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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
The white head stones and Arlington and Punchbowl and at many other cemeteries just sit there today, silent but proud monuments to the sacrifice that this country was built upon. Originally called Decoration Day, this is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Several cities lay claim to observing the first memorial day but on this day, from California to the New York Island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters every town village and hamlet honor those who proved Freedom is free but it ain't cheap.
The eight year sentence for Omar Khadr will stand. He is the youngest detainee at the Guantanamo bay detention facility. He was taken there when he was 15 in 2002. On Oct. 25, 2010 he pled guilty to charges that included murder for throwing a grenade that mortally wounded an American soldier in Afghanistan. A military jury at the U.S. base in Cuba recommended a 40-year sentence. But a pretrial agreement limited him to no more than eight years. The Pentagon official in charge of war crimes tribunals upheld the eight-year sentence on Thursday.
Who will be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? The Associated Press indicates "Two people familiar with President Barack Obama's search" indicate he's chosen Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. Pentagon officials asked about it declined to comment on it way or the other. Dempsey would be an interesting choice because he just started a four-year term as Army chief of staff on April 11. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen's term ends Oct. 1.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is trying to prepare the defense industry for a huge decline in defense spending. Fiscal concerns could cause the Pentagon to abandon some military missions, and reduce the size of the armed forces. He's preparing to retire next month and in one of his last speeches, he told the American Enterprise Institute, that the days of post 9/11 unchallenged defense spend are numbered. He said neither the money nor the political support are there.
U/S intelligence agents are on the hunt around the world for Osama bin Laden's associates. Fred Burton, VP of intelligence at Stratfor says, "the first step is the identification of the individual and the second step is what country are they located in and can you find them." Mullah Omar, Ayman at Zawahiri and Anwar al Awlaki are the top of the list. And if any of them are in Pakistan says Burton, "That's going to pose a unique problem at this time." That problem is restoring trust between the two countries in time to capture them before they disappear.
President Barack Obama has sent a blunt and chilling warning to Al Qaida. "We not only took out (Osama Bin Laden) the symbol and operational leader of Al Qaida, we walked off with his files." He called it the largest treasure trove of intelligence ever seized from a terrorist. "Today every terrorist in the al Qaida network should be watching their back, because we're going to review every video, examine every photo, read every one of those millions of pages, we're going to pursue lead," said Mr. Obama. He told an audience at the CIA, they're going to go wherever they have to go to finish the job.
The Army surgeon general says U.S. troops in Afghanistan are suffering with the highest rates of mental health problems since 2005 and morale is skidding. The report is a significant and detailed glimpse of the psychological cost of the battle that commanders claim has reversed the momentum of the insurgency. The doctors say morale is suffering given the dramatic increase in fighting, which is at the highest level since they started doing their mental health studies in 2003.
Why did Al Qaida appoint Saif al Adel as their interim leader? U.S. intelligence sources say there is a split in the al Qaida organization and there a those who don't trust him and feel as though the Egyptian contingent of the organization which is led by Al Qaida number two Ayman al Zawahiri is not radical enough. A former U.S. intelligence official says most of the Al Qaida rank and file wanted a Saudi because they are perceived as having better Islamic credentials. What does the discord mean for Al Qaida? Experts say al Qaida is accustomed to disagreements.
So who's leaking the material from the Bin Laden raid? Former CIA Osama Bin Laden chief Michael Scheuer on CNN said only a handful high well known ranking intelligence officials have access to it. It's also especially ironic because several former intelligence officials say that some members of the media were being scrutinized after being suspected of receiving classified material and legal action pursued. No word yet on whether an investigation into the Bin Laden leaks will happen or not.
The killing of a Hassan al-Qahtani, a Saudi diplomat in Karachi, Pakistan has raised a lot of questions in the intelligence world. Why him? Why wasn't he driving an armored vehicle? Why was he even driving himself? Karachi is known to be a hotbed of terrorist activity and the Saudi government is known to be hated by Al Qaida. In the meantime The Saudi's say they will increase security for their diplomats around the world and at home. Al Qaida has vowed it will avenge the death of Osama bin Laden.