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Citizens for Legitimate Government: 11 August 2013

Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government
11 Aug 2013

NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls --Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans' communications 09 Aug 2013 The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a legal authority enabling it to search for US citizens' email and phone calls without a warrant, according to a top-secret document passed to the Guardian by Edward Snowden. The previously undisclosed rule change allows NSA operatives to hunt for individual Americans' communications using their name or other identifying information. Senator Ron Wyden told the Guardian that the law provides the NSA with a loophole potentially allowing "warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans". The authority, approved in 2011, appears to contrast with repeated assurances from Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials to both Congress and the American public that the privacy of US citizens is protected from the NSA's dragnet surveillance programs.

N.S.A. Said to Search Content of Messages to and From U.S. 08 Aug 2013 The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials. The N.S.A. is not just intercepting the communications of Americans who are in direct contact with foreigners targeted overseas, a practice that government officials have openly acknowledged. It is also casting a far wider net for people who cite information linked to those foreigners, like a little used e-mail address, according to a senior intelligence official. While it has long been known that the agency conducts extensive computer searches of data it vacuums up overseas, that it is systematically searching -- without warrants -- through the contents of Americans' communications that cross the border reveals more about the scale of its secret operations.

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US forces closure of Texas-based encrypted email service allegedly used by Snowden 09 Aug 2013 An encrypted email service believed to have been used by US leaker Edward Snowden shut down on Thursday apparently as a result of pressure from US authorities. Lavabit owner Ladar Levison posted a message at the website telling users that the he was pulling the plug on the secure email service launched in Texas nearly a decade ago. Levison lamented that he was barred from sharing details of what prompted Lavabit's demise. US law allows national security officials to make requests to companies that come with the caveat they must be kept secret.

Email service used by Snowden shuts itself down, warns against using US-based companies 09 Aug 2013 A Texas-based encrypted email service recently revealed to be used by Edward Snowden - Lavabit - announced yesterday it was shutting itself down in order to avoid complying with what it perceives as unjust secret US court orders to provide government access to its users' content. "After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations," the company's founder, Ladar Levinson, wrote in a statement to users posted on the front page of its website. He said the US directive forced on his company "a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit." He chose the latter.

German companies to automatically encrypt emails 09 Aug 2013 Two of Germany's biggest Internet service providers said Friday they will start encrypting customers' emails by default in response to user concerns about online snooping after reports that the U.S. National Security Agency monitors international electronic communications. The plan by Deutsche Telekom AG and United Internet AG is the digital equivalent of putting an envelope around a postcard. Initially the encryption will only be secure between customers of Deutsche Telekom's T-Online service and United Internet's GMX and WEB.DE services -- which together account for two-thirds of primary email addresses in Germany -- the companies said.

Snowden's father gets visa, to leave for Russia 'soon' 11 Aug 2013 The father of Edward Snowden, the fugitive whistleblowing former U.S. spy agency contractor, has received a Russian visa and will travel there shortly to see his son, he and his lawyer said on Sunday. Attorney Bruce Fein said in a television appearance that he and Lon Snowden were skeptical about President Barack Obama's pledge to limit government surveillance programs, and they remain doubtful that young Snowden can receive a fair trial in the United States. "We intend to visit with Edward and suggest criminal defense attorneys who have got experience in Espionage Act prosecutions," Fein told ABC News.

Assange calls Obama reform plans 'victory of sorts' for Snowden 10 Aug 2013 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called President Barack Obama's announcement of plans to limit sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs a victory of sorts for fugitive former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden. "Today, the President of the United States validated Edward Snowden's role as a whistleblower by announcing plans to reform America's global surveillance program," Assange said in a statement referring to Obama's announcement on Friday. "Today was a victory of sorts for Edward Snowden and his many supporters," Assange said in the statement, which was posted on the WikiLeaks website on Saturday.

Barack Obama pledges greater surveillance transparency 09 Aug 2013 President Barack Obama has promised "appropriate reforms" to guarantee greater oversight of controversial US surveillance programmes. [Yeah, right!] 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.

Russian foreign minister tells US to behave 'like grown-ups' 09 Aug 2013 The chill in relations between the US and Russia grew still frostier yesterday as President Vladimir Putin's foreign minister told the White House to start behaving like "grown-ups". Sergei Lavrov chided the US administration two days after President Barack Obama scrapped a summit with Mr Putin when Russia granted asylum to Edward Snowden, the fugitive US spy US whistleblower. "We need to work as grown-ups," he told a press conference in Washington alongside John Kerry, the US Secretary of State. "This is what we do. And we hope that this will be reciprocal".

Two friends of [alleged] Boston bomber who had Terrorista license plate charged with obstructing justice after 'getting rid' of backpack he took to the marathon 08 Aug 2013 Two college friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been indicted by a federal grand jury on obstruction of justice charges in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, authorities announced Thursday. Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, and Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, both Kazakhstan nationals, have been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstructing justice with the intent to impede investigation. The indictment alleges that three days after the bombings, 'Kadyrbayev received a text message from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suggesting that he go to Tsarnaev's "room and take what's there.'" If convicted they face up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction of justice count, a $25,000 fine and the probability of being deported.

Miami FBI probe snares foreign terrorism suspects accused of backing al-Qaida fighters overseas 08 Aug 2013 A U.S. citizen and a foreign national charged with financing al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] and other terrorist organizations fighting in overseas wars are being held in a Miami federal detention center. Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed, 30, and Mohamed Hussein Said, 25, face an indictment charging them with conspiring to provide and attempting to provide material support to three U.S.-designated terrorist organizations that have operated in Iraq, Syria and Somalia, according to authorities. The case is being prosecuted in Miami because some of the Western Union wire transfers sent by the defendants were transmitted to an FBI “online covert employee” based in Miami who was posing as an al-Qaida fundraiser, recruiter and supplier, according to an indictment.

Kennedy Airport workers sickened by toxic gas 11 Aug 2013 Two Kennedy Airport workers at the facility's postal headquarters were sickened Sunday by what Port Authority police said was a highly toxic cleaning chemical. The two employees were working in the airport post office, Building 250, when they opened a package containing organophosphate shipped from China, said Port Authority officials. The chemical is often found in insecticides and industrial-strength chemical cleaning agents and is similar to deadly nerve gases used in chemical warfare, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Cops investigating mail at JFK Airport postal facility for possible VX nerve gas --Two customs inspectors overcome by fumes, sources say; FBI to perform follow-up testing 11 Aug 2013 Police are investigating a piece of mail that may contain nerve gas after two customs inspectors were overcome by fumes in a Kennedy Airport postal facility Sunday morning, sources said. The package from China tentatively tested positive for VX nerve gas, which can be used as a weapon of mass destruction, according to a law enforcement source. Port Authority police shut down the facility, where mail is inspected after arriving from overseas, and were continuing to investigate Sunday afternoon.

Bovina, New York on 'Complete Lockdown' --From ny.gov: '...This is an ACTUAL LAW/SECURITY - NOT OTHERWISE CATEGORIZED ALERT...' [!?] --Lockdown in effect from 2:26 PM EDT Sunday until 2:26 AM EDT Monday --'44 square miles under lockdown' --Everyone urged to 'stay indoors, do not come out of your houses.' 11 Aug 2013 Ny.gov: LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY IN THE BOVINA AREA OF DELAWARE CO. ALL RESIDENTS SHOULD STAY INSIDE AND LOCK YOURS DOORS... According to a video post Sunday by DAHBOO77: 'As of time of posting, still no answers as to what exactly is going on, all residents ordered to stay indoors with doors locked!' [I knew the Boston bombings false flag would set a dangerous precedent of 'acceptability of martial law.']

Heads up! Texas false flag alert: Homeland security exercises taking place in Austin --'Authorities say you shouldn't be alarmed if you see a big increase in law enforcement officials on Austin's streets.' 08 Aug 2013 Multiple law enforcement agencies will be taking part in homeland security exercises in Austin over the next few weeks. The Texas Department of Public Safety said several local and federal agencies will test response plans to possible terroristic threats and other critical incidents. Agencies taking part in the exercise include the Austin Police Department, Travis County Sheriff's Office, the University of Texas Police Department and the FBI.

U.S. buying even more hardware for Yemen's military 09 Aug 2013 U.S. drones have been battering Yemen, killing at least 28 people, and American spy planes watch from overhead. And now, Yemen's skies are looking to get even more crowded. The U.S. Navy is helping the Yemeni air force buy 12 light spy planes, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military aid the U.S. has given to the Sana'a regime. The Navy's Light Observation Aircraft for Yemen program aims to buy 12 small planes -- or maybe choppers -- equipped with infrared and night vision cameras and the ability to beam the images collected by those cameras back to a ground station.[Gee, looks like arming the murderous regime in Yemen is sequester-proof. Ditto the Syrian rebels aka cannibals. This is *insane.* Start reading.]

Yemeni Al Qaeda expert casts doubt on terror threat claims 11 Aug 2013 Yemen's foremost Al Qaeda researcher says recent U.S. drone strikes have failed to kill senior leaders of the organization, and he dismisses claims that a plot to bomb a Canadian-owned oil facility was foiled by Yemeni authorities. Abdulrazzaq al-Jamal, a journalist and researcher who has been given exclusive access to the terrorist group’s Yemen branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said the series of drone strikes in the past 12 days have killed 32 people, including low-level foot soldiers and civilians.

Yemenis call U.S. drone strikes an overreaction to al Qaida threat 09 Aug 2013 The United States launching of eight drone strikes in Yemen in the span of 13 days has ignited widespread outrage in the country. The anger over the strikes, which came as an al Qaida-related threat shuttered U.S. embassies and consulates in Yemen and 15 other countries, has overwhelmed attention to the threat itself, which many here view skeptically anyway.

Another day, another US war crime: Three US terror drone strikes kill 12 people in Yemen --Since July 27, the illegal drone strikes have become almost a daily routine in Yemen. 08 Aug 2013 Three US assassination drone strikes have killed at least 12 people in Yemen, the Arab country’s military officials say. All the three airstrikes occurred on Thursday... On August 7, seven people were killed in a similar airstrike in the southern governorate of Shabwa.

Pentagon proposes $2.7 billion arms sales to Iraq 11 Aug 2013 Amid the most deadly month in Iraq in five years, the Pentagon has notified Congress of $2.7 billion in new arms sales to the [US-installed] Iraqi government. The latest contracts, that would provide air defense, communications systems and maintenance, would raise to nearly $5 billion the value of arms sales proposals to Iraq sent to Congress over the past two weeks. Congress has 30 days to act to block the contracts, but otherwise the arms sales would enjoy a tacit approval. The biggest contract, which involves the sale of 681 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and 40 truck-mounted launchers among other advanced equipment, is worth an estimated $2.4 billion.

Serial car bombs kill nearly 70, injure 200 in Iraqi capital 10 Aug 2013 Sixty-nine people have been killed and 200 others wounded in a series of car bombs in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, while Iraqis were celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Iraqi authorities said some nine blasts rocked mostly Shia neighborhoods on Saturday, when people were marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. One blast hit a park in the town of Zubeidiyah, south Baghdad, while others exploded near cafes and shopping centers during the busy afternoon hours.

Israel approves nearly 1,200 new settlement homes 11 Aug 2013 Israel's housing minister on Sunday gave final approval for building nearly 1,200 new settlement apartments on lands the Palestinians want for their state, just three days before U.S.-sponsored talks on the borders of such a state are to begin in Jerusalem. The Palestinians said they would complain to the U.S. and Europe. Negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh said Israel's latest announcement on promoting settlement plans, the third over the course of a week, "is clear proof that the Israeli government is not serious about the talks."

Powerful roadside explosions kill five civilians in Afghanistan 11 Aug 2013 Two powerful roadside explosions have claimed the lives of at least five people in troubled southern Afghanistan, security sources say. Local security officials said that the civilians were killed in the roadside blasts that struck their cars in Uruzgan Province on Sunday. The victims include both women and children. Two others were also injured in the deadly incidents.

Three US-led soldiers killed in Afghanistan's eastern Paktia province 11 Aug 2013 At least three US-led soldiers have been killed and several others injured in an attack in troubled eastern Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says. The US-led military coalition said in a statement that the troops were killed in violent clashes with Taliban militants in the province of Paktia.

'No Muslim' parking signs spark outrage outside Texas mall --Shopping center's posters lined the street near the El Farouq Mosque 09 Aug 2013 New parking signs posted outside a Houston-area mosque sparked outrage on Thursday. The posters lined the street near the El Farouq Mosque. In black letters, the signs read, "No Muslim parking in the Westview Shopping Center. Your car will be towed." Many Muslims heading to worship services were offended.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Deputies to carry weapons 24 hours per day 09 Aug 2013 Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says it's time his deputies and officers were properly armed on and off duty. In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Arpaio announced every patrol deputy in Maricopa County is now carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. The sheriff is also ordering his deputies to carry a handgun whenever they're not at work so they're prepared to protect the community.

Radioactive water overruns Fukushima barrier - TEPCO 10 Aug 2013 Contaminated Radioactive groundwater accumulating under the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has risen 60cm above the protective barrier, and is now freely leaking into the Pacific Ocean, the plant's operator TEPCO has admitted. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which is responsible for decommissioning the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, on Saturday said the protective barriers that were installed to prevent the flow of toxic water into the ocean are no longer coping with the groundwater levels, Itar-Tass reports. The contaminated groundwater, which mixes with radioactive leaks seeping out of the plant, has already risen to 60cm above the barriers - the fact which TEPCO calls a major cause of the massive daily leak of toxic substances.

Global warming victim: Polar bear found starved to death looked 'like a rug' --The male polar bear seemed healthy when he was seen in April on the Arctic island of Svalbard. It starved to death by July. 06 Aug 2013 The polar bear's emaciated body looked more like "a rug" than one of the world's most powerful predators. For all its hunting prowess, the giant animal appears to have starved to death as it made a desperate journey north on the Arctic island of Svalbard in search of seals. Experts fear polar bears will increasingly suffer a similar fate as global warming melts the sea ice that allows them to hunt for their main source of food. Ian Stirling, who has studied polar bears for nearly 40 years, told The Guardian newspaper that he found the animal on Svalbard in July.

New case of H7N9 bird flu confirmed in China 11 Aug 2013 A Chinese poultry worker was confirmed as having contracted the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus, health officials said, the first case in the southern Guangdong province. The 51-year-old woman is in a critical condition after she was admitted to hospital on August 3 following signs of a fever, the Guangdong Provincial Health Department said on Saturday. A total of 134 cases have now been reported on the Chinese mainland, including the Guangdong case.

Gag me with a chainsaw: Kids who get vaccines to receive free school supplies 08 Aug 2013 (IN) The Allen County Health Department is offering free school supplies to school-aged kids who receive an immunization at the health department for the rest of this week and next week. The program, which is part of National Immunization Awareness Month, will provide supplies such as crayons, pencils, highlighters and jump drives, to each child who receives a [mercury-laden, squalene-filled] vaccination. Indiana requires all children to be current on vaccinations before they enroll in school to protect the health of all students.

Children given lifelong ban on talking about fracking 05 Aug 2013 Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company. The sweeping gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Corp, a leading oil and gas driller. It provoked outrage on Monday among environmental campaigners and free speech advocates. The settlement, reached in 2011 but unsealed only last week, barred the Hallowichs' son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale, a leading producer in America's shale gas boom.

Scott Brown's Brother Accused of Impersonating Officer, Commandeering Boat 09 Aug 2013 The brother of former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-Wall Street) was arrested Thursday night in Connecticut on a number of charges, including impersonating a police officer. Police responding to reports of a man with a gun found Bruce W. Browne of Wolcott, Connecticut, driving a blue Crown Victoria with what appeared to be a disc and antennas mounted on the trunk along with" hide-away" lights. Browne was wearing military-style pants, according to police. Inside the car in plain view, officers say they found three loaded 9 mm handguns, a black nylon duty belt with two sets of handcuffs, a police baton, 12 fully-loaded magazines with a total of 101 hollow point and 102 ball 9 mm bullets.

Vote suppression alleged in close Fla. election 08 Aug 2013 A small Florida Panhandle town [Sopchoppy] best known for its annual Worm Grunting Festival is at the center of an investigation into charges the white city clerk suppressed the black vote in an election where the black mayor lost by a single vote and a black city commissioner was also ousted. Both losing candidates and three black voters have filed complaints, now being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, that City Clerk Jackie Lawhon made it more difficult for blacks to cast ballots by questioning their residency. The candidates also allege Lawhon abandoned her duty to remain neutral and actively campaigned for the three whites on the ballot.

4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work 28 Jul 2013 Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream. Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend. The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration's emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to "rebuild ladders of opportunity" and reverse income inequality.

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