House Homeland Security member: North Korea not bluffing
March 31st, 2013
03:21 PM ET

House Homeland Security member: North Korea not bluffing

By: CNN's Gregory Wallace

Rep. Peter King, former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Sunday that the recent provocative, warmongering rhetoric out of North Korea is no "empty threat."

He qualified that by explaining he does not fear the North launching a successful attack on the U.S. mainland, but is concerned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "is trying to establish himself ... trying to be the tough guy," and may "box himself in" and need to display some level of military might.

"My concern would be that he may feel to save face he has to launch some sort of attack on South Korea, or some base in the Pacific," King, R-New York, said on ABC's "This Week."

Read full story at CNN's Political Ticker

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Filed under: Kim Jong-un • North Korea • Peter King
March 30th, 2013
02:34 PM ET

American filmmaker helps Syrian rebels

Jill Dougherty talks to an American filmmaker working in Syria alongside rebels seeking the ouster of Bashar al-Assad.

March 29th, 2013
05:56 PM ET

No end in sight for North Korea tensions

By Chris Lawrence

While North Korea continues to elevate threats against the United States and its allies, the Pentagon has not seen anything "out of the ordinary" around key missile sites, a defense official told CNN on Friday.

But the heightened rhetoric over nuclear attacks, so far unmatched by any actual military moves, has no foreseeable endgame, a second defense official said.

"This could go on for a while, and we could see variations of the rhetoric," the second official said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has approved a plan to put rockets on standby to fire at U.S. targets, including the American mainland and military bases in the Pacific and in South Korea, state media reported Thursday.

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Woman heads CIA spy unit for first time
March 29th, 2013
05:33 PM ET

Woman heads CIA spy unit for first time

By Pam Benson

Another glass ceiling has been cracked at least temporarily with a woman now running the CIA's spy division.

The long time CIA veteran leading the National Clandestine Service on an acting basis cannot be publicly named because she is still a covert officer.

The question is whether she will get the job permanently. But her background could be problematic for new CIA boss John Brennan.

According to sources familiar with her career, she was assigned to a senior position at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

In that role, she was involved in the controversial interrogation and detention program set up as the agency tracked and captured suspected al Qaeda terrorists.

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March 28th, 2013
06:50 PM ET

North Korea readying rockets to aim at U.S. targets

North Korea's leader has signed off on a plan to prepare rockets to be on standby for firing at U.S. targets, including the U.S. mainland and military bases in the Pacific and in South Korea, state media reported.

In a meeting with military leaders early Friday, Kim Jung Un "said he has judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation," the state-run KCNA news agency reported.

"If they make a reckless provocation with huge strategic forces, the KPA should mercilessly strike the U.S. mainland, their stronghold, their military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea, he said," KCNA said.

The U.S. decision to fly B-2 spirit bombers over South Korea in military exercises was "an ultimatum that they will ignite a nuclear war at any cost on the Korean Peninsula," the North Korean state news agency said.

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Filed under: North Korea • Security Brief
March 28th, 2013
06:28 PM ET

Ex U.S. soldier charged with helping terrorists in Syria

A former U.S. soldier has been arrested and charged with illegally using a weapon of behalf of an al Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria.

Eric Harroun, 30, of Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested Tuesday night by the FBI at a hotel near Dulles Airport in Virginia. A justice official tells CNN that FBI agents questioned Harroun at the hotel, then took him into custody.

Harroun appeared Thursday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, and was charged in connection with his alleged use of a rocket-propelled grenade in Syria.

The law used to charge him states, "Any national of the United States who, without lawful authority, uses or threatens, attempts, or conspires to use a weapon of mass destruction outside of the U.S. shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or if death results, may be punished by death."

FULL STORY


Filed under: Syria
Religious leaders protest Obama drone policy
March 28th, 2013
12:39 PM ET

Religious leaders protest Obama drone policy

By Dan Merica

A group of rabbis, reverends and priests has a message for President Barack Obama: stop the drone war.

In a video produced by the Brave New Foundation, a group that uses video and social media to protest against drones, Jewish and Christian leaders describe the practice as "assassination by remote control," which violates religious principles.

“From a New Testament point of view, drones are completely appalling,” the Rev. Paul F. M. Zahl, the retired Episcopal rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase, Maryland, told CNN. “The whole idea of killing a guy without giving the guy a chance to surrender is preemptive. That for me was completely contrary to the teachings of Christ.”

The video criticizes the Obama administration, stating that the use of war does not follow Just War Theory, which has Roman and Catholic influences. The theory includes criteria that legitimize war, including ensuring that war is a last resort and that it is being carried out with the right intentions.

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Filed under: drones
U.S. says it sent B-2 stealth bombers over South Korea
March 28th, 2013
05:11 AM ET

U.S. says it sent B-2 stealth bombers over South Korea

By Jethro Mullen, CNN

The United States said Thursday it sent stealth bombers to South Korea to participate in annual military exercises amid spiking tensions with North Korea.

The B-2 Spirit bombers flew more than 6,500 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to South Korea, dropping inert munitions there as part of the exercises, before returning to the U.S. mainland, the U.S Forces in Korea said in a statement.

The mission by the planes, which can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons, "demonstrates the United States' ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will," the statement said.

The U.S. military's announcement earlier this month that it was flying B-52 bombers over South Korea to participate in the routine exercises prompted an angry reaction from the North, which has unleashed a torrent of threats in the past few weeks.

FULL STORY

Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
March 27th, 2013
05:53 AM ET

North Korea says it is cutting off military communications with the South

By K.J. Kwon and Jethro Mullen, CNN

The Obama administration on Wednesday slammed North Korea's pugnacious rants toward South Korea and the West and a U.S. intelligence official called the strident remarks worrisome.

"The ratcheting up of rhetoric is of concern to us," the official said.

The question is whether this is "just rhetoric," he said. Or, "are things happening behind the scenes indicating the blustering has something to it."

Another U.S. official said there is a lot of uncertainty about North Korea's intentions.
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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea • UN Security Council
March 27th, 2013
05:47 AM ET

Petraeus apologizes for affair, says 'it was my own doing'

From CNN Staff

In a rare public appearance since admitting to an extramarital affair, David Petraeus apologized Tuesday night for the scandal that led to his resignation as head of the CIA last year.

Petraeus, a retired four-star general, has stayed out of the limelight since the affair was revealed in November.

"Please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret and apologize for the circumstances that led to my resignation from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters," Petraeus told a crowd gathered at a Los Angeles hotel ballroom. "I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing."

His comments came at an annual University of Southern California dinner to honor the military. It was one of the fist major public appearance since the scandal derailed the illustrious career of the decorated Army general.

Petraeus, who once ran the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, resigned from his CIA post in November.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Petraeus
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