Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wire: San Fransisco Judge Allows Convicted Terrorist to Sue Over Bush Interrogation Memos

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this evening that a convicted terrorist can sue a former Bush administration lawyer for drafting the legal theories that led to his alleged torture, ruled a federal judge has ruled who said he was trying to balance a clash between war and the defense of personal freedoms.

The order by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco is the first time a government lawyer has been held potentially liable for the abuse of detainees.

The Associated Press reported that White refused to dismiss Jose Padilla's lawsuit against former senior Justice Department official John Yoo on Friday. Yoo wrote memos on interrogation, detention and presidential powers for the department's Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003.

Padilla, 38, is serving a 17-year sentence on terror charges. He claims he was tortured while being held nearly four years as a suspected terrorist.

White ruled Padilla may be able to prove that Yoo's memos "set in motion a series of events that resulted in the deprivation of Padilla's constitutional rights."

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Judge rules terrorist can sue over torture memos

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Wire: Camp Lejeune Water Study Finds no Definite Disease Link

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Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune can't definitively be linked to health problems among people who lived at the Marine base over three decades, according to a government report released Saturday.

The Associated Press reported the following details:
Former residents of the base in eastern North Carolina don't have diseases different from the general population and the industrial solvents that tainted well water there between the 1950s and 1985 were at concentrations that don't cause obvious harm to human health, according to the report ordered by Congress and released by the National Research Council.

But the 341-page report, which reviews past studies of the base's water and health issues there, said there are severe challenges in trying to connect the contaminants to any birth defects, cancer and many other ailments suffered by people who lived and worked on base.

It "cannot be determined reliably whether diseases and disorders experienced by former residents and workers at Camp Lejuene are associated with their exposure to contaminants in the water supply," the report states.

"Even with scientific advances, the complex nature of the Camp Lejeune contamination and the limited data on the concentrations in water supplies allow for only crude estimates of exposure," David Savitz, chairman of the committee that wrote the report, said in a statement.

The study says the Marines and Navy shouldn't wait for more scientific studies before deciding how to deal with health problems reported by former base residents. And it calls into question the value of further studies.

"It would be extremely difficult to conduct direct epidemiologic studies of sufficient quality and scope to make a substantial contribution to resolving the health concerns of former Camp Lejeune residents. Conduct of research that is deficient in those respects not only would waste resources but has the potential to do harm by generating misleading results that erroneously implicate or exonerate the exposures of concern," it states.
A Marine Corps spokesman, 1st Lt. Brian Block, said the service would study the report before making a statement.

"After a thorough review of the report, we will determine what the next appropriate steps are," he said.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Related: Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water Web Site

Source: Lejeune water study finds no definite disease link

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Combat Camera: Aboard USS Bataan, June 13, 2009

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ADRIATIC SEA (June 10, 2009) The sun sets on a day of at-sea operations aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). Bataan is on a scheduled deployment performing maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Tony Sisti.)

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PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (May 27, 2009) Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan man the rails as Bataan pulls into the port of Palma de Mallorca for the first port visit of their scheduled deployment. The 22nd MEU, embarked aboard the ships of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, is currently serving as the theater reserve force for U.S. European Command. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Theodore W. Ritchie.)

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (MAY 21, 2009) The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) is underway in formation in the Atlantic Ocean. The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, deployed aboard the ships of the Bataan ARG, is serving as the theater reserve force for U.S. European Command. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Theodore W. Ritchie.)

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (MAY 21, 2009) The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) is underway in formation in the Atlantic Ocean. The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, deployed aboard the ships of the Bataan ARG, is serving as the theater reserve force for U.S. European Command. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Theodore W. Ritchie.)

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 23, 2009) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Sea Knights of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HSC) 22 transports goods from the military sealift command fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Lenthall (T-AO 189) to the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) during a replenishment at sea in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Fort McHenry is on a scheduled deployment with the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) supporting maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristopher Wilson.)

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 14, 2009) A Sailor looks on as a landing craft air cushion leaves the well deck of the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) as Marines from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit embark. Bataan left her homeport of Norfolk May 13 for a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S. Fifth and Sixth fleet areas of operation. Bataan is the flagship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group/22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, which includes more than 4,000 Sailors and embarked Marines. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Ryan Steinhour.)

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 14, 2009) Deck department personnel signal a landing craft air cushion to depart the well deck of the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) during the onload of Marines and gear from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit. Bataan left her homeport of Norfolk May 13 for a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th fleet areas of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Ryan Steinhour.)

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MEDITERRANEAN SEA (June 3, 2009) Senior Chief Quartermaster David Tokarski looks through a sexton on the bridge of the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) during the ship's Battle of Midway remembrance. Tokarski is dressed in a World War II style uniform. Sailors and Marines watched Midway-themed movies and documentaries, and donned working khakis with tie and combination cover or utilities with Dixie cups. Bataan is deployed and conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Steinhour.)

COMBAT CAMERA More Combat Camera Imagery on THE TENSION

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Combat Camera Video: Combined Reconnaissance Patrol Around Kirkuk

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NOTE: News readers click here to watch the video.

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2009 -- Embedded above is a b-roll video of U.S. soldiers from 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, conducting a combined reconnaissance patrol with counterparts of the Iraqi Army in the village of Raml, on June 4, 2009, in Kirkuk province, Iraq. U.S. coalition forces and Iraqi security forces are working to identify areas that need road repair in and around the city of Kirkuk. (Produced by Sgt. Gustavo Olgiati, Joint Combat Camera Center Iraq. Length: 00:05:29.)

COMBAT CAMERA More Combat Camera Imagery on THE TENSION

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Wire: Privacy May be Victim in Obama Cyberdefense Plan

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Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this morning plan to create a new cybercommand is raising significant privacy and diplomatic concerns, as the Obama administration moves ahead on a new cyberdefense strategy he unveiled last month.

The New York Times reported that senior Pentagon and military officials said any of President Obama’s assurances that the plan will protect personal privacy and civil liberties may be challenging to guarantee in practice, particularly in trying to monitor the thousands of daily attacks on security systems in the United States that have set off a race to develop better cyberweapons.

Much of the new military command’s work is expected to be carried out by the National Security Agency.

There is simply no way, the officials say, to effectively conduct computer operations without entering networks inside the United States, where the military is prohibited from operating, or traveling electronic paths through countries that are not themselves American targets, The New York Times said.

The New York Times reported the following details:
The cybersecurity effort, Mr. Obama said at the White House last month, “will not -- I repeat, will not--— include monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic.”

But foreign adversaries often mount their attacks through computer network hubs inside the United States, and military officials and outside experts say that threat confronts the Pentagon and the administration with difficult questions.

Military officials say there may be a need to intercept and examine some e-mail messages sent from other countries to guard against computer viruses or potential terrorist action. Advocates say the process could ultimately be accepted as the digital equivalent of customs inspections, in which passengers arriving from overseas consent to have their luggage opened for security, tax and health reasons.
Obama administration officials have begun to discuss whether laws or regulations must be changed to allow law enforcement, the military or intelligence agencies greater access to networks or Internet providers.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Privacy May Be a Victim in Cyberdefense Plan

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OIF Update, June 13, 2009: US Soldier Dies in Combat-Related Incident in Iraq

Dispatches from the Front
News from Multi-National Force - Iraq.

Dispatches from the Front:

BAGHDAD, June 13, 2009 -- A Multi National Corps - Iraq soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device during combat related operations June 12.

The soldier’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

(From a Multinational Corps - Iraq news release.)

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Wire: China Warns Against Use of Force in Carrying Out North Korea Sanctions

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that China warned about the dangers involved in inspecting North Korean cargo under United Nations Security Council sanctions approved yesterday, saying countries intercepting vessels should avoid armed action.

"Under no circumstance should there be the use of force or the threat of use of force" in implementing the sanctions in Resolution 1874, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui said in New York. Inspecting vessels carrying North Korean cargo is "complicated" and "sensitive," he said, accprding to a Bloomberg.com news report.

The Security Council voted 15 to O to punish North Korea for its May nuclear-bomb test and missile launches. The resolution authorizes stepped-up inspection of air or sea cargoes suspected of being destined for the development of nuclear arms or ballistic missiles. The measure also calls for new restrictions on loans and money transfers to North Korea.

Bloomberg.com noted that the U.S. is prepared to "confront" a vessel suspected of carrying an illegal shipment and attempt to board it "consensually," Rice told reporters. If the crew refuses a boarding or to go to a nearby port for an inspection, the U.S. would make clear "whose vessel it is" and the likely cargo, "to shine a spotlight on it, to make it very difficult for that contraband to continue to be carried forward," Rice added.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: China Warns Against Force in Carrying Out North Korea Sanctions

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Wire: USS John S McCain, Chinese Sub in Collision Incident

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In this 2008 file photo, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) operates with ships from the Indian navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force in formation in Tokyo Bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist John L. Beeman.)

Off the Wire:
EDITOR'S NOTE: USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) is named after John S. McCain, Jr. and John S. McCain, Sr., both Admirals in the United States Navy. They are respectively the father and grandfather of John S. McCain III, U.S. Senator representing Arizona and former Naval aviator Captain who endured five and a half years as a POW in the Vietnam War.
WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this evening that a Chinese submarine hit an underwater sonar array being towed by the destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) on Thursday near Subic Bay off the coast of the Philippines.

According to a report from CNN, the array was damaged, but the sub and the ship did not collide, a U.S. military official said.

CNN noted that the official, who declined to be named because the incident had not been made public, would not say whether the U.S. ship knew the submarine was that close to it.

The Navy does not believe this was a deliberate incident of Chinese harassment, as it would have been extremely dangerous had the array gotten caught in the submarine's propellers, CNN said.

A Pentagon spokesman was not immediately available for comment on the CNN report.

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Sub collides with sonar array towed by U.S. Navy ship

Related: USS John S McCain news, images on THE TENSION

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US Navy SEAL to Launch Into Space

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HOUSTON (March 24, 2009) Lt. Cmdr. Chris Cassidy smiles after donning his space suit during zero gravity training at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NLB). The NBL is a pool that simulates zero gravity to train astronauts for upcoming missions. The NBL contains full mock-ups of the International Space Station for the astronauts to train with. Cassidy, a U.S. Navy SEAL, is a mission specialist on the upcoming mission STS-127 to the International Space Station scheduled for June of this year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique M. Lasco.)

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HOUSTON (March 24, 2009) Lt. Cmdr. Chris Cassidy is lowered into the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) for a training session in Houston. The NBL is a pool that simulates zero gravity to train astronauts for upcoming missions. The NBL contains full mock-ups of the International Space Station for the astronauts to train with. Cassidy, a U.S. Navy SEAL, is a mission specialist on the upcoming mission STS-127 to the International Space Station scheduled for June of this year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique M. Lasco.)

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CHANTILLY, Va. (May 6, 2004) - Lt. Cmdr. Chris Cassidy, second from the right, stands in front the Space Shuttle Enterprise with retired Senator/Former Astronaut John Glenn and his fellow 2004 astronaut candidates. NASA officially introduced “The Next Generation of Explorers,” NASA’s 2004 Astronaut Candidate Class during a Space Day ceremony hosted at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Cassidy, a member of the Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) Team 10 located in Virginia Beach, Va., was selected to begin astronaut training this summer as a Mission Specialist at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Tim Duckworth.)

News in Balance:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., June 12, 2009 -- A Navy SEAL in NASA's astronaut program will launch into space June 13.

Cmdr. Chris Cassidy of York, Maine, will be the second SEAL to launch into space since Capt. William Shepherd in 1992. Cassidy is a mission specialist and a part of the STS-127 crew that will work on upgrading the International Space Station (ISS).

STS-127's mission is to complete an ISS crew member swap, change out the cache of batteries which stores energy from ISS's solar arrays and install a platform to one end of the Japanese Kibo laboratory on the station. The platform will conduct experiments designed to work outside the protective confines of the space station.

After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics in 1993, Cassidy continued on to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, Calif., and was the honor graduate for BUD/S Class 192. Cassidy has spent more than 10 years with SEAL teams, holding such positions as executive officer and operations officer of Special Boat Team 20 in Norfolk, Va., and platoon commander at SEAL Team 3 in Coronado. Along with serving in the Mediterranean, Cassidy deployed several times to Afghanistan where he was awarded two Bronze Stars with Combat 'V' and a Presidential Unit Citation for missions with the Army's 10th Mountain Division on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

He applied for the astronaut program after receiving his master's degree from the Massachusetts's Institute of Technology in 2000 and was accepted into the space program in 2004.

(Report by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominique M. Lasco.)

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US Navy Updates Confirmed Cases of H1N1 (Swine Flu) to 220

News in Balance
News from the U.S. Navy.

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 -- The U.S. Navy updated its confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza June 12 to 220 Sailors.

"Although the cases of H1N1 continue to increase, the effects of this illness are rather mild," said Cmdr. Steven Jeffs, chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) Medical Operations Center. "Due to the relatively short duration of the illness, the vast majority of our Sailors have already returned to duty.

The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), the headquarters for Navy medicine, continues to monitor the health of the force to ensure necessary precautions are being taken to educate and safeguard Sailors, civilian personnel and family members.

Additional information on the H1N1 influenza is available at:

(Report from a U.S. Navy news release.)

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Pentagon: Army Marks 234 Years of Service, Sacrifice

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 -- Citing the organization’s long history of selfless service and sacrifice, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III helped to commemorate the Army’s 234th birthday today at a Pentagon ceremony.

The U.S. Army officially celebrates its birthday June 14.

“This occasion marks the 234th year that ordinary men and women have become extraordinary citizens by answering the call of duty and placing the country in front of themselves,” Lynn said to an audience of soldiers and other servicemembers in the Pentagon courtyard. “I’m humbled by this long tradition of service, reaching back even to the founding of our nation.”

The Army tradition is expressed in a number of ways, he said, including in the actions and service of individual families.

Lynn recognized the Simpson family of Tennessee, whose generations of military service span nearly 100 years. Simpson family members served in Mexico, during World War II, in Vietnam and now in Afghanistan, he said.

“It’s this kind of service and dedication that’s the hallmark of the United States Army,” he added.

Lynn also acknowledged the Army as the world’s most formidable fighting force, and he credited family support as the dynamic that makes the Army such a strong, dependable organization. The Army couldn’t be the institution it is without the families, he said.

“Our soldiers, of course, do not bear the burdens of combat alone,” he continued. “When they sign up, they’re also volunteering their families. Army families are a constant source of support and inspiration, and in many ways, they’re the reasons our soldiers continue to serve.”

Today’s commemoration and cake cutting marks the start of a weeklong list of birthday activities all across the Army. The Army will hold its annual birthday ball here tomorrow, and on June 14, Army leadership will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Also, individual Army posts will celebrate with 10-mile birthday runs.

This year is Army Secretary Pete Geren’s final Army birthday celebration as the service’s top official. It’s important, he said, to take the time to reflect on the importance and the impact the U.S. Army has had on the history of the world.

“It’s important for an organization such as ours … to stop and reflect on its proud history,” Geren said. “It’s important to stop and think how different the history of the United States [and] the history of the world would be without the United States Army.”

Geren cited the importance of remembering the sacrifice made by previous generations of soldiers and military members. The battlefields may be different throughout time, he said, but the sacrifice is the same.

“Reflect on those who fought in Desert Storm and … those soldiers who stood all those years ago at Lexington and Concord,” he said. “Reflect on that wife, that husband who’s waiting home today for their loved ones to return, [because] they are living the same experiences and emotions a wife was living when her husband [or] her son faced down the British troops at Lexington and Concord.

“As we enjoy this week and blow out those candles and sing happy birthday,” he continued, “it’s so important to stop and think about what our soldiers have done. Think about how different today the world would be if it were not for the soldiers and families of the United States Army.”

(Report by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden, American Forces Press Service.)

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OEF Summary, June 12, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Nab 4 Militants, Rescue Kidnap Victim

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 -- U.S. and Afghan forces detained four suspected insurgents and rescued a kidnapping victim in recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials reported.

The suspects were detained today in Khost province. U.S. and Afghan troops were targeting a man they believed was connected to the Haqqani terrorist network. The joint force detained him, along with the others, without confrontation. An assault rifle and belts and vests of ammunition were confiscated, officials said.

In Helmand province’s Washer district June 10, coalition forces found a man tied and gagged inside a truck as they were establishing security for a meeting with local elders. Coalition medics examined the victim, and he was taken into protective custody by the Afghan National Army, officials said.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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OIF Summary, June 12, 2009: Troops in Iraq Nab Senior Terrorist Suspect

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 -- U.S. and Iraqi forces captured an alleged insurgent leader and found three weapon stockpiles in recent operations in Iraq, military officials reported.

The suspect was arrested by Iraqi police June 10 in Kirkuk. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the Iraqi government for allegedly purchasing weapons and bombs to fight coalition forces. The man is believed to be responsible for at least 10 murders in the area, officials said.

The weapons caches were discovered by U.S. soldiers and Iraqi troops June 9 in Taji, just north of Baghdad. The joint force found 44 mortars, 16 grenades, seven rocket-propelled grenades, four pounds of explosives, three rifles, two rockets and suicide belts. Most of the weapons were destroyed in place, but some were saved for use by the Iraq troops, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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Wire: US Military Warns Against Guantanamo Detainee Transfers

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this morning that U.S. military intelligence officials have quietly told Congress they advised against transferring 25 of the 60 Guantanamo Bay terror detainees deemed eligible for relocation by the Obama administration, including five who are considered to be highly dangerous and likely to return to the battlefield.

But the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officials did not raise any formal objections with the administration because they concluded the decision to move prisoners already had been made, according to a letter Sen. Tom Coburn, a member of the intelligence committee, sent Tuesday to Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, according to a report by The Washington Times.

In the letter, obtained by The Washington Times, the Oklahoma Republican senator questions whether the White House put political considerations ahead of national security.

The Washington Times noted the following details:
"The DIA told the committee that DIA has not objected to the release of many rank-and-file members of terrorist organizations 'due to an explicit understanding that many detainees were destined to be transferred out of GTMO regardless of intelligence-based objections,' " Mr. Coburn wrote.

"DIA's admission that it is not objecting to the release of some members of terrorist organizations due to a belief that policy considerations will outweigh intelligence concerns is highly troubling and highlights the need for the committee to hear from your office about the judgments of all agencies on this matter," Mr. Coburn wrote.
During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama said that if elected he would close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and two days after taking office issued an executive order carrying out that pledge, giving a one-year deadline for its closure, The Washington Times report said.

Recent polls show that a majority of Americans are opposed to closing the Guantanamo Bay camp and moving the detainees to the U.S.

Many state officials have also joined to oppose having any of the detainees moved to their jurisdiction.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: EXCLUSIVE: Military warns against detainee transfers

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Swedish Warship Discovers Evidence of World War Era Mine Field in Baltic Sea

News in Balance
News from the U.S. Navy.

News in Balance:

USS MOUNT WHITNEY, Baltic Sea, June 11, 2009 -- A Swedish navy ship operating in the Baltic Sea June 10 discovered evidence of a mine line while participating in Baltic Operations Exercise 2009.

HSwMS Faaroesund (MUL 20) discovered an object while deploying its autonomous underwater vehicle for a tactical evaluation of the sea floor as part of BALTOPS. This discovery could indicate the presence of underwater mines left over from both World Wars I and II in the vicinity.

The Swedish officer responsible for planning the evolution, Lt. Cmdr. Jörgen Bergman, said that the objects like this one, found southeast of the Swedish island Öland, were placed by the Nazis throughout the Baltic Sea during WWII. They were intended to obscure the location of mines from Allied forces.

"We are really excited about this opportunity to take what was a theoretical exercise and make it a real world operation," said Bergman who is assigned to the BALTOPS staff on board USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20). "If the presence of mines is confirmed, the Swedish Navy will start removing them to remove the threat to the area."

"By being able to recognize the object, the Swedish Navy now has a frame of reference for locating more," added Bergman.

The AUV Sapphires, the Swedish torpedo converted for underwater surveying, detected the object with its Synthetic Aperture Sonar. SAS is a sophisticated system that generates a higher resolution than standard types of sonar.

It's estimated that over 100,000 mines were laid throughout both World Wars ranging from Sweden to Lithuania with approximately 60,000 remaining undiscovered. The presence of the mines creates problems in shipping lanes and underwater development in the Baltic Sea

BALTOPS is comprised of forces from 12 countries and is the largest multinational naval exercise this year in the Baltic Sea. Annually hosted by the United States Navy, the exercise aims to improve maritime security in the Baltic Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among regional allies.

(Report by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Rumbach, 6th Fleet Public Affairs.)

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Pentagon Identifies Marine Casualty (OEF)

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2009 -- The following news release made available Thursday by the U.S. Department of Defense is the text of a statement identifying a casualty:
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ricky L. Richardson Jr., 33, of Franklin, Mo., died June 10 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.
(Report from a U.S. Defense Department news release.)

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Wire: Appeals Court Blocks Release of Detainee Photos

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that a federal appeals court has withdrawn its order forcing the government to release photographs said to depict the abuse of terrorism suspects.

President Barack Obama had originally said he would release the photographs, but reversed his position last month.

In a one-paragraph ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York stayed an earlier order that the photos be released immediately, giving the government time to appeal.

Military officials have said the images could lead to more violence in Pakistan because it deals with Taliban attacks.

Republican Senator John McCain and three allies urged Obama on Thursday use an executive order to classify photographs to ensure they do not become public.

Two of McCain's Senate allies, Joe Lieberman, an independent, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, attempted to include a provision in a supplemental war spending bill that would prohibit for three years the disclosure of images of abused prisoners photographed from Sept. 11, 2001, to Jan. 22, 2009.

Democrats in the House of Representatives resisted provision.

Reuters noted that Obama was on the phone with senators to try to persuade them to support the war funding bill without including the ban on releasing the photos, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu told reporters. She said she would vote for the bill without the photo restriction.

The House Democrats fought off one attempt to put the provision back in the bill, but Senate Democrats were facing an attempt to insert it by their Republican counterparts.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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Combat Camera Video: MC-12 Liberty Aircraft Arrives in Iraq

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NOTE: News readers click here to watch the video.

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2009 -- Embedded above is a video package about the use of the MC-12 Liberty aircraft in Iraq. Produced by Master Sgt. Niedzwiecki, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing. Length: 02:42.)

COMBAT CAMERA More Combat Camera Imagery on THE TENSION

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