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Sunday, Sep 21st

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Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations

Secret ops expandAround the clock, about 16 times a day, drones take off or land at a U.S. military base here, the combat hub for the Obama administration’s counterterrorism wars in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.

Some of the unmanned aircraft are bound for Somalia, the collapsed state whose border lies just 10 miles to the southeast. Most of the armed drones, however, veer north across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen, another unstable country where they are being used in an increasingly deadly war with an al-Qaeda franchise that has targeted the United States.

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Nearly 30% of Vets Treated by V.A. Have PTSD

PTSD The Department of Veterans Affairs has quietly released a new report on post-traumatic stress disorder, showing that since 9/11, nearly 30 percent of the 834,463 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Veterans advocates say the new V.A. report is the most damning evidence yet of the profound impact multiple deployments have had on American service men and women since 9/11. Troops who’ve been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan are more than three times as likely as soldiers with no previous deployments to screen positive for PTSD and major depression, according to a 2010 study published by the American Journal for Public Health.

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Veteran: Risks In 1950s Bomb Test 'A Disgrace'

A test disgraceIn 1957, Joel Healy witnessed one of the largest nuclear tests ever conducted on U.S. soil. Healy was in the U.S. Army, stationed in the Nevada desert north of Las Vegas at Camp Desert Rock. He was 17 years old and a private first class at the time.

Healy drove dump trucks, moved materials, and built structures, like houses, that would be destroyed by the explosions so the Army could study the effects of a nuclear blast. He also helped build the towers where many of the bombs were detonated.

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US military's plans for flying saucers explained in declassified documents

US military plans for UFO'sThese days, flying saucers are most commonly associated with sci-fi films and conspiracy theories, but in the 1950s, some saw them as the future of aviation.

Documents published by the US National Archives give new information about a craft commissioned by the US air force, which if successfully developed would have achieved speeds of 2,600mph and flown at around 100,000ft.

Details of the proposed craft have been around for years. But the declassified papers include new diagrams and documents that demonstrate the scale of the project's ambition.

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Service Members Sue Defense Secretary Over Alleged Military Rapes

Leon Pinetta According to current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, some 19,000 sexual assaults are alleged to have occurred in the military last year alone, but because of fears of retaliation, only 20 percent of those are reported. On Thursday night, Panetta was interviewed on NBC about the issue, which he called an “outrage.”

He once again pledged his commitment to confronting the issue, as he has repeatedly in the last year, announcing a slew of new measures, including the establishment of special victims units within every branch, new policies that would allow victims to transfer into a different unit, and—as of just this week—he ordered all branches to review their sexual-assault training and response programs.

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US calls Julian Assange 'enemy of state'

Assange decalred 'enemy'The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.

Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.

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2 Marines to be court-martialed in urination case

Marines court martialedTwo Marine non-commissioned officers will be court-martialed for allegedly urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters last year in Afghanistan and posing for unofficial photos with casualties, the Marine Corps said Monday.

The charges against Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin and Staff Sgt. Edward W. Deptola are in addition to administrative punishments announced last month for three other, more junior Marines for their role in the urination episode.

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