David Welna http://ktep.org en Advocates Say Military Dogs Aren't Pets — They're Veterans http://ktep.org/post/military-dogs-advocates-say-canines-arent-pets-theyre-vets It's dog days on Capitol Hill — or, more precisely, dogs have had their day there.<p>Five in particular — all war dog veterans. The canines joined their human advocates at a Capitol Hill briefing Wednesday, "Military Dogs Take the Hill," to spotlight an effort to require that all military working dogs be retired to the U.S.<p>Congress passed a law last year saying the military <em>may</em> bring back its working dogs to the U.S. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:39:00 +0000 David Welna 45308 at http://ktep.org Advocates Say Military Dogs Aren't Pets — They're Veterans The Challenge Of Keeping Tabs On The NSA's Secretive Work http://ktep.org/post/challenge-keeping-tabs-nsas-secretive-work Here's a question with no easy answer: How do you hold the nation's spy agencies accountable — when they control the secrets?<p>Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden apparently thought the answer was to blow the lid off some of the NSA's highly classified programs. He took documents and shared them with journalists.<p>But what about Congress? It's supposed to oversee the NSA — and other spy agencies. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:45:00 +0000 David Welna 45224 at http://ktep.org The Challenge Of Keeping Tabs On The NSA's Secretive Work Before Snowden: The Whistleblowers Who Tried To Lift The Veil http://ktep.org/post/snowden-whistleblowers-who-tried-lift-veil Bill Binney worked at the National Security Agency nearly three decades as one of its leading crypto-mathematicians. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:45:00 +0000 David Welna 45150 at http://ktep.org Before Snowden: The Whistleblowers Who Tried To Lift The Veil FBI, NSA Spied On American Muslims, Report Says http://ktep.org/post/fbi-nsa-spied-american-muslims-report-says Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne. It's been more than a year since Edward Snowden fled the country with top-secret, digital documents from the National Security Agency, and revelations about what he took keep coming. The latest appeared yesterday, in the online publication The Intercept. Its headline is, "Meet The Muslim-American Leaders The FBI And NSA Have Been Spying On," and it was co-written by Glenn Greenwald. Five prominent Muslim citizens are profiled. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 09:01:00 +0000 David Welna 44363 at http://ktep.org Bipartisan Board OKs NSA Surveillance Program, With Suggestions http://ktep.org/post/bipartisan-board-oks-nsa-surveillance-program-suggestions Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. A controversial NSA surveillance program that sweeps up volumes of communications - emails, photos, videos and more is constitutional. That's the unanimous conclusion today of the bipartisan privacy and civil liberties oversight board. The so-called 702 surveillance program, named for a section in the law, is designed to target foreigners. But civil liberties advocates say it captures the communications of Americans too. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 20:06:00 +0000 David Welna 43896 at http://ktep.org Congress Keeping Close Watch On Obama's Plans In Iraq http://ktep.org/post/congress-keeping-close-watch-obamas-plans-iraq After bowing out of Iraq when the last American forces left two and a half years ago, the U.S. military is back.<p>Up to 300 military advisers started arriving there this weekend. President Obama said he sent them to help Iraq's military confront the Sunni militants who've overrun much of northern Iraq. He said Thursday that U.S. Sun, 22 Jun 2014 21:45:00 +0000 David Welna 43213 at http://ktep.org Congress Keeping Close Watch On Obama's Plans In Iraq What, Exactly, Are U.S. Interests In Iraq's Turmoil? http://ktep.org/post/what-exactly-are-us-interests-iraqs-turmoil As the U.S. steers warships closer to Iraq and beefs up its embassy's security in Baghdad with nearly 300 troops, a nagging question has resurfaced.<p>What compelling interests does Washington still have in a nation where all U.S. forces were pulled out 2 1/2 years ago?<p>Three days after Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, President Obama paused on the White House lawn and issued a warning.<p>"Terrorists," he said, were being allowed to overrun part of Iraq's territory. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 22:43:00 +0000 David Welna 42892 at http://ktep.org What, Exactly, Are U.S. Interests In Iraq's Turmoil? Defending Bergdahl Deal, Hagel Faces Critics On Both Sides Of Aisle http://ktep.org/post/defending-bergdahl-deal-hagel-faces-critics-both-sides-aisle Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, defending the prisoner swap that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:16:00 +0000 David Welna 42496 at http://ktep.org Senators Get Background Briefing On Sgt. Bergdahl's Release http://ktep.org/post/senators-get-background-briefing-sgt-bergdahls-release With criticism mounting on Capitol Hill of a prisoner swap that traded 5 jailed Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, some military, intelligence and diplomatic officials briefed senators. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 09:10:00 +0000 David Welna 42066 at http://ktep.org Congress Furious At White House Over Prisoner Swap http://ktep.org/post/congress-furious-white-house-over-prisoner-swap Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was the only remaining American prisoner of war, and now he's been freed. That fact alone, something to celebrate. But a debate has erupted over his release. And this morning we'll learn more about why some people in Washington are angry. Some in Congress fear the price was too high. Five senior Taliban fighters held at Guantanamo Bay were released in an exchange. Other lawmakers just wish they had been consulted. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:20:00 +0000 David Welna 42004 at http://ktep.org House-Approved USA Freedom Bill Disappoints Original Supporters http://ktep.org/post/house-approved-usa-freedom-bill-disappoints-original-supporters Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH: We're going to consider now changing perceptions toward fighting terrorism. President Obama has suggested that eventually the war on terror must end and that the nation must think about the tools used to fight it. Here he is speaking a year ago today at the National Defense University.<p>PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: From our use of drones to the tension of terror suspects, the decisions that we are making now will define the type of nation and world that we leave to our children.<p>CORNISH: In the year since, public attitudes have changed and people are more skeptical. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:26:00 +0000 David Welna 41283 at http://ktep.org House Passes Measure Reining In Government Surveillance http://ktep.org/post/house-passes-measure-reining-government-surveillance Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>One year ago, President Obama called to reshape the fight against terrorism and for more privacy protections as the government intercepts new types of information. Just days later, the extent of data collection by the NSA would be revealed by Edward Snowden. Fri, 23 May 2014 09:03:00 +0000 David Welna 41230 at http://ktep.org House To Vote On Fate Of A-10 Warthogs http://ktep.org/post/house-vote-fate-10-warthogs Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>Congress ordered big savings in defense spending. Now, Congress is moving to block those savings. What follows is a classic story of how federal budgeting works.<p>MONTAGNE: The Pentagon faces budget restraints. Lawmakers favor cuts in general, but objected when the cuts became specific. Wed, 21 May 2014 09:22:00 +0000 David Welna 41068 at http://ktep.org Feinstein Wants CIA To Speed 'Torture Report' Release http://ktep.org/post/feinstein-wants-cia-speed-torture-report-release It's been well over a month since the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 11 to 3 to declassify and make public the executive summary and findings of its "Torture Report."<p>But it's not likely that will actually happen anytime soon.<p>The reason? Wed, 14 May 2014 22:22:00 +0000 David Welna 40658 at http://ktep.org Feinstein Wants CIA To Speed 'Torture Report' Release Faced With Pentagon Budget Cuts, Congress Finesses The Numbers http://ktep.org/post/faced-pentagon-budget-cuts-congress-finesses-numbers The Pentagon's congressionally-imposed budget cuts ran into a powerful opponent this week: Congress itself. The House Armed Services Committee rejected $5 billion worth of proposed cuts in order to preserve items cherished by individual lawmakers. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Fri, 09 May 2014 20:31:00 +0000 David Welna 40341 at http://ktep.org Bipartisan Bill Would Stop NSA's Bulk Phone Data Collection http://ktep.org/post/bipartisan-bill-would-end-nsas-bulk-phone-data-collection The White House and members of Congress agree that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone logs, disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has to end. Thu, 08 May 2014 09:15:00 +0000 David Welna 40212 at http://ktep.org Sanctions Put Pentagon's Business Deals With Russia Up For Debate http://ktep.org/post/sanctions-put-pentagons-business-deals-russia-debate Washington has imposed a number of economic sanctions on Russia in retaliation for that country's push into Ukraine.<p>Getting European allies to do the same has not always been easy, since many of those nations trade with Russia and fear getting hurt themselves.<p>But the Europeans are not the only ones balking: The Pentagon also buys Russian military hardware.<p>When U.S. military and intelligence satellites are shot into space, all the rocket engines that propel them are made by a state-owned enterprise in Russia. Sat, 03 May 2014 15:31:00 +0000 David Welna 39941 at http://ktep.org Sanctions Put Pentagon's Business Deals With Russia Up For Debate In Sex Assault Report, Pentagon Sees Progress — And A Long Way To Go http://ktep.org/post/sex-assault-report-pentagon-sees-progress-and-long-way-go The Pentagon issued a study on sexual assaults in the military, reports of which have jumped 50 percent in the past year. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says this is a positive sign that more victims trust the system. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Thu, 01 May 2014 20:13:00 +0000 David Welna 39816 at http://ktep.org What's The NSA Doing Now? Training More Cyberwarriors http://ktep.org/post/whats-nsa-doing-now-training-more-cyber-warriors The U.S. needs more cyberwarriors, and it needs them fast, according to <a href="http://www.defense.gov/Speeches/Speech.aspx?SpeechID=1837" target="_blank">Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel</a>. He plans to more than triple the size of the Pentagon's Cyber Command over the next two years.<p>But where will they come from? These are not the kind of skills you can teach in basic training.<p>Enter the embattled National Security Agency. Its new director, Adm. Michael Rogers, also directs the Cyber Command. Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:57:00 +0000 David Welna 39713 at http://ktep.org What's The NSA Doing Now? Training More Cyberwarriors An Angry Hearing On The Hill For 'Cockamamie' Twitter-like Network http://ktep.org/post/angry-hearing-hill-cockamamie-twitter-network Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy was incensed that he only learned about the creation of a Twitter-like network in Cuba through press accounts. He had the chance Tuesday to vent his frustration when USAID administrator Rajiv Shah appeared before Leahy's committee. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:14:00 +0000 David Welna 38263 at http://ktep.org Senate Committee Votes To Declassify CIA Interrogations Report http://ktep.org/post/senate-committee-votes-declassify-cia-interrogations-report Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>The Senate intelligence committee voted yesterday in favor of declassifying a huge report that's been kept under wraps for nearly a year and a half. It's the so-called torture report on the interrogation and secret detention program carried out by the CIA following the 9/11 attacks. NPR's David Welna reports.<p>DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Only a 450-page summary of the report and its 20 findings would actually be declassified. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:38:00 +0000 David Welna 38009 at http://ktep.org With $1B In Aid For Ukraine, Congress Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is http://ktep.org/post/1b-aid-ukraine-congress-puts-money-where-its-mouth Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. The House and the Senate both voted overwhelmingly today for aid to Ukraine and sanctions for Russia's annexation of Crimea. The bipartisan response to the crisis follows weeks of partisan wrangling. Differences between the two bills still have to be ironed out. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:05:00 +0000 David Welna 37511 at http://ktep.org Showing Signs Of Age, Capitol Dome Gets A Face-Lift http://ktep.org/post/showing-signs-age-capitol-dome-gets-face-lift When you think of Washington, D.C., what's the first image to pop up?<p>For many, it's likely the U.S. Capitol — or more specifically, the iconic white dome that crowns the Capitol.<p>"It is one of the most, if not the most, recognizable symbols across the globe," said Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, whole job entails maintaining the Capitol dome.<p>As could be said of the Congress that meets below it, the century-and-a-half old dome has seen better days. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:56:00 +0000 David Welna 37439 at http://ktep.org Showing Signs Of Age, Capitol Dome Gets A Face-Lift Out Of White House And Congress, Two Proposals To Change NSA Practices http://ktep.org/post/out-white-house-and-congress-two-proposals-change-nsa-practices Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Public outrage over NSA surveillance programs that collect data about Americans is forcing some big change. Documents revealing the security agency's methods have been trickling out in the press for months, thanks to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.<p>SIEGEL: One of the big revelations is that the government secretly collects records of phone calls made by millions of U.S. citizens. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:16:00 +0000 David Welna 37361 at http://ktep.org With New Inquiry, Harry Reid Raises Stakes In Senate-CIA Clash http://ktep.org/post/new-inquiry-harry-reid-raises-stakes-senate-cia-clash When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared "I support Senator Feinstein unequivocally" the same day she thrashed the CIA on the Senate floor, the question of whether the pugilistic top congressional Democrat from Nevada would leap into that fight seemed less a matter of if than when.<p>A little more than a week later, Reid made his move.<p>He fired off a letter to CIA Director John Brennan informing the top spy that Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer would be performing a "forensic examination" of computers and a computer network meant for exclusive use by the Senate Intelligence Com Thu, 20 Mar 2014 23:44:00 +0000 David Welna 37089 at http://ktep.org With New Inquiry, Harry Reid Raises Stakes In Senate-CIA Clash Senate-CIA Clash Goes Behind Closed Doors http://ktep.org/post/senate-cia-clash-goes-behind-closed-doors The dust is still settling on Capitol Hill after California Democrat Dianne Feinstein fired a verbal bazooka at the Central Intelligence Agency <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/11/289060441/cia-tampered-with-senate-panel-s-work-feinstein-says">Tuesday morning from the Senate floor</a>.<p>The Senate Intelligence Committee's chairwoman — normally a stalwart of Washington's spooks — essentially accused the spy agency of illegally and unconstitutionally spying on its congressional overseers.<p>Specifically, Feinstein charged that the CIA had searched computers used by her commi Sat, 15 Mar 2014 17:22:00 +0000 David Welna 36738 at http://ktep.org Senate-CIA Clash Goes Behind Closed Doors Aid Package For Ukraine Moves Slowly Through Congress http://ktep.org/post/aid-package-ukraine-moves-slowly-through-congress Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene.<p>Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are agreeing on something these days, that Congress needs to approve an aid package quickly for the fledgling and nearly broke government now ruling Ukraine. But it's been harder than expected for the House and Senate to agree on what should or should not be in that aid package. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 09:09:00 +0000 David Welna 36547 at http://ktep.org House Backs Obama's Request To Back Loans For Ukraine http://ktep.org/post/house-backs-obamas-request-back-loans-ukraine The crisis in Ukraine is galvanizing unusually swift bipartisan action on Capitol Hill. The GOP-led House voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to authorize a $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:06:00 +0000 David Welna 36161 at http://ktep.org Hagel's On The Hill, Pushing For A Slimmer Military http://ktep.org/post/hagels-hill-pushing-slimmer-military Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. We begin this hour on Capitol Hill, where the secretary of Defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs were grilled today by lawmakers. The Pentagon leaders appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to defend the proposed cuts in military spending. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:14:00 +0000 David Welna 36053 at http://ktep.org Rep. David Camp Releases Tax Overhaul Plan http://ktep.org/post/rep-david-camp-releases-tax-overhaul-plan In the three years Republican Rep. David Camp has wielded the gavel of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, overhauling the tax code has been his abiding ambition.<p>The last revamping of the tax code was 28 years ago, and facing the prospect of having to relinquish that gavel at the end of this year, Camp declared today the time has come to start the debate on a new tax code overhaul.<p>Camp's plan would cut corporate and individual tax rates — just as his fellow Republicans have long sought. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 23:03:00 +0000 David Welna 35586 at http://ktep.org Rep. David Camp Releases Tax Overhaul Plan