- Eye on Media
Another year of fun filled snarky news commentary and analysis is almost over and this December marks the second consecutive month that MGx has reached over 20,000 global visitors. Most visitors are from the US and 1% are classified as "addicts" and 35% as "regulars" by Quantcast. Almost 450 regulars are Oregon residents from Portland to Salem to Ashland to Brookings.
The advertising you see on MGx barely covers the cost of maintaining the website and its associated services and pays nothing towards the time and effort involved to research and report on important local issues. If each regular reader just contributed $6 this Christmas season it would pay 50% of the emergency room medical bills for my fifteen year-old daughter this year.
This season please show your appreciation and help keep MGx a voice for fine local writers like, Roy Keene, Wim de Vriend, Ron Sadler and Robert Fischer and many others. Please donate to MGx today.
"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens." Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013
Published on Monday, August 5, 2013 by Common Dreams
Though NSA officials and their backers have repeatedly said that the spy programs are designed to "keep America safe" from international terrorism, the new revelations show that domestic law enforcement is likely being supplied with data from these same operations.
According to the report, a secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit—called Special Operations Division, or SOD—"is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans."
Documents obtained by Reuters reveal that DEA agents or other law enforcement agencies are supplied with information used from "classified" sources to initiate investigations but that internal protocols demand that investigators then "recreate" the source of where the information came from so to keep SOD's involvement off the books.
Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011, told Reuters she'd "never heard of anything like this."
Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.
"It is one thing to create special rules for national security," Gertner said. "Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations."
Though the secretive and classified nature of these programs makes it impossible to know the degree to which they betray constitutional and legal norms, the revelations only deepen the suspicions about how the spying capabilities are being used by government agencies.
Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist behind much of the recent reporting on the NSA spying programs, read the Reuter's article and tweeted in response:
This is big (though unsurprising) – from Reuters: US directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans http://t.co/4LTzQuO1sP
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 5, 2013
Defense attorneys who spoke to Reuters called the program "outrageous," "indefensible," and "blatantly unconstitutional."
"You can't game the system," said one former federal prosecutor. "You can't create this subterfuge. These are drug crimes, not national security cases. If you don't draw the line here, where do you draw it?"