Tag Archives | Pentagon

Pentagon Working On UFO-Style Aircraft For Surveillance Missions

The line between official reality, conspiracy theory, and hoax gets blurred. DVICE reports:

The Pentagon is looking to bring airships back from their spotty past and into the future. Developed by Aeroscraft, the 230-foot-long prototype airship called the Pelican, which, interestingly, looks a lot like a flying saucer, has been in the works for several years under the guidance of the Pentagon’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office. In addition to cargo missions, the Pentagon also envisions the airship as a potential tool for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The current prototype is much smaller than the final version of the airship the company plans to build which will be 450-feet long and have the ability to carry up to 66 tons of cargo.

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The Navy’s Plan To Turn Underground Wisconsin Into A Global Radio Transmitter

A dose of strange history via BLDGBLOG:

Project Sanguine was a U.S. Navy program from the 1980s that “would have involved 41 percent of Wisconsin,” turning that state into a giant “antenna farm” capable of communicating with what Wikipedia calls “deeply-submerged submarines.”

Each individual antenna would have been “buried five feet deep” in the fertile soil of the Cheese State, creating a networked system with nearly 6,000 miles’ worth of cables and receiving stations. The Navy was hoping, we read, for a system “that could transmit tactical orders one-way to U.S. nuclear submarines anywhere in the world, and survive a direct nuclear attack.” In other words, the bedrock of the Earth itself could be turned into a colossal radio station.

The project was controversial from the start and was attacked by politicians, antiwar and environmental groups concerned about the effects of high ground currents and electromagnetic fields on the environment.

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All Charges Dropped Against British ‘UFO Hacker’ Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon can now be referred to as “the man who hacked NASA and the Pentagon and got away with it all.” Via the Daily Mail:

Gary McKinnon’s ten-year nightmare was finally over yesterday after police and prosecutors decided he will not stand trial in Britain. The computer hacker won his fight against extradition two months ago when Theresa May blocked US demands to send him there. Now Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer has announced that the 46-year-old Asperger’s sufferer will not face criminal charges in this country either.

His mother Janis Sharp said: ‘This will be the 11th Christmas since his arrest and it is the first time we can celebrate. If extradited, Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, North London, faced up to 60 years behind bars for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers looking for the existence of ‘little green men’.

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Inside The Army’s Cold War Experiments In Psychochemical Warfare

The New Yorker unravels the military’s secret program to develop the ultimate “humane” weapon for the wars of the future — mass-delirium-inducing gas:

Colonel James S. Ketchum dreamed of war without killing. He joined the Army in 1956 and left it in 1976, and in that time became the military’s leading expert in a secret Cold War experiment: to fight enemies with clouds of psychochemicals that temporarily incapacitate the mind-—causing, in the words of one ranking officer, a “selective malfunctioning of the human machine.”

Today, the facility, Edgewood Arsenal, is a crumbling assemblage of buildings on the Chesapeake Bay. But for some of the surviving test subjects, and for the doctors who tested them, what happened at Edgewood remains deeply unresolved.

I spoke to a former Edgewood test subject who was given the nerve agent VX. The effect was rapid. There was a radio on in the room, but the words made little sense.

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State Department Offering Contractors $10 Billion To Operate Overseas Drug-War Airforce

With such an effort, surely this war on drugs will be won soon. Wired reports:

Unsure how your private security firm makes money as the U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down? One option: Go into the drug trade — more specifically, the lucrative business of fighting narcotics. The State Department needs a business partner to keep its fleet of drug-hunting helicopters and planes flying worldwide. You could make up to $10 billion.

Starting next month, the State Department will solicit some defense-industry feedback on a contract to help operate its 412 aircraft, based in at least eight nations, before it reopens the contract for bidding. Among the missions: “Provide pilots and operational support for drug interdiction missions such as crop spraying.”

In Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Pakistan, and Guatemala, State Department air operations mostly perform “counternarcotics and law enforcement activities,” explains State Department spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala, and in Afghanistan it does transportation support as well.

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Private Contractors Will Conduct Our War On Drugs In Afghanistan For Years To Come

Wondering what exists at the center of the War on Drugs vs. War on Terror Venn diagram? Wired reports that well into the foreseeable future, our military will be pumping billions of dollars into the pockets of Blackwater-esque private contractors in a battle against Afghanistan’s drug economy:

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is supposed to be winding down. Its contractor-led drug war? Not so much. Inside a compound in Kabul called Camp Integrity, the Pentagon stations a small group of officers to oversee the U.S. military’s various operations to curb the spread of Afghanistan’s cash crops of heroin and marijuana, which help line the Taliban’s pockets. Only Camp Integrity isn’t a U.S. military base at all. It’s the 10-acre Afghanistan headquarters of the private security company formerly known as Blackwater.

Those officers work for an obscure Pentagon agency called the Counter Narco-Terrorism Program Office, or CNTPO. Quietly, it’s grown into one of the biggest dispensers of cash for private security contractors in the entire U.S.

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British ‘UFO Hacker’ Gary McKinnon Will Not Be Extradited To United States

Curiosity about UFOs is what inspired McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome, to engage in what American officials have called the “biggest military computer hack of all time.” The Guardian reports:

The home secretary, Theresa May, defied the American authorities on Tuesday by halting the extradition of British computer hacker Gary McKinnon, a decision criticised by the US state department but welcomed with delight by campaigners and politicians across parties in the UK.

McKinnon was first indicted by an American grand jury in November 2002 for hacking into US military computers, including the Pentagon and NASA, from his north London bedroom while he was looking for UFOs. He could have faced a prison sentence of up 70 years under US law.

May told Members of Parliament she had taken the quasi-judicial decision on human rights grounds because of medical reports warning that McKinnon, who has Asperger’s syndrome and suffers from depressive illness, could kill himself if sent to stand trial in the US.

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The U.S. Army’s Quest To Develop An Anti-Suicide Nasal Spray

Soldier, the problem isn’t that you’re facing foreclosure on your home, physical disability, and PTSD, you just haven’t had you daily spritz of anti-suicide spray. Via Russia Today:

The US Army has awarded a scientist at the Indiana University School of Medicine $3 million to develop a nasal spray that eclipses suicidal thoughts. Dr. Michael Kubek and his research team will have three years to ascertain whether the nasal spray is a safe and effective method of preventing suicides.

The research grant comes after the Army lost 38 of its soldiers to suspected suicide in July, setting a record high. So far in 2012, the Army has confirmed 66 active duty suicides and is investigating 50 more, making a total of 116 cases.

But the naturally occurring neurochemical thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) could slow the rising suicide rate. The chemical has a euphoric, calming, antidepressant effect. TRH has been shown to decrease suicidal ideas, depression and bipolar disorders.

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Don’t Turn Drone Operators Into Heroes

Via Salon, Glenn Greenwald on the Pentagon’s effort to build an aura of valor and bravery into postmodern, video game-style warfare in which villagers are blown up like bugs:

The effort to depict drone warfare as some sort of courageous and noble act is intensifying: The Pentagon is considering awarding a Distinguished Warfare Medal to drone pilots who work on military bases often far removed from the battlefield.

So medals would be awarded for sitting safely ensconced in a bunker on U.S. soil and launching bombs with a video joystick at human beings thousands of miles away. Justifying drone warfare requires pretending that the act entails some sort of bravery, so the U.S. military is increasingly taking steps to create the facade of warrior courage for drone pilots:

The Air Force has been working to bridge the divide between these two groups of fliers. First off, drone operators are called pilots, and they wear the same green flight suits as fighter pilots, even though they never get in a plane.

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The Pentagon Has Created A Database Of Every Bomb They’ve Dropped Since WWI

The saddest spreadsheet in the world? Via io9:

For the past six years, the U.S. Air Force has been compiling an exhaustive list of every bomb their planes have dropped since World War I.

The database, which is part of a project called THOR (Theater History of Operations Reports), was put together by Lieutenant Colonel Jenns Robertson using thousands of historical documents.

For the Vietnam War alone, Robertson has examined records showing that from October 1965 to May 1975 at least 456,365 cluster bombs were dropped on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The database is also being used for current conflicts, including investigations into civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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