U.S. military fires second high-level nuke officer
October 11th, 2013
03:09 PM ET

U.S. military fires second high-level nuke officer

By Barbara Starr, Shirley Henry and Larry Shaughnessy

Another U.S. military officer with high-level oversight responsibility for the nation's nuclear arsenal has lost his job - the second in the past week.

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, the two-star general in charge of three Air Force nuclear wings, was "relieved" of command "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment," the Air Force said in a statement on Friday.

Carey was fired by his boss Lt. Gen James Kowalski, head of the Air Force's Global Strike Command, several months after Kowalski requested an inspector general investigation.

Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick, the chief spokesman for the Air Force, told reporters the inspector general's office began its investigation after multiple "reports of misbehavior" but declined to be specific.
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Soldier sets record for mile run, with a twist!
September 24th, 2013
11:13 PM ET

Soldier sets record for mile run, with a twist!

Ask yourself how fast can you run a mile? Be truthful, no one is checking. Can you beat 11 minutes and 6 seconds?

Maybe you could beat 11 minutes, if you had good sneakers, comfortable shorts a light weight t-shirt.

Now, imagine wearing 75 pounds of explosive resistant protective gear from the top of your head to your toes. Now could you run a mile in 11:06?
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Filed under: Security Brief
Trying to Tweet your way into Moscow's City Hall
September 9th, 2013
04:26 AM ET

Trying to Tweet your way into Moscow's City Hall

(Moscow, Russia) CNN – There wasn't a shadow of a doubt that former presidential aide and interim mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin would win the mayoral race against blogger and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny.

The only question was by how much. Anything less than 50% would have meant a run-off election.

There will not be a run-off. Sobyanin squeaked by with 51.37% of the vote. Navalny won 27.24%.

Calling the preliminary results "sheer falsifications" Navalny demanded the annulment of "offsite" elections, in which voters are allowed to vote at home, without having to come to polling stations. "We also demand a second round of voting for the election," he said.
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Russian Ambassador worries use of force in Syria could “ruin” US relations
September 6th, 2013
05:43 PM ET

Russian Ambassador worries use of force in Syria could “ruin” US relations

The Russian ambassador to the United States said any use of American military force against war-wracked Syria could carry serious consequences and hoped such an outcome would not ruin already tense relations.

While things are difficult between Washington and Moscow, Sergey Kislyak said in Washington that ties have not plunged to Cold War depths – yet.

“They’re not in good shape,” Kislyak said at an appearance in Washington for the Center for the National Interest.
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4 U.S. State employees face reassignment
The U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya following an attack on September 11, 2012
August 20th, 2013
08:35 AM ET

4 U.S. State employees face reassignment

By Jill Dougherty

Four State Department workers who were put on leave after last year's attack on a U.S. mission in Libya will be allowed to resume work, but in different positions, a senior State Department official told CNN on Tuesday.

News of the move irked U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the Republicans who've pressed the State Department to punish employees for what the lawmakers say were ignored security warnings in advance of the September attack on the Benghazi mission, which left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

"Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll," Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Tuesday.

"The Oversight Committee will expand its investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack to include how a supposed 'Accountability Review Board' investigation resulted in a decision by Secretary Kerry not to pursue any accountability from anyone," Issa added.

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Navy says sex at root of more than a third of its court cases
July 23rd, 2013
09:26 PM ET

Navy says sex at root of more than a third of its court cases

By Larry Shaughnessy

No other crime, not even drugs, leads to more court cases in the U.S. Navy than sex offenses, according to an internal report out this week.

The Navy reported there had been 135 courts-martial involving sailors around the world in the first six months of 2013 and about 36% involved a sex-related charge.

The report covers charges like adultery or attempted indecent acts up to sex assault and rape.

The report was conducted at the insistence of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

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More budget cuts could make life leaner for top Pentagon brass
July 17th, 2013
01:21 AM ET

More budget cuts could make life leaner for top Pentagon brass

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the former enlisted man who earned his sergeant stripes as a grunt in the jungles of Vietnam, is cutting the budgets of the Pentagon's top brass by 20%.

And he's sharing the pain, cutting his own office budget by a like amount.
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Filed under: Defense Spending • Hagel • Pentagon • Sequestration
Post-testimony legal wrangling begins in Manning case
July 15th, 2013
09:52 PM ET

Post-testimony legal wrangling begins in Manning case

By CNN Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy

FORT MEADE, Maryland (CNN) - After years of pretrial delays and legal battles, testimony in the court-martial trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning is all but over but the delays and battles continue.

Last Monday, before presenting witnesses in the case, Manning's defense attorneys filed motions asking the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, to find him not guilty of four of the charges against him.
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Former official sees "challenge" ahead pursuing terrorists
Jeh Johnson, former Pentagon General Counsel
July 11th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Former official sees "challenge" ahead pursuing terrorists

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of stories and opinion pieces previewing the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event which is taking place from July 17-20 in Aspen, Colorado.  Follow the event on Twitter under @aspeninstitute and @natlsecuritycnn  #AspenSecurity.

By Larry Shaughnessy

Jeh Johnson recently stepped down as the Pentagon’s top attorney. Now in private practice as a partner at PaulWeiss law firm in Washington, Johnson recently spoke to CNN about some of the issues he faced overseeing the Defense Department’s 10,000 uniformed and civilian lawyers, issues he may be asked about when he speaks at the Aspen Security Forum.

CNN: What is the biggest legal hurdle the Defense Department and Intelligence community face?

Johnson: “I would say that the biggest legal challenge that DoD and the intelligence community face right now is to settle upon a new legal architecture for, what I perceive to be, the next phase of our counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda and other terrorism efforts.

“We’ve been through 12 years of what some people would characterize as conventional armed conflict. And most intelligence experts would agree that core al Qaeda has been decimated and we’re at an inflection point now. And it is most likely the case that the traditional approach to armed conflict is no longer the best approach and so we need, in my view, to develop a legal architecture and a legal strategy that is a whole of government approach that deals with the new terrorist threats in forms that are not necessarily al Qaeda and it’s affiliates.”
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Pressure mounts on Obama to stop Guantanamo force-feeding
July 9th, 2013
05:18 PM ET

Pressure mounts on Obama to stop Guantanamo force-feeding

By Larry Shaughnessy

Two senior Democratic senators demanded on Tuesday that the United States stop force-feeding certain detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, a public stand that added to a rising chorus of protest over their treatment.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, who chairs the Intelligence Committee, and Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip, registered their strong opposition to the practice during the confirmation hearing of James Comey to become the next FBI director.

"This is inhumane," Feinstein said, noting that she wrote Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about the matter but hadn't heard back.

U.S. rejects call to stop force-feeding at Guantanamo

Feinstein traveled to Guantanamo in June with Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, where she said she "took a look" at the force feeding issue.
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