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Saturday, Nov 01st

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27,000 Work in Pentagon PR and Recruiting

Forget the drone stuff. Here is your eye-popping statistic of the day: "This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department."

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Pain Beam to Get Tougher, Smaller, More Powerful

The Pentagon's pain beam weapon could get tougher, smaller, more powerful, and more mobile under a series of new research and development projects. And that could pave the way for the so-called "Active Denial System" to finally be sent to war.

All the previous Active Denial Systems have been built by Raytheon; the company even makes a commercial version, Silent Guardian.

TVNL Comment: You WILL see this used against American citizens on American streets. You will see law enforcement use this against people who protests the US government or demand justice in our nation.

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US using British atomic weapons factory for its nuclear programme

The US military has been using Britain's atomic weapons factory to carry out research into its own nuclear warhead programme, according to evidence seen by the Guardian.

US defence officials said that "very valuable" warhead research has taken place at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire as part of an ongoing and secretive deal between the British and American governments.

Last night, opposition MPs called for a full parliamentary inquiry into the extent of the collaboration at Aldermaston and campaign groups warned any such deal was in breach of international law. They added that it also undermined Britain's claim to have an independent nuclear weapons programme and meant British taxpayers were effectively subsidising America's nuclear programme.

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Another soldier who signed critical Iraq war column dies

A third soldier who signed onto a newspaper column nearly a year-and-a-half ago criticizing the war in Iraq has died, and his peers are mourning their friend as an “outstanding soldier” with “a thirst for knowledge and intellectual curiosity.”

Seven soldiers signed the column. In September 2007, two of the other U.S. soldiers who signed the piece were killed in a truck accident outside Baghdad.

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Report: Air Force units failed 2 more nuke surety inspections

The failures took place at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming from Dec. 2 to Dec. 17 and Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., from Oct. 26 to Nov. 10, according to the report.

F.E. Warren was at the center of one of the two prior mishaps that cast embarrassment on the Air Force, the Times noted. Nuclear-missile units there mistakenly transported four Minuteman III forward sections containing sensitive components to Taiwan on two occasions, in October and November 2006.

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Army reports alarming spike in suicides last month

The Army is investigating an unexplained and stunning spike in suicides in January. The count is likely to surpass the number of combat deaths reported last month by all branches of the armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the fight against terrorism.

"In January, we lost more soldiers to suicide than to al-Qaida," said Paul Rieckhoff, director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He urged "bold and immediate action" by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. According to figures obtained by The Associated Press, there were seven confirmed suicides last month, compared with five a year earlier. An additional 17 cases from January are under investigation.

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Underreported: Nukes cost U.S. $52 billion last year

The study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that U.S. nuclear weapons spending — excluding classified programs — makes up 10 percent of the total defense budget, consumes 67 percent of the Department of Energy’s budget, and exceeds the total amount spent on international diplomacy and foreign aid, which is $39.5 billion. It also exceeds spending on technology, general science and space, which is $27.4 billion.

“Nuclear weapons pose the most serious threat to human life,” Cherie Eichholz, executive director of Washington PSR, wrote in an e-mail. “The numbers are highly disturbing, as is the fact that less than 10 percent of the $52 billion went toward slowing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.”

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