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Attorney General Secretly Granted Government Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on U.S. Citizens

December 15, 2012 by legitgov

Attorney General Secretly Granted Government Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on U.S. Citizens 14 Dec 2012 In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report. Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder granted the center the ability to copy entire government databases holding information on flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and other data, and to store it for up to five years, even without suspicion that someone in the database has committed a crime, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story. Whereas previously the law prohibited the center from storing data compilations on U.S. citizens unless they were suspected of terrorist activity or were relevant to an ongoing terrorism investigation, the new powers give the center the ability to not only collect and store vast databases of information but also to trawl through and analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior in order to uncover activity that could launch an investigation.

U.S. bombings in Gulf War released plume of sarin gas that wind blew to American troops - study

December 15, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. bombings in Gulf War released plume of sarin gas that wind blew to American troops - study 14 Dec 2012 U.S. bombings of Iraqi munitions factories in January 1991 released a plume of sarin gas that traveled more than 300 miles to affect American troops in Saudi Arabia, although military officials claimed at the time that chemical alarms triggered by the gas were false, a study released today shows. The Jan. 18, 1991, bombings of the munitions plants in Nasiriyah and Khamisiya blew a plume of sarin gas high above a layer of cold, still air -- also called the boundary level -- and into a swift wind stream that carried the gas to Saudi Arabia, said the study conducted by researchers Robert Haley and James Tuite and published in the journal Neuroepidemiology. The gas plumes, the researchers said, can be blamed for symptoms of Gulf War illness, the mysterious ailment that has affected more than 250,000 veterans of the war.

Principal and school psychologist were killed 'execution style' - CT shooting

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Principal and school psychologist were killed 'execution style' - CT shooting 14 Dec 2012 According to Rabbi Shaul Praver, Newtown, the school principal and psychologist were killed 'execution style,' before the gunman shot others at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (MSNBC)

Second man wearing camouflage led out of woods in handcuffs, said 'I did not do it'

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Second man wearing camouflage led out of woods in handcuffs, said 'I did not do it' --27 Dead, Including 20 Children, In Elementary School Shooting 14 Dec 2012 The Associated Press quoted an official as saying the suspected gunman drove to the school in his mother's car. Another law enforcement source earlier told CBS News that a Sig Sauer, a Glock 9 and a Bushmaster [high-powered military] rifle were found at the scene. Preliminary information showed that [Adam] Lanza purchased the weapons legally. CBS News reports that a potential second suspect was in custody and that SWAT was investigating the home of the suspect. It was not known if that alleged second suspect fired any of the shots in the massacre. A witness tells WFSB-TV that a second man was taken out of the woods in handcuffs wearing a black jacket and camouflage pants and telling parents on the scene, "I did not do it."

Shooter carrying other person's ID, left 2 more guns in car

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Curiouser and curiouser: Shooter carrying other person's ID, left 2 more guns in car --'We're drilling all the time, practicing all the time for these events' -Mayor of Danbury, CT --'New school safety measures' had been implemented--and yet, a man dressed in military garb will a bullet-proof vest gained entrance? --CT State Police: Bomb squad brought in --Shooting took place at three diffrerent locations inside the school 14 Dec 2012

Shooter wore military garb, carried three guns

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Shooter wore military garb, carried three guns --Shooter found shot to death --Lanza family member found dead in Newtown, CT -- 2nd man was in a van nearby, but police said that the second individual was not connected to shooting --'State Police confirm that one shooter is dead. A second gunman is apparently at large, sources told ABC News.' 14 Dec 2012

Gunman's parent found fatally shot at home in NJ, hours before mass shooting in CT

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Gunman's parent found fatally shot at home in NJ, hours before mass shooting in CT --Second person seen at time of shooting, was detained. 'Reports of second shooter [aka the 'handler'] 'seem to be fading.' [They always do.] --Gunman carrying Glock and Sig Sauer --Reports: Gunamn was wearing all black and a bullet-proof vest 14 Dec 2012 (NBC, wires) In Connecticut, main school doors are locked when school is in session, so the question remains how the shooter [dressed all in black, mind you] was allowed to enter the building. Witness: Police were everywhere, in every corner with guns.

At least 27 killed in Newtown, CT school shooting; second person in custody

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

At least 27 killed in Newtown, CT school shooting; second person in custody --Students were told by authorities to 'line up and cover their eyes' --Several students and staff are dead --Shooter found dead on scene --Second person is in custody --Gunman, age 20, was wearing all black --In CT, main school doors are locked when school is in session, so the question remains how the shooter [dressed all in black, mind you] was allowed to enter the building. CT State Police: 'Great deal of search warrant activity' underway --School and Danbury, CT, hospital with three injured, was placed on lockdown as a 'precaution' --FBI on scene --Shooting heard over school intercom --House being searched of second suspect --Officials 'not commenting' on second shooter --2nd deadliest school shooting in US history, VA Tech was first --'Police were in every corner, with guns' 14 Dec 2012 A gunman opened fire at a Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday, shooting dozens of people, NBC has learned. WNBC has confirmed that the shooter is dead. Where this occurred was not immediately clear. According to NBC News, the shooter was an adult, and two handguns were recovered. No information has been released on the shooter, but NBC said it appears that the shooter was living in Connecticut and was might have originally been from New Jersey. (NBC, wires)

Panetta signs order to deploy Patriot missiles, 400 troops to Turkey

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Panetta signs order to deploy Patriot missiles, 400 troops to Turkey 14 Dec 2012 The United States will deploy Patriot missile shield system and 400 troops to Turkey following the announcement of a similar move by Germany. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has signed orders to authorize the plan, The New York Times reported on Friday. The US will provide two out of six Patriot missile batteries to Turkey while Germany and the Netherlands will each contribute two.

Susan Rice drops bid to be next secretary of state

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Susan Rice drops bid to be next secretary of state 14 Dec 2012 Susan Rice, the embattled United Nations ambassador, abruptly withdrew herself from consideration Thursday to be the next secretary of state after a bitter, weeks-long standoff with Republican senators who declared they would vigorously fight her nomination. The announcement makes Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, the likely choice to be the nation's next top diplomat when Hillary Rodham Clinton departs. Support for Rice had been waning.

Terrorism-related arrests rise by 60%

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Terrorism-related arrests rise by 60% 13 Dec 2012 Official figures show that arrests for suspected terrorism offences rose by 60% in the last year, but that a new stop and search power granted to officers was not used once. The new power under section 47a of the Terrorism Act 2000 came into effect in March 2011, as a replacement for a previous stop and search power which was seen as too random and was struck down by the courts. Previously section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allowed searches to be carried out without reasonable suspicion.

Japan largely excludes foreign firms in Fukushima's 30-year clean-up

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Japan largely excludes foreign firms in Fukushima's 30-year clean-up 13 Dec 2012 Nearly two years after disasters caused meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan is failing to keep a pledge to tap global expertise to decommission its crippled reactors, executives at nuclear contractors from the United States and Europe say. The result, they warn, is that a process expected to take more than 30 years and cost at least $15 billion could take longer and cost more as contracts are channeled through domestic heavyweights such as nuclear reactor makers Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd, and general contractors such as Taisei Corp. A review of bidding records by Reuters shows companies from outside Japan have failed to win any of the 21 contracts awarded this year to develop technologies crucial for the unprecedented job of scrapping the four damaged reactors at Fukushima.

Drone Strikes Draw Congress's Ire Over Lack of White House Transparency

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Drone Strikes Draw Congress's Ire Over Lack of White House Transparency 13 Dec 2012 A rare congressional hearing into the use of unmanned drones for targeted killings drew bipartisan agreement over the White House's lack of transparency, even as lawmakers rejected a measure that would require the administration to share more data about drone strikes with Congress. The House Judiciary Committee hearing was held on Thursday to discuss a resolution put forward by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) that would order the White House to turn over to Congress all documents related to the government's targeted killing program. Lawmakers have joined the press and civil liberties groups in expressing frustration with how difficult it has been to pry information out of the White House about the process or legal basis for approving drone strikes.

Report finds harsh CIA interrogations ineffective

December 14, 2012 by legitgov

Report finds harsh CIA interrogations ineffective 13 Dec 2012 After a contentious closed-door vote, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a long-awaited report Thursday concluding that harsh interrogation measures torture used by the CIA did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs, officials said. The 6,000-page document, which was not released to the public, was adopted by Democrats over the objections of most of the committee's Republicans. The outcome reflects the level of partisan friction that continues to surround the CIA's use of waterboarding and other severe interrogation techniques four years after they were banned.

Pakistan, Afghanistan moving ahead on peace plan that cuts U.S. peace role

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Pakistan, Afghanistan moving ahead on peace plan that cuts U.S. peace role 12 Dec 2012 Afghanistan and Pakistan are moving ahead quickly with a new Afghan government plan that envisions peace with the Taliban by 2015, holding a summit in Turkey and working with the United States and Britain on streamlining the U.N. terrorist blacklisting system so that Afghan insurgents can be given safe passage for direct negotiations with Kabul. Negotiations on the blacklisting procedures, which have been taking place in New York ahead of a vote to renew the U.N. system before it expires next week, could effectively give legal space and international legitimacy to the Taliban’s political wing.

Obama Accepts Rice's Withdrawal

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Obama Accepts Rice's Withdrawal 13 Dec 2012 President Barack Obama on Thursday said he accepted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's withdrawal from consideration as secretary of state, following heavy criticism from some Republicans. "While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first," Mr. Obama said in a written statement released by the White House.

Liberals blast Susan Rice's 'outrageous' investments in Canadian pipeline firm

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Liberals blast Susan Rice's 'outrageous' investments in Canadian pipeline firm 30 Nov 2012 A liberal group launched an online petition Friday demanding that potential secretary of State nominee Susan Rice divest herself of "every dollar of stock" in the Canadian company seeking approval for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline to the Gulf Coast. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations owns between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada Corp. stock, according to her financial disclosure forms. The pipeline needs approval from the State Department before it can go forward.

Venezuelan government says Hugo Chavez suffered complications from surgery, recovering

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Venezuelan government says Hugo Chavez suffered complications from surgery, recovering 13 Dec 2012 President Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba but was recovering from the complications, Venezuela's government said Thursday. Chavez suffered "bleeding that required the use of corrective measures" during Tuesday's surgery, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said, reading a government statement. It said those measures allowed for the "opportune control" of the bleeding.

Susan Rice withdraws name from consideration for Secretary of State

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Rice withdraws as secretary of state candidate 13 Dec 2012 Susan Rice, the embattled U.N. ambassador, abruptly withdrew from consideration to be the next secretary of state on Thursday after an ugly standoff with Republican senators who declared they would vigorously oppose her nomination. The move elevates Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry as the likely choice to be the nation's next top diplomat when Hillary Rodham Clinton departs soon. President Barack Obama accepted Rice's decision with a shot at Republicans.

CIA 'tortured and sodomised' terror suspect, European court rules

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

CIA 'tortured and sodomised' terror suspect, European court rules --Landmark European court of human rights brands CIA treatment of wrongly detained Khaled el-Masri as torture 13 Dec 2012 CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday. In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations. Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA "rendition team" at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan. It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.

UK PM criticized for secret trial plan

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

UK PM criticized for secret trial plan 13 Dec 2012 Campaigners for civil liberties have criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron for defending the Tory-led government's controversial plans for secret trials. Legal action charity Reprieve condemned the scheme to extend the use of secret hearings in courts, saying it was aimed at covering up Britain's role in torture. Cameron claimed in the Commons on Tuesday that it "will always be a judge that decides" whether to make a trial secret. Lawyers and campaigners warn that such controversial proposals would put the British government above the law.

Federal Reserve Announces Additional Asset Purchases

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Federal Reserve Announces Additional Asset Purchases 12 Dec 2012 The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) wrapped up a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, followed by a press briefing by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. According to The Associated Press, "the Federal Reserve will spend $45 billion a month to sustain an aggressive drive to keep long-term interest rates low. And it set a goal of keeping a key short-term rate near zero until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent." Bernanke told reporters at the briefing that the Federal Reserve intends to continue asset purchases until the employment situation improves.

Senate approves anti-abortion bills in Michigan

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Senate approves anti-abortion bills in Michigan 12 Dec 2012 The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate voted Wednesday to restrict and regulate abortion practices, including requiring a health professional to screen patients to ensure they aren't being forced to end pregnancies. The measures previously approved by the GOP-led House were approved by a 27-10 vote, mostly along party lines. The legislation returns to the House for its final review of changes before going to Republican Governor Rick Snyder.

Clackamas Town Center shooting: Police, mall workers trained earlier this year for shooting scenario

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Holy coincidence, Batman! Clackamas Town Center shooting: Police, mall workers trained earlier this year for shooting scenario --In late spring, several teams of sheriff's deputies worked with the Clackamas Town Center's unarmed security staff to put on a one-day training seminar during which they staged several 'active shooter' scenarios. --Following their agreed-upon plans, mall security officers placed the 1.4 million square-foot facility on lock-down, blocking the entrances. 12 Dec 2012 Six months before a lone gunman burst into Clackamas Town Center Tuesday, firing dozens of rounds into the crowds of shoppers, police and mall employees trained together for just such an emergency. Because of their similar training and shared goal of advancing toward and neutralizing the threat, officers from different agencies arrived "on the same page," though they came from the FBI, federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, Oregon State Police and police departments in Portland, Milwaukie, Gladstone, Oregon City, Canby, West Linn, Lake Oswego, Molalla, Sandy and Woodburn.

Iraq abuse inquiry was a 'cover-up', whistleblower tells court

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Iraq abuse inquiry was a 'cover-up', whistleblower tells court 11 Dec 2012 A former investigator into allegations that British troops abused Iraqi prisoners resigned because she did not want to be implicated in "a cover-up", the high court has heard. Louise Thomas, 45, left the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) in July because she thought it was not a genuine investigation but a "face-saving inquiry", she told the court on Tuesday. Her evidence came at a preliminary hearing in advance of a judicial review, expected next month, into the government's refusal to hold a public inquiry into allegations of mistreatment of Iraqis between 2003 and 2008.

U.S. to sell Israel munitions to renew stock after Operation Pillar of Defense

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. to sell Israel munitions to renew stock after Operation Pillar of Defense 11 Dec 2012 The United States will sell Israel munitions worth $647 million, in order to renew the inventory of the Israel Defense Forces following the massive bombings in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense. The deal will include the supply of 6,900 precision bomb kits to the Israel Air Force. The U.S. Department of Defense notified Congress of the sale on Monday. The deal states that the U.S. will supply Israel with some 6,900 Joint Attack Munitions tail kits, which convert regular bombs into "smart" munitions, which are guided by satellite and allow precise hits on targets.

Israel raids Palestinian NGO offices amid heightened tension

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Israel raids Palestinian NGO offices amid heightened tension 11 Dec 2012 Israeli soldiers raided the offices of three civil society organizations on Tuesday in the heart of Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Entering before dawn [as all fascists do], troops wrenched open the doors of the Women's Union, the Palestinian NGO Network and Addameer, an advocate for Palestinians in Israeli jails, confiscating five computers from the latter group.

Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations 10 Dec 2012 Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet. The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to The Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents. The use of the equipment raises serious questions about eavesdropping without a warrant, particularly since recordings of passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies. It also raises questions about security, since the IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server, and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.

Navy submariner jailed for Official Secrets Act breach

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Navy submariner jailed for Official Secrets Act breach 12 Dec 2012 A Royal Navy petty officer who offered nuclear submarine secrets to MI5 agents posing as Russian spies has been jailed for eight years. Edward Devenney, 30, originally from County Tyrone, gathered classified coding material after being passed over for promotion, the court was told. He had been "prepared to betray his country and his colleagues", said Mr Justice Saunders at the Old Bailey. Devenney admitted breaching the Official Secrets Act. He also admitted a charge of misconduct in a public office.

Police: Ore. mall shooter used stolen semiautomatic rifle

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Police: Ore. mall shooter used stolen semiautomatic rifle 12 Dec 2012 Police say the gunman who killed two people and himself in a shooting rampage at an Oregon mall was 22 years old and used a stolen rifle from someone he knew. Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts says that Jacob Tyler Roberts had armed himself with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and had several fully loaded magazines. Roberts says the rifle jammed during the attack, but he managed to get it working again.

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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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