" PRESIDENT OBAMA has refused to tell Congress or the American people why he believes the Constitution gives, or fails to deny, him the authority to secretly target and kill American citizens who he suspects are involved in terrorist activities overseas. So far he has killed three that we know of.
Presidents had never before, to our knowledge, targeted specific Americans for military strikes. There are no court decisions that tell us if he is acting lawfully. Mr. Obama tells us not to worry, though, because his lawyers say it is fine, because experts guide the decisions and because his advisers have set up a careful process to help him decide whom he should kill."
"Following the pattern set by the National Security Agency (NSA), the Justice Department last week refused to disclose how, when, and how often the federal government uses GPS to track vehicles.
As a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) petition filed last July, on January 16 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received two internal Justice Department memos setting out the department’s policies regarding tracking of citizens using GPS technology.
At least that’s what the documents purported to reveal. In reality, the pair of memos sent to the ACLU by the DOJ were largely blacked out, leaving all but the barest of background information completely redacted.
As is customary among the participants in the government project to place every American under constant surveillance and make every citizen a suspect, Justice Department attorneys argue that the information requested by the ACLU in the FOIA petition could be used to help criminals escape capture by law enforcement.
The ACLU isn’t convinced, however.
"The Obama administration will be able to keep secret its legal justification for killing without a trial an American suspected of joining al Qaeda after a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed most of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times.
New York Southern District Court Judge Colleen McMahon issued a ruling acknowledging that the government's actions "seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution." Still, she concluded, citing a "veritable Catch-22" of a "thicket of laws and precedents," she could not order disclosure of the Department of Justice memorandum supporting the 2011 drone killing of alleged al Qaeda militant -- and American citizen -- Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
The judge's ruling hinged on the Freedom of Information Act Law, not on the drone program itself.
Wayne Coste is an electrical engineer with about thirty-five years of professional practice, as well as a dedicated volunteer for Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth on its Congressional Outreach and Presenter teams. Recently he's been bringing the scientific evidence for controlled demolition to civil liberty activists and presenting the information on TV as a result of another unknown activist's 9/11 Truth graffiti, which caught the public eye. In this episode of 9/11 Free Fall he discusses latest his work.
Wayne's appearance on the news can be viewed here:
Article mentioned on show:
October 19, 2012
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Battles Over Government Secrecy Dominate 9/11 Hearings
Posted: 10/17/2012 1:49 pm
The definition and use of classified information, and the public's right to hear it, is proving to be one of the most important issues arising in pre-trial hearings in this historic September 11th terrorism prosecution. With only two of the defendants actually in the courtroom on Wednesday (the others elected not to come), lawyers from the government, defense, ACLU and 14 media organizations over the last two days have argued vehemently over whether the government is properly classifying information -- particularly the memories and experiences of the defendants, who were subjected to the CIA's classified "enhanced interrogation" program. Even if it is deemed classified, argue the ACLU and news organizations, it still has to meet a strict First Amendment standard for the court to lawfully prevent the public from hearing it.
The First Amendment only allows the closing of a courtroom, argued ACLU lawyer Hina Shamsi and media lawyer David Schulz, if it will "cause grave harm to national security."
"The government fails utterly to explain how it has a legitimate interest, let alone a compelling one, in suppressing information about a CIA coercive interrogation and detention program that was illegal and has been banned by the president," the ACLU says in its brief to the court.
The issue is important, both for the public's right to know what its government did and for the legitimacy of this historic trial. As Schulz told the court yesterday: "Nothing is likely to shape the public perception of the fairness of these proceedings more significantly than the way the court handles this request for a protective order."
The current proposed order, he said, "covers things that quite clearly can't credibly constitute a threat to our national security."
ACLU Sues for Records on Assassination of US Citizens
Repeated Public Comments Negate 'Secrecy' Claims
by Jason Ditz, February 01, 2012
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit today in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, complaining that the Obama Administration failed to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests relating to the assassinations of three US citizens in Yemen.
The ACLU condemned “the government’s self-serving attitude toward transparency,” arguing that the administration publicly and loudly releases bits of information related to the assassinations but declines to provide the full story, claiming the killings were “secret.”
The requests centered around the September 30 assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born Muslim cleric that the administration regularly claimed was a “terrorist,” as well as his teenage son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and US citizen Samir Khan. The ACLU sought information on the process through which the Obama Administration decides who lives and who dies, as well as on the legal rationale for “kill lists.”
After submitting my name and email to one of the many online petitions by the ACLU to stop the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, I received this email from Senator JOHN CORNYN in a seemingly dismissive response to the concerns of those who signed said petition. I thought I'd share this email response with you.
Dear Mr. (my name):
Thank you for contacting me regarding the military detention and prosecution of terrorists. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important matter.
CIA whisked detainees from Gitmo
By: MATT APUZZO and ADAM GOLDMAN
08/06/10 1:10 PM PDT
WASHINGTON — A white, unmarked Boeing 737 landed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before dawn on a CIA mission so secretive, many in the nation's war on terrorism were kept in the dark.
Four of the nation's most highly valued terrorist prisoners were aboard.
They arrived at Guantanamo on Sept. 24, 2003, years earlier than the U.S. has ever disclosed. Then, months later, they were just as quietly whisked away before the Supreme Court could give them access to lawyers.
The transfer allowed the U.S. to interrogate the detainees in CIA "black sites" for two more years without allowing them to speak with attorneys or human rights observers or challenge their detention in U.S. courts. Had they remained at the Guantanamo Bay prison for just three more months, they would have been afforded those rights.
Please join the ACLU in urging the president to hold firm and keep these prosecutions in federal court—where they belong.
Dear ACLU Supporter,
Last night, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration is on the verge of deciding to prosecute the 9/11 suspects in military commissions—a stunning reversal of its earlier decision to try them in federal criminal courts.
This reversal would deal a death-blow to the principled decision-making of President Obama's own Justice Department.
Fear-mongering politicians are putting considerable pressure on the administration to use the ineffective military commissions. That's why we need every American who believes in justice and due process to take action right away.
Urge President Obama to stand by his attorney general's principled decision and reject a return to Bush-era military commissions.
"US 'waterboarding' row rekindled"
BBC, July 13, 2009
Fresh claims have emerged that a key al-Qaeda suspect was waterboarded before the Bush government lawyers issued written authorisation to do so.
A former CIA agent has told the BBC that Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded by the CIA in May or June 2002.
The date was provided by former CIA agent John Kiriakou. The practice was sanctioned in written memos by Bush administration lawyers in August 2002.
The CIA says waterboarding did not take place before August 2002.
Officials have refused to tell the BBC when it did occur.
Mr Kiriakou led the CIA team that captured Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan on 28 March 2002, and was the first to speak to the badly injured captive before returning to the US.
There he monitored the internal communications that came in (cable traffic) on Abu Zubaydah's interrogation at a secret CIA prison from the organisation's headquarters in Virginia.
The Current Battle against State Secrets Privilege: ‘Sanitization’ is not the answer By Sibel Edmonds
Posted in full for posterity; please visit the original and support Sibel Edmonds, 123realchange.blogspot.com and NSWBC.org:
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The Current Battle against State Secrets Privilege: ‘Sanitization’ is not the answer By Sibel Edmonds
During the past few months I have been actively following the latest activity on the state secrets privilege (SSP). First, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this issue of extreme importance to our civil liberties and constitutional rights was finally getting long-over-due and deserved attention from the media. After all, the memories of fighting SSP in the federal courts all the way up to the Supreme Court, holding press conferences together with the ACLU to bring needed media attention to this draconian abuse, making the rounds in Congress to have them address this ‘privilege’ through legislation to restrict its misuse and abuse, are still fresh and vivid for me.
"The Central intelligence Agency (CIA) has destroyed 92 tapes of interviews conducted with terror suspects, a US government lawyer has admitted.
The agency had previously said that it had destroyed only two tapes.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a lawsuit against the CIA to seek details of the interrogations of terror suspects.
Techniques involved are understood to have included water-boarding, which the Obama administration says is torture.
The acknowledgment of the 92 destroyed tapes came in a letter sent to the judge presiding over the ACLU lawsuit."
Wednesday, October 1 at 7 pm
Main Library, Olympic Room, 1102 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA
Join the ACLU-WA Pierce County Chapter for Kill the Messenger (Une Femme à Abbattre). The documentary profiles Sibel Edmonds, an FBI translator who suffered retaliation for being a whistle-blower in the wake of 9/11.
Was this for your info, 911veritas?
The FBI has withdrawn a secret administrative order seeking the name, address and online activity of a patron of the Internet Archive after the San Francisco-based digital library filed suit to block the action.
It is one of only three known instances in which the FBI has backed off from such a data demand, known as a "national security letter," or NSL, which is not subject to judicial approval and whose recipient is barred from disclosing the order's existence.
NSLs are served on phone companies, Internet service providers and other electronic communications service providers, but because of the gag order provision, the public has little way to know about them. Their use soared after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, when Congress relaxed the standard for their issuance. FBI officials now issue about 50,000 such orders a year.
Earlier this week (5/5/08), the Arizona ACLU hosted a panel discussion about Fusion Centers featuring former FBI Special Agent and Policy Counsel for The ACLU, Mike German, and Department of Homeland Security Director of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Programs, David Gersten. What follows are some personal notes and observations from the raucous meeting of about 50 people at the University of Arizona College of Law.
According to the ACLU, "Fusion Centers are state, local and regional institutions that [were] originally created to improve the sharing of anti-terrorism intelligence among different state, local and federal law enforcement agencies..." An audience member pointed out that Fusion Centers (under different names) existed before 9/11 but they were poorly funded and had no teeth. Generous funding of Fusion Centers only began after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in response to recommendations by the Commission to improve sharing of intelligence information because the astonishingly successful attacks of 9/11 were ascribed to "intelligence failures" and "failures of imagination."
Lorie van Auken, one of the September 11 Advocates, speaks in this video about why it's important that true justice is served to the detainees at Guantánamo.
Van Auken is supporting the ACLU's John Adams Project, the ACLU's effort to assist in the legal representation of Guantánamo detainees. You can learn more about the project, and read the September 11 Advocates' statement in support of it, at www.aclu.org/johnadams.