Archives for FUBAR

Arizona deported thousands without new law

Without the benefit of their state’s strict new immigration law, officers from a single Arizona county helped deport more than 26,000 immigrants from the U.S. through a federal-local partnership program that has been roundly criticized as fraught with problems. Statistics obtained by The Associated Press show that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was responsible for deportations or forced departure of 26,146 immigrants since 2007. That’s about a quarter of the national total of 115,841 sent out of the U.S. by officers in 64 law enforcement agencies deputized to help enforce immigration laws, some since 2006, under the so-called 287(g) program.
Read More

FBI agents may have cheated on tests

The Justice Department is investigating whether hundreds of FBI agents cheated on a test of new rules allowing the bureau to conduct surveillance and open cases without evidence that a crime has been committed. In some instances, agents took the open-book test together, violating rules that they take it alone. Others finished the lengthy exam unusually quickly, current and former officials said. In Columbia, S.C., agents printed the test in advance to use as a study guide, according to a letter to the inspector general from the FBI Agents Association that summarized the investigation. The inspector general investigation also was
Read More

‘Hit list’ brings charges of war crimes

When it comes to war, killing the enemy is an accepted fact. Even amid the sensation of the WikiLeaks.org revelations, that stark reality lies at the core of new charges that some American military commando operations may have amounted to war crimes. Among the thousands of pages of classified U.S. documents released Sunday by the whistle-blower website are nearly 200 incidents that involve Task Force 373, an elite military special operations unit tasked with hunting down and killing enemy combatants in Afghanistan. Denouncing suggestions that U.S. troops are engaged in war crimes in Afghanistan, military officials and even war crimes
Read More

Leaks fuel doubts over failing Afghan war

The Obama administration scrambled on Monday to manage the explosive leak of secret military records that paint a grim picture of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and raise new doubts about key ally Pakistan. The release of some 91,000 classified documents is likely to fuel uncertainty in the Congress about the unpopular war as President Barack Obama sends 30,000 more soldiers into the battle to break the Taliban insurgency. The documents, made public by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, detail allegations that U.S. forces sought to cover up civilian deaths as well as U.S. concern that Pakistan secretly aided Taliban militants
Read More

Blowback starts over documents leak

Intelligence officials, past and present, are raising concerns that the WikiLeaks.org revelations could endanger U.S. counterterror networks in the Afghan region, and damage information sharing with U.S. allies. People in Afghanistan or Pakistan who have worked with American intelligence agents or the military against the Taliban or al-Qaida may be at risk following the disclosure of thousands of once-secret U.S. military documents, former and current officials said. Meanwhile, U.S. allies are asking whether they can trust America to keep secrets. And the Obama administration is scrambling to repair any political damage to the war effort back home. The material could
Read More

Embattled BP boss steps down

BP boss Tony Hayward will step down as head of the troubled oil giant, the company said Tuesday, after his heavily criticised handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill made him a target of US fury. The group also revealed in a statement that the devastating spill is forecast to cost it 32.2 billion dollars (24.7 billion euros), helping push it to a major loss of 16.9 billion dollars in the second quarter of 2010. “BP today announced that, by mutual agreement with the BP board, Tony Hayward is to step down as group chief executive with effect from
Read More

CIA memo to destroy tapes had major omission

When the CIA sent word in 2005 to destroy scores of videos showing waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics, there was an unusual omission in the carefully worded memo: the names of two agency lawyers. Once a CIA lawyer has weighed in on even a routine matter, officers rarely give an order without copying the lawyer in on the decision. It’s standard procedure, a way for managers to cover themselves if a decision goes bad. But when the CIA’s top clandestine officer, Jose Rodriguez, sent a cable to the agency’s secret prison in Thailand and told his station chief to
Read More

Sherrod unsure about return to USDA

Former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, who was forced to resign after a blogger posted comments she made to an NAACP audience about race, is unsure about returning to a government job, she said Friday. President Barack Obama told Sherrod he regretted her forced resignation and asked her to consider coming back. He also said in a nationally broadcast network interview he believes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “jumped the gun” in sacking her after just a few months with the USDA. She’s not so sure about returning to government work but would like to talk more with Obama about promoting
Read More

Sherrod fallout continues

President Barack Obama has ordered a more patient, deliberative style of governance from his aides and Cabinet members in the wake of a convulsive week surrounding the ouster of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod. After telling Sherrod he regretted her forced resignation over racial remarks she made to an NAACP audience, Obama said in a nationally broadcast network interview he believes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “jumped the gun” in sacking the veteran Georgian federal worker. A furor erupted this week over a conservative blogger’s posting of portions of a speech Sherrod gave in which she told of giving short shrift
Read More

Greene lied about military record

Surprise U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene frequently mentions his 13 years of military service, but records obtained Thursday by The Associated Press show that the veteran who has called himself an “American hero” was considered a lackluster service member at best. The records, which document his superiors’ decisions to pass over Greene for promotion, cite mistakes as severe as improperly uploading sensitive intelligence information to a military server, and as basic as an overall inability to clearly express his thoughts and perform basic tasks. Greene, 32, won a surprise victory in the June 8 Democratic primary. Greene handily defeated Vic
Read More