More on State’s Illegal Passport Revocations in Yemen

By: Monday December 16, 2013 8:16 am

Searches of public court records continue to expose the illegal actions of the U.S. Department of State in Yemen. One private attorney connected to cases in Yemen says “Issues with the U.S. Consulate in Sana’a are systemic and reach far beyond seizure of U.S. passports. That is merely the egregious tip of the iceberg. I [...]

State Department Denied Visa for Doctor to Attend Her Own Trial Challenging ‘No Fly’ List—Twice

By: Thursday December 5, 2013 5:16 pm

A significant challenge to the constitutionality of the Department of Homeland Security’s “No Fly” list has been ongoing in San Francisco, California, in a trial before a district court judge this week. The lawsuit alleges Dr. Rahinah Ibrahim, a Malaysian who twice obtained a visa from the United States to study and obtain degrees in [...]

Over-Classification at the State Department

By: Wednesday November 6, 2013 12:11 pm

Over-classification in our government is real. Designed primarily to hide the actions of the peoples’ government from the people, federal agencies now routinely slap a classified label on just about everything; the Department of Defense recently classified a memo about over-classification. Obama even signed (albeit with his fingers crossed behind his back) the Reducing Over-Classification [...]

Reports of Brazilian Spying Do Not Make NSA Surveillance on Brazil Unobjectionable

By: Tuesday November 5, 2013 1:20 pm

A confidential source provided Brazilian intelligence service documents to a newspaper in Brazil that showed prior examples of Brazilian spying operations on Russian and Iranian diplomats and an office space in the country that had been rented by the United States embassy. This resulted in the Brazilian government confirming the spying and making statements to [...]

Life in the 21st Century State Department

By: Monday October 21, 2013 10:23 am

A recent post on my blog, Forbes: State Department Number Three Dream Employer, about how popular working for the State Department is among people who have never actually worked for the State Department, merited a follow-on. Here it is. Daniel Garrett was a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Japan 2008-2010. The State Department [...]

Justice Department Revives Case Against Former Blackwater Contractors Involved in Nisoor Square Massacre

By: Thursday October 17, 2013 6:06 pm

The United States Justice Department has brought new charges against four former Blackwater Worldwide security contractors for their role in a massacre that took place in 2007 in Nisoor Square in Baghdad, Iraq. As reported by the Associated Press, “Dustin Heard, a retired U.S. Marine from Knoxville, Tenn.; Evan Liberty, a retired U.S. Marine from [...]

Congress Knows: Survey Reveals The Real Value of the State Department

By: Thursday October 10, 2013 8:36 am

Since the government is shut down and thus there is no news to report except that the government is still shut down, we’ll reach into the memory hole for something to talk about today. Ah, here’s one… Before the shutdown the House Appropriations Committee approved an $8 billion cut for 2014 in the roughly $50 [...]

Failed Faith: Why Security Clearances Fail (And a Way to Fix Them)

By: Monday October 7, 2013 9:41 am

Whistleblower Edward Snowden had one of the highest levels of security clearance, and exposed the most secret of NSA work. Chelsea Manning held a Top Secret clearance, and disclosed hundreds of thousands of classified records to Wikileaks. Aaron Alexis held a security clearance and used a shotgun to murder twelve people at the Washington Navy Yard. Over four million other Americans today hold some form of security clearance from the Federal government. Can we trust them? How did they obtain those clearances? Are Snowden, Manning and Alexis exceptions, or was the process one that could never have been expected to work in the first place? What can be done to make the clearance process work the way it was intended?

United States Blocks German Author, Critical of NSA Surveillance, from Entering the Country

By: Tuesday October 1, 2013 7:20 pm

German-Bulgarian author Ilija Trojanow, who has been highly critical of the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance apparatus, was blocked from taking an American Airlines flight from Salvador, Brazil, to a conference with German academics in Denver. Trojanow approached a ticket counter and informed an American Airlines employee that he wanted to change his ticket to [...]

US, UK Seek to Neutralize Drone Opponents Whom They Perceive as Threats

By: Wednesday September 25, 2013 4:52 pm

A human rights activist in Yemen who testified in May at a United States congressional hearing on the US drone program was detained under the same United Kingdom terrorism law used to justify detaining Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, in August. Simultaneously, Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who has represented drone victims, says he [...]

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