by David Phinney
Thursday June 21st 2018

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Hiring National Security Contractors Is Dangerous Business

Hiring National Security Contractors Is Dangerous Business

When high-level government officials are reduced to blaming a single, low-level contractor employee for upending U.S. intelligence operations, then those high-level officials have a big problem. The troublemaker, Edward Snowden, was just one of over a million intelligence private employees with government security clearances. A high school [...]

Snowden Update: Hong Kong Asylum Uncertain

Snowden Update: Hong Kong Asylum Uncertain

This from Reuters regarding Edward Snowden's chances for asylum in Hong Kong after he took credit on Sunday for revealing classified documents about and scope of U.S. electronic intelligence programs: Regina Ip, a Hong Kong lawmaker and former security secretary, said it would be wise for Snowden to leave Hong Kong. "We do have bilateral [...]

Edward Snowden Opens Can of Worms

Edward Snowden Opens Can of Worms

Today, Edward Snowden claimed he is responsible for leaking the goods on the architecture of the U.S. PRISM program, an international surveillance program that monitors Internet traffic en masse. The bold, ballsy admission opens a frothy can of wormy issues – from international relations between China and the U.S. to the nature of U.S. [...]

Rethinking My Methods of Communications

For years, I have ardently advocated the downsizing of the U.S. Postal Service. It is costly, slow, inefficient and, I thought, antiquated by electronic communications.... I am now reconsidering that whole notion given news from The Washington Post: "The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine [...]

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson “Soft” on Clinic Bombers

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson “Soft” on Clinic Bombers

The U.S. judge who renewed the top secret court order demanding that Verizon provide information on all calls in its system to the National Security Agency “on an ongoing daily basis” was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on May 4, 2006. His term ended just days after signing the order on May 18, 2013. U.S. Judge [...]

It’s Prom Night for Washington Correspondents

by David Phinney April 27, 2013 -- All those celebrities that the media invites from Hollywood are kind of fun. And, damn, the food and drink flows like summer rain all night at the Washington Hilton, but it might be better for the media to host subjects of their stories -- Boston people and those who lived through Hurricane Sandy, military [...]

Forced Labor in Iraq and State Department Mutiny

Forced Labor in Iraq and State Department Mutiny

by David Phinney Nov. 1, 2007 -- Interesting that State Department employees are up in arms about the prospect of being forced to work in Iraq at the new $740-million embassy, aka, "Fort Apache on Steroids": At the same time, the the State Department's own inspector general and trafficking in persons division (along with US news editors) [...]

The Mega-Bunker of Baghdad

The Mega-Bunker of Baghdad

by David Phinney Nov. 1, 2007 -- William Langewiesche takes a Johnny-come-lately look in Vanity Fair with something of a jaundiced view. Of course, the project is not on budget or on time. It was originally scheduled to be finished by June 2007 and cost $592-million. The project is now being estimated to cost $740 million and remains under [...]

New Military Support Contract ‘Improperly Awarded’

by David Phinney Nov. 1, 2007 -- A new 10-year, $150 billion arrangement for providing logistical support U.S. troops around the world should be reconsidered, according to a lead government agency charged with reviewing federal contract awards. The contracts assigned the work to KBR, Fluor and DynCorp, but the General Accountability Office is [...]

Investigators Become Lapdogs?

Surveying the federal government's Inspector General system, an independent practice of checks and balances within the federal government, Rolling Stone suggests that President bush has turned watchdogs into lapdogs: The administration is more interested in turning the watchdogs into lap dogs. Just as he politicized every other facet of government [...]

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