Puppet MastersS

Brick Wall

Judicial Watch sues IRS for stonewalling on tea party FOIA

© Andrew Harnik/The Washington TimesThe Internal Revenue Service Building
The government watchdog Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service, insisting the agency release previously demanded documents made under a Freedom of Information Act request that would clarify how conservative groups were screened for nonprofit status.

Judicial Watch filed the suit on Oct. 9 but announced it Tuesday. President Tom Fitton said in a written statement that the suit was "designed to cut through the Obama administration cover-up of its IRS scandal."

Specifically, the watchdog said it wanted the IRS to release copies of "all communications relating to the review process for organizations seeking 501(c)(4) nonprofit status since January 1, 2012." The group also asked the court "to order the IRS to provide records of communications by former IRS official Lois Lerner concerning the controversial review and approval process."

Top Secret

Flashback Report: Obama appointees using secret email accounts

© AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteHealth and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Barack Obama's budget proposal for fiscal year 2014, and the HHS
Some of President Barack Obama's political appointees are using secret government email accounts to conduct official business, The Associated Press found, a practice that complicates agencies' legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails under public records requests and congressional inquiries.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday acknowledged the practice and said it made eminent sense for Cabinet secretaries and other high-profile officials to have what he called alternative email accounts that wouldn't fill with unwanted messages. Carney said all their email accounts, public and otherwise, were subject to congressional oversight and requests by citizens under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

"There's nothing secret," Carney said.

The AP reviewed hundreds of pages of government emails released under the federal open records law and couldn't independently find instances when material from any of the secret accounts it identified was turned over. Congressional oversight committees told the AP they were unfamiliar with the few nonpublic government addresses that AP identified so far, including one for Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Health and Human Services Department.

Red Flag

Sebelius failed at government website projects prior to serving in Obama administration

Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' failure at designing websites to provide government services began during her term as governor of Kansas, long before the Obamacare website debacle, Kansas political insiders told The Daily Caller.

Sebelius oversaw numerous costly and disastrous government website projects during her six-year governorship (2003-2009), including a failed update of the Department of Labor's program to provide unemployment pay and other services and similar updates pertaining to the Department of Administration and the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) services.

The Department of Labor's overhaul of its computer programs was a notable boondoggle, according to 14-year former Kansas state senator and former state Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee.

"In the Kansas Senate, I chaired the Commerce committee. We had oversight over the Department of Labor. For years, we watched as the Department of Labor under Sebelius worked on that computer program. After seven years and $50 million, something should work," Brownlee told TheDC.

Eye 1

Legislation curtailing NSA domestic spying to be introduced

© Reuters
Breitbart News has learned that Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) will introduce major legislation to rein in NSA surveillance activities of American citizens on Tuesday.

The United and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act, or USA FREEDOM Act, is somewhat of a step beyond the controversial "Amash Amendment" that narrowly failed to pass the House in July that would have stripped funding for NSA programs collecting the telephone records of those in the United States.

Sensenbrenner is the former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and current Chairman of the subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security. He was also the original sponsor of the PATRIOT Act. The Wisconsin lawmaker has previously stated that the PATRIOT Act was "deliberately drafted to prevent [the] data mining" yet the NSA interpreted his legislation to justify their dragnet style surveillance of American citizens. His support, as the drafter of the PATRIOT Act, could be influential with a few of his national security oriented Republican colleagues.


Report: U.S. to consider no-spy deal with allies upset over surveillance

The US government was monitoring the communications of 35 world leaders in 2006.
The White House might be open to no-spy agreements with the governments of close allies outraged over surveillance of their leaders' phone and digital communications, NBC News reported Friday.

The Obama Administration spent much of the week looking to quell concerns voiced by European leaders over alleged widespread spying by the National Security Agency that has sparked outrage across the globe.

On Thursday, The Guardian reported that the U.S. government was monitoring the communications of 35 world leaders in 2006.

That report came on the heels of a story in Le Monde indicating the NSA has secretly monitored millions of French emails earlier this year. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had reason to believe that American intelligence was surveilling her personal cell phone, accusing the U.S. of shattering trust between the nations. And Der Spiegel reported that the U.S. had hacked former Mexican president Felipe Calderon's email account.


United States government has listened in on ALL of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's private telephone lines since 2002

© Reuters/Francois LenoirGermany's Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels October 25, 2013.
The United States may have bugged Angela Merkel's phone for more than 10 years, according to a news report on Saturday that also said President Barack Obama told the German leader he would have stopped it happening had he known about it.

Germany's outrage over reports of bugging of Merkel's phone by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) prompted it to summon the U.S. ambassador this week for the first time in living memory, an unprecedented post-war diplomatic rift.

Der Spiegel said Merkel's mobile telephone had been listed by the NSA's Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002 - marked as "GE Chancellor Merkel" - and was still on the list weeks before Obama visited Berlin in June.

In an SCS document cited by the magazine, the agency said it had a "not legally registered spying branch" in the U.S. embassy in Berlin, the exposure of which would lead to "grave damage for the relations of the United States to another government".


Meet Yoda, the 92-year-old man who works in the Pentagon basement dreaming about future wars

Mysterious, he is: Andrew W. Marshall, 92, is known as Yoda to Pentagon top brass because of his bald head and uncanny ability to predict what the state of warfare will be 20 to 30 years in the future

Somewhere inside the Pentagon sits a notoriously tight-lipped man whose words Defense Department top brass take as gospel and whose mysterious office exists to predict the future. Andrew W. Marshall, 92, is nicknamed Yoda both for his bald head and uncanny ability to foresee advancements in military technology and warfare strategy decades in advance and has done so for the Office of Net Assessment since Richard Nixon gave his the agency's top job back in 1973.

And though Marshall has accurately predicted the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of China, and the advent of drone warfare, and is credited with helping end the Cold War, the 'Pentagon's futurist-in-chief' could see his entire office axed if some bureaucrats get their way.

For the last twenty years, Yoda has been using the force to contemplate scenarios of an American war with China, a nation whose military spending could outpace our own within 20 years. As for predictions, he's said that performance enhancing drugs will one day very soon be just as important as technological developments.

'People who are connected with neural pharmacology tell me that new classes of drugs will be available relatively shortly, certainly within the decade,' Marshall told Wired in an extremely rare interview from 2003. Marshall has given very few interviews over the years and very rarely allows himself to be quoted in the press.

'One of the people I talk to jokes that a future intelligence problem is going to be knowing what drugs the other guys are on,' he said.


21 nations line up behind U.N. effort to restrain NSA

An effort in the United Nations by Brazil and Germany to hold back government surveillance is quickly picking up steam, as the uproar over American eavesdropping grows.

The German and Brazilian delegations to the U.N. have opened talks with diplomats from 19 more countries to draft a General Resolution promoting the right of privacy on the Internet. Close American allies like France and Mexico -- as well as rivals like Cuba and Venezuela -- are all part of the effort.

The push marks the first major international effort to curb the National Security Agency's vast surveillance network. Its momentum is building. And it comes as concerns are growing within the U.S. intelligence community that the NSA may be, in effect, freelancing foreign policy by eavesdropping on leaders like Germany's Angela Merkel.

The draft, a copy of which was obtained by The Cable, calls on states "to respect and ensure the respect for the rights" to privacy, as enshrined in the 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also calls on states "to take measures to put an end to violations of these rights" and to "review their procedures, practices and legislation regarding the extraterritorial surveillance of private communications and interception of personal data of citizens in foreign jurisdictions with a view towards upholding the right to privacy."


Jon Stewart smacks down CNBC and Fox anchors for defending JP Morgan

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart opened up this Wednesday's show by letting the so-called financial analysts over at CNBC and the Fox Business Channel have it for their concern trolling for poor old JP Morgan Chase.

After playing footage of CNBC's money honey, Maria Bartiromo, arguing with Salon's Alex Pareene about how terrible it was that someone was finally going to hold Dimon and his ilk accountable -- and Bartiromo and some of her colleagues claiming that he should have been cut some slack because the government supposedly forced them to buy Bear Stearns -- Stewart treated his audience to some footage of CNBC's Jim Cramer, who apparently had a very different view of that deal at the time.

Stewart wrapped things up after the Cramer footage with a sentiment that's probably shared by a lot of us: "F*ck all y'all."

Bad Guys

Company behind Obamacare website in charge of nearly $2 billion in Sandy relief

© REUTERS/Mike Segar
CGI Federal Inc., the mastermind behind healthcare.gov, is assisting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the distribution of $1.7 billion in relief for Hurricane Sandy.

In a memo obtained by FreedomWorks titled, "Minutes of the 295th meeting of the members of the Housing Trust Fund Corporation held on May 9, 2013, at 8:30 a.m.," CGI Federal is tasked with implementing the Disaster Housing Assistance Program. Additionally, they are asked to aid in the implementation of the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program, an assistance program that had recently obtained $1.7 billion.