US: Senate Republicans block landmark NSA surveillance reform bill

Published on The Guardian, by Spencer Ackerman in NY, Nov 19, 2014.

  • Senators, mostly Republicans warning of leaving the country exposed to terrorist threat, voted to beat back the USA Freedom Act
  • Failure to pass US surveillance reform bill could still curtail NSA powers
  • Nearly 18 months after Edward Snowden’s disclosures, the USA Freedom Act has died

… It was the denouement to over a year’s worth of political drama, characterized by shifting alliances and a reduction in ambitions for constraining the NSA, even in a post-Snowden Congress.  

Although the domestic phone data dragnet has not thwarted any terrorist attacks, in the lead up to the vote critics savaged the bill as a gift to terrorists.

“God forbid we wake up tomorrow and Isil is in the United States,” said Florida Republican Marco Rubio, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

Afterwards, a downcast and impassioned Senator Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who sponsored the bill in the Senate, denounced “scare tactics” he said killed the bill.

“Obviously I’m disappointed by tonight’s vote,” Leahy said after the vote, vowing “not to give up the fight.”

The White House signaled its “strong support” for the bill on Monday. But that support came only after administration officials substantially weakened privacy protections and transparency additions in its House counterpart, all after a key House committee approved it.

Both the administration and the intelligence agencies fear that the defeat of the USA Freedom Act will result in the House declining to reauthorize broader domestic surveillance powers for the NSA and the FBI next year. The NSA and its allies accordingly opted to back the bill, despite having publicly expressed their reservations … //

… (full text and related links).


Polizei bei Kölner Hooligan-Krawall: Überrumpelt, überfordert, unterlegen, auf Spiegel Online, von Rafael Buschmann und Jörg Diehl, 19. Nov 2014: Im Oktober randalierten Hooligans in Köln, die Polizei wirkte hilflos. In einer Einsatz-Analyse kommt das NRW-Innenministerium zu einem skurrilen Ergebnis: Man sei zwar überrannt worden – habe die Gefahr aber richtig eingeschätzt; Spezielle Seite HooligansHooligan auf de.wikipedia; Hoogliganism on en.wikipedia; Hooligans – der Film [in German / ganzer Film], 104.16 min, von AbiRemiX am 22.Okt 2011 hochgeladen;

ISIS! 9/11! – NSA reform bill killed in US Senate over terror fears, on Russia Today RT, Nov 19, 2014.

Families in shock as Islamic State lures sons into barbaric madness, on The Times of India, Nov 19, 2014: CARDIFF – “Do you know how much it hurts to raise someone and watch them grow and suddenly they’re just gone?” says Ahmed Muthana, 57, a retired electronics engineer in Wales whose two sons Nasser, 20, and Aseel, 17, have gone to fight for Islamic State …;

The ‘Caliphate’s’ Colonies: Islamic State’s Gradual Expansion into North Africa, on Spiegel Online International, by Mirco Keilberth, Juliane von Mittelstaedt and Christoph Reuter, Nov 18, 2014  (Photo Gallery): Chaos, disillusionment and oppression provide the perfect conditions for Islamic State. Currently, the Islamist extremists are expanding from Syria and Iraq into North Africa. Several local groups have pledged their allegiance …; Spezielle Seite Islamischer Staat IS; Caliphate on en.wikipedia;

KURDISH GIRLS FIGHTERS IN REAL BATTLE vs. ISIS in Kobani, 23.34 min, uploaded by History Tube, Oct 7, 2014: ISIS . ISIL . Kobane battle . Arin Mirkan . Kobani . ISIS in kobanî . IS . peshmerga . Zozan Cudi . Kurds . Kurdish . YPJ . PKK . YPG . House of the rising sun . Ukraine war . iraq war . syria war . Kurdish female figters . Feminism . ISIS kill . Steven Sotloff . Daesh . Pesmergenin . Kurdistan independence . ISIS Killing Christians . Kirkuk battle . killing ISIS . Ayn Al-Arab. Battle for Baghdad . Rojava;

Kurdish Female Fighter Takes Out Ten ISIS Wusses … Last Stand For Kobani, 1.18 min, uploaded by LordSpoda, Oct 6, 2014: I meant to say PKK, not PPK. And yes, 1 PKK female fighter is worth 10 ISIS. I apologize for completely screwing that up, but hopefully you get what I’m trying to say. Anyway, the Kurds and ISIS are battling for control of Kobani, Syria. ISIS needs it to complete their so called caliphate. A woman, Arin Mirkan, took out 10 of the fighters; Spezielle Seite KURDENKurds on en.wikipedia;

Gulf of Maine warming faster than 99% of world’s oceans -study, on CBCnews, by Patrick Whittle, Sept 13, 2014: Long-established species of commercial fish departing for colder waters;

New Hepatitis-C drug 99% cheaper in India, on The Times of India, by Rupali Mukherjee, Aug 6, 2014: MUMBAI: There is some hope for hepatitis C patients in India. Amid mounting criticism over the eye-popping price of Sovaldi, the first breakthrough treatment for hepatitis C virus, US pharma firm Gilead Sciences has offered to introduce the drug in India at nearly 99% discount of the US price …;

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