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Civil Liberties News Stories
Excerpts of Key Civil Liberties News Stories in Major Media

Below are highly revealing excerpts of important civil liberties news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These civil liberties news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of civil liberties news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

Mass Surveillance Isn’t the Answer to Fighting Terrorism
2015-11-17, New York Times
Posted: 2015-11-23 14:04:00

It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low ... after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129. Mr. Brennan complained about ... the sustained national outrage following the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, that the agency was using provisions of the Patriot Act to secretly collect information on millions of Americans’ phone records. It is hard to believe anything Mr. Brennan says. Last year, he bluntly denied that the C.I.A. had illegally hacked into the computers of Senate staff members conducting an investigation into the agency’s detention and torture programs when, in fact, it did. In 2011 ... he claimed that American drone strikes had not killed any civilians, despite clear evidence that they had. And his boss, James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has admitted lying to the Senate on the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of data. Even putting this lack of credibility aside, it’s not clear what extra powers Mr. Brennan is seeking. Most of the men who carried out the Paris attacks were already on the radar of intelligence officials in France and Belgium, where several of the attackers lived. The problem in this case was not a lack of data. In fact, indiscriminate bulk data sweeps have not been useful.

Note: The above is an excellent article by the New York Times editorial board. Yet the role of the largely subservient media, which strongly supported Bush's campaign to go to war in Iraq is ignored. Read this analysis to go even deeper. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.

Years After 9/11, the War on Terror Is Accomplishing Everything bin Laden Hoped It Would
2015-09-08, The Nation
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:58:21

Fourteen years later, thanks a heap, Osama bin Laden. With a small number of supporters, $400,000-$500,000, and 19 suicidal hijackers, most of them Saudis, you ... goaded us into doing what you had neither the resources nor the ability to do. George W. Bush and company used those murderous acts and the nearly 3,000 resulting deaths as an excuse to try to make the world theirs. It took them no time at all to decide to launch a “Global War on Terror” in up to 60 countries. Don’t you find it strange, looking back, just how quickly 9/11 set their brains aflame? Don’t you still find it eerie that, amid the wreckage of the Pentagon, the initial orders our secretary of defense gave his aides were to come up with plans for striking Iraq, even though he was already convinced that Al Qaeda had launched the attack? Washington’s post-9/11 policies in the Middle East helped lead to the establishment of the Islamic State’s “caliphate” in parts of fractured Iraq and Syria. The United States has gone into the business of robotic assassination big time, [and] Washington has regularly knocked off women and children while searching for militant leaders. Fourteen years later, don’t you find it improbable that our “war on terror” has so regularly devolved into a war of and for terror; that our methods ... have visibly promoted, not blunted, the spread of Islamic extremism; and that, despite this, Washington has generally not recalibrated its actions in any meaningful way? Fourteen years later, how improbable is that?

Note: A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.

After Paris, there will be no stopping the surveillance state now
2015-11-19, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:55:17

The tools European security agencies now have at their disposal ... would make any American or Canadian intelligence officer drool. Britain has literally created a surveillance state. The British Security Industry Authority estimated three years ago the government has installed about six million closed-circuit TV cameras in the public square; one for every 10 citizens. The French, too, have vastly expanded public video surveillance in recent years. And it's all been done with overwhelming support from the general public, which feels safer for the presence of the surveillance, never mind the lack of objective proof that they are more protected against outrages, which keep on occurring. Both England and France are former colonial powers that ... long ago subordinated individual rights to collective security. Canada and America more dearly cherish individual rights. Still, a surveillance state is growing here, too. David Lyon, a professor of surveillance studies at Queen's University, has identified several public surveillance trends, all of which he says are "increasing at an accelerating rate." Canada is not about to become Western Europe, he says, but "it is incumbent upon us as a society to think about the ethical consequences" of mass surveillance. [Some] would argue that the cameras are desperately needed tools, and that anyone who isn't doing anything wrong has nothing to worry about. That of course is the police state justification. They hate us because we are free, we are told. The fact that we've responded by giving up ever more freedom doesn't seem to matter.

Note: Many of the politicians publicly defending the surveillance state receive huge sums of money from private security companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.

My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.
2015-11-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:52:45

On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice ... near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. “What’s going on?” I asked. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?” I had no idea what was happening, but I saw [that] something about me - a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman - frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening. I again asked what was going on. I told the officers I didn’t want them in my apartment. They entered anyway. One pulled me, hands behind my back, out to the street. The neighbors were watching. Only then did I notice the ocean of officers. I counted 16. They still hadn’t told me why they’d come. Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID. To many, the militarization of the police is primarily abstract or painted as occasional. That thinking allows each high-profile incident of aggressive police interaction with people of color - Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray - to be written off as an outlier. What happened to them did not happen to me, but it easily could have.

Note: For more along these lines, read about the increasing militarization of police, and see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties.

Bolts from the blue
2015-11-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:49:56

While deadly police shootings in the United States have gained international attention this year, [Calvon] Reid is one of 47 lesser-known people who lost their lives after law enforcement officers deployed a Taser, according to The Counted, an ongoing Guardian investigation documenting fatalities that follow police encounters. Reid died following shocks administered seemingly in violation of national guidelines. These rules ... acknowledge the lethal potential of electronic control weapons (ECW) deployed for more than three standard shock cycles of five seconds each. Many police departments are still not regulating the use of Tasers in accordance with these nationally accepted standards. Taser International, which sells ECWs to 17,800 of the United States’ roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies and commands an overwhelming monopoly on the market, has ... sued medical examiners in the past, in one case leading to the examiners’ representative body to state that Taser International’s actions were “dangerously close to intimidation”. The weapons are likely responsible for many more deaths than coroners can easily record. An epidemiological study on the in-custody death rates of 50 California police departments ... found a startling 600% increase in sudden-death incidents in the year after Taser introduction, and then a 40% increase over pre-Taser rates for the next four years.

Note: Taser International operates a virtual monopoly in the US by trading luxury vacations and cushy retirement jobs to police chiefs in exchange for lucrative no-bid contracts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about "non-lethal weapons", or read about how sophisticated and deadly some of these weapons technologies can be.

Feds fighting to keep cash seized from person never charged with crime
2015-08-29, Fox News
Posted: 2015-11-23 13:47:59

Federal prosecutors are battling in court to keep $167,000 in cash seized in a 2013 traffic stop, despite the motorist never being charged in the incident. The case ... highlights the ongoing concerns about the government unjustly seizing money and property. A Nevada state trooper pulled over ... Straughn Gorman’s motor-home in January 2013 for allegedly going too slow along Interstate 80. The trooper released Gorman but not before requesting the county sheriff’s office stop him again ... this time with a drug-sniffing dog. No drugs were found [when] Gorman was pulled over for two alleged traffic violations. But his vehicle, computer, cellphone and the cash ... were seized. In June, a federal judge in Nevada ordered Gorman’s cash be returned. In his ruling, District Judge Larry Hicks cited Gorman’s “prolonged detention” for the alleged traffic violations and criticized federal authorities for failing to disclose that the first officer requested the second stop. Hicks [wrote], “The two stops were for minor traffic violations, and they both were extended beyond the legitimate purposes for such traffic stops.” Hicks also said in his ruling the second stop never would have happened if the first officer had not relayed information about the first stop. The federal government earlier this month appealed Hicks' ruling in the 9th Circuit Court. Federal attorneys did not submit a reason for the appeal. The court is expected to also decide whether Gorman should be reimbursed $153,000 in legal fees, which federal lawyers don’t want to pay.

Note: A recent Washington Post investigation found that the theft of private property by police and other government officials has dramatically increased in recent years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.

In tough times, police start seizing a lot more stuff from people
2015-11-10, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-11-15 22:10:41

Civil asset forfeiture ... lets police seize and keep cash and property from people who are never convicted - and in many cases, even charged - with wrongdoing. The past decade has seen a "meteoric, exponential increase" in the use of the practice. In 2008, there were less than $1.5 billion in the combined asset forfeiture funds of the Justice Department and the U.S. Treasury. But by 2014, that number had tripled, to roughly $4.5 billion. Critics ... say that the increase in forfeiture activity is due largely to the profit motive created by laws which allow police to keep some or all of the assets they seize. In one case represented by the Institute [for Justice], a drug task force seized $11,000 from a college student at an airport. They lacked evidence to charge him with any crime, but they kept the money and planned to divvy it up between 13 different law enforcement agencies. Asset forfeiture's defenders say that the practice is instrumental in dismantling large-scale criminal enterprises. But evidence suggests that forfeiture proceedings are often initiated against small time criminals or people who aren't criminals at all. An [ACLU] report earlier this year found that the median amount seized in forfeiture actions in Philadelphia amounted to $192. These forfeiture actions were concentrated in the city's poorest neighborhoods. In most states the typical forfeiture amount is very small. The median forfeiture case in Illinois is worth $530. In Minnesota, $451. Those are hardly kingpin-level hauls.

Note: Some police decide what property to seize based on departmental "wish lists". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.

Let’s Finally Close Guantánamo
2015-11-05, New York Times
Posted: 2015-11-15 22:03:20

Simply put, Guantánamo is one of the best propaganda tools that terrorists have today. It’s no coincidence that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, dresses its victims in the same orange prisoner suits used in Guantánamo before conducting their ghastly beheadings. Our policies have allowed terrorists to cloud who holds the moral high ground. President George W. Bush said that he wanted Guantánamo to be closed. So did the former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Colin L. Powell, as well as the former secretaries of defense Robert M. Gates and Leon E. Panetta, among others. In addition to being a terrorist recruiting tool, Guantánamo is a huge drain on taxpayer dollars. The cost per detainee at Guantánamo is 30 times more than that of the most secure detention facilities in the United States. It’s hard to justify spending more than $2.5 million per detainee when it costs just $86,374 to hold an inmate in the so-called Supermax federal penitentiary in Colorado. During the Bush administration, 779 people were brought to Guantánamo, all without charge. Over time we’ve learned that many were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time and shouldn’t have been detained in the first place. Most detainees — 532 to be exact — were released by the Bush administration. Of the 112 detainees who remain today, only about 10 have been convicted or charged with a crime. One thing has become clear: Keeping detainees at Guantánamo indefinitely hasn’t worked.

Note: The above was written by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, vice chairwoman of the Select Committee on Intelligence. In 2013, a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee heard that "Guantanamo is a terrorist-creating organization". A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite.

Bush-Era NSA Whistleblower Makes Most Explosive Allegations Yet About Extent of Gov’t Surveillance — and You Won’t Believe Who He Says They Spied On
2013-06-20, The Blaze
Posted: 2015-11-15 21:45:19

Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst and Bush-era NSA whistleblower, claimed Wednesday that the intelligence community has ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats. “They went after – and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things – they went after high-ranking military officers. They went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees," [said] Tice. “But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House.” Then Tice dropped the bombshell about Obama. "In summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator for Illinois ... that’s the president of the United States now.” FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and Tice agreed that such wide-ranging surveillance of officials could provide the intelligence agencies with unthinkable power to blackmail their opponents. “I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on,” Tice said. Tice first blew the whistle on ... domestic spying across multiple agencies in 2005.

Note: Listen to Tice's shocking revelations in this interview. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and throughout intelligence agencies.

Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice
2015-10-31, New York Times
Posted: 2015-11-08 20:54:07

On Page 5 of a credit card contract used by American Express ... is a clause that most customers probably miss. If cardholders have a problem with their account, American Express explains, the company “may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration.” Those nine words are at the center of a far-reaching power play orchestrated by American corporations. By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like American Express devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices. It has become increasingly difficult to apply for a credit card, use a cellphone, get cable or Internet service, or shop online without agreeing to private arbitration. The same applies to getting a job, renting a car or placing a relative in a nursing home. By banning class actions, companies have essentially disabled consumer challenges to ... predatory lending, wage theft and discrimination. “This is among the most profound shifts in our legal history,” William G. Young, a federal judge ... said in an interview. “Ominously, business has a good chance of opting out of the legal system altogether and misbehaving without reproach.” Thousands of cases brought by single plaintiffs over fraud, wrongful death and rape are now being decided behind closed doors. And the rules of arbitration largely favor companies.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in financial industry and throughout the corporate world.

EU Parliament votes to protect Edward Snowden
2015-10-29, CNN
Posted: 2015-11-01 20:55:57

The European Parliament voted Thursday in support of a resolution that calls on member states to protect Edward Snowden from extradition. The vote ... has no legal force. The resolution urges nations to drop criminal charges and "consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender." Snowden called Thursday's vote a "game-changer." "This is not a blow against the US Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward," he wrote.The Justice Department has said Snowden would face criminal prosecution if he returns to the United States. He's been charged with three felony counts, including violations of the U.S. Espionage Act. Snowden told the BBC this month that he has offered "many times" to go to prison in the United States as part of a deal to return from exile in Russia, but is still waiting for an answer from the American government. In response to Thursday's vote, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. policy on Snowden has not changed. "He needs to come back to the United States and face the due process and the judicial process here in the United States.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

Confidential files on El Salvador human rights stolen after legal action against CIA
2015-10-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-10-25 21:31:01

Confidential files containing evidence of violations committed during El Salvador’s civil war have been stolen from a Washington-based human rights group days after it launched legal proceedings against the CIA over classified files on a former US-backed military commander implicated in massacres, death squads and forced disappearances. A computer and hard drive containing testimonies from survivors were stolen from the office of the director of the University of Washington Center for Human Rights (UWCHR) last week. The director’s office was the only one raided, there were no signs of forced entry, and items of monetary value were left behind. The stolen files contained details of investigations related to the 1980-1992 civil war, which left at least 75,000 people dead, 8,000 missing and a million displaced. The vast majority of crimes were committed by US-backed military dictatorships against civilians ... suspected of supporting the leftist guerrillas, according to the UN. Perpetrators were granted immunity from prosecution by a 1993 amnesty law, which remains intact despite being ruled illegal by the Inter American Court of Human Rights. The UWCHR has uncovered previously unseen information held by federal agencies such as the CIA and DEA, which it has shared with relatives of victims. The group filed a freedom of information suit against the CIA on 2 October. The sensitive files were stolen two weeks later. Several rights groups in El Salvador investigating war crimes have suffered similarly suspicious robberies.

Note: Several military human rights abusers in El Salvador were trained by the US Army's School of the Americas, along with over 500 known human rights abusers.

Why one of the world’s worst human rights offenders is leading a U.N. human rights panel
2015-09-28, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-10-18 17:18:41

Saudi Arabia is having a bad year on the human rights front. In the past few months, the U.S. ally has drawn widespread condemnation for sentencing a blogger to 1,000 lashes with a cane for writing about free speech (only 50 lashes have been delivered so far), and for its plans to execute a young political dissident by beheading him and publicly crucifying his body afterward. The same week ... a watchdog group drew attention to the fact that Saudi Arabia had been selected to oversee an influential U.N. panel on human rights. That panel "selects top officials who shape international human rights standards and report on violations worldwide," said UN Watch, the watchdog group based in Geneva. Saudi Arabia had earlier this year sought the leadership slot of the entire Human Rights Council of the U.N.. The kingdom routinely comes in at the bottom of Freedom House's rankings of world freedom. UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said in a statement, "This UN appointment is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief, and underscores the credibility deficit of a human rights council that already counts Russia, Cuba, China, Qatar and Venezuela among its elected members." Some observers have questioned why Saudi Arabia has a seat at the 47-member Human Rights Council at all.

Note: Watch an incredibly eye-opening video report by Abby Martin showing how the choice of Saudi Arabia as head of the UN rights panel s reveals just how much money trumps ethics. This brutal regime, run by a king and an all-powerful monarchy without any democracy, is one of four countries to still allow public executions, often by beheading. Women must ask permission of their husbands to work and do almost anything in public. Workers from foreign countries are treated like slaves. The list goes on. Yet the UN chose this country to head up a panel on human rights.

CIA torture survivors sue psychologists who designed infamous program
2015-10-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-10-18 17:07:42

Survivors of CIA torture have sued the contractor psychologists who designed one of the most infamous programs of the post-9/11 era. In an extraordinary step, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen now face a federal lawsuit for their role in convincing the CIA to subject terror suspects to mock drowning, painful bodily contortions, sleep and dietary deprivation and other methods long rejected by much of the world as torture. In practice, CIA torture meant disappearances, mock executions, anal penetration ... and at least one man who froze to death, according to a landmark Senate report last year. On behalf of torture survivors ... as well as a representative of the estate of Gul Rahman – who froze to death in a CIA black site in Afghanistan – the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the suit against Mitchell and Jessen on Tuesday in a federal court in Washington state. The suit calls the torture program a “joint criminal enterprise” and a “war crime” in which the CIA, Mitchell and Jessen colluded and from which Mitchell and Jessen financially profited. Although numerous US government investigations have pierced the veneer of secrecy around the torture program, the program’s government architects have faced no legal reprisal. A Justice Department inquiry ended in 2012 without prosecutions. The new lawsuit, aimed not at government officials but the contractors Mitchell and Jessen, aims to break the trend.

Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.

UK helped Saudi Arabia get UN human rights role through 'secret deal' to exchange votes, leaked documents suggest
2015-09-30, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-10-11 16:31:11

Britain allegedly helped Saudi Arabia's controversial election to the UN human rights council (UNHRC) through a secret vote-trading deal, leaked diplomatic cables have reportedly shown. Saudi foreign ministry files, among 61,000 documents released by Wikileaks, reportedly refer to talks with British diplomats ahead of a November 2013 vote in New York and have been translated by Geneva-based human rights organisation UN Watch. The classified exchanges, published by The Australian newspaper, allegedly suggest the UK initiated the secret negotiations by asking Saudi Arabia for its support. Both countries were later elected to the UNHRC, which consists of 47 member states. Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly denounced for its poor human rights record. The Gulf state is planning to imminently behead and crucify Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was arrested in 2012 for his participation in the Arab Spring protests when he was just 17 years old. The wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi said the "scandalous" appointment shows that "oil trumps human rights".

Note: Watch an incredibly eye-opening video report by Abby Martin showing blatantly how money trumps ethics. Saudi Arabia, a brutal regime run by a king and an all-powerful monarchy, is one of four countries to still allow public executions, often by beheading. Women must ask permission of their husbands to work and do almost anything in public. Workers from foreign countries are treated like slaves. Watch also an episode of Empire Files documenting the human rights violations of this repressive regime. The UK profits handsomely from selling arms to human rights violators.

Spy cops: Chicago police routinely spied on protesters
2015-09-26, Chicago Sun-Times (One of Chicago's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-10-04 18:22:46

The Chicago Police Department has routinely spied on activist groups during the past six years, police records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show — including union members, anti-Olympics protesters, anarchists, the Occupy movement, NATO demonstrators and critics of the Chinese government. And it has continued to do so, according to the records ... which the police department fought to withhold. Under the department’s rules, cops aren’t allowed to purposely interfere with people exercising their free-speech rights. In recent years, though, department officials have repeatedly justified spying on protesters by saying they fear they might engage in “disorder” and “civil disobedience.” One investigation involving the surveillance of protest groups is still underway, 10 months after it was launched, the records show. The police won’t say who is being investigated or discuss the methods being used. “There’s something deeply disturbing about monitoring and documenting the exercise of First Amendment rights,” says Molly Armour, an attorney who has represented protesters investigated by the police. In July, the Illinois attorney general’s office issued an opinion saying “worksheets” — outlining the scope of these investigations — are public records under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The office ordered the police department to “promptly produce unredacted copies of the worksheets.” It took nearly two months for the department to comply with the ruling.

Note: Undercover police in New York City have reportedly been spying on Black Lives Matter activists. Does the mention of an unnamed investigation that is "still underway" suggest that Chicago police are doing the same? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.

Why Are FBI Agents Trammeling the Rights of Antiwar Activists?
2015-09-25, Newsweek
Posted: 2015-10-04 18:20:28

Five years ago this week, FBI agents raided the homes of six political activists of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as the office of the nonprofit Anti-War Committee. A series of FBI documents left behind at Mick Kelly’s Minneapolis home shed more light on the FBI’s activities. What is especially illuminating is the mindset the documents reveal, particularly some of the questions FBI agents were instructed to ask those being served with the search warrants, such as “What did you do with the proceeds from the Revolutionary Lemonade Stand?” In February 2014, as a result of further legal action ... the search warrants for the raids [were] unsealed. The FBI began surveilling the FRSO shortly after the protests at the 2008 GOP convention, using a confidential informant. Despite the FBI’s collection of over a hundred hours of recordings and its multiyear [investigation], to date none of the activists have been charged with any crime. Just four days prior to the FBI raids against the Anti-War Committee and the FRSO, the Department of Justice Inspector General [IG] released the results of an investigation into post-9/11 surveillance of peace groups and other domestic dissidents up through 2006, [which] found that the bureau “engaged in tactics and strategies toward those groups and their members that were inappropriate, misleading and in some cases counterproductive, [and] accused FBI witnesses of ... offering ‘incomplete and inconsistent accounts of events.’”

Note: By 2011, the legal definition of "supporter of terrorism" had come to include peaceful activists, authors, academics and journalists. For more along these lines, read about Cointelpro, the program used by corrupt intelligence agencies to spy on and attack U.S. activists beginning in the 1960's.

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration
2015-10-01, The Atlantic
Posted: 2015-09-27 18:23:52

From the mid-1970s to the mid-’80s, America’s incarceration rate doubled, from about 150 people per 100,000 to about 300 per 100,000. From the mid-’80s to the mid-’90s, it doubled again. By 2007, it had reached a historic high of 767 people per 100,000. In absolute terms, America’s prison and jail population from 1970 until today has increased sevenfold, from some 300,000 people to 2.2 million. In 2000, one in 10 black males between the ages of 20 and 40 was incarcerated — 10 times the rate of their white peers. At a cost of $80 billion a year, American correctional facilities are a social-service program — providing health care, meals, and shelter for a whole class of people. An authoritative report issued last year by the National Research Council concluded, “the current U.S. rate of incarceration is unprecedented by both historical and comparative standards.” Even once an individual is physically out of prison, many do not elude its grasp. In 1984, 70 percent of all parolees successfully completed their term without arrest and were granted full freedom. In 1996, only 44 percent did. As of 2013, 33 percent do. Deindustrialization had presented an employment problem for America’s poor and working class of all races. Prison presented a solution: jobs for whites, and warehousing for blacks. Mass incarceration “widened the income gap between white and black Americans,” writes [historian] Heather Ann Thompson ... “because the infrastructure of the carceral state was located disproportionately in all-white rural communities.”

Note: The article above provides a detailed history of some U.S. policies that created the corrupt prison industry.

On-duty police officers have shot and killed more than 700 people this year
2015-09-17, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-09-27 18:19:32

The tally of people shot and killed by on-duty police officers passed 700 on Wednesday night — a fatal milestone that is almost double the highest number of police shootings ever reported by the FBI for an entire year — according to a Washington Post database tracking all shootings death at the hands of police this year. As of Thursday morning, The Post has tracked 703 fatal police shootings. Of the 703 people who have been shot and killed by officers in 2015, the vast majority have been armed with either a gun or other potentially-deadly weapon. At least 65 of those shot and killed were unarmed. Federal data on police shootings is notoriously inaccurate and incomplete — in large part because the data they collect is voluntarily reported, and most police departments do not participate. The FBI has never recorded more than 460 fatal police shootings in any year going back to at least 1976. The Post, relying on public documents, local news coverage and original reporting had confirmed 463 such shootings in just the first six months of the year.

Note: A similar project run by The Guardian called "The Counted" tracks police killings by all methods - not just shootings - and had noted 836 such deaths as the above story went to press. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.

Alabama officer kept job after proposal to murder black man and hide evidence
2015-08-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-09-20 21:17:26

A police officer in Alabama proposed murdering a black resident and creating bogus evidence to suggest the killing was in self-defence, the Guardian has learned. Officer Troy Middlebrooks kept his job and continues to patrol Alexander City after authorities there paid [Vincent Bias] $35,000 to avoid being publicly sued over the incident. Middlebrooks, a veteran of the US marines, said the man “needs a god damn bullet” and allegedly referred to him as “that nigger”, after becoming frustrated that the man was not punished more harshly over a prior run-in. The payment was made ... after a secret recording of Middlebrooks’s remarks was played to the city’s police chiefs and the mayor. Elected city councillors said they were not consulted. A copy of the recording was obtained by the Guardian. Middlebrooks, 33, made the threatening comments to Bias’s brother-in-law during a May 2013 encounter at his home, which Bias was visiting. Police came to the home after they discovered an unleashed dog. A lawsuit from Bias that the city paid to settle before it reached court stated that ... the officer remarked to Bias’s brother-in-law, who is white, that he was tired of “that nigger” being released from jail. Middlebrooks allegedly said “the police were going to pull [Bias] aside on a routine traffic stop and [Bias] would get killed”.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.