This weekend’s news featured federal spying, media management, and preparations for a potential new U.S. war in Syria.
Advocates of such arbitrary federal authority claim it must be used for what President Bush used to call a global war against terror, which now falls under war for democracy and human rights. A White House official, granted anonymity by a lapdog media, argued for war preparations against Syria based on supposed secret evidence.
But these rationales do not justify an end-run around Constitutional requirements that endured even during World Wars and the Cold War.
Presidents Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy — all World War combat veterans who devised the creation of the NSA and CIA — long ago opposed the agencies’ growth at the start of what they feared might become today’s “Intelligence Industrial Complex.” Now, it appears to be more powerful than the Constitution, Congress or the courts.
Much of the news and commentary below on these issues is from foreign and alternative media not widely read in the United States.
- Der Spiegel reported based on documents from former NSA analyst Edward Snowden that the NSA has been bugging the United Nations headquarters in New York City, along with diplomatic outposts of 80 nations.
- AP reports Edward Snowden Covered Electronic Tracks, Government Officials Suspect
- President Obama is preparing to name four former senior American officials to probe the NSA, as reported by the Washington Post, Former U.S. officials to be named to surveillance panel. Especially interesting is former Obama White House regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, husband of UN Ambassador Samantha Power and also author of a notorious paper arguing in 2008 that the government secretly hire academics and journalists to infiltrate groups that believe in conspiracies
- White House rebuffs Syrian offer of inspections and its claims that U.S.-backed rebels used deadly chemicals; military preparations underway without UN approval
- Finally, WikLeaks Founder Julian Assange, shown at right in a photo via Creative Commons, shared his personal experiences with Google CEO Eric Schmitt, including his opinion that Schmitt and Google work closely with government leaders.
Details are below. The Assange column is excerpted at great length than the others: