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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

American False Flags That Started Wars

In this March 13, 1964 file photo, President Lyndon Johnson, right, talks with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, center sitting, after McNamara returned from a fact-finding trip to South Vietnam, at the White House in Washington. Fifty years ago Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, reacting to reports of a U.S. Navy encounter with enemy warships in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam, reports long since discredited, Johnson signed a resolution passed overwhelmingly by Congress that historians call the crucial catalyst for deep American involvement in the Vietnam War. (AP Photo/File)

In this March 13, 1964 file photo, President Lyndon Johnson, right, talks with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, center sitting, after McNamara returned from a fact-finding trip to South Vietnam, at the White House in Washington. Fifty years ago Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, reacting to reports of a U.S. Navy encounter with enemy warships in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam, reports long since discredited, Johnson signed a resolution passed overwhelmingly by Congress that historians call the crucial catalyst for deep American involvement in the Vietnam War. (AP Photo/File)

KITCHENER, Ontario — As this is being written, Congress is experiencing extensive and dramatic hand-wringing as it decides between doing what is best for the country and the world or doing what is best for the American Israel Political Affairs Committee. This is no easy task for members of Congress, especially Democrats who, on the one hand, want to assure a “victory” for President Barack Obama, but who are also loathe to displease the Israeli lobby. Whether preventing a war factors into their deliberations is not known.

AIPAC and its countless minions in Congress are painting the recent agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany), as nothing short of the end of Israel.

If this deal preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is approved, they warn darkly, Iran will secretly develop nuclear weapons. This will mean the destruction of Israel, they say. But if it isn’t approved, Iran will develop such weapons. This, they say, will also mean the destruction of Israel. Feel free to re-read those sentences whenever time allows.

From this point of view, the only alternative is war, with the ostensible purpose of destroying Iran’s nuclear capabilities — capabilities that the Islamic Republic has always said are for peaceful energy purposes. Yet the risk of Iran ever having nuclear weapons is too great. If it did obtain them, then Israel would have a hostile nation to counterbalance its power in the Middle East, and, of course, it doesn’t want that competition. And whatever Israel wants, the U.S. wants. Hence the fear-mongering.

This is a tried-and-true method in the U.S. of getting wars started: Tell lies about some situation that can be construed as a threat to U.S. security (or in this case, Israel’s national security, which seems to be threatened by just about everything), get the populace riled up with jingoistic fervor, watch pompous politicians proclaim their great patriotism on the evening news, and then go bomb some country or other.

The U.S. again gets to flex its international muscle, the citizenry is, for some bizarre reason, proud of the destruction the country has caused, the weapons manufacturers spend all their time tallying their astronomical profits, and all is once again right in the twisted world of U.S. governance.

A few examples will suffice to show that this means of starting wars has been used repeatedly. The examples discussed herein do not by any means represent an exhaustive list, but only show that lying to the world to make the citizenry believe that the U.S. or its citizens had been threatened in some way, and that war was the only response, is business as usual in the U.S.


The War of 1812 (June 18, 1812 – Feb. 18, 1815)

Less than 40 years after the American Revolution, the still-new U.S. government felt constrained in areas of international trade, despite tremendous growth in such trade in the years leading up to the war. In 1811, Britain issued an Order-in-Council, excluding American salted fish from the West Indian colonies and imposing heavy duties on other U.S. imports. This, the U.S. could not countenance.

Additionally, although the heady concept of Manifest Destiny would not actually be defined for several more years, territorial expansion was always on the minds of the leaders of the fledgling nation. Canada, with its rich abundance of natural resources and wide expanses of land, was coveted.

The Battle Lake Borgne Hornbrook, War of 1812.

The Battle Lake Borgne Hornbrook, War of 1812.

Yet trade and expansion were not foremost on the minds of the populace, at least not sufficiently for them to support a war. But many nations at this time had a policy of impressment, wherein the ships of another country were boarded, and their sailors kidnapped and forced to work for the kidnapping navy. This was something with which the common man and woman could identify. Although this wasn’t a common occurrence, it was exaggerated and combined with the trade issues to introduce the rallying cry of “Free Trade and Sailor’s Rights,” Carl Benn wrote in his 2003 book “Essential Histories: The War of 1812.” However, this wasn’t a simple, spontaneous cry of justice. It seems to have been promoted by annexationists running the government, and was sufficient for the U.S. to start an unsuccessful war against Canada.


Spanish-American War (April 25, 1898 – Aug 12. 1898)

Fast-forward to the end of the 19th century. On Feb. 15, 1898, the battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor, killing 266 men. According to Hyman George Rickover, in his 1976 book “How the Battleship Maine was Destroyed”:

“Lieutenant Frank F. Fletcher, on duty at the Bureau of Ordnance, wrote in a personal letter to [Lieutenant Albert] Gleaves: ‘The disaster to the Maine is the one topic here now. Everybody is gradually settling down to the belief that the disaster was due to the position of the magazine next to the coal bunkers in where there must have been spontaneous combustion.’”

Theodore Roosevelt (center front, just left of the flag) and his "Rough Riders," 1898.

Theodore Roosevelt (center front, just left of the flag)
and his “Rough Riders,” 1898.

The official inquiry into the disaster, however, concluded that an underwater mine had been the culprit. With the battle cry “Remember the Maine,” the U.S. quickly declared war on Spain.

But this “inquiry” was more than a bit flawed. Two widely-recognized experts in ordnance volunteered their services for the investigation, but were not invited to participate. One of them, Prof. Philip Alger, had greatly displeased Secretary of the Navy, and future president, Theodore Roosevelt, when he commented on the disaster in an interview for the Washington Evening Star a few days after it happened. He said, in part, the following, as reproduced by Rickover:

“As to the question of the cause of the Maine’s explosion, we know that no torpedo that is known to modern warfare, can of itself cause an explosion of the character of that on board the Maine. We know of no instances where the explosion of a torpedo or mine under a ship’s bottom has exploded the magazine within. It has simply torn a great hole in the side or bottom, through which water entered, and in consequence of which the ship sunk. Magazine explosions, on the contrary, produce effects exactly similar to the effects of the explosion on board the Maine. When it comes to seeking the cause of the explosion of the Maine’s magazine, we should naturally look not for the improbable or unusual causes, but those against which we have had to guard in the past.”

But Roosevelt was anxious to establish the U.S. as a world power, especially in terms of its Navy. By accusing Spain of blowing up the ship, he had the perfect excuse to launch the Spanish-American War.


The Vietnam War (major U.S. involvement: 1964 – 1975)

Off the coast of China and northern Vietnam is the Gulf of Tonkin, which was the staging area for the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the early 1960s. On the evening of Aug. 4, 1964, the U.S. destroyers Maddox and the C. Turner Joy were in the gulf, when the Maddox’s instruments indicated that the ship was under attack or had been attacked. Both ships began firing into the darkness, with support from U.S. warplanes. However, they “later decided they had been shooting at ghost images on their radar. … The preponderance of the available evidence indicates there was no attack.”

U.S. Huey helicopter spraying Agent Orange over Vietnam. (Photo by the U.S. Army Operations in Vietnam R.W. Trewyn, Ph.D.)

U.S. Huey helicopter spraying Agent Orange over Vietnam. (Photo by the U.S. Army Operations in Vietnam R.W. Trewyn, Ph.D.)

Yet something needed to be done about Vietnam, with anti-Communist hysteria still rampant in the U.S., and this gave Congress the perfect ploy to escalate the war. This non-incident was presented to the world as an act of aggression against the U.S. Congress quickly passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. By the end of the following year, the number of U.S. soldiers invading Vietnam increased from 23,000 to 184,300. Eleven years later, with over 55,000 U.S. soldiers dead, hundreds of thousands wounded, and, by conservative estimates, 2,000,000 Vietnamese dead, the U.S. fled Vietnam in defeat.


The Gulf War (Aug. 2, 1990 – Feb. 28, 1991)

In order to gain support for the Gulf War of 1990, Congress and President George Bush relied heavily on what is commonly referred to as the Nayirah testimony. In early October 1990, a 15-year-old girl referred to only as “Nayirah,” who claimed to have been a hospital volunteer, testified of seeing babies dumped by Iraqi soldiers from hospital incubators. This, in the eyes of Congress and the president, highlighted the monstrosity of Iraq, and was widely used to gain support for the war.

However, like nearly all of the information the government feeds to the citizenry to start its wars, this testimony was all lies. “Nayirah” was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. She later admitted that she had once visited the hospital in question, but only for a few minutes. She did see an infant removed from an incubator, but only very briefly. A group called Citizens for a Free Kuwait had hired one of the world’s foremost public relations firms, Hill and Knowlton, to create the illusion of legitimacy for an invasion. They coached “Nayirah” on what to say and how to say it when she appeared before Congress.

We will do no more than mention the U.S.’s drafting of a letter for Grenada to send to the U.S., requesting military intervention when that small island nation’s government was overthrown in 1983. Nor will we dwell on the weapons of mass destruction that Iraq was said to possess in 2002, which justified in the eyes of U.S. citizens the disastrous 2003 invasion of that nation. But as we look at this ugly record of lies that the U.S. has used to expand its territory, power and/or influence around the world, we must consider that it is once again using the same tactics to march the nation toward war with Iran.

Responding to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, troops of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division deploy across the Saudi desert on Nov. 4, 1990 during preparations prior to the Gulf War. (AP Photo/Greg English, File)

Responding to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, troops of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division deploy across the Saudi desert on Nov. 4, 1990 during preparations prior to the Gulf War. (AP Photo)

The U.S. for generations was successful in deceiving its citizens, and a good part of the world, that it was a beacon of freedom and peace, despite the fact that it has been at war for most of its bloody existence. That myth began to crack during the Vietnam War, broke into pieces with the Iraq War, and may have been dealt a fatal blow by the U.S.’s support of Israeli atrocities in 2014.

Robert Fantina 

Regardless of the outcome of the congressional vote on the Iran agreement, the U.S. will find itself less able to lie its way into corporate wars in the future. That capacity diminished during the lead-up to the Iraqi invasion, and while no one ever went broke betting on the gullibility and short-term memory of the U.S. citizenry, people are beginning to wake up. When they finally do, much of the carnage in the world will end. That day cannot come soon enough.

Israel Is Building A Wall To Keep Syrian Refugees Out

Photo shows the Israeli West Bank Barrier, which surrounds much of the occupied territory, as it passes through Bethlehem Aida refugee camp. (Photo/The Advocacy Project via Flickr)

Photo shows the Israeli West Bank Barrier, which surrounds much of the occupied territory, as it passes through Bethlehem Aida refugee camp. (Photo/The Advocacy Project via Flickr)

Amid a growing humanitarian crisis in Europe and the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday refused calls to admit non-Jewish refugees from Syria and announced plans to build a “security fence” to shut out people fleeing war—directly referencing concerns that admittance would skew demographics.

“Israel is a small country, and we do not have the geographic and demographic depths [to absorb them],” Netanyahu’s office declared in an English language statement released Sunday. “We will not allow Israel to be flooded with illegal migrants and terrorists.”

“Today, we are starting to build a fence on our eastern border. In the first stage, we will build it from Timna to Eilat in order to protect the airport being built there, and we will continue the fence up to the Golan Heights, where we have already built a strong security fence,” the statement continued.

However, as Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man pointed out in +972 Magazine, the Hebrew version of the statement released from Netanyahu’s office struck a different chord—referring to the Syrian refugees as “infiltrators.”

“The message here is clear,” wrote Omer-Man. “In Hebrew there is no such thing as a Syrian refugee who might find shelter in Israel; instead, there are infiltrators, work migrants and terrorists. All of those words are meant to scare the average Israeli into rejecting the possibility of taking in refugees.”

The prime minister’s statement came a day after Isaac Herzon, opposition leader, called on Israel to allow entry to Syrian refugees.

Not only is Syria an immediate neighbor of Israel, but the countries bearing the brunt of the refugee crisis—Lebanon and Jordan—also share a border with Israel. Lebanon is now home to approximately 1.2 million refugees from Syria, amounting to roughly one out of every five people currently residing in the country. More than half of Syria’s population is currently displaced—with seven million internally uprooted and four million fleeing to other countries.

Some of those now fleeing Syria are Palestinian refugees. Israel has driven millions of Palestinians from their homes, through expulsions, ethnic cleansing campaigns, war, and occupation. On Saturday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to grant Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria safe passage into Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu’s refusal follows growing condemnation of Israel’s brutal treatment of tens of thousands of non-Jewish asylum seekers fleeing war and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa—mostly Eritrea and Sudan.

Israel is not the only country to refuse entry to refugees. Its close ally the United States has admitted just 1,500 Syrian refugees since 2011, and in 2013, the last year for which Homeland Security statistics are available, granted asylum to a mere 36.

And wealthy Gulf monarchies including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have welcomed few—if any—Syrian refugees into their country.

Further, Israel is not the only country building a fence to keep refugees out. Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban has built a razor-wire fence along the border with Serbia and is preparing to reinforce it with military and police deployments. 

Brazilian Wasp’s Venom Kills Cancer Cells Without Harming Healthy Ones

Wasps, with their annoying manner to fly around your food and readiness to bite you at any moment, definitely don’t fall into the category of cute creatures like bees and butterflies. However, it turns out that they may be much more useful than we thought. New research published in the Biophysical Journal reveals that the venom of the Brazilian social wasp Polybia paulista contains a powerful anticancer ingredient. The toxin called MP1 (Polybia-MP1) is able to kill tumor cells without affecting healthy ones.

To study the mechanism behind this selective action, the research team created model cell membranes and exposed them to the toxin. With the use of imaging and biophysical techniques, it was found that MP1 selectively attacks cancer cells due to the abnormal distribution of lipids (fatty molecules), which are located on the outside of their protective membranes.

The cancer-targeting ingredient interacts with the lipids and distorts the structure of the cell membranes, creating gaping holes in them. As a result, molecules start leaking out of the membranes and cancer cells, unable to function without these molecules, eventually die.

At the same time, the toxin does not harm healthy cells because they have a different arrangement of lipids, which are found on the cell’s inner membrane and not on the outside.

According to Dr. Paul Beales, professor at the University of Leeds and co-author of the study, cancer therapies that involve the interaction with the lipids of the tumor cell membranes could become “an entirely new class of anticancer drugs.”

“This could be useful in developing new combination therapies, where multiple drugs are used simultaneously to treat a cancer by attacking different parts of the cancer cells at the same time,” he added.

The toxin has been tested on prostate and bladder cancer cells and has proven effective in inhibiting their growth. Its effectiveness has been also shown for leukemic cells, which are known to be resistant to a number of various drugs.

polybia paulista wasp

The Polybia Paulista wasp. Photo credits: Prof Mario Palma/São Paulo/PA.

While the use of the Polybia paulista’s venom to fight cancer is a promising possibility, more research is needed to confirm and elaborate these results. According to the researchers, the next step is not only to further study the mechanism of the MP1’s selective action but also to boost its anticancer properties for clinical purposes.

“Understanding the mechanism of action of this peptide will help in translational studies to further assess the potential for this peptide to be used in medicine,” concluded Beales. 

"Desperate" Chicago Schools Need Half Billion To Avoid Mass Layoffs, Partial Shutdown

Last month, we noted with some incredulity that Illinois is now paying lottery winners in IOUs. Long story short, the state’s inability to pass a budget means big winners will have to wait on their prize money, a ridiculous situation which prompted one Illinoisan to remind state officials that “if we owed the state money, they’d come take it and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head; our budget wouldn’t be a factor.” State Rep. Jack Franks agreed, noting that the “government is committing fraud on the taxpayers.”

The lottery debacle is just the latest example of Illinois’ deepening fiscal crisis which was catapulted into the national spotlight in May when a state Supreme Court decision that struck down a pension reform bid prompted Moody’s to cut the city of Chicago into junk territory. Since then, the media has been awash with tales of the labyrinthine, incestuous character of the state’s various state and local governments and the deplorable condition of the state’s pension system. 

The fallout from the budget crisis is far-reaching in the state with the latest example being Chicago’s public school system (the third-largest in the country), which opened this week with a budget shortfall of nearly a half billion dollars. Here’s WSJ with the story:

Chicago Public Schools—with 394,000 students and nearly 21,000 teachers—has closed more than half of a projected $1.1 billion shortfall through cuts, borrowing and other means, but is looking to the state to come up with the rest. The school board warns of deep cuts later this year if Illinois, which faces its own fiscal crisis, doesn’t deliver an additional $480 million in the coming months, representing roughly 8% of annual district spending.

“It is like the board is a desperate gambler at the end of their run,” said Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, in a recent speech.

“We are really now at a point where further cuts would reach deep into the classroom,” said Forrest Claypool, who was named chief executive of the city schools in July.

Since 2011, the school board has made nearly $1 billion in cuts—including $200 million this year that involved eliminating 1,400 positions, mostly through layoffs. Enrollment declines, due to shifting demographics and Chicago’s shrinking population, have led to school closings, including nearly 50 elementary schools in 2013 alone.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has clashed with the teachers union, which went on strike three years ago and is currently without a contract. Another strike isn’t out of the question as the two sides are wrestling over the district’s effort to get teachers to pay more of their pension costs.

A group of parents, educators and activists with the support of union leaders launched a hunger strike Aug. 17 in a push to reopen a closed high school in a historically black neighborhood on the city’s South Side. The group argues the board concentrates money in Chicago’s wealthy, predominantly white neighborhoods. Hispanic and black students make up a vast majority of enrollment in city schools, and more than 85% of students are considered economically disadvantaged.

“There is a priorities crisis,” said Jitu Brown, a community organizer and parent who is participating in the hunger strike.

Of course one problem is a sharp increase in pension costs thanks to a “holiday” the board decided to take from 2011 through 2014:

The district’s pension costs have more than doubled in recent years after the board took a partial “holiday” for three years from paying the amount needed to put the retirement system on a path to long-term solvency.

And all the classic options - raising taxes, taking on new debt to payoff the old debt, etc. - have apparently been exhausted:

At first, the board drained reserves and paid off old debt with new, but those options are running out. The district also is raising property taxes as much as it can under a state cap. At the same time, Mr. Emanuel is weighing a much larger increase to confront the city government’s own pension problems, but that wouldn’t go to the schools.

Which means asking the ineffectual state legislature for $480 million, but thanks to gridlock in Springfield, there are no assurances that aid is forthcoming and that, in turn, means that once it's all said and done, the third largest school system in the country will be forced to layoff thousands and implement what amounts to a partial shutdown. 

Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legislation, said without it the schools would see the layoffs of 3,000 teachers, increased class sizes and a shortened academic year. “We have to resolve this,” he said.

Yes, this has to be resolved and because we want to help, we suggest Governor Bruce Rauner not do things like squander hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on celebrity budget gurus like Donna Arduin, who, until she was dismissed two Fridays ago for not being very guru-ish when it came to Illinois' budget, was making $30,000 a month or, more than half of what a Chicago public school teacher makes in a year.

Did Facebook Influence Verdict In Tsarnaev Trial?

Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Tim Evanson / Flickr

Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Tim Evanson / Flickr

WHO: Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

WHAT: Requested a new trial at a different venue.

WHY: Jurors were exposed to “inflammatory” information on their social media feeds.

When convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers filed a motion last month requesting a new trial, at a different venue, a key reason was generally overlooked in superficial media coverage. The legal team based its filing in large part on evidence it says shows at least some of the jurors were exposed to “inflammatory” information on their social media feeds during the trial.

“The social media activity of individual jurors and of their social media contacts is highly relevant to the question of venue, because it further demonstrates a constitutionally-intolerable level of risk to the fairness of the trial …” the defense wrote.

We don’t yet know what that “social media activity” consists of because that section of Tsarnaev’s motion was redacted.

But could social media posts have actually influenced the outcome of the Boston Marathon Bombing trial?

We do know of an instance in which not seeing a particular media post had a fatal effect. Kevan Fagan, the only juror whose identity is known to the public, admitted that had he known some of the victims’ families were opposed to the death penalty, he “probably” would not have voted for it.

That’s a stunning admission. If Fagan had voted the other way, a non-unanimous verdict would have assured that Tsarnaev would not now be on death row. His assertion also underlines the monumental power that “inflammatory” information can have over this deadly serious process. What if one of Fagan’s friends or family members just happened to post that headline on Facebook? He says he went to Facebook while he was on the jury panel, but somehow avoided discussions about the trial.

But what did other jurors see that may have influenced them to vote for the death penalty? Peer-reviewed studies have shown that social media can be extremely effective at influencing people’s thoughts.

And as far as criminal trials are concerned, lawyers spend vast amounts of time, paper, and ink fighting over what can and cannot be shown to jurors. Turns out social media has become front and center in this particular court fight.


Remember those creepy Facebook experiments? Last summer it was revealed that Facebook had conducted “emotional experiments” on hundreds of thousands of unwitting Facebook users in an attempt to create what researchers described as “emotional contagion” — and it worked.

The experiment, published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences journal, was designed to determine whether experimenters could cause a measurable shift in users’ emotional state, by tweaking what emotional trigger words they saw in their Facebook Newsfeed.

In a separate study, researchers found that Facebook, by selectively adding graphics to users’ pages, could sway a close election. (A recent WhoWhatWhy article details another study which found that tweaking Google search algorithms also has the potential to swing elections.)

The aptly named 2014 Guardian article, “If Facebook can tweak our emotions and make us vote, what else can it do?” describes the subtle manipulation of voters:

It’s not only emotions Facebook can nudge. It can make you vote too. On presidential election day 2010 it offered one group in the US a graphic with a link to find nearby polling stations, along with a button that would let you announce that you’d voted, and the profile photos of six other of your “friends” who had already done so. Users shown that page were 0.39% more likely to vote than those in the “control” group, who hadn’t seen the link, button or photos.


The researchers reckoned they’d mobilised 60,000 voters — and that the ripple effect caused a total of 340,000 extra votes. That’s significantly more than George Bush won by in 2000, where Florida hung on just 537 votes.

In other words, simply adding or subtracting seemingly insignificant bits of information to people’s Facebook pages had a real-world influence on their behavior.

Even creepier, some of the world’s clandestine agencies have weaponized social media, spending untold sums of money in an effort to sway the hearts and minds of various populations.

This is not to suggest that anyone’s social media was deliberately manipulated to change opinions about the Tsarnaev trial. But it does show that the kinds of information one is exposed to on social media can profoundly affect the way we think and feel about a topic — with tangible results.


There’s a growing recognition of the problem presented by the Internet in general and by social media in particular to jury trials.

A juror in the federal corruption trial of Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Fumo was found to be posting updates about the trial to Facebook and Twitter, a discovery that the defendant’s lawyers used as grounds for appeal. Although the appeal ultimately failed, it prompted one of the appellate judges to write a separate opinion highlighting the potential of social media to skew the fairness of jury trials.

And in the Jodi Arias murder trial, questions were raised about one juror’s social media use, as she had followed multiple news stations’ Facebook pages, which had extensively covered the trial, according to the prosecutor. Particular suspicion arose because the juror was the only holdout against sentencing Arias to death. Her position created a behind-the-scenes battle, as the prosecutor and the other 11 jurors sought to have the holdout removed. The judge refused, and Arias will instead serve life in prison after the presiding judge declared a mistrial.

A 2009 New York Times article explains the problem in general terms:

Jurors are not supposed to seek information outside of the courtroom. They are required to reach a verdict based on only the facts the judges decided are admissible, and they are not supposed to see evidence that has been excluded as prejudicial. But now, using their cell phones, they can look up the name of a defendant on the Web or examine an intersection using Google Maps, violating the legal system’s complex rules of evidence.

They can also be exposed to the information on Facebook — whether they’re looking for it or not.

With the inordinate expense of criminal trials, judges are likely reluctant to declare mistrial except in the most egregious cases — as when a Florida judge threw out a 2009 drug case after discovering nine of the jurors had been Googling information about the trial. But they are clearly aware of the problem and as a result have been ramping up, in scope and frequency, their admonitions against social media use.

Yet despite judges’ repeated warnings against “communicating” about the trial with others in any way, jurors cannot seem to resist the siren call of social media.

The judge in the Tsarnaev trial, US District Court Judge George O’Toole, told jurors explicitly that “they must not communicate about this case; or allow anyone to communicate about it with you, by telephone, text message, Skype, email, or via social media such as Twitter or Facebook [emphasis added],” according to Tsarnaev’s latest motion.

However, just opening one’s Facebook page allows friends, family and associates to “communicate” their thoughts and opinions about a host of topics — even if we don’t actively engage them.


The reason we know the identity of only one juror is because the sitting judge in the Tsarnaev trial has taken the unprecedented step of withholding jurors’ names for over three months since trial, a fact that finally set off alarm bells with some in the Boston media about the highly unusual secrecy.

O’Toole stated in a decision filed last week that his decision to withhold the names is due mainly to the appeal filed by Tsarnaev’s lawyers, which claimed jurors were exposed to “inflammatory” information on their social media feeds — allegations O’Toole says he needs time to investigate.


It will be interesting to see (if we do indeed get to see) what kind of stuff floated through Kevan Fagan’s Facebook feed, which brings us back to the question posed by the Guardian: “what else can it [Facebook] make us do?”

Vote for the death penalty — or not?

Related front page panorama photo credit: Courthouse (Tim Evanson / Flickr) 

War Drums Beating: Bulgaria Blocks Russian Access To Its Airspace For Syria Flights

On Monday we flagged a notable escalation in the build up to the geopolitical “main event” in Syria where, thanks largely to the West’s ambition to break Gazprom’s leverage over Europe, the US and Russia are one “accidental” run-in away from taking the “proxy” out of the term “proxy war.” 

With the Kremlin now ramping up its military presence around the Assad stronghold of Latakia, the US is scrambling to do anything and everything in its power to slow the Russian build up - including putting pressure on Greece to deny Russia the use of its airspace for supply flights to Syria.

This isn’t the first time Greece has found itself in the middle of Cold War 2.0, as Athens (and notably Panagiotis Lafazanis) used Greece’s geographical position to field competing gas pipeline bids from Washington and Moscow during the height of the country’s fraught bailout negotiations. 

So while we wait for Greece to pick a side between the US and Russia by either allowing Moscow to use its airspace on the way to supplying Assad or else snubbing the Kremlin and jeopardizing a potentially lucrative gas deal, at least one country has been quick to make a decision: Bulgaria...

Why, you ask? According to a spokeswoman, the Bulgarian foreign ministry has "enough information that makes [it] have serious doubts about the cargo of the planes, which is the reason for the refusal."

What's particularly amusing here is that all of the above (Greece's reluctance to immediately acquiesce to Washington's demands, Bulgaria's move to deny Russia use of its airspace, and the whole Syrian civil war) is the direct result of energy disputes. As mentioned above, Greece is being pulled between The Southern Gas Corridor and the Turkish Stream, while the South Stream debacle means Bulgaria has no reason not to side with the West. And of course the entire crisis in Syria all comes down the proposed Qatar-Turkey line.

So once again, it all comes down to natural gas and if the conflict in Syria has taught us anything so far, it's that when it comes to energy, the world's most powerful nations are willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives to protect their interests.  


Here Is a Government Surveillance Device Disguised as a Baby's Car Seat

Image via Privacy International

Spend enough time investigating the global surveillance industry, and you'll come to realize that reality is far stranger than fiction.

A previous Motherboard investigation into the cache of documents leaked after the hack of Hacking Team revealed a huge network of companies reselling spyware around the world.

But the Italian firm, which makes the governmental hacking suite Remote Control System, is barely a drop in the bucket of the massive market for invasive—and often weird—surveillance tech.

Consider the comically-creepy “Babyseat,” a video surveillance device disguised to look like a baby's car seat. According to its brochure, Babyseat features a hidden camera with full pan, tilt and zoom capability, which can be remotely viewed and controlled in real-time via GSM mobile internet connection and records to a “discreetly mounted” Compact Flash card.

4th unexplained explosion rocks China


The latest incident will likely raise more questions about safety standards in China, where industrial accidents are all too common following three decades of fast economic growth. A blast at an auto-parts factory killed 75 people a year ago

An explosion shook a chemical plant in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, state media said on Monday, though there were no immediate reports of casualties in a country on edge after blasts killed more than 160 people last month.

The blast caused a fire and thick smoke to bellow from the plant in Lishui city shortly before midnight, state radio said on its official Weibo microblog.

Firefighters were on the scene and there were no immediate reports of casualties.


A Distillation of DOD Funding Priorities for August 2015

DOD spent $37,886,446,686+ on 238 individual contracts in August 2015

The Pentagon issues a jumbled list of contractsevery business day around 5:00PM local time. Our project distills an entire month of these contracts into an accessible form.

The Department of Defense (DOD) spent at least $37,886,446,686 on 238 individual contracts during August 2015. This amount does not include 21 Foreign Military Sales contracts worth $1,154,298,804.

Note: As of 15 August 2015, DOD changed the hyperlink format on their Contractspage, which may affect links from earlier in the month.


Archer Western Federal JV received $17,724,389 for unmanned aircraft systems hanger construction, Ft. Campbell.

Boeing (Insitu Inc.) received $8,810,938 for interim services (logistics, training and field service representative) in support of the RQ-21 Blackjack program.

FOREIGN MILITARY SALES – Through Foreign Military Sales (FMS), the U.S. government procures and transfers materiel to allied nations and international organizations.

Boeing received $14,579,980 to provide Turkey and the UAE with an unspecified amount of Chinook (CH-47) helicopters.

CAS Inc. received $8,651,520 for labor hours and travel supporting the Utility Helicopter Project office for: Mexico, Egypt, Taiwan, the UAE, Colombia, Jordan,Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Sweden, and Slovakia.

Dillon Aero Inc. received $41,500,000 to provide Mexico, Chile, Peru, Philippines,Brazil, Japan, Australia, Macedonia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan,Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Kenya with M134D and M134D-H spare parts and training. One bid solicited, one received.

DynCorp received $45,470,349 to provide Iraq with technical support for multiplatform vehicles. One bid solicited, one received. [The U.S. State Department has approved more than $18.6 billion FMS to Iraq since 2005.]

General Dynamics received $17,200,000 to remove and dispose of 50 M1A1 frontal turret armor packages for Morocco and install M1A1 situational awareness frontal turret armor packages. One bid solicited, one received.

Lockheed Martin received $9,081,459 for PAC-3 missile field support for Taiwan.

Lockheed Martin received $32,289,173 for engineering services on the P-3 Fatigue Life Management Program for U.S. Navy ($4,197,592; 13.1%); NOAA ($430,522.30; 1.3%); NASA ($430,522.30; 1.3%); CBP ($430,522.30; 1.3%);Canada ($5,360,003; 16.6%), Australia ($5,360,003; 16.65), New Zealand($5,360,003; 16.6%), Norway ($5,360,003; 16.6%), and Germany ($5,360,003; 16.6%). This was not competitively procured per FAR 6.302-1.

Lockheed Martin received $89,265,000 for system development and demonstration Phase I Increment 2, for the first aircraft arrival and initial operations in support of F-35A CTOL air system for Israel.

MAG DC Corp. received $12,850,402 for airlift support for Afghanistan’s Air Force.

Navistar Defense LLC received $368,932,767 to provide Afghanistan 2,293 medium tactical vehicles (MTV). One bid solicited, one received.

Raytheon received $41,566,755 to provide Jordan and Estonia with Javelin Block 1 tactical rounds (354), tripods (36), and golden units (1).

Raytheon received $38,157,300 to provide Morocco for 200 thermal receiver units. One bid solicited, one received.

Raytheon received $29,746,484 for one-hundred MK54 Mod 0 Lightweight Torpedo (LWT) kits, engineering, and repair service for U.S. Navy. FMS (India, Turkey andAustralia) get 68 kits.

Raytheon received $175,081,326 for Phase II of the Qatar Air & Missile Defense Operations Center (ADOC) program, including future integration of multiple air and missile systems into ADOC. This is a sole-source acquisition.

Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin JV received $12,690,726 to provide Estonia andAustralia with command launch units and accessories.

Sikorsky received $14,813,184 to provide Taiwan with UH-60M trained pilots and maintenance to support fielding new aircraft and storage of four UH60s.

Textron received $17,434,922 to provide Afghanistan (National Army) with Mobile Strike Force Vehicle (MSFV) training support.

Thales Raytheon Systems received $82,606,668 to provide Finland, Lithuania,Netherlands, Chile sentinel radar technical/logistics. One bid solicited, one received.

Vectrus Systems Corp. received $46,795,818 to provide Egypt, Iraq, Spain, and theUAE with receiving, repairing, maintaining, storing, preparing for issue, and issuing Army Prepositioned Stock-5 equipment in support of the 401st Army Field Support Battalion in Kuwait.

Vectrus Systems Corp. received $11,989,972 for base maintenance and operations services in Turkey (Incirlik AB) and Spain.


Telecommunication Support Services received $8,865,684 for operations and support at the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-South satellite communications facility in Key West, FL; and Mobile Air Surveillance System mission support activities throughout USSOUTHCOM AOR, primarily Colombia.


Academi (formerly Blackwaterreceived $8,330,202 for facility service support and private security contract/armed security in Afghanistan.

BAE Systems (One bid solicited, one received.) received $21,284,990; General Dynamics received $7,184,510 to service, inspect, and test Army Prepositioned Stock & Theater Sustainment Stock Bradley tracked vehicles in Kuwait.

Bethel Industries Inc. received $22,099,000 for field jackets for the ANA.

Centerra-Parsons Pacific received $62,113,029 for Navy Support Facility (Diego Garcia) base operations support services.

Fidelity Technologies Corp. received $8,948,799 to devise technical and maintenance training materials for ANSF’s PC-12NG aircraft.

Kellogg Brown & Root received $28,898,619 for base operations support services atIsa AB, Bahrain.


SA Technical Services Inc.; Advanced Concepts Enterprises Inc. (ACEs); Streamline Defense LLC received a combined $45,000,000 for HQ AFSOC systems engineering and technical assistance services worldwide.

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. received $22,856,626 for construction of a special operations training complex at Camp Lejeune.


Battelle Memorial Institute received $7,930,827 to work on Phase 4 of DARPA’s Dialysis-Like Therapeutics - Integration program.

Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. received $15,350,660 for Phase II of DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program. System will be demonstrated on a third aircraft, a UH-60 rotorcraft. Lockheed Martin (who now owns Sikorsky) received $9,787,539 for phase II of DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS). Sikorsky will conduct UH-60L based flight of Autonomous Crew Enhancement System (ACES) cargo-resupply mission and demonstrate ACES on a fixed-wing aircraft.

SRI International received $8,520,257 for DARPA R&D supporting innovative proposals regarding data privacy and privacy science to provide tools to capture, test and evaluate technologies.

The Regents of UC-Berkeley received $8,796,481 for Phase 3 of DARPA’s Power Efficiency Revolution For Embedded Computing Technologies (PERFECT).


Wright State Applied Research Corp. (WSARCreceived $42,500,000 for human-machine teaming for ISR analysis for AFRL.


Korte Construction Co. received $10,090,000 to construct a four bay aircraft maintenance hangar for F-35A at Luke, AFB.

Lockheed Martin received $431,322,997 for F-35 production items (special tooling, test equipment) to meet production rates for USAF ($150,136,184; 34.81%); USN ($75,068,092; 17.40%); USMC ($75,068,092; 17.40%); non-DOD participants ($75,392,333; 17.48%); FMS ($55,658,296; 12.91%).

Lockheed Martin received $430,878,490 for non-air vehicle spares, support equipment, Autonomic Logistics Information System hardware and software upgrades, supply chain management, full mission simulators and non-recurring engineering services in support of LRIP Lot 9 F-35 for USAF ($136,308,496; 32%); Navy ($30,326,973; 7%); USMC ($32,762,358; 8%); non-DOD ($187,885,664; 44%); and FMS ($43,594,999; 10%). This was not competitively procured per 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1).

Lockheed Martin received $26,069,178 for F-22 integrated maintenance information system of execution. This is a sole-source acquisition.


Raytheon received $33,000,000 for 10 MH-60R full-rate production Airborne Low Frequency Sonar Lot XII systems.

SAIC received $11,838,878 for MH-60 (R&S) weapon systems support and sustainment for U.S. Navy (92%); Denmark (2%), Australia (2%), KSA (2%), and Brazil (2%). This was not competitively procured, per 10 U.S. Code 2304(c) (1) implemented by FAR 6.302-1.

Textron (Bell Helicopter) received $85,498,093 to conduct research for, and develop updates to, weapons systems as part of a system configuration set in support of H-1for U.S. Navy ($80,498,093; 94.12 %) and Pakistan ($5,000,000; 5.88%). This was not competitively procured per FAR 6.302-1.

Textron (Bell Helicopter) received $581,113,421 for 15 Lot 12 UH-1Y, 19 Lot 12 AH-1Z, one Lot 13 UH-1Y and 21 auxiliary fuel kits for USMC ($523,193,712; 90%) and Pakistan ($57,919,709; 10%).


25 corporations (Textron; Boeing; CAE USA; CamberCSCCubicFlight Safety; L3; LB&B Associates Inc.; Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman; Raytheon; Aero Simulation Inc.; Aerospace Training Systems Partners JV; Aviation Training Consulting; Bowhead Systems Management; CTE JV; CymSTAR; Delaware Resource Group; DL PI JV; Fidelity Tech; Logistics Services International; Nakuuruq Solutions; Nova Technologies; Quadrant Training Solutions) received a combined $20,900,000,000 for analysis, design, development, production, installation, integration, test, and sustainment for USAF training systems encompassing complex aircrew, maintenance, and system-specific training systems in support of warfighter training worldwide.

Advanced IT Concepts Inc. received $45,000,000 for hardware to promote total life cycle support at the combat training centers and Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability.

Camber Corp. received $8,362,254 to work on Integration Training Solutions for Anti-Access/Area Denial Threat Environment for U.S. Navy Continuous Training Environment (NCTE). Specific focus on: Defense against Fast Attack Craft swarm threats, countering maritime mines, cyber warfare / EW, and denial or disruption of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Marvin Engineering Inc. received $16,319,520 for 420 LAU-127 [PDF] guided missile launchers to enable the F/A-18 to carry and launch AIM-120 and AIM-9X.

L3 received $12,900,000 for M7.1 operational flight program for the F-16 Mission Training Center (MTC).

Raytheon received $9,579,515 for 209 LAU 118/A aircraft-guided missile launchers in support of F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G aircraft.

Raytheon received $37,359,552 for 228 LAU-115 guided-missile launchers for U.S. Navy (220) and Switzerland (8) and 30 LAU-116 for U.S. Navy. Launchers enable F/A-18 aircraft to carry/launch AIM-120 and AIM-9X. Purchases: Navy ($36,281,000; 97%) and Switzerland ($1,078,552; 3%).


Boeing received $1,489,387,310 for 9 U.S. Navy full-rate production Lot II P-8A, and 4 Australian FRP Lot II P-8A. This also provides long-lead parts to manufacture 20 P-8A FRP Lot III for U.S. Navy (16) and Australia (4), among other material. Purchases: USA ($1,057,056,575; 71%); Australia ($432,330,735; 29%).


Lockheed Martin received $7,474,096 for C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Program (RERP) sustainment at Dover AFB. Lockheed Martin received$10,479,849 for the Aircraft Communications Addressing & Reporting System for C-5M fleet. This is a sole-source acquisition. Lockheed Martin received $240,521,529 for C-5 Galaxy reliability enhancement and re-engine program (RERP) Lot 7 installation.

Lockheed Martin received $9,100,899 for HC/MC-130J unique spares.


Northrop Grumman received $34,298,950 for worldwide KC-10 logistic support.

Northrop Grumman received $13,143,496 for the Forward Fuel Cell Tank Reliability Improvement Program (KC-10).


BAE Systems received $248,200,000 for various electronic warfare, automatic test and support equipment systems including, but not limited to, F-16, C-130, B-1B ATE, APX 113, ALQ-161 and ALM -288. This is a sole-source acquisition.

Boeing received $9,945,179; Lockheed Martin received $11,495,833; Northrop Grumman received $10,000,000; for JSTARS recapitalization, pre-engineering and manufacturing development.

Boeing received $8,351,411 for C-32/C-40 aircraft contractor logistics support. This is a sole-source acquisition.

Boeing received $46,719,474 for seven full-rate production Combat Network Communication Technology upgrade kits for the B-52 (including support equipment and installation) and 21 retrofit kits to convert previously purchased B-52 CNCT kits from LRIP configuration to full-rate production configuration.

DRS Technical Services received $54,168,789 for logistics support for maintaining and supporting the E-6B, and its associated support equipment.

Exelis Inc. received $38,209,265 for electronic countermeasures set line replacement units for USAF aircraft. This was sole-source per 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1).

L-3 received $21,371,269 for business jet training (maritime air patrol, low/slow terrorist aircraft, air interdiction, helicopter maritime strike weapons school, laser, fixed-wing ground control approach, lost homing direction, air intercept/anti-submarine) in support of contracted air services basic training, large national exercises, and small, single unit training exercises.

Northrop Grumman received $15,121,851 for 106 the Large Aircraft Infrared Counter Measures Viper 2.1 lasers. Northrop Grumman received $35,372,762 to engineer, manufacture, develop and LRIP Common Infrared Countermeasure program (CIRCM).

Parker Hannifin Corp. received $14,904,140 to add overhaul kits on aircraft.

Rockwell Collins Inc. received $10,304,533 for heads-up display units for USAF aircraft.

Rockwell Collins received $13,474,499 for one Block I modification aircraft kit and one VLF transmit terminal kit for the E-6B Mercury.

Rockwell Collins-ESA Vision Systems received $20,864,770 for Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing system Night Vision Cueing & Display (NVCD) systems for Aircrew Systems program. This was non-competitive per FAR 6.302-1.

Technovative Applications received $22,586,082 for R&D on radar tactical fire control.


Engineering Research & Consulting Inc. received $82,153,023 for on-site R&D to the AFRL across a wide spectrum of propulsion-related areas at Edwards AFB.

Lockheed Martin received $82,751,404 for next generation technical services at Wright Patterson AFB; Aberdeen Proving Ground; Stennis Space Center; Vicksburg, MS; Lorton, VA; and Bethesda, MD. One bid solicited, one received.


SAIC received $8,330,800 for engineering support (engineering analysis and expertise across portfolios: Aegis, Aegis fleet readiness, DDG 1000, enterprise configuration management, future combat systems, training systems, information assurance) in support of Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) for USA (81%), Japan (8%), Australia (5%), South Korea (3%), Spain (2%), and Norway (1%).


General Dynamics received $13,061,015 for LCS planning yard services (bothvariants).

Northrop Grumman received $38,541,198 to provide integration services for mission packages that will deploy from and integrate with LCS. This was not competitively procured per FAR 6.302-1(a)(2)(ii)(B).


BAE Systems received $11,279,619 for 45-calendar-day shipyard availability for overhaul & dry-docking of USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14) San Francisco, USA.

BAE Systems received $12,424,042 for USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) FY2016 selected restricted availability (includes hull, machinery, electrical, electronics, ship alterations, and piping alteration and repair work).

BAE Systems received $22,590,026 for USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) FY2016 dry-docking selected restricted availability (structural repairs and habitability upgrades).

General Dynamics received $8,032,855 for engineering and technical services to support hull, mechanical/electrical systems and equipment on U.S. naval ships.

Puglia Engineering Inc.; Pacific Ship Repair & Fabrication Inc.; Delphinus Engineering Inc.; Q.E.D. Systems Inc.; Walashek Industrial & Marine; Propulsion Controls Engineering received a combined $15,000,000 for repair and maintenance on U.S. Navy waterborne vessels, surface ships and submarines.

Seaward Marine Services Inc. received $9,500,000; Seaward Marine Services Inc.received $7,500,000 for worldwide waterborne hull cleaning work to support the director of ocean engineering, supervisor of salvage and diving.


General Dynamics received $30,530,718 for integrated tube and hull E-fixtures in support of the Ohio Replacement Program common missile compartment for U.S. Navy (50%) and the UK (50%).

General Dynamics received $22,257,347 for USS North Dakota (SSN 784) post-delivery work period.

General Dynamics received $8,318,697 for onboard repair parts for Virginia-class submarines. General Dynamics received $8,190,684 for onboard repair parts for Virginia-class submarines.

Huntington Ingalls received $57,889,458 for planning needed for maintenance, upgrades and modernization on USS Columbus (SSN 762) during overhaul.

M.A. Mortenson Co. received $17,972,000 for construction of Waterfront Restricted Area South, land-water interface at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

Phoenix International Holdings Inc. received $15,155,333 for management, technical, engineering, and logistics support and associated supplies and equipment to operate and maintain the U.S. Navy’s submarine rescue system.


Alpha Marine Services received $6,965,712 for the time charter of six tractor-like tugs in support of Navy bases at Kings Bay, GA (50%); Mayport, FL (50%)

BAE Systems received $79,863,035 for work on MK 45 systems. This was non-competitive, per 10 U.S.C. 2304 (c)(1), implemented by FAR 6.302-1(a)(2).

Booz Allen Hamilton received $26,765,034 for services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Special Communications Mission Solutions Division. This was not competitively procured per 10 U.S.Code 2304(c)(1).

DDL OMNI Engineering LLC received $10,900,000 for work on Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) efforts, entitled “Ship Mission Readiness Measurement System.”

General Dynamics received $29,015,709 for continued AN/USC-61(C) digital modular radios (DMR) production, spare components and supplies/services.

General Dynamics received $39,777,752 for engineering and technical services for the operations, maintenance and repair required for acoustic data acquisition, test range/support systems, and acoustic data analysis conducted at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division Acoustic Research Detachment.

Honeywell received $805,170,296; M.C. Dean Inc. received $853,777,308 for successful installation and operational certification of C4ISR systems for C4I, Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command and other prospective USA and FMS customers. C4ISR systems are produced under other/separate deals and delivered for installation on surface ships, subs and shore stations worldwide.

Moog Inc. received $30,662,608 for aircraft-mounted gun actuation systems, engineering, repair. This was not competitively procured, 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1).

Northrop Grumman received $7,595,000 for 14 automatic voltage regulator production units required for the replacement of obsolete and unreliable turbine generator voltage regulators for Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

Progeny Systems Corp. received $10,926,568 to support integrated shipboard and shore-based maintenance decision tool (for manpower reduction aboard Navy submarines, ships).

Raytheon received $65,060,438 for engineering and program support services for the relocatable over-the-horizon radar (ROTHR) supporting U.S. Navy Forces Surveillance Support Center (Chesapeake, VA). This is sole-source per 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1).


Aleut O&M Services LLC received $395,000,000 for Cape Canaveral AFS launch operations and infrastructure support.

GeoDecisions received $6,848,430 for a transportation geospatial information system (execute, report, visualize, collaborate, disseminate geospatial info).

Lockheed Martin received $10,071,486 for the Neptune Common Ground Architecture Implementation Phase II, extending Naval Research Laboratory's Neptune Common Ground Architecture capabilities for surveillance tasking and refactoring of space-based infra-red systems mission management functions to provide planning data for external use and real-time schedule management.

PreTalen Ltd. received $15,000,000 for position navigation and time autonomous negotiator applying cognitive effects-based analysis. PreTalen will extend the suite of custom software/hardware designed to simultaneously and autonomously test currently available Global Navigation Satellite System receivers across the threat spectrum. This is a sole-source acquisition.

Raytheon received $32,387,937 for GPS Next Generation Operational Control System development.

Range Generation Next LLC received $6,511,600 for launch and test range system support function to the Western Range in support of the Building 7000 relocation task. RGN will execute pre-staging efforts, initiate a portion of the range system relocations, and ensure completion of all infrastructure installation prior to initiating range downtime scheduled from 8 Mar 2016 – 28 Aug 2016.

Real Time Logic Inc. (RT Logicreceived $48,913,935 for wideband remote monitoring sensor hardware.

United Paradyne Corp. received $8,536,102 for management, operations, maintenance and services to support launch programs for unconventional propellants, cryogenics and fuels accountability, personnel safety equipment, hazardous operations support, fleet management, systems and safety engineering, transient aircraft maintenance/aerospace ground equipment, and precision measurement equipment laboratory services at Vandenberg AFB.

Wolf Creek Federal Services received $19,050,151 for range operations (non-mission support communications) for the Eastern Range and Western Range; and base operating support and logistics for the Eastern Range. Work at Patrick AFB, Cape Canaveral AFS, and Ascension Auxiliary Air Field.


Adams Communication & Engineering Technology; DHPC Technologies; Eoir Technologies Inc.; Praxis Engineering Technologies Inc. received a combined $994,675,676 to support Intelligence & Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD).

Augustine Consulting Inc. received $9,790,387 for Nett Warrior software development, production and sustainment. One bid solicited, one received.

CACI-ISS Inc. received $37,895,538 for C4ISR services (quick reaction mission functions in C4ISR electronic systems and interoperability from rapid design through fabrication, maintenance/logistics of NAWCAD Special Communications Mission Solutions Division). This was non-competitive per 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1).

Data Link Solutions received $366,519,730 and ViaSat Inc. received $514,305,457 for production and maintenance of MIDS Low Volume Terminal (LVT), which provides digital data and voice comms.

Jacobs Technology received $7,127,132 for engineering and technology acquisition support services at Hanscom AFB.

L-3 Communications received $8,207,261 for enhanced electronic intelligence exploitation processor software, hardware, and reports; Nyquist folding receiver software and reports; and Timberline II software, hardware and reports. L-3 will research, develop, and demonstrate enabling technologies and algorithms for real-time and near-real time automatic detection and measurement, processing, and exploitation of radio frequency emissions in support of ELINT.

Microsoft received $162,760,000 for Microsoft enterprise technical support services, necessary to obtain highly trained Microsoft Blue Badge Cardholder support.

NetCentrics Corp. received $18,062,724 for IT support to the Army Information Technology Agency (ITA), Washington, DC.

Northrop Grumman received $13,586,965 for non-personal IT for Army Regional Cyber Center-Europe, 5th Signal Command (Theater).

Noble Supply & Logistics received $262,500,000 for maintenance, repair and operations for tailored logistics support, Zone 2, Northeast region. SAIC received$315,000,000 for maintenance, repair and operations for the tailored logistics support prime vendor program for Zone 1, Northeast region.

Thales-Raytheon received $12,481,823 to replace and integrate the Technical Data Link Interface Device within the Battle Control System.


Allied Mechanical Wisconsin received $9,946,272 for 500-pound iron practice bombs (BDU-50) for USAF training.

Boeing received $9,800,000 for early R&D and concept design on the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle.

Lockheed Martin (work in Sunnyvale, CA) received $9,679,107; and Raytheon (work in Tucson, AZ) received $9,775,608 to work on the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle: 1) define a concept that can destroy several objects by considering advanced sensors and factors; 2) define a proof-of-concept prototype and demonstrate risk mitigation steps & critical functional aspects; 3) assess technical maturity of concept, prioritize and nominate risk reduction tasks.

Teradyne Inc. received $25,000,000 for testers, spares, instrument calibration, software, cables, and engineering, technical, and factory support services (for Strategic Systems Programs missile, guidance, fire control, and navigation systems module test requirements for the D5 Life Extension (D5LE) Program. This was not competitively procured per 10 U.S.C 2304(c)(1).

nLogic LLC received $16,104,764 for control and reporting center operation modules and associated support in Huntsville, AL.

WisEngineering LLC; Decilog Inc.; Intelligent Decision Systems Inc.; SimIs Inc.; and Subsystem Technologies Inc. received $49,778,189 for software development for the Tactical Effects, Protection & Interactive Technologies Directorate, ArmyARDEC.


Northrop Grumman received $14,150,405 for the Advanced EOD Robotic System Increment 1, dismounted operations variant.


Northrop Grumman received $58,706,242 for Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (GATOR) Increment II Ground Weapons Locating Radar software, along with technical data packages, anti-tamper planning and developmental testing support. This was not competitively procured per 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1).


Allison Transmission Inc. received $28,357,781 for X1100-3B Abrams M1A2 tank transmissions.

BAE Systems received $8,666,962 for 49 Fire Support Sensor System (FS3) mod kits and five authorized stockage list spares.

General Electric received $13,085,000 for three-six LM2500 engine overhauls.

Honeywell received $20,970,214 to revitalize AGT1500 engines.

Intuitive Research & Technology Corp. received $7,619,996 for technical and engineering services on the M1A2SEPV2 Abrams tank modernization.

MCT Industries Inc. received $13,739,050 for articulating staircase maintenance stands and hydraulic scissor lift maintenance stands.

Oshkosh Defense received $114,669,605 for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) LRIP and full-rate production.

Raytheon received $19,307,483 for 13 light armored vehicle (USMC) anti-tank modernization turret weapons systems.

Raytheon received $25,920,954 for spare parts for the AN/TPN-31(V) Air Traffic Navigation Integration & Coordination System (ATNAVICS) radar. This was not competitively procured per FAR 6.302-1.

Tru-Hitch Inc. received $6,894,469 for integrated logistics support, lighting kits, and test support for the fifth wheel towing recovery device and tilt deck recovery trailer components of the Modular-Catastrophic Recovery System (MCRS).

URS Federal received $9,896,364 for vehicle mechanical support and supply management for Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) [2.5-ton, 5-ton, 10-ton] trucks at Red River Army Depot. One bid solicited, one received.


Atlantic Diving Supply Inc. received $6,593,520 for the SAROS battlefield oxygen system and accessories.

CAMSS Shelters received $200,000,000 for commercial shelters.

North American Manufacturing received $38,259,964 for military cots.

Northrop Grumman received $9,180,108 for Phase II of the ground/air task-oriented radar (G/ATOR) program managed by Program Executive Officer Land Systems, Quantico, VA. This is sole-source per 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1).

Technology & Supply Management received $8,165,877 for configuration management, integration, and training on U.S. Army’s Persistent Ground Surveillance System (PGSS) programs in support of Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAVCAD) Special Surveillance Programs Division. This was not competitively procured per 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1).


Coachys & Associates received $14,318,625 for extreme cold/wet weather parkas and jackets. Tennier Industries Inc. received $13,247,410 for extreme cold/wet weather parkas and jackets.

Golden Manufacturing Co. received $37,458,912 for ACU coats.

Puerto Rico Apparel Manufacturing Corp. received $15,882,075 for ACU.


Computer Sciences Corp. received $10,258,894 for technical expertise, policy knowledge, operational proficiency, collective training capability, deployed assistance teams, counter-WMD advocacy (addressing conventional proliferation challenged, enhancing national preparedness for CBRNE event consequences).

FLIR Detection, Inc. received $30,000,000 for Contamination Indicator Decontamination Assurance Systems (CIDAS).

GP Strategies received $29,627,843 for life cycle logistics support and chemical demilitarization training facility operation and maintenance.


Delta Fuel Co. Inc. received $9,980,568 for marine gas oil. Ship Supply of Florida Inc. received $19,896,283 for marine gas oil.

CPD Alaska LLC received $64,563,882 for fuel services.

CPD Alaska LLC received $62,745,918 for various types of fuel. Petro Star Inc.received $145,549,416 for various types of fuel. Petro 49 Inc. received $51,591,725 for various types of fuel. Shoreside Petroleum Inc. received $21,502,518 for various types of fuel. Vitus Energy LLC received $8,294,881 for various types of fuel.

Maytag Aircraft/TK&K received $8,018,112 for receipt, storage and issue services for bulk and retail aviation and ground fuel. Some work in Germany.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. received $19,180,548 for Phase III project implementation of the energy conservation measure and energy conservation program at Tinker AFB.


ABM Government Services; Global Engineering & Construction; J&J Worldwide Services; John J. Kirlin Special Projects; Robins & Morton; and United Excel Corp.received $249,000,000 for healthcare facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs for Army Medical Command (MEDCOM).

America's Staffing Partner Inc.; Health Facility Solutions; Laredo Technical Services; ASR International Corp.; Global Engineering Solutions Inc.; Stratitia Inc.received $40,000,000 for technical and administrative services.

Avkare Inc. (Pulaski, TN) received $26,948,092 for pharmaceuticals for DOD, VA,BOP, and IHS. Work in Tennessee and Israel.

Cardinal Health 200 Inc. received $1,019,313,488 and Owens & Minor Distribution Inc. received $240,332,793 for medical and surgical supplies for various TRICARE regions throughout the U.S.

Dynamics Research Corp. received $9,262,579 for brain injury program evaluation.

General Dynamics received $10,408,061 for security and maintenance services for the Military Health System.

The Janz Corporation received $20,000,000 for medical equipment.

Laboratory Corp. of America received $57,595,500 for laboratory testing services.

Magellan Behavioral Health received $7,737,646 for 24/7 operation of the Outreach Call Center for the Defense Centers of Excellence for TBI and Psychological Health, Maryland Heights, MO.

Stemnion Inc. received $9,051,277 for R&D services supporting Naval Medical Research Center’s cellular combat wound initiative.


American President Lines; Farrell Lines Inc.; Liberty Global Logistics LLC; and National Air Cargo Group Inc. received $45,370,266 for international commercial multimodal transportation.

American President Lines LTD; Farrell Lines Inc.; Liberty Global Logistics LLC; and National Air Cargo Group Inc. each received $45,370,266 ($181,481,064 total) for international commercial multimodal transportation.


AECOM Technical Services Inc.; ARCADIS U.S. Inc.; CDM Federal Programs Corp.; CH2M Hill Inc.; Ecology & Environment Inc.; HDR O'Brien & Gere JV; and The Louis Berger Group Domestic Inc. received a combined $90,000,000 for architect/engineering services on the Multiple Environmental Government Acquisition program for Northwestern Division, USACE, and EPA Region 2.

CB&I Federal Services received $10,858,383 for shoreline revetment, waste consolidation, and remedial action at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Hydroid Inc. received $7,259,574 to develop, fabricate, integrate and deliver onebathymetry mapping system sensor suite model.


AmeriQual Group LLC received $30,551,172 for first strike ration for all service branches.

Lakeview Center Inc. received $7,737,646 for dining facility attendants and contingency cook support at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Lakeview Center Inc. laterreceived $7,737,646 for dining facility attendant and contingency cook services, Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Senn Brothers Produce received $35,000,000 for fresh fruit and vegetables for DOD in the South Carolina zone.


AeroJet Rocketdyne Inc.; BAE Systems; Boeing; General Dynamics; L-3; Lockheed Martin; MBDA Inc.; Northrop Grumman; ATK Operations LLC; Raytheon; Rockwell Collins; Sierra Nevada Corp.; Textron; Applied Research Associates Inc.; Cummings Aerospace; Dynetics Inc.; HART Technologies; Integrated Solutions for Systems; Intuitive Research & Technology Corp.; SURVICE; Systima Inc.; Yulista Aviation received a combined $490,000,000 for the Agile Acquisition program at Eglin AFB.

BASE SUPPORT, CONSULTING, ADMIN & LOGISTICS - Base operations (a.k.a. base support services) usually involve a combination of: facility management & investment, fire & emergency services, grounds maintenance & landscaping, janitorial services, pavement clearance, pest control, port operations, utilities, vehicles & equipment service, and waste management.

BAE Systems received $7,763,747 for material maintenance, transportation, and supply services, of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, and all subordinate organizations and units. One bid solicited, one received.

Computer Sciences Corp. received $20,711,981 for services (development, design, production and sustainment support of enterprise-class information technology systems; particularly business systems including, but not limited to, pay, personnel, budget execution, orders writing, accounting and installation systems for USMC and DOD components, services, agencies) to support HQ, USMC, programs and resources, Technology Services Organization-required services as an enterprise business systems integrator for USMC.

Computer Sciences Corp. ($39,911,571); Serco Inc. ($45,981,714) received funding to support NAVSUP Business Systems Center (program management and technical support) for the Ordnance Information System.

Goodwill Industries received $26,458,820 for grounds maintenance services at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. This is a sole-source acquisition.

Hensel Phelps Construction Co. received $42,823,800 to upgrade fire suppression and ventilation systems at Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility at the Naval Fleet Logistics Center, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

IBM; Accenture Federal Services; and Deloitte Consulting LLP received$67,100,000 for process improvement, reengineering, management and data services in support of NAVSUP Business Systems Center. This was not competitively procured under the authority set forth in 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1).

Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc. received $88,000,000 to advise/assist long-term post-closing management in support of USAF privatization of military housing, enhanced use leasing, and other contracts actions as determined.

Joyner-Keeny PLLC; Woolpert Inc.; Maptech Inc.; and Cardno Inc. received a combined $10,000,000 for surveying and mapping in the Mobile District and the South Atlantic Division, USACE.

Magnum Inc. received $10,000,000 for envelope and facility alteration repair & construction at Philadelphia Naval Business Center and Naval Support Activity, Philadelphia.

Marton Technologies Inc. received $9,336,607 for logistics support, Ft. Riley.

ORBIS Sibro Inc. received $18,930,590 for scientific and engineering support to develop instrumentation systems and test facilities at Aberdeen Test Center, MD.

Potomac River Group