Tagmilitary

Majority in the U.S. Supported the Shooting of Kent State Shooters in 1970

Kent State massacre

It’s not the case that nobody sides with the National Guard at Kent State — terrible people abound — but it’s definitely true that history condemns them. We can’t reconcile the massacre of protesters, even less-than-peaceful protesters, with our idea of democracy. We do not condone it when soldiers slaughter unarmed teenagers on US soil. We ‘re not willing to be that country.

We were then.

A Gallup poll conducted after the shootings showed that 58 percent of respondents blamed the students for the massacre. Nixon’s prepared statement said that the protesters’ behavior “invite[d] tragedy” — in other words, they were asking for it. You can bet your ass that if there had been Internet comments sections in 1970, they would have been full of misspelled missives about how those hippies only got what they deserved. Since there weren’t, those people sent hate mail to the victims’ mothers instead.

xojane: For Some Reason UC David Did Make Me Give Up On Humanity

(via Alexis Madrigal)

The Military-Gang Complex

John Robb at Global Guerillas points to a report from the FBI that finds a a rise both in the number of gang members in the military and in the number of former military members in street gangs.

There are some problems with the report. For example, listing juggalos as gang members is absurd (here’s my prior writing on the subject). But if this trend is real, it could lead to some serious problems. As described by Robb:

The big worry about gangs in the US military is a repeat of what happened in Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed. When the Soviet Union collapsed economically, hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers with fresh combat experience in Afghanistan (and little to offer in terms of skills) were dumped onto the street and into the waiting arms of criminal organizations. This process quickly turned Russian economics into a shooting sport. A place where wealth and firepower became synonymous.

The US, currently running a $1.5 trillion a year deficit with the spectre of HUGE cuts in the military (reduction in force) as an absolute certainty, will dump hundreds of thousands of combat vets onto the street w/o an economy able to absorb them. This is particularly true with the US economy about to start its next contraction w/o even recovering from the last one. Guess what happens next…

Global Guerillas: US Military + Gangs

Giganticon wrote on Twitter: “In many states with strict gun laws being a vet can bypass them, probibly desirable in a gang recruit.”

Nicholas Pell mentions that an episode of Gangland covers this subject as well.

The Forgotten History of the Bonus Army

Police attack the Bonus Army

For Memorial Day, some dismal reading about the way the U.S. treats its soldiers (yes, this would actually be more appropriate for Veterans Day):

On 11 March 1932 Waters called for a march on Washington and 250-300 men from Portland joined him. They marched behind a banner reading “Portland Bonus March – On to Washington.” The veterans and their families had popular support and the support of some authorities. A Portland railroad offered the use of dung-stained cattle cars to transport the Bonus Army. The Indiana National Guard and the Pennsylvania National Guard used military vehicles to transport the Bonus Army. Toll bridge operators let the Bonus Army march silently across bridges without pay, and police officers refused to arrest Bonus Army veterans for trespassing. Thousands joined the Bonus Army as it marched towards Washington with Sergent Waters as their elected leader. Waters forbade drinking, panhandling, and ‘anti-government’ or ‘radical’ talk.

When Waters and his Bonus Army arrived in late May 1932 they were twenty thousand strong. The veterans and their families camped in buildings abandoned during the Great Depression and in giant shantytowns. Communists showed up at the shantytowns and agitated for their cause among the veterans. In reply, Bonus Army veterans seized the communists, held trials and sentenced them to fifteen lashes. More than two hundred communists were expelled from the Bonus Army camps. But supporters who were not communists showed up at the shantytown with material support. Among them were eight German soldiers, each having fought against US soldiers, each wounded twice or more in World War I, all naturalized citizens and bearing a total of eight tons of food and supplies for the Bonus Army.

On 29 June the US Government announced it would not meet the demands of the Bonus Army and that the Bonus Army had to leave by 15 July. By 5 July there was no food remaining. On 7 July congress offered $10,000 to the Bonus Army if it would simply leave Washington DC. Some did take the money and leave, but many more took the money and stayed while other veterans joined for the first time. One thousand more veterans and their families had joined the Bonus Army in Washington and more were on their way. On 17 July 1932 Congress voted down the bonus and then adjourned. President Hoover went on a vacation.

OVO: The Bonus Army

Somewhat related: Nightline on how hundreds of soldiers wounded in Iraq have ended up owing the military money. That is from 2006. The problem is ongoing. And that’s just one of many of the problems today’s veterans face.

U.S. Military Turns to NFL for Surveillance Technology

drone surveillance

Reporting from Washington — As it rapidly expands its drone program over Afghanistan, the U.S. military is turning to the technology that powers NFL broadcasts, ESPN and TV news to catalog a flood of information coming from the cameras of its fleet of unmanned aircraft.

U.S. military archives hold 24 million minutes of video collected by Predators and other remotely piloted aircraft that have become an essential tool for commanders. But the library is largely useless because analysts often have no way of knowing exactly what they have, or any way to search for information that is particularly valuable.
Advertisement

To help solve that problem, the Air Force and government spy satellite experts have begun working with industry experts to adapt the methods that enable the NFL and other broadcasters to quickly find and show replays, display on-field first-down markers and jot John Madden-style notations on the screen.

LA Times: U.S. military turns to TV for surveillance technology

Air Force Academy creates space for pagans, druids, wicans

pagan soldier

The U.S. Air Force Academy, viewed in recent years as a deplorable example of religious intolerance, is now accommodating witches, warlocks, druids, and other worshipers of “Earth-centered” religions. A stone circle has been allowed on a hill somewhere on the academy’s vast military grounds in the Colorado Springs area.

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, a pagan, worked to convince academy officials to allow the space. “When I first arrived here, Earth-centered cadets didn’t have anywhere to call home,” he said in a news release. “Now, they meet every Monday night, they get to go on retreats, and they have a stone circle.” He added that the academy hasn’t stood in the way of the idea and that the chaplain’s office has been “100 percent” supportive.

Dscriber: Air Force Academy creates space for pagans, druids, wicans

(via Religion News)

See also: Does the military have a Christian missionary agenda in Afghanistan

Does the military have a Christian missionary agenda in Afghanistan

Christopher Hitchens:

More alarming still is a book called Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, by an air-force lieutenant colonel named William McCoy, publicity for which describes the separation of church and state as a “twisted idea.” Nor is this the book’s only publicity: it comes—with its direct call for a religion-based military—with an endorsement from General David Petraeus.

More:

I found I had been sent a near-incredible video clip from the Al Jazeera network. It had been shot at Bagram Air Force Base last year, and it showed a borderline-hysterical address by one Lieutenant Colonel Gary Hensley, chief of the United States’ military chaplains in Afghanistan. He was telling his evangelical audience, all of them wearing uniforms supplied by the taxpayer, that as followers of Jesus Christ they had a collective responsibility “to be witnesses for him.” Heating up this theme, Lieutenant Colonel Hensley went on: “The Special Forces guys, they hunt men, basically. We do the same things, as Christians. We hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down. Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them in the kingdom. Right? That’s what we do, that’s our business.”

The comparison to the Special Forces would seem to suggest that the objects of this hunting and hounding are Afghans rather than Americans. But it’s difficult to be certain, and indeed I am invited to Colorado Springs partly because chaplains there have been known to employ taxpayer dollars to turn the hounds of heaven loose on their own students and fellow citizens. As the Bagram tape goes on, however, it becomes obvious that Afghans are the targets in this case. Stacks of Bibles are on display, in the Dari and Pashto tongues that are the main languages in Afghanistan. A certain Sergeant James Watt, a candidate for a military chaplaincy, is shown giving thanks for the work of his back-home church, which subscribed the dough. “I also want to praise God because my church collected some money to get Bibles for Afghanistan. They came and sent the money out,” he beamingly tells his Bible-study class. In another segment, those present show quite clearly that they understand they are in danger of violating General Order Number One of the U.S. Central Command, which explicitly prohibits “proselytizing of any religion, faith, or practice.” A gathering of chaplains, all of them fed from the public trough, is addressed by Captain Emmit Furner, a military cleric who seems half in love with his own light-footed moral dexterity. “Do we know what it means to proselytize?” he asks his audience. A voice from the audience is heard to say, “It is General Order Number One.” To this Sergeant Watt replies: “You can’t proselytize but you can give gifts.… I bought a carpet and then I gave the guy a Bible after I conducted my business.” So where’s the harm in a man who is paid by the United States government to be a Christian chaplain strolling condescendingly through the souk and handing out religious propaganda as if it were a handful of small change or backsheesh? Probably not much more damaging to the war effort, or insulting to Afghan sensibilities, than the activities of the anonymous torturers who have been found operating elsewhere on the Bagram base. But it is taking the axe to the root of the United States Constitution, never mind General Order Number One. (Neither of these seems to be in force locally: no action against the uniformed missionaries has been taken.)

Vanity Fair: In Defense of Foxhole Atheists

See also Jeff Sharlet’s coverage of evangelicals in the military

Declassified Docs Reveal Military Operative Spied on WA Peace Groups

Newly declassified documents reveal that an active member of Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance in Washington state was actually an informant for the US military. The man everyone knew as “John Jacob” was in fact John Towery, a member of the Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis. The military’s role in the spying raises questions about possibly illegal activity. The Posse Comitatus law bars the use of the armed forces for law enforcement inside the United States. The Fort Lewis military base denied our request for an interview. But in a statement to Democracy Now!, the base’s Public Affairs office publicly acknowledged for the first time that Towery is a military operative. “This could be one of the key revelations of this era,” said Eileen Clancy, who has closely tracked government spying on activist organizations.

Democracy Now: Declassified Docs Reveal Military Operative Spied on WA Peace Groups, Activist Friends Stunned

(Thanks Gabbo)

Biomass-Eating Military Robot Is a Vegetarian, Company Says

There’s an update to this story:

contrary to reports, including one that appeared on FOXNews.com, the EATR will not eat animal or human remains.

Dr. Bob Finkelstein, president of RTI and a cybernetics expert, said the EATR would be programmed to recognize specific fuel sources and avoid others.

“If it’s not on the menu, it’s not going to eat it,” Finkelstein said.

“There are certain signatures from different kinds of materials” that would distinguish vegetative biomass from other material.”

Fox News: Biomass-Eating Military Robot Is a Vegetarian, Company Says

(Thanks Theoretick)

Upcoming Military Robot Could Feed on Dead Bodies

Update: Company says the robot will not eat dead bodies.

A Maryland company under contract to the Pentagon is working on a steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find — grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies.

Robotic Technology Inc.’s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot — that’s right, “EATR” — “can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable,” reads the company’s Web site.

That “biomass” and “other organically-based energy sources” wouldn’t necessarily be limited to plant material — animal and human corpses contain plenty of energy, and they’d be plentiful in a war zone.

Fox News: Upcoming Military Robot Could Feed on Dead Bodies

(via OVO)

More Americans Joining Military as Jobs Dwindle

As the number of jobs across the nation dwindles, more Americans are joining the military, lured by a steady paycheck, benefits and training.

The last fiscal year was a banner one for the military, with all active-duty and reserve forces meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals for the first time since 2004, the year that violence in Iraq intensified drastically, Pentagon officials said.

And the trend seems to be accelerating. The Army exceeded its targets each month for October, November and December — the first quarter of the new fiscal year — bringing in 21,443 new soldiers on active duty and in the reserves. December figures were released last week.

Full Story: New York Times

(via Cryptogon)

© 2019 Technoccult

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑