Despite Drug Use and Jihadi Red Flags, Chattanooga Killer Flew Under Police Radar

Questions are being asked about whether Chattanooga killer Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez should have been under surveillance by counterterrorist authorities before he launched his deadly attacks, killing four Marines and a Navy petty officer before he was brought down in a gun battle with police. Were there “red flags” that should have tipped off investigators that Abdulazeez was a potential terrorist threat?

Hamilton County Sheriffs Office via AP

Rand Paul: NSA Supporters ‘Secretly Want There to be an Attack on the United States, So They Can Blame it on Me

Rand Paul has planted his flag on some difficult ground, and quite frankly, successful presidential candidates don’t throw themselves into heavy intra-party fire and sustain major political wounds to prove ideological points. Perhaps he would do well to reconstruct his argument to emphasize the libertarian points where more of the Republican Party agrees with him, and more of the ever-shifting middle of the American electorate would be willing to listen.

The Associated Press

France Approves Domestic Spying with ‘Almost No Judicial Oversight’

The Surveillance State faces stiff criticism in the United States. Limiting domestic surveillance, or at least subjecting it to more extensive oversight, is likely to be a prominent feature of several 2016 presidential campaigns. But in France, Parliament just took domestic surveillance up a notch, granting internal intelligence services “their most intrusive domestic spying abilities ever, with almost no judicial oversight,” as The New York Times puts it.

AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHARLES PLATIAU

Emboldened By Snowden Revelations, China Plays Hardball With U.S. Tech Companies

The New York Times has a depressing article headlined “Mutual Suspicion Mars Tech Trade With China,” whose title buries the lede. The story is more about tech companies suspicious of both China and the Obama Administration. There is a serious information-technology trade war underway, and China is eating Team Obama’s lunch, in part due to continuing fallout from Edward Snowden’s revelations of Obama’s digital surveillance state.

Xinhua/Yao Dawei/AFP

Obama Drops Plan to Store NSA Phone-Snooping Data With Third Parties

The Obama Administration has dropped a plan to outsource the storage of cell-phone metadata to third-party vendors, but the Surveillance State is still very much interested in that data. From a public-relations standpoint, the goal of these post-Snowden reform proposals is to erase the image of phone companies “giving our phone data to the government.” If the companies are storing the data themselves and making it accessible to the government, the public’s comfort level with the process might increase.

smartphone

Police Departments Quietly Equipped with Device That Lets Them See Through Walls

Modern police have radar guns that allow them to see through the walls of houses, and they’ve been using them for the past two years without telling the public. In fact, they still haven’t formally announced the technology. If no one has briefed him yet, I would like to volunteer to be the guy who tells Senator Rand Paul about the drone that can see through walls.

An Alexandria Police Department squad car is seen outfitted with a license plate scanner mounted to the trunk, Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in Alexandria, Va. Local police departments across the country have amassed millions of digital records on the location and movements of vehicles with a license plate using automated …