LeftNavBar_Background_Color_Bar Go to Home Page of Your Historical News Source Your Are Here: Home > Coverage on NSA | Unlawful Searchs | Dept. of Justice Issues See where Bill stands on the issues Take a look at Video Clips of Bill talking about the issues National Security Issues Coverage of Foreign Policy Issues Coverage of Foreign Policy Issues Coverage of Foreign Policy Issues Coverage of Foreign Policy Issues Coverage of Foreign Policy Issues Coverage of Foreign Policy Issues Coverage of Foreign Policy Issues Visit Bill's Facebook Page Tweet Bill from his Twitter Page You may use anything on this site provided attribution is included You may use anything on this site provided attribution is included Contact Sarge TableContents

Chronology of News Coverage on NSA, Unlawful Searches, and the Dept. of Justice

November 9, 2018: The Daily Signal:  Sessions did some great things as Attorney General
There is no question that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a rocky relationship with President Trump over his recusal from the investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.  But his firing shouldn't diminish Sessions’ very commendable leadership over the past two years that has helped restore the integrity of the Justice Department and get it back in the business of enforcing the law.

The Obama administration had a very adversarial relationship with state and local law enforcement agencies, unfairly criticizing and taking actions against local police departments. Sessions stopped this abuse and restored the cooperative and productive relationship local law enforcement.  He put the power of the Justice Department behind the president’s promise to crack down on illegal immigration and went after sanctuary cities. 

Federal law requires federal agencies that implement new regulations to go through an extensive public notice process. This is very important because it provides transparency in government decision-making and gives everyone who may be affected—from individuals to corporations—the ability to review and comment on proposed regulations.

In May 2017 Sarge started exploring a run for Texas Congressional District 14 against an incumbent who had served in public office for twelve years. Then in August 2017 he announced he was running (See his campaign Website). Starting in May 2017 this website was put in "mothballs" until after the campaign was over. In September 2018 after loosing his primary challenge, Sarge restarted this summary of current news stories.

Apr. 11, 2014: The Daily Caller:
Federal Judge: Holder Gave Unprecedented Instruction for which he had no authority:
A federal judge criticized Attorney General Eric Holder for directing prosecutors to pursue shorter prison sentences for drug crimes before new guidelines for sentencing had been approved.  The U.S. Sentencing Commission approved the reduced sentences for federal drug trafficking offenses on Thursday. Holder endorsed the move last month, and the Justice Department instructed prosecutors not to object if defendants sought the newly-proposed guidelines during sentencing. 

The Justice Department’s eagerness to apply more lenient sentencing before it had been approved through the appropriate channels frustrated commission member Judge William H. Pryor Jr., despite his support for the reform.  “I regret that, before we voted on the amendment, the Attorney General instructed Assistant United States Attorneys across the Nation not to object to defense requests to apply the proposed amendment in sentencing proceedings going forward,” he said Thursday.  “That unprecedented instruction disrespected our statutory role, ‘as an independent commission in the judicial branch,’ to establish sentencing policies and practices under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984… and the role of Congress, as the legislative branch, to decide whether to revise, modify, or disapprove our proposed amendment…We do not discharge our statutory duty until we vote on a proposed amendment, and Congress, by law, has until November 1 to decide whether our proposed amendment should become effective.”

Apr. 10: PCWorld.com: End of ICANN contract puts Internet freedom at risk, critics say:
The freedom and openness of the Internet are at stake after the U.S. government announced plans to end its contractual oversight of ICANN, some critics said Thursday. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced last month that it will end its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to operate key domain-name functions could embolden other nations to attempt to seize control, some Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee said. 

“All hyperbole aside, this hearing is about nothing less than the future of the Internet and, significantly, who has the right, the ability and the authority to determine it,” said Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican. “Should it be decided by a few people in Washington, Beijing, Moscow, Sao Paolo or even Silicon Valley or should it be determined by those who use and stand to benefit from it?” Goodlatte suggested that other countries would try to control ICANN after the U.S. ends its contract. The U.S. can “rightly take credit for the freedom that exists the Internet today,” he said during a hearing. “When we let go of that final link, will that institution be safer from those efforts to regulate the Internet, or will it be more exposed because it no longer has the protection of the United States?”

Apr. 9: The Daily Caller: Holder Takes Cheap Shot at Congressman Gohmert
Eric Holder ventured off script in a speech Wednesday to the National Action Network, the organization led by MSNBC host and recently-exposed FBI informant Al Sharpton.  “I’m pleased to note that the last five years have been defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms,” said Holder at the conference of black activists, before improvising “even in the face, of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly, and divisive adversity. If you don’t believe that, if you look at the way, forget about me, forget about me, if you look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House Committee, it had nothing to do with me, forget that, what attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”  Holder’s remarks were in reference to a terse exchange he had Tuesday with Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert in a House Judiciary Committee hearing about documents related to a terror trial. 

Apr. 8: The Hill: Holder Claims a “vast amount” of discretion in enforcing federal laws:
Attorney General Eric Holder maintained in front of House Judiciary Tuesday that he has a “vast amount” of discretion in how the Justice Department prosecutes federal law.  Holder’s remarks came in response to accusations that he is flouting the law with his department’s positions on marijuana legalization, criminal sentencing and a contentious provision of the president’s signature healthcare law.  When Chairman Goodlatte asked Holder whether he believed there were any limits to the administration’s prosecutorial discretion Holder responded “There is a vast amount of discretion that a president has — and, more specifically, that an attorney general has. But that discretion has to be used in an appropriate way so that your acting consistent with the aims of the statute but at the same time making sure that you are acting in a way that is consistent with our values, consistent with the Constitution and protecting the American people.”  Holder said the Justice Department must defend federal laws on the books unless it concludes that “there is no basis to defend the statute.”

Apr. 8: The Daily Caller: Holder explodes at Texas Congressman “You don’t want to go there, buddy!”
Attorney General Eric Holder exploded at Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert during a House hearing Tuesday when the Congressman made a side comment about how the House of Representatives found Holder in contempt in 2012 for refusing to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, saying: “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight.”   Holder shot back “You don’t want to go there, buddy! You don’t want to go there, okay.”

“I don’t want to go there?” the Texas Republican responded.

“You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me. I think that it was inappropriate, I think it was unjust. But never think that that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that,” Holder said pointing at Gohmert. 

Gohmert reiterated that the Justice Department has still not produced the documents related to Holders contempt charge.  “I’m just looking for evidence and normally we’re known by our fruits and there’s been no indications that it was a big deal because your department still has not been forthcoming in producing the documents that were the subject of the contempt,” Gohmert concluded!

Apr. 8: Associated Press: President lowering Nuke force to lowest since the 1960s”
The U.S. will keep its current force of 450 land-based nuclear missiles but remove 50 from their launch silos as part of a plan to bring the U.S. into compliance with a 2011 U.S.-Russia arms control treaty, the Pentagon said Tuesday.  The resulting launch-ready total of 400 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles would be the lowest deployed ICBM total since the early 1960s. 
The decisions come after a strong push by members of Congress from the states that host missile bases - North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana - to not eliminate any of the silos from which the missiles would be launched. Fifty silos will be kept in "warm" status - empty of missiles but capable of returning to active use.  But given the recent aggressive behavior by Russia, is further reducing our defense capabilities appropriate?

Apr. 8: CSMonitor.Com: China warns its military ambitions can’t be contained by the U.S.
The timing was part of the message: The day after China brought Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on board its first aircraft carrier as the first foreign visitor, its defense minister warned that no one, not even the U.S., could contain its military ambitions.   “With the latest developments in China, it can never be contained,” Gen. Chang Wanquan said, according to Bloomberg Business week. The U.S. is “a country of worldwide influence, and the Pacific Ocean is huge enough to hold both China and the U.S. for common development and also huge enough to hold the other Asia-Pacific countries.”  Mr. Hagel hopes to create a framework to "manage competition" between the US and China, and to reassure other countries in the region who fear being trampled by China – and might take action to send a message to Beijing.

Apr. 5: Yahoo News: Japan orders military to intercept any North Korean missiles deemed a threat:
Japan will strike any North Korean ballistic missile that threatens to hit Japan in the coming weeks after Pyongyang recently fired medium-range missiles, a government source said on Saturday.  Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order, which took effect on Thursday the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.  Following the order, meant "to prepare for any additional missile launches," a destroyer was dispatched to the Sea of Japan and will fire if North Korea launches a missile that Tokyo deems in danger of striking or falling on Japanese territory, the source said.

Tensions have been building between North Korea and its neighbors since Pyongyang - in an apparent show of defiance - fired two Rodong missiles on March 26, just as the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States were sitting down to discuss containing the North Korean nuclear threat.

Apr. 4: The Washington Examiner:  Holder didn’t take over 100 personal trips on the taxpayers dime it was only 27. Some contend this is 27 too many!
Attorney General Eric Holder disputed a Government Accountability Office report on his use of Justice Department airplanes for personal trips, saying it overstated the number of trips he took and failed to recognize that some trips were job-related.  Holder told Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. "There was this notion that we've taken -- I think it was described as hundreds of personal trips. That was wrong. GAO counted flights, not round trips. And we looked at it and figured out from the time period that they were looking, we took not hundreds, but 27 personal, four combined -- official and nonpersonal trips -- and none of the trips that I took or that the [FBI] director took ever had an impact on the mission capability of those airplanes."

Apr. 4: The Washington Free Beacon: Senior CIA Manager jumps off building, committing suicide, in Northern Virginia:
A senior CIA official has died in an apparent suicide this week from injuries sustained after jumping off a building in northern Virginia, close to Tysons Corner,  CIA officials confirmed today.  The incident did not take place at CIA headquarters in McLean, Va.  “We can confirm that there was an individual fatally injured at a facility where agency work is done,” White, a CIA spokesperson recounted. “He was rushed to a local area hospital where he subsequently died. Due to privacy reasons and out of respect for the family, we are not releasing additional information at this time.”  Many agency employees are known to work under stressful conditions and high stress is considered a part of the profession.

Apr. 2: The National Journal: Republicans Fear Obama will turn over control of the Internet to Russia and China:
An Obama administration plan to give up oversight of certain technical Internet functions could open the door to a takeover by authoritarian regimes, Republican lawmakers claimed Wednesday.  If Russia or China gain new influence over the management of the Internet, they could begin censoring content or blocking websites, the Republicans warned.  "Make no mistake: Threats to the openness and freedom of the Internet are real," said Republican Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which held a hearing on the issue Wednesday. "Leaders such as Vladimir Putin have explicitly announced their desire to gain control of the Internet."

Walden and other Republicans are pushing a bill that would block the transfer of authority until the Government Accountability Office can study the issue. Dozens of Senate Republicans, led by John Thune and Marco Rubio, sent a letter to the administration on Wednesday, demanding more answers about the plan.  But Democrats at Wednesday's hearing insisted that if Republicans were serious about Internet freedom, they would support the U.S. proposal.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling said the U.S. will make sure that no foreign government will be able to seize new powers over the Internet.  "Do you really think that Vladimir Putin... isn't going to figure out some way to get control?" Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, shot back. "China and Russia can be very resourceful,"  Last month, the Commerce Department announced that it will give the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international nonprofit group, control over a set of technical procedures that allows computers around the world to connect to Web addresses.

Although the Internet was invented in the United States [by Al Gore?!], ICANN has actually managed the Internet's address system since 1998. But ICANN's authority stems from a contract it receives from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a Commerce Department agency.  By ending that contract, the U.S. will give up an "important backstop" that has protected the Internet from authoritarian regimes, Walden said. If ICANN bowed to pressure from Russia, China, or Iran, the U.S. could have always pulled the group's contractual authority. But once the U.S. gives up its power, "there is no putting this genie back in the bottle," he warned.

Mar. 26: Fox News: Poll: Country weaker under Obama, not tough enough on Russia:
By a widening margin, more voters think the United States is weaker since Barack Obama became president.  And the highest number in a decade feels the country is less safe than it was before 9/11, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday.   The poll also finds most voters think President Obama has not been tough enough on Russia, although a majority still says the U.S. should stay out of the situation in Ukraine.

Some 52 percent of voters think the country is weaker and less powerful today than it was six years ago.  That’s three times the 17 percent who say the country is stronger and more powerful.  About 3 in 10 think it is unchanged (29 percent). The number of Democrats saying the country is stronger now has dropped 11 percentage points:  it’s 32 percent today, down from 43 percent in 2013.  Twenty-two percent of Democrats say the country is weaker and 44 percent say it is the same.   Views among Republicans are lopsided: 78 percent say the country is weaker under Obama vs. five percent stronger. 

Mar. 26: Fox News: Obama Says Russian Energy Sector may be the target for the next round of sanctions:
President Obama threatened a new round of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, this time aimed at the country’s energy sector.  Obama said the crisis in Ukraine underscored Europe’s need to become less dependent on Russia’s rich energy sources.  He also acknowledged that additional sanctions could affect Russia’s neighboring countries but said the United States was committed to helping those nations find energy alternatives. Obama said coordination between the U.S. and Europe on economic sanctions against Russia has been excellent and warned that if Russia continues on its current course, "the isolation will deepen."

The president went on to say if “Russian leadership thought the world wouldn’t care about their actions in Ukraine, or that they could drive a wedge between the European Union and the United States, they clearly miscalculated.”  

Mar. 24: The Hill: Russia Kicked out of G-8, at least temporarily

The United States and other Western powers on Monday kicked Russia out of their exclusive club, at least temporarily. Western leaders replaced a Group of Eight meeting that Russia was to host in Sochi this June with a Group of Seven meeting in Brussels, effectively suspending Russia’s G-8 membership in the process.  The decision at an emergency meeting of the G-7 in The Hague is the latest in a series of diplomatic steps the Obama administration has taken to isolate Moscow for its takeover of Crimea, a region of Ukraine that Russia annexed last week.

In a joint statement, the G-7 countries said that the group was originally formed “because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them. Under these circumstances, we will not participate in the planned Sochi Summit,” the countries said.  The group also said it remained “ready to intensify” sanctions against Russia, “including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy.”  Russia quickly dismissed the ejection.

Mar. 23: Fox News: Romney: Obama is “naïve” and lacked judgment regarding Ukraine and Putin
Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday accused President Obama of being “naïve” about Russian President Vladimir Putin agenda and lacking the foresight to have prevented Putin from taking over a Ukraine peninsula.  "There's no question but that the president's naiveté with regards to Russia," he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And his faulty judgment about Russia's intentions and objectives has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face.”

During Romney’s 2012 presidential race against Obama, the president criticized him for saying Russia -- not Al QED -- was America's "number one geopolitical foe."    “This is not fantasy land,” Romney said Sunday. “They are not our enemy but an adversary on the world stage.”  He also said the United States should have worked sooner with allies to make clear the penalties that Russia could have faced if it moved into Ukraine.

Mar. 21: Fox News: Federal Prosecutors balk at Holder push to reduce drug sentences:
Federal prosecutors are at odds with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder over whether mandatory minimum sentences -- a key part of the government's so-called war on drugs -- should be rolled back.   Congress approved many of those harsh penalties in the 1980s. Under the guidelines, a dealer busted with 1,000 marijuana plants, for example, or large amounts of certain narcotics, could face five, 10, even 20 years behind bars.  As a result, prosecutors say, drug crime has gone down. 

But now Holder is leading the charge to overhaul mandatory minimums.  Amid exploding incarceration rates, and allegations that long prison sentences have unfairly hurt low-income and minority communities, Holder is calling on Congress to pass the so-called Smarter Sentencing Act, which reduces the required incarceration times, claiming that by doing so the county could save billions of dollars. 

But many who've helped put serious drug dealers away disagree. In a sharply worded letter to Holder, the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys wrote "we consider the current federal mandatory minimum sentence framework as well-constructed and well worth preserving."  Some federal prosecutors are saying incarceration rates may go down, but drug crimes will go up because dealers won't feel compelled to cooperate calling it a “terrible idea." 

Mar. 19: The Washington Times: Pentagon goes “hypersonic” with long-range rapid attack weapon:
An experimental scramjet-powered, ultrahigh speed strike vehicle is emerging as the Pentagon’s main choice for a new long-range, rapid attack weapon, a senior official says. Alan Shaffer, principal deputy assistant defense secretary for research and engineering, told a defense industry conference that prototypes and recent tests proved concepts for hypersonic arms, and several systems are part of a high-priority effort by  Pentagon weapons developers, despite the era of sharply-diminished defense spending.

Hypersonic vehicles can deliver nuclear or conventional payloads in precision strikes against increasingly hard-to-penetrate air defenses of countries like China, Russia and Iran, he said.  “We, the U.S., do not want to be the second country to understand how to have controlled scramjet hypersonics,” Shaffer contended.  The comments come 2 1/2 months after China’s surprise Jan. 9 test of a new hypersonic glide vehicle, dubbed the Wu-14. That ultrahigh speed maneuvering vehicle test represents a major challenge for current U.S. missile defenses, which are designed to counter non-maneuvering ballistic missile threats.

Mar. 18: Fox News:
GOP bill would cut DOD civilian workforce shifting funds to the troops and readiness initiatives:

Several House Republicans have introduced legislation that would reduce the civilian defense workforce by 15 percent in six years and use the savings from the cuts to boost military readiness and support active-duty personnel.  The Rebalance for an Effective Defense Uniform and Civilian Employees, or REDUCE, Act would cut nearly 115,000 jobs from the Defense Department, from the current 770,00-person workforce down to roughly 655,000, GovExec.com reported. 

Ken Calvert, R-CA who introduced the legislation, said his proposal would require the Pentagon to make civilian workforce reductions in a "systematic manner" without compromising the nation's ability to maintain a strong national defense. “The growth of the civilian workforce within the DOD continues to create a significant budgetary burden but, more importantly, if left unchecked it will negatively impact our men and women in uniform,” Calvert said in a statement.  “[Secretary of Defense Chuck] Hagel's recently announced military reduction plan trims the wrong side of the DOD. It would negatively impact our troops, compromise our national security, while failing to make the tough but necessary decisions needed to trim the civilian workforce at the DOD."

The proposal was met with immediate resistance from the American Federation of Government Employees, the nation's largest federal employee union who may just happen to represent some of the those threatened with job cuts.

Mar. 13: Fox News: A Vote to Join Russia could leave Crimea without Water, Electricity:
As Russia’s stranglehold on Crimea tightens, the Ukrainian province to the north is warning it could make life on the peninsula miserable if the coveted region chooses sides with Moscow in Sunday's referendum.  Pro-Moscow officials in Crimea, who favor secession from Ukraine, have said they will seize all utilities and assets owned by the Kiev-based Ukrainian government if the referendum goes as expected. But Crimea's electricity, freshwater and natural gas all flows in from the province of Kherson, where leaders warn they will shut everything off if the referendum they say is illegitimate, goes forward.

Mar. 13: Washington Examiner: Kerry gives Russia until Monday to reverse direction in Ukraine:
Secretary of State John Kerry warned of serious repercussions for Russia on Monday if last-ditch talks over the weekend to resolve the crisis in Ukraine failed to persuade Moscow to soften its stance.  Kerry will travel to London for a Friday meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ahead of a Sunday referendum vote in the Crimea region to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.  U.S. and European officials argue that Moscow is orchestrating the referendum and waging an intimidation campaign with thousands of Russian troops controlling the region. If Russian-backed lawmakers in Crimea go through with the Sunday referendum, Kerry said the U.S. and its European allies will not recognize it as legitimate under international law.

Mar. 11: The Washington Post:
Feinstein “PO’ed” Over possible CIA search of Intelligence Committee Computers:

A behind-the-scenes battle between the CIA and Congress erupted in public Tuesday as the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee accused the agency of breaking laws and breaching constitutional principles in an alleged effort to undermine the panel’s multi-year investigation of a controversial interrogation program.  Chairman Feinstein (D-CA) accused the CIA of secretly removing documents, searching committee-used computers and attempting to intimidate congressional investigators by requesting an FBI inquiry of their conduct — charges that CIA Director Brennan disputed within hours of her appearance on the Senate floor.

Feinstein described the escalating conflict as a “defining moment” for Congress’s role in overseeing the nation’s intelligence agencies and cited “grave concerns” that the CIA had “violated the separation-of-powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution.”

Brennan fired back during a previously scheduled speech in Washington, saying that “when the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.”

Mar. 7: The Daily Caller: Former Soviet Spy Chief claims Putin regime is an “intelligence agency dictatorship”
The highest ranking defector to flee from the old Soviet bloc has a message to share about Vladimir Putin — he’s still a KGB agent at heart and that mindset is heavily influencing his tactics for furthering Russia’s interests. Ion Mihai Pacepa was the head of the Romanian communist regime’s foreign intelligence service before he defected to the West in 1978. Due to the threats on his life, Pacepa refuses to appear in public, but he has communicated his message to the co-author of his most recent book ”Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Underming Freedom, Attacking Religion, and promoting Terrorism." Pacepa’s co-author, Ronald Rychlak, spoke with The Daily Caller on Friday on Pacepa’s opinion that Putin has created an “intelligence agency dictatorship” in Russia that’s heavily composed of ex-KGB agents and how they use the tactics of their old organization to govern the country.

USS Truxtun (DDG-103)Mar. 6: Yahoo News: USS Truxtun (DDG-103) on the Way to the Black Sea for Maneuvers:
A US guided-missile destroyer is en route to the Black Sea but naval officials said Thursday it was a "routine" deployment that was planned before the crisis unfolded in Ukraine.  The USS Truxtun departed the port of Souda Bay Crete Thursday to carry out joint training with Romanian and Bulgarian forces, the US Navy said in a statement.  "While in the Black Sea, the ship will conduct a port visit and routine, previously planned exercises with allies and partners in the region," it said.  The mission was "scheduled well in advance of her departure from the United States," it said.

Although portrayed as unrelated to tensions in Ukraine, where pro-Russian forces have taken de facto control over the Crimean peninsula, the presence of a US naval destroyer in the Black Sea sends a symbolic message to Moscow.  The move comes a day after the Pentagon sought to reassure anxious allies in Central and Eastern Europe over Russia's actions in Ukraine, announcing plans to send more F-15 fighter jets to patrol the skies over Baltic states and stepping up aviation training in Poland.

Mar. 6: National Review: Ambassador Bolton: Our Biggest National Security Problem is Barack Obama!
With the Obama administration grappling with a crisis in Ukraine, former United Nations ambassador John Bolton took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday and declared that the country’s “biggest national-security problem is Barack Obama.”   Bolton honed in on the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, which he described as paradigm of President Obama’s foreign-policy failures because the president “has done nothing to avenge Chris Stevens’s death.  That is a terrible lesson for our adversaries,” Bolton said. “Under Barack Obama you can murder his personal representative and get away scot-free.” He also warned that the matter will come back to haunt Hillary Clinton if, as most suspect, she launches a presidential bid in 2016. “We will be happy to tell Hillary Clinton in unmistakable terms, ‘We know what difference it makes, even if you don’t,’” he said.

Mar. 5: The Daily Beast: TV Anchor Quits On Air, can “no longer be "part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin”
An American anchor working for state-owned television station Russia Today quit on air on Wednesday. Liz Wahl, in the network's D.C. bureau, announced she could no longer be "part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why, after this newscast, I am resigning." 

"It actually makes me feel sick that I worked there," Wahl told The Daily Beast exclusively.  She had been planning this move for some time. "When I came on board from the beginning I knew what I was getting into, but I think I was more cautious and tried to stay as objective as I could," she said, explaining that she was repeatedly censured by her superiors.  The Kremlin's influence over RT is subtle, Wahl said, but management manipulates its employees, punishing those who stray from the narrative. "In order to succeed there you don’t question," Wahl explained.

Mar. 4: McClatchyDC Report: Military’s Top General Offers Grim Outlook on Nations Defense Capabilities:
The nation’s top military commander painted a dark picture Tuesday of future U.S. defense capabilities clouded by shrinking Pentagon budgets and adversaries’ technological advances that he said would erode American battlefield superiority.  Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided his sobering views as part of the Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated evaluation of U.S. military strength issued every four years.  Dempsey predicted that it would become increasingly difficult to balance the competing demands of protecting allies abroad, securing Americans at home and deterring future wars.  “The smaller and less capable military outlined in the QDR makes meeting these obligations more difficult,” he said. “Most of our platforms and equipment will be older, and our advantages in some domains will have eroded. Our loss of depth across the force could reduce our ability to intimidate opponents from escalating conflicts.”  Dempsey added: “Moreover, many of our most capable allies will lose key capabilities. The situation will be exacerbated given our current readiness concerns, which will worsen over the next three or four years.”

Mar. 3: Fox News: Rumsfeld on Ukraine: “Its is US weakness that has shaken the world”
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Monday that he believes “U.S. weakness has shaken the world” and has created a power vacuum that has led to instability and crises such as the one in Ukraine.  Rumsfeld said under the Obama administration the U.S. has been perceived as a world power in decline, and wields far less influence than it used to. Consequently, the world as a whole has become less stable.  “We have created a leadership vacuum in the world, and it is being filled by the Putins of the world, by people without our values or our interest, and it’s to the detriment of the United States and our friends and allies around the world,” he said. “It is the United States that’s injected that instability into the world equation.”

Rumsfeld said the U.S. has to aim to create a coalition of nations that will put the maximum amount of pressure on Putin and Russia.  “So, the thing we have got to persuade other countries of is that we get peace through strength as Eisenhower said,” Rumsfeld said. “If we want peace, we have to be prepared for war and that it is U.S. weakness that has shaken the world.

Mar. 3: The Daily Caller: Is Obama Administration Freezing Fox News out of Foreign Policy Reporting?
The Obama administration faces a difficult problem. Diplomacy has failed, despite its best efforts, and the ruthless winner-take-all attitude of its adversary now leaves them but two choices: break off relations or capitulate to its demands.  That adversary, of course, is Fox News — and President Barack Obama finally seems prepared to enforce a hard line against them. In the past week the White House has frozen the top-rated news network out of two key foreign policy interviews provided to other networks — one on Sunday with Secretary of State John Kerry, and one last week with National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Kerry made the rounds yesterday to discuss the White House’s response to Russia’s Friday invasion of Ukraine, appearing on NBC, CBS and ABC’s Sunday shows to promise a tough (if unspecified) response to Vladimir Putin’s power grab. But Chris Wallace of ”Fox News Sunday” was shut out.  “For the record, we invited Secretary of State Kerry to join us today,” Wallace noted at the conclusion of his opening interview. “But although the White House put him out on all the other broadcast Sunday shows, they declined to make him available to us — or you.”

Feb. 26: Fox News: Two days after the Administration announced major cuts in military spending they want $300 Billion for roads and railways
Just two days after the Pentagon outlined major cuts to the U.S. Army and other military programs, President Obama is calling for a whopping $300 billion commitment for America's roads, bridges and mass transit systems -- though as much as half comes from a tax plan that has bleak prospects on the Hill.   The president talked about the stimulus-style plan during a stop Wednesday afternoon in St. Paul, Minn. Officials say the money, as proposed, largely would come from "pro-growth business tax reform." But aside from the challenges in pushing tax reform, Obama could have a hard time making the sell when his military leaders, just days ago, were complaining about the budget crunch. The Republican National Committee also questioned whether new transportation spending would be the jobs engine the administration claims. 

Feb 25: Fox News: Increased domestic spending my be behind proposed military cuts, a CBO report suggests:
As the Obama administration announces proposed sweeping defense cuts this week, a Congressional Budget Office report documents how increases in other areas of domestic spending may be forcing the White House to reduce money for the military.  The CBO report finds that mandatory spending, which includes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, is projected to rise $85 billion, or 4 percent, to $2.1 trillion this year.  Interest on the debt is worse. It is projected to increase 14 percent per year, almost quadrupling in dollar terms between 2014 and 2024. "We are going to be spending more in interest in a couple of years then we do on national defense," House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-CA, told Fox News.

Feb. 25: The LA Times: Supremes Ruling Expands Warrantless Search Authority:
Police officers may enter and search a home without a warrant as long as one occupant consents, even if another resident has previously objected, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a Los Angeles case.  The 6-3 ruling, triggered by a LAPD arrest in 2009, gives authorities more leeway to search homes without obtaining a warrant, even when there is no emergency.

The majority, led by Justice Alito, said police need not take the time to get a magistrate's approval before entering a home in such cases. But dissenters, led by Justice Ginsburg, warned that the decision would erode protections against warrantless home searches. The court had previously held that such protections were at the "very core" of the 4th Amendment and its ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Feb. 24: Yahoo News: Obama wants to shrink size if military to pre-WWII levels (Those who fail to know history are doomed to repeat it!)
The Pentagon plans to scale back the US Army by more than an eighth to its lowest level since before World War II, signaling a shift after more than a decade of ground wars.  Saying it was time to "reset" for a new era, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recommended shrinking American forces from 520,000 active duty troops to between 440,000 and 450,000. The Pentagon had previously planned to downsize the ground force to about 490,000.

Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee immediately expressed reservations about the budget proposal. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, who sits on the committee, said the proposals had the "potential to harm America's military readiness."  Venturing into politically sensitive territory, Hagel called for slowing growth in pay and benefits -- which make up nearly half the Pentagon's budget -- and closing more bases in the United States.  Lawmakers have long resisted base closures or any reform of pay, pensions or other benefits.

Feb. 21: The Daily Caller: FCC scraps media survey amid allegations of trying to regulate the news:
The Federal Communications Commission cancelled a plan to evaluate the coverage of major media outlets Friday after a tidal wave of media criticism alleged the agency was attempting to influence and regulate the news media industry and its decision making on news coverage.  “In the course of FCC review and public comment, concerns were raised that some of the questions may not have been appropriate,” the agency said in a statement Friday. “Chairman Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required.” 

The FCC came under sharp criticism from Congressional Republicans and a fellow agency commissioner over its proposed Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs, or “CIN” study, which aimed to assess how the news media covered “critical information” by sending FCC regulators into the offices of major television, newspaper, and internet media outlets across the country.  One local news outlet in Houston likened the study to the movie “Hunt for Red October” where the political officer had equal power with Captain. 

Feb. 21: Politico: FCC backs off newsroom study:
The Federal Communications Commission will amend a proposed study of newsrooms in South Carolina after outcry over what some called "invasive questions," the commission's chairman said Friday.  The survey was meant to study how and if the media is meeting the public's “critical information needs” on subjects like public health, politics, transportation and the environment.   Now, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said questions about news philosophy and editorial judgment will be removed from the survey and media owners and reporters will no longer be questioned.  The uproar caught on fire after one of the Republican commissioners, Ajit Pai, penned an op-ed inn the Wall Street Journal last week blasting the survey and saying the government had no place in newsrooms.

The FCC is saying it is required by law to conduct media studies.  "Any suggestion the Commission intends to regulate the speech of news media is false," FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Friday in a statement, adding that a revised study will be released within the next few weeks. Additionally, she said media owners and journalists will no longer be asked to participate in the pilot study.  But as a person who served for years in Washington as part of a federal regulatory agency, I can tell you that just having a federal regulator on site has a chilling affect.

Feb. 21: The Hill: Lawmakers to grill Pentagon on deadly attack that killed 30 SEAL team members:
A congressional panel on Thursday will hold a hearing on a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan that killed members of the Navy's elite SEAL Team 6 unit.  Many questions about the Aug. 6, 2011 attack, which killed 30 Americans, will be asked during the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on National Security.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who heads the panel, told The Hill that the hearing is aimed at getting answers from the Pentagon and "honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice."

The SEALs were killed three months after Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by SEAL Team 6 forces. The timing has sparked speculation that the attack was payback for the bin Laden raid.  In all, 38 died when Afghan militants shot down a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Twenty-two Navy SEALs perished, along with seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan translator. The U.S. forces were on a rescue mission called Extortion 17.  The 38 bodies were recovered, but the chopper's black box wasn't. Department of Defense officials claim it couldn't be recovered because of a flash flood that occurred after the assault. All 38 bodies were cremated.  Pentagon officials have defended the cremations to the soldiers' families, saying the bodies were badly burned. Chaffetz has said he has seen a photo of a deceased SEAL that was not.

Feb. 18: The Daily Caller: Gingrich: Kerry should resign over global warming remarks:
Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich took to Twitter to call for Secretary of State John Kerry to resign for calling global warming the “world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”  Gingrich  tweeted out his disgust with Kerry’s comments:

Does kerry really believe global warming more dangerous than north Korean and Iranian nukes? More than Russian and Chinese nukes? Really? ? —
Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) February 18, 2014

On his trip to Indonesia, Kerry said that global warming is “the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction” and particularly harms low-lying countries that are at risk from rising sea levels.  Kerry has been playing up the national security angle of global warming since at least 2009, during his Senate years, when congressional Democrats were trying to pass a cap-and-trade bill. Kerry told the New York Times that he touted the national security concerns of global warming as a way to lure Republicans to support the bill.  But Gingrich, a longtime Republican, is not buying it.  “Every American who cares about national security must demand Kerry’s resignation. A delusional secretary of state is dangerous to our safety” Gingrich Tweeted.

Feb. 16: Politico: F-35 Fighter Plane cost overruns detailed
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is $163 billion over budget, seven years behind schedule, and will cost taxpayers about twice as much as sending a man to the moon. But according to Pentagon officials, the Lockheed Martin-built plane is light years ahead of its competition from other countries, and there’s no turning back on the project now.  In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer Frank Kendall called the $400 billion purchase “acquisition malpractice” that strayed from the long-standing “fly-before-you-buy” rule.

Despite the project’s problems, military officials say the planes are unlike any others and provide invaluable advantages over countries like Russia and China.  Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle said the planes were like flying computers, and that they could detect an enemy plane five to 10 times faster than the enemy could detect it.  Lt. Col. David Berke said it was difficult to overstate how significant the advancement of this plane is over anything that’s flying right now.  Part of that technology is a half-million dollar helmet custom-made for each pilot. That allows them to see 360 degrees around the outside of the plane.

Feb. 16: Fox News: Acting ICE Director Sandweg Resigns after 5 months on the Job
John Sandweg, a former defense attorney who knew former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano from their days as political allies in Arizona and came to Washington with her, gave his notice just six months after taking the reins in August. In a letter Friday to coworkers, Sandweg said he will return to work in the private sector but gave no explanation for his departure.  “Over the past several months I had the opportunity to work alongside many of you,” he wrote. “I was always amazed by your dedication and commitment to the agency and our nation. Despite the challenges we face, you continue to push on, achieving remarkable security and public safety gains for our country.”

Sandweg was named to the post amid concerns by congressional lawmakers and former agency officials that his background as a criminal defense attorney with no law enforcement experience made him unqualified to run the country’s second-largest law enforcement agency. 

Feb. 16: YouTube: Rear Admiral Lee Addresses Restrictive Regulations on our military:
This video was taken during the National Day of Prayer last year. However, since I just came across it and found it to be a powerful message I have posted it here within this timeline. It addresses politically correct actions taken by the current administration to restrict religious freedom and free speech within our military forces.

Feb. 9: The Financial Times: U.S. blames China for rising tensions in the South China Sea:
In public statements in recent days, senior US officials placed the blame for tensions in the region solely on China and warned that the US could move more forces to the western Pacific if Beijing were to declare a new air defence zone in the South China Sea.  Although President Barack Obama is due to visit the region in April, several Asia governments have complained privately that the administration has become distracted in the Middle East and has left the way open for China to pursue its claims with greater confidence.

“They [the administration] are definitely trying to turn up the volume about China,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. “This is as close as the Obama administration has come to saying that the nine-dash line is illegal. It is quite significant because they previously danced around the issue.” The nine-dash line is a map produced by China which appears to claim that the bulk of the South China Sea is under Chinese control.

Feb. 8: The Times of Israeli: Iran TV airs simulated video of attack on Israel and U.S. Aircraft Carrier:
Iranian state TV on Friday ran a documentary featuring a computerized video of Iran’s drones and missiles bombing Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben Gurion Airport and the Dimona nuclear reactor in a hypothetical retaliation for an Israeli or American strike on the Islamic Republic.   Iranian drones and missiles are also shown carrying out simulated strikes on the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, downing American aircraft and striking American military targets in the Persian Gulf.   The clip was broadcast amid a clear escalation of anti-American rhetoric and even action by Iran: On Saturday, an Iranian admiral announced that Iran had dispatched warships to the North Atlantic, while Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini denounced the Americans as liars who, while professing to be friends of Iran, would bring down his regime if they could. He also said it was “amusing” that the US thought Iran would reduce its “defensive capabilities.”

Feb. 7: InfoWars.Com: TSA Agents interrogate Jewish Author for Reading Conservative Paper:
Award winning Jewish author Phyllis Chesler was questioned and had her bag searched at New York’s JFK Airport as a result of a TSA agent’s suspicions over the fact that she was reading a conservative newspaper.  The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon after Chesler’s flight to Florida was delayed due to the recent ice storms.  As soon as Chesler pulled out a copy of The Jewish Press, a popular English language weekly with a conservative political bent, a TSA agent eyed her with suspicion, approached the author and asked to see the newspaper.  After the TSA agent scrutinized the cover of the newspaper and showed it to another security official, Chesler was ordered to open her luggage, which the two agents then proceeded to rifle through.

During the search, Chesler was interrogated by the two TSA workers. As her luggage was being searched, Chesler noticed that a Muslim woman wearing a niqab that covered her entire face apart from her eyes was allowed through security with no questions asked and with no one even bothering to verify her identity.  Chesler was left alone after the two agents found nothing more deadly than a bottle of water. Despite their best efforts to assume the role of political thought police, the TSA workers discovered that reading a newspaper other than the New York Times or the Washington Post isn’t indicative of being a terrorist.

“The issue is not that the Jew was the one who was stopped and the Muslim was the one who sailed through security,” reports the Jewish Press. “The issue is that merely the word Jewish on a newspaper was sufficient to draw the agents’ attention and suspicion, while someone whose identity was impossible to discern, who could be hiding who knows what, was ignored by security – security! professionals.”

Feb. 5: Fox News: Widow of fallen cop blocked from testifying on Obama DOJ pick:
The Philadelphia district attorney is speaking out against President Obama's nominee for a top Justice Department post, saying his link to the case of a convicted cop killer "sends a message of contempt" to police -- as the widow of the fallen officer is apparently denied the chance to testify.  Maureen Faulkner, whose husband Daniel Faulkner was killed in 1981, was hoping to speak publicly on the case before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which plans to vote Thursday on the nomination of Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division. 

But she told FoxNews.com she's "extremely frustrated" after being told by representatives of Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-VT, that she won't be able to do so.   "I am physically, emotionally and mentally distressed that I'm not able to be in that room," Faulkner told FoxNews.com by phone. "This is personal to me."   Faulkner said she received a letter from Leahy's office this week informing her that it's "not the practice" of the committee to accept outside testimony. Faulkner, who lives in Los Angeles, later realized she could attend the hearing as a member of the public but was unable to book a flight.

Feb. 5: The Daily Caller: Kerry to Israeli Critics: I’ve been attacked before by people using real bullets:
John Kerry invoked his Vietnam War service to push back against an Israeli cabinet member who criticized his recent comments on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.  During a security conference in Munich last weekend, Kerry suggested that if his Israeli-Palestinian peace effort fails, there could be serious consequences for Israel.  “For Israel there is an increasing delegitimizing campaign that has been building up,” Kerry said, without condemning the effort. “People are very sensitive to it. There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things.”

In response, Israel’s economy minister Naftali Bennett harshly criticized Kerry’s failure to speak out against the delegitimization campaign at the conference. “We expect our friends around the world to stand beside us, against anti-Semitic boycott efforts targeting Israel, and not for them to be their trumpet,” he said in a statement.

Feb. 4: The Daily Mail: Lockheed Martin fires first portable laser weapon that could replace missiles:
It is a weapon that could mean the end of traditional missiles. Lockheed Martin revealed is has tested the a 30-kilowatt electric fiber laser, the highest power ever fired. The firm says the weapon could eventually be mounted on jets, tanks and fighter planes - and will more than triple in strength before being used in combat. The record-breaking power output was achieved by combining many fiber lasers into a single, near-perfect quality beam of light.

The process, called Spectral Beam Combining, sends beams from multiple fiber laser modules, each with a unique wavelength, into a combiner that forms a single, powerful, high quality beam. 'Lockheed Martin has opened the aperture for high power, electrically driven laser systems suitable for military applications,' said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin. 'Advancements in available laser components, along with the maturity and quality of our innovative beam-combining technology, support our goal of providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for use on military platforms such as aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.'

Jan. 28: Free beacon: Pentagon Concerned by China’s New High-Speed Missile:
China’s recent test of a new ultra-high speed strike vehicle highlights growing concerns that Chinese military advances will overtake those of the United States in as few as five years, a senior Pentagon official told Congress Tuesday.  Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing that he is concerned by large-scale cuts in U.S. defense spending that are undermining efforts to maintain U.S. military superiority.  “On hypersonics, this is a good example of an area of technology that is going to move forward whether we invest in it or not,” Kendall told a hearing on the United States shift toward Asia. “China is doing work in this area.”

Kendall said the threat of such hypersonic vehicles to the United States is that they are difficult for missile defenses to counter. The vehicles travel and maneuver while flying at speeds of up to Mach 10 or 7,680 miles an hour.  “The high speed of these systems makes it much more difficult for air defenses to engage,” he said.

Jan. 26: Politico: McCaul: Maryland mall shooting shows vulnerabilities:
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday that the recent shooting at a suburban Washington mall, while not a terrorist attack, shows the dangers of malls as a target.  “This is not a terrorist threat at all, probably more a domestic squabble," Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "It does highlight the vulnerability of shopping malls to shootings, soft targets like we saw in the Kenya shopping mall case, and that's the kind of scenario we do not want to see happen in the United States.”   McCaul told host Bob Schieffer that ultimately, isolated shooters are difficult to stop.

Jan. 24: Roll Call: Will Court Give New Impetus for Background Check Process Overhaul?
A troubling court filing this week will increase the pressure to overhaul the process for federal background checks.  The government alleges that United States Investigations Services, the private contractor that vetted both Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, intentionally cut corners on a contract to conduct background checks for the Office of Personnel Management.  Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Thomas R. Carper responded in a statement to CQ Roll Call.  Senators have said, “By now, the stunning failures of this company — and the resulting threats to our national security — are well-documented. But we can’t wait for the next disaster before tackling something as serious as lapses in protecting our nation’s secrets and our secure facilities. We’ve seen swift action to boost accountability over these contractors, and I’m now calling on my colleagues to pass our bipartisan bill that would strengthen background checks through automatic reviews.”

Jan. 21: Yahoo News: Fugitive U.S. Secret Leaker Fears for His Life
The Russian lawyer of Edward Snowden said Tuesday that the fugitive US intelligence leaker has feared for his life since reading of explicit threats against him by unnamed Pentagon officials.  "There are real threats to his life out there that actually do exist," Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Russia's state-run Vesti 24 rolling news channel.  "These statements call for physical reprisal against Edward Snowden," Kucherena said.

Jan. 21: The Times of Israel: Iranian warships en route to the Atlantic Ocean, a first ever action by Iran
Iran’s navy has dispatched warships on a mission to the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in history, an Iranian news agency said.  The flotilla, consisting of a Khark logistic and helicopter-carrier warship and Sabalan destroyer, could journey as much as 25,000 nautical kilometers in the next three months, Fars News reported Tuesday.  No specific military mission was identified, and no ports of call were mentioned. 

Bidding farewell to the crews, Rear Admiral Seyyed Mahmoud Moussavi said Iran has a message of peace and friendship for the nations of the world and only seeks to display its defensive power capabilities. But previous statements by high-ranking Iranian naval personnel had declared Iran’s intention to dispatch a next flotilla of warships to the high seas at around this date to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirate attacks.

Jan. 19: Politico: Three Obama Veteran operatives involved with pardon of Rich and now advising president on clemency for Snowden:
Top Obama administration officials facing high-profile calls for clemency or a plea deal for Edward Snowden have life experience that counsels extreme caution: the political explosion they witnessed after President Bill Clinton pardoned financier Marc Rich more than a decade ago.  Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director James Comey and new Obama White House counselor John Podesta all played roles in the Rich saga, wrestling with the complex questions of what tactics and compromises officials should consider when an American is holed up overseas, beyond the reach of the U.S. justice system.

Jan. 19: Fox News: Senator Leahy says Senate will push for NSA limitations:
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday the upper chamber will continue working on legislation to limit NSA spying, suggesting President Obama has not gone far enough in making changes to protect Americans’ privacy.  “There’s a concern that we have gone too much into Americans’ privacy,” the Democratic lawmaker told “Fox News Sunday.” “There’s still going to be legislation on this.”

Leahy said several times that congressional Democrats and Republicans both share the concern and suggested the direction of the legislation will be impacted by what Attorney General Eric Holder says when he testifies on Capitol Hill on Jan. 29 -- the day after the president’s State of the Union address.  The president announced the changes Friday in a major policy speech at the Justice Department, following a series of revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that started last summer about the extent of agency spying.

Leahy said he wouldn’t fight the president on his proposed NSA changes -- including additional court approval, a non-government agency holding phone meta-data and limiting the extent of the data collection.  “I think we have a way we can do this,” he said. “I believe in going after the bad guys. But I also believe in some checks and balances, so you don’t have a government run amok.”

Jan. 4: Fox News: Rand Paul to sue over NSA spying practices:
Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, is suing the Obama administration over the National Security Agency’s spying practices in an effort to “protect the Fourth Amendment,” he told host Eric Bolling Friday on "Hannity."  “The question here is whether constitutionally, you can have a single warrant apply to millions of people,” Paul said. “So we thought, what better way to illustrate the point than having hundreds of thousands of Americans sign up for a class action suit.”

Paul said he began collecting signatures about six months ago, and says it’s “kind of an unusual class-action suit” because everyone in America who has a cell phone is eligible to join in the legal action, he said.   He added that Ken Cuccinelli, the current attorney general of Virginia who ran for governor last year, is part of the initiative’s legal team.  “We’re hoping, with his help, that we can get a hearing in court, and ultimately get this class-action lawsuit, I think the first of its kind on a constitutional question, all the way to the Supreme Court,” Paul said.

Jan. 3: The HillClemency for Snowden should be off the Table: Napolitano Says
Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday that she “would not put clemency on the table” for NSA leaker Edward Snowden.  “I think Snowden has exacted quite a bit of damage and did it in a way that violated the law,” Napolitano said in an interview airing on "Meet the Press" this Sunday.  She said damage from Snowden’s actions will be seen for years to come.

Asked if the administration should consider a deal that would allow Snowden to avoid jail time in return for unreleased documents, Napolitano said she couldn't judge without knowing what information the former defense contractor still had.  “But from where I sit today, I would not put clemency on the table at all,” she said.

Jan. 2: The Washington PostNSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption:
In room-size metal boxes ­secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.  According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer” — a machine exponentially faster than classical computers — is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md.

The development of a quantum computer has long been a goal of many in the scientific community, with revolutionary implications for fields such as medicine as well as for the NSA’s code-breaking mission. With such technology, all current forms of public key encryption would be broken, including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.

Go to the 2013 Chronology on National Security, NSA,
Unlawful Search and Seizures, and the Department of Justice