Is Obama’s Drone Program Legal? Former Senior CIA Lawyer Isn’t Saying.

Memoirs often offer former senior US government officials an outlet to comment on programs about which they largely were silent while in office. When it comes to the legality of the Obama administration’s armed-drone program, such candor is needed. But, in his new memoir, the CIA’s former top lawyer is mostly mum on the topic.

Syria Talks End, US Officials Hint Damascus Taking it Easy on al Qaeda

During the nine days of the initial round of talks between the Syrian regime and a coalition of rebel groups, almost 1,900 people were killed across the country in continuing violence, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday. There wasn’t much optimism among participants as the talks broke up until Feb 10, with…

Obama and the NSA: Count the Code Words

The assessments of just what President Barack Obama is doing or might do to controversial surveillance programs run by the Pentagon’s NSA since his big Friday speech have been, one might say generously, uneven. Is Obama ending the bulk collection of telephone traffic metadata, or making minor changes? Is he signaling a landmark change in…

The 2011 HAC-D Hearing That Pushed Gates Over the Edge

A March 2011 fight with Congress over war funding confirmed to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates that his decision to retire three months later was indeed the right one, he said in his new book. Gates recalled the contentious March 2, 2011, House Appropriations defense subcommittee (HAC-D) hearing in “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.” At…

Highlights from Gates book “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new book, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” is one of he most talked about items in Washington this week. We have a copy of the book and I’ll be posting excerpts throughout the day for your Friday reading pleasure so check back often. I’ll also be posting items on…