Civil Liberties Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Civil Liberties Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important civil liberties articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media
2011-03-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda. A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives. The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same. Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions.
Note: The Pentagon claims that the "fake persona" software will not be used on social networks in the United States, because that would break laws against using propaganda on US citizens. How much credence should be given to this assurance?
Why cops lie
2011-03-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America. Why do police ... show contempt for the law by systematically perjuring themselves? The first reason is because they get away with it. They know that in a swearing match between a drug defendant and a police officer, the judge always rules in favor of the officer. Another reason is the nature of most drug cases and the likely type of person involved. The defendant is poor, uneducated, frequently a minority, with a criminal record, and he does have drugs. But the main reason is that the job of these cops is chasing drugs. Their professional advancement depends on nabbing dopers. It's reinforced by San Francisco's own sorry history of infamous undercover narcotics officers promoted to top levels in the department despite contempt for the law shown by bullying, brutality and perjury in carrying out illegal searches and arrests. So the modern narcotics officer is just following a well-worn path.
Note: For lots more on government corruption, click here.
Scotland Yard officers in 'false arrest' investigation
2011-03-14, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Three Metropolitan Police officers are under investigation after they were alleged to have inadvertently recorded themselves arranging to falsely arrest a protester during the student fees demonstrations. The officers, who have not been named, are alleged to have conspired to arrest a 20-year-old man who had broken through the police cordon during the protests at Parliament Square in December. The man was chased and caught and, it is alleged, was then struck in the face with a police riot shield which chipped his tooth. The officers are then alleged to have discussed how to arrest the man and are believed to have concocted a story in which they claimed the man had threatened to cause criminal damage to a nearby building. However one of the officers was wearing sound recording equipment which recorded the chase and arrest of the man and the subsequent conversation between the officers. The officers have each been served with letters telling them that they are now being investigated for gross misconduct and criminal matters – believed to be assault and false arrest. A total of 113 complaints were received by the IPCC about police officers behaviour during the four demonstrations. One of them concerns 20-year-old student Alfie Meadows, who needed brain surgery after he was allegedly struck on the head during a protest in December.
Note: For lots more on government corruption, click here.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigns after flap over his WikiLeaks remarks
2011-03-13, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
Chief State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley quit on [March 13] after causing a stir by describing the military's treatment of the suspected WikiLeaks leaker as "ridiculous" and "stupid," pointed words that forced President Barack Obama to defend the detention as appropriate. Crowley's comments about the conditions for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., reverberated quickly. Manning is being held in solitary confinement for all but an hour every day, and is stripped naked each night and given a suicide-proof smock to wear to bed. His lawyer calls the treatment degrading. Amnesty International says the treatment may violate Manning's human rights. Crowley, who retired as colonel from the Air Force in 1999 after 26 years in the military, was quoted as telling students at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology seminar on Thursday that he didn't understand why the military was handling Manning's detention that way, and calling it "ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid."
Obama creates indefinite detention system for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay
2011-03-08, Washington Post
President Obama signed an executive order Monday that will create a formal system of indefinite detention for those held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who continue to pose a significant threat to national security. The administration also said it will start new military commission trials for detainees there. The announcements, coming more than two years after Obama vowed in another executive order to close the detention center, all but cements Guantanamo Bay's continuing role in U.S. counterterrorism policy. The executive order recognizes the reality that some Guantanamo Bay detainees will remain in U.S. custody for many years, if not for life. Activists on either end of the debate over closing the prison cast the announcement as a reversal. "It is virtually impossible to imagine how one closes Guantanamo in light of this executive order," said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "In a little over two years, the Obama administration has done a complete about-face." Recent legislation now makes it extremely difficult to transfer any detainee out of Guantanamo Bay even if he is believed to be no threat.
Note: President Obama has repeatedly reversed his position on key elements of his election campaign, like Guantanamo, which brought him to power. To understand how members of the power elite of our world can exert tremendous pressure on anyone who becomes president, read revealing major media reports on secret societies composed of the power elite of our world at this link.
Documents Reveal TSA Research Proposal To Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers
2011-03-02, Forbes blog
Giving Transportation Security Administration agents a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets. The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [has] published documents it obtained from the Department of Homeland Security showing that from 2006 to 2008 the agency planned a study of of new anti-terrorism technologies. The projects range from what the DHS describes as “a walk through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events” ... to “covert inspection of moving subjects” employing the same backscatter imaging technology currently used in American airports. The 173-page collection of contracts and reports, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, includes contracts with Siemens Corporations, Northeastern University, and Rapiscan Systems. One project allocated to Northeastern University and Siemens would mount backscatter x-ray scanners and video cameras on roving vans, along with other cameras on buildings and utility poles, to monitor groups of pedestrians, assess what they carried, and even track their eye movements. It’s not clear to what degree the technologies outlined in the DHS documents have been implemented.
Note: When WantToKnow.info manager Fred Burks worked as a language interpreter with the US State Department, he accompanied foreign dignitaries on ride-alongs with police where they were already using equipment like this over 10 years ago in clear violation of privacy laws. For other major media articles revealing clear violations of civil liberties, click here.
US Army to charge Bradley Manning with 'aiding the enemy'
2011-03-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US Army has announced it is to charge Private Bradley Manning with "aiding the enemy" – which can carry the death penalty – and 21 further offences of illegally disclosing classified information, after an investigation lasting seven months. The 22 new charges are in addition to the 12 counts of leaking classified information and computer fraud that Manning already faces over material said to be related to the WikiLeaks disclosures – and for which he has been held in military custody since May last year. The army's charge sheet states that Manning did "knowingly give intelligence to the enemy, through indirect means," in violation of article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, known as "aiding the enemy". The other new charges include wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet knowing it will be accessed by the enemy, five counts of thefts of public property or records, eight counts of transmitting national defense information to someone not entitled to receive it – violating the Espionage Act, two counts of computer fraud, and five counts of breaking US Army computer security rules. The Army's prosecution team said in a statement that if Manning were convicted of all charges, he would face life in prison.
Note: For a compendium of revealing stories from reliable sources on the illegal wars of aggression launched by the US and UK under the pretext of 9/11, click here.
U.S. Gov't Software Creates 'Fake People' to Spread Message via Social Networking
2011-02-19, Fox News
The US government is offering private intelligence companies contracts to create software to manage "fake people" on social media sites. Private security firms employeed by the government have used the accounts to create the illusion of consensus on controversial issues. The contract calls for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. According to the contract, the software would "protect the identity of government agencies" by employing a number of false signals to convince users that the poster is in fact a real person. A single user could manage unique background information and status updates for up to 10 fake people from a single computer. The software enables the government to shield its identity through a number of different methods including the ability to assign unique IP addresses to each persona and the ability to make it appear as though the user is posting from other locations around the world. The document describes how they would 'friend' real people on Facebook as a way to convey government messages.
Note: To read the government contract for "Persona Management" software, click here.
War veteran, 71, dragged out for staging silent protest during Hilary Clinton address... on freedom of speech
2011-02-19, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
A 71-year-old war veteran today claimed he was left 'bruised and bloodied' after being violently dragged out of a speech by Hilary Clinton. Ray McGovern, who was a CIA analyst for 27 years, staged a 'silent protest' during the Secretary of State's talk on the importance of freedom of speech in the internet age yesterday. In it she referred to the uprising in Egypt and commented on how people should be allowed to protest in peace without fear of threat or violence. She also condemned governments who arrest protesters and do not allow free expression. But during the speech at George Washington university, Mr McGovern claims his silent protest was met with just that - threats and violence. Wearing a 'Veterans for Peace' t-shirt, the 71-year-old stood up and turned around to face the back of the room, when two men grabbed him and dragged him out of the room. He said he was 'roughed up' by police for his actions and needed medical attention. The veteran said he was protesting the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fact that 'these people are pursuing policies which make people suffer and die, particularly in the Middle East'. As well as a former CIA analyst, Mr McGovern also carried out the daily intelligence briefing for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
Note: We don't usually consider the UK's Daily Mail a reliable source, but as they were the only media source we could find which covered this sad occurence, we've used them here. See the link above for photos of bruises Mr. McGovern suffered at the hands of police. For more on the courageous Mr. McGovern, click here.
Schools use GPS to track students who skip
Skipping class, though frowned upon, is practically a rite of passage for young teens, but thanks to an elaborate system involving GPS being used by some school districts, it is practically being eliminated completely. The Orange County Register reports that the Anaheim Union High School District in California is currently participating in a pilot program which involves using a combination of Global Positioning System technology, automated telephone reminders, and one-on-one coaching to cut down on truancy. It's similar to programs being used in Baltimore and San Antonio. Basically any students in the seventh- or eighth-grade who have four or more unexcused absences over the course of a school year can be put into the Anaheim program. They will be assigned a GPS tracking device about the size of a cell phone, and they'll need to use it regularly, the newspaper said. It's worth noting that while this anti-truancy program is very elaborate and almost invasive, it is [promoted as] optional. Students and their parents are offered the chance to voluntarily participate in the "monitoring as a way to avoid continuation school or prosecution with a potential stay in juvenile hall." On top of that, parents would also be avoiding the $2,000 fine that can come from turning a blind eye to truancy if a school district chooses to pursue the issue.
Note: For other revealing media articles on microchips being used to invade privacy, click here. To better understand a program of elements within the power elite to microchip the entire population, click here.
Jose Padilla lawsuit against Pentagon thrown out in US
A US judge has quashed a lawsuit by an American who said he was illegally detained and repeatedly tortured for three years in a US navy jail. Jose Padilla was seeking to sue current US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, for violating the constitution. Judge Richard Gergel ruled that US laws did not offer clear guidelines on the detention of enemy combatants. Any trial, he wrote, would be "an international spectacle with Padilla, a convicted terrorist, summoning America's present and former leaders to a federal courthouse to answer his charges". Ben Wizner, the litigation director at the American Civil Liberties Union, called Thursday's ruling "troubling". "The court today held that Donald Rumsfeld is above the law and Jose Padilla is beneath it," he said in a statement. "But if the law does not protect Jose Padilla, it protects none of us, and the executive branch can simply label citizens enemies of the state and strip them of all rights, including the absolute right not to be tortured."
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government threats to civil liberties, click here.
Exclusive video of HPD beating of teen burglar
2011-02-03, KTRK-TV (Houston ABC affiliate)
Months after four Houston police officers were indicted following the violent videotaped arrest of a teenage suspect ... 13 Undercover's Wayne Dolcefino obtained it exclusively. The reaction was overwhelming. The images were clear and graphic -- Houston police kicking, punching, and stomping teenage burglary suspect Chad Holley who had run, but was now clearly trying to surrender. The video showed the most physical cop that March day appeared to be Raad Hassan. His termination letter listed 15 kicks. There were a lot of them, and there was one kick after Holley was clearly handcuffed. The video created another firestorm ... after the mayor declared [that] the person who gave us the video should be prosecuted. The mayor said Channel 13 was "irresponsible" for showing you a controversial police arrest that happened ten months ago. Twelve officers were disciplined in the wake of the Holley case, but many have been given their jobs back against the city's will.
Note: Click on the above link if you want to see this shocking video showing how brutal some police can be.
FBI involved in hundreds of violations in national security investigations
2011-01-30, Los Angeles Times
The FBI disclosed to a presidential board that it was involved in nearly 800 violations of laws, regulations or policies governing national security investigations from 2001 to 2008, but the government won't provide details or say whether anyone was disciplined, according to a report by a privacy watchdog group. The San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation sued under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain about 2,500 documents that the FBI submitted to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board. Most of the records were so heavily censored that they couldn't be properly evaluated. Nevertheless, the documents "constitute the most complete picture of post-9/11 FBI intelligence abuses available to the public," says the report. "The documents suggest," the report says, "that FBI intelligence investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed." The records obtained by the foundation go beyond national security letters. About a third of the reports of violations involved rules governing internal oversight of intelligence investigations, and about a fifth involved potential violations of the Constitution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or other laws governing criminal investigations or intelligence-gathering activities, the report says.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on government attacks on civil liberties, click here.
The Day Part of the Internet Died: Egypt Goes Dark
2011-01-28, ABC News/Associated Press
About a half-hour past midnight [on January 28] in Egypt, the Internet went dead. Almost simultaneously, the handful of companies that pipe the Internet into and out of Egypt went dark as protesters were gearing up for a fresh round of demonstrations calling for the end of President Hosni Mubarak's nearly 30-year rule, experts said. Egypt has apparently done what many technologists thought was unthinkable for any country with a major Internet economy: It unplugged itself entirely from the Internet to try and silence dissent. Experts say it's unlikely that what's happened in Egypt could happen in the United States because the U.S. has numerous Internet providers and ways of connecting to the Internet. Coordinating a simultaneous shutdown would be a massive undertaking. But the idea of a single "kill switch" to turn the Internet on and off has seduced some American lawmakers, who have pushed for the power to shutter the Internet in a national emergency. The Internet blackout in Egypt shows that a country with strong control over its Internet providers apparently can force all of them to pull their plugs at once. It also sets a precedent for other countries grappling with paralyzing political protests — though censoring the Internet and tampering with traffic to quash protests is nothing new.
Note: For information on how a Israeli company bought out by Boeing facilitated the shutdown of the Internet in Egypt, click here. And to learn about a bill being proposed which would give the US president power over an Internet "kill switch," click here.
UN human rights official claims 9/11 was US plot
2011-01-25, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A UN human rights official has been roundly condemned for suggesting that the US government may have orchestrated the September 11 terrorist attacks. Richard Falk, a retired professor from Princeton University, wrote on his blog that there had been an "apparent cover up" by American authorities. He added that most media were "unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events" on 9/11, despite it containing "gaps and contradictions". And he described David Ray Griffin, a conspiracy theorist highly regarded in the so-called "9/11 truth" movement, as a "scholar of high integrity" whose book on the subject was "authoritative". UN Watch, a pressure group that monitors the organisation, has called for Prof Falk to be sacked. Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, described the comments as "preposterous" and "an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack." But Mr Ban said that it was not for him to decide whether Prof Falk, who serves the organisation as a special investigator into human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories, should be fired by the UN. Vijay Nambiar, Mr Ban's chief of staff, said this was up to the human rights council, a 47-nation body based in Geneva, Switzerland, that was created by the UN in 2006.
Note: Although the title of this article distorts the facts and its tone is dismissive, The Telegraph's quotes from Falk's blog are accurate. For excerpts from his remarks, click here. Richard Falk is only one of many highly-respected scholars and professionals who have raised such questions about the official account of 9/11. For examples of others, click here and here.
Eavesdropping Laws Mean That Turning On an Audio Recorder Could Send You to Prison
2011-01-23, New York Times
Christopher Drew is a 60-year-old artist and teacher who wears a gray ponytail and lives on the North Side [of Chicago]. Tiawanda Moore, 20, a former stripper, lives on the South Side and dreams of going back to school and starting a new life. About the only thing these strangers have in common is the prospect that by spring, they could each be sent to prison for up to 15 years. The crime they are accused of is eavesdropping. The authorities say that Mr. Drew and Ms. Moore audio-recorded their separate nonviolent encounters with Chicago police officers without the officers’ permission, a Class 1 felony in Illinois, which, along with Massachusetts and Oregon, has one of the country’s toughest, if rarely prosecuted, eavesdropping laws. “Before they arrested me for it,” Ms. Moore said, “I didn’t even know there was a law about eavesdropping. I wasn’t trying to sue anybody. I just wanted somebody to know what had happened to me.” Ms. Moore ... is accused of using her Blackberry to record two Internal Affairs investigators who spoke to her inside Police Headquarters while she filed a sexual harassment complaint last August against another police officer. Mr. Drew was charged with using a digital recorder to capture his Dec. 2, 2009, arrest for selling art without a permit on North State Street in the Loop. Both cases illustrate the increasingly busy and confusing intersection of technology and the law, public space and private.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on governmental threats to civil liberties, click here.
Undercover police cleared 'to have sex with activists'
2011-01-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers
Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of "promiscuity" with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years. The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups. Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. He said undercover officers, particularly those infiltrating environmental and leftwing groups, viewed having sex with a large number of partners "as part of the job". His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists. The claims follow the unmasking of undercover PC Mark Kennedy, who had sexual relationships with several women during the seven years he spent infiltrating a ring of environmental activists. Another two covert officers have been named in the past fortnight who also had sex with the protesters they were sent to spy on, fuelling allegations that senior officers had authorised sleeping around as a legitimate means of gathering intelligence.
Note: For a comprehensive overview of the still-ongoing revelations about police provocateur Mark Kennedy and his cohorts in the UK police infiltration of environmental and related activist groups, click here.
Plain-clothes officers 'were deployed at G20 demo'
Scotland Yard has admitted giving MPs inaccurate information by denying "covert officers" were deployed at London's G20 protests in April 2009. In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said it had established that covert officers had been deployed to the protests. The letter came after ... the unmasking of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy, who attended many demonstrations during seven years living as a spy among green activists. Giving evidence at the select committee in 2009, Commander Bob Broadhurst told MPs then: "The only officers we deploy for intelligence purposes at public order are forward intelligence team officers who are wearing full police uniforms with a yellow jacket with blue shoulders. There were no plain clothes officers deployed at all." The Met statement released on Wednesday said: "Having made thorough checks on the back of recent media reporting we have now established that covert officers were deployed during the G20 protests. Therefore the information that was given by Commander Bob Broadhurst to the Home Affairs Select Committee saying that 'We had no plain-clothes officers deployed within the crowd' was not accurate."
Note: For lots more on the police provocateur Mark Kennedy, click here.
The state's pedlars of fear must be brought to account
2011-01-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
[Mark] Kennedy moved from undercover agent to agent provocateur. He worked for a murky organisation called the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). With a budget of £5m this operates as a branch of the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) which, in turn, works alongside the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU). Ask where this stands, and you will be told it reports to the Association of Chief Police Officers' Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee, codenamed Acpo(TAM). Kennedy's bosses in the NPOIU work for Acpo, but this is not what it seems. It is not, as its name suggests, the police officers' staff club, nor is it a public body of any sort. [ACPO] is a private company, incorporated in 1997. It is sub-contracted by Whitehall to operate the police end of the government's counterterrorism and "anti-extremism" strategies. It is thus alongside MI5, but even less accountable. It now runs its own police forces under a police chief boss, Sir Hugh Orde, like a British FBI. It trades on its own account, generating revenue by selling data from the police national computer for £70 an item (cost of retrieval, 60p). It owns an estate of 80 flats in central London. As a private company, Acpo need not accede to Freedom of Information requests and presumably could distribute its profit to its own board. The whole operation is reminiscent of the deals set up by the Pentagon with private firms to run the Iraq and Afghan wars, free of publicity or accountability.
Note: For further information on the amazing undercover career of UK agent provocateur Mark Kennedy, click here and here and here.
Icelandic MP fights US demand for her Twitter account details
2011-01-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages. Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the "USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?" She said she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She added that the US authorities had requested personal information from Twitter as well as her private messages and that she was now assessing her legal position. "It's not just about my information. It's a warning for anyone who had anything to do with WikiLeaks. It is completely unacceptable for the US justice department to flex its muscles like this. I am lucky, I'm a representative in parliament. But what of other people? It's my duty to do whatever I can to stop this abuse."
Note: For a New York Times article with more on this, click here.
Explore our full index
to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.