Category Archives: Foreign policy

Secret judges of secret court which secretly approves spying in secret decisions publicly objects to its portrayal as secretly rubber-stamping government spying . . .

centernewsnetwork.com:

The secret judges of the secret court which secretly rubber stamps in secret decisions the secret espionage carried out against American citizens are upset about the “perception that the court works too closely with the government.” Trying telling it to a judge:

The perception that the court works too closely with the government arises in large part from the tribunal’s “ex parte” nature, which means that unlike in a traditional court, there is no legal sparring between adversaries with the judge as arbiter. Instead, a Justice Department official makes the case for the government agency seeking permission to carry out surveillance inside the United States. No one speaks for the target of the surveillance or the company that is ordered to allow its networks to be tapped or to turn over its customers’ data.

Some critics say the court is a rubber stamp for government investigators because it almost never has turned down a warrant application. However, that high batting average doesn’t take into account changes the court requires in some requests and other applications that the government withdraws.

For about 30 years, the court was located on the sixth floor of the Justice Department’s headquarters, down the hall from the officials who would argue in front of it. (The court moved to the District’s federal courthouse in 2009.) “There is a collaborative process that would be unnatural in the public, criminal court setting,” said a former Justice official familiar with the court.

The utter corruption of the judiciary shown in its contemptible failure to perform its constitutional function may be the most dangerous aspect of the NSA assault on our rights.

Uh oh, even the “natives” are restless in Brazil . . .

centernewsnetwork.com:

The Brazilians are upset about bus fares, the cost of the World Cup and taxes, among other things, in their once happy socialist paradise. Does promising to satisfy every whim in exchange for votes lead to ever stranger whims? Guardian.co.uk reports:

“Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and key ministers are to hold an emergency meeting on Friday following a night of protests that saw Rio de Janeiro and dozens of other cities echo with percussion grenades and swirl with teargas as riot police scattered the biggest demonstrations in more than two decades . . .

A vast crowd – estimated by the authorities at 300,000 and more than a million by participants – filled Rio’s streets, one of a wave of huge nationwide marches against corruption, police brutality, poor public services and excessive spending on the World Cup.

Clashes were reported in the Amazon jungle city of Belem.”

Hurray! Obama says Taliban will “renounce” al Qaeda; but will they repeat the “talaq” three times while facing Mecca . . .

centernewsnetwork.com:

Presto. All is well in Afghanistan as the Taliban will soon “renounce” al Qaeda!

“Senior Barack Obama administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the record, described the office opening to AP as a stepping stone to full Taliban renouncement of al Qaeda.

Even better, the Taliban celebrated the NATO turnover of Afghan security to the Afghan Army with a traditional roadside bombing resulting in 3 deaths and 30 injured.

Um, OK. Obama General says Army was not ordered to “stand down” in Benghazi, they were ordered to “remain in Tripoli” . . .

From the Center:

This dishonest AP story suggests that Gen. Dempsey disputes Deputy Ambassador Gregory Hicks about a “stand down” order during the Benghazi terrorist attack. But according to AP the Deputy Ambassador didn’t say “stand down,” he said the soldiers were told not to board the plane. That is exactly what Gen. Dempsey said. Beyond that, the AP scoop is that our special forces were not told to “stand down” they were ordered “to remain in Tripoli?”

Top military leader disputes diplomat on Benghazi

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday that four members of Army special forces in Tripoli were never told to stand down after last year’s deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, disputing a former top diplomat’s claim that the unit might have helped Americans under siege.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said timing and the need for the unit to help with casualties from Benghazi resulted in orders for the special forces to remain in Tripoli . . .

Meanwhile, a second team was preparing to leave on a Libyan C-130 cargo plane from Tripoli to Benghazi when Hicks said he learned from the Libyan prime minister that Stevens was dead. The Libyan military agreed to transport additional personnel as reinforcements to Benghazi on its cargo plane, but Hicks complained the special forces were told not to make the trip.

“They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it,” Hicks said. Pressed on why, he said, “I guess they just didn’t have the right authority from the right level.”

War on Women: Will Cuomo and Gillibrand demand an investigation of Hillary’s drug-fueled, frat-house Department of State?

(CBS News) CBS News has uncovered documents that show the State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal and inappropriate behavior within their ranks.

CBS News’ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park. The State Department Inspector General’s memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who “routinely ditched … his protective security detai” and inspectors suspect this was in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”

Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.

“Market-driven factors” had nothing to do with the collapse of Europe’s “command & control” socialist economy . . .

Reuters 5-31-13:

“Unemployment has reached a new high in the euro zone and inflation remains well below the European Central Bank’s target, stepping up pressure on EU leaders and the ECB for action to revive the bloc’s sickly economy. Joblessness in the 17-nation currency area rose to 12.2 percent in April, EU statistics office Eurostat said on Friday, marking a new record since the data series began in 1995.

Economists and policymakers including Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, have said the greatest menace to the unity of the euro zone is now social breakdown from the crisis, rather than market-driven factors.

In France, Europe’s second largest economy, the number of jobless rose to a record in April, while in Italy, the unemployment rate hit its highest level in at least 36 years, with 40 percent of young people out of work.”

Americans have had enough of “nation-building” in the Arab/Muslim world . . .

Gallup:
“PRINCETON, NJ — Sixty-eight percent of Americans say the United States should not use military action in Syria to attempt to end the civil war there if diplomatic and economic efforts fail, while 24% would favor U.S. military involvement.

Americans are not optimistic that the conflict between government and rebel forces in Syria will be solved through diplomatic and economic means. The May 28-29 Gallup poll finds that Americans do not believe such efforts will resolve the conflict, by 58% to 27%.

Thus, Americans seem to have a clear preference for keeping the U.S. military out of the Syrian conflict, given their opposition to such involvement even though they expect that diplomatic efforts will fail to bring peace.”

Hmmm. It will take FBI ” several months” to figure out why FBI agent shot unarmed terrorism suspect . . .

Washington Post:

“A Chechen man who was fatally shot by an FBI agent last week during an interview about one of the Boston bombing suspects was unarmed, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

An air of mystery has surrounded the FBI shooting of Ibragim Todashev, 27, since it occurred in Todashev’s apartment early on the morning of May 22. The FBI said in a news release that day that Todashev, a former Boston resident who knew bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed during an interview with several law enforcement officers.

The FBI has provided few other details, saying that the matter is being investigated by an FBI review team that may not finish its probe for several months.”

Poverty in Sweden may be “uncommon” but envy, ignorance and ingratitude is abundant . . .

From Guardian.co.uk:

The gap between rich and poor in Sweden is growing faster than in any other major nation, according to the OECD, although absolute poverty remains uncommon.”
 
From rt.com:

Youth gang riots in the Swedish capital Stockholm have entered fifth straight night. Hundreds of mostly immigrant teenagers tore through the suburbs, smashing windows and burning cars in the country’s worst outbreak of violence in years.

Community leaders insist that a main reason for the violence is the high rate of unemployment in immigrant communities, particularly in the suburb of Husby near central Stockholm, one of the worst affected by the nighttime violence, Peter Oliver reported.

“In Sweden you’ve got welfare, access to the educational system – up to university level, you got access to public transport, libraries, healthcare – to everything. And still they feel that they [immigrants] need to riot through stones and Molotov cocktails. It’s ridiculous and a bad excuse,”Swedish Democrats MP Kent Ekeroth told RT.

“Police can put down these riots in five minutes – if the politicians were to allow them,” Ekeroth added.

Formed in response to violence, they’ll be labeled the “root cause” . . .

From the Guardian:

“Scores of supporters of the English Defence League threw bottles at police and chanted anti-Muslim slogans in Woolwich hours after the murder of one man and the shooting of his two suspected assailants. About 100 men, including some wearing balaclavas printed with “EDL”, engaged in running battles with police for less than an hour. A police commander said officers cited section 60 of the Public Order Act, which allowed them to stop and search individuals within a specific area without evidence of a crime being committed.

EDL leader Tommy Robinson said: “They’re chopping our soldiers’ heads off. This is Islam. That’s what we’ve seen today. They’ve cut off one of our army’s heads off on the streets of London.

“Our next generation are being taught through schools that Islam is a religion of peace. It’s not. It never has been. What you saw today is Islam. Everyone’s had enough. There has to be a reaction, for the government to listen, for the police to listen, to understand how angry this British public are.”