Classified documents at home? It's not like she didn't know better..she is a LTC in the Army Reserves in Intel. From Wiki (for what it's worth): Broadwell served in the United States Army and the United States Army Reserve. She was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Reserves in August 2012.
Give her the Sandy Berger treatment [who also knew that the material was classified and removal wasn't authorized either]. Then again, she's not a member of the Inner Party. See - One set of rules for me, another set of rules for thee.
Actually this isn't unusual. Generals and colonels have SIPRNET and safes at their homes. Not the Top Secret stuff that requires a SCIF.
However, those houses are usually on base where public access to them is regulated and monitored.
High level CIA personal can also do some low level classified work at home too, but unsure how this works.
So... basically it isn't outside the scope of reality that it was known about and authorized.
However.... if she wasn't cleared for it or kept the documents in a non approved way, she needs to fry for it.
So... basically it isn't outside the scope of reality that it was known about and authorized.
You can bet your ass she wasn't authorized to keep classified at home. Those were cardboard boxes the FBI was carrying out of her residence, not 1200 lb, 4 drawer safes. I hope she makes a bundle from that book, she's going to need it for legal fees. If any of the document are traced back, or obtained through her week end soldier activities.... she could be recalled to active duty and tried under the UCMJ. None of this will end well for Broadwell.
Posted by: Besoeker on the road again ||
None of this will end well for Broadwell.
Besoeker, all she's got to do is flash those crazy eyes and she'll be sweet, Just ask Petraeus.
I'd be happy to be called out of retirement to sit on her court martial.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia ||
Besoeker, The FBI carries everything that isn't nailed down out in those banker boxes. SOP for them. I would expect them to carry the classified info in the approved method. Aka, a double locked container or banker's bag in another locked container like a briefcase. DoD rules.
Under the UCMJ, she'd face charges at least for adultery and mishandling of classified documents. Not good, but as crimes go, pretty mundane. Not to excuse her many bad judgments, but seems to me the worst thing she did was get caught, in a very public way.
Seems like it would be important to know what the documents were and Broadwell's motivation for taking them home. I'd think she would be one of the people the Washington Congressional committees would want to talk to.
The CIA had a presence in Benghazi. What operations were they involved in? I wonder if this will ever come out? Several people supposedly involved in the Benghazi attack have been reported to be in custody in Tunisa--another dead in Cairo, a couple more picked up in Turkey. I wonder if any of these people have been questioned? I wonder if the Turkish counsel general who met with Ambo Chris Stevens on 9/11 evening has been questioned? Any Russian involvement in Benghazi?
[Al Ahram] Ahmed al-Jaabari a high ranking member the Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, movement's armed wingwas assassinated Wednesday by an Israeli air strike sparked furious protests in Gazoo City, with hundreds of members of the Paleostinian Islamic movement Hamas and its armed wing -- the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades -- chanting for Dire Revenge™.
In a statement, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades said his liquidation had "opened the gates of hell," vowing its gunnies would "continue the path of resistance".
Israel's Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency confirmed it targeted Jaabari in a joint strike with the army, charging he had been "directly responsible for executing terror attacks".
Jaabari deliberately kept a low profile, was rarely photographed and avoided being interviewed.
But a deal to secure the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit brought him out of the shadows last year. He allowed himself to be caught on camera on 18 October, 2011 as he delivered Shalit to Egypt as part of a key prisoner exchange deal with the Jewish state. The footage was broadcast instantly around the world, and showed Jaabari in civilian clothing, glasses in his shirt pocket, as he walked his Israeli charge to a car.
Jaabari hailed from a respected activist family in the Shejaiya neighbourhood of Gazoo City, with close ally Abu Hudaifa describing him as confident in his own decisions and committed to following up personally on issues.
A history graduate from Gazoo's Islamic University, Jaabari was placed in durance vile I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece! by Israel in 1982 when he was an activist with Fatah, the secular Paleostinian national movement which has long been a bitter rival of Hamas.
It was in prison, where he spent 13 for planning deadly attacks, where he met some of Hamas's top leaders such as Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, Ismail Abu Shanab, Nizar Rayyan and Salah Shehadeh and decided to join the movement.
Shehadeh led the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades until he was killed in a massive Israeli air strike in July 2002, after which he was replaced by Mohammed Deif.
Several months later, Deif was badly maimed in another Israeli strike and went underground, leaving Jaabari as the operational head of the armed movement at the height of the second intifada, or Paleostinian uprising.
Known in Gazoo as "the general" or the "chief of staff," Jaabari could occasionally be spotted walking alone in the street.
But, as one of the top names on Israel's most wanted list, Jaabari took almost obsessive care when it came to his personal security.
Jaabari had previously been the apparent target of more than one Israeli liquidation attempt, including a 2004 air strike that killed his eldest son Mohammed, along with his brother and several of his cousins.
He was also targeted by the Paleostinian security forces, who arrested him in 1998 and held him for nearly two years on account of his activities with Shehadeh and Deif.
After Jaabari took over the day-to-day running of operations, the gang became increasingly professional.
He was also credited with playing a leading role in the Islamist movement's takeover of Gazoo in summer 2007, which saw its gunnies expelling Fatah forces after a week of bloody fighting and a botched coup attempt by Fatah against a democratically elected Hamas.
In addition to his leadership role in Ezzedine Al-Qassam, Jaabari was a member of the movement's politicianship and the founder of Nur, an association to help "deaders and prisoners."
He had two wives, including a daughter of his mentor, Shehadeh.
[Asharq-E] The U.S. military's commander in Africa said on Wednesday some militants involved in the attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya were linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
"There is a growing network of violent extremist organizations and it appears to me very likely that some of the terrorists who participated in the attack in Benghazi have at least some linkages to AQIM," General Carter Ham, head of Africa Command, told reporters in Paris.
"That is not to say that it was AQIM which planned or organized or led the activity but clearly some of the individuals had some linkages," he said.
Ham made the comments ahead of a congressional hearing on Thursday into the events surrounding the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens on September 11.
[Al Ahram] The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has issued a statement condemning the Israeli attack on Gazoo Wednesday that resulted in the death of at least seven Paleostinians, including Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, leading figure Ahmed Al-Jaabari.
"The Freedom and Justice Party condemns the Israeli liquidation operation targeting late commander Ahmed Al-Jaabari on Wednesday by the IDF (Israeli army). It is a crime that needs a quick Arab and international move to stop the massacres against the besieged Paleostinian people," the political arm of the Moslem Brüderbund group said in its statement, presenting its condolences to Hamas and its Death Eater branch, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades.
Saad El-Katatni, the FJP's leader, posted on his Twitter account that the Israeli attack on Gazoo means that Israel has not yet realised that Egypt has changed and that the Egyptian people who revolted against injustice will not accept the aggression against Gazoo.
In statements to Al-Jazeera ... an Arab news network headquartered in Qatar, notorious for carrying al-Qaeda press releases. The name means the Peninsula, as in the Arabian Peninsula. In recent years it has settled in to become slightly less biased than MSNBC, in about the same category as BBC or CBS... TV channel, Essam El-Erian, a leading member of the Moslem Brüderbund and deputy president of the FJP, demanded Egypt summon the Egyptian ambassador to Israel for talks in Cairo and that the Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... hold an emergency meeting.
[Yemen Post] A front man of the Joint Meeting Parties (the JMP) has stressed that the JMP has a firm stance towards Saleh's abandonment of politics, pointing out that Saleh was granted the immunity in return for giving up politics.
Naif Al-Qanis said the states that adopted the GCC-drawn power transfer deal verbally pledged to force Saleh to give up politics, indicating that the JMP is surprised as they have not fulfill their promises.
Al-Qanis revealed that the JMP will meet with the UN Envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar to discuss the preparations for the national dialogue conference.
He spelt out that they will present Benomar several proposals to pave the way for the dialogue, pointing out that among these proposals are forcing Saleh to throw out politics, ending the division of the army and issuance of the transitional justice law.
He further singled out that the JMP accepted granting Saleh immunity to avoid any conflicts.
The JMP is frequently charge Saleh with intervention in tasks of the interim government and seeking to disrupt its performances.
Yemeni senior politicians including Secretary General of the Yemeni Socialist Party Yaseen Saeed Noaman and Secretary General of the Nasserist Unionist People's Organization Sultan al-Atwani demanded Salehto leave Yemen.
Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years, stepped down in November under a power-transfer deal that was brokered by the GCC and backed by the West after the unrest.
Benomar arrived in Sana'a on Monday nights in an attempt to persuade Yemeni factions to take part in dialogue conference that is set to be held in late November.
[Yemen Post] Yemeni members of parliament have demanded the ministers of defense and interiors to attend to the House of Representative in order to discuss US attacks of unmanned drones on Yemeni areas.
Ali Al-Ansi, a member of the Islah party, demanded the parliament presidency on a Monday session to set a day to discuss the US drone attacks.
Mohammad al-Hazmi, a representative of the Islah party, urged the parliament to have a bold attitude towards the violations of US drones of Yemeni soils, stressing that innocent Yemeni civilians were mistakenly killed.
Sadeq Al-Basha, of the General People Congress, had strongly criticized the attitude of the Yemeni government toward the drone strikes, affirming that extrajudicial killing is prohibited in all laws and legislations.Tribal leaders had complained unmanned drones repeatedly kill civilians in different governorates of Yemen, pointing out that US drones fly over some areas and they raise fears among population. Many Al-Qaeda Islamic fascistiincluding big shots have been targeted by US drones in Yemeni southern and southeastern regions in the past months. However, a lie repeated often enough remains a lie... US drones sometimes miss its target and kill civilians.
A US drone killed a suspected Al-Qaeda target in the Sanhan district southeast of Yemen's capital Sana'a last week.
Tribal sources affirmed that a US drone destroyed a car near the village killing a suspected Al-Qaeda operative and injuring another suspected bully boy.The killed was identified as Adnan Al-Qadi and the injured was taken to hospital, they continued.
[Bangla Daily Star] Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... and Islami Chhatra Shibir ... the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh... are likely to intensify violent activities across the country in December as they think the international crimes tribunals would deliver verdicts against a few Jamaat leaders then, sources said.
According to sources, including intelligence agency personnel, Jamaat-Shibir men would disengage from their violent activities seen in the last couple of weeks and reengage more fiercely in December to hinder the war crimes trials.
Meanwhile, ...back at the wrecked scow, a single surviver held tightly to the smashed prow... the authorities concerned have seized a huge amount of funds from different middle-eastern countries, which, the intelligence agencies believe was brought in to pay for the hindrance of the war crimes trials through destabilising law and order.
One source even claimed that the amount was around Tk 100 crore.
The intelligence agencies have been gathering information about Jamaat and pro-Jamaat student body Shibir's next course of action. They were interrogating the placed in durance vile Please don't kill me! Jamaat-Shibir leaders and workers, sources said.
Sources in the intelligence and other law enforcement agencies said jugged Please don't kill me! Jamaat-Shibir men told them that they had been attacking police and resorting to violence following instructions from their high-ups.
The intelligence agencies were trying to identify those "high-ups", added the sources.
[Bangla Daily Star] No fewer than 200 copperswere maimed across the country in the last nine days of violent demonstrations by Jamaat-Shibir men. Interestingly, the law enforcers were apparently the target of "planned attacks" that also left at least 300 people injured.
A former police chief thinks the attacks on the law enforcers might have been carried out to demoralise them and disrupt law and order. Two eminent citizens, however, consider the attacks as a manifestation of fear in the Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... and its associated body Islami Chhatra Shibir ... the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh... , and their desperate bid to foil the ongoing war crimes trial.
"The reason behind targeting coppers [in the attacks] might have been to undermine their spirit," former inspector general of police ASM Shahjahan told The Daily Star.
He said the attacks were probably carried out to obstruct law and order and to push the war crimes trial off course.
"But whatever the reason might be, it is a must for the government to take necessary action against those who are involved," he added.
War crimes researcher Shahriar Kabir considers the attacks as Jamaat's desperation, saying that the party needs a few dead bodies so that it can claim "there is no democracy in the country".
"This is why they are attacking police to force them to retaliate [on Jamaat-Shibir] with fire and injure at least one," he said, adding, "It's their old strategy."
He also labelled the attacks as "pre-planned" whereas the government considers them as stray incidents.
Shahriar, executive president of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, said the countrywide brutal activities of the Jamaat "prove its efforts to push the country towards a civil war".
The more the war crimes trial is approaching its final stages, the more the Jamaat is becoming desperate to foil it, he observed, and added that once the trial was completed properly and the accused punished, it would not be able to continue politics. "It is their life and death problem."
The government has no alternative but to ban the Jamaat as "it does not accept Bangladesh's constitution and its existence," he said.
[Bangla Daily Star] Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide... said in parliament yesterday that religion-based politics had already created a political problem in the country.
"It is only natural that the seed of communalism embedded in religious fanaticism will raise its ugly head," Hasina said in a scripted reply in the House.
She said her government would not spare anyone who was involved in the heinous attacks on Buddhist temples and homes in Cox's Bazar and Chittagong.
"A total of 270 people were incarcerated Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! after 19 cases were filed with different cop shoppes in Cox's Bazar and Chittagong in connection with the destruction of Buddhist temples and homes," said Hasina, who is the leader of the House.
The government acted quickly after the brutal attacks on the Buddhist temples and houses at Ramu, Ukhia and other places on September 29 and the following day.
Hasina, president of the ruling Awami League, said her party had always believed in a secular and non-communal political philosophy since its inception, and her government would not tolerate any activities that would destroy communal harmony.
She said work was underway to rebuild the damaged Buddhist temples and monasteries under the supervision of the army.
Lunaticholy manAbu Qatada was freed from prison on Tuesday after a UK court ruled he cannot be deported from Britannia to Jordan to face terrorism charges. Qatada has been dubbed the late Osama bin Laden's ... who is no more... right-hand man in Europe.
British authorities reluctantly released terror suspect Abu Qatada on bail Tuesday after judges ruled that the radical holy man dubbed Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe should not be extradited to Jordan.
Heavily bearded and wearing a black cap, the Islamist preacher smiled slightly as he was driven out of the high-security Long Lartin prison in central England in the back of a black minibus.
Several hours later, a small group of protesters gathered outside Abu Qatada's house in northwest London and rolled their eyes, jumped up and down, and hollered poorly rhymed slogans real loud calling for his deportation, as the father-of-five arrived at his modest terraced home.
The court ruling on Monday was a severe blow for the British government, which has kept the preacher in jug for most of the last 10 years and repeatedly tried to send him to Jordan.
"I am completely fed up with the fact that this man is still on the lam in our country. We believe he is a threat to our country," Prime Minister David Cameron ... has stated that he is certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite, which means he's not. Since he is not deeply ideological he lacks core principles and is easily led. He has been described as certainly not a Pitt, Elder or Younger, but he does wear a nice suit so maybe he's Beau Brummel ... said during a visit to Rome.
"We have moved heaven and earth to try and comply with every single dot and comma of every single convention to get him out of the country."
Abu Qatada was convicted in absentia in Jordan in 1998 for involvement in terror attacks, but British judges accepted his argument that evidence obtained by torture might be used against him in a retrial.
The preacher, a Jordanian of Paleostinian origin who is in his early 50s, will be under a curfew 16 hours a day but can leave his home between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.
He will have to wear an electronic tag and restrictions will be placed on who he meets.
The handful of protesters outside the preacher's house brandished a "Get Rid of Abu Qatada" banner.
"He shouldn't be here. He was supposed to be deported to Jordan. It's a disgrace," said Jackie Chaunt, 50.
The European Court of Human Rights had ruled earlier this year that Abu Qatada could not be deported while there was a "real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him" in a possible retrial.
Home Secretary Theresa May ordered Abu Qatada's extradition anyway after she was given assurances by Jordan that he would be treated fairly.
But the Special Immigration Appeals Commission -- a semi-secret panel of British judges that deals with national security matters -- ruled in Qatada's favour.
They said statements from Abu Qatada's former co-defendants Al-Hamasher and Abu Hawsher may have been obtained by torture and created a risk that any trial would be unfair.
The holy man, whose real name is Omar Mohammed Othman, arrived in Britannia in 1993 claiming asylum and has been a thorn in the side of successive British governments.
Videos of his sermons were found in the Hamburg flat used by some of the hijackers involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks. He has also defended the killing of Jews and attacks on Americans.
A Spanish judge once branded him the right-hand man of late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Europe, although Abu Qatada denies ever having met bin Laden.
Britannia initially jugged Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! him in 2002 under anti-terror laws imposed in the wake of 9/11 but he was released under house arrest.
London first ordered his deportation in 2005 and his appeal against that order was rejected in 2009. May then signed a fresh deportation order and Abu Qatada appealed to the European court.
He was briefly freed on bail earlier this year but then re-locked away Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! In October Britannia extradited another radical Islamist preacher, Abu Hamza, and four other terror suspects to the United States.
Toronto Police are calling the vandalism of a west-end war memorial "a hate crime."
A woman walking Sunday night by the sculpture in Coronation Park -- at the foot of Strachan Ave. and Lakeshore Blvd. W. -- called police after noticing someone had taken a black marker and written "Canada will burn; Praise Allah" on the memorial.
"This is an identifiable group," Det. Anthony Williams told news hounds at the scene Monday. "The veterans should be respected. That's a total disrespect for our sworn members and military members who have made the ultimate sacrifice."
At the Remembrance Day ceremony at Old City Hall Sunday morning, anti-war protesters were heard chanting during the two minutes of silence.
Williams said he couldn't speculate whether the vandalism was protest-related.
"I can't speculate as to what their motivation is, but if they did this on Nov. 10 or 11 ... someone is looking for an opportunity to draw attention to themselves," he said.
City cleaners scrubbed the black letters off the memorial.
Mischief and vandalism charges could be likely, Williams said, but there "are provisions for higher penalties when they are designated as a hate crime."
Officers were also investigating a sign at a lifeguard's post near the memorial, which had "Holy Jihad" written in black marker, to determine if there was any connection with the vandalism found on the memorial.
Yes. She will set the timeline for her appearance. Maybe in about a month from now, after they hopefully can put together a favorable lie, and of course, after she returns from boozing it up wine tasting in Australia.
A report issued today by the National Academy of Sciences warns of the vulnerability of the USA's electrical power grid to being blacked out for weeks or months due to terrorist attack. The risk has been known to the industry for years.
If years is defined as a period of several decades, then yes.
A prolonged widespread power outage could cause thousands of death from cold or heat,
Not to mention hunger, thirst, deprivation and disease, but do go on.
and hundreds of billions of dollars in damage to the economy.
Of particular concern are certain large high-voltage transformers [HVT] that increase the voltage of electricity to levels suited for bulk transmission and then reduce voltage for distribution to customers. These must be custom-built, most are made abroad, and replacing a single one can take many months.
Some of the recommendations:
develop & stockpile a family of easily transported HVTs
take steps to reduce system vulnerability & speed restoration
give incentives to utilities & transmission operator to do the above
invest in basic technology in power delivery
develop a national inventory of portable generating equipment for critical loads during extended outages
Of course, the risk to hospitals of putting their emergency generators and fuel supplies in flood-prone areas has also been known for years, and very little has been done about that.
$100 bucks gets you a 1500W invertor, $20 gets you something to recharge small items and batteries. Know how to power a gasoline pump, have the right invertor, and you are good to go. Much better than watching Libyans dip quick shop cups into storage tanks, or worse, a New Yorker.
$100 bucks gets you a 1500W invertor Last I checked, a 1500w inverter cost $130 at Harbor Freight (for what that's worth). These require appropriate copper cables & attachment lugs at about $70. Appropriate deep-cycle batteries to mate with such a beast cost $400-900. Then you will still need something to recharge those batteries (e.g. a gas engine).
Better off paying $400+ for a 4000W gasoline generator (Harbor Freight's cheapest, of course you can pay much much more for the best stuff), modify it to run on propane and natural gas (about an extra $400). Hope you will be able to keep it fueled to run more than a month at a stretch in this scenario. Natural gas is the best bet for an energy source in this scenario, assuming the NG system itself will survive such an extreme outage of electrical power.
Then there are externalities, such as the long-standing and widespread lack of auxiliary power for gas stations, which will then affect EMS, law enforcement, sanitation, water supply and hospitals, among other things. Forget about your cell phone working after backup power fails at the antenna sites (they depend mostly on diesel, the source paper did recommend developing alternative energy sources for cell phone towers).
No easy or cheap answers for the risk here. Political cooperation is absolutely necessary to ameliorate risk, but there are vastly more important issues to deal with nowadays, like gay marriage, open borders, blaming the other side, and bailing out the Vampire Squid and deadbeat homeowners.
Keep going, nothing to see here, folks.
I have a 2kw inverter powered by line (At the moment) with a solar cell(Large) to power it whenever the sun shines, in the Plan is a wind generator and another few solar cells,
Its not much, but if we have an outage I'm set.
In the future I plan an entirely ingependent setup, No line power at all.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
with a solar cell(Large) to power it whenever the sun shines
Good for you. I live in one of the cloudiest areas in North America.
Sale at 'Zon, but yeah there is another choice. Auto Invertor, sure there are more efficient choices but the invertor is portable; is your car. It is a very individual decision based upon environment and problem. I had to chuckle to keep from laughing to see those generators being used to charge NYC cell phones instead of other uses, when for pennies a person could get a solar charger for the phone, flashlights, batteries. Only on a sunny day, sure, but beats waiting around for FEMA or Barry to get dirt under his fingernails.
Local ranchers have gone 50/50 on solar/wind powered water pumps, they love it. Mechanical windmills that is; the olde tyme ones.
The question I have banging in my head is how computerized gas pumps are. Would not only the mechinism need power, but also the cash register/approval system? Of course I'm in the prosecution is the least of my problems category now.
Best solution for gas stations is to require them to have their own backup generators. It is not as if they don't make enough money to do this, or that they themselves are short on fuel. Allow them to charge double for fuel whenever the grid is down. People should expect to pay cash for gasoline when power is out. Plastic card approval depends on the grid, phone system & the internet, too unreliable to count on.
But then there's this: The Federal Housing Administration will need billions of dollars in aid from the U.S. Treasury before the end of the year to fill a financial hole caused by defaults on mortgages it insures, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus said today.
Pakistan will consider freeing former Afghan Taliban second-in-command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, if current releases of lower level members help to advance peace efforts, officials from both countries said on Thursday.
"After releasing 13 Taliban, Pakistan promised to free Mullah Baradar if these releases prove effective in peace negotiations," a senior Afghan official close to talks between Islamabad and Kabul told Reuters.
Afghanistan has been pushing Pakistan to release Afghan Taliban captives who could provide leverage in any peace talks with the movement.
Kabul has long been suspicious of its powerful neighbor's intentions. Pakistan has gained credibility in the Afghan peace process by agreeing to release mid-level Taliban over the last two days.
But Pakistan is under growing pressure to free senior Taliban figures such as Baradar to boost reconciliation efforts, as most NATO combat troops prepare to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and anxiety grows over the country's security.
Afghan officials believe he may command enough respect to persuade the Taliban to engage in talks with the Kabul government.
[Dawn] Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the situation in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... and said that myrmidons were trying to create sectarian strife in the ongoing spate of violence.
"We are all mindful of the fact that extremism, militancy, intolerance, sectarian violence and terrorism, all put together have posed a serious threat and challenge to our illusory sovereignty, security and national cohesion," he added.
"As a nation, we have to thwart the designs of the gunnies and the government would play its part in eliminating these elements," the prime minister said during the federal cabinet meeting held under his chairmanship.
The prime minister said keeping in mind the sanctity of the Holy month of Moharrum-ul-Haraam, he has directed law enforcement agencies of all the provinces to further beef up security arrangements to maintain peace and harmony.
He said that the federal government would extend all possible assistance to the provincial governments and all possible measures will be taken for improvement in the law and order situation in Bloody Karachi.
The prime minister requested that the people of Bloody Karachi to keep an eye on suspicious activities of myrmidons and inform authorities about any such activity.
He also urged the Ulema and religious scholars to play their role in bringing peace to the city.
[Dawn] President Asif Ali Ten Percent Zardari ... husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, who has been singularly lacking in curiosity about who done her in ... said on Wednesday that deterioration of law and order situation in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... was not the failure of the state, DawnNews reported.
"Enemies of the state want to destabilise state's effort in the war against terrorism through deterioration of law and order situation in Bloody Karachi," the president said.
He said that if any ill-intender thinks that they could dent government's commitment against terrorism, they are mistaken.
President Zardari said that the next general elections would be held in time. Adding that, he said that future policies will have to be made in consultation with all the stakeholders.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf also expressed his concern over the situation of the city. He advised the provincial governments to enhance the security during the month of Muharram.
The responses of the president and the prime minister came after the allied partners of the coalition government --the MQM and the ANP-- boycotted the Senate session on Tuesday protesting against the rising violence in Bloody Karachi.
After a heated debate in upper house on Tuesday, the ANP demanded immediate military operation in Bloody Karachi while the MQM demanded imposition of emergency in the city.
[Dawn] Pakistain's intelligence agencies were told by former President Pervez Perv Musharraf ... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ... to "stay away" from politics and stop their interference in the country's political affairs, the former president said in an interview.
Former President and Chief of Army Staff General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf told the BBC that he had directed then Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt-Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani ... four star general, current Chief of Army Staff of the Mighty Pak Army. Kayani is the former Director General of ISI... -- who is now the current Army chief -- that his institution's interference in politics should end.
However, nothing needs reforming like other people's bad habits... Musharraf added that the directions were only verbal and not written.
"This wasn't a formal order; but we had decided that the ISI will not interfere in the political playground," the BBCUrdu quoted Musharraf as saying.
The former Army chief added that this was the reason that there was no rigging or intervention during the 2008 elections, and neither did any such complaints arise.
About the Asghar Khan case, Musharraf said that it was creating a rift between state institutions, which was problematic for Pakistain. He said that we were creating problems for ourselves by staying in the past.
Musharraf added that if he did have to travel back into the past, then the cases of East Pakistain's separation, Ayub Khan and even Liaquat Ali Khan's liquidation should also be reopened. He said that we should focus on the present and the future instead of the past.
The former president added that it appeared as if the military men were being targeted.
"In my opinion, a conspiracy is being brewed to weaken Pakistain because the Army holds a central role in Pakistain and if it is weakened then the state is also weakened," said Musharraf.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip were "unacceptable" and would lead to instability in the region, in a televised address to the nation on Thursday.
"We are in contact with the people of Gaza and with Palestinians and we stand by them until we stop the aggression and we do not accept under any circumstances the continuation of this aggression on the Strip," Morsi said.
Okay, it's unacceptable. What are you going to do about it? If the answer is 'nothing' other than grimace fiercely, then it's clear that what is happening is indeed acceptable.
[Al Ahram] The Israeli cabinet gave preliminary authorisation on Wednesday for the mobilisation of military reserves if required to press an air assault against the Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,-ruled Gazoo Strip.
Ministers convened in Jerusalem agreed "to allow the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) to enlist reserve forces in accordance with the need and the authorisation of the defence minister," a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.
[Al Ahram] Syria condemned Israel's "atrocities" in the Gaza Strip where a series of air raids on Wednesday killed the Hamas military chief and at least six other Palestinians, calling for action from the international community
Self defense is now considered an "atrocity"?
Israel should shoot back rocket for rocket into Gaza's larger cities. tit for tat. methinks the rocket attacks on both sides would soon stop. especially if Israel announces up front which cities will be targeted, if another rocket is shot into Israel.
Syria's new opposition coalition will set up its headquarters in Cairo, the hub of Arab diplomacy, as it lobbies foreign powers for recognition as the war-torn country's legitimate government, officials in the movement said.
[Al Ahram] The Paleostinian Authority on Wednesday urged the U.N. Security Council to take a stand on Israel's latest offensive in the Gazoo Strip, which it said in a letter to the council amounted to illegal criminal actions
"This escalation, which continues at this moment, demands the attention of the international community, including the Security Council, with the aim of averting the further deterioration and destabilization of the situation on the ground and the fueling by Israel of yet another deadly cycle of violence and bloodshed," said Paleostinian envoy Riyad Mansour.
In a letter to Indian U.N. Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, president of the 15-nation council this month, Mansour added that "a direct message must be sent to Israel to cease its military campaign against the Paleostinian people under its occupation, including the cessation of extrajudicial killing."
Israel launched a major offensive against Paleostinian cut-throats in Gazoo on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would "open the gates of hell™".
[Asharq-E] Syria's new opposition coalition will set up its headquarters in Cairo, the hub of Arab diplomacy, as it lobbies foreign powers for recognition as the war-torn country's legitimate government, officials in the movement said.
Mouaz Alkhatib, a moderate Sunni Mohammedanholy man who fled Syria for Cairo in July, was elected on Sunday to head the coalition, the latest attempt to present a united front after more than a year of bickering among Bashir al-Assad's opponents.
Twenty months of conflict have killed more than 38,000 people, leaving gun-hung tough guys with few weapons to fight Assad's air force and heavy artillery.
The opposition is under growing pressure to form a body that can rule after him as rebels advance on the ground and the country slides further into economic and social chaos.
"The decision has been taken to make Cairo the permanent headquarters for the Syrian opposition coalition to meet and plan ahead," an aide to Alkhatib said on condition of anonymity.
Iran test-fired an anti-aircraft missile system during a mock fight against Western forces early Wednesday as it continues to conduct a four-day military display during which it has unveiled several advanced weaponry systems, according to Iranian news reports.
Advanced for Iran, they mean...
Iran's Air Defense unit successfully fired a newly modified S-200 missile at a jet engine drone during a simulation of a possible attack on American or Israeli fighter planes, according to Iran's Fars News Agency.
Congratulations, O Iranian engineers! Did you successfully hit it as well?
The system reportedly is capable of targeting aircraft flying at mid and high altitudes.
"The S-200 missile is a surface-to-air long-rang missile which is able to counter strategic aircrafts and semi-ballistic missiles," Brigadier General Farzad Esmaeili was quoted telling reporters, according to the Mehr News Agency.
The drills began on Monday and are aimed at highlighting a handful of new domestically produced missile and defense systems capable of repelling an attack by Western nations. An estimated 8,000 Iranian military forces are said to be participating in the drills, which are noteworthy for both their scope and scale.
Iran test-fired "medium-range and low-altitude missile systems" during Tuesday's military display, according to separate reports.
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Armed Forces jointly conducted an air drill Tuesday, according to Mehr.
Military leaders also revealed a new domestically manufactured artillery system that is capable of hitting targets "with pinpoint accuracy" that "cannot be detected by the enemy's tracking systems," according to the report.
Guided by djinns?
The unveiling of these advanced weapons and missiles is believed to be a warning to America and Israel against conducting a military strike on Iran's nuclear sites.
"Too often, the White House and Pentagon look at these Iranian exercises and conclude they have more time, especially when something the Iranians try goes wrong," said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. "This policy of procrastination is no substitute for strategy, however--after all, the Iranians can learn just as much from their mistakes as they can from their successes."
The use of new missile systems indicates that Iran continues to have success building weaponry domestically despite Western economic sanctions.
"At the very least, the exercises show the trajectory in which the Iranian military would like to go," Rubin said. "The exercises also should underline the notion that Iran's indigenous arms industry is formidable and that sanctions alone will not be able to stop the regime."
Iran also unveiled on Tuesday a missile system reportedly capable of striking air targets, Mehr reported. The new "Mersad" system "uses domestically manufactured Shahin missiles, which are even more advanced than the 1970s-era U.S.-manufactured Hawk missiles," the report states.
They're up to the 1980s now! Well, early 1980s...
These new weapons systems should be viewed with caution, Rubin said.
"We can pooh-pooh Iran's conventional weaponry
...and we do...
but should the regime develop nukes, all the regional states will be facing these new conventional missiles and systems every hour of every day, as the Iranians conclude that no one would dare retaliate against a country that has its own nuclear deterrent."
Iranian military leaders have used the drills as an occasion to threaten the U.S.
"The era of military threats of the United States is past," Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said on Tuesday, accordingto Mehr.
"There's a lot of chatter out there about possible diplomatic breakthroughs with Iran," said Rubin. "And in the corridors of [the State Department], there's hope that the Iranians will somewhere, somehow reach out for Obama's outstretched hand."
They'll reach long enough to bite it...
Iran's continued aggression should be viewed as a sign of things to come, Rubin said.
"It's hard to accuse the Iranians of deceit," he said. "After all, they signal their intentions every day. And these military exercises are that signal."
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.