In some ways, 2013 seems like it was yesterday, and in other ways it seems like 2013 was an eternity ago. On March 12 of that year, the US Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in the case of Clapper v. Amnesty International USA that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to sue the NSA. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his opinion, the plaintiffs’ argument that they have the standing to challenge the program was based on a “highly speculative fear.” He also wrote they “have no actual knowledge of the Government’s … targeting practices,” and “can only speculate as to how the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will exercise their discretion in determining which communications to target.” see more…
Tag Archives: CIA
There have been several recent scandals involving the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Secret Service. While these agencies are not directly connected at times they do work together. For instance, the DEA and Secret Service were working together to investigate the Silk Road, and one agent from each department was arrested and charged with wire fraud and money laundering related to their malfeasance in the investigation. see more…
Earlier this week, the US Senate released a heavily redacted 540 page summary of a larger 6,000 page report on the CIA’s use of torture. The report, called a “footnote in history” by Senator Richard Burr (NC), detailed some of the torture techniques used in the secret CIA prisons. In addition to simulated drowning, also called waterboarding, some of the captives “were deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, at times with their hands shackled above their heads,” at least four of them with medical complications in their lower extremities. Reuters reports, the report recorded cases of “sexual abuse, including ‘rectal feeding’ or ‘rectal hydration’ without any documented medical need.” The summary from the Senate states, “The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive,suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box.” see more…
On Wednesday March 6, Senator Rand Paul delayed the Senate confirmation of John Brennan as the new head of the CIA. He began his 13 hour filibuster, which was essentially a political show, by stating “I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.” Paul added, The President says, he hasn’t killed anyone yet, and has no intention of killing Americans. But he might. Paul asks, “Is that enough? Are we satisfied by that? Are we so complacent with our rights that we would allow a President to say he might kill Americans? … No one person, no one politician should be allowed to judge the guilt, to charge an individual, to judge the guilt of an individual and to execute an individual. It goes against everything that we fundamentally believe in our country.”
After the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder, sent a letter to Rand Paul that reads: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”
Rand Paul found this answer to be acceptable, I do not! At first glance it appears that Eric Holder is saying the President can not kill an American on American soil. However, the statement deserves a closer look. The word combat can be both a noun and a verb. When used as a verb, combat is defined as “to fight or contend against; oppose vigorously.”
At this very moment, it could be construed that I am “engaged in combat” as I vigorously oppose the very existence of the federal government. I also vigorously oppose the the destruction of civil liberties, the foreign policy of the American government and the lack of fiscal responsibility. I contend that, based on the definition of combat as a verb, I, along with many thousands of others, could potentially be targets of domestic drone attacks. Despite the potential threat, I will not be silenced!
President Obama became the first President since FDR to win re-election by a smaller margin than his initial election (Obama receive 8 million fewer votes and 33 fewer Electoral Votes in 2012 than 2008). I was not surprised by his reelection or the fact that he was reelected by a smaller margin than his 2008 victory. I did find it surprising that within days of his reelection, the White House received a letter of resignation from CIA Director David Petraeus.
Jason Ditz of AntiWar.com writes, “The timing of the resignation is also telling, as indications are this FBI investigation has been ongoing for quite some time, but the resignation waited until immediately after the presidential election. President Obama has been a vocal supporter of Petraeus in numerous roles, and the revelation that he appointed a leader of the nation’s most visible spy agency who couldn’t even keep an affair under wraps would certainly have been politically damaging if it came out before the vote.”
In addition to Petraeus, Hillary Clinton announced that she will be stepping down as Secretary of State. Even though Clinton has been upfront about her intentions to only serve as Secretary of State for one term, the timing of this latest announcement seems rather convenient. In mid-October, she took responsibility for the deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 of this year. Military officials insist Petraeus’ resignation has nothing to do with Benghazi, his sudden resignation means that he will no longer be required to testify before Congress about the debacle.
Regarding the Benghazi attack, Clinton said, “I take this very personally. So we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and then we’re going to do everything we can to work to prevent it from happening again, and then we’re going to work to bring whoever did this to us to justice.”
Based on information obtained by AntiWar.com, local police were seen taking pictures inside the embassy, a small British security firm was hired to guard the consulate and some of the “security team” team assigned to guard the compound showed the rioters where the Americans were located. Blue Mountain Security told their unarmed guards “to sound the alarm over the radio and then run for cover if there was an attack.”
Justin Raimondo asks, “Unarmed ‘security’ guards — who ever heard of that? How the heck did Blue Mountain get this contract?” After going into detail on how Blue Mountain got the contract, Raimondo concludes, “The whole arrangement screams setup.”
I’m not saying that war-criminal David Petraeus was involved in this debacle, but it is very “coincidental” that he resigned days after the election and just days before being required to testify before Congress.