Friday, December 30, 2011

Indefinite Detention Law Hall of Shame - List of Senators Who Voted Yes on the NDAA bill (And a list of their twitter accounts)

Below is the list of the Senators who voted yes on the NDAA bill which provides for indefinite detention of "any person who has committed a belligerent act". See section 1031 (b) 2 of s1867 (National Defense Authorization Act of 2012). The term "belligerent act" is extremely wide and could applied to any form of resistance including protesting in the streets or even speaking out against the U.S. government. Be sure to also visit the list of the twitter ids for the senators who voted for NDAA below.

Voted Yes

Sen. Daniel Akaka [D, HI]
Sen. Lamar Alexander [R, TN]
Sen. Kelly Ayotte [R, NH]
Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]
Sen. Max Baucus [D, MT]
Sen. Mark Begich [D, AK]
Sen. Michael Bennet [D, CO]
Sen. Jeff Bingaman [D, NM]
Sen. Richard Blumenthal [D, CT]
Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO]
Sen. John Boozman [R, AR]
Sen. Barbara Boxer [D, CA]
Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA]
Sen. Sherrod Brown [D, OH]
Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC]
Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA]
Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D, MD]
Sen. Thomas Carper [D, DE]
Sen. Robert Casey [D, PA]
Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R, GA]
Sen. Daniel Coats [R, IN]
Sen. Thad Cochran [R, MS]
Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
Sen. Kent Conrad [D, ND]
Sen. Chris Coons [D, DE]
Sen. Bob Corker [R, TN]
Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX]
Sen. Michael Crapo [R, ID]
Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC]
Sen. Richard Durbin [D, IL]
Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA]
Sen. Al Franken [D, MN]
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY]
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]
Sen. Charles Grassley [R, IA]
Sen. Kay Hagan [D, NC]
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]
Sen. Dean Heller [R, NV]
Sen. John Hoeven [R, ND]
Sen. Kay Hutchison [R, TX]
Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]
Sen. Daniel Inouye [D, HI]
Sen. John Isakson [R, GA]
Sen. Mike Johanns [R, NE]
Sen. Ron Johnson [R, WI]
Sen. Tim Johnson [D, SD]
Sen. John Kerry [D, MA]
Sen. Mark Kirk [R, IL]
Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D, MN]
Sen. Herbert Kohl [D, WI]
Sen. Jon Kyl [R, AZ]
Sen. Mary Landrieu [D, LA]
Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D, NJ]
Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT]
Sen. Carl Levin [D, MI]
Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT]
Sen. Richard Lugar [R, IN]
Sen. Joe Manchin [D, WV]
Sen. John McCain [R, AZ]
Sen. Claire McCaskill [D, MO]
Sen. Mitch McConnell [R, KY]
Sen. Robert Menéndez [D, NJ]
Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D, MD]
Sen. Jerry Moran [R, KS]
Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK]
Sen. Patty Murray [D, WA]
Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE]
Sen. Bill Nelson [D, FL]
Sen. Robert Portman [R, OH]
Sen. Mark Pryor [D, AR]
Sen. John Reed [D, RI]
Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV]
Sen. James Risch [R, ID]
Sen. Pat Roberts [R, KS]
Sen. John Rockefeller [D, WV]
Sen. Marco Rubio [R, FL]
Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY]
Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL]
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D, NH]
Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Sen. Debbie Ann Stabenow [D, MI]
Sen. Jon Tester [D, MT]
Sen. John Thune [R, SD]
Sen. Patrick Toomey [R, PA]
Sen. Tom Udall [D, NM]
Sen. Mark Udall [D, CO]
Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]
Sen. Mark Warner [D, VA]
Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA]
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse [D, RI]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]

Voted No

Sen. Rand Paul [R, KY]
Sen. Jeff Merkley [D, OR]
Sen. Ron Wyden [D, OR]
Sen. Mike Lee [R, UT]
Sen. Thomas Harkin [D, IA]
Sen. Thomas Coburn [R, OK]
Sen. Bernard Sanders [I, VT]

Here is a list of twitter IDs for senators who voted for S1867 Defense Authorization act. #NDAA

@senjohnbarrasso @senronjohnson @senrockefeller @sen_joemanchin @pattymurray @us_sen_cantwell @markwarner @senatorleahy @orrinhatch @kaybaileyhutch @senalexander @senbobcorker @johnthune @senronjohnson @grahamblo @senwhitehouse @sentoomey @senbobcasey @jiminhofe @robportman @sensherrodbrown @senjohnhoeven @kayhagan @senschumer @sengillibrand @tomudall @SenatorMenendez @senatorlautenberg @jeanneshaheen @senatorayotte @senatorreid @deanheller @mike_johanns @senbennelson @clairecmc @rogerwicker @alfranken @stabenow @sencarllevin @johnkerry @scottbrownma @senatorsnowe @senatorcollins @davidvitter @senlandrieu @mcconnellpress @moranforkansas @tomharkin @senatorlugar @sendancoats @senatorkirk @senatordurbin @daniel_inouye @senatorakaka @senatorisakson @saxby08 @senbillnelson @chriscoons @senatorcarper @joelieberman @senblumenthal @markudall @mbennet @barbaraboxer @johnboozman @senjohnmccain @lisamurkowski @senatorbigich @senshelbypress @senatorsessions @johncornyn @marcorubio @chuckgrassley @senatorburr @senatorsanders @jimdemint

Senators who voted for the NDAA who do not have twitter accounts:

Kohl (D-WI) Webb (D-VA) Reed (D-RI) Conrad (D-ND) Bingaman (D-NM) Cochran (R-MS) Klobuchar (D-MN) Cardin (D-MD) Mikulski (D-MD) Roberts (R-KS) Kirk (R-IL) Durbin (D-IL) Feinstein (D-CA) Pryor (D-AR) Kyl (R-AZ) Risch (R-ID) Crapo (R-ID)

Following are the senators who voted *against* the act who are on twitter:

@senrandpaul @tomcoburn @senmikelee @senjeffmerkley @ronwyden @senatorsanders

Senators who votes against who are *not* on twitter:

Harkin (D-IA)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

YAHOO Political E Mail Blockage

Targeting Protests

Thinking about e-mailing your friends and neighbors about the protests against Wall Street happening right now? If you have a Yahoo e-mail account, thi again. ThinkProgress has reviewed claims that Yahoo is censoring e-mails relating to the protest and found that after several attempts on multiple accounts, we too were prevented from sending messages about the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations.

Over the weekend, thousands gathered for a “Tahrir Square”-style protest of Wall Street’s domination of American politics. The protesters, organized online and by organizations like Adbusters, have called their effort “Occupy Wall Street” and have set up the website: However, several YouTube users posted videos of themselves trying to email a message inviting their friends to visit the Occupy Wall St campaign website, only to be blocked repeatedly by Yahoo. View a video of ThinkProgress making the attempt with the same blocked message experienced by others (click full screen for a better view of the text):

ThinkProgress tried other protest websites, like and, and both messages were sent smoothly. However, emails relating to the protest were blocked with the following message (emphasis added):

Your message was not sent
Suspicious activity has been detected on your account. To protect your account and our users, your message has not been sent.
If this error continues, please contact Yahoo! Customer Care for further help.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

ThinkProgress has sent a request for more information to Yahoo, and will post any reply once we have received it with Yahoo’s explanation for its apparent censorship.

It’s not the first time Yahoo has been accused of political censorship. Yahoo officially partners with the repressive Chinese regime to provide the government with access to emails related to groups viewed as dissidents. An explosive investigation by Der Spiegel found that Yahoo provided Chinese authorities with access to emails from journalists, and the snooping resulted in the same journalists being sent to prison camps.

The Occupy Wall Street protests have continued, but if you own a Yahoo e-mail account, you might not know about it.


We’re continuing to monitor Yahoo’s mail service and have now been able to send messages containing the phrase “Occupy Wall Street” and its website on some Yahoo accounts. On other accounts, however, Yahoo is still blocking the messages.

Yahoo’s customer care Twitter account acknowledges blocking the emails, but says it was an unintentional error:

“We apologize 4 blocking ‘’ It was not intentional & caught by our spam filters. It is resolved, but may be a residual delay.”

Yahoo’s main Twitter account adds:

“Thanks to @YahooMail users & @ThinkProgress for catching problem w/ mail. Prob is fixed, but there may be residual delays.”

Monday, September 12, 2011


Adhering to the government line - disgrace to the internet
Under the censorship of a 17 member supreme council

an intriguing wikipedia entry: statistics
Action Count
Edits 29905
Edits+Deleted 31771
Pages deleted 19264
Pages restored 269
Pages protected 255
Pages unprotected 10
Protections modified 9
Users blocked 915
Users reblocked 36
User rights modified 12
Users created

As the nation marked this terrible anniversary, people invariably turned to Wikipedia to learn about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Nearly two million page views were registered last September for the article “September 11 Attacks,” a typically Wikipedian effort with exhaustive, even picayune, details of the events, bolstered by nearly 289 footnotes. This September, the total page view number could be something like six million.

Likewise, readers have repeatedly turned to the article “9/11 Conspiracy Theories.” The article — similarly detailed with 299 footnotes purporting to explain accusations of faked video footage or controlled demolition of the two buildings — had 400,000 page views last September, and is on pace to have more than a million views this year.

One thing is certain, however. Not one of those visitors got to the conspiracy theories page by making a hypertext leap from a link in the main article about the Sept. 11 attacks. There is simply no mention of these theories, deemed fringe ideas, which have been repeatedly and officially discredited [sic-spin]. They are written up in a variety of articles on Wikipedia, but they are kept on the fringe of the site.

This is no accident, but rather a Wikipedia policy concerning a topic as fraught with emotion [sic spin] as the Sept. 11 attacks. Thus the so-called [sic-spin]gatekeepers of the media world — prominent newspapers, television news programs, newsweeklies — have an unlikely ally in Wikipedia, which bills itself as the encyclopedia anyone can edit.

“Certainly you would get dissent from a lot of our critics that we are responsible,” said Ira Brad Matetsky, a lawyer and member of the arbitration committee that resolves disputes over the editing of articles. But, he added, “one of the reasons that the 9/11 article has been pushed in a fairly conservative direction — and I don’t mean politically — is because so many people are reading this article.”

Over the last 10 years, the site has developed elaborate rules and standards, including creating the arbitration committee, a 17-member supreme court of sorts for Wikipedia.

In 2008, doubters of the official account of the attacks — sometimes called truthers — were told by the arbitration committee not to edit the main page on the attacks after so-called [sic-spin] edit wars over what should be included there. (Mr. Matetsky, as a New Yorker who well remembered the attacks, recused himself.)

Since then, any mention or link to conspiracy theories from the main account has been scrubbed from that article: there is no description of the celebrities who have endorsed the view; no mention of poll results on the subject that show some support among the public; no account, even, of the attraction of conspiracy theories in a time of crisis.

The move has been supported on the discussion pages accompanying the Sept. 11 article, though one Wikipedia contributor, Arthur L. Rubin, a former aerospace engineer who is beginning law school at Western State University in Fullerton, Calif., has been trying to push back.

He does not believe the theories, he said, but says they are part of the Sept. 11 story. “Although the theories are fringe, the fact that there are theories is a mainstream phenomenon,” he said in an interview as he prepared for class. “Even in law school one of the students I was talking to was in the truther side of the matter — it really is a widespread phenomenon.”

His latest unsuccessful effort was to include the conspiracy theories article on the template for Sept. 11, a list of articles on the subject that appears on the bottom of any of those entries. It is a way of packaging Wikipedia’s work on a topic; the prevailing view at Wikipedia is that including the conspiracy theories would make the ideas seem more mainstream.

In response to Mr. Rubin, a commentator on a Wikipedia discussion page, Tom Harrison, wrote: “Like most fringe subjects it has been unduly (and unintentionally, in most cases) promoted, giving readers and maybe search engines an impression of cultural significance that isn’t supported to that extent in reliable sources. I don’t want to Suppress the Truth [sic-spin], I just want to give due weight.”

This consensus on Wikipedia certainly is not what an outsider might expect from a site that prides itself on its free expression views. In the past, Wikipedia editors have reveled in publishing material that others have considered better left unseen.

In the case of the ink blots used in Rorschach tests, complaints that publishing the material would threaten the psychology profession only emboldened the editor who put them there.

The phenomenon even has a name, the Streisand effect, a result of Barbra Streisand’s failed effort to suppress in court an aerial photograph of her home for privacy reasons, which only seemed to stoke interest. The photograph now illustrates Wikipedia’s Streisand Effect article.

Wikipedia, created in the year the Sept. 11 attacks took place, was profoundly shaped by those events. According to the article “History of Wikipedia,” the attacks spurred “breaking news stories on the homepage, as well as information boxes linking related articles.”

A look back at the page from December 2001 about the attacks, including its gray In Memoriam banner, is to be transported to a rawer time — for the United States and Wikipedia. The writing is more emotional than one might expect from a site that now prides itself on a just-the-facts prose style. The article’s opening words describe the events as “what might well be the most devastating terrorist attack in the history of the world.”

The links from that December 2001 entry to other Wikipedia articles also tell a story, especially the ones like Missing Persons, Opportunists.


The current members of the Arbitration Committee are listed below. Arbitrators may be active or inactive. The inactive designation includes members who are on wikibreak, who have not participated in arbitration within the past week, or who have indicated their absence. The following list is accurate as of 29 August 2011:

Active arbitrators

Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (Richard Symonds)
Cool Hand Luke (Frank Bednarz)
Coren (Marc-André Pelletier)
David Fuchs
Elen of the Roads
John Vandenberg
Kirill Lokshin
Mailer diablo (Kenneth Kua)
Newyorkbrad (Ira Brad Matetsky)
Roger Davies

Inactive arbitrators


The Arbitration Committee does not have a chair, but may designate one arbitrator to coordinate timely performance of tasks. The current coordinating arbitrator is Roger Davies, with Kirill Lokshin as his deputy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ex FOX Reporter ENABLING Political Censorship

Political discussion board 'The UnHived Mind' CENSORED!

Racist content - a small fraction - as the excuse to censor huge library of non-racist historical and political information

More at:

The top three White supremacy propaganda mills were shut down this week by an investigative journalist who survived blackmail, libel, and physical threats to accomplish the historic victory for humanity’s peace and inter-racial harmony.

Sherri Kane, an investigative journalist who defected from FOX News in Los Angeles protesting Rupert Murdoch’s criminal influence over the media, prompted the hosts of three leading conspiracy community web sites to cease and desist posting hateful anti-Jewish, anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-Catholic, and anti-government articles.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

FREE PASS for Police to Trash Video Evidence- According to Texas Judge Bob Pemberton

particularly regarding the cigarette protectionist statutes (drug war)

Texas Appeals Court: Driver Has No Right to Dashcam Video

Texas Court of Appeals sides with police officer claiming dashboard camera video of traffic stop does not exist.

Justice Bob Pemberton Drivers have no recourse if police say the tape from a dashboard-mounted video camera is not available, according to a ruling Wednesday from the Texas Court of Appeals. Mark Lee Martin wanted to defend himself against drug possession charges filed in the wake of an August 29, 2008 traffic stop, but he was told no video was available.

Travis County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Jennings claimed that he pulled over Martin that evening because he failed to signal a left-hand turn. Within less than two weeks after the incident, Martin's attorney formally requested that the department preserve video evidence from the stop. Subpoenas were issued to ensure "all videos and dispatch calls" would be saved. At trial, Jennings was asked why the camera evidence had not been kept.

"Since I didn't put it in my report it wasn't preserved because I didn't believe it had any type of evidential value," Jennings told the court.

The dashcam is automatically activated when an officer turns on his emergency lights. Department policy states that all video must automatically be saved for thirty days. Jennings could not say whether his machine was operating that night, but he would have noted either at the beginning or end of the shift if the device had not been functional. Jennings stated that the only way to know for sure if the video had been taken would have been if he had preserved the video. Martin argued the police were obviously hiding evidence.

"The officers intentionally destroyed the video and thereby put exculpatory evidence as far as the search is concerned or evidence favorable to the accused out of the reach of the accused," Martin's attorney claimed. "We feel that for no other reason the search is invalid and any evidence found as a result of that search should be suppressed."

The appellate court found no merit in this argument.

"We agree with the state that the record supports a finding by the district court that the police did not act in bad faith," Justice Bob Pemberton wrote. "The United States Supreme Court has held that 'unless a criminal defendant can show bad faith on the part of the police, failure to preserve potentially useful evidence does not constitute a denial of due process of law.'"

The court found no evidence of bad faith because the officer testified that he had "no clue" whether there even was a recording made.

"There is no indication in the record that Jennings or his supervisors handled the videotape in question any differently than they handled other videotapes," Pemberton wrote. "Nor is there any indication in the record that the tape was not preserved because of any improper motive on the part of Jennings or other officers."

The court concluded that failure to follow the instructions on the subpoena was not evidence of bad faith because Jennings testified that he never received the document.

A copy of the unpublished decision is available in a PDF file at the source below.

Source: PDF File Martin v. Texas (Court of Appeals, State of Texas, 8/10/2011)

Below is a partial list of Judge Pemberton's supporters:

Hon. Greg Abbott
Marjorie & Edwin Adams
Tricia Affleck
Victor Alcorta
Doug Alexander
Lee & Anissa Allbritton
Martin Allday
William Allensworth
Debbie Alsup
Jean & Kenneth Anderson
Joe Anderson
Claire Arenson
Gaylord Armstrong
John Arnold
Hon. Bud Arnot
Missy Atwood
Al Axe
Tom Baird
Scott & Anna Baker
Annette & O’Gene Barkemeyer
Geoff Barr
Travis Barton
Stephanie Bascom
Chester S. Beattie
Eric Behrens
Steve Benesh
Bruce Bennett
Natalie Wallace Bennett
Gilbert J. Bernal
Paul Bessette
Hon. Lisa Birkman
Barry Bishop
Tom Bond
Jack Borchers
Roger Borgelt
Wayne Bost
Ryan Botkin
Chris Bounds
Cindy Bourland
Jeff Boyd
Hon. Bruce Boyer
Terry Bray
Anna & Bill Brodie
Joe Brophy
Lou Brown
Britt Buchanan
Michael Burk
Bob Burleson
Michael Burnett
William T. Burrell
Jim Byrom
Charles Cain
Kerry Cammack
Jim Cannon
John Cargile
Charles Carter
Barron Casteel
Hon. Carter Casteel
Cheryl Casteel
David Chamberlain
Bill Christian
Bill Cobb
Patricia Cofty
Greg Coleman
Hon. Susan Combs
Diane Connell
Hon. Geoff Connor
Scott Cooley
Gail Corser
Peggy Cravens
Joe Crawford
Jack Crews
Bill Crocker
Jill Cronin
Wade Crosnoe
Mert Darling
C. Dean Davis
Fred Davis
Hector DeLeon
Andrew Dillon
Casey Dobson
Doug Dodds
Dennis Donley
Craig Douglas
Matt Dow
Claude Ducloux
James & Felicia Dunks
Mark Eidman
Jay Ellwanger
Ty Embrey
Hon. Craig Enoch
Leland Enochs
Jim Ewbank
Gary Farmer
Vic Feazell
Ed Fernandes
Scott Field
Wayne Fisher
Tom Forbes
Tom Fortenberry
Lisa Fountain
Tim La Frey
Hon. Dan Gattis
James W. George
Pam Giblin
David Gillmeister
Carroll Glaser
Janessa Glenn
Raymond & Doris Ann Goldman
Kinnan Golemon
Hon. Raul Gonzalez
Grant Goodwin
Yantis Green
Ann Greenberg
Hon. Joe Greenhill
Marci Hogan Greer
Brian Greig
Don & Prissy Griffis
Randy Grimes
Gary & Fran Grogan
Derek Van Guilder
Susan Gusky
Anthony Haley
Hon. Jack Hampton
Hon. Kent Hance
Hon. Tim Hancock
Rob Hargett
John Harmon
Jim Harp
Bruce M. Harris
Terri Harris
Louri O’Leary & Jim Harrison
David Hartman
Mike Hatchell
Molly Hatchell
Bob Hearon
Ted Hejl
Mack Ray Hernandez
David Herndon
Amanda & Jason Hill
Glenna Hodge
John Mark Hogg
Frank A. Holbrook
Kevin Holcomb
Donna Holmes
John Howard
Bob Howell
T.B. Hudson
Mike Huerta
Lin Hughes
Mark Humble
Lino Mendiola, III
Eustace Isidore
Mike Jines
Kay P. Johnson
Jennifer Johnson
Bill Jones
Paul Jordan
Franklin Scott Spears, Jr
John R. Hays, Jr.
Dan Kacir
Sidney Kacir
Hon. Patrick Keel
Mary Keeney
Paul Kerr
Andrew Kever
Frank King
Monique Kleck
Robert Kleeman
Joe Knight
Don Kothman
Matt Kyle
Lance Lackey
Ray Langenberg
Joe Lea
James Lee
Wilma & Bennie Lewis
Albert Lin
Lloyd Lochridge
Patton Lochridge
Will & Mary Long
Stewart & Mari Long
Elias Lorenzana
Michael Lovins
April Lucas
Tonia Lucio
Dr. Dennis Lynch
Barbara Mabray
Hon. Keifer & Sammie Marshall
Michael M. Martin
Dolores & Tony Massaro
David Mattka
Mark Mayfield
Shannon McClendon
Witcher McCullough
Samuel McDaniel
Gordon McHaney
Colleen McHugh
Mike McKetta
Drayton McLane
John Mark McLaughlin
Laura Merritt
Lorri Michel
Drew Miller
Janet Monteros
Wendell Moody
Robert Neblett
Chad & Annabell Nelson
Alvin New
Howard Nirken
Scott Norman
Erle Nye
Bob O’Boyle
Patrick O’Daniel
David Ogee
Rufus Oliver
Joe Osborn
Paul Van Osselaer
Gregg Owens
Dr. Darrell Palm
Hon. Greg Parker
Bill Parrish
Jennifer Patterson
Becky Yates Pemberton
Hon. Stan & Jo Ann Pemberton
Lee Pfluger
Bane Phillipi
Hon. Thomas R. Phillips
Hon. Jack Pope
H. Robert Powell
Jennifer Powell
Pike Powers
Scott Powers
Wayne Prescott
Adam Price
Shannon Ratliff
Gracie & Bob Renbarger
Wes & Aida Riddle
John Riley
Randy Roach
Forrest Roan
Mary Joe Roddie
Tom Rodman
Wendy Rogers
Tom Rogers
Dr. Jim Rohack
Frank & Jean Rose
Marc Rosenthal
Joe Will Ross
David Rowe
Paul S. Ruiz
Brian Russell
Kevin Sadler
Alex & Paul Saenz
Travis & Sandy Sales
Randy Sarosdy
Mitchell Savrick
Pete Schenkkan
Jody Scheske
Everett Schmidt
Carl Schwenker
Jamey Secrest
Jerry Secrest
Hon. Bob Shannon
Lance & Laura Sharp
Mike Shaunnesy
Nancy Shellhorse
Ryan Shelton
West Short
Cory Smith
Todd Smith
Jim Sneeringer
Dan A. Gattis, Sr.
Ram Sriram
Joe Stallone
Bill & Lynda Stokes
Frank Suhr
Robert Summers
Andy M. Taylor
Tim Taylor
Amy & Lloyd Thomas
Hazel Thomas
Jay Thompson
Laurie Tice
Charles Tighe
Austin Tighe
Tom Tourtellotte
Glynn Turquand
Ben Vaughan
Gavin Villareal
Meg & Dathan Voelter
Robb Voyles
Don Walden
Don Walker
Brian Walters
Karen Watkins
Skip Watson
Tom Welch
Stacy Wendlandt
Robert Westbrook
Mark Whitaker
Ivan & Dot White
Raymond White
Rick Whitley
David Whittlesey
Hon. Dick Wieland
Liz Wiley
Glen Wilkerson
Talley Williams
Ellen Williams
Bob & Esther Wilson
Steve Wingard
Pete Winstead
Susan & Reid Witliff
Rick Wittenbraker
Jim & Carla Wright
Anita & Dr. James Wuensche
John Yarling
Richard Yeomans
Larry York
John Youngblood
Gary Zausmer
Bill Nations
Hon. Bill Meacham
Gus Lindemann

Pemberton Earns Bipartisan Law Enforcement Support

Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT)
Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA)
Texas State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
Austin Police Association
Cedar Park Police Association
Central Texas Lodge #29 (Temple area), Fraternal Order of Police
Hill Country Lodge #23 (Hays County), Fraternal Order of Police

New Braunfels Police Association
Round Rock Police Officers Association
San Angelo Coalition of Police
San Antonio Police Officers’ Association
Travis County Sheriff’s Officers Association
Travis County Sheriffs’ Law Enforcement Association
West Bell County Lodge #32, Fraternal Order of Police
Williamson County Sheriff Officers Association

District Attorney Bryan Goetz, Bastrop County
Sheriff Dan Smith, Bell County
District Attorney Henry Garza, Bell County
Sheriff Bill Ellsbury, Blanco County
Sheriff Joe Pollack, Burnet County
Dean Myane, County Attorney, Blanco County
County Attorney Eddie Arredondo, Burnet County
District Attorney Chris Schneider, Caldwell County
District Attorney George McCrea, Coke, Concho, Irion, Runnels, Schleicher, Sterling and Tom Green counties
District Attorney Steve Lupton. Coke, Concho, Irion, Runnels, Schleicher, Sterling and Tom Green counties
Sheriff Bob Holder, Comal County
District Attorney Dib Waldrip, Comal County
Sheriff Richard Doane, Concho County
Sheriff Allen Bridges, Hays County
District Attorney Mike Wenk, Hays County
Sheriff (Ret.) Don Montague, Hays County
Sheriff Gordon Morris, Lampasas County
District Attorney Larry Allison, Lampasas County
Sheriff William Baird, Runnels County
Sheriff John Wells, San Saba County
County Attorney David Williams, San Saba County
Sheriff David Doran, Schleicher County
Sheriff Joe Hunt, Tom Green County
Constable Bob Vann, Travis County
Sheriff James Wilson, Williamson County
District Attorney John Bradley, Williamson County
County Attorney Jana Duty, Williamson County


Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association PAC
Texas Medical Association TEXPAC
Family Law PAC
Texas Civil Justice League PAC
Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC
Central Texas Home Builders Association
Temple Area Home Builders Association
Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND
Texas State Rifle Association
Hudson Bend Professional Fire Fighters Association

No surprise that this judge can count on the support of the Fraternal Order of Police.

My police video was 'just grey static'

Monday, August 01, 2011

Internet Censorship Test

Last month I posted the following url article about the impeding real estate project -- "The Hampshires" by Comstock Homes -- to block the best route for inside the Beltway/Washington, D.C. I-95:

The article's purpose is to inform, not only the officials and the general public, but as well anyone considering buying into this ill advised real estate development project.

When I search via Google for that project by name, both the developers web site and my article about their project appears on the first page.

IF this project is built, and we end up with people buying into it unaware of the information within my article about this blocking the I-95 route, in this day and age of near universal use of the internet, particularly by anyone about to invest a substantial amount of money purchasing something, it will be apparent that we have internet CENSORING.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

US 'NSA' Uses Cell Phones as Tracking Devices Without Search Warrants

National Security Agency ADMITS It Tracks Americans Via Cell Phones

The general counsel of the National Security Agency testified to a Senate hearing yesterday that he believes the agency has the authority to track Americans via cell phones.

“There are certain circumstances where that authority may exist,” said Matthew Olsen the current nominee to head up the National Counterterrorism Center.

Olsen made the comments to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) repeatedly asked if the government has the authority to “use cell site data to track the location of Americans inside the country.”

Olsen added that the reason his answer was not definitive was that “it is a very complicated question”, assuring the committee that the NSA would provide more information in a future memo.

Sen. Wyden recently wrote (full letter below) to the Director of National Intelligence demanding to know whether the CIA and the NSA “have the authority to collect the geolocation information of American citizens for intelligence purposes.”
“If yes, please explain the specific statutory basis for this authority,” the letter, co signed by Sen. Mark Udall (D., Colo.) states.

The Senators also requested information on how many Americans have been monitored under authority granted by 2008 legislation amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “Have any apparently law-abiding Americans had their communications collected by the government?” the letter asks.

Two months ago Wyden expressed concern that the law relating to surveillance is unclear. “The law is being secretly interpreted by the executive branch” Wyden noted.
Along with Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), Wyden has introduced a joint bill that would force any government agency to secure a search warrant and show probable cause before tracking the location of any American.

The issue of cell phone tracking blew up earlier this year when it was revealed that computer researchers discovered a hidden file that allows Apple to track the location of iPhone and iPad users. Google’s collection of location from cellphones has also been open to question.
As we have previously highlighted, however, since October 2001, the FCC has mandated that all wireless carriers track the location of their users down to within 50 feet.
Under the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the FCC mandated that by October 1, 2001 a quarter of all new cellphones be equipped with GPS functionality that would allow authorities to track the location of users. By the end of 2002, this became a mandatory requirement of allnew cellphones.
As reported back in October 2001, “Because cellphone calls to 911 (estimated at around 140,000 per year) do not give the 911 operator location information, the FCC mandated that wireless companies “be able to locate 67 percent of callers to 911 within 50 meters that elect the handset solution while those using network technology must be able to locate the caller within 100 meters.” Wireless companies must also have one-quarter of the new cellphones they offer equipped to provide that location information by the end of the year, and all new cellphones so equipped by the end of next year.”

As a PC World article written in August 2001, two months before the first phase of the new FCC rules were enacted, asked, “The FCC requires cell phone companies to track you, in order to find you when you call 911–but what about your privacy?”
“Cell phone tracking was propelled by the Federal Communications Commission, which adopted enhanced 911 rules to cover wireless services. For E911′s first phase, cellular carriers must be able to pinpoint, to the nearest cell tower, the location of someone calling 911. For Phase II, carriers must be able to pinpoint a 911 caller’s location to within 50 to 300 meters,” states the article.

Your cellphone has been tracking you in real time for the lion’s share of the last decade, so why has it taken the media nearly 10 years to notice? Because in 2001, when such measures could have been made illegal, there was no iPhone, there was no app store, and the smart phones being used were extremely crude compared to today’s models, which are no less than mini-laptops.

In 2001, cellphones did little else than make calls and send text messages – these services didn’t require GPS technology. People weren’t addicted to their cellphones like they are today, they didn’t use them to catalogue, record and process every aspect of their existence.

The likes of Apple have worked hard over the last decade to make hundreds of millions of people dependent on their gadgets, creating an army of addicts who couldn’t care less that their cellphone is transmitting their every move directly to Steve Jobs. In their eyes, the choice between sacrificing their privacy and sacrificing their precious “apps” is an easy one to make. Privacy can’t book a table at a restaurant in a few taps of a finger, nor can it tell you the weather forecast or where the nearest ATM is located.

If the debate had been allowed to run its course in 2001, when cellphone tracking was first being adopted, the outcome may have been different. But since cellphone companies have been tracking their users for the best part of a decade, in line with government mandates, the recent controversy is merely part of the acclimatization process to achieve calm subservience and acceptance of the fact that true privacy is dead, and as Henry Blodget explains, Apple’s omnipresent brainwashing campaign has helped keep the outrage to a minimum.

Sen. Ron Wyden’s letter inquiring over tracking of Americans by federal intelligence agencies:

Sen. Ron Wyden’s letter inquiring over tracking of Americans by federal intelligence agencies:

July 14, 2011

The Honorable James R. Clapper, Jr. Director of National Intelligence Washington, DC 20511

Dear Director Clapper:

In the coming months Congress is likely to consider various legislative initiatives that would modify different aspects of domestic surveillance law. We believe that the debate over these initiatives will be better informed if Congress and the public are provided with more unclassified information about how these initiatives will affect current intelligence authorities and activities.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 significantly modified the US government’s surveillance authorities with regard to individuals believed to be located outside the United States. These new authorities are currently scheduled to expire in late 2012, and Congress could begin considering possible extensions or revisions to these authorities later this year. Since any thorough consideration will require an understanding of how the FISA Amendments Act has been interpreted and implemented, we ask that you provide unclassified answers to the following questions:

• In a December 2007 Statement of Administration Policy on the FISA Amendments Act, the Office of Management and Budget said that it would “likely be impossible” to count the number of people located in the United States whose communications were reviewed by the government pursuant to the FISA Amendments Act. Is this still the case? If so, is it possible to estimate this number with any accuracy?
• Official documents released in 2010 noted that there have been multiple incidents in which intelligence agency personnel have failed to comply with the FISA Amendments Act, and that “Certain types of compliance incidents continue[d] to occur.” Please elaborate on these compliance incidents to the extent possible, and explain why you believe that they have continued to recur.
• Have any apparently law-abiding Americans had their communications collected by the government pursuant to the FISA Amendments Act?
• Are any significant interpretations of the FISA Amendments Act currently classified?

Turning to another area of surveillance law, recent advances in geolocation technology have made it increasingly easy to secretly track the movements and whereabouts of individual Americans on an ongoing, 24/7 basis. Law enforcement agencies have relied on a variety of different methods to conduct this sort of electronic surveillance, including the acquisition of cell phone mobility data from communications companies as well as the use of tracking devices covertly installed by the law enforcement agencies themselves.

Unfortunately, the law has not kept up with these advances in technology. As a result, courts in different jurisdictions have issued diverse, conflicting rulings about the evidence and procedures required for the government to surreptitiously track an individual’s movements using a mobile electronic device. Congress is now considering multiple legislative proposals that would attempt to establish clear rules for this sort of surveillance and will need to determine at some point whether it is necessary to update the laws that apply to intelligence investigations as well as the laws that apply to law enforcement investigations.

While there is a substantial amount of public information available regarding different interpretations of this area of the law (including the executive branch’s interpretation and the interpretations of various courts) all of these interpretations apply to law enforcement authorities, not intelligence authorities. Clearly Congress needs to also understand how intelligence authorities are being interpreted as it begins to consider legislation on this issue. For this reason, we request that you also provide unclassified answers to the following questions:

• Do government agencies have the authority to collect the geolocation information of American citizens for intelligence purposes?
• If yes, please explain the specific statutory basis for this authority. And to the extent that this statutory basis imposes any procedural requirements, such as judicial review or approval by particular officials, please describe these requirements.
• If no, please explain the statutory basis for this prohibition.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your prompt response.


Ron Wyden Mark Udall United States Senator United States Senator

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Airbourne Assassination

Pentagon Pushing Mini-Drones
With smaller and smaller size
and the lack of oversight regarding surveillance,
this shall empower the government to target dissidents lethally.

Air Force seeks lethal mini-drones


KADIMA, Israel, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A rapid acquisition program for lethal mini-drones for Special Operations Forces has reportedly been launched by the U.S. Air Force's Rapid Acquisition Cell.

Defense Update, an Israeli publication, said the equipment to be delivered under the Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System program will provide warfighters in covert positions a portable, non-line-of-sight precision strike capability with a very low risk of collateral damage.

Last month, the Air Force selected Aerovironment, IAT and Textron Defense Systems three contractors to provide weaponized systems for a test series planned for this spring. Procurement of weapons would begin next year.

Two representative systems in the category are a new "Point and Toss" mini-drone from IAT and the Switchblade, developed by Aerovironment, Defense Update said.

The Air Force expects the new weapon to weigh around 3 pounds.

Read more:

The Pentagon promotes this on a smaller and smaller scale- insect sized.

Just imagine the possibilities, combined with a lack of adequate oversight against abuse.... potential rule by terror.

Friday, April 29, 2011

U.S. 7th Circuit Court Approves Warrantless GPS tracking

All for the pharma-cigarette market protection racket

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled yesterday in favor of police officers who attach GPS tracking devices to vehicles without first obtaining a warrant. The three-judge panel insisted searches of this sort do not violate the Fourth Amendment after considering the case of Juan Cuevas-Perez.

On February 6, 2009, Phoenix, Arizona detective Matthew Shay attached a tracking device to Cuevas-Perez's Jeep Laredo while it was parked on the street. He did not bother to ask a judge for a warrant. By February 8, the device had tracked the Jeep driving through Missouri. After sixty hours of use the GPS battery died so Shay had other law enforcement agencies track the Jeep to its ultimate destination in Illinois. After following Cuevas-Perez for forty miles, an Illinois State Police pulled him over for "remaining in the left-hand passing lane," a violation almost never enforced by the department. A subsequent drug dog search uncovered nine packages of heroin.

Seventh Circuit already ruled in a 2007 case that secretly installing a GPS device on a vehicle did not constitute a search because the unit provided the same information that could be had from an officer physically following the car. In light of the November US v. Maynard decision from the DC Circuit striking down GPS searches lacking judicial approval (view ruling), the Seventh Circuit judges re-examined the issue. The judges concluded that the twenty-eight-day surveillance in DC could not be compared to the sixty-hour tracking in the present case.

"Unlike in Maynard, the surveillance here was not lengthy and did not expose, or risk exposing, the twists and turns of Cuevas-Perez's life, including possible criminal activities, for a long period," Judge Richard D. Cudahy wrote for the majority. "As the Maynard court noted, the chances that the whole of Cuevas-Perez's movements for a month would actually be observed is effectively nil -- but that is not necessarily true of movements for a much shorter period."Seventh Circuit already ruled in a 2007 case that secretly installing a GPS device on a vehicle did not constitute a search because the unit provided the same information that could be had from an officer physically following the car. In light of the November US v. Maynard decision from the DC Circuit striking down GPS searches lacking judicial approval (view ruling), the Seventh Circuit judges re-examined the issue. The judges concluded that the twenty-eight-day surveillance in DC could not be compared to the sixty-hour tracking in the present case.

"Unlike in Maynard, the surveillance here was not lengthy and did not expose, or risk exposing, the twists and turns of Cuevas-Perez's life, including possible criminal activities, for a long period," Judge Richard D. Cudahy wrote for the majority. "As the Maynard court noted, the chances that the whole of Cuevas-Perez's movements for a month would actually be observed is effectively nil -- but that is not necessarily true of movements for a much shorter period."

Lawyers for Cuevas-Perez also argued that the tracking device in this case was far more advanced than those used in prior precedents. The device was capable of sending real-time location updates every minute, whereas the systems in previous cases required physical retrieval of stored information.

"We do not consider this particular advancement to be significant for Fourth Amendment purposes in general: real-time information is exactly the kind of information that drivers make available by traversing public roads," Cudahy wrote. "The historical data gathered and stored on comparatively primitive GPS devices is actually less akin to the publicly-exposed information on which the Fourth Amendment permissibility of GPS tracking is based."

Judge Diane P. Wood disagreed with the majority's interpretation, arguing it leaves open the possibility of mass surveillance restrained only by the financial resources of the police department.

"If the Fourth Amendment is out of the picture, then it makes no difference whether a police officer subjectively had a good reason to activate a device that he attached, if he acted on a whim, or if he was systematically using devices put on every car in a bad part of town to see where the drivers might be going," Judge Wood wrote in her dissent.

Wood argued that Congress could step in and provide appropriate requirements for use of surveillance devices as it has done in the past. Judge Joel M. Flaum agreed with Cudahy's reasoning but added that the implications of the ruling are troubling.

"If the doctrine needs clarifying, tweaking, or an overhaul in light of technologies employed by law enforcement, that additional guidance should come from the Supreme Court," Flaum wrote in a concurring opinion. "The matter is, as they say, above our pay grade."

A copy of the decision is available in a 300k PDF file at the source link below. Source

Friday, April 08, 2011

ObUma Worse Then Bush on 4th Amendment

April 7th, 2009

In Warrantless Wiretapping Case, Obama DOJ's New Arguments Are Worse Than Bush's
Commentary by Tim Jones

We had hoped this would go differently.

Friday evening, in a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA, EFF's litigation against the National Security Agency for the warrantless wiretapping of countless Americans, the Obama Administration made two deeply troubling arguments.

First, they argued, exactly as the Bush Administration did on countless occasions, that the state secrets privilege requires the court to dismiss the issue out of hand. They argue that simply allowing the case to continue "would cause exceptionally grave harm to national security." As in the past, this is a blatant ploy to dismiss the litigation without allowing the courts to consider the evidence.

It's an especially disappointing argument to hear from the Obama Administration. As a candidate, Senator Obama lamented that the Bush Administration "invoked a legal tool known as the 'state secrets' privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court." He was right then, and we're dismayed that he and his team seem to have forgotten.

Sad as that is, it's the Department Of Justice's second argument that is the most pernicious. The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes.

This is a radical assertion that is utterly unprecedented. No one — not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration — has ever interpreted the law this way.

Previously, the Bush Administration has argued that the U.S. possesses "sovereign immunity" from suit for conducting electronic surveillance that violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). However, FISA is only one of several laws that restrict the government's ability to wiretap. The Obama Administration goes two steps further than Bush did, and claims that the US PATRIOT Act also renders the U.S. immune from suit under the two remaining key federal surveillance laws: the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act. Essentially, the Obama Adminstration has claimed that the government cannot be held accountable for illegal surveillance under any federal statutes.

Again, the gulf between Candidate Obama and President Obama is striking. As a candidate, Obama ran promising a new era of government transparency and accountability, an end to the Bush DOJ's radical theories of executive power, and reform of the PATRIOT Act. But, this week, Obama's own Department Of Justice has argued that, under the PATRIOT Act, the government shall be entirely unaccountable for surveilling Americans in violation of its own laws.

This isn't change we can believe in. This is change for the worse.

For further reading, we suggest's Glenn Greenwald and The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.

Related Issues: NSA Spying

Related Cases: Jewel v. NSA

ObUma Adminstration Embraces GW Bush Administration Position on Subverting the 4th Amendment

April 6th, 2009

Obama Administration Embraces Bush Position on Warrantless Wiretapping and Secrecy

Says Court Must Dismiss Jewel v. NSA to Protect 'State Secrets'

San Francisco - The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration's position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency's (NSA's) warrantless wiretapping program, filing a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA late Friday.

In Jewel v. NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is challenging the agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. The Obama Justice Department claims in its motion that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged "state secrets." These are essentially the same arguments made by the Bush administration three years ago in Hepting v. AT&T, EFF's lawsuit against one of the telecom giants complicit in the NSA spying.

"President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration's cover-up of the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that the much-publicized warrantless wiretapping program is still a 'secret' that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again."

For the full motion to dismiss:

For more on Jewel v. NSA:


Kevin Bankston
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Cindy Cohn
Legal Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Rebecca Jeschke
Media Relations Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Related Issues: NSA Spying

Related Cases: Jewel v. NSA

Monday, April 04, 2011

Right to Peaceably Assemble to Redress Grievances Undermined by Quantico Marine Command that Violates Soldier's Oath
By Kevin Zeese
"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same." - Soldiers Oath
On March 20th, Americans, in a vet led assembly, gathered to support PFC Bradley Manning who is accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks and who has been held in solitary confinement at the Quantico Marine Base for 7 months. We worked successfully with the Prince William County Police for a safe and peaceful event, but one aspect of the event was in dispute -- a veteran led flower laying ceremony.

It seemed like something that should not have been controversial -- a ceremony to remember the war dead at a replica of the Iwo Jima Monument. The monument is open to the public every day of the year, but the Marines insisted on closing it to prevent a flower laying ceremony by veterans. We wanted to remember the war dead and emphasize that transparency saves lives as deception has been the basis of so many wars.

The Iwo Jima Memorial, also known as the U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial, is dedicated to all personnel of the Marines who have died defending the United States since 1775. The saying "Uncommon Valor Was a Common Virtue" is on the memorial and refers to the strength of mind and spirit that was shown by Marines in World War II who encountered danger with firmness. Bradley Manning, if he is guilty of what he is accused, has shown uncommon valor by sharing documents that show crimes and other misdeeds by the U.S. military and State Department. The inhumane treatment he is receiving is proof of the courage he has shown .

I wrote two memoranda to Colonel Daniel J. Choike, the Quantico Base Commander prior to March 20th. In them I explained our intent, the constitutional rights we were exercising and offered to find a way to exercise our rights safely. I concluded both memos saying "We ask you to please work with us in good faith and dignity to make this event work as it should under the Constitution, statutes and laws we all honor and respect. I stand ready and willing to work with you or your representatives, to make this work appropriately, and may be contacted for this purpose at any time, day or night, in furtherance of that goal." We received no response from the Marine Command. The one time I called the Marines, I was told the monument is open every day of the year but would be closed because of our presence.

On the morning of the assembly, the Prince William police offered a compromise: we could send five people to the monument to lay flowers on the memorial. While some among the Bradley Manning supporters were unhappy with this compromise, we decided to accept it in order to have a peaceful event that allowed us to show our respect for those who have died in war. In the end, the police allowed six people to approach the monument with flowers.

Among the six were two who had been awarded the Purple Heart, one from World War II and the other from Iraq. Jay Wenk, an army veteran received the Purple Heart when he was a member of the 90th Infantry Division, part of Patton's 3rd Army in Germany. His company got into a firefight in a heavily wooded area, a grenade fragment clipped his right shin, and the medic cleaned and bandaged it. The next morning after sleeping outside Wenk was in great pain, he'd contracted pneumonia and pleurisy. He was sent to a hospital west of the Rhine and rejoined his detail three weeks later. Most of his comrades had been killed while he was away when they were caught in the open by two German planes.

Photo By Ellen Davidson, Zach Choate and Jay Wenk walk back from attempted flower laying at war memorial

Zack Choate served as a scout with the Army's 10th Mountain Division in southern Baghdad. He received a Purple Heart after being wounded by a roadside bomb in October 2006. He was riding in his vehicle on a combat patrol when a roadside bomb detonated, ejecting him from the gunner's turret. After returning to the U.S. for treatment, he was awarded the Purple Heart. He was also diagnosed with PTSD. Out of a sense of "guilt" and other institutional pressures, he returned for a second tour.

Others in the flower laying group included: Retired Colonel Ann Wright who had a 29 year career in the U.S. military and also served 16 years in the Foreign Service. She served as Deputy Chief of Mission of US Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Afghanistan and resigned in 2003 when the Iraq War began. There was also retired Marine Captain David C. MacMichael, the former commander of Headquarters Company at Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia, a counter-insurgency expert in South-East Asia for four years who went to the CIA after his military career. Daniel Ellsberg left Harvard in 1954 to join the Marines and graduated first in a class of almost 1,100 lieutenants at the Marine School in Quantico. He served as a platoon leader and company commander in the Marine 2nd Infantry Division. In 1959 he began work at RAND, a private military think tank. He served in the Pentagon and reported the Gulf of Tonkin incident to Secretary Robert McNamara. He then served two years in Vietnam as a civilian working for General Lansdale. Ellsberg is most known for leaking the Pentagon Papers which undermined the rationale for the Vietnam War. The final member of the group was Elaine Brower, the mother of a Marine recently returned from his third deployment, 1 in Afghanistan and 2 in Iraq. She is an activist against the war with the National Steering Committee of World Can't Wait and a member of Military Families Speak Out.

As the flower laying delegation approached the monument they were told to stop at a police barrier 20 feet from the memorial. The memorial was too far away to even throw the flowers on to it. The delegation was disappointed. Jay Wenk told me that "when we came up to the barriers and were told to put our flowers on the ground, that we could go no further because "that's Federal land' I felt shocked, angry and despairing of what our government is." Zach Choate said he "was furious and hurt" Ann Wright decided to sit down on the road in protest, Daniel Ellsberg joined her. Then people came out from behind the police barricade and into the streets.

Parmailitary Police Block Road at War Memorial in Quantico , Photo By Ellen Davidson

Police showed how much force they were willing to use to prevent vets from laying flowers on a war memorial. Riot police started to march down the hill. Dressed like Imperial Guards in Star Wars, 30 of them stood shoulder-to-shoulder covering the width of a four-lane road carrying large shields, wearing black helmets with plastic over their face in most cases only the eyes could be seen and many of them were covered by sun glasses, body armor covering their chest and arms, knee pads, shin guards and heavy boots. Behind them were an equal number of riot police without shields but similarly dressed. There were about a dozen SWAT team troops with large assault rifles, wearing green military-like clothing and also helmets with masks that hid their faces. There were eight police on horseback, the horses also wearing riot gear covering their face with plastic and the police troops riding them were wearing helmets and riot gear as well. They were accompanied by police with police dogs, two buses and an armored vehicle. There were numerous other police from Prince William County, Manassas and Quantico.

Heavily armed SWAT police threaten peaceful protesters. Photo by Ellen Davidson

Five different police forces were involved in responding to the flower laying threat. Quite a show of paramilitary force to stop a flower laying ceremony by five vets and a military mom!

There was no violence from the peace protesters who had all pledged to be non-violent at the event. Some of the protesters were treated roughly by the paramilitary police.

Paramilitary police push forward knocking people on top of each other. Photo by Ellen Davidson

Even the horse were wearing riot gear. Photo by Ellen Davidson.

What was the root cause of this expensive and unnecessary show of force? The Marine Command insisting that vets could not lay flowers at a public war memorial. Did they forget their oath? Perhaps the most important part of the U.S. Constitution is the First Amendment which protects Freedom of Speech, Assembly and Petitioning the government. The language is clear: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . .; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Rather than defending the Constitution, the actions of the Quantico Marine Command are undermining critical constitutional guarantees and violating the soldier's oath.

Daniel Ellsberg with Paramilitary Unit as he is arrested for attempting to lay flowers in an "unlawful assembly." Photo by Ellen Davidson

As a result of the events on the 20th, 32 people have been arrested. Daniel Ellsberg said when the magistrate told him the charge was "unlawful assembly" he thought: "Unlawful assembly ? I thought of that as a pre-Revolutionary charge: "Disperse, ye rabble! Go to your homes!' I was under the belief that the First Amendment--protecting the right "peaceably to assemble to petition for redress of grievances' was supposed to "change all that.' Could there be a clearer description of what we were doing--right at the immediate site of one of the grievances? Granted, we were in a highway: but the State Police had blocked off that road themselves, for the period of our assembly : we weren't even "disrupting traffic.'"

Now, it goes to the Prince William Courts. It will be an opportunity for the courts to enforce and protect the most basic constitutional rights of Americans, or an opportunity to turn those guarantees into a farce. Let's hope the courts side with the people and the Constitution or the shock troops at Quantico could become a model seen in other parts of the country.

Monday, February 14, 2011

26 Republicans Stall 3 Ways of Subverting the 4th and 1st Amendments

A Patriot Act Surprise
NY Times editorial February 13, 2011

Republicans have a long history of favoring small government except when it comes to surveillance and security, at which point civil liberties take a back seat. Last week, however, 26 Republicans in the House demonstrated a remarkable consistency by joining 122 Democrats to prevent the extension of three questionable provisions of the Patriot Act, the post-9/11 law created during the Bush administration.

The vote splashed some cold water on the House Republican leadership, which had been so confident that it raised the extension under fast-track rules that require a two-thirds majority. The leadership is planning to bring it back this week under the normal rules. It is almost certain to pass and be sent to the Senate.

Nonetheless, the concerns that briefly brought together liberals, Tea Party members and longtime centrists from both parties should send a message to the White House and the Senate. The provisions of the Patriot Act should be carefully re-examined before being hastily reauthorized year after year. The Tea Party-backed congressman Justin Amash of Michigan was right to say that some raise serious concerns about violating the ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Three provisions in the act are set to expire on Feb. 28, and would be renewed under the House bill, supported by the Obama administration, through December.

One would allow a roving wiretap on a terror suspect to monitor his conversations as he moves from phone to phone. That can be a useful tool, but the authorization is so broad that the government does not even have to specify the suspect’s name to get a warrant. The failure to provide a more narrow identification of the suspect is too lax and could lead to abuse.

Another expiring provision has long raised serious civil liberties concerns, allowing the government to examine library and bookstore records of suspects, along with hard drives, tax documents and gun records. Investigators are not required to show probable cause that the material is related to a terrorist investigation.

The third provision, allowing surveillance of “lone wolf” suspects who may not be tied to recognized terror organizations, is also overly broad but has never been used. Rather than renew it without debate, the government should explain whether it is really necessary.

The extensions will probably pass the House this week — though leaders do not plan to give anyone a chance to amend them — and go to the Senate, which should provide another opportunity for reconsideration. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Judiciary Committee chairman, has introduced a bill that would add several safe guards to the act, most notably the phasing out of “national security letters,” which the F.B.I. has used to obtain evidence without a court order. These letters have been subject to widespread misuse and have never received proper oversight.

Unfortunately, the same bill that would bring the letters under control would extend the three expiring provisions in the Patriot Act through 2013. It is a much better measure, however, than a bill by Senator Dianne Feinstein that would extend the provisions for three more years without the new safeguards, or one by Senator Mitch McConnell that would make the three provisions permanent. Congress should not miss an opportunity to wield some oversight on this issue and determine whether the government could achieve its goals with less sweeping surveillance powers.

All of these provisions are useful tools for criminal government officials to target individuals for their polictial writings, as I believe happened to me in 2006.

South Capitol Street - Untold Story

Sunday, January 30, 2011

US Senators Lieberman & Collin's Treason Against Free Speech

from Sam Smith:

Lieberman & Collins wants government to be able to shut down Internet - just like Eygpt

Sean Bonner, Boing Boing - On Thursday Jan 27th at 22:34 UTC the Egyptian Government effectively removed Egypt from the internet. Nearly all inbound and outbound connections to the web were shut down. The internet intelligence authority Renesys explains it here and confirms that "virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide." This has never happened before in the entire history of the internet, with a nation of this size. A block of this scale is completely unheard of, and Senator Joe Lieberman [and Susan Collins] wants to be able to do the same thing in the US.

The bill, referred to as the 'Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act' removes all judicial oversight. This bill is still currently circulating and will be voted on later this year. Lieberman has said it should be a top priority.

This is something Americans should be paying very close attention to. Think about your daily life and how big a role the internet plays in it. Now think about what it would be like if one person had the authority to turn that off completely. If you can't imagine what that would be like you aren't alone. A week ago this was a hypothetical scenario. Now, you can just ask an Egyptian citizen what that feels like. Pay close attention to what happens with this bill.