Tag Archives | Department of Defense

When the President Goes to Prison

Jack (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0)

Jack (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0)

Andrew Cohen writes at the Brennan Center for Justice:

When President Barack Obama goes to Oklahoma Thursday and enters the medium-security federal prison FCI-El Reno he will be entering the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Prisons, part of the Justice Department, a bureaucratic fiefdom that is nearly as sprawling as the Department of Defense and in many ways as secret and unaccountable to the public and lawmakers as the CIA or the NSA. This even though 168,139 men and women (not counting 40,000 or so prisoners held in federal custody in private prisons) are incarcerated daily in a system staffed by approximately 40,000 federal employees.

When he walks through the doors of the prison, on his way to his inevitable photo opportunity with corrections officers and nonviolent drug offenders, the President will be entering the domain of officials in Washington who for decades have sanctioned the widespread use of solitary confinement, the systemic abuse and neglect of mentally ill prisoners, and deplorable shortages of properly trained corrections staff and medical professionals, to name just three of the systemic problems identified in recent reviews of the Bureau of Prisons.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ashton Carter: No Word of Peace

Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core:

Alice Slater, New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, breaks down Obama’s pick for the next Secretary of Defense (head of the U.S military), Ashton Carter. She scratches the surface of this man’s past genuflections toward the weapons and defense industry. The Senate approved his nomination 93 – 5, which demonstrates the obsequious, acquiescent, complacent, and no-questions-asked nature of the military-industrial-Congressional-complex. Previously serving as the Pentagon’s chief arms buyer, Carter has advocated preemptively bombing North Korea, arming the Ukrainian government, and opposes shutting down Guantanamo Bay. He has made tens of thousands of dollars from advocating war, pushes nuclear weapons production, and has consulted for defense corporations time and time again. Due to previous conflicts of interest, Cater required an ethics waiver to join the pro-war Obama administration.

There is no word of peace from this man. Please, for the love God, do not vote for any majority party in the 2016 U.S National Elections.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

UT Austin Engineers Build First Nonreciprocal Acoustic Circulator: A One-Way Sound Device

The Conversation

The Conversation (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (FU)

It appears that snoops may soon have access to a powerful tool that may likely be used to abuse privacy.

via utexas

A team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering has built the first-ever circulator for sound. The team’s experiments successfully prove that the fundamental symmetry with which acoustic waves travel through air between two points in space (“if you can hear, you can also be heard”) can be broken by a compact and simple device.

“Using the proposed concept, we were able to create one-way communication for sound traveling through air,” said Andrea Alù, who led the project and is an associate professor and David & Doris Lybarger Endowed Faculty Fellow in the Cockrell School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Imagine being able to listen without having to worry about being heard in return.”

This successful experiment is described in “Sound Isolation and Giant Linear Nonreciprocity in a Compact Acoustic Circulator,” which will be featured on the cover of Science in the Jan.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Department of Defense Fax Machine That Receives FOIA Requests is Broken

imagesLooks like someone’s getting a STAPLES gift card in his kevlar-lined stocking this Christmas.

Via MuckRock:

Starting two weeks ago, requests faxed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) started coming back as undeliverable. After several subsequent attempts and troubleshooting on our end, MuckRock reached out to the OSD. Sure enough, their fax machine is down… possibly until November.

Now, in 2013, you wouldn’t think this would be an issue. But when an agency accepts FOIA requests by a) fax, b) mail or c) a clunky online request portal that doesn’t play nice with other systems, suddenly that fax machine becomes a technical linchpin.

It bears repeating: The office that oversees the most powerful military in history (not to mention the best-funded) is unable to project when its single fax machine will once again be operational.

The OSD’s FOIA section chief confirmed the grim news yesterday, responding that his office “will likely need to procure (purchase) a new fax machine.

Read the rest
Continue Reading