Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.

Bessent: Barack Obama needs to get the NSA under control

President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care

(Credit: Getty Images)

Buffeted by diplomatic blowback, President Barack Obama now says he may order America’s spies to stop tapping the phones of our allies' leaders.

Sen. Diane Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Monday that’s what White House officials told her. But as usual with espionage, there’s enough wiggle room in that declaration for a Miley Cyrus twerk-fest.

The administration...

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Bessent: In the surveillance game, are U.S. allies collaborators?

The controversy over the United States' surveillance of phone calls has gotten personal for some of the world's heads of state.

The leaders of Germany, Mexico, Brazil and France yowled in protest recently when they discovered U.S. intelligence operatives may have swept up their call data. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called President Barack Obama directly and angrily demanded to know if...

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Uberti: Area 51 mythology will live on, despite official acknowledgment

A car moves along the Extraterrestrial Highway near

(Credit: AP )

Too bad a declassified CIA report acknowledging the existence of Area 51 doesn’t explain anything about extraterrestrials, time travel, or just how Will Smith learned to pilot an alien space craft quickly enough to save the world in “Independence Day.”

But the United States’ most famous base does exist, according to documents obtained by George Washington University's National Security Archive....

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Dolman: Truths large and small in the death of Trayvon Martin

Demonstrators attend a protest march in Times Square

(Credit: Charles Eckert)

In Times Square late Sunday night, hundreds of protesters gathered to vent angrily about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the pistol-packing neighborhood watch volunteer who shot an unarmed black teenager named Trayvon Martin last year in a scuffle whose details are murky to this day.

While gut-wrenchingly furious, most of the protesters I saw interviewed managed to maintain their poise....

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Uberti: Online security issues more critical as Internet grows

More and more of everyday life is moving

(Credit: AP, 2008)

The Internet is growing up fast.

More and more of everyday life is moving online, from 140-character reactions to last night’s Mets game to baby pictures posted on Facebook. U.S. retailers expect about a quarter-trillion dollars of Internet sales this year. Governments, meanwhile, are training cohorts of cyberwarriors to carry out attacks on foreign computers while protecting those at home.


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Bessent: Barack Obama's speech on national security is welcome and overdue

President Barack Obama reacts to a woman yelling

(Credit: AP)

The case for a fundamental shift in the nation’s approach to combating terrorists that President Barack Obama laid out Thursday — including a call for Congress to refine or even repeal the 2001 authorization for the use of military force — was both welcome and overdue.

The nation is still threatened by terrorists. Boston and Benghazi made that painfully clear. But the existence of a few individuals...

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Bessent: We can only hope Kim Jong Un isn't serious about nuclear war

In this photo released by the Korean Central

(Credit: AP)

Crazed or calculating? That's what the world needs to know about North Korea's young Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

The answer has been impossible to fathom so far. But the cloistered nation has nuclear weapons and long-range missiles and Kim's reckless saber-rattling has been incessant since he succeeded his father Kim Jong Il on Dec. 28, 2011. So hopefully the answer is calculating. 


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