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HASAN GOES ON TRIAL

Court-Martial Begins Today
By Harold Hutchison

The court-martial of Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people in a 5 November, 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, has begun with the commencement of the military’s equivalent to jury selection. Hasan is defending himself in the court-martial.

Prior to the trial, a military judge ruled that Hasan would be barred from raising arguments claiming that he was acting in defense of the Taliban. Prior to the shooting, Hasan had exchanged as many as 20 e-mails with Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a September, 2011 UAV strike.

SNOWDEN TO VENEZUELA?

NSA Leaker Takes Refuge in Caracas
By Harold Hutchison

Self-proclaimed whistleblower Edward Snowden has reportedly accepted an offer of asylum from Venezuela. The offer reportedly came from Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chavez as Venezuela’s dictator.

Snowden came forward on 9 June, having fled to Hong Kong. He later left Hong Kong and fled to Moscow, where he remained in the “transit zone” of Sheremetavyo Airport. Snowden refused an asylum offer from Russia that was contingent on him no longer leaking secrets he stole from the NSA.

IS OBAMA SABOTAGING AMERICA’S MISSILE DEFENSE BUILDUP?

Halts American Deployments as Russia Continues Buildup
By Harold Hutchison

Barack Obama is continually delaying deployment of missile defenses for American allies in Europe due to Russian objections, even as Russia is deploying its own missile defenses. The latest development involves a March decision cancelling an alternative promised after the Obama Administration scrapped the Bush Administration’s plans for missile defenses in Europe in 2009.

Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Rescue

FRC to Join Capitol Hill News Conference Urging Restoration of Religious Freedom in the Military

On Tuesday, July 9, 2013, Family Research Council (FRC), a coalition of groups concerned about religious liberty, and Members of Congress, will participate in a Capitol Hill news conference urging support for Rep. John Fleming's (R-LA) military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The amendment protects the right of service members to not only hold religious beliefs but to act on them and speak about them. The House Armed Services Committee adopted the amendment last month to address growing religious hostility within the military. Rep.

CLAPPER’S APOLOGY

Admits Misleading Answer to Wyden
By Harold Hutchison

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, admitted and apologized for giving a misleading answer to Senator Ron Wyden in March.

“My response was clearly erroneous — for which I apologize,” Clapper wrote in a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “While my staff acknowledged the error to Senator Wyden’s staff soon after the hearing, I can now openly correct it because the existence of the metadata collection program has been declassified,” the letter went on to state.

613 FORMS TO GET BENEFITS?

Vets Must Deal With 18 Agencies
By Harold Hutchison

A study by the American Action Forum has revealed that veterans have to fill out as many as 613 forms – across 18 federal agencies – in order to get all the benefits they are entitled to. The study comes on the eve of the 4th of July holiday.

According to a report by Fox News, the AAF’s report outlines just what America’s veterans are up against after they conclude their service. “Navigating 18 agencies and more than 600 forms has produced absurd results and unnecessary delays,” the organization was quoted by the Fox News report.

MULTIPLE COUNTRIES DENY SNOWDEN

Numerous Countries Refuse Asylum
By Harold Hutchison

Self-proclaimed whistleblower Edward Snowden has been refused asylum by at least eight countries. This comes after news of at least 21 applications have been made for protection as Snowden faces legal charges stemming from his disclosure of classified documents pertaining to NSA surveillance programs.

Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin on Nidal Hasan

RETIRED GENERAL UNDER INVESTIGATION

James Cartwright Target of Leak Probe
By Harold Hutchison

A former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is under investigation in an FBI probe surrounding leaks of a cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear program. The leaks revealed details of the Stuxnet virus that disabled 1,000 centrifuges.

According to FoxNews.com, James Cartwright, an ex-Marine general, has been declared a target of the investigation into how the New York Times got the information. The Iranian nuclear program has been a major security concern in the Persian Gulf region.

ASSESSING THE DAMAGE

Did ChiComs and Russians Get Snowden’s Data?
By Harold Hutchison

The National Security Agency is trying to assess the level of damage done by the leaks by self-proclaimed whistleblower Edward Snowden. One of the biggest questions is whether Snowden compromised new American nuclear plans.

THE END OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN THE MILITARY?

Hagel Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Couples After Ruling
By Harold Hutchison

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the Department of Defense will be extending benefits to same-sex couples in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling throwing out Section3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

HACKERS POST PERSONAL DATA OF TROOPS ONLINE

40,000 Affected As Result of Cyber-Attacks
By Harold Hutchison

Over 40,000 troops have had their personal data posted online by hackers. The data was posted a day after cyberattacks targeted media and government websites in Seoul, South Korea.

The attack occurred on the 63rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The commander of U.S. forces testified last year that the North Koreans had special units of hackers that had been carrying out cyberattacks.

12 BRIGADES GOING AWAY?

Obama Proposes Massive Slash in Force
By Harold Hutchison

A dozen brigade combat teams will be cut by the Obama Administration as part of a proposal to take the active-duty Army down to 490,000 troops by 2017. The cuts will take the Army down from 45 active brigade combat teams to 33.

This is just the latest in what has been over four years of cuts, including the halt of F-22 production at 187 airframes, and cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. Is the Obama Administration setting out to make America weaker?