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OND Editors  OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors  Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, rfall, and JML9999. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, Oke and jlms qkw. The guest editors are Doctor RJ and annetteboardman.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.

BBC:Argentine vice-president Boudou summoned in corruption case

Argentine vice-president Boudou summoned in corruption case

A judge in Argentina has summoned Vice-President Amado Boudou to appear in court in July to defend himself in a corruption case.

Mr Boudou is suspected of using his influence to ensure that a contract to print Argentina's banknotes was awarded to a company he allegedly controlled.

He was once seen as a possible successor of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Mr Boudou denies wrongdoing. The opposition has called on him to resign.

BBC:Brazil economy in slowdown ahead of World Cup

Brazil economy in slowdown ahead of World Cup

Brazil's economy grew 0.2% in the first three months of 2014, official statistics show.

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics also revised down economic growth in the last three months of 2013, to 0.4%.

The sluggish growth figures come just before the start of the World Cup and presidential elections in October.

President Dilma Rousseff, who is seeking re-election, has said the football event will spur growth.

BBC:Malawi election: Peter Mutharika wins presidential vote

Malawi election: Peter Mutharika wins presidential vote

Opposition candidate Peter Mutharika has been declared the winner of Malawi's disputed presidential election.

The leader of the Democratic Progressive Party obtained 36.4% of the vote, the electoral commission announced.

A protester died earlier after police dispersed an angry crowd demanding a recount of last week's ballot.

Outgoing president Joyce Banda has alleged the vote was rigged.

BBC:Syria conflict: US citizen carried out suicide attack

Syria conflict: US citizen carried out suicide attack

A US citizen carried out a suicide bombing against Syrian troops on Sunday, the US state department says.

The rebel al-Nusra Front said the man conducted the bombing on their behalf. It was one of four attacks carried out in the northern city of Idlib that day.

It is thought to be the first suicide attack by a US citizen in the conflict.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the battle between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule.

BBC:US House approves new medical marijuana legislation

US House approves new medical marijuana legislation

The US House of Representatives has passed legislation blocking the Department of Justice from interfering with state laws permitting medical marijuana use.

Republicans and Democrats banded together in the 219-189 vote in a surprising show of bipartisan support.

The provision does not address the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Nearly half the 50 US states have legalised medical marijuana, including for use by cancer patients.

BBC:Thailand elections not for a year, says coup leader

Thailand elections not for a year, says coup leader

The leader of Thailand's military coup has said elections will not be held for more than a year, to allow time for political reconciliation and reform.

In a televised address, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha called on all sides to co-operate and stop protesting.

He repeated warnings against any resistance to the military.

The Thai army seized power on 22 May, and detained senior politicians for several days saying stability had to be restored after months of unrest.

Reuters:U.S. bond market faces possible reckoning

U.S. bond market faces possible reckoning

(Reuters) - The rally in U.S. Treasury bonds surprised many, taking 10-year yields to their lowest levels in 11 months. Jobs data and the European Central Bank meeting next week will determine whether bond prices have further to go.

The bond market's rally is the result of a confluence of factors - falling yields in Europe, extra demand from pension funds, concerns among investors about long-term economic demand and technical factors, including short-covering from those who thought bond yields were headed higher.

Prices have jumped, pushing the yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries Thursday to 2.422 percent, the lowest since last June, despite the U.S. Federal Reserve's easing back on its bond-buying stimulus program.

Investors aren't convinced that the Fed is cutting stimulus because of an impending surge in growth. Instead, they're more worried about weak economic indicators and a lack of inflation, which could change in the case of a strong jobs report or data showing price gains.  

Reuters:U.S. investigating Icahn, Mickelson in insider trading probe: source

U.S. investigating Icahn, Mickelson in insider trading probe: source

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating possible insider trading involving billionaire investor Carl Icahn, golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William Walters, a source familiar with the matter said.

Federal investigators are looking into whether Mickelson and Walters may have traded illegally on private information provided by Icahn about his investments in public corporations, the source told Reuters, confirming a report by the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Icahn, Mickelson and Walters were not immediately available for comment.

The investigation centers on suspicious trades in Clorox Co (CLX.N) options days before Icahn announced a bid to acquire the company in 2011, according to the Journal, citing people briefed on the probe.

Reuters:Egypt's Sabahi contests presidential elections results

Egypt's Sabahi contests presidential elections results

(Reuters) - The defeated candidate in Egypt's presidential election, Hamdeen Sabahi, appealed on Friday against results that gave former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi victory, saying election rules had been broken.

Leftist politician Sabahi won 3 percent of votes in the election against more than 93 percent of votes cast for Sisi, judicial sources said. Official results have yet to be announced.

The election took place against the background of a crackdown against supporters of Mohamed Mursi, deposed as president by the army last July, which has seen his Muslim Brotherhood outlawed, hundreds killed and thousands arrested.

On Thursday, Sabahi conceded defeat but said the official turnout figures was too high and were "an insult to the intelligence of Egyptians".  

Reuters:Japan’s Abe lauds benefits of casinos during Singapore trip

Japan’s Abe lauds benefits of casinos during Singapore trip

(Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said casino resorts could become a pillar of his country's future economic growth as he toured Singapore's two lavish gaming venues on Friday.

Abe, who until now has remained silent on the issue of casinos, gave a strong endorsement to legislation that would legalize casino gambling in Japan.

"I think integrated resorts will be a key part of Japan's economic growth strategy," he was quoted by Japanese media as saying.

Reuters:In dig at China, Japan PM says supports SE Asia on freedom of sea, air

In dig at China, Japan PM says supports SE Asia on freedom of sea, air

(Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pushing for a greater role for Japan in regional security, said on Friday that Tokyo would offer its "utmost support" to Southeast Asian countries, several of which are locked in maritime disputes with its arch-rival China.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejecting rival claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei in one of Asia's most intractable disputes and a possible flashpoint.

Beijing also has a separate maritime dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea.

Abe, in his keynote address on Friday at the Shangri-La Dialogue for security officials and experts from the Asia-Pacific, also stressed the need for countries to respect international law - often code for criticising China's assertive military stance.

Reuters:NATO says bulk of Russian troops pulling back from Ukraine border

NATO says bulk of Russian troops pulling back from Ukraine border

(Reuters) - Russia is in the process of pulling back around two-thirds of the troops it had close to the border with Ukraine, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday, a far more significant withdrawal than NATO has previously estimated.

Rasmussen also announced that ambassadors from Russia and NATO countries would meet in Brussels on Monday for the first time since March 5, soon after Moscow provoked the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War by seizing Ukraine's Crimea region.

Taken together, the two announcements could point to a slight easing of tensions between the Western military alliance and Russia over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and what NATO sees as Russian interference in eastern Ukraine.

NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Russia in April to protest its annexation of Crimea, but left the door open to contacts at ambassadorial level or higher in order to allow the two sides to discuss ways out of the crisis.

Reuters:SpaceX unveils sleek spaceship to fly U.S. astronauts

SpaceX unveils sleek spaceship to fly U.S. astronauts

(Reuters) - Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, on Thursday unveiled an upgraded passenger version of the Dragon cargo ship NASA buys for resupply runs to the International Space Station.

Rather than parachuting down into the ocean, the new capsule is outfitted with beefed up motors and landing legs to make precision touchdowns on land, said SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk, a billionaire technology entrepreneur who also runs the Tesla Motors Inc electric car company.

"You'll be able to land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter ... That is how a 21st century spaceship should land," Musk said before a jam-packed audience at SpaceX's Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters.

More than 32,500 people also watched the Dragon unveiling on a live SpaceX webcast.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Testing The Fences For Weaknesses (15+ / 0-)

    From the New York Times: China Challenges U.S. Alliances

    All around Asia, China is pushing and probing at America’s alliances, trying to loosen the bonds that have kept the countries close to Washington and allowed the United States to be the pre-eminent power in the region since World War II.

    In just the past week, China traded punches with Vietnam and Japan. A Chinese fishing vessel rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat on Monday near a Chinese deepwater oil rig that was placed in disputed waters off the coast of Vietnam. That confrontation followed a close encounter last Saturday in which two pairs of Chinese fighter jets flew close to Japanese surveillance and electronic intelligence planes, in disputed airspace claimed by both countries.

    By itself, neither encounter rises to the level of the trans-Pacific standoff that occurred in the East China Sea last year after China asserted military authority over airspace that included uninhabited islands claimed by Japan. But taken together, those episodes form a pattern of escalating maritime and air tensions in the Pacific that have frustrated and worried American officials.

    In his strongest words yet on the territorial disputes, Mr. Hagel on Saturday morning implicitly accused China of “intimidation and coercion” as he delivered his keynote address to the conference. China has called the South China Sea “a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation,” Mr. Hagel said. “But in recent months, China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea.”

    Basically this is a game of chicken, with all of these moves being prodding, testing how far the countries involved and the United States are willing to go. For decades, ever since Nixon went to China, the question of whether the United States would actually come to Taiwan's defense if the PRC ever invaded was out there.

    Well, now there are new ones.

    If it came to it, would the United States really fight a war to defend Japan's right to some barren rocks in shark-infested waters? How about to defend Filipino fishermen in the South China Sea? By mutual-defense treaty, both the Philippines and Japan are our allies and we're obligated to come to their defense. But the Chinese are betting we won't do it if push comes to shove.

    Another interesting variable in this is Vietnam. Ever since the 90s, the United States' relationship with Vietnam has improved. And as China has tried to expand its influence in Asia, the Vietnamese have joined with the other countries opposing China's moves. According to recent reports, Vietnam and the Philippines have grown closer to a strategic partnership. And since the Philippines recently strengthened their alliance with the United States, it brings everybody together to form a ragtag group of misfits.

  •  How Often Do Men And Women Masturbate? (13+ / 0-)

    Mona Chalabi at FiveThirtyEight was sent a question from a man named "Brandon," in which he said he masturbated eight times a week, and asked whether that was normal?

    Using the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) from Indiana University, the “largest nationally representative study of sexual and sexual-health behaviors ever fielded,” collected between March and May 2009 from 5,865 Americans between 14 and 94 years old, Mona crunched the numbers.

    Buried in the 137-page report are the masturbation habits of 2,936 men; 396 of them, like you, were in their 30s. Bad news, though: The maximum frequency the researchers asked about for solo masturbation was “four or more times per week” — that doesn’t bode well for your normalcy. Worse still, only 13.5 percent of men your age masturbated that often. If you were a Brenda and not a Brandon, I would be even more surprised by your question: Only 1.5 percent of women ages 30 to 39 masturbated four or more times per week.
    I have a hard time believing that almost a 1/5 of men between 18-24 have not masturbated in the past year.

    I guess there are some in that group who aren't doing it for religious reasons, maybe some of them have steady sexual partners, but I have to believe part of that number is pure, unmitigated bullshit from people lying on the survey.

  •  more on US citizen in Syria (12+ / 0-)
    "I can confirm that this individual was a US citizen involved in a suicide bombing in Syria," state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

    The man was believed to be Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, she said.

    The tweets identified the bomber only by his Arabic nom de guerre, “Abu Hurayra al-Amriki,” (Abu Hurayra the American) and said he carried out one of four suicide bombings of Syrian government sites in Jabal al-Arbaa’in in Idlib Province — the scene of heavy fighting in recent weeks and months.
    “Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki performed a martrydom operation in Idlib, Jabal Al-Arba’een. May Allah accept him,” it said.
    The tweet included an image of a young, bearded and smiling Caucasian man holding a cat, as well as images of the bombing it said he had carried out. Another tweet, this one in Arabic, included a photo showing the same light-skinned man sitting on the ground wearing what appeared to be a suicide vest.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Fri May 30, 2014 at 09:05:38 PM PDT

  •  The Book Of Life (11+ / 0-)

    Here's the trailer for The Book of Life, which opens on October 17.

    From producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez comes an animated comedy with a unique visual style. THE BOOK OF LIFE is the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Rich with a fresh take on pop music favorites, THE BOOK OF LIFE encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future.
    •  It looks charming, but . . . (8+ / 0-)

      I truly dislike some of the voices being used - a number of the starring characters appear to sound like film action celebrities without having any adaptation of their tones to the actual characters in this film.

      This is a point that well-known voice actors such as Billy West have a justifiable beef against: hiring a name instead of a talent for animated character voices.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Fri May 30, 2014 at 09:41:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As A Generation 1 "Transformers" Fan (7+ / 0-)

        I remember being so excited when I heard about the 1986 Transformers movie, but they do the same stupid thing of replacing all of the really great voice actors with famous stars. And to give the movie credit, it does some things they would never do nowadays for a cartoon beloved by children, like viciously killing off a whole bunch of characters including Optimus Prime.

        But they only do it because the powers that be never viewed Transformers as anything other than a vehicle to sell toys, and they needed to kill off the old toys to introduce the new ones.  

        And the idiots at Hasbro thought they needed new famous actors to do the voices instead of the people that had already been doing it and were great at it. I think Billy West is absolutely right, because I have never heard of anyone who after hearing that a famous actor is doing the voice of one of the characters for an animated movie say they have to run out and see the movie to hear George Clooney's voice.

        Case in point with Transformers. I think Leonard Nimoy is a great actor and director. But when it comes to voicing acting, he's no Frank Welker.

  •  Removing Your Personal Search Results From Google (8+ / 0-)

    From the Washington Post: Here’s how the request form works

    Two weeks ago, Europe’s highest court ruled that E.U. citizens have “the right to be forgotten” — in other, less poetic words, the right to request that search engines like Google remove unflattering or defamatory search results at an individual’s request.

    The ruling was a bit of a shock, particularly for the search engine industry, now handed the unsavory (and unwieldy) logistical task of evaluating and processing an untold number of requests. On Friday, Google revealed how it plans to do that: through a (suspiciously well-hidden!) request form on its legal page, where petitioners can submit personal information, offending links, and justifications for the request.

    Interestingly, Google also requires that petitioners submit a photo of their driver’s licenses or national ID cards in order to verify identity; the company “often receives fraudulent removal requests from people impersonating others, trying to harm competitors, or improperly seeking to suppress legal information,” it explains.

    This only applies to residents of the European Union. In order for American citizens to get equivalent treatment, the petitioner will need a court order.
  •  Thanks JML9999 ... (16+ / 0-)

    Returned today from attending the first grandchild college graduation. How the years fly by.

    The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by maggiejean on Fri May 30, 2014 at 09:18:02 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, JML9999... (9+ / 0-)

    Have a good weekend everybody.

    All sane people detest noise. Mark Twain

    by Man Oh Man on Fri May 30, 2014 at 09:49:28 PM PDT

  •  Thanks JML9999. (7+ / 0-)

    I did a post on the SpaceX Dragon V2 which has some fairly cool pix in it.  

    I'm having a hard time understanding Doctor RJ's comment on masturbation frequency. I wish we had the data in-hand, so we could see the side-by-side orgasm by any means data so we could make more penetrating insights.

    Are the 68% of women who haven't masturbated in the last year just getting tired and giving up, or does this mean by that age they are hooking up so often they don't need solo flights anymore?
    Maybe I'm all wet but I't getting harder and harder to imagine the more I try to think about it.

    This is a problem as one gets older. When it gets this late sometimes one's mind finds it more challenging
    to rise to to occasion. Something I'm usually pretty good at. I try not to let it go to my head - some think it's already swelled up too big as is.

    But, it's moments like this that bring me down.

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

    by HoundDog on Fri May 30, 2014 at 10:14:51 PM PDT

  •  JML9999 (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you & good night.

    (To everyone)
    And if you have an overpopulation of squirrels, don`t just play with your nuts, & stop figuring out the monkey spanking chart up above.
    Get yourself a SquirrelInator.
    I got rid of 19 of them in a matter of 8/10 hours.
    No harm no foul.
    I relocate them on the grounds of a nearby corporation, but you can use your imagination as to where a good relocation spot might be.
    The local police station comes to mind.

    Squirrelinator DSCN2846

    I`m already against the next war.

    by Knucklehead on Fri May 30, 2014 at 10:39:47 PM PDT

  •  scratch the surface (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    side pocket, JML9999

    Russell Tice is here to tell his story and why he thinks that Snowden’s leaks are just barely scratching the surface.

    Abby: What did you see that made you come and blow the whistle initially?

    Tice: Well, the first thing I saw was … I’m a satellite systems specialist, so with the things I was doing with satellites, I found out sort of inadvertently, that American citizens were being spied upon by our base capabilities.

    So that was my first sort of heads up as to what was going on and I was just shocked because NSA was not supposed to do this, it was against regulation, it was against the law, it was against our Constitution. So it was sort of a come-to-Jesus moment for me.

    Abby: Wake-up call there. You’ve said there are abuses that go far beyond what people are even talking about right now. How far does it go, Russ?

    Tice: Well, it goes very far. Because initially what I saw was they were targeting news organizations, they were targeting U.S. companies that did international business, they were looking at financial institutions.

    But they were also going after the State Department and Secretary of State Colin Powell at the time. And they were going after high-ranking military generals and that was just what my space capabilities that I saw.

    Now later, when I got together with colleagues, and we started to put together the terrestrial side – that’s the side that’s being done with all those nodes, all over the country, the fiber optics and that sort of thing – then we found out that it got much worse. Because, and this was just the phone, that we were looking at. But it was also being done at the e-mail level, but that wasn’t the information I was getting.

    The information I was seeing were phone numbers that were being plugged into a system that was going after people’s phone numbers and associated numbers. And a lot of numbers I wasn’t even sure.

    But they went after law firms and lawyers, they went after more generals, General Petraeus was one of the guys. It seemed like right about that three-star level they were going after admirals and generals. They went after the supreme courts, of which I held Judge Alito’s paperwork in my hand. Numbers associated with Judge Alito that somebody had put into the system that NSA used to spy on Judge Alito.

    Governing is not easy, you have to deal with people you may not like. Some are smart some are dumb some are honest, some are not honest. Yet governing is what you have to do to make sure democracy works. ~ Leon Panetta, 5.14.2014

    by anyname on Sat May 31, 2014 at 02:17:00 AM PDT

    •  Cheney (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      side pocket, JML9999
      Abby: I guess the next question, who is administering the surveillance?

      Tice: That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer to that. It looked like, the plugging in of these phone numbers was being done in the evenings at NSA. So almost it was like being done on the sly even so that most NSA employees did not know what was going on. Now, a high-level person at NSA told me this was being directed from the vice president’s office. That would be Vice-President Dick Cheney. I don’t know that for sure but that’s what I was told from a very senior person at NSA.

      Abby: so a high-level person of the Bush administration official. The next question is: why? Why was it being done? I mean, the first that comes to my mind is blackmail.

      Tice: I don’t know the answer to that either.

      Abby: What do you think? I mean, based on your experience, Russ. What could the reason be, for wiretapping  and spying on people like Obama, Judge Alito, Petraeus, …

      Tice: I think you hit the word. To me, I don’t know for sure, but that would be a means of control. If you were to look and be able to listen to everybody’s conversation for years on end for a period of time you could probably find out perhaps some salacious information that could be used to control that individual. Now if you say the intelligence community… I noticed that the intelligence community is not being hit with the sequester, the intelligence budget. Well, how is that possible? Is there some kind of leverage that is being placed on our three branches of government, to make sure that the intelligence community gets what they want? In other words, is the intelligence community running this country, not our government?

      Abby: And I guess that begs the question, what, is there some shadow government at play? I mean are we talking about the industrial military complex here, what do you think? As an insider and draw your research and people you have talked to, who is running the show here, Russ?

      Tice: Well, remember, I don’t know for sure, I just know that a whole lot of people got wiretapped. If I had to guess, I would say it’s the upper echelon of the intelligence community that is running this show.

      Abby: It makes me wonder about people like Dick Cheney. Are they still working behind the scenes? We know that these people have been working in the administration behind the scenes for decades. I mean, Kissinger, all these people, they’re kind of, who knows, do you think they’re still vetting people like Obama, to get him in the position that he is in. But you know what? Political opponents have been spying on each other for decades so how is this different now?

      Tice: What’s different about this is at the Orwellian scale. This is the everything scale. This is not just Richard Nixon going after a few, you know, enemies’ list. This is everybody and everything. And now NSA is literally tapping every communication, every digital communication in this country, content, not just the metadata, the content. And when they’re saying, “well, it’s not that far,”once again, they’re lying. They continue to lie about the full capability.

      Governing is not easy, you have to deal with people you may not like. Some are smart some are dumb some are honest, some are not honest. Yet governing is what you have to do to make sure democracy works. ~ Leon Panetta, 5.14.2014

      by anyname on Sat May 31, 2014 at 02:22:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good question (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        side pocket, JML9999
        In other words, is the intelligence community running this country, not our government? ~ Russell Tice

        Governing is not easy, you have to deal with people you may not like. Some are smart some are dumb some are honest, some are not honest. Yet governing is what you have to do to make sure democracy works. ~ Leon Panetta, 5.14.2014

        by anyname on Sat May 31, 2014 at 02:22:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Program - Dick Cheney, David Addington (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


          The film depicts how “The Program” started in then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, in the form of a document authored by David Addington, Cheney’s lawyer, and kept in Addington’s safe.

          “To most people who know how things work inside the government, that the vice president’s lawyer, who has no statutory authority, [would author] what would become the deepest, darkest secret the American government has” is not only unusual, but unique in the history of U.S intelligence, said Kirk. Its heritage caused intense and acute legal debate from the beginning.

          Still, the NSA, asked after the 9/11 attacks to create a list of exactly what it would take to prevent anything like them from happening again, was receptive to the challenge. Michael Hayden, a retired four-star U.S. Air Force general and head of the agency from 1999 to 2005, took it on.

          Starting up “The Program” required compartmentalizing it from a substantial part of NSA staff, and, of course, Congress. All kinds of equipment began appearing in the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters, to the surprise of many who worked there.

          In fact, though, the agency already had a program called “Thinthread” that could be configured to do the job, but its creators included safeguards that would render the data more or less anonymous, protecting the privacy of the newly monitored.

          But when the NSA decided to remove those protections, the longtime agency code writers behind it — one of whom breaks into tears on camera at the thought that 9/11 might have been prevented had Thinthread been properly used — decided to quickly retire.

          Their supervisor, Thomas Drake, who had joined the agency on the day of the 9/11 attacks, first unearthed the internal “skunkworks” that created Thinthread. But NSA executives wound up rejecting it and rebuffing Drake when he questioned the legality of “The Program” to his superiors.

          They assured him “The Program” was legal, and told him, “Don’t ask any more questions, Mr. Drake.” He eventually lost his job and pension at the NSA after talking to a reporter about waste and fraud at the agency, and as of summer 2013 was selling equipment in an Apple store.

          Governing is not easy, you have to deal with people you may not like. Some are smart some are dumb some are honest, some are not honest. Yet governing is what you have to do to make sure democracy works. ~ Leon Panetta, 5.14.2014

          by anyname on Sat May 31, 2014 at 07:58:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Frontline (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:


            If you watched the Frontline documentary "The United States of Secrets" you would know that the programs Edward Snowden revealed were all started and approved by Dick Cheney and David Addington.

            Here's a little excerpt which takes up the story after a recap of what had happened in the 1970s when it was revealed that the NSA had been secretly spying on Americans:

            NARRATOR: Caught and restricted by Congress, the domestic spying apparatus went dark for more than 20 years. It was against the law to turn the NSA on Americans.


            Governing is not easy, you have to deal with people you may not like. Some are smart some are dumb some are honest, some are not honest. Yet governing is what you have to do to make sure democracy works. ~ Leon Panetta, 5.14.2014

            by anyname on Sat May 31, 2014 at 08:04:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  rewind: Reagan-Carter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    side pocket, JML9999

    Governing is not easy, you have to deal with people you may not like. Some are smart some are dumb some are honest, some are not honest. Yet governing is what you have to do to make sure democracy works. ~ Leon Panetta, 5.14.2014

    by anyname on Sat May 31, 2014 at 02:30:50 AM PDT

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