Susan's Feed
Jun 7, 2012

House panel backs “Magnitsky” sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressional committee unanimously approved on Thursday a measure to penalize Russian officials for human rights abuses, adding to tensions with Moscow and complicating White House efforts to pass Russian trade legislation in the coming months.

The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved on a voice vote the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act,” named for a 37-year-old anti-corruption lawyer who worked for the equity fund Hermitage Capital. His 2009 death after a year in Russian jails spooked investors and blackened Russia’s image abroad.

Jun 7, 2012

Despite outrage, security leaks may go unplugged

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican intelligence experts in Congress are joining forces to condemn a series of jaw-dropping intelligence leaks which some Republicans charge are timed to boost President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

But castigating leakers and questioning their motives may be a lot easier than coming up with remedies that might make leaking more difficult and risky.

Jun 7, 2012

Analysis: Despite outrage, security leaks may go unplugged

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican intelligence experts in Congress are joining forces to condemn a series of jaw-dropping intelligence leaks which some Republicans charge are timed to boost President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

But castigating leakers and questioning their motives may be a lot easier than coming up with remedies that might make leaking more difficult and risky.

Jun 6, 2012

White House, McCain trade accusations over security leaks

WASHINGTON, June 6 (Reuters) – The White House and a leading
Republican senator accused each other of being “grossly
irresponsible” on Wednesday in connection with a recent series
of leaks of national security data.

White House spokesman Jay Carney denied allegations made by
Senator John McCain a day earlier that the apparent leaks by
administration officials must have been politically motivated to
boost President Barack Obama’s stature ahead of his attempted
re-election this fall.

Jun 5, 2012

U.S. Republican senators want special counsel to probe leaks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the FBI opened a probe into alleged leaks about U.S. cyber attacks on Iran, two prominent Republican senators on Tuesday called for a special counsel to investigate what they called a “pattern” of disclosures of classified information by the Obama administration.

The FBI probe, according to a U.S. government official who spoke on condition of anonymity, will investigate who allegedly leaked classified details to the New York Times of a secret U.S.-Israeli cyber warfare program aimed at crippling Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Jun 1, 2012

Key U.S. lawmaker doubts Russia will help ease out Assad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee expressed doubt on Friday that Russia could be convinced to help ease Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad out of power.

Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said she hoped the Obama administration would be able to use diplomacy to “get Russia to do the right thing” – at least by stopping arms sales to Assad’s government, which is using deadly force against an uprising in Syria.

May 24, 2012

U.S. lawmakers probe food contract for troops in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers are investigating a billing dispute of at least $750 million between the main supplier of food to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the Pentagon.

The Pentagon says Supreme Foodservice GmbH overcharged it, but the Netherlands-headquartered company said the rates were properly based on the complexities and dangers of supplying food in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

May 24, 2012

Lawmakers probe food contract for troops in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The lawmakers are investigating a billing dispute of at least $750 million between the main supplier of food to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the Pentagon.

The Pentagon says Supreme Foodservice GmbH overcharged it, but the Netherlands-headquartered company said the rates were properly based on the complexities and dangers of supplying food in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

May 23, 2012

Secret Service chief apologizes for prostitution scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the Secret Service, in his first public appearance since a scandal involving Colombian prostitutes and his employees, apologized for the misconduct on Wednesday but lawmakers expressed doubt that this was an isolated incident.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, gray-haired in a blue striped suit and tie, faced the Senate Homeland Security Committee and asserted that the behavior of a dozen employees in Cartagena last month did not reflect the culture of the agency.

May 23, 2012

U.S. Secret Service chief – no security breach from scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A prostitution scandal in Colombia involving U.S. Secret Service employees did not result in any security breach and was not behaviour that reflected the high ethical standards of the agency, the director of the agency said.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan defended the culture of the agency in testimony prepared for a Senate hearing on Wednesday, saying its employees were among the most dedicated and “self-sacrificing” in the federal government. It will be his first public appearance before Congress since the scandal.