Tulsa Peace Fellowship

There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Ben Franklin

"Ghouls troll school halls" (protest poem) | TPF counter-recruitment digest/update for Dec 2011

Truth in Recruiting - "Don't Believe the Hype!"
The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Dec 2011

If you enjoy this news digest, please consider making a donation of time, money, or effort to the Tulsa Peace Fellowship.  

(scroll down for details about any story, including links to original stories)

protest poem, by Tom Greening:


Ghouls troll school halls
preying on the young
who have no better options.
A protester asks a teacher,
"Aren't you afraid they'll get killed?"
and is answered,
"Better a short life with meaning
than a long one without."
That's it?  Meaning is in short supply
and worn out like the textbooks.
There are recruiting quotas to be met,
so standards are lowered,
bonuses paid, hopes inflated,
felonies forgiven,
and patriotic delusions fueled.
This is the greatest military machine in history.
It grinds slowly, but it grinds exceedingly fine.

This work by Tom Greening is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

related story:

file under 'military ghouls'
Air Force dumped ashes of U.S. troops’ remains in Va. landfill
--The incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops were dumped in a Virginia landfill, in secret

“They knew that they were doing something disgusting, and they were doing everything they could to keep it from us.”
~Gari-Lynn Smith, the widow of an Army sergeant killed in Iraq, after receiving notice from the mortuary director saying that incinerated remains of soldiers had been taken to landfills

page 1

Lead Story from the past month's news:

US soldier jailed over Afghan killings
--ringleader sentenced to life in prison, but he will be eligible for parole after 8.5 years behind bars

facts & figures:
In all, 12 soldiers were charged. All but two have been convicted.

related story:
Sergeant found guilty; he's 11th conviction in JBLM probe
--Army prosecutors won their 11th conviction in its investigation of war crimes involving Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers, securing a guilty verdict against a sergeant who could have halted the wrongdoing that unfolded but instead tried to cover it up.

“After seeing my children ripped away from me for the sins of their father, I truly do understand the weight of what I’ve done,” said Staff Sgt. David Bram, 27, was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

file under: the cycle of violence
Amid Piles of Innocent Corpses, NATO Orders Retraining Effort on How Not to Murder
~how to avoid civilian casualties after a succession of civilian casualties

file under: the militarization of civilian life
Militarized police forces in the U.S. have a history of failure
--article by University of Tulsa history professor, Jeremy Kuzmarov

Army Veteran Tazed By Arizona Police, Now on Life Support

featured editorial
The Passing of the Postwar Era
opinion column by Tom Engelhardt on the demise of "Camp Victory" in Iraq

"When our trophy for the eight-year debacle is a commode, you know that we’re in a new era."

page 2

US Refuses to End Afghan Night Raids
--Thousands killed in middle of the night


“[Americans] claim to be against terrorists, but what they are doing is terrorism. It spreads terror. It creates more violence.”
~one man from Nangarhar, Afghanistan, interviewed in the report

facts & figures:

U.S. nightly raids in Afghanistan get the wrong person 50 percent of the time.

Some 92% of the war-torn population in Afghanistan have never even heard of 9/11.

The US military occupation is now a decade old, with no end in sight.

file under: trigger-happy Marines
Court martial set for remaining Marine charged for killings in Haditha, Iraq

facts & figures:
A total of 8 Marines were charged in the 2005 killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha

Mother: Veteran charged in AL postal shooting had PTSD

file under: after the party, the hangover
Location of Nuke Weapons, Nuke Plants in the American Midwest
--Mother Jones provides a national map of just where they are located, two decades after the end of the Cold War

facts & figures:

Kansas City Plant, Kansas City, Missouri
Facility: Nuclear weapons plants and labs
What's Here: Nuclear weapons lab overseen by National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)

Pantex plant,  Amarillo, Texas
Facility: Locations of nuclear weapons
What's Here: More than 3,000 warheads awaiting dismantlement

Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana
Facility: Locations of nuclear weapons
What's Here: B-52H bomber base

Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri
Facility: Locations of nuclear weapons
What's Here: B-2 bomber base

Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota
Facility: Locations of nuclear weapons
What's Here: Minuteman ICMB silos, B-52H bomber base

Warren Air Force Base, Colorado
Facility: Locations of nuclear weapons
What's Here: Minuteman ICMB silos

source: http://batchgeo.com/map/a87855317fdfab0922206bca2dbd19b9

The United States currently has 5,113 atomic warheads deployed in silos, bombers, and submarines across the country and the world, ready for use at a moment's notice.

"The Soviets are long gone, yet the stockpiles remain."
~Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in a recent letter (PDF) to Congress' budget supercommittee, urging it to slash an "outdated radioactive relic" whose billions could be better spent


Russia Urges Probe of Libya Civilians Killed by NATO
--human rights groups estimated over 50 civilians were killed by the air strikes

Lebanon army: We dismantled rockets aimed at Israel
--The Lebanese army dismantled on Monday four rockets in southern Lebanon, a Lebanese security official said.

featured op/ed piece
Andrew Bacevich. Gold Star Father, Say Iraq War Definitely Was Not Worth the Cost
-- Bacevich is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University

US and Pakistan enter the danger zone
--In what looks like a massive screw up, an air strike by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) hit the Pakistani military post at Salala on the Afghan-Pakistan border

Bradley Manning treatment in custody concerns MEPs
-- More than 50 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have signed an open letter to the US government raising concerns about the treatment of Bradley Manning, the US soldier in military detention for allegedly leaking classified US documents to the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks.

related event:

Tulsa Peace Fellowship

monthly peace vigil, occupying the corner of 41st & Yale


always on the first Saturday of the month

January 7th, 2012

12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

bring your own protest sign, or brandish one of ours

Passers-by are encouraged to 'honk for peace', or flash us a peace sign.

epitaph for this edition of "Truth in Recruiting"
Leave War for the Ants
--quote from B. Ehrenreich

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Dec 2011
lead story

from the foreign press:

US soldier jailed over Afghan killings
11 November 2011
published online by The Independent (UK)

A US soldier accused of exhorting his bored underlings to kill three Afghan civilians for sport has been convicted of murder, conspiracy and other charges in one of the most gruesome cases to emerge from the war.

The military jury sentenced Army Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs to life in prison, but he will be eligible for parole in less than nine years.

Gibbs was the highest ranking of five soldiers charged over the deaths of the unarmed men during patrols in Kandahar province early last year.

At his court martial, the 26-year-old acknowledged cutting fingers off corpses and yanking out a victim's tooth to keep as war trophies, "like keeping the antlers off a deer you'd shoot".

He had insisted he wasn't involved in the first or third killings, and in the second he merely returned fire.

Prosecutors said Gibbs and his co-defendants knew the victims posed no danger but dropped weapons by their bodies to make them appear to have been combatants.

Three co-defendants pleaded guilty, and two of them testified against Gibbs, portraying him as an imposing, bloodthirsty leader who in one instance played with a victim's corpse and moved the mouth like a puppet.

Gibbs's lawyer insisted they conspired to blame him for what they had done and told the five jurors the case represented "the ultimate betrayal of an infantryman".

The jury deliberated for about four hours before convicting him on all charges.

The sentencing hearing began immediately after the verdict was announced, with prosecutor Major Andre LeBlanc asking for the maximum, life without parole. He told jurors that Gibbs was supposed to protect the Afghan people but instead caused many to lose trust in Americans. Mr LeBlanc noted that Gibbs repeatedly called the Afghans "savages".

"Ladies and gentlemen, there is the savage - Staff Sergeant Gibbs is the savage," he said.

Gibbs's lawyer, Phil Stackhouse, asked for leniency - life with parole - and noted that Gibbs could be eligible for parole after 10 years if they allowed it.

"He'd like you to know he has had failures in his life and he's had a lot of time to think about them," Mr Stackhouse said. "He wants you to know he's not the same person he was in Afghanistan. He doesn't want his wife to have to raise their son on her own."

The investigation into the 5th Stryker Brigade unit exposed widespread misconduct - a platoon that was "out of control", in the words of prosecutor Major Robert Stelle.

The wrongdoing included hash-smoking, the collection of illicit weapons, the mutilation and photography of Afghan remains and the gang-beating of a soldier who reported the drug use.

In all, 12 soldiers were charged. All but two have been convicted.

The probe also raised questions about the brigade's permissive leadership culture and the Army's mechanisms for reporting misconduct.

After the first killing, one soldier, Specialist Adam Winfield, alerted his parents and told them more killings were planned, but his father's call to a sergeant at Lewis-McChord relaying the warning went unheeded.

Winfield later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the last killing, saying he took part because he believed Gibbs would kill him if he did not.

The case against Gibbs relied heavily on testimony from former Specialist Jeremy Morlock, who is serving 24 years after admitting his involvement in all three killings.

According to Morlock, Gibbs gave him an "off-the-books" grenade that Morlock and Private Andrew Holmes used in the first killing - an Afghan teenager in a field - in January 2010.

The next month, Morlock said, Gibbs killed the second victim with Specialist Michael Wagnon and tossed an AK-47 at the man's feet to make him appear to have been an enemy fighter. Morlock and Winfield said that during the third killing, in May, Gibbs threw a grenade at the victim as he ordered them to shoot.

Morlock and others told investigators that soon after Gibbs joined the unit in 2010, he began talking about how easy it would be to kill civilians, and discussed scenarios where they might carry out such murders.

Asked why soldiers might have agreed to go along with it, Morlock testified that the brigade had trained for deployment to Iraq before having their orders shifted at the last minute to Afghanistan.

The infantrymen wanted action, he testified, but instead found themselves carrying out a more humanitarian counter-insurgency strategy that involved meetings and handshaking.

Another soldier, Staff Sergeant Robert Stevens, who at the time was a close friend of Gibbs, told investigators that in March 2010, he and others followed orders from Gibbs to fire on two unarmed farmers in a field; no one was injured. Gibbs claimed one was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, but that was obviously false, Stevens said.

Stevens also testified that Gibbs bragged to him about the second killing, admitting he planted an AK-47 on the victim's body because he suspected the man of involvement with the Taliban, according to a report.

But during the trial, Gibbs insisted he came under fire.

"I was engaged by an enemy combatant. Luckily his weapon appeared to malfunction and I didn't die."

Gibbs testified that he wasn't proud about having removed fingers from the bodies of the victims, but said he tried to disassociate the corpses from the humans they had been as a means of coming to terms with the things soldiers are asked to do in battle.

He testified that he did it because other soldiers wanted the trophies, and he agreed in part because he did not want his subordinates to think he was weak.

Gibbs initially faced 16 charges, but one was dropped during the trial.


Sergeant found guilty; he's 11th conviction in JBLM probe
reporting by Adam Ashton, The News Tribune

The Army on Friday won its 11th conviction in its investigation of war crimes involving Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers, securing a guilty verdict against a sergeant who could have halted the wrongdoing that unfolded but instead tried to cover it up.

The Army on Friday won its 11th conviction in its investigation of war crimes involving Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers, securing a guilty verdict against a sergeant who could have halted the wrongdoing that unfolded but instead tried to cover it up.

Staff Sgt. David Bram, 27, was sentenced to five years in prison. He was found guilty of assaulting the private who blew the whistle on drug use in their platoon, soliciting another junior soldier to join him in a scheme to murder Afghan civilians, impeding an Army investigation and disobeying a general order by possessing photos of casualties.

Bram appeared resigned to his sentence. He cried during a statement to the jury after his verdict was read, imploring for mercy so he could reunite with his two children.

“After seeing my children ripped away from me for the sins of their father, I truly do understand the weight of what I’ve done,” he said.

Bram’s conviction means there is only one soldier from the platoon left to face a jury. Spc. Michael Wagnon, one of five defendants charged with murder, is expected to have his court-martial in January.

Bram did not kill anyone, and he might have come home with a clean record if not for his decision to lead a seven-man beatdown on Pfc. Justin Stoner after the soldier complained about drug use in the platoon to a noncommissioned officer outside their unit in May 2010.

The Army argued Bram joined that assault to intimidate Stoner because Bram knew that scrutiny on his platoon could lead officers to his own crimes.

Scholtes mocked Bram’s commitment to the Army in closing arguments, “This backbone of the Army, this standard-bearer, he gets together with his posse of thugs and goes over to Pfc. Stoner’s (living quarters)” to pummel the private.

“This is not my brother that I know. It’s a little shocking,” said Matthew Bram.

Staff Sgt. Bram said he understood his misconduct tarnished the legacy of his brigade and enabled the wrongdoing that resulted in 11 of his platoonmates facing criminal charges.

He knew he had the rank and the bearing to halt the war crimes, but instead he became a participant.


Amid Piles of Innocent Corpses, NATO Orders Retraining Effort on How Not to Murder
Six days of retraining was ordered for NATO soldiers on how to avoid civilian casualties after succession of civilian casualties
by John Glaser
November 29, 2011

NATO’s top commander in Afghanistan has ordered tens of thousands of troops to be retrained in how to avoid civilian casualties, while innocent corpses continue to pile up in the decade-long war.

General Allen said NATO forces – over 70 percent of which are U.S. troops – will pursue retraining in methods of how to employ force against insurgents while protecting Afghan civilians.

On the very day General Allen made this announcement, three Afghan women were killed and two men injured when NATO forces fired rockets into civilian houses in Kandahar province.

This latest tragedy comes days after NATO warplanes killed at least nine civilians, at least six of them small children, in the very same Zhari province of Kandahar.

In fact, civilian casualties have seen a sharp rise in 2011, raising the estimated number of civilian casualties to up to 14,700. Children, in particular, have suffered immensely and lost their lives in large numbers.


The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Dec 2011
other page 1 stories

Air Force dumped ashes of more troops’ remains in Va. landfill than acknowledged
By Craig Whitlock and Mary Pat Flaherty,

The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill, far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show.

The landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said. There are no plans, they said, to alert those families now.

The new data, for the first time, show the scope of what has become an embarrassing episode for vaunted Dover Air Base, the main port of entry for America’s war dead.

The landfill disposals were never formally authorized under military policies or regulations. They also were not disclosed to senior Pentagon officials who conducted a high-level review of cremation policies at the Dover mortuary in 2008, records show.

Air Force and Pentagon officials said last month that determining how many remains went to the landfill would require searching through the records of more than 6,300 troops whose remains have passed through the mortuary since 2001.

This week, after The Post pressed for information contained in the Dover mortuary’s electronic database, the Air Force produced a tally based on those records. It showed that 976 fragments from 274 military personnel were cremated, incinerated and taken to the landfill between 2004 and 2008.

An additional group of 1,762 unidentified remains were collected from the battlefield and disposed of in the same manner, the Air Force said. Those fragments could not undergo DNA testing because they had been badly burned or damaged in explosions. The total number of incinerated fragments dumped in the landfill exceeded 2,700.

A separate federal investigation of the mortuary last month, prompted by whistleblower complaints, uncovered “gross mismanagement” and documented how body parts recovered from bomb blasts stacked up in the morgue’s coolers for months or years before they were identified and disposed of.


featured editorial
The Passing of the Postwar Era
by Tom Engelhardt
November 14, 2011

Sometimes, just when you least expect it, symbolism steps right up and coldcocks you. So how about this headline for — in the spirit of our last president — ushering America’s withdrawal from Iraq right over the nearest symbolic cliff: “U.S. empties biggest Iraq base, takes Saddam’s toilet.” They’re talking about Victory Base, formerly — again in the spirit of thoroughly malevolent symbolism — Camp Victory, the enormous American military base that sits at the edge of Baghdad International Airport and that we were never going to leave.

If you want to measure the size of American pretensions in Iraq once upon a time, just consider this: that base, once meant — as its name implied — to be Washington’s triumphalist and eternal military command post in the oil heartlands of the planet, is encircled by 27 miles of blast walls and razor wire. (By comparison, the island I live on, Manhattan Island to be exact, is just 13.4 miles long.) So that’s big. It was, in fact, the biggest of the 505 bases the U.S. built in Iraq.

By the way, it does seem just a tad ironic that only at the moment of departure are Americans given an accurate count of just how many bases “we” built in that country to the tune of billions of dollars. Previous published figures were in the “more than 300” range. In recent months, Victory Base has been stripped of much and locked down. You can almost hear taps playing for the closing of its Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, and Cinnabon franchises, its bottled-water plant, its electric grid (which delivered power with an effectiveness the occupation was otherwise incapable of providing for the people of Baghdad), its “mother of all PXs,” its hospital, and so many of the other “improvements” now valued at $100 million or more.

Anyway, I was talking about toilets, wasn’t I? Not to belabor the point, but back in 2003 George W. Bush was given Saddam Hussein’s pistol as a trophy after the Iraqi dictator was captured by U.S. forces in his “spider hole.” Now, it seems, Americans get the ultimate trophy: the stainless steel toilet Saddam used during his imprisonment in one of his old palaces at Camp Victory for the three years before he was hanged. On the theory that we installed it, so it’s ours to keep, it was removed in August and shipped back to the United States, destined for the Military Police Museum at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. So, close enough to a trillion dollars later (with so much more to come in, among other things, bills for the care of the American war-wounded and traumatized), don’t let anyone say that the United States got nothing out of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

When our trophy for the eight-year debacle is a commode, you know that we’re in a new era, even if that’s news in Washington.


file under: the militarization of civilian life
Militarized police forces in the U.S. have a history of failure

By Jeremy Kuzmarov


History News Network (HNN)

The images of militarized police units organized in platoon formation pepper spraying and beating peaceful demonstrators at UC Davis and at the Occupy encampments across the country have been disturbing to witness, though they provide a potent symbol of the times.  While staffed with people from working-class backgrounds, the police in American society have long served as “protectors of privilege,” as Frank Donner put it in a 1990 book, upholding the power of the wealthy 1% by frequently crushing labor protest, spying on and harassing civil rights and antiwar activists, and enforcing the War on Drugs primarily in ghetto communities.

As much as racial profiling and brutality have been deeply rooted in the history of American police institutions, so has their militarization.

August Vollmer, the “father of modern law enforcement” who pioneered innovations such as fingerprinting, lie detector tests, and patrol cars as head of the Berkeley police force from 1905-1931, was himself a veteran of the Spanish-American/Philippines War.

The 1924 appointment of General Smedley Butler as chief of police in Philadelphia epitomized the militarization of American police institutions during the Progressive era.  Known for turning the Haitian Gendarmerie into a powerful colonial instrument, Butler cracked down on corruption, promoted use of high-speed cars and new radio technology, set up an iron ring of semi-military posts around the city, and followed what he called a “pound policy”–ordering his men, armed with sawed-off shotguns, to raid speakeasies and suspected bootlegging institutions suddenly and repeatedly if necessary.  During his tenure, police closed 2,566 speakeasies compared with only 220 in the preceding year.  Claiming the best way to stop crime was to shoot criminals and make jails unbearable, Butler was replaced after he stormed the Ritz-Carleton, shutting down a debutante ball.  One angry citizen compared him to a military dictator while another wrote that “military tactics which might do in Mexico and other places has no place in the administration of civil affairs.”

 In August 1969, after demonstrators for People’s Park in Berkeley, California were subjected to beatings and torture, the Sheriff in Alameda County tellingly stated:  “We have a bunch of young deputies back from Vietnam who tend to treat prisoners like Vietcong.”  The continuity in pattern is evident today, with many police officers still coming from military backgrounds, being trained along paramilitary lines.


Army Veteran Detained By Arizona Sheriff’s Deputies Now on Life Support, Body Bears Signs of Tasing

A Latino Army veteran arrested by sheriff’s deputies in Maricopa County, Arizona, is on life support after being found unresponsive in his cell. The family of 44-year-old Ernest Atencio told advocates they were deciding when to take their son off life support after he was found in his jail cell with Taser marks on his body. The news comes as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is facing scrutiny after a U.S. Department of Justice probe found the department unfairly targeted Latinos.

source: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/12/20/headlines#17

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Dec 2011
page 2

US Refuses to End Afghan Night Raids

Thousands killed in middle of the night

by John Glaser
December 19, 2011

Afghan President Karzai’s Latest Plea to End Deadly Night Raids Falls on Deaf Ears

The U.S. and NATO have refused to put an end to night raids on Afghan homes, despite repeated objections and pleas from Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Night raids have become the top issue among many Afghans, exemplifying for them the grievances they have living under military occupation. Karzai has repeatedly asked they be put to an end, only to be met with staunch refusals by the U.S. and NATO.

Obama has more than tripled the incidence of night raids, which very often kill civilians, and which a study from back in September found fuel resentment and undermine the mission in Afghanistan.

“An estimated 12 to 20 night raids now occur per night,” according to the report, “resulting in thousands of detentions per year, many of whom are non-combatants.” And many of the associated tactics, like “mass detention operations, holding entire villages for questioning on site for prolonged periods of time,” may violate international law, the report found.

Civilians bear the brunt of these hardline tactics. As one man from Nangarhar, interviewed in the report said, “They claim to be against terrorists, but what they are doing is terrorism. It spreads terror. It creates more violence.”

According to senior commanders in the Joint Special Operations Command, these various nightly raids get the wrong person 50 percent of the time. For a war-torn population living through a decade of US military occupation, ninety-two percent of whom have never even heard of 9/11, these are counterproductive indeed.

According to official statistics later released by the U.S. and NATO, well over 1,500 civilians were killed in night raids in less than 10 months in 2010 and early 2011. That would make night raids among the most deadly of all military operations in Afghanistan.


Court martial set for remaining Marine charged for killings in Haditha, Iraq
December 18, 2011

American troops have left Iraq but there is a chapter yet to be written at Camp Pendleton from that long and destructive war: the trial of the last of eight Marines charged in the 2005 killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha.

The court martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich is set to begin Jan. 4 on charges of manslaughter and assault.

Marines killed five young men standing next to a car and then swept through three houses killing 19 more people, including  three women, seven children, and a 76-year-old man in a wheelchair.

Of the other seven Marines charged in the case, one was found not guilty and six had the charges against them dropped. Three senior officers, although not criminally charged, were censured by Marine brass for not investigating the killings more thoroughly until the incident was reported by Time magazine.

Recent news stories have suggested that continuing Iraqi anger over the Haditha killings made it impossible for the Iraqi government to allow U.S. troops to remain.


Mother: Veteran charged in AL postal shooting had PTSD
Dec 7, 2011

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The mother of a postal employee accused of firing gunshots inside the main post office in Alabama's capital city says her son belongs in a psychiatric facility and not in the county jail.

In an interview with The Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/va5KV7), Willa Darby said her 29-year-old son Arthur Lee Darby Jr. spent a year serving in Iraq.

She told the newspaper he has received regular treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. She said he was diagnosed with the condition shortly after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq in 2005.

He was charged with two counts of attempted murder after police said he used two guns to fire shots inside a mail sorting area at the facility in Montgomery on Dec. 1. No one was injured.

Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

Where the nukes are:

Map shows nuclear weapons spread across United States

By Zachary Roth, Senior National Affairs Reporter

The Lookout, Nov 11, 2011

(Mother Jones)

The Cold War ended more than two decades ago. But the United States still has more than 5,000 atomic warheads scattered around the country or on submarines around the world. And President Obama's push for a nuclear-weapons-free world is moving at a frustrating, glacial pace.

More than likely, there's highly radioactive nuclear material not too far from you right now. The hair-raising map above, compiled by Mother Jones magazine using data from the Defense Department and nuclear watchdog groups, lets you see just where those warheads are--while also showing civilian nuclear facilities, as well as the far-flung labs and factories that make up the American weapons complex. Our scattered system for making and storing weapons is needlessly expensive and dangerous, watchdog groups have said.

Map: The Nuclear Bombs in Your Backyard

Look up where in the United States the Pentagon keeps its atomic weaponry.

You can view a full screen version of the map here.

And you can check out Mother Jones's recent related story on how we're spending even more on our weapons complex than we did dur...


The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Dec 2011

Russia Urges Probe of Libya Civilians Killed by NATO
Louis Charbonneau, Reuters
December 20, 2011

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia's U.N. envoy on Monday demanded there be a thorough investigation of civilians killed in NATO air strikes during its military operations in Libya, which led to the ouster and death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin was reacting to news reports about civilian deaths caused by NATO. Reuters reported on Friday that human rights groups estimated over 50 civilians were killed by the air strikes, while the New York Times published on Sunday an estimate of 40 to over 70.

Churkin told reporters the NATO alliance has so far failed to provide the U.N. Security Council with details about civilian casualties.

"Unfortunately NATO adopted a pure propaganda stand, claiming zero civilian casualties in Libya, which was completely implausible, first of all, and, secondly, not true," he said.

Churkin said he would raise the issue in the 15-nation Security Council on Thursday.

"We hope that NATO is going to revisit this entire problem, is going to investigate this matter," he said, adding that the United Nations could help with the investigation.

After abstaining from a March 17 vote on U.N. Security Council resolution 1973, which authorized U.N. member states to enforce a no-fly zone and use "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians, Russia and China repeatedly accused NATO of overstepping its mandate by seeking to oust Gaddafi.


Lebanon army: We dismantled rockets aimed at Israel
IDF says presence of weapons in southern Lebanon is 'a concern' and a violation of UN Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Dec 19th 2011

The Lebanese army dismantled on Monday four rockets in southern Lebanon that were set to be fired into Israel, a Lebanese security official said.

An Israeli military spokesperson said that the presence of weapons in southern Lebanon was "a concern" and a clear violation of UN Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.

A rocket fired from Lebanon toward Israel last week exploded in Lebanese territory, wounding one woman.

Rockets fired from Lebanon exploded in Israel three weeks ago, causing no damage or injuries. It was the first such cross-border attack in two years.


featured op/ed

Bacevich: After Iraq, War is US

Editor's Note: Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. This post is one of four from the Council on Foreign Relations in response to the question, Was the Iraq War worth it?

Recalling that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda both turned out to be all but non-existent, a Churchillian verdict on the war might read thusly: Seldom in the course of human history have so many sacrificed so dearly to achieve so little.

Yet in inviting a narrow cost-benefit analysis, the question-as-posed serves to understate the scope of the debacle engineered by the war's architects. The disastrous legacy of the Iraq War extends beyond treasure squandered and lives lost or shattered. Central to that legacy has been Washington's decisive and seemingly irrevocable abandonment of any semblance of self-restraint regarding the use of violence as an instrument of statecraft. With all remaining prudential, normative, and
constitutional barriers to the use of force having now been set aside, war has become a normal condition...

One senses that this was what the likes of [Vice President Dick] Cheney, [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld, and [Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz (urged on by militarists cheering from the sidelines and with George W. Bush serving as their enabler) intended all along. By leaving intact and even enlarging the policies that his predecessor had inaugurated, President Barack Obama has handed these militarists an unearned victory. As they drag themselves from one "overseas contingency operation" to the next, American soldiers must reckon with the consequences.


US and Pakistan enter the danger zone
By M K Bhadrakumar
Nov 29, 2011

The air strike by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at the Pakistani military post at Salala in the Mohmand Agency on the Afghan-Pakistan border Friday night is destined to become a milestone in the chronicle of the Afghan war.

Within hours of the incident, Pakistan's relations with the US began nose-diving and it continues to plunge. NATO breached the ''red line''.

Exactly what happened in the fateful night of Friday - whether the NATO blundered into a mindless retaliatory (or pre-emptive) act or ventured into a calculated act of high provocation - will remain a mystery. Maybe it is no more important to know, since blood has been drawn and innocence lost, which now becomes the central point.

At any rate, the DDC simply proceeded on the basis that this was a calculated air strike - and by no means an accidental occurrence. Again, the DDC statement implies that in the Pakistan military's estimation, the NATO attack emanated from a US decision.

The GHQ in Rawalpindi would have made the assessment within hours of the Salala incident that the US is directly culpable.

The DDC took the following decisions: a) to close NATO's transit routes through Pakistani territory with immediate effect; b) to ask the US to vacate Shamsi airbase within 15 days; c) to "revisit and undertake a complete review" of all "programs, activities and cooperative arrangements" with US, NATO and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), including in "diplomatic, political and intelligence" areas; d) to announce shortly a whole range of further measures apropos Pakistan's future cooperation with US, NATO and ISAF.

No more doublespeak?

The response stops short of declaring the termination of Pakistan's participation in the US-led war in Afghanistan.  By demanding that the US vacate Shamsi, Pakistan is possibly shifting its stance on the drone attacks; its doublespeak may be ending.


Bradley Manning treatment in custody concerns MEPs

Open letter to US authorities raises human rights fears and urges access for UN special rapporteur on torture to whistleblower

• The open letter by the 54 MEPs

reporting by James Ball, guardian.co.uk
29 November 2011

More than 50 members of the European parliament have signed an open letter to the US government raising concerns about the treatment of Bradley Manning, the US soldier in military detention for allegedly leaking classified US documents to the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks.

The MEPs said internal investigations into Manning's treatment in custody, which included solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day, inspections by officers every five minutes from 5am onwards and removal of his clothes, had been marred by "clear conflicts of interest".

They call for US authorities to grant Juan Méndez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, access to Manning.

Mendez has made repeated requests for access to the military base where Manning is held.

The open letter from European parliamentarians, which follows another signed by several hundred US legal scholars, questioned the charges against Manning and warned that his pre-trial treatment may harm the UN's work elsewhere, "particularly its mandate to investigate allegations of torture and human rights abuses".

"In order to uphold the rights guaranteed to Bradley Manning under international human rights law and the US constitution, it is imperative that the United Nations special rapporteur be allowed to properly investigate evidence of rights abuses. PFC Manning has a right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. People accused of crimes must not be subjected to any form of punishment before being brought to trial," they wrote.

"We certainly do not understand why an alleged whistleblower is being threatened with the death penalty, or the possibility of life in prison. We also question whether Bradley Manning's right to due process has been upheld, as he has now spent over 17 months in pre-trial confinement."

Five MEPs from the UK signed the open letter in support of Manning, who holds dual US and UK citizenships. They were Labour MEPs Richard Howitt and Derek Vaughan, Green MEPs Jean Lambert and Keith Taylor, and Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans.


epitaph, for this edition of "Truth in Recruiting"

Will Unmanned War Help People Drop Myths About War's Nobility and Heroism?

"With the decline of mass militaries and their possible replacement by machines, we may finally see that war is not just an extension of our needs and passions, however base or noble. Nor is it likely to be even a useful test of our courage, fitness, or national unity. War has its own dynamic or -- in case that sounds too anthropomorphic -- its own grim algorithms to work out. As it comes to need us less, maybe we will finally see that we don’t need it either. We can leave it to the ants."

~Barbara Ehrenreich, from the updated afterword to the British edition of her book, Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War.

related upcoming event, in Tulsa:

Annual MLK Parade
Greenwood, Tulsa
through OSU-Tulsa campus & former Black Wall Street

Monday, Jan 16 2012, from 11 am

simulcast on KTUL TV Channel 8
Join the Tulsa Peace Fellowship
& march for peace !
contact tpf.918@gmail.com

full schedule: http://tulsamlksociety.org/CalendarofEvents.aspx
map of parade route: http://tulsamlksociety.org/2011MLKParadeRoute.aspx

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Dec 2011

who we are:

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship is the activist wing of the peace movement in Eastern Oklahoma.  TPF offers citizens and community groups tools and resources to participate personally in our democracy, to help shape federal budget and policy priorities, and to promote peace, social and economic justice, and human rights.   TPF is a registered non-profit organization and a non-partisan civic-sector organization, loosely affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, north side of Tulsa.

"Waging Peace One Person at a Time".

Through its counter-recruitment task force, TPF is a member of the National Network in Opposition to the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) representing some 188 counter-recruitment groups in cities and towns across the country. On the web: http://www.nnomy.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=v... 

Tulsa Peace Fellowship is open to members of third parties, progressives, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party members, etc.  If you have not already done so, please join the new social networking tool for TPF on Ning.  You can check out our new tool here: https://tulsapeacefellowship.ning.com/ (new for 2011)

Also still going strong:  our announcement list on yahoo!  tulsapeace@yahoogroups.com (since 2002)  Go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/ and search for "tulsapeace"

TPF needs your support.

You can donate online via PINC (pull down menu for US$ donations)

Or, please mail a check or money order made out to the"Tulsa Peace Fellowship" to :

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship
c/o UU Church of the Restoration,
1314 N. Greenwood Ave, Tulsa Oklahoma. 74106-4854
Find on a map: Google Maps link

Contributions to TPF are not tax deductible at the present time. Details on tax status available.

The next monthly anti-war demo in Tulsa is scheduled for
Saturday Jan 7th, 2011, 12noon to 2pm, with the theme: "U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now!"
Details online: https://tulsapeacefellowship.ning.com/events/out-of-afghanistan-1

The next regularly scheduled business meeting of the Fellowship will be held
Thursday, Jan 12th 2011, 6:15 PM – 8:00 PM @ the UU Church of the Restoration, 1314 N. Greenwood Ave.,  in Tulsa, just north of downtown
--including members from other local non-partisan groups such as the Tulsa University chapter of Amnesty International, Veterans for Peace, the Center for Racial Justice in Tulsa, the Tulsa Interfaith Allliance, Pax Christi, and the Quakers

Come join us!   Especially parents, guardians, and students in the Tulsa Public Schools system who are interested in countering the presence of military recruiters on school grounds.

An archive of TPF counter-recruitment updates and other related TPF material is available to members online:
You must sign in to yahoo! groups to see the archived "message history"
TPF messages have been archived online since 2002
TPF was founded some 30 years ago.
Current membership online: 692 subscribers

The information provided in this digest/update herein is for non-profit use only, according to "fair use" doctrine.  Copyright and all commercial exploitation rights remain with the various authors/publishers cited above. The Tulsa Peace Fellowship does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles appearing herein.

further information



Strength Through Peace:  Out of Iraq & Afghanistan
Accountability:  Indict & Imprison Bush & Cheney for War Crimes
JROTC: Out of Our Schools
Schools as Military-Free Zones
Alternatives to War:  Department of Peace & cabinet-level Secretary of Peace


Ten excellent reasons not to join the military:
a.. You May Be Killed, Even By Mistake
b.. You May Kill Others Who Do Not Deserve to Die
c.. You May Be Injured
d.. You May Not Receive Proper Medical Care
e.. You May Suffer Long-term Health Problems
f.. You May Be Lied To
g.. You May Face Discrimination
h.. You May Be Asked to Do Things Against Your Beliefs
i.. You May Find It Difficult to Leave the Military
j.. You Have Other Choices, including the Choice to Learn a Marketable Skill

for more info:

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update on counter-recruitment efforts, on the West Coast, summer 2012:

The Los Angeles Unified School District, second largest in the country, has been more reticent [than most in the country] to grant access to military recruiters on school grounds. It gives recruiters no more access to students or their information than is granted to any other potential employer. Parents and older students also are allowed to restrict the release of personal information to military recruiters.

Some teachers in the district have launched "counter recruiting" efforts, warning students of physical danger, regimentation and loss of privacy and individuality that come with military service. Others put students on "don't call" lists.

"The U.S. continues to fight in wars that are opposed by the public, and yet the military can recruit with little opposition because working-class kids have few job options," said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers and a critic of the Marine Corps program.

Brian Metzger, an English teacher at Highland Park High, said that counselors at his school "actively discourage anyone from enlisting."


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