Illegal NSA Spying Hurts Americans In Many Ways: Radio Report

The appalling domestic spying program inflicted upon Americans in recent years helps create needless job losses, health care snafus, and other austerity measures afflicting millions. That was my theme Monday, Feb. 10 on the Clearing the FOG (Forces of Greed) Radio Show. Margaret Flowers, MD, and Kevin Zeese, JDPlease click to hear via the web my interview on the Washington, DC-based show on We Act Radio, with a terrestrial signal at 1480 AM.

I disclosed to co-hosts Margaret Flowers, MD, and Kevin Zeese, JD, left, evidence from my new book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters exposing:

A secret, pervasive and historically illegal electronic surveillance on Americans that hurts victim finances and the safety net -- and not simply the privacy of virtually everyone in the nation.

Before 2012 reelection of President Obama, Ralph Nader wrote, "He's a con man. I have no use for him."

What Nader did not know when I spoke with him last year goes far beyond that and is documented in Puppetry with more than a thousand endnotes.

Obama, whose first job out of college was with a CIA front company, is a creation of the national security state and its Wall Street overseers, just like his recent presidential predecessors. Obama remains deeply intimidated by the power of the oligarchs.

Why does spying control him and hurt so many in the pocketbook? It's not just in our privacy, First Amendment and due process rights historically protected by the Constitution.

It's because the spying and the danger of reprisal inevitably targets critics of wasteful defense and domestic intelligence spending. The dossiers can be devastating. Everyone has something to hide.

The intelligence community thereby has the ability to skew spending, freedom of association and debate, news coverage and the rest of the democratic progress. With limited financial resources, governments respond by slashing domestic programs. This has created hardship not seen since the Great Depression.

The Day We Fight Back PosterThe invitation from Flowers and Zeese to discuss the causes and impact of the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA) spy program came on the day before a nationwide protest they helped promote called, "The Day We Fight Back."

The occasion prompted me to prepare something new and not previously described in my broadcast and interview revelations from the book, summarized here last week.

The theme should be obvious. Clear evidence exists that government has shifted with little opposition vast resources post 9/11 to war, intelligence gathering, militarized police and other "homeland security" functions and away from quality of life programs for ordinary Americans. That alone makes for a fairly standard left-right or Democrat versus Republican discussion.

The explosive new perspective I contribute is evidence that both major parties are complicit in selling out ordinary Americans because of hidden factors.

Money and power of the intelligence establishment has overwhelmed our traditional checks-and-balances and other Constitutional safeguards and watchdog institutions.

This goes far beyond the usual good-government concerns of corporate campaign donations and revolving-door post-government jobs. I am exposing the potential and occasional reality of serious blackmail, arrest and other reprisals against non-cooperating citizens, even those in powerful government positions. Former NSA analyst Russell Tice has said he knows first-hand that the NSA has spied on members of Congress, including then-Sen. Barack Obama.

As a result, virtually all of official Washington is singing from the same songbook -- in part because critics of the spending have hidden ties to the spenders that the traditional media refuse to report.

Presidential Puppety: Obama, Romney and Their MastesI was thrilled to be able to discuss these concepts with the two hosts of the show, who are at the forefront of citizen advocacy in the Washington-Baltimore corridor.

Zeese, an attorney and former Green Party candidate for a U.S. Senate seat for Maryland, is co-director of It's Our Economy and an organizer of the National Occupation of Washington, DC. With Flowers, he was one of the original organizers of Occupy Washington, DC.

Flowers is a medical doctor who held a prestigious residency at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. In 2005, she became a prominent advocate at Physicians for National Health Care for broad-based single-payer coverage.

She and her organization fought Obamacare from the left as too expensive, complicated and otherwise inferior to the kind of coverage plans that every other industrialized Western nation delivers.

She played a role in one of Puppetry's narratives when House Democrats such as Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan caved into administration requests to support the Affordable Care Act, which passed the House by just one vote in the spring of 2010.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a medical doctor, told a progressive audience hosted informally by Conyers in the House Judiciary hearing room that the new law would be good for the country, and if not would open the door for future reforms. After Dean left, Flowers re-argued the points with Conyers.

U.S. Rep. John ConyersI watched in admiration from about four feet away as she predicted to Conyers that he and other Democrats would regret caving in to centrists, insurers and other corporate players.

Conyers, as a single-payer advocate since his 1964 election from a Detroit district, was sympathetic to her argument. But he said there was nothing he or other like-minded Democrats could do to counter White House pressure from their own party. Eight months previously, Conyers had told a small gathering of progressives that he had warned the president that he was making the biggest mistake of his presidency by supporting the overly-complex and insurer-friendly Obamacare law instead of fighting for a simpler, cheaper system.

What I can add to this discussion is research from the book showing that the president and his family have strong but hidden ties to the intelligence community and ultimately to Wall Street. That makes his cave-ins understandable on a host of issues, including deference to the CIA, NSA, defense industry, insurers and other powerful players.

To be sure, his positions tend for the most part to be more to the left of the vast majority of Republican office-holders. But the end result is that few Americans know much about his enablers and loyalties because much of that history has been omitted from mainstream news media, who are themselves part of the controlled-information process.

I'll describe the documentation of a century of such behavior that the power elite seeks sufficient control to obtains a relatively narrow range of policies -- no matter whether Democrats or Republicans win the presidential election.

Zeese and Flowers are planning during the second half of the show to discuss plans for major grassroots actions during the spring, described more fully at the website Popular Resistance.org.
 
My message is non-partisan. I have taken it to conservative, mainstream and progressive audiences. To be sure, the path is not necessarily smooth or otherwise successful. The reasons are understandable, at least to me: The government and its hirelings have a vast advantage with surveillance, intimidation, law enforcement, sanctions inducements and media control.
 
I'll describe, for example, the disturbing and little-known fact that Amazon.com has won a $600 million contract to handle the CIA's cloud computing needs.
 
Final approval for the award came several months after Amazon.com's founder, Jeffrey Bezos, bought the Washington Post for $250 million, thereby continuing the newspaper's longstanding ties with the spy community documented in Presidential Puppetry.
 
The book reveals shocking information about the President and each of the key members of his new national security team shown at right: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, and CIA Director John Brennan at right.
 
Also, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at left, is described as making a singularly preposterous argument in late 2012 at the National Press Club when he tried to explain Obama's dismissal of former CIA Director David Petreus.
 
Join us Feb. 10 as we address that kind of unaccountable behavior, as well as such questions as:
  • Who is really in control?
  • How did this happen?
  • What are the results?
  • What is the value of NSA/CIA surveillance?
  • What is society's current path?
  • How do we get off it?
 
Contact the author Andrew Kreig
 
 

 

Feb. 10 Radio Show

Clearing the FOG (Forces of Greed) Radio Show.

Popular Resistance.org. "With the corporate takeover of federal and state governments," Zeese's organization states on its website, "more people are becoming politically active in new and creative ways. A growing culture of resistance is utilizing nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience as a primary tactic, and is forming real democratic organizations to empower local communities—as opposed to working within the corrupt government dominated by a two-corporate party system and within an unfair, big finance, capitalist economy. PopularResistance.org is a resource and information clearinghouse for this movement."

Aaron SwartzFight Back Against Mass Surveillance, The Day We Fight Back, Feb. 11, 2014. On February 11, thousands of websites will host banners urging people to call/email Congress and take other actions. Dear Internet Users: In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. A year ago this month one of that movement’s leaders, Aaron Swartz, right, tragically passed away. Today we face a different threat, one that undermines the Internet, and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance. If Aaron were alive, he’d be on the front lines, fighting against a world in which governments observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action. Now, on the the anniversary of Aaron’s passing, and in celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA that he helped make possible, we are planning a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th. If you’re in the US: Thousands of websites will host banners urging people to call/email Congress. Plans may change, but we intend to ask legislators to oppose the FISA Improvements Act, support the USA Freedom Act, and enact protections for non-Americans.
      
Margret Flowers, MDStreet Roots, Health care champion Margaret Flowers talks w/ Street Roots, Interview by Jay Thiemeyer, Feb. 16, 2011. Dr. Margaret Flowers, left, has become a leading voice in a movement for single-payer health care. In 2006, she left behind a medical practice to take up the fight and has become a hero of sorts for millions of uninsured Americans. Flowers obtained her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and did her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. After being arrested in 2009 for advocating for single-payer she wrote, “In that moment, it all became so clear. We could write letters, phone staffers and fax until the machines fell apart, but we would never get our seat at the table. The fact that thousands of people in America are dying every year because they can’t get health care means nothing. The fact that over one million Americans go into bankruptcy every year due to medical debt — even though most of them had insurance when they got sick — means nothing.” She has dedicated her life to changing this. Flowers currently works with the Physicians for a National Health Program, a non-profit research and education organization made up of more than 18,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals. She was recently in Portland as one of the speakers at a daylong Single Payer Conference at the First Unitarian Church.

 

Justice Integrity Project Coverage

NSA Backgrounder

Barack ObamaFormer NSA Execs Warn Americans Against Loss of Political and Privacy Rights, Andrew Kreig, July 25, 2013. The NSA operates largely without accountability to other government branches or the public, according several former high-ranking NSA executives speaking July 25 at a forum at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. They said the NSA tries to collect as much phone, email, and social media data as possible from the world's population, including U.S. citizens, for storage and potential retrieval later. The process represents a massive loss of political freedom and privacy that Americans have enjoyed through history until recent years, according to panelists convened by the Government Accountability Project (GAP). GAP Executive Director Bea Edwards opened the forum by describing the pivotal role of whistleblowers to help the public understand when authorities overstep legal bounds.

'Puppetry' Revelations Clarify 'State of the Union,' Andrew Kreig, Feb. 3, 2014. Presidential Puppetry can help viewers better understand the implications of President Obama's State of the Union address.

Health Care, Social Safety Net Backgrounders

Huffington Post, Will An Oct. 27 DC Hearing Make History For Health Rights?Andrew Kreig, Oct. 20, 2009. Huffington Post, Fans Of House Health Option Cite Rights Hopes, But Risk Big Defeat, Nov. 5, 2009.

 

Other Relevant Coverage

National Security Agency Surveillance

At left in a White House file photo, President Obama meetings with key national security staff, including National Security Advisor Susan Rice, at far right, Chief of Staff Thomas McDonaugh, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

Guardian, François Hollande expected to get 'super red-carpet' treatment in US, Guardian, French president will be honoured with black-tie White House dinner and trip in Air Force One, Kim Willsher, Feb. 9, 2014. The United States is expected to roll out the red carpet for François Hollande on Monday as the president becomes the first French leader to make a state visit for nearly two decades. The three-day visit, which includes a black-tie dinner at the White House and a trip in the presidential plane Air Force One, is seen as evidence of the close ties between the US and France. As well as talks with Barack Obama, who has hosted only six state dinners since he took office in 2009, Hollande will visit Silicon Valley and have lunch with the heads of key new technology and social networking companies. In San Francisco, Hollande will meet Eric Schmidt, the head of Google, and the Facebook chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, as well as representatives from Twitter and Mozilla. Hollande is reportedly planning to voice concerns about data protection and the "tax optimization" schemes of internet companies such as Google. Last week, Google was reportedly hit with a €1bn bill in unpaid taxes by the French fiscal authorities. Officials say, however, that relations between the two countries are "excellent" despite revelations last year that American intelligence agencies had been snooping on the French and other Europeans. The criticism will not be all one way. Hollande will face hard questions from Silicon Valley firms about France's high taxes for companies and what are seen as business-unfriendly economic policies. The visit will also be dogged by interest in Hollande's private life. The president had been due to visit the US with his partner Valérie Trierweiler, but the couple split after it was revealed Hollande had been secretly visiting an actor.

New York Review of Books, The Three Leakers and What to Do About Them, David Cole, Feb. 6, 2014 (available online Jan. 27, 2014.) Secrets and Leaks: The Dilemma of State Secrecy by Rahul Sagar, Princeton University Press, 281 pp., $35; Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles by James C. Goodale, CUNY Journalism Press, 260 pp., $35. What should we make of Edward Snowden, Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, and Julian Assange? Their names are known across the globe, yet the actions that made them famous have also driven them to lives of intense isolation—in hiding, in prison, or in a foreign embassy. They have been lionized as heroes and condemned as traitors. Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), and Manning, a low-level army intelligence analyst, are responsible for the two largest unauthorized disclosures of classified information in the nation’s history.

C-SPAN Book TV, James Bamford on NSA Spying and Edward Snowden, Created Feb. 3, 2014 based on filming Jan. 15 at National Press Club. (78 min.) Author James Bamford, who has written three books about the National Security Agency (NSA), talked about the history of NSA spying and the NSA’s surveillance of American citizens since the September 11, 2011 attacks. He also talked about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the lawsuit brought against the agency by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.This event was held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Bamford is the author of The Puzzle Palace, the first book published about the NSA. He later authored two more: Body of Secrets and The Shadow Factory. Bamford has also written and co-produced a documentary on the NSA titled, The Spy Factory.

C-SPAN Live, James Bamford on Surveillance Policy, Jan. 18, 2014. Author James Bamford, who has written three books about the National Security Agency (NSA), talked about President Obama’s remarks on surveillance policy. A video clip was shown of President Obama’s speech the previous day about recommended changes to the way in which the NSA collects and monitors telephone data. Bamford also spoke about the potential for changes beyond the recommendations of the president’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. He responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. Bamford is the author of The Puzzle Palace, the first book published about the NSA. He later authored two more: Body of Secrets and The Shadow Factory. Bamford has also written and co-produced a documentary on the NSA titled, The Spy Factory.

William Binney

Washington Post, Why tech companies and the NSA diverge on Snowden, Peter Swire, Jan. 29, 2014. Peter Swire is a professor of law and ethics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a member of President Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies and was the chief counselor for privacy in the Office of Management and Budget from 1999 to 2001. Is Edward Snowden a whistleblower or a traitor? There is a vast cultural divide between Silicon Valley and Washington on this issue, and the reasons reveal much about the broader debates about what to do in the wake of the leaks. After wrestling with the issue, I think that Snowden could have been a conscientious objector — but he has thus far failed the test. Snowden knowingly set himself above the law, claiming a higher morality. Full clemency, without any jail time, would create a bad precedent in holding others in the intelligence community accountable, should they break security rules.

Keith AlexanderWashington Post, U.S. officials harbor doubts Obama’s NSA goal can be met, Sari Horwitz and Ellen Nakashima, Jan. 21, 2014. Some fear the president’s push to quickly revamp the phone-data collection program is unworkable. U.S. officials directed by President Obama to find a way to end the government’s role in gathering Americans’ phone records are deeply concerned that there may be no feasible way to accomplish the task soon, according to individuals familiar with the discussions. In a speech last week, Obama put the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in charge of developing a plan by March 28 to transfer control of the massive database of records away from the National Security Agency — a step aimed at addressing widespread privacy concerns. But even among U.S. officials who applauded the recommendation in principle, there is a growing worry that the president’s goals are unattainable in the near future, officials said. NSA Director Keith Alexander is shown at right.

Washington Post, Head of intelligence calls on Snowden to return documents, Greg Miller, Jan. 29, 2014. James Clapper offers blistering remarks at an annual hearing on the most significant U.S. security threats.

Guardian, Obama's NSA 'Reforms' Are Little More Than a PR Attempt to Mollify the Public, Glenn Greenwald, Jan. 17, 2014. Obama is draping the banner of change over the NSA status quo. Bulk surveillance that caused such outrage will remain in place,In response to political scandal and public outrage, official Washington repeatedly uses the same well-worn tactic. Predictably, it is the same one that shaped President Obama's much-heralded Friday speech to announce his proposals for "reforming" the National Security Agency in the wake of seven months of intense worldwide controversy. The crux of this tactic is that US political leaders pretend to validate and even channel public anger by acknowledging that there are "serious questions that have been raised". They vow changes to fix the system and ensure these problems never happen again. And they then set out, with their actions, to do exactly the opposite: to make the system prettier and more politically palatable with empty, cosmetic "reforms" so as to placate public anger while leaving the system fundamentally unchanged, even more immune than before to serious challenge.

Washington Post, Obama Speech, Breaking down Obama’s NSA speech, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, Jan. 21, 2014. President Obama called Friday for significant changes to the way the National Security Agency collects and uses telephone records of U.S. citizens. Watch the speech and read what the Post’s writers had to say about it.

PUSA Today, We need real protection from the NSA, Ed Loomis, Kirk Wiebe, Thomas Drake, William Binney (left) and Diane Roark, Jan. 15, 2014. Wake up, America. While we've been paying attention to other things, our intelligence agencies have been tearing holes into the Bill of Rights. On Friday, President Obama is expected to issue new guidelines that purport to rein in these abuses, but leaked details leave little reason for hope that his proposals will go far enough. What America needs is a U-turn before we lose our freedom and our country. In the years since 9/11, administrations of both parties, along with U.S. intelligence agencies, have secretly built up enormous powers that they do not intend to relinquish. They were aided in this endeavor by the very institution that was supposed to be a safeguard, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court whose secret rulings essentially set aside the Constitution. Ill-considered legislation from Congress has only enabled the collapse of checks and balances. In late 2005 and early 2006, the New York Times, then Mark Klein and USA TODAY received fragmentary information on a program that collected private information on Americans. Last June, publication of documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden revealed a far more intrusive program of domestic spying. These programs were supposed to protect us, but the president's NSA review panel found that spying on Americans has not prevented any terrorist attacks. Even if it had, the power the government has aggregated is a more dangerous threat to our freedom than is terrorism itself. The executive branch has vast troves of electronic data on most Americans, even those who have never been suspected of a crime.

Russell Tice, Kurt Wiebe, William Binney, and Sam Husseini (Noel St. John Photo)Institute for Public Accuracy, NSA Veterans and Whistleblowers Respond to Obama Speech, Sam Husseini, Jan. 17, 2014. On Friday, the Institute for Public Accuracy held a news conference with several NSA whistleblowers immediately after President Obama’s address. NSA veterans Bill Binney, Russ Tice and Kirk Wiebe spoke at a news conference at 12:30 at the National Press Club. Binney and Wiebe — as well as Thomas Drake — are among the authors of a USA Today op-ed published Jan. 17 titled “We Need Real Protection from the NSA,” which states: “On Friday, President Obama is expected to issue new guidelines that purport to rein in these [NSA] abuses, but leaked details leave little reason for hope that his proposals will go far enough. What America needs is a U-turn before we lose our freedom and our country." Bill Binney (right) is former technical director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group and co-founder of the SIGINT [Signals intelligence] Automation Research Center. Russ Tice (standing) is former National Security Agency analyst and a source for the New York Times’ pieces published in 2005 about NSA surveillance. Photo credit: Noel St. John. Audio.

Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show via OpEdNews, Whistleblower Former NSA Exec Thomas Drake On Obama's Speech, Bengazi, 911 and more, Rob Kall, Jan. 20, 2014. After attending a pre-lecture reception, then a one hour lecture, then doing dinner with Thomas Drake, that lasted almost five hours, I got together three days later with Thomas and did what turned out to be an almost 2.5 hour interview. This is the first hour of the interview. From Wikipedia: Thomas Drake is a former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), a decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, and a whistleblower.

Washington Post, Obama faces big hurdles in plan to limit NSA power, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, Jan. 18, 2014. Technical, logistical and political issues, many largely beyond Obama’s control, will make reforming the collection of Americans’ phone records more difficult.

Lawfare, FISC Query Preapproval: Intelligence Burden or Bump in the Road? Peter Margulies, Jan. 18, 2014. Never was the phrase “the devil’s in the details” more apt than in describing President Obama’s instruction, yesterday, that the government query its bulk collection metadata only “after a judicial finding, or in a true emergency.” Pre-approval ratcheted up burdens at the NSA in 2009, when FISC Judge Reggie Walton imposed a preapproval requirement after learning that the NSA had been querying metadata using identifiers without a “reasonable and articulable suspicion” (RAS) link to terrorist groups.  But the impact of preapproval is actually only the second question to be asked about the President’s proposed RAS regime; the first question (as Ben noted at a fine Brookings event yesterday) is whether the FISC has the authority to preapprove specific identifiers.  This post addresses both questions, starting with the issue of the FISC’s power.

President Obama's Hidden Background

New Haven Register, Kreig’s ‘Presidential Puppetry’ gives road map to master manipulators, Andy Thibault, left, Dec. 31, 2013. Andrew Kreig covered federal courts in the 1970s for the Hartford Courant. Kreig seemed like he knew what Andy Thibaulthe was doing, so I followed him around for a bit. His reporting on the 2008 and 2012 elections inspired him to probe who really pulls the strings in Washington. The result is a most provocative book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters. Kreig broke the story of how President-elect Obama’s transition team feared a revolt if the new commander in chief pushed prosecution of CIA officials for torture and other crimes. “Presidential Puppetry” documents how Obama is among all recent U.S. presidents who have fostered confidential relationships with the CIA or FBI before they entered politics. For example, Obama’s first job out of college was for Business International Corporation, revealed by The New York Times as a CIA front. Same article published also in: Torrington Register-Citizen and Middletown Press. 

Hartford Courant via Hartford Courant Alumni and Refugee Camp, The Courant — 250 Years Old And Counting, Dec. 31, 2013. The Hartford Courant will embark on a year-long celebration to mark an unprecedented milestone in American journalism – 250 years of continuous publication – on January 1st. From the American Revolution to the digital revolution, The Courant has reported stories, events and ideas that shaped Connecticut and the United States. During 2014, the year that marks the 250th anniversary of The Courant as the nation’s oldest continuously published newspaper, the organization will look back at these unforgettable moments and stories and look ahead as the media landscape continues to change dramatically. Older than the nation, The Courant was founded on October 29, 1764 as a weekly newspaper (entitled then as The Connecticut Courant) and has never missed a publication since its inception. Thomas Green, the founder of the paper, sold clothing, stationary, hardware and spices out of a store in front of The Courant’s office in Hartford to keep the paper in business. Although the daily edition of The Courant began in 1837, the weekly Courant continued until 1896. At that point, the weekly became a tri-weekly for “country readers” who did not wish to take the daily Courant. In 1913, the publication launched its Sunday paper and one year later the tri-weekly edition was discontinued.See also, Introduction, by Jim Shea, Jan. 1, 2014.

Advance Indiana, Another Ex-Terrorist Lands Job At University Of Illinois, Gary Welsh, Feb. 10, 2014. The truth of the identities of the so-called terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s slowly but surely come to public light after they emerge from hiding and join the faculty of the University of Illinois. So it was with former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, who pretended to be a radical terrorist while likely in the employ of the CIA as an agent provocateur infiltrating and radicalizing the anti-Vietnam War movement in an effort to curb Americans' growing agitation and opposition to the undeclared war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of American soldiers. Ayers, the son of Tom Ayers, former Commonwealth Edison CEO and board member of major defense contractor General Dynamics, emerged from the shadows, along with his wife Benardine Dohrn, after a botched investigation by the FBI tainted evidence that assured they would not be prosecuted for committing terrorist bombings against public institutions. Ayers landed a job as a professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. His wife, an attorney, landed a job at the powerful Sidley & Austin law firm in Chicago, the same law firm where Michelle and Barack Obama would later meet and begin dating. Bill and Bernardine would host the first fundraiser in their home to launch the political career of Obama as a candidate for state senate. We now learn that another terrorist of the 1970s, James Kilgore, a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army ("SLA"), has joined the faculty of the University of Illinois-Champaign as a research scholar for the university's Center for African-American studies. The Marathon Pundit quotes from a story in this weekend's edition of the Champaign News-Gazette: "UI officials were not interested in discussing the issue. Publicists for both UI President Robert Easter and Chancellor Phyllis Wise said neither had any comment about Kilgore."

WND, Ayers dishes details on relationship with Obama; Confronts claims that parents paid president's way through Harvard, Jerome R. Corsi, Feb. 6, 2014. Editor’s note: This is third part of a three-part series based on an interview with former Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers after his debate with Dinesh D’Souza. In the first part, Ayers suggest Dinesh D’Souza would take a plea bargain on his indictment for alleged violations of election laws. In the second part, Ayers affirmed he wrote Obama’s “Dreams from My Father” before denying it. In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with WND, former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers insisted Barack Obama is a moderate politician whom he barely knew as a resident of his Chicago neighborhood. At the conclusion of his debate with Dinesh D’Souza at Dartmouth College Jan. 30, Ayers repeatedly criticized Obama.

Flashback: The Hill/Common Dreams, Nader: I am Looking for Someone to Challenge Obama in 2012, Elise Viebeck, Dec. 10, 2010. Perennial third-party candidate Ralph Nader predicted that President Obama's tax deal with Republicans will earn him a primary challenge in 2012….."He's a con man. I have no use for him," Nader said.

Snowden Revelations

Reuters via Huffington Post, EU Confronts Washington Reports Of Spying On Allies, Ben Deighton and Annika Breidthardt, June 30, 2013. The European Union has demanded that the United States explain a report in a German magazine that Washington is spying on the group, using unusually strong language to confront its closest trading partner over its alleged surveillance activities. A spokeswoman for the European Commission said on Sunday the EU contacted U.S. authorities in Washington and Brussels about a report in Der Spiegel magazine that the U.S. secret service had tapped EU offices in Washington and Brussels and at the United Nations. Der Spiegel reported on its website on Saturday that the National Security Agency had bugged EU offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks in the latest revelation of alleged U.S. spying that has prompted outrage from EU politicians. The magazine followed up on Sunday with a report that the U.S. secret service taps half a billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany in a typical month and has classed its biggest European ally as a target similar to China. Revelations about the alleged U.S. spying program, which became public through documents taken by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, right, have raised a furore in the United States and abroad over the balance between privacy rights and national security. The extent to which Washington's EU allies are being monitored has emerged as an issue of particular concern.

Guardian, New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies; Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers reveal 38 targets including EU, France and Italy, Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger, June 30, 2013. Berlin accuses Washington of cold war tactics. US intelligence services are spying on the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington, according to the latest top secret US National Security Agency documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. One document lists 38 embassies and missions, describing them as "targets". It details an extraordinary range of spying methods used against each target, from bugs implanted in electronic communications gear to taps into cables to the collection of transmissions with specialised antennae. Along with traditional ideological adversaries and sensitive Middle Eastern countries, the list of targets includes the EU missions and the French, Italian and Greek embassies, as well as a number of other American allies, including Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey. The list in the September 2010 document does not mention the UK, Germany or other western European states. One of the bugging methods mentioned is codenamed Dropmire, which, according to a 2007 document, is "implanted on the Cryptofax at the EU embassy, DC" – an apparent reference to a bug placed in a commercially available encrypted fax machine used at the mission. The NSA documents note the machine is used to send cables back to foreign affairs ministries in European capitals. The documents suggest the aim of the bugging exercise against the EU embassy in central Washington is to gather inside knowledge of policy disagreements on global issues and other rifts between member states.

Washington Post, Plugging the leaks in the Edward Snowden case; Prosecuting Edward Snowden is less important than keeping him from revealing more secrets, Editorial Board, July 1, 2013. The costs of the Edward Snowden affair continue to mount for the Obama administration — though so far the visible damage is primarily political, rather than national security-related. The first U.S. priority should be to prevent Mr. Snowden from leaking information that harms efforts to fight terrorism and conduct legitimate intelligence operations. Documents published so far by news organizations have shed useful light on some NSA programs and raised questions that deserve debate, such as whether a government agency should build a database of Americans’ phone records. But Mr. Snowden is reported to have stolen many more documents, encrypted copies of which may have been given to allies such as the WikiLeaks organization.

OpEdNews, Has Washington's Arrogance Undone Its Empire? Paul Craig Roberts, July 2, 2013. The German, French, and EU governments are upset to find out that their extreme subservience to Washington has not protected them and their citizens from being spied upon. Here they are, fighting Washington's wars in far distant Afghanistan, the fate of which is completely unrelated to their own, and what does Washington do but embarrass them by spying on the personal lives of their citizens. Who does the Merkel government represent, Germans are asking, Germans or the NSA? Why does the Merkel government kowtow to Washington? The next question will be: "what do Washington's spies have on Merkel?" With the German government put on the spot by Washington's betrayal, news headlines are: "Germany Ready to Charge UK and US Intelligence Over Bugging Operations." Little wonder Washington and its media whores hate Edward Snowden. "A spokesman for the [German] Federal Prosecutor said the office was preparing to bring charges against" the UK and US intelligence services. In light of the Snowden affair, it will be wonderful if Germany issues arrest warrants and Washington and London refuse to extradite its NSA and UK spy operatives who have violated every law and every trust. The German Justice Minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenburger, demanded an "immediate explanation" why Washington was applying to Germany policies "reminiscent of the actions against enemies during the Cold War."

Washington Post, Snowden, in new statement, accuses Obama of using ‘old, bad tools of political aggression,’ Max Fisher, July 1, 2013. Edward Snowden, in his first public message since arriving at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport eight days ago, has issued a statement accusing President Obama of deploying “the old, bad tools of political aggression” and “using citizenship as a weapon” in order to silence him. It describes the Obama administration as “afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.” The message also accuses Vice President  Biden of pressuring foreign leaders to deny his extradition requests.
 
Washington Post, Inner workings of a top-secret spy program, Barton Gellman and Todd Lindeman, June 29, 2013. The National Security Agency’s PRISM progam, which collects intelligence from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple and other tech giants, is “targeted” at foreigners. But it also collects the e-mail, voice, text and video chats of an unknown number of Americans — “inadvertently,” “incidentally” or deliberately if an American is conversing with a foreign target overseas. Here are new details on how the program works, from top-secret documents and interviews.

 

Health Care Issues

Feb. 8

Paul Craig RobertsPaulCraigRoberts.org, Obamacare: The Final Payment: Raiding the Assets of Low-Income and Poor Americans, Anonymous, Feb. 8, 2014. Introduction by Paul Craig Roberts, left: The anonymous Obamacare expert who provided us a year ago with the most complete account of Obamacare available has returned with an explanation of estate recovery. Obamacare herds the poor into Medicaid, which requires some enrollees to forfeit homes and other assets they might have to the state to cover the cost of their medical care. The research article below is meticulous and demonstrates that Obamacare was not enacted to serve the people. Expert's Conclusion: "Obamacare was not written for the benefit of the poor and uninsured. It was written for the profits of the insurance companies, giving them millions of new customers subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. The business of America is business. Private insurance company CEOs receive multi-million dollar pay packages, while under Obamacare low-income earners and the poor have to give up their homes and other assets in order to receive medical care."

Hillary Clinton official photoCBS News, Hillary Clinton: Monica Lewinsky a “narcissistic loony toon,” Rebecca Kaplan, Feb. 10, 2014. An archive of correspondence, diary entries, memos and notes from conversations kept by one of Hillary Clinton’s closest friends portray her as “a strong, ambitious and ruthless Democratic operative,” according to a conservative website that went through the documents. The papers offer a look at Hillary Clinton’s mindset through some of the most difficult parts of her husband’s presidency, including the Monica Lewinsky scandal. According to the friend, Diane Blair -- a political science professor whose papers were donated to the University of Arkansas Special Collections library – Hillary Clinton, right, credited Bill Clinton with trying to break away from Lewinsky, whom she called a “narcissistic loony toon.” Blair’s notes also indicate that Hillary Clinton thought a single-payer health care system was necessary, despite saying she never seriously considered it when she was running for the presidency in 2008.