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In March 1968, students at then-Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire picketed outside the home of Leonard Haas, the university’s president. The students were protesting the nonrenewal of the faculty contracts of Neal and Betty Resnikoff, in part because of their activity with the student group Students for a Democratic Society. Although no formal chapter of that organization was on campus, the interest in starting one garnered surveillance from the FBI.

February 17 2015

Fearful that a foreign, communist hand might be guiding college students toward anti-war and civil rights protests in the 1960s and ’70s, the FBI kept its eye on UW-Eau Claire.

Then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had warned university leaders to watch out for radicals on campus, so an FBI agent based in Milwaukee was instructed by superiors to keep a distant eye on Wisconsin colleges.

UW-Eau Claire history professor James Oberly and graduate student Mike Grogan researched the extent of the FBI surveillance and are scheduled to present those findings from 4 to 5 p.m. today at Woodland Theater in the Davis Center on campus.

The presentation is part of the Chancellor’s Centennial History Series on the university that turns 100 years old in 2016. The findings also will be part of a 450-page book to detail each decade of UW-Eau Claire’s history. While researching for the series, Oberly stumbled on multiple materials that referenced the warnings from Hoover to presidents of universities, including then-UW-Eau Claire President Leonard Haas.

Oberly wondered if the FBI took any steps beyond that.

In 2013, he filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to retrieve data collected on UW-Eau Claire by the FBI. He requested the index be searched for the names of 12 or 13 organizations he thought would have garnered interest from the FBI.

The only organization that returned a hit was the Students for a Democratic Society, a chapter that didn’t even exist on campus, though there were attempts to organize one.

“All the other ones I thought that they would be doing surveillance on came back negative,” he said.

Grogan traveled to Washington, D.C., to research his thesis on a related topic of police surveillance of gangs in Milwaukee. While in the nation’s capital, he picked up the national archived files on UW-Eau Claire that were cleared for public release.

Within those archives were copies of literature obtained from a detective at the Eau Claire Police Department and forwarded to the Milwaukee agent.

“On 4/​4/​69, (the detective) advised that he had received two pieces of literature from his informant relative to a meeting at (Wisconsin State University), Eau Claire, which was apparently being conducted for the purpose of promoting SDS,” the report states.

One of the pieces of literature submitted by that detective to the FBI was a pamphlet advertising a meeting of SDS at Eau Claire that read, “SDS welcomes you to Wisconsin, America’s fastest growing police state.” That announcement went on to list measures supporting that notion.

A reporter for the former Daily Telegram submitted information that a special agent passed on in a report.

“(The reporter) advised that his coverage of the Wisconsin State University at Eau Claire had failed to indicate that the SDS had made any attempt to form an organization during the current year. He said that the university had refused to grant the SDS a charter during the past year and that he did not know of any attempt to form the organization outside the school,” the report said.

UW-Eau Claire archivist Greg Kocken said he would have expected FBI interest in UW-Madison, where protests were notorious and widespread.

“To think Eau Claire, a very quiet school at that time, was under the same type of surveillance is shocking,” he said.

But Oberly indicated that all of the state’s colleges were scrutinized and said there were never any prosecutions or referrals to the U.S. attorney’s office.

“It’s still concerning that our FBI, which is supposed to look into criminal activity, was instead looking into political activity that was not at all criminal, and they knew it,” Oberly said.

While no agent of the FBI came closer than 300 miles to the local campus, the bureau gleaned most of the information it sought from articles in UW-Eau Claire’s student-run newspaper, The Spectator. Other information came from the Daily Telegram reporter. and several sources at the Eau Claire Police Department.

The FBI agent from Milwaukee kept in contact with those sources who occasionally sent clippings from The Spectator to Milwaukee. That agent sent the files on to the FBI headquarters in Washington.

“Oddly enough, the FBI files are full of S
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Hacker Claims Feds Hit Him With 44 Felonies When He Refused to Be an FBI Spy

By Andy Greenberg
02.18.15 |


A year ago, the Department of Justice threatened to put Fidel Salinas in prison for the rest of his life for hacking crimes. But before the federal government brought those charges against him, Salinas now says, it tried a different tactic: recruiting him.

A Southern District of Texas judge sentenced Salinas earlier this month to six months in prison and a $10,600 fine after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of computer fraud and abuse. The charge stemmed from his repeatedly scanning the local Hidalgo County website for vulnerabilities in early 2012. But just months before he took that plea, the 28-year-old with ties to the hacktivist group Anonymous instead faced 44 felony hacking and cyberstalking charges, all of which were later dismissed. And now that his case is over, Salinas is willing to say why he believes he faced that overwhelming list of empty charges. As he tells it, two FBI agents asked him to hack targets on the bureau’s behalf, and he refused.

Over the course of a six-hour FBI interrogation in May, 2013, months after his arrest, Salinas says two agents from the FBI’s Southern District of Texas office asked him to use his skills to gather information on Mexican drug cartels and local government figures accepting bribes from drug traffickers. “They asked me to gather information on elected officials, cartel members, anyone I could get data from that would help them out,” Salinas told WIRED in a phone interview before his sentencing. “I told them no.”

“Fundamentally this represents the FBI trying to recruit by indictment,” says Salinas’ lawyer Tor Ekeland, who took the case pro bono last year. “The message was clear: If he had agreed to help them, they would have dropped the charges in a second.”

Salinas, to be clear, has no proof of his claims. He had no lawyer present at the time of the questioning, made no recordings, and his story couldn’t be independently confirmed. The FBI has flatly denied his account, writing in a statement to WIRED that Salinas “was never asked to conduct any investigative activity on behalf of the government.” A Department of Justice spokesperson pointed out in a statement that “at no point during the case did the defense ever present any testimony or evidence to show that any of the defendant’s hacking attempts had been made at the behest of the government or at the request of any alleged victim.”

But Ekeland says Salinas didn’t testify about his claims of the FBI’s hacking request because there wasn’t a trial. Ekeland advised Salinas not to tell the story until after his sentencing to avoid scuttling his plea deal. And Ekeland believes that story helps to explain the pile of unsupportable charges Salinas faced soon after. The 44 felony charges against Salinas, Ekeland says, were “an intimidation tactic designed to get him to fold, to get him to take a plea or cooperate.”

Salinas’ troubles with the law began when his house was raided in early 2012 as part of the investigation of his alleged hacking. He was arrested and all of his computer equipment seized, then released on bail. In May, 2013, as he tells it, he was called by the FBI and told to come to the local field office to retrieve his confiscated computers. When he arrived at the office with his wife, however, he claims he was instead put in a room and questioned. His wife, who was pregnant at the time, was, he says, left to wait for six hours in the building’s lobby.

During those six hours, Salinas says FBI agents showed him evidence that he had logged into Anonymous IRC chatrooms. He says they brought up OpCartel, an aborted Anonymous plan in 2011 to hack Mexico’s Zeta drug cartel. And finally, he claims they asked him to help them gather information on both the cartels and local officials who had accepted money from them.

“We think you can help us,” Salinas says he was told. “You can help us stop some of this corruption and stop the cartels.”

“I’m not going to snitch,” Salinas says he replied. They insisted that they weren’t asking him to inform on his friends or Anonymous ass
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Supreme Court to hear 'national security’ case of visa denial

By Bob Egelko
February 21, 2015

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FBI Whistle-Blowers Get Little Help With Retaliation: GAO


12:01 AM EST February 23, 2015

- The U.S. Justice Department rejected complaints by 89 percent of FBI employees who said they faced retaliation for exposing misconduct, a government watchdog found.

Of 62 complaints from 2009 to 2013 examined by the Government Accountability Office, 55 were rejected and the Justice Department -- of which the FBI is part -- sided with the employees in just three cases.

Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who requested the report, said it shows the bureau is squelching complaints from employees despite attempts by Congress to add protections for whistle-blowers.

“The FBI and Department of Justice, in particular, have a vested interest in investigating wrongdoing, yet when an FBI employee uncovers misconduct within the agency’s own ranks, it’s not so easy to sound the alarm without the risk of retaliation,” Grassley said in a statement. “This report confirms that reforms are needed to empower whistle-blowers at FBI and ensure they are effectively and efficiently protected against retaliation in the workplace.”

A spokesman for the FBI, Michael Kortan, declined to comment because he hadn’t had a chance to read the GAO report.

The report, which was obtained by Bloomberg News, said Justice Department rules don’t protect agents or other FBI employees from retaliation if they complain to their supervisors or many others in their chains of command. A limited set of high-level officials have been designated to receive such reports.

About a third of the cases were rejected solely because whistle-blowers complained to the wrong supervisor, the report said.
‘Chilling Effect’

“By dismissing potentially legitimate complaints in this way,” the study said, the Justice Department “could deny some whistle-blowers access to recourse, permit retaliatory activity to go uninvestigated, and create a chilling effect for future whistle-blowers.”

In the report, the GAO said Justice Department officials have pledged to address some of the issues by “adding several more senior officials in FBI field offices to the list of individuals who may report protected disclosures.” However, the GAO found, the “timing and outcome of this stated plan are uncertain.”
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Dan Rather CBS – FBI Involvement in 1993 WTC Bombing : The ...
deadlinelive.info › Americas
Mar 3, 2011 - Dan Rather CBS – FBI Involvement in 1993 WTC Bombing .... There is always a problem with this because all these cover-up authors and ...
Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast ...
... were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, ... off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said. ... Published: October 28, 1993.
FBI had role in WTC 1993 Bomb Attack - YouTube
Video for 1993 world trade center fbi cover up9:37
Jan 31, 2010 - Uploaded by ScuzzylilAmeriWhore
FBI had role in WTC 1993 Bomb Attack ..... @CIA & FBI Did911 CIA propaganda to cover up ...
FBI could have stopped the 1993 World Trade Center bombing ...
Video for 1993 world trade center fbi cover up2:11
Apr 18, 2013 - Uploaded by 911operationgladio
Emad A. Salem and his FBI handlers had plans to provide the WTC bomb makers ... FBI Boston ...
FBI let first World Trade Center bombing happen - Brasscheck TV
bombing happen (1993). And Michael Chertoff handled the cover up ... that helped the FBI cover-up their role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
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Security service will need to explain harassment claims and how the man behind Isis beheadings slipped through the net

Thursday 26 February 2015 14.43 EST Last modified on Thursday 26 February 2015 19.07 EST

Britain’s security services are in a no-win situation. Monitor a suspected terrorist and, as in the case of Mohammed Emwazi, MI5 ends up accused of harassment. Fail to monitor him, also in the case of Emwazi, and MI5 is blamed for letting him escape abroad to commit murder.

MI5, like the FBI, has known since at least September that Emwazi is “Jihadi John” but has not gone public. To some extent, the reticence is legal: there is a police investigation in both countries into the beheadings of US and British hostages, allegedly by Emwazi.

Another reason is operational: a fear that releasing the name might provoke a negative reaction from Emwazi or one of his Islamic State colleagues, given they are still holding western hostages. Another is concern about the risk to Emwazi’s family in the UK, fears of violence against them.

No explanation has yet been offered about how they identified him. It would not have been hard for the British agencies, in the relatively small pool of jihadi sympathisers in London, to establish the identity of the Isis member with the London accent. In September, US and British sources in Washington hinted that voice recognition had helped track him down.

The US national security council, like its British counterparts, refused on Thursday to publicly
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12 votes
9/11 Prosecution Plan: Start with Rudy Giuliani
Submitted by James_Madison_Lives on Mon, 05/17/2010 - 01:23

Daily Paul Liberty Forum

Now that 911 Truth is growing exponentially, it is time for the movement to be not just about truth but also justice. A new investigation is necessary, yes, but what is also needed is a strategy for prosecution. It is standard procedure in prosecuting any crime gang or conspiracy to start at the bottom with charges that are easy to prove, which will "stick," and then move up as people begin to talk.

If there is one open-and-shut case it is the felony destruction of evidence by Rudy Giuliani. The shipment of 99.5% of the WTC steel was not only destruction of evidence, it was destruction of Exhibit A. Under the contracting authority of the City of New York, Guliani hired Metal Management Northeast of Newark, N.J., Hugo Neu Schnitzer East of Jersey City and Blandford Land Development Corporation of Brooklyn. Weeks Marine Inc. created two steel offloading areas at Pier 25 and Pier 6 in the last week of September to accelerate the shipment of the steel on barges to China to be melted.

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. was awarded a contract for $790,500 to deepen the Pier 6 site.

Rudy was a federal prosecutor who knew absolutely and beyond the shadow of a doubt that the destruction of crime scene evidence is a felony. He cannot plead ignorance on this. In addition, many fire science experts, such as Professor Glen Corbett of City University of New York, were calling on Giuliani to halt the destruction of evidence as it was taking place, as were many survivors' families.

In so big a hurry was Rudy to destroy evidence that he forced a showdown with firefighters who were searching for, and finding, remains of their fallen brothers and other victims, removing remains with dignity and respect. Rudy ordered them off the "pile" so a more rapid "scoop-and-dump" operation could proceed, culminating in a melee between firefighters and police in which 15 firefighters were arrested and 5 policemen injured.

So important was it that no piece of evidence wind up in the wrong hands that Rudy had the removal trucks fitted with GPS devices at a cost of $1,000 apiece, to track them to shipping piers.

It does not require one to be an Official Story skeptic to get behind the prosecution of Giuliani. Even those who accept the official story should want to know why buildings which were specifically designed to withstand multiple hits by jetliners as large as 767s collapsed. WTC architect John Skilling said that the buildings were meant to "handle the impact of a 707 traveling at 600 mph without collapsing.” A fully-loaded 767 is nearly identical in weight and size to a fully-loaded 707. This has been standard design practice since a B-25 bomber lost in fog crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945.

The structural steel would have told the tale. With the steel stored and organized at one of our desert military bases, with room to spare across the desert, the best minds in science in engineering could have examined the evidence and pieced together every second of the destruction. The evidence would be guarded around the clock by American soldiers who knew there was no more highly-honored assignment anywhere in the service.

Instead Giuliani sent the steel to a foreign power to be destroyed, and the remains of loved ones to a garbage dump. NYC firefighters tagged Giuliani as Rudy "Ran Like a Coward" Giuliani. Rudy admitted to Peter Jennings that he had been told that the first tower was going to collapse, and to evacuate the area. This should be the subject of a grand jury investigation by itself.

Who told Rudy the building was going to collapse? Why didn't Rudy tell anyone immediately to evacuate towers, where people had been told to go back to work? Why didn't he risk his own life, as the firefighters were, to stay put in the command center in WTC7 and bark the order over the frequencies over and over GET OUT GET OUT, EVERYBODY GET OUT! Instead the "Hero of 9/11," the firefighters say, was "deciding which way to run," as he tucked tail up Vessey Street with his gaggle of followers.

9/11 still haunts our nation every day. As the TSA expands its reach, drones begin to fill our skies, and the last shred of the Constitution is eradicated by NDAA, the 9/11 wars continue, extracting a terrible cost to innocents in foreign lands. As a result of the wars and bank bailouts the land is on the brink of financial catastrophe, with one percent ready to walk off with the wealth, to offshore havens or overseas.

The penalty for felony destruction of evidence in a capitol crime is 5-10 years in almost any state. Even if it went no farther than Giuliani, a prosecution would serve the purpose of putting future perpetrators on notice that allowing yourself to be the lowest man on the totem pole in crime carried a risk. Rudy's job was very important, and the success of the entire operation depended on it. Without the destruction of 99.5% of the steel evidence, no conspirator could ever sleep well.

A prosecution of Giuliani for destruction of evidence would help give closure to the survivors who were begging him to stop. That steel, with the blood and flesh of their loved ones on it, carted off to China to be melted in record time or sent to a land fill, might have been just trash to Rudy.
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March 1 2015

FBI lab lost hair sample in Edison police firebomb case; second hair not from accused officer

The FBI laboratory, the nation's premier facility for the examination of forensic evidence, lost a critical hair sample collected from the charred debris of an arson fire at the home of a high-ranking Edison police official two years ago, documents show.

The sample was one of two hairs found among the remains of a makeshift incendiary device set ablaze on Capt. Mark Anderko's front porch on May 20, 2013. An Edison officer, Michael Dotro, was subsequently charged with aggravated arson and five counts of attempted murder for allegedly setting the fire.

DNA analysis conducted on the second hair showed it did not come from Dotro, 37, or his wife, according to the FBI's lab report, a copy of which was obtained by NJ Advance Media. Dotro's lawyer, Robert Norton, confirmed the report's findings.

Taken together, the lost hair and the sample that excluded Dotro could make it more difficult for the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office to prove the officer started the fire.

In a court hearing shortly after Dotro's arrest, prosecutors outlined some of the evidence they said linked him to the blaze. Additional evidence highlighted in court filings suggests Dotro and his wife, Alycia, lied to investigators about his whereabouts the night of the fire and that a woman who admitted to having an affair with him said he told her he once set fire to a neighbor's property after a dispute with the man.

Nearly two years after the blaze at Anderko's house, the lab report and court documents provide the clearest portrait yet of the evidence against Dotro, a 14-year veteran with a long disciplinary history.
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Are FBI Informants Working Inside America’s Churches?


March 3, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: Two years ago today, I shared the news below for the first time. In light of the fact that a verdict is imminent in the Oklahoma City Bombing Trial that’s been taking place in federal court in Salt Lake City recently (yes, it’s true), I decided to share it again with only minor modifications.
Click on image above to download document (PDF).

Click on image above to download document (PDF).

Jesse Trentadue’s ongoing effort to obtain information from the FBI continued this week when he filed a motion (PDF) aimed at convincing a federal judge in Utah to allow him access to information about the FBI’s “Sensitive Informant Program. The move was made one month after the Salt Lake City attorney filed his first motion (PDF) seeking, among other things, to learn whether the FBI has informants working inside American churches.

Why is Trentadue seeking the information? Because he believes it will lead him closer to the truth about the 1995 death of his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, under suspicious circumstances while in custody at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City.

Below, I share the fascinating details of his most-recent motion (PDF). Beginning with the“Background” which begins on page one of the document, the details contained in the document appear below, minus the footnotes contained in the actual document (PDF):

The FBI devotes a considerable portion of the Memorandum that it submitted in opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to arguing that this is a typical Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) case involving the adequacy of the FBI’s search for responsive documents and/or the applicability of the exemptions claimed by the FBI for not releasing the documents/records. But this is not a typical FOIA case. Neither is it an isolated or stand alone case. This case, as the FBI well knows, is the latest front in Plaintiff’s long war with the Bureau to discover and uncover the truth about the Oklahoma City Bombing and a related matter: the murder of his brother, Kenneth Michael Trentadue.

The first battle in this almost decade long FOIA war was fought before this very Court inTrentadue v. FBI, which revealed that persons other that Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier had participated in the Bombing. That first battle, and the documents/records that Plaintiff obtained as a result, also disclosed: (1) the existence of the FBI’s I-Drive and S-Drive computer systems wherein evidence related to the Bombing was kept hidden so as not to be subject to a FOIA request and/or not made part of the FBI’s official Bombing case file; (2) the CIA’s involvement in the Oklahoma City Bombing; (3) “Patriot Conspiracy” or “PATCON” that was a decade or more long FBI undercover operation designed to infiltrate and monitor or perhaps even incite various right-wing organizations; and (4) the existence of a surveillance camera videotape taken on the morning of April 19, 1995, which according to federal government documents purportedly shows not only the destruction of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, but also the persons who carried out that attack. That first FOIA battle also disclosed the existence of the FBI’s“Sensitive Informant Program,” which is at the heart of this current FOIA discovery dispute.

The Sensitive Informant Program is the FBI’s disturbing practice of using private citizens as spies on the staffs of members of Congress and perhaps even federal judges, in the national media, within other federal agencies, on defense teams in high profile federal and/or state criminal prosecutions, inside state and local law enforcement agencies and even among the clergy of organized religions. The Sensitive Informant Program is designed to and does result in the circumvention of the protections guaranteed to American citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Separation of Powers Doctrine.

In response to Plaintiff’s FOIA request for the policies, rules, protocols and/or procedures governing the FBI’s recruitment and use of such informants in this secret surveillance program which spies on United States’ citizens on United States’ soil, the FBI produced 205 pages, which appear to be but a small portion of its: “Corporate Policy Directive” on the use of confidential human sources, “Confidential Human Source Validation Standards Manual,”“Confidential Human Source Policy Manual,” and “Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide” (collectively the “Manual”). Those portions of the Manual that the FBI actually provided to Plaintiff were heavily redacted. The FBI withheld all of these portions of the Manual on the basis of various exemptions from disclosure under FOIA.

It is Plaintiff’s belief, however, that NO exemption can be asserted to conceal this unconstitutional domestic spy/surveillance program. Simply put, FOIA, which has as its stated purpose the disclosure of the federal government’s wrongdoing, cannot and should not be used to shield the FBI’s unconstitutional actions undertaken on what appears to be a national scale. However, in order to properly frame and present to the Court his challenge to the FBI’s claims of exemption Plaintiff needs to conduct limited discovery into the scope and duration of this Sensitive Informant Program.

In the “Summary of the Argument,” beginning on page four of the motion (PDF), he presents the latest details:

Plaintiff’s need for this discovery is simple. If, for example, the FBI has never embedded aSensitive Informant on the staff of a member of Congress and/or a federal judge, in the national media, within another federal agency, on the defense team in high profile federal and/or state criminal prosecution, inside of a state or local law enforcement agency or among the clergy of an organized religion, it will admittedly be difficult for Plaintiff to assert that NO FOIA exemptions should apply to those portions of the Manual being withheld from him. This is so because a rare or isolated violation of the Constitution by the use ofSensitive Informants may not be sufficient for the Court to override the FBI’s exemption claims.

However, if the FBI’s Sensitive Informant program has been in operation for years and/or involves the placement of many Sensitive Informants on the staffs of members of Congress and perhaps even federal judges, in the national media, within other federal agencies, on defense teams in high profile federal and/or state criminal prosecutions, inside state and local law enforcement agencies or among the clergy of organized religions, then it is obvious that the Manual is designed to and/or does result in the circumvention of the protections guaranteed to American citizens by the Bill of Rights and the Separation of Powers Doctrine. If this is so, then it is Plaintiff’s position that the FBI cannot lawfully assert any FOIA exemption to keep secret a clearly unconstitutional nationwide program of domestic spying.

The information that Plaintiff’s seeks by way of this discovery will also be necessary for the Court to determine whether the (b)(1) exemption claimed by the FBI applies. Exemption (b)(1) allows the FBI to exempt certain records provided it declares them “secret” on the basis of national security AND pursuant to an Executive Order allowing for that “secret” designation.

In order to obtain information with respect to the scope and duration of the FBI’s Sensitive Informant Program, Plaintiff has moved to conduct limited discovery consisting of just eleven (11) Interrogatories, the answers to which will document the unconstitutionality of the FBI’s Sensitive Informant Program, thereby allowing Plaintiff to challenge the FBI’s assertion of FOIA exemptions to conceal and/or withhold the Manual from Plaintiff and the American public, and the Court to determine the validity/applicability of those exemptions to the Manual. The FBI, however, vehemently opposes that Motion.

Of course, there is a lot more to the case, but Trentadue’s approach, summed up under the“ISSUE” section of the motion (PDF) and shared below, seems brilliant to this non-lawyer:

The issue in this case is not the adequacy of the FBI’s search for the Manual. The FBI found the Manual. The issue for the Court to decide is (1) whether the FOIA exemptions advanced by the FBI for withholding portions of the Manual apply and (2), even if they do apply, can those exemptions be lawfully asserted to conceal FBI activities that clearly subvert theConstitution? Furthermore, this issue cannot and should not be decided without the discovery that Plaintiff is seeking to obtain through his Motion to Conduct Limited Discovery.

During an email exchange March 1, 2013, Trentadue used layman’s terms to boil the matter down to one key issue: “The FBI argues that the discovery (he) seeks would be futile since ‘illegal’ activity by the federal government is shielded from disclosure under FOIA if covered by an exemption.”

He went on to question how the FBI can, in good faith, claim that a national security exemption allows the Bureau to declare its unconstitutional domestic spying program “secret” and, in turn, allows them to keep their illegal activities hidden from the public.

“It is an absurd — no, arrogant — position for the FBI to take,” he said.

Stay tuned for details about how this case turns out. Also, be sure to read other articles in my series, UNTOLD STORIES of the OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING. If you like reading about the FBI, order a copy of my first crime-fiction novel, The National Bet (November 2014), in which an FBI agent plays the role of a hero.
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Former FBI Informant Craig Monteilh: FBI Encouraged Me To Sleep With Muslim Women For Intel

Posted: 03/04/2015 2:20 pm EST Updated: 03/04/2015 2:59 pm EST


To Muslim mosque members in the Los Angeles area, Craig Monteilh was known as Farouk al-Aziz, a French Syrian looking to reconnect to his Islamic roots. But behind the devout facade and convincing knowledge of Islam, Monteilh was spying for the FBI, which instructed him to go as far as sleeping with Muslim women to gain information.

Monteilh joined HuffPost Live to share his story and discuss how he went from a criminal to an FBI informant to a witness in a case against the Feds.

Monteilh had his own brush with the law, having served time for using fraudulent checks. His familiarity with criminals in Chino prison enticed the FBI to recruit him to root out organized crime and later seek out terrorists as part of Operation Flex.

"The FBI paid me to infiltrate mosques in Los Angeles and Orange County in Southern California, as a very broad surveillance operation to give them the personal information of Muslims," he told host Josh Zepps on Monday.

That "personal information" comprised of emails, cell phone numbers, names of known associates and where they attended mosque. Monteilh said he even placed recording devices in the offices of imams and a local Muslim Student Union. The FBI would then gather the data and share the intel with the Office of Foreign Assets Control for the purpose of thwarting potential terror attacks.

Monteilh's informant role had an intense training process, during which he learned to "pretend to be Muslim."

"The FBI trained me in the tenets of Islam, in the elementary principles of Arabic, and just to blend into the community and to slowly integrate myself as a Muslim male," he said.

The operation included even more extreme breaches of privacy, with Monteilh going as far as dating and having sex with Muslim women to extract intelligence.

"I portrayed myself as a unmarried male, although I was married," he said. "Within the Muslim community, they would help me to get a bride, so they would introduce me to single Muslim women. I would go out on dates and things like that. … [My FBI handlers] instructed me, if I was getting good intel, to allow it to go into sexual relations."

The undercover plot eventually took an ironic turn when his extreme jihadist rhetoric alienated his targets, who reported him to the FBI. In 2007, the Islamic Center of Irvine filed a restraining order against him, effectively blowing his cover.

As Monteilh remembers, very few of his targets actually used similar jihadist rhetoric. The only time he heard extremist language was after some prodding and "inciting" on his part.

"They'd follow my lead," he said.

Looking back on his undercover operation now, Monteilh said the monthly $11,200 compensation he received "clouded his judgement," making it tough for him to question the practice. Although he originally felt it was his "patriotic duty" to help the FBI operation, he had a change of heart.

"I began to be conflicted because I was spying on innocent people. They were not involved in criminal activity," he said. "They were not espousing terrorist rhetoric, but I was still spying on them and giving the FBI the information they wanted."

Monteilh has since spoken out against the FBI's controversial informant program and even planned to testify in a class action suit against the FBI. The case was dismissed because it would risk exposing "state secrets."
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Senate hearing faults FBI system meant to protect whistleblowers

March 5 at 7:07 PM

Something is backward when the nation’s premier law enforcement agency makes it difficult for people to report wrongdoing.

The agency in this case is the FBI. The people, its employee whistleblowers. The wrongdoing is waste, fraud and abuse within the bureau.
Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about the federal workplace that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. View Archive

The difficulty facing those employees was demonstrated at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday.

“The current system isn’t working,” Michael German, a former FBI special agent and whistleblower, told the panel. “The incremental improvements the Justice Department proposes are inadequate and would keep FBI employees trapped in a system with substandard protections.”

That system seems destined to change. If pressure from the hearing isn’t enough to move the bureaucracy, legislation probably will.

In his opening statement, Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said legal protections for FBI employees facing retaliation “are weaker than at any other agency. . . . Unlike every other federal agency, FBI employees are not protected from retaliation when they report wrongdoing to their direct supervisors.

“This makes me scratch my head.”

A day later, he was not convinced that the FBI’s system is a good one.

The testimony “confirmed that the FBI is not particularly interested in protecting employees who point out fraud, waste and mismanagement,” Grassley to the Federal Diary on Thursday. “The FBI did not make a compelling case for why it needs a set of rules different from all other federal law enforcement when it comes to whistleblower protection.”

Another troublesome point is the long delay — it can take a decade — by the Justice Department in resolving some whistleblower cases.

Then, even after whistleblowers are vindicated, “was anyone ever held accountable for the retaliation against these whistleblowers?” Grassley asked. “Not that I’m aware of. If no one pays a price, then it will happen again.”

Grassley wasn’t alone in not understanding why the list of officials to whom an FBI employee may report wrongdoing is so short. Employees are protected only from management if they report problems to designated officials.

After J. Richard Kiper was assigned to the FBI Academy as chief of investigative training in 2011, he reported certain problems to the training division’s leadership.

“I never imagined that my desire to promote excellence would be used against me,” he told the committee.

Among the issues, he said, was that the FBI intentionally misled the Office of Management and Budget regarding the training of new agents and analysts.

Kiper said he did not study up to determine whether he “was making a disclosure of wrongdoing to an appropriate recipient. I was just trying to do the right thing — as I’ve always done. I made these disclosures to the highest ranking officials at my work site, hoping these executives would at least consider making positive changes.

“Instead, I was removed and demoted two GS levels.”

Kevin L. Perkins, an FBI associate deputy director, did not address Kiper’s and German’s individual cases, but he did say the bureau is working to improve its process for dealing with whistleblowers. The Justice Department has recommended a limited expansion in the number of people eligible to receive a “protected disclosure.”

That expansion would include the second highest-ranking tier of officials in field offices, in addition to the special agent in charge (SAC). Most direct supervisors would continue to be excluded.

Grassley called the proposed reforms “minor” and said they “won’t fix the fundamental problem that the FBI is essentially exempt from the law.”

German, currently a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, said he “can’t overstate how difficult it would be for an agent to break protocol and report directly to an SAC.”

A 2014 Justice Department report acknowledges that the Office of Special Counsel, which deals with federal whistleblowers generally, but not those in the FBI, recommended protecting whistleblowing disclosures made to direct supervisors.

“OSC believes that to deny protection unless the disclosure is made to the high-ranked supervisors in the office would undermine a central purpose of whistleblower protection laws,” the Justice Department said.

Nonetheless, Justice rejected that approach, because it “believes that the set of persons to whom a protected disclosure can be made is extensive and diverse, and has seen no indication that the list has impeded disclosures of wrongdoing.”

Yet, a 2009 review of the FBI’s disciplinary system by the department’s inspector general indicated that 43 percent of surveyed employees said they did not report employee misconduct every time they knew about it. Eighty-four percent said they would report possible misconduct by colleagues to their immediate supervisor. Those employees would not be protected from retaliation.

“If every other law enforcement and intelligence agency can protect disclosures of waste, fraud, or abuse to a direct supervisor, then why can’t the FBI?” said
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Reporting live from the BMarathon Bombing Trial

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10 Investigates allegations of FBI 9/11 coverup - WTSP.com
Sep 13, 2014 - Thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks, we are now learning of allegations of a major FBI cover-up that connects Sarasota and the 9/11 hijackers ...
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Vince Foster's Death: An FBI Cover-Up?
Aug 5, 2010 - "Failure of the Public Trust." The book presents documented evidence supporting the trio's belief in an FBI cover-up surrounding Foster's death.
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FBI cover-up of murders by FBI agents - Defrauding America
Descriptions of misconduct within FBI and Department of Justice.
A 9/11 FBI Cover-Up To Protect Saudis? | The American Conservative
Jul 3, 2014 - Freshly released but heavily censored FBI documents include tantalizing new information about events connected to the Sarasota Saudis who ...
FBI Cover-Up | One Big Cover Up
Two cases, aptly named “Beiter 1” and “Beiter 2.” The attached evidence file contains only a small portion of overwhelming.
One Big Cover Up - Read the Story, See the Evidence!
FBI Cover-Up. Two cases, aptly named “Beiter 1” and “Beiter 2.” The attached evidence file contains only a small portion of overwhelming evidence that proves, ...
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My Name is 'Randy L. Dixon Rivera' and I have something very important to share with everyone: An unexpected "Whistle Blowing" case on public corruption ...
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Dec 29, 2009 - Detroit attorney Kurt Haskell dropped bombshell revelations concerning his eyewitness experience of the Flight 253 attack and how the FBI ...
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Until you look at the evidence for CIA agents collaborating with FBI agents
To assassinate President Kennedy you will never understand the meaning
To go dark.

Snowden report: CIA tried hacking Apple devices for years
Mar 11th 2015 7:53PM

It’s not clear if the CIA was ever able to breach Apple’s device encryption, despite years of efforts and multiple tools.

The CIA has spent years trying to break the security of Apple devices.

A report in The Intercept Tuesday, which cites documents from Edward Snowden, details an annual conference called Jamboree, where intelligence researchers shared ways to get into Apple's walled garden, and get data out.

These included a customized version of Apple's Xcode development software, which the report indicates could be used to insert back doors or extract encryption keys from other applications, or force them to send data to a third-party server.

Another tool could install keyloggers through update tools for Apple's desktop OS.

It's not clear from the report how the CIA would get developers to use the "poisoned" versions of these tools, or if it was ever successful in breaking into an Apple device.

But this is some of the most significant evidence yet to show Intelligence officials are worried about trends toward default encryption.

"Only the user knows the security code. Apple and Google say they can't break that code. Neither can police, even with a court order," CBS' Bob Orr said.

FBI director James Comey has fittingly called it the "going dark" problem.

"Those charged with protecting our people aren't always able to access the evidence we need to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism even with lawful authority," Comey said at a Brookings Institution conference last year.

The other side to that coin: by trying to address the issue with their own backdoor tools, intelligence agencies alienate Silicon Valley. This latest development is only expected to increase that tension.

Apple didn't comment on this story specifically, but it might not need to. As news of backdoor surveillance
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« Former Member of Pinochet’s Secret Police, Accused of Torture & Murder, Taught for Pentagon for 12 Years


How Many Black Lives Matter Protests Have the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force Helped Police Track?
By: Kevin Gosztola Friday March 13, 2015 10:51 am        

Black Lives Matter protest on December 20at Mall of America

A supervisor with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, helped police monitor a Black Lives Matter protest last December.

The Intercept obtained an email from a St. Paul police officer and FBI JTTF member, David S. Langfellow, which informed a Bloomington police officer that a “confidential human source” has “confirmed” the Mall of America “protest I was talking to you about today” for the 20th of December at 2 pm. JTTF supervisor and FBI special agent in the Minneapolis office, Jeffrey VanNest, was copied on the email. (The email was not published.)

Journalist Lee Fang obtained a statement from an unnamed FBI spokesperson, who claimed the source was not an infiltrator but rather a “tipster with whom Mr. Langfellow” was “familiar.” The “tipster had discovered some information while on Facebook” that “some individuals” might engage in vandalism at the Mall of America protest.

From The Intercept report:

Upon receiving the email, Bloomington police officer and task force member Benjamin Mansur forwarded it to Bloomington’s then-deputy police chief Rick Hart, adding “Looks like it’s going to be the 20th…” It was then forwarded to all Bloomington police command staff. There is no mention of potential vandalism anywhere in the email chain, and no vandalism occurred at the Mall of America protest.

The spokesperson admitted the FBI had no “interest” in the Black Lives Matter campaign and acknowledged that the FBI is not supposed to interfere with First Amendment-protected activities. He apparently recognized that “vandalism” is not something local police on JTTF are supposed to be preventing, preempting or investigating as terrorism acts. And, as for why Langfellow would have copied VanNest, the spokesperson chose to speculate that it was just a “matter of courtesy.”

The official statement put out by the unnamed FBI spokesperson is at least better than how the FBI responded to allegations that it was coordinating with police responding to Occupy protests. The FBI maintained reported allegations were false. Yet, in this case, the FBI is claiming that police are merely being “courteous” when they provide information from “tipsters” to the JTTF about protests.

What the spokesperson omits is how numerous FBI agents believe that peaceful protests are events terrorists or “violent anarchists” may “infiltrate” and exploit to “commit criminal acts.” The perceived threat is the pretext for taking note of any and all acts of dissent.

Additionally, even though the JTTF is not supposed to be used to investigate or respond to mere acts of property damage, Will Potter of GreenIstheNewRed.com, reported on raids of homes in Portland on July 25, 2012, which JTTF were involved. The FBI claimed they were there for an “ongoing violent crime” investigation yet the agents in paramilitary gear really were targeting “anarchists” suspected of being involved in vandalism that took place at a May Day protest in Seattle.

FBI seized computers, black clothing and any “anarchist” literature they could find. They took a “zip-up hoodie,” a glove, and fliers and pamphlets from an Occupy action that anyone could have been given if they had walked by the action. It was all to see if any individuals could be connected to what authorities referred to as “May Day riots” and the investigation had nothing to do with combating terrorism.

In fact, Fang notes that Langfellow, as a JTTF member, was part of a 2008 raid against St. Paul activists ahead of the Republican National Convention RNC.

The FBI targeted and infiltrated multiple groups ahead of the RNC. The agency deployed an informant named Andrew Darst to spy on “anarchists” in the RNC Welcoming Committee. He helped the FBI make arrests of the “RNC 8″ days before the RNC. They were initially charged with criminal conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism. (Later, Darst faced charges of assault and burglary in a separate case after he allegedly broke into a house and attacked two men.) The agency also had an infiltrator named “Karen Sullivan” infiltrate the Anti-War Committee in Minneapolis, which was spearheading a major march.

All this COINTELPRO-style targeting of activists can be justified by the belief that this helps the FBI collect intelligence on whether any persons plan to exploit protests and commit acts of violence. This effectively becomes a pretext for disrupting and interfering with planned First Amendment-activities.

While police may out of “courtesy” share information—or intelligence—with FBI supervisors when they are planning responses to protests, it is more likely that this coordination is as routine as it was shown to be in documents released to independent journalist Yana Kunichoff, which showed the FBI spied on Occupy Chicago and helped police keep tabs on Occupy protesters.

The documents indicated that FBI agents conducted interviews for “Contact & Espionage” and shared intelligence with Chicago police. The FBI tracked a person headed to Omaha, Nebraska, to join a protest against a home eviction in March 2012. The FBI’s Omaha Division was notified that agents had obtained “positive terrorism” intelligence and that the “anarchist” was going to link up with other “like minded anarchists” in Nebraska.

In the national movement, how many participants or alleged participants in the Black Lives Matter campaign have been tracked or spied upon by FBI agents? How much coordination has taken place between the FBI and local law enforcement?

The extent of spying on the Occupy movement still remains unknown, as the FBI persists in fighting the release of records (even though its public position is that it never coordinated with police on strategy or tactics). Have Black Lives Matter protesters been targeted more than Occupy protesters, who setup encampments?

Eleven people, who participated in the December 20 action where about 1,500 people were present, face misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct, trespassing and unlawful assembly. They have pled not guilty. Mall of America seeks $40,000 in damages for extra security and business lost because a part of the Mall was shut down to customers.

To what extent has any of this monitoring of Black Lives Matters protests been driven by corporate interests? For example, Bloomington city attorneys and the Mall of America colluded on whether to charge protesters involved in the demonstration. Sandra Johnson, a city attorney, even advised Mall of America to monitor protesters’ social media use and save copies of content in case the content was removed after charges were filed against protesters.

FBI and police can claim all they want that they do not target activists on behalf of corporate interests. The fact of the matter is that FBI agents have been visiting homes of activists, who have been engaged in direct action against the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline and northbound shipments of equipment to Canada.

Black Lives Matter activists have used Walmart stores for their actions. They have also been in other malls throughout the country, including a mall with stores specifically geared toward the upper-class in St. Louis. To what extent have their corporate counsels communicated interest in pressing charges to protect their business? And how have police and the FBI responded?

Most are well aware that the FBI’s crushing of black and brown Americans involved in dissent goes all the way back to the days of COINTELPRO in the 1960s, when the FBI was out to stifle whole entire student organizations fighting for justice and civil rights.

Today, there are constant signs that these same tactics continue to be employed against activists in slic
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Dozens of protesters demonstrated in St. John's today against the Conservatives' proposed anti-terrorism bill. Bill C-51 is currently before committee in Ottawa, but has come under fire from politicians and others for being what they see as unnecessary or excessively intrusive.

One protestor from the US says the bill will hit international students and immigrants the hardest. She says many immigrants are already the subject of over-reaching scrutiny.


She says already they have to prove that they are not terrorists in their own country. She says she had to fill out a form to the FBI to show it was okay to move to Canada.

Jon Parsons, who organized today's protest, one of 70 across Canada this weekend, says the legislation is not one that targets supposed terrorists.

He says this is a cynical piece of legislation from a Harper government that is on the ropes in an election year and is playing the politics of fear.
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Ruth Rosen Compares Intimidation, Then and Now

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"This is a completely different world," says the historian, who has written about FBI surveillance of women in the era of J. Edgar Hoover. "There is such an opportunity to destroy people online now in a way that never existed when we were young."


Still Beautiful When She's Angry Ruth Rosen was recently featured in the documentary "She is Beautiful When She is Angry."Credit: Diana Davies/International Film Circuit

p-Historian and journalist Ruth Rosen was active in the women's liberation movement in the '60s and early '70s in the United States. She pioneered women's history at U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Davis, where she won a distinguished teaching award. A former columnist for the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle, Rosen, 59, has authored three books.

She was recently featured in the documentary "She is Beautiful When She is Angry" along with several other female activists and women's groups who were at the heart of the early women's movement in the United States.

This interview, for Women's History Month, is part of a series that taps activists from the 1960s through today, for a sense of the diversity of those involved. It was conducted by phone and some of Rosen's remarks have been edited down.

1. In your 2002 book "The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America," you write about COINTELPRO, the FBI surveillance program under J. Edgar Hoover, which at times was illegal and consisted in part of infiltrating and watching activist groups, including the women's liberation movement. Did all that surprise you?

It seemed preposterous that they were looking at the women's movement because we weren't making bombs and we weren't engaged in any violent actions or anything that threatened national security… I would say that I was surprised at the extent of the surveillance. If you read what they did they basically just sat in consciousness raising groups and they [female informants] listened to people talking and when they listened then they would send reports about what had been discussed. They were not paid as full agents because Hoover refused to hire women but these women would send material to their local FBI agents. It surprised me a lot that there were so many letters written by women who simply were sitting and listening to people talking about some of the most personal and intimate aspects of their lives.

The letters that were being forwarded to Hoover would describe how the women are just talking about how unhappy they are, about how they are treated by their bosses or by their husband or by the people in school they work with. There was nothing to surveil. There was no reason to keep following this because the women were simply describing the way some were unhappy as women and there was nothing threatening to national security. In each case, Hoover would write back to the male FBI agent to say "continue surveillance; women's liberation is a threat to national security."

Was I surprised? Not completely because it was in the air that this might be happening everywhere but I couldn't see anything with the exception of a few crazy women who were mostly not part of the women's movement but in other groups that were more violent . . . They [FBI] were worried that there were socialist or communist groups and that women might be part of them… What I ended up concluding is they were looking for revolutionary behavior and violent behavior and the really revolutionary thing women were doing was talking to each other and telling each other about their lives.

2. After the discovery of COINTELPRO, the FBI assured it would never happen again. Do you think today there could be any type of surveillance of women's rights groups?

If you would have asked me this in 1999, I might have said I don't see why. But at this point in 2015, after 9/11, I have no idea what is going on. The [Edward] Snowden material has certainly made me realize more surveillance is happening than I could ever imagine.

A lot of women are not so much involved in the women's movement but a lot of them are leaders of the current change in the ecological movement, many of them are involved in movements that are trying to get minimum wage and trying to get better conditions like paid maternity leave and paid sick leave. I don't know more that you do except that the atmosphere clearly after the Snowden material came out tells us all that when we write an email and we are on the phone, we should be aware of the fact it is very possible in this atmosphere trying to balance national security with civil rights that we have underestimated how much surveillance is going on.

3. The feminist movement is often labeled as white, middle class and not sufficiently inclusive. What do you have to say to that? Do you think the women's movement needs to be reformed?

There is no question that the issues of the younger women in the movement in the late '60s and early '70s had to do a lot more with white, middle class women than any other group . . . but one of the things that most people don't realize is that the National Organization for Women actually was so active in dealing with problems that all working women dealt with. For example child care, they filed suit for the women who worked at ATandT and those included women of color, those included working class women.

There is a second point to be made: A lot of women in the women's movement had worked in the South and were really aware of what had gone on in the South. They were very dedicated, devoted to the civil rights movement. So they were not ignorant.

Another point that has to be made is that the assumption was, in my view, that most of the women who were involved in the beginning years must have been white and middle class and what I realized is that definitely they were white, but they were not middle class. Most of the women--Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, me, and other people--came almost all from working class families. But when a woman goes to college and graduates and has had years to be educated, even though she may be the very first person to have gone to university in her family, she looks poised, she knows how to write and so the presumption was how could [these women] come from a poor family? And that was true for most of the leaders of the women's movement; they really came from working class families and there were many of them. Most of them were the first members of their families to even go to college.

And then one more point has to be made. Women of color had a real serious problem within themselves and that they had to confront which was very difficult for them. The men in their liberation's groups, particularly the Black Panthers group and nationalist groups, were telling the women that if they had anything to do with the women's movement they would be dividing the black nationalist movement and so a lot of these women felt very uncomfortable being part of any kind of women's movement. They felt they would divide it.

The story is more complicated than it seems on the surface. All these years, everyone has been aware that the media has described the women's movement as white, middle class movement without even bothering to notice that most of its leaders and most of its early agitators were from working class homes. And then the question of race was never out of our mind because most of us were so involved in the civil rights movement. Yet, it is true that when the movement entered popular culture and the women's magazines and television and films, everything was always white with the exception of very clearly identified race magazines.

4. Nowadays, women are not rallying and marching as often as in they did in the '60s and early '70s. Today, they blog, they write, they use a lot of social media platforms. Is it as efficient as taking to the streets?

I don't know how to answer that question but when the film ["She is Beautiful When She is Angry"] premiered, a number of us were there to answer the Q&As [post screenings] and we all said that we really didn't know that talking to people in one-on-one groups had a really powerful impact on our lives. Now most of us don't spend that much time doing Twitter or being on our Facebook or even reading the online feminist magazines. So how I can really answer that when I don't participate in it? Now if a young woman in Los Angeles is reading an online feminist magazine from New York, how does she get affected? One woman on the panel said, "Well I think sometimes you are feeling frozen, you can feel almost nothing because she is just reading words, you are not really talking with another human being." I say I don't really know how to answer that because I am not in my 20s and I don't participate in the social media world and so I don't know how it affects people. Certainly, it draws people's attention to issues, for example the SlutWalks, I am sure it would not have got the attention that it is getting now had it not been on social media. It is a different time and there are different groups of people. One group coming out of the anti-war and civil rights movements and another group now living in 2015 in very different world that is very electronically connected. I am just glad that there are so many online discussions among young women, who are feminists or who care about women's issues, racism, minimum wage, paid maternity leave and demand real equality.

5. Today, because of their high visibility online, women and in particular feminists have been one of the favorite targets of trolls. How should women, and to a larger extend the government, respond to these new forms of intimidations?

The kind of antagonism that we experienced is so different from what happens today. Today, people who are really prominent can get stalked and be hideously treated online without anyone being within 100 miles from them. When we were treated badly we were treated badly in person. People yelled at us when we gave speeches. Even in the early 2000s when I was a full-time editorial writer and columnist, I wrote about a lot of feminist issues and what was there for people available to be hostile was just emails. That was all. So I got hundreds, sometimes thousands, of emails when I wrote about various issues but that's all there was.

Now I am talking to younger women who are really teaching me what they go through, the kind of stalking, the kind of horrible things that go on. Through Twitter, rumors about their reputation can be made that people could actually believe.

This is a completely different world. There is such an opportunity to destroy people online now in a way that never existed when we were young. You could try to do it in person but think how difficult it was to yell at people and have them yell back at you. That is different from the distant, anonymous, trolling. I don't know if the government is doing anything to help people about this. I read a lot of young women asking what should I do, who I should contact, who I should go to. I am not sure what the right answer is but it is becoming a real issue for a lot of young feminists.

Would you like to Send Along a Link of This Story? http://womensenews.org/story/our-history/150318/ruth-rosen-compares-intimidation-then-and-now
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All week, we've been alternately celebrating and calling for more government transparency. As you know, one of the most important open government tools we have is the Freedom of Information Act, so I invite you to join the celebration by sending an email to your member of Congress urging them to support the FOIA Reform Act [ https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/653], which will strengthen our ability to liberate important documents. We asked you to take action on this bill when it was introduced in February, but it now has more co-sponsors, so another nudge from constituents to mark Sunshine Week will help the bill. So, even if you wrote before, please take action again. Click here to send an email. [ http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5492/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19334]

Now, enjoy the news,

*Keeping Young Black Souls Intact: Madison Activist Brandi Grayson [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/keeping-young-black-souls-intact-madison-activist-brandi-grayson/]*
"At that moment after Mike Brown was murdered in Ferguson and we saw the country explode, it was necessary in my heart to do the same here and organize my own people here in Madison..."

*Five Years Of Fake Facebook: How Mall Of America Spied On Activists [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/five-years-of-fake-facebook-how-mall-of-america-spied-on-activists/]** [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/five-years-of-fake-facebook-how-mall-of-america-spied-on-activists/]*
The Mall of America maintained a bogus Facebook account to monitor Minnesota activists for more than five years.

*Why Are Cops So Interested In "Spring Rising"?* [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/spring-rising/]
The peace movement is back in Washington, DC this week for Spring Rising, four days of "creative resistance; theater, teach-ins; rallies and marches marking the anniversary of the United States' "shock and awe" attack on Iraq and its invasion and occupation in a completely illegitimate, immoral war." The police are keeping a close eye on the rather small protests.

*Judge Rules Against Occupy Pensacola [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/judge-rules-against-occupy-pensacola/]** [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/judge-rules-against-occupy-pensacola/]*
More than three years after city officials in Pensacola, Florida evicted Occupy protesters from the north lawn of City Hall, a federal judge on Mar. 13 dismissed three protesters' lawsuit that the eviction violated their constitutional rights.

*CISA Isn't Cybersecurity: It's Cyber-Surveillance [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/cisa-isnt-cybersecurity-its-cyber-surveillance/]** [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/cisa-isnt-cybersecurity-its-cyber-surveillance/]*
Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (CISA) by a 14–1 vote. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) stood alone against the bill, saying in a statement March 13 that it "does not include adequate privacy protections.

*Court Orders Buffalo Cops To Reveal StingRay Info [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/court-orders-buffalo-cops-to-reveal-stingray-info/]** [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/court-orders-buffalo-cops-to-reveal-stingray-info/]*
A New York State Supreme Court judge in Buffalo ruled today that the Erie County Sheriff's Office must reveal public information about cell-tower simulators, including how many it has, its rules for using them, which cases they have been used in, and whether the manufacturer or other law-enforcement agencies wanted their use kept secret.

*NEW REPORT: FISA Court Needs Reform To Protect Americans' Civil Liberties [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/new-report-fisa-court-needs-reform-to-protect-americans-civil-liberties/]** [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/new-report-fisa-court-needs-reform-to-protect-americans-civil-liberties/]*
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is no longer serving its constitutional function of providing a check on the executive branch's ability to obtain Americans' private communications, concludes a new report released today by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
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FBI Ordered to Disclose its Surveillance Tactics on Communities
March 23, 2015
Issues :
Criminal Justice and Drug Policy, Privacy and Government Surveillance, Racial Justice

By: Julia Harumi Mass follow @MassJulia and Nasrina Bargzie follow @ACLU_NorCal

Today, a federal district court in San Francisco issued an important ruling for government transparency and accountability. Judge Richard Seeborg disallowed the FBI’s attempt to use a “law enforcement exemption” in the Freedom of Information Act to shield from public disclosure details of the agency’s surveillance programs.

The case originated in 2010, when—concerned about new FBI initiatives like “domain management” and “threat assessments” that do not require a criminal predicate, as well as intense and sometimes frightening efforts to recruit Muslim community members to become “informants”—the ACLU of Northern California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and the San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records relating to FBI surveillance of Northern California’s Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (“AMEMSA”) communities. Then, with the help of Morrison & Foerster, we filed suit to force release of the records and received over 50,000 pages of documents, many of which revealed troubling practices (see below).

But many of those documents were redacted in part, and many others withheld in full, based on a variety of rationales. One asserted justification—the one that was the sole focus of the court’s opinion today—was that the records were “complied for law enforcement purposes,” also called exemption 7. We argued that the documents related to surveillance techniques and activities that did not involve enforcement of a particular federal law could not be withheld based on that exemption. We highlighted records describing training to recruit community members to be “informants” unconnected to any actual criminal investigation, documents describing community outreach efforts, and threat assessment and domain management documents, which by definition do not require a criminal predicate. The court agreed with us and held, “Because the FBI’s explanation of the link between its law enforcement activities and the particular documents withheld fails to meet the [applicable] ‘rational nexus’ standard . . ., the FBI is altogether precluded from withholding information under [the law enforcement exemption].” The court confirmed that “‘generalized monitoring and information-gathering’ are not sufficient justifications to apply Exemption 7.” And, in this case, because the FBI failed to show any additional justification and failed to “tether the activities the withheld documents concern to the enforcement of any particular law,” the court ruled that the FBI cannot rely on Exemption 7 to withhold the documents at issue.

This ruling well upholds the purpose of the Freedom of Information Act and its limited law enforcement exemption. As the FBI has expanded its activities to include generalized monitoring and surveillance, unconnected to any suspected criminal activity, it is critical that records related to those broad surveillance programs be available for public scrutiny.
Review the documents

Documents that we received through this litigation have shed considerable light on FBI’s surveillance activities and biased approach to AMEMSA communities, for example:

The FBI used “community” outreach to collect and possibly illegally store intelligence information on Americans’ political and religious beliefs;
The FBI engaged in problematic racial profiling and racial “mapping;”
The FBI had used Anti-Arab and Anti-Muslim counterterrorism training materials; and
The FBI was not as responsive to hate crime complaints from some Northern California AMEMSA communities

Julia Harumi Mass is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. Nasrina Bargzie is a senior staff attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. The legal team also included S. Raj Chatterjee, Angela Kleine, Debra Urteaga, and Daisy Visitacion of Morrison & Foe
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FBI Ordered by Judge to Release Files on Surveillance & Infiltration of Muslim Communities, Including Mosques
By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday March 24, 2015 10:58 am        

The FBI has effectively been ordered to release numerous files on surveillance against Muslim communities in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, including infiltration of mosques.

Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California found the FBI could not invoke a “law enforcement” exemption in the Freedom of Information Act, which is commonly used by government agencies to prevent details of policies and operations from becoming public if harm would potentially occur [PDF].

The agency apparently failed to convince Seeborg that the law enforcement activity at issue in the records was sensitive enough to be shielded from disclosure because it would impair the FBI’s ability to enforce any law. He was also unconvinced it would chill “confidential sources” or lead to the FBI losing a “tactical advantage against criminals and terrorists.”

“The FBI’s refrain at oral argument that many of the withheld documents do not relate to particular investigations, and thus cannot be linked to any particular provision of law, only serves to emphasize the point that Exemption 7 [the "law enforcement" exemption] is not the appropriate umbrella under which to shield these documents from public view.”

For over four years, a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit has unfolded as the American Civil Liberties Union chapter of Northern California, the Asian Law Caucus and the now-defunct San Francisco Bay Guardian argued for the release of records. They believe files will reveal details related to how agents have investigated mosques, “assessed” religious leaders, infiltrated Muslim communities and trained FBI agents to use Islamic culture to advance operations, etc.

The organizations also believe they are likely to learn whether FBI agents are “recruiting Muslims and Arab children at Bay Area schools to serve in the agency’s Junior Agent Program.”

In February 2011, the organizations decided to also use this lawsuit to pursue the release of records about the FBI’s use of racial and ethnic data to map communities in northern California.

“From December 2010 through June 2012, the FBI released over 50,000 full or redacted pages of responsive records to the plaintiffs in 20 monthly installments, withholding about 47,794 pages on grounds of asserted FOIA exemptions,” according to Seeborg’s order.

Thus far, the ACLU has managed to uncover documents [PDF] showing how the FBI uses “community outreach” in order to “collect and illegally store intelligence information on Americans’ political and religious beliefs.”

Three examples, according to the ACLU:

• A 2009 San Jose FBI memorandum describing FBI participation in a career day sponsored by an Assyrian community organization recorded information about the organization’s expressive activities, the identities of several of its leaders, and the content of conversations with three community leaders and members about their opinions, backgrounds, travel histories, educations, occupations and charitable activities. Contact information for these individuals was forwarded to the FBI’s San Francisco Division.

• A 2009 Sacramento FBI memorandum regarding outreach at California State University, Chico documents a conversation with a student about the Saudi Student Association, including its size, purpose, and activities. This memorandum, which includes the student’s social security number, telephone number and address, was sent to the FBI in Washington, DC.

• A 2008 San Francisco memorandum to an intelligence file documents community outreach to a Pakistani community organization. The document reports information about the organization’s First Amendment-protected activities and the identities of the organization’s officers, directors and advisors.

The requests for records have also yielded documents on the racial profiling or racial “mapping” the FBI employs [PDF]. For example, the FBI division in Detroit, Michigan, collected information on Middle Eastern and Muslim communities in the state “because Michigan has a large Middle Eastern and Muslim population.” That, to the FBI, made it “prime territory for attempted radicalization and recruitment” by terrorist groups in the Middle East and southeastern Asia.

It could potentially be months, if not more than a year, before the ACLU sees any more documents on the FBI’s activities in Muslim communities. The FBI could choose to appeal. However, the judge asked for a case management plan and the next step could possibly involve a process for turning over documents the organizations requested back in 2010.
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FBI, ATF wasted $2.7m on unusable drones
Mar 30, 2015 6:35 AM

Dozens of machines never deployed.
FBI, ATF wasted $2.7m on unusable drones

Two US law enforcement agencies wasted a combined US$2.1 million (A$2.7 million) on 23 drones that never flew beyond testing, an internal watchdog at the country's Department of Justice has found.

The audit report on Justice's use of unmanned aircraft systems [pdf] last week revealed the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) bought 34 drones and associated control stations for US$3 million, but only half ever became operational.

It also revealed the FBI has only two pilots for its fleet of 23 drones.

The auditors similarly took issue with the FBI's management of drone use - the agency's recent centralisation of drones to one location means the two pilots have to be physically moved around the country to conduct any drone operation.

This centralisation combined with the limited number of pilots means the FBI was hindered in its ability to deploy the systems to "distant locations quickly or to multiple locations simultaneously", the report stated.

The FBI has been using drones for the past six years - in a limited capacity - as part of search and rescue efforts, investigations involving kidnapping and drug trafficking, and for manhunts and national security missions, according to the report.

The internal Justice auditors also found that the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) spent US$600,000 to buy six rotary-wing drones that were never flown operationally.

ATF officials told the audit office the drones were bought to provide video surveillance that could integrate with other surveillance platforms and equipment already in use by the agency.

However, during testing the ATF discovered a "series of technological limitations" with the particular models it had acquired, according to the report.

"In particular, ATF determined the real-time battery capability for one UAS model lasted for only about 20 minutes even though the manufacturer specified its flight time was 45 minutes," the report stated.

"ATF determined that the other two models of UAS acquired also were unreliable or unsuitable for surveillance."

One smaller model - priced at almost US$90,000 - was found to be "too difficult to use reliably", the audit office reported.

"Furthermore, the [ATF] discovered that a gas-powered UAS model, which cost approximately US$315,000 and was specified to fly for up to 2 hours, was never operable due to multiple technical defects."

The ATF decided the six drones were unsuitable for use in June last year and suspended all drone related activities, the auditors said. The agency then gave the six drones to the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service for free.

But despite the June 2014 suspension of the drone program, a division within the ATF spent another US$15,000 on five drones just one week later, the auditors found.

The drones were later grounded pending further guidance about their use given the suspension, according to the report. It did not specify whether the drones were also unable to be used operationally.

"We recommend that ATF direct responsible officials to perform a thorough needs analysis regarding the potential UAS
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Is my ex an FBI informant?
April 1, 2015

He was undoubtedly attractive – tall, lean and muscular, caramel colored skin, full lips, high cheekbones that framed his deeply intense hazel eyes. But his black leather jacket, felt fedora, acoustic guitar swung over his shoulder and beatnik poetry journal in his back pocket were really the accessories that put me over the edge.

He had a very expressive face but there were two expressions that stuck out the most – an affable, goofy grin, and the furrowed brow intensity of a poet deep in thought. The thing that everyone noticed about him off immediately was his strong New York accent – though he’d never been to New York in his life. Let’s call him Jay.

We had met in the world music section of Amoeba Records when I was visiting San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury for a weekend. Our eyes locked over Bollywood records. He said he loved old-timey Bollywood too. I asked if he was Desi, and he said he wasn’t though he got that a lot.

That night, we listened to old records of Rai music from the Maghreb. He was an activist too, working in the anti-police brutality movement. It had burned him. He said he needed to get away. I returned to L.A. the next day and we lost touch. He wasn’t a social media kind of guy, but I received a random email from him that he had gone to work on an Alaskan fishing vessel. He was trying to unionize the fisherman up there.

A year later after I had moved back to the Bay Area, we reconnected randomly at a San Francisco 90s hiphop warehouse party. It was one of those eyes-locking-across-the-dance-floor moments of recognition. We hugged. Sparks of serendipity flew. We had our first “real” date soon after.

A couple of weeks into hanging out, I asked Jay to play a song, something he’d written. He had been carrying his guitar with him everywhere and I had yet to hear a song. He stood up in my empty living room (I was too broke for furniture) and tuned the guitar. I was sitting on the floor and the sunken ceiling light was shining on him like a spotlight.

He started singing a song about a baby. How he was a father of a child that he’d never seen. How he wished he could be in the baby’s life. About how the FBI stole his baby.

The last strum of the guitar echoed in my living room. I shifted awkwardly in my seat. He stood there quiet, shoulders slumped, smouldering at a spot on the floor.

“So is that…” I paused to clear the frog in my throat, “…ahem, that song based on a true story? Or…..?”

“It’s true, I think,” Jay mumbled softly, in his Brooklyn-ish accent. “It’s the story of a child that I think I have out there.”

“And why do you think the FBI stole your baby?” I tried to say it kindly, but it was hard to keep the skepticism out of my voice.

He started telling me the story of his ex-girlfriend and his work as a radical activist in the Bay Area. How they had met through activism. How people in the movement suspected her of being an FBI informant. How his Internet research into her soon after their break-up revealed that she was pregnant. How he confronted her, thinks the baby is his, and believes that the FBI is keeping him from his baby.

Did I believe his story? I don’t know. I believed he believed his story. And that was good enough for me at the time. Did I mention how hot he was? I was a strong believer in destiny. But it’s hard not to question the veracity of what is perceived as destined. I dated him for six months after that. (Did I mention how hot he was?)


“I think out of all them, Jay’s definitely the one I would pick,” my friend Navneet said a couple of weeks ago.

We were having one of our infamous girl-talk catch-ups and I had just asked her the question that, as of late, I just couldn’t get out of my head: “Do you think any of my exes could have been an FBI informant?”

“But, he’s the one who says that the FBI was informing on HIM,” I responded skeptically. “He said the FBI stole his baby!”

“But that’s why it makes it more likely! It’s sneaky, to throw you off the scent,” she said. “Just think about it: he was semi-delusional, he said the FBI stole his baby and maybe he was being forced to be a confidential informant for reduced time or something. He said he liked chutney music and that New York accent? I mean, he disappeared for a year in Alaska. I mean, ALASKA?”

“You know, that is true. I never did see photos from his year in Alaska,” I responded, deep in thought.

“That’s because Alaska is the name of a federal prison,” she responded firmly. “I mean, think about it. You just happened to meet in the music store? And then re-meet a whole year later? That’s just a lot of “serendipity” aka FBI planting.”

She had me there. Navneet knew how much of a believer I was in “destiny” and “serendipity” when it came to these things. If I believed a guy was sent to me because of destiny, I would al
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The Washington Post
National Security
A year after firestorm, DHS wants access to license-plate tracking system

A police car in Alexandria, Va., that has been equipped with a license-plate scanner. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
By Ellen Nakashima April 2 at 4:42 PM

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking bids from companies able to provide law enforcement officials with access to a national license-plate tracking system — a year after canceling a similar solicitation over privacy issues.

The reversal comes after officials said they had determined they could address concerns raised by civil liberties advocates and lawmakers about the prospect of the department’s gaining widespread access, without warrants
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FBI used Burning Man to field-test new surveillance equipment
Boing Boing-Sep 8, 2015
The FBI's 2012 file on its Burning Man surveillance, obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests, reveals that America's domestic spy ...
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