I’m back from an awesome family vacation cruising in Alaska, and a lot has happened in national security and international relations news. Here are some links to the big events I’m catching up on.
Pfc. Bradley Manning, who has come out at transgender and shall henceforth be referred to on this blog as Chelsea Manning, her preferred name, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking documents about military activity, including war crimes, in Iraq.
Remember all those times President Obama tried to tell us there was no evidence the NSA was abusing their surveillance powers? Well, it turns out there is. Including some NSA analysts spying on love interests.
Meanwhile, David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been one of Edward Snowden’s main media contacts and published many of the former Booz Allen contractor’s leaks, was detained by British authorities while changing planes in Heathrow airport. He was not permitted to call a lawyer or Greenwald. The authorities detained him under the controversial Terrorist Act, meant to allow police to detain suspected terrorists.
There are reports that the Syrian government has just launched one of the biggest chemical weapons attacks in modern history. This is so far unconfirmed by independent observers. There is a U.N. chemical weapons inspection team nearby, but based on strict rules regarding their movements issued by the government, they may not be able to actually travel to the scene of the attack. So that seems good. The current reports put casualties at 755.