Warren's Feed
Jun 1, 2014

Shift by hard-line Taliban factions may have sealed prisoner exchange

WASHINGTON, May 31 (Reuters) – The breakthrough leading to
Saturday’s surprise exchange of a U.S. prisoner of war for five
Guantanamo detainees suddenly became possible after harder-line
factions of the Afghan Taliban apparently shifted course and
agreed to back it, according to U.S. officials.

The United States had tried diplomacy since late 2010 to
free Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive in Afghanistan
for nearly five years. But the efforts came to little until now.

Jun 1, 2014

U.S. soldier freed in Afghanistan, five Taliban prisoners leave Guantanamo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The last U.S. prisoner of war from America’s waning Afghan war was handed over to U.S. Special Operations forces in Afghanistan on Saturday in a dramatic swap for five Taliban detainees who were released from Guantanamo Bay prison and flown to Qatar.

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had been held for nearly five years by Afghan militants and his release followed years of on-and-off negotiations.

May 31, 2014

U.S. soldier free after almost five years captivity in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held for nearly five years by the Taliban after being captured in Afghanistan, has been released and is now in U.S. custody, President Barack Obama said on Saturday.

As part of Bergdahl’s release, the United States has turned over five Taliban detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the custody of Qatar, U.S. officials said.

May 30, 2014

NSA, Snowden clash over 2013 internal email release

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An email exchange released on Thursday shows Edward Snowden questioned the U.S. National Security Agency’s legal training programs, but provides no evidence the former contractor complained internally about vast NSA surveillance programs that he later leaked to the media.

Snowden responded in an email to the Washington Post that the release by U.S. officials “is incomplete.”

May 29, 2014

Snowden raised concerns in 2013 email, but no evidence he blew whistle: NSA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An email exchange released on Thursday shows that Edward Snowden questioned the U.S. National Security Agency’s legal training programs, but provides no evidence the former contractor complained internally about vast NSA surveillance programs that he later leaked to the media.

The release of the April 2013 emails between Snowden and the NSA’s legal office is the latest round in a battle between Snowden, who casts himself as a crusading whistleblower, and U.S. security officials, who say he failed to report his concerns to superiors before acting.

May 19, 2014

Post-Snowden, the NSA’s future rests on Admiral Rogers’ shoulders

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As U.S. National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers seeks to repair the damage to the agency caused by leaks about its electronic spying programs, the abuses of government revealed in the wake of the Watergate scandal are very much on his mind.

As a teenager growing up in Chicago in the 1970s, Rogers recalls watching news broadcasts with his family and being horrified by how the CIA, FBI and NSA had illegally spied on hundreds of thousands of Americans.

May 12, 2014

New NSA chief vows more transparency for embattled agency

WASHINGTON, May 12 (Reuters) – The new head of the National
Security Agency vowed on Monday to lead the embattled spy agency
with greater transparency as it balances individual rights
against the rising risk of a destructive cyber attack against
the United States.

In his first interview since taking the helm of both the NSA
and U.S. Cyber Command in April, Admiral Mike Rogers said he
would be more candid with the public about much of the NSA’s
work after nearly a year of damaging revelations by former NSA
contractor Edward Snowden.

Apr 28, 2014

White House casts Russia sanctions strategy as battle of attrition

WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
calls his sanctions policy against Russia “calibrated”, while
his Republican rivals dismiss it a “slap on the wrist” and
Russia condemns it as “illegitimate.”

As the White House embarks on what experts agree is a
cautious approach to penalizing Russia for its intervention in
Ukraine, the strategy behind the seemingly light penalties is
being cast by Obama administration officials as a slow battle of
attrition, chipping away at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s
credibility while keeping U.S. policy in lockstep with Europe.

Apr 25, 2014

As Iraq violence grows, U.S. sends more intelligence officers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is quietly expanding the number of intelligence officers in Iraq and holding urgent meetings in Washington and Baghdad to find ways to counter growing violence by Islamic militants, U.S. government sources said.

A high-level Pentagon team is now in Iraq to assess possible assistance for Iraqi forces in their fight against radical jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group reconstituted from an earlier incarnation of al Qaeda, said two current government officials and one former U.S. official familiar with the matter.

Apr 17, 2014

U.S. special forces struggle with record suicides: admiral

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) – Suicides among U.S. special operations forces, including elite Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, are at record levels, a U.S. military official said on Thursday, citing the effects of more than a decade of “hard combat.”

The number of special operations forces committing suicide has held at record highs for the past two years, said Admiral William McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command.