“I recently went on a fact finding mission in Afghanistan with other members of Congress as part of my new role as Chairman of House Armed Services. This picture was taken on that trip with some of the wonderful children of Afghanistan.”
••• Buck McKeon traveled all that way for a photo-op, then ruined it by blinking just as his aide hit the camera shutter.
USAID has given $39 million for the reconstruction of schools in Swat but due to bureaucratic hurdles the transfer of money from centre to the province has been delayed.
••• Read: “due to corruption.” Maybe this calls for a fact-finding mission?
Third-country nationals, originating from places such as Latin America, Africa, and Asia, compose 40% of the overall DoD contractor workforce in CENTCOM AOR, totaling over 70,000 people. There is no exact number as to how many third country nationals have served as contractors worldwide…
••• Status check on America’s outsourced wars.
Food shortages in eastern Libya, the largest rebel-controlled area, have reached dire levels. Fighting has left food stocks depleted and food supply chains in shambles. Around Benghazi, food prices have reportedly risen by 50 to 75 percent.
••• What a relief, then, that “aid” is on the way
“I assume that a lot of weapons are going to find their way there (to rebels in Libya) from one means or another over the course of the next weeks,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, from Obama’s Democratic Party, told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.
••• One means…
••• Or another.
A United Nations Security Council arms embargo imposed on Libya on Friday could cost global defence manufacturers billions of dollars…
••• The real victims in this tragedy are, of course, Russian arms manufacturers…
“There seems to be this idea that if people are supporting Qaddafi, it must be mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa, because it could not be the work of Libyans,“ says Mr. Souare. “It must be these savage Africans.”
••• Rumors of sub-Saharan mercs in Libya part of a divide-and-conquer strategy?
The New Republic published an article sympathetic to Qaddafi that had been written by a prominent American intellectual paid by a firm that was being compensated by Libya to burnish the dictator’s image.
••• What? It’s a free market.
“On the issue of trade and on defence: We have some of the toughest controls anywhere in the world for selling [weapons abroad]… I don’t think that trade is wrong in every circumstance. How can we expect a small country to manufacture and make all the things it needs to defend itself?”
••• David Cameron defends the timing of his Middle Eastern arms sales tour to an Al Jazeera English interviewer on February 25.
BAE Systems hires Britain’s former envoy to Saudi Arabia: Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles played a key role in ending the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into BAE’s al-Yamamah arms deal
••• Total coincidence. He just answered the ad in the paper.
“For the very same money, Russia buys 14 tanks a year, and India 100.”
••• A Russian military prosecutor estimates that between 45 and 50 percent of the money budgeted for arms procurement “simply ended up in someone’s pocket.”
The Pentagon’s premiere research arm, Darpa, awarded a substantial contract to a company co-founded by the agency’s director and currently run by her father.
••• You call it a “conflicts of interest”. I call it “good business.”
“We constantly hear statements,” Kharoba began, “that Islam is a religion of peace, and we constantly hear of jihadists who are trying to kill as many non-Muslims as they can.” Kharoba’s course would establish for his students that one of these narratives speaks to a deep truth about Islam, and the other is a calculated lie…
Kharoba belongs to a growing profession, one that is ballooning on the spigot of federal and state dollars set aside for counterterrorism efforts since the attacks of September 11, 2001. He is a counterterrorism instructor to America’s beat cops, one of several hundred working the law enforcement training circuit. Some are employed by large security contractors; others, like Kharoba, are independent operators.
••• Read about the massive, costly, state-sponsored program of Islamophobic indoctrination for local security officers throughout the US.
The software he patented — which he claimed, among other things, could find terrorist plots hidden in broadcasts of the Arab network Al Jazeera; identify terrorists from Predator drone videos; and detect noise from hostile submarines — prompted an international false alarm that led President George W. Bush to order airliners to turn around over the Atlantic Ocean in 2003.
••• What happens when misplaced faith in the miracles of technology combines with an unlimited expense account? Things like this.
“We don’t tell the whole story” in our ads, says Randy Belote, a Northrop Grumman spokesman. “We let the reader try to determine what’s going on.”
Ordinary citizens who are baffled by Washington’s ads can take comfort in the fact that people targeted by these ads sometimes don’t understand them, either.
••• Also this: Behind the mysterious ads on the DC Metro.
Argentina seized the contents of a U.S. Air Force plane that was delivering equipment for a U.S.-led police-training course. Buenos Aires is claiming that the equipment was undeclared and thus subject to confiscation. “The United States must understand that they can’t send war materials without informing the government,” [Argentine foreign minister Héctor Timerman] told CNN.
••• Well, Argentina must understand that THESE COLORS DON’T ASK PERMISSION!
••• “Badass,” or disquieting? Depends on your outlook.
“Most of the big defense companies have been anticipating a downturn in military demand since at least the last decade,” he said. “They’re surprised that the downturn did not materialize when President Obama took office, and now they’re beginning to suspect there won’t be a downturn at all.”
Beginning in 1982, The Knights of Malta began an intensely collaborative partnership with the international aid organization AmeriCares—a charity group unique in its selective disaster relief to countries friendly to both U.S. business investment and foreign policy objectives. Literally billing itself as “The humanitarian arm of corporate America,” AmeriCares was founded and headed until 2002 by Robert Macauley: a college roommate of George H. W. Bush, a paper mill millionaire and a self-described (then self-denied) agent in the CIA’s WWII-era precursor, the OSS. Macauley was also the first non-Catholic to receive the coveted Cross of the Commander of the Order of Malta.