December 14th, 2011
06:04 PM ET

War zone gear ready for departure

Millions of pieces of U.S. military gear have already been taken out of Iraq. CNN's Barbara Starr reports from Kuwait where troops there tell her equipment removal will be done within days.

NOTE: Barbara apologizes for her voice. She has a cold.

White House drops veto threat over detainee legislation
December 14th, 2011
03:58 PM ET

White House drops veto threat over detainee legislation

By Adam Levine

After initially threatening a veto, the White House has issued a statement saying changes made by the House and Senate regarding controversial detainee provisions are sufficient and advisors will no longer advise the president to veto the 2012 Defense Authorization bill if it passes the House and Senate.

The detainee provision sought to codify rules that would mandate that the military would hold in custody and try terror suspects.  That concerned the White House and many lawmakers who think the responsibility belongs, in part, to law enforcement agencies and the federal courts and warned that Americans could possibly be detained indefinitely by the military.

The White House reversal comes on the same day that the FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Senate committee hearing that while some of the changes are helpful, the provisions regarding what happens at the time of an arrest "lack clarity" and did not address all of his concerns about the ability to gain cooperation after an arrest.

"It lacks clarity with regard to what happens if - we had a case in Lackawanna, New York, and an arrest has to be made there and there's no military within several hundred miles," Mueller said.

Mueller said it is an issue too when FBI and military can both be on the scene.

"My concern is that you do not want to have FBI agents and military showing up at the scene at the same time on a covered person or with a covered person. There may be some uncovered persons there with some uncertainty as to who has the role and who is gonna do what," Mueller noted. FULL POST

Karzai: Leave us out of your Iran mess
December 14th, 2011
12:33 PM ET

Karzai: Leave us out of your Iran mess

By Adam Levine

When it comes to the fight between the United States and Iran over the downed U.S. drone, keep Afghanistan out of it.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday that his country, which shares a border and, as he put it, "deep cultural, linguistic and religious links" with Iran, does not want to be put in the middle of the dispute.  The unmanned stealth aircraft that crashed in Iran recently flew from a base in Afghanistan. The drone was on a CIA mission when operators lost control of it.

Karzai, speaking along with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at a news conference after the two met in Kabul, claimed ignorance about the mission.

"Afghanistan was not aware that the drone had gone or malfunctioned in Iran," Karzai said, responding to a question from a reporter.

He said the Iranians sent a note about the incident to the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is following up with the U.S. government. But, Karzai said politely, keep us out of it.

"So Afghanistan would not want to be involved in any - how should I put it, not antagonism, adversarial relations between Iran and the United States. Afghanistan wishes that they be friends and Afghanistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity and soil is not used one against the other," Karzai said.

Panetta, while refusing to discuss the drone mission, suggested that missions into Iran were necessary and will continue.

"Part and parcel of the effort to not only protect Afghanistan but protect the United States is to obtain important intelligence that allows us to protect our people and protect ours," Panetta said.

On Tuesday, in an interview with Fox News, Panetta said Karzai had not complained that the revelation of the spy mission put Afghanistan in an awkward position

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Central Intelligence Agency • CIA • Diplomacy • drones • Intelligence • Iran • Kabul • Karzai