Surveillance State Unchecked: Secret Spy Court Rejected Zero Requests in 2012

By: Thursday May 2, 2013 6:30 pm

An annual report to the United States Senate by the Justice Department shows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court did not deny one single request made to the court by federal law enforcement. All applications to conduct electronic surveillance or “physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes” were granted.

 

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.”

Late Night FDL: The End of History

By: Thursday March 7, 2013 8:00 pm

Long after Francis Fukuyama’s well-nigh unreadable but nonetheless grandiosely titled tome, “The End of History and the Last Man” landed with a thud in remainder piles across America, his predictions therein have pretty much come true, but in about the opposite way he imagined. The neoliberal paradise he predicted, something of a Wall Street Spring, has indeed happened, but the glorious outcome (surprise!) has utterly failed to materialize.

Secrecy Confronted at Brennan’s CIA Confirmation Hearing

By: Friday February 8, 2013 11:00 am

A confirmation hearing for President Barack Obama’s national counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, who Obama nominated to head the CIA, took place yesterday and lasted for more than three hours. Senators on the Select Committee for Intelligence questioned him about targeted killings and the use of drones, the CIA’s interrogation program under President George W. Bush and national security leaks.

Ahead Of Brennan Hearing Obama Releases Drone Memos

By: Thursday February 7, 2013 6:05 am

Just ahead of today’s CIA director confirmation hearing President Obama has ordered the release of memos that were written by his administration to justify the killing of American citizens without due process.

Obama Administration Won’t Show Secret Legal Opinions for Targeted Killings to US Senator

By: Monday January 14, 2013 3:32 pm

Ahead of the confirmation of Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan to the position of CIA director, US Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has sent a letter to Brennan asking him to provide Congress access to “secret legal opinions outlining the government’s ability to target and kill Americans believed to be involved in terrorism.”

Wyden, who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, by law is supposed to provide oversight and have access to classified legal opinions, but, as he shares, the Obama administration has refused to provide him access to a copy of secret legal opinions for targeted killings.

Anti-Leaks Provision in Intelligence Authorization Bill May Encourage Selective Leaking

By: Monday December 31, 2012 12:52 pm

The new provision notably applies to all “government officials,” including White House officials. It may oblige the Administration either to abstain from authorized disclosures of classified intelligence to the press, or to revise its policies to more clearly permit such disclosures, or to somehow evade the new reporting requirement, perhaps by defining it away. Thus, for example, Vice President Dick Cheney stated in 2004 that classified information could be used “to shape and inform what one says publicly” without violating prohibitions on disclosure of classified information

AP’s Coverage of Warrantless Surveillance Law Reauthorization Toes the Government Line

By: Saturday December 29, 2012 1:15 pm

As rare as it is for the Senate to have anything resembling a debate on a civil liberties issue such as privacy and government surveillance, there was a minimal amount of coverage in the establishment press of the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). The law, which allows warrantless surveillance, was reauthorized for five more years on December 28.

Minimal coverage of a topic often means that a wire service’s report becomes one of the more widely circulated accounts of what transpired.

Senate Reauthorizes Surveillance Law for Five More Years Without Reform

By: Friday December 28, 2012 9:51 am

The United States Senate reauthorized a surveillance law that grants the government expanded authority to collec communications of foreign persons outside the US. It also is believed to permit the government to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans’ communications. The program under the FISA Amendments Act is shrouded in immense secrecy, with there being very little information on whether safeguards against eavesdropping on citizens’ communications are being followed by intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency.

A Few Senators Take a Stand for Civil Liberties Ahead of Surveillance Law Reauthorization

By: Thursday December 27, 2012 5:38 pm

A surveillance law that granted the government expanded authority to collect the communications of foreign persons outside the United States four years ago is set to expire in four days unless reauthorized. On Thursday, senators concerned about how the law has been interpreted in secret and how these secret interpretations permit the collection or interception of Americans’ communications put forward amendments to the reauthorization and were permitted to engage in what passes for debate in Congress these days.

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