Military absentee voting looks weak this year
August 29th, 2012
05:50 PM ET

Military absentee voting looks weak this year

By Jennifer Rizzo

Military requests for absentee ballots are remarkably low this year, according to a recent report from a military voting advocacy group that faults the Defense Department with not providing mandated voter assistance to service members.

"The absentee ballot data for 2012 paints a bleak picture for military voters," a report from the Military Voting Participation Project says.

In Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio less than 2% of all active-duty military members and their spouses have requested absentee ballots for the November election. And between 5% and 8% of military voters in Illinois, Colorado, Nevada and Alaska have made the request.

The report also cites less extreme examples, as in Florida where almost 16% of those eligible have requested ballots.

States profiled were those that had the most accurate and up-to-date information, according to the group.

The report estimates roughly two-thirds of all military voters would need an absentee ballot to vote because of their location at the time of the election.
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Filed under: 2012 Election • Military
August 29th, 2012
02:03 AM ET

Release date moved up for SEAL's book on bin Laden raid

By the CNN Wire Staff

The publisher of a firsthand account of the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden said Tuesday it was moving up its release date by one week to September 4.

Dutton, a subsidiary of Penguin Group USA, said the book will come out early because of "overwhelming excitement in the marketplace."

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Filed under: Security Brief
August 28th, 2012
11:33 PM ET

E-mails show White House support for bin Laden movie

By Pam Benson, CNN Senior National Security Producer

Newly released e-mails show the Obama administration was eager to help the makers of an upcoming documentary on the dramatic raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden - and the e-mails are likely to once again raise questions about whether the filmmakers had special access.

The records from the CIA and Defense Department were made public Tuesday by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the e-mails indicate the Obama administration "played fast and loose with national security information to help Hollywood filmmakers," and that there was no doubt the "White House was intensely interested in this film that was set to portray President Obama as 'gutsy'" - a reference to one of the e-mails that said the raid "was a gutsy decision" by the president.

The e-mails indicate filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, screenwriter Mark Boal and other members of their team were given special access to senior administration officials just weeks after the May 1, 2011, raid as they researched their movie entitled "Zero Dark Thirty," originally scheduled to come out in October but now delayed until after the presidential election.

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Filed under: CIA • Osama bin Laden • White House
Loose nukes? Got a solution? Contact the State Department
August 28th, 2012
05:13 PM ET

Loose nukes? Got a solution? Contact the State Department

By Jill Dougherty, CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Have an idea about how to prevent "loose nukes" from falling into the hands of terrorists? The State Department wants to hear from you.

The department is launching what it's calling the Innovation in Arms Control Challenge, which urges "garage tinkerers and technologists ... gadget entrepreneurs and students," to come up with innovative new ideas to support U.S. arms control and nonproliferation efforts.

For winners there will be an award of up to $10,000.

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August 28th, 2012
03:30 AM ET

Prosecutors: 'Anarchist' group of U.S. soldiers aimed to overthrow government

By the CNN Wire Staff

A U.S. soldier laid out an elaborate plot by a group of active and former military members to overthrow the government, telling a southeast Georgia court Monday that he was part of what prosecutors called an "an anarchist group and militia."

Dressed in his Army uniform, Pfc. Michael Burnett spoke in a Long County court about the group of Army soldiers and its role in the December deaths of a former soldier Michael Roark and his teenage girlfriend Tiffany York. Roark, he said, was killed because he allegedly took money from the group and planned to leave.

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Filed under: Army • Military • Terrorism • weapons
U.S. Marines, Army soldiers disciplined over Afghan incidents
A screen grab from a YouTube video shows US Marines urinating on corpses of dead Taliban fighters. At least three of the Marines were punished Monday for their role in the incident.
August 27th, 2012
05:35 PM ET

U.S. Marines, Army soldiers disciplined over Afghan incidents

By Larry Shaughnessy

Nine Marines and Army soldiers have been disciplined for their roles in separate incidents in Afghanistan that inflamed anti-American sentiment and, in one case, triggered mass protests that killed four U.S. troops and more than a dozen Afghans.

Those punished are all likely to lose their military careers.

Three Marines were disciplined for their role in a videotaped incident that showed four Marines urinating on the corpse of a Taliban fighter in July of last year, the Marine Corps said in a statement.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Security Brief
Fort Hood slaying case allowed to proceed
August 27th, 2012
05:29 PM ET

Fort Hood slaying case allowed to proceed

By Jennifer Rizzo

The trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan can move forward amid a dispute about the beard the Army psychiatrist grew while awaiting trial in the 2009 Fort Hood killings, an appeals court has ruled.

Hasan's court martial was to start last week at Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas, where he is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32, but was delayed when Hasan's legal team petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to prevent the military judge from ordering Hasan's facial hair forcibly shaved. The presiding judge, Col. Gregory Gross, had threatened to order the shaving unless Hasan got rid of the beard, which is against Army regulations.

The Court of Appeals found that Hasan's petition was "premature" because Gross has not yet issued a definitive order. If an official order was given, the appeals court said, Hasan could file another petition.

The government contends it is within its right to order Hasan shaved, citing military regulations and the right to ensure "that a military trial proceeds without a distracting and disruptive sideshow."
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Filed under: Legal • Military • Nidal Hasan
U.S. triples foreign arms sales in 2011
August 27th, 2012
02:22 PM ET

U.S. triples foreign arms sales in 2011

By Mike Mount, CNN Senior National Security Producer

International weapons sales by the United States tripled last year to a record high of $66.3 billion, according to a congressional report that noted big fighter jet and helicopter purchases by Saudi Arabia.

The data by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service noted an "extraordinary increase" over 2010, saying the total U.S. figure accounted for almost 78 percent of sales globally.

 Russia followed the United States at $4.8 billion with France at $4.4 billion, according to the report, "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2004-2011."

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August 27th, 2012
06:43 AM ET

Afghan soldier kills two NATO troops, ISAF says

An Afghan soldier opened fire on NATO troops Monday, killing two in the latest "green-on-blue" attack in the country, a military statement said.

The attacker fired on troops with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in eastern Afghanistan, according to the coalition.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Green on Blue Attacks • NATO
Top commander concerned over books that could 'expose sensitive information'
August 24th, 2012
06:15 PM ET

Top commander concerned over books that could 'expose sensitive information'

The top U.S.military special operations officer is concerned that sensitive information could be released by former special operations troops looking to "advance their personal or professional agendas."

Adm. William McRaven, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, sent a blunt message late Thursday night to 63,000 special operations forces under his command, after the name of the anonymous author of an upcoming book on the Osama bin Laden raid was identified.

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