Cybersecurity bill passes despite concerns about personal data protection
April 26th, 2012
07:37 PM ET

Cybersecurity bill passes despite concerns about personal data protection

By Deirdre Walsh

Ignoring a veto threat from the White House, the House passed legislation Thursday designed to protect communications networks from cyberattacks.

The vote was 248-168.

But even as the House bill moves forward, privacy concerns about granting government agencies access to personal information transmitted on the Internet could prove to be a major obstacle to any new cybersecurity law.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan and a former FBI agent, said he spent the last year working on the bill because the national security risk to the United States posed by cyberattacks is one, "we are just not prepared to handle." FULL POST

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Filed under: Congress • Cybersecurity
No credible threat of attack on anniversary of bin Laden's death
People walk past Osama Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan the day after he was killed
April 26th, 2012
01:26 PM ET

No credible threat of attack on anniversary of bin Laden's death

By Carol Cratty

President Barack Obama met Thursday with national security team members "to review the threat picture" five days prior to the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, the White House said.

"At this time, we have no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the anniversary of bin Laden's death," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "However, we assess that AQ's affiliates and allies remain intent on conducting attacks in the homeland, possibly to avenge the death of bin Laden, but not necessarily tied to the anniversary. The president thanked his team and directed them to continue taking all necessary measures to protect the American people."

Carney's remarks came the day after federal authorities issued an intelligence bulletin saying there is "no credible information" that terrorist groups will try to mount attacks to coincide with the anniversary of the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden on May 2, 2011, in Pakistan.
FULL POST

The election debate on foreign policy begins...now
April 26th, 2012
10:49 AM ET

The election debate on foreign policy begins...now

By Ashley Killough

Vice President Joe Biden will take direct aim at presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in a speech on foreign policy Thursday, according to prepared remarks released by the president's re-election campaign. "Governor Romney's national security policy would return us to the past we have worked so hard to move beyond," Biden will say in a speech at New York University.

The vice president is expected to draw a sharp contrast between the president and Romney over involvements abroad and the fight against terrorism.

"If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it's pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive," Biden will say, repeating a line he's used in recent speeches.

As Security Clearance's Jamie Crawford noted on Monday, as the Republican candidate transitions from the long primary slog into the general election battle, his effort to cut down Obama on foreign policy and national security will sharpen. Naivety, appeasement, apologist and a menu of other unflattering descriptions are likely to be emanating from Romney's attack machine trying to cut down the president's perceived advantage on foreign policy. The president and his campaign team will be doing their best to ensure that advantage is maintained.

Read more preview of Biden's speech on CNN's Political Ticker

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Biden • Foreign Policy • Romney
April 26th, 2012
08:46 AM ET

Congressman calls Afghan president ‘corrupt prima donna’

By CNN's Gregory Wallace

A U.S. congressman barred from visiting Afghanistan over the weekend minced no words when characterizing the incident.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai is a "corrupt prima donna," House Foreign Affairs Committee member Dana Rohrabacher of California said in an interview Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room."

Rohrabacher was en route to Kabul with five other members of Congress to meet with representatives of the Northern Alliance when the U.S. secretaries of Defense and State intervened.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called to say "that she'd been through a lot of mini-crises there in Afghanistan with the burning of the Qurans and the soldiers urinating on these dead bodies and one of them going crazy and killing civilians," Rohrabacher told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
FULL POST


Filed under: Afghanistan • Congress • Karzai