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The Takeaway

Is Obama Cracking Down on Whistle Blowers? The Pentagon Seeks Wikileaks Founder

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Pentagon is searching for Julian Assange, founder of the website Wikileaks, amidst concerns that the site could publish thousands of international cables from the State Department. The cables are allegedly part of a larger package of material given to Wikileaks by 22-year-old Army Specialist Bradley Manning. In late May police arrested Manning, an intelligence analyst in Iraq, accusing him of downloading confidential material from computers on his base and posting it to WikiLeaks.

We speak with Scott Shane, the National Security reporter for The New York Times. He says that while President Obama's administration was elected on a campaign of government transparency, it is actually following a doctrine of extreme media secrecy. Shane says Obama has, in two years, prosecuted more information-leakers than any other president in history.

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The Takeaway

Hundreds of Graves Mishandled at Arlington National Cemetery

Friday, June 11, 2010

Over 200 bodies may have been misidentified or misplaced at Arlington National Cemetery, the Army said on Thursday. Arlington National Cemetery's superintendent and deputy have been ousted following a newly released Pentagon report revealing misidentified graves and poor record keeping. 

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WQXR News

Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Moves Forward

Friday, May 28, 2010

A repeal of the U.S. military policy banning homosexuals from serving openly is moving ahead in Congress.

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The Takeaway

Follow-Up: Digging Deeper Into the Wikileaks Video

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Noel King here — following up on a story I produced yesterday about a classified video that was released by the non-profit group Wikileaks showing footage of a 2007 incident in Iraq, in which Americans in an Apache helicopter fired on several Iraqis. Two unarmed employees of the Reuters news agency — as well as ten other men — were killed in that incident.

This morning, we spoke to Josh Ray Person, who served with the Marines from 1999 — 2003 and the BBC’s Baghdad Correspondent Jim Muir, who was gathering Iraqi reaction to the video.

A listener from Miami wrote in to say that we failed to mention a redacted report released by the Pentagon late Monday, which said some of the Iraqis — though not the two Reuters employees — were carrying weapons.

Mauro wrote:

Yesterday on NPR this same topic was discussed and the guest agreed that the journalists were there and that they were considered armed because of the straps on their shoulders, but it was also said that at least one RPG was found on one of the casualties and it is shown (but not highlighted) in the video that another of the victims did have an AK-47. Watchdogs are necessary, but they must also be impartial, this video is showing this situation from a very biased viewpoint, all of the editing and the intro are geared towards showing all involved as innocent victims, which is not the complete truth and we have to be fair if we are going to critique.

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The Takeaway

Next Steps for U.S. in Afghanistan

Friday, September 04, 2009

Recently, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen said that the situation in Afghanistan was "deteriorating," but just yesterday, during a press conference at the Pentagon, Mullen said the U.S. would "regain the initiative."

To give us an idea of how turning the situation around might be possible, we turn to retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner, who taught Military Strategy and Military Operations at the National War College.

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The Takeaway

War in Afghanistan: Next Moves Uncertain

Friday, September 04, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently delivered what many described as a surprisingly honest and sober analysis of the current situation for the war in Afghanistan. But predicting the road ahead seemed more difficult for Gates.

In a piece she co-authored in today's New York Times, Pentagon Correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller describes an Obama administration openly conflicted about the war in Afghanistan.

“The argument is not about whether the war should continue. The argument is about the number of troops that should be added in the coming months.” — Elisabeth Bumiller, Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times

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The Takeaway

Defense Secretary Gates in Iraq

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Southern Iraq this morning. He was in Israel and then Jordan yesterday. How much power does he have inside the administration, and how does it compare with previous Pentagon chiefs? Long-time U.S foreign policy analyst Anthony Cordesman talks about the Gates-Obama relationship.

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The Takeaway

About Face: Pentagon Shifts Command in Afghanistan

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Pentagon has asked for the resignation of General David McKiernan, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. McKiernan will likely be replaced by Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, a former special operations commander chosen by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. So what does the shake-up indicate about U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan? The Takeaway talks to Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner. He's taught strategy and military operations at the National War College.
"Normally you don't replace commanders during combat. One of the reasons you don't is because it has an effect on the troops. The troops will interpret this, or question 'Is this because I'm not doing a good job?'"
—Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner on the replacement of General David McKiernan

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The Takeaway

Computer spies hack Pentagon's Joint Strike Fighter project

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

International computer spies have broken into the Pentagon's Joint Strike Fighter Project. The $300 billion program is the military's costliest weapons project ever. The intruders into the Fighter Project were able to copy data related to design and electronic systems of the planes, potentially making it easier to defend against the craft. Recently, similar cyber-attacks have breached the Air Force's air-traffic-control system. While those directly responsible for this attack could not be identified, many former officials claim the move bears the hallmarks of previous encounters with China. For more we turn to the reporter responsible for breaking this story, Siobhan Gorman, Intelligence Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

For more, read Siobhan Gorman's article, Computer Spies Breach Fighter-Jet Project, in today's Wall Street Journal.

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