Posts Tagged ‘war on terror’

Federal Judge abandons the Constitution, and the rights of Muslim Americans

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 8:20 am by

nypd-ny-muslims-811-thumb-640xauto-3955On Thursday, February 20, a federal judge based in Newark, NJ dismissed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) large scale surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey. The case of Hassan v. City of New York was brought by several individuals and organizations, with legal representation by Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Locking the public out of public trials in Chicago: Your rights aren’t worth crap

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 11:42 am by

Original commentary by Chris Geovanis and was published to CounterPunch on January 21, 2014.

nato-protest-01-horizontal-galleryPublic trials are one of the fundamental tenets of American democracy. And they’ve been cancelled in Chicago, at least for the trial of the NATO 3 — three defendants battling terrorism charges for alleged ‘crimes’ wholly instigated, manufactured and advanced by undercover cops in a blatant case of entrapment. But you’ll be hard pressed to determine this for yourself, since you’re essentially banned from the courtroom unless you’re willing to surrender your right to privacy, your right to even a glimmer of free expression, or your right as a non-corporate reporter to cover the case in real time like your corporate colleagues can.

Government officials are forcing every member of the public seeking to observe the NATO 3 trial to ‘pre-register’, produce a government-issued ID, submit to a criminal background check — and, of course, trust them with your data.


New study reveals that NSA spying does not prevent terrorism

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm by

006368-nsa-director-general-keith-alexanderSince the public revelation of the NSA’s phone record collection in June of 2013, government officials have defended the program, emphasizing its necessity in finding and thwarting terrorist plots. The New America Foundation released a report this week that undermines such claims and reveals the futility of the NSA’s bulk surveillance in preventing terrorist attacks in the United States. The study reviews the investigative methods used in each of the 225 terrorism cases since September 11, 2001. The study also evaluates the significance of the NSA’s collection of phone and email records in preventing these terrorist activities.


Drone gaze, drone injury: the war on communities of color

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm by

Commentary provided by Joe Scarry and originally published on Scarry Thoughts blog on November 21, 2013.

drone-pilotHere’s what I was thinking about as the 2013 CODEPINK Drones Summit concluded:

“There is a wing of this movement that is concerned about surveillance; there is a wing of this movement that’s concerned about physical injury to people. If there is one area where there is not always full communication, coordination or agreement, that’s it. . . . If the people who feel most concerned about surveillance are actually successful at sitting together with the people concerned about physical injury, this is going to be an incredibly powerful movement.”

(See Drone Free Zone: At the second annual Drone Summit, Code Pink and Cornel West argue that all lives are equal. in In These Times quoted me the day after)

“This movement,” of course, is the movement to stop drone surveillance and warfare. During the summit we need an enormous amount of progress in building the national (and soon-to-be global) network to stop drone surveillance and warfare. Are there really two different wings — two different struggles — or is it, in fact, a single struggle?


News Digest 12/03/13

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News 

12/3, Editorial, The Detroit News, Government should pull back on forfeitures

12/2, Kevin Gosztola, FIREDOGLAKE, NSA Sent Home Talking Points for Employees to Use in Conversations with Family & Friends During Holidays

12/2, Cory Doctorow, Bing Bong, How big corporations and government spy agencies surveil and sabotage activist groups

12/1, Ross Anderson, The Guardian, Work and surveillance in a post-Snowden world

12/1, Lawrence Roberts, Bloomberg, Feinstein Says U.S. No Safer From Terror Than Two Years Ago

11/23, Eyder Peralta, NPR, Miami-Area Police Force Accused Of Rampant Racial Profiling

What’s yours is now the government’s: civil forfeiture and the “war on terror”

Monday, November 11, 2013 at 9:53 am by

Civil asset forfeiture sounds like a a dry legal term, but it has a deeper impact on people’s lives and our justice system than you might expect. It’s a practice that threatens property rights, rewards discriminatory policing, and has interesting and unexpected connections with the violations of constitutional rights that have come to define the “war on terror.” Civil asset forfeiture refers to the process of law enforcement seizing property — like cars, money, or houses — suspected of being involved in, or paid for by, illicit activities. This occurs without a charge or conviction because bizarrely, civil forfeiture law names the property itself as the defendant in the lawsuit, rendering the owner’s innocence irrelevant. It is difficult if not impossible to challenge civil asset forfeiture, and police disproportionately apply this practice to poor people, immigrants, and people of color who are already disempowered by the legal system.


Daily News Digest for 11/08/13

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News

11/8, Michael Filtz, ZDNet, Germany brings anti-spying bill to the UN, meets with US intelligence

11/7, Timothy Lee, Washington Post, Here’s how people are changing their Internet habits to avoid NSA snooping

11/7, Katherine Hawkins, The Nation, The Terrorism That Torture Didn’t Stop

11/6, Timothy Lee, Washington Post, ‘Warrant canary’ could alert Apple users to secret surveillance

11/6, Jeff Stein, Newsweek, If the CIA Can’t Find Its Own Secrets, Snowden Didn’t Stand a Chance

NSA plays key part in secret and illegal drone campaign

Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:48 am by

Since June, the documents released by Edward Snowden have revealed the vast extent of the NSA’s surveillance regime and raised concerns about the legal basis of the NSA’s programs. The Washington Post recently published another set of documents from Snowden that expose a new side of the NSA and its role in the war on terror. These documents show how the NSA’s participates in the targeted killing program that utilizes drones to attack terrorist groups — as well as many civilians — in countries like Yemen and Pakistan.

The drone campaign was previously thought to be solely the responsibility of the CIA, but it is now clear that the NSA and CIA collaborate closely on gathering information about targets. The documents detail how the NSA intercepted electronic communication about Hassan Ghul, an associate of Osama Bin Laden who had been released from detention in Pakistan. In this case, the NSA acquired an e-mail from Ghul’s wife, which helped pinpoint his location and facilitated a drone strike shortly afterwards, resulting in his death.


Protestors face down urban shield war games in Oakland CA

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm by

Between October 25 and the 28, an intimidating list of over 150 police departments, federal law enforcement agencies and private corporations participated in a series of militarized war games using the city of Oakland California as if it was their personal playground.

The exercises unfolded as various “real world” scenarios where local law enforcement agencies competed against one another from a central “Red Command.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 5.51.30 PM

“In past years, Urban Shield has featured hostage-taking scenarios involving animal rights activists, and the bombing of an oil platform by Anarchists. In an interview, Sheriff Ahern said the scenarios are sourced from threats made to law enforcement and government agencies over the past five to ten years that have been documented by the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center. “Many of those threats have used the formats of anarchy, in the form of white supremacy, of Muslim extremism,” Ahern said. “We simply use threats we’ve received over the last five to ten years that have been documented through our regional intelligence center.” (Eastbay Express)


The NYPD for too long has operated outside the rule of law

Monday, September 23, 2013 at 10:24 am by

Late last month it was revealed that the New York Police Department (NYPD) has made it standard practice to label Mosques as terrorist organizations in an effort to secretly infiltrate and surveil members of the Muslim community years at a time. These actions have been carried out without any evidence of criminal wrong-doing, and have sparked understandable outrage among New York residents, Muslims, and civil rights advocates. Members of Mosques designated as “terrorist organizations” will be considered a “potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.” Making the rights of any Muslim affiliated with the Mosque null and void, and vulnerable to illegal and indefinite surveillance as well as other abuses.NYPD Muslim surveillance

The NYPD for too long has operated outside the rule of law. Through use of labels such as “terrorist organizations” and ” terrorism enterprise investigations” the NYPD continues empowering itself to further stigmatize and spy on innocent Americans under the rubric of  the “war on terror.” Reports also state that officers had gone under cover, spied on leaders, and infiltrated executive board meetings.