General Michael Hayden

Gen. Michael Hayden, Director of NSA 1999-2005

This Week in Liberty News, the weekly a collection of stories I run across that affect your liberty in Oklahoma, Texas, and on the national scene.

Top story this week, Edward Snowden has been granted asylum for one year in Russia. On Thursday Snowden was granted entry into Russia and finally left the Moscow airport after a month of being stuck there. The White House responded by threatening President Barack Obama would boycott a summit with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this September. From every indication, the Executive Branch is standing firm behind government practices of collecting vast amounts of data on private citizens.

Erin Burnett interviewed former NSA chief on her show OutFront, who says the NSA spying is a good thing. Here is his interview and take on the whole situation:

Oklahoma

Another Oklahoma-born soldier, 1st Lt. Clint Lorance is facing a court-martial now, under charges of murder and attempted murder.

In addition to Bradley Manning was on Wednesday declared guilty of seventeen of the twenty-two charges against him, but acquitted of the heaviest charge of aiding the enemy.

Coburn disagrees with Rubio, Paul, Lee, Cruz on defunding Obamacare

Using the debt ceiling as an opportunity to defund Obamacare is a losing strategy, says Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, because Republicans in the Senate don’t have enough power to shut down the government, and it would ultimately hurt the party in the next house election, making a repeal the Affordable Care Act less likely.

State prison staff suffering from shortage

Workers at Oklahoma’s state prison in McAlester are reportedly suffering from low morale and high turnover rates due to staff shortages, aging facilities, despite the number of inmates having gone down in the last few years.

Let them drink raw milk

Tulsa World reports “A Tulsa legislator wants to loosen state regulations of raw milk dairies to allow them to deliver directly to consumers.” Representative Ken Walker of Tulsa make milkmen legal again.”

An interesting breakdown at the end of the article notes some studies authorized by House Speaker T.W. Shannon, including an Unarmed Aerial Vehicle (UAV – drone) survey at the request of Rep. Paul Wesselhöft, who recently held an anti-war rally at the state capitol. There is also a study authorized to research “how to protect Oklahoma sovereignty in uncertain times,” requested by Reps. Lewis Moore, Dan Fisher, Marty Quinn, and Ken Walker, all Republicans.

Around the U.S.

CNN surprises America by raising Benghazi questions

In a surprising break by CNN this Thursday, it was revealed that dozens of CIA operatives were on the ground in Libya the night of the Benghazi attack. Four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed that night. Since the incident, Congress has been strongly divided on what to do. An investigation was held that left many questions unanswered about what happened the night of September 11, 2012. Calls for action have diminished in the wake of other scandals, but with new details emerging that appear to confirm suspicions that more than the White House has revealed about Benghazi.

Democrats divided over what to do about the NSA, much like Republicans

The idea that the government can collect otherwise private information about its citizens from corporations is apparently not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. Instead we are learning which members of both parties believe in the style of government we all feared thirty years ago, and who believe that the Constitution guarantees privacy rights and due process, even in the face of national security issues.

For more Oklahoma, Texas, and national news and opinion that matters for Liberty, visit the Standard Excellence Facebook page, and my Twitter profile @FoaRyan.

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