Sen. Angus King, I-Maine:
"I've only been here five months, but this is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I've been to since I've been here," King told the witnesses. "You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today. The Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 clearly says that the Congress has the power to declare war."
"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.
No Freedoms in Post 9/11 America? | Big Brother Watch
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.”
I urge everyone to send Nancy Benac the truth about 9/11. She seems like an intelligent woman, but is sorely lacking the flip-side details about the loss of freedoms and due process. She would benefit hearing the words of lead counsel John Farmer and other members of the 9/11 Commission.
Her article can be viewed here:
Patriot Act Extension Signed By Obama
MAY 27, 2011
JIM ABRAMS 05/27/11 07:37 AM ET
WASHINGTON — Minutes before a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.
“It’s an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat,” Obama said Friday after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
With Obama in France, the White House said the president used an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president.
Congress sent the bill to the president with only hours to go on Thursday before the provisions expired at midnight. Votes taken in rapid succession in the Senate and House came after lawmakers rejected attempts to temper the law enforcement powers to ensure that individual liberties are not abused.
The Senate voted 72-23 for the legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting authorities. The House passed the measure 250-153 on an evening vote.
A short-term expiration would not have interrupted ongoing operations but would have barred the government from seeking warrants for new investigations.
Congress bumped up against the deadline mainly because of the stubborn resistance from a single senator, Republican freshman Rand Paul of Kentucky, who saw the terrorist-hunting powers as an abuse of privacy rights. Paul held up the final vote for several days while he demanded a chance to change the bill to diminish the government’s ability to monitor individual actions.
The measure would add four years to the legal life of roving wiretaps – those authorized for a person rather than a communications line or device – of court-ordered searches of business records and of surveillance of non-American “lone wolf” suspects without confirmed ties to terrorist groups.
The roving wiretaps and access to business records are small parts of the USA Patriot Act enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But unlike most of the act, which is permanent law, those provisions must be renewed periodically because of concerns that they could be used to violate privacy rights. The same applies to the “lone wolf” provision, which was part of a 2004 intelligence law.
Paul argued that in the rush to meet the terrorist threat in 2001 Congress enacted a Patriot Act that tramples on individual liberties. He had some backing from liberal Democrats and civil liberties groups who have long contended the law gives the government authority to spy on innocent citizens.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he voted for the act when he was a House member in 2001 “while ground zero was still burning.” But “I soon realized it gave too much power to government without enough judicial and congressional oversight.”
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said the provision on collecting business records can expose law-abiding citizens to government scrutiny. “If we cannot limit investigations to terrorism or other nefarious activities, where do they end?” he asked.
“The Patriot Act has been used improperly again and again by law enforcement to invade Americans’ privacy and violate their constitutional rights,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington legislative office.
Still, coming just a month after intelligence and military forces tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden, there was little appetite for tampering with the terrorism-fighting tools. These tools, said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, “have kept us safe for nearly a decade and Americans today should be relieved and reassured to know that these programs will continue.”
Intelligence officials have denied improper use of surveillance tools, and this week both FBI Director Robert Mueller and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sent letters to congressional leaders warning of serious national security consequences if the provisions were allowed to lapse.
The Obama administration says that without the three authorities the FBI might not be able to obtain information on terrorist plotting inside the U.S. and that a terrorist who communicates using different cell phones and email accounts could escape timely surveillance.
“When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we would be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot attacks against our country, undetected,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. In unusually personal criticism of a fellow senator, he warned that Paul, by blocking swift passage of the bill, “is threatening to take away the best tools we have for stopping them.”
The nation itself is divided over the Patriot Act, as reflected in a Pew Research Center poll last February, before the killing of bin Laden, that found that 34 percent felt the law “goes too far and poses a threat to civil liberties. Some 42 percent considered it “a necessary tool that helps the government find terrorists.” That was a slight turnaround from 2004 when 39 percent thought it went too far and 33 percent said it was necessary.
Paul, after complaining that Reid’s remarks were “personally insulting,” asked whether the nation “should have some rules that say before they come into your house, before they go into your banking records, that a judge should be asked for permission, that there should be judicial review? Do we want a lawless land?”
Paul agreed to let the bill go forward after he was given a vote on two amendments to rein in government surveillance powers. Both were soundly defeated. The more controversial, an amendment that would have restricted powers to obtain gun records in terrorist investigations, was defeated 85-10 after lawmakers received a letter from the National Rifle Association stating that it was not taking a position on the measure.
According to a senior Justice Department national security official testifying to Congress last March, the government has sought roving wiretap authority in about 20 cases a year between 2001 and 2010 and has sought warrants for business records less than 40 times a year, on average. The government has yet to use the lone wolf authority.
But the ACLU also points out that court approvals for business record access jumped from 21 in 2009 to 96 last year, and the organization contends the Patriot Act has blurred the line between investigations of actual terrorists and those not suspected of doing anything wrong.
Two Democratic critics of the Patriot Act, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Udall of Colorado, on Thursday extracted a promise from Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that she would hold hearings with intelligence and law enforcement officials on how the law is being carried out.
Ever wonder how the government suppressed the truth about 9/11, read on....
By Susan Lindauer, 9/11 whistle blower and the second non-Arab American indicted on the Patriot Act
Many Americans think they understand the dangers of the Patriot Act, which Congress has vowed to extend 4 more years in a vote later this week. Trust me when I say, Americans are not nearly frightened enough.
Ever wonder why the truth about 9/11 never got exposed? Why Americans don't have a clue about leadership fraud surrounding the War on Terror? Why Americans don't know if the 9/11 investigation was really successful? Why the Iraqi Peace Option draws a blank? Somebody has known the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden--- or his grave—for the past 10 years. But nobody's talking to the people.
Abby and Robbie Martin conduct an exclusive interview with Kurt Haskell, attorney and key eyewitness to the 12/25/09 "Underwear Bomber" incident. Kurt maintains that he witnessed a well dressed man argue with security and escort Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab onto his US flight without a passport. Shortly thereafter, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to blow up flight 254 with plastic explosives hidden in his underwear, prompting the new wave of Backscatter X-ray machines in airports.
There is no time for delay! YOU must call and act - we all must.
This is an exercise in protecting your civil liberties; this is not a test.
The House of Congress is voting today! Get your Congressional Representative's number here, below is Lynn Woolsey for those in Marin and Sonoma Co.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey: Phone: (202)-225-5161 Fax: (202)-225-5163
Be polite, and express your simple or complex thoughts about why you don't like the "Patriot" Act. ACLU summary here. Be sure to also be very adamant about not supporting the permanent provisions at all as an American!
If/when it passes through Congress the Senate will then vote on it, call them now too!
Senate DEMS Cave under Republican Pressure to Renew PATRIOT ACT Without Protective Oversight
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER The Associated Press - Wednesday, February 24, 2010; 9:25 PM
WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Wednesday to extend for a year key provisions of the nation's counterterrorism surveillance law that are scheduled to expire at the end of the month. In agreeing to pass the bill, Senate Democrats retreated from adding new privacy protections to the USA Patriot Act.
The Judiciary Committee bill would have restricted FBI information demands known as national security letters and made it easier to challenge gag orders imposed on Americans whose records are seized.
Library records would have received extra protections. Congress would have closely scrutinized FBI use of the law to prevent abuses. Dissemination of surveillance results would have been restricted and after a time, unneeded records would have been destroyed.
(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!
Former Accused Iraqi Agent
Susan Lindauer, Secret Charges and
The Patriot Act in Action
The Executioner and Justice - John Heartfield
Susan Lindauer Interviewed by Michael Collins
'Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Herman Goering, Interview at Nuremburg Trials, April 14, 1946
"The Patriot Act was used against me in total contradiction to its stated purpose. Or perhaps it was the most logical use of the law, since it establishes a legal framework to crush free thinking and interrupt individual questioning of the government. It is the beginning of all dictatorship in America." Susan Lindauer, March 9, 2009
In March, 2004 Susan Lindauer was arrested for allegedly acting as an "unregistered agent" for prewar Iraq. She challenged the government's assertion and sought the right to prove at Trial that she'd been a United States intelligence asset covering Iraq and Libya from the early 1990's through 2003 (see articles).
In an unprecedented judicial ploy that lasted five years, federal prosecutors blocked Ms. Lindauer's rights to trial or any other sort of evidentiary hearings that would test her story. For 11 months, she was confined at Carswell federal prison on a Texas military base and at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, without a conviction or plea bargain.
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
We will not be silenced . . .
Refusing to be silenced
August 1, 2008
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
On July 24, about 100 people gathered in Baltimore for a forum to stand up against a long-term spying operation conducted by the Maryland State Police against anti-death penalty and antiwar activists.
The surveillance and infiltration of the groups took place while Republican Robert Ehrlich was governor, according to 43 pages of state police reports recently released to the ACLU. The spying continued month after month despite the fact that the state's agents never recorded a single illegal act among the groups' protest activities. This week, the current governor, Martin O'Malley, appointed a panel to review the state police surveillance operation against the anti-death penalty and antiwar movements.
Dave Zirin, a sportswriter and activist, was one of the activists named in the spying reports. At the July 24 meeting, he talked about his reactions to the spy scandal and activists' plans for "going on offense."
I had several times looked for a youtube video of just this one clip alone but it didn't seem to exist. Now, I just checked out MichaelMoore.com for the first time in a few months and he's showcasing the clip on his front page. It just reminds us of how things are and can be a good warm-upper for those friends and family of ours who just have a psychological resistance to anything that smacks of "conspiracy garbage." ;)
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".
Arlen Specter, the Republican leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday demanded
an independent investigation into "Spygate."
The announcement came three years after it was first disclosed President Bush had authorized a secret electronic eavesdropping
program on Americans without warrants in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks.
But Specter wasn't referring to that.
Instead, the Pennsylvania senator is demanding an inquiry into the New England Patriots' secret videotaping of opposing NFL coaches' signals on the sidelines -- an affair sports writers have dubbed "Spygate."
We are not making this up. Specter said such behavior, a violation of NFL rules, is damaging to the sport. Call it Specter's own Patriot Act.
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.
From Monday's Globe and Mail
March 24, 2008 at 4:05 AM EDT
Google Inc. is a year into its ground-shifting strategy to change the way people communicate and work.
But the initiative to reinvent the way that people use software is running headlong into another new phenomenon of the information technology age: the unprecedented powers of security officials in the United States to conduct surveillance on communications.
Eighteen months ago, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., had an outdated computer system that was crashing daily and in desperate need of an overhaul. A new installation would have cost more than $1-million and taken months to implement. Google's service, however, took just 30 days to set up, didn't cost the university a penny and gave nearly 8,000 students and faculty leading-edge software, said Michael Pawlowski, Lakehead's vice-president of administration and finance.
U.S.-based Google spotlighted the university as one of the first to adopt its software model of the future, and today Mr. Pawlowski boasts the move was the right thing for Lakehead, saving it hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual operating costs. But he notes one trade-off: The faculty was told not to transmit any private data over the system, including student marks.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Two provisions of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional because they allow search warrants to be issued without a showing of probable cause, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, "now permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment."
Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield sought the ruling in a lawsuit against the federal government after he was mistakenly linked by the FBI to the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people in 2004.
The Patriot Act greatly expanded the authority of law enforcers to investigate suspected acts of terrorism, both domestically and abroad.
US Justice ties abuse of power to the events of September 11, Patriot act, and “persistent fear mongering”
US Justice ties abuse of power to the events of September 11, Patriot act and “persistent fear mongering”
A “longtime attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice” says that “I have never been as ashamed of the department and government that I serve as I am at this time,” calling it “inappropriate, unethical and indeed unlawful.”
John S. Koppel, US department of Justice:
“The public record now plainly demonstrates that both the DOJ and the government as a whole have been thoroughly politicized in a manner that is inappropriate, unethical and indeed unlawful. The unconscionable commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence, the misuse of warrantless investigative powers under the Patriot Act and the deplorable treatment of U.S. attorneys all point to an unmistakable pattern of abuse.”
“In the course of its tenure since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration has turned the entire government (and the DOJ in particular) into a veritable Augean stable on issues such as civil rights, civil liberties, international law and basic human rights, as well as criminal prosecution and federal employment and contracting practices. It has systematically undermined the rule of law in the name of fighting terrorism, and it has sought to insulate its actions from legislative or judicial scrutiny and accountability by invoking national security at every turn, engaging in persistent fear mongering, routinely impugning the integrity and/or patriotism of its critics, and protecting its own lawbreakers. This is neither normal government conduct nor “politics as usual,” but a national disgrace of a magnitude unseen since the days of Watergate — which, in fact, I believe it eclipses.”
I realize that this constitutionally protected statement subjects me to a substantial risk of unlawful reprisal from extremely ruthless people who have repeatedly taken such action in the past. But I am confident that I am speaking on behalf of countless thousands of honorable public servants, at Justice and elsewhere, who take their responsibilities seriously and share these views. And some things must be said, whatever the risk.
John S. Koppel has been a civil appellate attorney with the Department of Justice since 1981.
Taming the beast!
April 2, 2007 -- The neo-conservatives’ six years in power have turned the country into a ferocious beast, despised more than feared by the people of the world, except for certain client governments, while domestically, the country is no longer recognizable by the staunchest of patriots as their place of birth.
In November 2006, the country spoke and voted into power their only alternative, the Democrats, and tasked them with finding a way out of Iraq and preventing wider wars.
Pelosi surrendered impeachment, the only weapon the Democrats had, before the elections, and by bowing to the wishes of AIPAC, took out any language from the appropriation bill that would force Bush to come to Congress prior to any military action against Iran; again ceding the power to wage war to an irresponsible president. Pelosi tells us that such language is not good for Israel.
The Neo-cons, with AIPAC clearly on their side and the Democrats at bay, are not too concerned.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 governing the treatment of detainees is the culmination of relentless fear-mongering by the Bush administration since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Because the bill was adopted with lightning speed, barely anyone noticed that it empowers Bush to declare not just aliens, but also U.S. citizens, "unlawful enemy combatants."
Bush & Co. has portrayed the bill as a tough way to deal with aliens to protect us against terrorism. Frightened they might lose their majority in Congress in the November elections, the Republicans rammed the bill through Congress with little substantive debate.
Anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on Bush's list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies could be declared an "unlawful enemy combatant" and imprisoned indefinitely. That includes American citizens.
The link goes to a part of the play that concerns September 11. Check out the synopsis too, while you're there. Pass it on.
If you need more motivation to get 911 truth out, perhaps reading this article will do the trick:
"A bill radically redefining and expanding the government's ability to eavesdrop and search the houses of U.S. citizens without court approval passed a key Senate committee Wednesday, and may be voted on by the full Senate as early as next week."