Politics

Disinfo: Rumsfeld's Information Operations Roadmap

Kathleen writes "From influencing public opinion through new media to designing "computer network attack" weapons, the US military is learning to fight an electronic war. The Information Operations Roadmap,a secret Pentagon "roadmap" on war propaganda, personally approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in October 2003, calls for "boundaries" between information operations abroad and the news media at home, but provides for no such limits and claims that as long as the American public is not "targeted," any leakage of PSYOP to the American public does not matter.

Obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and posted on the web Jan.26,2006, the 74-page "Information Operations Roadmap" admits that "information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and PSYOP, increasingly is consumed by our domestic audience and vice-versa," but argues that "the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences becomes more a question of USG [U.S. government] intent rather than information dissemination practices.""

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Politics Thursday: The Case for Open Borders

Daniel writes "I wrote this post before I heard about World Migration Day, or Pope Benedict XVI's remarks in commemoration of this day. But it seems in keeping with it's spirit, so I'm offering it today instead of something on Iraq, Iran or our motion towards an elected monarchy. For what it's worth, I'm officially endorsing an open border policy for the United States. What I mean by an "open border" is that everyone entering this country would be required to register with the federal government. Their names would be run against a database of aliens who were convicted of crimes against life or property in the United States. If the alien doesn't appear on this list, they're waived through. If they are flagged, they are arrested and if they can't prove a case of mistaken identity are jailed for a year and deported to their home country. I believe this system will strengthen US security, lower crime, improve wages and working conditions and ultimately lower the number of permanent aliens. I also think there is a moral case for an open border. Why do I think that? Let's start with the pragmatic considerations:

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Fox News Science Writer Paid by Philip Morris

kathleen de la pena mccook writes "The New Republic article, "Pundit for Hire," reports Steven Milloy,of FoxNews. has taken money from Philip Morris. On March 9, 2001, he wrote a column "secondhand smokescreen" attacking a study by Stephen Hecht, who found that women living with smokers had higher levels of chemicals associated with risk of lung cancer. "If spin were science, Hecht would win a Nobel Prize," Milloy wrote. For good measure, he heaped scorn on a 1993 Environmental Protection Agency report that also linked health risks and secondhand smoke. All the while, he was on the payroll of big tobacco. Reminds me of Hudson Institute Fellow Michael Fumento in the pay of Monsanto. Reminds me of Cato Institute Fellow, Doug Bandow, who told BusinessWeek Online that he had accepted money from Abramoff for writing between 12 and 24 articles."

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The grubby literati in America

Fang-Face writes "An interesting look at the state of literacy in the U.S. and a recent movement decrying the slipping standards thereof. Titled
Who Reads in America?, By Mark Schurmann, Pacific News Service, and posted to Alternet.org, this article intimates that literacy is becoming an underground counterculture."

ACLU & CCR File Domestic Spying Suit

Search-Engines writes "Prominent Journalists, Nonprofit Groups, Terrorism Experts and Community Advocates Join First Lawsuit to Challenge New NSA Spying Program.Saying that the Bush administration's illegal spying on Americans must end, the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the National Security Agency seeking to stop a secret electronic surveillance program that has been in place since shortly after September 11, 2001. THe ACLU Site Explains"

ALA preparing to file a Patriot Act FOIA request

The Reader's Shop writes "The American Library Association's Executive Board is filing the FOIA request to determine if the FBI has been collecting information on the Association and its leaders as a result of their opposition to certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act."

Anonymous Online Posts NOT Illegal

Seth Finkelstein writes "Regarding fears about anonymous online posts, see
A Skeptical Look at "Create an E-annoyance, Go to Jail" - lawyer Orin Kerr states "Declan McCullagh has penned a column that is custom-designed to race around the blogosphere. ...

This is just the perfect blogosphere story, isn't it? It combines threats to bloggers with government incompetence and Big Brother, all wrapped up and tied together with a little bow. Unsurprisingly, a lot of bloggers are taking the bait.

Skeptical readers will be shocked, shocked to know that the truth is quite different.".

See also
rebuttal by Daniel Solove
("Declan's article is misleading") and
analysis
by Ann Bartow
("I may be missing something, but I don't think
either e-mail or web logs would be [covered ...]")"

DOJ - Certain Anonymous Online Posts now Illegal

http://search-engines-web.com/ writes "According to a section of the act, anyone who uses the Internet anonymously "with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass another person" can be tried for violating federal telecommunications law and face fines or jail. The broad language of the law has some online advocates concerned that it could be used to censure the expression of objectionable opinion simply because those opinions annoy someone, but its backers say that is not the case More @ Yahoo! And UPI.com"

Hudson Institute Fellow Paid For Columns

kmccook writes "Awareness of paid comentators is an important aspect of information literacy.

Michael Fumento's failure to disclose payments to him in 1999 from Monsanto, the agribusiness giant, have now caused Scripps Howard to sever its ties to him. Fumento is a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute.Fumento's column will no longer be distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.Other conservative commentators -- in a series of 2005 revelations -- were found to have accepted money to promote programs and initiatives without disclosing the funding. They included Armstrong Williams of Tribune Media Services (which dropped Williams), Maggie Gallagher of Universal Press Syndicate, and the self-syndicated Michael McManus."

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Freedom of Information and IRS.

kathleen writes "I.R.S. Move Said to Hurt the Poor.
Tax refunds sought by 1.6 million poor Americans over the last five years were frozen and their returns labeled fraudulent, although the vast majority appear to have done nothing wrong, the Internal Revenue Service's taxpayer advocate told Congress yesterday.. Taxpayer Advocate.

Public Citizen:
In violation of a longstanding court order, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has knowingly stopped providing a widely recognized data expert with detailed statistics about how the agency enforces the nation's tax laws, according to a motion filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The legal challenge was brought by Susan B. Long, professor Syracuse University. Long has used the IRS's own data to document its performance for more than 30 years. Since 1989 she also has been co-director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data research organization that provides the public with detailed information about the operation of hundreds of federal agencies, including the IRS.

Long obtained a court order on July 23, 1976, from Judge Walter McGovern in connection with Long's studies of the agency while she was pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Washington. The order requires the IRS to provide her statistical data on an ongoing basis about its audit, collection and other enforcement activities.

For many years, the IRS largely abided by McGovern's order. Since mid-2004, however, the agency has refused to comply even while acknowledging the existence of the court order and of statistical material collected by the agency that is covered by the order. The agency has not offered an explanation for its refusal to provide the information. The motion filed today asks the court to compel compliance with the order.

For more than 10 years, TRAC has used the IRS's own data to produce a regular series of reports about the performance of what is today one of the nation's largest and most powerful agencies. The reports are posted on TRAC's Web site, http://trac.syr.edu./
TRAC has Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suits pending against the Justice Department's Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and the Office of Personnel Management. In addition, TRAC has administrative FOIA requests seeking data and other information from the Justice Department's Civil Division and its Environmental and Natural Resources Division, its immigration courts and several agencies within the Department of Homeland Security."

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