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Thursday, Oct 23rd

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Pentagon Pro-Troop Group Misspent Millions, Report Says

While the Pentagon preps for a new administration, a scandal from an earlier era is rearing its head.

A Defense Department project, supposedly designed to support U.S. troops, was used instead to channel millions of dollars to personal friends and allies of its chief. The "America Supports You," or ASY, program was led in a "questionable and unregulated manner," according to a Department of Defense Inspector General report, obtained by Danger Room. At least $9.2 million was "inappropriately transferred" by the project's managers. Much of that money served only to further promote ASY, instead of assisting servicemembers.

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Halliburton accused of supplying rotten food to U.S. forces

KBR 'supplied water which was contaminated, untreated, and unsafe', Eller charged, detailing a number of examples.

He said Halliburton and KBR 'shipped ice served to U.S. forces in trucks that had been used to carry human remains and that still had traces of body fluids and putrefied remains.'

The lawsuit says the 'defendants burned medical waste that contained human body parts on the open air burn pit. Wild dogs in the area raided the burn pit and carried off human remains. The wild dogs could be seen roaming the base with body parts in their mouths.'

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Pentagon to recruit aliens on visas

Struggling to find enough doctors, nurses and linguists for the war effort, the Pentagon will temporarily recruit foreigners who have been living in the states on student and work visas, or with refugee or political asylum status.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has authorized the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to recruit certain legal residents whose critical medical and language skills are "vital to the national interest," officials said, using for the first time a law passed three years ago.

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Suit claims Halliburton, KBR sickened base

A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against contractor KBR and its former parent company, Halliburton, saying the companies exposed everyone at Joint Base Balad in Iraq to unsafe water, food and hazardous fumes from the burn pit there.

“Plaintiff witnessed the open air burn pit in operation at Balad Air Force Base,” the lawsuit states. “On one occasion, he witnessed a wild dog running around base with a human arm in its mouth. The human arm had been dumped on the open air burn pit by KBR.”

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Traumatic Brain Injuries Linked to Long-Term Health Issues for Iraq Vets

A new report provides evidence linking traumatic brain injury sustained by troops in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan to a variety of long-term health problems including dementia, aggression, depression and symptoms similar to those seen in Parkinson's disease.

But the Institute of Medicine committee charged with developing the report also pointed to a troubling lack of scientific data on such injuries, which are fairly recent in the history of warfare.

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Obama legal team meets with anti-torture generals

A dozen retired generals met with President-elect Barack Obama's top legal advisers Wednesday, pressing their case to overturn some of the Bush administration's terrorism-fighting policies. Obama has criticized practices that he says amount to torturing detainees during interrogations and has promised to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Among those who met with Eric Holder, Obama's pick to be attorney general, and Greg Craig, the incoming White House counsel, were Gen. Charles Krulak, a former Marine Corps commandant, and retired Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar, former chief of the Central Command.

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Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security

The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

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