According to our partner The New York Times, the N.S.A. has bypassed or simply cracked much of the digital encryption used by businesses and regular Americans by building powerful supercomputers to break encryption codes, among other things. Scott Shane, national security correspondent for our partner The New York Times, explains Snowden's latest leak.
Another revelation has come to light surrounding the nature of U.S. spying programs as the G8 summit kicks off in Ireland. A document disclosed by Edward Snowden, the leaker of the N.S.A. surveillance programs, reveals that American and British intelligence agencies eavesdropped on world leaders at 2009 conferences in London. Scott Shane, national security correspondent for our partner The New York Times, explains how this will affect the G8 summit and U.S. diplomatic relations.
The White House announced this week that they’d killed Al Qaeda’s number 2 operative, but, following standard operating procedure, would not tell reporters how they'd killed him. Why? Because they killed him by targeted drone strike, a program which is widely known about but still technically classified. The New York Times reporter Scott Shane tells Bob that the administration's coy attitude towards classified secrets is stifling public debate.
Scott Shane, reporter for the New York Times, discusses his recent series of pieces on the use of drone warfare by the United States—and how some of that reporting has been misconstrued.
There’s a new twist in the developing story of a thwarted terrorist plot orchestrated by Al Qaeda in Yemen. The would-be suicide bomber tasked with blowing up a United States-bound airliner was actually a double agent. Scott Shane, national security correspondent for The New York Times, explains.
Stuxnet, the mysterious computer virus which only targets Siemens industrial software and equipment, devastated Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and nuclear reactor at Bushehr. These setbacks didn't incur any loss of life; however, they weren't the only actions taken against Iran's nuclear program. Many experts believe that a covert campaign of assassinations, bombings, and sabotage has been anonymously carried out over the past three years by Israel and the Bush and Obama administrations.
Confidential documents found in Libyan government offices show a group of Americans tried to assist Col. Moammar Gadhafi and his family flee the country for at least $10 million. The group, which called themselves the "American Action Group," also offered Gadhafi lobbying services to sway the U.S. government to support his regime after NATO became its bombing campaign. Made up of a former CIA officer, a Kansas City lawyer, a GOP operative, and a terrorism expert, the group claims their goal was to avoid a Libyan civil war, not to help Gadhafi. Scott Shane broke the news for The New York Times. He discusses the details of the story.
The United States military is increasingly relying upon remotely piloted drones to carry out tactical missions in the war in Afghanistan. Other countries, such as Pakistan and Yemen, are also using drones in battle more often. A drone killed the American-born, Yemen-based al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki last month, and before that the United States used them to gather intelligence on Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound. With the increasing prevelance of drones, and the fact that they have killed both militants and civilians, some people are worried that a dangerous global drone arms race may be beginning.
Last night, as President Obama was giving his jobs speech, federal authorities were confirming reports that there is a specific, credible terrorist threat for the New York City and District of Columbia areas this coming weekend. Counterterrorism officials are investigating a possible truck bomb, and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference last night that he would increase security in the city, and that residents should keep their "eyes wide open."
Since FBI translator Shamai Leibowitz was sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to leaking information to a blogger, the case has been shrouded in mystery. Even the judge trial didn't know what information Leibowitz had divulged. Over a year later, it is now known that Leibowitz acquired secret transcript of wiretapped conversation from the Israeli Embassy and passed them on to a blogger named Richard Silverstein. The case is the Obama administration's first successful prosecution over the leaking of classified information to the media.
With the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida is now calling on all its followers to prepare do-it-yourself plans of attack against America. And it’s a sharp contrast to the strategy taken on by bin Laden, which focused on long-term planning for one big attack on U.S. soil. This message from the terror network’s online presence is just among the first signs that a change in leadership will also mean a change in strategy. And it seems that without a prominent candidate, the future of the organization is in limbo. We talk with Scott Shane, national security reporter for The New York Times who broke this story for the paper.
After poring over documents and hard drives taken out of the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was killed, intelligence analysts have surmised that the al-Qaida leader was consistently in touch with the terrorist network he helped create, and still intimately involved in plotting more attacks. A story in The New York Times details the data found and C.I.A. surveillance conducted before the mission to take out bin Laden was completed. We're joined by Scott Shane, a New York Times reporter who worked on the story.
There is growing debate among Democrats and Republicans over which president's tactic helped find and kill Osama bin Laden. Was it the harsh interrogation techniques under the Bush administration, that included waterboarding and sleep deprivation of detained al-Qaida members? Or was it old fashioned surveillance and intelligence gathering methods that got bin Laden? Scott Shane, national security reporter for The New York Times says that until all the documents are declassified, it may be difficult to know.
The New York Times obtained a trove of more than 700 classified documents holding new information about the prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. The documents show that most of the 172 prisoners who remain locked up at Guantanamo are “high risk” and pose a threat to our national security if released without proper rehabilitation. But more alarmingly, the documents reveal that nearly 200 of the 600 detainees already released were also rated high risk. Also, surprisingly, one of the prisoners who was released is now fighting with the rebels in Libya. Scott Shane, reporter for The New York Times helps analyze the documents.
Egypt's autocratic leader, Hosni Mubarak announced his plans to remain president of Egypt, yet, more and more voices begin to consolidate power both inside the government, and outside its walls. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei tweeted out, "Egypt will explode. Army must save country now," in response to Mubarak. Furthermore, some reports suggest Egypt's Army is deeply divided over how to deal with Mubarak. The question now is, how much longer can Mubarak count on the military’s support?
WikiLeaks struck again this weekend, this time releasing a trove of over 250,000 documents containing cable messages between international diplomats. The New York Times and four other major international newspapers received the documents from WikiLeaks early, and agreed to publish their reports today. The confidential messages are plentiful and far-reaching, and reveal the tangled workings of diplomats behind the scenes as they relay messages about a potentially-nuclear Iran, contingency plans for North Korea and various coordinated efforts in the Middle East.