Psychology, Politics, and National Security
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    Archive for May, 2010

    May 11th, 2010

    Summary: Weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 11, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that former vice president Dick Cheney made it clear he’d rather follow incendiary broadcaster Rush Limbaugh than former Joint Chiefs chairman Colin Powell into political battle over the future of the Republican Party.


    May 10th, 2010

    Summary: A cascade of bombings and shootings hit at least 10 cities and towns in Iraq, killing at least 100 people — mostly in Shiite areas — in Iraq’s deadliest day of 2010. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 10, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that CNN’s John Avlon, in the inaugural edition of American Morning’s “Wingnuts of the Week” segment, named U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann a charter member of the Wingnut Hall of Fame.


    May 9th, 2010

    Summary: There are mothers who will spend Mother’s Day missing sons and daughters fighting overseas. There are women who have lost children in those wars, for whom Mother’s Day will never be the same. And then there is Eva Briseno, mother of wounded warrior Joseph “Jay” Briseno Jr. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 9, 2009, Aubrey Immelman examined the likelihood of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) being defeated in the 2010 U.S. House of Representatives election in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. He concluded that Bachmann was vulnerable to defeat, but not by a Democrat in the general election. Instead, Bachmann was found to be most vulnerable in the primary election against a Republican challenger — the reason being Minnesota’s open primary system. Specifically, with no party registration in Minnesota, self-identified Democrats and Independents are able to vote in the Republican primary against Bachmann, joining forces with disaffected Republican voters. The fact that Bachmann did not receive a majority of the votes in either the primary (47.2%) or the general election (46.4%) in 2008 underscores her vulnerability to a primary challenger with cross-partisan support.


    May 8th, 2010

    Summary: Pakistan is investigating whether Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American arrested over a botched plot to bomb New York’s Times Square, met top Pakistani Taliban leaders in South Waziristan. If confirmed, it would be the group’s first involvement in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 8, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Iraq’s security forces, despite significant improvements, remained hobbled by shortages of men and equipment, bureaucracy, corruption, political interference, and security breaches that have resulted in the deaths of dozens of Iraqi and American troops.


    May 7th, 2010

    Summary: Alleged links between Faisal Shahzad’s Times Square bombing attempt and the Taliban are adding to perceptions of Pakistan as a global exporter of terror and increasing pressure on its military to crack down on extremists along the Afghanistan border. The Pakistani Taliban — Tehrik-e-Taliban — was hellbent on revenge inside America after a U.S. Predator drone attack killed its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, in August 2009 and the more recent strikes that nearly killed Baitullah’s successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, in January 2010. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 7, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that a spate of bombings in Iraq raised concern that militants were regrouping after suffering sharp setbacks in fighting during the previous two years, 2007-2008.


    May 6th, 2010

    Summary: It was not immediately clear why the Dow Jones industrial average lost some 6 percent of its value in a matter of minutes and then recovered almost as quickly. The Dow ended with a loss of 346.51 points or 3.2 percent after its biggest intraday move in history. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 6, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter gave U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann a liar “Pants on Fire” rating for her false statement, “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” In fact, the February 1976 scare happened on the watch of Gerald Ford, a Republican — not that President Ford was blameworthy in the least; in fact, he called for a nationwide vaccination program, in which 40 million Americans were vaccinated in just 10 days.


    May 5th, 2010

    Summary: Iraq’s two largest Shiite electoral blocs announced they have formed an alliance that gives them a strong chance of setting up the next government, heavily supported by neighboring Iran. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 5, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Iraq’s government ruled out allowing U.S. combat troops to remain in Iraqi cities after the June 30, 2009 deadline for their withdrawal, despite concern that Iraqi forces might not be able to cope with the security challenge following a resurgence of bombings.


    May 4th, 2010

    Summary: Weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 4, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann responded to the launch of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) “Bachmann Watch” site with a fundraising appeal — and countered with an appeal of his own for campaign contributions to help defeat Bachmann in the 2010 Republican primary.


    May 3rd, 2010

    Summary: U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested Faisal Shahzad, 30, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, in connection with the failed bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square as he tried to leave the country on an Emirates airlines flight to Dubai at New York’s JFK airport, May 3, 2010 at 11:45 p.m. ET. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 3, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that the sheer weight and volume of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s assault on reason may have reached critical mass, crossing the tipping point beyond which Minnesota media could no longer tune out Bachmann’s insanity or avert their gaze from “The Emperor’s New Clothes” in embarrassed silence.


    May 2nd, 2010

    Summary: Police investigating a failed car bomb left in Times Square have videotape of a possible suspect shedding clothing in an alley and putting it in a bag. The surveillance video shows a white man in his 40s taking off one shirt, revealing another underneath. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 2, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that an attacker wearing an Iraqi army uniform shot dead two U.S. soldiers outside the volatile northern city of Mosul, Iraq; provided an update of key facts, figures, and statistics on Iraq since the war began in March 2003; and reported the latest security incidents in Iraq.