Larry Abramson en Air Force's Beloved 'Warthog' Targeted For Retirement Jeff Duford is standing next to an A-10, one of the most beloved planes of all time. It's painted green, a clue that it was designed for a threat that has disappeared — it was built at the height of the Cold War.<p>"The reason why it's painted this way is because at that time, this airframe was expected to stop Soviet tanks from rolling through Germany," says Duford, curator of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:55:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 31499 at Air Force's Beloved 'Warthog' Targeted For Retirement Obama Panel: NSA Phone Record Surveillance Should Be Limited Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>After recently revelations about the National Security Agency, the Obama administration came up with a soundbite: Just because we can gather information, the White House said, doesn't always mean we should. That did not answer whether the U.S. would continue gathering telephone data on Americans or spying on foreign leaders. Now a presidential panel says, in most cases, the NSA shouldn't. Thu, 19 Dec 2013 10:29:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 31211 at In Qatar, Hagel Tours Command Center That May Or May Not Exist U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited the Combined Air and Space Operations Center in the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar on Tuesday morning, the last leg of a tour that has also taken him to Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.<p>The "CAOC" as it's known in Pentagonese, is a minimalist concrete bunker in the blasted desert south of Doha, the capital of this wealthy emirate that sits on a peninsula jutting off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Qatar is a close U.S. ally that is happy to host this high-tech command center. But they want to keep that fact on the down low, so U.S. Tue, 10 Dec 2013 16:48:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 30593 at Karzai's Political Games Overshadow Hagel's Visit To Afghanistan Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel returned to the Middle East today, after a weekend tour of Afghanistan and a stop in Pakistan. Hagel's visit to Afghanistan was overshadowed by continuing difficulties with President Hamid Karzai. Afghanistan has not yet agreed to terms that would allow U.S. forces to stay there beyond 2014. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, Afghanistan is not the only country where the U.S. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 30538 at U.S. Flies Bombers Through East China Sea Air Space China Claims The United States military flew two B-52 bombers into air space that China recently designated as an air defense identification zone. The showdown is part of a larger dispute involving China and Japan and territorial rights in the East China Sea. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:29:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 29781 at Google Says It's Getting Far More User-Data Requests From Government Google says the number of requests it gets from the U.S. government for user information is rising — fast.<p>The company released new <a href="">details</a> Thursday showing such requests have more than doubled since 2010. From January to June of this year, Google received 10,918 government orders in criminal cases, compared with 4,287 three years ago. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:10:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 29020 at Senate Considers Ways To Address Military Sexual Assaults Members of Congress are unlikely to adopt one measure that many victims say is essential: taking away from commanders the ability to decide whether to pursue assault cases. Members of Congress say that step would undermine order and discipline in the ranks, and the Pentagon agrees. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 10:36:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 28976 at Who Owns The Archives Of A Vanishing Iraqi Jewish World? <p></p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:30:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 28563 at Who Owns The Archives Of A Vanishing Iraqi Jewish World? A Controversial Week For The NSA Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This week, the National Security Agency fought back against criticism of it's operations following leaks from former contractor Edward Snowden that have revealed some of the scale of the agency's surveillance of Americans and people overseas, including heads of state of U.S. allies. NPR's Larry Abramson has been covering the story and joins us. Larry, thanks so much for being with us.<p>LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: Hi Scott.<p>SIMON: Bring us up to date. Sat, 02 Nov 2013 10:46:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 28255 at Pentagon Pushes States On Benefits For Same-Sex Couples Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has directed the National Guard Bureau to resolve a dispute that is making it difficult for same-sex couples to receive military benefits.<p>The Pentagon <a href="">started to recognize same-sex marriages</a> soon after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this summer. But some states are resisting.<p>Alicia Butler is the same-sex spouse of a member of the National Guard living in Austin, Texas. Fri, 01 Nov 2013 22:20:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 28229 at Pentagon Pushes States On Benefits For Same-Sex Couples NSA Chief: We Did Not Collect French, Spanish Phone Data 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.<p>Intelligence chiefs told Congress today reports of the U.S. monitoring European phone traffic are false. The officials insisted that most of the data in question was collected by allied intelligence agencies and then shared with the U.S. They also weighed in on reports that the U.S. has been spying on dozens of world leaders. Instead of denying that claim, they argued that spying on leaders is a key tool and that everybody does it. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 20:49:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 27964 at READ: Bipartisan Bill To End NSA's Domestic Bulk Collection Bipartisan concern on Capitol Hill about data from <a href="" target="_blank">Americans' phone and Internet records being vacuumed up by the National Security Agency</a> has led to an unusual alliance involving a prominent House Republican and a veteran Senate Democrat.<p>NPR's Larry Abramson writes that:<p><blockquote><p><a href="" target="_blank">Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner</a>, R-Wis., and <a href="" target="_blank">Sen. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 15:29:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 27932 at Who Has The Right To Know Where Your Phone Has Been? You probably know, or should know, that your cellphone is tracking your location everywhere you go. But whether law enforcement officials should have access to that data is at the center of a constitutional debate.<p>Matt Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania, says location tracking is key to how the cell system operates.<p>"As you move around, your phone is constantly checking to see whether the tower that it's currently registered with is the best one, or whether there's a better tower with a stronger signal coming in range," he says. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 06:56:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 27905 at Who Has The Right To Know Where Your Phone Has Been? West Point Women: A Natural Pattern Or A Camouflage Ceiling? At the 200-year-old U.S. Military Academy at West Point, tradition dictates everything. That includes the habit of having freshmen stand in the yard everyday and call cadets to lunch. It's also tradition that the overwhelming majority of the graduating class will be white and 84 percent male.<p>Some say those rates are due to natural patterns of matriculation.<p>"Women will naturally matriculate — or, they have naturally matriculated — into the academy at about the 16 to 17 percent rate," says West Point admissions director Col. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 27494 at West Point Women: A Natural Pattern Or A Camouflage Ceiling? FISA Court: We Approve 99 Percent Of Wiretap Applications <a href="">A letter (pdf) released today</a> by a special surveillance court clears up some misconceptions about legal oversight for government wiretap activities. Responding to a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court says, yes, it's true, we do approve 99% of all wiretap applications. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 20:00:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 27093 at NSA Head Admits Testing U.S. Cellphone Tracking Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Top U.S. intelligence officials are now warning about the threat to security posed by the partial federal shutdown. It is now idling most of the civilian workforce in the intelligence community. Thu, 03 Oct 2013 09:17:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 26279 at How The Shutdown Is Affecting The Military <em>Larry Abramson, who covers national security for NPR, sent us this missive, about how <a href="">the shutdown of the federal government</a> is affecting the Pentagon:</em><p>If you are a soldier, sailor, airman or marine, you will be paid during a shutdown. But only half of civilian defense workers are supposed to show up for work, and the rest do not get paid.<p>That's just one of many hardships facing military families. Another is figuring out just what is open, and what is closed. Tue, 01 Oct 2013 20:00:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 26164 at Is The U.S. Collecting Cellphone Location Data? Is the National Security Agency collecting cellphone tracking information on millions of Americans?<p>After a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, we still can't be sure. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has been trying to get intelligence officials to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of such a program.<p>Remember, records of where your cellphone is located give a pretty good idea of where the owners are. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 23:19:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 25868 at Is The U.S. Collecting Cellphone Location Data? On Budget Issues, Pentagon's Rhetoric Is Challenged The budget battles in Washington have inspired the need for some verbal gymnastics that have challenged even the most adept doublespeakers at the Pentagon. As one member of the House pointed out today, some Pentagonians have insisted that Congress cannot cut a single additional dollar from defense, without endangering the national defense strategy.<p>But then, when the military is tasked with planning an attack on Syria, officials insist they are ready when the White House gives the order. Perhaps that is because it is not part of the military mentality to decline a mission. Wed, 18 Sep 2013 21:57:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 25325 at Analyst Criticized For Syrian-Rebel Advocacy Connections During the run-up to possible military action in Syria, the name of an unknown researcher was catapulted into the spotlight. Elizabeth O'Bagy was on NPR, Fox and quoted by Senator John McCain during a hearing. It turns out, O'Bagy is not exactly who she said she was, and her story reveals a lot about how Washington works during times of high drama. Thu, 12 Sep 2013 09:18:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 24890 at U.S. Mulls Over More Possible Targets For Syria Strike As U.S. lawmakers weigh whether to support an attack on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, military planners have expanded the target list for a potential strike.<p>The Pentagon had been focused on attacking Syria with so-called standoff weapons — cruise missiles, for example. Launched from ships, they can attack Syrian positions without placing American pilots in danger. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:36:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 24703 at U.S. Mulls Over More Possible Targets For Syria Strike Lawmakers Struggle With Wording Of Syria Resolution Congress is trying to fashion language that would restrict U.S. involvement in Syria from escalating. But lawmakers often find it uncomfortable to rein in the commander in chief once U.S. forces have been committed. Thu, 05 Sep 2013 09:08:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 24398 at The Drums Of War, Poolside Edition <em>NPR's Larry Abramson is traveling with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is in Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus, or ASEAN Plus. Larry sent us this dispatch:</em><p>You cannot hear the drums of war here in Brunei, but you can hear the surf from the Brunei coast, or the sounds of splashing from the humongous pools here at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.<p>Did you know it takes 12,285,000 liters of water to fill up the pools? Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:39:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 24003 at The Drums Of War, Poolside Edition How A Look At Your Gmail Reveals The Power Of Metadata Sometimes you have to give up a little privacy in order to find out how much — or how little — privacy you really have. So I handed over the keys to my Gmail account to <a href="">Cesar Hidalgo</a>, a professor at the MIT Media Lab and the designer of a program called Immersion.<p><a href="">Immersion</a> looks at the volume and frequency of your email traffic. It looks at what's known as metadata — to/from information. Thu, 22 Aug 2013 06:56:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 23504 at How A Look At Your Gmail Reveals The Power Of Metadata Obama Administration Resists Cutting Off Egypt Aid Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Monday that the United States has limited influence in Egypt, where a violent crackdown by Egypt's military has left hundreds of protesters dead. Hagel's comment comes as some in Congress suggest the U.S. does have substantial leverage. They want the the U.S. to cut off military aid to Egypt. Mon, 19 Aug 2013 21:13:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 23326 at Pentagon Adds New Measures To Combat Sexual Assault Under pressure from Congress, the Pentagon has announced additional measures to combat sexual assault. The Pentagon continues to resist proposals that would take prosecution of sexual assault out of the chain of command, but some lawmakers say that's the step that would make a difference. Thu, 15 Aug 2013 21:11:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 23117 at Drone Manufacturers Confident Domestic Industry Will Grow Gathering in Washington, D.C., drone manufacturers say they are optimistic about their business, despite a downturn in defense spending. The unmanned vehicle industry is hopeful the domestic market will open up. But they first must address privacy concerns exacerbated by the NSA spying scandal. Thu, 15 Aug 2013 09:24:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 23060 at Obama Supports Some Senators' Call For NSA Reform At his press conference on Friday, President Obama promised more transparency about the government's secret national security surveillance programs. The president expressed support for some reform efforts being considered in Congress and called for the release of more documents that explain how and why the surveillance effort works and whether it safeguards the privacy of Americans. Fri, 09 Aug 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 22730 at Study: Rising Military Suicide Rate Not Linked To Deployment Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>A new study out today finds that the rising number of suicides in the military is not caused by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The paper says mental health and alcohol abuse are much stronger indicators that a service member will commit suicide. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, that finding runs smack into other evidence that says there is a connection.<p>LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: Suicide rates in the military have risen dramatically since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. Tue, 06 Aug 2013 20:08:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 22489 at More Surveillance Revelations Put Government On Defensive Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And let's hear now about more leaks about government surveillance from Edward Snowden, and more signs that Congress wants to limit that kind of surveillance. Thu, 01 Aug 2013 09:18:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 22126 at