As of March 2010, Google is no longer supporting FTP publishing of it's Blogger blogs. Therefore I will be consolidating all of my blogs into a single front page format that I will be experimenting with and changing from time to time until I find something I like.
US Supreme Court Orders Secret Trials The justices, acting on an emergency appeal, say streaming the proceedings on YouTube could jeopardize the fairness of the trial. ... [COMMENT by Lorenzo: So let me get this straight, letting the citizens of the Empire witness a trial without a jury would jeopardize the trial? The only thing that is in jeopardy here is justice.] . . . Reporting from Washington -- The Supreme Court today blocked video coverage of the trial in San Francisco testing the constitutionality of California's Prop. 8 and its ban on same-sex marriage. ... The court acted on an emergency appeal filed Saturday by the lawyers defending Prop. 8. They said their rights to a fair trial could be jeopardized if the proceedings were put on YouTube. . . . In today's order, the justices said they were blocking for now the order of U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker "permitting broadcast of the proceedings." ... The decision bars "real-time streaming" of the trial "except as it permits streaming to other rooms within the confines of the courtroom in which the trial is to be held." . . . Only Justice Stephen G. Breyer, a San Francisco native, dissented. "The papers filed, in my view, do not show a likelihood of irreparable harm."
"Proponents of the ban said the exposure could be harmful to those testifying in favor of the proposition." ... [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Translation of the preceding sentence: The homophobic bigots who supported Prop 8 are fearful of being exposed for being the mean-spirited, ignorant, anti-human cult followers that their actions show them to be.]
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Spying Abuses 'Systemic' In Recent Months -- Which Is Exactly What the 2008 FISA Law Was Designed to Do (Glenn Greenwald, April 16, 2009, Salon) The article reports that the spying abuses are "significant and systemic"; involve improper interception of "significant amounts" of the emails and telephone calls of Americans, including purely domestic communications; and that, under Bush (prior to the new FISA law), the NSA tried to eavesdrop with no warrants on a member of Congress traveling to the Middle East. The sources for the article report that "the problems had grown out of changes enacted by Congress last July in the law that regulates the government's wiretapping powers." . . . These widespread eavesdropping abuses enabled by the 2008 FISA bill -- a bill passed with the support of Barack Obama along with the entire top Democratic leadership in the House, including Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, and substantial numbers of Democratic Senators -- aren't a bug in that bill, but rather, were one of the central features of it. Everyone knew that the FISA bill which Congressional Democrats passed -- and which George Bush and Dick Cheney celebrated -- would enable these surveillance abuses. That was the purpose of the law: to gut the safeguards in place since the 1978 passage of FISA, destroy the crux of the oversight regime over executive surveillance of Americans, and enable and empower unchecked government spying activities. This was not an unintended and unforeseeable consequence of that bill. To the contrary, it was crystal clear that by gutting FISA's safeguards, the Democratic Congress was making these abuses inevitable. . . . Sen. Russ Feingold condemned the bill on the ground that it "fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home" because "the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power." Rep. Rush Holt -- who was actually denied time to speak by bill-supporter Silvestre Reyes only to be given time by bill-opponent John Conyers -- condemned the bill because it vests the power to decide who are the "bad guys" in the very people who do the spying. . . . Abolishing eavesdropping safeguards was the central purpose of the FISA bill. It was why Dick Cheney and Michael McConnell were demanding its passage. . . . Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin at the time wrote: Most Americans don't realize that the FISA compromise comes in two parts. The first part greatly alters FISA by expanding the executive's ability to wiretap and engage in much broader searches of communications than were permissible under the law before. It essentially gives congressional blessing to some but not all of what the executive was doing under President Bush. President Obama will like having Congress authorize these new powers. He'll like it just fine. People aren't paying as much attention to this part of the bill. But they should, because it will define the law of surveillance going forward. It is where your civil liberties will be defined for the next decade. . . . hordes of trusting Obama supporters immediately seized on that blatantly false assertion ("the bill Obama supports strengthens oversight!") and began reciting it in defense of their candidate. Now, a mere nine months later, The New York Times reports that the bill enabled and caused massive abuses of the NSA's eavesdropping powers. Imagine that: if you gut even the minimal oversight provisions designed to check presidential eavesdropping abuses, abuses will not (as Democrats and Obama surrogates claimed) decrease, but will actually increase substantially. . . . Note the wall of extreme secrecy behind which our Government operates. According to the article, various officials learned of the NSA abuses and then secretly told some members of Congress about them, and those individuals have been secretly discussing what should be done. The idea that the Government or Congress should inform the public about the massive surveillance abuses doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone other than the whistleblowers who leaked what they knew to The New York Times. . . . Since being elected President, Barack Obama has done everything in his power to block judicial proceedings that would examine allegations that the NSA has been abusing its eavesdropping powers and illegally intercepting the telephone and email communications of Americans. Put another way, Obama -- using radical claims of presidential powers of secrecy -- has been preventing disclosure of the very abuses disclosed by this article and preventing legal scrutiny, all by claiming that even George Bush's illegal NSA spying programs are "state secrets" that courts must not adjudicate. That's what the "state secrets" controversy is about -- Obama demanding that courts be barred from examining or ruling on any of these abuses and imposing consequences, based on his claim that these activities are so secret that they must never see the light of day. . . . Obama officials claimed [Does anybody still believe him?] in response that the abuses are being corrected and that eavesdropping activities are now in compliance with the safeguards of the law. The problem, however, is that "the law" -- thanks to the Democratic Congress -- now has exceedingly few safeguards in it. It allows massive domestic spying without meaningful oversight, and renders these eavesdropping abuses inevitable. That was true in June, 2008 when the FISA-gutting law was passed, and it is just as true now.
Rockefeller: Internet is "Number One National Hazard" (Kurt Nimmo, Infowars, March 23, 2009) According to the great-grandson John D. Rockefeller, nephew of banker David Rockefeller, and former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller the internet represents a serious threat to national security. Rockefeller is not alone in this assessment. His belief that the internet is the "number one national hazard" to national security is shared by the former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Obama’s current director Admiral Dennis C. Blair. . . . Jay Rockefeller’s comments reveal an astounding degree of ignorance – or if not ignorance, outright propaganda. Since the September 11, 2001, attacks the government has cranked up the fear quotient in regard to cyber attacks and so-called cyber terrorism, a virtually non-existent threat except in the minds security experts and politicians. In the years since the attacks, not one real instance of real cyberterrorism has been recorded. . . . "Cyberattacks on critical components of the national infrastructure are not uncommon, but they have not been conducted by terrorists and have not sought to inflict the kind of damage that would qualify as cyberterrorism," writes Gabriel Weimann, author of Terror on the Internet. "Nuclear weapons and other sensitive military systems, as well as the computer systems of the CIA and FBI, are 'air-gapped,' making them inaccessible to outside hackers. Systems in the private sector tend to be less well protected, but they are far from defenseless, and nightmarish tales of their vulnerability tend to be largely apocryphal." . . . So-called cyber terrorists are far less of a threat than government. China and Australia have recently imposed draconian censorship on internet freedom. Brazil, Denmark, Canada, Finland, Ireland , Italy, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries also impose nominal censorship on internet freedom. Urgent calls to restrict the medium in various ways through legislation and government action have increased over the last few years (for more detail, see Internet Censorship: A Comparative Study). . . . As Alex Jones explained last June, large corporate ISPs are now in the process of imposing bandwidth caps and routing traffic over their networks and blocking certain targeted websites. For instance, in 2005 AOL Time-Warner was caught blocking access to all of Jones’ flagship websites across the entire United States. Other instances of outright censorship include the UK ISP Tiscali blocking subscribers from reaching material on the 7/7 London bombings and Google’s continued and habitual censorship of 9/11 material and Alex Jones’ films on the ever-popular YouTube. There are many other instances as well. (See Censoring the Internet: A Collection of Essential Links on Infowars.) . . . Jay Rockefeller’s warning about virtually non-existent and largely absurd cyberterrorism reveals increasing government nervousness and apprehension about the medium as a whole, especially as the internet grows by leaps and bounds as an alternative news and activism medium. On numerous occasions over the last few years alternative websites have posted articles exposing government crime, articles the corporate media has largely ignored. During the Bush years, the internet served as a vital resource for information on everything from torture and the destruction of civil liberties to the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, information the corporate media was often unable or unwilling to carry. . . . It appears the Obama administration is attempting to micromanage this effort. Last week CNet "obtained a summary of a proposal from Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would create an Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, part of the Executive Office of the President. That office would receive the power to disconnect, if it believes they’re at risk of a cyberattack, 'critical' computer networks from the Internet." As well, the effort would put the White House National Cybersecurity Advisor in charge of coordinating cyber efforts within the intelligence community and within civilian agencies. . . . Read more!
Pentagon Planning for Widespread Civil Violence in U.S. (Mike Sunnucks, Phoenix Business Journal, December 17, 2008) A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks. . . . "Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security," said the War College report. . . . The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S. . . . International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned Wednesday of economy-related riots and unrest in various global markets if the financial crisis is not addressed and lower-income households are hurt by credit constraints and rising unemployment. . . . U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law, the two noted. . . . State and local police in Arizona say they have broad plans to deal with social unrest, including trouble resulting from economic distress. . . . Nick Dranias, director of constitutional government at the libertarian Goldwater Institute, said a declaration of marital law would be an extraordinary event and give military control over civilian authorities and institutions. Dranias said the Posse Comitatus Act restricts the U.S. military's role in domestic law enforcement. But he points to a 1994 U.S. Defense Department Directive (DODD 3025) he says allows military commanders to take emergency actions in domestic situations to save lives, prevent suffering or mitigate great property damage. . . . Dranias said such an emergency declaration could worsen the economic situation and doubts extreme measures will been taken. "I don't think it's likely. But it's not impossible," he said. . . . The economy is in recession. Consumer spending is down, foreclosures are up and a host of businesses are laying off workers and struggling with tight credit and the troubled housing and financial markets. The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and U.S. Treasury Department have pumped more than $8.5 trillion into the economy via equity purchases of bank stocks, liquidity infusions, Wall Street and bank bailouts and taxpayer rebates. U.S. automakers are seeking more than $14 billion in federal loans with fears they could fall into bankruptcy without a bailout. The U.S. housing and subprime lending-induced recession also has hit economies in Europe, Japan and China. . . . Read more!
Mormons and Catholics Show Bigotry in their Voting (Karl Vick and Ashley Surdin, The Washington Post, 11-7-08) Any notion that Tuesday's election represented a liberal juggernaut must overcome a detail from the voting booths of California: The same voters who turned out strongest for Barack Obama also drove a stake through the heart of same-sex marriage. . . . Seven in 10 African Americans who went to the polls voted yes on Proposition 8, the ballot measure overruling a state Supreme Court judgment that legalized same-sex marriage and brought 18,000 gay and lesbian couples to Golden State courthouses in the past six months. . . . The outcome that placed two pillars of the Democratic coalition - minorities and gays - at opposite ends of an emotional issue sparked street protests in Los Angeles and a candlelight vigil in San Francisco. To gay rights advocates, the issue was one of civil rights. Attorney General Edmund "Jerry" Brown reworded the ballot language to state that a yes vote was a vote to "eliminate the rights of same-sex couples to marry." . . . "I think it's mainly because of the way we were brought up in the church; we don't agree with it," said Jasmine Jones, 25, who is black. "I'm not really the type that I wanted to stop people's rights. But I still have my beliefs, and if I can vote my beliefs that's what I'm going to do. . . . "God doesn't approve it, so I don't approve it. And I approve of Him." The overwhelming rejection of same-sex marriage by black voters was surprising and disappointing to gay rights advocates who had hoped that African Americans would empathize with their struggle. . . . Proposition 8 promoters worked closely with black churches across the state, encouraging ministers to deliver sermons in favor of the ban. . . . "What the church does is give that perspective that this is a sacred issue as well as a social issue," said Derek McCoy, African American outreach director for the Protect Marriage Campaign. "The reason I feel they came out so strong on the issue is one, for them, it's not a civil rights issue, it's a marriage issue. It's about marriage being between a man and a woman and it doesn't cut into the civil rights issue, about equality. [COMMENT by Lorenzo: What a load of crap that is.] . . . But Kesha Young, 32, called religious arguments a cover for persistent prejudices rooted elsewhere. Taboos against homosexuality are exceptionally strong in Africa, McCoy acknowledged. . . . "I'm going to tell you something about the black race: We love to pass judgment. I think that's just a smoke screen about the church thing," said Young, a licensed vocational nurse. . . . Anthony Maurice-White, 31, who is gay, said he learned early in life to keep his sexual orientation to himself around fellow blacks as a matter of routine. "Closed minds," he said in the mall parking lot. "And they're afraid of change." . . . Television commercials supporting the ban skirted the issue of rights, and instead declared that schools would treat same-sex marriage as normal. Even opponents acknowledged the ads as powerful and positioned to influence minority voters, whose children account for a disproportionate share of the public school population. . . . Pablo Correa said his mind was made up by a TV spot in which a young girl comes home from school and tells her mother she learned how a prince could marry a prince. . . . "Before, I didn't know about Proposition 8. When I saw the commercial, it opened my mind," said Correa, 42, standing in his beauty supply story in Boyle Heights, in heavily Latino East Los Angeles.
[COMMENT by Lorenzo: After all these years of supporting black rights, it is very disappointing to discover that the black community is so prejudiced and not supportive of the rights of other minorities. SHAME ON YOU BIGOTS!] . . . Read more!
Militarizing the "Homeland" in Response to the Economic and Political Crisis (Tom Burghardt, Global Research, October 11, 2008) Based on a document (AR 500-3) published by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, it described "all hazards COOP planning" as the mechanism by which "the Army remains capable of continuing mission-essential operations during any situation, including military attack, terrorist activities, and natural or man-made disasters." . . . The Wikileaks document is all the more relevant since a September report in Army Times described how the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) would be deployed October 1 "under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North," the "service component" of NORTHCOM. . . . Since that article appeared September 8, Army Times has done a partial climb-down and now claims that the "non-lethal crowd control package" described earlier for operations in the heimat, "is intended for use on deployments to the war zone, not in the U.S., as previously stated." . . . But this mendacious claim by Army Times is belied by current political trends in the U.S. Under cover of the "war on terror," driftnet surveillance and moves toward suppressing dissent, most recently on display when protests during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions were criminalized and organizers were charged with "domestic terrorism" under the Patriot Act, are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. . . . the top secret Main Core database linked to Continuity of Government contingency planning, "includes dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protesters, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people." . . . Reporting in July for Salon, investigative journalist Tim Shorrock was told by a source that Main Core is "'an emergency internal security database system' designed for use by the military in the event of a national catastrophe, a suspension of the Constitution or the imposition of martial law. . . . As I pointed out in my October 6 article, current Army doctrine is heavily-weighted towards contingency planning for "civil disturbances." While these programs are not new and in fact, plans such as Garden Plot and Cable Splicer have been integral to military doctrine since the late 1960s, what is new--and highly disturbing--is the launch of NORTHCOM's Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS). . . . In other words, although civilian agencies are the nominal PFA's during a "disaster or emergency situation," JTF-CS "operates within a clear Department of Defense chain of command" that begins and ends with the Executive Branch, that is, the President in his role as the leader of the "unitary executive branch" and Commander-in-Chief. Were a "national emergency" of any kind declared by the President, rules governing Continuity of Government operations would place civilian agencies, including "State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure," under the effective control of the military. . . . Would, let's say, the eruption of mass protests as a result of a stolen presidential election or mass actions as a legitimate and exemplary civilian response to limiting bank withdrawals, a freeze on Social Security payments, a prohibition on strikes or the declaration of a "national security emergency" as a result of prerevolutionary challenges to the legitimacy of federal authority (as took place in Argentina in 2000 during that nation's economic meltdown) trigger MACDIS and other Continuity of Government operations? . . . DoD 3025.12 states, "Under reference (r), the terms "major disaster" and "emergency" are defined substantially by action of the President in declaring that extant circumstances and risks justify Presidential implementation of the legal powers in those statutes." In other words, "extant circumstances" are "defined substantially" by the President. Once triggered by Executive Order, the scope of operations undertaken by the military acting as the enforcement arm of the "unitary executive branch" are virtually unlimited. . . . Under these rules, martial law, suspension of habeas corpus, indefinite detention would render lawful rules guiding a constitutional republic moot; mere footnotes written on the "blank page" of America's "new normal," what Naomi Klein has termed "disaster capitalism." . . . Despite the repeal of the "Insurrection Act Rider" to the 2007 Defense Appropriations bill that gave the President sweeping emergency power to deploy the military for any "condition" he might cite, not merely a terrorist atrocity or CBRNE "event," the Bush "signing statement" reported by Amy Goodman above, effectively nullified Congress' intent not to give the president carte blanche to station U.S. troops on American streets. . . . Read more!
Terrorism charges lodged against protesters at GOP convention Prosecutors in Ramsey County, Minn., have formally charged eight alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee -- one of the groups organizing protests at the GOP convention in St. Paul -- with terrorism-related charges, The Times' P.J. Huffstutter reports. . . . Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge, which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty they could face. . . . It appears to be the first time criminal charges have been filed under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal Patriot Act. . . . The RNC Welcoming Committee is a self-described anarchist group that has worked for months planning disruptions at the convention. Police blamed the group for sparking violence during Monday's antiwar protest in St. Paul. Although most of the estimated 10,000 people at the march were peaceful, police say a splinter group of about 200 people harassed delegates, smashed windows and started at least one fire. . . . Police have arrested nearly 300 people during the confrontations this week, according to the Associated Press. Huffstutter reported on the protests for the blog Tuesday. And this morning, we told the story of journalist Amy Goodman's arrest at Monday's march. -- Kate Linthicum . . . Read more!
(Spencer S. Hsu and Carrie Johnson, Washington Post, August 16, 2008) The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years. . . . The proposed changes would revise the federal government's rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation's 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive roughly $1.6 billion each year in federal grants. . . . Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months. They include a recent executive order that guides the reorganization of federal spy agencies and a pending Justice Department overhaul of FBI procedures for gathering intelligence and investigating terrorism cases within U.S. borders. . . . Taken together, critics in Congress and elsewhere say, the moves are intended to lock in policies for Bush's successor and to enshrine controversial post-Sept. 11 approaches that some say have fed the greatest expansion of executive authority since the Watergate era. . . . Under the Justice Department proposal for state and local police, published for public comment July 31, law enforcement agencies would be allowed to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch a criminal intelligence investigation based on the suspicion that a target is engaged in terrorism or providing material support to terrorists. They also could share results with a constellation of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and others in many cases. . . . The recent moves continue a steady expansion of the intelligence role of U.S. law enforcement, breaking down a wall erected after congressional hearings in 1976 to rein in such activity. . . . The push to transform FBI and local police intelligence operations has triggered wider debate over who will be targeted, what will be done with the information collected and who will oversee such activities. . . . Critics say preemptive law enforcement in the absence of a crime can violate the Constitution and due process. They cite the administration's long-running warrantless-surveillance program, which was set up outside the courts, and the FBI's acknowledgment that it abused its intelligence-gathering privileges in hundreds of cases by using inadequately documented administrative orders to obtain telephone, e-mail, financial and other personal records of U.S. citizens without warrants. . . . Former Justice Department official Jamie S. Gorelick said the new FBI guidelines on their own do not raise alarms. But she cited the recent disclosure that undercover Maryland State Police agents spied on death penalty opponents and antiwar groups in 2005 and 2006 to emphasize that the policies would require close oversight. . . . German, an FBI agent for 16 years, said easing established limits on intelligence-gathering would lead to abuses against peaceful political dissenters. In addition to the Maryland case, he pointed to reports in the past six years that undercover New York police officers infiltrated protest groups before the 2004 Republican National Convention; that California state agents eavesdropped on peace, animal rights and labor activists; and that Denver police spied on Amnesty International and others before being discovered. . . . "If police officers no longer see themselves as engaged in protecting their communities from criminals and instead as domestic intelligence agents working on behalf of the CIA, they will be encouraged to collect more information," German said. "It turns police officers into spies on behalf of the federal government." . . . Civil liberties groups also have warned that forthcoming Justice Department rules for the FBI may permit the use of terrorist profiles that could single out religious or ethnic groups such as Muslims or Arabs for investigation.
First they came for the Communists,
- but I was not a communist so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists,
- but I was neither, so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Jews,
- but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
Lawrence Lessig, a respected Law Professor from Stanford University told an audience at this years Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Half Moon Bay, California, that "There's going to be an i-9/11 event" which will act as a catalyst for a radical reworking of the law pertaining to the Internet.
Lessig also revealed that he had learned, during a dinner with former government Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke, that there is already in existence a cyber equivalent of the Patriot Act, an "i-Patriot Act" if you will, and that the Justice Department is waiting for a cyber terrorism event in order to implement its provisions.
YOU can now be held forever without any charges ever filed against you! The Bush administration has been a waging a fierce battle for the power to lock people up indefinitely simply on the president's say-so. It scored a disturbing victory last week when a federal appeals court ruled that it could continue to detain Ali al-Marri, who has been held for more than five years as an enemy combatant. The decision gives the president sweeping power to deprive anyone - citizens as well as noncitizens - of their freedom. . . . The implications are breathtaking. The designation "enemy combatant," which should apply only to people captured on a battlefield, can now be applied to people detained inside the United States. Even though al-Marri is not a U.S. citizen, the court's reasoning appears to apply equally to citizens. . . . Equally troubling, the ruling supports President George W. Bush's ludicrous argument that when Congress authorized the use of force against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, it gave the president essentially unlimited powers. If a president ever wants to round up Americans on vague charges and detain them indefinitely, this ruling gives him a dangerous green light. . . . Al-Marri's lawyers say they will ask the Supreme Court to review the ruling. Without doubt, it should. The case raises critically important issues for a free society, and the 4th Circuit's convoluted set of opinions is too confusing to give proper guidance to other courts, the executive branch, or the people. . . . The jumble reflects how badly the administration has butchered the law in this area. People accused of bad deeds should be tried in court - not in sham proceedings. They should be put in jail - not in secret detention. If they are not proved guilty, they should be set free. It is up to the Supreme Court to restore these principles of American justice. . . . Read more!
Obama's coverup of surveillance crimes (Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, July 9, 2008) For the Government to invade our communications with no probable cause showing to a court is exactly what the Founders prohibited as clearly as the English language permitted. . . . But today, the Democratic-led Congress -- with the support of both John McCain and Barack Obama -- will cover-up those crimes. . . .
Republicans are gleefully admitting, even boasting, that this bill gives them everything Bush and Cheney wanted and more, and includes only minor changes from the Rockefeller/Cheney Senate bill passed last February (which Obama, seeking the Democratic Party nomination, made a point of opposing). . . . Rather, the insultingly false claims about this bill -- it brings the FISA court back into eavesdropping! it actually improves civil liberties! Obama will now go after the telecoms criminally! Government spying and lawbreaking isn't really that important anyway! -- are being disseminated by the Democratic Congressional leadership and, most of all, by those desperate to glorify Barack Obama and justify anything and everything he does. Many of these are the same people who spent the last five years screaming that Bush was shredding the Constitution, that spying on Americans was profoundly dangerous, that the political establishment did nothing about Bush's lawbreaking. . . . Yesterday, [Lawrence] Lessig wrote a scathing criticism of what the Obama campaign has been doing over the past several weeks: "All signs point to an Obama victory this fall. If the signs are wrong, it will be because of events last month." This is what Lessig said about the Obama campaign's attitude towards the FISA bill: Yet policy wonks inside the campaign sputter policy that Obama listens to and follows, again, apparently oblivious to how following that advice, when inconsistent with the positions taken in the past, just reinforces the other side's campaign claim that Obama is just another calculating, unprincipled politician. . . . The best evidence that they don't get this is Telco Immunity. Obama said he would filibuster a FISA bill with Telco Immunity in it. He has now signaled he won't. When you talk to people close to the campaign about this, they say stuff like: "Come on, who really cares about that issue? Does anyone think the left is going to vote for McCain rather than Obama? [COMMENT by Lorenzo: No, this won't cause me to vote for McCain. I'm just not going to vote because I'm tired of voting for the lesser evil.] This was a hard question. We tried to get it right. And anyway, the FISA compromise in the bill was a good one." . . . So the highest levels of the Obama campaign believe this bill is "a good one." Lessig adds that the perception of Obama's craven, nakedly calculating behavior as illustrated by his support for the FISA bill is by far the largest threat to his candidacy as it "completely undermine Obama's signal virtue -- that he's different" . . . Ultimately, it's the sheer glibness of the support for this corrupt and Bush-enabling bill among Obama and his supporters that is most striking.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Democratic traitors voting in favor of final passage of the FISA bill: Bayh - Carper - Casey - Conrad - Dorgan - Feinstein - Innuoye - Kohl - Landrieu - Lincoln - McCaskill - Mukulski - Nelson (Neb.) - Nelson (Fla.) - Obama - Pryor - Rockefeller - Salazar - Webb - Whitehouse. . . . Read more!
Daniel Ellsberg on FISA...Only Fascists Will Vote For It (Tim Ferriss, July 7, 2008) Tomorrow, July 8th, could mark the beginning of official condoning of warrantless surveillance of law-abiding citizens in the US, not to mention foreign nationals. I am not an alarmist and believe in qualified surveillance with process — this is different. I’ve done the homework. . . . The above [CLICK LINK] is an 18-minute interview that I just finished with Daniel Ellsberg, famous for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971. His actions are often credited with helping end not only the Nixon presidency but also the Vietnam War. . . . In the video above, I interview Ellsberg to learn what every American needs to know — and do in the next 24 hours — about the new FISA (Foreign Information and Surveillance Act) amendments. The interview, and below partial transcription, answers questions like ... I don’t have anything to hide. How does this affect me? ... What if this type of surveillance is what has prevented another 9/11 from happening? ...What are common inaccuracies about FISA reported in the media? . . . Read more!