Tag Archives: Veterans

U.S. Currently Fighting 74 Different Wars … That It Will Publicly Admit

via http://www.washingtonsblog.com

And Many More Covert Wars Without Congressional Oversight … Let Alone Public Knowledge

Fire Dog Lake’s Kevin Gosztola notes:

Linda J. Bilmes and Michael D. Intriligator, ask in a recent paper, “How many wars is the US fighting today?”

Today US military operations are involved in scores of countries across all the five continents. The US military is the world’s largest landlord, with significant military facilities in nations around the world, and with a significant presence in Bahrain, Djibouti,Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan, in addition to long-established bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and the UK.  Some of these are vast, such as the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, the forward headquarters of the United States Central Command, which has recently been expanded to accommodate up to 10,000 troops and 120 aircraft.

Citing a page at US Central Command’s (CENTCOM) website, they highlight the “areas of responsibility” publicly listed:

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) is active in 20 countries across the Middle Eastern region, and is actively ramping-up military training, counterterrorism programs, logistical support, and funding to the military in various nations. At this point, the US has some kind of military presence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, U.A.E., Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM), according to the paper, “supports military-to-military relationships with 54 African nations.”

[Gosztola points out that the U.S. military is also conducting operations of one kind or another in Syrian, Jordan, South Sudan, Kosovo, Libya, Yemen, the Congo, Uganda, Mali, Niger and other countries.]

Altogether, that makes 74 nations where the US is fighting or “helping” some force in some proxy struggle that has been deemed beneficial by the nation’s masters of war.

***

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides an accounting of all the publicly acknowledged deployments of US military forces

But those are just the public operations.

Gosztola notes that the covert operations are uncountable:

Beyond that, there are Special Operations forces in countries. Jeremy Scahill in Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, writes, “By mid-2010, the Obama administration had increased the presence of Special Operations forces from sixty countries to seventy-five countries.

***

Scahill also reports, based on his own “well-placed special operations sources”:

…[A]mong the countries where [Joint Special Operations Command] teams had been deployed under the Obama administration were: Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Yemen, Pakistan (including in Baluchistan) and the Philippines. These teams also at times deployed in Turkey, Belgium, France and Spain. JSOC was also supporting US Drug Enforcement Agency operations in Colombia and Mexico

Since President Barack Obama has been willing to give the go ahead to operations that President George W. Bush would not have approved, operations have been much more aggressive and, presumably, JSOC has been able to fan out and work in way more countries than ever expected.

Global assassinations have been embraced by the current administration, opening the door to night raids, drone strikes, missile attacks where cluster bombs are used, etc. Each of these operations, as witnessed or experienced by the civilian populations of countries, potentially inflame and increase the number of areas in the world where there are conflict zones.

***

The world is literally a battlefield with conflicts being waged by the US (or with the “help” of the US). And, no country is off-limits to US military forces.

Of course, JSOC is not accountable to Congress … let alone the public:

JSOC operates outside the confines of the traditional military and even beyond what the CIA is able to do.

***

But it goes well beyond the war zones. In concert with the Executive’s new claims on extra-judicial assassinations via drone strikes, even if the target is an American citizen, JSOC goes around the world murdering suspects without the oversight of a judge or, god forbid, granting those unfortunate souls the right to defend themselves in court against secret, evidence-less government decrees about their guilt. As Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh said at a speaking event in 2009:

Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on.

***

There are legal restrictions on what the CIA can do in terms of covert operations. There has to be a finding, the president has to notify at least the “Gang of Eight” [leaders of the intelligence oversight committees] in Congress. JSOC doesn’t have to do any of that. There is very little accountability for their actions. What’s weird is that many in congress who’d be very sensitive to CIA operations almost treat JSOC as an entity that doesn’t have to submit to oversight. It’s almost like this is the president’s private army, we’ll let the president do what he needs to do.

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Operation Vigilant Eagle: Obama Targets Vets In War On Free Speech

Because of the nature of government to make average people into “terrorists” or enemies of the state for their point of view, I fear for my country, but mostly for my children. Government is terror, make up your own mind…

via http://www.freedomoutpost.com

OperationVigilantEagle_700x210

 

(by Obama’s war on our fundamental rights is devastating. The enemedia performs like state-run media and covers for this incredible rout. It is shocking. And in all of these grotesque anti-American maneuvers, Obama and his thugs are always using Orwellian language. ‘Operation Vigilant Eagle’ criminalizes free speech and targets our nation’s best — our vets.

Veterans are being singled out and arrested and labelled as mentally sick for criticizing Obama. Obama created this to stop criticism of him and his administration.

Operation Vigilant Eagle: Is This Really How We Honor Our Nation’s Veterans? OpEd News (thanks to Laura)

Despite the fact that the U.S. boasts more than 23 million veterans who have served in World War II through Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the plight of veterans today, while often overlooked, is common knowledge: impoverished, unemployed, lacking any decent health benefits, homeless, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, marital stress.

Making matters worse, thanks to Operation Vigilant Eagle, a program launched by the Department of Homeland Security in 2009, military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are also being characterized as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.” As a result, these servicemen and women–many of whom are decorated–are finding themselves under surveillance, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, or arrested, all for daring to voice their concerns about the alarming state of our union and the erosion of our freedoms.

“Jailed for Facebook comments, Marine suesWND.com

‘Case exposes government system that is targeting military veterans’

It happens in China routinely. It frequently happened in the old Soviet Union. Undoubtedly in North Korea, although generally there’s no one around to witness it. But in the United States? It happens here, too, apparently.

A lawsuit has been filed by officials with the Rutherford Institute on behalf of a Marine who was jailed and held for the comments he made on Facebook – comments that expressed a dissatisfaction with the present direction of the U.S. government.

According to officials at Rutherford, the civil rights action names as defendants members of law enforcement and the government who were involved in last year’s episode where Marine veteran Brandon Raub, 27, was arrested by a swarm of FBI and Secret Service and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward for a week.

His crime was posting controversial song lyrics and political views on Facebook, the institute reported.

In one of his postings, he cited the evil in the world.

“The United States was meant to lead the charge against injustice, but through our example not our force. People do not respond to having liberty and freedom forced on them,” he wrote.

He was released later when a judge stepped in and concluded the prosecution’s case against Raub was “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.”

The lawsuit asks for damages for Raub for the attack he endured. It was filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., and claims Raub’s seizure and detention were part of a plan executed by the Obama administration called “Operation Vigilant Eagle.”

That, the institute explains, was a federal program to do surveillance on military veterans who express views critical of the government.

Institute attorneys claim the attempt to label Raub as “mentally ill” and authorities’ efforts to involuntarily commit him into custody was intended to silence his criticism of the government. However, they explain the strategy also violated Raub’s First and Fourth Amendment rights.

“Since coming to Raub’s defense, The Rutherford Institute has been contacted by military veterans across the country recounting similar incidents. In filing a civil suit against government officials, Rutherford Institute attorneys plan to take issue with the manner in which Virginia’s civil commitment statutes are being used to silence individuals engaged in lawfully exercising their free speech rights,” the organization said.

“Brandon Raub’s case exposed the seedy underbelly of a governmental system that is targeting military veterans for expressing their discontent over America’s rapid transition to a police state,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.

“Brandon Raub is not the first veteran to be targeted for speaking out against the government. Hopefully, by holding officials accountable, we can ensure that Brandon is the last to suffer in this way.”

It was last Aug, 16 when Chesterfield police, Secret Service and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s home and asked to talk with him about his Facebook posts.

“Like many Facebook users, Raub, a Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, uses his Facebook page to post song lyrics and air his political opinions. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials handcuffed Raub and transported him to police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will,” the Institute reported.

“In a hearing on Aug. 20, government officials pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the reason for his incarceration. While Raub stated that the Facebook posts were being read out of context, a Special Justice ordered Raub be held up to 30 more days for psychological evaluation and treatment.”

When Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett, however, found out about the case, he ordered it dismissed and Raub released, because there was no evidence of a case.

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Federal Government Renews Push To Disarm Veterans

via Lee Rogers, February 22, 2013, Blacklisted News

Veteran's Day Parade NYC 2010

 

The letter states as follows.

A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).”?

 

It should become even more apparent that the U.S. government is attempting to implement a policy that will disarm a large number of military veterans. There are now reports from veterans who are receiving letters from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating that they could be banned from owning or possessing a firearm and ammunition should government officials deem them to be incompetent. The letters appear to have been sent to a number of veterans who are registered with the VA as having a disability. It is unknown how many veterans have received these letters but it basically proposes that the VA rate the veteran as incompetent to handle their benefit payments. If the veteran is classified as incompetent than according to the letter they would be effectively banned from owning a firearm.

So essentially if some government bureaucrat deems a disabled veteran as being incompetent it will prohibit them from buying, owning or transporting a firearm and ammunition. This is with no due process, no trial by jury or anything. As ridiculous as this might be, it falls right in line with the overall agenda that is at work to disarm veterans. With the American economy continuing to crumble, the establishment is gearing up for a revolt and if such a revolt takes place, veterans will be one of their primary threats. Veterans know how the military operates from the inside so it makes sense that they would want as many veterans disarmed as possible.Even though the gun grabbing traitors in Washington DC have backed off from many of their gun control proposals, they are now trying to push plans to expand the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to include all sorts of people who have or previously had so-called mental health problems. Veterans that have come back from multiple tours in the Middle East who are diagnosed with PTSD or have been prescribed any number of drugs by military doctors could fall into this category. Considering the government’s track record of using vague language in legislation, we can also safely assume that the definition of a mentally ill person will be up for great interpretation. So who knows how many people they will try to classify as being mentally ill in order to ban them from owning a firearm.

This is a completely disgusting agenda but it shouldn’t be unexpected. In reality the VA is a criminal institution that tries to do everything in their power to inhibit veterans from getting the benefits that they earned through their military service. The amount of red tape and hurdles they put in front of veterans just for them to receive their benefits is scandalous.

Before I end this article I’d just like to share a story that I think ties in with what I’m saying about the VA. A little over a decade ago I was actually in the U.S. Army for two years. During that time I encountered some of the most vile human beings I’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with. The amount of incompetent idiots that I saw holding positions of authority that ran around on power trips trying to micromanage everything with their eyes bugging out was comical. Instead of looking at how well an individual performed their job many of these dirt bags were more concerned about stupid things like how shiny a person’s boots were. I’m not saying that everyone in the U.S. Army was like that, because I did meet some good people during my time in the military but the very best people left simply due to the fact that the military offers one of the worst working environments you could ever imagine.

The reason why I’m mentioning this is because the people who work for the VA seem to operate very much like the insane power tripping clowns who rise to prominence in the military. In my few brief encounters with people who work for the VA, I found them to be unbelievably condescending, rude and just plain unhelpful with everything. They act like you are inconveniencing them for actually making them do their job.

With this said, I believe the VA’s primary purpose is to give the illusion that the U.S. government is taking care of veterans. In reality the goal of the VA is to provide as little care as possible to veterans while at the same time maintaining this fallacy. The fact that they are sending letters to disabled veterans saying that they’ll forfeit their right to own a firearm if some government stooge says so is unbelievably sick on so many levels. This should hopefully prove to most people reading this that the VA is run by a bunch of demonic scumbags who should be fired and fed to the wolves.

Despite this, it is highly doubtful that we’ll see very many veterans comply with the stated policies in these VA letters. It just offers more proof that the U.S. government is run by a bunch of control freak psychopaths. At least we now have more of an idea of what angle they’re shifting towards in order to push their gun control agenda. Undoubtedly we will see them continuing to promote this idea of adding mental health checks into the background check system as a backdoor way to prohibit returning veterans from having firearms.

This of course does not represent a real solution to the alleged problem of mass shootings that has spawned all of this gun control talk. In almost every high profile so-called mass shooting case we’ve seen recently, the shooter was confirmed to be on some sort of prescription anti-depressant drug. We of course don’t see anyone in the establishment talking about going after the big pharmaceutical companies that make these drugs which are causing these people to go crazy. They’re the ones who should be held accountable but like out of something you would see in the science fiction book Brave New World, they need people on these drugs because it represents yet another aspect of their control system.

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U.S. Veterans Return War Medals at NATO Summit


A collection of video reports by grassroots journalists who are covering the NATO Summit in Chicago. Be the media and help us by sending your audio, video, and stills to submitmedia@natoprotest.org.

Streaming at: Livestream.com/chicagoindymedia

Produced at the 
Chicago Independent Media 
Convergence Center
By Chicago Indymedia
http://chicago.indymedia.org
media@natoprotest.org
@natomedia
773-384-8544

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