– President Obama hosted a small gathering of Iraq war veterans for dinner at the White House last night to thank them for their service. “In a culture that celebrates fame and fortune, yours are not necessarily household names. You are something more: the patriots who served in our name. And after nearly nine years in Iraq, tonight is an opportunity to express our gratitude and to say once more, welcome home,” he said.
– Two former Senators briefed with secret information on the Saudi Arabian role in the 9/11 attacks said in sworn statements that they believed the Saudi government may have been connected to the attackers or involved in the plot.
– Two U.S. soldiers were shot dead in Afghanistan by two Afghan men, one believed to be a soldier, the latest in what has become a spate of American deaths following the burning of copies of the Quran at a NATO base last month.
– Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei issued warnings about a Western conspiracy to undermine election results in advance of parliamentary elections on Friday, the first election to be held since the presidential election of 2009 which set off widespread accusations of election fraud.
– Worries that an underground facility will immunize the Iranian nuclear program from airstrikes took a blow yesterday when top U.S. Air Force General Norton Schwartz, while declined to comment specifically on Iran, said, “We have an operational capability and you wouldn’t want to be there when we used it.”
– If Congress doesn’t act to undo January 2013 security spending cuts required by a budget deal last August, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the Pentagon would need to start planning for paring back its budget this summer.
– An Egyptian judge lifted the travel ban on American pro-democracy workers, setting bail at 2 million Egyptian pounds ($332,000) for the 16 American Employees of Freedom House and the International Republican Institute facing charges they illegally accepted foreign funds and were stoking unrest.