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  • Senators Accuse Obama Administration of Stonewalling Ft. Hood Probe

    Leaders of the Senate’s principal oversight committee are accusing the Obama administration of stonewalling an investigation they have been conducting into the background to the deadly shootings at the Ft. Hood military base last Nov. 5, for which Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan was arrested and charged....
  • GOP Folds Its Cards at Holder Hearing

    Attorney General Eric Holder escaped the Senate Judiciary Committee virtually unscathed on Wednesday, signaling that the political firestorm over his handling of big terrorism cases may have subsided.Only a few months ago, Republicans were practically calling for Holder’s scalp, accusing him of bungling the Christmas Day bombing incident and making a wrongheaded decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court in New York. But at a long-anticipated hearing before the Senate on Wednesday, Holder firmly stood his ground—and got little resistance. He forcefully touted recent Justice Department successes in securing guilty pleas in major terrorism cases in New York and Chicago, and told the panel that accused Christmas Day underpants bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has provided “actionable” intelligence to federal authorities despite having been read his Miranda rights after his capture. Perhaps more surprising, he told the panel that “New York is not...
  • Ex-Marine Provided Hutaree 'Hit List' of Judges and Elected Officials and Served as Group's 'Heavy Gunner'

    A former U.S. Marine rifle expert and veteran of the 1991 Persian Gulf War supplied the extremist Christian Hutaree militia with a "hit list" of federal judges and elected officials and served as the group's "heavy gunner" who was responsible for providing a "significant volume of firepower" against designated law-enforcement targets, according to a court document released by federal prosecutors....
  • When Will Terrorists Get Nukes?

    There's no question that Al Qaeda and its partners have shown interest in atomic weapons. There's also little doubt that they've tried to get one, and even consulted with experts on how to design and build them. And based on the public statements and private expressions of interest of Osama bin Laden and his cohorts, there's no question at all that if they had a nuclear device, they'd use it. But even as this week's nuclear summit in Washington underscores the need for tighter safeguards, current and former U.S. intelligence and nuclear-security officials believe terrorists remain years away from acquiring or building an atomic bomb. While there have been documented cases as recently as last month of criminal elements acquiring and attempting to smuggle the kind of fissile material that could be used to make a nuclear weapon, current and former officials say there's no evidence that any terrorist entity has come close to getting their hands on...
  • Alleged Corruption Surrounds Karzai

    Last fall President Obama made what may be his most agonizing decision yet, sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. But now White House officials are making little secret about how exasperated they are with the erratic behavior of the country's president, Hamid Karzai. After Karzai suggested last week that he might join the Taliban if the U.S. and other Western nations keep dictating how his government should be run, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the president may scrap a planned meeting between the two leaders next month. One big issue lurking behind the spat: an ever more tense confrontation regarding alleged corruption within Karzai's inner circle....
  • Ex-Members of U.S. Military Were Members of Hutaree Militia Extremist Group

    Federal investigators have discovered that two members of the extremist Michigan-based Hutaree militia group charged with plotting to assassinate law-enforcement officers are former U.S. military servicemen, including a Marine Corps corporal who was a Persian Gulf War veteran and decorated expert rifleman....
  • Qatari Diplomat in “Shoe Bomb” False Alarm to Leave U.S. Soon

    After setting off the biggest mobilization of U.S. counterterrorism agencies since the unsuccessful Christmas Day underpants bombing attempt, Mohammed Al-Madadi is expected to leave the United States voluntarily within the next day or so, according to a senior administration official. Still, as of Friday morning, the Qatari diplomat remained in the country, and Brown Lloyd James, the public-relations firm that represents the Qatari Embassy in Washington, said plans had not been finalized for his departure. “We’re still very much in discussions,” said Alison Bradley, a spokeswoman for the firm, whose principals include a former editor of Britain’s raunchiest tabloid. “There are no negotiations going on,” said the senior administration official, asking not to be named when discussing diplomatically sensitive information. ...
  • Soundbite Sarah Storms the Big Easy

    Wearing a cardinal-red jacket and a knowing smile, Sarah Palin tore into President Barack Obama here in her best barracuda style, driving a crowd of 3,000 cheering southern Republican conservatives here in New Orleans into an early election-season frenzy and eliciting shouts of "Run, Sarah, Run!"...
  • The Shortlist to Replace Stevens

    After a month of announcing that he “might be” retiring, the liberal stalwart Justice John Paul Stevens made it official this morning. Effective at the end of the Supreme Court’s term this summer, Stevens told President Obama in a letter this morning that he would be stepping down, keen to the timing requisite for Obama to appoint another, and ideologically similar, jurist....
  • Beschloss: Where Will Obama's Library Be?

    With almost three years, at a minimum, left in office, Barack Obama has been understandably silent about his plans for a presidential library. But lawmakers and university officials in the two states where it might most obviously be located are already in action. The University of Chicago (where Obama taught) and the University of Hawaii (near Obama's childhood home) are working on their proposals—and the 50th state is poised to approve an official invitation. By tradition, these archives and museums are built wherever presidents want.History does, however, offer Obama guidelines. Every chief executive since Herbert Hoover has inspired a library, and the locations have followed a distinct pattern. Eleven of the last 13 presidents built their libraries in the state where they were born or raised—including Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, like Obama, never held office where he grew up. The two others, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, opted for California and Texas, respectively—the...
  • The Pine Beetle Devours the American West

    Global warming can sometimes feel like an intangible phenomenon. But if you live in the West, as I do, the evidence piles up in the stark form of dead trees. Since 2000 more than 6.5 million acres have perished in the U.S., turning forests into meadows in almost a dozen states. The culprit: the pine beetle, a fingernail-size bug that's become more voracious as the planet warms. Once a balanced part of forest life, the tree--eating insect now usually survives the winter, starts feeding earlier in the spring, and continues to plunder late into the fall. Entomologists are worried about multiple generations of beetles coexisting each season—a swarm that could wipe out enough trees to ruin land prices, the logging industry, and outdoor tourism.Nowhere is the epidemic felt more keenly than in Colorado, where the Forest Service recently created an emergency-management team to cull dead trees from near roads and power lines, and wooded communities have drawn up evacuation plans—a hedge...
  • A Surge of Hate

    Antigovernment extremists are on the rise—and on the march.
  • S.C.'s Plan for Better Energy Efficiency

    To restrict the nation's energy diet, the White House has offered billions of dollars to help Americans improve the efficiency of their homes. Few people have made upgrades, however—partly because of red tape, and partly because some of the cash is tied to rebates or tax credits, which require an upfront payment.South Carolina may have a better idea: a loan program that doesn't feel like one. Under the plan, a group of rural electricity cooperatives fund the improvements, then homeowners pay them off in their monthly utility bill. Two thirds of the savings would go to clearing the debt, and people would pocket the rest. Hailed by -energy analysts, the idea just needs funding, which a bipartisan coalition of Washington lawmakers (led by the South Carolina delegation) is trying to secure. If successful, it could mean greater energy efficiency for the Palmetto state—and a model program for the country at large.
  • Quote of the Day: Playground Antics

    "It’s kind of like getting out there on the playground, a bunch of kids ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, ‘Go ahead, punch me in the face and I’m not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me.’” —Sarah Palin on Sean Hannity about President Obama’s nuclear review that promises not to threaten nuclear action against a country in compliance with international proliferation standards.
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    Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East

    This book is a wide-ranging, big-picture account by an author who truly knows the area. David Hirst highlights Lebanon’s central role in every major regional clash of the last 50 years and offers a drastically different (and, to many, an inflammatory) view of Israeli policy than what’s familiar to most American audiences.