Archives for FUBAR

No punishment for CIA over torture

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA operatives were allowed to shackle, strip and waterboard terror suspects. Now, President Barack Obama has assured these operatives that they will not be prosecuted for their rough interrogation tactics.

At the same time, Obama's attorney general offered the operatives legal help if anyone else takes them to court over the harsh interrogation methods that were approved by the Bush administration.


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When spies don’t pay attention

There are several disturbing aspects to the revelations that the National Security Agency went well beyond the generous legal limits set by Congress to intercept Americans' private phone calls and e-mail messages.

The New York Times, which broke the story, said its sources described the practice as "significant and systemic" and possibly inadvertent. And it's unclear whether the agency actually listened to or read the calls and messages it swept up.


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Time for a new tax revolt?

Tens of thousands of Americans had a great big tea party on Wednesday. Only instead of sipping cups of Earl Grey and Oolong, these Americans were sending tea bags to their elected representatives and chanting to protest what they see as an out-of-touch government digging a multi-trillion dollar national debt hole that only higher taxes on future generations will be able to fill.


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NSA broke law, spied on Congressman

Once again, the uber-secret National Security Agency has been caught spying on Americans on a level that exceeds limits placed on the agency by Congres, raising new concerns about just how much information the government is collecting on its citizens.

At least one member of Congress was a target of NSA efforts to monitor email and phones.

Government officials admit to The New York Times that NSA intercepted email messages and phone calls on "a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress."

Just how far is not yet known but officials admit the excessive spying is "significant and systemic."

It's not the first time the agency has been caught exceeding its authority and officials admit that it probably won't be the last.


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Is Obama screwing the pooch in Pakistan?

President Barack Obama has made rooting out extremism from Pakistan a key priority, but experts from both countries warn that his team is off to a shaky start.

Japan on Friday holds a major donors meeting for Pakistan, but Islamabad has already bristled at proposed conditions in the US aid package.


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Consumer prices drop in March

Consumer prices dipped unexpectedly in March, leaving inflation over the past year falling at the fastest clip in more than a half-century.

The Labor Department says consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent last month as a drop in energy prices offset the biggest rise in tobacco prices since 1998. It was a better performance than the 0.1 percent rise that economists had expected.

The recession is expected to keep a lid on inflation as massive layoffs dampen wage pressures and weak demand keeps companies from raising product prices.


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Right-wing extremist groups on the rise

Right-wing extremists in the United States are gaining new recruits by exploiting fears about the economy and the election of the first black U.S. president, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a report to law enforcement officials.

The April 7 report, which Reuters and other news media obtained on Tuesday, said such fears were driving a resurgence in "recruitment and radicalization activity" by white supremacist groups, antigovernment extremists and militia movements. It did not identify any by name.


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Yet another czar is born

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is naming a "border czar" to oversee issues related to drug-cartel violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and the hundreds of thousands of people who try to enter the U.S. illegally through the Southwest.

An Obama administration official says Napolitano on Wednesday will name Alan Bersin, a former federal prosecutor, to fill the new post at the Homeland Security Department. The official would speak only on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement expected in El Paso, Texas.


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