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Results from a year-long investigation into the activities of the United States' expansive counter-terrorism apparatus found that, throughout the country, the government has turned the tax-payer-funded intelligence-gathering against its own citizens in an effort to suppress dissent.
New revelations about the manner in which President Obama's Department of Justice has pursued journalists thought to have garnered government secrets is being called not just a "war on whistleblowers," but an assault on "investigative journalism itself."
Last week, uproar followed the Associated Press announcement that the DOJ had sought two months of phone records in order to establish the identity of the government official who may have leaked sensitive information to the news agency.
by Kevin Gosztola
During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House spokesperson Jay Carney mechanically repeated a line when asked about the Justice Department’s seizure of the Associated Press’ phone records, suggesting President Barack Obama supports a “balance” between freedom of the press and national security.
“The president feels strongly that we need a—the press to be able to be unfettered in its pursuit of investigative journalism, and you saw, when he was a senator, the president co-sponsor legislation that would have provided further protections for journalists in this regard,” Carney said. “And he is also mindful of the need for secret and classified information to remain secret and classified in order to protect our national security interests. So there are — there is a careful balance here that must be attained.”
Since Citizens United, the super rich are using nonprofits to shield their political spending. They need more oversight
by Arn Pearson
The recent IRS admissions about the use of "tea party" or "patriot" labels to flag applications for nonprofit status for additional scrutiny raise serious questions about political bias, and should receive a thorough and independent investigation.
There is rightly a growing call for House and Senate hearings to answer those questions, but any investigations must delve deeper into the bigger problem facing our democracy after the Supreme Court's decision in Citizen United: the dramatic surge in the misuse of nonprofits to hide political spending by billionaires and corporations from American voters, and the lack of any meaningful enforcement response.
Although the IRS must enforce the law impartially, the agency should not abrogate its responsibility to enforce it in the first place. While Common Cause strongly supports an investigation, we are concerned that partisans on both sides will use this tempest to cow the IRS and forestall enforcement of the tax code.
by Will Bunch
Attytood spoiler: That day was May 7, 2012...but first a quick history lesson.
Sigh...I know, I know, I write too much about the late 1960s and early 1970s, but this time it's really important. Because today that is the rallying cry for any presidential scandal, that this one is "worse than Watergate." But the Watergate break-in happened 41 years ago, which means that more than half of all Americans weren't even born yet, so you can't blame a lot of voters if they don't know much about what Watergate and the related scandals of Richard Milhous Nixon were all about.
by Gail Collins
Let's talk about what makes a delinquent state legislature. I know it’s been on your mind.
The newest political trend in New York involves corrupt state legislators attempting to curry favor with federal prosecutors by wearing wires to work. Perhaps there have been worse fads. There was a time, not long ago, when Assembly members could punch in early in the day, leave to play golf and still be recorded as voting “yes” on every single bill that hit the floor.
Officials recently revealed that a 74-year-old senator named Shirley Huntley secretly recorded assorted pols who she invited over for a chat while claiming to be laid up with a broken ankle. She was sentenced to prison for embezzlement anyway, but not before putting an entirely new spin on the concept of visiting the sick.
There was also a state assemblyman who was wired up for virtually his entire two-term career, before resigning recently to pursue a new life as a defendant in a perjury case.
by Jamilah King
Assata Shakur has been given many names over the past four decades. Her political allies in the 1970s struggle for black liberation knew her as a comrade and freedom fighter. Ever since her escape from a New Jersey prison and exile in Cuba, she’s become an icon to many on the radical left. Some, mostly critics, still call her by her birth name, Joanna Chesimard. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a new name for her: terrorist.
by Glenn Greenwald
On April 17th, as audience members and consultant Dr. Al Kalmanoff talked about criminal justice in Champaign County and the needs assessment Kalmanoff's ILPP is carrying out, ...
Chris drew out this beautiful summary of the meeting on the fly, on page by easel page:
For a while it looked like Guatemala was about to deliver justice.
But the genocide case against General Efrain Rios Montt has just been suspended, hours before a criminal court was poised to deliver a verdict.
The last-second decision to kill the case was technically taken by an appeals court.
But behind the decision stands secret intervention by Guatemala's current president and death threats delivered to judges and prosecutors by associates of Guatemala's army.