Tags: Missile | Threat | Grows

Missile Threat Grows Against U.S.

By    |   Sunday, 07 June 2009 12:10 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Missile Threat Grows Against U.S.
2. Democrats Eye Vacated House Seat Amid 'Conspiracy' Talk
3. House to Post Expense Reports Online
4. Web Site: '

Execute' Global Warming Deniers
5. U.S. 'Less Peaceful' Than Bosnia, Nicaragua
6. We Heard: Bob Woodward, Cyber Warriors,
    Elizabeth Edwards

1. Missile Threat Grows Against U.S.

A new report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center reveals that the missile threat to the U.S. from potentially hostile nations is growing.

The report, "Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat," details the dangers posed by the missile programs of North Korea, Iran, China, Russia and other nations.

It comes as the Obama administration is planning to reduce spending on missile defense systems, the Washington Times observes.

The NASIC report discloses that since 2006, North Korea has deployed nearly 50 new missiles with a range of more than 2,000 miles. It has also tested the Taepodong-2 missile, which has a range of 3,400 miles. Both tests of the missile have been failures, but the report says they demonstrate North Korea's "determination to achieve long-range ballistic missile and space launch capabilities."

It also warns that the Taepodong-2 could be exported to other countries in the future.

The NASIC report cites Iran's April launch of a missile that "can serve as a testbed for long-range ballistic missile technologies."

China, the report notes, has "the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world," and the number of Chinese ICBM warheads capable of threatening the U.S. is expected to grow to "well over 100 in the next 15 years."

Russia has increased its arsenal of warheads on its SS-18 ICBMs by 250 in recent years. Russia is also developing new technology "to allow Russian strategic missiles to penetrate missile defense systems," according to the NASIC report obtained by the Times.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, recently announced that its next budget includes a $1.5 billion cut in missile defense funding.

Editor's Note:

2. Democrats Eye Vacated House Seat Amid 'Conspiracy' Talk

Democrats are hoping to capture a longtime GOP House seat in New York after President Barack Obama nominated the current congressman, John McHugh, to become Secretary of the Army.

The Empire State's 23rd District encompasses a large area in the northern reaches of the state and borders Canada. It's been in Republican hands since the 1992 election.

But if Republican McHugh is confirmed as Army Secretary, Gov. David Paterson would schedule a special election to be held between 30 and 40 days after McHugh's resignation from the House.

And Democrats feel they have a shot at taking the seat away from the GOP, according to Congressional Quarterly's Web site, CQ Politics.

On one hand, Republicans in the district outnumber Democrats on registration rolls by 46,500, and McHugh won in 2008 with 65 percent of the vote.

But Obama won the district last year with 52 percent of the vote. And earlier this year, Democrat Scott Murphy won election in another predominately Republican New York district to replace Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.

"With the right candidate, this district is winnable, but it will be tough," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Ryan Rudominer.

"Our focus is on working with local Democrats to begin the process of recruiting a strong candidate."

McHugh's selection as Army Secretary has given rise to "a conspiracy theory authored by the communications staff of the National Republican Congressional Committee," CQ Politics observed.

"In it, the widely well-regarded McHugh is reduced to a patsy in White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's carefully orchestrated plot to take over the seat."

McHugh is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and his district includes Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division.

He would replace Pete Geren, a Bush administration holdover who agreed to remain on the job until his successor was named.

Editor's Note:

3. House to Post Expense Reports Online

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered representatives to begin posting their expense reports online to give the public easier access to their spending records.

The move will force lawmakers to disclose on the Internet how they spend millions of dollars on staff and items such as cars, computers, travel and office rent, instead of just keeping paper records of their spending.

In a letter to House Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard, Pelosi asked that the expense reports be posted online at the "earliest date." A spokesman for Beard said they would be posted by the end of August.

Pelosi's order came after The Wall Street Journal ran a series of stories examining lawmakers' office expenditures. The 2008 reports showed outlays on such items as luxury car leases, big-screen televisions, expensive laptop computers and fresh-cut flower arrangements.

A Pelosi spokesman said her order was not prompted by the articles, The Journal reported.

"The House is making every effort to operate in a transparent manner and online publication of these reports will expand accountability to taxpayers and the press," Pelosi said in her letter.

Pete Sepp, spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union, applauded Pelosi's action.

"Now that the light has been shined on the problem some people are running for the corners while others are trying to explain how they're going to change things," he told The Journal. "It's good to see the Speaker is on the side of disclosure."

Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, said he would introduce a bill requiring Senators to post their expense reports online as well.

Editor's Note:

4. Web Site: 'Execute' Global Warming Deniers

Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in 2007 declared that skeptics of global warming hysteria are guilty of "treason."

Then NASA's James Hansen said climate skeptics should be put on trial for "high crimes against humanity."

And Kennedy recently called coal companies "criminal enterprises" and said their CEO's should be jailed "for all of eternity."

Now a global warming alarmist has taken the vitriol to new heights, calling for the execution of global warming deniers.

The alarmist, identified only as "The Insolent Braggart," posted an entry on Talking Points Memo, an often-cited Web site. TPM removed the entry from the site, but not before it came to the attention of Marc Morano of Climate Depot.

He reproduced the entry on his Web site:

"At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers? . . . The vast majority of the scientific minds in the world agree and understand it's a very serious problem that can do an untold amount of damage to life on Earth.

"So when the right-wing [expletive deleted] have caused it to be too late to fix the problem, and we start seeing the devastating consequences and we start seeing end of the world type events — how will we punish those responsible? It will be too late. So shouldn't we start punishing them now?"

The Washington Examiner cited the TPM poster in an editorial headlined, "Is American politics becoming a hate sport?"

The editorial likened the poster to Scott Roeder, who is charged with killing abortion doctor George Tiller, and John Brown, the abolitionist who led a murderous raid on a federal facility shortly before the Civil War.

"Are Brown, Roeder, and the TPM poster simply lone fanatics," the Examiner asked, "isolated illustrations of what happens when political concerns become warped beyond reason and combine with unstable personality characteristics to produce gruesome results?

Editor's Note:

5. U.S. 'Less Peaceful' Than Bosnia, Nicaragua

The newest Global Peace Index ranks the U.S. as the 83rd most peaceful nation among the 144 countries studied — behind such nations as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Serbia.

To put it another way, the U.S. is the 61st most dangerous nation among the 144 included in the Index.

The Global Peace Index is compiled with the cooperation of the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think tank. It considers such factors as political instability, disrespect for human rights, potential for terrorist acts, number of homicides per 100,000 people, level of violent crime, number of jailed people per 100,000, military expenditures, and ease of access to small arms and light weapons.

The U.S. places only 83rd on the list in large part because it jails a higher proportion of its population than any other country in the Index.

Iraq is last in the Index, just below Afghanistan and Somalia. But Israel is rated more dangerous than every other nation besides those three, including Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Georgia, Lebanon and Colombia.

New Zealand tops the list as the world's most peaceful country, followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Sweden, Japan and Canada.

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT Bob Woodward of the Washington Post has begun work on a book about the Barack Obama White House.

"I'm in the preliminary stages of working on it," the co-author of "All the President's Men" told Gabriel Sherman of The New Republic.

"I'm working on it and making progress."

A "potentially worrisome" prospect for the Obama administration, Sherman notes, "is that Woodward will choose to focus on national security — the area where Obama has always seemed hypersensitive about being portrayed as weak and directionless."

Woodward wrote four books about the George W. Bush presidency.

THAT the U.S. military is recruiting up to 4,000 cyber warriors for both defense and offense in cyberspace.

One element of the special force will be charged with helping the Pentagon defend against the tens of thousands of electronic penetrations attempted each day, the Washington Times reported.

A second element will wage cyber war against foreign enemies by, for example, hacking into their military networks and electronically sabotaging weapons systems so that they won't function properly.

THAT former Sen. John Edwards' wife Elizabeth has squelched talk that she would run for Republican Sen. Richard Burr's seat from North Carolina.

She told Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report: "I was president of my junior class in high school. It was a pain in the neck. It should cure anyone of any desire to run for office."

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Missile Threat Grows Against U.S. 2. Democrats Eye Vacated House Seat Amid 'Conspiracy' Talk 3. House to Post Expense Reports Online 4. Web Site: 'Execute' Global Warming Deniers 5. U.S. 'Less Peaceful' Than Bosnia, Nicaragua...
Sunday, 07 June 2009 12:10 PM
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