A Futuristic Nightmare That Just Might Come True

Biological weapons delivered by cyborg insects. It sounds like a nightmare scenario straight out of the wilder realms of science fiction, but it could be a reality, if a current Pentagon project comes to fruition. Right now, researchers are already growing insects with electronics inside them. They’re creating cyborg moths and flying beetles that can be remotely controlled. One day, the U.S. military may field squadrons of winged insect/machine hybrids with on-board audio, video or chemical sensors. These cyborg insects could conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions on distant battlefields, in far-off caves, or maybe even in cities closer to home, and transmit detailed data back to their handlers at U.S. military bases. Today, many people fear U.S. government surveillance of email and cell phone communications. With this program, the Pentagon aims to exponentially increase the paranoia. Imagine a world in which any insect fluttering past your window may be a […]

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, Pentagon-Style

Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch.com interviews Nick Turse, author of The Complex: How The Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. In the late 1990s, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon — a game in which the goal was to connect the actor Kevin Bacon to any other actor, living or dead, through films or television shows in no more than six steps — became something of a phenomenon. Spread via the Internet (before becoming a board game and a book), Six Degrees has taken its place in America’s pop culture pantheon among favorite late-night drunken pursuits. Here is a new variant of the game: The goal is to connect Kevin Bacon to the Pentagon. A commonsense approach would be to consider Bacon’s military roles — the ROTC cadet in his first feature film, the 1978 comedy classic Animal House, for example, or the Marine Corps prosecutor, Captain Jack Ross, in the 1992 film […]

On March 14th, Anthony Arnove, author of Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal took the stand alongside the members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and other concerned parties.  Arnove discusses the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and argues that the best way to support our troops is to bring them home. Anthony Arnove’s testimony, in its entirety is posted below. Testimony by Anthony Arnove March 14, 2008 Iraq Veterans Against the War Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan Thank you. It is an honor to speak here tonight alongside the courageous members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and others committed to telling the truth about the unjust and illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and organizing to end them. I would like to make five basic points about the two occupations and then draw five broader conclusions about the geopolitical considerations driving U.S. policy. First, it is important to stress […]

The $100-plus Barrel of Oil and What It Means

On Monday March 3, the price of crude oil reached $103.95 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, surpassing the record set nearly 30 years ago during another moment of chaos in the Middle East. Will that new mark prove distinctive in the annals of world history or will it be forgotten as energy prices drop, just as they did following their April 1980 peak? When oil costs are plotted over time, the 1980 oil crisis — prompted by Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iranian revolution — stands out as a sharp spike on that price curve. Both before and after that moment, however, oil supplies proved largely sufficient to meet rising global demand, in part because the Saudis and other major producers were capable of compensating for declining Iranian production. They simply increased their output substantially, dumping a surplus of oil onto the global market. Aided by the development of new […]