War Reality

July 24, 2013

Mohr-NSAHigh overcast with moonshine clouding the skies this way-early Wednesday morning on California’s north coast and here we are in the middle of the week — time flies when you’re near-nuts.

And no…unlike most hounds, I will not be chasing the Weiner — that ultra-hot dog needs to take a rest.

(Illustration found here).

This morning a couple of quotes, though seemingly unrelated, are linked in blood.
The first is the Obama White House reaction to the bipartisan amendment by Republican Rep. Justin Amash that would forbid the NSA from bulk-collecting Americans’ telephone records. The amendment is expected to be voted on today.
Via ABC News:

“We oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a late-night statement.
“This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open or deliberative process.”

ABC made note that Obama is serious about this: …its rebuke came directly from the press secretary, rather than the more routine notices from Obama’s budget office the White House normally uses to weigh in on pending legislation.
Yes, and the discussion about the NSA is closed!
All this allowed Keith Alexander and James Clapper — two lying intelligence nit-twits — to scramble up the Hill yesterday to bullshit Congress one more time.
Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel gives an insightful look at the goings on:

But if their mission was really to “provide information” and “get the facts on the table,” then what have all the unclassified briefings been about?
Is this claim they were only now “providing information” yet another indication that they were, perhaps, misinforming before? Again?
That, to me, is a big part of this story: that two men who have lied repeatedly about these programs felt the need to conduct Top Secret briefings to provide information that hadn’t been provided in the past.
All of which makes me very unsympathetic to Clapper’s stated worry.

“A day before the House is expected to vote on restrictions to the National Security Agency’s controversial phone surveillance program, the director of national intelligence told CNN Tuesday he would be “very concerned” if the measure were to pass.”

This program is problematic for several reasons: it is overkill to achieve its stated purpose and it violates the intent of the Fourth Amendment.
But add to that the trust those overseeing the program chose to piss away by lying about this collection repeatedly in the past.
If Amash-Conyers does pass (and it’s still a long-shot unless each and every one of you manages to convince your Rep to support it), it will be in significant part because Clapper and Alexander abused the trust placed in them.

And the vote today will be well-watched. Rep. Amash on Twitter: “Pres Obama opposes my #NSA amendment, but American people overwhelmingly support it. Will your Rep stand with the WH or the Constitution?”

Yes, indeed — when the usually batshit-crazy GOP weighs in, this is serious.

And that second quote comes from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who on Monday warned the US military is at a “breaking point” after 12 years of useless, bloody war.
Via Politico:

“Last week at Fort Bragg’s Soldier and Family Assistance Center, I met a first sergeant who told me that in Afghanistan, he froze up and became overwhelmed by anxiety.
He couldn’t command.
He had lost his ability to command,” Hagel said.
“I asked him how many deployments he had.
“He told me he was on his fifth consecutive combat tour when this happened.
“When you push human beings this hard, they break.
“Some people have been pushed beyond the breaking point.”

Hagel was mourning budget cuts — not the totally-fucked military operations worldwide and for evermore that’s the real ball-buster ‘breaking point‘ for our guys in uniform.
Beyond the badly wounded veterans, beyond the huge rate of suicide, beyond the one-in-five PTSD, endless war is a family affair. People are people:

In the Vietnam era, only 15 percent of active-duty members were parents, and these were typically officers.
Now, nearly half (47 percent) have children, and 14 percent are single parents.
In addition, more mothers are serving in the military than in the past and now comprise approximately 16 percent of the activity-duty force.
Overall, there are an estimated two million children being raised in military families.

And these children will develop their version of PTSD.

And the great, most-powerful country in the world, able to read emails, listen to phone calls, pull all kinds of personal shit right out of the air, yet war is still the basic dying.
From Jason Ditz at antiwar.com and modern war:

Three US soldiers were among eight people killed today in the Wardak Province when a suicide bomber disguised as a farmer rode up on them with a donkey and a lot of explosives, detonating in their midst along the highway.

Incredibly, donkey bombs are a recurring problem in Afghanistan, with a few occurring every year.
Usually, however, the donkeys are simply coaxed to head toward a checkpoint and detonated remotely, not with a suicide rider as today.
In rural Afghanistan donkeys are a go-to choice for transportation, so a donkey loaded with a parcel isn’t automatically suspicious.
Much as with motorcycle bombs and car and truck bombs in more urban settings, the donkey bomb simply fills the need of transporting a heavy parcel of explosives.

Obama, Hagel, the two stooges from the NSA, all those assholes loving war — fuck you!

So, have a most-wonderful Wednesday.

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