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- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
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Inside the Ring: More NSA leaks
Question of the Day
Glenn Greenwald, the reporter for Britain’s Guardian newspaper who first disclosed documents provided by Mr. Snowden, also disclosed Sunday that the NSA conducts large-scale electronic surveillance against Brazil, including some 2.3 billion phone calls and messages that were “wiretapped.”
He reported on NSA documents in Brazil’s O Globo online newspaper that the NSA’s program code-named “Fairview” is an alliance with a U.S. telecommunications company that collects intelligence through its connections with foreign telecommunications firms, including those in Brazil.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday confirmed that his government received a formal asylum request from Mr. Snowden.
“We received a letter requesting asylum,” Mr. Maduro said, adding that the U.S. fugitive “will have to decide when to fly over here.”
CHINESE ARMS PROLIFERATION
A State Department official this week declined to comment on China’s transfer of six road- mobile, strategic missile launchers to North Korea, but said China continues to fall short in controlling illicit arms exports from Chinese “entities.”
Vann Van Diepen, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, was asked about the missile launcher transfer and whether the Obama administration planned to sanction the Chinese companies involved.
“There’s just too many sensitive details I just cannot answer that question,” Mr. Van Diepen said during a forum on the 10th anniversary of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I can’t answer that question. It just wouldn’t be appropriate.”
Rebecca Hersman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for countering weapons of mass destruction, also declined to discuss the strategic missile launcher transfer from China to North Korea.
Appearing on the same panel with Mr. Van Diepen, Ms. Hersman earlier said that a “policy failure” in 2002 allowed a seized shipment of North Korean missiles to go on to Yemen, and that failure was the impetus for the 102-nation PSI program.
But when asked about the more recent policy failure of the Chinese missile launchers to North Korea, Ms. Hersman declined to answer, asserting “that’s not a PSI question.”
Mr. Van Diepen said later that “nonproliferation has been at the top of bilateral agenda with China for many, many years.”
“And we’ve been pressing for Chinese cooperation in these areas for a long time, and in some areas we’re getting cooperation,” he said.
For example, China agreed to U.N. Security Council resolutions targeting North Korea and Iran, and Beijing provided “a lot of important help in the proliferation area,” he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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