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11051  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 20, 2008, 06:00:49 PM
**It always amazes me how the left seems not to care how many lives are lost by the people they claim to care for so much. Never a dictator you can't side with, so long as he's anti-american, right JDN? Who cares about the Vietnamese and Cambodians the left delivered into mass graves, right? Why not do the same to the Iraqis and Georgians too? Keep the left's streak going.**

Pinning Civilian Deaths on the Great Satan   
By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, October 13, 2006

A British medical journal is once again inflating the number of Iraqis killed during the U.S.-led liberation of that country -- and pillars of the Religious Left have welcomed the chance to demonize the United States. The Lancet, is claiming that the freeing of Iraq has caused more than 600,000 deaths. The study interviewed 1,849 families and found that 547 people died in the post-invasion period, whereas these families remembered only 82 dying during a similar period before the invasion. From these 465 additional deaths, the study confidently extrapolated that 654,965 civilians have died from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As one blogger points out, the study claims that more Iraqi civilians have been killed over the last three years than were German civilians killed during five years of intense Allied bombing during World War II.

That is a remarkable claim indeed, but one eagerly embraced by Religious Left activists Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Bob Edgar of the National Council of Churches, who are eager for macabre new grist for their antiwar, anti-American tirades.

“From now on, any political debate on Iraq must start here and be disciplined by these FACTS,” Wallis asserts. “Not by politics, not by arguments, not by visions of democracy in the Middle East, but by the deaths caused to so many of God’s children.”

Edgar sounded a similar note of confidence about the study’s assertions. “When I first heard that nearly two-thirds of a million Iraqis have been killed I was shocked and horribly saddened,” he said. “The perpetrators of this war can no longer tell us this is 'collateral damage' as they prosecute this war. They must face up to the widespread death and destruction that is being inflicted daily upon innocent men, women, and children living in a country that never attacked the United States.”

Even the study acknowledges that two-thirds of these supposed 600,000-plus civilian deaths were caused by insurgents and sectarian violence, not by the Allied forces. At least Wallis makes reference to this. But naturally he and Edgar will latch onto the study as definitive validation of their demand for immediate U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, although such a precipitous withdrawal would certainly increase the sectarian strife, send an invitation to jihadists, and result in a bloodbath as did our withdrawal from Vietnam (which Edgar and Wallis also supported).

“Any politician speaking about the war should be asked how they intend to stop the violence and blood-letting that has overwhelmed that country,” Wallis demands, assuming it is within the power of U.S. politicians to stop Sunnis and Shiites from killing each other. ”Every candidate running for the U.S. Senate or Congress should be asked how they feel about the loss of all these lives and how they intend to stop it,” Wallis further opines, without explaining how any member of the U.S. Congress could stop all “the violence” in any country.

Edgar insists that “nearly every major Christian church leader spoke out against this war before the invasion” because the war “did not remotely meet the criteria of a just war.” Of course, neither Edgar nor Wallis have ever described what exactly would constitute a just war. Wallis is pacifist who believes that force is never justified, and Edgar, although disclaiming the label, is at least opposed to wars waged by the U.S. military, most especially those waged against Communists.

Wallis and Edgar have long experience in opposing the America at war. Both came of age politically by opposing the Vietnam War. Edgar as a young Democratic U.S. Representative from Philadelphia was even a member of the notorious 94th U.S. Congress, which refused to aid the drowning South Vietnamese in 1975 as they were overrun by North Vietnam's Soviet-supplied tanks.

Like others on the anti-war Left, Wallis and Edgar saw the Vietnam War as purely the invention of U.S. interventionism and imperialism. All killed Vietnamese and U.S. servicemen were victims of U.S. folly. American withdrawal from Southeast Asia was the end of Wallis’ and Edgar’s interest in any killing there. The victorious Communists murdered millions in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Thousands more “boat people” would drown at sea or be killed by pirates as they attempted to flee from their “liberated” lands.

We will never know how many more countless deaths occurred because of the corruption and oppression of the Marxist police states that governed Cambodia for another two decades, and which still govern Laos and Vietnam. The sum total of human suffering caused by the poverty and oppression of those tyrannical regimes is incalculable. Southeast Asia without Communism could have replicated the prosperity and freedom of today’s South Korea, Taiwan, or Singapore.

But old Religious Left activists like Edgar and Wallis ignore the fruits of their activism, trying to relive those youthful days today. Even now, they avoid commenting about the many ongoing crimes of the Vietnamese and Laotian Communists, who came to power thanks in part to the causes Wallis and Edgar led, and whose 30 years of persecutions include the torment of Christians and other religious believers.

Similarly, Edgar and Wallis never had much to say about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis whom Saddam Hussein murdered, a number that would have been even higher without the U.S. and British air forces giving 10 years of protection to the Kurds and southern Shiites. Like others on the left, Edgar and Wallis exclusively blamed the U.S for hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who ostensibly died from United Nations sanctions against Saddam’s regime. Saddam’s own role in hoarding cash, medicines, and food for his own supporters, while withholding such essentials from his perceived enemies, was largely unremarked upon.

Edgar and Wallis do not have the nerve to assert it specifically, but the obvious implication of all their frenzied activism and statements before and after the U.S. led overthrow of Saddam’s regime is that Iraq would be better off if the dictator had been left in power. They should simply say it. At least their argument would be an honest one. Dictators, however brutal, at least can offer a terrible stability.

Perhaps Edgar and Wallis should go a step further. In his bold and ridiculous new 9/11 conspiracy book, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, David Ray Griffin blames the United States for 180 million deaths around the world every decade. Griffin, a professor emeritus at United Methodist Claremont School of Theology in California, claims that the U.S., as the hegemon of a global capitalist empire, is responsible for nearly every premature death everywhere. As such, it is worse than Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and is today the “chief embodiment of demonic power.” Ray’s book, which alleges the Bush administration actually blew up the World Trade Center and Pentagon, was published by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) publishing house.

Edgar and Wallis, who are eager to accept the dubious claim that the U.S. has killed 600,000 Iraqi civilians, may as well accept Griffin’s bracing thesis in full. Like Griffin, and at variance with traditional Christianity, they see the world as basically an innocent place, sullied only by the demonic presence of the United States. Edgar says he is praying for an end to the “unspeakable horrors” endured by Iraqis, by which he means chiefly the U.S. presence. But the poor Iraqis were suffering unspeakably long before U.S. forces appeared.   

A premature exit by the U.S. from Iraq, as from Southeast Asia 30 years ago, could expand those horrors exponentially. But Edgar and Wallis prefer to slay their own favorite, and largely imagined dragon.

Mark D. Tooley directs the United Methodist committee at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

11052  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: August 20, 2008, 05:14:28 PM
In reference to the other thread, would the law prof suggest that she make no statement when the police arrive?
11053  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 20, 2008, 05:11:33 PM
In the US criminal justice system, there are different ethical standards for the different players.

The defense attorney has an obligation to advocate in the best interest of his client. Guilty or innocent, right or wrong, the defense is only interested in the best possible outcome for those he/she represents. Not society, not justice, the client alone is the person to be served.

The prosecutor is supposed to be interested in justice and act in furtherance of justice and the public good. Win/loss ratios, political gain are not supposed to be part of their consideration in choosing to prosecute or not.

The law enforcement officer is supposed to be a witness for the truth. Not a cat's paw of the prosecution or an enemy of the defense but a fair and impartial finder of fact. Conducting an investigation is like doing a complex math problem, not only do you need to get the right answer, you have to show your work. Through the entire legal process, you need to be able to demonstrate how you went from the start of the investigation and arrived at probable cause, and hopefully beyond a reasonable doubt.

If a woman gets murdered, and the husband tells you about a one armed man that did it, you'd better make a good faith effort to investigate that claim. Based on actuarial tables, the husband is the best suspect, but although statistics and patterns of crime are something to be aware of, you need to pursue every lead and follow the evidence where it leads you. You don't assume the husband did it, then try to assemble a case against him, you make a good faith effort to reconstruct what did happen and pursue every lead. What the law professor leaves out, is that every bit of evidence will be examined and every aspect of the investigation will be deconstructed and scrutinized on the stand.

As the caselaw I posted above states, as an investigator, you are obligated to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor for discovery purposes. Failing to do so not only compromises the case, it places you in legal jeopardy if you fail to act in good faith.

Let me address the prof's core claim. If you are guilty of a crime, don't speak to the police. Agreed. However, if you did something that is potentially illegal, or potentially legal depending on certain elements you'd better make sure the cops know those elements that will vindicate you.

Let's say Miguel is walking down the street in Santa Barbara, minding his own business. Suddenly he is attacked by three thugs. Given the disparity of force and the violence of the assault on his person, Miguel uses an edged weapon against the attackers. One falls to the ground, mortally wounded, the two others flee to tend to their wounds. While the battle was engaged, a passerby calls 911 to report a "fight in progress". As patrol units roll up, the find Miguel standing over the fallen perp, weapon in hand. Miguel gets taken down at gunpoint, cuffed and stuffed in the back of the patrol car.

Quickly, the initial investigation shows that Miguel is a solid citizen with a clean record. The decedent is one Johnny Ratzo, a freshly paroled felon with a violent criminal hx that goes back to his teens. CDC has validated him as a member of the Aryan Brotherhood and his corpse is littered with prison tats.

Heeding the advice he saw on the net from a law professor, Miguel immediately "lawyers up" and says nothing but a request for an attorney. The SBPD det. that catches the case arrives on scene and examines what he has:

1. Dead Johnny Ratzo, apparently killed by edged weapon wounds.

2. Live Miguel Goodguy, in possession of a knife covered in blood who refuses to make any statement explaining how he came to be disheveled and covered in blood.

There is a minimal crime scene to be documented. Pretty much photos of the decedent and any visible blood spatter. The crime scene tech mistakenly bags Miguel's knife in a biohazard bag fearing bloodborne pathogens after seeing the badly infected track marks where Johnny Ratzo had been skin popping meth since leaving Pelican Bay.

So, the det has P.C. to arrest Miguel and because Miguel has followed the advice from the professor, the opportunity to preserve the serological/DNA evidence that would demonstrated that Miguel acted in self defense against multiple attackers is lost. Because the case appears to be so straight forward, no other investigation is needed to pursue the case.

Because of Miguel's silence, the det. never queries any database to check for known criminal associates of Johnny Ratzo. Because of that, when those two known associates drive to Bakersfield for medical treatment, and BPD gets called by the hospital to investigate two subjects with knife wounds, the is no "be on the lookout" flag attached their their names when BPD officers "run" them for wants and warrants at the hospital. Because Miguel made no statement, no one seizes the convenience store camera footage that puts Johnny Ratzo and his two associates two blocks away from the assault, 10 minutes before as they buy malt liquor and Philly blunts before the footage gets erased.

By the time Miguel gets his first face to face with his attorney, he's in county in an orange jumpsuit and all the evidence that would corroborate his self defense claim is gone. Meanwhile, the local press is abuzz with "local man charged with murder" coverage.

Sound good?

Here is the problem with defense attorneys, very few ever defend innocent people. Their bread and butter is defending Johnny Ratzo and his ilk. If Johnny Ratzo gets arrested, then nothing he says will help him, so from that perspective the advice is good. However, if you are a Miguel Goodguy, then it may well do more harm than good in a scenario like the one I illustrated above.




11054  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DA/LEO lia for failure to disclose exculpatory evidence on: August 20, 2008, 09:34:51 AM
Ok, I'll post more later, but to get to the main points, I liked the Det. although he didn't go into enough detail to clarify his point, but the prof is a bonehead. Confirming my opinion about many defense attorneys, the prof appears to have stopped doing legal research after getting his J.D.

Read the caselaw below and note how it undercuts most of the prof's assertions:


http://iacp.org/documents/index.cfm?document_id=25&document_type_id=16&fuseaction=document

Officer Liability for Failure to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence

Mark Newbold, Deputy City Attorney, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte, NC

Police chiefs should be aware that their officers could be subject to liability in federal court for failing to disclose to a prosecutor any evidence that may be favorable to a defendant. Although the federal courts are divided as to the source of this obligation, it appears that officers acting in bad faith could be found to have committed an "affirmative abuse of power." Such allegations against police officers are rare; nevertheless, they are often difficult to rebut. This column reviews the important court decisions on the issue and makes recommendations to police departments to reduce the risk of litigation.

Brief History of Prosecutor's Duty

The landmark case of Brady v. Maryland1 places on a prosecutor an affirmative constitutional duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to a defendant. This constitutional duty is triggered by the impact that the favorable evidence has on the outcome of the criminal proceeding. It requires the prosecutor to evaluate a case in its entirety and look at the cumulative effect that withholding the information has on the outcome of the trial.

Brady arose out of a line of cases going back to the early 1900s that addressed circumstances where prosecutors knowingly presented perjured or false evidence.2 Not too long ago discovery was virtually nonexistent in criminal proceedings. At times, fundamental fairness took a backseat to the adversarial process and the pressure to win. The result is the need for some prosecutors to be reined in and reminded that fundamental fairness is always more important than obtaining a guilty verdict.

The next chapter unfolded in Brady. The prosecutor in that case did not affirmatively present false or misleading information to the court. Rather, the prosecutor suppressed a statement favorable to the defendant after the defendant made a request for such statements. In response to the prosecutor's decision to withhold evidence, the court in Brady stated, "We now hold that the suppression of evidence by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution."3 The court explicitly reasoned that fundamental fairness outweighed adversarial posturing and required that the accused be afforded a review of information that is favorable to his defense.4

Prosecutor's Duty in Brady Expanded

In Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the prosecutor's duty to disclose evidence relative to the credibility of a governmental witness.5 Later, in United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976), the Court made it clear that the defendant need not request exculpatory information from the prosecutor. Rather the duty to disclose attached regardless of whether the defense requested the evidence.

In Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995), the Supreme Court reviewed the Brady doctrine and found three circumstances where the duty attaches: first, where "previously undisclosed evidence revealed that the prosecution introduced trial testimony that it knew or should have known was perjured." Id.; second, "where the Government failed to accede to a defense request for disclosure of some specific kind of exculpatory evidence." Id.; and third, where the defense failed to request information or made a general request for exculpatory evidence. Id.

The effect of the above is that prosecutors can no longer feel comfortable holding back some evidence that might be exculpatory. In order to avoid a breach of their duty, cautious prosecutors must now continuously review their files and constantly evaluate their cases with an eye towards identifying exculpatory evidence.6

Favorable Evidence Must Be "Material"

The constitutional duty is not triggered simply because the evidence might be favorable to the defendant. Rather, the touchstone of materiality is whether the failure to disclose the information undermines the confidence in the outcome of the trial. The failure to disclose strikes at the very purpose of the trial itself, which is to ensure the accused is afforded a process that is fundamentally fair before the accused is deprived of his or her freedom or property.

"The question is not whether the defendant would more likely than not have received a different verdict with the evidence," the Court wrote in Kyles, "but whether in its absence he received a fair trial, understood as a trial worthy of a confidence. A 'reasonable probability' of a different result is accordingly shown when the government's evidentiary suppression 'undermines confidence in the trial.'"7

An Officer's Duty to Disclose Evidence to the Prosecutor

Inevitably, some defendants sought to extend the reasoning in Brady to police officers. Rather than correcting alleged disclosure violations by police by remanding or reversing criminal proceedings, several courts in the late 1980s allowed defendants to file civil actions for damages in federal court against officers. Unlike prosecutors who are generally immune from civil actions for their prosecutorial acts, officers are accorded only qualified immunity. Essentially, officers were being held to the same standard as prosecutors but were treated differently when it came to the remedy available to the plaintiff.

One such example is McMillian v. Johnson, 88 F.3d 1554 (11th Cir. 1996), where a former prison inmate sued several law enforcement officials for damages after a murder charge was dismissed against him. McMillian alleged, among other claims, that police officers violated his due process rights by withholding exculpatory and impeachment evidence from the prosecutor. Specifically, officers were accused of withholding three statements from the prosecutor that would have contradicted evidence that was admitted at trial.

In McMillian the court discussed the relationship of Brady to an officer's duty to disclose. "The Constitution imposes the duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense to the prosecutor," the court wrote. "Investigators satisfy their obligation under Brady when they turn exculpatory and impeachment evidence over to the prosecutor." Id. at 1567. "Our case law clearly established that an accused's due process rights are violated when the police conceal exculpatory or impeachment evidence." Id. at 1569.

The court in McMillian relied on the approach adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which reasoned that "police are also part of the prosecution, and the taint on the trial is no less if they, rather than the state's attorney, were guilty of the nondisclosure."8 The court wrote that "the duty to disclosure [sic] is that of the state, which ordinarily acts through the prosecuting attorney; but if he too is the victim of police suppression of the material information, the state's failure is not on that account excused." Id.9

In Jean v. Collins, 221 F.3d 656 (4th Cir. 2000), Jean was convicted of rape and first-degree sexual offenses. The court held that the government's failure to disclose audio recordings and accompanying hypnosis reports were Brady violations. The court noted that a police officer who withholds exculpatory information from a prosecutor can be liable under Section 1983 but only where the officer's failure to disclose the exculpatory information deprived the Section 1983 plaintiffs of their right to a fair trial. Id.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The role of the police is not the same as that of the prosecutor. Hence, it is inconsistent to hold the police to the same standard.10 Moreover, there are several good common-sense reasons for not holding officers to the same standard. The terms "exculpatory," "material," and "impeachment" are so steeped with technical legalistic meaning that even a trained prosecutor has difficulty determining when a piece of evidence falls within his or her duty to disclose.

Furthermore, evidence that is favorable to the defendant may not, in many circumstances, be identified as such until the entire case is ready for trial. In some investigations the accumulation of evidence occurs over a period of years. What may have been a seemingly meaningless statement made by a person early in the investigation may not actually be favorable to the defendant until it is compared to other pieces of evidence that are collected years later in the investigation. In other investigations the identification of the evidence as exculpatory does not occur until the defendant decides to produce his or her evidence. This in effect allows the defendant to control the timing of the when evidence will be identified as favorable&3151;a questionable tactic if officers are to be exposed to damages.

Reducing Liability Risks

Although the federal courts are divided as to the source of the obligation of officers to turn exculpatory evidence over to the prosecutor, it is clear that officers may be subject to liability in federal court for failing to do so. The dust has not settled sufficiently for us to determine just what minimal level of culpability must be involved before officers will be held liable for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence. Nevertheless, it is clear that officers acting in "bad faith" could be found to have committed an "affirmative abuse of power." If an officer commits an affirmative abuse of power then he or she has deprived a defendant of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.11 An example of bad faith would be where officers knew the information was exculpatory but deliberately removed the information from the file so the prosecutor could not review the information.

Obviously this does not happen frequently. Nevertheless, it is difficult for officers to rebut allegations of bad faith. The fact that information did not make it over to the prosecutor opens the door to the assertion that it was done in bad faith. Essentially, it is better not to answer allegations of missing documents in the first place. The following are some common-sense suggestions that police departments may want to consider for reducing the risk of litigation on this issue.


Consider installing a tracking system that identifies when the entire file is transmitted to the prosecutor. There should be a way to verify that the prosecutor has acknowledged receipt of the investigative file. This way, the department can verify that the contents of the materials were in fact transferred to the prosecutor.

Discourage investigators from keeping a separate personal file of the investigation. Maintain the integrity of the official file. This prevents investigators from inadvertently forgetting to place material in the official file. The discovery of a statement anywhere other than the official file opens the door to allegations of deliberate nondisclosure. It is much easier to keep track of the investigation than to have to counter the allegation of intentionally mishandling a case.

Make sure the prosecutor is aware of "street" files that contain information on governmental witnesses. Always run government witnesses' names through these files. If you get a hit, the prosecutor needs to determine whether the information is exculpatory or effects the witness's credibility.

Come to a consistent understanding on the disposition of handwritten notes. Some investigators choose to discard the notes after they complete their reports. In this circumstance, investigators will have the burden of showing that as a matter of routine and habit they always recorded the entire contents of notes onto the report and therefore had no need to retain the notes. However, if your investigators discard their notes is because they don't want the defense to know about them, they are opening themselves up to allegations of deliberately destroying potential exculpatory statements.

Don't hesitate to document the precise dates and times you discuss the case with the prosecutor. The documentation will come in handy in the event there is a dispute as to whether you provided them with exculpatory evidence. Remember they have prosecutorial immunity, you don't.


Make sure recruit and in-service training includes training on an officer's duty to disclose exculpatory evidence. Do not rely solely on local and federal prosecutor's presentations. They tend to focus only on their duties under Brady and Giglio, rather than addressing the officer's duty to disclose.

Endnotes


Brady v. State of Maryland, 373 U.S. 89 (1968).

In Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 112 (1935), the Supreme Court made clear that deliberate deception of a court and jurors by the presentation of known false evidence is incompatible with "rudimentary demands of justice." This was reaffirmed in Pyle v. Kansas, 317 U.S. 213 (1942). In Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959), the Court continued with this line of reasoning and said, "The same result obtains when the State, although not soliciting false evidence, allows it to go uncorrected when it appears." Id. at 269.

Brady, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 1197.

"The principle [supporting the holding] is not punishment of society for misdeeds of a prosecutor but avoidance of an unfair trial to the accused. Society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of justice suffers when any accused is treated unfairly." Id.

"When the reliability of a given witness may well be determinative of guilt or innocence nondisclosure of evidence affecting credibility falls within this general rule." Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 153 (1972).

"Nevertheless, there is a significant practical difference between the pretrial decision of the prosecutor and the post-trial decision for the judge. Because we are dealing with an inevitably imprecise standard and because the significance of an item of evidence can seldom be predicted accurately until the entire record is complete, the prosecutor will resolve doubtful questions in favor of disclosure." United States v. Agurs, 98 S.Ct. 2392, 2400 (1976).

Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419, 432 (1995), citing United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S. 667, 678 (1985).

Freeman v. Georgia, 599 F.2d 65, 69 (5th Cir. 1979), and Geter v. Fortenberry, 849 F.2d 1550 (5th Cir. 1988).

However, it is submitted that the precedent cited does not directly support the theory that officers should be held personally liable for failure to disclose exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor. At best, McMillian relies on authority that stands for the proposition that the officer's actions will be imputed to the state—not to him personally.

"The Brady duty is framed by the dictates of the adversary system and the prosecution's legal role therein. Legal terms of art define its bounds and questions as whether an item of evidence has exculpatory or 'impeachment' value and whether such evidence is 'material.' It would be inappropriate to charge police with answering these same questions, for their job of gathering evidence is quite different from the prosecution's task of evaluating it. This is especially true because the prosecutor can view the evidence from the perspective of the case as a whole while police officers, who are often involved in only one portion of the case, may lack necessary context. To hold that the contours of the due process duty applicable to the police must be identical to those of the prosecutor's Brady duty would thus improperly mandate a one-size-fits all regime." Jean v. Collins, 221 F3d 656 (4th Cir 2000).

In Jean, the court concludes the standard applicable to officers is analogous to the circumstances in Arizona v. Youngblood where the court refused to find officers violated the due process clause in the absence of evidence of bad faith on the part of the officers. (Officers failed to refrigerate evidence connected to a rape).


This column is prepared monthly by members of IACP's Legal Officers Section. Interested section members should coordinate their contributions with Elliot Spector at 860-233-8251.                       

For more information, please contact:
Gene Voegtlin
(703)836-6767, ext. 211
11055  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 08:17:10 PM
I think it's entirely reasonable to UA people in "safety sensitive" positions. An impaired person shows up for work at a fast food joint, maybe you get the wrong order at the drive thru. A railroad employee goes to work impaired and as a result a chlorine tanker breaches in the midst of a densely populated urban area at o'dark 30 in the A.M. and you know better than I how nightmarish that would be.

My jurisdiction borders a rail line and I see all sorts of interesting placards on the tank cars passing by at all hours. My PPE consists of a dark blue polyester uniform and reminds me of the old hazmat joke:

"How do firefighters know there is a hazmat spill?"

"All the dead cops laying around"
11056  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 07:18:18 PM
I can think of at least 343 reasons that a firefighter would want the NSA to employ their capabilities to intercept and analyze communications in al qaeda infested areas.
11057  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 06:52:33 PM
http://www.blockbuster.com/catalog/movieDetails/256405

Check it out and see just how wonderful life was under Saddam.
11058  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 06:46:37 PM
Well, Saddam's thugs aren't feeding dissidents feet first into industrial plastic shredders anymore. His two sociopathic sons have committed their last rapes. People vote. Iraqi Kurdistan is a major success story.

No, Iraq won't be a setting for Club Med resorts anytime soon, but at least they have a chance at a better future. Expect Russia to do anything like that?
11059  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 06:42:00 PM
Tom,

I think the reforms in the PATRIOT act were needed and neccesary. There is a lot of hype surrounding it by people who really can't define why it's bad or can suggest better options.

G M (civ. police Lt.)
11060  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 06:01:37 PM


**It's hardly a good point. We freed the Iraqis from Saddam and are rebuilding the country. I doubt very much Russian troops are building schools and giving medical treatment to Geogians right now.**

Ahhh lately we sure aren't doing a very good job of rebuilding ; and we did a heck of a job destroying Iraq.

– Education: According to a 2005 analysis by the United Nations University, since the 2003 invasion, 84 percent of Iraq’s higher education institutions had been “burnt, looted or destroyed.”

– Medical Care: Before the U.S. invasion, there were 34,000 doctors registered in Iraq; an estimated 20,000 have left since then. “It’s definitely worse now than before the war,” Eman Asim, a Ministry of Health official who oversees the country’s 185 public hospitals, told the New York Times in 2004.


[/quote]

**Yeah, good to cite old and probably misleading sources, and again missing the point. What we do and why we do it is different than what is done elsewhere.**
11061  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: August 17, 2008, 04:06:09 PM
http://www.ansamed.info/en/news/ME03.@AM14281.html

TUNISIA: HOME VIOLENCE, 1 OF 5 MARRIED WOMEN ABUSED

(ANSAmed) - TUNIS, AUGUAT 12 - In Tunisia, which mostly takes into consideration the women's role in the active life among the Arab countries, it might seem controversial but the statistics are merciless: 20% of the married women are victims of violence on the part of their spouse. According to the statistics announced by daily Le Temps, many of them become disfigured, handicapped, receive psychological traumas and in various cases end up committing suicide. And all this, or almost all this, happens in silence between the home walls. For fear of further retaliation, and in order not to allow showing that the marriage has been ruined, due to a psychological and physical subjection which have lasted for centuries, such as that for example which requires that the wife should always walk two steps behind her husband. Feminist organisations have been leading for a long time a campaign to raise the awareness aimed at convincing the victims of this violence to at least trust them and the social workers. However, the fact that the first step has to be made by both spouses in the family remains unchanged. The law, obviously, also punishes this kind of violence. However, the feminists observe that the law is totally dissatisfying. Because if the victim intends to file a complaint, they must present a medical certificate issued by a public hospital certifying injures curable in 21 days. In case the prognosis results lower, the complaint will not be accepted. (ANSAmed).
2008-08-12 14:29
11062  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 03:46:05 PM
Lt MedTB:
The "Founding Fathers" seemed to have an appreciation of the weaknesses inherent in systems of power, building in the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.
All words are open to interpretation, so it seems that it is the constant responsibility of any citizenry to stay engaged in this process of critical thinking; observing, evaluating, voting, dissenting - whatever is necessary.
Fear is a tried and true tactic to erode this independent thinking process, and I think it is worth stepping back and evaluating any large policy changes based on fear to see if they are rational or not, and to see if they are worth the cost.
e.g. "The bad people are a out there and a threat to you and your family. Unless we get the power to "X", we cannot guarantee your safety". True? Not true?


So, are there threats to the US, or is it just fearmongering?
11063  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: August 17, 2008, 03:43:07 PM
**Waiting for American feminists to get upset about this anytime now. Yup, anytime soon....**  rolleyes

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-beauty17-2008aug17,0,6108880,full.story

Pakistani women burned by acid or fire rely on beauty of others

K.M. Chaudary / Associated Press
Saira Liaqat, 26, puts make up on a client at the Depilex beauty center in Lahore, Pakistan.
Women who say their husbands threw acid at them or burned them find help in becoming self-reliant through salon work.
From the Associated Press

1:14 PM PDT, August 16, 2008

LAHORE, PAKISTAN -- Saira Liaqat squints through her one good eye as she brushes a woman's hair. Her face, most of which the acid melted years ago, occasionally lights up with a smile. Her hands, largely undamaged, deftly handle the dark brown locks.

A few steps away in this popular beauty salon, Urooj Akbar diligently trims, cleans and paints clients' fingernails. Her face, severely scarred from the blaze that burned about 70% of her body, is somber. It's hard to tell if she's sad or if it's just the way she now looks.

 
Related Content

Moving on

At work
"Every person wishes that he or she is beautiful," says Liaqat, 21. "But in my view, your face is not everything. Real beauty lies inside a person, not outside."

"They do it because the world demands it," Akbar, 28, says of clients. "For them, it's a necessity. For me, it isn't."

Liaqat and Akbar got into the beauty business in the eastern city of Lahore thanks to the Depilex Smileagain Foundation, an organization devoted to aiding women who have been burned in acid or other attacks.

About five years ago, Masarrat Misbah, head of Pakistan's well-known Depilex salon chain, was leaving work when a veiled woman approached and asked for her help. She was insistent, and soon, a flustered Misbah saw why.

When she removed her veil, Misbah felt faint. "I saw a girl who had no face."

The woman said her husband had thrown acid on her.

Misbah decided to place a small newspaper ad to see if others needed similar assistance.

Forty-two women and girls responded.

Misbah got in touch with Smileagain, an Italian nonprofit that has provided medical services to burn victims in other countries. She sought the help of Pakistani doctors. Perhaps the biggest challenge has been raising money for the cause, in particular to build a special hospital and refuge for burn victims in Pakistan.

Her organization has about 240 registered victims on its help list, 83 of whom are at various stages of treatment.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan found that in 2007, at least 33 women were burned in acid attacks, and 45 were set on fire. But the statistics are probably an undercount, since many cases go unreported out of fear.

The victims Misbah has helped need, on average, 25 to 30 surgical procedures over several years, but she soon realized that wasn't enough. Some, especially those who were outcasts in their families, had to be able to support themselves.

To her surprise, several told her they wanted to be beauticians.

"And I felt so sad," Misbah says. "Because beauty is all about faces and beautiful girls and skin."

She helped arrange for 10 women to train in a beauty course in Italy last year. Some have difficulty because their vision is weak or their hands too burned for intricate work. But several, including Liaqat and Akbar, are making their way in the field.

The salon in Lahore is not the usual beauty parlor. There are pictures of beautiful women on the walls -- all made up, with perfect, gleaming hair. But then there's a giant poster of a girl with half her face destroyed.

"HELP US bring back a smile to the face of these survivors," it says.

Working for the salon is a dream come true for Liaqat, whose mischievous smile is still intact and frequently on display. As a child she was obsessed with beauty. Once she burned some of her sister's hair off with a makeshift curling iron. She still wears lipstick.

Akbar, the more reserved one, also carries out many administrative and other tasks for the foundation. One of her duties is collecting newspaper clippings about acid and burn attacks on women.

Both say they are treated well by clients and colleagues, but Misbah says some clients have complained.

"They say that when we come to a beauty salon, we come with the expectation that we're going to be relaxed, in a different frame of mind," Misbah says. "If we come here and we see someone who has gone through so much pain and misery, so automatically that gives us that low feeling also. They have a point.

"At the same time, there are clients who take pride in asking these girls to give them a blow-dry, or getting a manicure or pedicure taken from them."

Sometimes they ask what happened.

According to Liaqat and a lawyer for her case, she was married in her teens, on paper, to a relative, but the families had agreed she wouldn't live with him until she finished school. Within months, though, the man started demanding she join him.

One day at the end of July 2003, he showed up at their house with a package. He asked her to get him some water. He followed her to the kitchen, and as she turned around with the water, she says, he doused her with the acid. It seared much of her face, blinded her right eye, and seriously weakened her left one.

Liaqat shakes her head when recalling how a few days before the incident she found a small pimple on her face and threw a fit.

After she was burned, her parents at first wouldn't let their daughter look at a mirror. But eventually she saw herself, and she's proud to say she didn't cry.

"Once we had a wedding in the family. I went there and all the girls were getting dressed and putting on makeup. So that time, I felt a pain in my heart," she says. "But I don't want to weaken myself with these thoughts."

Her husband is in prison as the attempted murder case against him proceeds. The two are still legally married.

Akbar says she found herself in an arranged marriage by age 22. Her husband grew increasingly possessive and abusive, she says. The two had a child.

About three years ago, Akbar says, he sprinkled kerosene oil on her as she slept and lighted it.

A picture taken shortly afterward shows how her face melted onto her shoulders, leaving her with no visible neck.

Akbar has not filed a case against her now ex-husband. She says she'll one day turn to the law, at least to get her daughter back.

Both women were reluctant for a reporter to contact their alleged attackers.

Liaqat and Akbar have undergone several surgeries and expect to face more. They say Misbah's foundation was critical to their present well- being.

"Mentally, I am at peace with myself," Akbar says. "The peace of mind I have now, I never had before. I suffered much more mental anguish in my married life."

Bushra Tareen, a regular client of Liaqat's, praises her work.

"I feel that her hands call me again and again," Tareen says. She adds that Liaqat and Akbar remind her of the injustices women face, and their ability to rise above them.

"When I see them, I want to be like them -- strong girls," she says.

Liaqat is grateful for having achieved her goal of being a beautician. She worries about her eyesight but is determined to succeed.

"I want to make a name for myself in this profession," she says.

Akbar plans to use her income one day to support her little girl, whom she has barely seen since the attack.

"I'm independent now, I stand on my own two feet," she says. "I have a job, I work, I earn. In fact, I'm living on my own . . . which isn't an easy thing to do for a woman in Pakistan, for a lone woman to survive."
11064  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 03:08:52 PM
While it is easy and perhaps right to admire and respect the Georgians, one needs to be practical too.  And, sometimes one needs to be fair and put ourselves in the other (Russian) person's shoes.  Aren't we being a little bit hypocritical in our condemnation of Russia when we would probably have done the same thing if Mexico became a close Russian/Iranian/North Korean ally with talk of a missile defense system?

**I very much doubt it. We don't act now, with multiple Mexican military incursions onto US soil, attacks on border law enforcement.**

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-react17-2008aug17,0,2584755.story

A good point is raised.




**It's hardly a good point. We freed the Iraqis from Saddam and are rebuilding the country. I doubt very much Russian troops are building schools and giving medical treatment to Geogians right now.**
11065  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 02:39:29 PM
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_08/014312.php

August 16, 2008
BUSH AND SAAKASHVILI....Josh Marshall on the Russo-Georgian war:

The truth is that the US screwed up here in a big way. This isn't to excuse the Russians. But we pumped the Georgians up as our big Iraq allies, got them revved up about coming into NATO, playing all this pipeline politics, all of which led them to have a much more aggressive posture toward the Russians than we were willing, in the final analysis, to back up. So now they've gotten badly mauled.

I've read variations on this theme about a hundred times now, and I really feel like some pushback is in order. The idea that we somehow prompted Mikheil Saakashvili to undertake his invasion of South Ossetia last week just doesn't bear scrutiny.

Look: Saakashvili came to power on a Georgian nationalist platform of recovering Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He's been jonesing for an excuse to send troops in for years, regardless of anything the U.S. did or didn't do. Likewise, Putin has been eagerly waiting for an excuse to pound the crap out of him in return — again, regardless of anything the U.S. did or didn't do. (You don't think Russia was able to mount a highly precise counterattack within 24 hours just by coincidence, do you?)

Now sure, in general, Kosovo + missile shield + NATO enlargement + resurgent Russian nationalism formed the background for this war, and maybe the U.S. has played a bad hand on this score. But Bush administration officials have said for months (i.e., before the war started, meaning this isn't just post hoc ass covering) that they've urged Saakashvili to stay cool. And I believe them. What else would they do, after all? There was never any chance that we were going to provide Georgia with military help in case of a Russian invasion, and it's improbable in the extreme that anyone on our side said anything to suggest otherwise. When Saakashvili says, just hours before sending troops into South Ossetia, that he understands this means war with Russia but he "cannot imagine the West not coming to Georgia's aid," he's being delusional.

The U.S. should have played a smarter, longer-term game here. But that said, supporting Georgia's future entry into NATO and helping to modernize their military really isn't the same thing as encouraging Saakashvili to start a war with Russia. It just isn't.

—Kevin Drum 1:37 PM
11066  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 02:10:36 PM
LtMedTB,

You are active duty .mil, right?
11067  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Articulating our cause against Islamic Fascism on: August 17, 2008, 06:21:18 AM
Here is the problem with Dr. Wheeler's hoped for fragility; Mohammed was criticized and mocked during his lifetime. Once Mohammed gained power, he had those that criticized and mocked him tortured and killed. That's been islam's default response ever since.

Ask Theo VanGogh how this strategy worked in the Netherlands.....   sad
11068  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: August 17, 2008, 06:16:03 AM
Sorry, I should have added more.

I think that it's important to examine how various nations/cultures educate and socialize their children as this will be a good starting point in attempting to extrapolate the long term trajectories of those cultures/nations.

I'm not sure I agree with all the points made by the professor, but it's an interesting perspective.
11069  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 06:09:31 AM
A line from an instructor in my police academy class years ago went something like "The public gets the law enforcement it deserves" obviously referencing Jefferson's statement on gov't.

The public elects the officials, that pass the laws, that law enforcement enforces. If you don't like the "war on drugs" as an example, then get the laws changed.
11070  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 06:02:11 AM
I think we can all agree the frog metaphor has been beaten, or maybe boiled to death. evil

All I know about the NSA is what is open source information. To the best of my knowledge, the NSA has an army of mathematicians and linguists only, aside from their "NSA police" and other support personnel. It's all about SigInt collection and analysis OCONUS. To my knowledge, they do not have any direct action capabilities.

I'm unsure why the NSA's existence would be objected to.
11071  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 16, 2008, 08:54:06 AM
To paraphrase an infamous leader of a real police state, "How many divisions does the NSA have?"
11072  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: August 16, 2008, 08:47:51 AM
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/china-prep/aaron-brown-interview-vanessa-fong/2656/


Worth watching.
11073  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 16, 2008, 08:42:22 AM
What about it?
11074  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 07:43:24 PM
As it stands, the US doesn't have the infrastructure for a police state. A rough estimate is that there are about 800,000 law enforcement officers nationwide. The vast majority of those are uniformed officers engaged in general law enforcement duties, and employed by small towns with less than 10 officers.

We don't have a "national police force". The US is the only nation in the world (to my knowledge) that has elected law enforcement officials. The vast majority of officers work at the local level under the direction of locally elected officials that shape the policy and character of the agencies.

Of those officers tasked to investigations, the vast majority work crimes with direct impact on their communities. Most work under immense caseloads trying to "clear" cases with very limited resources. I am not aware of any law enforcement agencies with too many officers and not enough crime.
11075  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 04:53:05 PM
Crafty,

I think it's pretty clear that the courts have established that no matter what technology brings forth, it cannot be used by law enforcement without due regard for constitutional protections. If I had "x-ray goggles" and was using them to view inside your house, this has to meet the same standards as an old fashioned physical entry/search of your home. Better have a warrant or fall under the warrantless exemptions before doing so.
11076  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 04:42:10 PM
http://www.ichrdd.ca/english/commdoc/publications/globalization/goldenShieldEng.html



Crafty Dog here, using the Moderator's Perogative:

GM, would you please be so kind as to summarize the rather lengthy contents of your URL?  smiley


Executive Summary

China today faces a very modern paradox. On one side, the government understands that information technologies are the engine driving the global economy, and that Chinese economic growth will depend in large measure on the extent to which the country is integrated with the global information infrastructure. At the same time, however, China is an authoritarian, single-party state. Continued social stability relies on the suppression of anti-government activities. To state the problem simply, political control is dependent on economic growth and economic growth requires the modernization of information technologies, which in turn, have the potential to undermine political control.

The "Great Firewall of China" is failing, largely due to the increased volume of Internet traffic in China. The government knows that it can no longer hope to filter out all "objectionable" material before it enters China’s networks; and so, faced with these contradictory forces of openness and control, China is seeking to strike a balance between the information-related needs of economic modernization and the security requirements of internal stability. In seeking to reach this balance, the Chinese state has found an extraordinary ally in private telecommunications firms located primarily in Western countries. Many companies, including notably Nortel Networks, until recently Canada’s largest firm, are playing key roles in meeting the security needs of the Chinese government. Nortel Networks and other international firms are in effect helping China to displace the firewall it constructed at the international gateway with a more sophisticated system of content filtration at the individual level.

Old style censorship is being replaced with a massive, ubiquitous architecture of surveillance: the Golden Shield. Ultimately the aim is to integrate a gigantic online database with an all-encompassing surveillance network – incorporating speech and face recognition, closed-circuit television, smart cards, credit records, and Internet surveillance technologies. This has been facilitated by the standardization of telecommunications equipment to facilitate electronic surveillance, an ambitious project led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US, and now adopted as an international standard.

Many people in China have been arrested for Internet-related "crimes," ranging from supplying e-mail addresses to Internet publications to circulating pro-democratic information or articles that are critical of the Chinese government, in blatant contradiction of international human rights law guaranteeing freedom of speech. Charges are typically "subversion" or "threatening to overthrow the government" as the line between criminal activity and the exercise of freedom of speech is non-existent in China. The development of this new all-encompassing architecture of electronic surveillance will make the lives of such courageous activists even more difficult.

In November 2000, 300 companies from over 16 countries attended a trade show in Beijing called Security China 2000. Among the organizers was the "Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Commission for the Comprehensive Management of Social Security." A central feature of the show was the Golden Shield project, launched to promote "the adoption of advanced information and communication technology to strengthen central police control, responsiveness, and crime combating capacity, so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of police work." China’s security apparatus announced an ambitious plan: to build a nationwide digital surveillance network, linking national, regional and local security agencies with a panoptic web of surveillance. Beijing envisions the Golden Shield as a database-driven remote surveillance system – offering immediate access to records on every citizen in China, while linking to vast networks of cameras designed to increase police efficiency.

In order to make the Golden Shield a reality, the Chinese government is dependent upon the technological expertise and investment of Western companies. Canada’s Nortel Networks is playing a key role in these developments as witnessed by:

-- its joint research with Tsinghua University on specific forms of speech recognition technology, for the purpose of automated surveillance of telephone conversations;

-- its strong and early support for FBI plans to develop a common standard to intercept telephone communications, known as CALEA, in conjunction with technology transfer through its joint venture, Guangdong Nortel (GDNT);

-- its close relationship with Datang Telecom, a Chinese firm with substantial interests in the state security market in China;

-- the promotion of JungleMUX which allows video surveillance data to be transported from remote cameras back to a centralized surveillance point to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS);

-- the deployment of its "Personal Internet" suite in Shanghai, greatly enhancing the ability of Internet service providers to track the communications of individual users;

-- a US$10 million project to build a citywide fibre-optic broadband network in Shanghai (OPTera) enabling central authorities to monitor the interests of subscribers at the "edge" of the network, principally through the Shasta 5000 firewall, in direct conflict with the right to privacy. This technology will also make it more difficult for dissidents to have clandestine communications and facilitate police monitoring of Internet users attempting to access URLs not judged appropriate by the Chinese government;

-- the integration of face recognition and voice recognition technology in collaboration with AcSys Biometrics, a subsidiary of Burlington, Ontario-based NEXUS. (2)

Many other Western firms have been involved in the development of a repressive state security apparatus through the following developments:

-- a nationwide database containing information on all adult Chinese citizens;

-- smart cards for all citizens which can be scanned without the owner’s knowledge at a distance of a few metres;

-- closed-circuit television to monitor public spaces;

-- technology which allows the Public Security Bureau to make instant comparisons of fingerprints;

-- development of firewalls in China.

The self-interested high-tech discourse promises that new information and telecommunication technologies are inherently democratic and will foster openness wherever they are used. China’s Golden Shield: Corporations and the Development of Surveillance Technology in the People’s Republic of China debunks this myth. Technology is embedded in a social context and, in this report, it has been shown to bolster repression in a one-party state in the name of expanding markets and exponential profits.

Introduction

China has long suffered from inadequate telecommunications. Economic growth has demanded modernization of an infrastructure characterized by outdated technology and limited access to the resources necessary to develop it. To overcome these deficits, the government has embarked on a well-financed effort to modernize its information infrastructure. China has therefore quickly become one of the world’s largest consumers of telecommunications equipment.

An important goal of this modernization has been the acquisition of advanced telecommunications equipment from industrialized nations, on the premise that the technologies of the information revolution provide China with the opportunity to "leapfrog" and vastly improve capabilities in areas related to telecommunications. The transfer of these technologies to China has been facilitated by two mutually supporting trends.

First, there is enormous competition among telecommunications firms to get a share of the relatively undeveloped but rapidly expanding Chinese telecommunications market – the largest market in the world. Naturally, the lure of potential billions has attracted every major telecommunications corporation, including US-based Lucent and Cisco, European wireless giants Nokia and Ericsson, and Canada’s Nortel Networks – not to mention countless others. From these companies, China is buying more than US$20 billion worth of telecom equipment a year.

China is reported to account for about 25% of the world’s market for telecommunications equipment and is expanding exponentially. Much of this growth is achieved through sales by foreign telecommunications companies and by joint ventures with Chinese partners, which brings us to the second important trend.

The installation of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate economic reform greatly complicates the state’s internal security goals. As the amount of information traveling over China’s networks increases exponentially, the government’s ability to control that information declines.

The exponential growth of the Internet in China has led some to argue that as new technologies are adopted they will inevitably create a more open, democratic society. The premise of much research is that the Internet is an inherently democratizing medium, promoting pluralism, strengthening civil society, and pressuring governments to become more accountable to their people. In the post-Cold War world, the power of information and communication technology to transform repressive societies is often held to be self-evident.

Recent events in China present a rather different story. It is well documented that the Chinese government is committed to controlling online content and to restricting the access citizens have to information published outside the country. (3) They also aim to prevent the emergence of "virtual organizing" that has become an important feature of the Internet in other countries. In this regard, the Internet presents a number of unique challenges to the regime. Recent data from a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) survey shows that 10% of users admit to regularly using proxy servers to defeat censorship, that most users trust foreign news sources almost as much as government sources, and that the majority believe that the Internet will have significant social and political effects. (4)

In light of this rapid transformation, Chinese authorities are keen to acquire new technologies that will serve to increase their surveillance capabilities. While the Internet may empower ordinary people, it may also provide the government with a new range of repressive tools to monitor private speech and censor public opinion.

From the first linking of China to the global Internet in 1994, central authorities have consistently sought to control China’s Internet connections. Heavily restricting international connectivity was a key principle in China’s nascent Internet security strategy. Now, seven years later, international connections for all five of China’s major networks (5) still pass through proxy servers at official international "gateways." (6) Filtering and monitoring of network traffic is still focused at this level. Derisively termed "The Great Firewall" (7) by hackers and journalists worldwide, this strategy has enjoyed varying degrees of success. Continued economic modernization, however, has led to exponential growth in the demand for international bandwidth, and the sheer volume of Internet traffic today poses a serious challenge to the strategy of State control at the gateway level.

Originally, there were many reasons for constructing the Chinese network along the lines of this "Great Firewall" model. The gateways would modulate the pace of China’s opening up to the world through electronic interaction. The government would decide at what rate to expand the connections and could theoretically shut them down in a social emergency.

The gateways were to serve as the first line of defence against anti-government network intrusions. They would serve as a firewall, restricting the amount of information about internal networks available to foreign intruders. The gateways were designed to prevent Chinese citizens from using the Internet to access forbidden sites and anti-government information from abroad. In theory, State control of the routing tables at the gateway level offered authorities the hope that they could prevent their own people from accessing foreign sites like the Cable News Network (CNN), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Tibet Information Network or Human Rights Watch/Asia.

China’s Internet regulations and legislation are guided by the principle of "guarded openness" – seeking to preserve the economic benefits of openness to global information, while guarding against foreign economic domination and the use of the Internet by domestic or foreign groups to coordinate anti-regime activity.

The stakes are high – for the government, as China integrates into the global economy, and for the would-be "cyber-dissident," who ultimately faces the death penalty for illegal use of the Internet.
11077  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 04:04:14 PM
Ahhhh that is my concern; protection/erosion of Civil Liberties.

**It's easy to proclaim noble sounding statements about civil liberties while having only a superficial grasp of the complexities of the issues. Worrying about gov't oppression in the US is like worrying about Ebola while you smoke and are 100 pounds overweight. Is it theoretically a threat? Sure. What do the statistics say?**
11078  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 03:54:38 PM
As usual, GM is logical.

Where I still am left with doubt is that the reasonableness of the existing standard was developed in the context AND LIMITATIONS of the then existant technology.  As technological capabilities evolve ever more rapidly, are we headed towards a situation where everyone can be monitored all the time?

**The technology already exists to theoretically monitor everyone to a degree all the time. China tries. The US is nowhere near that.**
11079  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 03:49:23 PM
**It's easy to get excited about technology, but as cited below it's not the technology that matters. It's about what the courts see as the "reasonable expectation of privacy".**

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

KYLLO v. UNITED STATES

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

No. 99—8508. Argued February 20, 2001–Decided June 11, 2001
Suspicious that marijuana was being grown in petitioner Kyllo’s home in a triplex, agents used a thermal imaging device to scan the triplex to determine if the amount of heat emanating from it was consistent with the high-intensity lamps typically used for indoor marijuana growth. The scan showed that Kyllo’s garage roof and a side wall were relatively hot compared to the rest of his home and substantially warmer than the neighboring units. Based in part on the thermal imaging, a Federal Magistrate Judge issued a warrant to search Kyllo’s home, where the agents found marijuana growing. After Kyllo was indicted on a federal drug charge, he unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized from his home and then entered a conditional guilty plea. The Ninth Circuit ultimately affirmed, upholding the thermal imaging on the ground that Kyllo had shown no subjective expectation of privacy because he had made no attempt to conceal the heat escaping from his home. Even if he had, ruled the court, there was no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy because the thermal imager did not expose any intimate details of Kyllo’s life, only amorphous hot spots on his home’s exterior.

Held: Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment “search,” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant. Pp. 3—13.

    (a) The question whether a warrantless search of a home is reasonable and hence constitutional must be answered no in most instances, but the antecedent question whether a Fourth Amendment “search” has occurred is not so simple. This Court has approved warrantless visual surveillance of a home, see California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207, 213, ruling that visual observation is no “search” at all, see Dow Chemical Co. v. United States, 476 U.S. 227, 234—235, 239. In assessing when a search is not a search, the Court has adapted a principle first enunciated in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 361: A “search” does not occur–even when its object is a house explicitly protected by the Fourth Amendment–unless the individual manifested a subjective expectation of privacy in the searched object, and society is willing to recognize that expectation as reasonable, see, e.g., California v. Ciraolo, supra, at 211. Pp. 3—5.

    (b) While it may be difficult to refine the Katz test in some instances, in the case of the search of a home’s interior–the prototypical and hence most commonly litigated area of protected privacy–there is a ready criterion, with roots deep in the common law, of the minimal expectation of privacy that exists, and that is acknowledged to be reasonable. To withdraw protection of this minimum expectation would be to permit police technology to erode the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Thus, obtaining by sense-enhancing technology any information regarding the home’s interior that could not otherwise have been obtained without physical “intrusion into a constitutionally protected area,” Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 512, constitutes a search–at least where (as here) the technology in question is not in general public use. This assures preservation of that degree of privacy against government that existed when the Fourth Amendment was adopted. Pp. 6—7.

    (c) Based on this criterion, the information obtained by the thermal imager in this case was the product of a search. The Court rejects the Government’s argument that the thermal imaging must be upheld because it detected only heat radiating from the home’s external surface. Such a mechanical interpretation of the Fourth Amendment was rejected in Katz, where the eavesdropping device in question picked up only sound waves that reached the exterior of the phone booth to which it was attached. Reversing that approach would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology–including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home. Also rejected is the Government’s contention that the thermal imaging was constitutional because it did not detect “intimate details.” Such an approach would be wrong in principle because, in the sanctity of the home, all details are intimate details. See e.g., United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705; Dow Chemical, supra, at 238, distinguished. It would also be impractical in application, failing to provide a workable accommodation between law enforcement needs and Fourth Amendment interests. See Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 181. Pp. 7—12.

    (d) Since the imaging in this case was an unlawful search, it will remain for the District Court to determine whether, without the evidence it provided, the search warrant was supported by probable cause–and if not, whether there is any other basis for supporting admission of that evidence. Pp. 12—13.

190 F.3d 1041, reversed and remanded.

    Scalia, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O’Connor and Kennedy, JJ., joined.



11080  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War? on: August 14, 2008, 08:41:53 AM
This means the Saudis do not anticipate that we/Israel will stop Iran from becoming nuclear. Oh joy....  sad
11081  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: August 13, 2008, 09:59:20 PM
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1205309,00.html

Exclusive Book Excerpt: How an Al-Qaeda Cell Planned a Poison-Gas Attack on the N.Y. Subway
Saturday, Jun. 17, 2006

Target of Terror: Passengers wait for their train on a New York City subway platform last week
DAVID BURNETT/CONTACT FOR TIME

Al-Qaeda terrorists came within 45 days of attacking the New York subway system with a lethal gas similar to that used in Nazi death camps. They were stopped not by any intelligence breakthrough, but by an order from Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Zawahiri. And the U.S. learned of the plot from a CIA mole inside al-Qaeda. These are some of the more startling revelations by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, whose new book The One Percent Doctrine is excerpted in the forthcoming issue of TIME. It will appear on Time.com early Sunday morning.


U.S. intelligence got its first inkling of the plot from the contents of a laptop computer belonging to a Bahraini jihadist captured in Saudi Arabia early in 2003. It contained plans for a gas-dispersal system dubbed "the mubtakkar" (Arabic for inventive). Fearing that al-Qaeda's engineers had achieved the holy grail of terror R&D — a device to effectively distribute hydrogen-cyanide gas, which is deadly when inhaled — the CIA immediately set about building a prototype based on the captured design, which comprised two separate chambers for sodium cyanide and a stable source of hydrogen, such as hydrochloric acid. A seal between the two could be broken by a remote trigger, producing the gas for dispersal. The prototype confirmed their worst fears: "In the world of terrorist weaponry," writes Suskind, "this was the equivalent of splitting the atom. Obtain a few widely available chemicals, and you could construct it with a trip to Home Depot — and then kill everyone in the store."
The device was shown to President Bush and Vice President Cheney the following morning, prompting the President to order that alerts be sent through all levels of the U.S. government. Easily constructed and concealed, the device ensured that mass casualties would be inevitable if it could be triggered in any enclosed public space.
Having discovered the device, exposing the plot in which it might be used became a matter of extreme urgency. Although the Saudis were cooperating more than ever before in efforts to track down al-Qaeda operatives in the kingdom, the interrogations of suspects connected with the Bahraini on whose computer the Mubtakkar was discovered were going nowhere. The U.S. would have to look elsewhere.
Conventional wisdom has long held that the U.S. has no human intelligence assets inside al-Qaeda. "That is not true," writes Suskind. Over the previous six months, U.S. agents had been receiving accurate tips from a man the writer identifies simply as "Ali," a management-level al-Qaeda operative who believed his leaders had erred in attacking the U.S. directly. "The group was now dispersed," writes Suskind. "A few of its leaders and many foot soldiers were captured or dead. As with any organization, time passed and second-guessing began."
And when asked about the mubtakkar and the names of the men arrested in Saudi Arabia, Ali was aware of the plot. He identified the key man as bin Laden's top operative on the Arabian Peninsula, Yusuf al Ayeri, a.k.a. "Swift Sword," who had been released days earlier by Saudi authorities, unaware that al-Ayeri was bin Laden's point man in the kingdom.
Ali revealed that Ayeri had visited Ayman Zawahiri in January 2003, to inform him of a plot to attack the New York City subway system using cyanide gas. Several mubtakkars were to be placed in subway cars and other strategic locations. This was not simply a proposal; the plot was well under way. In fact, zero hour was only 45 days away. But then, for reasons still debated by U.S. intelligence officials, Zawahiri called off the attack. "Ali did not know the precise explanation why. He just knew that Zawahiri had called them off."
The news left administration officials gathered in the White House with more questions than answers. Why was Ali cooperating? Why had Zawahiri called off the strike? Were the operatives who were planning to carry out the attack still in New York? "The CIA analysts attempted answers. Many of the questions were simply unanswerable."
One man who could answer them was al-Ayeri — but he was killed in a gun battle between Saudi security forces and al-Qaeda militants who had launched a mini-insurrection to coincide with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Suskind quotes a CIA operative as questioning whether it was an accident that the Saudis had killed the kingpin who could expose a cell planning a chemical weapons attack inside the U.S. "The Saudis just shrugged," the source tells Suskind. "They said their people got a little overzealous."
11082  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 13, 2008, 05:20:41 PM
Every state requires that you display a state issued identifier on your vehicle for the use of government, including law enforcement purposes. You do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy for that vehicle information including registered owner/s, payment of fees/taxes and insurance status. This identifier can and has been used for surveillance purposes since cops have been chasing bad guys in cars.
11083  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 13, 2008, 04:37:41 PM
The lines for the most part have been drawn by legislation and caselaw. The technology changes, but the lines haven't, for the most part.
11084  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: August 13, 2008, 04:33:12 PM
http://counterterrorismblog.org/2008/08/federal_complaint_and_other_do.php

Federal Complaint and Other Documents on Aafia Siddiqui, Alleged Al Qaeda "Fixer"
By Andrew Cochran

Aafia Siddiqui, long sought for alleged ties to Al Qaeda, appears in federal court today in New York City. Siddiqui was arrested on July 17 by the Afghanistan National Police and was carrying documents describing the creation of explosives, descriptions of landmarks in the United States, and substances that were sealed in bottles and glass jars." While she was in custody, she seized a rifle and fired twice at U.S. military personnel who were preparing to question her. A federal agent returned fire, and she was wounded while shouting in English that she wanted to kill Americans. Siddiqui is charged with one count of attempting to kill United States officers and employees and one count of assaulting United States officers and employees. The NEFA Foundation has posted the complaint, the DOJ press release about the complaint, and other documents referring to her.

Siddiqui has been on the Ten Most Wanted list of the Boston office of the FBI for years for her alleged role as a terrorist facilitator. In 2004, the Attorney General and FBI Director identified her as one of seven people wanted for questioning about suspected ties to Al Qaeda. She is alleged to have assisted Majid Khan and Ammar al-Baluchi, two alleged top Al Qaeda lieutenants now imprisoned at Gitmo, in their activities in the U.S. She is also alleged to have been among among the "intended beneficiaries" of the misuse of funds by Care International, the Boston-based Muslim charity whose leaders were convicted on several charges (later partially dismissed by a federal judge). Siddiqui is also implicated in Al Qaeda's interest in the west African diamond trade and traveled to Liberia in 2001. See this post by Douglas Farah in August 2005, quoting Mike Shanlin, the former CIA station chief for Liberia. "'They (al Qaeda operatives) were there during the period in question,' referring to the period of 1998-2001. 'And clearly they were involved in some sort of a diamond business. That's a fact.'"

Siddiqui's capture is an important break for U.S. counter-terrorism efforts and could lead to significant information about the Al Qaeda leadership structure worldwide.
11085  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: August 13, 2008, 04:22:03 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=5567066

Alleged Mata Hari of Al Qaeda Could Provide 'Treasure Trove' of Intelligence
Aafia Siddique Had a List of Targets in New York & Chem-Bio Weapons Information in her Possession

By RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS
August 12, 2008—

When she was arrested in Afghanistan last month, Aafia Siddique allegedly had in her possession maps of New York, a list of potential targets that included the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the subway system and the animal disease center on Plum Island, detailed chemical, biological and radiological weapon information that has been seen only in a handful of terrorist cases, as well as a thumb drive packed with emails, ABC News has learned.

That haul of information has led multiple government sources to describe Siddique, a 36 year-old MIT graduate, as a potential "treasure trove" of information on terrorist supporters, sympathizers or 'sleepers' in the United States and overseas.

"She is the most significant capture in five years," said former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who said she lives up to her reputation as an alleged terrorist 'Mata Hari.'

And there is an eagerness to see what, if anything, she can add to the thin trickle of fresh information on the activities of terrorists and terrorist supporters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as what if any risk she might pose to national security.

Only a "handful" of captured alleged Al Qaeda associates have had the kind of detailed information on weapons of mass destruction that Siddique, who attended MIT as an undergraduate and earned her PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis, had in her handbag, multiple current and former US intelligence and law enforcement officials told ABC News.

"She is a very dangerous person, no doubt about it," said a senior US counter terrorism official.

"This is a major haul, a major capture for the FBI," said Kiriakou. "To find someone who has such rich information, computer hard drives, e-mails, that is really a major capture."

US authorities are analyzing Siddique's saliva, hair, and fingernail scrapings to determine, if possible, what evidence they can find of any exposure to chemical, biological or radiological materials with potential use in weapons of mass destruction, sources said.

"Her education troubled us. We know that she's extremely bright. She's radicalized. We knew that she had been planning, or at least involved in the planning, of a wide variety of different operations, whether they involved weapons of mass destruction or research into chemical or biological weapons, whether it was a possible attempt on the life of the President," said Kiriakou. "We knew that she was involved with a great deal and we had to bring her into custody."

When nabbed by a team of Afghanistan National Police officers on July 17th, she also had in her possession a one gigabyte digital media storage device - a thumb drive - whose contents included a large trail of emails that authorities are now poring over, sources said. Those e-mails, a source involved in the investigation said, are between "what she described as 'units' and what we would call 'cells'."

In her papers she had maps and information concerning potential targets in New York City that sources say included the subway, Times Square and the Statute of Liberty, ABC News has learned. She also carried excerpts from "The Anarchist's Arsenal" and "documents detailing United States military assets", according to the federal complaint against her filed July 31st in Manhattan.

ABC News sources said that she also had information indicating the possibility of "an attack" on Plum Island Disease Center, a secure US government facility off the tip of Long Island, New York where research into foot and mouth disease, swine fever and other animal pathogens is conducted by the Department of Agriculture and security is provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

"We're proud of our role as America's first line of defense against foreign animal diseases," the facility's website notes. "We're equally proud of our safety record. Not once in our nearly 50 years of operation has an animal pathogen escaped from the island."

The remote possibility of smuggling a pathogen off isolated Plum Island was the subject of the bestseller Plum Island by Nelson DeMille.

But a terrorist attack on the isolated island would not spread disease, according to homeland security officials familiar with the research activities there.

Interest in Siddique is in itself not new. On May 26th, 2004 she became the first woman wanted by the federal government in connection with Al Qaeda when then Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller asked the public's help in finding her and six men suspected of links to Al Qaeda.

At that same time they warned, in advance of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, that Al Qaeda was preparing to "hit the United States hard" that summer.

By then Siddique had been linked to an "ill conceived" and perhaps amateurish plot to "kill all living US presidents", according to sources from three federal agencies. And she had already vanished from public view for about 16 months.

She has also been twice married; once to a nephew of 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Her name reportedly rolled from KSM's lips when he was captured and interrogated by US intelligence officers. She has also been linked to Adnan El Shukrijumah, a pilot and suspected al Qaeda member also on the Ashcroft-Mueller list.

Shukrijumah, Ashcroft noted, had once lived in Florida, had left the United States and had later attempted to re-enter the country using a variety of passports.

"We know that he has been involved in terrorist planning with senior al Qaeda leaders overseas and has scouted sites across America that might be vulnerable to terrorist attack," Ashcroft added.

By the time of Siddique's capture last month, she had become something of a cause celebre among some human rights activists who believe she was "disappeared" five years ago by the Pakistani government, perhaps at the request of the United States.

At a federal court hearing in Manhattan on Monday, the number of supporters who showed up required the US Marshals to move the Magistrate's Court proceeding to a larger courtroom and also open an overflow courtroom where spectators could listen to and watch the proceedings on closed circuit TV.

They saw Siddique slumped over in a wheelchair, the result of having been shot twice with a nine millimeter side arm after she allegedly grabbed a US Army Warrant Officer's M-4 Carbine and opened fire as a team of FBI agents, US Army officers including the Warrant Officer and a Captain, and interpreters prepared to interrogate her on July 18th, the day following her arrest, according the federal complaint.

"The Warrant Officer saw and heard Siddique fire at least two shots as Interpreter 1 tried to wrestle the gun from her. No one was hit. The Warrant Officer heard Siddique exclaim 'Allah Akbar!' Another interpreter (Interpreter 2) heard Siddique yell in English 'Get the f--- out of here,' as she fired the rifle," the complaint stated.

"Her medical condition is that, she was shot in the abdomen. There are stitches that run from the breast plate area down to the belly button area...layers and layers of tissue have been sewn, sutured. We have heard reports that she has lost a kidney; we don't know if those are accurate but we are concerned about that. There has been intestinal damage, part of the intestines, we understand, have been removed," according to Elaine Whitman Sharpe, one of a team of three attorneys present for Siddique.

Pakistani officials present at the hearing said they had "no information" on the allegations that Siddique had been secretly held prisoner and "no information" to offer on the allegations that their government may have assisted in that capture.

Her friends and family say the young woman, a mother of three, is innocent and being persecuted by the US.

There is some dissent in the intelligence community on Siddique's potential value and some have characterized her as mentally unbalanced and operationally insignificant.

But in an intelligence and law enforcement community that has exhausted the useful information from high value prisoners it has had in custody for as long as six years and has watched the stream of new intelligence go from a torrent to a trickle, she is seen by many as having at least the potential of holding valuable current intelligence about members and associates of Al Qaeda both overseas and in the United States.
11086  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 13, 2008, 03:25:32 PM
Good.

11087  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 13, 2008, 10:10:46 AM
No. Reasonable. Expectation. of. Privacy.
11088  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: August 13, 2008, 09:39:28 AM
In an ironic bit of synchronicity, amazon.com just emailed me to let me know my backordered copy of  "Sayed Qutb (Author) "Milestones" [Paperback]
    Estimated arrival date: 09/11/2008"

Kind of creepy.
11089  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: August 12, 2008, 07:49:03 PM
http://cbs4denver.com/local/burnsley.hotel.death.2.793573.html

Aug 12, 2008 5:02 pm US/Mountain
Man Dead, Large Amount Of Possible Cyanide Found
Reporting
Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) ― It has the makings of international intrigue. Less than two weeks before the Democratic National Convention a man has been found dead in a Denver hotel room with a container of what authorities initially suspect to be the deadly poison cyanide.

Adding to the intrigue is that the dead man, Saleman Abdirahman Dirie, 29, appears to be from outside the U.S. No passport was found on Dirie, who is believed to have entered the country from Canada.

A large container of a white powdery substance was found in the man's room on the fourth floor of The Burnsley hotel at 10th and Grant.

Tests are now being done by the Denver Police Crime Lab to determine exactly what the substance is. The tests could take days.

It's believed Dirie died from something other than the substance that was in the container.

Denver police are leading the investigation of the man's death. The FBI and other governmental agencies, including the Joint Terrorism Task Force, are assisting in the probe. Hazardous materials assistance has included the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado National Guard.

"Our Joint Terrorism Task Force is involved in this simply because the victim here is from another country and it just kind of makes sense that our terrorism guys would take a look a look at this," FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis said.

Davis told CBS 4 that nothing so far has been found to link the case to terrorism or the coming convention.

Authorities said The Burnsley hotel is safe and is open for business.

Cyanide can be made from plants in very small amounts. It can be a gas, liquid or powder. It prevents the body from using oxygen and therefore is more harmful to the heart and brain than other organs.

"It was used in concentration camps in World War II and by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds in the 1990s," CBD4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida said. "And put it in a little capsule, it is in fact used as a suicide pill just like you see in the movies."

Officials said cyanide can be used as a terrorist weapon if it is dumped in water put in food, sprayed as a gas, or many other methods.

The investigation is continuing.
11090  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 12, 2008, 06:54:26 PM
I agree with those assessments. We Fcuk'ed up badly.  undecided
11091  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dealing with stalkers/creeps... on: August 12, 2008, 03:24:05 PM
Sorry to hear that Dan.

Still she is in jeopardy, and you well may still be in jeopardy. Make reports to law enforcement.
11092  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 12, 2008, 03:21:11 PM
I'm reminded of a Chinese phrase "Kill the chicken to scare the monkey". It strikes me that this may be exactly how China moves on Taiwan. A blitzkrieg while the free world dithers.

Best line I saw about this: "A Tsar is born. "

I'm curious to see how much Obama's standing in the polls was affected by this crisis.





11093  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: August 12, 2008, 12:41:59 AM
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-siddiqui5-2008aug05,0,4629105.story

Accused Al Qaeda sleeper agent in custody

HO/AFP/Getty Images
Composite image provided by the FBI on May 26, 2004 shows Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).

Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani mother of three who studied at MIT, is said to have moved in the terrorist group's inner circles. She faces charges of firing at U.S. personnel in Afghanistan.
By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 5, 2008

WASHINGTON -- One of the more elusive and mysterious figures linked to Al Qaeda -- a Pakistani mother of three who studied biology at MIT and who authorities say spent years in the United States as a sleeper agent -- was flown to New York on Monday night to face charges of attempting to kill U.S. military and FBI personnel in Afghanistan.

The Justice Department, FBI and U.S. military in Afghanistan said that Aafia Siddiqui, 36, was arrested in Ghazni province three weeks ago. She is accused of firing an automatic rifle at FBI agents and soldiers and is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Manhattan today.
 
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of a caption with a photo accompanying this article misidentified Siddiqui's sister, Dr. Fozia, as Siddiqui.
Authorities believe Siddiqui used the technical skills she acquired at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to do what virtually no other woman has accomplished -- work her way into the clubby inner circles of Al Qaeda's command and control operation, including its chemical and biological weapons program.

But questions swirled around her Monday evening, including whether she has been in Pakistani custody for at least part of the last five years and whether there is hard evidence that she was a trained, committed and hardened Al Qaeda operative, as former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and other U.S. officials have contended.

"This doesn't pass the sniff test," Elaine W. Sharp, a Massachusetts defense lawyer representing Siddiqui, said of the circumstances surrounding her client's arrest. She said her client was not an Al Qaeda terrorist, but an innocent woman who had been held at Bagram air base in Afghanistan or elsewhere for the last several years and tortured by some combination of U.S., Pakistani and Afghan officials.

Sharp said that Siddiqui had obtained an undergraduate biology degree from MIT and a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from Brandeis University, both near Boston, and that she had lived a quiet life in the Boston area, and in Houston before that, before returning to her native Pakistan in late 2002.

One senior U.S. federal law enforcement official refused to comment on the case, except to say that Siddiqui was an extremely significant catch and that authorities had pledged not to discuss any details of the operation because of its sensitivity and relationship to ongoing counter-terrorism operations.

"We can't say anything about this one," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He confirmed that the woman in custody was the one near the top of the FBI’s Most Wanted List of fugitive terrorism suspects wanted for questioning.

For years, the FBI and the CIA have been desperately trying to find Siddiqui, who they say spent several years in Boston as a "fixer" for admitted Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, providing haven and logistical support for terrorist operatives that he sent to the United States to launch attacks.

Siddiqui also bought diamonds in Liberia as part of Al Qaeda financing efforts and married Mohammed's nephew, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, according to several U.S. counter-terrorism officials and government documents.

One former CIA weapons of mass destruction analyst who tracked Siddiqui said that she became extremely frustrated years ago, however, when she was told by senior Al Qaeda leaders to help their cause by getting pregnant.

"They told her that the best thing she could do for Al Qaeda was to start popping out little jihadists," said the former CIA officer, who left the agency in 2006. "She was furious; she knows more about this stuff than pretty much anyone in the organization."

Siddiqui never gave up her desire to launch attacks against the United States and its allies, according to FBI and Justice Department records made public Monday night.

According to court papers, Afghan national police officers in Ghazni province, south of Kabul, the capital, observed Siddiqui acting suspiciously near the provincial governor's compound July 17.

When they searched her handbag, they found documents relating to explosives, chemical weapons and weapons involving biological materials and radiological agents, along with descriptions of landmarks in New York City and elsewhere in the United States, and liquid and gel substances sealed in bottles and jars.

The next day, according to the court papers, she was being questioned by two FBI agents, an Army captain and an Army warrant officer, along with their interpreters.

A spokeswoman for U.S. forces at Bagram air base, Lt. Col. Rumi Nielson-Green, said Siddiqui, who was being interrogated at an Afghan police station, grabbed a gun that a U.S. military officer had laid down while speaking to Afghan police. He did not realize Siddiqui was in the room at the time, unsecured, because she was hidden behind a curtain.

"She seized a weapon and began to shoot," Nielson-Green said. "Our officer returned fire. She was shot in the stomach, but continued to struggle."

She was subsequently hospitalized at Bagram and "was not in the detention facility at any time," Nielson-Green said. Siddiqui was flown to the United States after being found well enough to travel, the spokeswoman said.

Siddiqui is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York with one count of attempting to kill United States officers and employees and one count of assaulting U.S. officers and employees. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each charge.

Michael J. Garcia, the U.S. attorney in New York, praised the investigative work and said the investigation was continuing.

In the past Siddiqui's lawyer, some human rights advocates and Siddiqui's family members have said she disappeared with her three children in March 2003 while visiting her parents' home in Karachi -- around the same time the FBI said it wanted to question her. Mohammed was arrested just before that in Pakistan.

In 2006, Amnesty International listed Siddiqui as one of many "disappeared" suspects in the U.S.-led war on terrorism. Of allegations that Siddiqui had been detained at Bagram after her disappearance in Pakistan, Nielson-Green said: "That's absolute nonsense."

Pakistani government spokesmen declined to comment on the case early today.

Sharp said that the U.S. government's accusations were untrue, that Siddiqui's three children have never surfaced and that her family believes that public pressure from Amnesty and other organizations prompted authorities to concoct her suspicious behavior and arrest so they could hide the fact that she has been in custody all this time.

"We thought she was dead until her brother in Houston got a visit from the FBI the other day and said she is alive," Sharp said.

josh.meyer@latimes.com

Times staff writer Laura King in Kabul contributed to this report.
11094  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 12, 2008, 12:21:19 AM
Funny enough, Beslan is located in North Ossetia. I have studied the Chechens as well, still I had no clue as to the complexities of this region's ethnicities and history.
11095  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dealing with stalkers/creeps... on: August 11, 2008, 11:18:22 PM
Dan,

Based on the information you've given, there are multiple points to consider:

1. This individual is not acting in a rational manner.

2. His obsession has not dissipated in time, instead he seems to have escalated.

3. The escalation appears to have moved from an attempt to win back your girlfriend to anger.

4. His anger appears to now be focused on you.

5. As a result, he has now made a serious attempt to cause your physical injury or death.

With the above information, I give a high probability of his anger and frustration increasing, and with that the potential for him to escalate towards lethal violence towards you, your girlfriend and others.

Immediate investigative avenues for law enforcement:

1. Toolmark evidence from your truck. (I hope you still have the original clamps and any other parts that were tampered with)

2. An audit of his access to federal and state law enforcement databases to "run" you, your girlfriend and her parents. (For anyone to access state and federal databases, such as NCIC for personal reasons is a FELONY).

My suggestions for you:

1. You need to ensure that every place where you and your girlfriend are normally spending your time are "hardened targets". Let everyone at those locations know you are having problems with a stalker and ask for them to be aware of anything suspicious.

2. Go to a "big box" retailer and make a cash purchase of pre-paid cell phones for you and your GF to carry. Give the numbers to those that absolutely need them only, with the advisal not to release them to anyone else. Leave the old cells at home on silent. You check them for messages of an evidentiary nature to be turned over to law enforcement.

3. As much as possible, you and your GF need to start varying your patterns of movement and using countersurveillance techniques.
What are countersurveillance techniques? Stratfor has a nice primer:

The Secrets of Countersurveillance
June 6, 2007 | 1725 GMT
By Fred Burton

Almost any criminal act, from a purse-snatching to a terrorist bombing, involves some degree of pre-operational surveillance. In fact, one common denominator of all the different potential threats -- whether from lone wolves, militant groups, common criminals or the mentally disturbed -- is that those planning an operation all monitor their target in advance. However, while pickpockets or purse-snatchers case their victims for perhaps only a few seconds or minutes, a militant organization might conduct detailed surveillance of a target for several weeks or even months.

Regardless of the length of time surveillance is performed, however, the criminal or militant conducting it is exposed, and therefore vulnerable to detection. Because of this, countersurveillance (CS) -- the process of detecting and mitigating hostile surveillance -- is an important, though often overlooked, element of counterterrorism and security operations. CS is especially important because it is one of the few security measures that allows for threats to be dealt with before they can develop into active attacks.

An effective CS program depends on knowing two "secrets": first, hostile surveillance is vulnerable to detection because those performing it are not always as sophisticated in their tradecraft as commonly perceived; and second, hostile surveillance can be manipulated and the operatives forced into making errors that will reveal their presence.

The First Secret

Various potential assailants use different attack cycles, which vary depending on the nature and objectives of the plotter. For example, the typical six-step terrorist attack cycle does not always apply to a suicide bomber (who is not concerned about escape) or a mentally disturbed stalker (who is not concerned about escape or media exploitation). It is during the early phases of the attack cycle -- the target selection and the planning phases -- that the plotters conduct their surveillance, though they even can use a surveillance team during the actual attack to signal that the target is approaching the attack zone.

The purpose of pre-operational surveillance is to determine the target's vulnerabilities. Surveillance helps to quantify the target, note possible weaknesses and even to begin to identify potential attack methods. When the target is a person, perhaps targeted for assassination or kidnapping, surveillants will look for patterns of behavior such as the time the target leaves for work, the transportation method and the route taken. They also will take note of the type of security, if any, the target uses. For fixed targets such as buildings, the surveillance will be used to determine physical security measures as well as patterns of behavior within the guard force, if guards are employed. For example, the plotters will look for fences, gates, locks and alarms, but also will look for times when fewer guards are present or when the guards are about to come on or off their shifts. All of this information will then be used to select the best time and location for the attack, the type of attack and the resources needed to execute it.

Since an important objective of pre-operational surveillance is establishing patterns, the operatives will conduct their surveillance several times, often at different times of the day. Additionally, they will follow a mobile target to different environments and in diverse locations. This is when it is important to know the first "secret" of CS: surveillants are vulnerable to detection. In fact, the more surveillance they conduct, the greater the chances are of them being observed. Once that happens, security personnel can be alerted and the entire plan compromised. Additionally, surveillants who themselves are being watched can unwittingly lead intelligence and law enforcement agencies to other members of their organization.

Surveillance

A large and professional surveillance team can use a variety of fixed and mobile assets, including electronic listening devices and operatives on foot, in vehicles and even in aircraft. Such a large team can be extremely difficult for anyone to spot. A massive surveillance operation, however, requires an organization with vast assets and a large number of well-trained operatives. This level of surveillance, therefore, is usually only found at the governmental level, as most militant organizations lack the assets and the number of trained personnel required to mount such an operation. Indeed, most criminal and militant surveillance is conducted by one person, or by a small group of operatives. This means they must place themselves in a position to see the target -- and thus be seen -- with far more frequency than would be required in a huge surveillance operation. And the more they show their faces, the more vulnerable they are to detection. This vulnerability is amplified if the operatives are not highly trained.

The al Qaeda manual "Military Studies in the Jihad against the Tyrants" and its online training magazines not only instruct operatives planning an attack to conduct surveillance, they also point out the type of information that should be gathered. These documents, however, do not teach jihadist operatives how to go about gathering the required information. In the United States, the Ruckus Society's Scouting Manual provides detailed instructions for conducting surveillance, or "scouting," as the society calls it, on "direct action" targets. Following written instructions, however, does not automatically translate into having skilled surveillance operatives on the street. This is because, while some basic skills and concepts can be learned by reading, applying that information to a real-world situation, particularly in a hostile environment, can be exceedingly difficult. This is especially true when the application requires subtle and complex skills that are difficult to master.

The behaviors necessary to master surveillance tradecraft are not intuitive, and in fact frequently run counter to human nature. Because of this, intelligence and security professionals who work surveillance operations receive in-depth training that includes many hours of heavily critiqued practical exercises, often followed by field training with experienced surveillance operatives.

Most militant groups do not provide this level of training, and as a result, poor tradecraft has long proven to be an Achilles' heel for militants, who typically use a small number of poorly trained operatives to conduct their surveillance operations.

What does "bad" surveillance look like? The U.S. government uses the acronym TEDD to illustrate the principles one can use to identify surveillance. So, a person who sees someone repeatedly over Time, in different Environments and over Distance, or one who displays poor Demeanor can assume he or she is under surveillance. Surveillants who exhibit poor demeanor, meaning they act unnaturally, can look blatantly suspicious, though they also can be lurkers -- those who have no reason for being where they are or for doing what they are doing. Sometimes they exhibit almost imperceptible behaviors that the target senses more than observes. Other giveaways include moving when the target moves, communicating when the target moves, avoiding eye contact with the target, making sudden turns or stops, or even using hand signals to communicate with other members of a surveillance team.

The mistakes made while conducting surveillance can be quite easy to catch -- as long as someone is looking for them. If no one is looking, however, hostile surveillance is remarkably easy. This is why militant groups have been able to get away with conducting surveillance for so long using bumbling operatives who practice poor tradecraft.

The Second Secret

At the most basic level, CS can be performed by a person who is aware of his or her surroundings and who is watching for people who violate the principles of TEDD. At a more advanced level, the single person can use surveillance detection routes (SDRs) to draw out surveillance. This leads to the second "secret": due to the nature of surveillance, those conducting it can be manipulated and forced to tip their hand.

It is far more difficult to surveil a mobile target than a stationary one, and an SDR is a tool that takes advantage of this difficulty and uses a carefully designed route to flush out surveillance. The SDR is intended to look innocuous from the outside, but is cleverly calculated to evoke certain behaviors from the surveillant.

When members of a highly trained surveillance team recognize that the person they are following is executing an SDR -- and therefore is trying to manipulate them -- they will frequently take countermeasures suitable to the situation and their mission. This can include dropping off the target and picking up surveillance another day, bypassing the channel, stair-step or other trap the target is using and picking him or her up at another location along their projected route. It can even include "bumper locking" the target or switching to a very overt mode of surveillance to let the target know that his SDR was detected -- and not appreciated. Untrained surveillants who have never encountered an SDR, however, frequently can be sucked blindly into such traps.

Though intelligence officers performing an SDR need to look normal from the outside -- in effect appear as if they are not running an SDR -- people who are acting protectively on their own behalf have no need to be concerned about being perceived as being "provocative" in their surveillance detection efforts. They can use very aggressive elements of the SDR to rapidly determine whether the surveillance they suspect does in fact exist -- and if it does, move rapidly to a pre-selected safe-haven.

At a more advanced level is the dedicated CS team, which can be deployed to determine whether a person or facility is under surveillance. This team can use mobile assets, fixed assets or a combination of both. The CS team is essentially tasked to watch for watchers. To do this, team members identify places -- "perches" in surveillance jargon -- that an operative would need to occupy in order to surveil a potential target. They then watch those perches for signs of hostile surveillance.

CS teams can manipulate surveillance by "heating up" particular perches with static guards or roving patrols, thus forcing the surveillants away from those areas and toward another perch or perches where the CS team can then focus its detection efforts. They also can use overt, uniformed police or guards to stop, question and identify any suspicious person they observe. This can be a particularly effective tactic, as it can cause militants to conclude that the facility they are monitoring is too difficult to attack. Even if the security forces never realized the person was actually conducting surveillance, such an encounter normally will lead the surveillant to assume that he or she has been identified and that the people who stopped him knew exactly what he was doing.

Confrontational techniques can stop a hostile operation dead in its tracks and cause the operatives to focus their hostile efforts elsewhere. These techniques include overt field interviews, overt photography of suspected hostiles, and the highly under-utilized Terry stop, in which a law enforcement officer in the United States can legally stop, interview and frisk a person for weapons if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, even if the officer's suspicions do not rise to the level of making an arrest.

Also, by denying surveillants perches that are close to the target's point of origin or destination (home or work, for example) a CS team can effectively push hostile surveillance farther and farther away. This injects a great deal ambiguity into the situation and complicates the hostile information-collection effort. For instance, if surveillants do not know what car the target drives, they can easily obtain that information by sitting outside of the person's home and watching what comes out of the garage or driveway. By contrast, surveillants forced to use a perch a mile down the road might have dozens of cars to choose from. CS teams also can conduct more sophisticated SDRs than the lone individual.

In addition, the CS team will keep detailed logs of the people and vehicles it encounters and will database this information along with photos of possible hostiles. This database allows the team to determine whether it has encountered the same person or vehicle repeatedly on different shifts or at different sites. This analytical component of the CS team is essential to the success of the team's efforts, especially when there are multiple shifts working the CS operation or multiple sites are being covered. People also have perishable memories, and databasing ensures that critical information is retained and readily retrievable. CS teams also can conduct more sophisticated SDRs than the lone individual.

Although professional CS teams normally operate in a low-key fashion in order to collect information without changing the behaviors of suspected hostiles, there are exceptions to this rule. When the team believes an attack is imminent or when the risk of allowing a hostile operation to continue undisturbed is unacceptable, for example, team members are likely to break cover and confront hostile surveillants. In cases like these, CS teams have the advantage of surprise. Indeed, materializing out of nowhere to confront the suspected surveillant can be more effective than the arrival of overt security assets.

Well-trained CS teams have an entire arsenal of tricks at their disposal to manipulate and expose hostile surveillance. In this way, they can proactively identify threats early on in the attack cycle -- and possibly prevent attacks.


11096  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: August 11, 2008, 10:33:52 PM
I'm fairly sure India's plan has Pakistan looking like a post-apocalyptic scene from the "Terminator" movies, only quieter.
11097  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: More Math on: August 11, 2008, 10:30:57 PM
Marc-- Don't you think gender is  something of a construct.   Isn't that your argument against gay man adopting straight children?

I'm curious in what ways do  you think men and woman should be treated differently?

GM,
It would be male bashing to imply that because men on average  are less skilled at language they can't be good writers or great ones. 
The article was titled  in such to way to imply that Math is Hard for girls---  which is not true.

There are great women mathematicians who are very capable of higher level  math.

**I can't cite the source, but if I recall correctly for every highly gifted female (in the realm of math) there are 8-10 males at the same percentile. Obviously in any population  there are extremes at the ends of the spectrum. On average, males are bigger and stronger than females. This doesn't mean there aren't some women that are bigger and stronger than some men, but as group there is a discernable difference.**


http://www.agnesscott.edu/Lriddle/women/women.htm
http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/WOMEN/alpha.htm
http://womenshistory.about.com/od/sciencemath1/Mathematicians.htm
 
 Don't you think it is possible that some women wouldn't take advance math classes  or do as well on math tests  because they and society believe woman are bad at math.

**It's very possible that it has some impact, though I doubt to the degree that it skews the statistics that dramatically.**
 
Don't you think it is  possible that there are ways to increase  women ( as well as keeping and increases men's ) participation in advanced math and science.
 
**As a nation we need to. If it weren't for the influx of immigration from east asia and the Indian subcontinent, we'd really be suffering in the tech sectors. Not near enough US citizens are getting undergrad and post grad degrees in the hard sciences.**


 I am not necessary recommending quotas though I am a big fan of title 9


I am more interested in parents, teachers,  and society  encouraging  both boys/men  and girls/women  to study both Shakespeare and advanced science
 
 One of my favorite quotes about education is


Scott Buchanan
http://www.stjohnscollege.edu/about/donrag.shtml
"Under the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, have you persuaded yourself that there are knowledges and truths beyond your grasp, things that you simply cannot learn? Have you allowed adverse evidence to pile up and force you to conclude that you are not mathematical, not linguistic, not poetic, not scientific, not philosophical? If you have allowed this to happen, you have arbitrarily imposed limits on your intellectual freedom, and you have smothered the fires from which all other freedoms arise."
11098  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 11, 2008, 10:02:30 PM
Rachel,

I'm no military expert, but to the best of my understanding, air power could make a difference right now, and it's the only thing we could have positioned in Georgia anytime soon. As mentioned before, most of our ground forces are kind of busy right now and couldn't be deployed in any significant numbers to make a difference.

Besides, if we own the skies, then it would stop Russia's bombing of Georgian cities quickly.
11099  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: August 11, 2008, 08:19:58 PM
Very rarely do we have "good" policy solutions to the world's problems. Usually it's a matter of choosing between bad and worse.
11100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 11, 2008, 08:14:46 PM
Crafty,

Air power only.
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