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Terrorism And Security

The Takeaway

How New York City Cops Keep Tabs on Terrorists

Friday, May 22, 2009

The four men accused of planning a terror attack on two synagogues in the Bronx and on military planes on a nearby air force base were arraigned in Federal Court in upstate New York yesterday. They had been under investigation by the FBI, the joint terrorism task force and by the New York City Police Department. The NYPD has been working hard for several years to sharpen its approach to uncovering home-grown terrorist plots. Joining The Takeaway is Lydia Khalil, she served as a counter terrorism analyst for the NYPD from 2006 to 2008 and is an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

For New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's comments on the work of the NYPD, watch the video below.

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The Takeaway

National Security: Obama's Plan for Guantanamo Bay

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This morning President Obama will deliver what the White House is calling a major national security speech. At least part of his speech will detail his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. But with Congressman, Senators and even FBI Director Robert Mueller lining up against the closure of Guantanamo, what can Obama possibly say? The Takeaway talks to Jonathan Mahler. He’s a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and author of the book The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight over Presidential Power.
"It's a diplomatic challenge. It's a political challenge. It's a national security challenge. And it's really an almost impossible situation for him."
—Writer Jonathan Mahler on the closing of Guantanamo Bay

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The Takeaway

A Terror Plot in New York City

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The FBI and NYPD are hailing the arrests of four men in an alleged plot to bomb two synagogues in New York City. Officials say the men were also plotting to shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, NY, with stinger missiles. Officials say the plan did not pose any real threat: the group had been infiltrated by government agents early on. For an update, we have WNYC reporter Bob Hennelly and M. J. Gohel, the executive director of the Asia Pacific Foundation, an independent security and global terrorism think tank in London.
"It takes very little for a plot to go from aspirational to operational. Sometimes all they're waiting for are the weapons of the explosives."
—M.J. Gohel, of the Asia Pacific Foundation, on the recent alleged terrorist actions in New York

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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

Beyond Black Hawk Down: U.S. involvement in Somalia

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A donor’s conference for Somalia is underway today in Brussels. The United Nations hopes to raise more than $250 million to improve security in the anarchic nation. This comes on the heels of United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has said it is too dangerous to send UN peacekeepers to Somalia and that it could exacerbate the armed conflict there. Also attending the donor's conference is Somali President Sheikh Sharif, a former Islamist rebel leader elected in January at U.N.-brokered talks and widely seen as the best hope for restoring stability. While Somali gangs have made headlines seizing ships in the Indian Ocean, U.S. involvement in Somalia goes beyond our recent adventures with Somali pirates on the high seas.

The Takeaway is taking a deeper look at U.S. interests in Somalia with Bronwyn Bruton, a Somalia expert with the Council on Foreign Relations and with the BBC’s Mike Wooldrige in Brussels who is reporting on the donors' conference.
"We need to try hard to help the Somalis understand that we're not out to get them, and I'm not sure we're doing a good job of that right now."
—Bronwyn Bruton of the Council on Foreign Relations on U.S. relations with Somalia

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The Takeaway

Congressman Jerrold Nadler reacts to possible inquiry into CIA interrogation tactics

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Tuesday, President Obama made it clear that he is leaving open the possibility of investigating the members of the Bush administration who authorized the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques against terror suspects. The use of waterboarding, hanging from the ceiling, and other tactics could constitute illegal torture and President Obama suggested creating a commission to investigate these potential abuses. The President's remarks on Tuesday caused both controversy and confusion in light of earlier statements by both Mr. Obama and his staff that suggested he was interested in turning the page on the past abuses and moving forward. To help us understand what Congress is thinking about this issue, The Takeaway talks to the man in charge, New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who is Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
"Even the people who actually did torture in the CIA, if they reasonably relied on instructions or legal guidance from the Justice Department, they should not be prosecuted."
—Congressman Jerrold Nadler on investigating interrogators

Did you miss the President's remarks to the CIA? Here they are:

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The Takeaway

Guantanamo may be closing but ethnic Uighurs stuck in limbo

Thursday, February 05, 2009

President Obama may have ordered that the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba be closed by the end of the year and the detainees either tried or freed. But for some inmates being set free does not mean being able to go home. One population in particular is stuck in limbo. Seventeen ethnic Chinese Uighurs can not be sent back to China for fears they would face persecution by their home government. But China doesn’t want them to go anywhere else, either. The Takeaway talks to George Clarke, lawyer with Miller & Chevalier, who is representing two of the 17 Chinese Uighurs in custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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The Takeaway

Panetta appointment sparks grumbling

Thursday, January 08, 2009

When Barack Obama tapped Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff, Leon Panetta, to be director of the CIA there was some grumbling in intelligence circles. And the grumbling hasn’t stopped. For an insider's take on the appointment we turn to Sam Faddis a retired CIA operations officer (we think that means spy) and author of the book, "Operation Hotel California: The Clandestine War inside Iraq."

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The Takeaway

Supreme Court hears argument in Ashcroft v. Iqbal

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Can you sue the Attorney General?

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The Takeaway

The Indian-American community reacts to the Mumbai terror attacks

Friday, November 28, 2008

For insight into how the Indian-American community here at home is reacting to the events in Mumbai, we spoke with Amy Paul, the Development Director at the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. She did graduate work in Mumbai and still has family there.

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The Takeaway

The ethics of war robots

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Now that it's possible to program unmanned combat vehicles to make decisions about where (and who) to strike in war situations, new questions of ethics have risen: In which situations can we allow robots to make their own decisions? Can we program robots to follow the Geneva Conventions? There is a more basic question, too: Do we even want robot soldiers?
"The question of under what circumstances is it ethical to fire a lethal weapon — whether it's possible to build that capacity into a robot."
— Cornelia Dean on the ethics of programming robots for war

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The Takeaway

The experiences of Guantanamo Bay detainees

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As of October 2008, 520 detainees had been released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a new study from the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, finds the stigma of being a prisoner still haunts many of them. After spending an average of three years in the prison, six of the 62 former detainees tracked (none of which were convicted of a crime) had found employment, and many were not able to return home.

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The Takeaway

Obama & Iran

Friday, November 07, 2008

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The Takeaway

Afghanistan

Friday, November 07, 2008

With conditions worsening in Afghanistan, many experts worry that if the transition from President George W. Bush to incoming president Barack Obama doesn't go smoothly, the situation there could spiral out of control.

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The Takeaway

Taliban

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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The Takeaway

future of pakistan

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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The Takeaway

Federal judge may order release of Chinese Guantanamo Bay detainees

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., will hear the case of 17 Chinese Uighurs who have been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for seven years. Though the government cleared them for release in 2004, they can't be returned to China for fear that they will be tortured. No other country will take them.

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The Takeaway

The U.S. in Afghanistan, seven years later

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Guest: Dr. Anthony Cordesman. He holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Dr Corsdesman is a former National Security Assistant to Senator John McCain, and served in the Defense Department and State Department. He writes a lot about Afghanistan and Pakistan… ...

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The Takeaway

Re-evaluating Provisional Reconstruction Teams and the strategy in Afghanistan

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Guest: Chris Mason, senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies. Mason recently served in the U.S. Foreign Service on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and he lectures regularly on Afghanistan and counterinsurgency.

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The Takeaway

The Iraqi Army tags in for U.S. forces, paying tribal groups for assistance

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Key to the success of the troop surge in Iraq was a change that took place between U.S. forces and former insurgent tribal groups that came to be called "The Awakening." These groups, impatient with militants like al-Qaida in Iraq and Shiite insurgents, began to work with U.S. forces. They used to work with al-Qaida. Now they fight against them, with the help of the Americans. They were paid for their allegiance, but starting today U.S. forces are going to stop paying these groups. The Iraqi army will hand out their pay packets instead. Will the alliance hold?

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