Before 9/11, U.S. intelligence officials had little information about terrorism, and they hoarded it.
Now, they share it. All of it. Everywhere. Information about threats — actual, perceived and bogus — is spread across multiple agencies, stored in multiple databases. It arrives in untold snippets from all over the world and is hurriedly passed around. Nobody wants to be blamed for sitting on the missing puzzle piece.
In explaining its failure to stop alleged al-Qaida operative Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding a plane while carrying a bomb, the government said Thursday that it had plenty of dots to connect. Information was passed around. No puzzle pieces went missing, but nobody put it together.
And there was nobody to blame.
In case the prospect of nearly $4,000 in prescription assistance isn't enough to perk up low-income seniors, the government is using '60s singer Chubby Checker to publicize "the twist" in the Medicare drug program.
As of Jan. 1, more than 1 million low-income seniors are newly eligible for more generous prescription drug benefits under the "extra help" program. Benefiting from a new law are those with life insurance policies and those who regularly get money from relatives to help pay household expenses but were previously disqualified because of too many assets or too much income.
"The safety net is frayed and this is a way to start stitching it back together again," said Hilary Dalin, associate director for benefits at the National Council on Aging.
Gays are vowing to fight back through the courts after the state Senate voted down a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
Minutes after the bill was defeated 20-14 on Thursday, gay rights advocates announced they would file a lawsuit seeking to get the state's top court to order New Jersey to recognize same-sex matrimony.
The state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the state must provide all the benefits of marriage to committed gay couples. In response, the Legislature legalized civil unions for gay couples.
Tiger Woods has nothing on White House budget director Peter Orszag.
On Dec. 39, ABC correspondent Brianna Golodyga announced on "Good Morning America" that she was engaged to Obama's budget guy.
She says she met him at the White House Correspondents Dinner back in May.
But as their relationship developed, Orszag also had a pregnant girlfriend, Claire Milonas of New York, who gave birth to their daughter a few weeks before the public engagement announcement.
No word yet on whether or not the current future Mrs. Orszag is expecting.
In a joint statement released by Orszag and Milonas, the former couple said:
Mayor Sheila Dixon fought back tears as she announced her resignation and thanked her staff for its loyalty and hard work. She acknowledged that she made poor choices and that she "disappointed" herself and her constituents.
What she didn't do was apologize or explain the actions that led to her downfall — her guilty plea on a perjury charge and her earlier conviction on a misdemeanor embezzlement charge.
Dixon's resignation Wednesday ended a three-year tenure that began with promise but unraveled amid embarrassing allegations that she stole from the poor.
Her attorney characterized the plea deal as favorable — she will receive probation before judgment at her sentencing Feb. 4, the same day her resignation takes effect.
A former senior intelligence official says the double agent who killed seven CIA employees last week had provided information that led the CIA to kill a number of al-Qaida leaders.
The former official says Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi had provided high-quality intelligence that established his credibility with Jordanian and U.S. intelligence.
The former official says that information led to drone-launched missiles strikes. CBS News first reported al-Balawi's connection to the missile strikes.Read More
The attack at a CIA post in Afghanistan came after al-Balawi claimed he had information on Osama bin Laden's top deputy.
The former official was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Threats to federal judges and prosecutors have jumped dramatically, according to a new government report issued Monday that found such threats more than doubled in the past six years.
By coincidence, the report was issued shortly before a gunman walked into a federal building in Las Vegas and opened fire, killing a court security officer and seriously wounding a deputy U.S. marshal. The suspect was shot dead by other officers, and the motive for the attack wasn't immediately clear.
We can't get no job satisfaction.
Even Americans who are lucky enough to have work in this economy are becoming more unhappy with their jobs, according to a new survey that found only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their work.
That was the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board research group in more than 22 years of studying the issue. In 2008, 49 percent of those surveyed reported satisfaction with their jobs.
The drop in workers' happiness can be partly blamed on the worst recession since the 1930s, which made it difficult for some people to find challenging and suitable jobs. But worker dissatisfaction has been on the rise for more than two decades.
Counterterrorism officials have moved the names of dozens of people onto the terror watch list and the no-fly list after reviewing a massive government database of suspected terrorists.
An intelligence official says the government scrubbed thousands of names in its database after an attempted bombing aboard a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day. Officials focused on people from countries with ties to terrorism. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.
The U.S. spent an average of $7,681 per person on health care in 2008, for an eye-popping total of $2.3 trillion — even though spending actually slowed dramatically that year because of the recession, a new federal study says.
Health spending didn't slow down as much as the nation's overall economic output, the study said, in keeping with a decades-old trend that has now pushed health care costs to account for over 16 percent of the nation's economy.