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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Ben Wizner
The national security state that has expanded in response to the Sept. 11 attacks will not shrink in the near future, even though al Qaeda's top leadership has been decimated and the U.S. government faces extreme budget pressures.
A sharply divided federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit challenging a controversial post-Sept. 11 CIA program that flew terrorism suspects to secret prisons.
As the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, much of President Obama's counterterrorism policies and his understanding of executive power closely hew to the last administration, which he criticized as a candidate for the White House.
A former CIA officer accused of revving an electric drill near the head of an imprisoned terror suspect has returned to U.S. intelligence as a contractor, training CIA operatives after leaving the agency, the Associated Press has learned.
After being detained for carrying $4,700 through airport security, an angry aide to Rep. Ron Paul caused the Transportation Security Administration quietly changing its rules.
"We had been hearing of so many reports of TSA screeners engaging in wide-ranging fishing expeditions for illegal activities," said Ben Wizner, a staff lawyer for the ACLU, pointing to reports of officers scanning pill-bottle labels to see whether the passenger was the person who obtained the prescription as one example.
He said screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws.