Posts tagged terrorist
By Kathy Gill
Commentary: I spent much of Saturday trying to reconcile two very different approaches to justice meted out by the Obama Administration.
The first is old (mid-December) news: British bank HSBC launders money for at least a decade and is fined four weeks earnings. I learned about it Friday from The Daily Show.
How can anyone other than a banking executive look at this action on the part of the U.S. government and say, “There is justice here; this is fair and reasonable.”
They can’t. Because it’s not.
The other case is about Aaron Swartz, a talented and extraordinary young man, a technologist and activist. At age 14, he helped develop RSS, the technology that underpins the web’s information subscription system.
Cory Doctorow called him “a full-time, uncompromising, reckless and delightful shit-disturber.”
At age 26, he killed himself this weekend.
In its obituary, the NY Times notes his sense of public good, reporting that in 2008 he joined forces with Carl Malamud, the founder of public.resource.org, to make legal records freely accessible. Aaron legally obtained about 20 million pages of documents from PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), the repository for federal judicial documents.
The government shut down the free library program, and Mr. Malamud feared that legal trouble might follow even though he felt they had violated no laws. As he recalled in a newspaper account, “I immediately saw the potential for overreaction by the courts.” He recalled telling Mr. Swartz: “You need to talk to a lawyer. I need to talk to a lawyer.”
Mr. Swartz recalled in a 2009 interview, “I had this vision of the feds crashing down the door, taking everything away.” He said he locked the deadbolt on his door, lay down on the bed for a while and then called his mother.
The federal government investigated but did not prosecute.
Also in 2008, Aaron issued a Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto, calling for scholarly work to be released online in the “grand tradition of civil disobedience.” Research demonstrates that openly accessible publications are cited by others more often than research blocked by digital lock-and-key. This spread of knowledge is good for society as a whole.
Yet the DOJ, in the person of Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, indicted Aaron, charging him with stealing 4 million documents from MIT and JSTOR.
If convicted, Aaron faced up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
For a first offense, a victimless crime where more than half of the information was in the public domain and where the “stolen property” had been returned. Where there was no harm and no theft according to one expert witness, only a Minority Report-like “pre-crime” presumption.
His expert witness clearly articulates the weakness of the DOJ case.
I know a criminal hack when I see it, and Aaron’s downloading of journal articles from an unlocked closet is not an offense worth 35 years in jail.
At the time of Aaron’s actions, the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network.
Aaron Swartz … was an intelligent young man who found a loophole that would allow him to download a lot of documents quickly. This loophole was created intentionally by MIT and JSTOR, and was codified contractually in the piles of paperwork turned over during discovery.
If I had taken the stand as planned and had been asked by the prosecutor whether Aaron’s actions were “wrong”, I would probably have replied that what Aaron did would better be described as “inconsiderate”. In the same way it is inconsiderate to write a check at the supermarket while a dozen people queue up behind you or to check out every book at the library needed for a History 101 paper. It is inconsiderate to download lots of files on shared wifi or to spider Wikipedia too quickly, but none of these actions should lead to a young person being hounded for years and haunted by the possibility of a 35 year sentence.
You have to ask yourself: who in the Department of Justice did Aaron embarrass so badly back in 2008? Or which academic journal publisher has an “in” with the U.S. government?
Let me close with this observation from lawyer Lawrence Lessig:
Early on, and to its great credit, JSTOR figured “appropriate” out: They declined to pursue their own action against Aaron, and they asked the government to drop its. MIT, to its great shame, was not as clear, and so the prosecutor had the excuse he needed to continue his war against the “criminal” who we who loved him knew as Aaron.
He was brilliant, and funny. A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.
How can anyone other than a publishing executive look at this action on the part of the U.S. government and say “that’s fair and reasonable.”
They can’t. Because it’s not.
The mission of the Department of Justice is, in part, “to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
They failed on both counts here.
Our public legal system — the one that is supposed to be looking out for us, the citizens of the United States — kowtowed to a British corporation while grinding its heel into a 26-year-old idealist.
We should be ashamed.
We live in a democracy. Tell your friends but just as importantly, tell your Congressmen and our President.
The DOJ was wrong, not once, but twice.
Only we can make sure it doesn’t happen again.
First published at The Moderate Voice; edited for typo.
Update: 9:45 pm Sunday
Anonymous hacks MIT.edu (the site was down earlier tonight), calls for reform of computer crime law as well as copyright and intellectual property law, “returning it to the proper principles of common good to the many, rather than private gain to the few.”
PDF of the entire page:
Kathy Gill (@kegill)has 20 years experience in digital media—both development and instruction. Since 2003, she has taught at the University of Washington and currently manages the website for King County Elections. A political junkie, her consulting work includes four years writing about U.S. politics for about.com, one of the top 10 visited Web content sites on the Internet, and she has worked with Boeing, AT&T Wireless, SAFECO, and Microsoft on intranet projects.
This article originally appeared on GeekWire.
Re-blogged with permission.
In respect and support, Aaron’s manifesto is posted below.
Guerilla Open Access Manifesto
Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.
There are those struggling to change this. The Open Access Movement has fought valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it. But even under the best scenarios, their work will only apply to things published in the future. Everything up until now will have been lost.
That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.
“I agree,” many say, “but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, they make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it’s perfectly legal — there’s nothing we can do to stop them.” But there is something we can, something that’s already being done: we can fight back.
Those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.
Meanwhile, those who have been locked out are not standing idly by. You have been sneaking through holes and climbing over fences, liberating the information locked up by the publishers and sharing them with your friends.
But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral — it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy.
There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.
We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world.<P>We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.
With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?
July 2008, Eremo, Italy
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
At this point I wish I could laugh at the absurdly obvious nature of the federal government’s involvement in the manufacture of domestic terrorism, but unfortunately it is far too serious a matter.
For those who think the most recent case of 21-year-old Bangladeshi national Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) major role in said case is something of a fluke, think again.
Indeed, the FBI’s business is manufacturing terrorism of all kinds and breaking the law in the process. The two most recent cases I personally covered occurred in February of this year and then in May of this year as well. Let’s not forget that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also thwarted their own little manufactured terror plot in May of this year as well.
The most recent case involving Nafis has not bucked the trend in the slightest. According to USA Today‘s latest update at the time of writing this story, Nafis “allegedly met with an undercover FBI agent who provided him with inert explosives.”
Once again, we learn that the “terrorist” actually never was in contact with any real terrorists (other than those hiding behind the safety of a badge) and was never even able to procure real explosives.
Instead, as is the case with so many other cases of the government thwarting their own plots, we learn that Nafis actually would never have done anything if it were not for the help of the FBI.
The FBI’s narrative asserts that Nafis met the undercover FBI agent at a warehouse in the New York metro region where he “made the bomb, consisting of inert explosives, then assembled the detonator and armed the device in the van as the undercover agent drove to the Fed.”
In other words, as has been the case far too many times now, Nafis never was actually in possession of explosives and was never actually even able to get in contact with anyone but an undercover FBI agent posing as a terrorist.
For those who still believe that there is some giant horde of bloodthirsty terrorists hiding in American cities waiting to attack, the truths revealed by this latest manufactured terror plot will likely prove problematic.
Like the case of the 82-year-old nun who was able to waltz onto the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” a supposedly highly secure nuclear facility, earlier this year, this case paints a strange picture of the alleged terrorist threat.
Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers On Liberty
Candidate for the Tennessee State House of Representatives (45th District), Lt. Col. (Ret) Courtney Rogers speaks at the 2012 Robertson County Reagan Day Dinner on God & Liberty.
Tennesseans and our businesses.
By Radley Balko
“It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent,” the Times reports. “Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.”
Earlier Tuesday, Jake Tapper of ABC News pressed White House spokesman Jay Carney on the reported policy, which one former CIA official called “guilt by association.” But Carney didn’t directly answer the question, instead ticking off other policies he says the administration has implemented to avoid killing innocents. “[O]ur military and our broader national security team is able to pursue al-Qaida in a way that significantly reduces the potential for and the fact of civilian casualties,” Carney said.
Tapper pressed again. “[T]his is the question — with the assumption that if you are with a terrorist when a terrorist gets killed, the presumption is that you are a terrorist as well and — even if we don’t even know who you are, right? Isn’t that part of the reason you’re able to make these assertions?”
And Carney again ducked the question: “I am not going to get into the specifics of the process by which, you know, these decisions are made.”
The administration has long discounted estimates of civilian drone strike casualties from the Pakistani media and human rights groups. In December, for example, the CIA claimed to have executed a perfect strike that killed nine militants near Pakistan-Afghanistan border. But British and Pakistani journalists on the ground reported that the strikes killed at least 18, including six innocent civilians.
Now with the coming of 30,000 drones over our skies, the stockpiling of ammunition by DHS and many other signs of a government preparing to do battle, but within our own shores, it makes one wonder. At what point in the future will you, for your own safety, need to personally know everyone around you for a 200 foot radius? That should prove rather challenging when attending any public event, but then, could that be the point¿
By Madison Ruppert
Surprisingly, a local mainstream media outlet in Philadelphia has conducted an investigation uncovering a quite disturbing history behind a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) supervisor named Thomas Harkins.
While this isn’t entirely flabbergasting given that an illegal alien worked as a security supervisor at an airport for decades and airport employees were hired without background checks, this is even more noteworthy since this is an actual TSA employee, not just an airport worker.
CBS 3 of Philadelphia’s so-called “I-Team” has uncovered that Harkins – who now holds what they call “a sensitive security post at Philadelphia International Airport” – was a Catholic priest at churches in South New Jersey until 2002.
The Diocese of Camden removed him from the position after they determined that he sexually abused two young girls and a new lawsuit filed by a third woman alleges that she was also victimized by Harkins.
Harkins now supervises the security checkpoint between Terminals D and E in Philadelphia International Airport through which many individuals pass, including children.
When the local CBS affiliate approached Harkins after his shift at the airport about the latest suit, he simply replied, “I have nothing to say.”
This new lawsuit, which was filed against the Diocese of Camden in federal court, accuses Harkins of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl a whopping 10 to 15 times from 1980 to 1981.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the victim of the alleged abuse and states that the abuse took place while Harkins was serving as a priest at Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, New Jersey.
According to the suit, one sexual assault even took place in Harkins’ private bedroom at the rectory.
When Harkins was asked if the traveling public should be worried, he replied, “No, they shouldn’t be,” without explaining why any parent would be comfortable with an accused child molester potentially dealing with their children.
CBS 3’s Ben Simmoneau pressed Harkins, asking, “The public should not be worried with you in a position like this despite your past?”
“I have nothing to say,” Harkins said once again, obviously avoiding the question.
Harkins then walked into a restricted area thanks to his TSA credentials, preventing the reporters from following him.
“They should know who they’re hiring,” Karen Polesir, a Philadelphia spokesperson for the Survival Network of those Abused by Priests, said.
Given the sensitive nature of the position – at least if you believe there is a real terrorist threat facing the people of the United States – one would expect that the TSA would conduct a thorough background check and be well aware of the past of their employees.
How would they miss something as massive as multiple allegations of sexual abuse, against children no less?
“As the public, we are screened to our underwear getting on a plane, and yet they hire a man like that,” Polesir added.
Hilariously, the TSA attempted to explain away hiring an alleged pedophile by stating that Harkins’ title is “Transportation Security Manager, Baggage,” which means he mostly deals with luggage, not passenger screening.
Obviously the key word here is mostly.
“Sure, that’s his title. That doesn’t mean that’s where he stays, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t fill other roles when necessary,” Polesir pointed out.
Indeed, such a conclusion seems quite obvious and logical.
We must also question the way in which Harkins obtained his Transportation Security Manger position. According to the frequently asked questions page on the TSA’s career section of their official site, there is a significant likelihood that Harkins did interact with passengers.
“Is it necessary to serve as a supervisor to become a Transportation Security Manager (TSM)?
No. There are two possible career tracks through which employees may move that lead to the TSM position. One track is through management and the other through technical programs such as the Bomb Appraisal Officer and Screening of Passengers by Observational Techniques Programs or a combination of these two tracks. Experience leading or managing people and/or programs is helpful if an employee is interested in management opportunities.”
Obviously he could have obtained the position either through management or the technical programs, but either way, an alleged pedophile was either leading other TSA employees or he was interacting with passengers.
An aerial view of the Olympic Park in London showing the Olympic Stadium (C) and the Orbit (AFP Photo / London 2012 / Anthony Charlton)
London residents were startled to discover that their housing complex was to be used as a military base to lodge a missile system. The UK Defense Ministry says it’s all part of an effort to counter a terror threat during the London Olympics.
Coming to a neighborhood near you
Instead of their morning mail, residents of the upscale Bow Quarter residential complex received leaflets from the Defense Ministry. It was a worthy read: a high-velocity missile (HVM) battery is to be installed on the rooftop of the Lexington Building Water Tower. The surface-to-air rockets are capable of shooting down airplanes within a five kilometer range, and are aimed at preventing a terrorist strike during the London Olympics.
Why did the military select a residential block as the location for the missile battery?
“The location has been chosen as it is situated close to the Olympic Park and offers an excellent view of the surrounding area and the entire sky above the Olympic Park,” the leaflet reads.
The Olympic Park in east London will play host to most of the events of the Games, which are set to begin July 27.
But many denizens weren’t happy with the news at all.
“Yesterday my girlfriend brought home the leaflet,” resident Brian Whelan told Euronews. “I was absolutely shocked. I couldn’t believe that this would be announced in such a flippant way. Just a leaflet put through the door – some posters put up. I don’t think that’s any way to tell people you are putting a missile base on their roof.”
Local business owners questioned whether the missile system would make the neighborhood safer or attract terrorists’ attention.
“We don’t really know if it will make us feel safer or more of a target,” an employee of Madison’s, a local restaurant was quoted by The Guardian as saying.
Residents won’t need to wait until the Olympics to see the system in action. The leaflet says the batteries will be deployed with dummy missiles for a national Olympic security exercise Wednesday.
And that’s not all. The Defense Ministry states there are, in fact, several locations that could be used to deploy surface-to-air missiles, though a final decision is yet to be made.
“As announced before Christmas, ground-based air defense systems could be deployed as part of a multilayered air security plan for the Olympics, including fast jets and helicopters, which will protect the skies over London during the games,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
It’s all part of the Defense Ministry’s 1.2 billion-euro Olympic Security plan. The Defense Secretary had previously confirmed that Typhoon fighter jets, helicopters, two warships and bomb disposal experts would all be deployed to London as part of the plan. That’s alongside 13,500 troops to be dispatched to safeguard Olympic events throughout the city.
Journalist Paul Lashmar believes the measures are aimed at scaring would-be terrorists from orchestrating an attack. But he also notes the public and the authorities may all be engulfed in a pre-Olympic terror threat frenzy.
“I think there’s a bit of psychological warfare going on here,” Lashmar told RT. “I think they’re letting anybody who is thinking of a terrorist attack know that these extensive preparations are being made… It’s all part of a mounting air of hysteria that’s sweeping London that you’ve got this huge event occurring and you’ve got this looming 9/11 threat about it.”
As for the Bow Quarter residents wary of the missiles, Lashmar notes that they’re not the ones that should be in awe.
“Actually, it’s not the people underneath the roof, it’s people within five kilometers that are in real danger,” he noted. “If those rockets are fired, it’s got to come down somewhere, and they explode, so anybody in a five-kilometer range is at risk if it’s fired.”
A military force set up by the African Union to hunt down fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony is being launched in South Sudan.
The AU says the 5,000-strong force will exist for as long as it takes to capture or kill Mr Kony.
His Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is accused of rape, mutilation, murder and the recruitment of child soldiers.
Regional UN envoy Abou Moussa said Mr Kony was believed to be in the Central African Republic.
He said the LRA had dwindled in size but was still creating havoc.
Mr Kony and his close aides have been wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague since 2005.
The AU mission comes in the wake of a huge Internet campaign targeting the LRA leader. The video – Kony2012 – has been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube.
“We need to stop Kony with hardware – with military hardware in this case,” said Francisco Madeira, the AU’s special envoy on the LRA.
“We are on a mission to stop him.”
By BEN HUBBARD and ZEINA KARAM, AP
BEIRUT — An international push to end Syria’s conflict stalled Sunday as U.N. envoy Kofi Annan left Damascus without a cease-fire and President Bashar Assad’s forces pounded opposition areas and clashed with rebels throughout the country.
Western and Arab powers are struggling for ways to stem the bloodshed in the year-old conflict while both the regime and the opposition reject dialogue. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appeared to make little progress during two visits with Assad during his first trip to Syria as the joint U.N.-Arab League envoy.
Annan was seeking an immediate cease-fire to allow for humanitarian aid and the start of a dialogue between all parties on a political solution. After meeting with Assad on Sunday, Annan said he had presented steps to ease the crisis, but gave no details.
“Once it’s agreed, it will help launch the process and help end the crisis on the ground,” he told reporters. He called for “reforms that will create a strong foundation for a democratic Syria — a peaceful, stable, pluralistic and prosperous society, based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.”
But he said a cease-fire must come first.
“You have to start by stopping the killing and the misery and the abuse that is going on today and then give time for a political settlement.”
Assad told Annan on Sunday that a political solution is impossible as long as “terrorist groups” threaten the country, according to Syria’s state news service — which reported identical comments after the men met Saturday. The regime blames the uprising on armed groups acting out a foreign conspiracy.
Annan’s calls for reform also fall far short of opposition calls for Assad’s ouster and the end of his authoritarian regime. Opposition leaders say the thousands killed at the hands of his security forces, many while protesting peacefully, mean they’ll accept nothing less.
Annan acknowledged his hard task.
“It’s going to be difficult, but we have to have hope,” he said before leaving for Qatar.
The conflict has become increasingly bloody during the year since protesters in some impoverished provinces first took to the streets to call for political reform. The government has cracked down hard, and protests have spread, with some in the opposition taking up arms to attack government troops and defend their towns and neighborhoods.
The U.N. says more than 7,500 people have been killed. Assad’s regime and military have remained largely intact while the opposition, though disorganized, shows no sign of relenting on its demands. Few expect a swift resolution.
Government troops shelled areas in and around the northern city of Idlib, activists said, part of a campaign launched Saturday to crush the opposition in its stronghold along the border with Turkey. In some areas they clashed with local rebels fighting under the banner of the loose-knit Free Syrian Army.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists around Syria, said 16 civilians had been killed in attacks by Syrian forces or in clashes with local rebels in Idlib province. More than five government soldiers were also killed.
An AP photographer in Turkish border villages heard constant artillery pounding, and Turkish residents said they saw Syrian refugees crossing during lulls.
The renewed violence has sent about 1,000 Syrians across the border in the past week, as many as fled during the previous month, a Turkish official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity under government protocol.
Turkey now hosts about 12,500 Syrians, some of the more than 100,000 refugees who have fled to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
Written by Alex Newman
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) missed a flight to Washington, D.C., this morning after being detained by screeners with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for refusing a full-body pat-down, his staff said. The incident happened at the Nashville, Tennessee, airport when a so-called “naked-body scanner” found some sort of anomaly around the conservative Senator’s knee.
Sen. Paul offered to go through the scanner again to resolve any concerns TSA screeners may have had. He also exposed the relevant portion of his leg to prove that there was nothing there. But the TSA insisted on the full-body pat down.
Sen. Paul refused to submit to what he has in the past referred to as an “invasive” procedure. And the TSA refused to back down.
According to Paul, he was briefly detained by TSA screeners in a small cubicle. He was also prohibited from catching his flight to Washington, where he was supposed to speak at the March for Life rally and vote in the Senate later in the afternoon.
The freshman Senator was eventually escorted from the area by local police, a TSA official told CBS News. He was finally allowed to catch a later flight after a subsequent TSA screening was conducted “without incident,” according to the agency.
Sen. Paul spoke out about the incident at the scene, explaining that he did not have any medical issues that would have set off the TSA scanner. “There is no problem. It was just a problem with their machine. But this is getting more frequent, and because everybody has to have a pat-down, it’s a problem,” Sen. Paul told reporters at the airport, noting that he did not want special treatment because he is a Senator. “I think we need to treat everybody with dignity.”
As usual, the TSA offered few details about what is quickly growing into another scandal for the embattled screening bureaucracy. The agency also claimed Sen. Paul was not “detained” but was merely prevented from boarding his flight.
“When an irregularity is found during the TSA screening process, it must be resolved prior to allowing a passenger to proceed to the secure area of the airport,” various TSA spokesmen were quoted as saying in statements e-mailed to the press. “Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process cannot be granted access to the secure area in order to ensure the safety of others traveling.”
Sen. Paul and his father, GOP presidential contender Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), have both been vocal in their opposition to the TSA and its policies. In June of 2011, Sen. Paul grilled TSA boss John Pistole for conducting an inappropriate pat-down of a six-year-old Kentucky girl and for a broader pattern of abuses.
“I feel less safe because you’re doing these invasive exams on a six-year-old,” Sen. Paul told Pistole during the hearing. “It makes me think you’re clueless, you know, that you think she’s going to attack our country and that you’re not doing your research on the people who would attack our country.”
Sen. Paul also told Pistole that he thought the TSA — part of the sprawling Homeland Security bureaucracy erected after September 11 — should abolish its random pat-downs. “It really just shows that no one is thinking,” he noted, saying that the American people were increasingly fed up with the procedures. “We need to be doing better police work and doing less of the universal giving up of our freedom to live our life the way we would like to live our life.”
News about the incident in Nashville was quickly reported by Sen. Paul’s staff and his father, Rep. Ron Paul. “My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville. More details coming,” read a statement issued on Ron Paul’s Twitter account. A similar statement was posted on Ron Paul’s Facebook profile, and Sen. Paul’s staff also confirmed the incident via social media and press statements.
Following Sen. Paul’s troubles with the TSA, his father’s presidential campaign issued a statement blasting abuses perpetrated by the screening agency. “The police state in this country is growing out of control. One of the ultimate embodiments of this is the TSA that gropes and grabs our children, our seniors, and our loved ones and neighbors with disabilities,” Ron Paul said. “The TSA does all of this while doing nothing to keep us safe.”
Rep. Paul, whose presidential campaign has attracted a broad and enthusiastic base of supporters that helped him become a serious contender despite blatant media bias, also noted that his “Plan to Restore America” would — in addition to shaving $1 trillion in spending the first year — abolish the TSA.
“We must restore the freedom and respect for liberty that once made America the greatest nation in human history,” Rep. Paul concluded in the statement posted on his campaign website. “I am deeply committed to doing that as President of the United States.”
The Obama administration, meanwhile, sided with the TSA in its bizarre treatment of a sitting U.S. Senator. “I think it is absolutely essential that we take necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe,” White House spokesman Jay Carney was quoted as saying by The Hill.
A damning congressional report released late last year revealed that despite spending around $60 billion on the TSA, screening is based on “theatrics” and the agency has failed to catch a single terrorist. Meanwhile, according to the investigation, passengers and crew are still the most effective line of defense. And air travel is no safer than it was before September 11
http://RTR.org | In what can only be considered a tragic irony, the U.S. Senate passed out of the final conference committee the controversial National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, coinciding with the 220th Anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act otherwise known as the NDAA, provides broad authority for the federal government to use the military in domestic operations in order to detain Americans indefinitely and without trial. Such a move not only whitewashes the natural rights of Americans, whereby even publicly criticizing the federal government can now rise to the purposefully vague definition of a “belligerent act”, it also sits in direct violation of “Posse Comitatus” an 1878 law forbidding use of the military at home and against Americans. Here are Congressman Paul’s remarks on the bill: [ROLL PAUL CLIP]
As Congressman Paul stated, the bill requires absolutely no supporting evidence to issue the order of detention, instead leaving it up to the whim of the Executive Branch to act as Judge, Jury, and in some cases having already decreed the power to assassinate Americans earlier in the year, executioner.
The danger behind allowing any law that includes such arbitrary terms, as “belligerent act” simply cannot be overstated as the Department of Homeland Security has already published multiple reports labeling those who support the Constitution or protest the FEDERAL RESERVE to be “domestic belligerents” and thus in the eyes of the federal government a threat to National Security.
Even more disconcerting is the level of pompous disregard elected members of Congress show as they arrogantly eradicate the foundational principles of America, trampling upon the very ideals that helped spark the first American Revolution, with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently stating during debate in the Senate:
“Please know, what will come your way: Death, Detention, and prosecution. And when they say, I want my lawyer, you tell them shut-up, you don’t get a lawyer.”
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (SC-R)
Debate on S. 1867
National Defense Authorization Act
Further, Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, one of the bill’s primary sponsors who drafted the original version in secret along with Republican Senator John McCain, states The Obama Administration specifically requested Section 1031 of the bill be expanded to include the indefinite detention of Americans, threatening to veto the bill if it failed to encompass citizens and non-citizens alike.
However one member of Congress has openly stated that the Military should “NOT comply” if the order comes down to arrest ANY American on American soil. Here is Rep Justin Amash last night on Fox Business Andrew Napolitano’s show, FREEDOM WATCH:
According to the group “OPEN CONGRESS” an organization that tracks federal legislation, the bill receives private-sector support mainly from those involved in the receipt of military contracts, such a Honeywell. Honeywell, a company historically known by the public as a manufacturer of thermostats for heating and air conditioners, is in reality one of the largest U.S. military contractors, with revenues of over $4 billion and enthusiastically supports this draconian piece of legislation.
Thus, this bill now puts everyone whether Tea Party member, Occupy Wall Street protestor, Son or Daughter of the modern Liberty movement in the crosshairs of a federal government who sees the Constitution as an encumbrance upon their absolute and unquestionable rule.
With the bill now clearing both House and Senate conference committees as of this yesterday, the only hope at this point to halt the legislation from becoming law is for Patriotic Americans to flood the White House with telephone calls, emails, and faxes demanding this President not sign the bill into law. Please melt the White House Switchboard and comment line right now.
While Americans have been led to believe that Obama will sign the legislation there is still the chance that he may veto the law to gain approval with the American people. Whatever the reason, to preserve liberty or to gain favor. Let us hope and pray that our efforts are successful and that he does veto this bill.
Again the numbers to call are:
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