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Department of Defense (DOD)/Defense Department

Self Description

February 2002: Our military services are older than our country, with the Army laying claim to be the oldest, soon followed by the Navy and Marine Corps. The War Department was formed in 1789....In 1947 Congress established a civilian Secretary of Defense with cabinet rank....To further consolidate authority, a 1949 amendment to the Act established the agency as an executive department, renamed it the Department of Defense and withdrew cabinet level status for the three Service secretaries.

Third-Party Descriptions

June 2016: "The 800-page report, however, included some new details about the night of the attacks, and the context in which it occurred, and it delivered a broad rebuke of government agencies like the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department — and the officials who led them — for failing to grasp the acute security risks in the Libyan city, and especially for maintaining outposts in Benghazi that they could not protect."

July 2015: "Most Americans might imagine the biggest challenge facing the U.S. ambassador to Belgium as fighting through the chocolate, beer and waffles. But during the Bush tenure, Belgium had been at the European forefront in its opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq and its cynicism about America. Before I arrived, Belgium had sought to close the port of Antwerp to U.S. ships, ban American planes from Belgian airspace, and apply its law of universal jurisdiction to indict senior U.S. Defense Department officials, including then-Secretary Donald Rumsfeld."

March 2013: "According to a 2010 Defense Department study, only 8% of sexual assailants are referred to military court, compared with 40% of similar offenders prosecuted in the civilian court system."

January 2013: "Other restrictions — on military family housing, relocation benefits and access to legal assistance, commissaries and military identification cards — stem from Defense Department regulations that military officials and gay advocates say could be changed without legislative action."

March 2012: '"Although defendants testified before Congress and elsewhere that they have 'zero tolerance' for rape and sexual assault, their conduct and the facts demonstrate the opposite: They have a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks, and 'zero tolerance' for those who report rape, sexual assault and harassment," according to the lawsuit...'

February 2012: 'According to the Times story, Davis briefed four members of Congress and a dozen staff members and sent his reports to the Defense Department’s inspector general, and of course spoke to a New York Times reporter; only after all that did he inform his chain of command what he'd been up to. Evidently Davis's truth-telling campaign has rattled the Pentagon brass, prompting unnamed officials to retaliate by threatening a bogus investigation for "possible security violations," according to NBC News.'

December 2011: "The inquiry was prompted by articles published in The New York Times in 2008 that described how the Pentagon, in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, cultivated close ties with retired officers who worked as military analysts for television and radio networks. The articles also showed how military analysts affiliated with defense contractors sometimes used their special access to seek advantage in the competition for contracts. In response to the articles, the Pentagon suspended the program and members of Congress asked the Defense Department’s inspector general to investigate."

February 2011: "WASHINGTON — A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses the Department of Defense of allowing a military culture that fails to prevent rape and sexual assault, and of mishandling cases that were brought to its attention, thus violating the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights."

December 2010: 'Changing perspectives Clinton's effort to change the Defense Department policy that deemed homosexuality incompatible with military service was upended by resistance from top military advisers, Congress and the American public. The bill he eventually signed - enacting the policy officially known as "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" - was drafted in part by lawmakers opposed to gays in the military.'

May 2010: '“With the Defense Department you’ve got maybe not perfect but quite abundant accountability as demonstrated by what happens when a bombing goes wrong in Afghanistan,” he said in an interview. “The whole process that follows is very open. Whereas if the C.I.A. is doing it, by definition they are not going to answer questions, not provide any information, and not do any follow-up that we know about.”'

July 2009: "The Defense Department led the way with nearly $240 million deducted from earmarks. Several agencies, including the Education and Housing and Urban Development Departments, did not withhold any money to process and provide oversight of earmarks."

December 2008: "The Pentagon has supported protections for deployed troops facing custody disputes, Wright said, including giving them the power to request a delay of at least 90 days in child custody proceedings. President Bush signed such a measure into law in January. Wright said the military has also stepped up programs to help service members and their families cope with the stresses of deployments through counseling."

November 2008: "The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere...."

October 2008: "The Pentagon official in charge of military commissions at the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, dismissed war crimes charges on Tuesday against five detainees, the latest challenge for the Bush administration’s long-troubled system for prosecuting detainees at the base."

July 2008: 'The Defense Contract Audit Agency, which is charged with overseeing contractors for the Defense Department, made an upfront agreement with "a major aerospace company" to limit the scope of work and basis for an audit, the report said.'

July 2008: "WASHINGTON — A Pentagon safety expert told senior Defense Department officials earlier this year that their failure to heed warnings to fix widespread electrical hazards on American bases in Iraq could leave the Pentagon liable for multiple electrocutions of American soldiers, according to internal e-mail correspondence released Friday."

July 2008: "Mr. Dorgan said General Johnson told the committee in April 2007 that there were no widespread problems with water supplied by KBR, after the Pentagon’s inspector general had already found that there were. According to Mr. Dorgan, General Johnson testified after the inspector general had already briefed Defense Department officials about the findings."

July 2008: "In March, Hall filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, among others. In the suit, Hall claims his rights to religious freedom under the First Amendment were violated and suggests that the United States military has become a Christian organization."

June 2008: 'The Defense Department, the nation's biggest polluter, is resisting orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up Fort Meade and two other military bases where the EPA says dumped chemicals pose "imminent and substantial" dangers to public health and the environment.'

May 2008: 'The Pentagon report, titled “Internal Controls Over Payments Made in Iraq, Kuwait and Egypt,” also notes that auditors were unable to find a comprehensible set of records to explain $134.8 million in payments by the American military to its allies in the Iraq war.'

May 2008: "The Defense Department, for example, has issued a memo that provides medical care for injured Defense civil service employees at the same level and scope of that provided to military personnel. But that directive may not be sufficient or properly implemented, the report said."

May 2008: "Officials from the University of Nebraska told him that they had not received all of a $1 million medical research earmark he had secured for them. The Department of Defense, the agency controlling the money, was withholding 12 percent of the total to oversee the project."

May 2008: "In December 2001, two Pentagon Mideast experts—Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode—secretly traveled to Rome. They met with a group of Iranians who supposedly had information about plans by Iranian-backed terrorists to attack Americans—including U.S. troops who were then closing in on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The meetings were approved by high-level officials at the White House and the Pentagon. The CIA, however, was kept in the dark. When the CIA and the State Department found out about the meetings a few weeks later, they strenuously protested to the White House and demanded that the contacts be terminated immediately. At least officially, the White House complied."

April 2008: "The Defense Department and the CIA, the two agencies responsible for detaining terrorism suspects, both deny using drugs as an enhancement for interrogations, and suggest that the stories from Nusairi and others like him are either fabrications or mistaken interpretations of routine medical treatment."

April 2008: "Five years into the Iraq war, most details of the architecture and execution of the Pentagon’s campaign have never been disclosed. But The Times successfully sued the Defense Department to gain access to 8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records describing years of private briefings, trips to Iraq and Guantánamo and an extensive Pentagon talking points operation."

November 2007: "The Defense Department warned yesterday that as many as 200,000 contractors and civilian employees will begin receiving layoff warnings by Christmas unless Congress acts on President Bush's $196 billion war request, but senior Democrats said no war funds will be approved until Bush accepts a shift in his Iraq policy."

October 2007: The Pentagon’s system of prosecuting suspects has been beset by practical problems and legal disputes that have reached the Supreme Court. As a result, more than five years after the first terror suspects arrived at Guantánamo Bay, only one detainee’s war-crimes case has been completed, and that was through a plea agreement.

October 2007: In something of a reversal of traditional roles, officials at the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency have also challenged the White House and State Department support for spraying, raising concerns about its potential to destabilize the Karzai government, current and former American officials said.

October 2007: The latest audit did turn up some questionable trips by Defense Department employees, including $105,000 spent by a presidential appointee based on a medical condition, even though the note was signed by a peer and not a doctor, contrary to rules. But over all, the department’s questionable trips appeared to be on a much smaller scale than before, saving an estimated tens of millions a year, Senator Coleman said.

August 2007: Defense Department officials reject charges that Padilla was mistreated. 'The government in the strongest terms denies Padilla's allegations of torture – allegations made without support and without citing a shred of record evidence,' writes Navy Commander J.D. Gordon, a spokesman for the secretary of Defense, in an e-mail. 'Any credible allegations of illegal conduct by US military personnel are taken seriously and looked into in painstaking detail.'

July 2007: Until recently, there has been little oversight of civilian contractors operating in Iraq. The Defense Department is not adequately keeping track of contractors – where they are or even how many there are, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a report last December. This is especially true as military units rotate in and out of the war zone (as do contractors) and institutional memory is lost.

May 2007: A federal appeals court, in a 2 to 1 decision, ruled last week that the Defense Department could go forward with some of the most dramatic workplace changes planned for civil service employees in 30 years.

March 2007: These numbers understate the magnitude of the cuts. To keep up with inflation in the cost of goods and payroll, the Defense Department actually had to cut medical-care programs by $1.6 and $1.4 billion in FY07 and FY08, respectively.

April 2007: The new procedure provides detainees a legal mechanism to challenge their detention both at Guantánamo and in federal court in the US that fully satisfies the habeas requirements, Mr. Clement said. Under Pentagon rules, detainees are brought before a panel of military officers called a combat status review tribunal (CSRT). The detainee is permitted to present any information that he is innocent and being wrongly held. The panel then weighs that information against evidence presented by the government justifying the individual's detention as an enemy combatant.

April 2007: In 2002, the Pentagon established the Counterintelligence Field Activity office which is charged with protecting military installations within the US. It keeps an extensive database on potential terrorist threats and criminal activity that could affect local military bases. But it has also collected data on domestic political groups engaged in lawful protests. After that was made public two years ago, the Pentagon says it purged its files of inappropriate data. The Pentagon has also increased its use of National Security Letters, which ask private institutions for an individual's personal data, such as bank records. Unlike the FBI, it does not have the authority to compel such information to be turned over. Still, critics say this expansion of military intelligence may create a dangerous intrusion into Americans rights because the Pentagon does not have to operate with the same statutory checks and balances as the FBI and local law enforcement.

January 2007: WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 — The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering.

December 2006: The Defense Department paid two procurement operations at the Department of the Interior to arrange for Pentagon purchases totaling $1.7 billion that resulted in excessive fees and tens of millions of dollars in waste, documents show.

July 2006: The Government Accountability Office has criticized the Defense Department for sloppy management of its security classification system, including the marking as 'Confidential or Secret' material that Pentagon officials acknowledged was unclassified information.

November 2005: Pentagon officials released a new directive yesterday on Defense Department intelligence interrogations, mandating that all questioning of detainees in U.S. military custody include 'humane' treatment and banning 'acts of physical or mental torture.'

June 2005: The Pentagon awarded three contracts this week, potentially worth up to $300 million over five years, to companies it hopes will inject more creativity into its psychological operations efforts to improve foreign public opinion about the United States, particularly the military.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Possible/Unclear Christian Embassy Organization Jul 8, 2008
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) Organization Dec 18, 2005
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Organization May 23, 2007
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) Organization May 3, 2008
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Organization Jul 9, 2006
Advised by (past or present) Defense Policy Board Organization Jul 15, 2011
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Organization Jun 9, 2005
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Department of the Navy Organization Jul 12, 2005
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) Organization Oct 21, 2006
Advised by (past or present) Joint Chiefs of Staff, The (JCS) Organization Feb 28, 2005
Financial Supporter of (past or present) Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) Organization Apr 24, 2010
Cooperation (past or present) National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF) Organization Nov 16, 2005
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Organization Jun 8, 2007
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Office of Military Commissions Organization May 12, 2008
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Office of Strategic Influence Organization Jun 16, 2009
Possible/Unclear Task Force Patriot USA Organization May 31, 2007
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) U.S. Marine Corps ("Marines") Organization Nov 21, 2003
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) US Air Force (USAF) Organization Jul 12, 2005
Owner of (partial or full, past or present) US Army Organization Jul 12, 2005
Owned by (partial or full, past or present) US Federal Government - Executive Branch Organization Nov 21, 2003
Cooperation (past or present) United Service Organization (USO) Organization Jul 25, 2008
Organization Executive (past or present) David S. Addington Esq. Person Nov 9, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Graham Allison Person Oct 20, 2008
Opponent (past or present) Prof. Ralph J. Begleiter Ph.D. Person May 9, 2010
Opponent (past or present) Prof. Robert A. Burt Esq. Person Apr 9, 2008
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) John Caldwell Calhoun Person Aug 28, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Frank Carlucci Person Jun 17, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Vice President Richard ("Dick") B. Cheney Person Jul 13, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Richard A. Clarke Person Feb 10, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Clark M. Clifford Esq. Person Nov 21, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Sen. William S. Cohen Person Dec 23, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Alberto R. Coll Person Jul 12, 2005
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Prof. David M. Crane Esq. Person Jun 5, 2007
Organization Executive (past or present) Susan J. Crawford Esq. Person May 12, 2008
Organization Executive (past or present) President Dwight D. Eisenhower Person
Opponent (past or present) Daniel Ellsberg Person Aug 8, 2006
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Michele Flournoy Person
Financial Supporter of (past or present) Prof. B. Christopher "Chris" Frueh Ph.D. Person Dec 27, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Robert M. Gates Ph.D. Person Jan 28, 2007
Organization Executive (past or present) Preston "Pete" M. Geren Person May 31, 2007
Organization Executive (past or present) John J. Hamre Ph.D. Person Jul 15, 2011
Organization Executive (past or present) William J. Haynes II, Esq. Person Oct 14, 2006
Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Mark R. Jacobson Person Sep 22, 2004
Organization Executive (past or present) Jeh Johnson Esq. Person Feb 5, 2013
Organization Executive (past or present) Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad Ph.D. Person Mar 29, 2010
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Stephen J. Kim Person Jun 18, 2011
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Rep. Melvin R. Laird Person Feb 28, 2008
Organization Executive (past or present) I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Esq. Person Oct 17, 2005
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Michael H. Mobbs Esq. Person Nov 21, 2003
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Adm. Michael "Mike" G. Mullen Person May 28, 2008
Organization Executive (past or present) General Richard B. Myers Person Feb 28, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Paul Henry Nitze Person Sep 11, 2006
Organization Executive (past or present) Jim O'Beirne Person Nov 1, 2006
Organization Executive (past or present) Sean O'Keefe Person Feb 8, 2006
Organization Executive (past or present) General Peter Pace Person Sep 30, 2006
Organization Executive (past or present) David Packard Person Feb 28, 2008
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Leon Edward Panetta Esq. Person Jul 12, 2011
Advised by (past or present) Prof. Robert A. Pastor Ph.D., M.P.A. Person Jan 10, 2009
Organization Executive (past or present) Henry "Hank" M. Paulson Jr., MBA Person Dec 2, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) William J. Perry Person Jul 27, 2006
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) John L. Petersen Person Apr 14, 2007
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld Person Mar 4, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Inspector General Jon Rymer Person Jan 2, 2015
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Nina Gilden Seavey Person May 29, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Gen. John M. Shalikashvili Person
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Peter W. Singer Ph.D. Person Jun 5, 2007
Organization Executive (past or present) Eleanor Spector Person Mar 26, 2004
Organization Executive (past or present) Paul Schott Stevens Person Sep 2, 2004
Organization Executive (past or present) Charles "Cully" D. Stimson Person Jul 23, 2008
Organization Executive (past or present) Paul Strassmann Person Sep 4, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) President William Howard Taft Person Jul 16, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Caspar W. Weinberger Person Oct 20, 2008
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Gen. William C. Westmoreland Person
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Prof. Paul D. Wolfowitz Person Jul 20, 2003
Organization Executive (past or present) Michael "Mike" W. Wynne Person Mar 31, 2005

Articles and Resources

282 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Beginning] [Previous 20] [Next 5]

Date Resource Read it at:
Jul 18, 2004 As Police Use of Tasers Rises, Questions Over Safety Increase

QUOTE: ...a growing number of people...have died since 2001 after being shocked. Taser International, which makes several versions of the guns, says its weapons are not lethal, even for people with heart conditions or pacemakers.

Jun 20, 2004 Michael Moore Is Ready for His Close-Up

QUOTE: Michael Moore is not coy about his hopes for "Fahrenheit 9/11," his blistering documentary attack on President Bush and the war in Iraq. The former president George H. W. Bush was quoted in The New York Daily News calling Mr. Moore a "slime ball" and describing the documentary as "a vicious personal attack on our son."

New York Times
Jun 14, 2004 Waxman Raises New Questions on Cheney

QUOTE: questions about whether the vice president or his office played any role in decisions to give what became billions of dollars worth of government business to Halliburton, where Cheney was executive from 1995 to 2000.

Washington Post
Jun 11, 2004 Pentagon Reinforces Policy for Reporting Deaths of Detainees

QUOTE: All deaths of detainees in U.S. military custody are to be reported immediately to criminal investigators...the decision to restate and synthesize those rules reflects the increased scrutiny on detainee deaths that has accompanied revelations about prison abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Washington Post
May 13, 2004 Time to Stop 'Stress and Duress'

QUOTE: The sexual humiliation of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison is so shocking that it risks overshadowing other U.S. interrogation practices that are also reprehensible.

Washington Post
May 07, 2004 The System Was Lacking

QUOTE: Those soldiers and private contractors humiliating Iraqi prisoners were operating within a set of assumptions about what they were and were not supposed to do. Did they get nods and winks that anything was okay as long as it produced results?

Washington Post
Apr 25, 2004 Volatile Photos Stir Partisan Charge: Democrat Claims Double Standard on Images of Remains

QUOTE: ...President Bush's aides had applied a double standard by using flag-draped remains in a campaign commercial and then suppressing photos of military caskets returning from Iraq.

Washington Post
Apr 22, 2004 With Breadwinners Overseas, Guard Families Face Struggle

QUOTE: As the war in Iraq continues, and the Pentagon prolongs the mobilization of tens of thousands of troops, the toll on both the soldiers, and the families they have left behind, is mounting.

New York Times
Feb 19, 2004 Recruiting Uncle Sam

QUOTE: Before government officials can begin negotiating jobs in the private sector, they must recuse themselves from making decisions that could have a financial impact on their potential employers....But the defense companies are so huge and the rules so elastic that loopholes exist.

Washington Post
Jan 18, 2004 Northwest Gave U.S. Data on Passengers

QUOTE: ...Northwest Airlines admits that it turned over millions of passenger records to a secret NASA air-security project soon after 9/11. The airline says that the data sharing did not violate its privacy policy...

Washington Post
Jan 07, 2004 Pay-for-Performance Salary Systems Prompt More Questions Than Answers

QUOTE: Rank-and-file federal employees in two large departments -- Defense and Homeland Security -- will likely move to new pay systems that emphasize performance in the next two years. Federal executives, who are no longer guaranteed an annual pay raise, await new agency-based systems that are supposed to put some rigor into how their performance is evaluated.

Washington Post
Dec 04, 2003 White House Defends Hamdi's Limited Rights

QUOTE: A day after saying it would provide a lawyer to a U.S. citizen captured with Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan, the Bush administration argued in a brief to the Supreme Court that the rights of such "enemy combatants" remained extremely narrow, and that the government could detain such suspects for the duration of hostilities without charging them.

Los Angeles Times
Oct 02, 2003 Law Professors, Students Sue Defense Department

QUOTE: ...claim that the military's recent insistence on strict enforcement of the Solomon Amendment has forced the law school to abandon its policy of prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Sep 15, 2003 9th Circuit Sides With Gay Ex-Serviceman

QUOTE: ...reinstated a lawsuit by a former Air Force doctor ordered to pay back his medical school expenses after revealing he is gay....three-judge panel all but invited Hensala to challenge the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy...
Jul 19, 2003 In Sketchy Data, Trying to Guage Iraq Threat

QUOTE: ...American intelligence officials and senior members of the administration have acknowledged that there was little new evidence flowing into American intelligence agencies in the five years since United Nations inspectors left Iraq...

New York Times
Apr 04, 2003 Widespread Use of Cluster Bombs Sparks Outrage

QUOTE: Confirmation by the US and Britain of widespread use of cluster munitions in Iraq caused anger yesterday among campaigners and politicians who claimed it ran counter to the coalition's aim to minimize civilian casualties.

Common Dreams
Apr 02, 2003 Air Force Secretary Says Academy's Leaders Could Be Punished

QUOTE: In recent months, dozens of women cadets said they were sexually assaulted at the academy, but were driven into silence by a pattern of retribution from above and ostracism by fellow cadets.

New York Times
Feb 10, 2003 The U.S. Military Needs Its Speed

QUOTE: ...Schmidt and Umbach's attorneys claimed it was the Air Force's dextro-amphetamine (trade name, Dexedrine) tablets, aka speed, that killed the Canadians, not Schmidt and Umbach.

Feb 07, 2003 Moussaoui Case May Have to Shift From U.S. Court to Tribunal

QUOTE: In the ruling at a private hearing last week, officials said, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va., granted a request by Mr. Moussaoui's lawyers that they be allowed to question a captured Qaeda suspect, Ramzi bin al-Shibh.

New York Times
Feb 04, 2003 Draft Bill Stirs Debate Over The Military, Race and Equity

QUOTE: As troops deploy to the Persian Gulf region for possible war with Iraq, a debate is raging on television, over the Internet and in news conferences over whether the demographics of the military represent a fair distribution of the burdens of military service.

Washington Post

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