Trump in Line to Receive Top U.S. Intelligence Secrets

“Trump has at times questioned the U.S. role in NATO, called Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘a strong leader,’ and said he’s ‘in that camp’ that believes torture yields valuable information from detainees.  The Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is a veteran recipient of government secrets, although Republicans contend she broke the law because classified information was included in messages on her private e-mail system. The FBI is investigating the matter.”

Escalating US Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul


“U.S. air forces have been operating under looser rules of engagement in Iraq and Syria since last fall. The war commander, Lt. Gen. McFarland, now orders air strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from US Central Command, and US officials acknowledge that air strikes are killing more civilians under the new rules.  US officials previously claimed that air strikes in Iraq and Syria had killed as few as 26 civilians. A senior Pentagon official who is briefed daily on the air war told USA Today that was unrealistic, since air strikes that have destroyed 6,000 buildings with over 40,000 bombs and missiles have inevitably killed much higher numbers of civilians.”

Revoke Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize


“Obama now has the ignominious distinction of being continuously at war longer than any other American president in U.S. history.   Christof Heyns, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions, told a conference in Geneva that President Obama’s drone strike program threatens 50 years of international law by encouraging other states to violate long-standing human rights standards.  After eight years of continuous warfare, the Nobel Committee should take another unprecedented action: It should revoke Obama’s peace prize and demand repayment of the prize money.”

EU army plans kept secret from voters

“Steps towards creating a European army are being kept secret from British voters until the day after next month’s referendum.  The plans, drawn up by the EU’s foreign policy chief, foresee the development of new European military and operational structures, including a headquarters. They are supported by Germany and other countries as the first step towards an EU army.  Similar proposals were vetoed by Britain in 2011, although there are concerns that a loophole could allow nine states to group together and bypass opponents.”

Bitcoin Gains Favor With Modern Day ‘Gold Bugs’ Seeking Financial Security

“Kanishka Sukumar, a 24-year-old consultant in midtown Manhattan, holds about a third of his wealth in bitcoin. He represents a new generation of ‘gold bugs’ who question the stability of paper currency or seek better ways to protect savings, according to The Wall Street Journal.  One in five bitcoin users hold the cryptocurrency since they don’t want the government or banks controlling their money, according to a survey of 3,500 bitcoin users. That was the second biggest reason the survey respondents hold bitcoin. The main reason, according to the survey from data provider CoinDesk, was to own bitcoin as an investment.”

Snowden laughs off CIA’s ‘mistaken’ destruction of secret torture report

“‘I worked @CIA. I wrote the Emergency Destruction Plan for Geneva,’ Snowden told his millions of global supporters over Twitter. ‘When the CIA destroys something, it’s never a mistake.’  At least one copy of the full report supposedly still exists elsewhere in the CIA – just not in the hands of the watchdog that’s supposed to make sure the CIA acts within the law.  However, it may never see the light of day, after last week the US Court of Appeals struck down an attempt to make it public under the Freedom of Information Act.”

CIA ‘mistakenly’ destroys copy of 6,700-page US torture report

“The CIA inspector general’s office has said it ‘mistakenly’ destroyed its only copy of a comprehensive Senate torture report, despite lawyers for the Justice Department assuring a federal judge that copies of the documents were being preserved.  Last summer CIA inspector general officials deleted an uploaded computer file with the report and then accidentally destroyed a disk that also contained the document.  The 6,700-page report contains thousands of secret files about the CIA’s use of ‘enhanced’ interrogation methods, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other aggressive interrogation techniques at ‘black site’ prisons overseas.”

Mark Nestmann: They’ve spit on the Bill of Rights yet again

“[The Wisconsin Supreme Court] recently ruled that police do not need a search warrant to forcibly open locked doors in a private home.  It’s bad enough that a citizen can be fined and imprisoned for possession of a plant with medicinal properties. But with this decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has declared that so long as police have permission to enter a home with or without a warrant, once they’re inside, they can conduct a protective sweep. Police then have the right to rifle through your belongings, break down locked doors, and seize evidence that can later be used against you.”

Owner of kite-surfing island for Silicon Valley executives faces $4.6 million fine

“A state water agency has proposed one of its largest fines ever — $4.6 million — against a Bay Area man for allegedly damaging an island by transforming it into a luxury sporting enclave for Silicon Valley executives.  After purchasing the island in 2011, Sweeney sought to revive a decades-old duck hunting club at the island. He launched a kite-surfing outfit with marketing materials that tout its seclusion and convenience for Silicon Valley and Bay Area executives. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission issued a cease-and-desist order on April 22, concluding that Sweeney and the club violated two state laws.”

Nasdaq rejects pot startup MassRoots

“MassRoots, a social networking platform for cannabis users, said Tuesday that Nasdaq has rejected its request to trade shares on the exchange.  The Denver-based startup had hoped to become the first cannabis company to be listed on Nasdaq.  Nasdaq determined that listing the company could have been seen as aiding the distribution of an illegal substance, MassRoots said.  Isaac Dietrich, a co-founder of MassRoots, said the decision sets a ‘dangerous precedent’ that will prevent other legal marijuana companies from getting listed on national stock exchanges.”