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May 15, 2010


I was named Legal Insurrections blog of the day on the 8th of May. Thanks Professor.
In response to my claim we have a better chance of Osama bin Laden becoming Pope than we do of bringing down health care costs, Dustbury opined that it was possible as miracles have been known to happen.

That’s it for the linkbacks. As always if I missed someone let me know, I will be happy to rectify the mistake.


No evidence that Times Square bomber was on terrorist watchlist.

Three U.S. counterterrorism officials who have looked into the reports told Declassified, however, that investigations in the wake of Shahzad’s May 3 arrest, have shown that allegations about what information had been carried in TECS about Shahzad are exaggerated and unfair. The officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, confirmed that in 1999, a notation was entered into TECS, which at the time was operated by the Treasury Department’s U.S. Customs Service (whose functions were later transferred to the new Homeland Security Department), that upon passing through a U.S. border checkpoint, Shahzad had reported to customs inspectors that he was importing a large sum of cash into the U.S. (the sources did not specify the amount but said it was less than $80,000).

However, this TECS entry was logged as a routine cash-import report, not implying any connection with terrorism or any illegality, the officials said. The officials noted that hundreds or even thousands of such reports are recorded in TECS every year. While TECS also does contain information about individuals who are subjects of criminal or intelligence investigations, and is used by border and inspectors to flag travelers coming into the U.S. for extra questioning or inspection, the system is not intended to operate as a terrorist or intelligence alert system, and is not in any way considered a “terrorist watch list,” the officials said. In fact, say officials familiar with the contents of real terrorist watch lists (which include a secret database known as TIDE and an unclassified system called the Terrorist Screening Data Base, which holds the U.S. government’s no-fly list) say that before May 1, there was no information in those systems related to Shahzad.

I remember seeing the report I don’t remember if I linked it. If I did I shouldn’t have just on the general rule that anything that seems to good to be true usually is. (Oops, I did and with some unfounded speculation.)

Wow, this one snuck in under my radar – Vote to Limit Debit Card Fees Is Surprising Loss for Banks. Congress just made it much more expensive for banks to operate debit card systems (not ATM cards from what I am reading) so I expect that convenience to disappear soon.

Probably not true but it would explain so much

Legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite allegedly collaborated with anti-Vietnam War activists in the 1960s, going so far as to offer advice on how to raise the public profile of protests and even pledging CBS News resources to help pull off events, according to FBI documents obtained by Yahoo! News.


The claims are contained in an FBI memo recounting a confidential informant’s report on a November 1969 meeting of a Rollins College protest group called Youth for New America. The group was planning rallies near Cape Kennedy on Nov. 13 and 14 — the latter being day of the Apollo 12 launch from Cape Kennedy, which President Nixon would be attending — as part of a nationwide Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. That protest action culminated in a huge march on Washington on Nov. 15.

One Comment leave one →
  1. xbradtc permalink
    May 16, 2010 9:29 am

    While I’m certain that Uncle Walter’s sympathies lay with the anti-war protesters, I’m slightly dubious about the claims that he actively offered support to them. The FBI’s domestic counterintel programs were based largely on self-interested informants (as opposed to sworn agents) who figured out pretty early that they had to produce something to get rewarded. But they also figured out that they could produce a lot of “intel” that couldn’t be verified.

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