Sunday, May 26, 2013
A DHS intelligence bulletin starkly warns it may not be possible to stop 3D-printed guns from being made – or from getting past security checkpoints undetected. DHS notes that 3D-printed firearms can be made without serial numbers or unique identifiers, making ballistics testing difficult, and that advancements in technology and decreasing 3D printer costs will mean even more sophisticated printed guns will become easier to acquire....
A small but resolute band of sequestration-busters showed up on the National Mall Sunday to honor the fallen of World War I despite the official cancellation of the annual event leading up to Memorial Day due to the Congressional budget cuts.
“It’s a sign that we remember,” said Melinda Tomaino, president of the American Legion auxiliary at the Kenneth H. Nash Post 8 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
She was joined by Barbara Rich and Alicia Fansmith, also members of Post 8, in placing two wreaths at the District of Columbia’s World War I Memorial, dedicated in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover, that mostly goes unnoticed a short walk from the imposing World War II Memorial.
“Remembrance of our veterans who sacrificed all should not be sequestered,” Rich said.
The three women held a brief moment of silence to honor those who served in what the inscription on the D.C. Memorial said was “The Great War For Civilization.” Earlier, Rebekah Wilson, an Army Iraq veteran, had placed small U.S. flags along walkways leading to the Memorial just off Independence Ave.
And that was it in the way of ceremony for what had been an annual gathering going back to 1976 to kick off Memorial Day events.
There were no speakers, no representatives from D.C. officialdom. There was no playing of “Taps,” no folding chairs for whoever might have attended in remembrance of the 499 District residents who fell in the Great War alongside 116,000 other “doughboys.”
The National Park Service withdrew its support for the District event, which usually came to about $1,000, because of the five percent cuts in the NPS’ budget of about $2.75 billion that were forced by the impasse between Congress and the Obama administration on deficit reduction, said Mike Litterst, an NPS spokesman....
-bth: One wonders how Congress and the President can look at themselves in the mirror.
House lawmakers want the Pentagon to present a plan to discontinue the Joint IED-Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) – an effort stood up during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to detect, counter and neutralize the full-range of improvised explosive devices.
Questions have circulated over the future of JIEDDO as the war in Afghanistan winds down. Critics have questioned whether the billions spent on the agency to protect troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan has yielded the right results.
The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces asked the Pentagon issue a report in the next 60 days outlining JIEDDO's future to include how the agency could be split up should Secretary of Defense decide to break up the organization.
JIEDDO was stood up in 2006 to counter IEDs, roadside bombs, and other threats known to be weapons of choice by insurgents and adversaries.
The key question seems to be whether there is still a need for the organization in light of the reduction of troops in Afghanistan and whether JIEDDO is the right agency to head existing Counter-IED activities across and within the Defense Department....
-bth: JIEDDO had potential until it became a giant bureaucracy where nothing got done.
BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Premier Nouri al-Maliki's oil advisor Hamza al-Jawahiri stated that "the Iraqi will file a suit, through diplomatic channels, against Turkey for secret agreements with the Kurdish region to excavate oil and selling it international markets.
In a statement published by London based al-Hayat daily today, he expressed astonishment for Turkish premier Recceb Tayyib Erdogan's paraphrase of the Iraqi constitution.
The charges shall be made through international courts, he added.