New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/video-marines-make-grand-entrance-training-exercise/VIDEO: Marines Make GRAND Entrance During Training ExerciseMarines definitely know how to make a grand entrance, and this training exercise was no different.  See Marines practice this grand entrance during a training exercise. Watch this joint exercise with the U.S. Marines and South Korean forces as they execute a forcible entry onto a South Korean shore in March.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/video-marines-make-grand-entrance-training-exercise/

VIDEO: Marines Make GRAND Entrance During Training Exercise

Marines definitely know how to make a grand entrance, and this training exercise was no different.  See Marines practice this grand entrance during a training exercise. Watch this joint exercise with the U.S. Marines and South Korean forces as they execute a forcible entry onto a South Korean shore in March.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/cia-using-us-air-force-carry-drone-strikes-pakistan/CIA using US air force to carry out drone strikes in PakistanUS Air Force pilots are carrying out targeted drone strikes in Pakistan at the behest of the CIA, says a new documentary. The revelation has once again brought into question the legality of the largest targeted killing program in history.
A documentary film, entitled “Drone” due for release on Tuesday, takes a critical look at the five-year drone program that has taken the lives of over 2,400 people, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Through interviews with drone operators, it is revealed that Air Force pilots at Creech air force base, around 75 kilometers from Las Vegas in the Mojave desert, are carrying out drone attacks for the CIA.
“The CIA might be the customer but the air force has always flown it,” Brandon Bryant, one of the pilots who appears in Drone, told British newspaper The Guardian who obtained a clip of the film.
He identified the pilots of the drones as the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron. Another former drone operator from the documentary film said the squadron is “obsessively secretive” and its members are treated like “crown jewels” at the base.
“They don’t hang out with anyone else. Once they got into the 17th and got upgraded operationally, they pretty much stopped talking to us. They would only hang out among themselves like a high school clique, a gang or something.”
The squadron itself is believed to have 300 pilots flying 35 Predator drones and is set apart from rest of the base.
“They wouldn’t even let us walk by it, they were just so protective of it,” said Michael Haas, a former drone operator.
The participation of the military in a targeted killing program raises significant legality issues. Bryant told the documentary’s makers the “CIA label” is merely an excuse “not to have to give up any information.”
“There is a lie hidden within that truth. And the lie is that it’s always been the air force that has flown those missions,” he said.
President Barack Obama’s drone program hit its five-year anniversary this January amid criticism of civilian casualties in Pakistan. Back in October the Bureau of Investigative Journalism published a report claiming that between 416 and 951 civilians have died in the targeted killings so far.
Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project told The Guardian the CIA should be focusing its resources on analyzing intelligence rather than drone attacks.
“It will come as a surprise to most Americans if the CIA is directing the military to carry out warlike activities. The agency should be collecting and analyzing foreign intelligence, not presiding over a massive killing apparatus,” she said.
Aside from the military’s involvement in the CIA’s drone program, the documentary focuses on the bigger picture and the impact the use of drones has had on modern warfare. The documentary’s director, Tonje Hessen Schei, said that her objective in making the film was to get the public to discuss and analyze the issue.
“The US is setting a very dangerous precedent with their use of drones, and right now Europe is moving forward acquiring armed drones – so we are at an important turning point and I believe it is crucial that we establish strong international rules for the use of drones,” she told Netwars. She also called for a full, independent investigation into civilian deaths in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
The civilian deaths from US drone attacks in Pakistan have become a significant stumbling block in bilateral relations. Pakistan recently asked Washington to limit the amount of drone attacks in Pakistan as the government enters into negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban.
(RT.com)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/cia-using-us-air-force-carry-drone-strikes-pakistan/

CIA using US air force to carry out drone strikes in Pakistan

US Air Force pilots are carrying out targeted drone strikes in Pakistan at the behest of the CIA, says a new documentary. The revelation has once again brought into question the legality of the largest targeted killing program in history.

A documentary film, entitled “Drone” due for release on Tuesday, takes a critical look at the five-year drone program that has taken the lives of over 2,400 people, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Through interviews with drone operators, it is revealed that Air Force pilots at Creech air force base, around 75 kilometers from Las Vegas in the Mojave desert, are carrying out drone attacks for the CIA.

“The CIA might be the customer but the air force has always flown it,” Brandon Bryant, one of the pilots who appears in Drone, told British newspaper The Guardian who obtained a clip of the film.

He identified the pilots of the drones as the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron. Another former drone operator from the documentary film said the squadron is “obsessively secretive” and its members are treated like “crown jewels” at the base.

“They don’t hang out with anyone else. Once they got into the 17th and got upgraded operationally, they pretty much stopped talking to us. They would only hang out among themselves like a high school clique, a gang or something.”

The squadron itself is believed to have 300 pilots flying 35 Predator drones and is set apart from rest of the base.

“They wouldn’t even let us walk by it, they were just so protective of it,” said Michael Haas, a former drone operator.

The participation of the military in a targeted killing program raises significant legality issues. Bryant told the documentary’s makers the “CIA label” is merely an excuse “not to have to give up any information.”

“There is a lie hidden within that truth. And the lie is that it’s always been the air force that has flown those missions,” he said.

President Barack Obama’s drone program hit its five-year anniversary this January amid criticism of civilian casualties in Pakistan. Back in October the Bureau of Investigative Journalism published a report claiming that between 416 and 951 civilians have died in the targeted killings so far.

Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project told The Guardian the CIA should be focusing its resources on analyzing intelligence rather than drone attacks.

“It will come as a surprise to most Americans if the CIA is directing the military to carry out warlike activities. The agency should be collecting and analyzing foreign intelligence, not presiding over a massive killing apparatus,” she said.

Aside from the military’s involvement in the CIA’s drone program, the documentary focuses on the bigger picture and the impact the use of drones has had on modern warfare. The documentary’s director, Tonje Hessen Schei, said that her objective in making the film was to get the public to discuss and analyze the issue.

“The US is setting a very dangerous precedent with their use of drones, and right now Europe is moving forward acquiring armed drones – so we are at an important turning point and I believe it is crucial that we establish strong international rules for the use of drones,” she told Netwars. She also called for a full, independent investigation into civilian deaths in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The civilian deaths from US drone attacks in Pakistan have become a significant stumbling block in bilateral relations. Pakistan recently asked Washington to limit the amount of drone attacks in Pakistan as the government enters into negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban.

(RT.com)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/397-billion-spent-f-35-fighter-jet-worth/$397 Billion Spent on The F-35 Fighter Jet, Is It Worth It?!Several years late and considerably over budget, the development of the F-35 Lightning II, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has become the most expensive aircraft program in history.
$84 billion has been spent without a single contracted aircraft being delivered. The Government Accountability Office has estimated a total sum of $397 billion, twice the initially projected cost. (1)
Recently, persistent software issues and testing delays have pushed back fielding of the aircraft at least another year. The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is a software program that monitors the internal diagnostics for mechanical issues, and it has the ability to ground itself, regardless of operator or maintainer input. While it is intended as a high tech safety measure, ALIS has repeatedly proven itself to make poor decisions by disenabling serviceable aircraft. The Defense Department is working with the idea of allowing human personnel to override the system, and a software update has been released. (2)
Another recently publicized setback is the helmet that not only displays flight data, but allows the pilot to “see through” the aircraft as a result of sensors and multiple cameras. The technology has been streaming jittery signals as a result of aircraft vibrations. Developers began funding on an alternate helmet, but supposedly the issue has been resolved. The list of major issues with the F-35 regarding safety and performance is lengthy, and some just seem ridiculous to be occurring this far into development. For instance,
The afterburners cannot be used without damaging the aircraft. (11)
There will be no ROVER feed available for ground troops even though the fighter’s role includes CAS.
The F-35C takes 43 seconds longer than an F-16 to accelerate from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2, and in order to achieve top speed of Mach 1.6, it will have to take a series of complex maneuvers that will exhaust nearly all on board fuel.
Besides being slow, the aircraft does not maneuver well.
The F-35B is too heavy and unbalanced for it’s intended role of Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL). Titanium may have to be replaced by lighter aluminum, and many of the safety features have been removed to lighten the aircraft.
The distributed Aperture System (DAS) that is supposed to detect, track, and target hostile fire, confuses the F-35′s own flares for incoming missiles.
Radar and navigation systems do not work.
High susceptibility to lightning  (ironic, considering its name).
Undisclosed concerns with the effectiveness of its stealth capabilities.




That list is by no means complete. Many of the major performance issues stem from the F-35B variant, designed for the Marine Corps. In a recent article in War is Boring on the website Medium, the authormakes a strong case for the incorporation of  VTOL technology being the main reason the JSF program is failing. (3) They set out to make something to do everything, but in the end, it can do none of it.
In the article, the author argues that VTOL is a more novel than practical technology, and the added mass of the engine inhibits the potential for the aircraft in many areas of performance. He calls it a “gimmick” that Marines feel is part of their identity, and goes on to cite the Harrier Jump Jet’s flaws including short mission duration, limited payload, and the infeasibility of VTOL use because of the threat of foreign object damage to the engine. From the article:
“A plane taking off vertically gets no lift from the wings. All the flight forces must come from the downward engine blast. Forcing the motor to do all the work results in three design drawbacks: a big, hot engine with almost no safety margin; an unsafe airframe that must be thinly built, with tiny wings, in order to keep the plane’s weight less than the down-thrust of the engine; and minimal fuel and weapons load, also to save weight.”
The added bulk also reduces the pilot’s visibility making situational awareness in a dogfight impossible. This lack of visibility is supposed to be made up for by the augmented reality technology helmet, but besides not working correctly, pilots have suggested that the lower resolution images are no substitute for a the naked eye scanning the sky for the tiny dots that could be quickly approaching hostile aircraft.




There had been talk about totally dropping the F-35B and focusing on the conventional takeoff Army and Navy variants, but it’s not realistic because those models are built into the same bulky fuselage that is already incorporated for the engine. They would still suffer from the effects of the added bulk, and if you switched out the engine and changed the shape, there wouldn’t be any resemblance to the plane Lockheed Martin was originally contracted to build.
Regardless of what you think about the necessity of VTOL, the Marines see the importance, and they need to fill the role of the Harrier. While they will still maintain an operational Harrier fleet, the F-35B is its intended successor. They’re not the only ones. Britain has retired their Harriers, and is also in line for the F-35.
Unfortunately, the F-35 is intended to replace not just the Harrier, but also the F-16, F/A-18, F-117, and the A-10. In fact, the A-10 Warthog, the Air Force’s most cost efficient CAS aircraft, is being retired early in order to save the failing JSF program. The talking points from those responsible would have you believe that future wars are predictable, and the A-10 will not play a foreseeable role. Senators(the ones who’s pockets aren’t being stuffed by Lockheed Martin’s lobbyists) and soldiers alike, are fuming over the absurdity of such a move. (4) If you’ve ever been outgunned in a firefight in Afghanistan and had A-10s arrive on station, you’d know that the game will quickly change in your favor. Incredibly low strafing runs rattling the ground with the unmistakable “BRRRRAP” of the 30mm rotary cannon is undeniably a better force multiplier than a mystery explosion from an unseen and distant aircraft. Regardless of any arguments against the effectiveness of the A-10, retiring an aircraft before its replacement is in service is just ridiculous.
We are left with many gaps in our air arsenal, and we only have faith in the JSF program to fill it. In fact many of the world’s nations that I would consider “the good guys” are depending on this program for the security of their borders and interests abroad. South Korea just committed to buying 40 of the F-35s after a two year competition that weighed price and capability (5). Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of business development for the F-35 program called the competition an “open, transparent process.” That must have been one ugly competition if the jet that won it doesn’t actually work. South Korea is now the tenth nation to officially get on board the F-35 bandwagon. The other nations are US, Britain, Italy, Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Japan, Israel, and Turkey.

 

To me, that list indicates that there is no way that the F-35 program will be scrapped. That doesn’t mean that potential buyers aren’t getting cold feet, and that other manufacturers aren’t seizing the opportunity. France is trying to jump the gun and sell Canada their own jet. (6) Canada is looking to retire their fleet of CF-18s within the next five years, and had tentative plans to buy into the F-35. France recognized this opportunity, and has offered to sell Canada their combat proven Dassault Rafale fighter along with the intellectual property that would allow Canada to create an entire industry around the platform, thus creating jobs and boosting the economy in the process. Canada has also been eyeing the Boeing Super Hornet, Saab Gripen, and the Eurofighter Typhoon as possible replacements for the CF-18. The point being here, that Lockheed Martin is running the risk of losing very important sales with the delays and setbacks.

 
Italy had previously reduced its investment in the F-35 program from 131 to 90 jets, and is currently considering making additional cuts to the size of their order.
Boeing is pushing hard to fill the niches with their very own aircraft. They suggest that the less stealthy, but extremely agile and heavily armed F/A-18 Super Hornet can do as good of a job or better than the F-35 for less than half the cost to produce as well as maintain, and it’s combat proven and ready to go (9). They are also lobbying their EA-18G Growler variant as an aircraft who’s electronic warfare and jamming capabilities far exceed that of the F-35 and its “limited,” according to Boeing, stealth capability(8).
Alarmingly, lost business and gaps in our air fleet aren’t the only major issues with the setbacks. The delays are also giving our rivals time and opportunity to bridge the technological gap. According to a Washington Times article, the Chinese are now implementing various technologies stolen from the F-35 program into their Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 stealth fighters via cyber attacks in 2007 (7). China’s acquisition of these fifth generation technologies was confirmed by both the Pentagon and a Chinese government news source. Some of the newly acquired tech could be seen in photographs from a recent demonstration of the J-20. Obvious body shape modifications for the purpose of reducing radar detection were apparent as well as a new radar absorbing coating was added. Other upgrades based on stolen F-35 technologies include: an electro-optical targeting system, giving the J-20 better strike capabilities at a broader range of targets, a fire control array radar system, and the J-20 also added a divertless supersonic inlet and a thrust vectoring nozzle. These are immense upgrades to the engine, boosting both power and reliability. Up until now China has been lagging behind in their jet engine program because of a stagnation in aircraft technology development. The article also hinted that some of the stolen technologies were too secret to mention. This could be disastrous, as the F-35 targeting sensor technology was to operate on the assumption that the enemy aircraft would be ignorant of and unable to counter the technology. The Chinese were practical in their application of the designs, and purposefully left out the VTOL ability and all the headaches that come with it. The new jets are on track to become what the F-35 was supposed to be, and could put their air capability on the level of the F-22 Raptor.


This got me thinking… What ever happened to the F-22 Raptor? Isn’t that supposed to be, still to this day, an unrivaled aircraft? Well, F-22 production was halted because of “high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air missions because of delays in Russian and Chinese fighter programs, a ban on exports, and development of the cheaper and more versatile.” That’s a pretty painful statement, being that the F-35 will eclipse any cost of the F-22, the Chinese and Russians now have our technology, and we will surpass the newest 2015 deadline for putting the JSF into service.
The F-22 was expensive, and did have a few persistent issues that we wont delve into here. Yet, it worked, and it really is an untouchable aircraft. As the cliche goes, hindsight is 20/20, but isn’t it more of a common sense issue that trying to build a super stealth war plane from the ground up, during a poor economy, for the sake of saving money may not be a good idea? Now we are stuck with a less capable(not capable as of now) air craft for the same unit price as the F-22, or more if you want a pimped out carrier model or the Navy F-35C  variant with heated leather seats, winter floor mats, and clear coat.



 
Any projected sales costs from Lockheed Martin refuting this is bogus, and is nothing more than the result of millions of additional dollars spent lobbying to put a salvageable spin on things.
Lockheed Martin’s failings have led to a strain in relations with the Pentagon. The defense budget cannot afford to continue bailing out the company. Washington has made Lockheed Martin cough up some of the additional costs, which seems like a good idea, but will only lead to larger contracts in the future in order to deal with unforeseen setbacks. Therein lies the problem. Lockheed Martin has been in cahoots with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for multiple decades, ever since the development of the F-117. That foot-in-the-door has given them somewhat of a monopoly on contracts because of the lack of competition resulting from their access to DARPA’s vast technological resources and healthy funding. While they have continued to come out with awesome stealth jets and unmanned stealth aerial vehicles (not to mention the secret stuff we don’t know about), one must ask the question: How would the US go about separating Lockheed Martin, a company so interwoven with the secret fabric of the Pentagon and mostly dependent on gigantic government contracts, from DARPA, in the event of their stagnation or plateau of technological development without rustling the jimmys of some of the richest, most powerful people on the planet? You don’t.
In “The Jet that Ate the Pentagon” video at the top of the article, some good points are made, mainly about the problems of lobbying and the inability to audit exactly how and where these crazy sums of tax dollars are being spent. Yet, other points brought up are just flat out dumb.
For example, one of the speakers suggest that the money would be better spent funding education, and he sounded like he meant it. I’m not downplaying the importance of education, but defense budget is defense budget. At no point, ever, will the funding that we trim from defense be allocated to education. What about the active duty families that sacrifice the most for our nation? Troops are taking pay cuts(10), the commissaries are closing, health benefits are being slashed, and the overall quality of life for those that sacrifice the most is plummeting. If you’re cutting 100,000 plus service members from the fighting force, wouldn’t you think that the remaining few would be able to sustain a better quality of life while the government still saves considerably on the budget? Yet, they are being told they must choose between being properly outfitted in battle or being able to make ends meet. Meanwhile, we’re shoveling billions, as quickly as possible, into the sinking ship that is the F-35.

Another poor argument from the video is the moral implications of war profiteering. Although I am a little bitter about Dick Cheney making millions operating porta-johns in Iraq, while I probably never cleared a hundred thousand in two extended tours of fighting my ass off, this isn’t that. Air supremacy is a key factor in this never ending battle for world dominance. We are the United-frigging-States of America, and if we don’t have the biggest and the best, we will fall. The idea of world peace or a neutral America is unrealistic to the point of being ridiculous. Humans are a warring species. If violence wasn’t an imperative evolutionary trait, it would have been bred out of us by now. Today’s availability and speed of information has shown us that we are not the shining beacon of purity and freedom that we claim to be, but many of these self-righteous saints do not fathom the hypocrisy in their ability to get on a soap box and flaunt their soft, morally superior objections.
To them I say: It is the military industrial complex’s evil exploitation and manipulation of other nations and their resources across the globe that has given you the conveniences and comforts that you take for granted. Your education, your health, and your way of life are all a result of our imperial, militarized government making others fear us enough into giving up what is theirs for our benefit while deterring other empires from doing the same to us.  That same sinister military industrial complex has also given you the ability to hold your soft, and proudly defenseless position on the sanctimonious high ground as you exonerate yourself from any responsibility, while slamming those that afford you that right, without threat to your own safety.
So what I am saying is that regardless of your thoughts on war being bad and how much we spend on defense, America and her allies need these fifth generation, multi-role fighter jets in the sky, yesterday. We need the ability to maintain our borders and our interests abroad in this increasingly volatile world. I really want the JSF to work, and would like to see Lockheed Martin make all of us naysayers eat our words, but as of right now, we are in serious trouble.
(Will / Funker530)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/397-billion-spent-f-35-fighter-jet-worth/

$397 Billion Spent on The F-35 Fighter Jet, Is It Worth It?!

Several years late and considerably over budget, the development of the F-35 Lightning II, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has become the most expensive aircraft program in history.

$84 billion has been spent without a single contracted aircraft being delivered. The Government Accountability Office has estimated a total sum of $397 billion, twice the initially projected cost. (1)

Recently, persistent software issues and testing delays have pushed back fielding of the aircraft at least another year. The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is a software program that monitors the internal diagnostics for mechanical issues, and it has the ability to ground itself, regardless of operator or maintainer input. While it is intended as a high tech safety measure, ALIS has repeatedly proven itself to make poor decisions by disenabling serviceable aircraft. The Defense Department is working with the idea of allowing human personnel to override the system, and a software update has been released. (2)

Another recently publicized setback is the helmet that not only displays flight data, but allows the pilot to “see through” the aircraft as a result of sensors and multiple cameras. The technology has been streaming jittery signals as a result of aircraft vibrations. Developers began funding on an alternate helmet, but supposedly the issue has been resolved. The list of major issues with the F-35 regarding safety and performance is lengthy, and some just seem ridiculous to be occurring this far into development. For instance,

  • The afterburners cannot be used without damaging the aircraft. (11)
  • There will be no ROVER feed available for ground troops even though the fighter’s role includes CAS.
  • The F-35C takes 43 seconds longer than an F-16 to accelerate from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2, and in order to achieve top speed of Mach 1.6, it will have to take a series of complex maneuvers that will exhaust nearly all on board fuel.
  • Besides being slow, the aircraft does not maneuver well.
  • The F-35B is too heavy and unbalanced for it’s intended role of Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL). Titanium may have to be replaced by lighter aluminum, and many of the safety features have been removed to lighten the aircraft.
  • The distributed Aperture System (DAS) that is supposed to detect, track, and target hostile fire, confuses the F-35′s own flares for incoming missiles.
  • Radar and navigation systems do not work.
  • High susceptibility to lightning  (ironic, considering its name).
  • Undisclosed concerns with the effectiveness of its stealth capabilities.

That list is by no means complete. Many of the major performance issues stem from the F-35B variant, designed for the Marine Corps. In a recent article in War is Boring on the website Medium, the authormakes a strong case for the incorporation of  VTOL technology being the main reason the JSF program is failing. (3) They set out to make something to do everything, but in the end, it can do none of it.

In the article, the author argues that VTOL is a more novel than practical technology, and the added mass of the engine inhibits the potential for the aircraft in many areas of performance. He calls it a “gimmick” that Marines feel is part of their identity, and goes on to cite the Harrier Jump Jet’s flaws including short mission duration, limited payload, and the infeasibility of VTOL use because of the threat of foreign object damage to the engine. From the article:

“A plane taking off vertically gets no lift from the wings. All the flight forces must come from the downward engine blast. Forcing the motor to do all the work results in three design drawbacks: a big, hot engine with almost no safety margin; an unsafe airframe that must be thinly built, with tiny wings, in order to keep the plane’s weight less than the down-thrust of the engine; and minimal fuel and weapons load, also to save weight.”

The added bulk also reduces the pilot’s visibility making situational awareness in a dogfight impossible. This lack of visibility is supposed to be made up for by the augmented reality technology helmet, but besides not working correctly, pilots have suggested that the lower resolution images are no substitute for a the naked eye scanning the sky for the tiny dots that could be quickly approaching hostile aircraft.

There had been talk about totally dropping the F-35B and focusing on the conventional takeoff Army and Navy variants, but it’s not realistic because those models are built into the same bulky fuselage that is already incorporated for the engine. They would still suffer from the effects of the added bulk, and if you switched out the engine and changed the shape, there wouldn’t be any resemblance to the plane Lockheed Martin was originally contracted to build.

Regardless of what you think about the necessity of VTOL, the Marines see the importance, and they need to fill the role of the Harrier. While they will still maintain an operational Harrier fleet, the F-35B is its intended successor. They’re not the only ones. Britain has retired their Harriers, and is also in line for the F-35.

Unfortunately, the F-35 is intended to replace not just the Harrier, but also the F-16, F/A-18, F-117, and the A-10. In fact, the A-10 Warthog, the Air Force’s most cost efficient CAS aircraft, is being retired early in order to save the failing JSF program. The talking points from those responsible would have you believe that future wars are predictable, and the A-10 will not play a foreseeable role. Senators(the ones who’s pockets aren’t being stuffed by Lockheed Martin’s lobbyists) and soldiers alike, are fuming over the absurdity of such a move. (4) If you’ve ever been outgunned in a firefight in Afghanistan and had A-10s arrive on station, you’d know that the game will quickly change in your favor. Incredibly low strafing runs rattling the ground with the unmistakable “BRRRRAP” of the 30mm rotary cannon is undeniably a better force multiplier than a mystery explosion from an unseen and distant aircraft. Regardless of any arguments against the effectiveness of the A-10, retiring an aircraft before its replacement is in service is just ridiculous.

We are left with many gaps in our air arsenal, and we only have faith in the JSF program to fill it. In fact many of the world’s nations that I would consider “the good guys” are depending on this program for the security of their borders and interests abroad. South Korea just committed to buying 40 of the F-35s after a two year competition that weighed price and capability (5). Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of business development for the F-35 program called the competition an “open, transparent process.” That must have been one ugly competition if the jet that won it doesn’t actually work. South Korea is now the tenth nation to officially get on board the F-35 bandwagon. The other nations are US, Britain, Italy, Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Japan, Israel, and Turkey.

 

f35 lightning ii1 $397 Billion Spent on The F 35 Fighter Jet, Is It Worth It?!
To me, that list indicates that there is no way that the F-35 program will be scrapped. That doesn’t mean that potential buyers aren’t getting cold feet, and that other manufacturers aren’t seizing the opportunity. France is trying to jump the gun and sell Canada their own jet. (6) Canada is looking to retire their fleet of CF-18s within the next five years, and had tentative plans to buy into the F-35. France recognized this opportunity, and has offered to sell Canada their combat proven Dassault Rafale fighter along with the intellectual property that would allow Canada to create an entire industry around the platform, thus creating jobs and boosting the economy in the process. Canada has also been eyeing the Boeing Super Hornet, Saab Gripen, and the Eurofighter Typhoon as possible replacements for the CF-18. The point being here, that Lockheed Martin is running the risk of losing very important sales with the delays and setbacks.

 

Italy had previously reduced its investment in the F-35 program from 131 to 90 jets, and is currently considering making additional cuts to the size of their order.

Boeing is pushing hard to fill the niches with their very own aircraft. They suggest that the less stealthy, but extremely agile and heavily armed F/A-18 Super Hornet can do as good of a job or better than the F-35 for less than half the cost to produce as well as maintain, and it’s combat proven and ready to go (9). They are also lobbying their EA-18G Growler variant as an aircraft who’s electronic warfare and jamming capabilities far exceed that of the F-35 and its “limited,” according to Boeing, stealth capability(8).

Alarmingly, lost business and gaps in our air fleet aren’t the only major issues with the setbacks. The delays are also giving our rivals time and opportunity to bridge the technological gap. According to a Washington Times article, the Chinese are now implementing various technologies stolen from the F-35 program into their Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 stealth fighters via cyber attacks in 2007 (7). China’s acquisition of these fifth generation technologies was confirmed by both the Pentagon and a Chinese government news source. Some of the newly acquired tech could be seen in photographs from a recent demonstration of the J-20. Obvious body shape modifications for the purpose of reducing radar detection were apparent as well as a new radar absorbing coating was added. Other upgrades based on stolen F-35 technologies include: an electro-optical targeting system, giving the J-20 better strike capabilities at a broader range of targets, a fire control array radar system, and the J-20 also added a divertless supersonic inlet and a thrust vectoring nozzle. These are immense upgrades to the engine, boosting both power and reliability. Up until now China has been lagging behind in their jet engine program because of a stagnation in aircraft technology development. The article also hinted that some of the stolen technologies were too secret to mention. This could be disastrous, as the F-35 targeting sensor technology was to operate on the assumption that the enemy aircraft would be ignorant of and unable to counter the technology. The Chinese were practical in their application of the designs, and purposefully left out the VTOL ability and all the headaches that come with it. The new jets are on track to become what the F-35 was supposed to be, and could put their air capability on the level of the F-22 Raptor.

This got me thinking… What ever happened to the F-22 Raptor? Isn’t that supposed to be, still to this day, an unrivaled aircraft? Well, F-22 production was halted because of “high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air missions because of delays in Russian and Chinese fighter programs, a ban on exports, and development of the cheaper and more versatile.” That’s a pretty painful statement, being that the F-35 will eclipse any cost of the F-22, the Chinese and Russians now have our technology, and we will surpass the newest 2015 deadline for putting the JSF into service.

The F-22 was expensive, and did have a few persistent issues that we wont delve into here. Yet, it worked, and it really is an untouchable aircraft. As the cliche goes, hindsight is 20/20, but isn’t it more of a common sense issue that trying to build a super stealth war plane from the ground up, during a poor economy, for the sake of saving money may not be a good idea? Now we are stuck with a less capable(not capable as of now) air craft for the same unit price as the F-22, or more if you want a pimped out carrier model or the Navy F-35C  variant with heated leather seats, winter floor mats, and clear coat.

F 35 Helmet Mounted Display System $397 Billion Spent on The F 35 Fighter Jet, Is It Worth It?!

 

Any projected sales costs from Lockheed Martin refuting this is bogus, and is nothing more than the result of millions of additional dollars spent lobbying to put a salvageable spin on things.

Lockheed Martin’s failings have led to a strain in relations with the Pentagon. The defense budget cannot afford to continue bailing out the company. Washington has made Lockheed Martin cough up some of the additional costs, which seems like a good idea, but will only lead to larger contracts in the future in order to deal with unforeseen setbacks. Therein lies the problem. Lockheed Martin has been in cahoots with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for multiple decades, ever since the development of the F-117. That foot-in-the-door has given them somewhat of a monopoly on contracts because of the lack of competition resulting from their access to DARPA’s vast technological resources and healthy funding. While they have continued to come out with awesome stealth jets and unmanned stealth aerial vehicles (not to mention the secret stuff we don’t know about), one must ask the question: How would the US go about separating Lockheed Martin, a company so interwoven with the secret fabric of the Pentagon and mostly dependent on gigantic government contracts, from DARPA, in the event of their stagnation or plateau of technological development without rustling the jimmys of some of the richest, most powerful people on the planet? You don’t.

In “The Jet that Ate the Pentagon” video at the top of the article, some good points are made, mainly about the problems of lobbying and the inability to audit exactly how and where these crazy sums of tax dollars are being spent. Yet, other points brought up are just flat out dumb.

For example, one of the speakers suggest that the money would be better spent funding education, and he sounded like he meant it. I’m not downplaying the importance of education, but defense budget is defense budget. At no point, ever, will the funding that we trim from defense be allocated to education. What about the active duty families that sacrifice the most for our nation? Troops are taking pay cuts(10), the commissaries are closing, health benefits are being slashed, and the overall quality of life for those that sacrifice the most is plummeting. If you’re cutting 100,000 plus service members from the fighting force, wouldn’t you think that the remaining few would be able to sustain a better quality of life while the government still saves considerably on the budget? Yet, they are being told they must choose between being properly outfitted in battle or being able to make ends meet. Meanwhile, we’re shoveling billions, as quickly as possible, into the sinking ship that is the F-35.

f35 $397 Billion Spent on The F 35 Fighter Jet, Is It Worth It?!

Another poor argument from the video is the moral implications of war profiteering. Although I am a little bitter about Dick Cheney making millions operating porta-johns in Iraq, while I probably never cleared a hundred thousand in two extended tours of fighting my ass off, this isn’t that. Air supremacy is a key factor in this never ending battle for world dominance. We are the United-frigging-States of America, and if we don’t have the biggest and the best, we will fall. The idea of world peace or a neutral America is unrealistic to the point of being ridiculous. Humans are a warring species. If violence wasn’t an imperative evolutionary trait, it would have been bred out of us by now. Today’s availability and speed of information has shown us that we are not the shining beacon of purity and freedom that we claim to be, but many of these self-righteous saints do not fathom the hypocrisy in their ability to get on a soap box and flaunt their soft, morally superior objections.

To them I say: It is the military industrial complex’s evil exploitation and manipulation of other nations and their resources across the globe that has given you the conveniences and comforts that you take for granted. Your education, your health, and your way of life are all a result of our imperial, militarized government making others fear us enough into giving up what is theirs for our benefit while deterring other empires from doing the same to us.  That same sinister military industrial complex has also given you the ability to hold your soft, and proudly defenseless position on the sanctimonious high ground as you exonerate yourself from any responsibility, while slamming those that afford you that right, without threat to your own safety.

So what I am saying is that regardless of your thoughts on war being bad and how much we spend on defense, America and her allies need these fifth generation, multi-role fighter jets in the sky, yesterday. We need the ability to maintain our borders and our interests abroad in this increasingly volatile world. I really want the JSF to work, and would like to see Lockheed Martin make all of us naysayers eat our words, but as of right now, we are in serious trouble.

(Will / Funker530)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/pentagon-russian-fighter-jet-repeatedly-flew-us-destroyer-black-sea/Pentagon: Russian fighter jet repeatedly flew over US destroyer in Black SeaThe Pentagon said a Russian fighter jet made multiple close-range passes near an American navy destroyer. The warship was deployed in the Black Sea as Russian military monitored NATO’s systematic build-up of naval forces in the region.
“This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with their national protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries,” said Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.
“I have difficulty believing that two Russian pilots on their own would choose to take such an action.”
Pentagon defined the jet as a Russian Su-24 aircraft, or Fencer, which made 12 passes at low altitude near the USS Donald Cook that, at the time, was conducting a patrol in international waters in the western Black Sea, Reuters reported.
Earlier, a military official told AP that on April, 12, a Russian aircraft flew repeatedly within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook at about 500 feet above sea level for over 90 minutes.
According to the official, the destroyer’s crew made several attempts to radio the Russian warplane requesting the reason for the manoeuvre. They then reportedly issued warnings to remain at a safe distance, however, there was no response from the Russian pilot.
(Rt.com)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/pentagon-russian-fighter-jet-repeatedly-flew-us-destroyer-black-sea/

Pentagon: Russian fighter jet repeatedly flew over US destroyer in Black Sea

The Pentagon said a Russian fighter jet made multiple close-range passes near an American navy destroyer. The warship was deployed in the Black Sea as Russian military monitored NATO’s systematic build-up of naval forces in the region.

“This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with their national protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries,” said Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

“I have difficulty believing that two Russian pilots on their own would choose to take such an action.”

Pentagon defined the jet as a Russian Su-24 aircraft, or Fencer, which made 12 passes at low altitude near the USS Donald Cook that, at the time, was conducting a patrol in international waters in the western Black Sea, Reuters reported.

Earlier, a military official told AP that on April, 12, a Russian aircraft flew repeatedly within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook at about 500 feet above sea level for over 90 minutes.

According to the official, the destroyer’s crew made several attempts to radio the Russian warplane requesting the reason for the manoeuvre. They then reportedly issued warnings to remain at a safe distance, however, there was no response from the Russian pilot.

(Rt.com)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/sikhs-long-beards-complain-cant-serve-country/Sikhs With Long Beards Complain They Can’t Serve Their CountryEarlier this year, the Pentagon handed out more religious exemptions on grooming standards in order to accommodate individuals like these Sikhs.  However, they are now saying that the Defense Department has not done enough for them, preventing them from joining the military and serving their country.  They are complaining that the new standards still allow commanders to force them to cut their beards while waiting for a religious exemption.  The Pentagon has said it has given leeway and that it is unlikely to make further changes on its grooming standards.
Only three of 500,000 active-duty and reserve Army troops are Sikhs — followers of a religion that started in the Punjab region — and that has a few of them upset, decrying a U.S. military policy against long hair and beards that won’t let them easily join.
Activists for the religious order are asking that the White House step in and open the doors for Sikhs to have the same chance to be all they can be as any other U.S. Army recruit.
The Defense Department did issue new religious exemption guidelines earlier this year. But Sikhs say the new policy only made matters worse because it said the military could order them to cut off their beards and long tresses in the span of time it takes to receive their exemptions, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“I would gladly sacrifice my life for the mission,” said Maj. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, who became the first Sikh allowed into the Army in decades in 2009, The Los Angeles Times said. “But I could not cut my hair and remove my turban. They’re not mine to give. They belong to my God.”
So far, the Sikh effort to prod the White House and Pentagon to grant speedier religious exemptions has the backing of 100-plus congressional members. But the Army says policy is policy, and grooming standards are likely to stay.
“[Grooming standards] are an integrate part of unit cohesion, good order and discipline and, ultimately, mission accomplishment,” said Army spokeswoman Alayne Conway, in The Los Angeles Times. “[Recruits must don] neat and conservative” hairstyles and a clean-shaven face, mustache-free, she said.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/sikhs-long-beards-complain-cant-serve-country/

Sikhs With Long Beards Complain They Can’t Serve Their Country

Earlier this year, the Pentagon handed out more religious exemptions on grooming standards in order to accommodate individuals like these Sikhs.  However, they are now saying that the Defense Department has not done enough for them, preventing them from joining the military and serving their country.  They are complaining that the new standards still allow commanders to force them to cut their beards while waiting for a religious exemption.  The Pentagon has said it has given leeway and that it is unlikely to make further changes on its grooming standards.

Only three of 500,000 active-duty and reserve Army troops are Sikhs — followers of a religion that started in the Punjab region — and that has a few of them upset, decrying a U.S. military policy against long hair and beards that won’t let them easily join.

Activists for the religious order are asking that the White House step in and open the doors for Sikhs to have the same chance to be all they can be as any other U.S. Army recruit.

The Defense Department did issue new religious exemption guidelines earlier this year. But Sikhs say the new policy only made matters worse because it said the military could order them to cut off their beards and long tresses in the span of time it takes to receive their exemptions, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“I would gladly sacrifice my life for the mission,” said Maj. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, who became the first Sikh allowed into the Army in decades in 2009, The Los Angeles Times said. “But I could not cut my hair and remove my turban. They’re not mine to give. They belong to my God.”

So far, the Sikh effort to prod the White House and Pentagon to grant speedier religious exemptions has the backing of 100-plus congressional members. But the Army says policy is policy, and grooming standards are likely to stay.

“[Grooming standards] are an integrate part of unit cohesion, good order and discipline and, ultimately, mission accomplishment,” said Army spokeswoman Alayne Conway, in The Los Angeles Times. “[Recruits must don] neat and conservative” hairstyles and a clean-shaven face, mustache-free, she said.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/ex-navy-seal-plugs-gunshot-wound-fingers/Ex-Navy SEAL Plugs Gunshot Wound With His FingersChristopher Mark Heben was shot outside a cafe by three “gangbangers” earlier this month, but it’s no surprise that he was able to handle the situation with ease.
The altercation between Heben and the gang members was initiated when he was struck by their car as he walked through a cafe parking lot. After exchanging some words, Heben continued towards the cafe when he realized he had forgotten his wallet in his car. As he walked back to retrieve his wallet, the gang members pulled up beside him in their car and shot the former Navy SEAL in the stomach, then screeched out of the parking lot like a bunch of cowards.
Heben immediately doubled over in pain, but regained his wits and began chasing them in his vehicle. He wasn’t able to get close enough to get the license plate, but manged to get a detailed description of the vehicle which was a gray, low-profile sports car with a raised spoiler on the trunk, black rims and dark tinted side and back windows.
After losing the suspects, Heben plugged his wound with his finger and drove himself to the hospital where he was able to make a full recovery.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/ex-navy-seal-plugs-gunshot-wound-fingers/

Ex-Navy SEAL Plugs Gunshot Wound With His Fingers

Christopher Mark Heben was shot outside a cafe by three “gangbangers” earlier this month, but it’s no surprise that he was able to handle the situation with ease.

The altercation between Heben and the gang members was initiated when he was struck by their car as he walked through a cafe parking lot. After exchanging some words, Heben continued towards the cafe when he realized he had forgotten his wallet in his car. As he walked back to retrieve his wallet, the gang members pulled up beside him in their car and shot the former Navy SEAL in the stomach, then screeched out of the parking lot like a bunch of cowards.

Heben immediately doubled over in pain, but regained his wits and began chasing them in his vehicle. He wasn’t able to get close enough to get the license plate, but manged to get a detailed description of the vehicle which was a gray, low-profile sports car with a raised spoiler on the trunk, black rims and dark tinted side and back windows.

After losing the suspects, Heben plugged his wound with his finger and drove himself to the hospital where he was able to make a full recovery.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/pressure-mounts-uk-cias-black-site-jail-indian-ocean/Pressure mounts on UK over CIA’s ‘black site’ jail in Indian OceanA human rights group is urging Britain’s Foreign office to “come clean” over claims that a British-administered island in the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia, was used as a secret “black site” detention center by the CIA.
“We need to know immediately whether ministers misled parliament over CIA torture on British soil,” Cori Crider, strategic director at Reprieve, a legal action charity group, said in a letter to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.
“If the CIA operated a black site on Diego Garcia, then a string of official statements, from both this and the last government, were totally false,” Crider said.
The letter followed a report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee that Britain had allowed the US to run a “black site” prison on Diego Garcia to secretly hold suspects without accountability. The Diego Garcia prison held some “high-value” detainees and was operated with the “full cooperation” of the British government, US officials familiar with the Senate report said.
“Were ministers asleep at the wheel? Or, as the report suggests, have we been lied to for years?” Crider wrote.
Reprieve is also representing Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, a rebel military commander and opponent of the late Libyan leader, Mohamed Gaddafi, who was arrested in Malaysia and rendered to Libya, allegedly via Diego Garcia, in a joint US-UK intelligence operation.
“The Foreign Secretary must urgently clarify whether the CIA ran a secret prison on Diego Garcia, and whether our clients Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar were among its victims,” Crider said.
Belhaj became Tripoli’s military commander in 2011, after the rebels took over the capital and ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. In 2004 Belhaj – the then-leader of the anti-Gaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – and his wife were detained by US intelligence officers at Bangkok airport, Thailand, when they were to fly to London to claim asylum.
Belhaj was then returned to Libya, allegedly due to a British tip-off, where he was tortured and jailed for almost six years, until Gaddafi was ousted.
Belhaj claims the UK helped the US to arrange his rendition. He launched legal action against the UK government, the former head of counter-terrorism at intelligence agency MI6, Mark Allen, and then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
“The first time I heard that I had gone through a place called Diego Garcia was when I was told by the head of the Libyan intelligence, Moussa Koussa, during my first interrogation session in a prison outside Tripoli,” Belhaj said. “[Moussa Koussa] told me that he knew, and that the plane had landed on an island in the Indian Ocean called Diego Garcia.”
However, the UK court ruled that Belhaj could not sue MI6 as it would harm “national interests,” though the High Court judge concluded that Belhaj had a “well-founded claim” against intelligence officers.
The case could “jeopardize this country’s international relations and national security interests,” said Peregrine Simon, a British High Court judge.
“The government must come clean about the UK’s role in this dirty affair,” Polly Rossdale, deputy director at Reprieve, told The Observer on Sunday.
For years, the British government consistently denied that any detainees were held at Diego Garcia or that a secret CIA prison ever existed there. They only admitted in 2008 that two rendition flights carrying detainees stopped for refueling on Diego Garcia in 2002. “The US government confirmed that there have been no other instances in which US intelligence flights landed in the UK, our Overseas Territories, or the Crown Dependencies, with a detainee, on board since 11 September 2001,” UK Foreign Office minister David Liddington told the UK parliament in 2011.
The recent revelations about “the secret prison” are hugely troubling for the UK government as they spark questions about the UK’s relationship with the US.
Apart from the news about the CIA secret black site, the US Senate also found that the CIA purposely deceived the US Justice Department to attain legal justification for use of torture techniques. It also found that the CIA distorted how many detainees it held in “black site” prisons throughout the world and how many were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” many amount to torture.
The Committee and the CIA have in recent weeks gone back and forth with accusations of spying, meddling, and misrepresentation, highlighting an on-going feud between the agency and the Committee since the Senate probe began in 2009.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/pressure-mounts-uk-cias-black-site-jail-indian-ocean/

Pressure mounts on UK over CIA’s ‘black site’ jail in Indian Ocean

A human rights group is urging Britain’s Foreign office to “come clean” over claims that a British-administered island in the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia, was used as a secret “black site” detention center by the CIA.

“We need to know immediately whether ministers misled parliament over CIA torture on British soil,” Cori Crider, strategic director at Reprieve, a legal action charity group, said in a letter to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

“If the CIA operated a black site on Diego Garcia, then a string of official statements, from both this and the last government, were totally false,” Crider said.

The letter followed a report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee that Britain had allowed the US to run a “black site” prison on Diego Garcia to secretly hold suspects without accountability. The Diego Garcia prison held some “high-value” detainees and was operated with the “full cooperation” of the British government, US officials familiar with the Senate report said.

“Were ministers asleep at the wheel? Or, as the report suggests, have we been lied to for years?” Crider wrote.

Reprieve is also representing Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, a rebel military commander and opponent of the late Libyan leader, Mohamed Gaddafi, who was arrested in Malaysia and rendered to Libya, allegedly via Diego Garcia, in a joint US-UK intelligence operation.

“The Foreign Secretary must urgently clarify whether the CIA ran a secret prison on Diego Garcia, and whether our clients Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar were among its victims,” Crider said.

Belhaj became Tripoli’s military commander in 2011, after the rebels took over the capital and ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. In 2004 Belhaj – the then-leader of the anti-Gaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – and his wife were detained by US intelligence officers at Bangkok airport, Thailand, when they were to fly to London to claim asylum.

Belhaj was then returned to Libya, allegedly due to a British tip-off, where he was tortured and jailed for almost six years, until Gaddafi was ousted.

Belhaj claims the UK helped the US to arrange his rendition. He launched legal action against the UK government, the former head of counter-terrorism at intelligence agency MI6, Mark Allen, and then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

“The first time I heard that I had gone through a place called Diego Garcia was when I was told by the head of the Libyan intelligence, Moussa Koussa, during my first interrogation session in a prison outside Tripoli,” Belhaj said. “[Moussa Koussa] told me that he knew, and that the plane had landed on an island in the Indian Ocean called Diego Garcia.”

However, the UK court ruled that Belhaj could not sue MI6 as it would harm “national interests,” though the High Court judge concluded that Belhaj had a “well-founded claim” against intelligence officers.

The case could “jeopardize this country’s international relations and national security interests,” said Peregrine Simon, a British High Court judge.

“The government must come clean about the UK’s role in this dirty affair,” Polly Rossdale, deputy director at Reprieve, told The Observer on Sunday.

For years, the British government consistently denied that any detainees were held at Diego Garcia or that a secret CIA prison ever existed there. They only admitted in 2008 that two rendition flights carrying detainees stopped for refueling on Diego Garcia in 2002. “The US government confirmed that there have been no other instances in which US intelligence flights landed in the UK, our Overseas Territories, or the Crown Dependencies, with a detainee, on board since 11 September 2001,” UK Foreign Office minister David Liddington told the UK parliament in 2011.

The recent revelations about “the secret prison” are hugely troubling for the UK government as they spark questions about the UK’s relationship with the US.

Apart from the news about the CIA secret black site, the US Senate also found that the CIA purposely deceived the US Justice Department to attain legal justification for use of torture techniques. It also found that the CIA distorted how many detainees it held in “black site” prisons throughout the world and how many were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” many amount to torture.

The Committee and the CIA have in recent weeks gone back and forth with accusations of spying, meddling, and misrepresentation, highlighting an on-going feud between the agency and the Committee since the Senate probe began in 2009.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/horrible-tragedy-lapd-mistakenly-shoots-kills-hostage/In A Horrible Tragedy, The LAPD Mistakenly Shoots And Kills HostageThe Los Angeles Police Department has mistakenly shot and killed a hostage as he came running out of a building.  A 911 caller had described a man with a knife, so when police saw a bloody man rush out, they opened fire.  That bloody man was not the suspect, however, and it turns out that it was a fleeing hostage.
The panicky 911 caller said a man with a 10-inch butcher knife was threatening people. So when Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies saw a wounded, bloody man rush out of a West Hollywood apartment with someone on his heels, they opened fire.
But the man they gunned down Monday night wasn’t a mad slasher; he was a fleeing hostage.
John Winkler, 30, an aspiring television producer, died at a hospital.
“Taking the life of an innocent person is a police officer’s greatest nightmare,” Interim Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott said Thursday at a news conference.
The entire department mourned Winkler’s death, he added.
Winkler was “hanging out” with some friends who lived in the apartment below him on Palm Avenue when a man who also lived in that apartment, Alexander McDonald, climbed over the balcony with the knife, sheriff’s homicide Lt. David Coleman said.
McDonald was “in an incoherent state of mind, seemed very paranoid, which was uncharacteristic,” Coleman said.
McDonald took his roommate, Winkler and another man hostage, then flew into a rage and began stabbing and fighting with them, authorities said.
“We don’t know what caused his rage or what caused his outburst,” and it was unclear whether drugs were involved, Coleman said.
Someone called 911 and arriving deputies were told the hostage-taker was a thin man in a black shirt.
Deputies announced themselves and pounded on the door and at that moment one of the stabbing victims took the opportunity to escape, Coleman said.
“The door suddenly opened and a man with blood spurting form his neck entered the doorway” with Winkler — a thin man wearing a black shirt — running after him only inches away, Scott said.
The fleeing man appeared to be under “continuous attack,” the sheriff said.
Three deputies fired four shots, and a bullet mortally wounded Winkler. The other man was hit in the leg and was hospitalized in stable condition, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.
From the open apartment door, deputies heard fighting and burst inside, where they allegedly saw McDonald choking and tearing at the face of a man on the floor.
That man was treated for stab wounds and other injuries and released, according to the statement, which said a large knife was found in the apartment.
McDonald, 27, was treated for minor injuries. County prosecutors have charged him with torture, murder and two counts of attempted murder. He remained jailed Thursday.
McDonald was involved in information technology or computer programming and had no criminal history, Coleman said.
There was nothing in his past behavior that was consistent with the attack, he said.
Winkler had moved to West Hollywood from Washington state six months ago to work in the entertainment industry, his friend, Devin Richardson, told the Los Angeles Times.
Winkler’s Facebook page said he studied directing at the Seattle Film Institute and was in the class of 2010.
Institute communications director Chris Blanchett told The Seattle Times that Winkler was a good student and “a genuinely nice guy.”
Another friend, Trevor Jess, told KING-TV in Seattle that Winkler was “just starting out, ready to climb the ladder and that’s the thing that breaks my heart.”
The deputies, all department veterans, were removed from patrol after the shooting but were expected to return to full duty next week, sheriff’s officials said.
(ABCnews)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/horrible-tragedy-lapd-mistakenly-shoots-kills-hostage/

In A Horrible Tragedy, The LAPD Mistakenly Shoots And Kills Hostage

The Los Angeles Police Department has mistakenly shot and killed a hostage as he came running out of a building.  A 911 caller had described a man with a knife, so when police saw a bloody man rush out, they opened fire.  That bloody man was not the suspect, however, and it turns out that it was a fleeing hostage.

The panicky 911 caller said a man with a 10-inch butcher knife was threatening people. So when Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies saw a wounded, bloody man rush out of a West Hollywood apartment with someone on his heels, they opened fire.

But the man they gunned down Monday night wasn’t a mad slasher; he was a fleeing hostage.

John Winkler, 30, an aspiring television producer, died at a hospital.

“Taking the life of an innocent person is a police officer’s greatest nightmare,” Interim Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott said Thursday at a news conference.

The entire department mourned Winkler’s death, he added.

Winkler was “hanging out” with some friends who lived in the apartment below him on Palm Avenue when a man who also lived in that apartment, Alexander McDonald, climbed over the balcony with the knife, sheriff’s homicide Lt. David Coleman said.

McDonald was “in an incoherent state of mind, seemed very paranoid, which was uncharacteristic,” Coleman said.

McDonald took his roommate, Winkler and another man hostage, then flew into a rage and began stabbing and fighting with them, authorities said.

“We don’t know what caused his rage or what caused his outburst,” and it was unclear whether drugs were involved, Coleman said.

Someone called 911 and arriving deputies were told the hostage-taker was a thin man in a black shirt.

Deputies announced themselves and pounded on the door and at that moment one of the stabbing victims took the opportunity to escape, Coleman said.

“The door suddenly opened and a man with blood spurting form his neck entered the doorway” with Winkler — a thin man wearing a black shirt — running after him only inches away, Scott said.

The fleeing man appeared to be under “continuous attack,” the sheriff said.

Three deputies fired four shots, and a bullet mortally wounded Winkler. The other man was hit in the leg and was hospitalized in stable condition, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.

From the open apartment door, deputies heard fighting and burst inside, where they allegedly saw McDonald choking and tearing at the face of a man on the floor.

That man was treated for stab wounds and other injuries and released, according to the statement, which said a large knife was found in the apartment.

McDonald, 27, was treated for minor injuries. County prosecutors have charged him with torture, murder and two counts of attempted murder. He remained jailed Thursday.

McDonald was involved in information technology or computer programming and had no criminal history, Coleman said.

There was nothing in his past behavior that was consistent with the attack, he said.

Winkler had moved to West Hollywood from Washington state six months ago to work in the entertainment industry, his friend, Devin Richardson, told the Los Angeles Times.

Winkler’s Facebook page said he studied directing at the Seattle Film Institute and was in the class of 2010.

Institute communications director Chris Blanchett told The Seattle Times that Winkler was a good student and “a genuinely nice guy.”

Another friend, Trevor Jess, told KING-TV in Seattle that Winkler was “just starting out, ready to climb the ladder and that’s the thing that breaks my heart.”

The deputies, all department veterans, were removed from patrol after the shooting but were expected to return to full duty next week, sheriff’s officials said.

(ABCnews)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/federal-government-withdraws-nevada-rancher-wins/Federal Government Withdraws From Nevada, Rancher WinsAfter a week of a tense situation between the federal government and a Nevada rancher, a sheriff has announced that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be ceasing operations and withdrawing from the Nevada ranch, essentially making Clive Bundy the winner of the 20-year standoff.
The BLM announced just a short time ago that they will not be enforcing the court order to remove the cattle.  This is a sharp turn in events after this week brought a great deal of tension between the two sides.  The dispute has been ongoing for 20 years, since the BLM altered its grazing rules on the 1200-acre property.  Bundy refused to give in to the government’s demand to leave the property, paving the way for this week’s actions.
The Bureau of Land Management had originally stood by its actions, saying that it issues over 18,000 permits that allow grazing on 157 million acres across the country. They also point to the fact that Bundy has not paid grazing fees since the new rules took effect in 1993, meaning he owes the U.S. taxpayers over $1 million.

There is no word on whether the federal government will continue to pressure Bundy to pay the over $1 million in fees that are still owed as part of his grazing fees since he stopped paying them in 1993.

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/federal-government-withdraws-nevada-rancher-wins/

Federal Government Withdraws From Nevada, Rancher Wins

After a week of a tense situation between the federal government and a Nevada rancher, a sheriff has announced that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be ceasing operations and withdrawing from the Nevada ranch, essentially making Clive Bundy the winner of the 20-year standoff.

The BLM announced just a short time ago that they will not be enforcing the court order to remove the cattle.  This is a sharp turn in events after this week brought a great deal of tension between the two sides.  The dispute has been ongoing for 20 years, since the BLM altered its grazing rules on the 1200-acre property.  Bundy refused to give in to the government’s demand to leave the property, paving the way for this week’s actions.

The Bureau of Land Management had originally stood by its actions, saying that it issues over 18,000 permits that allow grazing on 157 million acres across the country. They also point to the fact that Bundy has not paid grazing fees since the new rules took effect in 1993, meaning he owes the U.S. taxpayers over $1 million.
There is no word on whether the federal government will continue to pressure Bundy to pay the over $1 million in fees that are still owed as part of his grazing fees since he stopped paying them in 1993.
New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/lower-pay-marines-will-raise-discipline/Lower Pay For Marines “Will Raise Discipline”?The highest enlisted member of the United States Marine Corps said that lowering salary of Marines will “raise discipline” and make Marines less wasteful. The comments come as a debate in Washington talks about cutting active duty member pay in order to make sharp budget cuts at the Department of Defense. The comments came as he testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The base salary for the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is $7,816.20 per month.
Lower pay and slimmed-down benefits will make Marines more disciplined and less wasteful, according to the Corps’ top enlisted Marine.
In comments before a Senate Armed Services Committee panel on Wednesday, Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett dismissed lawmaker concerns that proposed compensation trims in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal would hurt troops’ morale or desire to serve.
“Marines don’t run around asking about compensation, retirement modernization,” he said. “That’s not on their mind. As I talk to thousands of audiences, they want to know into whose neck do we put a boot next.
“They want to know about what new equipment are we getting, are we continuing to modernize. Just because the budget sucks, does that mean we’re not going to get our new gear?”
Barrett’s comments came in contrast to his counterparts in the other services, who conceded to senators that lower pay raises, scaled-back commissary offerings and smaller housing stipends would be problematic for many servicemembers.
Instead, Barrett argued that the lower quality of life would be beneficial to Marines.
“I truly believe it will raise discipline,” he said. “You’ll have better spending habits. You won’t be so wasteful.”
Both Barrett and the other leaders emphasized that without changes in compensation, force readiness will suffer. Pentagon leaders have said that they need to trim a host of benefits and family assistance efforts to ensure that training and equipment modernization funds aren’t compromised.
“In my 33 years, we’ve never had a better quality of life,” Barrett said. “We’ve never had it so good. If we don’t get ahold of slowing the growth, we will become an entitlement-based, a health care provider-based Corps, and not a war fighting organization.”
So far, that’s been a tough sell for Congress.
On Wednesday, several senators said they objected to any changes in troops’ pay and benefits until after the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission offers its recommendations on overhauling the system. Their report is set for early 2015.
Lawmakers are expected to begin marking up their versions of the fiscal 2015 defense budget next month.
When asked whether a smaller compensation package could be seen as a broken promise by servicemembers, Barrett said few Marines use pay and benefits as a factor in enlisting.
“They don’t want an easy life,” he said. “They want to be tougher people. They want the pride of belonging, being something bigger than themselves.”
(MarineCorpsTimes)

New Post has been published on http://www.special-ops.org/lower-pay-marines-will-raise-discipline/

Lower Pay For Marines “Will Raise Discipline”?

The highest enlisted member of the United States Marine Corps said that lowering salary of Marines will “raise discipline” and make Marines less wasteful. The comments come as a debate in Washington talks about cutting active duty member pay in order to make sharp budget cuts at the Department of Defense. The comments came as he testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The base salary for the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps is $7,816.20 per month.

Lower pay and slimmed-down benefits will make Marines more disciplined and less wasteful, according to the Corps’ top enlisted Marine.

In comments before a Senate Armed Services Committee panel on Wednesday, Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett dismissed lawmaker concerns that proposed compensation trims in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal would hurt troops’ morale or desire to serve.

“Marines don’t run around asking about compensation, retirement modernization,” he said. “That’s not on their mind. As I talk to thousands of audiences, they want to know into whose neck do we put a boot next.

“They want to know about what new equipment are we getting, are we continuing to modernize. Just because the budget sucks, does that mean we’re not going to get our new gear?”

Barrett’s comments came in contrast to his counterparts in the other services, who conceded to senators that lower pay raises, scaled-back commissary offerings and smaller housing stipends would be problematic for many servicemembers.

Instead, Barrett argued that the lower quality of life would be beneficial to Marines.

“I truly believe it will raise discipline,” he said. “You’ll have better spending habits. You won’t be so wasteful.”

Both Barrett and the other leaders emphasized that without changes in compensation, force readiness will suffer. Pentagon leaders have said that they need to trim a host of benefits and family assistance efforts to ensure that training and equipment modernization funds aren’t compromised.

“In my 33 years, we’ve never had a better quality of life,” Barrett said. “We’ve never had it so good. If we don’t get ahold of slowing the growth, we will become an entitlement-based, a health care provider-based Corps, and not a war fighting organization.”

So far, that’s been a tough sell for Congress.

On Wednesday, several senators said they objected to any changes in troops’ pay and benefits until after the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission offers its recommendations on overhauling the system. Their report is set for early 2015.

Lawmakers are expected to begin marking up their versions of the fiscal 2015 defense budget next month.

When asked whether a smaller compensation package could be seen as a broken promise by servicemembers, Barrett said few Marines use pay and benefits as a factor in enlisting.

“They don’t want an easy life,” he said. “They want to be tougher people. They want the pride of belonging, being something bigger than themselves.”

(MarineCorpsTimes)