Category Archives: Terrorism
U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program – The Washington Post
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.
The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.
Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”
London’s Guardian newspaper reported Friday that GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the NSA, also has been secretly gathering intelligence from the same internet companies through an operation set up by the NSA.
According to documents obtained by The Guardian, PRISM would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required in Britain to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside of the country.
PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority.
Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. PRISM recruited its first partner, Microsoft, and began six years of rapidly growing data collection beneath the surface of a roiling national debate on surveillance and privacy. Late last year, when critics in Congress sought changes in the FISA Amendments Act, the only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.
- U.S. intelligence (NSA) mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program (12160.info)
- US intelligence mining data direct from MSFT, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, others (washingtonpost.com)
- PRISM – US Gov. mining data from Google, y, msn, skype, youtube, and FB (washingtonpost.com)
- By the numbers: The NSA’s super-secret spy program, PRISM (foreignpolicy.com)
Twitchy has reported extensively on the DOJ’s targeting of Fox News’ James Rosen. National security risk? How much time and energy was spent on the chilling attempted criminalization of James Rosen for doing his job? Actual national security risks are no big whoop! We must take care of these nefarious journalists first.
Nailed it, Ms. MacCallum. Citizens agree.
- Bam! Fox News’ Martha MacCallum slams Obama admin with key question (twitchy.com)
- Bam! Fox News’ Martha MacCallum slams Obama admin with key question (oforchristsakes.wordpress.com)
- ‘Co-Conspirator’: Fox News Reporter James Rosen’s Private Emails Given To Justice Dept. By Google (mediaite.com)
- Justice Dept. Tracked Fox News Reporter James Rosen’s Movements, Obtained His Personal Emails (mediaite.com)
- Chilling report: Obama’s DOJ spied on Fox News’ James Rosen; Criminalizes reporting (twitchy.com)
- #StandWithRosen: ‘Enough is enough’; Citizens rally around DOJ-targeted James Rosen (twitchy.com)
- Brit Hume: ‘Chilling’ Search Of Fox Reporter Shows DOJ Treats ‘Ordinary News Gathering As Crime’ (mediaite.com)
- Report: DOJ Seized Phone Records Of Fox News Reporter James Rosen’s Parents… Yes, His Parents… (redflagnews.com)
Judge Jeanine Pirrorips the Obama administration for everything from Benghazi to the AP phone records.
via The American Conservative
No, this is not Watergate or Iran-Contra. Nor is it like the sex scandal that got Bill Clinton impeached.
The AP, IRS and Benghazi matters represent a scandal not of presidential wrongdoing, but of presidential indolence, indifference and incompetence in discharging the duties of chief executive.
The Barack Obama revealed to us in recent days is something rare in our history: a spectator president, clueless about what is going on in his own household, who reacts to revelations like some stunned bystander.
Consider. Because of a grave national security leak, President Obama’s Department of Justice seized two months of records from 20 telephones used by The Associated Press. An unprecedented seizure.
Yet the president was left completely in the dark. And though he rushed to defend the seizure, he claims he was uninvolved.
While the AP issue does not appear to have legs—we know what was done and why—it has badly damaged this president. For his own Justice Department treated the press, which has an exalted opinion of itself and its role, with the same contempt as the IRS treated the Tea Party.
The episode has damaged a crucial presidential asset. For this Washington press corps had provided this president with a protective coverage of his follies and failings unseen since the White House press of half a century ago covered up the prowlings of JFK.
The Benghazi issue is of far greater gravity. Still, Obama’s sins here as well seem to be those of omission, not commission.
The president was apparently completely in the dark about the urgent requests from Benghazi for more security. Obama was also apparently completely out of the loop during the seven-hour crisis of Sept. 11-12, when Ambassador Stevens was assassinated, calls for help from Benghazi were denied and two heroic ex-Navy SEALs died fighting to defend U.S. personnel from the roof of that CIA installation.
No one seems to know where Obama was that night.
- White House Troubles (lewrockwell.com)
- The Bystander President (theamericanconservative.com)
- The Spectator President (takimag.com)
- The Spectator President (buchanan.org)
- Half of America wants Obama impeached (wnd.com)
- It’s Bigger Than Obama — We’re Witnessing What Happens When Liberalism Rules (rushlimbaugh.com)
via CBS News
(CBS News) “Everybody in the mission” in Benghazi, Libya, thought the attack on a U.S. consulate there last Sept. 11 was an act of terror “from the get-go,” according to excerpts of an interview investigators conducted with the No. 2 official in Libya at the time, obtained by CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning,” Greg Hicks, a 22-year foreign service diplomat who was the highest-ranking U.S. official in Libya after the strike, told investigators under authority of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Hicks, the former U.S. Embassy Tripoli deputy chief of mission, was not in Benghazi at the time of the attack, which killed Chris Stevens – then the U.S. ambassador to Libya – and three other Americans.
When he appears this week before the committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Hicks is expected to offer testimony at odds with what some American officials were saying in public – and on “Face the Nation” – just five days after the attack. Benghazi whistleblowers have rallied attention to discrepancies among the administration’s reaction to the attack, which The Weekly Standard suggests was frayed by ever-evolving talking points that sought to remove references to al Qaeda.
On Sept. 16, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice hit the media circuit, appearing on all five Sunday talk shows to dispel the notion that the strike was a premeditated terrorist act and to perpetuate the case that it began “spontaneously” out of protests in Egypt. Rice’s spot on “Face the Nation” that day was preceded by the new President of Libya Mohammed al-Magariaf, who said his government had “no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined.”
- Official: We Knew Benghazi as a Terrorist Attack “From The Get-go” (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- Prepare For Bombshells From The Benghazi Whistle Blower Hearings On Wednesday (warnewsupdates.blogspot.com)
- Official: We knew terrorists attacked Benghazi “from the get-go” (cbsnews.com)
- Diplomat to testify that Benghazi “was a terrorist attack from the beginning” (hotair.com)
- Administration Knew Benghazi Was a Terrorist Attack ‘From the Get-Go’ (pjmedia.com)
- Rice’s Lies Hurt FBI’s Investigation Of Benghazi (sweetness-light.com)
- Official: We knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack “from the get-go” – CBS News (askmarion.wordpress.com)
- Darrell Issa says there was ‘clearly a political decision’ regarding Benghazi talking points (twitchy.com)
- Top Diplomat in Benghazi to Testify, “Everybody in the Mission” Thought 9/11 Attack Perpetrated by Terrorists “From the Get-Go” (nationalreview.com)
- U.S. Official Contradicts Initial White House Claims On Benghazi (huffingtonpost.com)
Boston marathon bombing suspect - Chechnyan Muslim - seized after shoot-out: Police officer shot dead and second terrorist still on run after car chase
Muslims are begging for a 'white' tea-party member to be the Boston terrorist bomber. Will their prayers come true? Let's all see what unfolds and if their prayers come true.... Meanwhile Obama is on an official let's-clear-the-Muslims tour with a dramatic and silly interfaith service photo op so everyone can see just how lovely it all is. Why interfaith? Is terrorism and threats a daily act amongst the Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Jews, and Buddhists and non-believers?
The OIC assault on free speech continues.
“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington.
OIC coming back with another attempt to stamp out free speech
Saudi king demands global blasphemy law
Arab League demands global blasphemy law
President Barack Obama has the authority to use an unmanned drone strike to kill US citizens on American soil, his attorney general has said.
Eric Holder argued that using lethal military force against an American in his home country would be legal and justified in an “extraordinary circumstance” comparable to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“The president could conceivably have no choice but to authorise the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland,” Mr Holder said.
His statement was described as “more than frightening” by Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, who had demanded to know the Obama administration’s position on the subject.
“It is an affront the constitutional due process rights of all Americans,” said Mr Paul, a 50-year-old favourite of the anti-government Tea Party movement, who is expected to run for president in 2016.
Mr Holder wrote to Mr Paul after the senator threatened to block the appointment of John Brennan as the director of the CIA unless he received answers to a series of questions on its activities.
Mr Paul on Wednesday evening took to the floor of the Senate to launch an old-fashioned filibuster in an effort to delay a vote on the approval of Mr Brennan for CIA director. “I won’t be able to speak forever, but I’m going to speak as long as I can,” he said, before embarking on several hours of criticism of Mr Obama’s compliance with the US constitution.
Mr Obama has been sharply criticised for the secrecy surrounding his extension of America’s “targeted killing” campaign against al-Qaeda terrorist suspects using missile strikes by unmanned drones.
The secret campaign has killed an estimated 4,700 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. A quarter are estimated to have been civilians prompting anger among human rights campaigners.
According to research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone strikes killed between 474 and 881 civilians – including 176 children – in Pakistan between 2004 and last year.
Criticism within the US has focused on the implications for terror suspects who are also US citizens, after Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical cleric born and educated in the US, was killed in Yemen in 2011.
The administration claims it has the legal authority to assassinate Americans provided that they are a senior al-Qaeda operative posing an imminent threat and it would be “infeasible” to capture them.
This justification emerged only last month in a leaked memo from Mr Holder’s department of justice. Mr Obama this week agreed to give Congress his full set of classified legal memos on the targeting of Americans.
Civil liberties campaigners accuse the president and his aides of awarding themselves sweeping powers to deny Americans their constitutional rights without oversight from Congress or the judiciary.
- Eric Holder clarifies policy on drone attacks on U.S. soil (reuters.com)
- Flashback: Obama Says Waterboarding Is Torture …(But He’ll Drop a Drone Bomb On Your Head) (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Sen. Rand Paul: I’ll end filibuster once Obama says no to drone strikes in the U.S. (rawstory.com)
- America is shamed that only Rand Paul is talking about drone executions | Amy Goodman (guardian.co.uk)
via Washington Times
Almost exactly 24 hours after Mr. Paul began his information-seeking filibuster against John O. Brennan, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham took to the Senate floor to denounce his demands and say he was doing a “disservice” to the debate on drones.
“The country needs more senators who care about liberty, but if Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about,” said Mr. McCain, Republicans’ presidential nominee in 2008 — who topped Mr. Paul’s father, former Rep. Ron Paul, in that year’s primary.
And where Democrats praised Mr. Paul for using Senate rules properly to launch a filibuster, Mr. McCain said it was an abuse of rules that could hurt the GOP in the long run.
“What we saw yesterday is going to give ammunition to those who say the rules of the Senate are being abused,” the Arizona Republican said.
Mr. Paul said he was filibustering to get the administration to affirm it won’t kill non-combatant Americans in the U.S. — and his effort was joined by more than a dozen other senators who said they, too, supported his effort to get answers.
Mr. Graham said asking whether the president has the power to kill Americans here at home is a ludicrous question.
“I do not believe that question deserves an answer,” Mr. Graham said.
Mr. Graham and Mr. McCain led a Republican delegation that held a private dinner with President Obama on Wednesday, as Mr. Paul was holding the floor with help from other GOP colleagues.
Mr. McCain even joked about Mr. Graham’s “behavior” at the dinner.
“He was on his best manners and everyone was impressed,” Mr. McCain said.
- McCain And Graham’s @SenRandPaul Temper Tantrum (thecampofthesaints.org)
- IT’S WAR: John McCain And Lindsey Graham Are Tearing Into Rand Paul Right Now On The Senate Floor (businessinsider.com)
- Rush to Rand: ‘You’re a hero’ (wnd.com)
- McCain, Graham blast Paul filibuster (politico.com)
- Moronic: Sen. McCain blasts Sen. Paul’s filibuster as ‘political stunt,’ ‘ridiculous’ (twitchy.com)
- Rand Paul’s Drone Filibuster Sparks GOP Civil War (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)
Sierra Adamson interviews Chris Hedges at the hearing for the second court of appeals in the Hedges v Obama NDAA lawsuit. Hedges explains what has happened in the lawsuit to date, the next steps and what he sees in America’s upcoming future.
Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster will inevitably fail at its immediate objective: derailing John Brennan’s nomination to run the CIA. But as it stretches into its sixth hour, it’s already accomplished something far more significant: raising political alarm over the extraordinary breadth of the legal claims that undergird the boundless, 11-plus-year “war on terrorism.”
The Kentucky Republican’s delaying tactic started over one rather narrow slice of that war: the Obama administration’s equivocation on whether it believes it has the legal authority to order a drone strike on an American citizen, in the United States. Paul recognized outright that he would ultimately lose his fight to block Brennan, the White House counterterrorism chief and architect of much of the administration’s targeted-killing efforts.
But as his time on the Senate floor went on, Paul went much further. He called into question aspects of the war on terrorism that a typically bellicose Congress rarely questions, and most often defends, often demagogically so. More astonishingly, Paul’s filibuster became such a spectacle that he got hawkish senators to join him.
“When people talk about a ‘battlefield America’,” Paul said, around hour four, Americans should “realize they’re telling you your Bill of Rights don’t apply.” That is a consequence of the September 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force that did not bound a war against al-Qaida to specific areas of the planet. “We can’t have perpetual war. We can’t have a war with no temporal limits,” Paul said.
This is actually something of a radical proposition. When House Republicans attempted to revisit the far-reaching authorization in 2011, chief Pentagon attorney Jeh Johnson conveyed the Obama administration’s objections. Of course, many, many Republicans have been content with what the Bush administration used to call a “Long War” with no foreseeable or obvious end. And shortly before leaving office in December, Johnson himself objected to a perpetual war, but did so gingerly, and only after arguing that the government had the power to hold detainees from that war even after that war someday ends.
Via Yahoo! News
The White House on Tuesday defended targeted assassinations of Americans thought to consort overseas with terrorists as “necessary,” “ethical” and “wise,” as the Obama administration faced fresh questions about its sharply expanded drone war.
“We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats—to stop plots, prevent future attacks and, again, save American lives,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise.”
Carney’s comments came after NBC News published a Justice Department memo that lays out a broad rationale for targeting individual Americans anywhere outside the U.S. for assassination—without oversight from Congress or the courts, and even if the U.S. citizen in question is not actively plotting a specific terrorist attack.
“Targeting a member of an enemy force who poses an imminent threat of violent attack to the United States is not unlawful. It is a lawful act of self-defense,” the document asserts.
“Imminent threat”? That seems reasonable and is a traditional standard for military action. Except, as NBC investigative reporter Michael Isikoff notes, the memo adds that “the condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”
Instead, that previously mentioned “high-level official” can determine that the potential target was “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of an attack and that “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.”
Isikoff notes the memo does not define “activities” or “recently,” leaving that up to the administration to determine on a case-by-case basis.
- White House: drone strikes are legal, ethical, wise (dailystar.com.lb)
- Do You Agree With White House that Drone Strokes are “Legal,” “Ethical,” and “Wise”? You Shouldn’t. (reason.com)
- DOJ memo justifies drone kills of U.S. citizens abroad (anirrationalviewoftheirrational.wordpress.com)
- Drone Strikes on US Terror Suspects ‘Legal,’ ‘Ethical,’ ‘Wise,’ White House Says (abcnews.go.com)
- White House, Congress square off over Justice Dept. rules for drone strikes (thehill.com)
- ‘Judge, jury and executioner’: Legal experts fear implications of White House drone memo (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Memo shows how Obama decides to uses drones on Americans (news.yahoo.com)
“Is terror going to raise a white flag?” Exactly. Somebody in our government must define victory in this (undeclared) war on an ideology. What does victory look like? How will we know when we are victorious? Without a definition of victory, this (undeclared) war will continue ad infinitum – an ongoing, never ending justification to infringe on more and more of our rights. Something is seriously wrong.