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Military knew about bizarre methods of doctor hired to train troops

Dr. HagmannFor years, a doctor now accused of performing macabre procedures on the troops that he trained took steps to cloak his battlefield-medicine classes in secrecy. The doctor, John Henry Hagmann, often required that those who took or helped teach his courses sign non-disclosure agreements.

The agreements may have helped ensure that his most extreme training methods – including allegedly inducing shock among students – would remain confidential.

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'A deaf whale is a dead whale': US navy sonars could be cause of strandings

deaf whale is a dead whaleSix whales have washed ashore in northern California in the past two months, prompting headlines around the world and attracting droves of tourists, curious about the massive mammals so suddenly out of their natural element.

According to a California Academy of Sciences (CAS) necropsy one of those whales, a 32ft female humpback that washed ashore in Pacifica, a 20-minute drive from San Francisco, had “signs of trauma consistent with blunt force”.

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Appeals court sets aside conviction of bin Laden assistant

Ali Hamza al-BahlulA federal appeals court on Friday threw out the only remaining conviction against a Guantanamo Bay detainee who had served as Osama bin Laden's personal assistant, setting new restrictions on the use of military commissions to try terror suspects.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 that the conspiracy case against Ali Hamza al-Bahlul was legally flawed because conspiracy is not a war crime.

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Chaplain violated Army rule in promoting book

Jesus was a US RangerAn active-duty Army chaplain with the elite 75th Ranger Regiment has published a book titled Jesus Was an Airborne Ranger and appeared in a promotional video in uniform to promote it, raising questions about the service endorsing Christianity as the Pentagon wages wars in Muslim countries.

Chaplain John McDougall recently returned from Afghanistan where he served as chaplain for the 75th Ranger Regiment. He wrote the book, he told the Army in a story published on its website, because "the Jesus of many churches is a weakling — someone our Rangers cannot relate to."

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Pentagon Adds 'Sexual Orientation' To Military's Anti-Discrimination Policy

Ashton CarterDefense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that the Pentagon has added "sexual orientation" as a protected class under its Military Equal Opportunity Policy.

The policy identifies certain classes of people who should be protected from discrimination that prevents them from rising to the highest levels possible. Until now, the policy has been extended to people based on their race, religion, sex, age or national origin, but did not protect gay or lesbian military personnel from discrimination outside of their chain of command.

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U.S. Air Force introduces new policy preventing discharge of transgender troops

US Air ForceThe Air Force announced a policy Thursday that makes it more difficult to discharge transgender service men and women, offering greater protections against discrimination based on gender identity.

The move comes two months after the Army made a similar policy, inching the nation's military closer to allowing openly transgender troops. Before this new policy, soldiers diagnosed with gender dysphoria, or those who identify as the opposite sex, were discharged from service based on medical grounds with decisions made by doctors and unit commanders. A psychologist or psychiatrist had to approve any recommended discharge over gender dysphoria, and a unit commander had to determine if the condition disrupted the individual's performance.

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The Risk of Over-Thanking Our Veterans

miliary medalsTraveling through an airport recently, I witnessed a now-commonplace ritual: military personnel getting head-of-the-line privileges in the boarding area. As we complete the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, one of the legacies of the longest war in our history is how the public has rallied to support those who served.

While this can seem superficial at times, there is not a vet alive who would prefer the other extreme. My father served in Vietnam, and the welcome home his generation received was a national disgrace.

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