The White Flag


Pleas of the Scared and Doubtful
January 16, 2011, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

It is only normal for a person who has done nothing wrong to suspect that they are safe from government surveillance, and if the government was reading their emails, or tracking their car with a GPS device, then there still would not be anything to worry about because they have done nothing wrong. However, this is clearly a misconception, as the story of Gulet Mohamed and many other tales of innocent people being swallowed up by the police state for ‘suspicious activity’ are revealed. Moreover, the peace activists who were not involved in anything illegal, who had their homes raided by the FBI, and were never charged with any crime, shows that beyond the fallacy of law abiding citizens being safe from persecution, the targets of the surveillance program suggests a more diabolical plot at hand, silencing the opposition.

The level of intrusion to our privacy that which the Patriot Act permits is unconstitutional, thus, it is un-American, and no more should need to be said. As an American citizen I want to be able to trust my government with anything, they are supposed to be the guardian of my liberty, as well as, my life. Because the government is our keeper it is natural to believe the government will only implement its power in lawful ways, yet, a need for trust is not a valid reason for relinquishing freedom. The government will work for the people of America, that is, only when Americans are prepared to take responsibility for what they know is right. If the government is left to decide what is right and good for our country, then we the people are not determining what is the proper path for America to follow. And, in that case it is not the people who dictate what happens in America, but it is the people with power and money who dictate American policy.
-The White Flag

United States

Obama has always supported extending the Patriot Act; even if that is true, that is not a good thing when the people who voted for him thought he would end abusive use of executive powers, and hold civil liberties as his prima facie.
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“[…] a 2008 Justice Department report confirmed that the FBI regularly abused their ability to obtain personal records of Americans without a warrant.”

“ ‘In the absence of a major scandal, though, it’s hard to see why we should expect the incentives facing legislators to be vastly different a year from now,’ he added. ‘I’d love to be proven wrong, but I suspect this is how reining in the growth of the surveillance state becomes an item perpetually on next year’s agenda.’ ”

“As senator, Obama promised to support reforming the Patriot Act, but voted in favor of extending it in 2005 and 2008. Similarly, he signed last year’s extension into law with little fanfare. FBI and Department of Justice officials had consistently argued that restricting their blanket authority to conduct warrantless searches would harm national security.”

“Candidate Obama said in 2007 that if he were elected president there would be ‘no more National Security Letters [NSL’s] to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime’ because ‘that is not who we are, and it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists.’ ”

“Most recently, Obama’s Department of Justice sent a secret court order to micro-blogging site Twitter, seeking information on all 635,561 users who followed secrets outlet WikiLeaks.”

Manning must pay for his use of ethics and respect for American law!
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“In Iraq, Manning was ordered ‘to round up and hand over Iraqi civilians to America’s new Iraqi allies, who he could see were then torturing them with electrical drills and other implements.’ Manning questioned the orders he was being given to help round up Iraqis and brought his concerns to the chain of command. He pointed to a specific instance where 15 detainees were arrested and tortured for printing ‘anti-Iraqi literature’ he found that the paper in question was merely a scholarly critique of corruption in the government asking ‘Where did the money go?” He brought this to his commander, who told him to ‘shut up’ and keep working to find more detainees. Manning realized he ‘was actively involved in something that I was completely against…’ ”

“He wrestled with the question of what to do. According to the unverified chat logs with Lamo Manning told Lamo that he hoped the publication of the documents and videos would spur ‘worldwide discussion, debates, and reform.’ He went on to say, ‘I want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.’ The command structure would not listen, so Manning went beyond them to the people who are supposed to control the military in our democratic republic. He wanted Americans to know the truth.”

Another important issue that many of us may not be smart enough to understand the premise of; removing ‘civil rights’ and ‘civil liberties’ from the title of the ‘constitution subcommittee.’
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“Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) blasted Republicans for planning to change the name of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties to the ‘Constitution Subcommittee.’ ”

” ‘Once again, the new Republican majority has shown that it isn’t quite as committed to the Constitution as its recent lofty rhetoric would indicate,’ Rep. Nadler […]”

” ‘Republicans have made a great deal of noise in recent days about standing up for the Constitution,’ Rep. Nadler continued. ‘But, in less than 48 hours, they have already revealed their true intentions. In addition to reading selectively from the Constitution on the House floor in a much-exalted ceremony on Thursday, Republicans also blatantly violated the Constitution by allowing two of their Members to vote without having been sworn-in, and introduced unconstitutional legislation aimed at bypassing the 14th Amendment’s citizenship clause.’ “

Lockheed Martin, the weapons manufacturer, may be involved in more than just destruction. They have amassed an enormous number of government contracts, many of which are concerned with collecting data, and that data is then filed into our permanent life records.
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“[Lockheed Martin] received $36 billion in government contracts in 2008 alone, more than any company in history.”

“Lockheed Martin is in charge of the FBI’s Integrated Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), a database of 55 million sets of fingerprints. The company also produces biometric identification devices that will know who you are by scanning your iris, recognizing your face, or coming up with novel ways of collecting your fingerprints or DNA. As the company likes to say, it’s in the business of making everyone’s lives (and so personal data) an ‘open book,’ which is, of course, of great benefit to us all.”

“In the meantime, since at least 2004, Lockheed Martin has been involved in the Pentagon’s Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), which collected personal data on American citizens for storage in a database known as ‘Threat and Local Observation Notice’ (and far more dramatically by the acronym TALON). […] Among the ‘threatening’ citizens actually tracked by CIFA were members of antiwar groups. As part of its role in CIFA, Lockheed Martin was not only monitoring intelligence, but also ‘estimating future threats.’ (Not exactly inconvenient for a giant weapons outfit that might see antiwar activism as a threat!)”

“Even listing the government and quasi-governmental agencies the company has contracts with is a daunting task, but here’s just a partial run-down: the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Land Management, the Census Bureau, the Coast Guard, the Department of Defense (including the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force and the Missile Defense Agency), the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Technology Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the General Services Administration, the Geological Survey, the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of State, the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Transportation, the Transportation Security Agency, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

The oil an Corexit within sea food is safe for consumption, so says the governor of Mississippi.
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“Mississippi Gov. Hailey Barbour has claimed that Mississippi coastal waters are clear, the beaches clean and that the seafood caught in the Gulf is safe to eat.”

“Yet, soil samples taken along the beach at Long Beach, Mississippi, on October 21, 2010, confirmed the presence of crude oil. One sand sample, from location 3012.45N, 8930.41W, contained 9.35 parts per million (ppm) of Oil Range Organic Petroleum Hydrocarbons (ORO), confirming the presence of crude oil. This sample also contained ethanol, which is a chemical in BP’s dispersants.”

“Another sand sample taken from the same area contained 160 ppm ORO.”

“Samples with no oil or chemicals should test at 0 ppm.”

” ‘The wetlands and ecosystem soil/sediment from Atchafalaya Bay eastward to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line contained 6 to 89 individual Alkylated Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Oil Range Organic Petroleum Hydrocarbons (ORO) up to 11,600 mg/kg [ppm] (1.16%) which corresponded to the fingerprint of the BP Louisiana Sweet Crude.’ ”

“State health departments in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama had issued swimming advisories while BP’s well continued to gush oil into the Gulf of Mexico last summer. Since then, however, all three states have declared their beaches, waters and seafood safe from oil disaster related toxins.”

“Florida never issued any advisories, despite many residents reporting illnesses they attribute to the oil disaster.”

What good is security without freedom? Likewise, what good is a promise if it is not kept?
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“Having famously promised Guantánamo’s closure by January 2010, not only has Obama’s administration broken this promise, it has now apparently reconciled itself to the dismal prospect of the camp remaining open for years to come — as signalled by the president’s signing into law — albeit reluctantly — of the National Defense Authorization Act at the weekend. There is now a block on moving prisoners to US soil, either for trial or what the president calls ‘rehousing’). Regrettably, the main route toward justice in the form of internationally-recognized trials has been barred.”

“Presently 173 so-called ‘enemy combatants’ still languish at Guantánamo Bay, pending trial or release (of a total of 775 people brought to the camp since its inception). Both former detainees and Red Cross inspectors have spoken of the harrowing use of torture at that facility, including sleep deprivation, truth drugs and beatings. Amnesty International has called the conditions at Guantánamo ‘a human rights scandal.”‘

War

After the shooting in Arizona, I think it is time to implement rocket propelling drones here in the U.S.A., a few civilian casualties never hurt anyone, right? Or at least, that is why we are using them in Pakistan, no?
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“According to the Long War Journal, the number of U.S. attacks in Pakistan, using unmanned Predator drones, has gone from five in 2007 to 117 in 2010.”

“The U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan produce many casualties, but none of those killed are citizens of our country. The pilots operating the remote-controlled drones used to launch missile attacks in Pakistan usually sit behind computer screens far from the battlefield.”

“President Obama’s startling expansion of this drone assassination campaign has gone by largely unnoticed. Missile attacks from drones often target a single person for assassination, but end up killing dozens. Nearly 2,000 people have been killed in Pakistan by drones since 2006, yet Congress has held only one public hearing on these weapons. Instead, Congress inserts even more money than the President requests for them into the Pentagon’s budget–and there’s even a special caucus to promote the drones.”

“There’s a bumper sticker that sums up this problem. It reads: ‘We’re making enemies faster than we can kill them.’ Congress, and the nation as a whole, need to decide if our goal is simply to kill more people or to make this country safer. If our goal is the latter, then assassinations by drones or any other means doesn’t belong in our policy tool kit.”

The World

Connection between Swedish prosecutor and the CIA in the Julian Assange case.
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“[…] are Swedish authorities proceeding normally, as they claim, in launching a global Interpol manhunt to capture Assange to question him about precisely how and why he engaged in sex-without-a-condom last summer with two women who invited him separately to stay with them in their beds while he was on a speaking tour?”

Civil Liberties

The President and his team of lawyers who set up the legal frame work for torture, cannot be held accountable, the soldiers and CIA member that committed, or took part in torture are not going to be prosecuted, and now Donald Rumsfeld cannot be held accountable for torture by the military, even though he was the Secretary of Defense. The only people left to blame for the torture is the prisoners themselves. I’ll bet they wanted to be tortured.
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“In courtroom arguments, two of the three judges were skeptical that Rumsfeld and three U.S. military officials could face damage claims for exercising command responsibility over subordinates accused of torturing prisoners.”

“A lower court judge held that Rumsfeld cannot be held personally responsible for actions taken in connection with his government job.”

Often it seems like there is so much excess tax revenue in America we can fund any asinine project we want, such as an Anti-American program to spy on political activists.
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“Anit-war activists who organized demonstrations in connection with the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. are claiming that their group was infiltrated for years by an FBI-directed undercover law enforcement officer who took part in meetings, gave public speeches with the group and even traveled to Israel with fellow activists who wanted to visit with Palestinians.”

Torture continues; a 19 year old American citizens claims he was beaten in Kuwait after being picked up because his name appeared on a no fly list. At some point not committing crimes meant a person did not have to fear the government spying or imprisoning them, that no longer appears to be true.
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“It turns out that the Somali-American 19-year-old, Gulet Mohamed, yesterday was aggressively interrogated by FBI agents at the Kuwaiti prison, according to Mazzetti. The interrogation became so hostile, Mazzetti reports, that Kuwaiti officials felt compelled to intervene to stop the interrogation.”

Obama has been called a Nazi, but the Bush Administration actually committed crimes which have not been committed since the Nazis.
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“Here, our previous president is enjoying terrific sales for a memoir where he boasts about having authorized waterboarding. The current administration’s commitment to ‘moving past’ the illegalities incurred on its predecessor’s watch is so hardcore that the Department of Justice decided late last year against prosecuting anyone from the CIA for destroying ninety-two videotapes that showed the torture of prisoners detained as suspected terrorists. Which leaves Attorney General Eric Holder more time to subpoena Twitter records and figure out how to criminalize Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for promoting government transparency.”

“National Security Letters” are the front runners protecting our constitution and fellow citizens from abuse, that is if you believe your privacy is public enemy number one.
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“For the Twitter request, the government obtained a secret subpoena from a federal court. Twitter challenged the secrecy, not the subpoena itself, and won the right to inform the people whose records the government was seeking. WikiLeaks says it suspects that other large sites like Google and Facebook have received similar requests and simply went along with the government.”

“The government says more than 50,000 of these requests, known as national security letters, are sent each year, but they come with gag orders that prevent those contacted from revealing what the agency has been seeking or even the existence of the gag orders. “

“Mr. Merrill challenged the constitutionality of the letter he received in 2004, saying the request raised ‘red flags’ of being politically motivated. As a result of his suit and two later ones, the law governing the letters has been overturned and then revised by Congress.”

“In 2007, the F.B.I.’s inspector general found that the agency had abused its own guidelines by including too many peripheral people in its searches. The letters now receive the ‘individualized scrutiny’ of the agents who are filing them, Ms. Caponi said.”

Progress

Petition: Tell the FCC to protect Net Neutrality!

Petition: Close Guantanamo.

If you ever feel the urge to contact you’re Representative about anything:
Go to Govtrack.us

This website will help you find out who represents you in your state and congressional district and help you get in contact with your Representative, such as links to most if not all Representatives websites.

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