November 30, 2007

Message #5

CIA reports that a Jordanian insurgent captured last week in Iraq is reporting that the leadership of al Qaeda in Iraq – under heavy pressure by U.S. forces in Iraq – has relocated to Syria and is now coordinating attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces from the Syrian side of the Syria – Iraq border. Separately, 8 members of Al Qaeda captured infiltrating across the Syrian border into Iraq by U.S. Army units.

Message #2

National Security Agency reports North Korean armed forces increasing alert levels; reservists being recalled; fuel being transported to front-line units.

November 12, 2007

Tom Tancredo, terrorist killer

October 31, 2007

Ending U.S. Commitment to Securing Russian Nukes

Securing Russian Nuclear Missiles? U.S. Is Set to Say ‘Done’ - New York Times

U.S. team heads to North Korea to help disable nuclear complex

U.S. team to help North Korea nuclear disabling - Yahoo! News

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Hill said on Wednesday that the team was due to reach North Korea on Thursday to push forward plans to disable a reactor and other parts of the Yongbyon complex, which can make plutonium for nuclear bombs.

October 29, 2007

IAEA findings on Iran dismissed

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | IAEA findings on Iran dismissed

France and the US have dismissed a finding by the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog Mohammed ElBaradei that there is no evidence of Iran building a bomb.

French Defence Minister Herve Morin challenged Iran to allow UN inspectors unlimited access to sites. A White House spokeswoman said Iran was "enriching and reprocessing uranium, and the reason that one does that is to lead towards a nuclear weapon".

Mr ElBaradei said on Sunday that Tehran was years away from developing a bomb. Iran denies it is seeking to build nuclear weapons and says it wants only civilian nuclear energy.

Its refusal to stop enriching uranium - a process which can lead to a nuclear bomb - has led the UN Security Council to impose two sets of sanctions, which the US has followed up with unilateral penalties of its own.

October 26, 2007

Resistance to Attorney General Pick

Resistance to Attorney General Pick - New York Times

Judiciary Committee is not letting Mukasey slide by with vague answers about torture and executive power. (Earlier in the Committee Mukasey claimed he did not understand "waterboarding" well enough to say whether it was torture.)

Putin compares US shield to Cuban Missile Crisis

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Putin compares US shield to Cuba

Pootie-Poot must have watched the movie with us in class yesterday, as he totally compares US efforts to put a missile "shield" in Europe to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

October 21, 2007

FBI working to bolster Al Qaeda cases

FBI working to bolster Al Qaeda cases - Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- The FBI is quietly reconstructing the cases against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 14 other accused Al Qaeda leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, spurred in part by U.S. concerns that years of CIA interrogation have yielded evidence that is inadmissible or too controversial to present at their upcoming war crimes tribunals, government officials familiar with the probes said.

CBS confirms Plame was on Iran anti-proliferation beat when the White House blew her cover

The Raw Story | CBS confirms 2006 Raw Story scoop: Plame's job was to keep nukes from Iran

October 16, 2007

Sure, take his/her records...we won't tell.

Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders - Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called. Verizon does not keep data on this "two-generation community of interest" for customers, but the request highlights the broad reach of the government's quest for data.

From January 2005 to September 2007, Verizon provided data to federal authorities on an emergency basis 720 times, it said in the letter. The records included Internet protocol addresses as well as phone data. In that period, Verizon turned over information a total of 94,000 times to federal authorities armed with a subpoena or court order, the letter said. The information was used for a range of criminal investigations, including kidnapping and child-predator cases and counter-terrorism investigations.

Verizon and AT&T said it was not their role to second-guess the legitimacy of emergency government requests.

Jet fixes abroad seen as a threat

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are warning that the Transportation Security Administration is leaving airplanes vulnerable to sabotage by terrorists who may have access to the planes in repair shops overseas.

TSA chief Kip Hawley faces questions today on the agency's failure to write security regulations for repair shops as Congress ordered nearly four years ago. Hawley will testify before House and Senate panels looking broadly at aviation security.

U.S.- India Nuclear Deal

Nuclear Deal With India May Be Near Collapse -

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has given in to pressure from minority influences within the Indian government and put the U.S.- India Nuclear Deal on ice.

For Mukasey, a quiz about independence at Justice

For Mukasey, a quiz about independence at Justice

Mukasey's confirmation hearing is tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct 17, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Interesting questions are bound to be posed on torture, wire-tapping, extraordinary rendition, and if he is capable of thinking independently of Bush.

Column: Sun sets early on the American Century | comment | Sun sets early on the American Century

The disastrous outcome of the invasion and occupation of Iraq has caused a crisis in the power elite of the United States deeper than that resulting from defeat in Vietnam 30 years ago. Ironically, it is the very coalition of ultranationalists and neo-conservatives that coalesced in the 1970s, seeking to reverse the Vietnam syndrome, restore U.S. power and revive "the will to victory" that has caused the present crisis.

October 14, 2007

U.S. Military Technology Being Exported Illegally ot Iran

U.S. Military Technology Being Exported Illegally Is a Growing Concern -

Pentagon investigators thought they had discovered a major shipment of contraband when they intercepted parts for F-14 Tomcat warplanes headed to Iran, via FedEx, from Southern California. Under U.S. sanctions since its 1979 revolution, Tehran had been trying for years to illegally obtain spare parts for the fighters, which are used only in Iran.

October 13, 2007

Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone Firm

Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone Firm -

excerpt: "Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts.

'The allegations could affect the debate on Capitol Hill over whether telecoms sued for disclosing customers' phone records and other data to the government after the Sept. 11 attacks should be given legal immunity, even if they did not have court authorization to do so."

October 12, 2007

Does Blackwater Play By Its Own Rules in Iraq?

[From Does Blackwater Play By Its Own Rules in Iraq? - Newsweek: World News -]

Whatever else Blackwater is or isn't guilty of—a topic of intense interest in Washington—it has a well-earned reputation in Iraq for arrogance and high-handedness. Iraqis naturally have the most serious complaints; dozens have been killed by Blackwater operatives since the beginning of the war. But many American civilian and military officials in Iraq also have little sympathy for the private security company and its highly paid employees. With an uproar growing in Congress over Blackwater's alleged excesses, the North Carolina-based company is finding few supporters.

CIA investigates conduct of its inspector general

CIA investigates conduct of its inspector general - Los Angeles Times

Watchdog of C.I.A. Is Subject of C.I.A. Inquiry - New York Times

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 — The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, has ordered an unusual internal inquiry into the work of the agency’s inspector general, whose aggressive investigations of the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation programs and other matters have created resentment among agency operatives.

October 9, 2007

More Torture Memos (Editorial)

More Torture Memos -

October 7, 2007

"Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner] ..."

The Daily Dish

Like we read in the containment document early on: America need only live up to its highest ideals and most dearly held values in order to succeed in this global struggle.

George does have it right. George Washington that is, who fought an existential, guerilla war against an unbeatable enemy, won over hearts and minds, and established a new nation... and he did it all without torturing a single redcoat (as far as we know).

October 6, 2007

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture"

Fort Hunt's Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII

When about two dozen veterans got together yesterday for the first time since the 1940s, many of the proud men lamented the chasm between the way they conducted interrogations during the war and the harsh measures used today in questioning terrorism suspects.

Back then, they and their commanders wrestled with the morality of bugging prisoners' cells with listening devices. They felt bad about censoring letters. They took prisoners out for steak dinners to soften them up. They played games with them.

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

U.S. urged caution on Syrian strike

Talking Points Memo | U.S. urged caution on Syrian strike

In early July the Israelis presented the United States with satellite imagery that they said showed a nuclear facility in Syria. They had additional evidence that they said showed that some of the technology was supplied by North Korea. One U.S. official told ABC's Martha Raddatz the material was "jaw dropping" because it raised questions as to why U.S. intelligence had not previously picked up on the facility. Officials said that the facility had likely been there for months if not years. [...] Initially, administration officials convinced the Israelis to call off the July strike. But in September the Israelis feared that news of the site was about to leak and went ahead with the strike despite U.S. concerns.

October 4, 2007

Author of the Pentagon's New Map calls Obama nuclear disarmament plan "sophomoric"

Sophomoric nuke proposal from Obama (Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog)

This is not something I would ever argue for. Can't turn back that clock and why re-introduce the concept of conventional great power war in their absence? Besides that, it's just a silly pipe dream. No one will agree to it. Nukes have simply been too useful in killing great power war. I'm not giving that up for today's minor issues with North Korea and Iran, for no other reason that both seek nukes to deter our conventional attack, so such a ban--in response to such situations--actually does nothing to address them. Sophomoric stuff from a campaign that should be getting more mature advice. Very disappointing.

September 30, 2007

Kyrgyzstan Signs Nuclear Material Deal with US

Kyrgzstan to help on nuclear smuggling - Yahoo! News

In Last Best Chance News: Kyrgyzstan on Sunday signed on to a U.S. program to curb nuclear smuggling, becoming the fourth former Soviet state to join the initiative. Still no word on vowel smuggling talks...

September 27, 2007

Israel, Syria and the Glaring Secret

National Security Brief

NSC: Sorry I can't post the published link. It's from and you need membership access to view it.

Anthony J. Gertz Director of International Economics and Trade

Continue reading "Israel, Syria and the Glaring Secret" »

Long ABC Article on US missile defense plans for Czech Republic, Poland

ABC News: Physicists: Bush Missile Claims 'Inaccurate'

Burma crackdown leads to deaths

Nine Deaths Reported in Myanmar Crackdown - New York Times

I found this article on Burma really interesting.

September 26, 2007

Nuclear threats and Terrorism

Arms Control Association: Arms Control Today: An Unrealized Nexus? WMD-related Trafficking, Terrorism, and Organized Crime in the Former Soviet Union

A companion piece to Matthew Bunn's article in the Washington Post regarding WMD security and terrorist ambitions.

Scientists on missile defense: meh.

Missiles no defense

Politically, the Polish and Czech deployments are a provocation in projecting the establishment of U.S. bases even closer to the Russian homeland. But both sides in this depressing confrontation seem to ignore the technical-scientific realities.

September 25, 2007

IAEA Begins New Round of Talks with Iran

Iran starts talks with IAEA on nuclear program -

Continue reading "IAEA Begins New Round of Talks with Iran" »

Blackwater case to go to court

Blackwater case to be referred to courts --

In reference to the Blackwater case we discussed in class.

September 24, 2007

President of Iraq Iran denounced as Hitler

Iran's Ahmadinejad, public enemy No. 1? |

juancole.jpgJuan Cole is to Iraq what Julia Child is to chicken a la king. And I trust him to know what it looks like when some other president of a rogue nation is being Saddamized (turned into another Saddam-style arch nemesis).

Pakistan slows effort against al-Qaida

Pakistan slows pursuit of al-Qaida |

Cause of concern? Definetely could change course on some of our policies in the region.