US confronts its reputation abroad

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Obama Curbs Secrecy of Classified Documents

WASHINGTON — President Obama declared on Tuesday that “no information may remain classified indefinitely” as part of a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch’s system for protecting classified national security information.

In an executive order and an accompanying presidential memorandum to agency heads, Mr. Obama signaled that the government should try harder to make information public if possible, including by requiring agencies to regularly review what kinds of information they classify and to eliminate any obsolete secrecy requirements.

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Obama ordered deadly blitz on Yemen: US media

US Nobel Peace Prize Laureate President Barack Obama has signed the order for a recent military strike on Yemen in which scores of civilians, including children, have been killed, a report says.

Upon the orders of Obama, the military warplanes on Thursday blanketed two camps in the North of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, claiming there were “an imminent attack against a US asset was being planned,” ABC News quoted anonymous administration officials as saying on Friday.

The US air raids were then followed by a Yemeni ground forces incursion.

The attacks led to the death of around 120 people of whom many were civilians including children, the report quoted Yemeni opposition as saying.

Obama also contacted Yemen’s President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, after the blitz in order to “congratulate” him on his efforts against ‘al-Qaeda,’ the US news outlet quoted White House officials as telling reporters earlier.
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Obama Honored

(AP) PALMVIEW — A traffic stop in South Texas yielded illegal drugs including pills in the shape of President Barack Obama.

Police in Palmview detained the driver after finding black tar heroin, cocaine, marijuana and several Ecstasy pills. Police say the Ecstasy was in brightly colored pills made to look like cartoon characters Homer Simpson, the Smurfs and even Obama.

Police spokesman Lenny Sanchez says the drugs look like a “vitamin for kids.”

The 22-year-old driver in Monday’s traffic stop is expected to face felony drug possession counts.

Palmview is near the border with Mexico.

Obama adminstration seeks to halt Bush-era declassification order

Government officials are working at breakneck speed to halt the pending declassification of millions of historical records scheduled for release next month, according to a report by Secrecy News.

The Office of Management and Budget has asked federal agencies to return comments on a new executive order on the classification of national security information by Nov. 23, according to the report. The revised order preempts the current Bush administration executive order that set a Dec. 31 deadline for automatic declassification of historical records passed between agencies that are more than 25 years old.

The Obama administration’s proposed new executive order comes in response to government complaints that the end-of-year deadline does not give agencies enough time to review the records slated for release.

According to Secrecy News, the potential executive order proposes that instead of automatically releasing the records — some of which date back to World War II — archival documents would first be processed by a national declassification center that does not yet exist.

Perpetual war is here — and Americans are getting used to it

Waco Siege Enforcer To Rule Over Global Police Force 121009top2

A new poll shows a substantial majority of Americans have resigned themselves to the reality of our nation’s perpetual foreign wars. They don’t like it, but they see it happening and know there is nothing they can do about it. The poll, conducted by Clarus Research Group, showed that 68 percent of us agree with idea that we won’t either win or lose the war in Afghanistan, now eight years long, but will instead just remain there. The image of flies and flypaper again swirls in my head, just as it did at the time of the invasion of Iraq. We invaded these places and now we’re stuck there, and President Barack Obama is likewise stuck, not on flypaper, but on the horns of a dilemma: Does he send tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, as his area commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, has publicly demanded, or does he change strategies a la Joe Biden and rely more on special ops and drones to harass the Taliban and kill whatever members of al-Qaeda we can find?
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Westen: Nobel committee creates Peace Derivatives market

Psychologist Drew Westen has inside sources on the Nobel Peace Prize committee:

Nobel Committee Admits Getting into Derivatives Trading in Giving Peace Prize to Obama

What led to the unusual decision to bet on futures rather than follow the century-old precedent of selecting someone who has actually accomplished something?

By Drew Westen

A spokesman from the Nobel Committee yesterday spoke on condition of anonymity about the controversial decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, who as yet has solved no international crisis or created peaceful resolution to any conflict but has delivered some awesome speeches that have breathed new life into the Norwegian stock exchange, the Red Herring 500, according to the committee member. “There’s derivatives trading now in virtually every commodity known to humankind,” noted the source. “So why not peace?” He added that rare commodities with unpredictable futures are particularly attractive to derivatives traders, and that peace certainly falls into that category. With many on the right objecting that Obama hasn’t done anything to earn the prize and many on the left complaining that his record domestically has been to deliver magnificent speeches without following up with any decisive actions and to paper over conflicts with inspiring words and half-measures, the Nobel Committee member admitted on background that he wasn’t sure whether the action of the committee technically could be considered hedging or derivatives trading, but he was counting on it to create a competitive market for both peace and Obama memorabilia.

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