THE SECRET GOVERNMENT RULEBOOK FOR LABELING YOU A TERRORIST

BY JEREMY SCAHILL AND RYAN DEVEREAUX / https://firstlook.org/

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

Is Ferguson the start of a ‘libertarian moment’

By Anthony Zurche / http://www.bbc.com/A St Louis police officer holds a sniper rifle.

Much of the commentary on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer has been dominated by liberal outrage over what some see as racial injustice.

There is, however, a growing chorus from the conservative movement’s libertarian wing that connects the perceived overreaction by a militarised local law enforcement to their critique of the heavy-handed power of government.

“The state is big and powerful and violent and can hurt you, whether it’s the FDA, the state prosecutor or the local police force,” writes Hot Air blog’s Mary Katharine Ham, concisely summarising the gist of this libertarian argument.

Civil Asset Forfeiture: They fought the law. Who won?

asset-forfeit

Via: Washington Post, September 8, 2014

Mandrel Stuart and his girlfriend were on a date driving on Interstate 66 toward the District when a Fairfax County police cruiser pulled out of the median and raced after them. The cruiser kept pace alongside Stuart’s old blue Yukon for a while, then followed behind for several miles before turning on its flashing lights.

The traffic stop on that balmy afternoon in August 2012 was the beginning of a dizzying encounter that would leave Stuart shaken and wondering whether he had been singled out because he was black and had a police record.

Over the next two hours, he would be detained without charges, handcuffed and taken to a nearby police station. He also would be stripped of $17,550 in cash — money that he had earned through the Smoking Roosters, a small barbecue restaurant he owned in Staunton, Va. Stuart said he was going to use the money that night for supplies and equipment.

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Fort Worth police official who shot dog arrested on animal cruelty warrant

BY DEANNA BOYD / http://www.star-telegram.com

A Fort Worth police deputy chief who fatally shot a German shepherd after the dog reportedly mauled his cat to death was arrested Monday on a warrant accusing him of cruelty to an animal.

Deputy Chief Kenneth Flynn, who was off duty when he shot the dog named Bentley, surrendered at the Tarrant County Jail Monday night and was immediately released on a $1,000 bond.

A woman present during the dog’s shooting said she’s upset that Fort Worth officers who initially responded to her 911 call didn’t make a police report.

The woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the investigation into the deputy chief’s conduct did not begin until after she called back three hours after the shooting and asked dispatchers for a report number, only to learn that the officers had not made one.

NYC Mayor De Blasio is for ‘transparency,’ until he’s not

Remember when Bill de Blasio, the People’s Mayor and not at all one of those imperious out-of-touch/out-of-town billionaires, promised a new era of transparency in city government?

Now that he’s in charge, he’s about as transparent as oak.

This week the Press Club of New York blasted de Blasio in an open letter that said, “You have departed from a precedent set by at least eight mayors before you, which has been to take questions in open press conferences without restriction as to the subject matter.”

That doesn’t sound like the Billy Blazes we were promised.

Librarians won’t stay quiet about government surveillance

By Andrea Peterson / http://www.washingtonpost.com/

Librarians are among the loudest voices opposing government surveillance. (BigStock)
In September 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft called out the librarians. The American Library Association and civil liberties groups, he said, were pushing “baseless hysteria” about the controversial Patriot Act. He suggested that they were worried that spy agencies wanted to know “how far you have gotten on the latest Tom Clancy novel.”

Ashcroft was 17 speeches into a national speaking tour defending the Patriot Act, a law expanding government surveillance powers that passed nearly unanimously in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. And all along the way, the librarians showed up to protest.

In the case of government surveillance, they are not shushing. They’ve been among the loudest voices urging freedom of information and privacy protections.

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