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Tag: Civil Liberties


Teacher Dude's BBQ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

We Know the NSA Spies on Us—but on Whom Specifically? And Why?

Author Seth Rosenfeld, whose book “Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power” explored the federal government’s domestic spying programs of a generation ago, calls for a new incarnation of the Church Committee to mine the extent of present-day domestic spying. But can this Congress focus on truth ahead of political spin and gamesmanship?

Posted on Dec 29, 2013 READ MORE


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DonkeyHotey (CC BY 2.0)

Obama Signs NDAA, Maintaining Indefinite Detention Provision

In an odd juxtaposition, Obama signed the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday while criticizing Congress for abridging the constitutional separation of powers, yet is unconcerned about the violation of individual constitutional rights contained in the law.

Posted on Dec 27, 2013 READ MORE



Brian A Petersen (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Eight Common Excuses for Mass Spying and Why They’re Wrong

The Electronic Frontier Foundation compiled a list of “common refrains of folks confused, nonplussed, or simply exhausted from the headlines” about NSA surveillance and informed responses that can be used to enlighten a conversation.

Posted on Dec 1, 2013 READ MORE


Greenwald Sacks BBC’s Stephen Sackur

Stephen Sackur of BBC’s “HARDtalk” appeared absurd this week when he challenged Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who led reporting on the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowen, on minutiae irrelevant to the historic revelations that British and American governments secretly spy on untold numbers of people around the world.

Posted on Nov 29, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN



bitzcelt (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hope in a Time of Permanent War

How might it be possible to imagine hope for a better world for humanity in a country that has sanctioned state torture, is about to bomb Syria and kill untold numbers of civilians, spies on its own citizens, extends the reach of the punishing state into all aspects of society, and inflicts violence on black and brown youths through racial profiling and the machinery of the mass incarceration state?

Posted on Sep 6, 2013 READ MORE



OregonDOT (CC BY 2.0)

Want Military Action? Look No Further Than Your Local Police

Increased militarization of domestic police departments has contributed to grotesque violations of Americans’ civil liberties, not to mention costing untold millions in tax dollars.

Posted on Aug 29, 2013 READ MORE



quapan (CC BY 2.0)

Germans ‘Duty Bound’ in Light of ‘Shameful Past’ to Give Snowden Asylum

European governments—Germany in particular, for its role in the human atrocities of the last century—should recognize the United States’ manifesting authoritarianism and respond humanely by offering safe haven to the fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, journalist Patrick Cockburn writes in The Independent.

Posted on Jul 22, 2013 READ MORE



White House/Chuck Kennedy

On Civil Liberties, Comparing Obama With Bush Is Easy—and Mostly Wrong

Rather than hyping the terrorist threat, like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, President Obama has repeatedly framed a calmer—if equally resolute—attitude toward Islamist extremism.

Posted on Jun 14, 2013 READ MORE


Mugged









Posted on Jun 12, 2013 ENLARGE


Trouble in the Data Mine









Posted on Jun 10, 2013 ENLARGE



Screenshot via The Guardian

Truthdigger of the Week: NSA Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden (Updated)

The Guardian notes, “Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning.”

Posted on Jun 8, 2013 READ MORE



nolifebeforecoffee (CC BY 2.0)

Don’t Push Us, Intelligence Veterans Say

Intelligence experts say criticism that the FBI should have done more to catch the Tsarnaev brothers and prevent the Boston Marathon bombings could provoke government agencies to infringe civil liberties.

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr/Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Hijacking of Human Rights

The ideology espoused by “humanitarian interventionists” such as Suzanne Nossel, recently appointed the executive director of PEN American Center, is used by the security and surveillance state to perpetuate war crimes, curtail civil liberties and justify pre-emptive war.

Posted on Apr 7, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Senate Television

Truthdigger of the Week: Rand Paul

The confirmation of John Brennan, the man tapped by President Obama to head the Central Intelligence Agency, appeared to be a slam dunk. That is, until Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took to the Senate floor to begin a lengthy filibuster of Brennan’s nomination that served as a scathing indictment of the Obama administration’s targeted killings policy.

Posted on Mar 9, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr/david_shankbone (CC-BY)

Michael Moore Asks Americans to Stand Up to Obama, Back NDAA Suit

The filmmaker and liberal activist is taking a stand against President Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act by supporting a lawsuit that seeks to change the “dangerous” measure, and he’s urging others to do the same.

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 READ MORE



Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey (CC-BY)

The 113th Congress Can’t Be Worse Than the 112th Congress

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The fiscal cliff is delayed, the 113th Congress is sworn in, the NDAA is signed, the Violence Against Women Act is killed and the LA Times is reborn.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 READ MORE


Negotiating With ‘Madmen’

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The fiscal cliff is delayed, the 113th Congress is sworn in, the NDAA is signed, the Violence Against Women Act is killed and the L.A. Times is reborn.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 WATCH & LISTEN



Electronic Frontier Foundation (CC BY 2.0)

Truthdigger of the Week: Electronic Frontier Foundation

As the larger part of American culture seems ready to surrender its claim to privacy without question, organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation are riding like Paul Revere through the digital Massachusetts night.

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 READ MORE



TheeErin (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Senate Preserves Sweeping Surveillance Powers

On Friday, Congress extended through 2017 a bill that grants the government power to monitor Americans without a warrant and accepted none of the proposals to ensure protections to privacy and civil liberties.

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 READ MORE



David Orban (CC-BY)

Three Men Who Wouldn’t Let the NSA Get Away With It

Whistle-blowers have warned that intelligence agencies are abusing the Constitution and lavishing private companies with expensive contracts in exchange for subpar results.

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 READ MORE



kevin dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Will the Apocalypse Arrive Online?

First the financial system collapses and it’s impossible to access one’s money. Then the power and water systems stop functioning.  Within days, the country finds itself fractured and fragmented—hardly recognizable. Think of it as 9/11/2015.

Posted on Oct 22, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Steve Miller

What Is Happening to Muslims Will Happen to the Rest of Us

A disturbing pattern of gross infringements on basic civil liberties, put in place in the name of national security, has poisoned our legal system.

Posted on Oct 1, 2012 READ MORE



Viktor Nagornyy (CC BY 2.0)

NYPD Spying on Muslims Led to No Terror Cases

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg points to the NYPD’s covert counterterrorism program as a model for the rest of the country. But according to a deposition given by the department’s intelligence commander earlier this summer and unsealed on Monday, police eavesdropping on conversations between Muslims has led to no terror investigations.

Posted on Aug 22, 2012 READ MORE



WarmSleepy (CC BY 2.0)

Big Brother Gets Established in NYC

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on Wednesday revealed that for the last six months the city has been monitoring its residents via a network of roughly 3,000 closed circuit television cameras that feed into NYPD headquarters. The technology is termed the “Domain Awareness System.”

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 READ MORE



"Democracy Now!"

NDAA Update: Another Legal Victory

A federal judge on Wednesday said that her earlier ruling on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act applied to everyone, not just the plaintiffs in the case. She made the clarification in upholding a preliminary injunction that would block the military from indefinitely detaining American citizens it accused of supporting terrorists. Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges (above) is among the plaintiffs.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Mary Altaffer

A Victory for All of Us

We hoped we could draw attention to the injustice of the law. None of us thought we would win. But every once in a while the gods smile on the damned.

Posted on May 18, 2012 READ MORE



YouTube/NCPCF2010

Truthdigger of the Week: Stephen F. Downs

It’s safe to assume that Big Brother would still have prevailed over Winston Smith had the ill-fated protagonist of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” been helped by public defender Stephen Downs. But we have reason to believe that Downs, who represents Muslim activists in trials that amount to little more than terrorist witch hunts, would not have backed down.

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 READ MORE


Secrecy, Wars and Civil Liberties

As Chris Hedges reported Monday, American Muslims are being dragged into jail on dubious and unclear connections to terrorism. Meanwhile, the president retains the authority to kill U.S. citizens without trial. But most Americans aren’t speaking up. Salon blogger and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald discusses why.

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 WATCH & LISTEN



AP / John Minchillo

The Polite Conference Rooms Where Liberties Are Saved and Lost

I spent four hours in a third-floor conference room at 86 Chambers St. in Manhattan on Friday as I underwent a government deposition.

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 READ MORE



May Day 2012: The Call for a General Strike

In the winter of 2011, discussion about calling a general strike had already begun within Occupy Los Angeles. At the end of January 2012, in the wake of police raids against Occupy encampments, Occupy Los Angeles issued a call for a May Day general strike, which was quickly endorsed by Occupy Oakland.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 READ MORE


Former Sen. Feingold on the Loss of Liberties

After the release of former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold’s new book, “While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era,” Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald spoke with him about the deliberate curtailment of American civil liberties over the last 10 years.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 WATCH & LISTEN



democracynow.org

Truthdigger of the Week: Chris Hedges

Late last year, President Obama pulled a fast one by changing his stance on the National Defense Authorization Act so suddenly and drastically that Americans were left with a bad case of legislative whiplash—and a very serious state of affairs with regard to our civil liberties.

Posted on Jan 20, 2012 READ MORE



Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey (CC-BY)

Chris Hedges on His Lawsuit Against the President

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The great Internet switch-off; the ACLU vs. jailhouse abuse; S&P’s downgrade mania; Robert Scheer on the election, and Chris Hedges discusses his lawsuit against the president.

Posted on Jan 20, 2012 READ MORE


Chris Hedges on His Lawsuit Against the President

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The great Internet switch-off; the ACLU vs. jailhouse abuse; S&P’s downgrade mania; Robert Scheer on the election, and Chris Hedges discusses his lawsuit against the president.

Posted on Jan 20, 2012 WATCH & LISTEN



AP / Brennan Linsley

A Decade of Guantanamo

The indefinite detention center that has undermined American justice since the first prisoners arrived from Afghanistan 10 years ago Wednesday is still open for business in Cuba. (more)

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 READ MORE


Do We Need to Worry About the NDAA?

Ian Masters asks Dahlia Lithwick, a contributing editor at Newsweek and a senior editor and legal correspondent at Slate, to dig into the NDAA and report on whether our civil liberties are as threatened as they seem to be by the defense bill President Obama signed on New Year’s Eve.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 WATCH & LISTEN


10 American ABCs We May Soon Forget

Here are 10 current words and phrases that my kid may never know because they might end up as relics of a lost vernacular, starting with “civil liberties.”

Posted on Jan 5, 2012 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Truthdiggers of the Week: NDAA Dissenters in Congress

Though they couldn’t stop the freedom-crushing National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 from becoming law, Truthdig salutes the efforts of the members of the U.S. Congress who took a stand against the NDAA in the final round of voting this week.

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Human Rights Watch Says Obama Will Go Down in History—and Not in a Good Way

President Obama’s decision to not veto the defense authorization bill, which “would codify indefinite detention without trial into U.S. law for the first time since the McCarthy era,” is a “historic tragedy,” Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Obama Drops Veto Threat, House Passes Defense Bill

The House passed the controversial National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday night, scarcely hours after President Obama caved to pressure from various factions in Congress and withdrew his veto threat. Let’s consider some of the scary tactics that would be permitted if the measure is signed into law.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Andy Wong

The Chinafication of America

A recent trip to China made me think about the way life can go on in a police state when people are much more preoccupied with economic survival than with civil liberties.

Posted on Oct 6, 2011 READ MORE



Larry Blumenfeld on Nat Hentoff

A new collection of writings by one of America’s greatest self-described Jewish atheists distills the essence of his half-century defense of civil liberties and jazz—the nation’s most original and influential art.

Posted on Aug 5, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / cobby17

Power to the Police at G-20

Canada’s Ontario province, possibly inspired by the decade-long assault on civil liberties in the U.S., has secretly passed a regulation allowing Toronto police to arrest anyone near the security zone for the upcoming G-20 financial summit who declines to identify himself or herself or submit to a search.

Posted on Jun 25, 2010 READ MORE


Fahad Hashmi

‘Free Fahad’: Protesters Speak Up for Jailed Muslim American

He’s been held in solitary confinement in a New York jail for, as of this posting, 824 days on charges of supporting al-Qaida, but supporters of 29-year-old Fahad Hashmi, including Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, believe Hashmi’s case represents a potential threat to Americans’ civil liberties and took to the NYC streets for a demonstration on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN



hartmaninstitute.com

Conservatives Go After Arab Israelis

Feeling their power, Israel’s conservative parliamentarians are drafting laws that appear to target Arab citizens, causing both allies and civil libertarians to cringe. One measure would create a loyalty oath, while another would punish any “call to negate Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state” with a year in jail.

Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE


Napolitano
AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Obama’s Immigration Conundrum

One of the worst messes facing the Obama administration is the disgraceful state of the federal government’s immigration detention centers.

Posted on Feb 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / sergis blog

Maryland Police Keep You Safe From Terrorist Nuns

How did two nuns end up on a list of terrorists? Blame a now-defunct investigation by the Maryland State Police, who sent undercover troopers to spy on political groups and identify supposed terrorists, among them pacifists, environmentalists, a congressional candidate and those two feisty nuns. Update 

Posted on Dec 7, 2008 READ MORE


constitution in cyberspace
Composite: Flickr: oneras/free tibet

E-Speech: The (Uncertain) Future of Free Expression

As tools like the Web, e-mail, voice over IP, Internet video, mobile phones and peer-to-peer file sharing become increasingly vital to our lives, limitations on speech and threats to our privacy are becoming increasingly important civil rights issues.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE


FBI seal
fbi.gov

FBI Coming to a Public Location Near You

The Justice Department was dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on Friday on a new set of rules designed to help FBI agents zero in on potential national security threats within the U.S., allowing them to gather information in public places—and even conduct interviews—without identifying themselves. 

Posted on Sep 13, 2008 READ MORE


Bush reading
z.about.com

By George W. Bush

If authoring a war against innocent civilians abroad and civil liberties at home wasn’t enough, George W. Bush is toying with the idea of writing a book upon leaving the Oval Office in January.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


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