[Updated at 11:54 a.m. ET] The Army private accused of leaking millions of government files has offered to plead guilty to some of the charges against him, his attorney announced Thursday.
Pfc. Bradley Manning has been jailed for more than two years on allegations that he downloaded hundreds of thousands of pages of documents while serving as a military intelligence analyst in Iraq and handed that trove to website WikiLeaks. The offer was made in a hearing held on Wednesday, his attorney, David Coombs, wrote on his firm's website.
A Marine who used his Facebook page to criticize President Barack Obama has been discharged, a Marine spokesman said Wednesday.
Sgt. Gary Stein (pictured) was given an "other-than-honorable" discharge, said Capt. Brian Block, a spokesman for the Marines.
A military board recommended earlier this month that Stein be given the discharge on grounds that he violated "good order and discipline" by calling Obama a liar and suggesting he would not follow some orders issued by the president, among other comments posted to his Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook page.
The board found he also violated rules limiting political conduct by service members.FULL STORY
The United States and NATO will end their combat mission in Afghanistan next year, transitioning to a training role in which Afghan security forces will take the lead, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told reporters Wednesday.
"Hopefully, by mid to the latter part of 2013, we'll be able to make a transition from a combat role to a training, advise and assist role," Panetta told reporters traveling with him to Brussels and confirmed to CNN by a defense official.FULL STORY
The secretary of the U.S. Army has disciplined nine officers for failing to warn of problems with Maj. Nidal Hasan - the officer accused of committing the 2009 Fort Hood shootings - before he was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.
Secretary John McHugh's move¬†comes after the service reviewed the circumstances leading up to the Fort Hood shootings, in which 13 people were killed and 43 others were wounded.
McHugh "initiated adverse administrative action against nine officers for administrative and leadership failures relating to the career" of Hasan, according to an Army statement released Thursday.
The officers were not identified. The Army statement said the severity of the discipline varied depending on the actions of each officer.
The Army report found no single factor led ultimately to the shooting but "certain officers clearly failed to meet the high standards expected of their profession."
In addition, the Army secretary has ordered a review of how evaluations of personnel are conducted and procedures for training and counseling
There is a report of shots fired at a Coast Guard recruiting station near Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, Virginia, according to Prince William County Police spokesperson First Sgt. Kim Chinn.
The Canadian government has agreed to accept Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr after he finishes a year of¬† incarceration in U.S. custody, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs said.
[Update 4:00 p.m.] Emirates Airline has issued a statement regarding the origin of the flight:
"Emirates Flight EK201, which has just landed at JFK, originated in Dubai not in Yemen, as reported in the US media. More information will follow as soon as we have it. Emirates is co-operating fully with the US authorities."
[Update 3:36 p.m.] Emirates flight 201 lands at New York's JFK airport escorted by fighter jets.
[Update 3:11 p.m.] NORAD is escorting a passenger flight from the United Arab Emirates to New York's JFK airport ‚Äúout of an abundance of caution,‚ÄĚ a NORAD spokesman said.
Two Canadian CF-18s began to track a civilian aircraft that was ‚Äúdetermined to be an aircraft of interest‚ÄĚ as it flew over Canadian airspace, spokesman John Cornelio said.
Two US F-15s then picked up the escort to JFK, which is ongoing.
A law enforcement source says that the flight being escorted is Emirates 201.¬† The flight originated in Sanaa, Yemen, yesterday and is en route from Dubai to JFK, according to Emirates Airline.
The FBI and Port Authority Police are scheduled to meet the fight, FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko said.
"This is only because there is cargo from Yemen on the flight.¬† There is no known threat associated with this cargo or this flight,‚ÄĚ he said.
The Pentagon has advised recruiting commands that they can accept openly gay and lesbian recruit candidates, given the recent federal court decision that bars the military from expelling openly gay service members, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman.
The recruiters were told that if a candidate admits he or she is openly gay, and qualify under normal recruiting guidelines, their application can be processed. Recruiters are not allowed to ask candidates if they are gay as part of the application process.
The Justice Department plans to file an appeal Thursday afternoon seeking an emergency stay of a federal judge's ruling stopping the military's policy barring openly gay men and lesbians from serving, a spokesman from the plaintiff's law firm said.
Justice Department lawyers say they want the federal court in California to grant a stay of the injunction, which would remain in effect throughout the appeals process.
The government says the stay would allow for an orderly transition to a policy allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the U.S. military.
The top U.S. military officer said Thursday that Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, was risking lives to make a political point by publishing thousands of military reports from Afghanistan.
"Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference at the Pentagon.
In equally stern comments and at the same session, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the massive leak will have significant impact on troops and allies, giving away techniques and procedures. FULL POST
By the end of the summer, the US will switch from combat operations to what the Gen. Ray Odierno, the outgoing commander there, calls "stability operations." The change on September 1, 2010 will bring in a new name. Gone will be Operation Iraqi Freedom. The final phase of the US presence in Iraq as they prepare to withdraw all troops by 2012 is Operation New Dawn.
At a briefing at the Pentagon on Wednesday, Gen. Odierno ticked through the numbers that underscore the mammoth task of leaving Iraq.
16 – US bases still to be handed over to Iraq
500 – US bases closed or turned over since 2007
20,000 – vehicles sent to Afghanistan
50,000 – anticipated troop level on Sept 1, 2010
70,000 – current troop level
75,000 – Troops who have left Iraq since January 2009
1,200,000 – pieces of equipment removed from the country