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Disturbing questions about U.S. use of drone strikes

Disturbing questions about U.S. use of drone strikes

CIA Director-designate John Brennan‘s vigorous defense of drone strikes to kill terror suspects — even American citizens — overseas is causing key lawmakers to consider lifting secrecy from what has become an important weapon in the fight against al-Qaida. Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top counterterror adviser, was grilled for more than three hours Thursday before […]

Panetta: America could become ‘second rate’ power

Panetta: America could become ‘second rate’ power

The United States is at risk of becoming a second-rate power if automatic budget cuts go into effect, plunging the U.S. armed forces into the most significant readiness crisis they’ve faced in more than a decade, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Thursday. Panetta, who is retiring soon from his post, told the Senate Armed Services […]

Senators seek compromise on gun purchase background checks

Senators seek compromise on gun purchase background checks

A bipartisan quartet of senators, including two National Rifle Association members and two with “F” ratings from the potent firearms lobby, are quietly trying to find a compromise on expanding the requirement for gun-sale background checks. A deal, given a good chance by several participants and lobbyists, could add formidable political momentum to one of […]

Pentagon admits backing plan to arm Syrian rebels

Pentagon admits backing plan to arm Syrian rebels

Pentagon leaders told Congress on Thursday that they had supported a recommendation to arm Syrian rebels promoted by the State Department and CIA but which President Barack Obama ultimately decided against. Obama’s government has limited its support to non-lethal aid for the rebels who, despite receiving weapons from countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are […]

Use of drones to target Americans raises questions in Congress

Use of drones to target Americans raises questions in Congress

President Barack Obama’s choice to head the CIA faces a Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing just hours after lawmakers are expected to receive a classified report providing the rationale for drone strikes targeting Americans working with al-Qaida overseas. John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism chief and Obama’s nominee to run the nation’s spy agency, helped […]

Republicans come up with plans to cut the budget

Republicans come up with plans to cut the budget

A group of GOP lawmakers from House and Senate on Wednesday offered a plan to cut the federal workforce and use the savings to replace some $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs. The legislation reprises a plan offered last year that failed to advance. House Armed Services Committee Chairman […]

Democrats offer their own gun control proposal

Democrats offer their own gun control proposal

House Democrats will unveil 15 proposals for curbing gun violence that resemble President Barack Obama’s plan and will include a call for banning assault weapons, people familiar with the package said Wednesday. The Democrats’ recommendations will also include barring high-capacity magazines carrying more than 10 rounds of ammunition, requiring background checks for all gun sales […]

CIA Director nominee flip-flops on agency torture

CIA Director nominee flip-flops on agency torture

John Brennan, now President Barack Obama’s nominee to be CIA director, sat quietly around a conference table at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., during briefings about the capture and waterboarding of key al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaydah. Former and current U.S. intelligence officials who were part of those briefings say Brennan, then deputy executive director […]

Lobbying group shooter headed for court hearing

Lobbying group shooter headed for court hearing

A man accused of shooting a security guard inside the Washington headquarters of a conservative Christian lobbying group is expected in court amid plea negotiations. Floyd Lee Corkins II had a status hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning in federal court. Court papers indicate that he and prosecutors are working on a plea deal. Corkins was […]