Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama plans to announce former Sen. Chuck Hagel as his nominee to become the next defense secretary and Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Adviser John Brennan as the nominee for CIA director on Monday, administration officials told CNN.
Two sources close to Hagel have also been told to expect the defense secretary announcement on Monday, and additional sources - a senior administration official and a source familiar with the nomination - said Obama spoke to Hagel Sunday by telephone.
Washington (CNN) – Several senior administration officials tell CNN UN Ambassador Susan Rice's use of the word "spontaneous" on Sunday talk shows five days after the Libya incident came directly from an assessment provided to the House intelligence community by the CIA, which was not edited by the White House.
The officials maintain the criticism is a result of a poor word choice rather than a true difference in representing what was known about the attack at the time. Several officials say instead of calling it "spontaneous" - it might have been better phrased as: the attack had not been long planned; or there were no signs of an upcoming attack on September 11th.
Washington (CNN) – The use of armed drones, or unmanned aircraft, to target and kill suspected terrorists has increased dramatically during the Obama administration but President Barack Obama said he struggles with the use of armed drones to target terrorists.
"That's something that you have to struggle with," the president said in a CNN interview at the White House conducted for the documentary "Obama Revealed: The man, The President" by this reporter. He continued, "if you don't, then it's very easy to slip into a situation in which you end up bending rules thinking that the ends always justify the means. That's not been our tradition. That's not who we are as a country."
Washington (CNN) – Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul has been endorsed by an outspoken former CIA officer who once headed the Osama Bin Laden unit.
Michael Scheuer pulled no punches in throwing his support behind and encouraging Iowans to vote for Rep. Paul.
Washington (CNN) - Gen. David Petraeus told his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday that "I wanted this job" as he explained his willingness to retire from the military after 37 years to become CIA director.
The 58-year-old commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan told the Senate Intelligence Committee he would lead the nation's largest intelligence agency fully independent of his ties to the military.
A crowd of about 1,000 greeted Obama with cheers and a standing ovation, according to CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf.
(CNN) - WikiLeaks, a whistle-blower website, posted on the group's
Twitter page on Tuesday: "WikiLeaks to release CIA paper tomorrow."
The website set off a firestorm of controversy recently when it posted
some 76,000 U.S. documents related to the war in Afghanistan. The group has
said it has another 15,000 documents, which it plans to release soon.
It was not immediately clear whether the Twitter post on Tuesday is
related to the batch of documents that WikiLeaks has called the "Afghan War
Founder and editor of the website, Julian Assange, was arrested in
absentia last week in Sweden on charges of rape. The warrant was revoked less
than a day later by Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne.
Separately on Tuesday, the attorney for the alleged victims told CNN
rumors that the Pentagon or CIA was somehow involved in the sex crime
accusations against Assange are "complete nonsense."
Washington (CNN) - CIA Director Leon Panetta said Sunday that the war in Afghanistan had "serious problems," but the U.S.-led mission was making progress.
"It's harder, it's slower than I think anyone anticipated," said Panetta, the nation's top intelligence officer, in a rare media interview with the ABC program "This Week."
He cited governance problems, drug trafficking and the Taliban insurgency - all in a tribal society - as the major challenges to the goal of "making sure al Qaeda never finds another safe haven from which to attack this country."
"Winning in Afghanistan is having a country that is stable enough to ensure that there is no safe haven for al Qaeda or for a militant Taliban that welcomes al Qaeda," Panetta said.
Updated: 10:25 a.m.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama paid tribute Friday to seven CIA officers killed in Afghanistan in December, calling them "American patriots who loved their country and gave their lives to defend it."
Obama delivered the remarks during a memorial service at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The service was closed to the media to protect the identities of undercover officers in attendance. A transcript of Obama's speech was provided to members of the press.
"There are no words that can ease the ache in your hearts," Obama told families, friends and co-workers of the seven officers. "But to their colleagues and all who served with them - those here today, those still recovering, those watching around the world, I say: Let their sacrifice be a summons. To carry on their work. To complete this mission. To win this war, and to keep our country safe."
A suicide bomber killed the CIA officers, as well as a Jordanian intelligence official, on December 30 at a U.S. base in Khost, in southeastern Afghanistan.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama is expected to receive a CIA update Monday on the botched Christmas Day terrorist attack, according to White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton.
The president will also meet with his deputy national security adviser, John Brennan.
Obama returned to Washington on Monday at the conclusion of the first family's Hawaii holiday vacation.