Tag Archives | Pentagon

The Pentagon’s New Secret Lily-Pad Network

Mother Jones says that for our military, the future is vast overseas empire of secretive dimples dotting the globe, with more popping up each year:

Unknown to most Americans, Washington’s garrisoning of the planet is on the rise, thanks to a new generation of bases the military calls “lily pads” (as in a frog jumping across a pond toward its prey). These are small, secretive, inaccessible facilities with limited numbers of troops, spartan amenities, and prepositioned weaponry and supplies.

Around the world, from Djibouti to the jungles of Honduras, the deserts of Mauritania to Australia’s tiny Cocos Islands, the Pentagon has been pursuing as many lily pads as it can, in as many countries as it can, as fast as it can. Although statistics are hard to assemble, given the often-secretive nature of such bases, the Pentagon has probably built upwards of 50 lily pads and other small bases since around 2000, while exploring the construction of dozens more.

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Welcome To Yodaville: The Fake City In The Arizona Desert

BLDGBLOG on a town built by Air Force for the purpose of being bombed into oblivion, over and over:

Yodaville is a fake city in the Arizona desert used for bombing runs by the U.S. Air Force. Writing for Air & Space Magazine back in 2009, Ed Darack wrote that, while tagging along on a training mission, he noticed “a small town in the distance—which, as we got closer, proved to have some pretty big buildings, some of them four stories high.”

As one instructor tells Darack, “The urban layout is actually very similar to the terrain in many villages in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The Urban Target Complex, or UTC, was soon “lit up with red tracer rounds and bright yellow and white rocket streaks,” till it “looked like it was barely able to keep standing”:

The artillery and mortars started firing, troops advanced toward the target complex, and aircraft of all types—carefully controlled by students on the mountain top—mounted one attack run after another.

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Pentagon Creates ‘Mega Stun Gun’

USMC

Wired reports on the latest invention from the Pentagon agency known as the Joint Non Lethal Weapons Directorate, which is responsible for developing such non-lethal devices as “sticky foam guns, sonic cannons, and devices that could potentially create voices in the target’s heads, mimicking the effects of schizophrenia.”

This latest version of the stun gun, which utilizes the “nano-second electrical pulse,” can shock a person in “billionths of a second” and render them unconscious:

Imagine a stun gun that doesn’t just drop you to the floor, but renders you unconscious for several minutes. This tech is called a “nano-second electrical pulse,” and the Pentagon believes it could be used in a gun that would hit targets with high voltages of electricity for an amazingly short amount of time – we’re talking billionths of seconds here. That would make the enemy an easy capture. But today’s stun guns are already linked to dozens, if not hundreds, of abusive incidents.

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Navy To Stop Using Image Of Muslim Woman For Target Practice

Navy SEAL training apparently involves shooting at photos of hijab-clad women with Quran verses mounted behind them. All part of the plan to win hearts and minds. The Virginian-Pilot writes:

The Navy will not use a target depicting a Muslim woman holding a gun at a new training range for SEALs in Virginia Beach. The announcement came hours after the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the Pentagon to remove the target. A picture of the cardboard target, which shows a woman in a headscarf holding a pistol, was published in The Virginian-Pilot on Tuesday. The image shows verses of the Quran hanging on the wall behind the woman.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based council, said in the letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta dated Friday that the target “is offensive and sends a negative and counterproductive message to trainees and to the Muslim-majority nations to which they may be deployed.”

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The Military-Entertainment Complex Hits Summer Cinema Screens

What do you get when the Pentagon joins into a symbiotic relationship with our major entertainment industries? The birthing of the ever-growing baby that we call militainment. The military grants filmmakers access to high-powered technology and in return, Hollywood propagates films that make warfare seem legitimate. Al Jazeera discusses Act of Valor, an $80-million-grossing action film released earlier this year which was commissioned by the Navy’s Special Warfare Command and goes “beyond propaganda”:

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Defense Clandestine Service: Yet Another U.S. Spy Agency

PentagonDo we really need to add to CIA, NSA, DIA, et al? Greg Miller reports for the Washington Post:

The Pentagon is planning to ramp up its spying operations against high-priority targets such as Iran under an intelligence reorganization aimed at expanding on the military’s espionage efforts beyond war zones, a senior defense official said Monday.

The newly created Defense Clandestine Service would work closely with the CIA — pairing two organizations that have often seen each other as rivals — in an effort to bolster espionage operations overseas at a time when the missions of the agency and the military increasingly converge.

The plan, the official said, was developed in response to a classified study completed last year by the director of national intelligence that concluded that the military’s espionage efforts needed to be more focused on major targets beyond the tactical considerations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The new service will seek to “make sure officers are in the right locations to pursue those requirements,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the “realignment” of the military’s classified human espionage efforts…

[continues at the Washington Post]… Read the rest

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Secret Story of Mysterious Portrait at Pentagon

Photo: Dept. of Defense

The Wall Street Journal‘s Adam Entous reveals a successful military prank:

In a Pentagon hallway hung an austere portrait of a Navy man lost at sea in 1908, with his brass buttons, blue-knit uniform and what looks like meticulously blow-dried hair.

Wait. Blow-dried hair?

The portrait of “Ensign Chuck Hord,” framed in the heavy gilt typical of government offices, may be the greatest—or perhaps only—prank in Pentagon art history. “Chuck Hord” can’t be found in Navy records of the day. It isn’t even a real painting. The textured, 30-year-old photo is actually of Capt. Eldridge Hord III, 53 years old, known to friends as “Tuck,” a military retiree with a beer belly and graying hair who lives in Burke, Va.

Most military officers who climb the ranks or command daring battles only dream of having a portrait hang in a corridor of power at the Pentagon alongside the likes of Patton, Nimitz and Eisenhower.

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Hollywood Violence, The Pentagon, & Marlon Brando’s Oscar Rejection

Disinformation author Ed Rampell (Progressive Hollywood) features in an episode of “The Point” in which Mimi Kennedy (actress, Midnight In Paris) makes a point about how Hollywood exports violence abroad, and Jordan Zakarin (writer/editor, The Huffington Post) shares his thoughts on the cozy relationship between the film industry and the Pentagon. The final point is on what may be the most controversial moment in Oscars history involving Marlon Brando and Native Americans. Cenk Uygur (host, The Young Turks) leads the discussion with Mike Farrell (actor/activist/writer – president, Death Penalty Focus), Tina Dupuy (managing editor, CrooksAndLiars.com), and Ed.

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The Consummate Special Ops Warrior

Admiral McRaven USSOCOM COCWilliam H. McRaven is an admiral in Obama’s Navy. He was a member of Seal Team 3, and oversaw the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

He’s the consummate Special Ops warrior and wants more special ops forces, more drones and, most significantly, more “autonomy” (read, power) to position “his” troops in more places.  He is now lobbying to expand his “freedom” by building a bigger personal arsenal of undercover operatives under his command.

The New York Times refers to his guys somewhat vaguely as “elite units” that “have traditionally operated” in “the dark corners of American foreign policy.”

That shines light on it, doesn’t it? What it says is: forget transparency and accountability. The hidden government is always hiding.

These units, like Special Forces, Delta Force, SEALs, and Rangers, often operate outside the chain of command and, as they become institutionally stronger, tend to dominate military decisionmaking.

McRaven’s ambition represents a takeover of the military by more and more clandestine killer units.… Read the rest

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‘Time Cloak’ Makes Events Invisible

You have to imagine that if the Pentagon is behind this, they are way ahead of what is described here, by Seth Borenstein for AP via Physorg:

It’s one thing to make an object invisible, like Harry Potter’s mythical cloak. But scientists have made an entire event impossible to see. They have invented a time masker.

Temporal cloak

Think of it as an art heist that takes place before your eyes and surveillance cameras. You don’t see the thief strolling into the museum, taking the painting down or walking away, but he did. It’s not just that the thief is invisible – his whole activity is.

What scientists at Cornell University did was on a much smaller scale, both in terms of events and time. It happened so quickly that it’s not even a blink of an eye. Their time cloak lasts an incredibly tiny fraction of a fraction of a second.

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