Pentagon & Beyond

  • CIA vs SVR

    What’s the difference between Russian intelligence and U.S. intelligence today? A source with knowledge of both CIA and Russia’s SVR, formerly known as the KGB says the SVR has an unlimited supply of money to recruit spies. The source also says it depends on the quality and amount of information a spy can provide. Still the source says, the SVR tries to save money and says American turncoats Aldrich Aimes, and Robert Hanssen could have gotten ten times more than they got from the Russian intelligence.

  • Bakiyev Speaks Out

    Ousted Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev says he did not want to believe Russia was behind the protests that chased him from power. Bakiyev also said he had no plans to step down, but offered to talk to the opposition leaders who have claimed control of Kyrgyzstan after Central Asia’s bloodiest unrest in five years. He adds he believes there was some foreign influence in the coup.

  • Bakiyev Agrees to Resign

    Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev says he’s ready to resign. But Only under certain conditions is ready to resign if he and his kin and kith are granted security guarantees. ”I will resign if they will ensure my and my relatives’ security,” he has told a news conference in Dzhalal-Abad. The interim government has refused to grant him immunity and warns that he would be detained if did not give up his calls for civil war.

  • Israel Bans the iPad

    Israel has banned imports of Apple Inc.’s hottest new product, the iPad, citing concerns the powerful gadget consumes too much capacity on wireless networks and could disrupt other devices. According to the Associated Press, customs officials said Thursday they have already confiscated about 10 of the lightweight tablet computers since Israel announced the new regulations this week. The ban prevents anyone – even tourists – from bringing iPads into Israel until officials certify that they comply with local transmitter standards.

  • Who will Strike First

    Lt. General Ronal Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said yesterday Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a single nuclear bomb within a year. But is that their goal? A top Israeli military analyst says the jury is still out on what Iran is going to do with its nuclear program. Some have suggested even Iran doesn’t know. One thing’s for sure. The U.S. And Israel both have warned a military strike on Iran is not out of the question. The question is will it happen before Hezbollah and Hamas strike Israel as some experts warn.

  • Scaling back contractors

    The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan said Friday that the coalition depends too much on private-sector contractors, and insisted his forces are keeping close watch on the flow of Taliban fighters who are training in Iran. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, during a four-day visit to France, said the coalition in Afghanistan has become too dependent on private contractors in the effort to stabilize the country.

  • Man Convicted of Terrorist Financing

    Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pleaded guilty in September to charges of terrorism financing and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge Alvin Hellerstein sentenced him to 121 months, plus three years of supervised release. He faced up to 20 years behind bars. The Associated Press reports Alishtari was operating a phony loan investment program when he met the undercover agent. Prosecutors said he accepted an unspecified amount of money from the agent to transfer $152,500 he believed was being sent to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support a terrorist training camp. Alishtari, also known as Michael Mixon, thought the money would be used to buy night vision goggles, medical supplies and other equipment and advised the agent he had to be ”three steps away” from the money so it could not be traced back to him. Defense attorneys had initially argued that Alishtari was more interested in potential profits from his loan business than in terrorism activity.

  • Pentagon Disinvites Graham

    Franklin Graham says the Army has withdrawn an invitation for him to appear at a special Pentagon prayer service. The Christian evangelist said he regrets the Army’s decision but not stop praying for the troops. Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, has described Islam as evil in the past. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation raised the objection to the appearance, citing Graham’s past remarks about Islam.

  • DoD watching Iran and Hezbollah

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he’s satisfied with Pentagon planning to counter the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. During a joint news conference at the Pentagon with Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak, Gates also said, ”We are at a point now where Hezbollah has far more rockets and missiles than most governments in the world.” Those weapons are a clear threat for Israel. Barak said Israel was closely watching Hezbollah.

  • Musharraf Returning to the Spotlight

    Former Pakistani Military Ruler and then President Pervez Musharraf is said to be exploring a return to power in Pakistan. Musharraf has been living in London since he left office in 2007. He could face criminal charges if returns to the country. Pakistani sources say he’s planning to move to Middle east shortly and launch a new political party. Pakistani political observers the former military ruler would face difficult circumstances if he tried to re-enter politics.