On October 15 in partnership with USA Today The Ohio State University (OSU) sponsored the third in a series of panels by the Bipartisan Policy Center's Commission on Political Reform. The Center intends to hold a series of town hall style meetings to build the appearance of national consensus around policy recommendations they intend to offer Congress and the President in 2014. The event took place on the same day that the Center and USA Today released a joint poll claiming that most Americans support the Center's conclusions.

When the nationwide Occupy crackdown began in late 2011, this author found himself in California. Increasingly I was drawn to Occupy Oakland, where I had lived previously, and where a police raid on  the occupy encampment had nearly killed a protester, Marine Corps Iraq veteran Scott Olson, by shooting him in the face with a tear gas grenade at short range.

Citing the decision by the secure email provider Lavabit to close rather than install NSA spying hardware and/or software directly on its servers, an important and long lived legal news blog groklaw.net shuttered this week. The founder of the blog, Pamela Jones or PJ, had collaboratively covered major intellectual property lawsuits, anti-trust suits and issues around open source software for 10 years with both programmers and lawyers, bridging the gap between the two professions in a masterpiece project of investigative citizen journalism.

The Inuit people are alleged to have dozens of words for snow. While the abuse of the English language continues unchecked in government, journalists covering national security issues need dozens of words to describe the different forms of absurd. Claiming the tail is wagging the dog when you might be viewing a pack of gray wolves against an overcast sky is a fitting metaphor.

David Miranda was traveling from Berlin to Brazil on business. He is Glen Greenwald's partner and also an employee of the Guardian. He was carrying a laptop, USB drives, a camera and gaming consoles. He was traveling between meetings with Greenwald and his co-lead journalist on the Snowden project, Laura Poitras. At his stopover in London, he was detained, allegedly at the behest of United States, based on the special relationship between the two nations and their secret police forces.

In an August 15 Rolling Stone interview, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) made what appeared to be an inadvertent disclosure of some of the contents a classified intelligence committee document. Buried at the back of the article was a question about the role of contractors. The question was open ended and seemed refer to wiretapping of the American public. But Wyden decided to talk about torture. “One that is going to be part of an upcoming debate, I hope, which is something Senator Udall and I and others are pushing, is to declassify that report on torture.

Mainstream writers are obviously feeling their loss of prestige, power and authority. Two weekend incidents illustrate the condescension and outright bloodthirstiness that lurks in the deaths of some of their minds. A senior national reporter for Time Magazine exhorted the government to extrajudicially murder Julian Assange via drone strike while a reporter at the UK Observer Magazine, conflated “journalist” with “hacker” and “charged” with “convicted.” The Observer is a weekly news magazine owned by the Guardian.

In what might be it's last gasp of investigative national security reporting before the finalizing of Jeff Bezos' CIA sponsored buyout, the Washington Post released an NSA internal audit from 2012 detailing thousands of violations of the FISA and other laws and regulations governing surveillance of Americans. Despite revealing literally thousands of instances of unauthorized collection that violated the law, the report whitewashed at least one seemingly deliberate violation.

While fruitlessly scouring the banks of the Potomac river for the mythical beast known as Robust Congressional Oversight, our eyes were drawn by the light of an eleven star constellation often hidden in the night and fog of post-constitutional America. Behind the clouds of official secrecy the judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) cast their invisible light onto the lives of the entire global family, illuminating our every word for the watchful generals and vengeful angels of the national security state.

Darrell Issa he could turn the tempest of the IRS's extra scrutiny of Tea-Party group's non-profit application into a Teapot Dome. On August 5, Issa, who is chair of the House Oversight Committee, widened his stalled investigation of the IRS to include contracts between revenue agency and the Federal Elections Commission. On August 7, Reuters broke the story that the NSA had been sharing personnel and resources with the DEA and IRS. Issa's aggressive grandstanding and hearings has yet to lead to the issuance of subpoenas into NSA-IRS wiretapping and data mining.


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