From the State Department Human Rights Report on Russia under the Putin administration:
….The law forbids officials from entering a private residence except in cases prescribed by federal law or on the basis of a judicial decision. The law also prohibits government monitoring of correspondence, telephone conversations, and other means of communication without a warrant and prohibits the collection, storage, utilization, and dissemination of information about a person’s private life without his or her consent. While these provisions were generally followed, there were allegations that government officials and others engaged in electronic surveillance without judicial permission and entered residences and other premises without warrants.
News from yesterday about the United States government under the Obama Administration:
….The IRS sent Crossroads’ application to ProPublica in response to a public-records request. The document sent to ProPublica didn’t include an official IRS recognition letter, which is typically attached to applications of nonprofits that have been recognized. The IRS is only required to give out applications of groups recognized as tax-exempt.
“In an email Thursday, an IRS spokeswoman said the agency had no record of an approved application for Crossroads GPS, meaning that the group’s application was still in limbo.
Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved with investigating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea-party-affiliated groups, the documents show.
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.
In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,” Pruitt said.
I look forward to the report by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Human Rights in the United States.
May 14th, 2013 at 3:14 pm
The Chinese already beat them to it. From the introduction to Xinhua English’s translation of “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2012″:
” …In the U.S., citizens’ civil and political rights were further restricted by the government. The government expanded the scope of eavesdropping and censoring on personal telecommunications. The police often abused their power, resulting in increasing complaints and charges for infringement upon civil rights….”
I suppose now the Chinese wished they had waited a month before publishing the report.
May 14th, 2013 at 7:34 pm
I wonder if, “government officials and others engaged in electronic surveillance without judicial permission and entered residences and other premises without warrants.” in Russia was going after the same guys the IRS were targeting, the radical Right or Left?
May 14th, 2013 at 8:02 pm
The Tea Party radical?! Well I guess in the view of some.
May 14th, 2013 at 9:09 pm
And do you believe those “some” are on the Left or Right?
I mean, the Conservatives have almost given up George W. Bush as a fiscal Liberal, but I don’t think there is any doubt that he was on the Right. Some would call government employees as being on the Left, but I don’t think that is true. The ones I have known seem to be on the hard Right.
It doesn’t seem like, even with Obama Care, that Obama has even tried to structure the US government to the Left. So if Obama is going after them, then it is the Right acting against them, right?
An who would know better where to hurt the Right, than those on the Right? Treat them as enemy combatants and lock them away?
May 14th, 2013 at 9:36 pm
In Putinlandia, the gov goes after those it doesn’t like. In Obamastan, the gov goes after those it doesn’t like. It is ironic if you don’t look at it from a Russian oligarch’s, Putin’s, or a superzip’s, Obama’s point of view. If you do look at it from their point’s of view, what could be more natural?
May 14th, 2013 at 10:06 pm
But who will the American Right go after when they get the chance? Or are you telling me they will be saints? Welcome to Politics 101.
May 14th, 2013 at 10:27 pm
Is that what we’ve come to in the land of the free and the home of the brave, rejoinders about “101”, a sort of pre-emptive ‘Oh yeah? Well what about them argument’? If it makes you feel better, who am I to stand in the way of mental health?
May 15th, 2013 at 4:32 am
Rejoinders about mental health? Nice argument.
But then, this blog post is labeled Irony.
May 15th, 2013 at 11:32 am
That made both of me laugh.
May 16th, 2013 at 5:46 pm
@ T. Greer — I was just discussing via email with an American expat friend in China that we’re rapidly approaching the point that the worst Chinese or Russian bureaucrats will justify their actions by saying the U.S. does the same thing to dissidents. And the usual neocon suspects will simply reply that RT hates America when they make the comparison.
Russia to date doesn’t have an NDAA but I’m sure some silovik minded deputy in the Duma would love to give Putin the power of indefinite detention of opponents.
What people don’t understand about Russia is that sometimes it is Putin holding back the rapacious chinovniks not the other way around, not all of the Good Tsar versus the bad Boyars and bureaucrats is theater, though I don’t know what to make of CIA operatives caught with disco dude wigs in Moscow — the usual Russophobe suspects ala Prof. Craig Pirrong insist the poor lad from Missouri must’ve been compromised in some way to participate in the FSB takedown. Unlike Pirrong I allow that the Agency could actually be that incompetent at HUMINT recruitment since the Gov-oogle and NSA electronic panopticon the Russians don’t quite have yet may’ve made our siloviks lazy.
At any rate, the Agency has a history of recruiting Islamists to ‘infiltrate’ terror cells who go on to turn on their handlers (see suicide bombing depicted in Zero Dark Thirty, or more recent questions about the Tsarnaevs post Uncle Ruslan’s CIA father in law marriage).
What I can tell you with certainty regarding the Angletonian hall of mirrors that is Moscow is that much of the opposition is fake, either domestically funded from certain oligarch slush funds like Skolkovo (see Prof. Lev Ponomarov of Fair Russia and his lady friend Alena Popova who used to hang out with Anya Chapman and then scrubbed her page of all references to SVR’s GLG 20/honeypot before becoming a Bolotnaya activist…or the UK newspaper owned by ‘ex’ KGB man turned liberal activism patron Lebedev — it’s called full spectrum dominance, control the ‘Left’ and control the ‘Right’).
@ Curtis Gale Weeks — rejoinders about an alleged lack of mental health is all the Establishment trolls online have mustered for weeks, saying anyone who insisted the Obama Administration had targeted them, wanted their guns, or was spying on them was a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist. Now? All the White House trolls have left is the argument Bush did it too, which isn’t holding water. The trolls are in desperation mode like their bosses. I did remark here a few weeks ago that I was noticing a growing number of ‘that’s right, you insurrectionist bitter clinger trash, we are going to bring in foreign troops to kill you and take your guns’. Those type of remarks are not typical of leftoids who think the military or police are adequate to disarm Americans, but more of paid provocateurs trying to piss off as many liberty lovers as possible and provoke them into doing something stupid.
May 16th, 2013 at 5:57 pm
Second, Larry Dunbar is falling into the usual left versus right tropes that are no longer adequate to describe the situation — and given the number of lefty CIA diaper babies like Obama, may have been obsolete as early as 35 years ago once the 60s radicals decided to make their long march through the institutions. Yes, Obama had Good Shepherd parents and a Ford Foundation grandma who worked with Tim Geithner’s father in that globalist institution. It’s all written up in Angelo Codevilla’s The Chosen One, still the most subversive article I’ve ever read about the institutions that created Obama as surely as Putin was a product of the late, more professional and captalistic (foreign trading) 1980s KGB.
I believe it will eventually come out that the ‘leftarian’ activist/author Glenn Greenwald also got audited or spied upon, and that the House cloak room spying is just the tip of a vast American Stasi iceburg.
It isn’t about Left versus Right it’s about insiders versus outsiders. Dissident Democrat Dennis Kucinich has more in common with Ron Paul than Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid and the proof is in Kucinich speaking at Ron Paul’s new modest anti-interventionist foreign policy institute in D.C.
The good is when I wrote the above essay discussing the likelihood of a second American Civil War provoked by totalitarian outrages going unpunished, I may have been too pessimistic. That was before all this tsunami of leaks came out about the Obama Administration in what may be Washington patriots last gasp effort to stop the totalitarian rot before it provokes violence. There may be more than a few Adam von Trott zu Solz or at least Gen. Beck’s left inside the Beltway. As ‘Military Insider’ told D.W. Ulsterman’s blog The Ulsterman Report on Nov. 8,’we’re going to Watergate him’. The next shoe to drop if Sen. Mitch McConnell’s hints about it coming from CIA are correct could be admitting that Benghazi was about gun running to Syria jihadists. The neocon Right is desperate to avoid going there and is happy to solely discuss Obama’s stand down order or the he said, she said bureaucratic emails to desperately avoid admitting the the U.S. has been playing both sides in the so-called War on Terror and has been killing Al-Qaeda in Yemen while either inadvertently or deliberately arming Al-Qaeda (Al-Nusra Brigades) in Syria. That is why Amb. Stevens’ pleas for help were ignored. But the Pirrongs and Ledeens of this world don’t want to go that far down the rabbit hole.
May 16th, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Again, I wrote the above for the benefit of Zen’s dot MIL readership. It is high time to realize their are would-be totalitarian snakes in the grass on both sides of the aisle, one side simply worships the IRS/HHS while the other worships silovik/military three letter agencies as their Molochs. I pick on Pirrong because he’s the textbook example of a Republican who would go along with a totalitarian take down of this country from within, a person who hates genuine libertarians and others more than he loves the Constitution.
Fortunately it still looks like there’s a chance to stop this thing before DHS gets a chance to use their massive bullet horde on Americans. Resistance takes many forms, including the one thing these bastards can’t tolerate, open mockery. Evan Mathis of the Philadelphia Eagles is a great American for taking a whiz on their sign. Dana Milbank in the Pravda on the Potomac voice of the Establishment no less (who coincidentally has done more to document ‘security clearance America’ than anyone else at the) Washington Post was mocking Eric Holder’s ‘I don’t knows and I have no recollections’ yesterday before Issa. Holder may not have liked Issa’s leading questions but it was the anger of a street thug turned super criminal capo bureaucrat upon being cornered like a rat. If even the WaPost can turn against the Obamanistas and AP can sue the Administration then there’s hope even members of the Establishment won’t march lemming like to their own demise.
May 16th, 2013 at 6:08 pm
Zen, thanks again for filling in your readership as to the origins of the ‘Tea Party Insurrection of 2016’ and other bits of trolling the bitter clingers.
May 17th, 2013 at 2:26 am
“Dissident Democrat Dennis Kucinich has more in common with Ron Paul than Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid”
You got that right. So called “Conservatives” would no more vote for Ron Paul, than so called “Liberals” would vote for Dennis Kucinich.
That is because Ron Paul is to the Right as Dennis Kucinich is to the Left, too much Conservative and too much Liberal.
So it is as I say: the war is between the Right and Left, not Conservative and Liberal.
In other words, our government is to the Right, while our Bill of Rights is to the Left. Ron Paul would be POTUS if the incumbent force was actually Conservative, and Dennis Kucinich would be POTUS if the insurgency was actually Liberal.
As neither happened, both the incumbent and insurgency force in the USA is to the Right and Conservative.
May 17th, 2013 at 2:38 am
“That is why Amb. Stevens’ pleas for help were ignored.”
I believe that Amb. Stevens’ pleas for help were ignored because the head of the CIA, at the time, knew, because of Iraq, what the consequences would have been if an expeditionary Marine force, had been deployed to Libya.
The expeditionary force would have come against “Black Flag” Afghan forces.
May 17th, 2013 at 2:48 am
The black flag being the one that Charles Cameron has posted on many times here, the Shahida flag, at the time when Obama critics were saying, ‘look, we’ve put Al-Qaeda in charge of Benghazi’. Well where they so crazy off the mark? It was at that time best known as the flag in the background for many a jihadi chop chop film.
Rather than debating whether one is a fan of the Yankees of Red Sox, i.e. the Left or the Right, why don’t we have a more productive discussion? When does a government become totalitarian and hence, subject to justified resistance?