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Saturday, October 20, 2012

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION UPDATE

9-11 PRE-TRIAL HEARINGS ENDS FIRST WEEK

970215-N-3093M-001
Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class David Ahearn (Diver) attaches an inert Satchel Charge to a training mine, during exercises in waters off Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. U.S. Navy Photograph by Photographers Mate 2nd Class Andrew Mckaskle (Released)
FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

First Week of Pre-trial Hearings Wraps Up For 9/11 Suspects
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service


FORT MEADE, Md., Oct. 19, 2012 - All five suspects charged with planning and orchestrating the 9/11 terrorist attacks skipped court today, the Muslim weekly holy day, as the first week of pre-trial hearings to continue through spring concluded at Naval Air Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, continued the hearing in their absence, once again taking up the issues of how open the proceedings should be and to what extent classified information can be used as the case goes to trial.

The defendants in the case are Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-described mastermind behind the attacks; his nephew, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali; Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak bin Attash, charged with selecting and training some of the hijackers; and Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, accused with helping finance the attacks.

They are charged with terrorism, conspiracy, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, murder in violation of the law of war, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, hijacking or hazarding a vessel or aircraft. If found guilty, they could receive the death penalty.

The commission devoted the first five days of pretrial hearings dealing with administrative and legal issues before the case goes to trial sometime next year.

The prosecution and defense teams spent the bulk of the week exchanging views on how to provide the accused a fair trial without compromising classified information that the government says could jeopardize national security.

They debated for hours on issues ranging from whether the proceedings are covered by the U.S. constitution and should be televised to what information will be included in the court record and whether the defense should have to reveal what its witnesses will say to justify the government flying them to Guantanamo Bay.

Ultimately, the judged ruled on four issues over the course of the week:

-- The defendants have the right to skip court proceedings regarding their case. Based on Pohl's ruling, they would have the right to submit a waiver request each morning that court convenes, and waivers would cover only that single day. Defendants who change their minds during the day could notify the guard force and attend court if it's possible to get them to the court facility after they make their request.

-- The defendants can wear pretty much what they want to their court proceedings, including camouflage clothing that both Mohammed and bin Attash have requested. Pohl stipulated, however, that the clothes must not be legitimate U.S. military uniform items, and, if prison garb, must not be in a color that misrepresents the detainee's security status.

-- Transcripts from so-called "802 conferences," during which the judge discusses issues with attorneys, will be made public, "as practicable," Pohl ruled. "This is not a blanket rule," he said. "It is not a 100 percent firm rule in every case."

-- A confidential consultant will be assigned to Hawsawi's defense team to assess his English proficiency. His counsel, Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz, requested a translator to help him better defend his client.

That leaves a broad range of major issues yet to be decided when the hearings resume Dec. 3 to 7.

Ruiz told reporters after a news conference following today's proceedings that Pohl had essentially "kicked the can down the road" on the most significant issues confronting the commission. The judge "greased the skids" by entertaining motions that enable the process to move forward without addressing those related to the fundamental issue of the commission's legitimacy, Ruiz said.

Today, the defense urged the judge to open the proceedings wider than what's available through closed-circuit TV beamed to viewing areas here at Fort Meade and at Fort Hamilton, N.Y.; Fort Dix, N.J.; and Fort Devens, Mass.

While not ruling on the motion, Pohl challenged the defense's argument that broadcasting the proceedings by closed-circuit TV to only limited sites jeopardizes the outcome. "Are you telling me that if we don't go on the public airways, that the accused won't get a fair trial?" he asked.

Pohl also did not rule on the prosecution's request for a protective order addressing classified information. The prosecution has asked for "presumptive classification," which essentially means that anything the defendants say is treated as classified unless it's proven not to be.

James Connell, learned counsel for Aziz Ali, told reporters following today's proceedings that he believes that presumptive classification, if granted, could become "a major issue on appeal."

Pohl also has not ruled on issues of constitutionality. The prosecution says the burden should be on the defense to prove what issues are constitutionally protected. The defense has asked that the judge address any congressional challenges one by one, as they arise during the proceedings.

Army Maj. Robert McGovern, representing the United States, said the government is ready to turn over documents once a protective order is in place. He argued, however, that the defense's request is overly broad, warning of "fishing expeditions" with no need to prove the relevance of what the defense requests.

Cheryl Bormann, learned counsel for bin Attash, emphasized the importance of open proceedings as she addressed the court for the first time this week in western-style clothing rather than a traditional Muslim hijab.

"This is one of the most important cases to be handled ... in a very, very long time," Bormann told Pohl. "This is a situation where transparency is paramount," she said, saying that other closed commission proceedings she has observed appear to be "not transparent, not fair and not just."

Army Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins, the chief prosecutor, recognized that some people are impatient with the pace of the proceedings. But a deliberate approach is needed so that justice is served, he said. "We are a government of the rule of law," he told reporters.

No one is more interested in seeing the case move forward than the victims' families, some who attended this week's sessions, Martins said. "Our hearts go out to the victims and family members," he told reporters, calling their strength an inspiration.

Bormann told reporters she empathizes with the victims' families.

"I feel for them, very much so," she said. However, she defended accommodations the court is making to respect the defendants' religious beliefs, saying they are the same kind of accommodations the United States makes for all its own citizens.

ALPHA CENTAURI PLANET DISCOVERY


Our Cosmic Neighborhood

Due to the protective shielding of dangerous Galactic Cosmic Rays provided by a heliosphere or astrosphere, these structures are important for the planets that orbit the respective stars. Only over the last 15 years, we have been able to detect the first astrospheres and planets around other stars (exoplanets). Graphic of the most immediate environment around the Sun, our cosmic neighborhood. The locations of known astrospheres and exoplanets are indicated, while we anticipate that many more are present and just awaiting discovery. The nearest star, alpha Centauri has an astrosphere, and we know of at least two cases where we have detected both an astrosphere and exoplanets. These systems are truly analogous to our system in which the heliosphere shields a diverse planetary system. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Adler/U. Chicago/Wesleyan


FROM: NASA

NASA Statement On Alpha Centauri Planet Discovery

WASHINGTON -- The following is a statement about the European Southern Observatory's latest exoplanet discovery from NASA's Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator, Dr. John Grunsfeld.

"We congratulate the European Southern Observatory team for making this exciting new exoplanet discovery. For astronomers, the search for exoplanets helps us understand our place in the universe and determine whether Earth is unique in supporting life or if it is just one member of a large community of habitable worlds. NASA has several current and future missions that will continue in this search.

"An example is NASA's Kepler mission. It was specifically designed to survey a specific region of our Milky Way galaxy to detect Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone -- that region around a star where it is theoretically possible for a planet to maintain liquid water on its surface -- and determine the fraction of the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy that might have such planets. Kepler works very differently from HARPS. Rather than detecting the wobble in the host star, Kepler detects the slight dimming of a star when a planet passes in front of it.

"NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have contributed to the study of exoplanets. Using their photometric and spectroscopic sensitivity, these space telescopes have made the first steps in characterizing the atmospheres of planets around other stars. They can only do this when the exoplanets pass serendipitously in front of its star, allowing the space telescope to study light that has filtered through the planet's atmosphere.

"NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will provide a unique facility that will serve through the next decade as the mainstay for characterization of transiting exoplanets. The main transit studies JWST will be able to undertake are: discovery of unseen planets, determining exoplanet properties like mass, radius, and physical structure, and characterizing exoplanet atmospheres to determine things like their temperature and weather. If there are other planets in the Alpha Centauri system farther from the star, JWST may be able to detect them as well through imaging.

"NASA is also studying two medium-class exoplanet missions in our Explorer program, and in the spring of 2013 will select one of them to enter development for flight later in the decade."



NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH


JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Bureau of Justice Website says that in 2010, seven percent of households in the United States (about 8.6 million households) had at least one member age 12 or older who experienced one or more types of identity theft victimization. (U.S. Air Force graphic illustration by William Parks.)

FROM: U.S.  DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Protecting PII everyone's responsibility

by Tech. Sgt. Scott McNabb
24th Air Force Public Affairs

10/16/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Safeguarding information is a way of life in the Air Force and the service trains military members, Department of Defense and contract civilians alike to avoid releasing personally identifiable information about themselves or others.

A letter from the secretary of defense defined PII as information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such as their name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, and biometric records, including any other personal information which is linked or linkable to a specified individual.

"I would agree that DoD community members have access to, and use, PII on a near daily basis," said David Swartwood, Joint Information Operations Warfare Center operations security analyst. "PII is embedded in nearly every aspect of what we do: military pay, travel orders, permanent change of station orders, medical, appraisals, record keeping, training, etc. For example, an identify thief can take your name, SSN and address and potentially open up fake banking accounts or obtain fraudulent credit cards. When we mishandle and improperly release PII it is like we're handing our exploitable information straight to the bad guy - we might as well put a bow on it."

The
Bureau of Justice Website says that in 2010, seven percent of households in the United States (about 8.6 million households) had at least one member age 12 or older who experienced one or more types of identity theft victimization.

Swartwood said the Department of Defense has provided clear guidance on how to handle and protect PII and it's up to those who work for the department to recognize and protect PII.

"Mishandling PII places the individuals at risk and jeopardizes our mission," he said. "If my military member is distracted or harmed by a loss of their PII, then they're not focused on the mission and we're losing valuable time and resources resolving the issue. People need to understand there are adversaries out there who want to get a hold of their information and use it to harm them. When handling someone else's personal info, people should think, 'How would I want my information handled and protected?'"

Swartwood said JIOWC teams conduct OPSEC surveys around the world in support of combatant commands and they often find more PII than they should by monitoring communications and digging through trash and recycle containers.

"In a recent OPSEC survey our team recovered a small stack of improperly discarded personal paperwork in a recycle container," he explained. "It provided the service member's name, unit and SSN."

The OPSEC team did what most people do when they're looking for information. They went online.

"We did a quick 30 minute search online for the member's name and found: date of birth, phone number, personal e-mail address, social media profile, child's name, child's date of birth, child's school, child's age, school address and spouse's name," he said. "This military member had recently deployed overseas while their family remained at home. How effective do you think they would be if someone targeted their family while they were deployed? How easy do you think it would be to steal their identity and ruin their finances?"

That much information in just 30 minutes shows how easy it would have been, but there are ways to avoid such a breach of PII.

Do not leave items such as performance reports, recall rosters, social rosters or alpha rosters in an area that could result in their loss or theft. Do not place PII on public websites or SharePoint. Encrypt all emails that contain PII, put (FOUO) at the beginning of the subject line, and apply the following statement at the beginning of the e-mail:

"The information herein is For Official Use Only (FOUO) which must be protected under the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Unauthorized disclosure or misuse of this personal information may result in criminal and/or civil penalties."

Once you are finished working with PII, dispose of the documents (paper or electronic) properly. Disposal methods may include: tearing, erasing, burning, melting chemical decomposition, pulping, pulverizing, shredding and mutilation. Use shredders that produce a crosscut to ensure paper pieces are indecipherable. Permanently delete electronic records.

If you discover any disclosures of PII, report it immediately through your supervisor and chain of command and contact the base Privacy Act manager. Additionally, lost, stolen or possible compromised PII must be reported to
U.S. CERT within one hour of the discovery. An investigation will be initiated and those who are found guilty of causing the breach could be charged with criminal and civil penalties.

DOD Instruction 5400.11-R, DOD Privacy Program and AFI 33-332, Air Force Privacy Program establishes the current DOD and Air Force guidance on PII.

"Education is the best countermeasure in my opinion," said Swartwood. "Letting people know they're responsible for protecting PII along with training them how to safeguard it is critical."


 

HONG KONG-BASED FIRM SETTLES INSIDER TRADING CASE BY PAYING OVER $14 MILLION


FROM: U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2012 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a Hong Kong-based firm charged with insider trading in July has agreed to settle the case by paying more than $14 million, which is double the amount of its alleged illicit profits. The proposed settlement is subject to the approval of Judge Richard J. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The SEC filed an emergency action against Well Advantate to freeze its assets less than 24 hours after the firm placed an order to liquidate its entire position in Nexen Inc. The SEC alleged that Well Advantage had stockpiled shares of Nexen stock based on confidential information that China-based CNOOC Ltd. was about to announce an acquisition of Nexen. Well Advantage sold those shares for more than $7 million in illicit profits immediately after the deal was publicly announced. Well Advantage is controlled by prominent Hong Kong businessman Zhang Zhi Rong, who also controls another company that has a "strategic cooperation agreement" with CNOOC.

"If approved by the court, Well Advantage has agreed to give up all of its ill-gotten profits from these trades and pay a substantial penalty on top of that," said Sanjay Wadhwa, Deputy Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Market Abuse Unit and Associate Director of the New York Regional Office. "The speedy resolution of this case shows the serious consequences that await traders who engage in insider trading."

Well Advantage has agreed to the entry of a final judgment requiring payment of $7,122,633.52 in illegal profits made from trading Nexen stock, and payment of a $7,122,633.52 penalty. The proposed judgment also enjoins Well Advantage from future violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5. Well Advantage neither admits nor denies the charges.

The SEC's investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Michael P. Holland, Simona Suh, Charles D. Riely, and Joseph G. Sansone — members of the SEC's Market Abuse Unit in New York - and Elzbieta Wraga and Aaron Arnzen of the New York Regional Office.

The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA

THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS AND PHOTO INTERPRETATION

FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

National Photographic Interpretation Center imagery kept President John F. Kennedy updated on progress made by the Soviets on their missile site in Cuba. This Oct. 25, 1962, image shows all the elements necessary to launch a missile with a 1,100 nautical mile range. Analysts could tell by the tracks in the ground leading to one of the missile shelter tents that a weapon in a high state of readiness was present. The image also demonstrated the Soviets' extensive use of canvas to camouflage its weapons components and, therefore, its intentions. Photo courtesy of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
   
Photo Interpreters Recall Cuban Missile Crisis
By Ken White
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency


SPRINGFIELD, Va., Oct. 18, 2012 - Fifty years after they discovered Soviet missiles poised to strike the United States from Cuba, two intelligence officers met with hundreds of their current-day counterparts to commemorate the anniversary of the crisis that nearly brought the world to nuclear war.

Vincent DiRenzo were part of a small group from the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center who worked for 13 tense days in October 1962 to avert disaster. They joined author and journalist Michael Dobbs, and two current analysts, in an Oct. 15 panel discussion at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency here.

Through reminiscences and present-day observations, the group illustrated the significance of the crisis and its continued impact on the tradecraft of imagery and geospatial analysis.

A photo interpreter, DiRenzo led the NPIC team and formed the initial conclusion about the presence of Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba from analysis of U-2 spy plane imagery. He discussed the immediate wake of his discovery.

"Considering the severity of the identification, we figured we'd be in for a long night," DiRenzo said. He indicated that the initial assessment was not a "slam dunk," as convincing people of the true significance of the find was difficult. While DiRenzo was absolutely sure, the image did not show clearly identifiable missiles, but rather, long, canvas-covered objects that, to the layman, could be almost anything.

Charged with preparing materials on daily developments for NPIC Director Arthur C. Lundahl's briefs to the executive committee and the White House, Brugioni was instrumental in arming President John F. Kennedy with intelligence needed to navigate this perilous moment in history.

He recalled with humor how many of his briefing boards came back from the White House marked up with blue crayon from a doodling Caroline Kennedy. On a more somber note, he also relayed the fearful mood of the time.

"Black Saturday, we had gone to [defense readiness condition] 2," Brugioni said. "Fourteen hundred bombers were loaded with nuclear weapons; 50 B-52s were in the air; eight Polaris submarines were at sea; 125 [intercontinental ballistic missiles] were ready to fire; there was tactical aviation; there was 60 Thor missiles in England, 30 Jupiter missiles in Italy, and 15 Jupiters in Turkey. That morning we met with Art Lundahl and told him that all 24 pads were operational, meaning that within four to six hours, 24 missiles could be coming at the United States.

"I remember Lundahl scratching his chin, looked at me and said, 'I don't want to scare the hell out of them, but I want to make sure they understand the danger,'" Brugioni recalled.

The son of a career diplomat, Dobbs spent his formative years behind the Iron Curtain. He became a Cold War scholar after covering it as a foreign correspondent for the Washington Post. He drew a parallel between his work and intelligence analysis.

"I feel a kinship with intelligence analysts. We try to start with the evidence and proceed from the evidence to the conclusions," Dobbs said. "Our goal is to tell truth to power."

Dobbs went on to laud the efforts of the team who identified the missiles, and to praise Brugioni for his efforts since the crisis to improve public understanding of photo analysis.

"Dino has done more than anyone else to explain the art and science of photo interpretation to the broader public," he said. "He's a great educator; he's very good at explaining very complicated matters to laymen."

He also discussed how his research of the crisis, with the advantage of 50 years of hindsight, affirmed both the significance the crisis and the criticality of intelligence to policymaking. He also pointed out that 60 to 70 percent of the actionable intelligence came from NPIC during the crisis.

"This was the moment of the photo interpreter," Dobbs said. "They were able to tell [the president] when the missiles would be ready to fire."

It was probably the single biggest intelligence coup of the Cold War, he added.

Art Lundahl's son, Robert, shared his late father's connection with the president.

"Above all, my father was certainly a technologist. He was a scientist at heart; he loved technology," said the younger Lundahl. "It sounded like President Kennedy had an equal interest in technology. There was a bond there."

Beyond technology, Lundahl also shared what he believes to be the key to his father's effectiveness as an intelligence officer: exceptional communication skills.

"He was born to brief," Lundahl said. Specifically, he noted his father's ability to be credible, while adjusting to the knowledge level of his audience and using humor to diffuse tension.

NGA analyst Walter S. Trynock compared and contrasted the world of 1962 with today's environment. Communication skills remain critical for analysts, he noted, but the tools for providing geospatial intelligence are markedly different, and today's leaders are bombarded with information.

"The type of information, and the pace in which information is received by the policymaker, is constant, at all times of the day and night," Trynock said. "So the challenge is to bring out the relevancy and the 'so what' to contribute to their decision making."

Then and now, keen analysis always has been key, Dobbs said.

"Intelligence is like a huge jigsaw puzzle, and you only find a few pieces, and there are always going to be some missing pieces, but from the pieces you do find, you try to inform policymakers about the entire jigsaw puzzle," he said.

U.S. MARSHAL RECEIVES AWARD FOR HEROIC ACTS


FROM: U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE

U.S. Marshals Inspector Awarded for Heroic Acts

Alexandria, VA
– U.S. Marshal Bobby Mathieson announces the U.S. Marshals Service recipient of the Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Heroism.

Inspector John Long for the U.S. Marshals’ Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force will be recognized today for his extraordinary act of courage and voluntary risk of life during the performance of official duties. The inspector will be presented the award for risking his life in the face of grave danger to protect the life of an area woman on the morning of Dec. 9, 2011. The inspector also received the U.S. Marshals Service Director’s Award for Valor in August regarding this act.

While conducting a fugitive investigation along with members of the USMS Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, Inspector Long observed a woman running out of her home, being closely pursued by fugitive Johnny Jones, who was gripping her hair with one hand and holding a pistol in the other.

The woman, who was screaming for help, ran in the direction of Inspector Long. The inspector immediately stepped out of his vehicle, aimed his service rifle at Jones and announced, "Police, U.S. Marshal, drop the gun." Jones, immediately released the woman (after having ripped hair from her head) and retreated into the house, still holding the weapon.

The inspector secured the woman in his vehicle and summonsed the rest of the team, who were conducting surveillance nearby. It was later determined that Jones had used a brick to break through the woman’s sliding glass door during his attempt to abduct her.

Jones exited out of the rear of the residence, fleeing through the neighborhood and into a section of nearby woods. With the assistance of the Henrico County Police and the Virginia State Police, task force members set up a perimeter and canvassed the area. Inspector Long observed the fugitive crawling out of a nearby shed with pistol still in hand. The inspector aimed his rifle at Jones and gave him commands to drop the weapon and surrender. Jones stood up, tossed the gun and surrendered to the inspector and members of the U.S. Marshals task force.

Jones, a career criminal, was wanted on outstanding warrants for Abduction and Grand Larceny (Petersburg Bureau of Police), Probation Violation after serving time for convictions of Rape, Abduction, Malicious Wounding and Use of a Firearm (Virginia Department of Corrections) and Breaking and Entering and Theft of a Firearm while a fugitive (Dinwiddie County). Jones is also registered for life on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry.

Jones was convicted in December in Henrico County for the offenses committed on Dec. 9, 2011, and sentenced to 6 ½ years imprisonment. He faces considerable time for violation of his probation, as well as pending charges in Petersburg and Dinwiddie County.

This event serves to remind us of the sacrifices that our nation’s law enforcement officers make each and every day to protect our communities.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested more than 36,200 federal fugitives and 86,400 state and local fugitives in fiscal year 2011.

US Navy Videos: U.S.-SOUTH KOREA CONDUCT MINE COUNTERMEASURE TRAINING

US Navy Videos

U.S. CONDEMNS ACTS OF TERRORISM IN BEIRUT

Lebanon.  Map Credit:  CIA World Factbook
FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

Acts of Terrorism in Beirut
Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DC
October 19, 2012

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the acts of terrorism that took place in Beirut’s Achrafieh neighborhood. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who were killed.

The assassination of the Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, who was a strong defender of Lebanon’s security and its people, is a dangerous sign that there are those who continue to seek to undermine Lebanon’s stability. Lebanon must close the chapter of its past and bring an end to impunity for political assassinations and other politically motivated violence. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and respect for Lebanon’s stability and security.

The United States remains committed to an independent, sovereign, and stable Lebanon. We will continue to work with our partners to preserve Lebanon’s security and stability.

CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AND THE 9/11 AND WIKILEAKS CASES


FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

110525-N-PS473-037 NEW YORK (May 25, 2011) The amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) transits the Hudson River during Fleet Week 2011 parade of ships. New York has 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center towers forged into her bow and is participating in the 24th annual Fleet Week New York. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric S. Garst/Released)

Classified Information Plays Central Role in Both 9/11, WikiLeaks Cases
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., Oct. 18, 2012 - Pretrial hearings for two major court cases – one involving the alleged perpetrators behind the 9/11 terror attacks and the other involving the soldier charged with the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history – are converging this week as attorneys operating in two very different legal systems focus on the issue of classified information in the courtroom.

The pre-trial hearing for Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who has confessed to planning the 9/11 attacks "from A to Z," and four others who allegedly trained, financed or arranged transportation for the 19 hijackers entered its fourth day today at Naval Air Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mohammed's codefendants in the case are his nephew, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali; Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak bin Attash, charged with selecting and training some of the hijackers; and Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, accused with helping finance the attacks.

Meanwhile, here at Fort Meade, the second day of pre-trial hearings continued for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. He is an Army intelligence specialist accused of downloading and transmitting classified information to the whistle-blowing group WikiLeaks while he was deployed to Iraq.

The legal systems being used to prosecute these cases are significantly different.

Manning, as a member of the U.S. military, is subject to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. This system has roots dating back to the Revolutionary War to promote good order and discipline in the armed forces. The 9/11 defendants, on the other hand, will be tried through a military tribunal governed by the Military Commissions Act of 2009.

Manning is charged with aiding the enemy; wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, knowing that it is accessible to the enemy; theft of public property or records; transmitting defense information; and fraud and related activity in connection with computers. The charges against him also include violation of Army Regulations 25-2 "Information Assurance" and 380-5 "Department of the Army Information Security Program."

If found guilty, Manning could receive up to life in prison. He also could be reduced to E-1, the lowest enlisted grade, and face a total forfeiture of all pay and allowances and dishonorable discharge.

Military commissions, on the other hand, apply to "an alien unprivileged enemy belligerent who has engaged in hostilities, or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States, its coalition partners or was a part of al Qaeda."

The 9/11 defendants were captured in Pakistan between 2002 and 2003 and have been confined at Guantanamo Bay since 2006.

They were charged during their arraignment in May with terrorism, conspiracy, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, murder in violation of the law of war, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, hijacking or hazarding a vessel or aircraft. If found guilty, they could receive the death penalty.

A casual peek into the courtrooms gives a glimpse into one of the most obvious differences between the UCMJ and military commission processes.

By law, Manning is not required to attend proceedings regarding his case, but a military lawyer with more than 20 years experience said on background that he's never seen a service member not attend. Photographers outside the courtroom yesterday captured images of Manning being escorted from the courtroom in his Army dress blue uniform with gold-colored private first class rank on his sleeves.

Army Col. James Pohl, the judge presiding over the 9/11 case, ruled earlier this week that the defendants don't have to attend their court sessions, as long as they sign a waiver form each morning they choose to skip. When they do elect to attend, they can dress as they choose – as long as their attire doesn't include U.S. military uniform items or prisoner garb in a color that would misrepresent their security status at the detention facility.

Mohammed quickly took advantage of both rulings. He opted out of court the first day after Pohl ruled that he could – the day the judge also took up the wardrobe issue. Yesterday, Mohammed initially elected not to attend the third day of pre-trial hearings, then showed up later that morning wearing a camouflage vest over his traditional white tunic.

Most of the distinctions between the UCMJ and military commission legal processes are less obvious to those without legal training, and the discussion could fill textbooks. One big question being debated during the 9/11 hearings, for example, is whether the defendants have constitutional rights.

However, a central concern in both the Manning and 9/11 cases is the issue of how classified information is dealt with in court.

Today, the fourth day of pretrial hearings for the 9/11 suspects continued to focus on the balance between protecting classified information that, if made public, could jeopardize U.S. national security, and the constitutional mandate that court proceedings be open to the public.

The prosecution and U.S. government lawyers say protections are needed to prosecute the case without disclosing classified information that would threaten U.S. national security.

In contrast, the defendant's defense teams accused prosecutors of using an overly broad banner of national security to safeguard information vital to providing a solid defense. Echoing them were lawyers representing the American Civil Liberties Union and media groups, who said the government wants to squelch information the public deserves to know.

Pohl is expected to rule this week on a protective order the prosecution has requested to spell out what provisions are protected and what aren't.

A central issue in both the 9/11 and Manning cases involves information regarding the defendants' detention. For Manning, that involves time when he was allegedly mistreated while being held in a Marine Corps brig at Quantico, Va. Of primary concern regarding the 9/11 defendants is time they spent in the hands of the CIA before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

Both cases also require hammering out details about witnesses who can be called. In Manning's case, for example, some witnesses' names have been redacted from the motion and are considered to be classified as secret. At Guantanamo Bay, the issue involves whether the defense is required to give the prosecution a heads up about what the witnesses it calls are likely to say –something the government would weigh in deciding whether to fly a witness to the courtroom.

Meanwhile, Army Col. Denise Lind, the judge hearing he Manning case, ordered the prosecution yesterday to release hundreds of emails about his incarceration to the defense team. Lind's ruling covered all but 12 of about 600 emails covering a range of issues: from Manning's visitor list and provisions to ensure he had proper uniforms to plans for responding to protesters and media queries. These emails, added to ones already in the possession of Manning's defense attorneys, bring to 1,200 the total number of emails that will presumably be used to argue that their client was treated illegally.

Lind also issued rulings that would allow parts of CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security documents used in the case to be redacted.

Ironically, the only concrete decision made during the 9/11 hearing today had nothing to do with the court proceedings. Rather, it involved the cleanup of administrative space the defense teams have complained are plagued with rat droppings and mold. Although base officials had declared them safe, a defense lawyer told Pohl the space is making her staff sick.

A Navy officer promised a comprehensive cleanup before the next series of pre-trial hearings, assuring the court that occupational health experts will verify that they they're up to standards.

CVS SUBSIDIARY SETTLES WITH U.S. FOR ALLEGEDLY SUBMITTING FALSE PRICING

FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Monday, October 15, 2012

CVS Subsidiary, RxAmerica, Reaches $5 Million Settlement with US for Allegedly Submitting False Pricing Relating to the Company’s Medicare Part D Plan

In one of the first False Claims Act settlements involving Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program, known as Part D, RxAmerica LLC. has entered into a civil settlement agreement with the United States in which it has agreed to pay the government $5.25 million to resolve allegations that it made false submissions to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Justice Department announced today. RxAmerica, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CVS Caremark Corporation, provides prescription drug benefits to Medicare beneficiaries pursuant to a prescription drug plan.

The Medicare program offers Part D participants prescription drug coverage. For Medicare participants to obtain this drug coverage, they must join a Medicare-approved plan, often referred to as a Part D plan. Medicare Part D plans can vary in both the drugs that they cover, the amount they reimburse for those drugs, and the deductibles and co-pays they require their participants to pay.

To assist participants to choose a Part D plan that minimized their out-of-pocket costs, CMS offered a web-based tool called Plan Finder, which allowed Medicare Part D beneficiaries to determine estimated prescription drug prices for each Medicare Part D plan that the beneficiary considered for enrollment. CMS obtained the pricing information that is contained on Plan Finder from data submitted to CMS by each Part D Plan sponsor.

The United States alleged that during the period Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2008, RxAmerica made false submissions to CMS regarding prices for certain generic prescription drugs used for Plan Finder, despite certifying to CMS that it would submit accurate pricing data for Plan Finder. As a result, the government alleged that RxAmerica received Medicare Part D payments for claims for the covered drugs at prices that in some cases were significantly higher than the pricing data RxAmerica submitted to CMS for use on Plan Finder.

"The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the Medicare drug prescription program against all types of misconduct," said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Division. "As today's settlement demonstrates, we will ensure that Medicare Part D sponsors submit accurate drug pricing information, to ensure the integrity of the Medicare Part D program and to protect the beneficiaries who participate in the program."

"The health care choices facing Americans are complicated enough without patients being misinformed and forced to select a Part D plan based on false data. Those navigating our Medicare system deserve accurate information so they can make informed choices and obtain the benefits to which they are entitled. The Medicare system deserves honest input from plan sponsors, so it can continue to safeguard taxpayer dollars. Nothing less will suffice," stated Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "This case exemplifies our continuing dedication to combating all types of alleged health care fraud that can eat away at our precious public health care dollars."

" RxAmerica was charged with advertising false drug prices to Medicare Part D enrollees," said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. "Protecting people in government health programs from those seeking to profit by misrepresenting goods and services is one of our top law enforcement priorities."

Today’s settlement resolves allegations made in two separate complaints against RxAmerica filed under the False Claims Act’s qui tam or whistleblower provisions, which permit a private individual to file suit for false claims to the United States and share in any recovery. The first complaint, U.S. ex rel. Doe v. RxAmerica, was filed in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of New York in November 2008. The second complaint, U.S. ex rel. Hauser v. CVS Caremark Corp. and RxAmerica, was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in June 2009. The two cases were consolidated in the Eastern District of New York in November 2011.

This resolution is part of the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and another step for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in May 2009. The partnership between the two departments has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation. One of the most powerful tools in that effort is the False Claims Act, which the Justice Department has used to recover over $10 billion since January 2009 in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs. The Justice Department’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases since January 2009 are over $13.8 billion.

The Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement with CVS, RxAmerica’s parent corporation, earlier this year in which CVS agreed to pay $5 million to resolve allegations relating to RxAmerica’s inaccurate Plan Finder submissions from late 2007 through 2008. The resolution from the FTC’s settlement is being used to compensate beneficiaries.

The investigation in this matter was handled by the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, HHS-OIG and CMS. The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only, and there has been no admission of liability by RxAmerica or CVS.

U.S.-RWANDA RELATIONS

RWANDA  CREDIT:  CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
FROM: U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
U.S. Relations With Rwanda
Bureau of African Affairs

Fact Sheet
October 11, 2012

U.S.-RWANDA RELATIONS
The United States established diplomatic relations with Rwanda in 1962, following its independence from a Belgian-administered trusteeship. From 1990 to 1994, the country saw civil war and genocide. The United States seeks to help Rwanda meet the needs of its population, including increased social cohesion in a peaceful, democratic, and inclusive Rwanda that provides good governance and an economically enabling environment. The United States supports Rwandan efforts to increase democratic participation, enhance respect for civil and political rights, and improve the quality and learning outcomes of basic education. Rwanda is one of the world’s poorest countries, but it has made progress in developing national and local government institutions, maintaining security, promoting reconciliation, and strengthening the justice system.

U.S. Assistance to Rwanda

The United States assists Rwanda in providing basic health services for the populace; expanding economic opportunities in rural areas, particularly through a strengthened agricultural production and food security program; protecting and promoting the country’s unique biodiversity; strengthening democracy engagement between civil society and government; and improving the foundational skills (literacy, numeracy, and workforce readiness) that prepare Rwandan youth for a modern service-based economy. These goals are carried out through various presidential initiatives: Feed the Future; Global Climate Change; and the Global Health Initiative, including the President’s Malaria Initiative and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. U.S. assistance in Rwanda also supports regional economic integration to spur business development, entrepreneurship, and increased employment opportunities.


RWANDA LOCATION.  CREDIT:  CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 

Bilateral Economic Relations
Rwanda is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The United States and Rwanda have a trade and investment framework agreement and a bilateral investment treaty. The United States also has signed trade and investment framework agreements with the East African Community and with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. Rwanda is a member of both regional organizations.

U.S. business interests in Rwanda have been modest, with private U.S. investment in tea, coffee , energy, mining, franchising, and small holdings in service and manufacturing concerns. U.S. exports to Rwanda include aircraft, pharmaceutical products, machinery, optic and medical instruments, and agricultural products. U.S. imports from Rwanda include coffee, basketwork, tungsten ore, and apparel.

Rwanda's Membership in International Organizations
Rwanda and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

SALT MARSHES DYING ALONG U.S. EASTERN SEABOARD

Credit-NSF Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Site
FROM: NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Why Are Coastal Salt Marshes Falling Apart?

Where are all the salt marshes going? Excess nutrients may be to blame for their decline.



 
October 17, 2012
Salt marshes have been disintegrating and dying over the past two decades along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and other highly developed coastlines without anyone fully understanding why.

This week in the journal Nature, scientist Linda Deegan of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., and colleagues report that nutrients--such as nitrogen and phosphorus from septic and sewer systems and lawn fertilizers--can cause salt marsh loss.

"Salt marshes are a critical interface between the land and sea," Deegan says. "They provide habitat for fish, birds and shellfish, protect coastal cities from storms and take nutrients out of the water from upland areas, which protect coastal bays from over-pollution."

Disappearance of healthy salt marshes has accelerated in recent decades, with some losses caused by sea-level rise and development.

"This is the first study to show that nutrient enrichment can be a driver of salt marsh loss, as well," says David Johnson of MBL, a member of the team since the project began in 2003.

This conclusion, which surprised the scientists, emerged from a long-term, large-scale study of salt marsh landscapes in an undeveloped coastline section of the Plum Island estuary in Massachusetts.

The research took place at Plum Island Ecosystems, one in a network of 26 National Science Foundation (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites located in ecosystems from coral reefs to deserts and grasslands to the polar regions.

"This is a landmark study addressing the drivers of change in productive salt marsh ecosystems, and it's a stellar example of the value of supporting LTER sites," says David Garrison, program director in NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences, which supports the LTER program along with NSF's Division of Environmental Biology.

For more than nine years at Plum Island, the scientists added nitrogen and phosphorus to the tidal water flushing through the marsh's creeks at levels typical of nutrient enrichment in densely developed areas, such as Cape Cod, Mass., and Long Island, N.Y.

A few years after the experiment began, wide cracks began forming in the grassy banks of the tidal creeks, which eventually slumped down and collapsed into the muddy creeks.

"The long-term effect is conversion of a vegetated marsh into a mudflat, which is a much less productive ecosystem and does not provide the same benefits to humans or to habitat for fish and wildlife," Deegan says.

Until this study, it seemed that salt marshes had unlimited capacity for nutrient removal, with no harmful effects on the marshes themselves.

"Now we understand that there are limits to what salt marshes can do," Deegan says.

"And in many places along the Eastern Seaboard--such as Jamaica Bay in New York, where marshes have been falling apart for years--we have exceeded those limits."

The disintegration of the nutrient-enriched marsh in this study happened in several stages.

In the first few years, the nutrients caused the marsh grass (primarily cordgrass Spartina spp.) along the creek edges to get greener and grow taller, "just like when you add fertilizer to your garden," Deegan says.

This taller grass also, however, produced fewer roots and rhizomes, which normally help stabilize the edge of the marsh creek.

The added nutrients also boosted microbial decomposition of leaves, stems and other biomass in the marsh peat, which further destabilized the creek banks.

Eventually, the poorly rooted grass grew too tall and fell over, where the twice-daily tides tugged and pulled it. The weakened bank then cracked and fell into the creek.

By year six of the experiment, the scientists started seeing effects at higher marsh elevations above the lower creek banks.

Three times more cracks, and bigger cracks, emerged at the top of the banks parallel to the creeks, compared with a control marsh where no nutrients were added.

Eventually, parts of the higher marsh also broke off and slid down toward the creek, which the scientists call the ‘toupee effect' because it leaves behind patches of bare, unvegetated mud.

All told, at least 2.5 times more chunks of marsh fell into the creeks in the nutrient-enriched marsh than in the control system.

"We honestly did not anticipate the changes we measured," says Deegan.

"Based on prior small-scale experiments, we predicted nutrient enrichment would cause the marsh grass to grow better and remain stable.

"But when we allowed different parts of the ecosystem to interact with the nitrogen enrichment over time, the small changes we saw in the first few years resulted in the creek banks later falling apart. This could not have been extrapolated from smaller-scale, shorter-term studies."

Nutrient enrichment of coastal areas is known to cause harmful algal blooms that create low-oxygen conditions and kill off marine life.

"Now we understand that nutrient enrichment also causes a very important loss of salt marsh habitat for fish and shellfish," Deegan says.

"This is one more reason we need better treatment of household waste in our towns and cities."

People can help by not using fertilizers on their lawns and gardens. "If you have a green lawn because you are fertilizing it, you are contributing to loss of salt marshes and ultimately of fish," Deegan says.

The study was accomplished with the cooperation of officials from the towns of Ipswich and Rowley, Mass., and the Essex County Green Belt Association.

"They recognized the importance of the work," Johnson says. "They realized that what we discovered would help their towns, and society in general, make better decisions about treating the excessive nutrient enrichment of our coasts."

In the next phase of the research, the scientists will study the recovery of the nutrient-enriched marsh.

"After we stop adding the nitrogen, how long does it take the system to rebound to its natural state?" Deegan asks.

The information will be important in reclaiming the health of salt marshes that are currently suffering from nutrient enrichment.

Co-authors of the Nature paper, in addition to Deegan and Johnson, are: Scott Warren of Connecticut College; Bruce Peterson of MBL, John Fleeger of Louisiana State University, Sergio Fagherazzi of Boston University and Wilfred Wollheim of the University of New Hampshire.

-NSF-

WORKING TO REDUCE THE SONIC BOOM FROM SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFT


FROM: NASA
Supersonic Model Points to Fast Future

If human beings are ever to fly faster than the speed of sound from one side of the country to another, we first have to figure out how to reduce the level of sonic boom generated by supersonic flight.

Earlier this fall, a subscale model of a potential future low-boom supersonic aircraft designed by The Boeing Company was installed for testing in the supersonic wind tunnel at NASA's Glenn Research Center.


This model is a larger of two models used in the test. The model contains a force measurement balance used to capture force measurements (lift, drag). Depending on the type of test and on the tunnel, the model can be oriented any way. Pictured here, the model is actually upside down.
Another smaller model was used to capture measurements of the off-body pressures that create a sonic boom.

The tests are among those being conducted by NASA and its partners to identify technologies and designs to achieve a level of sonic boom so low that it barely registers on buildings and people below.

Image Credit: NASA/Michelle M. Murphy

Friday, October 19, 2012

NEWS FROM AFGHANISTAN FOR OCTOBER 19, 2012


Topography Map Of Afghanistan
From:  CIA World Factbook.
FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Combined Force Arrests Taliban Leader
From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 19, 2012 - An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader in Kunduz province today, military officials reported.

The arrested Taliban leader is suspected of being involved in planning and executing improvised explosive device attacks as well as weapons and explosives facilitation, officials said.

In Oct. 16 operations:

-- A combined force killed a number of insurgents during a firefight in Wardak province. One combined force member was wounded.

-- Taliban leader Belal Khan was killed during an operation in Nangarhar province. Belal Khan, also known as Auzibullah, commanded dozens of Taliban fighters and was responsible for directing attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

And, a Taliban leader was arrested during an Oct. 14 security operation in Helmand province. The arrested Taliban leader commanded IED cells throughout central Helmand province. The security force also detained a number of suspected insurgents and seized some illegal narcotics as a result of the operation.

AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND AND DOOR KNOCKERS


FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Air Force Special Operations Command combat controllers give a C-130 Hercules take off clearance and provide air traffic control during a mission to establish and assess an airfield at a forward deployed location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. By the end of September 2001, AFSOC deployed forces to southwest Asia to help confront and remove the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, along with the Taliban-supported al Qaida terrorist organization headed by Osama Bin Laden. AFSOC airpower delivered special tactics forces to the battle ground and they in turn focused U.S. airpower and allowed Afghanistan's Northern Alliance ground forces to dispatch the Taliban and al Qaida from Afghanistan. In addition to its support in Afghanistan, AFSOC personnel also deployed to the Philippines to help aid that country's efforts against terrorism. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Lock

AFSOC: A history of 'door kickers'
by Senior Airman Melanie Holochwost
Air Force Special Operations Command

10/15/2012 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Although Air Force Special Operations Command was officially established in 1990, its history dates all the way back to World War II. From that time, Air Commandos have been heavily called upon for a wide assortment of missions - missions nobody else could do.

"Since 1975, at the end of the Vietnam conflict, Air Force Special Operations have been involved in some sort of contingency operation, except for three years," said Herb Mason, AFSOC historian. "We've supported the U.N., been in many countries in Africa, Haiti, Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan."

The lessons learned from Operation Rice Bowl and Urgent Fury in the early 1980s created a push for United States Special Operations Command, which activated April 16, 1987. Three years later, AFSOC was formed as its air component.

Then, just months later, Desert Storm started.

"Desert Storm was the first time AFSOC had the opportunity to shine (as an official Air Force command)," said Tim Brown, AFSOC deputy historian. "All of our assets were deployed and involved with the liberation of Kuwait. Our MH-53s escorted U.S. Army Apache helicopters into Iraq to take out Iraqi radar sites at the very start of the U.S. and coalition air campaign."

Since then, AFSOC has been involved in more than 25 major operations.

"The number is constantly growing," Brown said.

Some fights were short lived; however, some have been lengthy engagements. One example is Operation Enduring Freedom, which has been a continuous fight since October 2001.

Although every command brings something valuable to these operations, AFSOC is usually there first.

"We're the door kickers," Mason said. "We kick in the door, we get there first, we're on the ground, and we do what's asked of us."

The job gets done at all costs, according to retired combat controller, Wayne Norrad, 24th Special Operations Wing.

"Our motto says it all... we're first there, so that others may live," Norrad said.

During Operation Anaconda, Tech. Sgt. John Chapman and Senior Airman Jason Cunningham lived up to the motto.

"There are people still alive because of Jason's work as a pararescueman on that mission and John's tenacity to know that it was a dire situation and that someone had to take out the fighters and gun nest," Norrad said.

As a combat controller, Chapman was there first, and as the pararescuman, Cunningham was providing medical treatment so others may live.

Since 9/11, AFSOC has memorialized 31 Airmen - 26 enlisted and five officers, Mason said.

Even with great leadership, extensive training, and a strong commitment, Special Tactics Airmen may face a great deal of risk during their careers.

"It's the way the SOF mission is," Norrad said. "There is no one else to go to. We have to make it happen."

However, the added risk is not always a negative, according to Norrad.

"It keeps people excited, it keeps them on their toes," he said. "It seems like you are closer to what's going on in the world."

From World War II until today, Air Commandos continue to be at the tip of the spear, and a step ahead in a changing world.

EXECUTIVES INDICTED FOR STEALING KEVLAR TRADE SECRETS


FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Thursday, October 18, 2012

Top Executives at Kolon Industries Indicted for Stealing DuPont’s Kevlar Trade Secrets

Also Charged with Conspiracy to Steal Intellectual Property from Japan-Based Teijin Limited

Kolon Industries Inc. and several of its executives and employees have been indicted for allegedly engaging in a multi-year campaign to steal trade secrets related to DuPont’s Kevlar para-aramid fiber and Teijin Limited’s Twaron para-aramid fiber . The indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $225 million in proceeds from the alleged theft of trade secrets from Kolon’s competitors.

The charges were announced today by U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride;Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Jeffrey C. Mazanec, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office .

"Kolon is accused of engaging in a massive industrial espionage campaign that allowed it to bring Heracron quickly to the market and compete directly with Kevlar," said U.S. Attorney MacBride. "This country’s greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people. The genius of free enterprise is that companies compete on the excellence of their ideas, products and services – not on theft. This indictment should send a strong message to companies located in the United States and around the world that industrial espionage is not a business strategy."

"By allegedly conspiring to steal DuPont’s and Teijin’s intellectual property, Kolon threatened to undermine an economic engine at both companies," said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. "Developing Kevlar and Twaron was resource-intensive work, and required strategic investment and ingenuity. Kolon, through its executives and employees, allegedly acted brazenly to profit off the backs of others. The Justice Department has made fighting intellectual property crime a top priority, and we will continue to aggressively prosecute IP crimes all over the country."

"It’s critical that law enforcement aggressively investigate crimes of intellectual property theft, such as this one," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Mazanec. "If not, intellectual creativity and our economy will be compromised. As a member of the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, our office will investigate any company, domestic or international, that steals confidential proprietary information for their own benefit. We will pursue those that prey on the originality and vision of hardworking businesses who conduct their own research, obtain patents and market a successful product."

Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Kolon was indicted by a grand jury in Richmond, Va. The indictment charges Kolon with one count of conspiring to convert trade secrets, four counts of theft of trade secrets and one count of obstruction of justice.

Kolon makes a product called Heracron, which is a recent entrant into the para-aramid fiber market as a competitor to products called Kevlar and Twaron. Para-aramid fibers are used to make, for example, body armor, fiberoptic cables and automotive and industrial products. Kevlar is produced by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), one of the largest chemical companies in the United States. For decades, Kevlar has competed against Twaron, a para-aramid fiber product produced by Teijin Limited, one of the largest chemical companies in Japan.

According to the indictment, from July 2002 through February 2009, Kolon allegedly sought to improve its Heracron product by targeting current and former employees at DuPont and Teijin and hiring them to serve as consultants, then asking these consultants to reveal information that was confidential and proprietary.

The indictment alleges that in July 2002, Kolon obtained confidential information related to an aspect of DuPont’s manufacturing process for Kevlar, and within three years Kolon had replicated it. This successful misappropriation of DuPont’s confidential information, the indictment alleges, spurred Kolon leadership to develop a multi-phase plan in November 2005 to secure additional trade secret information from its competitors, by targeting people with knowledge of both pre-1990 para-aramid technology and post-1990 technologies.

Kolon is alleged to have retained at least five former DuPont employees as consultants. Kolon allegedly met with these people individually on multiple occasions from 2006 through 2008 to solicit and obtain sensitive, proprietary information that included details about DuPont’s manufacturing processes for Kevlar, experiment results, blueprints and designs, prices paid to suppliers and new fiber technology. In cases where the consultants could not answer Kolon’s specific and detailed questions, Kolon allegedly requested the consultants to obtain the information from current employees at DuPont.

The indictment alleges that during a meeting with one consultant, a Kolon employee surreptitiously copied information from a CD the former DuPont employee had brought with him that contained numerous confidential DuPont business documents, including a detailed breakdown of DuPont’s capabilities and costs for the full line of its Kevlar products, customer pricing information, analyses of market trends and strategies for specific Kevlar submarkets. This wealth of information was allegedly copied and dispersed among several Kolon executives and employees, and the indictment alleges that many of these documents and others associated with the consultants were deleted by the Kolon executives and employees after DuPont filed a civil suit against Kolon in 2009.

Kolon also is accused of attempting to recruit a former employee of a Teijin subsidiary, Teijin Twaron, who reported the requests for trade secret information to Teijin Twaron. Legal representatives from Teijin Twaron sent a letter to Kolon in January 2008 demanding that Kolon cease and desist from seeking to obtain trade secrets related to Twaron. After this incident, the indictment alleges that Kolon continued to try to obtain trade secrets, but took additional steps to attempt to avoid detection of its actions.

The indictment alleges that, in August 2008, Kolon employees met with a current DuPont employee in a hotel room in Richmond and discussed how the DuPont employee could provide trade secrets to Kolon without leaving evidence.

In addition to the corporation itself, the following Kolon executives and employees from Seoul were charged with conspiring together to steal trade secrets and obstruction of justice for deleting information from their computers:

· Jong-Hyun Choi, 56, was a senior executive overseeing the Heracron Business Team. He allegedly met with other top executives at Kolon to develop the directives to secure consultants and directly participated in carrying out the directives.

· In-Sik Han, 50, managed Kolon’s research and development related to Heracron and was allegedly responsible for overseeing the "consulting" sessions with ex-DuPont employees.

· Kyeong-Hwan Rho, 47, worked for Kolon for more than 25 years and served as the head of the Heracron Technical Team beginning in January 2008. He allegedly participated in the consulting sessions.

· Young-Soo Seo, 48, reported to Choi and served as the general manager for the Heracron Business Team beginning in November 2006. He allegedly participated in the consulting sessions.

· Ju-Wan Kim, 40 , was a manager on the Heracron Business Team from September 2007 through February 2009 and reported to Seo. He was the main point of contact at Kolon for at least one of the ex-DuPont employees. He also participated in the consulting sessions.

The conspiracy and theft of trade secrets counts each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss for individual defendants, and a fine of $5 million or twice the gross gain or loss for the corporate defendant. The obstruction of justice count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss for individual defendants, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or loss for the corporate defendant.

The indictment seeks at least $225 million in forfeiture, which represents the approximate gross proceeds of the sale of Heracron from January 2006 through June 2012, along with $341,000 in payments made to former DuPont employees in exchange for trade secret information.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy D. Belevetz and Kosta S. Stojilkovic of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit and Trial Attorney John W. Borchert of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Senior Counsel Rudolfo Orjales of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office.

This case is part of efforts being undertaken by the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP Task Force) to stop the theft of intellectual property. Attorney General Eric Holder created the IP Task Force to combat the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property crimes, protect the health and safety of American consumers, and safeguard the nation’s economic security against those who seek to profit illegally from American creativity, innovation and hard work. The IP Task Force seeks to strengthen intellectual property rights protection through heightened criminal and civil enforcement, greater coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and increased focus on international enforcement efforts, including reinforcing relationships with key foreign partners and U.S. industry leaders. .

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update

Breast cancer and weight

Breast cancer and weight

NATIVE OF CUBA NOW SERVES IN WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD

FROM: U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rafael Conde speaks to 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team soldiers following a Feb. 4, 2012, sendoff ceremony for the Wisconsin National Guard's 82nd Agribusiness Development Team at Hartford Union High School in Hartford, Wis. U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. Vaughn R. Larson

Face of Defense: Cuba Native Takes Pride in Guard Service
By Army 1st Sgt. Vaughn R. Larson
112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment


MADISON, Wis., Oct. 17, 2012 - Command Sgt. Maj. Rafael Conde, the top enlisted soldier with the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, was 5 years old when his parents fled communist Cuba on one of the last "Freedom Flights" in April 1968.

"My dad was working for a bakery company," Conde said. "They made Cuban bread and pastries. A couple of years after Fidel [Castro] took over, my uncle's company was taken away from him. At that time, my dad was asked to become part of the local communist party. He refused, saying he wasn't a political kind of person. Within a month, he was fired."

With few options available, Conde's father went underground, buying and selling different goods. All the while, his family worried that he would be sent to the grueling sugar cane fields. Conde said his parents applied to leave Cuba to provide better opportunities for their children.

"My dad was 48, and my mom was 42 when they left," Conde said. "They basically left everything they'd worked for in Cuba. They didn't get money for their house or their car -- they left with nothing. I'm 49 -- if I had to start all over, ... it brings you back to reality."

Conde's family settled in south Florida's Cuban community. After graduating from high school in 1980, Conde attended college in Minnesota and joined the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1983.

"What drove me to join the National Guard was I was going to school, and that would give me some extra cash. But that was only 20 percent of it," Conde said. "I looked at the opportunities this country has given me, all the freedoms and liberties you get. Many of us don't understand, I think, what it means to be an American, to live in the U.S. How do you give back? Military service is the way I chose."

Conde moved to Wisconsin in 1986 and joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He also served with the Florida Army National Guard in 1991 and 1992. As the command sergeant major for 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry, he deployed to Iraq in 2005 for a convoy escort mission. In April 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan with an embedded training team, and five months later was assigned to Regional Support Team North Afghanistan as the senior noncommissioned officer for the Afghanistan national security forces development and infrastructure growth.

Living in River Falls in northern Wisconsin has coaxed the Cuban accent mostly out of Conde, but his heritage remains.

"I am who I am," he observed. "Cuban people are very hard-working and passionate about what they believe in. That's part of my Cuban heritage."

America, he said, is the land of opportunity.

"If you look long enough and work hard enough, you'll succeed," Conde said.

"There are great people in America, no matter what heritage they are," he explained. "We Americans need to understand that while there are differences and differences are good, we are better as a nation when we fully engage and understand what all heritages bring to the nation. Diversity means we understand what everybody can bring to the organization.

"I'm proud to say I was born in Cuba and earned the right to be an American citizen," he continued. "I'm proud of my service to this country."

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE PANETTA'S WARNING

FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Panetta: Nation Faces 'Dangerous and Unpredictable' World

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service


NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 19, 2012 - The Hampton Roads area of Virginia has played a vital role in the history of the United States, and of the military in particular, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta said here today.

Since the Civil War and the first battle between two ironclad ships, the area has been on the leading edge of American military innovation, with its shipyards serving as the backbone of American naval power, Panetta said in remarks to members of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.

The broad challenges now faced by the military also face the Hampton Roads region, he said.

After a decade of war, the U.S. is at a strategic turning point, the defense secretary said. Congressionally mandated budget cuts come at a time when the nation still faces a dangerous and unpredictable world, he said.

"I am not one who believes that you have to choose between fiscal security and national security," he said.

Violent extremism, weapons proliferation, international instability and the rise of new powers across Asia are just some of the challenges facing the country, Panetta said.

"And now we confront a whole new threat of warfare in cyber [space]" he said. "I think this is an area we have got to pay close attention to. This is the battle front of the future. As I speak, there are cyberattacks going on in this country."

"And now they're developing the capability to be able to go after our grid -- our power grid, our financial systems, our government systems -- and virtually paralyze this country," Panetta said.

"We are confronting a series of threats to our national security," he said. "I've got to do everything I can to make sure we protect this country."

To address those challenges while meeting America's fiscal responsibilities, he said, the Defense Department undertook a review of the defense strategy. As part of that review, it established new defense priorities and focused on designing a force that would carry the U.S. into the future.

The five elements of the new defense strategy are, Panetta said, a smaller, more agile force; a rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East; building international partnerships and alliances; ensuring the nation can confront and defeat aggression, even when it occurs on multiple fronts; and making key investments in defense technologies and capabilities.

As part of that strategy, the defense secretary said, "We will continue to invest in the unique capabilities and the military and industrial facilities like those in Hampton Roads."

"I also want to maintain our industrial base," Panetta said. I'll be damned if I'm going to contract out to any other country to be able to protect ... this country."

For example, he said, despite budget pressures, the Defense Department elected to retain the Navy's full fleet of aircraft carriers.

"Similarly, we are investing in the Virginia-class submarine and upgrading this important capability for the future," he said.

"And finally," Panetta said, "we are investing in the cutting-edge unmanned systems and cyber warfare capabilities that are so important in our mission at Langley Air Force Base."

"This community has strongly positioned itself to help us achieve our strategy," he said. "But ... we are jeopardized if Congress does not act to prevent sequester from taking effect in January," he added.

The additional cuts would be devastating to the nation's defense, Panetta said.

"There's still time to prevent sequestration," he said. "Let me be clear, no one wants this to happen ... but, for God's sake, don't just kick this can down the road."

"The last thing I need, having put this strategy in place, is not to know where I'm headed in the future in terms of a stable budget," the defense secretary said.

The decisions made in Washington have a lasting and real impact on American communities, Panetta said.

"As we emerge out of this decade of war, the new greatest generation of Americans is going to be returning home to communities like this. They need our support in order to transition back into civilian life," the defense secretary said.

"I've got some great weapons systems. I've got some great tanks. I've got some great ships. I've got the best in terms of bombers and fighters," Panetta said. "But do you know what makes the United States strong? It is the men and women in uniform who serve this country."

ONLY SIX STATES HAVE NOT REQUESTED A NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND WAIVER

Photo Credit:  U.S. Department Of Defense
FROM: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Obama Administration Approves Idaho’s Request for NCLB Flexibility

34 States and DC Now Approved For Waivers, with Several States Still Pending

The Obama Administration today approved Idaho’s request for flexibility from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership. With the addition of Idaho, 34 states and the District of Columbia have now joined in a nationwide, bipartisan movement toward next-generation education reforms that go far beyond No Child Left Behind’s rigid, top-down prescriptions.

"With the addition of Idaho, a growing number of states nationwide are receiving much-needed flexibility from No Child Left Behind," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "More than a million students are now captured by states’ new accountability systems, and we continue to see impressive reform plans from the local level will drive student achievement and ensure that all students are ready for college and their careers."

Federal education law has been due for congressional reauthorization since 2007. In the face of congressional inaction, President Obama announced in September of 2011 that the Obama Administration would grant waivers from NCLB to qualified states. The first requests for waivers were granted in February of 2012.

The 34 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have been approved for waivers from NCLB include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The 10 states (plus the Bureau of Indian Education and Puerto Rico) with outstanding requests for waivers include Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia.

The 6 states that have not yet requested a waiver include: Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont (request withdrawn), and Wyoming.