Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts

August 21, 2014

How The Us Military failed on the Rescue of Foley

The U.S. military earlier this summer carried out an attempt to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, in an operation that the Pentagon said ultimately failed to find the captives.
Foley, 40, was beheaded by an Islamic State militant in a video that surfaced on the Internet on Tuesday. President Barack Obama expressed revulsion on Wednesday at the execution and vowed the United States would do what it must to protect its citizens.
The unsuccessful rescue operation "involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL," the Pentagon said in a statement, using a different name for the militant group. "Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location."
Officials would not say exactly when the operation took place but said it was not in the last couple of weeks.
Obama authorized the mission "earlier this summer," Lisa Monaco, Obama's top counterterrorism aide, said in a separate statement. "The President authorized action at this time because it was the national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody," she said.
Islamic State said Foley's execution, which prompted widespread horror that could push Western powers into further action against the group, was in revenge for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.
The Pentagon said U.S. aircraft conducted 14 airstrikes in the vicinity of Iraq's Mosul Dam, destroying or damaging militants' Humvees, trucks and explosives.
Britain's prime minister cut short his vacation as UK intelligence tried to identify Foley's killer, while France called for international coordination against the Islamist militants fighting in Syria and Iraq.
U.S. officials said on Wednesday that intelligence analysts had concluded that the Islamic State video, titled "A Message to America," was authentic. It also showed images of another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, whose fate the group said depends on how the United States acts in Iraq.
The gruesome video presented Obama with bleak options that could define American involvement in Iraq and the public reaction to it, potentially dragging him further into a conflict he built much of his presidency on ending.
Obama called the beheading of Foley "an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world" and said the militants had killed innocent civilians, subjected women and children to torture, rape and slavery and targeted Muslims, Christians and religious minorities.
"So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day," Obama said in brief comments to reporters in Edgartown, Massachusetts, where he has been vacationing. He said he had spoken with Foley's family.
"ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States would "never back down in the face of such evil.
"ISIL and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed, and those responsible for this heinous, vicious atrocity will be held accountable," Kerry said in a statement.
British anti-terrorist police began an investigation of the video, in which Foley's killer spoke with a London accent.
Possibly a British national, the killer is just one of hundreds of European Muslims drawn to join Islamic State, who authorities say pose a security threat to U.S. and European interests if they return home from the Middle East.
The video showed a high level of technical proficiency and the use of a British voice may have been intended to make its contents clear to audiences in the United States, Islamic State's declared enemy.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was not surprised to hear the British accent and that large numbers of British nationals were fighting in Iraq and Syria.
"Our intelligence services will be looking very carefully on both sides of the Atlantic at this video to establish its authenticity, to try to identify the individual concerned and then we will work together to try to locate him," Hammond told Sky news.
France said it wanted the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and regional countries, including Arab states and Iran, to coordinate action against Islamic State. President Francois Hollande called for an international conference to discuss how to tackle the group.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned "the horrific murder of journalist James Foley, an abominable crime that underscores the campaign of terror the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant continues to wage against the people of Iraq and Syria," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari urged the world to back his country against Islamic State, which he described as a threat to the world, not just to the minority ethnic groups whose members it has killed in Iraq.
Germany and Italy said they were ready to send arms to bolster the military capabilities of Iraqi Kurds fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq.
Sending arms into conflict zones is a major departure for Germany, which has often shied away from direct involvement in military conflicts since World War Two due to its Nazi past.
The video's message was unambiguous, warning of greater retaliation to come against Americans following nearly two weeks of U.S. airstrikes that have pounded militant positions and halted the advance of Islamic State, which until this month had captured a third of Iraq with little resistance.
Foley was kidnapped on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria, according to GlobalPost. He had earlier been kidnapped and released in Libya.
Sotloff, who appeared at the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria while reporting in July 2013. He has written for TIME among other news organizations.
On Facebook, Foley's mother, Diane Foley, said: "We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
"We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world."
The video was posted after the United States resumed airstrikes in Iraq this month for the first time since the end of the U.S. occupation in 2011.
U.S. Senator John McCain, a Republican, said Foley's death should serve as a turning point for Obama in his deliberations over how to deal with Islamic State. "First of all, you've got to dramatically increase the airstrikes. And those air strikes have to be devoted to Syria as well," McCain said in a telephone interview.
Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in the parts of Iraq and Syria it controls, opened the video with a clip of Obama saying he had authorized strikes in Iraq.
The words "Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims" appeared in English and Arabic on the screen.
It showed black and white aerial footage of airstrikes with text saying: "American aggression against the Islamic State."
A man identified as Foley, head shaven and dressed in an orange outfit similar to uniforms worn by prisoners at the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, is seen kneeling in the desert next to a man holding a knife and clad head to toe in black.
"I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality," the kneeling man says.
The man next to him, in a black mask, speaks with a British accent and says, "This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen, of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State."
"Today your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army, and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide."
Following his statement, he beheads the kneeling man. At the end of the video, words on the side of the screen say, "Steven Joel Sotloff," as another prisoner in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen. "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," the masked man says.
University of Virginia political scholar Larry Sabato said the killing was like the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002. He said it could help bolster a perception among Americans that the United States will have to be more aggressive in dealing with Islamic State militants.
Syria has been the most dangerous country for journalists for more than two years. At least 69 other journalists have been killed covering the conflict there and more than 80 journalists have been kidnapped in Syria.
The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that about 20 journalists are currently missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by Islamic State.
Reuters(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Oliver Holmes and Tom Perry in Beirut, Sabine Siebold in Berlin, Costas Pitas and William James in London, Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations and John Irish in Paris; Writing by Giles ElgoodJim Loney and Eric Beech; Editing by David Stamp, Dan Grebler and Eric Walsh)

August 20, 2014

Be Dazzled with Military Exoskeletons

Throughout the early 1960s, Neil Mizen developed the early stages of the Man Amplifier at Cornell University's Aeronautical Lab. The suit was intended to have powered gears at the joints to provide additional support and strength. (suit below)
Although it was hoped that the Amplifier would have military and scientific uses, Mizen could not master the system's powered gear system, and the suit was never completed. Even so, his research went on to inspire future exoskeleton projects. 

Now be dazzled!

The below video clip was recently placed on Youtube by Neil Mizen's son.  
The person in the video and in the below pics is Ronald J. Patterson, a technician from Cornell Aeronautical Labs at the time.
Exoskeleton actuators PS Nov65 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
Machines With strength ScienceJournalOct68 p4 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
Exoskeleton flexibility p3 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
man amplifier bionics pt2 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
man amplifier bionics x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
Note: The description above incorrectly describes the exoskeleton as having motors. Unfortunately Cornell never got to the powered stage.
Exoskeleton p2 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)

Exoskeleton uses p4 x640(1) 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
Exoskeleton uses p5 x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)

Cornell Aeronautical Laboratories of Buffalo, New York  were producing papers on Man Amplifiers as early as 1960. In 1961 they received a grant to explore these ideas. Initial work was on an exoskeleton, and later work on a mock-up.
There are some initial concepts one has to be aware of in understanding Man Amplifiers.
Typically there is a master component, and a slave component. In other teleoperated manipulators, they are physically and spatially separate.  In the exoskeleton man-amplifier, they are together. In the Cornell Man-Amplifier, one of the problems encountered was the close proximity of the control harness (master) with the powered exoskeleton.
You will often see the phrase "bilateral force feedback with force reflection".
Bilateral force feedback meaning that both the master and slave units have common joints and position and force information can be transmitted in both directions (from operator to task and vice versa).  Force feedback is when, for example, an obstacle is met with some resistance, that the resistance is felt back at the master. E.g. if you were to place an object next to a wall, you, as the operator, would feel the wall if the object being held by the slave unit touched it.
Force reflection is force feedback but the power can also be amplified. A force-reflection ratio of 1:1 would be normal force-feedback (compensation for the units weight and inertia). A ratio of 1:10 would mean that, for example, the person operating the master unit would lift an object of 1 kilogram would amplify to 10 kilograms at the powered slave end.  The ratio can also go in the other direction and could apply to manipulators such as those used for surgical procedures.
The first prototype man amplifier wasn't to be seen until General Electric built their Hardiman I, based on results from the Cornell research.

There are a few articles on Cornell's Exoskeleton. The pdf's are :
See also Mizen's patent for the Man-Amplifier here
 Neil J. Mizen et al
Patent number: 3449769
Filing date: Jun 27, 1966
Issue date: Jun 17, 1969
 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)

Machines With strength ScienceJournalOct68 myo x640 1961 2   Cornell Aeronautical Labs Man Amplifier   Neil Mizen (American)
Some of the concents of the exoskeleton were spun off for possible use in rehabilitation. Above we see the "Myotron", where the powered exoskeleton is exercising the disabled limb. 
(This entry is filed under Man Amplifiers.)  
Hope you got dazzled, I don’t get impressed easily but this article impressed me so much that I decided to sahare it with you, the adamfoxie blog  reader.
Blog Publisher

April 1, 2014

One Billion Increase in Nukes While Education and Food Stamps are Cuts


Move the Money from War to Education by Johnny Keane
We live in strange times, indeed. In the past few months, the U.S. Congress has failed to extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people and has passed legislation that will cut $8.6 billion in food stamps over the next 10 years, affecting 850,000 households in 1/3 of the states.

   At the same time, the 2015 budget shows a 7% increase in spending on nuclear weapons, from $18.6 billion to $19.4 billion -- almost $1 billion. While the overall amount allocated for nuclear weapons is greater than last year, the funds dedicated to nuclear nonproliferation programs — programs to reduce the numbers of available warheads or securing so-called "loose nukes" was cut, making more dollars available to either build new nuclear weapons hardware or spend billions to modernize old ones, such as the B-61 bomb.

If this budget is accepted it will show once again that our nation's priorities favor increased spending on weapons of mass destruction at the expense of programs that help people survive tough times and keep food on their tables. At a time when our economy continues to struggle and the gap between rich and poor widens, how is it that our elected officials opt to spend more money on nuclear weapons? It is the wrong time to promote additional spending on nuclear weapons when diplomacy is easing tensions between the international community and Iran, a country which once again has assured the world that it is not planning to build nuclear weapons or when another diplomatic agreement obliged Syria to destroy its chemical weapons. 

After spending $4 -- 6 trillion on war since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, the American public is war-weary and war-wise. The tremendous outpouring of opposition to a proposed military strike against Syria or war against Iran is due, in part, to an increasing number of Americans understanding the connection between these huge outlays of cash for war and a treasury drained of funds to help local communities.

 Winslow Wheeler's March 13th article titled " America's $1 Trillion National Security Budget" published by the Straus Military Reform's Project on Government Oversight, explains how the Pentagon's criticism of a proposed $495.6 billion military budget for 2015 as "austere and dangerously inadequate" is misleading. According to Wheeler, "Scarcity of money is not their problem. Pentagon costs, taken together with other known national security expenses for 2015, will exceed $1 Trillion." Included in Wheeler's analysis are:
a maximum of $79.4 billion to continue the war in Afghanistan,
$6.2 billion in "mandatory" spending for military retirement and other DOD-only programs;
the Pentagon's $26 billion dollar portion of the "Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative" characterized by some as a slush fund,  
$37.8 billion in additional money paid by the Treasury for military retirement and DOD healthcare,
$19.4 billion in nuclear weapons' costs borne by the Department of Energy,
$52.1 billion in non-DOD spending in the Department of Homeland Security,
 $161.2 billion for the human consequences of past and ongoing wars in the Department of Veterans Affairs,
 $39 billion for the activities of the Department of State and related agencies-for international security and the exercise of US power abroad; and
an equitable share of the interest on the national debt that is related to this spending.

These costs added together total $1.0095 trillion for 2015!
     Here are two ways to reduce this. Two nearly identical bills in the U.S. Congress today target nuclear weapons spending to save money. Senator Markey, D-Mass, introduced the "Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE)" Act and Rep. Blumenauer, D-Ore, introduced the "Reduce Expenditures in Nuclear Infrastructure Now (REIN-IN)" Act. According toEric Tamerlani's article "Reining in Nuke Spending the Smart Way" in the March 12th Roll Call, these bills will save taxpayers $100 billion on nuclear weapons over 10 years. The bills would reduce the number of new nuclear submarines, cap tactical nuke modernization and scrap the F-35’s nuclear mission. 

     In late April, pro-disarmament activists from around the world will gather at the United Nations to prepare nuclear disarmament proposals to present at the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. Sharon Dolev, Director of the Israeli Disarmament Movement, will participate.  She will also speak on "Cooling the Hot Spot: A Nuclear Weapons Free Middle East" at NJPA's April 27th Annual Dinner at the Regency House in Pompton Plains. Her talk will address what a nuclear weapons free Middle East means for Israel, the region, and the world, as well as obstacles within Israel to attaining that important goal. For more information and to make reservations, visit

Cooling off tensions in the Middle East and preventing another war will release funds for programs that address community needs. This is not only timely, but essential, for genuine security in our nation and the world.

February 8, 2014

US Military Dog Taken Hostage by Afghans

It may be the first time a canine has been used in a prisoner of war video.

As The Washington Post reports, a Twitter account from a user who normally distributes Taliban propaganda posted a video this week that allegedly shows a sad-looking American military dog chained by a group of Taliban fighters.

The BBC says the men in the video claim the dog came to their camp after it was raided by U.S. forces. The dog is wearing a vest, and the men say it was outfitted with a GPS device and a flashlight. The dog, the men say, was given the rank of colonel.

"Allah gave victory to the Mujahedeen!" one of the fighters exclaims, according to the Post. "Down with them, down with their spies!"

The Pentagon confirmed to the Post that "the [international] force lost a military working dog during an operation in December." The newspaper adds:

"Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman, said officials could think of no prior instance in which a military working dog had been taken captive. ...
"The video caught the attention of analysts at Site Intelligence Group, which tracks and studies insurgent propaganda. Founder Rita Katz said she could not recall anything like it.
" 'I don't remember seeing a dog used as a hostage,' she said after checking her database. The only time canines were featured in insurgent propaganda, Katz said, was in Iraq, when insurgents once proposed using the mutts as unsuspecting suicide bombers."
The dog in the video looks like a Malinois, a breed often used by coalition forces in Afghanistan. The BBC reports that "dogs are considered unclean by Afghans, and their use by international forces in house searches has been controversial."

Obviously, the dog’s future is uncertain.

November 13, 2013

US Carrier Group Arrives in the Philippines Today


The U.S. Navy is speeding relief to the typhoon-shattered central Philippines, with a giant aircraft carrier and supply ships to provide emergency aid to a population increasingly desperate for food and other basic necessities.

The Pentagon says the carrier USS George Washington and four other ships will arrive in the Leyte Gulf Wednesday, with the combined capacity to produce millions of liters of drinking water daily.

The aircraft carrier is transporting helicopters and vertical takeoff aircraft needed to ferry life-saving supplies to the city of Tacloban, which was devastated Friday by one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded.  The city's small local airport is reported partially operational, but incapable of landing large fixed-wing jet aircraft on its small runways.  

On Tuesday, the official death toll from Typhoon Haiyan reached 1,774.  With thousands still missing and entire communities not heard from since the huge storm hit, officials initially said 10,000 people may have perished.

However, Philippine President Benigno Aquino, sounding a note of optimism, told CNN the final toll could be significantly lower, that a final accounting will probably be about 2,000 to 2,500 dead.

Aquino spoke as stories of hunger, desperation and loss continued to trickle in from Tacloban.

The Manila Standard newspaper, under the headline "Mass Escape from Hell," said thousands of people frightened by post-storm anarchy in the city and sickened by the stench of decaying corpses, were awaiting flights to Manila Wednesday.

Local authorities said about 3,000 people have swarmed the airport since Monday night, fighting for a chance to board a single C-130 prop plane to Manila.  But only a few hundred made it on board.

Authorities say the flow of relief supplies has been further hampered by clogged regional ports and wrecked roadways leading to Tacloban and surrounding areas.

Tens of millions of relief dollars have been pledged by a cluster of developed nations, ranging from Britain and other European governments to Canada, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and the global banking group HSBC.


November 12, 2013

US Immediately Dispatches Help From Several Defense Assets to the Phillipines

Destruction in the Philippines'  Leyte province. (Ryan Lim/Malacanang Photo Bureau via Getty Images)

 The storm that ravaged the Philippines this weekend was off the charts, so powerful that it has been dubbed a "super typhoon." As of Monday, authorities estimated that more than 10,000 had perished, making the typhoon the deadliest natural disaster in that nation's history.
The United States immediately dispatched relief and troops to aid the Philippines. Though Americans have prided themselves in helping countries in need, its latest effort raises a sensitive but practical question: In a budget-constrained environment, how much importance should be placed on international disaster relief? And should this be a key mission for the Pentagon or be left to civilian agencies?
Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief sit in a no man's land between diplomacy, charity and military action. When the U.S. responds to natural disasters abroad, it typically taps the resources of the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and non-governmental organizations and branches of the government ranging from NASA to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Often, however, the most valuable resources are from the military. In the early days of a disaster, there is no substitute for helicopters, cargo planes and multipurpose naval vessels. There is also no substitute for pilots and technical experts trained to operate in exceptionally challenging conditions.
At a human level, the case for devoting U.S. military resources for disaster relief is compelling. Super Typhoon Haiyan, for example, virtually obliterated the city ofTacloban, leaving survivors scavenging for food and water. The remains of a hospitalhave been reduced to providing only first aid. Supplies that arrive at a nearby airportcould not be transported until the roads were cleared of trees and debris. Elsewhere, aid sent by the Red Cross, the United Nations, private charities and foreign governments might have no way of reaching many of the victims in time to save them. In the wake of Haiyan — as was the case in the wake of disasters such as the Asian tsunami of 2004 — there is no substitute for the capabilities of the U.S. military.
At the level of national interest, however, does the case for tasking the U.S. military to international natural disasters hold up — particularly in a time when the Pentagon has seen its budget slashed? A cold-eyed evaluation would suggest yes.
The best battle is the one you don't have to fight. Most of the deployment of U.S. military resources is preventive: The U.S. stations troops throughout the world in the hope of shaping the political environment so as to avoid sending them into combat. The U.S. conducts training exercises with almost every nation it can, in part to decrease the likelihood of conducting actual warfare. Even in a war zone such asAfghanistan, the primary mission of the U.S. military now is training rather than combat.
In these terms, deploying military resources for disaster relief is a remarkably effective — and inexpensive — investment in the future. One of the largest such deployments in history, the deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and other assets following the Asian tsunami of 2004, is estimated to have cost $857 million. That's roughly the price of three days' operations in Afghanistan last year.
The goodwill the tsunami relief brought the U.S. is incalculable. Nearly a decade later, the effort may rank as one of the most concrete reasons Southeast Asian nations trust the long-term U.S. commitment to a strategy of "Asian rebalancing."
The Obama administration recognizes the value of disaster relief. As the Pentagon attempts to shift more of its weight to the Asian Pacific region while balancing a shrinking budget, this could turn out to be one of the best decisions it could make.
Jonah Blank is a senior political scientist at the non-profit, non-partisan RAND Corporation and a former policy director for South and Southeast Asia on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY

Breaking:  The Pentagon announced Monday it was sending the aircraft carrier USSGeorge Washington and other Navy ships to the Philippines to assist in recovery efforts.
"The aircraft carrier, which carries 5,000 sailors and more than 80 aircraft, is currently in Hong Kong for a port visit," according to a statement from Pentagon press secretary George Little. "The crew is being recalled early from shore leave and the ship is expected to be underway later this evening."
Other Navy ships will accompany the carrier, which has been ordered to "make best speed" toward the storm ravished region.
The carrier is expected to arrive within two to three days, Little said.
The carrier will be able to provide aircraft, including helicopters, to support ground personnel.

September 28, 2013

Egyptians Are Getting Use to Military Rule Better Than The Brotherhood

  • CAIRO — Opponents of Egypt’s new rulers say a carefully orchestrated media and advocacy campaign is underway in Egypt to generate support for the country’s military and its leader.

    In their luxury chocolate shop in an affluent neighborhood in Cairo, the Bartaw family sells chocolates emblazoned with the face of the man they hope will become Egypt’s next president - General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

    Shopowner Sherif Bartaw hopes the military leader will reach the stature of a previous national hero, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who died in 1970.

    “This is our President Nasser, and the small guy, it’s Sissi,” he said, pointing to the chocolates.

    Bartaw, who used to work in Cairo’s now-decimated tourism industry, says Egyptians are sick of political instability and the economic upheaval that has come with it.  He hopes Sissi will be a strong enough leader to end the on-going political and social crisis.

    Egypt's interim government took office after the military led by Sissi ousted democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi in July. Subsequent crackdowns reportedly left more than 1,000 protesters dead and at least 2,000 were jailed.

    Despite the crackdown, there’s an upsurge of pro-military feeling in Cairo and a renewed taste for political strongmen.  Rights groups say this is being carefully choreographed though campaigns in the state and private media.

    "Since the military is in control, is calling all the shots in Egypt, that’s also then allowed them to, through heavy handed military propaganda, frame themselves as the only reliable strong consistent voice in Egypt today,” said Heba Morayef, Egypt Director for Human Rights Watch.

    In an office across town, leaders of the group "Complete Your Favor" are collecting 40 million signatures calling for Sissi to run for president. They supported the military action in August clearing the protest camps of supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, despite the numerous casualties.

    “It was not a peaceful sit-in, it was an armed sit-in," said the group's spokesman Abd el Nabi Abd Sattar.  "The Brotherhood tried to alter and forge the image to the extent that they bought buried corpses to suggest and give the illusion to the Western or international media that the victims are numerous.”

August 25, 2013


TransMilitary: New Web Series Focusing On Transgender U.S. Military Members (Video)
A new online documentary series, TransMilitary, hopes to shine a light on transphobia in the United States with true stories from transgender members of the military.
In a new teaser for the series (video below), host Fiona Dawson spoke with several transgender service members about their time in active duty, and who are prohibited by military regulation from serving their country in their authentic gender. The project will be composed of six short unscripted episodes, as well as a full-length documentary.
The documentary points out that the U.K. has permitted trans people to serve openly in the military since 1999.
Allyson Robinson, a 1994 graduate of West Point and transgender veteran who served with the army in Germany, the Middle East, and Korea, believes that sharing the stories of trans service members will help move the cultural conversation forward.
“Seeing us, hearing our stories; it changes the equation for many people,” she says in the trailer.
Watch the trailer below:

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