Via Cryptome, bizarre Steven Aftergood: "Did Justice Roberts Reshape the FISA Court?":
"Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, appointments to the Court are made by the Chief Justice of the United States. An analysis of the Court’s membership by the New York Times found that during the tenure of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a higher number of Republican judges had been appointed than in the past — 10 of the current 11 members, compared to 66% under previous Chief Justices — as well as a higher number of judges who had once worked for the federal government — 50% versus 39% in the past. See “Roberts’s Picks Reshaping Secret Surveillance Court” by Charlie Savage, New York Times, July 25.You'd think he was being sarcastic here - no discernable change due to the 100% rubber stamp! - but, sadly, no:
The premise of the story is that Chief Justice Roberts’s selection pattern is not merely a statistical curiosity but that it has altered the performance of the court, or “reshaped” it, to favor the executive branch. The Times does not directly embrace this view, but attributes it to “critics,” including Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who is proposing legislation to change the way the Court’s members are appointed.
“Viewing this data, people with responsibility for national security ought to be very concerned about the impression and appearance, if not the reality, of bias — for favoring the executive branch in its applications for warrants and other action,” Senator Blumenthal told the Times.
But the claim that Chief Justice Roberts’s appointments have “reshaped” the Court to favor the executive branch in applications for warrants does not withstand a moment’s scrutiny. That’s because the Court’s approval rate has always hovered near 100% — both before and after the Roberts era. No discernable reshaping has occurred."
"Whether that has actually happened is impossible to ascertain since most of the Court’s opinions, including those that the Court itself has deemed “significant legal interpretations,” remain classified and unavailable.I've always wondered about Aftergood.
But the notion that the behavior of FISA Court judges can be reliably inferred from the political party of the President that appointed them, or from their past service in the executive branch, is cynical and vaguely insulting."
"What the Ashcroft “Hospital Showdown” on NSA spying was all about" You can get some idea of how bad things are, and how fast they are deteriorating, by the simple fact that John Fucking Ashcroft is too much of a raging pinko fag to even be considered for Barry's cabinet.
"More Bullshit from The Reelz Channel" The 50th anniversary is approaching, and we're going to have to wade through an enormous river of bullshit.
"Syrian government forces take control of Homs neighborhood in blow to rebels" Aleppo is the only major place left to be freed of oppression. It should now be crystal clear that the American plan is to allow the Syrian army enough time to finish the job, while supporting various jihadist groups in the hinterland for a long-term weakening program - for purely Zionist interests - of the Assad government.
'Langley' provides helpful advice to deal with the predictable and inevitable consequences of his previous helpful advice on Libya: "All Hell Breaks Loose in Libya". See the comment by JTMcPhee. Once you wreck a country - and 'Langley' enthusiastically encouraged Libya to be wrecked - it stays wrecked for generations, and no amount of School of the Americas training is going to fix it.
"The Boycott of Israel Eight Years In" "Animals’ Eric Burdon flies in for on again Israel show" Burdon appears to be party to an anti-BDS hasbara trick.
"US Government Protection of Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the US-Saudi Black Hole" I would have thought that Scott of all people would pick up on the fact that part of the wider conspiracy was to frame the Saudi government. The frame-up follows the same pattern as was used in the abandoned attempt to frame Cuba for the JFK assassination. If you don't see this, you fall into the trap of accepting the entire misleading frame of reference set up by the conspiracy plotters.
"The Assassination of Julian Assange" by Jonathan Cook
"America: the powerful and the powerless" by Mahboob A Khawaja
"In Defense of Hezbollah, a “Terrorist” Organization" by Ahmad Barqawi