Tags Posts tagged with "Pentagon"

Pentagon

0 457
Inappropriate Picture
Hey Private, what do you have there?

A first sentence has been handed out in a widening scandal centered on Facebook page, “Marines United”. The 30,000 strong group with several active-duty marines claiming membership was apparently being used as a forum for circulating explicit pictures of female service members and other women.

The story first hit media attention back in March when a report published by investigative journalist and former Marine, Thomas Brennan, detailed the sophisticated and disturbing nature of the groups’ activities.

“What made this different was the volume of photographs and the details: names, ranks, duty stations.”

According to Brennan, the intelligence gathering methods employed here were similar to tactics at play in Afghanistan and Iraq. In other words, the group had evolved far past glorified locker room antics, and specific women were being targeted and exposed.

One such woman is former Marine Corporal, Ella Audra. Ella suspects that her pictures were leaked to the group as she began to receive messages through her social media profile a few years after leaving active duty. To Ella’s surprise, some of the messages she got even included specific details about her deployment and members she’d served with.

For their part, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service were quick to respond to the growing calls for justice, launching an investigation into the group and encouraging any victims to get in contact.

Marine Corps Representative Maj. Christian Devine had this to say,

“As a father of a young lady growing up in today’s digital information environment, I find this type of voyeurism disturbing and the subsequent justification of it to be repulsive.”

“People who do this to others, regardless of their proclaimed affiliation to military culture, are cowards. Their actions are inconsistent with the Marine Corps’ values and team building, and it impedes our collective ability to perform our mission and win.”

Further investigations in March revealed that the ring extended to a dedicated online image hosting site for military personnel known as AnonIB. Inside were rows of threads requesting “wins”, nude photos of specific female service members, often posted alongside images from their targets’ Instagram accounts with deployment details and full names also provided to aid identification.

Such threads often ran for several months with victims shutting down their social media accounts multiple times to avoid harassment, before nude photos would eventually be posted.

After posting one such image a member purporting to be an ex-boyfriend wrote,

“She knows how to end it all. If she does get in contact with me I won’t post anymore. So get it while it’s hot!”

Cadets from military academies seemed to be involved in the activities as well, one academy related thread started with the challenge,

“Bumping all 3 service academies’ threads to see who can post the best wins in the next 7 days.”

The anonymous nature of the hosting site and its user base posed several problems for investigative efforts. With the website hosted in the Bahamas, and no real names provided on the site itself, it was near impossible to identify any of the major culprits involved in the scandal. Getting the site itself shut down would also be an uphill task due to jurisdictional issues, so any images could be archived and moved elsewhere.

A culture of heroism and honor distinguishes the USMC from other branches of the military, the bonds of loyalty forged in the heat of battle are well known to those who have served. In light of this, the actions of this group seem to fly in the face of many of these values. With female integration in both combat and non-combat roles still moving forward, it remains to be seen if greater female participation can even be possible in such an atmosphere.

The dominoes have fallen quickly as the story has gained prominence. In March Marines United was finally shut down and in May the House passed the PRIVATE act, criminalizing the sharing of sexually explicit photographs.

Now the first sentence has been handed down with one marine receiving 10 days of solitary confinement, a rank reduction and a month forfeiture of salary. 22 others have received administrative action to date with a further seven receiving non-judicial punishment.

It is obvious that the establishment is treating this issue with the seriousness it merits, with more sentences seemingly following – let’s hope that the message sent to the perpetrators of these cowardly acts is clear. The only people our Marines target are those that seek to harm the interests of the United States of America.

0 129
Wacky Uniform
Where we're going we don't need camouflage!

Apparently, the Pentagon is much focused when it comes to fashion. A report released by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) highlights that the the Pentagon has flushed down $28 million over the decade, in their efforts to purchase camouflage uniforms for our Afghan soldiers present within a very tiny fraction of the worn torn country’s landscape.

In an interview with USA Today, John Sopko, the special inspector general expressed his content:

“My concern is what if the minister of defense liked purple, or liked pink?” he said.

And added, “Are we going to buy pink uniforms for soldiers and not ask questions? That’s insane. This is just simply stupid on its face. We wasted $28 million of taxpayers’ money in the name of fashion, because the defense minister thought that that pattern was pretty. So if he thought pink or chartreuse was it, would we have done that?”

In his interview with NBC News, Spoko stated that there was no point in the Pentagon spending such high sums of money purchasing uniforms “based upon camouflage purposes, especially when the soldiers are present in only two percent of a “desert country. He said, “You don’t pick a proprietary pattern for an arid desert country based upon fashion. You want to pick it based upon camouflage purposes. If you were fighting away in Germany or Maine, where you have forest, then this makes sense.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican and senior member of the Budget and Finance committees, also did not stand back to express his disappointment, “You’d think the Pentagon would have had a good handle on how to pick the right camouflage for uniforms,” he said, and that “Instead, the Defense Department gave up control of the purchase and spent an extra $28 million on the wrong pattern just because someone in Afghanistan liked it. It’s embarrassing and an affront to U.S. taxpayers. Those who wasted money on the wrong camouflage uniforms seem to have lost sight of their common sense.”

The report presented by the SIGAR, also included a statement form a veteran and camouflage consultant Timothy O’Neill, who explained that perhaps the uniform change was an important decision, as “Desert designs don’t work well in woodland areas and woodland patterns perform poorly in the desert,” he said. However, he identified that

However, the reports point out that, “The U.S. government already had rights to multiple uniform patterns that were not in use by U.S. forces, which could have been used by the (Afghan National Army) at no cost, and may have been equally effective in the Afghan environment.”

As NBC states: “The decision to go with that particular style instead of one already available to the U.S. government reportedly cost an extra $26 million to about $28 million.”

Therefore, the Pentagon could have saved taxpayers hard earned money had then not been so eager to work with private companies to cater their specific tastes in fashion.

0 130
vets

This is possibly the worst way to treat our Vets, and it is our government who is doing this. We can’t treat heroes like this.

In California, almost 10,000 of our bravest men and women who served combat tours over seas are being told to pay up.

The government made a mistake, the local recruiting offices paid to much for re-enlistment bonuses and now they want their money back.

California Guard deputy commander Matthew Beevers even admits that the government made a mistake and it is the Veterans that are hurting the most.

“At the end of the day, the soldiers ended up paying the largest price. We’d be more than happy to absolve these people of their debts. We just can’t do it. We’d be breaking the law.”

Most of the cases happened a decade ago, but the soldiers that fought for our freedom have to pay back a bonus they were promised.

Many of the Veterans were paid $15,000 to sign back up for another tour. Only $15,000!!!

It would take a lot more than $15,000 to get most Americans to just visit some of the places our Veterans fought.

If the Vets don’t pay, interest charges, the government will add wage garnishments and tax liens until they get their money.

How is this even possible? Last year, Obama recorded a record amount of taxes collected and we can’t let 10,000 of our combat Veterans keep $15,000?

Susan Haley, a former Army master sergeant and mother is heartbroken. She is paying $650 a month to the government, which is a quarter of her family’s monthly income.

She wants to know if she will get her time back?

“They’ll get their money, but I want those years back.”

The real question is, would most of these soldiers signed back up for another tour if they were not promised $15,000 to enlist?

To the government, $15,000 is not a lot of money, but to retired Veterans who have families and mortgages and college tuitions, $15,000 is a lot of money.

Some of the Veterans are also forced to pay back some of their college loans.

This is tragic. We cannot treat our military like this.

If there government didn’t have oversight on the recruitment process, then that is on the military. They need to buy one less drone, not force combat Veterans to sell their homes to pay back a bonus they were promised.

How does this story make your feel? Let us know in the comments below.

0 295
pentagon

Our elections are a disaster this year and our world is falling down around us, but guess what the Pentagon is worried about?

Sex Changes.

That’s right, during the same week that Russia is telling their people to know where the nearest fallout shelter is, the Pentagon is outlining out to handle sex change in their ranks.

The 72-page handbook called, “Transgender Service in the U.S. Military: An Implementation Handbook.”

Look where our focus is.

“The commander, informed by the recommendations of the [military medical provider], the [service central coordination cells], and others, as appropriate, will respond to the request to transition gender while ensuring readiness by minimizing impacts to the mission (including deployment, operations, training, exercise schedules, and critical skills availability), as well as to the morale and welfare and good order and discipline of the command.”

We get that we need to know how to accept all people and let each American feel comfortable if they are brave enough to defend our nation, but come on.

Russia tensions are higher than they have been since the cold war, Syria is a mess, and we are firing missiles into Yemen.

Don’t you think we have more important things to focus on right now? Let us know in the comments below.

0 514
orlando

We are learning what pushed the Orlando nightclub shooter over the edge and no wonder the White House was trying to keep it quiet.

The police negotiator that dealt with Omar Mateen in the early morning hours of June 12th, revealed why the terrorist was upset.

Statements from the officer were kept secret and only made public last week due to public pressure and lawsuits filed by local new organizations.

In the transcripts that were released, it shows that Omar Mateen was highly motivated by a drone strike that occurred in Iraq in May of this year.

Under the orders of the President the Pentagon ordered the drone strike that killed Abu Wahid.

The first reports that came out clearly stated that Mateen was a homophobe and killed 49 people because he hated gay people.

Now we are learning his real motivation, but we are left with another question.

Why would law enforcement try to hide the truth and lie about it?

Obama is killing people in the Middle East from his desk in Washington and one of the drone strikes solidified the commitment of a domestic ISIS supporter.

The drone strike killed Abu Wahib and three other terrorists. The act of vengeance from that attack killed 49 Americans in the United States.

Maybe it is time to rethink our strategy.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

0 763
Guantanamo-Bay

While President Obama works to deliver on his longtime promise to close the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba his Defense Secretary offers a jolt of reality; around half of the detainees—the world’s most dangerous terrorists—need to be locked up “indefinitely.”

So what are the commander-in-chief’s plans for the radical Islamic jihadists currently incarcerated in the top-security compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba? The all-star terrorist roster includes 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the Al-Qaeda terrorist charged with orchestrating the 2000 attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole. Where will the U.S. government take these terrorists if the president goes through with his plan, which started out as a campaign promise to restore America’s position as a global leader on human rights.

In all the years that Obama has talked of closing the Gitmo prison, he has never touched on what would happen to the terrorists held there. The president has tried emptying out the compound by releasing dozens of prisoners—many of them have rejoined terrorist causes—to foreign countries, but at least half of the remaining 116 are too dangerous to free. Obama’s own Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, confirmed that recently, saying that “some of the people who are there at Guantanamo Bay have to be detained indefinitely, they’ve just got to be locked up.” This evidently applies to many of those who have been released over the years. For instance, an al Qaeda operative (Saudi Ibrahim al-Rubaysh) released from Gitmo appears on the U.S. government’s global terrorist list and Uncle Sam is offering a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

The administration has considered relocating the captives to military facilities in the U.S., including Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas and the Navy Brig in Charleston, South Carolina. This has ignited outrage among officials in both states. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts was quick to say “not on my watch will any terrorists be placed in Kansas.” Roberts also co-authored a mainstream newspaper op-ed with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott vehemently rejecting the idea. “The notion that Kansas, South Carolina or any other state would be an ideal home for terrorist detainees is preposterous,” the piece reads. “Transferring these prisoners to the mainland puts the well-being of states in danger, posing security risks to the public and wasting taxpayer dollars. The detention facilities at Guantanamo are doing a fantastic job of holding these terrorists.”

The governors of both states—Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Sam Brownback of Kansas—have also vowed to take any action in their power to stop the transfers, including suing the federal government. A South Carolina newspaper editorial points out that the state is already taking a hit for the team by serving as the “de facto permanent home” to high-level nuclear waste associated with the nation’s weapons programs. “Fearing South Carolina is again about to become the home that no other state wants to be has leaders rightly standing up against federal plans to transfer terrorist detainees from the U.S. prison facility at Guantanamo Bay near Cuba to military prisons in South Carolina and Kansas,” the editorial states. “This goes beyond the states’ collective call of duty as there is no agreement on a plan for what to do with the detainees in the long term.”

Judicial Watch has covered Guantanamo extensively and has repeatedly traveled there to monitor the U.S. military commission proceedings against the world’s most dangerous terrorists. JW has witnessed a deep commitment to justice by military and civilian lawyers defending the captives and has reported on many of the perks that the incarcerated terrorists receive from American taxpayers. For instance, they get laptops and computer lessons, “Islamically permissible” halal meals and better medical care than U.S. veterans. Last year the Obama administration let Gitmo inmates operate a “Business School Behind Bars” with an accused Al Qaeda financier as the self-appointed “dean of students.” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was also permitted to dispatch propaganda from his Guantanamo jail cell (undoubtedly aiding and abetting more terrorism) and a fighter in Osama bin Laden’s 55th Arab Brigade was allowed to published a sob letter in an international media outlet describing the “humiliating and brutal treatments” he suffers at the U.S. military prison.

0 1573
putin-declares-cyber-war

In a new attack from an old foe, NBC reported Thursday that Russians hacked Pentagon computers under the auspices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. US officials said that a “sophisticated cyber intrusion” occurred on July 25th, compromising 4,000 military and civilian personnel.

While the officials couldn’t specifically implicate the Russian government, the attack came from an automated system that gathered mass quantities of data before re-distributing it to thousands of accounts online within a minute. Given the sophistication of the breach, the US officials indicated “it was clearly the work of a state actor,” but did not rule out the possibility of individual actors with high-level access as opposed to direct state action.

Apparently no classified information was stolen. In order to maintain the security of that information, the Pentagon shut down the entire compromised e-mail system immediately. The system has yet to go online.

The Daily Beast reported that the attacks were of a variety known as “spear phishing,” in which hackers use legitimate accounts to send out legitimate-seeming e-mails to gather information from other accounts. Officials say the attacks were specifically targeting the Joint Staff.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in June that Russia was also behind a Department of Defense cyber intrusion in April, stating “(The hackers) discovered an old vulnerability in one of our legacy networks that hadn’t been patched. While it’s worrisome they achieved some unauthorized access to our unclassified network, we quickly identified the compromise, and had a crack team of incident responders hunting the intruders within 24 hours.”

DoD also blamed Russian hackers for a March cyber-attack. After that intrusion, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “the Russian cyber-threat is more severe than we had previously assessed.” According to officials, Russians also hacked into White House files to the extent that they gleaned the president’s personal schedule.

Other recent hacks were frequently blamed on the Chinese. The major data breach, as we reported, was the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack in December. Millions of federal employees – in fact, every single one – had their personal data stolen in the largest data theft in US government history. Officials blamed Chinese hackers, but, as now with the Russian hacks, stopped short of blaming the Chinese government directly.

In the wake of all of these incidents, government officials have opined that the Obama administration needs to tighten cybersecurity. Still, the hacks just keep coming and the administration keeps noting the need for more security.

It shouldn’t be too surprising – an administration that allows its Secretary of State to carry out official state business on a personal server instead of a more secure state server cannot be trusted to take security seriously.

This problem stretches back to the previous Democratic administration as well, when Bill Clinton was known to lose track of things as important as the president’s nuclear codes, and phone conversations were regularly recorded by foreign governments.

As time goes on, and the hacks pile up, it is becoming increasingly clear that the administration is not concerned enough about cybersecurity to keep America safe. Hopefully the next administration will be.

 

 

Social Media