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By Kate Brannen

WELCOME BACK. Happy New Year! Did you
completely check out over the last week or
so? If so, don't worry. We're here to fill you
in. Here's a summary of the biggest stories
that took place while you were ___________
(fill in the blank).

THE MUST-READ NEW YORK TIMES
BENGHAZI ARTICLE, published on Sunday,
drew the most attention over the holidays.
Republican lawmakers immediately
pushed back against its conclusions.

The story, the result of a months-long
investigation by the Times' Cairo bureau
chief, David D. Kirkpatrick, conclulded there
was no evidence that the Sept. 11, 2012
attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in
Benghazi, Libya, was carried out by Al
Qaeda or any other international terrorist
group.

"The attack was led, instead, by fighters
who had benefited directly from NATO's
extensive air power and logistics support
during the uprising against Colonel
Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some
members of Congress, it was fueled in
large part by anger at an American-made
video denigrating Islam," Kirkpatrick
reported. The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia

Kirkpatrick concluded the attack "suggests
that, as the threats from local militants
around the region have multiplied, an
intensive focus on combating Al Qaeda
may distract from safeguarding American
interests."

-- ROGERS, ISSA VOICED SKEPTICISM
OVER THE REPORT: House Intelligence
Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the report didn't match the
intelligence assessments he's seen. Video: Mike Rogers knocks NYT over Benghazi report - POLITICO.com

And Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who chairs
the House Oversight and Government
Reform Committee, stood by his previous
statements there was an Al Qaeda link,
reports Slate's Katie Long. Darrell Issa, David Kirkpatrick debate New York Times Benghazi report on Meet the Press

-- THE RIGHT SAYS THE STORY IS PART
OF AN EFFORT TO PROTECT HILLARY
CLINTON: "The reason that the Times
invested all the effort and time in this and
put it on the front page is precisely a way to
protect the Democrats, to deflect the issue,
to protect Hillary," conservative columnist
Charles Krauthammer said Monday on Fox
News's "Special Report." Charles Krauthammer: The New York Times protects Hillary Clinton - Lucy McCalmont - POLITICO.com

-- BUT THE PIECE IS NOT A WHITEWASH,
writes The New Yorker's Amy Davidson,
saying that rather than Al Qaeda, the article
shows that it was "the people the Obama
administration judged to be our allies who
turned on us." She also makes the case
that the term Al Qaeda should be used with
precision. In Benghazi, Could Anyone Be Al Qaeda? : The New Yorker

-- MEANWHILE, U.S. MILITARY
PERSONNEL TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND
THEN FREED IN LIBYA: Four U.S. service
members assigned to the U.S. Embassy in
Tripoli were held for several hours last
Friday before being released by Libyan
authorities, reported The New York Times'
Kirkpatrick and Michael R. Gordon. http://nyti.ms/JKvrKl

GET YOUR LATEST DRONE NEWS: Two big
drone developments over the break. First,
on Monday, the Federal Aviation
Administration selected six places in the
U.S. where non-military drone tests will be
allowed. They are the University of Alaska,
the state of Nevada, New York's Griffiss
International Airport, the North Dakota
Department of Commerce, Texas A&M
University in Corpus Christi and Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University.

The drone industry hailed the move and
sees it as a key step in integrating
unmanned systems into U.S. skies,
reported POLITICO's Leigh Munsil. Drone sites may trigger windfall - Leigh Munsil - POLITICO.com

-- Speaking of unmanned systems, the
Pentagon released its Unmanned Systems
Integrated Roadmap for 2013 to 2038.
http://1.usa.gov/1ijmTcu

LAST THREE CHINESE UIGHURS
RELEASED FROM GITMO: The Pentagon
announced on New Year's Eve that it had
transferred the last three Chinese Muslim
Uighurs being held at the military prisons
at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Slovakia

"This transfer and resettlement constitutes
a significant milestone in our effort to close
the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,"
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John
Kirby said in a statement. There are still
155 detainees being held at Guantanamo.

CATCH-UP SPEED READ

-- Any gains made in Afghanistan will likely
be lost quickly after the U.S. withdraws,
according to a new National Intelligence
Estimate for the country. The Washington
Post: Afghanistan gains will be lost quickly after drawdown, U.S. intelligence estimate warns - The Washington Post

-- Russia officials identify a suspect in the
Sunday suicide bombing of a train station
in Volgograd. Fox News: Russian officials identify suicide bomb suspect as Putin vows to annihilate terrorists | Fox News

-- The defense authorization bill signed by
President Barack Obama calls for a more
ambitious plan to streamline DoD
headquarters. Federal Times: Lawmakers order long-term cost-cutting plan for DoD headquarters staff | Federal Times | federaltimes.com

-- Younger veterans are angry about the
cuts to military pensions included in the
end-of-the-year budget deal. The
Washington Post: Younger military veterans are angered by budget cuts to their pension benefits - The Washington Post

-- An Army military intelligence officer
creates "Gingerbottabad," his gingerbread
version of Osama bin Laden's hideout in
Pakistan. Army Times: Soldier builds bin Laden compound replica out of gingerbread | Army Times | armytimes.com

IT'S THURSDAY. Thank you for starting the
year off (kinda) with Morning Defense. We
hope you had a wonderful holiday. What
better way to kick things off in 2014 than to
send your latest defense news, tips and
feedback to [email protected] and
follow on Twitter at @k8brannen,
@morningdefense and @PoliticoPro for the
latest?

LOOKING BACK BEFORE LOOKING AHEAD:
The Hill's Jeremy Herb looks at the top five
defense stories of 2013. After tough year, no end in sight to Pentagon's struggles in new year | TheHill

-- And POLITICO's Philip Ewing looks
ahead to 2014, outlining five challenges for
the year ahead in defense. One topic area
that might not have made a 2013 list, but is
definitely on the radar in 2014: Africa.

"Although the military has deployed to
Africa for years, 2014 opens with troops
handling perhaps as many different
missions across the continent as they ever
have," Ewing reports. http://politico.pro/1bBxrew

WHILE WE'RE MAKING LISTS, HERE ARE
SOME DATES AND OVERSEAS ELECTIONS
TO WATCH IN 2014: Politico's James
Hohmann has the top 14 dates to watch in
2014. Up first ... Jan. 28, when the
president is scheduled to deliver his annual
State of the Union address to a joint
session of Congress. As D.C. turns: 14 dates to watch in 2014 - James Hohmann - POLITICO.com

-- And POLITICO Magazine's Elizabeth
Ralph identifies the 10 global elections to
track in the new year. 10 Global Elections to Watch in 2014 - Elizabeth Ralph - POLITICO Magazine

THE 2014 OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL IS
TAKING SHAPE, via POLITICO's David
Rogers: "December's budget agreement set
the overall spending number, but the devil's
in the details now - with little sugar to help
the medicine go down. Earmarks are gone.
It's a cold-turkey exercise in governance,
the likes of which Washington hasn't seen
in years." Omnibus bill taking shape - David Rogers - POLITICO.com

TOURING THE CAPE RAY: Expect some
new photos of the MV Cape Ray, the ship
being outfitted with Field Deployable
Hydrolysis Systems to destroy Syria's
chemical weapons. DoD invited members
of the media to board the ship today in
Portsmouth, Va., to gather imagery.

-- MEANWHILE SYRIA MISSED AN
IMPORTANT DEADLINE, via The Guardian's
Luke Harding: "Syria failed to meet a
deadline on Tuesday to hand over the first
tranche of its chemical weapons stockpile,
with two Nordic ships sent to collect it
forced to turn back." Syria misses chemical weapons deadline | World news | theguardian.com

SOUTH SUDAN PEACE TALKS SET TO
BEGIN TODAY IN ETHIOPIA: "Neither Salva
Kiir, the president of South Sudan, nor Riek
Machar, the leader of the rebels, were
expected to participate at this point but
would be represented by delegations," The
New York Times' Nicholas Kulish reported
yesterday. http://nyti.ms/1ao8Iux

-- But heavy fighting continues even as the
peace talks get underway, the BBC reports.
BBC News - South Sudan fighting continues ahead of Ethiopia talks

WHAT DID YOU DO OVER THE HOLIDAYS?
Marine Corps Commandant James Amos
spent Christmas with the Marines in
Afghanistan. Over 10 days, he also visited
with Marines in Spain, Italy, Djibouti,
Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and
aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry
Truman and the amphibious assault ship
USS Boxer.

In what he calls their 'poor man's USO
show,' Amos was joined by his wife,
Bonnie, the Corps' top enlisted Marine, Sgt.
Maj. Michael Barrett, and Medal of Honor
recipient Dakota Meyer.

-- THE OTHER CHIEFS ENJOYED WELL-EARNED FAMILY TIME: According to their
spokespeople, the three other chiefs -Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Navy Adm.
Jonathan Greenert and Air Force Gen. Mark
Welsh - spent the holidays with their
families.

NEED MORE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS?
Always ... Here, the editors and book
reviewers at Foreign Affairs pick their
favorites for 2013. Best International Relations Books of 2013 | Foreign Affairs

SPEED READ

-- In his first public speech since his
uncle's execution, North Korean leader Kim
Jong-un says he wants better relations
with South Korea. The New York Times:
http://nyti.ms/1gmJ7qQ

-- Three bombs targeted a hotel in
Mogadishu yesterday that is frequented by
Somali government officials. Reuters: Mogadishu hotel targeted by bombs, at least 11 killed | Reuters

-- The Afghan government's plan to
release dozens of prisoners, including
those who have attacked American troops,
deeply concerns U.S. officials, who say it
could lead to a complete withdrawal after
2014. The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1eVrtx7

-- In its fights against sequestration, the
defense lobby has lost a lot of its clout.
National Journal: How the Defense Lobby Became Irrelevant - NationalJournal.com

-- Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon is critically ill. BBC: BBC News - Israel ex-PM Ariel Sharon 'critically ill'

-- Edward Snowden deserves "a plea
bargain or some form of clemency that
would allow him to return home," a new
editorial argues. The New York Times:
http://nyti.ms/19KSxuz

-- The Palestinian ambassador to the
Czech Republic was killed yesterday in an
explosion in his home in Prague. Reuters:
Palestinian envoy killed by explosion at Prague home | Reuters

-- Two conservatives have joined the
supervisory council responsible for
monitoring Iran's nuclear negotiating team.
The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1co6J9j

Go to POLITICO Morning Defense Now >>
POLITICO Morning Defense - POLITICO.com

Go to this edition >> Benghazi article renews debate in Washington ? The omnibus spending bill is taking shape ? South Sudan peace talks begin - POLITICO Morning Defense - POLITICO.com

=================================
2014 POLITICO, LLC
POLITICO Morning Defense
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
this is one of the very few times I will share this email, I strongly suggest you all subscribe to this as a daily brief of the going ons in the USA (if this Aussie gets it, then why don't you)
 

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Politico is hardly unbiased. It is an unabashedly left wing site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
true, but the info you can get from it, like the bit about unmanned drones been pushed more in USA airspace... it's just good to know for future debates :)
 

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What a load of crap. The article "overlooked" that DEMOCRATS on the intelligence committees ALSO said that the article was wrong. In fact, so wrong that they can't understand how this yahoo came to this conclusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What a load of crap. The article "overlooked" that DEMOCRATS on the intelligence committees ALSO said that the article was wrong. In fact, so wrong that they can't understand how this yahoo came to this conclusion.
you lost me bro??
 

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The NewYork Times interviewed people on the ground in Libya who have a distinct interest in the attack being labeled as spontaneous. If the attack is viewed as a planned attack the US is more likely to increase security long term and take military action against the groups responsible. The Times wants to deflect blame from Hillary and the terrorists want to deflect blame from their organizations it's a win/win for all the assholes involved.
 

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you lost me bro??
The article makes it sound as though the only people who criticized the findings of the NY Times article are Right Wing Conservative while in truth Democrats on the Inelegance Committee not only disagree with the article put have publicly stated that they don't know how they could possibly come to that conclusion. See that mentioned in the article you posted? It's a load of crap.
 

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Sometimes, I like liberal sites. Surprisingly, if you stick to alternative news (lib or not), it will touch on things that the mainstream refuses to touch because of controversy. With me, anything that stirs up controversy is something to pay attention to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
never said it was gospel, but read further down, its got another conflicting point, but did you know US soldiers were arrested.. or the Afghan gov releasing prisoners that were involved with attacking US troops, yea it's not perfect, but a morning email with multiple stories, and if a few here subscribe, will make some interesting topics, that we can all pick apart over the day (to the article in question, it smells of bull shit, but that's what's published..)
 

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Sometimes, I like liberal sites. Surprisingly, if you stick to alternative news (lib or not), it will touch on things that the mainstream refuses to touch because of controversy. With me, anything that stirs up controversy is something to pay attention to.
Yeah, I occasionally visit the CNN website myself.
Remember what Sun Tzu said about knowing your enemy.
 

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Remember that the mainstream media cares about ratings and people tend to look away from things they dont want to know or from things that they don't like. Alternative news, not so much.
 

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On one forum I visit (I forget which) there was a card carrying liberal progressive who constantly linked to a site called Alternet. If they are still around, check it out. But it may make your brain bleed.

edited to add - they are still around. Link here - http://www.alternet.org/
WARNING: May cause stupification of normal people.
 

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To the OP please check out the link I provided under the thread the Ambassador Died and they all lied. It refers to data analysis of social media sites in Benghazi before the attack and the day after. Before the at tax there was no mention of the video. It didn't even come up in Benghazi until a day later when our regime started blaming it. If it was a reaction to a video online why was there no mention of it online before the attack. The article is so factually poor and inept it can only be labelled propaganda for the regime and it's hildabeast
 

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The article was in the New York Times, after all.
The Old Gray Lady has long been senile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
To the OP please check out the link I provided under the thread the Ambassador Died and they all lied. It refers to data analysis of social media sites in Benghazi before the attack and the day after. Before the at tax there was no mention of the video. It didn't even come up in Benghazi until a day later when our regime started blaming it. If it was a reaction to a video online why was there no mention of it online before the attack. The article is so factually poor and inept it can only be labelled propaganda for the regime and it's hildabeast
hay I did say it's smelt of bull shit, it's the "minor" stories that you should focus on not the flavor of the day.. just saying
 
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