“Knowledge (of) the scale of our capability would raise public awareness generating unwelcome publicity for us and our political masters.” — Classified UK NSA document
“To approve such a program, the Court must have every confidence that the government is doing its utmost to ensure that those responsible for implementation fully comply with the Court’s orders. The Court no longer has such confidence.” — U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Order, p. 12, 3-9-2009
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
August 9, 2013
President Obama believes that there should be increased transparency and reforms in our intelligence programs in order to give the public confidence that these programs have strong oversight and clear protections against abuse. That is what he has pursued as President, and today he is announcing several initiatives that will move that effort forward.
www.democracynow.org – National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been given one year temporary political asylum in Russia. Snowden has reportedly already left the Moscow airport where he has been holed up for over a month. On Wednesday, The Guardian newspaper revealed details about another secret NSA program based on leaked documents provided by Snowden. The program, XKeyscore, allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals giving NSA analysts real-time access to “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet.” To discuss these latest developments, we’re joined by Spencer Ackerman, national security editor at The Guardian.
I’m finding New York City harder and harder to deal with. First, I’m accosted by the “If you see something, say something” signs painted on the steps in the subway stations. And once I’m on the train there’s the disembodied voice straight out of Orwell’s “1984” warning me, “If you see a suspicious package, we have the right to search all bags and backpacks; if you see something, say something;” and on and on it drones.
Mongi Dhaouadi of CAIR CT introduces Sandy Staub of the CT Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. She speaks at the “NSA Don’t Spy on US Forum” June 30, 2013, Berlin, CT for more http://www.acluct.org. Continue reading →
I’m not sure when I first became aware of the term sociopath. I feel like I’ve always known about it but never really knew what the term meant. A couple of years ago I got curious and checked out The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout, PhD., from my local library. In the book, Dr. Stout writes a list of the traits of a sociopath with the statement, “Chances are good you’re a sociopath if you possess three out of seven.”
What the disclosures of former CIA contractor Edward Snowden show perhaps above all else is just how petrified the leaders of the United States have become – of ordinary citizens both in the US and around the world. When we say “leaders” we mean the ruling elite – the top one percent of the financial-corporate-military-industrial complex and its bought- and paid-for politicians.
The international manhunt by the US authorities for Snowden, which has accelerated with his flight to Moscow to evade extradition from Hong Kong, is indicative of the desperation in Washington’s elitist establishment to quash him and what he is revealing about their despotic rule.
http://www.democracynow.org – Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the NSA surveillance story earlier this month, joins us one day after both President Obama and whistleblower Edward Snowden gave extensive interviews on the surveillance programs Snowden exposed and Obama is now forced to defend. Speaking to PBS, Obama distinguished his surveillance efforts from those of the Bush administration and reaffirmed his insistence that no Americans’ phone calls or emails are being directly monitored without court orders. Greenwald calls Obama’s statements “outright false” for omitting the warrantless spying on phone calls between Americans and callers outside the United States.
“It is true that the NSA can’t deliberately target U.S. citizens for [warrantless] surveillance, but it is also the case they are frequently engaged in surveillance of exactly that kind of invasive technique involving U.S. persons,” Greenwald says. After moderating Snowden’s online Q&A with Guardian readers, Greenwald says of the whistleblower: “I think what you see here is a person who was very disturbed by this massive surveillance apparatus built in the U.S. that spies not only on American citizens, but the world with very little checks, very little oversight. He’s making clear his intention was to inform citizens even at the expense of his own liberty or even life.”
On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives will vote on whether or not to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. If passed, FISA will essentially extend the powers of the government and give the authorization to wiretap Americans without a warrant. As of now it is unknown exactly how many Americans are being spied on, but the question is how many more Americans will be scrutinized because of this legislation. RT Producer Adriana Usero joins us with more.
Coleen Rowley, one of three whistleblowers chosen as persons of the year for 2002 by Time Magazine, will speak about her experiences in the FBI and broader issues of official surveillance and massive data collection. When Coleen Rowley was an FBI agent in Minneapolis, her office got a lead just three weeks before 9/11 that a known extremist had paid $8.000 for lessons to fly a Boeing 747. Her office arrested him, but, her superiors would not allow a full investigation.
ACLU Argues Dragnet Surveillance of Americans Is Unconstitutional
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – The government today asked the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court ruling that allowed the American Civil Liberties Union to challenge the constitutionality of a law that gives the government unprecedented authority to monitor international emails and phone calls by Americans.
I would like you to consider the following hypothetical case: There is a court in X county of Y state with eleven judges. During the past one year 1500 cases of various big corporations vs. the people have been brought before these judges. In every single case, the judges have ruled pro corporation. In every single case. 1500 rulings favoring corporations. 1500 orders against the people. Wouldn’t you expect to see a major uproar and media coverage in this hypothetical case? Wouldn’t you expect that the judges and their lives would become intensely scrutinized? Wouldn’t you suspect some sort of bribery and or extortion in play here?