Thomas R. Eddlem
Former Vice President Dick Cheney and CIA Director Michael Hayden have been out front in the media defending the torture methods used by the CIA in the past decade in the wake of the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report, and the language of the federal statute on felony torture may help explain why. It's quite possible that Cheney, Hayden, and other Bush-era officials who ordered the torture techniques will face criminal convictions on felony torture charges if they do not generate enough political pressure to prevent a wave of indictments. by Thomas R. Eddlem
President Obama announced a massive new federal spending program by executive decree on December 1. The program would create an expensive new federal aid program for local police agencies to buy mounted cameras.
On Nov. 22 Saturday Night Live broadcast a satiric Obama-era update to the School House Rock video “I'm Just a Bill,” lampooning the president's executive order pretending to change the status of five million immigrants with a stroke of the pen.
The New York Times has reported that the Obama administration has secretly extended U.S. armed forces participation in ground combat operations in Afghanistan through 2015, although the president had publicly promised back in May that the U.S. ground forces' combat role would be completed at the end of the current calendar year.
The latest and third big-screen installment of the Hunger Games films, The Mockingjay Part One, is a well-produced and entertaining blockbuster guaranteed to make a bundle of cash at the box office, even if the ending leaves the viewer hanging in the same manner as Star Wars' The Empire Strikes Back.
Even if a controversial provision of the USA Patriot Act used to justify the legality of warrantless searches expires on June 1 without congressional action, NSA and White House officials have already determined the warrantless surveillance program will continue on unchanged without Congress, the New York Times reported November 20.
The U.S. Marshal's Service of the Justice Department has engaged in widespread airborne surveillance of Americans' telephone calls and data, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
President Obama's November 10 announcement that he would seek the “strongest possible rules” through the Federal Communications Commission to enforce "net neutrality" will serve as a key threat to both the freedoms of speech and press, and will throttle the progress of the Internet.
Voters gave Republicans control over the U.S. House and Senate, as well as more governorships and state legislatures in Tuesday's election, smashing the notion touted by MSNBC analysts after the 2012 election that the nation was turning irreversibly blue. Republicans picked up at least seven U.S. Senate seats and an additional dozen seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The National Journal reported that the NSA has given broad access to British intelligence to Americans' telephone calls and Internet traffic, possibly as a means of circumventing the Fourth Amendment and other legal prohibitions against domestic warrantless surveillance. British intelligence confirmed October 28 that it does receive raw intelligence data on Americans and that it does not need warrants to search intelligence from foreign countries.