U.S. Soldier Leaks Classified Video

July 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

CNN reported today that a United States soldier is being charged by the military for leaking video footage of a helicopter attack to WikiLeaks. The footage features the deaths of 12 civilians, two of which were Reuters Journalists.The video was said to be taken sometime in July of 2007.

The soldier in question, Pfc. Bradley Manning, is currently being detained in Kuwait and is being charged with eight violations of the U.S. Criminal Code for transferring the video footage illegally.Manning is Army Intelligence analyst and has been detained since sometime last month. WikiLeaks publishes videos and other information from anonymously but Manning has been identified as source of the video, which was leaked in April.

Manning allegedly confessed to a former computer hacker about leaking this and other pieces of classified military information in a series of online chats.

The footage going public forced the military to defend the troops in a report claiming the soldiers had no way of knowing the Reuters employees where in the crowd of “suspected” insurgents being targeted.The military has also said that they are assigning a presiding officer to Manning’s case, which is an Article 32 similar to a grand jury, and a decision on whether to court-martial the soldier will soon follow.

Here is the leaked footage shown on CNN

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YouTube, iTunes hacked on Independence Day

July 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

On the Fourth, both iTunes and YouTube were hacked into separately. The hacking has been linked to the site Ebaumsworld and the online forum 4Chan, but it is said others may be to blame.

The problems where first discovered on YouTube by fans of pop singer Justin Bieber. Viewers got messages popping up saying that Bieber had died or a message trying to get them to go to hacking sites. It is said that the problem was in the comment system. To fix the problem, comments were temporarily disabled for about 3 hours while the problem was fixed.

On iTunes, it is said that book apps from a certain Vietnamese publisher where the top selling at the time and other rumors of accounts being phished and used to buy book apps  surfaced. But this still has not been confirmed. Also, the top book app list has not yet been fixed.

The iTunes issues do not sound as bad as the YouTube issues. I mean iTunes just had its top book apps list messed with. The YouTube issues could have led to viruses on viewer’s computers and broken hearts for millions of preteens and other Justin Bieber fans.

Larry King Live to End,CNN Starts Search for King’s Replacement

June 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

After twenty-five long years, CNN’s Larry King Live will come to an end this fall when King leaves the show.CNN has said they are looking for a replacement for the interviewer. King will not officially retire, he has said he still wants to do work with CNN on specials.

King himself has said he would like Ryan Seacrest of American Idol to be his successor. Others have expressed interest in CBS’s Katie Couric and America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan who is also a British interviewer.

An AP story suggested that it to is bad Conan O’Brien had already gotten another job. While Conan is a good talk show host and would be something new and different for the show I do not think it would be a job for him. While I believe he did a wonderful job taking over The Tonight Show (despite what Leno Lovers and NBC think), I do not think this would be his thing, even if CNN did want to shake the time slot up a bit.

If they want to shake things up they should go with Seacrest. He may be best known for hosting American Idol but he has filled in for King in the past so he knows the ropes. He would know how to do a similar show and retain some King fans if the producers kept it the same and he would still be something new and different to bring in new viewers.

S.C. Expands Gun Laws on Last Day of Session

June 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

The U.S. Supreme court ended its session today and a lot was done.  Not only was this the final day for Justice John Paul Stevens,  but the court also expanded rights to gun owners across the country.The court made other decisions as well making it quite an end to the session.

In a 5:4 vote the S.C. voted that Americans have the right to bear arms in any and all 50 of the United States of America. Of course, there are still conditions such as no guns in a school zone and some people such as the mentally ill being prohibited from owning a gun. Two years ago a handgun ban was put in place in the nation’s capital but today’s ruling makes the ban inactive here on out.

Today marked not only the last day of the session, but also the last day for Justice John Paul Stevens. At 90 years old, he  has served on the court for 34 long years. Today he wore his traditional bow tie and as a tribute to the retiree many people in the courtroom, men and women alike, wore bow ties as well.

Other cases decided upon on this last day of the session included the decision whether to keep the independent board put in place after the Enron scandal and the rights of religious groups on campuses.

In the case of the independent board in another 5;4 ruling it was decided that board is to independent from the president and the rest of government and while the board was left in place, the Securities and Exchange Commission was granted the privilege to fire board members as they see fit.

Finally, in yet another 5:4 ruling on campus religious groups must admit anyone who wishes to join if they wish to receive school funds.

All in all a good last day for this session. What does everyone think of Steven’s replacement Elena Kagan whose confirmation hearings started today?

New Constitution Approved in Kyrgyzstan

June 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=kyrgyzstan&iid=9235642″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9235642/kyrgyzstan-holds/kyrgyzstan-holds.jpg?size=500&imageId=9235642″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /] The country of Kyrgyzstan approved a new constitution today with no major problems in the Asian country. It is said that 65.1% of citizens turned out to vote for its approval.

The interim head of government, Roza Otunbeava told reporters that the nation is heading toward a legitimate, democratic system, not an interim system.

The change is much needed after the brutal April outburst which led to the former president of Kyrgyzstan to be exiled. There will be an election next year to decide who will take office and replace the exiled leader in 2012.

As more develops an update can be expected.

For now though, are there any countries you feel could use a new constitution or change to the system. How about the age old American idea that we the people vote for presidential candidates but are votes only decide on the members of the Electoral College who really pick the president? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.

McChrystal Update

June 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

General Stanley McChrystal met with President Obama in Washington today and resigned from his position. It has been said however, that the president had no intention of keeping the general on. Obama has nominated General David Petraeus to replace McChrystal. Petraeus is currently head of U.S. Central Command.

McChrystal shouldn’t resign

June 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=McChrystal&iid=9053222″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9053222/general-mcchrystal/general-mcchrystal.jpg?size=500&imageId=9053222″ width=”380″ height=”263″ /] In light of recent negative remarks made by General Stanley McChrystal about President Barack Obama,Vice President Joe Biden, and the National Security Advisor in a yet to be published Rolling Stone Magazine article. McChrystal, top American Commander in the Afghan war, and his staff where reportedly making and were quoted on making negative comments and despite an apology made by McChrystal, he has been ordered to come to Washington for a meeting rather conducting it via video conference.

Some, such as Senator Byron Dorgan D-North Dakota say the general should resign. Others speculate that he may fired. But as I write this posting it is rumored that McChrystal has just submitted his resignation. A Time reporter had heard the information from an unnamed source and CNN is still awaiting confirmation.

I do not feel that McChrystal should resign. Yes,  he may have been wrong to insult the President of his own country, and other top civilian officials, however he should not be forced into resignation over his mistakes. He is overseas commanding the troops fighting in a war. He is not just some Joe Schmo home reading about the trials and tribulations  of government at home in Pigs-knuckle, Arkansas. The general has apologized and should be forgiven like members of government when they mess up.

Some are blaming the Rolling Stones reporter Michael Hastings for writing about things he shouldn’t have. Yes, while he should have seen the remarks as jokes, he was not wrong to report on them. Anything said in an interview should be fair game for reporters to put into their story.

While both men may have been wrong, neither should be in trouble for the remarks or their coverage in the article to be published officially on Friday. If  person that insults top government officials is forced to resign, the unemployment lines would be to the moon and back.