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Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #101 
see link for full story


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

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #102 

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

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #103 

Supreme Court to hear 'national security’ case of visa denial

By Bob Egelko
February 21, 2015


Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #104 

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.”

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #105 

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.

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #106 

See link for full story


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

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #107 
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.

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #108 

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.

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #109 

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.

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #110 

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."

Posts: 8,845
Reply with quote  #111 

See link for full story


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 ...
Failure of the Public Trust, FBI cover-up.com : Proof of FBI and OIC ...
Failure of the Public Trust, FBI cover-up.com : Proof of FBI and OIC Cover-Up in the Independent Counsel's Probe into the Death of Deputy White House ...
Review of FBICover-up.com - GSB: DCDave's Column
Failure of the Public Trust, FBICover-up.com: Proof of FBI and OIC Cover-up in the Independent Counsel's Probe into the Death of Deputy White House Counsel, ...
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, ...
Petition · American Justice or FBI cover-up? · Change.org
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 ...
Bombshell Eyewitness Revelations: Confirmed FBI Cover-Up Of ...
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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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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Reply with quote  #137 

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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Reply with quote  #138 
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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Reply with quote  #139 

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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Reply with quote  #140 


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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Reply with quote  #141 

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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Reply with quote  #142 
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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Reply with quote  #143 
* 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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Reply with quote  #144 


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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Reply with quote  #149 
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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