Should Be Dead Man Still Walking And Talking

Why is Julian Assange still even alive at this point, let alone walking around free and giving interviews?

Pentagon pleads with Wikileaks not to release more files

The Pentagon is trying to persuade the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks to abandon its planned release of 15,000 more classified files on the Afghan war.

Intelligence analysts have now identified which files are involved and Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell says their release will be even more damaging to national security and the war effort than the thousands already published.

“We are concerned the additional documents they have may cause even greater risks than the ones they released previously,” said Mr Morrell.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned that the release will put American and allied soldiers at risk with “potentially very severe” consequences.

He says that the documents “convey a huge amount of information about our tactics, techniques and procedures” and may be of great help to both the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Last month WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – a former computer hacker – released 76,000 secret military files that the US government claims threaten the lives of Afghan civilians who have co-operated with US and Nato forces.

Joining a growing chorus of condemnation, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that any new release of files would help the enemy.

A new poll shows that 61 per cent of Americans consider the release to be an act of treason.

Reporters Without Borders – guardians of international press freedom – have accused Mr Assange of “incredible irresponsibility.”

Clothilde Le Coz, the group’s spokesperson, said Mr Assange and WikiLeaks were “going way too far” and putting lives in danger.

See also:
WikiLeaks says it won’t be threatened by Pentagon
Wikleaks will release 15,000 more secret documents about war in Afghanistan, despite Pentagon orders
WikiLeaks Says More Afghan War Documents To Be Released Soon
WikiLeaks: Rest of war documents to be released in a few weeks
Pentagon: Undisclosed Wikileaks documents ‘potentially more explosive’
Support for WikiLeaks Evaporates as New Release of War Documents Looms
Time for Obama to shut down WikiLeaks’ Assange
Reporters Without Borders: WikiLeaks Was Reckless
Reporters Without Borders Blasts Wikileaks
WikiLeaks to Publish More Secrets With Some Data Removed
Wikileaks
Wikileaks

Are you seriously telling me that all the combined resources of the United States military and intelligence services can’t hunt down Julian Assange and his co-conspirators, recover the stolen information, and shut down their internet presence?

/Assange has clearly demonstrated that he’s an enemy of the United States with fresh blood on his hands, he has the right to be disappeared and remain permanently silent

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Back From The Dead

Obama turned him into a newt, but he got better.

Analysis: ‘Slain’ Taliban leader garners attention in Pakistan

For three months, Hakimullah Mehsud was supposedly dead, killed in a U.S. drone attack in the mountains of Pakistan, according to Pakistani officials.

Then word came last week from intelligence sources in Pakistan that he had not after all been killed, that he had been injured but not seriously.

And within days of that news, not one but two messages followed from Mehsud himself, both purportedly recorded in April. They warned of imminent attacks by the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, on unspecified targets in the United States.

U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials remain very skeptical about any TTP involvement in the weekend’s attempted car bombing in New York. One senior official said it would be “an enormous surprise” if they were involved.

The TTP has shown little appetite or capability for operating beyond Pakistan and Afghanistan, though it was linked to a suicide bombing plot that unfolded in Spain and was broken up in 2008.

But Mehsud is back in action, courting publicity again.

Whether he is still the leader of the TTP is an open question.

Last week, while U.S. officials said they still weren’t sure whether he was dead or alive, Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said, “I certainly have seen no evidence that [Mehsud] is operational today or is executing or exerting authority over the Pakistan Taliban as he once did. So I don’t know if that reflects him being alive or dead, but he clearly is not running the Pakistani Taliban anymore.”

But in light of the video that surfaced over the weekend, that assessment may have to be revisited.

See also:
Video shows Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud ‘alive’
New videos show Pakistani Taliban chief thought to have been killed in January
Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive, says spy agency
Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is alive: spy agency
Video shows Pakistan Taliban boss alive
Hakeemullah appears in video, vows painful blow to US
Mehsud claims responsibility for New York bomb plot
Officials doubt Pakistani Taliban behind New York bomb attempt
Hakimullah Mehsud

Hey Obama administration, next time, before you publicly claim credit and pat yourselves on the back for killing one of these lowlife terrorist scumbags, make damn sure they’re really dead.

/now fire up the drones, get out there, and kill Mehsud again!

Hey Obama, Thanks For The Naval Escort!

This is nationally embarrassing, can someone please check Michelle’s purse for her husband’s balls?

US will not use force to inspect NKorean ship

The United States will not use force to inspect a North Korean ship suspected of carrying banned goods, an American official was quoted as saying Friday.

An American destroyer has been shadowing the North Korean freighter sailing off China’s coast, possibly on its way to Myanmar.

Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy met with South Korean officials in Seoul on Friday as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing a U.N. sanctions resolution aimed at punishing Pyongyang for its second nuclear test last month. The North Korean-flagged ship, Kang Nam 1, is the first to be tracked under the U.N. resolution.

North Korea has in response escalated threats of war, with a slew of harsh rhetoric including warnings that it would unleash a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” and “wipe out the (U.S.) aggressors” in the event of a conflict.

On Thursday, the communist regime organized a massive anti-American rally in Pyongyang where some 100,000 participants vowed to “crush” the U.S. One senior speaker told the crowd that the North will respond to any sanctions or U.S. provocations with “an annihilating blow.”

That was seen as a pointed threat in response to the American destroyer.

Flournoy said Friday that Washington has ruled the use military force to inspect the North Korean freighter.

“The U.N. resolution lays out a regime that has a very clear set of steps,” Flournoy said, according to the Yonhap news agency. “I want to be very clear … This is not a resolution that sponsors, that authorizes use of force for interdiction.”

Flournoy said the U.S. still has “incentives and disincentives that will get North Korea to change course.”

“Everything remains on the table, but we’re focused on implementing the resolution fully, responsibly and with our international partners,” she said.

Flournoy’s trip came as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing the U.N. sanctions.

It is not clear what was on board the North Korean freighter, but officials have mentioned artillery and other conventional weaponry. One intelligence expert suspected missiles.

The U.S. and its allies have made no decision on whether to request inspection of the ship, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday in Washington, but North Korea has said it would consider any interception an act of war.

If permission for inspection is refused, the ship must dock at a port of its choosing, so local authorities can check its cargo. Vessels suspected of carrying banned goods must not be offered bunkering services at port, such as fuel, the resolution says.

A senior U.S. defense official said the ship had cleared the Taiwan Strait. He said he didn’t know whether or when the Kang Nam may need to stop in some port to refuel, but that the ship has in the past stopped in Hong Kong’s port.

To recap, we’ve had one U.S. destroyer or another shadowing the Kang Nam for more than a week now, ever since it left North Korea. We’re almost positive she’s carrying banned weapons or technology but we refuse to board her and find out because, the U.N. resolution says we can’t, China says no, and we’re scared to death that North Korea might retaliate.

In fact, our entire strategy is that we’re hoping that the Kang Nam has to stop to refuel in a port that will enforce the U.N. sanctions and inspect her cargo. Gee, don’t you think the North Koreans already know this and have factored it in, what if the Kang Nam doesn’t have to stop to refuel? There might be a reason she’s proceeding along at 10 knots, to conserve fuel, or maybe she has extra fuel aboard. And what if the Kang Nam does pull into, let’s say, Singapore, where she will be searched, might not the North Koreans respond in the same manner as if the United States had boarded her at sea? One thing’s for damn sure, if the Kang Nam makes Myanmar without having to refuel, there isn’t going to be any inspection of her cargo as per the U.N. sanctions.

Likely Destination of N Korean Ship Often Used for Weapons Deliveries

The Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa (MITT), believed to be the destination of the Kang Nam 1, a North Korean cargo ship being tracked by the US Navy, has often been used for deliveries of weapons, according to sources at the facility.

The Kang Nam 1, which left a North Korean port on June 17, is believed to be carrying weapons, missile parts or possibly even nuclear materials.

“There are two reasons to use Thilawa,” said an MITT operator. “First, it is not too close to Rangoon, and second, it is easy to increase security here so people don’t know what is being unloaded.”

The international multi-purpose container port, Burma’s largest deep sea port, is located about 30 km south of Rangoon.

According to other MITT employees, the facility has often been used for deliveries of weapons since it was built in the mid-1990s.

“Cargo ships carrying many kinds of weapons from Russia, China, North Korea and the Ukraine have docked at Thilawa,” said an MITT worker.

Normally, the source explained, the ships are offloaded around midnight to avoid attracting attention. Then, around 2 a.m., convoys of trucks deliver the weapons to a military depot at Intaing, about 25 km north of Rangoon.

“When cargo ships carrying military equipment dock at the port, naval personnel based near Thilawa take over port security and coordinate the unloading of the ships,” he said. “No unauthorized personnel are allowed near the port when cargo ships carrying weapons dock here.”

On Wednesday, officials from the Myanmar Port Authority, which operates under the Ministry of Transport, met with the Thilawa port authorities. It is believed that the meeting was related to the imminent arrival of the Kang Nam 1.

See also:
Whither the Kang Nam, North Korea’s suspect cargo ship?
Why Burma May Be North Korea’s Best Friend
Burma denies link to N Korea ship
Suspect North Korean Ship Has Been Detained Several Times for Maritime Violations
US needs to be able to search NKorea ships: Top lawmaker
Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

C’mon President Obama, grow a pair, we’re still technically at war with North Korea already, are you going to let them intimidate us at will too?

/unless we let our attendant destroyer board and search the Kang Nam, she’ll make Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa, we’ll never find out what her cargo was, and North Korea will just be that much more emboldened to push the envelope further

Disarming America

You just knew this was coming.

Gates Prepares ‘Fundamental Shift’ in Defense Funding Priorities

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates plans to brief congressional leaders and announce Monday a “fundamental shift” in defense spending and priorities, his spokesman said Friday.

The fiscal 2010 funding choices in the announcement will represent the first major defense policy decisions of President Obama’s administration. Specific details of the budget are not expected until the first week of May, but Gates will make the unusual move of announcing several major program decisions weeks ahead of the budget release, according to the spokesman.

“These are not changes to the margins. This is a fundamental shift in direction,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. “And the secretary’s point of view argues for an unconventional approach in explaining that shift to the American people.”

Morrell said that Gates would finalize the decisions over the weekend and brief congressional leaders Monday morning. A press conference will follow.

“The fact of life is that since September 11, 2001, the military has been engaged in irregular warfare activities that require more of our focus, more of our energy, and more of our resources than we have been dedicating to them,” Morrell said. “So Gates is trying to shift between the large scale conventional near peer conflicts that we have to prepare for down the line and the very real conflicts we are engaged in now.”

The timing of the announcement allows Gates to present the strategic rationale for the decisions at once, rather than having individuals criticize the decisions piecemeal as they leak out.

“Gates’ hope is that by revealing it all at once and by explaining it in depth and explaining the strategic rationale for all of these decisions, that people will view it as a whole and not get focused on the individual decisions and not let their parochial interests overcome the fact that it is in our national interests to make these adjustments to the whole of the budget,” Morrell said.

Although Gates repeatedly has warned that no final decisions have been made about specific program cuts, defense officials have noted that some are at serious risk — particularly those that are poor performers or cannot be connected with a current threat.

The programs that many expect to face huge cuts or cancellation include the Army’s Future Combat Systems program; the Transformational Communications Satellite program; the Navy’s DDG-1000 destroyer program; and the VH-71 presidential helicopter program. Some cuts or procurement delays are also expected for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft program..

Ballistic missile defense, which represents the Pentagon’s largest acquisitions program, also could be on the chopping block. Futuristic missile defense components are at particular risk, including the Airborne Laser Program, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, the Space Based Interceptor, along with plans to begin construction on two missile defense sites in Eastern Europe.

See also:
Gates Planning Major Changes In Programs, Defense Budget
Defense Secretary Gates to unveil Pentagon budget Monday
Gates to Submit Defense Budget Review
Defense budget plan could be pushed to May
Obama: Pentagon Budget Cuts Needed
Lockheed, Boeing Weapons Are at Risk as Pentagon Shuts ‘Spigot’
Budget cuts concern contractors
Airborne Laser (ABL)
Airborne Laser
Future Combat Systems (FCS)
Future Combat Systems (FCS)
Ballistic Missile Defense
Missile Defense Agency
US Navy DDG 1000, Admiral Zumwalt class destroyer
DDG-1000 Zumwalt / DD(X)
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II
Kinetic Energy Interceptors
Kinetic Energy Interceptor
Space-Based Interceptor (SBI)
Transformational Communications Satellite (TSAT)
Special Report: The USA’s Transformational Communications Satellite System (TSAT)
VH-71 Kestrel / Marine One
First Production VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Arrives at Lockheed Martin to Start Final Production Phase

Sure, lets cut missile defense, what a great idea! With Iran building nuclear weapons and North Korea test firing long range missiles, why would we possibly need a missile defense program? Why would the Department of Defense want to, you know, defend our country from attack? Of course, Obama is only fulfilling his campaign promise to unilaterally disarm America, so it’s not like we weren’t warned.

Well, at least now Obama will have the money to pay for sex education for kindergartners while we all live under the threat of a missile attack on our own soil.

/there’s a good reason they’ve been keeping this defense budget process a secret, they know Americans, at least the ones who care about national defense, will absolutely freak out when they find out about all these cuts so Gates and Obama need to make it a fait accompli