The Transportation Security Administration has issued a classified warning about a potential attack by the Islamic State today against a target in the United States.
The Intercept reviewed a notice of the classified alert, which was sent out Friday afternoon by TSA’s Transportation Security Operations Center. A source, who reviewed the classified intelligence warning, described the threat as very general, with no specifics about location or type of attack — just the timing.
The essence of the warning, according to a source, is that “ISIS plans an attack on U.S. soil.”
In response, the TSA deployed its recently formed Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams, or VIPR for short, to various locations. The VIPR teams have expanded in recent years, moving beyond airports to train stations and other busy transportation sites.
The warning appears significant in that it demonstrates that the U.S. intelligence community is now taking seriously the potential of ISIS to attack targets on U.S. soil, something the group has not yet done. ISIS has made broad threats against the United States in the past, but up to now, ISIS attacks on U.S. targets have been limited to Americans in Iraq and Syria.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council referred questions to the Department of Homeland Security, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
AP Photo of VIPR team monitoring a section of Penn Station on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in New York.
Aktionsbündnis Stop G7 Elmau
Sehr geehrte Medienvertreterinnen und Medienvertreter,
es geht in die heiße Phase. Die Planungen des Aktionsbündnisses “Stop G7 Elmau” anlässlich des G7-Gipfels im Werdenfelser Land schreiten erfolgreich voran. Das Interesse an unseren Vorhaben ist groß, was sich in zahlreichen regionalen, überregionalen und europäischen Medienanfragen widerspiegelt.
Wenn Sie ebenfalls Interviewanfragen stellen, O-Töne einfangen oder den Stand der neusten Planungen erhalten wollen, möchten wir Sie gerne einladen:
- Pressekonferenz nach der bundesweiten Aktionskonferenz
mit Vertreter*innen der einzelnen AGs
Sonntag, 26.04.2015, 10 Uhr
Ladenlokal Westendstraße 19
Sie erreichen die Pressegruppe unter: email@example.com
(This post is from our new blog: Unofficial Sources.)
Students at Tufts University are currently staging a sit-in protest at the school president’s office, urging the university to divest from fossil-fuel companies. After negotiations with school officials broke down, students say officials have threatened disciplinary action — and have blocked deliveries of food.
The protest, organized by a campus group called Tufts Climate Action, is calling for Tufts to sell off all its investments in fossil fuel companies over a five-year period.
“We’ve been here since 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning,” said Emma Youcha, a freshman taking part in the sit-in. Youcha said Tufts President Anthony Monaco dismissed her group’s concerns and would not allow the students to present their arguments to the full board of trustees.
The students say they are staging the sit-in to make their voices heard. But university officials called in campus security, who have constructed a fence to prevent students from communicating through a window. And when janitors came to bring a shipment of pizzas to the students, security blocked the delivery.
So far, students say they are subsisting on snacks and a loaf of bread they brought with them initially. Youcha says they will eventually be forced to leave once they run out of food.
Photo: Emma Youcha
The post Officials Block Food Deliveries to Tufts Students Protesting Fossil Fuel Investments appeared first on The Intercept.
Lawyers for Jeffrey Sterling, convicted earlier this year of leaking classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen, urged today that Sterling “not receive a different form of justice” than David Petraeus, the former general and CIA director who has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for leaking classified information to his biographer.
While Petraeus will not go to jail—yesterday a judge sentenced him to two years probation and a $100,000 fine—prosecutors have asked for a “severe” sentence against Sterling within federal guidelines of 19 to 24 years in prison. In January, a jury convicted Sterling, a former CIA agent, on nine counts related to leaking information to Risen, a Times reporter who in 2006 wrote a book that revealed the agency had mishandled a program to disrupt Iran’s nuclear-weapons program.
Sterling’s lawyers, Edward MacMahon, Jr. and Barry Pollack, filed their sentencing memorandum today, arguing that their client “should be treated no more harshly than any other person who has been charged and convicted of ‘leaking’ to the press.” In addition to Petraeus, they cited the cases of John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who was sentenced to 30 months in prison, and Stephen Kim, who received a 13-month sentence. Unlike Petraeus, Kiriakou and Kim, who reached plea agreements, Sterling took his case to a jury. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 11.
“He should be treated similarly to others convicted for the same crimes and not singled out for a long prison sentence because he elected to exercise his right to trial,” the lawyers stated. “[T]he court cannot turn a blind eye to the positions the government has taken in similar cases.”
The Petraeus and Sterling cases have highlighted another disparity in the government’s handling of leak cases: powerful officials like Petraeus are treated leniently while mid-level ones like Kiriakou, Kim and Sterling go to jail. In the Petraeus case, the government claims no harm was caused by his leak, because none of the information he leaked to Paula Broadwell, his biographer and onetime lover, was published, whereas the information published by Risen had caused “substantial damage” to national security.
However, this characterization was called “overwrought hyperbole” by a former CIA official in a letter of support for Sterling released today by his lawyers. David J. Manners, a former station chief in Prague and Amman as well as chief of the agency’s Iran task force, described as “not credible” the prosecution’s claim that Risen’s book severely hurt the CIA’s ability to recruit spies. Manners, who first met Sterling when both worked at the agency, noted that the government itself has often disclosed the role of intelligence operatives.
“While such disclosures are never helpful, they happen all the time (and sometimes the United States quietly endorses the disclosure—read some of Bob Woodward’s books, or look at Agency collaboration on the film about the bin Laden raid),” Manners wrote.
Sterling’s lawyers called attention to what they regard as another inequity in the treatment of Petraeus and their client. Petraeus admitted in his plea agreement that the classified information he leaked included highly-sensitive names of covert operatives, war plans for U.S. forces, as well as details about his discussions with senior officials including President Obama. Petraeus also admitted to lying to FBI agents about what he had done. Sterling, his lawyers noted, “revealed the names of no covert personnel and never lied about his actions to the FBI.”
The prosecution appears to be trying to do more than put Sterling behind bars for two decades; it appears to be trying to rewrite history and put an end to leaks of information that embarrass the government.
In their sentencing memorandum released earlier this week, prosecutors described the program that Risen wrote about as “meticulously conceived” and “thorough,” whereas Risen, the prosecution noted, had portrayed it as a “rogue” operation that made the agency look “hapless, even reckless.” If it follows the prosecution’s request for a severe sentence, the court may be seen as affirming the government’s upbeat portrayal of the program, which involved providing Iran with nuclear blueprints that would not work. According to Risen’s book, the Iranians were able to figure out which part of the blueprints were accurate and used those.
The prosecution also argued that Sterling’s sentence should be rendered as a warning to other would-be leakers. “A substantial sentence in this case would send an appropriate and much needed message to all persons entrusted with the handling of classified information…that intentional breaches of the laws government the safeguarding of national defense information will be pursued aggressively, and those who violate the law in this manner will be tried, convicted and punished accordingly.”
Sterling’s lawyers argued that he has already been punished severely—he was indicted five years ago, lost his job and is now “unemployed, unemployable, and destitute”—and that there is “no reason to believe that a substantial prison sentence given to a man who last worked at the CIA in 2002 will deter the leakers who supply information to the press on an almost daily basis to serve their own political and personal purposes.” They added, “People know they face penalties, and leaking has continued.”
- Lawyers for CIA Leaker Cite Selective Prosecution After Petraeus Plea Deal
- After Petraeus Plea Deal, Lawyer Demands Release of Stephen Kim
- Petraeus Plea Deal Reveals Two-Tier Justice System for Leaks
- Stephen Kim Spoke To A Reporter. Now He’s In Jail. This Is His Story.
- The Surrender (a short documentary by Stephen Maing)
Photo: John W. Adkisson/Getty
The post Petraeus Gets Leniency for Leaking—And Risen’s CIA Source Should Too, His Lawyers Say appeared first on The Intercept.
(This post is from our new blog: Unofficial Sources.)
Although Hillary Clinton went into great detail extolling the virtures of President Obama’s proposed trade agreements while serving as Secretary of State, as a candidate for president Clinton has only offered vague statements about her current position on the deals.
So how would a President Clinton decide on the Trans-Pacific Partnership or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? On Wednesday, White House spokesperson Eric Schultz said he had not “seen anything to suggest any distance” between Clinton’s position and the Obama administration on the deals. And trade consultants close to Clinton remain optimistic about her support.
Asked about Clinton’s TPP position at a recent Bloomberg News conference, Jim Bacchus, former Democratic congressman from Florida, said he is “sure Hillary will get to all of these things and I think she has a good sense to be for trade as part of her overall approach to America’s economic future.”
Later at the same conference, Bob Hormats, who served as Clinton’s Under Secretary of State, said he could not speak on behalf of Clinton, but emphasized that his former boss “understands very clearly that there are enormous trade opportunities in Asia and creating jobs.”
Hormats now serves as Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, a consulting firm founded by Henry Kissinger that advises multinational corporations on trade issues.
In Congress, Bacchus was a lead negotiator for NAFTA and later served as chief judge of the World Trade Organization. Bacchus, who now works on trade issues as the Global Practice Chair of the lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig, said he was the first of Florida’s congressional delegation to endorse Bill Clinton’s bid for the presidency, a supporter for Hillary Clinton in 2008 and a strong supporter of her current presidential campaign.
In New Hampshire, Clinton recently said, “Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security.” She has also mentioned that she would like to see currency manipulation as a key part of the deal.
But Clinton’s comments have not persuaded TPP critics. Indeed, vague demands that any deal increase prosperity are more or less identical to the rhetoric offered by strong TPP supporters. I spoke to Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin last Saturday, who had this to say about the TPP and TTIP (emphasis added):
Well, I talked about TTIP the other day in Germany in Hanover at the industrial fair there, and I think fair and open trade is a good thing on either side of the continent for the United States, whethere it’s on the Atlantic or the Pacific. Obvious the details need to be worked out and there’s a lot of details including some specific to my state that need to be worked out. But I think in the end, having a deal that’s fair and offers fair and open trade would be a good thing for the United States and for our trading partners.
Critics of the deal argue they have been burned by double-dealing by politicians in the past.
As a candidate for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama harshly criticized NAFTA on the campaign trail, claiming he would move to renegotiate the pact as president. Yet, reporters later uncovered evidence that Obama’s aides had met privately with Canadian officials to tell them that Obama’s rhetoric was “more reflective of political maneuvering than policy.”
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The post TPP Proponents Close to Clinton Remain Optimistic About Her Support appeared first on The Intercept.
Im Anschluss an die Refugee-Schulstreik-Demo und die Protestmahnwache vor der Vertretung der Europäischen Kommission mit tausenden Teilnehmer_innen gegen das `Massensterben lassen` durch die EU, die Rolle Deutschlands und geplante Asylrechtsverschärfungen fanden noch einige Flashmobs rund um den Bundestag statt. Dabei wurden jene Kerzen, Blumen, Schilder, Mitteilungen und Papierboote auf die Reise geschickt, die zuvor vor dem "Europäischen Haus" nicht stehen bleiben durften. Damit ist zwar der heutige Aktionstag beendet worden, nicht aber der weiterhin notwenige, wenn nicht gar noch viel verstärkter notwendige, permanente, kontinuierliche Widerstand gegen das Massensterbenlassen im Mittelmeer, ungenügende bzw. sinnlose und eher negative Reaktionen und Maßnahmen durch die EU sowie gegen die geplanten Asylrechtsverschärfungen durch die Bundesregierung! Bleibt am Ball! Weiter so! Refugees Welcome! Danke an alle!