Friday, September 20, 2019

Donald Trump's Promise to a Foreign Leader Was Scary Enough for Whistleblowers to Speak Up

Donald Trump's Promise to a Foreign Leader Was Scary Enough for Whistleblowers to Speak Up:


By Charles P. Pierce
Sep 19, 2019

I never thought I'd see the day when a serious concern for national security would be allayed in my mind by the fact that the President* of the United States never has made a promise he couldn't break.

Yes, it has well and truly hit the fan. From, as you undoubtedly know by now, the Washington Post:

Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed. It raises new questions about the president’s handling of sensitive information and may further strain his relationship with U.S. spy agencies. One former official said the communication was a phone call.

  

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

'What the Hell Is Going On Here'?: Alarm Raised as Trump's Intelligence Director Refuses to Give Whistleblower Complaint to Congress | Common Dreams News

'What the Hell Is Going On Here'?: Alarm Raised as Trump's Intelligence Director Refuses to Give Whistleblower Complaint to Congress | Common Dreams News:


by
Julia Conley, staff writer

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire informed the House Intelligence Committee chairman that he'd been directed by "a higher authority" to withhold the complaint
Experts are warning that protocols put in place to protect government whistleblowers have been put in serious jeopardy—potentially at the direction of President Donald Trump, according to a top Democrat—as the acting Director of National Intelligence is refusing, despite legal requirements, to share an official internal complaint with Congress.

After announcing last Friday that the independent Inspector General of the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) had alerted him to a whistleblower complaint, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told Margaret Brennan on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday that acting DNI Joseph Maguire was refusing to turn over the complaint because it involved "privileged communications" between people outside the intelligence community.

Maguire also told the chairman that "he is being instructed not to" respond to the committee's subpoena regarding the complaint, Schiff told Brennan.

"This involved a higher authority," the chairman said. "It's a pretty narrow group of people that it could apply to that are both above the DNI in authority and also involve privileged communications. So, I think it's fair to assume this involves either the president or people around him or both."

  

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Opinion | Privacy Is Not Your Responsibility - The New York Times

Opinion | Privacy Is Not Your Responsibility - The New York Times:


By Charlie Warzel

Mr. Warzel is an Opinion writer at large.

Sept. 17, 2019

Privacy invasion is the subject of an excellent article last week from The Times’s newsroom about an app from the University of Alabama that’s “using location-tracking technology from students’ phones” at football games “to see who skips out and who stays.” Basically: Alabama’s football team routinely obliterates weak competitors at home games; students leave the stadium early to go drink; the school wants them to stay. So they built an app that issues rewards points for staying, which, in turn, gives users access to better tickets for the big games at the end of the year.

It’s an interesting example of a truly consenting privacy invasion. The students know their location is being monitored and are getting something in return. This ostensibly straightforward exchange of goods and services is probably why Alabama’s athletic director told The Times that “privacy concerns rarely came up when the program was being discussed with other departments and student groups.”

  

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We’re Fueling the Next Global Extinction | The Nation

We’re Fueling the Next Global Extinction | The Nation:


By Tom Engelhardt

Worlds end. Every day. We all die sooner or later. When you get to my age, it’s a subject that can’t help but be on your mind.

What’s unusual is this: It’s not just increasingly ancient folks like me who should be thinking such thoughts anymore. After all, worlds of a far larger sort end, too. It’s happened before. Ask the dinosaurs after that asteroid hit the Yucat√°n. Ask the life forms of the Permian era after what may have been the greatest volcanic uproar the planet ever experienced.

  

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