Story 1: The Lunatic Left Agitators and Activists and The Failure of Government Schools, Housing and Welfare State On Display In Ferguson, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington, D.C. — Dumbed Down — Hands Up — Don’t Shoot — Just Loot — Progressive Parade Plays With Traffic On U.S. Highways — Race Riot Route — Videos
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Here are documents and evidence presented to the grand jury in Clayton, Mo., that was deciding whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting of Michael Brown. The documents were released by the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch. Note: Some of the documents contain graphic language. NOV. 25, 2014 RELATED ARTICLE
Witnesses Told Grand Jury That Michael Brown Charged at Darren Wilson, Prosecutor Says
The most credible eyewitnesses to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., said he had charged toward Police Officer Darren Wilson just before the final, fatal shots, the St. Louis County prosecutor said Monday night as he sought to explain why a grand jury had not found probable cause to indict the officer.
The accounts of several other witnesses from the Ferguson neighborhood where Mr. Brown, 18 and unarmed, met his death on Aug. 9 — including those who said Mr. Brown was trying to surrender — changed over time or were inconsistent with physical evidence, the prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch, said in a news conference.
“The duty of the grand jury is to separate fact and fiction,” he said in a statement watched by a tense nation. “No probable cause exists to file any charges against Darren Wilson.”
Mr. McCulloch praised the grand jurors, who met on 25 days over a three-month period and heard 60 witnesses, for pouring “their hearts and souls into this process” and said that only by hearing all the evidence, as they had, could one fairly judge the case.
The task facing the St. Louis County grand jury was not to determine whether Officer Darren Wilson was guilty of a crime, but whether there was evidence to justify bringing charges, which could have ranged from negligent manslaughter to intentional murder.
The fact that at least nine members of the 12-member panel could not agree to indict the officer indicates that they accepted the narrative of self-defense put forth by Officer Wilson in his voluntary, four hours of testimony before the grand jury. Mr. McCulloch, in his summary of the months of testimony, said it was supported by the most reliable eyewitness accounts — from African-Americans in the vicinity of the shooting — as well as physical evidence and the consistent results of three autopsies.
At issue, under the Missouri law governing use of deadly force by law enforcement as well as general rules for self-defense, was if Officer Wilson “reasonably believed” that he or others were in serious danger.
According to transcripts released Monday night, Officer Wilson testified that after he encountered Mr. Brown and a friend walking in the street, he realized the pair might be those being sought for stealing cigarillos from a convenience store minutes earlier.
According to witnesses and blood and other evidence found inside the car, Officer Wilson first fired two shots while he struggled with Mr. Brown through the window of his patrol vehicle, a Chevrolet Tahoe, grazing Mr. Brown’s hand.
Mr. Brown started to run away, with Officer Wilson in chase, then stopped and turned. According to the prosecutor’s summary, the officer fired five shots as Mr. Brown charged him, then another five shots as he made what one witness called a “full charge.”
Only 90 seconds passed between Officer Wilson’s first encounter with the youths and the arrival of a backup police car, just after the shooting stopped, the prosecutor said.
Probable cause is not a stiff standard. It does not require that most of the evidence be incriminating, let alone be proof “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as required in a criminal trial. Instead, grand juries are ordinarily instructed to issue an indictment when there is “some evidence” of guilt, legal experts said.
To Mr. Brown’s parents and their supporters, the case for bringing at least some charge in this case seemed open and shut. But the jurors also had to consider whether Officer Wilson acted within the limits of the lethal-force law, raising the threshold for an indictment.
Independent legal experts said it was impossible to analyze the grand jury decision without studying the transcripts of the testimony as well as the police reports, autopsies and forensic evidence that might shed light on what Mr. Brown was doing in his final seconds: whether he was menacing the officer or, as a friend who was with him said, trying to surrender.
Some people claiming to be eyewitnesses said Mr. Brown was shot in the back, Mr. McCulloch said, but later changed their stories when autopsies found no injuries entering his back. But others, African-Americans who did not speak out publicly, he said, consistently said that the youth had menaced the officer.
Mr. McCulloch, had promised that he would allay any suspicions about the fairness of the proceedings by releasing, with names redacted, transcripts of testimony and other evidence heard by the panel.
The release of grand jury information, secret by law, is rare, and Mr. McCulloch originally said he would first seek a judge’s permission. But on Monday, his office said it had determined that it had a right to release most of the transcripts and it did so Monday night.
The grand jury, which included three African-Americans, deliberated for two days. By law, the final vote on whether to bring an indictment is secret and the jurors are legally prohibited from discussing their deliberations.
The United States Department of Justice is conducting a separate investigation of whether Officer Wilson, who is white, intentionally acted to deprive Mr. Brown, an African-American, of his civil rights. But the bar for such cases is a high one, and officials have privately said they are unlikely to bring federal charges. The Justice Department is also conducting a broader investigation into the practices of the Ferguson Police Department.
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Protesters Turn Out in U.S. Cities Following Ferguson Decision
Rallies Largely Peaceful, Though Some Vandalism Occurred in at Least One City
ALEJANDRO LAZO and
Protests broke out in a number of U.S. cities following the decision on Monday by a grand jury not to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager.
Marches and rallies had been planned in many of the nation’s largest cities, from New York to Chicago to Houston, regardless of the jury’s finding.
In New York, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Union Square in Manhattan. When the grand jury decision was announced, word quickly spread through the crowd. In a few minutes, most were holding one fist up in the air as they observed a moment of silence that lasted nearly five minutes.
The only audible sound was the shutter of press cameras. Some demonstrators were in tears.
WSJ’s Ben Kesling reports from the scene in Ferguson, Mo., after a grand jury declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown Photo: Getty Images
Then, with the cooperation of New York Police Department officers, the protesters began a spontaneous march, moving north along Sixth Avenue, blocking traffic. Protesters occupied several blocks as they marched toward Times Square.
“I feel like I don’t have an outlet for my anger,” said Monica Thompson, 29 years old, a social worker who lives in Harlem. “There’s not been an indictment. There’s an acceptance that black and brown lives don’t matter.”
A police helicopter hovered overhead as protesters marched and a large police presence accompanied the protest. No arrests were reported as of 10:30 p.m.
A sense of anger pulsed through the crowd. “They don’t know what they just started,” said Precious Etsekhume, 22, referring to the government and police. “They are going to regret every bad decision they made.”
At a New York news conference, the Rev. Al Sharpton , who has worked to bring attention to the case since Ferguson officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown, called for a federal investigation into the shooting, saying he had no confidence in local prosecutors.
Mr. Sharpton said the grand jury’s decision was expected but was “still an absolute blow to those of us that wanted to see a fair and open trial.”
Mr. Sharpton appeared with the family of Eric Garner, a New York City man whose death was caused by an apparent police chokehold, according to the city’s medical examiner. Mr. Garner’s family didn’t speak.
In Oakland, Calif. police and protesters clashed violently after groups of protesters blocked a major Bay Area freeway for hours, set piles of trash ablaze on city streets and looted retail shops in the city’s downtown area.
WSJ’s Ben Kesling reports from Ferguson, Mo., on the growing protests after a grand jury declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. Photo: AP
After marching relatively peacefully for more than an hour, the crowd gathered near City Hall grew to stretch more than two city blocks, and became increasingly unruly, vandalizing buildings and smashing windows of a Chase Bank branch as they marched through downtown and then through the city’s increasingly gentrifying Lake Merritt neighborhood.
About 500 protesters ran up a freeway on ramp near a Trader Joe’s grocery store, the Oakland Police Department said, bringing traffic to a halt for hours on Interstate 580. Several arrests were made, Oakland police said, and the freeway was eventually reopened.
But clashes continued both near the freeway and in the city’s downtown, where the protests had originated. By midnight, protesters had ignited large fires on a street in downtown Oakland and looters could be seen breaking into several stores.
Inside a Metro PCS store, one woman tossed packages through a smashed glass door to gathered crowds. Down the street, young men hurled beer bottles at people passing bye.
Close to the city’s police headquarters, protesters confronted officers in full riot gear and gas masks, linking arms and advancing toward the police shortly after midnight. The police, in turn, advanced toward the protesters and some in the crowd threw water bottles and other objects at the officers.
“This is an unlawful assembly,” a policeman announced via a speaker system. “You may be arrested and subject to removal by force if necessary.”
A man in the crowd wearing a sweatshirt and carrying a bullhorn answered back with his own announcement.
“The Oakland Police Department is now under citizen’s arrest,” he said. “By the power invested in the people of California, the Oakland Police Department is now under arrest. We are arresting you for violating our civil rights.”
Clashes continued into the early morning as police steadily moved up the street arresting and confronting protesters.
D’Andre Teeter, 70, from Berkeley, said before the grand jury’s decision was announced that anything less than an indictment for murder would be an “outrage.”
”We are out here to say this has to stop, and we think the whole country must come to a halt regardless of the outcome of the grand jury’s decision,” he said.
Across the bay in San Francisco, a crowd of a few dozen people gathered in the Mission District to await the grand jury decision. Carrying signs reading “Justice 4 Mike Brown,” they booed and chanted, “The people say guilty! The people say guilty!” when the news came that Officer Wilson wouldn’t be indicted.
In downtown Atlanta, a handful of civil-rights activists gathered outside the Richard B. Russell Federal Building to address the media after the verdict was announced. Markel Hutchins, an African American minister, choked back tears at one point when describing how frustrated he was by the decision.
“If you don’t look like Michael Brown, or have a son or grandson or cousin that looks like Michael Brown, you will never understand why we feel the way we feel tonight,” he said.
With unseasonably chilly temperatures that swept into the area Monday night, most of downtown Atlanta was desolate and no major disturbances were reported. Civil-rights leaders said they planned a peaceful protest Tuesday evening.
In Philadelphia, the city’s police department was monitoring the situation and watching social media, said a spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter. The mayor earlier told reporters he recognizes the public’s right to demonstrate but urged people to do so nonviolently.
According to the Associated Press, several hundred protesters marched through downtown Philadelphia, yelling, “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” A similar protest of about 50 people in Pittsburgh was short-lived, with activists saying they plan to regroup Tuesday at the federal courthouse, the AP reported.
Law-enforcement officials in Los Angeles said they had prepared for potential unrest in the nation’s second-largest city, but a small protest march that started in Leimert Park in south L.A. blocked traffic along its route but otherwise remained peaceful.
As they marched on foot and on bicycles, the few dozen protesters carried signs, blew whistles and shouted: “If you’re sick of the murdering police, outta your house and into the street.” At one point, a few protesters briefly made their way onto a section of the I-10 freeway before police moved them back.
Cue Jnmarie, a 50-year-old pastor, said he met with police twice to prepare for the response to the grand jury’s decision. He said he is pushing for public policy changes, and doesn’t support violence. He said community organizers and religious leaders there aimed to do more than “blow off steam” about Michael Brown’s death.
”This is not just happening now,” he said. “It has been happening, and it’s part of the culture.”
Mr. Jnmarie described himself as a victim of racial profiling in Los Angeles and said the community is angry. “Police protect and serve everyone except people of color,” he said.
”We do everything in our power to facilitate lawful, peaceful demonstrations as long as they don’t become violent or destructive,” said Andy Neiman, spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.
In Seattle, where a protest march also was reported to be nonviolent, the police department said it hadn’t made any major preparations for protests. The department prefers to take a “rather toned-down approach to that sort of thing,” said Patrick Michaud, a Seattle police detective with the force’s public affairs unit.
In Baltimore, two groups said they would wait until Tuesday afternoon to march through downtown, regardless of the grand jury’s decision. “We want the time to have the largest gathering possible,” said Sharon Black, local representative of one of the groups, the Peoples Power Assembly. “It’s difficult to get a large, large group out in the middle of the night. We want our message to be heard.”
Ferguson and Other Cities React to Grand Jury Decision Not to Indict Darren Wilson
Journalists with The New York Times in Ferguson, Mo., are following a grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. On Monday night, the scene in downtown Ferguson grew increasingly unruly as the night wore on with the police using tear gas to disperse crowds who were throwing rocks and shattering store windows. Some businesses were looted, the police said. Protests also broke out in other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle.
Follow Tuesday’s live updates and other ongoing coverage here.
A photograph of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson presented as evidence to the grand jury.Credit via St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office
Among the many things found in Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony are several references to the way he felt intimidated by Michael Brown. Though Officer Wilson is himself a large man – nearly 6’4″, around 210 pounds, according to his own testimony — he repeatedly described Mr. Brown as aggressive, big, and threatening, often in vivid language. Here are a few excerpts from his description of the altercation at the window of his patrol car:
“I tried to hold his right arm and use my left hand to get out to have some kind of control and not be trapped in my car any more. And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan.”
“I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he’s obviously bigger than I was and stronger and the, I’ve already taken two to the face and I didn’t think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.”
“After seeing the blood on my hand, I looked at him and was, this is my car door, he was here and he kind of stepped back and went like this. And then after he did that, he looked up at me and had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up.”
A police officer from the nearby suburb of University City was shot overnight, but it was unclear if it was related to the grand jury’s decision in the Ferguson case, the St. Louis County police said early Tuesday.
The officer was shot in the arm was expected to be “okay,” the police said in a Twitter post. The police were searching for a suspect.
The officer was shot at the intersection of Canton Avenue and Lamb Avenue in University City, a police spokesman said.
12:42 A.M.Protesters Block Interstate 44 in St. Louis
Protesters shut down Interstate 44 at Grand Avenue in both directions in St. Louis on Monday.Credit J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via Associated Press
12:33 A.M.Sounds of Gunfire and Alarms on Ferguson Streets
Fire roared through a Little Caesar’s restaurant on Monday night in Ferguson, Mo.CreditTannen Maury/European Pressphoto Agency
There were numerous stretches of Ferguson late Monday night where all was calm, all was well. Stores with “I Love Ferguson” signs in the windows. The red bows and holiday lights wrapped around the light poles downtown still perfectly intact.
But there were pockets that felt like a city under siege.
A Little Caesars Pizza shop was in flames. There were shattered windows at El Palenque Mexican restaurant, and at a UMB Bank branch. Thick smoke poured from the busted front entrance of a Walgreens pharmacy. Men stepped in but quickly stepped out, complaining that it was too hard to see anything because of the smoke. The sound of gunfire occasionally rang out in the distance, and the acidic smell and aftertaste of tear gas filled the air. One man exited the store and jokingly asked if anyone wanted cigarettes.
At the intersection of North Florissant Road and Hereford Avenue – “Ferguson, a city since 1894,” reads the sign at the corner – firefighters worked on putting out the Little Caesars blaze, but there were no police or fire officials at Walgreens. The fire inside continued to burn. Spectators drove up to the store, as did news crews. All the while, the pharmacy’s high-pitched security bell echoed, the soundtrack of the evening’s drama.
“Not often you get to see anarchy, huh?” one man taking pictures outside Walgreens said.
Protesters in Oakland blocked a highway on Monday night in response to the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, Mo.Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times
In Oakland, Calif., protesters blocked a portion of Interstate 580, forcing cars to stop. One man said he had been sitting in his car for about 45 minutes. “I knew there would be protests, but I didn’t think it would get this hectic with shutting down the freeway and all the cops,” said the man, Alex Perez, 28, of Oakland. He was trying to get home, but said he was sympathetic to what the protesters were trying to do. “It was unwarranted for a kid to get shot.”
Demonstrators outside the White House on Monday.Credit Jabin Botsford/The New York Times
A gathering in downtown Seattle.Credit Evan McGlinn for The New York Times
12:29 A.M.Flight restrictions at Lambert-St. Louis International
Inbound flights to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport were not being permitted to land late Monday as a safety precaution, officials said. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction, or TFR, affecting inbound flights, the airport said in a post on Twitter.
Demonstrators reacted on Monday night in Los Angeles to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Office Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.Credit Ringo Chiu/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Late on Monday night, a crowd of about 200 people had blocked traffic on Crenshaw Boulevard, a main thoroughfare through South Los Angeles. The crowd swelled to over 250 as it marched north, then turned east on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a central strip that cuts through South Los Angeles toward downtown Los Angeles.
Beating drums, the crowd chanted: “Turn up, turn down, we do this for Mike Brown.”
The crowd was young, mostly in their 20s and 30s. Police squad cars and officers stood by at a few intersections. Some protesters carried their cellphones, recording officers or photographing the scene. Helicopters hovered overhead.
John K. Givens, 45, a Los Angeles resident who works at a freight trading company, marched with the crowd, wearing a gray Dodgers cap and a navy blue vest jacket. “I was emotionally bothered by the decision,” Mr. Givens said of the grand jury in the Ferguson, Mo., case.
Mr. Givens said that as a black male, violent interactions were to be expected. His younger brother, Mr. Givens said, had been beaten by a Los Angeles police officer. “It’s nothing new,” he said. “This is the one that got the most media attention.”
Monday night’s grand jury decision to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson over the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, led to riots in the Missouri city.
Although Michael Brown’s family, President Barack Obama, and authorities called for peaceful protests, the Ferguson was soon out of control.
The riots saw a return to the looting, fires and property damages which took place on a smaller scale in August, immediately after the shooting of Brown.
Scroll down for video
Damage done: Two buildings still smoulder after the riots that ravaged Ferguson, Missouri overnight
Before: A satellite image taken by Google in September 2012 show the buildings intact
As the sun rose on Tuesday, the cityscape of Ferguson looked worlds away from satellite and Google Street View snaps taken just months earlier.
Pictures from yesterday in comparison with images from before, tracked down byThe Wall Street Journal, show the damage done.
Last night, tens of thousands of people in more than 170 cities across America – including Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, among others – were demonstrating against the long-awaited verdict.
However, despite the St. Louis grand jury decision, federal investigations into the shooting of Michael Brown continue the US Attorney General said on Monday.
The Justice Department will continue to pursue two investigations, one into potential civil rights violations by Officer Wilson when he shot dead unarmed Brown in August this year, and one into the practices of the Ferguson Police force.
Damaged buildings in Ferguson following night of protests
Beauty lost: A beauty supply store has been left in ruins after Monday night’s riots
True beauty: A Google Street View snap from 2010 shows the shop in its original state
Burned out: A building in Ferguson only has its four walls left after being destroyed by fire
Better times: The building, which appears to be a shop, is pictured on Google earlier this year
The fire at the local Little Ceasars restaurant left the big orange sign in a melted lump on the ground
Neighborhood joint: There is no sign of its former glory, captured by Google in August 2012
Distraught: The manager of the Little Caesar’s said he understood the protesters were angry but added: ‘Speaking your mind – that’s America. You are supposed to be able to protest peacefully and make your point. But this…’
More destruction: The arson frenzy also hit South Florissant Street, about a mile away. This branch of Little Casear’s was burned out
Long way back: A woman stops to take a picture using her phone of the damage done
Still intact: The local Clean World Laundromat was still standing on Monday morning
Residents on the streets told MailOnline that the wreckage to Ferguson was so bad that it looked like ‘Ferganistan’.
Another said that it ‘looked like Iraq’.
Almost every building along South Florissant Street, where the Ferguson police station is located, had been ransacked or vandalised.
Tony Koenig and his brother Ray, 38 and 40, had taken the day off from working as school groundskeepers to help rebuild a Mexican restaurant run by a friend.
Tony said: ‘I have lived in Ferguson for 38 years and I have never seen anything like this. They just want street justice and they don’t care about how they get it.
‘This young generation. I cannot understand why they do what they do. The parents are to blame. When me and my brother grew up both our parents worked and we were raised knowing how to show respect, and that doesn’t happen these days.
‘We’ve had a hard enough time paying our mortgages after the economy went down. We don’t need this’.
Their friend Drew Canaday, who was also helping them, lives in the street next to South Florissant and said that it was ‘like a war’ the night before.
Destruction: :A rioter uses a stick to break a window at the Hunan Chop Suey Chinese Restaurant along West Florissant Ave last night
Nothing left: This was all that was left of the Hunan Chop Suey Chinese restaurant this morning after the fire wrecked it
As they were: The Hunan Chop Suey and TitleMax loans were both intact before last night’s orgy of violence
Burning: Cars parked outside one row of shops on West Florissant were targeted in the destruction spree
Attacked: McDonald’s on West Florissant was smashed up although not set on fire. It had previously (right) avoided damage
Crime scene: Much of West Florissant was under police guard today and described by officers as an active crime scene
‘Especially something this big. It takes dialogue and not everyone will be happy but that’s compromise.
‘These people don’t want to wait. That what today’s society has come to, not just here in Ferguson – this is America, this is the world.’
Further up South Florissant a Little Caesar’s pizza restaurant had been burned to the ground, as had the antiques store next to it.
The manager of the restaurant, who declined to give his name for fear of reprisals, said that 12 people had now been put out of work and did not know if the owners would rebuild.
The manager said that the store was destroyed by a tornado three years earlier and they did build it back but it cost ‘a lot of money’.
He said: ‘Most of the people here have families and they are very worried about what will come next for them.
‘I’m proud to work here and started as the dishwasher and worked my way up. I had a motorcycle accident and had my foot amputated and they were good enough to give me a job,
The manger, a widower with two children in their 20s, said that he was in principle on the side of the protesters but that this was ‘too far’.
He said: ‘I believe in their right to protest and what they’re doing is a just case.
‘Speaking your mind – that’s America. You are supposed to be able to protest peacefully and make your point. But this…’
Darlena Cunha is a Florida-based contributor to The Washington Post and TIME among dozens of other publications.
The violent protests in Ferguson, Mo., are part of the American experience. Peaceful protesting is a luxury only available to those safely in mainstream culture
When a police officer shoots a young, unarmed black man in the streets, then does not face indictment, anger in the community is inevitable. It’s what we do with that anger that counts. In such a case, is rioting so wrong?
Riots are a necessary part of the evolution of society. Unfortunately, we do not live in a universal utopia where people have the basic human rights they deserve simply for existing, and until we get there, the legitimate frustration, sorrow and pain of the marginalized voices will boil over, spilling out into our streets. As “normal” citizens watch the events of Fergusonunfurl on their television screens and Twitter feeds, there is a lot of head shaking, finger pointing, and privileged explanation going on. We wish to seclude the incident and the people involved. To separate it from our history as a nation, to dehumanize the change agents because of their bad and sometimes violent decisions—because if we can separate the underlying racial tensions that clearly exist in our country from the looting and rioting of select individuals, we can continue to ignore the problem.
While the most famous rant against the riots thus far comes from Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo, where he calls the rioters “animals” and “losers,” there are thousands of people echoing these sentiments. Sorbo correctly ascertains that the rioting has little to do with the shooting of an unarmed black man in the street, but he blames it on the typical privileged American’s stereotype of a less fortunate sect of human being—that the looting is a result of frustration built up over years of “blaming everyone else, The Man, for their failures.”
Because when you have succeeded, it ceases to be a possibility, in our capitalist society, that anyone else helped you. And if no one helped you succeed, then no one is holding anyone else back from succeeding. Except they did help you, and they are holding people back. So that blaming someone else for your failures in the United States may very well be an astute observation of reality, particularly as it comes to white privilege versus black privilege. And, yes, they are different, and they are tied to race, and that doesn’t make me a racist, it makes me a realist. If anything, I am racist because I am white. Until I have had to walk in a person of color’s skin, I will never understand, I will always take things for granted, and I will be inherently privileged. But by ignoring the very real issues this country still faces in terms of race to promote an as-of-yet imaginary colorblind society, we contribute to the problem at hand, which is centuries of abuses lobbied against other humans on no basis but that of their skin color.
PHOTOS: FERGUSON IGNITES WITH VIOLENCE OVERNIGHT
BARRETT EMKE FOR TIME
Law enforcement stands in full gear by tanks in Ferguson, Mo. on Nov. 24, 2014
Sorbo is not alone. A webpage devoted to Tea Party politics has hundreds of comments disparaging the rioters, bemoaning the state of our country and very much blaming skin color as the culprit of this debauched way of dealing with the state of our society.
“To hear the libs, one would think that burning and looting are a justifiable way to judge negative events that effect (sic) the black,” one person wrote. “I intentionally used black because of a fact that you do not hear of these events when another skin color is in play. It is about time that the blacks start cleaning their own backyards before they start on ours.”
However, even the Tea Party gets its name from a riot, The Boston Tea Party. For those who need a quick history brush-up, in 1773 American protesters dumped an entire shipment of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest The Tea Act, which colonists maintained violated their rights. In response to this costly protest and civil unrest, the British government enforced The Coercive Acts, ending local government in Massachusetts, which in turn led to the American Revolution and created our great country.
Samuel Adams wrote of the incident, claiming it “was not the act of a lawless mob, but was instead a principled protest and the only remaining option the people had to defend their constitutional rights” according to John K. Alexander, author ofSamuel Adams: America’s Revolutionary Politician.
That protest back in 1773 was meant to effect political and societal change, and while the destruction of property in that case may not have ended in loss of human life, the revolutionthat took place afterward certainly did. What separates a heralded victory in history from an attempt at societal change, a cry for help from the country’s trampled, today? The fact that we won.
In terms of riots being more common in black communities, that is true only when the riots are politically aimed.
The obvious example here is the L.A. Riots of 1992, after the Rodney King beating and verdict. I would put forth that peaceful protesting is a luxury of those already in mainstream culture, those who can be assured their voices will be heard without violence, those who can afford to wait for the change they want.
“I risk sounding racist but if this was a white kid there would be no riot,” another person wrote on the Tea Party page. “History shows us that blacks in this country are more apt to riot than any other population. They are stirred up by racist black people and set out to cause problems. End of story.”
And the racism they are fighting, the racism we are all fighting, is still alive and well throughout our nation. The modern racism may not culminate in separate water fountains and separate seating in the backs of buses, but its insidious nature is perhaps even more dangerous to the individuals who have to live under the shroud of stereotypical lies society foists upon them.
Instead of tearing down other human beings who are acting upon decades of pent-up anger at a system decidedly against them, a system that has told them they are less than human for years, we ought to be reaching out to help them regain the humanity they lost, not when a few set fire to the buildings in Ferguson, but when they were born the wrong color in the post-racial America.
Dozens in Boston face charges for Ferguson protest
By Martin Finucane and Peter Schworm
Dozens of people are facing charges after crowds took to the streets of Boston Tuesday night to protest a grand jury’s decision not to charge a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the fatal shooting of a black teenager who was unarmed.
Boston police arrested 47 people on charges that include disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, said police spokesman Officer James Kenneally.
Still, there were no major incidents or injuries reported in the mostly peaceful demonstrations.
“All in all, I think everybody handled themselves pretty well last night,” said Police Commissioner William Evans. “We wanted people to be able to express their frustration but, at the same time, we did want everybody to be safe.”
Demonstrations also took place in other cities around the country, including in New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., as the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown sparked a heated national debate about law enforcement’s relationship with minority communities.
Map: Ferguson protests in US
Though most of the gatherings were peaceful the day after the announcement, many cities saw marchers disrupting traffic and getting into confrontations with police.
Photos: Protesters march
Anthony Braga: Why Boston’s protests were mostly peaceful
Sense of resigned anger in Boston
The Boston marchers faced arraignment Wednesday in Roxbury District Court and Boston Municipal Court. About half those arrested were Boston residents. Most were college students, Kenneally said.
Many were arrested at Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue, where there was a sit-in, he said.
Evans said at a news conference that police had gone with a “real soft approach.”
He said he felt the protest went well “because of our whole style,” which includes “great community relations” and a constant dialogue with the community.
He said police recognized a number of the protesters from Occupy Boston, which occupied an area in downtown Boston in 2011.
Police expect protests to continue as long as Ferguson itself is “hot,” but he said, “I’d like to continue dialogue so Boston can be a model of how protests should go.”
At Roxbury District Court, one protester being arraigned painted a less sunny view of how police behaved.
“I was struck in the face by police. They put me in a headlock and dragged me out of the protest group and they hit me in the face, they threw me on the ground. … They handled it pretty poorly,” said David Meredith, a Salem State junior from Revere. Meredith had a black eye, which he said police had inflicted on him.
“I wasn’t shocked. I was appalled, but I wasn’t shocked. The police were being very confrontational. They seemed very angry the entire time,” he said, noting that he saw an officer choking another man, who was holding a camera.
Both Boston police and State Police interacted with demonstrators. It wasn’t clear what agency the officers who confronted Meredith came from.
David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said that “because of superb cooperation and coordination between State and Boston police, we were able to prevent protesters from entering the Southeast Expressway and the Mass. Turnpike.”
He added that monitoring social media “provided critical intelligence about protesters’ plans to try to disrupt traffic on state highways.”
One state trooper was bitten on the wrist by a protester, Procopio said. He was treated by Boston EMS on the scene.
An estimated 1,400 protesters marched from Dudley Square to the South Bay House of Correction, then onto the Massachusetts Avenue Connector near Interstate 93 before being blocked by police, the Globe reported Wednesday morning
The protesters spread across Boston, through Back Bay and the Financial District, meeting police again in Dewey Square — the former site of the Occupy encampment — outside South Station late Tuesday night, the Globe reported.
State troopers also assisted with other largely peaceful protests in Worcester, Northampton, and Springfield Tuesday night, Procopio said. No tactical and riot-control units were used, though they were on standby.
Procopio said State Police would maintain an increased presence at potential demonstration sites in Boston over the next several days.
Story 1: Agent Provocateur: Government Agencies (FBI and NSA and others) and Mass Media Provoking Riots in Ferguson To Increase Budgets and Ratings — Is Justice Department Under Holder Using The FBI As Agent Provocateurs? — Playing The Blame Game — Videos
Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know – Dirty Tricks: Agent Provocateur
Preparing for violence in Missouri
Ferguson Nervously Awaits Grand Jury Decision
How police Agent Provocateur frame people
Provocateur Caught Throwing Bricks At Ferguson Police
John Sayles on New FBI Rules & Role of Agent Provocateurs in Disrupting Social Movements
FBI Warns of Ferguson Violence from ‘Extremists’ After Grand Jury Decision
Ferguson braces for grand jury decision
Biracial couple: We’re staying in Ferguson
Snipers Take Aim and Push Infowars Reporters
Combat Vet Ferguson Missouri Has Turned Into Fallujah Iraq
Infowars Shatters Multiple Mainstream Media Lies in Ferguson, MO
Infowars Recounts Ferguson Police State
Missouri Deploys National Guard
Occupy LA – Police Provocateurs Confirmed
Occupy LA has become victim to police provocateur (under cover cops causing violence) much like other cities around the world. What to look for:
The same boots,
specific type of black bandana.
Police Provocateurs are not smart, and they are easy to spot. Do not let your 1st amendment rights be trampled by corrupt police.
LAPD Infiltrators and Agent Provocateurs Targeted Left and Panthers – Johnston on RAI – (2/4)
The Deep State and the Power of Billionaires – David Cay Johnston on Reality Asserts Itself (3/4)
Ferguson on the edge: RT America special on eve of grand jury ruling
Michael Brown Protests Turns Into RIOT…LOOTINGS…VIOLENCE(RIOT Police Called In)
Ferguson, Missouri LOOTERS Target FOOT LOCKER…FAMILY DOLLAR …RIMS… BURNS Down QUICKTRIP!!
Violence erupts in Ferguson
COINTELPRO 101 – The Sabotage Of Legitimate Dissent
Activists Who Stole FBI Documents in 1971 Revealing COINTELPRO Speak Out
Betty Medsger “The Burglary”
TREASON 101 FBI Cointelpro
COINTELPRO: The FBI’s War on Black America
BUSTED! Proof Missouri Riots Were Obama’s Attempt To Implement A Martial Law Police State!
FBI Agent Provocateur Suggested Terror Attack at Mosque
FBI – Don’t post that or I’ll be “livid”
Return of the Ferguson War Zone? Missouri Enacts State of Emergency Ahead of Mike Brown Grand Jury
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in advance of the grand jury’s pending decision in the Michael Brown shooting case. On Monday, Nixon issued an executive order to activate the state’s National Guard in response to what he called “the possibility of expanded unrest.” Nixon cited the protests in Ferguson and the St. Louis area since Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. The grand jury has been meeting for nearly three months, and protests are expected to escalate if they choose not to indict. But while state officials say they fear violence, protesters say they fear a return to the militarized crackdown that turned their community into a war zone. As the grand jury nears a decision and all sides prepare for the unknown under a state of emergency, we are joined by two guests: Jeff Smith, a New School professor and former Missouri state senator whose new book is “Ferguson: In Black and White,” and Montague Simmons, chair of the St. Louis-based Organization for Black Struggle and a key organizer in the movement that has emerged since Brown’s killing.
Under Obama, U.S. personal freedom ranking slips below France
U.S. Secrets: Classified Intelligence, CIA,FBI,NSA,Secret Service, Edward Snowden
#Ferguson Protest Group Releases List of Targets, Including: Anheuser Busch, Boeing, Emerson Electric, Airport
Posted by Jim Hoft on Monday, November 17, 2014, 11:28 AM
The No Indictment.org Ferguson protest group released its list of potential targets following the decision by the St. Louis County Courthouse on the Mike Brown case.
The published map shows expected landmarks like the Ferguson City Hall and the County Courthouse.
But it also marks things that have NOTHING to do with the Michael Brown situation, like Anheuser Busch and Boeing.
Most telling thing is the mark for Emerson Electric. Emerson has been in Ferguson for at least 50 years, long before Ferguson became a minority municipality. Yet not only do they mark Emerson they make note of the CEO’s salary. Maybe they’re mutating into an extortion group straight out of the playbook of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition?
In preparation for a no-indictment decision, here is the important information to know.
On August 9, 2014, Mike Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson. For nearly 100 days, we have protested to demand an indictment. We are hopeful that Darren Wilson will be indicted for murder, but the recent signs do not seem that this outcome is likely.
We will update this page daily with key information regarding post indictment decision announcement planning. And this isn’t meant to replace twitter or the newsletter, but to be a central space for information that can be updated in real-time.
Lawyers, Legal Workers, and Law Students – The Ferguson Legal Defense Fund, a coalition of St. Louis lawyers and firms, has issued an emergency call to action to find volunteers to assist with legal representation, jail supports and visits, legal research, legal observation, and legal observation and training. Click here to learn more and to volunteer.
Nationwide Actions Planned
Click here to learn more about the actions planned across the country in the event of a non-indictment. Actions are currently planned in 50+ cities across America.
For a primer and re-cap of the direct action trainings, click here to access the core materials. More information will be posted in the coming days.
Support With Safe House Supplies
All supplies are to be delivered to World Community Center at 438 N Skinker Blvd.
FBI Warns Ferguson Decision ‘Will Likely’ Lead to Violence By Extremists Protesters
By MIKE LEVINE, PIERRE THOMAS, JACK DATE and JACK CLOHERTY
As the nation waits to hear whether a Missouri police officer will face charges for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the FBI is warning law enforcement agencies across the country that the decision “will likely” lead some extremist protesters to threaten and even attack police officers or federal agents.
Peaceful protesters could be caught in the middle, and electrical facilities or water treatment plants could also become targets. In addition, so-called “hacktivists” like the group “Anonymous” could try to launch cyber-attacks against authorities.
“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” the FBI says in an intelligence bulletin issued in recent days. “This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities.”
“Those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed…”
The FBI bulletin expresses concern only over those who would exploit peaceful protests, not the masses of demonstrators who will want to legitimately, lawfully and collectively express their views on the grand jury’s decision.
The bulletin “stresses the importance of remaining aware of the protections afforded to all U.S. persons exercising their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”
Within hours of the FBI issuing its bulletin, some police departments across the country issued their own internal memos urging officers to review procedures and protocols for responding to mass demonstrations.
Still, the bulletin’s conclusions were blunt: “The FBI assesses those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures.”
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A protester kicks a smoke grenade that had been deployed by police back in the direction of police, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
The bulletin cites a series of recent messages threatening law enforcement, including a message posted online last week by a black separatist group that offered “a $5,000 bounty for the location” of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who fired the shots that killed Brown on Aug. 9.
In interviews with ABC News, police officials said their departments have identified a number of agitators who routinely appear at mass demonstrations.
“How many of those sympathizers are actually sympathizers?” Rick Hite, the chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan police department, wondered. Many of them see the protests as a way to “chime in with their own personal agenda,” he said.
In its new intelligence bulletin, obtained by ABC News, the FBI says “exploitation” of mass demonstrations “could occur both in the Ferguson area and nationwide.”
“All it takes is one.”
Overall, though, law enforcement officials contacted by ABC News – stretching from Los Angeles to the Atlanta area – remained confident that any protests in their cities would not be tainted by violence.
“We are not expecting any issues in our city,” said Billy Grogan, the chief of police in Dunwoody, Ga., outside Atlanta. “However, we are preparing just in case. I believe most departments are watching the situation closely and are prepared to respond if needed.”
A law enforcement official in Pennsylvania agreed, saying that while authorities there are not enacting any significant new measures they are “monitoring” developments out of Ferguson.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
PHOTO: Plywood covers the glass front of a strip mall along West Florissant Street on Nov. 12, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.
In addition, police officials emphasized that efforts to address a big decision like the one pending in Ferguson actually begin well before that decision.
In Indianapolis, police have held two town-hall meetings in the past two months to discuss the Ferguson issue with concerned residents, and meetings like that help build a “bank of trust,” Hite said.
But it’s sometimes hard to build such trust between a community and the law enforcement officers working its streets.
With several recent cases involving allegations of excessive force by police officers, many in African-American communities can’t help but wonder why seemingly routine encounters escalate so dramatically.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A man watches as police walk through a cloud of smoke during a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey said people in “communities of color” often “don’t view us as people who really have the right to enforce laws or tell them what to do,” and sometimes it’s because of “the way they’ve seen us conduct ourselves in the past.”
“Not all cops, but all it takes is one,” Ramsey said. “As human beings, we tend to remember the one bad incident, not the 10 good ones that we may have experienced.”
On the other side of the spectrum, there are some uncomfortable facts that may be influencing how some police respond to African-Americans they encounter on routine patrols.
In particular, African-Americans are disproportionally represented in crime. According to the FBI, 4,379 blacks were arrested for murder last year, while 3,799 whites were arrested for murder – even though census numbers show there are six times more whites than blacks in the United States.
But as Ramsey said, crime statistics are no excuse for police bias.
“Protest. But protest peacefully. Have your voices be heard.”
And now a grand jury in Ferguson and federal prosecutors are separately looking into whether that type of bias led to Brown’s death.
It’s unclear whether the facts of the case will lead to any prosecution. Indeed, it seems few pieces of evidence are without dispute.
The day after the encounter that resulted in Brown’s death, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters that Brown “physically assaulted” Wilson inside his police car and that “there was a struggle over the officer’s weapon.” At least one shot was fired inside the car, but the fatal shot was fired when both Wilson and Brown were outside the car, according to Belmar. At least one witness said Brown was shot “with his arms up in the air,” while the police claim Wilson fired because Brown was advancing towards him.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: People raise their hands in the middle of the street as police wearing riot gear move toward their position trying to get them to disperse, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Pressed in September to acknowledge that the Justice Department’s own civil rights investigation may not result in charges, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder would only say that “at the end of the day, it’s most important that we get it right.”
As for what’s ahead in Ferguson and communities across the country, Ramsey offered this piece of advice: “Protest. But protest peacefully. Have your voices be heard.”
Only Martians, by now, are unaware of the phone and online data scooped up by the National Security Agency (though if it turns out that they are aware, the NSA has surely picked up their signals and crunched their metadata). American high-tech surveillance is not, however, the only kind around. There’s also the lower tech, up-close-and-personal kind that involves informers and sometimes government-instigated violence.
Just how much of this is going on and in how coordinated a way no one out here in the spied-upon world knows. The lower-tech stuff gets reported, if at all, only one singular, isolated event at a time—look over here, look over there, now you see it, now you don’t. What is known about such surveillance as well as the suborning of illegal acts by government agencies, including the FBI, in the name of counterterrorism has not been put together by major news organizations in a way that would give us an overview of the phenomenon. (TheACLU has done by far the best job of compiling reports on this sort of spying on Americans.)
Some intriguing bits about informers and agents provocateurs briefly made it into the public spotlight whenOccupy Wall Street was riding high. But as always, dots need connecting. Here is a preliminary attempt to sort out some patterns behind what could be the next big story about government surveillance and provocation in America.
Two Stories From Occupy Wall Street
The first is about surveillance. The second is about provocation.
On September 17, 2011, Plan A for the New York activists who came to be known as Occupy Wall Street was to march to the territory outside the bank headquarters of JPMorgan Chase. Once there, they discovered that the block was entirely fenced in. Many activists came to believe that the police had learned their initial destination from e-mail circulating beforehand. Whereupon they headed for nearby Zuccotti Park and a movement was born.
The evening before May Day 2012, a rump Occupy groupmarched out of San Francisco’s Dolores Park and into the Mission District, a neighborhood where not so many 1 percenters live, work or shop. There, they proceeded to trash “mom and pop shops, local boutiques and businesses, and cars,” according to Scott Rossi, a medic and eyewitness, who summed his feelings up this way afterward: “We were hijacked.” The people “leading the march tonight,” he added, were
clean cut, athletic, commanding, gravitas not borne of charisma but of testosterone and intimidation. They were decked out in outfits typically attributed to those in the “black bloc” spectrum of tactics, yet their clothes were too new, and something was just off about them. They were very combative and nearly physically violent with the livestreamers on site, and got ignorant with me, a medic, when I intervened.… I didn’t recognize any of these people. Their eyes were too angry, their mouths were too severe. They felt “military” if that makes sense. Something just wasn’t right about them on too many levels.
He was quick to add, “I’m not one of those tin foil hat conspiracy theorists. I don’t subscribe to those theories that Queen Elizabeth’s Reptilian slave driver masters run the Fed. I’ve read up on agents provocateurs and plants and that sort of thing and I have to say that, without a doubt, I believe 100 percent that the people that started tonight’s events in the Mission were exactly that.”
Taken aback, Occupy San Francisco condemned the sideshow: “We consider these acts of vandalism and violence a brutal assault on our community and the 99%.”
Where does such vandalism and violence come from? We don’t know. There are actual activists who believe that they are doing good this way; and there are government infiltrators; and then there are double agents who don’t know who they work for, ultimately, but like smashing things or blowing them up. By definition, masked trashers of windows in Oakland or elsewhere are anonymous. In anonymity, they—and the burners of flags and setters of bombs—magnify their power. They hijack the media spotlight. In this way, tiny groups—incendiary, sincere, fraudulent, whoever they are—seize levers that can move the entire world.
The Sting of the Clueless Bee
Who casts the first stone? Who smashes the first window? Who teaches bombers to build and plant actual or spurious bombs? The history of the secret police planting agents provocateurs in popular movements goes back at least to nineteenth-century France and twentieth-century Russia. In 1905, for example, the priest who led the St. Petersburg’s revolution was some sort of double agent, as was the man who organized the assassination of the czar’s uncle, the grand duke. As it happens, the United States has its own surprisingly full history of such planted agents at work turning small groups or movements in directions that, for better or far more often worse, they weren’t planning on going. One well-documented case is that of “Tommy the Traveler,” a Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organizer who after years of trying to arouse violent action convinced two 19-year-old students to firebomb an ROTC headquarters at Hobart College in upstate New York. The writer John Schultz reported onlikely provocateurs in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention of 1968. How much of this sort of thing went on? Who knows? Many relevant documents molded in unopened archives, or have been heavily redacted or destroyed.
As the Boston marathon bombing illustrates, there are homegrown terrorists capable of producing the weapons they need and killing Americans without the slightest help from the US government. But historically, it’s surprising how relatively often the gendarme is also a ringleader. Just how often is hard to know, since information on the subject is fiendishly hard to pry loose from the secret world.
Through 2011, 508 defendants in the United States were prosecuted in what the Department of Justice calls “terrorism-related cases.” According to Mother Jones’s Trevor Aaronson, the FBI ran sting operations that “resulted in prosecutions against 158 defendants”—about one-third of the total. “Of that total, forty-nine defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur—an FBI operative instigating terrorist action. With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.”
In Cleveland, on May Day of 2012, in the words of a Rolling Stone exposé, the FBI “turned five stoner misfits into the world’s most hapless terrorist cell.” To do this, the FBI put a deeply indebted, convicted bank robber and bad-check passer on its payroll, and hooked him up with an arms dealer, also paid by the bureau. The FBI undercover man then hustled five wacked-out wannabe anarchists into procuring what they thought was enough C4 plastic explosive to build bombs they thought would blow up a bridge. The bombs were, of course, dummies. The five were arrested and await trial.
What do such cases mean? What is the FBI up to? Trevor Aaronson offers this appraisal:
The FBI’s goal is to create a hostile environment for terrorist recruiters and operators—by raising the risk of even the smallest step toward violent action. It’s a form of deterrence.… Advocates insist it has been effective, noting that there hasn’t been a successful large-scale attack against the United States since 9/11. But what can’t be answered—as many former and current FBI agents acknowledge—is how many of the bureau’s targets would have taken the step over the line at all, were it not for an informant.
Perhaps Aaronson is a bit too generous. The FBI may, at times, be anything but thoughtful in its provocations. It may, in fact, be flatly dopey. COINTELPRO records released since the 1960s under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that it took FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover until 1968 to discover that there was such a thing as a New Left that might be of interest. Between 1960 and 1968, as the New Left was becoming a formidable force in its own right, the bureau’s top officials seem to have thought that groups like Students for a Democratic Society were simply covers for the Communist Party, which was like mistaking the fleas for the dog. We have been assured that the FBI of today has learned something since the days of J. Edgar Hoover. But of ignorance and stupidity there is no end.
Trivial and Nontrivial Pursuits
Entrapment and instigation to commit crimes are in themselves genuine dangers to American liberties, even when the liberties are those of the reckless and wild. But there is another danger to such pursuits: the attention the authorities pay to nonexistent threats (or the creation of such threats) is attention not paid to actual threats.
Anyone concerned about the security of Americans should cast a suspicious eye on the allocation or simply squandering of resources on wild goose chases. Consider some particulars which have recently come to light. Under the Freedom of Information Act, thePartnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) has unearthed documents showing that, in 2011 and 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies were busy surveilling and worrying about a good number of Occupy groups—during the very time that they were missing actual warnings about actual terrorist actions.
From its beginnings, the Occupy movement was of considerable interest to the DHS, the FBI and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, while true terrorists were slipping past the nets they cast in the wrong places. In the fall of 2011, the DHS specifically asked its regional affiliates to report on “Peaceful Activist Demonstrations, in addition to reporting on domestic terrorist acts and ‘significant criminal activity.’ ”
Aware that Occupy was overwhelmingly peaceful, the federally funded Boston Regional Intelligence Center, one of seventy-seven coordination centers known generically as “fusion centers,” was busy monitoring Occupy Boston daily. As the investigative journalist Michael Isikoff recently reported, it was not only tracking Occupy-related Facebook pages and websites but “writing reports on the movement’s potential impact on ‘commercial and financial sector assets.’ ”
It was in this period that the FBI received the second of two Russian police warnings about the extremist Islamist activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the future Boston Marathon bomber. That city’s police commissioner later testified that the federal authorities did not pass any information at all about the Tsarnaev brothers on to him, though there’s no point in letting the Boston police off the hook either. The ACLU has uncovered documents showing that, during the same period, they were paying close attention to the internal workings of… Code Pink and Veterans for Peace.
Public Agencies and the “Private Sector”
So we know that Boston’s master coordinators—its Committee on Public Safety, you might say—were worried about constitutionally protected activity, including its consequences for “commercial and financial sector assets.” Unsurprisingly, the feds worked closely with Wall Street even before the settling of Zuccotti Park. More surprisingly, in Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin, intelligence was not only pooled among public law enforcement agencies, but shared with private corporations—and vice versa.
Nationally, in 2011, the FBI and DHS were, in the words of Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, “treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity.” Last December using FOIA, PCJF obtained 112 pages of documents (heavily redacted) revealing a good deal of evidence for what might otherwise seem like an outlandish charge: that federal authorities were, in Verheyden-Hilliard’s words, “functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.” Consider these examples from PCJF’s summary of federal agencies working directly not only with local authorities but on behalf of the private sector:
• “As early as August 19, 2011, the FBI in New York was meeting with the New York Stock Exchange to discuss the Occupy Wall Street protests that wouldn’t start for another month. By September, prior to the start of the OWS, the FBI was notifying businesses that they might be the focus of an OWS protest.”
• “The FBI in Albany and the Syracuse Joint Terrorism Task Force disseminated information to…[twenty-two] campus police officials.… A representative of the State University of New York at Oswego contacted the FBI for information on the OWS protests and reported to the FBI on the SUNY-Oswego Occupy encampment made up of students and professors.”
• An entity called the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), “a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector,” sent around information regarding Occupy protests at West Coast ports [on November 2, 2011] to “raise awareness concerning this type of criminal activity.” The DSAC report contained “a ‘handling notice’ that the information is ‘meant for use primarily within the corporate security community. Such messages shall not be released in either written or oral form to the media, the general public or other personnel…’ Naval Criminal Investigative Services reported to DSAC on the relationship between OWS and organized labor.”
• DSAC gave tips to its corporate clients on “civil unrest,” which it defined as running the gamut from “small, organized rallies to large-scale demonstrations and rioting.” It advised corporate employees to dress conservatively, avoid political discussions and “avoid all large gatherings related to civil issues. Even seemingly peaceful rallies can spur violent activity or be met with resistance by security forces.”
• The FBI in Anchorage, Jacksonville, Tampa, Richmond, Memphis, Milwaukee and Birmingham also gathered information and briefed local officials on wholly peaceful Occupy activities.
• In Jackson, Mississippi, FBI agents “attended a meeting with the Bank Security Group in Biloxi, MS with multiple private banks and the Biloxi Police Department, in which they discussed an announced protest for ‘National Bad Bank Sit-In-Day’ on December 7, 2011.” Also in Jackson, “the Joint Terrorism Task Force issued a ‘Counterterrorism Preparedness’ alert” that, despite heavy redactions, notes the need to ‘document…the Occupy Wall Street Movement.’ ”
Sometimes, “intelligence” moves in the opposite direction—from private corporations to public agencies. Among the collectors of such “intelligence” are entities that, like the various intelligence and law enforcement outfits, do not make distinctions between terrorists and nonviolent protesters. Consider TransCanada, the corporation that plans to build the 1,179-mile Keystone-XL tar sands pipeline across the US and in the process realize its “vision to become the leading energy infrastructure company in North America.“ The anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska filed a successful Freedom of Information Act request with the Nebraska State Patrol and so was able to put TransCanada’s briefing slideshow up online.
So it can be documented in living color that the company lectured federal agents and local police to look into the use of “anti-terrorism statutes” against peaceful anti-Keystone activists. TransCanada showed slides that cited as sinister the “attendance” of Bold Nebraska members at public events, noting “Suspicious Vehicles/Photography.” TransCanada alerted the authorities that Nebraska protesters were guilty of “aggressive/abusive behavior,” citing a local anti-pipeline group that, they said, committed a “slap on the shoulder” at the Merrick County Board Meeting (possessor of said shoulder unspecified). They fingered nonviolent activists by name and photo, paying them the tribute of calling them “’Professionals’ & Organized.” Native News Network pointed out that “although TransCanada’s presentation to authorities contains information about property destruction, sabotage, and booby traps, police in Texas and Oklahoma have never alleged, accused, or charged Tar Sands Blockade activists of any such behaviors.”
Centers for Fusion, Diffusion and Confusion
After September 11, 2001, government agencies at all levels, suddenly eager to break down information barriers and connect the sort of dots that had gone massively unconnected before the Al Qaeda attacks, used Department of Homeland Security funds to start “fusion centers.” These are supposed to coordinate anti-terrorist intelligence gathering and analysis. They are also supposed to “fuse” intelligence reports from federal, state and local authorities, as well as private companies that conduct intelligence operations. According to the ACLU, at least seventy-seven fusion centers currently receive federal funds.
Much is not known about these centers, including just who runs them, by what rules and which public and private entities are among the fused. There is nothing public about most of them. However, some things are known about a few. Several fusion center reports that have gone public illustrate a remarkably slapdash approach to what constitutes “terrorist danger” and just what kinds of data are considered relevant for law enforcement. In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee learned, for instance, that the Tennessee Fusion Center was “highlighting on its website map of ‘Terrorism Events and Other Suspicious Activity’ a recent ACLU-TN letter to school superintendents. The letter encourages schools to be supportive of all religious beliefs during the holiday season.” (The map is no longer online.)
So far, the prize for pure fused wordiness goes to a 215-page manual issued in 2009 by theVirginia Fusion Center (VFC), filled with Keystone Kop–style passages among pages that in their intrusive sweep are anything but funny. The VFC warned, for instance, that “the Garbage Liberation Front (GLF) is an ecological direct action group that demonstrates the joining of anarchism and environmental movements.” Among GLF’s dangerous activities well worth the watching, the VFC included “dumpster diving, squatting, and train hopping.”
In a similarly jaw-dropping manner, the manual claimed—the italics are mine—that “Katuah Earth First (KEF), based in Asheville, North Carolina, sends activists throughout the region to train and engage in criminal activity. KEF has trained local environmentalists in non-violent tactics, including blocking roads and leading demonstrations, at action camps in Virginia.While KEF has been primarily involved in protests and university outreach, members have also engaged in vandalism.” Vandalism! Send out an APB!
The VFC also warned that, “although the anarchist threat to Virginia is assessed as low, these individuals view the government as unnecessary, which could lead to threats or attacks against government figures or establishments.” It singled out the following 2008 incidents as worth notice:
• At the Martinsville Speedway, “A temporary employee called in a bomb threat during a Sprint Cup race…because he was tired of picking up trash and wanted to go home.”
• In Missouri, “a mobile security team observed an individual photographing an unspecified oil refinery.… The person abruptly left the scene before he could be questioned.”
• Somewhere in Virginia, “seven passengers aboard a white pontoon boat dressed in traditional Middle Eastern garments immediately sped away after being sighted in the recreational area, which is in close proximity to” a power plant.
What idiot or idiots wrote this script?
Given a disturbing lack of evidence of terrorist actions undertaken or in prospect, the authors even warned:
It is likely that potential incidents of interest are occurring, but that such incidents are either not recognized by initial responders or simply not reported. The lack of detailed information for Virginia instances of monitored trends should not be construed to represent a lack of occurrence.
Lest it be thought that Virginia stands alone and shivering on the summit of bureaucratic stupidity, consider an “intelligence report” from the North Central Texas fusion center, which in a 2009 “Prevention Awareness Bulletin” described, in the ACLU’s words, “a purported conspiracy between Muslim civil rights organizations, lobbying groups, the antiwar movement, a former US Congresswoman, the US Treasury Department, and hip hop bands to spread tolerance in the United States, which would ‘provide an environment for terrorist organizations to flourish.’ ”
And those Virginia and Texas fusion centers were hardly alone in expanding the definition of “terrorist” to fit just about anyone who might oppose government policies. According to a 2010 report in the Los Angeles Times, the Justice Department Inspector General found that “FBI agents improperly opened investigations into Greenpeace and several other domestic advocacy groups after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and put the names of some of their members on terrorist watch lists based on evidence that turned out to be ‘factually weak.’ ” The Inspector General called “troubling” what the Los Angeles Times described as “singling out some of the domestic groups for investigations that lasted up to five years, and were extended ‘without adequate basis.’ ”
Subsequently, the FBI continued to maintain investigative files on groups like Greenpeace, the Catholic Worker, and the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh, cases where (in the politely put words of the Inspector General’s report) “there was little indication of any possible federal crimes… In some cases, the FBI classified some investigations relating to nonviolent civil disobedience under its ‘acts of terrorism’ classification.”
One of these investigations concerned Greenpeace protests planned for ExxonMobil shareholder meetings. (Note: I was on Greenpeace’s board of directors during three of those years.) The inquiry was kept open “for over three years, long past the shareholder meetings that the subjects were supposedly planning to disrupt.” The FBI put the names of Greenpeace members on its federal watch list. Around the same time, an ExxonMobil-funded lobby got the IRS to audit Greenpeace.
This counterintelligence archipelago of malfeasance and stupidity is sometimes fused with ass-covering fabrication. In Pittsburgh, on the day after Thanksgiving 2002 (“a slow work day” in the Justice Department inspector general’s estimation), a rookie FBI agent was outfitted with a camera, sent to an antiwar rally, and told to look for terrorism suspects. The “possibility that any useful information would result from this make-work assignment was remote,” the report added drily.
The agent was unable to identify any terrorism subjects at the event, but he photographed a woman in order to have something to show his supervisor. He told us he had spoken to a woman leafletter at the rally who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, and that she was probably the person he photographed.
The sequel was not quite so droll. The Inspector General found that FBI officials, including their chief lawyer in Pittsburgh, manufactured postdated “routing slips” and the rest of a phony paper trail to justify this surveillance retroactively.
Moreover, at least one fusion center has involved military intelligence in civilian law enforcement. In 2009, a military operative from Fort Lewis, Washington, worked undercovercollecting information on peace groups in the Northwest. In fact, he helped run the Port Militarization Resistance group’s Listserv. Once uncovered, he told activists there were others doing similar work in the Army. How much the military spies on American citizens is unknown and, at the moment at least, unknowable.
Do we hear an echo from the abyss of the counterintelligence programs of the 1960s and 1970s, when FBI memos—I have some in my own heavily redacted files obtained through an FOIA request—were routinely copied to military intelligence units? Then, too, military intelligence operatives spied on activists who violated no laws, were not suspected of violating laws, and had they violated laws, would not have been under military jurisdiction in any case. During those years, more than 1,500 Army intelligence agents in plain clothes were spying, undercover, on domestic political groups (according to “Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, 1967–70,” an unpublished dissertation by former Army intelligence captain Christopher H. Pyle). They posed as students, sometimes growing long hair and beards for the purpose, or as reporters and camera crews. They recorded speeches and conversations on concealed tape recorders. The Army lied about their purposes, claiming they were interested solely in “civil disturbance planning.”
Years later, I met one of these agents, now retired, in San Francisco. He knew more about what I was doing in the late 1960s than my mother did.
In 2009, President Obama told the graduating class at the Naval Academy that, “as Americans, we reject the false choice between our security and our ideals.” Security and ideals: officially we want both. But how do you square circles, especially in a world in which “security” has often enough become a stand-in for whatever intelligence operatives decide to do?
The ACLU’s Tennessee office sums the situation up nicely: “While the ostensible purpose of fusion centers, to improve sharing of anti-terrorism intelligence among different levels and arms of government, is legitimate and important, using the centers to monitor protected First Amendment activity clearly crosses the line.” Nationally, the ACLU rightly worries about who is in charge of fusion centers and by what rules they operate, about what becomes of privacy when private corporations are inserted into the intelligence process, about what the military is doing meddling in civilian law enforcement, about data-mining operations that Federal guidelines encourage, and about the secrecy walls behind which the fusion centers operate.
Even when fusion centers do their best to square that circle in their own guidelines, like the ones obtained by the ACLU from Massachusetts’s Commonwealth Fusion Center (CFC), the knots in which they tie themselves are all over the page. Imagine, then, what happens when you let informers or agents provocateurs loose in actual undercover situations.
“Undercovers,” writes the Massachusetts CFC, “may not seek to gain access to private meetings and should not actively participate in meetings.… At the preliminary inquiry stage, sources and informants should not be used to cultivate relationships with persons and groups that are the subject of the preliminary inquiry.” So far so good. Then, it adds, “Investigators may, however, interview, obtain, and accept information known to sources and informants.” By eavesdropping, say? Collecting trash? Hacking? All without warrants? Without probable cause?
“Undercovers and informants,” the guidelines continue, “are strictly prohibited from engaging in any conduct the sole purpose of which is to disrupt the lawful exercise of political activity, from disrupting the lawful operations of an organization, from sowing seeds of distrust between members of an organization involved in lawful activity, or from instigating unlawful acts or engaging in unlawful or unauthorized investigative activities.” Now, go back and note that little, easy-to-miss word “sole.” Who knows just what grim circles that tiny word squares?
The Massachusetts CFC at least addresses the issue of entrapment: “Undercovers should not become so involved in a group that they are participating in directing the operations of a group, either by accepting a formal position in the hierarchy or by informally establishing the group’s policy and priorities. This does not mean an undercover cannot support a group’s policies and priorities; rather an undercover should not become a driving force behind a group’s unlawful activities.” Did Cleveland’s fusion center have such guidelines? Did they follow them? Do other state fusion centers? We don’t know.
Whatever the fog of surveillance, when it comes to informers, agents provocateurs, and similar matters, four things are clear enough:
• Terrorist plots arise, in the United States as elsewhere, with the intent of committing murder and mayhem. Since 2001, in the US, these have been almost exclusively the work of freelance Islamist ideologues like the Tsarnaev brothers of Boston. None have been connected in any meaningful way with any legitimate organization or movement.
• Government surveillance may in some cases have been helpful in scotching such plots, but there is no evidence that it has been essential.
• Even based on the limited information available to us, since September 11, 2001, the net of surveillance has been thrown wide indeed. Tabs have been kept on members of quite a range of suspect populations, including American Muslims, anarchists, and environmentalists, among others—in situation after situation where there was no probable cause to suspect preparations for a crime.
• At least on occasion—we have no way of knowing how often—agents provocateurs on government payrolls have spurred violence.
How much official unintelligence is at work? How many demonstrations are being poked and prodded by undercover agents? How many acts of violence are being suborned? It would be foolish to say we know. At least equally foolish would be to trust the authorities to keep to honest-to-goodness police work when they are so mightily tempted to take the low road into straight-out, unwarranted espionage and instigation.
The official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971. The FBI’s stated motivation was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.”
The FBI engaged in the political repression of “communism” almost from the time of the agency’s inception in 1908, at a time of widespread social disruption due to anarchists and labor movements. Beginning in the 1930s, antecedents to COINTELPRO operated during the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Trumanadministrations. Centralized operations under COINTELPRO officially began in August 1956 with a program designed to “increase factionalism, cause disruption and win defections” inside the Communist Party U.S.A. (CPUSA). Tactics included anonymous phone calls, IRS audits, and the creation of documents that would divide American communists internally. An October 1956 memo from Hoover reclassified the FBI’s ongoing surveillance of black leaders, including it within COINTELPRO, with the justification that the movement was infiltrated by communists. In 1956, Hoover sent an open letter denouncing Dr. T.R.M. Howard, a civil rights leader, surgeon, and wealthy entrepreneur in Mississippi who had criticized FBI inaction in solving recent murders of George W. Lee, Emmett Till, and other blacks in the South. When the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was founded in 1957, the FBI began to monitor and target the group almost immediately, focusing particularly on Bayard Rustin, Stanley Levison, and, eventually, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech. … We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.
Soon after, the FBI was systematically bugging King’s home and his hotel rooms.
In the mid-1960s, King began publicly criticizing the Bureau for giving insufficient attention to the use of terrorism by white supremacists. Hoover responded by publicly calling King the most “notorious liar” in the United States. In his 1991 memoir, Washington Post journalist Carl Rowan asserted that the FBI had sent at least one anonymous letter to King encouraging him to commit suicide. Historian Taylor Branch documents an anonymous November 21, 1964 “suicide package” sent by the FBI that contained audio recordings of King’s sexual indiscretions combined with a letter telling him “There is only one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”
During the same period the program also targeted Malcolm X. While an FBI spokesman has denied that the FBI was “directly” involved in Malcolm’s murder, it is documented that the Bureau fostered the violent schism between Malcolm and the Nation of Islam that led to the black leader’s death. The FBI heavily infiltrated Malcolm’s Organization of Afro-American Unity in the final month’s of his life. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Malcolm X by Manning Marable asserts that most of the men who plotted Malcolm’s assassination were never apprehended and that the full extent of the FBI’s involvement in his death cannot be known.
A March 1968 memo stated the programs goal was to “prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups” ; to “Prevent the RISE OF A ‘MESSIAH’ who could unify…the militant black nationalist movement” ; “to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence [against authorities].” ; to “Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to…both the responsible community and to liberals who have vestiges of sympathy…”; and to “prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth.” Dr. King was said to have potential to be the “messiah” figure, should he abandon nonviolence and integrationism;Stokely Carmichael was noted to have “the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way.” 
Overall, COINTELPRO encompassed disruption and sabotage of the Socialist Workers Party (1961), the Ku Klux Klan (1964), the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party (1967), and the entire New Left social/political movement, which included antiwar, community, and religious groups (1968). A later investigation by the Senate’sChurch Committee (see below) stated that “COINTELPRO began in 1956, in part because of frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the Government’s power to proceed overtly against dissident groups …” Official congressional committees and several court cases have concluded that COINTELPRO operations against communist and socialist groups exceeded statutory limits on FBI activity and violated constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association.
The building broken into by the Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI, at One Veterans Square, Media, Pennsylvania
Additional documents were revealed in the course of separate lawsuits filed against the FBI by NBC correspondent Carl Stern, the Socialist Workers Party, and a number of other groups. In 1976 the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, commonly referred to as the “Church Committee” for its chairman, Senator Frank Church of Idaho, launched a major investigation of the FBI and COINTELPRO. Journalists and historians speculate that the government has not released many dossier and documents related to the program. Many released documents have been partly, or entirely, redacted.
Since the conclusion of centralized COINTELPRO operations in 1971, FBI counterintelligence operations have been handled on a “case-by-case basis”; however allegations of improper political repression continue.
The Final Report of the Select Committee castigated conduct of the intelligence community in its domestic operations (including COINTELPRO) in no uncertain terms:
The Committee finds that the domestic activities of the intelligence community at times violated specific statutory prohibitions and infringed the constitutional rights of American citizens. The legal questions involved in intelligence programs were often not considered. On other occasions, they were intentionally disregarded in the belief that because the programs served the “national security” the law did not apply. While intelligence officers on occasion failed to disclose to their superiors programs which were illegal or of questionable legality, the Committee finds that the most serious breaches of duty were those of senior officials, who were responsible for controlling intelligence activities and generally failed to assure compliance with the law. Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that … the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence.
The Church Committee documented a history of the FBI exercising political repression as far back as World War I, through the 1920s, when agents were charged with rounding up “anarchists, communists, socialists, reformists and revolutionaries” for deportation. The domestic operations were increased against political and anti-war groups from 1936 through 1976.
The intended effect of the FBI’s COINTELPRO was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize” groups that the FBI officials believed were “subversive” by instructing FBI field operatives to:
create a negative public image for target groups (e.g. by surveilling activists, and releasing negative personal information to the public)
break down internal organization
create dissension between groups
restrict access to public resources
restrict the ability to organize protests
restrict the ability of individuals to participate in group activities
While the declared purposes of these programs were to protect the “national security” or prevent violence, Bureau witnesses admit that many of the targets were nonviolent and most had no connections with a foreign power. Indeed, nonviolent organizations and individuals were targeted because the Bureau believed they represented a “potential” for violence—and nonviolent citizens who were against the war in Vietnam were targeted because they gave “aid and comfort” to violent demonstrators by lending respectability to their cause.
The imprecision of the targeting is demonstrated by the inability of the Bureau to define the subjects of the programs. The Black Nationalist program, according to its supervisor, included “a great number of organizations that you might not today characterize as black nationalist but which were in fact primarily black.” Thus, the nonviolent Southern Christian Leadership Conference was labeled as a Black Nationalist-“Hate Group.”
Furthermore, the actual targets were chosen from a far broader group than the titles of the programs would imply. The CPUSA program targeted not only Communist Party members but also sponsors of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee and civil rights leaders allegedly under Communist influence or deemed to be not sufficiently “anti-Communist”. The Socialist Workers Party program included non-SWP sponsors of anti-war demonstrations which were cosponsored by the SWP or the Young Socialist Alliance, its youth group. The Black Nationalist program targeted a range of organizations from the Panthers to SNCC to the peaceful Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and included every Black Student Union and many other black student groups. New Left targets ranged from the SDS to the InterUniversity Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy, from Antioch College (“vanguard of the New Left”) to the New Mexico Free University and other “alternate” schools, and from underground newspapers to students’ protesting university censorship of a student publication by carrying signs with four-letter words on them.
Examples of surveillance, spanning all presidents from FDR to Nixon, both legal and illegal, contained in the Church Committee report:
President Roosevelt asked the FBI to put in its files the names of citizens sending telegrams to the White House opposing his “national defense” policy and supporting Col. Charles Lindbergh.
President Truman received inside information on a former Roosevelt aide’s efforts to influence his appointments, labor union negotiating plans, and the publishing plans of journalists.
President Johnson asked the FBI to conduct “name checks” of his critics and members of the staff of his 1964 opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater. He also requested purely political intelligence on his critics in the Senate, and received extensive intelligence reports on political activity at the 1964 Democratic Conventionfrom FBI electronic surveillance.
President Nixon authorized a program of wiretaps which produced for the White House purely political or personal information unrelated to national security, including information about a Supreme Court Justice.
The COINTELPRO documents show numerous cases of the FBI’s intentions to prevent and disrupt protests against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish this task. “These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations.” One 1966 COINTELPRO operation tried to redirect the Socialist Workers Party from their pledge of support for the antiwar movement.
According to attorney Brian Glick in his book War at Home, the FBI used four main methods during COINTELPRO:
Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
Psychological warfare: The FBI and police used myriad “dirty tricks” to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists. They used bad-jacketingto create suspicion about targeted activists, sometimes with lethal consequences.
Legal harassment: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, “investigative” interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters.
Illegal force: The FBI conspired with local police departments to threaten dissidents; to conduct illegal break-ins in order to search dissident homes; and to commit vandalism, assaults, beatings and assassinations. The object was to frighten or eliminate dissidents and disrupt their movements.
The FBI specifically developed tactics intended to heighten tension and hostility between various factions in the black militancy movement, for example between the Black Panthers, the US Organization, and the Blackstone Rangers. This resulted in numerous deaths, among which were San Diego Black Panther Party members John Huggins, Bunchy Carter and Sylvester Bell.
The FBI also conspired with the police departments of many U.S. cities (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Philadelphia, Chicago) to encourage repeated raids on Black Panther homes—often with little or no evidence of violations of federal, state, or local laws—which resulted directly in the police killing many members of the Black Panther Party, most notably Chicago Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969.
In order to eliminate black militant leaders whom they considered dangerous, the FBI is believed to have worked with local police departments to target specific individuals, accuse them of crimes they did not commit, suppress exculpatory evidence and falsely incarcerate them.Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, a Black Panther Party leader, was incarcerated for 27 years before a California Superior Court vacated his murder conviction, ultimately freeing him. Appearing before the court, an FBI agent testified that he believed Pratt had been framed, because both the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department knew he had not been in the area at the time the murder occurred.
Some sources claim that the FBI conducted more than 200 “black bag jobs“, which were warrantless surreptitious entries, against the targeted groups and their members.
J. Edgar Hoover
In 1969 the FBI special agent in San Francisco wrote Hoover that his investigation of the Black Panther Party (BPP) had concluded that in his city, at least, the Panthers were primarily engaged in feeding breakfast to children. Hoover fired back a memo implying the agent’s career goals would be directly affected by his supplying evidence to support Hoover’s view that the BPP was “a violence-prone organization seeking to overthrow the Government by revolutionary means”.
Hoover supported using false claims to attack his political enemies. In one memo he wrote: “Purpose of counterintelligence action is to disrupt the BPP and it is immaterial whether facts exist to substantiate the charge.”
In one particularly controversial 1965 incident, white civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo was murdered by Ku Klux Klansmen, who gave chase and fired shots into her car after noticing that her passenger was a young black man; one of the Klansmen was Gary Thomas Rowe, an acknowledged FBI informant. The FBI spread rumors that Liuzzo was a member of theCommunist Party and had abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African Americans involved in the Civil Rights Movement. FBI records show that J. Edgar Hoover personally communicated these insinuations to President Johnson. FBI informant Rowe has also been implicated in some of the most violent crimes of the 1960s civil rights era, including attacks on the Freedom Riders and the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.According to Noam Chomsky, in another instance in San Diego, the FBI financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former Minutemen, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization that targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement, using both intimidation and violent acts.
Hoover ordered preemptive action “to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence.”
Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been illegally collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret and bias informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone “bugs”, surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous—and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations—have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity.
Groups and individuals have been assaulted, repressed, harassed and disrupted because of their political views,social believes and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory, harmful and vicious tactics have been employed—including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths. Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal objectives of presidents and other high officials. While the agencies often committed excesses in response to pressure from high officials in the Executive branch and Congress, they also occasionally initiated improper activities and then concealed them from officials whom they had a duty to inform.
Governmental officials—including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law—have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law.
The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of permissible activities nor established procedures for supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to which its appropriations were being put. Most domestic intelligence issues have not reached the courts, and in those cases when they have reached the courts, the judiciary has been reluctant to grapple with them.
While COINTELPRO was officially terminated in April 1971, critics allege that continuing FBI actions indicate that post-COINTELPRO reforms did not succeed in ending COINTELPRO tactics. Documents released under the FOIA show that the FBI tracked the late David Halberstam—a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author—for more than two decades. In 1978, then-acting FBI Director William H. Webster indicated that, by 1976, most of the program’s resources has been rerouted.[better source needed]
“Counterterrorism” guidelines implemented during the Reagan administration have been described as allowing a return to COINTELPRO tactics.[pages needed] Some radical groups accuse factional opponents of being FBI informants or assume the FBI is infiltrating the movement.
The IG report found these “troubling” FBI practices between 2001 and 2006. In some cases, the FBI conducted investigations of people affiliated with activist groups for “factually weak” reasons. Also, the FBI extended investigations of some of the groups “without adequate basis” and improperly kept information about activist groups in its files. The IG report also found that FBI Director Robert Mueller III provided inaccurate congressional testimony about one of the investigations, but this inaccuracy may have been due to his relying on what FBI officials told him.
Several authors have accused the FBI of continuing to deploy COINTELPRO-like tactics against radical groups after the official COINTELPRO operations were ended. Several authors have suggested the American Indian Movement (AIM) has been a target of such disturbing operations.
Authors such as Ward Churchill, Rex Weyler, and Peter Matthiessen allege that the federal government intended to acquire uranium deposits on the Lakota tribe’s reservation land, and that this motivated a larger government conspiracy against AIM activists on the Pine Ridge reservation. Others believe COINTELPRO continues and similar actions are being taken against activist groups. Caroline Woidat says that, with respect to Native Americans, COINTELPRO should be understood within a historical context in which “Native Americans have been viewed and have viewed the world themselves through the lens of conspiracy theory.” Other authors note that while some conspiracy theories related to COINTELPRO are unfounded, the issue of ongoing government surveillance and repression is real.
Story 1: Meet The Democratic Candidate For President in 2016: California Governor Jerry Brown — Balancing Budgets and Building A Presidential Campaign Chest — Achilles Heel California Created a Sanctuary State For Illegal Aliens — Save Water — Save Money — Save Illegals? — Progressive But Fiscally Responsible — Videos
Jerry Brown for President?
KQED Newsroom Segment: Jerry Brown Exclusive Interview, May 2, 2014
Brown wins historic fourth term as California’s governor
How Jerry Brown is undermining American immigration law
Gov. Jerry Brown talks about Central American immigrants
Gov. Brown to sign illegal immigrant license bill into law
Driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants – CA
California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Bill Giving Undocumented Immigrants Right To Obtain Driver’s Licenses
Jerry Brown – Limits To Government
Jerry Brown, 1975. An innovative free thinker before party politics ground him into a garden-variety statist.
CA Gov. Jerry Brown interview- media in politics (Merv Griffin Show 1981)
California Governor Jerry Brown talks with Merv about the role of the media in modern American politics. Not much has changed in 30 years, it seems. Merv Griffin had over 5000 guests appear on his show from 1963-1986. Footage from the Merv Griffin Show is available for licensing to all forms of media through Reelin’ In The Years Productions. http://www.reelinintheyears.com.
Jerry Brown 1992
Jerry Brown Announcement Video
Brown-Whitman Debate: Illegal Immigration
Governor Brown Halts Budget Negotiations
Governor Brown Update on the Budget 06.12.11
Address to the People of California: Governor Brown Discusses 2012-2013 State Budget
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Balancing the State Budget
Mexican president in California to talk trade, border issues
JERRY BROWN FOR PRESIDENT? MEETS WITH DONORS THIS WEEK
California Governor Jerry Brown, who was re-elected in a landslide earlier this month to what he says is his last term in office, will ask political donors on Monday to keep contributing, the Los Angeles Timesreports. Brown defeated his opponent, Neel Kashkari, while retaining $20 million or more in his reelection account as of mid-October. However, Brown–who says he will not run for President–is still asking for cash.
The Sacramento reception asks for donations of $5,000 for a “private reception and sit down conversation” with Brown at Mulvaney’s B&L. Capitol Advocacy, a top lobbying firm, plans to attend; the firm will reportedly bring some of its major clients, including PepsiCo, Corrections Corporation of America, T-Mobile USA Inc., WellCare Health Plans, Pacific Compensation Insurance Co., and Diageo.
The Times, which secured a copy of the invitation, reports that Brown has spent little of his reelection funds since mid-October; he had told the Times that he was thinking of using any funds left over from his campaign to support ballot measures in his new term.
The Washington Post reported in October that Brown’s campaign said it had spent over $3.3 million on ads for Propositions 1 and 2. At that point he had not run a single television ad for his campaign.
Some journalists, notably Chuck Todd of NBC News, have speculated that Brown would likely run for president. Recently, HBO’s Bill Maher said that Brown ought to do so, and condemned what he said was age discrimination. (Brown would be 78 years old in 2016.)
Neither spokesmen for Brown nor his chief fundraiser, Angie Tate, had any comment when contacted by the Times.
The Obstacles to a Jerry Brown Run in 2016
When a governor in one of the country’s largest states is reelected by landslide margins, questions about that governor’s presidential prospects arise even before the polls close. But California’s Jerry Brown, who on Tuesday was given an unprecedented fourth termby Golden State voters, will almost certainly not be a candidate for the White House in 2016. The reasons have less to do with actuarial tables than with the nature of the national Democratic primary electorate.
The most noticeable obstacle to a Brown candidacy is his age. Although he was the youngest governor in California’s history when he was first elected in 1974, at age 36, Mr. Brown is now the state’s oldest governor ever. In November 2016, he will be 78, meaning that he would conclude his first term in the Oval Office at 82. The governor is in very good health, and this advanced age would not disqualify him from the presidency, but it does appear to have made him less ambitious about national office he was in 1976 and 1980, when he campaigned for the presidency. He has already said that he intends to use the many unspent millions of dollars he raised during this year’s gubernatorial campaign to fund future state ballot initiatives. Not only can most of that money not be transferred into a presidential campaign fund, but trying to run for president while also seeking to pass ballot initiatives in California would be enormously challenging–certainly given the time required to succeed at either task.
But the bigger obstacle for Mr. Brown is that his brand of centrism has no logical place in a 2016 primary field. If a challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to emerge, it will almost certainly be a populist voice from the Democratic base. Mr. Brown’s insistence on budget cuts that frustrated his party’s legislators, his unwillingness to ban fracking, and his continued interest in revamping California’s environmental regulations make him an unlikely flag-carrier for progressive primary voters. The key to Mr. Brown’s large victory Tuesday was fashioning an agenda of sufficient appeal to the state’s business community to deprive his Republican challenger of substantive financial backing.
A benefit of not running for president, of course, is that it allows the governor to focus his full attention on his day job. That might not be the stuff of national headlines, but, at this point in his long career, that might be good enough for Jerry Brown.
Gov. Jerry Brown says 2016 Democratic nomination is Hillary Clinton’s ‘if she wants’
By Philip Rucker
SAN FRANCISCO — When Bill Clinton arrived at the 1992 Democratic National Convention as the party’s all-but-certain presidential nominee, his persistent and pesky primary opponent, former California governor Jerry Brown, refused to endorse him.Two decades later, Brown is again governor of the nation’s most-populous state. Yet in a sign that he has patched things up with the first family of Democratic politics, Brown is ready to support Hillary Rodham Clinton if she seeks the presidency in 2016.“I really believe that Hillary Clinton has the presence, the experience and the support of the vast majority of Democrats in a way that I have not seen in my lifetime,” Brown said in a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Post. “She has this if she wants.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gov-jerry-brown-says-2016-democratic-nomination-is-hillary-clintons-if-she-wants/2014/05/28/de3d0e0c-e5cc-11e3-8f90-73e071f3d637_story.html
More And More People Are Not Running For President In 2016
Posted: 01/16/2014 6:25 pm EST Updated: 01/25/2014 4:01 pm EST
Against the 2016 onslaught, and our own contributions to it, let us now praise the real heroes of this period of premature frenzy — those men and women who have seen the light of presidential speculation beaming in their direction and have forthrightly declared, “You can include me out.” This week’s award for Valor In The Face Of People Wondering If You’ll Run For President goes to California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who is not running for president:
Speaking at a Tuesday news conference in Riverside, Calif., Brown scuttled speculation about his presidential prospects when a reporter asked if he planned to throw his hat in the ring for a fourth time.
“No, that’s not in the cards. Unfortunately,” Brown said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Actually, California is a lot more governable.”
Supporters of Brown — who ran for the Democratic nomination in 1976, 1980 and 1992 — had hoped the popular governor would enter the 2016 race. Brown stoked speculation by not explicitly ruling out the possibility, although in May the 75-year-old noted that “time is kind of running out on that.”
You are forgiven if you weren’t aware that “Jerry Brown 2016″ was even a thing about which people were even talking. It was an idea that had a share of anonymous supporters, but only just enough news coverage to warrant an inclusion onWikipedia’s list of potential 2016 candidates.
That page, by the way, is one of the most hilarious reflections of American politics on the Internet, because it turns out it doesn’t take much to be included. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) ended up there because a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story speculating on whether Nixon’s future included a turn in the national spotlight led to a Politico story speculating on whether Nixon might not get his turn in the national spotlight because of Hillary Clinton, which led to another St. Louis Post-Dispatch story about the aforementioned Politico story, which led to a Washington Post story … speculating on whether Nixon’s future included a turn in the national spotlight, again.
Meanwhile, outside of Missouri, you have probably never heard of Jay Nixon. But you’re probably aware that Jerry Brown, between his first and latest stint as the Golden State’s governor, ran for president a bunch of times. And so, unsurprisingly, there was always someone on hand to stoke the fires of retro chic. In July 2013, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported that some of Brown’s “allies” were “starting to talk up a possible 2016 presidential bid,” while another group of Brown’s associates were saying that Brown was going to be “78 [years old] by Election Day 2016,” that he “ran for statewide office only to end [California’s] budget crisis,” and that he was thus “nearly done with politics.”
California rises again with Brown, and it should come as no surprise. California brings the final destiny of our American journey, the final edge of expectation, the end and then the beginning again, the place and time of our American turning. Steve Jobs put it succinctly at the end: “The spaceship has landed.”
I asked an astute Californian about Brown’s prospects for national office. He said he will be too old in 2016. But Brown, Zen man of contemporary politics, is in a sense timeless.
Yeah … so that was a lot to absorb. The salient point is that Brown, obviously, doesn’t have the same opinion of his own timelessness. (Perhaps he finally decided to not run when he failed to regenerate into Peter Capaldi?)
Also, Tim Pawlenty is not going to run for president. (I did some digging and found out that this Pawlenty fellow was a former Republican governor of Minnesota who ran for president once before. Who knew? I guess I totally spaced.)
What Price Mass Immigration – Peter Brimelow Introduction
Peter Brimelow of VDare on How Republican Party Has to be More White
Alien Nation: America’s Immigration Disaster
Mr. Brimelow discussed his book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, published by Random House. The book focuses on U.S. immigration policy and cycles of control on immigration. Mr. Brimelow argues that legislation passed in 1965 has resulted in negative trends in immigration to the United States, including an influx of immigrants from a very few countries that he says are engulfing America. The author says that the latest immigration wave consists of immigrants who are less educated, less skilled, and less likely to share American ideals, which he argues is a detriment to American culture.
Peter Brimelow Reflects on Immigration in America, Post-Alien Nation
Michael Coren Interviews Peter Brimelow
Peter Brimelow, Immigration Road to Hell
Peter Brimelow speaks CPAC 2012
Inequality and Immigration (1 of 3)
Inequality and Immigration (2 of 3)
Inequality & Immigration (3 of 3)
Peter Brimelow On Western Culture At The Thomas Jefferson Club
The Libertarian Case Against Open Immigration | Peter Brimelow
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Chic – Le Freak
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Have you heard about the new dance craze?
Listen to us, I’m sure you’ll be amazed
Big fun to be had by everyone
It’s up to you, it surely can be done
Young and old are doing it, I’m told
Just one try and you too will be sold
It’s called Le Freak! They’re doing it night and day
Allow us, we’ll show you the way
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
All that pressure got you down
Has your head spinning all around
Feel the rhythm, check the rhyme
Come on along and have a real good time
Like the days of stomping at the Savoy
Now we freak, oh what a joy!
Just come on down to 54
Find a spot out on the floor
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
I said freak!
All that pressure got you down
Has your head spinning all around
Feel the rhythm, check the ride
Come on along and have a real good time
Like the days of stomping at the Savoy
Now we freak, oh what a joy!
Just come on down 54
Find a spot out on the floor
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Ahh, freak out!
Le Freak, c’est Chic
Just When You Thought Google Glass Couldn’t Get Creepier: New App Allows Strangers to ID You Just by Looking at You
ave you ever seen someone wearing Google Glass out at the bar? Like a real person at a real bar actually wearing Google Glass? If so, you know how absolutely ridiculous they look. Which may be the only factor we have that will stop this:
A new app will allow total strangers to ID you and pull up all your information, just by looking at you and scanning your face with their Google Glass. The app is called NameTag and it sounds CREEPY.
The “real-time facial recognition” software “can detect a face using the Google Glass camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records, and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles.”
The information listed could include your name, occupation, any social media profiles you have set up and whether or not you have a criminal record (“CRIMINAL HISTORY FOUND” pops up in bright red letters according to the demo).
And NameTag may have already added you to their database.
Two million entries have already been uploaded to FacialNetwork.com. Once the app officially goes live, you can sign up for NameTag and opt-out, instead of the alternative: Having to opt-in to allow them to show your information.
“It’s not about invading anyone’s privacy,” one NameTag’s creators claimed (viaIndependent). “It’s about connecting people that want to be connected. We will even allow users to have one profile that is seen during business hours and another that is seen in social situations. NameTag can make the big, anonymous world we live in as friendly as a small town.”
It may not be about invading anyone’s privacy, but that sounds like what it does. And forcing people to opt-out if they want to maintain their privacy is wrong (we would go so far as to say it should be illegal). But the purported benefits of the app are almost even worse:
They continue, “It’s much easier to meet interesting new people when we can simply look at someone, see their Facebook, review their LinkedIn page or maybe even see their dating site profile. Often we were interacting with people blindly or not interacting at all. NameTag on Google Glass can change all that.”
It’s enough to make you root for that app that lets you film Google Glass porn. If you had to pick one. Luckily, Google has banned facial-recognition software from the Glass—for now.
Bay Area Researcher Developing Facial Recognition Glasses To Help Stop Crime
y now, you have probably heard about the Google Glass wearable computer. Soon, a Mountain View startup will begin selling 3-D eyewear with technology so sophisticated, it could help crime fighters stop crime before it happens.
It’s not a new concept. The 2002 Hollywood film “Minority Report” gave us a look into the future when actor Tom Cruise catches and arrests a criminal before he commits the crime.
y now, you have probably heard about the Google Glass wearable computer. Soon, a Mountain View startup will begin selling 3-D eyewear with technology so sophisticated, it could help crime fighters stop crime before it happens.
It’s not a new concept. The 2002 Hollywood film “Minority Report” gave us a look into the future when actor Tom Cruise catches and arrests a criminal before he commits the crime.
Allen Yang is a University of California at Berkeley researcher and founder of Atheer, the startup developing the glasses.
The 3-D glasses are a wearable computer where users are wirelessly immersed in their own computer through virtual images.
“…And it’s streaming live from the internet to your glasses,” said Theo Goguely, senior product manager at Atheer.
The glasses will ultimately be used by business for work or for regular users for entertainment.
One could put on their glasses and instantly see a 3-D screen with a daytime calendar with a list of things to do. The smart glasses can assist users looking at their kitchen cupboard and they will help visualize nutritional needs.
One of its goals is for use by law enforcement. For example, police wearing the glasses could scan a crowd and possibly locate a suspect or a lost child.
This technology could have helped police find the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing sooner. Although police had images of the suspects, it took investigators days to identify them. Current facial recognition programs were limited in identifying the low resolution images of the suspects from surveillance cameras.
But Yang said Atheer has developed a better mousetrap. Even if 60 percent of the image is corrupted, Yang said his company’s technology can convert it to an identifiable image.
Yang said the program will be available within two or three years and could help police identify known suspects before they commit another crime.
“In the optimal scenario, they can actually get an alert when they’re patrolling on the streets and they can prevent something from happening before even the event happens,” said Yang.
In addition, the program can be used on surveillance cameras on bridges, roads or buildings to help find missing or kidnapped people.
The 3-D glasses will available next month. The cost: $350 for a model that connects to smart phones and $850 for the standalone version.
All of the programs are still in the early stages of development.
Sessions Warns House GOP: Immigration Bill Is Bad Politics, Bad Policy
Offers a better way forward.
By DANIEL HALPER
Yesterday afternoon, before President Obama’s State of the Union Address, Senator Jeff Sessions’ staff hand-delivered to each Republican member of the House an important memo on the so-called immigration reform bill being debated on Capital Hill. The 3-page document, written by Sessions, argues that pushing the current immigration legislation forward is bad politics, bad policy, and that there’s a better way for Republicans.
Sessions believes House Republicans are at risk of falling into President Obama’s trap. “[A]ccording to news reports, House Republican leaders are instead turning 2014 into a headlong rush towards Gang-of-Eight style ‘immigration reform,'” writes Sessions. “They are reportedly drafting an immigration plan that is uncomfortably similar to a ‘piecemeal’ repackaging of the disastrous Senate plan—and even privately negotiating a final package with Democrat activists before consulting with their own members.”
It’s bad politics, Sessions writes. “In the rush to pass an immigration bill, there has been a near absence of any serious thought about the conditions facing American workers. The last 40 years has been a period of record immigration to the U.S., with the last 10 years seeing more new arrivals than any prior 10- year period in history. This trend has coincided with wage stagnation, enormous growth in welfare programs, and a shrinking workforce participation rate. A sensible, conservative approach would focus on lifting those living here today, both immigrant and native-born, out of poverty and into the middle class—before doubling or tripling the level of immigration into the U.S.
A sensible immigration policy would also listen to the opinion of the American people. Not the opinions of the paid-for consultants trotted out with their agenda-driven polls to GOP member meetings—but the actual, honest opinion of the people who sent us here. There is a reason why none of the corporate-funded ads for amnesty breathe a word about doubling immigration levels. According to Rasmussen Reports, working and middle class Americans strongly oppose large expansions of our already generous immigration system. Those earning under $30,000 prefer a reduction to an increase by an overwhelming 3-1 margin.
And bad policy, the senator from Alabama details. “Coordinating with a small group of the nation’s most powerful special interests, last year President Obama and Senate Democrats forced through an immigration bill which can only be described as a hammer blow to the American middle class. Not only would it grant work permits to millions of illegal immigrants at a time of record joblessness, it would also double the annual flow of new immigrant workers and provide green cards to more than 30 million permanent residents over the next decade. These new workers, mostly lesser-skilled, will compete for jobs in every sector, industry, and occupation in the U.S. economy.”
He adds, “House Republicans, in crafting immigration principles, should reply to the President’s immigration campaign with a simple message: our focus is to help unemployed Americans get back to work—not to grant amnesty or to answer the whims of immigration activists and CEOs. In turn, that message could be joined with a detailed and unifying policy agenda for accomplishing that moral and social objective.”
As for Sessions’ “Better Agenda,” he lays it out very precisely:
The GOP’s 2014 agenda should not be to assist the President in passing his immigration plan. Rather, it should be a consuming focus on restoring hope and opportunity to millions of discouraged workers. The GOP’s 2014 agenda should be a national effort—announced proudly and boldly—to reduce the welfare rolls and get America back to work, including:
More American energy that creates good-paying jobs right here in the U.S.
A more competitive tax and regulatory code that allows U.S. businesses and workers tocompete on a level global playing field
A trade policy that increases U.S. exports and expands domestic manufacturing
An immigration policy that serves the interests of the American people
Converting the welfare office into a job training center
Making government leaner and more accountable to U.S. taxpayers
Restoring economic confidence by continuing our effort to balance the federal budget
An all-out immigration push is inimical to these goals.
Rep. Ryan: GOP Looking at Legal Status, Chance for Citizenship
Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), a leading GOP advocate for tackling immigration, confirmed Wednesday that Republicans are looking to give illegal immigrants legal status right away, with the chance for a green card—and citizenship—down the line.
Officials familiar with the planning had said as much before. But Mr. Ryan is the first member of the GOP leadership to lay out the Republican vision publicly.
At issue is how to handle more than 11 million people already in the U.S. illegally. Most House Republicans oppose the Senate approach, whereby all qualified illegal immigrants would first win legal status, then have the chance to apply for legal permanent residence (also known as a green card), and then for citizenship. House Republicans call that a “special path to citizenship” that is unavailable to those who followed the law.
First, illegal immigrants would be offered a “probationary” status, allowing them to work while the government tightened border security and interior enforcement. Officials have explained that this would allow people to work legally while they wait for permanent legal status. (Officials have explained that this group could revert to illegal status if enforcement benchmarks are not met.)
Mr. Ryan said it would make sure that the Obama administration went ahead with the enforcement provisions. “We want to make sure that we write a law that he can’t avoid,” Mr. Ryan said.
After that, they would be eligible for a “regular work permit,” he said.
“If those things are met, you satisfy the terms of your probation, you’re not on welfare, you pay a fine, you learn English and civics, and the border’s been secured and interior enforcement independently verified, then you can get a regular work permit,” he said.
At that point, this group could apply for green cards using the same system available to any newcomer.
“That’s the kind of process we envision,” he said. “Which is not a special pathway to citizenship and it’s not going to automatically in any way give an undocumented immigrant citizenship.”
Some Democrats and immigration advocates have signaled that they could accept this approach, depending on the details. It’s unclear whether enough Republicans would feel the same. The idea will get its first full airing on Thursday afternoon, when House Republicans are scheduled to discuss immigration at their retreat in Cambridge, Md.
The head of the U.S. Africa Command, General Carter Ham, told the House Committee on Armed Services in June 2013, according to recently declassified testimony, that Benghazi was immediately considered an attack.
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Benghazi attack: New report shows the real scandal isn’t what Obama called it
By Ryan Teague Beckwith,
The fight over Benghazi isn’t going away, but the reason for the fight may be changing.
In the days after the deadly attack on a U.S. mission in Libya, the political fight centered on whether President Obama had called it terrorism and whether it was a planned or spontaneous attack.
A new bipartisan Senate report released Wednesday, however, focuses more on the failure of the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies for not preventing the attack.
The report shows several major problems:
• The State Department did not increase security at its sites despite warnings of possible violence.
• The CIA did not share information about the existence of its outpost with the U.S. military.
• The CIA and the State Department were not working out of the same location.
• Libyans charged with protecting the compound did not do their job.
The report doesn’t touch on the more political aspects of the 2012 attack, which led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and two others. But six Republican senators added a separate note to the report criticizing the Obama administration for delaying the report and for not being transparent.
“Information has been withheld from the Committee because of the ‘ongoing criminal investigation’ into the attacks, in an apparent effort to shield certain government agencies from congressional oversight or potential embarrassment,” they wrote.
But the fact that their criticisms come up as an addendum to the report instead of in the report itself shows the controversy about what happened at Benghazi is shifting in D.C.
Pentagon labeled Benghazi a terrorist attack as Obama administration wavered: newly declassified testimony
Gen. Carter Ham’s newly declassified testimony before the House suggests the prospect of an out-of-control demonstration was not raised by Defense officials and that they immediately considered the incident an attack.
By Leslie Larson
The Obama administration was wary to label the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi as an act of terrorism but declassified testimony from a top Pentagon official indicates there was little ambiguity among Defense Department players that terrorism was the likely motive.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice represented the Obama administration in discussing the incident in the aftermath of the attack, suggesting the death of Ambassador Chris Stephens and three Americans came as the result of a protest over an incendiary viral video blasting the prophet Mohammad and was not a preplanned act of terrorism.
Rice appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet The Press,” “Fox News Sunday” and ABC’s “This Week” on Sep. 16, 2012, to speak on behalf of the President and she repeated the belief that the incident was a “spontaneous” mob uprising and not “a preplanned, premeditated attack.”
“This is not an expression of hostility in the broadest sense toward the United States or to U.S. policy,” she stated.
Republicans pounced on Rice’s analysis, claiming she was placating extremists and not adequately representing the national security threat to the American people.
Ham, whose partially redacted transcript was declassified by the House on Monday, said at the 2013 hearing that he was alerted to the incident 15 minutes after it erupted at 9:42 p.m. Libya Time (3:42 p.m. EST) on Sep. 11, 2012.
“When we saw a rocket-propelled grenade attack, what appeared to be pretty well aimed small arms fire — again, this is all coming second and third hand through unclassified, you know, commercial cellphones for the most part initially. To me, it started to become clear pretty quickly that this was certainly a terrorist attack and not just not something sporadic,” he stated.
Ham served as head of the United States Africa Command, which manages U.S. military operations in Africa. He served in that capacity from March 2011 to April 2013.
He describes how as soon as AFRICOM learned of the attack, the command control repositioned a drone to the consulate to gather intelligence on the ground movements. The unmanned, unarmed surveillance aircraft was ordered to be diverted to the Benghazi site at 9:59 p.m. Libya Time, 17 minutes after the attack.
According to the timeline, at 10:32 p.m. Libya Time, Ham briefed then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before they traveled to the White House for a pre-scheduled meeting with Obama, during which they briefed Obama on the situation.
During Ham’s briefing with Panetta and Dempsey, before they left for the White House, he said there was a “peripheral” discussion as to the cause but added, “We knew at that initial meeting, we knew that a U.S. facility had been attacked and was under attack.”
“I am not aware of (a demonstration), sir. It became pretty apparent to me, and I think to most at Africa Command pretty shortly after this attack began, that this was an attack,” he told Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
“We knew at that point that we had two individuals, Ambassador Stevens and Mr. Smith (a Foreign Service information officer), unaccounted for. And so the focus of our effort at that point was gaining understanding of what the situation was. And then we started very quickly to think about, you know, the possibility of a U.S. ambassador being held hostage in a foreign land and what does that mean,” Ham said during his House testimony.
The testimony includes a reference to an Ops Alert announcing the attack that was received in the White House Situation Room at 10:05 p.m. Libya time, but Ham was not privy to what details the alert included.
Panetta’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February similarly stated the early belief that the episode was an attack.
“There was no question in my mind that this was a terrorist attack,” Panetta said of his early assessment of the situation on the ground in Benghazi.
Ham’s version of events could discredit the accounts from some Obama officials who were hesitant to state the security threat posed by the attack.
In particular, Rice has been accused of misleading the American public with her statements that the incident was a protest run amok rather than terrorism.
In May 2013, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also implicated in an ABC News report that claimed a State Department official urged the CIA and White House to avoid describing the event as an act of terrorism in public statements.
Susan Rice went on TV talk shows days after the Benghazi attack to speak on behalf of the President. She repeated the belief that the incident was a ‘spontaneous’ mob uprising and not ‘a preplanned, premeditated attack.’
Leaked emails show that then State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland suggested that a CIA memo on Benghazi not include any reference of links to al-Qaeda and the intelligence warnings in the months preceding the attack.
Nuland wrote in protest to the CIA description, saying it “could be abused by members (of Congress) to beat up on the State Department for not paying attention to warnings,” in an email to the White House and the CIA, according to ABC.
The intelligence memo was the basis for Rice’s public statements in September 2012.
The PR spin to describe the attack as spontaneous rather than pre-planned was seen as a move to protect the State Department from being blamed for not adequately providing security and anticipating the attack.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied any wrongdoing in Rice’s description of the episode, telling the press in May that Rice didn’t have “hard, concrete evidence” to suggest terrorism.
“It was simply a reflection of we did not, and the intelligence community did not, and others within the administration did not, jump to conclusions about who was responsible before we had an investigation to find out the facts,” he said of Rice’s highly criticized assessment of the situation.
Her behavior in the aftermath of the tragedy displeased Congress and is largely to blame for her failure to be appointed Secretary of State after Clinton’s retirement in Obama’s second term.
Instead, Rice was appointed to the role of National Security adviser.
Clinton has defended Rice and said the root motive for the attack was not an important detail to focus on.
“We had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night and decided to go kill some Americans? At this point what difference does it make, Senator?” Clinton said at a tense Senate hearing in January 2013.
Clinton, a likely contender in the 2016 White House bid, remains defensive as the “Benghazi stain” continues to haunt her legacy.
The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.
While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.
The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.
The N.S.A. calls its efforts more an act of “active defense” against foreign cyberattacks than a tool to go on the offensive. But when Chinese attackers place similar software on the computer systems of American companies or government agencies, American officials have protested, often at the presidential level.
Among the most frequent targets of the N.S.A. and its Pentagon partner, United States Cyber Command, have been units of the Chinese Army, which the United States has accused of launching regular digital probes and attacks on American industrial and military targets, usually to steal secrets or intellectual property. But the program, code-named Quantum, has also been successful in inserting software into Russian military networks and systems used by the Mexican police and drug cartels, trade institutions inside the European Union, and sometime partners against terrorism like Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan, according to officials and an N.S.A. map that indicates sites of what the agency calls “computer network exploitation.”
“What’s new here is the scale and the sophistication of the intelligence agency’s ability to get into computers and networks to which no one has ever had access before,” said James Andrew Lewis, the cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Some of these capabilities have been around for a while, but the combination of learning how to penetrate systems to insert software and learning how to do that using radio frequencies has given the U.S. a window it’s never had before.”
No Domestic Use Seen
There is no evidence that the N.S.A. has implanted its software or used its radio frequency technology inside the United States. While refusing to comment on the scope of the Quantum program, the N.S.A. said its actions were not comparable to China’s.
“N.S.A.’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,” Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”
Over the past two months, parts of the program have been disclosed in documents from the trove leaked by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. A Dutch newspaper published the map of areas where the United States has inserted spy software, sometimes in cooperation with local authorities, often covertly. Der Spiegel, a German newsmagazine, published the N.S.A.’s catalog of hardware products that can secretly transmit and receive digital signals from computers, a program called ANT. The New York Times withheld some of those details, at the request of American intelligence officials, when it reported, in the summer of 2012, on American cyberattacks on Iran.
President Obama is scheduled to announce on Friday what recommendations he is accepting from an advisory panel on changing N.S.A. practices. The panel agreed with Silicon Valley executives that some of the techniques developed by the agency to find flaws in computer systems undermine global confidence in a range of American-made information products like laptop computers and cloud services.
Embracing Silicon Valley’s critique of the N.S.A., the panel has recommended banning, except in extreme cases, the N.S.A. practice of exploiting flaws in common software to aid in American surveillance and cyberattacks. It also called for an end to government efforts to weaken publicly available encryption systems, and said the government should never develop secret ways into computer systems to exploit them, which sometimes include software implants.
Richard A. Clarke, an official in the Clinton and Bush administrations who served as one of the five members of the advisory panel, explained the group’s reasoning in an email last week, saying that “it is more important that we defend ourselves than that we attack others.”
“Holes in encryption software would be more of a risk to us than a benefit,” he said, adding: “If we can find the vulnerability, so can others. It’s more important that we protect our power grid than that we get into China’s.”
From the earliest days of the Internet, the N.S.A. had little trouble monitoring traffic because a vast majority of messages and searches were moved through servers on American soil. As the Internet expanded, so did the N.S.A.’s efforts to understand its geography. A program named Treasure Map tried to identify nearly every node and corner of the web, so that any computer or mobile device that touched it could be located.
A 2008 map, part of the Snowden trove, notes 20 programs to gain access to big fiber-optic cables — it calls them “covert, clandestine or cooperative large accesses” — not only in the United States but also in places like Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Middle East. The same map indicates that the United States had already conducted “more than 50,000 worldwide implants,” and a more recent budget document said that by the end of last year that figure would rise to about 85,000. A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the actual figure was most likely closer to 100,000.
That map suggests how the United States was able to speed ahead with implanting malicious software on the computers around the world that it most wanted to monitor — or disable before they could be used to launch a cyberattack.
A Focus on Defense
In interviews, officials and experts said that a vast majority of such implants are intended only for surveillance and serve as an early warning system for cyberattacks directed at the United States.
“How do you ensure that Cyber Command people” are able to look at “those that are attacking us?” a senior official, who compared it to submarine warfare, asked in an interview several months ago.
“That is what the submarines do all the time,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe policy. “They track the adversary submarines.” In cyberspace, he said, the United States tries “to silently track the adversaries while they’re trying to silently track you.”
If tracking subs was a Cold War cat-and-mouse game with the Soviets, tracking malware is a pursuit played most aggressively with the Chinese.
The United States has targeted Unit 61398, the Shanghai-based Chinese Army unit believed to be responsible for many of the biggest cyberattacks on the United States, in an effort to see attacks being prepared. With Australia’s help, one N.S.A. document suggests, the United States has also focused on another specific Chinese Army unit.
Documents obtained by Mr. Snowden indicate that the United States has set up two data centers in China — perhaps through front companies — from which it can insert malware into computers. When the Chinese place surveillance software on American computer systems — and they have, on systems like those at the Pentagon and at The Times — the United States usually regards it as a potentially hostile act, a possible prelude to an attack. Mr. Obama laid out America’s complaints about those practices to President Xi Jinping of China in a long session at a summit meeting in California last June.
At that session, Mr. Obama tried to differentiate between conducting surveillance for national security — which the United States argues is legitimate — and conducting it to steal intellectual property.
As a young CIA officer, Patrick McCarthy witnesses first-hand JFK’s political immaturity and personal recklessness. When Kennedy is elected in 1960, Patrick fears that Kennedy is unprepared to lead the nation in the height of the Cold War. After the near catastrophic events of the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Patriots, a shadowy group of powerful men, decide to take action before Kennedy’s next political blunder destroys the country. Patrick’s devotion to protecting his country ensnares him in the conspiracy to assassinate the president. After the assassination, Patrick assists in orchestrating the Warren Commission cover-up. He realizes too late that he has been duped by those he trusted. Years later, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reopens the investigation and subpoenas Patrick to testify. Patrick grapples with the decision to reveal the truth-a truth which will re-write American history and destroy the reputations and fortunes of some of America’s most powerful men.
KENNEDY MUST BE KILLED chronicles the life of Patrick McCarthy from the time he arrives in postwar Washington D.C. as an idealistic, patriotic young man to that fateful day on the grassy knoll when he destroys the heart of the nation. It is a story about one man’s love for his country, love for his wife and family, and an act of betrayal that causes him to lose everything that he holds dear.
The Men Who Killed Kennedy: Part 1 The Coup d’Etat
The Men Who Killed Kennedy is a video documentary series by Nigel Turner that originally aired in 1988 in England with two one-hour segments about the John F. Kennedy assassination. The United States corporation, Arts & Entertainment Company, purchased the rights to the original two segments. Three one-hour segments were added in 1991. A sixth segment was added in 1995. Finally, three additional hourly segments were added by the History Channel in November 2003. The ninth segment, titled “The Guilty Men”, directly implicated Lyndon B. Johnson. Within days, Johnson’s widow, Lady Bird Johnson, more of his surviving associates, ex-President Jimmy Carter, and the lone, living Warren Commission commissioner and ex-President Gerald R. Ford immediately complained to the History Channel. They subsequently threatened legal action against Arts & Entertainment Company, owner of the History Channel. “The Guilty Men” segment was completely withdrawn by the History Channel. Also during the series, French prisoner Christian David named Lucien Sarti as one of three French criminals hired to carry out the assassination of Kennedy, when he was interviewed by author Anthony Summers. This claim is one of the most strongly investigated theories presented on the show.
The Men Who Killed Kennedy: Part 2 The Forces of Darkness
The Men Who Killed Kennedy: Part 3 The Cover-Up
The Men Who Killed Kennedy: Part 4 The Patsy
The Men Who Killed Kennedy, Part 5
The Men Who Killed Kennedy, Part 6
The Men Who Killed Kennedy – Part 7 – The Smoking Guns
The Men Who Killed Kennedy – Part 8 – The Love Affair
The Men Who Killed Kennedy – Part 9 – The Guilty Men
The Men Who Killed Kennedy is a video documentary series by Nigel Turner that originally aired in 1988 in England with two one-hour segments about the John F. Kennedy assassination. The United States corporation, Arts & Entertainment Company, purchased the rights to the original two segments. Three one-hour segments were added in 1991. A sixth segment was added in 1995. Finally, three additional hourly segments were added by the History Channel in November 2003. The ninth segment, titled “The Guilty Men”, directly implicated Lyndon B. Johnson. Within days, Johnson’s widow, Lady Bird Johnson, more of his surviving associates, ex-President Jimmy Carter, and the lone, living Warren Commission commissioner and ex-President Gerald R. Ford immediately complained to the History Channel. They subsequently threatened legal action against Arts & Entertainment Company, owner of the History Channel. “The Guilty Men” segment was completely withdrawn by the History Channel. Also during the series, French prisoner Christian David named Lucien Sarti as one of three French criminals hired to carry out the assassination of Kennedy, when he was interviewed by author Anthony Summers. This claim is one of the most strongly investigated theories presented on the show.
The Men Who Killed Kennedy
The Men Who Killed Kennedy is a United Kingdom ITV video documentary series by Nigel Turner about the John F. Kennedy assassination. Originally broadcast in 1988 in two parts (with a subsequent studio discussion), it was rebroadcast in 1991 re-edited to three parts with additional material, and a fourth episode added in 1995. The addition of three further episodes in 2003 caused great controversy, particularly in the final episode implicating Lyndon Johnson, and the withdrawal of these additional episodes.
Broadcast history and critical response
1988 to 2003
The Men Who Killed Kennedy began with two 50-minute segments originally aired on 25 October 1988 in the United Kingdom, entitled simply Part One and Part Two. The programmes were produced by Central Television for the ITV network, and was followed three weeks later with a studio discussion on the issues titled The Story Continues, chaired by broadcaster Peter Sissons.
The original broadcast was controversial in Britain. The episodes identified three men as the assassins of Kennedy as three men, deceased drug trafficker Lucien Sarti and two living men. All three were later revealed to have strong alibis: Sarti was undergoing medical treatment in France, another was in prison at the time, and the third had been in the French Navy. One of the two living men threatened to sue, and Central Television’s own subsequent investigation into the allegations revealed they were “total nonsense”. Turner justified his failure to interview one of the accused on the grounds that the individual was “too dangerous”. Turner was censured by the British Parliament. An unsuccessful attempt was made to revoke the franchise of Central Television under British laws against broadcasting inaccuracies, but the Independent Broadcasting Authority did force Central Television to produce a third episode dedicated to the false allegations, aired November 16, 1988, which was later referred to as a “studio crucifixion” of Turner and his inaccuracies. This was the first time the IBA had taken such an action.
The United States corporation, Arts & Entertainment Company, purchased the rights to the original two segments. In 1989, the series was nominated for a Flaherty Documentary Award. In November 1991, the series was re-edited with additional material and divided into three 50-minute programmes, which were also shown by ITV on consecutive nights. An additional episode appeared in 1995. The series typically aired in November every year and from time to time during the year.
In November 2003, three additional segments (“The Final Chapter”) were added by the History Channel, entitled, respectively, “The Smoking Guns”, “The Love Affair” and “The Guilty Men”.
“The Love Affair” focussed on the claims of Judyth Vary Baker to have been Lee Harvey Oswald‘s lover in 1963, and to have worked with Oswald and others to develop a cancer-causing biological weapon as part of a CIA plan to assassinate Fidel Castro.
The third of these additional segments – “The Guilty Men” – was based substantially on the book Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K by Barr McClellan. The book and the episode directly implicates former U. S. President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) and its airing in 2003 created an outcry among Johnson’s surviving associates, including Johnson’s widow, Lady Bird Johnson, journalistBill Moyers, Jack Valenti (longtime president of the Motion Picture Association of America), Jimmy Carter, and the last-living (at the time of the outcry) Warren Commission member Gerald R. Ford. These Johnson supporters lodged complaints of libel with the History Channel, and subsequently threatened legal action against Arts & Entertainment Company, owner of the History Channel. The History Channel responded by assembling a panel of three historians, Robert Dallek, Stanley Kutler, and Thomas Sugrue. On a program aired April 7, 2004, titles “The Guilty Man: A Historical Review,” the panel agreed that the documentary was not credible and should not have aired. The History Channel issued a statement saying, in part, “The History Channel recognizes that ‘The Guilty Men’ failed to offer viewers context and perspective, and fell short of the high standards that the network sets for itself. The History Channel apologizes to its viewers and to Mrs. Johnson and her family for airing the show.” The channel said it would not show the episode again. Author Barr McClellan, on whose work the episode was largely based, complained that he had tried to cooperate with the reviewing historians to discuss his evidence with them, and had been ignored.
Malcolm Liggett, a retired economics professor, sued A&E regarding the episode “The Smoking Guns,” which claimed Liggett was involved in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. Liggett and A&E reached a settlement, which required that a letter by Liggett be read on the show History Center.
David Browne of Entertainment Weekly described the documentary as “well-researched, but still farfetched”. Addressing “The Guilty Men” episode, Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal called it a “primitive piece of conspiracy-mongering” and wrote that “…the documentary’s ever deepening mess of charges and motives is never less than clear about its main point — that Lyndon Johnson personally arranged the murder not only of the president, but also seven other people, including his own sister.”
The first two episodes were followed by “The Story Continues” (16 November 1988), a critical studio discussion about them. The final episode was followed by a critical review, “The Guilty Men: A Historical Review.” (7 April 2004).
Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]
Published on Dec 30, 2013
Through a PRISM, Darkly
Everything we know about NSA spying
From Stellar Wind to PRISM, Boundless Informant to EvilOlive, the NSA spying programs are shrouded in secrecy and rubber-stamped by secret opinions from a court that meets in a faraday cage. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opsahl explains the known facts about how the programs operate and the laws and regulations the U.S. government asserts allows the NSA to spy on you.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil society organization, has been litigating against the NSA spying program for the better part of a decade. EFF has collected and reviewed dozens of documents, from the original NY Times stories in 2005 and the first AT&T whistleblower in 2006, through the latest documents released in the Guardian or obtained through EFF’s Freedom of Information (government transparency) litigation. EFF attorney Kurt Opsahl’s lecture will describe how the NSA spying program works, the underlying technologies, the targeting procedures (how they decide who to focus on), the minimization procedures (how they decide which information to discard), and help you makes sense of the many code names and acronyms in the news. He will also discuss the legal and policy ramifications that have become part of the public debate following the recent disclosures, and what you can do about it. After summarizing the programs, technologies, and legal/policy framework in the lecture, the audience can ask questions.
Speaker: Kurt Opsahl
Event: 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC]
Location: Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH); Am Dammtor; Marseiller Straße; 20355 Hamburg; Germany
Glenn Becks “SURVEILLANCE STATE”
Inside the NSA
Ed Snowden, NSA, and Fairy Tales
AT&T Spying On Internet Traffic
For years the National Securities Agency, has been spying on each & every keystroke. The national headquarters of AT&T is in Missouri, where ex-employees describe a secret room. The program is called “Splitter Cut-In & Test Procedure.”
NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All – Op-Docs: The Program
The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.
NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post
He told you so: Bill Binney talks NSA leaks
William Benny – The Government is Profiling You (The NSA is Spying on You)
‘After 9/11 NSA had secret deal with White House’
The story of Whistleblower Thomas Drake
Whistleblowers, Part Two: Thomas Drake
NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake speaks at National Press Club – March 15, 2013
Meet Edward Snowden: NSA PRISM Whistleblower
The Truth About Edward Snowden
N.S.A. Spying: Why Does It Matter?
Inside The NSA~Americas Cyber Secrets
NSA Whistleblower Exposes Obama’s Dragnet
AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-1/2
AT&T Whistleblower Urges Against Immunity for Telecoms in Bush Spy Program
The Senate is expected to vote on a controversial measure to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act tomorrow. The legislation would rewrite the nation’s surveillance laws and authorize the National Security Agency’s secret program of warrantless wiretapping. We speak with Mark Klein, a technician with AT&T for over twenty-two years. In 2006 Klein leaked internal AT&T documents that revealed the company had set up a secret room in its San Francisco office to give the National Security Agency access to its fiber optic internet cables.
AT&T whistleblower against immunity for Bush spy program-2/2
Enemy Of The State 1998 (1080p) (Full movie)
Background Articles and Videos
Stellar Wind was the open secret code name for four surveillance programs by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) during the presidency of George W. Bush and revealed by Thomas Tamm to The New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau. The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Stellar Wind was succeeded during the presidency of Barack Obama by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications.
The program’s activities involved data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity. William Binney, a retired Technical Leader with the NSA, discussed some of the architectural and operational elements of the program at the 2012 Chaos Communication Congress.
There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data are collected for large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.
During the Bush Administration, the Stellar Wind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to Mueller, approximately 99 percent of the cases led nowhere, but “it’s that other 1% that we’ve got to be concerned about”. One of the known uses of these data were the creation of suspicious activity reports, or “SARS”, about people suspected of terrorist activities. It was one of these reports that revealed former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, even though he was not suspected of terrorist activities.
In March 2012 Wired magazine published “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)” talking about a vast new NSA facility in Utah and says “For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail,” naming the official William Binney, a former NSA code breaker. Binney went on to say that the NSA had highly secured rooms that tap into major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon. The article suggested that the otherwise dispatched Stellar Wind is actually an active program.
PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007.[Notes 1]PRISM is a government codename for a data collection effort known officially as US-984XN. It is operated under the supervision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The existence of the program was leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013.
A document included in the leak indicated that the PRISM SIGAD was “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.” The President’s Daily Brief, an all-source intelligence product, cited PRISM data as a source in 1,477 items in 2012. The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been requiring the telecommunications company Verizon to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.
According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, PRISM cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States. Clapper said a special court, Congress, and the executive branch oversee the program and extensive procedures ensure the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum. Clapper issued a statement and “fact sheet” to correct what he characterized as “significant misimpressions” in articles by The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers.
Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US
Details of information collected via PRISM
PRISM is a “Special Source Operation” in the tradition of NSA’s intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s. A prior program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, was implemented in the wake of the September 11 attacks under the George W. Bush Administration but was widely criticized and had its legality questioned, because it was conducted without approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). PRISM was authorized by an order of the FISC. Its creation was enabled by the Protect America Act of 2007 under President Bush and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which legally immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with US intelligence collection and was renewed by Congress under President Obama in 2012 for five years until December 2017. According to The Register, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 “specifically authorizes intelligence agencies to monitor the phone, email, and other communications of U.S. citizens for up to a week without obtaining a warrant” when one of the parties is outside the U.S.
PRISM was first publicly revealed on June 6, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Washington Post and The Guardian by American Edward Snowden. The leaked documents included 41 PowerPoint slides, four of which were published in news articles. The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including (date of joining PRISM in parentheses) Microsoft (2007), Yahoo! (2008), Google (2009), Facebook (2009), Paltalk (2009), YouTube (2010), AOL (2011), Skype (2011), and Apple (2012). The speaker’s notes in the briefing document reviewed by The Washington Post indicated that “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.”
The slide presentation stated that much of the world’s electronic communications pass through the United States, because electronic communications data tend to follow the least expensive route rather than the most physically direct route, and the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the United States. The presentation noted that these facts provide United States intelligence analysts with opportunities for intercepting the communications of foreign targets as their electronic data pass into or through the United States.
According to The Washington Post, the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be United States citizens, but in the process, communication data of some United States citizens are also collected unintentionally. Training materials for analysts tell them that while they should periodically report such accidental collection of non-foreign United States data, “it’s nothing to worry about.”
Response from companies
The original Washington Post and Guardian articles reporting on PRISM noted that one of the leaked briefing documents said PRISM involves collection of data “directly from the servers” of several major internet services providers.
Initial Public Statements
Corporate executives of several companies identified in the leaked documents told The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the PRISM program in particular and also denied making information available to the government on the scale alleged by news reports. Statements of several of the companies named in the leaked documents were reported by TechCrunch and The Washington Post as follows:
Slide listing companies and the date that PRISM collection began
Microsoft: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”
Yahoo!: “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.” “Of the hundreds of millions of users we serve, an infinitesimal percentage will ever be the subject of a government data collection directive.”
Facebook: “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”
Google: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a backdoor for the government to access private user data.” “[A]ny suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.”
Apple: “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”
Dropbox: “We’ve seen reports that Dropbox might be asked to participate in a government program called PRISM. We are not part of any such program and remain committed to protecting our users’ privacy.”
In response to the technology companies’ denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies’ servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data.The Washington Post suggested, “It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing ‘collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,’ rather than directly to company servers.” “[I]n context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination.
“If these companies received an order under the FISA amendments act, they are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order and disclosing any information about the order at all,” Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News.
Slide showing two different sources of NSA data collection. The first source the fiber optic cables of the internet handled by the Upstream program and the second source the servers of major internet companies handled by PRISM.
On May 28, 2013, Google was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter issued by the FBI to provide user data without a warrant. Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview with VentureBeat said, “I certainly appreciate that Google put out a transparency report, but it appears that the transparency didn’t include this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were subject to a gag order.”
The New York Times reported on June 7, 2013, that “Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations.” The other companies held discussions with national security personnel on how to make data available more efficiently and securely. In some cases, these companies made modifications to their systems in support of the intelligence collection effort. The dialogues have continued in recent months, as General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has met with executives including those at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel. These details on the discussions provide insight into the disparity between initial descriptions of the government program including a training slide which states “Collection directly from the servers” and the companies’ denials.
While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by FISC is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not. This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission. Other than Twitter, the companies were effectively asked to construct a locked mailbox and provide the key to the government, people briefed on the negotiations said. Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information. Google does not provide a lockbox system, but instead transmits required data by hand delivery or secure FTP.
Post-PRISM Transparency Reports
In response to the publicity surrounding media reports of data-sharing, several companies requested permission to reveal more public information about the nature and scope of information provided in response to National Security requests.
On June 14, 2013, Facebook reported that the U.S. Government had authorized the communication of “about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range.” In a press release posted to their web site, Facebook reported, “For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000.” Facebook further reported that the requests impacted “between 18,000 and 19,000″ user accounts, a “tiny fraction of one percent” of more than 1.1 billion active user accounts.
Microsoft reported that for the same period, it received “between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal)” which impacted “a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base”.
Google issued a statement criticizing the requirement that data be reported in aggregated form, stating that lumping national security requests with criminal request data would be “a step backwards” from its previous, more detailed practices on its site transparency report. The company said that it would continue to seek government permission to publish the number and extent of FISA requests.
Response from United States government
Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Google and Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats. The statement read in part, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.” He went on to say, “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.” Clapper concluded his statement by stating “The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.” On March 12, 2013, Clapper had told the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA does “not wittingly” collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans. In an NBC News interview, Clapper said he answered Senator Wyden’s question in the “least untruthful manner by saying no”.
Clapper also stated that “the NSA collects the phone data in broad swaths, because collecting it (in) a narrow fashion would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications. The information collected lets the government, over time, make connections about terrorist activities. The program doesn’t let the U.S. listen to people’s calls, but only includes information like call length and telephone numbers dialed.”
On June 8, 2013, Clapper said “the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.” The fact sheet described PRISM as “an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”
The National Intelligence fact sheet further stated that “the United States Government does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers. All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.” It said that the Attorney General provides FISA Court rulings and semi-annual reports about PRISM activities to Congress, “provid[ing] an unprecedented degree of accountability and transparency.”
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said on June 7 “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout.” He also said, “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”
In separate statements, senior (not mentioned by name in source) Obama administration officials said that Congress had been briefed 13 times on the programs since 2009.
In contrast to their swift and forceful reactions the previous day to allegations that the government had been conducting surveillance of United States citizens’ telephone records, Congressional leaders initially had little to say about the PRISM program the day after leaked information about the program was published. Several lawmakers declined to discuss PRISM, citing its top-secret classification, and others said that they had not been aware of the program. After statements had been released by the President and the Director of National Intelligence, some lawmakers began to comment:
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
June 9 “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation,”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee
June 9 “These programs are within the law”, “part of our obligation is keeping Americans safe”, “Human intelligence isn’t going to do it”.
June 9 “Here’s the rub: the instances where this has produced good — has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks, is all classified, that’s what’s so hard about this.”
June 11 “It went fine…we asked him[ Keith Alexander ] to declassify things because it would be helpful (for people and lawmakers to better understand the intelligence programs).” “I’ve just got to see if the information gets declassified. I’m sure people will find it very interesting.”
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), member of Senate Intelligence Committee and past member of Homeland Security Committee
June 11 “I had, along with Joe Lieberman, a monthly threat briefing, but I did not have access to this highly compartmentalized information” and “How can you ask when you don’t know the program exists?”
Representative John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House of Representatives
June 11 “He’s a traitor” (referring to Edward Snowden)
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), principal sponsor of the Patriot Act
June 9, “This is well beyond what the Patriot Act allows.” “President Obama’s claim that ‘this is the most transparent administration in history’ has once again proven false. In fact, it appears that no administration has ever peered more closely or intimately into the lives of innocent Americans.”
Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), a Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
June 9 “One of the things that we’re charged with is keeping America safe and keeping our civil liberties and privacy intact. I think we have done both in this particular case,”
June 9 “Within the last few years this program was used to stop a program, excuse me, to stop a terrorist attack in the United States we know that. It’s, it’s, it’s important, it fills in a little seam that we have and it’s used to make sure that there is not an international nexus to any terrorism event that they may believe is ongoing in the United States. So in that regard it is a very valuable thing,”
Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
June 9 “I don’t think the American public knows the extent or knew the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was being collected.” “I think we ought to reopen the Patriot Act and put some limits on the amount of data that the National Security (Agency) is collecting,” “It ought to remain sacred, and there’s got to be a balance here. That is what I’m aiming for. Let’s have the debate, let’s be transparent, let’s open this up”.
Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)
June 10 “We have no idea when they [ FISA ] meet, we have no idea what their judgments are”,
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
June 6 “When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the FISA Amendments Act late last year, I insisted on a vote on my amendment (SA 3436) to require stronger protections on business records and prohibiting the kind of data-mining this case has revealed. Just last month, I introduced S.1037, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act,”
June 9 “I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I’m going to be asking the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit.”
Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
June 9 “We will be receiving secret briefings and we will be asking, I know I’m going to be asking to get more information. I want to make sure that what they’re doing is harvesting information that is necessary to keep us safe and not simply going into everybody’s private telephone conversations and Facebook and communications. I mean one of the, you know the terrorists win when you debilitate freedom of expression and privacy.”
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has not acknowledged, denied or confirmed any involvement in the PRISM program at this time. It has not issued any press statement or release relating to the current situation and uncertainty.
Applicable law and practice
On June 8, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence issued a fact sheet stating that PRISM “is not an undisclosed collection or data mining program”, but rather computer software used to facilitate the collection of foreign intelligence information “under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).” Section 702 provides that “the Attorney General [A.G.] and the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] may authorize jointly, for a period of up to 1 year from the effective date of the authorization, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.” In order to authorize the targeting, the A.G. and DNI need to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to Section 702 or certify that “intelligence important to the national security of the United States may be lost or not timely acquired and time does not permit the issuance of an order.” When asking for an order, the A.G. and DNI must certify to FISC that “a significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information.” They do not need to specify which facilities or property that the targeting will be directed at.
After getting a FISC order or determining that there are emergency circumstances, the A.G. and DNI can direct an electronic communication service provider to give them access to information or facilities to carry out the targeting and keep the targeting secret. The provider then has the option to: (1) comply with the directive; (2) reject it; or (3) challenge it to FISC.
If the provider complies with the directive, it is released from liability to its users for providing the information and reimbursed for the cost of providing it.
If the provider rejects the directive, the A.G. may request an order from FISC to enforce it. A provider that fails to comply with FISC’s order can be punished with contempt of court.
Finally, a provider can petition FISC to reject the directive. In case FISC denies the petition and orders the provider to comply with the directive, the provider risks contempt of court if it refuses to comply with FISC’s order. The provider can appeal FISC’s denial to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review and then appeal the Court of Review’s decision to the Supreme Court by a writ of certiorari for review under seal.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the FISA Courts had been put in place to oversee intelligence operations in the period after the death of J. Edgar Hoover. Beverly Gage of Slate said, “When they were created, these new mechanisms were supposed to stop the kinds of abuses that men like Hoover had engineered. Instead, it now looks as if they have come to function as rubber stamps for the expansive ambitions of the intelligence community. J. Edgar Hoover no longer rules Washington, but it turns out we didn’t need him anyway.”
Involvement of other countries
The Australian government has said it will investigate the impact of the PRISM program and the use of the Pine Gap surveillance facility on the privacy of Australian citizens.
Canada’s national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment, said that commenting on PRISM “would undermine CSE’s ability to carry out its mandate”. Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lamented Canada’s standards when it comes to protecting personal online privacy stating “We have fallen too far behind,” Stoddart wrote in her report. “While other nations’ data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a ‘soft’ approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest.” And, “when push comes to shove,” Stoddart wrote, “short of a costly and time-consuming court battle, we have no power to enforce our recommendations.”
Germany did not receive any raw PRISM data, according to a Reuters report.
Israeli newspaper Calcalist discussed the Business Insider article about the possible involvement of technologies from two secretive Israeli companies in the PRISM program – Verint Systems and Narus.
In New Zealand, University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe said that “under what was unofficially known as the Five Eyes Alliance, New Zealand and other governments, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain, dealt with internal spying by saying they didn’t do it. But they have all the partners doing it for them and then they share all the information.”
In the United Kingdom, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has had access to the PRISM program on or before June 2010 and wrote 197 reports with it in 2012 alone. PRISM may have allowed GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material.
The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (June 2013)
The New York Times editorial board charged that the Obama administration “has now lost all credibility on this issue,” and lamented that “for years, members of Congress ignored evidence that domestic intelligence-gathering had grown beyond their control, and, even now, few seem disturbed to learn that every detail about the public’s calling and texting habits now reside in a N.S.A. database.”
Republican and former member of Congress Ron Paul said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk…. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.” Paul denounced the government’s secret surveillance program: “The government does not need to know more about what we are doing…. We need to know more about what the government is doing.” He called Congress “derelict in giving that much power to the government,” and said that had he been elected president, he would have ordered searches only when there was probable cause of a crime having been committed, which he said was not how the PRISM program was being operated.
In response to Obama administration arguments that it could stop terrorism in the cases of Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt of The Guardian said in regards to the role of PRISM and Boundless Informant interviews with parties involved in the Zazi scheme and court documents lodged in the United States and the United Kingdom indicated that “conventional” surveillance methods such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services initiated the investigation into the Zazi case. An anonymous former CIA agent said that in regards to the Headley case, “That’s nonsense. It played no role at all in the Headley case. That’s not the way it happened at all.” Pilkington and Watt concluded that the data-mining programs “played a relatively minor role in the interception of the two plots.” Michael Daly of The Daily Beast stated that even though Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited Inspire and even though Russian intelligence officials alerted U.S. intelligence officials about Tsarnaev, PRISM did not prevent him from carrying out the Boston bombings, and that the initial evidence implicating him came from his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and not from federal intelligence. In addition Daly pointed to the fact that Faisal Shahzad visited Inspire but that federal authorities did not stop his attempted terrorist plot. Daly concluded “The problem is not just what the National Security Agency is gathering at the risk of our privacy but what it is apparently unable to monitor at the risk of our safety.” In addition, political commentator Bill O’Reilly criticized the government, saying that PRISM did not stop the Boston bombings.
In a blog post, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, compared the NSA’s programs, including PRISM, to a 1980s effort by the City of Baltimore to add dialed number recorders to all pay phones to know which individuals were being called by the callers; the city believed that drug traffickers were using pay phones and pagers, and a municipal judge allowed the city to place the recorders. The placement of the dialers formed the basis of the show’s first season. Simon argued that the media attention regarding the NSA programs is a “faux scandal.” George Takei, an actor who had experienced Japanese American internment, said that due to his memories of the internment, he felt concern towards the NSA surveillance programs that had been revealed.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital-rights group based in the U.S., is hosting a tool, by which an American resident can write to their government representatives regarding their opposition to mass spying.
On June 11, 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NSA citing that PRISM “violates Americans’ constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy”.
Reactions of Internet users in China were mixed between viewing a loss of freedom worldwide and seeing state surveillance coming out of secrecy. The story broke just before US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California. When asked about NSA hacking China, the spokeswoman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said “China strongly advocates cybersecurity”. The party-owned newspaper Liberation Daily described this surveillance like Nineteen Eighty-Four-style. Hong Kong legislators Gary Fan and Claudia Mo wrote a letter to Obama, stating “the revelations of blanket surveillance of global communications by the world’s leading democracy have damaged the image of the U.S. among freedom-loving peoples around the world.”
Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament, called PRISM “a violation of EU laws”.
Protests at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
The German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Peter Schaar, condemned the program as “monstrous”. He further added that White House claims do “not reassure me at all” and that “given the large number of German users of Google, Facebook, Apple or Microsoft services, I expect the German government […] is committed to clarification and limitation of surveillance.” Steffen Seibert, press secretary of the Chancellor’s office, announced that Angela Merkel will put these issues on the agenda of the talks with Barack Obama during his pending visit in Berlin.
The Italian president of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, Antonello Soro, said that the surveillance dragnet “would not be legal in Italy” and would be “contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation”.
William Hague, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, dismissed accusations that British security agencies had been circumventing British law by using information gathered on British citizens by Prism saying, “Any data obtained by us from the United States involving UK nationals is subject to proper UK statutory controls and safeguards.” David Cameron said Britain’s spy agencies that received data collected from PRISM acted within the law: “I’m satisfied that we have intelligence agencies that do a fantastically important job for this country to keep us safe, and they operate within the law.” Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said that if the British intelligence agencies were seeking to know the content of emails about people living in the UK, then they actually have to get lawful authority. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office was more cautious, saying it would investigate PRISM alongside other European data agencies: “There are real issues about the extent to which U.S. law agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens. Aspects of U.S. law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to U.S. agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own Data Protection Act. The ICO has raised this with its European counterparts, and the issue is being considered by the European Commission, who are in discussions with the U.S. Government.”
Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident, said “Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.”
Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur who owned Megaupload, which was closed by the U.S. federal government, said “We should heed warnings from Snowden because the prospect of an Orwellian society outweighs whatever security benefits we derive from Prism or Five Eyes.” The Hong Kong law firm representing Dotcom expressed a fear that the communication between Dotcom and the firm had been compromised by U.S. intelligence programs.
Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from Edward Snowden.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said “We knew about their past efforts to trace our system. We have used our technical resources to foil their efforts and have been able to stop them from succeeding so far.”
A parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, gathers up metadata as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet. BLARNEY’s summary, set down in the slides alongside a cartoon insignia of a shamrock and a leprechaun hat, describes it as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”
A related program, a big data visualization system based on cloud computing and free and open-source software (FOSS) technology known as “Boundless Informant”, was disclosed in documents leaked to The Guardian and reported on June 8, 2013. A leaked, top secret map allegedly produced by Boundless Informant revealed the extent of NSA surveillance in the U.S.
ThinThread is the name of a project that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) pursued during the 1990s, according to a May 17, 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun. The program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data, but according to the article, the program was discontinued three weeks before the September 11, 2001 attacks due to the changes in priorities and the consolidation of U.S. intelligence authority. The “change in priority” consisted of the decision made by the director of NSA General Michael V. Hayden to go with a concept called Trailblazer, despite the fact that ThinThread was a working prototype that protected the privacy of U.S. citizens.
ThinThread was dismissed and replaced by the Trailblazer Project, which lacked the privacy protections. A consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was awarded a $280 million contract to develop Trailblazer in 2002.
Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail. It ran over budget, failed to accomplish critical goals, and was cancelled.
NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark complained to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed, but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched. The complaint was accepted by the IG and an investigation began that lasted until mid-2005 when the final results were issued. The results were largely hidden, as the report given to the public was heavily (90%) redacted, while the original report was heavily classified, thus restricting the ability of most people to see it.
The people who filed the IG complaint were later raided by armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. While the Government threatened to prosecute all who signed the IG report, it ultimately chose to pursue an NSA Senior Executive — Thomas Andrews Drake — who helped with the report internally to NSA and who had spoken with a reporter about the project. Drake was later charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. His defenders claimed this was retaliation. The charges against him were later dropped, and he agreed to plead guilty to having committed a misdemeanor under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, something that Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project (which helped represent him) called an “act of civil disobedience”.
Trailblazer was chosen over a similar program named ThinThread, a less costly project which had been designed with built-in privacy protections for United States citizens. Trailblazer was later linked to the NSA electronic surveillance program and the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.
In 2002 a consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was chosen by the NSA to produce a technology demonstration platform in a contract worth $280 million. Project participants included Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The project was overseen by NSA Deputy Director William B. Black, Jr., an NSA worker who had gone to SAIC, and then been re-hired back to NSA by NSA director Michael Hayden in 2000. SAIC had also hired a former NSA director to its management; Bobby Inman. SAIC also participated in the concept definition phase of Trailblazer.
Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Project on Government Oversight and others. 
The NSA Inspector General issued a report on Trailblazer that “discussed improperly based contract cost increases, non-conformance in the management of the Statement of Work, and excessive labor rates for contractor personnel.” 
In 2004 the DoD IG report criticized the program (see the Whistleblowing section below). It said that the “NSA ‘disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs'” and “that TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive …” Several contractors for the project were worried about cooperating with DoD’s audit for fear of “management reprisal.” The Director of NSA “nonconcurred” with several statements in the IG audit, and the report contains a discussion of those disagreements.
In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule. In 2006 the program was shut down, after having cost billions of US Dollars. Several anonymous NSA sources told Hosenball of Newsweek later on that the project was a “wasteful failure”.
The new project replacing Trailblazer is called Turbulence.
According to a 2011 New Yorker article, in the early days of the project several NSA employees met with Diane S Roark, an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee. They aired their grievances about Trailblazer. In response, NSA director Michael Hayden sent out a memo saying that “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow … Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.”
In September 2002, several people filed a complaint with the Department of Defense IG’s office regarding problems with Trailblazer: they included Roark (aforementioned), ex-NSA senior analysts Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Senior Computer Systems Analyst Ed Loomis, who had quit the agency over concerns about its mismanagement of acquisition and allegedly illegal domestic spying. A major source for the report was NSA senior officer Thomas Andrews Drake. Drake had been complaining to his superiors for some time about problems at the agency, and about the superiority of ThinThread over Trailblazer, for example, at protecting privacy. Drake gave info to DoD during its investigation of the matter. Roark also went to her boss at the House committee, Porter Goss, about problems, but was rebuffed. She also attempted to contact William Renquist, the Supreme Court Chief Justice at the time.
Drake’s own boss, Maureen Baginski, the third-highest officer at NSA, quit partly over concerns about the legality of its behavior.
In 2003, the NSA IG (not the DoD IG) had declared Trailblazer an expensive failure. It had cost more than $1 billion.
In 2005, the DoD IG produced a report on the result of its investigation of the complaint of Roark and the others in 2002. This report was not released to the public, but it has been described as very negative. Mayer writes that it hastened the closure of Trailblazer, which was at the time in trouble from congress for being over budget.
In November 2005, Drake contacted Siobhan Gorman, a reporter of The Baltimore Sun. Gorman wrote several articles about problems at the NSA, including articles on Trailblazer. This series got her an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at his head and that of his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union. None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.
In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Act of 1917, part of President Barack Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leakers”. The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused.
In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
Boundless Informant is a big data analysis and data visualization system used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to give NSA managers summaries of NSA’s world wide data collection activities. It is described in an unclassified, For Official Use Only Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) memo published by The Guardian. According to a Top Secret heat map display also published by The Guardian and allegedly produced by the Boundless Informant program, almost 3 billion data elements from inside the United States were captured by NSA over a 30-day period ending in March 2013.
Data analyzed by Boundless Informant includes electronic surveillance program records (DNI) and telephone call metadata records (DNR) stored in an NSA data archive called GM-PLACE. It does not include FISA data, according to the FAQ memo. PRISM, a government codename for a collection effort known officially as US-984XN, which was revealed at the same time as Boundless Informant, is one source of DNR data. According to the map, Boundless Informant summarizes data records from 504 separate DNR and DNI collection sources (SIGADs). In the map, countries that are under surveillance are assigned a color from green, representing least coverage to red, most intensive.
Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US.
Intelligence gathered by the United States government inside the United States or specifically targeting US citizens is legally required to be gathered in compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court).
NSA global data mining projects have existed for decades, but recent programs of intelligence gathering and analysis that include data gathered from inside the United States such as PRISM were enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under President Obama in December 2012.
Boundless Informant was first publicly revealed on June 8, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Guardian. The newspaper identified its informant, at his request, as Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.
According to published slides, Boundless Informant leverages Free and Open Source Software—and is therefore “available to all NSA developers”—and corporate services hosted in the cloud. The tool uses HDFS, MapReduce, and Cloudbase for data processing.
Legality and FISA Amendments Act of 2008
The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) Section 702 is referenced in PRISM documents detailing the electronic interception, capture and analysis of metadata. Many reports and letters of concern written by members of Congress suggest that this section of FAA in particular is legally and constitutionally problematic, such as by targeting U.S. persons, insofar as “Collections occur in U.S.” as published documents indicate.
The ACLU has asserted the following regarding the FAA: “Regardless of abuses, the problem with the FAA is more fundamental: the statute itself is unconstitutional.”
Senator Rand Paul is introducing new legislation called the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 to stop the NSA or other agencies of the United States government from violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution using technology and big data information systems like PRISM and Boundless Informant.
ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS and Five Eyes). It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.
ECHELON, according to information in the European Parliament document, “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)” was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.
The system has been reported in a number of public sources. Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001, and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States. The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.
Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.
The UKUSA intelligence community was assessed by the European Parliament (EP) in 2000 to include the signals intelligence agencies of each of the member states:
the Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom,
the National Security Agency of the United States,
the Communications Security Establishment of Canada,
the Defence Signals Directorate of Australia, and
the Government Communications Security Bureau of New Zealand.
the National SIGINT Organisation (NSO) of The Netherlands
The EP report concluded that it seemed likely that ECHELON is a method of sorting captured signal traffic, rather than a comprehensive analysis tool.
The ability to intercept communications depends on the medium used, be it radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic. During World War II and through the 1950s, high frequency (“short wave”) radio was widely used for military and diplomatic communication, and could be intercepted at great distances. The rise of geostationary communications satellites in the 1960s presented new possibilities for intercepting international communications. The report to the European Parliament of 2001 states: “If UKUSA states operate listening stations in the relevant regions of the earth, in principle they can intercept all telephone, fax and data traffic transmitted via such satellites.”
The role of satellites in point-to-point voice and data communications has largely been supplanted by fiber optics; in 2006, 99% of the world’s long-distance voice and data traffic was carried over optical-fiber. The proportion of international communications accounted for by satellite links is said to have decreased substantially over the past few years[when?] in Central Europe to an amount between 0.4% and 5%. Even in less-developed parts of the world, communications satellites are used largely for point-to-multipoint applications, such as video. Thus, the majority of communications can no longer be intercepted by earth stations; they can only be collected by tapping cables and intercepting line-of-sight microwave signals, which is possible only to a limited extent.
One method of interception is to place equipment at locations where fiber optic communications are switched. For the Internet, much of the switching occurs at relatively few sites. There have been reports of one such intercept site, Room 641A, in the United States. In the past[when?] much Internet traffic was routed through the U.S. and the UK, but this has changed; for example, in 2000, 95% of intra-German Internet communications was routed via the DE-CIX Internet exchange point in Frankfurt. A comprehensive worldwide surveillance network is possible only if clandestine intercept sites are installed in the territory of friendly nations, and/or if local authorities cooperate. The report to the European Parliament points out that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is not necessarily limited to the U.S. or British foreign intelligence services.
Most reports on ECHELON focus on satellite interception; testimony before the European Parliament indicated that separate but similar UK-US systems are in place to monitor communication through undersea cables, microwave transmissions and other lines.
See also: Industrial espionage
Intelligence monitoring of citizens, and their communications, in the area covered by the AUSCANNZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes. Examples alleged by the journalists include the gear-less wind turbine technology designed by the German firm Enercon and the speech technology developed by the Belgian firm Lernout & Hauspie. An article in the US newspaper Baltimore Sun reported in 1995 that European aerospace company Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994 after the US National Security Agency reported that Airbus officials had been bribing Saudi officials to secure the contract.
In 2001, the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System recommended to the European Parliament that citizens of member states routinely use cryptography in their communications to protect their privacy, because economic espionage with ECHELON has been conducted by the US intelligence agencies.
Bamford provides an alternative view, highlighting that legislation prohibits the use of intercepted communications for commercial purposes, although he does not elaborate on how intercepted communications are used as part of an all-source intelligence process.
According to its website, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is “a high technology organization … on the frontiers of communications and data processing”. In 1999 the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was told by Professor Desmond Ball that the Pine Gap facility was used as a ground station for a satellite-based interception network. The satellites were said to be large radio dishes between 20 and 100 meters in diameter in geostationary orbits. The original purpose of the network was to monitor the telemetry from 1970s Soviet weapons, air defence radar, communications satellites and ground based microwave communications.
The European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated: “It seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail.” The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names (see, for example, CIA cryptonym).
Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK. At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.
The 2001 European Parliamentary (EP) report lists several ground stations as possibly belonging to, or participating in, the ECHELON network. These include:
Likely satellite intercept stations
The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 54 ff) as likely to have, or to have had, a role in intercepting transmissions from telecommunications satellites:
Hong Kong (since closed)
Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (Geraldton, Western Australia)
Menwith Hill (Yorkshire, U.K.) Map (reportedly the largest Echelon facility)
Misawa Air Base (Japan) Map
GCHQ Bude, formerly known as GCHQ CSO Morwenstow, (Cornwall, U.K.) Map
Pine Gap (Northern Territory, Australia – close to Alice Springs) Map
Sugar Grove (West Virginia, U.S.) Map
Yakima Training Center (Washington, U.S.) Map
GCSB Waihopai (New Zealand)
GCSB Tangimoana (New Zealand)
CFS Leitrim (Ontario, Canada)
Teufelsberg (Berlin, Germany) (closed 1992)
Other potentially related stations
The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 57 ff) as ones whose roles “cannot be clearly established”:
Ayios Nikolaos (Cyprus – U.K.)
Bad Aibling Station (Bad Aibling, Germany – U.S.)
relocated to Griesheim in 2004
deactivated in 2008
Buckley Air Force Base (Aurora, Colorado)
Fort Gordon (Georgia, U.S.)
Gander (Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada)
Guam (Pacific Ocean, U.S.)
Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center (Hawaii, U.S.)
Lackland Air Force Base, Medina Annex (San Antonio, Texas)
Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006.
Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T. The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, who has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore “the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic.” Former director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, William Binney, has estimated that 10 to 20 such facilities have been installed throughout the United States.
The room measures about 24 by 48 feet (7.3 by 15 m) and contains several racks of equipment, including a Narus STA 6400, a device designed to intercept and analyze Internet communications at very high speeds.
The very existence of the room was revealed by a former AT&T technician, Mark Klein, and was the subject of a 2006 class action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T. Klein claims he was told that similar black rooms are operated at other facilities around the country.
Room 641A and the controversies surrounding it were subjects of an episode of Frontline, the current affairs documentary program on PBS. It was originally broadcast on May 15, 2007. It was also featured on PBS’s NOW on March 14, 2008. The room was also covered in the PBS Nova episode “The Spy Factory”.
Basic diagram of how the alleged wiretapping was accomplished. From EFF court filings
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecommunication company of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications. On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government’s and AT&T’s motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. A different case by the EFF was filed on September 18, 2008, titled Jewel v. NSA.
PRISM: A clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) which can target customers of participating corporations outside or inside the United States
Main Core: A personal and financial database storing information of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data mostly comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, as well as other government sources.
‘Bob Grant has died. Born March 14, 1929 he was an American radio host whose real name was Robert Ciro Gigante. Grant, who lived in Tom’s River, N.J., died on New Year’s Eve.He was a veteran of radio broadcasting in New York City, and Grant is considered to be a pioneer of the “conservative” and “confrontational” talk radio format who influenced many people after him.He began working in radio in the 1940s at WBBM in Chicago as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War he served in the Naval Reserve. He became sports director at KABC in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a huge following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC in 1964 titled, “Open Line,” “Night Line,” and “Sunday Line.” Many people were avid listeners of his show and it helped the popularity of the format.He was the father of conservative talkradio.He was known to say: “Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.”
Bob Grant on “Hannity & Colmes” discusses retiring 1.16.2006 (Sean Hannity)
Bob Grant Celebrates 40 Years on New York Radio
Bob Grant Interview: Media Coverage of Obama “Absolutely Sca
Bob Grant’s Emotional Monologue 9.23.2012
Bob Grant 40th Anniversary in New York City Show on WABC 9.20.2010
Howard Stern calls into Bob Grant’s last WOR show 1.13.2006
Bob Grant in “the History of Talk Radio” documentary 1996
Rush Limbaugh Roasts Bob Grant – September 15, 1991
Bob Grant makes fun of Michael Savage hyping his books
Bob Grant on filling in for Michael Savage
The Best of Bob Grant-2000’s Pt 1
The Best of Bob Grant 2007-2012 Pt 2
Bob Grant on CBS News discussing Rush Limbaugh’s prescription drug addiction 10.11.2003
Bob Grant Show-Day after September 11, 2001 (9.12.2001)
Bob Grant attacks ‘the Tea Party’ 1.6.2013
Bob Grant on taking over Joe Pyne’s Show the night of the Kennedy Assassination
WABC 77 New York – Bob Grant GAG (Get At Grant) Hour- Dec 1988
Bob Grant, Father of Conservative Talk Radio, Dead at 84
Veteran New York radio personality Bob Grant — widely credited with inventing the conservative talk-radio format — has died at the age of 84.
Grant began his career as a controversial talk show host in 1970, when he joined WMCA in New York and quickly bucked the liberal slant of many of the other hosts.
The gravel-voiced talker’s in-your-face opinions and regular telling off of callers often got him in hot water.
He opened his show stating: “Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.”
He slammed uncouth politicians as “craven bootlickers.” He once said of the Second Coming of Jesus: “He’s not coming back. Look, I don’t believe he’s coming back. I think that’s a myth and I say it.”
Grant routinely signed off with the chant “Get Gaddafi,” in a taunt at Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi.
In 1973, he called Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal of New York a coward for cancelling an appearance on his show, leading Rosenthal to complain to the Federal Communications Commission.
The case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals and was ultimately thrown out after a judge decided Grant had offered Rosenthal equal time.
Grant left WMCA in 1977 to work for WOR, but was fired for controversial remarks he made in 1979.
“A caller phoned in to the show saying he was upset with a woman who was blaming the police for what happened to her sons. [This woman] was the public relations director or community relations director of WCBS newsradio,” he said.
“I stupidly asked the caller if he knew how she got that job. The caller said he didn’t know and I promptly and arrogantly said, “I will tell you how. She passed the gynecological and pigmentation test — that’s how! … WOR was forced to fire me even though I had given the radio giant the biggest overnight ratings they ever had.”
Grant returned to WMCA in 1980, where his producer was Steve Malzberg, now host of “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
“I had grown up listening to Bob Grant so this was a dream come true,” Malzberg said.
“He was an extremely nice guy, a wonderful and funny pioneer who overcame many attempts to turn him into a villain. He persevered and did what he love until the very end.”
In 1984, Grant was hired by WABC, which had switched formats from Top 40 music to all-talk. With its strong signal, Grant was heard by millions of listener in the Northeastern United States.
The station began billing him as “America’s most listened to talk radio personality.”
But Grant got in trouble with WABC in 1996 when he made a mean-spirited crack about Commerce Secretary Ron Brown whose plane had crashed in Croatia.
“My hunch is that [Brown] is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it’s because, at heart, I’m a pessimist,” Grant said. Brown, along with 34 others on board, had been killed.
Grant then moved back to WOR and his show became nationally syndicated. His WOR run ended in 2006.
In 2007, he returned to WABC where he stayed for a year and a half, before leaving to host an Internet radio show titled “Straight Ahead!” He again returned to WABC in Sept. 2009, to host a Sunday talk show, retiring last summer because of poor health.
Grant’s family asks that memorial contributions may be made in his memory can be made to the Young America’s Foundation, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170 or the New York Police and Fire Widows’ & Childrens’ Benefit Fund, Inc., 767 Fifth Ave., 2614C, New York, NY 10153.
Bob Grant (March 14, 1929 – December 31, 2013) was an American radio host whose real name was Robert Ciro Gigante. A veteran of broadcasting in New York City, Grant is considered a pioneer of the “conservative” and “confrontational” talk radio format.
Grant graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism. He began working in radio in the 1940s at the news department at WBBM (AM) in Chicago, as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX (AM) in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War, he served in the Naval Reserve.  He later became sports director at KABC (AM) in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of early controversialist Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC (AM) in 1964 titled, “Open Line,” “Night Line,” and “Sunday Line.”
Move to New York City (WMCA: 1970–1977)
Grant came to New York in 1970, where he hosted a talk show on WMCA as the “house conservative”, distinctively out of fashion with both the times and with some countercultural WMCA personalities, including Alex Bennett. His offbeat but combative style (along with Fairness Doctrine requirements of the era) won him seven years on WMCA, with a growing and loyal audience. His sign-off for many years was “Get Gaddafi”, which meant remove Muammar al-Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya, whose anti-Israeli stance was in opposition to Grant’s pro-Israeli feelings.
On March 8, 1973, Grant had scheduled New York Rep. Benjamin S. Rosenthal, who was leading a boycott of meat. Grant later learned that Rosenthal would not appear on his show, and in a discussion with a caller, Grant referred to Rosenthal as a “coward.” Rosenthal then filed a complaint with the F.C.C., and the issue went all the way up to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Straus Communications v. Federal Communications Commission, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, January 16, 1976, Wright, J. The appeals court ultimately ruled in favor of WMCA and Grant, due to the fact that Grant offered the congressman an invitation to appear on his show, granting Rosenthal equal time.
One of Grant’s most memorable regular callers was Ms. Trivia, who aired her “Beef of the Week”, a series of seemingly trivial complaints. Ms. Trivia was Grant’s guest at a Halloween Festival dinner held at Lauritano’s Restaurant in theBronx, where a young Ms. Trivia, not long out of her teens, revealed herself for the first time to a startled radio audience, many who had expected and assumed, based upon her articulation and intonation, that she would be an elderly, prudish woman. Instead, a statuesque and fashionable Ms. Trivia, wearing an elaborate Victorian costume, was the surprise guest seated next to Grant at the dais table along with several political figures from New York. The following day the majority of calls to the show were for the purpose of obtaining information about the mysterious Mm. Trivia, with Grant in his typical manner finally in exasperation hanging up on the callers, shouting, “THIS IS NOT Mm. TRIVIA’S SHOW!”
A linguistic “hoax” trivia question originated on Grant’s WMCA show in 1975, “There are three words in the English language that end in -gry. Two of them are angry and hungry. What is the third?” While at WMCA, Grant attracted attention in 1975 from a commentary he recorded titled, “How Long Will You Stand Aside.” Grant also released an LP record in 1977 titled, “Let’s Be Heard,” which was a recording of a speech Grant gave before a synagogue in New York. Grant left WMCA in 1977.
WOR AND WWDB
In 1979, radio host Barry Farber, fought with WMCA station manager Ellen Straus to rehire Grant. Farber broadcast during the 4-7 P.M. weekday timeslot on WMCA. When asked by Straus at a meeting if Farber was willing to give up his airtime for Grant, Farber replied, “Yes he can have my time. I’d rather he have my time than no time at all.” While away from WMCA, Grant went up the dial to New York’s WOR (AM) for a time, where he was fired for controversial remarks. Grant describes the remarks that got him fired from WOR:
I had done my nightly show on WOR and a caller phoned in to the show saying he was upset with a woman who was blaming the police for what happened to her sons. I had read the story the man was referring to and noted that the woman, who was very angry with the police, was the public relations director or community relations director of WCBS newsradio. I stupidly asked the caller if he knew how she got that job. The caller said he didn’t know and I promptly and arrogantly said, “I will tell you how. She passed the gynecological and pigmentation test — that’s how!” Not only did that turn off Roger Ailes, but WOR was forced to fire me even though I had given the radio giant the biggest overnight ratings they ever had.
After being fired from WOR, Grant worked at WWDB in Philadelphia. Grant had gone back to WMCA after working at WWDB in Philadelphia. It was reported upon Grant’s departure that his ratings had slipped to number 23 out of 39 shows during the 4-7 P.M. weekday timeslot.
In 1984, WABC (AM) in New York City hired Grant to join their new talk station. He first hosted a show from 9-11pm, before moving to the 3-6pm afternoon time slot. The Bob Grant Show consistently dominated the ratings in the highly competitive afternoon drive time slot in New York City and at one point the radio station aired recorded promos announcing him as “America’s most listened to talk radio personality.” The gravel-voiced Grant reminded listeners during the daily introduction that the “program was unscripted and unrehearsed”.
Grant’s long stay at WABC ended when he was fired for a remark about the April 3, 1996 airplane crash involving Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Grant remarked to caller named, Carl of Oyster Bay (Carl Limbacher, later of NewsMaxfame), “My hunch is that [Brown] is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it’s because, at heart, I’m a pessimist.” When Brown was found dead, Grant’s comments were widely criticized, and several weeks later, after a media campaign, his contract was terminated.
Return to WOR (1996–2006)
After being fired, Grant moved down the dial to WOR to host his show in the same afternoon drive-time slot. Grant’s age began to show while broadcasting at WOR. He was less engaging with the callers, and not as energetic during his broadcasts. For a time, the Bob Grant show went into national syndication, but has been a local only show since 2001. Grant and his WABC replacement Sean Hannity would sometimes throw jabs at each other. Hannity defeated Grant in the ratings from 2001–2006.
Grant’s WOR run ended on January 13, 2006. Grant’s ratings were not to blame for his departure, according to the New York Post, which mentioned that the decision was reached because the station’s other shows had niche audiences to garner more advertising dollars. On January 16, 2006, shortly after Grant’s last WOR show, Grant appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio show and TV program Hannity & Colmes, where his former competitor paid tribute to him. Having left his options open for “an offer he cannot refuse,” Grant returned to WOR in February 2006, doing one minute “Straight Ahead” commentaries which aired twice daily after news broadcasts until September 2006. On September 8, 2006 Grant again appeared on Hannity’s show to provide a post-retirement update, which led to premature rumors that Grant was returning to WABC. Grant then made various isolated radio appearances. He appeared as a guest host on WFNY (now WXRK) on December 7, 2006, and was interviewed by attorney Anthony Macri for Macri’s WOR show on February 24, 2007.
Post-Retirement: Return to WABC and Internet broadcasting
His guest appearances became more frequent beginning in July 2007. On July 7, 2007, he guest hosted for John R. Gambling, and appeared on Mark Levin’s show (which is networked from WABC) on July 10. Grant, guest hosted for Jerry Agar on July 9, 10, 11 and re-appeared as a fill-in host again for John Gambling on August 20 and 21. Then, on August 22, while appearing on Hannity’s show, he announced that he was returning as a regular host to WABC, in the 8–10 PM slot that at the time was filled by Agar. It would later be revealed, on what was Agar’s final show a few hours later, that he would be starting effective immediately, as Grant took over the final segments of the show. His first full show on ABC since 1996 was on August 23. The story of Grant’s return, as reported by the New York Daily News, had been discovered only a couple of hours before Grant’s official announcement.
Grant’s stint lasted less than a year and a half, until his regular nightly show was pulled by WABC in late November 2008 as part of a programming shuffle stemming from the debut of Curtis Sliwa’s national show, and later Mark Levin’s show expanding to three hours, leaving no room for Grant. Grant did his most recent AM radio work as guest host filling in for Michael Savage on January 21, 2009, Mark Levin on March 23, 2009, and Sean Hannity on July 31, 2009.
During the week of July 6, 2009 Grant began hosting an Internet radio show titled Straight Ahead! which originally ran Monday through Friday from 8 to 9 a.m. Eastern time on UBATV.com. As a webcast, the show differed from Grant’s radio shows, in that the viewer watched Grant as he did his broadcast. The first two months of Straight Ahead! were from inside Grant’s home, and were run with technical assistance from independent filmmaker Ryan O’Leary.New York radio personalities Richard Bey and Jay Diamond were also brought on board to broadcast their own one hour shows. Grant mentioned that he did not get paid to do the UBATV show, but believes that Internet broadcasting is the future.
Beginning in September 2009, Grant reduced Straight Ahead! from five days a week down to two (Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m Eastern time). Grant also moved the show from his home to a professional studio. Due to a low number of callers to the show, Grant usually interviewed only guests for the hour. On January 13, 2010, Grant did his last UBATV show. Grant’s last UBATV show and his last WOR show both fell on the date of January 13.
On September 13, 2009, Grant returned to WABC for a third stint at the station, doing a weekly Sunday talk show from 12pm to 2pm. Grant’s return to AM broadcasting has allowed him to continue interacting with his fan base through greater listenership and participation than his previous internet radio show provided. At the close of his first show, he expressly thanked the management of the station for “inviting him back” and said he looked forward to continuing this joint venture every week for the foreseeable future. Grant issued a statement in October 2012 that his October 7 broadcast would be his last, but then rescinded that message after the show, labeling it a “mistake” and an attempt to grab attention. He then took off a short time for medical work, and when he returned to the air, it was for a shortened 1pm to 2pm Sunday show (current as of November 2012). Bob Grant’s last show on WABC was July 28, 2013 when he retired due to ill health.
Grant also prepares weekly columns for his website, www.BobGrantOnline.com. The site was originally sponsored by NewsMax. As of February 19, 2013, Grant has discontinued his editorials.
Characteristics of Grant’s radio shows
This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately. (January 2010)
Grant’s political philosophy generally followed American conservatism, but with some lurches into populism, libertarianism, conspiracy theory, and unorthodoxy (such as being pro-choice and anti-Flag Desecration Amendment). Grant was known for using a number of catchphrases on his show, such as “You’re a fake, a phony, and a fraud!”, “Straight ahead”, “Get off my phone!”, “Anything and everything is grist for our ever-grinding mill”, and his closing line, “Your influence counts. Use it.” His opening line was used as the title of his 1996 book, Let’s Be Heard, a title representing an abbreviated version of his original opener, “And let’s be heard! Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.” Before his daily monologue, Grant would ask the rhetorical question, “And what’s on your mind today, hmmm?”, and would sometimes call women “chickie-poos”. He occasionally referred to women as “broads” and when certain undesirable, lacklustre or contentious women were combative he referenced them as “several miles of bad road”. One of his favorite put-downs was to refer to someone as a “cacazote”. During the 1988 presidential bid of Michael Dukakis, this term took on a natural segue as Grant often referred to him as “Dukacazote”. He also referred to feckless politicians as “craven bootlickers,” especially when elected officials would cave in to political pressures, and Grant accused them of “folding like a cheap camera”. Due to his Italian heritage, Grant frequently used Italian slang words to describe callers or other individuals calling them gavones (crude or uncultured persons), stunads (stupid, thick, dense) or chiacchorones (persons who talk excessively). During his second stint at WOR, Grant often closed his show with the phrase, “Somebody’s got to say these things, it has to be me!” As a resident of Manalapan, New Jersey in the late-1990s, he considered running for statewide office, but eventually decided against it.
Grant occasionally made on-air reference to an always unheard, ethereal Beatrice-like presence à la Dante’s Paradiso section in The Divine Comedy, “The Lady Josephine”, to whom he constantly paid obeisance. His son, Jeff Grant, a traffic reporter with a different station, would call in occasionally. Grant made frequent references to the REO Diner in Woodbridge, New Jersey, his regular haunt.
For many years Grant closed each show with the exclamation, “Get Khadafy!” This was apparently an allusion to the practice of Roman statesman Cato the Elder ending his speeches with a call for the destruction of Carthage even if he had not been discussing Carthage in the speech. When Khadafy was finally killed in the 2012 Libyan civil war, Grant praised the decision.
When once asked by the caller George the Atheist whether he believed in God, Grant replied, “What if I tell you, George, that sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t?” On his July 21, 2005 broadcast, Grant, a baptized and raised Roman Catholic, unequivocally stated to the same caller his opinion on the Second Coming of Jesus: “He’s not coming back. Look, I don’t believe he’s coming back. I think that’s a myth and I say it. I don’t trumpet it but if a person asks — and you know one thing for sure, I’ve been deadly honest, dead-on honest all the time I’ve been on the air talking to people and they ask me questions or they make a comment that elicits a response, they are going to get an honest response. It may always not be ‘correct’ but it’s honest.” Grant has since stated that he is not an atheist.
Like many hosts in the talk radio format, Grant had his battery of usual callers that added interest to the show. John from Staten Island, Jimmy from Brooklyn, Al from Chappaqua, Greg from Chatham, David from Irvington, Dorothy from Montclair, Hal from North Bergen (at the time an undercover FBI agent provocateur posing as a white supremacist, he later went rogue), patients rights activist Eddie Carbone, and the popular Frank from Queens were some of the frequent callers. A few quasi-fictitious characters (played by Grant) were also employed during the show such as, ‘Julian P. Farquar, Dexter Pogue, Rantz Greeb, Paul “needlenose” Monage, and Lucy Shagnasty.
Over the years, Grant has made a number of statements on his shows that critics have described as racist. For example, he was quoted in the Newsday of June 2, 1992, as saying “Minorities are the Big Apple’s majority, you don’t need the papers to tell you that, walk around and you know it. To me, that’s a bad thing. I’m a white person.” In his book, Grant defended this statement by writing that he did not intend to put down other races, but only intended to express that “no one likes to be in the minority,” and that America can only survive by retaining its “humane, west European culture.” Thus, he supports ending bilingualism and multiculturalism, two policies of which he has been highly critical.
On October 15, 2008, Grant said “Did you notice Obama is not content with just having several American flags, plain old American flags with the 50 states represented by 50 stars? He has the ‘O’ flag. […] He had the flag painted over, and the ‘O’ for Obama. Now,…these things are symptomatic of a person who would like to be a potentate — a dictator.” The “O” flag to which Grant referred was, in fact, the state flag of Ohio.
Grant distinguished himself from other conservative talk show hosts by calling for Obama to release his long form birth certificate, prior to Obama releasing it.
Although Grant is generally known as being a conservative, he has been a critic of hard-lined conservative advocates in primary races, including the Tea Party movement’s candidates. This has been a frequent debate topic between Grant and his callers over the past few years. During the fall election of 2010, Grant criticized candidates, such as Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul, and Sharron Angle. Grant endorsed Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio on a July 10, 2010 broadcast for the Florida senate primary. On a May 8, 2011 broadcast, Grant informed his audience that he supported the moderate Jon Huntsman, Jr. for the Republican nomination for president, although he would later go on to supportMitt Romney.
Influences and legacy
Being largely the innovator of his own particular talk radio style, Grant previously worked with the likes of Barry Gray and Joe Pyne. Pyne would often end each broadcast with “Straight Ahead” which is something Grant picked up, leading many to believe that Grant was the first host to frequently use that line.
Over the years, national radio talk personality Howard Stern has made differing remarks on his admiration for Grant as an early influence. Upon Stern’s arrival in New York, he cited Grant as an influence, but as Stern’s stardom rose, Grant became the subject of ridicule on Stern’s show. During Stern’s prime, he denied being influenced by Grant or having respect for him. Stern has also frequently criticized Grant for changing his act to appease management.Grant told Paul D. Colford, author of the 1996 Stern bio, Howard Stern: King of All Media, about being approached at a public appearance by Ben Stern, Howard’s father, with a teenage Howard in tow. Father introduced son to Grant and told him of Howard’s desire to go into radio. “I looked at this big, gawky kid and I said to him, ‘Just be yourself,'” Grant recalled. Stern has denied Grant’s version of the story. Soon after Grant’s firing from WABC, and before his first WOR show, Grant appeared as a call-in guest on Stern’s radio show. In more recent years, Stern began to praise Grant’s legacy, and called in on his last WOR show in 2006.
Glenn Beck now uses the catchphrase “Get off my phone!” as a spinoff of Grant’s earlier call-in talk show style, as do Tom Scharpling and Mark Levin; similarly, Sean Hannity often uses Grant’s phrase “Straight ahead.”
In 2002, industry magazine Talkers ranked Grant as the 16th greatest radio talk show host of all time.
On March 28, 2007 Bob Grant was nominated for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Radio & Records had planned to issue a Lifetime Achievement Award to Grant during its annual convention in March 2008; however, the award was revoked in January 2008 for “past comments by him that contradict our values and the respect we have for all members of our community.” Several talk radio hosts have spoken out against the decision; Neal Boortz has stated:
I usually try not to miss the Radio & Records talk radio convention… Not this year. Maybe never again. R&R has succumbed to political correctness… I don’t call for boycotts. But I do think it would be wonderful to see talk show hosts refuse to appear at this convention… What we have seen here in this revocation of the award to Bob Grant is simple pandering to political correctness. Nothing more, nothing less.
Sean Hannity, Opie and Anthony, Comedian Jim Norton, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Lionel and Howard Stern opposed the move as well, with Levin stating “I am disgusted with the mistreatment of Bob Grant. I am fed up with the censors, intimidators, and cowards in this business.”[this quote needs a citation] Don Imus deemed the award unimportant, offered to return awards he had received after treating them to his sledgehammer and block of wood, and called Grant’s comments “stupid”, although he also referred to Grant as a “legendary broadcaster.”
Segment 0: God Is Behind Going Duck Crazy — Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson Suspended From Show For Expressing Views On Gays — Will Not Inherit The Kingdom of God — I’m With Phil — Photos & Videos
I am Second® – The Robertsons
Duck Dynasty : Phil’s Way of Life
Duck Dynasty: Unknown Facts About The Robertsons
The Best of Uncle Si
Duck Dynasty : Si Struck
Duck Dynasty: Si’s New Toy
Duck Dynasty: Si’s Dating Tips
Duck Dynasty : Hey
Uncle Si Robertson “ICY STARE” HILARIOUS DUCK DYNASTY ( 720P HD )
Duck Commanders Phil and Willie Robertson Interview – CONAN on TBS
The Robertson’s of Duck Dynasty Talk About How Their Faith in Jesus Turned Around Their Lives!!
Duck Commander Phil Robertson Talks About Why This Country Needs More Jesus
Duck Commander Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty spoke to the congregation of Saddleback church in July on why people need Jesus and why the founders would agree — and I gotta say it was awesome. I watched it last night and knew I had to post it for you guys. Duck Commander’s message is really simple, that people need to love God and love each other and he delivers it beautifully. He really is a fantastic preacher.
‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Makes Shocking ‘Gay is Sin’ Comment
Duck Dynasty dared to mention Jesus
‘Duck Dynasty’ star slammed over anti-gay rant
By Andrea Morabito
Phil Robertson, patriarch of the “Duck Dynasty” clan, is being slammed for controversial comments he made about homosexuality in an interview in the January issue of GQ.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” Robertson told the magazine. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
When the reporter asked Robertson what he found sinful, he said “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”
The self-proclaimed Bible-thumper then went on to paraphrase Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
On Wednesday, GLAAD called Robertson’s statements “vile” and “littered with outdated stereotypes.”
“Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans — and Americans — who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples.
“Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
An A&E spokesman had no comment, but Robertson released his own statement responding to the controversy.
“I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior,” he said. “My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.
“However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”
“Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings phenomenon for A&E, drawing 11.8 million viewers to its fourth season premiere last August, the most-watched nonfiction series telecast in cable history.
Segment 0: U.S. District Court Rules National Security Agency (NSA)’s Phone Surveillance Program Unconstitutional — Videos
Judge rules NSA spying program likely unconstitutional
Federal Judge Rules NSA Spying On All American Phone Calls Unconstitutional
OBAMA defends Massive NSA Spying PRISM program. Taps in to Data of Apple, Google, Skype, Verizon
Sen. Paul Applauds the Protection of Fourth Amendment Rights
Dec 16, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following statement applauding the U.S. District Court ruling that deemed the National Security Agency’s (NSA) phone surveillance program unconstitutional:
“I commend U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon for upholding and protecting our Fourth Amendment rights. This decision represents an important first step in having the constitutionality of government surveillance programs decided in the regular court system rather than a secret court where only one side is presented,” Sen. Paul said. “In June, I introduced the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act which, if enacted, would have restored our Constitutional rights and declared that the Fourth Amendment shall not be construed to allow any agency of the United States government to search the phone records of Americans without a warrant based on probable cause. The NSA phone surveillance program is a blatant abuse of power and an invasion of our privacy. This ruling reminds the Federal government that it is not above the law. I will continue to fight against the violations of American’s Constitutional rights through illegal phone surveillance until it is stopped once and for all.”
Series Id: LNS14000000 Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Rate Labor force status: Unemployment rate Type of data: Percent or rate Age: 16 years and over
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Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over
Rick Santelli Rages Against Media Over ‘Manipulated’ Unemployment Data Allegations
October 5th 2012 CNBC Stock Market Squawk Box (September Jobs Report)