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Morning Musings, Weekend Edition

  • The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled against a phone company’s challenge to the government’s bulk data collection program. The appears to be the first time that a private company has challenged cooperating with the government since Judge Leon’s Memorandum Order in Klayman v. Obama. The phone company lost its petition to vacate or modify the build data collection order; however, this is just the beginning of a much longer process that will likely continue in the courts, as well as up the street in the U.S. Congress. The decision is embedded below.
  • “Conducting background investigations “takes time and money,” [DC Lawyer] Smith said. “It is essentially a waste of resources to give individuals clearances who don’t really need [them].” Indeed.
  • Yesterday, Yleem and I met a young lady at an Old Town Alexandria business aged, maybe, in her mid twenties. As conversations with strangers go in these parts, it invariably turned to politics. A CNN story about the Ukraine matter (volume was on mute) was being broadcast in the office television. It triggered a question or two that led to an observation by her about 09.11.01. She was only 9 or so years old when 09.11 happened. She told us that 09.11, for her, was mostly a matter for the history books. For a very brief moment, I had a flash of what the future had in story for us, those odd events called senior moments. This morning, I found an article at the Legal Insurrection blog, right on point: Will sensitivities trump historical facts in teaching about September 11 attacks? Read on.
  • Even during the Congressional (Spring break two-week) recess, the Democrats have managed to keep the Left’s political campaign against the CIA alive in the Capitol Hill dailies.  “House Members Denied Look at CIA Report,” reads a headline in The Hill newspaper. If only they demonstrated this much tenacity for issues that really matter (i.e., eliminating wasteful federal programs or cutting regulatory red tape), the Congress would actually be able to move legislative product.
  • Senate staff Navy linguist pleaded guilty this week in the U.S. District Court for The District of Columbia to removing classified documents from a secure U.S. government facility. In their zeal to politically weaken the CIA, Senate staff may have done exactly the same thing. One wonders if this latter case will ever see the light of day …
  • The alleged USS Cole bomber seeks to halt the Guantanamo trial
  • Export Controls & Economic Sanctions Meet Ukraine: from The Washington Examiner, Sanctioned Russian official controls company that builds rocket engines to launch U.S. spy satellites
  • INTERPOL has issued a Red Notice on an alleged member of the Tamil Tigers in Norway. These are one of many issues, left over in part from the Cold War, that never seem to go away. Kind of like a certain government just 90 miles from our shores that is long past its “Sell By” date.
  •  Welcome to the 2016 presidential cycle: Hillary Clinton says, Snowden ‘leaks helped terrorists’ and calls the Benghazi terrorist attacks that resulted in the death of four Americans as her ‘biggest regret,’ ‘very painful’.
  • Reuters: “Leaders of the Group of Seven major economies agreed to impose extra sanctions on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, where armed pro-Moscow separatists detained a group of international observers and accused them of being NATO spies.”

Phone Company Loses Petition to Vacate, Modify MetaData Collection Order

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