More than a decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a set of extraordinary and secretive surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency has been institutionalized, and they have grown.
These special programs are conducted under the code name Ragtime, and are divided into several subcomponents, according to the new book Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, by Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady. (I purchased a copy this morning.)
The authors, both journalists who cowrote a previous book about special operations in the military, have dug deep into the code names and operational nitty gritty of the NSA’s secretive and hugely controversial surveillance programs, and they’ve come up with impressive new details.
Ragtime, which appears in official reports by the abbreviation RT, consists of four parts.
Ragtime-A involves US-based interception of all foreign-to-foreign counterterrorism-related data;
Ragtime-B deals with data from foreign governments that transits through the US;
Ragtime-C deals with counterproliferation actvities;
and then there’s Ragtime-P, which will probably be of greatest interest to those who continue to demand more information from the NSA about what it does in the United States.
P stands for Patriot Act. Ragtime-P is the remnant of the original President’s Surveillance Program, the name given to so-called “warrantless wiretapping” activities after 9/11, in which one end of a phone call or an e-mail terminated inside the United States. That collection has since been brought under law, but civil liberties groups, journalists, and legal scholars continue to seek more information about what it entailed, who was targeted, and what authorities exist today for domestic intelligence-gathering.
But to point this out probably means that I hate Obama or I am a racist…or both.
At least I’m not a hypocrite like every damn Democrat who bitched and whined for 8 years about Bush destroying civil liberties and haven’t said word the first about this…but then again, it isn’t about civil liberties, is it? It is about a political party that has no principles save the quest for power:
The important thing to understand about the Democrat Party is that they have no moral or philosophical principles of any kind. The Democrat Party is about power for its own sake, and everything that Democrats claim to stand for is negotiable, subject to change if necessary to win elections. For example, if racism will win election for Democrats, then they will use racism to win elections:
A Democratic group is under sharp criticism for controversial online messages about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife.
For months, the liberal super PAC Progress Kentucky has attacked McConnell and held demonstrations at his offices and home.
Recently, the group turned its attention to McConnell’s wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with a focus on her race.
In a Feb. 14 Twitter message, Progress says: “This woman has the ear of (Sen. McConnell) — she’s his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!”
The Tweet links to a website run by conspiracy theorist and radio host Jeff Rense, alleging Chao, who was born in Taiwan, discriminated against American workers during her tenure.