Muslims to Tea Party: Welcome to our world
May 15th, 2013
12:02 PM ET

Muslims to Tea Party: Welcome to our world

By Sahar Aziz, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Sahar Aziz is an associate professor at Texas Wesleyan School of Law where she teaches national security and civil right law. She previously served as a senior policy advisor at the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The views expressed are her own.

Reports that the Internal revenue Service has been targeting Tea Party-affiliated nonprofit organizations has grabbed headlines, but should come as no surprise. In part because of ten years of expanding government powers, much of it under the guise of national security, selective enforcement of the law has increasingly become a norm rather than an aberration.

But some in the Muslim community might have a question – why are conservatives so surprised (and outraged) by this news when Muslim nonprofits and their leaders have been under intense scrutiny for over a decade? And when so many Muslim groups and individuals have faced scrutiny simply for the religion they follow?


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Topics: Human Rights • Intelligence • Islam • Terrorism • United States
February 2nd, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Iran will strike back

Editor’s Note: Geneive Abdo is the director of the Iran program at The Century Foundation. Reza H. Akbari is a research associate for the program.

By Geneive Abdo and Reza H. Akbari – Special to CNN

Will Iran retaliate if attacked? Israeli intelligence officials and neo-conservative pundits in the United States argue that Iran is bluffing – that it wouldn’t dare.

But on Tuesday, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. powerfully rebutted this view. Clapper argued not only that Iran would retaliate, but that some Iranian officials are now even willing to carry out attacks on U.S. soil.

In his unclassified statement submitted to the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper said: “Iran’s willingness to sponsor future attacks in the United States or against our interests abroad probably will be shaped by Tehran’s evaluation of the costs it bears for the plot…as well as Iranian leader’s perception of U.S. threats against the regime.” FULL POST

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Topics: Intelligence • Iran • Israel • Middle East • Military • United States
December 10th, 2011
11:27 PM ET

Zakaria and Baer: Downed U.S. drone an intel catastrophe

Editor's Note: The following is an edited transcript of a discussion between Anderson Cooper, Robert Baer and Fareed Zakaria on the subject of a downed U.S. drone in Iran.

Anderson Cooper: We're tracking the evolving story of what became of an American drone called an RQ-170 Sentinel. It is also known as the Beast of Kandahar.

Reports are sent that it was orbiting over Osama bin Laden's compound gathering intelligence while the stealth technology made it invisible to Pakistani radar. Tonight though, that stealth technology may be in the hands Iran. Iran claims they tracked and RQ-170 last week as it flew across the Afghan border deep into Iran. Then they say they brought it down mostly in one piece as you see in the video above.

You can see it. It looks more like it landed than it actually crashed - it doesn't look like there's much damage.

Is it for real? Well, the experts differ. Was it spying on Iran, especially Iran's nuclear program? American officials are not saying. The story is evolving. FULL POST

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Topics: China • Intelligence • Iran • Russia • Technology • Terrorism
Israel's intelligence failure
(Getty Images)
October 20th, 2011
11:30 AM ET

Israel's intelligence failure

Editor’s Note: Yossi Melman is a feature writer and columnist for Haaretz, specializing in strategic issues. He writes about Israel’s intelligence community, nuclear matters and terrorism.

By Yossi Melman – Special to CNN

In the shadow war between Hamas and the State of Israel, the Islamic Palestinian militant movement Hamas had the upper hand this week. Their victory in securing the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners comes at the expense of their domestic rival - the moderate Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas. This is bad news for peace in the Middle East.

Tuesday, in a dramatic prisoner's swap, Israel released 477 male and female Palestinian prisoners - some of them mass murders - and is due to release additional 550 in two months in return for one of its soldiers, Gilad Shalit, who was in Hamas captivity in Gaza for 64 months.

The Shalit deal is above all a result of a humiliating failure of the Israeli intelligence community as a whole but in particular on the part of the General Security Services (Shin Bet), the organization responsible for intelligence coverage of the territories - the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The outcome was that the Israeli Defense Forces were not able to even explore the operational feasibility of a rescue mission. FULL POST

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Topics: Intelligence • Israel • Spying • Terrorism • Uncategorized
The Pentagon's cyberstrategy, one year later
An attendee looks at an Asus Eee Slate EP121 tabelet at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show. (Getty Images)
October 3rd, 2011
03:57 PM ET

The Pentagon's cyberstrategy, one year later

Editor's Note: William J. Lynn III is U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense.

By William J. Lynn III, Foreign Affairs

For almost all of human history, man has waged war on land and at sea. Air and space emerged as potential battlefields only in the past few generations. Now, the danger of cyberwarfare rivals that of traditional war. The advent of more destructive technologies - and of their inevitable proliferation among actors willing to use them - means that the United States must strengthen its critical national networks against ever worse threats.

In "Defending a New Domain" (September/October 2010), I announced that the Pentagon had officially recognized cyberspace as an operational domain and went on to describe the military's cyberstrategy. One year later, U.S. military networks are better defended, the U.S. Cyber Command is fully operational, and we have made progress working with private industry to secure critical infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has committed half a billion dollars to develop advanced defensive technologies, including novel approaches to improving network security. But much remains to be done, and the window for doing it is short. FULL POST

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Topics: Global • Intelligence • Internet • Politics • United States
Lessons from East Germany's Stasi files for post-revolution Egypt
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. (Getty Images)
September 16th, 2011
03:08 PM ET

Lessons from East Germany's Stasi files for post-revolution Egypt

Editor's Note: The following article comes from Worldcrunch, an innovative, new global news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. This article was originally published in Le Monde.

By Géraldine Schwarz, Worldcrunch

Basil Al-Adel suffered no illusions when he decided to enter Egyptian politics in 2005. By co-founding the opposition Al-Ghad political party, Al-Adel knew there would be a price to pay. Up until that point, the then 32-year-old engineering graduate had led a relatively tranquil existence. Overnight, he landed on the radar of the secret police of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, under the code name “a-Muhandis,” The Engineer.

“I always knew they spied on dissidents,” says Al-Adel. But just how closely? Will we ever know?”

In an effort to answer these questions, Basil Al-Adel traveled last month from Cairo to Berlin to visit the office in charge of managing the files of the Stasi, East Germany’s infamous former secret police network. Other representatives of Egyptian democratic parties also came with him at the invitation of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation to explore this temple to the memory of totalitarianism, located in the Stasi’s former headquarters. FULL POST

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Topics: Egypt • Germany • Intelligence • Revolution
May 15th, 2011
02:02 PM ET

Watch GPS May 15, 2011: American leadership, Condoleezza Rice and Eric Schmidt

Two weeks after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the rift between Pakistan and the United States is as wide as ever. What can be done to stabilize the relationship? And what should be done to rein in the military's dominant role in Pakistan? Fareed weighs in with his take on how to right Pakistani ship.

Then, it’s a GPS tour of the world. A panel of experts weighs in on how the rest of world sees the death of Osama bin Laden, the state of America’s leadership, the U.S.economy and much more. Joining Fareed this week:

 Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and former Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State


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May 8th, 2011
02:43 PM ET

This week on GPS: The death of Osama bin Laden

Nearly 10 years after 9/11, a U.S. Special Forces team killed Osama bin Laden. Notably, bin Laden was found and shot in Pakistan, not in the remote mountains of neighboring Afghanistan. What does this mean for the battle against violent extremism? What about for U.S.-Pakistani relations? GPS breaks it down for you with an all-star show, including two guests who helped spearhead the hunt for bin Laden over the last decade.

Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, sits down with Fareed to talk about her administration’s efforts to capture the 9/11 mastermind and just what bin Laden's death means to her personally. FULL POST

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Vindication of Obama's strategy
President Obama and his administrative and national security officials receive updates about the attack on Osama bin Laden.
May 2nd, 2011
09:24 PM ET

Vindication of Obama's strategy

Editor’s Note: This is the second of three posts from Fareed Zakaria on the death of Osama bin Laden. The other two are Al Qaeda is dead and What did Pakistan know?You can follow Fareed on Facebook and Twitter for timely analysis of global events.

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

The killing of Osama bin Laden is a powerful argument for emphasizing counterterrorism over nation building in the war on terror.

It would be too generous to say that Osama bin Laden’s death directly has to do with Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy. Some of this is just serendipitous.  Some of this is the result of years of hard work.

But you can credit Obama with this: He focused much more relentlessly on the counterterrorism part of his strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He drastically increased the number of drone attacks, for example. That’s just one metric. There has also been a massive expansion of other counterterrorism efforts, including intelligence gathering and live operations.  The killing of Osama bin Laden is the fruit of that much larger investment in counterterrorism. FULL POST

May 1st, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Watch GPS May 1, 2011: the Middle East and Malcolm Gladwell

A major reshuffling occurred at the highest levels of the U.S. intelligence community and military this week. General David Petraeus and Leon Panetta will take on new roles as the head of the CIA and the Pentagon respectively. Fareed calls these “excellent appointments” but his take is that no matter who leads, there needs to be major strategic shift in America's approach to international crises.

Next we’re bringing you a panel of experts to discuss the brutal crackdown in Syria, a potentially unified Palestinian front and the fate of the Arab monarchies. Joining Fareed this week are:

– Martin Indyk, the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and vice president and director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.
– Fawaz Gerges, the Director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics
– Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera English’s Cairo-based correspondent who was recently named one of TIME Magazines 100 most influential people in the world.
– Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush.


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Will the CIA and Pentagon be ready for the next crisis?
Leon Panetta and President Obama
April 28th, 2011
11:27 AM ET

Will the CIA and Pentagon be ready for the next crisis?

In my op-ed in The Washington Post today, I argue that the Pentagon, the CIA, and indeed the United States need to be better prepared for geopolitical, economic and natural disasters. In particular, we should pay attention to the possibility of instability in Saudi Arabia. That would be a global game-changer. Here's an excerpt from the full piece:

As Leon Panetta and David Petraeus move into their new jobs at the Pentagon and the CIA, they should use the occasion to fundamentally reorient U.S. intelligence and national security planning....

Government agencies should be readying policymakers and bureaucrats for sharp changes in international, regional and national patterns. They should be imaginative about the possibilities of sudden shifts and new circumstances and force policymakers to confront the scenarios in advance.

That is what has distinguished the most successful private-sector firms in managing crises.... FULL POST

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Topics: From Fareed • Global • Intelligence • Strategy
March 6th, 2011
09:00 PM ET

Watch GPS: Restoring the American Dream Special – Getting Back to #1

For years the United States has been the world's leader. And America has the place where anyone can dream the American Dream and build a better life for themselves.

But does all that still hold true?

If America now ranks as the 5th best country in which to run a business, 23rd in infrastructure, 49th in life expectancy and so on, can we still call it #1? And if the American Dream is slipping out of people's grasps (as we discussed in our first special "Restoring the American Dream"), what can we do to put America back on top in every category?

To answer that question we're bringing you the second installment in our "Restoring the American Dream" series of specials. This one is entitled, "Getting Back to #1".