Archives for News

Pentagon plans to put more and more women in combat

  Military leaders are ready to begin tearing down the remaining walls that have prevented women from holding thousands of combat and special operations jobs near the front lines. Under details of the plans obtained by The Associated Press, women could start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later. The military services have mapped out a schedule that also will include reviewing and possibly changing the physical and mental standards that men and women will have to meet in order to quality for certain infantry, armor, commando and other front-line positions across the Army,
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Obama, Bush officials back NSA spying on Americans

Top officials from the Obama and Bush administrations say the government’s newly exposed secret surveillance programs have been essential to disrupting terrorist plots and have not infringed on Americans’ civil liberties. The officials justify the massive trawling for phone and Internet data as new revelations add to public disclosures about the classified operations. Denis McDonough, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, said the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, using “aggressive internal checks inside the administration, from inspectors general and routine audits, are overseeing how we do these programs.” McDonough, appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” added, “The American
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Intel officials claim NSA spying on Americans revealed terrorist plots

Top U.S. intelligence officials said Saturday that information gleaned from two controversial data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries — and that gathered data is destroyed every five years. Last year, fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the database of millions of U.S. phone records gathered daily by the NSA in one of the programs, the intelligence officials said in arguing that the programs are far less sweeping than their detractors allege. No other new details about the plots or the countries involved were
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Government says 300 phone numbers ‘closely investigated’ in spy program

The U.S. government only searched for detailed information on calls involving fewer than 300 specific phone numbers among the millions of raw phone records collected by the National Security Agency in 2012, according to a government paper obtained by Reuters on Saturday. The unclassified paper was circulated Saturday within the government by U.S. intelligence agencies and apparently is an attempt by spy agencies and the Obama administration to rebut accusations that it overreached in investigating potential militant plots. The administration has said that even though the NSA, according to top-secret documents made public by former agency contractor Edward Snowden, collects
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A life surrounded by spycraft

In the suburbs edged by woods midway between Baltimore and the nation’s capital, residents long joked that the government spy shop next door was so ultra-secretive its initials stood for “No Such Agency.” But when Edward Snowden grew up here, the National Security Agency’s looming presence was both a very visible and accepted part of everyday life. When Snowden —the 29-year-old intelligence contractor whose leak of top-secret documents has exposed sweeping government surveillance programs — went to Arundel High School, the agency regularly sent employees from its nearby black-glass headquarters to tutor struggling math students. When Snowden went on to
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Republicans, as usual, wooing religious conservatives

Facing lingering tensions in his party, the chairman of the Republican National Committee urged religious conservatives Saturday to support the GOP’s plans to expand. “I would just ask you that we come together and that we pray for the future of this country,” Reince Priebus said on the final day of the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference that brought several Republicans leaders together with evangelical activists. “I’m a Christian. I’m a believer. God lives in my heart. And I’m for changing minds, not changing values,” Priebus said. Religious conservatives have been skeptical of establishment Republicans in Washington and the RNC’s
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Reactions over NSA spying split on Capitol Hill

Revelations of widespread spying on Americans by the U.S. government is bringing denouncement from some members of Congress and support from others. Differences on whether the program is legal or constitutional cross party lines.  Even those controlled by the tea party can’t agree on whether or not the program is justified. Michigan Republican Justin Amash of Michegan wants the program by the National Security Agency shut down.  Florida Republican Lindsey Graham supports the spying. Graham is siding with liberal California Democrat Dianne Feinstein.  Amash finds himself in bed with Rand Paul, the bombastic GOP Senator from Kentucky. Amash says the
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Pouting Palin returning to Fox News

Right-wing propaganda channel Fox “News” channel, which appeared to exhibit a brief moment of sanity five months ago by ridding itself of failed Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, announced Thursday it was bringing her back as a contributor, starting Monday. Fox News boss Roger Ailes, who was part of disgraced President Richard Nixon’s team, claimed he had talked with Palin “several times” in recent weeks about rejoining the network, which ousted her after a three-year run at the beginning of the year. Palin, who said her audience at Fox was “limited” after they sent her packing, is
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Rand Paul claims American taxpayers fund ‘wars against Christians’

In the kind of statement that keeps people shaking their heads about right-wingers, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul Thursday claimed American taxpayers are footing the bill for a “war on Christianity” in both the United States and in other nations. Claimed Paul in a conservative conference in Washington: There is a war on Christianity, Not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide. And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it. You are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians, but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened
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Republicans claim leaks caused terrorists to change tactics

Two senior Republican lawmakers said Thursday that terrorists are already changing their behavior after leaks about classified U.S. data gathering programs, but they offered no details. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said it’s part of the damage from disclosures by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of two NSA programs, which collect millions of telephone records and track foreign Internet activity on U.S. networks. Snowden fled to Hong Kong in May and has granted some interviews since then, saying he hopes to stay there and fight any charges that may yet be filed against him. Rogers said there are “changes we
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