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Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (PDF)
Source: Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (U.S. Congress)

The body of this Report consists of seven sections, five of which address the Section 215 telephone records program. After this introduction and the executive summary, Part 3 describes in detail how the telephone records program works. To put the present-day operation of the program in context, Part 4 reviews its history, including its evolution from predecessor intelligence activities. An analysis of whether the telephone records program meets applicable statutory requirements follows in Part 5. Part 6 addresses the constitutional issues raised by the telephone records program under both the First and Fourth Amendments. The final section discussing the Section 215 program, Part 7, examines the potential benefits of the program, its efficacy in achieving its purposes, the impact of the program on privacy and civil liberties, and the Board’s conclusions that reforms are needed.

After considering the 215 program, the Report addresses the operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That section, Part 8, concludes by proposing an approach that, in appropriate cases, would allow the FISC judges to hear from a Special Advocate. Part 9, the final section of the Report, addresses the issue of transparency, which has been a priority of this Board since it began operations.

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Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, together with Additional Views

Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012, together with Additional Views (PDF)
Source: U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

The purpose of this report is to review the September 11-12, 2012, terrorist attacks against two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. This review by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (hereinafter “SSCI” or “the Committee”) focuses primarily on the analysis by and actions of the Intelligence Community (IC) leading up to, during, and immediately following the attacks. The report also addresses, as appropriate, other issues about the attacks as they relate to the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of State (State or State Department). It is important to acknowledge at the outset that diplomacy and intelligence
collection are inherently risky, and that all risk cannot be eliminated. Diplomatic and intelligence personnel work in high-risk locations all over the world to collect information necessary to prevent future attacks against the United States and our allies. Between 1998 (the year of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania) and 2012, 273 significant attacks were carried out against U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel. 1 The need to place personnel in high-risk locations carries significant vulnerabilities for the United States. The Committee intends for this report to help increase security and reduce the risks to our personnel serving overseas and to better explain what happened before, during, and after the attacks.

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Sexual Assault Reports Drop at Service Academies

Sexual Assault Reports Drop at Service Academies
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

Reports of sexual assault decreased in two of the three military academies in academic year 2012-13, officials of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said today.

The statistics came from DOD’s Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies, which is being delivered to Congress today.

During the academic year, a total of 70 reports were made at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy or the U.S. Air Force Academy, officials said. The number of sexual assaults reported declined at West Point and Colorado Springs, but rose at Annapolis.

A report of sexual assault means at least one military victim or subject, said Air Force Col. Alan Metzler, an official with the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Office.

Of the 70 reports, 53 came from cadets and midshipmen for events they experienced in military service. “We are getting reports from victims for events prior to their military service or prior to entering the service academies,” Metzler said.

The report provides an assessment of the effectiveness of the service academies’ policies and training to prevent sexual violence. The assessment found the academies were compliant with their policies regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault during the academic year, which ran from June 2012 to May 2013.

“What we found was the academies instituted a lot of new initiatives to enhance training, improve awareness of sexual harassment and assault and to promote a safe environment for all cadets and midshipmen,” Metzler said.

The report includes information from focus groups of midshipmen and cadets. “They told us – and we’re pleased by this – that reports of sexual assault or sexual harassment would be taken seriously by academy leaders, and they would be dealt with appropriately,” the colonel said. “That’s the good news.”

Still, cadets and midshipmen also identified some peer pressure barriers to reporting these crimes, he said.

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Connecticut State Police: Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Reports

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Reports
Source: Connecticut State Police

The reports below document the many stages of the investigation of the December 14, 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Administratively, the investigation consists of three separate case numbers. CFS 1200704559 is the primary investigation, CFS 1200704597 is the processing of the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and CFS 1200705354 is the investigation of the homicide at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown.

As laid out in the Table of Contents, each investigation includes numerous written reports, with each case number available for separate download. Additionally, each investigation also includes various forms of multimedia including photographs, video recordings and/or audio recordings. These attachments to the reports are available for download under the case number of the investigation to which it pertains, and further divided by the document number of the corresponding report or other description.

Please note that many of the linked files are very large. These files will take a considerable amount of time to download, and may impose a heavy burden on the hosting system. We encourage you, especially with respect to the larger video files, to download and view the smaller files first to confirm your interest in obtaining the larger files.

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State’s Attorney Releases Report on Sandy Hook Investigation

Danbury State’s Attorney Releases Report on Sandy Hook Investigation
Source: State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice

Stephen J. Sedensky III, State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury, today released his report on the investigation into the December 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a private residence in Newtown.

The report concludes that the 20-year-old Adam Lanza acted alone when he fatally shot his mother at their home in Newtown and then went to the elementary school where he fatally shot 20 first-grade pupils and six adults and wounded two other adults.

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United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic: Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013

United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic: Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013 (PDF)
Source: United Nations

In transmitting simultaneously to the Security Council and the General Assembly the report on the incident which took place on 21 August 2013 in the Ghouta area of Damascus (see annex), the Secretary-General expresses his profound shock and regret at the conclusion that chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale, resulting in numerous casualties, particularly among civilians and including many children. The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons and believes that this act is a war crime and grave violation of the 1925 Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare and other relevant rules of customary international law. The international community has a moral responsibility to hold accountable those responsible and for ensuring that chemical weapons can never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare.

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