Posts Tagged ‘Pentagon’

Somali journalists jailed for reporting about rape


This video says about itself:

Women imprisoned for being raped in Somalia – FOCUS – 06/06/2013

In Somalia, women who fled a famine two years ago are now falling prey to rape by militias and even government troops. These attacks are taking place in displaced [persons’] camps where they hoped to find refuge. An organisation is helping victims, offering counselling and legal support, but it’s uphill battle in a country where speaking out against rape is still widely considered taboo. In January this year, a woman was even sent to prison after complaining that she was violated by government soldiers.

In Afghanistan, the Pentagon and its NATO allies have installed a government wanting to bring back the death penalty by stoning.

In Somalia, the Pentagon and its NATO allies have installed a government using its police and jails to cover up rape scandals.

From Dalsan Radio (Mogadishu, Somalia):

SomaliaShabelle Radio Director Arrested Over Rape Case

26 November 2013

Shabelle Radio dircetor arrested for allowing a reporter to use the station’s camera to record an interview with an alleged rape victim.

Somali government security forces have arrested the director of privately owned radio station Shabelle for allowing a reporter to use the station’s camera to record an interview with an alleged rape victim.

Abdimalik Yusuf Mohamud said he was arrested because a camera belonging to the station was used by Mohamed Bashir, a Shabelle reporter who interviewed the alleged victim.

“I’m in prison because Mohamed, who is also in prison with me, interviewed the woman that was allegedly raped using a camera belonging to the radio station,” he said.

Bashir was arrested five days ago when a video interview of the alleged victim surfaced online. The alleged victim and the reporter who interviewed her were arrested after the alleged attackers filed a defamation case against both of them. No date for hearing has been set.

Somalia‘s western backed government said it cannot do anything about the case, which is in the hands of the court.

… The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on the Somali government to release the journalists.

“We call upon authorities to release Mohamed Bashir and the victim of the alleged rape, and to ensure a transparent and efficient investigation into the allegations,” Tom Rhodes of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“This is not the first time in Somalia that the victim of an alleged rape and a messenger are harassed or imprisoned for reporting such allegations.” Last month, Somali government security forces raided the Mogadishu-based Radio Shabelle, forcing the station to go off the air.

Somalia is considered on the most dangerous working environment for journalists. In 2012 alone more than 12 journalists were killed in Somalia– the second highest total in the world after Syria – with most of the killings occurring in the capital city Mogadishu.

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Pentagon: Israel’s future fighter jet critically flawed

Leaked Pentagon report reveals fatal F-35 fighter jet flaws; ‘Unacceptable for combat or combat training,’ says report; Israel to buy 25 jets for $238 million each


Fatal flaws within the cockpit of the US military’s most expensive fighter jet ever are causing further problems with the Pentagon’s dubious F-35 program, Israel’s future combat aircraft.

A new report from the Pentagon warns that any pilot that boards the pricey aircraft places himself in danger without even going into combat.

In a leaked memo reported by the RT news agency, a Pentagon official prefaces a report on the F-35 by cautioning that even training missions cannot be safely performed on board the aircraft at this time.

“The training management system lags in development compared to the rest of the Integrated Training Center and does not yet have all planned functionality,” the report reads in part.

זהו ה-F-35 (צילום: רויטרס)

The F-35 (Photo: Reuters)

“The out-of-cockpit visibility in the F-35A is less than other Air Force fighter aircraft,” one excerpt reads.

Elsewhere, the report includes quotes from pilots commenting after test missions onboard the aircraft:

“The head rest is too large and will impede aft (rear) visibility and survivability during surface and air engagements,” said one. “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned (down) every time” in dogfights, remarked another.

“Aft visibility could turn out to be a significant problem for all F-35 pilots in the future,” the Pentagon admits.

In one chart included in the report, the Pentagon says there are eight crucial flaws with the aircraft that have raises serious red flags within the Department of Defense.

The plane’s lack of maturity, reduced pilot situational awareness during an emergency and the risk of the aircraft’s fuel barriers catching fire are also cited, as is the likelihood of a pilot in distress becoming unable to escape his aircraft during an emergency.

The Pentagon report described flaws as “unacceptable for combat or combat training.”

Yedioth Aharonoth reported that jet makers Lockheed Martin stated they are aware of the problems and that some have already been solved, adding that the aircraft’s maintenance and operation are being improved.

The latest news regarding the F-35s comes less than one month after a separate incident forced the Department of Defense to ground their entire arsenal of fighter jets. In February, jet makers Lockheed Martin issued a statement acknowledging that a routine inspection on a test plane turned up cracked turbine blade.

Each F-35 fighter jet is valued at $238 million and, according to recent estimates, the entire operation will cost the country $1 trillion in order to keep the jets up and running through 2050.

That high price tag has given several countries cold feet about the jet. Last week, Canada pulled out of a deal to buy 65 F-35s over fears that the aircraft could be too expensive to run. Italy reduced its purchase to 90 F-35s from an initial 131, and even the US has delayed some of its purchases.



Insightful, provides a clue to the seminal inspiration, real ideological and political force behind the rise of the Christo-fascist, American Religious Right!

Behind the Dictators

Fascism and Nazism as the political arms of Right Wing Catholicism


Operation INFEKTION: Soviet Bloc Intelligence and Its AIDS Disinformation Campaign

“Our friends in Moscow call it ‘dezinformatsiya.’ Our enemies in America call it ‘active measures,’ and I, dear friends, call it ‘my favorite pastime.’”—Col. Rolf Wagenbreth, director of Department X(disinformation) of East German foreign intelligence The CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence has just published Volume 53, Number 4 (December 2009) of Studies in Intelligence. The issue includes an unclassified extract from a classified study of the Soviet Union’s propaganda “campaign to implicate the United States in the emergence of the AIDS pandemic that appeared in the early 1980s.” According to a note at the beginning of the extract, “This article was the recipient of an Annual Studies in Intelligence Award in 2009.”The author writes:

The opening salvo of the AIDS disinformation campaign was fired on 17 July 1983, when an obscure newspaper in India, the Patriot, printed an anonymous letter headlined “AIDS may invade India: Mystery disease caused by US experiments.” The letter, allegedly written by a “well-known American scientist and anthropologist” in New York, claimed that “AIDS…is believed to be the result of the Pentagon’s experiments to develop new and dangerous biological weapons.” (4)

The 17 July letter’s extensive quoting of US sources—e.g., U.S. News & World Report, Associated Press, and Army Research, Development & Acquisition magazine—suggests that US-based KGB officers initiated the AIDS campaign, or at least collected the material that triggered the idea. The KGB had large residencies in New York City and Washington, DC, both of which were assigned officers who worked solely on active measures. (5)

Read the CIA’s introduction here and the actual study by Thomas Boghardt here.


The next wave in robotic war: autonomous drones

by Dan De Luce

Agençe France-Presse

U.S. military helicopter

Piloted U.S. military aircraft may soon be a thing of the past as technology for autonomous drones improves.

Credit: iStockphoto

WASHINGTON: The U.S. military’s current fleet of drones will soon be overtaken by a new wave of robots that will be faster, stealthier and smarter – operating virtually without human intervention, experts say.

The Pentagon is investing heavily in ‘autonomy’ for robotic weapons, with researchers anticipating squadrons of drones in the air, land or sea that would work in tandem with manned machines – often with a minimum of supervision.

“Before they were blind, deaf and dumb. Now we’re beginning to make them to see, hear and sense,” Mark Maybury, chief scientist for the U.S. Air Force, said.

Unmanned aircraft are now overseen by ‘pilots’ on the ground, but as the drones become more sophisticated, the role of remote operators will be more hands-off.

From operator to supervisor

Instead of being “in the loop”, humans will be “on the loop”, said Maybury, explaining that operators will be able to “dial in” when needed to give a drone direction for a specific task.

“We’re moving into more and more autonomous systems. That’s an evolutionary arc,” said Peter Singer, an expert on robotic weapons and author of Wired for War.

“So the role moves from being sort of the operator from afar, to more like the supervisor or manager, and a manager giving more and more of a leash, more and more independence,” he said.

Despite the dramatic advances in technology, the American military insists humans will remain in control when it comes to using lethal force.

Lawyers aren’t ready for this

But the next generation of increasingly capable drones will stretch man’s capacity to control robots in battle, generating unprecedented moral and legal quandaries.

“These [technological] responses that are driven by science, politics and battlefield necessity get you into areas where the lawyers just aren’t ready for it yet,” Singer said.

Over the next decade, changes in computing power will enable teams of hi-tech drones to operate virtually on their own, or as ‘robotic wingmen’ to piloted aircraft, said Werner Dahm, the U.S. Air Force’s former top scientist.

At a testing range in the Arizona desert, Apache helicopters are flying together with unmanned choppers in experiments the Pentagon believes will serve as an eventual model for future warfare.

‘Alone and unafraid’ doctrine turned upside down

“We’re not far away from having a single piloted Apache or other helicopter system and a larger number of unmanned systems that fly with that,” said Dahm, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Arizona State University.

“These require very high levels of machine reasoning. We’re much closer to that than most people realise,” Dahm said.

The new technology has turned the U.S. Air Force’s doctrine upside down. For decades, the military trained pilots to face an enemy “alone and unafraid,” flying deep into hostile territory to strike at a target and then return home.

Now the Air Force is planning for scenarios in which different tasks would be divided up among manned and unmanned ‘systems’, with drones jamming enemy air defences, tracking targets and assessing bomb damage, while piloted warplanes oversee the launching of bombs and missiles.

“It’s difficult to prove something won’t go wrong”

Instead of the slow-flying turbo-prop Predator, future drones will likely more closely resemble their manned counterparts, with a longer range, more powerful jet engines and radar-evading stealth design, which the bat-winged Sentinel drone already has pioneered.

But the biggest technical hurdle for Pentagon-funded scientists is delivering an iron-clad guarantee that the more autonomous vehicles will not make a grievous mistake with potentially catastrophic consequences.

“You have to be able to show that the system is not going to go awry – you have to disprove a negative,” Dahm said. “It’s very difficult to prove that something won’t go wrong.”

Emotionless, ethical warriors

One veteran robotics scientist, Ronald Arkin, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, believes that countries will inevitably deploy independent robots capable of killing an enemy without a human pushing a button.

Arkin, who has worked on U.S. defence programs for years, argues that robotic weapons can and should be designed as “ethical” warriors, with the ability to distinguish combatants from innocent civilians.

Without emotions to cloud their judgment and anger driving their actions, the robots could wage war in a more restrained, “humane” way, in accordance with the laws of war, Arkin said.

“It is not my belief that an unmanned system will be able to be perfectly ethical in the battlefield, but I am convinced that they can perform more ethically than human soldiers are capable of,” he wrote.