The United States has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken… If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace.
Nelson Mandela in 2002, courtesy of Newsweek.
Meet the RQ-180, a large, heretofore secret drone developed by Northrop Grumman. Unlike the well known hunk-of-junk-type targeted assassination drones — the Predator and Reaper — this unmanned aircraft is designed for spying and envisioned to fill the role of the now long-retired SR-71 Blackbird.
(via Secret New UAS Shows Stealth, Efficiency Advances)
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.
They killed my father and took away his body. We felt so sad and tearful and we ran away. Now my aunty is taking care of me. I don’t know if I should stay here or go back to our village. If we go back, what if Seleka kill us, then what will I become?
The Air Force touts its program as a serious graduate program, because … it says it is and it got someone to accredit it. However, the Air Force doesn’t want to treat its students like either graduate students or senior leaders. Instead, we get a weird mix of military training, company-grade accountability techniques, and the 8th grade. We have a student council that debates such issues as trash pickup and snack bars. We’re compelled to participate in “duel of the schools” events against the Command and Staff College. Of course, you can’t compete successfully without practicing, so practice sessions are laced into the duty day. Imagine the taxpayer response to my being paid really well to attend AWC poker team practice. Again, this isn’t extracurricular activity. This is mandatory, middle-of-the-day stuff.
You have more disseminated ground-level fighting than you’ve had before, and this has come as a result of a change of tactics by handing over the fighting to the Afghan national security forces. So civilian casualties have increased dramatically this year, so obviously you’re seeing more widespread displacement of people as well.
Mark Bowden, the humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Afghanistan, on the increasing danger for civilians, including aid workers, in that country.
Through November, Bowden told the New York Times, there were 237 attacks on Afghanistan’s aid workers, with 36 people killed, 46 wounded and 96 detained or abducted. Last year, there were 175 attacks, with 11 people killed, 26 wounded and 44 detained or abducted.
Attacks on Aid Workers Rise in Afghanistan, U.N. Says - NYTimes.com
There were pieces of my family all over the road… I picked up those pieces from the road and from the truck and wrapped them in a sheet to bury them. Do the American people want to spend their money this way, on drones that kill our women and children?
Miya Jan, a 28-year-old farmer who found the the burning frame of his cousin’s blue pickup truck after a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan.
Inside, he said, he recognized the mangled remains of his brother, his brother’s wife and their 18-month-old son. Jan and other villagers say 14 people were killed in the attack; U.S. and Afghan officials place the toll at 11.
Afghans describe relatives’ deaths in recent U.S. drone strike - latimes.com
…the federal government’s main terrorist watch list has grown to at least 700,000 people, with little scrutiny over how the determinations are made or the impact on those marked with the terrorist label.
When he raped me, I wasn’t in a position where I could have cried for help. He would have killed me. Later, if I would have reported him, they [Khmer Rouge cadres] would have killed him, but they would have also killed me