Full ArticleThe Times of India
10 Jan 2015
WASHINGTON: The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against retired Gen David H Petraeus for providing classified information to his former mistress while he was director of the C.I.A., officials said, leaving Attorney General Eric H Holder Jr to decide whether to seek an indictment that could send the…
Machines turning on their creators has been a popular theme in books and movies for decades, but very serious people are starting to take the subject very seriously. Physicist Stephen Hawking says, “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Tesla Motors and SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggests that AI is probably “our biggest existential threat.” Artificial intelligence experts say there are good reasons to pay attention to the fears expressed by big minds like Hawking and Musk — and to do something about it while there is still time.
Tens of thousands of soldiers have deserted the Army after long, drawn out deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in dangerous conditions, but the military has proseuted just under 2,000 cases, Military.com reports. Over 20,000 soldiers have dropped out from the ranks since 2006, but only 1,900 cases have been prosectued. In most cases, desertion is usually easy to prove. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been the main poster child for Army desertion after he abandoned his unit in 2009, only to be captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and held for five years. A preliminary investigation in 2009 determined that he had simply walked away.
Before desertion was suspected as a motive, some troops were killed in the search for Bergdahl, who arrived back in the United States after the Obama administration traded five Taliban commanders imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for the return of Bergdahl. “The waiting game is far from over for Sergeant Bergdahl, who had to wait to be freed by the Taliban and who now must wait longer to find out if he could face imprisonment by the military if his case goes to court martial and he is convicted. And those are big ifs,” Greg T. Rinckey, a former active duty Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) attorney told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “The final decision on his pay and benefits will be determined by how Sergeant Bergdahl is ultimately separated from the service.” The Department of Defense (DOD) has locked down information about the Sgt. Bergdahl’s case, saying that it “cannot discuss or disclose the findings of the investigation while disciplinary decisions are pending before commanders.”
Full ArticleThe Australian
23 Dec 2014
US stocks mostly rose at the close, carrying the Dow industrials above 18,000 for the first time, after data showed the US economy posted its strongest growth in more than a decade. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 65 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 18,024. The S & P 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,082.…
“… America has followed the Soviet Union down the path of re-engineering its ideological culture… shifting towards a new socialist middle ground where centralization has woven the macro economic system tighter around a supra-sovereign statehood… They will say no one saw it coming… The sad reality is that the disorganized masses will remain ignorant to the whole process as they become consumed with television news drama that hides the structural truth behind the engineered cultural implosion of the American identity.”
Dick Cheney gave an unflinching defense of he CIA’s post-9/11 torture program on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, dismissing criticisms of the program’s forced rectal feedings, waterboarding and a death.
“It worked. It absolutely did work,” said Cheney, a driving force behind the George W. Bush administration’s use of harsh tactics in response to the 9/11 attacks.
The Senate report on the interrogation program details forced rectal feedings that were medically unnecessary. But on Sunday, Cheney said the feedings were done for “medical reasons.” The former vice president showed little remorse for the dozens of prisoners who were found to have been wrongfully detained, for the man who died in the program, or for people like Khaled El-Masri — a German citizen who was shipped off to Afghanistan and sodomized in a case of mistaken identity.
I would do it again in a minute,” said Cheney. He also spoke repeatedly of how the program was justified to get the “bastards” who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.
Cheney said he was more disturbed by the detainees released from Guantanamo and prisons in Iraq — many under his own administration — who have returned to the battlefield. He cited in particular the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was released from a U.S. prison in Iraq in 2004.
“I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent,” Cheney said.
About the program’s serious errors — and the abuses that CIA Director John Brennan described as “abhorrent” on Thursday — Cheney said, “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.”
The Senate report has led to new calls for former Bush administration or CIA officials to be prosecuted for the torture program they oversaw, but Cheney on Sunday dismissed an appeal from Ben Emmerson, the UN Special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, to reopen inquires.
“I have little respect for the United Nations, or for this individual, who doesn’t have a clue,” said Cheney.