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Adam Dick

Huge Increase in NSA’s Phone Calls and Text Messages Collection after 'Major Reform' of Mass Surveillance Program


On Friday, the National Security Agency (NSA), which has played a primary role in the United States government’s mass surveillance program exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, disclosed it had collected 534 million phone calls and text messages of Americans in 2017 — more than three times the amount it collected the year before. But, what about the USA FREEDOM Act that the US Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law in 2015? There was much fanfare when the USA FREEDOM Act was enacted and during its consideration in Congress that the legislation’s “reform” would impose major new restraints on the mass surveillance program in order to defend liberty and privacy.
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US Sanctions Hit International Chess Organization FIDE

The bank account of FIDE, a premier chess organization that governs some major international chess competitions, maintains rules adhered to at many other tournaments, calculates players’ ratings, and awards titles such as Grandmaster, was shut down this week. Peter Doggers reports at chess.com that FIDE officials say UBS Bank was terminating FIDE’s account because FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is included “on the sanctions list of the US Department of the Treasury” though “Ilyumzhinov himself has stated that the sanctions were not mentioned by UBS.” Doggers notes that FIDE, also known as the World Chess Federation, has been unable to establish an account with another bank since UBS, a Switzerland bank, announced in February that the FIDE account would be terminated.
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David Stockman Enters Hostile Territory to Support Nonintervention and Oppose Increased Military Spending

Investing and current affairs writer David Stockman found himself in hostile territory this week in an interview at the Fox Business show Mornings with Maria. In the often-tense interview, Stockman seems to shock and rile some of the show’s hosts with his assessments that the United States military should not have been given a big monetary infusion in the recent spending deal worked out by President Donald Trump and Congress and that the US should stop its excessive military intervention overseas.
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Lawrence Wilkerson: Cowardly Congress, Apathetic Americans Allow US Military Intervention

Retired United States Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, explains in a new interview the reason he believes the US president “can do anything he pleases with regard to the armed forces of the United States anytime he pleases.” That reason, says Wilkerson in a The Real News Interview with host Sharmini Peries, “is because the American people are apathetic” and “their representatives in the Congress are … cowards” who, but for “few exceptions like [Sen.] Mike Lee [(R-UT)] and [Sen.] Bernie Sanders [(I-VT)] and some of the others,” will not do anything to restrain such exercise of presidential power.
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Trump Ordering Syria Attack Would Be an Unconstitutional, But Not Uncommon, Presidential Action

Louis Fisher, a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member and United States Constitution scholar, is quoted, in a Thursday Washington Examiner article by Steven Nelson, declaring that a unilateral decision by President Donald Trump to use military force against Syria would be unconstitutional as well as not authorized under the War Powers Resolution. Yet, Trump taking such action, says Fisher, would also be in line with military actions regularly pursued by previous presidents.
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Ron Paul Makes the Case for Libertarian Optimism

American libertarians have plenty of reason to feel discouraged in this time of the United States government increasingly disrespecting liberty in America and pursuing intervention, including wars, overseas. While prominent libertarian communicator Ron Paul shares concerns about these developments, he also sees much reason for hope. In the final minutes of a new interview at Jay Taylor’s show Turning Hard Times Into Good Times, Paul makes the case for libertarians to be optimistic about the future.
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