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Obama DOJ again refuses to tell a court whether CIA drone program even exists

Obama DOJ again refuses to tell a court whether CIA drone program even exists

It is not news that the US government systematically abuses its secrecy powers to shield its actions from public scrutiny, democratic accountability, and judicial review. But sometimes that abuse is so extreme, so glaring, that it is worth taking note of, as it reveals its purported concern over national security to be a complete sham.

Such is the case with the Obama DOJ’s behavior in the lawsuit brought by the ACLU against the CIA to compel a response to the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about Obama’s CIA assassination program. That FOIA request seeks nothing sensitive, but rather only the most basic and benign information about the “targeted killing” program: such as “the putative legal basis for carrying out targeted killings; any restrictions on those who may be targeted; any civilian casualties; any geographic limits on the program; the number of targeted killings that the agency has carried out.”

Everyone in the world knows that the CIA has a targeted killing program whereby it uses drones to bomb and shoot missiles at those it wants dead, including US citizens. This is all openly discussed in every media outlet. Read more.Glenn Greenwald | The Guardian | 14th February 2013

Snoop cops axed: 18 officers leave force after checking up lovers and friends on police database

Cops have been nicked using police records to snoop on family and friends 62 times. Four were sacked and 14 resigned after the breaches.

They were caught carrying out private checks on partners, relatives and friends, as well as altering their own records, and passing data to third parties.

A spokesman for the Infor­mation Commissioner’s Office, responsible for enforcing the Data Protection Act, said: “It is important officers do not abuse this access and only use information for their policing duties.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that South Wales Police had 28 breaches in 2011-12. Read more.

Adam Aspinall | The Mirror | 15th Feb 2012

Prince’s charity lobbied government to water down homeopathy criticism

Draft guidance for the website NHS Choices warning that there is no evidence that homeopathy works was suppressed by officials following lobbying by a charity set up by the Prince of Wales.

Homeopathy, which involves the use of remedies so heavily diluted with water that they no longer contain any active substance, is “rubbish”, said chief medical officer Sally Davies in January to the House of Commons science and technology committee. She added that she was “perpetually surprised” that homeopathy was available in some places on the NHS.

Lobbying by opponents, and the response from DH officials who did not want to take on Prince Charles’s now defunct Foundation for Integrated Medicine and other supporters of homeopathy, is revealed in correspondence from the department discussing the new guidance. It was released under the Freedom of Information Act to Prof David Colquhoun of University College London, a Fellow of the Royal Society and prominent science blogger. Read more.

Sarah Boseley | The Guardian | 13th February 2013

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