Charles Shaw: The History of Police Militarization in the U.S. (must-see)

Dandelion Salad

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Image by A. F. Litt via Flickr

on Nov 30, 2011

On Monday, November 28, 2011, students at UC-Davis occupied Dutton Hall, the University’s financial center, and held an all-day teach-in. Author/Journalist/Filmmaker Charles Shaw was one of the featured speakers. Here is his talk, “The History of Police Militarization in the US.”

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AIPAC, NSA Spying and the Corruption of Congress by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Antifascist Calling…
April 22, 2009

A major scandal involving a top Democrat, the Israeli lobby-shop AIPAC and charges that former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales sought congressional help to suppress media reports of systematic, illegal warrantless surveillance of Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA) broke on Sunday.

Congressional Quarterly revealed that Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) “was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department [to] reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.”

The former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Harman is the co-sponsor of the shameful “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” (H.R.1955) and its mutant relative in the Senate (S.1959). In other words, Harman’s “liberal” veneer is the perfect cover for currying favor with politically well-connected corporate grifters, major beneficiaries of the national security state’s largesse.

Harman was among the most vociferous defenders of the Bush regime’s warrantless wiretapping program. As Salon’s Glenn Greenwald reminds us, during an appearance on “Meet the Press” with Republicans Pat Roberts and Peter Hoekstra, Harman said that “the whistleblowers who exposed the lawbreaking and perhaps even the New York Times (but not Bush officials) should be criminally investigated, saying she ‘deplored the leak,’ that ‘it is tragic that a lot of our capability is now across the pages of the newspapers,’ and that the whistleblowers were ‘despicable’.”

[…]

via Antifascist Calling…: AIPAC, NSA Spying and the Corruption of Congress.

see

Scott Horton Interviews Jeff Stein on Jane Harman-AIPAC story

Countdown: Jeff Stein on Jane Harman-AIPAC story

Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC By Jeff Stein

Senate Moves Forward on Orwellian “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”

Pres-Elect Obama, No To Anti-Freedom War-Hawk Jane Harman!! + ‘Thought crime bill’ writer on short list

Dandelion Salad

by Linda Milazzo
http://www.opednews.com
Nov. 10, 2008

According to the local Los Angeles newspaper, The Daily Breeze, California Congresswoman, Jane Harman, a blue dog conservative democrat, is up for a high level intelligence position in the Obama administration. The positions being considered are CIA Director, Director of National Intelligence, and Secretary of Homeland Security. If this speculation becomes fact, and Harman is appointed overseer of the freedoms of the American people, the people’s freedoms are toast. Conservative Democrat Harman consistently legislates AGAINST participatory democracy and against personal freedom.

The most egregious example of Harman’s disregard for participatory democracy is HR 1955 – the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007” – a frightening bill she slipped in the House for passage just over a year ago. HR 1955 is so anti-dissent, so anti-freedom and so McCarthy-like in its establishment of citizen review Commissions that I’ve written on it twice – both times appealing to the public to stop passage of its Senate clone, S 1959, which luckily has not yet come up for vote. Unfortunately, Mrs. Harman was so covert when sneaking in “1955” that no citizens could lobby to stop it.

[…]

via OpEdNews » Pres-Elect Obama, NO TO ANTI-FREEDOM WAR-HAWK JANE HARMAN!!

h/t: Under the Rader

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‘Thought crime bill’ writer on Obama administration’s short list

by Maasanova
Under the Rader
Monday, November 10, 2008

Jane Harman (D – CA) is reportedly on President-Elect Barack Obama’s shortlist for a variety of positions in his upcoming administration including CIA director, Director of National Intelligence, and Secretary of Homeland Security.
The fact that Harman is begin considered is probably due to the fact that she joined a host of prominet Jews, including Middle East “negotiator” Dennis Ross, to assure Ohio’s Jewish voters that Obama would be a strong ally of Israel.  Harman is the hawkish “blue dog” Democrat who slipped the dreaded Violent Radicalisation and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (HR 1955) on a “suspension calendar for non-controversial bills,” making the innocuous bill pass effortlessly though the House.

[…]

via Under The Radar Media: ‘Thought crime bill’ writer on Obama adminitration’s short list

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Pointing the US Surveillance Apparatus at the American People by Tom Burghardt

Senate Moves Forward on Orwellian “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”

Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 (videos)

Maxine & Ted – Don’t Call Us If You Call Us Terrorists! by Linda Milazzo

Video Discussion of H.R. 1955 Homegrown Terrorist Prevention Act (link)

Kucinich on HR 1955 Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

US House passes Democrat-crafted “homegrown terrorism prevention” legislation by Naomi Spencer

The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act: A Tutorial in Orwellian Newspeak By Robert Weitzel

Homegrown Terrorism

Obama-Barack

Pointing the US Surveillance Apparatus at the American People by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, November 1, 2008
Antifascist Calling

New categories of individuals under the purview of state “counterterrorism” investigations

FBI’s Analytical Lexicon Lowers the Bar

Do you “pal around with terrorists”? Are you a “radical” or express views that the government considers “extremist”?On October 28, the whistleblowing website Cryptome published the FBI Directorate of Intelligence: Counterterrorism Division’s Counterterrorism Analytical Lexicon. This eye-opening “Unclassified/For Official Use Only” (U/FOUO) document purports “to standardize terms used in the FBI analytical products dealing with counterterrorism.”

But what it does instead, in keeping with the FBI’s insatiable appetite for “actionable intelligence product,” is create new categories of individuals who might fall under the purview of state “counterterrorism” investigations.

Right up front the Bureau informs us that the definitions used in the lexicon, “do not supercede those in the Department of Justice National Foreign Intelligence Program Manual (NFIPM), the Attorney General Guidelines, the National Implementation Plan for the War on Terror, or any US government statute.”

That covers a lot and ground and can hide much in the way of government mischief, particularly when new guidelines issued by U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey permit broad, intrusive investigations by FBI snoops. As the Washington Post reported in early October,

The new road map allows investigators to recruit informants, employ physical surveillance and conduct interviews in which agents disguise their identities in an effort to assess national security threats. FBI agents could pursue each of those steps without any single fact indicating a person has ties to a terrorist organization. (Carrie Johnson, “Guidelines Expand FBI’s Surveillance Powers,” The Washington Post, Saturday, October 4, 2008; A03)

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America’s Spying Telecoms – ACLU Challenges FISA Law in Federal Court

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, September 18, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

Last Friday the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) in Federal District Court in New York. But on the same day, Wired reported that Justice Department special counsel Anthony Coppolino informed U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco that the government would seek blanket immunity under FAA for spying telecoms.

Calling the FAA “the most sweeping surveillance bill ever enacted by Congress,” the ACLU urged the court to strike down the law as an unconstitutional breach of privacy and free speech rights.

The FAA, a piece of Bushist legislative flotsam, was overwhelmingly approved by both houses of Congress and signed into law in July by president Bush. While the reputed “opposition” party, the Democrats, managed a few bleats against immunity provisions for lawbreaking corporate grifters, they quickly fell into line and passed this disgraceful statute.

Why? So as not to appear “soft on terror” during November’s general election according to The New York Times. But flip-flopping “liberal” Democrats, including the party’s nominee for president, Sen. Barack Obama, joined their colleagues across the aisle for a more salient reason: cold, hard cash.

As I wrote in June (see: “‘Fighting Democrats’ Rake-in Big Telecom Bucks”), citing a blistering report by the watchdog group MAPLight, “the 94 Democrats who changed their position on telecom immunity ‘received on average $8,359 in contributions from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint from January, 2005, to March, 2008’.”

While none of this should come as a surprise to readers of Antifascist Calling, Glenn Greenwald pointed out Monday in Salon,

…it is extremely easy to understand why not only the White House and Congressional Republicans, but also the Democratic leadership, was so eager to ensure that this law-breaking remain concealed from the public and that there are never any consequences for it. It’s because, as is true for so much of the Bush radicalism and lawbreaking over the years, top Democrats were fully aware of what was taking place and either explicitly endorsed the lawbreaking or, with full complicity, allowed it to continue.

Indeed, Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman documents in his new book, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, that top congressional Democrats worked covertly to conceal the Bush administration’s illegal NSA surveillance programs from the American people. Gellman writes:

More than three years later, [former U.S. Attorney General Alberto] Gonzales would testify that there was “consensus in the room” from the lawmakers, “who said, ‘Despite the recommendation of the deputy attorney general, go forward with these very important intelligence activities.'” By this account–disputed by participants from both parties–four Democrats and four Republicans counseled Cheney to press on with a program that Justice called illegal.

Greenwald comments:

…there is no dispute that the meeting took place and that these members were repeatedly briefed on the spying program–not only after 2004, but before 2004. This specific meeting described by Gellman, and the briefings generally, included Nancy Pelosi, Jane Harman, Steny Hoyer, and Jay Rockefeller–all of whom voted to put an end to the telecom lawsuits (and thereby ensure that these crimes remain concealed), and the latter two of whom were, far and away, the key forces behind the new law that killed the lawsuits looking into these spying activities (and then joined Bush and Cheney at a festive, bipartisan White House signing ceremony to celebrate their joint victory). (“What illegal ‘things’ was the government doing in 2001-2004?”, Salon, Monday, September 15, 2008)

In other words, even when presented with the facts of Bushist criminality, congressional Democrats urged Cheney to “press on” with programs that would have made Watergate felon Richard Nixon and his cronies blush, a stunning indictment of the “Washington consensus” and the bogus “war on terror.”

In this context, it makes perfect sense that the biggest recipients of telecom largesse were House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), $29,000, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), $24,000. No slouch herself, Jane Harman (D-CA), House co-sponsor of the Orwellian “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007” (H.R. 1955) pulled down some $7,000 from grateful corporate grifters in the telecommunications industry. But no matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of boodle for the best Congress money can buy!

The FAA gives the Bush–and future administrations–virtually unlimited power to intercept the emails and phone calls of American citizens and legal residents. Indeed, the new law hands the state the authority to conduct intrusive spying operations “without ever telling a court who it intends to spy on, what phone lines and email addresses it intends to monitor, where its surveillance targets are located, why it’s conducting the surveillance or whether it suspects any party to the communication of wrongdoing,” according to the ACLU. Jameel Jaffer, the Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said:

“The FISA Amendments Act allows the mass acquisition of Americans’ international e-mails and telephone calls. The administration has argued that the law is necessary to address the threat of terrorism, but the truth is that the law sweeps much more broadly and implicates all kinds of communications that have nothing to do with terrorism or criminal activity of any kind. The Fourth Amendment was meant to prohibit exactly the kinds of dragnet surveillance that the new law permits.” (“ACLU Asks Court to Strike Down Unconstitutional Spying Law,” American Civil Liberties Union, Press Release, September 12, 2008)

As the civil liberties group argues in its brief, the FAA grants unaccountable Executive branch agencies the right to acquire all of the international communications of American citizens under the pretext that “the surveillance is directed at collecting foreign intelligence information and targeted at people outside the United States.”

This is a patent falsehood. Driftnet-style communications obtained by the government in league with spying telecoms, as AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein revealed, were facilitated by AT&T when the NSA installed intercept equipment in a secret room in the corporation’s San Francisco switching office.

Indeed, Klein submitted an affidavit in support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) landmark lawsuit, Hepting v. AT&T. In that affidavit Klein declared, the room contained among other equipment, a Narus STA 6400 traffic analyzer into which all of AT&T’s internet and phone traffic was routed. The retired technician should know since he helped wire the splitter box that made this possible.

Klein told the court that the company routed its “peering links” into the splitter which means that any and all traffic passing through AT&T’s network could also be scanned. The whistleblower told Judge Walker that AT&T offices in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego had similar secret rooms built for the exclusive use of NSA’s multitude of surveillance programs.

In a direct threat to attorney-client privilege and the right of a detained person to receive a fair trail, the ACLU declares that FAA grants the government the right to “acquire all of the communications of European attorneys who work with American attorneys on behalf of prisoners held at Guantánamo, including communications in which the two sets of attorneys share information about their clients and strategize about litigation.”

This is a particularly sinister feature of the law, considering Bushist treatment of so-called “enemy combatants” at the Guantánamo Bay prison gulag and global CIA “black sites.”

Meanwhile, Wired reports that the Justice Department has moved to dismiss EFF’s Hepting v. AT&T lawsuit. When Judge Walker ruled that the so-called “state secrets privilege” was not grounds for dismissal, the government deployed a new tactic, this time relying on the FAA’s immunity provisions.

Like the ACLU, EFF has stated in court briefs that the FAA is unconstitutional. The organization provided the court with five reasons not to dismiss their case against AT&T:

1. Congress violated the separation of powers by attempting to usurp judicial authority to decide the Fourth Amendment claims of millions of ordinary Americans who have been, and continue to be, subjected to dragnet surveillance for the past seven years.

2. Congress exceeded its constitutional authority by passing legislation that grants to the Executive the discretion to essentially dictate the outcome of specific, pending litigation.

3. The statute improperly requires dismissal of claims of illegal surveillance between September 11, 2001 and January 17, 2007 based not on a judicial finding about the facts of the surveillance or the legality or constitutionality of the surveillance, but instead merely based on a ‘certification’ from the attorney general that some unknown member of the Executive branch told the carriers that some undescribed surveillance is ‘lawful.’

4. The legislation denies due process to the plaintiffs by granting to the Executive, rather than the courts, the essential decision making about their constitutional and statutory rights.

5. The legislation purports to grant the Executive a unilateral right to require that the court keep secret not only the evidence, but also its own decisions. (Electronic Frontier Foundation, “Joint Case Management for Cases Involving Telecommunications Carrier Defendants,” United States District Court, Northern District of of California, San Francisco Division, MDL Docket No 06-1791 VRW, Filed September 2, 2008)

If the legislation stands constitutional muster–Bushist style–the telecoms will get off scott free if the government can prove their “assistance” was the result of a court order, authorized under the Protect America Act of 2007, or was approved by the president and was designed “to detect or prevent a terrorist attack, or in activities in preparation for a terrorist attack, against the United States, and the subject of a written request or directive.”

But given the climate of hysteria surrounding “national security” and “terrorism” (the retail variety practiced by religious nutters such as al-Qaeda or Christian fundamentalist abortion clinic bombers, not the wholesale brand of state terrorism practiced let’s say, by the U.S. government itself), the jury is out on how far the courts are willing to go in defiance of the Executive branch and a lap-dog Congress.

Endnote

Speaking of hysteria, the whistleblowing website Wikileaks released a non-public “for official use only” document by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Titled “Fear of Terrorist Attack Could Trigger Mass Psychogenic Illness,” the 2006 report by the Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC) cautions that terrorism-fear-created illnesses are “an additional factor to consider in the response to terrorist attacks, particularly those involving chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) weapons. The number of those suffering psychogenic illness could far exceed the number of actual casualties in a CBR event.”

That’s rich coming from a government office that specializes in whipping-up endless terror frenzies amongst the American public! The HITRAC “private sector note” provides DHS’s “perspective on the potential for mass psychogenic illness occurring as a result of anxiety over terrorism.” (emphasis added)

Proving once again, as Lilly Tomlin wisely said: “No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up”!

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10267

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COINTELPRO and Domestic Spying by Tom Burghardt

Senate Moves Forward on Orwellian “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”

Homegrown Terrorism

FISA

Domestic Spying

Burghardt-Tom

Police, Firefighters, Utility Workers Among Hundreds Trained as “Terrorism Liaison Officers”

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

June 30, 2008

Police, Firefighters, Utility Workers Among Hundreds Trained as “Terrorism Liaison Officers”

Colorado is one among of handful of states where hundreds of firefighters, paramedics, police, and even corporate employees are being trained to hunt down and report a broadly defined range of “suspicious activities.” They’re called Terrorism Liaison Officers. The federally supported initiative trains them to look out for “observed behavior that may be indicative of intelligence-gathering or pre-operational planning related to terrorism.”

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transcript

Colorado is one among of handful of states where hundreds of firefighters, paramedics, police, and even corporate employees are being trained to hunt down and report a broadly defined range of “suspicious activities.” They’re called Terrorism Liaison Officers.

The federally supported initiative trains them to look out for “observed behavior that may be indicative of intelligence-gathering or pre-operational planning related to terrorism.” The list of suspicious behaviors includes taking photographs or videos of no apparent aesthetic value; making measurements, drawings, or taking notes; and conversing in code.

The program is gaining traction and Terrorism Liaison Officers have been deployed in at least 8 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Tennesse, Washington, DC, and Wisconsin. According to “The Denver Post” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is advocating for a nation-wide implementation of the program. But civil liberties watchdogs have come out strongly against the initiative calling it an expansion of domestic surveillance.

Bruce Finley is a staff writer at The Denver Post. His latest article chronicles this story. Its called “Terror Watch Uses Local Eyes.” He joins us in Denver. We’re also joined by Mark Silverstein, the Legal Director of the Colorado ACLU.

Bruce Finley, staff writer for the Denver Post, specializes in International Affairs. His latest article is called “Terror watch uses local eyes.”

Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of Colorado ACLU.

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Policemen, firefighters being trained as terrorism officers

IWantDemocracyNow

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Total Information Awareness

Senate Moves Forward on Orwellian “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”

Homeland Security

Homeland Security’s Space-Based Spies by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, June 5, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

When The Wall Street Journal broke a story last August on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to provide state and local authorities access to information gathered by the U.S. military’s fleet of spy satellites, it ignited a minor firestorm in Congress.

The National Applications Office (NAO) according to published reports, would coordinate how domestic law enforcement and “disaster relief” agencies such as FEMA utilize imagery intelligence (IMINT) generated by U.S. spy satellites. But as with other Bushist “security” schemes there’s little in the way of “oversight” and zero concern for the rights of the American people.

Indeed, in a scathing letter from House Homeland Security Committee chairman, Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, Thompson wrote,

Unfortunately, I have had to rely on media reports to gain information about this endeavor because neither I nor my staff was briefed on the decision to create this new office prior to the public disclosure of this effort. …

I am also concerned about the Department’s failure to vet this program with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which was specifically created to ensure that concerns with respect to privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered in the implementation of executive branch policies related to protecting the Nation against terrorism. The failure to consult the Board on a matter as controversial as using spy satellites for domestic homeland security and law enforcement purposes is particularly worrisome.

Worrisome perhaps, but standard operating procedure for the corporatist gang setting “homeland” security policy in Washington: “You don’t ask, we don’t tell, comprende?”

The ACLU weighed in last September when Barry Steinhardt, Director of the Technology and Liberty Project in testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee stated:

“Congress needs to act before this potentially powerful surveillance tool is turned inward upon the American people. The domestic use of spy satellites represents a potential monster in the making, and we need to put some restraints in place before it grows into something that will trample Americans’ privacy rights.”

The program, originally slated to “go live” October 1, 2007, had been delayed by DHS’s refusal to address concerns raised by congressional and civil liberties critics over the NAO’s legal basis, not to mention its potential for abuse. But those misgivings have apparently been jettisoned out of the proverbial airlock.

The Washington Post reported April 12, “The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation’s most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea’s legal authority.”

But during the September hearing cited above, Jane Harman (D-CA), the architect of the Orwellian “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007” (H.R. 1955), certainly no slouch when it comes to expanding repressive state power said: “It will terrify you if you really understand the capabilities of [military] satellites.”

Citing criticism raised by Thompson and Harman, Chertoff claimed,

“There is no basis to suggest that this process is in any way insufficient to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans,” Chertoff wrote to Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and Jane Harman (D-Calif.), chairmen of the House Homeland Security Committee and its intelligence subcommittee, respectively, in letters released yesterday.

“I think we’ve fully addressed anybody’s concerns,” Chertoff added in remarks last week to bloggers. “I think the way is now clear to stand it up and go warm on it.” (Spencer S. Hsu, “Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S.,” The Washington Post, April 12, 2008)

Why are these “assets” so terrifying?

Unlike commercial satellites that beam TV programs, forecast the weather or provide global positioning services, their military cousins are far more flexible, have greater resolution and therefore, more power to monitor human activity. By utilizing different parts of the light- and infrared spectrum, spy satellites, in addition to taking ultra high-resolution photographs to within a meter of their “target,” can also track the heat signatures generated by people inside a building.

Perfectly suited for handing local SWAT teams “actionable intelligence” to bust up a meeting by antiwar, union or environmental activists, we have no criteria for assessing how the use of IMINT by “law enforcement” will impact our lives since DHS won’t say. Considering that the full-capabilities of these systems are unknown outside the intelligence “community” and are among the most closely-guarded state secrets, only those inside NAO will actually know who is being monitored from space.

Simply put, if Chertoff’s plan passes congressional muster NAO will greatly enhance the formidable technological police state architecture already in place through current “warrantless wiretapping” and data mining programs. As it stands, use of imagery and geospatial intelligence is limited to scientific agencies with zero responsibility for “homeland” security or law enforcement. Why these capabilities couldn’t continue to be used for legitimate scientific purposes–or disaster assessment, for that matter–have not been addressed by Chertoff and his minions.

But perhaps, other, more pressing “commercial concerns” are being catered to here. As investigative journalist Tim Shorrock wrote,

The NAO was created under a plan tentatively approved in May 2007 by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell. Specifically, the NAO will oversee how classified information collected by the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other key agencies is used within the U.S. during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other events affecting national security. The most critical intelligence will be supplied by the NSA and the NGA, which are often referred to by U.S. officials as the “eyes” and “ears” of the intelligence community. …

The study group that established policies for the NAO was jointly funded by the ODNI and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), one of only two domestic U.S. agencies that is currently allowed, under rules set in the 1970s, to use classified intelligence from spy satellites. (The other is NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.) The group was chaired by Keith Hall, a Booz Allen vice president who manages his firm’s extensive contracts with the NGA and previously served as the director of the NRO.

Other members of the group included seven other former intelligence officers working for Booz Allen, as well as retired Army Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes, the former director of the DIA and vice president of homeland security for L-3 Communications, a key NSA contractor; and Thomas W. Conroy, the vice president of national security programs for Northrop Grumman, which has extensive contracts with the NSA and the NGA and throughout the intelligence community.

From the start, the study group was heavily weighted toward companies with a stake in both foreign and domestic intelligence. Not surprisingly, its contractor-advisers called for a major expansion in the domestic use of the spy satellites that they sell to the government. Since the end of the Cold War and particularly since the September 11, 2001 attacks, they said, the “threats to the nation have changed and there is a growing interest in making available the special capabilities of the intelligence community to all parts of the government, to include homeland security and law enforcement entities and on a higher priority basis.” (“Domestic Spying, Inc.,” CorpWatch, November 27, 2007)

As is readily apparent the problem here, as with nearly all of the Bush administration’s “counterterrorist” schemes since 9/11, is that NAO will largely be a creature operated and managed–at a steep price–by defense, intelligence and security privateers.

According to Washington Technology’s “2008 Top Government IT Contractors,” The Boeing Company clocks in at No. 2, with $9,706,621,413; No. 3, Northrop Grumman Corporation at $7,914,924,473: No. 5, SAIC, at $4,919,829,998; No. 8, L-3 Communications Corporation at $3,944,840,524; No. 12, BAE Systems, the third largest military contractor in the world, at $2,019,931,520.

However you spread the taxpayer-generated grease around, it adds up to one giant incentive to see NAO “go warm,” as Chertoff colorfully explained in April. But as Alice Lipowicz wrote,


Satellite communications and intelligence activities are a major source of federal contracting activity, and expansion of those programs into homeland security and law enforcement is likely to lead to greater contracting support. Information was not immediately available on the proposed budget for the National Applications Office for fiscal 2009 and beyond.
(“CRS: Satellite surveillance raises privacy questions,” Washington Technology, April 1, 2008)

We can only imagine how, under the stewardship of opaque corporations answerable to no one but their boards of directors, NAO would greatly enhance the corporatist “growth potential” into the ever-more lucrative “homeland security” market!

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9195

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Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 (videos)

Homegrown Terrorism

Senate Moves Forward on Orwellian “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, May 14, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

In the wake of Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins’ (R-ME) alarmist report, “Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorism Threat,” the Senate may be moving towards passage of the Orwellian “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007” (S. 1959).

A companion piece of legislative flotsam to the House bill, “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007” (H.R. 1955), the Democrat-controlled Congress seems ready to jettison Constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly. The bill passed the House by a 404-6 vote in October. Twenty-three congress members abstained, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers.

Under cover of studying “violent radicalization,” both bills would broaden the already-fluid definition of “terrorism” to encompass political activity and protest by dissident groups, effectively criminalizing civil disobedience and non-violent direct action by developing policies for “prevention, disruption and mitigation.”

Call it COINTELPRO 2.0.

Crafted by former House Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Jane Harman (D-CA), the legislation would create a domestic commission, a university-based “Center of Excellence” that would study and then, target domestic “radicalization” as a “threat” to the “homeland.”

David Price, a professor of anthropology at St. Martin’s University who studies state surveillance and the harassment of dissident scholars, told Jessica Lee of New York’s Indypendent newspaper last year that Harman’s bill “is a shot over the bow of environmental activists, animal-rights activists, anti-globalization activists and scholars who are working in the Middle East who have views that go against the administration.”

Evoking disquieting memories of political witchhunters ensconced in the House Committee on Un-American Activities and Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, the anti-radicalization commission would be empowered to “hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.”

With the power to subpoena and compel testimony from anyone, the commission would create the (intended) impression that a person forced to publicly testify before a congressionally mandated star chamber must be involved in “subversive” or illegal activities.

According to Naomi Spencer,

The commission would be composed of appointees, one chosen each respectively by Bush, Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, the Senate and House majority and minority leaders, and by the ranking majority and minority members of the two congressional homeland security committees. Such a selection process would certainly result in an extremely right-wing panel. (“US House passes Democrat-crafted ‘homegrown terrorism prevention’ legislation,” World Socialist Web Site, 1 December 2007)

When one considers that elite consensus favoring “muscular” strategies for fighting “terror”–homegrown or otherwise–emerge during a period when the Bush regime has illegally wiretapped phone calls, sifted e-mails, spied on political and religious organizations, and conducted extensive data mining of financial and other personal records, it becomes clear that the corporate police state is shifting into high-gear in a desperate move to criminalize ideological “thought crimes.”

The intent of the proposed legislation, however, goes far beyond an academic exercise. According to Jessica Lee, Harman stated that “the National Commission [will] propose to both Congress and [Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael] Chertoff initiatives to intercede before radicalized individuals turn violent.”

In the context of the post-Constitutional “New Normal” paradigm, Harman and her acolytes evoke images of Philip K. Dick’s Department of Precrime in his dystopian novella, The Minority Report. Only here, in the bizarro world of outsourced “homeland security,” mutant precogs are replaced by high-end–and taxpayer funded–data-miners, psychological profilers and social network analysts in the employ of dodgy security firms linked to America’s military-intelligence complex.

The legislation specifically singles out the Internet as a “weapon” for domestic radicalization. When she introduced her bill to the Senate last November, Harman remarked, “There can be no doubt: the Internet is increasingly being used as a tool to reach and radicalize Americans and legal residents.”

Equating America’s web-surfacing habits with the threat of ideological infection by Islamist pod-people, Harman avers that the Internet allows Americans “to become indoctrinated by extremists and to learn how to kill their neighbors … from the comfort of their own living rooms.”

(Britney, Paris, better move over… there’s a new truck-bombing instructional posted over on YouTube! OMG!)

Harman’s ludicrous pronouncement is considerably ramped-up by the Lieberman and Collins report, based on–what else– “expert testimony” during hearings held by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Lieberman and Collins claim that,

…the report assesses the federal government’s response to the spread of the violent Islamist message on the Internet and concludes that there is no cohesive and comprehensive outreach and communications strategy in place to confront this threat. The report does not discuss relevant classified tools and tactics employed by the law enforcement and intelligence communities, but does recognize that there is no plan to harness all possible resources including adopting new laws, encouraging and supporting law enforcement and the intelligence community at the local, state, and federal levels, and more aggressively implementing an outreach and counter-messaging campaign on the Internet and elsewhere.

In other words, “independent” Democrat Lieberman and “maverick Republican” Collins are proposing new “tools” for regulating the Internet through a counter-propaganda campaign that would create “message force multipliers” that “support law enforcement” initiatives to crush the radical “threat.”

By targeting the Internet, House and Senate thought police claim that “the Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”

But as the American Civil Liberties Union wrote last week,

Experience has demonstrated that in the event of a terrorist attack, the results of this report will likely be used to recommend the use of racial, ethnic and religious profiling. This will only heighten, rather than decrease, the spread of extremist violence. As an organization dedicated to the principles of freedom of speech, we cannot in good conscience support this report or any measure that might lead to censorship and persecution based solely on one’s personal beliefs.

The ACLU is concerned that identifying the Internet as a tool for terrorists will lead to censorship and regulated speech — especially since the Internet has become an essential communications and research tool for everyone. Indeed, some policy makers have advocated shutting down objectionable websites in violation of the First Amendment. It is an unworkable solution. (American Civil Liberties Union, “ACLU Skeptical of Senate Report on “Homegrown” Terrorism,” Press Release, May 8, 2008)

Precisely. But wait, there’s more! Citing the New York City Police Department (NYPD) as “experts” in the area of “homegrown radicalism,” the report avers:

After more than two years of research into homegrown terrorism cases in the United States and around the world, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) developed a model to explain how this core enlistment message, and the “jihadi-Salafi” ideology that provides the foundation for that message, drive the domestic radicalization process — transforming “unremarkable people” into terrorists.

Perhaps Lieberman and Collins should have consulted the family of Sean Bell as to the NYPD’s “expertise” on analogous crime “modeling.” Murdered by trigger-happy cops after a bachelor party the morning of his wedding, Bell’s life was snuffed-out after he and his friends were shot some 50 times. The cops–surprise!–were recently found “not guilty” on all counts by a New York judge.

We can dismiss senatorial allusions to NYPD’s acumen in the area of “counterterrorist analysis” with the contempt it deserves. But let’s be clear on one thing: the sole purpose of the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” is to target the American people’s constitutionally-protected right to say No.

If the U.S. House and Senate care to examine the “root causes” of terrorism today, they need look no further than the on-going U.S. slaughter in Iraq–a “preemptive” war of choice to which they infamously gave their consent with eyes wide open.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8978

see

Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 (videos)

Video Discussion of H.R. 1955 Homegrown Terrorist Prevention Act (link)

Kucinich on HR 1955 Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

US House passes Democrat-crafted “homegrown terrorism prevention” legislation by Naomi Spencer

The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act: A Tutorial in Orwellian Newspeak By Robert Weitzel

The Violent Radicalization Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by Matt Renner

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by Philip Giraldi

‘Homegrown Terror’ Act an Attack on Internet Freedom? by Rep. Ron Paul

Homegrown Terrorism

Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 (videos)

Dandelion Salad

goodmangreen

http://www.brasschecktv.com

http://thomas.loc.gov

Though the authors of H.R. 1955 would likely deny that the bill could be used to crack down on free speech and legitimate political opposition, the talking heads on the main stream networks have made it very clear that they would like this kind of legislation to do just that.
Can H.R. 1955 be used to silence the voices of dissent? Let’s have a look.

Added: January 07, 2008 & January 22, 2008

h/t: Iconoclast Guru

see

Homegrown Terrorism

Living by the Sword by Ron Paul, M.D.

Dandelion Salad

by Ron Paul, M.D.
13 March 2008

It has been said that “he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.” And in the case of Eliot Spitzer this couldn’t be more true. In his case it’s the political sword, as his enemies rejoice in his downfall. Most people, it seems, believe he got exactly what he deserved.

The illegal tools of the state brought Spitzer down, but think of all the harm done by Spitzer in using the same tools against so many other innocent people. He practiced what could be termed “economic McCarthyism,” using illegitimate government power to build his political career on the ruined lives of others.

No matter how morally justified his comeuppance may be, his downfall demonstrates the worst of our society. The possibility of uncovering personal moral wrongdoing is never a justification for the government to spy on our every move and to participate in sting operations.

For government to entice a citizen to break a law with a sting operation – that is, engaging in activities that a private citizen is prohibited by law from doing — is unconscionable and should clearly be illegal.

Though Spitzer used the same tools to destroy individuals charged with economic crimes that ended up being used against him, gloating over his downfall should not divert our attention from the fact that the government spying on American citizens is unworthy of a country claiming respect for liberty and the fourth amendment.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Two wrongs make it doubly wrong.

Sacrifice of our personal privacy has been ongoing for decades, but has rapidly accelerated since 9/11. Before 9/11 the unstated goal of collecting revenue was the real reason for the erosion of our financial privacy. When nineteen suicidal maniacs attacked us on 9/11, our country became convinced that further sacrifice of personal and financial privacy was required for our security.

The driving force behind this ongoing sacrifice of our privacy has been fear and the emotional effect of war rhetoric – war on drugs, war against terrorism, and the war against third world nations in the Middle East who are claimed to be the equivalent to Hitler and Nazi Germany.

But the real reason for all this surveillance is to build the power of the state. It arises from a virulent dislike of free people running their own lives and spending their own money. Statists always demand control of the people and their money.

Recently we’ve been told that this increase in the already intolerable invasion of our privacy was justified because the purpose was to apprehend terrorists. We were told that the massive amounts of information being collected on Americans would only be used to root out terrorists. But as we can see today, this monitoring of private activities can also be used for political reasons. We should always be concerned when the government accumulates information on innocent citizens.

Spitzer was brought down because he legally withdrew cash from a bank – not because he committed a crime. This should prompt us to reassess and hopefully reverse this trend of pervasive government intrusion in our private lives.

We need no more Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act!

No more Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Acts!

No more torture!

No more Military Commissions Act!

No more secret prisons and extraordinary rendition!

No more abuse of habeas corpus!

No more PATRIOT Acts!

What we need is more government transparency and more privacy for the individual!

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks & Spitzer charges are intimately linked By Greg Palast

Forget Spitzer, fire Bernanke By Chan Akya

Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime by Former NY Gov Eliot Spitzer

Statement on H.R. 3773 – FISA Amendments Act of 2008 by Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

Paul-Ron

Homegrown terrorism: Keeping your eye on others isn’t sneaky – it’s patriotic! (satire alert)

Dandelion Salad

by Mark Drolette
The Smirking Chimp
February 29, 2008

Well, it’s about time.

Sometime in the near future (if we’re lucky), the Senate will pass the long-needed “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” (VRHTPA). Happily, the bill breezed through the House on a 404-06 vote and, once it clears Congress’ upper chamber, will be signed into law by our brave president. (No, not Dick Cheney; the other guy.)

Vital to national security, VRHTPA will help eliminate terrorism from fomenting here in our hollowed homeland. How? By stopping domestic evil-doers right where terrorism begins: in the mind.

Predictably, rubber-spined liberals will cry this is George Orwell’s “thought-crime” come true. Come on! Alarmist thinking like this is dangerous. Truth be told, it’s downright criminal.

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Department of Pre-Crime – Why are citizens being locked up for “un-American” thoughts?

Rule by fear or rule by law? By Lewis Seiler & Dan Hamburg

Don’t Even Think About It By James Ridgeway & Jean Casella

Rule by fear or rule by law? By Lewis Seiler & Dan Hamburg

Dandelion Salad

By Lewis Seiler, Dan Hamburg
ICH
02/12/08
San Francisco Chronicle02/04/08

“The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.” – Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of “an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.”

Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.

According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of “all removable aliens” and “potential terrorists.”

Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of “new programs” require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?

Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies,” gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to “a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order.”

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of “terrorist” organizations, or who speaks out against the government’s policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.

Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure “continuity of government” in the event of what the document vaguely calls a “catastrophic emergency.” Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure “continuity of government.” This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.

U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic “war on terror.” Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to “examine and report upon the facts and causes” of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.

According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.

A clue as to where Harman’s commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who “engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights” as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters … the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 “terror suspects” with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.

What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?

The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.

Lewis Seiler is the president of Voice of the Environment, Inc. Dan Hamburg, a former congressman, is executive director.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Naomi Wolf Celebrated Author of “The End of America” (must-see video)

Ralph Nader: The Road to Corporate Fascism (must-see video)

National Security & Homeland Security Presidential Directive 51 (2007)

Habeas Corpus/HR 6166/Military Commissions Act/MCA

Detention Centers/Concentration Camps in the US

Detention Camps

Fascism

Don’t Even Think About It By James Ridgeway & Jean Casella

Dandelion Salad

By James Ridgeway and Jean Casella
Mother Jones
January 23, 2008

The war against “homegrown terrorism” is on. Enter the thought police.

Perhaps no campaign tactic is more effective than fearmongering, and in the current presidential race the sum of all fears, once again, is radical Islamic terrorists—or “jihadists,” to use the now-ubiquitous term. On the Republican side, it’s a pissing match over who can look toughest against this shadowy enemy, with John McCain running ads showing masked Islamic gunmen, while Mitt Romney spouts the old neocon warning about forces that want to “unite the world under a single jihadist caliphate.” Although the Democrats’ rhetoric is more restrained, Hillary Clinton didn’t hesitate to suggest that the new president might quickly face another terrorist attack on American soil, as part of her quest to convince voters they need her cool-headed experience.

Largely ignored by the mainstream candidates—as well as the mainstream media—are the latest efforts to bring the fear home by targeting “homegrown terrorism”—another new catchphrase. Only liberal Democrat Dennis Kucinich and libertarian Republican Ron Paul have warned that in the name of stopping domestic terrorist plots before they happen, Congress is in the midst of passing legislation aimed not at actual hate crimes or even terrorist conspiracies, but at talking, Web surfing, or even thinking about jihadism or other “extremist belief systems.” Last October, a piece of legislation called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 sailed through the House with near-universal bipartisan support; it is likely to reach the floor of the Senate early this year and appears certain to be signed into law.

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Repress U – How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in 7 Steps By Michael Gould-Wartofsky

Thinking for yourself is now a crime By Paul Craig Roberts

Kucinich on HR 1955 Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

‘Homegrown Terror’ Act an Attack on Internet Freedom? by Rep. Ron Paul

US House passes Democrat-crafted “homegrown terrorism prevention” legislation by Naomi Spencer

The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act: A Tutorial in Orwellian Newspeak By Robert Weitzel

The Violent Radicalization Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by Matt Renner

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by Philip Giraldi

‘Homegrown Terror’ Act an Attack on Internet Freedom? by Rep. Ron Paul

Repress U – How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in 7 Steps By Michael Gould-Wartofsky

Dandelion Salad

By Michael Gould-Wartofsky
Tomdispatch.com
January 10, 2008

Free speech zones. Taser guns. Hidden cameras. Data mining. A new security curriculum. Private security contractors… Welcome to the new homeland security campus

From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to “violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism” — as it was recently dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name — have set out to reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university.

Building a homeland-security campus and bringing the university to heel is a seven-step mission:

1. Target dissidents: As the warfare state has triggered dissent, the campus has increasingly become a target gallery — with student protesters in the crosshairs. The government’s number one target? Peace and justice organizations.

From 2003 to 2007, an unknown number of them made it into the Pentagon’s “Threat and Local Observation Notice” system (TALON), a secretive domestic spying program ostensibly designed to track direct “potential terrorist threats” to the Department of Defense itself. Last year, via Freedom of Information Act requests, the ACLU uncovered at least 186 specific TALON reports on “anti-military protests” in the U.S. — some listed as “credible threats” — from student groups at the University of California-Santa Cruz, State University of New York, Georgia State University, and New Mexico State University, among other campuses.

At more than a dozen universities and colleges, police officers now double as full-time FBI agents and, according to the Campus Law Enforcement Journal, serve on many of the nation’s 100 Joint Terrorism Task Forces. These dual-purpose officer-agents have knocked on student activists’ doors from North Carolina State to the University of Colorado and, in one case, interrogated an Iraqi-born professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst about his antiwar views.

FBI agents, or their campus stand-ins, don’t have to do all the work themselves. Administrators often do it for them, setting up “free speech zones,” which actually constrain speech, and punishing those who step outside them. Last year, protests were typically forced into “free assembly areas” at the University of Central Florida and Clemson University; while students at Hampton and Pace Universities faced expulsion for handing out antiwar flyers, aka “unauthorized materials.”

continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Thinking for yourself is now a crime By Paul Craig Roberts

Kucinich on HR 1955 Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

US House passes Democrat-crafted “homegrown terrorism prevention” legislation by Naomi Spencer

The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act: A Tutorial in Orwellian Newspeak By Robert Weitzel

The Violent Radicalization Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by Matt Renner

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by Philip Giraldi

‘Homegrown Terror’ Act an Attack on Internet Freedom? by Rep. Ron Paul

Social Repression & Internet Surveillance By Nikki Alexander

Dandelion Salad

By Nikki Alexander
01/04/08 “ICH

H. Res. 1695, 1955 & S.1959

Perhaps a clear and simple law is needed that states: “Congress shall pass no law abridging the freedom of speech. Speech includes ‘the broad and constant streams of information’ freely exchanged on the Internet.” Does the Internet need to be singled out? Or is this self-evident in the First Amendment to the Constitution?  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Clearly, Jane Harman (D-CA) who sponsored H.Res.1955 does not respect the Constitution. Nor does her partner, Dave Reichert (R-WA), who authored the original bill, H.Res.1695. Both bills seriously violate the most precious amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are preparing to follow suit with a Senate companion bill, S.1959. Did any of the 404 members of the House of Representatives who voted for the passage of this bill understand that they violated our Constitutional rights, once again? The “immanent threat” charade seems to nullify their capacity for critical thinking and erase their memory of the Constitution, as well as their oath to defend it. How many Senators will succumb to terrorist fear tactics and betray the American people?

Among the Powers granted to the Federal Government by the People of the United States which one authorizes Congress to investigate the so-called “belief systems” of private citizens? Which Power granted by the People endows Congress with authority to investigate the motivations and clairvoyantly predict the intentions of private citizens? Which Power granted by the People authorizes Government surveillance and censorship of the Internet? Which Power granted by the People authorizes the Government to data mine the personal records of US citizens, subjectively filter the personal beliefs of Americans and categorize them for acceptability or to infiltrate local communities and eradicate ‘unacceptable’ beliefs? Which Power authorizes the Federal Government to gather intelligence on American citizens for use by Federal, State and local law enforcement? What is the Constitutional authority for Frau Harman’s storm troopers to terrorize the public through “vertical information sharing from the Intelligence Community to the local level and from local sources to State and Federal agencies”?

Is this Congress aware of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution? “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Is this Congress unclear about its Constitutional boundaries? Which rights are reserved to the People? The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the People.” The Tenth Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.” In other words, the People retain all rights not specifically granted to the Government. The rights to think freely, to exchange information, to choose values and beliefs and to freely associate with others are reserved to the People.

If current employees of the Federal Government are not happy with the laws that govern this country and would prefer to live under totalitarian regimes they are free to exit and live elsewhere. They are not free to pervert our laws to conform with their own personal belief systems and ideologically based values. In fact, they have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution as a prerequisite for holding public office.

This bill establishes a National Commission and Center of so-called “Excellence” to censor and crush social concerns which are subjectively perceived to be “threats” by RAND spokesmen, who supplied the content for this bill.  RAND coined the folksy epithets “homegrown terrorism,” “violent radicalization” and “ideologically based violence” to invalidate expressions of social conscience that conflict with corporate interests. RAND does not propose restraints on corporate abuse or explore US policy corrections that acknowledge the validity of these concerns. Rather, it characterizes individuals who care deeply about international human rights, national sovereignty and ecological protection as “homegrown terrorists” who have been “violently radicalized” by “extremist belief systems.” This bill quotes RAND ideology verbatim.

The People of the United States did not elect RAND Corporation or its emissaries on Capitol Hill to rewrite the laws of our nation “to advance political and social change” that serves the special interests of selected individuals. Our Constitution was carefully crafted to protect citizens from precisely this type of despotism. Regardless of emotional pretexts which appeal to fear, it is not the Constitutional prerogative of Congress to investigate, evaluate, censor or suppress the personal beliefs of United States citizens.

The Internet, which is a public channel of communication, is being systematically strangled by surveillance devices that police the flow of information; filtering web servers, search engines, web sites, email content and keystrokes.  Specifically, the information-sharing networks of citizens whose concerns are inconsistent with global corporate objectives are being censored, blacklisted and suffocated. In direct violation of our Constitution, channels of communication which are protected by the First Amendment are under surveillance by the National Security Agency. The Open Net Initiative reports, “With respect to online surveillance, the United States may be among the most aggressive states in the world in terms of listening to online conversations.”

This bill is a direct assault on Internet privacy and freedom of speech. Packaged as a pretext for “preventing terrorism”, the authors of this bill claim that, “The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.” Even if this gibberish were true, it would not legitimize Government censorship. There is no Constitutional authority for Government supervision of information freely chosen by American citizens.  This assault on the First Amendment is a transparent attempt to police the Internet by slandering the personal values of citizens and denouncing their activities, a practice well underway in Britain where Internet Service Providers are required to install software with secret “offender” lists that block out blacklisted websites.

China’s 60,000 strong Internet police force uses western surveillance technology to repress its citizens. There are currently 64 Chinese citizens in prison for signing online petitions. The Open Net Initiative reports that “Australia maintains some of the most restrictive Internet policies of any Western nation. Britain has been criticized for leading a ‘Web takedown’ culture where Internet Service Providers immediately remove content that is allegedly defamatory for fear of facing law suits.” Comcast, the second largest US Internet Service Provider is forging TCP RST packets with faked return addresses that disrupt file sharing among its customers, using equipment sold by the Canadian company, Sandvine. These are the exemplary democratic models of “lessons learned by foreign nations” that this bill declares the United States “can benefit from”; citing Canada, Australia and the UK.

The Baltimore Sun reported In November that George Bush requested $154 million in preliminary funding to “prevent cyberspace attacks”, which current and former government officials say is expected to become a seven-year, multibillion-dollar program to “track threats” in cyberspace on both government and private networks. A lawless administration which is notorious for covert surveillance and conjuring up fictitious threats of immanent danger can hardly be trusted to identify genuine threats or use this revenue in the public interest. Nor would an incoming administration be able to alleviate these unconstitutional invasions of our privacy. These Government crimes would be permanently institutionalized through the National Security Agency CAEIAE program, the Center of so-called “Excellence” designated by this bill. There is nothing excellent about unlawful surveillance and social repression by storm troopers.

What Harman describes as “vertical information sharing from the Intelligence Community to the local level and from local sources to State and Federal agencies” is equivalent to The Third Reich’s Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda which terrorized German citizens from Party Headquarters through a chain of command that reached all the way down into local communities. With modern telecommunications technology this terror campaign of “intelligence sharing” will persecute citizens in the privacy of their homes, monitoring their online conversations and reporting dissidents to the Gestapo. Lawmakers who voted for this malicious operation have forgotten that pogroms always begin by targeting a contrived enemy and expand exponentially to terrorize the whole society. We have laws for a reason.

Inventing a special “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer” embedded in this unlawful operation to create rules for handling the Constitutional rights of US citizens should raise a red flag for lawmakers. Those procedures have been on the books for two hundred and thirty years. All civil servants in every branch of Government are required to uphold the Constitution and follow the rules established by the Bill of Rights. Assigning one individual to tailor those rules to an illegal Cointelpro operation is an indication of deep antisocial contempt for the Constitutional rights of all citizens protected by our system of law.

Masquerading as an “academic” assembly, the political appointees to this Commission will have “relevant expertise” in Information Technology, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Counterterrorism, Intelligence and Local Law Enforcement. All members of the group will be endowed with sweeping investigative powers and unlimited access to classified files in all branches of government ~ A McCarthy Inquisition with a mandate to hold hearings, administer oaths, take testimony and propose “initiatives to intercede” in the so-called “radicalization process,” a RAND euphemism for crushing social dissent. This mandate to subjectively define and eradicate “unacceptable” social values and beliefs is a gross violation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The operation neatly sidesteps peer review systems and strict academic privacy safeguards for data collection that would be imposed on genuine academic scholars and conveniently bypasses the process of competitive bids for taxpayer-funded recommendations deemed “necessary” by this coterie of political insiders. If this assemblage of political appointees had wholesome objectives it would not have been released from congressional oversight and public transparency secured by The Federal Advisory Committee Act. The bill requires only that the Commission produce a public “version” of its findings before disbanding, permitting secret versions to permanently remain at the Center of so-called “Excellence” as a catalyst for Government abuse by Federal, State and local law enforcement agents trained to believe that their targets deserve persecution.

The Waco Texas massacre is a perfect example of citizens being assaulted without provocation by Government agents who ‘believed’ they were targeting “radicals”. The men, women and children who were poisoned and set on fire by Federal agents had not committed any crime, nor were their religious beliefs posing any threat to the community. Yet these Government agents tormented their victims for 51 days, violently destroying their homes and gassing 76 American citizens including 21 children. This bill would authorize exactly this type of ideological profiling perpetrated by self-righteous bigots under Color of Authority whose personal values direct them to commit acts of ‘ideologically based violence.

RAND spokesman, Brian Jenkins whose personal ideology is fully incorporated into this bill said to Jane Harman’s Committee: “Unless a way of intervening in the radicalization process can be found, we are condemned to stepping on cockroaches one at a time.” This statement perfectly expresses the deep contempt for Constitutional law that pervades this legislation. Is there any doubt that exterminating people would come easily to someone who views his victims as cockroaches? This particular characterization of human beings is the precise terminology that was used by Nazis to justify exterminating Jews.

If members of Congress were the intended victims of this malicious legislation they would instantly comprehend why the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Make no exceptions to the rule of law. Violating the Constitutional rights of any group or individual jeopardizes the security of our whole society.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all Beings are created equal, that they are endowed by Creation with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these Rights governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ~ that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Government long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind is more disposed to suffer than to right itself by abolishing the forms to which it is accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”  ~ The Declaration of Independence, 1776.

Nikki Alexander is a freelance writer and fine art painter living in southern California.

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