The German magazine Der Spiegel revealed extraordinary details about the NSA's TAO program, which is tasked with “pervasive” penetration of the Internet and global telephone traffic. This most aggressive division of the U.S. government's National Security Agency directly hacks into computers and telephones and is focused upon foreign governments, perhaps differing from other NSA programs that also harvest the data of American citizens.
A CNN/ORC International survey released on December 30 indicates that 82 percent of Americans are opposed to U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, with only 17 percent responding that they still support the operation. The percentage who say they support the U.S. presence in the chaotic Asian nation is down from 52 percent in December 2008. During the 2008 survey, only 46 percent of respondents opposed our involvement in the conflict.
The interventionist establishment is terrified that a reinvigorated Tea Party may prevent new unnecessary wars and foreign military interventions in the coming years, according to an article in Democracy magazine. The article — “R.I.P. Republican Internationalism” by Council on Foreign Relations President Emeritus Leslie H. Gelb and Michael Kramer — frets that “a common thread emerges: a Tea Party-wide reluctance to engage with the world, except for those they view as true U.S. friends, such as Israel.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is following in the footsteps of NAFTA and other so-called free trade agreements.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in a statement to reporters at the Pentagon on December 19, criticized the actions of the Chinese Navy in a close encounter with a U.S. vessel in the South China Sea on December 5.