Holder appoints new head for Office of Legal Counsel
March 25th, 2014
12:58 PM ET

Holder appoints new head for Office of Legal Counsel

By Evan Pérez

Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a lawyer in his office to lead the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides advice to the President on constitutional issues and in recent years has been at the center of political fights over presidential power and national security.

Holder on Monday elevated Karl Thompson to acting assistant attorney general post. He also will serve as principal deputy assistant attorney general, which is a senior legal post in the Justice Department hierarchy.

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Why is Iran building giant mock-up of U.S. aircraft carrier?
U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (L); Commercial satellite picture of Iran building a fake aircraft carrier (R)
March 21st, 2014
07:10 PM ET

Why is Iran building giant mock-up of U.S. aircraft carrier?

By Laura Koran

Amid ongoing high-level diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran, it's a symbol of underlying mistrust.

Commercial satellite images obtained by CNN reveal that Iran is constructing a large-scale replica of a U.S. military aircraft carrier, complete with fake U.S-style airplanes, near the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.

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March 18th, 2014
07:13 PM ET

U.S. Officials: No link seen between missing jet and 2001 Malaysian hijack plot

By Paul Cruickshank and Nic Robertson

It is very unlikely there is any link between the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 and an aborted hijack plot involving Malaysia militants in late 2001, current and former U.S. intelligence officials tell CNN.

A former British al Qaeda operative, Saajid Badat, outlined details of the Malaysian plot in federal court in New York last week, fueling media speculation about a possible link.

He testified that he spent time with a small group of Malaysians in Afghanistan and Pakistan in late 2001 tasked with hijacking aircraft in Southeast Asia.

In the weeks after 9/11, Badat was one of two British recruits directed by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to detonate shoe bombs simultaneously on separate passenger aircraft over the United States.
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U.S. readies further sanctions against Russia
March 17th, 2014
07:20 PM ET

U.S. readies further sanctions against Russia

By Elise Labott

The Obama administration has given itself extraordinary tools to sanction any Russian official or any of the leadership’s “cronies” over the crisis in Ukraine.

The question is, will the United States use them?

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9/11 mastermind defends bin Laden's son-in-law in court statement
March 17th, 2014
02:34 AM ET

9/11 mastermind defends bin Laden's son-in-law in court statement

By Evan Pérez and Shimon Prokupecz

The admitted mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks has issued a rambling defense of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, on trial in New York for allegedly being al Qaeda's propagandist in the wake of the attacks.

In a rare statement made public, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said Sulaiman abu Ghaith - an Islamic preacher whom the United States has charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals and providing material support to terrorists - is falsely accused of being involved in al Qaeda's military activities. Mohammed said abu Ahaith was more of a visiting celebrity who preached the Quran to al Qaeda recruits.

Mohammed's 14-page statement was in response to questions from abu Ghaith's attorney and was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Sunday night.

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Kerry makes 11th-hour push on Ukraine
March 13th, 2014
09:21 PM ET

Kerry makes 11th-hour push on Ukraine

By Elise Labott

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have practically been joined at the hip in the past week or so.

The two met four times last week in Europe and have been in daily phone contact since. But they have failed to reach common ground on how to solve the crisis in Ukraine over Crimea.

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Responding to Ukraine: U.S. to keep carrier in Mediterranean to reassure NATO allies
March 12th, 2014
07:19 PM ET

Responding to Ukraine: U.S. to keep carrier in Mediterranean to reassure NATO allies

By Barbara Starr

The Pentagon plans to keep an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean longer than planned as a military presence to reassure NATO allies following Russia’s intervention in Crimea, CNN has learned.

The Obama administration is expected to announce the development involving the USS George H. W. Bush on Thursday.

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Nominee to lead NSA:  Snowden not necessarily a traitor
March 11th, 2014
03:57 PM ET

Nominee to lead NSA: Snowden not necessarily a traitor

By Laura Koran

President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the beleaguered National Security Agency told lawmakers on Tuesday that Edward Snowden has placed lives at risk by leaking classified information, but stopped short of calling him a traitor.

Vice Adm. Michael Rogers told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Snowden caused significant damage by releasing information about the NSA’s surveillance programs, but when asked by Sen. Joe Machin, a  West  Virginia Democrat, whether he viewed Snowden as a traitor, Rogers said, “I don't know that I would use the word ‘traitor.’ But I certainly do not consider him to be a hero.”

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Ukraine impasse stirs U.S.-Russia tensions
March 11th, 2014
01:26 AM ET

Ukraine impasse stirs U.S.-Russia tensions

By Elise Labott

Tensions between the United States and Russia over the crisis in Crimea have exploded into an open row as Russia rejects U.S. diplomatic efforts to solve the impasse.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry postponed a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss American proposals, which Moscow has effectively rejected, on solving the crisis.

The meeting, which Russia said was supposed to happen Monday, would have marked the highest-level contact between the two countries since Russian troops took up positions in Crimea, and would have come ahead of Sunday's potentially explosive vote on whether Crimea should split from Ukraine and join Russia.

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March 10th, 2014
09:21 AM ET

What time is it really?

Currently, the source for precision time is GPS satellites which contain an atomic clock used to synchronize clocks on the ground. But the Pentagon worries the satellites could somehow be jammed. So they want an even more accurate alternative.

Barbara Starr reports.


Filed under: DARPA • Pentagon
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