A long-term blank check for 'war' spending

By Julia Harte

In the federal budget, emergency spending for combat operations is the new normal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… table oddity inside the special fund meant to support combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan: a new $810 million U.S. defense initiative to "reass …"

"… ry and emergency requirements” associated with U.S. combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, many experts say its continued use is emblematic of …"

"… funding was supposed to decline and then disappear as combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan wound down. But that target has receded, if not disap …"

"… many programs in the OCO budget that have little or nothing to do with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The new Defense Authorization Act for 2015, which ma …"

Smoke, odors and drifting foam in Fort Worth suburb stir frustration over fracking

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

Some residents of the Fort Worth suburb of Mansfield are arguing for stricter local regulation of hydraulically fractured wells.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… il. Many Texas communities are having similar discussions, said Mansfield spokeswoman Belinda Willis. “I think for a lot of cities, there was a learning curv …"

NATO suddenly classifies ratings of Afghan military and police capabilities

By Julia Harte

NATO abruptly classifies assessments of Afghan army and police, which the U.S. spent billions building up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghan National Police":

"… ified. Drastic jumps in the data — five of 18 regional components of the Afghan National Police were “fully capable” of training in April, for example, but only two w …"

Investigators find Islamic State used ammo made in 21 countries, including America

By Julia Harte and R. Jeffrey Smith

A new report from an arms tracking group highlights how easily munitions shipped to the Middle East shift from one owner to another.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… ifficulty tapping into the huge pool of armaments fueling the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, supplied not only by the world’s big powers but also by up-an …"

"… supplies, including small arms, to rebel groups in Syria and to a revived Iraqi Army force. “We faced an enormous [monitoring] challenge when we, in e …"

"… “We faced an enormous [monitoring] challenge when we, in effect, owned Iraq and had many bases where we could do this type of training,“ said Joseph …"

"… peatedly identified shortcomings in controlling the use of U.S. weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I don’t know how we’re going to do it securely in …"

Marine Corps settles dispute with whistleblower

By Julia Harte

Scientific adviser Franz Gayl, whose protests forced the Corps to buy costly MRAPs, is appointed to a new commission on whistleblowers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… on in 2007 to the Corps’ failure to act on a request by U.S. officers in Iraq for a troop carrier that would afford better protection against roadside b …"

The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… 3, Argentina from attacking British territory in the 1982 Falklands War or Iraq from attacking Israel during the 1991 Gulf War,” Doyle said in a bitingl …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Military":

"… fforts to prevent excessive use of force against students.   “Military grade weapons have no place on our public school campuses,” Fowler said. …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch McConnell":

"… es and GOP-aligned groups, including ads run during Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s primary against tea party challenger Matt Bevin. McConnell would almo …"

Firearms used in homicides often purchased illegally

By Kelsey Jukam, Aaron Maybin and Jordan Rubio

A News21 analysis of the FBI’s national database of supplementary homicide reports found that across the country, 17,422 black men between a

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… uns the police confiscate are from out of state, Thomson said, coming from Pennsylvania and Maryland, both of which have more relaxed gun laws than New Jersey. Fr …"

White House faces Democratic Senate revolt over nuclear security cuts

By James Arkin

Members of the Senate are asking Obama to increase spending to secure global nuclear weapons stocks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lamar Alexander":

"… levels in its fiscal 2016 budget. The Democrats were joined by Republicans Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Independents Bernie …"

U.S. now faces threat of U.S.-made weapons in Iraq

By Douglas Birch

Islamic State fighters seize U.S. military equipment in Iraq, become targets for U.S. warplanes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… top speed of just 60 mph. To some of the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. M1117, aka the Guardian Armored Security Vehicle, has …"

"… n-built military equipment that ISIS captured after it swept into northern Iraq in early June. A promotional video by the manufacturer, Textron Marine an …"

"… ” By authorizing the first of dozens of airstrikes against militants in Iraq on Aug. 8 and dispatching more than 1,000 troops there as military adviser …"

"… lict that many Americans wanted to forget. In battles from Afghanistan to Iraq, the United States defeated conventional forces equipped mainly with Sovie …"

Nuclear weapons lab employee fired after publishing scathing critique of the arms race

By Douglas Birch

Los Alamos lets a 17-year employee go after retroactively classifying his published article.

Excerpts from this story referencing "James E. Doyle":

"… editor for national security R. Jeffrey Smith contributed to this article. …"

25 years, countless investigations and 935 lies

By Charles Lewis

Founder Chuck Lewis tells how the Center for Public Integrity came to be in this excerpt from his new book.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Journalism":

"… hamster wheel,” as Dean Starkman so insightfully put it in the Columbia Journalism Review. The advent of the Internet, which makes publication so much easier …"

"… ite devoted to international exposés,” according to the Encyclopedia of Journalism. One mark of an enduring institution is the ability to survive one or more …"

"… orms of litigation. To provide such a shield, the Fund for Independence in Journalism, a 509 (a) (3) endowment and legal defense support organization, was creat …"

Finding the truth in 935 lies about war with Iraq

By Bill Buzenberg

New book from Center's founder discusses the orchestrated deception that led to war in Iraq, and what it means for the future of truth.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… the two years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials made at least 935 false …"

Japan could be building an irresistible terrorist target, experts say

Japan has balked at U.S. security advice for its nuclear plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… neer Tomonori Iwamoto, who worked as a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq and serves as director of Rokkasho’s Nuclear Security and Safeguards Div …"

Dwindling number of judges burdens workers

By Jim Morris

The number of judges overseeing a federal worker compensation program has fallen, even as worker caseloads rise.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… litary contract workers, are mounting steadily due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a memorandum to Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris last April, Chi …"

Rising caseload, fewer Labor Department judges triggers painful mix for suffering laborers

By Jim Morris

A federal worker compensation program once viewed as a model now suffers rising caseloads — but fewer judges, triggering frustration.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… s. Terry Dean Ratliff left his home in Arizona in 2009 to drive a truck in Iraq for Service Employees International Inc. (SEII). He did it for the money …"

How shipping unions sunk food aid reform

By Sasha Chavkin

Maritime unions, shipping industry block reform to U.S. food aid distribution with campaign contributions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… ships known as the merchant marine out of business. Advocates say that in Iraq and Afghanistan, 90 percent of shipping supplies were carried by the merch …"

Sequestration nation: military communities feel nation's budget stress

By James Politi

Civilian Pentagon workers hit hard by sequestration-related cuts to federal budget.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… most in counties with military communities. Across the 388 counties in the United States that have one or more military installation, the sequestration impact per …"

"… d the bill that set sequestration in motion in August 2011 just before the United States risked defaulting on its debt. McConnell voted for it, as did Lamar Alexan …"

Russian site eyed for Syrian chemical weapons destruction

By R. Jeffrey Smith

There’s a reason why Western officials are being nice to Moscow now — they want Russia to destroy Syria’s deadly arsenal on its own soil.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… presented an authoritative, independent judgment that this time, unlike in Iraq, U.S. and allied specialists had made a sound judgment. “The informatio …"

"… m — a former Swedish defense scientist who had inspected weapons in Iraq before becoming the head of the Syrian mission — offerred additiona …"

Some charities claiming to support veterans spend heavily on overhead instead

By Chad Garland and Andrew Knochel

News21 investigation finds that some charities supposedly supporting veterans actually spending more to keep their program alive.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… ars, as increasing numbers of veterans returned home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a charity called Disabled Veterans Services of Pompano Beach, Fla., repor …"

One-fifth of female veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan show signs of sexual trauma

By Caitlin Cruz and Asha Anchan

News21 investigation reveals that the VA is struggling to deal with female vets who have been sexually assaulted.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… said. Pingree said her bill, which passed the House and is pending in the Senate, is needed because of the difficulty she’s seen when victims try to prov …"

Women veterans face stereotypes on and off the battlefield

By Asha Anchan, Kelsey Hightower and Caitlin Cruz

News21 investigation finds that more than a quarter-million post-9/11 veterans are women, but fair treatment is lacking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… en historic, with more than 280,000 returning from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. A News21 demographic analysis shows that 17.4 percent …"

"… News21 demographic analysis shows that 17.4 percent of post-9/11 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are women. More than a quarter of those women are black, almo …"

"… he 25-year-old single mother served as an E-5 supply sergeant in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2012 and is home to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill to get her degree and jo …"

"… nter the Army and continue her military career. According to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), many women carry the burden of caring for chil …"

GI bill covered tuition for nearly a million post-9/11 veterans without tracking their progress

By Meg Wagner, Anthony Cave and Hannah Winston

News21 investigation finds that despite billions spent, no federal agency keeps track of veterans who use the GI Bill.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… rs also show that students in five states — California, Texas, Virginia, Florida and New York — have been granted the most GI Bill funds since August 200 …"

"… 7.8 billion, according to a News21 review. California, Texas, New York and Florida are the top four states with the most for the number of schools collecting …"

Is the Veterans Affairs Dept. too stringent on veteran-owned companies?

By Steven Rich

News21 investigation details the complex verification process for contracts aimed at veteran-owned companies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… sonnel. Robert Doyle, a sergeant first class in the Army during a tour in Iraq, returned in late 2007 as a 100 percent service-disabled veteran. For his …"

"… ployment track for a year,” Doyle said in June. “Every single night in Iraq we wrote a check that was cashable to the enemy for our lives. So why can …"

Suicide rate for veterans far exceeds that of civilian population

News21 investigation finds that veterans are taking their own lives more than twice as often as civilians.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… ed service records. However, a 2012 report from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that between 2002 and 2005, 144 ve …"

Hearing loss widespread among post-9/11 veterans

By Kay Miller

News21 investigation finds that 414,000 post-9/11 veterans have returned home with hearing loss or "ringing in the ears."

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… on of what it takes to damage internal organs. Explosives used in Iraq and Afghanistan create pressure that exceeds 60 psi, according to VA audiology research. T …"

Health care costs will mushroom as injured veterans age

By Jessica Wilde

News21 investigation finds injured veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan will need costly care for decades.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… th care for the large number of post-9/11 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with life-lasting wounds. But it is certain to be high, with the veterans …"

"… ing to the VA budget. Like Hancock, many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have survived multiple combat injuries because of military medicine’s hi …"

"… analyzed the medical costs of war through 2035. More than half of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are between the ages of 18 and 32, according to 2011 American Com …"

"… eir numbers are growing at the fastest rate. Fifty-six percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans use the VA now. and their numbers are expected to grow by 9.6 per …"

Veterans Affairs, Defense Depts. spend billions in effort to coordinate records

By Hannah Winston

News21 investigation finds Veterans Affairs, Defense departments dropped at least $1.3B on failed records system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "post-traumatic stress disorder":

"… r those who may not be able to work because of issues they suffer, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic back pain. All are common among veterans who served in Iraq and …"

Claims processors received bonuses while backlog more than doubled

By Mary Shinn, Daniel Moore and Steven Rich

Veterans Affairs processors shared millions in awards while claims piled high, News21 investigation finds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… result of the toxic chemical, Agent Orange. In addition, more than 830,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans returning home had filed claims as of March 2 …"

"… ave creative ways to get the work done,” Bump said. Jonathan Bivens, an Iraq veteran living in California, Md., is one of the 3 percent of veterans who …"

"… office. Sean Meade was a National Guardsman who deployed with the Army to Iraq for a tour during 2006 and 2007. Claims processors denied his disability c …"

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