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Civil Liberties

Centers Tap Into Personal Databases–State Groups Were Formed After 9/11

By Robert O’Harrow Jr.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Intelligence centers run by states across the country have access to personal information about millions of Americans, including unlisted cellphone numbers, insurance claims, driver’s license photographs and credit reports, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post.

One center also has access to top-secret data systems at the CIA, the document shows, though it’s not clear what information those systems contain.

Dozens of the organizations known as fusion centers were created after the Sept.…

Bush Consolidates the National Security State

By Tom Burghardt From Antifascist Calling…Exploring the shadowlands of the corporate police state

The Washington Post revealed Friday that the FBI is continuing its systematic violation of Americans’ Fourth Amendment guarantees against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

A Justice Department report concluded that the Bureau had repeatedly abused its intelligence gathering “privileges” by issuing bogus “national security letters” (NSLs) from 2003-2006. On at least one occasion, the FBI relied on an illegally-issued NSL to circumvent a ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain records the secret court deemed protected by the First Amendment.…

House Passes Surveillance Bill with No Telecom Immunity

EFF Applauds House Passage of Surveillance Bill with No Telecom Immunity Bill Would Allow Spying Cases to Proceed Fairly and Securely

Washington, D.C. – This morning the House of Representatives passed a compromise surveillance bill that does not include retroactive immunity for phone companies alleged to have assisted in the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. The bill would allow lawsuits like the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s case against AT&T to proceed while providing specific security procedures allowing the telecom giants to defend themselves in court.…

Whistleblower: Cellular carrier giving FBI unfettered access

By Ryan Paul
March 06, 2008

Computer security analyst Babak Pasdar says that a major mobile telecommunications carrier has a built-in backdoor that provides an undisclosed third-party with unfettered access to its internal technical infrastructure, including the ability to eavesdrop on all calls through its network. In an affidavit that describes the circumstances and basis for the allegations, Pasdar provides evidence which could indicate that the FBI is on the other side of the secret line, engaging in warrantless surveillance of mobile communications.…

Judge is asked to rescind shutdown of website

Media and public interest organizations tell the jurist that his order violates constitutional provisions against prior restraint of free speech.

By Henry Weinstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 27, 2008

A coalition of media and public interest organizations went to federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday urging a judge to reconsider his order to shut down a muckraking website that publishes leaked documents from businesses and government agencies worldwide.

Lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Public Citizen and several news organizations, told U.S.…

Planned Guantánamo Trials Deny 9/11 Defendants Basic Rights

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Feb. 29, 2008
Posted Feb. 20, 2008

LISTEN to this week’s entire program/view the program summary.
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Planned Guantánamo Trials Deny 9/11 Defendants Basic Rights

Interview with Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild,
conducted by Scott Harris

On Feb. 11, the Bush administration announced it would charge six detainees held at the U.S. prison camp at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, alleged to be involved in the planning of the September 11 terrorist attacks.…

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Homeland Security Training NYC Firefighters to Spy

By Colin Meyn, In These Times
February 19, 2008

In New York City, the Department of Homeland Security is training New York City firefighters to assist in gathering intelligence information during routine inspections and emergencies.

In November, the Associated Press reported that in New York, Homeland Security was testing a program called the Fire Service Intelligence Enterprise (FSIE) to help identify “material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities.”

The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and Homeland Security hosted a September 2007 conference in New York City to discuss plans for the new intelligence program.…

Supreme Court Refuses To Review Warrantless Wiretapping Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@acluorg; (212) 549-2666
2/19/2008

Ruling Allows Executive Branch To Police Itself, Says ACLU

Photo of graffiti uncle sam wiretappingNEW YORK — The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to review a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of prominent journalists, scholars, attorneys and national nonprofit organizations who say that the unchecked surveillance program is disrupting their ability to communicate effectively with sources and clients.…

Let us talk to Sept 11 planner, U.S. lawyers ask

By Jane Sutton Fri Feb 8, 4:43 PM ET

Photo of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Guantánamo BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) – Military lawyers defending Osama bin Laden’s former driver on terrorism charges in the U.S. war court at Guantánamo Bay have offered a compromise in their quest to interview September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

They promised not to ask Mohammed about his treatment in U.S. custody or about the CIA’s admission that it subjected him to a simulated drowning technique known as “waterboarding” during interrogations.…

Sibel Edmonds Must be Heard

by Philip Giraldi

Sibel Edmonds is the FBI translator turned whistleblower who decided to go public late in 2002 and has been seeking to tell her story about high level corruption in the United States government involving Turkey and Israel. What makes her story particularly compelling is that the corruption relates to the theft and sale of United States defense secrets, most particularly nuclear technology. Sibel obtained her information while translating Turkish language telephone intercepts directed against several Turkish lobbying groups who had contact with senior officials in the Bush Administration, both at the Pentagon and in the State Department.…

Runnin’ Scared: NYPD Seeks an Air Monitor Crackdown for New Yorkers

A city councilman and the cops don’t want you to have that Geiger counter without their permission
by Chris Thompson

Damn you, Osama bin Laden! Here’s another rotten thing you’ve done to us: After 9/11, untold thousands of New Yorkers bought machines that detect traces of biological, chemical, and radiological weapons. But a lot of these machines didn’t work right, and when they registered false alarms, the police had to spend millions of dollars chasing bad leads and throwing the public into a state of raw panic.…

Do U.S. pandemic plans threaten rights, ACLU asks

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, yahoo! news
January 14, 2008

U.S. policy in preparing for a potential bird flu pandemic is veering dangerously toward a heavy-handed law-enforcement approach, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday.

The group, which advocates for individuals’ legal rights based on the U.S. Constitution, said federal government pandemic plans were confusing and could emphasize a police and military approach to outbreaks of disease, instead of a more sensible public health approach.…

Naomi Wolf Condemns Torture-Tapes Crimes

What is Probably in the Missing Tapes

By Naomi Wolf, Monday, December 13, 2007*

To judge from firsthand documents obtained by the ACLU through a FOIA lawsuit, we can guess what is probably on the missing CIA interrogation tapes — as well as understand why those implicated are spinning so hard to pretend the tapes do not document a series of evident crimes. According to the little-noticed but extraordinarily important book Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond (Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, Columbia University Press, New York 2007), which presents dozens of original formerly secret documents – FBI emails and memos, letters and interrogator “wish lists,” raw proof of the systemic illegal torture of detainees in various US-held prisons — the typical “harsh interrogation” of a suspect in US custody reads like an account of abuses in archives at Yad Vashem.…

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‘Goodbye to America’ and ‘Hegemony’s Cost’

by Paul Craig Roberts
November 28, 2007

Pat Buchanan is too patriotic to come right out and say it, but the message of his new book, “Day of Reckoning,” is that America as we have known her is finished. Moreover, Naomi Wolf agrees with him. These two writers of different political persuasions arrive at America’s demise from different directions.

Buchanan explains how hubris, ideology and greed have torn America apart. A neoconservative cabal with an alien agenda captured the Bush administration and committed American blood, energy and money to aggression against Muslim countries in the Middle East, while permitting America’s domestic borders to be overrun by immigrants and exporting the jobs that had made the United States an opportunity society.…

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Did RAND Corporation Pen the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act?

Kurt Nimmo
TruthNews

According to Jessica Lee of Indypendent and Kamau Karl Franklin of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was penned with plenty of help from the RAND Corporation.

“Rep. Jane Harman, Democrat from California, has had a lengthy relationship with the Rand Corporation,” Lee tells Democracy Now, although she was unable to determine if RAND wrote the bill. On the 12th anniversary of the OKC bombing, Rep. Harman, as chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.…

State Terror: H.R. 1955 a Weapon of Mass Destruction of Civil Liberties

Ministry of Mythinformation Blog

Concerning the graduated repression of the Nazi regime, the Reverend Martin Niemoller, in 1945, stated, to the effect:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

Irony Alert: White House Tells Musharraf: Never

During today’s [11/5/07] White House press briefing, spokeswoman Dana Perino condemned Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of “emergency rule” in Pakistan. She said that the administration is “deeply disappointed” by the measure, which suspends the country’s constitution, and believes it is never “reasonable” to “restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism”:

Q: Is it ever reasonable to restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism?

MS. PERINO: In our opinion, no.…

A ‘Paper Coup,’ and Blackwater Eyes Midtown Manhattan

by Naomi Wolf
Huffington Post
November 4, 2007

I have argued that in the closing stages of a ‘fascist shift’, events cascade. I am hearing about them, even across the globe. Here in Australia I hear from the nation’s best-know feminist activist, and former adviser to Paul Keating, Anne Summers, who was also at the time this took place Chair of the Board of Greenpeace International. Summers was detained by armed agents for FIVE HOURS each way in LAX on her way to and from the annual meeting of the board of Greenpeace International in Mexico, and her green card was taken away from her.…