|Commentary Magazine, by Max Boot Original Article|
|Forget “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” The hottest real-time game in the world is: Where in the world is Edward Snowden? The rogue NSA techie—who, in the judgment of the NSA’s head, Gen. Keith Alexander, “has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies”—has fled Hong Kong and wound up in Moscow. He was rumored to be heading to Ecuador via Havana but he didn’t make the Aeroflot flight he was expected to take, leaving a pack of journalists who bought tickets to photograph an empty seat. So presumably Snowden remains in Russia|
|House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has issued subpoenas for four current and former State Department officials to find out what they know about the fatal terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Issa, in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, said he has been unable to arrange interviews with the four officials, who Issa said, “possess direct knowledge of the event.” Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks, along with three other Americans. House and Senate Republicans have been pushing the Obama Administration|
Michael Hastings, the reporter who wrote an article for Rolling Stone that brought an end to General Stanley McKrystle's long military career left behind one.last.piece.
It's DEFINITELY worth reading.
For most bigwig Democrats in Washington, D.C., the last 48 hours has delivered news of the worst kind — a flood of new information that has washed away any lingering doubts about where President Obama and his party stand on civil liberties, full stop.
Glenn Greenwald’s exposure of the NSA’s massive domestic spy program has revealed the entire caste of current Democratic leaders as a gang of civil liberty opportunists, whose true passion, it seems, was in trolling George W. Bush for eight years on matters of national security.
“Everyone should just calm down,” Senator Harry Reid said yesterday, inhaling slowly.
That’s right: don’t panic.
Investigators still do not know if the FISA system has been compromised, or if Edward Snowden was the source of the Verizon warrant published by the ‘Guardian.’ Eli Lake reports.
Those who receive the warrant—the first of its kind to be publicly disclosed—are not allowed “to disclose to any other person” except to carry out its terms or receive legal advice about it, and any person seeing it for those reasons is also legally bound not to disclose the order. The officials say phone companies like Verizon are not allowed to store a digital copy of the warrant, and that the documents are not accessible on most NSA internal classified computer networks or on the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, the top-secret internet used by the U.S. intelligence community.
The warrants reside on two computer systems affiliated with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. Both systems are physically separated from other government-wide computer networks and employ sophisticated encryption technology, the officials said. Even lawmakers and staff lawyers on the House and Senate intelligence committees can only view the warrants in the presence of Justice Department attorneys, and are prohibited from taking notes on the documents.
Fewer U.S. adults are smoking, a new government report says.
Last year, about 18 percent of adults participating in a national health survey described themselves as current smokers.
The nation's smoking rate generally has been falling for decades, but had seemed to stall at around 20 to 21 percent for about seven years. In 2011, the rate fell to 19 percent, but that might have been a statistical blip.
Health officials are analyzing the 2012 findings and have not yet concluded why the rate dropped, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The CDC released its study Tuesday.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. It's responsible for the majority of lung cancer deaths and is a deadly factor in heart attacks and a variety of other illnesses.
Concerned about the stalled smoking rate, the CDC launched a graphic advertising campaign last year that was the agency's largest and starkest anti-smoking push. The campaign triggered an increase of 200,000 calls to quit lines, and CDC officials said thousands of smokers probably went on to kick the habit. The CDC did a second wave of the ads earlier this year.
The new report is from a survey of about 35,000 U.S. adults. Current smokers were identified as those who said they had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and now smoke every day or some days.
The rate was only 9 percent for people ages 65 and older, but about 20 percent for younger adults. More men than women described themselves as current smokers.
The report did not include teens. About 16 percent of high school students were smokers in 2011, according to an earlier CDC report.
Patrick Reynolds, executive director of the Foundation for a SmokeFree America, told The Associated Press that he was elated that the adult smoking rate, for years at about 20 percent, had dropped below that longstanding plateau.
He said factors he thinks have contributed to fewer adults smoking include rising state and federal tobacco taxes, more spending on prevention and cessation programs, and more laws banning smoking in public.
"This is a real decline in smoking in America. I'm ecstatic about it. It's proof that we are winning the battle against tobacco," he said by telephone from Los Angeles.