Archive for May 9th, 2012

News Digest 5/9/12

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

Military tribunal in for the long haul

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm by

Things didn’t quite turn out the way the government had planned at the military tribunal of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and company. What was supposed to be a two- or three-hour hearing turned into a more than 12-hour marathon. To wit:

Cuba Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators put on a show of defiance during a marathon war court arraignment Saturday, sitting mute rather than answering their U.S. military judge’s questions ahead of their trial on charges of planning the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

And:

At no time did the five men enter pleas…

Not to mention:

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, and other prosecutors reciting the 87-page charge sheet in English — and a translator echoing each paragraph in Arabic because the accused refused to don headphones for simultaneous translation.

The reason the 87 pages were read is that the defendants refused to waive the reading of the charges.This type of behavior went on for the entire day.

All day long, Mohammed refused to answer the judge’s questions. And, with one exception, his four alleged collaborators fell in
right behind him. Some appeared to be reading the Koran rather than responding to the judge’s questions.

At the end of all this, “the judge unilaterally appointed their Pentagon-paid attorneys to defend them.” The trial is tentatively scheduled about a year from now,

dashing hopes that they’d cut short a trial process potentially lasting years by admitting their guilt or confessing to the crime in a bid to get a fast-track to martyrdom.

Feds bypassing citizens to massively invade their privacy

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 9:59 am by

Internet PrivacyCan you even imagine a future government of the United States that will monitor everything you say at anytime? I ask again…at any time? Well, we’re heading down that slippery slope at a fast and furious (excuse the expression) pace. The Obama administration is attempting to quietly work behind the scenes “to force the Internet industry to provide the US government with ‘backdoor’ access to all forms of Internet communication.” The key words in that statement are “all forms.”

The FBI general counsel’s office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.

“If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding,”

To extrapolate:

…for anyone who defends the Obama administration here and insists that the U.S. Government simply must have access to all forms of human communication: does that also apply to in-person communication? Should home and apartment builders be required to install monitors in every room they build to ensure that the Government can surveil all human communications in order to prevent threats to national security and public safety?

What’s particularly nefarious about this is that the government is not even addressing this absolute invasion of privacy to the population at large (otherwise known in some circles as a “workaround”).

Notice how the FBI — in order to obtain these new powers — does not believe it needs to persuade the American citizenry to accept it. Instead, they’re meeting with the people who actually hold power over our laws — industry executives — in order to plead with them not to oppose this. FBI officials even planned a pilgrimage to Silicon Valley “to meet with Internet companies’ CEOs and top lawyers” in the hope of obtaining their permission to proceed with this new scheme.

Yep. Screw the citizens’ opinions, just go to the power players. Besides, if you’re doing nothing wrong, what’s the harm in having absolutely everything you say or do in the government’s hands to do with as it chooses? Right? Public apathy is the greatest danger of all.