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U.S. Identifies Army Sergeant in Killing of 16 in Afghanistan

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Identifies Army Sergeant in Killing of 16 in Afghanistan 17 Mar 2012 The military on Friday identified the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers earlier this week as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a 38-year-old father of two who had been injured twice in combat over the course of four deployments and had, his lawyer said, an exemplary military record. The release of Sergeant Bales's name, first reported by Fox News, ended an extraordinary six-day blackout of public information about him from the Pentagon, which said it had withheld his identity so long because of concerns about his and his family's security. An official said on Friday that Sergeant Bales was being transferred from Kuwait to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., home of the Army's maximum security prison.

U.S. Identifies Army Sergeant in Killing of 16 in Afghanistan

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Identifies Army Sergeant in Killing of 16 in Afghanistan 17 Mar 2012 The military on Friday identified the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers earlier this week as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a 38-year-old father of two who had been injured twice in combat over the course of four deployments and had, his lawyer said, an exemplary military record. The release of Sergeant Bales's name, first reported by Fox News, ended an extraordinary six-day blackout of public information about him from the Pentagon, which said it had withheld his identity so long because of concerns about his and his family's security. An official said on Friday that Sergeant Bales was being transferred from Kuwait to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., home of the Army's maximum security prison.

Up to 20 US troops executed Panjwai massacre: probe

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

Up to 20 US troops executed Panjwai massacre: probe --Lawmaker: Attack lasted one hour involving two groups of American soldiers in the middle of the night on Sunday 15 Mar 2012 A parliamentary probe team on Thursday said up to 20 American troops were involved in Sunday's killing of 16 civilians in southern Kandahar province. The team spent two days in the province, interviewing the bereaved families, tribal elders, survivors and collecting evidence at the site in Panjwai district. Hamidzai Lali, a probe delegation lawmaker, told Pajhwok Afghan News that their investigation showed there were 15 to 20 American soldiers who executed the brutal killings.

Lawyer wants WikiLeaks case dropped

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

Lawyer wants WikiLeaks case dropped 17 Mar 2012 A lawyer for an army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of pages of classified information has asked a military judge to dismiss the charges, arguing the government bungled the handover of documents to the defence. The request came during a pre-trial hearing for Private Bradley Manning at a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, asked that charges against his client be dismissed because the government has "hopelessly" messed up the document turnover in the nearly two years Manning has been held.

Judge: lawyers for Army private charged in leak case won't get to question 8 ahead of trial

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

Judge: lawyers for Army private charged in leak case won't get to question 8 ahead of trial 16 Mar 2012 Attorneys for an Army private accused of engineering the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history won't get to take sworn statements from eight people before his trial. A military judge ruled during a hearing Friday at Fort Meade that attorneys for Pfc. Bradley Manning won't be allowed to take statements from eight individuals who reviewed information Manning is accused of leaking. Defense attorneys may still be able to interview them later.

Heavy tube wear a mystery at Calif. nuclear reactor

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

Heavy tube wear a mystery at Calif. nuclear reactor 16 Mar 2012 Forty-five days after a radioactive water leak prompted a Southern California utility to shut down a nuclear reactor, investigators Friday sought to pinpoint why tubing in the plant eroded at an alarming rate while the prospect of an extended repair job raised questions about summertime power supply. Tests on massive steam generators at the troubled Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which was shut down as a precaution after the leak on Jan. 31, revealed seven alloy tubes that carry radioactive water are in danger of rupturing under high pressure. Traces of radiation escaped during the January leak.

NATO helicopter crash kills 16 people in Afghanistan

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

NATO helicopter crash kills 16 people in Afghanistan 16 Mar 2012 A NATO helicopter crashed into a house on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Friday, killing 12 Turkish soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground, Turkey's military and a senior Afghan police official said. The crash came amid growing unease among NATO partner countries about the increasingly unpopular and costly war nearly 11 years into the conflict as most foreign combat troops set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. "Twelve of our military personnel on board the helicopter have been martyred," the Turkish general staff said in a statement in Ankara.

US airbase in Afghanistan comes under Taliban attack

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

US airbase in Afghanistan comes under Taliban attack 16 Mar 2012 Taliban forces have launched a missile attack against a US airbase in Afghanistan following a failed assassination bid against US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Press TV reports. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Friday that the militants fired two missiles into the US airbase in Bagram in the early hours of the day. He said many American forces were killed in the assault.

15 killed in US-led chopper crash in Afghanistan: Police

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

15 killed in US-led chopper crash in Afghanistan: Police 16 Mar 2012 Police in Afghanistan say at least 12 US-led Turkish soldiers and three Afghan civilians have been killed after a helicopter belonging to the US-led forces in Afghanistan crashed into a house in the outskirts of the capital, Kabul, Press TV reports. The helicopter, which flew for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), went down in the Bagrami district of Kabul at 10:10 a.m. local time due to technical glitches, a senior police official said. The Taliban have also said a helicopter manned by US-led foreign forces has crashed in northern Afghanistan.

US-led trooper dies in bomb blast in E Afghanistan

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

US-led trooper dies in bomb blast in E Afghanistan 16 Mar 2012 Another trooper with the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been killed in a roadside bomb explosion in eastern Afghanistan, Press TV reports. The NATO media office reported the fatality on Friday without disclosing the trooper's nationality.

CIA Chief: We'll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

CIA Chief: We'll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher 15 Mar 2012 More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an "Internet of Things" - that is, wired devices - at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm. "'Transformational' is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies," Petraeus enthused, "particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft." All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you're a "person of interest" to the spy community.

4 more steam tubes fail in tests at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant's Unit 3 reactor

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

4 more steam tubes fail in tests at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant's Unit 3 reactor 16 Mar 2012 Four more tubes that carry radioactive water at a Southern California nuclear power plant failed pressure tests, prompting new safety concerns, officials disclosed Friday. The four tubes in a massive steam generator failed Thursday in the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre coastal plant in northern San Diego County, Southern California Edison said. Three other tubes failed earlier tests, the company said Wednesday, bringing the total to seven.

US soldier accused of massacre flown out of Afghanistan

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

US soldier accused of massacre flown out of Afghanistan 15 Mar 2012 The US soldier accused of shooting 16 Afghan villagers in a pre-dawn killing spree was flown out of Afghanistan to Kuwait, even as President Hamid Karzai asked NATO troops to keep off villages and confine themselves to major bases. The US soldier was flown out amid calls by angry Afghans that he be tried in their country. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the soldier could receive capital punishment if convicted. [Yeah, right! Only people download files on US war crimes get pushined - not the war criminals themselves.]

LulzSec-linked STRATFOR hacker appears in court

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

LulzSec-linked STRATFOR hacker appears in court 15 Mar 2012 The Chicago-based hacker who took credit for a devastating computer attack on intelligence company Stratfor made his first appearance in a New York federal courtroom, after his March 5 arrest. Hammond, 27, faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, computer hacking and access device fraud... Hammond chuckled when his attorney, Liz Fink, asked a prosecutor if today was the Ides of March and said, "Et tu Brutus?" a possible reference to the betrayal Hammond might have felt at learning he and other hackers were undone by LulzSec leader-turned government informant [traitor] Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as "Sabu." Monsegur's FBI handler was present but declined to comment after the proceeding. [Free Jeremy Hammond.]

Defendant in Rutgers Spying Case Guilty of Hate Crimes

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

Defendant in Rutgers Spying Case Guilty of Hate Crimes 16 Mar 2012  A jury on Friday convicted a former Rutgers University student, Dharun Ravi, of hate crimes for using a webcam to spy on his roommate kissing another man in their dorm room. The jury also found Mr. Ravi guilty of tampering with evidence and witnesses for trying to change Twitter and text messages in which he had encouraged others to watch the webcam. Mr. Ravi’s roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge three days after Mr. Ravi viewed him on the webcam.

Pentagon: Afghan security breach 'much more serious' than reported

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

Pentagon: Afghan security breach 'much more serious' than reported --U.S. military officials withheld news of the attack for 10 hours from reporters who were traveling on the same plane with Panetta, releasing sketchy information about it only after British news media broke the story. 15 Mar 2012 The Pentagon acknowledged Thursday that a security breach during Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta's visit to Afghanistan was much more serious than officials first reported, saying that an Afghan man tried to ram a stolen truck into a group of VIPs who were waiting to greet Panetta just moments after his plane landed at a military base. The driver set himself on fire Wednesday and apparently tried to ignite containers of gasoline in the cab of the truck as he attempted to run over several high-ranking Marine officers and others who were waiting for Panetta's plane to park, said Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman. The officials tried to play down the seriousness of the incident, saying Panetta was never in danger. They also said Wednesday that they could not confirm that the incident was an attempted attack or even that it was linked to Panetta's visit.

Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act 16 Mar 2012 For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public - or even others in Congress - knew about it. On Thursday, two of those senators - Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado - went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained. The senators, who also said that Americans would be "stunned" to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program "could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States."

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs By Greg Smith 14 Mar 2012 I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client's success or progress was not part of the thought process at all. It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off.

UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding - map

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding - map 07 Mar 2012 12 of Britain's 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion as the UK warms, government analysis shows.

UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows 07 Mar 2012 As many as 12 of Britain's 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion because of climate change global warming, according to an unpublished government analysis obtained by the Guardian. Nine of the sites have been assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as being vulnerable now, while others are in danger from rising sea levels and storms in the future. The sites include all of the eight proposed for new nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities.

DoD says amputations reached wartime high

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

DoD says amputations reached wartime high --Increase in 2011 coincides with surge of troops in Afghanistan 14 Mar 2012 The number of U.S. troops who lost limbs reached a wartime high in 2011, according to data from the Defense Department, but along with the spike came advances in medicine and technology that have enabled troops with devastating wounds to survive and, in some cases, return to duty. In 2011, 240 deployed troops had to have at least an arm or a leg amputated, compared with 205 in 2007, the height of the surge in Iraq, according to data published by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.

Whistleblower details unreported mercury spill at Hill AFB

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

Whistleblower details unreported mercury spill at Hill AFB 14 Mar 2012 A whistleblower's claim that a 2007 spill of more than 60 pounds of mercury was not properly reported or cleaned up at this military base, where more than 24,000 military personnel and civilians work and live, has prompted a federal criminal investigation. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has backed that claim, concluding after an investigation in September and October that the base violated permits because it failed to report the spill and cleanup, improperly stored the cleaned-up material, improperly labeled storage containers that were also not in good condition and failed to inspect containers storing the hazardous waste.

US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014: Panetta

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014: Panetta 15 Mar 2012 The Pentagon chief says he is 'confident' that the United States and Afghanistan would work out a treaty allowing the US military to stay longer in the country beyond the withdrawal deadline of 2014. Speaking to reporters after talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday, the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the situation in Afghanistan will change once the two countries sign the strategic pact. During the meeting, Karzai urged visiting Panetta to accelerate the handover of security to the country's army and police forces, and let Afghans take the lead responsibility one year earlier than previously planned.

US soldier in Afghan killing transferred to Kuwait: US official

March 16, 2012 by legitgov

US soldier in Afghan killing transferred to Kuwait: US official 16 Mar 2012 The US trooper who shot dead 16 Afghan civilians has been taken to Kuwait in defiance of calls from Afghan people and officials for his trial in Afghanistan. A US defense official speaking on the condition of anonymity said on Wednesday that the suspect was transferred due to America's shortage of "military legal infrastructure" and personnel in Afghanistan, CNN reported. The official added that the US soldier would remain in a military detention center in Kuwait until an investigation into the incident is completed.

HAZMAT situation: 'Non-emergency significant event' declared at Los Alamos

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

HAZMAT situation: 'Non-emergency significant event' declared at Los Alamos --DP Road open after HAZMAT situation on Los Alamos property 14 Mar 2012 With sirens blaring, emergency management vehicles raced down DP Road Wednesday, responding to a Hazmat situation at Enclosure 12 in TA-21. For two hours, DP Road was closed as the LANL Hazmat team, Los Alamos Fire and Police Department and FEMA assessed the situation. Most of DP Road was reopened around 1:45 p.m. as LAPD decreased its perimeter. Capt. Randy Foster said the initial call came into dispatch at 11:53 a.m. The road was closed east of 272 DP Road until the all-clear from the LANL Hazmat teams came in Wednesday evening. The situation has been categorized as a "non-emergency significant event" by the laboratory... Police said a voluntary evacuation was taking place on DP Road. Police said for those who are working on DP Road to remain inside if they chose to stay. Businesses along DP Road still were waiting for an all-clear signal as of 7:30 p.m. An automated 911 call was received at the Los Alamos Monitor at 1:05 p.m. advising all people on DP Road to shelter in place until the all-clear signal is sounded.

State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort 14 Mar 2012 Peter Van Buren, a foreign service officer who wrote an unflattering book about his year leading two reconstruction [sic] teams in Iraq, was stripped of his security clearance, banned from State Department headquarters for a time and transferred to a telework job that consists of copying Internet addresses into a file. Now the State Department is moving to fire him based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information. Van Buren called the termination notice he received Friday the coup de grace in a series of blows he received since his book, "We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People" was published last fall.

Two soldiers killed, one wounded in shooting incident in France

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

Two soldiers killed, one wounded in shooting incident in France 15 Mar 2012 Two French soldiers have been killed and another wounded in a shooting incident near a military base in the southwestern city of Montauban in France.

Obama agrees to top-level talks on extradition law after Gary McKinnon case is raised by Cameron

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

Obama agrees to top-level talks on extradition law after Gary McKinnon case is raised by Cameron 14 Mar 2012 Barack Obama has agreed to top-level talks on cutting the number of Britons extradited to the U.S. for trial after David Cameron raised the plight of computer hacker Gary McKinnon with him. The Prime Minister told the President that more cases should be dealt with in the British courts. This would follow a joint review of the controversial extradition treaty between the two countries. Officials from the U.S. Justice Department and the Home Office will discuss how the deal signed by Labour's David Blunkett in 2003 is being implemented, with new guidance for courts the most likely outcome.

Syrian envoy to UN: External parties seek to disintegrate Syria

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

Syrian envoy to UN: External parties seek to disintegrate Syria --'Civil war is being ignited... this is a prelude to partition of Syria.' 13 Mar 2012 The Syrian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, says "external parties" are fueling the crisis in Syria and seek to disintegrate the Middle Eastern state. "The crisis is not due to peaceful protests or demands for reform. The crisis is due to the influence of external parties bent on afflicting my country, waging a media war against Syria and imposing economic sanctions against the Syrian people," Hamoui said in a UN Human Rights Council session on Monday.

Military source calls incident at Afghanistan airport an 'attempted attack'

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

Military source calls incident at Afghanistan airport an 'attempted attack' --Coalition service member injured during incident, possibly run over by truck 14 Mar 2012 The crash of an unauthorized pickup truck at an airfield in Afghanistan where Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was landing was an attempted attack, a military source told Fox News, though it wasn't immediately clear whether Panetta was a target. [?] The incident Wednesday occurred on the tarmac at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan moments before Panetta arrived via C-17. The attacker was an Afghan interpreter who was carrying gasoline and a lighter with him in the pickup truck, which he managed to steal from a British service member, sources told Fox News.

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