Streams

Larry Abramson

Larry Abramson appears in the following:

In Qatar, Hagel Tours Command Center That May Or May Not Exist

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Combined Air and Space Operations Center is a minimalist concrete bunker in the blasted desert south of Doha, the capital. U.S. officials like to pretend the outpost isn't really there, but members of the media accompanying Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on a trip to the Middle East got a close look.

Comment

Who Owns The Archives Of A Vanishing Iraqi Jewish World?

Thursday, November 07, 2013

In 2003, U.S. forces discovered a trove of Jewish documents in a flooded Baghdad basement. They tell the tale of a once-thriving Jewish community. The painstakingly restored documents will be exhibited in the U.S. before they are returned to Iraq. But some Jewish groups are trying to prevent that.

Comment

Pentagon Pushes States On Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

Friday, November 01, 2013

After the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Pentagon said it would offer military IDs and extend the benefits that come with them to same-sex partners. But some states that don't recognize gay marriages have refused to issue the IDs to same-sex spouses of National Guard members.

Comment

NSA Chief: We Did Not Collect French, Spanish Phone Data

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The head of the NSA testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday. General Keith Alexander disputed news reports that the NSA collected the phone call data of citizens in France and Spain. The NSA is facing tough criticism over its extensive surveillance efforts, including the apparent monitoring of phone calls of the leaders of countries that are close U.S. allies. The NSA controversy has also prompted legislators to change the way the agency conducts surveillance. Two reforms aim to limit the NSA's ability to collect the phone records of U.S. persons in bulk.

Comment

READ: Bipartisan Bill To End NSA's Domestic Bulk Collection

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy are sponsoring the legislation. There has been anger from both major parties about how the National Security Agency vacuumed up data from Americans' phone calls and emails.

Comment

Who Has The Right To Know Where Your Phone Has Been?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Law enforcement agencies across the country subpoena cellphone location data regularly. But civil liberties groups hope a series of state-level legal victories will usher in stronger protections for that often-revealing digital information.

Comment

West Point Women: A Natural Pattern Or A Camouflage Ceiling?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Since 1980, the percentage of women at the U.S. Military Academy has stayed largely the same, leading some to conclude that the school has set an artificial cap on the number of female cadets that it accepts. Now, West Point has been told it must raise those numbers to meet the demand for more female leaders.

Comment

Analyst Criticized For Syrian-Rebel Advocacy Connections

Thursday, September 12, 2013

During the run-up to possible military action in Syria, the name of an unknown researcher was catapulted into the spotlight. Elizabeth O'Bagy was on NPR, Fox and quoted by Senator John McCain during a hearing. It turns out, O'Bagy is not exactly who she said she was, and her story reveals a lot about how Washington works during times of high drama.

Comment

Documents Show NSA Violated Court Restrictions

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The National Security Agency violated special court restrictions on the use of a database of telephone calls, but the NSA says it fixed those problems. That's the bottom line from more documents declassified by the director of National Intelligence. The document dump is part of an effort to share more details about NSA surveillance activities that were uncovered by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

Comment

U.S. Mulls Over More Possible Targets For Syria Strike

Monday, September 09, 2013

The Pentagon has been focusing on the Syrian military's command-and-control sites, which remain the most likely focus of any U.S. strike. But military planners have begun to add new targets, such as mobile missile launchers, that could require more than cruise missiles โ€” and make the mission more complicated.

Comment

Lawmakers Struggle With Wording Of Syria Resolution

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Congress is trying to fashion language that would restrict U.S. involvement in Syria from escalating. But lawmakers often find it uncomfortable to rein in the commander in chief once U.S. forces have been committed.

Comment

The Drums Of War, Poolside Edition

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will help direct an attack on Syria, if and when it happens. But for now he's in Brunei for the ASEAN Plus meeting, far from the drums of war. It's an opportunity to build military-to-military ties โ€” and sell weapons. But the prospect of action in Syria is never far away.

Comment

Hagel's Indonesia Trip Consumed By Thoughts On Syria

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Syria government says it will allow U.N. weapons inspectors to access the site of an apparent chemical weapons attack outside Damascus. Last week's attack left hundreds of civilians dead, and could lead to a military response by the U.S. and other western nations. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is on a planned trip to Indonesia.

Comment

How A Look At Your Gmail Reveals The Power Of Metadata

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The NSA says it's only examining traffic information, not the content of Americans' phone calls. How much can that information tell you? Quite a lot, and in some ways it's more useful than actual content. NPR's Larry Abramson learns what analysts can discover about his life and contacts just by looking at his Gmail account.

Comments [1]

NSA Phone Records Revive Debate Over Supreme Court Case

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The government says phone and email traffic is not protected by the Fourth Amendment, and does not require a court warrant to search. The logic is based on a 1978 case that has been hauled out regularly to justify acquisition of third-party information. But does that logic apply to bulk collection of the sort that's at the heart of the debate over NSA surveillance?

Comment

Obama Administration Resists Cutting Off Egypt Aid

Monday, August 19, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Monday that the United States has limited influence in Egypt, where a violent crackdown by Egypt's military has left hundreds of protesters dead. Hagel's comment comes as some in Congress suggest the U.S. does have substantial leverage. They want the the U.S. to cut off military aid to Egypt.

Comment

Pentagon Adds New Measures To Combat Sexual Assault

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Under pressure from Congress, the Pentagon has announced additional measures to combat sexual assault. The Pentagon continues to resist proposals that would take prosecution of sexual assault out of the chain of command, but some lawmakers say that's the step that would make a difference.

Comment

Drone Manufacturers Confident Domestic Industry Will Grow

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gathering in Washington, D.C., drone manufacturers say they are optimistic about their business, despite a downturn in defense spending. The unmanned vehicle industry is hopeful the domestic market will open up. But they first must address privacy concerns exacerbated by the NSA spying scandal.

Comment

Obama Supports Some Senators' Call For NSA Reform

Friday, August 09, 2013

At his press conference on Friday, President Obama promised more transparency about the government's secret national security surveillance programs. The president expressed support for some reform efforts being considered in Congress and called for the release of more documents that explain how and why the surveillance effort works and whether it safeguards the privacy of Americans.

Comment

Study: Rising Military Suicide Rate Not Linked To Deployment

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association says the rising number of suicides in the military cannot be blamed on deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. But other studies say there is a link and many researchers caution that the factors leading to suicide are complex and unique for each individual, so they question whether the findings should guide treatment.

Comment