You are hereCivil Rights / Liberties

Civil Rights / Liberties

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /usr/local/share/drupal-6.30/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Talk Nation Radio: Marcy Wheeler: Brennan Is Obama's Cheney

Marcy Wheeler blogs as Emptywheel at Emptywheel.net. She says John Brennan, the nominee for CIA director, has been Obama's Dick Cheney, operating outside the law, lying about bin Laden, and lying about drones; the White House has killed an American for his speech; the CIA has stopped lying to Congress only by starting to tell Congress nothing at all; Senator Diane Feinstein is complicit in the drone kill program; Congress has asked President Obama 10 times for a legal basis for the drone kill program and been blown off every time; the prosecutorial abuse in the case of Aaron Swartz is not uncommon, but evidence suggests retribution for Swartz's making accessible the Department of Justice's own public information, requesting of information on the treatment of Bradley Manning, and possible (entirely legal) assistance to WikiLeaks.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Embed on your own site with this code:

<object autostart="false" data="http://davidswanson.org/sites/davidswanson.org/files/talknationradio/talknationradio_20130130.mp3" height="100px" width="400px"></object>

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Look out! 4 things that get damaged at the airport, by Christopher Elliott

"The real answer is better training and more sensible rules."

No, the real answer is to disband this gang of criminals and thugs, starting with the one at the top, John Pistole.

Pistole calls TSA “gold standard” for aviation security

In what is surely the howler of the week, TSA Administrator John Pistole has declared the TSA “the gold standard of aviation security.”

It gets better:

Aaron Tobey wins battle in lawsuit against the TSA

 

Aaron Tobey, the 1st and 4th Amendment hero who got arrested for speech — silent speech, as you can see in the photograph — has won a battle in his lawsuit against the TSA.

Those of you who remember Aaron Tobey know that he was unlawfully detained by the TSA at Richmond International Airport in 2010 because when he declined to go through the strip-search scanner and opted for a pat-down, he stripped down to his skivvies, thus showing that he had nothing to hide.

TSA shows up at Austin Amtrak station, by Wendy Thomson

We’ve written about the TSA’s so-called VIPR teams many times, but most Americans still don’t know about them. These teams conduct warrantless searches on all modes of transportation all over the country — buses, trains, subways, ferries. Even highways. Yes, that means the TSA isn’t only at the airport.

4th Amendment vs. 2nd Amendment — meekness vs. rage, by Karen Cummings

 

As I listen to or read about the hue and cry over our Second Amendment rights if any new laws or restrictions on “bearing arms” are instituted, I wonder about the relative lack of concern over our Fourth Amendment rights.

On one hand, citizens rail against losing one Constitutional right — to bear arms —and on the other, they meekly submit to actions that abrogate another, unreasonable search and seizure.

Shoshana Hebshi suing the TSA and Frontier Airlines

American citizen Shoshana Hebshi, who was hauled off a plane in handcuffs, taken to a jail cell, and strip-searched, is finally suing the TSA.

Read the rest at TSA News.

A TSA Timeline

Kick-ass new post by Bill Fisher. Full of pertinent information and links to supporting evidence.

The TSA sh*ts on the 4th Amendment daily. Its agents also bully, harass, rob, and assault people. That includes sexual assault. And if you think I'm exaggerating, you've obviously been asleep for the past several years.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Obama's Second Inauguration: Big Money but No Big Lines

 

By Dave Lindorff


There were no memorable lines in President Obama’s second inaugural address. Certainly nothing like Franklin Roosevelt’s “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” which was in his first inaugural, or like John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.”


But there was plenty he said that was troubling. 


The problem mostly wasn’t what he said. It was how he said it, and what he left unsaid.

The TSA and people of privilege, by Sommer Gentry

It’s become a cliché among those who support the TSA’s unprecedented intrusions into and under the clothing of innocent travelers: “Flying is a privilege, not a right.”

Sorry, but the TSA still wants to scan you

Media outlets keep pushing misleading headlines and people keep repeating false reports that "the scanners are being removed from airports." No, they're not. As I wrote last Friday, only the scanners manufactured by Rapiscan are being removed from U.S. airports (they were never used in the EU, where they are banned).

TSA News Blog on HuffPost Live

I was a guest on Alyona Minkovski’s program on Huffington Post Live last night, along with Declan McCullagh of CNET and a frequent flyer named Marc Marrero.

Read the rest at TSA News.

TSA finally junks Rapiscan scanners

As we reported here on September 3, 2012, the TSA last year started quietly removing the radiation-emitting backscatter (x-ray) scanners from airports and replacing them with millimeter wave scanners.

Growth is the Enemy of Humankind

 

By Dave Lindorff


What is wrong with America?

            

Big question.


Simple answer.

11 Years of Infamy -- US Actions at Guantanamo Prison

By Ann Wright, OpEdNews

Despite his January 22, 2009 executive order closing Guantanamo Prison in one year, President Obama ensured the continued operation of Guantanamo for another year by signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, and refused to challenge the Congressional mandated ban on transfers from Guantánamo to the federal court and prison system in the United States.

::::::::

There are 166 out of 779 still imprisoned, including 87 cleared for release, but still held at Guantanamo
 

 
January 11, 2013, marked the 11th year that the infamous Guantanamo prison has been in operation by the United States. It is also 11 years that Hamid Karzai has the leader of Afghanistan. On January 11, President Karzai met with Barak Obama, the second US president who has presided over the war in Afghanistan. We don't know if President Karzai mentioned the 18 Afghans who remain in Guantanamo out of the 220 who were imprisoned.
 
But, no doubt there were discussions about the messy turnover of prisons in Afghanistan from US control to Afghan control, in which the US still refuses to hand over some prisoners. In 2012, 570 detainees were released after acquittal in Afghan courts with an additional 485 in the process of being released after a bilateral board of Afghans and Americans determined that there was not enough evidence to prosecute them. On the day prior to President Karzai's departure for Washington, another 80 prisoners were released.
 
It was 11 years ago, in late January, 2002, when I was on a helicopter that flew then interim-president Karzai from Kabul to Bagram Air Base for him to board a military aircraft for a flight to Washington, DC to meet with President Bush for the first time and for Karzai to be seated next to Laura Bush in the US Capitol gallery for President Bush's 2002 State of the Union message. At the time, I was in the US diplomatic corps and was on the small team that had reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in mid-December, 2001.

Flying while female? 5 things to remember at the airport, by Christopher Elliott

On her last four trips through U.S. airport security, Anita Nagelis says she’s been pulled aside and subjected to a more thorough search by TSA agents, including an aggressive pat-down.

Nagelis, who works for a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., doesn’t know why. She never set off a metal detector, isn’t on a no-fly list, and no suspicious items are ever discovered in her luggage.

Read the rest at TSA News.

ACLU: TSA profiling and other shenanigans

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has a new blog post up about various aspects of the TSA, including Pre-Check, about which we’ve written so many times, racial/ethnic/whim-based profiling (

Taking Sense Away (TSA) keeps on trucking

Friend of the blog NJR, about whom I wrote on December 18th, is on a roll. This guy is hilarious (in a good way, not in the way that the TSA is hilarious). And because he’s a former screener, he has more authority when it comes to telling you what we critics have been telling you for years, which is fine by me. Whatever it takes to get through to the masses.

How to stop the TSA from stealing your stuff

Mike Adams of Natural News has posted a video of an ingenious method to prevent the TSA from stealing your valuables.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Talk Nation Radio: Shahid Buttar on Spying, Detention, Torture, and Zero Dark Thirty

Shahid Buttar is the executive director the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the People’s Campaign for the Constitution which works to defend civil liberties, constitutional rights, and rule of law principles threatened within the United States by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He is a constitutional lawyer, grassroots organizer, independent columnist, musician, and poet. He discusses President Obama's signing of two new pieces of legislation permitting warrantless spying and indefinite detention.  He also discusses rendition, torture, and the new film "Zero Dark Thirty."

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Embed on your own site with this code:

<object autostart="false" data="http://davidswanson.org/sites/davidswanson.org/files/talknationradio/talknationradio_20130109.mp3" height="100px" width="400px"></object>

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

The New York Times’s little censorship problem

The New York Times has a travel blog called “In Transit.” On Thursday, January 3, 2013 the blog published a post called ”Keep Your Shoes On, T.S.A. Tells Some Fliers.” It was written by Emily Brennan.

Joe Biden: Dancing With the Sausage Maker

 

 

By John Grant


Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made.

             -- Mark Twain


“Applesauce woman” Nadine Hays still fighting the TSA


Nadine Kay Hays is back in court. Hays is the woman who was arrested, handcuffed, strip-searched, and jailed after the TSA decided she was too uppity. Hays had been escorting her ill, 93-year-old mother through security at the Burbank airport in 2009 when the TSA decided to confiscate the applesauce and yogurt the elderly woman needed to eat during the journey. In trying to retrieve her stolen items, Hays was accused by the TSA of hitting an agent. Prosecutors later charged her with battery.

Air travel is a right, by Wendy Thomson

Ladies and gentlemen, now we have it. On December 20, 2012, Judge William Alsup ruled against the TSA.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Resisting Racism and Militarism in 2013

January 21st will be an odd day in the United States.  We'll honor Martin Luther King Jr. and bestow another 4-year regime on the man who, in his Nobel peace prize acceptance speech said that Martin Luther King Jr. had been wrong -- that those who follow his example "stand idle in the face of threats."

I plan to begin the day by refusing to stand idle in the face of the threat that is President Barack Obama's military.  An event honoring Dr. King and protesting drone wars will include a rally at Malcolm X Park and a parade named for a bit of Kingian rhetoric. 

That evening I plan to attend the launch of a new book called We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America.

The Martin King I choose to celebrate is not the mythical man, beloved and accepted by all during his life, interested exclusively in ending racial segregation, and not attracted to activism -- since only through electoral work, as we've all been told, can one be a serious activist. 

The Martin King I choose to celebrate is the man who resorted to the most powerful activist tools available, the tools of creative nonviolent resistance and noncooperation, in order to resist what he called the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism. 

Taking that seriously means ending right now the past five-year-long ban on protesting the president.  At Obama's first inauguration we held Good Riddance to Bush rallies because pressuring Obama to mend his militaristic ways was not deemed "strategic." 

It turns out that refusing to push people toward peace does something worse than offending them.  It ignores them and abandons them to their fate. 

But pushing is not exactly the verb we should be looking for as we strive to build an inclusive peace movement.  Nor is peace exactly the adjective.  What we need is a movement against racism, materialism, and militarism.

To build that, those working to reduce spending on the Pentagon's pet corporations need to also work against the prison industrial complex.  And those working against police violence need to work for higher taxes on billionaires.  And those working to protect Social Security and Medicare need to oppose the murdering of human beings with missiles and drones.

We need to do these things not just because they will unite a larger number of people.  We would need to do them all even if nobody were already working in any of these areas.  We need to do them because we are taking on a culture, not just a policy.  We are taking on the mental habits that allow racism, materialism, and militarism.  We cannot do so with a movement that is segregated by policy area any more than we can with a movement that is segregated by race.

The torture techniques are shared between our foreign and domestic prisons.  Local police are being militarized.  The latest insanity would have us arm our teachers so that when our children are shot up by failed applicants to the U.S. Marine Corps there will be, as at Fort Hood, more guns nearby.  Violence at home and abroad exists through our acceptance of violence.  Plutocratic greed drives both war and racism.  Racism facilitates and is facilitated by war.

We Have Not Been Moved is a book with many lessons to teach.  King spoke against the war on Vietnam despite being strongly advised to stick to the area of civil rights.  Julian Bond did the same, losing his seat in the Georgia state legislature.  African Americans marched against that war by the thousands in Harlem and elsewhere, including with posters carrying the words attributed to Mohammad Ali: "No Vietcong ever called me nigger!"  So did Asian Americans and Chicanos.  SNCC risked considerable support and funding by supporting the rights of Palestinians as well as Vietnamese, urging draft resistance, and stating its disbelief that the U.S. government's goals included free elections either at home or abroad.

Immigrants rights groups (to a great extent more accurately: refugee rights groups) are sometimes reluctant to challenge the war machine, despite deeper understanding than the rest of us of how U.S. war making creates the need for immigration in the first place.  But, then, how many peace activists are working for immigrants' rights?  Civil rights groups strive to resist rendition and torture and indefinite detention, warrentless spying and murder by drone.  Unless they are brought more fully into a larger coalition that challenges military spending (at well over $1 trillion per year both before and after the "fiscal cliff") the struggle against the symptoms will continue indefinitely.  Environmental groups are often reluctant to oppose the military industrial complex, its wars for oil, or its oil for wars.  But this past year the threat that South Korean base construction and the U.S. Navy pose to Jeju Island brought these movements together -- a process our survival depends on our continuing.

Our movement must be inclusive and international.  The movement to close the School of the Americas has not closed it, but has persuaded several nations to stop sending any would-be torturers or assassins to train there.  The movement to shut down U.S. military bases abroad has not shut them down en masse through Congress, but has shut them down in particular places through the work of the people protesting in their countries.  Where do we find media coverage that sympathizes with domestic struggles for justice within the United States?  In foreign media, of course, in the media of Iran and Russia and Qatar.  Those governments have their own motives, but support for justice corresponds with the sentiments of their people and all people.

Our movement should not oppose attacking Iran purely as outsiders, but working with Iranians.  We should not oppose attacking Iran because all of our own problems have been solved, or because the dollars that will be spent attacking Iran could fund U.S. schools and green energy, or because attacking Iran could lead to attacks on the United States.  We should oppose attacking Iran because we oppose militarism and materialism and racism everywhere. 

We sometimes worry about having too many issues on our plate.  How, we wonder, can new people be attracted to our rally against another war if we unreasonably also oppose murderous sanctions?  How can we welcome new activists who doubt the wisdom of the next war if we unrealistically oppose all militarism?  How can we not turn people off if our speeches demand rights for women and immigrants and workers?  Do people who've never heard of Mumia need to hear about his imprisonment?  Don't we want homophobes to feel they can join our campaign without loving those people?

I think this is the wrong worry.  I think we need more issues, not fewer.  I think that's the genius of Occupy.  The issues are all connected.  They are issues of greed, racism, and war.  We can work with Libertarians on things we agree on.  We need be hostile to no one.  But we need to prioritize building a holistic movement for fundamental change.  Taxing the rich to pay for more wars is not the answer.  Opposing all cuts to public spending, even though more than half of it goes to the war machine is not the answer.  Insisting that banks stop discriminating, while drone pilots do is not the answer.

This is going to take work, huge amounts of work, great reservoirs of patience and humility, tremendous efforts at inclusion, understanding, and willingness to see changed what it is people become included in.  But we can afford to turn off racists.  We can afford to not appear welcoming to bigots.  We are many.  They are few.

The war machine has set its sights on Africa.  Its new name is AFRICOM, and it means business, the business of exploitation and cruelty.  We can better understand 9-11 and everything that has followed from it if we understand the long history of terrorism on U.S. soil.  We need the wisdom of Native Americans, Japanese Americans, Muslim Americans, and everybody else here and abroad who has been paying attention.  We need to move from making war to making reparations, at home and abroad.  We will have less reparations to make the sooner we stop making war.

We Have Not Been Moved includes a never before published speech by Bayard Rustin in which Rustin quotes Ossie Davis saying to the President: "If you want us to be nonviolent in Selma, why can't you be nonviolent in Saigon?"

"All the weapons of military power," says Rustin, "chemical and biological warfare, cannot prevail against the desire of the people.  We know the Wagner Act, which gave labor the right to organize and bargain collectively was empty until workers went into the streets.  The unions got off the ground because of sit-down strikes and social dislocation.  When women wanted to vote, Congress ignored them until they went into the streets and into the White House, and created disorder of a nonviolent nature.  I assure you that those women did things that, if the Negro movement had done them, they would have been sent back to Africa!  The civil rights movement begged and begged for change, but finally learned this lesson -- going into the streets.  The time is so late, the danger so great, that I call upon all the forces which believe in peace to take a lesson from the labor movement, the women's movement, and the civil rights movement and stop staying indoors.  Go into these streets until we get peace!"

Congress Extends Warrantless Spying

 

Congress Extends Warrantless Spying

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America's political process is lawless, corrupt and dysfunctional. Fiscal cliff hype, noise and theater continue. Destroying fundamental civil society social protections aren't mentioned.

 

Rushed through legislation targeted Iran's growing Latin American influence. On December 28, Obama signed the Countering Iran in Western Hemisphere Act.

Another woman arrested for defending herself against the TSA

A South Korean woman visiting this country and, of course, having no idea that she was required to undergo physical assault as a condition of getting on a plane, was arrested at Orlando International Airport.

Read the rest at TSA News.

FBI Ignored Deadly Threat to Occupiers: US Intelligence Machine Instead Plotted with Bankers to Attack Protest Movement

 

By Dave Lindorff


New documents obtained from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security by the Partnership for Civil Justice and released this past week show that the FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies began a campaign of monitoring, spying and disrupting the Occupy Movement at least two months before the first occupation actions began in late September 2011.


Former cop finds racism, sexism welcome at TSA

 

A former New Jersey cop who, colleagues said, routinely disparaged blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Indians, and women found a hearty embrace by the TSA at his local airport.

Former Edison, NJ police sergeant Alex Glinsky retired last year on the taxpayers’ dime ($84,000 a year) after having spent a career abusing John and Jane Citizen. Then he looked for a second career — with the TSA.

Informed Activist

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.