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Archive for July 8th, 2013

Leaked Pakistani Report Rips Its Government for “Gross Incompetence” in Hunt for Osama bin Laden

Doug Stanglin
USA TODAY

Osama bin Laden lived undetected in Pakistan for nine years before he was killed by U.S. forces, according to a leaked Pakistani government report that blasts the country’s civilian and military leadership for “gross incompetence” over the bin Laden affair.

It finds that Pakistan’s intelligence establishment had “closed the book” on bin Laden by 2005, and was no longer actively pursuing intelligence that could lead to his capture.

The 336-page Abbottabad Commission report, obtained by Al Jazeera, blasts the government and military for a “national disaster” over its handling of bin Laden and calls on the leadership to apologize to the people of Pakistan for their “dereliction of duty.”

To read full story click here.

Read report 

 

Russia: NSA Leaker Snowden May Be Down to ‘Last Chance’ As Venezuela Gets Involved

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Venezuela appears to be NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s last hope of gaining asylum, an influential member of Parliament said, USA Today reports.

Alexei Pushkov, head of the Parliament’s international affairs committee, wrote on Twitter: “Venezuela is waiting for an answer from Snowden. This, perhaps, is his last chance to receive political asylum.”

Still, Venezuelan officials haven’t been in touch with Snowden, who is believed to be stuck in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Those officials plan to speak with Russian officials today about the situation, according to the USA Today.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NSA’s Surveillance of Domestic Calls Was Permitted by Secret Court in Mid-2000s

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A secret court played a major role in the NSA’s ability to gather phone data on millions of Americans, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decided in the mid-2000s to broaden the definition of “relevant,” which allowed the collection of millions of people’s phone records.

The information includes the phone numbers and locations of all domestic calls, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Some attorneys are unsettled by the decision.

“I think it’s a stretch” of previous federal legal interpretations, says Mark Eckenwiler, a senior counsel at Perkins Coie LLP who, until December, was the Justice Department’s primary authority on federal criminal surveillance law. If a federal attorney “served a grand-jury subpoena for such a broad class of records in a criminal investigation, he or she would be laughed out of court.”

NYPD Cop Accused of Abusing Federal Database to Snoop on Co-Workers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Another New York City cop is accused of abusing a federal database operated by the FBI.

The Associated Press reports that Edwin Vargas looked up names of two fellow officers without their knowledge.

Vargas is just the latest NYPC officer accused of abusing the National Crime Information Center database. Others have used the database to tip off drug dealers and stage robberies.

The NCIC database has a lot of information and helps track down cars, stolen guns, fugitives, sex offenders and others, the AP wrote.

ACLU lists 10 Most ‘Disturbing’ Things About FBI Since 9/11

By Matthew Harwood
ACLU Media Relations Associate

Next Tuesday, James Comey will have his first job interview for succeeding Robert Mueller as director of the FBI.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will not only have the chance to determine whether Comey is qualified for the job—and we have our concerns—but an opportunity to examine what the FBI has become since 9/11 and whether it needs to change course over the next decade.

Over the past 12 years, the FBI has become a domestic intelligence agency with unprecedented power to peer into the lives of ordinary Americans and secretly amass data about people not suspected of any wrongdoing. The recent revelation about the FBI using the Patriot Act’s “business records provision” to track all U.S. telephone calls is only the latest in a long line of abuse stemming from the expanded powers granted to the bureau since September 2001.

To read more click here.