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Judge Andrew Napolitano: A ‘Farce’ to Say Mass Surveillance Ended; ‘Nothing Has Changed’

Judge Andrew Napolitano has followed up on his recent declaration at Fox News that the United States government can continue to conduct mass surveillance despite the expiration this week of PATRIOT Act Section 215 authority. Interview by Kennedy at Fox Business, Napolitano declares that, while “politicians who are in favor of destroying privacy would have you believe” that the mass surveillance program has ended, “the reality is there’s another section of the PATRIOT Act and there’s a President George W. Bush executive order, both still intact, both of which permit the collection of bulk metadata.”
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Despite What You May Have Heard, Mass Surveillance Continues

Many news reports are heralding that the expiration this week of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act authority has ended the United States government’s mass surveillance program. Meanwhile, in a Fox News interview, Judge Andrew Napolitano throws cold water on such claims.

Napolitano bluntly declares that the expiration of Section 215 authorization in no way prevents the US government from continuing its mass surveillance program. Napolitano explains that the National Security Agency (NSA) can continue to “gather phone calls, transcripts of phone calls, transcripts of emails, in real time” from all or nearly all Americans irrespective of the expiration of Section 215 authorization.
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UAE Sends ‘Blackwater’ Colombian Mercenaries to Yemen

So file this one under “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” subcategory, “Everything.”

American ally the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has dispatched hundreds of Colombian mercenaries to Yemen to fight in that country’s raging conflict, adding a volatile new element in a complex proxy war that has drawn in the United States and Iran, reports the New York Times.
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US Census Bureau Has Your Ticket to Internment Camp

Beware the United States Census Bureau. While it may seem innocuous, this government agency, which asks Americans questions and publishes demographic statistics, can quickly be turned into an instrument for mass rights abuse.

James Bovard warns in his Monday USA Today column that, should the US government pursue a “mass roundup of unpopular minorities,” the Census Bureau will likely “serve up the names and addresses on a silver platter.” After all, that is just what Bovard explains the bureau did in the 1940s to aid the US military in rounding up Japanese Americans for internment camps.
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The Corporatocracy Behind US Foreign Policy

In a Tuesday interview with Real News Network host Paul Jay, Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member and former United States Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson started off acknowledging that companies’ billions of dollars a year of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia “massively” influence US foreign policy.

Over the remainder of the fascinating eight-minute interview, Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, proceeds to discuss how government policy is fashioned to benefit military-industrial complex companies. Wilkerson provides as an example a tens of billions of dollars air defense system for the Gulf Cooperation Council governments, with Lockheed Martin the top contractor.
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Escalation! Two Russian Aircraft Downed in Syria!

In a sudden and dramatic escalation of the Syria conflict, two Russian aircraft -- a SU-24 fighter jet and a rescue helicopter -- have been downed in Syria. The fighter was shot down by the Turkish military after it claimed an airspace violation, and the rescue helicopter was reportedly shot down by US-backed rebels with US-made and supplied TOW missiles. 

The Turks claim the Russian fighter had ventured over Turkish airspace and that it had been warned ten times in five minutes before it was shot down by two US-made F-16 fighters. For its part, the Russian defense ministry denies any Turkish airspace violation and claims it can prove there was no violation. The Russian fighter crashed in Syrian territory and reports suggest at least one pilot is dead. The other may have been captured or killed by US-backed rebels in the area. 

Turkey has released what it claims is radar depiction of the Russian jet's airspace violation, though as Zero Hedge notes even if accurate it raises the question of how the Russian fighter could have been over Turkish airspace for the five minutes claimed by the Turk side.
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Ron Paul: US Troops Will Come Home ‘Because We’re Flat-Out Broke’

It may seem as if nothing can restrain the United States government’s intervention overseas. But, Ron Paul says economic conditions will impose a limit and that that means the days of expansive US military intervention are numbered.

The former presidential candidate and US House of Representatives member drew applause at a Ludwig von Mises Institute event in Phoenix, Arizona on November 7 when he predicted that US troops will come home because the government is “flat-out broke.”

Paul argues in the speech that “we’re living at a time where the system is going to come unglued,” with America in the middle of a “complete collapse” that began in 2007-08. While Paul observes that the “prevailing attitude” is that the US government can just continue to print and spend money without restraint, he concludes that this Keynesian approach will fail.
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