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Author Topic: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom  (Read 260384 times)
DougMacG
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« Reply #1100 on: December 17, 2011, 01:12:51 PM »

Good points Crafty.  I am moved both by your position and by GM being 'torn' on it.  There is an awkwardness of opposing sides exposed in the video I posted of Glen Beck and Allen West.  Neither side can answer the concern of the other: You cannot stop a terrorist in a terror act because you may never have criminal court level proof in place in advance of the destruction.  And of course the other side of it, that you potentially give up all freedoms and rights if your government declares you a terrorist.

Let's assume for a moment there is a plot in place in need of disruption right now and maybe a good part of congress and the executive branch have been briefed.  Moving at government subcommittee or supercommittee speed is not necessarily good enough.  We may have to make very tough choices right now, either way.  Keep our principles - lose a city, or avert an attack but give up our principles.  Not great choices.  

I agree it was not right for the public to be completely left out of the debate and/or misinformed on the outcome.
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G M
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« Reply #1101 on: December 17, 2011, 03:38:45 PM »

They key element for me is there has to be a due process safeguard in place. A military tribunal would meet that just fine in my mind, just as we did with German saboteurs in WWII.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1102 on: December 17, 2011, 07:52:40 PM »

Ummm , , , what is wrong with SOPA?


This link may address some of your question. 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57344507-281/internet-is-for-porn-pops-up-during-house-sopa-debate/?tag=mncol%3BsubStories
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1103 on: December 17, 2011, 10:47:42 PM »

My family and I are hurt badly by internet piracy every day.  The fruit of my labor, my property, is stolen from me.  Seems to me like a quintessential job for government.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1104 on: December 18, 2011, 05:16:20 AM »

Woof Guro... I completely understand your position, and the reasons why you have this position.  And, I also believe in the importance of intellectual property. 

You asked the question, and I tried to find an article that addressed it with more specifics than the article you took to task. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1105 on: December 18, 2011, 03:48:19 PM »

I get that BD.

My question was that of an innocent-- I simply am not up to speed on SOPA or why anyone of good faith would oppose it.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #1106 on: December 21, 2011, 01:52:50 AM »



National Guard at border cut to about 300
Remaining troops will focus on aerial surveillance missions using helicopters and airplanes

Ross D. Franklin  /  AP file
A United States National Guard unit patrols the Arizona-Mexico border in Sasabe, Ariz., on Jan. 19, 2007. The contingent of National Guard troops working at the Mexican border will be cut from 1,200 to about 300 in the coming year.
 
 By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
 
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will keep a reduced contingent of National Guard troops working along the Mexican border for the next year, the Defense Department said Tuesday.
Starting in January, the force of 1,200 National Guard troops at the border will be reduced to fewer than 300 at a cost of about $60 million, said Paul Stockton, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense.
The remaining troops will shift their focus from patrolling the border on the ground looking for illegal immigrants and smugglers to aerial surveillance missions using military helicopters and airplanes equipped with high-tech radar and other gear. Exactly where those troops will fly or how many aircraft will be used has not been decided, he said.
"We are basically going from boots on the ground to boots in the air," said David Aguilar, deputy commissioner for Customs and Border Protection.
Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said his agency is working on identifying the "areas of greatest concern" along the border — areas that include Arizona and South Texas — and will station troops and aircraft accordingly.
President Barack Obama ordered a second round of Guard troops to the border last year, with the first of those troops arriving in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in August 2010. President George W. Bush first ordered Guard troops to the southern from 2006 to 2008. They were supposed to be in place for about a year but Obama extended the deployment earlier this year. The smaller force is now expected to remain until the end of 2012.
Stockton said the remaining troops are "transitioning to much more effective support."


"This provides us with more flexibility in dealing with the persistent challenges posed by cross-border movement and illegal crossings," Stockton said.
According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon has previously spent about $1.35 billion for the deployments under Bush and Obama.
Stockton said the Pentagon has budgeted about $60 million for the mission in 2012.
Congressional Republicans have objected to reducing the number of troops, arguing that the border isn't secure and reducing the number of people patrolling the area doesn't help security.

"If the Obama administration's goal is border security, their actions undermine their objective," said Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "The administration's decision to draw down the National Guard troops along the U.S-Mexico border makes an already porous border worse."
Aguilar, who previously led the Border Patrol, said Tuesday there is still work to be done at the border but that successes in securing the frontier have allowed DHS to reduce the number of troops and change the mission.
In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 Border Patrol agents at the southern border made 327,577 arrests, the fewest since 1972. There are also more than 18,500 agents patrolling the border, the highest number in the agency's history.
When Bush first deployed the National Guard, there were just over 11,000 Border Patrol agents in the area who made more than one million arrests.

                                         P.C.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #1107 on: December 22, 2011, 05:42:10 AM »

Woof,
 AZ deputies turn in their their badges for immigration enforcement.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/crime/ice-trained-mcso-deputies-turn-in-badges-12-21-2011

                                      P.C.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 07:31:23 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged

Cranewings
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« Reply #1108 on: December 22, 2011, 09:14:32 AM »

I get that BD.

My question was that of an innocent-- I simply am not up to speed on SOPA or why anyone of good faith would oppose it.

Your training videos get put on youtube. Under the new law, this would be youtube's fault, instead of just the poster, sort of in the same way people would like to be able to sue Ford when someone runs through a stop sign with an F150 because they were texting.

Youtube, live journal, and many other sites are the sources of free speech for people all over the world. SOPA is going to make it possible, and likely, that Big Sis is going to block these very important websites. The US has a lot of power over the WWW.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1109 on: December 22, 2011, 09:42:36 AM »

Ah, that helps me understand CW, thank you.

At the same time there is the matter of sites that are deliberately created to facilitate pirating/ripping/etc enabled and protected by just the logic that you describe.   angry angry angry
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Cranewings
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« Reply #1110 on: December 22, 2011, 02:56:13 PM »

Ah, that helps me understand CW, thank you.

At the same time there is the matter of sites that are deliberately created to facilitate pirating/ripping/etc enabled and protected by just the logic that you describe.   angry angry angry

Piracy is a service problem, not a legal one. For example, I play a videogame online called Call of Duty. In that game, I log on with a dozen other people so that we can shoot at each other. I could have easily stolen the game, but I didn't, because a stolen copy won't let me log on.

Training DVDs are the same way. They are basically begging to be stolen because there isn't any incentive to buy a new copy. I don't know what exactly the answer is, but the fact that there isn't a service attached means no one has an incentive, besides honor, to keep from stealing them. Honestly, I sort of doubt too many people are ripping yours off though just from the anecdotal evidence that I don't know anyone who stole them, and I know a lot of martial artists who pirate. Anyone with them did, infact, buy them.

Maybe you could come up with a benefit for owning a unique copy. They aren't cheap. Maybe you could make a website or something where people can upload videos of themselves training the material and if you actually sold them a copy off your website or they give you a code that was in the box, you give them private instruction or pointers or something.

I'm very against any sort of law that will erode the internet. There are a lot of companies doing a great job overcoming piracy. LastFM, iTunes, I Heart Radio... why go through all the trouble of downloading a bunch of crappy, virus infected torrents to find a magical good copy of a song when there are all these really good services?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1111 on: December 22, 2011, 03:08:32 PM »

"Piracy is a service problem, not a legal one."

 huh rolleyes

"For example, I play a videogame online called Call of Duty. In that game, I log on with a dozen other people so that we can shoot at each other. I could have easily stolen the game, but I didn't, because a stolen copy won't let me log on."
Training DVDs are the same way."

Umm, no they are not as you yourself point out in your next paragraph.

"They are basically begging to be stolen because there isn't any incentive to buy a new copy. I don't know what exactly the answer is, but the fact that there isn't a service attached means no one has an incentive, besides honor (for some people this is a consideration), to keep from stealing them."

Especially so in an environment where it is quite easy to go to some site that specializes in this facilitating this sort of theft and stealing with a few clicks on one's keyboard.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #1112 on: December 22, 2011, 05:15:02 PM »

Fair enough.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1113 on: December 22, 2011, 07:21:25 PM »

Thank you.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1114 on: December 28, 2011, 10:31:12 PM »

It has always surprised and infuriated me how many otherwise honest people seem to think there is nothing wrong with stealing intellectual property.  Music, software, anything that is produced by the sweat of one's brow ought to be protected, and penalties exacted for theft thereof.  I fail to see what about this is wither complicated or difficult to understand.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
bigdog
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« Reply #1115 on: January 17, 2012, 05:54:24 AM »

Several websites, including Reddit and Wikipedia will be offline all or part of tomorrow.

http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/13/10151672-sopa-opponents-gaining-momentum-wikipedia-to-join-blackout
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1116 on: January 17, 2012, 08:30:17 AM »



http://www.mpaa.org/Resources/1227ef12-e209-4edf-b8b8-bb4af768430c.pdf
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AndrewBole
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« Reply #1117 on: January 17, 2012, 03:32:06 PM »

cant pick sides at this point, but several purely technical issues at hand present even greater moral and criminal issues if SOPA gets passed. Simply said, the technical side of HOW it will actually work, is very shady indeed

it builds upon the protect IP act from 08

http://www.circleid.com/pdf/PROTECT-IP-Technical-Whitepaper-Final.pdf

especially

3C1 and 3C2

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/16/founder-internet-fears-unprecedented-web-censorship-from-sopa/

"Requiring search engines to delete a domain name begins a worldwide arms race of unprecedented 'censorship' of the Web," Cerf wrote in a letter to Chairman Lamar Smith that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) presented to the panel Thursday.

http://torrentfreak.com/the-privatization-of-copyright-lawmaking-111112/


"Much of what will happen under SOPA will occur out of the public eye and without the possibility of holding anyone accountable. For when copyright law is made and enforced privately, it is hard for the public to know the shape that the law takes and harder still to complain about its operation."


http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/11/dangerous-bill-would-threaten-legitimate-websites/248619/


In addition to domain-name filtering, SOPA would impose an open-ended obligation on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to prevent access to infringing sites. This means that SOPA would impose an unprecedented responsibility on ISPs to scrutinize and screen all user traffic.  Preventing access to specific sites would require ISPs to inspect all the Internet traffic of its entire user base....  

Now that bolded part sounds frigging scary. A move worthy of Stalinesque state control  afro If only there was such fiery support of the state in the fiscal and monetary sector, teeheee  evil

all in all, I think the majority of the tech savy experts that counter the bill is not on its "moral" stand, but on its technical inferiority. It will be more costly, less user friendly, a downright b!tch to finance and it will only drive the pirates deeper underground.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1118 on: January 17, 2012, 09:53:54 PM »

Wikipedia and many other websites are shutting down today to oppose a proposal in Congress on foreign Internet piracy, and the White House is seconding the protest. The covert lobbying war between Silicon Valley and most other companies in the business of intellectual property is now in the open, and this fight could define—or reinvent—copyright in the digital era.

Everyone agrees, or at least claims to agree, that the illegal sale of copyrighted and trademarked products has become a world-wide, multibillion-dollar industry and a legitimate and growing economic problem. This isn't college kids swapping MP3s, as in the 1990s. Rather, rogue websites set up shop oversees and sell U.S. consumers bootleg movies, TV shows, software, video games, books and music, as well as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, jewelry and more.

Often consumers think they're buying copies or streams from legitimate retail enterprises, sometimes not. Either way, the technical term for this is theft.

The tech industry says it wants to stop such crimes, but it also calls any tangible effort to do so censorship that would "break the Internet." Wikipedia has never blacked itself out before on any other political issue, nor have websites like Mozilla or the social news aggregator Reddit. How's that for irony: Companies supposedly devoted to the free flow of information are gagging themselves, and the only practical effect will be to enable fraudsters. They've taken no comparable action against, say, Chinese repression.

Meanwhile, the White House let it be known over the weekend in a blog post—how fitting—that it won't support legislation that "reduces freedom of expression" or damages "the dynamic, innovative global Internet," as if this describes the reality of Internet theft. President Obama has finally found a regulation he doesn't like, which must mean that the campaign contributions of Google and the Stanford alumni club are paying dividends.

Enlarge Image

AFP/Getty Images
The House bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and its Senate counterpart are far more modest than this cyber tantrum suggests. By our reading they would create new tools to target the worst-of-the-worst black markets. The notion that a SOPA dragnet will catch a stray Facebook post or Twitter link is false.

Under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998, U.S. prosecutors and rights-holders can and do obtain warrants to shut down rogue websites and confiscate their domain names under asset-seizure laws. Such powers stop at the water's edge, however. SOPA is meant to target the international pirates that are currently beyond the reach of U.S. law.

The bill would allow the Attorney General to sue infringers and requires the Justice Department to prove in court that a foreign site is dedicated to the wholesale violation of copyright under the same standards that apply to domestic sites. In rare circumstances private plaintiffs can also sue for remedies, not for damages, and their legal tools are far more limited than the AG's.

If any such case succeeds after due process under federal civil procedure, SOPA requires third parties to make it harder to traffic in stolen online content. Search engines would be required to screen out links, just as they remove domestic piracy or child pornography sites from their indexes. Credit card and other online financial service companies couldn't complete transactions.

(Obligatory housekeeping: We at the Journal are in the intellectual property business, and our parent company, News Corp., supports the bills as do most other media content companies.)

Moreover, SOPA is already in its 3.0 version to address the major objections. Compromises have narrowed several vague and overly broad provisions. The bill's drafters also removed a feature requiring Internet service providers to filter the domain name system for thieves—which would have meant basically removing them from the Internet's phone book to deny consumer access. But the anti-SOPA activists don't care about these crucial details.

The e-vangelists seem to believe that anybody is entitled to access to any content at any time at no cost—open source. Their real ideological objection is to the concept of copyright itself, and they oppose any legal regime that values original creative work. The offline analogue is Occupy Wall Street.

Information and content may want to be free, or not, but that's for their owners to decide, not Movie2k.to or LibraryPirate.me or MusicMP3.ru. The Founders recognized the economic benefits of intellectual property, which is why the Constitution tells Congress to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" (Article I, Section Cool.

The Internet has been a tremendous engine for commercial and democratic exchange, but that makes it all the more important to police the abusers who hijack its architecture. SOPA merely adapts the current avenues of legal recourse for infringement and counterfeiting to new realities. Without rights that protect the creativity and innovation that bring fresh ideas and products to market, there will be far fewer ideas and products to steal.
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ccp
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« Reply #1119 on: January 18, 2012, 01:09:47 PM »

Probably this simple.  Although probably not through simple email or the like.

Must happen all day long:

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20120117/NJNEWS/301170036/Chemist-admits-stealing-sanofi-aventis-secrets?odyssey=mod|mostview
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bigdog
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« Reply #1120 on: January 18, 2012, 08:54:56 PM »

http://americancensorship.org/infographic.html

A serious question, Guro: Is there a chance that if SOPA were passed, could www.dogbrothers.com be blacked given the number of links and quotes, etc. posted on the forum from other web sites?  Based on my understanding of the law, the critics (at least) seem to think this type of issue is a possibility. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1121 on: January 18, 2012, 09:02:53 PM »

Lets take this over to the Internet thread on the SCH forum.

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1167.new#new
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 09:05:54 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1122 on: January 19, 2012, 11:42:33 AM »

10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free
Published 1, January 15, 2012    Academics , Columns , Congress , Constitutional Law , Free Speech , International , Media , Politics , Society , Supreme Court 295 Comments
Below is today’s column in the Sunday Washington Post.  The column addresses how the continued rollbacks on civil liberties in the United States conflicts with the view of the country as the land of the free.  If we are going to adopt Chinese legal principles, we should at least have the integrity to adopt one Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”  We seem as a country to be in denial as to the implications of these laws and policies.  Whether we are viewed as a free country with authoritarian inclinations or an authoritarian nation with free aspirations (or some other hybrid definition), we are clearly not what we once were.

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

Assassination of U.S. citizens

President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism. Last year, he approved the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaqi and another citizen under this claimed inherent authority. Last month, administration officials affirmed that power, stating that the president can order the assassination of any citizen whom he considers allied with terrorists. (Nations such as Nigeria, Iran and Syria have been routinely criticized for extrajudicial killings of enemies of the state.)

Indefinite detention

Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism. While Sen. Carl Levin insisted the bill followed existing law “whatever the law is,” the Senate specifically rejected an amendment that would exempt citizens and the Administration has opposed efforts to challenge such authority in federal court. The Administration continues to claim the right to strip citizens of legal protections based on its sole discretion. (China recently codified a more limited detention law for its citizens, while countries such as Cambodia have been singled out by the United States for “prolonged detention.”)

Arbitrary justice

The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections. Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the practice. (Egypt and China have been denounced for maintaining separate military justice systems for selected defendants, including civilians.)

Warrantless searches

The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama extended the power, including searches of everything from business documents to library records. The government can use “national security letters” to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over information on citizens — and order them not to reveal the disclosure to the affected party. (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan operate under laws that allow the government to engage in widespread discretionary surveillance.)

Secret evidence

The government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and employs secret evidence in federal and military courts. It also forces the dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing declarations that the cases would make the government reveal classified information that would harm national security — a claim made in a variety of privacy lawsuits and largely accepted by federal judges without question. Even legal opinions, cited as the basis for the government’s actions under the Bush and Obama administrations, have been classified. This allows the government to claim secret legal arguments to support secret proceedings using secret evidence. In addition, some cases never make it to court at all. The federal courts routinely deny constitutional challenges to policies and programs under a narrow definition of standing to bring a case.

War crimes

The world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law. When courts in countries such as Spain moved to investigate Bush officials for war crimes, the Obama administration reportedly urged foreign officials not to allow such cases to proceed, despite the fact that the United States has long claimed the same authority with regard to alleged war criminals in other countries. (Various nations have resisted investigations of officials accused of war crimes and torture. Some, such as Serbia and Chile, eventually relented to comply with international law; countries that have denied independent investigations include Iran, Syria and China.)

Secret court

The government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments or organizations. In 2011, Obama renewed these powers, including allowing secret searches of individuals who are not part of an identifiable terrorist group. The administration has asserted the right to ignore congressional limits on such surveillance. (Pakistan places national security surveillance under the unchecked powers of the military or intelligence services.)

Immunity from judicial review

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy. (Similarly, China has maintained sweeping immunity claims both inside and outside the country and routinely blocks lawsuits against private companies.)

Continual monitoring of citizens

The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review. It is not defending the power before the Supreme Court — a power described by Justice Anthony Kennedy as “Orwellian.” (Saudi Arabia has installed massive public surveillance systems, while Cuba is notorious for active monitoring of selected citizens.)

Extraordinary renditions

The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects. The Obama administration says it is not continuing the abuses of this practice under Bush, but it insists on the unfettered right to order such transfers — including the possible transfer of U.S. citizens.

These new laws have come with an infusion of money into an expanded security system on the state and federal levels, including more public surveillance cameras, tens of thousands of security personnel and a massive expansion of a terrorist-chasing bureaucracy.

Some politicians shrug and say these increased powers are merely a response to the times we live in. Thus, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) could declare in an interview last spring without objection that “free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.” Of course, terrorism will never “surrender” and end this particular “war.”

Other politicians rationalize that, while such powers may exist, it really comes down to how they are used. This is a common response by liberals who cannot bring themselves to denounce Obama as they did Bush. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), for instance, has insisted that Congress is not making any decision on indefinite detention: “That is a decision which we leave where it belongs — in the executive branch.”

And in a signing statement with the defense authorization bill, Obama said he does not intend to use the latest power to indefinitely imprison citizens. Yet, he still accepted the power as a sort of regretful autocrat.

An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will.

The framers lived under autocratic rule and understood this danger better than we do. James Madison famously warned that we needed a system that did not depend on the good intentions or motivations of our rulers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

Benjamin Franklin was more direct. In 1787, a Mrs. Powel confronted Franklin after the signing of the Constitution and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” His response was a bit chilling: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

Since 9/11, we have created the very government the framers feared: a government with sweeping and largely unchecked powers resting on the hope that they will be used wisely.

The indefinite-detention provision in the defense authorization bill seemed to many civil libertarians like a betrayal by Obama. While the president had promised to veto the law over that provision, Levin, a sponsor of the bill, disclosed on the Senate floor that it was in fact the White House that approved the removal of any exception for citizens from indefinite detention.

Dishonesty from politicians is nothing new for Americans. The real question is whether we are lying to ourselves when we call this country the land of the free.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University.

Washington Post (Sunday) January 15, 2012

http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/15/10-reasons-the-u-s-is-no-longer-the-land-of-the-free/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1123 on: January 20, 2012, 12:21:38 AM »

There is much to quibble with in that piece, but the examples given are not the only ones.

==========================

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/17/nypd-researching-gun-scanning-technology-for-city-streets/

NYC police pursuing technology to scan pedestrians for guns
www.foxnews.com
The NYPD is working in conjunction with the Department of Defense to further crack down on illegal guns in the city by researching technology that could detect concealed weapons on people as they walk down the street, the New York Post reports.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1124 on: January 23, 2012, 10:43:13 PM »

Man arrested after ejaculating during TSA pat-down : Dead Serious News
www.deadseriousnews.com
A 47 year old gay man was arrested at San Francisco International Airport after ejaculating while being patted down by a male TSA agent. Percy Cummings, an interior designer from San Francisco, is being held without bail after the alleged incident, charged with sexually assaulting a Federal agent.

SEn. Rand Paul on his incident:

Sen. Rand Paul on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer - 1/23/12
www.youtube.com
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 10:46:38 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #1125 on: January 24, 2012, 10:21:30 PM »



http://www.kfiam640.com/pages/NEWS.html?article=9653697
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« Reply #1126 on: February 07, 2012, 12:00:06 PM »

I find it hard to believe that there are 100,000 of this belief and disconcerting to see the FBI tying this belief to those who believe in the gold standard.

http://rt.com/news/fbi-sovereign-citizens-violent-673/
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« Reply #1127 on: February 08, 2012, 01:34:03 PM »

Hearing docs on Fast and Furious.


http://oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1573%3A2-2-2012-qfast-a-furious-management-failures-at-the-department-of-justiceq&catid=12&Itemid=20
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« Reply #1128 on: February 09, 2012, 02:58:37 PM »

Alexander's Essay – February 9, 2012
FBI Terrorist Alert: Beware of Those Who 'Reference the Constitution or Bible'
Memo to Ron Paul supporters -- and anyone else interested in restoring constitutional integrity
"Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression." --James Madison (1788)
 
The FBI held a press conference this week on a terrorist alert bulletin, which it sent to every federal, state and local law enforcement agency across the country. Unfortunately, that bulletin continued a trend of "terrorist profiles" issued since Barack Hussein Obama has been in office. This particular alert identified such broad ideological characteristics that it can be construed to include the activities of tens of millions of law-abiding Americans.

The FBI counterterrorism division report concluded that those who believe that our government has exceeded its constitutional limits or are protesting for restoration of constitutional integrity might pose a threat. By that definition, anyone associated with the "Tea Party movement" is suspect, and that's the problem with this sweeping and politically motivated "bureaucrap."
Make no mistake: There are some deadly anti-government socialist and fascist radicals in America. For example, consider the man who launched someone's political career in 1994 -- Obama mentor William Ayers, who was previously the leader of the Weathermen, a murderous group of radical "useful idiots." They bombed the U.S. Capitol twice, the Pentagon, the Department of State, several federal courthouses, plus state and local government buildings -- with intent to kill. Unfortunately, the FBI never assembled sufficient evidence to convict Ayers. (Lucky break for Obama's career!)
Or how about Obama's radical, racist, hate-spewing pastor, Jeremiah Wright? This is the man who married the Obamas and baptized their children; the same man who regularly sermonized about "the US-KKK-A" with assertions that "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color;" the man who said that the U.S. government "gives [black people] drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strikes law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, g-d d--- America!"
Does that constitute a threat to the government?
Post Your Opinion
The aforementioned FBI alert focused on the so-called "sovereign citizen" movement, which the FBI believes may have more than 500,000 members -- though it has no leaders, no membership roster, no organization at all. There is a "sovereign citizens" website which notes boldly, "We do NOT endorse non-payment of taxes or violence to achieve these changes. We do NOT endorse giving up a social security number and we do NOT endorse violence against the police or the government."
According to the FBI, some of those associated with this movement are engaged in crimes like underpaying taxes and other fraud, none of which should be classified as terrorism. According to a Reuters report on the press release, "Legal convictions of such extremists, mostly for white-collar crimes such as fraud, have increased from 10 in 2009 to 18 in 2011, FBI agents said."
We did the math, and that's an increase of eight convictions.
Meanwhile, more than 5,200 of Obama's Occupy movement radicals were arrested in 2011, many for violent offenses, and some of those directed at police.
This is not to say that the FBI didn't have reason to warn law enforcement agencies. In May of 2010, two sociopaths, one of whom had mentioned "sovereign citizen" on a website, murdered two Arkansas police officers. But why wait almost two years to issue the warning?
Now, I spent some years in law enforcement, and some of those devoted to counter-terrorism. I still hold a reserve national security position with the Department of Homeland Security and, as such, maintain threat currency and contacts with both domestic counter-terrorism folks. I mention this to say I can assure you that most federal, state and local law enforcement personnel abide by their oath to "support and defend the Constitution" and are steadfastly accountable to that oath. In other words, they understand that broadly labeling as "terrorists" those who support constitutional limits on government is offensive to that oath.
However, we now have an established Obama-era pattern of applying such broad labels, which began in 2009 when the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis issued a report on "Right-Wing Extremism." It claimed that those who use terms including "patriot" or "constitutionalist," and "link their beliefs to those commonly associated with the American Revolution," are a threat. It even went so far as to identify returning war veterans as "potential threats."
 
That report was so repulsive that it received a prompt rebuke from liberal Democrat Bennie Thompson, then chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Republican Peter King, its ranking member. Thompson wrote, "This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans. ... Freedom of association and freedom of speech are guaranteed to all Americans. ... I am disappointed that the Department would allow this report to be disseminated to its State and local partners. ... I am dumbfounded that I&A released this report."
Thompson protested that the DHS report "blurred the line" between legal and illegal activity.
At the time, DHS spokesperson Amy Kudwa claimed the report was not finished and had been recalled: "This product is not, nor was it ever, in operational use." That notwithstanding, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano defended the report and insisted, "We do not -- nor will we ever -- monitor ideology or political beliefs. We take seriously our responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American people." (Trust her, she's from the government!)
However, such monitoring is not the contiguous prerogative of DHS, but that of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. This is why the latest national alert issued by the FBI should raise many red flags with overseers in the House and Senate.
Here are some excerpts from the FBI bulletin: "This ... domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades. ... They do not represent an anarchist group, nor are they a militia. ... They operate as individuals without established leadership and only come together in loosely affiliated groups to ... socialize and talk about their ideology. They may refer to themselves as 'constitutionalists.' ... Several indicators can help identify these individuals. References to the Bible, The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or treaties with foreign governments..."
Share Your Opinion
Those clips are taken out of context, but the problem with such broad profiles is that by the time they filter down through the channels, there are, inevitably, those who are not able to distinguish good from evil, or those whose political bias blinds them from such distinctions.
For example, shortly after DHS released its "Right-Wing Extremist" profile, I was contacted by Patriot readers, both officers and enlisted personnel, about a security exercise scenario at Ft. Knox. That scenario identified attackers as "Tea Party members" among "white supremacists" armed with "military grade weapons" and "bomb making components." (In fact, many military and law enforcement personnel identify with the Tea Party movement, which is why we were contacted by military readers.)
Within hours of posting that report, senior command staff at Ft. Knox contacted us and conceded that an officer in the security loop altered the scenario to include "the Tea Party in order to make it more realistic." The commanding officer assured us, "an official investigation has been initiated to determine the manner in which this information was included in the exercise scenario."
To make it "more realistic"? Every reader of this column can accurately profile the political views and racial/ethnic identity of the individual who "altered the scenario."
So, given the current FBI profile, if these "terrorists" are members of an organization with no leaders, no membership and, in fact, no organization, how exactly are they to be distinguished from law-abiding political activists who believe our government has exceeded its constitutional authority? How are they to be distinguished from patriotic Americans who advocate for the restoration of constitutional integrity and proper limits on the role of government? There are plenty of us who, in the course of our objections to the erosion of the Rule of Law, might make "references to the Bible, The Constitution of the United States, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or treaties with foreign governments..."
What purpose does this FBI memo really serve?
In October 2011, DHS attempted to make amends by publishing a training guide for "Countering Violent Extremism." In that directive, Section 2 notes, "Training should be sensitive to constitutional values," and it asserts, "training should support the protection of civil rights and civil liberties as part of national security. Don't use training that equates religious expression, protests, or other constitutionally protected activity with criminal activity."
Perhaps Obama's executive appointees to the FBI should adopt a similar policy and -- unlike DHS -- abide by it. In the meantime, we are waiting for objections from oversight committee Republicans concerning Obama's latest attack on Bible-citing, Constitution-abiding Patriots....
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Libertas aut Mortis!
 
Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post
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« Reply #1129 on: February 14, 2012, 02:16:01 PM »

Sorry, don't have the URL handy

By MITCHELL D. SILBER
On Monday, Israeli embassy workers in the capital cities of India and Georgia were targeted in terrorist attacks that Israeli officials believe were planned and carried out by Iran and its client, the militant group Hezbollah. The bomb in Tbilisi was defused, but the bomb in New Delhi, planted in an embassy worker's car, exploded and injured at least two.

Iran's next target could well be on American soil. In Senate testimony last month, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated that Iranian officials "are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime."

As evidence, Mr. Clapper cited an alleged plot foiled last October in which a naturalized U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, directed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, hired a member of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The plan involved blowing up a Washington, D.C., restaurant—potentially killing hundreds of Americans in the process.

Iran has a proven record of using its official presence in a foreign city to coordinate attacks, which are then carried out by Hezbollah agents from abroad, often leveraging the local community—whether wittingly or not—as facilitators. Most notable are the 1992 and 1994 bombings of Israeli and Jewish targets in Argentina, which killed 29 and 85 people, respectively. The New York City Police Department, where I work as director of Intelligence Analysis, sent a team to Argentina to study the modus operandi of those attacks and to meet with Argentine security officials who worked the investigations. Coupled with open source information, this is what the NYPD learned:

Iranian agents were sent to Argentina years before the attacks, where they integrated into society and became Argentine nationals. Mohsen Rabbani is believed to have been in charge of coordinating the 1994 attack and is subject to an Interpol arrest warrant for his involvement. He first came to Argentina in 1983, where he subsequently became the main imam at At-Tauhid, an Iranian-funded mosque in Buenos Aires.

After traveling to Iran in August 1993 to participate in a meeting that allegedly gave the planned attack the green light, Mr. Rabbani returned to Argentina as a cultural attaché to the Iranian Embassy, conveniently providing him diplomatic immunity. Then, Hezbollah agents from abroad received logistical support from members of the local Lebanese-Shiite community and the Iranian Embassy to carry out the attack.

The Argentine attacks were by no means isolated incidents. Hezbollah has been tied to failed attacks in 2009 against Israeli and Jewish interests in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Turkey. Last month, Thai officials arrested a suspected Hezbollah militant for possibly planning attacks there or perhaps facilitating the movement of weapons through Bangkok.

The NYPD must assume that New York City could be targeted by Iran or Hezbollah. On Feb. 3, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened that Iran "had its own tools" to respond to sanctions and threats of military action against it. Indeed, as the West's conflict with Iran over its nuclear program continues to heat up, New York City—especially with its large Jewish population—becomes an increasingly attractive target.

This is neither an idle nor a new threat. As one example of Iranian agents acting in New York, in 2004 two security guards attached to the Iranian mission to the United Nations were sent home by the State Department after being caught conducting surveillance of city subways and landmarks. Iran's U.N. mission allows officials from Iran's Ministry of Intelligence to live and operate in New York with official diplomatic cover.

Iran also has a presence in New York via the Alavi Foundation, a nonprofit ostensibly devoted to charity works and promoting Islamic culture. In December 2009, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, described Alavi as having "effectively been a front for the government of Iran." A contemporaneous complaint filed by Mr. Bharara's office led to the seizure of Alavi's assets—including the Islamic Institute of New York, the largest Shiite mosque in the city and the location most closely affiliated with Iran's U.N. mission. The NYPD Intelligence Division also played a role during the initial stages of the Alavi investigation.

Hezbollah and its supporters have a presence in New York and the surrounding area as well. In 2008, two Staten Island men pleaded guilty to providing material support to Hezbollah. Just down the road in Philadelphia, 26 people—including a former Brooklyn resident—were indicted in federal court in 2009 for conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group.

Lebanese-linked businesses in the tri-state area and elsewhere have been implicated in a massive money-laundering scheme benefiting Hezbollah. This scheme was revealed in a civil suit filed against several Lebanese financial institutions last December by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Meanwhile, at least 18 other Hezbollah-related cases have been brought in federal courts across the United States since 2000.

Given the alleged plot against a foreign diplomat in Washington, Iran's increasingly bellicose rhetoric and its long history of sponsoring terror attacks abroad, the NYPD must remain vigilant in attempting to detect and disrupt any attack by Iran or its proxies. Anything less would be abdicating our duty to protect New York City and its residents.

Mr. Silber is director of intelligence analysis for the New York City Police Department.
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« Reply #1130 on: February 14, 2012, 02:25:10 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203824904577215592376556800.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Sorry, don't have the URL handy

By MITCHELL D. SILBER
On Monday, Israeli embassy workers in the capital cities of India and Georgia were targeted in terrorist attacks that Israeli officials believe were planned and carried out by Iran and its client, the militant group Hezbollah. The bomb in Tbilisi was defused, but the bomb in New Delhi, planted in an embassy worker's car, exploded and injured at least two.

Iran's next target could well be on American soil. In Senate testimony last month, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated that Iranian officials "are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime."

As evidence, Mr. Clapper cited an alleged plot foiled last October in which a naturalized U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, directed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, hired a member of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The plan involved blowing up a Washington, D.C., restaurant—potentially killing hundreds of Americans in the process.

Iran has a proven record of using its official presence in a foreign city to coordinate attacks, which are then carried out by Hezbollah agents from abroad, often leveraging the local community—whether wittingly or not—as facilitators. Most notable are the 1992 and 1994 bombings of Israeli and Jewish targets in Argentina, which killed 29 and 85 people, respectively. The New York City Police Department, where I work as director of Intelligence Analysis, sent a team to Argentina to study the modus operandi of those attacks and to meet with Argentine security officials who worked the investigations. Coupled with open source information, this is what the NYPD learned:

Iranian agents were sent to Argentina years before the attacks, where they integrated into society and became Argentine nationals. Mohsen Rabbani is believed to have been in charge of coordinating the 1994 attack and is subject to an Interpol arrest warrant for his involvement. He first came to Argentina in 1983, where he subsequently became the main imam at At-Tauhid, an Iranian-funded mosque in Buenos Aires.

After traveling to Iran in August 1993 to participate in a meeting that allegedly gave the planned attack the green light, Mr. Rabbani returned to Argentina as a cultural attaché to the Iranian Embassy, conveniently providing him diplomatic immunity. Then, Hezbollah agents from abroad received logistical support from members of the local Lebanese-Shiite community and the Iranian Embassy to carry out the attack.

The Argentine attacks were by no means isolated incidents. Hezbollah has been tied to failed attacks in 2009 against Israeli and Jewish interests in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Turkey. Last month, Thai officials arrested a suspected Hezbollah militant for possibly planning attacks there or perhaps facilitating the movement of weapons through Bangkok.

The NYPD must assume that New York City could be targeted by Iran or Hezbollah. On Feb. 3, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened that Iran "had its own tools" to respond to sanctions and threats of military action against it. Indeed, as the West's conflict with Iran over its nuclear program continues to heat up, New York City—especially with its large Jewish population—becomes an increasingly attractive target.

This is neither an idle nor a new threat. As one example of Iranian agents acting in New York, in 2004 two security guards attached to the Iranian mission to the United Nations were sent home by the State Department after being caught conducting surveillance of city subways and landmarks. Iran's U.N. mission allows officials from Iran's Ministry of Intelligence to live and operate in New York with official diplomatic cover.

Iran also has a presence in New York via the Alavi Foundation, a nonprofit ostensibly devoted to charity works and promoting Islamic culture. In December 2009, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, described Alavi as having "effectively been a front for the government of Iran." A contemporaneous complaint filed by Mr. Bharara's office led to the seizure of Alavi's assets—including the Islamic Institute of New York, the largest Shiite mosque in the city and the location most closely affiliated with Iran's U.N. mission. The NYPD Intelligence Division also played a role during the initial stages of the Alavi investigation.

Hezbollah and its supporters have a presence in New York and the surrounding area as well. In 2008, two Staten Island men pleaded guilty to providing material support to Hezbollah. Just down the road in Philadelphia, 26 people—including a former Brooklyn resident—were indicted in federal court in 2009 for conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group.

Lebanese-linked businesses in the tri-state area and elsewhere have been implicated in a massive money-laundering scheme benefiting Hezbollah. This scheme was revealed in a civil suit filed against several Lebanese financial institutions last December by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Meanwhile, at least 18 other Hezbollah-related cases have been brought in federal courts across the United States since 2000.

Given the alleged plot against a foreign diplomat in Washington, Iran's increasingly bellicose rhetoric and its long history of sponsoring terror attacks abroad, the NYPD must remain vigilant in attempting to detect and disrupt any attack by Iran or its proxies. Anything less would be abdicating our duty to protect New York City and its residents.

Mr. Silber is director of intelligence analysis for the New York City Police Department.

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« Reply #1131 on: February 16, 2012, 10:31:18 AM »

Obama Wants to Kill Armed Pilots Program

 
Posted by Brian Darling (Diary)
Wednesday, February 15th at 7:15PM EST


The President’s wants to end the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program (FFDO), also known as the armed pilots program.  If Congress were to follow President Obama’s recommendation contained in his $3.8 trillion FY2013 budget proposal, they would be making a huge mistake.  This anti-terrorism program has been a success and a cost effective means to protect the cockpits of commercial aviation from 9-11 style terrorism.
The President’s budget lists the FFDO program as one of the few “cuts” to federal spending.  They have reduced the program from the $25 million they received this year to $12 million for FY2013.  This massive cut to the program would destroy it.  Consider this evidence that the Obama Administration would be more happy to rely on intrusive screening procedures being applied to toddlers, the elderly, and Senators, rather than pilots with guns to provide a last line of defense to aviation terrorism.
There is a saying in sports that the best referees are the ones you don’t even notice.  Not many Americans understand the breadth and effectiveness of the armed pilots program, because the program has been scandal free.  Our nation has not experienced another 9-11 style terrorist attack thanks in no small part to armed pilots in the cockpits of commercial aircraft to stop terrorists intent on using planes as weapons of mass destruction.
According to the Obama Administration’s budget proposal the goal of security at airports is to ”mitigate the highest amount of risk at the lowest cost.”
The voluntary FFDO program was created as a “last defense” layer of security at a time when comprehensive aviation screening and other physical security measures were not fully developed or deployed on a system-wide basis.
This claim is false.  The Obama Administration is arguing that the FFDO program was to be a band aid until the federal government could set up screening to prevent another incident of aviation hijacking and terrorism.  They are wrong, because a rational screening and security regime would include a last line of defense for pilots if other security measures fail.
Look at the history of the program if you need more evidence of the fallacy of this claim.  On September 5, 2002, Senators Bob Smith (R-NH) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) teamed up on an amendment to the bill that created the Department of Homeland security.  The amendment passed overwhelmingly and created the armed pilots program while increasing anti-terrorism training for flight attendants.  These ideas were supposed to be permanent programs to provide a last line of defense to terrorism for flight attendants and pilots.
This program is large.  The numbers of pilots in the program is considered secret, yet USA Today reported in 2008 that one in ten pilots were armed and cleared to carry a firearm while flying.
More than one in 10 of the nation’s airline pilots are cleared to carry a handgun while flying, and the number will continue to grow, according to a Transportation Security Administration projection. The TSA, which has declined to disclose the number of armed pilots, revealed in a recent budget document that 10.8% of airline crewmembers were authorized to carry guns.
The fact that a large number of pilots are in the program today is evidence that it is working quietly to protect passengers and the public.  A bipartisan majority in the House and Senate supported the creation of this program in both 2001 and 2002, yet both the Bush Administration and now the Obama Administration have been hostile to this program.  This idea by the Obama Administration will put Americans in harms way and it should be opposed.
According to the Obama Administration in the justification to cut FFDO the following:
Since 2001, however, there have been a number of enhancements to aviation security. TSA now conducts 100 percent screening of all passengers and their carryon items, has overseen installation of reinforced and locking cockpit doors on aircraft that operate in U.S. airspace, and has increased passenger and flight crew awareness to address security risks. Combined, these improvements have greatly lowered the chances of unauthorized cockpit access and represent a comprehensive and redundant risk-mitigation strategy that begins well before passengers board the aircraft.
For a President who proposes $3.8 trillion in spending next year, it is odd that he has targeted the one program in the TSA that is scandal free and providing a quiet deterrent to terrorists planning future attacks.  If President Obama is successful in killing this program and winding it down, he will be to blame if a pilot is attacked in the cockpit of a commercial aircraft.  This is a terrible idea and one hopes that Members of Congress do not follow the Obama Administration’s recommendations on this very important national security issue.
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« Reply #1132 on: February 17, 2012, 08:49:48 PM »

http://thehill.com/homenews/news/211447-authorities-foil-planned-suicide-bombing-attack-on-capitol-building
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« Reply #1133 on: February 25, 2012, 07:55:05 PM »

Why Muslim Student Group Concerned the NYPD
IPT News
February 24, 2012

http://www.investigativeproject.org/3460/why-muslim-student-group-concerned-the-nypd


The Muslim community expressed its outrage this week over a New York Police Department surveillance report from 2006 that the Associated Press reported on Monday. The report disclosed that the NYPD monitored Muslim Students Association (MSA) chapters in the Northeast. The outrage, centered on the perceived violation of privacy, is based on an incorrect presumption that law enforcement had no cause for concern with the MSA.

The organization's history with radical dogma, convicted terrorists and radicalized alumni tell a different story.

NYPD officials visited websites and forums of different MSAs and noted the posted information, all of which was in the public domain. No one hacked into any email accounts or sites as part of the surveillance. A separate story reports that an undercover officer attended a rafting trip with more than a dozen MSA members.

But NYPD officials say critics are off base when they claim the department did something wrong.

"There is no constitutional prohibition against a police department collecting information," city senior counsel Peter Farrell told reporters Thursday.

"What's unconstitutional is if they then use that information to chill someone's First Amendment rights or to impose harm on them."

The AP report chronicles different events that some MSAs held and speakers that chapters hosted on campus and provides some lists of event attendees. The surveillance was intended to track any potential radical speakers or behaviors of the different chapters or individual members.

The report lists six different incidents of monitoring in 2006 at the University of Buffalo, New York University, and Rutgers University. It also lists 12 other MSAs that were tracked, but did not provide "significant information posted to their web sites, forums, blogs and groups."

"Some of the most dangerous Western Al Qaeda-linked/inspired terrorists since 9/11 were radicalized and/or recruited at universities in MSAs," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said as an explanation for the surveillance. "We were focused on radicalization and/or recruitment, specifically by groups like Al Muhajiroun, Islamic Thinkers Society, Revolution Muslim and others."

Criticism of the NYPD surveillance has been swift.

"We believe that the NYPD clearly overstepped its boundaries when it began spying on average American Muslim college students who were simply taking whitewater rafting trips or innocently participating in school activities at their college or university campus," said MSA National President Zahir Latheef.

"University officials may be the last line of defense for Muslim students whose rights were apparently violated by the clearly unconstitutional -- and possibly illegal -- tactics used by the NYPD," Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper said. "The NYPD continues to act as if it is somehow above the law that governs all other individuals and institutions."

Cyrus McGoldrick of CAIR- NY said, "It's very clear that this is not about police work this is about monitoring people based on ideology."

"They're just going out and casting a wide net around a whole community, so they're criminalizing in a way a whole community based on their religion," said CAIR-Connecticut Director Mongi Dhaouadi.

The Rutgers MSA called on the community to "openly condemn the clear violations of the NYPD, who conducted illegitimate profiling outside of their jurisdiction and breached the constitutional rights of an individual."

Leaders Found Trouble

The NYPD has a duty to protect New York City from terrorist attacks. And MSA leaders and members have been convicted of terrorist activities and plots.

The list is extensive, but among the MSA alumni who went on to terrorist involvement are:

Anwar al-Awlaki, an influential American-born al-Qaida cleric who recruited a series of homegrown jihadists before being killed by a U.S. drone strike;

Aafia Siddiqui, convicted of attempted murder and assault on U.S. officers and employees in Afghanistan;

Zachary Chesser, convicted of attempting to provide material support to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab and soliciting attacks on "South Park" producers for an episode in which the prophet Muhammad was shown in a bear suit;

Jesse Morton, convicted with Chesser of threatening the South Park producers with murder;

Adam Gadahn, an al-Qaida spokesman who is on the FBI's Most Wanted List for treason and material support to al-Qaida;

Waheed Zaman, who was convicted of plotting to blow up transatlantic flights;

Adis Medunjanin, who is awaiting trial for plotting to bomb New York subways;

Ramy Zamzam, who was convicted in Pakistan of conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks;

Omar Hammami, who was indicted on charges of providing material support to al-Shabbab and is designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for his terrorist connections;

Muhammad Junaid Babar, who pled guilty to his support to al-Qaida; and

Syed Hashmi, who pled guilty to providing material support to al-Qaida.

MSA was founded in the United States in 1963 by members of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood seeks a global Islamic state and has spawned leaders of a series of Sunni terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The Muslim Brotherhood motto established by founder Hassan al-Banna is, "God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations."

MSA members remain faithful to Brotherhood ideology. At the closing session of the MSA West conference in January 2011 at UCLA, attendees recited a pledge, "Allah is my lord, Islam is my life, the Quran is my guide, the Sunna is my practice, Jihad is my spirit, righteousness is my character, paradise is my goal. I enjoin what is right, I forbid what is wrong, I will fight against oppression, and I will die to establish Islam."

One student attracted NYPD scrutiny in 2006, the AP report said, after forwarding a promotional posting about a conference in Toronto featuring "highly respected scholars."

But many speakers at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference in Toronto had lengthy records of harsh anti-American rhetoric and of trading in conspiracy theories:

For example, Siraj Wahhaj is a radical imam who was listed as a possible unindicted coconspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing prosecution. During remarks given at his Al-Taqwah mosque in 1995, Wahhaj blasted America as "a garbage can. It's filthy, filthy and sick. This country is taking our children. We're trying to raise them up righteous. And you with your sick, low morals grabbing them, trying to teach a man how to be respectful towards his wife. And you got perversity all over. Wicked filth everywhere."

Zaid Shakir is lauded by some as a moderate Muslim voice, but his speeches and writing show that he believes America poses "the single greatest threat to world peace." He has suggested the FBI was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and decried "glaring weaknesses and inconsistencies in the official narrative" about the 9/11 attacks.

Hamza Yusuf is a founder of the Zaytuna College in California who has called America "one of the most virulent kufars [infidels] that has ever attacked the social body" and says that he believes American culture "revels in" war and violence.

Another speaker, Tariq Ramadan, is the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. He was barred from entering the United States at the time of the conference due to concerns he supported a charity tied to Hamas.

The AP report does allude to Wahhaj's past, noting that he "has attracted the attention of authorities for years." But it offers no context or background on Shakir and Yusuf, simply telling readers that they are "two of the nation's most prominent Muslim scholars."

The Toronto conference previously attracted government concern.

The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had "reason to believe that certain individuals who were associated with terrorist organizations or activities might pose a danger to the Unites States, or who were associated with organizations that provide financial support to terrorists, would be in attendance at the 2004 RIS conference," a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision said. CBP was also concerned that the conference "would serve as a possible meeting point for terrorists."

More MSA Radicalism

Last May, the MSA chapter at the University of California, Irvine (known there as the Muslim Student Union or MSU), hosted an event with Amir Mertaban who is a former president of MSA West. During a 2007 conference, Mertaban urged students not to "ever compromise on your Muslim brothers and sisters in which you have no evidence. Osama bin Laden- I don't know this guy. I don't know what he did. I don't know what he said. I don't know what happened. But we defend Muslim brothers and we defend our Muslim sisters to the end. Is that clear?"

That didn't mean people should support terror, he said, but they should never compromise on their faith "Because Islam is a perfect religion."

Invited back in 2011, Mertaban admitted to having supported the Taliban in the 1980s, and refused to condemn the terrorist organization Hamas, claiming that it has done a lot of good in terms of social and political programming. In a subsequent interview with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Mertaban emphasized that he does not know if Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11, refused to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation and said he supports Hamas "freedom fighting missions."

MSA's history and various connections are significant in evaluating the NYPD's surveillance. Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the action as an important countermeasure to terrorist activity. "Of course, we're going to look at anything that's publicly available, in the public domain. We have an obligation to do so," he said.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne added that "tudents who advertised events or sent emails about regular events should not be worried about a terrorism file being kept on them. NYPD only investigated persons who we had reasonable suspicion to believe might be involved in unlawful activities."

One student who was on the rafting trip understood this. The AP quoted Ali Ahmed saying the NYPD was doing its job. "There's lots of Muslims doing some bad things and it gives a bad name to all of us," he said, "so they have to take their due diligence."

If Ahmed's views represented the MSA, rather than the radical ideas and actions of past leaders, NYPD would lose interest much faster.
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« Reply #1134 on: February 25, 2012, 08:44:03 PM »

The NYPD does very good work in this area.
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« Reply #1135 on: March 05, 2012, 10:38:50 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/04/attorney-questions-promotion-terrorist-defender-to-head-gitmo-policy-at-justice/


Attorney questions promotion of terrorist defender to head of Gitmo policy at Justice
Published March 04, 2012
FoxNews.com
 
A former Justice Department attorney who blew the whistle on his department's policies is now questioning the promotion of a former defense attorney for an American terrorist to the No. 3 spot at the Justice Department -- specifically charged with crafting U.S. policy on Guantanamo detainees.
J. Christian Adams, once an elections lawyer who accused the Justice Department of racial bias in its decision to not prosecute a voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panther Party, said Tony West's promotion from assistant attorney general for the Civil Division to acting associate attorney general is one more step toward letting radicals run the Justice Department.
"The most dangerous thing is that West is overseeing Gitmo policy. It's not that he's just some guy at the Justice Department licking envelopes," Adams told Fox News on Sunday.
Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group, noted that in Holder's announcement of West's promotion, he "conveniently omitted" West's role as the defense attorney for convicted Al Qaeda terrorist John Walker Lindh, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence after being captured in Afghanistan in 2001 while fighting with the Taliban.
"He actually pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban and carrying explosives while fighting U.S. troops in the region," Judicial Watch noted of Lindh.
Adams said not only did West represent Lindh, but his firm was also involved in two other defense cases for terrorists working against the U.S.
"Tony West took on, and his firm, took some of the most radical causes for America's enemies before coming to the Justice Department," he said.
"When he took on the representation of John Walker Lindh, even after the sentencing, he was out shilling for him. He said things like ... 'I think he'll have a lot to offer after he gets out of jail.' I mean, what is he going to have to offer after when he gets out of jail? How to endear yourself to prominent Democrat lawyers? I mean there's no reason to be talking like that."
West has previously defended his work for Lindh, saying, "I fully believe that in working on that case, I was recommitting myself to those principles of due process, fairness -- things that separate us from most nations in this world."
West was promoted a week ago. In the announcement, Attorney General Eric Holder said West and Stuart Delery, who was tapped to fill the spot West is leaving, "bring a wealth of experience to their new positions."
"I'm confident they will provide invaluable leadership and will play a critical role in furthering the department's key priorities and fulfilling its traditional missions," he said.
West, who was a a finance co-chairman in President Obama's 2008 election, was nominated for his Civil Division post in January 2009 and approved by the Senate in April of that year. Prior to joining the administration, he was a special assistant attorney general in California and a lawyer at a San Francisco firm.
At the Justice Department, West was already responsible for litigating national security cases like habeas corpus petitions brought by detainees at Guantanamo Bay. He also was the top lawyer defending the president's health care reform legislation against constitutional challenges and leading civil enforcement actions filed after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. His department defends federal officials in lawsuits filed against them.
Adams, who now runs the Election Law Center blog, said in another era, being a defense attorney for America's enemies would not have qualified someone for a job at the Justice Department.
"It would have disqualified you," he said. Now, though, many of the very people who worked for detainees at Guantanamo "are in charge of Gitmo policy."
Holder is expected to deliver remarks on Monday on national security matters and the Obama administration's counterterrorism efforts

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/04/attorney-questions-promotion-terrorist-defender-to-head-gitmo-policy-at-justice/#ixzz1oCrnxYiX
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« Reply #1136 on: March 08, 2012, 09:39:28 PM »

Is this the same one we saw before?


http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/secret-militias-rise-us-15881829
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« Reply #1137 on: March 08, 2012, 09:58:52 PM »


The SPLC has zero credibility.
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« Reply #1138 on: March 09, 2012, 12:16:24 PM »


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204781804577267840307094310.html?mod=opinion_newsreel
By RICHARD CLARKE, JUDITH MILLER AND R.P. EDDY
Should a police department identify and engage those citizens most likely to be involved with terrorism? Should police understand the historic and current ties of certain communities to militant groups that export violent extremism? The current debate over the New York Police Department's counterterrorism surveillance reflects fundamental disagreements over such issues.

Start with a given: The threat of terrorism is no excuse to run roughshod over civil liberties. The leeway given New York's police in combating terrorism is spelled out in the "Handschu Guidelines," federal court-sanctioned rules in force since 1985 and amended in 2002.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly says he has followed these guidelines to the letter, but since last summer a series of Associated Press articles has accused the NYPD of "wholesale surveillance of places where Muslims eat, shop, work and pray"—spying that ostensibly violates their civil rights. Now U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has asked the Justice Department to review the NYPD program.

Yet NYPD efforts to engage with and selectively surveil at-risk populations are not only legal but essential. In 2002, Mr. Kelly decided that a "broad base of knowledge" about who lives in the New York area was crucial to preventing terrorism. "It was precisely our failure to understand the context in 1993"—after the first World Trade Center bombing—"that left us vulnerable in 2001," he said. So police tried to determine "how individuals seeking to do harm might communicate or conceal themselves. Where might they go to find resources or evade the law?" Such "geographically-based knowledge" saved "precious time in stopping fast-moving plots," he said last weekend.

Identifying such "hot spots" was legal, appropriate—and no secret: NYPD officials testified publicly before Congress about their work. The Handschu guidelines authorize the police to "visit any place and attend any event that is open to the public" and "conduct online search activity and to access online sites and forums on the same terms . . . as members of the public."

Enlarge Image

CloseAssociated Press
 
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly
.Criminals often share ethnic backgrounds. For police to look for certain criminals among certain ethnic groups is only logical, and it doesn't suggest a belief that all, or even a significant minority, of that group are criminals. Cops look for Cosa Nostra members in Italian communities, for Yakuza criminals among Japanese, for Triad criminals among Chinese. To look for al Qaeda members in Muslim communities is not to disparage such communities. Indeed many Muslims help law enforcement identify such potential threats.

What about the NYPD's six-month surveillance of college campuses in the New York area and the Northeast Corridor, in particular of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), which has come under fire?

In 2006, police had ample cause to fear that chapters of the MSA, founded in the U.S. by the militant Muslim Brotherhood, might unwittingly host terrorists or serve as recruiting grounds. "Some of the most dangerous Western al Qaeda linked or inspired terrorists since 9/11 were radicalized or recruited at universities in Muslim Student Associations," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.

Anwar al-Awlaki, the former head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a U.S. drone strike last year, was president of the MSA at Colorado State University. Umar Abdulmutallab, the al Qaeda "underwear" bomber who tried blowing up a jet over Detroit in 2009, headed the MSA at the University College of London.

The NYPD asserts, contrary to Associated Press claims, that it surveilled MSA members only after finding signs of terrorist-related activity in the course of other investigations, not from open sources. Leads from those investigations, Mr. Kelly says, triggered preliminary inquiries and, if needed, full-blown investigations using undercover police.

Another misplaced criticism is that the NYPD received assistance from the CIA, thus blurring the line "between foreign and domestic spying," as the AP put it. The architect of the NYPD's intelligence program was CIA vet David Cohen, and the CIA seconded Larry Sanchez to work with Mr. Cohen after 9/11. But this interaction not only has been widely reported for years—it is precisely the kind of expertise-sharing that the 9/11 Commission so strongly urged.

The CIA is rightly precluded from spying on Americans on U.S. soil, but the 1947 National Security Act (as amended) authorizes it to assist local law enforcement "when lives are endangered." That's not a loophole—it's necessary cooperation as terrorism threatens cities. continued
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« Reply #1139 on: March 09, 2012, 03:08:48 PM »


http://reason.com/blog/2012/03/09/the-southern-poverty-law-center-is-now-w

Speaking of the SPLC and zero credibility......

Is Bill Maher on their list? I'd bet not.....
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« Reply #1140 on: March 21, 2012, 10:57:32 PM »




http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/nypd_says_iranian_spies_have_conducted_eeJK35zlbA20w7AkNXtPdK
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« Reply #1141 on: March 22, 2012, 05:53:54 AM »


"Iran has a proven record of using its official presence in a foreign city to coordinate attacks, which are then carried out by Hizbollah agents from abroad, often leveraging the local community -- whether wittingly or not -- as facilitators," Silber said.

And what is the official presence that allows Iran in NYC? Let's see who can answer this first......
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« Reply #1142 on: March 22, 2012, 09:26:47 PM »




U.S. Moves to Ease Limits on Use of Data in Counterterror Analysis

The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may access, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is expected on Thursday to sign new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created in 2004 to foster intelligence sharing and to serve as a clearinghouse for terrorism threats, according to officials.

The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the center’s ability to retain private information about Americans when there is suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and “data-mining them” — using complex algorithms to search for patterns that could indicate a threat — than it currently does.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/us/politics/us-moves-to-relax-some-restrictions-for-counterterrorism-analysis.html?emc=na
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« Reply #1143 on: March 23, 2012, 07:09:00 PM »

but the subject matter continues to be important:

Obama Assumes Dictatorial Powers
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on March 23, 2012

Printer-Friendly Version
With two presidential signatures- one on New Year's Day and the other issued last week - President Barack Obama has assumed the right to assert dictatorial powers over almost all aspects of the U.S. economy and to hold American citizens indefinitely without trial!
   
(This is not some "Space Aliens Invade" story.  It is really happening).
   
On New Year's Day, Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund the Pentagon.  But smuggled into its language is an explicit authority "allowing him to indefinitely detain [US] citizens" according to Jonathan Turley writing in the U.K. Guardian newspaper.

While the story was buried in the American media, Turley notes that it is "one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties" in American history.
   
At first, Obama "insisted that he signed the bill simply to keep funding for the troops."  But, Turley reports, "that spin ended after sponsor Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) disclosed that it was the White House that insisted that there be no exception for [US] citizens in the indefinite detention provision."

Turley is critical of "reporters [who] continue to mouth the claim that this law only codifies what is already the law. That is not true.

The administration has fought any challenges to indefinite detention to prevent a true court review."
   
Read the full text of Turley's article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/02/ndaa-historic-assault-american-liberty
   
Perhaps even more terrifying is the executive order President Obama signed on Friday, March 16 giving him vast powers to control every aspect of the U.S. economy in the event of war or even during a peacetime "emergency."  Edwin Black, writing for the liberal-oriented Huffington Post, says that the order "may have quietly placed the United States on a war preparedness footing" possibly in anticipation of "an outbreak of war between Israel, the West, and Iran."
Read the full text of Black's article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/edwin-black/obama-national-defense-resources-preparedness_b_1359715.html
   
The Order entitled "National Defense Resources Preparedness" gives the president the power "to take control of all civil energy supplies, including oil and natural gas, control and restrict all civil transportation," according to Black.  It also even allows a draft "in order to achieve both the military and non-military demands of the country."
   
Obama's order would be effective both during times of war and times of other emergencies.  It says the purpose of the order is to assure that "the United States [has] an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency." (Emphasis added)

The far reaching order authorizes the president "in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements."

Likely the president already has most of the enumerated powers as part of his role as commander in chief.  So, why the order right now?

Black speculates that it is related to the tensions over Iran's nuclear program.  Is the president reminding big oil that he would take over their industry in the event of war?  Or is Obama equipping himself with vast powers to be used even in peacetime as a result of whatever he decides is a "national emergency."  Could the rise in gas prices constitute such an "emergency?"  Is the issuance of this order right now a shot across the bow of oil companies to get them to go easy on oil prices?  Where are we?  Stalinist Russia?
   
In any case, these two presidential signatures - one on a law and the other on an order - together constitute a massive power grab totally unsuited to a democracy.  The idea that he would be preparing to assume dictatorial powers seems so remote that the mainstream media has not even reported on these initiatives.  But they should give all of us pause.
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« Reply #1144 on: March 27, 2012, 07:53:28 AM »



This from a site of completely unknown reliability:
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/03/23/deception-by-prosecutors-may-lead-to-mistrial-in-hutaree-militia-case/

Deception By Prosecutors May Lead to Mistrial in Hutaree Militia Case
10Judge Considering Motion

By Michael Chester
 

In the latest twist in the Hutaree Militia trial in Detroit’s Federal Court, on Wednesday, defense attorneys made a motion for a mistrial based on the prosecution failing to turn over information concerning the undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the group. The defense attorneys found out earlier this week that agent Steve Haug was the FBI handler for a New Jersey man who was paid to gather information on a white supremacist group beginning in 2003. In this case, which is not connected to the current trial, right wing talk show host and blogger, Hal Turner made threats against public officials and critics while being paid by the FBI.

Under federal law, the government is required to provide the defense with all information which can be used to impeach the testimony of a witness or aid in the defendant’s defense. William Swor, the attorney for Militia leader David Stone said that the prosecution failed to meet their obligations. Though no actual attack occurred, the case hinges on the interpretation of hateful anti-government speech. They are alleged to have conspired to kill a police officer and then to set off bombs at his funeral to kill more police officers. Even in the prosecution’s version, it never progressed beyond the talking stage.

Swor told Federal Judge, Victoria Roberts, “We were cut off from a whole line of investigation.” He contends that the defense had a right to know about Haug’s involvement with the controversial informant in the New Jersey case. Turner was a paid FBI informant from 2003 through 2007 and in 2010 was convicted of making threats against three federal judges. He is currently serving a 33 month prison sentence. He had no part in the Michigan case.

The prosecution had been expected to rest its case on Wednesday, but motions and arguments about Haug took over two hours to complete. Judge Roberts has not ruled on the motion for mistrial as of yet. If she grants the motion, the government would have the option to drop the charges or re-file them and have another trial. Estimates of the actual costs of the current trial exceed a million dollars with the total of the investigation, infiltration, informant payments, raids, incarcerations and trial estimated at over ten million tax dollars.

Last week, Judge Roberts ordered the prosecution to submit a written outline of their case and what supporting evidence they had for the charges. While she did not specifically say why she wanted this information, from my perspective it appears that she feels that the prosecution has not presented evidence of actual crimes being committed. Of course, she cannot come out and say this unless she decides to dismiss the charges. I am sure that she is under a great deal of pressure from her superiors to not do this, however from all appearances, she has worked very hard to insure a fair trial, going as far as shielding the identity of the jurors as much as possible to protect them from threats during or after the trial.

The trial began on February 13 and is expected to run into mid April. Most of the defendants have been held without bail since their arrest in March of 2010.

Aside from the FBI agent, the main prosecution witness was a paid informant with a very questionable background. Dan Murray was officially paid $31,000 by the FBI to gather evidence against the militia group. During his cross examination by the defense, he admitted a history of alcohol abuse and mental illness. He was also forced to describe the time he stabbed himself in the belly with a 14 inch knife and tried to blame it on his wife. “I cut myself, yes sir,” Murray testified in court, where defense attorney James Thomas pressed him to admit that he initially falsely accused his wife of stabbing him in April 2010. “That was a lie, yes,” Murray said, later adding, ” I told them the truth as soon as I could … I said she didn’t do it. I did.”

Murray also was forced to admit that one month prior to the arrest of the militia members, he had been arrested for shooting a gun in the direction of his wife during an argument. Of course, he denies shooting at his wife, saying, “I did not shoot at my wife … I shot my gun at a door,” Murray testified, adding he set the gun down afterward and went outside and waited for police to come.

Murray, who remains married, ended up pleading guilty to discharging a weapon at a building and received three years probation in Wayne County Circuit Court. Defense lawyers have argued that Murray, who was initially charged with three felonies, got special treatment in that case because the federal government intervened on his behalf because he was an informant. The U.S. Attorneys office and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office have denied the claim.

Miraculously, he was not charged under Michigan’s gun crime law. This law automatically adds a two year prison sentence to any crime committed with a gun.  The mandatory two years, which is supposed to be non-negotiable, is to be served before beginning the sentence for the underlying crime.

While I cannot say with all certainty that he received special treatment, it certainly appears that way. I would expect that under normal circumstances, a person shooting near where his wife stood, would be charged with attempted murder or at the very least, assault with a deadly weapon. He would also get the mandatory 2 year gun sentence. Since all parties deny a Quid Pro Quo, and we all know that the government would not lie to us, we will just have to consider Murray very lucky.

As a final insult to the system, Murray failed to pay income tax on the reported $31,000 he received from the FBI.

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« Reply #1145 on: March 31, 2012, 07:19:06 AM »

http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolator/an-idea-with-tentacles/28982

Rafe Sagarin trained as a marine ecologist but was working as a science adviser for a member of Congress when Washington began to take on strange traits.
 
It was 2002, and as Sagarin walked the sidewalks and Congressional corridors in the post-9/11 city, he saw it sprout uniformed police officers, Jersey barriers, and metal detectors. Mail arrived late after being screened for bombs and anthrax, and chemical masks were stored under desks. He saw Washington as an ecosystem, not that different from the tidal pools he had studied near Monterey, Calif.
 
“Frankly, I was becoming quite alarmed at what I was seeing,” says Sagarin, now an assistant research scientist at the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment. What bothered him was not the heightened security, but the rigid nature of it. When he viewed the federal government as an organism, he saw it reacting to a past threat rather than increasing its ability to adapt to new threats. The government was doing a bad job in its given ecosystem.

Sagarin eventually assembled a working group with biologists and social scientists of different stripes alongside warfare experts, security analysts, and spies. He asked a simple question: “What can we learn about security in society from security in nature?”
 

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« Reply #1146 on: March 31, 2012, 12:34:25 PM »

"If y'all come to get me, bring body bags."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-30/anti-government-militia-groups-freeman/53873496/1


Sequestered on a 50-acre, wooded compound in East Texas since jumping bail more than a decade ago, Gray and his clan have effectively outlasted the administrations of four local sheriffs, all of whom have decided that John Joe's arrest is not worth the risk of a violent confrontation.

"The risk of loss of life on both ends is far too great," said Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe, who first sought to prosecute Gray for the alleged Christmas Eve 1999 assault of Texas Trooper Jim Cleland. "I believed it then; I still feel that way."
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« Reply #1147 on: March 31, 2012, 10:12:07 PM »

"If y'all come to get me, bring body bags."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-30/anti-government-militia-groups-freeman/53873496/1


Sequestered on a 50-acre, wooded compound in East Texas since jumping bail more than a decade ago, Gray and his clan have effectively outlasted the administrations of four local sheriffs, all of whom have decided that John Joe's arrest is not worth the risk of a violent confrontation.

"The risk of loss of life on both ends is far too great," said Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe, who first sought to prosecute Gray for the alleged Christmas Eve 1999 assault of Texas Trooper Jim Cleland. "I believed it then; I still feel that way."

He's lucky I'm not sheriff there.
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« Reply #1148 on: April 09, 2012, 05:16:35 PM »

IPT Exclusive: State Department Barred Inspection of Muslim Brotherhood Delegation
by Steven Emerson
IPT News
April 9, 2012
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3525/ipt-exclusive-state-department-barred-inspection
 
 
The State Department broke with normal procedures last week when it ordered the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) not to conduct a secondary inspection on members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) on their way to visit government officials and think tanks in the United States.
This happened despite the fact that one member of the delegation had been implicated – though not charged – in a U.S. child pornography investigation, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has learned.
According to senior enforcement sources and documents reviewed by the IPT, investigators had information tying Abdul Mawgoud Dardery to the pornography investigation that was based in Pennsylvania. He was the senior member in the four-person FJP delegation which held court with academic groups and met with senior officials at the White House and State Department last week. (For more on what they said, click here.)
The FJP recently won a plurality of seats in recent elections to determine makeup of the next Egyptian Parliament.
Before returning to Egypt, Dardery lived in the United States long enough to attain legal permanent residency, known as a green card. That status lapsed after he left the country for more than six months. The child pornography investigation took place during Dardery's time here and was noted in his immigration file. It surfaced when CBP officials learned of his pending visit.
A U.S. official familiar with immigration procedures told the IPT that extra inspection is standard operating procedure when a foreign visitor has been tied to criminal or terrorist activities. "Secondary inspections" involve going through the visitor's baggage and viewing the contents of computers and other electronic devices to search for evidence of illicit activity. Agents would typically search other members of the party to ensure Dardery did not hand off his computer equipment to an associate to avoid detection.
In addition, the Brotherhood's relationship with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas would have triggered extra scrutiny for the incoming delegation. But that "secondary inspection" never happened, a law enforcement source said. The State Department ordered CBP not to do it.
The State Department issued a cable specifically barring Customs officials from carrying out any inspections of Dardery and the other members of the delegation on their arrival at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. The immigration official described this action by the State Department as "extraordinary."
Beyond the State Department's prohibition on conducting extra scrutiny of Dardery and members of his delegation, the State Department barred US Customs officials from carrying out even the standard inspection mandated for foreigners arriving from Egypt, where an enhanced security program is in place as a result of the 9-11 attacks.
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 with the goal of establishing a worldwide Islamic state through jihad and martyrdom. The group is considered the parent of all Sunni terrorist groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
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« Reply #1149 on: April 09, 2012, 05:36:08 PM »

IPT Exclusive: State Department Barred Inspection of Muslim Brotherhood Delegation
by Steven Emerson
IPT News
April 9, 2012
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3525/ipt-exclusive-state-department-barred-inspection
 
 
The State Department broke with normal procedures last week when it ordered the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) not to conduct a secondary inspection on members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) on their way to visit government officials and think tanks in the United States.
This happened despite the fact that one member of the delegation had been implicated – though not charged – in a U.S. child pornography investigation, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has learned.



Shocking and horrific.
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