The Carrion-Feeders

Joshua Dumas

The Carrion-Feeders [Pub.L. 107-40]

A series of five 20 second digital videos with sound, attached to the Ethereum blockchain as NFTs on July 2, 2021, upon reports of mass troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and distributed via paid social media advertisements from September 18, 2021 through October 7, 2021. Videos depict glitched images of weapon manufacturer headquarters, a text overlay drawn from the research below, voiceover reading that text, and a pulsing underscore.

View on Vimeo.

View these videos as individual NFTs at Foundation.app.

Advert reports

ad campaign reports provided to document that phase of the work

Research, Citations, Notes

On September 18, 2001, the U.S. Congress passed joint resolution Pub.L. 107-40 [pdf] which authorized the use of the Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks of September 11th. On October 7, 2001 U.S. forces commenced airstrikes on Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad. This initiated the Global War on Terror which has lasted 20 years and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

The data that follows should be considered minimums. Department of Defense contractor information is a massive data set that is cumbersome to parse. And through various holdings, partnerships and special grants, the major weapons manufactures are certainly earning more government dollars than are noted here.

Similarly, compiling civilian casualty counts is challenging. Information can be scarce; bias and outright coverups abound. These counts reflect only deaths likely to be attributable to U.S.-led coalition forces. There is no need to exaggerate these atrocities, so in all cases I have erred on the side of undercounting. That said, the last 20 years have surely been more deadly and more costly than what is indicated here.

Special thanks to William Cuthbertson for preliminary research support.

Estimate of Department of Defense contracts for each of the top awardees from 2001-2021

Boeing$393,980,430,950
General Dynamics$114,422,380,586
Lockheed Martin$632,429,747,341
Northrop Grumman $210,504,215,723
Raytheon$308,256,851,589

original data: https://www.usaspending.gov/search/
compiled and plotted annually: Top DoD Awardees 2001-2021

Approximate civilian deaths attributable to coalition forces over the last 20 years

Afghanistan10872
Iraq14389
Syria3408

original data: see below
compiled data: Civilian Deaths 2001-2021

Evidence that contractor weaponry was deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria

Boeing
100 North Riverside Plaza
Chicago IL
   (example: Apache helicopter)

Afghanistan
https://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2002/may/ts_sf.html
https://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/final-flight-extortion-17-180953947/

Iraq
https://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2005/july/i_ids6.html
https://www.2ndmaw.marines.mil/News/Article-View/Article/522676/boeing-recon-team-assists-marines-in-iraq/

Syria
https://www.boeing.com/history/products/f-22-raptor.page
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/06/20/f-15e-shoots-down-another-armed-drone-in-syria.html

General Dynamics
11011 Sunset Hills Rd
Reston VA
  (example M1 Abrams tank)

Afghanistan
https://www.gd.com/Articles/2015/06/08/s-army-gives-green-light-general-dynamics-win-t-increment-2-full-rate
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/11/19/afghanistan.tanks/index.html

Iraq
https://www.gdls.com/images/pdf/mrap/cougar6x6.pdf [pdf]
https://www.gd.com/Articles/2013/06/18/win-t-increment-1-enables-national-guard-restore-vital-network

Syria
https://www.cnbc.com/2013/08/29/Syria-conflict:-The-hardware-the-military-will-use-to-strike.html
https://newsweek.com/exclusive-us-has-plan-send-tanks-troops-secure-syria-oil-fields-amid-withdrawal-1467350

Lockheed Martin
6801 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda MD
   (example Black Hawk helicopter)

Afghanistan
https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2011-10-05-The-Navy-and-Marine-Corps-Select-Lockheed-Martin-Kaman-Unmanned-K-MAX-for-Afghanistan-Deployment
https://www.army.mil/article/194345/army_divested_black_hawks_reach_afghanistan

Iraq
https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2011-01-31-Lockheed-Martin-Receives-139-Million-Contract-for-High-Mobility-Artillery-Rocket-System
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/03/10/b-1b-bomber-gets-new-missiles-as-it-continues-to-strike-in-iraq-and-syria/

Syria
https://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed-martin/eo/documents/annual-reports/2018-annual-report.pdf [pdf]
https://www.aviationtoday.com/2018/04/24/new-lockheed-martin-missiles-used-combat-first-time-syria/

Northrop Grumman
2980 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church VA
   (example: Global Hawk drone)

Afghanistan
https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/northrop-grummans-bacn-completes-10-000-combat-missions
https://www.flightglobal.com/isaf-confirms-2011-global-hawk-crash/104056.article

Iraq
https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/northrop-grumman-awarded-48-million-contract-to-train-new-iraqi-army
https://www.airforcemag.com/article/1103eyes/

Syria
https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/northrop-grumman-awarded-17-5-million-contract-for-fifth-generation-upgrade-of-e-8c-joint-stars-central-computers
https://www.military.com/defensetech/2017/07/06/more-bacn-please-data-node-for-global-hawks-in-high-demand

Raytheon
870 Winter Street
Waltham MA
  (example: Tomahawk missle)

Afghanistan
https://www.raytheonmissilesanddefense.com/capabilities/products/javelin-missile
https://www.defense.gov/observe/photo-gallery/igphoto/2002019457/

Iraq
https://www.raytheon.com/ksa/news/feature/defense-makes-the-grade
https://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-te.iraq20mar20-story.html

Syria
https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2018/04/14/us-launched-105-weapons-against-syria-with-none-intercepted-dod-says/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_missile_strikes_against_Syria


Civilian Casualties Sources

Compiled data: Civilian Deaths 2001-2021

Afghanistan
2001
Project on Defense Alternatives Briefing Report #13
http://www.comw.org/pda/0201oef.html#appendix1

2002-2005
Marc W. Herold of the University of New Hampshire estimates
https://web.archive.org/web/20071106060601/http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mwherold/dossier.htm
http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2008/10/06/the-imprecision-ofus-bombing-and-the-under-valuation-of-an-afghan-life.html

2006
Human Rights Watch
https://www.hrw.org/reports/2008/afghanistan0908/afghanistan0908web.pdf [pdf]

2007-2021
United Nations Assistance Mission In Afghanistan (UNAMA)
https://unama.unmissions.org/protection-of-civilians-reports

Iraq
2003-2021
Iraq Body Count
https://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/

2013-2018
United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq-UNAMI
https://www.uniraq.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&layout=category&task=category&id=159&Itemid=633&lang=en
Limited UN data (which trended low) was averaged against IBC data (which trended high) for a ‘reconciled’ total

Syria
Syrian Network for Human Rights
2011-2021
https://sn4hr.org/blog/2021/06/14/civilian-death-toll/

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
2011-2021
https://www.syriahr.com/en/217360/

Violation Documentation Center in Syria
2011-2021
https://vdc-sy.net/monthly-statistical-report-causalities-syria-november-2020/
(2021 extrapolated)


Peace Organizations

American Friends Service Committee
https://www.afsc.org

Code Pink
https://www.codepink.org

The HALO Trust
https://www.halotrust.org

International Peace Institute
https://www.ipinst.org

Peace Action
https://www.peaceaction.org

War Resisters League
https://www.warresisters.org

Wikipedia List
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Peace_organizations_based_in_the_United_States


Unformatted and unorganized research scraps

Council on Foreign Relations timeline: https://www.cfr.org/timeline/us-war-afghanistan

Brown University Watson Institute:
 https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

This link — https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Publications/?Search=civilian+casualties — yields this doc:
Annual Report on Civilian Casualties in Connection With United States Military Operations
 https://media.defense.gov/2019/May/02/2002126767/-1/-1/1/ANNUAL-REPORT-CIVILIAN-CASUALTIES-IN-CONNECTION-WITH-US-MILITARY-OPERATIONS.PDF
But gov has only required this report for the last 2 years

 Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians
 https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R41084

 Iraqi Civilian Casualties Estimates
 https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/RS/RS22537

 Iraq Casualties: U.S. Military Forces and Iraqi Civilians, Police, and Security Forces
 https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R40824

 Homeland Security Data Library:
 https://www.hsdl.org/?search&searchfield=title&all=civilian+casualties&collection=public&submitted=Search&page=2&so=date

https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2020/12/31/how-much-of-lockheed-martins-revenues-comes-from-the-us-government/

LMT profile:  https://dashboards.trefis.com/data/companies/LMT

US Military expenditures from the World Bank: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.CD?locations=US

 Yemen:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/30/world/middleeast/saudis-faces-mounting-pressure-over-civilian-deaths-in-yemen-conflict.html
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/09/02/soldier-missing-after-black-hawk-crash-off-yemen-declared-dead.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/30/family-army-helicopter-pilot-sues-lockheed-martin-over-black-hawk-crash/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/16/us/arms-deals-raytheon-yemen.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/10/12/more-missiles-fired-from-rebel-held-territory-in-yemen-at-u-s-navy-ships/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/charlestiefer/2015/11/26/in-yemen-war-mercenaries-launched-by-blackwater-head-were-spotted-today-not-good-news/?sh=234d23ff5a3d
https://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/FedCrimes/story?id=4684907&page=1

Libya:
https://abcnews.go.com/International/libya-international-military-coalition-launch-assault-gadhafi-forces/story?id=13174246
https://www.bostonherald.com/2013/08/31/raytheons-shares-boom/
https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/northrop-grumman-recognised-by-uk-ministry-of-defence-for-role-in-supporting-sentry-awacs-aircraft-during-military-operations-in-libya
https://theaviationist.com/2017/02/05/gigantic-u-s-global-hawk-drone-could-be-tracked-online-while-flying-21-hour-mission-over-libya/

Somalia:
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/world/africa/04somalia.html
https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/litton-systems-canada-receives-52-million-canadian-dollars-electronics-order-for-gm-defense
https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/global-hawk-uav-prepares-for-maritime-role-updated-01218/

Text from posts on instagram:

9/18/21
fieldguide1 More new work: The Carrion-Feeders [Pub.L. 107-40] A series of five 20 second 4k digital videos with sound, attached to the Ethereum blockchain as NFTs and distributed via paid social media advertisements. Videos depict glitched images of weapon manufacturers' headquarters, a text overlay with voiceover reading that text, and a pulsing underscore. The work explores the intertwine of civilian casualties in the Global War on Terror with weapons manufacturers and the U.S. Department of Defense. On September 18, 2001, the U.S. Congress passed joint resolution Pub.L. 107-40 which authorized the use of the Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks of September 11th. On October 7, 2001 U.S. forces commenced airstrikes on Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad. This initiated the Global War on Terror which has lasted 20 years and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. A self-funded ad campaign, running these videos on YouTube and Instagram, will parallel this timeline, active from September 18, 2021 to October 7, 2021. This work is built from an extensive original research process mining and compiling information on DOD grants, UN human rights statistics, and weapons manufacturers’ shareholder reports and press releases. Explore that research here: joshuadumas.site/cf/ (and link in bio). View as NFTs at @withfoundation here: foundation.app/joshuadumas (and also link in bio).
——————
About six months ago I dipped my toes in the crypto/blockchain/NFT world in an effort to see if that medium could offering anything compelling to my practice. This is my first true gesture in that direction. I think there’s something interesting about employing meme-like strategies to ‘permanently’ attach critical original research to the blockchain as agitprop. At the very least, it is a place to put my sadness and anger. I will follow-up in three weeks with results from the ad campaign. Special thanks to @williamcuthbertsonfor help with initial research. Thank you all for looking.
10/7/21
fieldguide1
The Carrion-Feeders [Pub.L. 107-40]
Follow Up

20 years ago, on October 7, 2001, U.S. forces commenced airstrikes on Kabul, Kandahar, and Jalalabad, initiating the Global War on Terror. Over 900,000 people have died in the conflicts since; see Brown University’s “Costs of War” project (watson.brown.edu/costsofwar).

Through original analysis, research and database scraping, I estimate that at least 28,000 of those persons were civilians whose murder can be directly linked to U.S.-led forces, using weapons built by five major arms manufacturers, paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

I’ve documented my methodology and the citations that link DOD contracts to arms manufacturers to reports placing their weapons in the conflict zones (joshuadumas.site/cf/ and link in bio). Then I created a series of five 20 second digital videos, attached to the ethereum blockchain as NFTs and presented to the general public via ads on instagram and youtube.

These slides document the reach and engagement of those ads and a video that excepts some of the ads themselves.

This concludes this phase of the project.
————
I don’t know? This a kind of weird and grim memorial I guess. Is there an elegy in these reports? I’m not sure. My thinking was to link this research to the blockchain, in hopes of keeping these counter-narratives etched in some digital metaverse.
But throwing out money to advertise on social media feels really disheartening.

So I’m also donating an equivalent amount split between the HALO Trust (@thehalotrust) which cleans up war debris including landmines, and the American Friends Service Committee (@afsc_org) a peace org whose non-violent civil disobedience trainings 20 years ago provided me with a vocabulary and mindset for much of my activism since.

It is, of course, important to name the real monsters, but as I continue to develop this work I will look for more ways to champion and honor the helpers too.

Thanks for reading and looking.
————
Special thanks to William Cuthbertson (@williamcuthbertson) who provided early research support.

NFTs are hosted at Foundation (@withfoundation).

Please direct any correspondence here.