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PARACHINAR, Pakistan – Pakistan blocked a vital supply route for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan on Thursday in apparent retaliation for an alleged cross-border helicopter strike by the coalition that killed three Pakistani frontier soldiers.
The blockade appeared to be a major escalation in tensions between Pakistan and the United States.
A permanent stoppage of supply trucks would place massive strains on the relationship between the two countries and hurt the Afghan war effort. Even a short halt is a reminder of the leverage Pakistan has over the United States at a crucial time in the 9-year-old war.
Pakistan US drone aircraft have killed seven suspected militants in two missile strikes in north-western Pakistan, intelligence officials say. A house and then a vehicle were hit in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan near the Afghan border, they said. Saturday saw at least four militants reported killed in a similar attack in the [...]
Why are the Military Industrial Complex & Fox News funding the Ground Zero Mosque?
Corporal, 22, Tells How His ‘Crazy’ Sergeant Allegedly Murdered For Kicks, Collected Body Parts By MATTHEW COLE and BRIAN ROSS Sept. 27, 2010— Dressed in a t-shirt and Army shorts, a 22-year-old corporal from Wasilla, Alaska casually describes on a video tape made by military investigators how his unit’s “crazy” sergeant randomly chose three unarmed, [...]
In a few weeks, Gen. David Petraeus and the Bush administration will report to Congress on the progress of the U.S. military’s troop surge in Iraq.
But some of the war’s winners are already clear: military contractors who supply everything from bodyguards to bombs, clean socks to ready-to-eat meals. “For the companies involved, this has been a real gravy train,” says William Hartung, who tracks defense spending for the New America Foundation.
In 1962, the historian Barbara Tuchman published a book about the start of World War I and called it The Guns of August. It went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. She was, of course, looking back at events that had occurred almost 50 years earlier and had at her disposal documents and information not available to participants. They were acting, as Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put it, in the fog of war.
So where are we this August of 2010, with guns blazing in one war in Afghanistan even as we try to extricate ourselves from another in Iraq? Where are we, as we impose sanctions on Iran and North Korea (and threaten worse), while sending our latest wonder weapons, pilotless drones armed with bombs and missiles, into Pakistan’s tribal borderlands, Yemen, and who knows where else, tasked with endless “targeted killings” which, in blunter times, used to be called assassinations? Where exactly are we, as we continue to garrison much of the globe even as our country finds itself incapable of paying for basic services?
U.S. Secretary Robert Gates has stated that WikiLeaks has “moral culpability” for potentially deadly repercussions in Afghanistan and presumably Iraq. Gates said, “The Taliban can glean a lot about U.S. tactics and sources from the documents.”
I’m delighted that Gates has brought up the topic of morality. He, son of the Midwest, an Eagle Scout, a trusted CIA operative, and … oops. I should have stopped at Boy Scout.
We easily recognize corruption and immorality in our elected officials – we lap up stories of seat haggling by glossy-haired pols in Chicago, we thrill at the sexcapades of prosecutors and presidents. We marvel at the sheer criminality of Congressional members and their staffs, even as we shudder fearfully at its mighty collective lawlessness.
When I broke into news reporting during the 1950s, the advice from veteran journalists was: “Kid, if a story is important, stay with it, even if few other reporters do.” Since news of our pilotless killer drones hurling more Hellfire missiles abroad has largely vanished from our press, here is more evidence of President Obama’s fixation on this dark side of our war on terrorism.
An impressive exception to the inattention to Obama’s favorite weapon is investigative reporter Adam Entous of Reuters. In “How the White House learned to love the drone” (May 18), he quotes two administration officials (who, of course, refused to be named) saying that killing wanted terrorists is simply “easier than capturing them.”
The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has confirmed the worst fears of its creator President Harry Truman that it might degenerate into “an American Gestapo.” It has been just that for so long it is beyond redemption. It represents 60 years of failure and fascism utterly at odds with the spirit of a democracy and needs to be closed, permanently.
Over the years “the Agency” as it is known, has given U.S. presidents so much wrong information on so many critical issues, broken so many laws, subverted so many elections, overthrown so many governments, funded so many dictators, and killed and tortured so many innocent human beings that the pages of its official history could be written in blood, not ink. People the world over regard it as infamous, and that evaluation, sadly for the reputation of America, is largely accurate. Besides, since President Obama has half a dozen other major intelligence agencies to rely on for guidance, why does he need the CIA? In one swoop he could lop an estimated 27,000 employees off the Federal payroll, save taxpayers umpteen billions, and wipe the CIA stain from the American flag.