Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Search

FOIA - search results

If you're not happy with the results, please do another search

Border searches of electronic devices prompt FOIA lawsuit against Trump administration

Dramatic increase in border searches of electronic devices prompt FOIA lawsuit against Trump administration ...

FOIA lawsuit seeks docs on tarmac meeting between Loretta Lynch & Bill Clinton

A conservative watchdog group is suing the US Justice Department over records related to the private meeting of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and...

FOIA fail: 'Most transparent ever' Obama administration spent $36mn to hide records in 2016

Published time: 14 Mar, 2017 21:13Edited time: 15 Mar, 2017 09:33 The Obama administration granted less than...

The FBI's New FOIA Policy Is a Big Step Backward

Dust off your fax machine. The FBI is planning to take a big step backward for government transparency.As of March 1, the Bureau will...

FOIA action to put Trump business dealings under spotlight – rights group

A tranche of Freedom of Information Act requests have been sent to US government departments, pressing...

FBI facing FOIA requests over hacking of San Bernardino terrorist iPhone

Three news organizations filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information from the Federal...

Federal judge denies FOIA request for secret CIA document

A federal judge has determined that the CIA can keep secret a closely guarded internal analysis at the center of an intense fight between...

How Big Oil’s Intelligence Network Circumvents FOIA

ADAM FEDERMAN What if the private sector banded together to create its own intelligence sharing networks exempt from FOIA law and public accountability? In the last...

Police Deny FOIA Request About Mysterious Snooping Device

Imagine if you will,  cruising down Woodward Avenue all smiles and sunshine until you see it; that  red, white and blue flicker in your rear-view mirror....

U.S. To Release Targeted Killing Memo Sought by ACLU FOIA Lawsuit

The Obama administration has reportedly decided that it will release a crucial Justice Department legal memo relating to U.S. targeted killing operations, which the...

Navy blunders in sending reporter details on how to avoid his FOIA request

A US Navy official mistakenly forwarded an email to a local news reporter this week outlining the Navy’s method of avoiding the very Freedom...

NSA Insults My Intelligence, So I File An FOIA Appeal

fanof2012Planet InfowarsDecember 30, 2013 Check out my video “My appeal to the NSA for treating my...

New York Times Reporters Sue DHS Over FOIA Requests

Reporters want to ensure they weren't “having their activities monitored by the government” Adan Salazar The Department of Homeland Security is being sued by two New...

NSA sees 888% increase in FOIA requests

Yamiche Alcindor USA Today Fueled by the Edward Snowden scandal, more Americans than ever are asking the National Security Agency if their personal life is being...

Cryptome founder John Young: FOIA has become a confidence game

Michael Morisymuckrock.comNovember 15, 2013 For lovers of primary documents, there are few sites as rewarding, and beguiling, as Cryptome. A relatively unadorned site operating since...

Selective Shutdown: NSA Spying Funded, FOIA Requests Denied

The government might be shut down, but both parties have agreed that the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance programs will not be impacted by...

FBI responds to ACLU FOIA request…with 111 blank pages

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI seeking details of its surveillance policy -- who it spies upon, and how, and under what circumstances. The FBI sent back two 50+ page memos in reply, each of them totally blacked out except for some information on the title page.

Aaron Swartz’s FOIA Requests Shed Light on His Struggle

Aaron Swartz at a 2008 Creative Commons panel.Aaron Swartz at a 2008 Creative Commons panel. (Photo: dsearls)It looked like Aaron Swartz was up to something.

Two months before his death, the high-profile Internet activist filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Mint and asked for copies of its 2005 survey results which claimed, "147 million adults continued to collect the 50 State Quarters ... the most successful coin program in the nation's history."

The 50 State Quarters Program report Swartz cited in his November 24 FOIA request said the US Mint "shipped 34.3 billion quarter-dollar coins to the Federal Reserve Banks (FRB), generating $8.6 billion in revenue and nearly $6.3 billion in seigniorage, which helps finance the national debt."

"The United States Mint estimated it shipped 16.3 billion more coins to the FRB than it would have in the absence of the Program. Consequently, the Agency attributes $4.1 billion in revenue and $3.0 billion in seigniorage solely to the 50 State Quarters Program," according to the report. "The sale of 50 State Quarters numismatic products generated another $470.1 million in revenue and $136.2 million in earnings and seigniorage."

It's unknown what Swartz had hoped to do with the information if and when he received the types of records he was requesting. Swartz's request remains open, according to Muckrock, a transparency web site that streamlines the FOIA request process for journalists and the public and which Swartz used to request records.

Michael Morisy, the founder of Muckrock, who met Swartz in 2010 after Morisy launched the site, told Truthout they spoke regularly about a number of Swartz's FOIA requests "but not that one in particular."

Perhaps the boy genius who founded a software company that merged with the popular social networking web site Reddit was hoping to come up with a solution to the country's financial woes and use the statistics in the government report to show why an idea to mint a platinum trillion-dollar coin as a means of dealing with the federal debt ceiling could be even bigger than the 50 State Quarters Program. In one of his last tweets before he took his own life Friday, he urged his followers to "save the country" and "sign the platinum coin petition."

The idea was ultimately shot down on Saturday.

A day earlier, Swartz hanged himself with his belt in his Brooklyn, New York home. He was 26. He had battled depression and in years past had publicly written about thoughts of suicide. He did not leave a suicide note, according to police.

While his supporters, family and friends continue attempt to come to grips with the tragic loss of such a gifted computer programmer, who at 14, developed an early version of Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, which allowed blogs and news web sites to easily share their content, a peek at the FOIA requests Swartz filed over the past two years sheds a little light on what he had been grappling with personally and professionally.

Although a majority of his FOIA requests were self-serving it is also clear that the information he sought, particularly in areas pertaining to government surveillance, would have greatly benefited the public. However, his efforts to pry loose materials from a highly secretive administration were mostly unsuccessful.

On the Government's Radar

Swartz filed his first FOIA request using Muckrock's service in December 2010, more than two years after he landed on the government's radar. He was seeking information about himself. 

In 2008, Swartz's friend and fellow open government activist Carl Malamud, the founder of the nonprofit public.resource.org, wanted to make federal court documents housed on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system (PACER) available to the public for free. Using $600,000 he raised from supporters, Malamud purchased 50 years worth of appellate court documents and posted them on his website.

Then, the government started a pilot program in which access to federal court documents on PACER would be made available to users at no cost at 17 libraries around the country. Malamud urged activists like Swartz to visit the libraries, download the documents and send it over to him so he could make it availble to the public via his website. 

"So Aaron went to one of them and installed a small PERL script he had written that cycled sequentially through case numbers, requesting a new document from Pacer every three seconds, and uploading it to" Amazon's Elastic Compute (EC2) Cloud server, Wired reported. "Aaron pulled nearly 20 million pages of public court documents, which are now available for free on the Internet Archive." 

The court documents Swartz legally accessed were worth $1.5 million. The government shut down the PACER pilot program and the FBI launched an investigtation

On December 10, 2010, Swartz filed a FOIA request with the Justice Department's Criminal Division seeking "documents related to me, Aaron Swartz, as well as any documents related to any associated PACER investigation." The government responded by stating it could not locate any responsive records.

The same day he filed a FOIA request with the Justice Department he also filed one with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking "All clinical trial information, including the medical and statistical reviews of New Drug Applications." The FDA said his request was too broad. Swartz narrowed it and asked for "the list or log that includes all names of drugs which the FDA has already processed and prepared for public release all the submitted medical and statistical new drug reviews. [sic]" The FDA told Swartz he could find that information on the agency's website. It's unknown why Swartz was so interested in the data.

Two years ago, Swartz was indicted on federal wire and computer fraud charges for allegedly downloading illegally more than 4 million journal articles and documents from JSTOR, an electronic database of journal articles, by entering a wiring closet in the basement of a research building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), connecting a laptop to the university's network and uploading the articles to Amazon's cloud server. Swartz later returned to retrieve the computer, according to federal court documents.

This time the government aggressively pursued Swartz, even after he turned over hard drives containing the articles and JSTOR said it was not interested in pursuing the matter further. His trial was due to start in April. He faced $1 million in fines and decades in prison if convicted.

In March 2011, about two months after he was arrested by MIT and Cambridge, Massachusetts, police and a Secret Service agent and four months prior to his indictment, Swartz filed a FOIA request with the Justice Department, which appeared to be related to his PACER case, seeking:

Any records requests made to Amazon and any responses from Amazon in connection with any such requests. This includes subpoenas, warrants, 2703 orders, National Security Letters, etc.

In addition, I request any guidelines, policies, advice, or procedures related to using data stored by Amazon for investigations, data-collection, and surveillance. For example, any guides or advice to law enforcement akin to the "AOL Inc. Law Enforcement Manual" or "Facebook Law Enforcement Guidelines" would be included by this request.

In particular, I request the response from Amazon to a Grand Jury subpoena as included in an email from Eric Wenger dated Nov 4, 2008 and labeled "Amazon_GJS_Response.pdf". Since it pertains to me, I request this information under the Privacy Act as well as the Freedom of Information Act.

A week before he filed his FOIA, Swartz exchanged emails with Christopher Soghoian, a security and privacy researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union, asking him to provide feedback about a blog post he was considering publishing: "Is the Government Snooping On Your EC2 Instance?" While Swartz's post raised a number of important privacy and security questions, he was clearly concerned about how the government was obtaining information about him without his knowledge.

When I heard that the government had [ordered Twitter to turn over data about its users], I got real interested in the legal techniques for getting people's private data," Swartz wrote. "I've spent the past few months talking to lawyers, policy experts, and executives at online service providers about how the rules work and what protections they afford. What I've found is that ­­- incredibly -­­ anyone who's filed a lawsuit can order online service providers to turn over just about anything." In a message on the same email string, Soghoian questioned the accuracy of Swartz's finding that "anyone" could obtain such information, citing a provision in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that prohibits disclosure of content to anyone but the government. (And the government doesn't even need to file a lawsuit.) But most major online service providers warn you before they hand over your data and give you a chance to challenge the order in court. Google, Yahoo, and Twitter all send their users emails with a copy of the request and instructions on how to challenge it.

What are Amazon's policies? I've had several conversations with them about this, but they refuse to comment on the record. Still, I'm in the rare position of getting to experience them first­hand. A couple years ago the government sent Amazon a subpoena for information about an EC2 instance I'd purchased. Amazon handed it over without stopping to warn me. When I asked them about it specifically, they refused to comment. When I asked them about their general policy, they refused to comment. The only reason I found out about it was because I filed a FOIA request with the Department of Justice. The DOJ was more transparent about this than Amazon.

As best as I can tell, this is Amazon's policy: When the government asks, turn stuff over. Never tell the people affected. Don't give them a chance to object.

In his email to Soghoian, Swartz said he could not publish the article under his name "for personal reasons." He did not elaborate. Swartz's attorney did not return calls from Truthout seeking comment. Soghoian also did not respond to email requests for comment.

A week after his email exchange with Soghoian, Swartz filed a FOIA request with the FBI and Justice Department seeking records from the FBI and records related to a "raid" of Soghoian's Indiana home in 2006.

According to Muckrock, Swartz did not receive any documents pertaining to Soghoian at the time of his death.

Why the government was so determined to punish Swartz is a mystery. The Huffington Post reported that Swartz's attorney, Elliot Peters, said that the assistant US attorney in Massachusetts prosecuting the case, Stephen Heymann, was looking for "some juicy computer crime cases and Aaron's case, sadly for Aaron, fit the bill." Peters believes Heymann thought he "was going to receive press and he was going to be a tough guy and read his name in the newspaper."

Over the weekend, Swartz's family issued a statement and said Swartz's death "is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death."

Rankled By ICE Domain Name Seizures

Morisy, the Muckrock founder, said Swartz was particularly disturbed by actions on the part of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that led to the seizure of dozens of Internet domain names. He filed a FOIA in December 2010 with the agency in hopes of prying loose documents about its actions.

"That really bothered him," Morisy said about the domain name seizures. "He felt it was politicized. He was just really upset that the government could come in and do this."

ICE turned over to Swartz last October about 100 pages of heavily redacted documents. But the materials do not help explain the government's actions.

Morisy said he was working on an appeal for Swartz to send to ICE, a draft of which was ready at the time of his death last week. He added that Swartz expressed some interest in working with advocacy organizations, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), to "raise awareness about these issues and effect change."

"It wasn't just a curiosity for him," Morisy said about Swartz's FOIA requests. "He wanted to see something done differently."

Free Speech Advocate

Swartz also sought government records related to Pfc. Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of State Department cables and other documents to WikiLeaks. Specifically, Swartz's December 27, 2010 FOIA request asked the Marine Corps to "please process as quickly as possible a request for the government-curated audio tapes created in Quantico brig visitation room #2 on December 18 and December 19 2010 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm.

"These tapes may also contain a recording of David M. House; I have permission from David House under the Privacy Act to request these records," Swartz wrote. He filed the same request with the Army Criminal Investigative Service on February 9, 2011.

House is a founding member of the Bradley Manning Support Network who helped raise awareness about the conditions of Manning's detention, which a military judge recently ruled was illegal. In June 2011, House was subpoeaned to appear before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, which is reportedly investigating Wikileaks and associations a group of Boston-area hackers may have had with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and/or Manning. 

House declined to comment on the record about Swartz's FOIA. 

Morisy said Swartz "was very interested in due process and the freedom of speech issues." That certainly appeared to be  the common thread in all of his FOIA requests. 

But it was also deeply personal for Swartz.

Indeed, one of his FOIA requests sought from the United States Secret Service, "Any records on the procedures the Secret Service uses for reading encrypted hard disks." Swartz, who filed the records request on February 28, 2011, was still waiting for the Secret Service to produce responsive records at the time of his death. 

In a blog post published Monday, investigative blogger Marcy Wheeler reported that two days before Swartz was arrested in January 2011, the Secret Service took over the investigation.

On Monday, in what is considered standard procedure when the defendant in a case has died, the Justice Department announced that it had dropped its criminal case against Swartz.

FOIA Documents Detail FBI Surveillance Network

By Ryan Singel The FBI has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click surveillance system that performs instant wiretaps on almost any communications device, according to...

Documents marked ‘do not publish’ reveal details of US-Mexico border wall — RT US...

Newly released documents reveal details about the Trump administration's plans for a border wall in the...

Texas National Guard has spy devices on planes — RT US News

Published time: 6 Nov, 2017 23:24 Devices capable of accessing calls, photos and text messages on...

Pentagon Think-Tank Praises Al Qaeda as ‘Moderate’ Islamists

Eric Zuesse An October 24th article by Colin P. Clarke of the Rand Corporation — the main think-tank for the Pentagon — is headlined "The...

US govt expands warrantless surveillance of Americans — RT US News

The US government, without court or congressional review, may have broadened a legal interpretation of which...

‘The Bureau Is Once Again Profiling Black Activists Because of Their Beliefs and Their...

Janine Jackson interviewed Nusrat Choudhury about the FBI’s “black extremist identity” designation for the October 20, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly...

Anti-Russia ‘propaganda’ group urges reporter to drop story on CIA arming Syrian rebels —...

Published time: 20 Oct, 2017 03:54 A group that claims to be fighting against Russian propaganda...

Nearly 3,000 govt docs found on home laptop used by Clinton adviser Abedin —...

Published time: 18 Oct, 2017 16:45 Edited time: 18 Oct, 2017 17:54 The State Department admitted...

DOD No Longer Using SPLC Materials for Extremism Training

The Pentagon has officially severed all ties to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after previously relying on the group’s training materials...

Unredacted Clinton emails to be reviewed in court, despite State Dept. resistance

A federal judge has ordered a review of unredacted Hillary Clinton emails relating to her use...

Mystery dump: State Department releases thousands of Hillary Clinton documents

Published time: 30 Sep, 2017 04:28 Without much fanfare, the State Department has released over 6,000...

'Spitting in the Eye of Transparency,' Govt Reveals Just 22 Mar-a-Lago Visitors

"See you in court, Mr. President," a watchdog group warned on Friday, after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under pressure from a federal...

ACLU lawsuit seeks draft of Trump religious ‘license to discriminate’ guidelines

Four federal departments are being sued by the ACLU for documents relating to the Trump administration’s...

Transparency Victory: Trump Forced to Release Mar-a-Lago Visitor Logs

Watchdog groups are claiming victory on Monday after the Trump administration said it would release the visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago, the resort estate the...

First DREAMer deported under Trump files new evidence, disputing government's account

Eyewitnesses claim that immigration officers illegally forced a “dreamer” over the border, according to court documents...

Jeff Sessions to review if Las Vegas a ‘sanctuary city,’ urges local police to...

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is urging Las Vegas law enforcement to cooperate with the Department...

Royal Saud Family Seek Trump’s Support Against Qatar’s Royal Thani Family

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org It’s now war between the fundamentalist Sunni Sauds who own the world’s most oil-rich nation Saudi Arabia, versus the...

FBI allowed to hide details of secret 9/11 report – judge

A South Florida judge ruled the FBI is not improperly withholding information about funding of the...

Trump Has Been Continuing Obama’s Syria-Policy

Eric Zuesse U.S. President Donald Trump, who during the election-campaign ferociously condemned Barack Obama’s foreign policies, while asserting nothing concrete of his own, has, as...

Watch What Trump Tweets But Also What He Does

I’m the last guy to turn my eyes away from the sub-Shakespearian maneuvers that may (or may not) be shuffling personnel behind closed doors in...

As Trump Forces Speculation, Secret Service Says 'No Record' of White House Tapes

In response to a Wall Street Journal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request pertaining to possible tapes of conversations between President Donald Trump and...

Pentagram Theft

The Office of Inspector General for the Pentagon’s findings from September 2016 were finally made available to the public on Wednesday as a result of a Freedom...

Democrats accuse Trump of ‘erasing history’ as GOP recalls copies of torture report

The Trump administration intends to “erase history” by burying the 2014 Senate torture report, leading Democrats...

US Army lost track of $1 billion worth of arms & equipment in Iraq,...

Published time: 25 May, 2017 03:31 A newly released declassified audit from the US Department of...

Hawaii Updating Nuclear Contingency Plan Over North Korea Fears, Documents Show

Experts say North Korea’s recently tested midrange missile capable of reaching Hawaiian Islands Mikael Thalen Prison Planet.com May 24, 2017 The Hawaii Department of Defense...

'Where Are the Tapes, Sean?': As Spicer Demurs, ACLU Requests Comey Records

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday requested that the White House hand over any records pertaining to President Donald Trump's firing of...

The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week: Peter Van Buren

For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department...

Rights group sues Trump admin for legal explanation of Syria missile strike

Government watchdog United to Protect Democracy has launched a legal complaint to force the Trump administration...

Court orders State Dept to release Clinton emails on Benghazi attack

A Washington DC federal court judge has ordered the State Department to turn over Hillary Clinton’s...

NYT’s 100 Day Apologism Shows Danger of ‘Both Sides’ Reporting

New York Times White House reporter Peter Baker (4/29/16) appears to have set out in earnest to write a “balanced” review of Donald Trump’s...

Lawsuit Aims to Force Release of EPA Chief's Emails, Schedule

WASHINGTON - The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit today to force the Environmental Protection Agency to turn over the emails and schedule of...

CIA Denies Knowledge of Aid to Israel

The CIA has denied that it has any information about intelligence budget-line items earmarked for Israel between 1990 and 2015—a claim which...

In Time for the Reform Debate, New Documents Shed Light on the Government’s Surveillance...

The ACLU on Friday released more than a dozen new documents concerning the government’s warrantless surveillance of millions of Americans. They were obtained from...

‘Opposite of draining the swamp’: Watchdogs hit Trump for secret White House visitor log

President Donald Trump’s administration announced they will no longer disclose records pertaining to who visits the...

Civil rights groups file barrage of lawsuits against DHS over Trump’s travel bans

Nine American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapters have filed 13 lawsuits in nine states against the...

Trump admin sued over lack transparency for White House, Mar-a-Lago visitor logs

Three groups are suing the Trump administration for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information...

U.S. Strikes in Syria Are an Illegal Response to Atrocity

No one disputes that Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians is illegal, immoral, and unacceptable. But Assad’s illegality does not excuse...

Judicial Watch obtained 695 Pages of Obama IRS scandal Documents

The conservative think tank, Judicial Watch, has obtained and released nearly 700 pages of Obama IRS...

NYPD filmed Occupy and BLM protests over 400 times without authorization – report

Published time: 24 Mar, 2017 01:59 A Freedom of Information Act request has uncovered evidence that the...

‘Misguided’ Obama counter-extremism program ‘almost exclusively’ targeted Muslims – report

A program introduced by the Obama administration to deal with radicalization “almost exclusively” targeted Muslims, a...

DOJ Docs Raise Questions About Gorsuch's Views on Torture and Executive Power

With just days until Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a new trove of documents is raising additional...

FBI not obligated to share rules for spying on journalists, judge rules

A federal judge has ruled that not only is it okay for the FBI to spy...

Pentagon wants looser rules on using force in ‘temporary areas of active hostility’ –...

The White House is reportedly mulling over a Pentagon proposal to designate undeclared battlefields across the...

Judicial Watch: Only Crimes in Russia Scandal Are from ‘Obama Gang’

Government transparency activist group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the...

How Is Trump Planning to Attack Reproductive Rights, LGBT Equality, and Religious Minorities? We’ll...

There is no question that President Trump hopes to stop progress toward full LGBT equality and access to reproductive rights. Trump has vowed to...

Joint Session Speech Mystery: Has Goldman Sachs Wing of Administration Derailed Trump’s China Trade...

Will Tuesday night’s address to Congress reveal just how President Trump plans to change U.S. trade policy to "bring jobs back to America”? Polling...

FBI pressed to reveal cost & source of San Bernardino suspect’s phone hack

Media organizations suing the FBI for information about software used to access the San Bernardino terrorist...

Mystery Surrounds Guantánamo Detainee's "Suicide"

Why did key evidence concerning the alleged ''suicide'' of Guantánamo detainee Al Hanashi go missing? (Image: Lance Page / Truthout; Adapted: christophe dune...

The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Is Not a Substitute for Education

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students wait to enter a Veteran's Day Parade on November 11, 2009. (Photo: Katie Spence) Delving into the underbelly of...

Coming Soon to a City Near You

“Our current and past strategies can no longer hold. We are facing environments that the masters of war never foresaw. We are facing a...

No scientific basis for airport behavior screening – TSA internal files

The Transport Security Administration’s airport behavior screening program has little scientific basis and has led to...

Class Action Suit Filed for Tens of Thousands of Legal Immigrants Affected by Ban

The ACLU and other civil and immigrant rights groups have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of tens of thousands of immigrants who...

FBI blames ‘hostile entities’ on decision to withhold information on San Bernardino iPhone hack

The FBI has defended its decision not to reveal how it hacked the San Bernardino shooter’s...

‘Misremembering King Rewrites the Press’s Own Role in History’ – Transcript of CounterSpin's special...

The January 20, 2017, episode of CounterSpin was a special featuring archived interviews about corporate media and Martin Luther King. This is a lightly...

‘It’s Tough to Say How Much Leverage People Have on Him’ – CounterSpin interview...

Janine Jackson interviewed Russ Choma about Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest for the January 13, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited...

Assange will agree to US extradition in exchange for Manning ‘clemency’ – WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would leave his Ecuadorian embassy refuge and accept extradition to the US...

DEA knocked for ‘wasteful’ marijuana raids in states where it is legal

The Drug Enforcement Administration is being criticized for marijuana raids in states where the drug is...

Who Wants Obama To Pardon Lawrence Franklin?

Former Defense Department analyst Lawrence A. Franklin was convicted of felonies for passing in 2004 classified military information to two...

Commandos Without Borders: The US's Elite Troops Partner With African Forces but Pursue US...

US Army Special Operations Command Africa participants share ideas during the SOCAFRICA Commander's Conference held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany from November 16-20. (Photo: US Army...

US officials gave airport security tours to immigrants under investigation – border agency

US Department of Homeland Security officials gave so-called “community engagement tours” to groups of immigrants at...

Trump security adviser Flynn faces allegations of sharing secret data, despite being cleared

Trump’s pick for national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is under fire after the Washington Post reported...

Officials: Obama Prioritized Defeating Assad Above Defeating Jihadists

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org SUMMARY The evidence is clear and convincing: U.S. President Barack Obama, against advice and warnings from his top military officers,...

Obama’s 2015 Hawaiian vacation cost taxpayers over $4.8mn

President Barack Obama’s family vacation to Hawaii in 2015 cost taxpayers more than $4.8 million. ...

Virginia State Police’s Stingray-like device captures voice communications – docs

Documents acquired from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show the Virginia State Police have...

The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week

For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department...

‘Clever-cyber thief to a convicted criminal’: Huma Abedin & Clinton discuss Assange in emails

Newly released emails from the US State Department reveal Hillary Clinton and her senior aide Huma Abedin discussing ways to deal with WikiLeaks founder...

There’s Something Rotten in the State of Weiner

On Monday we were the first to note that Podesta’s friend Peter Kadzik was the DOJ representative chosen to head up a “thorough” review...

The State Department releases the latest batch, #18, of Clinton emails

Published time: 3 Nov, 2016 19:28Edited time: 3 Nov, 2016 19:33 State Department officials will release 1,250...

FBI Releases Bill Clinton Closed Case Files Days Before Vote

The FBI has unexpectedly released documents concerning ex-president Bill Clinton's pardon of the husband of a wealthy Democratic donor, in a surprise...

‘Our Identity Is Often What’s Triggering Surveillance’ – CounterSpin interview with Brandi Collins on...

Janine Jackson interviewed Brandi Collins about surveillance of the Movement for Black Lives for the October 28, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a...

State Department releases 122 Clinton emails

A small batch of emails dating back to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state has...

The dodgy ‘quid pro quo’ deal that Clinton wanted to bribe the FBI with

Newly released FBI documents pertaining to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email servers show that an unnamed FBI agent claims Patrick Kennedy, the...

Top State Dept official accused of offering FBI ‘quid pro quo’ to declassify Clinton...

Newly released FBI documents pertaining to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email servers show that...

The Imperial Prez’s Toolbox of Terror

“When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”—Richard Nixon Presidents don’t give up power. Executive orders don’t expire at the end of...

Ex-arms dealer claims US pinned weapon sales to Libya on him to ‘protect’ Clinton...

An American arms dealer, previously indicted for arming Libyan rebels, accused the US of using him...

Police use military helicopter to seize one cannabis plant from 81yo arthritis patient

Massachusetts State Police and the National Guard sent a helicopter, several vehicles and a handful of...

Wikileaks releases over 2,000 emails from Clinton campaign chair

The internet whistleblowing group Wikileaks released over 2,000 emails involving Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta....

Clinton failed to complete security training on handling top-secret information – report

Hillary Clinton allegedly failed to complete top-level security training for handling the State Department’s sensitive information...

Homophonophobes v. Trump

Donald J. Trump is both a racist and not a racist, depending upon the source that one consults.   His comments regarding the rapaciousness of...

Every Journalist Mourns a Dead Journalist

Noé Zavaleta holds up photographs of his murdered colleague, photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, in Xalapa, on July 31, 2016. (Photo by Patrick Timmons) Noé Zavaleta is...

How Should History Measure the Obama Administration's Record on Transparency?

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest sent The New York Times a letter asking journalists to give the Obama administration credit...

Mission Impossible: Keeping Track of US Special Ops in Africa

Burkinabe Army soldiers march toward a US Air Forces Africa C-130J "Super" Hercules on May 1, 2010 to begin their deployment to...

Vicious Military Spy Gear Offered to US Police

A CONFIDENTIAL, 120-PAGE catalogue of spy equipment, originating from British defence firm Cobham and circulated to U.S. law enforcement, touts gear that can intercept wireless...

How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left

Drugs as Weapons Against Us: The CIA’s Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac and Other Activists is a virtual encyclopedia of...

US taxpayers funded Clinton’s private email servers through ‘Former Presidents Act’

The private email server used by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state was...

FBI releases 58 pages of Clinton email probe

The FBI has released documents relating to its investigation of the private email server used by...

15k new Hillary emails discovered as evidence of Clinton Foundation pay-to-play scheme grows

The FBI has found nearly 15,000 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never turned...

Illinois' felony murder rule is covering up police crimes — report

An investigation into 10 recent Chicago criminal cases unearthed the extraordinary reach of the state’s “felony...

Did Federal Agents Spy on Offshore Oil Lease Protesters in New Orleans?

Back in March, hundreds of protesters descended on the Superdome in New Orleans to disrupt a federal auction for new Gulf of Mexico oil...

FBI releases 18 hours of surveillance footage from Freddie Gray protests

The FBI has released spy footage taken during the Baltimore 2015 protests honoring Freddie Gray, who...

BBC accused of silence over possible conflict of interest among journalists

After being accused of blatant bias against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the BBC is now...

Holocaust survivor was monitored by FBI for her Palestinian activism

The FBI has released files revealing Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein was under government surveillance for her...

Hillary Is a Congenital Liar

When FBI Director James Comey publicly revealed his recommendation to the Department of Justice last week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not...

In Clinton Case, Obama Administration Nullifies 6 Criminal Laws

Eric Zuesse When the Obama Administration, on July 5th, ruled that in regard to Hillary Clinton’s privatized email system while she was Secretary of State,...

Hillary Clinton’s Email Operation Violated At Least Six Criminal Laws

Eric Zuesse This is not an exclusive list, nor does it relate to charges that might possibly be made against Ms. Clinton on grounds other...

CIA psychologists admit creating post-9/11 ‘torture’ practice for $81mn

Two former CIA psychologists have partially admitted to having advised torture and inhumane treatment for detainees,...

CIA forced to release post-9/11 torture evidence, unclear if arrests will follow

Disturbing details of "illegal" torture techniques used by the US government after the 9/11 attacks were...

State Department Says It Will Take 75 Years To Release All Requested Clinton Emails

The State Department this week, apparently with a straight face, defended its claim that releasing all the emails sought by the Republican National Committee...

The Downing of TWA 800

On the pleasant summer evening of July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 left JFK Airport in New York bound for Paris. Twelve minutes after...

FBI again asks to make secret filing in Clinton email probe

Continuing its pattern of secrecy in the probe into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private email...

Hillary Clinton Emailed Names of US Intelligence Officials, Unclassified

These are facts. You can look at the source documents yourself. This is not opinion, conjecture, or rumor. Hillary Clinton transmitted the names of American...

Did Clinton’s Emails Expose CIA Agents?

Even as Hillary Clinton closes in on the Democratic nomination, facts continue to emerge indicating that her sloppy email practices...

FBI Wants to Remove Privacy Protections From Its Massive Biometrics Database

The FBI is giving you only 21 business days to object to such exemptions. (Image: Pixabay) EFF and 44 Other Organizations Call for...

NYPD’s plausible deniability justified in Muslim spying records request case – court ruled

An appellate court has ruled that the New York Police Department can use the powers of...

BDS a Bigger Issue After Israel’s Rightward Shift

40 years after the US formally criminalized the participation of US citizens in economic boycotts of the state of Israel, Americans remain...

With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers

Trevor Collens | Shutterstock.com   When it comes to Hillary Clinton’s State Department email scandal, reporters — and even her right-wing critics in the Republican Party — are...

First Deposition Released on Clinton Email Case

Eric Zuesse U.S. Ambassador Lewis Lukens’s sworn testimony in the case of Hillary Clinton’s privatization of the U.S. Secretary of State’s email is the first...

US sued for complete record of complaints filed against Catholic hospitals

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the federal government for access to a complete record...

CIA tip led to arrest of 'dangerous communist' Nelson Mandela, says former US spy

A former CIA agent has finally confirmed what the world has long suspected: the US agency...

Report on CIA torture won’t be revealed under Freedom of Information Act

The US legal system has rejected the public disclosure of the full torture report, after American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued federal agencies just...

10 things we know about US, Saudi Arabia and 9/11 so far

As President Obama holds off a major decision about whether to release 28 pages from the...

TPP & TTIP Harmful, Economic Studies Find

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Presently, three supposed ‘trade’ deals are being proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama, to be signed by major trading...

Human errors & technology failures led to MSF hospital strike in Kunduz – CENTCOM

Sixteen people will be punished for their involvement in the October airstrike on a Doctors Without...

Hiding the Indonesia Massacre Files

Exclusive: Perhaps nowhere does U.S. hypocrisy over human rights stand out more clearly than Indonesia’s “Year of Living Dangerously” slaughter...

CIA doesn’t have to disclose info on drone killings, appeals court rules

A federal appeals court has rejected a freedom of information lawsuit brought about by the American Civil Liberties Union, ruling that the government doesn’t...

DOJ faces legal fight with EFF over US govt ‘secret’ surveillance requests

A digital rights group is suing the US Justice Department over secret court orders it suspects...

Judge Rules Clinton Exhibited ‘Wrong-Doing and Bad Faith’

Eric Zuesse A U.S. District Court Judge ruled, on Tuesday March 29th, that in the civil matter of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails, “there is evidence of...

Are Both Trump and Sanders Falling for a Dirty Trick from Clinton?

Eric Zuesse On Saturday, I provided a transcript of a remarkable allegation by a gifted private investigator who has a background not only as a crackerjack reporter...

Judicial Watch: Documents Reveal US Army Indoctrinated Soldiers on Dangers of ‘White Privilege’

Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained documents from the United States Department of the Army revealing that in April 2015, 400 soldiers in...

Pentagon admits using drones to spy on Americans

(RT) - The Department of Defense has admitted to using Predator and Reaper military drones in...

Libya: How Hillary Clinton Destroyed a Country

“We came, we saw, he died,” exclaimed an ebullient Hillary Clinton, as she exulted over the horrific death of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, who was sodomized...

Lawless, tyrannical EPA actively trying to circumvent Supreme Court ruling on emissions standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is a part of the federal government that is supposed to protect both human health and the environment. According...

Hillary Clinton’s Dark Drug War Legacy in Mexico

(Image: SOA Watch / Flickr) Mexico, John M. Ackerman wrote recently for Foreign Policy, “is not a functional democracy.” Instead, it’s a “repressive and corrupt”...

How a Candidate’s Mega-Donors Get Served After the Election

Eric Zuesse, updated from strategic-culture.org An example will be described here of a way in which corrupt Presidential candidates load up their campaigns’ advertising budgets...

Police and Media Agree: Cops Just Need to Be Nicer

A Washington Post photo (5/7/15) illustrating how “a community-policing ethos builds ties between officers and residents” (photo: Washington Post/Carl Costas) Two months after the 2014...

‘This “Independent” Academic Is Promoting Public Policy Issues for a Private Corporation’

Janine Jackson interviewed Carey Gillam on the conflicts of interest of food science experts for the February 5, 2016, CounterSpin. This is a lightly...

E-mails show Michigan state officials knew of Legionnaires’ outbreak in Flint in early 2015

James Brewer More e-mails have been made public showing that a year ago health officials were worried that the spike in cases of Legionnaires’ disease...

‘Cases Are Sometimes Stuck in Limbo for a Very Long Time’

Janine Jackson interviewed Talia Buford on the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement of laws against environmental racism for the February 5, 2016, CounterSpin. This is...

Pentagon Releases 200 Photos of Bush-Era Prisoner Abuse, Thousands Kept Secret

'What the photos that the government has suppressed would show is that abuse was so widespread that it could only have resulted from policy...

U.S. Now Overtly at War Against Russia

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on February 2nd that he approves of U.S. ‘Defense’ Secretary Ash Carter’s proposal to quadruple...

Still Secret JFK Murder Documents

Here It Is — a Map to What We Can Still Learn Exciting news: WhoWhatWhy has obtained the complete list of 3,603 secret documents on the...

‘The Most Epically, Horribly Bad Thing That Could Happen Under an Emergency Manager’

Janine Jackson interviewed Chris Savage about the Flint, Michigan, water-poisoning for the January 22, 2016, CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Chris Savage: “This...

How Candidates’ Mega-Donors Get Served After the Election

Eric Zuesse, updated from strategic-culture.org The prison industry provides a good example: One recent article at Vice News criticized the legislation proposed by Presidential candidate...

What Hillary Knew about Libya

Exclusive: In Official Washington’s propaganda world, the U.S. government and its “allies” are always standing for what’s right and good and the “enemies” are...

EXCLUSIVE: Navy Uses US Citizens as Pawns in Domestic War Games

These exclusive Navy documents outline plans for combat training exercises along vast areas of Washington State coastline. Each shows the areas the Navy is...

New Hillary Emails Reveal Propaganda, Executions, Coveting Libyan Oil and Gold

New Emails Expose Hillary’s Dirty War in Libya The New Year’s Eve release of over 3000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN...

Human Research Loopholes: Alive and Well

In one of the darkest chapters in medical ethics, the United States government ran an experiment from the 1930s to the 1970s in which...

‘Toxic stress’: Max blood lead levels in Flint children 7 times higher than CDC...

Experts who blew the whistle on lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, and its impact on children said that some kids had blood lead levels...

‘The Tendency Is to Just Publish the Police Blotter’

Janine Jackson interviewed Jamie Kalven about the Laquan McDonald cover-up for the December 11 CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. MP3 Link Janine Jackson: At...

‘It’s Just One in a Long Series of Attacks on Planned Parenthood’ – CounterSpin...

CounterSpin interview with Jodi Jacobson on Colorado Spring massacreJanine Jackson interviewed Jodi Jacobson about the Colorado Springs massacre for the December 4 CounterSpin. This is...

NSA documents reveal bulk email collection continues despite official claims

By Nick Barrickman A series of declassified National Security Agency (NSA) documents have revealed that the government’s program of bulk metadata collection of the population’s internet...

Child porn, war crimes & fraud: Internal CIA probes reveal shocking findings

Documents released by the CIA show details of over a dozen investigations into serious allegations of misconduct by agency employees, including child pornography, torture...

Buckraking on the Food Beat: When Is It a Conflict of Interest?

Tamar Haspel writes a food column for the Washington Post–but her other sources of income are raising questions. (Photo: Gretchen Ertl/Washington Post) In an age...

SLEAZE: Monsanto shill PR firm Ketchum also ran Bush Administration propaganda for the Honduran...

A New York-based public relations firm that has been engaged in a number of controversies including conducting covert propaganda for the George W. Bush...

How to Censor Yourself Before the Government Even Has a Chance

It was August 2002. My partner Jan Adams and I were just beginning our annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts to visit my father and stepmother....

How Jeb Bush’s Florida Plan for School ‘Choice’ Created an Industry of Corruption and...

"Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up" tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by The...

The New York Times Leaves Out Professors Enlisted by the Food Industry

"Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up" tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by The...

Warrant now required for federal ‘Stingray’ surveillance use – DoJ

US Department of Justice agents now have to acquire a search warrant before utilizing a cell-site simulator, the department said, though the new policy...

Clinton emails reveal internal gossip, bank heists and … gefilte fish?

The State Department has released 7,000 more pages of emails sent to or by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They reveal much about...

TISA and Tech’s Double Standards On Secret Government Internet Deals

The stash of previously-secret correspondence about the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) that EFF obtained and published this week speaks volumes about the extent...

Public Law 86-90 – The Vietnam War Shows the Strength of Donbas’ Rights!

George H Eliason (RINF) - Could US Senator John McCain find North Vietnam on a map during or before the period he spent 5 years...

Analog resistance: Activists protest CISA by faxing Congress

Privacy activists are flooding Congress with messages of opposition to the cyber surveillance bill due to be considered by the Senate, using faxes rather...

CIA ran up $40 million tab turning out Senate torture report, documents show

The $40 million cost of producing the Senate torture report was incurred by the CIA, not lawmakers, newly obtained contracting documents reveal, as the...

Snowden documentary filmmaker sues US over years of harassment

Oscar-winning film director Laura Poitras is suing the US government to find out why she has been searched, questioned and subjected to enhanced security...

Why “the Ukrainians” Lie – Prof. A. Moytl Says the West Shouldn’t Freak Out!

George Eliason (RINF) - In an article published at the New Atlanticist, Political Science Professor Alexander Moytl of Rutgers University wrote the strongest justification a Ukrainian Nationalist scholar...

Snowden documentary filmmaker sues US over years of harassment

Oscar-winning film director Laura Poitras is suing the US government to find out why she has been searched, questioned and subjected to enhanced security...

ACLU in Appeals Court Challenging Drone Program Secrecy

WHAT: The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan will hear oral arguments in lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New...

Congressional Priorities for Defense Intelligence Agency: Take More Money, Discredit Snowden

Today marks the two year anniversary of the first Snowden disclosures. The anniversary was marked not just with a Snowden op-ed published by the...

Federal court blocks release of CIA torture report

By Ed Hightower (WSWS) - A US District Court judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that sought the...

Israeli Defense Minister Threatens to Nuke Iran

by Stephen Lendman (RINF) — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon is a holdover from Netanyahu's previous extremist coalition regime. He's part of Israel's lunatic fringe running...

Senate Intelligence Chair to Constituents: I Don’t Care What You Think

Mark Jaycox (EFF) - The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HR 2048, the USA Freedom Act last week. The bill is an attempt by lawmakers to...

Pentagon Document Confirms Israeli Nukes

Pentagon Document Confirms Israeli Nukes

by Stephen Lendman

Israel's open secret is well known. It's nuclear armed and dangerous.

It won't discuss or reveal its program publicly. It wants regional exclusivity to maintain and use its arsenal at its discretion.

Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion recruited Eastern European Jewish scientists to "increase (Israeli) capacity to kill masses," he said.

He was determined to have "non-conventional weapons" - notably nuclear ones to counter what he called the Arabs' numerical advantage.

His farewell address expressed confidence Israeli "science (would) provide us with the weapons that are needed to deter our enemies from waging war against us."

He and former prime minister/president Shimon Peres became Israel's driving forces behind developing and maintaining Israel's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

They date from the 1950s. Following Israel's 1967 Six Day War of aggression, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered production of four to 12 nuclear bombs annually.

US presidents supported Israel's program. By the early 1970s, it had advanced nuclear technology.

Today it's believed it includes hundreds of powerful nuclear weapons and delivery capability able to hit distant targets accurately.

France, South Africa and America were directly involved in aiding Israel's program.

In the 1950s, Washington sent Israel a 5-megawatt highly enriched uranium research reactor as part of Eisenhower's so-called Atoms for Peace initiative.

It was provided to help it develop nuclear weapons. Israeli scientists were trained at US universities.

They had access to domestic weapons labs. Since the early 1970s, Washington gave Israel advanced technology - including supercomputers able to design sophisticated nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

In the mid-a1980s, Dimona nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu revealed dozens of top secret photos and documents on Israel's nuclear weapons program.

His courage cost him 18 years in prison - mostly in solitary confinement.

Israel’s thermonuclear weapons today can destroy entire cities.

In February, the Pentagon released a previously kept secret Institute for Defense Analysis report titled "Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations" dated April 1987.

Revealing what's been long known followed Institute for Research: Middle East Policy director Grant Smith's FOIA suit.

DOD's release is the first official US confirmation of Israel's nuclear weapons program.

US officials knew about it and helped develop it for decades - at least since the 1960s, maybe the 50s.

Western officials, Israeli ones, and media scoundrels obsess over Iran's peaceful nuclear program well known to have no military component.

At the same time, available information on Israel's nuclear weapons program is willfully suppressed.

US major media ignore it entirely. Discussing it is considered verboten - including US help developing it.

Israel is one of only a handful of nations refusing to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Washington ignores its own laws. The 1961 US Foreign Assistance Act prohibits aiding nations developing nuclear weapons.

Israel was secretly exempted. The newly released Pentagon report discusses its nuclear infrastructure.

It includes a vast array of facilities - "equivalent to (America's) Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories," the report said. 

They're "an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories," it explained.

It includes extensive R&D facilities, factories, private companies, and government research centers devoted to developing, upgrading, producing and maintaining Israel's nuclear arsenal.

Its SOREQ center "runs the full nuclear gamut of activities from engineering, administration and non-destructive testing for electro-optics, pulsed power, process engineering and chemistry and nuclear research and safety," the report said. 

"This is the technology base required for nuclear weapons design and fabrication."

In 1987, it was known Israel "develop(ed) the kind of codes (needed) to make hydrogen bombs."

They "detail(ed) fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level."

Israeli nuclear weapons capability was well advanced in the 1980s. Imagine how sophisticated it is now - perhaps matching America's.

Israel was given or stole US technology for decades. Knowledge about it was systematically ignored or suppressed.

Political, economic, military and technological partnership between both countries is longstanding.

It includes America helping Israel develop sophisticated nuclear weapons able to incinerate the entire Middle East and beyond.

Maybe lunatics in both countries have that and more in mind.

US and Israeli Middle East wars are real time testing grounds for new weapons systems - including chemical, biological and radiological ones.

Partnership between both countries may kill us all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

The May 2nd Odessa Massacre: Why Obama’s Coup-Regime Still Runs Ukraine

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - The May 2nd Ukrainian massacre of anti-regime pamphleteers last year at the Odessa Trade Unions Building, burning these pamphleteers alive there, was crucial...

Koch Funding of Universities Shrouded in Secrecy

In a recent column entitled “The Campus Climate Crusade,” The Wall Street Journal ’s Kimberly Strassel spent over 800 words arguing the basic conceit...

Bill before congress would authorize secrecy and surveillance, not “cyber security”

A provision in the falsely-named "cyber security" bill currently being debated in congress would–in addition to enabling more warrantless government spying–create a gaping hole...

Wolfgang Halbig’s Attorney Quits Case, Fears for Life

James F. Tracy RINF Alternative News On Wednesday, April 1 Wolfgang Halbigretained a Connecticut-based attorney, Kay Wilson, to represent him in his FOI case for records...

Hillary Clinton Accused Of Racketeering

The conservative group Freedom Watch has filed a racketeering lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that accuses her of failing to produce...

Internal Documents Reveal Extensive Industry Influence Over EPA’s National Fracking Study

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an ambitious and highly consequential study of the risks that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, poses to...

In Torture Report Face-Off, ACLU Fights GOP Repo Man

If the White House gives in to Sen. Richard Burr's demands, civil rights group says it 'faces the real threat of never securing the...

NSA Began Warrantless Surveillance Without Congressional Approval

Newly declassified documents show intelligence agency spied on emails, phone calls before passage of surveillance act Nadia Prupis The National Security Agency began its warrantless surveillance...

New document reveals FBI’s role in NSA surveillance program

Documents provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation suggest that the FBI has played a part in the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations to...

The Government Spent a Lot of Time in Court Defending NSA Spying Last Year

NADIA KAYYALI EFF was suing the NSA before it was cool. We filed our first lawsuit against the NSA for mass spying in 2008,...

New NSA Documents Shine More Light Into Black Box Of Executive Order 12333

What is arguably the most powerful of the U.S. government's surveillance authorities is also the most secretive, and it operates with the least amount...

Cops caught using millions in seized assets on surveillance gear, weapons and clowns

An investigation concerning the use of federal civil forfeiture law by local law enforcement agencies across the United States has exposed problems with a...

CIA sued over Senate spying

Julian Hattem A Washington-based privacy organization is suing the CIA to obtain details about how it spied on Senate staffers. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)...

CIA document details cover-up of drug trafficking by Contras

Thomas Gaist An analysis written for the CIA's internal journal Studies in Intelligence, “Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story,” attributed...

The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-up

Robert Parry In 1996 — as major U.S. news outlets disparaged the Nicaraguan Contra-cocaine story and destroyed the career of investigative reporter Gary Webb for reviving...

9/11: The Mother of All Big Lies

Stephen Lendman RINF Alternative News They're an American tradition. They date from the republic's inception. Notable ones began in the mid-19th century. They facilitated annexing Texas. Half...

Court Allows Criminal Gitmo Torture Footage To Remain Secret

Court says CIA and other agencies can keep footage secret for 'national security' reasons Nadia Prupis The government can withhold photographs and videotapes–some of which may...

U.S. Government Vetting Journalists

David Sirota As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street, and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy,...

Critic: Censored Report Shows UK Government has ‘Something to Hide’ About Fracking

Department of Environment report on fracking impacts redacted 62 times in just 13 pages Lauren McCauley Critics of fracking in the United Kingdom assailed the British...

Secret programs to stay secret: Court sides with NSA in surveillance lawsuit

A federal judge in California sided mostly with the United States government this week in a decision handed down concerning classified documents pertaining to...

Exclusive: Leader of Scout Troop Confronted by Armed Border Patrol Speaks Out

In an exclusive interview, Jim Fox, the scout leader of the Mid-Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111, explained what happened earlier this month at a...

Cybersecurity bill will expand surveillance powers of US military and intelligence agencies

Thomas Gaist The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 12-3 last week in favor of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) of 2014, new legislation that massively...

Newly Obtained Emails Contradict Administration Claims on Guardian Laptop Destruction

Glenn Greenwald On July 20, 2013, agents of the U.K. government entered The Guardian newsroom in London and compelled them to physically destroy the computers they were using to...

Journalism groups blast Obama admin for ‘politically driven suppression of news’

In a letter to President Obama, 38 journalism groups criticized his administration for severely limiting access to federal agencies and a general politically-motivated suppression...

CIA Employee ‘Ruined’ for Efforts to Declassify Agency Docs

Case seems to rebuff claims by those who say internal mechanisms exist for would-be whistleblowers like Edward Snowden Jon Queally In the controversy surrounding Edward Snowden's...

NSA sued for hoarding details on use of ‘zero day’ exploits

The National Security Agency has been hit with several lawsuits since leaks began to expose its spy programs last year. Now the latest legal...

EFF Sues NSA, Director of National Intelligence for Zero Day Disclosure Process

Government Needs to Reveal Decision-Making Process for Publicizing Vulnerabilities San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)...

Profiteering on Banker Deaths

A man with a long history of keeping big bank secrets safe from the public’s prying eyes has denied the appeal filed by Wall...

TSA to Raise Groping Fees Charged to Passengers

The Transportation Security Administration will raise fees added to airline ticket prices which offset the costs for performing body scans and pat downs, all...

32 Organizations Call for Privacy Assessment of FBI’s Biometric Database

The FBI plans to roll out the face recognition component of its massive Next Generation Identification (NGI) biometrics database this summer–but the Bureau has six years...

Citing “Intense Public Interest and Concern” Over Mass Surveillance, Judge Orders DOJ to Turn...

A federal judge today ordered the Department of Justice to hand over key opinions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (also known as the “FISA court”)...

Public Deserves to See Secret Law Written by Office of Legal Counsel

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today asked the Supreme Court of the United States to weigh in on a long-standing Freedom of Information Act...

On 6/5, 65 Things We Know About NSA Surveillance That We Didn’t Know a...

It’s been one year since the Guardian first published the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, that demonstrated...

Secret Service to Track Twitter Users in Real Time

The United States Secret Service is set to purchase software that can track Twitter users in real time, prompting concerns that individuals could face...

Polish NGO to Obama: Mass Surveillance is Not Freedom

On June 4, 2014, one day before the anniversary of the Snowden revelations, Poland celebrates 25 years since the fall of an authoritarian regime. On...

World Trade Center Building 7’s Controlled Demolition: New Evidence from Witness Testimonies and Architectural...

The 24-member 9/11 Consensus Panel — which includes physicists, chemists, engineers, commercial pilots, attorneys and lawyers — today announced three new studies confirming the...

Lawsuit to Uncover Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA Spying

Oakland - At a hearing on Tuesday, June 3, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Mark Rumold will argue before a judge that the...

U.S. Court of Appeals Joins the CIA’s Cover-Up of its Bay of Pigs Disaster

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday joined the CIA’s cover-up of its Bay of Pigs disaster in 1961 by ruling...

Psychology and War on Terror Abuses

Torture has been in the national news again this spring as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted last month to declassify key sections of its...

The White House Big Data Report: The Good, The Bad, and The Missing

Last week, the White House released its report on big data and its privacy implications, the result of a 90-day study commissioned by President Obama during...

Flashback — No Way! Obama Can’t Be This Stupid: Attending Fundraiser While Middle East...

By Susan Duclos The Benghazi scandal is heating up again with a couple of newly revelaed items that has set the White House into playing defense again, a new House committee being set up investigate Benghazi and a letter sent to the White House de...

Man Arrested In FBI Sting Found Dead In Federal Custody

FBI supplied fake explosives for alleged Space Needle, Walmart, gas station bombings Mikael Thalen RINF Alternative News A Washington state man charged with plotting to blow up...

DC Thinks It Can Silence a New Snowden, But the Anti-Leak Hypocrisy is Backfiring

After Edward Snowden caught the US government with its pants down, you would think the keepers of this country's secrets might stand up for...

Aftershocks from my interview with Sharyl Attkisson

Aftershocks from my interview with Sharyl Attkisson by Jon Rappoport April 26, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com The ripples don’t stop. Attkisson was on to something huge at CBS, when she covered the CDC’s lies re the Swine Flu “pandemic.” When an epidemic is promoted by governments and public health organizations, it’s an absolute disaster for them if […]

Appeals Court Orders Release of Targeted Killing Memo

For the first time, a federal appeals court has ordered the government to release a crucial legal memo relating to U.S. targeted killing operations,...

What’s Next for the Bundys?

David Hathaway RINF Alternative News The federal response will definitely come. It will likely be in three areas; two of which don’t involve the Bundys specifically....

The FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Combines Lo-Res Photos With Zero Civil Liberties Consideration

Another FOIA lawsuit brought against the government by the EFF has resulted in the release of previously withheld documents. The papers cut loose this time...

Interview 856 — The Beard World Order roundtable on “Meta-Conspiracy”

In today’s episode Tom, James, and Guillermo take on “meta-conspiracy” and the “conspiracy to inject conspiracy.” Do the infiltration and subversion tactics of the NSA and private intelligence contractors present a unique challenge for activists and the alternative media in the 21st century? Find out in this edition of the BWO.

Sunstein Infiltrates, Quakebot LA, GMO Pimps — #NewWorldNextWeek

Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: ‘Most Transparent’ White House...

Interview 842 — New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato

This week on the New World Next Week: "Mr. Cognitive Infiltration" publishes a new book on those crazy conspiracy theorists; Quakebot breaks the LA quake story; and industry lobbyist/scientists pimp GMO garbage.

Judge Rules That JFK Researcher Can Sue CIA

An article written by Kevin Lessmiller for Courthouse News Service reports that the Central Intelligence Agency can be sued by Anthony Bothwell, a citizen investigating the murders of John and Robert Kennedy. The CIA, which has withheld sensitive files...

Mysterious Break-Ins At Whistleblower Organizations. J. Radack Targeted

Jeff Stein reports @ Newsweek on this very interesting story: It’s probably nothing, but the office of a major Washington, DC national security whistleblowers organization was...

Wolfgang Halbig’s Quest for Truth

Requests for public records under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act can result in threats of arrest under felony harassment charges. This is what former Florida State Trooper and school safety expert Wolfgang Halbig discovered after repeatedly telephoning and sending the series of emails, a portion of which appear below, to Newtown, Connecticut state and U.S. federal officials demanding more information on the Sandy Hook School massacre of December 14, 2012.

All of the requests below, spanning from records on Sandy Hook’s routine asbestos inspections to the key FBI crime report on the incident, have been met with almost complete silence. The non-responses from Connecticut and federal agencies were punctuated by two residential visits from local Lake County Sheriff’s deputies threatening to lock Halbig up if he persists in his pursuit of the truth. The most recent visit from law enforcement took place on Tuesday, February 18, when deputies questioned Halbig on his recent remarks to American Free Press’ David Gahary that he intended to travel to Newtown on a fact-finding mission in March.-JFT

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Fri, 27 Sep 2013 09:00:43 -0500
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]
Subject: Mike Kehoe your Police Chief should be immediately fired for Negligence

Mrs Llordra:

I find this e-mail very difficult to write but as a Former Florida State Trooper and old now find the actions of your Police Chief very disturbing.

I have dedicated my life in public service and to read about your police chief giving Lt. George Sinko only a letter of reprimand for failing to respond to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting on Dec 14, 2012

You should ask yourself as to how a Lt. working an off-duty detail at a construction site and making overtime money can ignore 911 calls and a Newtown police dispatcher requesting help from police officers for shots fired at The Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I cannot imagine any police officer ignoring emergency help requests when children and school staff lives are being threatened.  To sit in your car and listen to all those emergency calls go over the airwaves and do nothing is negligence.

For over two hours he sits and does absolutely nothing while children and school staff are being shot and killed.

Your Police Chief states in the newspaper that he is not a first responder.  He also states that he was off duty.

I can tell you and so can any other certified law enforcement officer when working an off-duty detail that you are never off-duty especially when lives of children and school staff are at stake.

We in law enforcement are on duty 24/7 always on call.

This Lt is  24 year veteran and if he does not know his responsibilities then he should also be immediately be fired along with the Police Chief.

This is a national embarrassment that clearly demonstrates negligence by both the Police Chief for not calling him to duty that morning and for the Lt not responding to this crisis.

We are all first responders even if you are a Lt.

How embarrassing for the City of Newtown Ct having a Lt. sit for over two hours and not respond and only be given a letter of reprimand.

I know that there is more to the story and I only hope that you use common sense in handling this huge embarrassment for your City.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 14:11:53 -0500
To: Kathy June <[email protected]>
Cc: “[email protected]”  “[email protected]
Subject: Last try for Freedom of Information Act from your Interim Superintendent

Kathy;

Please tell your Interim School Superintendent that his response is total Horsepoop.

Hiding behind the safety of children and school staff in not releasing my information request is unprofessional if he is an educator.

I am simply asking for the Vendors name who you the school district or school hired to install the security system at Sandy Hook Elementary School with address and contact numbers

Just like Stanley Security Solutions has installed all of the security tools at the Sandy Hook replacement school.

They have donated over $100,000 thousand dollars in front door access control with CCTV CAMERA AND ACCESS BUTTON WITH CMAERA BEING A COLOR CAMERA.

THEY HAVE PROVIDED CARD READERS AT VARIOUS DOORS FOR STAFF USE.

THEY HAVE PROVIDEd YOUR SCHOOL WITH A NUMBER OF CCTV COLOR CAMERAS PLACED IN VARIOUS AREAS OF THE SCHOOL WHICH I DON’T WANT TO DISCLOSE SINCE IT MAY PLACE CHILDREN AND SCHOOL STAFF AT RISK.

What is wrong with your school district and your superintendents?  What are they afraid off?

I need the total cost of the project.

I need the date of completion.

I need the breakdown of the total cost as to what did the cameras cost? Are they color or just black and white?

I do not want to know the locations as I do know the placement of the cameras at the Sandy Hook replacement school and I promise not to ever hurt any child or staff in your school district.

Please comply with my FOIA as soon a possible since I have been waiting forever.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:12:28 -0500
To: <[email protected]>
Cc: Kathy June <[email protected]>, “Katersky, Aaron” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]”, “[email protected]
Subject: Freedom of Information Act for the State of Ct.

Captain Rios:

Please provide me with copies of the contracts  and costs for the Crime Scene Cleanup in Decontaminating and Sanitizing the Sandy Hook Elementary School after Dec 14, 2012 .

The School Districts was considering allowing children and school staff to return to the school and now they have decided just to tear it down.

Who was the company that you the police allowed in the school providing me with the start date and end date of removing all of the Bio-Hazard materials.

Copy of the licenses that the company provided to you for transporting Medical Waste.

They would have to remove all the blood, bodily fluids, brain matter, skull fragments and around 45-60 gallons of blood based on the number of children and school staff shot and killed that day.

I am the Chief Investigator for the Children’s Safety Institute and a School safety Expert which now requires this information to be made available since it has been 11 month and you have not even provided a simple police or incident report.

If you do not have that information then please direct me to the agency that would have been responsible for decontaminating the crime scene and Sanitizing it since you allowed them into the school to remove furniture.

My address is [address]

Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 11:00:41 -0500
To: Boston <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Do I need to get arrested to show the FBI’s negligence in Sandy Hook?

Boston FBI Offices;You get things done.Boston Marathon Bombing and spectators killed and seriously  injured and you the Boston FBI in three days solve this heinous crime.Millions of people watching and with a President stating in a National Press Conference that he will use every resource in his office in solving this horrendous crime just as he stated during the Sandy Hook Press Conference.You are good and now I am being told that the FBI has NO jurisdiction in the Sandy Hook Elemenatry School Shooting. That only the CT State Troopers and the Dansbury State Attorney control this event yet I am told that you the FBI in New Haven are being told to retract your official report and that is why it is taking so long.I call this Bullshit.  Sorry for the profanity.I know the FBI since I worked with you guys in Miami, Florida as a Florida State Trooper and will never for get April 11, 1986 when two of your Agents were killed and five others were serioulsy injured.>We are law enforcment partners for life and after having to seen that crime scene my request for information and help should not be that difficult.I understand crime scenes and how we collect evidence but after 11 months and the failure of disclosing the truth has caused National Panic and Fear in all schools across this country and I can take you guys on a field trip and show it.Panic and fear should not drive school safety especially when we have not heard the truth.You act accordingly when knowing all the facts.Please help and I know it is New haven but they refuse to respond.Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 17:17:45 -0500
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Do I need to get arrested to make my point?

Newhaven FBI Field Offices:

In major crimes such at Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting multiple agencies work closely together is trying to solve a crime as quickly as possible so rummors don’t fly around and create panic and fear as it now has now at sandy Hook.

You are part of this huge problem because I know that President has the report on the Sandy Hook supposed incident.

I know that the Attorney General Eric Holder has the report of the supposed incident at Sandy Hook.  Why not the National Media and put this ever occurring Sandy Hook terms to bed.

Boston; FBI replied and this was my response back to them.

>You make things happen.

You get things done.

Boston Marathon Bombing in which spectators were killed and seriously  injured and you the Boston FBI in three days solve this heinous crime.

Millions of people watching and with a President stating in a National Press Conference that he will use every resource in his office in solving this horrendous crime just as he stated during the Sandy Hook Press Conference.

You are good and now I am being told that the FBI has NO jurisdiction in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. That only the CT State Troopers and the Dansbury State Attorney control this event yet I am told that you the FBI in New Haven are being told to retract your official report and that is why it is taking so long.

I call this Bullshit.  Sorry for the profanity.

I know the FBI since I worked with you guys in Miami, Florida as a Florida State Trooper and will never for get April 11, 1986 when two of your Agents were killed and five others were serioulsy injured.

We are law enforcment partners for life and after having to seen that crime scene my request for information and help should not be that difficult.

I understand crime scenes and how we collect evidence but after 11 months and the failure of disclosing the truth has caused National Panic and Fear in all schools across this country and I can take you guys on a field trip and show it.

Panic and fear should not drive school safety especially when we have not heard the truth.

You act accordingly when knowing all the facts.

Please help and I know it is New haven but they refuse to respond.

Wolfgang W Halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 08:18:58 -0500
To: Kathy June <[email protected]>
Subject: CT Freedom of Information Request again

Kathy;

You don’t return my phone calls and now I am requesting again the following which has nothing to do with the criminal investigation or places children and school staff at risk.

Please provide quickly.

Please provide me with copies of the contracts  and costs for the Crime Scene Cleanup in Decontaminating and Sanitizing the Sandy Hook Elementary School after Dec 14, 2012 .

The School Districts was considering allowing children and school staff to return to the school and now they have decided just to tear it down.

Who was the company that you the police allowed in the school providing me with the start date and end date of removing all of the Bio-Hazard materials.

Copy of the licenses that the company provided to you for transporting Medical Waste.

They would have to remove all the blood, bodily fluids, brain matter, skull fragments and around 45-60 gallons of blood based on the number of children and school staff shot and killed that day.

I am the Chief Investigator for the Children’s Safety Institute and a School safety Expert which now requires this information to be made available since it has been 11 month and you have not even provided a simple police or incident report.

If you do not have that information then please direct me to the agency that would have been responsible for decontaminating the crime scene and Sanitizing it since you allowed them into the school to remove furniture.

My address is [address]

Thanks

Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:38:07 -0500
To: “Rubio, Casework (Rubio)” <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Request a investigative copy if the Sandy Hook School shooting from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder now.

Whoever the case worker is:

You just don;t get it do you?  This is as urgent as it can get.  I am a Florida constituent who needs the Senator to get off his ass and get the report on Sandy Hook from the President or Attorney General Eric Holder.

You have NO clue as to what is happening out here with panic and fear running wild in all of our schools and you just don’t get it.

If you wait until Dec 14, 2012 when it becomes the first year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Shooting we will only escalate this panic and fear.

Do your research you don’t wait 11 month and have no solutions to the shooting especially when the FBI was directed by the President to investigate.

I need to hear from you and that Senator quickly on this issue and don’t tell me that this not an urgent issue pleae.

Wolfgang W halbig

From: “Rubio, Casework (Rubio)” <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:08:57 +0000
To: Wolfgang Halbig
Subject: RE: Request a investigative copy if the Sandy Hook School shooting from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder now.

Dear Mr. Halbig,

Thank you for your comments. I will be sure to share them with the Senator. Please direct any future legislative comments via our website; http://www.rubio.senate.gov to ensure that a member of our legislative staff has an opportunity to respond to your concerns. This email account is reserved for Florida constituents who require immediate and direct assistance with a federal agency. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Sincerely,

David

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:22:37 -0500
To: <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

You need to be fired and actually if it turns out to be a conspiracy you need to go to jail and loose your pension like so many others in this heinous crime.

You guys should be ashamed of what you have done.

Your Lt stay on an off-duty construction site detail for over two hours and you justify it by saying he is not a first responder. I hope when you do your speaking engagements you share that will all our other law enforcement police chiefs and officers so they can have a great laugh.

You and vance are at the head of the line and you know it.  The truth will get out sooner or later.

Hope you sleep well you coward.

wolfgang

From: “Kehoe, Michael”
Reply-To:
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:39:28 -0500
To: Wolfgang Halbig
Subject: Fwd: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

Sir
The items you seek under FOIA are exempt from disclosure under the same law.

Thank you!!

Chief Michael Kehoe
Newtown Police Department
3 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470
203.270.4256

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Subject: Criminal Investigation is now closed so please provide my FOIA request now.

I need you and your school superintendent to honor my CT State FOIA request that have been requested three months ago.

I requesting again under the CT State FOIA request protocols the following;

Contractors name and business address and contact numbers who was hired by the Sandy Hook Elementary School or the Newtown School District in installing the security system at the old Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The cost of the total project
The cost broken down by line item such as door locks at the front door, camera system to monitor people at the door and the recording system costs.

The cost of CCTV cameras for the school and the recording device purchased.

I do not want to know the locations of those cameras for school safety reason,

You were provided a complete and free security system by Stanley Security K-12 which included card readers for school staff, front door access controal with video monitoring and color CCTV cameras throughout the school.

I even know were they are located but I do not care about that just provide the information for the old Sandy Hook School.

Second Request under the Ct State FOIA request procedures;

1.The company that you the Newtown School Board and the Director of Facilities contracted to decontaminate and Santize the Sandy Hook Elementary School of all Bio-Hazards rsulting from the Dec 14, 2012 school killings.

2. The start date of the project in removing all Bio-Hazards such as Blood, Bodily Fluids, brain matter, skull  fragments, blood stained carpets in room 8 and room 10, blood splatter on desks and walls and windows etc.

3. The ending date of the project and total cost for decontaminationg the Sandy Hook Elementary School since you were considering opening the school again.

4. A copy of the contractors certification that he is approved in conducting crime scene decontamination of all Bio-Hazards in the State of Ct.

Your secretary took my other request of the FOIA dealing with the Life Insurance that the school board had to pay to six school satff members beneficiaries when they were killed in the line of duty.

Also the workers Compensation death benefits paid by the school board to the school  staff members beneficiaries who were killed in the line of duty by the school district.

This is my research project for my Doctorate so please provide this information.

Thanks

Wolfgang W halbig
352——–
[address]

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 09:06:02 -0500
To: Kathy June <[email protected]>
Subject: Ct Freedom of Information Act Request

Kathy;

This FOIA request is for the the name and all contact numbers of the Newtown School Districts licensed School Asbestos Inspector.

This request is also for all copies of all reinspections required every three years starting in 1997 through the demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013.

1997
2000
2003
2006
2009
2012

Please provide copies of written notification for each of the years listed to parents, school staff and employees organizations on an annual basis regarding the availability of the Sandy Hook Asbestos Management Plan.

Please provide training verification for your custodial Staff at Sandy Hook of the 14 hours of training and the two hours of training within the first 60 days of hire.

I hope that is not exempt as you always respond exempt.

Also do not make the Police Chief respond to my Newtown School District FOIA requests it is your responsibility.

I have forwarded my complaints to the Freedom of Information Commission for a response of your stone walling my requests.

Please mail all information requested to [address]

Thanks
Wolfgang w halbig
352———

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 08:43:53 -0500
To: Sally Cox <[email protected]>
Subject: SHS Parent Contact

I am a trainer for the US Justice Department COPS IN SCHOOL PROGRAM.

Are you a registered Nurse?

Why in the closet for four hours?

Why close your eyes when you have seen blood before you are a nurse?

Wolfgang W halbig

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2013 10:51:52 -0500
To: “Vance, Paul” <[email protected]>
Cc: “Kehoe, Michael” <[email protected]>, “Ross, Brian E.” “[email protected]” “Tom Winter (Personal)”
Subject: CT Freedom of Information Act request again

Lt. Vance;

You are great at ignoring CT Freedom of Information requests which being a law enforcement officer makes you intentionally reposnible since you threatened others for posting false information.

You threatened people with arrest and yet you fail to comply with the laws of CT.

I am requesting againg the Flight log of Ct Trooper One Helicopter for Dec 13, 2012 and Dec 14, 2012 starting each day at 6:00 am and ending each of those days at 6:00 pm.

I am requesting the helicopter manifest as to who was on board and all copies of video that was shot and recorded for both days that are dated and time stamped for accuracy.

I am also requesting the company that was contracted to clean up all Bio-Hazards such as all the blood, brain matters, bone fragments, stained carpet with blood.  Bookbags and furniture that was contaminated and had to be sanitized.

These are simple questions that even you should understand and have this request processed urgently

The case is closed and I believe the information is not exempt form public records.

Please act accordingly as someone who is a PIO for the CT State Police.

Thanks

Wolfgang W halbig
[address]
352———

From: Wolfgang Halbig
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 09:25:05 -0500
To: Kathy June <newtown.k12.ct.us>
Cc: “Ross, Brian E.” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]
Subject: Asbestos in the Sandy Hook School

Kathy;

I am requesting under the CT Freedom of Information Act the Tri-annual Asbestos Inspection reports from a private individual certified in conducting this required inspections.

I want the name of the company ans contact numbers.

I need copies of the reports starting in 2002 through 2011.

I need copies of letetrs sent to parents and teachers informaing them of all of the Asbestos inside the Sandy Hook Elemenatry School.

There is NO doubt that Asbestos was present since I am providing you a picture of a company demolishing the scvhool and not using the proerr Asbestos removal protocol which is a serious federal violation.

Please provide this quickly since I have tried over and over again with NO return phone calls or repsonses to my Ct of Information Act requests.

Thanks again
Wolfgang W Halbig

Like this:

Like Loading...

Related

Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Sues State Dept. For Putting Him on Watch List

Lawsuit Challenges Brutal Arrest at Clinton speech For anti-war beliefs, State Dept. instructed agents to stop and question McGovern on sight WASHINGTON - February 18 -...

What Makes Aaron Swartz a Hero?

Eric Draitser  RINF Alternative News The recent anti-NSA, anti-surveillance protests were the latest manifestation of a burgeoning movement for freedom from mass surveillance and the liberation...

Police Hunger for Drones May be Growing, but So Are Privacy Concerns

Sandra Fulton  RINF Alternative News The ACLU’s Chris Calabrese testified Wednesday before the Senate Commerce Committee in a hearing on the economic benefits and the safety, privacy, and...

Embarrassing NIST: They Left Out Critical Structural Features of WTC7

Andrew Mills  RINF Alternative News On December 12, 2013, well known attorney, Dr. William Pepper, sent a letter to the U. S . Department of Commerce...

Drone Surveillance of Border Far Greater Than Previously Known

Jennifer Lynch  RINF Alternative News Customs and border protection loaned predator drones to other agencies 700 times in three years according to 'newly discovered' records Customs &...

More US border drone surveillance

A Predator drone operated by the U.S. Office of Air and Marine taxis toward the tarmac for a surveillance flight near the Mexican border...

The US Border Patrol ‘Misplaced’ the Records for 200 Predator Drone Flights

Jason Koeblermotherboard.vice.comJanuary 15, 2014 Late last year, we reported that the U.S. Border Patrol had lent...

Customs and Border Protection Loaning Drones to Police

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – the law-enforcement agency created as a division of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 – flew...

Customs and Border Protection Loaning Drones to Police

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – the law-enforcement agency created as a division of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 – flew...

Did the NSA kill Hugo Chavez?

During 2013, Venezuela experienced one of the most difficult times in its history with the death of President Hugo Chavez on March 5. Chavez,...

Vidéo : ¿Mató la NSA a Hugo Chávez al espiarlo?, se pregunta Eva Golinger

(Caracas, 2 de enero. Noticias24) - La abogada e investigadora Eva Golinger se pregunta hoy si pudiera ser responsable la NSA de la enfermedad...

Vidéo : ¿Mató la NSA a Hugo Chávez al espiarlo?, se pregunta Eva Golinger

(Caracas, 2 de enero. Noticias24) - La abogada e investigadora Eva Golinger se pregunta hoy si pudiera ser responsable la NSA de la enfermedad...

Why Growing Harassment of Scientists by Climate Change Deniers Is So Dangerous

Climate change denialists are suing scientists,...

Russian Celebrity Claims She Was “Stripped Naked” by TSA

TV beauty says “large black woman” performed “sexual act” Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comJanuary 10, 2014

Memo reveals US Navy’s ‘epic failure’

In December the NBC 4 reporter Scott MacFarlane had requested memos kept by Naval Sea Systems Command officials after the Sept. 16 shooting.The US...

500 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent

Washington's Blog No matter which government conducts mass surveillance, they also do it to crush dissent, and then give a false rationale...

​CIA sued for records on possible role in Nelson Mandela arrest

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student sued the Central Intelligence Agency on Wednesday to compel release of its records on Nelson Mandela, the...

Pentagon unable to provide records on drone crashes

Reporters seeking information on US drone safety and crash data were told by Defense Department officials that multiple searches have turned up nothing, indicating...

America Greatest Threat to World Peace

A new poll affirms it. Respondents in 68 countries said so. Anti-US sentiment is palpable. It doesn't surprise. It's for good reason. Around one-fourth of...

WikiLeaks: Conspiracy of Governance to the Courage to Inspire

WikiLeaks: Conspiracy of Governance to the Courage to Inspire In 2010, ongoing wars and government corruption spread through a fog of apathy. The world appeared...

FBI’s Primary Mission is “National Security,” Not Law Enforcement

FOIA request reveals semantic change in description of America's political police force Kurt NimmoInfowars.comJanuary 6, 2014 Kel...

America Greatest Threat to World Peace

America Greatest Threat to World Peaceby Stephen LendmanA new poll affirms it. Respondents in 68 countries said so. Anti-US sentiment is palpable. It doesn't surprise. It's for good reason.Around one-fourth of people surveyed believe America is the gre...

Pentagon Data on Student Testing Program Rife with Errors and Contradictions

Pat Elder RINF Alternative News In late December, 2013 the Department of Defense released a database on the military's controversial Student Testing Program in 11,700...

Linchpin of Pentagon’s School-based Recruiting Program: Student Testing Program Rife with Errors and Contradictions

Pat Elder RINF Alternative News In late December, 2013 the Department of Defense released a database on the military's controversial Student Testing Program in 11,700...

Fukushima Meltdowns: A Global Conspiracy of Denial

Does anyone in authority anywhere tell the truth about Fukushima? If there is any government or non-government authority in the world that is...

Lawsuit Demands Info on Rule That Permits NSA to Spy on the Whole World

The executive branch, exploiting the idea that spying on foreigners is an essential part of its mandate, is also believed to be conducting surveillance...

Trans Pacific Partnership Is A “Corporatist Power Grab”, Shrouded In “Big Brother-Like Secrecy”

The U.S. Trade Representative — the federal agency responsible for negotiating trade treaties — has said that the details of the Trans Pacific Partnership...

Bloomberg: Trans Pacific Partnership Is “Corporatist Power Grab”, “As Democratic And Transparent As A...

Washington's Blog The U.S. Trade Representative — the federal agency responsible for negotiating trade treaties — has said that the details of...

A Legal Loophole Plays a Key Role in the Deaths of Teenage Farmworkers

People think tend of child labor...

Obama says CIA probe into Bay of Pigs should be kept secret

rt.comDecember 14, 2013 Over 50 years after the Bay of Pigs invasion went awry, the US federal government is still attempting to keep secrets about...

Investigating the 9/11 Attacks. The NSA’s “Lone Wolf Terrorists” Justification for Mass Spying Is...

All of the Chairs of the 9/11 Commission and the Congressional Investigation Into 9/11 Say It's “Implausible” that the 9/11 Hijackers Acted Without Government...

Federal Pipeline Safety Agency Approves Startup of Keystone XL Southern Half

DeSmogBlog has learned that TransCanada cleared the final hurdle for the southern half of its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, receiving a green light...

The NSA’s “Lone Wolf” Justification for Mass Spying Is B.S.

All of the Chairs of the 9/11 Commission and the Congressional Investigation Into 9/11 Say It’s “Implausible” that the 9/11 Hijackers Acted without Government Backing The NSA’s main justification for Constitution-shredding mass surveillance on all Americans is 9/11. In reality: … Continue reading

The NSA’s “Lone Wolf” Justification for Mass Spying Is B.S. was originally published on Washington's Blog

Declassified FBI docs detail warrantless drone surveillance

While previous reports have indicated that the FBI has sought to employ drone technology for years, newly unveiled documents from inside the agency show...

The FBI’s drone ambitions date back to the 1990s

Jacob KastrenakesThe VergeDecember 10, 2013 The FBI began experimenting with drones in 1995, but didn't view them as a viable option for video surveillance until...

ALEC Stands Its Ground, But Stumbles

It's been a rough week for...

Video that led to Aaron Swartz’s arrest released

Several minutes of surveillance camera footage used to identify, then arrest and indict late computer prodigy Aaron Swartz has surfaced due to a Freedom...

Obama’s Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin

Ryan J. Reillyhuffingtonpost.comDecember 3, 2013 The Obama administration was serious enough about manufacturing a high-value platinum coin to avert a congressional fight over the debt...

New report documents “a living death” in US prisons

By Fred Mazelis 3 December 2013 The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a massive report that meticulously documents the unconstitutional practice of life imprisonment without...

DHS Promotes Snitch Program ‘To Keep Shoppers Safe’

Businesses at malls carrying out “training exercises” with governmentSteve WatsonInfowars.comNov 29, 2013 The Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Americans to snitch on each other...

CIA sued over torture, black sites

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the CIA over its rendition and torture program following the September 11, 2001...

US Court Denies Halt to Keystone XL

The ever-wise Yogi Berra once quipped “It's like déjà vu all over again,” a truism applicable to a recent huge decision handed down by...

US Court Sets ‘Dangerous Precedent’ in Pipeline Ruling

The ever-wise Yogi Berra once quipped "It's like déjà vu all over again," a truism applicable to a recent huge decision handed down by...

Corporate Profits vs. Environmental Harms: US Court Denies Halt on Pipeline Set to Replace...

The ever-wise Yogi Berra once quipped “It's like déjà vu all over again,” a truism applicable to a recent huge decision handed down by...

List of Guantanamo detainees

The list of remaining Guantanamo detainees which was released by the Pentagon earlier this year has recently been updated by The Associated Press. After more...

Court Orders DHS to Release “Internet Kill Switch” Plans

A federal court this week has ordered the Department of Homeland of Security to the secrecy and disclose details about the so-called "internet Kill...

Ryan Shapiro: The Punk Rocker Who Can Liberate Your FBI File

Will Shapiro profiles Ryan Shapiro for Mother Jones: Ryan Shapiro has just wrapped up a talk at Boston's Suffolk University Law School, and as usual...

Homeland Security must disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch,’ court rules

CJ Ciaramella Washington Times November 14, 2013 A literal kill switch, which is what DHS practically wants for the Internet. Credit: wlodi via Flickr The Department of Homeland...

The U.S. Secret State and the Internet: “Dirty Secrets” and “Crypto Wars” from “Clipper...

Back in the 1990s, security researchers and privacy watchdogs were alarmed by government demands that hardware and software firms build “backdoors” into their...

Sacramento: a Capital Awash in Oil Money

The oil industry, the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in Sacramento, dumped millions of dollars into its successful lobbying efforts to eviscerate an...

America’s Killing Machine: “Life Extension” of the B61-12 Nuclear Bomb

With every official statement about the B61 nuclear bomb life-extension program, the capabilities of the new version (B61-12) appear to be increasing. Previously, officials from...

6 Months After Obama Promised to Divulge More on Drones, Here’s What We Still...

A Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle sits on the flight deck of the USS Gunston Hall in February 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman...

RINFORMATION

USA Topics 9/11 Agenda 21 Assassinations Banks Bush, George Jr Boston Bombings Bohemian Grove CIA Cointelpro Corruption DARPA Democrats Disinformation Congress Drones Eugenics FBI Federal Reserve Guantanamo HAARP ...

Perpetual War: How Does the Global War on Terror Ever End?

via DirtyWars.org/)' width="308" height="467">(Book cover via DirtyWars.org)Think the world needs an alternative to corporate media? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation...

Cyberwar, the Internet and the Militarization of Civil Society

This April 2010 path breaking article foresaw what is now unfolding in front of our very eyes: the repeal of civil liberties, privacy and...

The Real Reason U.S. Targets Whistleblowers

Hypocrisy as a Weapon U.S. leaders have long: Labeled indiscriminate killing of civilians as terrorism. Yet the American military indiscriminately kills innocent civilians (and...

The Real Reason U.S. Targets Whistleblowers

Hypocrisy as a Weapon U.S. leaders have long: Labeled indiscriminate killing of civilians as terrorism. Yet the American military indiscriminately kills innocent civilians (and...

Press Doesn’t Cover Gag Order on TSA Blogger

Once-public documents sent down the memory hole Adan SalazarInfowars.comOctober 24, 2013 The mainstream press has virtually ignored...

Aviators Share Concerns About Government Security Programs

Aviation enthusiasts from all 50 states and 22 foreign countries met in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 10-12, as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots...

What Was “Essential” and What Wasn’t

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/what_was_essential_and_what_wasnt_20131019/ Posted on Oct 19, 2013 ...

“War on Terror” Advocate to Head Homeland Security

Obama intends to nominate former Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson as new DHS chief. He's responsible for endorsing some of Washington's most lawless policies....

War on Terror Advocate to Head Homeland Security

War on Terror Advocate to Head Homeland Securityby Stephen LendmanObama intends to nominate former Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson as new DHS chief. He's responsible for endorsing some of Washington's most lawless policies. His rap ...

The Shutdown in Perspective: Spying on Americans Continued; Services for Needy Children Did Not

To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here. On a damp Friday morning 11...

What Was “Essential” and What Wasn’t: The Government Shutdown in Perspective

On a damp Friday morning 11 days into the government shutdown, a “few dozen” truckers took to the Capital Beltway in a demonstration with...

What Was “Essential” and What Wasn’t: The Government Shutdown in Perspective

On a damp Friday morning 11 days into the government shutdown, a “few dozen” truckers took to the Capital Beltway in a demonstration with the Twitter hashtag #T2SDA (Truckers to Shut Down America).  They wanted to tell lawmakers they were angry, launch an impeachment campaign against the president, and pressure Congress to end itself.

They were on a “ride for the Constitution,” protesting big government and yet the opinion polls were clear.  In fact, the numbers were stunning.  One after another, they showed that Americans opposed the shutdown and were hurting because of it.  At that moment, according to those polls, nearly one in three Americans said they felt personally affected not by too much government, but by too little, by the sudden freeze in critical services.

In reality, that government shutdown was partial and selective. Paychecks, for example, kept flowing to the very lawmakers who most fervently supported it, while the plush congressional gym with its heated pool, paddleball courts, and flat-screen televisions remained open. That’s because “essential” services continued, even as “nonessential” ones ceased. And it turned out that whether the services you cared about were essential or not was a matter of just who got to do the defining.  In that distinction between what was necessary and what wasn’t, it was easy enough to spot the values of the people’s representatives. And what we saw was gut-wrenching. Stomach-churning.

Prioritized above all else were, of course, “national security” activities, deemed beyond essential under the banner of “protecting life and property.”  Surveillance at the National Security Agency, for instance, continued, uninterrupted, though it was liberated from its obviously nonessential and, even in the best-funded of times, minimal responsibility to disclose those activities under the Freedom of Information Act.  Such disclosure was judged superfluous in a shutdown era, while spying on Americans (not to speak of Brazilians, Mexicans, Europeans, Indians, and others around the planet) was deemed indispensible.

Then there was the carefully orchestrated Special Operations Forces mission in Libya to capture a terror suspect off the streets of Tripoli in broad daylight, proving that in a shutdown period, the U.S. military wasn’t about to shut off the lights. And don’t forget the nighttime landing of a Navy SEAL team in Somalia in an unsuccessful attempt to capture a different terrorist target. These activities were deemed essential to national survival, even though the chances of an American being killed in a terrorist attack are, at the moment, estimated at around one in 20 million. Remember that number, because we’ll come back to it.

Indeed, only for a brief moment did the shutdown reduce the gusher of taxpayer dollars, billions and billions of them, into the Pentagon’s coffers. After a couple days in which civilian Defense Department employees were furloughed, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that 90% of them could resume work because they “contribute to morale, well-being, capabilities, and readiness of service members.” This from the crew that, according to Foreign Policy, went on a jaw-dropping, morale-boosting $5 billion spending spree on the eve of the shutdown to exhaust any remaining cash from the closing fiscal year, buying spy satellites, drones, infrared cameras and, yes, a $9 million sparkling new gym for the Air Force Academy, replete with CrossFit space and a “television studio.”

Furloughing Children

Then there were the nonessential activities.

In Arkansas, for instance, federal funds for infant formula to feed 2,000 at-risk newborn babies were in jeopardy, as were 85,000 meals for needy children in that state. Nutrition for low-income kids was considered nonessential even though one in four children in this country doesn’t have consistent access to nutritious food, and medical research makes it clear that improper nutrition stunts brain architecture in the young, forever affecting their ability to learn and interact socially. Things got so bad that a Texas couple dug into their own reserves to keep the program running in six states.

If children in need were “furloughed,” so were abused women. Across the country, domestic violence shelters struggled to provide services as federal funds were cut off. Some shelters raised spare change from their communities to keep the doors open. According to estimates, as many as six million women each year are victims of domestic violence. On average in this country, three women are murdered by an intimate partner every day.

But funding for domestic violence protection: nonessential.

Funds for early childhood education, too, were shut off. Seven thousand low-income kids from 11 states were turned away. Their “head start” was obviously less than essential, even though evidence shows that early education for at-risk children is the best way to help them catch up with their wealthier peers in cognition and adds to their odds of staying out of prison in later life.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) wasn’t accepting new patients because of the shutdown. Typically 200 new patients arrive every week for experimental treatment. On average around 30 of them are children, 10 of whom have cancer.

Cancer, in fact, is the leading cause of death among children ages one to 14.  But treatment for them didn’t qualify as essential. Unlike fighting terrorism -- remember the less-likely-than-being-struck-by-lightning odds of one in 20 million -- treating kids with cancer didn’t make the cut as “protecting life and property.”

A father of two young girls in the town of Eliot, Maine, said to a National Priorities Project staffer in disbelief, “If even one kid can’t get cancer treatment, isn’t that enough to end the shutdown?”

Let this be the last time we find ourselves on the wrong side of that question. Because every day we as a nation allowed our lawmakers to keep the government closed was a day in which we as a people were complicit in replying "no."

Let this be the last time that a couple dozen Tea Party truckers are the only ones angry enough to take to the streets. The vast majority of Americans, whatever their anger when faced with pollsters or TV news interviewers, took this shutdown lying down, perhaps imagining -- incorrectly -- that they were powerless.

Let this be the last time we allow ourselves such lethargy. After all, there are 243 million Americans old enough to vote, which means 243 million ways to demand a government that serves the people instead of shutting them out.  Keep in mind that in the office of every member of Congress is a staffer tracking constituent calls. And what those constituents say actually matters in how legislators vote. They know that a flood of angry telephone calls from their home districts means legions of angry constituents ready to turn out in the next election and possibly turn them out of office.

Shutting Down Taxes

Americans, however, didn’t get angry enough to demand an end to the shutdown, perhaps at least in part because poisonous rhetoric had convinced many that the government was nothing more than a big, wasteful behemoth -- until, at least, it shut down on them. Think of these last weeks as a vivid lesson in reality, in the ways that every American is intimately connected to government services, whether by enjoying a safe food and water supply and Interstate highways, or through Meals on Wheels, cancer treatment, or tuition assistance for higher education, not to speak of Social Security checks and Medicare.

Deep in the politics of the shutdown lies another truth: that it was all about taxes -- about, to be more specific, the unwillingness of the Republicans to raise a penny of new tax revenue, even by closing egregious loopholes that give billions away to the richest Americans.  Simply shutting down the tax break on capital gains and dividends (at $83 billion annually) would be more than enough to triple funding for Head Start, domestic violence protection, the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program, and cancer care at the NIH.

So let this be the last time we as a nation let our elected officials cut nutrition assistance for vulnerable children at the same moment that they protect deep tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. And let’s call recent events in Washington just what they are: breathtaking greed paired with a callous lack of concern for the most vulnerable among us.

It’s time to create a roll of dishonor and call out the lawmakers who supported the shutdown, knowing just what was involved: Mark Meadows (North Carolina, 11th congressional district), Walter Jones (NC-3), Rodney Davis (IL-13), John Mica (FL-7), Daniel Webster (FL-10), Jim Gerlach (PA-6), Justin Amash (MI-3). And that’s just to start a list that seems never to end.

Such representatives obviously should not be reelected, but we need a long-haul strategy as well -- the unsexy yet necessary systemic set of changes that will ensure our government truly represents the people. Gerrymandered district lines must be redrawn fairly, which means that citizens in each state will have to wrest control over redistricting from biased political bodies. California has set the example. Then the big money must be pulled out of political campaigns, so that our politicians learn how to be something other than talented (and beholden) fundraisers.

Finally, we must build, person by person, an electorate that’s informed enough about how our government is supposed to work to fulfill its responsibility in this democracy: to ensure, that is, that it operates in the best interests of the broadest diversity of Americans.

Ahead will be long battles. They’ll take years. And it will be worth it if, in the end, we can give the right answer to that father who asked a question that should have been on everyone’s lips.

The Cost of the Tea Party Shutdown Keeps Getting Higher

Demonstrators protest the government shutdown in front of the Capitol in Washington, October 13, 2013. Senate Republicans on Sunday chided President Barack Obama for...

The Cost of the Tea Party Shutdown Keeps Getting Higher

Demonstrators protest the government shutdown in front of the Capitol in Washington, October 13, 2013. Senate Republicans on Sunday chided President Barack Obama for...

Declassified FBI files detail secret surveillance team

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has turned over new documents detailing how the FBI collects cell phone location information about criminal suspects, but most...

The Sandy Hook School Massacre: School Building is Now Slated for Demolition. Why?

Connecticut political leaders are moving decisively to destroy the site of the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. On September 24 Governor...

US Globalized Torture Black Sites

US Globalized Torture Black Sites by Stephen Lendman On October 5, US Delta Force commandos, CIA operatives, and FBI agents abducted Abu Anas al-Liby. Doing so...

Every Nuclear-Tipped Missile is an “Accident Waiting to Happen”

New History of Nuclear Weapons Control (and Lack Thereof) Cites National Security Archive Documents on War Plans, Nuclear Accidents, and Command Systems Eric Schlosser's Command...

Border Patrol Loaning Predator Drones to Military, State, and Local Police

Think state and local law enforcement aren't watching you with high-tech federally-owned drones? Think again. In a new post, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports...

The Sparks of Rebellion

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_sparks_of_rebellion_20130930/ Posted on Sep 30, 2013 ...

Senator Diane Feinstein’s Husband Selling Post Offices to Cronies on the Cheap

To quote famed short seller David Einhorn: “No matter how bad you think it is, it's worse.” On the “corruption among what passes for...

State of Connecticut Refuses to Release Adam Lanza’s Medical Records

Assistant Attorney General: Identifying antidepressants Lanza was taking could “cause a lot of people to...

How Obama Made Fukushima Worse

The Obama administration's failure to alert Americans to the danger of Fukushima radiation is motivated by corporate politics and the interests of the nuclear...

How Obama Made Fukushima Worse

The Obama administration's failure to alert Americans to the danger of Fukushima radiation is motivated by corporate politics and the interests of the nuclear...

State of Connecticut Refuses to Release Adam Lanza’s Medical Records

Assistant Attorney General: Identifying antidepressants Lanza was taking could “cause a lot of people to...

The Many Ways the Government Is Spying On Us

The Government Is Spying On Us Through Our Computers, Phones, Cars, Buses, Streetlights, At Airports...

MKULTRA? Patsy? Aaron Alexis’ portrait: painted for gun control

Jon RappoportInfowars.comSeptember 19, 2013 Mentally unstable man in the military gains legal access to gun, goes...

Consensus 9/11: New Truths Dispelling Old Lies

Consensus 9/11 seeks “best evidence” proof. It does so to dispel official story falsehoods. It's founded on: “(1) The opinions of respected authorities, based...

Secret Surveillance Court Okays NSA Phone Data Collections

On Tuesday the U.S. government's secret surveillance court declassified and released a decision defending the practice of the National Security Agency in collecting billions...

Surveillance Lies and Compromised Justice

Bill Kunstler charged that most Vermonters in the US District Court where Kristina Berster was scheduled for trial had been “irreparably prejudiced by publicity...

EFF’s Cheat Sheet to Congress’ NSA Spying Bills

Mark M. Jaycox EFF.org Sept. 12, 2013 The veil of secrecy around the government's illegal and unconstitutional use of both Section 215 of the...

“Highly Redacted” Documents Confirm Michael Hastings Under FBI Investigation

FBI maintains files to “memorializes controversial reporting” Julie Wilson Despite the FBI's denial they were investigating Michael Hastings, newly released “heavily redacted” documents on the journalist...

US Covered-Up for Decades the Largest Use of Biological & Chemical Weapons in History

Jeff Kayefiredoglake.comSeptember 9, 2013 Photo by felibrilu under Creative Commons license There are many reasons why one...

9/11 Truth: The Mysterious Collapse of WTC Seven

At 5:21 in the afternoon of 9/11, almost seven hours after the Twin Towers had come down, Building 7 of the World Trade Center...

Wal-Mart, Walgreens found selling chemical used to manufacture deadly nerve gas weapons based on...

Mike Adams Natural News September 4, 2013 Wal-Mart, Walgreens and other large U.S. retailers have been found selling a chemical that can be used...

Hemisphere Project: AT&T Hosting Massive User Database for DEA

The Hemisphere Project, a partnership between federal and local drug officials and AT&T that has not previously been reported, involves an extremely close association...

White House can hide visitors’ logs

A federal appeals court has ruled that the White House can keep secret some records of visitors who enter the building. In a unanimous decision...

252 Documented Examples of Barack Obama’s Lying, Lawbreaking, Corruption, Cronyism, etc.

freedomoutpost.com August 29, 2013 The following is a contribution from Dan from Squirrel Hill. The original title of the article is “Obama supporters...

An Open Letter to My Former NSA Colleagues

Mathematicians, why are you not speaking out? Charles Seife Slate August 25, 2013 Most people don’t know the history of Von Neumann Hall, the nearly...

DoD Training Manual Suggests ‘Extremist’ Founding Fathers ‘Would Not Be Welcome In Today’s Military’

Material lists people concerned with “individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world...

Lawless NSA Spying Exposed

Lawless NSA Spying Exposed by Stephen Lendman It's longstanding. It's no secret. It's well known. Now we know more. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) deserves credit. On...

Secret Court Ruled in 2011 That NSA Surveillance Is Unconstitutional

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been fighting the federal government in court to release to the public an 86-page opinion of the secret Foreign...

Declassified Document Reveals NSA Lies, Flimsy Oversight

The NSA unconstitutionally collected as many as 56,000 e-mails and other electronic communications of people in the U.S. for several years, according to a...

Green Scare Lite

In 2003, my friends and I organized a forest defense campaign against a financial holding company called Maxxam We called the campaign Dirty South...

Green Scare Lite

In 2003, my friends and I organized a forest defense campaign against a financial holding company called Maxxam We called the campaign Dirty South...

What NSA "Transparency" Looks Like

Last week, the Washington Post published an internal audit finding the NSA had violated privacy rules thousands of times in recent years. In response, the spy...

Declassified Secret Documents: CIA Confirms Role in 1953 Iran Coup

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 435 Foreign Office Worried over “Very Embarrassing” Revelations, Documents Show The United Kingdom sought to expunge “very embarrassing” information...

Not Too Big to Jail: Eliot Spitzer Is Wall Street’s Worst Nightmare

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/not_too_big_to_jail_eliot_spitzer_is_wall_streets_worst_nightmare_20130819/ Posted on Aug 19, 2013 ...

Crash of TWA Flight 800: Lawsuits against Navy Seals and Defense Agency

We¹ve filed some interesting lawsuits (see below). We filed one against the CIA earlier, asking for them to give us un-redacted versions of the...

Radiation-exposed workers demand release of nuke plant accident video

Two workers have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Energy for failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to...

Not Too Big to Jail: Why Eliot Spitzer Is Wall Street’s Worst Nightmare

Before Eliot Spitzer’s infamous resignation as governor of New York in March 2008, he was one of our fiercest champions against Wall Street corruption,...

NSA Revelations Prove Abuse Is the Rule, Not the Exception

Recent revelations by the Washington Post have confirmed that NSA abuse of Americans' privacy through unconstitutional warrantless surveillance is far more prevalent than agency requests...

FBI Admits It Has Documents On Michael Hastings

Federal agency initially denied it had investigated Rolling Stone journalist Paul Joseph Watson The FBI has tacitly admitted that it possesses documents pertaining to...

FBI Admits It Has Documents On Michael Hastings

Federal agency initially denied it had investigated Rolling Stone journalist Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comAugust 16, 2013

Dash Cam Footage Captures Cops’ Panic Following Illegal Detainment

“God, we’re gonna get sued…” Adan SalazarInfowars.comAugust 14, 2013 Ever wonder what police officers actively...

Documents show Secret Service kept tab of Swartz

Freshly unveiled documents indicate that the US Secret Service was involved in the investigation into Aaron Swartz.

Secret Service releases first 100 pages of Aaron Swartz investigation

Freshly unveiled documents indicate that the US Secret Service was involved in the investigation into Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who was awaiting trial on hacking charges when he committed suicide earlier this year.

Suspicions Confirmed: CIA Had File on Chomsky

(Screenshot / FBI file via FIOA request / Foreign Policy)Confirming what many people have suspected, Foreign Policy reports Tuesday that the CIA at one...

CIA gathered records on Noam Chomsky

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has admitted to having gathered records on famed American dissident Noam Chomsky when he was an anti-war activist in...

Secret Service monitored REDDIT co-founder Aaron Swartz before his suicide

Steven Musil CNET August 13, 2013 The U.S. Secret Service on Monday released the first 104 pages of agency documents related to its investigation...

Does the US Pay Families When Drones Kill Innocent Yemenis?

There have been nine drone strikes reported in Yemen in the past two weeks – an uptick apparently connected to the Al Qaeda threat that shut down U.S. embassies across the Middle East and Africa. As many as six civilian deaths have also been reported.

Presidential Medal of Freedom Hypocrisy Redux

by Stephen Lendman America honors its worst. Others most deserving are ignored. Doing the right thing doesn't matter. Supporting wealth, power and privilege wins awards. On...

Connections Between Michael Hastings, Edward Snowden And Barrett Brown–The War With The Security State

At the time of his death in a mysterious one-car crash and explosion, journalist Michael Hastings was researching a story that threatened to expose powerful entities and government-connected figures. That story intersected with the work of two controversial government critics—the hacker Barrett Brown and the on-the-run surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Inside the Censored EPA Fracking Water Study

DeSmogBlog has obtained a copy of an Obama Administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fracking groundwater contamination PowerPoint presentation describing a then-forthcoming study’s findings in Dimock, Pennsylvania. The PowerPoint presentation reveals a...

FBI Lets Informants Commit Crimes

FBI Lets Informants Commit Crimes by Stephen Lendman Evidence mounts. America's a rogue police state. NSA is Stasi's new incarnation. Lawless spying is official policy. Virtually...

FBI Lets Informants Commit Crimes

FBI Lets Informants Commit Crimes by Stephen Lendman Evidence mounts. America's a rogue police state. NSA is Stasi's new incarnation. Lawless spying is official policy. Virtually...

Revealed: EPA Fracking Study Rebukes Agency's Own Safety Claims

DeSmogBlog has obtained a copy of an Obama Administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fracking groundwater contamination PowerPoint presentation describing a then-forthcoming study's findings in Dimock, Pennsylvania. The...

Eyewitness To Hastings Crash Reported “Giant Explosion”

Federal agency now investigating death of Rolling Stone journalist Paul Joseph Watson Prison Planet.com August 5, 2013 Newly released transcripts of 911...

What’s the Pentagon Hiding at a Georgia Military Base?

In recent years, the Pentagon has kept the public from finding out the names of Latin American security forces being trained at an army base in Georgia. And it wants to keep it that way.

White House Closes Inquiry Into Afghan Massacre — and Will Release No Details

Physicians for Human Rights sent forensic experts to conduct a preliminary forensic assessment of various mass graves in northern Afghanistan, including the one at...

Aaron Swartz's Loved Ones Slam 'Whitewash' MIT Report

The late Aaron Swartz (Flickr Creative Commons/Phillip Stearns)An internal MIT investigation into the university's role in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz, and culpability in...

Why Did Washington Hate Hugo Chavez?

Eva Golinger, winner of the International Award for Journalism in Mexico (2009), named “La Novia de Venezuela” by President Hugo Chávez, is an Attorney...

FBI sued for keeping secret their file on journalist Michael Hastings

Two investigative journalists are suing the FBI after the government failed to respond on time to a pair of Freedom of Information Act requests...

How to Close Gitmo: A Roadmap

Reprieve delivers justice and saves lives, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Executive Summary The military prison at Guantánamo Bay is now facing the worst crisis...

NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/nsa_says_it_cant_search_its_own_emails_20130724/ Posted on Jul 24, 2013 ...

NSA claims inability to search agency's own emails

Despite the ability to monitor the Internet and cell phone activities of millions, the National Security Agency says it lacks the technology necessary to...

Sen. Foreign Affairs Committee Plays Nice with UN Nominee Samantha Power

On July 17, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee gave a “mostly cordial reception” to Samantha Power, President Obama’s nominee to be the next U.S....

Eye Witness to Michael Hastings Murder Says Body Not Charred Beyond Recognition

Kurt Nimmo Infowars.com July 19, 2013 Description of accident scene at odds with story provided by officialdom. A witness to the aftermath of...

Pressure mounts to release bin Laden death details

WNDJuly 19, 2013 Pressure is mounting on the U.S. government to start exhibiting some of that...

MIT motion puts Aaron Swartz Secret Service file release on halt

A US District judge has suspended the release of Secret Service documents on the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz after MIT filed a motion...

America’s Surveillance Society

It's not new. It's longstanding. State-of-the-art technology makes it easy. It's more intrusive than ever. It's lawlessly out-of-control.

‘You are being tracked’: ACLU reveals docs of mass license plate reader surveillance

RT July 17, 2013 The American Civil Liberties Union has released documents confirming that police license plate readers capture vast amounts...

Report: Michael Hastings’ Body Cremated Against Family’s Wishes

Journalist feared big story could make him a target Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comJuly 17, 2013

Report: Michael Hastings’ Body Cremated Against Family’s Wishes

Journalist feared big story could make him a target Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comJuly 17, 2013

Surveillance Blowback

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/surveillance_blowback_20130716/ Posted on Jul 16, 2013 By Alfred W. McCoy, TomDispatch...

Lawlessness Is Official US Policy

Lawlessness Is Official US Policy by Stephen Lendman Sweeping mass surveillance continues. It won't stop. It's intensifying. It reflects rogue state governance. It has nothing to...

CIA Will Now Openly Propagandize Americans

Smith-Mundt Act “reformed” this month allowing CIA to disseminate propaganda Kurt Nimmo Infowars.com July 15, 2013 Operation Mockingbird, the CIA’s long term effort...

Napolitano to Head University of California

Napolitano to Head University of California by Stephen Lendman On July 12, the Los Angeles Times headlined "Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security chief, to head UC," saying: Her...

New Hi-Tech Police Surveillance: The “StingRay” Cell Phone Spying Device

Blocked by a Supreme Court decision from using GPS tracking devices without a warrant, federal investigators and other law enforcement agencies are turning to...

Most Americans Don’t Know that the Federal Reserve Banks Are Private Corporations

The country’s most powerful “agency” — the Federal Reserve — is actually no more federal than Federal Express. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1928: Instrumentalities...

The Government Is Spying On ALL Americans’ Digital and Old-Fashioned Communications

Washington’s Blog July 12, 2013 Even now — after all of the revelations by Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers — spying apologists say...

Why Did The Obama Administration “Organize And Manage” Protests Against George Zimmerman?

Is the Obama administration at least partially responsible for turning the George Zimmerman trial into such a huge national spectacle? Judicial Watch has obtained...

Secret Service ordered to release files on Aaron Swartz

The federal dossier on Aaron Swartz will be made public due to a United States District judge’s decision last week which compels the Secret...

“Environmental Deception”: The Exact Route of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline is “Unknown”

The State Department’s decision to hand over control to the oil industry to evaluate its own environmental performance on the proposed Keystone XL tar...

State Department Admits It Doesn't Know Keystone XL's Exact Route

The State Department's decision to hand over control to the oil industry to evaluate its own environmental performance on the proposed Keystone XL tar...

State Department Doesn’t Know Keystone XL’s Route

The State Department’s decision to hand over control to the oil industry to evaluate its own environmental performance on the proposed Keystone XL tar...

Secret FISA Court redefines law to justify illegal spying operations

The first details surrounding the secret body of law created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) as part of the US government’s massive surveillance operations were made public yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.

The Snags, Snares and Snafus of Covering the US Military

<img src="http://www.truth-out.org/images/2013_June_Images/2013.7.8.TomDispatch.main.jpg" alt="(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Tech. Sgt. Molly Dzitko / U.S. Army, Master...

10 Most Shocking Things the FBI Has Done Since 9/11

As Congress considers the nomination of...

Government Spying Has Always Focused On Crushing Dissent … Not On Keeping Us Safe

Governments Spy On Their Citizens for Control and Power Top terrorism experts say that mass spying on Americans doesn’t keep us safe. High-level American government officials...

IRS Pays 201 Employees to Do Full-time Union Work

Americans are paying the salaries of over 200 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees not to process tax returns or to assist confused taxpayers but...

The “Tonkin Gulf War Pretext Incidents”: When the US Wants to Start a War,...

As the Obama administration maneouvres to get traction for more overt and deadly military intervention in Syria, it may be time to reflect on...

The State of Dissent in America: Flex Your Rights

When we occupied Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, during the Autumn of 2011, we often marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill to express...

FBI Planned to Kill Occupy Leaders

Murdering political activists is business as usual for ruthless ruling elite Kurt Nimmo Infowars.com July 2, 2013 Occupy Wall Street was targeted due...

The National Security State Exposed

President Obama’s well-publicized May 23 speech to the nation was aimed at moderating the present U.S. dictum that the country is and should remain in...

Obama State Dept. Leaving Citizens in the Dark About Exact Keystone XL Pipeline Route

Believe it or not, the precise route of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline remains shrouded in mystery. Of course, both TransCanada and the U.S....

Obama State Dept. Leaving Citizens in the Dark About Exact Keystone XL Pipeline Route

Believe it or not, the precise route of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline remains shrouded in mystery. Of course, both TransCanada and the U.S....

FBI sued over secretive facial recognition program

Soon the FBI will be done building a database containing the photographs, fingerprints and other biometric data for millions of Americans, but the agency...

Obama Administration Misleads Citizens About Exact Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Route

The precise route of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline remains shrouded in mystery. Of course, both TransCanada and the U.S. State Department have revealed...

FBI Document–“[DELETED]” Plots to Kill Occupy Leaders “If Deemed Necessary”

whowhatwhy.com June 28, 2013 Would you be shocked to learn that the FBI apparently knew that...

The Wonderful American World of Informers and Agents Provocateurs

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_wonderful_american_world_of_informers_and_agents_provocateurs_20130628/ Posted on Jun 28, 2013 ...

Another Israeli War Criminal of the Year Award

Another Israeli War Criminal of the Year Award by Stephen Lendman America represents the worst of rogue governance. So does Israel. They menace humanity. They persecute...

Big Brother Writ Large in America

Big Brother Writ Large in America by Stephen Lendman Spying on its citizenry reflects one of the most defining police state characteristics. Post-9/11, America crossed the...

Snowden Becomes Eighth Person to Be Charged with Violating the Espionage Act Under Obama

Kevin Gosztolafiredoglake.comJune 23, 2013 (update below) A criminal complaint indicates former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden...

Snowden Becomes Eighth Person to Be Charged with Violating the Espionage Act Under Obama

A criminal complaint indicates former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden has been charged with three felonies. Two of the felonies are charges under...

Obama, Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Another Israeli War Criminal of the Year Award

On March 21, Obama received Israel’s Medal of Distinction. It’s also called the President’s Medal. It’s Israel’s highest civil award. It’s for individuals “who have...

First State Department Benghazi photos released

CBS NewsJune 21, 2013 After being sued under Freedom of Information (FOIA) law, the State Department...

Bilderberg 2013: British Treasury Admits Chancellor Held Discussions In Official Capacity

Taxpayer will foot the bill for George Osborne’s expenses at secret meeting Steve WatsonInfowars.comJune 21, 2013 The...

The Surveillance State: Big Brother Writ Large in America

Spying on its citizenry reflects one of the most defining police state characteristics. Post-9/11, America crossed the line. Unconstitutional mass surveillance became official US policy....

Do You Have ANY IDEA How Widespread the Spying Really Is?

Washington’s Blog June 20, 2013 Preface: Americans now know that the government is spying. But they still have no idea how many of...

Snow job: If government spying on all Americans is such a good thing, then...

Mike AdamsNatural NewsJune 18, 2013 In the run up to the 2012 election, why didn’t Obama...

The Dangers of Corporations Controlling National Secrets

It's time to completely end the...

National Security Should Never Be a For-Profit Industry

It's time to completely end the...

Unprecedented Coalition Pushes Back on Government’s Domestic Spying

The national security establishment’s latest domestic spying scandal has galvanized a lightning-fast response where nearly 100 civil liberties-minded advocacy groups and technology companies are...

Surveillance and the Corporate State

With all of the fear mongering the subject has received in recent decades, Americans have in fact had remarkably little to fear directly from...

Lobbyists for Canadian Pipeline Have Deep Ties to White House

TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration — as well as former staff of the Hillary...

Government Spying on Americans … and then Giving Info to Giant Corporations

You’ve heard that the government spies on all Americans. But you might not know that the government shares some of that information with big corporations. In...

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/guilty_until_proven_innocent_20130612/ Posted on Jun 12, 2013 By Victoria Brittain,...

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/guilty_until_proven_innocent_20130612/ Posted on Jun 12, 2013 By Victoria Brittain,...

Frackademia Hits Tennessee

“Frackademia” is usually thought of as “studies” conducted by university-based “frackademic” researchers and funded by Big Oil, the old “Tobacco Playbook” in action. But...

Major-league environmental advocate suing State Department over Keystone XL analysis

The Sierra Club, one of the oldest environmental organizations in the US, has announced that it will be suing the State Department for access...

Government Spying on Americans … and then Giving Info to Giant Corporations

You’ve heard that the government spies on all Americans. But you might not know that the government shares some of that information with big corporations.

The Judicial Lynching of Bradley Manning

The military trial of Bradley Manning is a judicial lynching. The government has effectively muzzled the defense team. The Army private first class is not permitted...

The Judicial Lynching of Bradley Manning

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_judicial_lynching_of_bradley_manning_20130609/ Posted on Jun 9, 2013 ...

Whatever Happened to the CIA? Dirty Wars and the Cinema of Self-Indulgence

Let me begin with some background not covered in the film.  Dirty War derives from “La Sale Guerre”, the term the French applied to their...

Four Years ago Obama Promised to Investigate Afghan Massacre; has Anything Happened Since?

In his first year in office, President Barack Obama pledged to “collect the facts” on the death of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Taliban prisoners...

“Big Brother Obama” Systematic Spying on Americans: Unconstitutional US Data-Mining

On June 5, London’s Guardianreported part of it. “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily,” it headlined.On June 6, a follow-up...

Is the Government Also Monitoring the CONTENT of Our Phone Calls?

Yes, Government Spooks May Be Listening The Obama administration has been caught spying on the Verizon phone calls of tens of millions of Americans. But the government has...

Dirty Wars and the Cinema of Self-Indulgence

Let me begin with some background not covered in the film. Dirty War derives from “La Salle Guerre”, the term the French applied to...

Repressing “Un-American Activities”: The Historical Roots of Today’s Homeland Surveillance State

Political rights are so easily taken for granted — until they’re threatened or curtailed by repressive laws. In the United States, they are usually...

The Monitoring of Our Phone Calls? Government Spooks May Be Listening

The Obama administration has been caught spying on the Verizon phone calls of tens of millions of Americans. The spying effort specifically targeted Americans...

Is the Government Also Monitoring the CONTENT of Our Phone Calls?

Yes, Government Spooks May Be Listening The Obama administration has been caught spying on the Verizon phone calls of tens of millions of Americans. But the government has...

‘Beyond Orwellian’: Outrage Follows Revelations of Vast Domestic Spying Program

Outrage and rebuke are flying after explosive news broke late Wednesday that the National Security Agency, claiming authority under the Patriot Act and using a secret court order, has demanded (and been receiving) millions of phone records from Verizon which include all the company's "telephony metadate" for all its US-based customers over a three month period.

Endangering Democracy: Manning’s ‘Secrets’ v. Over-classification

The U.S. government wants to lock away Pvt. Bradley Manning for life because he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents that he believes...

Studies in Intelligence: New Articles from The CIA’s In-House Journal

The Presidential ban against CIA assassinations of foreign leaders, first enacted in 1976, reflected both moral and practical reasons – including concerns about retaliation...

Obama Admin. Won’t Give Out Officials’ Secret E-mail Addresses

The president who promised “an unprecedented level of openness” is in charge of an executive branch that communicates via secret e-mail accounts, making it...

Press Shakedown? Labor Dept. Wanted $1M from AP

KEITH KOFFLER White House Dossier June 4, 2013 In the latest blow to the Obama administration’s claim to be the “openness administration,” word...

Obama’s top appointees use secret email accounts — AP

Some of US President Barack Obama's high-ranked political appointees are using secret government email accounts, which they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes...

Justice Dept. moves to end Fla. lawsuit, citing national security

upi.comJune 4, 2013 A declaration in support of ending a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., lawsuit says the...

Lobbyists for Canadian Pipeline Have Deep Ties to White House

TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration - as well as former staff of the Hillary...

Lobbyists for Canadian Pipeline Have Deep Ties to White House

TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration - as well as former staff of the Hillary...

CIA Global Renditions: Abductions and Extrajudicial Transfers from one Country to Another

Extraordinary renditions include arbitrary abductions and extrajudicial transfers from one country to another. Targeted individuals are called terrorists.

Fracking “Shock Doctrine” Unveiled

The shale gas industry has performed the “shock doctrine” at the 11th hour of the 2013 Illinois State Legislature’s debate over hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”),...

Anti-TSA Activist: TSA Agent Groped My Vagina

Woman complains of sexual molestation after fronting TSA opt-out protest Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comMay 27, 2013

Why the Senate’s “Border Security Triggers” May Leave Millions in Limbo

On May 21st the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded debate on the “Gang of 8” immigration reform proposal, passing the amended proposal onto the full...

Why the Senate’s “Border Security Triggers” May Leave Millions in Limbo

On May 21st the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded debate on the “Gang of 8” immigration reform proposal, passing the amended proposal onto the full...

Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan?

There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan. One that has been widely asked is whether it will turn out to...

Infowars challenges Piers Morgan to Declare Government Has Become Fully Tyrannical

Morgan makes a near 180, declares American government “vaguely tyrannical”Adan SalazarInfowars.comMay 18, 2013 It...

The 1983 Nuclear War Scare

Image: President Reagan and General Secretary Andropov were named “men of the year” in 1983 by the Time Magazine. The Central Intelligence Agency also...

5 Worst Obama Assaults on Civil Liberties Besides the AP scandal

Is anyone really surprised that Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Justice Department followed the rules in seizing two months of telephone records from...

FBI “Legally” Reading Your Emails Without Warrant

A Freedom Of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has revealed that the FBI has been reading private emails without warrant, using a law from the 1980's.

Supreme Court Blocks Freedom Of Information Act

The Supreme Court has ruled that the state of Virginia can legally block out-of-state people from using its Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain state documents.

IRS: You Have No Privacy

According to documents recently obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes they have the authority to read the private e-mail messages, Facebook chats and other online communications of Americans without obtaining a warrant.

Five Great Online Tools for Mining Public Records

This post first appeared on the Project On Government Oversight blog.

Thanks to our open records laws, you can find a treasure trove of information on the Web — everything from details about publically traded companies to where stimulus funds are going. You can even submit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests online.

Take some time this week to educate yourself about the information and data available from government websites. Below are five great online tools that you can use to help hold government accountable.

FOIA Online

FOIA Online allows anyone to submit a Freedom of Information Act request online, track their request, and search past FOIA requests. Currently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Commerce, Federal Labor Regulations Authority, Merit System Protections Board, and the National Archives and Records Administration use FOIA Online.

One of the great things about FOIA Online is that you do not have to be registered to submit or search FOIA requests. This makes it incredibly easy for anyone to begin research into what is going on in different agencies and departments of the U.S. government.

Recovery.gov

Recovery.gov was established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the “Stimulus,” and is managed by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. It shows the distribution of all Recovery funds and how each agency is spending the money. Agencies involved must submit weekly financial reports that describe how the funds allotted to them are being distributed, and those who received contracts, grants, and loan awards of Recovery funds must submit similar reports four times per year.

Recovery.gov not only allows the public to view, research, and review the information, but it offers the ability to report suspected fraud, waste or abuse that relates to the Stimulus.

The Consumer Complaint Database

The Consumer Complaint Database displays information from consumer credit card complaints that are reported to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The data allows people to gain insight on other users’ experiences with different credit card companies. The website has also been designed so web developers can pull data and other information to create other online tools.

SEC’s Electronic Data-Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval System (EDGAR)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires that all publically traded domestic companies file necessary forms on EDGAR. Its purpose is to increase efficiency and fairness of the securities market by speeding up the analysis of the required forms.

EDGAR also allows the public to view statements of income, cash flow, shareholder equity, and operations. This leads to safer, more reliable investments, as well as giving the public the ability to research earnings of specific companies.

Ethics.gov

Ethics.gov put records and data from throughout the federal government into one place. It contains Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) records, Lobbying Disclosure Reports, Federal Election Commission (FEC) candidates and contributions, Office of Government Ethics (OGE) travel reports, and White House visitors.

It allows people to review information on candidates and campaign financing. You can see who has been visiting the White House and review payments to lobbyists and see what issues they’ve worked on.

The NYT and Obama Officials Collaborate to Prosecute Awlaki After He’s Executed

The New York Times and the Obama administration have created a disturbing collaborative pattern that asserted itself again on Sunday with the paper's long article purporting to describe the events leading up to the execution by the CIA of US citizen A...

ALEC Sham Chemical Disclosure Model Tucked Into Illinois Fracking Bill

Illinois is the next state on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)'s target list for putting the oil industry's interests ahead of the public interest.

(Photo: silverfuture via Flickr) 98 percent funded by multinational corporations, ALEC is described by its critics as a "corporate bill mill" and a lobbyist-legislator dating service. It brings together corporate lobbyists and right wing politicians to vote up or down on "model bills" written by lobbyists in service to their corporate clientele behind closed doors at its annual meetings.

These "models" snake their way into statehouses nationwide as proposed legislation and quite often become the law of the land. 

Illinois, nicknamed the "Land of Lincoln," has transformed into the "Land of ALEC" when it comes to a hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") regulation bill - HB 2615, the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation Act - currently under consideration by its House of Representatives. "Fracking" is the toxic horizontal drilling process via which unconventional gas and oil is obtained from shale rock basins across the country and the world.

HB 2615 - proposed on Feb. 21 with 26 co-sponsors - has an ALEC model bill roped within this lengthy piece of legislation: the loophole-ridden Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Composition Act.

As covered here on DeSmogBlog, this model bill has been proposed and passed in numerous statehouses to date. If the bill passes, Illinois' portion of the New Albany Shale basin will be opened up for unfettered fracking, costumed by its industry proponents as the "most comprehensive fracking legislation in the nation." 

"If At First You Don't Succeed, Dust Yourself Off and Try Again"

This isn't ALEC's first fracking-related crack at getting a model bill passed in Illinois. In 2012, the Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Composition Act - introduced as SB 3280 - passed unanimously by the Illinois Senate but never passed the House. 

SB 3280 isn't merely an ALEC model, but is a Council of State Government's (CSG) model, too, as covered here on DeSmog.

The "disclosure" standards' origins lay in the Obama Department of Energy's (DOE) industry-stacked fracking subcomittee, formed in May 2011 "to study the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and determine if there are ways, or even a necessity, to make it safer for the environment and public health." 

As exposed by The New York Times in April 2012, these "disclosure" standards were originally written by ExxonMobil, first passed in Texas in June 2011, and now serve as both an ALEC and CSG model bill for the states. I say "disclosure" - as opposed to disclosure - because the bill includes loopholes for "trade secrets," ala the "Halliburton Loophole" written into the industry-friendly federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. 

Section 77 of HB 2615, titled "Chemical disclosure; trade secret protection," also includes the same trade secrets exemption from the ALEC/CSG ExxonMobil-written model bill. 

Ever persistent, ALEC has taken the late pop diva Aaliyah's words to heart with regards to chemical fluids "disclosure," at first not succeeding and dusting itself off and trying again

The FracFocus Façade

The oil and gas industry has chosen FracFocus as the entity to oversee the chemical disclosure process. An August investigation by Bloomberg News revealed that FracFocus offers the façade of disclosure while the industry tramples roughshod over communities nationwide.  

"Energy companies failed to list more than two out of every five fracked wells in eight U.S. states from April 11, 2011, when FracFocus began operating, through the end of last year," wrote Bloomberg. "The gaps reveal shortcomings in the voluntary approach to transparency on the site, which has received funding from oil and gas trade groups and $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy."

In reality, FracFocus is a public relations front for the oil and gas industry, as we reported here in Dec. 2012, explaining

FracFocus' domain is registered by Brothers & Company, a public relations firm whose clients include America’s Natural Gas Alliance, Chesapeake Energy, and American Clean Skies Foundation - a front group for Chesapeake Energy.

Another Nov. 2012 Bloomberg investigation revealed that oil and gas corporations "claimed trade secrets or otherwise failed to identify the chemicals they used about 22 percent of the time," according to its analysis of FracFocus data for 18 states.

Cosponsors Tied to ALEC, CSG

Five of the 26 Illinois House cosponsors are ALEC members: Reps. David Reis (R-119), Mike Fortner (R-95), Jil Tracy (R-93), Dennis Reboletti (R-97), and Patricia Bellock (R-94). 

Further, three more cosponsors have ties to CSG. Rep. Ann Williams (D-11) and Rep. Pam Roth (R-75) both attended CSG Midwest's 2012 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD). Two of the sponsors of BILLD in 2012 included BP America and Enbridge Energy. Another, Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-97), is a 2005 CSG Midwest BILLD alumni.

The bipartisan "group of 26" took a total of $53,060 before the Nov. 2012 election, data collected from the National Institute on Money in State Politics shows.      

How Will IL Regulate Fracking with 12 Inspectors?

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's 2012 budget included Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cuts to the tune of 13.5-percent for fiscal year 2013. The DNR is the regulatory body tasked to referee the fracking process under HB 2615, an agency which in the past decade has lost over half of its budget

"Our agency has essentially been cut in half over the last decade. There are a lot of ramifications...You're going to see a noticeable difference in the maintenance. It won't be the fault of the people that work for us," DNR Director Marc Miller said at a Feb. 2012 public forum in a foreshadowing manner. "It will be because we don't have the resources."

There are 12 inspectors in IL to oversee fracking regulation enforcement, among myriad other regulatory duties, down from 28 in 2005, as revealed in a recent Freedom of Information Act conducted by ProPublica.

"What we are looking for is a sustainable solution," Miller said at the public forum. "We want to get to the point of having revenue we can count on to plan and to be able to do the programs we're supposed to do for the public."

Yet Miller believes more DNR cuts from Quinn are in the works in forthcoming budgets.

Earthworks pointed out in a Sept. 2011 report titled, "Breaking All the Rules: the Crisis in Oil & Gas Regulatory Enforcement" that numerous states - akin to Illinois - are vastly understaffed, underfunded and unable to do their jobs to protect the public. Predictably, this has led to under-enforcement, lending the oil and gas industry a free pass to contaminate without accountability.

And even with enforcement, Earthworks pointed out that because the penalties for breaking the law are so minimal, the industry simply passes this off as a tiny "cost of doing business."

Bill Endorsed by Sierra Club/NRDC 

Despite this reality, two major green NGOs - the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) - have come out in cautious support of the bill. 

"NRDC is working to transition as quickly as possible to a clean energy future based on energy efficiency and renewable energy, but as long as we have to have dirty fossil fuels, our communities need the strongest rules in place," NRDC's Henry Henderson wrote in blog post, offering the important caveat that "Those rules are only as good as their enforcement, which needs to be robust and strict. And that is another issue that we will be following if this bill moves forward."

No concerns are raised about Section 25 of the bill dealing with setbacks and prohibitions.

This section lends the industry the ability to conduct fracking operations within 1,500 feet of groundwater sources and 500 feet of schools, houses, hospitals, nursing homes, and places of worship. It also enables the industry to frack within 300 feet of rivers, lakes, ponds and reservoirs.   

These regulations do not take into account the fact that the horizontal drilling portion of the fracking process extends between 5,000 and 10,000 feet. The sobering reality: none of these things would be protected under this bill's current language

Sierra Club, which came under fire last year for taking $26 million from gas giant Chesapeake Energy to fight against coal, sang a similar tune.

"We may not be able to decide whether fracking comes to Illinois, but we absolutely must decide to make sure we are as protected as we can be," Sierra Club's Jack Darin concluded on The Huffington Post, despite the fact that fracking has yet to begin in the state. 

Other Groups Call for a Moratorium, Support Alternative Bill 

Other groups are fighting for a different recently-introduced moratorium bill, SB 1418, which has one sponsor so far, Sen. Mattie Hunte (D-94).

That effort is being led by the Illinois Coalition For A Moratorium on Fracking, whose members include Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE), MoveOn.org Illinois, Progressive Demcrats of America (PDA) Chicago and Illinois, Stop the Frack Attack on IL, Rising Tide, and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Chicago. 

"The moratorium will allow two years for a science-based investigative task force to look at current and ongoing studies on fracking," the Coaliton's press release in support of SB 1418 reads. "As new research continues to uncover more harmful effects of high-volume fracturing, both in the surrounding area and to the climate, ICMF, SAFE, and many other environmental organizations are committed to supporting studies on the procedure."

SAFE, one of the Coalition members, will play host to a one-day summit called "The Fracking Truth" on Mar. 1 to rally people in support of the moratorium bill.

U.S. Marshals Service Used Domestic Surveillance Drones

New documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have revealed that the U.S. Marshals Service experimented with domestic surveillance drones.

What the Government Can Get From Your iPhone

What the Government Can Get From Your iPhone

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share
Posted on Feb 27, 2013
Johann Larsson (CC BY 2.0)

A court document obtained by the ACLU reveals the kind of data federal agents are able to pull off of a seized iPhone using “advanced forensic analysis tools.”

“The list,” writes electronic privacy expert Chris Soghoian, “starkly demonstrates just how invasive cell phone searches are—and why law enforcement should be required to obtain a warrant before conducting them.”

The iPhone was seized from a suspect’s bedroom during a drug bust. In a single sweep, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were able to extract call activity, contact lists, voice mails and text messages, photos and videos, apps, eight different passwords and 659 “geolocation points,” including connections to 227 cellphone towers and 403 Wi-Fi networks.

Before smartphones arrived, Soghoian writes, police had to gain a warrant to access such information, which would be stored in a suspect’s home or office. “Our pockets and bags simply aren’t big enough to carry paper records revealing that much data. We would have never carried around several years’ worth of correspondence, for example—but today, five-year-old emails are just a few clicks away using the smartphone in your pocket. The fact that we now carry this much private, sensitive information around with us means that the government is able to get this information, too.”

Although the ICE obtained a warrant to search the phone in this case, courts are divided about whether one is necessary in these circumstances, and no law requires it. Police officers have claimed they don’t need a warrant during moments of lawful arrest and at U.S. border crossings.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Chris Soghoian at ACLU:

The police should not be free to copy the contents of your phone without a warrant absent extraordinary circumstances. However, that is exactly what is happening. Last year in California, for example, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a common-sense bill that would have required the police to obtain a warrant before searching seized phones, despite the bill’s broad bipartisan support in the state legislature.

Intrusive cell phone searches are becoming ever easier for law enforcement officers to conduct. Companies such as Cellebrite produce portable forensics machines that can download copies of an iPhone’s “existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags” in minutes. This type of equipment, which allows the government to conduct quick, easy phone searches, is widely available to law enforcement agencies—and not just to federal agents.

While the law does not sufficiently protect the private data on smartphones, technology can at least provide some protection. All modern smartphones can be locked with a PIN or password, which can slow down, or in some cases, completely thwart forensic analysis by the police (as well as a phone thief or a prying partner). Make sure to pick a sufficiently long password: a 4 character numeric PIN can be cracked in a few minutes, and the pattern-based unlock screen offered by Android can be bypassed by Google if forced to by the government. Finally, if your mobile operating system offers a disk encryption option (such as with Android 4.0 and above), it is important to turn it on.

Read more

More Below the Ad


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Washington Whitewashes Israeli Murder

Why not. It whitewashes its own. Washington is a rogue terror state. So is Israel. It's waged war on Palestine for decades. It's guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Its rap sheet makes serial killers look saintly.

CISPA, the Privacy-Invading Cybersecurity Spying Bill, is Back in Congress

It's official: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act was reintroduced in the House of Representatives yesterday. CISPA is the contentious bill civil liberties advocates fought last year, which would provide a poorly-defined "cybersecurity" exception to existing privacy law. CISPA offers broad immunities to companies who choose to share data with government agencies (including the private communications of users) in the name of cybersecurity. It also creates avenues for companies to share data with any (Photo: Kai-Huei Yau/ Tri-City Herald)federal agencies, including military intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA).

EFF is adamantly opposed to CISPA. Will you join us in calling on Congress to stop this and any other privacy-invasive cybersecurity legislation?

As others have noted, “CISPA is deeply flawed. Under a broad cybersecurity umbrella, it permits companies to share user communications directly with the super secret NSA and permits the NSA to use that information for non-cybersecurity reasons. This risks turning the cybersecurity program into a back door intelligence surveillance program run by a military entity with little transparency or public accountability.”  

Last year, CISPA passed the House with a few handful of amendments that tried to fix some of its vague language. But the amendments didn't address many of the significant civil liberties concerns. Those remaining problems were reintroduced in today's version of CISPA. Here's a brief overview of the issues:

Companies have new rights to monitor user actions and share data—including potentially sensitive user data—with the government without a warrant.

First, CISPA would still give businesses the power to use "cybersecurity systems" to obtain any "cybersecurity threat information" (CTI)—which could include personal communications—about a perceived threat to their networks or systems.  The only limitation is that the company must act for a "cybersecurity purpose," which is vaguely defined to include such things as "safeguarding" networks.

CISPA overrides existing privacy law, and grants broad immunities to participating companies.

At the same time, CISPA would also create a broad immunity from legal liability for monitoring, acquiring, or sharing CTI, so long as the entity acted “in good faith.”  Our concern from day one has been that these combined power and immunity provisions would override existing privacy laws like the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act. 

Worse, the law provides immunity “for decisions made based on” CTI. A rogue or misguided company could easily make bad "decisions" that would do a lot more harm than good, and should not be immunized.  

CISPA also raises major transparency and accountability issues.

Information provided to the federal government under CISPA would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other state laws that could otherwise require disclosure (unless some law other than CISPA already requires its provision to the government).  

Users probably won't know if their private data is compromised under CISPA, and will have little recourse. 

CISPA's authors argue that the bill contains limitations on how the federal government can use and disclose information by permitting lawsuits against the government. But if a company sends information about a user that is not cyberthreat information, the government agency does not notify the user, only the company. 

CISPA is a dangerous bill

These are just a couple of reasons of why CISPA is a dangerous bill and why President Obama threatened to veto the bill last year. CISPA essentially equates greater cybersecurity with greater surveillance and  information sharing. But many of our cybersecurity problems arise from software vulnerabilities and human failings, issues CISPA fails to address. For instance, the recent series of hackssuffered by New York Timeswere suspected to be from spearphishing and victims downloading malicious software masked as email attachments—the types of issues that CISPA doesn't deal with.

We were heartened to hear that President Obama's new Executive Order on cybersecurity will encourage government agencies to more readily share cybersecurity information with companies, and may even reduce unnecessary secrecy around cybersecurity information. Let's use the momentum from the Executive Order to turn a new leaf in the cybersecurity debate, beginning a broader public dialogue about cybersecurity that doesn’t assume that surveillance is the right solution.

Please join EFF in opposing CISPA by contacting Congress today.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

Mark M. Jaycox

Mark M. Jaycox is a Policy Analyst and Legislative Assistant for EFF.

Has Obama Kept His Open-Government Pledge?

Has Obama Kept His Open-Government Pledge?

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share
Posted on Feb 11, 2013
The White House/Pete Souza

By Jennifer LaFleur, ProPublica

This article first appeared on ProPublica.

After eight years of tightened access to government records under the Bush administration, open-government advocates were hopeful when Barack Obama promised greater transparency.

Four years later, did the president keep his promise?

“It’s a mixed bag,” said Patrice McDermott, executive director of OpenTheGovernment.org, a consortium of right-to-know groups. “I think they’ve made progress, but a whole lot more remains to be done.”

The Obama administration set the bar high. In his first inaugural address, Obama said that “those of us who manage the public’s dollars” will “do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”

The next day, the president issued two memos. In one on the Freedom of Information Act, he wrote that FOIA “should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails.”

A second memo addressed transparency: “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.” And that “openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government.”

But transparency was not defined in detail, said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). “People were left to imagine whatever they wanted to be the content of those statements. Inevitably, disappointment soon followed.”

Next came more memos and directives, including a memo from Attorney General Eric Holder encouraging federal agencies to release discretionary information and a White House directive outlining an open-government to-do list for agencies.

Among the assigned tasks:

  • Make data available online
  • Create an open-government website
  • Create a FOIA point person within the agency
  • Devise a plan on how the agency will become transparent

In early 2010, ProPublica tracked how well agencies followed up. Some agencies missed key deadlines. Others did not complete all tasks.

Two months ago, the National Security Archive found that “66 of 99 federal agencies” never updated their FOIA regulations even though Holder ordered them to make changes in a March 19, 2009, memorandum.

“It takes somebody beating up on the chief FOIA officer and the head of the agency to make sure the message is being heeded all through the agency, ” McDermott said. “And they haven’t done that.”

But all has not been dark and cloudy. The secrecy veil is beginning to lift in some areas.

Last year, the White House released its visitor logs, and Obama signed legislation that provided greater protection for government whistleblowers.

Citizens can get more information about government spending than they could have previously through websites such as Recovery.gov and USASpending.gov.

The administration also created Data.gov as a repository of federal data. A December 2009 White House memo directed agencies to make “high-value” data sets available on the site. Although Data.gov was criticized for its lack of usability and the selection of data, it now has more than 350,000 data sets from agencies.

Another website, FOIA.gov, tracks data about how agencies respond to FOIA requests for records and provides tools to help citizens make requests and track for information.

“We know more today than ever before about intelligence spending,” Aftergood said, citing bright spots. “And we know more today than before about the size of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.” (Estimates put the U.S. stockpile at just more than 5,000 in 2012, according to an FAS report.)

Some basics also have changed. Many agencies employ simple, yet helpful practices such as communicating with FOIA requesters and giving them ways to check the status of their requests. Some agencies have posted contact information for their FOIA offices and other personnel on their websites.

Still, many requesters say they continue to face delays and costly processing fees. Although government data show that agency FOIA backlogs are significantly lower than in 2008, the figures for 2011 show an increase from the two prior years. An analysis by Bloomberg News last fall found that 19 out of 20 cabinet-level agencies failed to properly fulfill FOIA requests.

“Other areas are like duck feet paddling beneath the surface,” McDermott said. “You may not see them, but they are moving.”

In fiscal year 2011, agencies processed 8 percent more FOIA requests even though the number of incoming requests went up. And now, more than 40 years since the passage of FOIA, government employees who process requests have an actual job category — “government information specialist.”

Obama’s second inaugural address contained no mention of transparency, however, and no memos or directives have called for a more open government. That leaves some to wonder if the commitment to transparency continues.

According to White House spokesman Eric Schultz, it does. “While creating a more open government requires sustained effort,” he said, “our continued efforts seek to promote accountability, provide people with useful information and harness the dispersed knowledge of the American people.”

“Reducing secrecy and improving transparency are still compelling ideas that are good for reducing costs, improving efficiency and engaging the public in a constructive way,” Aftergood said. “Those of us who do advocacy in that area shouldn’t be disappointed. We should get to work.”

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every week.

Previous item: The Paradoxes of Pope Benedict XVI



New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

DOJ Kill List Memo Forces Many Dems Out of the Closet as Overtly Unprincipled...

This past week has been a strangely clarifying political moment. It was caused by two related events: the leak of the Justice Department's "white paper" justifying Obama's claimed power to execute Americans without charges, followed by John Brennan's alarming confirmation hearing (as Charles Pierce wrote: "the man whom the administration has put up to head the CIA would not say whether or not the president of the United States has the power to order the extrajudicial killing of a United States citizen within the borders of the United States"). I describe last week's process as "strange" because, for some reason, those events caused large numbers of people for the first time to recognize, accept and begin to confront truths that have long been readily apparent.Hosts Krystal Ball and Touré Neblett, part of the purported 'liberal' team of anchors on the afternoon MSNBC show The Cycle, have both been slammed for their defense of Obama's drone assassination program. (Image: MSNBC promo)

Illustrating this odd phenomenon was a much-discussed New York Times article on Sunday by Peter Baker which explained that these events "underscored the degree to which Mr. Obama has embraced some of Mr. Bush's approach to counterterrorism, right down to a secret legal memo authorizing presidential action unfettered by outside forces." It began this way:

"If President Obama tuned in to the past week's bracing debate on Capitol Hill about terrorism, executive power, secrecy and due process, he might have recognized the arguments his critics were making: He once made some of them himself.

"Four years into his tenure, the onetime critic of President George W. Bush finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country's core values in the name of security."

Baker also noticed this: "Some liberals acknowledged in recent days that they were willing to accept policies they once would have deplored as long as they were in Mr. Obama's hands, not Mr. Bush's." As but one example, the article quoted Jennifer Granholm, the former Michigan governor and fervent Obama supporter, as admitting without any apparent shame that "if this was Bush, I think that we would all be more up in arms" because, she said "we trust the president". Thus did we have - while some media liberals objected - scores of progressives and conservatives uniting to overtly embrace the once-controversial Bush/Cheney premises of the War on Terror (it's a global war! the whole world is a battlefield! the president has authority to do whatever he wants to The Terrorists without interference from courts!) in order to defend the war's most radical power yet (the president's power to assassinate even his own citizens in secret, without charges, and without checks).

Last week's "revelations" long known

Although you wouldn't know it from the shock and outrage expressed over the last few days, that Barack Obama claims the power to order US citizens assassinated without charges has been known for three full years. It was first reported more or less in passing in January, 2010 by the Washington Post's Dana Priest, and then confirmed and elaborated on by both the New York Times and the Washington Post in April, 2010. Obama first tried to kill US citizen Anwar Awlaki in December 2009 (apparently before these justifying legal memoranda were concocted) using cruise missiles and cluster bombs; they missed Awlaki but killed 52 people, more than half of whom were women and children. Obama finally succeeded in killing Awlaki and another American, Samir Khan, in October 2011, and then killed his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman in a drone strike two weeks later.

That Obama is systematically embracing the same premises that shaped the once-controversial Bush/Cheney terrorism approach has been known for even longer. All the way back in February, 2009 - one month after Obama's inauguration - the New York Times' Charlie Savage reported that "the Obama administration is quietly signaling continued support for other major elements of its predecessor's approach to fighting Al Qaeda" and that this continuity is "prompting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush-era policies" (I actually wrote at the time that Savage's alarmist conclusions were premature and overly pessimistic, but subsequently told him how right, even prescient, he turned out to be). In April, 2009, the Obama-friendly TPM site announced that "Obama mimics Bush" when it comes to assertions of extremist secrecy powers. In June, 2010, Obama's embrace - and expansion - of many of Bush's most radical policies had become so glaring that ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero gave a speech to a progressive conference and began by proclaiming himself to be "disgusted with this president", while Bush's most hawkish officials began praising Obama for his "continuity" with Bush/Cheney policy.

That many Democratic partisans and fervent Obama admirers are vapid, unprincipled hacks willing to justify anything and everything when embraced by Obama - including exactly that which they pretended to oppose under George W Bush - has also been clear for many years. Back in February, 2008, Paul Krugman warned that Obama supporters are "dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality." In May, 2009, a once-fervent Obama supporter, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, wrote a column warning that Obama was embracing many of the worst Bush/Cheney abuses and felt compelled - in the very first sentence - to explain what should be self-evident: "Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House." The same month, former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith - who provided the legal authorization for the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program - went to the New Republic to celebrate that Obama was not only continuing the core Bush/Cheney approach to terrorism, but even better (from his perspective), was strengthening those policies far beyond what Bush could achieve by transforming Democrats from opponents of those policies into supporters.

And exactly as Goldsmith happily predicted, polls now show that Democrats and even self-identified progressives support policies that they once pretended to loathe now that it is Obama rather than Bush embracing them. On MSNBC, Obama aides and pundit-supporters now do their best Sarah Palin impression by mocking as weaklings and losers those who think the President should be constrained in his militarism and demonizing as anti-American anyone who questions the military (in between debating whether Obama should be elevated onto Mount Rushmore or given his own monument). A whole slew of policies that would have triggered the shrillest of progressive condemnations under Bush - waging war after Congress votes against authorizing it, the unprecedented persecution and even torturing of whistleblowers, literally re-writing FOIA to conceal evidence of torture, codifying indefinite detention on US soil - are justified or, at best, ignored.

So none of this - Obama's assassination program, his general embrace of Bush/Cheney radicalism, the grotesque eagerness of many Democrats to justify whatever he does - is at all new. But for some reasons, the events of last week made all of this so glaring that it could no longer be denied, and it's worth thinking about why that is.

What made last week's revelations so powerful?

What this DOJ "white paper" did was to force people to confront Obama's assassination program without emotionally manipulative appeal to some cartoon Bad Guy Terrorist (Awlaki). That document never once mentioned Awlaki. Instead - using the same creepily clinical, sanitized, legalistic language used by the Bush DOJ to justify torture, renditions and warrantless eavesdropping - it set forth the theoretical framework for empowering not just Obama, but any and all presidents, to assassinate not just Anwar Awlaki, but any citizens declared in secret by the president to be worthy of execution. Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee wrote that the DOJ memo "should shake the American people to the core", while Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman explained "the revolutionary and shocking transformation of the meaning of due process" ushered in by this memo and said it constituted a repudiation of the Magna Carta.

In doing so, this document helpfully underscored the critical point that is otherwise difficult to convey: when you endorse the application of a radical state power because the specific target happens to be someone you dislike and think deserves it, you're necessarily institutionalizing that power in general. That's why political leaders, when they want to seize extremist powers or abridge core liberties, always choose in the first instance to target the most marginalized figures: because they know many people will acquiesce not because they support that power in theory but because they hate the person targeted. But if you cheer when that power is first invoked based on that mentality - I'm glad Obama assassinated Awlaki without charges because he was a Bad Man! - then you lose the ability to object when the power is used in the future in ways you dislike (or by leaders you distrust), because you've let it become institutionalized.

This DOJ document underscored that Obama's claimed due-process-free and secretly exercised assassinations powers aren't confined to cartoon super-villain Anwar Awlaki but are now an embedded, institutionalized part of the American political system going forward. That's why it provided such a wake-up call for many even though these dangers have long been obvious.

What also made this last week unique was the reaction of the American Right. Progressives love to recite the conceit that Republicans will never praise Obama no matter what he does. This is a complete sham: conservatives, including even Cheney himself, have repeatedly lavished praise on Obama for his embrace of Bush/Cheney policies in these areas. But this past week, they did so with such effusive enthusiasm that the cognitive dissonance could not be ignored.

Supreme GOP warmonger Lindsey Graham announced his intention to introduce a Senate resolution praising Obama for his assassination program. RedState's Erick Erickson wrote a Fox News column denouncing civil libertarians and defending Obama: "we must trust that the president and his advisers, when they see a gathering of al-Qaida from the watchful eye of a drone, are going to make the right call and use appropriate restraint and appropriate force to keep us safe." Michelle Malkin criticized her own staff for attacking Obama and wrote: "On this, I will come to Obama's defense." Others vocally defending Obama included John Bolton, Peter King, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann.

These are not just Republicans. They are the most extreme, far-right, warmongering conservatives in the country. And they are all offering unqualified and enthusiastic praise for Obama and his assassination program. In our political culture, where everything is viewed through the lens of partisan conflict and left-right dichotomies, this lineup of right-wing supporters is powerful evidence of how far Obama has gone in pursuit of this worldview. That, too, made the significance of last week's events impossible to ignore.

But the most significant factor was the behavior of many Democratic pundits and self-proclaimed progressives. Given how glaring all the assembled evidence was of Obama's dangerous radicalism, they faced a serious dilemma: how to fulfill their core purpose - defending Obama no matter what he does - while maintaining a modicum of dignity and intellectual coherence?

Some of them, like MSNBC host Touré Neblett, invoked the language of John Yoo to outright defend Obama's assassination powers on the ground of presidential omnipotence: "he's the Commander in Chief", he intoned. But the explicit submission to presidential authority necessary to justify this was so uncomfortably similar to Bush-era theories, and the very suggestion that MSNBC commentators would be saying any of that if it had been Bush's program rather than Obama's was so laughable, that this approach provoked little beyond widespread ridicule.

A slightly different approach was chosen by the Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky, a supremely loyal Obama acolyte. He wrote a whole column devoted to pronouncing himself "suspicious of high-horse denunciations" because the question here is such "a complicated one". It's so "complicated", he says, because he's "always written about politics with part of [his] brain focused on the question of what [he] would do if [he] were in Politician X's position".

As Reason quickly documented, Tomasky's tone on such matters was radically different during the Bush years. But the most important point is that the excuse Tomasky offers for his leader - it must be very difficult to be in the Oval Office and get these reports about Terror threats and not take action - is exactly what Bush followers said for years would happen once Obama or any other Democratic president got into power. Indeed, every debate in which I ever participated on Bush/Cheney terrorism policies involved their supporters making exactly the same argument Tomasky makes in defense of Obama: if you knew what Bush knew, and faced the hard choices he faced, you would do the same thing to protect the country: it's easy to condemn these things when you're not in power.

That is why, as I have written many times before, Democratic partisans owe a public, sincere, and abject apology to George Bush and Dick Cheney. It's certainly true that Obama has not continued many of the policies progressives found so heinous: he hasn't invaded Iraq or legally authorized waterboarding. But Obama has completely reversed himself on so many of the core criticisms he and other Democrats made about Bush and Cheney regarding the need for due process for accused Terrorists, the dangers of radical secrecy, the treatment of Terrorism as a war on a global battlefield rather than a crime to be prosecuted. And if Tomasky's excuse is correct - empathy with the leader's need to Keep Us Safe shows that these are much more complicated issues than civil libertarians claim - then he and his fellow partisan soldiers should apologize, since that's exactly what Bush/Cheney defenders said for years would happen once a Democratic president was empowered.

The most honest approach to this quandary has come from those, like Granholm, who simply admit that they would vehemently object to all of this if it were done by Bush (or some other GOP President), but don't do so because it's Barack Obama doing it. This same astonishing confession was heard from MSNBC host Krystal Ball: "So yeah, I feel a whole lot better about the program when the decider, so to speak, is President Obama"; as Digby wrote about Ball's confession:

"Glenn Greenwald's been calling this out for years, but I defy him to find a better example of the hypocrisy that drives him so crazy. Obviously, this is a fairly common belief among those who believe the President they voted for is 'good' and the one they don't like is 'bad' but it's rare that you see anyone boldly say that they think the standard should be different for their own because well . . . he's a better person. It takes a certain courage (or blindness) to come right out and admit it."

Indeed. MSNBC's Chris Matthews decided the program was justifiable because Leon Panetta goes to church often and thus can be trusted.

On Sunday morning, MSNBC host Chris Hayes devoted a full hour to Obama's assassination program, and before doing so, he delivered an excellent monologue addressing the many progressives who complain any time he critically covers Obama's actions in this area. He cited an amazing post by an Obama supporter who wrote: "I support President Obama's drone attacks. And I admit that I'm a hypocrite. If a republican administration were executing these practices, I'd probably join the chorus to condemn them as unconstitutional, authoritarian or worse". About that, Hayes said:


"I think this is probably the most honest defense of the program you'll hear from liberals. They trust President Obama to wield broad, lethal executive authority with care and prudence. And besides: it's war; would you rather, I am often asked by supporters of the kill list, that we have boots on the ground, big expensive, destructive deadly disastrous land invasions of countries like the Iraq war? . . . .

"This narrow choice between big violence and smaller violence shows, I think, just how fully we have all implicitly adopted the conceptual framework of the War on Terror, how much George W. Bush's advisers continue to set the terms of our thinking years after they'd been dispatched from office. Because that argument presupposes that we are at war and must continue to be at war until an ill-defined enemy is vanquished. . . .

"The Obama administration quite ostentatiously jettisoned the phrase war on terror from its rhetoric, but it's preserved and further expanded its fundamental logic and legal architecture."

In other words, Obama has embraced and expanded the core premises of the Bush/Cheney global war on terror that Democrats so vehemently claimed to find offensive, radical, a "shredding of the Constitution". And they are now supportive for one reason and one reason only: it's a Democratic president whom they trust - Barack Obama specifically doing it - rather than a Republican president they distrust. That is the very definition of vapid, unprincipled partisan hackdom, and it matters for several reasons.

Why progressive partisan hackdom matters so much

The behavior and mindset of Democrats (and self-identified "progressives") is significant in its own right because they are now the most powerful political faction in the US. By the time Obama leaves office, they will have controlled the White House for 16 out of 24 years. When the current term of Congress ends, they will have controlled the Senate for the last eight years and the House for the last four out of eight. They exercise far more power and influence than the GOP and conservatives, and their attributes are therefore worthy of discussion in their own right.

During the right-wing dominance of the Bush era, progressives had little trouble understanding why right-wing hypocrisy and leader worship were so dangerous. In early 2006, just a few months after I began writing about politics, I wrote about pervasive blind trust and leader-worship among Bush followers and it was widely cited and cheered by progressives. Just marvel at how perfectly applicable it is to many Obama-era progressives:

"'Conservatism' is now a term used to describe personal loyalty to the leader (just as 'liberal' is used to describe disloyalty to that leader), and no longer refers to a set of beliefs about government. . . .

"Indeed, as many Bush followers themselves admit, the central belief of the Bush follower's 'conservatism' is no longer one that [subscribes] to a limited federal government - but is precisely that there ought to be no limits on the powers claimed by Bush precisely because we trust him, and we trust in him absolutely. He wants to protect us and do good. He is not our enemy but our protector. And there is no reason to entertain suspicions or distrust of him or his motives because he is Good.

"We need no oversight of the Federal Government's eavesdropping powers because we trust Bush to eavesdrop in secret for the Good. We need no judicial review of Bush's decrees regarding who is an 'enemy combatant' and who can be detained indefinitely with no due process because we trust Bush to know who is bad and who deserves this. We need no restraints from Congress on Bush's ability to exercise war powers, even against American citizens on US soil, because we trust Bush to exercise these powers for our own good . . . .

"And in that regard, [Bush followers] are not conservatives. They are authoritarian cultists. Their allegiance is not to any principles of government but to strong authority through a single leader."

To many conservatives, Bush could and should be trusted to exercise extreme powers in the dark because he was a Good evangelical Christian family man with heartland cowboy values. To many progressives, Obama can and should be trusted because he's a Good sophisticated East Coast progressive and family man with urbane constitutional scholar values. It's lowly reality TV viewing and rank cultural tribalism masquerading as political ideology.

Beyond the inherent dangers of fealty to political leaders for partisan gain, this behavior has a substantial effect on the ability to fight radical government policies. Progressives often excuse Obama's embrace of these extremist Bush/Cheney terror policies on the ground that Americans support these policies and therefore he's constrained. But that claim reverses causation: it is true that politicians sometimes follow public opinion, but it's also true that public opinion often follows politicians.

In particular, whenever the two poli