On February 23, 1945, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal snapped a picture of five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising Old Glory atop Japan’s volcanic island of Iwo Jima. The photo became a rallying cry that would lead the United States to victory in World War II. Marines and veterans of the battle gathered to commemorate that moment 65 years to the day after it happened. Cpl. Jimmy Shea went to the Marine Corps War Memorial to show us the event. – Marine Corps News
Six More British Passports Used in Dubai Assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
An official statement given to The Times in Dubai today listed the six new British names, as well as three more Irish passport-holders, three French and three Australian. All the new suspects are thought to have been using phoney passports as a result of identity theft.
After Iran Gets the Bomb
The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to become the world’s tenth nuclear power. It is defying its international obligations and resisting concerted diplomatic pressure to stop it from enriching uranium. It has flouted several UN Security Council resolutions directing it to suspend enrichment and has refused to fully explain its nuclear activities to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Even a successful military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would delay Iran’s program by only a few years, and it would almost certainly harden Tehran’s determination to go nuclear. The ongoing political unrest in Iran could topple the regime, leading to fundamental changes in Tehran’s foreign policy and ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. But that is an outcome that cannot be assumed. If Iran’s nuclear program continues to progress at its current rate, Tehran could have the nuclear material needed to build a bomb before U.S. President Barack Obama’s current term in office expires.
State Department Lifts Ban on Exports of Night-Vision Goggles
The State Department’s decision on ITT Corp., a defense contractor that makes military-grade goggles, monoculars and gun sights capable of seeing through darkness, followed the company’s plan to prevent future export violations, as well as its cooperation with the government’s investigation, administration officials said.
Gates Names First Woman to Head Major Intel Agency
The next director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will be the first woman to head a major intelligence agency, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday. Letitia Long, currently the Defense Intelligence Agency’s deputy director, will take over NGA this summer, Gates said. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Murrett, the current NGA director, will stay on for several months to ensure a smooth transition.
Women to Serve on Subs, Gates Tells Congress
The Navy plans to repeal its ban on women serving on submarines, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has informed Congress. Gates signed a letter Feb. 19 informing Congress of the Navy’s plan to lift the policy, which it intends to do through the phased-in assignment of women to submarines, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed today. The secretary endorsed the plan, the brainchild of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Morrell said.
Taliban Capture Raises Hopes of Pakistan Shift
The capture of a second high-level leader of the Afghan Taliban by Pakistani authorities has raised the prospect that Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency, long accused by the U.S. of ties with Islamist extremists, has begun to turn on an organization it once cultivated.
CIA Briefed 68 Lawmakers on Interrogation Program
CIA officials briefed at least 68 U.S. lawmakers between 2001 and 2007 on enhanced interrogation methods like simulated drowning that were being considered or used against captured al Qaeda members, according to declassified documents released on Tuesday.
Nuclear weapons, Iran and the NPT
Yesterday I met Yukiya Amano, the new Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). His latest report, released this week, is very clear – Iran’s programme is of grave concern. They have also defied the UN and the IAEA by enriching uranium to 20%.
Pakistani US Envoy Denies Blackwater’s Presence
Pakistan Ambassador to the US asserts that there is no evidence of a ‘Blackwater’ presence in his country and no license has been issued to the notorious American security firm.
Blackwater in Kabul, or Eric Cartman Gets an AK-47
The Senate Armed Services Committee is holding a hearing today on Paravant, a previously little-known subsidiary of Xe Services (a.k.a. Blackwater). It caps a six-month investigation by the committee, and it promises to be a doozy. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the Democratic chair of the committee, met with reporters yesterday to give a sneak preview. According to a statement released last night by Levin, the investigation revealed “failures in U.S. government oversight” that allowed employees of Blackwater — sorry, Paravant (Levin said he saw “no meaningful distinction between the two”) — to go buck wild in Afghanistan.
Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/02/blackwater-in-kabul-or-eric-cartman-gets-an-ak-47/#ixzz0gSviXGTO
Eye Opener: Homeland Security has More Contractors than Feds
The department estimates it employs 200,000 contractors and roughly 188,000 federal employees, a total that does not include uniformed members of the Coast Guard.
We Would Lose Cyberwar says Former DNI Mike McConnell
In a hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, former DNI Mike McConnell, of Booz Allen, told legislators that “If the nation went to war today, in a cyberwar, we would lose. We’re the most vulnerable. We’re the most connected. We have the most to lose.”
Jones: NATO Must be Lean, Agile, and Flexible
In a provocative closed door session yesterday, National Security Advisor Jim Jones proclaimed that “NATO must be prepared to address, deny, and deter the full spectrum of threats, whether emanating from within Europe, at NATO’s boundaries, or far beyond NATO’s borders.” When Jones talks NATO, people listen. He’s a former Supreme Allied Commander and Atlantic Council chairman and has more than four decades of experience in the international security arena. And, when he addressed the Washington Strategic Concept Seminar yesterday, he had a lot to say.
Osprey Marjah Recon Raid Revealed
No photos from the raid were available at the time, but just today the PAOs over there at Leatherneck posted the first shots from the Feb. 19 raid. One thing to remember is that the Osprey has a slightly smaller cargo compartment than a 46 — or at least it feels smaller when you’re flying in it — and I’ll tell you, the way that thing arcs up out of the zone, I always felt like I or my gear was going to roll right out the back of the ramp.
Radio – Armed with Science – Upcoming Show: 2/24/2010 1:00 PM
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, more commonly known as “HAARP,” is a joint Air Force and Navy research program to enhance our knowledge of the physics of the ionosphere and radio science. The ionosphere, an upper atmosphere layer between about 60 and 200 miles in altitude, contains charged particles created by solar activity. These charged particles can impact long-range communications and space operations.
Worth Watching: BostonMaggie
The remarks, in English:
The Great People of Afghanistan, Salam Alaikum. Sunday morning, the International Security Assistance Force, while conducting a mission with Afghan Security Forces, launched an attack against what we believed to be a group of insurgents in Kotal Chawzar, in Southern Afghanistan. We now believe the attack killed and injured a number of Afghan citizens. I have spoken with President Karzai and apologized to him and the Afghan people. I have instituted a thorough investigation to prevent this from happening again. We are extremely saddened by this tragic loss of innocent lives. I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people. I pledge to strengthen our efforts to regain your trust to build a brighter future for all Afghans. Most importantly, I express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families. We all share in their grief and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.