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Posts Tagged ‘Intel’

Martin Luther King, “I have a Dream.”

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.”  August 1963.

Is freedom ringing?

Criticism of color barely begins to describe what the American government did to pry into King’s personal life and so many others during the 50’s and 60’s. If you disagreed with the government, you were shall we say likely to have been, ‘looked after.’  Is it any different today?

From the Church Final Report-http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/churchfinalreportIIIb.htm

From December 1963 until his death in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the target of an intensive campaign by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to “neutralize” him as an effective civil rights leader. In the words of the man in charge of the FBI’s “war” against Dr. King:

No holds were barred. We have used [similar] techniques against Soviet agents. [The same methods were] brought home against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate. This is a rough, tough business. 1

The FBI collected information about Dr. King’s plans and activities through an extensive surveillance program, employing nearly every intelligence-gathering technique at the Bureau’s disposal. Wiretaps, which were initially approved by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, were maintained on Dr. King’s home telephone from October 1963 until mid-1965; the SCLC headquarter’s telephones were covered by wiretaps for an even longer period. Phones in the homes and offices of some of Dr. King’s close advisers were also wiretapped. The FBI has acknowledged 16 occasions on which microphones were hidden in Dr. King’s hotel and motel rooms in an “attempt” to obtain information about the “private activities of King and his advisers” for use to “completely discredit” them.

King spoke about the “Security of Justice,” and in this era of terrorism, it gives new meaning to the balance of security and justice.

COINTELPRO inserted spies into Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle to report on all his movements and activities, and it effectively destroyed the Black Panther Party by encouraging armed action against other black nationalist groups, smear campaigns against key members and outright targeted attacks. The result was that the group became splintered and the rest of the country didn’t take them seriously as a political force.

Even though COINTELPRO activities were exposed and banned by the ’70s, we still see little baby COINTELPRO efforts pop up today, like when the FBI targeted “domestic terrorist organizations” like Greenpeace and PETA along with evil Quakers. Or when one Obama adviser suggested infiltrating conspiracy theory message boards with secret agents who would discredit “false conspiracy theories about the government.” Because apparently, people on conspiracy theory message boards would never appreciate the irony.  Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_18955_6-crackpot-conspiracy-theories-that-actually-happened_p2.html#ixzz1BEapsUlg

In 2011, where do we find the balance between privacy and security?  Was Dr. King really a threat? To what, to whom?  Is Assange of WIKI leaks fame a rapist, terrorist, journalist?  Facebook and Social Media certainly provide the opportunity for anyone or government to track your whereabouts.

Cookies used to be about sugar and flour, they are now about leaving a trail of crumbs on which websites you have visited.  How fast we learned about Jared Loughner and his erratic rants on YouTube, MySpace, etc. Here are just a few examples https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/giffordsshotpalin/.

Is it so humiliating to get felt up in the airport security line for the greater good? Tough call.  On the one hand, maybe an inspection of my, “junk” is a deterrent to evil shitheads.  On the other hand it seems to be a violation of the 4th Amendment, when there is no probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.   More insulting, is that an airplane cargo hold likely gets less of an inspection than my junk.  Go figure.

Back to MLK.  We had the day off, schools and banks closed.  Many lived the American dream being good capitalists and spent the day at the mall using traceable debit and credit cards, facebooking our locations, tweeting the day away, going about our business while someone somewhere, if they really cared ran COINTELPRO on you.  Too bad someone didn’t connect the dots fast enough to Arizona to prevent the shooting spree.  Too bad someone didn’t connect the dots before the events of 911.  Maybe they did.

Even though COINTELPRO was supposed to have ceased long ago, both the Bush and Obama administrations have likely been utilizing what we’ll call, large scale information manipulation and monitoring.  Cass Sunstein heads up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where he oversees policy relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein

From Glenn Greenwood at Salon,http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/01/15/sunstein :

Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.”  He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).

Whatever one wants to call intelligence these days, someone smart enough, if they wanted to:  knows where you are, what you are doing, what books you have bought on your Kindle or Amazon accounts, the books you have borrowed from the library, can find your address and phone number on Google, identify your computers IP address, knows what products you buy from your frequent shopper cards, can predict what your behavior might be, what memberships you may have in the NRA or YMCA, what your political party affiliation is, and on and on.

Are you old enough to remember “the party line, ” phone calls where you shared phone lines?  One could listen in, and someone could listen to you so you had to watch what you might say about Mrs. Spillane and Mr. DeLuca down the street.  Privacy was paramount. 

What privacy we don’t give away today, someone tomorrow can sure find out.   Were MLK alive today, we wonder if he would champion civil liberties as much as he did civil rights.  

Let freedom ring.

For more thoughts on Internet Censorship, read https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/internet-censorship-agenda/

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leaving america

For counter-terrorism and other purposes such as border security and fraud prevention, U.S. Citizens are required to have Passports.  Summer vacation travel is just ahead, and no doubt Immigration and Customs Enforcement will keep track of your comings and goings, primarily swiping the bar code.  On my last visit to Canada, no one bothered to place a governmental stamp on our Passports; much to my children’s chagrin, who wanted proof that they were there.

According to a Fox report today, in June RFID -Radio Frequency Identifications will be in use at the Canadian border for frequently border crossings under a program called eGo starting June 1st.  RFID windscreen sticker tags and driver identification cards, as well as installing inspection booth reader equipment have been in the works since 2003 for  99 FAST( Free and Secure Trade) lanes across 22 border crossings.  http://www.usingrfid.com/news/read.asp?lc=m12627kx53zz

Customs Border Patrol agents must be heaving a sigh of relief  as The FAST system forms an intelligent border crossing system that enhances trade flow and security along the borders. 

In a separate computer system, The State Department maintains a huge data base of  Passport Records including documents, photographs and information attached to passport applications and renewals.  Records like your “application for a passport and copies of any supporting documents like birth or marriage certificates. That application has your address, Social Security number, phone number, the name and number of your emergency contact and your photograph…. A search by name or passport number can also dredge up other items that have been attached to the file, such as court orders, arrest warrants, financial reports and even medical reports, according to the public State Department records.” http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1724759,00.html

No big deal until one realizes that the huge separate database ran by the Bureau of Consular Affairs also allows the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counter-Terrorism Center, “foreign governments, and entities such as Interpol” to link into the same system. I do not believe The Privacy Act extends beyond our borders.   Passport identification and authentication systems should be held securely by the government which issues the documentation.  What happened to the Bill of Rights? 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Without warrant, your data is available for the world and all its hackers and identity thieves.  It would appear that no U.S. Government Agency or foreign need to seek permission to access or distribute your personal information. The more the access, the more risk to vulnerability. Civil society would dictate you own your own data and that you take reasonable steps to keep things like your social security number private.  While many citizens think securities necessary, do the provisions of The Bill of Rights and The Constitution still apply?  Are Americans are becoming far too accustomed to having their privacy violated?  Are are borders really Constitution Free Zones as suggested by the ACLU?  Does your name appear on the 1.2 million person Terrorist Watch List along with Nelson Mandella, or U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy? http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/watchlistcounter.html   

Too bad all this databasing wasn’t available when Obama travelled to Jakarta and Karachi. A British Passport?  An Indonesian Passport?  An American Passport? His official birth certificate by all accounts should still be on file if he was issued a U.S. Passport.

In the UK Biometrics identification and national I.D. cards will be potentially operated by the Post Office and drug stores. The program allows people to scan fingerprints and facial photographs for storage on the cards and in a central database. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39649181,00.htm

In The U.S., Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, as governor of Arizona, opposed REAL ID, even as a draft bill known as the PASS ID Act is floating around Congress. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/jamescarafano/A-REAL-homeland-security-test-44704387.html

“On your journeys- May passion be your wind, that leads you through the days, and may conviction keep you strong, Guide you on your way,  May there be moments that make your life so sweet, Oh- but more than memories. “http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/mark_harris/find_your_wings.html

Looking for places to visit? The official site of 1000 places to see before you die is full of great ideas. http://www.1000beforeyoudie.com/SearchMap.aspx

photo props to http://www.flickr.com/photos/carnivillain/2830583713/

 related post at- https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/defending-borders-and-privacy-laws-under-obama/

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constfree

The U.S. Constitution has apparently been suspended in parts of America in an effort to protect its borders from everything from illegal immigration to terrorists.  Rightful to protect its border, except that the border has been seemingly redefined to include a 100 mile wide strip that goes around the entire “external boundary” of the entire United States.

“The extraordinary authority that the U.S. government possesses at its borders is spilling into regular American streets, affecting large populations of its citizens. Nearly two-thirds of the entire population of the country now lives within 100 miles of the U.S. land and coastal borders, an area that has been designated by the government as a “Constitution Free Zone”.  http://www.naturalnews.com/024734.html  and posted similarly at  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/22/163652/37/734/638977

Could all liberties are put aside if you are rightly or wrongly id’s as having done something wrong?  Would there will be no guarantee of The Bill of Rights protection, no referring to case law and no lawyers to argue on your behalf? 

The ACLU lays claim that “Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to a border security purpose.”  http://www.aclu.org/privacy/37293res20081022.html and it’s blog http://blog.aclu.org/?s=constitution+free+zone says that “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is allowed to exercise extraordinary authority that would not normally be permitted under the Constitution.

(ATS) traveler risk assessment program, identity and tracking systems such as electronic (RFID) passports, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI),  Secure Border Initiative Network (SBINet) or “virtual border fence” and unmanned aerial vehicles (aka “drone aircraft”) all monitor movement.   

The Department of Homeland Security is in itself, necessary.  Agents of the FBI, CIA, NSA must cooperate to protect the homeland, but using the word ‘homeland’ outside of a historical discussion of Germany has allowed law enforcement authorities access to broad powers and is just a creepy reminder of Gestapo tactics.  To assume an abuse of power is fear mongering, but fair minded caution must be exercised.  The Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, and FISA-Protect America Act were enacted post 9-11 for good reason and have been tweaked numerous times to keep America Safe with as little intrusion as possible.

It becomes paramount that we question how secure the technology is in foreign countries and in our own country.  http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9930.shtml  The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America author James Bamford writes about how spying on American citizens has been outsourced to companies closely linked to Israel’s intelligence services. “With unrivaled access to sources and documents, Bamford details how the agency has conducted domestic surveillance without court approval, and he frames it in the context of the NSA’s ongoing hunt for information about today’s elusive enemies. http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Factory-Ultra-Secret-Eavesdropping-America/dp/0385521324

The Department of Homeland Security “claims that data gathered for law enforcement purposes will be “in compliance with privacy and civil liberties laws and policies of the United States,” the GAO found that “by broadly sharing information with non-federal users, who are not bound by the Privacy Act, personal information could be at risk of being used in ways not specified when it was originally collected.” Considering that some 70% of U.S. intelligence assets are employees of private security and defense contractors, NAO is a civil liberties disaster waiting to happen.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUR20081109&articleId=10864

The far side would have us believe that we have a ruling oligarchy that professes an agenda of militarism, corporatism, and socialism that encroaches itself upon citizens at the expense of the general population with more domestic control and intimidation.  Maybe the far isn’t so far off? Obama has proposed a mandatory civilian force http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=2318 with equal funding to the military which is already on active duty on our soil http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/, Charles Rangle has a Draft Bill just lying in wait http://www.talkleft.com/story/2006/11/19/152217/04  , “The Bailout” has the government owning banks and Obama’s policies in waiting have been compared to Marxism. http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/are-bailouts-marxist/

For now, we will wait to see what decisions Obama makes to shield our country from danger and protect her citizens.  “Let’s be clear here and shed whatever illusions one may have about the outcome of last Tuesday’s election. Despite the overwhelming rejection of the Bush administration and their surrogates by the American people, the incoming Obama administration will pay lip-service to civil liberties and the rule of law. This however, will amount to no more than a better public relations campaign, image management and product roll-out. America rebranded.” wrote Tom Burghardt  http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUR20081109&articleId=10864  His blog can be found at http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/

For now though our Bill of Rights are safe.  In an all too plausible court case, The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision narrowly “ruled to uphold the Bill of Rights, the very tenets upon which American society is based. “After carefully considering the relevance of the 10 inviolable rights that comprise the ideological foundation on which our nation is built, the court finds that these basic freedoms remain important for the time being, and should not be overturned,” read the majority opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who cast the tie-breaking vote. “Until such time as it can be definitively proven that citizens no longer require the protections provided by the Bill of Rights, it shall remain the principal legal guidance for the United States of America.” The Supreme Court’s latest decision comes on the heels of last month’s 6-3 ruling to abolish the pursuit of happiness from the three inalienable rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/supreme_court_upholds_bill?utm_source=onion_rss_daily   Kudos to Justice Anthony Kennedy for saving The Bill of Rights and shame, shame, shame on those Justices who sought not to protect the Bill of Rights and who did solemnly swear to uphold those rights. From Wiki-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_office#Federal_judicial_oaths

For readers are not familiar with The Onion, the Supreme Court Ruling is a satire and did not occur.  No Court has had issue with the Constitution Free Zone, yet.  When standing behind, beside or in front of the ACLU, keep in mind it may not stand up to protect all of The Bill of Rights either, “ACLU doesn’t mean all of the original 10 amendments because its policy No. 47 says, “Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected,” thereby ignoring the Second Amendment.”  http://www.stoptheaclu.com/archives/2008/09/06/aclu-very-selective-in-upholding-bill-of-rights/

Defending our borders, The U.S. Constitution and our privacy laws is a balancing act that will require Obama’s political vision be clear and forthright through out his entire Presidency.   Good luck with that theory of  a President being forthright though. Obama himself has barred the public from seeing his birth certificate, college transcripts, medical background, etc., so I’d say Obama’s privacy has been protected pretty dang well here in America.

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