- Missouri Declares ‘State of Emergency’ Ahead of Ferguson Crackdown
- St Louis police chief says only criminals were teargassed at Ferguson protests
- Ferguson: video shows Darren Wilson arresting man for recording him
- Ku Klux Klan Twitter accounts hacked by Anonymous over Ferguson threats
- Ferguson shooting: Myths vs. facts
- In Ferguson, Tactics Set for Grand Jury Decision
- Churches prepare for Ferguson unrest
- Schools near Ferguson to be given advance notice of grand jury decision
- Missouri Governor On Protecting Ferguson ‘Violence Will Not Be Tolerated’
- Missouri Governor Says National Guard Is Still Option in Ferguson
- St. Louis, Ferguson Gun Sales Skyrocket
- Michael Brown’s parents to testify before UN about Ferguson police violence
- After Ferguson Unrest, Senate Reviews Use of Military-Style Gear by Police
- Glen Ford: How the No Fly Zone in Ferguson Became the No Justice Zone
80-year-old man with bad hearing pulled from tractor and beaten by police because ‘they were in fear of their lives’
Editor’s Note: These types of incidents happen so often in America today that it’s hard to keep. The following pages are great for staying up to date with the actions of America’s militarised thug police: Filming Cops, Police State USA, Cop Block, Police the Police, Police Crime. I would also highly recommend Radley Balko‘s excellent book ‘Rise of the Warrior Cop‘ if you want to know more about the history of why America’s police have become so violent and militarised.
‘A Lone Jack grandfather says he fears for his life after a run in with police.
Bill Swan was on his tractor when he took issue with a utility crew trying to dig on his property. His family says that before long the Lone Jack police arrived and Swan was left bloodied and more from being yanked off the tractor.
“I’m afraid for us to even drive out of our driveway or to get on the street. I don’t know what they will do,” Libby Swan, Bill’s wife, said.
Libby Swan hasn’t asked her husband all of what happened because she doesn’t want to put him through the ordeal right now.
“It’s very unnerving that something happened to him,” she said.
She can only guess that the 80-year-old ended up with a bloodied face, bruised hip and two ribs broken because his hearing is really bad.’
‘This just happened — while trying to figure out a colorful way to begin the story you’re reading, I toggled to Twitter and saw a link to a short film by two Brooklyn directors who used a drone to film actors having sex. Their project, somewhere between art and porn, hovers on the R-rated margins of a thriving cultural movement in which artists of all stripes are exploring what it means to live in a state of surveillance.
You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a surveillance art project, and the remarkable thing is that so much of it is so good. Some of the Snowden era’s sharpest interrogations of collect-it-all tracking by corporations and the government are to be found in galleries and other art spaces. They are the opposite of the acronym-laden news stories we read: NSA, FISA, PGP, PRISM, ACLU, EFF, SIGINT, GCHQ, TOR, FOIA, HTTPS, are you still awake? They are playful, invasive and eerie, and best of all they are graphically visual. With a transgressive edge that journalism struggles to match, they creatively challenge what it means to be human in a time of data.’
‘In an article for popular law enforcement website PoliceOne.com, Officer Steve Rabinovich writes that the controversial use of militarized vehicles in domestic law enforcement situations is necessary to deal with the threat posed by “anti-government groups.”
Rabinovich boasts an impressive list of credentials, with his assignments including Emergency Response Team, Crisis Intervention, ERU, Mounted and dignitary details. Rabinovich also teaches other police and emergency medical responders at his state’s technical college system.
Acknowledging that law enforcement bodies have received “criticisms from their communities” for utilizing the Department of Defense’s 1033 Program to acquire militarized vehicles previously used to hunt insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rabinovich cites domestic terrorism and “a steady increase in deadly and violent assaults on cops” as good reasons for police departments acquiring MRAPs and other military gear.
Rabinovich also points to “violent anti-government groups and individuals” who are “targeting cops as scapegoats” as another factor that justifies the use of militarized vehicles.’
- Answering the critics of MRAPs and the 1033 Program
- Armed for War: Pentagon surplus gives local police an edge
- Ferguson: This Is The Terrifying Result Of The Militarization Of Police
- Former Marine Corps Colonel: Homeland Security working with law enforcement to build a “domestic military”
- 13 states refuse to disclose how many tanks, assault weapons etc., they’ve gotten from the 1033 program
- Number Of Officers Killed In The Line Of Duty Drops To 50-Year Low While Number Of Citizens Killed By Cops Remains Unchanged
- U.S. violent crime down for fifth straight year (2012)
- We’re Compiling Every Police-Involved Shooting In America. Help Us.
- Federal Law Ordering US Attorney General To Gather Data On Police Excessive Force Has Been Ignored For 20 Years
- Federal Law Requiring Annual Report on Excessive Force by Police has been Ignored for 20 Years
- Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks
- FBI Investigated ‘Occupy’ As Possible ‘Terrorism’ Threat, Internal Documents Show
- Napolitano stands by controversial report on “rightwing extremism” threat
- N.H. City Wants a “Tank” to Use Against Occupiers and Libertarians
- Homeland Security Predicts Rise of ‘Anti-Government’ Violence
- Ed Schultz: Maybe The Cops Need All That Heavy Armor Because Of Anti-Government Wingnuts
- Veterans a Focus of FBI Extremist Probe
- Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More
‘The extent to which the US government spies on US soil continues to unfold. The latest revelation: Using Cessna aircraft over at least five metropolitan-area airports, the Justice Department oversees (albeit to an unknown extent) a program that indiscriminately accesses large amounts of cellphone data, including identifying information and people’s general locations, to search for suspects. The program cuts out the middleman—cellphone companies—a process law enforcement has described as slow and inaccurate. The Justice Department has neither confirmed nor denied the program, but people close to it tell the Wall Street Journal that this type of surveillance happens on a regular basis.’
‘Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.’
‘[...] People’s reactions in Germany to the Snowden revelations differed to those in Britain or America. There was full-on national outrage when it was revealed that even chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone had been bugged. I know this already, vaguely, in theory, but it’s a different matter to actually come to Berlin and hear person after person talk about it. I start out with three names, three high-profile “digital exiles” who have all taken refuge in the city: Poitras, Appelbaum and Sarah Harrison, another WikiLeaker who was with Snowden during his time in transit in Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow and helped him apply for political asylum in 21 countries. But I end up with reams of others. And, I can’t help thinking that Berlin, the city that found itself at the frontline of so much of the 20th century’s history, has found itself, once again, on the fracture point between two opposing world orders. And I wonder if the people I meet are the start of the internet fightback; if Berlin really is becoming a hub for a global digital resistance movement.’
‘[...] The SAR database is part of an ever-expanding domestic surveillance system established after 9/11 to gather intelligence on potential terrorism threats. At an abstract level, such a system may seem sensible: far better to prevent terrorism before it happens than to investigate and prosecute after a tragedy. Based on that reasoning, the government exhorts Americans to “see something, say something” — the SAR program’s slogan.
Indeed, just this week at a conference in New York City, FBI Director James Comey asked the public to report any suspicions they have to authorities. “When the hair on the back of your neck stands, listen to that instinct and just tell somebody,” said Comey. And seeking to reassure those who do not want to get their fellow Americans in trouble based on instinct alone, the FBI director added, “We investigate in secret for a very good reason, we don’t want to smear innocent people.”
There are any number of problems with this approach, starting with its premise. Predicting who exactly is a future threat before a person has done anything wrong is a perilous undertaking. That’s especially the case if the public is encouraged to report suspicions of neighbors, colleagues, and community members based on a “hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck” threshold. Nor is it any comfort that the FBI promises to protect the innocent by investigating “suspicious” people in secret. The civil liberties and privacy implications are, in fact, truly hair-raising, particularly when the Bureau engages in abusive and discriminatory sting operations and other rights violations.
At a fundamental level, suspicious activity reporting, as well as the digital and physical infrastructure of networked computer servers and fusion centers built around it, depends on what the government defines as suspicious. As it happens, this turns out to include innocuous, First Amendment-protected behavior.’
- ACLU on “Suspicious Activity Reports”
- Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
- Obama’s Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers
- The No-Fly List: Where the FBI Goes Fishing for Informants
- How Many Watch Lists Fit on the Head of a Pin?
- ACLU Challenge to Government No Fly List
- Judge rules no-fly list violates travelers’ rights
- A Great Day for Seven Americans Formerly on the No Fly List
- Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI’s Unchecked Abuse of Authority
- Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions
- U.S. government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots
- FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance
- The FBI’s Secret House Meeting to Get Access to Your iPhone
- Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in U.S.
- Controversial Patriot Act power now overwhelmingly used in drug investigations
- AP demands Holder explain FBI’s fake newspaper sting
- Defense says FBI posed as tech repairmen in ruse
- Ferguson Is Everytown, U.S.A.
- One Nation Under SWAT
- After denouncing his predecessor’s warrantless wiretapping, Obama presided over the construction of a surveillance state more expansive than any democracy has ever known. What he hid includes documented violations of the Fourth Amendment. And the so-called reforms he urged to satiate the public are a cynical farce.
- The Obama administration hasn’t merely violated the law in its failure to prosecute what the president and attorney general acknowledge to be illegal torture. It has also suppressed a still-unreleased Senate report about that torture and done nothing to prevent the next president from restarting “enhanced interrogation.”
- The Obama administration continues to wage the most costly, ruinous war in the modern era: the War on Drugs. Obama did not try and fail to end the drug war. He didn’t even try.
- When the Obama administration kills innocent people in a drone strike, it does not acknowledge its mistake, apologize, or compensate the family, nor does it articulate how it will prevent such tragedies in the future. Instead, the president just keeps quiet. He suppresses the number of innocents killed, preventing anyone outside the executive branch from judging the effectiveness or morality of drone policy. He invokes the state-secrets doctrine to keep the courts from judging whether he is violating the Constitution. And he hides even his own team’s legal reasoning.
- Obama took two actions that set extremely dangerous precedents: He established a secret kill list, put the name of an American citizen on that list, and ordered his execution by drone strike without charges or trial or any due process. And he waged a war of choice in Libya without permission from Congress.
- Under Obama, the national-security state is out of control. Set aside his policies, whatever you think about them. This is a president who let his director of national intelligence, James Clapper, lie in sworn testimony to Congress without consequences. His CIA director, John Brennan, presided over surveillance of Senate Intelligence Committee operations, also without consequence.
- Compared to his predecessors, Obama has been extremely aggressive in his persecution of whistleblowers and journalists who’ve worked with whistleblowers.
‘[...] While zombies may be the personification of our darkest fears, they embody the government’s paranoia about the citizenry as potential threats that need to be monitored, tracked, surveilled, sequestered, deterred, vanquished and rendered impotent. Why else would the government feel the need to monitor our communications, track our movements, criminalize our every action, treat us like suspects, and strip us of any means of defense while equipping its own personnel with an amazing arsenal of weapons?
For years now, the government has been carrying out military training drills with zombies as the enemy. In 2011, the DOD created a 31-page instruction manual for how to protect America from a terrorist attack carried out by zombie forces. In 2012, the CDC released a guide for surviving a zombie plague. That was followed by training drills for members of the military, police officers and first responders.
[...] The zombie exercises appear to be kitschy and fun—government agents running around trying to put down a zombie rebellion—but what if the zombies in the exercises are us, the citizenry, viewed by those in power as mindless, voracious, zombie hordes?’
‘The police department overseeing the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the killing of an unarmed 18-year-old has spent tens of thousands of dollars replenishing their stocks of teargas, “less lethal” ammunition and riot gear in advance of a potential revival in demonstrations.
St Louis County police made the purchases amid concerns that hundreds of demonstrators will return to the streets if Darren Wilson, the officer who shot dead Michael Brown in August, is not indicted on criminal charges by a grand jury currently considering the case.’
‘The White House has announced today that a long-standing plan to roll out a federal “Internet ID” authentication scheme that would be used to log in to all websites across the Internet will move forward, and the service will launch in six to twelve months.
“We simply have to kill off the password,” insisted White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel. The initiative began in 2011, with an eye toward public-private plans, but seems now to be centering on wearable authentication bracelets that Americans would apparently get instead of passwords.’
‘In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations.
The number of requests, contained in a 2014 audit of the surveillance program by the Postal Service’s inspector general, shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed and that oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax.’
‘[...] Over the past 20 years, prompted by changing police tactics and a zero-tolerance attitude toward small crimes, authorities have made more than a quarter of a billion arrests, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates. Nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI’s master criminal database.
This arrest wave, in many ways, starts at school. Concern by parents and school officials over drug use and a spate of shootings prompted a rapid buildup of police officers on campus and led to school administrators referring minor infractions to local authorities. That has turned traditional school discipline, memorialized in Hollywood coming-of-age movies such as “The Breakfast Club,” into something that looks more like the adult criminal-justice system.’
‘AT&T U-verse customers in several states woke up Friday morning to find a federal emergency alert on TV. The problem is, there was no emergency and the alert somehow hijacked their TV’s, refusing to allow them to change the channel.
Alan Sams, who has his phone and internet service bundled through AT&T says he couldn’t use the internet or his phone either.
“I’m more concerned that somebody on the inside of AT&T has the capacity to deal with shutting off my communications and controlling my communications, even if it was for a short period of time,” said Sams.’
- Emergency Alert System (EAS)
- Fake White House emergency alert prompts Ebola, ISIS fears
- FEMA, FCC to probe radio show after U-verse emergency alert glitch
- Emergency Alert System Expected for Cellphones
- President Obama could send text-message warnings under new PLAN system
- Verizon says ‘civil emergency’ alert in N.J. was only a test; company apologizes for ‘inconvenience’
- ‘Civil emergency’ alert messages sent to N.J. phone users; appears to be a false alarm
- Sprint Enables SMS Emergency Text Alert System
- Police-State Rhetoric and the Ottawa Attack
- After Shooting, Fear and Anxiety Take Over Ottawa
- Ottawa shootings: No Islamic State link found
- Ottawa shooting: Harper government wants to make terror arrests easier
- Blowback: Attack on Canadian Parliament Leaves Ottawa Stunned
- Canada, At War For 13 Years, Shocked That ‘A Terrorist’ Attacked Its Soldiers
- Canada’s Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame
- Attack in Ottawa could increase calls to give CSIS more power
- New anti-terror laws will protect sources, increase information sharing
- Canada intelligence-sharing on suspects curbed by court ruling
- Canada’s financial intelligence agency gets ‘useful’ data after attacks
- Gunman in Canada attack complained about mosque
- Man who attacked Canada’s parliament had troubled, transient past
- Homegrown Extremism in Canada Is Nothing New
- A new reality for Canada’s military members: they can become targets at home and overseas
‘Here’s a pretty astonishing chart on the skyrocketing number of arrests of black Americans for nonviolent drug crimes. Brookings’ Jonathan Rothwell lays it out:
Arrest data show a striking trend: arrests of blacks have fallen for violent and property crimes, but soared for drug related crimes. As of 2011, drug crimes comprised 14 percent of all arrests and a miscellaneous category that includes “drug paraphernalia” possession comprised an additional 31 percent of all arrests. Just 6 percent and 14 percent of arrests were for violent and property crimes, respectively.
Even more surprising is what gets left out of the chart: Blacks are far more likely to be arrested for selling or possessing drugs than whites, even though whites use drugs at the same rate. And whites are actually morelikely to sell drugs,’
‘In Washington, the revolving door between government service and more lucrative ventures is common, if not expected. However, having one foot in each has raised questions for the National Security Agency, which has launched an internal review of one senior official who was recruited by former NSA director Keith Alexander to work for his new—and very lucrative—cybersecurity private venture.
Patrick Dowd, the NSA’s Chief Technological Officer, is allowed to work up to 20 hours a week for Alexander’s firm, IronNet Cybersecurity, Inc., according to Reuters, which broke the story on the deal. Although the arrangement was apparently approved by NSA managers and does not appear to break any laws on its face, it does raise questions about ethics and the dividing line between business and one of the most secretive agencies in government.’
- NSA reviewing deal between official, ex-spy agency head
- The Financial Disclosure Forms the NSA Said Would Threaten National Security
- National Security Entrepreneurs Create Cyber Insurance
- PRISM: Don’t talk to terrorists if you want privacy, says ex-NSA director
- Former NSA Director: Better Information Sharing Needed on Cybersecurity
- Inside NSA and private contractors’ secret plans
- Ex-NSA Chief’s Anti-Hacker Patent Sparks Ethics Questions
- The NSA’s Cyber-King Goes Corporate
- Ex-NSA Chief Pitches Banks Costly Advice on Cyber-Attacks
- NSA’s Keith Alexander Goes Through Washington’s Revolving Door
‘On the night of December 9, 2011, Siham Stewart called her husband, Ayyub Abdul-Alim, as he closed down his corner store, Nature’s Garden, in Springfield, Massachusetts. She asked him to bring home a gallon of milk. A few minutes later, she watched from the window of their second-floor apartment as he was seized in the street and handcuffed by two police officers.
Forty-eight hours after Abdul-Alim’s arrest, FBI agent James Hisgen and Springfield police officer Ronald Sheehan offered him the chance to walk away free of charges if he agreed to become an informant on the Muslim community. He refused the deal and is now held at the Cedar Junction maximum-security prison in Massachusetts, facing up to sixteen years behind bars.’
- Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On
- U.S. government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots
- Only 1 percent of “terrorists” caught by the FBI are real
- How FBI Entrapment Is Inventing ‘Terrorists’
- Ex-FBI informant with a change of heart: ‘There is no real hunt. It’s fixed’
- COINTELPRO: The FBI’s War on Black America
‘The UK authorities are operating a surveillance system where “anything goes” and their interceptions are more intrusive to people’s privacy than has been seen in the US, Edward Snowden said.
Speaking via Skype at the Observer Ideas festival, held in central London, the whistleblower and former National Security Agency specialist, said there were “really no limits” to the GCHQ’s surveillance capabilities.’
- Edward Snowden: It was worth it
- Snowden Doc ‘Citizenfour’ Reveals Existence of Second NSA Whistleblower
- Snowden documentary shows that only government transparency can stop leaks
- Snowden lawyer urges consideration of effects of mass surveillance
- Snowden’s Privacy Tips: “Get Rid Of Dropbox,” Avoid Facebook And Google
- Snowden wins Guardian readers’ Nobel peace prize poll, ahead of Malala Yousafzai