U.S. defends laptop searches at the border


Border check: A Customs and Border Protection officer searched a truck at a border crossing in Blaine, Wash., in 2006. For the past 18 months, officials at border entries have been searching some citizens’ laptops. (Andy Nelson – Staff/File)

Courts have upheld routine checks of Americans’ hard drives at the border. Critics say they’re anything but routine.

New York – Is a laptop searchable in the same way as a piece of luggage? The Department of Homeland Security believes it is.

For the past 18 months, immigration officials at border entries have been searching and seizing some citizens’ laptops, cellphones, and BlackBerry devices when they return from international trips.

In some cases, the officers go through the files while the traveler is standing there. In others, they take the device for several hours and download the hard drive’s content. After that, it’s unclear what happens to the data.

The Department of Homeland Security contends these searches and seizures of electronic files are vital to detecting terrorists and child pornographers. It also says it has the constitutional authority to do them without a warrant or probable cause.

But many people in the business community disagree, saying DHS is overstepping the Fourth Amendment bounds of permissible routine searches. Some are fighting for Congress to put limits on what can be searched and seized and what happens to the information that’s taken. The civil rights community says the laptop seizures are simply unconstitutional. They want DHS to stop the practice unless there’s at least reasonable suspicion.

Legal scholars say the issue raises the compelling and sometimes clashing interests of privacy rights and the need to protect the US from terrorists and child pornographers. The courts have long held that routine searches at the border are permissible, simply because they take place at the border. Opponents of the current policy say a laptop search is far from “routine.”

“A laptop can hold [the equivalent of] a major university’s library: It can contain your full life,” says Peter Swire, a professor of law at Ohio State University in Columbus. “The government’s never gotten to search your entire life, so this is unprecedented in scale what the government can get.”

Read moreU.S. defends laptop searches at the border

Want some torture with your peanuts?

Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

This bracelet would:

  • take the place of an airline boarding pass
  • contain personal information about the traveler
  • be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage
  • shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to as, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.” Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and that it would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if he/she got out of line?

Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is an euphuism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability, thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best. EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.

So is the government really that interested in this bracelet? Yes!

Read moreWant some torture with your peanuts?

US Government: Secret Plans Revealed

I have found the leaked information on this closed session of Congress in March, but the source was not really reliable.

Now, since there is more than enough proof that the economy is going down the toilet (US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts), I have come across this information again at another website and so I have finally decided to publish it.

It would be very wise to prepare yourself, no matter weather this is true or not.

Have a look at the “World Situation” and the “Solution“. – The Infinite Unknown

A secret meeting of Congress discusses immanent martial law.

On March 13th 2008 there was a secret closed door meeting of The United States House Of Representatives in Washington. In the history of The United States this is only the fourth time a secret meeting was held by the house. Even though Representatives are sworn to secrecy by House Rules XVII, some of the members were so shocked, horrified, furious, and concerned about the future of America by what was revealed to them inside the secret meeting, that they have started to leak this secret information to independent news agencies around the world. The mass media said almost nothing about the secret meeting of the House, mentioning only one of the items being discussed. (The new surveillance techniques that are going to be used by the U.S. Government to watch all American citizens). The story was first released in a newspaper out of Brisbane, Australia revealing the contents of the secret U.S. Government meeting and plans for America including all of it’s citizens. Shortly there after, David J. Meyer from Last Trumpet Ministries found it and made it more available for the world to see.

Here is what was revealed:

  • The imminent collapse of the U.S. Economy to occur sometime in late 2008
  • The imminent collapse of the U.S. Government finances sometime in mid 2009
  • The possibility of Civil War inside the United States as a result of the collapse
  • The advance round-ups of “insurgent U.S. Citizens” likely to move against the government
  • The detention of those rounded up at The REX 84 Camps constructed throughout the United States
  • The possibility of public retaliation against members of Congress for the collapses
  • The location of safe facilities for members of Congress and their families to reside during massive civil unrest
  • The necessary and unavoidable merger of The U.S. with Canada and Mexico establishing The North American Union
  • The issuance of a new currency called the AMERO for all three nations as an economic solution.

Except for a few hundred thousand U.S. Patriots, most Americans have no clue what has really been going on within The United States over the past 100 years, and the sad thing is that most do not want to know the truth. The further you look into the rabbit hole, the deeper it gets. Go to any currency conversion site and convert U.S. dollars to Euros so you can see for yourself the massive decline of the dollar. Look at how much money is and has been spent on the Iraq War to date, ($12 billion per month). Look at our currency and when it stopped being backed by gold.

The Federal Reserve is not federal but a private bank who does not have Americans best interests at heart. We no longer have any manufacturing really based out of America and there is no way that our economy can survive this incredible strain very much longer. The IRS strong arms every American yearly with income taxes, yet there are no laws saying an income tax is to be paid.

The CIA is involved in everything from global drug trafficking and covert military missions, to assassinations around the world and including U.S. Soil. Look at JFK for instance. It did not take long after JFK announced that he was going disband the CIA that he was shot in Texas. America’s new StasiThe Department Of Homeland Security is and has been slowly eradicating our rights for a few years now. based organization called

House Bill H.R. 1955/S-1959 was read by the senate and then sent to DHS for some reason, but is now back and sure to pass. Once passed, this bill introduced by Jane Harman (D/CA), will be the proverbial last nail hammered into every American patriots coffin. H.R. 4279 or the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 which was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, will give the government draconian powers to do just this. This legislation gives the government the power to seize property that facilitates the violation of intellectual property laws. The legislation also mandates the formation of a formal Intellectual Property Enforcement Division within the office of the Deputy Attorney General to enforce this insanity…

It has been revealed that F.E.M.A. has been building internment camps all over America granting Halliburton a massive $385 million dollar construction contract to make this happen. Most of these sites only need refurbished because they are mostly closed prisons, old WW2 internment camps still intact and other facilities taken over by the government. Some people have referred to them as F.E.M.A. Death Camps where the infamous Red list/Blue Lists will be used to decide who goes where.

Whether you believe that The NWO/Illuminati/Globalization is real or not, there is a lot of proof that exposes definite plans or plots by the rich, political and religious elite to bring on an era of the end times. It is almost like some individuals are trying to make bible prophecy come true in their own sick and twisted ways. Not to mention that the world only has about 10 to 15 years of drinking water left before the wars fought for oil today will be fought for water in the near future. It has been said that these powers want to depopulate the planet of over 30% of it’s human inhabitants in the coming years. Examine all of the executive orders that have been signed into place allowing the president to basically become dictator in control of all government from tribal to federal in the event of any national emergency.

If you did not know, In late 2006, Congress revised the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act to make it far easier for a president to declare martial law. Those changes were repealed at the end of this January as part of Public Law 110-181 (HR 4986), the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (signed into law by President Bush on January 28, 2008). Unfortunately it is not the great victory in which one might think because of the total militarization of all local and State police forces all across America.

Will there be martial law? Is martial law coming soon to America? When you see law enforcement being armed with automatic weapons, bullet proof vests and riot gear in small towns that have not had a murder or crime in years, then you have to ask yourself why.

The United States has more people locked up in prisons today than Russia and China combined. It comes out to one in every hundred Americans is behind bars. Our once great country that our ancestors fought and died for has become exactly the tyrants they were fighting. Fascists! When has America ever used words like Homeland? Never!

If you spend a few weeks reading all the info, watching the videos and following the links at The U.A.F.F., you will then have a better understanding of what has led to The Decline And Fall Of America. Remember that Knowledge is power! Learn, look, listen, read, share, prepare, train, stock up on food and water supply for one year.

Fill your pantry with non perishable foods, medicines, cooking oils, tinned meats and veggies. Flour, oats dried corn peas, beans and lentils.. Teach your self how to preserve food for storage. Check out your local potable/ drinking water supplies, non perfumed chlorine bleach is a good sterilizer for water, about 2 teaspoons full per 2 gallon bucket, stirred well and allowed to stand for at least 24 hours with a lid on it or until it no longer smells of bleach. Boiling water helps but it is not always enough to kill off the bacteria which can resist high temperatures.
(There are healthier ways to treat water – The Infinite Unknown)

Americans have been warned for years of the things to come, but have blindly looked away from the truth, which has been available for all to see. There are no more excuses not to prepare for the possible future. The time to act is now before it is too late.

B.A. Brooks
March 13, 2008

Source: The United American Freedom Foundation

Loose Change Final Cut

A must see documentary on 9/11. This documentary convinced also former Governor Jesse Ventura that 9/11 was an inside job.
Former Governor Jesse Ventura: WTC Collapse A Controlled Demolition

More related articles and videos:
Government Insider: Bush Authorized 9/11 Attacks
9/11 False Flag
Rumsfeld: Why not another 9/11?
US Military Officers Challenge Official Account of September 11

If you want to see know more about what is going on:
World Situation

Support Loose Change and buy the DVD

Source: YouTube

From the post The Truth about 9/11: Loose Change 2nd Edition:

9/11 was an inside job, an catalyst event that was created to secure the oil in Iraq, take away your civil liberties, completely undermine your constitutional rights, destroy the middle class in the US and accelerate the New World Order.

It’s all about Problem-Reaction-Solution:

They created the problem (9/11).
The people reacted as expected (allowing to trade in freedom for security).
They then present the solution they wanted to implement in the first place (Patriot Act, FEMA, Homeland Security, Presidential Directive 51)

The following is an excerpt from surviving-martial-law.pdf :“…Here are just a few Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would and will suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Read moreLoose Change Final Cut

Seizing Laptops and Cameras Without Cause

Returning from a brief vacation to Germany in February, Bill Hogan was selected for additional screening by customs officials at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. Agents searched Hogan’s luggage and then popped an unexpected question: Was he carrying any digital media cards or drives in his pockets? “Then they told me that they were impounding my laptop,” says Hogan, a freelance investigative reporter whose recent stories have ranged from the origins of the Iraq war to the impact of money in presidential politics.

Shaken by the encounter, Hogan says he left the airport and examined his bags, finding that the agents had also removed and inspected the memory card from his digital camera. “It was fortunate that I didn’t use that machine for work or I would have had to call up all my sources and tell them that the government had just seized their information,” he said. When customs offered to return the machine nearly two weeks later, Hogan told them to ship it to his lawyer.

The extent of the program to confiscate electronics at customs points is unclear. A hearing Wednesday before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution hopes to learn more about the extent of the program and safeguards to traveler’s privacy. Lawsuits have also been filed, challenging how the program selects travelers for inspection. Citing those lawsuits, Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, refuses to say exactly how common the practice is, how many computers, portable storage drives, and BlackBerries have been inspected and confiscated, or what happens to the devices once they are seized. Congressional investigators and plaintiffs involved in lawsuits believe that digital copies?so-called “mirror images” of drives?are sometimes made of materials after they are seized by customs.

A ruling this year by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that DHS does indeed have the authority to search electronic devices without suspicion in the same way that it would inspect a briefcase. The lawsuit that prompted the ruling was the result of more than 20 cases, most of which involved laptops, cellphones, or other electronics seized at airports. In those cases, nearly all of the individuals were of Muslim, Middle Eastern, or South Asian background.

Read moreSeizing Laptops and Cameras Without Cause

U.S. Supreme Court: Chertoff Is Above The Law

Today the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff’s all encompassing powers to waive federal laws to build a border fence, effectively ending the case.

The Defenders of Wildlife and Sierra Club had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court. Their argument was a simple one: Chertoff, a political appointee who is not directly accountable to American voters, should not have the authority to bypass almost any federal law that he chooses.

On April 1, Chertoff waived 37 federal laws ranging from the Antiquities Act to the Native American Grave Repatriation Act.

Apparently, the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t have a problem with Chertoff’s all encompassing powers. It was a sad day for the rule of law.

Matt Clark, the southwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, has been working on the lawsuit for more than a year. He was especially crushed that the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t even deem it necessary to explain why it declined to hear the case.

“I’ve worked for many years on some very hard environmental battles,” says Clark. “But I can say this is the first time I’ve ever been really really depressed about how our government is handling things.”

Congress gave Chertoff the power to steamroll the legal system through an obscure provision in the Real ID act, the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it grant Chertoff unprecedented power, his waivers cannot be challenged in court. The only ray of light in a very dark judicial tunnel is a constitutional challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is under no obligation to hear the case.

Both Defenders and Sierra Club say their focus is now Congress (don’t hold your breath). “Our hope is that Congress will pass something to rectify its mistake,” Clark says. “We need accountability, transparency and a government who listens to its people.”

There is also a similar challenge in a federal court in El Paso. “We still insist that this is a violation of the separation of powers and that it’s unconstitutional,” says Oliver Bernstein of the Sierra Club. The club is not involved in the El Paso case but is watching with interest. “We don’t see any reason the outcome [of the El Paso case] would be redetermined,” says Bernstein.

Clark says Defenders of Wildlife will continue to push Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva’s legislation to repeal Chertoff’s waiver authority. To date, 49 congressional members have signed on to Grijalva’s bill doing so, including every single border legislator with the exception of two. No Republicans have signed on as of yet, however.

Clark says he watches the progress of the border fence daily in Arizona. Just the other day he visited the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument where Chertoff is erecting an 18-foot steel wall and destroying the natural environment in the process. Building in the desert will still be easier than the logistical challenges that await them in Texas. “They have no idea what they are up against, particularly in South Texas,” says Bernstein.

At $4 million a mile, taxpayers can be rest assured the only thing our government is securing is our tax dollars.

June 23rd, 2008

Source: Texas Observer

(More on what is going on – and why – here: “World Situation”

Must See: Pictures of Iowa Flooding

June 17, 2008

Pictures: Source: The Boston Globe

Related articles:
Government “Strike Teams” Invade Homes, Harass Flood Victims
Decider-Commander Goes to Iowa
Dealing With The Truth
Government Terrorists Terrorize Iowa Homeowners
FEMA: It’s Not About Floods, It’s About Martial Law
Tens of thousands flee Iowa flooding
‘Beyond what anybody could even imagine’
The Best Farmland in the U.S. Is Flooded; Most Americans Are Too Stupid to Panic

FBI & Homeland Security behind martial law exercises in Indianapolis

For over two weeks 2,300 Marines have been using the city of Indianapolis and its civilian population as a “simulated urban combat zone” under the direction of FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

The exercises began on June 4th when Mayor Greg Ballard surrendered 26 sites around the city. The corporate press, Marine spokesmen, and officials with the city of Indianapolis have all been using the same talking points in an attempt to pacify local citizens and moderate any dissent. The official story has been that the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is here to do pre-deployment training in a realistic urban environment. Col. Mark J. Desens, the unit’s commanding officer, said “Our aim in Indianapolis is to expose our Marines to realistic scenarios and stresses posed by operating in an actual urban community. The city’s new mayor Greg Ballard concurs with the commander saying, “I think it’s very good training for them…actually, city fighting, urban fighting is really the most dangerous type of fighting there is.”

But the cover story has several obvious flaws, as the Marines have a multitude of facilities in which to experience “realistic scenarios.” To begin Camp Lejeune is home of MOUT Military Operations Urban Terrain or urban combat training village, modeled after an Iraqi town. Located in Kuwait is a high tech realistic urban MOUT training facility (watch video) covering 30 acres and costing taxpayers 15 million to build. The FBI in Quantico, VA has an extensive “Hogan’s Alley,” urban combat training center where the Marines could practice for pre – deployment and fire live ammunition.

In fact live fire exercises are the preferred and usually required type of training for units deploying to combat zones, the Army performs this type of training at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk Louisiana. The JRTC offers improved unit readiness by providing a highly realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict, current and future. Perhaps the biggest flaw in the cover story being sold by the controlled press and others is that, “Most of the Marines with the 26th MEU are Iraqi combat veterans.” according to Col. Hill of Camp Lejeune.

While the Marines and their spokesmen are being put front and center for public consumption the “terror drills” they are conducting have been set up by the FBI under TAMACOR. The TAMACOR program is designed to integrate federal and state law enforcement agencies with the USMC. Taken from a Department of Defense memo, “The TAMACOR Program supports the FBI by coordinating regional FBI SWAT training during USMC special operations training on non-DoD facilities.” Under TAMACOR the Marines have been training to perform law enforcement functions since 1992 when the FBI and Marines formalized the agreement with the signing of the initial MOU, Memorandum of Understanding. Civilian authorities and their appointed agents have been using these MOU’s to weaken Posse Comitatus over the years, initially using the War on Drugs as their justification.

We have learned from Major T. A. Smith, Chief Deputy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office that the Department of Homeland Security is also behind these operations. However when questioned no one from the Department of Homeland Security or the FBI would elaborate on their involvement, referring us back Lt. Patrick, Public Affairs Officer of the 26th MEU.

Compartmentalization and keeping people in the dark about training Marines in a police role seems to be a major objective of these exercises. This is evident in the stream of propaganda coming from civilian authorities and the controlled press these last few weeks. From the Indianapolis Star we are told, “Indianapolis residence hoping to experience a bit of shock and awe.” Mark Casey a local Indianapolis blogger says, “A word to the Indianapolis wise [see if you like martial law you are “wise.”] … when you see that formation of helicopters flying low over your back yard this week, remember that its only a drill!”

According to the Indianapolis Mayor there is really no need to be concerned. “I don’t think it was necessary for any citywide meetings on this,” Ballard said. “The neighborhoods will be well-informed on what’s going on.” Perhaps some meetings would have been beneficial since the owner of one the surrendered sites, Rich Banta was not told about the plans. Banta said, “That it [Eastgate Consumer Mall] is a construction site … I’d hate to see a Ray’s Trash truck run into a helicopter.” When speaking to another city official a little bit of truth slipped out when Debbie Fletcher of the Indianapolis/Marion Country Emergency Management Agency said, “We don’t want anyone thinking that there’s an invasion happening or that we declared martial law or something like that.”

The preponderance of the evidence strongly suggest that the Marines in Indianapolis are being prepared for civilian law enforcement functions in direct violation of Posse Comitatus which prohibits federal troops from exercising state law enforcement police or peace officer powers to maintain “law and order” on non-federal property. I suspect most of the Marines in the 26th are not even aware of their role in this joint law enforcement exercises. Neither the Marines nor Indiana police have been briefed on the significance of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Due to alternative press coverage and public awareness much of what the FBI and DHS had planned for the citizens of Indianapolis has been scaled back or cancelled. Marines did execute a mock terror cell raid on and occupied apartment complex but there is little evidence of the other locations mentioned in earlier press releases being used. Largely Marine training has been restricted to Camp Atterbury and the Raytheon facility on the city’s east side, leaving the Marines biggest public exposure to be at the Indiana State Fairgrounds during a community outreach day.

It is critically important for all readers to understand that it is the military veterans of this nation who are sounding the alarm as rogue elements within our government have decided to Cross the Rubicon misusing the relationship between the public and U. S. Armed Forces to desensitize military and law enforcement personnel and encourage them to accept what was once considered unacceptable. “We’re all part of the national defense mechanism in some way,” Ballard said. “The impact on the city will be very minimal. . . . They just have to trust us that we’re doing the right thing for the city and the nation.”

The ultimate mission of the Marine Corps is to protect and defend The Constitution, not to practice waging war against America.

Read moreFBI & Homeland Security behind martial law exercises in Indianapolis

Martial Law Exercises Continue in Denver

Pat Manning writes on the Denver Direct website:

Denver, City Park West, 8:00 pm – According to a Denver Police spokesperson, the invasion of black helicopters with uniformed men hanging off of them, experienced by this neighborhood this evening, is a practice run of Navy Seals and SWAT teams, landing at the Civic Center, Childrens Hospital, and City Park, in preparation for the Democratic National Convention. Hmmmm….

The Rocky Mountain News, after an unflattering article on the Black Hawks – yes, tinfoil hatters, black helicopters – invading Denver, came back with a clarification. It’s all part of the GWOT, or Global War on Terrorism, in response to the reservations of mayor John Hickenlooper. “The federal agencies sponsoring the ongoing multi-agency training in Denver agreed to make the proper notifications regarding the exercises to prevent surprise and inconvenience to Denver residents,” Hickenlooper said. “There seems to have been a misunderstanding about the reach and scope of these notifications, and they did not occur in the manner expected by the City.”

Mr. Hickenlooper, the feds don’t need no stinkin’ notifications. Mr. Hickenlooper also declares the “exercises” have nothing to do with the DNC. It’s all a coincidence, Mr. Mayor – sure, and I’m expecting a visit by the tooth fairy tonight, that is after Santa makes an early appearance and brings me a Lamborghini.

As Erin Rosa reports for the Colorado Independent, the original “angle” on the “exercises” “quickly disappeared,” replaced by the official version of events. “Either way, countless numbers of residents called the police department and the city’s 311 line last night wondering why their neighborhoods sounded like a war zone.”

Um, because they live in a police state?

Here’s the official explanation:

The exercise by special ops troops, supported by Denver police SWAT teams and firefighters, is intended to prepare for any terrorism threat in a “realistic urban environment,” said Lt. Steve Ruh, a spokesman for the U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. …

“It’s all in preparation for anything that could possibly happen with the global war on terrorism,” said Ruh, whose command coordinates all the military branches’ crack commando units – from Army Rangers to Navy SEALS.

The Special Operations Command calls itself the “Tip of the Spear” against the nation’s gravest threats.

Ruh noted that the exercises are conducted in major cities in the U.S., usually at the invitation of the cities, but that doesn’t mean those cities are necessarily possible targets for terrorism.

Oh, no, of course not, but Denver will be “targeted” by Americans, exercising their constitutional right to petition the government, who are upset with the way things are going.

It wasn’t just black helicopters, though.

From ABC News 7 in Denver:

There was also activity on the streets of Denver as well. On Tuesday, a special team from the Department of Defense rumbled through downtown, with big sport utility vehicles carrying sophisticated communication equipment that belong to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, or CST.

The CST team, based in Wyoming, is designed to respond immediately to any act of terrorism. Team members would not comment on their mission.

“Is this a normal occurrence here or is there something funky going on that we should be wondering what we ought to be doing next?” said witness Bill Whitaker.

U.S. military Special Operations commandos will continue conducting the counter-terrorism training from early afternoon until 11 p.m. through Friday night, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

None of the agencies involved informed the public or news agencies about the drill and that may have had an effect on Denver’s 911 system.

No, you think? Imagine if you had no idea the government was conducting this “exercise” and one of these Black Hawk Down birds swooped over your house, rattling the windows and upsetting your children and pets. You might think it’s a scene out of Red Dawn. Your confusion, fear, and anger, of course, would be a small price to pay in the GWOT. Never know when Osama might crawl out from under your bed.

“A new coalition of protest groups promises free concerts, art displays, classes for activists and a ‘massive’ anti-war march during this summer’s Democratic National Convention,” writes Sara Burnett for the Rocky Mountain News.

The Alliance for Real Democracy is made up of 12 groups, many led by activists in their early 20s and 30s.

Organizers said Tuesday their nonviolent events will urge an end to the war in Iraq and raise awareness of “the global climate crisis.”

The alliance is open to people of all ages, but will especially target young people. It also plans to invite convention delegates to the events.

“This is as much a part of the process as going to a very formal convention,” said Jojo Pease, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society.

Some of the groups were previously affiliated with the Re-Create 68 Alliance, but split off after a disagreement over tactics.

Re-Create 68 has promised demonstrations that will rival those at the notorious Democratic convention in Chicago held in 1968, which was accompanied by street battles between police and anti-Vietnam War demonstrators.

Members of the Alliance for Real Democracy wouldn’t talk Tuesday about Re-Create 68 or the split.

But they released bylaws that say the group “will not use or return violence – verbal or physical – toward any person or other creature,” and will not damage property, bring weapons to protests or use illegal drugs or alcohol during events.

It will be Re-Create 68’s “tactics” – confronting the cops, verbally and physically – that will give the GWOT boys an excuse to crack-down on activists from the Alliance for Real Democracy. If you’d like more background on Re-Create 68, see the video above.

Kurt Nimmo
June 18, 2008

Source: Infowars

Government “Strike Teams” Invade Homes, Harass Flood Victims


Cops break down doors, threaten residents who question them as part of martial law conditioning, authorities prevent people from re-entering their homes

Shocking footage out of Cedar Rapids Iowa shows cops and government employee “strike teams” breaking into houses of flood victims and threatening anyone who questions their actions in complete violation of the 4th amendment right that protects against unlawful search and seizure.

No warrant, no knock home invasions are being carried out on the flimsy pretext of “checking for structural damage” as cops harass and threaten with arrest people who refuse to have their homes ransacked by thugs in uniforms.

Cedar Rapids police chief Greg Graham promised residents over the weekend that “Law enforcement officers are not entering homes,” and that firefighters would only enter homes through unlocked doors and windows yet the video clearly shows locked houses being broken in to.

People who attempt to gain access to their home before it has been “cleared” by authorities are being apprehended, and those who attempt to drive around police checkpoints that have been set up in the affected areas are arrested at gunpoint.

“Each strike team consisted of six or seven people, including police, firefighters, utilities workers, and city employees,” reports the Iowa Gazette.

Angela Tague, a member of the STAR 1 search and rescue team from Ames, ran into any angry homeowner on E Avenue NW.

“He was saying ‘Where do you live?’ and ‘How would you like it if someone busted your door open?,” Tague said.

Police Officer Josh Bell later had a heated exchange with the man, and told him that if he didn’t go back inside his house and stop harassing the strike team, he would be escorted out of the area.

The man was visibly agitated about his broken door and pointed at Bell.

“It’s wrong,” the man said, over and over.

So people who are uncomfortable with jackbooted thugs breaking down their door without even knocking and express their distaste for it are to blame for “harassing the strike team”?

Respondents to the You Tube clip and the newspaper article expressed their outrage at the behavior of those in the video tasked with “helping” flood-stricken people yet doing nothing more than intimidating and invading their homes.

“You break down the door of my private residence and when I object you threaten to escort me off my own property. Fine example of police work. Did anyone think to knock first? Thomas Jefferson said that the main reason for citizens to be armed was to protect themselves from tyrannical government. If this isn’t tyranny then I don’t know what is. A man’s home is his castle,” states Steve Delaloye.

“A sad day for America when government thugs abuse the trust of the citizenry like this,” writes one.

“So these cops and fire fighters are part time structural engineers, or what?? What are they inspecting for in the structures? Gas and electric could be shut off at the source, and any spills are so diluted they wont catch fire. The police chief said no police would enter any homes, and what do you know, mr fat ass cop goes piling through the window thinking he’s T.J Hooker. Damn, this is just sad, sad , sad,” adds another.

One Iowa resident expresses her anger that authorities will not let her re-enter her home.

“I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I have been trying to be patient and await to enter my home. Now today, I am told there will be no re-entry’s until further notice. I cannot express how ****ing mad I am. I understand the houses can be unsafe. Just let me at least see my house, so that I can assess if it hit my top floor. I have pictures and memories on my top floor of my deceased mother, all I want to do is rescue those,” she writes.

As we reported in 2005, Hurricane Katrina was exploited by the federal government and used as a martial law drill while victims were abused and treated like rats in a laboratory.

Door to door gun confiscations were ordered and cops ransacked homes and took weapons from multi-million dollar homes which were in the high and dry areas and completely unaffected by the hurricane. In some cases, residents were kicked out of their own homes for no reason.

Outrageous footage showed cops seizing handguns from the home of a grief-stricken old women as they assaulted and punched her in the face.

Where does the government think it derives the authority from to break into people’s homes whose lives have already been devastated by massive floods on the flimsiest of pretexts?

The 4th amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Even if there was a legitimate reason to inspect homes, why on earth do they not even bother to knock on the door?

Cops immediately attempt to break in or climb through windows uninvited because this procedure is all about sending a message – when a crisis unfolds we are the bosses and you – the peasants – will yield to our tyranny.

Lawsuits need to be filed immediately by people in Iowa and elsewhere who have had cops invade their homes in complete violation of the 4th amendment and a pretext needs to be set that will put a stop to the government’s routine exploitation of natural disasters as an opportunity to impose martial law measures on needy victims that have already had their lives devastated.

With reports indicating that the Mississippi river is in danger of bursting its banks, the precedent that was set with Hurricane Katrina could be set to advance as government minions and jackbooted thugs across the country lick their lips at the prospect of kicking down more doors and harassing innocent people.

Contact the Iowa ACLU and demand they pressure the authorities to stop these illegal home invasions immediately.

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Source: Prison Planet

Decider-Commander Goes to Iowa

It makes sense, considering Bush’s concerted effort to destroy the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

“U.S. President George Bush will visit the Midwest state of Iowa Thursday to inspect damage from major flooding along the Mississippi River,” reports Voice of America, the official voice of the U.S. government. “Federal officials briefed the president on efforts to shore-up levees along the Mississippi River and help those displaced by the flooding.”

As Paul Joseph Watson notes, some of those “displaced” would argue that the government is not exactly helping them. “Shocking footage out of Cedar Rapids Iowa shows cops and government employee ‘strike teams’ breaking into houses of flood victims and threatening anyone who questions their actions in complete violation of the 4th amendment right that protects against unlawful search and seizure,” writes Watson. “No warrant, no knock home invasions are being carried out on the flimsy pretext of ‘checking for structural damage’ as cops harass and threaten with arrest people who refuse to have their homes ransacked by thugs in uniforms.”

It’s all part of the FEMA and Ministry of Homeland Security way of doing things. Remember when DHS spokesman John Erickson told the Indy Star residents of Indiana are basically on their own? In Iowa, that’s not the case, as local and state government are preventing residents from acting on their own. Iowa is under martial law, although not officially declared. It looks like martial law to those folks confronted by armed “strike teams” and checkpoints.

“In Cedar Rapids, residents were allowed to return home temporarily to retrieve keepsakes and other items Sunday, but authorities said Monday that strike teams had determined the neighborhoods were no longer safe, even for a quick visit,” CNN reported.

Keepsakes – as defined by government.

If neighborhoods are “no longer safe, even for a quick visit,” how long will it be before FEMA brings in the formaldehyde trailers? It looks like the feds will now get involved as the decider-commander is ready to fly in for public relations stunt, excuse me “inspection.” Bush, speaking to the script-reading corporate media, says “there has been close coordination between federal and state authorities.” In other words, the residents of Iowa and other flood ravaged states need to start worrying even more than they are already.

“I fully understand people are upset when they lose their home. A person’s home is their most valued possession,” Bush told the Associated Press.

No, George. It’s not a home. It’s a “keepsake.”

“Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say they are dealing proactively with the Midwest flooding because of lessons learned from failures during Hurricane Katrina, as President Bush promised quick relief to the thousands affected,” reports the Washington Times. “A lot of people are going to be wondering, is there short-term help for housing? And there is, and we’ll provide that help,” declared the commander-decider. Get ready for another toxic trailer fiasco.

Lessons learned from Katrina?

Not surprisingly, instead of helping flood stricken residents, FEMA has placed needed supplies out of the way in St. Louis. “FEMA positioned supplies and personnel north of St. Louis, even though the city is south of the most severe flooding and has not yet had any problems, said Robert Powers, FEMA’s deputy assistant administrator for disaster operations…. Mr. Powers said that FEMA’s planning in St. Louis is indicative of the change in the agency’s response after failing to deal effectively with Katrina in 2005.”

You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie.

“I, unfortunately, have been to too many disasters as president,” said Bush. “But one thing I’ve always learned is that the American citizen can overcome these disasters. And life, while it may seem dim at this point in time, can always be better because of the resiliency and care of our citizens.”

In other words, Bush has occupied the White House while disasters exacerbated or created by the government have unfolded, from the deliberate “mishandling” of Katrina to the Iraq invasion and occupation. Bush and his neocon managers care so much for “our citizens” they have virtually hobbled the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Bush so trusts and respects the citizenry, he oversaw the revision of the Insurrection Act, essentially killing off Posse Comitatus, and the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 and the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Oh, let’s not forget PDD51, National Security Presidential Directive 51.

(More under World Situation: e. g. surviving-martial-law.pdf. – The Infinite Unknown)

It allows Bush to fully realize his role as the decider-commander and chuck Congress and the resilient (read, continually besieged by government) American citizen by the way side. For some reason, the corporate media did not find this directive worthy of much reportage.

(PDD51 gives Bush basically the power of an Adolf Hitler or a Joseph Stalin – The Infinite Unknown)

Floods in the Midwest of course are not of the magnitude required to impose “continuity of government” – and government is perpetually obsessed with its own continuity above all else – but they may provide yet another dry run for a larger, more catastrophic national emergency. Our rulers have promised one for some time now.

Meanwhile, “strike teams” are breaking into houses in Iowa and providing a glimpse of how things will be under PDD51. Checkpoints and roving gangs of government thugs armed with crowbars and weapons will become common enough after Bush and the neocons declare their national emergency and finally consolidate power under martial law.

Read moreDecider-Commander Goes to Iowa

Dealing With The Truth

Related articles:
FEMA: It’s Not About Floods, It’s About Martial Law

Where Is FEMA?

Police State 2008 Paul Craig Roberts, a Republican who worked in the Reagan administration:
“Homeland that is a Nazi term.”
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Back in the beginning of the Bushwhacker’s second coming, in the personage of the George W. Bush a gargantuan fraud was perpetrated upon the public. This was not a single deadly wound inflicted on society, but a thing that continues to kill us in a multiplicity of ways that has continued to deepen with every passing week. Even the name of this fraud is as deceptive, as are its purposes.

The program was called ‘HOMELAND Security’, and the name came straight out of Nazi manuals that were used in the late nineteen- thirties. To obtain passage of this Trojan Horse, FEMA was used as the excuse for the merging of 22 separate agencies into a single monster that, because of its size alone would be able to fix everything that threatened America or Americans. However once established, the Department of Homeland Security began to erase the individual reasons for the existence of each department that all 22 agencies had once been part of.

Like the viper that has two fangs to inject its deadly poisons, DHS itself is just another aspect of Doublespeak, because there is no “HOMELAND” in this country of immigrants and there can be no ‘security’ in a nation without laws. DHS is killing us with distortions and lies from each and every level of this massive bureaucracy, having turned the language itself on its head.

In practical terms, Homeland Security has sucked up all the social programming funding for itself, and recast those priorities into the servicing and maintenance of “War, War & Lots More War.” Every program that had to do with assisting the public to live well enough to succeed was plundered of its funds, stripped of its mandates, and reset to function a an agency dedicated to the destruction of the very things it was created to avert.

Environmental Protection became Environmental Destruction. Education became No Child Left Behind; as in: Everyone must be dumb enough to follow the leader without question. Child Care became Child neglect, no health insurance, no supplemental funds for food or medicine, shelter or job opportunities for the poor. And when violence or poverty kicks down the door of yet another family, Child Protective Services is there to take the children away and dump them into state institutions that will not care for them, but will instead insure that each becomes part of the next generation of failures: So much for protecting the smallest unit of any society. (1)

The same is true of every other government agency from the FDA and the FAA to the FCC ­ each agency is now dedicated to doing what each of these agencies, and hundreds of others, were created to prevent! A good example is the recent botulism in some of the food we eat. FEMA has taken over the control of monitoring where crops come from, and whether or not the foods in question are fit for human consumption. Many of the fruits and vegetables we consume come from beyond our borders, but neither the FDA, nor FEMA has any idea where these food products come from, or whether or not they are safe to eat. This is a concern given the fact that FDA has now allowed the use of non-potable water for agricultural uses. Hence among other abuses lemon skins now contain fecal matter that comes from this contaminated water: and that’s just one example.

Read moreDealing With The Truth

FEMA: It’s Not About Floods, It’s About Martial Law

“Indiana residents affected by Saturday’s flooding shouldn’t expect assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency any time soon, and perhaps not at all,” Michael Hampton writes for the Homeland Stupidity blog. If and when Gov. Mitch Daniels declares disaster, FEMA will “come to the rescue” by “setting up a phone number and web site for individuals to ask for assistance in the form of loans.” Short of a declaration and miles of red tape, Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson told the Indy Star residents are basically on their own. Erickson said Hoosiers should “start the cleanup process and don’t wait for federal assistance at this point.”

Hampton adds: “You heard it straight from the FEMA spokesman’s mouth. Don’t wait for them. They might not even show up at all. Pray they don’t, or southern Indiana could wind up like New Orleans. Travel trailers, anyone?”

“In the current series of disasters,” writes Jim Kirwan, “there are no troops here to help with evacuations, and the only help that FEMA is currently offering to victims of the Iowa flooding is: ’save all your receipts, because you’ll need to prove what it cost you if you want any help after this is over.’”

“Indiana residents affected by Saturday’s flooding shouldn’t expect assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency any time soon, and perhaps not at all,” Michael Hampton writes for the Homeland Stupidity blog. If and when Gov. Mitch Daniels declares disaster, FEMA will “come to the rescue” by “setting up a phone number and web site for individuals to ask for assistance in the form of loans.” Short of a declaration and miles of red tape, Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson told the Indy Star residents are basically on their own. Erickson said Hoosiers should “start the cleanup process and don’t wait for federal assistance at this point.”

Hampton adds: “You heard it straight from the FEMA spokesman’s mouth. Don’t wait for them. They might not even show up at all. Pray they don’t, or southern Indiana could wind up like New Orleans. Travel trailers, anyone?”

“In the current series of disasters,” writes Jim Kirwan, “there are no [National Guard] troops here to help with evacuations, and the only help that FEMA is currently offering to victims of the Iowa flooding is: ’save all your receipts, because you’ll need to prove what it cost you if you want any help after this is over.’”

As Allen Roland writes for Salon blogs, reposted on the Global Research website, “the real purpose of FEMA is to not only protect the government but to be its principal vehicle for martial law” and this is why “FEMA could not respond immediately to the Hurricane Katrina disaster — humanitarian efforts were no longer part of its job description under the Department of Homeland Security.”

It appears Hurricane Katrina also provided FEMA with an excuse to “dry run” its unconstitutional powers in New Orleans, rounding up “refugees” (now called “evacuees”) and “relocating” them in various camps. “Some evacuees are being treated as ‘internees’ by FEMA,” writes former NSA employee Wayne Madsen.

In fact, as Steve Watson noted in the wake of Katrina, FEMA deliberately sabotaged relief efforts in New Orleans. “Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Paul Craig Roberts has agreed that FEMA has deliberately withheld aid, and cut emergency communication lines, and automatically made the crisis look worse in order to empower the image of a police state emerging to ’save the day’. He even insinuated that the shoot to kill policy was part of the overall operation in order get an awful precedence set to aid the military industrial complex takeover of America.” FEMA, Watson adds, is nothing short of a “federalized front group for the corrupt money hoarding Department of Homeland Security, the Orwellian titled agency that has nothing to do with security and everything to do with limiting the freedoms of people all over the country.”

In other words, as cruel as it may sound, the flood ravaged people of Indiana and other states in the Midwest are better off without a declaration of disaster and FEMA “assistance.”

As DHS spokesman John Erickson hinted and Allen Roland underscored, assisting people during natural disasters ranks low on FEMA’s list of responsibilities. As Harry V. Martin wrote in 1995, after FEMA “dropped the ball” in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, Congress commenced a study of the agency and discovered “FEMA was spending 12 times more for ‘black operations’ than for disaster relief.”

It spent $1.3 billion building secret bunkers throughout the United States in anticipation of government disruption by foreign or domestic upheaval. Yet fewer than 20 members of Congress , only members with top security clearance, know of the $1.3 billion expenditure by FEMA for non-natural disaster situations. These few Congressional leaders state that FEMA has a “black curtain” around its operations. FEMA has worked on National Security programs since 1979, and its predecessor, the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency, has secretly spent millions of dollars before being merged into FEMA by President Carter in 1979.

Operation Cable Splicer, Garden Plot, and REX 84 (short for Readiness Exercise 1984) are programs long on the shelf, awaiting the appropriate “disaster” to be taken down and implemented. Garden Plot is a program designed to control the population, while Cable Splicer is a program engineered for an orderly takeover of state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and will head up operations. The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation, and include the following:

10990 (allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports), 10995 (allows the government to seize and control the communication media), 10997 (allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals), 10998 (allows the government to take over all food resources and farms), 11000 (allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision), 11001 (allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions), 11002 (designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons), 11003 (allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft), 11004 (allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations) and 11005 (allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities).

More recently, the National Defense Authorization Act, under Sect. 1042, allows the use of “the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies” and explicitly gives the executive the power to invoke martial law – in other words, kiss Posse Comitatus good-bye. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to “a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order,” Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle in February. Add to this the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and National Security Presidential Directive 51, allowing for “continuity of government” in the event of what NSPD-5 vaguely calls a “catastrophic emergency,” and the framework is in place for the imposition of martial law.

As a recent example of the sort of activity FEMA is engaged in, as they tell flood victims in the Midwest to fend for themselves, consider the $22 million per year the agency has spent “on a terror training program within a real town in New Mexico where helicopters buzz overhead in the middle of the night, mock nuclear explosions are drilled and ’suicide bombers’ are taken down by SWAT teams who pull citizens out of their homes,” writes Steve Watson. The Associated Press (see video) deems such events “unthinkable,” and indeed they are, while floods and hurricanes are a reality.

FEMA has very little to do with the sort of natural disasters the people of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana are currently experiencing and everything to do with martial law, thus DHS boss Chertoff’s satisfaction “with the federal response to the massive Midwest flooding” is little more than a dog and pony show, a public relations gimmick slapped over the real face of FEMA.

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
June 15, 2008

Source: Infowars

Bush pushes biometrics for national security

The Bush administration has required agencies to increase their capability to share among themselves biometric information on people believed to pose a threat to national security.

A presidential directive issued June 5 requires the increased compatibility of methods agencies use to collect, store and share fingerprints, face and iris recognition data and behavioral characteristics to identify and screen “known and suspected terrorists.” The directive also applies to other categories of individuals the directive said would be identified soon who may also pose a threat to national security.

The National Security Presidential Directive 59/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24’s purpose is to create a “framework” to ensure that agencies are using mutually compatible and legal methods for sharing biometric information, the document states.

The directive also explained that although existing name-based screening approaches are beneficial, biometric technologies can improve agencies’ ability to identify and screen people believed to threaten national security.

Read moreBush pushes biometrics for national security

Washington State Residents the Most Recent Victims of Homeland Security

According to the news articles linked to below, the Department of Homeland Security has continued the expansion of its un-American enforcement activities by directing them against Washington State residents utilizing Northwest domestic Ferry services.

Specifically, Border Patrol Agents have established suspicionless checkpoints at domestic Ferry terminals servicing the residents of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. The islands are part of Washington State and island inhabitants are Washington State residents.

Despite the fact that the Ferry services in question never cross an international border, this hasn’t deterred Homeland Security agents from directing scarce ‘security’ resources against Washington State residents absent reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. Thus proving once again that DHS either has no clue on how to defend the ‘Homeland’ or no intention of doing so.

Rather the specter of terrorism and illegal immigration are used as excuses for the continued expansion of federal influence and control at the expense of the founding principles of this country.

While recent events in Washington State are being mimicked in one form or another in border states across the country, I’d like to bring attention to a quote from attorney Matt Adams of the Northwest Immigration Rights Project:

They can ask you where you’re from; they can ask you to show your papers or to show your driver’s license or to show your birth certificate — but you don’t have to provide that information,” Adams says.

Because these checkpoints are not on the border, people have a greater right to privacy, Adams says.

“What I suggest to individuals is to politely refuse to answer questions, and then if they still don’t let you go, to say ‘Am I under arrest? If I’m not under arrest, I’d like to continue on my way,’ ” he says.

Words we all need to take to heart as ‘Homeland Security’ intrusion continues to grow in our daily lives.

Putting a stop to the burgeoning American police state will not happen from the top down. It will only happen when enough individuals decide to take individual action in common cause.

Several recent articles detailing this story appear below along with links back to the original websites:

Read moreWashington State Residents the Most Recent Victims of Homeland Security

The Last Roundup: MAIN CORE

In my case, there’s no way the programs I want to talk to Congress about should be public ever, unless maybe in 200 years they want to declassify them. You should never learn about it; no one at the Times should ever learn about these things.
– Russell Tice, Former NSA SIGINT Officer


I’m going to provide a one paragraph summary, just to make sure that the implications of this are clear to everyone:

The U.S. Government has, almost certainly, established a database and tracking system for something like eight million Americans who have been designated as threats to national security. The system is called MAIN CORE and it is being run under the auspices of highly classified Continuity of Government (COG) operations. MAIN CORE uses a variety of intelligence sources as inputs, including your email, web activity, telephone and private financial information. In the event of a major national security crisis, it is alleged that Americans listed in the MAIN CORE database, “Could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.”

The Last Roundup, by Christopher Ketcham, appeared in the May/June 2008 issue of Radar Magazine. (Full text here and here.)

Below are some excerpts from The Last Roundup. I have provided explicit pointers to the related materials on Cryptogon:

Read moreThe Last Roundup: MAIN CORE

DHS Wants to Spy Illegally on Americans, Democrats Charge

New DHS Office Would Share Detailed Surveillance Capabilities of Military Intel Satellites With Local Law Enforcement

The Department of Homeland Security wants to set up a new program to illegally spy on Americans, two senior Democratic lawmakers charged Thursday in a letter urging colleagues to deny funds for the program.

In a letter to three colleagues obtained by ABC News, House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, Miss., and Rep. Jane Harman, Calif., voiced objections to a new office DHS wants to create that would share the detailed surveillance capabilities of military intelligence satellites and other monitoring technology with state and local law enforcement.

The size of the National Applications Office, as DHS has named it, and its proposed budget, remain classified. The department has said the office would not traffic in eavesdropped conversations. It would primarily be used to share data from military assets for disaster response, monitoring climate change and other purposes, according to DHS.

Noting that the Pentagon is already cleared and capable of sharing satellite imagery on a legal and limited basis to aid authorities protecting major events or responding to natural disasters, Thompson and Harman said the purpose of expanding the program and placing it in a classified office could only be to surveil U.S. residents illegally.

“We are left to conclude that the only reason to stand up a new office would be to gather domestic intelligence outside the rigorous protections of the law — and, ultimately, to share this intelligence with local law enforcement outside of constitutional parameters,” Thompson and Harman wrote.

Read moreDHS Wants to Spy Illegally on Americans, Democrats Charge

NATIONAL DRILL: U.S. Tests Response To Set of Calamities

Executive Branch ‘Runs’ Government From Outside D.C. as Mock Crises Mount

Thousands of key federal employees are being whisked from the Washington area by helicopter and car for a three-day test of their ability to run the government from remote locations during a disaster.

The exodus, which began yesterday and will continue today, involves the White House and other parts of the executive branch. Congress and the judiciary are not part of the exercise, which is being overseen by the Department of Homeland Security.

Since the late 1990s, every federal agency has been required to have a plan to quickly resume operations after a catastrophe. But the response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks raised doubts about many agencies’ preparations.

This week’s “continuity of government” drill is one of the largest by the federal government since 9/11, officials said. It is part of a national eight-day exercise in which officials are responding to a cascade of nightmarish events. The drill started Thursday, with terrorists sabotaging a tanker carrying poisonous gas in Washington state.

Read moreNATIONAL DRILL: U.S. Tests Response To Set of Calamities

Police training for Martial Law

Federal law enforcement agencies co-opted sheriffs offices as well state and local police forces in three states last weekend for a vast round up operation that one sheriff’s deputy has described as “martial law training”.

Law-enforcement agencies in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas took part in what was described by local media as “an anti-crime and anti-terrorism initiative” involving officers from more than 50 federal, state and local agencies.

Given the military style name “Operation Sudden Impact“, the initiative saw officers from six counties rounding up fugitives, conducting traffic checkpoints, climbing on boats on the Mississippi River and doing other “crime-abatement” programs all under the label of “anti-terrorism”.

WREG Memphis news channel 3 reported that the Sheriff’s Department arrested 332 people, 142 of whom were fugitives, or “terrorists” as they now seem to be known.

Hundreds of dollars were seized and drugs recovered, and 1,292 traffic violations were handed out to speeding terrorists and illegally parked terrorists.

Click here to watch a WREG Memphis news report

The authorities even raided businesses and store owners, confiscating computers and paperwork in an effort to “track down possible terrorists before something big happens”.

The Sheriff’s Department is determining if and when they plan another round-up.

The operation, which involved police, deputies, the FBI, drug agents, gang units and even the coast guard, is just one example of how law enforcement at the state and local levels is being co-opted and centralized by the Department of Homeland Security via massive federal grants.

It also highlights how the distinction between crime and terrorism is becoming irrelevant.

Read morePolice training for Martial Law

Chertoff Says Fingerprints Aren’t ‘Personal Data’

Our guest blogger, Peter Swire, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and served as the Clinton Administration’s Chief Counselor for Privacy.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has badly stumbled in discussing the Bush administration’s push to create stricter identity systems. Chertoff was recently in Canada discussing, among other topics, the so-called “Server in the Sky” program to share fingerprint databases among the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia.

In a recent briefing with Canadian press (which has yet to be picked up in the U.S.), Chertoff made the startling statement that fingerprints are “not particularly private”:

QUESTION: Some are raising that the privacy aspects of this thing, you know, sharing of that kind of data, very personal data, among four countries is quite a scary thing.

SECRETARY CHERTOFF: Well, first of all, a fingerprint is hardly personal data because you leave it on glasses and silverware and articles all over the world, they’re like footprints. They’re not particularly private.

Many of us should rightfully be surprised that our fingerprints aren’t considered “personal data” by the head of DHS. Even more importantly, DHS itself disagrees. In its definition of “personally identifiable information” — the information that triggers a Privacy Impact Assessment when used by government — the Department specifically lists: “biometric identifiers (e.g., fingerprints).”

Chertoff’s comments have drawn sharp criticism from Jennifer Stoddart, the Canadian official in charge of privacy issues. “Fingerprints constitute extremely personal information for which there is clearly a high expectation of privacy,” Stoddart said.

There are compelling reasons to treat fingerprints as “extremely personal information.” The strongest reason is that fingerprints, if not used carefully, will become the biggest source of identity theft. Fingerprints shared in databases all over the world won’t stay secret for long, and identity thieves will take advantage.

A quick web search on “fake fingerprints” turns up cheap and easy methods for do-it-at-home fake fingerprints. As discussed by noted security expert Bruce Schneier, one technique is available for under $10. It was tried “against eleven commercially available fingerprint biometric systems, and was able to reliably fool all of them.” Secretary Chertoff either doesn’t know about these clear results or chooses to ignore them. He said in Canada: “It’s very difficult to fake a fingerprint.”

Chertoff’s argument about leaving fingerprints lying around on “glasses and silverware” is also beside the point. Today, we leave our Social Security numbers lying around with every employer and numerous others. Yet the fact that SSNs (or fingerprints) are widely known exposes us to risk.

There have been numerous questions raised about how this Administration is treating our personal information. Secretary Chertoff’s comments show a new reason to worry — they don’t think it’s “personal” at all.

Peter Swire

Source: thinkprogress.org

Administration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S.

The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation’s most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon, rebuffing challenges by House Democrats over the idea’s legal authority.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department will activate his department’s new domestic satellite surveillance office in stages, starting as soon as possible with traditional scientific and homeland security activities — such as tracking hurricane damage, monitoring climate change and creating terrain maps.

Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement once privacy and civil rights concerns are resolved, he said. The department has previously said the program will not intercept communications.

Read moreAdministration Set to Use New Spy Program in U.S.

Homeland Security invokes nuclear bomb, as Bush quietly links cybersecurity program to NSA

Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has dropped the bomb.

At a speech to hundreds of security professionals Wednesday, Chertoff declared that the federal government has created a cyber security “Manhattan Project,” referencing the 1941-1946 project led by the Army Corps of Engineers to develop American’s first atomic bomb.

According to Wired’s Ryan Singel, Chertoff gave few details of what the government actually plans to do.

He cites a little-noticed presidential order: “In January, President Bush signed a presidential order expanding the role of DHS and the NSA in government computer security,” Singel writes. “Its contents are classified, but the U.S. Director of National Intelligence has said he wants the NSA to monitor America’s internet traffic and Google searches for signs of cyber attack.”

The National Security Agency was the key player in President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, which was revealed by the New York Times in 2005.

Sound familiar? Yesterday, documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation under the Freedom of Information act showed the FBI has engaged in a massive cyber surveillance project that targets terror suspects emails, telephone calls and instant messagesand is able to get some information without a court order.

Last week, the ACLU revealed documents showing that the Pentagon was using the FBI to spy on Americans. The military is using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans’ Internet service providers, financial institutions and telephone companies, according to Pentagon documents.

Read moreHomeland Security invokes nuclear bomb, as Bush quietly links cybersecurity program to NSA

Homeland Ministry Plans Raytheon “Ray Guns” at Airports

The DHS, affectionately called the “Ministry” here because it resembles something out of Orwell’s famous novel, wants to fit airports with ray guns. I kid you not. “The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will consider fitting high-power microwave electropulse rayguns at US airports, in order to defend against the threat of terrorists firing portable anti-aircraft missiles at airliners,” reports Lewis Page for The Register. “American defense heavyweight Raytheon would partner with Israel’s Rafael and Kongsberg of Norway to provide the technology, according to a report in Flight International. The proposed kit is known as ‘Vigilant Eagle’, and is competing for DHS securo-dollars with defensive systems that could be fitted to the airliners themselves – for instance BAE Systems’ JetEye.”

Okay, tell me this does not sound like another “defense industry” scam, yet another scheme to make billions of dollars. Sure, there is the possibility somebody with a rocket launcher may take out an airliner. But if al-Qaeda hates our freedom, why haven’t’ they done this already? Is al-Qaeda conducting a war against the Great Satan, one with battles strung over decades? At this rate, it will take a thousand years to install the Great Caliph/Khalifah.

Read moreHomeland Ministry Plans Raytheon “Ray Guns” at Airports

DHS reckons US cops’ access to sat-surveillance is go

US Homeland Security overlord Michael Chertoff has told reporters that he believes plans for increased use of satellite surveillance by American law-enforcement agencies are ready to move forward. However, Democratic politicians remain unconvinced that adequate privacy and civil liberties safeguards are in place.

“I think the way is now clear to stand NAO up and go warm,” said Chertoff, briefing journalists about the proposed National Applications Office.

NAO would allow US police, immigration, drug-enforcement and other officials to have access to data from various US satellites passing above America. It is understood that the information would be supplied mostly by spacecraft which at the moment are used for meteorological and geological surveying, or other scientific tasks. Satellites of this type can often deliver high-resolution images which would also be useful to law enforcement.

Read moreDHS reckons US cops’ access to sat-surveillance is go

9/11 Redux: ‘Thousands of Aliens’ in U.S. Flight Schools Illegally

Former FAA Inspector: TSA’s Enforcement of Post-9/11 Laws ‘Basically Nonexistent’

flight_school_gfx_080227_ms.jpg

“Some of the very same conditions that allowed the 9-11 tragedy to happen in the first place are still very much in existence today,” wrote one regional security official to his boss at the TSA, the Transportation Security Administration.

“Thousands of aliens, some of whom may very well pose a threat to this country, are taking flight lessons, being granted FAA certifications and are flying planes,” wrote the TSA official, Richard A. Horn, in 2005, complaining that the students did not have the proper visas.

Read more9/11 Redux: ‘Thousands of Aliens’ in U.S. Flight Schools Illegally