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Pentagon Says No Need To Ask, Go Ahead And Tell

December 1, 2010 1 comment

The Pentagon has released the result of its year-long study about whether or not to allow gays to openly serve in the American military. The conclusion is that the repeal of DADT would not adversely affect the effectiveness of our fighting forces. It took a year and millions of tax dollars to demonstrate to homophobic bigots what the rational minded already knew – that is sexual orientation has no relation to one’s ability to perform any job, even combat.

I’ve written about this before, and many of you know I’m a 17-year Army veteran with a couple of combat tours. I’ve known several gay soldiers during my career, and I have nothing but respect for them, and there isn’t a one of them that I wouldn’t want next to me in a foxhole when the shit hit the fan.

The only real question that needed to be answered for the public was whether or not non-gay soldiers could handle integration of openly gay soldiers into the ranks. Many of the same arguments against gays were the exact same arguments used by bigots against integrating blacks into the service years ago. The more educated and open-minded (read “liberals”) people have always realized there was no other rationale for holding to archaic and discriminatory practices.

Elected Republican officials really had little choice but to either skirt the issue or speak out against the repeal, or risk angering their small-minded, or religious right base. Arizona Senator John McCain was one of those speaking out against it. I couldn’t tell if this is an issue he feels strongly about or not. Since his chameleon-like change of color on his ideology to suit the whims the ever-vocal Tea Party and religious right, I’m no longer sure what he believes. I used to have a great deal of respect for him because of his willingness to reach across the aisle on issues, as opposed to pandering to the party line. (For my right-wing readers, that does not mean he didn’t have “values”. In fact, it means he was more committed to his values than he was to his party – something all of our politicians could do more of.)

I don’t really believe there will be any other outcome than that gays will be able to serve openly and honorably in our nation’s defense. It is only a matter of time. I’m glad to see this happening. It is, however, a shame that it is taking this long and that the fight has been this hard.

More Tea Party Terrorists. North Carolina Candidate allegedly murdered 2 Iraqis in cold blood.

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Yet another disgraceful example of terrorism from North Carolina.

Ilario Pantano, who is running for North Carolina’s 7th congressional district as a Republican Party Candidate, the Politcal Wing of the Tea Party Terrorists, was charged with the premeditated murder of two Iraqi civilians in 2005 while serving as a second lieutenant with the US Marines.

In April of 2004, Pantano and his platoon stopped and detained two Iraqi men in a car near Falluja. He and two others ordered the detained Iraqis to search their own car for weapons and then allegedly unloaded two full magazines of his M16A4 rifle into them.

The Politial Representative of the Tea Party told the New York magazine “I believed that by firing the number of rounds that I did, I was sending a message”

The New York Magazine reported

Pantano, who earlier had the Iraqis put in plastic handcuffs, now had Doc Gobles cut the cuffs off, which he did with his trauma shears. Then Gobles marched the two prisoners to their vehicle, placed one in the open door of the front seat, the other in the open door of the rear seat. Pantano motioned to the prisoners to search the car. He ordered Gobles to post security at the front of the car; Sergeant Coburn at the rear. Both men turned their backs on Pantano and the Iraqis.

A short time later, the shots started. Gobles and Coburn spun around. Pantano, ten feet from the Iraqis, emptied his M-16’s magazine, reloaded, emptied another. Later, Coburn recalled wondering “when the lieutenant was going to stop, because it was obvious that they were dead.” Photos, souvenirs taken by a Marine, would show one Iraqi nearly embracing the backseat of the car. The other lolled on his side, his head on the floorboard.

“Fiscal Conservatives” – Fail.

October 10, 2010 2 comments
The GOP shrine to nowhere

The GOP shrine to nowhere

The nuts at Canada Free Press and the Hizzbullers are getting their white sheets in a twist about this waste of government money. Who could blame them?

The federal government has built a one billion dollar office complex in Virginia to house some 6,400 Pentagon workers that are to be moved soon. It’s a beautiful new office complex that rises like a mountain next to Northern Virginia’s I-395. But there are a few little problems.

There is no parking for one thing and for another, even if there was a parking lot for 6,400 workers, there are no roads to GET them there!

That’s right, there is no access that won’t cause tremendous traffic jams for the area. Worse, there aren’t any bus or Metro train stops anywhere near the building so workers cannot even take advantage of the Washington area’s extensive public transportation network to get to their new offices.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/28446

These birther/Conservative blogs(pixel rags) were mocking the government for spending $1billion on a building that no one can get to.

The building was built by the, to them, great sacred cow of Republican economics – the Department of Defense.

It is indeed a perfect example of the money wasted by the most incompetent President ever – George W Bush. .

All done one private contract:

Location: Alexandria, Va.
Owner: The Dept. of the Army, on behalf of the Dept. of Defense, Washington Headquarters Services
Developer: Duke Realty Corp., Indianapolis
General Contractor-Towers: Clark Design-Build, Bethesda, Md.
General Contractor-Sitework and Garages: Shirley Contracting Co., Lorton, Va.
Construction Management: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Architect: HKS Architects, Washington, D.C.; Wisnewski Blair & Associates, Alexandria, Va.; Studios Architecture, Washington, D.C.
Start Date: January 2009
Completion Date: September 2011

source: http://midatlantic.construction.com/midatlantic_construction_projects/2010/0601_MarkCenter.asp

A great example of Republican waste. And these people want to control the budget again?

Republicans - money down the drain

Republicans - money down the drain

Republicans never fail to waste money when it comes to their contractor buddies in the military. Spending on people – no, no, no.

Why do Republicans still hate gay soldiers?

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

John Mccain led the filibuster and as a result the Republicans used their minority status to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. His filibuster means that the Senate will not even debate the repeal of DADT.

So why does John McCain hate American troops and why did other Republicans go along with the hate spree?

Well it all fits in with the Summer of Hate. This is a continuance of the bashing of minorities that we saw whipped up by Republicans during the Summer when they decided to bash Muslim Americans for “the crime” of being Muslim.

Sadly, Senator Blanche Lincoln gave Republicans cover and voted with Republicans, as did her Arkansas partner in hate Mark Pryor. Who does she think will vote for her? Dancing with bigots will not save her seat. She has just thrown away any chance of any of the Democratic base voting for her. I will eat a big dish of crow pie of she manages to hold on.

The final vote was 56-43. Harry Reid voted no at last minute, which allows him as Senate Leader to bring the bill back.

Lisa Murkowski, the Senator successfully primaried by loony Christine O’Donnell did not vote.

So on first glance it appears that the lobbying of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins by Lady Gaga failed. I doubt it and I also doubt that the “Maine sisters” have heard the last of Lady Gaga. She has moved them away from outright Republican hatred of gays for a start.

They now claim that they are committed to ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but that the big bad Democratic Party would not let Republicans have an open amendment process, and so they just couldn’t vote to allow for debate. This is nothing but a ridiculously obvious stupid lie. An excuse for inaction because they know that the GOP will if elected never vote to repeal DADT.

(updated)
Here is Senator Levin pointing out the idiocy of Collins argument about why her vote to refuse any debate is because she is concerned about a lack of debate. Collins is first.

The simple fact is they joined with their fellow Republicans to not even allow debate on the repeal of DADT. By their vote they decided to continue the Summer of Hate.

One thing for sure is that it is an absolutely stupid idea that a 56-43 vote to debate means the vote fails. The filibuster must go or be reformed. It is not good for democracy.

Most Western military forces have now removed policies excluding sexual minority members; of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO, 22 permit open lesbians, gays, or bisexuals to serve; of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, three (United Kingdom, France, and Russia) do so. The United States stands alone with their discrimination.

America thanks to Republicans continues to have a smiliar policy to these great Nations

  • Cuba
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Greece
  • Iran
  • Jamaica
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

Yay for Republicans. What a great bunch of freedom loving Nations to stand with.

All British soldiers do is run round in gay parades, looking fabulous.

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

According to Republicans at the “Value Voters Conference“, military forces which allow gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly no longer participate in wars, only parades.

Of course, you would expect Republicans not to denigrate the United Kingdom, a Country that stood by the US for two wars of questionable legality. One of them caused because a Republican President, that the likes of the Value Voters Conference continually applauded, failed in his duty to keep his own Country safe in September 2001.

Of course not.

Maginnis: That’s why countries like the ten largest militaries in the world, that have the ten largest militaries in the world say ‘no, this isn’t the thing to do.’ They spin this as if Great Britain and we ought to copy them and the Dutch. Well the fact is that 80 percent of the militaries in the world don’t embrace this particular view.

Perkins: Well, those that do, they’re the ones that participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the nation and the world free. So there’s a big difference.

There are few words for this. What a way to thank these men.

This is a link to a list of British casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan that Republicans dismissed as people who were just parading.

h/t balloon juice

American Soldiers Killed Afghan Civilians for Sport

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment

A report in The Guardian provides details of 12 US soldiers who formed a “kill team” that blew up random Afghan civilians and collected their fingers as trophies.

The ”kill team” was exposed as a result of an investigation in to bullying. A Soldier just out of basic training reported the use of stolen hashish and illegally smuggled alcohol. He was badly beaten two days afterwards.

The soldier reported the beating and provided information about the “kill team”.

According to the Guardian report, investigators and legal documents reveal that discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November.

Soldiers told the US Army’s criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to “toss a grenade at someone and kill them”.

Investigators said Gibbs, 25, hatched a plan with another soldier, Jeremy Morlock, 22, and other members of the unit to form a “kill team”.

Allegedly, at least three civilians were murdered by the “Kill Team”.

The first target was Gul Mudin, who was killed “by means of throwing a fragmentary grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle”.

Morlock and another soldier, Andrew Holmes, were on guard at the edge of a poppy field when Mudin emerged and stopped on the other side of a wall from the soldiers. Gibbs allegedly handed Morlock a grenade who armed it and dropped it over the wall next to the Afghan and dived for cover. Holmes, 19, then allegedly fired over the wall.

Later in the day, Morlock is alleged to have told Holmes that the killing was for fun and threatened him if he told anyone.

The second victim, Marach Agha, was shot and killed the following month. Gibbs is alleged to have shot him and placed a Kalashnikov next to the body in an attempt to justify the killing.

In May Mullah Adadhdad was killed after being shot and attacked with a grenade.

According to reports at least one of the soldiers collected the fingers of the victims as souvenirs and some of the others posed for photographs with the corpses of the victims.

Soldiers Gibbs, Morlock, Holmes, Michael Wagnon and Adam Winfield are accused of murder and aggravated assault among other charges. All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

The return of Candidate Obama

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Yes he can politick well.

President Barack Obama got back in the campaign stump and out came the campaigner so many were happy to vote for in 2008.

He promised to fight for a $50 billion infrastructure programme to rebuild roads, railways and runways as a way to secure long term jobs growth and boost the still weak US economy.

He accused Republicans of driving the US economy in to a ditch and said that now that the car has been pulled out of the ditch Republicans are complaining about the scratches.

He directly blamed Republicans for causing Americans’ hard economic times.

The $50 billion would if passed be the beginning of a six-year program of infrastructure improvements.

Republicans said NO.

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