Ft Carson conducts pro forma town hall to clear way for environmental impact of proposed helicopter brigade

Occupy Colorado Springs protest at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jan 26, 2012
OCCUPIED COLORADO SPRINGS- Ft Carson’s environmental PR team held what’s called a “draft Environmental Assessment,” prerequisite to their addition of a Combat Aviation Brigade to America’s “Best Hometown in the Army”. Except for a car-dealer and realtor giving their attaboys, the citizens comment section weighed solidly AGAINST expansion of war-making and war-training. In true pro forma, Garrison Commander McLaughlin shrugged off the opposition, stating that public input would be answered while the army proceeded as planned. And that’s where Occupy will have something to say.

The fundamental message from OCCUPY WALL STREET, and from the global movement at large, is that it’s the people who are in charge. Whatever corrupted system may have wielded the power to bring the world to the brink of chaos, the authority must be returned to the people. OCCUPY makes clear the people do not have to sit idly by while their rulers make decisions against their interests. OCCUPY reminds us the people will have a say in their own destiny.

An army hearing, about what it plans to do, in defiance of public outcry, is nothing that self-respecting citizens have to take sitting down. They didn’t, citizens came from as far as the Southeastern plains to present their testimonials, but after the citizen comment period ended, the holders of the meeting made certain to conclude that the Ft Carson expansion was advancing regardless. This inhospitalty even after almost uninterrupted patriotic fawning over Ft Carson’s soldiers and the role they play defending our liberty.

While everyone falls all over themselves to THANK A SOLDIER, let’s not confuse respect for deference. America is not ruled by a military junta. The Department of Defense is not our governing body. For all his authority and swagger, this camp commander does not overrule us citizens. WE are the boss of the army. We are his CHAIN OF COMMAND. When the people of Colorado Springs, the people of Colorado, or the people of the United States express our will, it’s the army’s role to say “SIR, YES SIR.”

I’m deeply troubled by an officer of the military who pretends that his fellow citizens are but a temporary impediment to his military plans. When a room full of citizens tells this commander that they don’t want helicopters over their airspace, I expect him to take heed. To do otherwise is purely insubordination of his superiors. All this patriotic militarism may be going to his head. This is a soldier after all, sworn to protect our constitution and America, meaning its people. DO YOU HEAR ME SOLDIER?

If you think I sound disrespectful, let me inform you that I’m a veteran too, of ANTIWAR actions. One of which involved a soldier of higher rank than this one, running up to me as I silently held a sign, and attacking me with his fists, knocking me over. CSPD policemen had to pull him off. I did not press charges, but I could have. That was not only assault. An officer of his stature knows it was worse than that: it was an attack on his chain-of-command. What incalculable gall, to presume to treat me as a subordinate upon whom he could visit his accustomed violence. On a citizen!

And that’s what’s got me worried, about where all this soldier-worship leads. Only a couple weeks ago, at a weekly sidewalk peace bannering, a fellow activist was approached by a soldier and sucker-punched in the face, right out of the blue, while his wife cheered from their car. Are you kidding me? This deference to soldiers has got to stop.

These are soldiers, and we’re right to thank them. Theirs is a thankless task. Well not thankless, they ask, and are given unending thanks. But theirs is a task no one wants, to have to dehumanize yourself, be made to kill, maim, torture, rape, often it turns out, exactly under orders. We’ve learned that soldiers are sometimes commanded to kill everyone in a 360 degree radius. “Free Fire Zones” mean to kill every living thing in sight. We learn too that pissing on your dead victims is taught as a coping mechanism, to dehumanize your adversary so as to suffer less PTSD and less guilt. And we’ve learned that the military has no followup plan to reintegrate their soldier-monsters to a life post-service. Homeless vets from Vietnam onward are a testimony to the incompatibility of war service in horror zones to a return to normal civilian life. When the army creates killer-thugs, it means to dispose of them in further war zones, it means for them to re-up, or die prematurely from DU exposure. Yes, soldiers are to be thanked, but kept at arm’s length, like Fukushima heroes, radioactive. By design, their duty rendered them untouchable, to them eternal thanks and goodbye, unless you are prepared to weather the propensity to antisocial violence and domestic abuse the veterans of fragile countenance bring back with them. Certainly we cannot elevate the more hardened professional killers, who know only means foul and heartless, to positions of authority above citizens.

It irks me to no end to be goaded by this camp commander, who after hearing the public speak, admonished us in the end that our protestations will amount to nothing. How dare he, this insubordinate would-be coup leader?

Shall OCCUPY remind you, America is ruled by its people. This is a Democracy. WE THE PEOPLE are in charge!

Yes it may look right now like the suits are in charge, the men behind you, patting your back, the men with businesses who profit from war-making. In other cultures they are known as war profiteers, and in other periods of history they are executed. Who should profit by war? Well another aspect about OCCUPY is that these business vultures have been put on notice their time has come. No sustainable model of global democracy has room for predatory warmongers who keep wanting to pull their fortunes from war.

The people will be in charge of this nation, not the military or its business enablers. And when the people say enough, it’s going to be the military’s place to do the people’s will. If the people say no helicopters, or not in my airspace, or stop with your immoral wars, the army better stop its posturing, or find itself in the brig. Thank you soldier, but stand down. When the people tell you to stand down soldier, you had better do it, on the double.

For my part I will not decline to press charges a second time against military careerists who overstep their authority. And I will not again brook one iota of insubordination from someone sworn to serve this country. We American citizens are in charge of what’s done in our name. Do you hear me soldier? Sir, Yes Sir? Wise move soldier.

PCMS wildfire initiates Army PHASE 1B

Bridger Fire initiates US Army scorched earth policy
PINON CANYON MANEUVER SITE, Colo- The US Army refused assistance in fighting the PCMS Bridger Fire, and now it’s jumped the Pergatoire River and is leading the aquisition of PARCELS 1B and 2A, a year ahead of the Army’s until now thwarted expansion schedule.

Pictured above is an enhanced diagram of a leaked Army map, revealing the expansion planned to create the USA Joint Combat Training Center which will occupy the full Southeastern corner of Colorado. A legend is posted below.

PCMS (blue) Existing Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site
PHASE 1 (green) years 1&2, Wildlife Buffer
PHASE 1a (purple) year 3
PHASE 1b (maroon) year 3
PHASE 2a (yellow) year 4
PHASE 2b (lavender) years 5-10
PHASE 3a (dark grey) year 11
PHASE 3b (grey) year 12
PARCEL 2 (orange) years 13-16
PARCEL 5 (light grey) years 17-18
JCTC (rose) expansion to Oklahoma and Kansas borders

Pinon Canyon public meeting WED 3PM

Pinon Canyon- Our land, our families, our heritage -PCEOC
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO- As previously announced, the Army is conduction a public scoping meeting on May 21 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colorado Springs about their tentative Pinon Canyon takings. At 6:30pm they’ll outline their need to Grow-The-Army (GTA) on account of the GD-GWOT. Southeastern Colorado ranchers intend to voice their opposition at an early session 3-6pm and boycott the 6:30 public relations meeting. Here’s an invitation from Bill Sulzman:

What: Ranchers Coalition meeting.
When: Wednesday May 21, 3 – 6 PM.
Where: the Crowne Plaza Hotel (Circle and I-25)


This is an extremely important meeting in the long term struggle to prevent the Army from seizing a huge chunk of ranch land in Southeast Colorado in the area adjacent to the current Pinon Canyon Maneuver site in Las Animas County. This is one of three meetings organized by the opposing ranchers and their coalition. The reason for this time and place is that it precedes an official Army scoping hearing on Fort Carson troop expansion at the same hotel starting at 6:30 PM on May 21.

The official scoping meeting is a charade (in my opinion) . The Environmental Impact Statement that is the end goal of this process is almost certainly a done deal. At least 95% of what will finally be written is already in place in a series of formulas that are always the same when the Army does an EIS. Those who take part in scoping hearings and later hearings on a draft EIS validate the process without any real effect on the final decision. For that reason the ranchers are asking us to boycott the official session and attend their meeting to get the latest information on what is really happening.

This is a very critical point in the campaign. The Army will almost certainly use this latest troop increase proposal, on top of those already mandated by the BRAC process. to add one more argument to their call for hundreds of thousands if not millions of acres of southeast Colorado grassland, evicting ranchers in the process.

It is our chance to show solidarity with folks we usually do not have much interaction with. I believe their cause is just and urge as many of you as possible to stop by at whatever time you can get there on the 21st whether that is at 3 or 4 or 5 o’clock or later.

I think we also know that a further huge increase in our city’s dependence on Pentagon dollars is a bad idea in its own right. City and county budgets are already in the red. Water and energy concerns and social service shortfalls are already dogging our community. When is enough enough? See official announcement below.

Hope to see you there.

Bill Sulzman

No Army expansion into Pinon Canyon

PCEOC Truck-sized billboard along Interstate 25
PUEBLO, COLORADO- The Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition (PCMiSCRAP) folks are parking semi-trailer billboards along I-25 to make certain the US Army expansion team gets their message. The ranchers have also scheduled their own public meetings to preempt the Army “Public Scoping” PR presentations.

KIM, COLORADO- The Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition will give the public an honest chance to comment on the proposed military expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, on three consecutive nights, just prior to the Army’s scoping hearings which will exclude testimony on the subject.

PCEOC hearing times are:
Tuesday, May 20, in Trinidad
Trinidad State Jr College, Massari Auditorium from 4 to 6p

Wednesday, May 21, in Colorado Springs
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Salon C (Grand Ballroom) from 3 to 6p

Thursday, May 22, in La Junta
Otero Junior College, Mc Bride Hall #137 from 4 to 6p

Army officials announced scoping hearings to discuss bringing additional troops to Fort Carson but said the hearings have nothing to do with the proposed expansion of the PCMS. The communities of Southeastern Colorado know this is not true and that the two issues are undeniably linked.

“The Army knows that a majority of Coloradans, a majority of state lawmakers and a majority of federal lawmakers oppose the expansion,” said PCEOC President Lon Robertson. “By excluding any discussion of PCMS from the scoping hearings, Army officials are attempting to avoid a difficult subject and skirt federal law.”

In 2007, Congress passed and the President signed into law a military appropriations bill which outlawed all funding on the proposed expansion of the PCMS.

“If the Army held a hearing on expanding the site, they’d violate the law so instead, they are pretending that increasing the force at Fort Carson will have no impact,” Robertson said. “In reality, if they get more brigades at Fort Carson, we know they will turn around and demand more acreage on which to train them.

“And the real question is why won’t the Army take no for an answer?” Robertson said. “This has been dragging on too long and even the threat of expansion is having devastating effects on our communities and economy.”

The Army is behaving lawlessly and now it seems they don’t even follow their own guidelines set by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRACC). The additional troops cited in this latest effort completely exceed the numbers stated in the 2005 BRACC report.

The Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition, or PCEOC, is a broad-based coalition representing communities across Southern Colorado in their opposition to the proposed military expansion. PCEOC members include business owners, teachers, students, elected officials, ranchers, environmentalists and many others.

The coalition is united in its opposition to any expansion of PCMS. No funding, no expansion.

USA acronyms want Pinon Canyon again

May 8 PSA from the DECAM/NEPA coordinator at the FCPAO:
(Release 08-056)
FORT CARSON, COLO.– Part of GTA effort: USA issues NOI to prepare an EIS for bringing IBCT and CAB to USAFC and the PCMS, against the NAA. PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS (to hear NAA!) are May 20 in TAD, May 21 in COS (6:30PM Crowne Plaza Hotel) and May 22 in LHX.

PSA -Public Service Announcement
DECAM –Directorate of Environmental Compliance and Management
NEPA –National Environmental Policy Act
FCPAO -Fort Carson Public Affairs Office
GTA –“Grow the Army”
USA -United States Army
NOI -Notice of Intent
EIS -Environmental Impact Statement
IBCT -Infantry Brigade Combat Team (3,900 soldiers)
CAB -Combat Aviation Brigade (2,800 soldiers)
USAFC –United States Army Fort Carson
PCMS –Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site
NAA -No Action Alternative

TAD -Trinidad, Colorado
COS -Colorado Springs
LHX -La Junta (Airport codes)

Wikipedia explains this GWOT acronym:

AWR — (Alpha Whiskey Romeo) Allah’s Waiting Room. When engaged, insurgents have a tendency to flee to the same building (the AWR), at which point the troops radio in an air strike.