The Cleveland bombers and other terrorist plots

One day in April last year, I opened the local newspaper to read a sensational story of the successful thwarting of a plot by five ‘terrorists’, people from the area, to blow up a bridge south of Cleveland. They accepted a plea deal in November that resulted in four of them receiving sentences ranging from 6 to 11 years with the remaining person still awaiting mental competency evaluation. The US attorney’s office had asked for sentences ranging from 19 to 30 years. [Read more…]

Supreme Court backs Obama on warrantless eavesdropping

The US Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling yesterday in Clapper v. Amnesty International rejected the claims of journalists and human rights groups that the government was secretly putting people under surveillance without getting a warrant. The court ruled against them on the technical grounds that the people suing lacked standing because they could not prove that they were being watched and monitored. Why couldn’t they do that? Because the government keeps the entire program secret, a practice started under president Bush and enthusiastically embraced by the Obama administration. [Read more…]