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Monday, May 25th

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Defense Department paid NFL teams millions to salute the military

NFL paid to support militaryAn investigation revealed the Department of Defense paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million. Photo via Getty Images.

An investigation revealed the Department of Defense paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million. Photo via Getty Images.

The United States Department of Defense paid the National Football League more than $5 million in taxpayer money between 2011 to 2014 to honor U.S. soldiers and veterans at games, an investigation revealed this week.

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Military whistleblowers have long wait for justice – if it comes

Military whistleblowers still wait for justiceChristine Russell, a Navy Reserve lieutenant, sums up her experience as a whistleblower as six years of frustrating inaction by the military.

“There was a lot of stalling,” said Russell, who now lives in San Diego but filed her complaint when she was stationed in Kuwait in 2009. “Admirals retired and transferred during all of the delays.”

A newly released congressional watchdog report demonstrates that the problem is not isolated to Russell’s case.

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Obama chooses Marine general as Joint Chiefs chairman

Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr.President Barack Obama has chosen as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a widely respected, combat-hardened commander who led the Afghanistan war coalition during a key transitional period in 2013-14.

U.S. officials say Obama is nominating Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. to succeed Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, who will have served four years as chairman.

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Breaking military's ultimate glass ceiling? Women start Ranger training.

women in rangersAt first glance, the scene unfolding here in the rolling Georgia woodlands would appear to be unremarkable.

Two-by-two, bellies in the dirt and hands behind their backs, buddy teams of soldiers with shaved heads snake across the ground under the eye of the attentive instructors..

“Get your face down, Ranger!” one shouts.

"It’s an obstacle course – have some fun!” yells another to exhausted soldiers ordered to crab-walk to the evocatively-named “Belly Buster,” a station that involves running headlong into a stomach-high moving log.

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CIA's torture experts now use their skills in secret drones program

CIA droneThe controversy over the CIA’s secret drone program has gone from bad to worse this week. We now know that many of those running it are the same people who headed the CIA’s torture program, the spy agency can bomb people unilaterally without the president’s explicit approval and that the government is keeping the entire program classified explicitly to prevent a federal court from ruling it illegal. And worst of all, Congress is perfectly fine with it.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that many of those in charge of the CIA’s torture program – the same people whose names were explicitly redacted from the Senate’s torture report in order to avert accountability – “have ascended to the agency’s powerful senior ranks” and now run the CIA drone program under the agency’s Counterterrorism Center. Rather than being fired and prosecuted, they have been rewarded with promotions.

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David Petraeus sentenced to probation for sharing classified information

PetraeusDavid Petraeus, the retired US army general and former CIA director responsible for the development of the hugely influential “counter-insurgency” strategy used in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced on Thursday to two years’ probation and ordered to pay a fine of $100,000 for sharing highly classified information with his lover and biographer, Paula Broadwell.

The fine was $60,000 more than had been expected under the terms of a plea deal; the two years’ probation was as expected.

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US soldiers banned from bars, clubs in Philippines

US troops banned Filipino barsThe U.S. Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial underway of a U.S. Marine accused of killing a transgender Filipina he met in a bar.

Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were set to kick off 10 days of annual joint military exercises Monday, according to Capt. Alex Lim, a spokesman for the U.S. forces.  But there will be strict controls on their free time.

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