March 30, 2012
By Jim Garrison
“Remember when Obama said he was going to bring change? I guess he meant it – but this is not the change people wanted.” –KTRN
President Obama’s National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order of March 16 does to the country as a whole what the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act did to the Constitution in particular — completely eviscerates any due process or judicial oversight for any action by the Government deemed in the interest of “national security.” Like the NDAA, the new Executive Order puts the government completely above the law, which, in a democracy, is never supposed to happen. The United States is essentially now under martial law without the exigencies of a national emergency.
Even as the 2012 NDAA was rooted in the Patriot Act and the various executive orders and Congressional bills that ensued to broaden executive power in the “war on terror,” so the new Executive Order is rooted in the Defense Production Act of 1950 which gave the Government powers to mobilize national resources in the event of national emergencies, except now virtually every aspect of American life falls under ultimate unchallengeable government control, to be exercised by the president and his secretaries at their discretion.
The 2012 NDAA deemed the United States a “battlefield,” as Senator Lindsey Graham put it, and gave the president and his agents the right to seize and arrest any U.S. citizen, detain them indefinitely without charge or trial, and do so only on suspicion, without any judicial oversight or due process. The new Executive Order states that the president and his secretaries have the authority to commandeer all U.S. domestic resources, including food and water, as well as seize all energy and transportation infrastructure inside the borders of the United States. The Government can also forcibly draft U.S. citizens into the military and force U.S. citizens to fulfill “labor requirements” for the purposes of “national defense.” There is not even any Congressional oversight allowed, only briefings.
March 6, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
“It’s obvious that the government is scared of the people. They don’t want you protesting and speaking your mind.” –KTRN
President Barack Obama has moved the upcoming Group of Eight (G8) summit from the city of Chicago to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, just 62 miles away from Washington, D.C.
An aide for the president said that he has decided that he would prefer a more “intimate setting” for the meeting, although I think it is obvious that what he really wants to avoid is a large-scale protest.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) summit in May is still going to be held in Chicago and I think it will likely draw some quite sizable demonstrations.
Even the Tribune has to take note of the fact that “Summits in large cities typically see clamorous protests,” and given the current situation around the world, it’s quite obvious that it would draw a crowd who isn’t all too happy about what these elites are doing.
“It’s not about Chicago being able to handle logistics, as evidenced by the fact that the NATO and ISAF meetings will be held there, which are far larger than the G8 meeting,” Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the Obama administration’s National Security Council, said. “There are a lot of political, economic and security issues that come together at the G8.”
“This was really about the president looking for a more informal setting with these close partners,” she claimed.
February 28, 2012
By Richard Silverstein
There have been endless recent visits to Israel from high-ranking U.S. officials regarding the Iran issue, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and most recently National Security Advisor Tom Donilon.
The AP reports that during the last set of meetings the Israelis defiantly told the U.S. that if they attacked Iran, they would leave the U.S. in the dark. Here’s how Mike Rogers, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee put it:
Rogers told CNN on Monday: “I got the sense that Israel is incredibly serious about a strike on their nuclear weapons program. It’s their calculus that the administration … is not serious about a real military consequence to Iran moving forward.
“They believe they’re going to have to make a decision on their own, given the current posture of the United States,” he added.
Now, Israel’s two top leaders head to Washington for separate sets of talks in the coming days. Bibi comes for his annual triumphal curtain call before the Aipac national conference. There he will certainly repeat his baleful predictions of what a world with Iranian nukes would be like. It could be his last speech in this country before an Israeli attack.
February 24, 2012
End The Lie
By Madison Ruppert
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been actively working in a covert manner to fight back against the American public’s ability to get secret CIA documents declassified, known as the Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR).
Without any notices for public comment, the CIA printed a two page document in the Federal Register on September 23, 2011 which radically changed the MDR process, and not for the better.
These two pages made it so that overnight the costs associated with MDRs were raised to such a ludicrously high degree that it prohibits all but the wealthiest individuals from pursuing such a review.
The reviews now cost those who request them up to $72 per hour. That cost remains the same even if no information is found or if they decide not to release the information.
In addition, just submitting the request itself now costs a minimum of $15, and this too is in place even if nothing is released as a result of the review!
This is being done likely because the MDR process is the best weapon we, as the American public, have to force the government to be transparent.
The Obama administration has done a phenomenal job of showing that they abhor transparency (despite the campaign promises) as seen here and here and this is just another incarnation of this abuse of secrecy.
The National Security Archive accurately points out, “Mandatory Declassification Review is an extremely powerful tool because it eventually allows declassification decisions to be removed from the control of the overly-secretive CIA and decided by an independent, rational, democratic, outside entity.”
In another piece published on February 21, they also write, “It’s hard to imagine that these fee hikes are anything other than an attempt to dissuade people from filing MDRs,” and I completely agree.
January 31, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
“The FBI is more concerned over prostitution than terrorism.” -KTRN
In Indianapolis, local cops and the FBI have set-up a massive surveillance grid ahead of the Super Bowl, slated for February 5th. The heightened security – including a smartphone photo and video surveillance network, the installation of 150 new manhole covers, and the virtual lockdown of a 44-block area – is not in response to a possible attack by al-Qaeda, but will be used to detect “signs of pickpocketing, prostitution or other trouble.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Super Bowl rates as a “national security event” (or NSSE) that may be a target for potential terrorism and “other criminal activity,” possibly of the sort mentioned above.
An NSSE designation allows the feds to have a field day. It puts the Secret Service in charge of event security, the FBI in charge of intelligence, counter terrorism, hostage rescue and investigation of incidents of terrorism or other criminal activities, and FEMA in charge of recovery management in the aftermath of terrorist or other major criminal incidents, natural disasters or other catastrophic events.
December 2, 2011
The New York Times
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is permitted to include people on the government’s terrorist watch list even if they have been acquitted of terrorism-related offenses or the charges are dropped, according to newly released documents.
The files, released by the F.B.I. under the Freedom of Information Act, disclose how the police are instructed to react if they encounter a person on the list. They lay out, for the first time in public view, the legal standard that national security officials must meet in order to add a name to the list. And they shed new light on how names are vetted for possible removal from the list.
Inclusion on the watch list can keep terrorism suspects off planes, block noncitizens from entering the country and subject people to delays and greater scrutiny at airports, border crossings and traffic stops.
The database now has about 420,000 names, including about 8,000 Americans, according to the statistics released in connection with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. About 16,000 people, including about 500 Americans, are barred from flying.
KT explains how and why the government is trying to control all parts of our lives; food, money, health care, water, energy, and much more! Plus, the star of Ancient Aliens, Giorgio Tsoukalos, talks to Kevin about the facts and the evidence that aliens have in fact visited earth
Lose Up To 30 Pounds in 40 Days!
Nestle Recalls Lean Cuisine Spaghetti with Meatballs Meals, Might Contain Plastic
Pierre Foods Recalls ‘PB Jamwiches’ Over Possible Listeria Contamination
Clues to Gluten Sensitivity
Brain Games May Do Nothing for the Brain
School Lunches Are a Threat to National Security
Bayer Even Admits GMO Contamination Is Out Of Control
Sugar Gains Favor on Labels
Tainted Ingredient Sold After Salmonella Found
Bayer Knowingly Sold HIV Contaminated Vaccines
Osteoporosis Medication May Cause Bone Fracture
Most Drug Studies Don’t Help Docs Pick Best Treatment
Lobbyists Spend Millions to Influence Health Care
A Livestock Drug Banned in 160 Countries
Become An Insider!
Kevin is on YouTube!
Download Kevin’s iPhone App!
Sign Up For Kevin’s FREE Podcast
Follow Kevin on Twitter
Become Kevin’s Friend on Facebook
Kevin’s Film Club
Kevin’s Book Club
Take Trudeau on the Go! Click here to download this show to your iPod, mp3 player, or PC through iTunes!
October 26, 2011
By Sue Marquette Poremba
In the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the size and scope of the U.S. national-security apparatus has greatly expanded.
The trigger of that growth was the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 — more commonly known as the Patriot Act — which Congress overwhelmingly approved in the weeks following 9/11.
Since its inception, the Patriot Act has been controversial, and some argue that it is an attack on the freedoms protected in the Bill of Rights. In May of this year, two Democratic members of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said “Americans would be appalled if they knew how broadly the Justice Department has interpreted what the law allows government snoops to do.”
Nevertheless, President Barack Obama and Congress extended several key provisions in the Patriot Act until 2015. While some in Congress want to overturn the provisions or require the government to be more honest about how it spies on its citizens, chances are we will remain under the watchful and secretive eye of federal agencies for the foreseeable future.
State and local governments also have surveillance measures in place. Many products that make life a little easier, such using an E-Z Pass card to zip through toll booths, feed information back to the government.
Here are 10 ways government agencies watch us:
Roving John Doe wiretaps. One of the controversial Patriot Act provisions reauthorized this past spring permits roving John Doe wiretaps, which follow a “person of interest” within a broad search warrant.
For example, instead of getting a warrant to tap into a single phone line, the roving John Doe wiretap allows law enforcement to tap any and all communication lines — cellphone, landline, email, text messaging — a person of interest may be using.
FBI monitoring of email and electronic communications. The FBI implemented a system in the late 1990s known as Carnivore, which scanned emails en masse looking for keywords. It’s since been replaced by even more sophisticated software.
“Carnivore uses a list of FBI-supplied keywords to sift through email (maybe everybody’s email) to find suspicious references to call FBI attention to possibly nefarious conversations going on across the Internet,” explained Joe B. Vaughan, Jr., author of “The Suburban Manifesto: How To Get City Hall To Do Exactly What You Want” (CreatePress, 2010).
“The FBI would use this program to track terrorists, drug traffickers, etc.,” Vaughan said. “I had a conversation with an FBI agent about this. He said that this technology is necessary because of the impossible task of monitoring all of the email traffic occurring daily by federal authorities. Carnivore sifts email and when it finds matching keyword references, the FBI can zero in on the sender and receiver and monitor their email conversations more effectively.”
License-plate cameras at intersections. In order to crack down on drivers running red lights or committing other traffic transgressions, many municipalities have installed cameras at intersections.
The camera snaps a picture of the offending vehicle, and based on license-plate information, the photo and an accompanying traffic ticket are sent to the car’s owner.
“The offense, by the way, is usually never entered in the driver’s record, so their insurance rate usually will not increase for the violation — just a way for cities to make more revenue from drivers’ mistakes,” said Vaughan.
Surveillance cameras in public places. In August, Detroit officials announced that the city would be operating 350 security cameras in the central business district, joining dozens of American cities that use surveillance cameras to help prevent crime.
Cameras are installed in areas that have a history of criminal activities or in areas where crowds regularly gather — downtown, public parks or subway stations, for example. The cameras also record the everyday activities of law-abiding citizens, many of whom are unaware they are being watched.
October 26, 2011
By Spencer Ackerman
President Obama announced on Friday that all 41,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq will return home by December 31. “That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end,” he said. Don’t believe him.
Now: it’s a big deal that all U.S. troops are coming home. For much of the year, the military, fearful of Iranian influence, has sought a residual presence in Iraq of several thousand troops. But arduous negotiations with the Iraqi government about keeping a residual force stalled over the Iraqis’ reluctance to provide them with legal immunity.
But the fact is America’s military efforts in Iraq aren’t coming to an end. They are instead entering a new phase. On January 1, 2012, the State Department will command a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors, all to protect the largest U.S. diplomatic presence anywhere overseas.
The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security does not have a promising record when it comes to managing its mercenaries. The 2007 Nisour Square shootings by State’s security contractors, in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed, marked one of the low points of the war. Now, State will be commanding a much larger security presence, the equivalent of a heavy combat brigade. In July, Danger Room exclusively reported that the Department blocked the Congressionally-appointed watchdog for Iraq from acquiring basic information about contractor security operations, such as the contractors’ rules of engagement.
That means no one outside the State Department knows how its contractors will behave as they ferry over 10,000 U.S. State Department employees throughout Iraq — which, in case anyone has forgotten, is still a war zone. Since Iraq wouldn’t grant legal immunity to U.S. troops, it is unlikely to grant it to U.S. contractors, particularly in the heat and anger of an accident resulting in the loss of Iraqi life.
It’s a situation with the potential for diplomatic disaster. And it’s being managed by an organization with no experience running the tight command structure that makes armies cohesive and effective.
You can also expect that there will be a shadow presence by the CIA, and possibly the Joint Special Operations Command, to hunt persons affiliated with al-Qaida. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has conspicuously stated that al-Qaida still has 1,000 Iraqi adherents, which would make it the largest al-Qaida affiliate in the world.
So far, there are three big security firms with lucrative contracts to protect U.S. diplomats. Triple Canopy, a longtime State guard company, has a contract worth up to $1.53 billion to keep diplos safe as they travel throughout Iraq. Global Strategies Group will guard the consulate at Basra for up to $401 million. SOC Incorporated will protect the mega-embassy in Baghdad for up to $974 million. State has yet to award contracts to guard consulates in multiethnic flashpoint cities Mosul and Kirkuk, as well as the outpost in placid Irbil.
“We can have the kind of protection our diplomats need,” Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough told reporters after Obama’s announcement. Whether the Iraqi people will have protection from the contractors that the State Department commands is a different question. And whatever you call their operations, the Obama administration hopes that you won’t be so rude as to call it “war.”
October 26, 2011
By Jennifer LaFleur
A proposed rule to the Freedom of Information Act would allow federal agencies to tell people requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don’t exist – even when they do.
Under current FOIA practice, the government may withhold information and issue what’s known as a Glomar denial that says it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records.
The new proposal – part of a lengthy rule revision by the Department of Justice – would direct government agencies to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist.”
Open-government groups object.
“We don’t believe the statute allows the government to lie to FOIA requesters,” said Mike German, senior policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the provision.
The ACLU, along with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and OpenTheGovernment.org said the move would “dramatically undermine government integrity by allowing a law designed to provide public access to government to be twisted.
The Glomar denial arose in the mid-1970s when a Los Angeles Times reporter requested information about the CIA’s Glomar Explorer, built to recover a sunken Soviet submarine and the CIA’s attempt to suppress stories about it.
But the advocacy groups propose another response: You have requested “…records which, if they exist, would not be subject to the disclosure requirements of FOIA…”
They prefer such language because a last resort is to sue to obtain the records, something people requesting information might not do if they assumed that no records existed.
Open government groups also contend that the proposed rule could undermine judicial proceedings.
In a recent case brought by the ACLU of Southern California, the FBI denied the existence of documents. But the court later discovered that the documents did exist. In an amended order, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney wrote that the “Government cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the Court.”
DOJ’s draft FOIA rule was first published in March, but DOJ re-opened comment submissions in September at the request of open-government groups. The new comment period ended October 19.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. We will update as soon as it does.