National Security Council

12 Stories

US to North Korea: Let 85-Year-Old American Go

Merrill Newman has been held for more than a month

(Newser) - The US is urging North Korea to release an 85-year-old American who's been detained for more than a month. Retired finance executive Merrill Newman, who fought in the Korean War, was taken off a plane Oct. 26 by North Korean authorities while preparing to leave after a 10-day visit.... More »

White House Staffer Fired for Snarky Twitter Account

Jofi Joseph was senior National Security Council official

(Newser) - Jofi Joseph isn't the first person to lose his job for griping about his workplace on Twitter ... but he's probably the first person to do so while working at the White House. Joseph, the director of nuclear non-proliferation for the National Security Council, was unmasked as the man... More »

Secret Panel Placed Awlaki on Kill List

No records, no laws for National Security Council subset

(Newser) - This is sure to ramp up the debate over whether the US was right to kill one of its own citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki: Reuters reports that a secretive panel places militants like him on a kill or capture list, and that there are no public records of the panel's... More »

White House Blasts Syrian Government

Defends protesters; threatens 'targeted sanctions'

(Newser) - The National Security Council has condemned the “brutal violence” launched by Syria’s government against protesters, NPR reports. The crackdown is “completely deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” said an official statement. In response, “the United States is pursuing a range of... More »

Jones Puts Foot in Mouth With Jewish Joke

National security adviser draws fire from conservatives

(Newser) - Jim Jones gave a major speech at a top Middle East think tank last week, but the information he imparted has been drowned out by the kerfluffle over the joke he opened his remarks with—in which a Jewish merchant fleeces a thirsty Taliban fighter. It's tame stuff, and the... More »

Jones Emerges as Strong Voice for Obama

National security adviser sheds early uncertainty about role

(Newser) - Jim Jones’ rocky start in the Obama administration as national security adviser now seems like a thing of the past. Where once Jones lamented publicly that he was unsure of his role, he has now settled in as a top administration voice, wielding his four-star clout in the Pentagon and... More »

Obama Replaces CIA With Special Interrogators

(Newser) - Barack Obama has ordered the creation of an elite squad that will take over terror interrogations from the CIA, senior officials tell the Washington Post. Dubbed the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG, the unit will be housed with the FBI, but overseen by the White House through the National... More »

Obama to Broaden National Security Council Power

Prez will boost group's authority on wider range of issues

(Newser) - The decades-old National Security Council will undergo sweeping changes under President Obama, who is expected this week to issue a directive increasing its membership and broadening its authority, the Washington Post reports. The move is part of a strategy to modernize the agency and integrate supervision to cover a wide... More »

Obama Sneaks Power Back Into the Mix

Adviser who called Clinton 'monster' lands national security role

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s national security team seems to consist entirely of people known for speaking their minds, observes Ben Smith of Politico, and none moreso than new NSC staff member Samantha Power, best known for calling Hillary Clinton “a monster.” She was booted for the incident, but that... More »

Europe Votes to Lift Cuba Sanctions

Washington 'disappointed' by decision

(Newser) - The European Union has agreed to lift sanctions against Cuba, much to the annoyance of the White House. "We see encouraging signs in Cuba and I think that we should show the population in Cuba that we are ready to work with them," an EU official tells the... More »

CIA to Brief Congress on Syria-North Korea Nuke Pact

Washington moves close to N. Korea agreement

(Newser) - Details of a suspected secret pact between North Korea and Syria to supply Damascus with nuclear weapons technology will be revealed in closed-door CIA briefings of lawmakers, Reuters reports. The pact is apparently linked to an Israeli air raid on a suspected nuclear site in Syria last year. The briefing... More »

Bush Boosts Battered NAFTA at Summit

Trading partners meet in New Orleans

(Newser) - President Bush yesterday opened a two-day economic summit in New Orleans with Mexico and Canada amid growing hostility to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is widely blamed for US job losses. Bush is using the meeting with the trillion-dollar trading partners to highlight support for NAFTA as the... More »

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