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May 4, 2006

Photographs of Chernobyl

Some one has posted some cool photos of Chernobyl. Looks like the graffiti taggers have been there.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on May 4, 2006 at 1:26 AM

Comments

And in Iraq.

May 02, 2006

Graffiti suggests gang activity in Army

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Gang graffiti increasingly showing up in Iraq on everything from armored vehicles to concrete barriers and bathroom stalls might illustrate increasing gang activity in the Army, according to a published report.

The spray-painted gang art — apparent handiwork of the Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings and Vice Lords, whose roots trace back decades to Chicago — even has shown up on a guard shack at Camp Cedar II southeast of Baghdad, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

There, someone scrawled “GDN? — Gangster Disciple Nation — along with the gang’s six-pointed star and the word “Chitown.?

Military and civilian police investigators familiar with the Army bases of Fort Lewis, Fort Hood and Fort Bragg — each supplying soldiers to fight in Iraq — said they have been focusing recently on troops with gang affiliations.

Their worry: whether gang-affiliated soldiers’ training will make them deadly urban warriors when they return to civilian life and whether some are using access to military equipment to supply gangs at home.

Scott Barfield, Defense Department gang detective at Fort Lewis, Wash., said he has identified 320 soldiers as gang members from April 2002 to now. “I think that’s the tip of the iceberg,? he said.

Jeffrey Stoleson, an Army Reserve sergeant in Iraq for almost a year, said he has taken hundreds of photos of gang graffiti there, most by Chicago-based gangs. He said he doesn’t trust gang members and doesn’t relish working alongside them.

“My (supervising sergeant) told me not to ruffle their feathers because they were doing a good job,? he said, saying gang members there don’t try to hide their affiliations.

Christopher Grey, spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, disputed that the problem of gangs in the military is significant, saying the command in the past year has reviewed 10 cases involving credible evidence of gang-related criminal activity in the Army. He wouldn’t elaborate.

“We recently conducted an Army-wide study, and we don’t see a significant trend in this kind of activity, especially when you compare this with a million-man Army,? Grey said.

To Barfield, Army recruiters eager to meet their goals have been overlooking applicants’ gang tattoos and getting waivers for criminal backgrounds.

“We’re lowering our standards,? he said.

Though Fort Lewis offers free tattoo removal, few, if any, soldiers have taken advantage of the service, he said. And of nearly 320 soldiers who admitted they were gang members, only two said they wanted out of gangs, Barfield said. None has been arrested for a gang-related felony on the base.

Barfield acknowledges that soldiers he pegged as gang members represent a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of soldiers based at Fort Lewis in the period he reviewed. But he stressed that he only investigates a fraction of the soldiers on base.

“Gang members are telling us in the interviews that their gang is putting them in,? he said.

Posted by: Robert R. on May 5, 2006 at 1:00 PM

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