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Satyavira's blog

Senate Rejects FISA Reforms, Delays Vote On Bush-Era Warrantless Wiretapping Program

 

"It is never okay, never okay for government officials to use a general warrant to deliberately invade the privacy of a law-abiding American," Wyden said. "It wasn’t okay for constables and customs officials to do it in colonial days, and it’s not okay for the National Security Agency to do it today."

While conceding that the bill could use some oversight improvements, Sen. Dianne Feinsten (D-Calif.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, urged passage of the bill without alteration to avoid prompting both a fight with the House of Representatives, which has already passed a "clean," unamended version of the bill, and also the program's expiration.

Without renewal, she said, "the program comes down. The program is interrupted."

She and other senators who favor an unamended bill cited procedures meant to minimize when Americans' intelligence is collected and used, as well as a secret court that oversees the program, as evidence that it is being used appropriately.

KSM Judge Grants Request to Limit Torture Disclosure

"WASHINGTON -- The military judge overseeing the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others accused in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks granted a U.S. government request to limit disclosure of classified information about "sources, methods and activities" used in fighting terrorism.

The American Civil Liberties Union made the ruling public Wednesday, saying in a statement that the judge's decision would prevent the public from learning about "illegal CIA torture."

The written ruling by Army Col. James Pohl also approves the government's request for a 40-second audio delay in relaying proceedings from the military courtroom at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers spent part of a week in October debating how a military tribunal should handle classified and other sensitive information in the biggest terrorism case in U.S. history".

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/us/national-briefs-911-judge-sets-limits-666067/

At the movies with...Philip Zelikow!

A few here will remember that before the 2012 Election Philip Zelikow and Thomas Kean were announced to be part of a "Romney Foreign Advisory Team" if Mittens won. As that didn't happen it looks like Phil is putting out his resume and taking a shot at movie reviews.

Below he dissects Spielburg's new film as it reflects "actual" history.Remember, Phillip Zelikow is a professional when it comes to knowning history and whether a screenplay is a failure of imagination or not.

From the aptly named "Disunion"

DISUNION November 29, 2012,
Steven Spielberg, Historian
By PHILIP ZELIKOW

"Having worked before at the intersection of Hollywood and history, helping a tiny bit with a respectable movie about the Cuban missile crisis called “Thirteen Days,” I approached the new movie “Lincoln” with measured expectations. I had seen how a film could immerse viewers in onscreen time travel without messing up the history too much. But that was the most I hoped for".

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/steven-spielberg-historian/

Is "The Hobbit" far behind? ;)

No Sailor Witnesses to OBL May 1st Burial Says State Department

By Associated Press,  Published: NOVEMBER 21, 5:00 PM ET
 
WASHINGTON — Internal emails among U.S. military officers indicate that no sailors watched Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea from the USS Carl Vinson and traditional Islamic procedures were followed during the ceremony.

The emails, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, are heavily blacked out, but are the first public disclosure of government information about the al-Qaida leader’s death. The emails were released Wednesday by the Defense Department.

Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011, by a Navy SEAL team that assaulted his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

One email stamped secret and sent on May 2 by a senior Navy officer briefly describes how bin Laden’s body was washed, wrapped in a white sheet, and then placed in a weighted bag.

According to another message from the Vinson’s public affairs officer, only a small group of the ship’s leadership was informed of the burial.

The Man Who Tracked Down Bin Laden Reported To Be New Head Of CIA

from http://www.businessinsider.com/mike-morell-likely-acting-cia-head-2012-11

"With David Petraeus stepping down as CIA Director after reports of an extra-marital affair, we're seeing reports that Mike Morell, currently deputy C.I.A. director, will take the job on an interim basis.

Morell's official bio is here, but it doesn't mention one key thing — his role in tracking Osama bin Laden.

In a Vanity Fair article about the decision to kill bin Laden, Mark Bowdon described Morell as "the head of the C.I.A.’s bin Laden team".

The article also states that Morell "had been personally involved in the flawed analysis of Saddam’s weapons capability", and was told the president he was only 60 percent sure the Al Qaeda leader was actually living in the Pakistani property".

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mike-morell-likely-acting-cia-head-2012-11#ixzz2CPh15C9T

9/11 Families Invited To Watch September 11th Hearings

From the Huffington Posts terribly titled "Touched By Terror"
"9/11 A decade after

9/11 Families Invited To Watch September 11th Hearings...at Guantanimo!

NEW YORK — The families of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks have been invited to military installations in four states to watch pretrial hearings in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for five men charged with planning or assisting the terrorist strike.

The hearings, which begin Monday, are closed to the public, but relatives who register in advance can watch on closed-circuit television at forts in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York City.

The suspects on trial before the military commission include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

An earlier round of hearings in May was also transmitted to viewing locations for relatives of the victims, survivors of the attacks, and emergency personnel who responded to the disaster.

Those proceedings were an exercise in frustration for some viewers, as the suspects refused to cooperate with the court, or interrupted proceedings to kneel in prayer.

Jim Riches, whose firefighter son, Jimmy, died at the World Trade Center, said he planned to view Monday's hearing at Fort Hamilton, in Brooklyn.

"It's difficult for the families. But it is 10 years later, and we have no justice," Riches said. "I just wish it was being broadcast throughout the whole world so everyone could see it, and could see what these guys are like."

Mr. Magic Bullet - Arlen Specter Dies

From NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/us/politics/arlen-specter-senator-dies-at-82.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

"Hard-edged and tenacious yet ever the centrist, Mr. Specter was a part of American public life for more than four decades. As an ambitious young lawyer for the Warren Commission, he took credit for originating the theory that a single bullet, fired by a lone gunman, struck both President John F. Kennedy and Gov. John B. Connally of Texas. Seconds later, Kennedy was struck by a fatal shot to the head from the same gunman, the commission found."

Prince Bandar bin Sultan (aka Bandar Bush) Dead (?)

Can't believe this one hasn't been mentioned here at blogger. (or more in the mainstream, considering Bandar was something of a regular on mainstream US news programs as Bush 2 cheerleader. 

 

By 

opednews.com

John Pilger "Never forget that Bradley Manning, not gay marriage, is the issue".

www.johnpilger.com/articles/never-forget-that-bradley-manning-not-gay-marriage-is-the-issue

By John Pilger
16 May 2012

In the week Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he ordered bombing attacks on Yemen, killing a reported 63 people, 28 of them children. When Obama recently announced he supported same-sex marriage, American planes had not long blown 14 Afghan civilians to bits. In both cases, the mass murder was barely news. What mattered were the cynical vacuities of a political celebrity, the product of a zeitgeist driven by the forces of consumerism and the media with the aim of diverting the struggle for social and economic justice.

Chris Hedges: Turning a Blind Eye to Catastrophic Truths

I don't know whether this is a possible good sign of Chris setting the stage for a real 9/11 coming out party, or proof that Hedges is playing a very skillful game of cherry picking reality.

"Yet we refuse, because we cannot think and no longer listen to those who do think, to see what is about to happen to us. We have created entertaining mechanisms to obscure and silence the harsh truths, from climate change to the collapse of globalization to our enslavement to corporate power, that will mean our self-destruction. If we can do nothing else we must, even as individuals, nurture the private dialogue and the solitude that make thought possible. It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one's own country, than an outcast from one's self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind".

"Human societies see what they want to see. They create national myths of identity out of a composite of historical events and fantasy. They ignore unpleasant facts that intrude on self-glorification. They trust naively in the notion of linear progress and in assured national dominance. This is what nationalism is about—lies. And if a culture loses its ability for thought and expression, if it effectively silences dissident voices, if it retreats into what Sigmund Freud called "screen memories," those reassuring mixtures of fact and fiction, it dies. It surrenders its internal mechanism for puncturing self-delusion. It makes war on beauty and truth. It abolishes the sacred. It turns education into vocational training. It leaves us blind. And this is what has occurred. We are lost at sea in a great tempest. We do not know where we are. We do not know where we are going. And we do not know what is about to happen to us".

Ray McGovern : "Has The CIA Gone Rogue?"

Retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern speaking to the Deerfield Progressive Forum

DARPA looking to master propaganda via 'Narrative Networks'

 

 

PhysOrg.com) -- Sometimes you just don’t know whether to laugh, cry or be alarmed when hearing about what the boys in secretive back rooms are doing in the name of antiterrorism, or homeland security, or whatever else they wish to call it. This time it seems, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the semi-secret agency charged with coming up with new and cool ways to protect the citizens of the United States from foreign bad guys, wants to hire someone to figure out how vulnerable some people are to “narratives” (oral stories, speeches, propaganda, books, etc. that cause people to think) and then, supplant such messages with “better” messages to head off the path that for such people might lead them to becoming a terrorist.

 

Russ Baker Calls BS on NBC BIn Laden Death Exclusive

From a piece over at his very excellent Whowhatwhy.com, Russ Baker dissects the NBC charade of "White House Exclusive" on the Bin Laden killing. I know Russ has made statements here and there around the web about 9/11 Truth and it doesn't seem to be in our camp....but this kind of reporting has an implicit feeling that he does understand the crime of the 21st century happened in front of our faces and continues.

"The lesson that NBC is kind enough to offer seems to be this: We’re further than ever from having public officials who level with us, and we’re further than ever from having large news organizations that….do actual journalism. (On a tenth of Brian Williams’ salary, WhoWhatWhy could field a whole team of real journalists who ask real questions.) Oh, and one more lesson—that all those people must think we’re really, really, stupid".

http://whowhatwhy.com/2012/05/04/osama-obama-and-us-a-shocking-display-of-propaganda-from-nbc/

 

THE 9/11 MYTH: State Propaganda, Historical Revisionism, and the Perpetuation of the 9/11 Myth

by Prof. James F. Tracy

In the immediate wake of President Obama’s May 1, 2011 announcement of the alleged extrajudicial killing of Osama bin Laden by US military forces, a struggle reemerged over the official 9/11 myth that major journalistic outlets have been complicit in perpetuating over the past decade. The corporate media’s reaction to the robust skepticism over bin Laden’s assumed execution suggested a great deal about the extent to which they are locked in to upholding the broader 9/11 parable and serving the Anglo-American political-economic establishment and status quo.

John Yoo, Former Justice Deparment Lawyer, Protected From Torture Lawsuit, Rules Appeals Court

By PAUL ELIAS

SAN FRANCISCO -- An appeals court said Wednesday a former senior Department of Justice lawyer who wrote the so-called "torture memos" authorizing harsh treatment of suspected terrorists is protected from lawsuits.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a convicted terrorist's lawsuit filed against John Yoo.

Jose Padilla alleged Yoo's memos allowed for his captors to subject him to harsh interrogation that amounted to unconstitutional torture.

Yoo wrote memos on interrogation, detention and presidential powers for the department's Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003.

The appeals court ruled that it was unclear at the time whether the interrogation methods Yoo authorized amounted to torture.

The court also said it was unclear whether Padilla, as an "enemy combatant," was entitled to the same constitutional protections as criminal defendants.

The memos have been embroiled in national security politics for years. The memos laid out a broad interpretation of executive power, one the previous administration also used to authorize warrantless wiretapping and secret prisons.