“Pentagon officials on Tuesday canceled the JEDI cloud-computing project—which has been mired in litigation from Amazon.com Inc. and criticism from lawmakers—and said it would start anew with a revised cloud project,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
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Politico: “Biden made the announcement after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin accepted the recommendation of an independent review panel that the Pentagon take sexual assault and related crimes out of the chain of command, and instead let independent military lawyers handle them.
“Austin’s recommendation does not, however, go as far as legislation gaining support in Congress that would make that change for all major crimes, not just sexual assault.
Prompted by Tucker Carlson’s unfounded accusations that he’s being spied on, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called for an investigation into the National Security Agency, which he claims is being “used as a political instrument.”
That brought a succinct reply from Gen. Michael Hayden, who formerly headed the agency: “You’re an asshole.”
Donald Rumsfeld, whose roles overseeing the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and efforts to transform the U.S. military made him one of history’s most consequential as well as controversial Pentagon leaders, has died at age 88, the Washington Post reports.
New York Times: “Encores are hardly rare in the Washington merry-go-round, but Mr. Rumsfeld had the distinction of being the only defense chief to serve two nonconsecutive terms: 1975 to 1977 under Mr. Ford, and 2001 to 2006 under Mr. Bush. He also was the youngest, at 43, and the oldest, at 74, to hold the post — first in an era of Soviet-American nuclear perils, then in an age of subtler menace by terrorists and rogue states.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told members of Congress that he wants to learn more about critical race theory and doesn’t see any harm in it.
Said Milley: “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist.”
“The top leaders of the Army, Navy, Marines and other military branches voiced concern about legislation that would make sweeping changes in the military justice system, expressing their views in letters to a leading Republican opponent of the bill,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The legislation, which supporters say will better combat sexual harassment and assault within military ranks, has the support of two-thirds of all senators.”
“Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced his support on Wednesday for repealing the 2002 war authorization for Iraq, vowing to hold a vote on scrapping the outdated measure later this year,” Politico reports.
“The Supreme Court declined Monday to consider the constitutionality of a federal law requiring men, but not women, to register for the military draft when they turn 18,” NBC News reports.
“As is its usual practice, the court didn’t say why it wouldn’t take the case. But three justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh, said the court’s longstanding deference to Congress on military issues cautions against taking the case while lawmakers are considering whether to change the law.”
Gen. Charles Flynn — the younger brother of former National Security Advisor and coup-endorser Michael Flynn — assumed command of the U.S. Army’s forces in the Pacific, Stars and Stripes reports.
Bellingcat: “For U.S. soldiers tasked with the custody of nuclear weapons in Europe, the stakes are high. Security protocols are lengthy, detailed and need to be known by heart. To simplify this process, some service members have been using publicly visible flashcard learning apps — inadvertently revealing a multitude of sensitive security protocols about U.S. nuclear weapons and the bases at which they are stored.”
“The flashcards reveal not just the bases, but even identify the exact shelters with ‘hot’ vaults that likely contain nuclear weapons. They also detail intricate security details and protocols such as the positions of cameras, the frequency of patrols around the vaults, secret duress words that signal when a guard is being threatened and the unique identifiers that a restricted area badge needs to have.”
“Christine Wormuth nearly became the first woman in U.S. history to ascend to the Army’s top civilian post when the Senate confirmed her Wednesday evening — until the body reversed her confirmation just hours later in an unusual development,” the Army Times reports.
“CSPAN footage of the proceedings shows Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announcing the reversal. Schumer’s staff did not immediately respond to a request for clarification from Army Times, and the senator deleted a previous tweet hailing Wormuth’s confirmation.”
Roll Call: “Unclear why the Senate would do this, but it appears there wasn’t quite unanimous consent to confirm Wormuth as we reported earlier. This looks more like a procedural hiccup than a threat to her historic confirmation, but we’ll learn more soon.”
An unnamed senior official on the National Security Council gave an extraordinary first-hand account of a suspected directed energy attack near the White House last November to the New Yorker.
Said the official: “It came on very suddenly… In a matter of about seven minutes, I went from feeling completely fine to thinking, ‘Oh, something’s not right,’ to being very, very worried and actually thinking I was going to die.”
U.S. Army leaders rallied around a soldier featured in a recruitment video that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) mocked as representative of an “emasculated military,” reports Stars and Stripes.
Cruz retweeted a video that featured Cpl. Emma Malonelord, an air defense system operator stationed in South Korea.
Said Gen. Robert Abrams of Malonelord: “A superstar by any measure…exceptionally sharp, professional, technical expert, highly respected by her peers, superiors and subordinates.”
Associated Press: “The push to remove Confederate names from Pentagon properties, including storied Army posts, could eventually affect hundreds of items and facilities, the chair of the congressionally chartered Naming Commission said Friday.”
A commander in the Space Force was removed from his post following comments he made while promoting his self-published book, which argues that Marxist ideologies are becoming common in the military, Military.com reports.
“Mysterious episodes that caused brain injuries in spies, diplomats, soldiers and other U.S. personnel overseas starting five years ago now number more than 130 people, far more than previously known,” the New York Times reports.
“The number of cases within the C.I.A., the State Department, the Defense Department and elsewhere spurred broad concern in the Biden administration.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told senators that the greatest domestic threat facing the United States comes from what they both called “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists,” the New York Times reports.
Said Garland: “Specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race.”