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Informants and Agents?Who's a Rat Message Board

joeb Show full post »
I am creating this topic with an eye towards encouraging solutions to current problems.
If the Whosearat Forum is to become more than a cyber wailing wall and psychological soup kitchen for the political down and out
material posted here will focus on solutions to current problems.

As a voter and taxpayer you own the criminal justice system but have no say in how it is run.
Did I mention you are also the primary consumer of this system?
Do you know what primary consumer means?

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Story-telling: How to pass (or defeat) a bill
Legislative Logic
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  March 27, 2013

Social scientists have found that if you want to convince people of something, don't be too wedded to sober statistics and iron-clad logic. People respond best to a vivid story. In this regard, humans haven't advanced much beyond the hunter-gatherer tribe around the campfire.

That includes legislators. Keeping this in mind, let's guess at the outcome of two criminal-justice bills recently presented to Maine's Legislature.


Parole is a prisoner's conditional, supervised release into the community. This bill would allow rehabilitated inmates, after half their sentence had been served, to apply for parole to the Maine State Parole Board. Its sponsor, Democratic Senator John Tuttle, told the Criminal Justice Committee, "I believe that people are capable of changing."

Maine's parole board still exists for five older prisoners, even though parole ended in 1976 for new offenders. As society began its tough-on-crime binge, the end of parole in a number of states and for all federal crimes has contributed to the United States breaking world imprisonment records.

LD 873's supporters include Greg Kesich, the Portland Press Herald editorial page editor, who recently opined: "Here's an idea that could save the state $100 million." He suggested parole would eliminate the need for the new prison that Governor Paul LePage has requested.

At the February 22 hearing, both Senator Tuttle and Judy Garvey of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition (MPAC) said that warehousing rehabilitated prisoners didn't make sense logically or financially: it costs over $50,000 a year to keep someone in prison in Maine, and just the possibility of parole would encourage rehabilitation.

The bill's numerous opponents, however, were more interested in punishment than rehabilitation. For the most part, they were victims of violent crime or those who spoke for them.

They had vivid, emotional stories to tell. One rape victim gave the committee a gruesome account of the rape, of the shame and humiliation she endured being examined at the hospital, and of the terror she felt for years afterwards.

If you break the law, she said, you should just get "shelter, food, water, only necessities." Her daughter wrote the committee, "There is no place in society for a monster" like her mother's rapist.

It was also argued that people who commit violent crimes should be kept locked up as long as possible because victims will be afraid when perpetrators are let out. The group Parents of Murdered Children gave the committee a list of anecdotes about parolees who had committed vicious crimes.

On that subject, a news story doubtless was on the legislators' minds. The morning of the hearing, the national news media proclaimed at full volume that the likely murderer of Colorado corrections director Tom Clements was a parolee (killed in a shoot-out with Texas police). He has since been named the suspect in the killing.

Veteran committee member Gary Plummer, a Republican senator, said the bill "probably" wouldn't go anywhere.


The Judiciary Committee heard this bill on March 21. It would deny inmates the right to ask a court to stop various kinds of harassment, including violence and intimidation, by guards or other prison staff. The Department of Corrections, which submitted the bill, claimed that handling these complaints was a burden on it and other state agencies.
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Aaron Swartz Supporters Harass Prosecutors, Prompting U.S. to Call for Redacting Material
By Mary Jacoby | April 1, 2013 6:57 pm
Printable Version

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz is insisting that confidential documents sought by Congress related to the prosecution of the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz be redacted to protect people identified in them from harassment and threats.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann, who was prosecuting Swartz before the activist’s suicide on Jan. 11, has had his Facebook page hacked and his personal contact information distributed, according to a brief filed last Friday in federal court in Massachusetts by Ortiz’s office.

Heymann also received a postcard sent to his home with a photo of Ortiz on one side and a photo of a “guillotine with a disembodied head” that appears to be that of the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose computers Swartz used to make massive authorized downloads of academic documents from a database called JSTOR.

Stephen Heymann

Heymann’s father, Philip Heymann – who served as Deputy Attorney General during the Bill Clinton administration – also received a similar postcard, although he has nothing to do with the case, prosecutors wrote.

“This postcard is even more pointed in its message: the disembodied head pictured on the guillotine is Professor Heymann’s,” the brief said.

These examples were offered by prosecutors as a cautionary tale of what could happen to other people linked to the case through the disclosure of highly confidential discovery material provided by the U.S. to Swartz’s lawyers last year under a protective order.

Swartz’s family and friends have accused Ortiz and Heymann of threatening Swartz with up to 35 years in prison if he did not agree to plead guilty in their probe of his unauthorized download of the JSTOR documents. Although prosecutors said Swartz in reality would have faced between three and six months in prison under the terms of any plea agreement, Swartz supporters blame prosecutors for his suicide.

In campaigning for an “open” Internet with few restrictions on the flow of information, Swartz commanded an almost cult-like following. Those supporters have made their anger with the government known through outreach to Congress – House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is investigating the matter — and such symbolic gestures as generating the necessary 25,000 signatures to force the White House to respond to a petition demanding scrutiny of Ortiz and the “firing” of Heymann.

The current issue concerns a request from Congress that Swartz’s former lawyers hand over so-called discovery material, work product that each party in a dispute is required to provide the other for purposes of preparing their arguments for trial.

Congressional investigators asked Swartz’s former lawyers at Keker & Van Nest LLP in California to provide the material. On Feb. 7, 2013, Michael J. Pineault, identifying himself as counsel for the estate of Swartz, contacted the Massachusetts prosecutors and asked they agree to release of the documents and to modify a court order that protected their release.

However, the lawyer for Swartz’s estate “asserted that the disclosure of the names was necessary because one issue he and his client were focused on, along with Congress and the press, was the role and conduct of the ‘institutional players,’” the government wrote in the brief.

Although Heymann and three other Assistant U.S. Attorneys have agreed to allow their names to go unredacted in the documents, the government said other people involved “did not voluntarily inject themselves into this matter” but were “drawn in simply because they did their jobs.”

In addition to the guillotine postcards to the Heymanns, Ortiz’s home has been targeted by protesters, the government said.
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On Monday, June 17, as activists stood before the BOP headquarters on Monday, a guard emerged to ask why they were there. Upon hearing that Dick Gregory would be present at the vigil the following day, he responded enthusiastically: "My man, Dick Gregory!"

On Tuesday, June 18, shortly after noon, fifteen people with banners and signs assembled outside the doors of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, DC. for the historic vigil, the first in support of a federal prisoner at the Bureau headquarters.

Dick Gregory spoke about the urgent need for FBOP Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. to sign Lynne Stewart's fully vetted Compassionate Release application and to authorize the federal attorney to file the motion for Compassionate Release with Judge John Koetl. Lynne cannot be freed without the completion of these steps. At this moment, the unconscionable holdup rests with the absence of Director Samuels signature as the completed file remains "on his desk."

As Dick Gregory spoke, workers at the Federal Bureau of Prisons gathered at FBOP windows. The ground floor lobby was filled with FBOP employees, listening and watching.

At 1:15 p.m. two Homeland Security cars pulled up. One of the men who exited one of the cars was in full combat dress. They stopped, watched as Dick Gregory spoke, noted the rapt attention Dick Gregory was receiving from both inside the FBOP and outside it, looked at each other and entered the building without speaking.

Askia Muhammad, News Director of WPFW, was there throughout the two hour vigil and recorded all that was said. Free Speech Radio News filmed and recorded. Code Pink and We Will Not Be Silent were present along with David Schwartzman, a noted DC activist.

Fernando Velasquez of Pacifica's KPFA interviewed Dick Gregory and Lou Wolf on the international campaign to free Lynne Stewart and the vigils at the FBOP and the White House. Fernando broadcasts across Latin America.

The vigil at the Bureau of Prisons headquarters continues all week. If you are in Washington, DC, please come at noon tomorrow and Friday to Federal Bureau of Prisons Headquarters, 320 1st St NW, Washington, DC (corner 1st Street and Indiana Avenue, NW) to demand compassionate release for Lynne.

Simultaneously, Lynne Stewart's husband Ralph Poynter and activists continue a vigil at the White House, mobilizing support for Lynne's release.

If you cannot be in DC, telephone BOP Director Samuels at 202-307-3250. Urge him to act now to move forward compassionate release for Lynne Stewart. There is no time to lose.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Students DESTROY NSA Recruiters Over Illegal Spying and Lies (Listen)

Activist Post

When NSA recruiters went to the University of Wisconsin earlier this week to pitch language students on working for the agency, they got more than they bargained for.

The informed students turned the question-and-answer session into a hearing. On trial were the NSA's lies, their legality, and how they define "adversary".

The students recorded audio of the exchange on an iPhone proving that the language-analyst NSA recruiters were left tongue-tied.

"I'm surprised that for language analysts you're incredibly imprecise with your language," grad student Madiha Tahir charged when they failed to define what constitutes an adversary.

"What you're selling us is untrue" she added. "We also know that the NSA took down brochures and fact sheets after the Snowden revelations because those fact sheets had severe inaccuracies and untruths in them -- so how are we supposed to believe what you're saying?"

Another student directly challenged the NSA's morality for using the "globe as their playground" and then partying at the office with co-workers. She then challenges them to become whistleblowers because the truth will ultimately prevail.


"Given the fact that we have been lied to as Americans, given the fact that fact sheets have been pulled down because they clearly had untruths in them, given the fact that Clapper and Alexander lied to Congress...Is being a good liar a qualification to work for the NSA?" Tahir asks.

These young students forced the NSA recruiters to claim, in a seemingly desperate defense, that they were not actually there "representing the NSA as an agency."

Clearly the people have questions that aren't being addressed by their representatives, and a much larger debate is needed.  However, it'd be much more productive if these kids get to question the NSA leadership instead of our blackmailed politicians.

Listen to the whole exchange below:
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Meditations While Painting Edward Snowden


“...the national security state and the rule of law are mortal enemies... the national security state’s apparatus needs arbitrary power.  Such power has its own code, which is meant to govern or justify the behavior of the initiated -- after the fact.  It operates to protect the state apparatus from the citizenry.”  

Marcus Raskin


...and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 

Book of Job, 1:15.




The day after I read & watched the video of Glenn Greenwald's interview with Edward Snowden in a hotel room in Hong Kong, I began to paint Snowden's portrait for the Americans Who Tell the Truth project. 

There were few images of Snowden available -- some stills from the video in which the subdued indoor lighting gives his face a bluish cast. And a few snapshots with flash that turn him yellow & obscure detail. His hair seemed different in the two versions, and the video never showed the top of his head. I had to make some assumptions. I began drawing until I thought I had a decent likeness, laid in some medium toned color all over his face, then began painting his eyes. If I can get the eyes right, the painting transforms. It becomes a real presence, looks at me, begins to talk to me about doubt, about vulnerability, about courage, about loneliness, about conscience, about anger. Begins to talk to me about defining moments & no going back. About justice being more important than himself.

* * * * * *

Snowden seemed to me a tiny chunk of the vast, submerged NSA iceberg, a chunk that had chipped itself free & willed itself to drift in the opposite direction. The one lemming that ran the other way.  

* * * * * *

The debates about whether Snowden is a traitor or a hero seem wrong to me. He is both. He is traitor to the National Security State, but a hero to the idea of democracy.

He is a hero to the rule of law, but traitor to the rule of legal hypocrisy. Or, put another way, he's a traitor to the selective law of power & privilege. He's a hero to the rule of justice. 

I find it curious to hear our media and officials clamor on about the rule of law: Whatever else you may say, he did break the law!  Well, of course he did. Haven’t many of our  heroes broken the law? What did the law say to Rosa Parks about where she could sit on a bus in Montgomery? What did the law say to Susan B. Anthony about her right as a woman to vote? What did the law say to Harriet Tubman about the legality of slavery? It was not for nothing that Thoreau said, "The law will never make men free. Men have got to make the law free." Isn't that what Edward Snowden is doing -- saving us from unjust law? What is the law but a lump of self-serving clay in the hands of power? How easily the law can be shaped to make preemptive war legal, or torture, or rendition, or murder without due process, or total surveillance. I think the political philosopher Marcus Raskin says it best: 

"Democracy and its operative principle, the rule of law, require a ground on which to stand. That ground is the truth. When the government lies, or is structured like our national security state to promote lies and self-deception, then our official structures have broken faith with the essential precondition for constitutional government in democracy. "

Edward Snowden is a traitor to those who say the law is about looking forward not back.

He's a hero to those who say that the law has to look back, requires a ground to stand on, in order to look forward.  A law of convenience is no law at all. 

Should Snowden have turned himself in? Confronted his accusers in court? I suspect his reason for not doing that was based in strategy rather than personal safety. He saw whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou and Sibel Edmonds be denied the right to explain in court why they had to act. They are silenced in court. As a free but stateless man, he can continue to expose the duplicity of our surveillance state.

* * * * * *

In the 1950s & 1960s when I was young, a common Cold War refrain was Better Dead than Red! The slogan's aggressive political and moral content was that it was preferable to blow up the entire world with nuclear weapons than succumb to a totalitarian surveillance state.

And here we are today being asked by our president to weigh our freedom against our security, to decide in favor of security and accept the surveillance of all of us. 

This surveillance comes not by a hammer or a sickle, but from the paranoia of our own power. Communist moles have not infiltrated the State Department and the Pentagon -- we can do that very well for ourselves, thank you, with the help of corporate true believers. Joe McCarthy was right about the infiltration, but wrong about the perpetrators. So, are we red but not dead? Or, fascist and dead?  Should we not resist?

* * * * * *

Secrecy. I’d prefer to be responsible for my own secrets. As well as my endearments, my stupid jokes, my political rants, my plans to meet friends, my birthday greetings, my thank you calls, my favorite lines of poetry, my expletives, my sorrows, my indiscretions, my struggles to understand spirituality, my attempts at solace. They’re mine. They are me. I don’t want some NSA voyeur collecting what’s me and making it his. I empathize with some indigenous people who believe that taking their photo is stealing their soul. A man with a little black box walks away with you inside it. My secrets become his secrets. Who am I then?

* * * * * *

When I paint, I paint mostly with my fingers -- more like sculpting, thinning and shaping color, mixing it, making the paint translucent to allow the color to come from underneath. The process is intimate. My fingers blot a highlight on the iris, smooth the pinkness at the inner edge of a nostril, rub a bluish shadow into the cheek, smudge the eyebrows into the occipital ridge, round a shadow to shape the lower lip. It's all about the intensity of seeing but accomplished as though I am blind and learning the contours of the face with my fingers.

* * * * * *

While I was working on the portrait, the US revoked Snowden's passport. He was in Russia, apparently sequestered in the airport, having one possible refuge after another cave to US pressure. He was now stateless. How strange! The man who believes so deeply in the purported values of his state that he risks everything for those values is then disowned by that state. In effect, by being disowned, he becomes the state. By disowning him, the state disowns its own values. He becomes the remnant of those values in exile. One person becomes bigger -- morally, legally, courageously, spiritually -- than the hypocritical state that denounced him. He's like Jonathan Swift's Gulliver being staked out & tied to the ground by the swarm of ant-like Lilliputians.

* * * * * *

While Snowden was tied down in Russia, I had to leave the portrait to attend a conference in Jordan about civic engagement and democracy in the Middle-East & North Africa. I bought a book there of the great Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, Absent Presence. In a section describing how it feels to live under Israeli occupation and surveillance, Darwish says, They interpreted your dreams before you had them. Oh, I thought, exactly the goal of the NSA as they decipher metadata and comb emails to predict my actions before I have formulated them myself. An invasion of the privacy of the future as well as the present.

* * * * * *

An Aside: We hear apologists for the NSA say, well, hell, we've got the technology; it's going to be used! As if there is no escaping the destiny of the invention. We also hear: We have the technology for hydraulic fracturing, so it will be used. And: Because the tar sands are there, we will use the oil. So, should I get used to the fact that because I have a big knife in my kitchen, I will have to stab myself in the back? Are we a species with conscious choice, or is our only option an inventive determinism leading to suicide?

* * * * * *

In his essay in the New Yorker about the NSA, Hendrik Hertzberg makes the good point that even if millions of people the world over are not being bugged except in terms of "metadata," maybe the intrusion is not so great for any one person, “But that does not mean no harm has been done. The harm is civic. The harm is collective. The harm is to the architecture of trust and accountability that supports an open society and democratic polity. The harm is to the reputation and, perhaps, the reality of the United States as such a society, such a polity." 

Hertzberg's sentiments are fine & correct. But I am deeply bothered when anyone presents an argument based on the assumption that a viable "architecture of trust and accountability" is still standing in this country. As surely as the World Trade Towers, that building of civic faith was knocked down a long time ago & it serves none of us any good to act as though its mirage is still standing. To comfort ourselves with the belief that it does exist only plays into the hands of the powerful dissemblers who have taken it down. If you think you can see it, they can still pretend it's there for the good of us all. Of course, we can’t survive as a polity without that architecture of trust and accountability. Which is why, first, we must drain the swamp of special interest money from our politics.

* * * * * *

An aside on "service": While tediously scratching in Snowden's hair and stippling his short mustache and goatee, my mind wanders. I think about the service he has tried to perform for the people of this country through his sacrifice. It's an unpaid and un-honored service. His service has some similarities to the service of our military. Their charge is to protect the Constitution. He took that oath and ordered himself to do that, too. But there are some vast differences. Our servicemen & women were betrayed by their government when they were sent to Iraq and required to risk their lives while killing people who were not a danger -- nor intended to be -- to this country or our Constitution. They are praised highly for their service -- for the obvious reason that the praise obscures the crimes. Snowden is condemned for his service because it exposes crime & hypocrisy.

* * * * * *

A further aside:  I travel a lot. Those of you who do, too, know that our domestic airlines offer a thank you to our military service personnel by letting them board planes first, sometimes upgrading them to first class, sometimes asking fellow passengers to applaud their service. This irritates me -- not because these soldiers are not courageous & patriotic, but because it enforces the idea that the cause is just. I would love to hear -- just once! -- a flight attendant ask the passengers to acknowledge the peacemakers on board, to see a social justice activist be offered an upgrade to first class (and refuse it, of course). 

* * * * * *

I decided to paint the background of Snowden's portrait a deep brown/black. No other color seemed right.

* * * * * *

Somebody asked me if I was going to paint Snowden’s moles on his left cheek & neck. Of course, I said, my obligation is not to be a cosmetic surgeon. Quite the opposite. Part of my obligation as an artist is to paint whatever I see in people however it varies from the aesthetic ideal -- the lopsided nose, the differently sized eyes, their blue-gray circles, a protruding ear, the thinning hair, crooked teeth. Nor is my task to judge what might be seen as character flaws in my subjects. We all have flaws. We all don’t have courage. Part of my obligation is to make visible the courageous integrity that informs the face, how it radiates as beauty.

* * * * * *

One metric by which to measure Snowden's action: did it take courage or cowardice? The answer to this reminds me of Camilo Mejia, the first US soldier who, for  refusing to go back to Iraq spent 9 months in prison. From prison Mejia wrote: "I was a coward, not for leaving the war, but for having been a part of it in the first place. I failed to fulfill my moral duty as a human being, and instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a soldier. What good is freedom if we are not able to live with our own actions? I am confined to a prison, but I feel, today more than ever, connected to all humanity. Behind these bars I sit a free man because I listened to a higher power, the voice of my conscience.”  He went on to say that he was also a hero -- not because he led men into battle, but because he refused to do it anymore in that immoral war.  

Edward Snowden was a traitor to the kind of duty that can make one feel part of something, but simultaneously rob one of humanity. He was a hero for following his conscience which required of him a profound and deeper duty.

In a recent essay in the The New York Times, Roger Berkowitz, writing about Hannah Arendt,  wrote,

“Arendt concluded that evil in the modern world is done neither by monsters nor by bureaucrats, but by joiners... Such joiners are not stupid; they are not robots. But they are thoughtless in the sense that they abandon their independence, their capacity to think for themselves, and instead commit themselves absolutely to the fictional truth of the movement. It is futile to reason with them. They inhabit an echo chamber, having no interest in learning what others believe. It is this thoughtless commitment that… makes them willing to employ technological implements of violence in the name of saving the world.”

This quote may explain the deafening silence from others in the NSA to Snowden's action.  Two of the only NSA employees to support Snowden have been Tom Drake and William Binney, fellow NSA apostates and courageous whistleblowers who tried years ago to make the same warning.

* * * * * *

My last task was to scratch a quote from Snowden into the surface of the portrait. As anyone who has listened to him knows, Snowden is articulate, measured, thoughtful and philosophically accurate about the ideas that support democracy and that impelled him to act. After considering many possible quotes, I chose one of the simplest and most obvious, one which the NSA with all of its super computers, eavesdropping equipment, and secrecy could not begin to understand:

"...the public needs to know the kinds of things a government does in its name, or the "consent of the governed" is meaningless…. The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed." --- Edward Snowden

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FBI Whistleblower Parkinson Claims FBI Pilots Use Government Facilities, Airplanes To Solicit Prostitutes

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Former U.S. Marine and FBI agent LtCol. John C Parkinson is bringing a whistleblower case to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

Parkinson claims he was fired from his position as an FBI special agent in 2010 because he was attempting to expose the illegal sexual escapades of fellow agents Steven Broce and Andrew Marshall. He filed a 2008 motion against the men through the Office of the Inspector general. His motion led to a brief investigation which was stopped when Parkinson’s FBI superiors retaliated against Parkinson with a motion of their own.

According to Parkinson’s claim, he said that a thorough investigative probe of Broce and Marshall “will reveal a clear pattern of fraud, waste and abuse over a period of years that has cost the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars and damaged the public reputation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Justice.

“Mr. Broce has utilized his position as an FBI agent to engage in a career-long pattern of soliciting sex from prostitutes,” Parkinson wrote. “The symbols of his position as an FBI agent, specifically, his gun, badge and official identification, are utilized as part of the act of soliciting sex from prostitutes and have on at least two occasions been left behind in brothels by Mr. Broce.”

Parkinson also claims that Broce on multiple occasions brought prostitutes back to undercover FBI facilities for sex. Parkinson claims Broce would bring prostitutes to the facility “often during evening shifts that he is known for being especially eager to work.”

Parkinson claims the men also flew plains from Sacramento, California to Nevada for the sole purpose of picking up prostitutes in the state.

“As a pilot assigned to the Sacramento office of the FBI, Mr. Broce has unrestricted access to the FBI hangar, plane and aviation pool,” Parkinson’s claim reads. “Mr. Broce utilized the FBI’s plane to fly at night to Reno, Nevada for the sole purpose of engaging prostitutes in acts of illicit sex. In addition to spending thousands of tax dollars to fund his prurient interests in prostitution, Mr. Broce, who has failed multiple check rides and has vision and hearing impairments, violated FAA and FBI regulations by flying alone from California to Nevada.”

Soon after Parkinson filed his motion, several of his FBI superiors accused him of misusing $77,000 of FBI money. At the same time, Parkinson’s claim against Broce and Marshall was dropped. FBI officials pegged Parkinson with the misuse costs because he removed couches and other furniture from the FBI’s Sacramento airport hangar. Parkinson claims the furniture was becoming stained from Broce’s and Marshall’s sexual activities. Parkinson was ultimately fired over the charges.

Parkinson is being represented by attorney Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project in his case before the MSPB. Radack spoke recently on her client’s case.

“This is what happens to intelligence professionals who go through the proper channels,” she said. “Parkinson did everything by the book. He went to the Inspector General and yet he still ended up fired.”

For now, Broce and Marshall remain employed by the FBI. Neither men have received punishment or restrictions of access for the activities reported in Parkinson’s original claim.

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Veto override of HB 436 could pit officer against officer
Law enforcement agencies statewide decry poorly written, far-reaching gun law changes
September 7, 2013

House Bill 436, also known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, would make it a class A misdemeanor for a federal agent to enforce federal gun laws among other far-reaching firearm provisos included in legislation vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon and set for the Sept. 11 override session.

Under the bill, if a person commits a federal firearm offense and is arrested by a federal official — local law enforcement would be under the letter of the law — forced to arrest the federal officer. This could essentially put a local officer or deputy in a position where they would be forced to arrest a FBI/ATF or other agent for doing their job.

"It could possibly pit law enforcement officer against law enforcement officer, whether it be federal, state, municipal or county law enforcement officer. I think the concept behind it is a good idea. I'm an advocate of the Second Amendment and I'm all for the idea behind it. I just think this bill is a little too broad and it needs to be narrowed down to pinpoint the idea behind it," Sheriff Dan Bullock said.

The sheriff also says that while he may not support all of the far-reaching language in the bill, he is a firm believer in the Second Amendment and will uphold the U.S. Constitution despite any effort to strip the citizenry of their right to bear arms.

"I under no circumstances, and I want to really enforce this idea, am in no way going to stand idly by and let federal officers or the federal government or any other factions come into St. Francois County and disarm armed citizens that are not criminals.

"And I don't want anyone to misconstrue this in any way as me being soft on the Second Amendment. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. The Second Amendment is near and dear to me and I have every intention of protecting those rights in St. Francois County no matter who comes to disarm the citizens here--legislation or not," Bullock said.

In addition, the law could prevent federal and state or local law enforcement from working together on some cases.

"There are times when we use federal law, because there are no state laws available to go after certain types of crimes. You can usually get more time in a federal situation than what you can in a state situation. We certainly don't want to break ties or cause problems between deputies, the highway patrol, municipal officers and the ATF, the FBI and federal agencies. There are also federal funds that come in that we could lose because of this bill," Bullock said.

Sheriff Bullock noted the recent investigation into the death of Sam Francis, where the case was solved through a joint and far-reaching investigation by federal and local authorities.

"We worked just recently on the tattoo artist case and the FBI, ATF, highway patrol, the sheriff's department and municipal officers worked together on that case and it was solved and it worked very well," said Bullock.

The bill would also allow offenders to sue law enforcement for being arrested on firearm violations.

"There is a possibility that criminals could sue police officers," Bullock said.

The Missouri Sheriffs Association also disagrees with much of the language in the bill. In a press release they said it will essentially "hamstring" sheriffs and their deputies from participating in federal drug and violent gang task forces in the state.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster recently sent a letter to general assembly members citing many of the same concerns, which can be read in its entirety at http://ago.mo.gov/HB436_AGLetter_09032012.pdf.

Koster cited the case of Cooper v. Aaron, the 1958 case which essentially desegregated schools in Arkansas. That case stated it is a conflict for a legislator sworn to uphold the constitution to war against it.

On the subject of schools, the establishment of school protection officers is also part of the package. School districts could designate one or more teachers or administrators. Funds to compensate the officer would come from the district.

The school protection officer would be allowed to carry a concealed firearm in any school in the district. They could detain violators of state law until law enforcement arrives. Those detained for school policy violations must be turned over to a school administrator as soon as possible.

Requirement of the position would be requesting the designation in writing to the school superintendent, proof of concealed carry endorsement and a certificate of school protection officer training completion from a program approved by the Director of the Department of Public Safety. The Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) will establish the standards, hours required and curriculum for the training and instructors.

"I think that is a good part of the legislation. It allows our schools to actually have an officer that can be certified as a police officer on school property. I think that's a good thing," Bullock said.

Another proviso of the legislation makes concealed carry information a closed record under the Sunshine Law.

The Missouri Press Association disagrees with this language according to a recent press release.

During the association's annual convention, they expressed concern over certain provisions in House Bill 436 on Thursday, by officially voting to seek injunctive relief and a court determination on the constitutionality of those provisions if the Governor's veto of this bill is overturned next week during the Missouri General Assembly's veto session in Jefferson City.

The bill contains a new Missouri statute, Section 571.011, which states, in part, "No person or entity shall publish the name, address or other identifying information of any individual who owns a firearm...."

The board, in making this decision, said it believes that language is clearly in opposition to the guarantee in Missouri's Constitution, Article I, Section 8, that states, "That no law shall be passed impairing the freedom of speech, no matter by what means communicated....," in addition to the long history which exists protecting speech in this country under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"Because of the way this law is worded, any time a name of someone who is a gun owner is published anywhere, online or in print, the publisher could be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined up to $1,000," said Mark Maassen, president of the association. "Local prosecutors, who work hard to protect their communities, are going to prosecute people who had no idea that a person whose name they publish was a gun owner. Some may prosecute, some may not. But it will be a mess."

Maassen speculated that lists of gun owners may need to be created in order to advise members of the public of whose names cannot be published, but pointed out that the publication of that list alone would violate the law. He speculated that election authorities may encounter problems publishing ballots because some elected officials and potential candidates are gun owners.
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Contacts and List of Assembly Points for October 22, 2013
Last updated 10 September 2013. Information is posted as it is received, so check later if your area is not listed yet - contacts for areas with actions in previous years are included.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Atlanta, Georgia
Austin, Texas
Boise, Idaho
Boston, Massachusetts
Central Valley, California
209-518-7997 or 209-513-4421
Chicago, Illinois
Chattanooga, Tennessee
[no contact provided last year]
Cleveland, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Detroit, Michigan
Freehold, New Jersey
Fresno, California
Greensboro, North Carolina
Houston, Texas
Humboldt/Eureka/Redwood Curtain, California
Kansas City, Missouri
[no contact provided last year]
Las Vegas, Nevada
[no contact provided last year]
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis, Minnesota
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York, New York
866-235-7814 (toll-free voicemail and fax)
Olympia, Washington
[no contact provided last year]
Oxnard, California
Phoenix, Arizona
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Raleigh, North Carolina
Richmond, Virginia

Sacramento, California
916-370-0846 (Christina Arechiga)
St. Louis, Missouri
San Bernardino, California
[no contact provided last year]
San Diego, California
San Francisco/Bay Area, California

Seattle, Washington
Washington DC

Wichita, Kansas
[no contact provided last year]
Montreal, QC
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see link for full story

The Revolutionaries in Our Midst

Posted on Nov 10, 2013
AP/Cook County Sheriff's Office

Jeremy Hammond in a March 2012 booking photo from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Chicago.

By Chris Hedges

NEW YORK—Jeremy Hammond sat in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center last week in a small room reserved for visits from attorneys. He was wearing an oversized prison jumpsuit. The brown hair of the lanky 6-footer fell over his ears, and he had a wispy beard. He spoke with the intensity and clarity one would expect from one of the nation’s most important political prisoners.

On Friday the 28-year-old activist will appear for sentencing in the Southern District Court of New York in Manhattan. After having made a plea agreement, he faces the possibility of a 10-year sentence for hacking into the Texas-based private security firm Strategic Forecasting Inc., or Stratfor, which does work for the Homeland Security Department, the Marine Corps, the Defense Intelligence Agency and numerous corporations including Dow Chemical and Raytheon.

Four others involved in the hacking have been convicted in Britain, and they were sentenced to less time combined—the longest sentence was 32 months—than the potential 120-month sentence that lies before Hammond.

Hammond turned the pilfered information over to the website WikiLeaks and Rolling Stone and other publications. The 3 million email exchanges, once made public, exposed the private security firm’s infiltration, monitoring and surveillance of protesters and dissidents, especially in the Occupy movement, on behalf of corporations and the national security state. And, perhaps most important, the information provided chilling evidence that anti-terrorism laws are being routinely used by the federal government to criminalize nonviolent, democratic dissent and falsely link dissidents to international terrorist organizations. Hammond sought no financial gain. He got none.

The email exchanges Hammond made public were entered as evidence in my lawsuit against President Barack Obama over Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Section 1021 permits the military to seize citizens who are deemed by the state to be terrorists, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities. Alexa O’Brien, a content strategist and journalist who co-founded US Day of Rage, an organization created to reform the election process, was one of my co-plaintiffs. Stratfor officials attempted, we know because of the Hammond leaks, to falsely link her and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as to jihadist ideology, putting her at risk of detention under the new law. Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled, in part because of the leak, that we plaintiffs had a credible fear, and she nullified the law, a decision that an appellate court overturned when the Obama administration appealed it.


<a href='http://www.truthdig.com/banners/www/delivery/ck.php?n=abee66dc&cb=1145589904' target='_blank'><img src='http://www.truthdig.com/banners/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=8&cb=1145589904&n=abee66dc' border='0' alt='' /></a>
Freedom of the press and legal protection for those who expose government abuses and lies have been obliterated by the corporate state. The resulting self-exile of investigative journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras, along with the indictment of Barrett Brown, illustrate this. All acts of resistance—including nonviolent protest—have been conflated by the corporate state with terrorism. The mainstream, commercial press has been emasculated through the Obama administration’s repeated use of the Espionage Act to charge and sentence traditional whistle-blowers. Governmental officials with a conscience are too frightened to reach out to mainstream reporters, knowing that the authorities’ wholesale capturing and storing of electronic forms of communication make them easily identifiable. Elected officials and the courts no longer impose restraint or practice oversight. The last line of defense lies with those such as Hammond, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning who are capable of burrowing into the records of the security and surveillance state and have the courage to pass them on to the public. But the price of resistance is high.

“In these times of secrecy and abuse of power there is only one solution—transparency,” wrote Sarah Harrison, the British journalist who accompanied Snowden to Russia and who also has gone into exile, in Berlin. “If our governments are so compromised that they will not tell us the truth, then we must step forward to grasp it. Provided with the unequivocal proof of primary source documents people can fight back. If our governments will not give this information to us, then we must take it for ourselves.”

“When whistleblowers come forward we need to fight for them, so others will be encouraged,” she went on. “When they are gagged, we must be their voice. When they are hunted, we must be their shield. When they are locked away, we must free them. Giving us the truth is not a crime. This is our data, our information, our history. We must fight to own it. Courage is contagious.”

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CURE Director Charlie Sullivan sent this email to me.


Dear Friends, Cong. Bass is about ready to introduce a bill that would
eliminate the expensive requirement that a student who has a minor
drug conviction must undergo expensive treatment before they can
receive financial aid. President Bush even thought this requirement
was not necessary.

Many poor students cannot afford this treatment and will not be able
to go to college. What we need is a few stories that we can point to
that show the great damage this does.

Please feel free to forward this to anyone who might be able to help
in this regard. I am working with Cong. Bass's staffer, Chris Randle.
Feel free to email him directly if you are someone who has gone
through this. His email address is Chris.Randle@mail.house.gov
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For all you players who read my posts it is time to get up off
of that thang and give up a fin or sawbuck to my friends at the
Human Kindness Foundation. I had a chance to sit down with
Bo Lozoff after being on their mailing list for 30 years when he came
to speak in Maine. I interviewed him in the office of Sister Lucy Poulin
who created H.O.M.E. in Orland Maine . She builds homes for the homeless,eh?
see   http://www.homecoop.net/

The money you donate to Human Kindness Foundation goes to the brothers and sisters inside.
If you like what I am putting out on this forum join me in this effort
to give back by giving  something to those who have been forgotten.

Bo Lozoff died in a motorcycle accident in 2012 at the age of 65.
He was a professional musician and transformed the lives of a lot of people.

Read the December newsletter and weep......

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some of you might already know I have been shooting a documentary of Maine artist Robert Shetterly for the past 6 years.
Here is his latest portrait of FBI  whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Each of the 180 portraits he has painted has a quotation from the person painted scratched onto the canvas.

He has also written an essay which accompanies this portrait.

see link for other  portraits

Meditations On Law and Denial While Painting Sibel Edmonds

Editor's note: The artist's essay that follows accompanies the 'online unveiling'—exclusive to Common Dreams—of Shetterly's latest painting in his "Americans Who Tell the Truth" portrait series which present citizens throughout U.S. history who have courageously engaged in the social, environmental, or economic issues of their time. This portrait of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds* follows one of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden unveiled on these pages in July.[sibel_edmonds]Portrait of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. (Painted by Robert Shetterly / 'Americans Who Tell The Truth' project)

“Senator Humphrey, I been praying about you, and I been thinking about you, and you’re a good man. The only trouble is, you’re afraid to do what you know is right.”

Those words were spoken by Fannie Lou Hamer in Atlantic City in 1964. Hubert Humphrey, the soon-to-be running mate of Lyndon Johnson, had informed Ms. Hamer that her integrated Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegation would not be seated at the Democratic Convention, nor would they replace the all-white delegation sent to the convention by the Mississippi Democratic Party.

The reason I quote them here is that the problem she identifies—a good man afraid to do what he knows is right— haunts our history. It haunts it because moral cowardice, euphemistically called political expediency, leads to injustice, denial and corruption.

When I was painting the portrait of the FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, those words came back to me. Just three days after the 9/11 attacks, Edmonds received a call from the FBI. She had applied to the agency for an internship in 1997 and been given a battery of tests that probed her language abilities in Turkish, Farsi and Azerbaijani. The FBI, however, had never followed up with her. Now, scrambling to bolster their translation capabilities in the wake of the terrorist attack, the agency reached out to Edmonds. After a moment’s consideration, Edmonds, who was then a full-time student working on degrees in criminal justice and psychology, agreed to come on part-time as a translator for the FBI, feeling compelled to answer this “call to duty.”

What the FBI didn’t realize was that Sibel was not simply a translator. They had hired a fierce convert to US ideals. In her 2012 book, Classified Woman, Edmonds describes inheriting her “love for freedom of speech and of the press, my dedication to the protection of due process, and my endless quest for government held accountable” from her Iranian Azerbaijani father. Her father, a surgeon and hospital administrator, had been subjected to interrogation and torture in Iran when he advocated for worker’s rights in the hospital where he was employed.  

As a teenager in Turkey, Edmonds wrote an essay for school in which she criticized Turkey’s censorship laws. Her scared and angry teacher asked her to withdraw the essay, fearing that his student would be jailed and tortured. Edmonds’ father backed his daughter’s decision not to submit a different essay. Within months in 1988, Edmonds left for the United States and experienced “love at first sight.” It was a place, she writes, where she could live “with the kind of freedom and rights that existed only in books and in my fantasies.”

Edmonds began work at the FBI on September 20, 2001. She was fired without cause in March of 2002. In her six month stint at the agency, Edmonds witnessed blatant incompetence, personal agendas that compromised national security, and corruption at top levels of the American government. Despite mounting threats from superiors, Edmonds refused to turn a blind eye or walk quietly away from the agency, believing it was her responsibility to expose the wrongdoing she saw. Like most whistleblowers, she assumed that when FBI really understood what she was discovering, they would stop it. She reported to what she thought were a few good men, each of them afraid to do what was right. Their choice was to silence her.

As a translator, she was discovering intricate webs of corruption involving money laundering, illegal weapon and drug sales, and illicit trading in military and nuclear technology. The spinners of the webs were (are) fronted as Turkish construction companies operating in the US. In the web, and making huge profits from the deals, were very high ranking US officials in the Congress, State Department and Pentagon. Every time Edmonds was rebuffed she tried harder to get the FBI to pay attention. Once she was fired, she went to court to sue to make her knowledge public and the US courts responded by classifying all of her information as Top Secret. She had been muzzled.

We applaud whistleblowers for their courage to tell truth to power. However, that statement is at the best misleading, at the worst, false. Power is not listening, and it is making sure that others can’t hear. Whistleblowers tell truth about power. And when that truth is about a corruption as deep and far-reaching as what Sibel Edmonds had uncovered, many people don’t even want to know.

When she was given the 2006 PEN Newman First Amendment Award. Edmonds said in her acceptance speech, “… our freedom is under assault—not from terrorists—for they only attack us, not our freedom, and they can never prevail. No, the attacks on our freedom are from within, from our very own government: and unless we recognize these attacks … and stand up, and speak out—no, shout out—against those in government who are attempting to silence the brave few who are warning us, then we are doomed to wake up one sad morning and wonder when and where our freedom died.

It seems that the information that Sibel Edmonds is sounding the alarm about, systemic corruption in all our branches of government, is information that many people, even good people, don’t want to hear. Her message is similar to what William Pepper argued in a Memphis court in 1999, that the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. was carried out by a conspiracy of government and mafia forces; similar to what James Douglass asserts about CIA involvement in the assassination of JFK in his book JFK and the Unspeakable.

Many of us would prefer to ignore this kind of deep criminality on the part of our own government. Why? Is it too dangerous to confront? Irrelevant to the struggles of our everyday lives? Is what this acknowledgement would require of us as citizens too frightening?  

We celebrate the lives of people like Dr. King, mourn and grieve in official ceremonies promoted by the government, but refuse to acknowledge that the government itself was involved in the crime of his death even when the evidence is readily available. In a sense then, all of us become accessories after the fact to the crime.

Unfortunately, we all inherit our legacy of denial. Our economic, political, historical and moral lives are too often shaped by failures of accountability. When Obama refused to prosecute the Bush administration for any of its crimes in order to look forward instead of looking back, he enabled this deep criminal denial. He also ensured that we would never be able to look forward because the past would be blocking our view. And in doing so, he also ensures that a republic based on the rule of law becomes little more than propaganda.

We are taught that our separation of powers makes justice inevitable. We are not taught that corrupt collaboration of those powers makes injustice unchallengeable, that “law” is being used to commit crime.  

For Sibel Edmonds that situation is untenable. Her courage and tenacity in trying to expose these crimes is, even by whistleblower standards, remarkable. I urge everyone to read her book Classified Woman to find out what we don’t want to know. She’s not afraid to do what she knows is right.

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People's Thanksgiving Dinner to raises funds for Rasmea Odeh defense

By staff |
December 6, 2013
Read more articles in Rasmea Odeh
Enter a descriptive sentence about the photo here.

Chicago, IL - Since 1992, activists with Fight Back! news, some of whom are members of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, have held a People’s Thanksgiving dinner. According to Joe Iosbaker, “It was started as part of a movement to protest 500 years of colonialism and to celebrate the resistance of the indigenous people.”

Each year the dinner has recognized activists and organizations that have contributed to struggles in Chicago and around the country.

This year, there is urgency to the gathering. Rasmea Odeh, a beloved activist in the Palestinian community in Chicago, is under attack by the U.S. government. The Sunday, Dec. 8 dinner will raise funds for her defense, in addition to helping to keep publishing Fight Back!.

Hatem Abudayyeh, a friend of Fight Back!, and himself a victim of repression, said, “The FBI and the U.S. attorney in Chicago have used political repression against 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists for the past three years. Now the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. attorney in Detroit are victimizing Rasmea.”

Odeh faces 10 years in prison and deportation if she is convicted of falsifying her application for citizenship.

Along with Rasmea Odeh, the dinner will honor two activists with the Anti-War Committee-Chicago: Newland Smith, a longtime fixture in the Palestine solidarity movement, and Sarah Simmons for her role resisting Mayor Emanuel’s attack on the Chicago Teachers Union and public education. Pete Camarata, a founder of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, will be recognized for his lifelong efforts for the cause of working people. And the continued struggle for justice for Trayvon Martin will be highlighted by a Skype message from Michael Sampson, a Dream Defender who occupied the State Capitol in Florida after the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

For more information on the dinner, go to http://www.StopFBI.net

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see link for full story

Ex-CIA, NSA, FBI, and GCHQ Employees Urge Former Colleagues to Blow the Whistle
Daniel Ellsberg and other former leakers plead for current staffers to follow Edward Snowden's example.
 Dec 12 2013

An open letter published in The Guardian features seven signatories—including Daniel Ellsberg, who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers, as well as ex-employees of the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and GCHQ—urging their former colleagues to follow Edward Snowden's example and blow the whistle on ongoing crimes and misconduct within the national-security state.

One portion of the letter says:

    Hidden away in offices of various government departments, intelligence agencies, police forces and armed forces are dozens and dozens of people who are very much upset by what our societies are turning into: at the very least, turnkey tyrannies.

    One of them is you.

    You're thinking:

        Undermining democracy and eroding civil liberties isn't put explicitly in your job contract.
        You grew up in a democratic society and want to keep it that way
        You were taught to respect ordinary people's right to live a life in privacy
        You don't really want a system of institutionalized strategic surveillance that would make the dreaded Stasi green with envy—do you?

    Still, why bother? What can one person do? Well, Edward Snowden just showed you what one person can do. He stands out as a whistleblower both because of the severity of the crimes and misconduct that he is divulging to the public—and the sheer amount of evidence he has presented us with so far—more is coming. But Snowden shouldn't have to stand alone, and his revelations shouldn't be the only ones.

    You can be part of the solution; provide trustworthy journalists—either from old media (like this newspaper) or from new media (such as WikiLeaks) with documents that prove what illegal, immoral, wasteful activites are going on where you work.

    There IS strength in numbers. You won't be the first—nor the last—to follow your conscience and let us know what's being done in our names. Truth is coming—it can't be stopped. Crooked politicians will be held accountable. It's in your hands to be on the right side of history and accelerate the process.

    Courage is contagious.
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Redwood Curtain CopWatch, based in the north coast of California, is part of a larger movement of self organized CopWatch groups throughout the US. Our local efforts seek to intervene in the drastic rise of the presence, militarization, and violence of the police, and build support networks based on self-determination, caring, and concrete needs.

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 Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) is a grassroots organization that was founded in Texas in 1972. It became a national organization in 1985.

We believe that prisons should be used only for those who absolutely must be incarcerated and that those who are incarcerated should have all of the resources they need to turn their lives around. We also believe that human rights documents provide a sound basis for ensuring that criminal justice systems meet these goals.


CURE is a membership organization. We work hard to provide our members with the information and tools necessary to help them understand the criminal justice system and to advocate for changes.


The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
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Founded in 1987 and located near Boston, Massachusettss, Granite Island Group, is THE internationally recognized leader in the field of Technical Surveillance Counter Measures (TSCM), Bug Sweeps, Wiretap Detection, Surveillance Technology, Communications Security (COMSEC), Counter-Intelligence, Technical Security, and Spy Hunting.

Mission Statement

Granite Island Group provides expert technical, analytical and research capability for the detection, nullification, and isolation of eavesdropping devices, technical surveillance penetrations, technical surveillance hazards, and physical security weaknesses... Simply put, we hunt spies, stop espionage, and plug leaks.

Granite Island Group was initially formed to provide TSCM and SIGINT training services to the Army Intelligence School located at Fort Devens, MA. Engineering, design, and related services were also provided to various research facilities and defense contractors throughout New England. These services also included product design, fully instrumented TSCM surveys, bug sweeps, wiretap detection, SCIF compliance inspections, shielding evaluations, and other engineering services related to the technical security and protection of classified information.

Design projects included the development of several briefcase and man-pack systems used for signals exploitation and surveillance, along with suites of software products used to control test instruments for automated ECM, SIGINT, Signals Analysis, TEMPEST, TSCM and related measurements.

In 1989 the services offered were expanded to include the design, installation, and maintenance of high performance computer networks used in secure facilities. This included performing TSCM, wiretap detection, and bug sweep services on desktop computers, data networks, and PBX/ESS systems to identify weaknesses which could allow technical penetrations or the compromise of classified or sensitive information. At the time there was only one company in the entire country who could do this... and we were it.

Granite Island Group currently provides TSCM, bug sweeps, wiretap detection, and communications engineering services to a wide range of clients and has become one of the most respected names in the industry.



Granite Island Group has had an Internet presence since 1987, and James Atkinson has been active on the Internet since the mid 1970's. With the growth on the Internet in the early 1990's came an FTP/UUCP library, then an IRC reflector, and a dedicated E-Mail based list for discussion and to publish and exchange files related to TSCM and ongoing projects. With the advent of "Mosaic browsers" several years later the informational files and documents were converted to HTTP (or Hypertext Documents) and placed on a dedicated domain in 1994 (http://www.tscm.com)

The web site developed to over 1,950 publicly assessable documents related to TSCM, technical counter-intelligence and technical security which involves well over 78,200 printed pages. The site currently handles an average of over 4,500 visitors a day from all over the world. It is the first, the largest, and most complete site anywhere on the Internet dedicated to TSCM, Technical Counter-Intelligence, and Technical Security.




 * Warning Signs That You Have Been Bugged

 * What Is Bug Sweeps and Bug Detection All About?

 * Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

 * What To Do If You Think You Have Been Bugged

 * How To Commission Someone To Check For Bugs

 * Types of Bugs and Wiretaps

 * Wiretapping 101 ("Outside Plant" Devices)

 * Phone Set Bugging and Modification Techniques

 * Surveillance Threat Levels

 * What Does a Bug Sweep Involve?

 * What Does a Bug Sweep Cost?




Specialized Photographic Services

 * Fine Arts Photography

 * Professional Executive Portraits

 * Location Photography of Work Sites or Construction Sites

 * Photography or Video of Scientific Experiments or Expiditions

 * Medical Photography

 * Microscope Based Photography

 * Legal Exhibit Photography

 * Production of Court-Room Photographic Exhibits in Large Scale Formats

 * Photography of Injuries and Wounds of Injured Persons

 * Technical Examination of Photographs to Detect Manipulation or Forgery

 * Intelligence Analysis and Interpretation of Aerial Photography




Specialized Ancillary Legal Services
Expert Review, Deconstruction, and Intelligence Analysis of:

 * Forensics, Criminalistics, Crime Scene Logs or Reports

 * Court Records and Case Transcripts

 * Physical Evidence (where are the holes in the case)

 * Medical Evidence and Records

 * Electronic Records or Computer Related Evidence




Specialized Courtroom Services

 * Jury Selection, and Jury or Witness Behavioral Analysis Consultant

 * Contemporaneous Intelligence Analysis (provided at hearings and during trial)

 * Technical Advisor, Tutoring, and Technology Coaching for Attorneys




Specialized Computer, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Forensics Services

 * Computer Forensics and Expert Testimony

 * Recovery of Erased or Damaged Computer Files

 * Recovery of Erased or Damaged Digital Photography and Video

 * iPhone, iPod, and iPad Non-Tainting Duplications (Perfect Bit-by-Bit Direct from Memory Copies)

 * iPhone, iPod, and iPad Forensic Analysis

 * Assistance in Crafting and Properly Issuing "Preservation Letters for Telephone, Data, ISPs Records"

 * Assistance in Crafting and Properly Issuing "Subpoenas for Telephone, Data, ISPs Records"

 * Converting Raw Data Obtained from Telephone, Data, and ISPs into Readable Reports

 * Computer Source Code Analysis and Deconstruction




Expert Testimony and Forensics "De-Bunking" Services Regarding:

 * Methods Used To Manipulate or Fabricate Electronic Evidence

 * Methods Used To Manipulate or Fabricate "Forensics and Criminalistics"

 * Methods Used To Manipulate or Fabricate "Fake Crime Scenes"

 * Methods Used To Manipulate or Fabricate "Fake Evidence"

 * Methods Used To Manipulate or Fabricate Photographs

 * Methods Used To Illicit False Confessions and False Testimony




Specialized Legal Profession Bug Detection Services

 * Bug Sweeps of Judges Chambers and/or Homes

 * Bug Sweeps of Jury Rooms, Juror Hotel Rooms, and other placed used by Jurors

 * Bug Sweeps of Attorney-Client Booths and Meeting Rooms

 * Bug Sweeps of Attorney Offices and Conference Rooms

 * Bug Sweeps of Attorneys Client Homes and/or Offices




O divine art of subtlety and secrecy!
Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible;
and hence hold the enemy's fate in our hands.

-- Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c. 500bc




 * Granite Island Group - Who We Are, What We do

* Granite Island Group Mission Statement

* Granite Island Group Profile and Backgrounder

* Background and Qualifications - James M. Atkinson

 * Questions To Ask TSCM Specialists The GOLD LIST

 * Bug Sweep Equipment Methods, and Reviews

 * Helpful Books to Read, and Training to Attend

 * TSCM-L Archives, over 10,000 messages




TSCM 101 - The Technical "Meat and Potatoes"
The following are a series of brief entry level tutorials regarding
specific areas and topics relative to TSCM and methods used to find
bugs and other eavesdropping devices.

 * Tutorial on Basic Bug Sweep Equipment Start Here If You Need Equipment

 * Noise and Sensitivity

 * Modeling Eavesdropping Devices

 * TSCM Antenna Methods and Protocols

 * Wireless Microphones Revisited

 * The Wavecom Eavesdropping Threat

 * Video Signal Eavesdropping Threat

 * Detection, Isolation, and Evaluation of Spread Spectrum Signals

 * Frequency Allocation Basics

 * TEMPEST Basics

 * Basic Bug Frequencies

 * DTV Signals Analysis

 * Tutorial on Basic Sweep Gear




No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed
from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.

-- Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1521




Techniques Used To Find Bugs and Other Technical Security Threats

 * Spectral Analysis of RF Bugging Devices

 * Common RF Bugging Frequencies

 * Time Domain Reflectometry Analysis (Wiretap Locating)

 * Time Domain Reflectometry Tutorial

 * Fluke LANMeter (Dry TDR Methods)

 * TSCM-L Technical Counterintelligence Mailing List




We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth...
For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst;
and to provide for it. -- Patrick Henry




U.S. Laws Regarding Electronic Surveillance

 * Executive Order 12333 - United States Intelligence Activities

 * Title 50, Chapter 36 - Foreign Intelligence Surveillance

 * Title 18, Chapter 119 - Oral, Wire, and Electronic Communications Interception

 * Title 18, Chapter 121 - Stored Wire and Electronic Communications Records Access

 * Title 18, Chapter 205 - Searches and Seizures

 * Title 18, Chapter 90 - Economic Espionage Act of 1996

 * Deepwater Doo Doo - U.S. Government Conned Out Of Several Tens of Billion Dollars




TSCM and Bug Detection Equipment Reviews

* Spectrum Analyzers

* Antennas and Signal Acquisition

* Vector Signal Analysers

* Demodulation and RF Intercept Equipment

* Time Domain Reflectometers

* Oscilloscopes

* Multimeters

* Craft Instruments

* TSCM Specific Instrumentation

* Non Linear Junction Detectors

* Acoustic TSCM Equipment

* Physical Search Equipment

* Photographic and Imaging Instruments

* Auxillary Instrumentation

* Ancillary Instrumentation

* Video Instrumentation

* Special Purpose Vehicle Consideration (SPV)




"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make
you free." - John 8:32 KJV



* Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam


Cryptographic Devices and "Scramblers"

* Tutorial on Real World Cryptographic Devices and Scrambling Equipment


TSCM Product Catalog "Bug and Wiretap Detectors"

* Tutorial on Basic Sweep Gear


Equipment Index

* Used Equipment Index

* Telephone Equipment Index


| Home | What is TSCM | Types of Bugs | Warning Signs You're Bugged |
| How To Behave if Bugged | TSCM Threat Levels | How To Engage a TSCM Firm |
| Qualifications | TSCM Protocol | Bug Frequencies | Phone Taps and Bugging |
| Signal Analysis | TDR Analysis | TDR Tutorial | Wiretapping | Training | Tools |
| Equipment | OSC-5000 | Kaiser | Riser Bond | Avcom | Search Rcvrs |
| Outside Links | Recommended TSCM Books | TSCM Reference Library |
| Recommended U.S. TSCM Firms | TSCM-L Mailing List |

For a confidential consultation please E-mail: jmatk@tscm.com

Granite Island Group
      127 Eastern Avenue #291

    Gloucester, MA 01930

Telephone: (978) 546-3803
International Callers: 001-978-546-3803

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Free online courses at MIT and Harvard with certificate upon completion

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Anti-Israel group slams bill that would strip state aid from colleges tied to them
State Senate Co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) announced legislation that would give the state’s public and private colleges 30 days to end ties to academic groups, such as the American Studies Association, that boycott Israel, or face the loss of state funding and bonding privileges.
Comments (22)
Sunday, December 29, 2013, 2:05 AM

ALBANY — A national academic group that has called for a boycott of Israel ripped into a proposed law Saturday that would strip state aid from colleges that maintain ties with the organization.

In response to the controversial boycott by the American Studies Association, state Senate Co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) announced Friday legislation that would give New York’s public and private colleges 30 days to end associations with academic groups that boycott Israel or face the loss of state funding and bonding privileges....
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In 1995 we brought attorney Antonio Silva to speak at Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School as part of our conference dealing with crimes committed by FBI  agents. Attorney Silva was the lead attorney who represented
FBI  agent Matt Perez in this landmark lawsuit.
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Ex-FBI agent took on FBI to fight for equality

In the early 1980s, when he was the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Puerto Rico office, Bernardo “Mat” Pérez was the highest-ranking official of Hispanic origin in the agency. But the Mexican American didn’t last long in his position in turmoil-plagued Puerto Rico, where groups labeled as terrorists were fighting for independence.

Eventually, Pérez said, he was demoted and sent to the FBI’s Los Angeles bureau, where he worked as second in command.

Pérez said his boss in Puerto Rico didn’t seem to understand the volatile situation there and didn’t seem to respect him because of his Mexican heritage. And when he got to L.A., it wasn’t any better.

The retired agent, who now works as a private investigator in Santa Fe, said he had been naive about racism because he had grown up in a small but diverse community where everyone got along. But his experience in the FBI opened his eyes to the rampant discrimination that minority people faced in the federal workforce. In 1987, when he finally had become fed up with the way he had been treated by those at the highest levels of the FBI because of his Mexican heritage, Pérez sued the agency, along with 310 other Hispanic agents.

At the time, Pérez said, only about 450 of the agency’s 9,000 agents were Hispanic.

The historic discrimination case was heard in 1988 in El Paso, and the Hispanic agents prevailed. A New York Times headline declared, “Judge Finds F.B.I is Discriminatory.” National media sought out Pérez for scores of interviews, and he won awards and acclaim from civil-rights organizations.

But he said he brought the lawsuit only because he wanted Hispanics in the field to be rewarded for their hard work and to make the FBI a good career choice for younger generations of Latinos.

Growing up proud

Pérez, 74, was born and raised in a diverse mining town — Lone Pine, Calif. — with Italian and Irish families. His parents told him that he should be always proud of the family’s Mexican heritage. Growing up in that small-town community, he said, he didn’t think racism existed in the U.S.

“There was no barrio,” he said. “We were all mixed into the town.”

Pérez got into law enforcement after following advice from his uncle, a former officer with the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1960s, when the department had few Hispanic officers.

“I had told him I wanted to be an officer, too,” Pérez said of his uncle. “But instead, he told me, ‘Go apply at the FBI. They’re more respected and better paid.’ ”

He applied for a position with the FBI’s Los Angeles office, but he was told he needed a college education to be an agent.

Pérez wanted to get his feet wet in the field, so he applied at the FBI’s Washington, D.C., office, where he got a job in 1960 as a messenger and file clerk. His duties included handling top-secret files and delivering them to agency officials such J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI’s controversial director.

While he was living in D.C., Pérez got accepted to Georgetown University, where he majored in Spanish literature and became fluent in the Spanish language. And in 1963, when he achieved his college degree, he finally became an agent. He was assigned to offices in Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C.

Advancement and retaliation

Pérez met Hoover in 1969, when he was sent on an assignment to Mexico. It was nerve-wracking, he said, because he knew the meeting could determine his rest of his FBI career.

“At the end of the meeting, he says, ‘You have anything to ask of me?’ ” Pérez said of Hoover. “And I told him, ‘Yes sir, I have one request: I would like more responsibility.’ ”

Hoover was delighted to hear that, Pérez said, and he responded, “As long as I’m the director of this organization, young man, you are going places.”

Pérez worked in several FBI divisions before he was designated as special agent in charge of the Puerto Rico office in 1979.

Pérez quickly launched his first major investigation in his new position — one of the Puerto Rican nationalist groups fighting for independence from the U.S. had gunned down a bus full of sailors. Two were killed and nine others wounded.

Pérez had hoped that with such terrorist attacks occurring on U.S. soil, his bosses would give him the resources he needed to apprehend the nationalist fighters. He asked for computers and more Spanish-speaking agents. But his bosses didn’t take him seriously, he said.

After the bus attack, Pérez did get more Spanish-speaking agents, but he was told he would have to wait years for the computers. He had no intention of waiting. He said he went around his bosses at the FBI and secured computers from another government agency. And then he got his manpower focused on Puerto Rico’s terrorists.

When it was time for an evaluation, however, Pérez was told by his bosses that they weren’t going to consider his investigative work on the island’s nationalist organizations. Instead, they said, he would be evaluated on his administrative abilities. And he didn’t fare well.

Pérez maintains the evaluation was used as an opportunity for his bosses to retaliate against him for going above his director’s head to get computers for his office. A judge later agreed that the evaluation was a pretext for Pérez’s demotion.

“I had been demoted and bounced out of San Juan because I lacked administrative abilities — that was the reason [they told me],” Pérez said. “But the real reason was because I was acting like a Latino. I was talking back, and I wasn’t going along with the company line.”

Pérez was made an assistant special agent in charge in the Los Angeles bureau, working under Special Agent in Charge Richard Bretzing.

“When I got there, [Bretzing] told me, ‘I’m going to try to overlook the fact that you’re a Mexican,’ ” Pérez said.

A painful, costly lawsuit

Although he had experienced discrimination firsthand, accepting that it was widespread in the agency was difficult for Pérez. At an October 2008 meeting of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about issues facing Hispanic federal workers, he described his dilemma at the FBI:

“I had investigated Klan cross-burnings in Florida, police brutality cases in Texas and other civil rights violations,” he said. ” … But I refused to accept and admit that discrimination existed at my beloved FBI. I even argued with my own father and insisted that the FBI was incapable of discrimination. But I finally came to understand a painful truth — He was right, I was wrong.”

Initiating the historic lawsuit was costly for Pérez. He had to borrow thousands of dollars from friends and family members, and he maxed out his credit cards, he said. And even though the court ruled in his favor, there was no monetary compensation. During his talk at the EEOC meeting, he said his successful attorneys had gone bankrupt after the trial.

Still, he said, the case opened the doors for major changes at the FBI — and more lawsuits against federal agencies that were discriminating against minorities.

Fight for equality continues

After the trial, Pérez continued to work for the FBI, but many agents were outraged, accusing him of embarrassing the agency, and he even threatened to bring another lawsuit just to get respect from his bosses, he said.

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Burglars Who Took On F.B.I. Abandon Shadows

Stealing J. Edgar Hoover’s Secrets: One night in 1971, files were stolen from an F.B.I. office near Philadelphia. They proved that the bureau was spying on thousands of Americans. The case was unsolved, until now.
January 7, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — The perfect crime is far easier to pull off when nobody is watching.

    "Heroes. And a reminder to those who naively believe that the government can be trusted with the power to run a surveillance state. How quickly we forget Hoover and Nixon."

wormcast, Wormtown, MA

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So on a night nearly 43 years ago, while Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bludgeoned each other over 15 rounds in a televised title bout viewed by millions around the world, burglars took a lock pick and a crowbar and broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia, making off with nearly every document inside.

They were never caught, and the stolen documents that they mailed anonymously to newspaper reporters were the first trickle of what would become a flood of revelations about extensive spying and dirty-tricks operations by the F.B.I. against dissident groups.

The burglary in Media, Pa., on March 8, 1971, is a historical echo today, as disclosures by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden have cast another unflattering light on government spying and opened a national debate about the proper limits of government surveillance. The burglars had, until now, maintained a vow of silence about their roles in the operation. They were content in knowing that their actions had dealt the first significant blow to an institution that had amassed enormous power and prestige during J. Edgar Hoover’s lengthy tenure as director.

“When you talked to people outside the movement about what the F.B.I. was doing, nobody wanted to believe it,” said one of the burglars, Keith Forsyth, who is finally going public about his involvement. “There was only one way to convince people that it was true, and that was to get it in their handwriting.”

Mr. Forsyth, now 63, and other members of the group can no longer be prosecuted for what happened that night, and they agreed to be interviewed before the release this week of a book written by one of the first journalists to receive the stolen documents. The author, Betty Medsger, a former reporter for The Washington Post, spent years sifting through the F.B.I.’s voluminous case file on the episode and persuaded five of the eight men and women who participated in the break-in to end their silence.

Unlike Mr. Snowden, who downloaded hundreds of thousands of digital N.S.A. files onto computer hard drives, the Media burglars did their work the 20th-century way: they cased the F.B.I. office for months, wore gloves as they packed the papers into suitcases, and loaded the suitcases into getaway cars. When the operation was over, they dispersed. Some remained committed to antiwar causes, while others, like John and Bonnie Raines, decided that the risky burglary would be their final act of protest against the Vietnam War and other government actions before they moved on with their lives.

“We didn’t need attention, because we had done what needed to be done,” said Mr. Raines, 80, who had, with his wife, arranged for family members to raise the couple’s three children if they were sent to prison. “The ’60s were over. We didn’t have to hold on to what we did back then.”

A Meticulous Plan

The burglary was the idea of William C. Davidon, a professor of physics at Haverford College and a fixture of antiwar protests in Philadelphia, a city that by the early 1970s had become a white-hot center of the peace movement. Mr. Davidon was frustrated that years of organized demonstrations seemed to have had little impact.

In the summer of 1970, months after President Richard M. Nixon announced the United States’ invasion of Cambodia, Mr. Davidon began assembling a team from a group of activists whose commitment and discretion he had come to trust.

The group — originally nine, before one member dropped out — concluded that it would be too risky to try to break into the F.B.I. office in downtown Philadelphia, where security was tight. They soon settled on the bureau’s satellite office in Media, in an apartment building across the street from the county courthouse.

That decision carried its own risks: Nobody could be certain whether the satellite office would have any documents about the F.B.I.’s surveillance of war protesters, or whether a security alarm would trip as soon as the burglars opened the door.

The group spent months casing the building, driving past it at all times of the night and memorizing the routines of its residents.

“We knew when people came home from work, when their lights went out, when they went to bed, when they woke up in the morning,” said Mr. Raines, who was a professor of religion at Temple University at the time. “We were quite certain that we understood the nightly activities in and around that building.”

But it wasn’t until Ms. Raines got inside the office that the group grew confident that it did not have a security system. Weeks before the burglary, she visited the office posing as a Swarthmore College student researching job opportunities for women at the F.B.I.

The burglary itself went off largely without a hitch, except for when Mr. Forsyth, the designated lock-picker, had to break into a different entrance than planned when he discovered that the F.B.I. had installed a lock on the main door that he could not pick. He used a crowbar to break the second lock, a deadbolt above the doorknob.
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OrganizationThe Vermont Center for Justice Research was established in 1987 by Executive Order as Vermont’s Statistical Analysis Center to collect and analyze criminal and juvenile justice information and provide technical assistance to state and local criminal justice agencies.
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 TeamBerserk Hackers Claim Breach of FBI Press Office
The hackers claim to have accessed classified data, but haven't leaked any of it.
January 17, 2014

Members of the hacker group Team Berserk recently claimed to have breached the Web site for the FBI press office, and made several unclassified documents available online.

In a statement published on Pastebin, the hackers wrote, "There are real threats out there against all Americans and the United States. Most of the threats are bulls**t, but we felt that many of you needed to see a selection of these documents to demonstrate that there are in fact real dangers. Americans are under attack on a daily basis by all kinds of dangerous people, dangerous foreigners and even some of our own citizens."

The hackers also published a link to a zip file containing 59.2MB of unclassified files covering topics ranging from bath salts to the Boston Marathon bombings -- along with an empty folder named Classified. "We can't show you the scarier things, but these other documents are being circulated among Anonymous," the hackers wrote. "If Anonymous agrees to release those they will be released to the public."
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GOP Lawmakers Want To Axe The Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco And Firearms
3:02 PM 09/18/2014

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and co-sponsors Steve Stockman and Reid Ribble have proposed a bill to abolish the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

Sensenbrenner said that the ATF is redundant, that it “lacks a clear mission” and that its functions ought to be transferred to the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), The Blaze reports.

The ATF, a branch of Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, has most recently come under fire for Operation Fast and the Furious, an ATF operation that put 2,000 guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

The ATF had intended to track the weapons, but after the murder of a Border Patrol agent one of the ATF guns was found near the scene. The resulting scandal forced the ATF to admit that it had lost track of hundreds of weapons.

Sensenbrenner’s bill enumerates what he sees as the ATF’s major flaws: “It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges and a lack of leadership,” he said. “For decades it has been branded by high profile failures. There is also significant overlap with other agencies.”

“At a time when we are approaching $18 trillion in debt, waste and redundancy within our federal agencies must be addressed,” he added. “Without a doubt, we can fulfill the role of the ATF more efficiently.”
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