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Archive for February 24th, 2016

Bernie Sanders Defends 40-Year-Old Statements That CIA Is ‘Dangerous Institution’

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is not backing away from his comments in 1974 that the CIA is a “dangerous institution” that has supported “fascist dictatorships,” the Boston Globe reports. 

But Sanders said at a CNN town hall in South Carolina that his arguments were “40 years ago” and that the CIA plays “an important role.”

Still, he said the agency has “done things which they should not have done on behalf of the United States government.’’

Sanders said that the CIA backed the overthrow of a democratically elected prime minister in 1953, leading to “the Iranian Revolution, and we are where we are today.”

The presidential candidate also pointed to the overthrow of another democratically elected leader, Salvadore Allende in Chile.

Other Stories of Interest

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Ferguson City Council’s Problems with Consent Degree Make No Sense

Ferguson protest.

Ferguson protest.

By Editorial Board
St. Louis Post Dispatch

The more we learn about the Ferguson City Council’s decision to reject key terms of a consent decree with the Department of Justice and fight it out in court, the less sense it makes. The council seems intent on inflating cost estimates as a tactic to avoid compliance. Members should reconsider before it’s too late.

“There is no chance, zero, that the city of the Ferguson will prevail in this kamikaze mission,” police accountability expert Scott Greenwood told the Post-Dispatch’s Stephen Deere. “They are never ever likely to get the deal that they had. … It will never be that good again.”

Greenwood works for the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been involved in dozens of consent decree negotiations with police departments around the country. None of the precedents augur well for Ferguson’s case. TheDOJ filed suit Feb. 10, the day after the council objected to seven of the 464 points in the consent decree its representatives had negotiated with Justice Department lawyers.

Rather than collaborate and rely on the federal judge who will oversee the agreement to handle sticky issues, the city decided to tug on Superman’s cape. Ferguson officials still don’t quite understand that they can’t wing it anymore.

Ferguson’s objections center on the costs involved. The city’s already got a $2.8 million budget deficit. Its municipal court cash cow has been severely restricted. The cost of monitoring the consent degree has been pegged at $350,000 a year, but other costs have not been publicly quantified. That should have been the first step.

Instead, the city’s estimates keep going up, more than quadrupling in one 10-day period from $800,000 to $3.7 million.

To read more click here. 

FBI Completes Search of Federal Wildlife Refuge for Evidence in Occupation Case

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has swept the Oregon wildlife refuge for evidence following the long standoff with occupiers and has turned over the site to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Federal prosecutors said the FBI is finished processing the crime scenes at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Now defense lawyers have an opportunity to visit the refuge between noon Thursday and 5 p.m. Friday, but they will be escorted by federal officers.

This will give defense lawyers and their investigators a chance to photos or videos.

Once the visit is complete, the federal government “will begin the process of restoring” the wildlife refuge so that it can open to the public, the Oregonian reports.

Defense lawyers filed a joint motion Friday to prevent the FBI from sweeping the site until investigators can monitor the activity of federal law enforcement.

Ammon Bundy’s lawyers argued, “The problem in this unique case is that the Government will not know what evidence at the scene is specifically favorable to Mr. Bundy as opposed to another co-defendant.”

The FBI aid Tuesday that agents swept the site to ensure no one was still there and searched the site for bombs.

The occupation of the wildlife refuge ended relatively peacefully after 41 days.

Justice Department Demands Apple Unlock At Least 9 More iPhones

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Apple is now facing demands from the Justice Department to unlock at least nine iPhones,  besides in the one in the San Bernardino attack, supporting the company’s claims that its encryption safeguards are under attack.

The tech company is objecting to the demands in at least seven of the nine cases, the New York Times reports. 

“Apple has not agreed to perform any services on the devices,” Apple attorney Marc J. Zwillinger wrote in a letter unsealed Tuesday in federal court.

Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said the Justice Department demands will set a dangerous precedent.

“Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices,” Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said in a letter to customers.

On Monday, Apple noted on its website that law enforcement agencies “have hundreds of iPhones they want Apple to unlock if the F.B.I. wins this case.”

Apple Plans to Argue the First Amendment Protects Company from Helping FBI

Apple logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Apple plans to argue that it should not be required to help the FBI unlock an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino killers because a judge relied on an obscure law and infringed on the company’s First-Amendment rights, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

At issue is the All Writs Act, which was first passed by Congress in 1789 and is the basis for trying to force Apple to help the FBI.

“The government here is trying to use this statute from 1789 in a way that it has never been used before. They are seeking a court order to compel Apple to write new software, to compel speech,” Apple attorney Theodore J. Boutrous said in a brief interview with The Times.

Boutrous said there’s legal precedent that computer code is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment.

The debate, he said, should be argued by Congress, not the courts.

“It is not appropriate for the government to obtain through the courts what they couldn’t get through the legislative process,” he said.

The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.