DHS Built Domestic Surveillance Tech Into Predator Drones
DHS Built Domestic Surveillance Tech Into Predator
Drones 04 Mar 2013
DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones --Homeland Security's specifications say drones must be able to detect whether a civilian is armed. Also specified: 'signals interception' and 'direction finding' for electronic surveillance. 02 Mar 2013 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show. The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department's unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States' northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.
Ragtime: Code name of NSA's Secret Domestic Intelligence Program Revealed in New Book 27 Feb 2013 More than a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a set of extraordinary and secretive surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency has been institutionalized, and they have grown. These special programs are conducted under the code name Ragtime, and are divided into several subcomponents, according to the new book Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady... Ragtime, which appears in official reports by the abbreviation RT, consists of four parts. Ragtime-A involves US-based interception of all foreign-to-foreign counterterrorism-related data; Ragtime-B deals with data from foreign governments that transits through the US; Ragtime-C deals with counterproliferation activities; and Ragtime-P. P stands for Patriot Act. Ragtime-P is the remnant of the original President's Surveillance Program, the name given to so-called "warrantless wiretapping" activities after 9/11, in which one end of a phone call or an e-mail terminated inside the United States.
'Homeland security' has received $791 billion since 9/11 01 Mar 2013 In addition to the funds pouring into the Bush-founded Department of Homeland Security, Congress has allocated vast sums for "homeland security" expenditures in other departments, most notably at the Pentagon. In fact, according to new investigation from the Nation Institute's Tomdispatch, $791 billion dollars in federal funding have gone to homeland security, both within and without the department... This is the state of affairs which led the Washington Post's Dana Priest and William A. Arkin, in their landmark investigative report on "Top Secret America," to write that "the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine."
US gives $250 million to Egypt as sequester cuts begin 03 Mar 2013 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday rewarded Egypt for President Mohammed Morsi's pledges of political and economic reforms by releasing $250 million in American aid to support the country's "future as a democracy." Egypt is trying to meet conditions to close on a $4.8 billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund. An agreement would unlock more of the $1 billion in U.S. assistance promised by President Barack Obama last year and set to begin flowing with Kerry's announcement.
AIPAC to Hill: Don't Touch Israel Aid 01 Mar 2013 At a time when sequestration is about to take a big bite out of the Pentagon budget, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will be sending thousands of its citizen lobbyists to Capitol Hill next week to make sure Israel is exempted from any spending cuts. This could prove a very risky strategy at a time when millions of Americans will be feeling the bite of the sequestration debacle, from the defense budget to the school lunch program. But not aid to Israel, which will be untouched if AIPAC gets its way. The 13,000 expected AIPAC activists will be telling Congress not to touch Israel's $3-billion-plus annual security assistance and to vote for legislation declaring the Jewish state a "major strategic ally."
Obama Renews Offer to Cut Social Safety Net 03 Mar 2013 President Barack Obama raised anew the issue of cutting entitlements programs such as Medicare and Social Security as a way out of damaging budget cuts, a White House official said on Sunday, as both sides in Washington tried to limit a fiscal crisis that may soon hit millions of Americans. Signaling he might be ready to explore a compromise to end automatic spending cuts that began late Friday, Obama mentioned reforming these entitlement programs in calls with lawmakers from both parties on Saturday afternoon. [See: Arming the Left: Is the time now? By Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against... (Yes, *obviously,* the time is now, before the drones start swarming over our heads.)]
France, Turkey plot to assassinate Assad: Report 03 Mar 2013 A Lebanese news website says it has obtained a documentary movie revealing a plot hatched by French and Turkish spy agencies to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Lebanese Asianews website says the movie, which has been produced by the well-known Syrian media activist Khedar Awarake, shows confessions by those who were on a joint mission to kill top Syrian officials. According to the report, Syrian security organizations have recently defused assassination attempts by Turkey and France's intelligence agencies on the lives of Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.
Third French soldier killed in northern Mali fighting 03 Mar 2013 France said Sunday that one of its soldiers had been killed in fighting in northern Mali, in the third death of a French serviceman since the launch of its military intervention in mid-January. The presidency said in a statement that the soldier, from the First Parachute Chasseur Regiment, was killed in combat on Saturday evening. The defence ministry identified the soldier as Corporal Cedric Charenton, 26, who had been deployed in Mali since January 25 and had previously served in Afghanistan and Gabon.
ADF confirms death of two boys shot in Afghanistan 03 Mar 2013 Defence force chief General David Hurley has offered his condolences to the families of two boys killed during an incident involving Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. Officials said soldiers in southern Afghanistan shot the children, aged seven and eight, while tending livestock. Last month, 10 Afghan civilians, including five children, were killed by a NATO airstrike in Kunar province.
'Australia forces attack kills 2 kids in S Afghanistan' 02 Mar 2013 Australian forces have carried out an aerial attack in southern Afghanistan, killing at least two children, Press TV reports. According to police sources, Australian forces conducted the deadly attack in Uruzgan province. The Australian Defense Force confirmed that there was an incident involving the country's forces. Almost two weeks ago, 10 civilians lost their lives in a similar strike by US-led forces in eastern Kunar province.
Six killed in terrorist bombings in Baghdad, Karbala 03 Mar 2013 According to Iraqi officials, three civilians were killed after three roadside bombs went off simultaneously in the Husseiniyah area, northeast of Baghdad, on Sunday. Eleven others, including three policemen, were also injured in the explosions. An Iraqi soldier was killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded in the northern Utaifiya neighborhood of Baghdad. And in the holy city of Karbala, at least two pilgrims were killed and 11 others injured after a bomber set off his explosives-laden belt.
Soldier to Face More Serious Charges in Leak 02 Mar 2013 Military prosecutors announced on Friday that they had decided to try Pfc. Bradley Manning on the most serious charges they have brought against him and seek a sentence that could be life without parole, despite his voluntary guilty plea to 10 lesser charges that carry a maximum total sentence of 20 years. Private Manning admitted in court on Thursday that he had provided about 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks, the antisecrecy group, in the most extensive leak of confidential and classified material in American history. But he pleaded guilty to the lesser charges in what is known as a "naked plea" -- one made without the usual agreement with prosecutors to cap the potential sentence in return.
Ex-CIA contractor pleads guilty in Colorado assault case 02 Mar 2013 A former CIA contractor who triggered an international incident in 2011 when he killed two men in Pakistan pleaded guilty on Friday to assaulting a Colorado man in a dispute over a parking spot, prosecutors said. Raymond Allen Davis entered the plea in Douglas County District Court to misdemeanor third-degree assault and received a two-year probationary sentence, said Lisa Pinto, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. Pinto said Davis was also ordered to take anger management classes and write a letter of apology to the victim, Jeff Maes.
Feds Say Man Deserved Arrest Because Jacket Said 'Occupy Everything' 01 Mar 2013 A Florida man deserved to be arrested inside the Supreme Court building last year for wearing a jacket painted with "Occupy Everything," and is lucky he was only apprehended on unlawful entry charges, the Department of Justice says. The Obama administration made that assertion in a legal filing in response to a lawsuit brought by Fitzgerald Scott, who is seeking $1 million in damages for his January 2012 arrest inside the Supreme Court building. He also wants his arrest record expunged. What's more, the authorities said the former Marine's claim that he was protected by the First Amendment bolsters the government's position because the Supreme Court building's public interior is a First Amendment-free zone.
WHO sees higher cancer risks in Fukushima Pref. 02 Mar 2013 The World Health Organization has said in a report that it has found rises in cancer risks in areas most affected by radiation leaked from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. In the report released Thursday, the WHO assessed health risks associated with the nuclear disaster that began in March 2011, while referring to maximum estimated radiation doses. In the most contaminated area, the lifetime risk of breast cancer for female infants is estimated to be around 6 percent higher than normal levels. The risk of leukemia for male infants is projected to be 7 percent higher... The report also said one-third of emergency workers at the Fukushima plant are estimated to have up to 20 percent higher cancer risks.
CT Attorney General Chides Lawyer's Sandy Hook Document Request 02 Mar 2013 New Haven attorney Irving Pinsky has been pushing sensitive legal buttons related to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting since December. But his latest effort has drawn particularly strong condemnation from Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen. "Attorney Pinsky clearly misunderstands the law," Jepsen said Friday in response to the latest request from Pinsky asking the state to unseal confidential documents related to the shooting investigation. Jepsen said his office has no jurisdiction in the matter, no authority to unseal criminal documents and is not involved with the investigation. Pinsky first drew ire in December when he put in a request to file a $100 million lawsuit against the state, claiming it failed to prevent "foreseeable harm" against his client -- a 6-year-old Sandy Hook shooting survivor identified as "Jill Doe."
Top Democratic aide compares Scott Walker with Jeffrey Dahmer 01 Mar 2013 In Milwaukee politics, there's one person to whom you can never compare a sitting politician. Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. [Yeah, but if the sociopath shoe fits...] A top Democratic Party aide found that out Friday. Shortly after prosecutors announced they closed the John Doe investigation of Gov. Scott Walker's aides, Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski took to Twitter to begin ripping the first-term Republican governor. It wasn't long before he posted three tweets drawing comparisons between Walker and Dahmer, who gained international notoriety for saving and eating his victims' body parts. "@GovWalker had better lawyers than Jeffrey Dahmer in beating the rap. Clear that he committed crimes," Zielinski wrote in one of his tweets.
Obama to tap Walmart exec for budget chief 03 Mar 2013 President Obama on Monday will nominate Walmart's Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his next budget director, a senior administration official said. If confirmed by the Senate, Burwell would take the helm at the Office of Management and Budget at a time of [pretend] heated budget battles between the White House and congressional Republicans. Burwell is a Washington veteran, having served as OMB's deputy director in the Clinton administration and chief of staff to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Burwell currently runs the Walmart Foundation, the retail giant's philanthropic wing, and previously served as president of the Gates Foundation's Global Development Destruction Program.
Inside the first Goldman Sachs partners' dinner in SIX YEARS as lavish parties return for bankers 02 Mar 2013 Prior to the global economic meltdown in 2007, Goldman Sachs's annual dinners were lavish affairs when the banking behemoth spoiled its most profitable bankers and their partners. These parties were mothballed following the financial crisis when many banks were bailed out using taxpayers' dollars and bankers were encouraged to show some modesty and not flaunt their massive bonuses while other people were having their homes repossessed. Now the good times are undoubtedly back at Goldman after the company posted a $2.9 billion quarterly profit earlier this year. At the beginning of last month, the company flew it's top 450 bankers and their partners from all around the globe to New York for a business meeting and then a night of revelry.
Swiss overwhelmingly vote to rein-in executive pay: projection 03 Mar 2013 A large majority of Swiss voted Sunday to rein in executive pay and force business leaders to give up golden parachutes, according to early results and projections. Official first results of the popular vote showed that in Geneva, where polling ended at noon (1100 GMT), 67.7 percent voted in favour of the initiative, with similar numbers in the canton of Vaud and Fribourg. And projections from Switzerland's financial capital Zurich, where voting will continue until 6:30 pm, showed 71 percent of voters want the so-called Minder Initiative, after its sponsor businessman and senator Thomas Minder, passed into law.
Sequestration Repeal Pushed By Progressive House Democrats 28 Feb 2013 A group of progressive Democrats in the House has launched a late-game bid to repeal the so-called sequestration, arguing that Congress should scrap the cuts entirely if it can't agree on a suitable replacement. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced a one-sentence bill on Thursday entitled the "Cancel the Sequester Act of 2013," which would eliminate the $85 billion in cuts looming at week's end as part of the $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense cuts that Congress imposed on itself over the next decade with the Budget Control Act of 2011. According to Conyers's office, Reps. Sheila Lee Jackson (D-Texas) and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) will co-sponsor the repeal bill, and many members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are expected to follow suit. [There's as much chance of Obusha supporting progressive Democrats as a cat with a long tail in a room filled with rockers. --LRP]
Harlem Shake: Oz Miners Fired For Dance 04 Mar 2013 Up to 15 miners have reportedly been sacked for performing the internet dance craze the Harlem Shake whilst working underground in an Australian gold mine. The West Australian newspaper reported the miners lost their six-figure salaries over the stunt in the Agnew gold mine last week. A dismissal letter cited by the paper said mine owner Barminco considered the stunt a safety issue.
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