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Eye Opener: Dec. 4, 2009

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

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In the news...

Worth a Click: The new site, ReportStolenValor.org, produced by AMVETS, helps track reports of fake military veterans accepting benefits. Also: DOL.gov/challenge/, the Labor Department's first foray into Gov 2.0, encourages Web sites to add their job search resources to the department's system. Users will later vote for the most useful sites.

Cabinet and Staff News: Where are Obama's female appointees? Defense Secretary Robert Gates says 3,000 troops could be added to 30,000 already slated for Afghanistan. Justice Department's second-in-command steps down. The White House gives social secretary Desiree Rogers unprecedented support. Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says TSA "collective bargaining" can be achieved. U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry will testify on Capitol Hill next week.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY:

CIA authorized to expand use of drones in Pakistan: The White House has authorized an expansion of the agency's drone program to parallel the president’s decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION:

FBI adds 4 hijackers to wanted terrorists list: The suspects were allegedly part of the Abu Nidal terrorist group when they attacked Flight 73 during its stop in Karachi, Pakistan — leading to the deaths of 20 passengers and crew.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:

Report examines civil rights during Bush years: The 180-page report is densely packed with statistics about civil rights enforcement by the division’s sections.

Stevens prosecutors face questioning: Henry F. Schuelke III is nearing the end of his investigation and already has sifted through thousands of documents related to the prosecution, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is still underway.

MILITARY:

Military tribunals resume at Guantanamo Bay: The military court had to grapple with determining where the defendant, Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi -- and by extension other detainees -- stands under the new Military Commissions law enacted by Congress in October.

SECRET SERVICE:

Agents put on leave after state dinner breach: At a House hearing Thursday, the agency's director gave a few other details about the inquiry into just how the uninvited couple managed to get beyond two security checkpoints.

STATE DEPARTMENT:

GAO: U.S. lagging in sending anti-drug aid to Mexico: The U.S. has spent a fraction of the money pledged -- just $24 million of $1.3 billion appropriated -- to help Mexico in its bloody three-year-old battle against the drug cartels that have turned parts of country into a war zone and left 15,000 dead.

VETERANS AFFAIRS:

Contractor use criticized: The American Federation of Government Employees wants the department to place a moratorium on the use of contractors, who the union says now do the work veterans once did.

Panel questions VA formula for funding hospitals: A House committee plans to investigate whether the department distributes money fairly to its hospitals amid concerns that some are short-changed.

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 4, 2009; 6:45 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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