In essence, an Army policy implemented in 2005 and expanded this year lowered the bar for enlisted soldiers with the rank of E-4 to gain the rank of sergeant, or E-5, by diminishing the vetting process. According to more than a half dozen current and former Army sergeants interviewed by Salon, the policy has produced sergeants who are not ready to lead. In some cases, soldiers were promoted even after being denied advancement by their own unit commanders. While awarding a promotion once required effort on the part of a commander, those interviewed say, the Army's current policy actually requires effort to prevent a promotion, and has had negative consequences on the battlefield.
Olbermann and Maddow eviscerate McCain over his lack of support of vets and the troops. Olbermann details all the pro-troops legislation that McCain either opposed or refused to even show up for a vote. You really need to watch this, then send it to your friends. These are actual votes that McCain opposed, actual legislation that would have helped the troops, and he was against it. McCain likes to talk about how he's all about the troops, but he doesn't like to talk about the specifics of his record.
Vice President Cheney's invitation to address wounded combat veterans next month has been yanked because the group felt his security demands were Draconian and unreasonable.
The veep had planned to speak to the Disabled American Veterans at 8:30 a.m. at its August convention in Las Vegas.
His staff insisted the sick vets be sequestered for two hours before Cheney's arrival and couldn't leave until he'd finished talking, officials confirmed.
Auditors at an oversight agency of the Pentagon were pressured by supervisors to skew their reports on a major defense contractor's work, hiding wrongdoing and charges of overbilling, according to an 80-page report from the Government Accountability Office.
When the contractor, who is not named in the report, objected to the draft findings of the DCAA audit, managers at the audit agency assigned a new supervisor to the case and threatened the senior auditor with personnel action if "he did not delete findings from the report and change the draft audit opinion to adequate," according to the GAO report.
For five years now, E&P has been chronicling the disturbing number of “noncombat” deaths in Iraq, often suicides, which usually come to light only due to the diligence of local newspapers. As part of that effort, last August I briefly described yet another case, involving a 20-year-old Texas woman named Kamisha Block, who apparently was much loved in her Vidor hometown. It was said to be death by “friendly fire,” which officially is fairly rare in Iraq, so I kept an eye on it for days, in case of an update.
JULIAN ASSANGE (investigative editor)
Monday June 15, 2008
Wikileaks has released a sensitive 219 page US military counterinsurgency manual. The manual, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004), may be critically described as "what we learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places". Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, history making.
The leaked manual, which has been verified with military sources, is the official US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense or FID.
The Financier Has Been Indicted For His Alleged Role in a Scandal Costing US Taxpayers $1.7 billion.
The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department. The contract to supply jet fuel to American bases in Afghanistan was awarded to the Attock Refinery Ltd, a Pakistani-based refinery owned by Gaith Pharaon. Pharaon is wanted in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.
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