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Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors in Afghanistan Are Doing

June 8, 2013 by SimonJCP

Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors in Afghanistan Are Doing 03 Jun 2013 The number of contractors working in Afghanistan now vastly outnumbers American troops stationed there, according to a Congressional Research Service report. CRS, along with the Government Accountability Office, also determined that the Pentagon is unable to properly document the work these contractors are doing. And the information DOD is receiving is often unreliable and inaccurate. According to CRS, there are now 108,000 private workers in Afghanistan, a workforce that dwarfs the 65,700 American troops still stationed there. That means there are 1.6 contractors for every American soldier in Afghanistan. This is an increase from last month, when The Fiscal Times reported that there were 1.4 contractors per American soldier.

France to ban far-right group after death of left-wing student

June 8, 2013 by legitgov

France to ban far-right group after death of left-wing student 08 Jun 2013 French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Saturday ordered the "dissolution" of a far-right group allegedly linked to the death of a left-wing student in a Paris street brawl. He asked his interior minister to take steps "immediately" to ban the Revolutionary Nationalist Youth (JNR), his office said in a statement. The JNR is the militant wing of a far-right group called the Third Way. Its leader Serge Ayoub, who has been questioned by police but is not a suspect, on Saturday again denied the group had anything to do with the death of 18-year-old Clement Meric.

Santa Monica shooting eyewitness: Gunman 'looked like a member of a Swat team'

June 8, 2013 by legitgov

Santa Monica shooting eyewitness: Gunman 'looked like a member of a Swat team' --Gunman dressed all in black, wearing what appeared to be bullet vest --A second 'person of interest' was arrested, but later released as police said the gunman acted alone. 08 Jun 2013 (CA) A gunman has been killed by police after a shooting spree that ended with four victims dead in Santa Monica... Santa Monica police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the shooting continued as the gunman, dressed all in black and wearing what appeared to be a bullet vest, stole a vehicle and travelled west from that scene toward Santa Monica College, randomly shooting and killing several people on the way. The gunman sprayed a city bus with bullets... and shot at several other cars as he made his way onto the community college campus. The man shot at a police car and at officers before being chased into the school's library, where the suspect was killed after a shoot-out. Chief Seabrooks said the unidentified gunman, described as a white male between the ages of 25 and 35, was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. One eyewitness said he "looked like a member of a Swat team".

Iraq warns Israel against using its airspace in attempt to strike Iran

June 8, 2013 by legitgov

Iraq warns Israel against using its airspace in attempt to strike Iran 08 Jun 2013 Baghdad has warned Israel that it would respond to any attempts by Tel Aviv to use Iraqi airspace for a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, a top Iraqi minister said. The remarks from Hussein al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister responsible for energy affairs, mark the first time a senior Iraqi official has publicly warned Israel against entering its airspace -- the most direct route -- to hit targets in Iran. Shahristani also said that Iraq had received assurances from Washington that the United States would not use its airspace to attack Iran, which Western powers claim is trying to develop a nuclear weapon. Tehran has repeatedly denied the claim.

Verizon Top Secret FISC Order

June 8, 2013 by legitgov

Verizon Top Secret FISC Order 08 Jun 2013 TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN Derived from: Pleadings in the above-captioned docket Declassify on: 12 April 2038 This Court having found that the Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for an Order requiring the production of tangible things from Verizon Business Network Services, Inc. on behalf of MCI Communication Services Inc., d/b/a Verizon Business Services (individually and collectively "Verizon") satisfies the requirements of 50 U.S.C. § 1861, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, the Custodian of Records shall produce to the National Security Agency (NSA) upon service of this Order, and continue production on an ongoing daily basis thereafter for the duration of this Order, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, an electronic copy of the following tangible things: all call detail records or "telephony metadata" created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.

Woman From Texas Is Charged in Ricin Case

June 8, 2013 by legitgov

Woman From Texas Is Charged in Ricin Case 07 Jun 2013 A week ago Thursday, Shannon Guess Richardson traveled from her small town in Texas to meet with investigators in Louisiana and accuse her husband of a disturbing crime. Ms. Richardson, a pregnant mother of five, said she suspected that her husband, Nathaniel, had mailed three ricin-laced letters to President Obama, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and a gun-control lobbyist in Washington. She also offered hard evidence: a book of stamps that microscopic analysis revealed to be the source of the stamps on the three letters. But on Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it was Ms. Richardson herself, an actress with several small television and film credits, who had been arrested and charged with mailing a threatening letter to the president of the United States. A criminal complaint suggested evidence of a frame-up.

Rampage in Santa Monica Leaves Seven Dead

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Rampage in Santa Monica Leaves Seven Dead 07 Jun 2013 A man opened fire on busy intersections in Santa Monica Friday afternoon in a rampage that also included a house fire, leaving seven dead, including the suspect, and several others injured, police said. The series of violent events culminated at Santa Monica College, where the suspect was shot and killed by police. Students at the two-year college were escorted from the campus by SWAT officers who swarmed the area, just a few miles from where President Barack Obama was speaking at a fundraising event. Two dead bodies were found in a burned house near the college, police said. Neighbors interviewed live on local television near that house reported seeing an armed man dressed in black who shot a woman in one passing car and carjacked another with a woman in it.

Man shot by Homeland Security agent under guard at hospital

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Man shot by Homeland Security agent under guard at hospital 06 Jun 2013 (WA) A multijurisdictional drug investigation in Lakewood ended violently Wednesday night when a suspect hit a Homeland Security agent with a car and the agent shot the man. The investigation involved a host of federal and local agencies, including Lakewood police, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcements, Homeland Security Investigations, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The suspect is in stable condition but has not been identified, Lakewood Police. He is under guard at the hospital.

Large US force arrives in Jordan for deployment at Syria border amid Syria's Qusayr victory

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Large US force arrives in Jordan for deployment at Syria border amid Syria's Qusayr victory 06 Jun 2013 A large U.S. military force has reportedly arrived at a port in the south of Jordan, ready to be deployed at the country's border with neighboring Syria. The Israeli military intelligence website DEBKAfile has reported that 1,000 U.S troops from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force arrived at the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba on Tuesday and made their way to the north of the country under heavy Jordanian military escort. According to DEBKAfile, Washington imposed a blackout on the arrival of the rapid-response force as the Pentagon only reported the sending of a Patriot missile battery and F-16 warplanes to Jordan for a military drill. On Monday, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command based in Tampa, Florida, Lieutenant Colonel T.G. Taylor, confirmed that Patriot missile launchers and F-16 fighter jets "were approved for deployment to Jordan".

Santa Monica College gunman set fire to home, attempted carjackings, sources say

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Santa Monica College gunman set fire to home, attempted carjackings, sources say 07 Jun 2013 The shooting that left at least three people wounded in the Santa Monica College area began when the alleged gunman broke into a nearby home and set fire to another property, law enforcement sources said. The gunman then allegedly opened fire on several cars and appeared to try to carjack two vehicles, the sources said. One of the carjackings occurred near the campus library and college police station. The suspect fled to the library, where he wounded by police, the sources added.

Obama Fundraiser Just 3 Miles From College Shooting

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Obama Fundraiser Just 3 Miles From College Shooting 07 Jun 2013 President Obama Friday attended a fundraising event in Santa Monica, just blocks away from a shooting on the campus of Santa Monica College. Shots were fired just three miles from President Obama’s event. The fundraiser was the first of the President's two planned stops in the Southland. The President is slated to visit the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage to meet with the President Xi Jinping of China at 4 p.m. Secret Service officials have been informed of the shooting and report that the President’s trip will not be affected.

Obama tells intelligence chiefs to draw up cyber target list – full document text

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Obama tells intelligence chiefs to draw up cyber target list – full document text 07 Jun 2013 An eighteen-page presidential memo reveals how Barack Obama has ordered intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber attacks.

Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks --Top-secret directive steps up offensive cyber capabilities to 'advance US objectives [corpora-terrorism] around the world' --Directive also contemplates the possible use of cyber actions inside the US 07 Jun 2013 Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals. The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) "can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging". The directive also contemplates the possible use of cyber actions inside the US, though it specifies that no such domestic operations can be conducted without the prior order of the president, except in cases of emergency.

US terror drone strike kills 7 in northwestern Pakistan

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

US terror drone strike kills 7 in northwestern Pakistan 07 Jun 2013 A US assassination drone strike has killed at least seven people and injured several others in Pakistan's troubled North Waziristan tribal region, local security officials say.

Obama staunchly defends US surveillance programmes

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Obama staunchly defends US surveillance programmes 07 Jun 2013 President Barack Obama vigorously defended sweeping secret surveillance into America's phone records and foreigners' Internet use, declaring "we have to make choices as a society." It was revealed late Wednesday that the National Security Agency has been collecting the phone records of hundreds of millions of U.S. phone customers. Another secret program revealed Thursday scours the Internet usage of foreign nationals overseas who use any of nine U.S.-based internet providers such as Microsoft and Google. Obama's defense of the two programs came as members of Congress were vowing to change a program they voted to authorize.

San Onofre nuclear power plant to shut down

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

San Onofre nuclear power plant to shut down 07 Jun 2013 Southern California Edison's parent company announced Friday it is shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station just north of Camp Pendleton, the latest chapter of a saga that began with the discovery of a 'small' leak of radioactive steam. Ted Craver, chairman and CEO of Edison International, SCE's corporate parent, cited uncertainty about when the two units at the plant, which were taken offline because of technical issues, would be allowed to restart. The plant's two reactor units, referred to as Unit 2 and Unit 3, have been offline since early 2012.

Grand Jury Rejects Indictment of Teen Arrested for Rap Lyrics

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Grand Jury Rejects Indictment of Teen Arrested for Rap Lyrics--Massachusetts student's arrest for alleged 'terroristic threats' raised First Amendment concerns 06 Jun 2013 A grand jury has declined to indict an aspiring Massachusetts rapper whom police had accused of making "terroristic threats," according to the Essex County District Attorney's office. Cameron D'Ambrosio, 18, was arrested in Methuen, Massachusetts, on May 2nd after posting a rap verse on his Facebook wall that contained the line, "fuck a boston bombinb [sic] wait til u see the shit I do, I'ma be famous for rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me." The high school student has been held in jail since then without bail. Prosecutors sought to charge D'Ambrosio with threats to make a bomb or hijack a vehicle, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Shooting at Santa Monica College

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Shooting at Santa Monica College --Seven dead, including suspect --All schools in area on lockdown --Police: One suspect in custody, POSSIBLE SECOND SHOOTER --One dead in shooting at Southern California college, authorities say 07 Jun 2013 One person has died in connection with a shooting at Santa Monica College in California, a watch commander at the Santa Monica Police Department told CNN on Friday. Four injured people were being treated at a hospital. It was not immediately clear whether the fatality was a victim or a suspect. A suspected gunman was eventually taken into custody, according to Sgt. Richard Lewis, a police spokesman. Authorities were looking into whether two other violent incidents in the city were related to the campus shooting.

NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program 07 Jun 2013 Through a top-secret program authorized by federal judges working under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the U.S. intelligence community can gain access to the servers of nine Internet companies for a wide range of digital data. Documents describing the previously undisclosed program, obtained by The Washington Post, show the breadth of U.S. electronic surveillance capabilities in the wake of a widely publicized controversy over warrantless wiretapping of U.S. domestic telephone communications in 2005.

U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program 07 Jun 2013 The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post. The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: "Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple." London's Guardian newspaper reported Friday that GCHQ, Britain's equivalent of the NSA, also has been secretly gathering intelligence from the same internet companies through an operation set up by the NSA.

US deploys extra forces in Guantanamo prison

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

US deploys extra forces in Guantanamo prison 06 Jun 2013 The United States is dispatching additional soldiers to the Guantanamo Bay prison complex in Cuba amid the inmates' hunger strike. A total of 125 guard forces will be transferred from Puerto Rico to the US detention center, a US Army Reserve spokesman said on Wednesday. The soldiers have been sent for a one-month training program before they leave for the detention center, he said.

Dept. of Homeland Security: Laptops, Phones Can Be Searched Based on Hunches

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

Dept. of Homeland Security: Laptops, Phones Can Be Searched Based on Hunches 05 Jun 2013 U.S. border agents should continue to be allowed to search a traveler's laptop, cellphone or other electronic device and keep copies of any data on them based on no more than a hunch, according to an internal Homeland Security Department study. It contends limiting such searches would prevent the U.S. from detecting child pornographers or terrorists and expose the government to lawsuits. The 23-page report was obtained by The Associated Press and the American Civil Liberties Union under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

'Bush's 4th term'

June 7, 2013 by legitgov

'Bush's 4th term' 06 Jun 2013 President Barack Obama's effort to strike what he's repeatedly called "a balance" between personal liberty and homeland security has exposed what amounts to a split political personality: Candidate Obama often spoke about personal freedom with the passion of a constitutional lawyer -- while Commander-in-Chief Obama has embraced and expanded Bush-era surveillance efforts like the 2011 extension of the Patriot Act, which paved the way for a secret court order allowing the gathering of Verizon phone records. In an irony now being savored by his conservative critics, Obama administration officials are now relying on Republicans to defend him against charges from liberals and the libertarian right that he's recklessly prioritized national security over personal liberty. "Drone strikes. Wiretaps. Gitmo. Renditions. Military commissions. Obama is carrying out Bush's fourth term, yet he attacked Bush for violating the Constitution," said Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush's press secretary.

U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program

June 6, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program 06 Jun 2013 The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person's movements and contacts over time. The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include: "Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple."

NSA whistleblowers say agency casts wide net

June 6, 2013 by legitgov

NSA whistleblowers say agency casts wide net --Former NSA employee: NSA collects records on 3 billion calls per day 06 Jun 2013 Former employees of the National Security Agency say the publishing of a court order asking Verizon to hand over all its phone calling records for a three-month period opens a new window on an operation that has been in place for years and involves all major U.S. phone companies. "NSA has been doing all this stuff all along, and it's been all these companies, not just one" William Binney told news program Democracy Now! on Thursday. "They're just continuing the collection of this data on all U.S. citizens." Binney, who worked at the NSA for almost 40 years, left the agency after the attacks of 9/11 because he objected to the expansion of its surveillance of U.S. citizens.

Syrian Army recaptures key Golan Heights crossing

June 6, 2013 by legitgov

Syrian Army recaptures key Golan Heights crossing 06 Jun 2013 Syrian army troops have established control over a key crossing in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights shortly after it fell into the hands of foreign-backed militants. On Thursday, Syrian forces liberated the Quneitra Crossing - situated between Syria and the Golan Heights - after heavy clashes with anti-government gunmen. Earlier in the day, Israeli media reported that foreign-backed militants had seized the crossing.

America's surveillance state: anger swells after data revelations

June 6, 2013 by legitgov

America's surveillance state: anger swells after data revelations 06 Jun 2013 The scale of America's surveillance state was laid bare on Wednesday as senior politicians revealed that the US counter-terrorism effort had swept up swaths of personal data from the phone calls of millions of citizens for years. After the revelation by the Guardian of a sweeping secret court order that authorised the FBI to seize all call records from a subsidiary of Verizon, the Obama administration sought to defuse mounting anger over what critics described as the broadest surveillance ruling ever issued. Former vice-president Al Gore described the "secret blanket surveillance" as "obscenely outrageous".

Teen Jailed for Rap Lyrics Posted After Boston Bombings

June 6, 2013 by legitgov

Teen Jailed for Rap Lyrics Posted After Boston Bombings 04 Jun 2013 A Massachusetts teen has been jailed for a month without bail on charges of making a bomb threat after writing rap lyrics that some [nutjobs] found threatening following the Boston Marathon bombings. Cameron D'Ambrosio, 18, was arrested May 1 after friends [sic] saw a message he posted to his Facebook page and reported him to his high school principal. Within hours, police picked him up and later executed a search warrant at the home of his parents, seizing a laptop and Xbox but finding no evidence of explosives, weapons or anything else to indicate he planned to act on any threat, says his attorney. He's been held without bail since his arrest while authorities convene a grand jury to determine if there is probable cause to indict him.

Revealed: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily

June 5, 2013 by legitgov

Revealed: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily --Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama 05 Jun 2013 The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April. The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries. The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing. The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

CIA didn't always know who it was killing in drone strikes, classified documents show

June 5, 2013 by legitgov

CIA didn't always know who it was killing in drone strikes, classified documents show --Former White House official: U.S. sometimes executes people based on 'circumstantial evidence' 05 Jun 2013 The CIA did not always know who it was targeting and killing in drone strikes in Pakistan over a 14-month period, an NBC News review of classified intelligence reports shows. About one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as "other militants," the documents detail. The "other militants" label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed, prompting questions about how the agency could conclude they were a threat to U.S. national security. The uncertainty appears to arise from the use of so-called "signature" strikes to eliminate suspected terrorists -- picking targets based in part on their behavior and associates.

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