Constitutional Concerns

While President Obama dismisses them as “phony scandals” and “endless distractions,” Josephine Terry knows all-too-well the deadly reality. She’d like to invite Obama to visit the gravesite of her son, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and remind him these scandals aren’t phony — they’re fatal.



On Thursday, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that religious wedding photographers could be forced to photograph same-sex weddings. “When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the [New Mexico Human Rights Act, or NMHRA] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races,” the court ruled… Read more →

(CNN) – They were younger than him, just teenagers who were driving around, apparently bored and looking for somebody to kill, according to police in Duncan, Oklahoma.

The indiscriminate shooting of Christopher Lane, a 23-year-old Australian who was living his dream of studying in the U.S. on a baseball scholarship, has repulsed many in his home country and led to calls for Australian tourists to boycott the United States.

“It is another example of murder mayhem on Main Street,” former Australian deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer told CNN’s Piers Morgan.

“People thinking of going to the USA for business or tourists trips should think carefully about it given the statistical fact you are 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the USA than in Australia per capita per million people.”


CNN has the full article

"This is a signal of a rise of fascism in the UK, in the US and western countries"

“This is a signal of a rise of fascism in the UK, in the US and western countries”

The latest scandal with the Guardian is an escalation against the freedom of the press that WikiLeaks predicted years ago, but it won’t stop whistleblowers and journalists from fighting for freedom of speech, Wikileaks’ Kristinn Hrafnsson tells RT. It was revealed by Alan Rusbringer, editor of the Guardian, that the British government threatened them with legal action unless they handed… Read more →

NSA surveillance reach broader than publicly acknowledged

NSA surveillance reach broader than publicly acknowledged

The National Security Agency’s surveillance network has the capacity to spy on 75 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic, The Wall Street Journal reports. Citing current and former NSA officials for the 75 percent figure, the paper reported that the agency can observe more of Americans’ online communications than officials have publicly acknowledged. The NSA’s system of programs that filter communications, achieved… Read more →

Guardian says Britain made it destroy Snowden material

Guardian says Britain made it destroy Snowden material

(Reuters) – The British authorities forced the Guardian newspaper to destroy material leaked by Edward Snowden, its editor has revealed, calling it a “pointless” move that would not prevent further reporting on U.S. and British surveillance programs. In a column on Tuesday, Alan Rusbridger said he had received a call from a government official a month ago who told him:… Read more →

Google: Gmail users ‘have no legitimate expectation of privacy’

Google: Gmail users ‘have no legitimate expectation of privacy’

As tensions worsen among privacy-focused email users amid the escalating scandal surrounding government surveillance, a brief filed by attorneys for Google has surfaced showing that Gmail users should never expect their communications to be kept secret. Consumer Watchdog has unearthed a July 13, 2013 motion filed by Google’s attorneys with regards to ongoing litigation challenging how the Silicon Valley giant… Read more →

Ben Carson sounds off on latest provision in Obamacare facing delay, calls for do-over and a real solution to America’s health care problem.

U.S. defense lawyers to seek access to DEA hidden intelligence evidence

(Reuters) – Criminal defense lawyers are challenging a U.S. government practice of hiding the tips that led to some drug investigations, information that the lawyers say is essential to fair trials in U.S. courts.

The practice of creating an alternate investigative trail to hide how a case began – what federal agents call “parallel construction” – has never been thoroughly tested in court, lawyers and law professors said in interviews this week.

Internal training documents reported by Reuters this week instruct agents not to reveal information they get from a unit of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but instead to recreate the same information by other means. A similar set of instructions was included in an IRS manual in 2005 and 2006, Reuters reported.

The DEA unit, known as the Special Operations Division, or SOD, receives intelligence from intercepts, wiretaps, informants and phone records, and funnels tips to other law enforcement agencies, the documents said. Some but not all of the information is classified.

In interviews, at least a dozen current or former agents said they used “parallel construction,” often by pretending that an investigation began with what appeared to be a routine traffic stop, when the true origin was actually a tip from SOD.

Defense lawyers said that by hiding the existence of the information, the government is violating a defendant’s constitutional right to view potentially exculpatory evidence that suggests witness bias, entrapment or innocence.

“It certainly can’t be that the agents can make up a ‘parallel construction,’ a made-up tale, in court documents, testimony before the grand jury or a judge, without disclosure to a court,” said Jim Wyda, the federal public defender in Maryland, in an email.

“This is going to result in a lot of litigation, for a long time.”


Reuters has the full article

IRS gets help from DEA and NSA to collect data

IRS gets help from DEA and NSA to collect data

The Internal Revenue Service reportedly received incriminating information on US citizens from the Drug Enforcement Agency, with the assistance of the National Security Agency, before concealing the paper trail from defendants. Details of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program that provides tips to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and then advises them to “recreate the investigative trail” were published in a manual… Read more →