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Hissyspit

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 43,216

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The Nation: Remember When NSA Surveillance Was Used to Help Launch the Iraq War?

http://www.thenation.com/blog/174744/remember-when-nsa-surveillance-was-used-help-launch-iraq-war

Remember When NSA Surveillance Was Used to Help Launch the Iraq War?

George Zornick on June 11, 2013 - 10:33 AM ET

- snip -

But what if the government abuses the vast surveillance power it is accumulating? What if the NSA is used for political purposes, not safety? This is often left out of the debate, or dismissed outright. Eric Posner wrote at The New York Times website that “I am unaware—and correct me if I am wrong—of a single instance during the last 12 years of war-on-terror-related surveillance in which the government used information obtained for security purposes to target a political opponent, dissenter or critic.”

Unfortunately, the NSA has already abused its surveillance power in at least one case where political opponents were targeted, and it’s a big one.

In 2003, a woman named Katharine Gun, who was working for a British intelligence agency, leaked a memo to the press from an NSA agent named Frank Koza. It described a massive American effort to monitor the communications of six delegations to the United Nations—the so-called “Middle Six” who were undecided on authorizing the Iraq War and who were being fiercely courted by both sides.

Here’s what memo said, in part. (Note “the Agency” is the NSA):

- snip -

James Bamford, a veteran journalist covering the NSA, confirmed the account in his book and said it extended to monitoring United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq. At the time, however, US media outlets covered the story lightly, or ignored it completely, in the case of The New York Times.

- snip -

One chief argument made by civil libertarians is that massive surveillance power will inevitably lead to abuse—that the mission will creep from security to political and diplomatic applications. The fact is, it already has.

So one must then wonder: Where does it go next?

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Pope Confirms 'Gay Lobby' at Work at Vatican

Source: Associated Press

POPE CONFIRMS 'GAY LOBBY' AT WORK AT VATICAN

By NICOLE WINFIELD
— Jun. 11 8:02 PM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis lamented that a "gay lobby" was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group — a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See.

The Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious — the regional organization for priests and nuns of religious orders — confirmed Tuesday that its leaders had written a synthesis of Francis' remarks after their June 6 audience. The group, known by its Spanish acronym CLAR, said it was greatly distressed that the document had been published and apologized to the pope.

In the document, Francis is quoted as saying that while there were many holy people in the Vatican, there was also corruption: "The 'gay lobby' is mentioned, and it is true, it is there ... We need to see what we can do ..." the synthesis reads.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday the audience was private and that as a result he had nothing to say.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/pope-confirms-gay-lobby-work-vatican

Nate Silver on Snowden:

@fivethirtyeight: Was agnostic about Snowden but some of the Op-Ed columns attacking him are so terrible I'm now convinced he must have done something right.

More Subversive Behavior From Anonymouse...

Cat Addicts Anonymouse, that is...



Trying to hide their identity.

Journalist in US Surveillance Case: More to Come

Source: Associated Press

JOURNALIST IN US SURVEILLANCE CASE: MORE TO COME

Jun. 11 1:15 AM EDT

HONG KONG (AP) — The journalist who exposed classified U.S. surveillance programs leaked by an American defense contractor said Tuesday that there will be more 'significant revelations' to come from the documents.

"We are going to have a lot more significant revelations that have not yet been heard over the next several weeks and months," Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian.

Greenwald told The Associated Press the decision was being made on when to release the next story based on the information provided by Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old employee of government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton who has been accused by U.S. Senate intelligence chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California of committing an "act of treason" that should be prosecuted.

Greenwald's reports last week exposed widespread U.S. government programs to collect telephone and Internet records.

"There are dozens of stories generated by the documents he provided, and we intend to pursue every last one of them," Greenwald said.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/journalist-us-surveillance-case-more-come

Court of Appeals Dismisses CCR Case Challenging NSA Surveillance Program (Filed in 2006)

Source: Center for Constitutional Rights

Court of Appeals Dismisses CCR Case Challenging NSA Surveillance Program (Filed in 2006)

Decision Comes on the Heels of Snowden Leaks Exposing Massive NSA Phone, Email Surveillance

press@ccrjustice.org

June 10, 2013, New York— Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit brought against President Barack Obama, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), and the heads of the other major security agencies, challenging warrantless government surveillance of telephone calls and emails in the U.S. under the program first disclosed in December 2005 by the New York Times. Ironically, the dismissal comes just as a series of new stories about astonishingly broad domestic NSA surveillance have broken in the news.

The suit, CCR v. Obama, was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of itself and its legal staff working on national security cases whose communications fit the criteria used by the NSA for targeting calls and emails under its surveillance program. CCR Attorneys argued the program was unconstitutional and had forced them to take costly and burdensome countermeasures to minimize the risk of having their privileged client communications intercepted by the NSA.

The case, initially filed in 2006 against President George W. Bush, sought an injunction that would prohibit the NSA from conducting warrantless surveillance within the United States. When, in response, the government claimed it had shut down the program in January 2007, the CCR asked the court to order the government to destroy any records of surveillance that it still retains from the illegal NSA program. The lower court refused to do so and the case moved to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that a plaintiff challenging a secret surveillance program must be able to prove they were actually eavesdropped upon by the program in order to be able to challenge it in court. Today, the Ninth Circuit panel affirmed that decision, relying on the Supreme Court’s February 2013 dismissal of a similar challenge to the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, Clapper v. Amnesty International.

The Ninth Circuit stated “lthough CCR might have a slightly stronger basis for fearing interception because of the lack of involvement, CCR’s asserted injury relies on a different uncertainty ... namely, that the government retained ‘records’ from any past surveillance it conducted under the now-defunct TSP.”

Said Center for Constitutional Rights Attorney Shayana Kadidal. “It is the height of absurdity to dismiss this case on the grounds that the intelligence agencies cannot be presumed to save records of their surveillance.”

With this ruling, all but two of the legal challenges to the original NSA program will have been dismissed without the Obama administration ever having taken a position on whether or not the original NSA program was legal.

Read more: http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/court-of-appeals-dismisses-ccr-case-challenging-nsa-surveillance-program

Daniel Ellsberg Op/Ed: "...shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country."

http://www.guardiannews.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-united-stasi-america

Monday 10 June 2013 06.30 EDT

Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America

Snowden's whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution


- snip -

The government claims it has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst, put it: "It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp."

- snip -

The fact that congressional leaders were "briefed" on this and went along with it, without any open debate, hearings, staff analysis, or any real chance for effective dissent, only shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country.

Obviously, the United States is not now a police state. But given the extent of this invasion of people's privacy, we do have the full electronic and legislative infrastructure of such a state. If, for instance, there was now a war that led to a large-scale anti-war movement – like the one we had against the war in Vietnam – or, more likely, if we suffered one more attack on the scale of 9/11, I fear for our democracy. These powers are extremely dangerous.

- snip -

In 1975, Senator Frank Church spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms:

"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."

The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America's intelligence gathering capability – which is today beyond any comparison with what existed in his pre-digital era – "at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left."

- snip -

Pressure by an informed public on Congress to form a select committee to investigate the revelations by Snowden and, I hope, others to come might lead us to bring NSA and the rest of the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and restore the protections of the bill of rights.

Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans' and foreign citizens' privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we're trying to protect.

MORE

Tom Tomorrow: The Five Stages of Living in a National Surveillance State



Daily Kos Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/10/1214540/-Five-stages

Google Doodle Today Is REALLY Cool

http://www.google.com

AP STORY BREAKING: Guardian Identifies Source of Surveillance Programs as Intel Agency Contractor

@AP: BREAKING: Newspaper identifies source of U.S. surveillance programs as intelligence agency contractor. -MM

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/report-nsa-contract-worker-surveillance-source

REPORT: NSA CONTRACT WORKER IS SURVEILLANCE SOURCE
Jun. 9 2:58 PM EDT
You are here
Home » United States government » Report: NSA contract worker is surveillance source

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Guardian newspaper in London says a 29-year-old American who works as a contractor at the National Security Agency is its source of leaks about the U.S. government's surveillance programs.

The newspaper says it was revealing Edward Snowden's identify at his own request.

Snowden is quoted as saying "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong."

The Guardian says Snowden is now in Hong Kong and that he views his best hope for the future as the possibility of asylum, perhaps in Iceland.

LBN: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014504440

http://m.guardiannews.com/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why

Sunday 9 June 2013 14.27 EDT

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I do not expect to see home again'
Source for the Guardian's NSA files on why he carried out the biggest intelligence leak in a generation – and what comes next
Ewen MacAskill

Edward Snowden was interviewed over several days in Hong Kong by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.

Q: Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?

A: "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.

"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

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