Putting Declassified Records to Good Use - Secrecy News -
"The culmination of the declassification process is when the records are finally examined by an interested reader and their contents are absorbed into the body of public knowledge."
Starring a (Reluctant) Journalist - NYTimes.com -
"“We’re not politicians or pundits, and we don’t have a 10-point program for how the global war on terror can be reformed,” Mr. Rowley, 39, said last week when asked about the film’s objectives. “We’re journalists, and we think our role is to make these invisible wars visible, so that we can have the national debate about this, about where we’re going and who we are as a country, that we should have had a decade ago.”"
What’s the real history of San Francisco’s Treasure Island, former home to Navy atomic warfare training academies? Have current residents been told the truth about the island’s radioactive past? And how safe is it for future development?
Read our new investigation, published in partnership with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, for a first-ever comprehensive look at the island’s nuclear past – and the military’s efforts to conceal it.
(Photo by Anna Vignet/The Center for Investigative Reporting)
" For decades before it was selected for closure, the Treasure Island Naval Station in San Francisco Bay overhauled military ships and housed nuclear war academies that used radium, plutonium and cesium-137 in their training courses. The Navy knew for years that those materials were not always in safe hands. But it did not acknowledge that history publicly, and as a result, workers preparing for civilian redevelopment may have inadvertently spread radioactive material around the island, "
Syria War Stirs New U.S. Debate on Cyberattacks - NYTimes.com -
”It is a question Mr. Obama has never spoken about publicly. Because he has put the use of such weapons largely into the hands of the N.S.A., which operates under the laws guiding covert action, there is little of the public discussion that accompanied the arguments over nuclear weapons in the 1950s and ’60s or the kind of roiling argument over the use of drones, another classified program that Mr. Obama has begun to discuss publicly only in the past 18 months.”
Pentagon Officials Say They’re Willing to Assume Risks of a Reduced Army - NYTimes.com -
Force size is the politically easiest thing to cut, because troops themselves are not a profit center. For the past decade or more, US forces have been understaffed and over-equipped. These personnel cuts are workable if there is no need for conventional deterrence and Washington swears off land wars of choice. The policies have to fit the forces and the forces have to fit the policies. - David C. Unger
Top Military Body Against Syria’s Assad Is in Chaos, Undermining Fight - NYTimes.com -
Are these the people John McCain wants the US to arm? - David C. Unger
100 Billion Dollar Baby. This is my first try at publishing on Medium — I know I’m late to the game on it. Here’s a piece on mismanagement of Afghan reconstruction funds and what that says about the Afghanistan endeavor as a whole.
SIGAR’s accounts of poor choices, bad planning and seemingly willful ignorance of the pitfalls of pouring money into a corrupt and leaking system usually deal with figures in the millions and billions. The recurring patterns in SIGAR’s watchdog work over the past six years create a narrative of loss on a massive scale ($10 billion, $34 million, $600,000). It speaks to a political desperation to will bundles of cash into a solution, a sort of futile attempt at political alchemy that magically turns money and infrastructure into long-term stability.
Read it here.
Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level - NYTimes.com -
The A-10 was one of the most useful planes in Iraq and would have been useful in Libya if Obama had let NATO use them after the US stepped back. The F-35 is a huge waste of money unless we are planning to fight a high tech military power like China. Maybe this is the Pentagon saying, as after Vietnam, we do not want to fight these real world wars any more. We only want to old style wars between great powers. - David C. Unger
"Under Mr. Hagel’s proposals, the entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attack aircraft would be eliminated. The aircraft was designed to destroy Soviet tanks in case of an invasion of Western Europe, and the capabilities are deemed less relevant today. The budget plan does sustain money for the controversial F-35 warplane, which has been extremely expensive and has run into costly delays."
Attorney General Signs New Rules to Limit Access to Journalists’ Records - NYTimes.com -
You cannot let the government be the judge as to how far a free press should and should not be allowed to go in”fostering government accountability.” - David C. Unger