Larry Abramson en Air Force's Beloved 'Warthog' Targeted For Retirement Jeff Duford is standing next to an A-10, one of the most beloved planes of all time. It's painted green, a clue that it was designed for a threat that has disappeared — it was built at the height of the Cold War.<p>"The reason why it's painted this way is because at that time, this airframe was expected to stop Soviet tanks from rolling through Germany," says Duford, curator of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:55:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 21883 at Air Force's Beloved 'Warthog' Targeted For Retirement In Qatar, Hagel Tours Command Center That May Or May Not Exist U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited the Combined Air and Space Operations Center in the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar on Tuesday morning, the last leg of a tour that has also taken him to Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.<p>The "CAOC" as it's known in Pentagonese, is a minimalist concrete bunker in the blasted desert south of Doha, the capital of this wealthy emirate that sits on a peninsula jutting off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Qatar is a close U.S. ally that is happy to host this high-tech command center. But they want to keep that fact on the down low, so U.S. Tue, 10 Dec 2013 16:48:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 21130 at Karzai's Political Games Overshadow Hagel's Visit To Afghanistan Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel returned to the Middle East today, after a weekend tour of Afghanistan and a stop in Pakistan. Hagel's visit to Afghanistan was overshadowed by continuing difficulties with President Hamid Karzai. Afghanistan has not yet agreed to terms that would allow U.S. forces to stay there beyond 2014. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, Afghanistan is not the only country where the U.S. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 21083 at Google Says It's Getting Far More User-Data Requests From Government Google says the number of requests it gets from the U.S. government for user information is rising — fast.<p>The company released new <a href="">details</a> Thursday showing such requests have more than doubled since 2010. From January to June of this year, Google received 10,918 government orders in criminal cases, compared with 4,287 three years ago. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:10:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 19824 at Who Owns The Archives Of A Vanishing Iraqi Jewish World? <p></p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:30:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 19438 at Who Owns The Archives Of A Vanishing Iraqi Jewish World? Pentagon Pushes States On Benefits For Same-Sex Couples Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has directed the National Guard Bureau to resolve a dispute that is making it difficult for same-sex couples to receive military benefits.<p>The Pentagon <a href="">started to recognize same-sex marriages</a> soon after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this summer. But some states are resisting.<p>Alicia Butler is the same-sex spouse of a member of the National Guard living in Austin, Texas. Fri, 01 Nov 2013 21:39:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 19154 at Pentagon Pushes States On Benefits For Same-Sex Couples READ: Bipartisan Bill To End NSA's Domestic Bulk Collection Bipartisan concern on Capitol Hill about data from <a href="" target="_blank">Americans' phone and Internet records being vacuumed up by the National Security Agency</a> has led to an unusual alliance involving a prominent House Republican and a veteran Senate Democrat.<p>NPR's Larry Abramson writes that:<p><blockquote><p><a href="" target="_blank">Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner</a>, R-Wis., and <a href="" target="_blank">Sen. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 15:29:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 18910 at Who Has The Right To Know Where Your Phone Has Been? You probably know, or should know, that your cellphone is tracking your location everywhere you go. But whether law enforcement officials should have access to that data is at the center of a constitutional debate.<p>Matt Blaze, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania, says location tracking is key to how the cell system operates.<p>"As you move around, your phone is constantly checking to see whether the tower that it's currently registered with is the best one, or whether there's a better tower with a stronger signal coming in range," he says. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 06:56:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 18884 at Who Has The Right To Know Where Your Phone Has Been? West Point Women: A Natural Pattern Or A Camouflage Ceiling? At the 200-year-old U.S. Military Academy at West Point, tradition dictates everything. That includes the habit of having freshmen stand in the yard everyday and call cadets to lunch. It's also tradition that the overwhelming majority of the graduating class will be white and 84 percent male.<p>Some say those rates are due to natural patterns of matriculation.<p>"Women will naturally matriculate — or, they have naturally matriculated — into the academy at about the 16 to 17 percent rate," says West Point admissions director Col. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 18515 at West Point Women: A Natural Pattern Or A Camouflage Ceiling? FISA Court: We Approve 99 Percent Of Wiretap Applications <a href="">A letter (pdf) released today</a> by a special surveillance court clears up some misconceptions about legal oversight for government wiretap activities. Responding to a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-VT) and ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court says, yes, it's true, we do approve 99% of all wiretap applications. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 20:00:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 18182 at How The Shutdown Is Affecting The Military <em>Larry Abramson, who covers national security for NPR, sent us this missive, about how <a href="">the shutdown of the federal government</a> is affecting the Pentagon:</em><p>If you are a soldier, sailor, airman or marine, you will be paid during a shutdown. But only half of civilian defense workers are supposed to show up for work, and the rest do not get paid.<p>That's just one of many hardships facing military families. Another is figuring out just what is open, and what is closed. Tue, 01 Oct 2013 20:00:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 17464 at Is The U.S. Collecting Cellphone Location Data? Is the National Security Agency collecting cellphone tracking information on millions of Americans?<p>After a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, we still can't be sure. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has been trying to get intelligence officials to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of such a program.<p>Remember, records of where your cellphone is located give a pretty good idea of where the owners are. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 23:19:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 17231 at Is The U.S. Collecting Cellphone Location Data? On Budget Issues, Pentagon's Rhetoric Is Challenged The budget battles in Washington have inspired the need for some verbal gymnastics that have challenged even the most adept doublespeakers at the Pentagon. As one member of the House pointed out today, some Pentagonians have insisted that Congress cannot cut a single additional dollar from defense, without endangering the national defense strategy.<p>But then, when the military is tasked with planning an attack on Syria, officials insist they are ready when the White House gives the order. Perhaps that is because it is not part of the military mentality to decline a mission. Wed, 18 Sep 2013 22:06:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 16777 at U.S. Mulls Over More Possible Targets For Syria Strike As U.S. lawmakers weigh whether to support an attack on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, military planners have expanded the target list for a potential strike.<p>The Pentagon had been focused on attacking Syria with so-called standoff weapons — cruise missiles, for example. Launched from ships, they can attack Syrian positions without placing American pilots in danger. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:57:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 16235 at U.S. Mulls Over More Possible Targets For Syria Strike Lawmakers Struggle With Wording Of Syria Resolution Congress is trying to fashion language that would restrict U.S. involvement in Syria from escalating. But lawmakers often find it uncomfortable to rein in the commander in chief once U.S. forces have been committed. Thu, 05 Sep 2013 09:08:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 16006 at The Drums Of War, Poolside Edition <em>NPR's Larry Abramson is traveling with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is in Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus, or ASEAN Plus. Larry sent us this dispatch:</em><p>You cannot hear the drums of war here in Brunei, but you can hear the surf from the Brunei coast, or the sounds of splashing from the humongous pools here at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.<p>Did you know it takes 12,285,000 liters of water to fill up the pools? Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:39:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 15660 at The Drums Of War, Poolside Edition How A Look At Your Gmail Reveals The Power Of Metadata Sometimes you have to give up a little privacy in order to find out how much — or how little — privacy you really have. So I handed over the keys to my Gmail account to <a href="">Cesar Hidalgo</a>, a professor at the MIT Media Lab and the designer of a program called Immersion.<p><a href="">Immersion</a> looks at the volume and frequency of your email traffic. It looks at what's known as metadata — to/from information. Thu, 22 Aug 2013 06:56:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 15243 at How A Look At Your Gmail Reveals The Power Of Metadata In A First, Unmanned Navy Jet Lands On Aircraft Carrier <p></p><p></p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 19:37:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 12886 at In A First, Unmanned Navy Jet Lands On Aircraft Carrier Privacy Board To Scrutinize Surveillance Programs Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne. Just after Edward Snowden first leaked secrets about government surveillance, he gave an interview to two journalists while he was hiding out in Hong Kong. Tue, 09 Jul 2013 09:01:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 12766 at Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.<p>Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Sat, 06 Jul 2013 13:54:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 12638 at Defense Contractors See Their Futures In Developing World Gay Military Spouses To Benefit From Supreme Court Ruling Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The Supreme Court ruling yesterday on the Defense of Marriage Act will change the lives of many people, including some in the U.S. military. Gay spouses of service members have long been denied the substantial benefits available to heterosexual couples. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 09:01:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 12175 at Service Members Undergo Sexual Assault Prevention Training Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>All this month, members of the military have been in sessions focusing on how to prevent sexual assault. It's part of a stand-down declared Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. That means service members drop what they're doing and go through intensive training to deal with what has been a growing problem. NPR's Larry Abramson sat in on some of the sessions.<p>LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: At Fort Myer in northern Virginia, a unit of young soldiers is getting sexual assault training the Army way, care of First Sergeant James Kelly. Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:51:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 12106 at Will Surveillance Disclosure Lead To More Oversight Of NSA? Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>And I'm Linda Wertheimer. The recent leaks revealing the extent of the National Security Agency surveillance programs came as news to many people. Tue, 11 Jun 2013 09:23:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 11183 at The History Behind America's Most Secretive Court This week <em>The</em> <em>Guardian</em> newspaper shared with its readers a document that few people ever get to see — an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court telling Verizon to share countless phone records with the National Security Agency. The White House would not confirm the existence of this surveillance effort, but it insisted Congress is fully briefed about such activities. Members of Congress confirmed that they knew.<p>Republican Sen. Fri, 07 Jun 2013 08:46:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 10962 at The History Behind America's Most Secretive Court Air Force Trains Special Lawyers For Sexual Assault Victims Many victims of sexual assault in the military say only one experience comes close to the pain of the actual crime, and that's going to court to bring charges against the attacker.<p>This is believed to be one reason why so few victims come forward and report these crimes, and now the Air Force is hoping a new team of lawyers will help to change that.<p>At Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, a tall three-star general stands in front of a class of JAG officers — Air Force lawyers. Mon, 03 Jun 2013 07:32:00 +0000 Larry Abramson 10658 at