Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Occupation Is Mainstreamed And Opponents Are Engaged In Recycling Of Fear And Hate Mongering, Lying And Manure Slinging.

The Occupation Is Mainstreamed And Opponents Are Engaged In Recycling Of Fear And Hate Mongering, Lying And Manure Slinging.


Fascism in America took a giant leap forward Monday night, as some of Boston's finest pushed down and beat several Vietnam Veterans who were protesting as part of the overall Occupy Wall Street movement.
The protest movement in Boston has grown larger over the past few days, requiring the group to move from one encampment into two separate encampments. The police did not want to the crowd staying overnight at the second park location, and attempted to disperse the crowd. When the group stayed, that's when the beatdown began.
Among those beaten by the cops was a 74 year old Vietnam veteran, who was holding a flag — the symbol of our collective freedoms and rights to assemble, protest, and utilize free uncensored speech. It should come as no surprise that the police thugs knocked that flag to the ground.
Overall, between 50 and 100 protesters were arrested in Boston Monday night. The move, however, does not seem to have slowed down the movement one bit. In fact, the overreaction and police brutality may have served to increase the number of protesters in the Boston movement, as well as across the country.
What's crazy, from my point of view, is how controlled and penned in the protesters are at nearly every site. It is clear that the politicians in these cities do not understand the First Amendment trumps their local ordinances, or at least it ought to. Free speech and free assembly, particularly in protest of our government, is the crown jewel of the American Constitution. Even more so than voting, it is our guarantee that it is our right as human beings to come together and demand responsiveness from government.
And yet, these cities, like Boston, and in New York and elsewhere, treat the protesters like a terror group waiting to spring out of control. Protesters are penned up into "Free Speech Zones", some Orwellian hellhole from which they can "legally" protest.
It is the ultimate in arrogance of the government to assume it can tell the protesters where and when they can protest. It is our country. Politicians are merely stewards of the office they occupy, servants of the people...or at least that is how it was designed to work. They certainly were not supposed to be the protectors of the powerful, utilizing police (and some day in the movement, the military) to disperse free speech that they don't like.
This is America, damn it. This kind of police brutality and harassment is exactly what we have seen in protests in the Middle East. Do American politicians really want to make the claim that the citizens of Iran and Egypt have more rights and freedoms than we do? Do the powerful really want to spark this movement from a large protest movement into a nationwide, "let's start hanging the bastards" movement?
Because right now, the line is drawn at around 99 percent us, 1 percent them. You don't need to be Stephen Hawking to see who is going to win that one.
And yet, the politicians act as if they have the power to either allow or disallow the free speech and assembly rights of millions of Americans. Boston straight up beat their protesters, while on Wall Street, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg acts as if he is doing the protest movement a favor by "allowing" them to stay and protest.
“The bottom line is – people want to express themselves. And as long as they obey the laws, we'll allow them to,” said Bloomberg. “If they break the laws, then, we're going to do what we're supposed to do: enforce the laws.”
Gee, Mike, that's kind of you. Nice of you to ignore that many of the laws surrounding protesting and assembling, as well as utilizing free speech to protest the government, are themselves part of the problem. It's so kind of you to "allow" us free speech and free assembly. This is the kind of corporate-government elitism that feeds the movement. This is exactly the attitude that we're fighting; that there are somehow two Americas — one where the elites, like Bloomberg, can do as they please and lord over us, and another where We the Peasants are "allowed" to "have" our basic civil rights.
What the Michael Bloombergs of the world do not yet realize is that this movement is strong, and getting stronger every day. Americans are fed up with the rigged system, and they are taking to the streets to protest. When every election is rigged and the entire system is designed to protect the elites, and when the voice of the citizen is drowned out by the billions of dollars corporate America spends to buy their favored politicians, marching in the streets is the only tool we have.
Well, that or the guillotines. Your call, Michael. Choose wisely.
You can reach the author by email or on twitter@johndthorpe.
To comment on this (or any of my columns), visit my user page at Benzinga.
Occupy Wall Street continues long tradition
The Occupy Wall Street protests are the product of the 2008 economic crisis and the growing anger toward the financial world. Whether this new movement will survive, no one knows — but it is a continuation of a long-standing tradition. ...See all stories on this topic »-Politico

Occupy Wall Street: Tell Washington "No Jobs for Us, No Jobs for You"
Black Star News
"Occupy Wall Street," has shown Americans that there are enough people mad enough to want to change the status quo. Participants must not be lured into confrontations with the police including by possible Republican plants and provocateurs. ...See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street spreads to Bay Area suburbs
KTVU San Francisco
About 50 people -- most from local chapters of liberal nonprofit organization MoveOn -- rallied in front of Chevron's corporate offices Tuesday afternoon, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement to protest government underwriting of major oil ...See all stories on this topic

Bill Clinton: Wall Street protests can stir 'positive debate'
Chicago Tribune
By Melissa Jenco, Tribune reporter Former President Bill Clinton opined on a range of topics, including Occupy Wall Street, Steve Jobs and the economy, during an appearance Tuesday at Chicago Ideas Week. Clinton said the Occupy Wall Street movement ...See all stories on this topic »

Building on Occupy Wall St., 'Take Back Chicago' Protests Keep the Pressure On
In These Times
The protesters' central chant, building on the central demand of the ever-growing Occupy Wall Street movement that reached Chicago two weeks ago: "We are the 99 percent." The Americans who aren't benefiting from the current system. ...See all stories on this topic »
They occupy Wall Street, waiting for solutions
ABC Online
Every day by mid-afternoon the numbers at the Occupy Wall Street rally swell. The hipsters and the anarchists are joined by entire Episcopal congregations from across the east river, by middle-aged unemployed suburban dads, by politically-engaged ...See all stories on this topic »

Letters from readers: Occupy Wall Street
Florida Times-Union
Eric Cantor's comments about the Wall Street protestors. I find it scary that the politicians in this country are more interested in taking stances on the political stage rather than looking at what is being said at the protests and figuring out a way ...See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street, class warfare, and dividing the pie
Washington Times
The leftists and hobos Occupying Wall Street are using this disparity to get the nation to buy into class warfare. In fact, not only do they include the top 1% in their hatred, but anyone in the middle-class – the workers who drive the economy. ...See all stories on this topic »-Washington Times

Here comes the crowdstopper: Occupy Wall Street Condoms
In a move reflective of the true nature of capitalism, one store has begun offering noveltyOccupy Wall Street condoms – with slogans like “We Will Come First!” stamped on each wrapper. To show a little love for the protesters, who have been living on ...See all stories on this topic »-RT
Herman Cain says 'blame yourself' comment was only directed at Occupy Wall ...
Washington Post (blog)
At the Washington Post-Bloomberg News debate, Cain said his comment that poor and unemployed people should blame themselves for their lot in life was directed specifically at the Occupy Wall Street protesters currently camping out in New York City and ...See all stories on this topic »

Ed Rendell talks Occupy Wall Street with Laura Ingraham
While discussing a number of issues, the liberal democrat and conservative republican mixed it up about Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in Philadelphia and several other cities. The conversation quickly turned to a frequent topic of discussion on ...See all stories on this topic »

Annette LaCross: Occupy Wall Street protest has grown up fast
Rockford Register Star
In the beginning, Occupy Wall Street was as much about animal rights, war protests and any number of left-wing causes as it was about Wall Street. But it's amazing how galvanizing a little police action can be. On Sept. 24, nearly 80 people were ...See all stories on this topic »

DNC chairwoman: Occupy Wall Street embodies how 'working people feel'
The Hill
on Tuesday said the nationwide Occupy Wall Street protests are “symbolic of the frustration that middle class folks and working people feel that the wealthy always seem to have the wind at their backs.” Appearing on MSNBC, Wasserman Schultz criticized ...See all stories on this topic »

If you go: Occupy Wall Street in Duluth
Duluth News Tribune
The event is being hosted by the Twin Ports MoveOn Council, the Northland Anti-War Coalition and Occupy Duluth, which was born out of the protests that are popping up around the country after this month's “Occupy Wall Street” rally in New York. ...See all stories on this topic »
Wall Street protest's long historical roots
(CNN) -- Spend any time with Occupy Wall Street, as I have during the last two weeks, and you come away believing the movement is here for the long run. In New York, where I live, they have made a home out of Zuccotti Park. The park, which is dominated ...See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street Intensifies With Clearer Goals And Louder Voices
Neon Tommy
New York City, NY -- The crowd of protestors has been growing on Wall Street over the past week, expressing their anger over the current economic system. They believe that if more people are speaking out, they will get their message across to the ...See all stories on this topic »-Neon Tommy

Protesters Arrested on Capitol Hill as Occupy Wall Street Comes to Washington ...
National Journal
By National Journal Staff The Occupy Wall Street protests that began in New York's financial district spread across the country last week, with several popping up in the nation's capital. On Tuesday, a demonstration in the atrium of the Hart Senate ...See all stories on this topic »

Why Occupy Wall Street isn't about a list of demands
By Julianne Pepitone @CNNMoneyTech October 12, 2011: 6:01 AM ET NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A lot of lip service has been paid to the idea that Occupy Wall Street lacks focus. The critics ask: What's the goal of these protests? ...See all stories on this topic »

Kanye West: Occupy Wall Street Participant!
Just Jared
Kanye West marches alongside other protestors at the Occupy Wall Streetmovement on Monday (October 10) in New York City. The 34-year-old rapper brought along his buddy Russell Simmons to help him stand up for the cause. Many celebrities have gotten ...See all stories on this topic »-Just Jared
'Occupy wall street': Cometh the Western Spring?
With the battle cry of 'Occupy Wall Street', the youths are calling for a total rejection of the greed that has seen bankers not only profiting but raking in indecent profits in an inclement economic climate they created almost singlehandedly. ...See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street as the Conscience of America
Huffington Post (blog)
The social movement known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is growing and too few of our government and corporate leaders are willing to examine closely what this movement is about. Instead, the political right resorts to mudslinging and labeling, ...See all stories on this topic »

When occupy Wall Street occupied my Main Street in Fort Collins
Rocky Mountain Collegian
By Matt Miller | RMSMC In the four weeks since the Occupy Wall Street movement began, I have seen images and videos of the 20-something movement spreading across the country. This Monday, the protest hit Fort Collins in front of a foreclosed building ...See all stories on this topic »-Rocky Mountain Collegian

Occupy Wall Street vs. Jobs
National Review Online
On one hand were the perpetually aggrieved protestors of Occupy Wall Street. While much of the media, desperate to find a liberal counterpart to the Tea Party (remember coverage of the state-house takeover in Wisconsin?), tried to pretend that this was ...See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street comes to Oberlin
The Morning Journal
The Occupy Wall Street demonstration started out small last month, with less than a dozen college students spending days and nights in Zuccotti Park, a private plaza off Broadway. It has grown sizably, however, both in New York City and elsewhere as ...See all stories on this topic »
Wall Street Sees 'No Exit' From Financial Woes
By Max Abelson - Wed Oct 12 04:00:18 GMT 2011 Protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement rally in Foley Square before marching though Lower Manhattan in New York City. Protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement rally in ...See all stories on this topic

Photos: Occupy Wall Street Marches Against Millionaires On Park Ave
So I would say the Occupy Wall Street is about JUSTICE and getting the Government back to the PEOPLE, not the N*GGERHEADS like BONER, or Cankor or the other TRAITORS and ill informed Anti American corporate OWNED ASS WIPES of the republican party. ...See all stories on this topic

Leap Payments announces support for Occupy Wall Street and Durbin Cost Reductions
San Francisco Chronicle (press release)
The banks could not make their case to Congress as to why the costs are so high, which is the same reason that movements such as Occupy Wall Street are sprouting up across the US, as people are fed up with the banks imposing fees on their clients and ...See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street driven by 'income polarization'
MarketWatch (blog)
But several dozen questioners in the online queue also wanted to know Gundlach's opinion aboutOccupy Wall Street, the grass-roots group that is protesting….what, exactly? Gundlach said his view of the demonstrators and their goals comes down to this: ...See all stories on this topic »

Indigenizing 'Occupy Wall Street'
Press TV
(File photo) Up to now, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been a mostly white and a mostly middle-class affair. Taking a glance at the Occupy Wall Streetmovement and its many offshoots across the United States, many observers asked, “Where are the ...See all stories on this topic »-Press TV
Occupy Wall Street: A Timely Call for Justice
The Root
In his Washington Post column, Eugene Robinson describes the organic nature of Occupy Wall Street and the very thing it's protesting: economic justice. He says thatthe protests have sprung up on time and are aimed at the right target. ...See all stories on this topic »

10000 Wall Street workers to be laid off
San Francisco Chronicle
Stop the Machine has been occupying Freedom Plaza near the White House since Thursday. A second, younger group called Occupy DC, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, has been in downtown McPherson Square since October 1. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo ...See all stories on this topic »

Wall Street Protests Inspire Ire Over Bank Recruiting
New York Times
By KEVIN ROOSE Andrew Burton/Associated PressProtesters taking part in theOccupy Wall Street demonstrations on Tuesday marched past the Park Avenue apartment building that is the home of Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase. ...See all stories on this topic »-New York Times

How Wall Street is responding, or not, to protests
Allentown Morning Call
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Since the Occupy Wall Street movement kicked off last month, big banks and their employees seem to have made a point of ignoring it, with some privately writing it off as no more than a badly organized nuisance. ...See all stories on this topic »

One Occupy Wall Street Protest Gathers Under a Railroad Bridge - Tracking news and events in the railroad industry
by evan-britton on October 11, 2011 Occupy Wall Street which began in New York City has spread to other cities. In Philadelphia, yesterday I got emailed a picture of Occupy Philadelphia which is taking place at City Hall Plaza in center city ...See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Martinsburg group plans Saturday protest
The Herald-Mail
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD A peaceful protest is planned for noon Saturday in front of the Martinsburg public library at town square in a show of solidarity withOccupy Wall Street protesters. The Occupy Martinsburg rally is ...See all stories on this topic »

The Guardian
The Occupy Wall Street movement started in New York last month. The loosely affiliated movement is peacefully protesting against the power of the financial and political sectors. "They [the US government] may crack down on this movement but cannot ...See all stories on this topic »-The Guardian

Anti-Wall Street protesters march past millionaires' homes in New York: 'Tax ...
Washington Post
Andrew Burton / Associated Press ) - Protestors affiliated with the “Occupy Wall Street” protests chant outside 740 Park Avenue, home to billionaire David Koch and David Ganek, in New York, on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. The crowd marched through out the ...See all stories on this topic »

Conservative '53 Percenters' Attack Occupy Wall Street Movement
Huffington Post
But this new campaign, a conservative answer to Occupy Wall Street, has some verve. The 53 Percenters are responding to We Are the 99 Percent, an inequality-focused online Tumblr designed to shame -- or at least point out that -- the top 1 percent of ...See all stories on this topic »

Bill Maher, Maddow Talk Occupy Wall Street, Rupert Murdoch (VIDEO)
Huffington Post
Bill Maher pointed out what he believed were the stark differences between Occupy Wall Streetprotesters and Tea Partiers on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Tuesday night. Maddow and Maher discussed Occupy Wall Street's "Millionaires March" visiting Rupert ...See all stories on this topic »
The Nation: Wall St. Protests Will Shape Politics
When the organizers of Occupy Wall Street first gathered to discuss their plan of action, the strategy that resonated most came from those who had occupied squares in Madrid and Athens, Tunis and Cairo. According to David Graeber, one of Occupy Wall ... See all stories on this topic »

Occupy Wall Street Protestors Make All the Wrong Political Moves, Says ...
PR Newswire (press release) offers media outlets these quotes on the breaking news story of the Occupy Wall Street movement: "Underdog teams can win, but they need cohesive team leaders, connected team members and convert spokespersons. ...See all stories on this topic »

Public ire hits Wall Street, and government
Washington Post (blog)
By Jon Cohen The fledgling Occupy Wall Street protests tap into a deep vein of public animosity toward the country's major financial institutions, one that is on par with the deep negativity aimed at Washington, according to a new Washington Post-ABC ...See all stories on this topic »

Messaging App Vibe Gets Boost From Occupy Wall Street
New York Times (blog)
He often appears at the various Wall Street protests with an iPad and a projector and hangs a bed sheet to project the current messages flowing through the system on a sheet or wall. The application is getting a lift, thanks to its popularity among the ...See all stories on this topic »

Lawyer For Woman Pepper Sprayed At Occupy Wall Street March Demands Charges ...
CBS New York
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he can understand the frustration expressed by theOccupy Wall Street protesters and vowed to protect their First Amendment rights, but said he doesn't like some of the “bashing” of the people who live and work ...See all stories on this topic »

'Occupy Wall Street' Will Not End Well for Dems
Texas Insider
By Conn Carroll You can file the above report from a CBS affiliate in Sacramento, California, under the “scaring the crap out of folks file.” My favorite is the guy explain why he came to join the protestors: “I've heard its anti-capitalist. ...See all stories on this topic »-Texas Insider

Painful Job Cuts Coming to Wall St.
New York Times
And the Occupy Wall Street protesters headed uptown on Tuesday to have a gander at the residence of Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase's chief executive. Yet staff sizes at financials still haven't shrunk enough, suggesting more pain is to come. ...See all stories on this topic »

One of the more opaque moves by the Federal Housing Finance Agency when it sued 18 of the world's largest financial institutions was filing 13 of the cases in New York federal court, four in New York state court, and one for good measure in Connecticut. 

Court papers show that the four state court suits against Ally Financial. Inc., Countrywide Financial Corp., Morgan Stanley and General Electric Co. have now been removed to the Southern District of New York. 

On Sept. 2, the housing agency sued 17 banks for allegedly misrepresenting the quality of $200 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities that they sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (an additional suit against UBS Americas Inc. was filed in late July). 

In seeking removal, the banks argued that the Southern District has original jurisdiction because the suits are "related to" pending Title II bankruptcy proceedings. These proceedings involve entities that originated, purchased or resold some of the mortgages at issue, and against which defendants have claims for indemnification and/ or contribution. 

The defendants also pointed out that the 13 cases in federal court have claims that are "substantially identical" to their own. 

General Electric simply argued that federal district courts have original jurisdiction in cases where the plaintiff is a federal agency. 

Many of the banks teamed up to file the motions for removal, and in some cases have retained counsel from the same law firms — a sign that they may be working together to coordinate their defense. 

According to court papers, Sullivan & Cromwell has the longest list of clients, representing Barclays Bank PLC, Goldman Sachs & Co., Nomura Holding America Inc., First Horizon National Corp. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in the suits. 

Ally and HSBC North America Holdings Inc. have both turned to Mayer Brown. Citigroup Inc. has retained Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Credit Suisse Holdings (USA) Inc. hired Cravath, Swain & Moore; The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Deutsche Bank A.G. have retained Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, while UBS and Société Génerale S.A tapped Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. 

Morgan Stanley hired Davis Polk & Wardwell; GE picked Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and Bank of America Corp. and Merrill Lynch hired Williams & Connolly. Countrywide hired Goodwin Procter.

Contact Jenna Greene at

1,042 entries categorized "Executive Branch"

October 11, 2011

Obama Administration debates releasing Awlaki memo

10/11/11: CNN reports that there is a debate within the administration about whether to disclose the Justice Department memo that made the case that the US could legally kill US-born militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki if it was not possible to capture him alive. Some are arguing for more disclosure, while others contend that, because the legal argument refers to covert actions that involve national security interests, it should not be disclosed, the official said.
Continue reading "Obama Administration debates releasing Awlaki memo" »

WikiLeaks prompts stronger safeguards for classified information

10/11/11: Secrecy News reports that the US Government has moved to systematically increase the monitoring of classified computer networks and to tighten the safeguarding of classified information in response to the publication of classified records by WikiLeaks. An executive order issued on October 7 does not define the new security policies.  Instead, it establishes new mechanisms for monitoring, developing and implementing information system security policies, including a newly established Insider Threat Task Force.
Continue reading "WikiLeaks prompts stronger safeguards for classified information" »

October 09, 2011

State Department readies Iraq operation

10/09/11: The Washington Post reports that the State Department is racing against an end-of-year deadline to take over Iraq operations from the US military, throwing together buildings and marshaling contractors in its biggest overseas operation since the effort to rebuild Europe after World War II. Attention in Washington and Baghdad has centered on the number of US troops that could remain in Iraq. But those forces will be dwarfed by an estimated 16,000 civilians under the American ambassador — the size of an Army division.

October 08, 2011

Islam content spurs FBI review of anti-terror training

10/08/11: The Washington Times reports that FBI Director Robert Mueller told a congressional hearing on Thursday that the bureau is conducting a review of training programs after disclosure of materials that equated devout Muslims with a greater propensity for violent extremism. Mr. Mueller said that one part of the training program disclosed in a press account was “inappropriate and offensive,” but that the session was a “one-off” and not likely to be repeated.

October 07, 2011

White House orders new cybersecurity policies

10/07/11: The Washington Post reports that the White House will issue Friday an executive order on computer security to prevent breaches of the sort that occurred with the release last year of hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the Web site WikiLeaks. The order, coinciding with National Cybersecurity Month, replaces an outdated policy predating the Obama administration and caps a seven-month review of procedures for handling classified information.

Reducing overclassification through accountability

10/07/11: Secrecy News reports that, as described in Dana Priest’s book “Top Secret America” (co-authored with William Arkin), the notion that “it’s secret because it’s secret” actually goes a long way towards explaining the often reflexive and indiscriminate practice of national security classification.  It therefore stands to reason, says a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice, that if classifiers were obliged to justify their classification actions with more clarity and precision, they would classify less.

October 06, 2011

Secret panel can put Americans on kill list

10/06/11: Reuters reports that American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions. There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

US met secretly with Pakistan and Haqqani network

10/06/11: The New York Times reports that President Obama’s national security adviser met secretly in the Persian Gulf last weekend with Pakistan’s top military officer about the need to rein in the Haqqani network, a deadly insurgent group in Afghanistan that the US says has close ties to Pakistan’s main spy agency. Just a few weeks before, however, American officials held a secret meeting with leaders of the Haqqani network.
Continue reading "US met secretly with Pakistan and Haqqani network" »

October 05, 2011

Hayden urges Congress to let NSA monitor public networks for threats

10/05/11: Wired reports that former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden revived a controversial theme on Tuesday when he urged Congress to allow his former agency to monitor public networks in order to defend against malicious activity coming from nation states and others.  “We’ve got capability on the sidelines wanting policy guidance,” he told the House Intelligence Committee, referring to the NSA. “And when we can enrich that guidance and get them in the field, the better — the safer — we are.”

October 04, 2011

Fundamental review yields reduction in scope of secrecy

10/04/11: Secrecy News reports that the Department of Defense this year cancelled 82 security classification guides as a result of the ongoing Fundamental Classification Guidance Review, a focused effort to combat overclassification of national security information. The cancelled guides can no longer be used to authorize classification of DoD information. Their withdrawal appears to represent a real, non-rhetorical reduction in the permissible scope of national security secrecy.
Continue reading "Fundamental review yields reduction in scope of secrecy" »

September 28, 2011

Treasury sanctions leaders of Pakistani terror group

09/28/11: The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Treasury Department Wednesday laid sanctions on two alleged leaders of a Pakistani terror group, citing their involvement with attacks in India. The Treasury blacklisted Zafar Iqbal and Hafiz Abdul Salam Bhuttavi, describing them as founding members of Lashkar-e Tayyiba, which was responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed more than 160 people. “By targeting the core of LET’s leadership, today’s action aims to degrade its ability to facilitate its terrorist activities,” said David Cohen, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
Continue reading "Treasury sanctions leaders of Pakistani terror group" »

Suit: Obama administration won't identify Intelligence Oversight Board

09/28/11: Politico reports that a lawsuit filed Tuesday claims that the Obama administration is refusing to disclose the identities of those serving on a key panel that oversees the intelligence community. The suit filed in San Francisco by the Electronic Frontier Foundation accuses the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of failing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in February seeking information on appointments to the Intelligence Oversight Board.

September 27, 2011

Putin may restore tougher tone to relations with US

09/27/11 The Washington Post reports that when Putin, currently Russia’s prime minister, makes the very short trip back to the Kremlin next May from his current digs, he will likely bring a tougher tone to Moscow’s engagement with the Obama administration, and the next administration, and possibly the one after that. “There is a really good chance that this makes the atmosphere more frosty,” said Fiona Hill, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. “We know that Putin is more distrustful of the relationship as a natural condition than Medvedev.”
Continue reading "Putin may restore tougher tone to relations with US" »

September 25, 2011

Obama faces hurdles in aiding Arab Spring countries

09/25/11: The Washington Post reports that although President Obama has vowed to support the democratic transitions in the Arab world with greater trade and investment, his effort to back up that promise has run into hurdles in Washington and the Middle East. Congress still hasn’t passed two programs Obama announced in May to help the emerging Arab democracies: economic development funds and a $1 billion debt relief package for Egypt.

Hezbollah leader could get military tribunal in US

09/25/11: Forbes reports that the Obama administration is considering a military trial in the United States for Ali Mussa Daqduq, a Hezbollah commander now detained in Iraq, previewing a potential prosecution strategy that has failed before but may offer a solution to a difficult legal problem for the government. While the US hasn't made a decision, officials said a tribunal at a US military base may be the best way to deal with Daqduq, who has been linked to the Iranian government and a brazen raid in which four American soldiers were abducted and killed.

Bush-era Pentagon officials cleared of wrongdoing in providing information briefings

09/25/11: The Washington Times reports that a three-year government investigation has found no wrongdoing by Bush-era Pentagon officials when they gave war briefings to retired military analysts who served as TV and radio commentators. The probe by the Pentagon inspector general was a response to a 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning article in the New York Times that implied the former military officers, some of whom worked for or were defense contractors, received financial favors in return for their commentary and that they were tools in a propaganda campaign.
Continue reading "Bush-era Pentagon officials cleared of wrongdoing in providing information briefings" »

September 20, 2011

US, Pakistan reach deal to limit American troops there, amid ongoing discord

09/20/11: The Washington Post reports that the United States and Pakistan have agreed to limit the number of American troops in that country, amid frayed relations between the two nations and a struggle to repair them. The presence of US forces inside Pakistan is highly unpopular there, and became more so following the US military raid inside Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. According to US officials, the compromise pact slashes the number of US forces allowed in Pakistan to between 100 and 150, nearly half of what it has been in the past.

Obama administration insists on Guantanamo closure ahead of 2012 elections

09/20/11: The Washington Post reports that US Attorney General Eric Holder says that the Obama administration will do its utmost to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay ahead of next year’s presidential elections despite political opposition. Holder said at the European Parliament on Tuesday that even if the current administration fails to close it ahead of elections, it will continue to press ahead if it wins the November 2012 presidential vote.
Continue reading "Obama administration insists on Guantanamo closure ahead of 2012 elections" »

September 19, 2011

US envoy blasts Iran’s nuclear ‘deceit’

09/19/11: National Public Radio reports that US Energy Secretary Steven Chu accused Iran of nuclear "denial, deceit and evasion" on Monday, warning that Tehran's decision to move some uranium enrichment facilities to an underground bunker brings it closer to being able to producing the fissile core of a warhead. Tehran, however, said Western pressure was to blame for its decision to relocate thousands of enrichment machines into a fortified subterranean location and for refusing to open its nuclear activities to greater outside perusal.
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September 18, 2011

Commentary: What we still don’t know after September 11

09/18/11: The New York Review of Books features a new article by David Cole, addressing what, precisely, did and did not change after September 11, particularly with respect to law, liberty, and security. Cole discusses the response of the Bush and Obama administrations to terrorism, concluding that one of the most important lessons of the past decade may be that the rule of law has proved far more resilient than many would have predicted.

September 17, 2011

Obama adviser discusses using military on terrorists

09/17/11: The New York Times reports that John O. Brennan, the top counter-terrorism adviser to President Obama, on Friday defended a broad conception of where the United States can use military force against members of Al Qaeda and its allies. Mr. Brennan also denounced a proposal in Congress to mandate military detention of terrorism suspects — even those captured on United States soil. His remarks were part of a speech on the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policy and the rule of law, delivered before a conference at Harvard Law School.

September 15, 2011

US-Poland Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement comes into force

09/15/11: RTT News reports that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement signed by the United States and Poland in 2008 entered into force on Thursday. The agreement’s Amending Protocol of 2010, governing deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland, simultaneously came into effect. Forming part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense, the US Ballistic Missile Defense system will be located at Redzikowo Base by 2018.

CRS examines congressional authority to limit military operations

09/15/11: Secrecy News notes that a new report from the Congressional Research Service discusses the authority of the President to use military force without congressional authorization and the ability of Congress to limit or regulate such use. At issue are the scope and priority of basic constitutional terms, including the definition of the President’s role as commander in chief, the authority of Congress to declare war, and its ability to appropriate or to withhold funds for military operations.

US puts Indian militant group on terror list

09/15/11: The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that the State Department designated the Indian Mujahideen, an Indian militant group, as a foreign terrorist organization Thursday. The terrorist group’s ultimate aim is to impose an Islamic-style caliphate in South Asia. The group is suspected of being behind the serial bombings in Mumbai on July 13 that killed more than 20 people and injured at least 100 others. The IM is believed to be part of the Karachi Project, sponsored by Pakistan's powerful military spy agency, the Inter-Service Intelligence Directorate (ISI), which seeks to train Indian jihadists to wage terrorist attacks against Indian cities.

September 14, 2011

US and Australian leaders to include cyberthreats as part of security cooperation agreement

09/14/11: The Washington Post reports that US and Australian officials have decided to include cooperation on cybersecurity as part of their defense treaty, marking the first time the Obama administration has formally carved out that kind of partnership with a country outside NATO. The agreement is particularly critical considering the ongoing cyberthreat emanating from the Pacific region, especially China and North Korea. It also reflects the Obama administration’s stated goals earlier this year to work aggressively with other nations to combat cybercrime, improve law enforcement cooperation against cyber terrorists and hackers, and create broad international policies to help make the Internet more secure.

Three terrorist groups in Africa pose threat to US, American commander says

09/14/11: The New York Times reports that the senior American military commander for Africa warned Wednesday that three violent extremist organizations on the continent were trying to forge an alliance to coordinate attacks on the United States and Western interests. The commander, Gen. Carter F. Ham, the top officer at Africa Command, said terrorist organizations in East Africa, in the deserts of northern Africa and in Nigeria “have very explicitly and publicly voiced an intent to target Westerners, and the US specifically.” General Ham made clear that the three militant organizations — the Shabab in Somalia, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb across the Sahel region of northern Africa and Boko Haram in northern Nigeria — had not yet shown the capability to mount significant attacks outside their homelands.

September 13, 2011

Three Pakistani men plead guilty to terror charges

09/13/11: The IPT Blog reports that three Pakistani men pleaded guilty Monday to terrorism-related charges of supporting the Pakistani Taliban, according to a release from the US Justice Department. At a hearing before the US District Judge John Bates in the District of Columbia, Irfan Ul Haq Qasim Ali, and Zahid Yousaf pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to provide material support to the Tehrik-e-Taliban, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Intelligence chiefs say al Qaeda is weaker, but still a threat

09/13/11: CNN reports that al-qaeda is weakened and might be spreading out further, but remains a significant threat to the United States, the nation's top intelligence officials told a congressional committee Tuesday. CIA Director David Petraeus, the former military commander in Afghanistan said al Qaeda was far weaker today than it was 10 years ago at the time of the 9/11 attacks due to the killing of Osama bin Laden and other successful attacks on leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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September 12, 2011

US considering Ankara’s request to base Predators in Turkey to fight a Kurdish group in northern Iraq

09/12/11: The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration is considering a request from Turkey to base a fleet of Predator drones on Turkish soil for counterterrorism operations in northern Iraq, a decision that could strengthen a diplomatic alliance but drag the United States deeper into a regional conflict.

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