’ far too often. But if a cyber attack did happen, Obama would not need to appeal to anyone and could simply order a shut-down.

Apparently, none of your authors have given any thought to what they say or, more importantly, to whom they say it.

One of these days, you m ight help to enlighten up by printing an article by Srivastasva entitled ‘The Stochastic Spatial Simulation Method of Potty Control’ or ‘How to Pee in the Fifth Dimension.’

Just thought you might enjoy some disruptive background!

Gregory Douglas

India test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile from eastern state of Orissa

November 25, 2010

by Katy Doyle
AP News

India successfully tested a short-range version of its most powerful nuclear-capable missile on Thursday during an army training exercise, the Defense Ministry said.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan regularly test missiles, and in some cases give each other advance notice. Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said Pakistan was informed ahead of Thursday’s test as part of “standard practice.”

The upgraded Agni-I — with a 435-mile (700-kilometer) range — was fired from a testing range on an island off the eastern state of Orissa, Kar said.

“The missile followed the trajectory perfectly and reached the designated spot in the Bay of Bengal,” where ships witnessed its detonation, Kar said.

The 12-ton missile, developed in India, has an advanced navigation system and can carry payloads of up to 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms).

It has been tested several times in the past, including on March 28 at the same Orissa firing range, as part of ongoing army training to improve skills among defense personnel.

New Delhi has said it developed its current crop of missiles — including the short-range Prithvi missile, the anti-tank Nag missile and the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile — as a deterrent against neighbors China and Pakistan.

Its Agni-II missile, with a range of up to 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers), can put areas of southern China within striking distance. And the Agni-III, successfully tested last year, can carry nuclear warheads across much of Asia and the Middle East.

India wants action from Pakistan on Mumbai attacks

India accuses Pakistan of not doing enough to bring masterminds of Mumbai attack to justice

November 25, 2010

by Nirmala George

AP

India rebuked Pakistan on Thursday for not punishing the alleged masterminds of the 2008 terror attack on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai that killed 166 people.

None of the seven men arrested in Pakistan on charges of planning and executing the three-day assault — which began two years ago Friday — has been put on trial.

In a message conveyed to Pakistan’s envoy in New Delhi, India expressed its frustration that Islamabad had not followed up on intelligence given to it about the men, who allegedly belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based Islamist militant group.

Despite repeated assurances given by Pakistan’s leadership, “substantive and verifiable progress has not been made on bringing all the perpetrators and masterminds of the heinous attacks to justice,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

It urged Pakistan to announce a time by which it would take action against the suspects.

Fulfilling that pledge would help build trust and confidence between the countries and demonstrate Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorism, the ministry said.

Pakistan’s government had no immediate response to India’s criticism, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said the legal case against the suspects was continuing.

“We are committed to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack to justice,” Basit said at a regular briefing Thursday.

Relations between the two South Asian rivals have been strained since the attacks, with India accusing Pakistan’s intelligence agencies of supporting militants who carry out terrorism in India.

Officials from the two sides have met in recent months to discuss a resumption of a slow-moving peace process, but the talks have made scant progress because India is not convinced that Pakistan is doing enough to punish the perpetrators or prevent more attacks.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since 1947, two over conflicting claims to the Kashmir region.

___

Associated Press writer Kay Johnson in Islamabad contributed to this report.

Flying Unfriendly Skies

by Christopher Brauchli

CommonDreams.org

I travel not to go anywhere but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
— Robert Louis Stevenson

Herewith an explanation of what might appear to the casual traveler to be nothing more than the kind of corporate greed to which we have become accustomed. It is an explanation for the reason for changes that airlines have introduced to the traveler that significantly increase the cost of travel while not affecting the price of tickets. This apparent anomaly has a simple explanation that is often overlooked. Before offering the explanation, however, it is helpful to look at some examples of increases in the cost of travel. For purposes of this piece we focus on the Friendly Skies of United Airlines (UAL) although the changes described and the motives as well, are equally applicable to those less friendly airlines.

Among the first of recent changes was one affecting passengers’ suitcases that was announced in about 2008. For many years the suitcase accompanied the traveler as a matter of right without additional cost. Today the charge for the first suitcase at UAL is $25 and for the second $35. In order to lessen the resentment many travelers felt at this additional charge, UAL came up with a solution. It sent customers an e-mail announcing that “United is the first airline to save you time and money with this simple and convenient service.” The simple and convenient service required the passenger to pack a suitcase a couple days before travelling and then call FedEx to pick up the suitcase and ship it to the traveler’s destination. Travelers who took advantage of this service did not have to pay UAL $25 for checking the suitcase. Instead they paid FedEx somewhere between $149 and $250, depending on where the suitcase was going, a figure that according to UAL’s website, has now dropped to $99 per bag.

Ever looking for new ways to improve the convenience for suitcases’ travels, UAL has added a new luggage service for those who don’t want to use FedEx. According to its website the traveler can pay the airline $349 for the one year privilege of checking two bags each time the traveler flies. That is much cheaper for the frequent flyer than paying FedEx and more convenient than having to pack a couple days before travelling. Having taken care of suitcases, UAL came up with another new idea. This improvement involved travelers’ comfort.

In the cheap seat section of the airplane it installed a few rows of seats where what would have been considered intolerable leg space 20 years ago became highly desirable. At first the seats were given at no cost to those who had attained privileged status with the airline. Then it occurred to someone that the company could make them available to others by charging an additional amount. To make the offer attractive, those seats were advertised for sale with pictures of a flyer with legs stretching into infinity which, of course, is no reflection on how much space is actually between those seats. Travelers flying from Chicago to Madison pay $9 for the better seats. Those flying from Denver to Seattle pay $49.

Now, UAL has come up with the newest, most exciting innovation yet. For years it has encouraged people to become members of their Mileage Plus Program because of all the good things that accompany the accumulation of great numbers of miles. One of the best was using the miles to remove oneself from the cheap seats into the business class seats. The number of miles required to accomplish this feat depended on the distance travelled and required the purchase of a more expensive coach class ticket than the least expensive one being advertised. Realizing that travelers didn’t like to have to buy a more expensive ticket in order to upgrade, UAL changed the rules. Anyone wishing to upgrade can now buy the cheapest ticket being advertised and use miles to upgrade. There is, however, a catch. It had the catchy name of “co-pay.” With the new program, a member of Mileage Plus who wants to use miles to upgrade from coach to business class when going to Europe, buys the cheapest coach ticket, takes miles from the mileage plus account and then participates with UAL in the “co-pay.” The co-pay for those travelling to Europe is $900 for round trip travel in addition to the price of the ticket. Those travelling to the Far East pay $1,000. And now, the reason for these additional charges that have helped the airlines keep ticket prices low. The answer can be found in taxes.

A 7.5% excise tax is imposed on passenger fares. The excise tax is not imposed on the assorted fees charged passengers described above including, presumably, the co-pays. No one likes paying taxes. UAL and other airlines have figured out ways of avoiding them. No one likes being gouged. Airline passengers have not yet figured out how to avoid that.

Christopher Brauchli can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu. For political commentary see his web page at http://humanraceandothersports.com

US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis

• More than 250,000 dispatches reveal US foreign strategies
• Diplomats ordered to spy on allies as well as enemies
• Hillary Clinton leads frantic ‘damage limitation’

November 28. 2010

by David Leigh

guardian.co.uk

The United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking to the Guardian and other international media of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies, many sent as recently as February this year.

At the start of a series of daily extracts from the US embassy cables – many of which are designated “secret” – the Guardian can disclose that Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran and that US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN’s leadership.

These two revelations alone would be likely to reverberate around the world. But the secret dispatches which were obtained by WikiLeaks, the whistlebowers’ website, also reveal Washington’s evaluation of many other highly sensitive international issues.

These include a major shift in relations between China and North Korea, Pakistan’s growing instability and details of clandestine US efforts to combat al-Qaida in Yemen.

Among scores of other disclosures that are likely to cause uproar, the cables detail:

• Grave fears in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme

•Alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime.

•Devastating criticism of the UK’s military operations in Afghanistan.

•Claims of inappropriate behaviour by a member of the British royal family.

The US has particularly intimate dealings with Britain, and some of the dispatches from the London embassy in Grosvenor Square will make uncomfortable reading in Whitehall and Westminster. They range from serious political criticisms of David Cameron to requests for specific intelligence about individual MPs.

The cache of cables contains specific allegations of corruption and against foreign leaders, as well as harsh criticism by US embassy staff of their host governments, from tiny islands in the Caribbean to China and Russia.

The material includes a reference to Vladimir Putin as an “alpha-dog”, Hamid Karzai as being “driven by paranoia” and Angela Merkel allegedly “avoids risk and is rarely creative”. There is also a comparison between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler.

The cables name countries involved in financing terror groups, and describe a near “environmental disaster” last year over a rogue shipment of enriched uranium. They disclose technical details of secret US-Russian nuclear missile negotiations in Geneva, and include a profile of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who they say is accompanied everywhere by a “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse.

The cables cover secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s activities under the Obama administration, as well as thousands of files from the George Bush presidency. Clinton personally led frantic damage limitation this weekend as Washington prepared foreign governments for the revelations. She contacted leaders in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, France and Afghanistan.

US ambassadors in other capitals were instructed to brief their hosts in advance of the release of unflattering pen-portraits or nakedly frank accounts of transactions with the US which they had thought would be kept quiet. Washington now faces a difficult task in convincing contacts around the world that any future conversations will remain confidential.

“We are all bracing for what may be coming and condemn WikiLeaks for the release of classified material,” state department spokesman PJ Crowley said. “It will place lives and interests at risk. It is irresponsible.”

The state department’s legal adviser has written to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his London lawyer, warning that the cables were obtained illegally and that publication would place at risk “the lives of countless innocent individuals … ongoing military operations … and cooperation between countries”.

The electronic archive of embassy dispatches from around the world was allegedly downloaded by a US soldier earlier this year and passed to WikiLeaks. Assange made them available to the Guardian and four other newspapers: the New York Times , Der Spiegel in Germany, Le Monde in France and El País in Spain. All five plan to publish extracts from the most significant cables, but have decided neither to “dump” the entire dataset into the public domain, nor to publish names that would endanger innocent individuals. WikiLeaks says that, contrary to the state department’s fears, it also initially intends to post only limited cable extracts, and to redact identities.

The cables published today reveal how the US uses its embassies as part of a global espionage network, with diplomats tasked to obtain not just information from the people they meet, but personal details, such as frequent flyer numbers, credit card details and even DNA material.

Classified “human intelligence directives” issued in the name of Hillary Clinton or her predecessor, Condoleeza Rice, instruct officials to gather information on military installations, weapons markings, vehicle details of political leaders as well as iris scans, fingerprints and DNA.

The most controversial target was the leadership of the United Nations. That directive requested the specification of telecoms and IT systems used by top UN officials and their staff and details of “private VIP networks used for official communication, to include upgrades, security measures, passwords, personal encryption keys”.

When the Guardian put this allegation to Crowley, the state department spokesman said: “Let me assure you: our diplomats are just that, diplomats. They do not engage in intelligence activities. They represent our country around the world, maintain open and transparent contact with other governments as well as public and private figures, and report home. That’s what diplomats have done for hundreds of years.”

The dispatches also shed light on older diplomatic issues. One cable, for example, reveals, that Nelson Mandela was “furious” when a top adviser stopped him meeting Margaret Thatcher shortly after his release from prison to explain why the ANC objected to her policy of “constructive engagement” with the apartheid regime. “We understand Mandela was keen for a Thatcher meeting but that [appointments secretary Zwelakhe] Sisulu argued successfully against it,” according to the cable. It continues: “Mandela has on several occasions expressed his eagerness for an early meeting with Thatcher to express the ANC’s objections to her policy. We were consequently surprised when the meeting didn’t materialise on his mid-April visit to London and suspected that ANC hardliners had nixed Mandela’s plans.”

The US embassy cables are marked “Sipdis” – secret internet protocol distribution. They were compiled as part of a programme under which selected dispatches, considered moderately secret but suitable for sharing with other agencies, would be automatically loaded on to secure embassy websites, and linked with the military’s Siprnet internet system.

They are classified at various levels up to “SECRET NOFORN” [no foreigners]. More than 11,000 are marked secret, while around 9,000 of the cables are marked noforn. The embassies which sent most cables were Ankara, Baghdad, Amman, Kuwait and Tokyo.

More than 3 million US government personnel and soldiers, many extremely junior, are cleared to have potential access to this material, even though the cables contain the identities of foreign informants, often sensitive contacts in dictatorial regimes. Some are marked “protect” or “strictly protect”.

Last spring, 22-year-old intelligence analyst Bradley Manning was charged with leaking many of these cables, along with a gun-camera video of an Apache helicopter crew mistakenly killing two Reuters news agency employees in Baghdad in 2007, which was subsequently posted by WikiLeaks. Manning is facing a court martial.

In July and October WikiLeaks also published thousands of leaked military reports from Afghanistan and Iraq . These were made available for analysis beforehand to the Guardian, along with Der Spiegel and the New York Times.

A former hacker, Adrian Lamo, who reported Manning to the US authorities, said the soldier had told him in chat messages that the cables revealed “how the first world exploits the third, in detail”.

He also said, according to Lamo, that Clinton “and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available in searchable format to the public … everywhere there’s a US post … there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed”.

Asked why such sensitive material was posted on a network accessible to thousands of government employees, the state department spokesman told the Guardian: “The 9/11 attacks and their aftermath revealed gaps in intra-governmental information sharing. Since the attacks of 9/11, the US government has taken significant steps to facilitate information sharing. These efforts were focused on giving diplomatic, military, law enforcement and intelligence specialists quicker and easier access to more data to more effectively do their jobs.”

He added: “We have been taking aggressive action in recent weeks and months to enhance the security of our systems and to prevent the leak of information.”

FBI apparently set up US teen blamed for fake car bomb

Boy told undercover agents he could get a gun because he’s a “rapper”; authored article containing “jihad” workout tips

November 27th, 2010

by Stephen C. Webster
The Raw Story

A Somali-born, American teenager was apparently set up by federal law enforcement officials who posed as radical Islamic fighters and lured the young man into a plot he believed would lead him to detonate a car bomb at an Oregon Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The bomb, provided by FBI agents, was “inert” and did not pose a threat to public safety, according to the US Attorney’s Office in Oregon.

Oddly enough, Arthur Balizan, an FBI agent in Oregon, contradicted the US Attorney’s Office, suggesting that the threat posed by 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud “was very real.”

Except: “[At] every turn,” he explained, “we denied him the ability to actually carry out the attack.”

The story rings devastatingly familiar when stacked next to the tale of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a Jordanian man arrested in 2009, at age 19, for allegedly planning to detonate a car bomb in a Dallas skyscraper.

Each boy was led down the path to imagined violence by federal agents, with authorities ultimately providing fake bombs in both cases. Smadi and Mohamud, officials claim, expressed a desire to engage in terrorist attacks before agents began luring them in.

Federal agents noticed Mohamud in December 2009, after he allegedly communicated with a suspected terrorist in Pakistan. Months later, an undercover agent contacted Mohamud claiming to be the individual’s associate, and Mohamud agreed to meet in Portland.

Agents claimed that Mohamud revealed himself to be the author of a bizarre 2009 article for the English-language “Jihad Recollections” magazine. The story made headlines for it’s comical images of masked fighters helping each other exercise.

Other articles in the 70+ page magazine published in North Carolina included a preview of “emp technology,” poetry, speeches from Osama bin Laden and a how-to guide to global jihad.

One key thing, however, was oddly lacking from the magazine’s first edition: as even Fox News noted, it did not explicitly call for violence against anyone.

The magazine also featured quotes from Tennessee Republican Congressman Zach Wamp, who made headlines again last July for suggesting that his state secede from the US.

Agents also reveal in court documents that Mohamud had told them he might be able to get a gun, because he was a “rapper.”

“We were unable to determine Mohamud’s Jihadi emcee name, or the potency of his flow,” Gawker quipped.

Court documents claim the first meeting between Mohamud and the FBI took place in July, 2010. In the months following, agents ostensibly worked him up to the point where he was willing to flip the switch on a car bomb. Agents even took Mohamud to a secluded location to blow up a bomb they placed in a backpack, allegedly as a test run.

Mohamud was arrested by FBI agents and Portland police around 5:40 pm Friday, after he attempted to remotely detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van. Officials claimed that early on Friday, Mohamud had recorded a video explaining why he wanted to carry out the attack.

“I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured,” he said, according to law enforcement.

Mohamud is scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday.

With AFP.

Dead Certain:The Presidential memoirs of George W. Bush.

November 29, 2010

by George Packer

The New Yorker

President George W. Bush prepared for writing his memoirs by reading “Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant.” “The book captures his distinctive voice,” the ex-President writes, in his less distinctive voice. “He uses anecdotes to re-create his experience during the Civil War. I could see why his work had endured.” Grant’s work has endured because, as Matthew Arnold observed, it has “the high merit of saying clearly in the fewest possible words what had to be said, and saying it, frequently, with shrewd and unexpected turns of expression.” Grant marches across the terrain of his life (stopping short of his corrupt failure of a Presidency) with the same relentless and unflinching realism with which he pursued Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. On several occasions, he even accuses himself of “moral cowardice.” Grant never intended to write his memoirs, but in 1884, swindled by his financial partner, broke, and with a death sentence of throat cancer hanging over him, he set out to earn enough money to provide for his future widow. He completed the work a year later, just days before his death, and Julia Dent Grant lived out her life in comfort.

Modern ex-Presidents tend to write memoirs for reasons less heroic than Grant’s. Richard Nixon couldn’t stop producing his, in one form or another, in a quest to revise history’s devastating verdict. Bill Clinton needed the world’s undying attention. Why did George W. Bush write “Decision Points” (Crown; $35)? He tells us on the first page. He wanted to make a contribution to the study of American history, but he also wanted to join the section of advice books featuring leadership tips from successful executives: “I write to give readers a perspective on decision making in a complex environment. Many of the decisions that reach the president’s desk are tough calls, with strong arguments on both sides. Throughout the book, I describe the options I weighed and the principles I followed. I hope this will give you a better sense of why I made the decisions I did. Perhaps it will even prove useful as you make choices in your own life.”

Here is a prediction: “Decision Points” will not endure. Its prose aims for tough-minded simplicity but keeps landing on simpleminded sententiousness. Though Bush credits no collaborator, his memoirs read as if they were written by an admiring sidekick who is familiar with every story Bush ever told but never got to know the President well enough to convey his inner life. Very few of its four hundred and ninety-three pages are not self-serving. Bush, honing his executive skills as part owner of the Texas Rangers, decides to fire his underperforming manager, Bobby Valentine: “I tried to deliver the news in a thoughtful way, and Bobby handled it like a professional. I was grateful when, years later, I heard him say, ‘I voted for George W. Bush, even though he fired me.’ ” At the dramatic height of the book, on the morning of September 11th, “I called Condi from the secure phone in the limo. She told me there had been a third plane crash, this one into the Pentagon. I sat back in my seat and absorbed her words. My thoughts clarified: The first plane could have been an accident. The second was definitely an attack. The third was a declaration of war. My blood was boiling. We were going to find out who did this, and kick their ass.” The rare moments of candor come at other people’s expense. After his mother has a miscarriage, her teen-age son drives her to the hospital: “This was a subject I never expected to be discussing with Mother. I also never expected to see the remains of the fetus, which she had saved in a jar.” (In other appearances, Barbara Bush is heard telling her son, “You can’t win,” as he weighs a race against Governor Ann Richards, of Texas, and scolding him to “get over it. Make up your mind, and move on,” as he tries to decide whether to run for President.) During the worst period of violence in Iraq, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, implores the President to withdraw some troops in order to give the Republicans a boost before the 2006 midterms. “I made it clear I would set troop levels to achieve victory in Iraq, not victory at the polls,” Bush writes. That’s the characteristic anecdote of “Decision Points”: the President always gets the last, serenely self-assured word, leaving others quietly impressed or looking like fools. Scenes end with him saying, “Get to work,” “Let’s go,” or “We’re going to stay confident and patient, cool and steady.” Bush kept two war trophies in his private study off the Oval Office—a brick from the pulverized house of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and a pistol found on Saddam Hussein when he was captured. There’s plenty of moral cowardice assigned, but none of it to Bush himself.

As for the confessions of wrongdoing that autobiography requires to be minimally credible: during his drinking years, Bush once asked a family friend at dinner in Kennebunkport, “So, what is sex like after fifty?”—getting stern looks across the table from his parents and his wife. He called the woman the next day to apologize, was forgiven, thought about his life, and soon went off booze for good. Nothing about the Iraq war or Hurricane Katrina approaches this level of self-searching. When we arrive at the worst moment of his Presidency, in the aftermath of Katrina, it comes in the form of an unspeakable wrong done to the President himself: the rapper Kanye West accuses a man as clearly color-blind as Bush of racism.

Every memoir is a tissue of omission and evasion; memoirs by public figures are especially unreliable. What’s remarkable about “Decision Points” is how frequently and casually it leaves out facts, large and small, whose absence draws more attention than their inclusion would have. In his account of the 2000 election, Bush neglects to mention that he lost the popular vote. He refers to the firing, in 2002, of his top economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey, but not to the fact that it came immediately after Lindsey violated the Administration’s optimistic line by saying that the Iraq war could cost as much as two hundred billion dollars. In a brief recounting of one of the central scandals of his Presidency, the Administration’s outing of the intelligence officer Valerie Plame, Bush doesn’t acknowledge that two senior White House aides, Karl Rove and Lewis (Scooter) Libby, alerted half a dozen reporters to her identity.

Even the story of Bush’s admission to Harvard Business School, in early 1973, is an occasion for historical revision. Bush describes a dinner at a Houston restaurant with his father and his brother Jeb: “Dad and I were having a discussion about my future. Jeb blurted out, ‘George got into Harvard.’ After some thought, Dad said, ‘Son, you ought to seriously consider going. It would be a good way to broaden your horizons.’ ” According to many accounts, including Bill Minutaglio’s well-regarded biography “First Son,” the conversation took place in the Washington, D.C., study of George, Sr., after a thoroughly plastered George, Jr., had driven his car and a neighbor’s garbage can onto his parents’ driveway, staggered into the house, and challenged his disgusted father, “You wanna go mano a mano right here?”

The steady drip of these elisions and falsifications suggests a deeper necessity than the ordinary touch-ups of personal history. Bush has no tolerance for ambiguity; he can’t revere his father and, on occasion, want to defy him, or lose charge of his White House for a minute, or allow himself to wonder if Iraq might ultimately fail. The structure of “Decision Points,” with each chapter centered on a key issue—stem-cell research, interrogation and wiretapping, the invasion of Iraq, the fight against AIDS in Africa, the surge, the “freedom agenda,” the financial crisis—reveals the essential qualities of the Decider. There are hardly any decision points at all. The path to each decision is so short and irresistible, more like an electric pulse than like a weighing of options, that the reader is hard-pressed to explain what happened. Suddenly, it’s over, and there’s no looking back. The decision to go to war “was an accretion,” Richard Haass, the director of policy-planning at the State Department until the invasion of Iraq, told me. “A decision was not made—a decision happened, and you can’t say when or how.”

In Bush’s telling, the non-decision decision is a constant feature of his Presidential policymaking. On September 11th, when Bush finally reached a secure communications center and held a National Security Council meeting by videoconference, he opened by saying, “We are at war against terror.” It was a fateful description of the new reality, creating the likelihood of an overreaction. No other analyses are even considered in “Decision Points.” Soon afterward, Senator Tom Daschle, the Democratic Majority Leader, cautioned the President about the implications of the word “war.” Bush writes, “I listened to his concerns, but I disagreed. If four coordinated attacks by a terrorist network that had pledged to kill as many Americans as possible was not an act of war, then what was it? A breach of diplomatic protocol? Here is another feature of the non-decision: once his own belief became known to him, Bush immediately caricatured opposing views and impugned the motives of those who held them. If there was an honest and legitimate argument on the other side, then the President would have to defend his non-decision, taking it out of the redoubt of personal belief and into the messy empirical realm of contingency and uncertainty. So critics of his stem-cell ban are dismissed as scientists eager for more government cash, or advocacy groups looking to “raise large amounts of money,” or Democrats who saw “a political winner.”

On the policy of torturing captured Al Qaeda suspects, Bush writes that he refused to approve two techniques requested by the Central Intelligence Agency but gave the O.K. to waterboarding. George Tenet, the C.I.A. director, asked permission to use waterboarding on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the operational mastermind behind September 11th. “I thought about my meeting with Danny Pearl’s widow, who was pregnant with his son when he was murdered,” Bush writes. (Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, was reportedly beheaded by K.S.M.) “I thought about the 2,973 people stolen from their families by al Qaeda on 9/11. And I thought about my duty to protect the country from another act of terror. ‘Damn right,’ I said.” By Bush’s own account, revenge was among his chief motives in sanctioning torture. “I had asked the most senior legal officers in the U.S. government to review the interrogation methods, and they had assured me they did not constitute torture.” The President had been told what he wanted to hear by loyal subordinates, but, his memoirs make clear, he did not consider the moral and practical consequences of authorizing what most people who were not senior legal officers in the Bush Administration would describe as torture. One crucial consequence—the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib—receives a single page (most of which is about Bush’s reasons for not firing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld).

Bush once told an elementary-school class in Crawford, Texas, “Is it hard to make decisions as president? Not really. If you know what you believe, decisions come pretty easy. If you’re one of these types of people that are always trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing, decision making can be difficult. But I find that I know who I am. I know what I believe in.” For Bush, making decisions is an identity question: Who am I? The answer turns Presidential decisions into foregone conclusions: I am someone who believes in the dignity of life, I am the protector of the American people, I am a loyal boss, I am a good man who cares about other people, I am the calcium in the backbone. This sense of conviction made Bush a better candidate than the two Democrats he was fortunate to have as opponents in his Presidential campaigns. But real decisions, which demand the weighing of compelling contrary arguments and often present a choice between bad options, were psychologically intolerable to the Decider. They confused the identity question.

Was Bush this rigid and incurious all his life? “Decision Points” records a notable lack of personal development, other than the famous turn away from alcohol and toward evangelical Christianity, around the time Bush was forty. But “A Charge to Keep,” his 1999 campaign book, describes just the sort of decision, one based on a careful balance of evidence and principles, that hardly appears in “Decision Points”: Governor Bush refused to commute the death sentence of Karla Faye Tucker, a double murderer who claimed to have been born again in prison and had become a cause célèbre; and he commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence of Henry Lee Lucas, an unrepentant serial killer who nonetheless had probably not committed the murder for which he had been sentenced to death. Both decisions were unpopular with many of Bush’s constituents. The account in “A Charge to Keep” includes a long discussion of the evidence and the law, and little about Bush’s heart or backbone.

“George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream,” a new study by Dan P. McAdams, a psychology professor at Northwestern (Oxford; $29.95), argues that September 11th offered a geopolitical version of what the personal conversion experience had given Bush: a story of redemption and mission—in this case, one that could be extended to the country and the world. Nine days after the “day of fire,” Bush addressed a joint session of Congress: “In our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. . . . We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.” McAdams traces Bush’s resolve over the Iraq war to this “redemptive dream”: “Psychological research shows that powerful narratives in people’s lives make it nearly impossible, in many cases, to consider ideas, opinions, possibilities, and facts that run counter to the story.” By this interpretation, 9/11 shut and sealed the door to Presidential decision-making. Bush’s account of the most consequential episode of his Presidency, the war in Iraq, does not undermine the hypothesis.

“I had tried to address the threat from Saddam Hussein without war,” Bush writes. The accounts of numerous Administration officials and journalists say otherwise: by the summer of 2002, war in Iraq was inevitable. The timing and the manner of this non-decision decision make for the cloudiest story in the book. It describes no sequence of National Security Council meetings to discuss the options and coördinate the views of different agencies. Instead, Bush comes up with an approach called “coercive diplomacy”: develop a military plan while trying to disarm the Iraqi dictator through international pressure. “Ultimately, it would be Saddam Hussein’s decision to make.” So Bush’s decision became Saddam’s. In “coercive diplomacy,” Bush explains, the diplomatic track would run parallel to the military track. Somehow, shortly before the invasion, the parallel tracks would converge and become one track. Then, it seemed, the decision became the train’s to make: things were moving too fast to be stopped. During this period, Bush relates, “I sought opinions on Iraq from a variety of sources.” By coincidence, every one of them urged him to do it. Vice-President Dick Cheney, at one of their weekly lunches, asked, “Are you going to take care of this guy, or not?” Cheney knew his man.

One of the voices in the President’s ear was Elie Wiesel’s, speaking of “a moral obligation to act against evil.” The words were bound to move a man like Bush. “Many of those who demonstrated against military action in Iraq were devoted advocates of human rights,” he says. “I understood why people might disagree on the threat Saddam Hussein posed to the United States. But I didn’t see how anyone could deny that liberating Iraq advanced the cause of human rights.” Some of Bush’s critics found this argument specious and hypocritical; they failed to grasp the President’s profound need to be on the side of the redeeming angels. (The chapter on AIDS in Africa shows Bush at his best. His desire to display American caring led directly to a generous policy.)

The war came—and then looting, chaos, state collapse, insurgency, sectarian war, and no weapons of mass destruction. This last development left Bush “shocked” and “angry,” a recurring state of mind in “Decision Points”: the objections of Justice Department officials to warrantless wiretapping also “stunned” him, Abu Ghraib “blindsided” him, and the looting of Baghdad prompted him to demand, “What the hell is happening?” But Bush was undaunted. He writes, at one point, “In later years, some critics would charge that we failed to prepare for the postwar period. That sure isn’t how I remember it”; and, at another, “The absence of WMD stockpiles did not change the fact that Saddam was a threat.” All these years and lives later, the blitheness of such statements is breathtaking. It would be impossible for Bush still to claim, as he did at a press conference in 2004, that he couldn’t think of any mistakes regarding Iraq. Among the ones he lists are two P.R. disasters (the “Mission Accomplished” banner, and his challenge to insurgents to “bring ’em on”), and two substantive failures: the lack of sufficient troops to impose security at the start, and the “intelligence failure on Iraq’s WMD.” The first he ascribes to a desire not to look like occupiers, the second to the C.I.A. What he cannot explain is why he allowed Iraq to descend into a nightmare of violence, year after year, until, by 2006, millions of Iraqis were fleeing the country. Perhaps he didn’t know what was going on, having been shielded by sycophantic advisers and yes-sir generals. Yet “Decision Points”—indeed, the whole trajectory of Bush’s Presidency—suggests that he had the information but not the character to face it. “I waited over three years for a successful strategy,” he says in a chapter called “Surge.” But what sort of wartime leader—a term he likes to use—would “wait” for three years, rather than demand a better strategy and the heads of his failed advisers? “Only after the sectarian violence erupted in 2006 did it become clear that more security was needed before political progress could continue,” he writes. It’s a statement to make anyone who spent time in Iraq from 2003 onward laugh or cry. During the war years, Bush fell in love with his own resolve, his refusal to waver, and this flaw cost Iraqis and Americans dearly. For him, the war remains “eternally right,” a success with unfortunate footnotes. His decisions, he still believes, made America safer, gave Iraqis hope, and changed the future of the Middle East for the better. Of these three claims, only one is true—the second—and it’s a truth steeped in tragedy.

Bush ends “Decision Points” with the sanguine thought that history’s verdict on his Presidency will come only after his death. During his years in office, two wars turned into needless disasters, and the freedom agenda created such deep cynicism around the world that the word itself was spoiled. In America, the gap between the rich few and the vast majority widened dramatically, contributing to a historic financial crisis and an ongoing recession; the poisoning of the atmosphere continued unabated; and the Constitution had less and less say over the exercise of executive power. Whatever the judgments of historians, these will remain foregone conclusions.

War Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat

November 27, 2010

By John Markoff

New York Times

FORT BENNING, Ga. — War would be a lot safer, the Army says, if only more of it were fought by robots.

And while smart machines are already very much a part of modern warfare, the Army and its contractors are eager to add more. New robots — none of them particularly human-looking — are being designed to handle a broader range of tasks, from picking off snipers to serving as indefatigable night sentries.

In a mock city here used by Army Rangers for urban combat training, a 15-inch robot with a video camera scuttles around a bomb factory on a spying mission. Overhead an almost silent drone aircraft with a four-foot wingspan transmits images of the buildings below. Onto the scene rolls a sinister-looking vehicle on tank treads, about the size of a riding lawn mower, equipped with a machine gun and a grenade launcher.

Three backpack-clad technicians, standing out of the line of fire, operate the three robots with wireless video-game-style controllers. One swivels the video camera on the armed robot until it spots a sniper on a rooftop. The machine gun pirouettes, points and fires in two rapid bursts. Had the bullets been real, the target would have been destroyed.

The machines, viewed at a “Robotics Rodeo” last month at the Army’s training school here, not only protect soldiers, but also are never distracted, using an unblinking digital eye, or “persistent stare,” that automatically detects even the smallest motion. Nor do they ever panic under fire.

“One of the great arguments for armed robots is they can fire second,” said Joseph W. Dyer, a former vice admiral and the chief operating officer of iRobot, which makes robots that clear explosives as well as the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. When a robot looks around a battlefield, he said, the remote technician who is seeing through its eyes can take time to assess a scene without firing in haste at an innocent person.

Yet the idea that robots on wheels or legs, with sensors and guns, might someday replace or supplement human soldiers is still a source of extreme controversy. Because robots can stage attacks with little immediate risk to the people who operate them, opponents say that robot warriors lower the barriers to warfare, potentially making nations more trigger-happy and leading to a new technological arms race.

“Wars will be started very easily and with minimal costs” as automation increases, predicted Wendell Wallach, a scholar at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics and chairman of its technology and ethics study group.

Civilians will be at greater risk, people in Mr. Wallach’s camp argue, because of the challenges in distinguishing between fighters and innocent bystanders. That job is maddeningly difficult for human beings on the ground. It only becomes more difficult when a device is remotely operated.

This problem has already arisen with Predator aircraft, which find their targets with the aid of soldiers on the ground but are operated from the United States. Because civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan have died as a result of collateral damage or mistaken identities, Predators have generated international opposition and prompted accusations of war crimes.

But robot combatants are supported by a range of military strategists, officers and weapons designers — and even some human rights advocates.

A lot of people fear artificial intelligence,” said John Arquilla, executive director of the Information Operations Center at the Naval Postgraduate School. “I will stand my artificial intelligence against your human any day of the week and tell you that my A.I. will pay more attention to the rules of engagement and create fewer ethical lapses than a human force.”

Dr. Arquilla argues that weapons systems controlled by software will not act out of anger and malice and, in certain cases, can already make better decisions on the battlefield than humans.

His faith in machines is already being tested.

“Some of us think that the right organizational structure for the future is one that skillfully blends humans and intelligent machines,” Dr. Arquilla said. “We think that that’s the key to the mastery of 21st-century military affairs.”

Automation has proved vital in the wars America is fighting. In the air in Iraq and Afghanistan, unmanned aircraft with names like Predator, Reaper, Raven and Global Hawk have kept countless soldiers from flying sorties. Moreover, the military now routinely uses more than 6,000 tele-operated robots to search vehicles at checkpoints as well as to disarm one of the enemies’ most effective weapons: the I.E.D., or improvised explosive device.

Yet the shift to automated warfare may offer only a fleeting strategic advantage to the United States. Fifty-six nations are now developing robotic weapons, said Ron Arkin, a Georgia Institute of Technology roboticist and a government-financed researcher who has argued that it is possible to design “ethical” robots that conform to the laws of war and the military rules of escalation.

But the ethical issues are far from simple. Last month in Germany, an international group including artificial intelligence researchers, arms control specialists, human rights advocates and government officials called for agreements to limit the development and use of tele-operated and autonomous weapons.

The group, known as the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, said warfare was accelerated by automated systems, undermining the capacity of human beings to make responsible decisions. For example, a gun that was designed to function without humans could shoot an attacker more quickly and without a soldier’s consideration of subtle factors on the battlefield.

“The short-term benefits being derived from roboticizing aspects of warfare are likely to be far outweighed by the long-term consequences,” said Mr. Wallach, the Yale scholar, suggesting that wars would occur more readily and that a technological arms race would develop.

As the debate continues, so do the Army’s automation efforts. In 2001 Congress gave the Pentagon the goal of making one-third of the ground combat vehicles remotely operated by 2015. That seems unlikely, but there have been significant steps in that direction.

For example, a wagonlike Lockheed Martin device that can carry more than 1,000 pounds of gear and automatically follow a platoon at up to 17 miles per hour is scheduled to be tested in Afghanistan early next year.

For rougher terrain away from roads, engineers at Boston Dynamics are designing a walking robot to carry gear. Scheduled to be completed in 2012, it will carry 400 pounds as far as 20 miles, automatically following a soldier.

The four-legged modules have an extraordinary sense of balance, can climb steep grades and even move on icy surfaces. The robot’s “head” has an array of sensors that give it the odd appearance of a cross between a bug and a dog. Indeed, an earlier experimental version of the robot was known as Big Dog.

This month the Army and the Australian military held a contest for teams designing mobile micro-robots — some no larger than model cars — that, operating in swarms, can map a potentially hostile area, accurately detecting a variety of threats.

Separately, a computer scientist at the Naval Postgraduate School has proposed that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency finance a robotic submarine system that would intelligently control teams of dolphins to detect underwater mines and protect ships in harbors.

“If we run into a conflict with Iran, the likelihood of them trying to do something in the Strait of Hormuz is quite high,” said Raymond Buettner, deputy director of the Information Operations Center at the Naval Postgraduate School. “One land mine blowing up one ship and choking the world’s oil supply pays for the entire Navy marine mammal program and its robotics program for a long time.”

Such programs represent a resurgence in the development of autonomous systems in the wake of costly failures and the cancellation of the Army’s most ambitious such program in 2009. That program was once estimated to cost more than $300 billion and expected to provide the Army with an array of manned and unmanned vehicles linked by a futuristic information network.

Now, the shift toward developing smaller, lighter and less expensive systems is unmistakable. Supporters say it is a consequence of the effort to cause fewer civilian casualties. The Predator aircraft, for example, is being equipped with smaller, lighter weapons than the traditional 100-pound Hellfire missile, with a smaller killing radius.

At the same time, military technologists assert that tele-operated, semi-autonomous and autonomous robots are the best way to protect the lives of American troops.

Army Special Forces units have bought six lawn-mower-size robots — the type showcased in the Robotics Rodeo — for classified missions, and the National Guard has asked for dozens more to serve as sentries on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. These units are known as the Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System, or Maars, and they are made by a company called QinetiQ North America.

The Maars robots first attracted the military’s interest as a defensive system during an Army Ranger exercise here in 2008. Used as a nighttime sentry against infiltrators equipped with thermal imaging vision systems, the battery-powered Maars unit remained invisible — it did not have the heat signature of a human being — and could “shoot” intruders with a laser tag gun without being detected itself, said Bob Quinn, a vice president at QinetiQ.

Maars is the descendant of an earlier experimental system built by QinetiQ. Three armed prototypes were sent to Iraq and created a brief controversy after they pointed a weapon inappropriately because of a software bug.

However, QinetiQ executives said the real shortcoming of the system was that it was rejected by Army legal officers because it did not follow military rules of engagement — for example, using voice warnings and then tear gas before firing guns. As a consequence, Maars has been equipped with a loudspeaker as well as a launcher so it can issue warnings and fire tear gas grenades before firing its machine gun.

Remotely controlled systems like the Predator aircraft and Maars move a step closer to concerns about the automation of warfare. What happens, ask skeptics, when humans are taken out of decision making on firing weapons? Despite the insistence of military officers that a human’s finger will always remain on the trigger, the speed of combat is quickly becoming too fast for human decision makers.

“If the decisions are being made by a human being who has eyes on the target, whether he is sitting in a tank or miles away, the main safeguard is still there,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington director for Human Rights Watch, which tracks war crimes. “What happens when you automate the decision? Proponents are saying that their systems are win-win, but that doesn’t reassure me.”

Conversations with the Crow

When the CIA discovered that their former Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs, Robert T. Crowley, had been talking with author Gregory Douglas, they became fearful (because of what Crowley knew) and outraged (because they knew Douglas would publish eventually) and made many efforts to silence Crowley, mostly by having dozens of FBI agents call or visit him at his Washington home and try to convince him to stop talking to Douglas, whom they considered to be an evil, loose cannon.

Crowley did not listen to them (no one else ever does, either) and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to:

http://www.shop.conversationswiththecrow.com/Conversations-with-the-Crow-CWC-GD01.htm🙂

Here is the forty-fifth chapter

Conversation No. 45

Date: Tuesday, November 12, 1996

Commenced: 8:02 AM CST

Concluded: 8:23 AM CST

RTC: Good morning, Gregory. I’ve pretty well firmed up our meeting. Everyone can make it and we’ll have lunch. You’ll need to be at the University Club before noon and we can talk for a while before lunch.

GD: I’ll make a note of it, Robert. Is the food good? I have a great liking for crab cakes, Maryland-style.

RTC: They certainly have that, Gregory. Want wine to go with that?

GD: I’m not much of a drinker but wine will be fine. A nice white wine. Will you have the Allende hit letter with you?

RTC: Oh yes but we can deal with that out of sight and earshot of the others.

GD: But these are your friends.

RTC: Well at least one of them isn’t yours.

GD: A nice book on Bringing True Democracy to some backward country. Very inspiring. Robert, you’ve been walking in the corridors of power and you have a first hand knowledge of such things but I think I could tell you the basics in governmental change. I mean securing some natural resource-rich but otherwise insignificant country. Would I offend with some satire here?

RTC: I’m not in harness any more, Gregory. Let’s see what you’ve learned in school, why not?

GD: Here we have a country. Call it Flavia. Not much but goats, much incest, but huge deposits of swan guano. An American firm, Sawney Bean Inc, has the permanent rights to mine the precious swan guano. And eventually, some Flavian intellectual decided that only the President and his family shared in that wealth so he leads a campaign, is successful and is elected to Holy Office. Norman Crotchrott, who owns Sawney Bean, believes that he is going to have to pay bigger bribes to the new president-elect but is horrified to discover that the new leader is a genuine populist and wants to seize the guano and exploit it for the people of Flavia. Shock, rage and horror in the boardroom of Sawney Bean. But, we have a possible salvation just down the road. Mr. Crotchrott went to Harvard with the DCI. He invites him up to a lavish weekend in the Hamptons and closets himself with your former boss for over two hours. Certain matters are discussed, drinks raised and hands shaken. Almost immediately afterwards, the CIA prepares a horrifying report that names the new president of Flavia as a Communist who went to the Lenin School. Shock and horror! The report states that if Flavia falls to the Communists, they will set up a power base and take over all the countries within earshot, to include, shock and horror, one country that produces uranium. My God, Robert, the DCI makes a personal trip to the White House, with a phalanx of aides and experts, all armed with charts, pointers and reports. Once the President is told that the situation in Flavia is critical and the evil Russians might get their Slavic hands on the uranium, he agrees to special action. The CIA starts the ball rolling by having doom-laded and alarmist reports published on the front pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post and about twenty lesser papers. Communists take over Flavia! More shock and horror. The president gives a press conference and says we must save Flavia and the entire region from the evil Communists. In the meantime, the CIA, who has bribed dissident groups in Flavia, regardless of the fact that most of them are pedophiles and chronic alcoholics, supplies them with Chinese weapons, purchased through one of their front companies from Turkey and sends a new cultural attaché to Flavia to spread bags of bribe money. There is a coup, led by U.S. Navy personnel dressed in native costume, the new president and his whole family are set on fire and a newer president is quickly installed. Return of democracy to Flavia is the watchword in the media. Several weeks later, Mr. Crotchrott deposits several million dollars in the black Swiss bank accounts of the top CIA people and sends a Steuben glass bowl to the President as a token of respect for his quick action. The new head of state signs a permanent contract with Sawney Bean and the papers and the boob tube show pictures of happy laughing Flavians cheering the American ambassador as he drives down the street in his armored limousine, surrounded by a battalion of Marines from the embassy. Now, Robert, tell me how far off I am?

RTC: You are a very wicked person, Gregory.

GD: Is that a negative comment?

RTC: Not really. You have Chile in mind specifically?

GD: More like Guatemala, Robert. My uncle was involved with that game and that’s where I got my baptism in bringing true democracy to a backward country with wonderful natural resources.

RTC: A word of caution here, Gregory. At lunch, do not bring up such subjects around Tom. He would start a file on you as a Communist agitator.

GD: Robert, Communism is a dead issue. The Arabs are our new enemies now. The Israelis have told us so and they own the papers. How about a Muslim sympathizer?

RTC: Well, you take my drift, Gregory. Better safe than sorry. Then the FBI will start looking into your garbage.

GD: They ought to feed them better.

(Concluded at 8:23 AM CST)

Dramatis personae:

James Jesus Angleton: Once head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, later fired because of his obsessive and illegal behavior, tapping the phones of many important government officials in search of elusive Soviet spies. A good friend of Robert Crowley and a co-conspirator with him in the assassination of President Kennedy

James P. Atwood: (April 16, 1930-April 20, 1997) A CIA employee, located in Berlin, Atwood had a most interesting career. He worked for any other intelligence agency, domestic or foreign, that would pay him, was involved in selling surplus Russian atomic artillery shells to the Pakistan government and was also most successful in the manufacturing of counterfeit German dress daggers. Too talkative, Atwood eventually had a sudden, and fatal, “seizure” while lunching with CIA associates.

William Corson: A Marine Corps Colonel and President Carter’s representative to the CIA. A friend of Crowley and Kimmel, Corson was an intelligent man whose main failing was a frantic desire to be seen as an important person. This led to his making fictional or highly exaggerated claims.

John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States.

James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organizaed the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.

Robert T. Crowley: Once the deputy director of Clandestine Operations and head of the group that interacted with corporate America. A former West Point football player who was one of the founders of the original CIA. Crowley was involved at a very high level with many of the machinations of the CIA.

Gregory Douglas: A retired newspaperman, onetime friend of Heinrich Müller and latterly, of Robert Crowley. Inherited stacks of files from the former (along with many interesting works of art acquired during the war and even more papers from Robert Crowley.) Lives comfortably in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean.

Reinhard Gehlen: A retired German general who had once been in charge of the intelligence for the German high command on Russian military activities. Fired by Hitler for incompetence, he was therefore naturally hired by first, the U.S. Army and then, as his level of incompetence rose, with the CIA. His Nazi-stuffed organizaion eventually became the current German Bundes Nachrichten Dienst.

Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired and lives in retirement in Florida

Willi Krichbaum: A Senior Colonel (Oberführer) in the SS, head of the wartime Secret Field Police of the German Army and Heinrich Müller’s standing deputy in the Gestapo. After the war, Krichbaum went to work for the Critchfield organization and was their chief recruiter and hired many of his former SS friends. Krichbaum put Critchfield in touch with Müller in 1948.

Heinrich Müller: A former military pilot in the Bavarian Army in WWI, Müller became a political police officer in Munich and was later made the head of the Secret State Police or Gestapo. After the war, Müller escaped to Switzerland where he worked for Swiss intelligence as a specialist on Communist espionage and was hired by James Critchfield, head of the Gehlen Organization, in 1948. Müller subsequently was moved to Washington where he worked for the CIA until he retired.

Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this. Neither were his employers.

Frank Wisner: A Founding Father of the CIA who promised much to the Hungarian and then failed them. First, a raging lunatic who was removed from Langley, screaming, in a strait jacket and later, blowing off the top of his head with a shotgun.

Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers

Register of the Dead in the Bush/Obama war 44

http://www.defense.gov/Releases/

November 1, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Cpl. Brett W. Land, 24, of Wasco, Calif., died Oct. 30 in the Zhari district, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

November 2, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  They died Nov. 1 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.  They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

Killed were:

Spc. Jonathan M. Curtis, 24, of Belmont, Mass., and

Pfc. Andrew N. Meari, 21, of Plainfield, Ill.

November 3, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

1st Lt. James R. Zimmerman, 25, of Aroostook, Maine, died Nov. 2 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

November 5, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. 1st Class Todd M. Harris, 37, of Tucson, Ariz., died Nov. 3 in Badghis province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Spc. James C. Young, 25, of Rochester, Ill., died Nov. 3 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 863rd Engineer Battalion, Darien, Ill.

November 6, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Spc. Blake D. Whipple, 21, of Williamsville, N.Y., died Nov. 5 in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 7th Engineering Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Michael F. Paranzino, 22, of Middletown, R.I., died Nov. 5 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two Marines who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

The following Marines died Nov. 4 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan:

Lance Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson, 21, of Arvada, Colo.

Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Broehm, 22, of Flagstaff, Ariz.

Both Marines were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

This incident is currently under investigation.

November 7, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Shane M. Reifert, 23, of Cottrellville, Mich., died Nov. 6 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

November 8, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Jordan B. Emrick, 26, of Hoyleton, Ill., died Nov. 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Randy R. Braggs, 21, of Sierra Vista, Ariz., died Nov. 6 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

November 9, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  They died Nov. 7 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit with small arms fire.

Killed were:

Sgt. Aaron B. Cruttenden, 25, of Mesa, Ariz.

Spc. Dale J. Kridlo, 33, Hughestown, Pa.

They were assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Spc. Anthony Vargas, 27, of Reading, Pa., died Nov. 8 in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Spc. Andrew L. Hutchins, 20, of New Portland, Maine, died Nov. 8 at Khost province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Jason J. McCluskey, 26, of McAlester, Okla., died Nov. 4 at  Zarghun Shahr, Mohammad Agha district, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.

November 10,2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

2nd Lt. Robert M. Kelly, 29, of Tallahassee, Fla., died Nov. 9 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

November 11, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. James B. Stack, 20, of Arlington Heights, Ill., died Nov. 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

November 12, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Dakota R. Huse, 19, of Greenwood, La., died Nov. 9 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

November 13, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of an Airman who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Senior Airman Andrew S. Bubacz, 23, of Dalzell, S. C., died Nov. 12 in Nuristan, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 97th Communications Squadron, Altus Air Force Base, Okla.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Cpl. Shawn D. Fannin, 32, of Wheelersburg, Ohio, died Nov. 12 in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan in a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 404th Aviation Support Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

November 15, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Edward H. Bolen, 25, of Chittenango, N.Y., died Nov. 10 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire and an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

November 16, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died Nov. 13 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber detonated a vest bomb and struck their unit.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Juan L. Rivadeneira, 27, of Davie, Fla.

Cpl. Jacob R. Carver, 20, of Freeman, Mo.

Spc. Jacob C. Carroll, 20, of Clemmons, N.C.

They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell,

November 17, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Kevin M. Pape, 30, of Fort Wayne, Ind., died Nov. 16 in Konar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Staff Sgt. Javier O. Ortiz Rivera, 26, of Rochester, N.Y., died Nov. 16 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of five soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died Nov. 14 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked their unit with small arms fire.

Killed were:

Spc. Shane H. Ahmed, 31, of Chesterfield, Mich.

Spc. Nathan E. Lillard, 26, of Knoxville, Tenn.

Spc. Scott T. Nagorski, 27, of Greenfield, Wis.

Spc. Jesse A. Snow, 25, of Fairborn, Ohio.

Pfc. Christian M. Warriner, 19, of Mills River, N.C.

They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

November 18, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Staff Sgt. David P. Senft, 27, of Grass Valley, Calif., died Nov. 15 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident.  He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Kyle M. Holder, 18, of Conroe, Texas, died Nov. 17 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained in a non-combat incident.  He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment (Reconnaissance and Surveillance), 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Spc. Justin E. Culbreth, 26, of Colorado Springs, Colo., died Nov. 17 at Panjway district, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

November 19, 2010

Army Releases October Suicide Data

The Army released suicide data today for the month of October.  Among active-duty soldiers, there were nine potential suicides:  two have been confirmed as suicides, and seven remain under investigation.  For September, the Army reported 19 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers.  Since the release of that report, six have been confirmed as suicides, and 13 remain under investigation.

During October 2010, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 16 potential suicides.  For September, among that same group, there were 10 total suicides.  Of those, four were confirmed as suicides and six are pending determination of the manner of death.

November 22, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. Jason T. Smith, 28, of Colorado Springs, Colo., died Nov. 19 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Branch, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Marine Corps Bases Japan, Iwakuni, Japan.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation New Dawn.

Staff Sgt. Loleni W. Gandy, 36, of Pago Pago, American Samoa, died Nov. 19 in Balad, Iraq, in a non-combat related incident.  He was assigned to the 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Des Moines, Iowa.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation New Dawn.

Sgt. David J. Luff Jr., 29, of Hamilton, Ohio, died Nov. 21 in Tikrit, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Sgt. David S. Robinson, 25, of Fort Smith, Ark., died Nov. 20 in Qalat, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered in a non-combat related accident.  He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

November 24, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  They died Nov. 22 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.  They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Sean M. Flannery, 29, of Wyomissing, Pa.; and

Spc. William K. Middleton, 26, of Norfolk, Va.

November 25, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Ardenjoseph A. Buenagua, 19, of San Jose, Calif., died Nov. 24 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

November 26, 2010

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

1st Lt. William J. Donnelly IV, 27, of Picayune, Miss., died Nov. 25 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

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