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Preparing to leave office after a period of historic change in the American military, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney predicted Monday that his successor will become more conservative as he steps into his new role and cautioned him not to base "long-term national security policy on the assumption that all is well in Moscow." In a wide-ranging farewell interview 17 days before leaving office, Cheney said that his successor, Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.
April 13, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
A high-stakes battle is underway in Washington over launching the U.S. government's most sophisticated national security satellites. Space entrepreneur Elon Musk is pitted against the nation's two largest weapons makers, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., in a fight for military contracts worth as much as $70 billion through 2030. For eight years, the Pentagon has paid Boeing and Lockheed - operating jointly as United Launch Alliance - to launch the government's pricey spy satellites without seeking competitive bids.
June 11, 2013 | By Daniel Rothberg
Government surveillance might be able to ignite the common ire of principled foes (e.g. Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul ), but when it comes to the rest of the party, political preference seems to matter a great deal. Look no further than the new Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll on the National Security Agency's phone-tracking program. It shows a stark partisan shift since 2006 on the issue of government surveillance: “The reversal on the NSA's practices is even more dramatic.
February 22, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - The United Nations on Saturday called for improved humanitarian access for millions of needy Syrians as Syrian government forces pounded rebel positions and the latest car bomb apparently linked to the civil war exploded in neighboring Lebanon. The U.N. Security Council resolution, passed unanimously in New York, demanded that "all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered access" for humanitarian assistance, including aid across conflict zones and via international borders.
June 10, 2012 | By Morgan Little
Two stories published by the New York Times, which exposed the extent of U.S. involvement in cyber attacks against Iran and the White House's secret 'Kill List,' have sparked scrutiny over the last week amid allegations that administration officials had leaked classified information for political gain. The debate continued Sunday as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) reiterated calls for a special prosecutor to take charge of leak investigations and as a reporter who wrote one of the stories said he doubted that any politically motivated leaks were involved.
November 13, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she has no reason to believe that the Congress was improperly kept in the dark about the abrupt resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus last week. It was a “personal indiscretion” that led to the FBI investigation of emails, which uncovered an affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, but not a matter of national security, Pelosi said at a news conference Tuesday. “Why somebody would be personally indiscreet is their own problem,” the San Francisco Democrat said.
December 7, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Former Sen. Rick Santorum said there's good reason why he's talking a lot more about foreign policy than other Republican candidates. "Because I believe that there's a very good chance that by next election day, the national security issues in this country will be of higher priority in the eyes of the American people than the economy," he said Wednesday morning in Washington. Santorum was the first of six Republican presidential candidates -- and one potential vice presidential nominee -- to speak at a forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition.
March 9, 2012 | By Michael Finnegan
Rick Santorum sought to broaden his pitch to Alabama and Mississippi Republicans beyond his conservative stands on social issues Friday with scathing attacks on President Obama over national security, energy and global warming. At the same time, with the twin Deep South primaries now four days away, the former Pennsylvania senator kept up his religious appeals at a morning rally here at a museum for the Alabama battleship. Santorum described himself as "someone who understands the centrality of the family.
February 16, 2010 | Jonah Goldberg
'Politics should never get in the way of national security," wrote John Brennan, the White House's shockingly political deputy national security advisor. His USA Today Op-Ed article last week set off a firestorm inside the Beltway by essentially accusing critics of administration policy of deliberately lying -- "misrepresenting the facts to score political points, instead of coming together to keep us safe" -- and aiding and abetting Al Qaeda. "Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of Al Qaeda.
April 6, 2011 | By Jameel Jaffer
In a recent interview with Newsweek magazine, former CIA lawyer John Rizzo spoke with surprising candor about the CIA's "targeted killing" program. He discussed the scope of the program (about 30 people are on the "hit list" at any given time), the process by which the CIA selects its targets (Rizzo was "the one who signed off") and the methods the CIA uses to eliminate them ("The Predator is the weapon of choice, but it could also be someone putting a bullet in your head"). In a wide-ranging conversation, Rizzo volunteered details about a highly controversial counterterrorism program that had previously been cloaked in official secrecy.
February 20, 2014 | By Gary Hart and Norman Augustine
In February 2001, a bipartisan federal commission on which we served warned that terrorists would acquire weapons of mass destruction and mass disruption. "Attacks against American citizens on American soil, possibly causing heavy casualties, are likely over the next quarter-century," the Hart-Rudman Commission said. "In the face of this threat, our nation has no coherent or integrated governmental structures. " We added: "Congress should rationalize its current committee structure so that it best serves U.S. national security objectives.
February 15, 2014
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. recently talked with Washington Bureau Justice Department reporter Timothy M. Phelps about various aspects of his last five years in office. Second Term Agenda : What I have tried to do in this second term, after a conversation with, a memo that I shared with the president, is to really kind of put some attention on the areas that are of great interest to me and of great interest to him as well. Criminal justice reform, reformation of the voting rights act, works on financial fraud cases, I mean these are the kind of things that I've been interested in for a good amount of time but we have focused on as part of the second term agenda.
February 7, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - Although U.S. intelligence officials have indicated since last summer that the National Security Agency was vacuuming up nearly every American telephone record for counter-terrorism investigations, officials acknowledged Friday that the spy agency collects data from less than a third of U.S. calls because it can't keep pace with cellphone usage. In a speech last month, President Obama called the bulk collection of telephone records the most controversial part of the debate over security and privacy sparked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks of classified material.
January 31, 2014 | Frank Snepp, Frank Snepp, a Peabody Award-winning journalist, has written two CIA memoirs
Granting Edward Snowden clemency, as many have urged, would send a terrible message to other potential whistle-blowers. Yes, he may have sparked an important national privacy debate, but he did so through reprehensible actions that harmed national security. If that's a harsh verdict, I have earned the right to it. In terms of sheer media hype, I was the Snowden of my day, a disaffected ex-spy who, in the late 1970s and early '80s, rocked the security community by publishing a memoir about intelligence failures I'd witnessed as a CIA officer during the last years of the Vietnam War. I did so only after the agency backhanded my repeated requests for an in-house review of our mistakes and refused to help me or anyone else rescue Vietnamese allies abandoned during the evacuation of Saigon.
January 27, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian and Andrea Chang
WASHINGTON - After legal action and months of lobbying, Internet and telecommunications companies won permission from the Obama administration Monday to disclose broad details about the data requests they have been secretly complying with under national security orders. The companies and civil liberties groups praised the new rules, but they still will not allow the companies to reveal exactly what information is collected or even precisely how much is turned over. In a letter to lawyers for Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo, Deputy Atty.
January 23, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - In the week since President Obama called for ending the National Security Agency's bulk collection of U.S. telephone data "as it currently exists," telephone carriers have uploaded customer calling records to NSA computers just as they have since the program was created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The daily transfer of Americans' telephone toll records to a government database is likely to continue at least for the next 18 months despite the president's speech last Friday and a growing debate over the legality and effectiveness of the once-secret operation.
June 22, 2000
Regarding national security: Longing for Harry Truman. The buck never stops in this administration. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Energy Secretary Bill Richardson are not held accountable for obscene lapses in security. Try that in private business. BOB THERRIEN Mission Beach
January 18, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Dianne Feinstein got out of her chair, grabbed a 54-page federal court opinion and poked her finger at the bullet points buried inside, insisting a visitor read each carefully as the busy senator watched and waited. The opinion described terrorist bombing plots - aimed at New York's subways and stock exchange and at a newspaper office in Denmark - that, according to the judge, had been foiled by the government's collection of data on billions of American phone calls.
January 15, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama plans to announce new guidelines for government surveillance operations but will not end or order strict limits on the most controversial domestic programs exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, including the bulk collection of American telephone records. White House aides said reforms proved far more difficult than they initially appeared, and Obama has struggled to find middle ground between those who warn that government surveillance is excessive and could lead to abuses and national security officials who contend that the programs are critical for counter-terrorism and already have passed congressional and judicial review.
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