Your tax dollars at work, as reported by the Associated Press: “As the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in American taxpayer funds has been wasted — more than 10 percent of the some $50 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.”
Aijalon Mahli Gomes — a U.S. citizen imprisoned in North Korea last January, and later sentenced to eight years of hard labor with a fine of about $600,000 for the crime of illegally entering North Korea — headed home on August 27. Gomes was accompanied on his homebound trip by former President Jimmy Carter, who had traveled to Pyongyang to negotiate his freedom.
According to the Daily Paul website, early Monday morning, August 23, five anti-war protesters wearing black shirts that read “Disobey,” attempted to block six buses carrying troops from Ft. Hood’s 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment deploying to Iraq. The activists, including two veterans of the war in Iraq, one veteran of Afghanistan, and one military spouse, “took the width of Clarke Road” by Clarke gate, briefly halting the buses.
According to one of his captors and Afghan intelligence officials, missing U.S. Army Private Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, has become a Muslim and is training Taliban fighters in bomb-making and ambush skills.
The first U.S. soldier in Iraq has been killed since the withdrawal of the last “combat” brigade from the country on August 18, according to the Manchester (UK) Guardian. The death demonstrates that Americans will continue to fight and die in Iraq even though President Obama publicly announced “combat operations” have officially ended. The soldier was reportedly killed in a mortar attack on a U.S. air base in Basra, and the Pentagon has not yet released the name of the deceased. The Pentagon estimates that 52,000 U.S. Army soldiers and Marines remain in Iraq.
Two days after taking the oath of office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order stating that “the detention facilities at Guantanamo … shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order.”
“Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama will try to jump-start economic links this week as Russia’s president travels to Silicon Valley and Washington, building on improved political ties after the U.S. ‘reset’ relations,” Bloomberg Businessweek reported on June 21.
For years, conservatives and constitutionalists have called for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations for a variety of reasons, specifically the United Nations’ notorious anti-Americanism and inefficient-at-best handling of world crises. There is no better example of the UN’s ineptitude than the Oil for Food program, which has been an ample breeding ground for corruption by large organizations, including General Electric. In July, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined General Electric $23.5 million for its corrupt dealings in Iraq during the Oil for Food program. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, General Electric violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by illegally offering equipment and services in exchange for contracts with Iraqi officials.
“If George W. Bush is remembered by getting America stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s looking like Obama wants to be remembered as the president who got America stuck in Yemen.” These words, from a March Internet address by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric and al-Qaeda leader now hiding in Yemen, sum up well the August 14 New York Times report in which they appear.