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The Dissenter

15 Jul 2011

Court: TSA Violated Federal Law by Not Taking Public Comments on Airport Scanners

A court has ruled, in a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Transporation Security Administration (TSA) violated federal law when it went ahead and installed airport body scanners without seeking comments from the public. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals concluded TSA “has not justified its

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15 Jul 2011

DoJ Cites Koppelman, Wittes Hit Pieces on Scott Horton’s “Guantanamo Suicides”

Alex Koppelman and Benjamin Wittes, both of whom wrote hit pieces attacking Scott Horton’s award-winning article in Harper’s, “The Guantanamo Suicides,” won a bit of infamy by having their attacks cited in a government brief seeking a denial of a lawsuit filed by the parents of two of the dead prisoners. What’s even more galling is that their articles were poorly researched and basically government apologia. The U.S. government appears to have taken notice, and used their articles for their own purposes, making Koppelman and Wittes, wittingly or not, government proxies in the matter of the Guantanamo suicides controversy.

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15 Jul 2011

Decision in Julian Assange Extradition Appeal Postponed: Sweden Created This Standoff, Says Assange Lawyer

The post was originally published on July 13 to myFDL. It is being republished here to give those who missed it a chance for an update and insight on Julian Assange’s extradition appeal. A decision in WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange’s extradition appeal hearing is not expected for three weeks, as

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15 Jul 2011

Welcome to FDL’s The Dissenter

It is with great excitement that I welcome you to The Dissenter, a Firedoglake blog that will cover civil liberties and digital freedom issues. It will feature regular coverage of the torture scandal that continues to wear on and the ongoing US government war on WikiLeaks, along with coverage of the Orwellian expansion of the surveillance state, Internet privacy rights, the mass incarceration of people of color in this country and the current and historic repression of dissent.

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Prison Protest

The Bullpen

03 Aug 2011

“Old Washington” Includes Hardball Tactics, Not Just Centrist Compromises

David Farenthold plays up a myth of old Washington, and how the debt deal showed that the old power-brokers still hold influence. The piece is notable for Mitch McConnell calling the debt limit increase “a hostage that’s worth ransoming,” which kind of invalidated all the conservative martyrdom about being called

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03 Aug 2011

Syrian Massacre Continues, as World Assesses Limited Range of Options

If it’s possible, things are getting even more intense in Syria. The incursion into Hama, site of a large massacre of citizens at the hands of the regime in 1982, carries symbolic significance, as well as continuing the brutal repression which has killed or disappeared thousands since the start of

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03 Aug 2011

State Level Fights Offer Opportunities for Progressives

In Chris Cillizza’s smug dismissal of liberal frustration, with the curt statement “liberals and progressives have nowhere else to go,” he overlooks the fact that liberals have plenty of places to go. More than ever, in fact. From a movement-building perspective, there are more opportunities than normal in an off

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03 Aug 2011

The Bush Tax Cuts Is the Only Revenue Pot Available

If there was a question that the expiration of the Bush tax cuts would wipe out the entire medium-term deficit before, with the debt limit deal added in it would certainly do that. You would add $3.6 trillion in revenue onto the $2.1-$2.4 trillion in cuts, leading to a total

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03 Aug 2011

Iraqi Government Authorizes Negotiations With US Over Extended Military Presence

In Iraq, the political leadership has taken a small step toward allowing a US military presence to remain in the country beyond the previously agreed-to December 2011 pullout date. They authorized the Iraqi government to enter into negotiations with the US on what that presence could look like. These talks

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03 Aug 2011

The Never-Ending Pivot Is a 360 Back to the Deficit

The President has just the thing to focus the federal government’s attention on the jobs crisis: a bus tour of the Midwest. And his Treasury Secretary kicked off the campaign (shall we call it The Next Recovery Summer?) in the Washington Post. How does that go? Well, he spends 14

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