Mark Seibel

WikiLeaks: U.S. ambassador warned Ben Ali unpopular

No one can say the Obama administration wasn't warned that Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who fled his northern African nation Friday night, was unpopular with his people. That apparently was a regular theme of Ambassador Robert F. Godec, according to State Department cables made public last month by the website WikiLeaks. | 01/14/11 20:26:00 By - Mark Seibel

U.S. seeks Twitter info on WikiLeaks' Assange, others

A U.S. magistrate in Virginia has ordered Twitter to turn over to the Justice Department whatever information it has about five of its users, including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Army PFC Bradley Manning, the one-time Baghdad-based intelligence analyst accused of unauthorized downloading of hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents. | 01/08/11 19:41:24 By - Mark Seibel

Panel: BP well blowout revealed industry-wide problems

The errors and misjudgments that led to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig last spring weren't the result just of blunders by BP and its contractors, but reflect industry-wide problems that require new regulations and standards, a presidential commission has concluded. | 01/05/11 22:01:00 By - Mark Seibel

WikiLeaks: Swiss bank freezes Julian Assange's account

The Swiss bank PostFinance on Monday closed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's bank account in the latest international move to isolate Assange in the wake of his release of once-secret U.S. State Department cables. A bank spokesman said the account was closed because Assange was not a Swiss resident. | 12/06/10 14:21:03 By - Mark Seibel

Forget policy, some of this WikiLeaks stuff is great to read

Note to Tatiana Gfoeller, U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan: If you ever tire of the Foreign Service — or get drummed out — there may be a reporting job for you. | 12/02/10 13:13:00 By - Mark Seibel

WikiLeaks: U.S. had warm words for ex-Guantanamo detainee

A U.S. consular official in Luxembourg gave a former Guantanamo detainee warm praise earlier this year in a cable to Washington made public Monday by the website WikiLeaks. "Mr. Begg is doing our work for us," the cable said, "and his articulate reasoned presentation makes for a convincing argument." | 11/29/10 20:41:00 By - Mark Seibel

Testimony: Poor cementing at BP well symptom of wider problem

Drilling engineers and government officials are almost lackadaisical in their approach to the critical steps of closing down an offshore oil drilling rig and sealing it, two days of testimony before a presidential commission investigating last spring's explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig indicate. | 11/09/10 19:10:00 By - Mark Seibel

Appeals court blocks order to end 'don't ask, don't tell'

A panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday blocked a U.S. district judge from demanding that the military enforce her order against the Pentagon's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. | 11/01/10 19:34:09 By - Mark Seibel

Report: Halliburton knew BP well's cement likely unstable

Houston-based Halliburton knew that the cement it was using to seal BP's Deepwater Horizon oil well was unstable, but did not tell BP or act on the information internally before the well blew up April 20, the staff of the presidential commission investigating the disaster reported Thursday. The findings add to the growing body of evidence that safety procedures intended to head off such accidents were ignored or overlooked. | 10/28/10 16:45:52 By - Mark Seibel

Study slams confusion, waste in BP oil spill response

A second oil spill report released Wednesday, entitled "Decision-Making in the Unified Command," portrays the cleanup effort as confused, wasteful and often ineffective, and offers thinly veiled criticism of some of the key figures in the effort, including Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. | 10/06/10 21:02:00 By - Mark Seibel

Long saga of blown-out BP well in Gulf is coming to an end

BP announced this morning that its engineers will soon begin pumping cement into the Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico through a relief well and will have completed sealing it by Saturday. That will kill for good a deep-sea well whose explosion 150 days ago killed 11 offshore drilling rig workers and sparked an economic and environmental catastrophe whose size is still being calculated. | 09/17/10 09:20:32 By -

Weather delays recovery of BP well's blowout preventer

High seas at the site of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico will delay for at least two to three days the recovery of the well's failed blowout preventer, Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Monday. The weather also will push back the completion of a relief well that Allen has said for months is the only way to ensure that the Deepwater Horizon well is sealed permanently. | 08/30/10 13:58:56 By -

Evidence experts to oversee blowout preventer recovery

A criminal evidence recovery team from the Justice Department will be on hand Saturday as BP begins the multi-day task of disconnecting the failed blowout preventer from its Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and lifting it to the surface. | 08/27/10 19:34:36 By - Mark Seibel

Fort Hood shooting revealed multiple military security lapses

The November 2009 shootings of more than 40 people by an Army psychiatrist at Fort Hood, Texas, revealed a wide range of security lapses at U.S. military bases, including a failure to consider the possibility that a threat might come from an "insider," according to a Pentagon report released Friday. | 08/20/10 19:48:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef and Mark Seibel

BP told to preserve blowout preventer as evidence

The Obama administration on Thursday ordered BP to remove the failed blowout preventer from its Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico and preserve it as likely evidence in civil and criminal investigations. | 08/19/10 16:33:00 By - Mark Seibel

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