Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Obama signs 'Blue Alert' law to protect police

Source: USA Today

The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named for the two New York Police Department officers killed in an ambush attack last December.
"It's important for us not only to honor their memory, it's also important for us to make sure that we do everything we can to help ensure the safety of our police officers when they're in the line of duty." --Obama
The law requires the Justice Department to create a notification system relating to assaults on police officers, officers who are missing in the line of duty, and credible treats against law enforcement. The system is modeled after Amber Alerts for abducted children and Silver Alerts for missing seniors.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Obama to Limit Military-Style Equipment for Police Forces

Source: New York Times

The report from the task force on military equipment cited the police response to the Ferguson unrest as an example of how the “militarization” of police departments can lead to fear and mistrust. In addition to prohibiting some equipment outright, officials said, Mr. Obama accepted the group’s recommendation to impose new restrictions on other military-style items, such as wheeled armored vehicles, pyrotechnics, battering rams and riot gear, and more stringent requirements for training and information collection for departments that acquire them.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pentagon Says 2013 Chinese Launch May Have Tested Antisatellite Technology

Source: Space News

In its latest annual report on Chinese military power, released May 8, the Pentagon doubled down on its initial assessment.

“The launch profile was not consistent with traditional space-launch vehicles, ballistic missiles or sounding rocket launches used for scientific research,” the report said. “It could, however, have been a test of technologies with a counterspace mission in geosynchronous orbit.”

Air Force and Defense Department officials have repeatedly warned over the past year about growing Chinese and Russian threats to satellite capabilities. In the case of China, these officials have primarily cited two events: China’s deliberate destruction in 2007 of one of its own low-orbiting satellites with a ground launched missile; and a “nondestructive” anti-satellite test in 2014.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Source: The Intercept

(1) the U.S. did not learn about bin Laden’s location from tracking an al Qaeda courier, but from a member of the Pakistani intelligence service who wanted to collect the $25 million reward the U.S. had offered for bin Laden; (2) Saudi Arabia was paying Pakistan to keep bin Laden under the equivalent of house arrest; (3) Pakistan was pressured by the U.S. to stand down its military to allow the U.S. raid to proceed unhindered; and (4) the U.S. had planned to claim that bin Laden had been killed in a drone strike in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but was forced to abandon this when one of the Navy SEAL helicopters crashed.

The Intercept cannot corroborate the reporting of either Hillhouse or Hersh