Military

“Beating the Dead Grass . . . .” – Revisiting Ft Rosecrans Cemetery

June 10, 2013 by Judi Curry
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This article has several messages I would like to discuss. Last year I wrote about the deplorable condition of Ft. Rosecrans. Just a few weeks ago I was quoted by the “editordude” in an article regarding the condition of Ft. Rosecrans during the Memorial Day holiday.

To briefly recap that quote, several of the women from my widow support group went up to Ft. Rosecrans to visit our husbands. Even though we know they are not “there” – talking to them is no different than when they were with us – they don’t listen and they didn’t respond. However, whereas we used to be able to sit under a tree on the green grass and have a picnic, the green grass and the trees are gone.

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Military Sexual Assault – It’s the Culture

June 5, 2013 by Source
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By Kathleen Gilberd / On Watch

The military is once again in crisis over sexual assaults. In recent weeks, it has become more apparent than ever that the military’s sexual assault policy is a failure, and that sexual assault in the services has become epidemic.

In early May, the Department of Defense (DoD) released new figures showing a significant increase in reported and unreported assaults – DoD estimates that over 26,000 servicemembers were assaulted in 2012, with only 3,374 of these cases reported to the military.

Just as the figures were released, the Air Force was rocked by news that the head of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program had been arrested for sexual battery. More recently, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Ft. Hood was charged with sexual assault and pandering.

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Family of Un-armed Marine Killed by Orange County Sheriff Settles for $4.4 Million

May 30, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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Do you recall the case of the unarmed Marine killed by an Orange County sheriff right in front of his two daughters? We do as we ran articles on the incident.

Marine Sgt Manuel Loggins Jr was shot to death as he sat in his SUV along with his daughters by Deputy Darren Sandberg back on February 7, 2012.

His family just settled a federal lawsuit against Orange County for $4.4 million. Loggins had been stationed at Camp Pendleton.

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Guantanamo, Drone Strikes and the Non-War Terror War: Obama Speaks

May 26, 2013 by Source
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By Marjorie Cohn / Truth-Out.org

As one of the 1,200-plus signatories to the full-page ad that appeared in The New York Times, calling for the closure of Guantanamo, I was disappointed in President Barack Obama’s speech Thursday on counterterrorism, drones and Guantanamo.

Torture and Indefinite Detention at Guantanamo

In a carefully crafted – at times defensive, discourse, Obama said, “In some cases, I believe we compromised our basic values – by using torture to interrogate our enemies and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law,” adding, “We unequivocally banned torture.” But Obama failed to note that the United Nations Human Rights Commission determined in 2006 that the violent force-feeding of detainees at Guantanamo amounted to torture and that he has continued that policy.

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It’s a Sad Day in America When the Navy Launches a San Diego-Built Drone off a Carrier

May 17, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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It’s a sad day in America. The US Navy launched the first carrier-based drone off its deck the other day, off the coast of Virginia. It’s an even sadder day for us in San Diego, as the drone was manufactured – in part, at least – by plants and engineers right here in our own city.

The launching of the drone off that deck demonstrates clearly that as drones become more and more integrated into becoming the armament of the nation’s military, they are becoming more and more accepted – here domestically, back in the good ol’ US of A.

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Discussion on PL Democrats Website: Is the ACLU “Subversive” Because They Oppose Cross at Mt Soledad?

May 17, 2013 by Judi Curry

The Widder Curry Weighs In

An interesting question appeared today on the Point Loma Democrats website in regards to an article announcing the 80 year celebration of the San Diego ACLU.

To say that I was nonplussed to read the question which can as a comment to the article, would be a minor revelation. At the risk of being censored – do you think that Democrats would do that to their own? – let me tell you something about it.

On June 7th, there will be a 80 year celebration of the San Diego ACLU. As the article read, this function is not a

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Sex in San Diego: Pentagon Study Finds 26,000 Military Sexual Assaults Last Year, Over 70 Sex Crimes Per Day

May 9, 2013 by Source
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Editor: The following is a transcript of Amy Goodman’s program on Democracy Now from yesterday, May 8, that aired highlights from Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on military sexual assaults . We also include the video – see below. Democracy Now!

NERMEEN SHAIKH: A shocking new report by the Pentagon has found that 70 sexual assaults may be taking place within the U.S. military every day. The report estimated there were 26,000 sex crimes committed in 2012, a jump of 37 percent since 2010. Most of the incidents were never reported.

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OB Rag Poll on the Use of Drones: 82% Oppose Drones in the U.S.

April 8, 2013 by Frank Gormlie

Recently, the OB Rag ran a readers’ poll on the use of drones by the US government either in America and/or abroad. The results of the week-long poll are in: 82% of respondents oppose the use of drones in the United States.

36% of the respondents replied that they are okay with the use of the unmanned flying vessels in other countries by our government. 17% indicated that they are okay with their use in America.

45% of the 108 readers who responded specifically feel that the use of drones in America is unconstitutional or that they should not be used in our country. Another 37% replied that they specifically opposed their use overseas as well.

26% said that their use in America is “absolutely unconstitutional”. Another 19% were okay with their use in hunting down terrorists abroad, but opposed their deployment here in this country.

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Hundreds of Point Loma Residents Angered Over Lack of Progress on 60 Year-Old Navy Fuel Pipeline

April 4, 2013 by Staff

Petition Builds Calling On Navy and City to Fulfill Promises and Repair Pipeline

10 News is reporting that “more than 350 residents are petitioning the Navy and city leaders to repair, replace or remove a fuel pipeline that is nearly sixty years old.” They are fearful that the pipeline – if not repaired – will crack and burst, spilling fuel in their neighborhoods. And they are angry for the lack of action despite government promises to fix it – promises made for years.

Yet the Navy claims the pipeline is safe.

The fuel pipeline runs from the Point Loma Naval Base all the way out to Miramar Marine Air Station – a distance of 17 miles. The pipeline is nearly 60 years old.

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San Diego’s “Anti-Drone Days of Action” Kick Off Nation-Wide Protests April 4 – 7

April 3, 2013 by Source
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San Diego Has Become “National Capital” of Military Drone Production

From San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice /April 3, 2013

National Anti-Drone Days of Action” from April 4 through 7 in San Diego start a month of protests across the United States against the policy and practice of drone warfare and secret surveillance.

Local and national organizations are coordinating a series of events to increase the attention to why drone killings and surveillance are bad practice and policy for the United States.

San Diego’s “Anti-Drone Days” is not one, but a series of events (see listing).

San Diego is where these protests will start based on the region’s role as the “national capital” of military drone production. Killer and surveillance drones pour out of San Diego at increasing rates, matched by the rise in deaths and dismemberment from US strikes across the globe.

Most of this production is tied to two corporate contracting giants — Northrop Grumman and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which is headquartered in San Diego.

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Coastal Commission Nixes Navy Sonar Program Due to Harm to Blue Whales and Other Sea Life

March 8, 2013 by Staff
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To a packed meeting room on Friday in San Diego, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to reject the US Navy’s sonar training program scheduled off Southern California because of harm to endangered blue whales, other marine mammals and sea life.

The Commissioners ruled that the Navy had insufficient information to support its claims that the explosives and sonar training program would have negligible effect on marine mammals. Scheduled to proceed in January, Coastal staff had recommended that the Commission require more protections to the wildlife before authorizing it.

Estimating that their proposed training program would kill 130 marine mammals and cause hearing loss in 1,600 over five years, the Navy rep argued to the Commission that the Navy was set against any additional conditions that they said would reduce the realism or scope of the training. Navy rep Alex Stone stated that the program has enough protections for the wild sea life. Stone directs the program.

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Old Military Shell Found in Ocean Beach Garden

March 5, 2013 by Source

NBC San Diego / March 5, 2013

An old military artillery shell was discovered in the backyard of an Ocean Beach resident Monday night [March 4].

A woman working in the garden of her new home at Saratoga Avenue and Santa Barbara discovered what looked like an explosive device and called 911.

When bomb experts arrived just after 6:30 p.m., they found the shell in the dirt outside the home.

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Saving Veterans’ Plaza in Ocean Beach

February 22, 2013 by Source

The tragedies of 9-11 were several years away when Obceans who knew that patriotism was consistent with the community’s laid-back, do-your-own-thing ethic decided it was high-time to do something big.

An idea to honor those who have served our country in the armed forces took hold and, with the help of the since-vacated Ocean Beach VFW, the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association (OBMA) and others, the idea came to fruition.

In a nutshell, that’s how the Veterans’ Plaza at the corner of Abbott Street and Newport Avenue – with two its flagpoles, 6 ½-foot-high piece of granite rock and adorning plaque, and dozens of inscriptions engraved onto a brand-new, concrete sidewalk – came to be in the mid-1990s, organizers say. Ocean Beach was ahead of the curve.

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Torture, Compromise, Revenge: Hollywood Reflects a Divided America

February 5, 2013 by Source
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By Frank Rich / RSN – New York Magazine / February 4, 2013

Not long after President Obama delivers his State of the Union address this month, Hollywood will offer its own annual summation of the national Zeitgeist, the Oscars.

They’ve lately been an irrelevancy: Best Pictures like The King’s Speech and The Artist have been footnotes, nostalgic European footnotes at that, to America’s kinetic pop culture in the day of Homeland.

Not this year.

Whatever the explanation – and little in show business happens by design – the movie industry has reconnected with the country.

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Noam Chomsky: The Paranoia of the Superrich and Superpowerful

February 5, 2013 by Source
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By Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian / RSN – TomDispatch / Feb 4, 2013

This piece is adapted from “Uprisings,” a chapter in Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire, Noam Chomsky’s new interview book with David Barsamian (with thanks to the publisher, Metropolitan Books). T
________

Does the United States still have the same level of control over the energy resources of the Middle East as it once had?

The major energy-producing countries are still firmly under the control of the Western-backed dictatorships. So, actually, the progress made by the Arab Spring is limited, but it’s not insignificant. The Western-controlled dictatorial system is eroding. In fact, it’s been eroding for some time.

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Ocean Beach Antique Shop Owner’s Wounded Nephew Gets Visit from President Obama for being “Hero”.

December 27, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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Teresa Mallory’s nephew Quinn Rogan receives surprise visit after saving lives in Afghanistan

The owner of an antique store in Ocean Beach has her nephew’s photo propped up in her consignment shop on Newport Avenue. The picture has her nephew, Quinn Rogan – wounded in Afghanistan when he blocked suicide bombers from attacking his base – along with the President – who made him a surprise visit recently at Walter Reed Army hospital.

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San Diego Congressmen Get Campaign Contributions for Domestic Drone Support

November 28, 2012 by Doug Porter

Chances are you’ve never heard of the “drone caucus” in the US House of Representatives, officially known as the House Unmanned Systems Caucus. Yet they are considered among the most powerful groups on the Hill. And participating in the caucus is a sure way for Congressmen to enrich their campaign coffers.

A story in the San Francisco Chronicle says that members of the group have attracted nearly $8 million in drone-related contributions over the past eight years. Local Reps Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter have each received more than $200,000 from drone firms. General Atomics, maker of the ever popular Predator drone, was among the top three all-time campaign contributors to California Congressmen Brian Bilbray.

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Veterans’ Help Center Opens at Point Loma Library

November 27, 2012 by Staff

For three days a week, volunteers will staff a brand new ‘help-center’ for American veterans that just opened at the Point Loma branch public library. Now opened just a week, the Veterans Resource Center will connect vets with services and benefits – and just plain, old-fashioned information passed on by a one-on-one basis.

These are services and benefits already earned by the veterans. The Center will be staffed by volunteers on Mondays, Tuesday and Fridays – these are volunteers trained by the California Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s all part of a one-year pilot program that has also opened similar centers this month in Bakersfield and Redding, California.

Ever since the local Point Loma branch of the VFW was forced to close down its chapter clubhouse,

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Zombies to Invade Mission Bay Today – as Part of Military and Police Exercise

October 31, 2012 by Source
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UPDATED: See Inside

By NBC 7 San Diego / Oct. 30, 2012

Move over vampires, goblins and haunted houses, this kind of Halloween terror aims to shake up even the toughest warriors: An untold number of so-called zombies are coming to a counterterrorism summit attended by hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others to prepare them for their worst nightmares.

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Occupy San Diego: A Year Later

October 9, 2012 by Source
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By Nadin Abbott

Occupy San Diego reached an important milestone this weekend. Occupy San Diego is now one year old, and like all children, it has learned a lot this year, but also achieved quite a bit.

The weekend saw a series of events, some low key, some going back to it’s roots in the streets, celebrating the fact that OSD is still here. The first event was at Balboa Park on Saturday afternoon.

When I reached the Park I was no longer surprised to see San Diego Police coming in to talk to an Occupier. Well, so what is new? Same old, same old – right? This time, the officers had cause. No, not the usual we saw over the course of last year. They had a call, from another occupier, reporting what can best be described as a domestic dispute. Given the Occupier in question wore a Guy Fawkes costume with knives (which I could not tell at a distance were plastic either), the cops showed up in force. This is standard.

Moreover, while the Police kept an eye on Occupy, like they do on every demonstration that happens in this town, they also kept their actual contact to a minimum, and kept their distance.

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The Maimed – On Eleven Years of War In Afghanistan

October 8, 2012 by Source
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Chris Hedges gave this talk Sunday night – October 7th – in New York City at a protest denouncing the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The event, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was led by Veterans for Peace.

By Chris Hedges

Many of us who are here carry within us death. The smell of decayed and bloated corpses. The cries of the wounded. The shrieks of children. The sound of gunfire. The deafening blasts. The fear. The stench of cordite. The humiliation that comes when you surrender to terror and beg for life. The loss of comrades and friends. And then the aftermath. The long alienation. The numbness. The nightmares. The lack of sleep. The inability to connect to all living things, even to those we love the most. The regret. The repugnant lies mouthed around us about honor and heroism and glory. The absurdity. The waste. The futility.

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OB Historical Society: “The Country Boy, Madame X and the Japanese Spy” – Sept. 20

September 19, 2012 by Source
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The Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents:

Author Richard L. Carrico’s

“The Country Boy, Madame X and the Japanese Spy”

Thurs., Sept. 20th, at 7 PM
At P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

From 1934 to 1936 a ring of Japanese agents and spies enlisted the help of U.S. Navy Personnel to conduct espionage for the Japanese government.

The centers of the spy activities were Washington D. C., San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

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Michael Moore and Oliver Stone Speak Out on WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Free Speech

August 21, 2012 by Source
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By Michael Moore and Oliver Stone / New York Times / August 20, 2012

WE have spent our careers as filmmakers making the case that the news media in the United States often fail to inform Americans about the uglier actions of our own government. We therefore have been deeply grateful for the accomplishments of WikiLeaks, and applaud Ecuador’s decision to grant diplomatic asylum to its founder, Julian Assange, who is now living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Ecuador has acted in accordance with important principles of international human rights.

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What’s Going on at Ft. Rosecrans Now? Its Watering Schedule Out of Sync

August 21, 2012 by Judi Curry
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Three of my widow support group have husbands buried at Ft. Rosecrans cemetery. A fourth one has a fiancé buried there also. All of our men are in very close proximity to each other – probably because they all passed away at just about the same time.

Three of us try to visit our husbands once a month, if for no other reason than to make sure they are still there. I usually use the time to berate him for leaving me. Sometimes I bring flowers from our garden; sometimes one of the other women bring a sticker to put on the plaques – a forbidden practice but we do it anyway; sometimes we bring individual windmills to stick in the rocks below the walls that hold their remains.

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NDAA Suit Argued In Federal Court in New York

August 10, 2012 by Source
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By Nick Pinto / Village Voice / August 8, 2012

The question being argued in federal court in Lower Manhattan yesterday boiled down to this: Is a law authorizing the indefinite military detention of American citizens with only the barest recourse to civil courts constitutional?

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Federal Judge Renews Her Block of Indefinite Detention

June 7, 2012 by Source

Judge Katherine Forrest Denies Government’s Attempt to Limit Ruling

By Charlie Savage/ New York Times / June 6, 2012

The government may not rely on a disputed law enacted last year to hold people in indefinite military detention on suspicion that they “substantially supported” Al Qaeda or its allies — at least if they had no connection to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a federal judge said on Wednesday.

In an eight-page memorandum opinion and order, Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York clarified a preliminary injunction she issued on May 16 in a lawsuit brought by journalists and activists who challenged the statute — a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 — and expressed fear that they could be detained.

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Feds Urge Judge to Lift Her Order Barring Enforcement of Indefinite Detention

May 26, 2012 by Source
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U.S. prosecutors asks Manhattan Federal Judge Katherine Forrest to undo ruling against military detention law

By Basil Katz / Chicago Tribune – Reuters / May 25, 2012

NEW YORK – Federal prosecutors on Friday urged a judge to lift her order barring enforcement of part of a new law that permits indefinite military detention, a measure critics including a prize-winning journalist say is too vague and threatens free speech.

Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest this month ruled in favor of activists and reporters who said they feared being detained under a section of the law, signed by President Barack Obama in December.

The government says indefinite military detention without trial is justified in some cases involving militants and their supporters.

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No Country for Young Men as Old Men Play for Time: The End in Afghanistan is Totally Predictable

May 24, 2012 by Source
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Editor: Last Sunday outside the NATO conference, dozens of American Iraqi and Afghan veterans threw their medals away in protest of the wars. A very similar protest by veterans was held during the anti-Vietnam war days in 1971. .

By Dave Lindorff / Nation of Change and This Can’t Be Happening / May 22, 2012

Once again American troops are being asked to keep fighting for a mistake — this time the 2001 fantasy of the Bush/Cheney administration that it could make a client state out of Afghanistan.

John Kerry, back before he was a pompous windsurfing Senate apologist for American empire, back when he wore his hair long and was part of a movement of returned US military veterans speaking out against the continuation of the Vietnam War, famously asked the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing, “How do you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?”

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Veterans Throw Medals Into the Street as Protest Against Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

May 21, 2012 by Source
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See here for Chicago braces for final day of anti-NATO protests as demonstrators march on Boeing HQ

Reuters / May 20, 2012

Nearly 50 U.S. military veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals into the street on Sunday, an action they said symbolized their rejection of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the veterans, many wearing military uniform shirts over black anti-war t-shirts, choked back tears as they explained their actions. Others folded an American flag while a bugle played “Taps,” which is typically performed at U.S. military funerals.

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Craziness in Chicago: NATO, Protests, Nurses, Vets Throw Away Medals, and Trumped Up ‘Terrorism’ Charges?

May 19, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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This weekend is the crazy weekend for Chicago. NATO is meeting about Afghanistan, protests are happening, nurses storm the streets demanding taxes on the rich wearing Robin Hood masks on, Iraq and Afganistan veterans are throwing away their medals in protest of the wars – and now, an attempt to trump it all, we have “terrorism” charges against some activists which are being met with swift denials and charges of “set up”.

President Obama had a sleep-over for world leaders at Camp David, getting ready for a G8 meeting on Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, dozens of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars plan on leading a march of thousands on Sunday, May 21, alongside Vietnam veterans, and will be presenting their medals to NATO officials during. This anti-war march will proceed through Chicago’s downtown area to the convention center where NATO is holding its summit.

And of course, inside the summit will be President Obama and other world leaders. The City of Chicago is bracing for major protests. Organizers are hoping the rally, which caps a week-long series of anti-NATO actions, will draw thousands. The Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam veterans will hold a reconciliation

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