Archives for FUBAR

Republicans say CIA torture brought down bin Laden

Republicans on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee will soon release a report asserting the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques helped bring down Osama bin Laden and disrupt terrorist plots, the panel’s top Republican said on Sunday. “Information gleaned from these interrogations was in fact used to interrupt and disrupt terrorist plots, including some information that took down bin Laden,” Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Democrats who control the Senate Intelligence Committee are expected to issue their own report that alleges the CIA techniques, such as “waterboarding,” did not help yield valuable intelligence and
Read More

CIA read emails of Senate staff

CIA officers improperly accessed Senate computers, read the emails of Senate staff, and exhibited a “lack of candor” when interviewed by agency investigators, according to a declassified CIA inspector general’s report. The document, released Thursday by the CIA, is a summary of an internal CIA investigation that prompted CIA Director John Brennan to abandon his defiant posture in the matter and apologize to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders. Brennan has convened an internal accountability board chaired by former Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., that will examine whether the CIA officers should be disciplined, said his spokesman, Dean Boyd. The agency officers searched
Read More

Army forcing out 550 Majors

About 550 Army majors, including some serving in Afghanistan, will soon be told they have to leave the service by next spring as part of a budget-driven downsizing of the service. Gen. John Campbell, the vice chief of the Army, acknowledged Friday that telling troops in a war zone that they’re out of a job is a difficult task. But he said some of the soldiers could join the National Guard or the Army Reserve. The decision to cut Army majors comes on the heels of a move to slash nearly 1,200 captains from the ranks. Army leaders were criticized
Read More

Florida judge orders new Congressional map

A Florida judge on Friday ordered legislators to draw up a new congressional map for the state after the old one was ruled to be illegal. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis wants the new map by Aug. 15, meaning that legislators would have to hold a special session over the next two weeks in order to comply with the decision. Lewis said he will then consider whether to order a special election later this year under this new map. The ruling was hailed by the groups that challenged the state’s current districts as unconstitutional. But it’s not known yet if the
Read More

So much management failure in Obamacatre rollout

Management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for computer woes that paralyzed the president’s new health care program last fall, nonpartisan investigators said in a report released Wednesday. While the administration was publicly assuring consumers that they would soon have seamless online access to health insurance, a chaotic procurement process was about to deliver a stumbling start. After a months-long investigation, the Government Accountability Office found that the administration lacked “effective planning or oversight practices” for the development of HealthCare.gov, the portal for millions of uninsured Americans. As a result the government incurred “significant cost increases, schedule slips
Read More

Lots of reason for shame at CIA’s tactics

The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Congress, according to a White House document. “This report tells a story of which no American is proud,” says the four-page White House document, which contains the State Department’s preliminary proposed talking points in response to the classified Senate report, a summary of which is expected to be released in the coming weeks. “But it is also part of another story of
Read More

Sex trafficking among young children

When FBI agents and police officers fanned out across the country last month in a weeklong effort to rescue child sex trafficking victims, they pulled minors as young as 11 from hotel rooms, truck stops and homes. Among the 168 juveniles recovered was a population that child welfare advocates say especially concerns them: children who were never reported missing in the first place. Advocates say the roundup reinforces the need for a standardized, nationwide approach to report children as missing, especially those absent from state foster care systems who are seen as most vulnerable to abuse. Concerns over unaccounted-for children
Read More

Americans uneasy about border-crossing children

Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally. The new poll found 53 percent of Americans believe the United States has no moral obligation to offer asylum to people who escape violence or political persecution, while 44 percent believe it has that responsibility. And more than half, 52 percent, say children who say they are fleeing gang violence in Central America should not be treated as refugees,
Read More

Some good news but more trouble ahead for benefits

Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security’s disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward the brink of insolvency. Getting relief from a slowdown in health care spending, Medicare’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030, the government said Monday. That’s four years later than last year’s estimate. As for Social Security, its massive retirement program will remain solvent until 2034. The disability trust fund, however, is slated to run dry in just two years. At that point, unless Congress acts,
Read More

Jeff Miller has a big chore with the VA compromise

Before being elected to Congress, Rep. Jeff Miller was a real estate broker. His background in sales will come in handy as the Florida Republican tries to a sell a $17 billion deal to improve veterans health care to a GOP caucus that includes tea party members and other conservatives dead set against raising the deficit. Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, announced a compromise bill Monday to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them, and make it easier to fire executives at the Veterans Affairs Department. The bill
Read More