Posts tagged as: war

conditions

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

 

General Butt Naked confesses to nude killings

‘A former warlord known as General Butt Naked has confessed to Liberia’s post-conflict reconciliation commission that his men killed 20,000 people during the country’s civil war.

The commander earned his nom de guerre for charging into battle dressed only in his boots

The feared rebel commander earned his nom de guerre for charging into battle dressed only in his boots, at the head of a gang of fighters known as the Butt Naked Battalion.

The nude gunmen became known for terrorising villagers and sacrificing children whose hearts they would eat before going into battle during Liberia’s 14-year on-off civil war which ended in 2003. [..]

Mr Blayee returned from exile in Ghana, where he is now an evangelical Christian preacher, to face Liberia’s truth and reconciliation commission last week.’


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

 

Report reveals Vietnam War hoaxes, faked attacks

‘North Vietnamese made hoax calls to get the US military to bomb its own units during the Vietnam War, according to declassified information that also confirmed US officials faked an incident to escalate the war. [..]

During the war, North Vietnamese intelligence units sometimes succeeded in penetrating US communications systems, and they could monitor American message traffic from within, according to the report “Spartans in Darkness.”

On several occasions “the communists were able, by communicating on Allied radio nets, to call in Allied artillery or air strikes on American units,” it said. [..]

But he said that probably the “most historically significant feature” of the declassified report was the retelling of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. [..]

The author of the report “demonstrates that not only is it not true, as (then US) secretary of defense Robert McNamara told Congress, that the evidence of an attack was ‘unimpeachable,’ but that to the contrary, a review of the classified signals intelligence proves that ‘no attack happened that night,'” FAS said in a statement.’


Friday, January 11, 2008

 

Camera Shy? Pentagon Builds a Portable Lens-Destroying Laser

‘The Pentagon’s newest laser weapon has a peak power of more than a million megawatts, so intense that it warps the air around it. When the beam strikes the target it vaporises the impact site, producing a plasma fireball and a highly destructive shockwave.

The end result: a tiny crater barely visible to the naked eye.

That’s because the so-called “laser crazer” is designed not to burn up missiles or tanks, but to scratch lenses. It’s a portable nonlethal weapon designed to take out enemy optical systems at long range — ruining an adversary’s night-vision gear, sniper scopes and binoculars in a fraction of a second — by sandblasting their lenses with ultrashort pulses of laser light.’


Thursday, January 10, 2008

 

the forgotten sound mirrors

‘from 1915 onwards these huge eerie concrete structures started popping up along the uk coast, all built with one purpose: to provide the military with an early warning system in relation to incoming aircraft. their construction was pretty much limited to the uk and arrived just before radar technology as we know it became widespread.’


information

Iraqi soldier ‘killed US troops’

‘An Iraqi soldier has opened fire on American troops, killing two and wounding three others, US and Iraqi officials have said.

The incident happened during a joint patrol in the north on 26 December, but fuller details have only now emerged.

An Iraqi general said the patrol had come under fire from gunmen in the city of Mosul, but his soldier had “abused” the situation and shot the Americans. [..]

He said the Iraqi serviceman had been “an insurgent infiltrator”. He was arrested and is being questioned.’


mail

Laser Loaded Missile Defense Plane

(3.8meg Flash video)

see it here »


privacy

Pope’s exorcist squads will wage war on Satan

‘The Pope has ordered his bishops to set up exorcism squads to tackle the rise of Satanism.

Vatican chiefs are concerned at what they see as an increased interest in the occult.

They have introduced courses for priests to combat what they call the most extreme form of “Godlessness.”

Each bishop is to be told to have in his diocese a number of priests trained to fight demonic possession.

The initiative was revealed by 82-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican “exorcistinchief,” to the online Catholic news service Petrus.

“Thanks be to God, we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on,” he said.’


podcast

Sunday, January 6, 2008

 

Microwave Popcorn, Navy Style

‘I used to be in the Navy, stationed on an Aegis-class guided-missile cruiser. One day at sea, I’m taking a break on the flight deck (which was just behind the rear Aegis radar array), and I noticed all these dead birds all over the flight deck. It didn’t take me too long to realize that these birds had flown in front of the radar and been microwaved to death.

This gave me an idea. I figured if it works on birds, it should work on popcorn. A microwave’s a microwave, right? So, the next time we pull into port, I go to get some microwave popcorn.’


research

Thursday, December 20, 2007

 

Armed forces ‘superbug’ menaces UK

‘The UK, the United States and Canada are facing growing fears over a drug-resistant ‘superbug’ being brought back by wounded soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq that threatens to contaminate civilian hospitals.

The intensified concern comes amid sharply rising infection rates in the US and fresh worries in Canada that the bug could be imported into its civilian healthcare system. Military health officials who have studied the bacterium in Afghanistan believe the infection of wounded British soldiers in field hospitals there is probably inevitable. [..]

The bacterium, Acinetobacter baumannii, first emerged as a ‘mystery infection’ afflicting US service personnel returning from the war in Iraq in 2003-04. It was described by a scientific journal specialising in hospital epidemiology as the ‘most important emerging hospital-acquired pathogen worldwide’. The journal added that it was potentially a ‘major threat to public health’ due to its ability to mutate rapidly and develop a resistance to all known drugs.’


international

Monday, November 26, 2007

 

MacGyver in Mesopotamia

‘Put your butt to use: Cigarette butts are a perfect fit for gun barrels and can help keep out dirt, sand or water. And they shoot out easily when the weapon is fired. For non-smokers, there are other options: in Vietnam, soldiers rubber-banded condoms around the tops of their guns.’


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

 

In Basra, violence is a tenth of what it was before British pullback, general says

‘Attacks against British and Iraqi forces have plunged by 90 percent in southern Iraq since London withdrew its troops from the main city of Basra, the commander of British forces there said Thursday.

The presence of British forces in downtown Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, was the single largest instigator of violence, Maj. Gen. Graham Binns told reporters Thursday on a visit to Baghdad’s Green Zone.

“We thought, ‘If 90 percent of the violence is directed at us, what would happen if we stepped back?'” Binns said.

Britain’s 5,000 troops moved out of a former Saddam Hussein palace at Basra’s heart in early September, setting up a garrison at an airport on the city’s edge. Since that pullback, there’s been a “remarkable and dramatic drop in attacks,” Binns said.

“The motivation for attacking us was gone, because we’re no longer patrolling the streets,” he said.’


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

 

‘Stealth’ Antenna Made Of Gas, Impervious To Jamming

‘A new antenna made of plasma (a gas heated to the point that the electrons are ripped free of atoms and molecules) works just like conventional metal antennas, except that it vanishes when you turn it off.

That’s important on the battlefield and in other applications where antennas need to be kept out of sight. In addition, unlike metal antennas, the electrical characteristics of a plasma antenna can be rapidly adjusted to counteract signal jamming attempts.

Plasma antennas behave much like solid metal antennas because electrons flow freely in the hot gas, just as they do in metal conductors. But plasmas only exist when the gasses they’re made of are very hot. The moment the energy source heating a plasma antenna is shut off, the plasma turns back into a plain old (non conductive) gas. As far as radio signals and antenna detectors go, the antenna effectively disappears when the plasma cools down.’


conditions

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

 

Jury Awards Father Nearly $11 Million in Funeral Protesters Case

‘The father of a fallen Marine was awarded nearly $11 million Wednesday in damages by a jury that found leaders of a fundamentalist church had invaded the family’s privacy and inflicted emotional distress when they picketed the Marine’s funeral.

The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned later in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress to the Marine’s father, Albert Snyder of York, Pa.

Snyder sued the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified monetary damages after members staged a demonstration at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq. [..]

Church members routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as “Thank God for dead soldiers” and “God hates fags.”‘


Strange Tanks

‘When the military decides to get weird, it’s gets REALLY weird

It all started in the Fourteenth Century. We have a record of a “pre-tank” machine, called “Fighting Unicorn”.’

Also, Strange Tanks, Part 2.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

 

Scent of a Führer

‘Guests at the Berghof, Hitler’s private chalet in the Bavarian Alps, must have endured some unpleasant odors in the otherwise healthful mountain air.

It may sound like a Woody Allen scenario, but medical historians are unanimous that Adolf was the victim of uncontrollable flatulence. Spasmodic stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea, possibly the result of nervous tension, had been Hitler’s curse since childhood and only grew more severe as he aged. As a stressed-out dictator, the agonizing digestive attacks would occur after most meals: Albert Speer recalled that the Führer, ashen-faced, would leap up from the dinner table and disappear to his room.

[..] Strangely, Hitler was unfazed by the fact that this high-fiber diet was having the opposite effect on his digestion than what he had intended: His private physician, Dr. Theo Morell, recorded in his diary that after Hitler downed a typical vegetable platter, “constipation and colossal flatulence occurred on a scale I have seldom encountered before.”‘


Monday, October 29, 2007

 

The 213 Things Skippy Is No Longer Allowed To Do In The U.S. Army

‘7. Not allowed to add “In accordance with the prophesy” to the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me. [..]

23. Must never ask anyone who outranks me if they’ve been smoking crack. [..]

29. The Irish MPs are not after “Me frosted lucky charms”. [..]

33. Not allowed to chew gum at formation, unless I brought enough for everybody.

34. (Next day) Not allowed to chew gum at formation even if I *did* bring enough for everybody. [..]

45. I am not allowed to “Go to Bragg boulevard and shake daddy’s little money maker for twenties stuffed into my undies”. [..]

60. “The Giant Space Ants” are not at the top of my chain of command. [..]

77. The MP checkpoint is not an Imperial Stormtrooper roadblock, so I should not tell them “You don’t need to see my identification, these are not the droids you are looking for.” [..]

79. I am neither the king nor queen of cheese. [..]’


information

Sunday, October 28, 2007

 

Rumsfeld hit with torture lawsuit while visiting Paris

‘Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s jaunt to France was interrupted today by an unscheduled itinerary item — he was slapped with a criminal complaint charging him with torture.

Rumsfeld, in Paris for a discussion sponsored by the magazine Foreign Policy, was tracked down by representatives of a coalition of international human rights groups, who informed the architect of the US invasion of Iraq that they had submitted a torture suit against him in French court.

The filed documents allege that during his tenure, the former defense secretary “ordered and authorized” torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military’s detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.’


mail

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

 

Blackwater Is Soaked

‘The colonel was furious. “Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers.” He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. ArmyHumvee on a street in Baghdad’s Green Zone. The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company. Asked to address this and other allegations in this story, Blackwater spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, “This type of gossip has led to many soap operas in the press.”‘


privacy

Sunday, October 21, 2007

 

Did software kill soldiers?

‘The National Defence Force is probing whether a software glitch led to an antiaircraft cannon malfunction that killed nine soldiers and seriously injured 14 others during a shooting exercise on Friday. [..]

Mangope told The Star that it “is assumed that there was a mechanical problem, which led to the accident. The gun, which was fully loaded, did not fire as it normally should have,” he said. “It appears as though the gun, which is computerised, jammed before there was some sort of explosion, and then it opened fire uncontrollably, killing and injuring the soldiers.” [..]

During the shooting trials at Armscor’s Alkantpan shooting range, “I personally saw a gun go out of control several times,” Young says. “They made a temporary rig consisting of two steel poles on each side of the weapon, with a rope in between to keep the weapon from swinging. The weapon eventually knocked the polls down.”‘


podcast

Monday, October 1, 2007

 

Neocons seek to justify action against Teheran

‘American diplomats have been ordered to compile a dossier detailing Iran’s violations of international law that some fear could be used to justify military strikes against the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme.

Members of the US secretariat in the United Nations were asked earlier this month to begin “searching for things that Iran has done wrong”, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Some US diplomats believe the exercise — reminiscent of attempts by vice-president Dick Cheney and the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld to build the case against Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war — will boost calls for military action by neo-conservatives inside and outside the administration.’


research

U Sank My Carrier!

‘It all comes out of the “Millenium Challenge ’02” war games we staged in the Persian Gulf this summer. The big scandal was that the Opposing Force Commander, Gen. Paul van Ripen, quit mid-game because the games were rigged for the US forces to win. The scenario was a US invasion of an unnamed Persian Gulf country (either Iraq or Iran). The US was testing a new hi-tech joint force doctrine, so naturally van Riper used every lo-tech trick he could think of to mess things up. When the Americans jammed his CCC network , he sent messages by motorbike.

The truth is that van Ripen did something so important that I still can’t believe the mainstream press hasn’t made anything of it. With nothing more than a few “small boats and aircraft,” van Ripen managed to sink most of the US fleet in the Persian Gulf.

What this means is as simple and plain as a skull: every US Navy battle group, every one of those big fancy aircraft carriers we love, won’t last one single day in combat against a serious enemy.’


international

Saddam asked Bush for $1bn to go into exile

‘Saddam Hussein offered to step down and go into exile one month before the invasion of Iraq, it was claimed last night.

Fearing defeat, Saddam was prepared to go peacefully in return for £500million ($1billion).

The extraordinary offer was revealed yesterday in a transcript of talks in February 2003 between George Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the President’s Texas ranch.

The White House refused to comment on the report last night.

But, if verified, it is certain to raise questions in Washington and London over whether the costly four-year war could have been averted.

Only yesterday, the Bush administration asked Congress for another £100billion to finance the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.’


Wasp Nest Disrupted By Explosion

‘Some soldiers in Afghanistan blow up a road block and inadvertently arouse an angry wasp nest.’

(2.9meg Flash video)

see it here »


Friday, September 28, 2007

 

Tom Cruise furious with gassy crew member

‘Tom Cruise was left furious after a crew member on his latest film set passed wind during a minute’s silence.

The Hollywood actor – who is currently shooting World War II drama Valkyrie in Berlin – had paused filming to honor the anti-Nazi heroes portrayed in the movie when one employee decided to use the tribute to break wind.

Fellow star Christian Berkel – who plays anti-Hitler plotter Albrecht Mertz von Quirbheim – said, “The film’s director Bryan Singer, the screenplay writer Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise asked us all to observe a moment’s silence shortly before we started filming.”

A source on the set told Britain’s Daily Star newspaper, “Fortunately the mystery gassy man didn’t completely ruin the touching gesture. [..]

The silence was filmed and now Cruise and the producers will go through the footage to identify the culprit, who is likely to be fired.’


conditions

Thursday, September 27, 2007

 

Could Docs Save Man with Bomb in Body?

‘The RPG that had plowed into Moss’ lower abdomen stretched from one hip to the other. If the RPG went off, it would kill everyone within 30 feet of him. Yet Angell stayed close, bandaging his wounds and stabilizing the weapon so that movement wouldn’t cause it to explode.

Moss was still fully conscious, so Angell ordered him to not look down at the injury. He didn’t want Moss to panic.

“I’m gonna do everything I can,” Angell said to Moss. “You keep fighting with me and I’ll keep fighting with you.” [..]

Reports of injuries had been radioed to the medical evacuation helicopter (MEDEVAC) base in Salerno, Afghanistan — minus one crucial piece of information.

“We didn’t tell them that, you know, Moss had live ordnance in him,” Mariani said, “because there was that possibility that, you know, they might not want to transport him with live ordnance in him.”‘


U.S. Aims To Lure Insurgents With ‘Bait’

‘A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of “bait,” such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.

The classified program was described in investigative documents related to recently filed murder charges against three snipers who are accused of planting evidence on Iraqis they killed.

“Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy,” Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, said in a sworn statement. “Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. Forces.”‘


Monday, September 24, 2007

 

Building the BAM

‘The Soviet engineers gazed into the abandoned tunnel with dismay. It was 1974 and work was scheduled to resume on the construction of the Baikal-Amur Magistral (BAM), a railway line in north-eastern Siberia. The Dusse-Alin Tunnel had been completed in an earlier phase of the undertaking, as evidenced by the inscription “1947-1950” over the entrance and the busts of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin that earlier workers had hewn out of the nearby rock. But the harsh climate and intervening years had not been kind to the permafrost-piercing passage. Peering into the gaping hole, the worried workers could see something glinting inside. The BAM project, perhaps the greatest civil engineering endeavour the world has ever seen, had encountered yet another problem.’


Thursday, September 20, 2007

 

Pentagon Sued Over Mandatory Christianity

‘A military watchdog organization filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and a US Army major, on behalf of an Army soldier stationed in Iraq. The suit charges the Pentagon with widespread constitutional violations by allegedly trying to force the soldier to embrace evangelical Christianity and then retaliating against him when he refused. [..]

“Immediately after plaintiff made it known he would decline to join hands and pray, he was confronted, in the presence of other military personnel, by the senior ranking … staff sergeant who asked plaintiff why he did not want to pray, whereupon plaintiff explained because he is an atheist,” says the lawsuit, a copy of which was provided to Truthout. “The staff sergeant asked plaintiff what an atheist is and plaintiff responded it meant that he (plaintiff) did not believe in God. This response caused the staff sergeant to tell plaintiff that he would have to sit elsewhere for the Thanksgiving dinner. Nonetheless, plaintiff sat at the table in silence and finished his meal.”‘


information

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

 

Iraq battle was self-defense, security firm says

‘Iraqi officials Monday condemned the weekend killings of eight civilians during a Baghdad street battle involving American security contractors and said they would shut down Blackwater, the company involved.

Blackwater said its employees acted in self-defense. The U.S. State Department said it plans to investigate what it calls a “terrible incident.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to express regret for the weekend killings, both governments said. [..]

An Interior Ministry spokesman, Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf, said, “We have revoked Blackwater’s license to operate in Iraq. As of now they are not allowed to operate anywhere in the Republic of Iraq. The investigation is ongoing, and all those responsible for Sunday’s killing will be referred to Iraqi justice.”‘


mail

Australia navy in breast op row

‘Australia’s opposition Labor Party has questioned the need for female sailors to be given breast enlargements paid for with public money.

An armed forces spokesman defended the operations, saying they were carried out for psychological reasons, not to make sailors “look sexy”.

Brigadier Andrew Nikolic said the “holistic needs” of service personnel were considered under defence policy.

But he said breast augmentations were not routinely funded by the military.’


privacy