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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill to Declassify FISA Court Opinions

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill to Declassify FISA Court Opinions

Senators: End Secret Law

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill to Declassify FISA Court Opinions

June 11, 2013

Washington, DC - Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), accompanied by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mark Begich (D-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), introduced a bill that would put an end to the “secret law” governing controversial government surveillance programs. This bill would require the Attorney General to declassify significant Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions, allowing Americans to know how broad of a legal authority the government is claiming to spy on Americans under the PATRIOT Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

“Americans deserve to know how much information about their private communications the government believes it’s allowed to take under the law,” Merkley said. “There is plenty of room to have this debate without compromising our surveillance sources or methods or tipping our hand to our enemies. We can’t have a serious debate about how much surveillance of Americans’ communications should be permitted without ending secret law.”

“This bipartisan amendment establishes a cautious and reasonable process for declassification consistent with the rule of law,” Lee said. “It will help ensure that the government makes sensitive decisions related to surveillance by applying legal standards that are known to the public. Particularly where our civil liberties are at stake, we must demand no less of our government.”

"For years, I have pressed for information about the business records program authorized by the PATRIOT Act to be declassified,” Leahy said. “I am proud to join in this bipartisan legislative effort to increase openness and transparency so that we can shed further light on the business records program authorized by this law


filing to show my son in a couple of years...

love you son, but...

It’s easy to be a libertarian when you’re young and have few responsibilities. Everything is a reflection of the inherent selfishness of youth: how does this affect me? If you’re still a libertarian as you get older, though, and have obligations and children, etc., it just means you’re an asshole.


'When humans are scared & feel everything is exposed-we will censor ourselves from free thinking'

BY Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei was born in Beijing, China in 1957. An outspoken human rights activist, Ai was arrested by Chinese authorities in April 2011 and held incommunicado ...
The Guardian, Tuesday 11 June 2013 09.30 EDT

NSA surveillance: The US is behaving like China
Both governments think they are doing what is best for the state and people. But, as I know, such abuse of power can ruin lives

When human beings are scared and feel everything is exposed to the government, we will censor ourselves from free thinking. That’s dangerous for human development.


During my detention in China I was watched 24 hours a day. The light was always on. There were two guards on two-hour shifts standing next to me – even watching when I swallowed a pill; I had to open mouth so they could see my throat. You have to take a shower in front of them; they watch you while you brush your teeth, in the name of making sure you’re not hurting yourself. They had three surveillance cameras to make sure the guards would not communicate with me.


To limit power is to protect society. It is not only about protecting individuals’ rights but making power healthier.

Civilisation is built on that trust and everyone must fight to defend it, and to protect our vulnerable aspects – our inner feelings, our families. We must not hand over our rights to other people. No state power should be given that kind of trust. Not China. Not the US.” Ai Weiwei

more and beautiful:

"500,000 Snowdens are looking at your data. But you can still buy a gun w/out a background check"

KarmaPolice wrote on Tue, 6/11/2013 - 5:42 am "500,000 Edward Snowdens are looking at your data. But you can still buy a gun w/out a background check"
God Bless America™



"I am goddamn sick and fking tired of gangs of five, or eight, or 22, meeting in secret"

Tell Me What Is Being Done In My Name
By Charles P. Pierce
at 9:00am


I am goddamn sick and fking tired of self-government being run on automatic pilot -- of gangs of five, or eight, or 22, meeting in secret, wise old bone-worshippers, and deciding things that, a decade later, get murderous religious whack-jobs flying airplanes in to buildings. Because what gets decided in secret gets played out in public, always. (Recall the famous Doonesebury cartoon in which the two Cambodian peasants are asked about the "secret bombing" of their country. "It wasn't secret," one of them says. "I said, 'Look, here come the bombers.'") You people jack around with some people on the other side of the planet and, pretty soon, I'm picking pieces of a Starbucks out of my hair, if I'm lucky.

Just tell me what is being done in my name.


the rest:

Do Democratic partisans forget that House Dems Voted 2:1 against extending the PATRIOT Act in 2011?

(i admit, i had forgotten about this)

The House passed this bill by a vote of 250 to 153. 196 Republicans supported it, and 31 Republicans opposed it. 122 Democrats (including Nancy Pelosi) opposed the bill, and 54 supported it. It passed with bipartisan support--but a very Republican-heavy bipartisanship. Democrats, as those numbers show, opposed the bill by over 2 to 1.

Only two members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus---Corrine Brown and Eddie Johnson--voted for the bill. The other 52 Democratic votes were from a mix of Blue Dogs (the John Barrow's and Jim Matheson's) and New Dems.

What's particularly interesting is that the Democratic vote on extending the PATRIOT Act is almost the exact inverse of the Democratic public opinion on NSA surveillance in the recent Pew poll. 122 out of 192 Democrats opposed the bill: 63.5%. 54 out of 192 supported the bill: 28.1%

Hopefully, the House Democrats will continue to vote their conscience and the Constitution, rather than taking their cues from the President as too many in the general public seem to do.


We all lose, too, when some child gets cheated out of living up to his potential or her potential.

This whole case just angers me and saddens me beyond belief. I see that picture of Martin they always show in any story about the case and I think, “Who knows what that guy might have done of he’d had the chance?” Who knows? Maybe he’d have become a musician, maybe a writer, maybe an artist, and, who knows, maybe he might have been great. Maybe he might have gone on to be a doctor and healed people who needed help. Maybe a lawyer representing people hurt by big, powerful interests. We don’t know what we’ve lost as a society each time some kid gets cut down needlessly (and almost always by guns! Freedoooooom!!!!1!!!!!11!!!!!one!!!!!1!!1!!!!eleven!!!!).

And who knows, maybe he might not have done any of that. The odds are that he would not have gone on to cure cancer. He might have gone on to lead a fairly mundane life, doing nothing more noteworthy than selling insurance for a living. But whatever he might have gone on to do, he had a right to grow up and try to fulfill his dreams, whatever they might have been, but some dumb thug came along and stole his life from him.

He never got to meet somebody and fall in love and raise children. He never got to go abroad and see other countries. He never got to go to college and learn about history or philosophy, poetry or trigonometry or whatever he would have wanted to learn about. Shit, maybe all he wanted to do was go to some trade school and learn how to work on cars or dishwashers or something. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Not that it matters any now, as Zimmerman helpfully saved Martin the trouble of choosing which path he most would have liked to go down in life.

He never got to do any of that because some frustrated would-be tough guy got a hard on playing at being a cop and shot him dead. Every time anybody brings up Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman, we should mull that over a little. Every time some shitbag tells us how guns make us safer, we ought to give a little thought to all the children shot to death by guns, and the lives they never got to lead and the dreams they never got to follow, and how we all lose, too, when some child gets cheated out of living up to his potential or her potential.


Eugene Robinson: Important thing right now isn’t whether Snowden should be labeled hero or villain

Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks show we need a debate

The important thing right now isn’t whether Edward Snowden should be labeled a hero or villain. First, let’s have the debate he sparked over surveillance and privacy. Then we can decide how history should remember him.

In the coming debate, someone should explain why a mid-level computer guy working for a private contractor had access to so many of the NSA’s most closely held secrets. Someone should explain why the intelligence court is evidently so compliant. Someone should explain — perhaps in French, German and Spanish — why our allies’ e-mails are fair game for the agency’s prying eyes.

But here’s the big issue: The NSA, it now seems clear, is assembling an unimaginably vast trove of communications data, and the bigger it gets, the more useful it is in enabling analysts to make predictions. It’s one thing if the NSA looks for patterns in the data that suggest a nascent overseas terrorist group or an imminent attack. It’s another thing altogether if the agency observes, say, patterns that suggest the birth of the next tea party or Occupy Wall Street movement.

Is that paranoia? Then reassure me. Let’s talk about the big picture and decide, as citizens, whether we are comfortable with the direction our intelligence agencies are heading. And let’s remember that it was Snowden, not our elected officials, who opened this vital conversation.

the rest:

Fox News host: Zimmerman ‘has already been punished’ with weight gain

“Probably suffering from stress and anxiety,” Guilfoyle added.

“You eat when you’re under stress and pressure and stuff like that,” Jarrett agreed. “So, you know, he’s already been punished to some extent. We’ll wait and see whether a Jury punishes him further.”

“This is an individual that was trying to do some civic duty by being on the community watch,” Guilfoyle opined. “That was the purpose of why he was there that night.”

“Sure, let’s not forget there’s a reason for a community watch,” Jarrett replied. “Because that’s a community with a need for a watch. Because they’d had problems like this in the past.”


Supreme Court Ends Torture Lawsuit Against Donald Rumsfeld

Source: Huffington Post

Supreme Court Ends Torture Lawsuit Against Donald Rumsfeld
06/10/13 09:39 AM ET EDT

FOLLOW: Supreme Court, Video, Donald Rumsfeld, Iraq Torture, Supreme Court Donald Rumsfeld, Supreme Court Iraq Torture, Supreme Court Rumsfeld, Politics News
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from two American whistleblowers who claim U.S. forces tortured them in Iraq and who want to sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The justices' action Monday leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling that found Rumsfeld cannot be held liable for actions taken by subordinates that may have crossed legal bounds.

The two men are Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, who say they were detained and tortured after they accused an Iraqi-owned company for which they worked of illegally running guns. They argued Rumsfeld personally approved interrogation methods for use by the U.S. military in Iraq, making him responsible for what happened to them during several weeks they were held in military camp

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/supreme-court-donald-rumsfeld_n_3415124.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003
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