Senator Rockefeller May Effectively Kill Freedom of Information Act Improvement if He Doesn’t Lift Hold Today

By: Monday December 8, 2014 10:04 am

West Virginia Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller has placed a last-minute hold on critical Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) legislation. Open government advocates involved in developing the legislation believe if Rockefeller does not lift his hold today his act could effectively kill reform. The bill’s sponsor, Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, stated on December 5 that [...]


Whistleblower Mark Klein: Oppose the USA Freedom Act

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 3:46 pm

I support the letter calling on Congress to reject Senator Leahy’s so-called USA Freedom Act. The bill is a fraud, a pretense at “reform” which leaves in place all the main elements of the NSA’s surveillance program. (Needless to say, Senator Feinstein’s alternative bill is even worse.) The bill tinkers around the edges of the phone call records collection while leaving untouched the meat of the “program,” the vast, unconstitutional dragnet collection of internet data which I helped expose. To top it off, the bill now includes the renewal of the Patriot Act, thereby institutionalizing the entire monstrous apparatus.

It’s no wonder that James Clapper, the current Director of National Intelligence who lied to Congress about what the NSA was doing, has now endorsed the Leahy bill–evidently he feels no threat from it, and that should be a warning to all who defend civil liberties.

The CIA, Senate Intelligence Committee & the Culture of Impunity for Torture

By: Tuesday March 11, 2014 4:15 pm

The remarks, which Senator Dianne Feinstein delivered on the floor of the Senate, was one of the more significant statements given by a United States senator in recent history. They clarified the extent to which the Central Intelligence Agency has worked to interfere and even intimidate senators and their staff, as they have worked to complete and finalize a study on the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program that involved torture.

US Must Not Surrender in Big Brother Arms Race, Senator Argues in Hearing on NSA Surveillance

By: Thursday December 12, 2013 9:35 am

National Security Agency Gen. Keith Alexander, Deputy Attorney General James Cole and Office of the Director for National Intelligence General Counsel Robert Litt were all witnesses for another Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on surveillance. It attempted to address some of the numerous issues that have been made clear as a result of news stories on documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden—stories which continue to be published.

Senator Dianne Feinstein Publishes Another Op-Ed as Part of Effort to Save NSA Surveillance Powers

By: Monday October 21, 2013 10:45 am

At the forefront of efforts to limit the political effects of this shift in public opinion is Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California. She has used her status in the Senate as the chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee to help the NSA defend programs that have come under scrutiny.

In Wall Street Journal, Senator Dianne Feinstein Insidiously Defends NSA Surveillance

By: Monday October 14, 2013 1:45 pm

At the forefront of intelligence community efforts to fully restore legitimacy to the massive surveillance apparatus that has grown since the September 11th attacks is Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Senate Hearing: US Intelligence Leaders Confronted for Misleading Public on Effectiveness of NSA Programs

By: Wednesday October 2, 2013 2:03 pm

This hearing was yet another example of the power of leaks to influence elected officials. The senators would not have asked questions about whether NSA was creating dossiers on Americans if it had not been for Snowden or the story published by the Times.

Senate to Hold Hearing on Reforming Mandatory Minimum Sentences

By: Thursday September 12, 2013 9:25 am

While the process has been painfully slow even the federal government is starting to acknowledge that our aggressive war on drugs has created serious problems.

Leahy Schedules Senate Hearing to Press Obama Administration on Marijuana Policy

By: Monday August 26, 2013 1:05 pm

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) plans to push the Obama administration on its possible response to the legalizing of marijuana in in Colorado and Washington state. Leahy has scheduled a Senate hearing on September 10th to focus on federal marijuana policy and how it affects state laws. Attorney General Eric Holder has been invited to testify.

Holder promised an official response to Colorado and Washington state “soon”, but six months later there still has been no announcement.

Catholic Bishops Now Oppose Violence Against Women Act

By: Saturday March 9, 2013 9:00 am

Once upon a time, the USCCB produced a pastoral statement on domestic violence that opened with this sentence: “As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified.” Among other things, the statement takes on those who would misuse scripture to justify domestic violence, and calls on the church to keep in mind three things: the safety of the victim (and any children in the home), accountability for the perpetrator, and either restoring the relationship or mourning its loss.

Once upon a time, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops supported the Violence Against Women Act. This is not that time. Not any more . . .

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