[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/24/art.mullen.0618y.gi.jpg caption=" Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said Thursday he backs the president's decision to remove Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his command post."]Washington (CNN) - The top US military official said he backs the president's decision to remove Gen. Stanley McChrystal from his command post.
"I'm very supportive of the president's decision," Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said at a Washington event on Thursday.
President Barack Obama has tapped Gen. David Petraeus, the current commander of Central Command, to replace McChrystal as top commander in Afghanistan.
Asked if he has any individuals in mind to replace Gen. Petraeus at Centcom, Mullen said simply, "I do." and then added "but that's all I'll say."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/12/art.getty.lieberman.jpg caption="Sen. Joseph Lieberman posed for a group photo Tuesday with military veterans."]Washington (CNN) - Over a hundred U.S. military veterans gathered Tuesday on Capitol Hill to press Congress for quick repeal of the law banning gays from serving in the military.
Gay, lesbian and straight veterans and supporters converged on steps of the U.S. Capitol for a group photograph with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, who is the main sponsor of a bill that would officially repeal the law, known as "don't ask, don't tell."
Event participants visited their respective congressional representatives to urge them to repeal the law without waiting for the completion of a Pentagon study that is looking at how the change would be implemented.
Eric Alva, a retired Marine with the group Human Rights Campaign, one of the event's organizers, came from San Antonio, Texas, to visit his congressman, Rep. Charles Gonzalez, D-Texas.
Washington (CNN) - A trio of congressional Republicans passionately appealed to the Pentagon on Thursday to drop charges against three Navy SEALs accused of assaulting an Iraqi suspected of orchestrating the 2004 killing and mutilation of four U.S. contractors.
Flanked by about a dozen retired Navy SEALs at a news conference near the Capitol, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California; Rep. Dan Burton, R-Indiana; and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, insisted that the U.S. is sending the wrong message to its troops.
"These Navy SEALs were apprehending a terrorist murderer, and they are being accused of roughing him up? Give me a break! These men should be given medals, not prosecuted. These men are heroes," Rohrabacher said.
Burton agreed, saying, "These people are laying their lives on the line every day, and they can't go into a combat situation with kid gloves on."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/27/art.afghan.gi.afp.jpg caption= "'Don't ask, don't tell' debate heats up; Obama mention expected ."]
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will ask Congress during his State of the Union address to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that bars gay men and lesbians from openly serving in the military, a senior administration official told CNN.
"He will do that straight out, and has been under more pressure from gay and lesbian Americans and others who don't support that policy to be more aggressive," Obama advisor David Axelrod told CNN. "He will ask the Congress to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell.'"
Earlier, the expectation that Obama would discuss the controversial policy had heavy-hitters on both sides of the issue lining up for a fight.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/22/veterans.affairs.bonuses/art.vasign.gi.jpg caption=" Lawmakers want to know why some IT workers in the VA Department have received millions in bonuses."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - While hundreds of thousands of disability claims lay backlogged at the Department of Veterans Affairs, thousands of technology employees at the department received $24 million in bonuses, a new report says.
A report issued by the VA's Office of Inspector General said the department issued millions of dollars in awards over a two-year period in 2007 and 2008.
"The frequent and large dollar amount awards given to employees were unusual and often absurd," the report stated.
The reports also called the payments "not fiscally responsible."
Four high-level employees received about $60,000, $73,000, $58,000, and $59,000, respectively, according to the report, without sufficient justification. Another employee received a $4,500 performance award within the first 90 days of her employment from a manager who said that she did not even remember her.
The annual average award per employee was about $2,500 for both years, according to the report. About 4,700 awards and bonuses were issued in 2007, and about 5,000 in 2008.