Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So They Say

'Big Brother' has supposedly not won, says a media un-interested in examining stories of the possible use of warrant less surveillance to subvert the 1st Amendment

From The New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/opinion/14keefe.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

Big Brother Has Not Won

Published: December 13, 2008

IF you thought the wiretapping controversy ended last summer, when Congress blessed the Bush administration’s warrantless-wiretapping program by passing a new surveillance law that greatly enhanced the powers of the National Security Agency, think again. The legacy of the illegal operation represents a serious problem for the Obama administration.

After a contentious hearing this month on the most controversial aspect of the new law — a blanket grant of immunity to the telecom giants like AT&T that secretly permitted the N.S.A. to siphon off their customers’ communications — a federal judge in San Francisco must decide whether Congress has the authority to bestow absolution on private companies that appear to have violated the law. One paradox is that Bush administration lawyers have claimed from the outset that the surveillance program was entirely legal, yet they remain desperate to prevent any court from testing that claim. Instead, they are in the odd position of advocating immunity for something that they insist is not a crime.

Another paradox, which Barack Obama surely appreciates, is that the real issue underlying the immunity debate is not whether the telecoms should pay damages; it is whether lawsuits against the companies can be used to answer a question that Congress and the press have not: Just how bad was the N.S.A. program, after all?

Mr. Obama says he does not want his first term to become bogged down in any sort of “partisan witch hunt.” Indeed, the sheer extent of executive lawlessness in Washington over the past eight years has left so many wrongs to right that, in the interests of triage, the new president may choose to let bygones be bygones where wiretapping is concerned.

But that would be a mistake. From 2001 to 2007, the United States government violated one of the signature prohibitions of the post-Watergate era by turning its formidable eavesdropping apparatus on its own citizens. The new law last summer resolved matters only by moving the goalpost, so that many of the N.S.A.’s more questionable activities simply became legal. But major questions remain about the legal grounds used to justify the program, and about how many innocent Americans were ensnared.

The Obama administration cannot enact the kind of thorough course correction on domestic surveillance that is needed without understanding how far off course the intelligence community got in the first place. Mr. Obama, who initially vowed to filibuster the immunity provision but, under pressure in the race against John McCain, backed down and reluctantly supported it, has committed “to have my attorney general conduct a comprehensive review” of N.S.A. surveillance.

That is a promising first step, but it is not enough. Nor is the prospect of reports due next summer from the inspectors general of the N.S.A. and the Justice Department. The good news for Mr. Obama, politically, is that the executive branch should not lead the charge in investigating the wiretapping. Congress should.

Provided that the Obama administration is willing to cooperate rather than stonewall in the Bush fashion, Congress can get to the bottom of the abuses while simultaneously reasserting itself as a coequal branch of government. To the extent possible, the hearings should be public, and if necessary, investigators should grant immunity to witnesses in exchange for candid testimony; this is no witch hunt, but an effort to establish an accurate historical record.

What details can actually be aired in public without violating national security? The number of Americans listened to and the broad contours of the program, for a start. For example, in March 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft threatened to resign over the program, backing down only when it was adjusted. What transgression was so appalling that it made John Ashcroft look like a civil libertarian? We still don’t know.

Even the legal opinions governing the program are still squirreled away in a safe in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. In recent months, the Senate Judiciary Committee and a Washington district judge have ordered them turned over, and the next attorney general should do so immediately.

Without some baseline understanding of what went wrong — and how wrong — in recent years, and without the establishment of some bright line rules of the road, it would be na├»ve to think that there won’t be future abuses. For aggressive intelligence agencies, legal ambiguity is an invitation to excess.

Wiretapping can sometimes seem forbiddingly complex, and many Americans just aren’t concerned that the government might monitor their calls. But what is at stake here is not mere personal privacy, but the bedrock American principles of separation of powers and the rule of law.

Jack Goldsmith, a former top Bush administration lawyer, pronounced the wiretapping program “the biggest legal mess” he had seen in his life. That sort of mess cannot simply be swept under the rug; it must be cleared up.

Patrick Radden Keefe, a fellow at the Century Foundation, is the author of “Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping.”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

RFID tracking 50 foot range admitted

New ID Scanners at Borders Raise Privacy Alarm


Monday, December 1, 2008 6:19 PM

By: Dave Eberhart


The federal government has already deployed new detection machines that can scan citizens without their knowledge from as far as 50 feet away and "read" their personal documents such as passports or driver's licenses.


The Homeland Security Department touts the high-tech devices as increasing security at border crossings, but privacy advocates are raising all sorts of red flags.


Critics say the new machines, which read one's personal information right through a wallet or purse, do so without consent or a warrant and may set a worrisome precedent.


The devices, called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) machines, allow officials to read remotely any passports, pass cards, and driver's licenses that contain special chips with personal information.


The RFIDs are so sensitive that, even before a vehicle pulls up at a border checkpoint, agents already will have on their computer screen the personal data of the passengers, including each person's name, date of birth, nationality, passport or ID number, and even a digitized photo.


The new gadgets are in place, or soon will be, at five border crossings: Blaine, Wash.; Buffalo; Detroit; Nogales, Ariz.; and San Ysidro, Calif. They are slated to have a dramatically expanded presence in June.


Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that the technology could make Americans less secure because terrorists or other criminals may be able to steal the personal information off the ID cards remotely.


Tien and other critics warn that people up to no good can use their own RFID machines in a process called "skimming" to read the information from as far as 50 feet.


Indeed, consumer privacy expert Katherine Albrecht maintains that the chips create the "potential for a whole surveillance network to be set up." Among other abuses, she says police could use them to track criminals; abusive husbands could use the technology to find their wives; and stores could trail the shopping patterns of patrons.


Homeland Security, however, rebuts the criticism, arguing that the embedded chips surrender only a code to machine readers. That code is then broken in order to display the personal information on the border agents' screen.


Meanwhile, the same agencies that are issuing the newfangled IDs supply a sleeve that keep out all prying electronic eyes when not in use.



© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bush EMail Cover Up Rejected by Judge


For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2008

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20081110/index.htm

Court Rejects White House on Missing E-mails

Judge Kennedy sides with Archive and CREW on ability to sue

For more information contact:
Meredith Fuchs - 202/994-7000

John B. Williams/Sheila L. Shadmand [Jones Day] - 202/879-3939

Washington D.C., November 10, 2008 - A court ruled today that the National Security Archive may proceed with its effort to force the White House to recover millions of Bush Administration Executive Office of the President (EOP) e-mail records before the presidential transition. Rejecting the government’s motion to dismiss the Archive’s lawsuit, the Court ruled that the Federal Records Act permits a private plaintiff to bring suit to require the head of the EOP or the Archivist of the United States to notify Congress or ask the Attorney General to initiate action to recover destroyed or missing e-mail records.

“This ruling gives the public a clear voice in demanding preservation of our nation's history, even when that history is created at the White House,” explained Sheila Shadmand, an attorney at Jones Day who is representing the Archive. “We can now give positive action to that voice and protect these records before they get carted off or destroyed as the current administration packs its bags to leave. In that sense, the ruling itself is as historical as the records it will protect.”

“This is a major victory for the public interest in accountability at the White House,” added Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs. “Through this lawsuit we have preserved over 65,000 computer backup tapes. This decision means those tapes will survive the end of the Bush Administration so that Congress, the courts, and eventually the public will be able to learn about the decision-making that took place over the last 8 years.”

The National Security Archive originally filed its case against the Executive Office of the President and the National Archives and Records Administration to preserve and restore missing e-mail federal records in September 5, 2007. A subsequent lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has been consolidated with the Archive's lawsuit. A chronology of the litigation is available here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maryland State Police Target Political Activists

--PLEASE FORWARD FAR AND WIDE--

Dear Doug,

Since 2001, I have devoted my life entirely to the peaceful promotion of windmills and solar panels to solve global warming. Apparently not everyone liked my work, however. Believe it or not, the Maryland State Police - your state police - put my name in their criminal intelligence database as a "suspected terrorist" as part of their larger program of collecting information about political activists in 2005-2006. I was on this outrageous "watch" list apparently because of a single act of peaceful civil disobedience I participated in outside a coal-fired power plant in 2004. CCAN's former deputy director Josh Tulkin was also put in the database as was another former CCAN staffer who has chosen to remain anonymous. Neither of these people has ever been arrested for anything in their entire lives. (See background below)

So about one third of the entire Maryland CCAN staff - one of the largest environmental groups in the state - was officially spied on by the police while we peacefully promoted clean electricity and clean cars for Maryland. This is, of course, an outrage and a threat, not just to civil liberties in Maryland, but to the state's entire environmental community. When people who are trying SAVE the climate and SAVE the Bay are considered terrorists, the world has truly been turned upside down.

To fix this problem, we need your help right now in two simple ways. Please:

Send an email: Write an email to the Md. Gov. Martin O'Malley asking him to release all surveillance files kept on CCAN staff and other activists statewide. (Presently, the police want to destroy the files without releasing printed copies, another outrage!) And ask O'Malley to support comprehensive legislation to prevent similar abuses from happening again. Send an email>>

Attend a rally Thurs. (tomorrow) at 10:30 am: Attend an emergency rally in Silver Spring at 10:30 am Thursday and make your voice heard. We'll be gathering at the Silver Spring Metro station with the heads of leading environmental organizations as well as elected officials and lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. But we need you there too. We'll have signs and banners. Come have fun with us. Click here for details>>

Help end forever these police abuses in Maryland that threaten our climate/clean energy movement, and our right to organize for causes we believe in. Why has our state wasted precious resources creating a "terrorist" watch list of innocent people instead of devoting maximum resources to solving real environmental problems? The REAL terror in Maryland is the threat of 20 feet of sea-level rise. The REAL violence is the burning of coal to create electricity while wrecking the climate.

With your help we can end ALL of these abuses.

Sincerely,

Mike Tidwell
Executive Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin Omen?

Where is Sarah Palin on the erosion of free speech via unchecked government power to snoop?

“Stop blogging, right now!”

This is funny, from a [NY Times] profile of Sarah Palin’s leadership style:

And four months ago, a Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the governor’s career with an astringent eye, answered her phone to hear an assistant to the governor on the line, she said.

“You should be ashamed!” Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. “Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!”

In a less humorous note, does this sound familiar?

Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records.


Sherry Whitstine's blog

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Powers for FBI Intimidation Against Dissidents

Published: September 13, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/13/washington/13justice.html?ref=us

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department made public on Friday a plan to expand the tools the Federal Bureau of Investigation can use to investigate suspicions of terrorism inside the United States, even without any direct evidence of wrongdoing.

Justice Department officials said the plan, which is likely to be completed by the end of the month despite criticism from civil rights advocates, is intended to allow F.B.I. agents to be more aggressive and pre-emptive in assessing possible threats to national security.

It would allow an agent, for instance, to pursue an anonymous tip about terrorism by conducting an undercover interview or watching someone in a public place. Such steps are now prohibited unless there is more specific evidence of wrongdoing.

The plan is the latest in a series of steps by the Bush administration to extend key aspects of its counterterrorism strategy beyond the end of President Bush’s tenure. An executive order from Mr. Bush in August rewrote the rules for the nation’s 16 spy agencies, and an administration legislative proposal before Congress would reaffirm that the country “remains engaged in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda.”

The proposed guidelines combine several sets of procedures into a single document governing what F.B.I. agents can and cannot do in criminal and national security investigations.

The review of the guidelines generated intense interest and occasional criticism from lawmakers and others over the summer, and the Justice Department took the unusual step on Friday of holding briefings for reporters and for civil rights advocates and showing them the draft plan.

The draft is likely to be made final soon after Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, testifies on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee and on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats have promised to question him closely about the new guidelines.

After they were shown the plan, civil rights leaders said they were troubled that the new guidelines would allow the F.B.I. to use racial and ethnic factors to focus on Middle Easterners and others. “Racial profiling by any other name is still unconstitutional,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

But Justice Department officials insisted that the new guidelines would not change standards in place since 2003 for the use of race or ethnicity, which can be considered as a factor — but not the sole factor — in terror investigations.

“It is simply not responsible to say that race may never be taken into account when conducting an investigation,” Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the department, said in a statement. “The reality is that a number of criminal and terror groups have very strong ethnic associations (e.g., the I.R.A. was Irish, La Cosa Nostra is Italian; Hezbollah is largely Lebanese).

“If the F.B.I. is charged with knowing whether there are elements of such groups present and operating within the United States, it cannot ignore those ethnic connections, any more than it would ignore the identification of a bank robber as a short white male when trying to solve the bank robbery.”

Under existing guidelines, F.B.I. agents cannot use certain investigative tools in conducting so-called threat assessments as a precursor to a preliminary or full inquiry. The revisions would allow agents to conduct public surveillance of someone, do “pretext” interviews — pose as someone other than an agent or disguise the purpose of the questions — or send in an undercover source to gather information.

Such steps are allowed in standard criminal investigations without specific evidence of wrongdoing, and officials say they want to authorize the same investigative steps in terrorism inquiries as well.




Saturday, August 02, 2008

Criminal Jesuitical Department of 'Justice' Cover Up Sought

DOJ Asks Wiretap Challenges To Be Kept Secret

07-30-2008
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Bush_asks_co...pping_0730.html


In a little-reported brief filed late Tuesday with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Bush administration asked the court to keep any review of the warrantless wiretapping law passed earlier this year by Congress secret.

The administration also asked that the court refuse to accept legal briefs from anyone other than the Justice Department itself.

The filing, made by the Justice Department, comes in response to a motion filed by the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this month asking the court to ensure that any proceedings relating to the "scope, meaning or constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act" be as transparent as possible.

"The government is proposing that the intelligence court should consider the constitutionality of the new surveillance law in proceedings that will be entirely secret," Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project, said in a release. "If the government's request is granted, the court won't hear arguments from anyone except the government and those arguments will be presented to the court in secret briefs. At the end of the process, the court will issue a ruling that is also secret. The process the government is proposing is completely unacceptable. Especially because the new surveillance law departs so significantly from the standards that have applied to government surveillance for the last 30 years, any proceedings relating to the new law's constitutionality should be adversarial and as informed and transparent as possible."

The ACLU is also seeking a court ruling declaring the law unconstitutional in the Southern District of New York.

Critics have bemoaned the law, which granted the telecommunications industry retroactive immunity for participating in a program that was at the time not authorized by law.

"This bill has quite literally no public value for citizens or civil liberties," constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley said earlier this year. "It is reverse engineering, though the type of thing the Bush Administration's famous for, and now the Democrats are doing--that is, to change the law to conform to past conduct.

"It's what any criminal would love to do," Turley added. "You rob a bank, go to the legislature, and change the law to say that robbing banks is lawful."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

ObUma FISA Flip Wrong Move

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/16/us/politics/16web-seelye.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

(excerpt)

It was barely five years ago when the word netroots first surfaced as a description of grassroots activists who push their political agendas on the Internet, especially through blogs.

Now the word is becoming a bona fide entry in the new edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, and the netroots themselves are preparing for their third annual convention, starting Thursday in Austin, Tex.

The convention, formerly YearlyKos and now Netroots Nation, or NN08, bills itself as “the most concentrated gathering of progressive bloggers to date.” About 2,000 bloggers, activists, office-holders, vendors and others are expected to attend, with 200 members of the mainstream media tracking them (yes, roughly one old-media type for every 10 new-media hipsters.).

The convention comes just as some in the netroots are questioning Senator Barack Obama’s commitment to their values and whether their faith in him as a different kind of politician was misplaced.

Most of the discontent stems from his vote to give legal immunity to the telecommunications companies that participated in the Bush administration’s warrant-less wiretaps, after he had said he would filibuster it.

Of course with U.S. politics, the standard fall back would be that one must vote for ObUma to avoid a so-called "wasted vote" to prevent a victory by McCain (McSame).

The most plausible productive thing would be a vote instead for the Libertarian ticket of Barr-Root.

Friday, July 11, 2008

ObUma Sells Out on FISA

Some good posts at Repeal FISA about the sell out by ObUma, other Democrats and Republicans on the FISA bill to effectively repeal the 4th Amendment.

http://repealfisa.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/filibuster-obama-on-big-brother-spying/


http://repealfisa.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/the-cremation-of-the-constitution/

http://repealfisa.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/obama-begging-me-to-not-vote-for-him/

http://repealfisa.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/fisa-bill-passes-as-expected/


A vote for ObUma is a wasted vote. That man was puffed not for being a good alternative, but rather just another lackey of the Romish-Masonic criminal apostate shadow government order that gave us 911 and the PATRIOT Act- aka Jesuit Order run Georgetown University. Note for instance the behavior of that disgrace from Maryland, Senator Barbara Mikulski.

http://repealfisa.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/hold-barbara-mikulski-accountable-for-fisa-amendments-act/


Instead, vote the Libertarian Party ticket.

Criminal Telcons Bribe Politicians

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Democrats To Cave To Georgetown 'PATRIOT' Act Tel-Con Treason

http://utdocuments.blogspot.com/2008/06/statement-of-barack-obama-supporting.html

Statement of Barack Obama supporting Hoyer FISA bill

Statement of Senator Barack Obama on FISA Compromise

“Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. There is also little doubt that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, has abused that authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders.

“That is why last year I opposed the so-called Protect America Act, which expanded the surveillance powers of the government without sufficient independent oversight to protect the privacy and civil liberties of innocent Americans. I have also opposed the granting of retroactive immunity to those who were allegedly complicit in acts of illegal spying in the past.

“After months of negotiation, the House today passed a compromise that, while far from perfect, is a marked improvement over last year's Protect America Act.

“Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance – making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses. But this compromise guarantees a thorough review by the Inspectors General of our national security agencies to determine what took place in the past, and ensures that there will be accountability going forward. By demanding oversight and accountability, a grassroots movement of Americans has helped yield a bill that is far better than the Protect America Act.

“It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.”

Comments (21) | Trackbacks (2)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

ACLU About Warrantless Wiretapping

http://www.aclu.org/safefree/spying/35653prs20080613.html ACLU Urges Congress Not to Legalize Warrantless Wiretapping (6/13/2008)

If Deal Includes Immunity It’s a Gift From Congress to Telecommunications Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312 or media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union comments on a reported deal on gutting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office:

“This FISA deal looks like the unconstitutional Senate bill in sheep’s clothing. Whatever silk purse Hoyer tries to make of Bond's sow's ear and no matter how they try to sell it, the end result of all this negotiating will be exactly what the administration has wanted from the beginning — FISA rewritten to delete court oversight of surveillance and immunity for its pals at the telephone companies.”

“From the language we’ve seen, we’re back at square one, looking at a bill just like the old Senate bill that lacks meaningful judicial involvement. The Fourth Amendment requires prior and individual court review before the government digs into our private conversations. It is clear the next vote will be on a bill that fails this test — by permitting the government to conduct mass untargeted surveillance, sometimes without prior court review, and sometimes with prior court review — and then only when the government unilaterally decides that it is willing and able to answer to the judicial branch.”

“It is also clear that the deal is intentionally designed to grant immunity to companies that facilitated illegal wiretapping. If the only role for the court — be it District or a FISA court — is to determine whether the companies received a request from the Administration, and not to determine whether those requests were legal, it’s a sham review. The president has publicly acknowledged that the companies were repeatedly sent authorizations to turn over Americans phone calls and emails. It is absolutely guaranteed that current and future cases will never determine whether this administration and its friends in the telecom industry broke the law.”

“The ACLU urges Senators to vote against this deal if it is brought to a vote next week.”

To learn more about Senator Kit Bond's (R-Mo.) FISA proposal, go to: www.aclu.org/safefree/spying/35652res20080613.html

For more information, visit: www.aclu.org/fisa

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thug Police Commits Crime Against Cameraman

Here's an example of where the U.S. is heading.



Felony assault?
Malicious Destruction of Property?

The U.S. appears to have a very low standard for its police.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Criminal GW Bush's Idea of 'Sedition'

From The New York Times
Editorial Laura Berg’s Letter
April 27, 2008

The PEN American Center, the literary organization committed to free expression, is honoring an American most people in this country have never read or even heard of: Laura Berg. She is a psychiatric nurse at a Veterans Affairs hospital who was threatened with a sedition investigation after she wrote a letter to the editor denouncing the Bush administration’s bungling of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war.

That’s right, sedition: inciting rebellion against the government. We suppose nothing should surprise us in these days of government zealotry. But the horror and the shame of that witch hunt should shock everyone.

Ms. Berg identified herself as a V.A. nurse when, soon after Katrina’s horrors, she sent her impassioned letter to The Alibi, a paper in Albuquerque. “I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government,” she wrote. “We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit.”

Her superiors at the hospital soon alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and impounded her office computer, where she keeps the case files of war-scarred veterans she treats. Then she received an official warning in which a Veterans Affairs investigator intoned that her letter “potentially represents sedition.”

It took civil rights litigators and Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico to “act forcefully” in reminding the government of the Constitution and her right to free speech. The Department of Veterans Affairs retreated then finally apologized to the shaken Ms. Berg.

Even then, she noted, one superior told her it was preferred that she not identify herself as a V.A. nurse in any future letter writing. “And so I am saying I am a V.A. nurse,” Ms. Berg soon boomed out in a radio broadcast. “And some of my fire in writing this about Katrina and Iraq is from my experience as a V.A. nurse.” Thus declared Ms. Berg, well chosen to receive the new PEN/Katherine Anne Porter First Amendment Award.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

GW Bush White House 'Micromanaged' Crime

The GW Bush Administration 'micromanaged' criminal torture.

Perhaps they also so micromanaged unlawful surveillance of dissidents to subvert the 1st amendment?
Top Bush aides oversaw torture sessions 11 Apr 2008

According to an ABC report, top Bush aides, including Condi Rice, micromanaged the torture of terrorist suspects from the White House basement. Discussions on torture were so detailed, that some interrogation sessions were virtually choreographed by a White House advisory group, The torture advisory group included then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, then-secretary of state Colin Powell, then-CIA director George Tenet and then-attorney general John Ashcroft and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney ABC's sources said.
GW Bush- the U.S.'s '1st Catholic President

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Pentagon To Promote Subverting the 1st Amendment Against Independent Blog[ger]s

http://prorev.com/2008/04/pentagon-study-suggests-illegal.html

(excerpt)

|||| There are certain to be cases where some blog, outside the control of the U.S. government, promotes a message that is antithetical to U.S. interests, or actively supports the informational, recruiting and logistical activities of our enemies. The initial reaction may be to take down the site, but this is problematic in that doing so does not guarantee that the site will remain down. As has been the case with many such sites, the offending site will likely move to a different host server, often in a third country. Moreover, such action will likely produce even more interest in the site and its contents. Also, taking down a site that is known to pass enemy EEIs (essential elements of information) and that gives us their key messages denies us a valuable information source. This is not to say that once the information passed becomes redundant or is superseded by a better source that the site should be taken down. At that point the enemy blog might be used covertly as a vehicle for friendly information operations. Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data-merely a few words or phrases-may be sufficient to begin destroying the blogger's credibility with the audience. Better yet, if the blogger happens to be passing enemy communications and logistics data, the information content could be corrupted. If the messages are subtly tweaked and the data corrupted in the right way, the enemy may reason that the blogger in question has betrayed them and either take down the site (and the blogger) themselves, or by threatening such action, give the U.S. an opportunity to offer the individual amnesty in exchange for information. ||||

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Criminal GW Bush Adminstration Destruction of Evidence

Behavior Suggestive of Cover- Ups from the Criminal President Who Ordered Illegal Wiretapping of Political Dissidents


ttp://www.examiner.com/a-1293960~White_House__Computer_Hard_Drives_Tossed.html

(excerpt)

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Older White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House disclosed to a federal court Friday in a controversy over millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005.

The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed.

"When workstations are at the end of their lifecycle and retired ... the hard drives are generally sent offsite to another government entity for physical destruction," the White House said in a sworn declaration filed with U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola.

It has been the goal of a White House Office of Administration "refresh program" to replace one-third of its workstations every year in the Executive Office of the President, according to the declaration.

Some, but not necessarily all, of the data on old hard drives is moved to new computer hard drives, the declaration added.

In proposing an e-mail recovery plan Tuesday, Facciola expressed concern that a large volume of electronic messages may be missing from White House computer servers, as two private groups that are suing the White House allege.

Facciola proposed the drastic approach of going to individual workstations of White House computer users after the White House disclosed in January that it recycled its computer backup tapes before October 2003. Recycling - taping over existing data - raises the possibility that any missing e-mails may not be recoverable.

At a House committee hearing last month, a computer expert who previously worked at the White House called the e-mail system "primitive" and said it was set up in a way that created a high risk that data would be lost from White House servers where it was being archived.

Under pressure to provide details about its computer system, the White House told the congressional committee that it never completed work that began in 2003 on a planned records management and e-mail archiving system. The White House canceled the project in late 2006 and says it is still working on a new version.

It was on August 5, 2006 that I suffered a criminal assault on my body and property by the criminal apostate/ criminal mercantilistic commonwealth of Virginia. This happened with the assistance of the criminal apostate U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency under the umbrella of the criminal apostate U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which plausibly illegally wiretapped my Verizon cell phone upon a time line suggestive of 1st Amendment subversion of revenge for my blog about the dirty deal to abort the Washington, D.C. South Capitol Frederick Douglass Mall.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Further Empowering Criminal Apostate Shadow Government

From Truthseeker 24

Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Ellen Nakashima from the Washington Post at March 6, 2008 reported on a new federal government plan. This plan revolves around several thousand law enforcement agencies creating a foundation of domestic intelligence system via computer networks. As a result, it will analyze tons of information to "fight crime" and get rid of terror plots. They want to merge information into data warehouses. The government hopes that this network will be part of a fledgling Justice Department system called the National Data Exchange, or N-DEx. Even now, advanced systems exist called Coplink. Coplink is a commercial data mining system invovling about 1,600 law enforcement agencies. Coplink can find nicknames, height, wieght, color of hair, etc. of certain people in a matter of seconds. What's the purpose of this. Thomas McNamara, chief of the federal Information Sharing Environment office, said he wants regional systems to share information. This is of course the truth. This is about the integration of systems into a centralized database (i.e. Much of the advanced Big Brother are controlled and integrated into the Pentagon and its DARPA-like systems facilitating the military industrial complex). Some like Thomas may claim it doesn't infringe on our privacy, but our privacy is infringed all of the time with cameras everywhere, the Real ID Act, free speech zones, RFID chips in our vehicles and even our clothes, etc.



Thursday, March 06, 2008

MSNBC Now Opposes Free Speech: 911 Truthers Belong in Concentration Camps

Fascist Morning Joe: Tase, Take 911 Truthers to Concentration Camps

http://www.infowars.com/?p=584
Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
March 4, 2008




In response to the arrest of a 9/11 demonstrator during a Bill Clinton appearance in Corpus Christi, corporate media shill and former Republican Congress critter Joe Scarborough and his co-hosts demanded 9/11 truthers be tasered and taken to detention camps. “Where’s the taser?” Joe wants to know as MSNBC runs footage of the man’s arrest. “Tase him!” His co-host adds: “Led away in handcuffs and hopefully taken to one of those secret prisons in eastern Europe and never to be heard from again… I hope we have a special prison for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.”

In other words, the corporate behemoth MSNBC believes people who disagree with the government not only do not deserve First Amendment rights and protection, but also believe demonstrators should be kidnapped by the CIA and taken to a “special prison” to be tortured and ultimately killed, as this is the fate of many who disappear suffer. Is it possible the United States is about to become like Pinochet’s Chile? In 1973, thanks to the CIA and U.S. corporations, Chile became a brutal police state. Chileans were subjected to systematic and massive violations of their most basic human rights. Official figures indicate that nearly 3,000 people were executed, disappeared or lost their lives as a result of torture and political violence. It would seem “Morning Joe” would enthusiastically welcome the installation of a fascist state where those he disagrees with are disappeared, tortured, and murdered.
Last October, CNN host Glenn Beck called 9/11 truthers “insane” and “dangerous anarchists” in response to 9/11 truthers infiltrating the Real Time with Bill Maher show. “These truthers are exactly the kind of people who want to rock this nation’s foundation, tear us apart and plant the seeds of dissatisfaction in all of us… [this is] the kind of group a Timothy McVeigh would come from,” declared Beck, setting a precedence followed this morning by the scurrilous Joe Scarborough and his complaisant minions....
This is a part of a growing mainstream media trend. with a master design to provide the statutory justification for furthering the subversion of the 1st and 4th amendments of the U.S. constitution via targeting dissidents with placement in concentration camps- subjecting them to all sorts of opportunities to be murdered by constitutionally apostate government.







Saturday, March 01, 2008

Mukasey: Free Pass to Bush Adminstration Crime

MUKASEY REFUSED TO ENFORCE CONTEMPT LAW

AP - Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused to refer the House's contempt citations against two of President Bush's top aides to a federal grand jury. Mukasey said White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former presidential counsel Harriet Miers committed no crime. As promised, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she has given the Judiciary Committee authority to file a lawsuit against Bolten and Miers in federal court. . . Mukasey said Bolten and Miers were right in ignoring subpoenas to provide Congress with White House documents or testify about the firings of federal prosecutors.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080301/D8V4C5HG5.html

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Criminal Apostate U.S. Supreme Court Gives Free Pass to Criminal Surveillance



Supreme Court won't review Bush domestic spying case 19 Feb 2008 The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a legal challenge to the warrantless domestic spying program President [sic] George W. Bush created after the September 11 attacks. The American Civil Liberties Union had asked the justices to hear the case after a lower court ruled the ACLU, other groups and individuals that sued the government had no legal right to do so because they could not prove [?] they had been affected by the program.

Supreme Court Refuses to Review Warrantless Wiretapping Case --Ruling Allows Executive Branch to Police Itself, Says ACLU (ACLU) 19 Feb 2008 The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to review a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of prominent journalists, scholars, attorneys and national nonprofit organizations who say that the unchecked surveillance program is disrupting their ability to communicate effectively with sources and clients.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Backbone, at Last

http://nestmannblog.sovereignsociety.com/2008/02/backbone-at-las.html

It's about time. The U.S. Congress finally mustered the political courage to slow down the War on Terror' stampede on civil liberties.

By failing to re-authorize the so-called "Protect America Act," Congress reinstated a deeply flawed legal framework for warrantless surveillance. Nonetheless, that framework is preferable to that developed by the Bush administration under this act, which expired on Feb. 16, 2008.

In the Protect America Act, enacted Aug. 6, 2007, Congress authorized the Bush administration to continue two electronic surveillance initiatives it authorized under a 2001 executive order:

  • Warrantless wiretaps of conversations originating in, or terminating in, the United States, of individuals allegedly connected to terrorist groups; and
  • With the cooperation of U.S. telecommunications companies, warrantless mining of data streams to analyze transactional records of telephone and Internet traffic in search of patterns that might point to terrorist suspects.

Despite the "terrorist" appellation, these initiatives weren't limited to terrorist-related intelligence gathering. Any activity, terrorist-related or not, was fair game if deemed of interest to intelligence officials. Vice-President Dick Cheney, for instance, apparently used Bush's 2001 executive order to eavesdrop on members of his staff he suspected of talking to the press without advance authorization.

The Protect America Act bypassed a legal procedure set up 30 years ago to review applications for national security and intelligence-related electronic surveillance. Under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a secret federal court must review any application for electronic surveillance that has a "substantial likelihood" of monitoring the communications of a U.S. resident.

But with the Protect America Act, the definition of "electronic surveillance" subject to FISA become much narrower, in effect, legalizing the Bush administration initiatives. What's more, the FISA court played a much smaller role. Rather than a court, the act gave the attorney general—a political appointee—the responsibility to authorize FISA-related surveillance requests. The court merely reviewed surveillance already under way.

The Protect America Act also directed telecommunications companies to assist the government in implementing the Bush surveillance initiatives. In addition, it protected those companies from private lawsuits for alleged violations of FISA. Dozens of such lawsuits have been filed.

Despite warnings from the Bush administration of possibly grave consequences if the Protect America Act ever expired, Congress thankfully set a time limit on this authority—February 16, 2008.

That supposedly would give legislators enough time to come up with a framework that would give back the FISA court some of its oversight. In exchange, Congress would presumably permanently legalize the Bush surveillance initiatives.

The Bush administration, however, wanted more. It also demanded that telecom companies receive retroactive legal immunity for their participation in illegal surveillance prior to enactment of the Protect America Act.

Last week, the Senate caved in to Bush, and included telecom immunity in its amendments to FISA. However, the House didn't go along. It adjourned for three weeks on Feb. 16 without renewing the Protect America Act. In the process, it delivered a rare respite to greater privacy intrusions in the never-ending War on Terror.

This certainly isn't the last word, but as it stands now, the FISA court must once again approve any new applications for electronic surveillance under the "substantial likelihood" standard.

Despite my grave misgivings about the entire procedure being shrouded in secrecy, and with near-total lack of accountability, this procedure is far preferable to placing the final decision in the hands of the attorney general. It's hard to forget that only a few months ago, the now thankfully departed Alberto Gonzales occupied this post.

What's more, even though Congress didn't cave in to the Bush administration, the world didn't end on Feb. 16. No mushroom clouds appeared over Washington, D.C., or New York City. Now that Congress has displayed a little backbone in defending civil liberties, it will hopefully have the courage to do so again.

Copyright © 2008 by Mark Nestmann

Friday, February 15, 2008

U.S Halliburton Concentration Camps

Detention camps at undisclosed locations in the US? Rule by Fear or Rule by Law?
Global Research, February 13, 2008

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."
-- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."

Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.

According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."

Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs" require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?

Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies, " gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.

Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.

U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.

According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.

A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.

What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?

The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.

Lewis Seiler is the president of Voice of the Environment, Inc. Dan Hamburg, a former congressman, is executive director.


Global Research Articles by Lewis Seiler

Republican Party Slits its Wrists in Defending Criminal Government 4th Amendment Violations

We Need to Know More About Criminal Wiretapping

Conyers to White House: We Need to Know More about Wiretapping

Signaling the fight ahead when lawmakers get together to sort out the differences between the Senate and House surveillance bills, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) wrote White House counsel Fred Fielding today to deliver two messages: 1) from what he's seen of the documents relating to the administration's warrantless wiretapping program, there's no reason to grant the telecoms retroactive immunity (he prefers the term "amnesty"), and 2) Congress needs to know more before it can be expected to consider granting that amnesty.

The administration suddenly gave Conyers, along with a limited number of members of his committee and the full House intelligence committee, access to documents relating to the program late last month. It was obviously part of the administration's drive to secure immunity for the telecoms. But Conyers says that hasn't worked for him:

...review and consideration of the documents and briefings provided so far leads me to conclude that there is no basis for the broad telecommunications company amnesty provisions advocated by the Administration and contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) bill being considered today in the Senate, and that these materials raise more questions than they answer on the issue of amnesty for telecommunications providers.

Beyond that, Conyers asks a list of questions about the scope and success of the administration's warrantless wiretapping program, along with a slew of documents related to the program that he hasn't seen. Chief among the documents Conyers wants to see is the October, 2001 memo from John Yoo in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel that originally authorized the warrantless wiretapping program.

He also wants the rest of the members on his committee to get a chance to see the documents already turned over; the administration only agreed to allow 19 (10 Dems, 9 GOPers) members to see the documents last month. In the letter, Conyers writes that the administration's reluctance to part with information about the program "belies its position on the importance of the legislation: rather than the Administration giving Congress all the information it needs, the Administration has provided a slow trickle of information to only selected members of Congress, almost assuring that Congress cannot adequately consider its requests."

You can read that letter below in its entirety.

Dear Mr. Fielding:

I am writing to follow up on previous letters and requests of January 5, 2006, February 8, 2006, July 30, 2007, September 11, 2007, October 15, 2007, and October 16, 2007, requesting information and documents from this Administration concerning the warrantless surveillance program, known as the terrorist surveillance program (TSP), first disclosed by the New York Times on December 16, 2005, and related matters. Although some of the requested materials have been provided to some Judiciary Committee members, much of the information has not, and it is crucial that this material be produced as promptly as possible so that Congress may fulfill its legislative and oversight responsibilities. Indeed, review and consideration of the documents and briefings provided so far leads me to conclude that there is no basis for the broad telecommunications company amnesty provisions advocated by the Administration and contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) bill being considered today in the Senate, and that these materials raise more questions than they answer on the issue of amnesty for telecommunications providers. In order to more fully understand and react to the Administration’s request for broad-based and retroactive amnesty for telecommunications firms, who may be in a position to divulge information concerning misconduct by Administration officials, it is imperative that your provide this information to us as promptly as possible, as we have been asking for many months on numerous occasions.

Throughout this past year, the Administration has sounded a drumbeat that Congress enact the Administration’s request for amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). However, during this same time, the Administration has denied to Congress essential documents and information that would permit Congress, in the exercise of its Article I responsibilities, to consider the proposed amendments to FISA in a prudent and careful manner. This Administration cannot be heard to complain about the unwillingness of Congress to enact legislation that the Administration claims to be so vital for the national security when the Administration at the same time has denied to Congress documents and information that are essential to its legislative responsibilities. Frankly, the Administration’s refusal to provide the requested information belies its position on the importance of the legislation: rather than the Administration giving Congress all the information it needs, the Administration has provided a slow trickle of information to only selected members of Congress, almost assuring that Congress cannot adequately consider its requests.

Once again, I have set forth below our request for documents and information. I further reiterate my request that all these materials, as well as those provided so far, be made available to the entire Judiciary Committee and, to the extent possible, to the American public via immediate and appropriate declassification. To assist the Administration in prioritizing its response, without altering our request for all the information below, I would stress three requests in particular:

First, please provide access to all Members of the House Judiciary Committee those briefings and materials you have made available to 19 Members as of now. Currently, it is my understanding that the entire membership of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has been permitted to be “read in” to the TSP program. The only Committee of jurisdiction that has not been offered the same access is the House Judiciary Committee. This is unacceptable and serves little purpose but to impede our Members review of the program and understanding of your request for retroactive amnesty.

Second, please provide the Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President, and William J. Haynes, II, General Counsel Department of Defense, from John C. Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Robert J. Delahunty, Special Counsel, Office of Legal Counsel, Re: Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States. It is believed that this Memorandum is dated either October 17, 2001, or October 23, 2001. Based on the title of this document, and based on the contents of similar memoranda issued at roughly the same time, it appears that a substantial portion of this Memorandum provides a legal determination and analysis as to the nature and scope of the Presidential war powers to accomplish specific acts within the United States. Congress is entitled to know the executive branch’s interpretation of its constitutional powers.

Third, please provide copies of filings, correspondence or transcripts of colloquies with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about TSP or other warrantless or other electronic surveillance programs, containing legal analysis, arguments, or decisions concerning the interpretation of FISA, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force enacted on September 18, 2001, or the President's authority under Article II of the Constitution.

In addition, as per our September 11, 2007, letter, we reiterate our requests for the following documents:

1. All documents from September 11, 2001, to the present, including e-mail, that reflect, discuss, or describe agreements or understandings between the White House, the Department of Justice, the National Security Agency, or any other entity of the Executive Branch and telecommunications companies, internet service providers, equipment manufacturers, or data processors regarding criminal or civil liability for assisting with or participating in warrantless electronic surveillance program(s).

2. An unredacted copy of the notes or program log of FBI Director Mueller provided to the House Judiciary Committee on August 14, 2007, concerning the March 2004 hospital visit to former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other events that former Deputy Attorney General James Comey described in his May 15, 2007, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

3. All documents from December 1, 2005, to the present related to the investigation by the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) into the role of Department of Justice attorneys in the authorization and oversight of the warrantless electronic surveillance program, which was opened on January 11, 2006, and closed approximately three months later after OPR investigators were denied the necessary security clearances (OPR Investigation) that reflect, discuss, or describe the following:

a) consideration of the request for security clearances;

b) communications between White House personnel, including the President or the Vice President, and Department of Justice personnel about the OPR investigation or consideration of the request for security clearances; and

c) the reasons for suspending that investigation (since revived by the Attorney General).

4. Since September 11, 2001, all audits, reports, or evaluations of or concerning any warrantless surveillance program(s), whether conducted by government employees or private companies, including any reports as to the effectiveness of minimization standards to protect U.S. persons’ communications.

I would also again ask that you ensure that the appropriate entity in the Administration immediately provide written responses to the following questions, which we have previously submitted last year:

1. Since September 11, 2001, has the Administration conducted any warrantless surveillance in the United States, other than through the warrantless electronic surveillance program the President acknowledged in late 2005 (known now as the Terrorist Surveillance Program), or as explicitly authorized by FISA, or any other warrantless surveillance techniques such as physical searches of home or offices or opening of mail? Are such activities continuing? Is the Administration currently conducting any foreign intelligence surveillance in the United States, other than that explicitly authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)?

2. How many actionable leads have been referred to operational entities as a result of acquisitions of U.S. persons’ conversations or communications?

a) Please break down the response as follows: 1) between September 11, 2001, and October 25, 2001; 2) between October 25, 2001, and January 10, 2007; 3) between January 10, 2007, and August 5, 2007; and 4) since August 5, 2007.

b) Of the actionable leads referred to operational entities, what have been the results? Please differentiate between counter-terrorism, criminal investigations and prosecutions, counter-espionage, and in-theater combat operations. Please indicate with specificity whether any attacks have been averted.

3. How many conversations or communications (both incoming or outgoing) monitored under the programs have revealed a contact between a U.S. person and someone for whom there was probable cause to believe they were in or supporting al Qaeda? How many people in the U.S. have had email communications with someone considered to be in al Qaeda? How many of these conversations or communications have actually involved terrorist activity, as opposed to other topics of conversation? How many people have been charged with any wrongdoing as a result of such interceptions? How many terrorist activities have been disrupted as a result of such interceptions? How many people have been subjected to surveillance but not charged with any crime or otherwise detained?

4. How many persons whose conversations or communications were monitored under the programs have been subjected to any other surveillance techniques or searches, such as physical searches of home or offices, opening of mail, etc, whether subject to a warrant or not?

5. Have any U.S. persons whose conversations or communications were monitored under the programs been detained within the United States? Have any U.S. or foreign persons been interrogated or detained outside of the United States, whether by the United States or any other government, in significant part as a result of such monitoring?

6. Have journalists, lawyers, lawmakers (whether federal, state, or local), or aides had their conversations or communications monitored under the programs? If so, how many?

7. How many U.S. persons had conversations (voice or email content) or communications (call or email data) acquired through electronic surveillance programs? In how many of these acquisitions was the U.S. person the target of the acquisition? In how many of these acquisitions was the acquisition incidental? How many warrants for continued surveillance were sought after identification of someone as a U.S. person? How many such applications were denied? Please break down the response between warrantless and other electronic surveillance programs as to the following periods:

a) between September 11, 2001, and October 25, 2001;
b) between October 25, 2001, and January 10, 2007;
c) between January 10, 2007, and August 5, 2007; and
d) since August 5, 2007.

8. How many individuals have been targeted for surveillance under the Protect America Act that involved foreign intelligence generally, as opposed to terrorism or nuclear proliferation?

9. Please identify any telecommunication companies or internet service providers that refused to allow access to communication streams without Court sanction or questioned the terms of the requests or demands which were being made of them and, to the extent that discussions with such companies were conducted orally rather than through written dialogue, please authorize the relevant parties to discuss the content of those discussions with Committee staff and Members.

I am enclosing for your information copies of previous requests concerning these matters made to the Administration.