FROM Bryan Bender
Obama and Panetta Outline Defense Cuts President Obama today outlined the results of his national security review, calling for leaner forces to meet new threats in the 21st Century. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, despite reductions mandated by Congress, the US will still be able to conduct more than one action at the same time. There will be special emphasis on the Asia-Pacific Region and the Middle East. We hear about military and political consequences.
Pentagon Relaxes Enforcement of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Calling it a matter of "common sense and common decency," Defense Secretary Robert Gates today approved new rules making it harder to discharge gays and lesbians from the armed services. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" dates back to the Clinton Administration in 1973. Critics have said it forces service members to lie, when integrity is what the military needs most. Bryan Bender is national security reporter for the Boston Globe .
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Comes Out of the Closet At a gay rights dinner on Saturday night, President Obama repeated a promise he made during last year's campaign, to revoke Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Now, from the Pentagon's highest levels comes a call for repeal of the ban against homosexuals in the military. An article for the Joint Chiefs of Staff says there's "no scientific evidence" that gays and lesbians damage morale."
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Comes Out of the Closet At a gay rights dinner on Saturday night, President Obama repeated as promise he made during last year's campaign, that of ending the exclusion of gays in the military. Obama could revoke Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," policy, but it will take an act of Congress to repeal the ban. Hard-line activists say Obama is moving too slowly, but now from the Pentagon's highest levels comes a call for the repeal of the ban. An article for the Joint Chiefs of Staff says there's "no scientific evidence" that gays and lesbians damage morale," but that, in the meantime, they're required to live a lie. Is Congress likely to listen?
National Intelligence Estimate on Continued al Qaeda Threat The Bush Administration today declassified part of a National Intelligence Estimate saying al Qaeda has increased its ability to attack the United States. The partly declassified NIE, was presented to reporters by Fran Townsend, the President's assistant for homeland security. Brian Bender is national security reporter for the Boston Globe .
TSA Boosts Security after UK Car Bombs The Transportation Safety Administration has increased security for the Fourth of July with armed officers and dogs in airports, subways and bus stops. They've been a feature of holidays and special events since September 11, but the TSA concedes that the aborted car bombs in the United Kingdom have had an impact. Bryan Bender is national security reporter for the Boston Globe .
FBI Faulted on Use of Patriot Act Director Robert Mueller admitted today that the FBI misused its powers under the Patriot Act to get telephone, e-mail and financial information on American citizens. Mueller said he was to blame. The FBI Director was responding to an audit by the Inspector General of the Justice Department. Bryan Bender is National Security Reporter for the Boston Globe .
Marine Corps Recalls Reservists Back to Duty As many as 2500 Marines who've returned to civilian life will be called back to active duty because of a shortage of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army already has conducted what critics call a "back door draft," but this is the first time for the Marines since the Iraq invasion. Bryan Bender is National Security Reporter for The Boston Globe .
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?