Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Top U.S. intelligence officials said Saturday that information gleaned from two controversial data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries — and that gathered data is destroyed every five years.
Controversy has engulfed the National Security Agency after it was revealed the office - and others like it - were collecting citizens' phone and e-mail records. The public revelations have split Congress, with some lawmakers defending the program as an effective way to fight terrorism, and others viewing it as the first step to the totalitarian "Big Brother" depicted in George Orwell's classic, 1984.
The Obama administration on Thursday defended its secret seizure of the phone records of millions of U.S. citizens as part of counterterrorism efforts, while privacy advocates blasted the move as illegal and a debate erupted in Congress over the intended scope of a key surveillance law.
A senior White House official defended the National Security Agency's top secret collection of telephone records from one of the nation's largest telecommunications companies and insisted the government was not allowed to eavesdrop on calls.
A former Justice Department official said unnamed members of the White House administration have threatened whistleblowers who want to speak on the terror attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
President Obama on Tuesday said he was unaware of complaints from Benghazi whistleblowers inside his own administration who contend that they are being intimidated over their cooperation with investigators into the September 2012 attack, but pledged to look into the matter.
Late last week, a long-standing struggle between Congress and the Obama administration over access to the legal opinions that are being used to justify the targeted killing of suspected terrorists overseas finally came to a head. Faced with the prospect that John O. Brennan’s confirmation as the new director of the CIA might stall, and under growing bipartisan pressure both inside and outside government, the administration partly relented and provided some of the relevant documents -- the opinions justifying targeted killing specifically of American citizens -- to members of the Senate and House intelligence committees.
The drones are coming. Who could have imagined such a science-fiction tale, a president who could kill, via remote control, anyone he declares an enemy of the state -- and on American soil. Until now, the White House refused to close the door on such a scenario, despite pretensions of taking civil liberties seriously.
A congressional aide says the White House has agreed to give the Senate Intelligence Committee documents related to the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Republicans had demanded the documents as a condition of voting on the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director.
Amid growing furor, among both Republicans and Democrats, over revelations about the Obama administration's use of drones for targeted killings, a prominent Senate Democrat on Wednesday made a thinly veiled threat to filibuster John Brennan's CIA director nomination.
White House homeland security adviser John O. Brennan is expected to face tough, new questions about the U.S. use of drones to target Americans suspected of terrorism, when he appears Thursday before a Senate committee considering his nomination to serve as CIA director.
Lawmakers accused the CIA of misleading the makers of the Osama bin Laden raid film "Zero Dark Thirty" by allegedly telling them that harsh interrogation methods helped track down the terrorist mastermind.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate gave final congressional approval Friday to a bill renewing the government's authority to monitor overseas phone calls and emails of suspected foreign spies and terrorists — but not Americans —without obtaining a court order for each intercept.
The movie "Zero Dark Thirty" is misleading and "grossly inaccurate" in its suggestion that torture produced the tip that led the U.S. military to find terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, three senators said Wednesday in a letter to the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Lawmakers said Sunday they want to know who had a hand in creating the Obama administration's now-discredited "talking points" about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and why a final draft omitted the CIA's early conclusion that terrorists were involved.