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Friday, May 06th

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Egregious safety failures at Army lab led to anthrax mistakes

Errors at army lab led to anthraz failuresA brigadier general who led an Army biodefense lab in Utah is among a dozen individuals facing potential disciplinary actions — including loss of jobs — for egregious failures that contributed to the facility mistakenly shipping live anthrax to other labs for more than a decade, according to the military’s accountability investigation report that was provided to USA TODAY.

“Over time, you see there is complacency that the leadership should have recognized and taken action to correct,” Maj. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, who led the review team, said in an interview.

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Pentagon: Hundreds of military kids sexually abused annually

Military kids abused regularlyCpl. Aaron C. Masa became fast friends with a fellow Marine during field training in North Carolina. But behind his buddy's back, Masa was sexually abusing his friend's 3-year-old stepdaughter. He also took sexually explicit photos of the girl and the Marine's infant daughter.

A military judge convicted Masa last year of sexual abuse of a child and production of child pornography, according to court records and other documents detailing the case. Under the terms of a pretrial agreement, he pleaded guilty and received 30 years in prison.

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Bergdahl in New ‘Serial’: Here’s Why I Walked Away

Bergdahl The central controversy in Bergdahl’s story centers on his decision to leave his post. Bergdahl says that he left in order to travel by foot from his platoon’s small outpost, O.P. Mest, to a large Forward Operating Base, F.O.B. Sharana, to alert Army superiors about dangerous leadership problems in his unit.

The journey was long and treacherous, through Taliban country, but Bergdahl was an experienced outdoorsman and a confident soldier, an idealist who thought he could make it. Bergdahl’s goal, he says, was to cause a DUSTWUN: a radio alarm signal meaning Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (“the Army’s version of ‘man overboard,’ ” Koenig tells us), which would generate attention and get his message heard. (The irony of that goal is not lost on the “Serial” team.)

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Politico: America’s secret arsenal

America's secret arsenalTo this day it remains one of the most sophisticated and mysterious offensive operations ever launched: Stuxnet, the computer virus specifically engineered to attack Iran's nuclear reactors. Discovered in 2010 and now widely believed to be a collaboration between the U.S. and Israel, its existence raised an urgent question: Just what is the U.S. government doing to attack its opponents in the cyber-realm?

Stuxnet's origins have never been officially acknowledged, and the extent of American meddling in malware is still unknown. But for the past few years there’s been something new developing within the U.S. military that has taken "cyber" from a theoretical idea to a deliberate—if secretive—part of U.S. policy.

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Pentagon Crew Lived Large in $150 Million Afghan Villas

Money wasted in AfghanistanA Pentagon task force established in 2006 to help lure private businesses first to Iraq and then Afghanistan allegedly blew as much as $150 million on lavish villas in Afghanistan for a few lucky members of its staff—instead of lodging them cheaply, or for free, at the U.S. embassy or any one of numerous large American military bases in the war-torn country.

The alleged waste by the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, first described in a five-page Nov. 25 letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter from John Sopko, from the military’s special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, should come as no surprise. TFBSO, as it’s known inside the Pentagon, has long attracted criticism for apparently wasteful spending and other abuses.

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Raytheon moves forward with Multi-Object Kill Vehicle program

Raytheon kill vehicleRaytheon completed the first Program Planning Review with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency for its Multi-Object Kill Vehicle concept, advancing the program.

The completion marks a milestone for the program's Concept Development Phase, designed to ensure the company is meeting the Missile Defense Agency's expectations. The Concept Review takes place in December.

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Obama's drone war a 'recruitment tool' for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers

drones a recruitment tool for ISISFour former US air force service members, with more than 20 years of experience between them operating military drones, have written an open letter to Barack Obama warning that the program of targeted killings by unmanned aircraft has become a major driving force for Isis and other terrorist groups.

The group of servicemen have issued an impassioned plea to the Obama administration, calling for a rethink of a military tactic that they say has “fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like Isis, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantánamo Bay”.

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