Vlahos: Antiwar.com Under Surveillance

“Irreverent and unyielding in its opposition to U.S. foreign policy, Antiwar.com has been called many things. But that Washington might consider the 17-year-old news and opinion website a threat to national security should be cause for alarm—especially today.”

“The Obama administration has come under scrutiny this summer following revelations that it’s been snooping on journalists in connection with the unprecedented number of federal leak prosecutions in recent years. Meanwhile, thanks to revelations by Edward Snowden, the American public now knows the government has more access than ever to our Internet browsing habits, e-mails, Facebook accounts, and phone and Skype records.”

“The all-seeing eye may be putting the chill not only on privacy and free speech but also on investigative national-security journalism and the public’s right to know. And this is not limited to the high-profile cases affecting big mainstream players like Fox News, the Associated Press or the New York Times, which have received most of the attention.”

“In May, with considerably less fanfare, Antiwar.com announced it was suing the FBI, demanding the release of records the editors believe the agency has been keeping on founder and managing editor Eric Garris and editorial editor Justin Raimondo. The suit stems from a 2004 memo a reader found through an unconnected FOIA request and passed along to Antiwar.com in 2011. The heavily redacted 94-page document clearly states the FBI had secretly investigated and monitored the website and declared—despite acknowledging there was no evidence of any crime—that further surveillance of Antiwar.com was necessary to determine if “[redaction] are engaging in, or have engaged in, activities which constitute a threat to national security on behalf of a foreign power.”

Full Report by Kelly Vlahos @ The American Conservative http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/antiwar-com-under-surveillance/

Reason:”Yes, We Do Have a Debt Problem”

“In mid-May, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revised its previous estimate of the federal government’s 2013 deficit downward by 24 percent. The fiscal year (which ends on September 30) will feature red ink of merely $642 billion, down from the $1 trillion-plus of the previous four years, said the CBO. For many Democrats, this proved what they knew all along: The national debt is not a clear and present threat.”

“We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt,” President Barack Obama declared in an ABC News interview in March. “In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s going to be in a sustainable place.” In the same month and venue, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner (Ohio) joined the president in a rare moment of agreement: “We do not have an immediate debt crisis,” Boehner claimed.

“This attitude is reminiscent of the yarn about a man jumping off the roof of a 10-story building and, around the third floor, saying, “Everything looks fine so far!” ”

“After years of bipartisan overspending, public debt today—that’s the money that the federal government owes to domestic and foreign investors—is almost 90 percent higher than at the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. It climbed by $1 trillion dollars between December 2011 and December 2012 alone to its current level of $12.03 trillion, according to the CBO in May. Public debt is now 75.1 percent of GDP, the highest level since 1950, and it is projected to reach 76.2 percent next year.”

Full column by Veronique de Rugy @ http://reason.com/archives/2013/07/16/yes-we-do-have-a-debt-problem