Archive for American Citizens

NSA spying on American citizens deepens to internet traffic

Posted in Big Brother, Internet, NSA with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2013 by saynsumthn

The Wall Street Journal peels back another layer of the NSA surveillance onion with an exclusive report:

The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say. The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

More details on “filtering” capabilities and processes. Note well the bits about content interception and data storage:

The NSA’s filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system’s broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones…This filtering takes place at more than a dozen locations at major Internet junctions in the U.S., officials say. Previously, any NSA filtering of this kind was largely believed to be happening near points where undersea or other foreign cables enter the country….The NSA is focused on collecting foreign intelligence, but the streams of data it monitors include both foreign and domestic communications. Inevitably, officials say, some U.S. Internet communications are scanned and intercepted, including both “metadata” about communications, such as the “to” and “from” lines in an email, and the contents of the communications themselves. Much, but not all, of the data is discarded, meaning some communications between Americans are stored in the NSA’s databases, officials say. Some lawmakers and civil libertarians say that, given the volumes of data NSA is examining, privacy protections are insufficient.

MORE at TownHall

NYT and Texas Republican Senator agree Obama’s US Kill List the Most Radical Power a Government Can Seize

Posted in Civil Rights, Obama, terrorism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2012 by saynsumthn

Congress is finally standing up to President Barack Obama on targeted killing. Almost a year after three American citizens were killed in US drone strikes, legislators are pushing the administration to explain why it believes it’s legal to kill American terror suspects overseas.

Congress is considering two measures that would compel the Obama administration to show members of Congress what Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) calls Obama’s “license to kill”: internal memos outlining the legal justification for killing Americans overseas without charge or trial. Legislators have been asking administration officials to release the documents for nearly a year, raising the issue multiple times in hearings and letters. But the new proposals, including one from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) first flagged by blogger Marcy Wheeler and another in a separate intelligence bill, aren’t requests—they would mandate disclosure. That shift shows both Republicans and Democrats are growing impatient with the lack of transparency on targeted killings.

The New York Times has confirmed the existence of a secret memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)—the branch of the government that tells the president whether what he wants to do is legal—outlining the legal basis for the targeted killing program.

Below is an interesting piece by the New York Times on this topic…When the New York Times and a Texas Senator agree- we need to pay attention !

John Cornyn Makes Sense
By ANDREW ROSENTHAL

I don’t often find myself in agreement with Senator John Cornyn, the Texas Republican. But he’s rightfully fed up with the secrecy surrounding the Obama administration’s targeted killing program, and he’s now pushing a measure to force greater disclosure.

Here’s the background: In public speeches (though not in a court of law) the administration has claimed the right to decide, without any Congressional or judicial review, which people, including American citizens, represent an imminent terrorist threat to the United States and have them killed – by soldiers on the ground in other nations, or by drones.

It’s an open secret that, as a part of this program, Mr. Obama ordered the killing of Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born Islamic cleric who was urging jihad against the United States. He was killed in a drone attack that also killed Samir Khan, another American citizen. Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son was killed in a separate attack.

It’s also an open secret that the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel prepared a memo outlining the legal rationale for the program—but, officially, the administration refuses to acknowledge that the memo even exists.

We’ve seen this kind of dangerous over-reach in the not-distant past. And Mr. Obama was highly critical of President George W. Bush’s vision of an imperial executive who could give legal sanction to torture, to warrantless wiretapping, to indefinite detention without charges. Mr. Bush also resisted providing documents and explanations to Congress and sneered at the notion of judicial oversight.

Mr. Cornyn certainly did not introduce bills to compel Mr. Bush to turn over documents on his extra-legal activities. But in this particular case I’m glad he’s been inconsistent. Mr. Cornyn’s measure, an amendment to an intelligence bill, would compel Mr. Obama to turn over the OLC memo to legislators.

I’m not certain the amendment—which isn’t a request but a mandate for disclosure—passes muster on the separation of powers, but Mr. Obama has brought this on himself. The Times, going a bit further than Mr. Cornyn, is party to a lawsuit seeking public disclosure of the OLC memo (rather than disclosure to Congress). The ACLU, going a bit further than The Times, is also seeking disclosure of the specific documents justifying the Awlaki killing. (That seems like a stretch since they certainly contain highly sensitive intelligence.) But though the administration may find reasons to shrug off The Times and the ACLU, there’s truly no excuse for withholding any of those papers from Congress.

Geraldo Rivera on Fox defends American Missionaries jailed in Haiti

Posted in Church, Haiti with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2010 by saynsumthn

Geraldo Rivera spoke with Fox’s Megyn Kelley and said he is outraged about the way these Christian Missionaries are being treated in Haiti and so am I. We are sending billions over there and how dare they country jail American Citizens for simply taking mercy on orphans. Listen to Geraldo’s words here and see that the Haitian Government is making an unnecessary example of people who had the best of motives. Come on people – where is the outrage? Where is the Christian Church speaking for these people? Where is Hillary Clinton, President Obama ? Get activated and don’t let these people rot in jail.

Ten U.S. missionaries were charged on Thursday with child kidnapping and criminal association for illegally trying to take children out of Haiti.
The 10 Americans from two Idaho-based Baptist churches were formally charged with “kidnapping minors and criminal association,” said their lawyer Edwin Coq.

Haitian Deputy Prosecutor Jean Ferge Joseph announced the charges and told the Americans their case was being sent to an investigative judge.

“That judge can free you, but he can also continue to hold you for further proceedings,” the deputy prosecutor told the 10 Americans.

The missionaries were apparently stunned by the charges as they had already packed their luggage in hopes of a release.

It is Disgraceful that Escaped Haitian Criminals are Roaming the Streets of Haiti While Ten American Christian Missionaries Remain in Jail
Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /Christian Newswire/ — The Christian Defense Coalition calls for the Obama Administration to treat the American missionaries jailed in Haiti with the same commitment they are treating the three American hikers jailed in Iran.

With respect to the jailed hikers in Iran, Secretary of State Clinton has stated;

“As we have said repeatedly, we call on Iran to release all of the American citizens that they have currently detained. We believe they’re being unjustly detained and that they should be released without further delay.”

The hikers are being held on espionage charges.

With respect to the ten American missionaries being held, Secretary of Clinton has stated,

“Obviously, this is a matter for the Haitian judicial system. We’re going to continue to provide support as we do in every instance like this to American citizens who have been charged and hope that this matter can be resolved in an expeditious way, but it is something that a sovereign nation is pursuing based on the evidence that it presented when the charges were announced.”

Why the double standard toward the Christian missionaries?

Why not treat them the same as the hikers in Iran and demand their immediate release?

It is clear that the Obama Administration is not applying the same standard to the missionaries in Haiti as they are to those jailed in Iran.

The same rule should be applied to both situations. That is, the call for the missionaries immediate release without any more delays.

These Christian missionaries should not be treated as second class citizens by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney along with Rev. Rob Scheck met this week with Haitian Ambassador Joseph in an attempt to secure their release.