Blackwater alleged to have offered bribes for silence.


BLACWATER PATCHThe New York Times reports some disconcerting news today regarding bribes paid by Blackwater Worldwide to unspecified persons in the Iraqi government. This was for their support in keeping Blackwater in country after both American and Iraqi investigators had concluded that the 17 civilians shot by Blackwater in September 2007 had been murdered. The story is here.

In other news three top officials in the Obama Administration are proposing forcefully that the President send another 30,000 troops into Afghanistan. Those official are the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen, Secretary of Defense Gates and Secretary of State Clinton. That story is here.


Here is an excerpt from that article:

"Should Mr. Obama choose to send about 30,000 troops, a military official said, brigades would most likely be sent from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., and the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. In addition, 4,000 troops would be sent as trainers for the Afghan security forces, the military official said. A brigade is about 3,500 to 5,000 soldiers."

I wonder how these troopers and their families feel about this proposed deployment?

U.S. troops have found a huge cache of bomb making materials in Afghanistan and that story is here. No one knew about this in the Afghani government or police forces? I find that hard to believe.

Here is an article on General Shinseki’s attempts to update and modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Here is an unusual article about the fading and dying of VFW posts in New York State.

Here is an editorial from the Times expressing outrage at American courts and judges being dismissive of their duties to critically and consistently oversee the Executive Branch relative to excesses in use of illegal powers concerning renditions.

Here is an editorial entitled "Homeless on Veterans Day". The title speaks for itself.

Here is an Op Ed piece by Maureen Dowd on the ever growing and obscene bonuses American bankers are recieiving. Nothing has changed.

These banks were given bailout money, federal tax dollars, to use to lend to small businesses so that Americans could be put back to work.  Instead we are at over 10% official unemployment which means about 17.5% unofficial and real unemployment.  This is a national disgrace.

You are supposed to be running this participative government, not the oligarchs, the oil industry, the bankers or the war industry captains.   You cannot do that without conversing with your representative often, even if it is only an email.

Try and remember that on this Veterans’ Day.

And from the On This Day section of the Times we read:

"On Nov. 11, 1918, fighting in World War I came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany."

Get informed and stay informed.  It is your civic duty as an American veteran to have an informed opinion on all major topics that affect government and to register your opinion on those topics with your representative in the Congress.

Email him/her today.


CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)



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