Constitution

NSA’s Preference for Metadata

A slide from material leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden to the Washington Post, showing what happens when an NSA analyst "tasks" the PRISM system for information about a new surveillance target.

Exclusive: The hidden ball in the debate over the NSA’s collection of phone and e-mail metadata (vs. tapping into actual conversations with a court order) is that the NSA actually prefers the metadata approach because it strips away privacy more efficiently, says ex-NSA analyst Kirk Wiebe.

The War on Poverty at 50

President Lyndon Johnson

The Right has long cited President Johnson’s War on Poverty as proof that “guv-mint” has no place in providing for “the general Welfare,” that the “free market” must rule as the master of American society. But there are real lessons to be learned from the past half century, writes Alice O’Connor.

NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong

nationalsecurityagency

In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection and analysis before 9/11, covered up the mistakes, and violated the constitutional rights of the American people, all while wasting billions of dollars and misleading the public.

Gen. Michael ‘No Probable Cause’ Hayden

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the NSA.

Exclusive: Ex-NSA chief Michael Hayden, who once declared that “probable cause” is not part of the Fourth Amendment, is sure to hurl more stones at NSA leaker Edward Snowden, especially after a New York judge endorsed the NSA’s “metadata” as legal, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Year of the ‘Leaker’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

Exclusive: Critics of “leakers” Manning and Snowden claim that unauthorized disclosures risk lives, but a stronger case can be made that many more lives have been lost due to government deceptions on issues of war or peace, lies that secrecy made possible, writes Robert Parry.

A History of False Fear

Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, who led the "Red Scare" hearings of the 1950s.

It’s always hard to get someone to speak honestly when his or her livelihood depends on not telling the truth. With the military-industrial-surveillance complex, that reality is multiplied by the billions of dollars and the many careers at stake, Joe Lauria writes.

Snowden’s Leaks Doom NSA’s Snooping

President Barack Obama talks about the National Security Agency's surveillance policies at a press conference on Dec. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

After long claiming to welcome a robust debate on NSA surveillance, President Obama found the debate more robust – and more substantive – than he expected, especially after the leaks by Edward Snowden, as Danny Schechter explains.

Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon

Exclusive: Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program – and that’s all to the good – but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports.

Playing Deadly Games with ‘Gun Rights’

Noah Pozner, 6, one of 20 children murdered on Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Pro-gun extremists routinely edit out of the Second Amendment its stated purpose of having “a well-regulated militia” maintain state “security.” The tampering lets them pretend the Founders would be okay with slaughters like the Newtown massacre, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship reflect.

The 2nd Amendment and Killing Kids

President James Madison, a principal author of the Bill of Rights..

From the Archive: The comedy team Key and Peele cut through the Right’s Second Amendment madness best in a bit in which Peele travels back in time with Uzis to confront its authors over their careless wording. But there is nothing funny about piles of dead kids, victims of bad history, as Robert Parry wrote…