Warren's Feed
Jun 21, 2014

U.S. sanctions net snares the innocent, burdens business

WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) – On a Friday afternoon in
March, Jose Luis Zamora pulled into a Lexus dealership in Dallas
to test-drive a new car with his wife. Ready to pay, Zamora
instead waited more than two hours before being informed his
name had popped up on a government watchlist that blocks those
linked to money launderers, groups alleged to have committed
terrorist acts and other enemies of the United States from doing
business in the country.

A routine credit check matched him to Jose Hernan Zamora, a
Colombian who is no relation to the Texas resident and was added
to the Treasury Department’s sanctions list around 1997 for his
ties to narcotics traffickers.

Jun 16, 2014

U.S. pressures Iraqi leader to curb sectarian governance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. security officials prepared on Monday to brief President Barack Obama on options to counter militants threatening Baghdad as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki came under increased U.S. pressure to curb religious partisanship in his government.

Brett McGurk, the State Department point man on Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Stephen Beecroft met with Maliki in Baghdad on Monday as part of a U.S. effort to prod leaders of Iraq’s Shi’ite-dominated administration to govern in a less sectarian manner, officials said.

Jun 5, 2014

Inside the White House’s decision to free Bergdahl

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For President Barack Obama, it seemed like the right thing to do, according to officials in his administration: Release five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison in return for Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.

As a political firestorm engulfs the White House over that deal, Reuters interviews with current and former Obama administration officials involved in the negotiations, along with U.S. lawmakers, reveal how a close-knit circle in the Obama administration pursued the plan despite intense discord in the past over similar proposals.

Jun 2, 2014

U.S. soldier flies to freedom after Afghan prisoner swap

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The sole American prisoner of war held in Afghanistan was flown to a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Sunday after being freed in a swap deal for five Taliban militants who were released from the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had been held for nearly five years and his release, following years of on-off negotiations, suddenly became possible after harder-line factions of the Afghan Taliban shifted course and agreed to back it, U.S. officials said. (Full Story)

Jun 2, 2014

Republicans question U.S. prisoner swap with Taliban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. politicians questioned whether the deal that freed Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban militants amounted to a negotiation with terrorists as the U.S. soldier was flown out of Afghanistan to a military hospital in Germany on Sunday.

Army Sergeant Bergdahl, held for nearly five years in Afghanistan, was freed in a deal with the Taliban brokered by the Qatari government. Five Taliban militants, described by Senator John McCain as the “hardest of the hard core,” were released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and flown to Qatar.

Jun 1, 2014

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

WASHINGTON (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

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.”