QUESTION AND SEARCH YOU WITHOUT A WARRANT
BAGHDAD ON THE POTOMAC
BUSH REGIME BUILDING CONCENTRATION CAMPS BACKED BY DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS' APPROVAL OF MARTIAL LAW
LEWIS SEILER & DAN HAMBURG, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and non-citizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.
According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."
Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs" require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?
Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."
The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and non-citizens alike.
Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.
U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combating it. . . investigative power to combat it.
A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.
What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?
The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.
THE FBI'S SECRET PRIVATE DEPUTIES - WITH PERMISSION TO SHOOT TO KILL?
MATTHEW ROTHSCHILD, THE PROGRESSIVE - Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does -- and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to "shoot to kill" in the event of martial law. InfraGard is "a child of the FBI," says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm. . .
InfraGard itself is still an FBI operation, with FBI agents in each state overseeing the local InfraGard chapters. (There are now eighty-six of them.) The alliance is a nonprofit organization of private sector InfraGard members.
"We are the owners, operators, and experts of our critical infrastructure, from the CEO of a large company in agriculture or high finance to the guy who turns the valve at the water utility," says Schneck, who by day is the vice president of research integration at Secure Computing.
"At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector," the InfraGard website states. "InfraGard chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories."
In November 2001, InfraGard had around 1,700 members. As of late January, InfraGard had 23,682 members, according to its website, www.infragard.net, which adds that "350 of our nation's Fortune 500 have a representative in InfraGard."
To join, each person must be sponsored by "an existing InfraGard member, chapter, or partner organization." The FBI then vets the applicant. On the application form, prospective members are asked which aspect of the critical infrastructure their organization deals with. These include: agriculture, banking and finance, the chemical industry, defense, energy, food, information and telecommunications, law enforcement, public health, and transportation. . .
InfraGard is not readily accessible to the general public. Its communications with the FBI and Homeland Security are beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act under the "trade secrets" exemption, its website says. And any conversation with the public or the media is supposed to be carefully rehearsed.
GLOBAL RESEARCH - The Pentagon's Information Operations Roadmap is blunt about the fact that an internet, with the potential for free speech, is in direct opposition to their goals. The internet needs to be dealt with as if it were an enemy "weapons system".
The 2003 Pentagon document entitled the Information Operation Roadmap was released to the public after a Freedom of Information Request by the National Security Archive at George Washington University in 2006. . .
From the Information Operation Roadmap. . .
"We Must Fight the Net. DoD [Department of Defense] is building an information-centric force. Networks are increasingly the operational center of gravity, and the Department must be prepared to fight the net. DoD's Defense in Depth strategy should operate on the premise that the Department will fight the net as it would a weapons system."
It should come as no surprise that the Pentagon would aggressively attack the information highway in their attempt to achieve dominance in information warfare. Donald Rumsfeld's involvement in the Project for a New American Century sheds more light on the need and desire to control information.
The Project for a New American Century was founded in 1997 with many members that later became the nucleus of the George W. Bush administration. The list includes: Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, I. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz among many other powerful but less well know names. Their stated purpose was to use a hugely expanded U.S. military to project "American global leadership." In September of 2000, PNAC published a now infamous document entitled Rebuilding America's Defences. This document has a very similar theme as the Pentagon's Information Operations Roadmap which was signed by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
From Rebuilding America's Defenses:
"It is now commonly understood that information and other new technologies... are creating a dynamic that may threaten America's ability to exercise its dominant military power."
"Much as control of the high seas - and the protection of international commerce - defined global powers in the past, so will control of the new "international commons" be a key to world power in the future. An America incapable of protecting its interests or that of its allies in space or the infosphere will find it difficult to exert global political leadership.
"Although it may take several decades for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and "combat" likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, cyber-space," and perhaps the world of microbes. . .
Part of the Information Operation Roadmap's plans for the internet are to "ensure the graceful degradation of the network rather than its collapse. . .
As far as the Pentagon is concerned the internet is not all bad, after all, it was the Department of Defense through DARPA that gave us the internet in the first place. The internet is useful not only as a business tool but also is excellent for monitoring and tracking users, acclimatizing people to a virtual world, and developing detailed psychological profiles of every user, among many other Pentagon positives. But, one problem with the current internet is the potential for the dissemination of ideas and information not consistent with US government themes and messages, commonly known as free speech. Naturally, since the plan was to completely dominate the infosphere, the internet would have to be adjusted or replaced with an upgraded and even more Pentagon friendly successor.
TERROR JUNKIES TAKING OVER CAMPUSES
MICHAEL GOULD-WARTOFSKY, NATION - From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to "violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention"--as it was recently dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name--have set out to reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university.
Building a homeland security campus and bringing the university to heel is a seven-step mission:
1. Target dissidents. As the warfare state has triggered dissent, the campus has attracted increasing scrutiny--with student protesters in the cross hairs. The government's number-one target? Peace and justice organizations.
From 2003 to 2007 an unknown number of them made it into the Pentagon's Threat and Local Observation Notice system, a secretive domestic spying program ostensibly designed to track direct "potential terrorist threats" to the Defense Department itself. In 2006 the ACLU uncovered, via Freedom of Information Act requests, at least 186 specific TALON reports on "anti-military protests" in the United States--some listed as "credible threats"--from student groups at the University of California, Santa Cruz; State University of New York, Albany; Georgia State University; and New Mexico State University, among other campuses.. . .
2. Lock and load. Many campus police departments are morphing into heavily armed garrisons, equipped with a wide array of weaponry, from Taser stun guns and pepper guns to shotguns and semiautomatic rifles. Lock-and-load policies that began in the 1990s under the rubric of the "war on crime" only escalated with the President's "war on terror." Each school shooting--most recently the massacre at Virginia Tech--adds fuel to the armament flames. . .
3. Keep an eye (or hundreds of them) focused on campus. Surveillance has become a boom industry nationally--one that now reaches deep into the heart of campuses. In fact, universities have witnessed explosive growth since 2001 in the electronic surveillance of students, faculty and campus workers. . . The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators reports that surveillance cameras have found their way onto at least half of all colleges, their numbers on any given campus doubling, tripling or, in a few cases, rising tenfold since September 11, 2001. Such cameras have proliferated by the hundreds on private campuses, in particular. The University of Pennsylvania, for instance, has more than 400 watching over it, while Harvard and Brown have about 200 each. . .
4. Mine student records. Student records have in recent years been opened up to all manner of data mining for purposes of investigation, recruitment or just all-purpose tracking. From 2001 to 2006, in an operation code-named Project Strike Back, the Education Department teamed up with the FBI to scour the records of the 14 million students who applied for federal financial aid each year. The objective? "To identify potential people of interest," explained an FBI spokesperson cryptically, especially those linked to "potential terrorist activity.". . .
5. Track foreign-born students; keep the undocumented out. Under the auspices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been keeping close tabs on foreign students . . . As of October 2007, ICE reported that it was actively following 713,000 internationals on campuses, while keeping more than 4.7 million names in the database.
6. Take over the curriculum, the
classroom and the laboratory. . . . DHS has launched its own
curriculum under its Office of University Programs, intended,
it says, to "foster a homeland security culture within the
HOW CHENEY FOUGHT TO GIVE BUSH DICTATOR STATUS
PBS - For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review. . .
"The vice president believes that Congress has very few powers to actually constrain the president and the executive branch," former Justice Department attorney Marty Lederman tells Frontline. "He believes the president should have the final word -- indeed the only word -- on all matters within the executive branch."
After Sept. 11, Cheney and Addington were determined to implement their vision -- in secret. The vice president and his counsel found an ally in John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department's extraordinarily powerful Office of Legal Counsel. In concert with Addington, Yoo wrote memoranda authorizing the president to act with unparalleled authority.
"Through interviews with key administration figures, Cheney's Law documents the bruising bureaucratic battles between a group of conservative Justice Department lawyers and the Office of the Vice President over the legal foundation for the most closely guarded programs in the war on terror," says Frontline producer Michael Kirk. . .
In his most extensive television interview since leaving the Justice Department, former Assistant Attorney General Jack L. Goldsmith describes his initial days at the OLC in the fall of 2003 as he learned about the government's most secret and controversial covert operations. Goldsmith was shocked by the administration's secret assertion of unlimited power.
"There were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand," Goldsmith says. "I had a whole flurry of emotions. My first one was disbelief that programs of this importance could be supported by legal opinions that were this flawed. My second was the realization that I would have a very, very hard time standing by these opinions if pressed. My third was the sinking feeling, what was I going to do if I was pressed about reaffirming these opinions?"
As Goldsmith began to question his colleagues' claims that the administration could ignore domestic laws and international treaties, he began to clash with Cheney's office. According to Goldsmith, Addington warned him, "If you rule that way, the blood of the 100,000 people who die in the next attack will be on your hands."
TSA CRIBS DIRECTLY FROM OWELL'S '1984'
CORY DOCTOROW, BOING BOING - TSA screeners are learning to recognize a set of secret, forbidden facial expressions. If your face slips into one of these during a TSA inspection, you will be taken off and given a thorough, secondary screening. . . Making Light's Avram Grumer draws a vivid parallel to Orwell's facecrime:
"He did not know how long she had been looking at him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was possible that his features had not been perfectly under control. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself - anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called. (Nineteen Eighty-Four, Part 1, Chapter 5)"
It's a complicated issue: on the one hand, this beats racial profiling. On the other hand, the penalty for wearing the wrong face is nigh-unlimited. We've all heard stories of screeners detaining people, forbidding them to fly, and so on, in a kind of bottomless expression of authority without oversight. I'd feel a lot better about this if the TSA would publish the forbidden faces (look, if it's peer-reviewed science, that means terrorists can just look it up in the damned journals, and if it's not science, why should we believe it works?) so that we can all verify for ourselves whether this actually works or whether it's just a bunch of hooey; I'd also feel better if the TSA acted as though the Constitution mattered to them, securing us from unreasonable search and seizure, being answerable to us as their tax-paying employers, and maintaining the presumption of innocence throughout our traveling experience.
RAW STORY - Bush has issued 1100 signing statements -- almost twice as many as all previous presidents put together -- often completely reversing the intended effect of legislation. For example, when Congress voted overwhelmingly to ban torture, Bush announced that this would "make it clear to the world that this government does not torture." Two weeks later, he added a signing statement to the bill that allowed him to ignore it.
Similarly, when a bill required the Justice Department to report to Congress on the use of the Patriot Act, Bush added a proviso that he could override this requirement any time he thought necessary.
Law professor Jonathan Turley told Abrams that the practice has two very serious effects. On one hand, "by using signing statements to this extent, the president becomes a government unto himself." But it also gives lower-level officials cover for their own illegal behavior by creating a deliberate area of ambiguity about the meaning of the laws.
"How does he get away with it?" [MSNBC'S Dan] Abrams asked Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage. Savage explained that signing statements have previously been considered merely as instructions to the executive branch on how to interpret legislation, and typically no one outside the executive branch even reads them.
"It's an extraordinarily destabilizing effect upon our system," Turley emphasized. "Our system really only has one rule that can't be broken ... That one rule is, you can't go outside the rules." Once the executive ceases to respect the authority of the legislative branch, everything else is thrown into doubt.
Savage noted that Dick Cheney appears to be the motivating force in this expansion of presidential power. Cheney was chief of staff to President Gerald Ford in the 1970's, when Congress was taking steps to prevent any future Watergate-style excesses, and he has never ceased trying to bring things back to the way they were under Nixon.
According to Savage, Cheney's aide David Addington, who has been with him since the 1980's "is said to be the chief architect of these signing statements" and is the leader of the legal team pushing the most radical theories of presidential power.
"It's astounding to me how they continue to get away with this," Abrams concluded.
DAN ABRAMS VIDEO REPORT
TIM SHORROCK, CORPWATCH - A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time. Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world's most closely monitored nations. Until now, domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites was limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.
The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation. . .
The NAO is "an idea whose time has arrived," Charles Allen, a top U.S. intelligence official, told the Wall Street Journal in August 2007 after it broke the news of the creation of the NAO. Allen, the DHS's chief intelligence officer, will head the new program. The announcement came just days after President George W. Bush signed a new law approved by Congress to expand the ability of the NSA to eavesdrop, without warrants, on telephone calls, e-mail and faxes passing through telecommunications hubs in the U.S. when the government suspects agents of a foreign power may be involved. . .
Donald Kerr, a former NRO director who is now the number two at ODNI, recently explained to reporters that the intelligence community was no longer discussing whether or not to spy on U.S. citizens: "Our job now is to engage in a productive debate, which focuses on privacy as a component of appropriate levels of security and public safety," Kerr said. "I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity, but [also] what safeguards we want in place to be sure that giving that doesn't empty our bank account or do something equally bad elsewhere."
WITHOUT THEM SPYING ON YOU
FOR DRAWNG THIS PICTURE
THEIR BRUTALITY AT DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION
PENTAGON STUDY SUGGESTS ILLEGAL INTERFERENCE WITH BLOGS INCLUDING CO-OPTING BLOGGERS, CREATING FAKE BLOGS, HACKING, CORRUPTING AND "TAKING DOWN" SITES
DANGER ROOM, WIRED Since the start of the Iraq war, there's been a raucous debate in military circles over how to handle blogs -- and the service members who want to keep them. One faction sees blogs as security risks, and a collective waste of troops' time. The other (which includes top officers, like Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. William Caldwell) considers blogs to be a valuable source of information, and a way for ordinary troops to shape opinions, both at home and abroad.
[A] 2006 report for the Joint Special Operations University, "Blogs and Military Information Strategy," offers a third approach -- co-opting bloggers, or even putting them on the payroll. "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," write the report's co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.
Lt. Commander Marc Boyd, a U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman, says the report was merely an academic exercise. "The comments are not 'actionable', merely thought provoking," he tells Danger Room. "The views expressed in the article publication are entirely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy or position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, USSOCOM [Special Operations Command], or the Joint Special Operations University.". . .
The report introduces the military audience to the "blogging phenomenon," and lays out a number of ways in which the armed forces -- specifically, the military's public affairs, information operations, and psychological operations units -- might use the sites to their advantage"
|||| Information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence... to pass the U.S. message. In this way, the U.S. can overleap the entrenched inequalities and make use of preexisting intellectual and social capital. Sometimes numbers can be effective; hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering. On the other hand, such operations can have a blowback effect, as witnessed by the public reaction following revelations that the U.S. military had paid journalists to publish stories in the Iraqi press under their own names. People do not like to be deceived, and the price of being exposed is lost credibility and trust.
An alternative strategy is to "make" a blog and blogger. The process of boosting the blog to a position of influence could take some time, however, and depending on the person running the blog, may impose a significant educational burden, in terms of cultural and linguistic training before the blog could be put online to any useful effect. Still, there are people in the military today who like to blog. In some cases, their talents might be redirected toward operating blogs as part of an information campaign. If a military blog offers valuable information that is not available from other sources, it could rise in rank fairly rapidly. ||||
Denning, the report's author, has promoted controversial opinions before. In the early 1990s, when she was chair of the Georgetown University's computer science department, Denning emerged as the leading advocate for the so-called "Clipper Chip," a cryptographic device for protecting communications -- until the government wanted to listen in. The project was cancelled by 1996.
In her 2006 paper, Denning warns that blogs can and will be used by America's enemies. These sites, she argues, can also be used to serve U.S. government interests.
|||| There are certain to be cases where some blog, outside the control of the U.S. government, promotes a message that is antithetical to U.S. interests, or actively supports the informational, recruiting and logistical activities of our enemies. The initial reaction may be to take down the site, but this is problematic in that doing so does not guarantee that the site will remain down. As has been the case with many such sites, the offending site will likely move to a different host server, often in a third country. Moreover, such action will likely produce even more interest in the site and its contents. Also, taking down a site that is known to pass enemy EEIs (essential elements of information) and that gives us their key messages denies us a valuable information source. This is not to say that once the information passed becomes redundant or is superseded by a better source that the site should be taken down. At that point the enemy blog might be used covertly as a vehicle for friendly information operations. Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data-merely a few words or phrases-may be sufficient to begin destroying the bloggers credibility with the audience. Better yet, if the blogger happens to be passing enemy communications and logistics data, the information content could be corrupted. If the messages are subtly tweaked and the data corrupted in the right way, the enemy may reason that the blogger in question has betrayed them and either take down the site (and the blogger) themselves, or by threatening such action, give the U.S. an opportunity to offer the individual amnesty in exchange for information. ||||
CORPORATIONS HELPING BUSH REGIME IN HUGE DOMESTIC SPYING PROGRAM
ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER - In September 2006 the Department of Homeland Security reported that 38 state and local Information Fusion Centers supported by $380 million in federal dollars were operational. The investment in time, energy, and resources are focused on one objective: maximizing access to the greatest amount of information as possible.
The range of information to be collected by service providers who participate in the fusion center effort could include: all sources of financial records kept by banking institutions; all contacts with the criminal justice system by criminals and non-criminals, all forms of education (day cares, preschools, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and technical schools); government issued licenses and permits, access to medical records held by hospitals, public health, and primary care physicians, hospitality and lodging, information and telecommunication service providers, military facilities and defense industrial base; postal and shipping services, private security (alarm companies, armored car companies, investigative firms, corporate security offices); public works; social services; and transportation. . .
Strategic information may provide data on individuals not under criminal investigation or operations that an entity manages, and tactical information may provide data be in support of ongoing criminal investigations. It would be very difficult to imagine someone living within the United States who would not have one or multiple points of information confluence in the proposed system. The Fusion Center guidance said the following about the "Fusion Center Functions"
Along with a host of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, private companies also participated in the Public Safety Fusion Group, which included Walt Disney World Company, Fidelity Investments, Microsoft, and Archer Daniels Midland. . . . The intelligence and analysis of information is proposed to be based on the needs of users. With the list of users including all levels and types of law enforcement, intelligence community, DOD, private sector entities, it appears the official uses could be limitless.
The Fusion Center guidelines repeatedly stress the importance of collaboration and cooperation, to the success of the center. The focus of the work of fusion centers will not be limited to terrorism or terrorist activity, but will according to the appendices of the Fusion Center guidelines extend to among other things the investigation of persons on public assistance, illicit drugs, traffic accidents, and aviation accident analysis.
Exchanging information is only the beginning of the process, the goal is "institutionalizing the relationships between the fusion center and the public safety and private sector partners."
HOMELAND STASI SEARCH URBAN BUS RIDERS
BLUE DOT RED FIELD, DAILY KOS - Federal agents, including Air Marshals were present and patted people down, looked in bags, and performed "behavior" tests for the stated purpose of finding weapons and people who were a threat to public safety. . .
20 or more agents of the federal government came to Indianapolis, downtown, and setup two search stops for those wanting to ride the bus. People could decline, legally, but only if the knew they could. Traveler safety was the excuse, but in reality all the were on an explicit fishing operation that included everything plus "behavior detection officers."
Did people even know they could
decline the search? That is unclear. But at least one report
indicates that they TSA weren't even aware of local law. Indiana
allows licensed individuals to carry firearms and accepts permits
from other states for individuals to carry firearms as well.
We have the highest per capita concealed carry population in
the nation and the TSA was not even aware of our laws.
"He was told rudely 'YOOOOUUU
CAN'T CARRY A GUN AROUND HERE!' And he replied 'I bet I can,
this isn't an airport...' By then a supervisor walked over, took
a quick look at his Kentucky CCW and asked the Indianapolis PD
next to him if it was any good. The Indy cop replied that a CCW
from any state or country is valid in Indiana. So the supervisor
declared in a loud voice to let him proceed, treat anyone with
a CCW like a cop and pass them on. Needless to say though, he
had a very quiet bus ride with lots of passengers staring at
him the whole time.
So what was this operation, why was it needed, and what does it mean for us all?
First, it was a clear encroachment on our 4th Amendment rights. Even if it was legal (because individuals could refuse it), the fact that law enforcement is searching people without cause is an encroachment.
Second, it was an encroachment done by the Federal Government in the guise of proposed safety. While Indianapolis has had crime problems, the bus system has not been the hub of those problems. Nor have any federal crimes been committed on Indianapolis busses.
Third, it was a Federal operation performed by those who are not even aware of the law. Since they had no understanding of Indiana weapons laws and were performing weapons searches, why should I have any confidence in their understanding of, and care for Constitutional law in regards to personal searches.
Fourth, it was a Federal invasion of civilians that used our federal tax dollars to search bus passengers, who if criminal could have moved on to the next bus stop or just declined the search. The very same Air Marshals that are supposed to be protecting our plans are searching people at bus stops. This operation could hardly have been an effective expenditure of resources, especially as no reported arrests or confiscations took place.
Fifth, the stops seem to be better explained as a test of what encroachments Americans will accept, and the fact that only one article has mentioned it, sparsely at that, makes their test a likely success for federal agencies that seek to expand their powers.
So now it is up to us to decide, again, what is acceptable and what is not.
BUSH'S NEW ORDER STILL VIOLATES GENEVA CONVENTION
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH - President George W. Bush's new executive order on the Central Intelligence Agency's detention and interrogation program is contrary to the Geneva Conventions. The new order, issued today, purports to determine that the CIA's detention and interrogation program "fully complies" with US obligations under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 as long as the CIA follows a series of requirements in carrying out the program.
But enforced disappearance - the hallmark of the CIA program, involving secret, incommunicado detention - is itself inconsistent with the requirement under Common Article 3 that detainees be treated humanely. A number of CIA prisoners were held for three or more years in secret detention facilities, known as "black sites," before being transferred to military custody at Guantanamo Bay in September 2006. Others who were believed to have been held in CIA detention remain "disappeared."
"By international human rights and humanitarian law standards, the CIA program is illegal to its core," said Joanne Mariner, terrorism and counterterrorism director at Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch also expressed skepticism that the treatment requirements set out in the new order - that detainees not be tortured or ill-treated, and be fed adequately, among others - will be followed. It is well documented that holding detainees in prolonged incommunicado detention, without judicial or other independent oversight, is an invitation to torture and other abuse. Human Rights Watch pointed out that even the International Committee of the Red Cross has not been allowed to visit detainees in CIA custody.
In addition, because the written policies governing the CIA interrogation program will be classified, it will be impossible for any outside monitor to assess whether the interrogation practices they allow are consistent with international standards. Given that then-CIA director Porter Goss once referred to waterboarding - a form of mock drowning - as a "professional interrogation technique," Human Rights Watch is concerned that abusive methods might still be authorized.
Notably, US officials have still refused to publicly denounce waterboarding as torture.
In criticizing the CIA program, Human Rights Watch continued to draw attention to more than three dozen missing CIA detainees. In June, Human Rights Watch and five other human rights groups published a report listing 39 people who were believed to have been held at some time in CIA prisons, and who remain "disappeared". One of the missing detainees, Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, recently reappeared in Pakistan.
"Detainees in CIA custody were in many cases 'disappeared' for years," Mariner said. "Several dozen are still 'disappeared' with no information about their fate."
BUSH WON'T REVEAL MARTIAL LAW PLAN TO CONGRESS
PAUL JOSEPH WATSON PRISON PLANET - Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) was asked by his constituents to see what was contained within the classified portion of the White House's plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.
Since DeFazio also sits on the Homeland Security Committee and has clearance to view classified material, the request would have appeared to be routine, but the Congressman was unceremoniously denied all access to view the documents, and the White House wouldn't even give an excuse as to why he was barred.
"I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack," DeFazio told the Oregonian on Friday.
"We're talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America," DeFazio says. "I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee."
"Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right," DeFazio concluded.
The article also quotes Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who told the paper he "cannot think of one good reason" to deny access to a member of Congress who serves on the Homeland Security Committee.
"I find it inexplicable and probably reflective of the usual, knee-jerk overextension of executive power that we see from this White House," Ornstein said.
THE HIDDEN DANGER OF BLACKWATER
CHRIS HEDGES, NY TIMES - There are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 armed security contractors working in Iraq, although there are no official figures and some estimates run much higher. . . The privatization of war hands an incentive to American corporations, many with tremendous political clout, to keep us mired down in Iraq. But even more disturbing is the steady rise of this modern Praetorian Guard. The Praetorian Guard in ancient Rome was a paramilitary force that defied legal constraints, made violence part of the political discourse, and eventually plunged the Roman Republic into tyranny and despotism. Despotic movements need paramilitary forces that operate outside the law, forces that sow fear among potential opponents, and are capable of physically silencing those branded by their leaders as traitors. And in the wrong hands, a Blackwater could well become that force.
American taxpayers have so far handed a staggering $4 billion to "armed security" companies in Iraq such as Blackwater, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif. . .
Mercenary forces like Blackwater operate beyond civilian and military law. They are covered by a 2004 edict passed by American occupation authorities in Iraq that immunizes all civilian contractors in Iraq from prosecution.
Blackwater, barely a decade old, has migrated from Iraq to set up operations in the United States and nine other countries. It trains Afghan security forces and has established a base a few miles from the Iranian border. The huge contracts from the war - including $750 million from the State Department since 2004 - have allowed Blackwater to amass a fleet of more than 20 aircraft, including helicopter gunships. Jeremy Scahill, the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, points out that Blackwater has also constructed "the world's largest private military facility - a 7,000-acre compound near the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina." Blackwater also recently opened a facility in Illinois ("Blackwater North") and, despite local opposition, is moving ahead with plans to build another huge training base near San Diego. The company recently announced it was creating a private intelligence branch called "Total Intelligence."
Erik Prince, who founded and runs Blackwater, is a man who appears to have little time for the niceties of democracy. He has close ties with the radical Christian Right and the Bush White House. He champions his company as a patriotic extension of the U.S. military. His employees, in an act as cynical as it is dishonest, take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. But what he and his allies have built is a mercenary army, paid for with government money, which operates outside the law and without constitutional constraint. . .
If the United States falls into a period of instability caused by another catastrophic terrorist attack, an economic meltdown that triggers social unrest, or a series of environmental disasters, such paramilitary forces, protected and assisted by fellow ideologues in the police and military, could ruthlessly abolish what is left of our eroding democracy. War, with the huge profits it hands to corporations, and to right-wing interests such as the Christian Right, could become a permanent condition. And the thugs with automatic weapons, black uniforms and wraparound sunglasses who appeared on the streets in New Orleans could appear on our streets.
GO OUTBOARDING AND THE TERRORISTS WIN
JACKELYN BARNARD, FIRST COAST NEWS,
FL - With thousands of boats on the waterways, the worry is the
recreational boat is now a Homeland Security threat.
A simple boat could be used as a weapon. . . The head of the U.S. Coast Guard is throwing around a couple of ideas on how to keep you safe. One would require licenses for all boaters in all states. The other would call for transponders on recreational boats so authorities can track their location. . .
REAGAN ERA JUDGE SENT JUDITH
MILLER TO JAIL & ORDERED ONLY FBI RAID ON CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE
IN U.S. HISTORY
JACOB G. HORNBERGER, LEW ROCKWELL SITE - The presiding judge in the Jose Padilla case has held that the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of a speedy trial does not protect American citizens from being indefinitely incarcerated by the Pentagon. Padilla had filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground that the federal government had denied him his right to a speedy trial. Padilla has been in custody since May 2002 and his trial, which is scheduled to begin in April, is not being held until some five years later. . .
The presiding judge in the case, Marcia Cooke, denied Padilla's motion to dismiss. The judge held that when a person, including an American citizen, is held in custody by the Pentagon as an "enemy combatant," the time doesn't start running with respect to his right to a speedy trial. It begins running, she held, only when he becomes part of the federal criminal-justice system.
Gee, I wonder if the judge's reasoning applies to the rest of the Bill of Rights as well. Maybe the First Amendment doesn't apply if it's the Pentagon that is suppressing speech and assembly as part of its perpetual "war on terror." Or maybe the Second Amendment prohibits only the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), not the Pentagon, from seizing guns from the American people, as it is doing as part of the "war on terror" in Iraq.
Our 18th-century American ancestors would have found Judge Cooke's ruling to be ludicrous. If a military department of government is exempt from the restrictions of the Bill of Rights, then the entire executive branch is exempt for the obvious reason: Whenever the government wants to exempt itself from the Bill of Rights, all it has to do is employ the military to do the dirty deed. The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to protect the American people from the federal government, not a particular department of the federal government.
NY TIMES FINALLY NOTICES THE CREEPING COUP
NY TIMES EDITORIAL - A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night. So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill at the Bush administration's behest that makes it easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement and declare martial law.
The provision, signed into law in October, weakens two obscure but important bulwarks of liberty. One is the doctrine that bars military forces, including a federalized National Guard, from engaging in law enforcement. Called posse comitatus, it was enshrined in law after the Civil War to preserve the line between civil government and the military. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807, which provides the major exemptions to posse comitatus. It essentially limits a president's use of the military in law enforcement to putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights.
The newly enacted provisions upset this careful balance. They shift the focus from making sure that federal laws are enforced to restoring public order. Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any "other condition."
Changes of this magnitude should be made only after a thorough public airing. But these new presidential powers were slipped into the law without hearings or public debate. The president made no mention of the changes when he signed the measure, and neither the White House nor Congress consulted in advance with the nation's governors.
PEOPLE CHIPS: THE ULTIMATE NATIONAL ID
DAVID E. GUMPERT, BUSINESS WEEK - [Scott] Silverman's company, Verichip Corp., is preparing for widespread marketing of its people chips with an initial public offering that it expects to complete within the next 60 days. It has begun building what he refers to as "the infrastructure" by signing up more than 400 hospitals to adopt system scanners and databases and about 1,200 physicians to make chips available to patients likeliest to benefit from them, such as diabetics. . .
The big attraction . . . and the reason for the upcoming Verichip public offering, is the lure of implanting the chips into people. . . Of course, no discussion . . . It's important to remember that adoption of the RFID chips doesn't necessarily need to be legislated to become nearly universal. If enough hospitals and insurance companies begin requiring them, or treating patients wearing them more expeditiously than nonusers, or providing discounts for usage of the chips, they well could become the norm. Then, not wearing a chip might be akin to not having a bank ATM card or, increasingly in Eastern states with toll roads and turnpikes, not having a transponder to pay tolls in your car.
BUSH INVADES STATES' POWERS TO TAKE OVER NATIONAL GUARD
[One of America's most important defenses against a dictatorship has been power of the governors over their state militias: the National Guard. Bush's action dramatically changes this]
KAVAN PETERSON, STATELINE - A little-noticed change in federal law packs an important change in who is in charge the next time a state is devastated by a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina. To the dismay of the nation's governors, the White House now will be empowered to go over a governor's head and call up National Guard troops to aid a state in time of natural disasters or other public emergencies. Up to now, governors were the sole commanders in chief of citizen soldiers in local Guard units during emergencies within the state. . .
President Bush sought to federalize control of Guardsmen in Louisiana in the chaos after the hurricane, but Gov. Kathleen Blanco(D) refused to relinquish command.
Over objections from all 50 governors, Congress in October tweaked the 200-year-old Insurrection Act to empower the hand of the president in future stateside emergencies. In a letter to Congress, the governors called the change "a dramatic expansion of federal authority during natural disasters that could cause confusion in the command-and-control of the National Guard and interfere with states' ability to respond to natural disasters within their borders."
The change adds to tensions between governors and the White House after more than four years of heavy federal deployment of state-based Guard forces to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, four out of five guardsmen have been sent overseas in the largest deployment of the National Guard since World War II. Shortage of the Guard's military equipment - such as helicopters to drop hay to snow-stranded cattle in Colorado - also is a nagging issue as much of units' heavy equipment is left overseas and unavailable in case of a natural disaster at home.
A bipartisan majority of both chambers of Congress adopted the change as part of the 439-page, $538 billion 2007 Defense Authorization Bill signed into law last October.
CIA, MILITARY EXPAND SPYING ON U.S. CITIZENS
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - US Vice-President Dick Cheney has admitted that the US military and CIA have been spying on the financial dealings of Americans -- intelligence gathering normally authorized only by civilian policing agencies. The New York Times broke the story, reporting that the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency had been using "national security letters" to obtain the banking and credit records of Americans and foreigners suspected of terrorist activities in the United States. The US military and the CIA have long been restricted in their spying activities inside the United States and are barred from conducting traditional domestic law enforcement work in the country. . . [Cheney] called the spying "a perfectly legitimate activity" . . .
Citing unnamed intelligence officials, The New York Times said the Pentagon and CIA actions were part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering which is traditionally the realm of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
BUSH CLAIMS POWER TO READ YOUR MAIL
JAMES GORDON MEEK, NY DAILY - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the Daily News has learned. The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions. That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it. Bush's move came during the winter congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was first revealed. It caught Capitol Hill by surprise.
MORE GREAT MOMENTS IN THE GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
[Yesterday we ran a Massachusetts law banning blasphemy and other theocratic offenses. Doug Henwood of the Left Business Observer adds a few more goodies:
Chapter 272: Section 34. Crime against nature Section 34. Whoever commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years.
Chapter 272: Section 14. Adultery Section 14. A married person who has sexual intercourse with a person not his spouse or an unmarried person who has sexual intercourse with a married person shall be guilty of adultery and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in jail for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
Chapter 272: Section 18. Fornication Section 18. Whoever commits fornication shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three months or by a fine of not more than thirty dollars.
REGAL CINEMAS HAS 19 YEAR OLD GIRL ARRESTED FOR 20 SECOND FILM CLIP
TORRENT FREAK - Jhannet Sejas, a 19 year old girl was immediately arrested by the police after she recorded a 20 second clip from the movie "Transformers" that she wanted to show to her little brother. She now faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Sejas was celebrating her 19th Birthday with her boyfriend in a local theater in Arlington [VA]. A few minutes after she taped the short clip the police came rushing in and took her into custody on the charges of "being a pirate".
Sejas and her boyfriend were promptly escorted out of the movie theater, still confused about what just happened. "I was crying, I've never been in trouble before.", she later said in a response to the trip to the police station.
Of course Sejas had no intention to sell the 600 millisecond clip, she wasn't even planning to put it on YouTube. The only thing she wanted to do was show it to her 13 year old brother, who was dying to see the movie himself. Unluckily theater owners just introduced their new zero-tolerance policy since everyone can be a pirate.
Kendrick Macdowell, a representative National Association of Theater Owners said in a response: "We cannot educate theater managers to be judges and juries in what is acceptable. Theater managers cannot distinguish between good and bad stealing.". . .
Sejas will go to trial later this month for recording a motion picture without permission, and is facing up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Seriously unbelievable.
DANIELA DEANE WASHINGTON POST - Arlington police spokesman John Lisle said it was the decision of Regal Cinemas Ballston Common 12 to prosecute the case, a first for Arlington police. . . Jason Schultz, senior staff lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said he is aware of only one case prosecuted under the federal statute. In September 2005, a Missouri theater employee pleaded guilty to two counts of using a camcorder to copy two movies.
FIND THE REGAL CINEMAS IN YOUR AREA TO
THE MYTH OF BREATH TESTS
RADLEY BALKO, HIT & RUN - A local CBS television reporter went drinking to test various personal blood-alcohol devices. She found a wide disparity in readings among the different brands, showing I guess that you really shouldn't trust the things. What she fails to do, though, is ask why courts are then so reliant on them. She brought some patrol officers with her, and measured her results against the device she describes as "court-approved." But she never really questions whether or not that one is accurate. She then says that the police officers who helped her with the story told her that "how a drinker scores in a field sobriety test is the real measure of inebriation." In fact, this simply isn't true. The standard field sobriety test was adopted by NHTSA after one poorly administered test on 238 subjects in 1977. It's never been peer reviewed. One forensic expert in Georgia gave the test to 21 of his students, none of whom had a drop to drink. He then showed video of the tests to a group of police officers. They said they'd arrest nearly half of them.
LAWRENCE TAYLOR, DUI BLOG - Unique among criminal offenses, a citizen accused of drunk driving faces trial by machine. . . Prosecutors continue to assure jurors that these state-of-the-art breathalyzers are highly accurate scientific instruments - so accurate and reliable that they can feel comfortable finding the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based solely upon the machine. . . Just how accurate and reliable are these "state-of-the-art" breath machines?
Not very, according to internal documents from the State of Virginia's Department of Forensic Science.
Attorney Robert F. Keefer of Harrisonburg, Virginia, filed a demand under the Freedom of Information Act for records concerning the machine used in that state, the Intoxilyzer 5000 (the most commonly used machine in the country over the past 15 years. . . The following are direct quotes from those documents:
"Funding of this request will allow the agency to replace instruments (Intoxilyer 5000 instruments) that are 9-10 years old and for which replacements are not available. These instruments are outdated and the manufacturer is no longer maintaining parts and not capable of fully supporting them since current instruments demonstrate two further generations of technological advancement."
In response to the request form's question, "What are the expected results to be achieved if this request is funded?", the following response was given:
"To replace outdated, unstable and unreliable breath alcohol instrumentation used by police officers throughout the Commonwealth to certify whether a driver is or is not impaired."
Unstable and unreliable. But do you think this is what prosecutors in Virginia tell juries? Of course not
WHY HATE CRIME LAWS AREN'T A GOOD IDEA
GLOBE & MAIL, CANADA - The Vatican's official newspaper accused an Italian comedian on Wednesday of "terrorism" for criticizing the Pope and warned his rhetoric could fuel a return to 1970s-style political violence. In an unusually strongly worded editorial, L'Osservatore Romano said a presenter of a televised May Day rock concert, which is sponsored by Italy's labour unions, had launched "vile attacks" on Pope Benedict in front of an "excitable crowd". "This, too, is terrorism. It's terrorism to launch attacks on the Church," it said. "It's terrorism to stoke blind and irrational rage against someone who always speaks in the name of love, love for life and love for man."
THE LIBERAL WAR ON FREE SPEECH
IT'S hard enough defending the First Amendment against the right. But these days one is almost as often likely to find the foe a liberal who believes that free speech only belongs to the righteous, the appropriate and the responsible as defined by people like themselves.
In today's liberal climate it would be hard to get an ACLU off the ground because its potential organizers would be too busy being morally superior to lesser mortals.
The only way out of this trap seems to be to choose among the censors. Do you want liberals or conservatives telling you when to shut up? Those of us who share Walt Kelly's view that we must defend the basic right of all Americans to make damn fools of themselves are in a minority in both camps.
A case in point is the despicable Ann Coulter, who has called John Edwards a "faggot" and suggested that Al Qaeda wants Obama to win the White House.
John Edwards reaction: "Her outrageous comments are inexcusable and should not be tolerated in the public dialogue."
Would attorney Edwards care to enlighten us on what Coulter could have said that would have been tolerated? Would it have been all right to call Edwards a "wimp" or to claim that a President Obama might weaken our stand against Al Qaeda? And how does one discover when the line of inexcusability has been crossed?
The Democrats are also pressing for an expansion of hate crime legislation even though it is clearly constitutional to hate; it's just criminal to do anything about it that hurts someone or their property - matters already well covered by law.
There are other problems with such an approach. It helps to drive hate further underground. It makes it harder to deal with in its political and psychological manifestations and, above all, it helps let off the hook all those related issues such as cross-ethnic economic inequities. Far better, say, to guide angry lower income white frustrations away from blaming immigrants towards tackling the big white guys in charge than implying - as liberals increasingly do - that if they're just nice to people everything will be fine.
Unfortunately, liberals increasingly have become indifferent to the economic issues that a populist progressive would use to redirect misplaced anger. The liberal message has become one of propriety over progress and in the end you get neither.
Since Edwards presumably is trying to learn as much about populism as he has about hedge funds, here's a suggestion. Say that Coulter can utter any stupid and mean thing she wants but if she does it on radio or TV, under an Edwards presidency there will be a revival of the broadcast fairness rule so that her victims can come right back at her on the same outlet. And talk about Coulter's ties with the big businesses that are ruining the lives and communities of so many Americans.
Broadcasting didn't used to be this nasty. But the robber barons of the RBCB era* worked their evil magic on the airwaves just as they did on everything else. They killed the fairness doctrine and fostered the rise of the repulsive right.
In the end, what we need is not less free speech but more of it.
* RBCB is the Progressive Review's neologism of the day, standing for the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush era
200TH WRONGFUL CONVICTION PROVEN BY DNA
EZEKIEL EDWARDS, DMI BLOG - How can you simultaneously be one of the unluckiest and luckiest men in America? Ask Jerry Miller, who became the 200th person exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing. 200 people arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and sent to prison for years (14 of whom had been sentenced to death), eventually to have their innocence established by scientific proof. 200 people who served a total of 2,475 years in prison, almost one million nights, for crimes they did not commit.
When Jerry Miller was 22 years old, the police picked him up after an officer said he resembled a composite sketch of a Chicago rapist. He was tried and convicted on the basis of the victim's subsequent misidentification, and served 24 years in prison before being released last year on parole. Since his release, he has lived as a registered sex offender, required to wear an electronic monitoring device at all times and prohibited from being alone with children or leaving his job for lunch. For more than a quarter of a century, he maintained his innocence. Through representation by the Innocence Project, Mr. Miller was able to secure a court order for testing DNA evidence in his case. The results: none of the forensic evidence came from Mr. Miller. . .
Just since 2000, there have been 135 DNA-based exonerations. There have been 27 in Illinois alone. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, considering that in many of the older cases where there was DNA evidence, it has been lost, destroyed, or consumed by original testing.
More disturbingly, the vast majority of crimes do not involve forensic evidence. Take robbery cases, for example: there are far more robbery cases than murder or rape cases; they are highly susceptible to misidentification; and they almost never involve forensic evidence, meaning that there are thousands of prisoners who are precluded from ever even having the chance to scientifically establish their innocence. So, despite the 200 exonerations, these cases are only a sliver of the nation's "innocence" cases, falling into a small category of almost exclusively murder and rape cases in which there was DNA evidence, and enough of it, and locatable, and which a court deemed appropriate for testing. This would be troubling in any criminal justice system, but none more so than In a country with 2.3 million people behind bars. . .
MINNESOTA SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN RED LIGHT CAMS
THE NEWSPAPER - The Minnesota Supreme Court delivered the highest-level court rebuke to photo enforcement to date with a unanimous decision against the Minneapolis red light camera program. The high court upheld last September's Court of Appeals decision that found the city's program had violated state law.
The supreme court found that Minneapolis had disregarded a state law imposing uniformity of traffic laws across the state. The city's photo ticket program offered the accused fewer due process protections than available to motorists prosecuted for the same offense in the conventional way after having been pulled over by a policeman. The court argued that Minneapolis had, in effect, created a new type of crime: "owner liability for red-light violations where the owner neither required nor knowingly permitted the violation."
"We emphasized in Duffy that a driver must be able to travel throughout the state without the risk of violating an ordinance with which he is not familiar," the court wrote. . .
The court also struck down the "rebutable presumption" doctrine that lies at the heart of every civil photo enforcement ordinance across the country.
"The problem with the presumption that the owner was the driver is that it eliminates the presumption of innocence and shifts the burden of proof from that required by the rules of criminal procedure," the court concluded. "Therefore the ordinance provides less procedural protection to a person charged with an ordinance violation than is provided to a person charged with a violation of the Act. Accordingly, the ordinance conflicts with the Act and is invalid."
US ATTORNEYS: IT'S NOT THE POLITICS BUT THE LACK OF LIMITS
THE ASSUMPTION that the appointment and character of US Attorneys are traditionally free of politics - like, say, federal judges - is a nice one but can find little encouragement in American history.
In fact, both US Attorney and federal judges are patronage appointments. This patronage power is limited by a number of factors such as, in the case of judges, a lifetime appointment, the need for Senate confirmation and the ratings of the American Bar Association.
For U.S. attorneys the control has traditionally been confirmation by the Senate, a limited term (four years but typically the life of an administration), and the need for approval by any US Senator of the president's party in the state where the US Attorney will be assigned.
Neither of these systems has worked as well as the establishment would have us believe, sometimes for reasons unrelated to national politics. For example, one study found that the cities in which US Attorney enforced drugs laws the least were Las Vegas and Nashville. Obviously, local politics plays a role.
In the case of the Bush firings, the problem was not that the decisions were political but that they were made in the middle of a term after confirmation protection was surreptitiously excised by the Patriot Act.
Part of the reason the US Attorney system has worked as well as it has is because once power has been assigned, the exercise of that power has been largely devolved to the US Attorney's office with a few notable exceptions in both Republican and Democratic administrations. As with other matters of patronage, a partial cure - the best that can be hoped for - is not in grand principles but in the checks that are applied. What the Bush regime did was to dump these checks with predicable results.
Much as it offends purists, one partial solution is to revive the power that US Senators once had over the US Attorney appointments. Such patronage power at the very least spreads the potential for evil around rather than, as Bush would prefer, leaving it all up to him.
Another, more radical approach, would be the suggestion that Ernie Fitzgerald and I made some time back: the election of the U.S. Attorney General - and than granting the AG some role in the naming of U.S. Attorneys. Strange as this may seem, the election of a reform-minded local district attorney has been one of the most effective approaches in dealing with urban corruption and might well have the same effect on the national level. Instead of having one highly ambitious politician in the White House you would have two such politicians in Washington, with one always worried about what the other would find looking through the files
ELECTING AN ATTORNEY GENERAL
WHY EXCESSIVE INCARCERATION DOESN'T WORK
EZEKIEL EDWARDS, DMI BLOG - The number of inmates incarcerated for drug possession between 1980 and 2005 grew by more than 1000% and now cost $8.3 billion dollars every year. As a result, between 1985 and 2004, states increased spending on corrections by 202%, while spending on public assistance decreased by more than 60%, and spending on higher education, Medicaid, and secondary/elementary education grew by just 3%, 47 %, and 55% respectively.
With an eye towards our prison epidemic, the Vera Institute of Justice released a report recently on imprisonment in America titled "Reconsidering Incarceration: New Directions for Reducing Crime". Here is a summary of its findings:
- Research shows that while the U.S. experienced a dramatic drop in crime between 1992 and 1997, imprisonment was responsible for just 25% of that reduction.
- The remaining 75% was caused by other factors, including lower unemployment, higher wages, more education, more high school graduates, fewer young persons in the population, increase in the number of police officers (provided that the number of police did not necessarily translate into more arrests), and decreases in crack cocaine markets.
- The impact of incarceration on crime is inconsistent from one study to the next (research suggests that a 10% increase in incarceration could lead to no difference in the crime rate, or a 22% decrease, or a decrease only in property crime). The most consistent figure is that a 10% increase in imprisonment results in a 2% to 4% drop in crime rates.
- Researchers focusing on specific neighborhoods found that more incarceration can actually increase crime rates, arguing that "high rates of imprisonment break down the social and family bonds that guide individuals away from crime, remove adults who would otherwise nurture children, deprive communities of income, reduce future income potential, and engender a deep resentment toward the legal system. As a result, as communities become less capable of maintaining social order through families or social groups, crime rates go up."
-Increases in prison populations in states which already have large prison populations have less impact on crime (and eventually begin to increase crime rates) than in states with smaller prison populations.
- Analysts are nearly unanimous in their conclusion that continued growth in incarceration will prevent considerably fewer, if any, crimes, and at substantially greater costs to taxpayers.
- The more employment, the less crime. Imprisonment reduces employment, and hence can foster more crime. "Incarceration creates problems of low earnings and irregular employment for individuals after release from prison by dissuading employers from hiring them, disqualifying them from certain professions, eroding job skills, limiting acquisition from work experience, creating behaviors inconsistent with work routines outside prison, and undermining social connections to good job opportunities." Moreover, employers may shun neighborhoods with high incarceration rates, and prison can generate connections to illegal rather than legal employment. . .
- Research showed that a 10% increase in real wages produced significant decreases in both real property and violent crime.
- An increase in citizens' education levels were associated with lower crime rates . . . Researchers argued that a 1% increase in male high school graduation rates would save the country $1.4 billion through crime reduction. Moreover, prison-based education programs were found to dramatically reduce recidivism rates. . .
THE ABUSE OF ROADBLOCKS
RADLEY BALKO, REASON - Police in Escondido recently set up a DUI roadblock from 6pm to 12am. The tally:
1,600 cars stopped,
931 drivers screened,
82 drivers pulled aside for extra scrutiny,
32 vehicles impounded,
52 tickets issued to drivers other than those whose vehicles were impounded,
and, drum-roll please....
...one DUI arrest.
Given that the Supreme Court has only ruled on the legitimacy of roadblock checkpoints for DUI policing (it has declared them illegal for the purposes of drug policing, for example), you have to wonder at what point what these roadblocks are achieving in practice begins to make them constitutionally dubious, despite the fact that their stated purpose may be.
THE HUMAN COST OF NO KNOCK RAIDS
DAVID BORDEN, DRUG WAR CHRONICLE - One of the regularly repeating outrages in the drug war is that of innocent people terrorized, physically harmed or killed in drug raids gone bad. Retired Boston minister Accelyne Williams, felled by a heart attack after a SWAT-style squadron battered his door down and tackled him to the floor; 23-year old Anthony Diotaiuto, shot ten times by a SWAT team in Sunrise, Florida; Harlem's Alberta Spruill, dead from a heart attack after police detonated a flash grenade in her home; many others, from many places, their lives and deaths touching many others far and wide.
No-knock drug raids are demonstrably dangerous, carrying a predictable risk of injury or death to innocent or otherwise undeserving victims. Nevertheless, police forces around the country continue with their immorally reckless ways despite the continuing carnage. This week's Supreme Court ruling, then, paving the way for even more such behavior, is especially unfortunate. Though there is still technically a distinction between regular and "no-knock" warrants, a majority on the court has decided there should be no penalty -- no exclusion of evidence -- when police forces without authorization to do a no-knock raid go ahead and do one. Without such a penalty, and with no criminal penalties attaching to levels of recklessness by police officers that would land any ordinary citizen behind bars or in civil court facing liability of millions, the problem is bound to increase.
POLICE USE TORTURE GUN ON STUDENT WHO FAILS TO SHOW ID IN LIBRARY
SARA TAYLOR DAILY BRUIN - An incident in which a UCLA student was stunned at least four times with a Taser has left the UCLA community questioning whether the university police officers' use of force was an appropriate response to the situation. Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was repeatedly stunned with a Taser and then taken into custody when he did not exit the CLICC Lab in Powell Library in a timely manner. Community Service Officers had asked Tabatabainejad to leave after he failed to produce his BruinCard during a random check at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. UCPD Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Young said the checks are a standard procedure in the library after 11 p.m. . .
Young said the CSOs on duty in the library at the time went to get UCPD officers when Tabatabainejad did not immediately leave, and UCPD officers resorted to use of the Taser when Tabatabainejad did not do as he was told.
A six-minute video showed Tabatabainejad audibly screaming in pain as he was stunned several times with a Taser, each time for three to five seconds. He was told repeatedly to stand up and stop fighting, and was told that if he did not do so he would "get Tased again.". . .
The officers used the "drive stun" setting in the Taser, which delivers a shock to a specific part of the body with the front of the Taser, Young said. . .
According to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal in 2001, a charge of three to five seconds can result in immobilization for five to 15 minutes, which would mean that Tabatabainejad could have been physically unable to stand when the officers demanded that he do so.
"It is a real mistake to treat a Taser as some benign thing that painlessly brings people under control," said Peter Eliasberg, managing attorney at the ACLU of Southern California. "The Taser can be incredibly violent and result in death," Eliasberg said.
According to an ACLU report, 148 people in the United States and Canada have died as a result of the use of Tasers since 1999.
VIDEO OF INCIDENT
NYC POLICE CHIEF DECLARES WAR ON DEMONSTRATORS
RUSSELL BERMAN, NY SUN - The New York City Bar Association is coming out against a Police Department proposal to regulate protests by groups of 10 or more pedestrians or bicyclists. The proposals, which the department revised after criticism over the summer, would require parade permits from groups of 10 or more pedestrians or bicyclists who plan to travel more than two city blocks without obeying traffic laws. The police also want to mandate permits for any organized procession of 30 or more vehicles, including bicycles, regardless of whether they follow traffic laws.
In testimony to be submitted at a public hearing today, the bar association said the department's new definition of a "parade" that requires a permit is "a serious and unwarranted infringement on associational freedom." Urging that the proposals be withdrawn, the association said the City Council - and not the police - should regulate parade permits. . . The plans have been seen as an attempt to crack down on the frequent "Critical Mass" bike rides that take over city streets. The New York Civil Liberties Union also is opposing the new rules. "There is no justification for them, and they impose an onerous burden on protest," the executive director of the NYCLU, Donna Lieberman, said yesterday.
UK COPS TO HAVE CAMERAS IN HEADGEAR
REGISTER, UK - Police officers in London have begun to use a camera mounted on their headgear. . . Officers in the 19 safer neighborhood teams in the Haringey area have been issued with eight cameras, each the size of an AA battery, that record video images to a special utility belt. They are activated by a switch on the belt. The equipment, which costs around L1,800 per pack. . . can store up to 12 hours of video. An extra battery pack can extend this to up to 400 hours, although this makes the equipment much heavier.
HOUSTON POLICE ABUSE DEMONSTRATORS SUPPORTING JANITORS' UNION
ANNA DENISE SOLIS, HOUSTON - We sat down in the intersection and the horses came immediately. It was really violent. They arrested us, and when we got to jail, we were pretty beat up. Not all of us got the medical attention we needed. The worst was a protester named Julia, who is severely diabetic. We kept telling the guards about her condition but they only gave her a piece of candy. During roll call, she started to complain about light-headedness. Finally she just collapsed unconscious on the floor. It was like she just dropped dead. The guard saw it but just kept going through the roll. Susan ran over there and took her pulse while the other inmates were yelling for help, saying we need to call somebody. The medical team strolled over, taking their own sweet time. She was unconscious for like 4 or 5 minutes.
They really tried to break us down. The first night they put the temperature so high that a woman - one of the other inmates - had a seizure. The second night they made it freezing and took away many of our blankets. We didn't have access to the cots so we had to sleep on a concrete floor. When we would finally fall asleep the guards would come and yell 'Are you Anna Denise Solas? Are you so and so?' One of the protesters had a fractured wrist from the horses. She had a cast on and when she would fall asleep the guard would kick the cast to wake her up. She was in a lot of pain.
The guards would tell us: 'This is what you get for protesting.' One of them said, 'Who gives a shit about janitors making 5 dollars an hour? Lots of people make that much.' The other inmates - there were a lot of prostitutes in there - said that they had never seen the jail this bad. The guards told them: 'We're trying to teach the protesters a lesson.' Nobody was getting out of jail because the processing was so slow. They would tell the prostitutes that everything is the protesters' fault. They were trying to turn everybody against each other.
I felt like I was in some Third World jail, not in America. One of the guards called us 'whores' and if we talked back, we didn't get any lunch. We didn't even have the basic necessities. It felt like a police state, like marshal law, nobody had rights. Some of us had been arrested in other cities, and it was never this bad before.
AVERAGE BRIT FILMED MORE THAN 300 TIMES A DAY; RECORDING CONVERSATIONS NEXT
TIMES, UK - The microphones can detect conversations 100 yards away and record aggressive exchanges before they become violent. The devices are used at 300 sites in Holland and police, councils and transport officials in London have shown an interest in installing them before the 2012 Olympics. The interest in the equipment comes amid growing concern that Britain is becoming a "surveillance society". It was recently highlighted that there are more than 4.2m CCTV cameras, with the average person being filmed more than 300 times a day. The addition of microphones would take surveillance into uncharted territory. . .
The equipment can pick up aggressive tones on the basis of 12 factors, including decibel level, pitch and the speed at which words are spoken. Background noise is filtered out, enabling the camera to focus on specific conversations in public places.
If the aggressive behavior continues, police can intervene before an incident escalates. Privacy laws in Holland limit the recording of sound to short bursts. Derek van der Vorst, director of Sound Intelligence, the company that created the technology, said: "It is technically capable of being live 24 hours a day and recording 24 hours a day. It really depends on the privacy laws in a particular country."
COMING: A MICROCHIP IN EVERY CITIZEN
KEVIN HAGGERTY, TORONTO STAR - By the time my four-year-old son is swathed in the soft flesh of old age, he will likely find it unremarkable that he and almost everyone he knows will be permanently implanted with a microchip. Automatically tracking his location in real time, it will connect him with databases monitoring and recording his smallest behavioral traits. . .
A select group of people are already "chipped" with devices that automatically open doors, turn on lights, and perform other low-level miracles. . .
From this point forward, microchips will become progressively smaller, less invasive, and easier to deploy. Thus, any realistic barrier to the wholesale "chipping" of Western citizens is not technological but cultural. It relies upon the visceral reaction against the prospect of being personally marked as one component in a massive human inventory.
NORTHCOM'S WAR PLANS AGAINST. . . YOU
PETER BYRNE, BYRNE REPORT - On Oct. 26, the Army released an updated field manual for Soldiers called "Urban Operations." The manual declares, "The goal of modern warfare is control of the populace." That goal applies to domestic as well as foreign operations: "From the mid-1950s through the 1990s, the Army conducted UO [urban operations] in the U.S. . . . during civil unrest and anti-Vietnam [War] protests." Urban warfare doctrine targets poor inner city neighborhoods for destruction and occupation whether they are in Third World countries or festering inside the homeland. "Urban Operations" warn Soldiers that youth gangs in Los Angeles, known collectively as "Threats," temporarily united to fight soldiers during the policing of the Rodney King riots in 1992. Ignoring the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which generally prohibits soldiers from acting as law enforcers, the manual calls for "full spectrum" urban operations (led by NORTHCOM), which combine law enforcement and military operations with air support against the Threat flavor of the day. "Urban Operations" makes it clear that, as in Fallujah, Panama City and occupied Palestine, sections of rebellious cities will be exploded by air strikes or plastic explosives because "rubble piles provide excellent covered and concealed positions" for invading soldiers. "Shantytowns" may be "knock[ed] down and traversed [by tanks] without affecting mobility at all." Destruction of neighborhoods and vital infrastructure is termed "a necessary shaping operation." It is done to keep "insurgents" from merging with and politically mobilizing the populace. . . As a final warning, Soldiers are reminded that video only has one-way benefits: "[N]egative visual images of military operations presented by the media can change political objectives. . . . Commanders should . . . induce cooperation between the media and Army forces . . . successfully engaging the media as a force multiplier." And that is why you knew little or nothing about NORTHCOM and Global Hawk until today. Force multipliers don't report on those things.
PENTAGON SPIED ON CHURCHES
NY TIMES - An antiterrorist database used by the Defense Department in an effort to prevent attacks against military installations included intelligence tips about antiwar planning meetings held at churches, libraries, college campuses and other locations, newly disclosed documents show. . .
One tip in the database in February 2005, for instance, noted that "a church service for peace" would be held in the New York City area the next month. Another entry noted that antiwar protesters would be holding "nonviolence training" sessions at unidentified churches in Brooklyn and Manhattan. . .
Ben Wizner, a lawyer for the A.C.L.U. in New York, said the new documents suggested that the military's efforts to glean intelligence on protesters went beyond what was previously known. If intelligence officials "are going to be doing investigations or monitoring in a place where people gather to worship or to study, they should have a pretty clear indication that a crime has occurred," Mr. Wizner added.
JERRY SEPER, WASHINGTON TIMES - President Bush lacks the constitutional authority to designate groups and persons as terrorists under a post-September 11 executive order, according to a federal judge in Los Angeles. U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins, in a challenge brought by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of the Humanitarian Law Project, said a Sept. 24, 2001, executive order naming 27 groups and persons as "specially designated global terrorists" allowed no way for those designated to challenge the ruling. In a 45-page ruling, Judge Collins said the executive order "contains no definable criteria" to constrain the president's use of it, and, as a result, "is unconstitutionally vague on its face." She said the order is subject only to Mr. Bush's "unfettered discretion." The judge also said the order "contains no definable criteria for designating individuals and groups as SDGTs," and improperly gives the secretary of the Treasury the power to impose penalties for "mere association" with the groups.
SAM HOWE VERHOVEK, LA TIMES - A misidentified fingerprint cost federal taxpayers $2 million and led to an unusual formal apology to Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim lawyer in Oregon whom the FBI says it wrongly named as a suspect in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. The federal government "regrets that it mistakenly linked Mr. Mayfield to this attack," according to the apology issued by the Justice Department. It added that the FBI had implemented measures to "ensure that what happened to Mr. Mayfield and the Mayfield family does not happen again." But Mayfield, who under the settlement can still proceed with a legal challenge to the controversial Patriot Act, said the nightmare he endured could happen to someone else. . . The case highlighted the error potential for fingerprint matching, which some experts say is unacceptably high.
SPY CHIPS IN CREDIT CARDS COULD BE READ FROM A DISTANCE
CASPIAN - The New York Times reports that a team of security researchers has found that virtually every one of these cards tested is vulnerable to unauthorized charges and puts consumers at risk for identity theft.
Radio Frequency Identification is a controversial technology that uses tiny microchips to transmit information at a distance. These RFID microchips have earned the nickname "spy chips" because the data they contain can be read silently and invisibly by radio waves without an individual's knowledge or consent. The technology has long been the target of criticism by privacy and civil liberties groups.
"For these financial institutions to put RFID in credit cards, one of the most sensitive items we carry, is absolute lunacy," said Dr. Katherine Albrecht, founder and director of CASPIAN, a consumer group with over 12,000 members in 30 countries worldwide.
Researchers are showing how a thief could skim information from the cards right through purses, backpacks and wallets. This information includes the cardholder's name, credit card number, expiration date and other data that would be sufficient to make unauthorized purchases. They say the information could even be used to identify and track people, a scenario Albrecht and co-author Liz McIntyre lay out in their book, "Spy chips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Purchase and Watch Your Every Move."
Despite earlier assurances by the issuing companies that the data contained in the credit cards would be secure, researchers found that the majority of cards they tested did not use encryption or protect the data in any way. The information on them was readily available to unauthorized parties using equipment that could be assembled for as little as $50, the researchers said.
"We cautioned companies against using item-level RFID, and they didn't heed us. Now the credit card industry is facing an unprecedented PR and financial disaster," says McIntyre, who is also a former bank examiner. She points to the astronomical cost to replace the cards, not to mention the potential financial losses, litigation expenses, and erosion of consumer trust.
CASPIAN is advising consumers to
immediately remove the credit cards from their wallets and call
DIRECTIVE SHOWS BUSH OKAYED TORTURE
NY TIMES - The CIA has acknowledged for the first time the existence of two classified documents, including a directive signed by President George W. Bush, that have guided the agency's interrogation and detention of terror suspects. The CIA referred to the documents in a letter sent last Friday from the agency's associate general counsel, John McPherson, to lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union.
The contents of the documents were not revealed, but one of them is "a directive signed by President Bush granting the CIA the authority to set up detention facilities outside the United States and outlining interrogation methods that may be used against detainees," the civil liberties union said, based on its review of published accounts.
The second document, according to the group, is a Justice Department legal analysis "specifying interrogation methods that the CIA may use against top Al Qaeda members. . .
LEAHY TO TRY TO RESTORE HABEAS CORPUS
CALIFORNIA DAILY JOURNAL - An effort to restore habeas corpus rights for enemy combatants could be the first test of the Democrats' resolve to change course in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who is expected to become chairman, confirmed Thursday that he is drafting a bill to undo portions of a recently passed law that prevent terrorism detainees from going to federal court to challenge the government's right to hold them indefinitely.
"It was crazy," [Leahy] said during an interview broadcast Wednesday on National Public Radio. "After 200 years of habeas corpus, we threw it out after just a few hours of debate."
He has also voiced concern that the bill allows the White House to determine what kinds of coercive interrogation procedures are off-limits. . .
As for the "terrorist surveillance program," the fight isn't over. Leahy said to the Associated Press:
"We have been asked to make sweeping and fundamental changes in law for reasons that we do not know and in order to legalize secret, unlawful actions that the administration has refused to fully divulge....If legislation is needed for judicial review, then we should write that legislation together, in a bipartisan and thoughtful way."...
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - Almost half of Canadians and even more Americans feel security laws passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington are "intrusive," according to a survey just published. The study by Queen's University researchers in Kingston, Ontario, examined the surveillance and privacy attitudes of 9,000 people from eight countries. . . "Fifty-seven percent of Americans and 47 percent of Canadians said that these laws are intrusive," he said. . . Sixty percent of Chinese, Hungarians, Brazilians, and Canadians, but only a third of Americans rejected extra airport security checks for visible minorities. A majority, except in the United States, also supported the implementation of national identification cards -- 78 percent were in favor in France, 77 percent in China, 53 percent in Canada, and 42 percent in the United States.
MOST AMERICANS DON'T CARE ABOUT CIVIL LIBERTIES COLLAPSE
CNN - Most Americans do not believe the Bush administration has gone too far in restricting civil liberties as part of the war on terror, a new CNN poll released Thursday suggests. While 39 percent of the 1,013 poll respondents said the Bush administration has gone too far, 34 percent said they believe the administration has been about right on the restrictions, according to the Opinion Research Corp. survey. Another 25 percent said the administration has not gone far enough.
Asked whether Bush has more power than any other U.S. president, 65 percent of poll respondents said no. Thirty-three percent said yes. Of those who said yes, a quarter said that was bad for the country.
ORWELL'S HOMELAND SHOWS US THE FUTURE
JASON BENNETTO, INDEPENDENT, U K - Britain has sleepwalked into becoming a surveillance society that increasingly intrudes into our private lives and impacts on everyday activities, the head of the information watchdog warns.
New technology and "invisible" techniques are being used to gather a growing amount of information about UK citizens. The level of surveillance will grow even further in the next 10 years, which could result in a growing number of people being discriminated against and excluded from society, says a report by the Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas. . .
The major surveillance techniques include:
- Video cameras monitoring buildings, shopping streets and residential areas. Automatic systems can now recognise vehicle number plates and faces.
- Software that analyses spending habits and the data sold to businesses. When we call service centres or apply for loans, insurance or mortgages, how quickly we are served and what we are offered can depend on what we spend, where we live and who we are.
- Electronic tags to monitor offenders on probation.
- DNA taken from those arrested by the police and placed on a database.
- Information stored about foreign travel.
- Smart cards in schools to determine where children are, what they eat or the books they borrow.
- Taps on telephones, e-mails and internet use that can screened for key words and phrases by British and US intelligence services. . .
The group of academics who compiled the report have also predicted future trends in surveillance in the next decade. The include:
- Shoppers being scanned as they enter stores. This will be matched with loyalty card data to affect how they are handled, with big spenders given preferential treatment over others.
- Cars linked to global satellite navigation systems which will provide the quickest route to avoid congestion and allow police to monitor speed and to track selected cars.
- Employees subjected to biometric and psychometric tests plus lifestyle profiles with diagnostic health tests common place. Jobs are refused to those who are seen as a health risk.
- Schools using card systems to allow parents to monitor what their children eat, their attendance, academic and drug test results
- Facial recognition systems to monitor our movements using tiny cameras in lampposts and walls, and unmanned aircraft above.
BRITAIN UNDER SURVEILLANCE
- The national DNA database holds profiles on about 3.5 million people.
- There are an estimated 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain: one for every 14 people.
- Since 2002 there have been more than 8 million criminal records checks for jobs, of which around 400,000 contained convictions or police intelligence information.
- There are plans to expand capacity to read vehicle number plates from 35 million reads per day to 50 million by 2008.
- Some 216 catalogue companies in the UK are signed up to the Abacus data-sharing consortium, with information on 26 million individuals.
- The database of fingerprints contains nearly 6 million sets of prints.
- An individual can be captured on more than 300 cameras each day.
- By the end of 2002 law enforcement bodies had made more than 400,000 requests for data from mobile network operators.
- The number of motorists caught by speed cameras rose from 300,000 in 1996 to over 2 million in 2004.
- In the year to April 2005 some 631 adults and 5,751 juveniles were electronically tagged.
BUSH SIGNS LAW GIVING HIMSELF
DICTATORIAL POWERS UNDER MARTIAL LAW
SEC. 1076. USE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES.
(a) Use of the Armed Forces Authorized-
ID PROGRAM WILL COST STATES $11 BILLION
DARRYL FEARS WASHINGTON - The cost to consumers for helping to secure America became clearer yesterday as a coalition of state groups tallied the bill for implementing the Real ID Act and federal officials divulged the price that some of its workers must pay for new smart cards. In a report released by the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, state motor vehicle officials estimated it would cost more than $11 billion over five years to implement the technology required by the Real ID Act. . .
Under the law, states must start to re-enroll about 250 million holders of U.S. driver's licenses after May 2008. The states must train workers to verify copies of original birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage certificates and various identification documents.
"The days of going to the DMV and getting your license on the same day are probably over," said David Quam, director of federal relations for the National Governors Association. "You'll have to take all your documents as if you were applying for the first time. What this comes down to is that more people will be in DMV offices spending more time to get an ID."
DAVID LYKKEN AND THE POLYGRAPH MYTH
SECRECY NEWS - David T. Lykken, a psychologist who did pioneering research and public education on the limits and abuses of polygraph testing, died last week at age 78. With exceptional clarity he demonstrated that the polygraph is not a "lie detector" but simply a recorder of physiological responses to verbal stimuli. And, he explained, there is no set of physiological responses that corresponds uniquely to deception.
That does not mean the polygraph is worthless. There is empirical evidence to support its use in the investigation of specific incidents, where "guilty knowledge" of particular details may be usefully revealed by the polygraph.
"The use of the [polygraph] by the police as an investigative tool, while subject to abuse like any other tool, is not inherently objectionable," Lykken wrote.
(Not only that, "It seems reasonable to conclude that whether O.J. Simpson did or did not kill his wife could have been determined with high confidence using a Guilty Knowledge Test administered within hours after he was first in police custody.")
On the other hand, he said, the use of the polygraph for security screening of personnel, as is commonly done by U.S. intelligence agencies, cannot reliably achieve its purported goal of identifying spies or traitors and in many cases becomes counterproductive. . .
It is a sign of our times that the scientific critique of polygraph testing has gained almost no traction on government policy. To the contrary, the use of the polygraph to perform the sort of screening that Lykken termed a "menace in American life" is actually on the rise.
"From FY 2002 through 2005, the FBI, DEA, and ATF conducted approximately 28,000 pre-employment polygraph examinations" as well as tens of thousands more for other purposes, according to a major new report from the Justice Department Inspector General.
COMMUNITY BASED JUSTICE COMES TO THE BRONX
AUBREY FOX, BRONX COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS - After decades of cynicism about rehabilitative approaches in the criminal justice system, in the last fifteen years there's been a remarkable resurgence of creative court experiments to address problems like drug addiction, mental illness, juvenile delinquency and quality-of-life crime, as well as a new focus on improving court-community relationships. . .
Problem-solving courts have been around since 1989 (when the first drug court was created in Dade County, Florida), and they've reached a particularly interesting crossroads: the approach is starting to attract the attention of the traditional court system.
That's where Bronx Community Solutions comes in - it's an attempt to take the best of problem-solving experiments and see if they can work in a traditional court setting, as opposed to a stand-alone problem-solving court. . .
So what have we learned after 18 months of implementing Bronx Community Solutions?
I think the good news for other jurisdictions interested in adopting problem-solving approaches in a traditional court setting (as opposed to creating stand-alone specialty courts) is how much bang for your buck you can get from relatively modest changes.
Most jurisdictions use community service as a sentencing alternative: what we've done is add social service to the mix. Most jurisdictions need to get through their arraignment calendar quickly: our method for screening cases doesn't effect the speed at which the court gets its work done. We also don't ask court players to abandon the adversarial model, which means that the legal rights or defendants aren't being sacrificed in the name of rehabilitation.
The two areas where we've dramatically changed (or are trying to change) practice in the Bronx is by creating an in-house social service clinic, staffed by a team of social workers making connections to community-based agencies in the Bronx, and attempting to forge new links between the courts and the community though a Community Advisory Board. These are areas that require an up-front investment of time and money to get right.
One final note: it's important to note that problem-solving court projects like Bronx Community Solutions are not only about helping low-level offenders. They are also about punishing them appropriately and ensuring some accountability for communities hit hardest by quality-of-life crime.
The ability to appeal to both sides of the ideological spectrum is another advantage of problem-solving courts, but it also means we cut against the grain of popular depictions of the criminal justice system as too punitive. When you work in a large urban criminal court like the Bronx, it's easy to be shocked by how little low-level crime gets punished, not the opposite.
We think it's appropriate to expect that low-level offenders, particularly those who are getting arrested again and again, can change their behavior (with a little help from us) or at least "pay back" the community through a court obligation like community service.
- All judges in the Bronx will have a broad set of sentencing options at their disposal, including drug treatment, job training, family services and mental health counseling.
- Offenders will be assigned to community service work in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx. Project staff will work with residents and community groups to create community service options that respond to local problems (for example, trash in a local park or walls marred by graffiti).
-By quickly assigning offenders to social service and community service sentences, and rigorously monitoring their compliance, Bronx Community Solutions will send the message that community-based sanctions are taken seriously.
- Bronx Community Solutions invites community groups and local residents to play a number of concrete roles in ongoing operations, including identifying hot spots and eye sores for community service projects, and participating in a neighborhood advisory board.
Since the project began pilot operations in January 2005, nearly 4,000 individuals have been assigned to perform community restitution and receive social services through Bronx Community Solutions. It is expected that the program will handle upwards of 10,000 cases annually when fully operational.
BENJAMIN SMITH, BRONX COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS - The Bronx Community Solutions community service crew was about to embark on its toughest challenge yet: helping the Mount Hope Housing Corporation haul a dumpster's worth of garbage out of an heavily overgrown, formerly abandoned lot. . . While Mount Hope was excited to get our help, we were equally excited to have the opportunity to experiment with a different model of community service. For the first time in the Bronx, we were partnering with a local non-profit to assist in visible and tangible efforts to improve safety and neighborhood quality of life. . .
But to our clients, this was a day of court-ordered community service. They weren't sure what to expect, and mostly they were just hoping to get their mandate done. A typical day of community service is light work: mostly sweeping and picking up litter in public parks, sidewalks, and streets. Today, we would be cleaning a formerly abandoned lot piled high with trash. . .
After bagging a huge amount of trash and hauling it off the site, it was obvious to everyone that we had really accomplished something. Although they'd been skeptical at first, our clients were saying things like, "I'm going to come back a year from now and make sure they finish this project." "This is my neighborhood. I can't believe how much trash people dump here. It doesn't feel right."
Many of the clients who worked the hardest also sought information about job training and job placement programs like Urban Youth Alliance and FEGS and we made sure to escort them to our clinic after the day was over. We've learned that clients who show up and take their mandate seriously are often good candidates for these programs.
Rejuvenating neglected and abandoned public space in the Bronx has a special history. In the aftermath of wholesale disinvestment, the Bronx has been rebuilt lot-by-lot and block-by-block, often by small community-based organizations and groups of neighbors. .
CENTER FOR COURT INNOVATION
COPS HARASSING PHOTOGRAPHERS CITING NON-EXISTENT RESTRICTIONS
NEAL MATTHEWS, POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY - Both amateur and professional photographers all over the country are being stopped and harassed with no legal basis. As digital cameras proliferate wildly, so do attempts to restrict what you can shoot and how you can use the picture. And not all attempts to quash photography have to do with national security concerns. Some invoke copyright and trademark protection, others the privacy both of celebrities and ordinary people. . .
On escalating tension between police and photographers, a New York City Police Department spokesperson explains, "We live in a world where everyone is suspicious of photography. Generally, anything in a public place can be photographed. But there's a difference between taking a picture and taking surveillance, and our officers have to determine where that line is.". . . "This is one of the biggest myths with the law of taking photographs," explains Bert Krages, a Portland, OR-based copyright attorney who has written books on photographers' rights and techniques. "There is no general prohibition against photographing federal buildings. There are statutes that prohibit photographing areas of military and nuclear facilities. But there are no laws against photographing other federal facilities, other than the right of all property owners to restrict activities that take place on their property. A federal office building manager cannot restrict photography when the photographer is situated outside the federal property boundary."
In fall 2005, Pop Photo Senior Editor Peter Kolonia was shooting small architectural details near the Mall in Washington, D.C. Stopping by the stairs of the Department of Agriculture to shoot the base of a column, with a fairly mainstream camera-a Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro with a normal lens and no flash-he put one foot on the bottom step, and
"Two people, a security guard in a generic uniform and a SWAT-type guy, dressed all in black with a big gun, came out the front and asked what I was doing."
They looked at his pictures, then took the memory card and his driver's license inside to run a check on him. "They were clearly trying to scare me," he says. "They knew I was just a tourist. When they came out the second time they got very lecturey with me: 'Haven't you heard there's a war on? Do you know about the threat of terrorism?'"
They threatened to confiscate his camera (which requires a court order), and he had to talk them out of keeping his memory card.
How far does the zealotry extend? All the way to the flags at the county courthouse. That's what recently got Ben Hider, a 27-year-old British citizen working (legally, with a green card) as a photographer, into trouble. On March 17, he stopped on a public thoroughfare at the Westchester County courthouse in White Plains, NY, to snap a few pictures of the wind-whipped flags out front.
Three court police officers quickly surrounded him and started firing questions, then told him he was being detained for shooting pictures of an official government building. He was taken inside, where he was frisked, interrogated, photographed, lectured on terrorism, told he was going to be picked up by the "terrorism task force," and threatened with deportation. After being held for two hours, he was released.
"People should know that police are using fear and intimidation," says Hider. "For what? I don't know what they gain."
BROOKLYN'S UNIQUE COMMUNITY COURT
[One of the architects of this court is Greg Berman, director of the Center for Court Innovation and former Progressive Review intern]
MICHAEL WILSON, NY TIMES - Now six years old, the court in Red Hook is one of a kind, the nation's first multi-jurisdictional community court. It combines elements of criminal, family and housing courts not only under the same roof, but also before the same judge, Alex M. Calabrese. It follows similar courts started in Midtown Manhattan, in 1993, and later in Harlem, but those projects did not combine all three courts.
Many of the cases Judge Calabrese hears are of the sort common in any courthouse, involving drugs, prostitution or vandalism. But he and the court have garnered wide attention for what is considered a groundbreaking crossover role: a court linking criminal sentences with social services, like substance abuse counseling and youth programs, all in the same building. The city is exploring a similar project in the Bronx.
One morning a week, the courthouse fills - the line for the metal detectors snaking out onto the sidewalk - with people who have been issued summonses in Red Hook and its surrounding neighborhoods, including Sunset Park and Park Slope. . .
To sit through a few Tuesdays in the court is not only to see and experience the million little details and moments that make this courthouse unique in New York City, but also to return to a simpler time, to an array of affronts to a collective sensibility. Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Playing music too loud. Drinking in public. Urinating in public. Being in a park after-hours.
Some cases are pleaded down or thrown out. Others bring a fine or a lecture in a "quality-of-life class," which is just that, a class that seeks to instruct on how to live a better life, a life without alcoholics in parks and urinators in alleys.
"It's a small-town court in a big city. Just like in a small town, the judge actually knows who's doing what," said David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state's Office of Court Administration. "You have to face that same judge every time you screw up."
The court, and its sole judge to date, have heard almost 12,000 summonses - the type of violations that include quality-of-life cases - since opening in 2000, far more than any other kind of case, and more than five times the number of criminal cases. . .
The court's crossover role continues outside, as the judge, prosecutors and police officers regularly visit community meetings. This month, Judge Calabrese and the court were given the 2006 "Organizational Lawyer as Problem Solver Award" by the American Bar Association at a meeting in Hawaii. . .
The quality-of-life classes, where many defendants are sent to clear their summonses, were conceived as something of a community accounting, with offenders facing a panel of three people who live or work in the neighborhood, said Greg Berman, director of the Center for Court Innovation and an architect of the Red Hook court. . .
BROOKLYN'S MENTAL HEALTH COURT
CENTER FOR COURT INNOVATION
FEDERAL COURT RULES POLICE CAN SEIZE CASH FROM DRIVERS WITHOUT CAUSE
THE NEWSPAPER - A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that if a motorist is carrying large sums of money, it is automatically subject to confiscation. In the case entitled, "United States of America v. $124,700 in U.S. Currency," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit took that amount of cash away from Emiliano Gomez Gonzolez, a man with a "lack of significant criminal history" neither accused nor convicted of any crime.
On May 28, 2003, a Nebraska state trooper signaled Gonzolez to pull over his rented Ford Taurus on Interstate 80. The trooper intended to issue a speeding ticket, but noticed the Gonzolez's name was not on the rental contract. The trooper then proceeded to question Gonzolez -- who did not speak English well -- and search the car. The trooper found a cooler containing $124,700 in cash, which he confiscated. A trained drug sniffing dog barked at the rental car and the cash. For the police, this was all the evidence needed to establish a drug crime that allows the force to keep the seized money.
Associates of Gonzolez testified in court that they had pooled their life savings to purchase a refrigerated truck to start a produce business. Gonzolez flew on a one-way ticket to Chicago to buy a truck, but it had sold by the time he had arrived. Without a credit card of his own, he had a third-party rent one for him. Gonzolez hid the money in a cooler to keep it from being noticed and stolen. He was scared when the troopers began questioning him about it. There was no evidence disputing Gonzolez's story.
Yesterday the Eighth Circuit summarily dismissed Gonzolez's story. It overturned a lower court ruling that had found no evidence of drug activity, stating, "We respectfully disagree and reach a different conclusion... Possession of a large sum of cash is 'strong evidence' of a connection to drug activity."
Judge Donald Lay found the majority's reasoning faulty and issued a strong dissent.
"Notwithstanding the fact that claimants seemingly suspicious activities were reasoned away with plausible, and thus presumptively trustworthy, explanations which the government failed to contradict or rebut, I note that no drugs, drug paraphernalia, or drug records were recovered in connection with the seized money," Judge Lay wrote. "There is no evidence claimants were ever convicted of any drug-related crime, nor is there any indication the manner in which the currency was bundled was indicative of drug use or distribution."
"Finally, the mere fact that the canine alerted officers to the presence of drug residue in a rental car, no doubt driven by dozens, perhaps scores, of patrons during the course of a given year, coupled with the fact that the alert came from the same location where the currency was discovered, does little to connect the money to a controlled substance offense," Judge Lay Concluded.
FBI WAS OBSESSED WITH ARTHUR MILLER
CANADIAN BROADCASTING - The FBI files of great American playwright Arthur Miller show he was under suspicion of being a Communist almost from the staging of his first play in 1944. Arthur Miller was under surveillance by the FBI for his left-of-centre political views. The files include a 34-page FBI report, compiled in 1951, that states Miller was "under Communist party discipline" in the 1930s and was a member of the party in the 1940s. The FBI was relying on information from informants. . .
In an essay published in 1999, Miller recalled that "practically everyone I knew stood within the conventions of the political left of centre; one or two were Communist party members... and most had had a brush with Marxist ideas or organizations.
"I have never been able to believe in the reality of these people being actual or putative traitors any more than I could be," he wrote. . .
In later essays, Miller dismissed allegations he had been "under Communist discipline" and said he was never a member of the party.
His FBI file, stretching from 1944 to 1956, showed he was under close surveillance through press clippings and informants. The FBI studied his plays to detect Communist sympathy and noted who in the cast had left-wing connections. . .
In 1956, the House Un-American Activities Committee asked him to give names of alleged communist writers with whom he had attended meetings in the 1940s. Miller refused and was convicted of contempt of Congress, a decision eventually overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
When he married screen idol Marilyn Monroe in 1956, the FBI had an informant at the scene. The report at the time says "an anonymous telephone call" disclosed that the Jewish wedding was an obvious "cover-up" for Miller, who "had been and still was a member of the CP (Communist party), and was their cultural front man."
JAMES MANN, ATLANTIC MONTHLY - At least once a year during the 1980s Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld vanished. Cheney was working diligently on Capitol Hill, as a congressman rising through the ranks of the Republican leadership. Rumsfeld, who had served as Gerald Ford's Secretary of Defense, was a hard-driving business executive in the Chicago area-where, as the head of G. D. Searle & Co., he dedicated time and energy to the success of such commercial products as Nutra-Sweet, Equal, and Metamucil. Yet for periods of three or four days at a time no one in Congress knew where Cheney was, nor could anyone at Searle locate Rumsfeld. Even their wives were in the dark; they were handed only a mysterious Washington phone number to use in case of emergency. . .
Rumsfeld and Cheney were principal actors in one of the most highly classified programs of the Reagan Administration. Under it U.S. officials furtively carried out detailed planning exercises for keeping the federal government running during and after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The program called for setting aside the legal rules for presidential succession in some circumstances, in favor of a secret procedure for putting in place a new "President" and his staff. The idea was to concentrate on speed, to preserve "continuity of government," and to avoid cumbersome procedures; the speaker of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and the rest of Congress would play a greatly diminished role. . .
"One of the awkward questions we faced," one participant in the planning of the program explains, "was whether to reconstitute Congress after a nuclear attack. It was decided that no, it would be easier to operate without them." For one thing, it was felt that reconvening Congress, and replacing members who had been killed, would take too long. Moreover, if Congress did reconvene, it might elect a new speaker of the House, whose claim to the presidency might have greater legitimacy than that of a Secretary of Agriculture or Commerce who had been set up as President under Reagan's secret program. The election of a new House speaker would not only take time but also create the potential for confusion.
[These remarkable documents show that President Eisenhower was ready to turn the country over to ten secretly named people of his choice in the event of what he considered to be a national emergency. There is absolutely no constitutional basis for such a move; in the worst case the government should devolve to the governors of the various states. What is more disturbing is that the head of one the country's major media corporations was in on the plot]
Dear Mr. Stanton:
It is always possible that the United States might need suddenly to mobilize resources for a maximum national effort. Although it is my devout hope that this will never happen, the national interest requires that against that possibility we achieve and maintain a high state of readiness.
I am delighted to know of your willingness to serve as Administrator of the Emergency Communications Agency in the event that a national emergency would compel its formation, and, accordingly, I hereby appoint you such Administrator effective upon activation of the agency. As Administrator, you will, in the performance of your duties, be subject to the direction, control and coordination of the Director of the Office of Emergency Resources, and you will receive such compensation as the President may hereafter specify. Your tenure as Administrator-designate or as Administrator shall be at the pleasure of the President.
In the event of an emergency, as soon as you have assured yourself, by any means at your disposal, that an Emergency Communications Agency has been activated, you shall immediately assume active direction of that agency and its function. This letter will constitute your authority.
I have requested the Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization to communicate with you regarding any planning activities in connection with the creation of and activation of an Emergency Communications Agency.
Until such time as an Emergency Communications Agency may be created, I am certain that you will treat your designation as Administrator as classified information and that you will impress upon any staff you select to assist you that their designations are to be treated similarly as classified information.
You have my deep appreciation of your acceptance of this vitally important assignment.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Brits only have a handful in solitary
confinement, America has 80,000
Pentagon using new technique to
Obamadmin spying on Google like
no other country
Right to sell second hand stuff
Unable to find enough Al Qaeda terrorists, FBI turns to those scary environmentalists who "claim to be defending the earth" and are "committed to stopping the exploitation and destruction of the environment"
Judge rules that flashing lights to warn of speed trap is free speech
ACT, SOPA, PIPA, ACTA
UNPATRIOTIC POLICE USE OF PATRIOT ACT In 2009 it was reported that 763 warrant requests were made under the Patriot Act. Of those, less than half a percent were related to charges of terrorism and 62% were related to drug charges.- Huffington Post
HEY, IT WORKED FOR HITLER
HOW TO STAY FREE: An excerpt from Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual
OF PINK SUITS, GOLF BALLS & CIVIL LIBERTIES - A talk to an upper school assembly
CRASH OF AMERICA - In 1995, the author saw trouble coming.
FEMA and "The X Files" -- The strange and scary history of America's disaster relief agency and its role in "continuity in government."
THE CRASH OF AMERICA - In 1995, the author saw trouble coming
EXTREMISM OF THE CENTER: Most extremism in American politics comes not from left or right but from the center in power.
MARTIAL LAW Excerpts from an an article in a defense journal, Parameters
FASCISM, CORPORATISM & CAPITALISM: While much attention has been paid to the horrific results of German and Italian fascism, the actual origins of fascism as a political and economic ideology are not well known. As a result disturbing parallels in today's American politics are ignored
FREEDOM FOR THE THOUGHT THAT WE HATE: A Biography of the First Amendment by Anthony Lewis.
BUCKING THE SYSTEM: A chart that provides a crash course on how Americans have won and kept their freedoms
WHOSE LAND IS IT, ANYWAY? Reflections on patriotism
FOOLS' GOAL: ZERO TOLERANCE: How infinite intolerance of some things -- but not others -- is damaging our land
Truth & Consequences: The U.S. vs. Bradley Manning by Greg Mitchell
BEYOND THE LAW, Jordan J Paust
THE CUNNING OF HISTORY by Richard Rubenstein
RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer
FRIENDLY FASCISM : The New Face of Power in America by Bertram Myron Gross
THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE: The Germans, 1933-35 by Milton Sanford Mayer
STATE TERRORISM & THE UNITED STATES: From Counterinsurgency to the War on Terrorism