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FBI Unable to Determine Whether Police Deleted Cell Phone Video of Teen Being Stunned Repeatedly

By Steve Neavling

An FBI investigation has been unable to determine whether Virginia Beach police deleted cellphone video of cops repeatedly stunning a teenager inside a car.

“There is insufficient evidence to prove that anyone tampered with the phone,” Macie Pridgen, a spokeswoman for the commonwealth’s attorney, told the Virginia Pilot.

Police sent the video the FBI for analysis, which came up inconclusive.

Still, the person who recorded the video, Courtney Griffith, plans to sue police for allegedly violating her civil rights, her attorney said.

The FBI “can’t confirm it happened, and they can’t confirm that it didn’t happen either,” her attorney, Scott Hallauer, said of video being deleted.

- See more at: http://www.ticklethewire.com/2015/09/17/fbi-unable-to-determine-whether-police-deleted-cell-phone-video-of-teen-being-stunned-repeatedly/#.dpuf
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Former FBI director Mueller warns of ongoing terrorism threat, plays down threats to privacy

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller minced no words Tuesday in a two-hour public interview with television talk show host Aaron Harber about the ongoing threat of terrorist attack he said shadows the United States. He also attempted to allay concerns about national security state overreach that could trample the privacy rights of American citizens.

Mueller told the audience of mostly students, politicians and law-enforcement representatives that filled a 500-seat conference room at the downtown Marriott Denver that his experience as the second-longest serving head of the FBI — after director-for-life J. Edgar Hoover — taught him that the country’s intelligence organizations overwhelmingly were staffed with personnel who knew that integrity was crucial to maintaining the public trust essential to the work.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller talks about terrorism and civil rights during an interview with Aaron Harber on Sept. 15 for Harber's TV show before an audience of some 500 at the Marriott Denver.
Photo by Pat Duncan/The Colorado Statesman
“The balance between privacy and national security is something we knew we would have to work at every day,” he said.

“We get thousands of applications every year. But the average age of new agents is 30 years old. That’s because the most important qualities we look for are judgment and maturity. Americans are giving great power to the agency to affect people’s lives.

“We take new recruits to the Holocaust Museum on the Mall in Washington to demonstrate the power and responsibility have as agents of the government.”

Mueller said that the checks and balances safeguarding against abuse have worked well, although they have been subject to criticism in the media and on Capitol Hill. He defended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, or FISA, court, which is closed to the public and has been called unjustifiably “secret” and written off by critics as a rubber-stamp factory serving the homeland security industry.

“We are the only country where [government intelligence agencies] have to go through a court at all,” he said. “The third branch of government is a pretty good guardian.”

Even among critics, Mueller enjoys heightened credibility.

Former Interior Secretary, U.S. Sen. and Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar introduces former FBI Director Robert Mueller at a taping of the Aaron Harber Show on Sept. 15 in Denver. Salazar recalled that he got his start in politics as a young attorney in the early 1980s when Harber hired him to sue the Colorado secretary of state.
Photo by Pat Duncan/The Colorado Statesman
He came into the job the week of 9/11 and he learned fast he would have to remake the organization. He told the audience he briefed President George W. Bush and started listing off the investigation he was running, the progress he was making identifying the men and the terrorist networks behind the attacks.

“He said, ‘That’s fine. I expect that, but I want to know what you’re doing to prevent the next attack?’”

Mueller said he was flummoxed. He said he knew then that the investigative and prosecutorial work the agency was famous for doing would have to take a backseat to the more vague work of preventative counterterrorism.

Mueller also earned vast stores of goodwill among national security skeptics for his role opposing the effort by Bush cabinet members in 2004 to pressure the hospitalized Attorney General John Ashcroft to reauthorize a domestic surveillance program the Justice Department had deemed illegal. Mueller, along with Ashcroft, Deputy Attorney General James Comey and their staff threatened to resign, leading Bush to pull back on the plan and rework the surveillance program.

The audience seemed persuaded by Mueller. Cyber security hacks and breaches make news at a regular clip. The information leaked by national security contractor Edward Snowden have generated a cottage industry of news programs, newspaper series, bestselling books and movies and spurred protests at forums like the one hosted by Harber Tuesday. But there was none of that, not even many tough questions, which seemed odd, especially given that Harber had marketed the night as a “special civic engagement forum” and as a “no-holds-barred” opportunity to ask Mueller questions on any subject. And Harber was good to his word, keeping the former director on stage for two hours and the microphone open until the last person lined up behind it had asked his question.

Aaron Harber interviews former FBI Director Robert Mueller during a taping of a special edition of the Aaron Harber Show on Sept. 15 at the Marriott Denver. Mueller spoke with Harber and answered questions for more than two hours from an audience composed mostly of law enforcement personnel, high school students and dignitaries.
Photo by Pat Duncan/The Colorado Statesman
It might have seemed odd that the students in attendance seemed as taken with Mueller as the adults.

At a forum on national security the week before in Denver, MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews said he thought it was young people who were most concerned with unconstitutional government snooping.

“It’s millennials,” he said. “They’re very privacy-conscious, like my kids. But, you know, millennials, they don’t have houses or cars. Their phones are their homes. It makes sense they’re concerned. My email is boring. Who would read my email? I don’t care.”

Matthews said that our relation to our digital lives might influence whether we see Snowden as a leaker or whistleblower, hero or a traitor for turning over vast information on government spying programs to journalists for publication. Matthews seemed unsure on the question. Mueller was not.

“[Snowden] has done institutional damage to our capabilities when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks,” Mueller said.

He said the government was only collecting metadata, although he gave an example that demonstrated how valuable and how revealing that metadata can be.

He recalled the moment agents informed him they had identified the Boston Marathon bombers in 2013.

State Reps. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Beth McCann, D-Denver, visit at a reception prior to the taping of a special edition of the Aaron Harber Show featuring an extended interview with former FBI Director Robert Mueller on Sept. 15 at the Marriott Denver.
Photo by Pat Duncan/The Colorado Statesman
“My greatest concern at that moment was: Will there be another attack? So I wanted to know who did [the bombers] talk to? Are there others who might be planning a subsequent attack?

“Their phone records were readily available. We could see that. Do we want to lose that capability?”

Near the end of the event, a high school student from Pueblo asked what Mueller thought was the greatest threat facing the country. Mueller didn’t hesitate. He said the Islamic State operating in the Middle East.

There is the domestic threat, but there is the “more immediate threat posed to Americans overseas,” he said, conjuring images of kidnappings and the videos of beheadings in the desert that have gripped cable news watchers for years.

Another questioner asked about the alleged threat posed by immigrants crossing the southern border of the United States — the “killers and rapists” Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump famously lamented Mexico is ushering into the country.

“Um, hmm, no comment on that one,” Mueller said.

It was the only substantive question Mueller took a pass on answering the entire night. (He also punted when asked what actor he would choose to play him in the movie version of his life.)

The last question also came from a student.

Can humans can learn to live in peace with one another within the next 500 years, absent an alien invasion? the student said, roughly, only with more words and pauses between the words.

Harber repeated the question out loud, sort of translating for the director.

Mueller barely grinned. “No,” he said, and didn’t elaborate.
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How No-Fly Lists Are Used to Punish Political Protesters
I landed on a no-fly list. So could you.
September 20, 2015

It was August 2002. My partner Jan Adams and I were just beginning our annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts to visit my father and stepmother. At the check-in line at San Francisco International Airport, we handed over our driver’s licenses and waited for the airline ticket agent to find our flight and reservation. Suddenly, she got a funny look on her face. “There’s something wrong with the computer,” she said. “I need to talk to my supervisor.”

So began a day of confusion and fear, followed by several years of indignation, frustration, and litigation, as we struggled to find out why -- as the agent’s supervisor soon informed us with a similarly strange look on her face -- we’d bo
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Is It Time to Retire FBI Crime Statistics?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


A coalition of law enforcement organizations is calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to ditch its longtime system for tracking crime statistics, which has been shown to be incomplete.

The FBI needs to modernize nationwide crime reporting and related data, says the coalition that includes the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, National Sheriffs' Association, and Major County Sheriffs' Association.

The groups argue the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), established in 1929, should replace its Summary Reporting System (SRS) with the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) within the next five years. A gradual transition from SRS to NIBRS has already been in progress, but the coalition is urging the agency to set its sights on a complete changeover within that time frame.

Currently, more than 6,500 law enforcement agencies, representing 34 states, regularly report to NIBRS.

“It is recognized that the current FBI UCR Program does not collect data that adequately reflects modern crime and related activities nor does it share crime reporting and related
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Why Are FBI Agents Trammeling the Rights of Antiwar Activists?


September 25, 2015

Five years ago this week, FBI agents raided the homes of six political activists of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as the office of the nonprofit Anti-War Committee. Those activists are still waiting to learn when, or even if, they will be charged or cleared.

As the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on the day of the raid, “An FBI spokesman said agents were ‘seeking evidence related to an ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism. There is no imminent threat to the community, and we’re not planning any arrests at this time,’ said FBI Special Agent Steve Warfield of the Minneapolis office.”

A series of FBI documents left behind at Mick Kelly’s Minneapolis home shed more light on the FBI’s activities prior to the raid. But what is especially illuminating is the mindset the documents reveal, particularly some of the questions FBI agents were instructed to ask those being served with the search warrants, such as ”What did you do with the proceeds from the Revolutionary Lemonade Stand?” and ”Did you ever recruit anyone to go to Israel, the West Bank or Gaza?”

Only in February 2014, as a result of further legal action, would the search warrants for the raids be unsealed and the FBI’s use of surveillance and undercover operatives to penetrate the Anti-War Committee and the FRSO come to light.

According to the unsealed search warrants and supporting documents, the FBI began surveilling the FRSO shortly after the protests at the 2008 GOP convention, using a confidential informant. Whether the FBI had employed wiretaps obtained under the material support provision of the Patriot Act (as amended in 2006) is unclear. The FBI’s assertion about the group and the Anti-War Committee is that both acted as fronts for the funneling of money and other forms of support to Colombian and Palestinian groups labeled as foreign terrorist organizations by the State Department.

Kelly and the other political activists targeted by the FBI have long histories in the antiwar movement and related causes on the extreme political left. In 2011, Kelly settled a suit with the local police department over an excessive use of force incident during his protest outside the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Despite the FBI’s collection of over a hundred hours of recordings and its multiyear penetration of the two extreme leftist organizations, to date none of the activists have been charged with any crime.

It’s certainly not the first time the FBI has engaged in the harassment of political dissidents. Indeed, the FBI’s surveillance of antiwar activists dates back to at least World War I, to include surveillance of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams. The bureau has been an equal opportunity abuser of the rights of antiwar activists, whether on the left (like Addams and the FRSO) or on the libertarian side of the spectrum.

These incidents, while separated in time by nearly 100 years, also share another feature. No FBI agent or manager has ever been fired or prosecuted for violating the constitutional rights of those individuals or groups wrongly surveilled, harassed or charged.

Just four days prior to the FBI raids against the Anti-War Committee and the FRSO, the Department of Justice Inspector General [IG] released the results of an investigation into post-9/11 surveillance of peace groups and other domestic dissidents up through 2006.

As Andrew Cohen wrote in The Atlantic at the time, the IG investigation found that the bureau “engaged in tactics and strategies toward those groups and their members that were inappropriate, misleading and in some cases counterproductive. Moreover, the OIG accused FBI witnesses of continuing to the present day to thwart a full and complete investigation into the matter by offering ‘incomplete and inconsistent accounts of events.’”

A similar oversight investigation of the FBI’s raids against the Anti-War Committee and the FRSO—whether done by the IG or Congress—is long overdue. So is real accountability for government agencies whose employees flagrantly and repeatedly violate the rights of the citizens who pay their salaries.
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White House agrees not to read your emails – kind of
Christian Science Monitor-October 12 2015
"We're not looking for volunteers, not looking to sneak in anywhere," testified FBI Director James Comey at a Senate hearing on Thursday, reports

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October 14, 2015
Downtown Olympia mural honors Native American activist Leonard Peltier

Local artist Ira Coyne painted the mural near the artesian well in downtown Olympia.

Leonard Peltier was convicted of killing two FBI agents in a shootout 40 years ago.

A plaque next to the mural encourages people to call the White House and demand clemency for Peltier.
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Out of the Darkness: A horrifying must-read account of lawyers trying to fight US torture


How two psychologists teamed up with the CIA to devise a torture programme and experiment on human beings, by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Noa Yachot.

The CIA used the music of an Irish boyband called Westlife to torture Suleiman Abdullah in Afghanistan.

His interrogators would intersperse a syrupy song called “My Love” with heavy metal, played on repeat at ear-splitting volume. They told Suleiman, a newly wed fisherman from Tanzania, that they were playing the love song especially for him. Suleiman had married his wife Magida only two weeks before the CIA and Kenyan agents abducted him in Somalia, where he had settled while fishing and trading around the Swahili Coast. He would never see Magida again.

The music pounded constantly as part of a scheme to assault prisoners’ senses. It stopped only when a CD skipped or needed changing. When that happened, prisoners would call to one another in a desperate attempt to find out who was being held alongside them. A putrid smell that reminded Suleiman of rotting seaweed permeated the prison. His cell was pitch black; he couldn’t see a thing. The U.S. government refers to the prison as “COBALT.” Suleiman calls it “The Darkness.”

For more than a month, Suleiman endured an incessant barrage of torture techniques designed to psychologically destroy him. His torturers repeatedly doused him with ice-cold water. They beat him and slammed him into walls. They hung him from a metal rod, his toes barely touching the floor. They chained him in other painful stress positions for days at a time. They starved him, deprived him of sleep, and stuffed him inside small boxes. With the torture came terrifying interrogation sessions in which he was grilled about what he was doing in Somalia and the names of people, all but one of whom he’d never heard of.

After four or five weeks of this relentless pain and suffering, Suleiman’s torturers assessed him as psychologically broken and incapable of resisting them. Suleiman could take no more. He decided to end his life by consuming painkillers he had stockpiled. But as he began to take the pills, guards stormed into his cell to stop him. He was then shackled, hooded, and driven a short distance to another CIA prison close by — a prison Suleiman came to know as the “Salt Pit.” Although Suleiman’s torture would continue for many years more, the very worst of it was over.

A year and two months later, the CIA handed Suleiman over to the U.S. military, which imprisoned him at Bagram, also in Afghanistan. Finally, in 2008, after more than five years in U.S. custody, with no charges ever leveled against him, he was sent home with a document confirming he posed no threat to the United States. His family had heard nothing of him since his disappearance, and they had presumed him dead.

But even once home in his native Zanzibar, Suleiman felt far from free. Constant flashbacks transported him back to his torture at the hands of his CIA captors. After years of near-starvation he was unable to eat normally. He suffered splitting headaches and pain throughout his body from the torture. Prolonged isolation left him unaccustomed to human interaction. Despite repeated attempts, he couldn’t find Magida. Unable to sleep due to the torment of his memories and the physical pain, he found limited solace playing with his family’s rabbits in the middle of the night.

“I was afraid of so many things,” he says in the halting English he acquired in prison. “Everyone thought I’m crazy.”

Suleiman, a reggae-loving fisherman who had once been known as “Travolta” for his prowess on the dance floor, had become a shell of himself.

Damage by Design

Suleiman’s trauma is not just a consequence of his ordeal in American prisons. It was the CIA’s goal, through a program designed and executed by two psychologists the agency contracted to run its torture operations, to break his mind. Integral to the program was the idea that once a detainee had been psychologically destroyed through torture, he would become compliant and cooperate with interrogators’ demands. The theory behind the goal had never been scientifically tested because such trials would violate human experimentation bans established after Nazi experiments and atrocities during World War II. Yet that theory would drive an experiment in some of the worst systematic brutality ever inflicted on detainees in modern American history. Today, three of the many victims and survivors of that experiment are seeking justice through a lawsuit against the men who designed and implemented that program for the CIA.

Mitchell and Jessen were two former U.S. military psychologists contracted by the CIA to design, develop, and run the agency’s detention, rendition, and interrogation operations. As psychologists in the U.S. military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program, the two men had devoted their careers to training U.S. troops to resist abusive treatment in case of capture by governments that violate the Geneva Conventions. SERE teaches resistance by subjecting students to carefully controlled versions of harsh techniques used by China, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union, often to extract false confessions from captives for propaganda purposes. During training, psychologists like Mitchell and Jessen are on hand to monitor trainees’ psychological well-being and to ensure that SERE instructors don’t go too far.

James Mitchell, left, and Bruce Jessen, right. Photos: VICE News; Wikimedia/Michael Kearns

But Mitchell and Jessen intensified and manipulated SERE techniques so they bore little relation to those used on SERE recruits. Whereas SERE training was intended to help strengthen the resolve of American recruits, Mitchell and Jessen’s techniques were designed to achieve the exact opposite result: to break detainees and turn their minds into putty in interrogators’ hands.

The foundation of Mitchell and Jessen’s experiment in torture began taking shape shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Six days later, President Bush signed an order authorizing the CIA to capture and detain members of al-Qaida. At the time, the agency had little or no recent experience in detention or interr
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Cognitive dissonance is a fear of the truth
By Jack Ferm -
10 22 15 - 6:14 am

Some people, if they could, would like to kill the messenger because they’re afraid of the message. Their mind is closed to anything that could disturb their perfectly planned existence or their belief system relating to a specific orientation. They fear it could shake the foundation of their worldview.

This is called “cognitive dissonance.” To hear something that is contrary to their beliefs makes some uncomfortable. It draws out a latent fear of who or what to believe. And to have our beliefs challenged could be frightening and unsettling. But consider that we live at a time of the internet when information is available for those who seek it. What that means for us today is that free speech is more than a right to voice one’s opinion: it carries a corresponding right that also includes the right to receive information and to take the time to consider all aspects of a position.

Today, notwithstanding the mainstream media, more and more information is being exposed. Perhaps it is that we are in an age of enlightenment; it would seem so at least for many of us who have left the dark ages and seek knowledge.

But knowledge is not for everyone, and we should respect the right of those who don’t seek it just as we should respect the right of those that do.

It is said that knowledge was withheld by the Catholic Church for nearly a millennium. They allegedly attacked Galileo because of his assertion that the world wasn’t flat. If this is true, it can be defended that ignorance is a fundamental right of humanity, an extension of the right to be wrong.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -George Orwell

As a writer, I am merely the messenger; that is all I am. I try to advance knowledge and dispel false information by individuals or groups that have some vested interest in their report―or propaganda. I aim to keep challenging my readers to think, not to merely believe.

Be mindful that to attack the messenger is to concede the truth of the message, because when no opposing opinion is advanced in argument, it evidences that the attacker had no opposing facts to present.

When I offer my opinion. you are free to offer an opposing view. That is called “discourse.”

You can not validly reply, “He’s nuts” without corresponding facts as to why he’s nuts. That statement is a mere conclusion that has no foundation unless you supply the missing evidence upon which you rely.

You could argue that in my youth I was crazy because I held a belief that our government was only interested in what was in our best interest. Then I discovered that we were deceived to engage in a war in Vietnam and that the Gulf of Tonkin incident never occurred.

I learned the real reason for the Vietnam War was the CIA drug trade from the Golden Triangle, where the CIA operated its own Air America DC3’s to move drugs into the United States. As a 1993 article in the New York Times stated, the CIA has been involved in drug smuggling since the Korean War. Manuel Noriega was in fact a CIA asset.

What history has been silent about is that the French were there for at least 10 years before us and were themselves embedded in the illicit drug trade. Our CIA was there even then and had made all the connections and introductions to continue after the French left.

A 1971 White House survey found that more then 34 percent of our service members fighting in Vietnam were addicted to heroin.

Truth is a big pill many find hard to swallow.

There will be people who place America and our principles above their own personal safety. We call these people “patriots.”

Drugs were brought back into America in the coffins and even in the body cavities of our mortally wounded veterans. That’s another fact we don’t want to believe, although there are conflicting arguments with Frank Lucas saying he did, and Leslie Atkinson claiming the story was made up. Yet I had an inside source: Ted Gunderson, a former FBI agent in charge of the Los Angeles field office, who said that Lucas told the truth. Ted was my co-host on talk radio for about 10 years and a longtime personal friend.

Ted Gunderson’s report can be found here.

We are in Afghanistan for the same reason: opium. Would you be surprised to learn that our CIA is there guarding opium fields and that we are not allowed to destroy them?

Why is this knowledge important?

It is important because it cautions us against blindly accepting our government as the truth-teller, as our benefactor and benevolent administrator.

Rather, government can be malevolent, as history itself professes.

Those who expose government corruption are eliminated by that very government.

Ted Gunderson was poisoned by arsenic.

Gary Webb, a reporter who also exposed the CIA-drug connection, was destroyed. Although he was shot twice in the head, it was deemed a suicide.

Barry Seal, who was to testify against our own government insiders and the drug trade, was murdered.

The list is as endless as time itself and makes a statement about the dangers of exposing corruption, the current poster child being Edward Snowden. Before him, it was Daniel Ellsberg. There will be others as long as government tries to conceal criminal activity. There will be people who place America and our principles above their own personal safety.

We call these people “patriots.”

Some would argue, as I’ve heard, “My country, right or wrong.” Hitler propaganda! In the real world, it is not only our right to stand against tyranny, even within our own government, but it is also our duty as Americans to do so.

Ergo back to the purpose of my opinions, which is to awaken the sleeping giant that has been lulled back to sleep after the Second World War.

I am reminded of these words spoken many years ago by Theodore Roosevelt: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

The world has been here before. History repeats itself for one reason: mankind’s failure to learn the lessons in the first and even the second experience.

So history will continue to offer us the experience until we finally see what is going on.

I am only able to give you information from which the choice is yours to believe, to research on your own, or to deny. But these opinions are mine, and they are a valid expression of the evidence I have researched.

What I am not is a propagandist! If I were, I would be writing for one of the alphabet news outlets. I am by design and training a researcher seeking the truth. If you join me, we will together go on a journey of knowledge and traverse the very deep rabbit hole from where your perception of reality may become distorted (or clarified) by facts.

Meanwhile, you are free to believe a false science propagated by the CDC and the medical establishment if that is your choice. But be forewarned: the medical establishment kills more than 1,000 people a day by negligence.

And the CDC and FDA are controlled by the AMA and the doctors, and the CDC and the FDA were at one time paid by the very companies they are there to examine and the vaccines those manufacturers promote.

You are free to believe the reports put out by our current government. You are free to believe guns kill people and not individuals. But to believe this argument, you must recognize that automobiles also kill people, as do knives and hammers. Where do we draw the line and admit killing is a people problem?

Consider this: Autism is a growing problem. Why?

Consider this: Children are being born with impaired thyroids. Why?

Consider this: Our fish are poisoned with mercury and radiation. Why?

Consider this: Our southern borders are still unprotected. Why?

There are so many unanswered questions that my opinions seek to resolve. but you are free to ignore them and to disagree. That is what free speech is all about.

What a world this would be if we all had the same opinion or all wore the same clothes.

We don’t live in a vacuum or a perfect fairy-tale world.

That is the importance of free speech, my opinions, and your right to receive or reject them.

I truly believe, as George Orwell stated: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
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Cohen Wants Hoover Name Removed from FBI Building


U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis has introduced a bill that would strip the name of J. Edgar Hoover, the first and founding director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, from the FBI building in Washington, D.C.

Ten other Democratic House members cosponsor Cohen’s bill.

Cohen cited civil rights abuses and illegal conduct by the FBI during Hoover’s long tenure, and with his specific approval, that were first made public in the 1970s in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

“The civil rights we enjoy today are in spite of J. Edgar Hoover, not because of him,” Cohen said. “Given his well-documented abuses and prejudices towards African-Americans, gays and lesbians, I believe it is past time to remove his name from this place of honor.”

Cohen also pressed the point on Capitol Hill Thursday, Oct. 22, as he questioned current FBI director James Comey.

Cohen is not the first Tennessean in Congress to question Hoover’s administration and build-up of the FBI.

U.S. Senator Kenneth McKellar of Memphis was an early critic of the FBI in the 1930s as Hoover began to build the institution in terms of its funding and the scope of its powers.
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FBI Director Blames Citizens with Cameras for Increase in Homicides

October 25 2015


After years of refusing to acknowledge or investigate the alarming number of citizens killed by police taking place daily in the United States, the FBI is now blaming citizens with cameras for the recent surge in murders taking place in cities across the country.

After all, claimed FBI Director James B. Comey, police are now afraid to do their jobs for fear of becoming the next viral sensation.

That’s news to us considering the number of police abuse videos that come across our desk daily, making it seem as if police are trying their hardest to get a paid vacation. Or as they call it, paid administrative leave.

Comey made his remarks Friday to hundreds of students at the University of Chicago Law School, claiming that he had reached this consensus after speaking with several police chiefs who were too afraid to go on the record.

That should be our first indicator that he is doing nothing but playing the Police PR Spin Machine in an attempt to turn public scorn against those trying to hold police accountable.

Not much different than when police chiefs or union leaders accuse activists and journalists for having blood on their hands when a cop is killed in the line of duty, simply because they tried to raise awareness of police brutality.

You would think the agency that oversees the largest surveillance program in the United States, telling us that if we have nothing to hide, we should have nothing to fear, would be a little more supportive of citizens exercising their First Amendment rights to record police.

But then again, we shouldn’t be surprised that Big Brother doesn’t want to be watched by Little Brother.

According to the New York Times:

“I’ve been told by a senior police leader who urged his force to remember that their political leadership has no tolerance for a viral video,” Mr. Comey said, adding that many leaders and officers whom he had spoken to said they were afraid to address the issue publicly.

“Lives are saved when those potential killers are confronted by a police officer, a strong police presence and actual, honest-to-goodness, up-close ‘What are you guys doing on this corner at 1 o’clock in the morning’ policing,” Mr. Comey said. “We need to be careful it doesn’t drift away from us in the age of viral videos, or there will be profound consequences.”

In other words, if we don’t put our cameras away when police violate the rights of citizens for standing on corners after midnight – which is not a crime – then we need to prepare for “profound consequences”?

Here’s a news flash, Comey. We are already experiencing profound consequences by allowing cops to shoot and kill at will, knowing all they have to do is claim they were in fear for their lives, and be hailed as valiant heroes instead of violent killers.

We know police won’t investigate killer cops. We know the courts won’t prosecute killer cops. We know the politicians won’t address the epidemic of killer cops where an average of three citizens a day are killed by cops.

And we sure as hell know the FBI is not doing anything about it, refusing to even keep track of the number of killer cops.

So we have to do it ourselves with our cameras and our reporting and our documentation of police killings.

In fact, the agency that monitors every aspect of our lives allows police departments to work on the honor system, allowing them to voluntarily submit data of the people they kill, resulting in less than two percent of police agencies in the country submitting any information at all, according to an investigation by the Guardian.

As a result, high-profile police killings, including the chokehold death of Eric Garner at the hands of an NYPD detective; the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland cop who was deemed mentally unstable by a previous agency; and the Beavercreek police shooting of John Crawford who was walking around with an air gun he had picked up in an Ohio Walmart store aisle – were not included in the FBI’s 2014 official record of homicides.

As of this writing, at least 974 citizens have been killed by police this year. And the only reason we know that is because citizens are compiling that information on a website called Killed by Police, basing their data on news stories where police have confirmed the killings.

Yet the FBI claims they are incapable of doing the same, apparently too busy monitoring the social media accounts of citizens trying to hold police accountable, turning a blind eye to viral stories like the ones mentioned above by not including them in their official reports.

In fact, the Washington Post determined the FBI reports about half of the police killings that take place, which is surprising they are even doing that, considering only 224 agencies out of 18,000 bothered to report any data to the feds at all.

The New York City Police Department, which is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, has not submitted any data to the FBI since 2006.

And it is their union boss, Patrick Lynch, who has been one of the most vocal critics against citizens with camer
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FBI Chief Links Scrutiny of Police With Rise in Violent Crime [ http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/24/us/politics/fbi-chief-links-scrutiny-of-police-with-rise-in-violent-crime.html?_r=0], New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo

Police Body Cams: Complaints Down, Arrests Up [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/police-body-cams-complaints-down-arrests-up/], Dissent NewsWire, Suraj Sazawal

Librarians Oppose CISA [ http://bordc.org/blog/librarians-oppose-cisa], People's Blog for the Constitution, Susan Gaissart

BORDC/DDF Tells ISPAB FBI's Going Dark Initiative Chills Free Speech [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/bordcddf-tells-ispab-that-fbis-going-dark-initiative-chills-speech/], Dissent NewsWire, Chip Gibbons

Water dousing vs Waterboarding: A distinction without a difference [ http://bordc.org/blog/water-dousing-vs-waterboarding-%E2%80%98-distinction-without-difference%E2%80%99], People's Blog for the Constitution, Talha Singh

IRS possessed Stingray cellphone gear, documents reveal [ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/26/stingray-surveillance-technology-irs-cellphone-tower], "The Guardian", Nicky Woolf and William Green

Hacking The CIA Director's AOL Account Was a Political Act [ https://shadowproof.com/2015/10/23/hacking-the-cia-directors-aol-account-was-a-political-act/], "ShadowProof", Kevin Gosztola
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Mormons and the FBI – A Bleg - Patheos
Apr 30, 2014 - The Associated Press reported in the early 1980s that “The CIA does some of its most successful recruiting in predominantly LDS Utah.
Mormon FBI agent played part in largest espionage case in ...
Nov 5, 2014 - James Ellsworth was an FBI handler for a double agent during World War II. ... An LDS FBI agent who served his mission in Germany became handler to the first double agent in FBI history. ... In early February 1940, Mormon FBI agent James Ellsworth left his home in Huntington Park ...
Mormon Quotes on Geovernment Agencies and the LDS Church
CIA has a surprising number of Mormon Church members in its employ, and the ... “There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of special agents of the FBI currently on ...
Mormon Mafia” Cited in FBI Discrimination Case - Christian ...
Three hundred-eleven Hispanic FBI agents won a class action suit against the agency on September 30. A central argument in the suit was that their careers ...
Hi I'm Bernard, | philosophy, Soldier, war, FBI, CIA, NSA, Mormon.
I retired from the FBI in 2006. I served 34 years in Air Force Intelligence, the NSA, FBI and CIA. I'm a Mormon.
New ABC series features Mormon character wearing nothing but ...
http://www.sltrib.com › News
Jun 23, 2015 - "Are you Elder Eric? No way," says Caleb, rather stupidly stunned to think that — gasp! — a Mormon could be in the FBI. "Hey, do they know?
11 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Mormons - Business ...
Jun 24, 2011 - Mormons have become firmly embedded in the national consciousness this summer with the emergence of not one but two Mormon ...
LDSLiving - The Mormon FBI Agent Who Took Down 'Baby Face ...
Apr 16, 2015 - The Mormon FBI Agent Who Took Down 'Baby Face Nelson'. byAdapted from Kathryn Jenkins Gordon in Colorful Characters in Mormon ...
It's true, the FBI and cia recruit/recruited heavily from the morg-rm's ...
Jul 24, 2012 - 38 posts - ‎24 authors
There's a short reference in a mystery by Greg Iles about "one of the most elite groups in the [FBI] known as the Mormon Mafia." I won't include ...
Inside The Mormon Church | How Did the Mormon Church Become ...
Says Brussell, "It is of no small moment that the LDS has infiltrated the CIA and the FBI, and that the special interests of the church have been handled by those ...
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Democrat slams FBI for attempt to 'reach into America’s classrooms'


11/05/15 04:54 PM EST

The top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee is raising questions about a controversial FBI program aimed at preventing students from turning into extremists.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.) on Thursday wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch criticizing the delayed program, which civil rights advocates allege unfairly targeted Muslims.

Thompson questioned why the FBI, as a law enforcement agency, was involved in efforts to prevent extremism before it takes root, and “pursuing programs to expand its reach into America’s classrooms.”

Having teachers assist the federal program would “chill relationships with students,” warned Thompson, who is a former school teacher, and “undermine a supportive learning environment.”

“Put simply, turning teachers into intelligence gather[ers] and investigators has questionable value as a strategy for countering terrorism or violent extremism,” he wrote, and may cause students to turn “away from that one person, a teacher, who might be able to make a difference.”

The scrutiny from Capitol Hill comes after civil rights advocates and Muslim leaders raised alarm at the program, which originally appeared ready to be unveiled this week.

The “Don’t Be a Puppet” interactive program reportedly was intended to help teachers and students detect and prevent early signs of extremism, but came under fire this week when critics accused it of focusing largely on Muslims.

According to reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post, people who had used the program worried that it could lead to discrimination against followers of Islam and people of Arab descent.

According to the reports, the program indicated that someone with an Arabic name talking about going on “a mission” overseas would be considered suspicious, even though it could be an innocuous trip.

In his letter, Thompson did not make explicit reference to allegations that the “Don’t Be a Puppet” program is focused almost exclusively on Islamic extremism.
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Lawsuit: FBI Raided New Mexico Home With Sleeping Children – The Associated Press

A new federal lawsuit says FBI agents used military-grade stun grenades against three sleeping children during a 2013 pre-dawn raid of a New Mexico home.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque this week alleges that agents blindly detonated multiple explosive devices during the raid, inflicting shrapnel wounds and severe emotional trauma against the children.

The lawsuit says the children were ages 9, 10, and 12 at the time.

According to court documents, FBI agents were investigating the children's father, Abel Romero Sr., who federal authorities suspected of being a drug dealer in Anthony, New Mexico.

Attorney Richard Rosenstock says the raid was cruel and recklessly.

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says he is looking into the lawsuit but the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.
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Cops Working With Anti-Muslim Activists


11.11.151:00 AM ET

Imagine a white supremacist being paid with taxpayer dollars to teach police officers about Black Lives Matter. Or a person with a long history of demonizing the LGBT community being hired by your local police department to warn officers about the “homosexual agenda.”

The response to either of these scenarios would be an explosion of outrage. And rightfully so. However, a scenario very similar is repeatedly happening across our country with law enforcement agencies teaming up with two anti-Muslim activists, John Guandolo and Walid Shoebat, to teach them about Muslims.

Typically these anti-Muslim indoctrinations happen with police departments in red states (shocking, I know.) But surprisingly the Ocean County Police Academy in Southern New Jersey sponsored a lecture given by Shoebat just this past weekend. Shoebat’s seminar was intended for police officers in the South Jersey area and was titled “Know your enemy.” (One guess who the enemy is.)

So who is Shoebat? Well that’s a great question. The problem is that no one—except Shoebat—truly knows. As CNN reported, Shoebat’s claimed life story is simply not true. Shoebat boasts that he’s a former radicalized Muslim who joined the PLO in the 1970s, carried out a terrorist attack, and was imprisoned by the Israeli military. But then Shoebat saw the error of his ways
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AT 11/14/2015 07:30:00 AM


http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/categories/20130101_1 [free content]




“… anything that has to do with ISIS is a psy-op. ISIS is funded by the Americans. It is being used as an excuse for America to bomb sovereign countries. What is particularly troubling about this Paris “attack”, however, is that unlike the American hoaxes of late the goal of this hoax is to draw Europe into a wider war. It was also meant to stir up even more racial and religious hatred and distrust…..”





21st Century Wire | November 14, 2015
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* USAMRIID can find no record that the large quantity of virulent Ames sent from Dugway to USAMRIID Special Pathogens Branch (to the FBI’s scientist at USAMRIID) in August 2000 and June 2001 was ever irradiated. Was record at least kept where the Ames was sent out?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 15, 2015


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: *** 2001 anthrax attacks, *** Amerithrax, *** FBI anthrax investigation, dugway, USAMRIID, virulent ames anthrax |

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Law & Disorder / Civilization & Discontents
Feds bugged steps of Silicon Valley courthouse
Defense claims covert recordings violated Constitution, moves to have them thrown out.

- Nov 17, 2015 3:38pm EST

Defense attorneys have asked a federal judge to throw out more than 200 hours of conversations FBI agents recorded using hidden microphones planted on the steps of a California county courthouse.

The lawyers are representing defendants accused of engaging in an illicit real estate bid-rigging and fraud conspiracy. The steps to the San Mateo County courthouse are frequently the scene of public auctions for foreclosed homes. Federal prosecutors have admitted that on at least 31 occasions in 2009 and 2010, FBI agents used concealed microphones to record auction participants as they spoke, often in hushed voices with partners, attorneys, and others. Because the federal agents didn't obtain a court order, the defense attorneys argue the bugging violated Constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

In a court brief filed Friday in the case, attorneys wrote:

It bears repeating that this particular public place was immediately outside a courthouse. Defendants’ expectation that discreet conversations outside a courthouse would remain private is surely one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. Private affairs are routinely discussed as citizens, their lawyers, and even judges walk to and from court, and lawyers often take clients aside outside the courthouse for privileged conversations. “Common experience” and “everyday expectations” teach that individuals frequently have private conversations near the courthouse despite the public’s access to this location, and expect that such conversations are not subject to the type of dragnet electronic eavesdropping that took place in this case.

A metal sprinkler box, a planter box and nearby vehicles

According to the filing, agents planted eavesdropping devices in at least three locations: a metal sprinkler box attached to a wall near the courthouse entrance, a large planter box to the right of the courthouse entrance, and vehicles parked on the street in front of the courthouse entrance. All three areas are locations where people have a reasonable expectation to have private conversations and where lawyers and clients could reasonably be expected to have privileged conversations, the defense argued.

According to the court filing:

Generally, the recording devices were activated more than an hour before the auctions began, and they would run for a period of time after the auctions had concluded. Some of the devices intercepted every communication that occurred in their vicinity over a period of more than five hours. For example, the Government recorded individuals having private conversations on their cellphones in an area away from the auctions. In one instance, the Government was able to capture an alleged co-conspirator talking on his cell phone with the other party to the call partially audible through the cellphone’s receiver. And the Government repeatedly hid an eavesdropping device immediately adjacent to the spot where one of the bidders usually set up a chair from which he conducted business and communicated with his joint venture partners. These recordings captured far more than just the bids and public pronouncements that were made during the auctions.

The surreptitious recording came in addition to a confidential informant and undercover agent who were regularly on the steps monitoring the auctions. The FBI's decision to covertly record conversations those individuals couldn't hear is tacit admission the intercepted communications were private for purposes of the Fourth
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2 stories




Government Compares NSA Whistleblower to Ft. Hood Shooter, Soviet Spies

11.18.151:15 PM ET

A U.S. government espionage task force is advising its defense industry partners that whistleblowers can be as dangerous as terrorists and spies.

During a “webinar” on Tuesday, an official from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s National Insider Threat Task Force showed a PowerPoint slide with examples of “insider threats.” Thomas Drake, who exposed part of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program in 2005, is next to Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan, Navy Yard killer Aaron Alexis, and FBI-agent-turned-Soviet-spy Robert Hanssen.

Not only is Drake not a murderer or spy, the government was forced to drop all 10 of the original espionage-related charges against him after he rejected numerous plea deals. Drake did plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and since leaving the NSA has actively campaigned for government transparency and accountability.

Drake told The Daily Beast that government is “still ticked that I escaped prison or any conviction as a felon, giving others hope because I kept my freedoms when under the gun after so many years — albeit at a very high professional and personal price.”

More than just sour grapes, Drake says, this kind of blacklisting is a tacit personal threat.

“Apparently I have damaged the U.S. more than the likes of Alger Hiss, the Walkers, Pollard, the Falcon and the Snowman, and even Ellsberg—none of them are listed. There is no question and it's chilling — I am on a National Threat List. And a clear warning to me with respect to the exercise of my First Amendment rights.”

“Apparently I have damaged the U.S. more than the likes of Alger Hiss.”

Patricia Larsen, an ODNI official, gave a history of “insider threats” during the webinar beginning with Daniel Ellsberg, whose copying of the Pentagon Papers she characterized as patently criminal. (Charges against Ellsberg were dropped in 1973 when it was revealed the FBI used warrantless wiretaps on him.)

The webinar was entitled “Simple Steps and Guidance to Secure Classified Networks” and is part of defense industry publication C4ISRNET’s (C4ISR is a military acronym for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) “Thought Leadership Series,” and purported to teach participants information security skills and to familiarize them with threats to documents and networks.

Larsen emphasized that any employees and contractors who damage an entity’s reputation, be it government or business, by exposing inside information should be considered insider threats, as they “would be in the business world.”
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Sunday, 06 December 2015
Government and Corporations Are Responsible for Culture of Surveillance


Government and Corporations Are Responsible for Culture of Surveillance

In the almost two and a half years since former NSA contractor Ed Snowden revealed the ubiquitous surveillance under which the world lives, much of the focus has been on what government agencies are doing. The problem, though, runs deeper. The surveillance state exists within a culture of surveillance created by the incestuous relationship between overreaching government agencies and nosy corporations.

There is no liberty without privacy. As the culture of surveillance grows, liberty recedes. The New American has reported on many of the threats to privacy that are becoming more and more commonplace. Some Smart TVs are spying on users via their integrated cameras, microphones, and Internet connectivity and then reporting back to the manufacturers, who sell that data to advertisers. Other "Internet of Things" devices have surveillance capabilities that are marketed as features promising convenience to users. Facebook performs social/psychological experiments on its users and also harvests users' data to sell to advertisers.

To make matters worse, Microsoft has turned its operating system, Windows, into a suite of softwares designed to spy on users, report back to Microsoft on their use, and remotely remove software from their computers, all while hiding these activities from all but the most tech-savvy users.

With the proliferation of surveillance as a "convenience feature" or as a prerequisite to using otherwise useful tools, is it any wonder that a Pew study last year found that privacy is eroding, with many accepting that erosion as normal? And with greater acceptance comes greater erosion. As The New American noted after the study was released:

Moving forward, many young Internet users who today are more than willing to trade their birthright of privacy and liberty for a mess of potage (or a cup of coffee) are going to become the example that the next generation imitates. What one generation accepts, the next expects.

Last year the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century, Judge Richard Posner, said the NSA should have free range to "vacuum all the trillions of bits of information that are crawling through the electronic worldwide networks." He went on to say that the only reason anyone would object, is that they are "just trying to conceal the disreputable parts of [their] conduct." The surveillance culture has alreday become so pervasive that his remarks — which should have caused outrage — were largely unreported. When they were reported, they were used largely as justification for the mass surveillance that is destroying privacy and liberty.

And it's not just the use of computer technology that puts privacy at risk. Retailers regularly use their "rewards" cards to collect information on their customers' purchases, again for advertising purposes. While many see the value in targeted advertising, the following story this writer shared in a previous article illustrates how such convenience masks a very real threat to privacy:

Data mining is a big problem, as we saw from the documents leaked by Snowden. But there is more to it than most people realize. In 2012, a father of a teenage girl saw for himself how powerful this form of information gathering and analysis can be. Several years ago, Target department stores started offering Redcard. It's a credit or debit card that can be used to make purchases at Target stores and on their website. It offers a five-percent discount any time it is used. Target's reason for doing this is simple. It ties all of your purchases together into one profile for data-analysis purposes so that they can send you advertising based on not just what you buy, but what their data analysis tells them you are going to buy. How effective is it? The father of that teenager stormed into a store outside Minneapolis and demanded to know why his daughter was receiving advertisements for baby clothes, baby furniture, and diapers. After all, she is still in high school. The manager said he would look into it and call the father in a day or so. When he called two days later, the father said that he had talked with his daughter and learned that she was, indeed, pregnant. Target figured it out before her own father did.

While that particular event involved Target, other retailers use their "rewards" cards in much the same way — with varying degrees of success and accuracy.

Companies, including major retailers, use a variety surveillance methods to keep an eye on both customers and employees. While some of this surveillance may have some justification — such as preventing robbery and shoplifting — it is still part of the surveillance culture that threatens privacy and liberty. Much of the surveillance practiced by companies has little, if any, justification.

Walmart is the world's largest company with more than 11,500 stores operating in 28 countries. With more than 2.2 million employees, it is also the world's largest employer. Because of understandable concerns about employees unionizing, the retail giant has conducted campaigns of surveillance on a level that many nations would have difficulty rivaling.

When Walmart senior management heard about plans for an employee strike on Black Friday 2012, they formed a Delta Team to begin spying and reporting on employees to determine who was a threat and how best to react. The organization behind the plans for a strike was OUR Walmart (the Organization United for Respect at Walmart), which was the offspring of the United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) union. While Walmart publicly pretended not to be concerned, Bloomberg reported:

Walmart considered the group enough of a threat that it hired an intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin, contacted the FBI, staffed up its labor hotline, ranked stores by labor activity, and kept eyes on employees (and activists) prominent in the group. During that time, about 100 workers were actively involved in recruiting for OUR Walmart, but employees (or associates, as they're called at Walmart) across the company were watched; the briefest conversations were reported to the "home office," as Walmart calls its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

Besides being one of the largest defense contractors in the world, Lockheed Martin "also has an information technology division that offers cybersecurity and data analytics services," according to the report by Bloomberg:

Lockheed Martin is one of the biggest defense contractors in the world. Although it's best known for making fighter jets and missile systems, it also has an information technology division that offers cybersecurity and data analytics services. Tucked into that is a little-known operation called LM Wisdom, which has been around since 2011. LM Wisdom is described on Lockheed's website as a tool "that monitors and analyzes rapidly changing open source intelligence data ... [that] has the power to incite organized movements, riots and sway political outcomes." A brochure depicts yellow tape with "crime scene" on it, an armored SWAT truck, and a word cloud with "MAFIA" in huge type.

Karen Casey was the labor relations executive at Walmart as the plans for OUR Walmart's Black Friday strike began to come to light. In January 2015, she testified in the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearings that resulted from complaints that Walmart retaliated against employees that participated in protests which took place in June 2013. In her testimony, she told how the Analytical Research Center, which is part of Walmart's global security division, entered into a contract with Lockheed Martin to "source" the "open social media sites" used by the protesters. Again, from Bloomberg:

The Analytical Research Center, or ARC, is part of Walmart's global security division. Ken Senser, a former FBI officer, oversees the entire group. The executive responsible for ARC was Steve Dozier, according to Casey's testimony. He was director of the Arkansas State Police before he joined Walmart in 2007. "When we received word of potential strikes and disruptive activity on Black Friday 2012, that's when we started to ask the ARC to work with us," Casey said during her testimony. "ARC had contracted with Lockheed leading up to Black Friday to help source open social media sites."

"Sourcing" refers to gathering data from those sites. In other words, Lockheed Martin was hired — at least in part — to conduct surveillance on the social media pages of the protesters.

So, the world's largest company employs a former FBI agent and a former director of the Arkansas State Police, has contracted with one of the largest defense contractors in the world, and contacted the FBI all to conduct surveillance on its own employees. While this writer is certainly no union apologist and can understand a company not wanting its employees to unionize, surely there is a place somewhere on the other side of Walmart's actions where the line should have been drawn.

As the surveillance culture — and by extension, the surveillance state — has grown, government agencies and corporations have reaped the benefits while ordinary citizens have paid the price. Freedom-loving Americans should stop participating in the culture of surveillance and instead actively resist it. The solution is two-fold. Those concerned about privacy should elect men and women who value privacy as much as they do and put pressure on Congress to dismantle both the apparatus and the agencies that have conducted government-sanctioned surveillance on ordinary citizens. They should also develop a mindset of protecting themselves against surveillance. Fortunately, there are many tools available for anyone
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two stories



FBI admits agency uses zero-days, stingrays to catch suspects
— December 8, 2015
FBI Cybercrime        

Amy Hess, executive assistant director of the FBI's Science and Technology branch.

The FBI’s assistant executive director for science and technology has stated that the FBI does indeed exploit zero-day vulnerabilities in software and use stingrays to catch suspects.

Amy Hess, who heads up the agency’s Operational Technology Division and the use of technology in investigations, made the admission in a profile published today by the Washington Post.

A zero-day is vulnerability in software that has yet to be exploited and the software’s maker may not even be aware of it yet. It potentially provides a unique opportunity to infiltrate a piece of software and its users.

Hess said that hacking computers is not the FBI’s preferred method, as tech companies generally patch zero-days rather quickly once they are made aware of them. “It clearly is not reliable,” she explained.

On the matter of stingrays, which mimic cell towers for intercepting phone communications, Hess said the FBI has not shied away from using the technology but has challenged the disclosure of how the technology, or “engineering schematics,” works.

The bureau has long been suspected of using these techniques and cases surrounding the use of stingrays have been well-documented but Hess’ admission lends a little more credence to many privacy and security concerns. Other agencies like the IRS have been embroiled in stingray controversies in the past, too.

Related: Report shows evidence of phone spying tech being used in London

In its profile of Hess, the Washington Post also spoke with Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and frequent critic of stingrays and surveillance technology.

“All of the most interesting and troubling stuff that the FBI does happens under Amy Hess,” he said, adding that her division carries out operations with or without warrants.

Organizations like the ACLU have been strong proponents of greater transparency in the use of stingrays and the need for warrants to justify them.

In October, the Department of Homeland Security announced that agents will need warrants moving forward to use the devices. Meanwhile, one DHS agent admitted during a hearing that the Secret Service had used stingrays as well.

The stricter rules from DHS, which now compel agents to obtain warrants, have generally been welcomed by the ACLU, but are still considered far from ideal.

“The biggest problem is that it doesn’t always require the government to get a warrant, or delete the data of innocent bystanders swept up in the electronic dragnet,” said Neema Singh Guliani, an ACLU attorney


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Librarians and privacy advocates ally to condemn cybersecurity bill

American Library Association and civil liberties groups warn of ‘abusive government spying’ and urge lawmakers to oppose ‘Frankenstein’ version of Cisa
House speaker Paul Ryan is attempting to reconcile two cybersecurity bills, including the much-maligned Cisa, for passage in Congress.
House speaker Paul Ryan is attempting to reconcile two cybersecurity bills, including the much-maligned Cisa, for passage in Congress. Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters

Wednesday 9 December 2015 11.00 EST
Last modified on Wednesday 9 December 2015 11.16 EST

US librarians have joined with a host of civil liberties groups to condemn a cybersecurity bill now passing through Congress they claim will be both “unhelpful” and “dangerous to Americans’ civil liberties”.

The American Library Association, the world’s oldest and largest library affiliation, has joined with 18 other groups including Fight for the Future, Demand Progress and FreedomWorks to issue a letter to the White House and Congress urging lawmakers to oppose the final version of a bill they claim will dramatically expand government surveillance while failing to tackle cyber-attacks.

Politicians from both sides of the House have been pushing for stronger cybersecurity measures in the wake of the Paris attacks and the recent San Bernardino shooting.

Republican House speaker Paul Ryan has been leading the charge to push through legislation and reconcile two bills, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA) and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement with the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (Cisa), a controversial bill that passed a Senate vote in October.

The speed with which Ryan is trying to push through a compromise has worried privacy activists. “We’ve just learned that the Intelligence Committees are trying to pull a fast one,” Nathan White, senior legislative manager at digital rights advocate Access, said in a recent email to supporters. “They’ve been negotiating in secret and came up with a Frankenstein bill – that has some of the worst parts from both the House and the Senate versions.”

According to the letter’s signatories, the proposed “conference” legislation would:

● Create a loophole that would allow the president to remove the Department of Homeland Security, a civilian agency, as the lead government entity managing information sharing.

● Reduce privacy protections for Americans’ personal information.

● Overexpand the term “cyber threat” to facilitate the prosecution of crimes unrelated to cybersecurity.

● Expand already broad liability protection for information disclosure.

● Pre-empt state, local or tribal disclosure laws on any cyber-threat information shared by or with a state, tribal or local government.

● Eliminate a directive to ensure data integrity.

Moreover, they argue, the legislation would dramatically expand the amount of sensitive information held “by government agencies with dismal records on data security” and institute “blind, automatic transfer of personal information to intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, that would be authorized to use the information for non­-cybersecurity purposes”.

“The final version of this bill is an insult to the public and puts all of us in greater danger of cyber-attacks and government surveillance,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, who organized the letter. “This was already a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation, and now even the meager privacy protections it provided have been gutted, exposing it for what it really is: a bill to dramatically expand abusive government spying.”
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Here is an old post of mine worth reposting

I pulled this article off a list serve I get dealing with current news about the FBI. The FBI recently hired a reporter from one of the major networks to head up their public relations office.

I suspect a campaign from them over the coming months to counteract bad press dealing with issues around snitchin and the harm it has caused. Most people do not understand the role that paid FBI agent provacteurs play in destroying legitimate organizations and people.

The first World Trade Center bombing was pulled off by a FBI snitch/agent provacteur and would never had occured without the assistance of the FBI.

FBI agents are not going to sit back and let anyone destroy their "bread and butter" the snitch/provacteur.


Interview with Ron Kuby

by Husayn Al-Kurdi

Ron Kuby, a partner of the renowned William Kunstler, has been the defense lawyer most involved in defending the people who are being swept up in "muslim conspiracy" trials which followed the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. Although the government's official story keeps changing, with most of the media following course, it remains clear, as I have reported in previous articles, that the bombing of the World Trade Center and the incitement of various people to commit illegal acts is the responsibility of one Emad Salem, an FBl informant and sometime Egyptian government operative. During my interview with Kuby, the nature of the witch-hunts being directed towards Muslims was clarified as he showed how the "conspiracy" was of GOVERNMENT origin, with informant, Judge, prosecution and media all dutifully playing their parts.

Q. Was there anything in my previous articles on the World Trade Center bombing and the subsequent "conspiracy" trial that requires amendation, correction or amplification?

A. The article on the FBl being involved in the World Trade Center bombing actually UNDERSTATED the evidence, believe it or not. The informer, Emad Salem, is actually on tape saying that he built the bomb that ultimately blew up the World Trade Center.

In addition, we have received information that he was visually observed at the scene of the bombing shortly after the bombing took place. Shortly after that, he was admitted to the hospital, suffering from an ear problem that was consistent with exposure to blast.

Also, we know that he had a motive to blow up the World Trade Center, the motive being that he had been dealing with the FBl since at least November 1991, trying to convince the FBl that he had infiltrated a cell of radical Muslims, trying to get the FBl to pay him for his information. He kept going to the FBl with ever more hysterical statements about bombs and explosives. In the summer of 1992, the FBI, after apparently giving him a lie-detector test, refused to believe him anymore and cut him loose.

He needed a payoff. What better way for this sociopath, a conscienceless human being, than to actually bomb the World Trade Center? Indeed, within hours of the bombing, the FBl was back on the phone to him, promising him anything and everything if only he would help them crack the case. The FBl, having set this maniac loose, bears some of the responsibility for what happened.

Q. When did Emad Salem start to work for them?

A. We don't know precisely. We do know he was affiliated with Egyptian intelligence for quite some time. The FBl officially acknowledges that Emad Salem began to work for them in November 1991, during the trial of Sayyid Nosair, at which Nosair was found not guilty of murdering Rabbi Meir Kahane. It was at that point that he infiltrated himself into the group supporting Sayyid Nosair. It was Emad Salem, as early as December of 1991, who was telling groups of these people that they should become more militant. At one point Emad Salem suggested they throw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue, at which the people listening were absolutely horrified and refused to have anything to do with him. After that, he toned down his rhetoric.

Q. What is the current situation, in the wake of the sentencing in the World Trade Center bombing conspiracy trial?

A. You will recall that all of these defendants, with the exception of one, were denied counsels of their choice. The Judge refused to appoint any of these lawyers because he didn't like them. He didn't want any activist movement political lawyers. So they had to leave the case and were replaced by this second-rate and even third-rate legal team. There was a disastrous defense which did everything wrong that could be done wrong. After the defendants were convicted, they fired all their lawyers and said they wanted William Kunstler and Ron Kuby. The Judge refused to allow us to enter the case. Judge Kevin Duffy, a longtime adversary of William Kunstler, wanted to keep control of the defense in the same way as he kept control over the prosecution. On sentencing day, we were even excluded from the courtroom.

Q. Reports have it that Sidig Ali, one of the defendants in the NEXT New York Muslim Conspiracy trial, is turning on everyone. What's the score on that?

A. The government got to him through terror or promises or both. They were able to get him and turn him into a government witness. As a result, we no longer represent him. The government is using that as a way of throwing us off the case entirely. There is no doubt in my mind that the Judge is going to do exactly that.

They used to point to Sidig Ali as the "mastermind." Now Ramzi Yusef (recently captured in Pakistan and brought to the U.S.) is the "mastermind," according to what they're putting out through the media.

It varies with the season. Originally it was just the group of four who blew up the World Trade Center, then it expanded and contracted and expanded again. It's one of those permanent crimes-they just keep pasting new heads on their Wanted list.

They expect people to forget what they said just a week ago. They spent a year trying to convince the American people that Sidig Ali is the biggest terrorist who ever lived. Now they turn around and try to portray him as some kind of born-again American patriot.

Q. Where does that leave the defense of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman?

A. It's an extremely serious event. By removing me and Kunstler from the defense team, you were really removing the only lawyers who weren't paid by the government. Sheikh Omar is representing himself but was certainly counting on a collective group to work with him in that self-representation. It was a blow struck at the heart of the defense.

There seems to be a trend now in which cases are manufactured out of whole cloth and people are entrapped and convicted on "conspiracy" charges.

One frightening aspect from a civil liberties standpoint is the increasing use of informers whose job it is not to simply monitor or even just to observe and record illegal activities, but who actually are out creating crime that would never have taken place but for their own conduct. The best example of that is the [current trial], where you have Mr. Emad Salem going out in the Muslim community and preying on Muslims who are particularly vulnerable. In the aftermath of the ongoing tragic holocaust against Muslims in Bosnia, with the world standing by and doing nothing, you had groups of Islamic people who said, "Just as we had an obligation to defend people in Afghanistan, we have a similar obligation to defend our brothers and sisters in Bosnia." A group such as this was infiltrated by Emad Salem.

Q. Why is the FBl interested in going out and creating crime?

A. The answer is simple enough. In the aftermath of the World Trade Center bombing, the FBI was facing ferocious criticism in the United States. Remember that first you had the disaster at Waco where these children were murdered in the course of this insane shootout with these other religious "fundamentalists." Then you had the World Trade Center bombing. All over the country, people were wondering "What's wrong with the FBI?".

What the FBI had to do was to go out and create a crime which they could prevent, a crime that would be so vast that it would make the World Trade Center bombing pale by comparison. So they sent Emad Salem out to create these crazy plots-blow up the United Nations and so on. At the end, the FBl said "Lights, camera, action!" and had a huge press conference at which they said, "We didn't save the World Trade Center, but we prevented the bombing of the UN, the Holland Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge and the assassinations of Al D'Amato and Boutros Boutros-Ghali." They posed as Superman saving the world and everybody was congratulating them.

The papers the next day blared "New York Dodges a Bullet" and proclaimed "FBl Heroism." People were tragically misled by the FBl into believing that the FBl had in fact prevented something from taking place when the only thing they did was prevent the fruition of the very conspiracy that it had created itself.

Q. Are you going to get a chance to come back at Emad Salem and expose his role to the world?

A. We're certainly going to do our best. He's going to be called as a witness. We'll see what happens.

Q. What are the prospects for appeal on the convictions from the first trial?

A. Of course, we have filed notices of appeal for all four of the defendants, but people have to understand that the courts in this country are no more immune to the kind of hysteria and anti-Islam sentiment that you see elsewhere in the country. Instead of being the guarantors of fundamental constitutional rights, too often we see these reactionary, and in many ways stupid, judges toadying to the very worst in American society rather than standing for the best in American society.

The tragedy in all of this is that we're making the same old mistake as when we've interfered in the internal affairs of other countries, supporting corrupt dictatorships like the Shah of Iran and Hosni Mubarak against popular revolutionary forces. We fear those popular revolutionary forces. The U.S. is buying hatred and enmity for itself in places like Egypt. Why? If the people of Egypt want to live under Islamic law, then by God that's their right. It is not the business of the United States government to meddle in these nations and dictate the kinds of government they should have.

Q. Ron, tell us something about your own background.

A. I came from a working-class family in the state of Ohio. I'm Jewish by religious background and when I was very young I belonged to a right-wing Zionist paramilitary organization. It's not widely known, but I was a member of the Jewish Defense League when I was a teenager. My father was a Zionist, I became a Zionist. I knew Rabbi Meir Kahane-he was a family friend back in the late 1960s and early 1970s-before he emigrated to Israel.

I suppose what cured me of that type of Zionism was actually emigrating to Israel. I was expecting to see this paradise of Jews working together, living in peace and harmony with their neighbors, building a country. Instead, what I saw was this terrible racist country in which a small elite of Zionists controlled a Jewish working class and terrorized the Palestinian population. It was like being in the United States, except instead of the White establishment it was the Jewish establishment.

I found out that the people I had more in common with, the people whose physical company I enjoyed more, were the Palestinians. I ended up having many more Palestinian friends than I had Zionist friends, and eventually said to hell with the whole thing and ended up on the road that I've ended up on.

Q. What can and should be done in terms of support for the Sheikh and the others who have-and are continuing to be-railroaded in these "Muslim Conspiracy" trials?

A. The problem is that there has not been any organized Islamic response to this situation, and others do not know or hear about it much. Every time Muslims get together and try to raise a protest, they end up getting indicted!

Q. Just to get it on the record once again, if there is a "mastermind," then who is it?

A. The "mastermind" is the government of the United States. It was a phony, government-engineered "conspiracy" to begin with. It would never have amounted to anything had the government not planned it.

Other articles by Husayn Al Kurdi: on the Muslim Conspiracy Trials: "Islamic Fundamentalism-New Whipping Boy on the Block," The Alternative, 11/30/93; "Muslim Speaks Out Against War on Islam," The Final Call, 1/19/94; "World Trade Center Bombing Trial Raises Troubling Questions for FBl," The Espresso, 4/15/94; "Who Blew Up the World Trade Center?" Anderson Valley Advertiser, 4/20/94. e effect of this website?
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Deep Politics
December 9, 2015 | Dan Mika
The Curious Case of the Stolen CIA Files
Missing Hard Drive Is the Latest Setback in the Quest for Justice

Who is trying to sabotage efforts to get to the bottom of human rights abuses in El Salvador — abuses that likely have a US connection?

A break-in targeting information about a lawsuit against the CIA is the latest in a string of apparently related thefts, data breaches and armed attacks against human rights workers who are investigating abuses committed during El Salvador’s bloody civil war in the 1980s.

Most recently, an unknown party broke into the office of Angelina Godoy, director of the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights(CHR), and stole her computer and hard drive. These contained sensitive information and testimony regarding the Center’s ongoing investigations into human rights violations in El Salvador.

The hard drive also contained information about a lawsuit against the CIA that the CHR filed a few weeks before the theft. The suit alleges that the CIA — citing national security reasons — illegally withheld documents from CHR regarding US involvement in the country’s 12-year civil war.

The lawsuit also requests documents regarding Col. Sigifredo Ochoa Perez, a Salvadoran commander trained by US forces at the School of the Americas. Perez, who was a member of the country’s parliament until retiring earlier this year, is accused of leading a notoriously brutal government brigade responsible for two massacres of unarmed civilians, in 1981 and 1982. He is currently under investigation by Salvadoran authorities for his role in those massacres.

There were no signs of forced entry into Godoy’s office, no other valuables were taken, and the thieves didn’t take anything from other offices near the break-in site. While the CHR and UW Police can’t rule out common crime, the timing is suspicious.

UW Police Major Steve Rittereiser told WhoWhatWhy that university authorities have turned up no leads or suspects, and that the investigation has been closed, pending new evidence.

Caption: This video was shot a few weeks prior to the break-in
Recent Incidents

The UW break-in is only the latest incident in which human rights advocates focusing on El Salvador were apparently targeted. In November 2013, a group of armed men attacked the offices of Pro-Busqueda, an El Salvadoran group that reunites children separated from their families during the civil war. The attackers bound a guard, stole computers and doused about 80 percent of the group’s paper files in gasoline before setting them on fire. The attack came two days before the 24th anniversary of the murder of six Jesuit priests who were studying in the country.

The month before, the Roman Catholic church in El Salvador suddenly closed its legal aid office known for investigating and denouncing war crimes committed during the civil war. The move drew criticism from international human rights groups, as thousands of records of “disappeared” Salvadorans and other human rights victims were no longer accessible. Some members of the Salvadoran media speculate the law clinic was closed due to political pressure on the church.

Human rights workers in El Salvador also face hostility in their everyday lives. In a brief to the UN Human Rights Council, an international group called Front Line Defenders claims that activists, journalists and other human rights workers are regularly harassed and defamed by Salvadoran authorities.

Late last month, Salvadoran human rights lawyer Teresa Naves said she had been followed for more than a week by an unidentified man on motorcycle. This harassment began after a hearing on a case she is bringing against former president Francisco Guillermo Flores Perez. Perez fled the country after being charged with embezzling millions of dollars in donations from Taiwan that were intended to help victims of the 2001 earthquakes.

Naves also claimed that since early November another man had been following her, occasionally shining a laser pointer at her forehead to simulate her being targeted by a sniper. Naves works for the Study Foundation for the Application of the Law, a Salvadoran human rights group bringing the lawsuit against Perez.


Along with threats and attacks, human rights workers investigating abuses in El Salvador are often hindered by a 1993 law that protects both government and rebel leaders from criminal prosecution for their actions during the 1980s civil war. The Inter-American Court for Human Rights has chided Salvadoran authorities for using the law to impede investigations into human rights abuses. Several challenges to the law are currently being heard in the Salvadoran justice system.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Office (Dennis van Zuijlekom / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0)
Who Will Pay for American Torture Program?
Who Will Pay for American Torture Program?

In "War & Peace"
Why America Will Never Hear the Entire Benghazi Story, Obama Vetoes Spending Bill Over Gitmo, and Goodbye Middle Class: Oct 23, 2015
Why America Will Never Hear the Entire Benghazi Story, Obama Vetoes Spending Bill Over Gitmo, and Goodbye Middle Class: Oct 23, 2015

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