Three New Yorkers Killed in Afghanistan

Categories: War

Bad news to report from America's longest war: Three New York soldiers were killed in Afghanistan last week.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags be flown at half-staff on Wednesday to commemorate the fallen soldiers, who were killed by an improvised explosive device in Paktiya Province, Afghanistan, on November 3.

The three soldiers -- 27-year-old Specialist Brett E. Gornewicz from Alden, 22-year-old Specialist Ryan P. Jayne from Campbell, and 29-year-old Staff Sergeant Dain T. Venne, from Port Henry -- died from injuries sustained when the Humvee in which they were riding was struck by an IED.

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Troop Suicides: More U.S. Soldiers Die By Their Own Hand Than In Battle

Almost every day this year, a soldier on active duty took his or her own life -- meaning that suicides killed more troops than war, according to a just released study.

The Times as well many other media organizations have reported that there had been 154 suicides this year, compared to 124 military fatalities.

This means that 2012 might mark the highest number of recorded suicides since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Capt. Bruce Clark, Soldier Who Died During Skype Chat, Did Not Have Bullet Wound: Report

More details have emerged about the death of Army Capt. Bruce Clark, who died during a Skype chat with his wife.

The Associated Press just tweeted that Army investigators "say they found no bullet wound in soldier who died during Skype chat."

This is quite different than the account given by Clark's wife, Susan.

She told reporters that Clark was suddenly "knocked forward" mid-conversation, and that "her husband showed no alarm or discomfort" beforehand, according to Business Insider.

Susan did not want to speak publicly until the Army released its autopsy of Clark, Business Insider reports, but decided to come forward when officials claimed that he died of natural causes.

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London Riots; 4 NATO Soldiers Killed; S&P Warns of Another U.S. Credit Downgrade

Riots raged overnight in the Tottenham area of London as protesters stormed the streets and burned buses, police cars and buildings. A crowd of 120 marched on the Tottenham police station in response to the shooting of Mark Duggan, a man who died in an alleged gunfight with officers. As of this morning, "26 police officers were injured in the unrest and 42 people were arrested for offences including violent disorder, burglary and theft following overnight clashes." [Telegraph]

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Confusion Surrounds Reports of U.S. Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan

Earlier, we reported on the helicopter crash in the Wardak province of Afghanistan that killed 31 American troops. The AP briefly reported that "one former U.S. official said that the dead included more than 20 Navy SEALs from SEAL Team Six, the unit that carried out the raid in Pakistan in May that killed bin Laden." Now they are reporting that, "they believe that none of the Navy SEALs who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan had participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden."

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"Horrors of War" Playing Cards Available For a Mere $6,000

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For one of the most unsettling collector's items available, look no further than the new "Horrors of War" trading card collection. Cards range from "Atomic Bomb" to "Highway of Death," and cover every war from WWII to our current war on terror. You can also buy the signature of Winston Churchill, Donald Rumsfeld, Benito Mussolini -- you name it. Long forgotten Spanish-American or Korean War heroes? You bet. They're available for purchase today.

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New York to Gaza: Controversial Aid Flotilla Will Try Again After Last Year's Deadly Result

I covered a boat cruise around Manhattan last summer that raised money for the Audacity Of Hope — not Barack Obama's book, but the blockade-breaking aid ship for Gaza's Palestinians determined to actually land without the deadly violence surrounding the May 31, 2010, attempt by the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla." It was just like your typical Circle Line sunset cruise — apart from the Palestinian flags waving from the boat, taunts from pro-Israel supporters as it departed, and presence of Palestine-sympathetic figures on board, like activist Emily Henochowicz and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman.

Now the actual voyage of the Audacity of Hope is only weeks away. It could end up just as violently as last year's attempt.

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Qaddafi's Son, Three Grandchildren Killed In Airstrike

One of Muammar Qaddafi's sons, 29-year-old Seif al-Arab Muammar el-Qaddafi, was killed in a NATO airstrike yesterday along with three Qaddafi grandchildren. Qaddafi and his wife, who were at their son's house in Tripoli at the time, survived. The house was reportedly destroyed. A Qaddafi spokesman called the attack a "war crime" and vowed revenge.



U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan Killed Civilians for Sport, Took Photos; Rolling Stone Reveals 'Images Censored by Pentagon'

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On Sunday night, Rolling Stone revealed to the world the disturbing existence of a United States "kill team," the members of which actively targeted, killed, mutilated, and photographed innocent citizens of Afghanistan. "[A]fter six hard months soldiering in Afghanistan, a group of American infantrymen reached a momentous decision: It was finally time to kill a haji," writes Mark Boal in the feature made available last night, and sure to be a blockbuster by today's end. Soldiers from the Bravo Company's 3rd Platoon, a section of the 5th Stryker Brigade, murdered at least four unarmed civilians and took "scores of photos" celebrating their kills. Though the Pentagon attempted to suppress the pictures, lest they find themselves amid another Abu Ghraib-style scandal, Rolling Stone has obtained 150 of the photos. Their brutality is beyond description.

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Obama to Congress: Oh, By the Way, We're at War

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Though the weekend included strategic bombing campaigns in Libya nicknamed Operation Odyssey Dawn, carried out by the United States, in association with France and the United Kingdom, it took until Monday for President Barack Obama to notify Congress, via an official notification, that the U.S. had gone to war. Two days later, to the dismay of congressional leaders who say they were not properly consulted, Obama wrote in a letter that at "approximately 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on March 19, 2011, at my direction, U.S. military forces commenced operations to assist an international effort authorized by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council and undertaken with the support of European allies and Arab partners, to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and address the threat posed to international peace and security by the crisis in Libya."

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