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Posts Tagged ‘Intimidation

The unPATRIOTic Act & COINTELPRO 2.0 (you think you still have rights?)

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The PATRIOT Act has allowed the FBI and other government agencies to spy on you and monitor your activities. Join the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and fight back.

 

Government cyber-bullying: David House on political harassment 2.0

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 11:37 am by Philip Leggiere                                         People’s Blog for the Constitution

First a couple of government agents come to your apartment, offering cash rewards for you if you’ll only “keep your ear to the ground” and feed them juicy tidbits of information about any acquaintances or professional colleagues you think they might be interested in.

After you refuse the “carrot” is quickly replaced by a stick.  Everywhere you go the same black sedan lurks nearby. Friends and family receive visits from government agents during which they are asked probing questions about you and your acquaintances.

When you and your girlfriend go the airport you’re pulled aside and questioned at length about the books you’re reading and your opinions about all sorts of political topics. Then your property (in this case computers, phone, notes, information storage devices) are confiscated for further study by the authorities. Then you’re called before a secret “grand jury” where you’re compelled on threat of imprisonment to testify about any potentially juicy tidbits of information that might help the government at some future time to build an unspecified criminal case against someone, or some group, or, perhaps, you.

No criminal warrant has ever been produced to justify all this surveillance and harassment.

The preceding description is neither fiction nor an account from another place or era (East Germany, 1970s?). It’s an outline of the life of David House (co-founder of The Bradley Manning Support Network) over the past year as recounted in an engaging hour-long video to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

It was unconscionable to cooperate with this grand jury. The grand jury is obviously politically motivated, and it’s—I can’t imagine a principled activist for Bradley Manning or for WikiLeaks cooperating with this investigation in any way. And it’s been said by others in the Boston area that they will not cooperate, even if they are compelled to testify before the grand jury. So it seems to be this is like a commonly held belief in the Boston area.

In fact, the day that I was actually called to testify, there was a protest happening outside the Alexandria court house and also in Boston against the grand jury and the politically motivated investigation of WikiLeaks currently happening in the States. And in my mind, this kind of reeks of the Pentagon Papers investigation. I mean, Richard Nixon’s DOJ 40 years ago attempted to kind of curtail the freedoms of the press and politically regulate the press through the use of policy created around the espionage investigation of the New York Times. I feel the WikiLeaks case we have going on now provides Obama’s DOJ ample opportunity to kind of continue this attempt to politically regulate the U.S. media, and so I’m very worried about this happening. And I think this grand jury is a step in the process.

Covert spying on Americans becomes overt intimidation

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(from a larger article The Latest on the Police State Front at Sibel Edmond’s Blog )

FBI Files on Investigations of Iowa City Peace Activists Made Public

David Goodner, a former member of the University of Iowa’s Antiwar Committee, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for files associated with an FBI surveillance of groups in Iowa City prior to the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. What he discovered was the investigation was far more extensive than previously known. Now, Goodner has turned over the files he received from the FBI exclusively to The Iowa Independent for publication.

As the documents show, the investigation into activities of peace groups in Iowa City involved staking out homes, secretly photographing and video taping members, digging through garbage and even planting a mole to spy on the peace activists up close.  Known as the Wild Rose Rebellion, the protesters were described by the FBI as an “anarchist collective.” In an interview with The Des Moines Register, the FBI defended its actions.

Weysan Dun, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Omaha field office, which oversees Iowa and Nebraska, said in a statement that every investigative technique that was employed was authorized under guidelines established by the U.S. attorney general “and was deemed necessary to resolve the allegations.” …

Dun said the Iowa City investigation was warranted because of allegations that certain people were possibly going to engage in criminal activities to disrupt the national conventions of one or both major political parties.

The group’s plans were to help organize nonviolent acts of civil disobedience, such as street blockades, at the 2008 RNC convention. In an interview Monday with progressive radio host Ed Fallon, Goodner said the FBI investigation didn’t make sense.

****

And here is the second related article:

Midlands FBI spying under scrutiny

In August 2003, two FBI agents watched over an Omaha rally organized by peace activist Frank Cordaro, a former Catholic priest.The agents observed no criminal activity at the rally but still sent notes on those in attendance to local military and law enforcement officials so they could plan security measures for a conference on U.S. nuclear policy at Offutt Air Force Base, according to a Justice Department report.

Also, FBI files reveal that agents, working under the direction of the bureau’s Omaha field office, secretly monitored the activities of Iowa City protest groups before the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

“I learned early in my peace and justice career to assume the government knows what’s going on,” said Cordaro, who has spent a total of about five years in jail for trespassing on Offutt property. When the FBI was monitoring him, Cordaro was planning a protest against nuclear weapons at the Offutt conference.

Now the FBI, including its Omaha office, is under intense scrutiny for investigations that revive memories of the bureau’s Vietnam-era intrigue.

Unsealed agency documents and a report from the Justice Department detail the FBI’s broad investigations of protest groups in Nebraska, Iowa and other parts of the country based on its authority to look into allegations and threats of domestic and international terrorism.

“In several cases there was little indication of any possible federal crimes,” Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said in his report, which detailed similar investigations the agency conducted around the country. “In some cases, the FBI classified some investigations relating to nonviolent civil disobedience under its ‘Acts of Terrorism’ classification.”

A domestic terrorism designation can have a large impact, the inspector general said, because people who are subjects of such probes are normally placed on watch lists and their travels and interactions with law enforcement may be tracked.

The FBI investigated whether the Iowa activists were part of a national network of radicals who wanted to disrupt the GOP convention in Minnesota and the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. The records show that the investigation lasted from roughly March to December in 2008.

During that time, authorities went through activists’ garbage and their cell phone and motor vehicle records.

Okay, you can read the rest here.

And finally, here is a hard-hitting recent news article for those who don’t consider the two above alarm-worthy:

FBI Raids: An End to ‘Covert’ Spying on Antiwar Groups?

Earlier this week the Justice Department revealed that the FBI had been using false claims of “counter-terror” operations to justify covert spying operations against antiwar groups in Pittsburgh and elsewhere across the country. As officials downplayed the report the matter seemed to be just another in a growing list of Bush era abuses of power, about which little is ever said.

Then this morning FBI agents and SWAT teams started kicking doors in across Minneapolis, across Chicago, across the rest of America. The target: antiwar activists of various stripes, but particularly those likely to be involved in antiwar protests at the next Democratic National Convention.

It seems the era of “covert” FBI spying has come to an end, and not in the good way like you’d hope. Rather it seems to have moved with surprising alacrity from behind the shadows and become an overt program of intimidation and surveillance of what is left of America’s antiwar movement. Read more ?

G20 cops ‘threatened women with rape’

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RawStory

By Daniel Tencer June 30, 2010

Journalists covering the G20 summit in Toronto, Canada, last weekend have accused the local police of threatening them with rape, using male officers to strip-search young women, and even inappropriately touching an underage girl.

Four reporters have filed complaints with the province of Ontario’s police oversight agency. According to the Canwest News Service, those four include Jesse Rosenfeld, a freelancer for the UK’s Guardian whose alleged beating at the hands of Toronto police was chronicled on Twitter, as well Amy Miller of the Alternative Media Center.

Miller told a press conference earlier this week that she had her press pass ripped away from her and was “throttled by the neck and held down” while trying to record a confrontation between police and protesters. She was detained for 13 hours in a cage in a converted film studio on the city’s east side, along with about 25 other women.

“I was told I was going to be raped, I was told I was going to be gang-banged, I was told that I was never going to want to act as a journalist again by making sure that I would be repeatedly raped while I was in jail,” Miller said.

Miller described the police’s alleged behavior as “repulsive and completely inappropriate.”

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Written by laudyms

July 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

Armada of U.S. and Israeli Warships Head for Iran

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Updated below**

Armada of U.S. and Israeli Warships Head for Iran

More than twelve U.S. and Israeli warships, including an aircraft carrier, passed through the Suez Canal on Friday and are headed for the Red Sea. “According to eyewitnesses, the U.S. battleships were the largest to have crossed the Canal in many years,” reported the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi on Saturday. The United States and Israel, the sole nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, have not ruled out a military strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.

The passage of a warship armada through the Suez Canal and headed for the Persian Gulf and Iran is apparently not deemed important enough to be reported by the corporate media in the United States.

read entire article

**See also:

US-led armada secretly drilled bombing Iranian targets, missile defense with Israel

‘The Responsible Left’: Funding Obama’s Expanding Wars

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The cowardly Democrats who checked their spines at the door to Congress oppressionwhen they voted Tuesday try to defend their flip-flop on war funding. Frankly, it is embarrassing.

By Jeremy Scahill

June 18, 2009 “RebelReports” — Over the past few days, we reported on how the White House and Democratic Congressional Leadership waged a dirty campaign to scare up votes to support another $106 billion in funds for their wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now, several of the so-called anti-war Democrats who left their principles at the House coat check on their way in to vote Tuesday are trying to explain away their hypocritical votes.

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Written by laudyms

June 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm