UNITED STATES v. GRAYSON

The NSA has reportedly been tapping its giant repositories of phone and e-mail data to create complex diagrams of some Americans’ interactions, including lists of associates and travel companions; location info; and other personal data. That seems to have been the thinking of at least one intelligence worker with the US National Security Agency, who, an NSA letter suggests, regularly tapped the agency’s now-infamous phone-data collection program to screen people she met at cocktail parties and the like. Vietnam-era spying by NSA comes to light As the present-day NSA draws fire from critics worried about contemporary abuses of power, new details have surfaced about the secretive agency’s efforts — during the Vietnam War era — to spy on prominent antiwar figures on behalf of the White House. Newly declassified materials reveal that the US National Security Agency spied on two prominent Congressmen — Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker — along with high-profile figures such as civil rights leader and antiwar voice Martin Luther King and heavyweight champ and conscientious objector Muhammad Ali. But the latest secret doc to see daylight makes the NSA’s surveillance missteps look rather like child’s play — at least in comparison to nuking your own country. That’s right, the Guardian reports that the US nearly took out a nice chunk of the Eastern seaboard in 1961 when a B-52 bomber broke apart in midair over North Carolina and dropped two hydrogen bombs — one of which came one electrical switch away from detonating. The recently declassified opinion by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — released Tuesday — suggests they do. “To date, no holder of records who has received an order to produce bulk telephony metadata has challenged the legality of such an order,” it reads . Nope, sorry: As advantageous as that might be (think of the huge network you’d suddenly be a part of), the news here is actually that LinkedIn is — like Google , Yahoo , and Facebook before it — pushing to gain the right to publish detailed info on the number of national security-related requests for user data it receives from the US government. Earlier this week, Techdirt picked up on a passing mention in a Brazilian news story and a Slate article to point out that the US National Security Agency had apparently impersonated Google on at least one occasion to gather data on people.

In the Agreement, the appellant admitted that these facts were accurate in every respect. During the change-of-plea colloquy, he also admitted both that the described events comprised the factual basis for his guilty plea and that he knew the seized funds were the proceeds of illicit drug trafficking. There was more. A claim that a guilty plea rests on an insufficient factual basis, raised for the first time on appeal, opens the entire record for appellate inspection. See United States v. Dominguez Benitez, 542 U.S. 74, 80 (2004); United States v. DelgadoHernandez, 420 F.3d 16, 28 (1st Cir.2005). In this case, the PSI Report summarized the events surrounding the appellant’s transportation of over $1,600,000 of drug money to be used to finance further drug purchases. At the disposition hearing, the court confirmed that the appellant had no objection to the factual account contained in the PSI Report. In the absence of such an objection, the PSI Report is itself proof of the recited facts. See United States v. Zorrilla, 982 F.2d 28, 3031 (1st Cir.1992). We need not paint the lily.

Finally, United States Signs Global Arms Trade Treaty

As the ABA points out in their white paper , import restrictions on firearms have been ruled constitutionally valid. At present, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms already regulates and tracks the import of firearms into the United States, leaving no need for further domestic legislation regarding the ATTs implementation. Exports of firearms, the ABA also notes, are not protected under the Second Amendment. This treaty will not diminish anyones freedom, Kerry said. In fact the treaty recognizes the ability of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legit purposes. Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with the rights of Americans, the rights of American citizens, to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under our Constitution. The U.S. voted in favor of the treaty in April, as did the vast majority of the world. In fact, only Syria, Iran and North Korea voted against it . Activists have been urging President Obama to sign the Arms Trade Treaty for months now. At the end of a meeting with Obama administration officials in August, members of a coalition of activists ranging from religious evangelicals to arms control advocates passed along a letter to the President, urging swift action on the ATT. Your Administration demonstrated leadership by supporting the Treaty through its development, the letter read. Signing the Arms Trade Treaty will demonstrate strong US leadership and help create important momentum for the treaty. Conservatives have been insisting , absent real evidence, that the ATT will kick the U.S. down a slippery slope towards mass gun confiscation.

United States

924(c). The application of the drug house enhancement doubled his five-year mandatory minimum. Grayson entered into a plea agreement, reserving the right to appeal the district court’s determination of whether his prior state conviction qualified as a prior felony drug offense as defined by 21 U.S.C. 802(44). In 2004, Grayson was convicted of maintaining a drug house in violation of Mich. Comp. Laws 333.7405(1)(d). Such a conviction under Michigan law requires that the defendant knew that the structure in question was used for keeping or selling drugs, the defendant had some general control over the structure, and that he maintained the structure. See People v. Bartlett, 585 N.W.2d 341, 348 (Mich.Ct.App.1998). Grayson does not dispute that he was properly convicted of this crime, which under Michigan law is punishable by up to two years in prison. Mich. Comp. Laws 333.7406. The Michigan drug house crime satisfies the Section 802(44) requirement that the crime be punishable by more than one year in prison.