(To check out other “On V Updates to Old Ideas”, click here.)
Once again, we troll through the interwebs to find updates to On V ideas. (Some of these are particularly old, (like May) but we still want to highlight them.) Without further ado...
Update to the Pentagon Wasting Taxpayers Dollars
As long as we’re complaining about “Our Communist Military”--which hates government spending, but never mentions defense spending--we might as well keep updating you on massive military waste. (Again, some of these examples are a few months old, but consider all of them exhibits in this ongoing argument.)
...the Air Force is behind schedule on the F-35.
- Last May, Mark Thompson, for Time's "Battleland", listed a series of examples where House budget committees protect money flowing into their districts for Pentagon programs, whether or not they believe in fiscal discipline, or whether or not the programs work.
- The Army finally deploys a communication network...after the wars are mostly over.
So DADT Wasn’t a Problem...
As we covered in our post, “The Military’s Gay Shower Fiasco...and 5 Other Anti-DADT Predictions that Never Came True” many conservative’s breathless predictions about DADT never came true. But don’t take our word for it. A study from UCLA concluded that “ending the policy ‘has had no negative impact on overall military readiness or its component parts: unit cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.’”
Read an article by the study’s author on Slate for more.
More on OPSEC Leaks and Obama
To avoid cluttering our post, “The Loudest “Quiet Professionals”: Why We Disagree with the “Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund”, we left out a key point about OPSEC: most violations don’t result in dead U.S. soldiers. They don’t even result in failed missions. When comparing OPSEC leaks versus the massive over-classification of U.S. intelligence and military information, the far bigger problem is the over-classification which hides corruption, bureaucratic incompetence, illegality, and intelligence failures.
And somehow, in our last update on this topic, we failed to mention this article by Glenn Greenwald in Salon going over all the evidence showing that the Obama administration leaked classified information. To be clear, we oppose the leaking of classified information; we just think the government should classify much, much less, and release much, much more in a coherent, legal process that doesn’t just shield the government from oversight when it crosses the line.
Since we don’t have that rational system in place, we support protections for whistleblowers.
Update to Intelligence is Evidence: CSI Edition
Michael C based much of his series “Intelligence is Evidence” directly on Frontline’s reporting into two specific topics: the U.S. war on terror/counter-insurgencies and travesties of the U.S. judicial system. When justice goes wrong, either in a war zone or in a courtroom, it feels the same to us. Well, Frontline has kept up the great reporting with an investigation into the “science” behind crime scene forensic analysis.
In short, prosecutors, detectives and forensic analysts hoping to score convictions sent innocent people to prison, and murderers remained on the loose.
On Leslie Stahl’s Softball Interview: Torture and 60 Minutes
Sorry for the tardiness of this response, but last spring, 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl interviewed one of the CIA masterminds behind their torture program, Jose Rodriguez. Despite numerous accounts challenging the effectiveness of torture, Rodriguez stuck by his claims and Stahl barely challenged him. Worse, Rodriguez destroyed any and all evidence of interrogations, not only ruining the legal process but preventing historians and journalists from ever knowing what the CIA did.
(On Violence is against torture.)
Update to Time Travel
Way back in time, Jessica Scott wrote an amazing post called, “Welcome Back 90s Army” bemoaning the coming uniform crack downs. As we’ve written about before, plenty of officers want to return to the standards of the 90s army, including increased reliance on physical fitness, uniform standards and “garrison leadership”. As Jessica mentions, the OEF/OIF Army didn’t need the silly garrison standards of the 90s Army to excel in combat, so why bring them back?