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Tuesday, Jul 29th

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Chelsea Manning: The U.S. Military’s Campaign Against Media Freedom

Chelsea Manning editorialWHEN I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law.

However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.

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Sgt. Bergdahl headed back to U.S., Pentagon says

BergdahlSgt. Bowe Bergdahl has left Germany and is expected to arrive in the United States sometime early Friday, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said Thursday.

Bergdahl has been treated at the military hospital at Landstuhl Germany, after he was released by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after five years as a captive.

"He will arrive in San Antonio early tomorrow morning, where he will continue the reintegration process at Brooke Army Medical Center," Kirby said in a statement. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "has made clear, our first priority is making sure that Sgt. Bergdahl continues to get the care and support he needs."

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After Lull, U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 13 in Pakistan

Drone strikesMissiles from U.S. drones slammed into militant hideouts overnight in northwestern Pakistan, killing 13 suspected insurgents and marking the resumption of the CIA-led program after a nearly six-month break, officials said Thursday.

The strikes came just days after a five-hour siege of Pakistan’s busiest airport ended with 36 people, including ten militants, killed. The audacious attack raised concerns about whether Pakistan was capable of dealing with the Pakistani Taliban, which said it carried out the assault along with an Uzbek militant group.

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South Carolina OKs Confederate flag at Citadel military college

Citadel ok's Confederate flagA Confederate flag displayed at the Citadel military college in Charleston, South Carolina, can keep flying despite objections that it is offensive, the state attorney general's office said on Tuesday.

A Charleston official had objected to the presence of the flag in the college's Summerall Chapel, where it has flown since 1939, and called for cutting almost $1 million in public funding from the school.

In an opinion on Tuesday, Solicitor General Robert D. Cook said South Carolina's 2000 "Heritage Act" protects "monuments and memorials honoring the gallantry and sacrifice in this state's various wars."

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U.S. deaths in Afghanistan may have only tenuous link to Bergdahl

bergdahl The frantic search for Bowe Bergdahl began the moment his comrades discovered he was no longer inside the fragile outpost in a rock-strewn valley in one of the most hostile corners of Afghanistan.

Exactly why Bergdahl left is subject to intense scrutiny. But accounts by two Taliban sources as well as several U.S. officials and fellow soldiers raise doubt over media reports that he had sought to join the Taliban, and over suggestions that the deaths later that year of six soldiers in his battalion were related to the search for him.

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Military court probes ‘Dark Horse’ militia; may be intense, but it’s not ‘extremist’

Fort Bliss militiaSoldiers based at Fort Bliss in Texas joined a secretive group called ‘Dark Horse,’ which one member explained “was to support and defend the Constitution, and was designed to fight alongside the military if need be, if the government ‘goes corrupt.’”

Sounds intense, but is it criminally extreme? The answer, it turns out, is no.

As first reported Monday by CAAFlog, the military law blog, the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals last month confronted several related cases arising from the Dark Horse organization. Two enlisted men had been convicted of, among other charges, violating an Army order by belonging to an “extremist” organization.

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Death threats target Bergdahl family

death threats for Bergdahl familyThe FBI and other authorities are investigating threats against the family of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier released nine days ago in a deal that also freed five detainees from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

William Facer, FBI spokesman in Salt Lake City, said in a statement that the agency is "working jointly with our state and local partners and taking each threat seriously."

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