J Christian Adams, PJ Media: Your Computer Is Bugging Your House:
The computer you are sitting at right now probably has a microphone. It probably also has a camera looking at you this moment. Is it sending sound and pictures from inside your house to the PRISM program at NSA?
Who knows? But one thing is for sure — the technology is sitting there, on your desk. Welcome to Winston’s world.
Yesterday we crossed a line. What once seemed kooky is now happening. I figured this would be a fight for a future generation, but it is ours. The frightening future has arrived.
The American government has never done anything as sinister as PRISM. No,Korematsu’s camps were awful, but Oceania really was at war with East Asia. Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote a thoughtful and detailed legal discussion which everyone should read before they ever again mention the relocation of Japanese in World War II.
But no war, no threat, no nothing justifies the National Security Agency obtaining a direct pipeline to the Skype chats of every American. What possible justification is there for the government watching granddad talk to his grandkids in real time back in Laurel, Maryland?
If you haven’t seen the The Lives of Others, it is time you do, now. It portrays the moral depravity of government surveillance teams. Like the Stasi monsters, our own American monsters listened in to soldiers in Iraq speaking with their wives, when they though nobody was.
John Nolte, Big Journalism: NBC NEWS: CLAPPER ‘DIDN’T HAVE GOOD RESPONSE’ ABOUT MISLEADING CONGRESS:
During his testimony before the Senate on March 12, our Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, answered with an affirmative “No, sir,” when he was asked directly by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
Subsequent revelations about the government’s PRISM program, the federal government’s seizing of the phone records of millions of Americans from Verizon, and this Data Center currently under construction in Utah, seem to prove that Clapper’s answer simply wasn’t true.
Lying to congress is a serious offense.
In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell Sunday night, Clapper attempted to explain his misleading testimony this way, “First– as I said, I have great respect for Senator Wyden. I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked—‘When are you going to start– stop beating your wife’ kind of question, which is meaning not– answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.”
Gary McCoy cartoon via Townhall
Jim Sensenbrenner, The Guardian: This abuse of the Patriot Act must end:
In his press conference on Friday, President Obama described the massive collection of phone and digital records as “two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress”. But Congress has never specifically authorized these programs, and the Patriot Act was never intended to allow the daily spying the Obama administration is conducting.
To obtain a business records order like the one the administration obtained, the Patriot Act requires the government to prove to a special federal court, known as a Fisa court, that it is complying with specific guidelines set by the attorney general and that the information sought is relevant to an authorized investigation. Intentionally targeting US citizens is prohibited.
Technically, the administration’s actions were lawful insofar as they were done pursuant to an order from the Fisa court. But based on the scope of the released order, both the administration and the Fisa court are relying on an unbounded interpretation of the act that Congress never intended.
The released Fisa order requires daily productions of the details of every call that every American makes, as well as calls made by foreigners to or from the United States. Congress intended to allow the intelligence communities to access targeted information for specific investigations. How can every call that every American makes or receives be relevant to a specific investigation?
This is well beyond what the Patriot Act allows.
President Obama’s claim that “this is the most transparent administration in history” has once again proven false. In fact, it appears that no administration has ever peered more closely or intimately into the lives of innocent Americans. The president should immediately direct his administration to stop abusing the US constitution.
Warner Todd Huston, Big Government: NSA LOOKING TO HIRE ‘DIGITAL EXPLOITATION SPECIALIST’:
In an example of the worst timing ever, the National Security Agency (NSA) is now advertising for new employees in positions called “Digital Exploitation Specialists.”
According to the NSA job description, the duties of the job are to “perform discovery and target technology analysis of digital network and mobile communications.”
The agency advertised the job opening over Twitter on June 6.
Just as the agency is under scrutiny for collecting massive amounts of data from everyday Americans, the agency posts job openings for even more such people. This comes only days before an NSA whistleblower came forward to detail the spy agency’s intrusions into U.S. citizen’s personal info.
Bizzy Blog: A Week Later, National Press Still Virtually Ignoring ‘Well-Intentioned’ Absentee Plot by Fla. Dem Congressman’s Staff Chief:
A week ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I wrote up a post on the Miami Herald’s coverage of how the chief of staff of Florida Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia had admittted to attempting to orchestrate “a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.”
I also noted that the story, which broke on Friday, May 31, was “getting very little notice,” but that perhaps “the amount and scope of national coverage will increase when the work week starts.” Well, the official work week has ended, and there has been almost no coverage anywhere, despite Congressman Garcia’s stunning reaction to the news reported in a separate June 1 Herald story (bolds are mine):
Congressman Joe Garcia on Saturday attempted to control the damage inflicted on his office a day earlier, when he dismissed his chief of staff for apparently orchestrating a scheme to submit hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.
Meanwhile, Republicans nationwide and closer to home pummeled Garcia, questioning whether the first-term congressman was coming clean on his campaign’s involvement in the ballot scandal.
In a news conference held at his West Miami-Dade office Saturday morning, Garcia, a Democrat, maintained that he had no knowledge of the failed plot during last year’s primary election. He said he learned about his campaign’s involvement only the previous afternoon from chief of staff Jeffrey Garcia, who is unrelated to the congressman and has long served as his top political strategist.
“I cannot stress how angry I am at these events,” Joe Garcia said Saturday.
He called the plot “ill-conceived” but added: “I think it was a well-intentioned attempt to maximize voter turnout.”
Hundreds of federal employees were given advance word of a Medicare decision worth billions of dollars to private insurers in the weeks before the official announcement, a period when trading in the shares of those firms spiked.
Heed this next one well, America – This is what happens when we elect Democrats:
Weasel Zippers: CBS News Obtains Documents Showing Obama State Department Engaged In “Endemic” Coverups Ranging From Sexual Assaults To Drug Rings…
Scandal-palooza rolls on.
WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Uncovered documents show the U.S. State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal behavior ranging from sexual assaults to an underground drug ring.
CBS News reports that is has unearthed documents from the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), an internal watchdog agency, that implicate the State Department in a series of misconducts worldwide.
The memo, reported by CBS News’ John Miller, cited eight specific examples, including allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”
Former State Department internal investigator Aurelia Fedenisn told CBS News, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”
I suppose we owe CBS our thanks for bringing this out SEVEN MONTHS AFTER THE ELECTION.
Life News: IRS Caught on Tape Telling Nonprofit: “Keep Your Faith to Yourself”:
The IRS scandal is deepening as a new tape has been released today showing a disturbing phone call the Internal Revenue Service placed to a non-profit organization.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a pro-life legal group, made the audio available today of IRS officials telling a group that provides support to women in abusive pregnancy situations to keep its faith to itself. In the recorded phone conversation, an IRS agent lectures the president of the organization about forcing its religion and beliefs on others and inaccurately explains that the group must remain neutral on issues such as abortion.
ADF is providing legal representation for the group — which did not receive its tax-exempt status until last week after waiting nearly two and a half years after applying for it.
“The IRS is a tax collector; it shouldn’t be allowed to be the speech and belief police,” said Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “The current scandal isn’t new but has merely exposed the abuse of power that characterizes this agency and threatens our fundamental freedoms.”
ADF tells LifeNews that, in January 2011, Pro-Life Revolution, which operates from Texas under all three purposes for whcih religious groups can obtain nonprofit status, filed an application for tax-exempt status with the IRS. Four months later, the IRS sent a letter requesting “more information” and an explanation of how the organization’s activities are educational or charitable even though IRS rules specify that an organization need only operate for “one or more” of the three exempt purposes. President of Pro-Life Revolution Ania Joseph nonetheless replied and answered the IRS’s questions.
ADF indicates Joseph received a call from IRS Exempt Organization Specialist Sherry Wan in March 2012.
Ted Cruz Q & A at Faith and Freedom Conference, last weekend:
Gateway Pundit: Pass It On→ AUDIT THE IRS RALLY – June 19th Noon – US Capitol West Lawn:
Join the Tea Party Patriots on the west lawn of the US Capitol in Washington DC as we rally to Audit the IRS! Fight back against government corruption! www.AuditTheIRS.org
What: Audit the IRS Rally
When: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 from Noon – 2pm
Where: West Lawn of the US Capitol
Speakers to be announced.
Michelle Malkin: Supreme Court watch: Harris v. Quinn; families battle SEIU over thuggish home invasion tactics
Loyal readers will recall that in the fall of 2009, I published special reports on the parental revolt against Big Labor’s attempts to force their way into the homes and lives of families who care for developmentally disabled loved ones. One of the moms I spotlighted, Pam Harris, refused to surrender. Her class-action lawsuit challenging Illinois Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn’s SEIU-pandering executive order is now before the Supreme Court. Harris and seven other home-health providers will find out later this morning if SCOTUS will grant cert and hear the case, Harris v. Quinn.
My latest posts at The Conversation:
Intelligence Officials Overheard Joking In DC Airport That NSA Leaker And Reporter Should Be ‘Disappeared’
The foreign policy editor of The Atlantic, Steve Clemons, overheard an eyebrow-raising conversation while waiting for a flight at Washington’s Dulles airport, Saturday morning.
Clemons tweeted about the ‘disturbing’ conversation after listening to four men who were sitting near him speaking loudly about the conference they had just attended in DC, hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
The Obama Regime Goes After Whistleblowers, But Ignores WH National Security Leaks:
The Obama administration has been at war with whistleblowers.
In the Spring of 2011, when several agents with the ATF testified before Congress about Fast and Furious, (the U.S. government program that armed Mexican drug cartels with thousands of assault rifles), the administration denied it happened and questioned the agents’ integrity.
The men were nervous and scared. They said they feared for their careers, their reputation and their families.
“Any attempt to retaliate against them for their testimony today would be unfair, unwise and unlawful,” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, warned the Department of Justice.
Obama said that the “people who screwed up” would be held accountable, but most of those in charge of the criminally stupid operation were initially reassigned or promoted. In December of 2012 (after the election) many of the officials were finally fired or reprimanded. But the whistleblowers faced isolation, retaliation and transfer immediately after they testified before Congress.
A leak is “an unauthorized or a deliberate disclosure of confidential information.” Leaks can be used by government officials to prop a person or persons up, or to smear their enemies.
One example of the latter would be when former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke leaked a memo that cast aspersions on John Dobson, one of the ATF agents who had blown the whistle on Fast and Furious to Congress. When that was exposed, Burke had to be thrown under the bus.
We talk a lot about the importance of “messaging” in politics and the fact that Democrats tend to be much better at it than Republicans. But ahead of the 2014 elections, the narrative for Republicans has all but fallen into their laps. Republicans need to explain to the American people what the NSA, IRS, EPA, and AP/James Rosen scandals actually mean.
On a recent Fox News edition of Political Insiders, John Leboutillier spelled it out:
“Now is the time for Republicans to frame these three scandals into a narrative. And I think I know what it is.
“The Obama administration uses government power to go after people who disagree with it. Whether they’re reporters, conservatives – whatever. They will do anything to go after their enemies. And that is an UGLY reality.”
Big Government Sees What It Wants To See – Like David Petraeus’ Emails:
One of the things Big Government apparently wanted to see last year was David Petraeus’ emails.
William Binney, whistleblower and former NSA crypto-mathematician who served in the agency for decades, said the David Petraeus sex scandal was most likely exposed using illegal surveillance of his email.
Perhaps this helps explain why the CIA Director, who surely knew the truth about Benghazi from the get-go, allowed all those changes to the CIA talking points (scrubbing references to Islamic terrorism, scrubbing prior attacks), then briefed the press off the record that “we really think the video had something to do with it.”
Last November, after Petraeus announced his resignation over the sex scandal, Charles Krauthammer asked the following questions on Special Report:
How do you explain the testimony that Petraeus gave when it contradicted what the station CIA Chief, the station chief in Libya had told them?
How do you explain the fact that Petraeus’ testimony also contradicted Panetta’s briefing, and what everybody at the time was saying?