FBI & NSA Spying Revealed: Uncle Sam Is Watching You, and Both Congress and the Courts Are Complicit

By: Thursday June 6, 2013 4:20 pm

The (UK) Guardian published a previously secret court order authorizing dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans without any pretense of justification, confirming concerns raised by civil libertarians (including me) for years.

 

Obama DOE Approves 2nd Fracked Gas LNG Export Terminal

By: Saturday May 18, 2013 1:00 pm

Friday is the proverbial “take out the trash day” for the release of bad news among public relations practitioners and this Friday was no different.

In that vein, yesterday the Obama Department of Energy (DOE) announced a conditional approval of the second-ever LNG (liquefied natural gas) export terminal.

Administration Again Fails on Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception

By: Wednesday May 1, 2013 6:49 pm

Update: The Justice Department filed suit to block Judge Korman’s ruling.

In a proposal that can best be described as adding insult to injury, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved making emergency contraception (EC) available over-the-counter for teens and women ages 15 and up. This convoluted proposal from the Obama administration comes despite a court order in early April by U.S. District Court Judge Edward R. Korman to make EC available over-the-counter to all ages within 30 days of his decision.

Making the Indisputable Fact the US Engaged in Torture a Part of Consensus in Washington

By: Thursday April 18, 2013 10:37 am

A major report on the United States government’s use of torture was released on April 16. The product of a two-year intensive study. It examined discussion involving President George W. Bush and his top advisers after 9/11 and the how they had considered inflicting “pain and torment on detainees” in custody as part of challenging the “global terrorist threat.” It also examined how detainees were treated by President Bill Clinton and how they have been treated under President Barack Obama.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Edward Luce, Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent

By: Saturday April 13, 2013 1:59 pm

Edward Luce’s book has been widely praised as carefully balanced and filled with evocative analysis and reportage. With a cast of dozens of academic, business and governmental thinkers, it wrestles with America’s relative economic decline, how the global economy is increasingly siphoning away America’s ability to innovate and manufacture, and a wide range of U.S. policy failures from education to healthcare to reinventing government. Too often Internet-entranced readers like me look for distillations to digest quickly, rather than dwell on the fascinating interviews, anecdotal treasure chest, and hard-nosed analyses in Mr. Luce’s detailed yet highly entertaining book.

White House Still Disingenuously Presents Release of Visitor Logs to Public as Transparency Achievement

By: Friday March 15, 2013 1:01 pm

The administration of President Barack Obama, when boasting about Obama’s record on openness and transparency, regularly cites how it is now releasing White House visitor logs. It has been an “achievement” the administration explicitly mentions during Sunshine Week, a week where journalists and open government advocates celebrate transparency in government.

Targeted Killings & the Right to Know When Your Government Can Kill You

By: Thursday March 14, 2013 10:10 am

The notion that any presidential administration or Executive Branch agency can keep secret official interpretations of the law is indefensible. A few members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives understand this and are pushing to find out information about President Barack Obama’s targeted killing program that the public has a right to know.

As Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) says, “Every American has a right to know when their government believes it has a right to kill them.”

Obama Administration Excludes National Security Policies from Commitment to Transparency

By: Wednesday March 13, 2013 9:20 am

A chief counselor for the White House’s Open Government Partnership spoke at a Sunshine Week event on Monday and declared, “President Obama understands our government’s obligation to serve the American people to the best of our ability. He has made clear that citizens deserve accountability, and the opportunity to participate in their government – and that this will make our government better.”

The Obama Administration’s Latest Anonymous Leaks Aim to Justify Drone Killings of US Citizens (Updated)

By: Sunday March 10, 2013 8:15 am

Journalists for the New York Times have published a story that purportedly provides an account of what ultimately led the United States government to target and kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric who had been born in the US. It also provides some details on what happened when US citizen Samir Khan and Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki were killed. However, importantly, the story consists primarily of “anonymous assertions” by “current and former Obama administration officials.”

Drones, Permanent War, Rand Paul’s Filibuster & John Brennan as New CIA Director

By: Thursday March 7, 2013 4:08 pm

The United States Senate confirmed John Brennan, who served as President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser and was a key architect of the Obama administration’s secret drone policy, to the position of CIA director today. The confirmation came a day after Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) mounted a more-than-twelve-hour filibuster on the Senate floor.

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