Category Archives: World News

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! November 23: Another Naval Disaster

sailors-lost-chialastri-combs-grosso.jpg

The U.S. Seventh Fleet was performing a joint training exercise with the Japanese 500 miles from Okinawa when a C-2A Greyhound plane carrying eleven American service members crashed in the Philippine Sea. Eight were quickly rescued and moved to the carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which the plane had been aiming for.

Airman Matthew Chialastri, Lt. Steven Combs and Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso (above) were all presumed dead after a two-day search.

According to CNN, this was the Seventh Fleet’s sixth major non-combat “incident” in 2017.

This count includes the deadly crashes of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S McCain, which we covered earlier in the year, as well as  the USS Antietam running into the ground of Tokyo Bay in January; the USS Lake Champlain crashing into a South Korean fishing boat in May; and the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold getting pegged by an out-of-control Japanese tugboat on November 18,  just days before the Greyhound crash.

BREAKING: USS John S. McCain Collision

By our count, the Seventh Fleet, which fired Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin in August, has suffered 20 non-combat American deaths this year. The McCain and Fitzgerald commanders were also removed. CNN cited a Navy report casting those fatal incidents “avoidable [and due to] numerous failures […] on the part of leadership.”

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-navy-plane-crash-sailors-missing-named-pacific-ocean-okinawa-japan/

http://time.com/5030829/uss-benfold-tug-boat-collision/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/22/politics/navy-aircraft-crash/index.html

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! November 4: Back in Kunduz

The American military was accused of slaughtering some civilians using airstrikes in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Familiar territory for us!

Related:

U.S. Bombs Hospital–UPDATE

New York Times put the civilian fatality number at either 13 or 19.

While a United States “independent” investigation found its strikes resulted in no civilian casualties and that “numerous enemy combatants were killed,” the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan found 10 civilians were killed.

Additionally, those civilians suffered their deaths while being coerced by “antigovernment elements”–members of the Taliban–to retrieve bodies from earlier fighting, according to the UN Mission’s Twitter account. This aligned with testimony an elderly villager with a head wound gave to the New York Times.

Air Force reported Afghanistan strikes nearly quadrupled to 900 in August and September of 2017, compared with “a similar period” from 2016.

Also:

The CIA is reportedly seeking authority to conduct its own drone strikes in Afghanistan, a first if approved, according to the New York Times.

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/04/us-airstrikes-kill-civilians-kunduz-afghanistan

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-casualties/u-s-investigation-finds-no-afghan-civilian-casualties-in-kunduz-strike-idUSKBN1D706V

 

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! October 23: Podesta Joins the Presidential Party

Tony Podesta 2009.jpg

Conservative outlet Daily Wire noticed lobbyist extraordinaire Tony Podesta (above) had been subpoenaed in August by the “Russia Ruins U.S. Elections 2016” investigative committee head Robert Mueller (below).

In Washington.Muller, the special counsel ...

This is only interesting because Hillary’s decrepit former campaign chairman John Podesta, now a partisan writer for Washington Post, had to cease and desist his unauthorized lobbying for Vladimir Putin before signing onto Hillary‘s RMS Titanic campaign for U.S. president in 2016.

Panama Papers

Apparently, ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and the Podesta Group both worked with the pro-Putin outfit European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. Tony Podesta pocketed over $1 million to lobby the American Feds, casting former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as a decent guy–without authorization from Washington to lobby on behalf of a foreign agent. Daily Wire reports Podesta registered these activities only after NBC blew the whistle.

Yanukovych (below) was exiled to Russia in 2014 after reportedly using his office to help the Kremlin undermine Ukraine.

Image result

Mueller started investigating Podesta’s possible violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act in October. Podesta put out a statement that his company always complies with lobbying restrictions, then resigned on October 30.

USA Today reports that while Podesta has worked on campaigns of Democrats including Ted Kennedy and George McGovern, Podesta Group itself works with Republicans as well, and their (now) former CEO Kimberley Fritts (below) was a Republican. [She jumped ship in November to start the new lobbying firm Cogent Strategies–with 40 percent of the Podesta staff.]

Kimberley Fritts is pictured. | AP Photo

However, Politico reports this transition was underway months ago. Like about the same time Tony Podesta got subpoenaed.

*

Mueller’s office and the Justice Department together have spent over $6 million on the investigation through September 30. The juiciest results of the probe thus far include Trump’s (oh so briefly) national security adviser Michael Flynn’s cooperation after admitting to lying to the FBI and Manafort’s indictment on twelve charges including conspiracy against the United States, money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent and multiple failures to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

Another Trump adviser, Rick Gates, was indicted and house-arrested alongside Manafort (also) on October 30.

Russian Relations

Although Manafort was recently sprung from that house arrest on $10 million bail to live in his Florida home with continued GPS monitoring, Mueller had serious misgivings, because as recently as November 30, Manafort ghostwrote an op-ed alongside a “long-time Russian colleague” who is “currently based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service.”

The “colleague,” with whom Manafort communed during the 2016 campaign, is Konstan Kilimnik. The pair’s piece was to run under the name of Oleg Voloshin.

Mueller is understandably concerned Manafort meant to muddy the waters of his upcoming trial (which probably explains the gag order against his drumming up support with rosy op-eds). Daily Beast has an email from Manafort to Kilimnik on November 29 that includes:

“[This draft] keeps [Voloshin’s] approach but takes out pieces that would not be good to mention.”

Manafort reportedly struck the statement that he “had an ear of the president [Yanukovych] on a more regular basis than even some his ministers.”

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.dailywire.com/news/22614/special-counsel-robert-mueller-now-investigating-emily-zanotti?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=051717-news&utm_campaign=dwtwitter#

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/30/tony-podesta-stepping-down-from-lobbying-giant-amid-mueller-probe-244314

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/01/who-tony-podesta-and-why-he-under-scrutiny-bob-muellers-russia-investigation/821166001/

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/16/podesta-group-ceo-kimberley-fritts-new-lobbying-firm-245557

http://www.businessinsider.com/robert-mueller-investigation-cost-trump-russia-2017-12

https://www.unian.info/politics/1648501-lutsenko-reads-out-accusations-of-treason-against-yanukovych-video.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/paul-manafort-rick-gates-told-surrender-special-prosecutor-probe-n815536

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/15/politics/manafort-bail-florida/index.html

https://www.thedailybeast.com/mueller-manafort-wrote-op-ed-with-russian-operative-last-month-4?ref=topic

https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-email-shows-paul-manaforts-heavy-hand-on-ghost-written-ukraine-op-ed

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! October 14: Al-Shabaab Burns up Mogadishu like Shish Kebab

Although the al-Qaeda affiliate has yet to claim responsibility, Somalian fundamentalist Islamic group al-Shabaab is suspected of detonating a truck bomb near Somalia’s ministry of foreign affairs on October 14, leveling several buildings.

Related:

Droning Africans

The explosives may have been stolen from the African Union peace-keeping mission Amisom, who have 20,000 troops in Somali. A Somalian government “expert” walked back the blame on the al-Shabaab terrorists, insisting they meant to target the foreign ministry and dumping the live truck next to an fuel truck instead was “very, very bad luck.” (For the terrorists?)

Initially the death toll hovered at “over 300.” By December it was up to 512. Two Americans were killed.

al-Shabaab-linked media reported the attack. However, according to The Guardian, al-Shabaab is known to avoid claiming responsibility for operations which it believes may significantly damage its public image among ordinary Somalis.

They also promised more terror attacks earlier this year after Trump reportedly vowed “new military efforts” against al-Shabaab.

The anti-Shabaab action should not be confused with America’s campaign against al-Shabaab rival ISIS in Somalia. In November, we hit Somalia’s ISIS faction, reportedly a base in Buqa. Express suggested Trump ordered the strikes as part of his promise to attack ISIS “ten times harder” following attacks on America, a declaration made just days after Sayfullo Saipov (below) allegedly slaughtered eight people in New York City with a rented U-haul truck on October 31 in the name of ISIS.

Photos of Sayfullo Saipov were taken in October 2016 after an arrest in St. Charles County, Missouri.

U.S. Africa Command reported “several terrorists” were killed, and Somalia’s government cooperated. This is at least the thirteenth American drone strike of al-Shabaab in 2017, although Russia has been pounding them pretty good.

America has been messing around in Somalia since at least 1993. Our raid of Mogadishu and its ensuing press coverage inspired the 2001 Ridley Scott movie Black Hawk Down.

Image: Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine.

In May, Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, 38 (above), was killed fighting al-Shabaab–the first American casualty in Somalia since the 1993 raid described above. Milliken was reportedly on SEAL Team Six, who killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

al-Shabaab have waged war on the Somalian government for over ten years.

 

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/15/truck-bomb-mogadishu-kills-people-somalia

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/03/africa/somalia-mogadishu-bombings-death-toll/index.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-air-strikes-isis-somalia-puntland-first-attack-buqa-qandala-al-shabaab-a8036371.html

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/875233/isis-us-airstrikes-somalia-donald-trump-extremism-new-york-terror-attack

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/11/03/u-s-military-carries-out-1st-airstrikes-against-isis-fighters-somalia/829704001/

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-military-hitting-isis-10-times-harder-nyc/story?id=50907689

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/navy-seal-killed-somalia-idd-15-year-veteran-kyle-milliken-n755836

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! September 13 and 29: Mnuchin Continues Opulent Employment; Tom Price Priced Out of Trump Administration

PHOTO: Louise Linton and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are pictured during their honeymoon in Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 5, 2017. <p itemprop=

Trump’s slimy Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin requested a $25,000/hour private Air Force jet to use throughout his honeymoon with actress Louise Linton last summer.

“The Secretary is a member of the National Security Council and has responsibility for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” [a Treasury] spokesman said in a statement. “It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft.”

Like he’s in the fucking X-Men or something.

Image result for blackbird xmen united

Except even they didn’t need a private jet to communicate, because Professor X was all up in their minds!!

Related:

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: August 3: Mick Mollifies Big Spenders

What does the Treasury Secretary even do, besides pose with sheets of increasingly-worthless (thanks, Federal Reserve) dollar bills?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, and his wife Louise Linton, hold up a sheet of new $1 bills, the first currency notes bearing his and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza's signatures, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. The Mnuchin-Carranza notes, which are a new series of 2017, 50-subject $1 notes, will be sent to the Federal Reserve to issue into circulation. (AP Photo/ap

 

The Hill reported the Treasury’s Inspector General opened a second investigation into his $25,000 trip from Washington to New York and back on August 15 (one week before his eclipse stunt). He took a commercial plane to the meeting with President Trump, but needed 25 g’s of Air Force jet to return. Mnuchin’s office fired back that they were merely required to provide additional information toward the original investigation.

On October 6, the IG found “no evidence of wrongdoing” in the nine Mnuchin trips reviewed (which cost taxpayers over $800,000 in private planes), but that “corners were cut” and the Trump administration must better justify private jet use in the future. One of the nine was a withdrawn request for the honeymoon. The most expensive was a four-day jaunt to Italy for the G-7 summit for $314,442; Mnuchin maintained he needed a private plane for “scheduling, [STUPID WORD ALERT] logistics, […] secure communications needs,” and “potential for developments during travel related to a number of issues.”

Senators High on Private Fly(ing)

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Speaking of pricey travel, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price could no longer afford the damage to his reputation after Politico reported his travel on private and military planes. (The exact amount is at least $400,000 and possibly as higher than $1 million. Reports vary.)

The final straw for Trump, interestingly, was Price’s half-assed offer to reimburse the government what he calculated as the price of his own seat on the (at least 24) flights: $52,000. Taxed-to-death American people no like. Price was forced to resign.

Image result for tom price

Related:

Trump Goes to War with Old People

Price did end up writing the $51,887.31 check to the Treasury.

Eric Hargan was installed as acting HHS Secretary and remains in the position, which is slightly different from the “active deputy secretary” slot he held under President George W. Bush.

Thanks to our sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/treasury-secretary-mnuchin-requested-government-jet-european-honeymoon/story?id=49777076

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/354862-inspector-general-launches-second-investigation-into-mnuchin-travel

http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/05/news/mnuchin-trips-government-planes/index.html

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/353162-health-secretary-tom-price-resigns

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/04/how-we-found-tom-prices-private-jets-215680

Trump Announces Eric Hargan as Acting HHS Secretary

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! August 30: Pentagon Plays with Truth

The Department of Defense adjusted the official number of Americans still serving in our longest-ever war, the nation-building of Afghanistan. While the actual number is “classified,” it was revealed to be at least 25 percent higher than the figure of 8,400 our employees previously fed us [our emphasis]:

“The number 11,000 is an approximation. It may be slightly above that, it may be slightly below that, it will certainly vary,” Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Jr., the director of the Joint Staff [below], told reporters at the Pentagon.

Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr.JPG

Related:

U.S. Bombs Hospital–UPDATE

The Sky’s the Limit…for Debt

McKenzie further acknowledged the Pentagon lied to the public about this for “six months or so.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis (who apparently now goes by “Jim”) mentioned to reporters the “very strange accounting procedure” by which the Pentagon discounts troops in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq deployed for less than 120 days from the official tally.

President Trump publicly ordered 4,000 more troops (not included in the 11,000-ish we now know about) into the country earlier this year. Because national security. In June, Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “We are not winning in Afghanistan right now, and we will correct this as soon as possible.”

According to Military Times, U.S. involvement peaked in 2010, with about 100,000 deployed. This followed an Obama-authorized “surge” of 33,000 in 2009 to counter al-Qaeda.

According to Associated Press, almost 2,400 Americans have perished in Afghanistan since we invaded following the Twin Towers terrorist attacks of 2001. Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the attacks, was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan–not Afghanistan, where we continue to keep thousands of troops–six years ago.

A “cap” of 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, reportedly set by Obama in 2016, seems to carry just as much weight as our budget “caps.” Or  the Constitutional requirement for the Congress to authorize war.

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/30/afghanistan-troop-levels-trump-242186

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/338076-us-to-send-about-4000-more-troops-to-afghanistan

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2016/07/06/a-timeline-of-u-s-troop-levels-in-afghanistan-since-2001/

https://apnews.com/b76f5d92b38d429c877564ad9ff9661a/APNewsBreak:-About-4,000-more-US-troops-to-go-to-Afghanistan

 

Another Black Hawk Crash

A U.S. Black Hawk chopper went down off the Yemen coast in a reported training accident on August 25.

Although five service members were rescued, one is still missing. The incident is being investigated by Central Command, under the leadership of General Joseph Votel. Votel reportedly visited the Saudi Arabian-Yemeni border just days before.

Five Missing Army Aviators Now Sought in “Recovery” rather than “Rescue”–Hawaii

According to the Post [our emphasis]:

The U.S. military maintains a small special operations base near Yemen’s port of Mukalla to facilitate an ongoing campaign targeting al-Qaeda loyalists there. The Pentagon has conducted more than 80 airstrikes in Yemen this year, officials say.

Also, Stars and Stripes indicates this is the same Special Ops outfit that conducted the disastrous Yemen raid in January, leaving two Americans (usually cited as one because the Federal Government doesn’t want to emphasize we fatally shot Obama-executed Anwar al-Awlaki‘s eight-year old daughter in the neck), multiple civilian women and children, and an American MV-22 Osprey helicopter destroyed:

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! January 29: Two Americans Killed

Stars and Stripes reports our Horn of Africa operations are primarily waged against al-Qaeda.

al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is reportedly the second-largest branch of al-Qaeda. According to Wikipedia, the branch is the most dangerous al-Qaeda arm currently, and emerged as central leadership of the terrorist organization weakened.

AQAP claimed responsibility for the fatal 2009 Little Rock, AR recruiting office shooting perpetrated by Abdulhakim Muhammad.

Grandma Kerry Shakes Head in Regret for Terrorist He Released with Kind Intentions

And [our emphasis again],

For more than two years, Yemen’s Saudi-backed government forces—with U.S. support and munitions—have been pitted against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, leading to a devastating humanitarian crisis.

[…]

Also this month, a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crashed off the coast of Australia. The Marine Corps announced Friday it had recovered the bodies of three Marines killed in that crash.

The Post has a more basic explanation of our “double death and destruction” presence in Yemen:

While the U.S. has remained focused on striking al-Qaeda, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia — and backed by the Pentagon — has waged a parallel war against Iranian-backed Houthi militants.

Don’t forget about al-Qaeda rival ISIS, who also wage guerrilla warfare in Yemen:

ISIS Bombings

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/08/26/american-service-member-missing-after-black-hawk-helicopter-crash-off-yemen/?utm_term=.862c992de377

https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/soldier-missing-5-rescued-after-black-hawk-crash-off-yemen-coast-1.484567#.WaF_RCiGNPZ

BREAKING: USS John S. McCain Collision

UPDATE 8/28/17

Washington Post identified the full list of sailors lost in the crash. All remains have been recovered.

Nathan Findley, 31:

Abraham Lopez, 39:

Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26:

Jacob Daniel Drake, 21:

Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23:

Corey George Ingram, 28;

Dustin Louis Doyon, 26:

John Henry Hoagland III, 20:

Logan Stephen Palmer, 23:

and Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22:

UPDATE 8/23/17

Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of the 7th Fleet, was relieved of duties in the wake of the USS John S. McCain collision.

Aucoin speaks following the USS Fitzgerald collision in June.

Aucoin was scheduled to retire next month, and his slated replacement, Rear Admiral Phillip Sawyer, took command.

“Some remains” of the ten missing sailors have been recovered by Navy divers, but no identifications have been made.

Three sailors’ families were informed their sons were missing: Logan Palmer, Ken Smith and Jacob Drake.

Also:

CNN and Wall Street Journal had details on the third and fourth 2017 Naval accidents in the Asian area. According to WSJ:

Two other accidents within U.S. Seventh Fleet’s area of responsibility occurred earlier this year. In May, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel, and in January, another cruiser, the USS Antietam, ran aground near its port in Yokosuka.

[our coloring]

Original post continues below.

America’s Navy reported the evening of August 20 that the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship in the South China Sea, specifically in Singapore‘s Strait of Malacca (6:24 AM on August 21 in Japan time.)

Five sailors are injured, with ten missing.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) maneuvers alongside the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) for a refueling-at-sea.

John S. McCain, pre-collision.

The other party was Alnic MC, an “oil and chemical tanker” out of Liberia.

The John S. McCain, damaged, made it to Changi Naval Base in Singapore.

The USS John S. McCain arrives at Changi Naval Base in Singapore following the Monday collision.

Damaged John S. McCain pulling into Singapore.

The collision left major damage to the port side of the USS John S. McCain, seen here in Singapore.

CNN reported on the port side damage of the John S. McCain (above).

When reporters asked President Trump about the collision, he reportedly responded, “That’s too bad.” The remark will likely be lambasted for the next few days.

The John S. McCain is named for Senator John McCain’s father and grandfather, both Navy Admirals.

According to CNN, this is the fourth U.S. Navy accident in Asian waters for 2017.

CNN “military analyst” Rick Francona predicted the 7th Fleet of the U.S. Navy will undergo a leadership change.

“How does a state-of-the-art Navy destroyer — equipped with multiple radar systems and communications gear with a full bridge watch — not see, detect and evade a 30,000-ton slow-moving (10 knots) behemoth?” Francona asked.

 

United States Seventh Fleet -logo (hi-res).jpg

The 7th Fleet is based in Yokosuka, Japan; its objectives include defense of the Korean peninsula, according to Wikipedia. According to America’s Navy, “At any given time there are 70-80 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft and approximately 40,000 Sailors and Marines in [the 48 million square mile area of operation].”

 

The oil and chemical tanker Alnic MC after Monday&#39;s collision off Johor, Malaysia.

The 505-foot Alnic MC, which reported no injuries and denies any oil was spilled. (“Merchant maritime websites” tout the length at 600 feet, however, according to CNN. Because size matters.)

A Navy official told CNN the John S. McCain briefly lost steering before the collision, but it was regained.

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Of the Asian accidents made possible this year by the world’s largest, most expensive and intrusive military of all time attempting to micromanage the affairs of all other countries, the USS Fitzgeralds disastrous collision with Filipino merchant ship MVACX Crystal outside Tokyo, Japan on June 17 resulted in perhaps the most scathing indictment of leadership.

Seven U.S. sailors (below, thanks New York Times: Xavier Martin, 24; Shingo Douglass, 25; Dakota Rigsby, 19; Carlos Sibayan, 23; Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25; Noe Hernandez, 26; and Gary Rehm Jr., 37) perished, apparently drowning in a breached berthing compartment.

The Fitzgerald (two pictures below, thanks to Washington Post) is also a guided missile destroyer.

Three leaders of the Fitzgerald at the time were removed from duty on August 17. Unfortunately, they all have very similar names (from left to right, above, thanks to USNI News): Commander Bryce Benson, executive officer Commander Sean Babbitt and command master chief (CMC) Brice Baldwin.

None of the three were on the Fitzgerald‘s bridge at the time of collision. In fact, the crash crush[ed] and warp[ed] Benson’s stateroom […] leaving him hanging to the side of the hull in the open air for 15 minutes.

Several subordinate officers had to pop the stateroom door with a sledgehammer and their own bodies, then form a human chain to retrieve Benson, who was medically evacuated by Japanese helicopter.

[VCNO Admiral Bill] Moran singled out the actions of Gary Leo Rehm Jr., who was advanced to Chief Petty Officer posthumously this week. Rehm helped get several sailors out to the exits while Berthing 2 was flooding and was one of the seven who died.

Moran reportedly acknowledged “serious mistakes were made by members of the crew” and that sailors “lost situational awareness.”

New York Times wondered,

[W]hy did [lookouts] not see the 728-foot freighter, the ACX Crystal, stacked with more than 1,000 containers, bearing on the destroyer?

According to USNI News, repair costs “could easily rise above $500 million.”

New York Times reports the Fitzgerald cost $1.5 billion and, like the John S. McCain, is much smaller than its collision partner. [And sustained much more damage. And was supposed to be more maneuverable and able to avoid collisions.]

In fact, Heavy reported back in June that the Crystal was chartered by a Japanese company, and its crew–much smaller than that of the 300-plus Fitzgerald–sustained no injuries.

[T]he ACX Crystal is being investigated for possibly making a sharp turn before the collision. However, that turn might have come after the collision, and ACX Crystal could have been operating on autopilot, one expert said.

Several additional sailors, on duty the night of June 17, were also removed. The Navy, citing “inadequate leadership,” commented that about twelve sailors in all will be disciplined.

Benson, Babbitt and Baldwin’s Naval careers are likely finished.

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America proceeded with ten days of joint military exercises with South Korea beginning today. North Korea (recently engaged in a verbal spat with Trump over who gets to actually trigger the destruction of all mankind) commented yesterday these drills signified “reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.”

However, BREAKING UPDATE 12:00 PM Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson on August 21 ordered a one-day pause in operations “to ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measures to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world.”

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=102034

http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/pages/SeventhFleet.aspx#.WZruxyiGNPY

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/08/17/top-two-officers-and-other-sailors-aboard-the-uss-fitzgerald-to-be-disciplined-following-deadly-collision-at-sea/?utm_term=.9d9e3139e123

USS Fitzgerald Command Triad Removed Following Early Investigation Results

ACX Crystal: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/20/asia/us-navy-destroyer-collision-singapore/index.html

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/08/23/US-Navy-removes-Pacific-Fleet-commander-after-deadly-warship-crashes/9651503467007/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-navy-ship-collision-20170822-story.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-navy-to-relieve-admiral-of-command-after-collisions-1503448987

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/08/24/these-are-the-10-sailors-lost-from-the-uss-john-s-mccain/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.b8b3fadbb26f

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 28: Budget Battles

Because American raids, bombs and special operations have not hurt the world enough this year, the big-military warmongers went to bat for Pentagon budget increases beyond those Trump proposed by redistributing from domestic programs such as EPA.

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! January 29: Two Americans Killed

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 20, 25, 27–Recent American Military Operations

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! Fighting Death with Destruction–April 6

U.S. accidentally kills allies

U.S. aims 10-ton bomb at 800 ISIS fighters, reportedly only hits 36

Trump had requested $603,000,000,000, which The Hill noted merely continued Obama’s level of battle bloat, with no new soldiers, no new ships and even eight fewer aircraft than Obama’s goals.

This is not to be confused with domestic aircraft slated to be used in foreign military operations, because those are billed to the DEA budget, apparently:

The Sky’s the Limit…for Debt

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, eviscerated the budget as [our emphasis]: “inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress.”

 Well then.

The irony of the phrase “dead on arrival” to characterize the Trump budget by a Republican reputed to have a hard-on for making things hard on the people crawling out of the smoldering wreckage we create in the name of freedom was, sadly, overlooked.

House Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) also declared the Trump proposal “basically dead on arrival.”

McCain and other “defense hawks” are reportedly determined to seize a full $640 billion from the American people this year to destroy non-American people.

The Pentagon has said this budget proposal is about fixing the readiness of the force it currently has and that Congress can expect the buildup to start in fiscal year 2019. But defense hawks say that’s an unnecessary and potentially harmful delay.

[our emphasis]

Todd Harrison, a defense budget analyst at Center for Strategic and International Studies, opined the Armed Services committee would look foolish if spending were authorized and not subsequently appropriated. 

“It undermines some of the authority of the authorizers when they authorize things that don’t ultimately get appropriated,” he said. “You can’t spend an authorization.”

Harrison also noted the 2011 Budget Control Act capped defense spending at $549 billion per year (as we will see soon, that don’t mean shit):

“You might have to reprioritize, maybe delay a few weapons systems. But Congress is always good at sweeping up money that hasn’t been spent. You know, shake couch cushions and a few dollars fall out.”

*

Jumping to non-military spending momentarily, while addressing her alma mater Wellesley College on May 26, Hillary Clinton had strong words on Trump’s proposal to marginally secure the crumbling financial future of the day’s graduates by cutting a paltry $3.6 billion in Federal Government bloat over the next ten years.

Reuters:

“Look at the budget that was just proposed in Washington. It is an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us.

“It grossly underfunds public education, mental health and even efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.08.35 PM

Above: academic people always wear special costumes so we take them seriously. Photo from Quartz, who kindly compiled Hillary’s entire speech.

“You are graduating a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason. Just log on to social media for 10 seconds, it will hit you right in the face,” she said, citing hoax online reports that her campaign was tied to a Washington pizzeria that operated a child sex ring.

[Hillary does love to assault other nations: ]

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! Fighting Death with Destruction–April 6

Interestingly, Hillary seemed to address the all-female institution’s track record of suppressing disagreeable speech, which we have previously noted:

[Clinton] urged graduates of the liberal-leaning school […] not to retreat into their own partisan echo chambers,
saying, “your learning, listening and serving should include people who don’t agree with you politically.”

April 12–Chik-fil-A Under Assault Again at Duquesne; Wellesley Defends First Amendment Disregard and Outlines Which Genders May Apply

[all our emphasis]

*

Back to the defense budget. As we have previously reported, concealing waste at the Pentagon is a way of life for paper-pushers whose livelihood hinges on destroying strangers on the other side of the world:

December Disaster: Stories We Missed!

The two major parties usually collude for a compromise that adds more debt, more death and more disgrace to our nation:

In Defense of Defense

Forbes reported on July 14 that the House had overwhelmingly passed a $696,500,000,000 defense bill, which, for those keeping score, was even larger than the monstrous amount McCain & Company insisted was necessary for the military’s survival:

117 House Democrats and 227 Republicans voted for the bill.

We have been unable to find the Senate version of a defense bill on the Appropriations Committee calendar.

As the Forbes editorial points out, this is an increase of over 18% in military spending from Obama’s final year. What $20,000,000,000,000 national debt???

Thanks to our sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/335352-defense-hawks-gird-for-budget-brawl

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/05/trump-budget-proposal-con/527667/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-politics-clinton-idUSKBN18M05J

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trumps-budget-not-perfect-but-a-step-in-the-right-direction/article/2624058

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 26: Speaking of Syria…

Army Spc. Etienne J. Murphy, 22, (below) was killed in Syria, reportedly due to a non-tactical vehicular rollover, according to Good Morning America.

Murphy’s death was under investigation at the time of the GMA report. We have not found further details.

Murphy, with his mother Sheila, was dubbed “a true American hero” by Boston Herald.

We are not at war with Syria, but put our troops there in early 2016 anyway. In addition to Murphy, we have lost U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton (IED), and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Austin L. Bieren (“non-combat related incident”).

Additionally, America dropped over 12,000 bombs on Syria in 2016.

The United Kingdom’s Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported America killed 470 civilians (137 of them children) from May 23 to June 23. This was the highest one-month toll since raids began in September 2014.

In February the U.S. and allies were cited by watchdog groups for now killing more civilians than Russia by bomb.

“For the first time, US-led strikes appeared to be killing more non-combatants than Russia’s notoriously brutal air campaign,” Airwars […] report[ed]. “Though that pattern may be reversed, for the moment the Coalition is out-killing Russia.”

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/us-member-killed-vehicle-rollover-syria-165504389–abc-news-topstories.html

https://www.airforcetimes.com/articles/dod-identifies-airman-who-died-in-non-combat-incident-in-syria

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-many-bombs-us-dropped-2016-1

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/23/us-led-coalition-kills-nearly-500-civilians-one-month-syria/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/23/us-led-coalition-killing-civilians-russia/