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The Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017, Story 1: Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma is History — Storm Surge and Rain Floods Jacksonville, Miami, Naples , Charleston and Many Others –Wind and Flood Damage In Billions — More Than 25 Dead and Over 7 Million Without Electrical Power — Looting — Videos — Story 2: Bannon on Sixty Minutes — Republican Leadership Promises Not Kept — Firing of FBI Director Comey — A Big Mistake — DACA May Lead To Republican Civil War — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 956, August 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 955, August 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 954, August 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 953, August 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 952, August 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 951, August 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 950, August 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 949, August 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 948, August 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 947, August 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 946, August 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 945, August 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 944, August 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 943, August 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 942, August 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 939,  August 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 938, August 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 937, July 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 936, July 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 935, July 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 933, July 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 932, July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931, July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930, July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928, July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927, July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926, July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925, July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924, July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922, July 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 921, June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920, June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919, June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918, June 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 917, June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916, June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915, June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914, June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913, June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912, June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911, June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910, June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909, June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908, June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907, June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906, June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905, June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904, June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903, June 1, 2017

Image result for tropical storm irma Image result for hurricane irma advisory as on 5 pm Monday Sep 11, 2017Image result for steve bannon 60 minutes

Image result for jacksonvill3e flooding due to Hurricane Irma

Flooding In Jacksonville After Hurricane Irma | NBC News

Irma updates: Flash flood emergency for downtown Jacksonville CNN Breaking News Live

Hurricane Irma Live Tracking Updates Today 9/11/2017 – Hurricane Irma Forecast Discussion

Flood Waters In Jacksonville, Florida At A 53-Year High

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MOST SHOCKING : Live Footage as Hurricane Irma SLAMS Florida , #irma, #hurricane irma florida

LOOTERS IN THE HURRICANE : MOST CRAZIEST Footage EVER Of Florida Hurricane Irma (SEP. 10, 2017)

Hurricane Irma: Nearly half of Florida in the dark, Tampa takes pounding

The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds weakened to 85 mph with additional weakening expected. As of 2 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 25 miles northeast of Tampa and moving north-northwest near 15 mph.

Irma continues its slog north along Florida’s western coast having blazed a path of unknown destruction. With communication cut to some of the Florida Keys, where Irma made landfall Sunday, and rough conditions persisting across the peninsula, many are holding their breath for what daylight might reveal.

Forecasters say they expert Irma’s center to stay inland over Florida and then move into Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

They also expect Irma to weaken further into a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia on Monday as it speeds up its forward motion. The hurricane center says the storm is still life-threatening with dangerous storm surge, wind and heavy rains.

More than 3.3 million homes and businesses — and counting — have lost power in Florida as Hurricane Irma moves up the peninsula.

The widespread outages stretch from the Florida Keys all the way into central Florida.

Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest electric utility, said there were nearly 1 million customers without power in Miami-Dade County alone.

There are roughly 7 million residential customers in the state.

The county administrator in the Florida Keys says crews will begin house to house searches Monday morning, looking for people who need help and assessing damage from Hurricane Irma.

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi says relief will arrive on a C-130 military plane Monday morning at the Key West International Airport.

Once it’s light out, they’ll check on survivors. They suspect they may find fatalities.

Gastesi says they are “prepared for the worst.”

Hurricane Irma made landfall Sunday morning in Cudjoe Key.

But The Associated Press has been texting with John Huston, who has been riding out the storm in his house on Key Largo, on the Atlantic side of the island, just south of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Every few minutes during the height of the storm, he sent another dispatch.

He described whiteout conditions, with howling winds that sucked dry the gulf side of the narrow island, where the tide is usually 8 feet deep. He kept his humor though, texting to “send cold beer” at one point. Now he sees furniture floating down the street with small boats.

He says the storm surge was at least 6 feet deep on his island, 76 miles from Irma’s eye. He can see now that structures survived, but the storm left a big mess at ground level.

Irma set all sorts of records for brute strength before crashing into Florida, flattening islands in the Caribbean and swamping the Florida Keys.

It finally hit the mainland as a big wide beast, but not quite as monstrous as once feared. The once-Category 5 storm lost some of its power on the northern Cuba coast.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HURRICANE_IRMA_THE_LATEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-09-11-07-05-11

Florida picks up the pieces of Irma’s devastation: 7.2million left without power and at least seven dead after hurricane beat a path across the state before being downgraded to a tropical storm

  • Irma weakened to a tropical storm on Monday, as it continued to pummel northern Florida 
  • The storm is expected to move into Georgia later today, where Atlanta has been put on a tropical storm warning for the first time ever and schools are closed for the day 
  • More than 4,000 flights were cancelled on Monday, mostly out of Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa’s airports  
  • About 7.2 million people are without power and it could take a few days to by fully restored 
  • Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys early Sunday morning then pushed up the Gulf Coast
  • The National Hurricane Center said water levels in Naples rose 7ft in just 90 minutes with substantial flooding
  • Seven deaths reported in Florida so far but officials admit they do not have a definitive number of fatalities yet
  • The storm has toppled cranes, swallowed streets and ripped the roofs off homes  
  • Nearly seven million people had been told to leave their homes in mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders
  • More than 200,000 people waited in shelters statewide as Irma headed up the coast 
  • The storm has already claimed at least 25 lives across the Caribbean since it took hold earlier in the week 

The first Floridians are returning home today to survey the damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

The powerful hurricane made landfall Sunday morning in the Florida Keys as a category 4 storm and then made it’s way up the Golf Coast – knocking out power to some 7.2million people in the southeast, swamping downtown Miami with storm surge and blowing the roofs off homes.

More than 200,000 people waited in shelters statewide as Irma headed up the coast.

As of Monday morning, the storm was still pummeling northern Florida but had been downgraded to a tropical storm. Irma’s maximum sustained winds were down to 60 mph as the storm was about 50 miles south-southeast of Albany’ Georgia Monday afternoon. It’s moving at 17 mph.

Northern Florida and southern Georgia should keep getting soaked, with rain totals eventually accumulating to 8 to 15 inches. Isolated parts of central Georgia, eastern Alabama and southern South Carolina may get up to 10 inches of rain.

So far, the storm is believed to have caused seven deaths – including two in the Florida Keys, which was under mandatory evacuation.

But this morning, Florida Director of Emergency Management Bryan Koon said he could not confirm or deny reports of multiple deaths or extensive damage, admitting: ‘I don’t have any numbers on fatalities at this point.’

Scroll down for video 

A person walks through the flooded streets of a trailer park in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida

Marie Powell surveys damage to her property at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Tommy Nevitt carries Miranda Abbott, 6, through floodwater caused by Hurricane Irma on the west side of Jacksonville, Florida on Monday

Debris from destroyed mobile sit in the Naples Estates mobile home park in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida Monday, September 11, 2017

Kelly McClenthen returns to see the flood damage to her home with her boyfriend Daniel Harrison in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Wrecked boats that have come ashore are pictured in Coconut Grove following Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida, U.S., September 11, 2017

The Sunrise Motel remains flooded after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

Water rises in a neighborhood after Hurricane Irma brought floodwaters to Jacksonville, Florida Monday, September 11, 2017

Floodwaters surround a marina in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida 

Floodwaters surround a marina in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida

Hurricane Irma will cross into Georgia on Monday, bringing heavy wind and rain to the state 

A van remains in a sinkhole on Monday  in Winter Springs, Florida after Hurricane Irma passed through the state

People walk around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through Miami, Florida on Monday

A man walks by damage from Hurricane Irma at Sundance Marine in Palm Shores, Florida, Monday, September 11, 2017

Boats sit on the bottom in the north Florida panhandle community of Shell Point Beach as Hurricane Irma pulls the water out September 11, 2017 in Crawfordville, Florida

Downed power lines are seen in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

The roof of a gas station is shown damaged by Hurricane Irma winds on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

A gas station is shown damaged by Hurricane Irma winds on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Pedestrians try to walk as waves crash at The Battery as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

This satellite image shows Tropical Storm Irma as it moves up Florida's West Coast Monday morning

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says there’s damage across the state caused by Hurricane Irma and it’s still too dangerous for residents to go outside or return from evacuation.

Scott said Monday on Fox News that he’s concerned about flooding now unfolding in Jacksonville and the amount of damage in the Florida Keys. The governor will be flying out of Mobile, Alabama, on a U.S. Coast Guard plane down to the Keys where he plans to inspect the extent of the damage there.

Scott asked Floridians to be patient and warned that roads are impassable and that there are downed power lines.

A Fort Lauderdale police officer holds the paw of his K-9 as the two take a nap during the storm on Sunday 

While Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm over Florida, it still has winds near hurricane force.

Jacksonville, Florida, authorities are telling residents near the St. Johns river to leave quickly as floodwaters rise.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office warned people in evacuation zones A and B along the St. Johns River to ‘Get out NOW.’

They say river is at historic flood levels and likely to get worse at high tide around 2pm.

On its Facebook page, the sheriff’s office told those who need help evacuating to ‘put a white flag in front of your house. A t-shirt, anything white.’

Rescue teams were ready to deploy.

The storm surge flooding in downtown Jacksonville has already exceeded a record set during a 1965 hurricane by at least a foot. A river gauge downtown in the Atlantic Coast city measured 3 feet above flood stage.

John Ward, the emergency operations manager of Clay County, says crews have pulled 46 people from flooded homes by early Monday and an undetermined number are still stranded as the area’s creeks and ponds are getting record flooding.

Ward says between 400 and 500 homes received severe flood damage but there have been no serious injuries or deaths.

To the south, winds knocked a utility pole and power lines onto a sheriff’s cruiser late Sunday in Polk County, illustrating the dangerous conditions for emergency personnel. A deputy and a paramedic, who had just escorted an elderly patient to safety, were trapped for two hours until a crew could free them. Both were unhurt.

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

A man walks through a flooded street in a rural area the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A tree blocks a road after it was downed by winds from Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

People take photos of boats that have come ashore in Coconut Grove following Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida, on Monday

Partially submerged boats caused by Hurricane Irma sit in the water in a marina in downtown Miami, Florida on Monday

People wade through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

People wade through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Kelly McClenthen walks through her flooded neighborhood, as she returns to see the damage to her home in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Florida on Monday

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

Street flooding is prevalent on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by in Jacksonville, Florida on Monday

A fire truck is shown in a flooded area in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida 

The entirety of the Florida Keys was under evacuation during Irma but an estimated 10,000 stuck around to weather the storm 

Above, another flooded neighborhood in Key Largo, Florida on Monday 

A pickup truck drives through a flooded area of Key Largo, Florida on Monday 

The winds ripped the roofs off of these two homes in Key Largo, Florida, as seen on Monday

The heavy winds left many of the trees in Key Largo, Florida barren after the storm 

And more than 120 homes were being evacuated early Monday in Orange County, just outside the city of Orlando, as floodwaters started to pour in. Firefighters and the National Guard were going door-to-door and using boats to ferry families to safety. A few miles away, 30 others had to be evacuated when a 60-foot sinkhole opened up under an apartment building. No injuries were reported in either case.

Much of central Florida, including Orlando, suffered significant damage as Irma blew through Sunday night and into Monday morning.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said Monday morning that there’s been widespread damage and significant power loss throughout the area.

Jacobs said approximately 300,000 residents in Orlando are without power. She also said 60 per cent of the fire stations are operating on backup generators and dispatchers received 1,381 calls between Sunday at midnight and 5:45 a.m. Monday morning.

Residents are being asked to minimize usage such as flushing toilets, bathing, along with washing dishes and laundry.

SeaTow workers attempt to save a damaged motor yacht in the Pompano Beach, Florida on Monday, following the passing of Hurricane Irma

A driver guides his pickup truck through a neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A driver guides his pickup truck through a neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A man walks through Hurricane Irma floodwaters on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A man walks through Hurricane Irma floodwaters on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

People move around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

People move around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

ouis Castro picks up a coconut downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

ouis Castro picks up a coconut downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Members of the Bonita Springs Fire Department set off to survey damage in a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Members of the Bonita Springs Fire Department set off to survey damage in a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Some street flooding persists on Biscayne Boulevard after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

In Redington Shores west of Tampa, attorney Carl Roberts spent a sleepless night riding out Irma in his 17th floor beachfront condo. After losing power late Sunday, he made it through the worst of the storm shaken but unhurt.

‘The hurricane winds lashed the shutters violently, throughout the night,’ he wrote in a text message, ‘making sleep impossible.’

As morning broke, he couldn’t open the electric shutters to see outside.

‘It’s so dark in here,’ he said.

Nearly 5.8 million homes and businesses across Florida lost power, and utility officials said it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone. More than 125,000 were in the dark in Georgia.

Downtown Savannah was getting soaked Monday morning, with winds just strong enough to rustle treetops and shake small branches onto the roads. Impacts from the storm were expected throughout the day.

People walk through flooded streets the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A Miami Beach Police officer watches residents attempting to return to their homes after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

Mike Getman (left) and Rob Beaton (right), residents of the north Florida community of Shell Point Beach, walk the newly exposed Gulf bottom as Hurricane Irma pulls the water out on September 11, 2017 in Crawfordville, Florida

Neighbors emerge from their homes to get a first look at the damage to their neighborhood caused by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

A women stands near trees downed by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

A women stands near trees downed by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Zachary Harrison, his fiance Cheyanne O'Donnell and their three children, Jaiden, 14, Jackson, 9, and Ella, 10-months, get their first look at the damage to their neighborhood caused by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

A large tree is seen laying on top of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

A large tree is seen laying on top of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

The National Weather Service said the threat of storm surge had decreased Monday along Georgia’s 100 miles of coast, but flooding rains could still cause swollen rivers, streams and creeks to overflow.

Officials say at least one tornado has been reported in coastal Georgia as strong winds and drenching rains from Tropical Storm Irma hammer the state.

The National Weather Service also issued a flash-flood emergency for Charleston,  South Carolina as heavy rains begin to move into areas already flooding by ocean surge from Tropical Storm Irma.

Irma has now knocked out power to around 190,000 customers in South Carolina.

Firefighters on one of South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island are staying inside until the worst weather from Tropical Storm Irma passes.

Irma’s center was about 105 miles north of Tampa when forecasters announced it had weakened to a tropical storm. However, they warned its maximum sustained winds were 70 mph, and the storm was still producing higher gusts.

The monster storm, which arrived in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, has toppled at least three constructions cranes – two over downtown Miami and one in Fort Lauderdale.

People in the heavily populated Tampa-St. Petersburg area had feared a first direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921, but the storm weakened to a Category 2 as it approached that area.

A Florida Highway Patrol vehicle drives by part of a roof and ceiling torn off of a nearby home from the high winds from Hurricane Irma at an intersection on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

A Florida Highway Patrol vehicle drives by part of a roof and ceiling torn off of a nearby home from the high winds from Hurricane Irma at an intersection on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

A car sits in a flooded parking lot outside the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

A car sits in a flooded parking lot outside the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Above, another view of downed trees in Miami, Florida on Monday  

Above, another view of downed trees in Miami, Florida on Monday

A couple leave their flooded home the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida

A couple leave their flooded home the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida

A home with a religious message taped to the front door sits apparently undamaged just hours after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

A home with a religious message taped to the front door sits apparently undamaged just hours after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

Cars make their away through a flooded street the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Hurricane Irma whips an aluminum carport in the north Florida panhandle community of Shell Point Beach on Monday

Above, the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida 

A fallen palm tree and a roof litters a street as Rick Freedman checks his neighborhood's damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

The front staircase sits damaged as Rick Freedman surveys the aftermath on his home with his parrot Mango from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

Hotel guests are served breakfast by lamplight as the power remains off at the Courtyard by Marriott one day after Hurricane Irma struck the state on Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the situation was not as bad as it could have been, but warned residents that dangerous storm surge continued. He also described downed power lines and other debris.

Speaking Monday morning on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ Buckhorn said ‘What we thought was going to be a punch in the face was a glancing blow.’

Buckhorn did say there are a lot of downed power lines and debris.

He said Tampa’s officials have vehicles positioned ‘to be sure that when that surge comes in we can keep people out of the streets.’

He said he expected power to be out for some sections of Tampa for at least a couple more days.

Meanwhile, rescue efforts ramped up in the evacuated neighborhood near Orlando as Guardsmen in helmets and fatigues rolled through standing water in a high-clearance vehicle. Firefighters rescued a puppy from one of the homes there and leashed the anxious dog to the front of one of their trucks to give it water and snacks.

As the sun rose in Orlando, many tried to survey the damage, but authorities warned that conditions remain dangerous and asked people not to venture outside because of a curfew.

Sedat Esenbahar carries his bird Maxiy after checking out of at the Courtyard by Marriott, where he stayed during Hurricane Irma on Monday

Sedat Esenbahar carries his bird Maxiy after checking out of at the Courtyard by Marriott, where he stayed during Hurricane Irma on Monday

Seat Turtle Overshight Protection co-founder Richard WhiteCloud works to recover and re-bury sea turtle eggs that were destroyed during Hurricane Irma along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Monday 

Seat Turtle Overshight Protection co-founder Richard WhiteCloud works to recover and re-bury sea turtle eggs that were destroyed during Hurricane Irma along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Monday

A bicycle rack is half buried in blown sand at Fort Lauderdale Beach the day after Hurricane Irma slammed into the state on Monday

A homeless man lays on a bench on Historic River Street on Monday in Savannah, Georgia 

Evacuees, from left, Dennis Larios, Odaliz Larios, Jennifer Larios and Kevin Renoso, wait to leave the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Tony Lobato works on removing tree branches and debris downed in the early morning hours by Hurricane Irma from his home on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

Tony Lobato works on removing tree branches and debris downed in the early morning hours by Hurricane Irma from his home on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

Sam Parish wades through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Miami downtown residents return home after evacuating before Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

Road crews clear debris after Hurricane Irma passed through on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Kristen Bell sings for Hurricane Irma evacuees

Actress Kristen Bell says she’s ‘singing in a hurricane’ while riding out Irma in Florida.

The ‘Frozen’ star is in Orlando filming a movie and staying at a hotel at the Walt Disney World resort. She stopped by an Orlando middle school that was serving as a shelter and belted out songs from ‘Frozen.’

Back at the hotel, Bell posted pictures on Instagram of her singing with one guest and dining with a group of seniors.

Bell also helped out the parents of ‘Frozen’ co-star Josh Gad by securing them a room at the hotel.

Bell tells Sacramento, California, station KMAX-TV – where her father is news director – that the experience is her version of one of her favorite movies, ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’

Actress Kristen Bell performed at a shelter during Hurricane Irma on Sunday, belting out songs from the movie Frozen

Irma has so far claimed seven lives so far in the U.S.

Two of the people killed were in Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys. One of the bodies was found in a Shark Key home while another man was killed when he lost control of a truck carrying a generator.

A sheriff’s deputy and corrections officer were killed in a two-car crash in Hardee county during heavy rains.

Hardee County Sheriff’s deputy and mother-of-one Julie Bridges and Hardee Correctional Institute sergeant Joseph Ossman crashed and died around 60 miles from Saratosa.

Another victim was killed in Miami-Dade county from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator while one person died in a car crash in Orange County.

Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Catherine Howden said Monday that one storm-related death has been confirmed in Worth County, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) south of Atlanta. She had no further details.

In the Caribbean, at least 37 were people were killed during Irma’s destructive trek across exclusive islands known as the vacation playground for the rich. Ten of those deaths were in Cube.

Randy Bresnik took this picture of Hurricane Jose's eye from the International Space Station

Hurricane Irma, taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, seen from the International Space Station.

INSIDE THE EYE OF HURRICANE JOSE – Taken by Randy Bresnik aboard the ISS – ‘A walk inside the Eye of #Jose. Just amazing to see through the eye to the surface!’

Bridges, one of the people killed during the hurricane, had been collecting supplies to keep helping civilians when she collided with Ossman, 53, who had been going to work.

‘She worked the shelter all night and was going home to retrieve some more items and then go back to the shelter,’ Hardee County Sheriff Arnold Lanier told the Herald-Advocate.

The wreck was reported at 6.53am, having been found at the intersection of Old Crewsville Road and SR 66 in Zolfo Springs. No other vehicles or people were involved.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, and has not yet ruled whether the winds and rain caused by Irma at the time of the crash directly influenced the accident.

Bridges was a mother of an eight-year-old boy and a member of the sheriff’s Honor Guard. Ossman, meanwhile, had been working at the Hardee Correctional Institute for 21 years.

‘We are heartbroken by this loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and fellow officers at this time,’ Corrections Secretary Julie Jones told the Miami Herald.

They were not the only people to die amid the deluge.

Evacuees leave the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Tony Loduca walks back to his apartment past a roof whose tiles where torn off from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

A roof is strewn across a home's lawn as Rick Freedman checks his neighbor's damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday
A roof is strewn across a home’s lawn as Rick Freedman checks his neighbor’s damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

Brian Baker, of Valrico, Florida, cuts up an Oak tree that fell across Falling Leaves Drive after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on Monday in Valrico, Florida

Wind from Hurricane Irma whip the flags on City Hall, Monday, Sept., 11, 2017, in Savannah, Georgia
Wind from Hurricane Irma whip the flags on City Hall, Monday, Sept., 11, 2017, in Savannah, Georgia

A large tree is seen laying in the front yard of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida 

Ducks swim through a street the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida. Hurricane Irma made another landfall near Naples yesterday after inundating the Florida Keys

People inspect their neighborhood that was flooded by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Men clear debris from a roadway the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Another man was killed after tropical-storm-strength winds caused him to lose control of the truck he was driving through Monroe County, which contains Key West. He had been carrying a generator, local officials told ABC News.

And an elderly man died of natural causes while sheltering in a school in the city of Marathon on the Keys, Larry Kahn, an editor for FlKeysNews.com, said.

‘He was staying in one of the classrooms,’ Khan explained. ‘Police came up, along with a couple of nurses who are here, actually, got everyone out of the room and sealed it off.’

Those deaths come after Irma claimed at least 25 lives in the Caribbean as it swept over several countries, destroying entire islands. Yesterday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the confirmed death toll on the Caribbean island of St Maarten had increased to four.

In one of the largest U.S. evacuations, nearly 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to seek shelter, including 6.4 million in Florida alone. More than 200,000 people waited in shelters across Florida.

An overnight curfew was imposed in Miami to stop opportunistic looters taking advantage of the countless coastal homes that now stand abandoned.

But at least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot the empty businesses and homes.

Two people burst into an Orlando sporting store and allegedly stole guns, before facing off with SWAT in a standoff. Shocking videos also emerged of gangs trying to break into stores and take advantage of deserted properties.

Bryan Koon, Florida’s emergency management director, said late Sunday that authorities had only scattered information about damage.

‘I’ve not heard of catastrophic damage. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It means it hasn’t gotten to us yet,’ Koon said.

Pedestrians walk by a flooded car on a street as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday 

A pet owner protects her dog as pedestrians prepare for waves crashing over The Battery as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

Mattson Wiksell picks up debris at Waterfront Park as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

Mattson Wiksell picks up debris at Waterfront Park as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

A man takes pictures as people prepare for huge wave crashing over The Battery as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

In the low-lying Keys, appliances and furniture were seen floating away, and Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said the ocean waters were filled with navigation hazards, including sunken boats.

The county administrator, Roman Gastesi, said crews would begin house-to-house searches Monday morning to check on survivors. They suspect they may find fatalities. Gastesi says they are ‘prepared for the worst.’

About 30,000 people heeded orders to leave the Keys as the storm closed in, but about 10,000 refused, in part because, to many storm-hardened residents, staying behind in the face of danger is a point of pride.

Koon said it was likely they did not have power or water and that there would have been ‘fairly significant impact to homes’.

‘It is obvious we need to get in there, assess the damage and figure out what we need to do for helping those folks,’ he said.

John Huston, who stayed in his Key Largo home, watched his yard flood even before the arrival of high tide.

‘Small boats floating down the street next to furniture and refrigerators. Very noisy,’ he said by text message. ‘Shingles are coming off.’

As the nation’s eyes turned to follow Irma up the west coast of Florida, the Keys began to take in the immensity of the damage done.

Another victim of the storm was claimed when his truck (pictured) was swept off the road and into a tree in Monroe County. He has not yet been named

People drive through a neighborhood that was flooded by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Workers from Orange County rescue make a final check of an area on a flooded street after they were called to rescue residents from their homes during Hurricane Irma on Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

An abandoned car that was stranded in storm surge remains on North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard one day after Hurricane Irma slamed into the southern part of the state on September 11, 2017

Florida responded with the launch of a massive airborne relief mission by Monroe County Emergency Management, whose director, Martin Senterfitt, called the damage done to the Keys a ‘humanitarian crisis.’

He promised disaster mortuary teams, as well as C-130 cargo planes, which United States Air Force special operations pilots are testing flights around the massive storm. Also on the mission will be Air National Guard flights of more C-130s, backed up by squadrons of helicopters. They are expected to start arriving early Monday morning.

The first load will head to Florida Keys Marathon Airport. As it can handle about two C-130 planes at a time, the plan is to land two every two hours, keeping a steady flow of good.

‘The help is on its way,’ Senterfitt said, adding: ‘We’re going to get more aid than we’ve ever seen in our lives.’

It has been difficult to determine the extent of damage Hurricane Irma caused in the Florida Keys due to difficulties with communication.

The Navy is sending an aircraft carrier to Key West to provide emergency services.

An update from Monroe County describes ‘an astounding recovery effort’ taking place in the Florida Keys.

The USS Lincoln aircraft carrier will be anchored off Key West to provide emergency services, and three other Navy vessels are en route.

Officials said the National Guard has arrived in the island chain, and state transportation officials have cleared six of 42 bridges as safe for travel. However, roads remain closed because of debris, and fuel is still a concern. There is no water, power or cell service in the Keys.

Irma once was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, a Category 5 with a peak wind speed of 185 mph (300 kph). For days, forecasters had warned Irma was taking dead aim at Florida. Irma made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday morning at Cudjoe Key, not far from Key West. It then rounded Florida’s southwestern corner and hugged the coast closely as it pushed north.

Meanwhile, an Atlanta airport official says there’ve been around 800 cancellations due to the threat of Irma, which weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil says the airport will still be operational Monday and will monitor storm conditions.

Gobeil says the airport created an overflow parking plan to allow planes unable to land in areas such as Florida to park at the airport in Atlanta.

Miami International Airport has announced it will be closed today and there has been no confirmation flights will resume on Tuesday.

Orlando International Airport closed Saturday and won’t reopen to passenger traffic until after Irma has passed, a damage assessment has been completed, necessary recovery efforts made and the airlines are consulted to determine when best to resume operations.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport says on its website it has no timetable yet to reopen. Its last flights were Friday. Tampa International Airport also is closed as Hurricane Irma moves up the Florida peninsula.

Airlines are preparing their recovery schedules, which may take several days to execute.

As the remnants of Hurricane Irma move out of Florida, work is underway to resupply the state with gasoline. Hurricane Irma caused a huge spike in gasoline demand as residents evacuated, topped of their tanks, and/or filled gas cans to power generators. This led to outages at various gas stations throughout Florida and neighboring states, and it could take a week for supply conditions to return to normal.

Suppliers face an uphill battle in the coming days, trying to keep gas stations supplied, as Florida evacuees return home in large numbers after the storm. Gas stations not located along major highways should have an easier time keeping supplies, as residents are no longer ‘panic pumping’, since the storm is no longer a threat. Refueling gas stations along major evacuation routes will be a top priority, as it was before the storm. Motorists are still likely to find long lines, which could lead to temporary outages, due to the surge in demand.

Heavy westbound traffic comes to a stop at a back up on I-4 near the Celebration exit as Florida residents attempt to make their way back home after evacuating Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Steve Slonan inspects a friend's home after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

: A man walks through a flooded street in a rural part of Naples the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A family leaves their flooded home in a rural area the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A swamped boat off Watson Island marina after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

A damaged boat is seen at the Dinner Key marina after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

‘Florida evacuees should plan their return home very carefully,’ said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. ‘First, ensure you know there are no major hazards at home or along your travel route. Expect congestion on the roadways, as the first few days after the storm will be the busiest. Pay close attention to traffic reports. Ensure you have a full tank of gas before you hit the road. Do not let your fuel gauge fall below a quarter tank before you start looking for a place to refuel. Bring a gas can in case you run out of fuel. It is not safe to drive with a full gas can inside an enclosed vehicle.’

President Donald Trump said last night that the U.S. may have gotten a ‘little bit lucky’ after Hurricane Irma veered from its original course and headed west along Florida’s coast.

He said Irma might not have been quite as destructive as a result, but that things will play out over the next several hours. Trump added that Irma would cost ‘a lot of money’ but he wasn’t thinking about that because ‘right now, we’re worried about lives, not cost.’

He declared a major disaster in the state of Florida, making federal aid available to people affected by Hurricane Irma in nine counties already hit by the storm.

The federal help includes temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover in the counties of Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

With no gas stations open anywhere in the area, motorists running low on fuel stop at an on ramp to westbound I-4 and get a few gallons of gas from Javier Franqui, a Florida Department of Transportation Road Ranger, on September 11, 2017 in Lake Helen, Florida

With no gas stations open anywhere in the area, motorists running low on fuel stop at an on ramp to westbound I-4 to refuel from tanks strapped to their vehicle's roof on September 11, 2017 in Lake Helen, Florida

Debris is shown strewn along a roadway in the wake of powerful Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Isamorada, a village encompassing six of the Florida Keys

A road is partially blocked by a tree downed in the high winds from Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

Residents make their way across a flooded street after Hurricane Irma brought floodwaters to Jacksonville, Florida Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Lawrence Buckmen rides his motorcycle through Hurricane Irma flood waters on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

Lawrence Buckmen rides his motorcycle through Hurricane Irma flood waters on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

The crumbled canopy of a gas station damaged by Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S., September 11, 2017

A patient is evacuated by boat from the St. Vincent's Medical Center after floodwaters from Hurricane Irma covered the first floor of the hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

A patient is evacuated by boat from the St. Vincent’s Medical Center after floodwaters from Hurricane Irma covered the first floor of the hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

A lamp post is wrapped around a car in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Kissimmee, Florida September 11, 2017

Federal funding also is available to governments and non-profit organizations for emergencies in all 67 Florida counties. For the first 30 days, that money will cover 100 percent of the costs of some emergency responses.

As Irma swept over the country, people trapped in its midst told DailyMail.com of the drama they were enduring. One of them was lifelong Floridian Jacqueline Cobb of Pembroke Pines, which is near Miami.

She had been forced to bunker down in a school as it was the only shelter she could find for people with special needs, like her friend Stephen Herndon who has problems with his autonomic nervous system that can cause severe nosebleeds, fainting and overheating.

She had originally found a hotel for them to stay in, but it canceled their booking, saying that the lack of impact windows and a backup generator meant they had to shut down.

Cobb helped out as a Red Cross volunteer in Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but says Irma is on another level. ‘It was nothing like this, because Hurricane Andrew was a smaller, more compact hurricane, so you could get away from it,’ she said.

‘We did not feel the wrath, so to speak, in the northern part of the county, but in the southern part it was a battle field. It was completely decimated, some houses were completely destroyed, others were partially damaged.’

Cobb and her friend are safe in her shelter, but a shocking text message left her worried about her home and neighbors.

‘I received a code red tornado alert,’ she said. ‘I have a two-story townhouse and there is a three-and-a-half-ton air conditioner on the rooftop. I’m on a lake in the first house, so If the tornado rips that off, it will open up my house and let water into the building,’ she said.

Heavy rainfall is predicted to continue falling through Tuesday, even as Irma moves on, breaks up and dissipates

Also in the line of the storm was British tourist Stephanie Jay, who took shelter in Naples with her husband Elliot and their two-year-old daughter Isabella.

The family, from St Albans outside London, had enjoyed a week’s holiday in Miami until they were unceremoniously evicted from their hotel.

‘We went down to reception to ask what was happening and were told to pack our bags and move out of the hotel,’ she told DailyMail.com.

‘They weren’t very helpful considering they knew we were very worried, especially as we don’t know many people in Florida… They clearly didn’t want us to be there and made our one night there very difficult.’

‘We tried to get out of Florida but all the flights were booked and we knew they would be closing the airport so didn’t want to be stranded with a two year old,’ she said.

Instead, they spent a night in Naples with a friend before heading to Bradenton, south of Tampa. That has left them in the path of the oncoming Irma – but they are remaining positive and hope to return home as planned next week.

In more serious trouble were a pair of would-be sailors who called Martin County Sheriff’s Office for help after they remained on their boat in the storm – even though they could not swim.

‘MCSO Marine Rescue and Strike Teams are launching into treacherous waters to begin a marine rescue of two people who remained on their boat near the causeway,’ a post on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page.

‘The mariners say they are unable to swim. We will keep you posted on this. Please pray for the safety of our brave first responders.’

Video later showed the paid being led off their boat safely onto the docks.

Reader Jenny Williams sent in this photograph from her Saratosa neighborhood where she and many of her neighbors had decided to weather out the storm

Key West's streets started to flood as Hurricane Irma struck the area. Even with the eye 15-20 miles out, winds and rain had made it too dangerous to drive

Water levels rose rapidly in Naples (above) from Hurricane Irma's storm surge with a reported a seven foot rise of water in just 90 minutes. The storm kept its top sustained wind speed of 110 mph yesterday

People tend to a car that flipped over on Cape Coral Parkway during Hurricane Irma last night in Cape Coral

A tree is seen toppled onto a pickup truck in Miami after being battered by Irma's winds. Flying debris is an omnipresent danger for those outside in the terrifying weather

Dramatic pictures have emerged showing the moment Hurricane Irma's powerful 130mph winds ripped the roof off a Miami home

Dramatic pictures have emerged showing the moment Hurricane Irma's powerful 130mph winds ripped the roof off a Miami home

A car sits abandoned in storm surge along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Irma made initial landfall at 9:10am on the Florida Keys, which are now the subject of a massive relief effort. Five people have been confirmed dead in the disaster

A car sits abandoned in storm surge along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Irma made initial landfall at 9:10am on the Florida Keys, which are now the subject of a massive relief effort. Five people have been confirmed dead in the disaster

Irma tore down a construction crane atop a skyscraper high over Miami

The crane can also be seen here. Cranes are designed to withstand strong winds and twist like weather vanes to reduce resistance, but Irma was too much

Palm Bay officer Dustin Terkoski walks over debris from a partially collapsed two-story home at Palm Point Subdivision in Brevard County

Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash all the way over the top of Anglins Fishing Pier in Fort Lauderdale as Irma picks up steam in the area

Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash all the way over the top of Anglins Fishing Pier in Fort Lauderdale as Irma picks up steam in the area

Recently planted palm trees lie strewn across the road as Hurricane Irma passes through Miami Beach

At least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot empty businesses and homes that have been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Irma

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4872940/The-sun-rises-devastation-wreaked-Irma-Florida.html#ixzz4sP9v0kAu

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The Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017, The Breaking and Developing Story 1: Category 4 Hurricane Irma Over 500 Miles Wide Bigger Than Texas with 150 MPH Sustained Winds Slows Down Turns Toward West and Tracks Directly Over All of South Florida — Evacuate Now — Hurricane Hit Landfall Sunday Morning With Storm Surge  Up To 12 Feet and Rain Fall 10-18 Inches — Over Florida For 24 Hours — All Day Sunday —  Mass Mandatory Evacuation For South Florida — Videos

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Breaking and Developing Story 1: Category 4 Hurricane Irma Over 500 Miles Wide Bigger Than Texas with 150 MPH Sustained Winds Slows Down Turns Toward West and Tracks Directly Over All of South Florida — Evacuate Now — Hurricane Hit Landfall Sunday Morning With Storm Surge  Up To 12 Feet and Rain Fall 10-18 Inches — Over Florida For 24 Hours — All Day Sunday —  Mass Mandatory Evacuation For South Florida — Videos

 

Image result for hurricane irma september 08, 2017, 5 PM EDT NWS National Hurrican centerImage result for hurrican irma Friday september 08, 2017, 5 PMImage result for hurricane irma hits florida 30 minutes ago

UPDATED

Irma

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Hurricane Irma shifts away from Miami, taking aim at Tampa

Last Updated Sep 9, 2017 5:24 PM EDT

MIAMI — Hurricane Irma hurtled toward Florida with 125 mph winds Saturday on a new projected track that could put the Tampa area — not Miami — in the crosshairs. The Tampa area has not taken a direct hit from a major hurricane in nearly a century.

“You need to leave — not tonight, not in an hour, right now,” Gov. Rick Scott warned residents in the evacuation zones ahead of the storm’s predicted arrival on Sunday morning.

As of 5 p.m. ET, the powerful Category 3 storm was located about 115 miles southeast of Key West.

For days, the forecast had made it look as if the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people on Florida’s Atlantic coast could get hit head-on with the catastrophic and long-dreaded Big One.

The westward swing in the hurricane’s projected path overnight caught many on Florida’s Gulf coast off guard. By late morning, few businesses in St. Petersburg and its barrier islands had put plywood or hurricane shutters on their windows, and some locals groused about the change in the forecast.

Donna Tubbs, who lives in a mobile home park in Lakeland, says she’s packed her bags but she’s not leaving home. “All the families around here are planning to stay,” Tubbs told CBS affiliate WTSP-TV in Tampa. She said many in the area are retired nurses who intend on helping with recovery efforts.

Tampa has not been struck by a major hurricane since 1921, when its population was about 10,000, National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. Now the area has around 3 million people.

The new course threatened everything from Tampa Bay’s bustling twin cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg to Naples’ mansion- and yacht-lined canals, Sun City Center’s sprawling compound of modest retirement homes, and Sanibel Island’s shell-filled beaches.

Forecasters warned of storm surge as high as 15 feet along a swath of southwest Florida and beyond.

“This is going to sneak up on people,” said Jamie Rhome, head of the hurricane center’s storm surge unit.

With the new forecast, Pinellas County, home to St. Petersburg, ordered 260,000 people to leave, while Georgia scaled back evacuation orders for some coastal residents.

Irma has left more than 20 people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, ravaging such resort islands as St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Antigua.

The storm weakened slightly in the morning but was expected to pick up strength again before hitting the Sunshine State.

Meteorologists predicted its center would blow ashore Sunday in the perilously low-lying Florida Keys, then hit southwestern Florida and move north, plowing into the Tampa Bay area. Though the center is expected to miss Miami, the metro area will still get pounded with life-threatening hurricane winds, Feltgen said.

On Saturday morning, the state was already beginning to feel Irma’s muscle. Nearly 30,000 people had lost power, mostly in and around Miami and Fort Lauderdale, as the wind began gusting.

In Key West, 60-year-old Carol Walterson Stroud sought refuge in a senior center with her husband, granddaughter and dog. The streets were nearly empty, shops were boarded up and the wind started to blow.

“Tonight, I’m sweating,” she said. “Tonight, I’m scared to death.”

In one of the biggest evacuations ever ordered in the U.S., about 6.4 million people in Florida – more than one-quarter of the state’s population – were warned to leave. Gas shortages and gridlock plagued the evacuations. Parts of interstates 75 and 95 north were bumper-to-bumper.

Some 54,000 people crowded 320 shelters across Florida. At Germain Arena not far from Fort Myers, on Florida’s southwestern corner, thousands waited in a snaking line for hours to gain a spot in the hockey venue-turned-shelter.

“We’ll never get in,” Jamilla Bartley lamented as she stood in the parking lot.

The governor activated all 7,000 members of the Florida National Guard, and 30,000 guardsmen from elsewhere were on standby.

Major tourist attractions, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, all prepared to close Saturday. The Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports shut down, and those in Orlando and Tampa planned to do the same later in the day.

With winds that peaked at 185 mph, Irma was once the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic. Given its mammoth size and strength and its projected course, it could still prove one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit Florida and inflict damage on a scale not seen here in 25 years.

It could also test the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ability to handle two crises at the same time. FEMA is still dealing with aftermath of catastrophic Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.

Ray Scarborough and girlfriend Leah Etmanczyk left their home in Big Pine Key and fled north with her parents and three big dogs to stay with relatives in Orlando. Scarborough was 12 when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992 and remembers lying on the floor in a hall as the storm nearly ripped the roof off his house.

“They said this one is going to be bigger than Andrew. When they told me that, that’s all I needed to hear,” said Scarborough, now a 37-year-old boat captain. “That one tore everything apart.”

Andrew razed Miami’s suburbs with winds topping 165 mph, damaging or blowing apart over 125,000 homes. The damage in Florida totaled $26 billion, and at least 40 people died.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hurricane-irma-shifts-course-takes-aim-tampa/

 

Forecasters say Irma’s prime target is now Tampa, not Miami

MIAMI (AP) — With the window closing fast for anyone wanting to escape, Irma hurtled toward Florida with 125 mph winds Saturday on a new projected track that could put the Tampa area — not Miami — in the crosshairs.

The Tampa area has not taken a direct hit from a major hurricane in nearly a century.

“You need to leave — not tonight, not in an hour, right now,” Gov. Rick Scott warned residents in the evacuation zones ahead of the storm’s predicted arrival on Sunday morning.

For days, the forecast had made it look as if the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people on Florida’s Atlantic coast could get hit head-on with the catastrophic and long-dreaded Big One.

“For five days, we were told it was going to be on the east coast, and then 24 hours before it hits, we’re now told it’s coming up the west coast,” said Jeff Beerbohm, a 52-year-old entrepreneur in St. Petersburg. “As usual, the weatherman, I don’t know why they’re paid.”

Tampa has not been struck by a major hurricane since 1921, when its population was about 10,000, National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. Now the area has around 3 million people.

The new course threatened everything from Tampa Bay’s bustling twin cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg to Naples’ mansion- and yacht-lined canals, Sun City Center’s sprawling compound of modest retirement homes, and Sanibel Island’s shell-filled beaches.

Forecasters warned of storm surge as high as 15 feet along a swath of southwest Florida and beyond.

“This is going to sneak up on people,” said Jamie Rhome, head of the hurricane center’s storm surge unit.

With the new forecast, Pinellas County, home to St. Petersburg, ordered 260,000 people to leave, while Georgia scaled back evacuation orders for some coastal residents.

Irma has left more than 20 people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, ravaging such resort islands as St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Antigua.

The storm weakened slightly in the morning but was expected to pick up strength again before hitting the Sunshine State.

Meteorologists predicted its center would blow ashore Sunday in the perilously low-lying Florida Keys, then hit southwestern Florida and move north, plowing into the Tampa Bay area. Though the center is expected to miss Miami, the metro area will still get pounded with life-threatening hurricane winds, Feltgen said.

On Saturday morning, the state was already beginning to feel Irma’s muscle. Nearly 30,000 people had lost power, mostly in and around Miami and Fort Lauderdale, as the wind began gusting.

In Key West, 60-year-old Carol Walterson Stroud sought refuge in a senior center with her husband, granddaughter and dog. The streets were nearly empty, shops were boarded up and the wind started to blow.

“Tonight, I’m sweating,” she said. “Tonight, I’m scared to death.”

In one of the biggest evacuations ever ordered in the U.S., about 6.4 million people in Florida — more than one-quarter of the state’s population — were warned to leave. Gas shortages and gridlock plagued the evacuations. Parts of interstates 75 and 95 north were bumper-to-bumper.

Some 54,000 people crowded 320 shelters across Florida. At Germain Arena not far from Fort Myers, on Florida’s southwestern corner, thousands waited in a snaking line for hours to gain a spot in the hockey venue-turned-shelter.

“We’ll never get in,” Jamilla Bartley lamented as she stood in the parking lot.

The governor activated all 7,000 members of the Florida National Guard, and 30,000 guardsmen from elsewhere were on standby.

Major tourist attractions, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World, all prepared to close Saturday. The Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports shut down, and those in Orlando and Tampa planned to do the same later in the day.

With winds that peaked at 185 mph (300 kph), Irma was once the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic. Given its mammoth size and strength and its projected course, it could still prove one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit Florida and inflict damage on a scale not seen here in 25 years.

It could also test the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ability to handle two crises at the same time. FEMA is still dealing with aftermath of catastrophic Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.

Ray Scarborough and girlfriend Leah Etmanczyk left their home in Big Pine Key and fled north with her parents and three big dogs to stay with relatives in Orlando. Scarborough was 12 when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992 and remembers lying on the floor in a hall as the storm nearly ripped the roof off his house.

“They said this one is going to be bigger than Andrew. When they told me that, that’s all I needed to hear,” said Scarborough, now a 37-year-old boat captain. “That one tore everything apart.”

Andrew razed Miami’s suburbs with winds topping 165 mph (265 kph), damaging or blowing apart over 125,000 homes. The damage in Florida totaled $26 billion, and at least 40 people died.

___

Galofaro reported from Orlando. Associated Press writers Seth Borenstein in Washington; Terry Spencer in Palm Beach County; Gary Fineout in Tallahassee; Terrance Harris in Orlando; Jay Reeves in Estero; and Jason Dearen, Jennifer Kay and David Fischer in Miami contributed to this report.___

https://apnews.com/8aeee2664ccb42fdbb5ada7f2f0dc6c6/Irma-shifts:-The-prime-target-is-now-Tampa,-not-Miami

 

South Florida’s shelters overflow, evacuation has chaotic start

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The Pronk Pops Show 748, August 21, 2017, Story 1: Eclipse Totality — Moon Shadow — Here Comes The Sun — The Primary Cause of Climate Change — Videos — Story 2: Bannon Breitbart Banishment– Interventionist War Mongering Generals and Political Establishment Winning — Trump Just Another Big Government Liberal Democrat Presidents (Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson) — Videos –Story 3: The Democrat Party of Slavery, Segregation, Klu Klux Klan, and White Supremacy Rewrites History By Tearing Down Confederate Soldier Statues That They Put Up — Admit It Democrats Are Racists That Play Race Cards — Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Videos — Story 4: The Radical Islamic Terrorists Killed and Captured –13 Killed and Injured 100 in Barcelona Thursday — Videos

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Image result for total eclipseImage result for branco cartoon on resignation of steve bannon

Story 1: Eclipse Totality — Moon Shadow — Here Comes The Sun — The Primary Cause of Climate Change —

Cat Stevens – Moon Shadow (1970)

 

 

Cat Stevens – Moonshadow Lyrics

[Chorus:]
Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow—
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow—And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land,
Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if I won’t have to work no more.And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry,
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won’t have to cry no more.[Chorus]And if I ever lose my legs, I won’t moan, and I won’t beg,
Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if I won’t have to walk no more.And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south,
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if I won’t have to talk…Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light.
Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night?[Chorus]
Moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow.
Songwriters: YUSUF ISLAM, CAT STEVENS

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Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles Tribute

Here Comes the Sun: A Tribute to George Harrison by Paul Simon, Crosby and Grahm Nash

Beatles – Here Comes The Sun Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

 

Read more: Beatles – Here Comes The Sun Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Story 2: Bannon Breitbart Banishment– Interventionist War Mongering Generals and Political Establishment Winning — Trump Just Another Big Government Liberal Democrat Presidents (Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson) — Videos —

“The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. The Republican establishment has no interest in Trump’s success. They’re not populists, they’re not nationalists, they had no interest in his programme. Zero. They’re going to try to moderate him.”

~ Stephen Bannon

 

Image result for steve bannon and donald j. trump

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Bannon, backed by billionaire, prepares to go to war

Win McNamee / AP

Steve Bannon’s next moves will be all about the billionaire Mercer family. I’m told Bannon, who visited New York this week, met with Bob Mercer and together they will be a well-funded force on the outside.
  • Bannon has felt liberated since it became clear he was being pushed out, according to friends. He’s told associates he has a “killing machine” in Breitbart News, and it’s possible he returns to lead their editorial operation.
  • A source familiar with Breitbart’s operations told me they would go “thermonuclear” against “globalists”that Bannon and his friends believe are ruining the Trump administration, and by extension, America.
  • Watch for Breitbart’s Washington Editor Matt Boyle to be a central figure in this war — which has already begun — against White House officials like HR McMaster, Dina Powell, Gary Cohn, and Jared and Ivanka.

Steve Bannon’s next moves will be all about the billionaire Mercer family. I’m told Bannon, who visited New York this week, met with Bob Mercer and together they will be a well-funded force on the outside.

  • Bannon has felt liberated since it became clear he was being pushed out, according to friends. He’s told associates he has a “killing machine” in Breitbart News, and it’s possible he returns to lead their editorial operation.
  • A source familiar with Breitbart’s operations told me they would go “thermonuclear” against “globalists”that Bannon and his friends believe are ruining the Trump administration, and by extension, America.
  • Watch for Breitbart’s Washington Editor Matt Boyle to be a central figure in this war — which has already begun — against White House officials like HR McMaster, Dina Powell, Gary Cohn, and Jared and Ivanka.

https://www.axios.com/bannons-next-move-2474479917.html

Steve Bannon, the ousted White House chief strategist, is reportedly considering starting a television network which would allow him to “go nuclear” as he settles vendettas with moderate advisers in the White House and pressures President Donald Trump to pursue a populist agenda of economic nationalism.

Allies of Mr Bannon compared him to a “tiger freed from his cage,” suggesting things would get “ugly” as he targets the Republican establishment and what he calls “West Wing Democrats”.

The departure of Mr Bannon came amid one of Mr Trump’s worst weeks as president.

He and first lady Melania Trump decided not to participate in the annual Kennedy Center Honours event celebrating American culture after a backlash from those being honoured. The White House said the first couple were pulling out to “allow the honourees to celebrate without any political distraction”.

I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton – it was great! Thanks S

Meanwhile, a host of charities canceled annual fundraising events at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. They included the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the American  Cancer Society.

Mr Bannon’s possible TV network would be intended as a rival to Fox News, the Rupert Murdoch-owned channel which has been supportive of Mr Trump, but which Mr Bannon now regards as too moderate,  Axios reported.

Immediately after his departure on Friday he re-assumed control of Breitbart, the influential right-wing news website he steered before joining Mr Trump’s campaign last year. Mr Bannon said he was “going to war for Trump,” which appeared to mean the original hard line policies pursued during the campaign.

Mr Bannon’s new venture would probably be funded by Bob Mercer, the hedge fund billionaire and conservative mega-donor, who has previously backed both Breitbart and Mr Trump. Mr Mercer and Mr Bannon met last week to discus plans for after his White House exit. The following evening Mr Mercer had dinner with the president.

On the outsideMr Bannon will target a ring of presidential advisers sometimes known as the “globalists”. It includes Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, with whom Mr Bannon appeared to have lost a battle over putting more troops in Afghanistan.

Also in the firing line are Republican leaders in Congress such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republicans who Mr Bannon blames for stalling Mr Trump’s agenda, including funding for the border wall, and failing to overturn Obamacare.

Mr Bannon has few allies left within the White House promoting his agenda of economic nationalism. There was speculation that the few who remain, including senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, and deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, could be purged by John Kelly, the new chief of staff who is seeking to bring order to the chaotic administration.

Mr Kelly’s authority over the White House was boosted by Mr Bannon’s departure. A triumvirate of military generals – Mr Kelly, Mr McMaster, and Defence Secretary James Mattis – now hold extraordinary sway within the administration.

Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign adviser and friend of Mr Bannon, said:  “It’s a tough pill to swallow because you have a Republican West Wing that’s filled with generals and Democrats. It would feel like the twilight zone.”

In a candid first interview after leaving, Mr Bannon told the Weekly Standard: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. The Republican establishment has no interest in Trump’s success. They’re not populists, they’re not nationalists, they had no interest in his programme. Zero. They’re going to try to moderate him.”

Mr Bannon added: “I feel jacked up. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. It’s Bannon the Barbarian. I am definitely going to crush the opposition. I built a f****** machine at Breitbart. We’re about to rev that machine up.”

A friend of Mr Bannon told The Atlantic: “Steve is now unchained. He’s going nuclear. You have no idea. This is gonna be really f****** bad.”

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/steve-bannon-apos-nuclear-west-171613803.html

Story 3: The Democrat Party of Slavery, Segregation, Ku Klux Klan, and White Supremacy Rewrites History By Tearing Down Confederate Soldier Monument Statues  That They Put Up — Admit It —  Democrats Are Racists That Play Race Cards — Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Videos —

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

~George Santayana

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Black History Racist Democrats Refuse to Teach Today – Pt. 2

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The Camera Caught A Key Moment At The Charlottesville Incident That Changes The Whole Story!

RIOTERS BEWARE: LIBERAL PROTESTERS ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE WHAT JEFF SESSIONS DID SECONDS AGO

 

Tearing Down Monuments of War – Is Destroying the Legacy of American Heroes Right or Wrong?

Credit Denise Sanders/The Baltimore Sun, via Associated Press

Recent news involving Al Sharpton criticizing the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Museum, and the arrest of Antifa protester Takiyah Thompson who helped topple a Confederate statue, has many liberals applauding and many conservatives decrying the death of American Patriotism.  Who’s right and who’s wrong?  Is it repairing injustice or perpetuating the hate?

The Left’s Argument: Glorification of the Immoral

The left’s argument is that to bring public glory to Confederate, Nazi or Colonial figures of history, who were decidedly immoral in conscience, is our right as a progressive society. The first amendment guaranteeing freedom of expression doesn’t apply to public statues, which supposedly reflect the modern public’s appreciation of the American heritage of old. We keep their statues because, in theory, we agree with these depictions of heroism. We feel they represent us as a state, as a federal republic, and as Americans.

First amendment rights do not protect the right of public exhibition—rather, the right to privately exercise free speech and pay honor to any historical figure of choice behind closed doors or in a gathering of peers, with land owners that reflect the views of the party.

Not surprisingly, Nazis and other white supremacists are finding it difficult to book public venues because their ideology is offensive to most Americans. Corporations that own these venues usually don’t court public controversy for any reason, and so citing first amendment rights does not apply in this case.

If Antifa’s concluding solution to dissenters of the left is ever to invade the private properties of white supremacists, they would be exhibiting behavior like the Nazi Gestapo—the very evil they claim to fight against. However, the demonstrations have not reached that point yet.  Thus far the argument is that “we” don’t want symbols of segregation or slavery in the public eye.

The Right’s Argument: Cultural Marxism

The right’s argument is that removing these figures is un-American, treasonous and seditious—especially since Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Robert E. Lee, are all important figures in American history and they’re all at threat of being torn down.  Yes, many historical figures were slave owners and were, in the case of people like Harry Truman and FDR, full blown unlikable racists who spoke disparagingly of blacks and other non-whites.

Should this necessitate removal from a public square because it is little more than an offensive exhibition, as is burning the flag, or burning copies of the Quran?

The reason why such violent demonstrators are being called “communists” is not simply as a name dropping slur. Conservatives are referring to a pattern in history called Cultural Marxism.

The very definition of Cultural Marxism is the belief that all modern human behavior stems from the culture society allows—and that all culture is malleable, and easy to shape if only society takes a firm hand in censoring thoughts and statements contrary to public decency.

Cultural Marxism has a historical pattern of “modern societies” destroying icons and imagery of the past, particularly in destroying public statues, or even in destroying the legacy of historical, fictional or religious figures—a need for modern society to reject the old doctrines and old way of life in favor of a new and greater morality.

Some have gone so far to say that Cultural Marxism is the intentional destruction of all “holy things” an old society has accomplished, from legacies to traditional schools of thought, to even the gradual molding of individual preferences towards a State model worthy of following.

The Historical Perspective of Destroying Statues

Subversify and other third party progressives take an unemotional approach to the argument, and one based on a largely historical perspective. We know for example:

1. The dead are conscious of nothing. It doesn’t hurt Andrew Jackson’s feelings that he’s not on the $20 bill. It doesn’t concern Jefferson or Washington in the least, that people 200 years removed find their lifestyles offensive. This is merely the progression of modern society—and old society will never be in sync with the modern world because it hasn’t progressed to our state of civilized behavior, our compassion and humanity, learned by experience, a gradual process that takes literally hundreds of years.

2. It is common behavior among all revolutionaries to destroy the statues, legacies and icons of old figures that no longer serve a political purpose. This is nothing new—liberal radicals in Russia did the same on the early 20th century, as did revolutionaries in the French Revolution, and all the way down to ISIS in modern times. These people would not be revolutionaries if they “fought with honor” and tried to be nice to all those wonderful dead people.

3. In an ideal world, there would be no monuments to war heroes because nobody would ever see the value of resorting to war. The pacifist argument is that we should never think of a man who has resorted to war, resorted to murdering other people for his political purposes, as anyone deserving of special honor.  He did what had to be done, according to his perspective, not what he was proud of doing.

One may argue that violence is a necessary evil, such as protecting against home invaders, serial killers and gang warfare. That may be so, but at no point has anyone erected a monument saluting Bob for shooting his next door neighbor after a break-in attempt.

Wars, at the very best, are failures of human communication. Horrific “final solutions” that leaders take because they have run out of all other reasonable options. The aim of any so-called humanist should be to promote peace, find other options to violence, and negotiate a compromise so that we can all live one more day without gunning each other down in cold blood.

There may be no real advantage to removing statues, besides appeasing an angry mob—especially since the news media is what actually riles people up to commit violence in the first place. People only know how to respond to any situation after hearing a news narrative that demonstrates a “call to action” that makes sense.

We the Subversives, in opposition to the 1% and the oppression of the poor, will not violently intervene to oppose the removal of statues consecrating dead men and their dead wars. We can only imagine that Jefferson himself, and Washington himself, would be far less concerned with their legacies and far more concerned with the survival of the United States of America—especially as it faces its greatest divisionary war yet.

Instead, we will only remind the radicals of society that if you’re going to censure war criminals and morally repugnant men and women of yesterday, don’t forget to do the same to men and women today who are equally flawed.

Destroy the legacies of men who invaded other countries and killed civilians for profit and political advantage. Stop paying homage to public figures who align themselves with political parties that are morally reprehensible, whether because of election corruption, or because their own history is steeped in racism, slavery advocacy, white supremacy and resisting a progressive society.

Subversify remains adamantly opposed to both Republican and Democratic parties and any other ideology that promotes hate and an oligarchian society.

 

The Late Mitchell Warren is the author of The End of the Magical Kingdom series, a fairy tale parody / political satire dealing with issues of politics, religion and individual responsibility.

http://subversify.com/2017/08/16/tearing-down-monuments-of-war-is-destroying-the-legacy-of-american-heroes-right-or-wrong/

A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from the University of Texas campus in Austin early on Monday. CreditEric Gay/Associated Press

With little warning, the University of Texas at Austin removed three Confederate monuments from its campus overnight, 10 days before classes are set to begin.

Work to remove statues of two Confederate generals, Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston, and the Confederate cabinet member John Reagan began late Sunday and continued into the early morning. A statue of James Stephen Hogg, Texas’ 20th governor, was also being removed.

The university’s president, Greg Fenves, explained that the decision had been made after the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., this month opened his eyes to what the statues represented. One woman was killed and dozens more injured after white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park.

In a letter to the Texas campus’s community, Mr. Fenves wrote that after the events in Charlottesville, it had become clear to him “that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

He said the statues’ historical and cultural significance was compromised by what they symbolized, and noted that they were erected in the midst of Jim Crow and segregation and that they represented “the subjugation of African-Americans.”

“The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history,” Mr. Fenves wrote. “But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.”

A university spokesman, J. B. Bird, said Monday that the school had chosen to remove the statues at night “for public safety and to cause the least disruption to the university community.”

The statues were the latest to be removed this year, mostly after the events in Charlottesville. In April and May, at night and under guard, New Orleans removed four Confederate statues that had been the subject of controversy for years. Last week, Baltimore removed four statues in the middle of the night, in a swift operation similar to the one in Austin. On Saturday, Duke University in Durham, N.C., removed a statue of Lee from a campus chapel, days after protesters toppled a Confederate statue at the Durham County Courthouse.

The removals have been accompanied by a new wave of opposition to the statues. On Saturday, a Houston man was taken into custody near a monument to Richard W. Dowling, a Confederate commander, in the city’s Hermann Park after a park ranger reported finding the man in possession of materials that could be used to make an explosive device.

The man, Andrew Schneck, 25, was charged with attempting to damage or destroy federal property, according to Abe Martinez, the acting United States attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

According to a criminal complaint released by the United States attorney’s office, Mr. Schneck told the ranger that he wanted to harm the statue and did not “like that guy.”

Meanwhile, the University of Houston announced Monday that it would be changing the name of a campus residence hall, the Calhoun Lofts, to the more innocuous “University Lofts.” Although the housing unit was not originally named for John C. Calhoun, the seventh vice-president and a strong defender of slavery, the school said that it was changing the name “in the wake of recent events, and out of sensitivity to our diverse student community.”

In Austin, three of the statues will be added to the collection of a campus historical center, where they will join a Jefferson Davis statue that was taken down in 2015 after a white supremacist killed nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, S.C. The statue of Mr. Hogg was removed because it was a part of the broader exhibit, not because the university had ideological objections to its presence on campus, Mr. Bird said. The university is looking to find a new place for it on campus.

General Johnston was appointed to his post by Jefferson Davis in 1861 and given command of the Confederate army’s western department. He was killed in the battle of Shiloh in 1862. After resigning a congressional seat in the lead-up to the Civil War, Mr. Reagan served as the Confederacy’s postmaster general.

Austin is the Texas university system’s flagship campus. The school’s history, like that of many southern institutions, is intimately linked with the history of the Confederacy. A task force assembled to study the statues in 2015 said that removing the statue of Mr. Reagan might “put a target” on other buildings or spaces that honor Texans who fought in the Confederate army. The report noted that those Texans would include much of the university’s founding generation, including George Washington Littlefield, a regent and benefactor who commissioned the statues.

 

Story 4: Barcelona Terrorist Killed — Videos

Police Kill Man Suspected Of Deadly Barcelona Van Attack, The Fugitive Was Wearing Bomb Belt | TIME

Barcelona Terrorist being shot dead by police in Cambrils

Barcelona terror attack: How it happened

Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

 

Hero policewoman kills FOUR jihadists wearing fake suicide vests made from Coke cans

  • Five ISIS jihadis were shot dead in a beach resort attack launched eight hours after 13 died in Barcelona
  • Jihadis in fake suicide belts gunned down by police in beach resort of Cambrils on the Costa Dorada at 1 am
  • A wounded extremist clambered to his feet and climbed crash barrier before he was killed with 15 bullets
  • Catalan police officer managed to shoot dead four of the five suspects using a handgun and saved partner
  • Yesterday a terrorist in a van launched murderous rampage on Barcelona’s packed Las Ramblas promenade
  • He fled the scene and police are now hunting for Moroccan-born Moussa Oukabir, 18, who rented the vehicle
  • Fellow young Moroccans Mohamed Hychami, Younes Abouyaaqoub and Said Aallaa now also on the run
  • Two attacks linked and police say 12-strong terror cell’s bomb factory packed with gas canisters exploded 

A hero policewoman surrounded by drugged-up jihadis wearing ‘Coke can’ suicide vests killed four out of five of them herself and saved an injured colleague, it was revealed today.

The terrorists carrying knives and an axe bailed out of their overturned Audi A3 used to plough into crowds on the seafront in Cambrils on the Costa Dorada at 1am today, killing a woman, 61, from Zaragoza, and injuring six others.

Two police officers were on a routine foot patrol when one was hit by the car and within seconds her partner pulled out a handgun and killed four of them as they charged her.

The fifth terrorist ran into a park and was gunned down minutes later by a policeman – but clambered to his feet with a smile on his face and ran at armed officers who eventually needed 15 bullets to kill him.

Today Catalan police chief Josep Luis Trapero confirmed a single officer, who was meant to be on holiday this week, killed four of the terrorists and said: ‘To kill four people, even if you are a professional, is not easy to digest’, adding the officer was now receiving psychological support.

Eight hours earlier a ‘linked’ ISIS van assault on the packed Los Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona killed 13 including a three-year-old girl and injured at least 100 victims from 34 different countries.

Fitzroy Davies, from Wolverhampton, described how officers gunned down one of the Cambrils jihadis and filmed the moment he rose to his feet in a scene he compared to a ‘horror film’.

He said: ‘He must have been on drugs. He took the first round of shots he fell on the floor, and then within two seconds, I thought I was watching a film, one of them horror films, the guy just stood up. He was taunting, smiling, laughing and he carried on walking to the police, and then they gave it to him again, a couple more shots and then he fell to the ground’.

He said that his suicide belt ‘looked fake’, adding: ‘It looked like he was wearing Coke cans on him’.

ISIS has been feeding its fighters cheap super-amphetamine pills called Captagon, used to induce euphoria and increase adrenaline during their murderous missions.

Shocking video footage shows bodies strewn across the ground in the seaside town 

This is the moment a jihadi (pictured centre) in a fake suicide vest is finally shot dead - seconds after he was gunned down and got up again to walk towards police

The jihadi in a fake suicide vest walsk up and down the street ranting at police

He was shot and fell down - only to get up again

Witnesses described how he stood up like a monster in a horror film before being shot again

The terrorist gunned down twice lies dead on the ground - four of the five jihadis were shot dead by the same hero policeman, it emerged today

The killers, wearing fake explosive belts and clutching knives, bailed out of the shattered Audi and were seen smiling and shouting taunts at police shot them dead in the street at around 1am local time

Moroccan-born Moussa Oukabir, 18, who lives in Barcelona, has been named as a suspect in the Las Ramblas attack after reportedly stealing his brother's ID to rent the van and is still on the run

Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir (pictured), Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa (pictured), Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami (pictured) and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub (pictured), over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured

Police are hunting (left to right) terror quartet Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia

The van used to plough into crowds in Barcelona is towed away by police in the early hours of this morning with the driver still believed to be at large

Spanish security forces escort a friend of two Moroccan-born brothers linked to the Barcelona plot after arresting him in the town of Ripoll, Catalonia

Spanish security forces escort a friend of two Moroccan-born brothers linked to the Barcelona plot after arresting him in the town of Ripoll, Catalonia

The terror began in Barcelona yesterday and spread to Cambrils overnight and police believe the terror cell has a safe house in Alcanar and has links to Moroccan brothers from Ripoll

The terror began in Barcelona yesterday afternoon and spread to Cambrils overnight and police believe the terror cell has a safe house in Alcanar and has links to Moroccan brothers from Ripoll. The coast south of Barcelona has a reputation as a hotbed for terrorists and a key meeting to plan 9/11 was held a few miles from Cambrils

Multiple gunshots heard after sirens near house party in Cambrils

THE TERRORISTS KILLED AND SUSPECTS ARRESTED AFTER THE BARCELONA ATTACKS

As of Friday morning, four people have been arrested and six people have been killed in connection with the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambril.

The four arrested include one Spanish and one Moroccan national.

One man handed himself into police on Thursday evening: This is Driss Oukabir, 28, a Moroccan national living in Ripoll, 65 miles north of Barcelona.

He claims he is not connected and that his identity documents had been stolen by his younger brother.

Moussa Oukabir, 18, is now being hunted by police, thought to have been the driver of the van on Las Ramblas that killed 13 and injured 100.

Thursday also saw one man arrested in Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, where the gas explosion in a house is being investigated.

One man died in this explosion, who has since been linked to the attacks last night.

Police believe the house where the explosion took place was being used as a bomb factory by the terrorists.

The third arrest, a man of unknown nationality, was also made in Ripoll, on Friday morning.

He is reportedly the driver of a Ford Focus which smashed though a police checkpoint on Thursday.

The driver fled the scene, leaving behind the car in which police found the car’s owner stabbed to death.

Five men wearing fake suicide belts were shot dead by police after they launched a second terrorist attack in Cambrils, 70 miles southwest of Barcelona at 1am Friday morning, injuring seven people by driving an Audi A3 into crowds on the seafront.

Eight hours earlier an ISIS jihadi drove a van at 60mph through crowds of people on Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas promenade – Spain’s busiest tourist street – which was ‘jam-packed’ with holidaymakers and locals.

Police are today hunting for Europe’s most wanted man Moussa Oukabir, an 18-year-old Moroccan-born teenager believed to have been the driver. He fled on foot and it is unclear if he joined the Cambrils attack. Three of his young friends are also on the run.

His brother Driss’ ID was used to rent up to three vans including the one in the attack but he has handed himself into police and denied any involvement. He is among four people arrested.

Police are linking the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks and believe the terror cell with up to 12 members had a base in the resort town of Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, where a house-cum-bomb factory packed with gas canisters was destroyed in an explosion on Wednesday killing one man and injuring another.

Five jihadis have been shot dead and four men including Driss Oukabir, 28, have been arrested.

A fourth suspect was gunned down in his car as he rammed officers at a roadblock in Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona. But Spanish media said he may have been the victim of a hijacking because he also had knife wounds.

As ISIS terrorists caused carnage in one of Europe’s great cities once again, it emerged today:

  • 13 were killed and at least 100 injured after an ISIS jihadi used a white Fiat van as a weapon on Los Ramblas, Barcelona at 4pm yesterday;
  • The driver flees the scene after driving at 60mph along 500 yards of road swerving to hit men, women and children including dozens of tourists;
  • Fugitive Moussa Oukabir, an 18-year-old Moroccan-born teenager, is Europe’s most wanted man and is believed to have been the driver of the van; Three other Moroccans Mohamed Hychami, 24, Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, and Said Aallaa, 18, are also on the run;
  • Moussa may have rented up to three vehicles using his brother Driss’ ID and his 28-year-old older sibling has since handed himself in to police and is among four suspects arrested, including some mutual friends;
  • At 1am a second terror attack takes place in Cambrils, a seaside resort around 70 miles from Barcelona. An Audi A3 with five jihadis on board ploughs through crowds killing one woman and injuring six more including a policeman. Their car turns over and they bail out with knives before being shot dead by police in the street;
  • Police say a house in Alcanar, further along the Costa Dorada from Barcelona, exploded on Wednesday killing one man. They say it was packed with gas canisters and contained maps of Barcelona and is now understood to be the terror cell’s headquarters and bomb factory;
  • A man was shot dead in the town of Sant Just Desvern close to Barcelona after he drove at a road block. Police now believe he was a not a terrorist either fleeing the city in fear or may have been the victim of a hijacking;
  • ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attacks, which are strikingly similar to attacks in LondonBerlin, Stockholm and Nice, where rented vehicles were used as weapons;
  • CIA warned Spanish police two months ago that Barcelona faced an imminent attack;

Families fled for their lives yesterday when suspected Islamic State terrorists mowed down dozens in a hotspot for British holidaymakers.

More than 100 men, women and children were mowed down and their broken bodies lay in pools of blood on the famous Las Ramblas street at 4pm yesterday, where 13 are confirmed dead.

Prams and toys lay among the carnage alongside tourists’ ‘selfie sticks’, discarded in the chaos as families fled the terror attack.

Shops, bars and restaurants packed with tourists and locals were abandoned with drinks, half-eaten meals and ice creams abandoned on the tables.

Pictures from their Alcanar bomb factory show more than 20 butane gas canisters scattered in the rubble and detectives found paperwork suggesting an attack in Barcelona was imminent.

It was unclear whether the house was deliberately destroyed to hide evidence or whether an accidental detonation forced the cell to rush through an improvised van attack. One person pulled from the rubble of the house was among four people so far arrested for the plot.

The attack in the coastal town began when a van hit pedestrians near the port area, leaving seven people including a police officer injured. The van then overturned and the attackers, now on foot, were shot by police as they attempted to leave the scene. It was unclear whether they were armed.

Spain's King Felipe VI (C), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont applaud after observing a minute of silence for the victims in Barcelona today

Spain’s King Felipe VI (C), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont applaud after observing a minute of silence for the victims in Barcelona today

Huge crowds gathered at Plaza de Catalunya, which sits at the top of Los Ramblas, to observe a minute's silence that turned into applause 

Huge crowds gathered at Plaza de Catalunya, which sits at the top of Los Ramblas, to observe a minute’s silence that turned into applause

Crowds have returned to the scene of yesterday's terror attack to remember those killed or injured by the rampaging van

Crowds have returned to the scene of yesterday’s terror attack to remember those killed or injured by the rampaging van

Flowers and candles are starting to be laid at the top of Los Ramblas today as the city comes to terms with the shocking attack

Flowers and candles are starting to be laid at the top of Los Ramblas today as the city comes to terms with the shocking attack

Mourners in Barcelona were in tears and clinging to eachother for support as they surveyed the scene of devastation today

Large units of police are patrolling Los Ramblas today as tourists and local returned to the area where 13 died yesterday

In Cambrils - the scene of the second terror attack - armed police are patrolling the streets and blood was being washed from the cobbled streets

In Cambrils - the scene of the second terror attack - armed police are patrolling the streets and blood was being washed from the cobbled streets

A crowd in Barcelona’s main square defiantly shouted “not afraid” today following a minute’s silence attended by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Felipe VI, held for the victims of a double vehicle attack.

Standing silent in the Plaza de Catalunya, Rajoy joined the king and Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Catalonia region where Barcelona is located, in mourning the victims of attacks that left 13 dead and more than 100 injured.

At loggerheads as the separatist Catalan government attempts to break away from Spain, Rajoy and Puigdemont put their differences aside as they held the minute of silence in the square near the scene of the Barcelona attack.

Just after, crowds at the square broke out in loud applause, shouting “I’m not afraid.”

Dramatic video posted online showed bystanders walking casually towards police cars before gunshots rang out, sending them leaping for safety on the beach below the raised roadway.

A second video shows four bodies lying on and near the road, apparently some way from the overturned vehicle, which is not in shot. The suspected suicide belts can be seen around the waists of the dead men.

A Spanish man filmed three of the terrorists as they lay dead on the ground, saying: ‘Look, there are two dead lying there on the floor. Sons of bitches, they were wearing explosives. No there are three of them. They were wearing explosives. Sons of bitches!’

Markel Artabe, a 20-year-old restaurant worker, said he was on the seaside promenade when he heard what he initially thought were fireworks, but soon realised were gunshots.

He said he saw someone lying on the ground ‘with a gunshot in the head’. The victim’s friends were crying out ‘help’, he added.

Joan Marc Serra Salinas, a 21-year-old waiter, said he heard many gunshots.

‘And shouting. And more shouting. I jumped onto the beach and didn’t move,’ he said.

A spokesman for the regional government in Catalonia said: ‘The suspected terrorists were driving an Audi A3 and ran down several people, until they crashed into a Mossos d’Esquadra patrol and the shootout began.’

As the Cambrils attack began police warned locals to stay inside – and many locked themselves inside hotels and bars.

Six people including a police officer were injured in the Cambrils attack, in the province of Tarragona. One was today in a critical condition in hospital, with another two seriously injured.

Four of the terrorists were killed immediately in the shootout and the fifth was shot and later arrested after being located by police in a helicopter. He later died from his injuries.

The regional police tweeted: ‘We are working with the hypothesis that the crimes in Cambrils are a terrorist attack. We have taken down those presumed responsible.We confirm that the 5th terrorist taken down in Cambrils, who was injured, has died.’

Driss Oukabir (pictured) has been arrested by police, according to local media reports. The Guardia Civil previously said the van used in the attack was rented by Oukabir in the town of Santa Perpetua de la Mogada

One of the arrested suspects is believed to be Driss Oukabir

Driss Oukabir (pictured) has been arrested by police, according to local media reports. The Guardia Civil previously said the van used in the attack was rented by Oukabir in the town of Santa Perpetua de la Mogada

Police officers rushed to the seaside resort to carry out an operation and ended up shooting the five terror suspects dead

Seven members of the public including a policeman were hurt in the new attack in Cambrils, 70 miles from Barcelona, which saw the jihadis’ car overturn before armed police gunned down the suspects

Seven members of the public including a policeman were hurt in the new attack in Cambrils, 70 miles from Barcelona, which saw the jihadis’ car overturn before armed police gunned down the suspects

Five terrorists were shot dead by police in the resort of Cambrils, south of Barcelona, as they carried out a new terror attack

Police officers and forensic personnel begin a search of the vehicle driven by the suspected Jihadists, who were quickly shot dead after the car flipped in the road

Police officers and forensic personnel begin a search of the vehicle driven by the suspected Jihadists, who were quickly shot dead after the car flipped in the road

The attack in the coastal town began when a van hit pedestrians near the port area, leaving seven people including a police officer injured

In Barcelona, a hired van (pictured), registered to rental company Telefurgo, rammed into scores of holidaymakers and their children. The crumpled van is pictured as a body lies on the ground

In Barcelona, a hired van (pictured), registered to rental company Telefurgo, rammed into scores of holidaymakers and their children. The crumpled van is pictured as a body lies on the ground

Horrifying images of the aftermath show an elderly couple were among the injured after the van ploughed into pedestrians on the busy Barcelona street

Horrifying images of the aftermath show an elderly couple were among the injured after the van ploughed into pedestrians on the busy Barcelona street

Police were seen arresting a suspect

They arrested a man earlier on Thursday

Stills from a video showing a man being arrested by Spanish police in Barcelona after the suspected terror attack in the heart of the city

There are harrowing scenes in Barcelona after a van was driven into pedestrians in Las Ramblas in the heart of the city. Thirteen people have been killed and more than 100 have been injured as armed police swarm the streets

How the Barcelona attack unfolded: Map shows the route the terrorist took as he ploughed into scores of holidaymakers

In a day of chaos and carnage that saw the deadliest Islamic terror attack in Spain since the 2004 Madrid bombings that killed 192, the biggest loss of life was in Barcelona.

The lone terrorist swerved his van onto the paved walkway of Las Ramblas and ploughed on for hundreds of yards. By the time he came to a halt, 13 people were dead and more than 100 more injured. Three Germans, a Greek and a Belgian were among the dead. More than 20 French nationals are believed to have been injured.

A five-year-old Irish boy suffered a broken leg when his family was caught up in the terror attack in Barcelona.

The boy’s father also has leg injuries after a van was driven into innocent people in Las Ramblas, one of the busiest avenues in the Spanish city.

Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said: ‘They are not life-threatening, I’m relieved to say. But in a way it’s a miracle that more Irish people weren’t involved, given that there are so many Irish people in Spain, Barcelona and Cambrils at this time of year.’

ISIS hits Europe with yet another marauding vehicle attack

The attack is the sixth time in a year that Islamic fanatics have used vehicles to kill pedestrians in Europe – with more than 100 dead.

· On July 14 last year, a truck was driven into crowds in Nice on Bastille Day, killing 86 revellers.

· On December 19, 12 died in Berlin when a truck smashed through a Christmas market in the German capital.

· On March 22 this year, five died after Khalid Masood drove into crowds on Westminster Bridge in Central London.

· On April 7, a fanatic drove a truck into pedestrians in Stockholm, killing five.

· On June 3, eight died when three attackers in a van mowed down passers-by on London Bridge (pictured above) before stabbing others nearby.

The father and son were part a family of four, including the mother and a daughter, and are understood to have been on a trip to celebrate the boy’s birthday. The youngster suffered a broken femur.

Spanish police initially named their prime suspect in the attack as the man they said hired the van, Driss Oukabir, a 28-year-old Morocco-born man living in the town of Ripoll, 65 miles north of Barcelona.

However hours later he apparently presented himself at a police station in Ripoll and claimed his 18-year-old brother Moussa had stolen his papers to hire the van.

Disturbing comments posted on social network Kiwi by an account carrying Moussa Oukabir’s name and photograph makes reference to killing all infidels.

Driss was the second of the two people arrested, while Moussa remained unaccounted for this morning.

Horrifying pictures and video from the scene of the Las Ramblas attack show armed police and paramedics rushing around the busy promenade in the centre of the city, as victims lie hurt in the street.

Josep Lluis Trapero, the head of the regional police force the Mossos d’Esquadra, said the attack was designed ‘to kill as many people as possible’.

A witness called Angel said he saw the attacker close up and described him as ‘a young man, maximum 25 years old, chestnut brown hair and skinny.’

Others described him as about 5ft 6in tall and wearing a blue and white striped top.

Another witness, Isaac, said: ‘The person was accelerating. He mounted the pavement to run people over. We saw the van passing by running people over at 50 miles an hour. It was as if it was driving through a field of corn.’

A taxi driver told Catalan TV station TV3: ‘The van was doing zigzags knocking over everyone he could. It was shocking.’

Aamer Anwar was walking down Las Ramblas at the time, which he said was ‘jam-packed’ with tourists.

He told Sky News: ‘All of a sudden, I just sort of heard a crashing noise and the whole street just started to run, screaming. I saw a woman right next to me screaming for her kids.’

Briton Steve Garrett was in a nearby market and sheltered in a bakery with several others after streams of people ran inside.

Mr Garrett told the BBC: ‘A very large number of people ran into the market area in a big kind of way, lots of screaming, lots of shouting.

‘Obviously coming from England it was reminding me a great deal of what happened in London, so we were very concerned about what might be going on next.’

Mr Garrett said a ‘second wave’ of people then entered the market, followed by armed police.

He said: ‘They seemed to sweep through the market area. They seemed to be looking for someone. They were going very carefully, very cautiously, stall to stall.’

Another witness told Sky News: ‘It was quite terrifying. All of a sudden scores of people ran towards us, hysterical, children hysterical… first of all they said someone had been shot.

‘All of a sudden a second wave of people came down the street, we just ran, I lost my husband in the melee. The shops went into lockdown mode.’

She added: ‘We really had no idea what was going on other than that we needed to get ourselves out of there very quickly… there was just hundreds of people running away very quickly.’

'Bomb factory' blast: A home in Alcanar which exploded on Wednesday leaving butane gas canisters strewn in the rubble was linked to the terror cell, say police, who believe it was being used to make explosives. One man died in the blast and people were hurt

‘Bomb factory’ blast: A home in Alcanar which exploded on Wednesday leaving butane gas canisters strewn in the rubble was linked to the terror cell, say police, who believe it was being used to make explosives. One man died in the blast and people were hurt

Police are linking the terror attack in Barcelona to an explosion at a home 125 miles south of the city, which is believed to have been caused by canisters filled with butane

Police are linking the terror attack in Barcelona to an explosion at a home 125 miles south of the city, which is believed to have been caused by canisters filled with butane

Investigators have confirmed that yesterday's explosion is being linked to the terror attack in Barcelona 

Investigators have confirmed that yesterday’s explosion is being linked to the terror attack in Barcelona

BRITISH ACTRESS ‘WAS FORCED TO HIDE IN FREEZER’

Laila Roussa dramatically live tweeter her experience as the horrifying attack unfolded in Barcelona

Laila Roussa dramatically live tweeter her experience as the horrifying attack unfolded in Barcelona

Actress Laila Rouass has dramatically live tweeted her experience ‘hiding in a restaurant freezer’ after being caught up in the horrific terrorist attack in Barcelona.

The wife of snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, 46, took to Twitter amid the brutal terror attack which is believed to have claimed the lives of 13 people and wounded 100 others.

Tweeting directly in the middle of the attack, the former Holby City star said: ‘In the middle of the attack. Hiding in a restaurant freezer. Happened so fast. Praying for the safety of everyone here x.’

And in a later tweet, the star, from Stepney in London, posted: ‘Gunshots just heard. Armed police running down the street looking for someone.’

In a series of further tweets she added: ‘The whole of Las Ramblas and surrounding roads in lock down with armed police everywhere,’ and ‘hearing one person has been shot.’

Friend of Mrs Rouass and fellow actor Douglas Henshall tweeted a message of support to the former Holby City star.

He said: ‘F*** sake Laila stay safe. X’.

Tom Gueller, who lives on an adjoining road, was forced to flee the scene when he saw the van hurtling through the crowds.

He told BBC’s PM: ‘I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that.

‘I ran away, I mean I live near, I had to run back about 50 metres or so and go up to my flat and obviously see what’s happening on the road from my balcony.’

Asked about the van, he said: ‘It wasn’t slowing down at all. It was just going straight through the middle of the crowds in the middle of the Ramblas.’

Police chief Trapero told a news conference: ‘At 16.50 a van entered the pedestrian area of the Rambla, and drove for many meters, running over hundreds of people.

‘Many of them were injured and it caused the death of 13 people. The driver got out of the van and ran away. There was no shouting, no phrases which sometimes accompany such attacks. Witnesses called the emergency services and gave a description.

‘The Mossos began Operation Cage, an anti-terrorist operation throughout Catalonia. There is no evidence that the person who left the van was armed. We do not believe he was armed, at least visibly.

‘We entered all of the bars and establishments of the area to check nobody was hiding. This was clearly a terrorist attack with the intention of killing as many people as possible.

‘It is believed to be connected with a second incident – the explosion of a house in Alcanar. We received an alert of an explosion where one person has died and others were injured.

‘A part of the building collapsed. We are linking these two incidents. I cannot give further details as we are still working on the investigation.

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured after a van ploughed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, Barcelona's busiest tourist area

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured after a van ploughed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s busiest tourist area

Eyewitnesses said swarms of people were running for their lives with one woman desperately screaming out for her child. The van can be seen with a crumpled bonnet as people lie motionless on the pavement

Eyewitnesses said swarms of people were running for their lives with one woman desperately screaming out for her child. The van can be seen with a crumpled bonnet as people lie motionless on the pavement

Footage had emerged of heavily armed police swarming the area, searching for the attackers. Witnesses said the area was swamped with terror cops and plain clothed officers ‘within 30 seconds’ 

Footage had emerged of heavily armed police swarming the area, searching for the attackers. Witnesses said the area was swamped with terror cops and plain clothed officers ‘within 30 seconds’

‘This led to the arrest of two people directly implicated in this attack. This does not mean that the two people under arrest are those who carried out the attack in Barcelona – but they are connected to the attack.

‘Neither of them was the person driving the van. Neither of them has any convictions for terrorism. One is from Melilla [a Spanish enclave in north Africa] and the other is Moroccan.

‘One person was arrested in Alcanar and the other, a Moroccan, in Ripoll.’

World leaders were quick to condemn the bloodbath, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May saying Britain ‘stands with Spain against terror’ in response to the tragic news.

She added: ‘My thoughts are with the victims of the terrible attack in Barcelona and the emergency services responding to this ongoing incident. The UK stands with Spain against terror.’

US President Donald Trump condemned the attack and promised to do ‘whatever is necessary to help’ the Spanish.

As news of the atrocity was breaking, US First Lady Melania Trump tweeted: ‘Thoughts and prayers to #Barcelona’.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, tweeted: ‘My thoughts are with the victims of this barbaric terrorist attack in the great city of Barcelona and with their brave emergency services.’

Mr Khan added: ‘London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism.’

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau says a moment of silence will be held in the city’s main square at noon today ‘to show that we are not scared and we are more united that ever’.

Many of those injured were seriously hurt, and Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn said he thought it ‘very possible’ that the number of dead will rise.

Pedestrians treated on ground after truck crashes into crowd

A woman lies injured on the pavement as paramedics offer treatment just moments after the van ploughed into pedestrians on Thursday 

A woman lies injured on the pavement as paramedics offer treatment just moments after the van ploughed into pedestrians on Thursday

Police have confirmed that at least 100 people are injured, with Catalonia's interior minister Joaquim Forn saying it is 'very possible' that the number of dead will rise

Police have confirmed that at least 100 people are injured, with Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn saying it is ‘very possible’ that the number of dead will rise

Victims lie in the street after the van attack in Barcelona

The attack has claimed 13 lives and left more than 100 injured

Victims lie in the street after the van attack in Barcelona, which has claimed 13 lives and left more than 100 injured

Armed police on the streets of Barcelona following Thursday's atrocity, which saw a van plough into crowds of pedestrians in the city's tourist area

Armed police on the streets of Barcelona following Thursday’s atrocity, which saw a van plough into crowds of pedestrians in the city’s tourist area

Armed policemen arrive in a cordoned-off area after a van ploughed into a crowd in Barcelona, killing at least 13 people yesterday 

Armed policemen arrive in a cordoned-off area after a van ploughed into a crowd in Barcelona, killing at least 13 people yesterday

The confusion and carnage was added to when a white Ford Focus car rammed police at a roadblock that had been set up to try and capture the fugitive terrorists, injuring three officers including a woman who suffered a broken leg.

The driver was shot dead after what was described as an exchange of fire, however officials last night sought to downplay the link to the terror plot.

Police chief Mr Trapero told his press conference: ‘He is a Spanish national and at the moment we have no indication he is linked to these other people.’

One of the terrorists ran on foot after carrying out the attack in the centre of Barcelona, which is typically packed with tourists 

One of the terrorists ran on foot after carrying out the attack in the centre of Barcelona, which is typically packed with tourists

People gather round a victim after the van drove into a crowd in Barcelona 

People flee after the van drove into crowds in centre of Barcelona 

People flee after the van drove into crowds in centre of Barcelona which left at least 13 people dead and more than 100 injured

The scene in Barcelona on Thursday as emergency services rush to help after Barcelona was attacked by suspected terrorists

The scene in Barcelona on Thursday as emergency services rush to help after Barcelona was attacked by suspected terrorists

Injured people are treated at the scene in Las Ramblas, Barcelona after the horrific attack. Right: People trapped in a shop under police guard

The civil guard has said the van used in the attack was rented in the town of Santa Perpetua de la Mogada, which is around 15 miles by road from the scene of the killings.

A second van was found parked in the town of Vic, which is around 50 miles north of Barcelona. Police believe it was meant to be used as a getaway vehicle.

Local newspaper El Periodico said the CIA had warned local police two months ago that La Rambla could be the scene of a terrorist attack.

The incident has taken place at the height of the tourist season in Barcelona, which is one of Europe’s top travel destinations with at least 11 million visitors a year.

A man sits on the pavement with his head in his hands after the tragic attack, now being treated as a terrorist incident

A man sits on the pavement with his head in his hands after the tragic attack, now being treated as a terrorist incident

People taking refuge in a shop near Las Ramblas in Barcelona after fleeing the busy promenade after the attack on Thursday 

People taking refuge in a shop near Las Ramblas in Barcelona after fleeing the busy promenade after the attack on Thursday

People are guided out of a fast food restaurant by police after the attack in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon 

People are guided out of a fast food restaurant by police after the attack in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon

The most wanted man in Europe: Manhunt for 18-year-old Barcelona terror suspect ‘who stole his brother’s identity and talked about killing infidels on social media’ 

Police are still hunting the teenager thought to have been behind the Barcelona terror attack which killed 13 and injured more than 100 people.

Moussa Oukabir, 18, is believed to have stolen his older brother’s identity documents to rent the white Renault van which ploughed into pedestrians on a busy street popular with tourists.

The teenager, said to be a Spanish national of Moroccan heritage, had previously written about ‘killing infidels’ in a chilling online post.

His brother Driss Oukabir, 28, was initially named as a suspect but later handed himself to a police station in Ripoll, a town to the north of Barcelona, not far from the French border.

The older brother, whose identity document is said to have been found in the van, was reportedly arrested after he told police his brother took his ID documents.

Moussa Oukabir is being hunted by police after his brother said he stole his ID to rent a van used in the Barcelona terror attack

Driss Oukabir was initially named as a suspect. It is understood his ID was found in the van used in the attack. He later said his younger brother stole his ID to rent the van

Police circulated the image of Driss Oukabir, 28, (right) saying he had rented a van used in the attack – but he later accused his brother Moussa (left) of stealing his ID documents to rent at least one van

An account with Moussa Oukabir's name and photograph posted on social media that, on his first day ruling the world, he would 'kill the infidels' and 'let Muslims follow the religion'

An account with Moussa Oukabir’s name and photograph posted on social media that, on his first day ruling the world, he would ‘kill the infidels’ and ‘let Muslims follow the religion’

On the run: Spanish police are now looking for the teenager in connection with yesterday's attack, which killed at least 13 people and injured more than 100

On the run: Spanish police are now looking for the teenager in connection with yesterday’s attack, which killed at least 13 people and injured more than 100

Moussa can be seen smiling and posing in images on his social media accounts, which he also used to air hatred for non-Muslims.

The teenager, reportedly a resident of Barcelona, posted on social network Kiwi that, if he was king of the world, his first act would be to ‘kill the infidels’.

After Moussa’s brother and another suspect were detained yesterday, police arrested a third person, a 34-year-old Moroccan, in Ripoll today. Moussa however is still on the run.

A security expert told the New York Times that police believe three vans were hired using the elder Oukabir brother’s ID, after the plotters were unable to hire a larger truck.

Little is yet known about Moussa, although his brother is thought to have been born in the small Moroccan town of Aghbala, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. He is said to have come to Spain via Marseille in the south of France.

In the aftermath of the attack police circulated an image of the elder Oukabir, a Catalan resident of Moroccan origin, saying he had rented out a second van thought to be intended as a getaway vehicle – where his documents were found.

But police sources said Driss later handed himself in at a police station in Ripoll, 65 miles north of Barcelona, claiming his brother had stolen his documents, leading to police now focusing on finding Moussa.

On Friday morning, a third person was arrested by police investigating the attacks – also in the city of Ripoll.

Moussa pulling typical teenage poses on social media, where he also posted about hatred for non-Muslims

Moussa is said to be a Spanish national of Moroccan origin. His brother is understood to have been born in the small Moroccan town of Aghbala

Moussa is said to be a Spanish national of Moroccan origin. His brother is understood to have been born in the small Moroccan town of Aghbala

Authorities tow the van which ploughed into the crowd on Las Ramblas on Thursday

Authorities tow the van which ploughed into the crowd on Las Ramblas on Thursday

Damage: The front of the van can be seen destroyed in these images taken late last night

Damage: The front of the van can be seen destroyed in these images taken late last night

Hunted: The driver of the van is still on the run, but it is not known who was behind the wheel

Hunted: The driver of the van is still on the run, but it is not known who was behind the wheel

Spanish police has linked Thursday's attack to an explosion that killed at least one person in a Alcanar, 120 miles south of the Barcelona

Spanish police has linked Thursday’s attack to an explosion that killed at least one person in a Alcanar, 120 miles south of the Barcelona

Police officers rushed over to treat what is believed to be an officer after a driver in a Ford Focus drove through a roadblock 

British boy, seven, among those missing after Barcelona massacre as death toll from attacks rises to 14 and photos emerge of Las Ramblas victims – including Italian father killed while shielding his son 

Desperate families of those missing after the Spanish terror attacks searched for their loved ones on Friday as the death toll rose to 14 and the first victims were identified.

Seven-year-old Julian Cadman, who was born in Kent but moved to Australia three years ago, was named among the missing by his cousin who posted an appeal online after the boy’s mother, Jom, was listed as being in a serious condition in hospital by Spanish authorities.

His father, Andrew, is currently flying from Sydney to Spain to help in the search for his missing son without knowing whether the boy is dead or alive.

Meanwhile Heidi Nunes, from California, also appealed for information about her husband Jared Tucker, 43, on Friday after they got separated during the attack while out shopping.

Elsewhere the first of those killed in the ISIS attack on Las Ramblas were named as Italians Bruno Gulotta and Luca Russo, Belgian mother-of-two Elke Vanbockrijck, 44, and 57-year-old Spaniard Fransisco Lopez Rodriguez.

A three-year-old Spanish boy from Llimiana was also killed in the attack, the town’s mayor said. He was with his mother, grandmother, sister and aunt who was injured trying to save him.

It came as the death toll from both the Barcelona and Cambrils attack was raised to 14, while 130 people were confirmed injured, including 17 in critical condition and 30 in serious condition.

Julian Cadman, seven, believed to be from Britain, is missing after the terror attack in Barcelona has his family appeal for news

Julian was pictured enjoying his holiday in Barcelona just hours before the attack took place. British authorities have confirmed 'a small number of citizens' were caught up in the attack, but would not say if they were among the injured or dead

Julian was pictured enjoying his holiday in Barcelona just hours before the attack took place. British authorities have confirmed ‘a small number of citizens’ were caught up in the attack, but would not say if they were among the injured or dead

Luca Russo, 25, an engineer from Padua, in Italy, was also confirmed among the dead. He was on holiday at the time of the attack alongside his girlfriend Marta Scomazzon

Luca Russo, 25, an engineer from Padua, in Italy, was also confirmed among the dead. He was on holiday at the time of the attack alongside his girlfriend Marta Scomazzon

Miss Scomazzon (pictured with boyfriend Luca before the attack) was left with a broken collarbone after being hit, Italian media reported on Friday

Miss Scomazzon (pictured with boyfriend Luca before the attack) was left with a broken collarbone after being hit, Italian media reported on Friday

Elke Vanbockrijck, 44, from Belgium, has been identified as being among the dead. Authorities said she was on holiday with her husband and sons when she was run down and killed

Elke Vanbockrijck, 44, from Belgium, has been identified as being among the dead. Authorities said she was on holiday with her husband and sons when she was run down and killed

Spanish authorities say 57-year-old  Francisco Lopez Rodriguez (pictured on Las Ramblas moments before the attack) died on the spot after being hit by ISIS terrorists. He was earlier reported as missing

Spanish authorities say 57-year-old  Francisco Lopez Rodriguez (pictured on Las Ramblas moments before the attack) died on the spot after being hit by ISIS terrorists. He was earlier reported as missing

Heidi Nunes, from California, said online that her husband Jared Tucker, 43, is missing after the pair got separated on Las Ramblas during the attack. Rex Tillerson has confirmed one American death and said the State Department is 'still confirming the deaths and injuries of others', without giving specific details

Heidi Nunes, from California, said online that her husband Jared Tucker, 43, is missing after the pair got separated on Las Ramblas during the attack

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities are ‘urgently looking into reports’ of a dual-nationality child believed to be missing in Spain, and confirmed that ‘a number of British nationals’ were caught up in the attack.

Mrs May gave no indication if those Britons were among those wounded or killed.

Mr Gulotta, a computer salesman from Legnano, in northern Italy, was crushed to death in the Barcelona attack as he walked along holding his six-year-old son’s hand.

His wife, Martina, said he died kneeling down to shield their son and seven-month-old daughter from the van, according to boss Pino Bruno, who claimed to have spoken with her.

Meanwhile Belgian authorities named Mrs Vanbockrijck, from Tongeren, as among the dead, saying she was on holiday with her husband and sons at the time.

Spanish authorities said Mr Rodriguez, who was pictured on Las Ramblas moments before the attack, died on the spot after being hit by the terrorist’s van. He was earlier reported as missing.

Seven-year-old Julian Cadman’s grandmother Norma Canaveral told MailOnline: ‘We are just so worried. I am just waiting for news, hoping for good news.’

The 66-year-old, from London, said: ‘I don’t know what to say. His mother is in the hospital, she’s ok, but she became separated from Julian and we don’t know where he is. All we can do it wait.’

Julian was born in Kent and attended the Chiddingstone Nursery before moving to Sydney three years ago with his parents Jom and Andrew Cadman.

Andrew is from Australia and Jom is originally from The Philippines.

Driss Oukabir, 28, the brother of the suspected van driver, lives in Ripoll where he handed himself over to police on Thursday, while another man was also arrested there 

Driss Oukabir, 28, the brother of the suspected van driver, lives in Ripoll where he handed himself over to police on Thursday, while another man was also arrested there

King Felipe VI (centre), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (to his left), and President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont (to his right) led a minute of silence in Barcelona on Friday for the victims of the attack

Thousands gathered in Catalonia Square in the centre of the city in order to honour the 13 people who died in the city, and another woman who passed away on Friday after being struck in a second attack in Cambrils

Thousands gathered in Catalonia Square in the centre of the city in order to honour the 13 people who died in the city, and another woman who passed away on Friday after being struck in a second attack in Cambrils

Women on Las Ramblas, the street where the attack took place, break down in tears as they remember victims of the attack

Women on Las Ramblas, the street where the attack took place, break down in tears as they remember victims of the attack

Jom is in hospital in Barcelona as she recovers from yesterday’s attack on Las Ramblas. Julian is still missing. Andrew has flown from Sydney to Spain.

Norma, who is Jom’s cousin, but is called ‘granny’ by Julian, said her daughter Christabel Juguilon had been calling relatives to find out what has happened to Julian.

Her other daughter Norie-Jean, Jom’s niece, added: ‘I saw the post about Julian being missing on Facebook this morning but we don’t know any more.

‘Julian’s a really sweet boy. He loves to dance, he’s a lovely, bubbly boy.’

Appeals for the missing came as two Spaniards, three Germans and one Belgian were identified among the dead, according to Spanish media.

The two Spainards were reported to be a man and boy who were related and came from the Rubí neighbourhood of Barcelona.

Meanwhile citizens from America, Australia, Ireland, France, Greece, Hong Kong and the Netherlands were confirmed among the more than 100 people injured.

A six-year-old girl, also of unknown nationality, is in serious condition in hospital after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage, theNew York Times reports.

Norman and Pederlita Putot, who were born in the Philippines but lived in Ireland, were named by RTE as among those caught up in the attack along with their two Irish-born children.

Their five-year-old son, who was not named, suffered a broken leg in the attack and is now in hospital along with his father, who suffered knee injuries.

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: ‘It’s a miracle that more Irish people weren’t involved, given that there are so many Irish people in Spain, Barcelona and Cambrils at this time of year.

‘At the moment, you can safely say that over 300,000 Irish people are in Spain, today as we speak.

‘This is not just an attack on Spain or on Barcelona, but it’s an attack on the way we live as European citizens in the free world.’

French authorities have confirmed the largest number of injuries so far, saying 26 of its citizens were among those hurt with 11 in serious condition.

Julie Bishop, Australia’s minister for foreign affairs, said two citizens were in critical condition following the attack, two more were injured, and a total of 16 Australians were caught up in the attack.

Belgium’s foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders confirmed one citizen had been killed and another two injured, including one in serious condition.

Meanwhile Greek authorities said three people had been injured, identifying them as a woman and her two children, though the extent of their injuries is unclear.

Chinese authorities said one person from Hong Kong was among those hurt, while the US also confirmed and American suffered minor injuries.

Three Dutch are also among the injured, though it is not known how badly.

Five Cubans were identified among the injured on Friday as the country’s embassy in Spain said four were hurt in Barcelona and a fifth received minor injuries in the Cambrils attack that wounded a total of seven people, including a police officer.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4800282/PICTURED-Moroccan-man-rented-Barcelona-van.html#ixzz4qQj9MlJu

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The Pronk Pops Show 906, June 7, 2017, Story 1: Will Congress Reauthorize Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act? Yes with changes to protect the privacy of American People. — How About Executive Order 12333 That Allow The President To Target Americans Without A Warrant — Unconstitutional and Illegal — Happens Every Day! — Oversight My Ass –Videos — Story 2: National Security Agency Under Obama Spied On American People —  Obama’s Abuse of Power — Huge Scandal Ignored By Big Lie Media — Videos — Story 3: President Trump To Nominate Christopher A. Wray For FBI Director — Videos

Posted on June 7, 2017. Filed under: Airlines, American History, Barack H. Obama, Benghazi, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, China, Climate, Climate Change, Coal, Coal, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, Fast and Furious, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Iraq, IRS, Islam, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Israel, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Libya, Life, Lying, Media, Middle East, National Interest, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Obama, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Qatar, Radio, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Security, Senate, Solar, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Syria, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Transportation, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Negotiations with Islamic Republic of Iran, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Will Congress Reauthorize Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act? Yes with changes to protect the privacy of American People — How About Executive Order 12333 That Allows The President To Target American Citizens Without A Warrant — Unconstitutional and Illegal — Happens Every Day! — Oversight My Ass –Videos

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FISA: 702 Collection

In 2008, Congress passed a set of updates to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including Section 702 which authorized warrantless surveillance of non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be outside the country. However, documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that 702 was being used far more heavily than many expected, serving as the legal basis for the collection of large quantities of telephone and Internet traffic  passing through the United States (and unlike 215, including content rather than just metadata). Still, as 702 only permits overseas collection, most criticism of the provision has come from abroad. But many domestic privacy advocates also worry that large amounts of American communication are being swept up “incidentally” and then used as well.

How the Senate hearing on surveillance turned into a Russia hearing

Blunt Questions National Security Officials Regarding Russia Investigation & FISA 6/7/17

FULL: Rosenstein, Intel Chiefs Testify at Senate Hearing on President Trump and Russia Investigation

Heinrich Questions Top Intelligence Officials In Senate Intel Committee Hearing

Senator Kamala Harris Grills Deputy AG Rosenstein On Whether He Has Given Mueller Full Independence

Trump Russia Collusion Investigation, Part 1 – Senate Intelligence Committee – FISA 6/7/2017

Trump Russia Collusion Investigation, Part 2 – Senate Intelligence Committee – FISA 6/7/2017

Trump Russia Collusion Investigation, Part 3 – Senate Intelligence Committee – FISA 6/7/2017

‘You Went Back on a Pledge!’ Dem. Senator Gets Nasty With DNI Chief Dan Coats

June 7, 2017: Sen. Cotton’s Q&A at Senate Intel Committee FISA Hearing

OPENING STATEMENT: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Testifies at Senate Intel Committee

Senate Russia Investigation: National security officials testify to intelligence committee on FISA

Rand Paul on Unmaskings: ‘We Can’t Live in Fear of Our Own Intelligence Community’

Rand Paul on Obama Illegally Spying on Americans | NSA Wiretapping

Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act

FISA Hearing – Sec 702 Intel Surveillance – IMPORTANT

NSA Spying On Americans ‘Widespread’ – Let Sec. 702 Expire!

Bill Binney explodes the Russia witchhunt

Obama’s NSA conducted illegal searches on Americans for years: Report

NSA Whistleblower Bill Binney on Tucker Carlson 03.24.2017

NSA Whistleblower Bill Binney On 9/11

William Binney – The Government is Profiling You (The NSA is Spying on You)

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

State of Surveillance: Police, Privacy and Technology

The Fourth Amendment Explained: US Government Review

Why We’re Losing Liberty

Sen. Rand Paul Defends the Fourth Amendment – February 11, 2014

Rand Paul Shames Homeland Security on Spying on Americans

Top Intel Community Officials Deny That Trump Pressured Them On Russia Probe

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CHUCK ROSS
Reporter

The directors of the Office of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency testified on Wednesday that they have not been pressured by President Trump on the ongoing Russia investigation, undercutting recent reports that they were.

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of NSA, largely declined to discuss details about their interactions with Trump when pressed on the matter during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

According to news reports published last month, Trump asked both Coats and Rogers to rebut stories that Trump was under investigation as part of the Russia probe.

Both Coats and Rogers reportedly felt uncomfortable with the requests from Trump.

But when asked about those interactions on Wednesday, both declined to discuss their specific conversations with Trump while stating that they have never felt pressure from the White House.

“In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything that I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate. And to the best of my collection … I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so,” Rogers told Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate panel.

“Did the president … ask you in any way, shape or form to back off or downplay the Russia investigation?” Warner asked.

Rogers said that he would not discuss specifics of conversations he had with Trump, but added: “I stand by the comment I just made, sir.”

Coats, a former Indiana senator who was appointed by Trump, also denied ever being pressured to downplay the Russia investigation or any other.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Coats told associates on March 22 that Trump asked him to intervene with former FBI Director James Comey to push back against the Russia investigation.

“In my time of service … I have never been pressured, I have never felt pressure, to intervene or interfere in any way, with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation,” Coats testified Wednesday.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/07/top-intel-community-officials-deny-that-trump-pressured-them-on-russia-probe/

The Way the NSA Uses Section 702 is Deeply Troubling. Here’s Why.

MAY 7, 2014

This blog post was updated at 5:10 pm PST 5/8/14.

The most recent disclosure of classified NSA documents revealed that the British spy agency GCHQ sought unfettered access to NSA data collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Not only does this reveal that the two agencies have a far closer relationship than GCHQ would like to publicly admit, it also serves as a reminder that surveillance under Section 702 is a real problem that has barely been discussed, much less addressed, by Congress or the President.

In fact, the “manager’s amendment” to the USA FREEDOM Act, which passed unanimously out of the House Judiciary Committee, has weakened the minimal changes to Section 702 that USA FREEDOM originally offered. Although Representative Zoe Lofgren—who clearly understands the import of Section 702—offered several very good amendments that would have addressed these gaps, her amendments were all voted down. There’s still a chance though—as this bill moves through Congress it can be strengthened by amendments from the floor.

Section 702 has been used by the NSA to justify mass collection of phone calls and emails by collecting huge quantities of data directly from the physical infrastructure of communications providers. Here’s what you should know about the provision and why it needs to be addressed by Congress and the President:

  • Most of the discussion around the NSA has focused on the phone records surveillance program. Unlike that program, collection done under Section 702 capturescontent of communications. This could include content in emails, instant messages, Facebook messages, web browsing history, and more.
  • Even though it’s ostensibly used for foreign targets, Section 702 surveillance sweeps up the communications of Americans. The NSA has a twisted, and incredibly permissive, interpretation of targeting that includes communications about a target, even if the communicating parties are completely innocent. As John Oliver put it in his interview with former NSA General Keith Alexander: “No, the target is not the American people, but it seems that too often you miss the target and hit the person next to them going, ‘Whoa, him!'”
  • The NSA has confirmed that it is searching Section 702 data to access American’s communications without a warrant, in what is being called the “back door search loophole.”  In response to questions from Senator Ron Wyden, former NSA director General Keith Alexander admitted that the NSA specifically searches Section 702 data using “U.S. person identifiers,” for example email addresses associated with someone in the U.S.
  • The NSA has used Section 702 to justify programs in which the NSA can siphon off large portions of Internet traffic directly from the Internet backbone. These programs exploit the structure of the Internet, in which a significant amount of traffic from around the world flows through servers in the United States. In fact, through Section 702, the NSA has access to information stored by major Internet companies like Facebook and Google.
  • Section 702 is likely used for computer security operations. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper noted Section 702’s use to obtain communications “regarding potential cyber threats” and to prevent “hostile cyber activities.” Richard Ledgett, Deputy Director of NSA, noted the use of intelligence authorities to mitigate cyber attacks.
  • The FISA Court has little opportunity to review Section 702 collection. The court approves procedures for 702 collection for up to a year. This is not approval of specific targets, however; “court review [is] limited to ‘procedures’ for targeting and minimization rather than the actual seizure and searches.” This lack of judicial oversight is far beyond the parameters of criminal justice.
  • Not only does the FISA Court provide little oversight, Congress is largely in the dark about Section 702 collection as well. NSA spying defenders say that Congress has been briefed on these programs. But other members of Congress have repeatedly noted that it is incredibly difficult to get answers from the intelligence community, and that attending classified hearings means being unable to share any information obtained at such hearings. What’s more, as Senator Barbara Mikulski stated: “‘Fully briefed’ doesn’t mean that we know what’s going on.”  Without a full picture of Section 702 surveillance, Congress simply cannot provide oversight.
  • Section 702 is not just about keeping us safe from terrorism. It’s a distressingly powerful surveillance tool. While the justification we’ve heard repeatedly is that NSA surveillance is keeping us safer, data collected under Section 702 can be shared in a variety of circumstances, such as ordinary criminal investigations. For example, the NSA has shared intelligence with the Drug Enforcement Agency that has led to prosecutions for drug crimes, all while concealing the source of the data.
  • The President has largely ignored Section 702. While the phone records surveillance program has received significant attention from President Obama, in his speeches and his most recent proposal, Section 702 remains nearly untouched.
  • The way the NSA uses Section 702 is illegal and unconstitutional—and it violates international human rights law. Unlike searches done under a search warrant authorized by a judge, Section 702 has been used by the NSA to get broad FISA court authorization for general search and seizure of huge swathes of communications. The NSA says this is OK because Section 702 targets foreign citizens. The problem is, once constitutionally protected communications of Americans are swept up, the NSA says these communications are “fair game” for its use.
  • Innocent non-Americans don’t even get the limited and much abused protections the NSA promises for Americans. Under international human rights law to which the United States is a signatory, the United States must respect the rights of all persons. With so many people outside the United States keeping their data with American companies, and so much information being swept up through mass surveillance, that makes Section 702 the loophole for the NSA to violate the privacy rights of billions of Internet users worldwide.

The omission of Section 702 reform from the discourse around NSA surveillance is incredibly concerning, because this provision has been used to justify some of the most invasive NSA surveillance. That’s why EFF continues to push for real reform of NSA surveillance that includes an end to Section 702 collection. You can help by educating yourself and engaging your elected representatives. Print out our handy one-page explanation of Section 702. Contact your members of Congress today and tell them you want to see an end to all dragnet surveillance, not just bulk collection of phone records.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/05/way-nsa-uses-section-702-deeply-troubling-heres-why

 

By ZACK WHITTAKER CBS NEWS June 30, 2014, 4:02 PM
Legal loopholes could allow wider NSA surveillance, researchers say
CBS NEWS

NEW YORK — Secret loopholes exist that could allow the National Security Agency to bypass Fourth Amendment protections to conduct massive domestic surveillance on U.S. citizens, according to leading academics.

The research paper released Monday by researchers at Harvard and Boston University details how the U.S. government could “conduct largely unrestrained surveillance on Americans by collecting their network traffic abroad,” despite constitutional protections against warrantless searches.

One of the paper’s authors, Axel Arnbak of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, told CBS News that U.S. surveillance laws presume Internet traffic is non-American when it is collected from overseas.

“The loopholes in current surveillance laws and today’s Internet technology may leave American communications as vulnerable to surveillance, and as unprotected as the internet traffic of foreigners,” Arnbak said.

Although Americans are afforded constitutional protections against unwarranted searches of their emails, documents, social networking data, and other cloud-stored data while it’s stored or in-transit on U.S. soil, the researchers note these same protections do not exist when American data leaves the country.

Furthermore, they suggest that Internet traffic can be “deliberately manipulated” to push American data outside of the country. Although the researchers say they “do not intend to speculate” about whether any U.S. intelligence agencies are actually doing this, they say it could provide a loophole for vacuuming up vast amounts of U.S. citizen data for intelligence purposes, thus “circumventing constitutional and statutory safeguards seeking to protect the privacy of Americans,” they warned.

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Snowden: NSA programs “uncontrolled and dangerous”
The academic paper lands just over a year since the Edward Snowden revelations first came to light, outlining the massive scope of U.S. government surveillance, under the justification of preventing terrorism. Although the classified programs that make up the NSA’s data acquisition arsenal have only recently been disclosed over the past year, the laws that govern them have been under close scrutiny for years. The paper only adds fuel to the fire of the intelligence agency’s alleged spying capabilities, which have been heavily criticized by civil liberties and privacy groups alike.

“The fix has to come from the law — the same laws that apply to Internet traffic collected domestically should also apply to traffic that is collected abroad,” the paper’s co-author, Sharon Goldberg of Boston University’s Computer Science Department, said.

While the researchers do not say whether these loopholes are being actively exploited — saying their aim is solely to broaden the understanding of the current legal framework — the current legislation as it stands “opens the door for unrestrained surveillance,” they write.

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the subsequent introduction of the Patriot Act allowed certain kinds of data to be collected to help in the fight against terrorism — so-called “metadata,” such as the time and date of phone calls and emails sent, including phone numbers and email addresses themselves. But the contents of those phone calls or emails require a warrant. The classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed that while the public laws have been in effect for years or even decades, the U.S. government has used secret and classified interpretations of these laws for wider intelligence gathering outside the statutes’ text.

The Obama administration previously said there had been Congressional and Judicial oversight of these surveillance laws — notably Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorized the collection of Americans’ phone records; and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which authorized the controversial PRISM program to access non-U.S. residents’ emails, social networking, and cloud-stored data.

But the researchers behind this new study say that the lesser-known Executive Order (EO) 12333, which remains solely the domain of the Executive Branch — along with United States Signals Intelligence Directive (USSID) 18, designed to regulate the collection of American’s data from surveillance conducted on foreign soil — can be used as a legal basis for vast and near-unrestricted domestic surveillance on Americans.

The legal provisions offered under EO 12333, which the researchers say “explicitly allows for intentional targeting of U.S. persons” for surveillance purposes when FISA protections do not apply, was the basis of the authority that reportedly allowed the NSA to tap into the fiber cables that connected Google and Yahoo’s overseas to U.S. data centers.

An estimated 180 million user records, regardless of citizenship, were collected from Google and Yahoo data centers each month, according to the leaked documents. The program, known as Operation MUSCULAR, was authorized because the collection was carried out overseas and not on U.S. soil, the researchers say.

The paper also said surveillance can also be carried out across the wider Internet by routing network traffic overseas so it no longer falls within the protection of the Fourth Amendment.

However, an NSA spokesperson denied that either EO 12333 or USSID 18 “authorizes targeting of U.S. persons for electronic surveillance by routing their communications outside of the U.S.,” in an emailed statement to CBS News.

“Absent limited exception (for example, in an emergency), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires that we get a court order to target any U.S. person anywhere in the world for electronic surveillance. In order to get such an order, we have to establish, to the satisfaction of a federal judge, probable cause to believe that the U.S. person is an agent of a foreign power,” the spokesperson said.

The report highlights a fundamental fact about Internet traffic: Data takes the quickest route possible rather than staying solely within a country’s borders. Data between two U.S. servers located within the U.S. can still sometimes be routed outside of the U.S.

Although this is normal, the researchers warn data can be deliberately routed abroad by manipulating the Internet’s core protocols — notably the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which determines how Internet traffic is routed between individual networks; and the Domain Name Service (DNS), which converts website addresses to numerical network addresses.

If the NSA took advantage of the loophole by pushing Internet traffic outside of the U.S., it would have enough time to capture the data while it is outside the reach of constitutional protection.

The researchers rebuffed the NSA’s statement in an email: “We argue that these loopholes exist when surveillance is conducted abroad and when the authorities don’t ‘intentionally target a U.S. person’. There are several situations in which you don’t ‘target a U.S. person’, but Internet traffic of many Americans can in fact be affected.”

“We cannot tell whether these loopholes are exploited on a large scale, but operation MUSCULAR seems to find its legal and technical basis in them.”

Mark M. Jaycox, a legislative analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said: “If you are intentionally spying on a U.S. person, the government must go to the FISA Court,” he said. “That’s the way the law is supposed to operate.”

Describing how the NSA says it never “intentionally collects” U.S. information, he warned the agency’s foreign data dragnet would inevitably include U.S. data.

“The NSA is an intelligence organization — it’s going to be targeting foreigners. But it’s the way that its targeting millions of foreigners, and millions of foreign communications that will eventually pick up U.S. persons’ data and information. And once that data has been collected, it must be destroyed.”

“It’s a question the NSA can’t reconcile, so they lean heavily on saying they never ‘intentionally collect’ the U.S. person information,” he said

A recent primer on EO 12333 written by the privacy group said the order “mandates rules for spying… on anyone within the United States.” The group also notes because the order remains inside the Executive Branch, the Obama administration could “repeal or modify” it at will.

The American Civil Liberties Union said in a post on its website that the U.S. government interprets USSID 18 to “permit it to sweep up Americans’ international communications without any court order and with little oversight.”

Patrick Toomey, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, said: “Today, Americans’ communications increasingly travel the globe — and privacy protections must reliably follow. This academic paper raises key questions about whether our current legal regime meets that standard, or whether it allows the NSA to vacuum up Americans’ private data simply by moving its operations offshore.”

He added that there should be a uniform set of laws that protect Americans’ privacy regardless of where they are in the world, and that Congressional oversight of all rules governing surveillance is needed for comprehensive reforms.

The ACLU has also filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit with a federal court in New York, questioning “whether it [EO 12333] appropriately accommodates the constitutional rights of American citizens and residents whose communications are intercepted in the course of that surveillance.”

Although there is no direct evidence yet to suggest the NSA has exploited this loophole, network monitoring firm Renesys observed two “route hijacking” events in June and November 2013 that led Internet traffic to be redirected through Belarus and Iceland on separate occasions. These events are virtually unnoticeable to the ordinary Internet user, but the side effect is that U.S. data may be readable by foreign governments traveling through their country’s infrastructure. It also could allow the NSA to capture that data by treating it as foreign data.

These legal and technical loopholes can allow “largely unrestrained surveillance on Americans communications,” the researchers wrote.

The NSA, whose job it is to produce intelligence from overseas targets, said for the first time in August 2013 that it derives much of its “foundational authority” for its operations from EO 12333. Recent Snowden disclosures shed new light on understanding the capabilities of the executive order.

It was also recently revealed that Snowden himself questioned the legal authority of EO 12333, according to one declassified email exchange released by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

According to John Schindler, a former NSA chief analyst, speaking to The Washington Post in October, the sole aim of the NSA’s “platoon” of lawyers’ is to figure out “how to stay within the law and maximize collection by exploiting every loophole.”

“It’s fair to say the rules are less restrictive under [EO] 12333 than they are under FISA,” he added.

FISA expanded the NSA’s powers allowing it to obtain foreign intelligence — including economic and political surveillance of foreign governments, companies, news outlets and citizens. But the amended law in 2008 also restricted what can be collected on U.S. citizens.

The so-called “targeting” and “minimization” procedures, which remain classified but were reported as a result of the Snowden leaks, were introduced to ensure any data inadvertently collected on U.S. citizens from overseas would not be used in investigations. These were later criticized following subsequent leaks which suggested the rules on collecting U.S. persons’ data were more relaxed than the statute led the public to believe.

U.S. intelligence agencies can only do so much with U.S. data, therefore they have a “strong incentive to conduct surveillance abroad,” the researchers say, because legal protections under the Fourth Amendment and FISA do not apply outside U.S. territory.

“Programs under EO 12333 may collect startling amounts of sensitive data on both foreigners and Americans,” the paper summarizes, “without any meaningful congressional or judiciary involvement.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/legal-loopholes-could-let-nsa-surveillance-circumvent-fourth-amendment-researchers-say/

 

FISA Authority and Blanket Surveillance: A Gatekeeper Without Opposition

Vol. 40 No. 3

The author is with ZwillGen PLLC in Washington, D.C.

Surveillance and espionage were once practices ordinary Americans only read about in novels or saw in movie theaters. That is no longer true. America is at the center of a worldwide communications network. It is home to the world’s most popular telecommunications, email, instant message, and video chat providers. Because of America’s unique role, hundreds of millions of users send communications through American soil. At the same time, America’s enemies have grown from nation-states, like the Soviet Union, to small cells of terrorists that use ordinary communications networks. Taken together, it is not surprising that signals intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), which intercept and analyze these signals, would seek and use surveillance powers to conduct more surveillance at home.

Part of this new regime means that more legal process to gather intelligence is being served on companies in the United States. Recent revelations have declassified documents describing the NSA’s broad “collect now, search later” approach to surveillance. This means that some electronic communications providers, and their in-house and outside counsel, are faced with new forms of legal process. But unlike criminal process, which is rooted in a large body of publicly available case law and which often comes to light in the course of criminal trials, this new process comes to these providers in secret. As documents recently declassified by the director of national intelligence demonstrate, the government has served a number of different kinds of orders on providers—each of whom must assess when and how they might comply with or challenge those orders.

My firm and I represented one such provider in In re Directives [Redacted] Pursuant to Section 105B of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [Redacted], 551 F.3d 1004 (FISA Ct. Rev. 2008). That case presented a challenge that more providers may face as the NSA explores its surveillance capabilities. The provider received process known as a 105B directive (which is now called a 702 directive) starting in 2007. In contrast with typical criminal process, there was no prior court review or approval of particular surveillance targets. Instead, a 702 directive, like the one served on that provider, approved of the government’s procedure for conducting surveillance—not its targets.

 

Faced with this process, the provider had to make decisions about how it could respond. The provider chose not to comply with the process, and the government filed a motion to compel in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a secret court charged with reviewing and approving some types of surveillance.

The course of that litigation proved complex. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR), which handles appeals from the FISC, had published a single opinion before the In re Directives case, and while the lower court, the FISC, had rules for proceedings, there were no publicly available decisions on which to rely in litigating the procedural aspects of the case. The merits of the case too were litigated in the dark. No docket was made available, and there was no public mention of the case until after it was appealed and the FISCR entered its decision. Some documents related to the case are still being declassified, but in the words of the FISCR’s declassified decision, there was “multitudinous briefing” in the FISC and ample briefing on appeal.

The FISCR released its opinion in In re Directives in 2009, and a beam of light shone on its decisions for the first time in seven years. But then the FISC went dark again. In late 2013, however, the director of national intelligence, in response to increased public pressure seeking information on surveillance activities, began releasing more FISC opinions that are instructive on how the FISC operates and how it has been interpreting the Fourth Amendment and process under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq. (FISA) in the intervening years, giving much needed guidance to providers and outside counsel.

 

The History of FISA

Understanding how to advise clients faced with FISA process, the challenges they face, and how to revise FISA to address public concerns about the NSA’s “collect now, search later” surveillance requires some history, legal analysis, and creative thinking. FISA’s history provides context for the reforms needed to adjust the balance between surveillance and privacy. Current events provide information about the extent of the problem. And creative thinking is required to create solutions.

FISA occupies an uneasy place. It resides where intelligence gathering meets the Fourth Amendment. FISA addresses the problem of how, and when, the government can conduct surveillance for intelligence-gathering purposes on United States soil. Over time, Congress has addressed this delicate balance by amending FISA to expand and contract surveillance capabilities. Today, FISA provides a comprehensive set of procedures for obtaining and using “foreign intelligence information” within the United States.

Before Congress passed FISA in 1978, there were no clear rules for when the executive branch could conduct clandestine surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Prior to FISA, every president since at least 1931 used surveillance to protect national security interests—even when no law specifically allowed that surveillance. See Sen. Rep. No. 94-755 (1976), Book III, Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans [hereinafter Church Report], available at www.intelligence.senate.gov/pdfs94th/94755_III.pdf. Presidents justified this surveillance by pointing to their role as commander-in-chief combined with their duty and authority to execute the laws of the United States. U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, § 2, cl. 1; see Church Report, supra, at 279.

This power remained relatively untested until the seminal case United States v. U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, 407 U.S. 297 (1972), also known as the Keith case. There, the government prosecuted three individuals for conspiring to bomb an office of the Central Intelligence Agency in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Keith defendants moved to compel the government to disclose electronic surveillance information the government collected without first getting a warrant. The attorney general argued the surveillance satisfied the Fourth Amendment because it was necessary “to gather intelligence information deemed necessary to protect the nation from attempts of domestic organizations to attack and subvert the existing structure of the Government.” Id. at 300. The Supreme Court found that the government must get a warrant before engaging in domestic surveillance, but limited its opinion to “domestic aspects of national security” and stated that it “express[ed] no opinion as to the issues which may be involved with respect to activities of foreign powers or their agents.” Id. at 321. Keith changed the landscape of domestic surveillance, but lower courts struggled to decide when surveillance required a warrant and when surveillance fell outside Keith’s holding; as a result, they increasingly invalidated surveillance. See Zweibon v. Mitchell, 516 F.2d 594, 651 (D.C. Cir. 1975).

Faced with this uncertainty and the revelations about warrantless surveillance, the Senate created the Church Committee to investigate the executive branch’s use of warrantless surveillance. The committee’s report provided revelations much like those that are coming to light today as a result of Edward Snowden’s leaks. The committee’s report, which is actually 14 separate reports regarding intelligence abuses, provides one of the most extensive, in-depth examinations of the use and abuse of surveillance powers in the United States. The Church Report revealed that from the early 1960s to 1972, the NSA targeted certain Americans’ international communications by placing their names on a watch list. It contended that intercepting these Americans’ communications was part of monitoring programs it was conducting against international communications channels. As is the case in news reports today, “to those Americans who have had their communications—sent with the expectation that they were private—intentionally intercepted and disseminated by their Government, the knowledge that NSA did not monitor specific communications channels solely to acquire their message is of little comfort.” Church Report, supra, at 735.

History tends to repeat itself. Today, newspapers have reported that the NSA engages in bulk telephone records surveillance using the “Business Records” provision in section 215 of FISA (50 U.S.C. § 1861). This bulk surveillance, however, isn’t anything new. The Church Report provides shockingly similar revelations about the NSA’s Operation SHAMROCK. Much like recent revelations about today’s bulk records collection, Operation SHAMROCK, which lasted all the way from August 1945 until May 1975, collected millions of telegrams leaving or transiting the United States and monitored certain telephone links between the United States and South America. As part of this monitoring, the NSA intercepted Americans’ international communications and disseminated those communications to other intelligence agencies. In doing so, the NSA “never informed the companies that it was analyzing and disseminating telegrams of Americans.” Unlike today, however, “the companies, who had feared in 1945 that their conduct might be illegal, apparently never sought assurances that NSA was limiting its use to the messages of foreign targets once the intercept program had begun.” Church Report, supra, at 740–41.

The NSA discontinued SHAMROCK in 1975, but it still incidentally collected Americans’ communications—much like it does (to a lesser extent) today. The Church Committee described the NSA’s “initial interception of a stream of communications” as “analogous to a vacuum cleaner.” “NSA picks up all communications carried over a specific link that it is monitoring. The combination of this technology and the use of words to select communications of interest results in NSA analysts reviewing the international messages of American citizens, groups, and organizations for foreign intelligence.” Id. at 741. This is eerily similar to the FISC’s description of bulk records collection as recently as October 2011, in which it stated “that NSA has acquired, is acquiring, and . . . will continue to acquire tens of thousands of wholly domestic communications,” Redacted, slip op. at 33 (FISA Ct. Oct. 3, 2011), because it intercepts all communications over certain Internet links it is monitoring and is “unable to exclude certain Internet transactions.” Id. at 30.

 

Purposes of FISA

That history tells us where FISA comes from and the problems Congress was trying to solve. Congress had two main goals: provide some oversight where there was none, and draw clear lines so that law enforcement would know when it could use foreign intelligence process and when it had to follow ordinary criminal process. To address these goals, FISA contains two important parts. First, it established a framework for judicial review by creating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. It also created a new FISA process to replace criminal process such as warrants, subpoenas, surveillance orders, and pen register/trap and trace orders. The FISA versions of each of these has less stringent requirements for the government to satisfy than criminal process. See 50 U.S.C. § 1801–12 (electronic surveillance equivalent to Title III orders), 50 U.S.C. § 1821–29 (physical searches like search warrants), 50 U.S.C. § 1841–46 (pen registers and trap-and-trace devices), 50 U.S.C. § 1861–62 (business records like grand jury subpoenas).

Second, FISA addressed when law enforcement can and cannot use these FISA processes to conduct surveillance or gather evidence. As it was originally enacted, law enforcement could obtain FISA process, rather than criminal process, when the “primary purpose” of surveillance was to gather foreign intelligence information. At the same time, Congress explicitly excluded activities conducted abroad from FISA’s reach. It also did not provide protection for U.S. citizens when they left the United States. See H.R. Rep. No. 95–1283, at 51 (1978).

To fill in the gaps FISA left and to provide rules of executive branch intelligence agencies, President Reagan issued Executive Order 12,333, United States Intelligence Activities (46 Fed. Reg. 59,941 (Dec. 4, 1981)). That order (as amended) remains the basis for executive branch surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. What is important is that the order sets forth procedures that apply where FISA did not, specifically for surveillance of United States persons located abroad. Id. § 2.5.

Foreign intelligence gathering continued under FISA and Executive Order 12,333 for nearly two decades without major revision or challenge, until the attacks of September 11, 2001. Following 9/11, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, which amended FISA by expanding law enforcement authority and lowering the standards required to obtain surveillance authority. Pub. L. No. 107–56 (H.R. 3162), 115 Stat. 272 (2001). The act eliminated the “primary purpose” test and replaced it with a “significant purpose” test. Id. § 218. The “primary purpose” test led law enforcement to create a wall between agencies that engaged in criminal prosecutions (such as parts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice) and agencies that primarily engaged in foreign intelligence gathering (such as the NSA). One of the problems identified in the aftermath of 9/11 was a reluctance to share information because of this “primary purpose” rule—and the fear that doing so could put surveillance or criminal prosecutions at risk.

In a rare published decision (there have been only two), the FISCR upheld the “significant purpose” test in In re Sealed Case, 310 F.3d 717 (FISA Ct. Rev. 2002). The FISC court had found that the “significant purpose” standard was lower than the “primary purpose” standard but that the Fourth Amendment did not require more. The court concluded that the procedures and government showings required under FISA, even if they do not meet the warrant requirement, come close enough that FISA as amended by the Patriot Act meets the balancing test between Fourth Amendment rights and the need to protect against national security threats. In re Sealed Case would prove to be a launching point for reconciling FISA with the Fourth Amendment and for chipping away at the warrant requirement for foreign intelligence-gathering purposes.

In December 2005, a New York Times article revealed a warrantless domestic wiretapping program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP), in which the NSA was allowed to eavesdrop on communications where at least one party was not a United States person. According to reports, technical glitches resulted in some “purely domestic” communications being subject to surveillance. The surveillance was based on a 2002 executive order that allowed the NSA to monitor international email messages and international telephone calls transmitted by communications networks based in the United States—surveillance that was outside the scope of review in In re Sealed Case. That executive order claimed that FISA’s warrant requirements were implicitly superseded by the passage of the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against terrorists and that the president’s inherent authority under Article II of the Constitution to conduct foreign surveillance trumped FISA.

A group of plaintiffs sought to challenge the TSP in American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency, 438 F. Supp. 2d 754 (E.D. Mich. 2006). The district court ruled that the surveillance violated the Fourth Amendment, finding that the TSP was implemented without regard to the Fourth Amendment or to FISA, and thus violated FISA, the standards of Title III, and the Fourth Amendment. On appeal, however, the Sixth Circuit dismissed the case, finding that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the TSP because they had not alleged that they were the actual victims of warrantless surveillance. ACLU v. NSA, 493 F.3d 644 (6th Cir. 2007); see also Clapper v. Amnesty Int’l, 133 S. Ct. 1138 (2013).

The Protect America Act of 2007

Following the public outcry in response to the New York Times article and the ACLU decision, the Bush administration proposed the Protect America Act of 2007 (PAA), Pub. L. No. 110-55, 121 Stat. 552, which was designed to address surveillance of communications facilities located in the United States that transmit communications between individuals both of whom are located abroad. PAA § 105A. Again, just as in 1978, the government needed more guidance on when FISA applied and when the executive branch was free of its requirements. The PAA addressed a new problem: capturing wholly foreign communications on U.S. soil. In the past, to capture foreign communications between non-U.S. persons, the government simply implemented surveillance on foreign communications networks, which are not subject to restrictions imposed by the Fourth Amendment or any statute. Now that foreign communications could be transferred within the United States and the TSP’s constitutionality had been called into doubt, the intelligence community required a new tool to continue that surveillance. The PAA, by providing a number of procedures to conduct surveillance of targets outside the United States, and in an attempt to avoid resort to traditional warrants and Title III orders, implemented a system of internal controls at the NSA as well as overarching review of policies and procedures by the FISC. The PAA was a stopgap measure, to preserve some aspects of warrantless surveillance of foreign communications transmitted within the United States while Congress worked to overhaul FISA.

Notably, the PAA, like the Patriot Act, again changed the test of when the FISA process does and does not apply. The PAA changed the focus from the identity of the party targeted to whether a party was present in the United States. This change made it much simpler for the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to approve surveillance—rather than certifying that both parties to the communication were foreign powers or agents of foreign powers, they now only had to certify that the target of the surveillance was located outside the United States. Under the PAA, the director of national intelligence and the attorney general could permit, for up to one year, “the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States” if they determined that the acquisition met five specified criteria and the minimization procedures for that surveillance were approved by the FISC. PAA § 105B. In practical terms, the government could serve providers with orders that the FISC approved, and then name the targets of surveillance later.

One provider, Yahoo, challenged this in In re Directives [Redacted] Pursuant to Section 105B of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [Redacted], 551 F.3d 1004 (FISA Ct. Rev. 2008). In that case, the government revealed that it not only complied with the PAA but also voluntarily complied with Executive Order 12,333, 46 Fed. Reg. 59,941, 59,951 (Dec. 4, 1981), which taken together mean that the certifications at issue “permit surveillances conducted to obtain foreign intelligence for national security purposes when those surveillances are directed against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.” In re Directives, 551 F.3d at 1008. The court upheld these warrantless searches, finding that because the purpose of the surveillance was to gather foreign intelligence information, it fell under a “foreign intelligence exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement” so long as it was directed against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers reasonably believed to be located outside the United states. Id. at 1012.

The court also found that the searches were reasonable because they complied with Executive Order 12,333, which required probable cause to believe that an individual is outside the United States and a finding that such surveillance was necessary, and which limited the duration of the surveillance and thus contained sufficient protections to avoid risk of mistake or executive branch misconduct.

The PAA was a stopgap measure and was eventually replaced by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), Pub. L. No. 110-261, § 403, 122 Stat. 2436, 2473. The FAA repealed the most troublesome provision of the PAA, which provided for warrantless surveillance of foreign intelligence targets “reasonably believed” to be outside the United States, even if they were U.S. persons, by adding a new section to FISA entitled “Additional Procedures Regarding Certain Persons Outside the United States.” Much of this section enshrines the protections present in Executive Order 12,333’s treatment of U.S. persons that the court relied on in In re Sealed Case and In re Directives to uphold the surveillance of United States persons located abroad.

The FAA again addressed the question of when FISA applies via a complicated web of procedures and processes for each category of target subject to surveillance: individuals outside the country that are not “U.S. Persons” (section 1881a), acquisitions inside the country targeting U.S. persons outside the country (section 1881b), and U.S. persons outside the country (section 1881c). Different processes are required for each type of target, but in a nutshell, U.S. persons receive slightly more protection. The most important change is that there is no prior judicial review of surveillance conducted in the United States that targets non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. FAA § 1881a. To conduct surveillance of U.S. persons outside the United States, however, the government must first obtain FISC approval of the particular targets. FAA § 1881b.

 

Time to Address Problems

FISA’s history and current events demonstrate that we are at a point in the cycle where it is again time to address the two basic questions: How do we provide oversight of intelligence-gathering activities? And when does this oversight apply? FISA, from a textual perspective, provides the government with far-reaching authority for surveillance and specific process for each type of surveillance it may want to conduct, but the public was relatively unaware of how the government used that authority until Edward Snowden leaked classified documents in late 2013 providing some detail on the NSA’s use of surveillance activities. In response, the government has begun declassifying a wealth of FISC decisions, letters to Congress, and other information regarding the NSA’s use of FISA authorities. A detailed analysis of these opinions could lead to a new report as voluminous as the Church Committee’s reports, but even a high-level analysis provides some context for moving forward.

The recently released opinions—such as Redacted, LEXIS 157706 (FISA Ct. Oct. 3, 2011), and Redacted II, LEXIS 157706 (FISA Ct. Nov. 30, 2011)—confirm what appeared to be the case in In re Directives, that the FISC has adopted an exception to the warrant requirement for foreign intelligence gathering—particularly where the government seeks communications that are not wholly domestic. In those cases, despite finding that the NSA knowingly collected wholly domestic communications that had nothing to do with foreign intelligence, the FISC generally approved most of the government’s targeting and minimization procedures. On a bad set of facts for the government, the FISC held that only a small part of the NSA’s surveillance program was unconstitutional and only because the NSA did not make enough of an effort to delete wrongly collected communications—a problem the NSA soon remedied. Redacted II, LEXIS 157705 (FISA Ct. Nov. 30, 2011).

The window left open in Keith seems to be closed. Similarly, the FISC has approved of the NSA’s “collect now, restrict searching later” approach to minimization. See In re Application of the F.B.I. for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things from [Redacted], No. BR 13-109, LEXIS 134786 (FISA Ct. Sept. 13, 2013). In other words, the FISC has found no constitutional or statutory impediment to the government “over collecting” data—so long as it does not intentionally collect wholly domestic communications and it has minimization procedures to restrict access. There is no indication that the government has used its surveillance powers improperly (except in a limited number of circumstances attributable to NSA employee misconduct), but the FISC has not taken a robust view of the Fourth Amendment.

As was the case back in the late 1970s, the American public has reacted to executive surveillance activities—some of which are eerily similar to the NSA’s use of surveillance authority in the mid– to late 1970s. And as was the case in the late 1970s, it may again be time for Congress to take action. The problems remain quite similar to those Congress faced in 1978: provide oversight where there is none, or where it is inadequate, and make clear when the government can, and cannot, use different types of FISA process.

In late 2013, numerous members of Congress began proposing bills to reform FISA and provide new protections. See Mark M. Jaycox, “Cheat Sheet to Congress’ NSA Spying Bills,” Elec. Frontier Found. (Sept. 11, 2013), http://www.eff.org/deep links/2013/08/effs-cheat-sheet. Given the heated nature of the current debate, it is likely that the particular content of these bills will change daily, and summarizing their particularities is best left to blogs. Still, the bills generally fall into two categories: increasing transparency and restructuring the process. A few bills address bulk collection of records under section 215, but none takes a comprehensive approach to changing the question of when FISA applies and when it does not.

The current system of checks and balances under the FAA is simply not enough. It’s not because of a lack of desire by the providers to defend their users. Unlike the telephone and telegraph companies that did not act to end NSA spying in the Operation SHAMROCK era, providers today are taking a much more active role in the process. Yahoo challenged the FISA process in 2008, interest groups have filed actions seeking information about surveillance practices, and now providers have brought declaratory judgment actions seeking to reveal more information about surveillance process they receive.

One of the pending bills, Senator Blumenthal’s FISA Court Reform Act of 2013, Senate Bill 1460 and Senate Bill 1467, provides an answer that, having had the experience of litigating before the FISC myself, I believe could provide much needed improvements. That bill provides for a new Office of the Special Advocate, which introduces an adversary to the court. (This is similar to the public privacy advocate that President Obama recently proposed.) The act attempts to solve a basic problem with the current oversight procedures: There is no true adversarial process for most of the legal issues that arise. The newly declassified opinions the director of national intelligence has released make this abundantly clear. Setting aside the legal arguments, the procedural history of the opinions indicates delays on the government’s part, a lack of supervision after the court issues its orders, and a preference for secrecy over public disclosure at any cost. Appointing a special advocate ad litem for the public would ensure that novel legal arguments in the FISA court would face a consistent, steady challenge no matter who the provider is, thereby strengthening the FISA process by subjecting results to checks and balances.

Without such a process, the court and the Department of Justice must work through difficult legal issues with no balancing input. An advocate could participate in all cases involving a new statute or authority or a new interpretation or application of an existing authority. The special advocate could choose the cases in which to be involved, or the court or a provider that receives process could request its involvement where an opposition would be useful to test and evaluate the government’s legal arguments. The special advocate’s office could be established with proper security safeguards to draft, store, and access classified records more efficiently. It could also be required to report to the public and Congress the number of cases it has argued and how often it has limited or pared back the government’s requests. It would provide a vital counterpoint for legislators exercising their oversight duties.

The special advocate would be especially useful in cases in which the government demands access to communications in a way that may have a profound effect on people other than the target, such as when decryption may be involved or when a provider is asked to provide assistance in ways that are unlike traditional wiretaps.

Providing for an advocate in front of the court would also resolve several problems for companies and individuals faced with receiving FISA process or having evidence gathered using that process used against them. The statutory process as it stands now does not necessarily provide for complete transparency or a level playing field for the provider. As the published decision in In re Directives makes clear, a phalanx of 11 government lawyers, including the acting solicitor general of the United States, was involved in defending the statute. The decision also shows that some of the documents relied on by the court of review were classified procedures submitted as part of an ex parte appendix that remains sealed. 551 F.3d at 1013–14.

If an advocate were present in other matters before the FISC, the government and court would be more likely to provide more public information on what challenges have and have not been successful. Public access would also provide litigators with a much greater opportunity to use those challenges in advising and defending their clients. The FISC’s decisions may or may not have been correct, depending on your view, but the secrecy employed up to this point erodes the safeguards built into our adversarial court system. The presence of an advocate would help to ensure that the government cannot continue to keep new opinions classified, unless it is truly in the interest of national security to do so.

Revising FISA is no easy task, and analyzing and responding to the FISA process presents thorny questions. There is one constant throughout the history of surveillance, as was the case in the Church Report and as is the case today with news reports about NSA surveillance: The government will use the surveillance power it is given to its fullest. This article does not opine on when that is and is not appropriate. America’s long history of surveillance and current events demonstrate a need to revise the process and take a hard look at whether courts have the tools to oversee executive branch surveillance and when the executive branch should be allowed to use foreign intelligence procedures. Introducing an advocate to test the government’s theories and surveillance in every case—even the ones it brings ex parte—would go a long way toward ensuring that the American public is not shocked again.

https://www.americanbar.org/publications/litigation_journal/2013-14/spring/fisa_authority_and_blanket_surveillance_gatekeeper_without_opposition.html

Meet Executive Order 12333: The Reagan rule that lets the NSA spy on Americans

July 18, 2014

John Napier Tye served as section chief for Internet freedom in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from January 2011 to April 2014. He is now a legal director of Avaaz, a global advocacy organization.

In March I received a call from the White House counsel’s office regarding a speech I had prepared for my boss at the State Department. The speech was about the impact that the disclosure of National Security Agency surveillance practices would have on U.S. Internet freedom policies. The draft stated that “if U.S. citizens disagree with congressional and executive branch determinations about the proper scope of signals intelligence activities, they have the opportunity to change the policy through our democratic process.”

But the White House counsel’s office told me that no, that wasn’t true. I was instructed to amend the line, making a general reference to “our laws and policies,” rather than our intelligence practices. I did.

Even after all the reforms President Obama has announced, some intelligence practices remain so secret, even from members of Congress, that there is no opportunity for our democracy to change them.

Public debate about the bulk collection of U.S. citizens’ data by the NSA has focused largely on Section 215 of the Patriot Act, through which the government obtains court orders to compel American telecommunications companies to turn over phone data. But Section 215 is a small part of the picture and does not include the universe of collection and storage of communications by U.S. persons authorized under Executive Order 12333.

From 2011 until April of this year, I worked on global Internet freedom policy as a civil servant at the State Department. In that capacity, I was cleared to receive top-secret and “sensitive compartmented” information. Based in part on classified facts that I am prohibited by law from publishing, I believe that Americans should be even more concerned about the collection and storage of their communications under Executive Order 12333 than under Section 215.

Bulk data collection that occurs inside the United States contains built-in protections for U.S. persons, defined as U.S. citizens, permanent residents and companies. Such collection must be authorized by statute and is subject to oversight from Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The statutes set a high bar for collecting the content of communications by U.S. persons. For example, Section 215 permits the bulk collection only of U.S. telephone metadata — lists of incoming and outgoing phone numbers — but not audio of the calls.

Executive Order 12333 contains no such protections for U.S. persons if the collection occurs outside U.S. borders. Issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to authorize foreign intelligence investigations, 12333 is not a statute and has never been subject to meaningful oversight from Congress or any court. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has said that the committee has not been able to “sufficiently” oversee activities conducted under 12333.

Unlike Section 215, the executive order authorizes collection of the content of communications, not just metadata, even for U.S. persons. Such persons cannot be individually targeted under 12333 without a court order. However, if the contents of a U.S. person’s communications are “incidentally” collected (an NSA term of art) in the course of a lawful overseas foreign intelligence investigation, then Section 2.3(c) of the executive order explicitly authorizes their retention. It does not require that the affected U.S. persons be suspected of wrongdoing and places no limits on the volume of communications by U.S. persons that may be collected and retained.

“Incidental” collection may sound insignificant, but it is a legal loophole that can be stretched very wide. Remember that the NSA is building a data center in Utah five times the size of the U.S. Capitol building, with its own power plant that will reportedly burn $40 million a year in electricity.

“Incidental collection” might need its own power plant.

A legal regime in which U.S. citizens’ data receives different levels of privacy and oversight, depending on whether it is collected inside or outside U.S. borders, may have made sense when most communications by U.S. persons stayed inside the United States. But today, U.S. communications increasingly travel across U.S. borders — or are stored beyond them. For example, the Google and Yahoo e-mail systems rely on networks of “mirror” servers located throughout the world. An e-mail from New York to New Jersey is likely to wind up on servers in Brazil, Japan and Britain. The same is true for most purely domestic communications.

Executive Order 12333 contains nothing to prevent the NSA from collecting and storing all such communications — content as well as metadata — provided that such collection occurs outside the United States in the course of a lawful foreign intelligence investigation. No warrant or court approval is required, and such collection never need be reported to Congress. None of the reforms that Obama announced earlier this year will affect such collection.

Without any legal barriers to such collection, U.S. persons must increasingly rely on the affected companies to implement security measures to keep their communications private. The executive order does not require the NSA to notify or obtain consent of a company before collecting its users’ data.

The attorney general, rather than a court, must approve “minimization procedures” for handling the data of U.S. persons that is collected under 12333, to protect their rights. I do not know the details of those procedures. But the director of national intelligence recently declassified a document (United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18) showing that U.S. agencies may retain such data for five years.

Before I left the State Department, I filed a complaint with the department’s inspector general, arguing that the current system of collection and storage of communications by U.S. persons under Executive Order 12333 violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. I have also brought my complaint to the House and Senate intelligence committees and to the inspector general of the NSA.

I am not the first person with knowledge of classified activities to publicly voice concerns about the collection and retention of communications by U.S. persons under 12333. The president’s own Review Group on Intelligence and Communication Technologies, in Recommendation 12 of its public report, addressed the matter. But the review group coded its references in a way that masked the true nature of the problem.

At first glance, Recommendation 12 appears to concern Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorizes collection inside the United States against foreign targets outside the United States. Although the recommendation does not explicitly mention Executive Order 12333, it does refer to “any other authority.” A member of the review group confirmed to me that this reference was written deliberately to include Executive Order 12333.

Recommendation 12 urges that all data of U.S. persons incidentally collected under such authorities be immediately purged unless it has foreign intelligence value or is necessary to prevent serious harm. The review group further recommended that a U.S. person’s incidentally collected data never be used in criminal proceedings against that person, and that the government refrain from searching communications by U.S. persons unless it obtains a warrant or unless such searching is necessary to prevent serious harm.

The White House understood that Recommendation 12 was intended to apply to 12333. That understanding was conveyed to me verbally by several White House staffers, and was confirmed in an unclassified White House document that I saw during my federal employment and that is now in the possession of several congressional committees.

In that document, the White House stated that adoption of Recommendation 12 would require “significant changes” to current practice under Executive Order 12333 and indicated that it had no plans to make such changes.

All of this calls into question some recent administration statements. Gen. Keith Alexander, a former NSA director, has said publicly that for years the NSA maintained a U.S. person e-mail metadata program similar to the Section 215 telephone metadata program. And he has maintained that the e-mail program was terminated in 2011 because “we thought we could better protect civil liberties and privacy by doing away with it.” Note, however, that Alexander never said that the NSA stopped collecting such data — merely that the agency was no longer using the Patriot Act to do so. I suggest that Americans dig deeper.

Consider the possibility that Section 215 collection does not represent the outer limits of collection on U.S. persons but rather is a mechanism to backfill that portion of U.S. person data that cannot be collected overseas under 12333.

Proposals for replacing Section 215 collection are currently being debated in Congress. We need a similar debate about Executive Order 12333. The order as used today threatens our democracy. There is no good reason that U.S. citizens should receive weaker privacy and oversight protections simply because their communications are collected outside, not inside, our borders.

I have never made any unauthorized disclosures of classified information, nor would I ever do so. I fully support keeping secret the targets, sources and methods of U.S. intelligence as crucial elements of national security. I was never a disgruntled federal employee; I loved my job at the State Department. I left voluntarily and on good terms to take a job outside of government. A draft of this article was reviewed and cleared by the State Department and the NSA to ensure that it contained no classified material.

When I started at the State Department, I took an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States. I don’t believe that there is any valid interpretation of the Fourth Amendment that could permit the government to collect and store a large portion of U.S. citizens’ online communications, without any court or congressional oversight, and without any suspicion of wrongdoing. Such a legal regime risks abuse in the long run, regardless of whether one trusts the individuals in office at a particular moment.

I am coming forward because I think Americans deserve an honest answer to the simple question: What kind of data is the NSA collecting on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/meet-executive-order-12333-the-reagan-rule-that-lets-the-nsa-spy-on-americans/2014/07/18/93d2ac22-0b93-11e4-b8e5-d0de80767fc2_story.html?utm_term=.0be4d4e8beac

A Primer on Executive Order 12333: The Mass Surveillance Starlet

JUNE 2, 2014

Many news reports have focused on Section 215 of the Patriot Act (used to collect all Americans’ calling records) and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act (FAA) (used to collect phone calls, emails and other Internet content) as the legal authorities supporting much of the NSA’s spying regime. Both laws were passed by Congress and are overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court). However, it’s likely that the NSA conducts much more of its spying under the President’s claimed inherent powers and only governed by a document originally approved by President Reagan titled Executive Order 12333. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is currently conducting a secret investigation into the order, but Congress as a whole—including the Judiciary committee—must release more information about the order to the public.

EO 12333 was first written in 1981 in the wake of Watergate and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, an act passed by Congress that regulates spying conducted on people located within the United States. Since FISA only covers specific types of spying, the President maintains that the executive branch remains free to spy abroad on foreigners with little to no regulation by Congress.

Executive Order 12333

The Executive Order does three things: it outlines what it governs, when the agencies can spy, and how they can spy. In broad strokes, the Executive Order mandates rules for spying on United States persons (a term that includes citizens and lawful permanent residents wherever they may be) and on anyone within the United States. It also directs the Attorney General and others to create further policies and procedures for what information can be collected, retained, and shared.

The first section of the order covers the role of every agency conducting intelligence in the Intelligence Community, which includes seventeen different agencies, including well-known entities like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the NSA, and lesser-known entities like the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the Department of Treasury. The roles vary by agency. For instance, the NSA is, among other things, responsible for “collection, processing and dissemination of signals intelligence,” while the CIA is responsible for “national foreign intelligence.

The Information Collected

The Executive Order purports to cover all types of spying conducted with the President’s constitutional powers—including mass spying. That’s important to note because some of the spying conducted under EO 12333 is reportedly similar to the mass spying conducted under Section 702 of the FAA. Under this type of spying, millions of innocent foreigners’ communications are collected abroad, inevitably containing Americans’ communications. In the Section 702 context, this includes techniques like Prism and Upstream. While we don’t know for sure, the Executive Order probably uses similar techniques or piggybacks off of programs used for Section 702 spying.

The second section of the EO partly covers mass spying by establishing what information intelligence agencies can collect, retain, and share about US persons. The current guidelines, the United States Signals Intelligence Directive SP0018, also known as “USSID 18,” are (just like the “minimization procedures” based off of them) littered with loopholes to over-collect, over-retain, and over-share Americans’ communications—all without a probable cause warrant or any judicial oversight.

Defenders (.pdf) of the mass spying conducted under the Executive Order point out the order “protects” such US person information with guidelines like USSID 18, but such protections are window-dressing, at best. Policies like USSID 18 and other accompanying Executive Order guidelines such as the “Special Procedures Governing Communications Metadata Analysis” allow for extensive use of US person information and data without a probable cause warrant. Indeed, news reports and Congressional testimony confirm the “Special Procedures” are used to map Americans’ social networks. The procedures are clear evidence the government believes that Fourth Amendment’s protections stop at the border.

Uses of Executive Order 12333

We do know a little about the spying conducted using EO 12333, but more must be revealed to the public. One early news report revealed it was the NSA’s claimed authority for the collection of Americans’ address books and buddy lists. It’s also involved in the NSA’s elite hacking unit, the Tailored Access Operations unit, which targets system administrators and installs malware while masquerading as Facebook servers. And in March, the Washington Postrevealed the order alone—without any court oversight—is used to justify the recording of “100 percent of a foreign country’s telephone calls.” The NSA’s reliance on the order for foreign spying includes few, if any, Congressional limits or oversight. Some of the only known limits on Executive spying are found in Executive procedures like USSID 18, the metadata procedures discussed above, and probably other still-classified National Security Policy Directives, none of which have been publicly debated much less approved by Congress or the courts.

The extent of the NSA’s reliance on Executive Order 12333 demands that the government release more information about how the order is used, or misused. And Congress—specifically the Judiciary and Intelligence committees—must reassert the same aggressive and diligent oversight they performed in the 1970s and 1980s.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/06/primer-executive-order-12333-mass-surveillance-starlet

Maintaining America’s Ability to Collect Foreign Intelligence: The Section 702 Program

May 13, 2016 21 min read Download Report

Authors:Paul Rosenzweig, Charles Stimson andDavid Shedd

Select a Section 1/0

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will, in its current form, come up for reauthorization in 2017. Broadly speaking, the Section 702 program targets non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States, in order to acquire foreign intelligence. Over the past several years, this surveillance of the online activities of foreigners has been a critical and invaluable tool for American intelligence professionals and officials. Knowledgeable officials note that more than 25 percent of all current U.S. intelligence is based on information collected under Section 702.[1]

Still, there are those who have concerns about the program. These critics believe that the program, as currently implemented, infringes on Americans’ rights. Their concern hinges on the inevitable reality that in the course of collecting information about foreign actors, the Section 702 program will also collect information about American citizens. As a result, some opponents liken the Section 702 program to the government telephony metadata program disclosed by Edward Snowden, and characterize Section 702 as an instance of government overreach.[2] Such comparisons are misguided and unfair. The program is so vital to America’s national security that Congress should reauthorize Section 702 in its current form.

Section 702 Explained

Section 702 has its origins in President George W. Bush’s terrorist surveillance program and the Patriot Act. That program was initiated in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, on the President’s own authority. That reliance on exclusive presidential authority contributed to the controversy that initially attended the program—some vocal critics saw it as an example of executive overreach.

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That aspect of the criticism was significantly ameliorated, if not eliminated, several years later, when Congress fully discussed and authorized the activities in question. Indeed, the governing law was adopted and amended twice, after the program had been initiated on the President’s own authority. First, Congress adopted a temporary measure known as the Protect America Act in 2007.[3] Then, it passed the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) in 2008. This is the statute that includes the new Section 702.[4]

Under Section 702, the U.S. Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) may jointly authorize surveillance of people who are not “U.S. persons.” U.S. persons is a term of art in the intelligence community (IC) that means people who are not only American citizens but also covers permanent-resident aliens. As such, the targets of Section 702 surveillance can be neither citizens nor permanent residents of the U.S.

Section 702 authorizes the government to acquire foreign intelligence by targeting non-U.S. persons “reasonably believed” to be outside U.S. borders. Taken together, these two requirements identify the fundamental domain of Section 702 surveillance: it applies to foreigners on foreign soil. It is expressly against the law to attempt collection of information from targets inside the U.S.—whether Americans or foreigners—or to deliberately target the collection of online communications of American citizens.[5]

The law also requires the government to develop “targeting procedures”—the steps the government needs to take in order to ensure that the target is outside the United States at any time that electronic surveillance is undertaken. Obviously, that is sometimes difficult. A cell phone number, for instance, remains the same whether the phone is physically overseas or in the U.S., and the fact that someone has a U.S. cell phone number does not necessarily indicate whether the owner or user of that cell phone is a foreigner or an American. Hence, targeting must be tied to the geolocation of a phone and some knowledge about the owner/user, rather than solely to the phone’s number. Ultimately, it is the targeting procedures, not the targets themselves, that must be approved by the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).[6]

To conduct this surveillance, the government can compel assistance from Internet service providers (ISPs) and telephone companies in acquiring foreign intelligence information—that is, information relating to a foreign espionage program or international terrorism. The government often compensates these providers for the necessary effort. According to The Washington Post, the payments range from $250 million to nearly $400 million annually.[7] Some critics of the program suspect that as a result, surveillance turns from a legal obligation to a source of income. Finally, it is important to note that not only regulated carriers, such as traditional cable and telephone companies (such as AT&T or Verizon), are required to participate, but also newer technology companies to include Google, Facebook, and Skype.

The Incidental Collection Issue

If that were all that the 702 program involved, it would likely not be particularly controversial. Few Americans have expressed grave concerns about America’s overseas intelligence collection. Significantly, the 702 program cannot be used to target any U.S. person or any person located in the U.S., whether that person is an American or a foreigner. The government is also prohibited from “reverse targeting” under 702—that is, the government cannot target a non-U.S. person outside the U.S. when the real interest is to collect the communications of a person in the U.S. or of any U.S. person, regardless of location.

But a residual issue arises because of the inevitability of inadvertent collection—the incidental collection of information about Americans as part of the authorized collection of foreign intelligence.

To see why this happens, one needs to understand two distinct aspects of the Section 702 program: one portion that goes by the name of PRISM, and another that is referred to colloquially as “upstream collection.”[8]

PRISM collection is relatively straightforward. A hypothetical can explain: The government has information about a particular e-mail address, or a particular individual, linking it or him to a foreign terrorist organization. That address (john.doe@xyz.com) or that individual’s name (John Doe) is known as a “selector”; it is a basis for sifting through vast quantities of data, and selecting what will be collected and analyzed.

The Attorney General and the DNI certify the selector as relating to a non-U.S. person who is outside the United States, and who is reasonably believed to be connected to a foreign intelligence activity. Then, the National Security Agency (NSA) sends a query about that selector to an ISP. The ISP, in turn, is required to hand over to the government any communications it might have that were sent to—or from—the identified selector. The NSA receives all data collected through PRISM, and makes portions of it available to the CIA and the FBI.

Upstream collection, by contrast, does not focus on the ISP. Instead, it focuses on the “backbone,” through which all telephone and Internet communications travel, which lies “upstream” within the telecommunications infrastructure. For example, an individual’s ISP might be a local company, while the backbone that carries its Internet traffic across the ocean to Europe is almost certainly operated by a larger provider, such as Verizon or AT&T.

There are several additional differences that distinguish upstream collection from PRISM. Most notably, upstream collection can involve “about” communications. “About” communications refer to selectors that occur within the content of the monitored communication, instead of, in the example of e-mail, in the “To” or “From” line.

So, if the government were using a name—John Doe—as a selector, under the upstream collection program, it would also collect foreign intelligence–related communications in which that name appeared in the body of the communication. Say, for example, that two al-Qaeda members are communicating via e-mail, and one says to the other: “We should recruit Doe.” That e-mail would be subject to upstream collection and would be a good example of an “about” communication. The e-mail is about Doe. Under the PRISM program, by contrast, the government would collect e-mails to and from the user name, and nothing more.

As should be evident, in some cases, these programs might result unintentionally in the collection of information about an American. If two Americans are communicating domestically in an exchange that names a foreign intelligence target (say, an e-mail that mentions an al-Qaeda operative by name), that e-mail might be incidentally collected by upstream collection. Likewise, an e-mail between two terrorist targets might be collected that incidentally includes information not only about legitimately identified U.S. persons (the recruit target John Doe), but also others. An e-mail might also mention Mary Doe—even though no evidence exists of any connection between Mary Doe and a foreign intelligence matter.

This prospect of collecting American data led Congress to include certain requirements that would reduce, though not entirely eliminate, the possibility that the data could be misused. Under the FAA, when information is collected about an American, whether incidentally as part of an authorized investigation, or inadvertently as the result of a mistake, the government is required to apply FISC-approved “minimization” procedures to determine whether such information may be retained or disseminated.

When lawyers and intelligence professionals use the word “minimization” in the context of intelligence collection, it means that any information inadvertently collected on a U.S. person is retained (if at all) only for a limited time, and that information about Americans is used and revealed and further disseminated only under narrowly defined circumstances. Minimization requirements may also mean deleting the information entirely. As with the targeting procedures, these minimization procedures are approved by the FISC—but again, the approval is for the entire system of minimization, not for each individual case.

So, for example, under these minimization rules, the NSA, CIA, and FBI are subject to certain limitations in how they are permitted to query and analyze the data they have lawfully collected. For example, they must demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that targeting a particular item in the information collected will result in the development of foreign intelligence. In other words, the rules limit when a U.S. person can be targeted for examination, and how long data about an American can be retained before it is deleted.

The Effectiveness of Section 702

With that background in mind, it is useful to turn to more practical questions about the program: Does it work? Is it being abused?

The public record suggests that the Section 702 program has indeed helped in the fight against terrorism. Classified records might provide additional support for this conclusion but they are unavailable to us.[9] The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)—a bipartisan panel in the executive branch that reviews actions the executive branch takes to protect the country from terrorism, and also monitors civil liberty concerns—has reported that more than one-quarter of NSA reports on international terrorism include information that is based in whole, or in part, on data collected under the Section 702 program.

The PCLOB found that the 702 program “makes a substantial contribution to the government’s efforts to learn about the membership, goals, and activities of international terrorist organizations, and to prevent acts of terrorism from coming to fruition.”[10] Additionally, the program has “led the government to identify previously unknown individuals who are involved in international terrorism, and it has played a key role in discovering and disrupting specific terrorist plots aimed at the United States and other countries.”[11]

Although the details supporting these findings are classified, the board has also said that the program has played a role in discovering, and disrupting, specific terrorist plots aimed at the United States by enabling the government to identify previously unidentified individuals involved in international terrorism.[12] Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) has posted three declassified examples from the NSA that involved the effective use of Section 702 collection in 2009: the New York City Subway Attack Plot; the Chicago Terror Investigation; and Operation Wi-Fi.

A few critics of the 702 program have disputed its actual impact in the New York City Subway Attack Plot and the Chicago Terror Investigation. TheGuardian interviewed several people who were involved in the two investigations and reviewed U.S. and British court documents.[13] Based on this incomplete record, The Guardian concluded that these investigations began with “conventional” surveillance methods—such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services—rather than from leads produced by NSA surveillance.

But the fact remains that current and former intelligence officials, members from both political parties across two Administrations, national security law experts in the private sector, and the PCLOB maintain that 702 has been and continues to be a very important intelligence tool for overseas intelligence collection.

Section 702 Criticisms v. Facts

Some of the criticisms of Section 702 are little more than philosophical objections to the concept of overseas surveillance.

Setting aside those concerns, there are other specific criticisms, each of which lacks merit. For example, there has been criticism that there is no significant publicly available data on how little, or how much, incidental collection there is about U.S. persons. Such data would be helpful to know in assessing the program. According to the PCLOB, in 2013 the NSA approved 198 U.S. person identifiers to be used as content query terms. The real issue is the frequency with which U.S. persons’ information was collected incidentally to the general foreign intelligence mission, and what is done with the information. After all, if the volume of incidental collection even remotely came close to what is collected as useful data on terrorism activities, including threats, skepticism about Section 702’s efficacy would be warranted.

Given that the targets of Section 702 collection are non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located overseas, it can reasonably be inferred that the predominant portion of the collected data does not contain U.S. person information. Although it would be useful to have an accurate estimate of how much incidental U.S. person information actually resides within the remaining portion of the data collected under the Section 702 program, it has proved very difficult to find any solution that would provide such an estimate. The first problem is that the collected data is often not readily identifiable as being associated with a U.S. person and would require the application of additional scarce technological and analytic resources in an effort to make those associations. The second problem is that the targets of the Section 702 collection efforts do not always communicate with persons of foreign intelligence interest. Ironically, an effort to ascertain an accurate estimate of non-pertinent U.S. person information lying dormant in the collected data is inconsistent with the purpose of Section 702, which is to identify foreign intelligence information. Such an effort to provide an estimate would result in more invasive review of U.S. person information.

FISA itself takes a more practical approach in attempting to understand the potential U.S. person privacy implications raised by Section 702 collection. It requires the head of each element of the Intelligence Community to conduct an annual review and to provide an accounting of the references to U.S. persons in intelligence reporting.[14] This outcome-based approach focuses on the U.S. person information that is actually being seen by the Intelligence Community, in order to assess whether there is any prejudicial impact on privacy rights. Also, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently released its “Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities–Annual Statistics for Calendar Year 2015.”[15] The report estimates that 94,368 non-U.S. persons are targets of Section 702 collection. By comparison, the report estimates that the IC used 4,672 known U.S. person search terms in 23,800 queries of the lawfully collected Section 702 data. The report also notes that in 2015, the NSA disseminated 4,290 Section 702 intelligence reports that included U.S. person information. Of those reports, the U.S. person information was masked in 3,168 reports and unmasked in 1,122 reports. The remaining major criticisms of the 702 program are more systematic and definitional. One critique is that the government uses too broad a means in its first stage of collection, which is then followed by a more refined collection of data.[16] Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the FISC has described the program more accurately: “While in absolute terms, the scope of acquisition under Section 702 is substantial, the acquisitions are not conducted in a bulk or indiscriminate manner. Rather they are effected through…discrete targeting decisions for individual selectors.”[17]

Another complaint about the Section 702 program is that U.S. person data is retained—at least partially—at all. Under current rules, when the U.S. government targets someone abroad, it is not required to discard the incidentally collected communications of U.S. persons—if authorities conclude that those conversations constitute foreign intelligence.

In that event, even incidental conversations by or about U.S. persons may be retained. And the threshold for querying a U.S. person within the data collected is relatively low. To affirmatively query the data collected about a U.S. person, all that is needed is a determination that the search is reasonably likely to return foreign intelligence information. “Reasonably likely” is an especially easy standard to meet. It does not, for example, require any particularized suspicion that the U.S. person who is subject of the inquiry is engaged in any wrongdoing himself.

For that reason, a Presidential Review Board, as well a few Members of Congress, believe that Section 702 collection on Americans goes too far.[18] The program, they argue, is permissible and lawful without individual case supervision or a warrant requirement precisely because it targets non-Americans. So they contend that when the communications of U.S. persons are queried, probable cause and warrant requirements should apply. Any loophole that allows that particular querying should be closed because the government should not be able to obtain “back door” evidence against U.S. persons that it could otherwise only obtain with judicial approval.

But there is no “back door” here—a query does not collect any additional data. The FISC specifically holds that the 702 collection is constitutional and entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment’s protections. The court found that “the querying provisions of the FBI Minimization Procedures strike a reasonable balance between the privacy interests of U.S. persons and persons in the United States, on the one hand, and the government’s national security interests, on the other.”[19] Even the fact that the “FBI’s use of those provisions to conduct queries designed to return evidence of crimes unrelated to foreign intelligence” did “not preclude the Court from concluding that taken together, the targeting and minimization procedures submitted with the 2015 Certifications are consistent with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.”[20]

Obviously, Congress itself did not agree with these systematic and definitional complaints. While the focus of Section 702 collection is on non-U.S. persons located overseas, one of the specifically intended benefits of Section 702 was its ability to provide tip and lead information about persons in the United States who might be conspiring with overseas terrorists. This limited information might prove useful in helping to establish the probable cause necessary to obtain full surveillance coverage of these domestic suspects. It is also important to understand that the response to complaints about the theoretical possibility of abuse under FISA revolves around tight controls. The PCLOB found little evidence of abuse of the Section 215 metadata program, and in the case of Section 702 implementation found virtually no intentional misuse of the collection authorities where U.S. persons were concerned:

Over the years, a series of compliance issues were brought to the attention of the FISA court by the government. However, none of these compliance issues involved significant intentional misuse of the system. Nor has the Board seen any evidence of bad faith or misconduct on the part of any government officials or agents involved with the program. Rather, the compliance issues were recognized by the [FISA] court—and are recognized by the Board—as a product of the program’s technological complexity and vast scope, illustrating the risks inherent in such a program.[21]

Similarly, the PCLOB included a section in its 702 report called “Compliance Issues.” According to the PCLOB, the few instances of error in the administration of the 702 program were infrequent and mainly minor and administrative in nature. That is why the PCLOB found that “internal and external compliance programs have not to date identified any intentional attempts to circumvent or violate the procedures or the statutory requirements, but both unintentional incidents of noncompliance and instances where Intelligence Community personnel did not fully understand the requirements of the statute.”[22]

In other words, all of the errors in the program were accidental or due to mistakes. None was the product of intentional misconduct. Indeed, the non-compliance incident rate has been substantially below 1 percent, according to the PCLOB.[23] Over half of the reported incidents involved instances in which the “NSA otherwise complied with the targeting and minimization procedures in tasking and de-tasking a selector, but failed to make a report to the NSD and ODNI” in a timely fashion.[24]

Two other common reasons why compliance errors occurred are that: (1) the wrong selector was tasked due to a typographical error, or (2) a delay in de-tasking (removing the selector) resulted when an analyst de-tasked some, but not all, of the Section 702-tasked selectors placed on a non-U.S. person target known to be traveling to the United States.[25]

Taken together, these minor administrative errors accounted for “almost 75% of the compliance incidents,” according to the PCLOB.[26]

Section 702: Constitutional and Lawful

One last aspect of Section 702 needs to be addressed: the suggestion that the program might in some way be unconstitutional or unlawful. This Backgrounder concludes that relevant case law firmly supports the constitutionality and legality of the Section 702 program. To support this conclusion, we provide a brief history of relevant case law.

The predicate case is United States v. United States District Court,[27] sometimes known as the Keith case, after Judge Damon Keith, the federal district court judge who oversaw the case.

The case hearkens back to an era of protest and civil unrest in the United States. It involved several leaders of the so-called White Panther Party—a white supremacist group—who were charged with bombing a CIA office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1968. Their phones were wiretapped by order of U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, who served under President Richard Nixon. Mitchell said that no warrant was required to authorize the interception, because the defendants posed a “clear and present danger to the structure or existence of the government.”

Judge Keith responded that the Attorney General’s rationale was insufficient, and ruled that warrantless interception and surveillance of domestic conversations was unconstitutional. When the case reached the Supreme Court, the justices agreed with Judge Keith, establishing as precedent the idea that a warrant was needed before electronic surveillance commenced, even if the domestic surveillance was related to national security.

As Justice Lewis Powell said in writing for the Court, the “price of lawful public dissent must not be a dread of subjection to an unchecked surveillance power.” Justice Powell continued, “Nor must the fear of un-authorized official eavesdropping deter vigorous citizen dissent and discussion of government action in private conversation. For private dissent, no less than open public discourse, is essential to our free society.”

Notably, however, the Court limited its holding to domestic surveillance, and said that different rules might apply when the surveillance occurred outside the United States, or was directed at a foreign power—or at non-Americans. Regarding surveillance of non-Americans overseas, courts around the country have agreed with the implicit suggestion of the Supreme Court, holding that surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes need only be reasonable (and that a warrant is not required).[28] That distinction—between domestic and foreign surveillance—is preserved in FISA, which allows more relaxed FISA procedures (for which a criminal warrant was not required) only when the purpose of the investigation is to collect foreign intelligence.

In Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, the Supreme Court upheld the drug testing of high school athletes and explained that the exception to the warrant requirement applied “when special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement, make the warrant and probable cause requirements impracticable.”[29] Although Vernonia was not a foreign intelligence case—far from it—the principles from the Court’s “special needs” cases influenced later cases in the national security context.

In “In re: Sealed Case,” the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review held that FISA did not require the government to demonstrate to the FISA court that its primary purpose in conducting electronic surveillance was not criminal prosecution and, significantly, the PATRIOT Act’s amendment to FISA, permitting the government to conduct surveillance of agents of foreign powers if foreign intelligence was the “significant purpose” of the surveillance, did not violate the Fourth Amendment.[30] The court avoided an express holding that a foreign intelligence exception exists, but held that FISA could survive on reasonableness grounds.

In 2008, “In re: Directives Pursuant to Section 105B of FISA” applied the principles derived from the special needs cases to conclude that the foreign intelligence surveillance authorized by the Protect America Act possesses characteristics that qualify it for a foreign intelligence exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.[31]

Notably, the “In re: Directives” decision cites a Fourth Circuit opinion for the proposition that there is a high degree of probability that requiring a warrant would hinder the government’s ability to collect time-sensitive information and thus impede vital national security interests.[32]

In April 2016, the first decision addressing the constitutionality of upstream collection under Section 702 was publicly released. The FISA court issued a declassified opinion[33] in which it concluded that use of information collected under Section 702 authority for domestic investigations satisfied both constitutional standards and was within the statutory bounds of the FISA Amendments Act. Notably, for purposes of this discussion, the court reached this conclusion after having had the benefit of a public advocate who articulated a position contrary to that of the government.[34] Judge Hogan cites “In re: Directives” in support of the proposition that the Fourth Amendment does not require the government to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance in order “to obtain foreign intelligence for national security purposes [that] is directed against foreign powers or agents of foreign powers reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States.”

Section 702: Continuing Improvements

On February 5, 2016, the PCLOB issued its “Recommendations Assessment Report.” The purpose of the report was to assess whether the DNI had responded appropriately to recommendations it had made for the improvement of the program.

The DNI had taken action to the PCLOB recommendations. Indeed, with respect to the 10 recommendations relating to the Section 702 program, the PCLOB Recommendations Assessment Report determined that five recommendations have been fully implemented; one has been substantially implemented; three are in the process of being implemented; and one has been partially implemented.[35]

The historical record demonstrates the effectiveness of both the PCLOB’s oversight function and the responsiveness of the DNI to its recommendations—a win-win story in the new age of intelligence oversight.[36]

Conclusions

First, Section 702 is constitutional, statutorily authorized, and carefully constructed to address a vital U.S. national security requirement: the collection of vital information relating to foreign threats.

Second, it seems clear that, in light of careful scrutiny by the PCLOB, the specter of alleged abuse of the program is more theoretical than real.

Third, the Section 702 program has great current utility and provides invaluable intelligence of practical impact and not replaceable by other means of collection.

The benefits of the Section 702 program greatly outweigh its (theoretical) costs and the program should continue as currently authorized. Indeed, the record suggests that the 702 Program is invaluable as a foreign intelligence collection tool. The fruits of the program constitute more than 25 percent of the NSA’s reports concerning international terrorism. It has clearly defined implementation rules and robust oversight by all three branches of government, and is a necessary tool for defending the nation.

Congress should reauthorize 702 in its entirety. There is no need for a further sunset of the act’s provisions, as it has demonstrated its usefulness; and an arbitrarily forced reconsideration by Congress is unnecessary, a waste of time and money, and at the expense of national security.

The program can, and should, be implemented in a manner that is consistent with American values. To quote General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and former CIA director:

[A]n American strategy for cyberspace must reflect and serve our ideals. In our zeal to secure the internet, we must be careful not to destroy that which we are trying to preserve, an open, accessible, ubiquitous, egalitarian, and free World Wide Web. There are nations—like Iran, China, Russia and others—who view precisely those attributes as the very definition of cyber security threats. Their concern is not digital theft, but the free movement of ideas. We must take care that in our efforts to prevent the former, we do not legitimize their efforts to prevent the latter.[37]

A properly configured Section 702 program has met that challenge to the benefit of the American public. At a time when international terrorism is on the rise, the United States must have a lawful, robust foreign intelligence capability.

—David R. Shedd is a Visiting Distinguished Fellow in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Paul Rosenzweig is a Visiting Fellow in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, of the Davis Institute, and Charles D. Stimson is Manager of the National Security Law Program and Senior Legal Fellow in the Center for National Defense, of the Davis Institute, at The Heritage Foundation.

JUNE 06, 2017 5:27 PM

Republicans worried about leaks consider cutting back surveillance authority

 

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