That’s when you know spending is truly out of control. From the article,
In both the House and Senate versions of the legislation, defense lawmakers have inserted $74 billion toward a number of weapons programs “those that have outlived their usefulness” to the department, Panetta said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
Republican Senators John McCain, Scott Brown, and Susan Collins all support an effort by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, to expand abortion access for military women who are raped. But despite bipartisan support in the Senate, Shaheen’s proposal may not make it into the final version of the 2013 defense authorization bill—because House Republicans oppose it.
If Shaheen’s measure passes, military families will finally have the same access to abortion that other federal employees already receive. Unlike the rest of the federal government, the Department of Defense currently only provides abortion coverage if the life of the mother is at stake. Under current law, if a State Department employee is raped, her government health insurance plan will pay for an abortion if she wants one. But if an Army medic serving in Afghanistan is raped and becomes pregnant, she can’t use her military health plan to pay for an abortion. If she does decide to get an abortion, she will have to pay for it with her own money. And if she can’t prove she was raped—which is difficult before an investigation is completed—she may have to look for services off base, which can be dangerous or impossible in many parts of the world.
USA Today reporters subjected to secretive negative propaganda campaign after reporting on Pentagon PsyOps operation.
When Tom Vanden Brook and his editor Ray Locker researched a story about the astronomical sums being spent by military propaganda campaigns, one of their first stops was the Pentagon.
Published in February, their story outlines a massive propaganda effort costing U.S. taxpayers hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars a year that produced dubious returns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The investigation prompted a federal investigation into one of the “information operations” contractors that had $4 million in unpaid federal taxes and liens against them.
Maybe the team expected that, but what Vanden Brook and Locker did not expect was to be personally attacked online by a sophisticated team of Internet assailants.
Gregory Korte at USA Today reports that following their story the pair noticed websites, Wikipedia entries, and fake Twitter accounts appearing in their names publishing false information and attempting to disparage the unblemished record of them both (via The Military Times).
From the Military Times:
The activity is the work of what online reputation expert Andy Beal calls a “determined detractor.” “It’s like a machine gun approach. They’re trying to generate as much online content as they can,” he said. “The person who’s behind this, we can give them a lot of credit here and assume they’re very sophisticated about reputation attacks.”
“This is the work of somebody who knows what they’re doing. They have some experience of covering their tracks. This is probably not the first time they’ve done something like this,” said Beal, CEO of Trackur, an online reputation tracking service.
The attackers took great pains to cover their tracks, employing proxy servers and various measure to keep their identity hidden, but both journalists remain undeterred.
If they thought it would deter me from writing about this, they’re wrong,” Vanden Brook said.
And Locker agrees, “This is a clear attempt at intimidation that has failed.”
The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill, far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show.
The landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said. There are no plans, they said, to alert those families now.
The Air Force had maintained that it could not estimate how many troops might have had their remains sent to a landfill. The practice was revealed last month by The Washington Post, which was able to document a single case of a soldier whose partial remains were sent to the King George County landfill in Virginia. The new data, for the first time, show the scope of what has become an embarrassing episode for vaunted Dover Air Base, the main port of entry for America’s war dead.
The landfill disposals were never formally authorized under military policies or regulations. They also were not disclosed to senior Pentagon officials who conducted a high-level review of cremation policies at the Dover mortuary in 2008, records show.
Suicidal lesbian Marine Corps veteran seeks help, was told her depression was because of her ‘life of sin’ by nurse at Dallas VA hospital. She left determined to kill herself.
By Justin Griffith | freethoughtblogs.com
Esther Garatie is a hero to our nation, serving in the Marine Corps in war-time. She also happens to be a lesbian.
But that shouldn’t matter. Not when she checks into a Dallas-area VA hospital for treatment for severe depression – including suicidal thoughts. She wanted help, and was brave enough to actually ask for it.
She had been battling PTSD-like symptoms before she even received her Honorable Discharge. Rather than help, an evangelical Christian nurse took it upon herself to preach about Esther’s life of sin. Esther left the VA Hospital absolutely determined to kill herself because of this.
The Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, ACLU, and ACLU North Carolina, and are rallying around the Rock Beyond Belief festival. They delivered an impressive letter to Secretary of the Army, and officials at Fort Bragg yesterday, which you can read here [pdf].
They have already recovered hundreds of pages of documents relating to the evangelical Christian festival from 2010, known as Rock the Fort. Their stated goal was to convert as many Soldiers, family members, and members of the public to (their particular version of) Christianity. The festival cost nearly $100,000 in a complicated web of U.S. Government controlled funding. It was advertised in a 90 mile radius, and expected to evangelize 10,000 people.
After studying the documents and doing additional research into military rules, the three groups have determined that officials at Fort Bragg violated several Department of Defense regulations by supporting Rock the Fort.
“Supporting an event designed to increase membership in Christian churches cannot be squared with [Army] regulations, much less with the First Amendment,” observes the letter. “Furthermore, based on the Army’s own admissions, it is clear that Fort Bragg officials engaged in substantial co-sponsorship and support of Rock the Fort – support that cannot plausibly be deemed ‘incidental.’”
What pisses me off is the fact that this is even an issue when the US government isn’t supposed to be in the business of supporting religious beliefs.
Here you have our military, our fucking military backing a particular faith.
To me, this kind of shit seems awfully dangerous, and I’m not sure why who ever lets shit like this happens thinks it’s okay when we clearly have laws against it.
It’s basically saying they can do what ever the fuck they want because god is on their side.
It’s supposed to be liberty and justice for all, not liberty and justice for religious people only.