Mini-Me: Veterans Die While Waiting Up to a Year for VA Medical Appointments — Secret List Used to Conceal Gross Dereliction of Duty

Who?  Mini-Me?

Who? Mini-Me?

Huh?

A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list

(CNN) – At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.

The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.

Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.

Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:

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Apr 23

Berto Jongman: Jihadists Now Control Secretive U.S. Base in Libya

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Jihadists Now Control Secretive U.S. Base in Libya

A camp on the Libyan coastline meant to train terror-hunters has instead become a haven for terrorists and al Qaeda.

A key jihadist leader and longtime member of al Qaeda has taken control of a secretive training facility set up by U.S. special operations forces on the Libyan coastline to help hunt down Islamic militants, according to local media reports, Jihadist web forums, and U.S. officials.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

In the summer of 2012, American Green Berets began refurbishing a Libyan military base 27 kilometers west of Tripoli in order to hone the skills of Libya’s first Western-trained special operations counter-terrorism fighters. Less than two years later, that training camp is now being used by groups with direct links to al Qaeda to foment chaos in post-Qaddafi Libya.

Last week, the Libyan press reported that the camp (named “27” for the kilometer marker on the road between Tripoli and Tunis) was now under the command of Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr Tantoush, a veteran associate of Osama bin Laden who was first designated as part of al Qaeda’s support network in 2002 by the United States and the United Nations. The report said he was heading a group of Salifist fighters from the former Libyan base.

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Apr 23

David Isenberg: Interview on Private Military Corporations (PMC)

Categories: Commerce,Military
David Isenberg

David Isenberg

The following interview with David Isenberg [1] was carried out in Washington D.C., on January 15, 2014 by Patrick Renz and Frauke Heidemann. The main focus of the interview was on the definition of Private Military Companies (PMC), governmental oversight, the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq, the role of small arms in unstable states and the impacts of private contractors. All footnotes are remarks by Patrick Renz and Frauke Heidemann, aimed at giving some additional background knowledge and especially giving the links to the cited documents so that the reader can follow up on these issues easily.

QUESTIONS ONLY:

What type of PMC would you see as most important right now and in the future?

When you talk about the PMC operating in those situations, where do you see the challenges for governmental oversight? Will governments continue to employ PMC?

In Afghanistan, with the discussion about a ban of PMC, many local implementers or mining companies said they would leave Afghanistan if they felt no longer protected. Do you think one could argue that PMC are enabling investment and aid projects in unstable states or is that a false assumption?

From your experience with SIGIR, how did the protection of the oil pipelines and facilities in Iraq work in the post-conflict situation?

How do you see the link between PMC and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, especially when looking at local PMCs?

What are the prime reasons for unstable states to allow for PMC to operate?

If PMCs hire locals, do you see a risk of taking away qualified people from the local police force or military?

What do you see as the biggest risk from having PMC operate in unstable areas?

Read answers.

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Apr 23

Reference: US Air Force Technology Horizons 2010-2030

Categories: DoD,Military

PDF (238 Pages): Technology Horizons: A Vision for Air Force Science & Technology 2010-203o

As published in 2010.

EXTRACT

OVERARCHING THEMES FOR AIR FORCE S&T 2010–30

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Apr 22

Jim Dean: Iranian Defensive Weapons Update — PSYOP or Not, Iran is Not Iraq —

Jim W. Dean

Jim W. Dean

[ Editors Note:  Once again we see a steady stream of evidence coming out of Iran as to how our wonderfully unbrilliant threatening foreign policy has forced them into a “Manhattan Project” level commitment to increase its domestically manufactured defensive weapons systems.

At the top of the list has been missile development following the Russian model, to get the best bang for their buck in defeating air attacks from planes and missiles. I would suspect that they are designing modular upgrades into all of these so they are a parts change upgradable wherever possible.

Iran’s deep scientific bench has been tasked with developing not only state of the art defensive weapons, but even better. This means they are working on the breakthrough fuels for speeds that are needed to defeat standard missile defenses.

With the best Russian missiles, by the time a pilot hears the first beep that he is being tracked, he only has two to three seconds to live, not even enough time to get out of the plane.

Defenses against these will certainly be developed…for getting them one at a time. But especially for ships, having a blizzard of these coming at you will overwhelm its defenses.  Mass production of these reasonably priced weapons will once again create demands for more expensive platforms for our defense contractors to make. But they will not really be for defense, as there are no offensive threats out there.

Our military has been morphed into an offensive one, but they have not told that to the troops, and I doubt they will. They have been reduced to being the muscle for the mega business elites…mercenaries with very nice wrapping paper. They will eventually figure this out, but many won’t mind as long as the checks don’t bounce…

BEGIN IRANIAN PRESS REPORT

Iran-Sayyad2-Hunter-Missile_banner-640x213

A high-ranking Iranian military commander says the Islamic Republic is developing a new version of the powerful and high-precision Sayyad (Hunter) missile to be mounted on indigenous S-200 missile defense systems.

Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said on Friday that Iranian defense experts are working on the development of Sayyad-3 missile.

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Apr 19

Berto Jongman: Malaysian Airlines “Rothschild Chip” Could Power Nano-Drones for Good or Evil

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

MH370: How Fatal is the Chip That Rothschild Reportedly ‘Acquired’?

EXTRACT

How destructible could this chip be?

In a detailed report from Malaysia Chronicle dated April 8, it said that Freescale launched what could be the world’s smallest microcontroller in Feb 2013 called the Kinesis KL02.

KL02 measures 1.9 mm by 2mm and contains RAM, ROM and a clock. Even with its minute size, KL02 might be the most potent next-generation war weaponry.

Whether remotely controlled or automatically programmed, KLO2 can be utilised to employ drones smaller than flies. Such small-sized drones were allegedly being used to deliver lab-cloned viruses or toxic drugs instrumental for spreading plague, virus and disease; track spy satellites or large scale and hidden weaponries.

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Apr 19

Berto Jongman: Star-Spangled Baggage — US Veterans Going Nuts…

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Star-Spangled Baggage

By Ann Jones, TomDispatch

This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt’s introduction here.

After an argument about a leave denied, Specialist Ivan Lopez pulled out a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and began a shooting spree at Fort Hood, America’s biggest stateside base, that left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded.  When he did so, he also pulled America’s fading wars out of the closet.  This time, a Fort Hood mass killing, the second in four and a half years, was committed by a man who was neither a religious nor a political “extremist.”  He seems to have been merely one of America’s injured and troubled veterans who now number in the hundreds of thousands.

Some 2.6 million men and women have been dispatched, often repeatedly, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and according to a recent survey of veterans of those wars conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one-third say that their mental health is worse than it was before they left, and nearly half say the same of their physical condition.  Almost half say they give way to sudden outbursts of anger.  Only 12% of the surveyed veterans claim they are now “better” mentally or physically than they were before they went to war.

The media coverage that followed Lopez’s rampage was, of course, 24/7 and there was much discussion of PTSD, the all-purpose (if little understood) label now used to explain just about anything unpleasant that happens to or is caused by current or former military men and women. Amid the barrage of coverage, however, something was missing: evidence that has been in plain sight for years of how the violence of America’s distant wars comes back to haunt the “homeland” as the troops return.  In that context, Lopez’s killings, while on a scale not often matched, are one more marker on a bloody trail of death that leads from Iraq and Afghanistan into the American heartland, to bases and backyards nationwide.  It’s a story with a body count that should not be ignored.

War Comes Home

During the last 12 years, many veterans who had grown “worse” while at war could be found on and around bases here at home, waiting to be deployed again, and sometimes doing serious damage to themselves and others.  The organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has campaigned for years for a soldier’s “right to heal” between deployments.  Next month it will release its own report on a common practice at Fort Hood of sending damaged and heavily medicated soldiers back to combat zones against both doctors’ orders and official base regulations. Such soldiers can’t be expected to survive in great shape.

Immediately after the Lopez rampage, President Obama spoke of those soldiers who have served multiple tours in the wars and “need to feel safe” on their home base. But what the president called “that sense of safety… broken once again” at Fort Hood has, in fact, already been shattered again and again on bases and in towns across post-9/11 America—ever since misused, misled, and mistreated soldiers began bringing war home with them.

Since 2002, soldiers and veterans have been committing murder individually and in groups, killing wives, girlfriends, children, fellow soldiers, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers, and—in appalling numbers—themselves. Most of these killings haven’t been on a mass scale, but they add up, even if no one is doing the math.  To date, they have never been fully counted.

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Apr 18

WInslow Wheeler: An Inadequate Defense Budget? Or Incompetent Authorization & Appropriations Personalities?

Winslow Wheeler

Winslow Wheeler

An Inadequate Defense Budget?    Compared to Whom?   Compared to When?

Many Republicans and numerous Democrats, especially on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, have been characterizing the US defense budget as inadequate.  They propose to release the Pentagon from the statutory spending caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and its “sequestration,” which would keep some, but not all, Pentagon spending in the neighborhood of $500 billion, annually, for several years.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and any other Pentagon official near a microphone have been cheering them on.

Absent from all their talking points are three salient facts:

  1. President Obama’s 2015 request for all national security related programs would exceed $1 Trillion;
  1. the US outspends any other nation, especially presumed threat nations, by a huge amount, and
  1. under the dreaded sequestration, the Pentagon portion of national security spending would remain at historically high levels.

There is a major mismatch between the actual size of the US defense budget and the characterization of inadequacy given to it.  The enormity of the US defense budget, even under sequestration, is readily apparent in both relative and absolute terms.

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Apr 17

Rickard Falkvinge: More People Were Paid To Exploit Heartbleed For The NSA Than To Fix It

Rickard Falkvinge

Rickard Falkvinge

More People Were Paid To Exploit Heartbleed For The NSA Than To Fix It

Infrastructure – Zacqary Adam Green: Unsurprisingly, it turns out that the NSA knew about the Heartbleed bug since shortly after it was added to OpenSSL. While thousands of salaried NSA personnel search for bugs like these to exploit, OpenSSL has only four part-time volunteers maintaining it. Of course this was going to happen.

nsa heartbleedThe idea behind open source software is that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” This only works if there actually are enough eyeballs. Code audits can only happen if there are people with the will, expertise, and time to do so. Rusty Foster pointed out the problem with OpenSSL:

The project’s code is more than fifteen years old, and it has a reputation for being dense, as well as difficult to maintain and to improve. Since the bug was revealed, other programmers have had harsh criticisms for what they regard as a mistake that could easily have been avoided.…

Unlike a rusting highway bridge, digital infrastructure does not betray the effects of age. And, unlike roads and bridges, large portions of the software infrastructure of the Internet are built and maintained by volunteers, who get little reward when their code works well but are blamed, and sometimes savagely derided, when it fails. To some degree, this is beginning to change: venture-capital firms have made substantial investments in code-infrastructure projects, like GitHub and the Node Package Manager. But money and support still tend to flow to the newest and sexiest projects, while boring but essential elements like OpenSSL limp along as volunteer efforts.

This point is only compounded by the NSA news. As it turns out, a great deal of funding was going towards meticulously auditing OpenSSL. The problem is that the NSA keeps the results of these audits to themselves. No bugs are fixed. No patches are committed. Critical flaws are kept under wraps so that they can be used to siphon more data and break into more computers.

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Apr 12

Veterans Today: US Produced Sarin Gas for Syrian Rebels, in Georgia (the Country Next to Russia)

veterans todayUS Produced Sarin Gas Used in Syria

Jeffrey K. Silverman

Veterans Today, 8 April 2014

Jeffrey K. Silverman, 22 years resident of the former Soviet Union, since October 1991, resides in Tbilisi Georgia worked with Radio Free Europe, crime, corruption and terrorism report. USAR, 100th Division Training, Fort Knox and Blue Grass Army Chemical Weapons Depot, both Kentucky bases: decorated veteran, 19D, Calvary Scout. Jeffrey has a track record in breaking through language barriers and bureaucracies to gather information under unconventional circumstances.

EXTRACT

Journalists Jeffrey Silverman and Lika Moshiashvili are credited with having discovered the secret and illegal operations taking place in the US-controlled Central Reference Laboratory (CPHRL) in the Tbilisi suburb the Alekseevka Settlement.”As soon as this scary information was made known to the public, Georgia & World contacted Tbilisi based American journalist and researcher Jeffrey Silverman.

. . . . . . .

A number of labs, strewn across Eastern Europe, are linked like an umbilicial cord to the Biological Weapons Proliferation Prevention (BWPP) programme and various projects within it. This programme provides a cover for what is most likely an offensive programme. If the strains they are investigating turn out to be antibiotic resistant, this implies they are conducting ongoing research into special organisms that can eat bacteria and attack infections that are antibiotic resistant, which can be quickly accessed.  Whoever has the capacity to release these controls the bioweapons battlefield.

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Apr 10