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Friday, Dec 19th

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Pentagon budget envisions a series of Iraq-style wars

At a formal press announcement Monday and in media appearances over the next day, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates unveiled the biggest military budget in world history, in anticipation of an endless series of Iraq and Afghanistan-style wars by American imperialism.

Both the military budget itself and the official who drafted it—Gates held the same position in the last two years of the Bush administration and is the first Pentagon chief to be retained by a new president—underscore the fundamental continuity between Obama and Bush.

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Safety team warns of 'catastrophic' wiring in Iraq

A military team sent to evaluate electrical problems at U.S. facilities in Iraq determined there was a high risk that flawed wiring could cause further "catastrophic results" _ namely, the electrocutions of U.S. soldiers.

The team said the use of a required device, commonly found in American houses to prevent electrical shocks, was "patchy at best" near showers and latrines in U.S. military facilities. There also was widespread use of uncertified electrical devices and "incomplete application" of U.S. electrical codes in buildings throughout the war-torn country, the team found.

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Army doctor: "I am under a lot of pressure to not diagnose PTSD"

A secret recording reveals the Army may be pushing its medical staff not to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder. The Army and Senate have ignored the implications.

"OK," McNinch told Sgt. X. "I will tell you something confidentially that I would have to deny if it were ever public. Not only myself, but all the clinicians up here are being pressured to not diagnose PTSD and diagnose anxiety disorder NOS [instead]." McNinch told him that Army medical boards were "kick[ing] back" his diagnoses of PTSD, saying soldiers had not seen enough trauma to have "serious PTSD issues."

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VA patient tests positive for HIV after mistakes

A Veterans Affairs patient who was among thousands treated with unsterilized equipment has tested positive for HIV, the first such case reported since the department warned veterans they could have been exposed to infectious diseases.

The VA previously reported that hepatitis had been found in 16 patients, but the agency cautioned there was no way to prove that the patients contracted the illnesses because of treatment at their facilities. In an e-mail late Friday, the agency said it was investigating "the possibility of such a relationship."

The VA earlier this year warned more than 10,000 veterans to get blood tests because they could have been exposed to contamination while getting colonoscopies in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Miami.

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Gates Planning Major Changes In Programs, Defense Budget

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce on Monday the restructuring of several dozen major defense programs as part of the Obama administration's bid to shift military spending from preparations for large-scale war against traditional rivals to the counterinsurgency programs that Gates and others consider likely to dominate U.S. conflicts in coming decades.

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Chinese Develop Special "Kill Weapon" to Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers

The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces.

The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike.

Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.

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Army lied about how my son died in Iraq: Friendly-fire victim was 'misidentified' as enemy gunman

Army brass in Iraq whitewashed an incident of a soldier killed by his own lieutenant by blaming the dead hero, stonewalling his family and promoting his killer, the Daily News has learned.

For four months after the Army knew the truth, it still insisted to Sharrett's father that he was killed by enemy fire - and gave only atemporary wrist slap to Hanson under pressure from the families of Sharrett and two other G.I.s killed in the clash.

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