tagged w/ Patriot Act
NYTimes Sues The Federal Government For Refusing To Reveal Its Secret Interpretation Of The PATRIOT ActWe've been covering for a while now how Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have been very concerned over the secret interpretation the feds have of one piece of the PATRIOT Act. They've been trying to pressure the government into publicly explaining how they interpret the law, because they believe that it directly contrasts how most of the public (and many elected officials) believe the feds are interpreting the law. While the two Senators continue to put pressure on the feds and to hint at the feds' interpretation, just the fact that the government won't even explain its own interpretation of the law seems ridiculous.
Given all of this, reporter Charlie Savage of the NY Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out the federal government's interpretation of its own law... and had it refused. According to the federal government, its own interpretation of the law is classified. What sort of democracy are we living in when the government can refuse to even say how it's interpreting its own law? That's not democracy at all.
Julian Sanchez points us to the news that Savage and the NY Times have now sued the federal government for not revealing its interpretation of the PATRIOT Act, pointing out that if parts of the interpretation contain classified material, the Justice Department should black that out and reveal the rest, but simply refusing to reveal the interpretation entirely is a violation of the Freedom of Information Act. You can bet that the feds will do everything they can to get out of this lawsuit, just as they did with the various lawsuits concerning warrantless wiretapping. Here's hoping the court systems don't let them. No matter what you think of this administration (or the last one) and how it's handling the threat of terrorism, I'm curious how anyone can make the argument that the US government should not reveal how it interprets the very laws under which it's required to operate.We've been covering for a while now how Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have... more
Monday, October 3, 2011
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling that the police can search text messages from an arrested criminal suspect’s cell phone without obtaining a warrant.
The justices refused to review the California Supreme Court ruling that upheld the search on the grounds that defendants lose their privacy rights for any items they are carrying when taken into custody.
The Supreme Court rejected without comment an appeal by Gregory Diaz, who was convicted on drug charges. His attorneys said Supreme Court intervention was needed to resolve differing lower court rulings on how to apply precedent to warrantless searches of cell phone data.
Diaz in 2007 was arrested, searched and taken to a police station after driving a car in which his passenger sold six pills of the drug Ecstasy during an undercover operation. A small amount of marijuana also was found in his pocket.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department seized his cell phone and placed it with other evidence. Diaz initially denied any knowledge of the drug transaction.
During a break in the interrogation, an officer looked at the text message folder and discovered a coded message that appeared to refer to the Ecstasy sales. That was about 90 minutes after Diaz had been arrested.
The officer showed the text message to Diaz, who then admitted that he had taken part in the deal. He later pleaded guilty to transportation of a controlled substance and was sentenced to three years of probation.
Diaz appealed, challenging the search as unreasonable and for violating his constitutional rights. A California appeals court and the state Supreme Court both upheld the search as valid under a lawful arrest.
The U.S. Supreme Court already has on its docket a case about privacy rights, the police and modern technology. On November 8, it will hear arguments on whether the police need a warrant to use a global positioning system device to track a suspect’s movements.
"Another Freedom of Privacy taken away??? What do you folks think???"By Reuters Monday, October 3, 2011 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court... more
Bush made conservatism forsake conservative values. Bush’s main legacy is not the Tea Party stupidity of not knowing a whit about American history, or the stupidity of Sarah Palin’s word salad incoherence, or the stupidity of Michelle Bachmann’s anti-education crusade, or even the stupidity of Rick Perry’s proud anti-science positions – although all of that is in the mix — rather, Bush brought stupidity to our national values.
http://veracitystew.com/2011/09/27/george-w-bush-brewed-the-hideous-tea/Bush made conservatism forsake conservative values. Bush’s main legacy is not... more
The Constitution requires a search warrant issued by a judge before the government can listen to you, seize records from you, or invade your privacy. So why does the government do these things WITHOUT a search warrant? Tonight: The Constitution and your right to be left alone.
"I as many others want my Privacy back!!!"The Constitution requires a search warrant issued by a judge before the government can... more
Source: ACLU (via Twitter)
BREAKING: Court allows ACLU challenge to FISA Amendments Act warrantless wiretapping law to proceed http://bit.ly/pBJTbK More soon!
Read more: http://twitter.com/#!/ACLU/status/116540982769623040
"Interesting!!!"Source: ACLU (via Twitter) BREAKING: Court allows ACLU challenge to FISA Amendments... more
In October , press reports revealed that White House staff had been on a regimen of the powerful antibiotic Cipro since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Judicial Watch wants to know why White House workers, including President Bush, began taking the drug nearly a month before anthrax was detected on Capitol Hill.
An Army biological and chemical warfare facility in Utah has been quietly developing a virulent, weapons-grade formulation of anthrax spores since at least 1992, and samples of the bacteria were shipped back and forth between that facility and Fort Detrick, Md. ... The Utah spores, grown and processed at the 800,000-acre Dugway Proving Ground about 80 miles from Salt Lake City, belong to the Ames strain -- the same strain used in the deadly letters sent to media outlets and two senators in September and October. No other nation is known to have made weapons-grade Ames. [Washington Post]
The Anthrax letters came from inside the United States. The letters contained a specific type of weaponized Anthrax made by a United States military lab which had been claiming for a lot of years that it wasn't doing that sort of thing any more.
The pattern of the mailings of the Anthrax letters was also suspicious. Congress got their Anthrax letters just in time for the vote on the disingenuously named USA Patriot Act (aka the anti-terror bill) which the terrorized Senators voted into law without bothering to read. How convenient for the bill's sponsors that there was a terror attack on the Congress just when Congress was about to vote on the anti-terror bill. Eerie timing, isn't it?
A terrorist group seeking the maximum number of casualties would not advertise the fact that the letters contained a biological weapon, they would have enclosed an innocuous letter to ensure maximum spread of the agent - the letters are virtually shouting "seal off the area and get a doctor!"
The addresses are written at a slight slant, oddly enough matching the look of the posters and flyers at the Post Office warning all America to "watch out for these". While the letters to Congress are intended to appear to be from fourth graders, the letters to the New York Post and Tom Brokaw have no need for such an artifice.
Dates written by Middle Easterners begin with the day first, then the month, then the year, therefore the date should read 11-9-2001. The above letters follow the American convention for the dates shown.
One of the letters is a photocopy of another. Most places which have copiers have typewriters or word processors, appliances whose operation is no mystery to the sort of people who go in and out of government laboratories.
In short, the entire look of the letters is a contrived fake, creating what they thought a letter from a third world middle eastern terrorist would look like, so that the phrases "Death to Israel", and "Allah is Great" (a real Muslin says either "Allah Achbar" or "God is Great") would point the finger of blame for the Anthrax at the middle eastern Arabs.
Except that we know for a fact that the Anthrax didn't come from the Middle East. It isn't Saddam's or Osama's, it's the very best high quality mil-spec Anthrax home grown at Fort Detrick, Dugway, and USAMRIID.
It's our Anthrax.
And that means that all the slanted writing, the extra crossings on the "T"s, the references to Allah and Israel are a carefully crafted hoax, designed to trick Americans into thinking that Arab Muslims from the middle east were to blame for the Anthrax letters.
The above letters are not evidence of a terrorist attack but of a deception against the people of the United States; a deliberate frame-up of middle eastern Arabs perpetrated by the same party who owns the Anthrax.
That a plan exists to frame Arab Muslims for the crimes of another party is now a proven fact.
There are two suspects accused of being the source of the Anthrax letters. The first is Dr. Philip Zack, who was caught on camera entering the storage area where the Anthrax was kept without proper authorization.In October , press reports revealed that White House staff had been on a regimen... more
With mastery of our own imagination deactivated, the default setting is to mirror the incoming data stream. Output only what is input. With the modern adult mind discouraged from connecting with reality through actual felt experience, input is predictably derived from the mainstream media. The reality blueprint is transmitted, electronically and literally, from the screen. Consciousness creates reality. We are not helpless objects inside it; we help make it.With mastery of our own imagination deactivated, the default setting is to mirror the... more
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted to extend a wide-ranging surveillance law targeting foreigners overseas. But Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden says he will halt the measure unless the public is told more about the law's impact on people living in the United States. Keith discusses the latest developments with Senator Wyden.The Senate Intelligence Committee voted to extend a wide-ranging surveillance law... more
"LOL, I think he was just added to that List!!!!" =)
There have long been rumblings that the liberal base is ticked off at President Obama, but the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party just put that frustration into writing: They've passed a resolution exploring calling for a primary challenge to Obama.
Now, this is largely symbolic, but it's heavy nonetheless. They're ticked that Obama hasn't ditched the Bush tax cuts, has continued drone attacks overseas, and hasn't ended the foreclosure crisis, among other sins listed below. The straw that broke their collective caucus backs, Caucus chair Karen Bernal told us Wednesday, was Obama's -- as the resolution put it -- "unilateral closed-door budget offer to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which endangers the New Deal and War on Poverty safety nets."
"Our silence," Bernal told us, "is a price that's too high to pay."
So last weekend -- July 30 -- at a meeting in Anaheim, the Prog Caucus broke their silence.
But doesn't Bernal remember when Teddy Kennedy challenged incumbent Prez Jimmy Carter in 1980...who lost to President Reagan later that year? Isn't she afraid that, as a Democrat, a primary challenge could weaken Obama and possibly lead to a Republican president?
"We already have one in so many of his policies," Bernal said.
Actually, the resolution itself is a bit more restrained -- or nuanced, if you prefer -- than that. Passed last weekend, it says that the Caucus....
"...will begin the process of contacting other Democratic organizations, Democratic Party members and public organizations that share our views on the issues and which seek to alter the course of history by exploring other steps to effect a necessary change, including a possible primary challenge to President Obama."
Bernal doesn't plan to ask the full California Democratic Party to approve the resolution. It was meant more as a statement of conscience than a desire to back a rival to Obama, she said. "Is there a sense of desperation in this?" Bernal said. "I would have to say yes."
The caucus, according to a spokesman, hopes that "Obama would rework his priorities to respond to the needs of working class Americans in order to get progressive support in 2012."
California Democratic Party chair John Burton --- who supported Kennedy versus Carter in 1980 -- told us that he doesn't agree with this resolution.
Caressing the Queen's English in a way that only the Chairman can, Burton told us that he doesn't think that a primary challenge to Obama will help the president's re-election chances.
"F---- no, what is that going to do?" Burton told us.
So a little competition won't help Obama advocate more strongly for core Democratic Party principles?
"Yeah, I'm sure. If the debt limit (debate) showed something, it showed what an absolute f------ disaster it would have been if there had been a Republican president," Burton said. "The people who sat on their hands or voted Republican in 2010, most of them are going through buyer's remorse right now."
What about the frustration the liberal base -- and the Caucus -- feels about the war and...
"A lot of people are frustrated about the war. People talk about cutting Social Security and they're not talking about paying for the war. People are frustrated about a ton of stuff," he said.
"It's how they feel. There's discontent," Burton said. "There's a frustration in the country. Look at the f------ polls. So f---, that's news to somebody?"
But couldn't this be damaging to Obama, coming from his safe blue haven in California?
(The resolution) "is a reflection on the part of liberals in the California (Democratic) Party to the point that they talk about or fantasize about a primary challenge with the hope that it will end the war, have a single-payer health plan, do away with the Bush tax cuts, take Social Security tax cuts off the table," Burton said.
Here's the full resolution:
WHEREAS, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party recognizes the challenge presented by President Obama's negotiating away Democratic Party principles to extremist Republicans, we are challenged by President Obama in the following ways:
His unilateral closed-door budget offer to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which endangers the New Deal and War on Poverty safety nets.
His determination to escalate U.S. militarism through illegal secret CIA drone attacks and unauthorized wars.
His willingness to extend the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and bail out big banks without ending the foreclosure crisis that displaces American working families
His insistence on pushing a health insurance bill which enriches private insurance companies while ignoring growing support for single-payer health care or robust public options.
His continuance of President Bushâ€™s assault on civil liberties with an extension of the repressive Patriot Act.
His failure to restore due process, including the protection of whistleblowers and habeas corpus.
His numerous failures to adhere to international law.
The continuing practice of nationwide FBI raids of anti-war progressive protestors.
His decision to increase the arrests and deportations of undocumented workers.
His facilitation of the privatizing of the public sphere, which includes education and housing, among others.
His disregard of his promises to the Labor movement.
His failure to adequately protect the environment and adequately address climate change.
WHEREAS, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party recognizes the historical significance of the Eugene McCarthy/Robert F. Kennedy anti-war challenge to President Lyndon Johnson. The challenge followed President Johnson's decision to escalate U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, betraying his campaign promise to end a war that polarized America. Similarly, we recognize the danger and betrayal that the current "Grand Bargain" represents to the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's signature gift to all Americans, Social Security and the New Deal, a point of pride for all Democrats.
WHEREAS, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party is committed to the understanding that an interest in a 2012 Democratic presidential primary challenge will not interfere with President Obama's ability to govern and not limit his ability to do so in ways that include invoking Constitutional options, we recognize that this will, in fact, raise debate on important issues without risking the ability to mobilize and energize the base of the Democratic Party to elect a triumphant leader to counter the far-right agenda.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, to make our views heard, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party will begin the process of contacting other Democratic organizations, Democratic Party members and public organizations that share our views on the issues and which seek to alter the course of history by exploring other steps to effect a necessary change, including a possible primary challenge to President Obama.
Posted By: Joe Garofoli (Email, Twitter, Facebook) | August 03 2011 at 05:58 PM
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=94646#ixzz1U5bJpNyCThere have long been rumblings that the liberal base is ticked off at President Obama,... more
Information leaked from government hacked websites reveal that the US domestic spy program has infiltrated every facet of our society both online and offline. The information revealed in the data leaks reveal that companies that we use on a daily basis and have come to rely on in our modern society, companies that we would never suspect, are in spying on us for the FBI. In fact a wide range of companies have been revealed to be spying on us from our healthcare providers, medical insurance companies and hardware stores to companies that provide payroll services, accounting services, financial services, credit card companies, banks, data centers, human resource companies and web hosting companies and every kind of company in between.
In fact the FBI has domestic spies in 350 Fortune 500 companies and even operates in real estate companies, job search websites, employment staffing services, public schools and colleges, music sharing websites and even sites that report on the location of underground parties and raves.
Less shocking is that the Spy Program has been designed in a way to allow the Feds operate outside the laws of the US Constitution, entirely side stepping the 4th amendment which protects individuals against illegal search and seizure by requiring the government to obtain a warrant.
(http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/06/24/latest-hacker-release-reveals-feds-domestic-spy-program-grown-wildest-nightmares-30221/lots more at link and source material)Information leaked from government hacked websites reveal that the US domestic spy... more
While the Justice Department is criminally inept, or worse, when it comes to prosecuting corporate thieves who looted, and continue to loot, trillions of dollars as capitalism's economic crisis accelerates, they are extremely adept at waging war on dissent.
Last week, The New York Times disclosed that the FBI "is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention."
Under "constitutional scholar" Barack Obama's regime, the Bureau will revise its "Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide." The "new rules," Charlie Savage writes, will give agents "more latitude" to investigate citizens even when there is no evidence they have exhibited "signs of criminal or terrorist activity."
http://www.politicalfailblog.com/2011/06/killing-democracy-one-file-at-time.htmlWhile the Justice Department is criminally inept, or worse, when it comes to... more
When the police show up at your house without a warrant (as required by the Constitution) - must you let them in? Tonight: property rights and the Constitution.
"Holy Sh*t.... I had to share with you folks this video!!!"When the police show up at your house without a warrant (as required by the... more
He is the subject of a documentary about his life, "The Most Dangerous Man in America," nominated for a 2010 Academy Award, which took its title from the words former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger used to describe Ellsberg in 1971.
In the 1960s, Ellsberg was a high-level Pentagon official, a former Marine commander who believed the American government was always on the right side. But while working for the administration of Lyndon Johnson, Ellsberg had access to a top-secret document that revealed senior American leaders, including several presidents, knew that the Vietnam War was an unwinnable, tragic quagmire.
Officially titled "United States-Viet Nam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense,"–the Pentagon Papers, as they became known–also showed that the government had lied to Congress and the public about the progress of the war. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000-page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In, 1971, Ellsberg leaked all 7,000 pages to The Washington Post, and 18 other newspapers, including The New York Times, which published them.
Read more here: http://inthearena.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/07/daniel-ellsberg-all-the-crimes-richard-nixon-committed-against-me-are-now-legal/He is the subject of a documentary about his life, "The Most Dangerous Man in... more
The vast, overwhelming, silent, ignorant majority of the “good people” of the USofA don’t realize it–they’ve been trained since birth to ignore it, they are almost all in total ignorance of it–but they are the uninformed, naive, involuntary, test/experimental subjects in the biggest, most complex, most far-reaching, “Stimulus/Response“, Behavior Modification (see,
e.g., BF Skinner and/or Pavlov) research project in the history of the world.
And the most spectacularly successful one, too.The vast, overwhelming, silent, ignorant majority of the “good people” of... more
WASHINGTON – When two senators warned that the Patriot Act is being interpreted in a secret way that would alarm Americans if they knew the details, civil liberties activists could only speculate about what they meant.
The activists’ fear: that the government is using the anti-terrorism law to collect vast troves of personal information, including cellphone records, on Americans who have no link to terrorism.
Congress voted overwhelmingly last month to reauthorize key provisions of the Patriot Act for four more years. President Barack Obama signed it from France by authorizing the use of an autopen.
The Senate debate on the law featured an unusual dissent by two senators who serve on the Intelligence Committee.
Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both Democrats, proclaimed that the Patriot Act’s surveillance powers are being used far more expansively than most Americans realize. But they can’t disclose what they know, they said, because the documents that detail how the Obama administration implements the act are classified. As members of the Intelligence Committee, Wyden and Udall are privy to secret briefings.
“Today the American people do not know how their government interprets the language of the Patriot Act,” Wyden said. “Someday they are going to find out, and a lot of them are going to be stunned. Some of them will undoubtedly ask their senators: ‘Did you know what this law actually did? Why didn’t you know? Wasn’t it your job to know, before you voted on it?’ ”
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/jun/05/senators-some-uses-of-patriot-act-would-shock/WASHINGTON – When two senators warned that the Patriot Act is being interpreted... more
Many Americans believe they understand the dangers of the Patriot Act, which Congress has vowed to extend 4 more years in a vote later this week. Trust me when I say, Americans are not nearly frightened enough.Many Americans believe they understand the dangers of the Patriot Act, which Congress... more
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are now using the Patriot Act as legal recourse to target and terrorize political, peace and even animal and environmental activists who are not willing to say in line with the status quo!
Read the whole story, FBI using Patriot Act to Target and Squash Peaceful Political Activists, at http://www.conspiracywatch.net/2011/05/fbi-using-patriot-act-to-target-and.htmlThe FBI and other law enforcement agencies are now using the Patriot Act as legal... more
President Barack Obama, or rather a machine impersonating the president, signed a bill late Thursday extending certain expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism law enacted in the wake of September 11.
Obama, 3,725 miles and six time zones removed across the Atlantic Ocean in France at a meeting of G-8 leaders, did not sign the bill personally.
an autopen replicated Obama’s signature, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro told ABC News in a statement.
Failure to sign this legislation poses a significant risk to U.S. national security. As long as Congress approves the extension, the President will direct the use of the autopen to sign it,” Shapiro said Thursday afternoon.
The provisions — including giving law enforcement power to conduct roving wiretaps and examinations of business record in search of terrorists — were set to expire at midnight.
Despite liberal and conservative objections fearing government overreach, the bill passed the House early Thursday evening and the Senate around 8 p.m., 2 a.m. in France.
A White House statement just before midnight confirmed that the bill is now law.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=13690706President Barack Obama, or rather a machine impersonating the president, signed a bill... more