Thomas R. Eddlem
President Obama announced June 23 that he had “accepted the resignation” of Afghanistan theater commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal and will replace him with Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded the Bush-era “surge” in Iraq. The resignation was forced, essentially Washington-speak for “firing,” and a direct result of an interview McChrystal and his staff gave to Rolling Stone magazine. In that interview, McCrystal criticized President Obama as “unprepared” for their first meeting, said that U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry had “betrayed” him, and generally ridiculed Vice President Joe Biden.
Physicians for Human Rights filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) against the Central Intelligence Agency on June 9, claiming that the CIA violated federal law on "Human Subject Research and Experimentation."
The U.S. military suffered its 1,000th death of the Afghan war according to an Associated Press count May 27, when NATO reported a service member was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. The New York Times reported the 1,000th death back on May 19, as the Associated Press relied upon official government statistics that typically delay the certification of casualties.
U.S. torture tactics have endangered relations with Great Britain in the wake of a decision by a British court to release a summary of the torture of British citizen Binyam Muhamad. “Diplomats and security officials said Wednesday,” Reuters wire service reported February 11, that “intelligence ties between London and Washington have been jeopardized by a British court's disclosure that a terrorism suspect was beaten and shackled in U.S. custody.”
President Obama announced December 1 he would immediately begin deploying an additional 30,000 U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan, an escalation that would be complete by mid-2010 and begin a draw-down 18 months later.
The U.S. Navy has unveiled a new recruitment video commercial boasting that it is now a “global force for good.” Apparently, the U.S. Navy isn't just for America any more. The implication in the video is that the U.S. Navy is no longer just for protecting the nation's shores, but has a much more vast mandate for global service and foreign military interventionism.
U.S. military commander for Afghanistan General Stanley McCrystal told CBS's 60 Minutes that the situation in Afghanistan is worsening. Asked if things are worse or better than he expected, he said in the television news show aired September 27: “They're probably a little worse.... In some areas the breadth of the violence, the geographic spread of violence … are a little more than I would have gathered."
President Obama made a solemn and mostly non-political speech on the anniversary of the September 11 bombings that will have politicos guessing about his policies in Iraq and Afghanistan for weeks to come. “Let us renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act and who plot against us still,” Obama told an audience in front of the Pentagon memorializing the attacks of September 11, adding that “in pursuit of al Qaeda and its extremist allies, we will never falter.”
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum told a Georgia megachurch that President Obama is "trampling on a constitutional right" by forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception through healthcare coverage. The GOP presidential candidate added that Obama "is imposing his ideology on a group of people expressing their theology, their moral code." The remarks were delivered February 19 at the Cumming, Georgia, First Redeemer Church.
The U.S. government will run about $2 trillion in the red this year, but the record budget deficit hasn’t stopped the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (President Obama’s “stimulus” bill) from funding a number of less-than-essential projects for America’s economic recovery.