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


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important civil liberties news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream 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.


Civil Liberties News stories


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.

Two Years of Cablegate as Bradley Manning Testifies for the First Time
2012-11-29, Huffington Post
Posted: 2012-12-11 08:46:27
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julian-assange/wikileaks-bradley-manning-testif...

November 29th ... marks the two-year anniversary of the first front pages around the world from Cablegate, an archive of 251,287 U.S. State Department diplomatic cables. In collaboration with a network of more than 100 press outlets [Wikileaks] revealed the full spectrum of techniques used by the United States to exert itself around the world. The young intelligence analyst Bradley Manning was detained as an alleged source. Manning has been detained without trial for 921 days. This is the longest pre-trial detention of a U.S. military soldier since at least the Vietnam War. U.S. military law says the maximum is 120 days. The material that Bradley Manning is alleged to have leaked has highlighted astonishing examples of U.S. subversion of the democratic process around the world, systematic evasion of accountability for atrocities and killings, and many other abuses. WikiLeaks released European Commission documents showing that Senator Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King directly influenced decisions by PayPal, Visa and MasterCard to block donations to WikiLeaks. Since the release of the diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks has continued its operations despite the financial blockade. The information we've disclosed frustrates the controlled political discourse that is trumpeted by establishment media and Western governments to shape public perception. We will continue our fight against the financial blockade, and we will continue to publish. The Pentagon's threats against us do the United States a disservice and will not be heeded.

Note: We don't usually use Huffington Post as a source, but as no other major media carried this important and revealing article written by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, we are including it here.




Cleveland anarchist bomb plot aided and abetted by the FBI
2012-11-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-12-04 09:40:37
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/28/cleveland-anarchist-bomb-...

On 20 November, district court Judge David D Dowd Jr sentenced three anarchists with the Occupy Cleveland movement to prison terms ranging from 8 to 11.5 years for attempting to bomb a highway bridge last spring. Shaquille Azir, a paid FBI informant with a 20-year criminal record, facilitated every step in the plot. Azir molded the five's childish bravado and drunken fantasies into terrorism. He played father figure to the lost men, providing them with jobs, housing, beer and drugs. Every time the scheme threatened to collapse into gutterpunk chaos, he kept it on track. FBI tapes reveal Azir led the brainstorming of targets, showed them bridges to case out, pushed them to buy C-4 military-grade explosives, provided the contact for weapons, gave them money for the explosives and demanded they develop a plan because "we on the hook" for the weapons. This case could have put on trial the post-September 11 strategy of "preventative prosecution", in which the FBI dispatches provocateurs to infiltrate targeted religious and political groups to see what they can stir up. Anarchists are inherently suspect. A recent FBI document calls anarchists "criminals seeking an ideology to justify their activities." Pardiss Kebriaei, a senior attorney specializing in national security at the Center for Constitutional Rights, claims standard operating procedure in terror cases "starts with surveillance and profiling on the basis of religion, politics and national origin". She notes parallels between the Cleveland anarchists and the "Newburgh Four", named for the upstate New York town in which the plot was hatched.

Note: For information on how to contact Brandon Baxter, Joshua Stafford, Connor Stevens and Douglas Wright, see cleveland4solidarity.org. For the Newburgh Four, see projectsalam.org For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on entrapment operations and other manipulations by the FBI and intelligence agencies, click here.




Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control
2012-11-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-27 09:35:24
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/23/anonymous-trial-wikileaks...

WikiLeaks ... has never been charged by any government with any crime, let alone convicted of one. Despite that crucial fact, WikiLeaks has been crippled by a staggering array of extra-judicial punishment imposed either directly by the US and allied governments or with their clear acquiescence. In 2008, the Pentagon prepared a secret report ... that decreed WikiLeaks to be a "threat to the US Army" and an enemy of the US. That report plotted tactics that "would damage and potentially destroy" its ability to function. That is exactly what came to pass. In December 2010, after WikiLeaks began publishing US diplomatic cables, it was hit with cyber-attacks so massive that the group was "forced to change its web address after the company providing its domain name cut off service". Master Card and Visa both announced they would refuse to process payments to the group, as did America's largest financial institution, Bank of America. Acting in the name of Anonymous, a handful of activists targeted those companies with simple "denial of service" attacks, ones that impeded the operations of those corporate websites for a few hours. In stark contrast to the far more significant attacks aimed at WikiLeaks, these attacks, designed to protest the treatment of WikiLeaks, spawned a global manhunt by western nations and, ultimately, the arrest of dozens of mostly young alleged hackers, four of whom are now on trial in London. Last year, the FBI arrested 16 people in the US in connection with similar attacks on Master Card, Visa and Amazon, and charged them with crimes that carry 10-year prison terms.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




US battles Iraq and Afghanistan over detention without charges
2012-11-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-27 09:31:55
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/20/iraq-afghanistan-daqduq-i...

For several decades, the US government - in annual "human rights" reports issued by the State Department (reports mandated by the US Congress) - has formally condemned nations around the globe for the practice of indefinite detention: imprisoning people without charges or any fixed sentence. [The] 2011 report condemned numerous nations for indefinite detention, including Libya ("abuse and lack of review in detention"), Uzbekistan ("arbitrary arrest and detention"), Syria ("arbitrary arrest and detention"), and Iran ("Authorities held detainees, at times incommunicado, often for weeks or months without charge or trial"). In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US government is engaged in a fierce and protracted battle over the fundamental right to be free of indefinite detention. Specifically, the US is demanding that the governments of those two nations cease extending this right to their citizens. The US has long been demanding that the Afghan government continue the American practice of indefinite detention without charges, and still presses this demand even after the top Afghan court in September ruled that such detentions violate Afghan law. Human rights workers in Afghanistan have long pointed out that America's practice of imprisoning Afghans without charges is a major source of anti-American sentiment in the country.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on war crimes carried out by the US in its illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, click here.




Bradley Manning deserves Americans' support for military whistleblowing
2012-11-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-11-27 09:30:08
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/16/bradley-manning-americans...

Last week, PFC Bradley Manning offered to accept responsibility for releasing classified documents as an act of conscience – not as charged by the US military. The military under the Obama administration has displayed a desire to over-prosecute whistleblowing with life-in-prison charges including espionage and "aiding the enemy", a disturbing decision which is no doubt intended to set an example. With today's advanced military technology and the continued ability of business and political elites to filter what information is made public, there exists a great barrier to many citizens being fully aware of the realities and consequences of conflicts in which their country is engaged. Responsible governance requires fully informed citizens who can question their leadership. For those citizens worldwide who do not have direct, intimate knowledge of war, yet are still affected by rising international tensions and failing economies, WikiLeaks releases attributed to Bradley Manning have provided unparalleled access to important facts. Revealing covert crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and corporations' pervasive influence in governance, this window into the realities of modern international relations has changed the world for the better. Bradley Manning ... went through a profound moral struggle between the time he enlisted and when he became a whistleblower. Through his experience in Iraq, witnessing suffering of innocent civilians and soldiers alike, he became disturbed by top-level policy that undervalued human life. Like other courageous whistleblowers, he was driven foremost by a desire to reveal the truth.

Note: For further information, visit the Bradley Manning Support Network. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on military corruption, click here.




Tim Weiner’s ‘Enemies’ and F.B.I. Counterintelligence
2012-03-15, New York Times
Posted: 2012-11-08 09:34:13
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/books/tim-weiners-enemies-and-fbi-counterin...

Tim Weiner’s new book, Enemies: A History of the F.B.I., is an outstanding piece of work. The F.B.I. ... from World War I on investigated all manner of political radicals and Communists, compiled lists of Americans to be detained in the event of national emergency and engaged in at least half a century of illegal wiretapping, mail opening and burglaries. This is certainly the most complete book we are likely to see about the F.B.I.’s intelligence-gathering operations, from Emma Goldman to Osama bin Laden. Where Mr. Weiner excels is in connecting the dots. He identifies his themes, almost all involving the conflicting demands of civil liberties and civil order — “the saga of our struggle to be both safe and free,” as he puts it — and rigorously pursues them. Illegal wiretaps and burglaries were the F.B.I.’s key weapons almost from the beginning. Time and again, going back to the 1930s, this or that court would rule such procedures illegal. Time and again, J. Edgar Hoover, the bureau’s director from 1924 until his death in 1972, simply ignored the law. A string of presidents, from Roosevelt to Richard M. Nixon, knew exactly what the bureau was doing and refused to stop it. Hunting Commies ... was Hoover’s true life’s work — the one thing, other than his reflexive bureaucratic defensiveness, that obsessed him from his first radical raids in 1919 into the 1960s.

Note: Mr. Weiner, a former reporter for The New York Times, previously wrote an admired history of the C.I.A., Legacy of Ashes. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on intelligence agency skullduggery, click here.




ACLU fights the good fight to stop government surveillance of our citizens
2012-10-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-10-30 11:40:53
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/19/aclu-fisa-government-spyi...

In 2008, the US Senate voted to let the NSA [National Security Agency] wiretap any US citizen's emails and phone calls internationally in the interest of national security so long as the government's purpose was to collect "foreign intelligence information". The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought a constitutional challenge to the Fisa Amendments Act. As the Director of the ACLU's Center for Democracy, Jameel Jaffer, pointed out, the amendments "gave the NSA unprecedented power to monitor the international communications of people living in the United States — to listen to their phone calls, and to read their emails. 'We are targeting our own country', one NSA whistleblower observed." Dragnet surveillance of people with nothing at all to do with terrorism began at once. These Fisa amendments lose their authority in December, and the reauthorization battle will unfold in the context of a new high profile lawsuit's activities. The ACLU group's lawsuit includes several journalists and organizations including Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges, Human Rights Watch, the Global Fund for Women, the Pen American Center and the Nation Magazine. The ACLU group argues fear of NSA surveillance is hampering the abilities of these people to report the news, gain testimony from witnesses and represent victims of human rights abuses.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Intelligence Effort Named Citizens, Not Terrorists
2012-10-03, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2012-10-09 09:31:54
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/intelligence-effort-named-citizens...

A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a Senate report concludes. It portrays an effort that ballooned far beyond anyone's ability to control. What began as an attempt to put local, state and federal officials in the same room analyzing the same intelligence has instead cost huge amounts of money for data-mining software, flat screen televisions and, in Arizona, two fully equipped Chevrolet Tahoes that are used for commuting, investigators found. The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights. One fusion center cited in the Senate investigation wrote a report about a Muslim community group's list of book recommendations. Others discussed American citizens speaking at mosques or talking to Muslim groups about parenting. No evidence of criminal activity was contained in those reports. The government did not circulate them, but it kept them on government computers. The federal government is prohibited from storing information about First Amendment activities not related to crimes.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Researcher to discuss military testing in St. Louis in the 1950s
2012-09-23, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis' leading newspaper)
Posted: 2012-10-02 10:18:40
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/researcher-to-discuss-military-testi...

At 11:05 on a February night in 1953, a worker employed by the U.S. Army opened a valve on a motorized blower and for five minutes dispersed a mysterious fluffy powder into downtown St. Louis. So began military-sponsored tests in St. Louis that remained secret for four decades and, to this day, raise questions about what the government was up to in the Cold War operation. St. Louis was among several cities where the aerosol testing took place in the 1950s and 1960s with zinc cadmium sulfide, a chemical powder mixed with fluorescent particles so that dispersal patterns could be traced. In 1953 alone, the military conducted 16 tests involving 35 separate releases of zinc cadmium sulfide in St. Louis, many in an area described at the time as "a densely populated slum district." The Army conceded later that the tests were part of a biological weapons program and that St. Louis was chosen because it roughly matched the population and terrain of Russian cities that the United States might attack. Relying heavily on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, [Prof. Lisa] Martino-Taylor identifies connections between participants in the St. Louis testing and scientists who took part in wartime efforts to build the atomic bomb. Noting postwar efforts to test radioactive materials on Americans, she raises suspicions that the St. Louis testing involved not just materials called harmless by the Army but possibly radioactive isotopes. Martino-Taylor found in her research that the aerosol particles were milled so as to be easily absorbed into lungs.

Note: For a follow-up news video on this, click here. Many other examples of secret spraying and other tests using unknowing humans as guinea pigs with links for verification are listed at this link. For reliable evidence of chemtrails endangering public health, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on secret military and intelligence agency experimentation on unwitting civilians, click here.




US calls Assange 'enemy of state'
2012-09-27, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-10-02 10:16:48
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/us-calls-assange-enemy-of-state-...

The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency. Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death. The documents, some originally classified "Secret/NoForn" - not releasable to non-US nationals - record a probe by the air force's Office of Special Investigations into a cyber systems analyst based in Britain who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro-Assange demonstrations in London. The suspected offence was "communicating with the enemy, 104-D", an article in the US Uniform Code of Military Justice that prohibits military personnel from "communicating, corresponding or holding intercourse with the enemy". US Vice-President Joe Biden labelled Mr Assange a "high-tech terrorist" in December 2010 and US congressional leaders have called for him to be charged with espionage. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee - both once involved in presidential campaigns - have both urged that Mr Assange be "hunted down". Mr Assange's US attorney, Michael Ratner, said the designation of WikiLeaks as an "enemy" had serious implications for the WikiLeaks publisher if he were to be extradited to the US, including possible military detention.

Note: So revealing top secrets can cause you to be labelled an enemy of the state. Write you political and media representatives to protest this stance. For analysis of this story, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on military corruption, click here.




UC to pay nearly $1 million in UC Davis pepper-spray settlement
2012-09-26, Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2012-10-02 10:14:58
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-la-uc-to-pay-nearly-1-mill...

The University of California will pay damages of $30,000 to each of the 21 UC Davis students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed by campus police during an otherwise peaceful protest 10 months ago, the university system announced. The agreement ... also calls for UC to pay a total of $250,000 to the plaintiffs' attorneys and set aside a maximum of $100,000 to pay up to $20,000 to any other individuals who join the class-action lawsuit by proving they were either arrested or directly pepper-sprayed, a university statement said. A video released online, showing an officer spraying seated students directly in their faces at close range during an Occupy rally, had triggered outrage. And UC's own investigations and a shake-up at the UC Davis police force put the university in a weak position to argue against the students' lawsuit. The settlement also calls for UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to write a formal apology to each of the students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed or arrested. In April, a UC task force headed by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso found that UC Davis police had violated policy and that campus administrators mishandled the November 2011 campus protest. In May, a separate draft report about campus responses to civil disobedience across UC urged administrators to use mediation instead of confrontation in most cases, although it said pepper spray might remain a necessary tool of last resort. A final version was released this month with no major policy changes.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




The Face of Indefinite Detention
2012-09-14, New York Times
Posted: 2012-09-25 08:39:03
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/opinion/life-and-death-at-guantanamo-bay.html

Before he died on Sept. 8, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif had spent close to 4,000 days and nights in the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was found unconscious, alone in his cell, thousands of miles from home and family in Yemen. Like so many men still imprisoned at Guantánamo, Mr. Latif was fleeing American bombing - not fighting - when he was apprehended by the Pakistani police near the Afghan border and turned over to the United States military. He was never charged with a crime. The United States government claims the legal authority to hold men like Mr. Latif until the "war on terror" ends, which is to say, forever. Setting aside this troubling legal proposition, his death and the despair he endured in the years preceding it remind us of the toll Guantánamo takes on human beings. Adnan Latif is the human face of indefinite detention. [In 2010] a United States District Court judge hearing Mr. Latif’s habeas corpus petition ordered him released, ruling that the accusations against him were "unconvincing" and that his detention was "not lawful." By that time, Mr. Latif had been cleared for release from Guantánamo on three separate occasions, including in 2009 by the Obama administration’s multiagency Guantánamo Review Task Force. Nevertheless, the Department of Justice appealed the district court’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit - which has ruled in the government’s favor in nearly every habeas corpus appeal it has heard.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Car Burnings and Assaults on Radicals Linked to F.B.I. Agents in Last 5 Years
1976-07-11, New York Times
Posted: 2012-09-25 08:28:29
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60716FA3D59157493C3A8178CD85...

Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation committed widespread acts of unauthorized lawlessness including the burning of automobiles, assaults and illegal wiretapping, while conducting internal security investigations in the last five years, law enforcement sources said. Militant antiwar activists at Queens College in Flushing were one target of illegal and unauthorized electronic surveillance. Agents placed illegal "wildcat" telephone taps and electronic bugs, the sources said, ... because these were often the best methods of getting intelligence on militant leftist activity. Agents would disguise the source of the information in their reports to make it appear that it came from live informants. One source said, however, that he believed that supervisory F.B.I. personnel were "aware" that information was coming from taps but did nothing about it. Car burnings and assaults upon individuals in the radical left were efforts to disrupt antiwar activity. The cars were set afire with "Molotov cocktails" made from glass bottles filled with gasoline. This was done in such a manner as to appear to have been an attack by another extremist group. Cars were also disabled to strand suspects during a surveillance. Agents, the sources said, from time to time "roughed up" radical antiwar figures to frighten them or to disrupt a demonstration or protest activity. At least one radical was kidnapped for the same reason. One source said that the victim of a beating was never seriously hurt because agents did not want to create a situation that might be traced to the bureau. The victim, this source said, would not know he was attacked by bureau men.

Note: The above link requires a small payment to view the article on the Times website. To view it free, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on intelligence agency corruption, click here.




Former marine held involuntarily over Facebook posts now plans to sue FBI
2012-08-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-09-18 09:04:53
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/29/former-marine-facebook-sue-fbi

A former US marine who was taken from his home and involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation for posting controversial song lyrics and conspiracy theories on Facebook is to file a civil lawsuit against the FBI and police. Speaking for the first time since his release, after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to detain him, Brandon Raub said his experience was frightening and that it sent a "extremely alarming" message to Americans. Raub, 26, a former combat engineer who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was taken forcibly from his home in Chesterfield County, Virginia, by two FBI agents and police on 16 August. He was not charged with any crime. He was handcuffed and detained in a psychiatric hospital for seven days before a judge ruled on 23 August that there was not sufficient evidence to keep him there. In an interview ... Raub said: "It made me scared for my country. The idea that a man can be snatched off his property without being read his rights I think should be extremely alarming to all Americans." He said that Americans needed to educate themselves about government intrusions into the lives of citizens, and he urged people to do so. Raub's mother, Cathleen Thomas, told reporters that her son ... is "concerned about all the wars we've experienced" and believes the US government was complicit in the September 11 terrorist attacks. One of his Facebook posts, she said, pictured the gaping hole in the Pentagon and asked "where's the plane?

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Former Marine Detained After Alleged Facebook Threats
2012-08-21, ABC News
Posted: 2012-08-28 10:41:57
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/former-marine-detained-after-all...

A 26 year old former Marine has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after being detained for alleged threats he made on Facebook. Brandon Raub, who lives in Chesterfield, Virginia, was detained [on August 16] after being questioned by law enforcement about his postings. “Sharpen up my axe; I’m here to sever heads,” Raub posted to Facebook on August 13, 2012. The post appears to be a lyric from the band Swollen Members and its song “Bring Me Down.” The case has pitted First Amendment freedoms against potential security concerns. Raub, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was questioned by the FBI, U.S. Secret Service and Chesterfield County Police ... and was then taken into custody by the Chesterfield County Police Department. At a court hearing on [August 20] Raub was ordered to be detained for mental evaluation for 30 days. Court records on Raub only showed traffic violations. A Facebook group supporting Raub already has over 5,800 supporters. “For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here,” said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, which is serving as counsel for Raub.

Note: Thanks to public outcry, this man was later released. For more on this, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




WikiLeaks and Free Speech
2012-08-21, New York Times
Posted: 2012-08-28 10:30:52
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/opinion/wikileaks-and-the-global-future-of-...

[In its] decision to grant diplomatic asylum to [WikiLeaks'] founder, Julian Assange, ... Ecuador has acted in accordance with important principles of international human rights. Indeed, nothing could demonstrate the appropriateness of Ecuador's action more than the British government's threat to violate a sacrosanct principle of diplomatic relations and invade the embassy to arrest Mr. Assange. Predictably, the response from those who would prefer that Americans remain in the dark has been ferocious. Top elected leaders from both parties have called Mr. Assange a "high-tech terrorist." And Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has demanded that he be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Most Americans, Britons and Swedes are unaware that Sweden has not formally charged Mr. Assange with any crime. Rather, it has issued a warrant for his arrest to question him about allegations of sexual assault in 2010. If Mr. Assange is extradited to the United States, the consequences will reverberate for years around the world. Mr. Assange is not an American citizen, and none of his actions have taken place on American soil. If the United States can prosecute a journalist in these circumstances, the governments of Russia or China could, by the same logic, demand that foreign reporters anywhere on earth be extradited for violating their laws.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government secrecy, click here.




Activists subpoenaed to grand jury meeting in Seattle
2012-08-01, Seattle Times blog
Posted: 2012-08-21 10:07:56
http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/08/activists-subpoened-to-thursday-g...

Two Portland residents say they will appear before a federal grand jury in Seattle Thursday in an investigation of anarchist activity, according to a statement they released on [August 1]. Grand jury subpoenas have also been served to activists in Olympia and Seattle ... according to the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which identifies itself as an association of progressive lawyers. The guild urged the U.S. Attorney’s Office to drop the subpoenas [because] they were being used “as a pretext for harassing political activists.” “It concerns us any time there are law-enforcement raids that target political literature, first amendment-protected materials,” [guild spokesman Neil] Fox said. Two weeks before a heavily armed, July 25 FBI raid that Dennison Williams and Leah-Lynn Plante said took place at their Portland home, the Seattle Police Department SWAT team seized evidence connected to the May Day investigation from a Judkins Park apartment of Occupy Seattle members. In both cases, those searched told media that law-enforcement charged into their homes [with a battering-ram] early in the morning and used a stun grenade, a non-lethal object that creates a disorienting loud bang and bright light. Williams told The Oregonian that the FBI took his laptop computer, cell phone, two thumb drives, multiple pieces of black clothing, and a T-shirt that read on the front “Multi Death Corporations.”

Note: Amazingly, the FBI raids on political activists in Seattle and Portland have gone completely unreported by the mass media. For analysis of the FBI's attacks on dissenters, click here, here and here. For a Democracy Now! video report, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




What makes our NDAA lawsuit a struggle to save the US constitution
2012-08-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-08-21 10:06:17
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/10/ndaa-lawsuit-struggle-us-...

I [Tangerine Bolen] am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial. In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama's lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported. In the earlier March hearing, US government lawyers had confirmed that, yes, the NDAA does give the president the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA. In this hearing ... Obama's attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA's section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest's injunction. In other words, they were telling a US federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama's government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them. I, like many in this fight, am now afraid of my government. We have good reason to be.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




The new totalitarianism of surveillance technology
2012-08-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-08-21 10:03:51
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/15/new-totalitarianism-surve...

Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to unveil a major new police surveillance infrastructure, developed by Microsoft. The Domain Awareness System links existing police databases with live video feeds, including cameras using vehicle license plate recognition software. No mention was made of whether the system plans to use – or already uses – facial recognition software. But, at present, there is no law to prevent US government and law enforcement agencies from building facial recognition databases. And we know from industry newsletters that the US military, law enforcement, and the department of homeland security are betting heavily on facial recognition technology. As PC World notes, Facebook itself is a market leader in the technology – but military and security agencies are close behind. According to Homeland Security Newswire, billions of dollars are being invested in the development and manufacture of various biometric technologies capable of detecting and identifying anyone, anywhere in the world – via iris-scanning systems, already in use; foot-scanning technology (really); voice pattern ID software, and so on. What is very obvious is that this technology will not be applied merely to people under arrest, or to people under surveillance in accordance with the fourth amendment. No, the "targets" here [include] everyone. In the name of "national security", the capacity is being built to identify, track and document any citizen constantly and continuously.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Trapwire surveillance system exposed in document leak
2012-08-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2012-08-21 10:01:30
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/13/trapwire-surveillance-system-expo...

[Trapwire is] a CCTV surveillance system that recognises people from their face or walk and analyses whether they might be about to commit a terrorist or criminal act. According to documents released online by WikiLeaks [it] is being used in a number of countries to try to monitor people and threats. Founded by former CIA agents, Trapwire uses data from a network of CCTV systems and numberplate readers to figure out the threat level in huge numbers of locations. The documents outlining Trapwire's existence and its deployment in the US were apparently obtained in a hack of computer systems belonging to the intelligence company Stratfor at the end of last year. Documents from the US department of homeland security show that it paid $832,000 to deploy Trapwire in Washington DC and Seattle. Stratfor describes Trapwire as "a unique, predictive software system designed to detect patterns of pre-attack surveillance and logistical planning". It serves "a wide range of law enforcement personnel and public and private security officials domestically and internationally", Stratfor says. Some have expressed doubts that Trapwire could really forecast [future] acts based on data from cameras. The claims might seem overblown, but then the idea that the US could have an international monitoring system seemed absurd until the discovery of the Echelon system, used by the US to eavesdrop on electronic communications internationally.

Note: For more on the growing use of this secret technology, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on privacy, click here.





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