More Control Over The News

These days we can find “news” almost anywhere across the internet……you can find any interpretation that suits your fancy.

I read something that took me aback.  The Pentagon is looking for more control over the news…..you saw that right …the military wants to control you news…..

If there’s a worse idea than the Pentagon becoming Editor-in-Chief of America, I can’t remember it. But we’re getting there:

From Bloomberg over Labor Day weekend:

Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

One of the Pentagon’s most secretive agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing “custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips.”

Once upon a time, when progressives still reflexively distrusted the military, DARPA was a liberal punchline, known for helping invent the Internet but also for developing lunatic privacy-invading projects like LifeLog, a program to “gather in a single place just about everything an individual says, sees, or does.”

DARPA now is developing a semantic analysis program called “SemaFor” and an image analysis program called “MediFor,” ostensibly designed to prevent the use of fake images or text. The idea would be to develop these technologies to help private Internet providers sift through content.

The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?

I have written several times about the loss of the Freedom of the Press……..read it for yourself…..https://lobotero.com/2018/08/16/censorship-by-any-other-name/

Since Clinton the Pentagon through the defense lobbyists control the news for the most part…..why?  Most outlets are owned by corporations that are heavily invested in the M-IC.

They, the Pentagon, has been controlling the news coming out of our endless and countless wars…..no more unlimited access that they had in Vietnam now they can only report what the Pentagon says they can report.  And that is called censorship.

Not to worry….just make shit up and say it enough times and then it becomes believable….that describes the Trump technique to a tee.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why Do We Fight?

This is yet another in a series that I write as part of my antiwar campaign.

The title is an excellent question that has many answers but only one to my way of thinking.

This is not the world of World War 2…….and there is no major threat, military threat, to speak of for the US to keep a watchful eye upon….yes there is China….or Russia….or ….that is about it these days.

But let us look at what The American Conservative had to say on the question……

Today’s political and military leaders have no choice but to project technology and strategic conditions into the future while they develop their forces today. However, before such multi-billion dollar investments are made, critical questions should be answered.

What is the real mission set? In other words, whom do we fight? Where do we fight? How do we fight? And how do we get there? On Memorial Day, we must take a step back to properly address these questions because right now it’s not so clear. What we do have is a military spending strategy that is out of whack with reality and setting us up for failure when real threats arise.

The United States is primarily a global maritime and aerospace power, not a global land power. Washington is known for exaggerating threats, but is the notion of spending to fight a near-simultaneous war with Russia and China in 2030 a realistic goal? Wars with continental powers like Russia, China, or even Turkey or Iran, demand the persistent employment of large and powerful ground forces projected over thousands of miles. U.S. military advantages at sea and in the air are relegated to supporting roles as seen in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

 
These days our foreign policy is more about meddling than trying to head off war……
But let me mention just a few of the things that we didn’t learn from the Mueller report. We didn’t learn that Russian agents appeared at Republican Party headquarters in 2016 with millions of dollars in donations to influence the coming election. (Oops, my mistake!  That was CIA agents in the Italian election of 1948!) We didn’t learn that a Russian intelligence agency in combination with Chinese intelligence, aided by a major Chinese oil company, overthrew an elected U.S. president and installed Donald Trump in the White House as their autocrat of choice. (Oops, my mistake again!  That was the CIA, dispatched by an American president, and British intelligence, with the help of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, later BP. In 1953, they overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the elected prime minister of Iran, and installed the young Shah as an autocratic ruler, the very first — but hardly the last — time the CIA successfully ousted a foreign government.) We didn’t learn that key advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin were in close touch with rogue elements of the U.S. military preparing to stage a coup d’état in Washington, kill President Barack Obama in a direct assault on the White House, and put the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in office. (Sorry, again my slip-up and full apologies! That was President Richard Nixon’s adviser Henry Kissinger in contact with Chilean military officers who, on September 11, 1973—the first 9/11—staged an armed uprising during which Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist president of that country, died and army commander-in-chief Augusto Pinochet took power.) We didn’t learn that, at the behest of Vladimir Putin, Russian secret service agents engaged in a series of plots to poison or in some other fashion assassinate Barack Obama during his presidency and, in the end, had at least a modest hand in encouraging those who did kill him after he left office. (Oh, wait, I was confused on that one, too. I was actually thinking about the plots, as the 1960s began, to do in Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.) Nor, for that matter, did we learn that the Russian military launched a regime-change-style invasion of this country to unseat an American president and get rid of our weapons of mass destruction and then occupied the country for years after installing Donald Trump in power. (Sorry one more time! What I actually had in mind before I got so muddled up was the decision of the top officials of President George W. Bush’s administration, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, to launch a “regime-change” invasion of Iraq in 2003, based on fraudulent claims that Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, and install a government of their choice in Baghdad.)
 
States use war, or the threat of war, as a last resort to solve political disputes. For every state, the ability to make war is an indispensable tool to ensure its security. However, war cannot rebuild trust. War cannot separate truth from lies. War cannot defeat attacks on the social structures currently seen in the West. We must look elsewhere.
 
If war is not the answer why is there war?
 
This from Smedley Butler……

Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.  

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

This article was originally published on the author’s blog site: Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy.

Our foreign policy should be….DO NO HARM……

We would have fewer opponents if we adopted this idea.

Closing Thought–05Jul19

Child porn is nothing to sneeze at….and when it is found floating around our national defense hub , the Pentagon, is even sicker.

Defense Department computers are among the top distributors of child pornography. An untold number of Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors have subscriptions to child pornography websites, and the problem is apparently so pervasive it requires new technical solutions to address it.

“Hundreds of DoD-affiliated individuals” were recently identified as suspects in child pornography cases, according to an investigation by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

So far, authorities have only looked into about 20 percent of these cases. But already, they’ve found “several” individuals “using their government devices to download or share said pornographic material.”

 
How sick is that?
 
Surely these people have more important things to do than to spend time on porn, child porn.
If they have that much time on their hands maybe it is time to clean house and find people that are not so goddamn perverted.
 
Just saying.

I Have More Space Force News

That time again….a Saturday and time for IST News from Space…..

I know this does not interest most of my readers…but I feel obligated to keep informing my readers and trying to make sense of the space force thingy……

Besides the bureaucracy the cash needed to fund this new branch of the military will be staggering….cash needed elsewhere in the society…health, infrastructure, education, et al….but for some reason a Space Force is a priority.

The House Armed Services Committee voted to establish a United States Space Corps within the Department of the Air Force. The vote came in the overnight hours Thursday. The committee began its markup of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act Wednesday morning. After a nearly 21-hour session, the committee passed the NDAA 33-24.

The Space Corps amendment was offered by the HASC Strategic Forces subcommittee leaders Chairman Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.). The proposal is similar to what the committee proposed in the 2018 NDAA, including the name of the new space service, U.S. Space Corps, rather than the Trump administration’s preferred name, U.S. Space Force.

Like the Marine Corps, the Space Corps would be led by a four-star Commandant who would be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

House Armed Services Committee votes to create a U.S. Space Corps

Space will be something to watch for it will siphon off more taxpayer money…..meaning that social services will be the first to suffer with cuts to pay for this adventure.

FYI

It will be hot here today…..I wrote this draft at 0300 hrs and it was already 94…..we already have heat advisories and it is only the second day of Summer…..gonna be a long Summer for us down here.

Yes We Have No SecDef

Closing Thought–21Jun19

First,  good news for US soccer fans…US has moved on from group play scoring 18 goals in 3 games…They start the knock out round with Spain…….the other good news is the French Gran Prix this Sunday……

The first day of Summer and we still have no real SecDef…..

It’s a difficult time for the Pentagon to be without a permanent U.S. defense secretary.

The Trump administration is grappling with an escalating crisis with Iran, an unusual and controversial deployment of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, the nearly two-decade-old war in Afghanistan and stalled talks with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

Amid all that, and more, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan stepped down this week and the man tapped to replace him on an interim basis appears to face legal hurdles that could initially prevent him from serving more than about six more weeks. It’s an unusual level of uncertainty for one of the most important jobs in the administration.

https://www.apnews.com/a6cfc870fb8e4f9ca2dce63471eefce0

Pres. Trump’s acting SecDef Shanahan has tucked tail and ran from the Pentagon….but which war hawk will get the nod as the new chief of the Pentagon?

Arkansas’ senator, Tom Cotton, has be auditioning for a cabinet post for two years……or will Trump be satisfied with another ‘acting” secretary he has appointed Mark Esper……

Who will be the next SecDef?

For the second time in six months, President Donald Trump is searching for his next defense secretary.

After enjoying stability atop Pentagon leadership for the first two years of his presidency, Trump has been unable find a permanent appointee for his Defense Department Cabinet post since Jim Mattis was forced out of office on Jan. 1.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was announced as that replacement last month, but on Tuesday withdrew his name from consideration amid reports of past domestic violence incidents involving his family. Army Secretary Mark Esper will take his place while a new nominee is chosen.

 
So far the five names being floated around show NO indication of being qualified for the job….but that has NEVER stopped Trump from nominating subservient toads…..something the Pentagon does not need.
 

Military Gets Politicized (Again)

On the trip to Japan Our Beloved Supreme Leader (accusation not confirmed) wanted the ship USS McCain hidden from view……(My post) https://lobotero.com/2019/05/31/uss-john-mccain/

Personally, I feel that our military is too much in the news as a political tool of sorts…..

The Pentagon has told the White House to stop politicizing the military, amid a furor over a Trump administration order to have the Navy ship named for the late US Sen. John McCain hidden from view during President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Japan, the AP reports. A senior Trump aide scoffed at the idea that anyone working for the White House might be punished, saying, “We think it’s much ado about nothing.” A US defense official said Patrick Shanahan, Trump’s acting defense chief, is also considering sending out formal guidance to military units in order to avoid similar problems in the future. Shanahan confirmed details about a Navy email that said the White House military office wanted the USS John McCain kept “out of sight” when Trump was in Japan about a week ago.

This was all too petty to be taken seriously….and then the email came to light……

The internal Navy email came to light last week, triggering a storm of outrage. Trump, who long feuded with McCain, has said he knew nothing about the request, but added that “somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him, OK? And they were well-meaning, I will say.” Shanahan told reporters traveling with him to South Korea on Sunday that he is not planning to seek an investigation by the Pentagon’s internal watchdog into the matter “because there was nothing carried out” by the Navy. He added that he still needs to gather more information about exactly what happened and what service members did. “How did the people receiving the information—how did they treat it,” Shanahan said. “That would give me an understanding on the next steps” to take.

This is a prime example of using the military as a political tool……but not many of the sycophants that work in the Trump White House take this seriously……

Asking the US Navy to conceal a ship named after three generations of American war heroes to avoid potentially irritating the president was “not an unreasonable thing,” according to Mick Mulvaney. The acting White House chief of staff told NBC‘s Meet the Press Sunday that it was “probably someone on the advance team” from the White House that asked the Navy to keep the USS John McCain out of sight during President Trump’s visit to a naval base in Japan last week. “The fact that some 23 or 24-year-old person on the advance team went to that site and said ‘Oh my goodness, there’s the John McCain, we all know how the president feels about the former senator, maybe that’s not the best backdrop, can somebody look into moving it?’ That’s not an unreasonable thing,” Mulvaney argued.

Host Chuck Todd (not one of my favorites) apparently couldn’t believe Mulvaney was trying to defend the request, Slate reports. “Seriously?” he asked. Mulvaney went on to say the person responsible for the request, which the Navy confirmed on Sunday, would not be fired. “The president’s feeling towards the former senator are well known,” he said. “They are well known throughout the office, they are well known in the media, but to think you’re gonna get fired over this is silly.” Later, on Fox News Sunday, Mulvaney said nobody would even be disciplined over the “minor issue.” The USS John McCain, originally named after Sen. John McCain’s father and grandfather, both Navy admirals, was rededicated last year to include the late senator.

This whole affair is just silly and a bit pathetic. But then that describes this administration to a tee.

Waiting For The Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy now there is a term that our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader should know by heart……but in this case I am talking about the many many wars that this nation is fighting….on just about every continent.

The M-IC has been playing a con, the long con, on the American people…….

Consider it a conundrum. Both parties in Congress and the president simply can’t pour enough money into the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state. As a result, theirs has been a cumulative trillion-dollar budget for years and it’s still on the rise. On the other hand, the domestic basics are increasingly being starved. When the president’s long-delayed infrastructure plan finally made it to Congress, two years late, it disappeared without a trace. Meanwhile, the country’s roads, rail networks, dams, schools, and so on are in increasingly poor shape. (In reality, the only infrastructure being built up is the Pentagon’s.) Meanwhile, Medicare is now slated to become insolvent in 2026, three years earlier than previously expected. As for the Social Security system, according to the latest government report, its costs will exceed its income next year and it’s expected to become insolvent in 2035. The result: retirement payments are likely to diminish and healthcare costs for aging Americans rise.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176558/

This country is spending so much taxpayer cash on wars and the so-called defense of the nation that it is slowly bankrupting the treasury….

War spending is bankrupting America.

Our nation is being preyed upon by a military industrial complex that is propped up by war profiteers, corrupt politicians and foreign governments.

America has so much to offer—creativity, ingenuity, vast natural resources, a rich heritage, a beautifully diverse populace, a freedom foundation unrivaled anywhere in the world, and opportunities galore—and yet our birthright is being sold out from under us so that power-hungry politicians, greedy military contractors, and bloodthirsty war hawks can make a hefty profit at our expense.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your hard-earned tax dollars are being used for national security and urgent military needs.

It’s all a ruse.

 
Even parts of our military see the dangers we are in with this out of control spending on worthless systems…instead we need a new approach to defense…..

If Congress approves, the Trump administration will spend about $750 billion on defense in fiscal year (FY) 2020. The unanswered question is whether that considerable sum will make America and its friends and allies any safer. I fear not.

One reason for this concern is that 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) sets military objectives that are unobtainable, inexecutable, unnecessary, and unaffordable. The Pentagon’s strategy is “to compete, deter, and win” in an “increasingly complex security environment” with China and Russia atop the list of potential adversaries. But how China and Russia are to be defeated is unstated, a deficiency pointedly noted in the report by the Commission on the NDS.  “. . . the NDS too often rests on questionable assumptions and weak analysis, and it leaves unanswered critical questions regarding howthe United States will meet the challenges of a more dangerous world.” It goes on to say, “. . . it does not articulate clear approaches to succeeding in peacetime competition or wartime conflict against those rivals. Resource shortfalls, unanticipated force demands, unfilled capability gaps, and other risk factors threaten DOD’s ability to fulfill the central goals of the NDS . . .” 

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2019/april/needed-workable-and-affordable-defense-strategy

The key is an “affordable” approach to defense……AFFORDABLE!

As it is now there is NOTHING affordable about the crap the M-IC has this nation spending hard cash on…….again the key is to find an approach that is….AFFORDABLE!

The privatization of war is NOT it!

Thoughts?