Tag Archives | White House

The White House Offers Rare Defense of Drone Attacks

John BrennanJosn Gerstein writes on the Politico:

President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser offered a rare public defense Sunday of the use of armed drones to target terrorism suspects – a technique widely discussed by national security experts outside government and by human rights activists, but almost always treated as secret by U.S. officials.

“Drones, the remotely piloted vehicles, [are] a tremendously capable tool to use against the terrorist abroad. It has capability to monitor their activities. It provides a good insight to our intelligence analysts and operators in terms of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It has the capability of carrying out strikes as well,” Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan said on “Fox News Sunday.”

In response to a question about a recent decision by Obama to give the Central Intelligence Agency and the military broader authority to carry out drone strikes in Yemen, Brennan emphasized that such strikes are always done with approval of the countries where they take place, though he stopped short of saying that local authorities had advance notice of each specific strike.

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No Alien Visits or UFO Coverups, According to The White House

Independence DayNice catch from Nancy Atkinson on Universe Today:

The White House has responded to two petitions asking the US government to formally acknowledge that aliens have visited Earth and to disclose to any intentional withholding of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings. “The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race,” said Phil Larson from the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, on the WhiteHouse.gov website. “In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye.”

5,387 people had signed the petition for immediately disclosing the government’s knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings, and 12,078 signed the request for a formal acknowledgement from the White House that extraterrestrials have been engaging the human race.

“Hundreds of military and government agency witnesses have come forward with testimony confirming this extraterrestrial presence,” the second petition states.

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Where’s the Outrage? Secret Panel Can Put Americans on ‘Kill List’

Kill BillFunny, how Obama supporters aren’t going batshit over this when this is the very sort of thing that got them worked up during the Bush administration … Mark Hosenball reported in Reuters:

American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki, a U.S.-born militant preacher with alleged al Qaeda connections, to the target list. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month.

The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is fuzzy.

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Follow The White House On Foursquare

WHFSWant to know where Obama is? The White House has joined foursquare. You can now follow the president as he checks in Lower Hannah’s Bend Park, Seed Saver’s Exchange and, most recently, Northeast Iowa Community College. Via Information Week:

The White House has joined the Foursquare location-based social networking service, a move that shows again the Obama administration’s support of a more transparent and tech-savvy federal government.

Users of the service–which allows people to virtually “check in” to various businesses, landmarks, and other locations around the globe–can now use the White House Foursquare page to follow President Obama as he travels and uses the service to let people know where he is, according to a White House blog post.

They also can themselves check in to the White House if they are visiting the presidential home or attending an Obama town hall event. The White House also has elected to use the tips feature, which can recommend places the president has visited and share what he did while he was there.

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If The White House Garden Was Planted With Subsidized Crops…

With thanks to @SlowFoodUSA, the image below shows what the White House Garden would look like if it was planted with subsidized crops from the Food and Farm Bill. When will we break this crazy taxpayer-funded transfer of wealth to agribusiness that is ruining the health of our precious farmland (and the animals and humans who depend on it)?

Source: Kitchen Gardeners (http://kitchengardeners.org/)

Source: Kitchen Gardeners (http://kitchengardeners.org/)

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A Secret Lair Under The White House?

Photo: UpstateNYer

Photo: UpstateNYer

From the Daily Mail:

The West Wing of the White House is all-but disappearing behind an $86 million building project that is going to last for years.

And a mysterious tunnel is being built, fuelling speculation that a secret underground lair is what’s really under construction.

In recent weeks, an expanding and sometimes ear-splitting zone of excavation has enveloped the mansion’s famous office wing.

Heavy equipment and metal-and-concrete superstructures are part of the vast construction project.

The front door and the Marine who guards it have disappeared behind a high green-and-white plywood fence. From Pennsylvania Avenue, all that’s visible is a sliver of second-floor roof line.

For years to come, the front yard at 1600 Pennsylvania will remain a noisy building site, say officials in charge of the White House’s ‘Big Dig’.

Officials describe the job as an overdue upgrade of underground utilities. That includes water and sewer lines, electrical conduits, pipes for chilled and hot water and steam heat systems, and storm sewers.

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Wife of White House Aide Found Dead in Burning Car

Dan Turton with President Obama.

Dan Turton with President Obama.

Assassination attempts against congressional representatives, former officials dumped in landfills, and now Christopher Weber from Politics Daily at AOL says that the wife of a White House aide has been found dead in a burning car.  If this is frigid, sleepy January, I shudder to think what the crazy heat of July is going to bring:

Ashley Turton, wife of the Obama administration’s House of Representatives liaison, Dan Turton, was found dead in a burning car Monday morning, Roll Call and other news outlets are reporting.

Fire officials said it appeared the car crashed as it was pulling in or out of the garage behind a rowhouse in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., at about 5 a.m. Neighbors dialed 911 after spotting the fire.

The body was discovered after fire crews doused the blaze. The fire also charred part of the garage. Nobody in the house was injured, fire officials said.

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13 Chained Themselves To White House Gate In Gay Rights Protest

From AFP via Yahoo:

Gay rights activists briefly handcuffed themselves to the White House’s north gate on Monday, urging President Barack Obama to repeal a ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military.

Thirteen demonstrators organized by the GetEQUAL campaign for gay rights — including nine veterans, a Catholic priest and other advocates &mdash were arrested after shouting they were “proud to serve” and vowing: “We will not disappear.”

“Today, we have sent a loud and clear message to the US Senate and President Obama that we expect them to make good on their promises to end this inhumane law this year, during the lame-duck session of Congress,” GetEQUAL co-founder and director Robin McGehee said in a statement.

She was among those arrested.

The protest came ahead of the Pentagon’s Internal Review into the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, due on December 1.

According to The Washington Post, the long-awaited report, which included a survey of troops, found that the United States could lift the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces with little risk to current war efforts.

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White House ‘Muzzled Own Scientists Over Oil Spill Fears’

Oil Spill PicThe Independent reported on Oct. 8:

The White House was facing allegations yesterday that it had muzzled its own scientists in the early days and weeks of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill so that the public would be ignorant of the potential scale of the environmental disaster that was unfolding.

A paper written for the National Commission established by President Barack Obama to investigate what happened suggests that officials at the White House stood in the way of scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) when they were preparing to release details of a worst-case scenario for the blow-out including a top-end estimate of the rate of flow of oil into the sea.

In a second report also written for the Commission, investigators say that “for the first 10 days of the spill, it appears that a sense of over-optimism affected responders”.

As the spill worsened BP came under wide criticism for allegedly attempting to downplay the scale of the leak.

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