Category Archive 'Department of Defense'

28 Sep 2015

Special Forces To Change ‘Free The Oppressed’ Motto After Complaints From Afghans Holding Sex Slaves

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BachaBazi

Duffleblog (the military satire site) hits the nail on the head with this one.

op Army leaders have ordered its elite Special Forces unit to change its motto from the Latin “De Opresso Liber” (To liberate the oppressed) to something that would be more culturally sensitive, after a large number of Afghans holding child sex slaves have complained.

“We want to make sure we are not offending our coalition partners and not judging them based on our own biases,” said Col. Dwight S. Barry, a Pentagon spokesperson. “At the end of the day, we just have to respect that raping young boys and mutilating female genitals is just a part of their culture.”

Started in 1952, Army Special Forces chose its Latin motto of “De Opresso Liber” at a time when the U.S. was heavily focused on freeing people around the world from the chains of Soviet Communism. Now decades later, Army leaders want operators to be more aware of cultural differences they may not understand in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Berkeley, California.

The move comes in the wake of numerous complaints from Afghan men, who have chided U.S. military officials over previous run-ins with Special Forces soldiers unaware of the ancient Afghan custom of “bacha bazi.” The practice, which literally translates to “boy play,” consists of chaining children to beds, taking off their clothes, and then sexually assaulting them until they scream “bingo.”…

Officials are currently weighing a number of potential mottos as replacements, which include “Tolerate Iniustitia (Tolerate Injustice)” and “Ad Dissimulare (To Turn a Blind Eye).”

In addition to the change in motto, the Army band has also been directed to record a new version of the “Ballad of the Green Berets,” which was recorded during the Vietnam War. An initial draft of the lyrics include: “Silver wings upon their chest / These are men, America’s best / One hundred slaves get raped today / But all ignored by the Green Beret.”

24 Aug 2013

Damned Extremists

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Extremists

Daily Caller reports that the US Defense Department recently identified another unsavory group of dangerous extremists: our founding fathers.

A Department of Defense teaching guide meant to fight extremism advises students that rather than “dressing in sheets” modern-day radicals “will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place,” and describes 18th-century American patriots seeking freedom from the British as belonging to “extremist ideologies.”

The guide comes from documents obtained by Judicial Watch and is authored by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, a DoD-funded diversity training center.

Under a section titled “extremist ideologies,” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

07 Aug 2010

US Government In Standoff With Wikileaks

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Julian Assange

The Pentagon is demanding that Wikileaks cease publishing and return immediately stolen US documents in its possession, hinting darkly at legal prosecution if the Internet news site does not comply. (Christian Science Monitor)

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Of course, it is always possible that Julian Assange and his merry band of pranksters may be less than intimidated by an adversary so clueless that its first response to the theft and publication of Top Secret military documents is to issue a directive prohibiting its own personnel from gazing at the offending web site.

This is the “Close the barn door from the inside when the horse got out” approach to security breaches. [Wired]

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Besides, Wikileaks has uploaded a password-protected file labeled “Insurance,” and believed to contain a massive collection of highly toxic State Department material, consisting of, according to a chat interview published by Wired:

260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables that Manning described as exposing “almost criminal political back dealings.”

“Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public,” Manning wrote.

Wikileaks has arranged, in the event that the US Government succeeds in shutting down its web site, to have the password released via Cryptome.

6 August 2010. If there is a takedown of Wikileaks, the insurance.aes256 file will be available through Cryptome along with the entire files of the Wikileaks website which have been archived.

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Even without Julian Assange’s blackmail threat, Some News Agency sees problems trying to stop Wikileaks legally.

[F]rom a legal standpoint, there is probably little the U.S. government can do to stop WikiLeaks from posting the files.

It is against federal law to knowingly and willfully disclose or transmit classified information. But Assange, an Australian who has no permanent address and travels frequently, is not a U.S. citizen.

Since Assange is a foreign citizen living in a foreign country, it’s not clear that U.S. law would apply, said Marc Zwillinger, a Washington lawyer and former federal cyber crimes prosecutor. He said prosecutors would have to figure out what crime to charge Assange with, and then face the daunting task of trying to indict him or persuade other authorities to extradite him.

It would be equally difficult, Zwillinger said, to effectively use an injunction to prevent access to the data.

“Could the U.S. get an injunction to force U.S. Internet providers to block traffic to and from WikiLeaks such that people couldn’t access the website?” Zwillinger said. “It’s an irrelevant question. There would be thousands of paths to get to it. So it wouldn’t really stop people from getting to the site. They would be pushing the legal envelope without any real benefit.”

And the technical approach is problematic, too.

WikiLeaks used state-of-the-art software requiring a sophisticated electronic sequence of numbers, called a 256-bit key [to protect its “Insurance” files].

The main way to break such an encrypted file is by what’s called a “brute force attack,” which means trying every possible key, or password, said Herbert Lin, a senior computer science and cryptology expert at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.

Unlike a regular six- or eight-character password that most people use every day, a 256-bit key would equal a 40 to 50 character password, he said.

If it takes 0.1 nanosecond to test one possible key and you had 100 billion computers to test the possible number variations, “it would take this massive array of computers 10 to the 56th power seconds — the number 1, followed by 56 zeros” to plow through all the possibilities, said Lin.

How long is that?

“The age of the universe is 10 to the 17th power seconds,” explained Lin. “We will wait a long time for the U.S. government or anyone else to decrypt that file by brute force.”

Could the NSA, which is known for its supercomputing and massive electronic eavesdropping abilities abroad, crack such an impregnable code?

It depends on how much time and effort they want to put into it, said James Bamford, who has written two books on the NSA.

The NSA has the largest collection of supercomputers in the world. And officials have known for some time that WikiLeaks has classified files in its possession.

The agency, he speculated, has probably been looking for a vulnerability or gap in the code, or a backdoor into the commercial encryption program protecting the file.

At the more extreme end, the NSA, the Pentagon and other U.S. government agencies — including the newly created Cyber Command — have probably reviewed options for using a cyber attack against the website, which could disrupt networks, files, electricity, and so on.

“This is the kind of thing that they are geared for,” said Bamford, “since this is the type of thing a terrorist organization might have — a website that has damaging information on it. They would want to break into it, see what’s there and then try to destroy it.”

The vast nature of the Internet, however, makes it essentially impossible to stop something, or take it down, once it has gone out over multiple servers.

In the end, U.S. officials will have to weigh whether a more aggressive response is worth the public outrage it would likely bring. Most experts predict that, despite the uproar, the government will probably do little other than bluster, and the documents will come out anyway.

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Mikael Viborg, owner of PRQ hosting company at its server location

Were the Department of Defense, the NSA, or the FBI actually inclined to do anything about Wikileaks, NYM would be glad to help.

Their web site, we find, is hosted by PRQ in Stockholm, Sweden. That hosting company’s abuse reporting email is: abuse@prq.se

Be aware, however, that PRQ is associated with the notorious Swedish Bit Torrent file sharing hub The Pirate Bay.

27 Oct 2006

DOD Will Seek Corrections

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Jim Dunnigan’s Strategy Page reports that the Department of Defense is turning to the Internet and the Blogosphere to hold the MSM’s feet to the fire, and force them to correct mistakes and inaccuracies.

The U.S. Department of Defense is now taking its requests for corrections public through a website known as For the Record. Here, the Department of Defense is openly calling for corrections from major media outlets, and even noting when they refuse to publish letters to the editor.

The most recent was this past Tuesday, when the DOD published a letter, that the New York Times refused to run, which contained quotes from five generals (former CENTCOM commander Tommy Franks, current CENTCOM commander John Abizaid, MNF Commander George Casey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers, as well as his successor, Peter Pace) that rebutted a New York Times editorial. This has been picked up by a number of bloggers who have been able to spread the Pentagon’s rebuttal — and the efforts of the New York Times to sweep it under the rug — across the country.


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