Civil Liberties

Submitted by tnjp on October 20, 2013 - 1:19am.


Don't just watch it, DO SOMETHING: http://TheNSAvideo.com

The U.S. Government has turned the Internet into something it was never intended to be: a system for spying on us in our most private moments. Out of control government surveillance is a dangerous form of censorship. Don't be intimidated. Share this video.

Narrated by Evangeline Lilly

Brought to you by Fight for the Future and Demand Progress.

Submitted by tnjp on August 22, 2013 - 6:39pm.

"...I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal."

The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We've been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we've had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror...

Submitted by tnjp on August 16, 2013 - 7:39pm.

View slideshow on Flickr

A NEW CAMPAIGN: THANK YOU, EDWARD SNOWDEN

The U.S. government threatens to put Edward Snowden behind bars for life for having dared to reveal to the American people that the government has been secretly spying on each one of us.

The politicians are trying to whip up hatred against Mr. Snowden.

"He's a traitor," stated Republican leader John Boehner on ABC. Not to be outdone, Diane Feinstein, Democratic chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Snowden's truth-telling revelations "an act of treason."

We need to send a different message from the People of the United States to Edward Snowden and to the world at large: We thank you and we oppose the surveillance state.

Because of Edward Snowden's heroic action to tell the truth, a nationwide debate has finally opened up on the massive covert spying operation against the American people.

The American people have not given their consent to the government's mass dragnet operation to collect, store and analyze their emails and their telephone calls.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has initiated a new advocacy campaign, www.ThankYouEdSnowden.org. The ThankYouEdSnowden.org website allows you to post your thanks, upload a photo of yourself with a handwritten message of thanks, download posters and petitions that you can circulate and collect signatures, or simply sign and click to sign on to the simple campaign message: #ThankYouEdSnowden....

Submitted by tnjp on July 11, 2013 - 4:37pm.

Oliver Stone on NSA Spying

Some have claimed that Americans don't care about the revelations that the NSA is conducting massive surveillance on our private communications. But Oliver Stone isn't buying it.

In a video produced with the ACLU, Director Oliver Stone shares some of his reflections on the NSA spying program and the disastrous legacy of unchecked government abuse of power. All Americans should stand up for our civil liberties at this critical moment in history, he says-- by asking our representatives in Congress to roll back the surveillance state.

Sign the petition to Congress

Submitted by tnjp on July 3, 2013 - 8:46pm.

Today Is July 4th; And It's Time To Restore The 4th Amendment

Today is July 4th, people are gathering around the country -- both offline and online -- to tell the government that it's time to finally start obeying the 4th Amendment again. If you click the image above, it takes you to www.CallForFreedom.org, a new campaign from Fight for the Future. You should also check out www.RestoreTheFourth.net

Submitted by tnjp on July 1, 2013 - 9:03pm.

StopWatching.Us - Sign TODAY!

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs!

Submitted by tnjp on June 10, 2013 - 8:08pm.


Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I do not expect to see home again'

Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong
The Guardian, Saturday 8 June 2013

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."...

Submitted by tnjp on March 17, 2013 - 8:18pm.

This week marks ten years since Bush/Cheney lied America into invading and occupying Iraq. No one from the Bush mis-administration has been indicted for war crimes or any other criminal acts, Gitmo is still open, and the Patriot Act(among other Acts) still enslaves us.

Here's a few conclusions of fact to remind of the devastation done in our name - care of the Costs of War project of The Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.


  • The Iraq War will ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers at least $2.2 trillion. Because the Iraq war appropriations were funded by borrowing, cumulative interest through 2053 could amount to more than $3.9 trillion.

  • The total of U.S. service members killed in Iraq is 4,488. At least 3,400 U.S. contractors have died as well, a number often under-reported.

  • Th $2.2 trillion figure includes care for veterans who were injured in the war in Iraq, which will cost the United States almost $500 billion through 2053.

  • The $60 billion spent on reconstruction for Iraq has not gone to rebuilding infrastructure such as roads, health care, and water treatment systems, but primarily to the military and police. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has found massive fraud, waste, and abuse of reconstruction funds.

  • Our tally of all of the war's dead - including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians - shows that at least 330,000 people have died due to direct war violence.

  • A 2011 survey conservatively estimated that between 800,000 and a million Iraqi children have lost one or both parents

  • Approximately 2.8 million people are still displaced from their homes
Submitted by tnjp on September 2, 2012 - 2:28pm.

WikiLeaks and Free Speech
By MICHAEL MOORE and OLIVER STONE
Published: August 20, 2012

WE have spent our careers as filmmakers making the case that the news media in the United States often fail to inform Americans about the uglier actions of our own government. We therefore have been deeply grateful for the accomplishments of WikiLeaks, and applaud Ecuador’s decision to grant diplomatic asylum to its founder, Julian Assange, who is now living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

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.

Since WikiLeaks’ founding, it has revealed the “Collateral Murder” footage that shows the seemingly indiscriminate killing of Baghdad civilians by a United States Apache attack helicopter; further fine-grained detail about the true face of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; United States collusion with Yemen’s dictatorship to conceal our responsibility for bombing strikes there; the Obama administration’s pressure on other nations not to prosecute Bush-era officials for torture; and much more...

Submitted by tnjp on July 29, 2012 - 5:39pm.

a speech at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland...
Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, The Great Charter, Its Fate, and Ours | TomDispatch
Destroying the Commons
How the Magna Carta Became a Minor Carta
By Noam Chomsky

Down the road only a few generations, the millennium of Magna Carta, one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights, will arrive. Whether it will be celebrated, mourned, or ignored is not at all clear.

That should be a matter of serious immediate concern. What we do right now, or fail to do, will determine what kind of world will greet that event. It is not an attractive prospect if present tendencies persist -- not least, because the Great Charter is being shredded before our eyes.

The first scholarly edition of Magna Carta was published by the eminent jurist William Blackstone. It was not an easy task. There was no good text available. As he wrote, “the body of the charter has been unfortunately gnawn by rats” -- a comment that carries grim symbolism today, as we take up the task the rats left unfinished...

Submitted by tnjp on November 30, 2010 - 5:19pm.

This would be funny, if it were just a joke... lifted from rense.com

What the TSA Patdown Searches Are Really About
by Robert Freeman

You can hardly watch a TV news show, listen to a radio broadcast, pick up a newspaper, or read the Internet without hearing about the aggressive Transportation Security Agency patdown searches at airports.

The TSA and all relevant officials tell us that they're really for our own protection. But are they? In truth, the searches have virtually nothing to do with increased airport security.

Several years ago, my four year-old daughter was pulled aside in one such screening because she happened to be the Nth person in the line to go through security. Though she was traveling with me, her mother, and sister, she was subjected to 40 minutes of terrifying interrogations and inspections of all her personal effects, though not a bodily patdown.

The startling part of it was the mindlessness of it all. The guards were simply being good Nazis. Today, it is no longer mindless. It is part of a sustained campaign to condition the American public to being humiliated by government officials in the name of national security.

Physical humiliation of the subject is the first act that an interrogator performs on a victim. You can see this in the pictures from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The prisoners were made to perform all manner of humiliating acts: wear women's underwear on their heads; masturbate in front of female guards; pile onto one another naked; submit to rape by their guards; etc...

Submitted by tnjp on November 8, 2010 - 1:44pm.

Justice Dept. Renews Enforcement of Subpoenas for Antiwar Activists Targeted in FBI Raids

We get an update on the fallout from the FBI raids in late September that targeted antiwar activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Subpoenas to appear before a grand jury were served on thirteen people but later withdrawn when the activists asserted their right to remain silent. But this week, the US Department of Justice said it intends to enforce the subpoenas for some of them and require them to appear before a grand jury. We speak to former president of the National Lawyers Guild, Bruce Nestor. [includes rush transcript]

http://www.stopfbi.net

Submitted by tnjp on October 20, 2010 - 2:18pm.

October 18, 2010
Officials Push to Bolster Law on Wiretapping
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul a federal law that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped, federal officials say.

The officials say tougher legislation is needed because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that caused technical problems for surveillance. They want to increase legal incentives and penalties aimed at pushing carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to ensure that any network changes will not disrupt their ability to conduct wiretaps.

An Obama administration task force that includes officials from the Justice and Commerce Departments, the F.B.I. and other agencies recently began working on draft legislation to strengthen and expand the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, a 1994 law that says telephone and broadband companies must design their services so that they can begin conducting surveillance of a target immediately after being presented with a court order...

Submitted by tnjp on October 12, 2010 - 8:56pm.

For now, antiwar activists will not be forced to testify
By JAMES WALSH, Star Tribune
October 12, 2010
Thistle Parker-Hartog originally was supposed to testify before a grand jury in Chicago Tuesday. She didn't go. Mick Kelly was scheduled to make the same trip next week. Don't bet on it. In all, 14 antiwar activists and several organizations from the Twin Cities and Chicago who are being investigated for alleged support of terror groups received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury this month. All -- including five who were to appear last week -- have told the U.S. Department of Justice that they are not going.

Instead, several were among about 60 people gathered in front of the U.S. Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday to protest what they consider harassment and intimidation because they oppose U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. So far, it seems, the Justice Department has acquiesced. All the subpoenas have been canceled, according to a Chicago attorney working on the case. Instead of being encouraged by the inaction, they are left wondering when the other shoe is going to fall for a growing number of people under investigation...

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