Nick Turse
(via Jeff Danziger Editorial Cartoon on GoComics.com)
Afghans to Fight in “Perpetuity” Says U.S. Official
“It’s the last place we will be fighting,” a senior U.S. military  official said when asked about a new shift of forces from the south of Afghanistan to its east.  “And the Afghans will be fighting there in perpetuity. It’s a bad  neighborhood.”
(via Focus of Afghan war is shifting eastward - The Washington Post)

Afghans to Fight in “Perpetuity” Says U.S. Official

“It’s the last place we will be fighting,” a senior U.S. military official said when asked about a new shift of forces from the south of Afghanistan to its east.  “And the Afghans will be fighting there in perpetuity. It’s a bad neighborhood.”

(via Focus of Afghan war is shifting eastward - The Washington Post)

(via Mike Luckovich Editorial Cartoon on GoComics.com)

In another case of the new guys being as bad as the old guys, because in fact, they’re the same guys, a recent Taliban turncoat who joined the U.S.-allied Afghan side tells the New York Times, “The government is telling me to fight the Taliban and protect your area so we must ask people for help in order to take care of myself and my friends.”  

According to the Times, “[h]e and other militiamen who have declared for the government and hope to join the local police, a group known as arbakai, insist that people give the money voluntarily.  Judging by the public outcry, however, the donors see things differently. They are often forced to hand over a tenth of their earnings, just as they were when the Taliban ran things. In Kunduz, where the police training program has been operating since late last year, radio talk shows have been flooded by angry callers complaining about the arbakai militias, meetings of elders have denounced their behavior, and even provincial government officials have expressed concern.”

Investigative journalist Gareth Porter of IPS reports that figures released by Gen. David Petraeus on the  spectacular success of black ops raids fall apart when scrutinized.  Porter writes, “it turns out that more than 80 percent of those called captured Taliban fighters were released within days of having been picked up, because they were found to have been innocent civilians, according to official U.S. military data.”

Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says?
Robert Fisk offers this scathing assessment in a new piece for The Independent that also accuses Algeria of supplying Qadhafi’s forces with armored vehicles and mentions Turkish plans to possibly send several battalions of troops into Syria “to carve out a ‘safe area’ for Syrian refugees.”  He writes:
"While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington    – Obama grovelling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of    changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and dying for freedoms they    have never possessed. Obama waffled on about change in the Middle East – and    about America’s new role in the region. It was pathetic. ‘What is this "role" thing?’ an Egyptian friend asked me at the weekend. ‘Do    they still believe we care about what they think?’"

Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says?

Robert Fisk offers this scathing assessment in a new piece for The Independent that also accuses Algeria of supplying Qadhafi’s forces with armored vehicles and mentions Turkish plans to possibly send several battalions of troops into Syria “to carve out a ‘safe area’ for Syrian refugees.”  He writes:

"While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington – Obama grovelling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and dying for freedoms they have never possessed. Obama waffled on about change in the Middle East – and about America’s new role in the region. It was pathetic. ‘What is this "role" thing?’ an Egyptian friend asked me at the weekend. ‘Do they still believe we care about what they think?’"

An Obama Administration initiative to curb overclassification of national security information that was announced in December 2009 has produced no known results to date.

Steven Aftergood, the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Secrecy News

Yep, you read it right.  Joshua Benton of Nieman Journalism Lab reports that four measly lines of Javascript can defeat a paywall that cost $40-$50 million to create and implement.