Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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O Really
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Re: Pentagon bloat thread

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What is the F-35, and what distinguishes it from other fighters? And what is the reason it hasn't been used in a combat mission?

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote:U.S. Navy cuts security access of two top intelligence officers

The exposures of high level waste, corruption and incompetence just keep coming and coming.
The article says, "There is no indication, nor do the allegations suggest, that in either case there was any breach of classified information," Rear Admiral John Kirby, Navy chief of information, said in a statement."

And yet, "Francis, a Malaysian national, is accused of providing prostitutes, money, concert tickets and other gifts in exchange for sensitive and classified Navy information, such as ship movements. He would use that information to arrange visits by U.S. Navy vessels to ports where his company had contracts."

The officers "have not been charged," but have had their security access cut. So, which is it? Did they trade confidential information for ho's or did they not?

If they disclosed classified information to a Malaysian pimp, they ought to be run out of the Navy and prosecuted for whatever charge applies. Unless, of course, they were only disclosing intelligence they believed to be wrong-doing, in which case they can go with their Malaysian pimp and the ho's to Russia, who will undoubtedly welcome them all.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote:Kind of a stretch to connect the two. ...
Yeah, I know.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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EpicWaste

The Defense Department's 2012 budget totaled $565.8 billion, more than the annual defense budgets of the 10 next largest military spenders combined, including Russia and China. How much of that money is spent as intended is impossible to determine.

:mrgreen:

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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I couldn't tell by the article - what were they actually convicted of?

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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OK, thanks. My Guess is that they'll be OK in sentencing.
BTW, do you happen to know if anybody got sacked from the plant for total incompetence in security?

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote:Your petition signature can't hurt. Others have gotten years or even decades. I think the felony convictions are already outrageous and that anything more than the average minor trespassing and vandalism receives makes them political prisoners.
I think they ought to turn them loose with a few community service hours and a short probation.

But your comment does beg the question - they aren't your average minor trespassers and vandals, are they? Their action is by their own comments political. Is it that surprising that they got a political response? On a danger scale of one to ten, however, I'd say they're like one, and the idiot in charge of security is like eight.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote:No, it's not surprising at all that the national security state prosecutes and convicts based on motivations rather than actual criminal acts, that's the definition of "political prisoner".
Maybe, but it also fits the legal parameters of "hate crime."

And if they let them off because the were "protesters" and not "vandals," would that not also be basing action on motivation rather than actual criminal acts?

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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I said "if" they let them off. Should have said "if they had let them off" which a prosecutor could have done if s/he found no value in prosecution.

But the concept of motivation is still what makes it a "hate crime" regardless of the community effect. If you assault a guy on the street because you want his money or because he insulted your dog, it's just assault. If you assault him because he's black, gay, whatever, it becomes a hate crime. Motivation.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote: What "let them off"? I posted that sentences equivalent to ones "the average minor trespassing and vandalism receives" would not bother me.
Right, but don't you think the "average minor trespassing and vandalism" culprit would get hit pretty hard given his/her prior arrest record with a couple of jail sentences for the same offense?

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote: Serial trespassers and vandals aren't convicted of felonies and no, I don't think they get hit all that hard unless they're nonviolent activists.
Or black.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Also, vandalism can be either misdemeanor or felony depending on the dollar value of damage. For example, they're wanting to charge Justin Bieber with a felony for egging his neighbors house because of the cost of repair to the surface. No matter what, it would be pretty ridiculous to put an 82 year old woman in jail, no matter what her non-violent crime.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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I used to know a guy who was an engineer with Grumman, who designed some of those ostensibly ridiculous parts. His explanations were pretty much in line with this article... http://conservativenewjersey.com/how-a- ... n-cost-600

Not everything that is expensive is wasteful.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote:Oh good, I thought the Pentagon was wasteful. Thanks.
I'm pretty sure there's a lot of waste by and on the military. But I don't think that waste is accurately characterized by expecting the Army to use Hummers from a local dealer instead of the much more expensive HumVee. And I don't think it's helping to reduce waste by skimping on the armor of the Humvees, either. Now as to why they needed so many HumVees in the first place, or why they were where they were when they got blown up or left behind...that might be a tale of waste.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote:Didn't Shrub start the wasteful Iraq War with Hummers from a local dealer? :D

See page 1 for multiple examples far worse than toilet seats.
Yes, I know. But those types of things won't get addressed any faster by people who use "hundred dollar hammers" and such as the smoking gun of military waste.

I think the uniform debacle is ridiculous. Why should office workers wear camo in the first place? Whatever happened to the all-purpose clothing referred to as "fatigues"? Suitable for all types of work other than actually trying to hide from someone shooting at you. I've generally thought the current uni's look like pajamas anyway.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote:Ex-soldier convicted in Iraqi death granted parole

5 years. If an Iraqi had kidnapped and murdered an American here s/he would have gotten the death sentence.
Maybe not if he were tried in Iraq.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Here's one... http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/mi ... 44039.html
And another... http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local ... 80321.html

But I think you're expecting an apple to be an orange. Your guy was convicted of (essentially) second degree murder for an act taken in a war zone in a foreign country. Not that what he did was right, but given that part of the soldier's job was to kill some Iraqis, his primary crime was not that he killed one, but that he killed one improperly. Sure, if an Iraqi had kidnapped and killed somebody in the US, he would have gotten the same sentence anybody else would get for the crime in the US. But if the circumstances were reversed, and Iraq was occupying the US and an Iraqi soldier kidnapped and killed an American, he probably wouldn't have been tried at all in Iraq, and more likely would not have received even five years. Whether the 15 year sentence with parole at 5 is reasonable or not is a separate issue, but I don't see it as a matter of hypocrisy - just different crimes and different facts and circumstances.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote: Do you have any foundation for your estimatation of what the Iraqi justice system would do or is it just knee-jerk prejudice?

If anything, "an act taken in a war zone in a foreign country" should be punished more harshly given that it harms our national interests.
I have no clue as to actual operation of the Iraqi justice system would do, if there is such a thing. I think they're still generally using the penal code from 1969. Since Iraq isn't occupying the US, and since they've had a bit of instability in their government over the past few years, it probably wouldn't help to see what they've done in the past. But then, they have do Article 409 of the penal code, that takes a somewhat cavalier approach to some murders.

And simply being part of the military occupation of another country isn't harming our national interests in itself? Does the occurrence of a few off-rail atrocities make it all that much worse? And in a country where "honor killings" are considered reasonable by a large number of the population?

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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It seems to me, in this instance, that you are putting more importance on the occasional aberration than on the underlying cause. Why aberration? Because the vast majority of US warriors does not kidnap and murder people. The vast majority does not shoot kids or unarmed non-combatants. On the other hand, all of them are imposing US will by force, and destroying property, culture, and lives. It is perfectly understandable and explainable (though not excusable) that in a violent, high stress and sometimes terrifying environment, somebody is going to freak out. Yes, the freak-out should be punished, but...

I think the official estimate is that around 20% of Iraqi war veterans have PTSD, as you would know, a reaction to their war experiences. Now, it's possible that our kidnapper/murderer in this instance was a bad ass who, had he not been in Iraq would have grabbed some guy out of a bar and committed the same crime. But nothing has been published that I've seen that would indicate that's likely. It seems more likely that it was his psychological/physical response to being in the situation he was in was the primary cause of his crime. So the US military gets to select those who enlist, trains them, decides what assignments they should be given, and supervises them in those assignments. Then when one goes off the rez s/he should be treated more harshly than a similar civilian crime committed with no extenuating circumstances? Homey don't think so.

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Re: Pentagon bloat, etc. thread

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Vrede wrote:Our supposed goal is to eventually leave Iraq without having created even more and more committed enemies. .
Ummm, I think that train may have left the station.

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