• twomp

    by Published on 05-27-2015 01:20 PM

    Rand Paul rejected criticism that his 10-hour filibuster against the government’s bulk data collection programs was a fundraising ploy on Tuesday, casting it as “an unfair characterization” while calling on Barack Obama and Paul’s fellow Republicans to push for further clampdowns on the legal justification for the NSA’s dragnet surveillance.

    Last week, Paul conducted a marathon speech in an attempt to halt the US government’s mass surveillance of Americans’ phone records and to derail an extension of the Patriot Act. His talkathon led to a legislative impasse on the USA Freedom Act, as the Obama administration effectively ended its bulk dragnet.

    Embarking on a week-long book tour in between Senate sessions, the Republican presidential contender said on Tuesday he still thinks the Senate can “win that vote” on bulk collection.
    read the rest here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...rm-republicans
    by Published on 05-27-2015 10:05 AM

    WASHINGTON — – President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged the Senate to renew National Security Agency surveillance powers before they expire at midnight Sunday, as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul vowed to keep working to block the Patriot Act and the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

    “This needs to get done,” Obama told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday.

    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, asked what Obama was doing to round up votes, suggested, without naming him, that Paul needs to put the country first as he runs for the Republican nomination for president.

    "Right now, I think what we're seeing is a difference of opinion on the Republican side of the aisle," Earnest said. "At some point, the political ambitions of individual members of the United States Senate are going to have to come second to the national security of the United States."

    Obama called on the Senate to approve a House-passed bill that would change the phone record collection program while renewing less controversial Patriot Act provisions that also expire at the end of the month. The Senate rejected the House bill by three votes last weekend and is on a break until Sunday, just hours before the spying powers are scheduled to expire.

    Obama said reauthorizing the surveillance efforts is “necessary to keep the American people safe and secure.”

    “I strongly urge the Senate to work through this recess and make sure that they identify a way to get this done,” Obama said.
    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/05/2...#storylink=cpy
    by Published on 05-26-2015 09:40 AM

    At an 18th-century mansion in England’s countryside last week, current and former spy chiefs from seven countries faced off with representatives from tech giants Apple and Google to discuss government surveillance in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s leaks.

    The three-day conference, which took place behind closed doors and under strict rules about confidentiality, was aimed at debating the line between privacy and security.

    Among an extraordinary list of attendees were a host of current or former heads from spy agencies such as the CIA and British electronic surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. Other current or former top spooks from Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Sweden were also in attendance. Google, Apple, and telecommunications company Vodafone sent some of their senior policy and legal staff to the discussions. And a handful of academics and journalists were also present.
    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2...-surveillance/
    by Published on 05-22-2015 05:20 PM

    Israeli media are quoting officials familiar with the situation as saying there are quiet talks going on between the Obama Administration and Israel’s new far-right government on a “massive compensation” boost in military aid for Israel’s acquiescence on the civilian nuclear deal with Iran.

    The deal is expected to be spun in the US and Israel as a huge boost in military aid to keep Israel’s “competitive advantage” over Saudi Arabia after that nation buys new US weapons, though Israel of course isn’t on particularly bad terms with the Saudis to begin with.

    In return, Israel would be allowed to keep publicly complaining about the Iran deal, but would privately tone down their efforts to undermine the deal.

    That’s potentially huge, with the US Congress
    ...
    by Published on 05-12-2015 08:00 AM

    Ever since the overthrow of Egypt’s elected president, the U.S. administration has tried to avoid the word “coup.” Hard to do that now, but it’s still trying.
    Pity the poor dictators! What’s a dedicated bunch of military plotters to do when they learn the elected leader they overthrew may have to go free because they put him in the wrong kind of jail?

    If you’re among the conspirators who ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, it seems you initiate a flurry of meetings and phone calls and soon reach a solution that relies on forgery and, to make sure a replacement jail looks authentic, construction of a “torture area” inside it.

    “Forgery, we do all the time,” brags one member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. “We are very good at it.” He might have said the same about torture.

    What neither he nor his colleagues realized, however, is that their words were secretly recorded, and eventually tapes of these alleged conversations would be released to the outside world.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...for-obama.html
    by Published on 04-30-2015 10:10 AM
    Article Preview

    OMG ISIS is everywhere! We have to go fight them everywhere or else the world is doomed!
    -------
    The war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria isn’t exactly making headway, indeed it seems destined to be the latest open-ended military boondoggle in a long line for the US in that region.

    Still, that doesn’t mean the mess can’t get even bigger, and that’s exactly what’s likely to happen, according to officials familiar with the situation who say that the US is likely to agree to expand the ISIS war to include its assorted affiliates across the planet.

    Certain nations within the US coalition, primarily Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are demanding the war be expanded to other countries with ISIS presences as well, and US officials say that keeping those nations satisfied ...
    by Published on 04-27-2015 12:20 PM

    In 2005, amid reports that the London subway bombers had used cellphones as detonators, the White House secretly established the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 303, which granted the government the ability to unilaterally shut down all cellphone service in an area of its choosing when it feels it needs to.

    The details of the procedure are still not public, and a series of lawsuits aiming to at the very least get the basics of how the law even theoretically works have faced massive official opposition, with the White House and DHS desperate to avoid any oversight.

    The power has become increasingly controversial in recent years, as cellphone communication has increasingly replaced landline phones, and would be more essential than ever during “emergencies,” the
    ...
    by Published on 03-18-2015 08:20 AM

    Osmakac was 25 years old on January 7, 2012, when he filmed what the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice would later call a “martyrdom video.” He was also broke and struggling with mental illness.

    After recording this video in a rundown Days Inn in Tampa, Florida, Osmakac prepared to deliver what he thought was a car bomb to a popular Irish bar. According to the government, Osmakac was a dangerous, lone-wolf terrorist who would have bombed the Tampa bar, then headed to a local casino where he would have taken hostages, before finally detonating his suicide vest once police arrived.

    But if Osmakac was a terrorist, he was only one in his troubled mind and in the minds of ambitious federal agents. The government could not provide any evidence that he had connections
    ...
    by Published on 03-12-2015 11:15 AM

    CIA, Mossad helping ISIS? NO WAY!

    TEHRAN – Iraqi Special Forces said they have arrested several ISIL’s foreign military advisors, including American, Israeli and Arab nationals in an operation in Mosul in the Northern parts of the country.

    The Iraqi forces said they have retrieved four foreign passports, including those that belonged to American and Israeli nationals and one that belonged to the national of a Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member-state, from ISIL’s military advisors.

    The foreign advisors were arrested in a military operation in Tal Abta desert near Mosul city.

    Last year, a senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Mossad of training ISIL terrorists operating in Iraq and Syria.
    ...
    by Published on 02-19-2015 09:45 AM

    I'm sure this will work out well. How long before they call out U.S. Air Strikes to settle personal rivalries? Oh let me guess, I'm sure the "moderate rebels" have too much integrity to do that....

    Pickup Trucks With GPS Systems Will Be Able to Call in Strikes

    While the US plans to create a massive new “moderate rebel force” to fight against both ISIS and the Syrian government have been in place for awhile, the level to which they’ll go to prop up those rebels seems to be growing dramatically.

    The latest half-baked scheme, reported by the Wall Street Journal, is to give this yet-to-be-created rebel faction the ability to directly call in US airstrikes against targets of their choosing.

    The US intends to provide every cell
    ...
    by Published on 02-02-2015 05:45 PM

    What’s happening in Libya today is a crime: murder, rape, looting, chaos, a war of all against all. The perpetrator, the one key person who made all this possible, is a well known personage in American politics, a former Secretary of State and the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    What Hillary Clinton did to Libya is a crime on a scale rivaled only by the crimes of the Bush administration in Iraq – and there is a definite parallel in the methodology of the criminals.

    Libya has been pretty much off the public’s radar screen ever since the US intervention that led to Muammar Qaddafi’s downfall – and the ugly aftermath in which the US ambassador was murdered by the very people Washington was intent on "liberating." Now the aftermath
    ...
    by Published on 01-07-2015 12:35 PM

    Buying the government, its the thing to do if you are a billionaire.

    Less than two years before Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s tickets and travel to NFL games, government documents show Christie personally pushed the Port Authority to approve a lucrative contract for a firm part-owned by Jones. Christie nonetheless accepted the gifts from Jones, despite New Jersey ethics rules barring gifts to public officials from persons or entities that those officials “deal with, contact, or regulate in the course of official business.”

    On March 19, 2013, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a press release announcing their selection of Legends Hospitality LLC to operate the observation deck on the top floor of One World
    ...
    by Published on 01-03-2015 05:59 AM

    Let's make more enemies over a company (Sony) that is another country (Japan). I guess Obama just felt like doing it.

    HONOLULU (AP) — The United States imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea on Friday, targeting top state officials and defense-related organizations in an attempt to punish North Korea for a crippling cyberattack against Sony. The sanctions marked the first public act of retribution by the U.S.

    Although it was unclear how punishing the blow would be — North Korea already is under tough U.S. sanctions — the move signaled that that the U.S. was not backing away from its insistence that North Korea is responsible for the attack against Sony. North Korea has denied involvement, and some cybersecurity experts say it's possible Pyongyang wasn't to blame.
    ...
    by Published on 01-01-2015 12:45 PM

    US Special Envoy Russ Feingold today demanded that the United Nations and African nations launch a war against Rwandan Hutu rebels in eastern Congo, insisting that any delay of the war would lead to human rights abuses.

    The group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (DFLR), is facing a demand to unconditionally surrender by January 2. Feingold says that on that day, military action needs to be launched without delay.

    The DFLR says it intends to comply with the demands, and notes it has moved a number of fighters and their families into the “disarmament camps,” but that the sheer number of people to move meant they couldn’t meet the deadline.

    Feingold insisted granting them more time to surrender was unacceptable, and that “a purely
    ...
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