PATH: BS | Government | Military | Support Our Troops

A Soldier's Last Words

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[Activists]
Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.

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Anybody's Son Will Do

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[Psychology]
In 1983, the National Film Board of Canada produced a 57-minute film, "Anybody's Son Will Do". Arguably the best documentary on military recruitment ever made, and tailored for public television, it scared the hell out of the U.S. military machine, which has done its best to "disappear" it. For years it has been nearly impossible to find a copy, until now.

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Racism As A Tool Of The American Military

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Mike Prysner describes a mission he took part in which his unit forced Iraqis out of half a dozen homes, with no compensation, so the US military could use them. "One family in particular, a woman with two small girls, very elderly man, and two middle-aged men--we dragged them from their houses and threw them onto the street, and arrested the men because they refused to leave." Since he left, he has been plagued by guilt, "anytime I see a mother with her children, like the one who cried hysterically and screamed that we were worse than Saddam as we forced her from her home--anytime I see a young girl like the one I grabbed by the arm and dragged into the street." Prysner also describes the physical abuse of a wounded prisoner, with a sandbag over his head and his hands tied behind his back. "We were told we were fighting terrorists; the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism is this occupation."

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A Pulitzer Winner You're Not Going To See On Cable

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[Pubic Relations]
The Pulitzer's came out this week but there's one winner who's story (or name, even) you probably haven't heard of. His name is David Barstow and he writes for a little newspaper called the... I have it right here, one second- New York Times', maybe you've heard of it. But you could be forgiven for not having heard of him thanks to every cable news network in America.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2009-04-28 09:26:46 | Comment on this Article

Before You Enlist: A Short Film About Recruitment Realities

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[Activists]
Before You Enlist! provides a rational voice to counter the seductive and often deceptive recruiting practices of the U.S. military. The message is not "don't enlist" but rather to provide young people and their families a more complete picture of the life-altering consequences of joining the military especially in wartime.

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Olbermann: Bush Gives Up Golf To Respect Soldiers' Sacrifice

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Keith Olbermann goes off on a rant addressing George W. Bush's attempt to empathize with fallen soldiers fighting in Iraq.... by giving up golf. Or has he?

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"Pentagon Pundits" Scandal Continues To Loom

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In case you haven't heard, another big scandal for the administration involves so-called, "Pentagon Pundits" -- supposedly "retired" military officers that appear on network news to talk about "the war in Iraq" and how good its going. Well, it turns out these "retired pundits" were on the government payroll...

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Real Life "Private Ryan" Screwed By Military

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Forced to leave the combat zone after his two brothers died in the Iraq war, Army Spc. Jason Hubbard faced another battle once he returned home: The military cut off his family's health care, stopped his G.I. educational subsidies and wanted him to repay his sign-up bonus.

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Groups Calling For Condoleezza Rice's Resignation

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[Beating Dead Horses]
Thanks to a new report from ABC News, we now know that Condoleezza Rice led White House meetings authorizing torture that were so detailed, "the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed."

Several groups, including Brave New Films, True Majority, USAction, and Democracy for America have launched a campaign to START calling out our leaders by focusing on Condoleezza Rice.

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US Calls Bombing Run That Kills 500 Civillians "Success"

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US forces boasted of successfully completion of the aerial bombing "blitz", which flattened the Baghdad suburb of Arab Jabour, as Iraqis mourned more than 500 civilians who died when 114,500 pounds of bombs rained on their homes.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2009-11-03 08:02:38 | Comment on this Article

Soldier Comments On Political Battle Over Iraq

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While most of the Republican party is towing the same "stay the course line", Ron Paul is continuing to argue for immediate withdrawal. In a recent debate Huckabee said we have to stay in Iraq "to preserve our honor", Ron Paul disagreed. Here's what one soldier who was deployed to Iraq has to say about it.

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Bill Clinton Reacts To GOP Moveon Condemnation: Bait And Switch

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In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, President Bill Clinton said there was something "Completely disingenuous about the feigned outrage"? from conservatives over the MoveOn ad.

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Senate Wastes Time/Money Slapping Wrist of Moveon.org

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[Activists]
Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death EstimatorHaving addressed all the nation's other issues, Congress now has time to waste passing meaningless resolutions saying they don't like stuff, such as activist group Moveon.org's recent ad calling Bush administration war spokesman, David Petraeus, a sell-out for not telling the truth about the surge's "progress."

In a classic case of Attack the messenger, ignore the message, conservative groups are going after Moveon.org, the New York Times and everybody in between, meanwhile the war rages on and the truth is lost in between the latest report on OJ, and those who disgree being called unpatriotic and fascist.

The Senate just told you to sit down and be quiet! What are you going to do about it?

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Military Recruitment Facts, Myths And Outright Lies

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According to a new book called, "Army of None", there are plenty of reasons to be very suspicious about what a military recruiter tells you about the benefits and details of service in the armed forces...

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A. Whitney Brown Supports Our Troops

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[Humor]
We've all heard the phrase, "Support Our Troops" but I think ex-Saturday Night Live player, A. Whitney Brown best describes what it all means...

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Head Of Military Central Command At Odds With Gen. Petraeus

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[Liars]
CENTCOM Commander Gen. John Abizaid apparently is no friend of his cohort David Petreus, going so far as to say, Petraeus is "an ass-kissing little chickenshit."

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"Iraq Veterans Against The War" Speak Out

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[Activists]
As more and more American soldiers are "stop-lossed" into continuing to serve, and more die, and more foreigners attack the US, veterans of the service are standing up and speaking out about what they think is going on. We've compiled a few interesting videos worth watching.

"If anybody does actually bring a dirty bomb into the United States, it's probably going to be the kid whose toy box we dumped out after we shot up his house."

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US Army 1943 Guide To Iraq

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In 1943, The US Army published a guide to Iraq to help soldiers during World War II.
You have been ordered to Iraq (i - RAHK) as part of the world-wide offensive to beat Hitler.

You will enter Iraq both as a soldier and as an individual, because on our side a man can be both a soldier and an individual. That is our strength—if we are smart enough to use it. It can be our weakness if we aren't. As a soldier your duties are laid out for you. As an individual, it is what you do on your own that counts—and it may count for a lot more than you think.

American success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis (as the people are called) like American soldiers or not. It may not be quite that simple. But then again it could...

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Whoops! US Army Loses 190,000 Machine Guns In Iraq

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The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.

Ya think?

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US Troops Leave Wounded Aussie To Die In Iraq

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[Mean People]
An Australian private security operator was left for dead by American forces after he was seriously wounded during an ambush in southern Iraq.

The US refused to provide a helicopter to evacuate the wounded man after being told he was Australian, News Limited reports.

The Queensland man, who suffered severe leg and abdominal injuries, was delivered to Basra air base by a British road convoy more than seven hours after the attack.

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U.S. Troops Support Politicians Who Want To End Iraq Occupation

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Federal Election Commission reports for the most recent quarter of 2007 show that the vast majority of active-duty American troops apparently "hate America" and "hate themselves" because they overwhelmingly donated money to the political campaigns of those running on an anti-war platform.

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At Least OUR Combatants Can Still Use The Courts- To Sue US

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The Army Reserves--an institution where, according to their advertisements on tv, you can wear a cool beret while flying in a helicopter and learning about computers. Signing up, however, means your "part-time" service commitment to our armed forces can get full-time in a hurry. Enter Sgt. Erik Botta, who is about to get his fifth all-expense-paid vacation in the Middle East.

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Walter Reed Lauches "Surge" Of Mail Carriers

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Turns out the trouble at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the focus of a firestorm of criticism over poor treatment of wounded war veterans, reached into the mailroom.

The Army said Friday that it has opened an investigation into the recent discovery of 4,500 letters and parcels — some dating to May 2006 — at Walter Reed that were never delivered to soldiers.

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US Government Now Arming Iraqi Insurgency

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Some days you ask yourself if you're living in bizzaro land... Today's news is that to help stabilize Iraq, the military has now begun giving weapons to the insurgent militia -- the Sunnis who have been blowing up U.S. troops, on the premise they will use these weapons to fight Al-Qaeda and not blow up Americans. Ok, that sounds like a good idea... right?

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-07-09 06:31:36 | Comment on this Article

Fox News: Pay No Attention To That War

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[News Media]
On a winter day when bomb blasts at an Iraqi university killed dozens and the United Nations estimated that 34,000 civilians in Iraq had died in 2006, MSNBC spent nearly nine minutes on the stories during the 1 p.m. hour. A Cable News Network correspondent in Iraq did a three-minute report about the bombings.

Neither story merited a mention on Fox News Channel that hour.

That wasn't unusual. Fox spent half as much time covering the Iraq war than MSNBC during the first three months of the year, and considerably less than CNN, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

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Retired General George Washington Criticizes Iraq War

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[Humor]
Breaking a 211-year media silence, retired Army Gen. George Washington appeared on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday to speak out against many aspects of the way the Iraq war has been waged.

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U.S. Government "Super-Sizes" Soldiers' Funerals

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Two years ago today, Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on Larry King live to tell the American people that the Iraqi insurgency is "in its last throes" and that military activity in Iraq will decline.

So it's pretty sad and ironic that in light of the ever-increasing number of American servicemen getting killed by these "last throes" of militants, Fort Lewis has announced it will no longer hold individual memorial ceremonies for soldiers, instead holding larger, "super-sized" monthly memorials for all the dead servicemen each month.

But hey, good thing this Iraq issue is winding down...

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Cindy Sheehan Retires From Activism Amid Disgust & Dem. Betrayal

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[Activists]
In 2005 she made the invisible visible. The bereaved mom of a US soldier killed in Iraq, Sheehan cried in public, cursed in public and gave public voice to what for many was until then a private question. Why did my son die, she asked the president: "What is the noble cause?"

Two years later, activist Cindy Sheehan pushed another question into the public glare. Quitting the Democratic Party and resigning from the front ranks of the US anti-war movement, Sheehan said out loud what hundreds of Democratic voters have been muttering: Democrats in Congress -who do you think you're working for?

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2008-03-07 00:59:41 | Comment on this Article

Bush Administration Nixes Army Pay Raises

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[Employment]
Troops don’t need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill.

Bush also threatened to veto the bill because of provisions in it which required the military to buy American products, citing such a process as "arduous".

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Veterans Turn On Commander-In-Chief

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If you're the President and your generals are so upset with you that they're quitting service so they can go public with how badly you've screwed up the military, Mr. George W. Bush, you might be having a bad day...

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1. Join Army 2. Get STD 3. Profit! ...wait... what?

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[Sex]
Scores of veterans across the country are getting lifetime checks from the government for gonorrhea, genital herpes and other venereal diseases they caught while in the ranks.

The disability payments are made under a little-known provision from three decades ago that entitles vets to monthly benefits for sexually transmitted diseases they contracted, or simply aggravated, while in the service -- even if they became infected on their own time years ago.

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Pelosi Responds To Presidential Veto Of Troop Funding Bill

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After Congress had the audacity to suggest to the President that he didn't have a blank check in Iraq and must "support the troops" by something other than making them targets, Bush vetoes the spending/withdrawal bill. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks before Congress and gives quite a poignant outline of what's going on.. check out the video.

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Army Bans Soldiers From Posting/Talking Online

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The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

The administration is fond of saying everything is going great in Iraq and it's just the media who is distorting the truth. Well, I guess not letting the people who are over there report to the rest of the world would also be distorting the truth?

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Bush Administration Fakes Iraqi Violence Stats

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[Dubious Research]
U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more American troops into Baghdad aren't counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians: Car bombs.

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Letter From An Angry Veteran Toward War Supporters

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[Activists]
The letter, originally posted on Craigslist, says, "I'm having the worst damn week of my whole damn life so I'm going to write this while I'm pissed off enough to do it right."

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Bill Maher's New Rules: Treasonable Doubt

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Friday, Bill Maher had an interesting commentary on who is and isn't a patriot. Who supports the troops and what that really means. Check it out.

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Bill Maher Says Americans Have Made Sacrifices

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In exploring reasons why the "War in Iraq" isn't going so well, some liberals say it's because Americans have not been asked to make sacrifices for the war. Bill Maher, in his "New Rules" segment on HBO's Real Time, has a different take.

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Administration Ordering Wounded Troops Into Service

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"This is not right," said Master Sgt. Ronald Jenkins, who has been ordered to Iraq even though he has a spine problem that doctors say would be damaged further by heavy Army protective gear. "This whole thing is about taking care of soldiers," he said angrily. "If you are fit to fight you are fit to fight. If you are not fit to fight, then you are not fit to fight."

As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.

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Rudy Guiliani's Interesting Past

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As he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudolph Giuliani will have to contend with political and personal baggage unknown to prospective supporters whose knowledge of the former New York mayor is limited to his post-September 11 exploits. So, in a bid to educate the electorate, The Smoking Gun is offering excerpts from a remarkable "vulnerability study" that was commissioned by Giuliani's campaign prior to his successful 1993 City Hall run.

From marrying his second cousin to dodging the draft, Republican Rudy Guiliani has some controversial qualifications for the highest office in the land.

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U.S. Army Now Recruiting Dead Soldiers

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[Terroir-ism]
In a recent desperate attempt to gain more troops, the Army sent out a form letter to soldiers and their families urging them to "re-enlist".

This also apparently included letters to the families of 75 soldiers who died in Iraq already, as well as hundreds more who were maimed.

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Sgt. FreebieStore.Com Gets Shut Down

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[Viral Marketing]
A U.S. Marine Sargeant was ordered to put a stop to an online auction which would have allowed the winner to pick the name the young Marine would legally assume. Sgt. Cody Baker might have become Sgt. Finest Freshest Fastest or Sgt. Mr. Clean although the winning bidder at the time the auction ended was FreebieStore.com with a bid of 30,000.01. Apparently the Dept. of Defense was not amused (is anyone surprised?).

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The Decider Decides To Not Decide Yet

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[Beating Dead Horses]
President George W. "I Am the Decider!" Bush is delaying until some time in January his planned report to the nation on the direction he and aides are charting for the United States in Iraq. Meanwhile the American soldier death toll in Iraq is nearing 3000, tens of thousands of Americans injured, and reports of upwards of 500,000 dead Iraqis. But hey, what's another month... listen to what even CNN is saying now about "The Decider!"

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Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld Cuts and Runs

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[Beating Dead Horses]
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the controversial face of U.S. war policy, quit on Wednesday after Democrats rode Americans' anger over Iraq to victory in Tuesday's congressional elections.

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Military Press: Rumsfeld Must Go!

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Two days from now, an incredibly rare joint editorial will run in the Army Times, the Air Force Times, and the Navy Times. Read it in full here...

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Bush: Soldiers Won't Pay More Than 36% Interest

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Consumer loans to service members will be limited to 36 percent annual interest next year under a law President Bush signed Tuesday that is aimed at storefront lenders clustered around military bases.

And you thought our president wasn't taking care of the troops. Shame on you!

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U.S. In Iraq Until 2010?

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The top officer of the Army, chief of staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, has announced that there are plans to keep the current level of troops in Iraq, about fifteen brigades, the same through 2010. He was quick to point out that the plan doesn't mean things are going poorly but that he has to "have enough ammo in the magazine that I can continue to shoot as long as they want us to shoot." Given the current morale level of our forces and the dropping standards for admission into the Army (reported here at bsalert), let us hope that the magazine isn't full of blanks.

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The Secret Letter From Iraq

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[Terroir-ism]
A Marine's letter home, with its frank description of life in "Dante's inferno," has been circulating through generals' in-boxes.

Written last month, this straightforward account of life in Iraq by a Marine officer was initially sent just to a small group of family and friends. His honest but wry narration and unusually frank dissection of the mission contrasts sharply with the story presented by both sides of the Iraq war debate, the Pentagon spin masters and fierce critics. Perhaps inevitably, the 'Letter from Iraq' moved quickly beyond the small group of acquantainaces and hit the inboxes of retired generals, officers in the Pentagon, and staffers on Capitol Hill.

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Army Continues To Lower Standards To Meet Recruitment Goals

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The U.S. Army recruited more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year, helping the service beat its goal of 80,000 recruits in the throes of an unpopular war and mounting casualties.

"Tests don't tell you the answer to the most critical question for the Army, how will you do in combat?" a spokesman said. But, he added, accepting too many recruits with low test scores could increase training costs and leave technical jobs unfilled. But don't worry, it's only your tax dollars.

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Stick Another Ribbon On Your SUV

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[Video]
Here's an absolutely hilarious, poignant and well done parody of Tony Orlando's famous song, performance live. Check it out!

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U.S. Citizens At Risk For Military Testing?

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It barely made news last week when Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne called for the testing of nonlethal weaponry on US citizens in crowd-control situations. According to Wynne, "If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation."

But it’s naïve to think that once developed, US military weapons will only be used against foreign populations. The Bush administration’s "you’re with us or against us" mentality leaves little room for domestic dissent, and as the line blurs between military and national security technologies, folks back home will find themselves increasingly targeted.

Read more to find out the history of these types of activities. It may shock you.

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