By Larry Shaughnessy
The officer who oversaw security at the military base where Army private Bradley Manning was held for a time said on Wednesday he was not pressured by superiors to keep the accused WikiLeaker in a high-level lockup and under constant watch.
Marine Col. Robert Oltman said his decision to maintain maximum-security status for Manning during his eight-month confinement in Quantico in Virginia was borne out of caution.
Oltman said at a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, for Manning that he recognized the case was high profile but told subordinates at the Marine base to "do what's right" and not "worry about somebody looking over your shoulder."
Manning's lawyers are trying to get the case thrown out - or at least any sentence reduced, if he's convicted - by claiming he was mistreated at the Quantico brig from July 2010 until he was moved to the military prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, in April 2011.
Kerry adamant White House not involved in intelligence leaks
By Ted Barrett
The Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he is “really upset” about recent leaks of classified information because it “endangers our long-term security” and it “begs retaliation.” But Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was adamant that no one at the White House or in Democratic politics was involved in the leaks.
“I know that people at the White House were not involved,” he said.
Asked about suggestions from Sen. John McCain of Arizona and other Republicans that the leaks came from someone trying to boost the president’s political standing, Kerry said they are wrong. FULL POST
By Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy
The final three members of the 12-member so-called "super committee" on deficit reduction were announced Thursday, but there are not a slew of pro-defense lawmakers on the panel charged with tackling the next stage of the national debt debate.
Two are well-known supporters of defense issues, but only one of the 12 is a member of an armed services committee.
Aviation Week magazine's website pointed out, "despite the hopes of U.S. defense industry advocates to stave off steep cuts to the Pentagon, the military-minded have scant representation" on the committee.
Should that be a cause for concern in the halls of the Pentagon?
Two leading voices in the Senate on foreign policy continued their criticism of President Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw roughly 30,000 American troops from Afghanistan over the next 14 months.
Republican Sen. John McCain, speaking from Kabul, Afghanistan, said Sunday the president’s plan creates an “unnecessary risk” in the region.
“What I have seen and heard here, both from Afghans as well as a number of Americans, is that it is an unnecessary risk, it’s not recommended by any of the military,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And I hope that it will work out, but it certainly deprives us of the necessary troops that we need for the second fighting season.”
Two influential U.S. senators introduced a resolution Tuesday expressing support for limited American involvement in the NATO-led military campaign in Libya - part of an effort to counter rising pressure in the House of Representatives to withdraw backing for the mission.
The resolution, introduced by Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry and Arizona Republican John McCain, authorizes the commitment of U.S. forces for one year while stressing the lack of support for any use of American ground troops.
"I believe the president did the right thing by intervening to stop a looming humanitarian disaster," McCain said. "I believe we will find a strong, bipartisan majority that is in favor of authorizing our current military operations in Libya and seeing this mission through to success." FULL POST