Chinese government ‘hacks into White House office in charge of the nuclear launch codes’ (Oct 2012 Re-Post)

 Editors note: (Ralph Turchiano) Requested Re-Post from 2012

  • White House  confirmed the hack but downplayed it, saying no damage was done and it was  unsuccessful
  • Military  Office targeted which controls the President’s travel, interoffice  communications, and nuclear codes

By Meghan Keneally

PUBLISHED:08:16 EST, 1  October 2012| UPDATED:11:54 EST, 1 October 2012

The White House revealed today that cyber  attackers linked to the Chinese government attempted to hack into a computer  system in the White House Military Office.

While the official statement down played the  attack, saying that it was aiming for an unclassified ‘isolated’ network, one  report claimed that the hackers targeted the White House Military Office which  safeguards sensitive data like the nuclear launch codes.

‘This was a spear phishing attack against an  unclassified network. These types of attacks are not infrequent and we have  mitigation measures in place,’ a White House official told MailOnline.

Spear phishing is a common form of hacking  where a cyber attacker will send an email to it’s target and hope that the  recipient clicks on the links of downloads the attachments enclosed in the email  in order to allow their malicious software to infiltrate the recipient’s  computer and data.

White House officials confirmed that a hackers did try  to ‘phish’ into the Military Office server but said there was no damage done

‘In this instance the attack was  identified,  the system was isolated, and there is no indication  whatsoever that any  exfiltration of data took place. Moreover, there was never any impact or  attempted breach of any classified system,’ the  White House official  continued.

A conservative newspaper that has been  regularly critical of the Obama administration, called The Washington Free Beacon,  first published the report on Sunday and said that the attackers were linked to  the Chinese government.

They wrote that the attack, which allegedly  occurred earlier in September, was yet another example of the ‘failure of the  Obama administration to press China on its persistent cyber attacks’.

In response to the article, an unnamed White  House official contacted Politico to clarify the story, saying that  while the ‘attempted’ hack did take place, it did not cause any damage because  the targeted system did not contain any sensitive data.

The breach occurred using a ‘spear phishing’  tactic, in which a hacker sends uses common phrases or inviting subject lines to  draw the recipient in and attract their attention in hope of gaining access ot  their computer.

Sensitive: The Military Office, which was targeted in the attack, is in charge of securing the 'nuclear football' which is the black briefcase (pictured) that contains the nuclear launch codesSensitive: The Military Office, which was targeted in  the attack, is in charge of securing the ‘nuclear football’ which is the black  briefcase (pictured) that contains the nuclear launch codes

Once those steps are taken- and it is unclear  whether they were in this case- the links or attachments enable the hacker to  download their malicious software, also known as malware.


While the attacks on government officials  provides the greatest risk in the political realm, private American businesses  have also been the target of Chinese hackers.

In November 2011, the National  Counterintelligence Executive  released a report detailing the extent of damage done by Chinese and Russian  hackers on various companies.

One example was that of a paint company  called Valspar Corportation, which had a number of its proprietary paint  formulas stolen. The move cost the company $20million.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer  that produces products sold in America including iPhones, was hacked in February  by a group called Swagg Security which then obtained and released the email and  credit card data for banking information for American companies including Apple  and Microsoft.

The state-run Medicaid system in Utah was  hacked last month, prompting calls for tightened security around any government  health databases that would be implemented in accordance with the Affordable  Care Act. Administrators claimed that no personal medical data was removed from  the site but it was not operational for ten days.

Though the political slant of the Free  Beacon reporting is clear, it is also true that this is not the first  time  that Chinese hackers have gotten unnervingly close to White House  communications.

The New York  Times reported that in June 2011,  Google and FBI officials confirmed that a  wide-ranging phishing attack had  taken place after the hackers had  directed malware towards the personal Gmail  accounts of an unknown  number of White House staffers.

The FBI never released the names, or even t  he number of staffers who were thought to be targeted in the attack.

In the latest hacking, however, the target  was much more clear and focused solely on the White House Military Office.

The Military Office is in charge of arranging  the President’s travel, coordinating inter-office conference calls between top  government officials, and most notably the security of the so-called ‘nuclear  football’, the nickname for the suitcase that contains and controls all of the  nuclear launch codes.

The Free Beacon, which Politico points out  published a story about a Russian submarine trolling in North American waters  which was flatly denied by numerous government agencies, says a breach in this  office would be devastating to the country’s security.  ‘This is the most  sensitive office in the U.S. government,’ an unidentified former U.S.  intelligence official told the paper.

‘A compromise there would cause grave  strategic damage to the United States.’

The threat of a damaging cyber attack has  raised the alarm in the highest levels of government, as President Obama penned  an op-ed in the Wall Street  Journal last year pushing for more  dedication to digital security.

‘So far, no one has managed to seriously  damage or disrupt our critical infrastructure networks. But foreign governments,  criminal syndicates and lone individuals are probing our financial, energy and  public safety systems every day,’ he wrote

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For Nearly Two Decades the Nuclear Launch Code at all Minuteman Silos in the United States Was 00000000

*Editor’s Note ( Ralph Turchian0) – Requested Repost from 2013 

Karl Smallwood November 29, 2013


Today I found out that during the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile, for nearly two decades they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes.

We guess the first thing we need to address is how this even came to be in the first place. Well, in 1962 JFK signed the National Security Action Memorandum 160, which was supposed to ensure that every nuclear weapon the US had be fitted with a Permissive Action Link (PAL), basically a small device that ensured that the missile could only be launched with the right code and with the right authority.

There was particularly a concern that the nuclear missiles the United States had stationed in other countries, some of which with somewhat unstable leadership, could potentially be seized by those governments and launched. With the PAL system, this became much less of a problem.

Beyond foreign seizure, there was also simply the problem that many U.S. commanders had the ability to launch nukes under their control at any time.  Just one commanding officer who wasn’t quite right in the head and World War III begins.  As U.S. General Horace M. Wade stated about General Thomas Power:

I used to worry about General Power. I used to worry that General Power was not stable. I used to worry about the fact that he had control over so many weapons and weapon systems and could, under certain conditions, launch the force. Back in the days before we had real positive control [i.e., PAL locks], SAC had the power to do a lot of things, and it was in his hands, and he knew it.

To give you an idea of how secure the PAL system was at this time, bypassing one was once described as being “about as complex as performing a tonsillectomy while entering the patient from the wrong end.“  This system was supposed to be essentially hot-wire proof, making sure only people with the correct codes could activate the nuclear weapons and launch the missiles.

Continue reading “For Nearly Two Decades the Nuclear Launch Code at all Minuteman Silos in the United States Was 00000000”


Editor’s Note ( Ralph Turchiano) Requested Repost from Oct 96


Charles J. Dunlap, Jr.

INSS Occasional Paper 11

October 1996

USAF Institute for National Security Studies

US Air Force Academy, Colorado

The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This paper is approved for public release by USSTRATCOM/J020; distribution is unlimited.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Colonel Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. is Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from St. Joseph’s University and a juris doctorate from Villanova University School of Law. He also is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and a distinguished graduate of the National War College. Colonel Dunlap is the author of numerous articles on legal and national security affairs. His writings have appeared in a variety of publications, including Parameters, Military Review, Joint Force Quarterly, and The National Interest. One of his papers, “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012,” was co-winner of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategy Essay Contest, a competition among students from all the military’s senior service schools.


Comments pertaining to this paper are invited and should be forwarded to:

Director, Institute for National Security Studies


2354 Fairchild Drive, Suite 5D33

USAF Academy, CO 80840-6258

Voice: (719) 333-2717

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Visit the home page of the Institute for National Security Studies


Foreword iv

Executive Summary viii

Introduction 1

The Civil-Military Environment in the Late 1990s 2

Vietnam and the Politicization of the Military 3

Nontraditional Missions and Civil-Military Relations 5

The Rise of Postmodern Militarism 10

The Emergence of Neopraetorianism 14

The New American Model of Civil-Military Relations 19

Conclusion 28

Notes 30


Civil-military relations, especially civilian control of the military, have always been a significant aspect of U.S. national security policy. The issue assumed even greater prominence, however, with the election of Bill Clinton as the forty-second president of the United States. President Clinton’s election signaled a number of firsts. Besides being the first Democrat to assume the presidency since Jimmy Carter, the first chief executive elected after the end of the Cold War, and the first president to “come of age” following World War II, Clinton was the first commander in chief since Franklin Roosevelt not to have served in the U.S. military. More importantly for civil-military relations, President Clinton avoided service during the Vietnam War, wrote of his sympathy for those who found themselves “loving their country but loathing the military,” and took part in demonstrations against the war in Southeast Asia.

Together with his plans to cut the defense budget, unsuccessful effort to lift the ban on gays in the military, and controversial decisions regarding the use of force in places like Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia, the military, to say the least, was skeptical about its new commander in chief. Some military members went beyond skepticism, however. President Clinton was heckled when he visited the USS Theodore Roosevelt, for instance, and one Air Force general even went so far as to ridicule the president as a “gay-loving, pot-smoking, draft-dodging womanizer” in front of 250 people at an awards banquet.

When combined with an increasing number of nontraditional (and often domestic) missions for the armed forces and the enhanced power for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (courtesy of the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act), events like those cited above led to a flurry of articles about the health of civil-military relations in the United States. Central to this literature is Colonel Charles Dunlap’s “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012.” In that paper, written as a letter from the future, Dunlap examined how the American people increasingly turned to the military to address the problems their elected officials seemed unable to solve. “The cumulative effect of these new responsibilities,” Dunlap wrote, “was to incorporate the military into the political process to an unprecedented degree.” The end result was a military coup, “the beginnings of which were evident in 1992,” the year Dunlap’s paper was published.

“Melancholy Reunion” picks up where “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012” left off. The year is now 2017, and two years have elapsed since the countercoup that returned the U.S. government to civilian control. The speaker, addressing the twentieth reunion of the Air University classes of 1997, reflects on the civil-military environment in the late 1990s and the lessons learned from the Coup of 2012. “Melancholy Reunion,” like Dunlap’s earlier paper, is sure to stimulate vigorous debate. It also makes an important contribution to the literature on civil-military relations and civilian control of the military. We are pleased, therefore, to publish this eleventh volume in the Occasional Paperseries of the USAF Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).

About the Institute

INSS is primarily sponsored by the National Security Negotiations Division, Plans and Operations Directorate, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and the Dean of the Faculty, U.S. Air Force Academy. Its other sponsors are the Assistant Chief of Staff for Air Force Intelligence, OSD Net Assessment, the Defense Special Weapons Agency (formerly the Defense Nuclear Agency), the Army Environmental Policy Institute, Army Space Command, and the

On-Site Inspection Agency. INSS’ mission is to promote national security research for the Department of Defense within the military academic community and support the Air Force national security education program. Its primary purpose is to promote research in those areas of interest to INSS’ sponsors: international security policy (especially arms control and nonproliferation/counterproliferation), Air Force planning issues, regional security policy, conflict in the information age (including the revolution in military affairs and information warfare), environmental security, and space policy. INSS coordinates and focuses outside thinking in various disciplines and across the military services to develop new ideas for defense policy making. To that end, the Institute develops topics, selects researchers from within the military academic community, and administers sponsored research. It also hosts conferences and workshops and facilitates the dissemination of information to a wide range of private and government organizations. INSS is in its fifth year of providing valuable, cost-effective research to meet the needs of its sponsors.

We appreciate your continued interest in INSS and its research products and hope you enjoy Colonel Dunlap’s “Melancholy Reunion: A Report from the Future on the Collapse of Civil-Military Relations in the United States.”


Director, USAF Institute for National Security Studies


The year is 2017. The United States has suffered not only defeats in the High-Tech War of 2007 and the Second Gulf War of 2010, but also a military coup in 2012. That coup, engineered by a highly politicized officer corps that blamed these bloody losses on “incompetent” civilian leaders, was initially welcomed by a public exasperated with elected government. Only a few years of repressive military rule had passed, however, before the countercoup in 2015. The chastened electorate placed the thoroughly disgraced armed forces under draconian civilian control.

The speaker in this essay addresses the twentieth reunion of the Air University classes of 1997, a rather melancholy event under the circumstances. He examines civil-military relations issues emerging in the 1996-1997 time frame that, with the benefit of twenty-first century hindsight, foretold the coming catastrophes.

The speaker argues that too many analysts in the 1990s wrongly concluded that the military’s acceptance of shrinking defense budgets and the imposition of social policies on the armed forces “proved” civilian control was secure. Actually, America’s still-sizable military, freed from its preoccupation with the Soviet threat, was politicizing rapidly. Still haunted by Vietnam despite the 1991 Gulf War victory, many in uniform believed that military officers needed to be much more active in the political process if “another Vietnam” was to be avoided. Eventually, skill at political infighting, not warfighting, became the mark of up-and-coming officers.

Politicization was hastened by a variety of factors, including the military’s institutional drift from warfighting to a complex array of military operations other than war. Overlooked was the fact that officers who concentrate on activities other than war eventually become something other than warriors. Such officers also displace their dedication to the warrior ethic with a cultish devotion to commerce-oriented fads like total quality management.

The ultimately unquantifiable nature of military service was somehow reduced to metrics, and this led the new-styled officer/ business executives to reject combat-oriented activities as too costly given their notion of an acceptable “bottom line.” Indeed, the Pentagon’s aversion to casualties led to a heavy reliance on unmanned systems which, in turn, eliminated the rationale (and the need) for a separate pilot-based air service, thus leading to the Air Force’s disestablishment in 2007. Risky combat operations still requiring personnel on the ground were outsourced to private corporations, a move that would prove disastrous in twenty-first century conflicts.

Just as the military’s politicization was increasing, the nation came under the spell of “postmodern militarism.” This phenomenon was not marked by overt military domination or even a societal embrace of martial virtues. Rather, it was characterized by the growing willingness of a militarily naive society to charge those in uniform with responsibilities that a democracy ought to leave to civilians.

The popular military assumed a wide variety of trendy noncombat activities ranging from drug interdiction at home to nation-building abroad, thereby leading to further politicization as the military insinuated itself into areas that were previously the exclusive province of civilian policymakers. All of this occurred as the formal institutions of civilian control–Congress and the executive branch–were losing the public’s confidence. These institutions were further weakened by partisan squabbling, and this allowed a politically savvy military to accumulate enormous political clout.

Despite its growing popularity and political power, the professional military increasingly viewed civilian society as irresponsibly chaotic, crime-ridden, and morally corrupt. The alienated military also began to view itself as a higher caste than the society it was supposed to serve.

An increasingly self-righteous military began to see reforming America as its responsibility. This philosophy, termed “neopraetorianism”by the speaker, was abetted by officers infatuated with the idea that they were national ombudsmen with unlimited portfolios as opposed to military leaders with finite responsibilities. Moreover, the armed forces failed to appreciate that it was civil society’s largess that insulated the military from the problems that burdened so many civilian communities.

Chaos and crime are the unfortunate by-products of individualism and freedom. However, it is those same qualities that fuel America’s enormously successful economy which, in turn, sustains the military. The lesson of the Coup Trials of 2016, therefore, was that officers should not be commanders in the nation’s culture wars. It is not the military’s role to remake America in its own image.

To avoid the perils of neopraetorianism, the speaker argues that a revised framework for civil-military relations should have been built along the lines of what he calls the “New American Model.” Among other things, this model contends that civil-military relations prosper when the military is focused on functions related to external warfighting. Consequently, most nontraditional, noncombat missions should be assigned to civilian government agencies or commercial enterprises.

The model’s centerpiece is the idea that effective civilian control of a large professional military in a democracy requires pervasive transparency, especially in peacetime. The necessary oversight can only occur when what the military is doing and thinking is made plain to the society it serves.

Unfortunately, opaqueness, nottransparency, was the paradigm in the 1990s. Believing that another lesson of Vietnam was the importance of perception management, the military came to regard the media and information more generally as simply things to be manipulated for its own purposes. Therefore, the model rejects, for example, the “spin doctoring” this attitude encourages. Instead, it contends that the military in a democracy should be controlled by public opinion, not the other way around. In this regard, the model maintains that a vibrant, knowledgeable, and inquisitive press is a vital and irreplaceable safeguard of civilian control.

The New American Model also argues that overclassifica-

tion–such as occurred in the 1990s with respect to powerful perception-management capabilities acquired by the military under the aegis of information warfare–dangerously undermines civil-military relations by impairing transparency.

The model provides a template for the proper role of military officers in political discourse. It agrees with Yehuda Meir’s assertion that advisory, representative, and executive functions for military officers are clearly consistent with proper civil-military relations. The model concedes, however, that charges of partisanship are likely to arise even in these areas. It insists that these charges are best mitigated by apolitical candor.

Nevertheless, candor should neverbe used to defy or subvert lawful orders, excuse disrespectful behavior, or replace the strength of an idea with the power of an officer’s position or rank. Additionally, any order to implementa decision must be authorized in accordance with properly approved and civilian-directed policy. Thus, public candor is often best expressed prior to a decision being made. The model, therefore, starts with a strong presumption that civil-military relations are best served by transparency, and that frequently means public candor.

The New American Model further urges consideration of two inverse relationships for weighing the appropriateness of public candor in a given situation. The first holds that there generally is an inverse relationship between the presumption that public discourse is appropriate and the rank and position of the speaker. That is, senior commanders are obliged to be far more circumspect than junior personnel. The second holds that there ordinarily is an inverse relationship between the presumption that public candor is appropriate and the proximity to and effect on current operations, especially those involving combat.

The model explicitly rejects “political correctness” because it replaces sound apolitical judgment with opportunistic and often self-serving pandering to popular fashion. Likewise, the model maintains that it is not the military’s role to be public cheerleaders for the politics of the president or his party. The armed forces’ loyalty to their commander in chief does not extend to allowing the military’s prestige, not to mention its physical power, to be used by any political party.

The New American Model views as impractical a return to the draft as a means of enhancing civil-military relations. Instead, it recommends comprehensive high school and college-level programs on the armed forces in general and civil-military relations more specifically. The model also does not consider greater reliance on the Guard and Reserve as the solution to civil-military relations problems, although turning most aspects of information warfare over to citizen-soldiers may further civilian control. Finally, substituting pay increases for those so-called “quality-of-life” initiatives that encourage military personnel to remain ensconced on their bases will increase the use of civilian facilities, with the concomitant benefit of reducing the military’s growing alienation from civil society.

The speaker concludes that the Air University classes of 1997 could have avoided disgrace had they paid greater attention to the proper balance of civil-military relations as they assumed senior leadership positions in the twenty-first century.



I’d like to start by thanking the authorities for allowing me to address this twentieth reunion of the Air University classes of 1997. As you may know, last year’s Military Control Act makes assemblages of officers, even retired ones, illegal without special permission. Since the Countercoup of 2015, the civilians want to keep a close eye on us.

Frankly, I don’t blame them. After we lost the High-Tech War of 2007 and the Second Gulf War just three years later, the coup plotters cleverly laid the groundwork for their takeover by blaming these bloody defeats on “incompetent” civilians. When General Brutus occupied the White House after the president’s mysterious death in 2012, the people welcomed it at first. But it took only a couple of years of military rule for everyone to realize how wrong they were.

Many of you may be familiar with “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012,” an essay by the Prisoner. The Prisoner’s letter to a war college classmate recalled U.S. civil-military relations as they existed in 1992. It also described the military’s evolution into a highly politicized organization that, ironically, couldn’t fight.

Today, I want to focus on U.S. civil-military relations as they appeared later, in the 1996-1997 time frame. With the benefit of

20-20–no, make that 2012hindsight–I’d like to talk to you about the lessons learned from the coup. All of these lessons are based on circumstances as they were over 20 years ago when you were sitting in this very auditorium about to begin your studies. What kinds of issues regarding the military’s role in American society should you have been thinking about back then?

The Civil-Military Environment in the Late 1990s

First of all, just because no one was planning a coup in 1996 didn’t justify the complacency too many analysts back then encouraged. They simplistically concluded that the military’s acceptance of shrinking defense budgets and the imposition of social policies on the armed forces “proved” that civilian control was secure.

Instead, they should have examined the unique implications of a large peacetime military during the late 1990s. Historically, the United States organized large forces to fight specific wars and quickly demobilized those forces at the end of a conflict. After World War II, the exigencies of the Cold War required maintaining a sizable peacetime defense establishment, and this probably gave birth to a highly politicized military. Because so much of the armed forces’ energy during the Cold War was absorbed by the overarching threat of a nuclear-armed Soviet Union, however, the military’s politicization didn’t present the pernicious threat then that it did in the twenty-first century.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the U.S. military’s principal raison d’êtrefor over 40 years disappeared. While it was clear the world remained a violent and dangerous place, the absence of a superpower adversary disconcerted a defense establishment still possessing enormous resources and intellectual vigor.

The armed forces also changed in an unprecedented way: they now were composed primarily of people wanting to stay in the military, rather than draftees wanting to leave at the first opportunity. Not only was the all-volunteer military undiluted by the liberalizing effect of conscription, it also was the direct descendant of the traumatized forces that lost the Vietnam War. True, the U.S. military brilliantly rebuilt itself and magnificently triumphed in the First Gulf War, but there is no question that the cycle of failure and redemption deeply affected the outlook of those in uniform.

Vietnam and the Politicization of the Military

It is difficult to overstate the influence the Vietnam War still had on civil-military relations during the last decade of the twentieth century. Robert McNamara’s duplicity, revealed in his 1995 memoir, rekindled deeply held beliefs that much of the blame for the United States’ defeat in Vietnam lay at the feet of inept and mendacious civilians. Officers at every level, therefore, believed it was necessary to become far more assertive in the political process than ever before if “another Vietnam” was to be avoided. To facilitate doing so, our war colleges gave increased emphasis to domestic politics, economics, and international relations. Of particular interest was the emphasis they placed on Clausewitzian theory.

Although historian John Keegan disagrees, Clausewitz’s assertion that war is a continuation of politics by other means still resonated in U.S. military thinking. When taken out of context, Clausewitz’s dictum became another rationale for officers to insinuate themselves into the political process.After all, if war is so intimately connected with politics, shouldn’t military officers be involved? Wasn’t that the lesson of Vietnam? Clemenceau’s adage was turned on its head: to the generals, war and the political decisions that surround it are too serious to be left to politicians.

Accordingly, hundreds of mid-level officers were placed in congressional offices to study political techniques. As should have been expected, they inevitably became entangled in partisan activities, reportedly as early as 1996. In another politicizing move, Congress turned the promotion process into a political football. Back in 1996, for example, the Senate delayed the confirmation of thousands of officers’ promotions to exact cooperation from the Defense Department for a plan to reorganize the intelligence community. Predictably, this kind of activity encouraged uniformed officers to become partisans in political battles.

Politicization occurred in other ways as well. For instance, it was widely reported that the nomination of General Joseph Hoar to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was scuttled by the protests of gay rights activists. What was his alleged offense? As the commander of Marine Corps Depot Parris Island, he enforced the homosexual exclusion policy put in place not by military officers but by the civilian leadership. This sent a message the nation would later regret: military officers should circumvent or ignore the directives of civilian superiors if they think a different course of action might be politically expedient in the future. As Colonel Harry Summers observed with respect to Vietnam-era protests, targeting the military–the executors rather than the makersof policy–politicizes the armed forces and thereby weakens civilian control.

Gay rights activists also unwittingly facilitated the coup by undermining the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). For decades, ROTC had been an important source of progressivism in the armed forces. Unfortunately, protesters succeeded in driving it from many top universities, often the very ones needed to preserve the balance of views so necessary for a professional military in a free society. By the mid-1990s, many officers privately expressed delight that there were fewer officers from the more liberal campuses to challenge their increasingly right-wing philosophy.

In addition, a new set of qualifications arose for promotion. Skill at political infighting, not traditionalwarfighting, became the mark of up-and-coming officers. Indeed, as far back as 1993, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William Crowe declared that few officers reached senior rank “without a firm grasp of international relations, congressional politics, and public affairs.” Eventually, our leaders became skilled politicians but, as we saw in the Second Gulf War, poor warfighters.

Nontraditional Missions and Civil-Military Relations

Another key source of politicization was the explosive growth of nontraditional missions in the 1990s. These ranged from drug interdiction, disaster relief, and youth programs at home to nation-building, humanitarian, and peacekeeping missions abroad.

The Prisoner critiqued this drift into nontraditional missions in his letter. What changed from 1992 to 1996, however, was the institutionalization of these missions. Armed with catchy acronyms like MOOTW, a powerful constituency arose within the ranks. Make no mistake about it, this was a basic change in orientation. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili admitted that “while we have historically focused on warfighting, our military profession is increasingly changing its focusto a complex array of military operations other than war.”

Overlooked was the fact that military officers who concentrate on activities other than war eventually become something other than warriors. An ever-increasing percentage of the shrinking officer corps “came of age” focusing not on the military arts but on decidedly nonmilitary enterprises. All of this would prove disastrous.

We learned the hard way that assigning military personnel missions like domestic drug interdiction inevitably entangles them in policy making, a political task best left to civilian authorities. Could we have seen this coming in 1996? Recall that back then a four-star Army general was retired to, along with a cadre of active-duty officers, help make domestic drug control policy.

Just as disappointment about law enforcement’s inability to stem the flow of drugs led to the military’s involvement in counterdrug efforts, a series of terror attacks resulted in a similar role in counterterrorism just a few years later. Public frustration and fear led to the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 1998. This gave the armed forces significant internal security powers, something for which the shadowy Special Operations Command had been preparing for years.

As we now well know, the trend toward nontraditional missions ultimately undermined civilian control of the military. In his classic book, The Soldier and the State, Samuel Huntington argued for “objective” civilian control. That condition, I contend, is best realized when the armed forces concentrate on professionalizing themselves through truly militaryendeavors. Apologists for nontraditional diversions gushed, rather naively in my view, about the “training” such missions were supposed to provide, as if chauffeuring Olympic athletes for a couple of months equated to a visit to the National Training Center or Nellis Air Force Base. Even more significantly, involvement in these activities perversely created a generation of military personnel much more attuned to and interested in almost anything other than the dirty but necessary business of war. We paid a terrible price for this in twenty-first century conflicts.

The etymology of this strange disinclination toward warfighting is traceable to the military’s peculiar form of post-Vietnam syndrome. Determined to avoid another quagmire, the defense establishment embraced a set of prerequisites to the use of armed force. Known as “Weinberger’s rules,” military leaders interpreted these mushy standards to, as one commentator put it, “subvert civilian controls” by effectively exercising a “veto” over virtually any operation they wanted to avoid. Despite studies to the contrary, the U.S. military became a prisoner of the notion that public support for the use of armed force inevitably erodes (a laVietnam and later Somalia), even when the number of casualties is relatively small.

Nevertheless, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell created a major controversy regarding the politicization of the military when he used Weinberger’s rules successfully to oppose early intervention in the Balkans. Though roundly criticized by many as exceeding the proper role of a serving officer, Powell set a precedent for unabashed assertiveness in the political process. Of course, military officers, aware of the horror and destructiveness of war, should approach combat operations warily. Still, a fundamental tenet of the military profession demands, as General Shalikashvili said back in 1996, “extraordinary dedication and sacrifice under the most adverse conditions.”

But the chairman was appealing to an ethos that was under attack on many flanks. Especially insidious was the assault of a new ideology known as total quality management or TQM. No one back then truly objected to teaching better management skills. But TQM and, more accurately, the corruption of its beneficial aspects became much more than that. With cultish frenzy, its devotees attempted to reduce to metrics the ultimately unquantifiable nature of combat readiness and warfighting. Somehow the performance of military functions was equated with the production of “products.”

TQM’s effect on the military’s self-concept was just as pernicious. Traditional superior-subordinate and comrade-in-arms relationships were replaced by faddish customer-supplier associations. This eventually undermined discipline as military personnel began to believe they were “empowered” to ignore orders that didn’t suit them. Furthermore, TQM’s obsession with unit self-assessments and such encouraged commanders to focus too much on subordinate-customer “satisfaction” and so-called “quality-of-life” issues. Interestingly, one expert charged that an overemphasis on quality-of-life issues led to the failure to take appropriate but unpopular security measures prior to the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing. Plenty of officers in the 1990s recognized the lunacy of TQM, but few were willing to confront its powerful zealots.

TQM was yet another reflection of the nefarious commercialization of the profession of arms. What is really an altruistic callingwas rapidly turning into simply a job where self-seeking opportunism was paramount. As William Pfaff wrote in January 1996,

You do not join the American army or navy today to be a warrior. You do it to learn a trade, or earn money for college, or to have a well paid retirement after 20 or 30 years. War–even a deployment like Bosnia–interferes with that. The troops resent it.

When the new military “executives” analyzed proposals for risky deployments, they quickly voiced their disapproval. Clearly, combat would be too costly in terms of “customers” and “products.” It just made no sense; any MBA could see that.

Edward Luttwak argued back in 1996 that given the military’s reluctance to risk casualties, the nation needed to redirect defense spending toward unmanned weapons systems. Similar arguments directly led to cancellation of the Air Force’s F-22 fighter in 1998. Once the “man-in-the-loop” premise was broken, the rationale for a separate air service collapsed. This became a main reason why the Air Force was the first of the military services to be disestablished and combined into the Unified Armed Forces in 2007.

Even in the twenty-first century, however, there were still times when it was necessary to send people into harm’s way. Eventually, the Pentagon’s aversion to fighting compelled the ultimate form of outsourcing: hazardous, unpopular operations were contracted out to the newly formed Violence Applications International Corporation (VAIC). For years, VAIC and its stable of retirees did the military’s dirty work, thereby allowing the armed forces the opportunity to deepen their involvement in popular domestic activities and trendy overseas enterprises. But when the Second Gulf War broke out in 2010 and the Iranian Tenth Armored Corps began crushing everything in its path, VAIC defaulted on its contract as its employees scattered. Corporate loyalty, it seems, has its limits.

The Rise of Postmodern Militarism

At the same time the military’s post-Cold War politicization was on the rise, the public’s understanding of and resistance to military influence was declining radically. Traditionally, the American people were wary of a professional military. The Founding Fathers, for instance, were well aware that it could be a source of tyranny. Eschewing standing armies, they framed a constitution that contemplated a national defense that principally relied on militias of citizen-soldiers.

Benevolent antimilitarism became a time-honored American virtue. When conflicts called millions into uniform and peacetime conscription gave millions more first-hand experience with service life, the American people had few illusions about the military. With the end of the draft, however, memories of the less attractive aspects of military service faded into nostalgia.

The youthful civilian elites who assumed power in the 1990s were wholly innocent of any genuine understanding of the powerful imperatives intrinsic to the armed forces. Moreover, these elites were not antimilitary, despite what many in uniform believed at the time. Of course, few of them considered military people their social or intellectual equals; rather, they viewed the armed forces with the kind of pretentious cordiality usually reserved for faithful servants. What they didappreciate was that the military was extraordinarily competent, and they reveled in the notion that it could do their bidding.

In actuality, both the elites andthe public were in the embrace of “postmodern militarism.” One writer back in 1994 described this phenomenon as follows:

Postmodern militarism is not marked by overt military dominance or even a societal embrace of martial values. Rather, it is characterized by a growing willingness of an increasingly militarily-naive society to charge those in uniform with responsibilities that a democracy ought to leave to civilians. It is a product of America’s deep frustration and disgust with elected government’s inability to work effectively, or to even labor honestly. The reason the military’s approval rating far exceeds that of every other institution in American society–including, significantly, the ones expected to exercise civilian control–is quite simple: it gets good things done.

Embattled politicians are ever more frequently turning to the military for quick-fixes: Can’t stop drugs? Call in the Navy. FEMA overwhelmed? Deploy the Airborne. Crime out of control? Put Guardsmen on the streets. Troubled youths? Marine role models and military boot camps. Need health care? Military medics to the rescue. Diplomats stumble again? Another Air Force mercy mission on the way. The unapologetically authoritarian military can “make the trains run on time,” but at what price?

That question was never answered; the national discussion we needed in the 1990s never took place. This was especially unfortunate because the civilian institutions that were supposed to control the military were weakening. Congress’ partisanship made it vulnerable to manipulation by politically astute military operatives who became expert at playing congressional factions against each other. The executive branch didn’t fare much better. At the beginning of the Clinton administration, for example, there were numerous reports of open contempt by military personnel for their commander in chief. Although many observers believed the initial hostility later dissipated, President Clinton’s continued vulnerability was illustrated by the uproar that followed an attempt by his lawyers to characterize him as a member of the armed forces to delay a lawsuit. Moreover, analysts were still asserting in 1996 that Clinton had not yet been able to “command” the Pentagon.

Instead, the military had become, as one commentator put it, “the most powerful individual actor in Washington politics.” Part of the reason lay with the fact that the executive and legislative branches both labored under the shadow of Vietnam. Writing in May 1996, A.J. Bacevich of Johns Hopkins University observed the following:

Thirty years later, now elected to positions of prominence, those who evaded service now truckle and fawn to demonstrate the depth of their regard for men in uni-

form. . . . The military itself is only too happy to play along. The moral leverage embedded in “the troops” . . . provides the Pentagon with enormous political clout. Senior military leaders do not hesitate to exploit that clout for their own purposes.

Among military leaders, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is most senior. By the mid-1990s it was clear, as Defense News contended, that the chairman’s “rising clout threaten[ed] civilian leaders.” With his power dramatically increased by the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act, politicization became a charge levied at every chairman. Admiral Crowe was a self-described “political animal,” and General Powell was similarly characterized.General Shalikashvili also was accused of partisanship when he challenged the views of then-Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and later voiced opposition to the Defend America Act, a cornerstone of Republican Robert Dole’s presidential campaign.

The highly politicized office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wasn’t converted into the all-powerful Military Plenipotentiary until 2005, but we were already slipping toward that in the 1990s. Although prohibited by law from acting as a commander, the chairman was engaged in the command-like function of directing adherence to joint doctrine. Likewise, the Joint Staff was behaving as if it were the military’s senior headquarters, even though U.S. law denied it executive power and prohibited it from functioning as a general staff. This consolidation of enormous authority would prove catastrophic in 2012.

All of this constituted the first inkling of a tendency within the armed forces to consider themselves above the law. Indeed, it allegedly was frustration with the “restrictions of American democracy” that led some officers to break the law during the Iran-Contra Affair.Later, there were troubling reports of Marines ignoring laws that interfered with what they viewed as their “domestic peacekeeping mission” during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. A similar lack of discipline was revealed by the investigation of the April 1996 crash of a CT-43. Senior Air Force commanders were found to be ignoring orders.

Officers had little to fear from the military justice system, however; by 1996 it was broken. To be sure, part of the fault lay with vainglorious lawyers who continually tinkered with it until it became one of the most bureaucratic and defendant-oriented criminal justice systems in the world. What we were left with was a system incapable of handling the kinds of complex, high-profile cases that can affect civil-military relations. Consider, for example, that despite literally hundreds of witnesses, the Tailhook scandal resulted in not a single conviction. Likewise, military courts held no one accountable for the April 1994 “friendly-fire” shootdown of two U.S. Army helicopters in Northern Iraq, the cost of which was 26 lives.

Worst of all was the handling of the 1993 case of an Air Force major general who publicly denounced President Clinton as a “gay loving, pot smoking, draft dodging womanizer.” This egregious violation of Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s proscription against the use of contemptuous language toward the commander in chief merely resulted in nonjudicial punishment, an administrative action reserved by law for “minor offenses.” Once that precedent was set, it is little wonder that a malignancy I call “neopraetorianism”arose.

The Emergence of Neopraetorianism

One of the greatest paradoxes of civil-military relations in the 1990s was that a disdain for American society grew within the ranks despite the military’s popularity and political “clout.” That alienation created a real gap between the armed forces and the society they served. Of course, the military had always been a “separate society” with unique customs and organization. Its warfighting mission required that. The gap that emerged in the 1990s, however, was one where the military began to regard itself as a higher caste fundamentally at odds with civil society.

As early as 1991, journalist David Wood reported that military personnel were tending to “view the chaotic civilian world with suspicion and sometimes hostility.” A 1996 Los Angeles Timesarticle noted a similar trend and quoted one servicemember’s description of civilians as “thieves, bureaucrats, no self-reliance, no integrity . . . substandard.” A May 1996 Harvard study, as well as one by a Naval War College student that same month, warned that civil-military relations were threatened by the military’s increasingly jaundiced view of civilians and its narcissistic assessment of itself.

What emerged from this growing antipathy was neopraetorianism within the military. Neopraetorianism arises when the armed forces perceive themselves not only as the protectors of what is right in civil society but also as the self-appointed and, importantly, unelectedmakers and implementers of the same. It is abetted by officers infatuated with the idea that they are national ombudsmen with unlimited portfolios, rather than military leaders with finite responsibilities. Paralleling the public’s corporate ignorance of military affairs, neopraetorianism is marked by the military’s flawed notion of its own cultural superiority and its seeming inability to grasp the merits of civil society.

Like so many problems we faced in the twenty-first century, one manifestation of neopraetorianism evolved from a well-meaning idea from a bona fide patriot. In 1996, the commandant of the Marine Corps, appalled by what he perceived as a disintegration of values, “made morality a major theme in his first year in the top post.”In doing so, he embraced a then-popular thesis of the political right that sought the “restoration” of an idealistically “moral” America–an America that, in the opinion of one expert, “never existed and never will.”

Commenting on Marine recruits, the commandant insisted that “there has got to be a transformation of [a] young man or woman from what they are in society.” Of course, this was a cruel insult to the parents who raised these men and women, especially at a time when the other services were bragging about enlisting the highest quality recruits ever. Nevertheless, it is imperative that the armed forces inculcate new troops with military skills as well as an acceptance of the authoritarianism, bellicosity, and anti-individualism necessary for survival in combat. But the commandant’s agenda wasn’t that limited. He sought to instill recruits with the values he decided were “important for the Nation.” His goal was not just a better Marine; rather, the general declared that he wanted his “legacy for the Corps to be literally a transformed American.” He added that he was “going to go to unbelievable lengths to do that.”

Where did we go wrong? Unfortunately, subsequent generals corrupted the commandant’s concept for their own purposes. We learned that whatever the propriety of a professional military setting values for its members, it is not charged to do so for society at large. We found that when active-duty generals arrogate the prerogative to tell the country which values they should embrace and use their vast resources to imposethem upon the nation, then something is deeply askew in the country’s civil-military relations.

In fact, we learned at last year’s coup trials that most of the plotters wanted to remake the nation in the armed forces’ image. History can teach us something here. In his 1994 book, Modern Tyrants, Daniel Chirot argued that “Hitler’s appeal to a disoriented German population, beset not only by financial and political chaos, but also by open manifestations of new cultural tastes and sexual mores, was that he would bring back traditional order, a simple comprehensible culture, and a clear public morality.” Chirot also noted that “military men in particular are prone to [the] delusion” that their nation’s problems can be solved by the imposition of martial values. The lesson is that generals should not be commanders in the nation’s culture wars. The military should not attempt to remake society in its own image.

The military’s self-concept also fostered neopraetorianism. Inexplicably, those in uniform seemed oblivious to their own world. Sure, the military enjoyed low crime rates, but why shouldn’t it? Unlike civil society, it had the luxury of both selecting its members and casting out even minor offenders. Moreover, it could relentlessly scrutinize its members’ personal lives and subject them to urinalysis testing, DNA examinations, and sometimes the pseudoscience of polygraphs.

Life on America’s secluded military bases wasidyllic, thanks, ironically, to the society we criticized so much. Many installations resembled the ultimate Marxist paradise: neat, rent-free homes; free utilities; subsidized shopping and day care; extensive, cost-free recreational facilities; and even government-furnished preachers. The health care system, for all its faults, still outstripped that which was available to most civilians at a similar price. Important aspects of the compensation system were a welfare queen’s dream. Need a bigger house? Just have another child. Want more money? Find a mate. All of this was supported by a huge panoply of government-funded social services that helped control problems like alcohol and child abuse.

The military looked at civil society and saw only chaos, crime, and moral decay. True, these are the unfortunate by-products of personal freedom and aggressive individualism. But it was freedom and individualism that produced the economic boom that fueled the nation’s resurgent military machine. The genius of American capitalism is its recognition that the pursuit of individual self-interest in an atmosphere of free competition ultimately can lead to the common good. A fiercely entrepreneurial spirit may be disastrous on the battlefield where a premium is placed on unity of purpose, but it is an enormously important source of innovation and progress amid the Darwinian complexities of most other human undertakings.

Before we looked too askance at civil society, we should have understood the basically undemocratic and authoritarian nature of military life. Officers find comfort in a hierarchical organization where military rank unambiguously defines their privileged place and the chain of command gives clear definition, authority, and finality to decision making. They are perplexed by the egalitarianism of civil society and uncomfortable with the uncertainty and deliberate chaos of the democratic process. Intellectual pluralism is seen as divisive and debilitating instead of creative and stimulating. Political consensus-building often is viewed as either chicanery or nefarious compromise rather than a productively inclusive technique. “Democracy is not,” as General Powell accurately observed, “an easy form of government for military professionals.”

The neopraetorians never understood that their society was a Potemkin village that depended upon the largess of civil society–the society upon which they heaped contempt and presumed to lecture about values. The despotic, albeit kindly, socialism of the armed forces may suit the peculiar needs of a professional military, but it is hardly a model for a free society. Instead of following the path of neopraetorianism, we should have built a new framework for civil-military relations, one I call the “New American Model.”

The New American Model of Civil-Military Relations

The New American Model appreciates that effective civilian control of the military, as Dr. Richard Kohn concluded, emphasizes process, and that process can and should evolve over time. That said, the model nevertheless recognizes the utility of clearly delineated rules. Accordingly, it attempts to complement its theoretical architecture with practical, specific guidance whenever possible.

The New American Model honors Huntington’s concept of objective military control, and insists that the military’s energy and resources be focused on externalwarfighting functions. The model also finds persuasive Dr. Michael Desch’s research which suggests that civil-military relations prosper under these circumstances. Those nontraditional missions that really need to be accomplished should be performed by civilian government agencies or commercial enterprises.

The centerpiece of the New American Model is the principle that effective civilian control of a large, professional military in a democracy requires pervasive transparency, especially during peacetime. The necessary oversight can occur only when what the military is thinking and doing is made plain to the society it serves. The model has faith in the people’s wisdom and, therefore, completely rejects the idea that “military and national security issues are just too complex [for the general public], and can be understood only by a select few.”

Unfortunately, opaqueness, not transparency, was the paradigm in the 1990s. As yet another legacy of the Vietnam War, the politicized U.S. military of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries became ever more deeply engaged in “perception management.” Convinced that hostile reporters harmed the war effort in Southeast Asia, buoyed by favorable public reaction to its domination of the press during the First Gulf War,and capitalizing on the media’s own negative public image, the armed forces came to regard the media and information more generally as something to be manipulated for the military’s own purposes.

The military devoted enormous energy to learning how to manipulate the media. As a measure of how far the armed forces were willing to go, consider the following 1993 statement by a military instructor: “Learning to deal with reporters is just as important as learning to kill the enemy.” “Spin control” was critical as well. An Army instructor, for instance, insisted that soldiers tell not just any story, but a “positiveArmy story.” The New American Model rejects “spin doctoring,” however. It contends that “in a democracy the military should be controlled by public opinion, not the other way around.”

The Army, in particular, aggressively sought to maintain spin control. It imposed, for example, the so-called “Ricks rule” in 1996 to counter frank, but politically incorrect, comments by its troops in Bosnia. Ultimately, discouraging candor proved to be counterproductive. A participant in a 1996 Army survey glumly reported that “telling the truth ends careers quicker than making stupid mistakes or getting caught doing something wrong.” Ironically, the Army’s success at suppressing the media during the First Gulf War planted the seed of its own demise. With the public uneducated about the Army’s capabilities, the Army was reduced to only four active divisions and followed the Air Force into disestablishment in early 2007.

In any event, the transparency the model calls for cannot exist when security classifications are overused. Secrecy, as the New York Timesnoted on the twenty-fifth anniversary of its publication of the Pentagon Papers, can be used to hide “bloat, error and corruption in the military.” In the mid-1990s, the overclassification problem arose with respect to the military’s burgeoning involvement in information warfare, particularly offensive information warfare. Military leaders coyly declined to discuss the topic, citing high security classifications. Indeed, the subject was so grotesquely overclassified that even within the armed forces and the civilian defense establishment few knew any of the particulars.

In the beginning, we all knew the reason for much of this overclassification: “rice bowls.” Information warfare was one of the few areas where military budgets were increasing, and by controlling access to these programs, organizations could control the associated funding. Furthermore, by restricting traditional “operators” from this information, members of lower-status intelligence and communications career fields could engage in Walter Mitty-like delusions and call themselves “warriors,” albeit informationwarriors.

No one disputed the need to classify some technical aspects of information warfare. However, given its openly stated aim–to “convince, confuse, or deceive enemy decision makers“–it should have been clear that the armed forces were acquiring a capability with tremendous potential to influence the domestic political process. When our military schools began discussing the use of advanced information technology to “morph” false images of enemy political leaders to mislead their publics, for instance, we should have realized the dangerous potential of this and similar technologies. The New American Model asserts that the public needs to know and approve the “who” and “what” of information warfare, leaving only the “how” secret.

The New American Model also maintains that a vibrant, knowledgeable, and inquisitive press is a vital safeguard of civilian control. Indeed, with the power of formal government structures diminished, the media became the most effective means of civilian control by the late 1990s. Thus, it was not helpful when national leaders placed part of the blame for Admiral Jeremy Boorda’s suicide on “the relentless glare of the media.” In truth, military leaders mustbe subject to this “relentless glare,” since it is virtually the only restraint they really fear.

Addressing the perils of opaqueness does not complete the New American Model’s architecture for the military’s involvement in the political discourse. The template for that construct can be found in Yehuda Meir’s Civil-Military Relations in Israel. In this 1995 book, Meir conceived of five possible roles for military officers in political affairs.

(1) Advisory: making their professional expertise available to civilians.

(2) Representative: advocating the military’s interests in intergovernmental councils.

(3) Executive: implementing government decisions.

(4) Advocacy: publicly explaining and defending government policies.

(5) Substantive: attempting to overturn the government’s military or national security policy by engaging in overt political activity.

Meir believed the first three roles are commensurate with the principles of civilian control, while the fifth presents a direct challenge to it. He considered the advocacy role a “gray area,” however, since it may lead to attempts to convince the public of the wisdom of military policies that conflict with those of the government. The trick, he wrote, is to not undermine the military’s representative role but constrain it enough so that it does not lead to exaggerated advocacy.

The New American Model agrees with much of Meir’s proposal. It further agrees that the military has no role to play in the electoral process beyond voting. Indeed, I would recommend that flag officers be prohibited from holding anypublic office for at least five years after retirement. This would reduce the temptation to engage in partisan activities to curry political favor. The model also recognizes, however, that even “advisory” discussions of national security matters can be viewed as partisan.

Indeed, it is probably impossible for military personnel who speak out on any issue to avoid charges of partisanship. Nevertheless, the New American Model values transparency enough to tolerate such allegations and urges apolitical candor as the best mitigation. The model believes the military has information, expertise, and unique insights that should be made available to the public. “Generals must be free,” Tom Donnelly asserts, “to explain what military means may reasonably accomplish.” That requires candor. Of course, as another writer put it, “candor must be used in unison with common sense, sound judgment, self-discipline, loyalty and other traits.”

Candor is always appropriate in the privatecouncils of government. The model explicitly rejects the kind of “political correctness,” for example, that reportedly led Admiral Boorda to abandon the nomination of Admiral Stanley Arthur as commander in chief of U.S. Pacific Command simply because Arthur agreed that a female pilot was no longer qualified to fly. Political correctness can greatly undermine civil-military relations because it replaces sound, apolitical judgment with opportunistic and often self-serving pandering to popular fashion.

Candor also requires a keen sense of accountability on the part of military officers. Too often, as A.J. Bacevich noted, military officers use their political popularity to “pass off to others the responsibility for failure.” This occurred, according to Bacevich, when former Secretary of Defense Les Aspin–unpopular among senior military leaders–was fired following the 1993 Ranger raid in Somalia where 18 U.S. soldiers were killed. The military allowed the public to think that Aspin’s refusal to deploy additional armor caused the disaster, when actually it was much more of a doctrine and planning failure by an arrogantly overconfident special operations community.

We nearly saw a repeat of this scenario following the Khobar Towers bombing. Demands arose for the resignation of Secretary of Defense William Perry when an Air Force general implied that failing to obtain Saudi approval to move the perimeter fence caused the tragedy. Like the Ranger raid, however, the tragedy was much more attributable to a failure of militaryjudgment concerning the nature of the threat than any ineptitude by civilian leaders.

To ensure accountability, the New American Model calls for a reinvigorated military justice system. Administrative actions, with their propensity towards politicization and stench of back-room deals, are no substitute for a public judicial process. In the context of civil-military relations, the system needs to be reformed to reserve its most severe punishments not for those who try their best and fail, but for those who seek to avoid responsibility for their actions.

The model recognizes that the most difficult issue is determining when candor should be publiclyexpressed. There are several key factors in this regard.

(1) Candor can never be used to defy or subvert direct orders. Obedience to lawful orders must be instantaneous. Parenthetically, unlawful orders must be ruthlessly exposed.

(2) Candor can never be an excuse for disrespectful behavior.

(3) Candor must never be used to replace the strength of an idea with the power of an officer’s rank or position.

(4) There is a fundamental and critical difference between candidly expressing one’s views and using government resources to try to implement them. The order to implement a decision must be properly authorized in accordance with approved policy. Thus, public candor is often best expressed priorto a decision being made.

All this having been said, the model starts with a strong presumption that civil-military relations are best served by transparency, and that frequently means public candor. Against this backdrop, the model urges consideration of two inverse relationships for weighing the appropriateness of publiccandor in a given situation.

The first is largely common sense. It generally holds that there is an inverse relationship between the presumption that public discourse is appropriate on the one hand and the rank and position of the speaker on the other. Thus, fewer restrictions should be placed on the First Amendment activities of junior personnel. Conversely, a four-star commander is obliged to be more circumspect. This goes back to the fundamental tenet of the New American Model: military officers must not employ the power of their rank or position to lend undeserved strength to their views.

The second holds that there usually is an inverse relationship between the presumption that public candor is appropriate and the proximity to and effect on ongoing operations, especially those involving combat. This would mean, for instance, that public criticism of a battle plan immediately before its execution would be inappropriate.

Of course, the two relationships can overlap. A senior field commander must not debate the orders of his commander in chief during combat, for example. This is where General MacArthur ran afoul of President Truman.

As a further illustration, consider the case of an Army colonel who was disciplined during the early stages of the 1995 Bosnia deployment, a noncombat situation, for allowing a reporter to quote him concerning his views that Croatians are racist and the deployment’s political objectives could not be achieved within the one-year time frame set by the Clinton administration. Applying the New American Model to that incident, the colonel’s public remark about the Croatians was inappropriate given the time and place it was made. His views on the one-year time frame, however, were appropriate. This is the kind of candid judgment the American public needs from its military leaders.

Accordingly, the New American Model does not maintain that the military should be public cheerleaders for the politics of the president or his party. This is wholly distinct from the question of following lawful orders. With respect to such orders, obedience must, as already noted, be instantaneous and complete. That clearly understood, it also must be appreciated that the Constitution contemplates that civilian control be a shared responsibility of the executive and legislative branches. The loyalty the armed forces owe their commander in chief does not extend to using the military’s prestige, not to mention its physical power, to support anypolitical party.

There are other important aspects of the New American Model. It recognizes that the public’s increasing naiveté about military affairs needs to be addressed. It does not, however, argue for a return to the draft. Militarily, it would not make sense. Professor Keegan noted, for instance, that the performance of Iraq’s conscripts during the First Gulf War demonstrated that draftees merely “clutter up” the modern battlefield. Thus, any increase in the public’s awareness of military affairs would be outweighed by the costs involved.

What might be helpful, however, is a comprehensive high school or college-level program on the armed forces in general and civil-military relations more specifically. We also need to teach civil-military relations as part of our professional military education. This education could be supplemented by the publication of books and articles by military officers for the general public.

The model also does not see increased reliance on the Guard and Reserve as the solution to the problems of civil-military relations. While the Guard and Reserve sometimes can support greater civilian control (turning most aspects of information warfare over to part-time soldiers, for example), the fact remains that modern warfighting, especially ground maneuver warfare, is too difficult for other than full-time soldiers to master. Consequently, military needs will dictate that most combat power remain in the active-duty force. Moreover, further integration of the Guard’s–and, to a lesser extent, the Reserve’s–unabashed politicization into the regular military would not serve the cause of civil-military relations.

The model does, however, support limiting those so-called “quality of life” initiatives that encourage military personnel to remain ensconced on their bases. Translating those benefits into pay increases will encourage greater utilization of civilian facilities, with the concomitant benefit of reducing the military’s growing alienation from the society it is supposed to serve.


As I hope you’ve come to understand, the role of the military in American society was at a crossroads in 1996. If we could go back in time, we could spend our school year discussing how we might address these issues. Despite what happened in 2012, the profession of arms is still a most noble calling. But for us, we lost our honor. If only we had another chance. If only we could go back in time. If only. . . .

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1 On the former, see Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., How We Lost the High-Tech War of 2007, The Weekly Standard, January 29, 1996, at 22.

2 Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012, Parameters, Winter 1992-93, at 2.

3 According to Rear Admiral Eccles, “Civil-military relations can be seen as the interaction of a group of related systems and subsystems–social, economic, political, military, and information. . . . The relations between these systems are dynamic: each system strives to maintain its equilibrium and to control its destiny as it adapts to the actions and changes of the associated system.” See Rear Admiral Henry E. Eccles, Military Power in a Free Society(1979), at 125.

4 See, e.g., Douglas Johnson and Steven Metz, Civil-Military Relations in the United States: The State of the Debate, Washington Quarterly, Winter 1995, at 197; Mackubin Thomas Owens, Civilian Control: A National Crisis? Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn/Winter 1994-95, at 80; and Capt Edward B. Westermann, USAF, Contemporary Civil-Military Relations: Is the Republic in Danger? Airpower Journal, Summer 1995, at 74. See also Staff of Senate Committee on Armed Forces, 99th Congress, 1st Session, Defense Organization: The Need for Change (Committee Print 1985), at 45 (warning against complacency “about the apparent balance in civil-military relations”).

5 There is no universally accepted definition of civilian control of the military, but it is generally thought to include the notion that the ends of government policy are set by civilians with the means (if even that) determined by the military. The purpose of civilian control is to ensure that military interests are subordinated to those determined by civilian authority. See Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., Welcome to the Junta: The Erosion of Civilian Control of the U.S. Military, 29 Wake Forest Law Review341, 343-344 (1994).

6 See generally, James F. Dunnigan and Raymond M. Macedonia, Getting It Right(1993), at 24-26.

7 See Herbert Emmerich, in Civil-Military Relations in American Life, at viii-ix (1948) (Introduction).

8 A.J. Bacevich, Civilian Control: A Useful Fiction? Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn/Winter 1994/95, at 76, 78. Cf. John M. Swomley, Jr., The Military Establishment(1964).

9 See Michael C. Desch, Soldiers, States, and Structure: Civilian Control of the Military in a Changing Security Environment(forthcoming, 1997), at 67, 69 (arguing that civilian control is enhanced where the military faces a challenging international security environment).

10 Cf. Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, To Keep the Peace, Readers Digest, January 1996, at 92-93 (“The lack of a superpower enemy, after the fall of Soviet communism, has reduced justification of military spending in the public mind”).

11 On the former, see Dunnigan and Macedonia, supra note 6. See also Al Santoli, Leading the Way(1993).

12 Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect(1995).

13 See Bruce Palmer, The 25 Year War: America’s Military Role in Vietnam(1984), at 45-46, 201-202.

14 Owens, supranote 4, at 83.

15 Much of this is the result of Colonel Harry Summers’ brilliant Clausewitzian analysis of the Vietnam conflict. See Harry G. Summers, On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War(1982).

16 John Keegan, A History of Warfare(1993).

17 “It is clear, consequently, that war is not a mere act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political activity by other means.” Carl Von Clausewitz, On War(Princeton University ed., 1976), at 87.

18 Properly applied, Clausewitzian theory “underlines the need and justification for civilian control of the armed forces.” See Yehuda Ben Meir, Civil-Military Relations in Israel(1995), at 187.

19 “War is too serious to be entrusted to generals,” Georges Clemenceau as quoted in The New York Times, July 19, 1944 as cited in The Macmillan Dictionary of Political Quotations(Lewis D. Eigen and Jonathan P. Siegel, eds., 1993), at 689.

20 See Rick Maze, Do Military Officers and Politics Mix? Navy Times, July 8, 1996, at 10. According to Maze, “hundreds of military officers [are] participating in a loose-knit fellowship program.” Id.

21 House Speaker Newt Gingrich had four military officers serving in a congressional fellowship program produce a military-style report to “show why the Republicans nearly lost a June vote on their balanced budget plan.” Representative Patricia Schroeder complained that “[t]he use of military officers for partisan political activity is, in my view, totally improper.” Id. See also Were Military Aides Used Politically? New York Times, June 23, 1996, at 17.

22 Miffed Specter Holds Promotions Hostage, Washington Times, May 12, 1996, at 5.

23 See generally, David Martin, Landing the Eagle, Vanity Fair, November 1993, at 150.

24 See Summers, On Strategy, supranote 15, at 170.

25 Thomas E. Ricks, On American Soil: The Widening Gap between the U.S. Military and U.S. Society, Working Paper No. 3, Project on U.S. Post-Cold War Civil-Military Relations, John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Harvard University, May 1996, at 11-13. Cf. Daniel Voll, A Few Good Nazis, Esquire, April 1996, at 102 (discussing extremism in the ranks).

26 Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr. and David Chanoff, The Line of Fire(1993), at 23.

27 Military Operations Other Than War. See Joint Publication 3-07, Joint Doctrine for Military Operations Other Than War, 16 June 1995.

28 As quoted by John T. Correll, The Murky Edges of Mootwah, Air Force Magazine, July 1996, at 2 (emphasis added).

29 See, e.g., Carla Anne Robbins and John Fiakla, Despite Tough Words, Antiterrorism Effort in U.S. Is Still Flawed, Wall Street Journal, July 22, 1996, at 1.

30 Compare Paul H. Appleby, Civilian Control of a Department of National Defense, in Civil-Military Relations in American Life, supra note 7, at 63. “When the country comes to any severe internal crisis, it is not uncommon for some conscientious citizens to give thought–even to make plans–about a military takeover of the country to preserve order, to avert revolution, and to serve other like purposes.” Id.

31 See, e.g., Joyce Price, Black Copters over Pittsburgh? It’s Just an Exercise, Washington Times, June 6, 1996, at 1 (describing U.S. Army Special Forces “urban warfare training” conducted in a number of U.S. cities, including Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Miami).

32 Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State (1957), at 80-97. See also note 94 supra.

33 Senator Sam Nunn argued that using military personnel to chauffeur athletes would deter terrorists. See Rick Maze, Senator Criticizes the Use of Troops, Air Force Times, June 24, 1996, at 17. Cf. Robert F. Dorr, Troops Have No Business Working at the Olympics, Air Force Times, June 24, 1996, at 54.

34 Cf. Samuel P. Huntington, New Contingencies, Old Roles, Joint Force Quarterly, Autumn 1993, at 38. “A military force is fundamentally antihumanitarian: its purpose is to kill people in the most efficient way possible.” Id., at 43.

35 Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger announced the following rules at a luncheon in 1984. See, Colin Powell and Joseph E. Persico, My American Journey(1995), at 303.

(1) Commit only if our or our allies’ vital interests are at stake.

(2) If we commit, do so with all the resources necessary to win.

(3) Go in only with clear political and military objectives.

(4) Be ready to change the commitment if the objectives change, since wars rarely stand still.

(5) Only take on commitments that can gain the support of the American people and Congress.

(6) Commit U.S. forces only as a last resort.

Id. Cf. Richard K. Betts, Soldiers, Statesmen, and Cold War Crisis (1991 ed.), at 221-236 and Martin Sieff, Policy on U.S. Force Is Clarified, Washington Times, March 7, 1996, at 1,3.

36 See Charles Lane, A Soldiers Story: National Insecurity, New Republic, October 16, 1995, at 20.

37 Eric V. Lawson, Casualties and Consensus (1996). See also Charles Moskos, When Americans Accept Casualties, November 1995 (unpublished paper).

38 See, e.g., Chris Black, US Options Seen Fewer as Military Avoids Risk, Boston Globe, July 23, 1995, at 12.

39 See, e.g., Edward Luttwak, Washington’s Biggest Scandal, Commentary, May 1994, at 29 and Richard H. Kohn, Out of Control: The Crisis in Civil-Military Relations, The National Interest, Spring 1994, at 3.

40 General John M. Shalikashvili, Joint Vision 2010(1996), at 28.

41 See e.g., Bruce Brocka and M. Suzanne Brocka, Quality Management(1992).

42 Compare, HQ USAF/CC letter, subject: Key Issue Update, 15 July 1996, at 4 (“[T]he CT-43 mishap starkly pointed out the critical importance of complying with higher headquarters directives. Unfortunately, the change from Air Force regulations to instructions combined with quality initiativesmay have given some people the wrong impression about compliance with AFIs” [emphasis added]).

43 Rick Maze, The Blame Game, Air Force Times, July 22, 1996, at 6 (quoting Lt Gen Bernard Trainor, USMC [Ret.]: “There is a tendency in the military today to put too much emphasis on quality of life and comfort. This is putting troops at risk”). See also, Don G.D. Bloom, The Price of Quality, Air Force Times, August 12, 1996, at 26 (letter).

44 William Pfaff, Civilian Militarism, Military Civilians, Baltimore Sun, January 4, 1996, at 15.

45 Edward Luttwak, Post-Heroic Armies, Foreign Affairs, July/August 1996, at 33.

46 See Alexander Bevin, Future War(1995), at 41.

47 See John Mintz, “Outsourcing” Goes Right to the Front, Washington Post, December 21, 1995, at B13 (discussing the growth of outsourcing in the military).

48 The Framers were influenced by the excesses of Cromwell’s New Model Army as well as first-hand experiences with British regulars used to suppress growing dissatisfaction with English rule prior to the Revolution. See generally, Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., Revolt of the Masses: Armed Civilians and the Insurrectionary Theory of the Second Amendment, 62 Tennessee Law Review643, 646-653 (1995).

49 See, e.g., Allan R. Millett, The Constitution and the Citizen-Soldier, in The United States Military under the Constitution of the United States (Richard H. Kohn, ed., 1991), at 97-115 and Dave R. Palmer, 1794: America, Its Army, and the Birth of the Nation(1994), at 263-277.

50 Harry G. Summers, Jr., A Tale of 2 Presidents: Call It Poetic Justice, Air Force Times, November 8, 1993, at 62 (“Suspicion of the military is no sin. Americans have a long and proud history of antimilitarism, and civilian control of the military is one of the foundations of American democracy”).

51 See Richard G. Miles, Those Who Fight, Those Who Decide, Newsweek, November 22, 1993, at 12.

52 See Dunlap, Welcome to the Junta: The Erosion of Civilian Control of the U.S. Military, supra note 5, at 387-390; Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., A Fallow Challenge to Civilian Control? Joint Force Quarterly, Spring 1995, at 103-104; and Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., USA (Ret.), The New World Strategy(1995), at 198-202.

53 Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., Postmodern Militarism, The National Interest, Fall 1994, at 104-105 (letter).

54 See, e.g., A.J. Bacevich, Clinton’s Military Problem–And Ours, National Review, December 13, 1993, at 36.

55 See, e.g., Bill Clinton, Military Man? Washington Times, May 23, 1996, at 16 and Clinton’s Legal Claim and Reaction, Air Force Magazine, July 1996, at 11.

56 See, e.g., Mary McGrory, Clinton’s Duty to Command the Pentagon, Washington Post, April 21, 1996.

57 Pfaff, supranote 44.

58 A.J. Bacevich, What Are Soldiers For? Chronicles, May 1996, as quoted in Wilson Quarterly, Summer 1996, at 118.

59 See Robert Holzer and Stephen C. LeSuer, JCS Chairman’s Rising Clout Threatens Civilian Leaders, Defense News, June 13-19, 1994, at 29.

60 Pub. L. No. 99-433, 100 Stat. 992 (1986) (codified as amended in scattered sections of 10 U.S.C.).

61 See, e.g., Richard H. Kohn, Out of Control: The Crisis in Civil-Military Relations, The National Interest, Spring 1994, at 3.

62 On the former, see Bryan Bender, Shalikashvili Blasts Isolationist Rhetoric of Primaries, Defense Daily, March 21, 1996, at 434. On the latter, see Bill Gertz, Shalikashvili Warns Republicans Not to Undermine Arms Reductions, Washington Times, May 23, 1996, at 13.

63 See 10 U.S.C. §152(c); Cf. Lt Gen John H. Cushman, USA (Ret.), Joint Doctrine: The Chairman’s Authority, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, April 1995, at 48.

64 See10 U.S.C. §155(e) (“The Joint Staff shall not operate or be organized as an overall Armed Forces General Staff and shall have no executive authority”).

65 See also Kenneth W. Kemp and Charles Hudlin, Civil Supremacy Over the Military: Its Nature and Limits, Armed Forces and Society, Fall 1992, at 7, 16-19 (discussing “politically motivated disobedience” in the case of Air Force General John D. Lavelle’s secret bombing of North Vietnam).

66 Lt Col James Callard, The Changing Nature of American Democracy: Consequences for the Military, Naval War College, 21 May 1996 (unpublished thesis), at 16.

67 See Ricks, supranote 25, at 21-22.

68 Are Commanders Ignoring Orders? Air Force Times, June 24, 1996, at 1.

69 See, e.g., Keith Hutcheson, The Discipline Crisis, Armed Forces Journal, March 1996, at 40.

70 See David Hackworth, Rancor in the Ranks: The Troops vs. The President, Newsweek, June 28, 1993.

71 10 U.S.C. §888 (1988).

72 10 U.S.C. §815 (1988). See also Michael R. Gordon, General Ousted for Derisive Remarks about President, New York Times, June 19, 1993, at 19.

73 According to Meir, supra note 18, at 192, the traditional concept of praetorianism “refers to the military’s tendency to intervene in the affairs of state. The term is borrowed from the Roman guard that made and unmade emperors.” It was initially discussed by Amos Perlmutter in The Military and Politics of Modern Times (1977). Perlmutter contends:

The client of the professional soldier is clearly the state and, hence, the nation. Praetorian symptoms may occur in the professional soldier, but only when leaders of the military establishment “discover” that there is a “contradiction” between the “state” to which they have pledged loyalty, and the “regime” that has taken over.

Perlmutter, id., at 14, as quoted in Meir, supranote 18, at 13. A cardinal feature of neopraetorianism is that the contradiction is not so much in reference to any regime, rather it is between the military’s assessment of appropriate societal values and organization and that which they perceive as existing in society as a whole.

74 See Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733, 743 (1974) (the military is a “separate specialized society separate from civilian society”). Arthur Hadley labeled the separation the “Great Divorce” in Straw Giant(1986), at 22.

75 See generally, Ricks, supranote 25.

76 David Wood, Duty, Honor, Isolation: Military More and More a Force Unto Itself, Star Ledger(Newark, NJ), April 21, 1991, at 1.

77 Art Pine, U.S. Military Highly Rated, but Strains Begin to Show, Los Angeles Times(Wash. ed.), March 19, 1996, at 1.

78 See, e.g., Ricks, supra note 25 and Callard, supranote 66, at 46.

79 See Marines Plan Values Training, Omaha World Herald, July 6, 1996, at 6 (citing Associated Press report).

80 See, e.g., Patricia Edmonds and Ann Oldenberg, Chasing the Values Vote, USA Today, at 5A (discussing “[w]hy Americans are more upset about values than at any time in modern history”).

81 See Vince Passaro, Dragon Fiction, Harper’s Magazine, September 1996, at 64, 68. In reviewing the emerging genre of “Christian Thrillers,” Passaro says:

It doesn’t take you long to figure out, reading . . . evangelical Christian writers, that the obsession with public order, public morality, codes, rules, consensus, and sin are American political ideas, religious in origin but not in current application. The Christianity of the evangelical right is deeply rooted in a political nostalgia, a drive to restore an America seemingly lost. Of course, what this America has been lost to is reality; it never existed and never will, but since the combined landslide votes cast for Richard Nixon and George Wallace in 1968, this never-America has been the central idea driving our political life.

Id. Compare, David T. Courtwright, Violence in America, American Heritage, September 1996, at 36 (relating the similarities of nineteenth-century crime on the frontier with current crime in the inner city).

82 General Krulak Warns of “Lack of Values” in Society, National Security Law Report(ABA, Washington, D.C.) April 1996, at 9, 10.

83 See, e.g., Smarter than Ever, Air Force Times, July 22, 1996, at 12 (discussing the rising education level of enlisted personnel). Additionally, a recent national survey revealed that teenagers’ attitudes toward moral and social values are much more conventional than widely believed. See Dianne Hales, How Teenagers See Things, Parade Magazine, August 18, 1996, at 4.

84 Supranote 82, at 10.

85 Id.

86 See Marines Plan Values Training, supranote 79.

87 Daniel Chirot, Modern Tyrants(1994), at 417.

88 Id.

89 The rate of heavy drinkers in the military is more than 50 percent above that of civilians, a rate that has remained unchanged for over 15 years despite extensive substance abuse programs. See Nolan Walters, Today, A Good Soldier is a Sober Soldier, in the Military’s Eyes, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 26, 1996, at B1.

90 James Q. Wilson, A Rhythm to the Madness, Time, August 23, 1993, at 31.

91 Charles E. Merriam explains:

[T]he military principle and the democratic principle stand in direct opposition to each other. The military hierarchy involves authority from the top down, while the democratic systems are based on the consent of the governed from the grass roots up. The military principle develops the idea of discipline and unquestioning obedience. Democratic political society is based upon the consent of the governed, freely given.

Charles E. Merriam, Security Without Militarism: Preserving Civilian Control in American Political Institutions, in Civil-Military Relations in American Life(Jerome G. Kerwin, ed., 1948), at 148 (citing Quincy Wright).

92 Secretary of the Air Force Policy Letter, Dealing with Democracy(1991), at 4.

93 See Kohn, supranote 61.

94 Professor Huntington restated his concept of objective civilian control in the February 1996 issue of Current. Specifically, he said that objective civilian control involves:

1) a high level of military professionalism and recognition by military officers of the limits of their professional competence; 2) the effective subordination of the military to the civilian political leaders who make the basic decisions on foreign and military policy; 3) the recognition and acceptance that leadership of an area of professional competence and autonomy for the military; and 4) as a result, the minimization of military intervention in politics and of political intervention in the military.

Samuel P. Huntington, Democracy and Armed Forces, Current, February1996,at 17.

95 Desch, supranote 9.

96 Compare Professor Eliot A. Cohen. “Civilian control also means making sure that in an age of rapid technological change, the services remain intellectually open, that thinkers do not suffer for taking time out to reflect on their profession and speak out about it” (Emphasis added). Eliot A. Cohen, Beyond “Bottom Up,” National Review, November 15, 1993, at 40, 43.

97 See Roger Charles, It’s a War for Soul of U.S. Military, Baltimore Sun, June 2, 1996, at 1F.

98 William P. Lawrence and Frank A. Aukofer, America’s Team: The Odd Couple–A Report on the Relationship Between the Media and the Military(1995), at viii.

99 See Charles C. Moskos with Thomas E. Ricks, Reporting War When There Is No War, Cantigney Conference Series Special Report, Northwestern University (1996), at 8.

100 See, e.g., James Fallows, Why Americans Hate the Media, Atlantic, February 1996, at 45.

101 As quoted by Chris Murray in Troops Learn How to Deal with Shelling from Reporters, Air Force Times, June 7, 1993, at 28.

102 See Callard, supra note 66, at 120.

103 Id.

104 See Bill Gertz, Pentagon Tells Reporters in Bosnia Soldiers’ OK Needed Before Quotes, Washington Times, May 9, 1996, at 4.

105 See Report Shows Distrust Prevalent within the Army, Washington Times, May 30, 1996, at 4.

106 “The Army effectively gave up an opportunity to publicize its operations during the Gulf War when it effectively blacked out coverage of its biggest triumph since World War II.” See Moskos, supra note 99, at 41 (citing John J. Fialka, Hotel Warriors: Covering the Gulf War[1992]).

107 Despite an executive order aimed at reducing the amount of classified material, the U.S. government’s $2 billion secrecy system was, by 1996, classifying over six million documents annually. See Martin Faga Describes Work of Government Secrecy Commission, National Security Law Newsletter(American Bar Association), April 1996, at 7, 11.

108 Max Frankel, Top Secret, New York Times Magazine, June 16, 1996, at 20.

109 A rice bowl is a military colloquialism that indicates an inflexible allegiance to a project motivated by personal interest.

110 See U.S. Military Foresees Increase in Spending, Defense News, December 4-10, 1995, at 16 (“U.S. military spending on information warfare [IW] technologies is projected to increase over the next decade”).

111 See Joint Vision 2010, supranote 40.

112 See Peter Grier, Information Warfare, Air Force Magazine, March 1995, at 34, 35 (quoting Professor Thomas Czerwinski of the School of Information Warfare at the National Defense University).

113 Daniel Schorr, Too Many Rushed to Judgment On Navy Leader’s Suicide, Christian Science Monitor, May 31, 1996, at 19 (quoting Hillary Rodham Clinton). The reporter who broke the story on Admiral Boorda was later fired. See Howard Kurtz, Reporter Who Broke Story On Adm. Boorda Is Fired, Washington Post, July 25, 1996, at 11.

114 Compare Moskos, supra note 99, at 11(“Dan Rather, located in Bosnia, asked an Army commander, ‘What is your greatest fear?’ The commander replied, ‘Saying the wrong thing to the media'”).

115 See Meir, supranote 18, at 25.

116 Id.

117 Id.

118 See, e.g., Navy Personnel in San Diego Barred from Partisan Events, Baltimore Sun, August 8, 1996, at 10 (reporting how military rules prohibiting participation in partisan political activities will severely limit activities by naval personnel at the Republican National Convention in San Diego).

119 The context is as follows:

Most importantly, the long-term health of the American civil-military relationship will depend on a recognition of the dual nature of war. Battlefield means give war its grammar, said Clausewitz, but politics supplies the logic, the ends. Thus, generals must be free to explain what military means may reasonably accomplish(emphasis added).

Thomas Donnelly, Post-Modern Statesmen, Post-Modern Soldiers(1995) (unpublished paper), at 7-8.

120 Mike Galloucis, Can You Be Candid in the Military? Air Force Times, April 1, 1996, at 33.

121 See generally Rowan Scarborough, Webb Keelhauls Navy for Abandoning Its Men, Washington Times, April 26, 1996, at 1.

122 Bacevich, supranote 52.

123 Id.

124 See generally David H. Hackworth, “Naked” Mission, Newsweek, August 12, 1996, at 68and What Went Wrong in Somalia? U.S. News & World Report, October 18, 1993, at 33.

125 See Joyce Price, Specter Demands Change at Pentagon, Washington Times, July 1, 1996, at 1. Cf. Douglas Mackinnon, Clinton Enshrined in the Pentagon, Washington Times, March 23, 1996, at C1 (alleging that even before the Khobar bombing the military “had lost all respect” for Secretary Perry). See also John Fialka, Defense Chief Perry Faces a Grilling as Congress Looks for Answers in Saudi Arabia Bomb Attack, Wall Street Journal, July 9, 1996, at 1, 20.

126 See John Mintz and R. Jeffrey Smith, Military Underestimated Terrorists, Perry Says, Washington Post, July 10, 1996, at 1. See also David H. Hackworth, Saudi Blast Shows What’s Wrong, Air Force Times, August 12, 1996, at 54 (arguing that “[m]ilitary leaders are again circling the wagons as they go into an it-wasn’t-my-fault-mode and pass the buck”).

127 Seven Careers Damaged in Black Hawk Review Action, Air Force Magazine, October 1995, at 16.

128 See generally Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., The Military Justice System and Command Accountability, Military Review, February 1985, at 45.

129 See generally Roy K. Flint, The Truman-MacArthur Conflict: Dilemmas of Civil-Military Relations in the Nuclear Age, in The United States Military Under the Constitution of the United States1789-1989 (Richard H. Kohn, ed., 1991), at 223.

130 See Effie Bathen, U.S. Colonel Under Probe for Alleged Remarks, European Stars and Stripes, December 29, 1995, at 1. Cf. Hello, General? War Isn’t Heck, Chicago Tribune, December 30, 1995, at 22 (criticizing the recommended disciplinary action).

131 See Kohn, supranote 61, at 7.

132 John Keegan, The Warrior’s Code of No Surrender, U.S. News and World Report, January 23, 1995, at 47.

133 See Callard, supranote 66, at 120.

134 See Lloyd J. Matthews, Censorship and Professional Writing in the Army Today, Army, November 1995, at 11.

135 See, e.g., Jonathan S. Landay, Pentagon Debates Role of US Citizen Soldiers in Combat Overseas, Christian Science Monitor, July 26,1996, at 3 (citing Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution contending that Guard ground units cannot be made combat-ready quickly).

136 See Landay, id. (discussing Guard’s “massive political clout”).

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US State Department lacks any cyber-security whatsoever, including no passwords needed (Repost from Oct 2013)

Editors Note: (Ralph Turchiano)- Requested Repost from Oct 2103

 Published time: October 28, 2013 02:01                                                                            

Reuters / Jim Young

Access classified data without authorization, use your account after you’ve been fired, or anonymously request a new account for an Afghan friend – these are just some of the features available in State Department’s SMART system, BuzzFeed reports.

In the wake of the Manning and Snowden classified US intelligence  leaks, internal documents obtained by Buzz Feed reveal that the  US State Departments’ security systems are vulnerable if not  providing open access to classified information.

The breaches in security, horrifying to any IT expert, are  reported in the State Messaging and Archival Toolset (SMART) – a  cable and messaging system which is based on MS Outlook. The  SMART operates with working emails and cables, stored both in  classified (ClassNet) and unclassified (OpenNet) enclaves.

SMART was initially created for improving information sharing  after the 9/11 attacks. The internal messaging application has  been built and maintained by a team of State Department employees  and IT contractors under the $2.5 billion Vanguard  contract.

It became fully operational in September 2008 under US State  Secretary Hillary Clinton. However, it turns out the system never  complied with all the requirements of the Federal Information  Security Management Act and the National Institute of Standards  and Technology requirements, according to a 2010 Office of  Inspector General (OIG) report.

Failing to provide enough cyber protection, the system regularly  received failing or below-failing grades from its internal  monitoring system, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed.

The SMART’s monitoring system, deployed for the purpose of  determining whether there has been unauthorized access or  modification of files, frequently fails to perform any of that,  the report said. And with an existing backdoor between the  classified and non-classified enclaves, state secrets can be  accessed by a user without proper clearance, even  unintentionally, BuzzFeed writes.

Access restriction is in fact one of the biggest problems with  SMART, it’s well-known but one nobody is willing to fix.

According to the report, in 2012 three SMART accounts were  created for users in Kabul, Afghanistan. Internal audit had shown  no one has any idea of who requested their creation or was using  them. Since then the mystical accounts have been deleted, but no  results on possible unauthorized activities via them have been  made public.

Reuters / Kacper Pempel

That unauthorized access was not an isolated incident. According  to the report accounts for former employees remain active for  some time after they leave. In addition the State Department can  only guess about the number of contractors who have access to the  system, and whether those contractors have gone through proper  security checks.

In some cases, the computer systems also allowed access to data  to unregistered users through anonymous unsecured access points  with default credentials.

Currently, the database has no hashing, time-stamping, or other  capabilities tell that the records have not been accessed,  tampered with, copied by unauthorized users, or even switched for  a fake.

After the 2010 leak of hundreds of thousands of Pentagon and  State Department documents by Army Private Bradley Manning to the  anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, the department has disabled the  ability to forward messages, but failed to block the ability to  cut and paste messages and cables, BuzzFeed reports.

Legitimate users are also contributing to potential classified  data leaks with their routine actions. When a non-classified  user’s email on an operating level is included in a classified  group mailing list – he begins receiving all classified  attachments. Users also regularly mislabel classified information  as unclassified, BuzzFeed reports, because they just like  unclassified system better and appreciate its user friendly  interface.

There have also been complaints concerning service accounts with  non-expiring passwords or with no passwords at all, despite  federal requirements that they be reset every 60 days.

Over 19,000 of the 121,702 active accounts including users,  service, and mailbox accounts, on the unclassified system alone,  do not require passwords, said a 2012 independent audit of the  system, conducted for the OIG.

There have been requests to fix the security problem, but it has  always been delayed by the authorities, BuzFeed reported.

Back in 2009 the Chief Information Officer, Charlie Wisecarver,  tasked the department’s current Deputy Chief Intelligence Officer  in charge of the SMART program, Glen Johnson, to immediately fix  the problem.

However according to email exchanges obtained by BuzzFeed,  Johnson’s answer was that it might not be technically possible  nor prudent to change passwords every 60 days, as both users and  system operators could forget and be blocked from entering the  system.

“It is equally easy to imagine the midnight shift trying to  fix a problem and being frustrated because they can’t log in  because of an expired or changed password,” he emailed the  Wisecarver. “It is equally easy to imagine that regularly  passing around a sheet of many passwords has its own risks.”

The IT managers proposed changing only the Active Directory user  passwords, not the service accounts, however whether that was  implemented is not clear.

The State Department’s security has been a standing problem since  at least 2009, as earlier reports suggested a severe lack of  security, including unsecured servers, workstations, unencrypted  transfer of secret material, and the intermixing of classified  and non-classified information.

Compromised Code Names, Operations and Equipment / Recent and in progress ( Updated 12:37PM PST / 27OCT2013 )

Editors Note: (Ralph Turchiano) Requested Repost from the archives (Oct 2013)

EEV: Recently Compromised or exposed Code names, Operations, Software and facilities. The list is in no particular order and is being updated frequently. These are just the discoveries from the past 2 years.

* Details of ALL operations can be found through inputting the codename in the search bar. (Being Updated, will be formatted for easy access in the near future _ The most recently compromised will be at the top (for the first week) after 26 OCT 2013

Compromised Code Names, Operations and Equipment

_______________________ Recent

MUSCULAR – The NSA’s principal tool to exploit the data  links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency’s British  counterpart, GCHQ.

 Einstein antenna system –  Can intercept cell phone signals while simultaneously locating people of interest.

 Birdwatcher Program – intercepts microwave and millimeter-wave signals. Some programs,  deal primarily with encrypted communications in foreign countries and the search for potential access points. Birdwatcher is controlled directly from SCS headquarters in Maryland.

Quantum –  NSA controls a set of servers that sit on the Internet backbone, and these servers are used to redirect targets away from their intended destinations to still other NSA-controlled servers that are responsible for the injection of malware.

FoxAcid –  NSA server that selects from a toolkit of exploits in order to gain access to the user’s computer. Presumably this toolkit has both known public exploits that rely on a user’s software being out of date, as well as zero-day exploits which are generally saved for high value targets.

Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the branch  of the US National Security Agency (NSA) which deals with cyber-attacks


Opus Dei – International Roman  Catholic order, founded in 1928 and championed early by Spanish  dictator Francisco Franco, is dedicated to establishing its members in high  political, corporate, and religious offices all over the world.

Rossotrudnichestvo exchange program – Alleged exchange program used to recruit Americans to train as Russian spies

Shenguang (“Divine Light”) – China’s laser project for inertial confinement fusion, which aims to use high-powered lasers to produce a sustained nuclear fusion reaction ( lasers designed to damage or destroy US satellites )

Apstar-7 satellite (  APT Satellite Holdings )  – Chinese Satellite the Pentagon leases to oversee communications with its African bases

Operation Socialist – An assault on Belgacom’s “core GRX routers”

“Man in the Middle” or “MiTM” operations “ –  highly-sophisticated deception which allows a third party to intervene in an electronic conversation and pretend to be each of the other two parties, obtaining valuable information or spreading disinformation without the targets realizing

US-985D – Text messages France

Unit 61398 –  Engages in harmful ‘Computer Network Operations’,” is located in Shanghai’s Pudong district, China’s financial and banking hub, and is staffed by perhaps thousands of people proficient in English as well as computer programming and network operations. Is considered a Chinese State Secret. The unit has stolen “hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations across a diverse set of industries beginning as early as 2006.

Apalachee – EU/ UN Tapping

Bumblehive – NSA Storage Facility

Boundless Informant – NSA Data Mining program

CHAMP ( Counter-Electronics High Power  Microwave Advanced Missile Project ) Boeings missile with  electromagnetic pulse capability

Codeword – Currently Unkown

Swag Security – China’s hack group U.S. Medicaid system / Nuclear Codes ( Ironically also a Bank of America Code Word )

Tailored Access Operations – NSA Special Targets

Flatliquid – Tap Diplomatic Communications

Whitetamale – Mexico e-mails

Lugar Research Center – U.S. Top Secret Biologics lab ( Republic of Georgia )

Special Collection Service – Secret eavesdropping posts in 80 US embassies and consulates around the world.

DishFire – Text message filtering / the intelligence agency collects information on credit card transactions from some 70 banks worldwide.

Sophia – Industrial Control System Computer Networking Fingerprinting Tool ( Powergrid )

Visdom – Competing Industrial Control System Computer Networking Fingerprinting Tool ( Powergrid )

FunVax – Biological pacification of individuals through vaccination

Section 6103 – IRS abuse

IceFog – Advanced Persistent Threats ( China ? )

Tel Shahar – Where the state-of-the-art facility to host the new ballistic-missile  defense system (  Arrow 3 ) in Israel – Accidentally disclosed by the Penatgon

Privacy & Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB) – Board set up to oversee domestic spying whose meetings and members are difficult to confirm and may not exist

Spearfishing – Emailed viruses

Hidden Lynx – Chinese Haking Group / Cyber-Mercenaries

Operation Aurora – General mass espionage

NetTraveler – Espionage Program

Red October  ( Rocra ) – Espionage campaign against military personnel in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and dozens of other nations (U.S., Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, South Africa, Japan, and the UAE.) . Features include an advanced cryptographic spy-module designed to lift data from Acid Cryptofiler, which is known to be used by NATO, the European Union, European Parliament and European Commission since the summer of 2011 to encrypt classified information.

DarkSeoul – Hacker Group (North Korean / China ? )

Shadow Network – Chinese Espionage Group

Team Cymru – Monitor Criminal Activty ( non profit )

Follow the Money – Financial Intelligence division NSA

SWIFT – European Financial Network

GHCQ Cheltenham – Processes Middle East  emails, telephone calls and web traffic

XKeyscore – spying program is used to skim regional data from the Visa network

SOD ( Special Operations Division )- Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

Total Information Awareness ( TIA ) – Pentagon intelligence gathering

ThinThread – Software correlated data from emails, phone calls, credit card payments and Internet searches and stored and mapped it in ways that could be analysed.

TrailBlazzer – Relaced Thinthread Software to correlated data from emails, phone calls, credit card payments and Internet searches and stored and mapped it in ways that could be analysed.

Going Dark -FBI initiative to extend its ability to wiretap virtually all forms of  electronic communications.

International Mobile Subscriber Identity locator  ( IMSI ) – These devices allows the government to electronically search large areas for a particular cell phone’s signal—sucking down data on potentially thousands of innocent people along the way.

Stingrays – Another name for International Mobile Subscriber Identity locator

Tripwire or Trapwire – information collection software OR lines in the sand which, if crossed, cover  personnel levels, security measures, and in this case, the extreme step of  suspending operations.

Voice Grid Nation ( VoiceGrid program ) – is a system that uses advanced algorithms to match identities to voices. Brought to the US by Russia’s Speech Technology Center, it claims to be capable of allowing police, federal agencies and other law enforcement personnel to build up a huge database containing up to several million voices.

Prism ( Discovered prior to Snowden ) – NSA direct access to the servers of nine prominent Internet companies, enabling the spy agency to track e-mails, photographs, and video, among other forms of digital communications .

Bullrun ( Edgehill GHCQ version ) –  NSA’s abilities to defeat the encryption used in specific network communication technologies. Bullrun involves multiple sources, all of which are extremely sensitive.” The document reveals that the agency has capabilities against widely used online protocols, such as HTTPS, voice-over-IP and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), used to protect online shopping and banking.

Cheesy Name –  aimed at singling out encryption keys, known as ‘certificates’, that might be vulnerable to being cracked by GCHQ supercomputers.

Humint Operations Team (HOT) Humint, short for “human intelligence –  Information gleaned directly from sources or undercover agents.The old fashion way.

Sigint [signals intelligence] enabling – The program “actively engages US and foreign IT industries to covertly influence and/or overtly leverage their commercial products’ designs”

Kimsuky – North Korean Hacking group

GENIE –  US computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious US control.

WABASH – Tapping French offices U.N.

Blackfoot – Tapping French offices New York

Tempora – GCHQ’s Tapping transatlantic  fibre-optic cables

Sensitive relationship teams – Staff that were urged in one internal guidance paper to disguise the origin of “special source” material in their reports for fear that the role of the companies as intercept partners would cause “high-level political fallout”.

Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire – NSA intercept station

Atlas International Trading – Company in the Pentagon’s Foreign Materiel Acquisition and Exploitation program

Advanced Persistent Threat Groups – Nitro, Aurora, ElderWood, Sykipot, Comment Crew (APT1), NightDragon, FlowerLday, Luckycat, Pitty Panda.

Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP – Compromise U.S. Politicians – Dark Money – Major campaign bundler to the Obama campaign Shanghai based domain owned by Robert  Roche with strong  commercial ties to the  Chinese government. He has made 19 visits to the  White House since 2009, including a personal meeting with Obama.

Stuxnet , Duqu , Wiper, Flame – Tilded Platform malware used for cyberespionage and cybersabotage in the Middle East.

WildSage – NSA database. The system “provides a mechanism for cybersecurity centers to share signatures at the SECRET classification level

Port reader software – FBI desire to harvest information on users’ “dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information associated with a target’s communications”. And, as the FBI stated, this information will only include source, destination IP addresses and port numbers.

Dynamo – Dutch name in COMINT

Richter – German name in COMINT

One-End Foreign (1EF) solution – system, the NSA is able to direct more than half of the internet traffic it intercepts from its collection points into its own repositories

EvilOlive – NSA’s attempt to broaden 1EF Doubling its capacity

ShellTrumpet – NSA’s processor

MoonLightPath – Metadata collection for  Special Source Operations

Spinneret – Metadata collection for  Special Source Operations

Transient Thurible -GHCQ headquarters that manages  XKeyScore (XKS) and Deep Dive metadata collections

Project Riverside – found that rich individuals and private companies had been hiring unscrupulous private detectives to obtain sensitive information on targets for years.

QinetiQ North America (QQ/) – Hi-Tech U.S. defense contractors, which are the favorite target of Cyberpillaging

Acoustic vector sensor – sensor measures the movement of air, disturbed by sound waves, to almost instantly locate where a sound originated. It can then identify the noise and, if required, transmit it live to waiting ears.

Benghazi – The full time line of events as they unfolded in the media from 12 SEP 2012 through 28 MAR 2015

Editors Note: ( Ralph Turchiano ) The following is the timeline of the Benghazi events as they unfolded. I attempted to keep the timeline in place, as to allow the reader to follow the chain of events and draw their own conclusions.


Program #memorial for Ambassador J Christopher...
Program #memorial for Ambassador J Christopher Stevens #libya (Photo credit: Steve Rhodes)

12 SEP 2012

One big fraud? Questions over whether ‘$5million’ film that portrayed Mohammed as a pedophile and womanizer AND the producer behind it are fake

Safe house where Ambassador died had no Marine guard and his body was missing for five hours: Full scale of chaos surrounding Libyan killings revealed

U.S. intelligence agencies didn’t issue high alert about Mideast unrest threat : They had 3 days

Bloody hand prints, stolen documents and shocking security failings: Harrowing pictures inside the U.S. consulate as it is revealed ‘officials knew about attack plans 48 HOURS before and did nothing’: Sorry Unedited Includes Graphic Images

Was the bloody attack on U.S. diplomats preventable? Libyan security official claims he warned Americans about possible hostilities in the country THREE DAYS before assault

Libyan president contradicts U.S.: ‘No doubt’ embassy attack was preplanned

‘He is still alive!’: Video shows the moment ambassador’s body is pulled from embassy . . . as witness says he was breathing Continue reading “Benghazi – The full time line of events as they unfolded in the media from 12 SEP 2012 through 28 MAR 2015”

One of America’s most famous lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, is being accused of having sex with an underage girl

Except letters from the Business Insider….

We reached out to Dershowitz for comment and will update this post if we hear back. The entire statement from Cassell and Edwards is included below:

Out of respect for the court’s desire to keep this case from being litigated in the press, we are not going to respond at this time to specific claims of indignation by anyone.  As you may know, we are litigating a very important case, not only for our clients but crime victims in general. We have been informed of Mr. Dershowitz’s threats based on the factual allegations we have made in our recent filing. We carefully investigate all of the allegations in our pleadings before presenting them. We have also tried to depose Mr. Dershowitz on these subjects, although he has avoided those deposition requests.  Nevertheless, we would be pleased to consider any sworn testimony and documentary evidence Mr. Dershowitz would like to provide which he contends would refute any of our allegations.

The point of the pleading was only to join two of our clients in the case that is currently being litigated, and while we expected an agreement from the Government on that point, we did not get it.  That disagreement compelled us to file our motion.  We intend only to litigate the relevant issues in Court and not to play into any sideshow.  We feel that is in our clients’ best interest and consequently that is what we are doing. Continue reading “One of America’s most famous lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, is being accused of having sex with an underage girl”

US to open its doors to foreigners for Ebola treatment

India Today  New Delhi, October 19, 2014 | UPDATED 15:01 IST

President Barack Obama plans to allow foreign nationals suffering from deadly Ebola to receive treatment in the US, a report said.

As part of Obama’s open door policy, non-US citizens from the Ebola infected countries may be allowed on US soil to receive treatment, it said.

It was, however, not immediately known who would bear the high costs of transporting and treating non-US Ebola patients.

The plans include special waiver of laws that ban the admission of non-citizens with a communicable disease as dangerous as Ebola in the country.

The proposal is yet to be presented to the Congress even though it would require its approval, the report said citing Judicial Watch.

In West Africa, there are about

Of some 9,200 Ebola cases reported in West Africa, some 4,500 cases have been fatal, WHO said.
For more news from Continue reading “US to open its doors to foreigners for Ebola treatment”

Giving physicians immunity from malpractice claims does not cut cost of medical care

Study finds such protections do not cut cost of medical care

Changing laws to make it more difficult to sue physicians for medical malpractice may not reduce the amount of “defensive medicine” practiced by physicians, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Studying the behavior of emergency physicians in three states that raised the standard for malpractice in the emergency room to gross negligence, researchers found that strong new legal protections did not translate into less-expensive care.

RAND Corporation
RAND Corporation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The findings are published in the Oct. 16 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Our findings suggest that malpractice reform may have less effect on costs than has been projected by conventional wisdom,” said Dr. Daniel A. Waxman, the study’s lead author and a researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “Physicians say they order unnecessary tests strictly out of fear of being sued, but our results suggest the story is more complicated.”

It is widely said that defensive medicine accounts for a substantial part of the hundreds of billions of dollars of unnecessary health care spending that is estimated to occur annually in the United States. Malpractice reform has been advocated by many experts as a key to reining in health care costs. Continue reading “Giving physicians immunity from malpractice claims does not cut cost of medical care”

Corruption of the Health Care Delivery System

” consumer demand for healthcare is manufactured and manipulated, driving up cost, waste and harm ”

Public Release: 14-Oct-2014

Higher Integrity Health Care for Evidence-Based Decision Making

LEBANON, NH – The foundation of evidence-based research has eroded and the trend must be reversed so patients and clinicians can make wise shared decisions about their health, say Dartmouth researchers in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Drs. Glyn Elwyn and Elliott Fisher of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice are authors of the report in which they highlight five major problems set against a backdrop of “obvious corruption.” There is a dearth of transparent research and a low quality of evidence synthesis. The difficulty of obtaining research funding for comparative effectiveness studies is directly related to the prominence of industry-supported trials: “finance dictates the activity.”

The pharmaceutical industry has influenced medical research in its favor by selective reporting, targeted educational efforts, and incentivizing prescriber behavior that influences how medicine is practiced, the researchers say. The pharmaceutical industry has also spent billions of dollars in direct-to-consumer advertising and has created new disease labels, so-called disease-mongering, and by promoting the use of drugs to address spurious predictions.

Continue reading “Corruption of the Health Care Delivery System”

The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires now exceeds the collective market capitalization of all the companies in the Dow Jones industrial average

Billionaire wealth tops $7 trillion

By Judy Martel ·
Monday, September 22, 2014

The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires now exceeds the collective market capitalization of all the companies in the Dow Jones industrial average, according to a recent study.

The Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census found that the number of billionaires around the world increased by 155, to total 2,325. Their wealth grew by 12 percent in 2014, to reach a record $7.3 trillion.

Where is the money?
Europe is home to the highest number of billionaires and the most billionaire wealth. The region counts 775 among its ranks of super-rich and they possess a combined $2.37 trillion.

But among individual countries, the U.S. can claim the most billionaires, with 571 in 2014. It’s trailed by China with 190, and the United Kingdom with 130.

The real story is Asia, however, which is the fastest-growing region in terms of wealth. Over the past year, wealth grew by 18.7 percent, or 30 percent of the net increase in global billionaire wealth. The population of super-rich shot up by 10 percent, with 52 newly minted billionaires, 33 of them from China.

Scenography for the movie Greed. 1926.
Scenography for the movie Greed. 1926. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Continue reading “The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires now exceeds the collective market capitalization of all the companies in the Dow Jones industrial average”

Scottish independence: Video ‘proves vote was rigged,’ say Yes voters

EEV: Requires secondary confirmation

Excerpt added from “The Guardian” in regards to the package offered to some of the Scottish in exchange for a no vote…

” James Gray, another Tory MP and former shadow Scottish secretary, has also joined the rebellion, saying: “Talk about feeding an addiction. The more you give them, the more they want, and we would be back with calls for independence within a decade or sooner. For too long the rights of 55 million English have been subordinated to the shouting of 4.5 million Scots. That must end.”

Published on Sep 18, 2014

There is damning evidence that shows that this vote is a fraud. Just from the video and the pictures alone, we can see errors! Can you imagine how much is wrong? This is the Best Video proof you will also ever get showing the votes were changed to NO on purpose!

Continue reading “Scottish independence: Video ‘proves vote was rigged,’ say Yes voters”

When Rulers Can’t Understand the Ruled

Johns Hopkins study finds significant gap in demographics, experience and partisanship between Washingtonians and the Americans they govern
Johns Hopkins University political scientists wanted to know if America’s unelected officials have enough in common with the people they govern to understand them.

The answer: Not really.


Surveying 850 people who either work in government or directly with it, researchers found that the inside-the-Beltway crowd has very little in common with America at large. Washington insiders are more likely to be white. They are more educated. Their salaries are higher, they vote more and have more faith in the fairness of elections. They are probably Democrat and liberal. They more diligently follow the news. And they think the mechanizations of government couldn’t be easier to comprehend. Continue reading “When Rulers Can’t Understand the Ruled”

Up to 1,000 NATO Servicemen to Take Part in Military Drills in Ukraine This Month

WASHINGTON, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – Despite the ongoing hostilities in southeastern Ukraine, the United States plans to go ahead with the Rapid Trident military exercise, scheduled to take place in western Ukraine later this month and expected to involve up to 1,000 servicemen from NATO countries and other US allies, Reuters reported Tuesday.

“At the moment, we are still planning for [the exercise] to go ahead,” the agency quoted US Navy Captain Gregory Hicks, a spokesman for the US Army’s European Command, as saying.

The annual exercise was initially scheduled to take place in July, at the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine’s border with Poland, but was put off until September 16-26 due to the Kiev government’s ongoing military operation against independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine.

US, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and British soldiers conduct a convoy into the training field.

Continue reading “Up to 1,000 NATO Servicemen to Take Part in Military Drills in Ukraine This Month”

‘In many cases Americans can do better on benefits than in an entry level job’: Data shows more than a THIRD of the U.S. is on welfare handouts


Around 110 million Americans are now on government welfare benefits
This equates to more than one third of the country relying on handouts
At least 51 million are using food stamps and 83 million are on Medicaid
Analysts are calling for the minimum wage to be increased to $10.10 an hour

By Jenny Awford for MailOnline

Published: 11:24 EST, 29 August 2014 | Updated: 14:54 EST, 29 August 2014

Around 110 million Americans are now receiving government assistance, one third of the country

A third of Americans are now on welfare benefits, prompting calls to raise the minimum wage and encourage more people to stay in work.

New census data has revealed that around 110 million Americans are receiving government assistance of some kind.

The number includes people receiving ‘means-tested’ federal benefits and subsidies based on income.

Federal welfare was administered through the n...

Continue reading “‘In many cases Americans can do better on benefits than in an entry level job’: Data shows more than a THIRD of the U.S. is on welfare handouts”

China can weigh reconnaissance on US

(Global Times) 08:16, August 28, 2014

China and the US started a two-day meeting at the Pentagon on Wednesday to negotiate a code of conduct on the high seas, in the wake of a Chinese fighter jet intercepting a US spy plane near the Hainan Island. Although the meeting was set up before this incident, it is believed the near-miss will make a difference during the negotiations.
Given the fact that Washington’s determination to continue its short-range surveillance of China is as strong as China’s commitment to drive US planes away, whether the 2001 mid-air collision could recur has become a Sword of Damocles above their heads.
The new strategic trajectory of Asia-Pacific, namely China is growing stronger and a containment circle drawn by the US and its allies is taking shape, is changing the mindsets of both sides to define specific conflicts. If the 2001 incident happened again, the possibility of an all-out crisis between both sides will increase.

Continue reading “China can weigh reconnaissance on US”

US Salaries Down 23% Since 2008

U.S. jobs pay an average 23% less today than they did before the 2008 recession, according to a new report released on Monday by the United States Conference of Mayors.

In total, the report found $93 billion in lost wages.

Jobs lost during the recession paid an average $61,637. As of 2014, jobs in the same sectors paid an average of $47,171 annually.

“Under a similar analysis conducted by the Conference of Mayors during the 2001-2002 recession, the wage gap was only 12% compared to the current 23%–meaning the wage gap has nearly doubled from one recession to the next,” stated the Conference of Mayors in a statement.

The report also found that 73% of metro area households earn salaries of less than $35,000 a year.

President Barack Obama, who is on a two-week vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, has yet to comment on the dour economic findings. Continue reading “US Salaries Down 23% Since 2008”

BREAKING – IS to Declare Beginning of ‘Jihad Against America’

By: Anthony Kimery, Editor-in-Chief

08/08/2014 ( 4:40pm)

The Islamic State, formally the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has yet to publish an official response to the US’s military strikes against it in Iraq, but sources close to the IS announced on Twitter Friday that IS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi will shortly be issuing an announcement declaring the beginning of “jihad against America.”

“Pro-IS figures, on the other hand, began rallying over social media” immediately following President Obama’s announcement Thursday night that he authorized air strikes against IS to protect US interests and minority Christians and other religious groups threatened by the savage jihadist organization, said the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors jihadist websites.

MEMRI said, “The Hashtag #Obama_announces_bombing_Islamic_State” (in Arabic) was used by pro-IS elements to respond to the announcement, and call to target American interests and people and to bring the war home.”

“Today is Mosul, tomorrow is Seattle,” wrote one individual on Twitter.

Following are some of the responses to the US’s decision to target the IS MEMRI found on Twitter.

@3kasha3 tweeted on August 8, 2014: “#Obama_announces_bombing_Islamic_State and the mujahideen respond: today Mosul and tomorrow Seattle. Say Allah Akbar oh Muslims, the bells of war have been sounded.” Continue reading “BREAKING – IS to Declare Beginning of ‘Jihad Against America’”

FACTBOX: Russia’s Imports from Countries that Imposed Sanctions

MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Wednesday, banning for a year imports of agricultural and food products from countries that imposed sanctions on Russia. The government is expected to announce the complete “black lists” of imports on Thursday. Below is the list of Russia’s major imports from the countries that imposed sanctions against Moscow.


Meat, including poultry, makes the basis of the imports from the United States.


Among the Canadian goods imported to Russia are products of animal and plant origin, ready-made foods and drinks, fats and oils of animal and plant origin, and mineral commodities.


Russia primarily imports frozen and refrigerated cattle meat from Australia.



The Russian imports from Austria are mainly made of commodities, particularly crude rubber, certain types of chemicals, as well drinks and tobacco goods.


The main Russian imports from Belgium include foods, particularly meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, baked goods and fats.


Russia mainly imports grape wines, as well fruit and nuts from Bulgaria. Continue reading “FACTBOX: Russia’s Imports from Countries that Imposed Sanctions”

Edward Snowden’s not a one-off: hunts new secret doc leaker

Poor old Julian Assange – whistleblower went straight to Glenn Greenwald

It appears former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is not the only leaker of secret US documents around, as the US government searches for another whistleblower in the aftermath of another leak of classified information.

CNN reports that leaked documents related to a terrorist watch list and published by The Intercept (a site founded by Snowden confidante journalist Glenn Greenwald) didn’t even exist before Snowden quit his job as a NSA contractor in Hawaii and high-tailed it from the US.

That means the former sysadmin couldn’t have siphoned off this particular piece of secret information and that some other unknown source must be behind the leak.

US authorities are said to be hunting the new whistleblower. Continue reading “Edward Snowden’s not a one-off: hunts new secret doc leaker”

US Law Enforcement sees Sovereign Citizens as Top Terrorist Threat

Monday, 04 August 2014

The sovereign citizen movement is considered the top threat for domestic terrorism, according to a survey of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

Islamist extremists and militia/patriot groups round out the top three threats to communities in the United States considered most serious by 364 officers of 175 state, local, and tribal law enforcement entities, according to a survey conducted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).

The survey – “Understanding Law Enforcement Intelligence Processes” – found that “52 percent of respondents agreed and 34 percent strongly agreed that sovereign citizens were a serious terrorist threat” as opposed to 39 percent of respondents who agreed and 28 percent who strongly agreed that Islamic extremists were the most serious threat.

A previous sample on terror threats taken in 2006-2007 found that sovereign citizens were the eighth-most serious threat to non-federal law enforcement. Islamic extremists led that survey’s threat index.

The latest survey found that while sovereign citizens as a whole have moved into the top position overall, the threat posed by many individual groups that are considered part of the broad movement has decreased since the previous survey.

“[A]lthough estimates about some groups were a serious terrorist threat increased comparing the two time periods, (e.g., Left-Wing Revolutionaries; Extreme Anti-Abortion Extremists), the concern about whether most groups were a serious terrorist threat actually declined for most groups (e.g., the KKK; Christian Identity; Neo-Nazis; Racist Skinheads; Extremist Environmentalists; Extreme Animal Rights Extremists).” Continue reading “US Law Enforcement sees Sovereign Citizens as Top Terrorist Threat”

US Health Agency Holds Patent on Ebola Strain Virus

Sunday, 03 August 2014

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control owns a patent on a particular strain of Ebola known as “EboBun.” It’s patent No. CA2741523A1 and it was awarded in 2010. You can view it here.

Patent applicants are clearly described on the patent as including:

The Government Of The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary, Department Of Health & Human Services, Center For Disease Control.

It goes on to state, “The present invention is based upon the isolation and identification of a new human Ebola virus species, EboBun. EboBun was isolated from the patients suffering from hemorrhagic fever in a recent outbreak in Uganda.”


It’s worth noting, by the way, that EboBun is not the same variant currently believed to be circulating in West Africa. Clearly, the CDC needs to expand its patent portfolio to include more strains, and that may very well be why American Ebola victims have been brought to the United States in the first place. Read more below and decide for yourself… Continue reading “US Health Agency Holds Patent on Ebola Strain Virus”

Obama failed to stop the Islamic State when he had the chance

By Marc A. Thiessen July 28

From Europe to the Middle East, we have seen how disaster follows U.S. retreat and disengagement from the world. But the one area where President Obama seemed to be leaning forward was drone strikes. He personally approved terrorist “kill lists” and has taken out many hundreds of terrorists with drones in Pakistan, Yemen and East Africa.

So why, when Iraqi officials began pleading with him one year ago to strike Islamic State terrorists with drones, did Obama repeatedly refuse — standing by while terrorists overran the country?

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce made the stunning revelation in a congressional hearing last week that Iraq had been urgently requesting drone support against the Islamic State since August 2013 and that those requests were repeatedly turned down. Continue reading “Obama failed to stop the Islamic State when he had the chance”

Which countries don’t like America and which do

Which countries don’t like America and which do | Pew Research Center// // //

July 15, 2014

By Bruce Stokes

Sacré bleu! France makes the list of top 10 fans of the U.S. and Germany makes the list of the top 10 critics.

A decade ago anti-Americanism was on the rise around the world, in large part thanks to public opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Today, despite recent revelations of U.S. National Security Agency spying on foreign leaders and global opposition to U.S. drone strikes, there is little evidence of profound anti-Americanism except in a handful of countries, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 44 nations. Foreigners’ love affair with the United States remains strong in Africa and most of Asia, Europe and Latin America. But who likes Uncle Sam, who doesn’t and whose affections are evolving paints a pretty accurate road map of the overseas challenges facing Washington in the years ahead.

10 Biggest Critics and Fans of the U.S.Anti-Americanism is particularly strong today in the Middle East. In Egypt only 10% of the public favor the United States, which long backed the regime of Hosni Mubarak and failed to oppose the military overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government that succeeded him. Support is not much higher in Jordan (12%) and Turkey (19%), both countries that are notionally Washington’s allies. Those not-so-warm feelings for America have fallen 17 percentage points in Egypt and 13 points in Jordan since 2009, the first year of the Obama administration, when there appeared to be some hope in those nations that Uncle Sam would pursue policies more to their liking. Continue reading “Which countries don’t like America and which do”

FBI: We found US MILITARY AIRCRAFT INTEL during raid on alleged Chinese hacker

Accused of targeting F-22, F-35 and C-17 planes

By Darren Pauli

Posted in Security, 14th July 2014 07:29 GMT

FBI: We found US MILITARY AIRCRAFT INTEL during raid on alleged Chinese hacker

F-35 document allegedly stolen by Su and translated before being shipped to China.
F-35 translated document allegedly stolen and shipped to China.

A Chinese entrepreneur has been arrested for attempting to steal information on the United States’ Lockheed F-22 and F-35 aircraft and Boeing’s C-17 cargo plane.

Su Bin – along with two uncharged Chinese co-conspirators – is alleged to have hacked into Boeing’s corporate network as well as those of defence contractors in the US and Europe, to gain information the accused said in an email would help China “stand easily on the giant’s shoulders”.

Su, who had previously operated Chinese aviation firm Lode Technologies, is alleged to have broken into the Boeing network on January 2010, according to a report within a federal complaint unsealed in Los Angeles this week. The suspect and his “co-conspirators” are also alleged to have hacked the systems of other US defence contractors between 2009 and 2013 from a location in China. Continue reading “FBI: We found US MILITARY AIRCRAFT INTEL during raid on alleged Chinese hacker”

Germany to CIA Chief: Get Out!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Germany has asked the CIA station chief in the country to leave the country at once, an unusual move that is a very public expression of anger over repeated cases of U.S. spying in the country.

“The representative of the U.S. intelligence services at the Embassy of the United States of America has been requested to leave Germany,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement Thursday.


English: President Barack Obama and First Lady...

Continue reading “Germany to CIA Chief: Get Out!”

Mexico’s cartel-fighting vigilantes get closer to the Texas border

Ioan GrilloJuly 8, 2014 00:32

Armed residents are taking on the feared Zetas cartel in Tamaulipas state. One desperate town’s mayor applauds them.


Armed residents are forming vigilante forces to fight cartels closer and closer to Mexico’s US border. (Hector Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)

HIDALGO, Mexico — The gunmen nabbed watermelon farmer Jesus Manuel Guerrero as he drove from his ranch to buy supplies and held him for five painful days in the trunk of a car.

When family members finally paid a $120,000 ransom and they released him, he was urinating blood.

He’s just one of hundreds of victims of a wave of kidnapping that’s swept this once peaceful farming town, about 130 miles south of Texas.

But almost three years after his brutal abduction, Guerrero, who is now the mayor, says his town has become safer, the kidnappers scared to enter.

This change is not due to the police, he says, but to a clandestine vigilante group known as the Pedro Mendez Column, named after a local general who fought the French in the 19th century. Continue reading “Mexico’s cartel-fighting vigilantes get closer to the Texas border”

Another Guilty Plea in Navy Corruption Ring

SAN DIEGO (CN) – A retired Navy lieutenant commander pleaded guilty to federal charges of overcharging the Navy for port services for U.S. ships and using some of the money “to treat Navy officials to lavish dinners, cocktails and entertainment,” federal prosecutors said.

Edmond A. Aruffo, 45, who retired in 2007, is the seventh defendant charged, and the fourth to plead guilty, in what the U.S. Attorney’s Office called an “expanding corruption scandal” involving defense contract Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).

Aruffo, who became manager of GDMA’s Japan operations in 2009, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States. He faces up to 5 years in prison at his Oct. 3 sentencing.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Aruffo, of San Diego, was “part of a massive fraud and bribery scheme that cost the U.S. Navy more than $20 million.”

Continue reading “Another Guilty Plea in Navy Corruption Ring”

Three Americans Hospitalized in Mexico After Becoming ‘Possessed’ by Ouija Board Demonic Spirits

EEV:  ???

Katie Collom | Jun 25, 2014 01:06 AM EDT

Three Americans Hospitalized in Mexico After Becoming ‘Possessed’ by Ouija Board Demonic Spirits : Society :

(Photo :

Three American friends were taken to a Mexican hospital after reportedly becoming possessed by evil spirits while playing with an Ouija board.

Alexandra Huerta, 22, was playing the game with her brother Sergio, 23, and 18-year-old cousin Fernando Cuevas at a house in the village of San Juan Tlacotenco in south-west Mexico, when she apparently started ‘growling’ and thrashing around, reports state.

Sergio and Fernando also started showing signs of ‘possession’ such as feelings of blindness, deafness, and hallucinations.

Huerta’s parents called a local Catholic priest to the house to deal with the supposed ‘possessions’, but the priest refused to perform an exorcism as none of the three are regular churchgoers.

It was then that the parents decided to call in paramedics to restrain the three. Continue reading “Three Americans Hospitalized in Mexico After Becoming ‘Possessed’ by Ouija Board Demonic Spirits”

Intelligence expert Schmidt-Eenboom: ‘It’s a huge scandal’

According to German media, an employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States. Intelligence expert Schmidt-Eenboom tells DW why this case is outrageous.


Intelligence expert Schmidt-Eenboom: ‘It’s a huge scandal’ | Germany | DW.DE | 05.07.2014

Erich Schmidt-Eenboom (photo: imago/Müller-Stauffenberg)


Erich Schmidt-Eenboom (photo: imago/Müller-Stauffenberg)


DW: A 31-year-old employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency is accused of having spied on behalf of the United States. Is that everyday business for secret services, or is it a huge scandal?

Erich Schmidt-Eenboom: It’s a huge scandal. We’re already in the situation that Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) doesn’t regard American agents in Germany as hostile forces – they are allowed a lot in terms of espionage in Germany – but that a BND employee would be sent to spy on a constitutional body is an outrageous transgression of intelligence cooperation and its boundaries.

Should this suspicion prove to be true, what kind of consequences would that spell for German-US relations? Continue reading “Intelligence expert Schmidt-Eenboom: ‘It’s a huge scandal’”

Mm-Mmm, Don’t! Campbell’s Soup Says


DOTHAN, Ala. (CN) – Campbell’s Soup sued a food processor, a distributor and a grocer, claiming it hired the processor to destroy unusable food or feed it to farm animals, but the processor diverted it and sold it to people through the grocer.

Campbell Soup Co. sued Midwest Processing LLC, Dexter Jorgensen, Richard Tate, Tate Grocery Inc., and Golden View Logistics, in Federal Court.

Campbell’s deems expired products or damaged containers unsalable, and arrange with a third party to get rid of them, the complaint states.


English: Royal Scottish Academy column decorat...

The unidentified third party, which is not a party to the lawsuit, hired Midwest to destroy the unsalable food or feed to it farm animals, according to the complaint. But that is not what happened, Campbell says. Continue reading “Mm-Mmm, Don’t! Campbell’s Soup Says”

Russia sends fighter jets to help Iraq

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The first ten Russian Sukhoi fighter jets arrived in Iraq on Saturday, the country’s Defense Ministry said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is hoping the jets will make a key difference in the fight against ISIS.

“The fighter jets landed today in the morning on different military airfields,” MP Abbas al-Bayati told Iraqi media. Continue reading “Russia sends fighter jets to help Iraq”

Eccentric philanthropist is taking 1,000 homeless New Yorkers out to lunch in the hope it will inspire Wall Street to open its pockets

 EEV Note – If you have any love of country left, do not let this happen

Article Quotes:

 they must sing for their supper – the patriotic ditty Learn from the Good Model Citizen Lei Feng, named after the supposedly selfless People’s Liberation Army soldier hailed by Mao Zedong.

– Overseeing proceedings will be 200 Chinese volunteers recruited from Columbia and New York universities dressed in green military uniforms.

– “If I am wealthy enough, I will purchase CNN,” he said. “I hope Hong Kong tycoons can lend me money to complete this deal and let’s together promote ‘positive energy’ worldwide.”


Eccentric philanthropist Chen Guangbiao on a mission in New York (and he sings too)

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 June, 2014, 10:41pm

Alice Yan


Chen Guangbiao says he has a big heart. “Every single cent I earn is earned through honest and legal means.” Photo: Simon Song


Controversial Chinese philanthropist Chen Guangbiao arrives in New York tomorrow bursting with ideas for how he can help America’s poor and the country’s ailing newspaper industry. But first he has some requirements. Continue reading “Eccentric philanthropist is taking 1,000 homeless New Yorkers out to lunch in the hope it will inspire Wall Street to open its pockets”

Top Polish Diplomat: Our Alliance with US is worthless

Monday, 23 June 2014

A Polish magazine said Sunday it has obtained recordings of a private conversation in which the foreign minister says Poland’s strong alliance with the U.S. was worthless and “even harmful because it creates a false sense of security.”

In a short transcript of the conversation, a person identified as Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski also allegedly criticized Poles as naive in a conversation with a former finance minister — in the latest recorded revelation from magazine Wprost to rattle Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s government. Continue reading “Top Polish Diplomat: Our Alliance with US is worthless”

NY Times: Large Scale Wars Needed for Economic Growth

Monday, 23 June 2014

It is no secret that as the US centrally-planned New Normal has unfolded, one after another central-planner and virtually all economists, have been caught wrong-footed with their constant predictions of an “imminent” economic surge, any minute now, and always just around the corner. And yet, nearly six years after Lehman, five years after the end of the last “recession” (even as the depression for most rages on), America is about to have its worst quarter in decades (excluding the great financial crisis), with a -2% collapse in GDP, which has been blamed on… the weather. Continue reading “NY Times: Large Scale Wars Needed for Economic Growth”

Poll: Only 18% of Americans trust their TV News

Thursday, 19 June 2014

MINA Breaking News – Poll: Only 18% of Americans trust their TV News


Public confidence in television news is at an all-time low, according to a survey released today by Gallup.

Only 18 percent of the Americans surveyed expressed either a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in that news medium.

Gallup has been asking the following question annually since 1993: “Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one–a great deal, quite a lot, some or very little?” Continue reading “Poll: Only 18% of Americans trust their TV News”

Billionaire Chen Guangbiao invites 1,000 poor Americans to dinner in Central Park

Controversial entrepreneur sets out to change Americans’ perceptions about wealthy Chinese

.PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 1:16am

Mimi Lau in Guangzhou

// Billionaire Chen Guangbiao invites 1,000 poor Americans to dinner in Central Park | South China Morning Post

// // // // //


Chen Guangbiao

Controversial billionaire Chen Guangbiao placed a full-page advertisement in Monday’s New York Times and a half-page advertisement in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, inviting 1,000 underprivileged Americans to dine with him.

In the latest eye-catching campaign following his unsuccessful bid to buy The New York Times earlier this year, Chen said he would also hand out red packets of US$300 to each participant after the charity lunch in New York on June 25. Continue reading “Billionaire Chen Guangbiao invites 1,000 poor Americans to dinner in Central Park”

North Korea cruise missile fuels proliferation concerns

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 June, 2014, 10:35am

North Korea cruise missile fuels proliferation concerns | South China Morning Post



Agence France-Presse in Seoul

North Korea appears to have acquired a sea-based copy of a Russian cruise missile, the latest step in an effort to enhance its maritime strike capability, a US think-tank said on Tuesday.

A state propaganda film disseminated on social media sites, including YouTube, provides a very brief glimpse of the missile being launched from a naval vessel.

Writing on the closely watched 38 North website of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University, arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis said the missile would mark “a new and potentially destabilising addition” to North Korea’s military arsenal.

Lewis identified the weapon as a copy of the Russian-produced KH-35 – a sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile developed during the 1980s and 90s.

The possibility that North Korea might sell KH-35 technology to others is not a happy thought Jeffrey Lewis Continue reading “North Korea cruise missile fuels proliferation concerns”

Will the IMF headquarters move to Beijing?

(People’s Daily Online)    09:19, June 17, 2014

The International Monetary Fund’s headquarters may one day move from Washington to Beijing, aligning with China’s growing influence in the world economy, the fund’s managing director Christine Lagarde said early this month.

Attaching importance to China

Christine Lagarde made the statement at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), saying that the IMF rules require that the institution should be headquartered in the country that is the biggest shareholder. This has always been the U.S. since the fund was formed.

IMF Headquarters, Washington, DC.

Continue reading “Will the IMF headquarters move to Beijing?”

Russian nuclear-capable bombers intercepted off California coast

Published time: June 12, 2014 18:57

A spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) confirmed this week that a fleet of Russian bombers set off alarms in the United States after coming within 50 miles of California’s Pacific coast.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for NORAD, told Washington Free Beacon reporter Bill Gertz that a pair of Tu-95 Bear H aircraft maintained by Russia came close to US airspace during practice bombing while four of the planes were conducting bombing runs near Alaska. According to Nuclear Threat Initiative nonprofit organization, Russia has 29 Tu-95 MS6 Bear H6s and 30 Tu-95 MS16 Bear H16s, which are equipped to fire both traditional and nuclear payloads at targets from the air.

David told the Beacon that this week’s incident occurred on Monday afternoon and was caught quickly by radar systems that monitored American air defense zones. The radar spotted all four Russian aircraft, he said, and two F-22 fighter jets used by the US Air Force were then mobilized to intercept the bombers. Continue reading “Russian nuclear-capable bombers intercepted off California coast”

DARPA crazytech crew want to create HUMAN-FREE cyber defence systems

English: This was the most up-to-date DARPA lo...

No need to call an infosec specialist – the machines will sort it all out

American secret squirrel military research outfit DARPA has launched a competition to find the autonomous cyber-defence systems of the future.

More than 30 teams will participate in the Cyber Grand Challenge, which is described as a “first of its kind tournament” designed to kickstart the development of automated security defenders.

The challenge comes a time when cyber-security is on the lips of pretty much everyone thanks to the GameoverZeuS trojan and Cryptolocker ransomware.

Competitors will come from the worlds of academia and industry. They hope to devise a system which can defend against external threats without requiring the intervention of a security expert. Sadly, these cyber-supermen only swoop in when it’s too late, fixing vulnerabilities after attackers have already exploited them, DARPA said. Continue reading “DARPA crazytech crew want to create HUMAN-FREE cyber defence systems”

NBC Censored Snowden responses during interview

Saturday, 31 May 2014


Only around a quarter of the recent NBC News interview with former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden made it to broadcast, but unaired excerpts now online show that the network “neglected” to air critical statements about the 2001 terrorist attacks.


When the four-hour sit-down between journalist Brian Williams and Snowden made it to air on Wednesday night, NBC condensed roughly four hours of conversation into a 60-minute time slot. During an analysis of the full interview afterwards, however, the network showed portions of the interview that didn’t make it into the primetime broadcast, including remarks from the former National Security Agency contractor in which he questioned the American intelligence community’s inability to stop the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Continue reading “NBC Censored Snowden responses during interview”

Bilderberg group meets to discuss ‘Does Privacy Exist’?

Thursday, 29 May 2014


Many may chuckle when they learn a debate entitled “Does Privacy Exist?” is to feature at this year’s Bilderberg conference, the notoriously secretive gathering of the world’s most powerful bankers, politicians and business people.


There may be a further shaking of heads when they discover one of the participants at the heavily fortified, five-star Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, will be Keith Alexander, the former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), which was embarrassed by the mass-surveillance revelations leaked by Edward Snowden. In fairness to the Bilderberg, the organisers of this year’s conference – which starts on Thursday – have made efforts to be more transparent by publishing a list of all the prime ministers, chief executives and military chiefs in attendance, as well as the topics up for discussion – however should be noted the topic is mostly for public/media consumption, as the real topics usually remain hidden.

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

Continue reading “Bilderberg group meets to discuss ‘Does Privacy Exist’?”

Experiments using virulent avian flu strains pose risk of accidental release

Experiments using virulent avian flu strains pose risk of accidental release //



Research in mammals that aims to prevent future influenza pandemics raises ethical, public health concerns

Boston, MA — Experiments creating dangerous flu strains that are transmissible between mammals pose too great a risk to human life from potential release, according to an editorial by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Yale School of Public Health. The researchers are calling for greater scrutiny of experiments that make virulent influenza strains transmissible, and for future studies on flu transmission to use safer and more effective alternative approaches.

“These recent studies raise strong ethical questions,” said lead author Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at HSPH. “We have accepted principles, embodied in the Nuremberg Code, that say that biomedical experiments posing a risk to human subjects should only be undertaken if they provide benefits that sufficiently offset the risks—and if there are no other means of obtaining those benefits. Although these experiments don’t involve people directly, they do put human life and well-being at risk.” Continue reading “Experiments using virulent avian flu strains pose risk of accidental release”

China can feed itself

(People’s Daily Online)    13:25, May 23, 2014


Lester Russell Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, and the author of “Who Will Feed China”, recently raised the question “Can the world feed China?” once more. According to Brown, China’s food imports are increasing rapidly and its structural food shortage is becoming more serious, so China has accelerated the process of “snatching” food on world markets.

Can China feed itself? Does China “snatch” food from the international market? Bi Meijia, chief economist and spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture expressed his views.

China’s food production can meet our demand

Oklahoma Wheat bending in the Storm

Continue reading “China can feed itself”

The world’s worst countries for workers – U.S. is now a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, ( 5 being the worst )

New ITUC Global Rights Index – The world’s worst countries for workers

 19 May 2014

A global leaderboard in the race to protect workers’ rights was released today at the ITUC World Congress in Berlin. The ITUC Global Rights Index ranks 139 countries against 97 internationally recognised indicators to assess where workers’ rights are best protected, in law and in practice.

“Countries such as Denmark and Uruguay led the way through their strong labour laws, but perhaps surprisingly, the likes of Greece, the United States and Hong Kong, lagged behind,” said ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow. “A country’s level of development proved to be a poor indicator of whether it respected basic rights to bargain collectively, strike for decent conditions, or simply join a union at all.” Continue reading “The world’s worst countries for workers – U.S. is now a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, ( 5 being the worst )”

China tells U.S. to mind it’s own business

US must ‘get used to China’s rise’

(China Daily)    07:38, May 22, 2014

Washington’s engagement in territorial issues ‘complicates problems’

Chinese and Western observers seemed to reach a consensus on Wednesday over President Xi Jinping’s proposal to establish a new framework for security cooperation in Asia, and he also sent a veiled warning to Washington.

“To beef up a military alliance targeting a third party is not conducive to regional common security,” Xi said without mentioning the United States when delivering a keynote speech at a regional security forum in Shanghai on Wednesday.

The Chinese navy conducts drills in the South ...

Continue reading “China tells U.S. to mind it’s own business”

NATO Appears Toothless in Ukraine Crisis

Unprotected in the East

Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...


If Russia were to engage in military aggression in the Baltics, NATO would be unable to defend the region using conventional means. An internal report highlights weaknesses in the alliance.

They were big words, spoken almost as if they had been written in stone. “Our commitment to collective defence is rock solid, now and for the future,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said more than a week ago, first in the Polish capital Warsaw and then, on the same day, in the Estonian capital Tallinn. Before that, the US ambassador to Latvia, speaking to local and American soldiers at a military base in the country, had sounded equally forceful when he insisted that the NATO partners and Latvia are standing “shoulder to shoulder.”
Continue reading “NATO Appears Toothless in Ukraine Crisis”

Remarks by the First Lady at Topeka School District Senior Recognition Day ( From Whitehouse.Gov )

For Immediate Release May 17, 2014

Expo Center

Topeka, Kansas

6:33 P.M. CDT

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, guys. Thank you so much. Wow! (Applause.) Look at you guys. (Applause.) All right, you all rest yourselves. You’ve got a big day tomorrow. I want you guys to be ready.


It is beyond a pleasure and an honor, truly, to be with you here today to celebrate the class of 2014. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so proud of you guys. (Applause.) Days like this make me think of my own daughters, so forgive me if a get a little teary. You guys look great.


We have a great group of students here. We have students from Highland Park High School. (Applause.) We have Hope Street Academy students here today. (Applause.) Topeka High School is in the house. (Applause.) And of course, we have Topeka West High School in the house. (Applause.)

Michelle Obama in Pueblo - June 20




Continue reading “Remarks by the First Lady at Topeka School District Senior Recognition Day ( From Whitehouse.Gov )”