This had to be terribly embarrassing to the image-conscious FBI.
An audit by the Justice Department's inspector general found that telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps in sensitive criminal and intelligence investigations because the bureau neglected to pay its phone bills.
"We also found that late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence," said the audit report.
With oil hovering at the $100-a-barrel mark, we're inundated by calls for a "Manhattan Project" on alternative energy, more regulation of major oil companies and an end to our military presence in the Gulf.
The assumptions are that America's energy demand drives prices, the "majors" determine supply and instability in the Middle East explains recent spikes. So, if this is all our doing, then it can all be our undoing as well.
Would that Washington was so eminently in control of global energy markets.
Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver’s licenses in the next six years under ambitious post-9/11 security rules to be unveiled Friday by federal officials.
The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification. The effort once envisioned to take effect in 2008 has been pushed back in the hopes of winning over skeptical state officials.
Recession, like menopause, is a retrospective diagnosis. You don’t know you’re in one until you’ve been in it for at least two quarters (referring to a recession) or a year (for menopause). The question for me is not: Are we hitting a recession in 2008? It is: What has made the economy so buoyant that we didn’t submerge into a recession several years ago?
It has long been said that the car part most prone to failure was the nut behind the wheel, and now General Motors seems on the way to solving that weakest link by eliminating it.
GM says it will begin testing driverless-car technology by 2015 and begin selling driverless cars around 2018. Most of the technology — radar, GPS mapping, automated controls, stability sensors — are already available for a car to drive somewhere by itself and parallel park when it gets there. (How much technology, you may well ask, does it take to sit motionless in traffic on, say, I-95?)
This time last year, the Marine Corps scrubbed its personnel rosters and found more than 66,000 leathernecks who had not yet done a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan. The top brass put them at the front of the line.
Now, the Army has followed suit. A servicewide check has determined that about 40 percent of the 515,000 active-duty soldiers have not yet set foot in a combat zone even as the wars stretch into their fifth and sixth years, and some troops have had to serve four or even five tours.
If the Supreme Court is as hermetically sealed from outside influence as many believe, then the recent carnage in Nebraska and Colorado will have no influence on its decision whether the Second Amendment gives individual Americans the right to bear whatever arms they choose or limits it to a collective right controlled by the state for the national defense.
The official ineptitude that has dogged our war effort in Iraq has spread to affect the fate of tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees, many in fear for their lives having worked for us, desperate for sanctuary in the United States.
We are obligated to help them. You can argue that the violence is Iraqi-on-Iraqi, but there wouldn’t be internecine violence if we hadn’t arrived and there would be less violence if we had arrived in the numbers our military planners recommended.
Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as U.S. attorney general became mired in his ambiguity over whether harsh interrogation techniques like waterboarding constituted torture. In the end, the former judge was confirmed but by the narrowest margin for his post in over 50 years.
Now, with just over two months on the job, the issue of waterboarding is back on his doorstep. So far, Mukasey is handling it better than he did the Senate.
The town of Granjeno is two miles north from the Rio Grande, separating Mexico and the United States. It is just two levees away and neighbors a bird and wild life refuge.
The historic town was founded a decade before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The cemetery bears testament to the town’s long history. People in the area with names like Anzaldua and de la Garza are living links to long-disappeared Spanish colonial land grants. Their pedigrees are as consequential as those of the Mayflower descendents.