Military & Veterans

U.S. Soldier given life sentence over ‘thrill’ killings in Afghanistan

November 11, 2011

“The military jury sentenced Army Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, of Billings, Mont., to life in prison, but he will be eligible for parole in less than nine years.

Gibbs was the highest ranking of five soldiers charged in the deaths of the unarmed men during patrols in Kandahar province early last year. At his seven-day court martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, the 26-year-old acknowledged cutting fingers off corpses and yanking out a victim’s tooth to keep as war trophies, “like keeping the antlers off a deer you’d shoot.”

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Defense Secretary Panetta orders the Pentagon to take a second look at punishment over mishandling the of dead veterans

November 11, 2011

“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday he ordered the Air Force to take a second look at punishment doled out over the mishandling of the remains of war dead, including losing track of body parts.

The announcement came the day that Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz braved a Senate hearing where he defended the decision not to fire anyone.”

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Victims and families of the Fort Hood shooting file legal claims against the Army

November 11, 2011

“The lawyer representing the more than 80 claimants said on Thursday that the Army “acted in total disregard” for the safety of soldiers and civilian employees by allowing Major Nidal Hasan — an Army psychiatrist charged in the killings — to serve on active duty.

“They enabled him, they put him in a position to commit fratricide, and allowed him to commit the only deadly terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, and they knew all about it,” the lawyer, Neil M. Sher of New York City, told Reuters. Thirteen people died and 31 were wounded at the massive Texas Army post in the worst shooting ever at a U.S. military facility.”

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U.S. Senate votes 95-0 to pass a jobs bill for veterans

November 11, 2011

“On Veterans Day eve, an uncharacteristically unified Senate emphatically passed a bill to help unemployed veterans and government contractors that includes the first, small slivers of President Barack Obama’s jobs agenda that he is likely to sign into law.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a co-sponsor of the bill, said it will help address a “national crisis.”

Thursday’s 95-0 vote gave lawmakers the opportunity to fly home to holiday events and boast about helping veterans and protecting jobs. But it did little to help close the scorching partisan divide over how to revive the gasping economy, an issue that seems sure to decide next year’s presidential and congressional elections.”

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