By Bill Mears
A federal appeals court panel has ruled the CIA must acknowledge the existence of any records related to military unmanned drone strikes aimed at people such as terror suspects overseas.
It called the agency's previous denials "fiction."
The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups had filed a Freedom of Information Act request, but the spy agency - citing national security - refused to confirm or deny it had any such records.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia did not buy the argument, giving the outside groups a partial legal victory Friday.
"The CIA asked the courts to stretch that doctrine too far - to give their imprimatur to a fiction of deniability that no reasonable person would regard as plausible." FULL POST
By Chris Lawrence
The U.S. military will enhance the nation's ability to defend itself from any missile attack by North Korea or Iran, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Friday.
Still relatively new in his post, the Pentagon chief told reporters that the United States will deploy 14 additional ground-based missile interceptors to bring the total to 44. He said the expansion should be completed by 2017.
Part of the move would involve reopening a missile field at Fort Greely, Alaska, and some of the interceptors would be based in California, U.S. officials said.FULL STORY
The first Syrian rebels trained by U.S. military and intelligence officers in Jordan returned to Syria on Thursday, a senior rebel spokesman told CNN.
About 300 rebel fighters received specialized training in Jordan in the use of various weapons, including anti-tank, anti-aircraft and other types of advanced systems, the spokesman said.
More rebel fighters are currently undergoing training.
Syrian rebels' efforts to topple President Bashar al-Assad have claimed more than 60,000 lives since the fighting began in March 2011. Another 940,000 have fled the country and more than 10% of Syria's 20 million residents have been forced to move elsewhere inside the country, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said.