SSG Ryan Maseth was electrocuted and died in his shower in Baghdad, Iraq on January 2, 2008. R.I.P. Ryan. ~Ms Sparky
A warm and most sincere Thanksgiving wish goes out to all our troops at home and abroad and their families who support them. Without you we would have little to be thankful for. And for the deployed contractors and their families supporting our troops, your mission is no less important. Be safe my friends. ~Ms Sparky & Forseti
Thanksgiving Day Message
As Written by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, The Pentagon, Wednesday, November 21, 2012
This week, as Americans everywhere gather to recount the blessings of freedom and prosperity that we enjoy as citizens of the greatest country on earth, I want to extend my deepest thanks to you, the men and women of the Department of Defense, and your families.
Whether serving in uniform or as a civilian, whether deployed abroad or stationed here at home, you are fighting and working every day to secure for all Americans the blessings that we celebrate on Thanksgiving. I hope that wherever you are, you take a moment on Thanksgiving to reflect on the vital role you play in defending our nation and our values, and take pride in the contribution you have made to help make America more safe and secure.
I know that for service members on deployment and for their families back home, this time of year is especially difficult to be away from loved ones. But I also know that what you are doing, on this day and every day, is making a profound difference for the country. America is blessed that there are those who are willing to fight and die for all of us, and I know that all Americans will keep you in their thoughts and prayers this Thanksgiving.
You give this country its spirit and strength, and you give me hope and confidence in a better future. We are thankful to God for his blessings on our nation, our families, and our men and women in uniform. Thank you again and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to all.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. Read the remainder of this entry »
Honor those who have given their lives to protect ours by flying your US Flag properly.
NEIL GORDON – (POGO) – May 24, 2012 – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR) wants to know if defense contractor KBR is wasting taxpayer money in an effort to drag out lawsuits seeking to hold KBR accountable for exposing American soldiers to toxic chemicals in Iraq. This week, he sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to find out what steps the Department of Defense is taking to ensure KBR is not taking advantage of taxpayers while unnecessarily prolonging the litigation.
Members of the National Guard were assigned to the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in the early months of the Iraq war to protect KBR employees restoring the plant under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Restore Iraqi Oil (RIO) contract. While stationed there, the soldiers were allegedly exposed to dangerous levels of a highly carcinogenic chemical called hexavalent chromium (the same chemical at the center of the legal battle documented in the movie Erin Brockovich). The soldiers claim KBR was aware of the presence of the chemical but failed to warn or take steps to protect them.
When POGO first blogged about the case almost two years ago, we focused on a classified provision in the contract that requires the government to indemnify KBR for all property damage, injury or death occurring at Qarmat Ali, and all related legal expenses, even if KBR had acted with willful misconduct or lack of good faith. (After much urging from Congress, the Department of Defense finally declassified the provision in December.) As we explained in a follow-up blog post, taxpayers could potentially be on the hook for more than $150 million in damages and legal costs.