Friday, 7 June 2013

Police-State ‘Progressivism’


"Some of this isn't new: we've known since 2006 that the government was collecting such data, and that it wasn't limited to Verizon: what we didn't know is that the Obama administration has continued this practice, in secret, in spite of the President's explicit opposition to such a massive violation of privacy when he was in campaign mode. Defenders of the program – such as Senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss – claim this doesn't authorize the government to monitor the content of calls, but then again how do we know that? Like any ordinary burglary, or similarly shameful act, it's all being done in the dark."

Police-State 'Progressivism'
Glenn Greenwald exposes the dark side of Obamaism
by Justin Raimondo, June 07, 2013

The bombshell dropped by Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian has exploded any pretenses to being the linchpin of American liberalism Barack Obama may have retained until this point. In a story that broke yesterday [Wednesday, June 5], Greenwald revealed that the US government has been spying not just on targeted alleged "terrorists," but on each and every one of us:

"The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

"The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

"The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing."

Just to be clear: at the instigation of the Obama administration, a secret court issued a secret order that a top-secret program to spy on all Americans is legal, necessary, and will continue indefinitely.

Some of this isn't new: we've known since 2006 that the government was collecting such data, and that it wasn't limited to Verizon: what we didn't know is that the Obama administration has continued this practice, in secret, in spite of the President's explicit opposition to such a massive violation of privacy when he was in campaign mode. Defenders of the program – such as Senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss – claim this doesn't authorize the government to monitor the content of calls, but then again how do we know that? Like any ordinary burglary, or similarly shameful act, it's all being done in the dark.

Verizon and other carriers are forbidden by law from revealing the court order. A secret court, such as the FISA court – under which this order was issued – isn't really a court in the Western sense: it is a star chamber affair, a formality that rubber-stamps whatever our rulers desire at the moment.

Given this new information, what I would like to know is this: in what sense is the United States a "free" country, let alone the leader of the "Free World"? Sure, we have elections: so does Iran. Yes, we have a "free" press, but what happens when sources are afraid of talking to reporters? With a massive database that may even be tracking our location – yes, they have the technology to do it – America's political class is making itself invulnerable to any challenge.

The Greenwald revelations describe the continuing practice of what is called "link" analysis: the authorities identify a suspect and then tap into their database to link him or her up to other suspects. They then – in theory – go back to the FISA "court" and get authorization to gain access to "content," i.e. permission to eavesdrop. A broader practice is " data-mining," which supposedly gives officials an overview of "terrorist" social networks. And while the actual usefulness of data-mining as an instrument of law enforcement is dubious, imagine what Stalin could have done with such a "tool"! Not to mention Richard Nixon.

Oh, but we're the Good Guys: we would never do anything like track our political opponents and use the information we have on file to target them with state repression. Right?

So this administration's progressive amen corner would have us believe. Like any religious belief, however, it is impervious to challenge, since it is an article of faith. The Greenwald revelations debunk this dogma, and that indeed is what Glenn has been doing for his entire career as a journalist and public figure – challenging "liberal" shibboleths and exposing the hypocrisy of self-styled "progressives" who look the other way as their hero shreds the Constitution, conducts a ruthless and cowardly drone war, and extends the shroud of secrecy that envelopes his disgraceful record in the name of "national security."

One interesting aspect of the 2006 coverage of this issue is the fact that one carrier, Qwest, refused to cooperate with the government. What happened to the Qwest executives who defied the Bush administration may be hugely instructive: targeted by the Justice Department for the non-crime of "insider trading," they were pursued relentlessly. Some were convicted: others fought and won. I wonder if the heroic stand taken by Qwest had anything to do with the government's vindictive crusade to jail them?

Don't you?

Oh, but that was the Bush administration – I can hear the Amen Corner now, almost as if Rachel Maddow and/or Chris Hayes are whispering in my ear. We would never use the enormous power of the State to go after our political opponents. That this doesn't apply to the Tea Partyers who were indeed targeted by Obama's IRS on orders from the top is one of the Obama cult's recent talking points. Oh, it was all about going after Karl Rove and his big money 501(c)4 outfits which were skirting the intent of election laws and engaging in political speech. Yet the IRS didn't go after Rove, naturally – instead, they went after the Tea Partyers and the pro-lifers, i.e. the ideologically motivated further right groups Rove says he wants to get rid of, and that the Obamaites could probably do without.

The upshot of all this is it looks like the old Bush administration era "Total Information Awareness" program is alive and kicking. Although Congress passed legislation abolishing the program in 2003, the government simply changed its name to Terrorist Information Awareness and kept doing what it was doing – keeping tabs on all Americans. The Bush administration claimed this was being done only with overseas calls, but that turned out to be a lie – and now the lie is the law, with the Obama regime claiming it's all legal under section 215 of the Patriot Act, and under the provisions of FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, under which the FISA "courts" and the whole apparatus of our emerging police state has been legalized.

It all comes back to our foreign policy of global intervention and our continuing and relentless "war on terrorism." What we are experiencing, as we sink into the morass of democratic despotism, is the domestic "blowback." The terrorist networks that pulled off the 9/11 attacks were established during the cold war era with the invaluable assistance of the US and Saudi Arabia, in the name of fighting communism in Afghanistan. This symbiotic relationship has continued even after 9/11, albeit in a different form. Every drone strike that takes out innocents and violates the sovereignty of other nations swells these networks with new recruits. As Michael Scheuer points out in his invaluable book, Imperial Hubris, Uncle Sam is the best friend Al Qaeda ever had – a point the Obamaites may be in the process of confirming beyond a reasonable doubt, as the "let's help the Syrian rebels" movement gains new momentum within the administration.

Imperialism is the fuel that keeps the machinery of domestic repression running and it is operating just as early critics of the Empire, such as John T. Flynn, said it would. Writing during the darkest days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's reign, Flynn said "All that is needed to set us definitely on the road to a Fascist society is war. It will of course be a modified form of Fascism at first," clothed in the fabulous raiment of "patriotism" and necessity. While FDR did his best to target his political enemies using the vast powers at his command, he didn't have the Patriot Act and Total Information Awareness at his disposal. The monster State Flynn and others of the Old Right saw arising from the ashes of the war took half a century and more to reveal its full malevolence, but with the marriage of technology and overweening statism, we are seeing the worst imaginings of the dystopian writers coming true.

In this dark time, liberty has few defenders, at least in the Congress of the United States. But one of them is Sen. Rand Paul, who has introduced legislation – the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 – which would block our rapid progress down the road to a police state. In response to the Greenwald revelations, the Senator averred:

"The revelation that the NSA has secretly seized the call records of millions of Americans, without probable cause, represents an outrageous abuse of power and a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. I have long argued that Congress must do more to restrict the Executive's expansive law enforcement powers to seize private records of law-abiding Americans that are held by a third-party. When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the FISA Amendments Act late last year, I insisted on a vote on my amendment (SA 3436) to require stronger protections on business records and prohibiting the kind of data-mining this case has revealed. Just last month, I introduced S.1037, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act, which would provide exactly the kind of protections that, if enacted, could have prevented these abuses and stopped these increasingly frequent violations of every American's constitutional rights.

"The bill restores our Constitutional rights and declares that the Fourth Amendment shall not be construed to allow any agency of the United States government to search the phone records of Americans without a warrant based on probable cause."

You'll note when the Senator introduced his bill – well before the Guardian published its blockbuster story. This is what political leadership is all about: seeing the problem well before it is all too apparent.

On Twitter, the other day, I wondered why Americans aren't out in the streets protesting this outrageous violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, but perhaps that energy is better utilized in calling your representatives in Congress and urging them to back the restoration of the Fourth Amendment. So far, the emerging police state in America has met with little opposition, least of all from our clueless legislators: these latest revelations may signal the beginning of a real fightback.


http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/06/06/police-state-progressivism/

NSA is A-OK or, Top 4 Apologias for Obama the Cyber-Stalker in Chief!






http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/07/obama-the-cyber-stalker-or-let-slip-the

 

  •  

NSA is A-OK or, Top 4 Apologias for Obama the Cyber-Stalker in Chief!

Nick Gillespie|Jun. 7, 2013 9:07 am

So the president - avatar of most audacity, hope, and the transparentist administration since the introduction of Windex! - likes to watch. All of us. Or maybe just keep tabs on what we're up to.

Take a hike Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, David Hemmings in Blow-up, and Craig Wasson (yes, that Craig Wasson) in Body Double!

There's a new voyeur in town and his name is Barack Obama.

Given that Candidate Obama was, er, a bit ticked off at the Bush administration's Gladys Kravitz nosy-neighbor routine, what are supporters of the president supposed to do? One of a few things.

First, deny that there's really anything new or important here. Don't you know, this has been going on for years now, like since at least the George W. Bush years, and nobody cared then (coff, coff), so it's no real big thing, right?

"Stop freaking out about the NSA," counsels Slate's William Saletan. In quick order, Saletan notes, that "It isn't wiretapping" (who said it was?); "It's judicially supervised" (True, by a rubber-stamp FISA court); "It's congressionally supervised" (eh, that's a stretch, with the admin kinda-sorta telling Congress what it's up to); "It expires quickly unless it's reauthorized" (which is exactly what seems to have been happening over the past several years, enough to suggest constant vacuuming up on phone records is the new normal). Oh yeah, and "Wiretaps would require further court orders" (see first point and understand now that we are defining troubling surveillance now only as wiretaps apparently). While Congress authorized and expanded the FISA rules (they are a cowardly herd, after all), anyone who thinks that national intelligence apparatuses actually disclose what they're up to Congress should read Timothy Weiner's essential history of the FBI or check out some Church Committee hearings for something other than mid-1970s sideburns.

Second, blur the distinction between voluntary disclosures of your information and government surveillance. Also at Slate (hmm...the same outfit whose staff voted overwhelmingly for Obama), Amy Webb says chill because "You're sharing your private data with corporations and governments all the time." What's the fuss, she argues, "By definition, you're surrendering your privacy by using your phone." Really? There's no meaningful distinction to be drawn between, I don't know, checking in on Four Square (if anyone still does that) or making a phone call and the government routinely collecting millions of phone records? Especially under the pretense that this is done to keep tabs on foreign agents and non-citizens who may be looking to blow us up? The F in FISA stands for foreign, not domestic. Facebook, Twitter, the NSA - it's all the same, isn't it? They all have equal power to declare you an enemy combatant and throw you in prison, after all. (For a primer on some very basic distinctions between data gathering between public and private sources, read Reason's classic 2004 cover story, "Database Nation: The upside of 'zero privacy,'" by Declan McCullagh.)

Third, blame the subjects of investigation and surveillance. The purest instance of this ploy comes courtesy of The New Republic during the early days of the IRS scandal. Recall briefly that even President Obama has acknowledged that groups of a conservative bent were subjected to politicized scrutiny that Obama called "unacceptable" and "intolerable." But come on, said Noam Scheiber, these right-wing nutjobs wanted to be scrutinized - they have a political persecution complex that's a "neurosis" (his word). Noting that 501(c)4 groups don't technically have to file for tax-exempt status with the IRS - they can simply assert it and hope to pass muster if there's an audit - Noam Scheiber argued, "The targeting was effectively done by the conservative groups themselves, when they filed their gratuitous applications." What bold, fresh thinking from a magazine now owned by a Facebook founder.

Fourth, minimize even your righteous outrage after you first blow your stack.Yesterday, The New York Times channeled its inner Popeye, muttered "that's all I can takes, I can't takes no more," and editorialized flatly:

...the administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.

Not long after that sharply worded rebuke saw the light of the Web, it was amended thus:

The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.

As Reason's J.D. Tuccille noted when first spying the revision (emphasis added), "No mention of the change has been added to the editorial."

But then, that's what the Interweb is for, right? Check out newsdiff for a track-changes record of the fixes. Hey, New York Times, you're sharing your private information simply by living and breathing in this world, aren't you?

 








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Obama a Fascist Monster: Spy Games & Double Standards






Spy Games & Double Standards

Posted By Matthew Vadum On June 7, 2013

As details of President Obama's massive domestic spying operation continue to dribble out into the public domain, the Left for the most part is quiet and content.

Left-wingers are unable even to entertain the idea that Obama, who billed himself on the campaign trail as a champion of civil liberties, is a power-mad authoritarian who views the Constitution as worthless parchment.

Obama promised:

"no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient."

But that was then when Obama was still just a senator.

The Obama administration's spying is ostensibly aimed at combating al-Qaeda and protecting America from attack.

But today the relentless cries of "fascism!" we heard all throughout George W. Bush's presidency are absent. There are no riots in the streets. No rowdy Occupy Wall Street-sponsored demonstrations. No candlelight vigils.

When news of Obama's warrantless surveillance program on steroids broke this week, except for Al Gore, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers, and a handful of the more utopian leftists, the Left has been largely silent on these abuses.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who turns 80 this month, seems to be suffering from retrograde amnesia, having tossed away her worries about the NSA program. The senator defended the program, which is much more far-reaching that anything Bush ever dreamed of, saying "I think people want the homeland kept safe to the extent we can."

Just seven years ago, Feinstein angrily denounced President Bush for his warrantless surveillance program. "I believe we are on our way to a major constitutional confrontation on Fourth Amendment guarantees of unreasonable search and seizure."

As recently as March, senior Obama administration officials denied the government was spying on large swaths of the American public.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper point-blank, "Does the NSA collect any kind of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

Clapper replied, "No, sir … Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently, perhaps …"

Although it generated daily invective from the Left through his time in office, President Bush's domestic surveillance regime was comparatively modest.

Bush's program was certainly aggressive, but it was more narrowly tailored to capture terrorist communications. And when Bush experienced political blowback, he went back to the drawing board and created a new program with judicial oversight to assuage the concerns of civil libertarians.

What Obama is doing now is totally indiscriminate, a massive fishing expedition that gives huge swaths of American society the Big Brother treatment.

According to a classified order of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review published by The Guardian (UK), Verizon was directed to provide "on an ongoing daily basis" all call records for any call "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls" and any call made "between the United States and abroad." The court granted the order to the FBI for a three-month period ending July 19.

"The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing," the newspaper reports.

"Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered."

But the Obama administration has other programs it can use to spy on Americans and record their telephone calls.

A new one was revealed this week called PRISM. This secret court-approved program allows the NSA to tap directly "into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets." The nine companies mentioned in a top secret government document are Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.

Some time after the start of the Bush administration's ambitious communications surveillance program, leakers gave details to reporters. Such programs operate within the confines of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which Congress created following perceived government surveillance abuses in the 1960s and 70s. It imposed the general requirement that the government obtain warrants from courts before monitoring Americans' communications.

In December 2005 a New York Times headline from an article detailing the extent of warrantless eavesdropping by the Bush administration screamed, "Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts."

Times readers learned that months after the 9/11 attacks President Bush "secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying."

Observers disagreed on the constitutionality of the program that allowed the NSA to monitor telephone and email communications between parties in the U.S. and parties in foreign countries without court oversight when a party was thought to have connections to terrorism.

Left-wingers vehemently denounced the Bush effort as an unforgivable assault on civil liberties. The ACLU and the pro-terrorist law firm Center for Constitutional Rights filed lawsuits.

"This conduct is right in the strike zone of the concept of high crimes and misdemeanors," said then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.). Feingold said Bush was "almost thumbing his nose at the American people."

"We as a Congress have to stand up to a president who acts like the Bill of Rights and Constitution were repealed on Sept. 11 [2001]."

Then-Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said the NSA program "doesn't uphold our Constitution."

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Bush had overreached. "Unilaterally changing the law because the Vice President or president thinks it's wrong, without discussion or change — that's not the American way."

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) asked four presidential scholars to send her, "as soon as possible," their opinions about whether President Bush's actions justified his impeachment.

By mid-2006 it was revealed that the NSA tried to keep records on a majority of telephone calls made within the U.S. since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. In the process it amassed "the domestic call records of tens of millions of U.S. households and businesses in an attempt to sift them for clues about terrorist threats," according to the Washington Post.

President Bush fought for his program and in September 2006 asked Congress for permission to continue the warrantless eavesdropping.

But after the disastrous election two months later in which Republicans lost control of both houses of Congress, President Bush pivoted and became more amenable to compromise on the issue. In January 2007 the Bush administration responded to political pressure and reversed course, announcing it would replace the NSA program.

By August that year Bush had signed into law amendments to FISA that gave the government greater authority to eavesdrop without warrants on foreign terrorism suspects' communications in the U.S. The new program would be overseen by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.

As they expressed horror when Bush's warrantless electronic surveillance program was revealed, many Democrats were similarly alarmed during U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey's October 2007 confirmation hearing when he said that there may be situations in which the president could constitutionally override a federal law that required court approval for intelligence-related wiretaps.

A law enacted in 2008 gave telecommunications companies retroactive immunity from liability for carrying out government-requested wiretapping. The law was challenged in court. Late last year the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling upholding the statute.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the revelation of the muscular NSA warrantless surveillance effort shows President Obama is worse on civil liberties than President Bush. "The bent towards authoritarianism is probably worse in this administration."

Paul said the domestic spying program was an "astounding assault on the Constitution."

"The irony is that people voted for President Obama hoping for something different," Paul said. "That's why a lot of people I think are disappointed in the president. They're disappointed in him targeting reporters. There's just a lot to be disappointed about."

"I've been saying for a long time that we ought to obey the Constitution and the Bill of Rights," Paul said. "I'm all for going after terrorists, I'm all for going after criminals, but I think you go to a judge and you ask for a warrant specified to a person. You shouldn't look at millions and millions."

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/matthew-vadum/spy-games-double-standards/

 



 





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Re: U.S. Gives Saudi Airlines ‘Unrestricted’ Access to American Skies

Thanks for sharing this Plain Ol';  interesting, and I was unaware of this.

 

 


On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 1:21 PM, plainolamerican <plainolamerican@gmail.com> wrote:
The United States and Saudi Arabia have signed
an Open Skies agreement that will "permit unrestricted air service by
the
airlines of both countries
---
A legislative effort led by the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee to enable Israelis to enter the United States without visas
may be stymied by the government – Israel's government.

The hitch is Israel's inability or unwillingness to fully reciprocate,
something required for visa-free travel to the United States. Israel,
citing security concerns, insists on the right to refuse entry to some
U.S. citizens.

AIPAC is pushing for an exemption for Israel from this rule. But
congressional staffers say Israel is unlikely to get such an
exemption, which U.S. lawmakers view as an attempt to bar Arab
Americans from freely entering Israel.

"It's stunning that you would give a green light to another country to
violate the civil liberties of Americans traveling abroad," said a
staffer for one leading pro-Israel lawmaker in the U.S. House of
Representatives.

The exemption AIPAC is pushing for appears in the Senate version of
the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, one of the key issues for
which AIPAC urged supporters to lobby after its policy conference last
month.

The language in that bill, proposed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.),
requires that the Homeland Security secretary grant Israel visa waiver
status after certifying with the secretary of state that Israel "has
made every reasonable effort, without jeopardizing the security of the
State of Israel, to ensure that reciprocal travel privileges are
extended to all United States citizens."

House staffers say that lawmakers, pro-Israel leaders among them, have
raised objections to the clause, "without jeopardizing the security of
the State of Israel," because it appears to validate what they see as
Israel's tendency to turn away Arab Americans without giving a reason.

None of the other 37 countries currently in the visa-free program has
such a caveat written into law.

Israel's government has made clear that it likely would not join the
visa waiver program without such language in the law, JTA has learned.
Israeli officials told JTA that U.S. citizens already are free to
travel to Israel and that there is no need for holders of American
passports to obtain a tourist visa before traveling.

But there have been numerous reports in recent years that Israel
routinely turns away or makes difficult the entry of Americans with
Muslim and Arab names, often without explaining why. The State
Department, in its Israel travel advisory, warns that "U.S. citizens
whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab, Middle Eastern, or
Muslim origin" may be denied "entry or exit without explanation."

James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute, which has
lobbied against the Senate language, said passage of such a law would
codify discriminatory treatment.

"It is ratifying Israel's position of creating two classes of
citizen," said Zogby, who said he has been subject to long waits when
entering Israel.

One recent case that made headlines was that of Nour Joudah, a
Palestinian American who was teaching at the Friends School in
Ramallah. Joudah, who had traveled to Jordan for Christmas, was denied
reentry to Israel although she had a one-year multiple entry visa, and
despite the fact that the Israeli Embassy in Washington had advocated
for her reentry.

The Ramallah school receives U.S. funding, promotes non-violence and
teaches about the Holocaust, noted a congressional staffer. "This is
the model of coexistence," the staffer said.

Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, told Haaretz earlier
this year that Joudah had not cooperated during security questioning.
Joudah told Haaretz that the encounter with Israeli security at times
had been argumentative but said she answered all questions.

Critics of Israel's entry practices say authorities appear to turn
away Americans for political, not security reasons. Joudah told
Haaretz that Israeli security officials had asked her about her
published writings. While in Ramallah, she had blogged for Electronic
Intifada, an anti-Zionist website. In one post, she sharply criticized
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for intimating that it
was time to relinquish a Palestinian "right of return" to Israel.

Pro-Israel insiders said it's still too early to tell how this bill
will fare in Congress.

The House version of the same bill, initiated by Reps. Ileana Ros-
Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), stops short of an
exemption, asking only for reports from the secretary of state on what
steps Israel has taken to comply with inclusion in the visa waiver
program.

The exemption language in the Senate version is borrowed from a
separate stand-alone House bill initiated by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-
Calif.), called the Visa Waiver for Israel Act.

It's not clear whether the Senate language or the House language will
prevail as the bills progress through committees and then into
conference. Spokespeople for Boxer and AIPAC declined to comment.

For years, top pro-Israel lawmakers in Congress have been stymied in
efforts to add Israel to the visa waiver program, and not just by the
reciprocity issue. Other reasons have been Israel's failure to stay
under the maximum 3 percent threshold of denied visas, and concerns in
Congress' Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees that granting
visa-free access to Israel's Arab minority could pose a security risk
to the United States.

Sherman and other advocates of granting Israel visa waiver status
dismiss those concerns.

"There are far more Arab Frenchmen than there are Arab Israelis and
there are far more Muslims in Brunei than there are in Israel,"
Sherman told JTA. Both countries are on the visa waiver list. "It is
not our intention in the visa waiver program to discriminate on the
basis of religion."

Sherman and other backers of the bill also noted that at least five
nations that exceeded the 3 percent visa refusal threshold were
allowed into the program in recent years, and those nations' refusal
rates were higher than Israel's 5.4 percent refusal rate.

Julie Fishman, an assistant legislative director at the American
Jewish Committee, which backs both versions of the bill, said that
Israel's relatively low visa refusal rate under current visa
procedures – which include heavy screening -- suggest that concerns
about Israel's Arab minority were overblown.

Sherman said that adding Israel to the visa waiver program would end
discrimination, not advance it. He described the opposition as part of
the attempt to delegitimize Israel.

"There are thousands of people with Arab American backgrounds who
visit Israel each year and they face far less hassle than Israeli
Christians, Jews or Muslims trying to visit the United States," he
said.


On Jun 7, 12:11 pm, Travis <baconl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> [[  Motto for Saudi Airlines:  "We do not fly OUR planes into YOUR
> buildings."  ]]
> **
>    creeping posted: "via U.S. Gives Saudi Airlines 'Unrestricted' Access to
> American Skies | CNS News. The United States and Saudi Arabia have signed
> an Open Skies agreement that will "permit unrestricted air service by the
> airlines of both countries between and beyond the o"    Respond to this
> post by replying above this line
>       New post on *Creeping Sharia*
> <http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/author/creeping/>  U.S. Gives Saudi
> Airlines 'Unrestricted' Access to American
> Skies<http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/u-s-gives-saudi-airlin...>
> by
> creeping <http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/author/creeping/>
>
> via U.S. Gives Saudi Airlines 'Unrestricted' Access to American Skies | CNS
> News. The United States and Saudi Arabia have signed an Open Skies
> agreement that will "permit unrestricted air service by the airlines of
> both countries between and beyond the other's territory." The agreement
> means Saudi airlines may fly from any point in the […]
>
> Read more of this
> post<http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/u-s-gives-saudi-airlin...>
>   *creeping <http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/author/creeping/>* | June
> 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM | Tags: Barack
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Douglas Murray on why all criticism of religion stops at the door of Islam





BareNakedIslam posted: "Murray's new e-book "Islamophilia" is all about the Left's fear of criticizing Islam, which, if they are honest (a few are) will tell you it's because they are afraid of getting their throat cut. http://youtu.be/uM_0D3DUQpE"

New post on BARE NAKED ISLAM

Douglas Murray on why all criticism of religion stops at the door of Islam

by BareNakedIslam

Murray's new e-book "Islamophilia" is all about the Left's fear of criticizing Islam, which, if they are honest (a few are) will tell you it's because they are afraid of getting their throat cut.

Read more of this post

BareNakedIslam | June 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Categories: Religion of Hate | URL: http://wp.me/p276zM-Up5

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Secretive Bilderberg global elite meet in England





Dr. Eowyn posted: "Does this man look crazy to you? He is Gerard Batten, not a tinfoil-hat looney tune but a member of the European Parliament for London for the United Kingdom Independence Party. In a speech on September 12, 2011, at the European Parliament in Strasbour"
Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on Fellowship of the Minds

Secretive Bilderberg global elite meet in England

by Dr. Eowyn

Does this man look crazy to you?

Gerard BattenHe is Gerard Batten, not a tinfoil-hat looney tune but a member of the European Parliament for London for the United Kingdom Independence Party.

In a speech on September 12, 2011, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Batten asked the question that should be asked of every reporter in the U.S. and across the world: "Why are the media so completely and totally disinterested in the yearly meeting of a group of the world's most powerful and influential people?"

Batten said: "What other summit of world leaders in politics, finance and business would go completely unreported in the mainstream media such as the BBC? It's impossible not to reach the conclusion that the non-reporting of these events is anything other than a conspiracy between the [Bilderberg] organizers and the media. It merely confirms the belief of many that the hidden agenda and purpose of the Bilderberg Group is to bring about undemocratic world government."

Watch a video of Batten's speech by going to my post of Sept. 23, 2011, "There Really is a World Conspiracy by the Powerful."

From Wikipedia:

The Bilderberg Group (aka Bilderberg conference or Bilderberg Club) is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of approximately 120 to 140 guests from North America and Western Europe, most of whom are people of influence. About one-third are from government and politics, and two-thirds from finance, industry, labour, education and communications. Meetings are closed to the public and often feature future political leaders shortly before they become household names. [...] Meetings are organized by a steering committee with two members from each of approximately 18 nations.

Here are the chairmen of the Bilderberg Group's Steering Committee. Betcha you've never heard of these men. Why's that?:

Grove HotelYesterday, delegates in blacked-out cars arrived for the secretive 3-day Bilderberg 2013 summit at The Grove, a luxury country hotel near Watford, Hertfordshire, England. Protected by the biggest security operation Watford has ever seen, the delegates were heckled by protesters as their cars disappeared down the driveway. When asked about the difficulty in seeing Bilderberg VIP's through the parade of tinted windows, American Free Press journalist Mark Anderson wryly said, "The dark windows match the dark personalities inside".

Bilderberg Group delegates arriveBilderberg 2013bFor the first time, Bilderberg actually made public the official list of Bilderberg 2013 attendees (American attendees are in red). But, as Global Research notes, the real interest will be in the attendees who are NOT on the list. They include Hillary "what difference does it make" Clinton, Bill Clinton, and David Rockefeller. All three had been spotted entering the Grove Hotel yesterday, by the UK's Liberty Tactics team.

  1. Chairman: Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
  2. Paul M. Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
  3. Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
  4. Marcus Agius, Former Chairman, Barclays plc
  5. Helen Alexander, Chairman, UBM plc
  6. Roger C. Altman, Executive Chairman, Evercore Partners
  7. Matti Apunen, Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
  8. Susan Athey, Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  9. Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Columnist, Milliyet Newspaper
  10. Ali Babacan, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs
  11. Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  12. Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA
  13. Nicolas Barré, Managing Editor, Les Echos
  14. José Manuel Barroso, President, European Commission
  15. Nicolas Baverez, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  16. Olivier de Bavinchove, Commander, Eurocorps
  17. John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford
  18. Franco Bernabè, Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
  19. Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
  20. Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
  21. Anders Borg, Swedish Minister for Finance
  22. Jean François van Boxmeer, CEO, Heineken
  23. Svein Richard Brandtzæg, President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
  24. Oscar Bronner, Publisher, Der Standard Medienwelt
  25. Peter Carrington, Former Honorary Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
  26. Juan Luis Cebrián, Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA
  27. Edmund Clark, President and CEO, TD Bank Group
  28. Kenneth Clarke, UK Cabinet Minister
  29. Bjarne Corydon, Danish Minister of Finance
  30. Sherard Cowper-Coles, Business Development Director, International, BAE Systems plc
  31. Enrico Cucchiani, CEO, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA
  32. Etienne Davignon, Belgian Minister of State; Former Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
  33. Ian Davis, Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company
  34. Robbert H. Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study
  35. Haluk Dinçer, President, Retail and Insurance Group, Sabancı Holding A.S.
  36. Robert Dudley, Group Chief Executive, BP plc
  37. Nicholas N. Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
  38. Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs
  39. Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Investor AB
  40. Thomas Enders, CEO, EADS
  41. J. Michael Evans, Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.
  42. Ulrik Federspiel, Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S
  43. Martin S.Feldstein, Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER
  44. François Fillon, Former French Prime Minister
  45. Mark C. Fishman, President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, [Novartis had used aborted fetal cells to produce vaccines, but claims that it is producing a new flu vaccine, Flucelvax, that does not rely on aborted fetal cell lines for its production.]
  46. Douglas J. Flint, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
  47. Paul Gallagher, Senior Counsel
  48. Timothy F Geithner, Former Secretary of the Treasury
  49. Michael Gfoeller, US Political Consultant
  50. Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
  51. Ulrich Grillo, CEO, Grillo-Werke AG
  52. Lilli Gruber, Journalist – Anchorwoman, La 7 TV
  53. Luis de Guindos, Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness
  54. Stuart Gulliver, Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings plc
  55. Felix Gutzwiller, Member of the Swiss Council of States
  56. Victor Halberstadt, Professor of Economics, Leiden University; Former Honorary Secretary General of Bilderberg Meetings
  57. Olli Heinonen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  58. Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
  59. Paul Hermelin, Chairman and CEO, Capgemini Group
  60. Pablo Isla, Chairman and CEO, Inditex Group
  61. Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, Lazard
  62. James A. Johnson, Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
  63. Thomas J. Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank
  64. Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
  65. Robert D. Kaplan, Chief Geopolitical Analyst, Stratfor
  66. Alex Karp, Founder and CEO, Palantir Technologies ["Palantir" refers to the crystal ball-like seeing stones in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which the demonic dark lord Sauron uses to communicate with and mesmerize those who gaze into the ball. Good grief. Why would any company name itself after that?]
  67. John Kerr, Independent Member, UK House of Lords
  68. Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
  69. Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
  70. Klaas H.W. Knot, President, De Nederlandsche Bank
  71. Mustafa V Koç,. Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
  72. Roland Koch, CEO, Bilfinger SE
  73. Henry R. Kravis, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
  74. Marie-Josée Kravis, Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute
  75. André Kudelski, Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
  76. Ulysses Kyriacopoulos, Chairman, S&B Industrial Minerals S.A.
  77. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
  78. J. Kurt Lauk, Chairman of the Economic Council to the CDU, Berlin
  79. Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School
  80. Thomas Leysen, Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
  81. Christian Lindner, Party Leader, Free Democratic Party (FDP NRW)
  82. Stefan Löfven, Party Leader, Social Democratic Party (SAP)
  83. Peter Löscher, President and CEO, Siemens AG
  84. Peter Mandelson, Chairman, Global Counsel; Chairman, Lazard International
  85. Jessica T. Mathews, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  86. Frank McKenna, Chair, Brookfield Asset Management
  87. John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
  88. Thierry de Montbrial, President, French Institute for International Relations
  89. Mario Monti, Former Italian Prime Minister
  90. Craig J. Mundie, Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
  91. Alberto Nagel, CEO, Mediobanca
  92. H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands
  93. Andrew Y. Ng, Co-Founder, Coursera
  94. Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc
  95. David Omand, Visiting Professor, King's College London
  96. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer
  97. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  98. Soli Özel, Senior Lecturer, Kadir Has University; Columnist, Habertürk Newspaper
  99. Alexis Papahelas, Executive Editor, Kathimerini Newspaper
  100. Şafak Pavey, Turkish MP
  101. Valérie Pécresse, French MP
  102. Richard N. Perle, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  103. David H. Petraeus, General, U.S. Army (Retired). [Infowars says that former CIA Director David Petraeus is in attendance at the 2013 Bilderberg Group conference to help construct the "big data" spy grid.]
  104. Paulo Portas, Portugal Minister of State and Foreign Affairs
  105. J. Robert S Prichard, Chair, Torys LLP
  106. Viviane Reding, Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission
  107. Heather M. Reisman, CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
  108. Hélène Rey, Professor of Economics, London Business School
  109. Simon Robertson, Partner, Robertson Robey Associates LLP; Deputy Chairman, HSBC Holdings
  110. Gianfelice Rocca, Chairman,Techint Group
  111. Jacek Rostowski, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister
  112. Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
  113. Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister
  114. Andreas Schieder, Austrian State Secretary of Finance
  115. Eric E. Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
  116. Rudolf Scholten, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
  117. António José Seguro, Secretary General, Portuguese Socialist Party
  118. Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO, Michelin Group
  119. Kristin Skogen Lund, Director General, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise
  120. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
  121. Peter D. Sutherland, Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
  122. Martin Taylor, Former Chairman, Syngenta AG
  123. Tidjane Thiam, Group CEO, Prudential plc
  124. Peter A. Thiel, President, Thiel Capital
  125. Craig B. Thompson, President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  126. Jakob Haldor Topsøe, Partner, AMBROX Capital A/S
  127. Jutta Urpilainen, Finnish Minister of Finance
  128. Daniel L. Vasella, Honorary Chairman, Novartis AG
  129. Peter R. Voser, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
  130. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan Province, Canada
  131. Jacob Wallenberg, Chairman, Investor AB
  132. Kevin Warsh, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  133. Galen G.Weston, Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited
  134. Baroness Williams of Crosby, Member, UK House of Lords
  135. Martin H. Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times
  136. James D. Wolfensohn, Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company
  137. David Wright, Vice Chairman, Barclays plc
  138. Robert B. Zoellick, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Follow Liberty Tactics live reporting around the clock from this week's Bilderberg 2013 online at the Guerilla Media Network, and also follow Liberty Tactics on Twitter here.

See also "Bilderberg meets to decide US presidential election," May 31, 2012.

~Eowyn

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