Obama DOJ’s New Abuse of State-Secrets Privilege Revealed

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Featured photo - Obama DOJ’s New Abuse of State-Secrets Privilege Revealed President Barack Obama at the National Defense University in May 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

For nine years, the U.S. government refused to let a Stanford PhD student named Rahinah Ibrahim back in the country after putting her on the no-fly list for no apparent reason. For eight years, U.S. government lawyers fought Ibrahim’s request that she be told why. Last April, despite his promise in 2009 to do so only in only the most extreme cases, Attorney General Eric Holder tried to block Ibrahim’s case by asserting the state secrets privilege, declaring under penalty of perjury that the information she wanted “could reasonably be expected to cause significant harm to national security.”

Last week, a federal judge publicly revealed the government’s explanation for Ibrahim’s long ordeal: an FBI agent had “checked the wrong box,” resulting in her falling under suspicion as a terrorist. Even when the government found and corrected the error years later, they still refused to allow Ibrahim to return to the country or learn on what grounds she had been banned in the first place.

Holder, in his April declaration, restated his own new state secrets policy, that “[t]he Department will not defend an invocation of the privilege in order to: (i) conceal violations of the law, inefficiency, or administrative error; (ii) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency of the United States Government”.

Then he did exactly what he had said he wouldn’t do.

The bogus national security claims invoked were even more outrageous because they were used to continue the persecution of someone the government knew to be innocent.

Ibrahim’s ordeal started on January 2, 2005, when she arrived at San Francisco International Airport to catch a flight to Malaysia for a Stanford-sponsored academic conference. A citizen of Malaysia, she had been living in the United States for four years on a student visa. But when a ticket agent saw her name on the no-fly list, he called the police.

Despite being wheelchair-bound due to complications from a medical procedure, Ibrahim was handcuffed and taken to a detention cell where she was reportedly humiliated and threatened by San Francisco police officers. She was denied access to medication she had been travelling with, despite suffering excruciating pain due to a recent surgery. Her obvious medical distress apparently won her no sympathy. As she recounted in an interview about the incident years later: “My back felt as if it was hit by an electric shock with every beat of my heart and I repeatedly asked for painkillers and nearly collapsed, but they ignored me.” Shaking and in tears, she was eventually allowed to board her flight to Malaysia but found herself banned from returning on the way back.

In an effort to clear her name and return to her life in the United States, Ibrahim launched a lawsuit against the U.S. government challenging her placement on the federal no-fly list. However at every step of the process government officials impeded her ability to challenge or even examine the allegations against her by invoking the state secrets privilege.

U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ordered her removal from the no-fly list in January. And last week, he unsealed a redacted 38-page court filing disclosing the “mistaken information” that led the government to throw an innocent woman’s life into turmoil.

As a 2008 presidential candidate, Barack Obama specifically criticized the Bush administration’s abusive state secrets policy. The Obama/Biden “Plan to Change Washington” critically noted that “the Bush administration has invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other administration to get cases thrown out of court.”

After taking office, Obama declared: “We must not protect information merely because it reveals the violation of a law or embarrassment to the government….I will never hide the truth because it’s uncomfortable.”

But he then proceeded to cite the state secrets privilege to stonewall lawsuits on such topics as CIA torture and extrajudicial assassinations. A lawsuit filed by Binyam Mohammed – a man subjected to extraordinary rendition who suffered “medieval” torture including the slashing of his chest and genitals with a scalpel –was thrown out after the Obama Department of Justice invoked the privilege, with DOJ attorney Douglas N. Letter asserting at the time: “This case cannot be litigated…the judges shouldn’t play with fire in this national security situation.”

The troubling questions regarding the abuse of the state secrets privilege are obvious: If officials of the federal government are willing to use it to conceal a bureaucratic error, how far would they be willing to go to cover up serious crimes such as torture and assassination?

For her part, Ibrahim said by video-link at the trial: “I would like my children not to hate America because of what happened to me … I would like for nobody to have to go through what happened to me.”

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  1. Hey, is there a reason my reply to Les hildebrand’s comment about border crossing is not being posted? I know you guys are not “politically correct,” so it surprises me that my political in-correctness would be withheld.

  2. There is no dispute about the need to safeguard state secrets whose protection is critical if the nation must be effectively defended against threats, domestic or foreign. A state secret classification manual stipulates what kinds of information may be classified, including all derivative classifications inherited from parent documents. It also explicitly prohibits the use of the classification system to hide illegal activities, to avoid embarrassment etc. Indeed, President Obama likely alludes to that provision in the quote in the article above when he said: “We must not protect information merely because it reveals the violation of a law or embarrassment to the government….I will never hide the truth because it’s uncomfortable ” (italics mine). Yet, as we see in this case, and in many others, including the reading of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s and the President of Brazil’s emails, the severe electronic surveillance and remote torture of innocent Americans, all activities that have no national security value – torture is not, and has never been, a national assert and neither can reading an ally’s emails – continue to be classified and placed out of range for even intelligence committee members of both houses. Because of these activities, many of us are suffering immensely. Some have already died. My blood has light-emitting devices when viewed under a microscope due to illegal implants and deep intrusions into my body with advanced photonic and electromagnetic technological tools of such miniature dimensions that they fit within a standard gauge syringe for injectability. These have been used to exert unspeakable remotely implemented torture, manipulating physiologies of entire organ systems including the infliction of internal organ torture. My body activates street walking signals when I come within range due to the multiple implants in my body. I am a black South African woman who suffered immensely under the yoke of apartheid, only to walk into the embrace of remote electronic torture in a country that has otherwise some of the very best foundational principles and a sound constitution that underlies most of its laws. I am not a terrorist and have no criminal record anywhere. Yet I am not alone…far from it. With paper and pen alone, I shall do what I can to defend this democracy.

  3. I am big fan of Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill .. And the rest of the gang Omidyar has assembled and I wish them all great success. The one critique I will make after reading the first few articles printed so far on The Intercept, is that , almost all the comments so far are complimentary. Now we all know ,that commentators on online publications are negative by a ratio of almost 60 – 40…so it is hard for me to fathom how there are so few negative comments so far on the Intercept. I hope whoevere is moderating the comments is not weeding out all the trolls…since they are the life blood of online commentary.

  4. What else might they use the state secrets privilege to hide? Why, FAST AND FURIOUS, of course; you know, the “gun walking” plan Obama and Holder used to try to set up a path to gun control in the US by giving guns bought by straw buyers in the US to the Mexican Drug Cartels and then using the dead bodies that resulted from Cartel Murders as a pretext to say that the Cartels are getting their guns in the US, we must enact stricter gun laws! This administration is the MOST criminal, MOST corrupt, MOST depraved, and MOST dangerous in US history. They’ll use the state secrets argument for anything, at any time. No one is safe from these evil people.

    • You forgot: OMFG BENGHAZI!!!!11!!

      Hint: it’s not “this administration.” It’s the permanent power factions that control our government no matter which political party is in power.

      And of course we should enact stricter gun laws. Read a newspaper ferchrissakes.

    • Strict gun law?doesn’t make since?you have to follow a legal process!city community are taken ing poeple’ right by ploting to creat criminal history to the alians a civil War!In a couple of years?dont play you know hows side your in!

  5. It has been a shock to learn that the United States Constitution is literally not worth the parchment is written on. We have no rights whatsoever. For me this discovery began a couple of years ago on learning of the Border Search Exemption where the border is defined as anywhere in the United States within 100 miles of the international border. Two thirds Of the people living in the US reside in this ‘border’. These are indeed frightening times.

    • DITTO – and to learn that “borders” also include “water,” meaning up and down the east and west coast. Border Search allows them access to your phone, laptop, you name it! Sounds like Communism to me.

      • Communism? I think what you want to say is: Sounds like corruption and tyrans or dictators on the rise. No matter what politcal system…

  6. The problem is the harassment, the political times in rich countries are finding that people can talk without even thinking about the risks and loss of life that a simple person can have.

  7. What’s even more outrageous about this is that the “no-fly” list is useless. Aside from its potential for administrative bungling, it assumes that commercial airliners are vulnerable to hijacking by passengers. No security arrangement can be guaranteed, but reinforced cockpit doors and sterile cockpit procedures virtually preclude hijacking.

  8. Excellent article. Sometimes it is extremely difficult for me to mentally/emotionally grasp the decay of human decency and to believe there are any courageous, powerful people left who are willing to put justice before ego or pride.

    I might not be making sense. I’m just an elderly woman who has had enough experience w/humanity to begin to truly fear it. Money, power, ego and greed are desensitizing people to the point of them becoming monsters who care not for human rights and equality but who has the most jimmy choo shoes or the most houses or money.

    Life imitates art. I just finished watching Season 2 of House of Cards and I fear this series is not that far off from reality of what it is like in government. I truly am grateful for being so old now.

    • Ms McComb: The good news is that we are in a very fortunate time when the abuses have a very good chance of being exposed to the world. These liars of ours have always been around and we have always accepted their word. It all started when the Mayflower landed with the Puritans. It has taken a long time to reveal the true nature of powerful American citizens but their time is near to the time of the guillotine. I am excited that I am a witness. I have thought for many years THEY would get away with it.

  9. Has the Obama DOJ even in one case not used the state secrets cover-up? It truly is all too frequently covering torture and alliances with the torturers–remember case of Maher Arar, “rendered”to Syria for torture. But he could get no justice in the US. Then, Assad was an ally in torture, now he is evil. Smells like hypocrisy, doesn’t it?
    Congratualtions on the launch of this publication. I look forward to reading and sharing it whenever it comes out. I would gladly be a paid subscriber.

    • I remember Obama campaigning about transparency and openness. Yet he has followed (and in some cases enhanced) lack of same. I knew from the beginning he was a politician. As such he can not be trusted. No representative government can.

  10. This person below said exactly what I am feeling and says it best

    “As I was reading who the recipients of the Polk Award for journalism were in 2013, see NY TIMES link below, I became aware that the list of recipients and the oft times hidden truths they exposed, at great personal danger, are factual accounts of egregious wrongdoing in government, at Federal, State, and Local levels, throughout the so called Democratic Republic of America.

    And, as the world now knows, beyond any doubt whatsoever, many of these government orchestrated criminal acts are blatant violations of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, and as certain of the lawbreaking was and is being conducted in numerous other sovereign nations, the Democratic Republic of America is also in blatant violation of The Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

    And, even though this is known to be the truth since June 2013, neither the Executive branch, nor the Judicial branch of the Democratic Republic of America, have done anything to cause this criminal activity to cease, and in fact, the President of the Democratic Republic of America has publicly stated that he authorized and still condones, in particular, the Constitutional and Bill of Rights violations.

    Consequently, this sitting President has publicly admitted to wrongdoing that is in fact known to be part of the Articles of Impeachment.

    It is therefore the Duty of Congress to cause impeachment proceedings to begin. ”


    Very, very well said.

    • Which will of course never happen. I have said and will continue to assert the democrats and the republicans are cut from the same cloth. Neither party has the people’s interest forefront. Democratic Republics are lesser tyrants of their more venomous counterparts. Modern civilization not longer needs this form of government. Indeed, we need NO form of government whatsoever.

      • No government? Sorry but anarchy is all that exists with that way of thinking.
        The only thing that will take us further down the rabbit whole is the deluded libertarian philosophy.

  11. Look Clintons are the wolves coming after our Nation for decades. It is taking an American Spy to uncover the hidden tracks in the snow for enough pressure to be placed on Congress and the people and the courts to do something, and fast; before we become a floor rug for the WH they plan to overrun. Let it snow a beautiful winter wonder land for America again.


  13. Excellent comment by El B. A strong indictment of a democratic govt. gone beserk. American officials are completely lacking in honor. They are immoral and are completely lacking the ability to feel shame. Without shame or conscience, U.S. officials can be accurately described as “sociopathic.” Our president is bought, our congress is bought, and corruption oozes from Washington like pus from a pustule.

  14. Hindsight is 20/20 – Justifying the cover-up of a clerical error by hiding behind the rules of states secrets privilege while claiming disclosure to her “could reasonably be expected to cause significant harm to national security.” defies all reasonable logic. How so? Human error happens – and there’s no crime in that … fix it, apologize and move on. They even had benefit of the privilege rule to do so without admitting the administrative error – but instead – the coverup has exposed the entire system as massive incompetence on every level … spiteful, stubborn, immature, petulant and from the bottom up completely, undeniably, pathetically unqualified to not only effectively execute and control the most menial administrative and managerial responsibilities to effective problem solving, competent corrective measures and qualified, efficient leadership. Even the cover-up was botched!!! It makes any and all of their words and actions suspect – and provides a crystal clear picture of the extreme lengths they’ll stick their necks out to fervently bury the most mundane of mistakes. “The troubling questions regarding the abuse of the state secrets privilege are obvious: If officials of the federal government are willing to use it to conceal a bureaucratic error, how far would they be willing to go to cover up serious crimes such as torture and assassination?” Or covert trade negotiations, or controverting constitutional privacy rights, or campaign finance corruption, or Supreme Court conflicts of interest, or prison profiteering, or catastrophic water contamination, or environmental damage caused by fracking … or War. The list goes on, and on and speaks volumes as to the entrenched, deep-seeded, schizophrenic paranoia and systematic intimidation and persecution of whistleblowers. One of two things is happening – either the voices of the U.S. public will gradually demand more transparency and succeed in forcing their hands into revealing everything from the benign & pedestrian to most dark & sinister skeletons in the closets of our government and vote to prevent it from metastasizing …. or higher, thicker, more impenetrable walls and more intensive, severe measures and consequences will quash and silence every civilian who dares look at them. Our toes are hanging over the precipice …

    • “The troubling questions regarding the abuse of the state secrets privilege are obvious: If officials of the federal government are willing to use it to conceal a bureaucratic error, how far would they be willing to go to cover up serious crimes such as torture and assassination?”

      Riddle / clue: When does 1 + 2 + 7= 911?

    • Are there enough uncorrupted members of Congress to launch another Watergate Impeachment Hearing? If the actions of this and George W Bush’ administrations do not constitute “high crimes & misdemeanors”, I dont know what does. Oh,maybe ordering the execution of American citizens without charge, trial, or ability to face one’s accusers.

  15. Grateful to all who are not governed by fear and who promote transparency. Keep brightening the path, Greenwald et al.

  16. Apparently, Cameron’s email coming out of Brooks’ BlackBerry without any content on is ALSO a protected piece of suspect evidence tampering in the US! How DO they make that legal transfer across the pond?

    Why can’t WE address public record testimony before an open inquiry? Unless the US press wouldn’t like Cameron to be the man, who like Nixon, cannot explain why his email is missing content. Sounds like a Tempora metadata file to me.

    Come on, if Obama was missing content to an email sent to a major US media exec at a time of high crisis for both, would the US press leave him off the hook? What if that exec and his communications director had just ended an affair?

    I’m guessing the UK is pressing a case of national security. I’d like to run down whomever thinks they can compress the content of a PM in evidence before a criminal inquiry for another person’s interests, too.

    Don’t they want to? Not openly, it appears. Which is what’s so queer. The US reboosted any slander the UK press tossed them about those poor McCanns, but this delightful cream pie is not kosher? Pray tell, why not? Holder’s command?

    • Apparently, Cameron’s email coming out of Brooks’ BlackBerry without any content on is ALSO a protected piece of suspect evidence tampering in the US! How DO they make that legal transfer across the pond? ….abbadabba 16 Feb 2014 at 1:13 pm

      If Cameron was doing more than just riding Rebekah’s horse, would he be a prime target for foreign intelligence agency control which would make him something a cowardly two-faced, two-timing asset to them but a sub prime ministerial liability and practically a virtual traitor to national patriots at home and in the City and in the Palace of Westminster?

      And if any and/or all of that be true, a cruel betrayal and right royal disaster of a disappointment to Sam.

      One would fully expect though, the likes of secure intelligence agencies and secret agents and GCHQ/CESG to have abilities and facilities and 24/7/365 access to all politically correct and incorrect communications, by simple virtue of the fact that they be default secure providers of user platforms/information exchange channels. To discover that they are not, is to realise that they be as minnows in a sea and the see of basking great white sharks and wholesale fundamental radical change be necessary in such intelligence systems to deliver blighty leadership in place of blithe stewardship with a wholly new system of smarter mentoring and monitoring …… Astute HyperRadioProActive Vigilance.

  17. Who checks the box checkers? Sounds like an awesome responsibility which can apparently be abused with impunity.

    I used to drill dad about blowing doobies while still a grunt. “No one checks the checkers.” That’s what I thought.

  18. Now this is what I call Sunday Service. Instead of platitudes or bickering and speculating about posing politicians and plutocrats motives and meanings, we bear WITNESS to OURSELVES and ask if we cannot be better as a nation.

    Thank you, Murtaza.

  19. I thought I’d heard the worst when a man with an ostomy bag was made to unseal his to show the TSA he wasn’t carrying anything but urine, and of course, with the ostomy seal broken, that was no secret to ANYONE anymore. Mom had two ostomies, and this only doubled my fury at their ignorance and human rights abuses.

    So, who decided to make that woman suffer? I want them to face the legal consequences! You can be denied medication at a port facility by this listing system? Seriously? OUTRAGEOUS!!

    I having “nursed” several souls I love dearly through surgeries, I can only consider that ghoulish and monstrously offensive. Had I done same to my loved ones, they could have had me tossed in jail.

    What’s the defense for such horror? Terror prevention? Then why am I terrified to fly, now? That’s another fine industry they’ve managed to make me question doing business with, Ollie.

  20. I’m no supporter of the current administration but it seems to me the finger of blame is being pointed in the wrong direction. It was Bush’s DHA and TSA that interrogated and persecuted the lady and then placed her on the “no fly” list without telling her she wouldn’t be able to return to the USSofA. And it was probably Bush’s AG Gonzales that kept here there by refusing to review her initial complaints. And then it was Holder who would keep her there. It seems to me to simply be our government and its self protecting “state secrets” policy against the people.

  21. [Crime No.20-52] Of Murder (political assassination): (1963) That President John F. Kennedy was publicly executed in a brutal and callous manner upon the direct orders of Pope Paul VI in order to prevent him from carrying out his plan to end the control of the Catholic over American policy through orders for the disbanding of the CIA as well as usurping the Catholic controlled Federal Reserve Bank by enacting Executive Order 11110 (4 June 1963) thereby injecting into the economy nearly five billion dollars (4.7) in interest-free cash and ending the extortion of the Federal Reserve. That upon the brutal murder of President Kennedy, both sets of orders were rescinded the very next day. That President Kennedy remains the last President to actively attempt to regain the sovereign right of the United States to mint its own currency. He is also the only President to have ever attempted to disband the treacherous CIA since its inception in 1949. That his murder was both a conspiracy of the highest branches of government, relating to the most fundamental rights of Americans to govern their own destiny free from traitors and external influences of corruption and as such also represents a coup d’état from which the American people have never yet regained control.

    • I prefer the Episcopal Service of this conspiracy, thank you. Luther was a tool. He was losing control so he made double dippers into the devils worth burning. READ ALL ABOUT IT! There may be some shards of fact in there, but you can’t assemble a saleable vessel with that cording.

      Joseph Kennedy’s son to shut down the CIA? Surely you jest. More like expunge the family records!! How can I take that seriously when Joe was all for capitualting to Hitler? He had global cronie creds to booster a rocket to the moon!

  22. I read the comments and laugh at the right vers left BULLSHIT. Thats what it is BULLSHIT . Bush was a criminal and started the violations of the Constitution, OBAMA has picked up where he stopped and continued on.Both parties together agreeded to violate the Constitution and Bill of Rights. A belief that your party will fix it, is exactly the stupid they want most of you to believe. Your party will not fix it, the next President, will continue the lies,illegal things ,war ect. The only hope is to ,vote out all the old people ,all of them and bring people in from totally different groups. The only thing that changes with the current parties is the media spin on the subjects. Most of the spin is complete lies or leaves out huge parts, depending on the subject ,and the stupid people argue about things with about half of the info needed to actually take a side. what happened in this story has happened many times we just never got the full story. Many people have been put on lists for articles they have published . Many for being against wars ect. Everyone needs to wake up and get current with reality.

  23. Power to the people…the only way to have a revolution is to get the army on the people’s side and stop defending the government that is detroying the future of their and everybody else’s children…our own government and their foreign policy is the biggest threat to our safety….the only way to get out of this mess is to have a post-industrial revolution after we get the army to back the people…

    • The largest “army” in America are the American Citizen’s most of whom by right of law, have guns and ammo.

    • The Problem here is it is the Military that is at the heart of the Spying on the citizens, and the Various branches of the Government that are helping them!

      • there is not likely to be an armed revolution again in the history of America. There will likely be a technical revolution (i.e. a peaceful one) that changes the game once and for all. Here is why the masses won’t revolt: http://robertreich.org/post/74519195381

        But also, even though we have so many armed Americans, hardly any of these people are willing to stand up and actually fight.

        • Maybe it’s because nobody knows how to feed themselves any more, without the system most people would starve.

    • The only way to fight these individuals like Obama and Rogers is to DESTROY their political legacy! That is their essence! They must be remembered for their destruction of personal privacy and for the lives they killed and destructed in pursuit of a political legacy! They will be looked down with disgust!

      • Had Nixon not been a crook, guess who’d have been remembered as the Republican with a Heartbeat? he expanded Medicaid massively with other fine social programs, but no one can remember that. i wonder why?

        • Medicaid is non-functional. It does not pay doctors enough to cover the expenses they incur in seeing Medicaid patients. It is designed to be non-functional, just as the War on Poverty is, and the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.

          An increasing demand for Medicaid services due to economic malfeasance combined with a decrease in availability of services means YOU get to feel good about that government run program while very ill poor people suffer from the abuse inherent in such a system as corrupt as the one under which we labor.

          Perhaps you would approve of forcing doctors to see Medicaid patients. Then the government can lower payments further to providers to save money – you’d probably approve that scheme too (though your taxes will increase anyway). Then the supply of smart people wanting to go into medicine will shrink dramatically. When engineering and surveillance pay better than medicine the dysfunction in medical care will spread to those of us who, while enjoying good coverage, currently think Medicaid is an example of an excellent program.

          Better git hit in your soul, brother, ’cause you ain’t got the real facts straight yet.

          • I had a feeling I’d opened a can for whooping arse on ACA.

            I’d simply like to say thank you to George Bush, too, for parity in mental and remainder healthcare which he endorsed in 2008. Just came on line in 2013 and REALLY blew my Blue premium up, but for the equal treatment benefits, I am grateful.

            I can’t figure out how to report our MAGI to the ACA confessor since hubby deducts health premiums from his gross. How do I know what that premium is unless I submit the MAGI, and how do I submit MAGI until I learn what the premium is? I’ll figure it out by March 31st…because I think I could save a LOT of money on my health insurance.

            since my address is correct, sirs, I assume that is the bell tolling. I got to do some housecleaning, too.

  24. I am curious what should the adminstration do in simple terms please. stop all this shoulda woulda coulda stuff. blame game. dirty innuendos .its the black guys fault. WHAT WOULD YOU DO. PLEASE TELL ME.

    • The administration “shouldn’t” do anything. It’s not the “black” guy’s fault: he’s a puppet. Simple: what we (Americans) should do is this:
      1. Admit we have a problem. What is the problem? Representative Government and Capitalism as systems for running civilizations no longer work. They are wheezing coughing corrupt versions of what they once were
      2. Examine alternatives to these systems. Copiosis is one
      3. Pick one as national policy and begin immediately transitioning to that new system.

      Easier said than done for sure, but any “solutions” which seek to “fix” current systems are bound to fail.

    • Expulsion hearings for Feinstein (D) and Rogers (R) FIRST for their miserable failure to oversee this mess. From that hearing, we will derive all necessary evidence to send O to the showers. First we take on Congress. They’ll hand O over to to US.

      Expulsion is the Congressional equivalent of impeachment. Both houses meet to manage the LEGAL process. I want a clean process. None of this parallel construction BS for US!! We can restore justice the LEGAL way!!

      We just need someone with the balls of a Barbara Jordan to make the call. Rand Paul gives himself away by NOT doing so. If he really cared, he wouldn’t copy and paste lawsuits, he call for Congress to do their jobs. EXPULSION HEARINGS, NOW!!

  25. This is what happens in a dictatorship. Can’t have anyone embarrassing Dear leader and his criminal conspirators now can we?

  26. Currently the Feds can place anyone on a no fly list. There is no procedure to get off that list. You can plead your case to the TSA but they are not even required to respond to you. There is no transparent process for review. That is just naked power. It will be abused. People who enjoy having power over others lives will do everything they can to ensure they maintain those powers with no oversight. It is what fascists do.

    • I wonder if I shouldn’t give up on my dream trip to see my nephew in Germany. I don’t want to go to all the trouble and expense of getting my passport reissued, purchase tickets, plan an itinerary and make reservations just to find out the government can’t keep it’s boxers straight. They made that woman SUFFER! They presumed torturing people on a list would ALSO be OK with DoJ? Now I get why some folks are furious with TSA. Unbelievable cruelty. Just makes me want to cry.

      Of course, I’d NEVER go to Europe by way of the UK’s gulag at Heathrow. No way!! Hubby was shocked since I’ve so many ancestors in prominent graves to visit, but they help me recall why the family split Britain in the first place. I can go see my Plant roots in France.

      • Ratz, I was gonna eat my way up and down the Siegfried Line. Made to pick, I’m more a Mosel Gal than Rhine. So why be made to choose?

  27. I’m totally appalled by what Holder did. I have two questions though:

    1. What legal action can be taken against Holder?
    2. Obama seems to be delaying parts of ACA at will and the only reason I think the mainstream media doesn’t seem to be covering it is that his cause is a liberal one. And, some argue that the government has broad authority to manage taxes. I want to understand whether what the President is doing with ACA fits in the overall pattern of his administration’s overreach.

  28. I am Major, USAF, ret’d. service with Fifth Air Force in the Pasific …Brisbane to Tokyo … In Korean War, with ARDC This is what we fought to abolish

      • A pathetic comment from Charlie. I suppose that he has never heard of “typos.” Almost everyone makes typing errors or spelling errors on a first draft. That is why academic papers are always carefully proof read over and over. And mis-spelling a word is insignificant when compared to someone completely unable to articulate logical arguments. Such a person is reduced to silly, childlike whining about spelling errors.

    • Charlie sounds like a natpicker. Easy to buzz.

      I’m with you, sir, this is NOT my father’s Oldsmobile!! Who replaced it with Mussolini’s 1931 hit and run? See NYTs “Mussolini Hit and Run Driver.” Beep, beep!

  29. Crime No.20-52] Of Murder (political assassination): (1963) That President John F. Kennedy was publicly executed in a brutal and callous manner upon the direct orders of Pope Paul VI in order to prevent him from carrying out his plan to end the control of the Catholic over American policy through orders for the disbanding of the CIA as well as usurping the Catholic controlled Federal Reserve Bank by enacting Executive Order 11110 (4 June 1963) thereby injecting into the economy nearly five billion dollars (4.7) in interest-free cash and ending the extortion of the Federal Reserve. That upon the brutal murder of President Kennedy, both sets of orders were rescinded the very next day. That President Kennedy remains the last President to actively attempt to regain the sovereign right of the United States to mint its own currency. He is also the only President to have ever attempted to disband the treacherous CIA since its inception in 1949. That his murder was both a conspiracy of the highest branches of government, relating to the most fundamental rights of Americans to govern their own destiny free from traitors and external influences of corruption and as such also represents a coup d’état from which the American people have never yet regained control.


  30. U n b e l i e v a b l e !
    This is really what is called “kafkaesk”. The German Murnat Kurnaz was even imprisoned in Guantanamo, while the German government refused to let him come back to his family. How do this people manage everydays life?

    • You mean Kafkaesque, right? The rest of your post is spot on, don’t get screwed over by spelling mistakes or bad grammar. The great troll army latches onto these trivial weaknesses, they search out your weakness and reconfigure it as a rhetorical weapon, and then proceed to beat you over the head with it, thus derailing the conversation. To your original point though, “The Trial” should be taught in middle school. Read it years ago, the significance didn’t fully resonate until very recently. For comic relief I recommend Joseph Heller….

      • I call it worth waiting for!!

        Hey, POZOS!! We ain’t your LUCKY baggage bundlers ANYMORE!! Go find some OTHER sucker to make cry for the entertainment of your “friends,” like you have any, Pozos.

  31. This I blame on the federal judges. They should never accept the word of federal prostituters, or the administration, the Pentagon the FBI, CIA, DIA, DHS or any of the other alphabet soups that make up the US Government. All federal judges should force the government to make it’s case for states secrets in consultation in the judges chambers! Our federal government has proven itself to be very untrustworthy and no one should take the government at it’s word of dishonor!

    • From what I can see, and they are hiding it as best they can, the DoJ is keeping the prosecutors in the dark unless they are dirty enough to not get caught by the court.

      In the UK, the Police did NOT inform the Crown Prosecution Service that they had evidence of thousands of hacking victims in 2006. The police only brought forward a case against one reporter and hacker for violating the Royal Family. I guessed long ago that Police were also hiding something, like their cozy connections to the tabloids. But now it is obvious they also feared a thorough prosecution would reveal the entirely illegal telephony relationships police had with telephony providers. NSA’s Alexander made that clear when he was trying to defend his own secreting of the evidence. The intricacies of the connections were a feature he didn’t want his targets, all of us, to see. Chain of custody means chains for custodians.

      What you wanna bet NSA and DoJ got on the task of “legalizing” their connections due to the inevitability the tabloid hackers would out all of them? Stupid hackers.

      Didn’t the Leveson Inquiry bring up the well informed tabloid who had a “consierge” like connection to information about VIP’s movements in the UK? Are we to believe the CEOs and Chairmen of telephony and tech didn’t have a clue what the government was up to with their lines? Wait until we find out some news outlets could buy a leak whenever they felt like it and GCHQ knew it, too. They are proving a lot of “flattering” leakage to the press, just like the old days.

      And why the heck did Cameron’s email come out of Brook’s Blackberry without any content? Is that just a Tempora metadata file of its former selfie? Another Leveson drop.

      The Five Eyes are a bunch of Mr. Magoos who can’t even kick straight, much less coordinate. They are going to bring one another down the same way they set each other up. Back slapping.

      • I am NOT suggesting Murdoch is the one who would manipulate the government with a threat to reveal their own duplicity, even if he does also own a telephone and internet service provider, BSkyB. His was NOT the UK tabloid that had consierge service.

        If we think he’s trouble, you haven’t met Fleet Street, yet. He’s just an importer. They INVENTED this triple play system which manages so rarely to serve the public interest while facilitating lots of political and policing intrigues to the benefit of the Three Eyed Beast.

  32. Holder isn’t the problem, hell, Obama isn’t even the problem, they and all the others of their ilk are merely symptoms of the problems-
    Greed, career politicians and the fascist manner in which the US is controlled, part and parcel, by wealthy corporate interests, THAT is the problem-
    We need to descend upon DC, rushing the capitol with a Million or more enraged citizens willing to be shot in the front so those behind can continue to push all the way into the ‘hallowed halls’ and drag each and every of the 536 ‘elite’ out into the street where hastily arranged trials can take place right there on the mall. Then carry out the sentences with the many, many guillotines that will be set up during the fracas.
    Revolution is the ONLY answer, as the corrupted elite have never, and will never voluntarily relinquish the power they’ve stolen from the people-

    • I am afraid to say that you are right. We need to educate our military to what they are doing as they have been taught to blindly follow and then that is exactly what we need to do. after that we can start taking off a the laws that have been made that have permitted such abuses to happen in the first place.

      • I disagree. Command has fallen into a hellish hole. The Tampa Temples are traitors. look at Petreaus and McCrystal. What goons. But Congress and the Executive have set those standards, and I hold them accountable.

        Under better leadership, the military would be brought to heel instead of picking up on the bootjack’s jacked up value system. You will see many an old vet is DISGUTSTED with this command structure’s values.

    • The only way we’re going to be absent have a revolution is if the a people get the army on their side…the army that is made up of citizens like me and you and who’s children’s future is being ruined by the government they protect…then we can have our post-industrial revolution (the only way our way of life will change to stop polluting and save the future for the children)…

    • Historically speaking, the level of democracy in a given society has been largely governed by the capacity of the governed to own and bare arms in parity with those possessed by government. Since the advent of the atomic bomb, the people’s capacity to violently resist government tyranny has all but disappeared. Concordantly, the capacity to foster popular support for trial by pitchfork has become an anachronism.

      Crony Capitalism is the order of the day. The same company that sells you disposable razors is also providing numerous defense-related products and services to the ruling elite to facilitate their impetus toward ever greater levels of control, at home and abroad. If you truly want to drive a stake into the heart of the beast, then stop buying razors from companies who supply replacement parts for drones or engines for fighter jets. In a capitalist society, nothing says dissent like, “no sale.”

  33. In an effort to clear her name and return to her life in the United States, Ibrahim launched a lawsuit against the U.S. government challenging her placement on the federal no-fly list. However at every step of the process government officials impeded her ability to challenge or even examine the allegations against her by invoking the state secrets privilege.
    I think the only battering ram we have at the gates of the Secret State, is going to be bringing charges. The day there are a thousand concurrent lawsuits is the day we might break through. Nothing seems to matter to these people. Not human decency. Not ethics. Not the law. Not patriotism. Sue the bastards into oblivion so they don’t come back again.

    • I imagine the administration’s anger about Afghans being released from prison has to do with the likelihood of lawsuits, not terrorism. Our government is more terrified of being held accountable than of another attack coming to our shores.

  34. In a morally corrupt society or government, there is no truth or justice. There is only a facade that hides the real truth of deceit, corruption and self-serving ambitions. The leaders of this US government make mockery of the oath they swore when they took office to uphold truth and justice. I am ashamed to be American!

  35. This “national security” shtick has grown rather tiresome. The only security that truly concerns these clowns (I say that knowing full well that I run the risk of offending many an honest, hardworking clown, & for that I am eternally sorry) is their own financial security.

  36. Obama has the power to fire the Attorney General and replace him with a GOOD guy. Won’t.
    Obama has the power to end NSA spying illegally on more than 100 million US citizens. Won’t.
    Obama has the power to task his Justice Department with targeting & prosecuting Bush. Won’t.
    Obama has the power to immediately end the criminal, despicable drone strike program. Won’t.
    Obama has the power to end the US occupation of Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Won’t.
    Presidentrash Obama, what “Hope & Change” was that you promised again? Hype & No Change???
    That begets the question: WHY? Is Obama compromised / blackmailed or just lying from the start???

    • I think it is more like can’t than won’t. Obama is middle management and needs permission. The question is from whom does he get permission? Moneyed interests for certain but moneyed interest in the USA or elsewhere?

      • the only thing preventing the president from such actions is fear for his life. He is willing to risk others’ lives, he is willing to kill children, but he is not willing to or ready to risk death himself

    • BO is a disgusting piece of sh*t and so are his appointees. But my fellow Texan, Jim Hightower, got it right: “If the gods had meant us to vote they’d have given us candidates.”

      • In 2012, you did have two excellent candidates on the ballot in nearly all the States: Libertarians Gary Johnson for POTUS, and Judge Jim Gray for Veep. These two gentlemen were eminently qualified to serve, and have since proven to be on the right side of the important issues, not only the ones discussed in the official “debates,” but also the ones that rose to prominence AFTER the election. The problem is that most people are too afraid of “the other guy” to break free of the two-party scam and vote for third-party or independent candidates. The last few years have shown us that whether you vote GOP or Demo, the Crony Party actually wins. If voting is to have any meaning or effect, you need to look outside that deliberately constructed box and vote for the candidates who 1) support your positions on the issues; and 2) aren’t compromised by the bipartisan machine. If Johnson or Gray run again in 2016, please give them fair consideration. But whatever you do, DON’T trust the Demos or Republicans. We have seen where that has taken us.

        • Our sole party–the DemoPublican Party–puts up two bought-and-paid-for hacks every four years. Our political system is beyond redemption.Don’t vote–it only encourages ‘

        • The DemoPublican Party puts up two bought-and-paid-for hacks every four years. Our political system is beyond redemption.

          Don’t vote–it only encourages ‘em.

        • Those who believe that government should foster the “free market” by allowing businesses the freedom to compete without restrictions have no understanding of human nature. History has repeatedly demonstrated that deregulation and “free trade” legislation has resulted in monopolies, market calamity, environmental ruination, labor unrest, unsafe work conditions, worker abuse, outsourcing, attrition of social security and welfare benefits, a steady decrease in the percentage of the population who are working full time, greater levels of worker productivity (including the forced transition from an hourly pay structure to salary wherein the worker is not compensated for overtime), and the flight of industry to countries where workers are more susceptible to exploitation (e.g. China, India).

  37. The real enemies of freedom are government bureaucrats, intoxicated by the elixir of secrecy. They conceal their incompetence or illegality behind the curtain of deceit. Our “public servants” know that they are immune from public accoutability. How so? The government’s legal constraints were designed by those who share the mind-set of the mediocre hordes feeding at the public trough, known as the tax-payer payroll.

  38. In 2007, I worked in Baghdad as Director of the newly established Office of Accountability and Transparency (OAT). It was my first and last experience with the US State Department and Department of Justice. The deceitful way that information was classified to prevent the people of the United States from knowing the truth about the murderous corruption in Iraq was breathtaking. Our OAT report on corruption in each of the 35 Iraqi ministries was retroactively classified to prevent Congress from disclosing it to the people and press. I testified about this negligence and recklessness to the House and Senate Oversight Committees on Iraq Reconstruction and was subsequently blacklisted by the State Department. I’m a US veteran and a retired NH superior court judge and I am not in the least surprised at this story about the plight of an innocent and decent woman abused by Holder, Obama and their ilk.

    • I thank you for objecting to wrong being done under color of authority. Confirms the depth of their duplicity.

      I also suggest you go read the work Glenn did with NBC Investigations online about how GCHQ mindscrews those who do so by telephony. They can wreck you financially and spread rumors, too, contact neighbors, friends and family, attribute fake posts to you. Lots of HS kinda mean girl shite. Ever seen your screen shaking?

      Hope you aren’t being harassed. Thank you, once again for giving a shite. It is too uncommon among the common man these days. Understandably so as it seems to disgust a majority of those who represent US in Congress, those who never should have manhandled the truth.

      I can’t fake enthusiasm for criminal wastes of resources, either.

  39. The administration’s intent to use “the state secrets privilege” in this case seems either malicious or incompetent.

    The next to last paragraph asks “If officials of the federal government are willing to use it to conceal a bureaucratic error, how far would they be willing to go to cover up serious crimes such as torture and assassination?”

    There is ample evidence they conceal their bureaucratic failures by whatever means available. I don’t think this is incompetence. They did all this to have one more means not to be the promised most transparent administration.

  40. Will the mainstream media pick this up? Will anyone in Congress call for an enquiry? Will there be any Senator that introduces legislation that prosecutes Federal officials who declare secrecy in order to cover up incompetence or criminality? One would think they would all be fighting to sponsor such protections of liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. If none of this happens, what does it say about our press? What does it say about our elected officials? Sadly, we already know the answer.

  41. Ticked the wrong box.
    Tuttle or buttle?
    The answer is never questioned at law.
    Brazil 1985 Tery Gilliam
    Harry Tuttle: Bloody paperwork. Huh!

    Sam Lowry: I suppose one has to expect a certain amount.

    Harry Tuttle: Why? I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there’s trouble, a man alone. Now they got the whole country sectioned off, you can’t make a move without a form.

    Kurtzmann: [on Buttle] You see? The population census has got him down as “dormanted.” Uh, the Central Collective Storehouse computer has got him down as “deleted.”

    Sam Lowry: Hang on.

    [goes to a computer terminal]

    Kurtzmann: Information Retrieval has got him down as “inoperative.” And there’s another one – security has got him down as “excised.” Administration has got him down as “completed.”

    Sam Lowry: He’s dead.

    Sam Lowry: My name’s Lowry. Sam Lowry. I’ve been told to report to Mr. Warrenn.

    Porter – Information Retrieval: Thirtieth floor, sir. You’re expected.

    Sam Lowry: Um… don’t you want to search me?

    Porter – Information Retrieval: No sir.

    Sam Lowry: Do you want to see my ID?

    Porter – Information Retrieval: No need, sir.

    Sam Lowry: But I could be anybody.

    Porter – Information Retrieval: No you couldn’t sir. This is Information Retrieval.

    • I just finished reading a scholarly piece on European layperson’s pamphlets of the 1500s.

      The author divided them by the social status of the authors and the literary devices employed. I’ll be danged if we don’t follow the same patterns. STILL!

      Dramas and dialogues were very popular ways of getting one’s ideas across. So were letters written by the Devil. Songs and poems were memorable, too.

      Folks may find our type of typing silly, but we are in the gut of history, sir. We are the hay.

  42. Anthropological illusion-of vital necessity for all of us under which to live-comes also at a devastating price in terms of our rationality and almost destructive drive for personal and collective coherence; but it seems you can’t have both-have your cake and eat it, too, in that what is obvious now, at this point and after much further elaboration of a notion of “an aggregate drive to subjugation”-but based firmly on overwhelming and damning empirical evidence-on the part of one side of society as true cryptic and phantom center of social-political power as control, with regards to other half (or 90%) and the sphere of public and political discourse itself. And yet we still persist in wanting to see the US executive, for example, as supposedly in control of something it clearly isn’t-has never been, really, since the murder of JFK. This is how devastatingly “expensive” anthropological illusion is and the need for an underlying ease and comfort on which to base our lives. Coherence-rational and intellectual-takes you somewhere, however. And they don’t pay very well over there, being money exactly what is denied to you when and if you try to open your mouth to speak and actually seek to live, finally, in coherence.

      • Since I can follow it, does that mean I have to go back to dissing school? I prefer a far more streamlined summation.

        He’s seen the enemy, and the enemy is US.

        Seriously, can’t you pick up a theme? He questions the reason for reasoning. So do I. We seem to be in the throws of a decade long witch hunt and no one is even embarrassed about it, yet!!

        What happened to the LAW? Regicide? Law is KING! Or have we democrats forgotten our ruler?

    • I wonder if Snowden found the courage of his convictions because he never finished highschool…

      I don’t mean he’s a quitter, I mean they lie to us systemically until you either get with the program, wink wink, or drop out out of disgust…

      I could never work for NSA. They’d be able to read their contempt of court all over my face. But I love to buzz, bees!! Bend those knees!

      It’s a pity we’ve tested to death a system so outdated we’ve wasted a generation howling at the scorers like bad Wagner play. I’m NOT talking about Minutemen, I’m calling our ed system a resolute failure. Not because teachers can’t teach, but these freaking accountants won’t get out of the way. One dunk flunkers. I really detest that successful missile system. Way to lay down the guard, box checkers.

  43. Anytime someone invokes secrecy, that person’s motives are suspect. In the case of Holder/Obama/et al, simple administrative incompetence has been asserted and verified. Americans have no recourse except to stop cooperating with the government whenever possible.

    • No recourse? Come on, Leo. We can also put pressure on The Democrat Party and Obama to replace Holder. Beyond that Congress would have to have something similar to the Church Committee and insist on overseeing Executive claims of national secrecy — or, in concert with the Judicial, ignoring them. It would be a Constitutional showdown.

      As unlikely as this may seem, it is an obvious recourse. Maybe there are lots more.

      Your dismissal of options may betray an underlying inadequacy. If you are one of those who has stopped voting becazuse of self-righteous, manufatured reasons like this, then please begin voting again.

      Have your revoluton, but on Tuesday go to the polls and vote like everyone else. Thre is no reason not to try doing well with both.

      • “We can also put pressure on The Democrat Party and Obama to replace Holder.”

        And replacing Holder would accomplish what? Do you really believe that applying a bandaid to one tiny symptom of the entire corrupt cancerous too-bloody-big government will change anything for the better?

        Far too many people, from both left and right, fail to see that the sickness has infected every aspect of government, and our culture, right down to the indoctrination of our youngest children. It’s so much worse than you dare imagine. Your prescriptions for curing this pernicious sickness are of less impact than a mosquito bite is to an elephant.

        Incidentally, the Church Committee, well-intentioned as it was, effected little to no change ultimately. The behemoth agenda of the PTB side-stepped its recommendations and were back on the well trodden corruption track in no time flat.

        When, when will we ever learn?

      • Replace him? Since Holder knowingly and blatantly lied to a federal judge, he needs to do the time.

    • The “Democrat Party” is corrupt beyond redemption. Neoliberal war-mongering with a happy face sticker.

      • Can’t we see what a Tony Gordon Obama is? He’s not progressive, he’s just playing one for TV.

        • He’s more a Flo kinda guy selling us policies we don’t need. Not that I don’t appreciate the break on my insurance! So does my insurer!

          • Totally down with taking down off topic wastes of space, but then why did the Flo make the grace? I really did hope to clarify this MAGI process, but agree that was too off the street even for a down beat.

          • OH NO! I got my chocolate confused with my peanut udders, so you guys DO need a clipper to wright this ship. If I’m getting confused about my own comments’ contents, then you’ve allowed too many!! It’s OK to limit our tissue rolls for the sake of cyber trees! I now can see through the trees to the purpose of such selection. Log away!!

  44. It is unfair to say that this lady was discriminated against because she was a Muslim. Other than our friendly Muslims from Saudi Arabia, all other Muslims have a marked tendency to become suicide bombers and terrorists. But Obama Administration does not discriminate against such people. Until recently, one senior Hindu leader from India who was suspected to have participated in a Muslim genocide about a decade back was barred from entering the USA, even though he tried desperately to get a visa several times. Overall, the system seems to be fair, and Obama should not be blamed for any deficiency.

    • It is unfair to say that this lady was discriminated against because she was a Muslim.

      The woman was essentially tortured by withholding her pain medication and then her rights violated by restricting her freedom of travel based on a twisted parody of due process and these outrages then covered up using bogus claims of national security. Well guess what – torture, stripping rights from an innocent person and lying to cover up your wrongdoing are all odious acts which, in a just world, would be punished. If someone wants to toss in an accusation of discrimination too, I’m not going to get too upset about how unfair it is to the perpetrators.

      Overall, the system seems to be fair, and Obama should not be blamed for any deficiency.

      You have an interesting definition of ‘fair’ as well as an interesting definition of ‘accountability’. Why should Obama not be blamed for allowing his administration to violate the principles that Obama the candidate declared were important. A properly functioning system would not tolerate this sort of conduct, would set rules to prevent it, and hold those who violate them accountable. If the system functions properly, then perhaps, Obama cannot be personally blamed for the acts of the rule breakers. But when no one is held accountable, that demonstrates the system itself is corrupt, and the responsibility ultimately lies with the person who heads that system. Many people feel that Obama is just a titular head – but he is still far from powerless. As far as White House observers can ascertain, Obama has not actually lifted a finger to oppose the actions of his government – and on that basis, he can be blamed.

    • What a pile of crap. First off, most 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. Second, if you consider that the Muslim population is in the billions, and suicide attacks run at most in the hundreds in really bad years (e.g. during the occupation of Iraq) , the percentage of Muslims who have a tendency to become suicide bombers is probably in the order of, at most, 0.0001%.

      Additionally, while the clerical error probably didn’t have anything to do with her being Muslim, it’s clear that the reason there was a form about her to begin with is that all Muslims in her social or local circle were being investigated, for nothing else but the fact they are Muslim.

      That was in the Bush era. But it’s clear that the current US administration has engaged in a cover-up instead of admitting and apologizing for the error.

    • all other Muslims have a marked tendency to become suicide bombers and terrorists.

      You redefine what the expression POS means. And that is saying something!

  45. What worries me is that Obama seems to be suffering from an early onset of congenial dementia. Otherwise, he is generally a very nice and congenital person.

    • Obama and congenial dementia? The defense of all emperors is to deny they were aware of the transgression. Nothing new, (Big Gov and Corporate Weasels) its all predicated on lies. Who’s lies do you believe when they say, “I forgot”, ” I don’t remember”, “I was never told”, “I was unaware”, “I was caught off guard”, “I did not see it coming”, these are the Presidential/Emperor platitudes for the lies they commit.

    • More like CONTAGIOUS dementia. Seems like anyone who looks behind NSA’s curtain can’t recall the Constitution anymore. I’m just dying to see what’s there, Patrick Henry.

      Nothing I haven’t seen before unless they figured out how to make Tea Pot Dome really blow a lid. Which it did, did it not, Greystone?

  46. Due process means checking a box – but not necessarily the right box. You are only promised due process, not justice.

  47. This is what happens when Americans check the wrong box… repeatedly. Is there a right box? Start investigating the intentions of the people on the ballot and who they bring in as their entourage before they are elected into office… before it’s too late. Everything about Washington today is narcissism at its finest and it’s not at all a representation of we, the people.

  48. I am Canadian and I suspect the Canadian government is up to its neck in the same NSA-style operations that are bringing shame to America. So I cannot get on a high horse and preach to Americans. I will try to do my part but I have no vote or say in what you as Americans can do to correct this problem. But remember this: it’s not just your problem and the rest of the world is depending on you. One last point. It really would not endear us non-citizens to American if we perceive that Americans only care about the rights of American citizens and act like the rest of world is populated by sub-humans with no rights. Just something to think about.

    • I am a Canadian also and i know there border laws have gone to the nutty club side. I just took a 5 hour drive here to Canada/US border near Estevan Sask as i wanted to go to Wisconsin and pick up my fiance there and bring her into Canada personally . Sadly they ask me the twisted question i find out later and i say i going to pick up my fiance….. WRONG ANSWER !!!
      Please step aside sir would you mind if we check out your truck… Yes by all means my reply and off to there office i went
      Can you also give me your CP and fill this form out why you want to enter states….
      They were very nice and polite to this point and i complied fully.
      After 3 hours waiting in the old little office there they bring my to there offices there for further questioning. We see you have had a .08 8 years ago and i reply yes and and it my only past traffic offenses. Then the older guy chat me freely for about 20 min about why i meeting my Fiance etc and the circumstances around it. He said wait here and left me full unsecured in there open offices with all there computers open to me there but i not touch a thing while waiting…. Very Sloppy..
      He returns in 10 min and says he chat his superior young officer and try to get me allowed in but he turn me down on moral turpitude law from my past and deny me entry to states :(
      He bring forms for me to sign and say if i wait there 4 days there be visa clearing circuit judge that will come by and review my case for 250 dollars and the visa wavier fee of 550 also. If approved it be good for only one year and need to be renewed again there after the same way but by forms instead of in person.
      Sadly i still waiting now for my fiance to fly here as i could not take that time off work and afford the extra cost and risk i loose all fees if i denied…..
      Now back home here i chat regular lawyer on this and he say my first mistake was saying i was there to pick up my fiance. They then assume i want to marry American for citizenship and look for any excuse to deny me. He say sadly so many fall into there trap and get denied so easy on any thing and hard to clear after.
      Best thing is to out right LIE and say it a shopping trip and never mention any past and let them find it on there own

      • This is a completely valid point. A fear we as Canadians have that you as Americans do no have is that we can be denied entry into the USA for any reason at all. Recently one middle-aged female was denied access to the USA because she was asked if she had ever smoke marijuana and answered yes. Although she smoked decades ago and was never charged with anything, she was denied access. I am will to bet that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford would not be allowed to vacation in Florida any more but I have no knowledge of this. The point is that even the slightest problem in a Canadian’s background is grounds for denial of entry, and this doen’t even depend on whether or not charges are involved. It’s really really cold up here and the winters are long. We only have two seasons: winter and construction. I guess to be safe we have to forget about Florida and go directly to Cuba, where we can have more freedom.

        • I love the great white north…

          I was trying to hitch up to alaska during 2005, and made stop in port angeles on olympic penn on way out of Olympics National Rainforest. I was hitchhiking North from one forest to the next on my way to Denali. The residents of port angeles were still talking about the guy who came South on the ferry from vancouver with bombs in trunk, then the guy broke away from the border agents and made a run from border station into town.

          That was in ???

          Then I hitched up to inland passage ferry, delightful trip on deck up to haines, alaska, where I begin hitching up to hit the alaska hwy across yukon. Man that was fun…
          …until I hit the border in middle of thousands of sq miles of ancient forest, and being a hitchhiker I was singled out for further inspection. No one but us and forest for miles, I convinced the border guard to let the poor guy who picked me up go on his way North.
          I have a considerable record of non-victim “crimes”…
          Failure to Obey is not a crime in my book…
          After a few hours of bullshit the can guard had come to like me, and tells me it all started in Port Angles incident mentioned above.
          After that bomber incident the american border guards started checking the cans real close, and rejecting those with even minor records, such a DUI, fights, or any misdemenor-level BS.
          The cananadians reciprocated, and each side set up kangaroo-courts to screw the citizens of the other country who were denied entry but would pay their way through.
          I was eventually told to get out of canada, and still treasure that paper they gave me telling me I was kicked out of canada…
          I felt lucky.
          A german photographer had picked me up. I told him I needed to get out after we ran through the Am border station, but before the Can border station. There is a mile and a mountainside between the stations. I had a few grams of this superfine green I picked up in seattle (love that place…) that needed to disappear as I traveled between countries. He failed to stop, and drove me right up to the frkn border. If the canadians would have actually let me in their country, they would have searched me first, found my smoke and busted me.

          So I walk back to the am border after this shitload of crap, after finally making my stop between borders to end the green threat in my pocket, and low and behold, all five of the station agents are outside waiting for me.

          The canadians had called ahead, telling the am border guards that they were sending down a “live one.” Since I stopped for a smoke break, I was running far behind arriving when the am border guards expected me, so they all came out to watch.
          I amble up reeking like a rock concert, and this just drove them frkn crazy. I made the best of the next two hours being fucked with by my own country’s border guards. Them: “you an american?” Me: “should i whistle dixie and tap dance?” hahaha…
          Anyway, we can end this bullshit in government by breaking the link between wealth and political power to restore our democratic process. Re instituting the rule of law itself will be difficult, but not impossible once we restore the democratic process.
          What is being an “American” is the central ethical question here.
          Today the definition of an “American” at the bottom is a person who has violated our laws, and our rule of law in pursuit of personal self interest.
          At the top of our society an “American” is a person who has corrupted our democratic principals and the democratic process itself for their, and their corporate sponsor’s self interest.
          We have a nation where cheaters at the top have completely reinforced themselves with millions of cheaters at the bottom.

          In the meantime the share of wealth of the middle class has collapsed, our educational system has crashed and burned, and wealth and power have not just concentrated narrowly at the pinnacle of American society, but the pursuit of power and wealth themselves are the justification of virtually any foreign policy or domestic policy as well as the motivation and definition of an “american.”
          We are currently american consumers within a corporate fascist state running a global corporate empire.
          We are not American Citizens of a democratic republic.

          Our main problem is how to get from point a to point b…

          Many folks are going to get hurt in this transition, no matter what road from point a to point be we take…

  49. O Kafka! O Orwell! O Philip K. Dick! Thou should be alive at this hour. But let’s also remember Phil Ochs. “After taking office” the metamorphosis. He predicted it.
    - – -
    Once I was young and impulsive
    I wore every conceivable pin
    Even went to the socialist meetings
    Learned all the old union hymns
    But I’ve grown older and wiser
    And that’s why I’m turning you in
    So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

  50. Obama…. what a disgrace. A republican in democrat’s clothing… How does a man like that live with himself?… pathetic.

    • On what basis do you think that political party has anything to do with this?

      • How about on the basis that both major parties seek regularly to out -war, out -tough, and out-secret the other. Or that these are the 2 parties that passed the Patriot act, The NDAA and the war on terror and have created and allowed secret no fly lists and Guantanamo.

  51. I think the Obama administration should refund the American taxpayers the money they wasted fighting this court case. Is it all the secretive power these agencies have that causes them to behave in a decidedly un-American way?

  52. Why should any citizen want to call these treasonous liars a governing body? I voted for Obama twice, and I will rue the day that I did so if we cannot get this janus faced liar out of office. His motto should be…’I always lie and that’s the truth’ Spoken with a bull horn. Talk about Russia being totalitarian, America has it beaten all to hell on that one.! I have no faith in the administration, the congress, or their lying, bought out media. It is amazing that everything they say is an outright lie and they don’t even think we recognize it as such. What a show of utter vanity laced with heinous stupidity. The dumbocrats and the rethuglican’s are one huge criminal business party that has nothing to do with the promotion of anything the Preamble, or the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights addresses. Totally criminal administration IMHO!

    • I have sworn to my ex-father-in-law that I will defend Barack Obama under all circumstances, and I am keeping that promise, even though it is getting progressively tough. So I would reiterate that Obama is the only hope for a transparent future. After all, it was only during his Presidency you guys came to know all the secrets.

      • If “Obama is the only hope for a transparent future,” then there is no hope for the future. We’ve learned “all the secrets” under his presidency thanks to Bradley Manning, Wikileaks and Edward Snowden – in SPITE of Obama’s efforts to keep everything secret.

  53. Why would the Obama Administration decide to have the NSA secretly gather data from American and international citizens and governments around the world? NSA tracks and keeps all of our passwords, records of phone calls, times and dates of internet access, complete information used for tracking our personal computer (each one has a manufacturer’s ID), places where we use our phone and computer, all our credit card information and transactions, and … well, everything else considered valuable to a secret agenda.

    The Administration employs contractors with excellent computer skills to work for NSA and tasks them with going over our stored data. Analysts filter out what they think is important after looking at results of computer queries, target large amounts of similar data to see if there are any significant words contained therein, and then and classify those special jewels using our access data, stored passwords, and records from phone companies (who are under federal supervision). The data is not destroyed and records of our every communication will last our lifetime. Such data will be used to investigate us in the future should we overstep what the government decides are our boundaries.

    What is the point? What is the agenda?, we ask. The whole process (which has been intensified under Obama) reveals dishonesty – first from secret data gathering – and secondly, it shows monumental shirking of responsibility by the owner of our stolen data. The government puts responsibility onto minimally supervised employees who are known to want to keep their jobs by being loyal to the Boss. Obama made sure beforehand these contractors would not be able to reveal any misconduct regarding gathering and distribution of data. Any government employee would be able to, but not contractors. In short, if they did so, they would be putting their lives and freedom at risk because they would not be able to defend themselves at a trial at all. Therefore, all data the government gathers secretly (not anymore!) from us is (was) doubly safe – both secret and protected by fear.

    Then came Edward Snowden. He had access to NSA’s passwords, recordings, documents, emails, pictures – everything – in the very high-capacity job the government decided he was going to get. Did they know he had morals? After he repeatedly told his superiors and others at work there was something very wrong about what they were all seeing, why did they keep him on? Stinks of a set-up to me!!

    When a powerful government like the U.S. secretly gathers data from international politicians – Germany, Russia, France, Iraq, Palestine, Spain, Israel, Canada, Mexico, etc. – and credible suspicions are raised regarding that unethical invasion of privacy, they go to Plan B – the Fall Guy. Many a government official, not really ready or proficient in their duties, have been publicly maligned, blamed, and exiled for government failures. Snowden is just another Fall Guy, targeted to be ruined through a government-sponsored hate campaign like the one against President Bush.

    The passwords and documents Snowden was given access to by the NSA were there for any such employee to use, and info could be requested by any friend of the Administration that has a hankering to use spying as a political tool. The Administration knows its Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can be relied upon to transmit to the public the defamation and vilification of Snowden so as to rally the masses in favor of approving more surveillance.

    The short-term goal now (post Snowden’s revelations) is making international wire-tapping, decryption of emails, and interception of international political communications, legal and simpler for the Administration to accomplish. Another one is throwing up flack so the public forgets about NSA and Snowden while concentrating on topics the FCC historically deems more important: sodomy, sexual promiscuity, drinking, violence, and glorifying the Administration. Even at international venues like the Olympics.

    • I don’t think he repeatedly told his superiors much of anything. He was already aware of the futility of that course. Your last points seem to hinge on this dubious conclusion.

  54. “Methinks [the government] doth protest too much” and if you’ll forgive one more from the bard I’m also hearing Clapper, Rogers, and today on Democracy Now Stuart Baker saying in falsetto “Why dost thou wag thy tongue in noise so rude against [NSA].” Blow smoke, wag the forefinger, shout, and threaten. Is this convincing behavior from supposed leaders of a nation? I keep hearing about the “enormous damage done” by Snowden. We are well aware of enormous damage done as shown here with Rahinah, and by the more than 400 innocent victims of drone strikes and their families, and by massive worldwide decline in respect for the USA, so let us hear about this “enormous damage done” by Snowden, which is being self-righteously proclaimed without specifics again and again. What is it? Methinks the central damage is CREDIBILITY. No wonder they’re frustrated and spluttering.

    • There’s something rotten in the state of America. Fair is foul and foul is fair.

    • BTW all this “enormous damage” charge against Snowden needs to be kept in context with the fact that his information on massive surveillance had [i]already [/i] been revealed to the public at least by Cypherpunks (2012), featuring Julian Assange, Jacob Applebaum, and a couple of other cypherpunks, and others back toward 05. Snowden had considerably more impact due to all the drama surrounding his surfacing in Hong Kong then fleeing to Moscow’s Sheremetyeov Airport, which led to much more attention to what previously only few people were aware of.

  55. “The troubling questions regarding the abuse of the state secrets privilege are obvious: If officials of the federal government are willing to use it to conceal a bureaucratic error, how far would they be willing to go to cover up serious crimes such as torture and assassination?”
    - – -
    You might try to find out what happened regarding the murder of CBS correspondent George Polk (Salonika, 1948), or the overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973, or, in time for the centennial, the Lusitania manifest. There’s also the massacre at Dasht-i-Leili in more recent times, or the Airlift of Evil (you can Google all that, maybe it’ll keep the enness say’s dataminers diverted for a while).
    - – -
    “I’m making out the report now. We haven’t decided if he committed suicide or was shot trying to escape.” — Capt. Renault, “Casablanca”

  56. Wow.

    With all the Candidate Obama vs. POTUS Obama 180ºs, I’m really not surprised. But shocked, yes.

    It seems Obama’s “Most Transparent Administration” speech writers confused the similar Transparent with Opacity, 0% Opacity to be precise: invisible, not seen; unknown, secret.

    If Mitt Wrongney was POTUS, all the current fake liberal progressive democrats – who think they’re liberals or progressives, but really they’re Bush supporters – would be hysterically convulsing rabidly. Instead, it’s “Meh, Bush did bad things. So, Yes we can!”

    • What is WRONG with NBC? They are carrying some GREAT work they did with Glenn’s help at their online “Investigations” site, but NBC News ignores their great work Nightly!!

      GCHQ and the mindgames they play with “adversaries.” Like lawyers? EFFECTS, their own stupid SciFi system to spook us out of opposing PsOV.

  57. Paranoia mixed with delusions of exceptionalism make a toxic brew. I don’t know what the American political elite think they gain by covering up something that’s bound to come out sooner or later. For every non-American knows that the US doesn’t lack for stupidity, no matter how many stupidities it gets away with concealing.

  58. I believe Identity Project‘s reporting sparked every one of the other articles about the Ibrahim case that are referenced here. Edward Hasbrouck, travel writer and consultant to IDP on matters of travel and civil liberties, attended every day of the trial, and was often the only reporter in the room. Edward and IDP deserve significant credit for getting this story in front of the public.

    • Then Edward deserves a medal. This industry, travel, is going to suffer another blow when the TSA is sued for human rights violations. Now I don’t even want to fly OUR lines, much less avoid the gulag at Heathrow. IS there an industry NSA can’t damage?

  59. As Thoreau said, “How does it become a man to behave toward the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.” These shameful actions against a woman in wheelchair who they soon knew was innocent continued to suffer to cover up the fact someone checked off the wrong box on a form? What kind of person would NOT be ashamed of this?

  60. “Attorney General Eric Holder tried to block Ibrahim’s case by asserting the state secrets privilege, declaring under penalty of perjury that the information she wanted “could reasonably be expected to cause significant harm to national security.”

    Last week, a federal judge publicly revealed the government’s explanation for Ibrahim’s long ordeal: an FBI agent had “checked the wrong box,””

    “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

  61. This is EXACTLY why Glenn should NOT return to the US. This was an innocent woman and look what they did to her, without any pangs of conscience whatsoever. For years! They’re a bunch of psychopaths. They don’t care about people how they ruin their lives, and they especially hate Glenn. I bet they rank Glenn with OBL and have a playing card with his face on it. Government Enemy #1. It’s Glenn’s public passion and commitment to truth they fear. We know what they do to people like that.

    Glenn can do far more good staying away and staying in the public eye and ear than engaging in a losing legal battle where they pull every unethical and immoral trick they can think of. They have no respect for the law or the Constitution. He might respect the legal system but THEY DON’T and their media won’t help either. They lie under oath and hide behind all the special privileges they have given themselves while taking away our rights. How can you win under those conditions? You can’t.

    This isn’t a legal battle. It’s a war against the people and our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The courts are already in their corner and the system is rigged in their favor. They’ve won and will continue to win in that darkened arena. It’s time to keep it all in the light of day, in public. The Intercept is a great start.

    • Totally agree! Glenn should not return to the US, not yet anyway.

      Even after all we’ve seen the governmt so I still don’t think people fully comprehend that the law no longer protects us from the government. We simply don’t live under the rule of law anymore. Anybody who’s observed local cops in America could tell you that of course but for some reason people still think the law can restrain government officials when it is clear that it can’t and doesn’t. They can do whatever the hell they want to you now.

    • I disagree that Greenwald is enemy #1. He’s #2 behind Edward Snowden. Snowden is guilty of the worst possible crime anyone could commit in America today: Embarrassing the State.

      • Snowden, and Glen Greenwald are heros, and for you deserve your company, and your turn will come soon.

      • How do you arrive at guilt before a trial? Are you that seriously perceptually impaired as to the workings of our justice system because of this outrageous abuse of it? A decade of witch hunting does NOT a just outcome make!! If I believed in witches and god, I’d fear for our souls. Instead, I am humiliated before the globe for my nation’s evil deeds.

  62. Well, at least this isn’t as bad as the government’s lies in Reynolds v. Washington, the case that really set up our modern application of the state secrets doctrine. That case is the subject of a book titled: Claim of Privilege.

    The short synopsis is that three RCA engineers were killed in a plane crash, the widows requested the crash report during discovery, the government claimed it contained state secrets, and no judge, not even at the Supreme Court checked to see if the government was lying. It was, decades later the crash report’s classified status is revoked, it is released, and all it shows is the the USAF negligently maintained and upgraded the plane that killed the engineers.

    This case continues that deceitful pattern, but at least nobody died. Which is probably a disappointment to the sociopaths who comprise the Executive branch.

    • That’s true, although Reynolds v. US (345 U.S. 1 (1953)) originally was an evidentiary privilege. What the Bush DOJ, and particularly the ODOJ, did with it was to take it to a new level and quash a case like that of Binyam Mohamed (the Jeppesen Dataplan case) by simply asserting that the Plaintiffs’ evidence is so inadmissible that they have neither the standing to show they’ve been harmed nor the evidence to take their case to trial, so we move to dismiss, Your Honor. It worked with Jepesen Dataplan, that it never got past the 9th Circuit.

      Worse yet, they assert it when the Feds intervene in civil cases like that of John Yoo or Jepesen Dataplan. Never mind that the Defendants are third parties.

      Fun Fact: the Federal court noticed that the Bush and Obama pleadings in the Jepesen and similar cases were identical. They asked the ODOJ lawyers if they were doing it on purpose. They were.

      (Interesting book on the Reynolds case by Louis Fisher, the Washington expert on presidential power and wartime law, In the Name of National Security: Unchecked Presidential Power and the Reynolds Case. Coram nobis says check it out.)

  63. Time after time Obama says one thing and then proceeds to do the opposite. Duplicitous defines him.

    • You chose the right word: ‘duplicity’. As you say, that is the predominant characteristic of our President. The terrifying thing is how convincing he always sounds, how persuasive he is. He is the most accomplished swindler and charlatan in the history of the USA. He always says the right thing to go on and do whatever he is up to, certainly nothing to do with what he said. I want to express my support and sympathy for Rahinah. We should learn from her about how to behave in the face of unjust treatment. What a huge difference in character and moral value between a woman like her and our president and his company!

  64. The rule of thumb when dealing with Eric Holder? If his lips are moving, he’s lying.

    • His lips don’t have to move when he’s typing an email or whatever. Though I can’t guarantee that they don’t, of course.

  65. After taking office, Obama declared: “We must not protect information merely because it reveals the violation of a law or embarrassment to the government….I will never hide the truth because it’s uncomfortable.”

    “Sorry, did I say ‘never’? I meant ‘always’”.

    There you go Barack, fixed it for you.

  66. What so amazes me is all that this woman is NOT even complaining about. She was tortured, repeatedly. What if she had died from having this medication withheld? This woman was tortured, violated, and yet, all she kept persisting with was………WHY was I detained, WHY am I on this NO-FLY list? THAT is what amazes me the most, unless she was SO sure that claiming torture would get her absolutely nowhere. This exemplifies this strange, evil psychopathy of the system and those in power within it, so effectively, but really, WHAT are our options, given blatant examples all around us? It’s like a leak in a boat and we really just can’t figure out where the leak is, because the boat is already so full of water.
    And yet, on another level, there is SO much good and moral energy around us at the same time.
    The polarity is stunning, one could get whiplash from this………..

    • Agreed. She should be seeking damages, explanations and apologies. But I imagine that the experience has been horrible and she just wants to move on.

  67. All we need is Jonathan Pryce and Michael Palin and this is the forgotten B plot from Brazil.

  68. Where to cast blame? Mainstream media demand eyeballs. When the electorate is comprised largely of those with the attention spans and critical thinking skills of 7-year-olds, at least a plurality of its eyeballs will be focused on fluff, which profit-driven “news” entities will understandably deliver.

    So, blame Republicans, Democrats, cons, libs, government agencies, the media, evangelicals and/or dope smokers, but the one bulwark against most demagoguery and public chicanery is the informed citizenry of Jefferson’s prescription., something this country sadly lacks

  69. The actions, like this one, of my government disgust me. I was hopeful that our government would change for the better when Obama was first elected. I was still optimistic when I voted for him a second time. No more. I was once a Republican (until the Clarence Thomas hearings) and then a Democrat/Independent. Even though voting for a third party is futile, I will no longer vote for candidates of our two party system. Most, even Obama/Biden, have proven themselves to be corrupt and liars. When Obama and Congress allowed Clapper to lie to Congress (a felony) without any consequences, I finally realized that laws and consequences only applied to those without power: the poor and middle class, the 90% of Americans.

  70. There must be considerable cognitive dissonance generated for Holder and Obama, when it comes to what they believe vs. what they actually do in the name of national security. They are both intelligent individuals who often seem sincere about intending to do the right thing. And yet, here is the only evidence we have about who they really are: in their actions. The gap between their stated commitments and their deeds could hardly be greater. Why is this?

    • I agree. They are hypocrites. I wish I knew why Obama, especially, acts 180 degrees opposite to what he says. He is intelligent, articulate, and, with two daughters, should want a better world for them. He may, like most of the rich, have decided that he can ignore the 90% as he and his family will never be in that demographic. My other thought on his actions is that he is being blackmailed by the Mass Surveillance Security State he helped to create. However, that should not ever be the case for the POTUS. We, via YouTube, can view what he said as Senator and before each election. Once elected, he became a different person and one that thoroughly disgusts me. I can’t stand hypocrites.

      • I’ve thought about the blackmail theory, but even if it were true, it would be no excuse for the amount of damage and suffering that these policies and actions have caused, and predictably so. Which means it could only be half the story, at best. The only other explanation I can think of is that any person who has achieved sufficiently high office in this country must have particular qualities that allowed him to get there, in Obama’s case, a mix of hubris and shamelessness. It may be that other, more noble, qualities are a part of it as well, but I have a feeling that in today’s cultural and political landscape, they are the lesser part.

      • Well, he’s NOT a hypocrite. He, Biden and Holder and most of CON-gress are PSYCHOPATHS! A huge difference. Look up the definition and you will see what we are up against. I truly believe the only way to stop them in their tracks and DEFEAT the Federal Govt. and the whole smarmy, corrupt mess is to somehow, some way get the voting law changed to NOT ALLOW ANY person that is illegal or a non-citizen or receives ANY form of welfare of ANY kind ,the right or the privilege TO VOTE!! It is that simple! The pandering and promising and the redistricting would ALL end. Almost immediately! I believe this is about the only way we can ever hope to stop this nightmare we are facing, without violence! Only about half of the country votes now and that is basically mostly the welfare bunch and the illegals. THAT says it all right there. The immigration laws would also then NOT have to be “fixed” as the pandering lowlifes in CON-gress like us to believe. They only want that for the votes but if they can’t legally vote…? WE, the American people take our country back! If you either don’t work and therefore contribute or are not a legal citizen you don’t get welfare and ALSO get to vote! PERIOD! The politicians would most of their power overnight if that happens. We can start by demanding this one thing. What is fair is what is fair. Voting and also getting welfare or being illegal is NOT fair! It MUST be stopped!

        • Sorry, I don’t follow. What you’re describing is a long way from reality, and your prejudices seem to be clouding your judgment about a few things. As for members of the Obama administration and Congress being sociopaths, I have no doubt that some are, just as a vast number of them are totally corrupt. In any case, I don’t see what that has to do with the rest of your line of reasoning.

        • So after a lifetime working, paying taxes, and mandatory social security / medicare payments I can finally retire, and because my average wage job didn’t provide sufficient money to also save for my retirement, I collect social security (millionaire Ronald Reagan did) and qualify for food stamps, but lose my right to vote? Glad I don’t live in your vision of the US.

  71. - It will always be a wonder to me why some govts are so big (actually small) that they can not simply say “we are sorry” and compensate
    - I am so sick of the words “national security” because they are meaningless, over used, over rated, and way under applicable – this story underlines this nicely.

  72. Every single date that passes, Obama makes Richard Nixon look like a saint by comparison. I am permanently disabled, so I know full well how our government abuses the disabled in our country. FDR should be rolling in his graves over the blatant abuses smearing us all using the Americans With Disabilities Acts, using it as toilet paper to wipe their rear ends with.

  73. Apologies I gave credit to Jeremy when in fact it should have been given to Mr. Hussain. Thanks so much for what you are doing.

  74. The mainstream continues to try and ignore the core point of NSA revelations. They love making it about privacy and say nothing about abuse by the NSA. Great story Jeremy! Thanks so much for being courageous!

  75. US tortures and handcuffs wheelchair bound woman, denies her pain meds, simply because the wrong box was checked. FBI refuses to correct heinous mistake. The US- winning hearts and minds every day in every little way.
    Our society is a festering maggot filled bloated corpse- it took work to make this so.

  76. And we should be surprised, why? If the mainstream of America were served well by mainstream media our system would in turn benefit! For as long as information is suppressed and injustice hidden for whatever the reason we shall be forever the dumb victim.

    • mainstream media are owned by the same corporations that own the government now: one cannot reasonably expect accurate information from mainstream media! viva first look!! long live “the intercept!”

  77. In almost any other country, high-level cover-up of a government screw-ups like this one would be a huge corruption scandal, covered by mainstream outlets.

  78. So, National security is used for everything nowadays. I wonder if there is any Stasi equivalent of similar case.

  79. I’ve posed this question previously, and I’m totally serious – has there ever been an instance where the State’s Secrets privilege was invoked where the intention was NOT to cover up gov’t malfeasance?

  80. It’s just one long string of violations in the US. Other Presidents may have made mistakes, but Obama seems to be going out of his way to find new and unique ways of usurping our nations laws. Does he literally want civil unrest? Because if he does, he’s walking a tightrope.

    • Perhaps it is Obama’s training in constitutional law that enables him to find such new and unique ways to undermine and pervert the rule of law. He was studying up to know his enemy–the U.S. Constitution.

  81. Any chance Eric Holder could be indicted for perjury? Probably not: James Clapper showed that Obama administration officials are above the law.

    • sure, there’s a chance! i calculate that it’s exactly the same chance that a snowball would have of survival in hell, were there in fact a hell…

    • Eric Holder also lied to Congress about spying on journalists among other things. Remember, before he became AG, Holder had already demonstrated his craven moral bankruptcy with the Marc Rich affair. What does it say about Obama that he selected a man without integrity to oversee “Justice” in the United States?

      Obama’s slogan Look Forward Not Backward not only let Bush & co. off the hook, it was a hopeful gesture that future administrations would return the favor in due time. Unless the cycle is broken, there will be minimal accountability for any of these people.

    • Eric Holder also lied to Congress about spying on journalists among other things.

      Remember, before he became AG, Holder already demonstrated his craven moral bankruptcy with the Marc Rich affair. But Obama chose him anyway, a man lacking integrity put in charge of “Justice” in the United States.

      Obama’s slogan Look Forward Not Backward not only let Bush & co. off the hook, it was a hopeful gesture that future administrations would return the favor in due time. Unless the cycle is broken, there will be minimal accountability for any of these people.

  82. the inquisitor with electronic superpowers, the black hitler, whatever you name it, that’s what we’ve got.

  83. Good to see an article from another member of staff, been looking forward to it.
    Good luck Murtaza.

  84. After taking office, Obama declared: “We must not protect information merely because it reveals the violation of a law or embarrassment to the government….I will never hide the truth because it’s uncomfortable.”

    It should be clear to all now that, Rep or Dem, the policies are the same.
    Equally, they answer to the same interests. Maybe time for non corporate backed independent politicians..
    See Shama Sawan, Seattle.

  85. “Checked the wrong box”?

    That is the worst cover story ever. It’s stuff like this that makes me think the US Goverment is, in fact, mocking us.

    • Kafka anyone?

      Orwell, Kafaka… but who’s the third great prophet for our blessed and oh-so-dark times? Wait… it couldn’t be the sixth Beatle. Or… could it?

      • After Kafka (The Trial) and Orwell (1984, Politics and the English Language) you might also look up Philip K. Dick. Kafka predicted this Alice in Wonderland trial system, Orwell the pervasive surveillance, but Dick gave us the doctrines of precrime and robotic enforcement, among other things.

        See Orwell, passim, on language:

    • “Checked the wrong box.” Almost sounds like a title for a lost manuscript of Franz Kafka.

      • It reminds of Joseph K in Kafka’s The Trial. Arrested AHEAD of his crime, which he then proceeded to fit into and confirm through the wrong kind of behavior. Which was? Fighting back against a corrupted bureaucracy.

  86. Excellent article that simply explains the deep moral depravity of our nation’s government.

    Impunity is the best way to describe it– the power to harm innocent people without redress and without punishment. That’s what big government always does.