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Posts Tagged ‘pentagon’

‘Super soldiers’: The quest for the ultimate human killing machine

Posted by Admin on November 22, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/super-soldiers-the-quest-for-the-ultimate-human-killing-machine/

By  | November 19th, 2011 | Category: Latest News | 62 comments

We’ve seen in previous articles that the concept of transhumanism and “enhanced human” is being actively promoted in movies, music videos and video games. Here an article from the Independent describing the “enhancements” that are being planned to be given to soldiers to make them better at killing people including exoskeleton, memory erasing drugs and exposing the brain to magnetic fields. What’s even more upsetting is that the author of the article sounds actually quite excited about these “improvements” that deshumanize humans into unthinking, highly altered killing machines.

‘Super soldiers’: The quest for the ultimate human killing machine

Guilt, tiredness, stress, shock – can specialised drugs help to mute the qualities that make soldiers human, asks Michael Hanlon?

The ancient Spartans believed that battlefield training began at birth. Those who failed the first round of selection, which took place at the ripe old age of 48 hours, were left at the foot of a mountain to die. The survivors would, in years to come, often wonder if these rejects were the lucky ones. Because to harden them up, putative Spartan warriors were subjected to a vigorous regime involving unending physical violence, severe cold, a lack of sleep and constant sexual abuse.

As with the English public schools, which used similar tactics to produce the warriors who carved out the British Empire, the Spartan regime worked; the alumni were the most feared soldiers in the eastern Mediterranean. And ever since then, military chiefs have wondered whether it may be possible to short-cut the long and demanding Spartan regime to produce a soldier who kills without care or remorse, shows no fear, can fight battle after battle without fatigue and generally behave more like a machine than a man.

In the post-war era, the future of fighting was thought to be about tanks and missiles, large impersonal machines that would fight huge battles over the open terrain of Northern Europe. The soldiers would be pressing buttons in a command centre. But despite the advent of drone aircraft, much of 21st-century warfare is turning out to be a drawn-out, messy business, fought on a human scale in the mud and dust of Afghanistan. And fought against a mercurial army of irregulars who melt away into the fields and farms once the skirmish is over. Modern soldiers are not the cannon fodder of before. Highly trained and super fit, each one represents a huge investment by the nation that sends them into battle. A soldier who is too tired to fight effectively, who has gone mad or who is suffering from severe stress is like a broken-down tank, no use to anybody. What if soldiers could be made that did not break down?

The era of The Terminator, the perfect robotic killing machine, is decades away; to date, all efforts to create a humanoid robot that can climb the stairs, let alone fight the Taliban, have been risible. But scientists are reporting breakthroughs with the next-best thing – the creation of human terminators, who feel less pain, less terror and less fatigue than “non-enhanced” soldiers and whose very bodies may be augmented by powerful machines.

Efforts to understand the brain of the soldier and put this knowledge to good use have been going on for some time. Professor Jonathan Moreno, a bioethicist at Pennsylvania State University, studies the way neuroscience is being co-opted by the military. “Right now, this is the fastest-growing area of science,” he says.

The Pentagon is currently spending $400m a year researching ways to “enhance” the human fighter. The defence giant Lockheed recently unveiled its “Hulc” (Human Universal Load Carrier), a science fiction-like, battery-powered exoskeleton that allows a human to lift 100kg weights and carry them at a fast run of 16kph (10mph). The videos of the Hulc in action are truly impressive. Superman strength is one thing, but soldiers still need to sleep. In Afghanistan the average soldier in combat gets only four hours’ rest a day and sleep deprivation is the single biggest factor in reducing fighting performance. Not only are tired soldiers less physically able to fight and run, they make more mistakes with the complex weapons systems at their disposal – mistakes that can prove deadly to themselves and their comrades.

Using chemistry to attack fatigue is, of course, nothing new. Two centuries ago, Prussian soldiers used cocaine to remain alert and Inca warriors used coca leaves to stay alert long before that. Since then, nicotine, amphetamines, caffeine and a new class of stimulants including the drug Modafinil have all been used successfully, to the extent that American soldiers can now operate normally even after 48 hours without sleep. Now the chemists are trying to tweak the molecular structure of this drug so that it will switch off the desire for sleep for even longer.

Tiredness is not the only psychological problem faced by soldiers. Combat is immensely stressful and although proper training means that men and women can remain focused while in mortal danger, it is afterwards that problems begin. During the Vietnam War, one in three soldiers was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in the Second World War a significant proportion of Allied conscripts never fired a shot in anger because of stress and fear before the battle had even begun. Up to now, PTSD has been treated by a mix of psychotherapy and antidepressants – effective techniques but expensive and time-consuming. But as with fatigue there may be a chemical shortcut for PTSD.

The trick is to erase unwanted memories, or at least take away their sting. Professor Roger Pitman, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School in the US, has been experimenting with a drug called propranolol, a “beta blocker” normally used to treat high blood pressure, which he believes can erase the effects of terrifying memories.

Professor Pitman has given the drug to young volunteers who have suffered extreme trauma in, for example, road accidents. Those given placebos suffered nightmares, and remained fearful of the road. When exposed to recordings describing their accidents they suffered typical stress responses – sweating, beating heart, dilated pupils. But those who had been on a course of propranolol showed no response at all. It was as though the trauma had not happened. For a soldier, memory-altering drugs such as this could mean violent combat becoming no more troubling, retrospectively, than a visit to the gym. “The problem is,” Professor Moreno says, “what else are they blocking when they do this? Do we want a generation of veterans who return without guilt?” You may not even need drugs to short-out the unwanted side effects of battle. Dr Albert “Skip” Rizzo, a psychologist from the University of Southern California, has created a “virtual Iraq” video game, in which veterans have been able to re-enact their experiences to release pent-up stress.

Generals not only want stronger, more alert and less stressed soldiers; they want smarter ones, too. One of the most bizarre neuroscience findings in recent years is that by immersing the human brain in a powerful magnetic field, its powers of reasoning and learning are almost magically enhanced.

No one knows exactly how “transcranial magnetic stimulation” (TMS) works, but the Australian neuroscientist Professor Allan Snyder believes that magnetic fields in some way “switch off” the higher levels of mental processing that normally cloud our thoughts, allowing a “pure” form of reasoning to take over.

“Each of us could draw like a professional, do lightning-fast arithmetic,” he says. In fact, some subjects in TMS experiments have acquired (temporarily) similar abilities to the rare “autistic savants”, people who are able to perform astounding arithmetical feats and memorise whole telephone directories (an autistic savant was played by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man).

In 2009, a US Academy of Sciences report concluded that within 20 years we could be using TMS to enhance soldiers’ fighting capabilities. As Professor Moreno says, “there is talk of TMS machines being used on the battlefields within 10 years in vehicles and in 10 years more in helmets.” Why? Being a soldier demands a high level of technical expertise. It is no longer just a case of pointing a gun and shooting. Even combat rifles are now “systems” and mastering battlefield electronics requires a lot of training.

It may seem clear that if you could create a man with no scruples, who feels little pain and no fear, you would have an excellent fighting machine, but this may be a case of be careful what you wish for. We get scared for a reason – to avoid danger to ourselves and others. Fatigue may force us to rest before sustaining damaging injury. Even post-traumatic stress disorder may have a beneficial role. Moral scruples help soldiers to act as an effective team – in battle, troops will always say they are fighting for their mates before Queen and country.

Take away the humanity of the soldiers and there is a danger that the battles and wars we fight will become inhuman as well. Most of all there is, surely, a danger that these techniques, far from producing better soldiers, will actually produce a squad of zoned-out zombies, who will be no match for the determined, driven and highly motivated zealots of the Taliban.

– Source: The Independent

 

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Benjamin Fulford & Poofness Nesara Updates Oct 27/11

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://www.galacticfriends.com/updates/nesara-canada/5814-benjamin-fulford-a-poofness-nesara-updates-oct-2711.html

Benjamin Fulford & Poofness Nesara Updates Oct 27/11

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 18:31

Benjamin Fulford, October 25, 2011

The highly secretive “trading platforms” used by the self-appointed rulers of the world have been shut down in preparation for the revamping of the global financial system, according to sources in the CIA and in Japanese military intelligence. This shut down took place earlier than the previously announced date of November 11, 2011 (11/11/11) in order to prevent any possible sabotage by the beneficiaries of the old system, the sources say.

According to them, over 100 countries have now subscribed to the new system. Mass arrests of people linked to the old system are supposed to begin by November 15, they say.

Some new names of key players in the old system have also now emerged as the international investigative dragnet continues. One of these people is a Belgian prince by the name of Zvonko Berdik. Another key signatory at the top of the old financial system was the Duke of Kent, who signs on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, the CIA sources say. The third new name is Alan Barr, a man who is wanted by the government of Vietnam for having tried to set off a coup d’etat there.

Meanwhile, a senior member of the royal bloodline families (a cousin to Queen Elizabeth and the Rothschilds) had some very interesting information about Adolf Hitler. He says “Hitler was a Rockefeller man,” and ads [adds] that Hitler lived in Argentina until 1967 and that he actually visited Hitler at his house there. He further claims that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is Hitler’s daughter. Hitler himself was a son of King George the V, according to King Edward the 7th’s daughter. If true, this would mean secret rule of Germany by the British/German royal family throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries. If you look at photographs of Kaiser Wilhelm, King George the 5th and Hitler, you will notice an uncanny resemblance.

http://tinyurl.com/3jftoc9 [this tinyurl courtesy of KP (and tinyurl.com)]

This is the sort of revelation that could come out of a truth and reconciliation committee once the secret fascist government of the West is removed from power. The process of removal is still only about 30% complete, according to a well-placed White Dragon Society source.

The signs of the collapse of the old system are becoming increasingly visible. The problems with the Euro are still the main case in point. Greece has now asked to leave the Euro. Even if banks cut the value of their Greek debts by 60%, thereby bankrupting the French banking system, the problems will still not go away. Greece is just a tiny country compared to Italy, Spain and Portugal. Furthermore, the media is not even looking at the problems in the five Baltic States including Latvia.

The fact of the matter is that all of the countries in the Euro bloc have already begun printing their own national currencies in preparation for the collapse of the Euro. Nor is this just going to be a crisis limited to the Euro currency.

Russia is negotiating with Germany to create a Russian/German dominated Eurasian union that will shift the balance of power in Europe towards the center. The Russian government has announced they expect this union to be up and running by 2015.

In the United States as well, there are signs of imminent regime change.

The multiple legal actions against the fascist corporate government based in the city state of Washington D.C. are being supported by both the Pentagon and the agencies. Thus, for example, the recent move by Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan to each take $81 trillion of their derivatives fraud from their books and dump it on the American taxpayers, has been duly noted.

Queen Elizabeth was also prevented last week from stealing $1.6 trillion from Mitsui-Sumitomo bank in Japan, according to an MI6 source.

The corporate media cartel is also falling apart. As mentioned earlier Rupert Murdoch’s Fox TV and other outlets have begun exposing information, such as the legal actions against attorney general Eric Holder, that other networks are withholding. Now it turns out the Sumner Redstone’s CBS network is interviewing a White Dragon Society member for an upcoming 60 minutes episode as part of an expose of the high-level fraud that has been taking place at the very tip-top of the global financial system (he will not be identified by the network as a White Dragon).

The Pentagon is also continuing the process of making sure the elite cannot run and hide in any of their underground bases while the rest of humanity gets slaughtered. The big underground explosion near San Antonio Texas last week (reported by local press as an earthquake that made a “boom” sound) was a part of this process. [USGS link to details]

The US is peppered with underground bases but the two big ones in Virginia and Colorado have already been shut off to the elite. Another dozen have also been dealt with. The Pentagon has informed the elite that “if they go hide underground then so will everybody else.” The last really big underground facility still under fascist control is in Norway.

The fascists, for their part, are still not planning to go quietly into the night. The murder of Muammar Ghaddafi last week was just part of a plan to re-establish colonial control over Africa. Hillary Clinton is now trying to claim the role as signator to the $200 billion or so that was in Gaddafi’s name. In order to access much of that money, 5 African nations, including Somalia, Zaire and Uganda, will have to be invaded, CIA sources claim.

There are also still plans in the works to start major wars in the Middle East. For example, the fascists want to split up Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran to create a new nation of Kurdistan. To prevent this, a Turkish, Iranian, Syrian, Egyptian attack on Israel is now likely unless fascist agent Benjamin Netanyahu is removed from power.

On a different note, the self-described Illuminati who claim to want a global meritocratic government got a public boost from Michael Gorbachev who called for a New World Order last week. The problem with their planned “meritocracy,” of course, is the issue of who exactly gets to choose the meritocrats. Such a system would only work in the context of a real-time live interactive democracy and full media transparency. In other words, a global awakening of the human race and an end to Babylonian style tyranny enforced by criminal secret societies.

We are now witnessing the death throes of a dangerous beast. No matter what, though, humanity will be freed.   www.benjaminfulford.net

Poofness answers:

We have talked many times and it is my understnding that the White Dragon Society are above reproach! They are the ones who are truly behind getting the US back to the Constitution and the world back on a gold or precious metal based money system. They also have more than enough money to buy off the world’s debt. So why would the WDS compromise themselves like this? It doesn’t make sense!! ( the future soldiers and Galactics as well Tami)
Today’s Fulford report stated, “Rothschild family offers White Dragon Society $25 trillion to “go away.” When the WDS representative said “can you make it $50 trillion?,”

Re: Question: Fulford?
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 10:44:25 -0400
ANSWER: Fulford is way behind the 8 ball. Yesterday they pulled all the military hard ware and software from the banks…ending any coup attempts. We are already back under the constitution, the announcements are all that’s necessary for the people to know. The real treasury that was frozen in 33, is back online ‘under the republic’. The Rothschilds made their peace with the dragons some time ago and I know the white dragon and he doesn’t have a society. p [= Poofness]

Poof tells me he has a good friend who is a member of the White Dragon Society and it is much more than just the Asian society for from what I have been given to understand there are members from all countires working for the good of the world. So you are correct in your analysis of a Galactic Ship.

Poofness Nesara Update Oc t 24/11

George Harrison My sweet Lord One of my favourites!

http://youtu.be/wynYMJwEPH8

Greetings and Salutations,

All readers across the planet, this is for you, take note. The world around us all is about to take a momentous shift is all aspects of existence. The strangle hold the dark ones have held on the population at least since babylon, is being wrested away from them. The hold covered every aspect of human pursuit. No one has been ‘free’ since this started. Politics, money, energy usage, food, the news, they had the population in their hands, anyone who tried to speak out against it, they were either marginalized or flat out killed. One has to be able to pierce the curtain and see the actors behind it, pulling the strings of the puppets on the stage. You are not using your god given gifts if you nod at the inconsistencies but blindly follow the ‘party line’, anyhow.

Your freedom is about to be handed back to you, what will you do with it? Big brother has conditioned you to accept all kinds of things since grade school. ‘That’s just they way it is’ is what the adults told us. Who wants or needs ‘black boxes, clandestine hardware and software, or homeland security, nosing into everyone’s life? While we waited, what some have translated as ‘glitches’ was actually problematic computer things all thru the system in the us and in a few other countries..meant to start siphoning off your account when you accessed. Tho it was attached to the old system(FR) it was still dangerous and had to be removed before they effected delivery. No need to mention names out here, the folks in the rafters know who and the amount of orange jumpsuits will be passed out accordingly.

This may be hard to grasp, but try to understand, if you have been living that life for 100+ years, you wouldn’t think any other way, you’d think was normal. Matter of fact you might wonder why everyone was so upset with you and your buds. Stupid is, you forget those people you have lived off of, may have an objection and they may act on those objections, that’s called an ‘arrogant blind spot’. The man in libya had that problem. His trouble was not realizing the folks that set him in power, were no longer in a position to keep the status quo. Someone in the us, made the statement, ‘if they ever find out what we’ve done, they’ll hang us from the nearest lamp posts. One principal was told to his face, ‘you ain’t never gonna see your money’…No wonder, they had installed a back stop on their plan to make sure they got the money, so you wouldn’t….and they could get the 4th reich funded. Alas, the plan was foiled. Keep your eye on the  inscrutable ones, something the bad guys didn’t. The art of war says the supreme general is he who wins the war without bloodshed. Hard to understand that concept in the west, where you just ‘blow’em up’ if they get in your way.

There are much worse fates than death. Right now there’s some folks losing control of their bowels now as their karmic justice approaches them. There’s no running from yourself. I don’t have a tear for them, it’s not like they didn’t get plenty of chances to ‘go straight’. With this ground penetrating satellites now, they can’t hide anymore either. In the coming days we will see all the tech that’s been kept from the people that only served the elite. Clean fresh water will be brought to the surface and the atmosphere cleaned. Flowers will grow where only deserts exist now….none of this is farfetched if you understand what these clowns have been sitting on for a long time, only because they believed the rest of the people were ‘worthless eaters’. Their plan was always to go down about a mile in the granite and ride this out, while the folks on the surface went thru whatever calamity that passed over the earth. Nice huh? The consciousness of the population has risen, it’s mad as hell and they ‘ain’t gonna take it anymore’. They demand change to the status quo and there’s nothing like an idea, whose time has come.

This always had to happen, call it physics. Nature can’t stand a vacuum. Lack is a vacuum and it is being filled so life becomes worth living. No longer will the few rule over the many. This is a brave new world, we enter now. You are protected before you even know you needed it. You have to do more then access and you’re protect by a 5 star trust…anything you do after that will still be protected with no fee so the question you have to settle with is, fee or no fee. The person you access thru works for that trust so just ask them, whatever questions you have and have them set other things up, buying house or car…under the trust…no fee. The vultures will be hanging on the limb to get a taste of your money but who needs ’em. Live free of anxiety on trust. A marvelous concept these days don’tcha think. The world court has already issued orders on protecting the country during the transition, as they expect their will be folks who’ve lost this war to be out instigating unrest after the announcements. It’ll be a bit choppy at first until people settle down to the new way things operate.

Hang on here we go….

Love and Kisses,

‘Poofness’

The Haircut

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.

After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.’ The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.’ The cop was happy and left the shop.

The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I can not accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The Congressman was very happy and left the shop.

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.

BOTH POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS NEED TO BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON

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25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war

Posted by Admin on September 30, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/25-years-later-how-%E2%80%98top-gun%E2%80%99-made-america-love-war/

By  | September 19th, 2011 | Category: Latest News | 102 comments

Here’s an interesting article from the Washington Post about the heavy influence of the Pentagon on the funding and production of Hollywood movies, making them a little more than propaganda disguised as entertainment.

Americansare souring on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military budget is under siege as Congress looks for spending to cut. And the Army is reporting record suicide rates among soldiers. So who does the Pentagon enlist for help in such painful circumstances?Hollywood.

In June, the Army negotiated a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with the producers of “X-Men: First Class,” backing it up with ads telling potential recruits that they could live out superhero fantasies on real-life battlefields. Then, in recent days, word leaked that the White House has been working with Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow on an election-year film chronicling the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.

A country questioning its overall military posture, and a military establishment engaging in a counter-campaign for hearts and minds — if this feels like deja vu, that’s because it’s taking place on the 25th anniversary of the release of “Top Gun.”

That Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster, made in collaboration with the Pentagon, came out in the mid-1980s, when polls showed many Americans expressing doubts about the post-Vietnam military and about the constant saber rattling from the White House. But the movie’s celebration of sweat-shined martial machismo generated $344 million at the box office and proved to be a major force in resuscitating the military’s image.

Not only did enlistment spike when “Top Gun” was released, and not only did the Navy set up recruitment tables at theaters playing the movie, but polls soon showed rising confidence in the military. With Ronald Reagan wrapping military adventurism in the flag, with the armed forces scoring low-risk but high-profile victories in Libya and Grenada, America fell in love with Maverick, Iceman and other high-fivin’ silver-screen super-pilots as they traveled Mach 2 while screaming about “the need for speed.”

Today, “Top Gun” lives on in cable reruns, in the American psyche and, most important, in how it turned the Hollywood-Pentagon relationship into a full-on Mav-Goose bromance that ideologically slants films from their inception.

The 1986 movie, starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis, was the template for a new Military-Entertainment Complex. During production, the Pentagon worked hand-in-hand with the filmmakers, reportedly charging Paramount Pictures just $1.8 million for the use of its warplanes and aircraft carriers. But that taxpayer-subsidized discount came at a price — the filmmakers were required to submit their script to Pentagon brass for meticulous line edits aimed at casting the military in the most positive light. (One example: Time magazine reported that Goose’s death was changed from a midair collision to an ejection scene, because “the Navy complained that too many pilots were crashing.”)

Although “Top Gun” was not the first movie to exchange creative input for Pentagon assistance and resources, its success set that bargain as a standard for other filmmakers, who began deluging the Pentagon with requests for collaboration. By the time the 1991 Persian Gulf War began, Phil Strub, the Pentagon’s liaison to the movie industry, told the Hollywood Reporter that he’d seen a 70 percent increase in the number of requests from filmmakers for assistance — effectively changing the way Hollywood works.

As Mace Neufeld, the producer of the 1990 film “The Hunt for Red October,” later recounted to Variety, studios in the post-“Top Gun” era instituted an unstated rule telling screenwriters and directors to get military cooperation “or forget about making the picture.” Economics drives that directive, Time magazine reported in 1986. “Without such billion-dollar props, producers [have to] spend an inordinate amount of time and money searching for substitutes” and therefore might not be able to make the movie at all, the magazine noted.

Emboldened by Hollywood’s obsequiousness, military officials became increasingly blunt about how they deploy the carrot of subsidized hardware and the stick of denied access to get what they want. Strub described the approval process to Variety in 1994: “The main criteria we use is . . . how could the proposed production benefit the military . . . could it help in recruiting [and] is it in sync with present policy?”

Robert Anderson, the Navy’s Hollywood point person, put it even more clearly to PBS in 2006: “If you want full cooperation from the Navy, we have a considerable amount of power, because it’s our ships, it’s our cooperation, and until the script is in a form that we can approve, then the production doesn’t go forward.”

The result is an entertainment culture rigged to produce relatively few antiwar movies and dozens of blockbusters that glorify the military. For every “Hurt Locker” — a successful and critical war film made without Pentagon assistance — American moviegoers get a flood of pro-war agitprop, from “Armageddon,” to “Pearl Harbor,” to “Battle Los Angeles” to “X-Men.” And save for filmmakers’ obligatory thank you to the Pentagon in the credits, audiences are rarely aware that they may be watching government-subsidized propaganda.

Until this year, this Top Gun Effect seemed set in stone. But a quarter-century after that hagiographic tribute to the military’s “best of the best,” an odd alignment of partisan interests has prompted some in Congress to question the arrangement.

Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, recently sent letters to the CIA and the Defense Department demanding an investigation of the upcoming Bin Laden movie. He criticized the practice of granting ideologically compliant filmmakers access to government property and information that he says should be available to all. The “alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history,” he argued.

Considering King’s previous silence on such issues, it’s not clear whether he’s standing on principle; more likely, he is trying to prevent a particular piece of propaganda from aiding a political opponent. Yet, even if inadvertent, King’s efforts make possible a broader look at how the U.S. government uses taxpayer resources to suffuse popular culture with militarism.

If and when King holds hearings on the matter, we could finally get to the important questions: Why does the Pentagon treat public hardware as private property? Why does the government grant and deny access to that hardware based on a filmmaker’s willingness to let the Pentagon influence the script? And doesn’t such a practice violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against government abridging freedom of speech?

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Top 10 Most Sinister PSYOPS Mission Patches

Posted by Admin on August 1, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/top-10-most-sinister-psyops-mission-patches/

By  | June 20th, 2011

 

Mission patches are used by military and space organizations to identify, symbolize and describe a mission’s objectives and its crew. This tradition is also observed in the shady world of PSYOPS where each secret mission of the Pentagon gets its patch. These patches offer a rare glimpse into the Pentagon’s secret operations and the symbolism on them is rather striking: ominous and cryptic phrases, dark occult symbolism, references to secret societies, and sometimes even a rather dark sense of humor. Here’s the top 10 most sinister PSYOPS patches.

In 1965, NASA began using cloth patches to identify each of its missions and to symbolize the missions’ objectives and their crew.  Each rocket launch has therefore a patch designed by crew members and in collaboration with the official design team. The patches are then proudly displayed on equipment and worn by NASA astronauts and other personnel affiliated with a particular manned or unmanned space mission.

Various NASA mission patches

Since then, other organizations involved in space travel and secret operations began using mission patches, including those that specialize in PSYOPS (psychological warfare): the CIA, the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). What does space travel have to do with psychological warfare? Spy satellites. Since 1960, the NRO (whose existence was only declassified in 1992) has launched dozens of secret spy satellites into space, collecting an incredible amount of information on the United States’ friends, enemies and citizens.

As it is nearly impossible to obtain information regarding these highly classified endeavours, mission patches offer a rare glimpse into the world of PSYOPS. Even if one is not well-versed in symbolism, it is easy to perceive a sinister “vibe” emanating from the patch designs. Laced with strange symbols, ominous creatures, obscure Latin phrases and even dark humor, these patches reflect the mindstate of those wearing the patches.

The trailblazer in this area of research is Trevor Paglen, who, in 2008, published the book “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World”. By the means of hundreds of Freedom of Information requests, he obtained and analyzed forty mission patches. From the book reviews:

“The iconography of the United States military. Not the mainstream military, with its bars and ribbons and medals, but the secret or ‘black projects’ world, which may or may not involve contacting aliens, building undetectable spy aircraft, and experimenting with explosives that could make atomic bombs look like firecrackers. Here, mysterious characters and cryptic symbols hint at intrigue much deeper than rank, company, and unit.”
—UTNE Reader

“Of course, issuing patches for a covert operation sounds like a joke … but truth be told, these days everything is branded. Military symbols are frequently replete with heraldic imagery—some rooted in history, others based on contemporary popular arts that feature comic characters—but these enigmatic dark-op images, in some cases probably designed by the participants themselves, are more personal, and also more disturbing, than most.”
—Steven Heller, The New York Times Book Review

Since the release of this book, new mission patches have been released that are as strange and cryptic as their predecessors. If these patches are meant to symbolize “the values of the crew and the objectives of the mission”,  perhaps we should be a little concerned. Here are the top 10 most sinister mission patches:

#10 – Alien Face

TENCAP is an acronym for “Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities” and is a collection of programs involving the cutting edge of warfare.

“The purpose of the AF TENCAP program is to exploit the current and future potential of existing national, commercial, and civil space systems and national air-breathing systems, and to provide these capabilities to the warfighter as rapidly as possible.”
– Source

In PSYOPS, “Special” almost invariably means “black” or highly classified. Does the “highly classified part” of the mission have something to do with the fact that the badge bears the face of an alien? The saying at the bottom does not help: The phrase “Oderint Dum Metuant” is usually associated with Caligula, the first-century Roman emperor whose name became synonymous with depravity, madness, and tyranny. It translates as “Let them hate so long as they fear.” Right.

#9 All Your Base Are Belong to Us

A giant angry dragon clutching the planet, bringing destruction from space. That’s a nice way to symbolize space missions. In PSYOPS symbolism, dragons typically represent signals-intelligence satellite launches; the dragons’ wing patterns symbolize the satellites’ massive gold-foil dish antennae meant to collect all types of information from earth. The phrase “Omnis Vestri Substructio Es Servus Ad Nobis” can loosely be translated to “All your base are servant to us”. This phrase does not make much sense, except that it vaguely states that the world is owned by those who made that patch. But this phrase is also reminiscent of a geeky 2002 Internet meme based on a poor translation in an old-school Sega game.

The biggest internet meme of 2002, a badly translated Sega game.

This allusion to popular culture is quite funny yet disturbing … I’m pretty sure they truly believe that all our base are belong to them.

#8 Hymn to Pan

The PAN satellite was launched in September 2009 and is so top-secret that no military or governmental organization claimed to have built it.

“A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket has launched with PAN, a classified satellite which will be operated by the US Government. The launch was on time, at the start of a two hour, nine minute launch window which opened at 21:35 GMT (17:35 local time). Unusually for an American government satellite, the agency responsible for operating the spacecraft has not been disclosed.”
– Nasa Space Flight

According to the patch, PAN stands for “Palladium at Night”, Palladium being a silvery-white metallic element that is probably present in the satellite. The mission is so secret, however, that it is jokingly said that the name PAN actually stands for “Pick a Name” (notice the subtle question mark underneath the rocket on the patch).

PAN is also the name of an ancient horned god important in occultism and that has a strange link with the history of rocket science in the United States.

The ancient god Pan, a nature deity with phallic attributes. Is it me or is the PAN mission patch also rather phallic?

Jack Parsons, a pioneer in American space propulsion who is often credited for having “propelled” the United States into the space age (a crater of the moon is named in his honor), was also a notorious occultist. He was a prominent member of the Ordo Templi Orienti (the O.T.O.), an occult secret society popularized by Aleister Crowley. Seeing no separation between his professional and his occult work, Parsons was known to chant Crowley’s poem entitled Hymn to Pan before each test rocket launch.

“Parsons would dance and chant poetry—most notably Crowley’s “Hymn to Pan”—before rocket tests.”
– Goeffrey Landis, The Three Rocketeers

Is Pan still invoked during rocket launches?

#7 Supra Summus

This is a patch for a NRO spy-satellite launch. Those familiar with this site will probably recognize this Illuminati 101 symbolism: An unfinished pyramid topped by the All-Seeing Eye. This All-Seeing Eye requires help: it needs spy satellites to be even more all-seeing.

“LMA” at the bottom right most likely refers to Lockheed Martin Aerospace, which is the ultimate Big Brother mega-company working with the CIA, NRO, NSA and IRS.

Above the All-Seeing Eye is written “Supra Summus”, which can be translated to “Most Superior and Highest”, which, if nothing else, indicates a healthy level of self-esteem.

Other NRO spy-satellite launches have also used similar designs.

NROL-32 Patch.

#6 Two Faced Shadow Guy

The 23rd Space Operations Squadron (23 SOPS) is a United States Air Force unit located at New Boston Air Force Station in New Hampshire. The patch of this mission features a creepy-looking figure in a creepy hood looking over the earth with creepy eyes, staring creepily at the American continent. However, that is not the creepiest thing in this patch. If you look closely at the contour of the black face, you’ll see another face, with pointy nose and pointy ears, looking left.  Who is this creepier dude within an already creepy dude? And what’s up with all the layers of creepy?

The saying “Semper Vigilans” means “Always Vigilant”. At least I can relate to that. But in the context of this patch, it is definitely creepy.

#5 The Grid

Are you thinking of selling your condo and your Prius in order to leave everything and “go off the grid”? Try it and this knight might slash your head off. It would probably be useless anyhow. Look closely at this patch: there is no “off the grid”. This patch actually depicts the “information grid” those crazy conspiracy theorists keep rambling about, complete with nodes at the intersections.

Defenders of the Domain is a subgroup of the NSA Information Assurance group and is comprised of individuals “who are on the front lines in developing the strategy, the concepts, the planning and the technical implementation in the Information Assurance domain. They are the true leaders in the world of Cybersecurity.” In other words, they monitor the cyberspace using the latest technologies.

The man with the sword is in the distinct dress of a Knight Templar, this ancient group of Crusaders that became an occult secret society. The Knight represents the descendants of the Templars, the modern Illuminatus.

#4 NRO Snakes

This is another mysterious patch of the NRO. The program associated with this patch is totally unknown. All we know is that it is represented by three menacing vipers wrapped around the the earth, making us all warm and fuzzy inside.  The Latin inscription “Nunquam Ante Numquam Iterum” translates to “Never before, never again.” What never happened before and will never happen again? We may never know.

#3 I Could Tell You…

You know that a mission is top-secret when not even an obscure symbol can be used to represent it. This patch was designed as a generic insignia for “black” projects conducted by the Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Four. The Latin phrase “Si Ego Certiorem Faciam … Mihi Tu Delendus Eris” is roughly translated to “I could tell you … but then I’d have to kill you”. That is cliché phrase, but considering these are the people who actually created it, they probably don’t think it is corny. In fact, they’re probably dead serious about it.

Furthermore, there is a twist on the phrase. According to Paglen, the Latin phrase is worded in a peculiar way in order to refer to Greek and Roman texts.

“The Latin phrase Si Ego Certiorem Faciam … Mihi Tu Delendus Eris roughly translates into a cliché commonly heard in the vicinity of “black” programs: “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

But the phrasing here is unusual because it is written in the passive voice: a more accurate translation of the Latin would be “I could tell you, but then you would have to be destroyed by me.” By employing the passive voice, the patch’s designer makes two references that would not exist in other phrasings. The first reference is to the Greek god of Chaos, Eris, about whom Homer wrote in Book Four of the Iliad: “[Eris] whose wrath is relentless … is the sister and companion of murderous Ares, she who is only a little thing at the first, but thereafter grows until she strides on the earth with her head striking heaven. She then hurled down bitterness equally between both sides as she walked through the onslaught making men’s pain heavier.”

The passive phrasing of the Latin also echoes the words of the second-century BCE Roman senator Cato the Elder, who roamed the Senate repeating the words Carthago delenda est—”Carthage must be destroyed.” In 149 BCE, Cato got his way and Rome attacked the North African city, located near present-day Tunis. Three years after beginning their assault, the Roman army overran Carthage, tore down its walls, and sold its inhabitants into slavery. After the Roman Senate declared that no one would ever again live where the city had stood, legend holds that Rome salted the earth around the city in order to ensure that Carthage would remain a wasteland.”
– Source

So the badge does not contain a simple death threat: it also alludes to a “wrath from above” of mythological proportions, turning your city into a wasteland for generations to come. Now that’s a threat.

#2 Get Your Kicks on 66

The Minotaur program is composed of top-secret NRO spy-satellite launching missions. Minotaurs are bull-headed creatures from Greek mythology that are always angry, violent and merciless. Minotaurs bear many resemblances to the Middle-Eastern deity Molech, a bull-headed god with the body of a man to whom child sacrifices were made.

Molech

In this patch for NROL-66, the red Minotaur (as if hailing directly from hell) is holding a street sign of the mythical route 66. It is rather difficult not to see an allusion to the devil (who is often portrayed in red) and the number 666.

Furthermore, according to some occult researchers, route 66 was originally laid out to become a sort of “occult pilgrimage”.

“The famous old American highway “Route 66″ was laid out by Freemasons with the apparent intention of sending masses of automobile riders into a self-processing occult “trip.”

Route 66 began at the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, near the site of the University of Chicago’s collection of Aztec ritual incunabula. It ended in Barstow, California in the Mohave desert, which is for the Freemasons, the cosmic graveyard of the West, the final destiny of Anubis, the celestial jackal, otherwise known as Sirius (see Giorgio de Santillana andHertha Von Dechend, Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay on Myth and th Frame of Time, p. 358).

If this version of Route 66 smacks of some medieval pilgrimage made more appropriately on a camel than by car, it is for good reason. Most of Route 66 was based on a road forged in 1857 by Lt. Edward Beale and his caravan of the U.S. Camel Corps.”
– Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare
So who is really getting their kicks on Route 66?

#1 The Devil You Know

This patch for NROL-49  depicts a phoenix rising from the flames with the flag of the United States in the background. The Latin words “Melior Diabolus Quem Scies” roughly translates to mean “The Devil You Know,” as in the phrase “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know”. Cryptic. According to NASA, this saying refers to the return of the use of an old system after attempting to use a new one, which had resulted in failure.

“The mission patch for NRO L-49 shows a phoenix rising out of a fire, with the words “melior diabolus quem scies”, which translate into English as “better the devil you know”, indicating the return to the older system following the failure of the attempt to replace it.”
– Source

It is a rather odd choice of words for a governmental agency, but definitely on-par with this whole sinister, hellish theme going on with PSYOPS patches.

NROL-49 before its launch featuring its mission patch at the top.


Another patch related to NRO-49 depicts the satellite as a winged fiery being (referred to by NASA as a devil named Betty) who is holding a trident and a wrench.

“An image of a devil features on the launch patch. The old tradition of giving rockets personal names also appears to have been revived; Delta 352 seems to have been named “Betty”, and the Atlas V that launched from Vandenberg last year was named ‘Gladys’.”
– Ibid.

The patch shows the moon (or a comet?) partially covering the earth. If you look closely, there are letters in the detail of the grey astral body. What do they refer to? At the bottom of the patch, the Latin phrase is also enigmatic: “Primoris Gravis Ex Occasus”.  Primoris means “First”, Gravis stands for “important, heavy or serious” and Occasus means “setting of the sun, the West, or fall”. In other words, I don’t know what it means. “First heavy setting of the sun”? “The most important thing after the sunset”? “First serious fall”? Regardless of the exact meaning, there seems to be an emphasis on the concept of darkness. Betty is pure darkness wrapped in flames and is partially covering the sun. There is a grey celestial body moving towards the earth … and we’re still talking about a spy-satellite. Okay.

Honorable Mentions

There are many other patches giving a glimpse in the somehow twisted world of PSYOPS:

Wizards controlling the earth through magic is a recurring theme in PSYOPS patches. Is magick still a part of rocket launching like in the times of Jack Parsons and the O.T.O.?

What do the letters at the bottom mean? None of your f***ing business. No, I’m not being rude…that’s what the letters stand for.

Another NRO patch, one that pretty much sums up the meaning of all of the above. The spy-satellite is symbolized by an angry dragon clutching the entire planet with its four claws holding a diamond in its tail. It does not seem to preoccupied with our privacy and other petty things like that.

In Conclusion

Although it isn’t possible to know exact meaning of the symbols found in these mission patches, they still provide a rare insider’s look at the philosophy, the mind state and the background of the organizations creating them. Sorcerers controlling the earth, vipers surrounding the earth, angry dragons clutching the earth … this is how they perceive themselves and their work. My question is: Should we maybe be a little concerned? One could argue that these patches are meant to be menacing to America’s enemies. This could be true, but most satellites launched by the NRO are meant to spy on North America, hence the emphasis on the continent in many of these patches.

One thing is certain, mission patches are the most honest descriptions we have of these secret missions. Since most of the patches were not intended for mass exposure, they are devoid of public relations sugar-coating. The patches do not talk about “bringing democracy and the light of freedom to the world”… they show the world in chains and in flames, controlled by dragons and sorcerers, and their words threaten death and destruction.

The occult symbolism illustrated in these patches is also reminder that these organizations have relations to secret societies and are “in the know”. And those who are not in the know, the uninitiated masses, the profane, are not welcome.

“Procul Este Profani”: “Keep your distance, you who are uninitiated.”

 

 

 

 

 

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JOHN DOE – WHISTLEBLOWER – April 28, 2011

Posted by Admin on May 22, 2011

http://projectcamelotproductions.com/interviews/john_doe%20whistleblower/john_doe.html

The following is an overview of information given to me a few days ago by a source I have named John Doe.

Most, if not all, of this information covers previously released info however, this can be seen as up-to-date verification of much of that testimony gathered from various other whistleblowers and researchers. John Doe was recruited into the CIA at a young age and has been involved in many operations including Iran Contra.

He first described being taken to one of the underground bases in Colorado – dumb (deep underground military base). Says it allows for 100,000 people, has high ceilings massive rooms, something like a Mall. He said these bases are built for cataclysmic events coming anytime up to 6 years in the future. He said that people like him are told “you are going to have ticket” … not true. Most of them are being misled to believe that. He said the problem they are having now is that they realize that many facilities they have built won’t survive.. so they are hard at work retrofitting them and trying to bring them up to speed. He says he has been in 4 ..there are dozens.

While down in one of the bases he was introduced to a human looking ET — (the description best fits those known as Nordics- my label – Kerry). He says these human-looking visitors are all over the Pentagon and CIA… He describes them as being very handsome, around 6’3″ with very striking eyes. His impression is that they are not overly friendly with no obvious sense of humor. The one he met looked to be in his 30s.

This individual said that they are using and sharing technology with us that has been around for thousands of years. There’s life everywhere in the universe. However, the earth is one of a only a handful of planets that has everything… an extremely interesting and desirable planet. He said the diversity here is rare but not unique.

He said that real intel comes from the mid-level guys…. And this is where ‘information flows’. Interestingly, he said that the mid-level guys are not convinced these guys (the Nordics) are only here to help…He said they are in essence, intergalactic capitalists. They have been here for thousands of years… And that they never give without taking something.

The secret government is on a crash program to finish the facilities and to get the them up to snuff before the Earth changes. He said they had to escalate their work and correspondingly the influx of cash… To that end they have been using the drug trade to fund their endeavors and when they run out there they had to steal money off the people in order to complete the work in time.

He stressed there is a lot of mistrust on the mid-level who are not as convinced as those on the higher levels of management that the Nordics can be trusted… and also that their supervisors are telling them the truth… about anything.

John Doe talked about the technology we have received from the ETs and said, what people don’t realize is that along with what we have received, you also have to use terrestrial materials to make it work. And that there’s a lot of problems with converting the technology to get it to work here in this dimension and on Earth. You need to do a great deal of R&D to convert the technologies to get them to work here. When things don’t work, this adds to the mistrust.

In regard to the military/secret government, he said, that these guys have worked for 50 years in order to be prepared and to save a semblance of civilization.

Cataclysmic changes could happen anytime but not on a specific date like December 21, 2012… He said there will be an escalating of severity and will take from now up to the next 6 years. This, he said, is fairly agreed upon among the ranks.

There is a known object entering our solar system that is on an orbit coming through, that and the line-up of planets next year will cause massive disruptions and eventually, a polar shift. It’s in essence the Apocalypse like Bible speaks of… This incoming planet or actually star (dark star) is also stimulating the high activity of the sun. Things are ratcheting up every year and he can can only guess on the exact time frame.

In general, he talked about the recent revolutions and uprisings in the Middle East and said specifically that Tunesia was not spontaneous event.. He points to the placards in English as evidence of prior planning.

Referring to the Earth changes he said “this is going to be a bloodbath” with approximately a 25-30% survival rate worldwide. The changes will be a process that builds.

He said, while, given access to seeing and hearing about the secret projects they are involved in, that from his point of view they were aimed at destructive technologies and they seemed to have no compunction or conscience over the ultimate aim of the projects. Such as what human in their right mind would want to mess with the upper atmosphere and create destructive weapons… he said he can’t understand it.

He said he is sure that Obama has lost his ticket (to the underground bases) and that he is uninformed or doesn’t get it. He said Clinton however, has his ticket because most of the drug traffic went right through his state… and that he has
ingratiated himself with the CIA from the beginning. He said Pamela Harriman helped get him into office….

Reason for Coming Forward

Paraphrasing… he said, “I would love to get on top of my house and scream it but everybody’s going through their lives and they have got no idea. I want to protect my children and I can’t. I like to believe I have a soul. I would like to get forgiveness.” – John Doe

Note: this information is free to post around the net, all I ask is that you credit Project Camelot Productions. Thank you.

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Pentagon can’t explain ‘missile’ off California

Posted by Admin on November 11, 2010

 

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon said Tuesday it did not know what created a vapor trail that crossed the skies off the Southern California coast and resembled a missile launch.

Video posted on the CBS News website shows an object flying through the evening sky Monday that left a large contrail, or vapor trail. A news helicopter owned by KCBS, a CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, shot the video.

Pentagon officials were stumped by the event. “Nobody within the Department of Defense that we’ve reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is, where it came from,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said.

While the vapor cloud captured on video resembled that created by a rocket in flight, military officials said they didn’t know of any launches in the area.

One expert called it an optical illusion. “It’s an airplane that is heading toward the camera and the contrail is illuminated by the setting sun,” said John Pike, director of the U.S.-based security analyst group globalsecurity.org.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, issued a statement jointly with the U.S. Northern Command, or NORTHCOM, saying no Department of Defense entities reported a missile launch — scheduled or inadvertent — at the time of the contrail, and no foreign military missile launch was detected.

NORAD said it determined there was no threat to the U.S. homeland.

The Federal Aviation Administration ran radar replays from Monday afternoon and they “did not reveal any fast-moving, unidentified targets,” the statement said. No pilots reported unusual sightings to the FAA.

NORTHCOM is the U.S. defense command and NORAD is a U.S.-Canadian organization charged with protecting the U.S. from the threat of missiles or hostile aircraft.

Pike said the object could not have been a rocket because it appeared to alter its course.

“The local station chopped up the video and so it’s hard to watch it continuously,” Pike said. “But at one place you can see it has changed course — rockets don’t do that.”

Pike said he didn’t understand why the military had not recognized the contrail of an aircraft. “The Air Force must … understand how contrails are formed,” he said. “Why they can’t get some major out to belabor the obvious, I don’t know.”

___

Associated Press writers Jeff Wilson and John Antczak in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

 

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US-Saudi arms deal ripples from Iran to Israel

Posted by Admin on October 21, 2010

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – As American and Saudi officials spent months quietly hammering out a wish list for a mammoth sale of American warplanes and other weapons to the oil-rich kingdom, leaders in Iran were busy publicly displaying their advances in missiles, naval craft and air power.

In one memorable bit of political theater, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood under a cascade of glitter in August to unveil a drone bomber — dubbed the “ambassador of death” — that he claimed would keep foes in the region “paralyzed” on their bases.

The response by Washington and its cornerstone Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, moved a step ahead Wednesday. The Obama administrationnotified Congress of plans to sell as many as 84 new F-15 fighter jets, helicopters and other gear with an estimated $60 billion price tag.

The proposed deal — one of the biggest single U.S. arms sales — is clearly aimed at countering Iran’s rising military might and efforts to expand its influence.

But it ties together other significant narratives in the region, including an apparent retooling of Israeli policies to tacitly support a stronger, American-armed Saudi Arabia because of common worries about Iran.

It also reinforces the Gulf as the Pentagon’s front-line military network against Iran even as the U.S. sandwiches the Islamic republic with troops and bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In this way, Saudi Arabia does become some sort of buffer between Israel and Iran,” said Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a Swedish think tank that tracks arms sales.

Israel has made no diplomatic rumblings over the proposed Saudi deal — a marked contrast to almost automatic objections decades ago to Pentagon pacts with Arab nations. It’s widely seen as an acknowledgment that Israel’s worries over Iran and its nuclear program far outweigh any small shifts in the Israel-Arab balance of power.

Israel is moving toward a policy of “pick your fights,” said Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv.

“After all,” he added, “Saudi Arabia is not such a big threat to us.”

And Israel does not come out of the current American arms bazaar empty handed. Earlier this month, it signed a deal to purchase 20 F-35 stealth fighters that could possibly reach Iran undetected by radar. Israel has an option for 75 more.

“This equipment is primarily to give (Israel) a better feeling facing the Iranian threat. It is not related to Israeli-Arab relations,” said Inbar. “Ironically, in the current situation, Saudi Arabia is in the same strategic boat as Israel is in facing the Iranian threat.”

Besides the new fighters for Saudi Arabia, the U.S. plans to upgrade an additional 70 of the kingdom’s existing F-15s. State Department and Pentagon officials told lawmakers the sales also will include 190 helicopters, including Apaches and Black Hawks, as well as an array of missiles, bombs, delivery systems and accessories such as night-vision goggles and radar warning systems.

Congress has 30 days to block the deal, which was first revealed in September but has been in negotiations for months. U.S. officials say they aren’t expecting significant opposition.

Iran, meanwhile, has concentrated on its missile arsenal overseen by the powerful Revolutionary Guard. Its solid-fuel Sajjil missile has a reported range of more than 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) — within range of Israel and all main U.S. bases in the region.

Iran’s navy has staged war games in the Gulf and announced major additions to its fleet, including three Iranian-built submarines designed to operate in the Gulf’s shallow waters.

It marks the Gulf as a buyer’s market for arms, led by the U.S. as the dominant Western military power from Kuwait to Oman. Throughout the Gulf, Washington counts on access to Arab allies’ air bases, logistics hubs and the Bahrain headquarters of America’s naval powerhouse in the region — the U.S. 5th Fleet.

A report last month by the U.S. General Accountability Office said Washington approved $22 billion worth of military equipment transfers to the six Gulf Arab states between fiscal 2005 and 2009 through a Pentagon-managed program.

More than half was earmarked for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, including a $6.5 billion deal in 2009 for the UAE to buy the Patriot missile defense system.

The UAE agreement was the largest single arms approval during the five-year period — but is dwarfed by the proposed Saudi deal.

The researcher Wezeman said Iran is clearly the top perceived threat for the Gulf Arabs, but there are background concerns about Iraq’s stability and the unrest in neighboring Yemen that includes Shiite Hawthi rebels and Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaida. The Saudi military was drawn into rare fighting in northern Yemen starting late last year, using airstrikes and artillery to battle a Hawthi rebellion that was spilling across the border.

“Of course it’s against Iran. Of course it’s against Yemen,” said Wezeman. “You can read between the lines … but there are not any official statements about it.”

Wezeman’s group issued a report this month that estimates the eight nations ringing the Gulf — including rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia — accounted for 10 percent of all conventional weapons imports between 2005-2009.

The appetite was on display earlier this month when envoys from more than 50 U.S. defense and aerospace firms held talks in Abu Dhabi, where they were welcomed by the UAE’s minister of foreign trade at an opulent hotel on the shores of the Gulf.

As the American defense budget tightens, the Gulf’s deep pockets beckon.

“This is a critical time for our companies abroad as the U.S. defense budget continues to face pressures at home,” said a statement from Lawrence Farrell, head of the National Defense Industrial Association based outside Washington.

Jane Kinninmont, a Middle East and Africa specialist at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said concerns over Iran are the primary motivation for the Saudi arms expansion. But she wonders how much the untested Gulf forces rattle Iranian commanders who are almost all veterans of the 1980-88 war with Iraq.

“I would not be surprised if the Iranians are pretty cynical about the armies here,” she said during an interview in Dubai. “To put it bluntly, they’ve fought a war.”

___

Associated Press Writers Mark Lavie and Aron Heller in Jerusalem, and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

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How some retired military officers became well-paid consultants

Posted by Admin on September 4, 2010

Seal of the United States Department of Defense

Image via Wikipedia

Retired military officers cash in as well-paid consultants

    WASHINGTON — Six months after Marine Lt. Gen. Gary McKissock retired in 2002, he did what many other ex-military leaders do: He joined the board of directors of a defense contractor, a company doing business with his former service.

    McKissock also had a second job. The Marines brought him back as an adviser, at double the rate of pay he made on active duty. Since 2005, the Marines have awarded McKissock contracts worth $1.2 million, in addition to his military pension of about $119,000 a year.

    McKissock is one of at least 158 retired admirals and generals the Pentagon has hired to offer advice under an unusual arrangement. Most of the retired officers, one to four stars in rank, have been paid hundreds of dollars an hour by the military even as they worked for companies seeking Defense Department contracts, a USA TODAY investigation found. That’s in addition to pensions of $100,000 to $200,000 a year for officers with 30 or more years of service.

     

    As “senior mentors,” as the military calls them, the retired officers help run war games and offer advice to former colleagues. Some mentors make as much as $330 an hour as part-time government advisers, more than triple what their rate of pay was as high-level, active-duty officers. They earn more — far more, several mentors said in interviews — as consultants and board members to defense companies.

    Retired generals have taken jobs with defense contractors for decades, reaping rewards for themselves and their companies through their contacts and insights. But the recent growth in the use of mentors has created a new class of individuals who enjoy even more access than a typical retired officer, and they get paid by the military services while doing so. Most are compensated both by taxpayers and industry, with little to prevent their private employers from using knowledge they obtain as mentors in seeking government work.

    Nothing is illegal about the arrangements. In fact, there are no Pentagon-wide rules specific to the various mentor programs, which differ from service to service.

    Based on interviews and a review of public records, USA TODAY found:

    • Of the 158 retired generals and admirals identified as having worked for the military as senior mentors, 80% had financial ties to defense contractors, including 29 who were full-time executives of defense companies. Those with industry ties have earned salaries, fees or stock options as consultants, board members or full-time employees of defense firms.

    • Mentors are paid from about $200 to $340 an hour, plus expenses — many times the rate of pay for active-duty generals, who typically make $170,000 to $216,000 a year, including a housing allowance.

    • Mentors are hired as independent contractors and are not subject to government ethics rules that would apply if they were hired as part-time federal employees. They don’t have to disclose, either to the military or the public, the identities of their clients. Mentors are not barred from lobbying the same officers they are advising, from advertising their military adviser role on company websites, or from taking commercial advantage of insights gleaned through their government work.

    • Mentors operate outside public scrutiny. Although the services have released broad pay rates, most won’t say how much individual mentors have been paid, and one, the Missile Defense Agency, declined to release any names. Other services released some names but couldn’t say the lists were complete. USA TODAY identified many mentors by scouring military documents and other public records.

    • In some cases, mentors also work for weapons-makers who have an interest in the military planning the mentors are assisting. A Marines exercise last year, which explored how to launch operations from ships, employed mentors who also had financial relationships with companies that sell products designed to aid those operations.

    “This setup invites abuse,” says Janine Wedel, a George Mason University public policy professor and author of a forthcoming book on government contracting. “Everyone in this story is fat and happy. Everyone, of course, except the public, which has virtually no way of knowing what’s going on, much less holding these guys to account.”

    If retired generals advising the Pentagon also are “being paid by somebody who wants to make money off the government, I think it’s important the public know that,” says Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who chairs the subcommittee on contracting oversight. “The reason … is so the people have confidence that the decisions are being made based on merit, and not based on inside baseball.”

    Marine Gen. James Mattis is the commander of Norfolk-based Joint Forces Command, which pays at least 34 senior mentors to train active-duty generals and admirals. He confirms that mentors who also work for defense clients may pick up information that benefits their private employer, but he believes that’s the only way to ensure that top experts are teaching officers.

    “If your concern is that we’re exposing them to things that would allow them to have an advantage for their company, I doubt if that can be refuted,” Mattis says. “I believe that’s a reality. The only way to not have that would be to have either amateurs on their boards of directors, or amateurs in our thing.”

    Imposing “an assumption of distrust and firewalls,” could sour retired generals on the mentoring program, Mattis says. “Ultimately it comes down to trust.”

    ‘Way below industry average’

    Mentors say they police themselves and would never abuse their positions.

    Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, 66, served as a mentor for a Joint Forces strategy exercise last year. “If it ever came across that you were pitching a product (as a mentor), I don’t think you’d ever be invited back,” he says.

    Zinni, who retired in 2000 as chief of U.S. Central Command, is chairman of the board of BAE Systems, a large U.S. defense contractor. He had been executive vice president for Dyncorp International, another major defense firm, which paid him $946,000 last year, securities records show. Zinni is eligible for an annual pension of about $129,000, according to military formulas.

    “Obviously it informs how you think about things,” he says. “I don’t think you can deny that. But sometimes your involvement in the defense industry is exactly what they’re looking for beyond your military experience.”

    The Joint Forces Command says it cannot disclose what Zinni and others were paid as mentors because the information is held by a government-paid contractor, Northrop Grumman, which hires the mentors as subcontractors. The rate for three-star generals — Zinni is a four-star — is around $1,600 a day plus expenses, the command said in a statement.

    The Marines say its mentors are paid $187 an hour for labor alone, while the Navy released figures showing mentors were paid an average of $330 an hour including expenses. Air Force mentors are paid $160 to $486 an hour, not including expenses, the Air Force says.

    Retired Army Gen. Gary Luck, 72, helps coordinate the mentor program for Joint Forces Command. Luck says he considers the pay “way below the industry average. … I’m almost embarrassed about this.”

    He says he tells mentors, “Look, part of your pay is being kept up to date, being included, so you’re getting paid in two ways — monetarily and informationally.”

    Luck, the former top commander in Korea, serves on the advisory board of TASER International, a defense contractor. He says it poses no conflict with his full-time mentoring work.

    Information learned by mentors has great value, says Richard Aboulafia, chief aerospace analyst at the Teal Group, which consults for the government and industry on aerospace issues. Teal doesn’t employ retired generals.

    “It’s the most valuable form of market intelligence for a lot of companies,” Aboulafia says of senior mentors in war games. “The companies get an insight into what kind of technologies and products are needed to meet emerging strategic visions and requirements.”

    After Lt. Gen. McKissock retired and started mentoring the Marines on managing supplies, his specialty, he joined the board of Sapient Corp., a Marines contractor. He worked closely while on active duty. As a Sapient director, he was paid a total of $663,000 from 2003 to 2009, securities records show. He left the board this year.

    While McKissock was the Marines’ senior mentor, Sapient continued to win supply management contracts from the Marines. In 2006, the company was named a prime vendor by the Marines for business services.

    McKissock says he “never talked to a soul in the Marine Corps” about Sapient while he was on the company’s board.

    “I lose money when I do it,” McKissock says of serving as a mentor. He was paid $166,500 plus expenses as a mentor in 2009, Marine records show.

    Some retired officers say they would not work as mentors if they couldn’t also work for defense firms.

    “My wife wouldn’t let me,” says Adm. Gregory Johnson, 63, the former commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe.

    Johnson says he works as a mentor for about five weeks a year and consults for undisclosed defense firms. Additionally, he was paid about $133,000 last year to serve on the board of defense contractor CACI International, securities records show. With mentoring alone, “you can’t make enough money,” he says.

    “I don’t buy that. That’s baloney,” counters Maj. Gen. Waldo Freeman, an analyst at the non-profit Institute for Defense Analyses who mentors part time. “I think it’s absolutely wrong for somebody to have one foot in both camps.

    “I don’t see how somebody can be on some (corporate) board, and then be a senior mentor — whereby he is learning information that could advantage his company — and say that’s ethical.”

    ‘Not your business’

    The U.S. Army says it began paying retired generals to come back as mentors in the late 1980s. The Joint Forces Command program dates to 1995. The Air Force began a mentoring program in 2000, the Marines in 2002 and the Navy in 2004, according to the military services and commands.

    Some mentoring is done in classrooms at war colleges, some in meetings at the Pentagon and some in war zones. Though they are modeled after one another, the programs are separate — run by the military branches and various commands, not the Defense Department. There is no single budget or set of policies.

    In fact, Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz in May ordered his staff to determine the number, location and compensation of Air Force mentors, according to the general doing the review, Brig. Gen. John R. “Bob” Ranck.

    In interviews, Mattis, Ranck and other active-duty officials extol the benefits of the programs, calling them an invaluable way to train leaders and hear from experts who no longer have to worry about career advancement. Mentors give advice untainted by their business interests, they say. “They’re pretty self-policing,” Ranck says.

    Spending on the programs has grown in recent years. The Navy, for example, went from spending $112,000 to pay mentors in 2005 to $838,000 for its four mentors in the current year, according to figures that service released, which do not include the Marines. Other services would not release similar spending figures, but said the programs have expanded. The Army now uses mentors in 70 exercises a year, up from 31 in 2002, says Col. Steven Boylan, an Army spokesman.

    Other information is kept from public view. For example, the military services have never made public a full list of their senior mentors. All but the Marines say they are unable to disclose how much each mentor has been paid. They can’t do so, they say, because the information is the property of contracting firms who pay the mentors as subcontractors.

    The Air Force, Marines, Army and Navy released some names after repeated requests by USA TODAY. Spokesmen for the Air Force, Marines and Army said they could not be sure the lists were complete. The Air Force, for example, was only able to provide names for the most recent fiscal year. The Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Department’s missile defense research, testing and deployment arm, refused, without explanation, to disclose the names.

    None of the services collects data about the mentors’ private business affiliations.

    “Government ethics laws are in place for a reason,” Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said in a statement. “These laws require that any potential conflicts of interest be disclosed, evaluated and managed. I would expect the Pentagon to fully comply with both the letter and spirit of these requirements. The invaluable expertise of retired military officers should be utilized without sacrificing transparency and accountability.”

    Some mentors earn more as part-time advisers than they did while serving.

    For example, the Marines say they paid retired Lt. Gen. Martin Berndt $212,000 plus expenses to be a part-time mentor in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30. Berndt, 62, retired in 2005 as commander of Marines forces in the Atlantic region, a job that paid about $148,000 a year.

    In 2008, he was paid $133,787 in stock and fees to serve on the board of Point Blank Solutions, which sells body armor to the Marines, securities records show.

    There was no conflict of interest, he says, because he played no role in the Marines buying from Point Blank, whose board he left in June.

    “My role as a board member did not involve selling or marketing,” he says.

    Others, who are full-time consultants or employees of defense firms, spend just a few weeks a year mentoring. Retired Adm. Robert Natter, who commanded the Atlantic fleet from 2000-03, is a senior mentor and helps lead a U.S. Pacific Command war games exercise each year in Taiwan, he says. The military did not disclose his pay for mentoring.

    Natter, 64, is a registered lobbyist for the city of Jacksonville, Fla., who lobbies the Navy and Defense Department on military basing issues, Senate lobbying records show.

    He is also a defense consultant and a board member of weapons-maker BAE Systems. From 2004 through 2006, his firm received $1.5 million from the state of Florida to lobby the Navy and Congress on base-closing decisions, federal lobbying records show.

    Natter declined to discuss the full list of his clients, saying, “It’s my business, not your business.” The website for his consultancy, R.J. Natter & Associates, says clients have included Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, IBM and Embraer North America.

    “The reality is that you know that the people in the room are not stupid,” he says, when asked how he juggles potential conflicts of interests while mentoring. “And secondly, you very seldom get into specific systems of ships or tanks or things like that.”

    Natter was a mentor last year on a Marine exercise designed to explore how to build bases using ships at sea. In 2006, a BAE executive told Defense Daily the company was developing a close-range gun that could be mounted on ships used for what is known as sea basing. The system is still in development, BAE spokesman Scott Fazekas says.

    Natter says he is unaware of any specific products by BAE or any of his consulting clients related to sea basing.

    “The taxpayers are getting a steal,” Natter says about his mentor pay.

    A game with few rules

    Private defense companies have long been hiring retired senior officers to help them do business with the military, and Congress periodically has sought to regulate the practice.

    Post-Watergate ethics laws prohibited senior government officials from immediately lobbying their former agencies. A decade later, amid a massive Pentagon bribery scandal, Congress strictly regulated the purchasing system to insulate it from outside influence.

    Nevertheless, access and insider knowledge are still prized. A Government Accountability Office report last year found that as of 2006, defense contractors employed 2,435 former generals, admirals, senior executives, contracting officers or others in acquisition positions senior enough to be subject to lobbying rules.

    Retired generals and admirals, like other senior government officials, are barred from representing companies before their agency for a year after leaving office. They are prohibited for life from representing a company about a particular matter they worked on, such as a specific contract. After a year, however, they are free to lobby their former colleagues on new matters.

    The U.S. government, and the Pentagon specifically, also has ethics rules for hiring consultants.

    “In the Department, almost all consultants and all members of advisory committees are appointed as Special Government Employees,” says guidance posted on the website of the Defense Department’s Standards of Conduct Office. “This means that upon appointment, you assume the responsibilities, obligations and restrictions that are part of public service.”

    Employees who work more than 60 days in a year and are paid at an executive rate are required to file public financial disclosure reports. They also are forbidden from lobbying the agency about contracts and other specific matters, according to the Office of Government Ethics.

    Senior mentors for the military don’t have to follow those rules, however, because they are contractors, not employees.

    The Marines hire mentors directly on individual personal services contracts, while the other services contract with a defense company and require that firm to hire the retired generals as subcontractors. Luck, the head Joint Forces mentor, called that arrangement an accounting device, a “pass-through. There’s no question to anybody where I work, who I work for.”

    Ranck, the general examining Air Force mentoring programs, says one reason that mentors are not hired as employees is so they can get higher pay and have freedom from the government ethics bureaucracy. Special consultants can only be paid up to $80 an hour, he says, and the ethics rules constrain their ability to consult for private companies.

    Not all mentors consider it appropriate to also work for defense contractors. Admiral Henry Chiles, 71, who retired in 1996 as commander of the U.S. Strategic Command and who now mentors at the National Defense University, says he steers clear of defense companies. “I think by virtue of doing that work for the government, it behooves me not to represent defense contractors,” he says.

    Under a policy directive issued last week by Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, the Air Force will encourage that mentors be hired as government employees when possible. Senior mentors hired on contract who might “potentially influence procurement decisions” would be required to file a confidential financial disclosure under the policy. The Air Force says the new policy is unrelated to USA TODAY’s inquiries.

    Ranck says retired four-star generals probably would continue to be hired as contractors because they would want the higher pay and freedom from government ethics rules.

    A rule barring senior mentors from representing defense firms before the military “would cause people to reassess,” says Air Force Gen. Gregory “Speedy” Martin, who retired in 2005 as commander of the Air Force Materiel Command. He now mentors for Joint Forces Command and the Air Force. His consulting clients have included Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, he says. He also advises a private equity firm whose website boasts that its stable of retired generals has “a nearly unmatched sense of how the armed forces will spend its money.”

    Martin acknowledges he has contacted Air Force officials involved in acquisitions on behalf of firms paying him. He says he always identified his clients and never did anything inappropriate. He would not be more specific.

    Martin recognizes that the insights gleaned while participating in classified planning exercises could make him a more valuable defense consultant. “I am sure that I am getting current information and updates that could make me ‘useful’ to some aerospace contractor,” Martin says in an e-mail.

    However, he adds, the information he got through mentoring is no more useful than what he got through other connections with active-duty officers, including briefings and social contacts. “The question,” he says, “is what you do with that information.”

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    Pentagon Wants $33 Billion More for War in Afghanistan

    Posted by Admin on March 29, 2010

    Pentagon Wants $33 Billion More for War in Afghanistan

    by: Gordon Lubold   |  The Christian Science Monitor

    Washington — The Pentagon wants $33 billion in additional funding to pay for the war in Afghanistan this year and train the Afghan military, but members of Congress want to make sure they’re not writing a blank check.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared before Senate appropriators to defend the war supplemental, which is on top of the $708 billion baseline budget submitted to Congress in February.

    Most of the war supplemental – a separate account used to pay for war costs – will pay for Afghanistan operations. Of that, $2.6 billion is to train the Afghan national security force, seen as a long-term endeavor that Congress worries could become a burden over time.

    When Can US Forces Leave?

    “The question is, how long is that going to have to continue to the point where we can kind of say we’ve done our thing,” asked Sen. George Voinovich (R) of Ohio. “Five years, ten years, 15 years?”

    That question is atop many lawmakers minds as they consider what the Obama administration has said from the start will take years to accomplish.

    The Iraq security forces, now nearly 665,000 strong, took at least six years to build. But Iraq had more resources, and American trainers were already working within a culture in which a formal military existed under Sadaam Hussein. Afghanistan’s modern history has never had a formal military structure, and there are even fewer resources in Afghanistan to support one.

    Despite contributions from NATO countries, that still leaves the US holding much of the bag when it comes to training the Afghan indigenous force.

    While President Obama has pledged to begin removing American troops from Afghanistan in 2011, the training mission will likely continue long after that.

    “We are in this intense phase that will be several years,” Ms. Clinton said in answer to Mr. Voinovich’s question. “Obviously, I don’t know that either of us could put a timeline on it. What we’re trying to do simultaneously is clear territory from the Taliban, be able to work more closely with the Afghan army, and at the same time create more capacity.”

    Although NATO allies contribute to the training effort – Germany, for example, the third largest contributor of forces to Afghanistan, is almost uniquely charged with training operations in the north – the US will shoulder much of the burden for the long-term.

    US Commanders Concerned About Afghan Forces

    “I know many of you have concerns about the Afghan security forces,” Mr. Gates said in his opening statement. “I share those concerns, as do our military commanders.”

    Gates noted that the Afghan army has made “real progress” over the last year, and that many Afghan soldiers are making enormous sacrifices for their country. But Gates emphasized that the US can get out of Afghanistan faster if the training piece of the mission is done right, and that will likely take time. And while much praise goes to the Afghan army, the police force – seen as widely corrupt – will be a much harder fix.

    “As you consider this request, I would emphasize that successfully accomplishing the training mission represents both our exit strategy and the key for long-term stability in Afghanistan,” Gates said.

    But as a reminder of the cost of training indigenous militaries, the $33 billion funding request includes $1 billion still needed to strengthen Iraqi security forces, a force many consider to be all but fully trained as the US prepares to remove all its combat forces by August.

    Gates said the money will help to “ensure that the Iraqis are fully prepared to assume internal security responsibilities.”

    All republished content that appears on Truthout has been obtained by permission or license.

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