national intelligence

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Travails Of Empire - Oil, Debt, Gold & The Imperial Dollar





"We are imperial, and we are in decline... People are losing confidence in the Empire."

 
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The Cyber Wars Begin: Obama Says US "Must Retaliate" Against China For Historic Data Breach





The US has determined that the Chinese cyber attack on the databases of the Office of Personnel Management "was so vast in scope and ambition that the usual practices for dealing with traditional espionage cases [does] not apply," The New York Times reports. In short: "this agression will not stand, man."

 
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Sounding The Alarm On The Country's Vulnerability To An EMP





Last year, Elliott Management's Paul Singer highlighted "one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence" - an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). As Michael Snyder previously details, our entire way of life can be ended in a single day.  And it wouldn’t even take a nuclear war to do it.  All it would take for a rogue nation or terror organization to bring us to our knees is the explosion of a couple well-placed nuclear devices high up in our atmosphere.  The resulting electromagnetic pulses would fry electronics from coast to coast, and, as PeakProsperity.com's Chris Martenson explains, the country is extremely vulnerable to an EMP...

 
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China Responds: "Expiration Of The Patriot Act Is Not The End Of Washington's Intrusive Spying"





"US authorities need to take serious actions to show some sincerity, and to prove that they are not bad guys. Perhaps letting one of the most controversial intelligence-related acts expire is an acceptable solution."

 
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Constitution 1 - 0 Government: NSA Starts Winding Down Bulk Data Collection





As we detailed earlier, in a chaotic scene during the wee hours of Saturday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill known as the USA Freedom Act - backed by President Barack Obama, House Republicans and the nation's top law enforcement and intelligence officials - which would have preserved the government's ability to search phone company records for suspected spies and terrorists. As AP reports, the failure to act means the NSA will immediately begin curtailing its previously-secret bulk data collection progreams with The DoJ noting that while it will take time to taper off the collection process, that process began Friday (according to an administration official). Sen. Rand Paul called the Senate's failure to allow an extension of the surveillance programs a victory for privacy rights, adding "we should never give up our rights for a false sense of security."

 
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North Korean Defense Minister Executed With Anti-Aircraft Gun For Napping





There was some confusion what caused the fallout between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his defense minister, Hyon Yong Chol. According to Reuters Chol was charged with treason, including disobeying Kim. According to Bloomberg, his offense was more trivial: he fell asleep. The defense minister "was captured napping in video footage of the event late last month."  Whichever one is true is irrelevant, but one thing is certain: nobody will ever be caught napping at official events ever again because Chol was executed in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range. 

 
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Frontrunning: May 13





  • Obama, McConnell missteps undercut trade pact in U.S. Senate (Reuters)
  • Bears Beware: Rout Puts Investors on Wrong Side of Central Banks (BBG)
  • U.S. Set to Rip Up UBS Libor Accord, Seek Conviction (BBG)
  • Greece’s Creditors Said to Seek EU3 Billion in Budget Cuts (BBG)
  • Amtrak train derails in Philadelphia, killing at least five (Reuters)
  • Oil glut worsens as OPEC market-share battle just beginning (Reuters)
  • China Stimulus Aims at Restructuring Trillions in Local-Government Debt (WSJ)
 
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Fed Agrees To Name The FOMC Leaker (As Long As Congress Keeps It Secret)





Having initially missed its deadline to provide a response to Congress with regard the 2012 leak of FOMC minutes to an external newsletter writer, The Fed reluctantly admitted that none other than Janet Yellen had met with them. Today, however, as The Wall Street Journal reports, The (unaudited) Fed has agreed to furnish a congressional panel with the names of its staffers who had contact with Medley Global Advisors in the months before the leak, “with the understanding that the names will be kept confidential." So we'll happily tell you who leaked it... as long as you don't tell the public. Audit The Fed!!!

 
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The Virtual Immunity Of The Well-Connected: Gen. Petraeus Edition





The leniency shown former CIA Director (and retired General) David Petraeus by the Justice Department in sparing him prison time for the serious crimes that he has committed puts him in the same preferential, immune-from-incarceration category as those running the financial institutions of Wall Street, where, incidentally, Petraeus now makes millions. By contrast, “lesser” folks – and particularly the brave men and women who disclose government crimes – get to serve time, even decades, in jail. Behold, the virtual immunity enjoyed by the well connected.

 
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"Above The Law" Fed Ignores Congressional Deadline On FOMC Minutes Leak Probe





In a stunning shun to Congressional lawmakers, WSJ reports that The Fed has failed to comply with a request that the bank-owned entity identify the individuals who leaked The FOMC Minutes to Medley Global Advisors a day before the official release in October 2012. Rep. Jeb Hensarling sent a letter to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen on April 15 asking the Fed to name them by 5 p.m. EDT April 22. The deadline passed without any response by the Fed...

 
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The EMP Threat: Sending America Back To The 1800s





Previously, Elliott Management's Paul Singer has explained that he believes "there is one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence" - an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Today we dig deeper into that risk... Why are we writing about EMP? Because in any analysis of societal risk, EMP stands all by itself.

 
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Russian Government Hacked White House Computer System, CNN Reports





A few months ago, Sony used a ridiculous "hacking" publicity stunt to generate some $40 million more in revenues for what would otherwise have been the latest Seth Rogen "comic" flop, in which the film agency blamed North Korea - which has about ten ultramodern 80386 computers in the entire country - for hacking its firewall, a hack which was subsequently revealed to be the result of disgruntled former employee. Fast forward to today, when moments ago CNN reported that Russian hackers which according to left "tell-tale codes and other markers that they believe point to hackers working for the Russian government", had penetrated the White House computer system.

 
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