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Checkpoint Washington: July 11, 2010 - July 17, 2010

Court orders State Department to review ruling on alleged terror group

A federal appeals court on Friday ordered the State Department to review its designation of the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran as a foreign terrorist organization

By Glenn Kessler  | July 16, 2010; 5:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Netanyahu: 'America is a thing you can move very easily'

A newly released video of Netanyahu, speaking in an unvarnished manner in 2001 about relations with the United States and the peace process, may cause some heartburn at the White House.

By Glenn Kessler  | July 16, 2010; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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June Army suicide rate up

The U.S. Army suffered 32 suicides in June, the highest number for a single month since the suicide rate in the Army began to spike in January 2009.

By Greg Jaffe  | July 16, 2010; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Syrian ambassador challenges U.S. official on Israel nukes

"I am not going to be the first U.S. official to discuss uh, uh, uh....." said Andrew J. Shapiro, the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.

By Glenn Kessler  | July 16, 2010; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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White House orders review of Afghan reconstruction reviewers

The White House announced Thursday afternoon that it had requested a panel of inspectors general across the government "review" the operations of the congressionally-mandated Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghan reconstruction.

By Karen DeYoung  | July 16, 2010; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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No vacancy at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad

U.S. embassy workers in Islamabad are devoting a significant portion of their time to the hundreds of lawmakers and senior administration officials who visit each year, the State Department inspector general said in a new report.

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 15, 2010; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Lessons from the Hindu Kush, in cyberspace

A government panel explores the esoteric but important issue of cyber attack attribution -- basically figuring out who's behind a cyber attack.

By Ellen Nakashima  | July 15, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Jay S. Bybee's partial regret?

In the interview released today Bybee was asked about the Post story. He said that he had "expressed some regret."

By Jason Ukman and Peter Finn  | July 15, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Karzai approves village defense forces

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has approved a U.S.-backed plan to create local defense forces across the country in an attempt to generate new grassroots opposition to the Taliban, U.S. and Afghan officials said Wednesday.

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Joshua Partlow  | July 14, 2010; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Cuban tries crossing on Styrofoam boat

A Cuban migrant attempted to cross to the U.S. in a makeshift boat made of Styrofoam.

By Jason Ukman  | July 14, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Why Crocker is a no-show at Senate hearing

When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee first announced it would be holding a hearing on Wednesday into governance issues in Afghanistan, the witness list included Ryan C. Crocker, who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq during the 2007-08 troop surge...

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran  | July 14, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Sudan is on the brink, advocacy groups warn

Six months before a referendum that could split Sudan in two, the United States and other countries are doing too little to help prepare for the vote, according to a report issued Wednesday by advocacy groups. They also warn that...

By Mary Beth Sheridan  | July 14, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Yemeni goes home

The Obama administration said Tuesday it has repatriated a Yemeni detainee who was held at Guantanamo Bay, partially lifting its suspension of all transfers to Yemen after a federal court judge found "overwhelming evidence" the man had been held illegally...

By Peter Finn  | July 13, 2010; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Chapman stripped of British citizenship

The British government has stripped Russian spy Anna Chapman of her British citizenship and revoked her passport, citing her guilty plea in U.S federal court for conspiring to violate the Foreign Agent Registration statute. Chapman's New York lawyer, Robert M....

By Walter Pincus  | July 13, 2010; 4:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Even the dead can't get off the UN terror blacklist

Former Taliban militants hoping to have their names removed from the U.N. Security Council terror blacklist should not underestimate the challenges. The 15-nation council rarely lets even the dead off the hook. Twenty-five deceased militants, including seven Taliban, remain on...

By Colum Lynch  | July 13, 2010; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Iranian scientist says he was taken for a ride

The mysterious story of the Iranian scientist begins and ends with a cab. When Shahram Amiri showed up at 6:30 pm Monday at the Iranian interests section in Washington, maintained by the Pakistani embassy, the only person there was the...

By Karen DeYoung  | July 13, 2010; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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In Amiri case, echoes from Soviet era

Twenty-five years ago, a Soviet KGB officer named Vitaly Yurchenko followed a path seemingly similar to that of Amiri.

By Greg Miller  | July 13, 2010; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Court rules against detainee in habeas case

For the first time, an appeals court has reversed a lower court's ruling that a Guantanamo Bay detainee should be freed under the legal doctrine of habeas corpus.

By Jason Ukman  | July 13, 2010; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Clinton bids adieu to Jack Lew

At noon on Tuesday, President Obama formally announces Jacob Lew as his new director of the Office of Management and Budget -- filling a key hole on his economic team, but creating an equally big one at the State Department....

By Anne Kornblut  | July 13, 2010; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Shahram Amiri videos

Videos of a man who identified himself as Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri and said he was kidnapped and tortured by the Central Intelligence Agency and being held in the United States.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | July 13, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Pentagon fine-tunes media strategy on Afghan war

The Pentagon is amping up efforts to explain its war strategy in Afghanistan to an increasingly war-weary public.

By Greg Jaffe  | July 12, 2010; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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On quake anniversary, Haiti still faces 'long haul'

As Haitians marked the quake's six-month anniversary Monday, a State Department official said the latest figures showed "upwards of 30%" of the country's government workers had perished. That is complicating efforts to get the bureaucracy up and running again.

By Mary Beth Sheridan  | July 12, 2010; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Reinventing the wheel in the Middle East

For many outside observers, that sounds like arguing about the size of the table. Why not start talks immediately, without preconditions? But nothing is ever as simple as that in the Middle East.

By Glenn Kessler  | July 12, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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From al-Qaeda, an English-language 'magazine'

"Inspire" is al-Qaeda's first English-language online publication, designed to reach a wide audience in Europe and the United States.

By Greg Miller  | July 12, 2010; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Petraeus to reinvigorate Afghan paramilitary force

Gen. David H. Petraeus is pressing his subordinates to address endemic problems with Afghanistan's paramilitary police force, which has been plagued by high attrition and uneven performance.

By Greg Jaffe  | July 12, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Soccer: Some Islamists like it, others don't

It's no accident that the bombers targeted two venues where crowds were watching the World Cup.

By Jason Ukman  | July 12, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Welcome to Checkpoint Washington

Welcome to Checkpoint Washington, where the Post's national security staff blogs on diplomacy, intelligence and military affairs.

By Lauren Keane  | July 12, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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