loss of civil liberties since 911
By John Pilger
16 May 2012
In the week Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he ordered bombing attacks on Yemen, killing a reported 63 people, 28 of them children. When Obama recently announced he supported same-sex marriage, American planes had not long blown 14 Afghan civilians to bits. In both cases, the mass murder was barely news. What mattered were the cynical vacuities of a political celebrity, the product of a zeitgeist driven by the forces of consumerism and the media with the aim of diverting the struggle for social and economic justice.
May 10, 2012, 1:20 PM ET
In Congress, City’s Lawmakers Tackle NYPD Surveillance
A protest in November against the New York Police Department’s alleged surveillance of Muslim communities.
Most of New York City’s House delegation backed a failed measure to rebuke the New York Police Department’s intelligence-gathering efforts focused on Muslim groups.
Rep. Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat, introduced an amendment to a Justice Department appropriations bill that would have blocked spending on police programs found to violate the U.S. Constitution or federal antidiscrimination laws. The measure, Holt made clear, was part of his broader push to stop the NYPD’s counterterrorism and surveillance efforts focused on Muslims.
“My amendment would ensure that no federal funds are flowing to any law-enforcement entity that the [Justice] Department has identified as engaging in racial, ethnic, and religious profiling,” he said in introducing the measure.
It failed Wednesday night in a largely party-line vote, 232 to 193. Almost all of New York City overwhelmingly Democratic House delegation voted in favor of the amendment.
Only Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm and Queens Rep. Robert Turner, the city’s two Republicans, voted against it. Two Long Island lawmakers, Republican Rep. Peter King and Democrat Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, also opposed the amendment.
The NYPD’s counterterrorism tactics have come under scrutiny as the result of an Associated Press probe into efforts targeting Muslim groups in the city and across the region, including in New Jersey. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have defended the department’s approach as necessary and legal.
("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.