In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail U.N. Probe
In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail U.N. Probe
The real reason for the Obama administration’s hostility toward the UN investigation appears to be the fear that the Syrian government’s decision to allow the team access to the area indicates that it knows that UN investigators will not find evidence of a nerve gas attack.
The administration’s effort to discredit the investigation recalls the George W. Bush administration’s rejection of the position of UN inspectors in 2002 and 2003 after they found no evidence of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the administration’s refusal to give inspectors more time to fully rule out the existence of an active Iraqi WMD program.
In both cases, the administration had made up its mind to go to war and wanted no information that could contradict that policy to arise.
Snowden surveillance leaks open way for challenges to programs’ constitutionality - The Washington Post
At least five cases have been filed in federal courts since the government’s widespread collection of telephone and Internet records was revealed last month. (...)
Such cases face formidable obstacles. The government tends to fiercely resist them on national security grounds, and the surveillance is so secret that it’s hard to prove who was targeted. Nearly all of the roughly 70 suits filed after the George W. Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping was disclosed in 2005 have been dismissed.
But the legal landscape may be shifting, lawyers say, because the revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor and the principal source of the leaks, forced the government to acknowledge the programs and discuss them. That, they say, could help plaintiffs overcome government arguments that they lack the legal standing to sue or that cases should be thrown out because the programs are state secrets. A federal judge in California last week rejected the government’s argument that an earlier lawsuit over NSA surveillance should be dismissed on secrecy grounds.
“There is one critical difference from the Bush era. We now have indisputable physical evidence that the conduct being challenged is actually taking place,’’ said Stephen Vladeck, an expert on national security law at American University law school. He said Snowden’s disclosures make it “more likely” that cases will at least be allowed to go forward in court, leading to a years-long legal battle over surveillance and privacy.
... three lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of the telephone records program: one by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court in New York; another in federal court in Idaho by a nurse who is a Verizon Wireless customer; and the third in federal court in the District by Larry Klayman, founder of the conservative group Judicial Watch. Klayman also filed suit in D.C. federal court over the PRISM program.
Last week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to vacate what it called the unlawful order to Verizon Business Network Services. “The records acquired by the NSA under this Order detail the daily activities, interactions, personal and business relationships, religious and political affiliations, and other intimate details of millions of Americans,’’ the petition said.
Even if they wind up being thrown out, the lawsuits could still serve a larger purpose for opponents of the programs by raising public awareness of the issues surrounding surveillance and possibly forcing the government to make changes or disclose more. Other suits, legal experts said, helped force changes to the detention program at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and brought pressure on the administration to publicly acknowledge its campaign of drone strikes.
“There is a broader function to these lawsuits than simply winning in court,” said Jules Lobel, a University of Pittsburgh law professor who wrote a book about using lawsuits to achieve political aims. “The government has to respond, and forcing them to go before a court might make them want to change aspects of the programs.
NSA memo pushed to ’rethink’ 4th Amendment - Philip Ewing - POLITICO.com
Il ne s’agit pas de violer mais de « repenser » le quatrième amendement,
The National Security Agency pushed for the government to “rethink” the Fourth Amendment when it argued in a classified memo that it needed new authorities and capabilities for the information age.
The 2001 memo, later declassified and posted online by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, makes a case to the incoming George W. Bush administration that the NSA needs new authorities and technology to adapt to the Internet era.
Bush Blocked Iran Nuke Deal
France and Germany were prepared in spring 2005 to negotiate on an Iranian proposal to convert all of its enriched uranium to fuel rods, making it impossible to use it for nuclear weapons, but Britain vetoed the deal at the insistence of the United States, according to a new account by a former top Iranian nuclear negotiator.
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, who had led Iran’s nuclear negotiating team in 2004 and 2005, makes it clear that the reason that offer was rejected was that the George W. Bush administration refused to countenance any Iranian enrichment capability, regardless of the circumstances. Mousavian reveals previously unknown details about that pivotal episode in the diplomacy surrounding the Iran nuclear issue in memoirs published Tuesday.
Bin Laden discovered ‘hiding in plain sight’ - The Washington Post
A crucial break appears to have come on May 2, 2005, when Pakistani special forces arrested a senior al-Qaeda operative known as Abu Faraj al-Libbi, who had been designated bin Laden’s “official messenger” to others within the organization. Libbi was later turned over to the CIA and held at a “black site” prison where he was subjected to the harsh methods that the George W. Bush administration termed “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
L’administration américaine a le plaisir de vous fait savoir, par l’intermédiaire du Washington Post, que la torture légalisée par l’administration Bush, pratiquée dans des « sites noirs de la CIA », ça donne d’excellents résultats pour lutter contre le terrorisme.