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Civil Rights / Liberties
Houston TSA agent arrested after making “terroristic threats”
by Deborah Newell Tornello
“You said that the F.B.I. cleared Edward Snowden of acting with anyone else or as part of a spy ring. Why are we even talking about this then? How can Mike Rogers pretend the F.B.I. report doesn’t exist, go on TV, and accuse Snowden of being a spy for the Russian secret police?”
By John Grant
“In this town, money talks and bullshit walks.”
-PA Rep. Ozzie Myers on his Abscam tape
Political sports scorekeeper Chris Matthews recently predicted American Hustle would become a classic film of American politics of the order of Citizen Kane. I’d add All the King’s Men and All the President’s Men.
What’s so wonderful about American Hustle is that it’s very serious at the same time it has great fun with a contemporary political system dominated by the archetype of the aggressive prosecutor. While a servant of the state, he or she ruthlessly advances a career by bringing down others. Dishonesty and the entrapping scam are major tools of the trade.
With Chris Christie, the whole smelly system has narratively come full circle. An aggressive federal prosecutor with eyes on the White House is suddenly the hunted prey of other hungry prosecutors looking for a career boost. The attorney credited with getting the goods to put away Governor Blagojevic in Illinois has been hired to go for Christie.
While American Hustle may be based on the late seventies Abscam scandal, it’s more art than journalism or history. “Some of this actually happened,” we’re told on screen up front. Like all good fiction based on reality, the art is in finding a deeper truth...
I was out walking my dog the other morning, and my neighbor Tom--known locally as “the gentle radical”--was out shoveling the snow from his walk. He was puffing, and I asked him if he’d like to take a break and give me a turn at the shovel.
“Thanks for the offer, Ace,” he said with a smile, “but I need to do things like this to work off my frustration. If I couldn’t shovel snow, rake leaves, and tend to my garden, I think the top of my head might periodically blow off.”
Ah, well, it was only a matter of time. Anybody with a brain knew it was only a matter of time.
By Alfredo Lopez
This past week, the Federal government threw a one-two punch that will effectively destroy the Internet as we know it. Demonstrating, once again, his talent for obfuscation and misdirection, President Obama made a speech about reforming the NSA and controlling surveillance that actually officially recognized, sanctioned and even expanded the NSA's domestic spying and cyber-warfare.
Finally! Someone in law enforcement is taking seriously the charge of sexual assault by TSA workers.
Jamelyn Steenhoek, 39, was accompanying her 13-year-old daughter to the gate for the daughter’s flight. Steenhoek “alarmed” when she went through the metal detector. Then her hands were swabbed and they “alarmed.”
We at TSA News have written before about the particularly egregious violations perpetrated upon the disabled (or, more precisely, those who with the assistance of medical devices function quite well) by the TSA.
By Alfredo Lopez
On this website, we've speculated that one outcome of the flood of NSA-centered revelations has been to desensitize U.S. citizens and diminish outrage at what is actually revealed. We are becoming conditioned to the horror story that is the National Security Administration.
Time to invite Occupy back to Wall Street: Is New York’s New Mayor De Blasio Really a Lefty or Just Another Progressive Poseur?
By Dave Lindorff
There is no question but that New York’s new mayor, Bill De Blasio, owes his landslide victory in the November election to the Occupy Movement.
A federal judge in Manhattan ordered a “compassionate release" on Tuesday for Lynne F. Stewart, the former defense lawyer convicted of assisting terrorism who is dying from cancer in a federal prison in Texas.
By Alfredo Lopez
As the people of this country, and much of the world, observe the year-end holidays, we can look back on 2013 as the year when any illusion of genuine democracy was dashed by the remarkable revelations about the police-state surveillance that watches us. Last week, we saw a deeply disturbing stroke added to that incrementally developing picture.
Listen to this show and you may not think of air travel the same way again. Lisa Simeone runs the civil liberties watchdog site TSA News Blog, where she and her writers keep track of the abuses of the Transportation Security Administration. Simeone has been working in public radio and print for 30 years. She has hosted NPR's All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Performance Today, also the independent documentary series Soundprint. She's written book reviews and op-eds for the Baltimore Sun and now writes on a variety of subjects for Style Magazine. In 2011, she was fired by Soundprint and blacklisted by NPR for her involvement in the Occupy movement. She managed to hang on to two radio gigs and continues her lifelong political activism.
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
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"Stop. Screen. Go."
Those are the magic words in a new TSA video cartoon aimed at children, called Prepare for Takeoff. It’s on a nifty page — “TSA Kids” — that’s part of the “Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security,” which also includes links to other fab TSA stuff, such as “Fun Page” and “Parents Page.”
US hypocrisy over diplomatic immunity: US Embassy and Consular Employees Deserve It, Foreign Diplomats Not So Much
By Dave Lindorff
The diplomatic brouhaha between the US and India over a federal arrest and multiple strip-search and cavity search of a high-ranking Indian consular official in New York has exposed the astonishing hypocrisy of the US when it comes to the issue of diplomatic immunity.
The media are once again doing the TSA’s dirty work for it. Who needs PR flacks when you have newspapers, TV, radio, and the internet?
As we’ve written so many times, security at U.S. airports was working just fine after 9/11. Planes weren’t being blown out of the sky left and right. Then along came TSA Administrator John Pistole to implement the Reign of Molestation. And he's been shoveling the shit ever since, abetted by a credulous media just as intent on fear mongering as he is.
Originally posted at AcronymTV
TIME magazine generates plenty of buzz each year in rolling out their PERSON OF THE YEAR.
Corporate media keeps US citizens in the dark: Pakistan Outs Three US CIA Station Chiefs in Three Years
By Dave Lindorff
For the third time in three years, a CIA station chief has been outed in Pakistan, a country where the CIA is running one of its largest covert operations. It’s a remarkable record of failure by the CIA, since each outing, which has required a replacement of the station chief position, causes a breakdown in the agency’s network of contacts in the country.
Originally Posted at AcronymTV
We hear the haunting yet absurd steps taken by the NSA to monitor citizens. Unfortunately for activists, revolutionaries, and other agents of social change, that’s only the “state” prong of surveillance. The corporate arm is much more damning. Joel Northam reports.
tags Corporate spying, Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, police state, NSA, CIA, FBI, corporate surveillance, StratFor, terror acts, target, Jeremy Hammond, Activists, Resistance, Acronym TV, Resistance Report
No, this isn't an April Fool's joke. No, it isn't a scene out of a dystopian novel. It's just another day in the good ol' USA.
First in Texas and now in Pennsylvania, drivers have been flagged down by police and told to pull over into a parking lot so that a survey company can "ask" them for blood draws and a saliva swab.
Read the rest at ABombazine.
Some people in the media are finally catching on to what we here at TSA News have been saying for two years: Pre-Check is a joke. Just enter “pre-check” in the Search box. We’ve been pointing out the facts about this program from the beginning.
Two of the latest “Gosh, who knew?!” articles are in the Jacksonville Business Journal and the New York Times. Some of our readers have already commented at the former. The latter isn’t accepting comments, though I wrote to the author, Joe Sharkey, last week. It’s my second time writing to him about a TSA-related article. I’ve never gotten a reply.
While half the country is up in arms over the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal in Congress — with both conservatives and liberals disliking it for their own reasons — I see a twinkling, nay glittering, silver lining.
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog
A 1991 report tracked down by DeSmogBlog from the University of California-San Francisco's Legacy Tobacco Documents reveals that the State Policy Network (SPN) was created by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), raising additional questions over both organizations' Internal Revenue Service (IRS) non-profit tax status.
“Appalled and shocked and embarrassed”?
That’s one way of putting it.
That's how Phyllis May of Redmond, Washington described her reaction when the brainiacs of the TSA seized a little cloth sock puppet — sock monkey, to be exact — in her bag and discovered the monkey’s nefarious intent:
Cross-Posted from Frack the Media
Killing the First Amendment in Dealey Plaza: JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary and the Eyes of Texas (Pt. II)
By Lori Spencer
“This is content based denial of free speech in a public park and at a designated historic site. Dealey Plaza belongs to history and to the American people, especially on the 50th anniversary.”
-- John Judge, executive director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Florida U.S. Congressman Trey Radel, recently convicted of possessing cocaine, rightly wears the label of Drug War hypocrite, but assigning that total to just that one prominent felon helps tends to hide the long-standing stench of Drug War hypocrisy that extends from Capitol Hill to the White House and state capitals nationwide, including members of both parties.
By Dave Lindorff
(This article first appeared in WhoWhatWhy News)
“I regret to inform you…”