August 31, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon formally warned a former Navy SEAL who has written a first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last year, saying he has violated his signed agreement not to divulge classified information, and it threatened him with stiff legal action. "In the judgment of the Department of Defense, you are in material breach and violation of the non-disclosure agreements you signed," Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson said Thursday in a letter addressed to Mark Owen, the pen name of Matt Bissonnette.
July 23, 2012
Leaks of confidential government information are nothing new in Washington. But a recent spate of news stories about national security operations has emboldened advocates of new punishments for revealing classified information. Some of these latter-day "plumbers" would target not just the leakers but also journalists. At the risk of seeming to defend our own vested interests, we would caution against such an escalation in the war on leaks. At a recent hearing of a House Judiciary subcommittee, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.)
June 25, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Once a month, a group of staff members from the House and Senate intelligence committees drives across the Potomac River to CIA headquarters in Virginia, assembles in a secure room and begins the grim task of watching videos of the latest drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Sometimes they see Hellfire missiles hit buildings after suspected terrorists have entered. Other times they can make out a group or a vehicle consumed in a fiery blast. Occasionally, a smaller explosion kills just one person, as officials say happened when a missile this month crashed into a room in Pakistan's tribal areas and killed Abu Yahya al Libi, Al Qaeda's No. 2. The videos are much sharper than the grainy drone imagery that can be viewed on the Web. "You can see exactly what is going on," said a senior congressional aide, who, like other officials, spoke about the highly classified program on the condition he not be identified.
June 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Disputing allegations by some Republican lawmakers, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta denied Wednesday that any classified information or material was given to the Hollywood producers of a planned film about the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year. Panetta, who previously headed the CIA, told the defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were given the same kind of access as other Americans who seek help from the Pentagon.
June 8, 2012 |
It is one of the great classified ads of our time, and it leads to an unexpected and endearing film that is as deliciously off-center as the words that ignite it: "WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before. " The film is"Safety Not Guaranteed,"and its success is both delightful and unlikely. As sweet as it is eccentric - and it is wildly eccentric - this is a warm movie in cynical disguise, a story that takes a handful of thoroughly modern characters, places them in a classic screwball comedy plot, and lets nature take its course.
June 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama says he has "zero tolerance" for leaks of classified information and that his administration investigates every such instance. He stopped short of saying there is a specific investigation underway into the source of recent news stories about U.S. drone strikes against terrorists and cyber-attacks on Iran's nuclear program. But Obama said that leaks of classified information about national security matters make life harder for him and put American civilians and military in harm's way, and that his administration tries to make sure that sources of such leaks "suffer consequences" for their actions.
May 24, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - In the months after the U.S. militarymission that killed Osama bin Laden, Pentagon officials met with Hollywood filmmakers and gave them special access in an effort to influence the creation of a film about the operation, newly released documents show. Emails and meeting transcripts obtained from the Pentagon and CIA through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch suggest that officials went out of their way to assist the filmmakers, while trying to keep their cooperation from becoming public.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2012 |
State pension officials have concluded that the city of Vernon improperly boosted the benefits of nearly two dozen employees, including some attorneys who were erroneously granted generous "public safety" retirement packages usually reserved for police officers and firefighters. The findings are likely to result in pension cuts for some city officials and cap what CalPERS described as one of the farthest-reaching investigations in the system's history. It comes as Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature debate significant changes in public pensions to ease the state's fiscal crisis.
January 24, 2012 |
A former CIA officer was charged under the Espionage Act on Monday with disclosing classified information to journalists, the latest prosecution in an unprecedented Obama administration crackdown on national security leaks. If convicted, John Kiriakou could face decades in prison. He is accused of providing secrets, including the name and activities of one of his undercover colleagues, to unidentified reporters, according to a federal criminal complaint. One of the journalists is alleged to have turned over the name of the covert CIA officer to lawyers representing a Guantanamo Bay prisoner.