Thursday, December 15, 2011

in response to Occupy - obama suspends habeas corpus and posse comitatus

truthout | A lot has been written recently about the recent militarization of US police forces. The impression is inescapable in an atmosphere saturated with imagery of Occupy protesters being bullied by domestic police who wield militarized weaponry, clad in what used to be thought of as riot gear, but is now a de rigueur feature of official responses to things that do not resemble nor threaten to become riots. It appears this militarization comes partly courtesy unprecedented and legally dubious collaboration between civilian police and the CIA. According to The Huffington Post:
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the New York Police Department has become one of the nation's most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies, targeting ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government, an Associated Press investigation has found.

These operations have benefited from unprecedented help from the CIA, a partnership that has blurred the line between foreign and domestic spying.

The department has dispatched undercover officers, known as "rakers," into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program, according to officials directly involved in the program. They've monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as "mosque crawlers," to monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing.
So much of what cops have been training to confront for the last decade has been the threat of low-scale, low-intel urban terror plots that they have brandished that training on nonviolent civilians who constitute a PR threat to the banks, not an explosive one.

And it's not just the rank-and-file police officers either. Police forces have even brought out the terrorism experts to survey and harass Occupy Wall Street. As I reported the day of the protesters' eviction from Zuccotti Park:
In the smallest hours of the morning, with no warning or apparent provocation, hundreds of New York Police Department (NYPD) officers, some from the department's counterterrorism unit, many in riot gear, demolished thousands of dollars of private property, including a 5,000-volume library; beat and arrested a large number of peacefully protesting citizens, including credentialed journalists and democratically elected public officials; and in the process, violated not just the First and Fourth Amendments to the US Constitution, a document they are sworn to uphold, but also a court injunction.
News broke this week that City of London police distributed a letter cautioning businesses to beware of terrorism, listing Occupy LSX alongside al-Qaeda as a threat. It is outrageous to equate nonviolent, politically principled civil disobedience with violent nihilistic extremism, an injustice not least to the families of victims of actual terrorism. But the issue here goes beyond that outrage; there is actual material danger to dissidents if the occupiers-as-terrorists mythos grows too much.

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In passing the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress, in the words of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has just voted to, "authorize the military to go literally anywhere in the world to imprison civilians - even American citizens in the United States itself - without charge or trial." The ACLU calls it what it is: "Prison based on suspicion alone." The vote on the Udall Amendment, which would have forbidden the indefinite detention of US civilians, was defeated by a vote of 60-38 in the Senate, including all but three of the senators from the party that's constantly pretending to be anxious over an intrusively big government.


nanakwame said...

society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will
deserve neither and lose both.



is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of
men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than
outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.


DD said...

The silence is deafening. What are the prattling on about in the other threads? Defending personally convenient social constructs?

It's weird how little things change by year but shocking yow much they change by decade.

CNu said...

personally convenient social constructs = habitual, ritual, self-calming

Jkhartzell2000 said...

"Everybody knows the good guys lost" Leonard Cohen

The America you grew up in and love no longer exists. Innocent until proven guilty is gone. You now live in a dictatorship.

Reli16309 said...

"A government strong enough to give everything, is strong enough to take it away." Thomas Jefferson

Do What I Do - ENJOY THE CHASE - And Stay Amused....,

  "Many years ago I was convinced the Heisenberg uncertainty principle was incomplete, and people shouldn't just believe it becaus...