(12.06.) The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks. The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a suitcase.”
KROFT: I mean it’s been reported that there was some resistance from advisors and planners who disagreed with the commando raid approach. Was it difficult for you to overcome that? And what level of confidence did you have? PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know one of the things that we’ve done here is to build a team that is collegial and where everybody speaks their mind. And there’s not a lot of snipin‘ or back-biting after the fact… And so very few people in the White House knew. The vast majority of my most senior aides did not know that we were doing this. And you know, there were times where you wanted to go around and talk this through with some more folks. And that just wasn’t an option.
JIM LEHRER: Did you actually see – or did you actually see Osama bin Laden get shot? LEON PANETTA: No. No, not at all. We – you know, we had some observation of the approach there, but we did not have direct flow of information as to the actual conduct of the operation itself as they were going through the compound. JIM LEHRER: So do you think the – did the president see the shots fired at Osama bin Laden? LEON PANETTA: No. No, not at all. Once those teams went into the compound, I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we – you know, we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on.
you know what happened exactly? Maybe we will say this for the first time. On that Sunday, it was on [February] 17th, you know what happened? Libyans heard the British foreign minister say Gaddafi is on his way to Venezuela. Al-Jazeera breaking news, ‘Gaddafi left the country,’ and then another breaking news, ‘Saif got killed. His brother killed me.’ You know the story. It was two famous breaking news. ‘My father left the country. I got killed.’ It was a big conspiracy. We captured them now. They recruited some people here in the Libyan Post and Telecommunications Company, they created a false traffic, like millions of channels. Everything is fake. The whole network went down. You heard about the shutdown? You know, even my friends left the country at the time. You know why, because they said ‘Libyan TV was so stupid, playing music’. Jazeera breaking news, ‘the British foreign minister said Gaddafi left the country, Saif got killed,’ the network got shut down, the phone network got shut down, so everything is over. That’s why people, police escaped, soldiers escaped, and everyone went back home. And then you got those people who went to attack the ammunition sites, military barracks, and stole the ammunition, the arms and start the armed revolt. So everything was orchestrated.
10:37am In the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, much of the euphoria and excitement that victory was close at hand had faded, said Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid. Some feared that pro-Gaddafi forces had deliberately retreated to around Gaddafi’s Sirte, drawing the inexperienced and poorly-equipped rebel fighters forward and leaving rebel-held towns exposed to a possible counter-offensive. „Some people told me all the young people had gone to the front. There is no one left to protect the city,“ said Abdel-Hamid. „There is an understanding that [Gaddafi’s ousting] is not going to happen so easily.“
Well, as I think you heard the President say yesterday very clearly what our — what his position is towards the situation, towards the actions of the Libyan government, very clear condemnation of the violence against the protesters there, violence against Libyan citizens, he also is obviously very concerned about the safety of Americans, and that is a priority. That’s all I can say on that.
Week-long protests in Tunisia over the government’s poor handling of the economy are escalating after security forces fired into a crowd of protesters, killing at least one. The protest movement began in the city of Sidi Bouzid, where a young man named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold from a street stall.
(12.12.) CROWLEY: Joining me here in Washington is Dennis Blair, former director of national intelligence for President Obama. Thank you for joining us. BLAIR: Good to be here… CROWLEY: What does that mean exactly, when South Korea does lose patience, what does that mean? BLAIR: It means they will be taking military action against North Korea. CROWLEY: Do you see that happening? BLAIR: Yes, I do see that happening. Now North Korea knows that if it starts a big war with South Korea by artillery barrages against Seoul or a major aggression it will lose that war, it’ll be the end of the regime. So I don’t think a war is going to start but I think there is going to be a military confrontation at lower levels rather than simply accepting these, this North Korean aggression and going and bargaining.