Jun 122012



By Emptywheel

SCOTUS has just declined to take all seven of the pending Gitmo habeas corpus petitions, including Latif and Uthman.

This effectively kills habeas corpus.

Consider what SCOTUS just blessed:

  • Holding a person indefinitely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time–including a school, a road, and a guest house–where suspect people are.
  • Holding a person indefinitely based on an admittedly error-ridden report the government wrote up itself.
  • Holding a person indefinitely based on pattern analysis.
  • Completely upending the role of District Court judges in the fact-finding process.

READ @ http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/06/11/scotus-kills-habeas-corpus/



Source: youtube

Currently there are approximately 400,000 people on the United States’ consolidated terrorist watch list and 6,000 are on the no-fly list, which means flying in American airspace is prohibited for a pretty big chunk of the country. Some people have been placed on that list just for having a name comparable to someone who is being watched by the US government. Jonathan Corbett, president for Fourten Technologies, joins us to discuss how fair this practice actually is.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QRqWhJvgLGo



By emptywheel

I guess we should be grateful the Customs and Border Patrol simply mismanages its fleet of 9–soon to be 10–drones, each costing $18M apiece. (h/t Kevin Gosztola, who tweeted a report of this) After all, the massive drone that went down in a marsh in Maryland yesterday cost $176M, and it’s surely still burning up.

But I couldn’t help but think that that money could have been spent on around 3,500 teachers, for a far greater benefit to this country.

The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General says the problem with CPB’s drone program is mismanagement. But that’s mostly because the drones aren’t used as much as the bean counters think they should be–just 29% of the flight hours planned.

CBP has not achieved its scheduled nor desired levels of flight hours of its unmanned aircraft. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) estimates that, based on the contract performance specifications, seven UASs should support 10,662 flight hours per year to meet the mission availability threshold (minimum capability) and 13,328 flight hours to meet the mission availability objective (desired capability). However, resource shortfalls of qualified staff and equipment coupled with restrictions imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration, weather, host airfields, and others have resulted in CBP scheduling just 7,336 flight hours for its seven unmanned aircraft and limited actual flight hours to 3,909 hours. This usage represents 37 percent of the unmanned aircraft’s mission availability threshold and 29 percent of its mission availability objective. Despite the current underutilization of unmanned aircraft, CBP received two additional aircraft in late 2011 and was awaiting delivery of a tenth aircraft in 2012. […]

READ @ http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/06/12/356-million-in-drone-failure/



By Alex Thomas, TheIntelHub

[…] In a recently published op-ed, Andrew Napolitano outlined the fact that once the military identifies something of interest they can apply to a military commander for permission to conduct searches of American property and or citizens which in turn is a form of martial law.

“It gets worse. If the military personnel see something of interest from a drone, they may apply to a military judge or “military commander” for permission to conduct a physical search of the private property that intrigues them. And, any “incidentally acquired information” can be retained or turned over to local law enforcement.

What’s next? Prosecutions before military tribunals in the U.S,” wrote Napolitano.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also publicly commented on the fact that the Air Force is now openly recording information on the American people in domestic situations.

“We’ve seen in some records that were released by the Air Force just recently, that under their rules, they are allowed to fly drones in public areas and record information on domestic situations,” explained Jennifer Lynch, of the EFF.

Madison Ruppert, writing for EndtheLie.com, detailed the broad exceptions to a guideline that is supposed to limit the military from non-consensual surveillance.

While the U.S. Air Force’s guidelines claim that drones are not allowed to carry out “non-consensual surveillance” on U.S. citizens or property, there are plenty of exceptions to this allowing such surveillance to occur.

Some of these many exceptions outlined in the Air Force documents include:

– Investigating or preventing clandestine intelligence activities by foreign powers, international narcotics activities, or international terrorist activities

– Protecting DoD employees, information, property and facilities

– Preventing, detecting or investigating other violations of law

Seems pretty broad, doesn’t it? “Other violations of law” leaves the door wide open for the drones to be used for just about everything. After all, jaywalking is a violation of law. Does this mean that if a drone captures someone jaywalking, the use of military drones in U.S. airspace is somehow justified?

That’s right, the Air Force now has the authority to carry out drone surveillance on American citizens for essentially any violation of law. […]

READ @ http://theintelhub.com/2012/06/07/u-s-air-force-set-to-be-deployed-inside-u-s-to-collect-data-and-search-citizens/



By Mark Johnson, StopNATO

It was big enough, the gathering of more than 10,000 anti-war and peace activists on the streets of Chicago, marching toward McCormick Place, led by a squadron of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who would return their service medals by flinging them over the barricades, to mark a further shift in public opinion about the United States longest wars. A clear majority oppose them and want the troops brought home now. We have articulated the moral issues and the moral wrong of warring nations. 

It was big enough, the gathering of police and militia, lining three miles of boulevard and main streets often three deep or deeper, in uniforms of many colors, with batons and shields and masks, on foot, horseback, bicycle (the synchronized bicycle brigades were quite coordinated and lovely), supported by cars and vans and buses, whole flotilla of buses, hovering helicopters, and cameras in the hands of officers, on lamp posts, in the sky to fully frame the State’s fear of resistance. The police came from every State bordering on Illinois and from North Carolina (DNC) and Florida (RNC). The right to assembly, for free speech, and petition of grievances, was asserted and affirmed. It was never in question but it was challenged by the powers that be and they lost.

It was big enough, the some thousand people who gathered over two weekends in two large educational events, the People’s Summit and the Counter-Summit, to hear speakers and conduct workshops, to explore the broad range of impacts of the wars and the long-lingering alliance of NATO nations and the G8 powers on economies, societies, politics, environments, cultures around the world, none of it good. They brought together nurses and doctors, students and teachers, trade-unionists and small business owners, families and children, immigrants and visitors from around the world. Herein lies, for me, the central learning of the nearly nine months of planning that gave birth to this expressed intent to educate and advocate for a different future, a NATO Free Future. […]

READ @ http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-nato/



By Vijay Prashad, Information Clearing House

Back in January Faiz Fathi Jfara of Bani Walid asked a simple question, “I just need an answer from NATO: why did you destroy my home and kill my family?” NATO refuses to answer him.

NATO went to war in Libya to protect civilians through a U.N. mandate (Resolution 1973). Given legitimacy by the U.N. Human Rights Council and by the International Criminal Court, NATO began its ten thousand sorties. It quickly exceeded the U.N. mandate, moving for regime change using immense violence. All attempts to find a peaceful solution were blocked. The African Union’s high-level panel was prevented from entering Libya as the NATO barrage began.

Several influential countries, including Russia and China, have asked for an evaluation of Resolution 1973 since late last year. They want to know if NATO exceeded its mandate. […]

[…] A Human Rights Watch report entitled Unacknowledged Deaths: Civilian Casualties in NATO’s Air Campaign in Libya released on May 14 revisits the theme of an investigation. When HRW was doing its work, it wrote to NATO requesting answers to some of its questions. NATO’s Richard Froh (Deputy Secretary General of Operations) responded on March 1 that NATO had already answered the U.N.’s Commission of Inquiry (which it actually had not) and that HRW should see those “detailed comments to the Commission, which we understand will be published in full as part of that report. We encourage you to consider these comments when drafting your own report.” It was a brush off. Because NATO refused to cooperate, HRW could only look at eight sites (out of ten thousand sorties). From this limited sample, HRW verified the killing of 72 civilians, with half of them under the age of 18. NATO’s silence led HRW to conclude, “NATO has failed to acknowledge these casualties or to examine how and why they occurred.”

The scandal here is that NATO, a military alliance, refuses any civilian oversight of its actions. It operated under a U.N. mandate and yet refuses to allow a U.N. evaluation of its actions. NATO, in other words, operates as a rogue military entity, outside the bounds of the prejudices of democratic society. The various human rights reports simply underlie the necessity of a formal and independent evaluation of NATO’s actions in Libya. […]

READ @ http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31550.htm




Police officers in Indiana are upset over a new law allowing residents to use deadly force against public servants, including law enforcement officers, who unlawfully enter their homes. It was signed by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels in March. The first of its kind in the United States, the law was adopted after the state Supreme Court went too far in one of its rulings last year, according to supporters. The court had ruled that there was “no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.”

READ @ http://www.legitgov.org/Indiana-First-State-Allow-Citizens-Shoot-Law-Enforcement-Officers



By Binyamin Appelbaum, NYTimes

The recent economic crisis left the median American family in 2010 with no more wealth than in the early 1990s, erasing almost two decades of accumulated prosperity, the Federal Reserve said Monday.

A hypothetical family richer than half the nation’s families and poorer than the other half had a net worth of $77,300 in 2010, compared with $126,400 in 2007, the Fed said. The crash of housing prices directly accounted for three-quarters of the loss.

Families’ income also continued to decline, a trend that predated the crisis but accelerated over the same period. Median family income fell to $45,800 in 2010 from $49,600 in 2007. All figures were adjusted for inflation. […]

READ @ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/business/economy/family-net-worth-drops-to-level-of-early-90s-fed-says.html?_r=1&hp



Source: youtube

Agenda 21 is actually part of a UN program of depopulation. The elite like to refer to it as “eugenics”. Either term means the same thing. The billionaire elitists of the world that have been stealing from us since the Federal Reserve was born in 1913, and League of Nations 6 years later which became the UN, put money into the hands of 13 rich families. These families that make up the privately owned Federal Reserve then eliminated the gold and silver backing of America’s money and enacted fiat currency. 9 out of 10 people in America have no idea the Federal Reserve isn’t part of the government, but a scam by billionaire bankers concocted on Jekkyl Island in 1913. Google “Eustace Mullins” and “G. Edward Griffin” for all you need to know. Mullin’s book on the Fed was the 1st book burned in Germany after WW2 ended. They explain it better than anyone. Especially Mullins, who is one of few American authors to have the government burn his books joining other esteemed authors, scientists, and inventors such as Nicola Tesla and Wilhelm Reich. .And we all know what a genius Tesla was! Still today, a 100 years after his inventions, scientists are still catching up and doing a bad job of “learning on the fly” you might say. And to think Tesla , despite being one of the most brilliant geniuses in history, was gullible enough to believe his intentions to provide free energy to everyone would come true. Can you imagine how the past 80 years would have been like without our having to depend on oil, coal, and nuclear energy??

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KqJQfDik4g



By Nicos Devletoglou, Forbes

Europe owes a lot to Greece.  Not least for the inspiration that it has drawn pursuing human excellence throughout history to emerge as probably the most civilized part of the world, but perhaps still more for actually remaining free to this day through its heroic stand against Germany’s unprovoked aggression during the Second World War.

Yet a humanitarian disaster threatens to unfold in Greece as a direct result of the generally confrontational and even at times destabilizing tactics, nurtured mainly in Brussels over the past two years, in response to Greece’s internal economic crisis.  Wrong in principle, these tactics have seriously compromised the dignity of the Greek people.  Few see the irony in the loose talk and rampant bad publicity about the possibility of Greece exiting the Eurozone: the Grexit, as the problem is now called, has been mostly of Europe’s own making all along.

The Greek people face dire circumstances, including massive unemployment, cruel cuts in salaries and pensions, and great pressure from close to 100,000 “redundancies” in the precipitously contracting public sector.  These austerity measures, among many others, all are imposed by the EU, the IMF and the ECB under the terms of the Troika’s two very controversial memoranda.  Significantly more damaging, however, is the fact that the number of Greek immigrants has nearly doubled, including the “young blood” of Greece.  For example, in 2011 alone some 24,000 highly educated and talented Greeks left their country for Germany.  This loss of human capital is paralleled by capital flight, as a quickening rhythm of cash withdrawals has been lately systemically weakening an already fragile Greek banking system as Greeks seek “safer” havens for their funds abroad. […]

READ @ http://greekcurrent.com/europe-seems-ready-to-apply-growth-policies-everywhere-except-in-greece/



By Washington’s Blog

The market rallied for a couple of hours on news of the $100 billion dollar Spanish bailout (which everyone is calling the Spailout) … and then crashed.

Bloomberg notes:

U.S. stocks fell, following the biggest weekly rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year, as optimism over Spain’s bailout plan gave way to skepticism it will succeed in halting the debt crisis.


“The Spanish deal is another Band-Aid,” said Matt McCormick, who helps oversee $6.2 billion at Bahl & Gaynor Inc. in Cincinnati. He spoke in a telephone interview. “Many investors are viewing this with skepticism. The problem is not going to be fixed by this amount. It’s not a solution, and people know the difference. Expect more volatility not less.”

CNBC writes:

Stocks accelerated their selloff in the final minutes of trading to close down more than 1 percent across the board Monday, as initial euphoria over Spain’s bank bailout fizzled and amid ongoing fears over a global economic slowdown.


“A lot of people were concerned over the size of the bailout—we were expecting something closer to 150-200 billion [euros] and we only got 100 billion,” said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker at RJO Futures. “So once traders started to digest [the news], they started to take profit or sell into that rally because they think that in another 3 to 6 months, Spain’s going to have to come back and ask for additional money.” […]

[…] While it is tempting to assume that the Eurozone bailouts mean that creditor nations which have managed their economies well and saved huge amounts of excess reserves which they lend out, Sean Corrigon points out that the European bailouts are a Ponzi scheme:

Under the rules of this multi-trillion shell game, the sovereigns guarantee the ECB which funds the banks which buy the government debt which provides for everyone else’s guarantees.

(America is no different: Bill Gross, Nouriel Roubini, Laurence Kotlikoff, Steve Keen, Michel Chossudovsky and the Wall Street Journal all say that America is running a giant Ponzi scheme as well….

It didn’t have to be like this. The European nations did not have to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their big banks.

As Roubini wrote in February:

“We have decided to socialize the private losses of the banking system. […]

[…] BIS also cautioned that bailouts could harm the economy (as did the former head of the Fed’s open market operations). Indeed, the bailouts create a climate of moral hazard which encourages more risky behavior. Nobel prize winning economist George Akerlof predicted in 1993 that credit default swaps would lead to a major crash, and that future crashes were guaranteed unless the government stopped letting big financial players loot by placing bets they could never pay off when things started to go wrong, and by continuing to bail out the gamblers.

These truths are as applicable in Europe as in America. The central bankers have done the wrong things. They haven’t fixed anything, but simply transferred the cancerous toxic derivatives and other financial bombs from the giant banks to the nations themselves. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/06/the-spailout-has-already-failed.html

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