- - Monday, June 13, 2011


Hackers claim break-in of Senate computers

A loosely aligned group of computer hackers calling themselves Lulz Security said they broke into the U.S. Senate’s computer network Monday.

There was no immediate comment by the Senate Sergeant at Arms Office, which oversees the chamber’s security.

Lulz Security, who have hacked into Sony’s website and the Public Broadcasting Service, posted online a list of files that appear not to be sensitive but indicate the hackers had been into the Senate’s computer network.

“They certainly demonstrated that they were in and they found the file server,” said Stewart Baker, a former cyber-official at the Department of Homeland Security.

“It’s not clear from the file names that there’s anything sensitive here. The hackers may have done the equivalent of burglarizing the Senate and bragging because they managed to steal a bunch of souvenirs from the gift shop,” said Mr. Baker, now a partner at Steptoe and Johnson LLP.

John Bumgarner of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit said the break-in would cause red faces at the Senate.

“They’re all valid directories,” he said after looking at data posted online. “It’s very embarrassing that this happened that this was a government site that belonged to the Senate and was compromised.

“They probably also got user names and passwords.”


Obama announces plan to cut federal waste

President Obama announced a new effort Monday to eliminate government waste and named his vice president to lead it.

Mr. Obama signed an executive order that creates an oversight board to work with federal departments and agencies to cut waste and improve performance, according to a draft of the order obtained by the Associated Press. Vice President Joseph R. Biden will meet regularly with Cabinet secretaries to chart progress.

Monday’s announcement comes as the White House grapples for ways to both boost sluggish economic growth and chip away at the deficit.

“As we work to tackle the budget deficit, we need to step up our game,” Mr. Obama said in a video announcing the Campaign to Cut Waste. “No amount of waste is acceptable - not when it’s your money, not at a time when so many Americans are already cutting back.”

As examples of “pointless waste” and “stupid spending,” Mr. Obama cited daily publication of the Federal Register despite the fact that it’s available on the Internet and has been for years, duplication among federal websites, and thousands of surplus federal buildings he hopes to begin selling off.

Mr. Obama said the administration has identified $33 billion in savings for this year alone, “and we’re not finished.”


40 years after leak, Pentagon Papers out

Call it the granddaddy of WikiLeaks. Four decades ago, a young defense analyst leaked a top-secret study packed with damaging revelations about America’s conduct of the Vietnam War.

On Monday, that study, dubbed the Pentagon Papers, finally came out in complete form.

The National Archives and a trio of presidential libraries released the papers 40 years after the New York Times published the first in its series on the report. The sensational leak prompted a Supreme Court ruling that sided with the press, after President Nixon tried to suppress publication.

Most of the 7,000-page study has been out for years. Monday’s release draws it together for the first time, and online. The study reveals a pattern of deception as the Johnson, Kennedy and prior administrations secretly escalated the conflict.


Obama going gray because of job

DURHAM, N.C. — President Obama acknowledged Monday that the job is making him go gray.

At a high-tech firm in Durham, Mr. Obama reminded workers that he visited them three years ago on the campaign trail.

“Somebody in the plant showed me a picture of the two of us together and I looked so much younger then,” Mr. Obama said. “I’ve got a lot more gray hair now than I did the last time I visited. But I have a better plane so it’s a fair trade.”


Gregoire not seeking re-election to seat

OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has announced she is not running for re-election to a third term.

Mrs. Gregoire, a Democrat, made the announcement Monday in Olympia, saying she intends to work hard the next 18 months to pull the state out of the recession. She said, “We’re not stopping.”

Mrs. Gregoire says she has no plans after leaving office except to spend more time with her family. She said she’ll do everything she can to support the re-election of President Obama, “But that doesn’t mean I’m looking for a job.”

Mrs. Gregoire said she told Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee about her decision Sunday night and urged him to run for governor. Mr. Inslee said Monday he’ll make his intentions for the race known “shortly.”

Attorney General Rob McKenna announced last week that he’ll seek the Republican nomination.

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