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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

Member Of NSA Review Group
Sanctions Limited Spying On Americans

It is “reasonable” for law enforcement officials to decide whether to place a tracking device on the car of a private citizen, one of the five members of President Obama’s NSA review group charged with recommending surveillance policy has argued.

University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone addressed the tracking issue in a February 12, 2012, Stanford Law Review article entitled, “A Reasonableness Approach to Searches After the Jones GPS Tracking Case.”

The Jones case centered on a private citizen, Antoine Jones, who was suspected of drug trafficking. Police had received a warrant to attach a GPS device to Jones’a car for a limited period of time, but then exceeded the warrant by tracking him for another month and beyond the geography limited in the warrant.

The case went to the Supreme Court, which sided with Jones’s attorneys, who had argued that the police trespassed on private property – Jones’ car – and had conducted an unreasonable search against the constraints of the Fourth Amendment.

In his brief, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote to the police: “[I]f you win this case, then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States.”

“[I]f you win, you suddenly produce what sounds like 1984…”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor warned about “the government’s unrestrained power to assemble data” and its “unfettered discretion” to track citizens, which “may ‘alter the relationship between citizen and government in a way that is inimical to democratic society.’”

However, Stone took issue with the Supreme Court ruling. According to Stone’s plan for tracking, “The reasonableness of procedures for GPS tracking or other searches would be assessed by law enforcement initially. Courts would test that reasonableness only in a concrete case, after surveillance was conducted pursuant to the procedures.”

Stone is just one of several controversial figures on Obama’s NSA review panel. The panel includes Cass Sunstein, a controversial former administration official who once advocated that government agents infiltrate chat rooms and online social networks to stop so-called conspiracy theorizing.

Also on the panel is Mike Morell, a former CIA official fingered in the scandal surrounding the White House’s edited Benghazi talking points.

Released Terrorists Back At Work

Recent terrorist incidents in Israel were orchestrated in part by jihadists freed by the Jewish state in the prisoner exchange that saw the release of captured Israeli solider Gilad Shalit, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The officials did not specify which jihadists were involved, but they said there is information that Hamas terrorists released in the 2011 deal helped to plan last month’s thwarted bus bombing in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam.

The same terrorist apparatus was behind the planning of several other recent attacks, including attempts last week to plant bombs near the Gaza-Israel border and the stabbing of an Israeli police officer in the West Bank.

The deal between Israel and Hamas that saw the release of Shalit called for the freedom of 1,027 Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners, including terrorists directly responsible for the murder of Jews. The first phase of the deal was executed in October 2011, when Israel released 450 prisoners, transferring some to the West Bank and Gaza while others were exiled abroad.

According to defense officials, Hamas contracted a semi-independent group, called the Popular Resistance Committees, and another group, Jihadiya Salafia, to carry out the recent thwarted attacks.

New York Times Admits Possible Error 
Regarding Syrian Chemical Attack

After publishing an influential analysis in September that claimed a missile carrying chemical weapons was fired from a Syrian military complex, the New York Times just reported on a new study that, if accurate, would make its analysis an impossibility.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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