October 28, 2012
Surveillance and Accountability
Nearly seven years after the disclosure of President George W. Bush’s secret program of spying on Americans without a warrant, the Supreme Court is about to hear arguments on whether judges can even consider the constitutionality of doing this kind of dragnet surveillance without adequate rules to protect people’s rights.
President Obama’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli Jr., will be calling on the court to toss out the case based on a particularly cynical Catch-22: Because the wiretaps are secret and no one can say for certain that their calls have been or will be monitored, no one has standing to bring suit over the surveillance. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected that avoidance of accountability, and so should the Supreme Court.
On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby talks about yet another "apparent suicide" in Guantanamo prison, dryboarding, and how the only way to ever leave is in a body-bag. Abby interviews former CIA Officer Ray McGovern about CIA intelligence failures leading up to 9/11, the presidential daily briefings, and the PNAC neocon strategy for war. Abby Martin then talks to Afghan journalist and author of "Opium Wars" Fariba Nawa about the opium trade, opium brides, and the heroin black market. 11 years after the 9/11. Finally, Abby breaks down the systematic erosion of our civil liberties through legislation passed in a post 9/11 America.
LIKE Breaking The Set @ http://fb.me/BreakingTheSet
FOLLOW Abby Martin @ http://twitter.com/AbbyMartin
MEDIA ROOTS– Federal agents are continuing to detain a Marine Corps veteran in Chesterfield, Virginia for posts made on his website that expressed discontent for the federal government and accuse elements of it for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks.
On the evening of August 16, FBI agents accompanied by US Secret Service and Chesterfield County police officers approached the home of Brandon J. Raub, 26, a decorated combat engineer who had served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005 to 2011.
After talking with authorities for “20, 30 minutes” it is still unclear what justification was used for his detainment as his posts did not mention any specific threats of violence to any person or place, nor did they include any imagery of destruction.
MEDIA ROOTS – Robbie & Abby Martin of Media Roots have an impromptu late night conversation about existentialism: the progression of technology and its effect on human interaction; human nature and the inability to face personal truths; reinforced perceptions of reality and societal myths keeping people in line; 9/11 & false flag terrorism, corporate collusion, the police state ruling society by fear and the unsustainable nature of global capitalism.
March 16, 2012
Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
WASHINGTON — For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public — or even others in Congress — knew about it.
On Thursday, two of those senators — Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado — went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained.
The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”
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?
By Ellen Nakashima, Published: January 13
Civil liberties advocates are raising concerns that the Department of Homeland Security’s three-year-old practice of monitoring social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter could extend to tracking public reaction to news events and reports that “reflect adversely” on the U.S. government.
The activists, who obtained DHS documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, say one document in particular, a February 2010 analyst handbook, touts as a good example of “capturing public reaction” the monitoring of Facebook and other sites for public sentiment about the possible transfer of Guantanamo detainees to a Michigan prison.
Times, 7 June 2011
Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2011
Yorkshire Post, 8 June 2011
Sunday Telegraph, 5 June 2011
MEDIA ROOTS- In George Orwell’s 1984, Britain is depicted as a totalitarian police state that is ruled by the Party, or Big Brother– an enigmatic, ubiquitous elite that controls society through heavy surveillance, nationalist propaganda and historical revisionism. The concept seems like a far-fetched portrayal of a Democratic nation’s demise into totalitarianism, but in America’s “post 9/11” climate of fear, the United States government has been building a comprehensive grid of surveillance and control that bears frightening similarities to Orwell’s fictional narrative.
My first article on Media Roots, an initiative by artist, activist and independent journalist Abby Martin, is now up. It's called "The War On Paranoid Rhetoric". I want to thank Abby for her help, and I want to encourage the 9/11 truth community to help Abby make Media Roots into an even bigger success than it is already. Here's an excerpt from the article, originally inspired by a Youtube video created by David Chandler:
Terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe have altered our societies. They have changed the way we travel, the way we conduct criminal trials, the way we think about our civil liberties. The Wolfowitz Doctrine's emphasis on unilateralism evolved into the Bush Doctrine: waging preemptive war against nations that might pose a threat to our security, timid protestations from the UN notwithstanding.
We are constantly encouraged to be on the lookout for danger, report suspicious activities and watch for left luggage in airport terminals or bus stations. And if we don't do it, creepy, fully automated camera surveillance systems will do it for us. In that sense, the Bush Doctrine has wormed its way into our everyday lives, and we frenetically look inward to foil plots before they happen, to detect radicalization in our friends and enemies, colleagues and neighbors. Radicalism, we are told, is a precursor of terrorist tendencies. Therefore, all radicals are potential terrorists.
Thought crime is no longer a taboo; Orwell rolls in his grave. It wasn't the action, but the reaction in the form of totalitarian legislation that brought us here. We are told terrorists attack us because they hate our freedoms. The past decade tells a different story: terrorists may terrorize, but no entity hates our freedoms more than our own government, which is always in an excellent position to act upon its hatred. We are nurturing a culture of vigilantes and snitches. Politicians campaign on fear, and have pissing matches with their challengers about who is most 'patriotic' and best prepared to 'protect' the country.
(updated below - Update II)
Few issues highlight Barack Obama's extreme hypocrisy the way that Bagram does. As everyone knows, one of George Bush’s most extreme policies was abducting people from all over the world -- far away from any battlefield -- and then detaining them at Guantanamo with no legal rights of any kind, not even the most minimal right to a habeas review in a federal court. Back in the day, this was called "Bush's legal black hole." In 2006, Congress codified that policy by enacting the Military Commissions Act, but in 2008, the Supreme Court, in Boumediene v. Bush, ruled that provision unconstitutional, holding that the Constitution grants habeas corpus rights even to foreign nationals held at Guantanamo. Since then, detainees havewon 35 out of 48 habeas hearings brought pursuant to Boumediene, on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to justify their detention.
(video below the fold)
In the name of homeland security after 9/11, anti-terror legislation passed that granted sweeping authority to federal agencies to investigate all targets, foreign and domestic. The conclusion reached by many of our elected representatives, and echoed repeatedly by President Bush, was that the government needed this additional authority to protect America from future terrorist attacks. After a brief overview of the Founding Fathers’ intent in crafting the Constitution, theN3TWORK explores the current challenges to keeping our rights under mounting pressure to yield them to national security. We provide startling examples of how new and ambiguous pieces of legislation, like the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, have already curbed our civil liberties. Included in the episode is a breakdown of the MIAC report, along with very disturbing CSPAN footage from the introduction of the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Bill. A must see for every American citizen!
Ending drug prohibition and focusing on addiction as a sickness, like alcohol and prescription drugs, could save the U.S. economy and millions of lives. Please pass this video on to as many people as you can. We need your help to end the Drug War.
THURSDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2008
Against the Militarized Academy
by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has announced an effort to increase the militarization of higher education. (Photo: FilmMaker Magazine)
I was inspired to make this after reading this report today.
9/11 Truth, Part 8 of 11: 9/11 Aftermath and Anthrax; Subverted Rights, Endless War, People's Victories
this one suffers from overkill and i still didn't say everything that needed to be said; let me know what i left out, how to improve, if you have ideas
9/11 Truth, Part 8 of 11: 9/11 Aftermath and Anthrax; Subverted Rights, Endless War, People's Victories
This article is an overview of some of the ways in which 9/11 and the Anthrax attacks have been used; manipulating public fears and understanding, increasing military budgets and private contracts, reducing oversight and accountability, launching imperialist wars, and implementing repressive police state measures- as well as victories for the People and the Constitution.
Post 9/11 Attacks on Freedom, People, Human Rights & Nations
"UNDOING THE BUSH/CHENEY LEGACY -- RESTORING LOST LIBERTIES: A TOOL KIT FOR CONGRESS"
Edited by Ann Fagan Ginger
Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute (MCLI), Berkeley, California
The day after the November elections, MCLI will be ready to give to every Congress Member and Senator a handy booklet listing and describing every law that must be amended or repealed in order to get back to a constitutional, democratic federal government.
We are going to include every statute passed by Congress, every Executive Order and signing statement by Pres. Bush, every regulation by a federal agency, every other document, including international agreements.
“How are you possibly going to make a complete list?”
By letting everyone know of the project and asking for their help.
Letter to the editor about the spineless/toady Congress giving immunity and broad, mostly unchecked powers to spy on Americans to the same public servants who ignored and failed to prevent the 9/11 terror attacks numerous advisors were warning them were going to happen.
first, a link about PatriotsQuestion911.com from 911Research.WTC7.net
As far as I know, 911Summary.com is better vetted for those "kookorspooks" in the truth movement, who may not be "patriots" at all.
Highly-Credible People Question 9/11
Here's the letter, pasted in full:
Among people who have examined the evidence of 9/11 thoroughly, there is little doubt the story created by the government for mass consumption is a gigantic fraud.
Scholars, engineers, architects, pilots and intelligence professionals have gone on the record exposing the lies, as seen at http://patriots question911.com.
But that is not what this letter is about.
Bob Barr on Glenn Beck 06/06/2008 - Part 5:
Covers the Patriot Act, civil liberties, the Second Amendment, border security, the NAU (North American Union), the NAFTA Superhighway, and "9/11 truthers".
("On May 9, 2007, President Bush signed the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive. If in the president’s opinion a “catastrophic emergency” occurs, the directive places all governmental power in the hands of the president, effectively abolishing the checks and balances in the Constitution." . . . This is what worries me, many of us. Will something in September or October, 2008 happen? So much circumstantial evidence seems to say so . . . , and I hope obviously, I'm wrong. --Betsy)
By Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton
07/06/08 "Lew Rockwell" -- -The George W. Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with an assault on U.S. civil liberty that Bush justified in the name of the “war on terror.” The government assured us that the draconian measures apply only to “terrorists.” The word terrorist, however, was not defined. The government claimed the discretionary power to decide who is a terrorist without having to present evidence or charges in a court of law.
An Absence of Will
Under constant manipulations, lies and propaganda, a nation of courage has become a nation of cowards. A nation that once questioned its leaders now falls lockstep behind them, blindly following criminality and corruption. A nation that once stood for protests, strikes, marches, sit-ins, challenging the government and seeking accountability now prefers sitting comfortably on couches or chairs, watching the world pass by through television sets or laptops, some becoming arm-chair activists, most simply rotting away their lives, preferring the life of a couch potato, passively ignoring the destruction of rights and freedoms, silently acquiescing to myriad number of crimes against humanity, and obediently shopping, purchasing and consuming according to the dictates of the corporatist world, their new god the Almighty Dollar commanding them to congregate at the Cathedrals of Consumerism, the Malls of Materialism, told to do their job and be good consumers, spending what little they have, even consuming with money that they do not have, and must therefore borrow.
Very important article here, references 9/11 truth via PNAC. I just invited Eliot Cohen on the radio--stay tuned to http://www.mujca.com/airwaves.htm
The End of Privacy
By Elliot Cohen
25/01/08 "Truthdig" -- -- Amid the controversy brewing in the Senate over Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform, the Bush administration appears to have changed its strategy and is devising a bold new plan that would strip away FISA protections in favor of a system of wholesale government monitoring of every American’s Internet activities. Now the national director of intelligence is predicting a disastrous cyber-terrorist attack on the U.S. if this scheme isn’t instituted...[cut]
This is the second time in the past six months that the University of Wisconsin-Madison has passed me over in favor of less qualified candidates. From now on I'm on the (legal) warpath. Those who wish to help with my future legal expenses may contact me at: email@example.com
Last year, despite being the ONLY qualified candidate, I was turned down for a tenure-track job at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater purely on the basis of my political beliefs. They chose to shut down their Arabic program rather than hire me! Howard Ross, who was then the Dean of Letters and Sciences, was involved in the (non-)hiring process, and will testify that I was turned down, and the classes I would have taught cancelled, because of my involvement in the 9/11 truth movement. Howard Ross will join me to discuss my case, and the sad state of academic freedom in America, on Truth Jihad Radio, Saturday, 1/19, 6-8 pm, http://www.republicbroadcasting.org Full radio schedule and guest list: http://www.mujca.com/airwaves.htm
- Kevin Barrett
Barrett Protests UW Hiring Decision
Barrett Protests UW Hiring Decision
On February 27, 1933, after Hitler came to power, the Nazis burned down the Berlin Reichstag (Parliament) building and blamed it on Communist terrorists to justify a "temporary" suspension of civil liberties to cope with the terrorist threat. This is how Hitler became an absolute dictator. The "temporary" suspension of freedom lasted until Germany was in ruins.
The Reichstag fire was the key event in the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship. On Feb. 28, 1933, the day after the fire, Hitler's dictatorship began with the enactment of a decree "for the Protection of the People and the State," which dispensed with all constitutional protection of political, personal, and property rights....
Below is the text of the so-called Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
(H.R. 1955) recently passed by an overwhelming majority in the House and soon to be voted on by the
Senate (the House vote may be viewed at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll993.xml ). Only six House members voted against the bill--which should give us some idea of the 'improvements' we can expect should the Democrats succeed in retaking the executive branch next November.
In particular, note the reference to the Internet in item 3 under 'Findings.'
Questions: Would it be appropriate to characterize this measure as a 'thought crime bill'? Or are people who are truly violent the only ones likely to be affected by it? Might it best be viewed in the context of other recent measures? Such as the Defense Authorization Act passed in October 2006,
granting the President the authority--upon his own declaration of a public emergency--to station troops
What can we do to prevent people from being tortured for asking good questions? More generally, how can we respond effectively to abuses of power, in an era when the authorities and the media they own are ignoring most forms of peaceful protest?
After spending many hours of conversation with Father Frank Morales of St. Mark's Church during my recent trip to New York, I think I have an answer.
Frank Morales (who now stands beside David Ray Griffin and Rev. Rich Lang in my pantheon of Christian heroes) has been struggling against military and police abuses of power almost since I was in diapers. In my interview with him on 9/8/07 (archived free at: http://www.republicbroadcasting.org/get_archive.php?hn=Barrett&yr=07) and in private conversations that kept us up till the wee hours, Frank brilliantly analyzed the trends toward martial law and police state tactics. He pointed out that protesting OUTSIDE THE HOMES of those who abuse their power has often been the most effective way to apply pressure on malfeasant police and other authorities. In New York, the mere threat of doing this has gotten immediate results.