Yesterday Wikileaks published documentation of NSA spying on German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier along with a list of 20 targets in the German Foreign Ministry.
One of the documents is an NSA intercept of Steinmeier's communications after Steinmeier met his US counterpart, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
According to the intercept, Steinmeier "seemed relieved that he had not received any definitive response from the U.S. Secretary of State regarding press reports of CIA flights through Germany to secret prisons in eastern Europe allegedly used for interrogating terrorism suspects."
The visit occurred in the context of an escalating and ongoing scandal in Europe over clandestine "rendition flights" conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) using the airspace and airport facilities of cooperating European countries, in which it was alleged by leading news publications that European citizens and residents had been abducted outside of any legal process and taken to secret "black site" prisons, where they could be tortured with impunity. After the scandal emerged, European governments defied their publics, continuing to cooperate with the United States while denying all knowledge of rendition flights. These denials relied heavily on the insistence of European governments that they had received confidential "diplomatic assurances" from the United States that nothing illegal was taking place. It was subsequently shown in numerous court proceedings and commissions of inquiry that the activity was illegal.
If Hillary Clinton is a true liberal, as Markos Moulitsas has so definitively asserted, then it creates a framework for healing the wounds that have divided the Democratic Party.
At the same time, it stands to reason that Hillary Clinton’s refusal to acknowledge the growing rift between party members creates an almost insurmountable obstacle. As is common in all sick families, a problem that isn’t acknowledged can’t be cured. And there are many grievances to be healed.
It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. .
We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn - Matt Taibi
The debate in the Senate about extending the Patriot Act has gotten so bizarre that I suspect it is all kabuki.
Mitch McConnell's inability to muster a fillibuster-proof 60 votes for a straight extension of the controversial act has gotten most of the headlines, but there is a lot more happening underneath that we need to be aware of.