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Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice

Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice

By Celia Chazelle (Editor), Simon Doubleday (Editor), Felice Lifshitz (Editor), Amy G. Remensnyder (Editor)

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Tag: Wiretapping


Flickr/DonkeyHotey

Fact Check: The NSA and Sept. 11

In defending the NSA’s sweeping collection of Americans’ phone call records, Obama administration officials have repeatedly pointed out how it could have helped thwart the 9/11 attacks: If only the surveillance program had been in place before Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. authorities would have been able to identify one of the future hijackers who was living in San Diego.

Posted on Jun 22, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr / HeatedGroundPhotography

Hang Up on Phone Tracking

From the evidence so far, there’s no good reason to let the National Security Agency continue its massively intrusive practice of logging our private phone calls. Congress should pull the plug.

Posted on Jun 20, 2013 READ MORE



Image via Shutterstock

U.S., Britain Spied on Diplomats at Global Summits, Report Says

After its recent revelation that the National Security Agency is monitoring the phone records and Internet activity of millions of Americans, The Guardian reported Sunday that the U.S. and Britain monitored and intercepted the digital communications of foreign officials during two international conferences in London.

Posted on Jun 17, 2013 READ MORE



ACLU Sues Obama Administration Over NSA Snooping, John Oliver’s ‘Daily Show’ Debut, and More

A look at the day’s political happenings, including a lawmaker makes history on the U.S. Senate floor and outgoing Congresswoman Michele Bachmann continues to fundraise on her campaign site.

Posted on Jun 11, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr/ massmatt

Supreme Court Dismisses Eavesdropping Lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case against the nation’s telecommunications companies for cooperating with a once-secret wiretap program enacted by the Bush administration to monitor suspected terrorists.

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 READ MORE



Dank Depot (CC BY 2.0)

Glenn Greenwald Smokes Out Obama’s Dubious Sense of Justice

After mischaracterizing a law governing medical marijuana distribution, the president who refused to prosecute those who led the U.S. into an indefinite war on terror told a Rolling Stone interviewer last month that he couldn’t ask the Justice Department to “turn the other way” when it comes to potential violations of medical marijuana use.

Posted on May 8, 2012 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Ollie Atkins, White House photographer

Nixon’s Watergate Testimony Finally Goes Public

After nearly 35 years, the American public finally gets to hear Richard Nixon’s claims about some of his administration’s shadier practices, Watergate figuring most notoriously among them, after the National Archives’ release Thursday of transcripts of his grand jury testimony. ... (more)

Posted on Nov 10, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr/ScruffyDan and Breanne

Four More Years of Wiretapping Fun

On Thursday, the Senate voted in favor of extending the part of the Patriot Act that allows U.S. law enforcement officials to legally eavesdrop on certain phone calls for the sake of—you guessed it—homeland security.

Posted on May 26, 2011 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr/mikecolvin82

A Big Brother World

This week in surveillance: The New York Times revealed that the NSA has been spying on the e-mails of millions of Americans, including ex-President Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, China has backed down from installing mandatory security software, while Iran tries to clamp down on communications, and Britain plans to track every phone call, e-mail and text message in Britain. Yikes!

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich

Blagojevich Pleads His Case

It was just politics as usual, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday of the corruption allegations that seem all but certain to upend his political career.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail

Millions have served time in U.S. prisons for crimes that fall far short of those attributed to the Bush administration. Some criminals, it seems, are like banks judged too big to fail: too big to jail, too powerful to prosecute.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Whistle-Blower: Bush’s NSA Spied on ‘All Americans’

Russell Tice helped blow the whistle on Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program back in 2005, but the revelations don’t end there. On Wednesday’s “Countdown,” the former NSA analyst said the agency had “monitored all communications” and specifically targeted journalists.

Posted on Jan 22, 2009 READ MORE


What Nixon Admitted (and Cheney Won’t)

To understand the philosophy of government that Dick Cheney brought to Washington over the past seven years, it is most instructive to see “Frost/Nixon,” with Frank Langella’s remarkable reanimation of Tricky Dick for a generation that never knew him.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Getting Off at the NSA

Warrantless wiretapping makes for a rollicking good time at the National Security Agency, according to moral crusader Stephen Colbert, who’s not above a little dramatic re-enactment of his own biblically inspired carnal fantasies (for illustrative purposes only).

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE


Pillow Talk
thirdphaze.com

Report: NSA Listened In on Americans’ Phone Sex

Just what kind of interpretation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would allow U.S. National Security Agency linguists to eavesdrop on Americans’, er, pillow talk? That’s the charge being leveled by more than one such NSA interpreter who worked at an NSA listening station at Fort Gordon, Ga.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


gonzales
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

More Trouble for Gonzales

It’s reassuring to know that when Alberto Gonzales was our nation’s attorney general, he schlepped highly classified documents to his home in Virginia in an unlocked briefcase. Oops! Also, once he’d toted them home, Gonzales didn’t put them in a safe for extra protection because he “couldn’t remember the combination.” Fiddlesticks!

Posted on Sep 2, 2008 READ MORE


‘Centrists’ Running the Asylum

In the asylum that is American politics, beware a candidate like Barack Obama when he is lauded for moving to “the center”—because usually that means he is drifting away from it.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE



Executive Office of the President of the United States

Bush’s Christmas in July: Senate Passes FISA

You know a legislative compromise is one-sided when the AP headline announcing its passage reads “Senate Bows to Bush.” Democratic advocates of the new FISA bill, passed by the Senate on Wednesday, are still trying to explain what they got in exchange for rolling back a few civil liberties and burying some of the president’s abuses. When they figure it out, someone, somewhere, will surely be listening.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


eavesdropper
itpsites.com

House Lets Telecoms Off the Hook

If there was one word that summed up the political tenor of the Bush II presidency, it definitely wouldn’t be accountability. On Friday, this was once again made clear as the House of Representatives passed a bill granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that allowed their networks to be used by the government to eavesdrop on Americans following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

Posted on Jun 20, 2008 READ MORE


Kucinich Tilts at Impeachment

You cannot find a more complete and compelling indictment of the Bush administration than the Ohio representative has presented in his 35 articles of impeachment.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Knows All
time.com

Adviser: McCain Backs Bush’s Wiretaps

As if 100 years in Iraq wasn’t enough, a top adviser to John McCain claims that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee supports and believes lawful Bush’s infamous warrantless wiretapping program.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


Michael Hayden
nsa.gov

Al-Qaida Analysis: Election Year Edition

Only a year after his agency warned of a resurgence of al-Qaida in the Arab world, CIA Director Michael Hayden remarked on Friday that U.S. “counter-terrorism work” has led to the strategic defeat of al-Qaida in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and significant setbacks for al-Qaida globally.

Posted on May 30, 2008 READ MORE


FISA
nationalsecurity.org

Senate Lets Telecoms Off the Hook

This might be a moment when Democratic supporters wonder what all the “changing of the guard” fuss was about when Dems took control of Congress in 2006: On Tuesday, the Senate effectively voted in favor of granting telecommunication companies retroactive immunity for their cooperation in the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program.

Posted on Feb 12, 2008 READ MORE


Verizon Admits Domestic Spying Role

Under pressure from Congress, Verizon has provided some insight into the government’s domestic surveillance program. The telecommunications giant defended the legality of its actions, but admitted complying “as expeditiously as possible” when federal officials, without a subpoena, asked for telephone and Internet records.

Posted on Oct 16, 2007 READ MORE


Bush
AP photo / Evan Vucci

NYT:  Bush Has Shredded Constitution Since 9/11

In a scathing editorial on Sunday, The New York Times accused President Bush of playing on the nation’s post-9/11 fears in order to justify violating our civil liberties and protecting big telecom companies implicated in his wiretapping scheme.  The Bush camp “use[d] the nation’s tragedy to grab ever more power for its vision of an imperial presidency,” the Times editorial board charged.

Posted on Oct 14, 2007 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
btinternet.com

Bush: Protect America, or at Least Its Telecom Companies

First we had “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Then came the Patriot Act.  And now, President Bush has co-opted another vague term that’s hard to argue with, emptied it of its intended significance, and altered it to mean “let big telecom companies that aided the administration in its dubious wiretapping activities off the hook.”  Yes, folks, this latest round of rhetorical gymnastics has brought us “the Protect America Act.”

Posted on Oct 10, 2007 READ MORE


eavesdropper
itpsites.com

The FBI, Wiretapping and You

Not to be deterred by new developments in digital technology, the FBI laid the groundwork for its current DCSNet (Digital Collection System Network) wiretapping system during the Clinton years, allowing agents to just point ‘n’ click their way into the nation’s land lines, cell phones and Internet telephony networks. 

Posted on Aug 29, 2007 READ MORE


Team Cheney Sits on Wiretapping Documents

On Monday, Vice President Dick Cheney’s office allowed that it has “dozens of documents” detailing the Bush administration’s controversial warrant-free overseas wiretapping program, according to The Washington Post, but it doesn’t seem likely that Cheney’s cohorts will fork them over without a struggle. 

Posted on Aug 21, 2007 READ MORE


FBI Chief’s Notes Tell of Ashcroft Hospital Scene

Corroborating an account by former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III detailed the dramatic events that occurred in then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s hospital room in March 2004 when his successor, Alberto Gonzales, attempted to persuade a convalescing Ashcroft to sign off on a domestic wiretapping program he opposed.

Posted on Aug 16, 2007 READ MORE


king and cheney

Cheney’s Memory Issues

Taking a page from the Ronald Reagan Guide to Dodging Sticky Political Issues, Vice President Dick Cheney told Larry King that he didn’t recall if he was the one who asked Alberto Gonzales to pressure John Ashcroft to sign off on a wiretapping program as Ashcroft lay in a hospital bed in 2004.

Posted on Aug 1, 2007 READ MORE


gonzales hearing

Gonzales’ Stone Wall

Although Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was characteristically dodgy during last week’s questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee about just who had dispatched him in March 2004 to persuade an ailing John Ashcroft to approve an illegal wiretapping program, The New York Times leaves little mystery that it was Vice President Dick Cheney. 

Posted on Jul 30, 2007 READ MORE


cia jewels
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The CIA Flashes Its ‘Family Jewels’

On Tuesday, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden made good on his pledge to declassify nearly 700 pages of documents about some of the agency’s dirtiest laundry from the past—its “family jewels”—including details about assassination plots, wiretapping and other alarming activities.

Posted on Jun 26, 2007 READ MORE


Bush
nialler9

How to Put Impeachment Back on the Table

Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman writes in The Nation that in the year since she called for Bush’s impeachment, the case against him has only gotten stronger. Just because Nancy Pelosi has taken impeachment off the table, Holtzman argues, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen.

Posted on Jan 26, 2007 READ MORE


Court Delays Wiretapping Ban

Although a judge recently ruled Bush’s warrentless wiretapping program unconstitutional, a federal court unanimously agreed to keep the program running until an appeal is decided, though the three judges involved gave little explanation as to how they reached their decision.

Posted on Oct 5, 2006 READ MORE


Actually, Wiretapping Bill Looks Stalled…

We earlier blogged that legislation authorizing the NSA’s wiretapping program was nearing passage. That now appears not to be the case. Senate and House versions of the bill may be too far apart to be bridged before Congress recesses next week.

Posted on Sep 26, 2006 READ MORE


Wiretap Bill Moves Closer to Passage

This version of the president’s warrantless eavesdropping bill—which appears headed for passage—will apparently still allow Bush the option of submitting his surveillance programs to a court for review.

Posted on Sep 26, 2006 READ MORE


Dems’ Effort to Limit Surveillance Bill Is Blocked

From the AP: “Senate Republicans blocked Democratic attempts to rein in President Bush’s domestic wiretapping program Wednesday, endorsing a White House-supported bill that would give the controversial surveillance legal status.”
The November elections can’t come soon enough….

Posted on Sep 13, 2006 READ MORE


Bush’s Wiretapping Bill Stalls in Congress

Phew! President Bush’s attempt to provide legal support for his warrantless wiretapping program appears dead—for now—in the Senate.

  • Quote of the day (from Sen. Russ Feingold): “The president has basically said: I’ll agree to let a court decide if I’m breaking the law if you pass a law first that says I’m not breaking the law.”

    Posted on Sep 8, 2006 READ MORE


  • Bush to Be Subpoenaed in Spying Case

    From U.S. Newswire: “Two lawyers who brought the first lawsuit against the Bush administration, Verizon and AT&T for illegally examining the phone records of virtually every American citizen will announce today that they are serving subpoenas on the Bush White House and on Verizon.”
    We suspect those lawyers may have a bit of trouble nailing down that particular deposition.

    Posted on Aug 29, 2006 READ MORE


    Monitoring Madness

    Share
    Posted on Aug 21, 2006 READ MORE


    Ann Beeson
    AP / Carlos Osorio

    Truthdigger of the Week: Ann Beeson

    Truthdig salutes Ann Beeson, the American Civil Liberties Union officer and lead attorney for the plaintiffs in ACLU v. NSA, the case that persuaded a Detroit judge to order a halt to the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

    Posted on Aug 19, 2006 READ MORE


    Alberto Gonzales
    From ThinkProgress

    Gonzales: Bush Personally Blocked DOJ Probe of Spy Program

    Testifying before Congress this morning, Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales said that Bush halted the investigation into the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program by personally denying security clearances to Department of Justice lawyers investigating the case. (article or video)

  • Pardon us for being reflexively cynical about Bush’s motives in this one, but the president doesn’t have a shred of credibility on this issue.

  • Posted on Jul 18, 2006 READ MORE


    Err ... About that Specter-Bush Eavesdropping Deal…

    Looks like we were a little too hasty on this one. We had blogged that Sen. Arlen Specter had introduced a bill that would require Bush to get court approval for his NSA wiretapping programs.

  • Turns out that’s not the case. Specter’s bill would merely give Bush the option of bringing his program before a court—which Bush should have done in the first place. Think Progress and AMERICAblog have the details.

    Posted on Jul 13, 2006 READ MORE


  • Breaking: Bush to Submit to Eavesdropping Oversight?

    From CNN: Sen. Arlen Specter revealed a bill that would require a court to review the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s controversial intelligence-gathering program, saying the deal was negotiated with the Bush administration’s cooperation, and that Bush would sign the bill if it doesn’t change dramatically.

    Posted on Jul 13, 2006 READ MORE


    Gitmo detainees
    From antiwar.com

    U.S. Will Give All U.S. Detainees Geneva Rights

    The White House said this morning that every prisoner in Gitmo and in U.S. military custody everywhere is entitled to Geneva Convention protections. Bush spokesman Tony Snow claimed that this apparent about-face is “not really a reversal of policy,” while admitting that it stems directly from the Supreme Court’s striking down of Bush’s military tribunals.

  • Reminder: This is far from total victory. Constitutional expert Glenn Greenwald reminds us that the Hamdan ruling also removed any conceivable argument to support Bush’s illegal wiretapping programs, and we haven’t heard about any policy shift on that front….

  • Posted on Jul 11, 2006 READ MORE


    FBI Plans New Push on Internet Surveillance

    According to CNET: “The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping.”

    Posted on Jul 10, 2006 READ MORE


    Bush Is Flouting Court After Gitmo Ruling

    Constitutional expert and best-selling author Glenn Greenwald reminds us that the Supreme Court’s Hamdan decision not only outlawed Bush’s military tribunals, but also removed any conceivable argument to support Bush’s illegal wiretapping programs.

  • Greenwald: “Journalists should begin asking the Justice Department every day what their legal justification for warrantless eavesdropping is now that Hamdan has rendered frivolous their prior legal arguments in defense of the President.”

  • Posted on Jul 9, 2006 READ MORE


    Hayden, Gonzales and Cheney

    Were Cheney, Gonzales and Hayden Lying About Wiretap Capabilities?

    If Bloomberg News is correct in its June 30 report that the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program started up to seven months before the Sept. 11 attacks, then why did the vice president, the attorney general and the new CIA chief say otherwise?

    Posted on Jul 5, 2006 READ MORE


    Greenwald Nails Specter on Amnesty Law Lie

    Sen. Arlen Specter went on TV to vehemently deny a Washington Post report that he had proposed legislation which included blanket amnesty for everyone involved with Bush’s warrantless spying. But lawyer Glenn Greenwald has apparently proved that the Post was right in its report—and the Specter had lied about it.

    Posted on Jun 17, 2006 READ MORE


    Hayden Confirmed as CIA Director

    History will surely boggle at this one: The architect of the NSA’s domestic spying program has been made the head of the CIA. And the vote was 78-15.

    Posted on May 26, 2006 READ MORE


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