By Jamie Crawford
An umbrella group that fashions itself the head of Syria's political opposition should no longer be considered the "visible leader" of efforts to form a government to replace Bashar al-Assad, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.
Clinton said the Syrian National Council, which is made up mostly of Syrian expatriates cannot alone shape the future of Syria apart from those fighting and dying inside the country amid a civil war that has claimed more than 30,000 lives.
"This cannot be an opposition represented by people who have many good attributes, but have in many instances not been in Syria for 20, 30 or 40 years," Clinton said during a joint news conference with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic in Zagreb. "There has to be a representation of those who are on the front lines fighting and dying today."
Her remarks come as preparations are underway for Arab League-sponsored meetings next week in Doha, Qatar, that will focus on the composition of a post-Assad political leadership in Syria.
By Jennifer Rizzo
The U.S. military is continuing to provide support in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, focusing particularly on pumping water out of flooded areas and restoring power.
In New York, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to deploy 100 high-volume water pumps, supplementing 100 units provided by the Defense Department.
More than 200 power generators have been set up in New York and New Jersey. They will be deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as needed.
According to the Pentagon, approximately 10,000 National Guard forces have been activated to support these states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
By Senior Producer Mike Mount
The U.S. Navy moved three ships toward New York and New Jersey in case the storm-struck states ask for help, officials said on Wednesday
Navy spokesman Lt. Commander Chris Servello said there has been no official request for assistance from the amphibious landing ships that can launch helicopters, make fresh water and haul critical supplies and other aid.
Disasters were declared for New Jersey and New York following Superstorm Sandy. The New Jersey shore area and New York City, especially, dealt with severe flooding and power outages. Fallen trees and power lines blocked roads and ravaged homes and other buildings. Transit systems were idle.
By Larry Shaughnessy
The U.S. Navy has had eight ships named the Enterprise. The first was commandeered from the British in the early stages of the Revolutionary War by Benedict Arnold, before the America even had a navy and before he became America's most notorious traitor.
The seventh Enterprise was an aircraft carrier and a mainstay of the Navy's war in the Pacific during World War II. Three times the Japanese Navy said it had sunk "The Grey Ghost," but the Enterprise survived and is regarded as the most decorated warship in U.S. history.
But when the eighth USS Enterprise put to sea in 1962, it already had a place in American military history.
The ship's design replaced conventional boilers that had powered warships for decades with eight reactors, making it the world's first nuclear-powered carrier. It was longer, taller and faster than any warship the United States had ever launched.
A young fighter pilot named John McCain knew something about Naval history. Both his father and grandfather had been four-star admirals. He had previously served aboard the World War II-era carrier USS Interpid before ordered to the Navy's state of the art warship.
By Saad Abedine
When it comes to natural disasters, the divide between assumption and reality can be stark. Or downright absurd.
Hours after Superstorm Sandy howled its way through the East Coast this week, unleashing a fatal trail of destruction, global reactions included outpouring of sympathy and support.
But not in Syria, where some pro-government supporters welcomed the superstorm when it hit Monday, claiming the natural disaster is the result of high-tech secret engineering.
The superstorm killed dozens across the U.S. East Coast as it ravaged the region with heavy rains, snow and flooding. Millions remain without power as it swirls north.
"Sources confirmed to us that Hurricane Sandy that is slamming the U.S. was set off by highly advanced technologies developed by the heroic Iranian regime that supports the resistance, with coordination of our resistive Syrian regime," pro-government group News Network of the Syrian Armed Forces said in a Facebook posting.FULL STORY
By Larry Shaughnessy
Governors from North Carolina to New England activated National Guard forces to respond to flooding and other damage from Sandy.
The most immediate demand was for Humvees and military trucks able to negotiate high waters.
The New Jersey Guard launched a helicopter to get a look at damage along hard-hit shore areas. One stretch showed sand washing into homes at least 100 yards from the normal high tide line.
By Pam Benson
Spending by the intelligence community dropped for the second year in a row following the dramatic increases in the years after the 2001 terrorist attacks and it's a trend that will continue.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a statement on Tuesday revealing the budget for national intelligence programs in fiscal year 2012 was $53.9 billion, a 1 percent decrease from the previous year.
And according to the Defense Department, the amount spent for military intelligence dropped by 10 percent to $21.5 billion.
The overall spending of $75.4 billion in 2012 represents a 4% cut in intelligence spending.
The fiscal year ended on September 30.
Overall intelligence spending peaked in fiscal year 2010 when the United States spent a total of $80.1 billion.
By Jennifer Rizzo
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates evoked laughter during the unveiling of his official portrait Monday, but said his time heading up the military was the most important job in a long career in Washington.
“As America's Secretary of Defense during two wars was the singular honor and highest calling of my professional life,” Gates said at the Pentagon
Sending troops to war weighed on him every day, he said, so much so that he worried his devotion to protect them was clouding his judgment.
“Towards the end of my time in office, I could barely speak to the troops or about them without becoming over, without being overcome with emotion,” Gates said.
These feelings he says played a role in his decision to retire.
Gates began his role as Defense Secretary in 2006 under President George W. Bush. When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 Gates stayed on in his role, despite plans of retiring—something he jokingly said he had current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to thank for.
By Bill Mears
David Nevin is an American private attorney defending accused 9/11 terror mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Human Rights Watch is an international group that has monitored the U.S. government's treatment of accused terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, including Mohammed.
Journalist/activists Naomi Klein and Chris Hedges have written about the war on terror and have overseas sources as part of their jobs.
These key plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court on Monday to allow them to proceed with a lawsuit over the constitutionality of the federal government's sweeping electronic monitoring of targeted foreigners suspected of terrorism or spying. FULL POST
The Army's Old Guard continues their duty as sentinals at the Tomb of the Unknowns even as Hurricane Sandy looms closer to Arlington National Cemetery. The tomb has been guarded continuously since 1937. Service in the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) is considered to be an assignment of the highest honor for soldiers. Their dedication to the duty is so strong that when Hurricane Isabel approached, the soldiers were ordered to seek safety. It was an order they disobeyed, and the Tomb was guarded throughout the storm.
CNN requested an opportunity to visit the tomb today to videotape the soldiers carrying out their duty. We were told that because of the weather, the cemetery was closed to visitors and that the members of the guard have switched to camouflage uniforms. The Army does not want them photographed or videotaped wearing anything other than their traditional dress uniforms.
[Update 12:43pET - We are now told by the military that the photo below was taken last month. All the photos above were provided by the Army and were taken today.]