Obama Security Crackdown Continues in Jan. 5 News Reports

Editor's Note: Below is a selection of other significant blogs and news articles on legal reform and related political, security and media news. The articles contain a sample of news, with the full article viewable by clicking the link.

WikiLeaks/Security
Reason, TSA's Intrusions on American Dignity, Brian Doherty, Jan. 5, 2011. The new scanning technologies rolled out by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are undignified and meant to be. The illusion of choice surrounding their use is intended to funnel us into an even more undignified situation. Be exposed electronically in full, or physically molested, or go back home. These are unprecedented demands on Americans moving through the theoretically free world, not some penitentiary or asylum.
 
NBC, U.S. tells agencies: Watch 'insiders' to prevent new WikiLeaks, Michael Isikoff, Jan. 5, 2011. 
The Obama administration is telling federal agencies to take aggressive new steps to prevent more WikiLeaks embarrassments, including instituting “insider threat” programs to ferret out disgruntled employees who might be inclined to leak classified documents, NBC News has learned. A highly detailed 11-page memo prepared by U.S. intelligence officials and distributed by Jacob J. Lew, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, suggests that agencies use psychiatrists and sociologists to measure the “relative happiness” of workers or their “despondence and grumpiness” as a way to assess their trustworthiness. The memo was sent this week to senior officials at all agencies that use classified material.  

Politics
Huffington Post, Obama Renominates More Than 40 Judicial Candidates Reason, Sam Stein, Jan. 5, 2011. Faced with the prospect of increasingly lengthy court vacancies, the White House on Wednesday formally renominated more than 40 judicial candidates whose possible appointments were left in limbo during the last congressional session.

OpEd News/Consortium News, Republicans Aim Info-War at Obama, Robert Parry, Jan. 5, 2011.

 

 

 

Finally, Congress appears ready to hold some high-profile hearings -- except they won't be about the most important scandals of the past decade, like how the United States was misled into the Iraq invasion, how the Afghan War was bungled, how torture became a U.S. practice, or how bank deregulation and Wall Street greed nearly destroyed the economy. FireDogLake/Emptywheel, Jan. 4, 2011. Tim Griffin: Rove’s US Attorney Project Comes Full Circle, Emptywheel, Jan 3, 2011. Remember the entire point of Karl Rove’s plot to fire a bunch of US Attorneys and replace them with partisan hacks? It was to advance the political career of the new USAs….But the true measure of Rove’s success at politicizing the DOJ comes in the form of Tim Griffin.

Personal Freedoms/Privacy
Foreign Policy Journal, America Has Gone Away, Paul Craig Roberts, Jan. 1, 2011.
The media have segued into the police attitude, which regards insistence on civil liberties and references to the Constitution as signs of extremism, especially when the Constitution is invoked in defense of dissent or privacy or placarded on a bumper sticker. President George W. Bush set the scene when he declared:  “you are with us or against us.”

Boston Globe, Nearly a century on, the Armenian genocide still provokes controversy, tempers — and lawsuits, Alex Beam, Jan. 4, 2011. I was quite astonished to see the monster retraction-cum-apology issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center a few weeks ago in response to a defamation suit filed by Guenter Lewy, 87, a professor emeritus from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Tickle the Wire, Detroit Fed Prosecutor Doesn’t Want Names in Escort Service “Black Book” Released,  Allan Lengel, Jan. 5, 2011. A good old fashion “black book” prostitution scandal is brewing in U.S. District Court in downtown Detroit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Blackwell has filed papers urging the court to deny a Florida defense attorney access to tens of thousands of customers’ names on a list of a Miami escort service that wound up getting busted in Detroit last summer, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Forbes, The Insider Trading Bread and Circus, Harvey Silverglate, Jan. 10, 2011. In my latest column on Forbes.com, I take on the recent insider trading arrests, the product of a three-year federal investigation. For those interested in fundamental economic reform, or simply in reform of the markets, as well as for those concerned about Due Process of Law in federal prosecutions, the forthcoming show trials should be viewed with a skeptical eye.

Media
Huffington Post, Another Party Heard From: Tea Party Joins Attacks on Net Neutrality, Art Brodsky, Jan. 5, 2011. As if Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski didn't have enough trouble with smart lawyers figuring out how to challenge the FCC's Net Neutrality order in court, now he's got an additional party in the fray -- the Tea Party, bringing their own brand of insight and activism to telecommunications policy.

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