Most Americans only know what multi-national corporations have decided to allow on television or in major newspapers and magazines. We often encounter interesting military information ignored by the corporate "mainstream" press, and post it in our member Library to stimulate thought and discussion. We post last years G2 Gems here for visitors.
December 2000 - American spy convicted
American businessman Edmund Pope was convicted of espionage in a Russian court and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The U.S. State Department and several Congressmen expressed outrage and warned that Pope's confinement will worsen diplomatic relations.
Most of the corporate media and several arrogant American politicians failed to disclose the background in this case. Pope was a recently retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer who was fluent in Russian and had visited Russia 27 times on "business". Pope was arrested while trying to buy blueprints of an advanced high-speed Russian "Squall" torpedo. Pope never contested these facts, his only defense was that the Russians had sold similar torpedoes to several nations, so the information really wasn't secret.
Pope was not representing any corporation, he claims to have started his own technology transfer business. He did not attempt to deal with the Russian government, he offered money to the manager of the company who made the torpedo, but was turned away. Finally, he began to acquire information by bribing a professor. Pope could not explain why he flew to Russia 27 times to try to obtain this technology when it was available from open sources like he claims. He testified that he hoped to adapt the torpedo technology for commercial use, which is difficult to imagine.
Obviously, Pope is a clumsy CIA spy who was caught red handed. Any former military intelligence officer who travels to Russia and attempts to buy advanced military technology from unofficial sources is a fool. The USA should quietly apologize for the incident and begin working on an exchange for Pope. Unfortunately, the obnoxious behavior of American politicians only worsens America's image as an international bully and hurts the chance to deal for Pope's release.
December 2000 - U.S. Navy Admirals refuse to lead
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office concluded that the U.S. Navy needs an immediate 19% boost in funding to maintain the current fleet in future years. No one believes the Navy will get an extra $17 billion dollars a year, but Navy Admirals refuse to develop a realistic fleet plan. As a result, the Budget office offers four radical options at this link Tomorrow's Navy.
December 2000 - U.S. Military goes blind
The U.S. military's concept of the future is available online and called Joint Vision 2020. It consists of several pages of buzz words and meaningless jargon which is painful to read. Senior military officers should be embarrassed to publish such trash. Joint Vision 2020 shows the direction of the U.S. military; nowhere.
December 2000 - Iraq employing GPS jammers
"Aviation Week" reports that a Lockheed Martin briefer said Iraq has bought some Russian GPS jammers and used them to lead American aircraft off course. A 4-watt version reputedly can jam up to 120 miles. Lockheed Martin claims to have developed an anti-jamming device, but experts are skeptical.
December 2000 - B-2C bombers to include radar jammers
The B-2 bomber program continues wasting billions of dollars. Even before the last of 21 B-2s rolled off the production line, they were rolled back in to fix flaws with a B-2B version. Last year, Yugoslav gunners downed an F-117 "light bomber" at night after it was tracked with simple low band radar. Afterwards, both the B-2 and F-117s were escorted by radar jamming EA-6Bs. As a result, a proposal has emerged to include radar jammers in the B-2s as part of a B-2C upgrade.
The USA has already spent over $50 billion for "stealthy" B-2s, let them fly without jammers or EA-6Bs; no more billion dollar "fixes". If they are shot down, it will be an efficient method of early retirement for a flawed aircraft.
December 2000 - Bush threatens Army's Balkan mission
One of the only differences which emerged between Gore and Bush was the need to permanently maintain U.S. Army bases in the Balkans. The USA has 6000 troops in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, 4500 still in Bosnia, and even 500 in Macedonia, 130 in Croatia, and 200 in Hungary. Bush thinks that since European NATO nations have over 1,000,000 ground troops, they can handle Balkan peacekeeping while the USA deals with the Persian Gulf.
However, the Balkan commitments are a major part of the U.S. Army's argument for more active duty troops. Army Generals make ridiculous claims that 470,000 active duty soldiers are not enough to maintain 12,000 in the Balkans. Nevertheless, Army officers are updating their Powerpoint presentations to dazzle and confuse the incoming Bush administration before they take action.
December 2000 - Turkey mocks "Northern Watch"
Turkey has announced that it will allow commercial air service between Turkey and Iraq, mocking the U.S. imposed northern "no fly zone" operation, which operates out of a major USAF base in Turkey. This NATO ally tolerates the endless and mindless "no fly zone" operations because they generate millions of dollars in business and favorable arms deals. Turkey also enjoys American air cover against Iraqi MIGs when they bomb Kurds in Northern Iraq, whom the American warplanes were sent to protect. If you're confused, read the book "Catch 22".
December 2000- U.S. Army to develop existing LAV tank
The U.S. Army claims it needs two years to develop a new light wheeled tank capable of firing a 105mm gun using the proven LAV. Perhaps the Army should check with its own Foreign Military Sales (FMS) office which has been selling a LAV-105 for several years.
The Army hopes a miracle will allow LAV-105s to function as tanks. The current LAV-105s are top heavy, which makes them prone to tip over in rough terrain. They also lack the armor to stop .50 caliber anti-armor "SLAP" rounds and basic RPGs. Adding armor makes them too heavy for C-130s.
November 2000 - Army outbids Marines in spending war
The U.S. announced that it has selected wheeled armored vehicles over tracks for its new medium weight divisions. These are similar to Light Armored Vehicles (LAV)s used by the U.S. Marine Corps. While the Corps continues to purchase LAVs at less than a million dollars each, the Army announced that it needs $7.5 billion to purchase about 3000 LAVs, and already contracted for 2,131 LAVs at a cost of $1.8 million for each.
November 2000 - Private vs Government aircraft prices
The U.S. Air Force will buy 12 Boeing C-17 transports this year at a cost of $217 million each. Singapore Airlines just signed a deal for 15 Boeing 747-400 Freighters at a cost of $86.6 million each. Although the C-17 can be unloaded without large cargo lifts, the 747-400 has twice its range and twice its payload. Why does it cost Boeing almost three times more to build the smaller C-17? Well, Boeing has to pay kickbacks to everyone back in Washington, and is allowed a huge profit for taking care of such friends.
November 2000 - Russia and China field laser blinding weapons
"Aviation Week" reports that Russian motorized rifle regiments already deploy radio frequency weapons to disrupt electronics, and China is marketing a dazzler laser to disrupt sensors. The U.S. military has been slow to recognize the danger of low-cost lasers to blind troops and destroy targeting systems. During the Falklands war, the British realized that their laser target designators were effective at disrupting attacks by Argentine aircraft. Meanwhile, the U.S. military has been careful to upgrade to eye-safe lasers for target designators so that enemy soldiers in target vehicles would not suffer eye damage before they are hit by a missile.
November 2000 - V-22 breaks down every hour
"Aviation Week" reports that the break down rate in the new Marine MV-22 aircraft is 0.7 per hour between any component on the aircraft failing, only half the goal of 1.4 per hour. Can you imagine having a different component on your new car failing every 40 minutes of driving time? Military aircraft are much more complex, but what kind of crap are they building? The Marine Corps has responded to criticism by making 149 modifications to an aircraft it already approved for production, and by no longer measuring failure rates.
November 2000 - Churchill on using chemical weapons
After Winston Churchill served as an infantry battalion commander during the First World War, he returned to England and advocated massive use of chemical munitions. A close friend was shocked, and asked Churchill how he could take such a position after witnessing their gruesome effects. Churchill replied "You should see what a howitzer shell can do to the human body".
November 2000 - Smedley Butler "War is a Racket"
In 1933, Medal of Honor winner Marine Corps General Smedley Butler gave his famous short speech "War is a Racket", which is now on-line. His observations remain true today.
October 2000 - Egypt gets Apache upgrades first
The U.S. Army can afford to upgrade only 60 AH-64A Apache helicopters to the AH-64D Longbow configuration this year. However, the U.S. Army will administer a $400 million dollar grant to Egypt so that it can upgrade 35 of it's Apaches to the D-model. Can anyone explain why American taxpayers must provide the dictatorship of Egypt with better helicopters than American soldiers?
October 2000 - FY 2001 U.S. Military Aviation/Missile Budget Finalized
Four years ago, Congressmen screamed that the USA must spend $60 billion a year on procurement, but was only spending $40 billion. Last year, the Pentagon got over $60 billion, so Congressmen now scream for $90 billion a year. Extra spending is unnecessary since most of it is wasted on expensive, unneeded, or unworkable programs. G2mil has marked major aircraft and missile programs in the FY2001 budget which should be canceled in red, and programs deserving more funding in green. The unit cost is interesting, we included the elusive R&D as part of costs.
"Defense-wide" programs have become extremely popular in the Pentagon because they allow the armed services to move programs off their budgets, and then complain about lower levels of funding. The Navy's #1 shortfall is electronic warfare aircraft like the EA-6B, where's the funding? What is this $1.4 billion for F-22 R&D when the Air Force says its ready for production?
OCTOBER 2000 - Commandos strike the USS Cole
Politicians, including those in uniform, hate to admit a loss, so they blame crazed terrorists for the commando attack that killed 17 sailors aboard the USS Cole. The crew had no warning and greater "topside" security wouldn't have mattered. The crew did an amazing job of keeping her afloat, however, this warship was in a combat zone and port attacks should be expected. The USA has Marines to secure advanced naval bases and protect Navy ships, but most are too busy "occupying" Okinawa.
The USA is engaged in an unofficial war against Iraq, killing hundreds each year. The USA is also involved in a silent civil war in Saudi Arabia, where many Saudis object to permanent U.S. bases in their country. Bob Woodward's book "The Commanders" reveals the problem. After Iraq invaded in Kuwait in 1990, the USA wanted to send troops to protect Saudi Arabia. The Saudi leaders were reluctant, so Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney flew in. Cheney made it clear that the U.S. troops would leave as soon as the Kuwait situation was resolved; "no permanent bases" Cheney promised.
Ten years later, U.S. troops remain at permanent bases, mostly to bomb Iraq every week for no apparent reason. Meanwhile, a wealthy Saudi is sponsoring attacks against American forces to encourage them to leave. So it is no surprise that many Arabs "hate" the American occupiers, and no surprise that American warships operating nearby are attacked. The simple solution is to leave Saudi Arabia and stop the mindless embargo against Iraq, which is immoral and only keeps world oil prices high. Unfortunately, the U.S. military thrives on conflict to justify Cold War spending levels.
OCTOBER 2000 - Anthrax program devastates Reserve force
The General Accounting Office (GAO) reports that a quarter of 176,000 pilots and crew in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard have quit or asked to be reassigned to avoid taking controversial anthrax vaccinations.
OCTOBER 2000 - Gore Flunks Geography
One technique used by propaganda experts is to change names to confuse people. During the Presidential debates, Al Gore continued the Clinton administration game of calling the nation of Yugoslavia, Serbia. Some of the corporate media accepted this last year, but most have learned to read maps and now call Yugoslavia by its correct name. To clear up the confusion, a quick lesson is in order.
Since 1990, five Yugoslav republics "provinces" have become independent; the four remaining are: Serbia, Montenegro, Vojvodina and Kosovo. Last year, Yugoslavia agreed to allow a temporary NATO peacekeeping force to occupy Kosovo. Last month, this force shut down one of Europe's largest mining complexes, claiming it polluted the air. This was an odd act for a peacekeeping force, especially since it was the main employer in Kosovo. However, metal prices promptly rose worldwide to the satisfaction of many huge corporations.
Ethinc Albanians have continued cleansing Kosovo of ethnic Serbians. The corporate press always calls this revenge, ignoring the fact that these Serbians had nothing to do with the Yugoslav government's clashes with Albanian terrorists. Evidence of mass graves in Kosovo were never found, in fact many Albanians serve in the Yugoslav Army, and many fled to Serbia last year to escape NATO bombing. NATO troops include Germans, who had formed Albanian units to fight the Serbians during World War II. The U.S. Army maintains several thousand GIs in Kosovo, and Army Generals continue to stonewall Congress in a quest to maintain permanent bases there.
The big question is when NATO will leave? No nation in Europe supports the idea of an independent Kosovo since many have accepted large numbers of immigrants in recent years. The idea that minority groups can arm themselves and conduct terrorist attacks, then carve out a new nation terrifies Europeans. NATO may never leave. After World War II, no one dreamed that U.S. Army troops would occupy Germany for over 50 years.
OCTOBER 2000 - U.S. Marines Plan to Change Stripes
The Marine Corps is considering new camouflage patterns for it's field uniforms. The current "woodland" pattern is too smooth and dark for most places on earth. However, the primary reason is that Marines want distinctive uniforms from regular GIs. The Marine Commandant is pushing this idea, but it may be rejected by civilian leadership in the name of "jointness".
Tiger patterns Marine patterns
OCTOBER 2000 - White House Mercs to Africa
The September issue of "Armed Forces Journal" reports that President Clinton sent hundreds of U.S. troops to West Africa last August to train five Nigerian battalions, one from Ghana, and another from elsewhere, for peacekeeping missions. This was in response to a recommendation by MPRI, a group of retired military officers posing as "consultants". MPRI will receive $7 million dollars to send 10 advisors to Nigeria for a year to "reprofessionalize" Nigeria's military.
SEPTEMBER 2000 - America's overpowering military might
Politicians and defense contractors are making billions of dollars more by pushing the "hollow military" myth. There are problems, but they are caused by Generals and Admirals, not a lack of funds. For a fresh perspective, read Greg Easterbrook's article in the "New Republic" Apocryphal Now; The myth of the hollow military.
SEPTEMBER 2000 - Feds eat their own - Wen Ho Lee
The U.S. military establishment has been suffering a shortage of qualified scientists due to competition from a strong economy. The problem has quickly worsen due to the prosecution of Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee for mishandling classified material. All top scientists handle classified material on a daily basis, and most occasionally "mishandle" it. Although carelessness in serious, it is rare to fire someone for that reason. Former CIA director John Deutch committed the same sin after leaving office, but was never indicted. However, Wen Ho Lee was not only fired, but thrown to wolves, e.g. the Department of "Justice".
Since they didn't have real proof, the Feds used a standard tactic of lying in court to deny bail. The accused is kept in a cell until he goes crazy and agrees to cooperate (e.g. entrap family, friends or co-workers) or confess. Lee was tortured this way for eight months until heavy publicity forced the Feds to release him. However, the Feds never admit to a mistake and release someone until they get a signed confession, so Lee agreed to plead guilty to get out the dungeon, but has no job and is a felon who cannot appeal his case or sue the government. Lee was lucky, former telephone hacker Kevin Micittrick was held over four years without trial or bail until he pled guilty in exchange for time served. Meanwhile, civilian employees throughout the U.S. government are looking for less hazardous work.
SEPTEMBER 2000 - Democrats "out hawk" Republicans
After years of soul searching, the Democrats have fully embraced using "National Defense" as an excuse to shake down the taxpayers. Throughout President Clinton's presidency, he had no objections to approving whatever military spending increases the Republican congress passed. After "Dubya" Bush released plans to spend an extra $4.5 billion on our military each year, Al Gore announce he planned to spend an extra $10 billion a year.
Most of the debate revolves around "readiness" games. If Generals and Admirals waste resources, readiness falls, and Congress gives them more money. In fact, the U.S. military spends $60,000 on readiness for each active duty servicemen, which is the most ever spent, even after adjusting for inflation. The basic problem is that new military equipment costs more than twice as much to purchase and maintain, but military leaders say this this justified since they get twice the performance. If this is true, our military needs half the force structure to accomplish the same job. This is the biggest problem facing the U.S. military which no one will address, except Chuck Spinney.
SEPTEMBER 2000 - The U.S. Army's Permanent Bosnia Bases Established
Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Army was struggling to justify 60,000 troops in Germany, with even more dependents and civilian employees. Hundreds of businesses had developed profitable enterprises during the Cold War, and feared their racket would end. However, the Balkans flared up and the dozens of Army Generals in Europe knew if they could get "engaged" down there, the cold war racket could continue. The one year deployment has gone on for four years with no end in sight as the Army finishes up its new permanent bases in the region. Visit the Task Force Eagle website, click the "Panoramas" and you'll see the permanent buildings and paved roads (with curbs) and a Baskin Robbins, Burger King, fitness center, and movie theater. Supporting the troops is a good idea, but shouldn't this money be spent on bases in the USA? There are plenty of European forces to handle the Bosnia mission, but the truth is that the U.S. Army does not want to leave.
AUGUST 2000 - Wars without American casualties
The U.S. military is now happily deployed to participate numerous civil wars around the globe, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea, and now Columbia. The U.S. Army has 500 "advisors" in Columbia, recently led by an Army colonel now in prison for laundering drug money. Amazingly, no American servicemen are ever killed from hostile fire in these adventures. It's like that old riddle "If a tree falls in the forest and no one heard it, did it make a sound". Likewise, if an American soldiers dies in combat and no one reports it, did it happen?
The death of 18 U.S. soldiers in Somalia was an embarrassment to President Clinton and a political barrier to his plan to employ the U.S. military as the world's corporate policemen. Would anyone be surprised if Bill Clinton issued a secret "executive order" that all American deaths in foreign police actions must be classified as an accident? Nobody was killed by hostile fire in Haiti? Nobody over Iraq? Nobody in Bosnia? Nobody in Kosovo? Nobody in Columbia?
AUGUST 2000 - The 18 Army Division Lie
The political season increased the pace of lying from the Pentagon. Retired General Schwarzkopf led the charge by claiming the number of Army divisions had been cut in half. The official Army line is that it was cut from 18 to 10 divisions, but Schwarzkopf was never shy of exaggerating. However, the Army's claim that it had 18 divisions is also a lie, which are called "misstatements" in the Pentagon.
The Reagan administration had boosted the Army from 14 to 16 divisions during the mid-1980s. The Army was pressured to add two more divisions during 1987 as an election year gimmick. It was not enthusiastic because it was still short manpower and equipment to fill out 16 divisions, and Reagan's borrow and spend military buildup had been halted by Congress. Nevertheless, the Army formed two division headquarters, gathered a brigade for each division, and tagged National Guard Brigades as reserve "round-outs". After the election, it became clear that the Soviet threat was diminishing and budgets were trimmed, so the Army disbanded two divisions in 1989, before the end of the Cold war.
Therefore, the Army truly started the post-war drawdown with 16 divisions, the number it had during most of the 1980s. However, six of these divisions had National Guard "round-out" brigades. When the Army was required to cut two divisions as part of the 1993 "Bottom-Up Review", General Powell deftly pushed these six brigades out of the active force structure and claimed a reduction of two divisions. Therefore, the Army started the drawdown with the equivalent of 14 divisions, and now has 10 divisions, a 29% reduction.
AUGUST 2000 - Dick Cheney Cashes In
After Dick Cheney was tagged for vice president by George W. Bush, "Mother Jones" published an article Cheney's Multi-Million Dollar Revolving Door exposing the sort of corruption which has become standard in the Pentagon. Cheney's company made billions of dollars supporting U.S. military operations in the Balkans, and was granted embargo exemptions to provide oil equipment to Libya and Iran. Cheney was rewarded with $20 million dollars for "retirement" after just five years at Halliburton. Cheney is proud of his service in the Pentagon, except for his four draft deferments during the Vietnam war.
AUGUST 2000 - TWA 800 case closed
The National Transportation Safety Board finally finished a report on the downing of TWA 800. They said they were unable to determine the cause of the massive explosion, but their best guess was that old wiring caused a spark.
Former aircraft accident investigator for the U.S. Navy, Commander Bill Donaldson, has compiled strong evidence of a missile strike, and is leading an effort to shine light on this issue. Although the FBI declared that no credible evidence exists that a missile downed the airliner, it could not explain the eyewitness account of Major Fred Meyer (and his co-pilot) flying a National Guard search and rescue helicopter near TWA 800, that a streak of light struck the 747. If you have any doubts about a cover-up in this case, read this short article in Aviation Week ANG PILOT - TWA JET HIT BY OBJECT (it begins about half-way down the list)
"Streaks of light" seen from a test of Air Force Minutemen III missiles
There may not be conclusive evidence that a missile downed TWA 800, but there is no evidence that a spark caused an overheated fuel tank to explode. The 747 has been in service for decades, if a spark could cause a nearly empty heated fuel tank to explode, this would have happened numerous times at desert airports with 140 degree heat, not at a cool 80 degrees 13,000 feet off the coast of New York.
James Sanders, a retired police officer married to a TWA stewardess conducted his own investigation. He acquired a seat sample from a TWA pilot working on the crash scene. He sent a sample to a lab which confirmed missile residue, and wrote a book The Downing of TWA 800 and was set to interview with "60 Minutes". The FBI found out, and indicted Mr. Sanders and the TWA pilot for stealing evidence, and pressured the corporate media to ignore this story. The lead FBI investigator, James Kallstrom, concluded that there was no evidence of missile strike, then retired early from the FBI to accept a highly paid job as a "security consultant" for a major bank.
AUGUST 2000 - Scott Ritter Turns
Former Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has spent several weeks in Iraq making a documentary. He claims that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction, and the USA and Britain have been "spreading inaccurate information, irresponsible speculation", to picture Iraq as a threat to the region..
In 1998, seven years after the Gulf War, UN weapons inspectors were still roaming Iraq. They had not found anything for over three years, but sanctions remained in place. The U.S. Government had recently allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to overthrow the Iraqi government, though such actions are a clear violation of international law. Suddenly, the UN inspectors demanded access to every office and every file cabinet in Iraq to look for proof. The Iraqis complained that most of the UN inspectors were British and Americans who were trying to overthrow their government, and determined that many were acting as spies. It became apparent to the Iraq that sanctions were never to be lifted, so they expelled the spies. The U.S. denied this and launched a bombing campaign, in violation of American and International law, which killed dozens of people. These attacks have continued several times a week, with no rationale.
Later in 1998, one of the UN inspectors, Scott Ritter, published a book detailing the heavy spying conducted by the American inspectors, including using high tech equipment to intercept Iraqi communications. So the Iraqis were correct, the US was abusing the neutrality of the UN to spy, and when they were caught and expelled, the USA did not apologize for undermining UN neutrality, it bombed Iraq. These sanctions have killed over one million Iraqis, and the world is outraged by these barbaric actions, but the USA has blocked attempts to repeal the sanctions. Ritter points out that the USA is losing credibility in the world with a cruel and irrational policy, which is described in an excellent article: Clinton's Other War.
JULY 2000 - National Guard pilot attacks U.S. Air Base
A recently discharged Army National Guard helicopter pilot of Serbian descent, Milan S. Mititch was arrested by the FBI and accused of spraying "Free Kosovo" on a building at a National Guard air base and planting two pipe bombs. He was released 30 days later when he proved he was over 100 miles away the day of the incident. The press ignored this sensational story, and has written nothing about grumbling among Americans officers about attacking another country which posed no immediate threat and without a declaration of war.
Civilians do not realize that American military officers attend hours of classes about International law where they are instructed to refuse illegal orders. This issue was boldly address in a 1993 article in Naval Proceedings "Calling a Duck a Duck", where a naval officer boldly noted that the new American policy of conducting aerial bombings to terrorize small nations was a clear violation of international law. He said that no one seems to have refused orders or resigned in protest, but he warned that a major political shift may one day find American military officers explaining their conduct in a court of law.
JUNE 2000 - "Secret" CIA papers posted on the Internet
Secret material can be posted on the Internet and downloaded by thousands before it can be identified and taken down. This became an issue when a disgruntled Japanese intelligence agent sent information to an American website which published an alleged secret CIA briefing. Supposedly, the FBI had banned Internet publication, although only federal judges are thought to have such powers. The website which first posted the information has mysteriously closed down, but it remains posted at this link: Alleged Secret CIA Briefing
Keep in mind this was "Secret" not "Top Secret" information. In the USA, "Secret" information is better described as confidential, and many briefings are classified "Secret" only to impress attendees. This whole thing reads like a counter-intelligence operation, e.g. it was all set up to fool the public. None of the information is new. Why brief visiting Japanese on budget numbers? Why tell them anything classified? Suspiciously, the "Washington Post" broke the story, which has a long history of cooperation with the CIA. This incident was overblown, and probably used to secure more censorship rulings from sympathetic federal judges.
JUNE 2000 - "Secret" nuclear information missing from Los Alamos
This received a great deal of press, but the key word is "Secret" not "Top Secret". Since the U.S. Government tends to over-classify everything, "secret" information is not that sensitive, it can even be sent by regular U.S. mail, if it is double wrapped. That is one reason why security seemed so lax in this case, but a bigger question is why information used to disarm nuclear weapons is not classified "Top Secret"? Probably because disarming a nuclear weapon requires no information of how to build one.
May 2000 - Close Nellis AFB
While the U.S. military services talk about the need to close excess bases, senior officers really don't want to, it's like giving up turf. However, the Pentagon loves to use this issue to demand more money, like: "We need to close bases to save money, but Congress won't let us, so they have to give us more money".
However, there are many cases where communities would benefit from closed military bases. Carlton Meyer's article in the "Las Vegas Review-Journal" entitled "Moving Base has Advantages" upset the Air Force. This newspaper also has a SEARCH section, which contains a great deal of information about nuclear weapons testing and Area 51.May 2000 - General McCaffrey, War Criminal?
Seymour Hersh wrote a long and well-researched article about war crimes committed by General Barry McCaffrey while a two-star in charge of the 24th Infantry Division. Two days after the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf war, McCaffrey launched a full-scale surprise attack on columns of Iraqi troops peacefully leaving Kuwait. It remains unclear if McCaffrey did this for his own promotion, or because of directions from higher levels. Afterwards, McCaffrey was quickly promoted and retired as a four star General.
To understand this issue, remember that the Army's "left hook" attack into Iraq was unopposed, and turned into a race in which Army Generals resorted to lying about their positions to please "Screamin" Norman Schwarzkopf. This seemed harmless, until a surprise ceasefire was announced by President Bush after Schwarzkopf assured him the Republican Guard Divisions had been cut off from retreat. The next day, Schwarzkopf learned that lead elements (like the 24th) were not where they claimed to be, and Iraqi Army was marching back home with their tanks neatly loaded on trucks through a 100 mile gap.
McCaffrey's actions were investigated by the Army after the war, and he responded to Hersh in the September issue of "Armed Forces Journal". McCaffrey stated that no ceasefire existed, that it was just a "unilateral cessation of hostilities". The New Yorker article by Hersh article is available on-line: OVERWHELMING FORCE
MAY 2000 - V-22 Crash Exposes Costs
After a crash of the new Marine V-22, questions were raised at a news conference about it's cost. Marine Corps Chief of Staff for Aviation, LtGen Fred McCorkle stated he wasn't sure. A reporter persisted, and ask how could a man in his position not know the cost of the Marine Corps #1 aviation project. The General then said around $40 million, backing off the Corps long-time quote of $29.5 million. The reporter then asked why future budgets call for a $50-70 million per aircraft, the General mumbled something about using 1994 dollars, and the cost of "ramping up" production.
The V-22 is currently in production. The May 1999 issue of Naval Proceedings lists the FY2000 budget which includes 12 V-22s for $856.4 million ($71.4 million each); and the FY 2001 budget request includes 16 V-22s for $1128.6 million ($70.54 million each). The FY 2001 budget also has $148.2 million for continued V-22 testing, which is odd for an aircraft which has been in production for three years.
The FY 2001 also includes $165.1million for 15 Navy CH-60 helicopters, which is a viable alternative to the V-22 despite repeated lies to the contrary. Each CH-60 will cost only $11.01 million, even at the same low production rate as the V-22. If the Corps were to end the V-22 program and divert the FY 2001 V-22 production and testing money to the CH-60 program, it could purchase 116 CH-60s next year.
MAY 2000- Kosovo Cover-up
The May 15th issue of Newsweek makes this report:
"It was an antiseptic war, fought by pilots flying safely three miles high--for the most part. It seems almost too good to be true, and it was. In fact, as some critics suspected at the time, the air campaign against the Serb military in Kosovo was largely ineffective. NATO bombs plowed up some fields, blew up hundreds of cars, trucks, and decoys, and barely dented Serb artillery and armor. According to a suppressed U.S. Air Force report obtained by Newsweek, the number of targets verifiably destroyed was a tiny fraction of those claimed: 14 tanks, not 120; 18 armored personnel carriers, not 220; 20 artillery pieces, not 450. Out of the 744 "confirmed" strikes by NATO pilots during the war, the Air Force investigators, who spent weeks combing Kosovo by helicopter and by foot, found evidence of just 58."
Airpower fanatics have responded to this report by saying it doesn't matter because we won. Yes, but won what? Kosovo still officially belongs to Yugoslavia, and the NATO force is considered temporary. Downed bridges continue to block the Danube river, which has caused serious economic problems for all Balkan countries. What was won?
APRIL 2000 - Area 51 Exposed
The super-secret Area 51 military research base is located in the center of the huge Nevada Test and Training Range, which covers one third of Nevada. No one is allowed to over fly the area, not even military fighter pilots.
However, this 1998 photo of Area 51 was recently published. Each day, a 737 takes off from Las Vegas to fly workers to Area 51 "Groom Lake", and takes them home in the afternoon.
A Federal Judge recently dismissed a lawsuit by seven federal workers from Groom Lake who are dying from a mysterious skin ailment. The workers demanded to know what they were exposed to so doctors could treat them. The government countered that they couldn't have been exposed to anything since Groom Lake does not exist.
APRIL 2000 - Marines change boot camp
The U.S. Marine Corps is the only service without coed basic training. Nevertheless, the Marine Corps has changed policies to increase the graduation rate. This resulted in criticism by many Marines that boot camp has become too soft.
Former Marine Drill Instructor Lee Ermey, (right) shows what boot camp "was" about in the movie "Full Metal Jacket". The first half of the movie about boot camp is great, but second half takes place in Vietnam and seems to drift nowhere.
Ermey also played a Marine in "Firebase Gloria" where he told his Marines not to worry about getting killed because he would say a few holy words before he zipped up their body bag.