The Vincennes’ downing of Iran Air Flight 655: The United States tried to cover up its own destruction of a passenger plane.

No reason here for taking the pressure off Putin. But put the self-righteousness on pause - David C. Unger

"None of this is meant to let Putin off the hook for whipping up secessionists in eastern Ukraine, giving them advanced weaponry, and training them how to use it. Nor do I mean to draw false equivalencies between Russia in Ukraine today and America in the Persian Gulf a quarter-century ago. That said, the Vincennes saga is more than a mere shocking bit of forgotten history. There are parallels between then and now, lessons to be learned."————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-"One more shocking bit, which I didn’t know until just now: In 1992, four years after the event (and shortly after I moved on to a different beat), Adm. Crowe admitted on ABC’s Nightline that the Vincennes was in Iranian waters at the time it shot down the plane. Back in 1988, he and others had said that the ship was in international waters. It also came out that some other Navy officers had regarded Rogers as “aggressive” and found it strange that he was moving his Aegis cruiser into those waters to pursue Iranian patrol boats—overkill at best, asking for trouble in any case. The distractions of the chase, possibly combined with the fact that the Aegis radar-guided missile system was new at the time, may have led to his fatal misjudgment."

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Poland: Court awards €230,000 in CIA secret rendition and ‘torture’ judgement | HUMANERIGHTSEUROPE

"Having regard to the evidence before it, the court came to the conclusion that the applicants’ allegations that they had been detained in Poland were sufficiently convincing. The court found that Poland had cooperated in the preparation and execution of the CIA rendition, secret detention and interrogation operations on its territory and it ought to have known that by enabling the CIA to detain the applicants on its territory, it was exposing them to a serious risk of treatment contrary to the convention."

U.S. Increases Surveillance, Military Advisers in Iraq - WSJ

How about seeking a congressional resolution? - David C. Unger

"The Pentagon said 20 additional military advisers recently had arrived in Iraq, bringing total U.S. military personnel there to 825. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said there are now 90 advisers working with Iraqi military forces, assessing their capabilities, and 160 Americans are assigned to joint operation centers in Baghdad and Erbil."

Prosecutors Are Reading Emails From Inmates to Lawyers - NYTimes.com

"Jailhouse conversations have been many a defendant’s downfall through incriminating words spoken to inmates or visitors, or in phone calls to friends or relatives. Inmates’ calls to or from lawyers, however, are generally exempt from such monitoring. But across the country, federal prosecutors have begun reading prisoners’ emails to lawyers — a practice wholly embraced in Brooklyn, where prosecutors have said they intend to read such emails in almost every case."

Senate Bill Requires Report on "All" NSA Bulk Collection | Federation Of American Scientists

"The National Security Agency would be required to prepare an unclassified report on “all NSA bulk collection activities,” the Senate Appropriations Committee directed in its report on the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, published yesterday.(7/17)"

A Look Behind President Clinton's Veto of an Anti-Leak Bill | Federation Of American Scientists

“Although well intentioned, that provision is overbroad and may unnecessarily chill legitimate activities that are at the heart of a democracy,” he wrote in his November 4, 2000 veto message.

But that unexpected outcome almost didn’t come to pass.

Instead of a veto, White House lawyers had prepared draft signing statements for President Clinton in which he would have approved the bill, while expressing some reservations about its potential impact.

The draft signing statements were released by the Clinton Presidential Library last week. The newly disclosed presidential documents were first noted by Josh Gerstein in Politico on July 18.

“I strongly believe… that this new provision should not be applied in a manner that could chill legitimate activity or transform questions of judgment into criminal referrals,” according to the draft signing statement for President Clinton that was ultimately set aside in favor of a veto of the bill.”

Before Snowden: The Whistleblowers Who Tried To Lift The Veil : NPR

NPR story today on Bill Binney’s terrifying experiences as an NSA whistleblower - David C. Unger

The downside of giving weapons to rebels in Ukraine or Syria - The Washington Post

"The bodies and debris that rained from the Ukrainian sky offer a cautionary lesson about the danger of giving heavy weapons to non-state actors. I hope the hawks who wanted President Obama to ship anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian rebels are paying attention."

To Talk With Hamas, U.S. Needs Help From a Testy Trio of Nations - NYTimes.com

Awkward, self-inflicted blow to US diplomacy. Washington could talk w Mao, Stalin, but not Hamas? - David C. Unger

Senate Bill Requires Report on "All" NSA Bulk Collection | Federation Of American Scientists

This is much better than the bills produced by the Intelligence Committees - David C. Unger

The National Security Agency would be required to prepare an unclassified report on “all NSA bulk collection activities,” the Senate Appropriations Committee directed in its report on the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, published yesterday.

The Committee told the NSA to prepare a report “describing all NSA bulk collection activities, including when such activities began, the cost of such activities, what types of records have been collected in the past, what types of records are currently being collected, and any plans for future bulk collection.”