Is $25k/yr too much for #WalmartStrikers to ask for? Santa didn’t think so…then he got arrested.
Photograph: Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media/Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media
Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images
House minority leader accuses congressional GOP of using healthcare as an excuse to defund government
US spending on intelligence has doubled since 9/11, with the National Security Agency and the CIA taking the biggest share, according to the top secret budget leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Details of the $52.6bn request for 2013 by America’s 16 spy agencies were revealed by the Washington Post on Thursday.
The budget shows the US targeting predictable rivals such as Russia and China but also countries regarded as allies, such as Israel. 1 in 25 federal employees is indicated to work in intelligence.
Pakistan, a long-time though troublesome ally, is described as “an intractable target”, while counter-intelligence operations are focused against “priority targets of China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Israel”.
Huge gaps in knowledge about Iran, China and Russia are acknowledged, with North Korea identified as the most difficult to penetrate, mainly because of its relative lack of internet and other modern communications.
The intelligence agencies, according to the budget, aim to “maintain and support existing collection and exploitation capabilities, infrastructure, and operations” for internet and phone communications. Targeted communications include “fax, telex, modem, email, webmail, instant messaging, VoIP, Virtual Private Network (VPN), mobile and land-line voice, and video teleconferencing.”
The document also reveals an apparent shortage of staff who are proficient in languages spoken in the regions that are the focus of much of the intelligence communities’ work.
While there are almost 3,000 Spanish speakers – unsurprising, perhaps given the large Hispanic population in the US – there are just over 1,100 Arabic speakers, and tiny numbers of Pashto and Urdu speakers. There are 900 Chinese speakers, according to the document."
Florida won’t investigate Ibragim Todashev shooting
Chechen was killed by FBI agent while being interviewed about ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing accused
State investigators in Florida have rejected a request for an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of a Chechen man while he was being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Florida’s department of law enforcement declined the request by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida to look into the death of Ibragim Todashev.
Todashev was killed in May while being questioned by FBI agents and others. Officials originally said Todashev lunged at an FBI agent with a knife. They later said it was no longer clear what happened.
Tuesday’s letter said it would be inappropriate for the Florida agency to intervene.
ACLU of Florida director Howard Simon said he found the response extremely disappointing. “Secrecy fosters suspicion and the people of Florida deserve better than to be left without an explanation from their government about what led to a person being shot to death,” Simon said in a news release.
"This means it is more likely that the family of Ibragim Todashev will have to file a lawsuit in order to get answers about how their son died."
Dzokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged over the Boston Marathon bombings of 15 April in which three people died and more than 260 were injured. He was captured by police four days later after a gunfight and chase in which the other suspect, his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed.
The FBI had been questioning Todashev about links to Tamerlan Tsarnaev and their possible involvement in a triple murder in the Waltham area west of Boston when he was killed by an agent. Authorities have said the agent retaliated after being attacked by Todashev who had just confessed to the murders – though the details given by officials have varied.(Source)
— a career U.S. intelligence officer on the U.S. government, in a Washington Post exclusive on how the NSA and FBI is tapping into the central servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. (via washingtonpoststyle)
In a move that makes clear the direction that our country is increasingly heading towards, the Department of Defense has published an update to a US code that outlines military power during civil unrest.
[It’s a PDF, by the way || Here in HTM text]
SUMMARY: This rule implements DoD regulations and legislation concerning restriction on direct participation by DoD personnel. It provides specific policy direction and assigns responsibilities with respect to DoD support provided to Federal, State, and local civilian law enforcement agencies, including responses to civil disturbances.
The legal authority for this rule is 10 U.S.C. 375 (wherein the Secretary of Defense “shall not” permit the military from engaging in domestic affairs unless “otherwise authorized” by law. Effective May 13th, 2013, the State Department of the United States of America announces its policy to prepare for “civil disturbances” in fear of the consequences of these events. What is a civil disturbance?
“Prejudicial to public law and order”
Wow that’s not that vague. So for further clarification the DoD offers this:
(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.
This is law now - this was published on the federal register. I’m still sifting around myself but the changes herein to Title 32 (National Defense) are pretty substantial; the U.S. military has officially been sanction for domestic police work.
A jury in Bexar County, Texas just acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of charges that he murdered a 23-year-old Craigslist escortâagreeing that because he was attempting to retrieve the $150 he’d paid to Lenora Ivie Frago, who wouldn’t have sex with him, his actions were justified.
I was waiting to teach a class a nearby school today, and I made a little friend. A little boy who looked like he was maybe 8 years old burst into...
"Guevaristas" slams Voice of Russia over article that implicates Che in JFK's assassination
In a long post written in greek, the website ...
I firmly believe that anyone who belligerently complains at length to a cashier at a retail or food place should be whisked...