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Facebook, AT&T censor 'LegitGov.org' online journal

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

Facebook, AT&T censor 'LegitGov.org' online journal by Northbay Uprising media collective 30 Jan 2013 The Northbay Uprising collective wrote to CLG Wednesday, sharing a link to their compilation (09 Dec 2012) regarding CLG's problems with various blocks on delivery of the CLG Newsletter. "Over the past year, I have collected the articles about CLG's trouble with the social networks like Facebook and EarthLink."

Dallas hacker 'spokesman' ruled competent to stand trial in federal court

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

Dallas hacker 'spokesman' ruled competent to stand trial in federal court 30 Jan 2013 A Dallas man who has described himself as a spokesman for the hacker-activist group Anonymous has been ruled competent to stand trial in connection with three federal criminal cases. Barrett Brown, 31, appeared in federal court Wednesday morning and told U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsey that he understood the charges against him as well as the repercussions. Brown is facing two counts of obstruction of justice by concealing evidence. The charges, filed against him last week, date back to an FBI raid on Brown's Dallas apartment in March.

Mass. Gov. Patrick names ex-aide William 'Mo' Cowan to fill John Kerry's seat on interim basis

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

Mass. Gov. Patrick names ex-aide William 'Mo' Cowan to fill John Kerry's seat on interim basis 30 Jan 2013 William "Mo" Cowan, a former top aide to Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, was tapped by Patrick on Wednesday to serve as interim U.S. senator for Massachusetts until a special election is held to fill the seat left vacant by John Kerry's confirmation as the nation's new secretary of state. Cowan, 43, became chief-of-staff to Patrick in 2010 after serving as chief legal counsel during the governor’s first term. He stepped down as Patrick's top aide in December, though he remained on as a senior adviser through the filing last week of the governor's state budget request.

US Military Wants 'Mission Impossible' Self-Destructing Devices

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

US Military Wants 'Mission Impossible' Self-Destructing Devices 28 Jan 2013 Self-destructing tapes from the "Mission Impossible" TV series and films served fictional spies well during the Cold War. Today, the U.S. military wants a modern version of vanishing electronics that are able to disappear upon command in the environment or a human body. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for such spy craft technology at a time when swarms of electronic sensors and communication devices already help U.S. troops hunt enemies, keep track of friendly forces and monitor threats from nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. "The [Vanishing, Programmable Resources] program seeks to address this pervasive challenge by developing electronic systems capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner," DARPA said in a special notice on Jan. 25.

Air Force IDs F-16 pilot missing in Adriatic

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

Air Force IDs F-16 pilot missing in Adriatic 29 Jan 2013 The Air Force has identified the F-16 pilot missing in the Adriatic Sea as the chief of flight safety for the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Capt. Lucas Gruenther was flying a training sortie in an F-16 when contact was lost with his aircraft at about 8 p.m. Monday. Officials dispatched Italian aircraft and ships to the jet's last known location, about 10 to 15 nautical miles east of Cervia. Officials on Tuesday recovered debris believed to be long to the jet. Officials have found no sign of Gruenther.

Softbank buy of Sprint hits US security concerns

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

Softbank buy of Sprint hits US security concerns 30 Jan 2013 The US Department of Justice is urging regulators to delay endorsing Softbank's $20 billion takeover of Sprint Nextel until the national security ramifications are evaluated. The Japanese mobile carrier in October announced a deal to acquire 70 percent of Sprint Nextel, the number three US carrier behind AT&T and Verizon Wireless, by the middle of this year. If completed, it would be the biggest overseas acquisition by a Japanese firm.

Illinois School 'Code Red' Drill to Include Shooting Blanks in Hallways

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

Sandy Hook false flag fallout: Illinois School 'Code Red' Drill to Include Shooting Blanks in Hallways 29 Jan 2013 A school shooting drill planned for tomorrow in the far northwestern suburbs has many parents upset. According to a letter from Cary-Grove High School principal Jay Sargeant, there will be a code red drill at the school on Wednesday. It will include somebody shooting blanks from a gun in the hallway "in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire." CBS 2 reports that during the drill, teachers will keep students in their rooms, lock their doors, and draw their curtains. Police will sweep the building, while someone will fire two shots--blanks--from a starter pistol.

Obama Urges Speed on Immigration Plan, but Exposes Conflicts

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

Obama Urges Speed on Immigration Plan, but Exposes Conflicts 30 Jan 2013 Seizing an opening to rewrite the nation's immigration laws, President Obama challenged Congress on Tuesday to act swiftly to put 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States on a clear path to citizenship. But his push for speedy action and his silence on proposals to defer the opportunity for legal residency until the country’s borders are deemed secure provoked criticism from a Republican leader on the issue. The response suggests that reaching consensus on immigration law changes remained difficult despite a new bipartisan push since the November elections. ['Immigration reform' aka Barack Obama's most recent gift to Wall Street: Businesses get cheap labor--driving down all workers' wages--while US taxpayers foot the bill for benefits that businesses should provide.]

UK joins pledge to save polar bear

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

UK joins pledge to save polar bear 30 Jan 2013 Humane Society International/UK is delighted to welcome a pledge from DEFRA's Environment Minister Richard Benyon that the United Kingdom will support efforts to ban international global trade in polar bears and their parts. This is a significant step forward for HSI's "I'm There For The Polar Bear" campaign, aimed at ending the killing of hundreds of polar bears whose parts are traded every year on the global market as rugs, trophies and ornaments. HSI/UK's campaign involves intensive lobbying, public petitioning and an open letter to Benyon signed by a host of celebrities...urging the Minister to be a champion for polar bears by supporting the U.S. proposal to afford the species Appendix I protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

US Senate confirms Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state

January 30, 2013 by legitgov

US Senate confirms Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state 29 Jan 2013 The Senate has confirmed Sen. John Kerry as the next secretary of state. The vote was 94-3. Once sworn-in, Kerry will replace Hillary Clinton, who is stepping down after four years. The vote came just hours after the Foreign Relations Committee approved his nomination by voice vote.

Judge okays BP plea, $4 billion penalty in Gulf oil spill

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

Judge okays BP plea, $4 billion penalty in Gulf oil spill 29 Jan 2013 A U.S. judge accepted an agreement by BP Plc to plead guilty for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster and pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The company said it pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts related to workers' deaths, a felony related to obstruction of Congress and two misdemeanors. It faces five years' probation and the imposition of two monitors who will oversee its safety and ethics for the next four years. After the April 2010 explosion on the Transocean rig in the Gulf of Mexico, 4.9 million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf over 87 days.

NORAD jets ready to protect Super Bowl skies

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

NORAD jets ready to protect Super Bowl skies 29 Jan 2013 Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region fighter jets, along with interagency partners, have been busy well before Super Bowl Sunday preparing to protect the skies around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Just like the teams in the Super Bowl, the Continental U.S. NORAD Region and their (CONR) member partners practice before the big game. Exercise Falcon Virgo 13 - Super Bowl, a NORAD air defense exercise, took place Jan. 29 in the greater New Orleans area to allow interagency partners the chance to practice procedures for responding to airspace violations.

UN plans to send at least 2,500 troops to Congo

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

UN plans to send at least 2,500 troops to Congo 28 Jan 2013 The U.N. chief plans to send at least 2,500 troops to eastern Congo as a "peace enforcement" brigade to help protect civilians and prevent the M23 rebels from capturing cities and expanding their territory. The Security Council would have to approve the new force. Last week, the council's president sent a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon giving the green light for deployment of unarmed surveillance drones for eastern Congo that would provide intelligence for the "peace enforcement" unit as well as the larger U.N. peacekeeping force.

U.N. Drone Investigator: If Facts Lead to U.S. War Crimes, So Be It

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

U.N. Drone Investigator: If Facts Lead to U.S. War Crimes, So Be It 29 Jan 2013 Ben Emmerson wants to be clear: He’s not out to ban flying killer robots used by the CIA or the U.S. military. But the 49-year-old British lawyer is about to become the bane of the drones' existence, thanks to the United Nations inquiry he launched last week into their deadly operations. Emmerson, the United Nations' special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism, will spend the next five months doing something the Obama administration has thoroughly resisted: unearthing the dirty secrets of a global counterterrorism campaign that largely relies on rapidly proliferating drone technology. Announced on Thursday in London, it's the first international inquiry into the drone program, and one that carries the imprimatur of the world body... Accountability, Emmerson tells Danger Room in a Monday phone interview, "is the central purpose of the report." He's not shying away from the possibility of digging up evidence of "war crimes," should the facts point in that direction.

Panel approves nomination of Sen. John Kerry

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

Panel approves nomination of Sen. John Kerry 29 Jan 2013 The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved President Barack Obama's nomination of Sen. John Kerry to be the next secretary of state. The nomination now moves to the full Senate, which is expected to act swiftly on the choice. Obama chose the five-term Massachusetts senator and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is stepping down after four years.

Israel boycotts UNHRC rights examination session

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

Israel boycotts UNHRC rights examination session 29 Jan 2013 Tel Aviv has boycotted a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) review, which is taking place in the Swiss city of Geneva to examine Israel's violations of Palestinians' rights. The UNHRC is reviewing Israel's human rights records on Tuesday as part of the Universal Periodic Review process. Tel Aviv is not a member of the Council, but is required to undergo UPR like all UN members. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which is held once every four years, was established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 to examine human rights records of the United Nations' members.

Pay Still High at Bailed-Out Companies, Report Says

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

Pay Still High at Bailed-Out Companies, Report Says 29 Jan 2013 Top executives at firms that received taxpayer bailouts during the financial crisis continue to receive generous government-approved compensation packages, a Treasury watchdog said in a report released on Monday. The report comes from the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the bank bailout law passed at the end of the George W. Bush administration. The watchdog, commonly called Sigtarp, found that 68 out of 69 executives at Ally Financial, the American International Group and General Motors received annual compensation of $1 million or more, with the Treasury’s signoff.

U.S. Income Inequality Worse Than Many Latin American Countries

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. Income Inequality Worse Than Many Latin American Countries 29 Jan 2013 Latin America has long been viewed as a region plagued by some of the worst wealth inequality in the world. But in recent years, those figures have turned around, while in the United States income inequality is on the rise. Adam Isacson, analyst for the Washington Office on Latin America, notes the change on his blog. According to recent figures on income published by the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the U.S. income gap now exceeds that of several countries.

Mali: British troops to support French military

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

Mali: British troops to support French military 29 Jan 2013 Britain is offering support for the French military operation in Mali with up to 200 troops to be deployed to Africa to support the training of an intervention force. Up to 200 British military personnel will be deployed to Africa to help train an intervention force for Mali, Downing Street has confirmed as the UK's involvement in the conflict to drive out 'Islamist militants' deepens. The Prime Minister's official spokesman has confirmed that the troops will be in addition to the up to 40 personnel Britain is deploying to contribute to a European Union training mission inside Malian.

Sandy Hook: Officers encountered 'several individuals' as they approached scene

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

Sandy Hook: Officers encountered 'several individuals' as they approached scene --Investigative report into shooting will not be finished until 'at least June' [Right, say... 5:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, heading into the July 4th holiday weekend?] 26 Jan 2013 There are references to other people outside the school when the shooting started. One officer says at 9:41:22 that "I've got him proned out," indicating he is arresting someone. Other media reports have indicated this was a man who had a child at the school, wand he was headed to that class when the shooting started. [?] But the shooting was not over for long. About 50 seconds later, another caller indicates they can still hear shooting and that they saw "two shadows running outside past the gym," which is in the rear of the school. Newtown Police Lt. George Stinko said some people were detained initially as police got to the scene that was rapidly unfolding... At 9:51, the records indicate police found [Adam] Lanza's body. Police found his car at 10:05 a.m. when an officer asked a dispatcher to run the license plate 872YEO. The car, a black Honda Civic, belongs to Nancy Lanza, according to Department of Motor Vehicle records. Police later found a shotgun in the trunk. [So, the dead guy returned his (apparently unused) weapon to the trunk of the car. Ok, got it. Note: This summary is from an article published in The Hartford Courant, 'Records: Massacre Lasted 6 Minutes,' by Dave Altimari, 26 January 2013. An online version of the full article, for some reason, is unavailable. Hence, there is no 'link' to the original. --Lori Price, www.legitgov.org]

U.S. Weighs Base for Drones In North Africa

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. Weighs Base for Drones In North Africa 29 Jan 2013 The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region. For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the 'threat' worsens. If approved, the base could ultimately have as many as 300 United States military and contractor personnel, military officials said.

Doctor Shot, Killed at Southern Calif. Office

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

Doctor Shot, Killed at Southern Calif. Office 29 Jan 2013 Police found a doctor dead from multiple gunshot wounds Monday in an examination room of a Southern California medical office, and took a suspect into custody in the same room, authorities said. Police received reports at about 2:45 p.m. of six or seven shots fired at the medical office near Hoag Hospital in Orange County, Newport Beach police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe said. Officers responding found a man dead from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso in a patient examination room on the building's second floor, Lowe said. They took into custody another man in the room.

TARP Pay Czar Permitted Excessive Executive Pay at Bailed-Out Companies: Report

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

TARP Pay Czar Patricia Geoghegan Permitted Excessive Executive Pay at Bailed-Out Companies: Report 28 Jan 2013 Top executives at three major companies that received taxpayer-financed bailouts received excessively generous pay packages last year, in an apparent violation of Treasury guidelines aimed at restricting their compensation, a government watchdog asserted in a report Monday. The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Trouble Asset Relief Program -- which keeps tabs on taxpayer bailouts -- singled out for blame "pay czar" Patricia Geoghegan, the Treasury official tasked with reining in excessive pay increases for executives at bailed-out companies. The SIGTARP report directly questioned Geoghegan's judgment in ignoring directives set by her predecessor as well as recommendations from a previous report, saying she accepted companies' own justifications for high executive pay. [Thanks, Obusha!]

Congress passes $50.5B Superstorm Sandy aid bill

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

Congress passes $50.5B Superstorm Sandy aid bill 28 Jan 2013 Three months after Superstorm Sandy ravaged coastal areas in much of the Northeast, Congress on Monday sent a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for storm victims to President Barack Obama for his signature. Despite opposition from conservatives concerned about adding billions of dollars more to the nation's debt, the Senate cleared the long-delayed bill, 62-36, after House Republicans had stripped it earlier this month of spending unrelated to disasters. All 36 votes against the bill were from Republican senators.

F-16 Fighter Jet Missing Over Adriatic Sea

January 29, 2013 by legitgov

F-16 Fighter Jet Missing Over Adriatic Sea 29 Jan 2013 The US Air Force has begun a search operation after losing contact with a fighter jet during a training mission off the coast of Italy. The headquarters of the 31st Fighter Wing, at Aviano Air Base in Italy, issued a brief statement saying the F-16 fighter had one pilot aboard when contact was lost over the Adriatic Sea. Italy's Coast Guard confirmed it was helping in the search-and-rescue effort.

Libor Lies Revealed in Rigging of $300 Trillion Benchmark

January 28, 2013 by legitgov

Libor Lies Revealed in Rigging of $300 Trillion Benchmark 28 Jan 2013 Paul White, who had joined Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in 1984, was one of the employees responsible for the firm's submissions for the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, the global benchmark for more than $300 trillion of contracts from mortgages and student loans to interest-rate swaps. Behind him sat Neil Danziger, a derivatives trader who had worked at the bank since 2002. On the morning of March 27, 2008, Tan Chi Min, Danziger's boss in Tokyo, told him to make sure the next day's submission in yen would increase, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its March issue. "We need to bump it way up high, highest among all if possible," Tan, who was known by colleagues as Jimmy, wrote in an instant message to Danziger, according to a transcript made public by a Singapore court and reported on by Bloomberg before being sealed by a judge at RBS's request. [The scaffolds and nooses need to be 'way up high, highest among all if possible.']

Preserve CIA prisons as evidence, lawyers for September 11 suspects ask

January 28, 2013 by legitgov

Preserve CIA prisons as evidence, lawyers for September 11 suspects ask 28 Jan 2013 Lawyers for five alleged conspirators who attacked America on September 11 and say they were tortured in secret CIA prisons have asked a U.S. military judge to order that the prisons be preserved as evidence. The issue is one of more than two dozen on the docket for a week of pretrial hearings that began on Monday in the war crimes tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. Defense lawyers also have asked the judge to order the U.S. government to turn over all White House or Justice Department documents authorizing the CIA to move suspected 'al Qaeda' captives across borders without judicial review and hold and interrogate them in secret prisons after the [Bush-Cheney-Giuliani-'Lucky Larry' Silverstein-Rice-engendered] September 11 attacks.

Pentagon approves 'major expansion' of cybersecurity force

January 28, 2013 by legitgov

Pentagon approves 'major expansion' of cybersecurity force --Cyber Command, with about 900 personnel, of expand to include 4,900 troops and civilians 27 Jan 2013 The Pentagon has approved a major expansion of its cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold to bolster the nation’s ability to defend critical computer systems and conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries, according to U.S. officials. The move, requested by the head of the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, is part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force. The plan raises deeper issues -- which are likely to intensify as the Cyber Command grows over the years -- about how closely the command should be aligned with the National Security Agency, the giant electronic-spying agency that provides much of its intelligence support.

Former CIA officer: Jail sentence a 'badge of honor'

January 28, 2013 by legitgov

Former CIA officer: Jail sentence a 'badge of honor' 28 Jan 2013 A federal judge has sentenced former CIA officer John Kiriakou to 30 months in jail, making him the first officer to be sent to jail for leaking classified secrets. NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports on the case and Kiriakou says he leaked the information to speak out against torture, calling himself a "whistleblower." (Video, including NBC interview with John Kiriakou)

Israel using deadly force on unarmed protesters, watchdog says

January 28, 2013 by legitgov

Israel using deadly force on unarmed protesters, watchdog says 27 Jan 2013 Israel is breaking its own rules of engagement by using deadly force to disperse unarmed Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli rights group B'Tselem reported on Monday. Israeli forces have killed 56 people since 2005 in clashes with rock-throwing Palestinians, said B'Tselem, which accused the military of having "extensively and systematically violated" rules barring deadly retaliation for non-lethal assault. "The Israeli military's standing orders explicitly state that live ammunition may not be fired at stone-throwers," it said.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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