'California Senator Dianne Feinstein has proposed an amendment to the Media Shield Law – an irrelevant law ignoring protection already afforded by the First Amendment – that would limit the law’s protection only to “real reporters,” not bloggers and other upstart alternative media types.
A real reporter, declared Madame Feinstein during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, is “a salaried agent” of a media company like the New York Times or ABC News, not a shoestring operation with volunteers and writers who are not paid.’
Anyone who tells the truth is the enemy to Feinstein.
'At a White House news conference, he proposed “safeguards against abuse”, including amending legislation on the collection of telephone data.
Mr Obama also urged appointing a lawyer to challenge the government at the nation’s secretive surveillance court. He has been defending the programmes since they were leaked in June.’
'NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden famously used an encrypted email account to communicate privately with Glenn Greenwald and other reporters. Shortly after it was revealed that Snowden used Lavabit, the U.S. government pressured them to close down after ten years of service.
Lavabit’s owner, Ladar Levison, received a court order to turn over all users’ private email data. He refused, and said he would not “become complicit in crimes against the American people.”
Levison claims he was given two choices: cooperate with authorities or be shut down. He bravely said goodbye to his business and livelihood in protest of the digital police state.’
'“The drones are killing our people, killing our children, and destroying our homes,” one man said, as he sat among the sheared rebar and crumbled concrete that was once his village. “The drones don’t differentiate between people,” he added, “they just kill.”
Another man who spoke to Hakim related that he and two children “live in constant fear of drone strikes.” And, according to his story, it’s not without good reason.
After he picked up his daughter from school to take her to a doctor’s appointment, Hellfire missiles fired from U.S. drones destroyed the clinic. He grabbed his daughter and ran back to the school to take cover. Before he got there, though, the school was obliterated by a second missile. His daughter was struck in the back of the head by debris and she bled to death in his arms.’
'There's no conceivable scenario in which they'd need all those tanks short of an alien invasion,” Shana Marshall of the Institute of Middle East Studies at George Washington University told NPR.
So why does the U.S. keep sending tanks and jets? Simon points to the military-industrial complex:
Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt. Simon reports that the U.S. has sent more than 1,000 M1A1 Abrams — valued at about $4 billion — to Egypt since the late 80s, and at least 200 have never been used.’
'The Associated Press issued a formal retraction of a photo it published that claimed to show that a large lake had formed at the North Pole due to global warming. In its retraction, the AP admitted that not only was the “lake” simply a small melt-pond but that it was natural, not due to global warming. The AP also admitted that the “lake” wasn’t even at the North Pole, explaining that the monitoring station where the photo was taken had drifted hundreds of miles to the south.'
'Critics charge that an aggressive NSA purge of 90 percent of its system administrators—in an apparent attempt to prevent the next Edward Snowden from having access to secret information—is evidence that the agency seeks to hide the truth about spying from the public and remove the roll of human conscience from the agency, instead of curbing spying in response to mass anger.'
'It has been confirmed that France will extend its moratorium on the cultivation of Monsanto's genetically-modified (GM) MON810 corn within its borders, despite a recent ruling by the French Council of State that the longstanding ban violates European Union (EU) law. As reported in a recent AFP article translated into English by GMWatch.org, French Head of State Francois Hollande made an official public announcement that the moratorium will, indeed, be extended in order to ensure the integrity of the nation's agricultural system.'
'Modeled on US covert ops in Central America, the Pentagon’s “Salvador Option for Iraq” initiated in 2004 was carried out under the helm of the US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte (2004-2005) together with Robert Stephen Ford, who was appointed US Ambassador to Syria in January 2011, less than two months before the beginning of the armed insurgency directed against the government of Bashar Al Assad.
“The Salvador Option” is a “terrorist model” of mass killings by US sponsored death squads. It was first applied in El Salvador, in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths.’
'If the U.S. public began to raise a fuss about U.S. missile strikes that blow up large numbers of civilians at wedding parties abroad, it’s not beyond the realm of the imaginable that the U.S. government would begin blaming the explosions on faulty candles in the wedding cakes. A similarly implausible excuse was used to explain the 1996 explosion of TWA flight 800 off Long Island, New York, and the U.S. public has thus far either swallowed the story whole or ignored the matter.
If you watch Kristina Borjesson’s new film, TWA Flight 800, you’ll see a highly persuasive case that this passenger jet full of passengers was brought down by missiles, killing all on board.’
'To show that Manning was aiding the enemy, the government had to argue for the narrowest definition of journalism possible. Essentially, it had to show that sending classified documents to WikiLeaks was different from supplying the same material to theNew York Times.
This question came to a head the day Harvard legal scholar Yochai Benkler testified about the role that WikiLeaks plays in a networked fourth estate. Benkler’s testimony was based on a 2011 piece he wrote for the Harvard Civil Rights Review in which he argued that “As a matter of First Amendment doctrine, WikiLeaks is entitled to the protection available to a wide range of members of the fourth estate, from fringe pamphleteers to major press organizations.”’
'President Obama today canceled a long-scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in part because the US president is upset that Russia defied his personal directive to hand over Edward Snowden despite the lack of an extradition treaty between the two nations. That means that US media outlets will spend the next 24 hours or so channeling the government's views (excuse the redundancy) by denouncing the Russian evil of refusing extradition. When doing so, very few, if any, establishment media accounts will mention any of these cases:'
'Despite the steady hue and cry by government agencies about the need for more police, more sophisticated weaponry, and the difficulties of preserving the peace and maintaining security in our modern age, the reality is far different. Indeed, violent crime in America has been on a steady decline, and if current trends continue, Americans will finish the year 2013 experiencing the lowest murder rate in over a century.
Despite this clear referendum on the fact that communities would be better served by smaller, demilitarized police forces, police agencies throughout the country are dramatically increasing in size and scope. Some of the nation’s larger cities boast police forces the size of small armies. (New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg actually likes to brag that the NYPD is his personal army.)
For example, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has reached a total of 10,000 officers. It takes its place alongside other cities boasting increasingly large police forces, including New York (36,000 officers) and Chicago (13,400 officers). When considered in terms of cops per square mile, Los Angeles assigns a whopping 469 officers per square mile, followed by New York with 303 officers per square mile, and Chicago with 227 cops per square mile.’