Archives for FUBAR

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Prosecutor firings: Inappropriate and political

The Bush administration’s Justice Department’s actions were inappropriately political, but not criminal, when it fired a U.S. attorney in 2006, prosecutors said Wednesday in closing a two-year investigation without filing charges. The decision closes the books on one of the lingering political disputes of the Bush administration, one that Democrats said was evidence of GOP politics run amok and that Republicans have always said was a manufactured controversy. Investigators looked into whether the Bush administration improperly dismissed nine U.S. attorneys, and in particular New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, as a way to influence criminal cases. The scandal added to
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The Sherrod debacle: What a mess

The White House apologized to Shirley Sherrod. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered her a new job. But after a whirlwind week, Sherrod says she needs to think about it. It has been an emotional roller coaster ride for Sherrod, who until this week had been the Agriculture Department’s director of rural development for Georgia. First she was branded a racist by conservative pundits, then attacked by the NAACP for alleged racist remarks, followed by a demand for her immediate resignation from her bosses in Washington. On Wednesday there was finally an admission that she had been attacked falsely, followed by
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