Warren's Feed
Apr 15, 2014

Despite tough patch, U.S. intelligence chief says he is staying

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) – Despite enduring “a perfect storm” of troubles for U.S. spy agencies over the last 18 months, the director of national intelligence announced on Tuesday that he plans to stay on the job through the end of President Barack Obama’s term.

Speaking to an industry conference in Tampa, James Clapper detailed a litany of challenges he said have hit the $45 billion-per-year U.S. intelligence-gathering effort, from U.S. budget turmoil and the Syrian war to leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Apr 15, 2014

U.S. agencies back DigitalGlobe bid to sell sharper images

TAMPA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. intelligence community has thrown its support behind a bid by commercial space imagery provider DigitalGlobe Inc (DGI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to sell higher resolution images from its satellites, the leading U.S. intelligence official said Tuesday.

DigitalGlobe has pressed the government for years to allow it to sell such imagery but U.S. government agencies worried that giving public access to them could undermine the intelligence advantage they have from even higher resolution satellite images.

Apr 14, 2014

After success on Iran, U.S. Treasury’s sanctions team faces new challenges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – This is what the modern American war room looks like: the clocks on the wall show the times in Kabul, Tehran and Bogota. The faces around the conference table are mostly young. There is talk of targets, and of middle-of-the-night calls to Europe.

But the meeting one recent morning convened deep within the Treasury Department, not the Pentagon. The weapons at hand were not drones or cruise missiles, but financial sanctions, aimed with similar precision at U.S. rivals’ economic interests.

Apr 14, 2014

More U.S. sanctions likely if Russian actions in Ukraine continue

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is prepared to step up sanctions against Moscow if pro-Russian military actions in eastern Ukraine continue, a senior U.S. envoy said on Sunday, but it is unclear whether new measures will win European support or slow the Russian-backed separatist revolt.

The next round of U.S. sanctions are expected to target Russian business sectors such as mining, banking and energy. But U.S. officials said it was uncertain that Europe would go along with penalties that would affect Russia’s economy and powerful energy sector.

Apr 13, 2014

Washington slams Moscow with another ‘false claims’ list over Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is prepared to step up sanctions against Moscow if pro-Russian military actions in eastern Ukraine continue, a senior U.S. envoy said on Sunday, but it is unclear whether new measures will win European support or slow the Russian-backed separatist revolt.

The next round of U.S. sanctions are expected to target Russian business sectors such as mining, banking and energy. But U.S. officials said it was uncertain that Europe would go along with penalties that would affect Russia’s economy and powerful energy sector.

Mar 22, 2014

Wielding sanctions as scalpel, Obama aimed for Putin’s inner circle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. sanctions this week against Russia were carefully crafted in an attempt to target President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle without provoking a backlash from Moscow against U.S. businesses, senior U.S. officials said.

Concerns about possible Russian retaliation “helped shape the discussions about appropriate sanctions” within the White House, said a senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There’s an awareness that even targeted sanctions can have broad effects.”

Mar 19, 2014

U.S. lawmakers urge Hagel to end Pentagon contracts with Russian firm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers who oppose the Pentagon’s dealings with Russia’s state-owned arms exporting firm are using Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine to press the argument that contracts with Rosoboronexport should be ended.

“Given Russia’s recent actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including its support of the illegal referendum for Crimean separation, we strongly urge you to terminate these contracts,” a bipartisan group of five lawmakers from the House of Representatives wrote to U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday.

Mar 13, 2014

White House tried to mediate dispute between Senate panel, CIA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House tried to mediate between the CIA and the Senate panel that oversees it after both sides alleged they were spied on by the other over a Bush-era interrogation program, a source familiar with the discussion told Reuters on Wednesday.

The involvement of the White House’s most senior lawyer indicates President Barack Obama’s interest in ending the increasingly bitter dispute between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Mar 12, 2014

White House tried to mediate dispute between Senate, CIA panel: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House’s top lawyer has tried to mediate between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA, which are making increasingly bitter mutual charges of spying on each other about a Bush-era program of harsh interrogation, a source familiar with the discussion told Reuters.

The involvement of Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler indicates White House interest in ending the battle, in which the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate panel have essentially accused each of spying on the other.

Mar 4, 2014

U.S. and EU marshal economic tools to punish Russia

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) – The United States has a
number of economic weapons to punish Russia for its military
intervention in Ukraine, ranging from asset freezes to kicking
Moscow out of the exclusive G8 group of countries, and President
Barack Obama is focusing first on measures that would not
require congressional action.

But Washington needs Europe to join it to make sanctions
tough enough to potentially deter Russian President Vladimir
Putin.