May 27, 2011—Congress on Thursday passed a four-year extension of post-September 11th powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists. Votes taken in rapid succession in the Senate and House came after lawmakers rejected attempts to temper the law enforcement powers to ensure that individual liberties are not abused. The legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting authorities headed for the president’s signature with only hours to go before the provisions expire at midnight. Minutes before the midnight deadline, the White House said Obama had signed the bill.
May 27, 2011—In a clear sign of Pakistan’s deepening mistrust of the United States, Islamabad has told the Obama administration to reduce the number of U.S. troops in the country and has moved to close three military intelligence liaison centers. The liaison centers, also known as intelligence fusion cells, in Quetta and Peshawar are the main conduits for the United States to share satellite imagery, target data and other intelligence with Pakistani ground forces conducting operations against militants.
May 26, 2011—A U.S. military official has rejected a clemency appeal from the lone Canadian held at Guantanamo Bay. The Convening Authority for Military Commissions says Omar Khadr must serve the full eight-year prison term he was sentenced to last October. Khadr, who was just 15 when he was captured by U.S. forces in 2002, has pleaded guilty to throwing a hand grenade that killed an American soldier. Khadr has spent the past nine years behind bars at the controversial U.S. naval base and is slated to be transferred to a Canadian prison this year.
—Nearly 60 tons of radioactive water may have spilled
May 26, 2011—The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant says radioactive water may now be leaking from a wastewater storage facility on site. The Tokyo Electric Power Company, known as TEPCO, told reporters Thursday that nearly 60 tons of radioactive water may have spilled. The latest leak was discovered amid efforts to transfer highly contaminated water from the number 2 and number 3 reactors to an improvised storage facility. TEPCO says the water level in the facility had dropped nearly two inches in just 20 hours, suggesting a leak.
May 26, 2011—Congress, racing the clock and rejecting demands for additional safeguards of civil liberties, passed a bill Thursday to renew three expiring provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act. With the provisions set to expire at midnight Thursday (0400 GMT on Friday), the Republican-led House of Representatives approved the measure, 250-153, just hours after it cleared the Democratic-led Senate, 72-23. President Barack Obama is traveling in Europe. White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said that he was prepared to use “the auto pen to sign” the bill quickly into law.
May 26, 2011—The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to extend until 2015 controversial counter-terrorism search and surveillance powers at the heart of the Patriot Act adopted after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Lawmakers adopted the measure 72-23 just hours before it expires at midnight (0400 GMT Friday), sending the bill to the House of Representatives. With the clock ticking, President Barack Obama—currently on a European tour—would also have to sign the act for it to pass into law.
—Chamber of Commerce fought Arizona law
May 26, 2011—The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an Arizona law that imposes sanctions against businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The court, on a 5-3 vote, said federal immigration law does not bar Arizona from suspending or revoking the licenses of businesses that employ unauthorized aliens.
25 May 2021 The government has issued a subpoena to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Risen in an effort to force the New York Times reporter to disclose the source of information about CIA efforts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. The subpoena orders Risen to testify at the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who has been indicted on 10 counts, including allegedly disclosing the information about Iran’s nuclear program to Risen. Sterling is among five different federal employees who’ve been prosecuted by the Obama administration in a crackdown on leakers—more prosecutions than under all previous presidents combined.
—NSA, Cyber Command have “unparalleled expertise”
May 25, 2011—The U.S. military will play a leading role in defending homeland America from cyber attacks, and this will include providing cybersecurity to key infrastructure on U.S. soil. Robert J Butler, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, briefed senators in Washington on the plans yesterday. Butler stated that the Defense department would of course safeguard its own .mil domain, but would also closely collaborate with the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to guard and patrol the rest of America’s cyber territory. Philip Reitinger, DHS bigwig, seemed to imply that the military would lead on cybersecurity even in the domestic sphere.
May 25, 2011—The Senate voted overwhelmingly Monday to extend expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for four years despite objections of a coalition of conservatives and liberals. Because of the Obama administration’s strong support for the anti-terrorism law, a bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate is expected to finish the legislation this week, keeping the provisions in force. They are scheduled to expire Friday. “It is essential to avoid any hiatus in these critical authorities,” the White House said in a statement.
Copyright 2011 Citizens For Legitimate Government
This link roundup originally appeared at LegitGov.org.