noworldsystem.com


Obama Votes YES on FISA Spy-Bill, McCain Skips

Obama Votes YES on FISA Spy-Bill, McCain Skips

The Nation
July 9, 2008

Hillary Clinton just voted “no” on cloture and final passage of the FISA bill expanding the government’s domestic spying powers and guaranteeing retroactive legal immunity for the telecom companies that assisted the spying program.

Barack Obama voted “yes.”

The New York Times calls the passage of the bill “one of Mr. Bush’s most hard-won legislative victories in a Democratic-led Congress where he has had little success of late. And it represented a stinging defeat for opponents on the left who had urged Democratic leaders to stand firm against the White House after a months-long impasse.”

Here’s the roll call.

 

Activist: Obama defense of FISA support a ’stiff arm’ to constitution

Raw Story
July 3, 2008

After more than a week of growing criticism of his support for a flawed surveillance bill, Barack Obama quietly responded late Thursday evening. He’s not likely to quell his growing cadre of critics.

In a blog response posted just before 5 p.m. headed into a three-day holiday weekend, Obama reiterated his support for an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the Senate is expected to vote on Tuesday. (No mention of the blog post seems to have been distributed to Obama’s normal press list, either.)

Obama says he is against a provision in the bill to give legal immunity to telecommunications companies that facilitated the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans as authorized by President Bush. He vowed to support amendments that would strip immunity but would vote for the final bill regardless.

“It’s a stiff arm to the people that care about the Constitution,” said Mike Stark, a blogger and liberal activist who started a group on Obama’s social networking page to urge him to fix the FISA bill.

“It’s left a question in a lot of people’s mind about how committed he really is to change,” Stark told RAW STORY.

Responding to the 17,000 supporters who made the group the largest on my.barackobama.com, the Democratic candidate said he was glad to hear their concerns but reminded them that they really didn’t have any other choice in this election.

“I think it is worth pointing out that our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences we may have,” Obama wrote. “After all, the choice in this election could not be clearer.”

Justifying his support for the FISA bill, Obama cited a provision in the latest version that provides FISA is the “exclusive means” through which a president can authorize surveillance. Of course, the original FISA bill, passed in 1978, had the same qualification, and three federal judges have ruled that President Bush did not have inherent authority to conduct warrantless surveillance like he claimed to have had.

He also noted the fact that surveillance authorizations under the Protect America Act, a stopgap FISA update Obama opposed when it passed last year, would expire in August. Glenn Greenwald debunks this justification here.

If opponents of Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program can take any encouragement from Obama’s statement, it is that he does repeat earlier pledges to instruct his Attorney General to fully investigate just what Bush authorized, if he’s elected.

“Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I’ve chosen to support the current compromise,” he writes. “I do so with the firm intention — once I’m sworn in as President — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.”

Stark allowed that electing Obama remained the larger goal for him, but said the disappointment many feel about his decision to support FISA could linger even if he were elected.

“Of course I’m going to vote for him in November,” he said. But “we’re keeping score, and there’s going to be a time when he needs us. … We have long memories.”

Today’s coverup of surveillance crimes and Barack Obama
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/07/09/fisa/index.htmlOnline Movement Aims to Punish Democrats Who Support Bush Wiretap Bill
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/07/online-activist.html

Obama Losing Voters Over FISA Support
http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/07/10/1341207.shtml

Obama unequivocally says some constitutional rights must be suspended
http://www.huffingtonpost.co..sa-and-the-netroo_b_111116.html

Group urging FISA ’no’ vote is largest on Obama’s social site
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/..g_FISA_no_vote_largest_0703.html

Obama planning ’civilian national security force’ as powerful and well-funded as the US military
http://bulletin.aarp.org/states/il/a..plan_for_national_service.html

Obama: Blackwater Is Here To Stay
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/07/obama-blackwate.html

 



4th Amendment Destroyed: FISA Spy-Bill Passes

4th Amendment Destroyed: FISA Spy-Bill Passes
ACLU Announces Legal Challenge To FISA Law To Follow President’s Signature

ACLU
July 9, 2008

Today, in a blatant assault upon civil liberties and the right to privacy, the Senate passed an unconstitutional domestic spying bill that violates the Fourth Amendment and eliminates any meaningful role for judicial oversight of government surveillance. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was approved by a vote of 69 to 28 and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush shortly. This bill essentially legalizes the president’s unlawful warrantless wiretapping program revealed in December 2005 by the New York Times.

“Once again, Congress blinked and succumbed to the president’s fear-mongering. With today’s vote, the government has been given a green light to expand its power to spy on Americans and run roughshod over the Constitution,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “This legislation will give the government unfettered and unchecked access to innocent Americans’ international communications without a warrant. This is not only unconstitutional, but absolutely un-American.”

The FISA Amendments Act nearly eviscerates oversight of government surveillance by allowing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to review only general procedures for spying rather than individual warrants. The FISC will not be told any specifics about who will actually be wiretapped, thereby undercutting any meaningful role for the court and violating the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The bill further trivializes court review by authorizing the government to continue a surveillance program even after the government’s general spying procedures are found insufficient or unconstitutional by the FISC. The government has the authority to wiretap through the entire appeals process, and then keep and use whatever information was gathered in the meantime. A provision touted as a major “concession” by proponents of the bill calls for investigations by the inspectors general of four agencies overseeing spying activities. But members of Congress who do not sit on the Judiciary or Intelligence committees will not be guaranteed access to the agencies’ reports.

The bill essentially grants absolute retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies that facilitated the president’s warrantless wiretapping program over the last seven years by ensuring the dismissal of court cases pending against those companies. The test for the companies’ right to immunity is not whether the government certifications they acted on were actually legal – only whether they were issued. Because it is public knowledge that certifications were issued, all of the pending cases will be summarily dismissed. This means Americans may never learn the truth about what the companies and the government did with our private communications.

“With one vote, Congress has strengthened the executive branch, weakened the judiciary and rendered itself irrelevant,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “This bill – soon to be law – is a constitutional nightmare. Americans should know that if this legislation is enacted and upheld, what they say on international phone calls or emails is no longer private. The government can listen in without having a specific reason to do so. Our rights as Americans have been curtailed and our privacy can no longer be assumed.”

In advance of the president’s signature, the ACLU announced its plan to challenge the new law in court.

“This fight is not over. We intend to challenge this bill as soon as President Bush signs it into law,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project. “The bill allows the warrantless and dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international telephone and email communications. It plainly violates the Fourth Amendment.”

 

Constitutional expert Turley on FISA bill: ’The fix is in’

Raw Story
July 9, 2008

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MsRQtL64-Vc

Read Full Article Here

Senate Rollcall Vote for H.R. 6340
Obama: Yes, Hillary: No, McCain: Skipped
http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll..ongress=110&session=2&vote=00168

Bush wins passage of spy bill to protect telecoms
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSWAT00975320080709

Traitors In Senate Approve Surveillance Bill
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2..Ar4mXNDa49uWmlkRl2iTP_hv24cA

Judge Walker ruled, effectively, that President George W. Bush is a felon
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/07/09/alharamain_lawsuit/

Report: Because of Bush obstinance, civil liberties board exists ‘in name only’
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Re..sh_obstinance_civil_0709.html

Domestic spying quietly goes on
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/bal-te.fisa07jul07,0,2783557.story

As FISA nears toward vote, Feingold warns against immunity
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/As_F.._vote_Feingold_0708.html

 



Why Did 94 House Dems Change Votes on FISA? Money.

Why Did 94 House Democrats Change Their Votes on FISA?
(A: Money)

Politico
June 25, 2008

In March, the House passed an amendment that rejected retroactive immunity for telecoms that assisted the NSA in illegal wiretapping. Most of us have wondered what happened to change the minds of 94 Democrats. What happened between June 20 and March 14 to change 94 Democratic hearts and minds?

The answer might well be simple: money. Could it be that simple?

MAPLight.org has published a breakdown of contributions received from Telco PACS by the 94 Dems who experienced the change of heart. [Maplight.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Berkeley, California. Its search engine at MAPLight.org illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via an unprecedented database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes.’]

Here’s the bottom line:

Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint gave PAC contributions averaging:

$8,359 to each Democrat who changed their position to support immunity for Telcos (94 Dems)
$4,987 to each Democrat who remained opposed to immunity for Telcos (116 Dems)

88 percent of the Dems who changed to supporting immunity (83 Dems
of the 94) received PAC contributions from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint
during the last three years (Jan. 2005-Mar. 2008). ( MAPLight.org)

Of course the average amount received is a bit misleading. A few of the very prominent Dems who changed their votes took a lot more than $8000. According to this website,

Nancy Pelosi [CA], Speaker of the House, allegedly received $24,500.

Steny Hoyer [MD] allegedly received $29,000.

James Clyburn [SC] allegedly received $29,500.

Rahm Emanuel [IL] allegedly received $28,000.

Frederick Boucher [VA] allegedly received $27,500.

Gregory Meeks [NY] allegedly received $26,000.

You can see the complete list here.

I guess with campaign finance laws in the state they’re in, we can’t expect them to turn down free money. I would like to believe that there are other reasons why they supported the current incarnation of FISA. I wish I could think of some.

Read Full Article Here

 

HR 6304 – A Bill To Abolish the 4th Amendment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIJdmePn4lY

 

Hatch compares FISA critics to those ‘who wear tin foil hats and think 9/11 was an inside job.’

Think Progress
June 26, 2008

Speaking today on the Senate floor in favor of the Foreign Service Intelligence Act legislation, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) compared critics of the bill — which include Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Chris Dodd (D-CT), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), among others — to deluded conspiracy theorists. Hatch mocked the what he called “onerous oversight provisions” included in the bill, and said those who raise the specter of unchecked executive wiretapping power “feed the delusions of those who wear tin foil hats around their house and think that 9/11 was an inside job.”

Those “onerous” oversight provisions Hatch maligns? A ban on “reverse targeting” of Americans and a new requirement of probable cause for surveillance of Americans abroad.

UpdateLate this afternoon, the Senate voted 80-15 to invoke cloture on the FISA bill. Ian Welsh at FDL writes that this “was the real vote” and applauds the 15 senators who “voted for the Bill of Rights.”

Why Obama supports FISA: His fundraising firm takes money from AT&T
http://mparent7777-1.livejournal.com/649045.html

Obama: Immunity not that important. Won’t support filibuster
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPljokDWERg

Whistleblower: Spy Bill Will Create Police State
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/06/att-whistleblow.html

Report: FISA vote may be delayed until July
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news..il-after-july-recess-2008-06-26.html

Obama Adviser On FISA: We’ll Trust The Inspector General To Prevent Surveillance Abuses
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/m.s.-b..-well-trust_b_108904.html

The Real FISA Vote Passes 80 to 15 With the Presidential Nominees Passing
http://firedoglake.com/2008/06/2..e-presidential-nominees-passing/

Ron Paul: The FISA bill clearly violates the Fourth Amendment
http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2008/cr062008h.htm

 



Spy Bill Destroys 4th Amendment

Spy Bill Destroys 4th Amendment

AFP
June 20, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZaSbSRqwHE

In a late-term triumph for US President George W. Bush, the US House of Representatives on Friday approved spy-powers legislation that has drawn heavy fire on civil liberties grounds.

Lawmakers voted 293-129 for a bill that may shield telecommunications firms facing massive lawsuits over their work with Bush’s secret, six-year, warrantless wiretapping program, begun after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid has opposed granting retroactive immunity to companies that cooperated with a program thought to have skirted established surveillance laws.

During often bitter House floor debate, many Democrats broke with the measure, the fruit of months of talks among Senate and House leaders of both parties that ultimately gave in to key White House demands.

“It’s Christmas morning at the White House thanks to this vote,” said Caroline Fredrickson, a top official with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which has fiercely opposed the legislation.

Earlier, Bush had used a hastily announced public statement at the White House to press lawmakers to approve new funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pushed hard for House passage of the intelligence bill.

“It’s vital that our intelligence community has the ability to learn who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they are planning,” Bush said in the two-minute statement.

The spending bill would provide 162 billion dollars for conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, fuelling both for months after Bush’s successor takes over in January, without attaching a withdrawal timetable sought by Iraq war opponents.

But the bitterest feuding was over the intelligence bill, which came amid a pitched political battle raging over Bush’s decision to secretly launch a warrantless wiretapping program believed to have skirted surveillance law.

Critics charge the secret program was illegal because it ran afoul of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)’s requirement of a court order to spy on US citizens inside the United States.

The White House says Bush, who brought the program under FISA oversight in January 2007, made proper use of wartime presidential powers under the US Constitution, and that the often-updated law was ill-suited to deal with modern telecommunications and the nature of the terrorist threat.

If passed, the new measure could short-circuit about 40 court challenges targeting major US telecommunications firms that cooperated with the program, which the US public learned about in a December 2005 New York Times article.

Read Full Article Here

 

Feingold, Dodd planning filibuster of wiretap bill

Raw Story
June 24, 2008

In a last-ditch attempt to fix a surveillance bill critics say would essentially legalize President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) have promised to filibuster the bill as long as it offers telecommunications companies retroactive immunity.

“This is a deeply flawed bill, which does nothing more than offer retroactive immunity by another name. We strongly urge our colleagues to reject this so-called ‘compromise’ legislation and oppose any efforts to consider this bill in its current form. We will oppose efforts to end debate on this bill as long as it provides retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies that may have participated in the President’s warrantless wiretapping program, and as long as it fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans,” the senators said in a joint statement Tuesday.

Read Full Article Here

 

Kucinich Slams FISA Bill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM2HLbcUafA

293 Traitors Pass Warrantless Spy Bill In House
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hJ..Bdh9wDwD91DU8480

Constitutional expert: FISA bill ’is an evisceration of the Fourth Amendment’
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Turle.._is_evisceration_of_0619.html

Feingold: ‘Farce’ wiretap deal could be hiding ‘impeachable offense’
http://rawstory.com/news08/200..d-be-hiding-impeachable-offense/

Obama defends new FISA bill as ’compromise’
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Obama_defends_new_FISA_bill_as_0620.html

 



Obama Supports Giving Telecoms Amnesty for Illegal Wiretaps

Obama Supports Giving Telecoms Amnesty for Illegal Wiretaps

Wired Blog
June 24, 2008

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama supports the spy bill compromise passed by the House Friday, despite having opposed retroactive amnesty to telecoms that helped with the President’s secret, warrantless wiretapping.

The measure expands the government’s ability to install blanket wiretaps inside domestic communication infrastructure and frees the nation’s phone and internet companies from lawsuits accusing them of massive violations of their customers’ privacy. The Senate is expected to take up and pass the Bush-approved bill next week.

The bill is widely perceived as a victory for the White House, and was agreed to by Democrats out of a fear of being labeled soft on terrorism in the upcoming elections.

Obama’s campaign released the following statement late Friday:

Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. There is also little doubt that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, has abused that authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders.

That is why last year I opposed the so-called Protect America Act, which expanded the surveillance powers of the government without sufficient independent oversight to protect the privacy and civil liberties of innocent Americans. I have also opposed the granting of retroactive immunity to those who were allegedly complicit in acts of illegal spying in the past.

After months of negotiation, the House today passed a compromise that, while far from perfect, is a marked improvement over last year’s Protect America Act.

Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President’s illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance – making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses. But this compromise guarantees a thorough review by the Inspectors General of our national security agencies to determine what took place in the past, and ensures that there will be accountability going forward. By demanding oversight and accountability, a grassroots movement of Americans has helped yield a bill that is far better than the Protect America Act.

It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.

Politically, it would be hard for Obama to buck his party’s leadership on this issue, and voting against the bill could anger the intelligence community. The former he needs now and after the election (if he wins). The latter he’ll need to be able to rely on if he does win in the fall.

President Obama Won’t Change NAFTA
http://intelstrike.com/?p=271

Ingraham: Kim Jong Il Supports Obama
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Laura_I..Jong_Il_0623.html

Former vice president Gore backs Obama
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/itn/200806..sident-gore-backs-oba-41f21e0.html

 



McCain: Bringing Troops Home Not Important

McCain: Bringing Troops Home Not Important

 

McCain: “I disagree with what the majority of the American people want.”

FOX Admits McCain Stacked “Town Hall” With Supporters
http://www.crooksandliars.c..d-town-hall-with-supporters/

McCain: Warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ overseas conversations good
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20080613_Editorial_.html

Mccain Invokes the Jewish Holocaust to Warn of Iranian Attack on Israel
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/..ahanes-ne_b_105324.html

McCain Staffer Supports Dictatorship
http://www.jbs.org/node/8276

McCain: I’d Secretly Spy On Americans Too
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/06/mccain-id-spy-o.html

 



FBI Spies On IMs E-Mails And Cell Phones

FBI Spies On IMs E-Mails And Cell Phones

John Bryne
Raw Story
April 8, 2008

FBI also spies on home soil for military, documents show; Much information acquired without court order

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been routinely monitoring the e-mails, instant messages and cell phone calls of suspects across the United States — and has done so, in many cases, without the approval of a court.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and given to the Washington Post — which stuck the story on page three — show that the FBI’s massive dragnet, connected to the backends of telecommunications carriers, “allows authorized FBI agents and analysts, with point-and-click ease, to receive e-mails, instant messages, cellphone calls and other communications that tell them not only what a suspect is saying, but where he is and where he has been, depending on the wording of a court order or a government directive,” the Post says.

But agents don’t need a court order to track to track the senders and recipients names, or how long calls or email exchanges lasted. These can be obtained simply by showing it’s “relevant” to a probe.

RAW STORY has placed a request to the Electronic Frontier Foundation for the new documents, and will post them upon receipt.

Some transactional data is obtained using National Security Letters. The Justice Department says use of these letters has risen from 8,500 in 2000 to 47,000 in 2005, according to the Post.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union released letters showing that the Pentagon is using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance.

Documents show the FBI has obtained the private records of Americans’ Internet service providers, financial institutions and telephone companies, for the military, according to more than 1,000 Pentagon documents reviewed by the ACLU — also using National Security Letters, without a court order.

The new revelations show definitively that telecommunications companies can transfer “with the click of a mouse, instantly transfer key data along a computer circuit to an FBI technology office in Quantico” upon request.

A telecom whistleblower, in an affidavit, has said he help maintain a high-speed DS-3 digital line referred to in house as the “Quantico circuit,” which allowed an outside organization “unfettered” access to the the carrier’s wireless network.

The network he’s speaking of? Verizon.

Verizon denies the allegations vaguely, saying “no government agency has open access to the company’s networks through electronic circuits.”

The Justice Department downplayed the new documents.

A spokesman told the Post that the US is asking only for “information at the beginning and end of a communication, and for information “reasonably available” by the network.

The FBI’s budget for says the collection system increased from $30 million in 2007 to $40 million in 2008, the paper said.

 

Homeland Security invokes nuclear bomb, as Bush quietly links cybersecurity program to NSA

John Byrne
Raw Story
April 9, 2008

Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has dropped the bomb.

At a speech to hundreds of security professionals Wednesday, Chertoff declared that the federal government has created a cyber security “Mahattan Project,” referencing the 1941-1946 project led by the Army Corps of Engineers to develop American’s first atomic bomb.

According to Wired’s Ryan Singel, Chertoff gave few details of what the government actually plans to do.

He cites a little-noticed presidential order: “In January, President Bush signed a presidential order expanding the role of DHS and the NSA in government computer security,” Singel writes. “Its contents are classified, but the U.S. Director of National Intelligence has said he wants the NSA to monitor America’s internet traffic and Google searches for signs of cyber attack.

The National Security Agency was the key player in President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, which was revealed by the New York Times in 2005.

Sound familiar? Yesterday, documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation under the Freedom of Information act showed the FBI has engaged in a massive cyber surveillance project that targets terror suspects emails, telephone calls and instant messages — and is able to get some information without a court order.

Last week, the ACLU revealed documents showing that the Pentagon was using the FBI to spy on Americans. The military is using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans’ Internet service providers, financial institutions and telephone companies, according to Pentagon documents.

Chertoff sought to calm those who worry that Homeland Security will begin to take an invasive Internet role.

“We don’t have to sit on the internet and prevent things from coming in or going out,” Chertoff said, which Singel says refers to China and other countries that censor what web sites their citizens can see. “That’s not what we are going to do.”

Bush wants $42 million more for program
But Chertoff may have had another reason for hyping threats of cyber terrorism. Money.

Congress appropriated $150 million in funding for the program this year, Singel notes. The administration has sought $192 million for 2009.

Speaking of threats, Chertoff remarked: “Imagine, if you will, a sophisticated attack on our financial systems that caused them to be paralyzed. It would shake the foundation of trust on which our financial system works.”

Remarked Singel wryly, “That digital mushroom cloud scenario means the government’s role in computer security must extend beyond federal networks, and reach to shared responsibility for financial, telecommunication and transportation infrastructure, Chertoff said. “The failure of any single system has cascading effects across our country.”

Which recalls another quote by a senior administration official.

Speaking of the alleged threat of Saddam Hussein in 2003, then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice remarked, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Zombie Computers Called National Threat
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/04/zombie-computer.html

Cyber Security Efforts Like Manhattan Project
http://www.ajc.com/business/content/..ebsecurity_0408.html

New Documents Detail FBI Eavesdropping On Americans’ Emails, IMs and Phone Calls
http://infowars.net/articles/april2008/080408FBI.htm

DHS Wants to Install Permanent Checkpoint in Vermont
http://www.wcax.com/global/story.asp?s=8117897

Hillary Supports Expanded Police State
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/l..r12,0,2210184,print.story

3-Years For Laser Pointer Assault On Helicopter
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,347932,00.html

Anti-Terror Laws Used To Spy On Family
http://www.independent.co.uk/n..sed-to-spy-on-family-807873.html

100 Officers Raid Car Show To Give Tickets
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/23/2302.asp

D.C. police set to monitor 5,000 cameras
http://www.washingtontimes.c..9/METRO/769331158/1004

CCTV could be used in exam rooms
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7342432.stm

Police officers to be microchipped
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pag..article_id=558597&in_page_id=1770

 



Paul Lectures Bernanke: U.S. Moving Towards Fascism

Paul Lectures Bernanke: U.S. Moving Towards Fascism
Congressman says we’ve “given up on the Republic, freedom, the marketplace and sound money”

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
April 3, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbi-0Tg1b_g

The Federal Reserve’s insistence on rewarding its own failures by granting itself new powers was harshly rebuked by Congressman Ron Paul during yesterday’s Joint Economic Committee meeting, as Paul all but accused Ben Bernanke of contributing economicallly to a broader move towards fascism in America.

“There’s a political philosophy that advocates merging together the interests of business and government at the same time with a loss of civil liberties of the people and I’m afraid we’re moving in that direction,” said the Congressman, citing warrantless searches, lack of medical, Internet and financial privacy as well as the loss of habeas corpus since 9/11.

“I see….the proposal by the Treasury as a massive move to a lot closer association of business and government,” said Paul, adding that a military-industrial complex, a medical-industrial complex and a media-industrial complex were already in place.

Paul was refering to the Treasury Department’s recent proposal to give the Fed, “Broad new authority to oversee financial market stability, in effect allowing it to send SWAT teams into any corner of the industry or any institution that might pose a risk to the overall system,” as the New York Times reported.

“We should be regulating the government – when you think of the authority you as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve can do, it really goes unaudited and very little oversight,” said Paul, adding that the creation of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets meant that “we had really given up on the Republic, freedom, the marketplace and sound money”.

“It looks like this is a massive increase in the combination of government and big business,” said the Congressman.

 

Ron Paul on Neil Cavuto FOX Business – (4/3/2008)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcIszUQPt1k

 

Ron Paul Discusses Fed With Glenn Beck – (4/1/2008)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuTcRg_AKA8

Ron Paul “Freedom Rally” in D.C April 15th!!
http://www.freedomrally.info/

Ron Paul supporter Bob Barr to declare for President
http://www.nolanchart.com/article3354.html

 



Comcast denies developing cameras in cable boxes


Comcast denies developing cameras in cable boxes

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
March 25, 2008

Comcast has denied that it is developing camera devices built in to cable boxes that monitor consumers as they enter the room, despite the fact that Vice-President Gerard Kunkel admitted to a journalist that such a move would represent a “holy grail,” and rival companies like TiVo and Microsoft have already filed patents for similar technology.

A firestorm of controversy erupted last week after industry website newteevee.com carried an article by Chris Albrecht which revealed that Comcast was, “experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room”.

How did Albrecht know? Because Comcast’s senior VP of user experience Gerard Kunkel told him during the Digital Living Room conference held in San Francisco.

“Perhaps I’ve seen Enemy of the State too many times, or perhaps I’m just naive about the depths to which Comcast currently tracks my every move,” wrote Albrecht.

“The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. If parents are watching TV with their children, for example, parental controls could appear to block certain content from appearing on the screen. Kunkel also said this type of monitoring is the “holy grail” because it could help serve up specifically tailored ads. Yikes.”

Readers responded to the article in droves and most were shocked by the proposals.

“Orwell thought that cameras in the living room would imposed on us by a fascist government. Fascism these days is dominated by corporate power guised under a mantle of legitimacy. These systems of control have been primarily put in place by willful consumption of consumer goods,” wrote one.

“This is not cool, this is not fun, this is not exciting. This is invasive. They’ve been talking about this technology since the inception of cable modems, and there’s a certain amount of tracking in place already. Cameras? Too much,” stated another.

Comcast responded to the article by claiming the device was, “in no way designed to – or capable of – monitoring your living room. These technologies are designed to allow simple navigation on a television set just as the Wii remote uses a camera to manage its much heralded gesture-based interactivity.”

However, Albrecht shot back by pointing out that Kunkel told him the device was explicitly being designed so as to monitor who was entering the living room.

“After you granted me our initial video interview, you brought up the topic of Comcast knowing who was in the living room in a conversation between you, myself and another conference attendee,” writes Albrecht.

“I actually left and came back to follow up on this point while you were talking with that same attendee. At this point, you were aware that I was a reporter and I took handwritten notes in front of you as we talked to make sure I had an accurate accounting of what you were saying,” he added.

Minority Report will meet Orwell’s telescreens if telecommunications giants like Comcast and Microsoft have their way.

Tracking and databasing of consumer’s TV viewing habits is nothing new – for years cable box companies like TiVo have monitored behavior down to the level of what parts of shows viewers rewind or fast forward – an example being Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction during the 2003 Super Bowl half-time show.

Indeed, the monitoring of viewers for the purposes of Minority Report style commercial assaults and viewer customization has been in the works since at least early 2005.

In November 2005, TiVo applied for a patent allowing customization of TV remotes and viewing preferences via an RFID chip the consumer would attach to his or her body – which is just one step away from an embedded microchip in the body.

Microsoft has also applied for a patent that would utilize, “a camera sitting on top of a television set to detect the presence of viewers and identifying them using facial-recognition software — or perhaps a fingerprint scanner in a remote control,” according to a report from Multichannel News.

Similarly, corporations and eventually the government is planning to use microphones in the computers of an estimated 150 million-plus Internet active Americans to spy on their lifestyle choices and build psychological profiles which will be used for surveillance, invasive advertising and data mining.

In 2006, Google announced that they were developing a plan to use in-built microphones to listen in on user’s background noise, be it television, music or radio – and then direct advertising at them based on their preferences.

“The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that’s adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject,” reported the Register.

Last year the New York Times reported on a venture by Pudding Media, a new company founded by two former Israeli intelligence officers, to offer its customers free Internet phone service in return for their consent to have their conversations monitored for keywords upon which targeted advertising is directed.

“A conversation about movies, for example, will elicit movie reviews and ads for new films that the caller will see during the conversation. Pudding Media is working on a way to e-mail the ads and other content to the person on the other end of the call, or to show it on that person’s cellphone screen,” according to the report.

If you think telesales calls and pop-ups ads are annoying, the new wave of invasive advertising will not only saturate the senses with 24/7 vapid consumerism, but it will signal the death knell for the assumption that privacy is a human right not to be infringed upon by corporations or the state.

Orwell’s telescreens and Minority Report style assaults on our senses may not be born out of government coercion, but as a result of consumers willfully enslaving themselves into this matrix – all for the convenience of enhancing their consumption of programming via the one-eyed brainwashing monster in the corner of the room.

 



FBI Stops Crime Fighting – Now Spying On US Citizens

FBI Stops Crime Fighting – Now Spying On US Citizens

Lompoc Record
March 11, 2008

A team of research analysts at Syracuse University has been tracking the FBI’s activity in domestic crime investigations. The results are revealing.

For example, in 2007, the FBI made 2,300 referrals of cases to be prosecuted to the U.S. Justice Department. In 1993, the FBI made 20,900 such referrals.

Two decades ago, FBI investigations contributed 36 percent of the total cases prosecuted by the Justice Department. Last year, the FBI referrals were down to 16 percent.

So, if FBI agents aren’t investigating crime in the United States, what are they doing? Ferreting out terrorists, apparently, and invading your privacy in the process.

Internal audits indicate the FBI has continued, and even expanded, its pursuit of information on American citizens – made possible by the Patriot Act – although it was ordered by a federal judge last year to cease and desist.

The judge’s ruling came after testimony that the FBI had issued more than 140,000 “national security letters” in the period from the beginning of 2003 through 2005. In his ruling, the federal judge called such snooping the “legislative equivalent of breaking and entering.”

So, in the opinion of at least one judge, instead of solving crime and helping to put criminals behind bars, the FBI has instead focused its energies on violating the privacy rights of U.S. citizens.

Those national security letters allow the FBI to comb through phone, Internet and bank records in an effort to thwart terrorism. It seems highly unlikely that there are many terrorists, or U.S. citizens with connections to terrorist groups, among the hundreds of thousands of citizens whose lives have now been pried into by the FBI.

FBI officials admitted last week that the federal judge’s order to stop snooping, or at least slow the pace, had basically been ignored. The bureau apparently continues to eavesdrop.

The mental image is inescapable – the United States as become a nation of frightened people, cowering in a corner, giving up all semblance of privacy and civil freedoms in an effort to keep from being terrorized.

At least that’s the image the Bush administration fosters in its relentless, unending search for the evildoers of the world.

NSA Rebuilds Total Information Awareness
http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9890761-38.html

FBI Spying Abuses Reported
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/13/washington/13fbi.html

 



Reporter Threatened With Jail Over Illegal Spying Story

Reporter Threatened With Jail Over Illegal Spying Story

PBS
March 2, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLvfC9D4joA

RICK KARR: You may not know James Risen’s name, but you probably know his work: He’s one of the NEW YORK TIMES reporters who broke the story of the Bush administration listening in to phone calls and reading email, without search warrants. That story infuriated some conservatives. A popular blog accused Risen and his co-author of treason for revealing sensitive information, and pundit William Bennett said the reporters deserved jail time.

Bennett may get his wish. A federal prosecutor has asked a grand jury to look into a book that Risen wrote. It details not only warrantless wiretapping but also how, when it came to covert operations in the Middle East, the Administration made “mistake piled on mistake” caused an “espionage disaster” and was “operating in the blind” when it came to Iran.

Risen was subpoenaed to tell a grand jury who he talked to about Iran — in other words, to reveal his anonymous sources. So far, the reporter has refused to talk. And recently, his lawyer moved to quash the subpoena. Some veteran investigative journalists wrote letters in support of that motion. One of them told me that if Risen is forced to testify, the public will be the real loser. Here’s why: Anonymous sources have a lot to lose if their identities are revealed because a lot of them are powerful or prominent. So, if the Federal government can force a reporter like Risen to reveal their identities, those sources will clam up. There’d be more corruption and wrongdoing in Washington that the public would never learn about.

Read Full Article Here

 

Bush: Americans ‘Ought To Say Thank You’ To Telecoms For ‘Performing A Patriotic Service’

Think Progress
March 5, 2008

The Bush administration has launched an aggressive campaign to pressure the House into passing retroactive immunity for telecoms that participated in the government’s warrantless wiretapping program.

Because they complied in illegally wiretapping their customers, telecoms currently face around 40 lawsuits. Yesterday in a speech to the National Association of Attorneys General, Bush sharply criticized Americans who are suing the telecoms:

Now the question is, should these lawsuits be allowed to proceed, or should any company that may have helped save American lives be thanked for performing a patriotic service; should those who stepped forward to say we’re going to help defend America have to go to the courthouse to defend themselves, or should the Congress and the President say thank you for doing your patriotic duty? I believe we ought to say thank you.

Watch The Video Here

New bill ‘shredding Constitution’
http://www.leavenworthtimes.com/articles/2008/03/03/news/news04.txt

Mueller: Report shows FBI improperly gained data on Americans
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080305/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/senate_fbi

Bush thinks spied-on Americans should ‘suck it up’
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14729.html

The “liberal” position on the Surveillance State
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/03/02/fisa/index.html