Department of No! They Would Never to Do That!
This is ironic; all those things you thought no Republican, let alone a decent American or honest person, would do. Stuff like stealing elections and going to war under false pretences.
The CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday, piling pressure on Poland, one of Washington's closest allies, to break its long silence about the global programme for detaining al Qaeda suspects.
The court said it had been established that the CIA used a facility in a northern Polish forest, code named "Quartz", as a hub in its network for interrogating suspected al Qaeda operatives rounded up after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. .....
Thursday's ruling was the first time that a court in Europe had said that the CIA operated one of the secret jails - often referred to as "black sites" -on the continent.
The court case was brought by lawyers for two men, Saudi-born Abu Zubaydah, and Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who are now both inmates at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. military's prison on Cuba.
They alleged they were flown in secret to a remote Polish airfield, then transferred to the CIA-facility near the village of Stare Kiejkuty where they were subject to treatment they said amounted to [was] torture. ...
The court found Poland violated its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights to prevent torture, ensure the right to liberty, and properly investigate allegations a crime had been committed on its territory.
The ruling from Strasbourg may have implications for other European states alleged to have hosted CIA prisons: similar cases have been lodged with the court in Strasbourg against Romania and Lithuania. ...
That I did not know.
The court ruling did not directly cover the United States, which is outside its jurisdiction. ...
According to Zac Corrigan in “Militarization of police in America” the Pentagon under the Obama administration is equipping -- OVER-EQUIPPING -- US police departments across the country with former overseas military weaponry and vehicles.
The ominous dots aren’t hard to connect for any of us paying the least bit of attention to the dramatic and merciless economic polarization in America along with the escalation of inappropriate and inhumane lethal force by the police. Read below the fold...
"The pursuit of Risen is a warning to potential sources that journalists cannot promise them confidentiality for disclosing Executive Branch criminality, recklessness, deception, unconstitutional policies or lying us into war."
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Not that I'm an originalist, but I'd be a lot happier if the Thirteenth Amendment were revising as follows: Read below the fold...
It comes as no surprise to at least some citizens that the CIA is an intelligence agency that operates outside US law and defies congressional oversight. Interestingly this week, one of its strongest and most consistent apologists, Senator Dianne Feinstein, has outrightly charged the CIA with perpetrating criminal behaviors.
Why you should never, never, never, NEVER order a computer online, whether from Amazon or anybody else
Der Spiegel has a fascinating article on an entire "dark internet" set up by the NSA, but this paragraph jumped out at me:
Sometimes it appears that the world's most modern spies are just as reliant on conventional methods of reconnaissance as their predecessors.
Take, for example, when they intercept shipping deliveries. If a target person, agency or company orders a new computer or related accessories, for example, TAO [Tailored Access Operations] can divert the shipping delivery to its own secret workshops. The NSA calls this method interdiction. At these so-called "load stations," agents carefully open the package in order to load malware onto the electronics, or even install hardware components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies. All subsequent steps can then be conducted from the comfort of a remote computer.
These minor disruptions in the parcel shipping business rank among the "most productive operations" conducted by the NSA hackers, one top secret document relates in enthusiastic terms. This method, the presentation continues, allows TAO to obtain access to networks "around the world."
So, if your Xmas computer arrived a day late, maybe NSA's "Santa's Workshop" was why! Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Warning from Colorado: "[I]t is the responsibility of the patient (not the doctor) to check on the network status of their provider"
Just what you want to think about in an emergency, right? Whether your provider is in- or out-of-network! And yet your decision, sick in the back of an ambulance, could bankrupt you! There's a good deal of controlled but justified anger in this LTE from Judee Cathrall, in Dillon, Colorado: Read below the fold...
So Obama stood up at his year-end press conference on Friday and gave “an Orwellian defense of unrestrained US spying” according to Bill Van Auken in “Latest Snowden revelations expose Obama’s lies on NSA spy programs”.
“I have confidence that the NSA is not engaging in domestic surveillance and snooping around…”
He continued: Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Covered California gives out "consumer" information to insurance agents, even if they didn't ask to be contacted
Louis Scarcella, Brooklyn homicide detective (retired), was not a guy you would want to meet, especially if you were a person of color who was innocent of a crime that needed to be cleared. (Cops dislike inventory just like Walmart dislikes unsold crap).
If you have not been following the saga, Scarcella had amassed a remarkable,( indeed incredible...) series of successes bringing quick arrests and smooth convictions in hundreds of homicides. Read below the fold...
The rules of Obamacare seem to push people into a benefits wall if you're even one dollar over 400% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Using the Kaiser subsidy calculator, I'd noticed a disquieting pattern a couple of months ago that affects older people who can expect to pay higher premiums.
For instance: a couple, both 62, making 400% of FPL:
- Household income in 2014: $62,040
- Maximum % of income for premium: 9.5%
- Likely "silver" plan premium: $14,567 per year
- Potential tax credit subsidy of up to: $8,673 per year
- Amount you pay for the premium: $5,894 per year
- Out-of-pocket maximum, in-network costs*: $12,700
- Total: $18,594. (That's "affordable" with an adjusted gross income of $62,000, right?)
Okay, now consider the same couple making one dollar more than 400% of FPL: Read below the fold...
Kate Randall in “Obamacare and the ‘crisis’ of an aging population” bluntly writes:
Underlying the immediate issue of the failure of the new web site is the character of Obamacare itself—an attack on health care cloaked in the guise of “reform,” whose basic aim is to slash health care spending and shift a greater cost burden onto the backs of individuals. ....
snipRead below the fold...