Saturday, April 30, 2016
The court received 1,457 requests last year on behalf of the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for authority to intercept communications, including email and phone calls, according to a Justice Department memo sent to leaders of relevant congressional committees on Friday and seen by Reuters. The court did not reject any of the applications in whole or in part, the memo showed.
The total represented a slight uptick from 2014, when the court received 1,379 applications and rejected none.
The court, which acts behind closed doors, was established in 1978 to handle applications for surveillance warrants against foreign suspects by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies and grew more controversial after 2013 leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The electronic surveillance often is conducted with the assistance of Internet and telecommunications companies.
The 9/11 Commission’s mandate was to not replicate, but rather to expand upon the investigation of the JICI. The JICI was the Joint Intelligence Committee’s Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, headed by Senator Bob Graham and Congressman Porter Goss. The JICI is where the 28 pages originated. Furthermore, the JICI made a finding of fact and final recommendation that further investigation into the role of KSA and the 9/11 attacks needed to be done, immediately. Therefore, the 9/11 Commission should have carried out this further investigation of the KSA and 9/11. But, they did not. It is only the 9/11 families and intrepid journalists who have continued to investigate the Saudi role for the past twelve years.
As reported and documented in The New York Time’s national security correspondent Philip Shenon’s book, “The Commission,” Staff Director of the 9/11 Commission, Phil Zelikow, actively worked against any thorough investigation into the KSA and its role in the 9/11 attacks.
So, when two JICI staffers were brought over to the 9/11 Commission to continue their work on the links between the KSA and the 9/11 attacks, they were blocked by Zelikow. Zelikow fired one investigator when she tried to access the 28 pages as part of her further investigation and work for the commission. And, the second staffer (who was the person responsible for writing the 28 pages in the first place when he worked on the JICI) was actively thwarted from his investigation by Zelikow, as well. In fact, once the 9/11 Commission report was in its final draft form, Zelikow “re-wrote” the entire section that dealt with the Saudis—leaving out vital, highly pertinent, and extremely damning information.
Thus, when a person says the 9/11 Commission, “found no evidence linking the Saudis,” be wary of the cute context of the words. The 9/11 commission “found no evidence” because they were either never allowed to look for any evidence or whatever evidence they did find was conveniently written out of the final report, compliments of Phil Zelikow.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Prosecutors rejected the offer.
Bundy "was willing to sacrifice his broader interests and risk his liberty for his fellow protesters,'' Bundy's lawyer, Mike Arnold, wrote in a motion filed Wednesday.
Arnold now is asking the court to delay a deadline for filing legal motions in the conspiracy case for 30 days to allow him to fully prepare his arguments in the case.
If not, Arnold requested an immediate trial for Bundy apart from his 26 co-defendants.
The meeting was set for noon at a suitably anonymous bastion of corporate America, a sprawling Marriott Hotel and convention center on Long Island. Driving out of the city, I was tense and paranoid. For one thing, I was leaving Manhattan without permission from my parole officer. What was I going to tell him? “I want to travel to Long Island to interview a former narcotics agent who worked undercover for the CIA dosing people with LSD.” My parole officer would have ordered a urine test on the spot.
Then there was the fact that previous run-ins with drug cops had usually resulted in criminal prosecutions. I spent most of the ’80s in prison for smuggling marijuana. How would this ex-agent of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), forerunner of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), take to a retired outlaw writing a story about MK-ULTRA, the CIA’s highly secretive mind-control and drug-testing program?
Ira “Ike” Feldman is the only person still alive who worked directly under the legendary George Hunter White in MK-ULTRA. The program began in 1953 amid growing fear of the Soviet Union’s potential for developing alternative weaponry. The atomic bomb was a sinister threat, but more terrifying still were possible Soviet assaults on the mind and body from within — through drugs and disease. In an attempt to preempt foreign attacks and even wage its own assaults, the CIA funded a group of contract agents and scientists to develop a panoply of means to destroy or forever incapacitate a human being.
For years, Feldman had ducked reporters. He agreed to meet with me only after a private detective, a former New York cop who also did time for drugs, put in a good word. There was no guarantee Feldman would talk.
“The LSD,” Feldman began, “that was just the tip of the iceberg. Write this down. Espionage. Assassinations. Dirty tricks. Drug experiments. Sexual encounters and the study of prostitutes for clandestine use. That’s what I was doing when I worked for George White and the CIA.”
Thursday, April 28, 2016
The proposal passed the House Armed Services Committee without support from its sponsor, Iraq War veteran Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who introduced the measure as a way to force congressional conversation about the role of women in the military.
But several Republicans broke ranks with their committee counterparts to support the idea of drafting women for military service, until now a possibility solely reserved for men.
Previously, under the federal rules on criminal procedures, a magistrate judge couldn’t approve a warrant request to search a computer remotely if the investigator didn’t know where the computer was—because it might be outside his or her jurisdiction.
The rule change, sent in a letter to Congress on Thursday, would allow a magistrate judge to issue a warrant to search or seize an electronic device if the target is using anonymity software like Tor. Over a million people use Tor to browse popular websites like Facebook every month for perfectly legitimate reasons, in addition to criminals who use it to hide their locations.
The changes, which would allow the FBI go hunting for anyone browsing the Internet anonymously in the U.S. with a single warrant, are already raising concerns among privacy advocates who have been closely following the issue.
Meanwhile, former Senate Intelligence Chair has begun to press for an accounting on the Sarasota cell of apparent 9/11 supporters. In an interview with NPR, he stated clearly that FBI lied (um, misstated) what they knew about the Sarasota cell and called for the investigations to be reopened without the tight time limits imposed on the original commissions.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Security agencies accustomed to being able to open any safe balked at the notion—advanced by American tech giants like Apple and their allies in the cryptography and privacy communities—that encryption was sacrosanct. City, state, and federal law-enforcement officials began pushing Congress to require that tech companies only use encryption they could break, in case investigators needed to serve them with warrants for user data.
The computer-science professors, cryptographers, and digital-rights advocates who had beaten back similar demands in the 1990s experienced deja vu. That series of fights, which they called the “Crypto Wars,” had only been the first round of a prolonged conflict. Now it was time to settle in for Crypto Wars, Round 2.
But where and when did this new phase began? Pinpointing that exact moment may be impossible, but the timeline below provides a relatively comprehensive overview of the different fights that constitute the new Crypto War, from the early months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to the present day.
Palantir was co-founded by Peter Thiel and seed-funded by the CIA. The company was funded in part by In-Q-Tel Inc., the venture capital investment arm of the CIA that has a long, symbiotic history with startups, the NSA, the FBI, and DARPA. In fact, In-Q-Tel specifically funds tech start-ups “to advance ‘priority’ technologies of value” in the intelligence community. The group has ties to Donald Rumsfeld’s Total Information Awareness initiative and is believed by some to have worked closely with Google in its earliest years.
Palantir itself has lived in the shadows since its 2004 inception, working primarily to create a proprietary data mining system used by law enforcement agencies, finance firms, and security companies to isolate criminality. For example, Palantir’s software was used to analyze the troves of millions of documents related to the Bernie Madoff scandal.
Palantir has an extensive relationship with the U.S. government, and includes among its clients the CIA, DHS, NSA, FBI, the CDC, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point, the Joint IED-defeat organization and Allies, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Nearly 1,000 cops and law enforcement officials from multiple agencies raided several public housing projects in the borough at around 2:30 a.m. and nabbed 120 of thugs from two notorious street rival gangs – 2Fly YGz and the Big Money Bosses, which structured its crew based on designer labels.
The suspects – with nicknames like MadDog, K-Murda, Murder, Gunz and Gambino – were hit with a slew of charges including drug trafficking, racketeering conspiracy, robbery, firearms offenses and bank fraud, officials said.
Freemasons’ power and influence in Britain and allegations that Scotland Yard ran a “black propaganda unit” are being probed by two separate criminal inquiries due to come to a close by the end of 2016.
Files relating to a number of key individuals and organizations are currently being scoured for evidence of criminality, including manslaughter and the perversion of the course of justice.
Jon Stoddart, who headed Scotland Yard’s Operation Resolve probe into the planning of the FA Cup semi-final match that left 96 Liverpool FC supporters dead, says scrutiny is being directed at senior ranking officials.
On Tuesday an inquest ruled that all 96 Liverpool fans who died at the football game had been unlawfully killed. Stoddart says the decision will not affect Operation Resolve or the judgement of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The first investigation, spearheaded by UK watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), casts a dim hue over the inner-workings of Britain’s criminal justice system.
It focuses on allegations of a police cover-up concocted to lay the blame for the disaster solely at the feet of innocent Liverpool supporters who had made their way to the Hillsborough stadium to watch the match. Alleged offenses include perjury, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office.
The Email Privacy Act would reform the 1986 Email Communications Privacy Act by requiring all federal agencies (with few exceptions) to get a warrant before searching old digital communications stored in the cloud by companies like Google and Facebook.
“In 1986, the assumption was that if you left your email on a server it was abandoned, like trash on a street corner,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., one of the bill’s authors, during a GOP press conference Wednesday morning. He said it “restores the Fourth Amendment, and treats email with the same protections as paper mail.”
J. Dennis Hastert, once among this nation’s most powerful politicians, was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Wednesday for illegally structuring bank transactions in an effort to cover up his sexual abuse of young members of a wrestling team he coached decades ago.
Mr. Hastert, 74, who made an unlikely rise from beloved small-town wrestling coach in Illinois to speaker of the House in Washington, sat in a wheelchair in a federal courtroom here as a judge announced his fate.
“The defendant is a serial child molester,” said Judge Thomas M. Durkin, of Federal District Court, in a tough rebuke of the former speaker before issuing his sentence. He added, “Nothing is more stunning than having ‘serial child molester’ and ‘Speaker of the House’ in the same sentence.”