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FBI director tells Congress agency uses drones for surveillance on U.S. soil

FBI director tells Congress agency uses drones for surveillance on U.S. soil 19 Jun 2013 FBI director Robert Mueller said Wednesday that the nation's top law enforcement bureau uses drones to conduct surveillance on U.S. soil, though only on a "very, very minimal basis." Mueller, the FBI director since 2001 who is set to retire this year, acknowledged that his agency uses drones in its investigative and law enforcement practices, and is further working to establish better guidelines [?!?] for the use of drones. The FBI director's words come amid a simmering national debate in recent months about what limits should be placed on the government in its law enforcement and anti-terrorism activities.

Afghan Taliban say they killed 4 US troops

Afghan Taliban say they killed 4 US troops 18 Jun 2013 The Taliban claimed responsibility Wednesday for an attack in Afghanistan that killed four American troops just hours after the insurgent group announced it would hold talks with the U.S. on finding a political solution to ending the nearly 12-year war in the country. The deadly attack underscores the challenges ahead in trying to end the violence roiling Afghanistan through peace negotiations in Qatar with militants still fighting on the ground.

Assange will not leave Ecuador embassy even if Sweden drops extradition bid

Assange will not leave Ecuador embassy even if Sweden drops extradition bid 18 Jun 2013 Julian Assange will not leave Ecuador's embassy even if Sweden drops its extradition bid over accusations of sexual assault, because he fears moves are already underway by the US to prosecute him on espionage charges, he has said. On the eve of the anniversary of his seeking asylum in the embassy in Knightsbridge, Assange said he believed a sealed indictment had already been lodged by a grand jury in Virginia, which could see him being arrested and extradited by Britain to the US to face prosecution over the WikiLeaks cable releases. "The strong view of my US lawyer is that there is already a sealed indictment, which means I would be arrested, unless the British government gave information or guarantees that would grant me safe passage," the WikiLeaks founder told a small group of news agencies.

1 in 9 U.S. bridges in need of repair

1 in 9 U.S. bridges in need of repair 19 Jun 2013 More than one in nine bridges in the USA -- at least 66,405, or 11% of the total -- are structurally deficient, according to a new report. These are not rarely used, out-of-the way structures: Each day, Americans take 260 million trips over structurally deficient bridges, says the report from Transportation for America, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition that works to improve transportation. The structurally deficient bridges are 65 years old on average, and the Federal Highway Administration estimates that repairing them would cost $76 billion. [Right, but the sociopaths in the US government would rather fund the Syrian rebel cannibals.]

Rep. Michael Burgess Says 15-Week-Old Male Fetuses Pleasure Themselves

Rep. Michael Burgess Says 15-Week-Old Male Fetuses Pleasure Themselves 18 Jun 2013 At what age do young boys begin sexual self-exploration? As early as 15 weeks in utero, according to Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas. "Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful," said Burgess, a former obstetrician-gynecologist. "They stroke their face. If they're a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?" The tea party congressman, 62, made the awkward argument during a House Rules Committee hearing today about H.R. bill 1797, which would ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization.

U.S. to launch formal peace talks with Taliban

U.S. to launch formal peace talks with Taliban 18 Jun 2013 The Obama administration will start formal peace talks with the Taliban on Thursday in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, the first direct political contact between them since early last year and the initial step in what the administration hopes will lead to a negotiated end to the protracted war in on Afghanistan. Afghan government representatives are not expected to attend the meeting. But U.S. officials said the United States wants to eventually hand over the process to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his appointed peace council.

House passes far-reaching anti-abortion bill

House passes far-reaching anti-abortion bill 18 Jun 2013 The Republican-led House on Tuesday passed a far-reaching anti-abortion bill that conservatives saw as a milestone in their 40-year campaign against legalized abortion and Democrats characterized as yet another example of a GOP war on women.  The legislation, sparked by the murder conviction of a Philadelphia late-term abortion provider, would restrict almost all abortions to the first 20 weeks after conception, defying laws in most states that allow abortions up to when the fetus becomes viable, usually considered to be around 24 weeks. It mirrors 20-week abortion ban laws passed by some states, and lays further groundwork for the ongoing legal battle that abortion foes hope will eventually result in forcing the Supreme Court to reconsider the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal.

NSA head, lawmakers defend surveillance programs

NSA head, lawmakers defend surveillance programs 18 Jun 2013 The head of the National Security Agency [General Keith Alexander] said U.S. surveillance programs had helped disrupt more than 50 possible attacks since September 11, 2001, as sympathetic members of Congress also defended the use of the top-secret spying operations. In the first public hearing dedicated to the programs since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed them this month, members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee showed little will on Tuesday to pursue significant reforms. Instead, both U.S. officials and lawmakers spent hours publicly justifying the phone and Internet monitoring programs as vital security tools and criticized Snowden's decision to leak documents about them to media outlets.

The F.B.I. Deemed Agents Faultless in 150 Shootings

The F.B.I. Deemed Agents Faultless in 150 Shootings 19 Jun 2013 After contradictory stories emerged about an F.B.I. agent's killing last month of a Chechen man in Orlando, Fla., who was being questioned over ties to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, the bureau reassured the public that it would clear up the murky episode. But if such internal investigations are time-tested, their outcomes are also predictable: from 1993 to early 2011, F.B.I. agents fatally shot about 70 "subjects" and wounded about 80 others -- and every one of those episodes was deemed justified, according to interviews and internal F.B.I. records obtained by The New York Times through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The last two years have followed the same pattern: an F.B.I. spokesman said that since 2011, there had been no findings of improper intentional shootings.

Reporter Michael Hastings dies at 33

Reporter Michael Hastings dies at 33 18 Jun 2013 Award-winning journalist Michael Hastings, best known for the Rolling Stone profile that led to Gen. Stanley McChrystal's retirement, died in a car accident early Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to his employers at Buzzfeed and Rolling Stone. He was 33. Hastings wrote "Runaway General," the 2010 Rolling Stone blockbuster story on Gen. Stanley McChrystal that ultimately led the general to step down from his position leading U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Civil rights groups sue NYPD over Muslim spying

Civil rights groups sue NYPD over Muslim spying 18 Jun 2013 The New York Police Department's widespread spying programs directed at Muslims have undermined free worship by innocent people and should be declared unconstitutional, religious leaders and civil rights advocates said Tuesday after the filing of a federal lawsuit. "Our mosque should be an open, religious and spiritual sanctuary, but NYPD spying has turned it into a place of suspicion and censorship," Hamid Hassan Raza, an imam named as a plaintiff, told a rally outside police headquarters shortly after the suit was filed in federal court in Brooklyn.

Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment

Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment 18 Jun 2013 Google asked the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it is forced to give the government. The legal filing, which invokes the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, is the latest move by the California-based tech giant to protect its reputation in the aftermath of news reports about far-reaching National Security Agency surveillance of Internet traffic. Revelations about the program, called PRISM, have opened fissures between U.S. officials and the involved companies, which have scrambled to reassure their users without violating strict rules against disclosing information that the government has classified as top-secret.

US deploys 1,500 Marines to Yemen: Yemeni official

US deploys 1,500 Marines to Yemen: Yemeni official 18 Jun 2013 The United States has deployed 1,500 Marines with advanced arms and military equipment to Yemen, says a Yemeni military official. Some 1,500 Marines were deployed to al-Anad military base in the country's southern province of Lahij, al-Sharea daily quoted the official as saying on Monday. Another 200 also arrived in the capital, Sana'a, to join the American forces already stationed in the capital's Sheraton Hotel. The official also said that American forces usually enter the country in small groups, but the recent large deployment could be in preparation for a possible imminent incident [aka US false flag] in the region.

Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre death certificates released

Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre death certificates released --Exact number of bullet wounds was not disclosed --The documents were made public only after a Freedom of Information Act request. 18 Jun 2013 All but two of the 26 students and staffers massacred in at Sandy Hook Elementary School died from "multiple gunshot wounds," according to death certificates released Tuesday. The death certificates were made public through the Freedom of Information Act after the Newtown Clerk's Office refused to give them up, citing privacy [?] for the victims' families.

Apartheid at NYU

CLG Exclusive: Apartheid at NYU by Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. www.legitgov.org 18 Jun 2013 Recent reports by The New York Times have disclosed details about the extravagant salaries, loans, loan forgiveness packages, parting gifts and other perks and benefits paid to top administrators and 'star' faculty in the law and medical schools at NYU...Reading these reports might lead one to believe that NYU is home to a coddled, handsomely rewarded faculty, a knot of wriggling leeches living lavishly on the future debts of its students. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

N.Y.U. Gives Its Stars Loans for Summer Homes

N.Y.U. Gives Its Stars Loans for Summer Homes 18 Jun 2013 Follow one of Fire Island's quaint footpaths away from the ferry dock, past modest cottages and better-appointed vacation homes, to an elegant modern beach house that extends across three lots... Its most interesting feature, however, is not architectural, but financial. The house, which is owned by John Sexton, the president [dirt-bag] of New York University, was bought with a $600,000 loan from an N.Y.U. foundation that eventually grew to be $1 million, according to Suffolk County land records. It is one of a number of loans that N.Y.U. has made to executives and star professors for expensive vacation homes in areas like East Hampton, Fire Island and Litchfield County, Conn., in what educational experts call a bold new frontier for lavish university compensation.

NORAD Exercise Planned for National Capital Region

Heads up! NORAD Exercise Planned for National Capital Region 17 Jun 2013 The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 13-09, between 11:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 18 and 5:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday, June 19, in the National Capital Region, Washington, D.C. The exercise is comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR's Eastern Air Defense Sector. Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD's intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System and certify newly assigned command and control personnel at JADOC.

Supreme Court says pre-Miranda silence can be used by prosecutors in court

Supreme Court says pre-Miranda silence can be used by prosecutors in court 17 Jun 2013 The Supreme Court says prosecutors can use a person's silence against them if it comes before he’s told of his right to remain silent. The 5-4 ruling comes in the case of Genovevo Salinas, who was convicted of a 1992 murder... The court decision was down its conservative/liberal split, with Alito's judgment joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.

Supreme Court hits drug companies' profit-sharing deals

Supreme Court hits drug companies' profit-sharing deals 17 Jun 2013 Profit-sharing deals between brand-name and generic drug companies that preserve patents and prevent competition can be challenged as anti-competitive, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The verdict was a victory for the federal government, which had contended that arrangements keeping generic drugs off the market benefited companies at the expense of consumers. But the court, in a 5-3 decision written by Justice Stephen Breyer, did not automatically strike down such deals between drug companies. It ruled that the government must apply a "rule of reason" and challenge each deal individually.

Kabul blast ahead of Afghanistan security handover

Kabul blast ahead of Afghanistan security handover 18 Jun 2013 A suicide attacker is believed to have targeted a prominent Afghan politician just as Nato formally hands over command of security responsibilities to Afghan forces. The bomb struck the convoy of Haji Mohammad Mohaqeq, the country's second vice-president and a leader of the Hazara ethnic minority, in west Kabul. Mr Mohaqeq was reportedly unhurt, but three people were killed and six injured.

Britam Defence leaked email: 'Syrian Issue'

Britam Defence leaked email: 'Syrian Issue' Posted by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 18 Jun 2013 The hacked Britam Defence email called 'Syrian Issue' from 24 Dec 2012 can be viewed here including email headers (.docx) and here (.jpg).

Edward Snowden Q&A: Dick Cheney traitor charge is 'the highest honor'

Edward Snowden Q&A: Dick Cheney traitor charge is 'the highest honor' --The whistleblower behind the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history answered your questions about the NSA surveillance revelations 17 Jun 2013 Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former NSA contractor and source of the Guardian's NSA files coverage will, with the help of Glenn Greenwald, take your questions today on why he revealed the NSA's top-secret surveillance of US citizens, the international storm that has ensued, and the uncertain future he now faces. Snowden, who has fled the US, told the Guardian he "does not expect to see home again", but where he'll end up has yet to be determined.

Scott blocks paid sick-time vote in Orange, statewide

Scott blocks paid sick-time vote in Orange, statewide 17 Jun 2013 Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday that would block local governments from enacting mandatory paid-sick-time measures, such as the one pending in Orange Count. The Republican governor [sociopath] sided with Walt Disney World [boycott], Darden Restaurants [boycott], the Florida Chamber of Commerce and a broad array of powerful business interests [ALEC-installed terrorists] that argued the ban was needed to avoid a patchwork of local employment rules for companies. The governor made the decision in rapid fashion. Scott's office took only four of the 15 days he had to legally review the bill before signing it -- which supporters said showed he wasn't concerned about potential political blow back from activists who called the measure an attack on the working class and women. [The war against the working class continues.]

NAACP protest ends with 84 arrests

NAACP protest ends with 84 arrests 17 Jun 2013 A protest led by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP led to the arrests of 84 people Monday at the state legislature in the seventh installment of the civil rights group's near-weekly demonstrations. Protesters and supporters railed against the health and environmental policies of the Republican-controlled legislature as well as claims from GOP leaders that they're disenchanted "outsiders." Police estimated a crowd attending a rally before the protests approached roughly 1,000 people.

Edward Snowden calls U.S. intelligence 'aggressively criminal'

Edward Snowden calls U.S. intelligence 'aggressively criminal' 17 Jun 2013 Edward Snowden, the former U.S. government contractor who leaked secret details of official surveillance programs, pledged Monday to release more information about U.S. intelligence-gathering methods that he described as "nakedly, aggressively criminal." "All I can say right now is the U.S. government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me," Snowden wrote in an online chat hosted by Britain's Guardian newspaper. "Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped." Writing from an undisclosed location believed to be in Hong Kong, the former CIA and National Security Agency systems administrator vigorously defended his disclosures about the breadth of U.S. surveillance, including programs that sweep up data about Americans' telephone calls, emails and Internet use.

U.S. says it will buy Russian helicopters for Afghan military

U.S. says it will buy Russian helicopters for Afghan military 17 Jun 2013 The Pentagon said on Monday it will spend $572 million to buy 30 Russian-built military helicopters that will be used by Afghan security forces. The Mi-17 helicopters will be used by Afghanistan's National Security Forces Special Mission Wing, which supports counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and special operations missions. The contract with Rosoboronexport, the Russian arms company, covers spare parts, test equipment and engineering support. The Pentagon said the work would be performed in Russia. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. [Obviously, this is a payoff for Russia's compliance with the US arming of 'rebels' after the US sent the chemical weapons to be used there. --MDR]

Bank of America former employees: 'We were told to lie'

Bank of America former employees: 'We were told to lie' 17 Jun 2013 Bank of America routinely denied qualified borrowers a chance to modify their loans to more affordable terms and paid cash bonuses to bank staffers for pushing homeowners into foreclosure, according to affidavits filed last week in a Massachusetts lawsuit. "We were told to lie to customers," said Simone Gordon, who worked in the bank's loss mitigation department until February 2012. "Site leaders regularly told us that the more we delayed the HAMP [loan] modification process, the more fees Bank of America would collect." In sworn testimony, six former employees describe what they saw behind the scenes of an often opaque process that has frustrated homeowners, their attorneys and housing counselors.

US government identifies men on Guantanamo 'indefinite detainee' list

US government identifies men on Guantánamo 'indefinite detainee' list 17 Jun 2013 The US government has finally released the names of 46 men being held in Guantánamo under the classification of "indefinite detainees" – terror suspects deemed too dangerous to release or move yet impossible to try in a civilian or even military court for reasons of inadequate or tainted [aka illegally obtained via torture] evidence. The list of the 46 detainees prisoners was released to the Miami Herald and New York Times following a freedom of information requests from the papers as part of the list of the 166 current captives in Guantánamo that has been released for the first time. The list contains, according to the Miami Herald, 26 Yemenis, 12 Afghans, three Saudis, two Kuwaitis and Libyans, a Kenyan, Moroccan and a Somali. There were two "indefinite detainees", both Afghans, who have died in the camp, one [allegedly] by suicide, one [allegedly] of a heart attack.

Feds won't budge on public access to drone legal memos

Feds won't budge on public access to drone legal memos [Just hack them - problem solved.] 17 Jun 2013 The public has no right to examine classified Justice Department legal opinions on the so-called "targeted killing" of Americans and foreigners, even though President Barack Obama recently acknowledged that the U.S. used drones to kill alleged 'Al Qaeda' operative Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Obama Administration argued in a legal brief filed Friday. The brief argues that the official declassification, which also included the acknowledgement that three other American citizens have died in such operations outside active combat zones, "should not affect (or be relevant to)" the appeals court's review of a district court judge's ruling that legal memoranda sought by the New York Times and the ACLU were exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

Ted Cruz amendment would allow voter ID

Ted Cruz amendment would allow voter ID 17 Jun 2013 Ted Cruz didn't wait long to mount a legislative response to the Supreme Court's ruling against Arizona's voter registration rule. An amendment submitted by the Texas senator (R) on Monday afternoon to the Senate’s immigration bill would "permit states to require proof of citizenship for registration to vote in elections for federal office." Cruz's measure would amend the National Voter Registration Act.

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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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