Homeland Security

James Clapper: Four strikes and you’re out?

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is in the extra-hot seat at the moment, what with the shocking news of the government dragnetting our phone calls and emails and Skype sessions, etc.

Calls for the President to deep-six the 72-year-old retired military officer are mounting. Clapper has not done well in trying to explain his apparent lie under oath at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last March. The exchange with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) went like this:

Wyden: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

Clapper: “No sir ... not wittingly.”

His subsequent justification of the answer, in an interview last Sunday with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, only made things worse:


Ron Paul, Russ Feingold were right about secrecy and the surveillance state

It is ironic that when American civil liberties are under attack, the mechanism employed would be called a "patriot" act. It is equally ironic that when the final legacy of President Obama is written, it will include his championing of a surveillance state of a kind that that his predecessor, President George W. Bush, established over the objection at that time of Barack Obama.


A proposed agenda for Sarah Palin’s upcoming speech: Has America become a totalitarian state?

Recently, Wall Street Journaleditorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz referred to the government of New York City as “totalitarian.” Obama apologist Paul Krugman said on ABC of the federal government this week: "We Are kind of an 'authoritarian surveillance state."

Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the British newspaper The Guardian, said on CNN: “There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal, and that is to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the United States but around the world.” And France 24 reports on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: The U.S. justice system was suffering from a “calamitous collapse in the rule of law.”


Matt Drudge, Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul versus Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Big Brother

Big Brother is watching your taxes, following your travel, monitoring your email, counting your phone calls, photographing your car, spying on your shopping, invading your privacy, attacking your rights, shadowing your life and deciding whether you are on approved or disapproved lists.

Big Brother is big government united with big business. Big Brother is Barack Obama united with George W. Bush. Opposition to Big Brother unites Matt Drudge with conservative libertarians such as former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and liberal libertarians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). 

Let's put Big Brother in Guantanamo, so long as there is a Guantanamo. When I worked for House Democratic leaders, I was in the loop on much of this secret stuff and know a lot but can say little about this subject.


Beyond Boston: Global security and intelligence

Who would of thought to see the Russian ambassador sitting between two of America’s intelligence anchors to discuss cooperation and collaboration?

On May 28, just after Memorial Day, the Institute for Education (IFE) hosted three esteemed members of Washington’s brain trust at the Federal City Council to discuss how the U.S. national security landscape has changed in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing in April. As part of IFE’s INFO Global Connections Series Roundtable, His Excellency Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the U.S.; Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and National Security Agency; and Ambassador John Negroponte, former director of National Intelligence, shared their thoughts, in particular, on the balance Americans have struck between security and freedom.


Not ready to fight

The language of the daily newspaper, at least the doorway to what is behind in mind and soul, and initial-response headlines this morning suggest we are not yet fully ready to defend ourselves.

A Drudge Report headline, for example, tells that Fox (correctly) pulls an episode of the (loathsome) "Family Guy" show with a joke about people being killed during a Boston Marathon.


Benghazi, Boston, Bill Ayers all terrorism

Glad I can clear that up for you Mr. President, David Axelrod and Chris Matthews.

President Obama's consistent reluctance to call violent acts of terrorism "terrorism" is becoming increasingly more disturbing, with him taking a full day to refer to the Boston bombing as an "act of terror."


Can the Republican Party recover from Iraq? Can America?

Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, the only prominent loyalists are the Weekly Standard’s William Kristol and his neocon posse. Interestingly, all the prominent papers and media like The Washington Post and "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer," which followed like a flock of pigeons, have 10 years later demurred. They should clear the decks now and retreat in infamy.

Peggy Noonan asks today in The Wall Street Journal if the Republican Party can recover from Iraq. Partially. We start again with the Pauls. The better question is can America recover. Yes, but a new America – Rand Paul’s, Judge Andrew Napolitano’s and even Sarah Palin’s has already emerged. And at CPAC 2013 this month it established dominance.


Juan Williams wrong to criticize Rand Paul's drone filibuster

While I often agree with Juan Williams and stand second to none in my opposition to abusive filibusters, I strongly disagree with his criticism of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in his column regarding Paul's talking filibuster last week.

I supported Paul's action and urged other progressives to support it so long as the purpose was not to deny John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director but to elevate important issues that should be unacceptable in our country: whether American citizens can be killed on American soil by the American government using drones, and the government justifying this practice with secret legal opinions.


Rand Paul is right about drones and liberals should join him

Even two broken clocks agree with each other at some point. I believe Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has performed a service with his talking filibuster against current U.S. drone policy, so long as John Brennan is promptly confirmed now that the point has been made. In my view, if the U.S. can target a known terrorist in a nation such as Yemen, kill him. However, when drones are used obsessively and more civilians are inadvertently killed, this is bad. When the claim is made that drones can be used on American soil against American citizens under secret legal authorization that neither Congress nor the American people know about, this is flat-out wrong.