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Disregarding the Constitution

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U.S. appeals court asked to halt NSA phone spying program

Originally published at by Joseph Ax on 9/2/15

A U.S. appeals court appeared reluctant on Wednesday to put an immediate halt to the federal government’s collection of millions of Americans’ phone records, with the controversial spy program set to expire in November.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York previously found the program illegal in May, ruling that the Patriot Act did not authorize the National Security Agency to install such sweeping surveillance.…

Ex-CIA boss admits to BBC Panorama that it tortured

Originally published at BBC News by Hilary Andersson on 8/3/15

The agency’s position has always been that the “enhanced interrogation” techniques it used under George W Bush, did not amount to torture, because they were legally approved by the White House at the time.

President Obama closed the CIA’s programme down when he came to power in 2009.

Torture is illegal under American law, but President Obama has been reluctant to prosecute high level officials.

The CIA tortured terror suspects in its programme of “enhanced interrogation”, the agency’s former executive director, Buzzy Krongard, has admitted to the BBC’s Panorama programme.

The Raping of America: Mile Markers on the Road to Fascism

Originally published at The Rutherford Institute by John Whitehead on 8/24/15

There’s an ill will blowing across the country. The economy is tanking. The people are directionless, and politics provides no answer. And like former regimes, the militarized police have stepped up to provide a façade of law and order manifested by an overt violence against the citizenry.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

Outside Psychologists Shielded US Torture Program, Report Finds

Originally published at The NYTimes by James Risen on 7/10/15

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a new report.

The 542-page report, which examines the involvement of the nation’s psychologists and their largest professional organization, the American Psychological Association, with the harsh interrogation programs of the Bush era, raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A.

AP Exclusive: FBI behind mysterious fleet of aircraft conducting surveillance over US cities

Originally published at the AP: The Big Story by Jack Gillum, Eileen Sullivan and Eric Tucker on 6/2/15

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country using video and sometimes cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI says the flights are used for specific investigations.…

Immigrants’ Lawsuit Over Post-9/11 Detention Is Revived

Originally published at the NYTimes by Adam Liptak on 6/17/15

WASHINGTON — Saying that high-ranking Bush administration officials may have taken part in grave constitutional violations after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court in New York on Wednesday revived a long-running lawsuit brought by immigrants, most of them Muslim, who said they were subjected to beatings, humiliating searches and other abuses in a Brooklyn detention center.

“The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy,” Judges Rosemary S.…

Judges in Seattle Heard the NSA Surveillance Case That Could Go to the Supreme Court

Originally published at The Stranger by Brendan Kiley on 12/12/14

Earlier this week, a real estate attorney from Coeur d’Alene stood up in front of a three-judge panel in Seattle’s Ninth Circuit courthouse to argue Smith vs. Obama—a case challenging NSA surveillance that began back in Idaho, and could be the one that ends up before the US Supreme Court.

It was the first time the attorney, Peter Smith, had appeared before the Ninth Circuit—as another lawyer once said to me, “the Ninth Circuit ain’t beanbag”—or done anything like it.…

Senate report on CIA torture claims spy agency lied about ‘ineffective’ program

Originally published at The Guardian by Spencer Ackerman and Dominic Rushe in New York, and Julian Borger in London on 12/9/14

The full extent of the CIA’s interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in a milestone report by the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday that concluded the agency’s use of torture was brutal and ineffective – and that the CIA repeatedly lied about its usefulness.…

Warrantless Wiretapping Program

Originally published at EPIC  on 9/8/14

EPIC (Finally) Obtains Memos on Warrantless Wiretapping Program: More than eight years after filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the legal justification behind the “Warrantless Wiretapping” program of President Bush, EPIC has now obtained a mostly unredacted version of two key memos (OLC54) and (OLC85) by former Justice Department official Jack Goldsmith. EPIC requested these memos just four hours after the New York Times broke the story about the program in December 2005.…

NSA Whistleblower William Binney Supports 9/11 Truth

Originally published at The Corbett Report by James Corbett on 9/10/14

William Binney was a 30 year veteran official of the National Security Agency who resigned in October 2001 to blow the whistle on the NSA’s deliberate violation of the constitution. Now, 13 years after the events of 9/11 that helped the NSA justify its total surveillance dragnet, Binney has signed the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s petition calling for a new investigation into 9/11.…

FBI calls half of populace with 9/11 doubts potential terrorists

Posted Sep 19, 2013 by Ralph Lopez

Photo of FBI Special Agent

A special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) New York Field Office Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team standing on the rooftop of a skyscraper in Downtown Manhattan

The FBI is instructing local police departments and “communities against terrorism” to consider anyone who harbors “conspiracy theories” about 9/11 to be a potential terrorist, in a circular released to local police departments.

The memo thus adds 9/11-official-story skeptics to a growing list of targets described by federal law enforcement to be security threats, such as those who express “libertarian philosophies,” “Second Amendment-oriented views,” interest in “self-sufficiency,” “fears of Big Brother or big government,” and “Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties.”

A newly released national poll shows that 48 percent of Americans either have some doubts about the official account of 9/11, or do not believe it at all.…

FISA Surveillance Applications Rose Slightly in 2012

“During calendar year 2012, the Government made 1,856 applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for authority to conduct electronic surveillance and/or physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”

That somewhat opaque statistic was disclosed in the Justice Department’s latest annual report to Congress on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, filed on Tuesday. As is usually the case, none of the requests for electronic surveillance were denied by the Court.

No matter how it is sliced and diced, the newly disclosed number of applications does not yield much substance.…

EFF Challenges National Security Letter Statute in Landmark Lawsuit

July 17, 2012
By Matt Zimmerman
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Since the first national security letter statute was passed in 1986, the FBI has issued hundreds of thousands of such letters seeking private telecommunications and financial records of Americans without any prior approval from courts. Indeed, for the period between 2003 and 2006 alone, almost 200,000 requests for private customer information were sought pursuant to various NSL statutes. Prior to 2011, the constitutionality of this legal authority to investigate the records of Americans without court oversight had been challenged in court — as far as we know — exactly one time.…

Obama Seizes Control of All Communications Systems With Executive Order

by Susanne Posel

President Obama has usurped all available forms of communication for use and discretion of the US government. Under an Executive Order (June 6, 2012) entitled Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness  Communications Functions, Obama has enabled the executive branch to control communications  “under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies, and improve national resilience.” (For full text of the Executive Order, seen Annex below).

Radio and wired communications systems “of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications policies, programs, and capabilities.”

Cellular phone corporations like Sprint owned Boost Mobile have released messages to their customers concerning the US government’s allocation of their phone communications at the whim of the President.…

FBI Attempts to Hold Sibel Edmonds’ Book Hostage

Agency Used Contracts to Censor Whistleblowers

April 10, 2012

Washington, D.C. April 10, 2012 — Today, the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) revealed that the FBI required employees to sign employment contracts that are illegal under Federal law. The NWC launched the investigation in response to a nearly year long campaign by the FBI to prevent the publication of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ new book, Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story.

On April 26, 2011, Ms.…

Washington’s High-powered Terrorist Supporters

By Glenn Greenwald

We now have an extraordinary situation that reveals the impunity with which political elites commit the most egregious crimes, as well as the special privileges to which they explicitly believe they — and they alone — are entitled. That a large bipartisan cast of Washington officials got caught being paid substantial sums of money by an Iranian dissident group that is legally designated by the U.S. Government as a Terrorist organization, and then meeting with and advocating on behalf of that Terrorist group, is very significant for several reasons.…

New Counterterrorism Guidelines Gives Authorities Vast Access to Private Info of Innocent Americans

By Trevor Timm
Electronic Frontier Foundation

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signed expansive new guidelines for terrorism analysts, allowing the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) to mirror entire federal databases containing personal information and hold onto the information for an extended period of time–even if the person is not suspected of any involvement in terrorism. (Read the guidelines here).

Despite the “terrorism” justification, the new rules affect every single American. The agency now has free rein to, as the New York Times’ Charlie Savage put it, “retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats ” and expands the amount of time the government can keep private information on innocent individuals by a factor of ten.…

Goodbye, First Amendment: ‘Trespass Bill’ will make protest illegal

February 29, 2012

Just when you thought the government couldn’t ruin the First Amendment any further: The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books.…

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