Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

Posts Tagged ‘intelligence’

The Spy Factory

Posted by Jesse on February 5, 2009

PBS Link to the NOVA program “The Spy Factory” aired on Feb 3, 2009

Liten to James Bamford interviewed by Scott Horton:

[from] James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, Body of Secrets, A Pretext for War and now, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, discusses what the NSA knew about the 9/11 hijackers before the attack, the infighting between the CIA, NSA and FBI, the 9/11 hijackers proximity to NSA headquarters in Maryland prior to the attacks, the abandonment of law and limits on their domestic spying after 9/11, the complicity of major telecoms in helping the state tap the entire internet, the enormous new date storage and mining facility in San Antonio, Texas and the Israeli companies who make the software that runs the Big Brother database.

——————-Quote of the Day:

Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man has a right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has quarrel with mine, although I have none with him? – Blaise Pascal

Posted in afghanistan, america, antiwar, barack obama, campaignforliberty, collectivism, congress, Constitution, culture, Current Events, democrat, Education, government, hillary clinton, international, iran, iraq, lew rockwell, Libertarian, life, limited government, media, middle east, military, minarchist, news, obama, philosophy, Politics, republican, revolution, Rights, Ron Paul, senate, socialism, society | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Protect America Act, (i.e., Protect Government Act)

Posted by Jesse on March 14, 2008

“To declare that in the administration of criminal law the end justifies the means — to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure conviction of a private criminal — would bring terrible retribution.”
— Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1912)

Subject: Proposed PAA replacement isn’t terrible

Legislators legislate, even when they shouldn’t. They do what they do because they are who they are. So it should come as no surprise that the House of Representatives is continuing to work on a bill to replace the so-called “Protect America Act.”


Nevertheless, the current House proposal isn’t terrible. In fact, there’s one part of it that is downright clever, in a strategic sense. Specifically, the new bill . . .

-Confers NO retroactive immunity on the telecom companies alleged to have assisted in the Presidents warrantless surveillance program.
-Provides telecom companies with a way to present their defenses in secure proceedings in district court without the Administration using the “state secrets” prohibition to block those defenses.

The second provision is the clever part. It removes the Bush administration’s argument that the telecom companies won’t be willing to cooperate with the government in the future if they don’t get retroactive immunity for past illegal actions. Whenever the Bush administration makes this argument they must mean one of two things, either . . .

-That telecom companies will not cooperate with future requests for illegal surveillance, or . . .
-They will not cooperate with legal requests for surveillance
If pressed for clarification the Bush administration will not admit that they mean the first thing, the illegal part, so they must mean that the telecoms will not cooperate with legal requests. But why would a telecom fail to cooperate with a legal request to engage in surveillance?

Perhaps the reason is that the Bush administration constantly invokes “state secrecy” to deny the telecoms the evidence they would need to demonstrate in court that they were within the bounds of the law. Sometimes, the Bush administration won’t even allow legal warrants to be fully-presented in court.

The House Democratic proposal is clever because it prevents the Executive Branch from concealing its FISA warrants from the court. On a political level, as this debate goes forward, the administration must now either argue that the courts cannot be allowed to see FISA warrents, or that what they’re really interested in is having future telecom cooperation in illegal surveillance.

We applaud the House for what they are doing and how they are doing it. And though we haven’t gotten into all the details here, overall, this bill is a much better prosposal than we expected.

We think it’s as good as it is because of the pressure they’ve received from people like you.

At this point, we recommend that you encourage them to keep going in this direction. Tell both the House and Senate that you want the following (you can cut & paste this into your personal comments if you wish) . . .

I want NO retroactive immunity for the telecom companies, but I DO want them to be able to present evidence in court that they acted legally.

You can send your message here.

Please also consider starting a monthly pledge to help Downsize DC grow faster. You can do that here.

In addition, on my Sunday radio show, I plan to briefly discuss some of the other parts of the House Democrat’s “compromise” proposal. I’m also going to interview David Weigel, a political beat reporter for Reason magazine. We’ll discuss his views about what happened with the Ron Paul for President campaign. If Ron Paul and/or this House Democrat compromise interests you, please plan to tune-in via the Internet at 3:00 PM (Eastern) on Sunday. Please spread the word to others who might be interested. Reminders with additional information will be sent to you this weekend.

Finally, I’m supposed to be on Jerry Hughes’ radio show today (Friday) at 3:05 PM. For a station list, the show’s call-in number, or to listen online, simply go to

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

Posted in *Take Action, afghanistan, america, antiwar, barack obama, congress, Constitution, Current Events, democrat, election 2008, government, hillary clinton, iran, iraq, John McCain, Libertarian, mccain, middle east, military, news, obama, old right, Politics, republican, Rights, Ron Paul, russia, senate, society, technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ron Paul on the NIE and the Neocon Administration

Posted by Jesse on December 11, 2007

Bombed If You Do, Bombed If You Don’t
Dec 11, 2007

The latest National Intelligence Estimate has been greeted by a mixture of relief and alarm. As I have been saying all along, Iran indeed poses no quantifiable imminent nuclear threat to us or her neighbors. It is with much alarm, however, that we see the administration continue to ratchet up the war rhetoric as if nothing has changed.

Indeed nothing has changed from the administration’s perspective, as they have had this latest intelligence report for some time. Only this week has it been made known to the public. They want it both ways with Iran. On the one hand, they discredit the report entirely, despite it being one of the most comprehensive intelligence reports on the subject, with over 1,000 source notes in the document. On the other hand, when discrediting it fails, they claim that the timing of the abandonment of the weapons program, just as we were invading Iraq, means our pressure must have worked, so we must keep it up with a new round of even tougher sanctions. Russia and China are not buying this, apparently, and again we are finding ourselves on a lonely tenuous platform on the world stage.

The truth is, Iran is being asked to do the logically impossible feat of proving a negative. They are being presumed guilty until proven innocent because there is no evidence with which to indict them. There is still no evidence that Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has ever violated the treaty’s terms – and the terms clearly state that Iran is allowed to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful, civilian energy needs. The United States cannot unilaterally change the terms of the treaty, and it is unfair and unwise diplomatically to impose sanctions for no legitimate reason.

Are we to think that Iran hasn’t noticed the duplicitous treatment being received by so-called nuclear threats around the globe? If they have been paying attention, and I think they have, they would see that if countries do have a nuclear weapon, they tend to be left alone, or possibly get a subsidy, but if they do not gain such a weapon then we threaten them. Why wouldn’t they want to pursue a nuclear weapon if that is our current foreign policy? The fact remains, there is no evidence they actually have one, or could have one any time soon, even if they immediately resumed a weapons program.

Our badly misguided foreign policy has already driven this country’s economy to the brink of bankruptcy with one war based on misinformation. It is unthinkable that despite lack of any evidence of a threat, some are still charging headstrong into yet another war in the Middle East when what we ought to be doing is coming home from Iraq, coming home from Korea, coming home from Germany and defending our own soil. We do not need to be interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and waging war when honest trade, friendship, and diplomacy are the true paths to peace and prosperity.

Posted in *Take Action, antiwar, Current Events, Politics, Ron Paul | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »