CIA seeks to gag critics of terror hit list 27 Sep 2010 The Obama Administration is trying to use national security laws to pre-empt an embarrassing court case over its targeted assassinations of terror suspects. In papers filed over the weekend Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, argued that American security would be breached if the lawsuit was heard in court. “This case cannot be litigated without risking or requiring the disclosure of classified and privileged intelligence information that must not be disclosed,” he wrote.
Obama invokes ‘state secrets’ claim to dismiss suit against assassinating U.S. citizens 25 Sep 2010 The Obama administration urged a federal judge early Saturday to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen for killing overseas, saying that the case would reveal state secrets. The U.S.-born citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, is a cleric now believed to be in Yemen… Civil liberties groups sued the U.S. government on behalf of Aulaqi’s father, arguing that the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command’s placement of Aulaqi on a capture-or-kill list of suspected terrorists — outside a war zone and absent an imminent threat — amounted to an extrajudicial execution order against a U.S. citizen.
Pentagon destroyed 10,000 copies of army officer’s book 26 Sep 2010 The Pentagon has admitted buying up and destroying 10,000 copies of an insider’s account of life in Afghanistan by an army intelligence officer. It said that the book, Operation Dark Heart by Lt Col Anthony Shaffer, threatened to divulge state secrets. Lt Col Shaffer, a bronze star recipient, said he had no intention of jeopardising American lives or damaging national security. “The whole premise smacks of retaliation,” he told CNN. “Someone buying 10,000 books to suppress a story in this digital age is ludicrous.”
Censorship of the Internet Takes Center Stage in “Online Infringement” Bill By Richard Esguerra 21 Sep 2010 Senator Patrick Leahy yesterday introduced the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA). This flawed bill would allow the Attorney General and the Department of Justice to break the Internet one domain at a time — by requiring domain registrars/registries, ISPs, DNS providers, and others to block Internet users from reaching certain websites. The bill would also create two Internet blacklists. The first is a list of all the websites hit with a censorship court order from the Attorney General. The second, more worrying, blacklist is a list of domain names that the Department of Justice determines — without judicial review — are “dedicated to infringing activities.”