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Sen. Wyden Slams Intelligence Officials Over 'Culture of Misinformation'

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing today, presents succinctly and forcefully the case that senior officials overseeing the US government’s mass spying program have relied on “secret interpretations of the law” and “years of misleading and deceptive statements…to the American people.” Wyden proceeds to question witnesses James R. Clapper, John O. Brennan, and James B. Comey, Jr.  the directors, respectively, of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, and Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the mass spying and the “culture of misinformation” surrounding it.
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McCain and Graham Go To Work Against Iran Agreement

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) continue to pull out all stops in attempt to scuttle the six-month interim agreement between the P5+1 and Iran. The agreement is meant to provide some space for negotiations to continue between the two sides while allowing for some confidence to be built in place of a decades-long hostile relationship.

The six month water-testing agreement is not meant as a permanent agreement nor is it a legally-binding Chapter VII UNSC resolution.

Nevertheless, the neocons, led by Messrs McCain and Graham, are determined to plant as many IEDs along the road to diplomatic resolution as possible.
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Eric Cantor Girds His Iran War Loins

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is leading the counter-attack against the Administration's opening door to a peaceful agreement with Iran. His strategy to scuttle any permanent rapprochement with Iran on behalf of his neocon and Israel/Saudi lobby benefactors is transparent: treat the initial six-month confidence-building measure -- a voluntary cessation of uranium enrichment above five percent in exchange for limited sanctions relief -- as if it were a Chapter VII UN Security Council Resolution.

Cantor's intent is to treat the temporary voluntary cessation of Iran's right to peaceful enrichment as if it were a permanent, legal resolution by the international community backed by the threat of force. After establishing this fallacy as fact -- the media has been helpful to this purpose -- he intends to proceed with additional confidence-undermining sanctions legislation in the House in attempt to goad the Iranians into backing away from negotiations and returning to their (legal) levels of enrichment (and restarting centrifuges along with work on the heavy water reactor at Arak).
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Sen. Bernie Sanders Exposes Bloated Military and Intelligence Spending

Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a US Senate floor speech Thursday explaining his “no” vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 3304), exposes “wasteful, inefficient, and often fraudulent” Department of Defense spending. Sanders also addresses the bloated nature of US military spending compared to military spending by other governments as well as the tens of billions of dollars sucked yearly into US intelligence agencies’ “black budget.”
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Rep. Jim McGovern: 'It is Time to Get Out of Afghanistan'

Speaking on the United States House of Representatives floor Thursday, Rep. Jim McGovern delivered a comprehensive speech urging Congress to stop wasting $80 billion a year and Americans’ lives in US military action in Afghanistan. “It is time to get out of Afghanistan,” McGovern concluded.

McGovern’s speech follows compelling House floor speeches in October and November by Rep. Walter Jones, an RPI Advisory Board member, also calling for ending the twelve years and counting war.

Meanwhile, a bilateral security agreement being negotiated between US President Barack Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai proposes keeping the US military in Afghanistan for ten or more years beyond the widely publicized end of 2014 termination date.
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New House Resolution Calls for Declassifying Secret Portion of 9/11 Report

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced a resolution this week in the House of Representatives urging President Barack Obama to declassify 28 pages of a joint House and Senate Intelligence Committee report that includes information concerning foreign governments' involvement in terrorist attacks in the US. The George W. Bush administration redacted the pages from the December 2002 report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001.

The text of the resolution Jones, an RPI Advisory Board member, introduced along with cosponsor Rep. Stephen Lynch follows:
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House 'Improves' TSA Instead of Ending It

Following another Thanksgiving travel period with the Transportation Security Administration subjecting travelers to infuriating harassment, the House of Representatives leadership has scheduled for House floor consideration Tuesday three bills that will tinker with the TSA while allowing the harassment to continue. The three bills are the TSA Loose Change Act (HR 1095), the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act (HR 2719), and the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act (HR 1204)

All three bills are scheduled for consideration under suspension of the rules—a process generally reserved for noncontroversial legislation. Because bills considered under suspension of the rules are not subject to amendments on the House floor, the House Republican and Democrat leadership have enured there will be no debate or vote on amendments that would end or significantly restrict the TSA harassment.
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Rep. Walter Jones: Congress Should Decide if US Military Stays in Afghanistan

Rep. Walter Jones, speaking on the US House of Representatives floor yesterday morning, called on Congress to exercise its constitutional power over US military policy in Afghanistan. In particular, Jones insisted that Congress debate and vote on the matter instead of acquiescing to keeping the US military in Afghanistan for ten more years under a bilateral security agreement being negotiated by US President Barack Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
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Rep. Walter Jones: Stop Wasting American Money and Lives in Afghanistan

Rep. Walter Jones, an RPI Advisory Board member, presented last week on the House floor a short, powerful speech calling for ending US military action in, and the flow of Americans' tax money to, Afghanistan. Jones's speech focuses on continued US government spending in Afghanistan "at a time when America is drowning in debt" as well as recent killings of Americans in Afghanistan, including a father of two who had been stationed at a US Marines base in Jones's North Carolina district.
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