Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

The People of Spokane vs. Law Enforcement Abuse, Impunity, Corruption, and Cover-up

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Just exactly who is Anne Kirkpatrick? Annie Got Her Gun now tries to get out of town

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 4, 2010

[Note by author: For readers who may consider the words that follow in this post to be harsh and unfair, consider that even the elegant, upscale Spokane Couer d’Alene Living Magazine, in the Lilacs and Lemons section of its March 2010 issue, gave Chief Kirkpatrick a lemon and reprimanded her, saying basically that if she is so busy making plans to leave Spokane in the midst of such a crucial period in city and police history, she should darn well hurry up and get the heck out of Dodge, I mean Spokaloo.]

Listening to a recent KYRS Thin Air Community Radio morning news piece by Don Gronning (6/22/10 podcast), one is struck by the most recent persona of the always strutting, full-of-attitude Anne Kirkpatrick. The sassy southern gal, who arrived in Spokane nearly four years ago with her slick little one-girl show from the south, replete with meaningless but media-savvy slogans like “You lie, you die” and a repertoire of song and dance (literally) at the ready for any and all occasions, apparently has at least one more routine up her sleeve as she — like a teenager graduating from high school — desperately seeks a way out of Spokaloo.

So what is that persona? A new and improved Chief Anne Kirkpatrick who, despite previous statements to the contrary, appears to be headed out of town.

And naked. Well, not naked exactly but definitely devoid of her long characteristic Southern accent. (Seriously, listen to Gronning’s 6/22/10 podcast.) Besides, in the south — like Abilene and Shreveport where I used to live, or Memphis, Tennessee where Anne was born and raised — we say “neck-id”.

Apparently the “Ya’ll come back now, here?” phony southern drawl worked as part of the dog and pony show the chief put on to get us Okies in Spokaloo to hire her as chief under a previous mayor and city council. But it appears she decided that it wasn’t going to make her any friends or influence any people in the sophisticated environment of Seattle. So she is suddenly accentless, a sophisticated and independent woman, itinerant again and forced to strike out on her own. Maybe she should take Doug Clark’s advice and take her bopping and jiving back to Memphis. Or how about Mabton, Washington, population 1891.

All of this after a long string of that bad luck: 1) the Guild stabbed her in the back, 2) she still can’t shake Tony Bamonte off that same back, 3) Councilman Jon Snyder could not get his slip-shod, loop-hole filled version of the Ombudsman Ordinance passed in 30 minutes as he proposed he could in the wee hours of the morning of June 22, 2010, after over-whelming public testimony in favor of a more tightly-written, forceful ordinance to move a blatantly out-of-control police force closer to effective citizen oversight and control, 4) the Grand Jury and FBI noose tightened around the necks of her lying officers and administrators, 5) Ombudsman Tim Burns himself finally stood up and said, “Hell yeah, I’ll take some of that independent oversight”, and 6) the people of Spokane, who had made common cause with many a citizen abused or murdered by the police, and in the process made themselves heard over and over and over again for years, combined a powerful community coalition with public participation and turnout that would not succumb to old fashion tactics of “bait and switch” in the writing of legislation nor to agenda-stacking designed to run out the clock on democratic participation.

Unfortunate for Anne, even after giving it that old Tennessee try in the open competitive portion of the Seattle hiring process and after a private “perhaps I still got that old charm” approach via e-mail to Seattle’s Mayor, Seattle didn’t buy the song and dance.

Besides, can you imagine this “Chief” — who okayed tasering Josh Levy off the Monroe Street Bridge to his death yet in Gronning’s podcast defends tasers like a shameless East Sprague used car saleswoman — dealing with the sorts of complicated human dramas and dilemmas that a Seattle would present her? Or how about having Chief Kirkpatrick in charge of the sophisticated political and social environment of one of the most dynamic and liberal cities in the U.S., the same Chief Kirkpatrick whose boys and girls in blue botched every aspect (from initial provocation to evidence suppression) of the July 4, 2007 police riot in Riverfront Park — being in charge of a police department in a world class city like Seattle? Can you imagine how much worse the 1999 WTO police repression would have been or what she would do with officers punching teenaged girls in the face or kicking and stomping an innocent immigrant?

Gigs up, Lil’ Annie…

(Come to think of it, maybe the gig is not up after all. As I understand it, former Spokane Police Internal Affairs official Jim Faddis is looking for a spoons player for his jugband, the Prairie Flyers. Some will recall that Faddis and the notorious officer Dan Torok used pseudonyms while blogging at Frank Sennett’s Spokesman-Review Hard 7 blog in the summer of 2007. Faddis, under the pseudonym of Kevin, along with Torok and others SPD plants defended the SPD at the height of public outrage over the Firehouse Sex Scandal, the 4th of July “near police riot”, the arrests of protestors Dan Treecraft and Rebecca Lamb, and the killings of Otto Zehm, Jerome Alford and Eagle Michael, as well as the non-fatal shootings of Shonto Pete and Sean Fitzpatrick, not to mention controversial incidents involving SPD officers John Elam, Jonothan Smith, David Freitag, and Jay Mehring. The killings of Otto Zehm and Jerome Alford involved Torok and Faddis’s department was involved in investigating most of the other incidents. The chief would no doubt be a fine addition to Faddis’s band. Come to think of it, if someone could teach Spokane county prosecutor Steve Tucker to play a washboard and city attorney Rocky Trepieddi to play the cowbell…

[See also Educating the Chief – It’s Spokane, not Spokaloo]

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[Excerpt below from The Seattle Times article Biographies of the 11 SPD chief candidates: Here are short biographies on the semifinalists for Seattle police chief

Anne Kirkpatrick

Chief of police, Spokane

Anne Kirkpatrick, 50, who previously served as police chief in Ellensburg and Federal Way before joining the Spokane department in 2006, has carved out a reputation as a no-nonsense chief and strong believer in community outreach. She announced her intention to seek the Seattle job in February when she told Spokane officials she had applied for the position.

The Spokesman-Review reported that Kirkpatrick applied last year to be San Francisco’s police chief but downplayed her action by saying that as a woman leading a large department she is often recruited. The job went to another candidate.

The Spokesman-Review reported that, while support for Kirkpatrick has been mixed on the police force, she enjoys broad support from city leaders, who credit her with making officers more accountable and improving ties to the community.

In April, union leaders representing the Spokane Police Department’s officers said a majority of the Spokane Police Guild’s 268 members voted no-confidence in the “office” of the police chief, but didn’t disclose the vote tally, The Spokesman-Review reported.

But the department’s lieutenants and captains gave her a vote of approval after learning of the union’s vote.

The following excerpt from a Spokesman-Review article at the time of Spokane’s search for a new chief reported on the Chief’s 5 “Cardinal Rules” which apparently after the hanky-panky of the Jason Uberagua case and the police lying in the Zehm case must have referred to the Memphis Redbirds, the minor league affilitate of the St. Louis Cardinals —

She landed at Green River Community College, teaching criminal justice for two years. Then a retiring Ellensburg police chief called and asked her if she’d apply for his job.

“God’s timing and God’s hand involved,” Kirkpatrick says of the surprise call. “And I’m glad, because I have to admit I wanted to go back.”

Soon, she was running a 30-member department. And that’s where she launched her five cardinal rules.

“They’re character-based,” she said of the rules. “People are going to make mistakes. But character-based mistakes are not tolerable.”

The rules: No harassing, bullying or discriminatory language, “including zero tolerance of male white-bashing.” No lying. No abuse of authority. No insubordination. And nothing that causes lack of trust in the department, such as sex on duty or failing to take a rape report.

One former officer and her attorney, however, contend Kirkpatrick applies those rules unevenly.

Former Federal Way officer Jessica Nelson was fired for what Kirkpatrick concluded was insubordination and lying about misuse of a department computer. Nelson maintains that it was a miscommunication – and that other officers were lightly disciplined for far worse offenses.

Nelson’s Portland attorney, Beth Allen, said that officers were suspended for a few days, “if that,” for allegedly sexually harassing other officers, discharging a firearm in the station and having a detainee escape from a police car.

Posted in Educating the Chief, Ethics, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane LE Personalities, Spokane Police Guild, Spokane taser, Stop it. You're killin' me., Tasers, Yes ma'am Chief | 3 Comments »

Police try to coopt Environmentalist (Audio/Transcript — The Guadrian)

Posted by Arroyoribera on May 20, 2009

From Jim Camden’s May 25, 2007 report in the Spokesman-Review, as well as police actions against protesters at Alberto Gonzales’s June 27, 2007 visit to Spokane, and the Independence day (July 4) 2007 attack by JTTF directed law enforcement on protesting youth, we know that Spokane Police and other law enforcement units engage in espionage, infiltration, provocation, illegal withholding of evidence, and lying in their dealings with citizens in Spokane.

Direct action environmentalist Matilda “Tilly” Gifford recorded British police intelligence agents as they attempted to convince her to sell out her convictions, her comrades, her cause, and the planet.

This and remarkable information on the Guardian link listed at the end of this post are very informative and indicative of the critical state of “democracy” in fascist Europe and North America.

Listen to Tilly in her recorded conversation with two British intelligence police and read along with the transcripts.

Tape and transcript 1
‘We don’t discuss money, we don’t talk salaries’ Police try to recruit Matilda ‘Tilly’ Gifford, an environmental campaigner with the direct action group Plane Stupid, as an informant.

Tape and transcript 2
‘UK plc can afford more than 20 quid’

Tape and transcript 3

‘We work for the intelligence community section’


Surveillance
— The Guardian series on surveillance in the United Kingdom.

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, Protest, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Surveillance Society | Leave a Comment »

North Central High counselor working hard on behalf of U.S. military recruiters

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 23, 2008

Jane Umphrey, a counselor at Spokane’s North Central High School, has been hard at work on behalf of U.S. military recruiters. Here (click here for PDF file) are some documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Request to Spokane School District 81 in September 2005 and January 2007.

The letter from Russell J. Vaucher from the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Seattle dated 10/4/04 was sent to North Central High School and subsequently e-mailed by the District to all schools on 12/3/04. Vaucher included Section 9528 of HR 1 (“No Child Left Behind” Act) which request schools to “provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students’ names, addresses, and telephone numbers”. As you will note in Vaucher’s letter, he request specific formats for providing the information to Joseph/Jenkins@usarec.army.mil.

This request for names of Spokane District 81 student information was made in the midst of a period of massive violations of law and policy by U.S. military recruiters. By May 2005 the extent of the violations and abuses was international news and the military had shut down recruiting for a day to attempt to get a handle on the abuses.

Department of the Army Recruitment Letter to North Central High School 10-4-2004 and related documents

U.S. military recruiter misconduct is a very well established fact and has been criminally prosecuted on multiple occasions during this illegal invasion, occupation and brutalization of Iraq. The extent of the abuses was extensively documented in May 2007 (read 2007) by Nashville’s WTVF. The WTVF website includes, among many other print and video resources, a 30-minute documentary “Dishonorable Deceptions” on the recruitment of the mentally ill.

A couple years ago, U.S. military recruiters in Spokane attempted to recruit a legal Latin American immigrant out of a Spokane-area school. This kid has a 68 IQ, suffered a stroke at birth, and was in special education. His parents do not speak English. They had the nerve to visit the kid at school and at his home. After his parents complained to me, I contacted the recruiter and told him that he could certainly continue his efforts if he chose to but, if he did so, he would face being accused and hopefully charged. That was the last the family heard of him.

In addition, there is this e-mail by Frank Shaffery, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s deputy director of recruiting operations.
http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=6488309&nav=menu374_2_2

“Established cases” is only a small reflection of the actually extent of the problem. Again, the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) report in August 2006 which stated, “available service data show that between fiscal years 2004 and 2005, allegations and service-identified incidents of recruiter wrongdoing increased, collectively, from 4,400 cases to 6,600 cases; substantiated cases increased from just over 400 to almost 630 cases; and criminal violations more than doubled from just over 30 to almost 70 cases.”
http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d06846high.pdf

You will note the words “service-identified incidents” in the GAO report and you will note the number of substantiated cases increasing to a number almost double that which you present. Search the web and talk to real people in our community and you find many more allegations. No one has to doubt that the military and the Bush administration have little interest in substantiating and investigating the extent of the violations. Suffice it to say that it did not take more than a few weeks for the first major exposes on the issues before the US military took the unprecedented step of shutting down recruitment for a day to try to correct its rotten, criminal (again see the GAO stats) recruitment efforts.

Ignorant as they may be of the realities of the Middle East and of modern warfare, the U.S. president and his “chickenhawk” minions are sufficiently astute to understand that a draft would constitute the collapse of the entire house of cards and would have us once again have us remembering Kent State.
https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/2007/08/06/know-your-rights-tin-soldiers-and-nixons-coming/

The U.S. military utilizes tens of thousands of mercenaries — US and foreign — in Iraq. The military is severely broken. They are desperate for cannon fodder and are engaged in an ongoing campaign of false advertising.

Be assured that additional recruitment scandals will be forthcoming, as the abuses are occurring even as we write.
The public will continue to respond to the abuses and will legitimately continue to focus on recruiters and their superiors, all of whom are paid by the taxpayer and are subject to law.

More important than the numbers of abuses by U.S. military recruiters is the type of abuses they have engaged in. We are talking not just about misleading and exaggeration. We are talking about rape, forgery, and other sorts of crimes. As this August 20, 2006, report discloses:

(quote) More than 100 young women who expressed interest in joining the military in the past year were preyed upon sexually by their recruiters. Women were raped on recruiting office couches, assaulted in government cars and groped en route to entrance exams. A six-month Associated Press investigation found that more than 80 military recruiters were disciplined last year for sexual misconduct with potential enlistees. The cases occurred across all branches of the military and in all regions of the country. (end quote)
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/08/19/national/main1913849.shtml

Even with the number of 630, this is not insignificant. A May 5, 2005, New York Times report found that 1 in 5 recruiters was under investigation.
http://rncwatch.typepad.com/counterrecruiter/2005/05/one_in_five_rec.html
If you do not want to get to the NY Times article via a counter-recruitment blog (though this one has great resources), go directly to the NY Times article.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/03/national/03recruit.html?ex=1272772800&en=cb1c8ef720824a5d&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
http://www.quakerhouse.org/Recruiter-Abuses-03.htm

Again, I believe it is important to frame this recruitment scandal in the context of a growing list of scandals related to the U.S. defeat and fiasco in Iraq — 1) the original lies and deceptions used to convince the world and justify the invasion; 2) the cover-ups related to U.S. war crimes; 3) the thefts and maladministration of billions by U.S. forces, contractors, and companies; 4) the lies to soldiers, families and countries about the circumstances of deaths, such as those of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan and the lies about the story of Jessica Lynch and the death of her fellow soldiers; and many, many other scandals, some yet to come to light.
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/03/19/iraq_five/

Those who seek to defend this Bush/Neo-Con fiasco will always find themselves behind the fact that it is destined to be described as one of the biggest military fiasco in human history — and perhaps at the top of the list. The final consequences of the war are yet to be known. Will it lead to collapse of the U.S. economy? Will it lead to a nuclear confrontation in the Middle East? How many thousands and tens of thousands of U.S. troops will return home to kill themselves, live with mental illness, and destroy the lives of their families? How far will the image and power of the U.S. decline? Time will tell. In the meantime, facts point to a greatly diminished U.S. and a legacy equal to that of the U.S. defeat in Vietnam. How long will we be subject to the apologists?

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Surveillance Society, Unanswered Questions, US Military abuses, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

FILM — Up The Ridge: A US Prison Story — Tuesday, March 11, 2008 Magic Lantern

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 9, 2008

Up The Ridge: A U.S Prison Story
A Shocking Look Inside The Incarceration Industry

Film Screening & Public Discussion

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 — 7:30 to 9:00 PM
Magic Lantern Theater, 25 W Main, Spokane

*Due to the graphic nature of this film, it is not recommended for children
Sponsored by November Coalition Foundation and Thousand Kites

For more information call (509)684-1550 or e-mail tom@november.org

Admission is free; donations gladly accepted!

Up the Ridge: A U.S. Prison Story

Up the Ridge: A U.S. Prison Story is a one-hour television documentary produced by Appalshop’s Nick Szuberla and Amelia Kirby. In 1999, Szuberla and Kirby were volunteer DJ’s for the Appalachian region’s only hip-hop radio program in Whitesburg, KY when they received hundreds of letters from inmates transferred into nearby Wallens Ridge State Prison, the newest prison built to prop up the region’s sagging coal economy. The letters described human rights violations and racial tension between staff and inmates. Filming began that year and, through the lens of Wallens Ridge, the film offers viewers an in-depth look at the United States prison industry and the social impact of moving hundreds of thousands of inner-city minority offenders to distant rural outposts. Up the Ridge explores competing political agendas that align government policy with human rights violations, and political expediencies that bring communities into racial and cultural conflict with tragic consequences. As the film makes plain, connections exist, in both practice and ideology, between human rights violations in Abu Ghraib and physical and sexual abuse recorded in American prisons.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisons in Spokane, Racism, Solutions, Surveillance Society, Urgent Call, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Did the Secret Service set up Barack Obama for assassination?

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 1, 2008

Elections & Voting
Did the Secret Service set up Barack Obama for assassination?
By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

Feb 25, 2008, 00:55

According to the Dallas Star-Telegram, the Secret Service gave an order to stop screening for weapons for a full hour before the February 20 Barack Obama rally in Dallas. Metal detectors were turned off, and bags were not checked, as hundreds were allowed to file into Reunion Arena. This bizarre activity “ordered by federal officials,” was immediately reported by an alarmed Dallas Police Department, which knew that it was a “lapse in security.”

The Secret Service (which has been assigned to Obama since August 2007) has denied the allegations, declaring post-facto that the event was secure. However, the Secret Service has provided no detailed explanation about this blatant security stand-down. It is not known who gave the orders. The Obama camp itself has issued no statement.

While this story has been vastly underreported by major corporate media, independent liberal media, particularly Democratic Party and Obama faithful, have expressed astonishment and outrage. President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination in Dallas, Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1968 (which came on the eve of his California presidential primary victory) were also facilitated by Secret Service “lapses.”

While there is no doubt that Barack Obama, bankrolled and sponsored by political elites, appears to be closing in on the Democratic Party nomination, and is an enthusiastic imperial war facilitator, this does not eliminate the real danger he faces from political adversaries.

It goes without saying that Obama is viewed as a bitter enemy (at the very least a symbolic one) by the Bush-Cheney-McCain-neocon gang. Obama not only faces threats from fanatical right-wing and racist elements, but the desperately power-hungry rivals within the more conservative neoliberal wing of the Democratic faction, led by the Clintons. The incendiary Karl Rove-esque attacks launched against Obama by the Clinton apparatus have become increasingly bitter, personal, and below-the-belt in recent weeks.

Obama is also competing with Hillary Clinton for the support of John Edwards. Edwards, the calculating emissary of Bilderberg Group interests, who was, according to Daniel Estulin, author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, handpicked by Henry Kissinger to be John Kerry’s vice presidential partner in 2004, may be positioning himself for the same powerful seat this year. Kissinger (who is lurking in McCain’s camp for 2008) and other leading elites already have control of the entire process, from both sides.

Obama’s supporters, and congressional allies such as Senator Dick Durbin, have been concerned for Obama’s safety for months.

It must be noted that the Clintons’ longtime criminal connections, which both tie to, and parallel, those of the Bush family/faction are well-documented (but roundly ignored) fact. The Clintons and Bushes have been full partners across official and unofficial power agendas, co-rulers of the United States, for over two decades. The body count that can be attributed to these two cooperative factions is long and gruesome.

The Clintons’ love of presidential election-season intimidation and dirty tricks are well-known. During the 1992 race for the Democratic Party nomination, Jerry Brown repeatedly accused the Clintons of resorting to tricks worthy of Nixon. As noted by Michael C. Ruppert in Crossing the Rubicon, Ross Perot withdrew from the 1992 presidential contest, pressured into assuring a Clinton victory, after Perot and has family received death threats. (Ruppert, who worked for the Perot campaign, witnessed this firsthand.)

Any prominent political figure who dares vary an inch from the imperial geopolitical script faces threats; first to their reputations and careers, and then their lives. In the “godfather government” that is the United States, this is the rule. This same criminal stranglehold prevents “change” — even the slightest variance from establishment consensus. And even high-level representatives who operate well within the consensus must still defend themselves from “colleagues.”

No government can be trusted. Nor can government officials and elites trust each other.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

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Here is my comment posted on the Dallas Star website in response to the original news article reporting this incident:

As the OnLine Journal makes clear in its article, “Did the Secret Service set up Barack Obama for assassination?”, Obama is a ruling class candidate. However, he was not supposed to have “slipped through the nominating process” with the kind of mass following, momentum, etc. With the likes of Kucinich, Paul, Nader, etc, it has always been easy to just look the door to the debate halls and exclude them. Or if they run as third party or independent candidates then the media marginalizes and ridicules and simply does not cover them. Or in the case of Dean who managed to get to Iowa with a head of steam but without endorsement of the ruling class, the party machine and the media took his exuberant shout and declared him “dead on arrival” as a result of a self inflicted wound (his shout in a campaign event). But what do you do when on the scene appears a charismatic leader like Obama who may be too savvy and suave to shoot himself in the foot much less the head as Dean did and who, worse yet, makes it all the way to Texas and Ohio with a long string of victories over the establishment’s candidate (i.e., Clinton, as in Bush 1, Clinton 1, Bush 2, Clinton 2)?. What does the ruling class do when a candidate who would dare to stand up and propose change manages to slip through the media/money/machine controlled process of the caucuses and looks like he may ride popular sentiment to a true mandate (not the 1% or less “mandates” that recent presidents have had)? What does the ruling class do? They call out the “assets” and ” secret teams” within the permanent government, not the permanent government of beltway bureaucrats but the permanent government of the Cheneys and Kissengers and others who represent the true interests behind real political power in this country. Let us not be naive again. David Brookbank

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Racism, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

WikiLeaks.org

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 1, 2008

U.S. Federal Judge fails in effort to censor WikiLeaks website…

More Twists and Turns in WikiLeaks Case (New York Times, 2/28/08)

The site describes itself as “developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis” and committed to assisting “people of all regions who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations.”

Judge Says WikiLeaks Site Can Have Its Web Address Back (New York Times, 2/29/08)

A federal judge in San Francisco said on Friday that he would withdraw an order that shut down the Web address for Wikileaks.org, a site that allows anonymous posting of documents to assist “peoples of all countries who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations.” … The judge’s action drew criticism – and court filings – from numerous organizations concerned that the order violated the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.

As an example of what you might find on the Wikileaks.org site, here is a link to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual for the “Soviet-style gulag” run by the U.S. at Camp Delta inside the unlawful torture and detention facility run by the United States government and military and CIA at Gitmo (Guantanamo) on Castro’s Cuba.  There on page 1.3 you will read curiously specific language stating that:

(quote)   Personnel are not authorized to use or have in their possession unauthorized weapons, including but no limited to,  firearms, knives, ,batons, sap gloves (lead filled padded gloves), kubatons, night sticks, PR-24s, collapsing/expandable batons and any other weapons not specifically authorized.  (end quote)

Any one who believes that they may be subject to unlawful detention or forced disappearance by the increasingly fascistic U.S. government or forces in its deploy (Blackwater-type mercenaries, for ex.) would be well-advised to thoroughly read this document to understand the rules for processing prisoners, medical care, access by International Red Cross, permissible use of force, etc. 

According to analysis of the document on the WikiLeaks site, the U.S. military manual lays out torture at Guantanamo at the Wikileaks site:

*quote*

The Miami Herald describes the manual and its importance and gives a flavor of its bureaucratic contents:

“A how-to manual, it draws back a curtain on the secretive, isolated base in 2003, more than a year into operation of the Bush administration prison. And it lays out — with typical military attention to detail — everything from when to use pepper spray to who should witness a cavity search to how to dig a proper Muslim grave. It also offers the mundane details of what detainees were given at the open-air prison camp overlooking the Caribbean, where the Pentagon today holds about 300 war-on-terror captives at Guantanamo for possible interrogation and trial by Military Commission. No hair dye, it says on one page. But a double amputee got to keep a bucket in his cell, it says.”

*end quote*

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Law, Solutions, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

U.S. Police State — 1 in 100 Americans in Jail, per studies reported in NY Times

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 1, 2008

Excerpt —

The report points out …. that prison growth and higher incarceration rates do not reflect a parallel increase in crime, or a corresponding surge in the nation’s population at large. Instead, more people are behind bars principally because of a wave of policy choices that are sending more lawbreakers to prison and, through popular “three-strikes” measures and other sentencing laws, imposing longer prison stays on inmates.

Pew Report Finds More than One in 100 Adults are Behind Bars

Release Type: Pew Press Release

Pew Contact: Jessica Riordan, Communications (215) 575-4886; jriordan@pewtrusts.org

Washington, DC – 02/28/2008 – For the first time in history more than one in every 100 adults in America are in jail or prison—a fact that significantly impacts state budgets without delivering a clear return on public safety. According to a new report released today by the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project, at the start of 2008, 2,319,258 adults were held in American prisons or jails, or one in every 99.1 men and women, according to the study. During 2007, the prison population rose by more than 25,000 inmates. In addition to detailing state and regional prison growth rates, Pew’s report, One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008, identifies how corrections spending compares to other state investments, why it has increased, and what some states are doing to limit growth in both prison populations and costs while maintaining public safety.

As prison populations expand, costs to states are on the rise. Last year alone, states spent more than $49 billion on corrections, up from $11 billion 20 years before. However, the national recidivism rate remains virtually unchanged, with about half of released inmates returning to jail or prison within three years. And while violent criminals and other serious offenders account for some of the growth, many inmates are low-level offenders or people who have violated the terms of their probation or parole.“For all the money spent on corrections today, there hasn’t been a clear and convincing return for public safety,” said Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project. “More and more states are beginning to rethink their reliance on prisons for lower-level offenders and finding strategies that are tough on crime without being so tough on taxpayers.”

According to the report, 36 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons saw their prison populations increase in 2007. Among the seven states with the largest number of prisoners—those with more than 50,000 inmates—three grew (Ohio, Florida and Georgia), while four (New York, Michigan, Texas and California) saw their populations dip. Texas surpassed California as the nation’s prison leader following a decline in both states’ inmate populations—Texas decreased by 326 inmates and California by 4,068. Ten states, meanwhile, experienced a jump in inmate population growth of 5 percent or greater, a list topped by Kentucky with a surge of 12 percent.

A close examination of the most recent U.S. Department of Justice data (2006) found that while one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is behind bars, the figure is one in nine for black males in that age group. Men are still roughly 13 times more likely to be incarcerated, but the female population is expanding at a far brisker pace. For black women in their mid- to late-30s, the incarceration rate also has hit the one-in-100 mark. In addition, one in every 53 adults in their 20s is behind bars; the rate for those over 55 is one in 837.

The report points out the necessity of locking up violent and repeat offenders, but notes that prison growth and higher incarceration rates do not reflect a parallel increase in crime, or a corresponding surge in the nation’s population at large. Instead, more people are behind bars principally because of a wave of policy choices that are sending more lawbreakers to prison and, through popular “three-strikes” measures and other sentencing laws, imposing longer prison stays on inmates.

As a result, states’ corrections costs have risen substantially. Twenty years ago, the states collectively spent $10.6 billion of their general funds—their primary discretionary dollars—on corrections. Last year, they spent more than $44 billion in general funds, a 315 percent jump, and more than $49 billion in total funds from all sources. Coupled with tightening state budgets, the greater prison expenditures may force states to make tough choices about where to spend their money. For example, Pew found that over the same 20-year period, inflation-adjusted general fund spending on corrections rose 127 percent while higher education expenditures rose just 21 percent.

“States are paying a high cost for corrections—one that may not be buying them as much in public safety as it should. And spending on prisons may be crowding out investments in other valuable programs that could enhance a state’s economic competitiveness,” said Susan K. Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States. “There are other choices. Some state policy makers are experimenting with a range of community punishments that are as effective as incarceration in protecting public safety and allow states to put the brakes on prison growth.”

According to Pew, some states are attempting to protect public safety and reap corrections savings primarily by holding lower-risk offenders accountable in less-costly settings and using intermediate sanctions for parolees and probationers who violate conditions of their release. These include a mix of community-based programs such as day reporting centers, treatment facilities, electronic monitoring systems and community service—tactics recently adopted in Kansas and Texas. Another common intervention, used in Kansas and Nevada, is making small reductions in prison terms for inmates who complete substance abuse treatment and other programs designed to cut their risk of recidivism.

Pew was assisted in collecting state prison counts by the Association of State Correctional Administrators and the JFA Institute. The report also relies on data published by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Association of State Budget Officers, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

To view the entire report, including state-by-state data and methodology, visit the Public Safety Performance Project’s web Site.

Launched in 2006 as a project of Pew’s Center on the States, the Public Safety Performance Project seeks to help states advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in sentencing and corrections that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs.

The Pew Charitable Trusts applies the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Our Center on the States identifies and advances effective policy approaches to critical issues facing states. Online at www.pewcenteronthestates.org.

ASSOCIATED REPORT:
One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Prison Industrial Complex, Racism, Statistics | Leave a Comment »

InfraGard — The surveillance society, government/corporate integration, and paranoid FBI wannabees

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 20, 2008

[Note: This is an initial draft on InfraGard. Future drafts will be posted in its place with the date of posting.]

Perhaps you are just hearing about Infragard for the first time from sources such as Democracy Now with Amy Goodman (transcript / audio / video) or The FBI Deputizes Business at CommonDreams.org .

The many InfraGard website representing different states, regions of the country, and sectors of the economy are presented as if public disclosure were one of the organization’s virtues. Therefore it prominently lists its membership as “23,682 members, including FBI”.

However, without a background check and a password don’t expect to be anymore privy and have any more access to the warnings and information sharing between the US government (the FBI, FEMA, and Homeland Security, among many others) and this group of “special citizens” than you will have to the special access chatter about “pro-police” and “anti-police” businesses on the Spokane Police Guild website. Just how special these “special citizens” are, what access they have, and whether or not they have been given “shoot to kill” authority by the U.S. government, is not all entirely clear. Yet.

And all of this raises many other questions such as the connection between programs such as InfraGard and such programs such as state level “fusion centers. It is this entire matter of “private-public collaboration” in surveillance and the growing national security apparatus in the U.S. which is raised by Matthew Rothschild in his article and his interview with Amy Goodman. As he states in his interview with Goodman, “it is another piece of our bill of rights going down the tubes, another aspect of repression that the Bush Administration has built up…it is really frightening what is happening to our democracy here”. And it is another piece of in the increasing extra-constitutional privatization of U.S. military, intelligence, policing, and prisons.

The InfraGard website states in its most simplistic description of the organization:

InfraGard is an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard Chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories.

So where to start? If we take the FBI’s word on it, we are talking about an average of about 473 InfraGard members per state. Of course territories — such as Puerto Rico — are no doubt included but let’s go with 23,682 members in 50 states.

A good example of a state InfraGard chapter is the Connecticut chapter, a registered 501(c)3 763 members representing 485 organizations.

So who are likely members in the state of Washington?

Obviously FBI personnel themselves, though not all are specifically assigned. In terms of FBI agents in the state of Washington, FBI guardian angel, U.S. senator Patty Murray recently stated that Washington state has only 133 FBI agents assigned here. She apparently bought the argument of police chiefs in the state (most of whom have intimate relationships with the FBI) as well as the tale by former FBI agent, now Safeway loss prevention officer, that:

…. grocery stores along the Interstate 5 corridor in Washington state have been targeted by organized thieves, many of whom are undocumented immigrants driving cars with California plates. Typically, the items stolen wind up in the Vancouver, Wash., and Portland areas, and they eventually are repackaged and reintroduced into the supply line.

The portrayal of Infragard as “a secret organization” is clearly correct. First of all, without a U.S. government security clearance, you will not be accepted for membership. The many InfraGard sub-organizations, whether they represent states, industries or regional membership, all provide limited access membership areas on the internet.

However, the fact that Infragard is secret does not mean that a half hour on the internet will not turn up a good bit of information about it. The CIA and the NSA are also secret organization and a lot is know about them. We just don’t know exactly which prisoners are being sodomized at Guantanamo or by precisely which branch of the U.S. government. Likewise we do not know the exact extent of Soviet-era spying on U.S. citizens by neighbors, coworkers, and employers by InfraGard and its member network.

Let’s start with the likely e-mail address for Spokane’s Infragard FBI agent — infragard.spokane@fbi.gov This comes from extrapolating from other Infragard FBI email’s such as that of the Atlanta office.

And who would be my guess of the primary Spokane InfraGard FBI contact? Andy Castor. And then there is Erin Klunder from the FBI’s Seattle office and listed in 2007 as “Infragard Coordinator” (whatever the hell that is) for Washington state’s Evergreen Chapter of InfraGard.

Wondering what the benefits of Infragard membership are or how to apply? It is all right here on the Infragard website at http://www.infragard.net/member.php?mn=2

Want to know who was elected Vice President of the Evergreen Chapter of Infragard in 2006? Pacific Northwest National Laboratory counterintelligence officer Greg Chartrand. (PNNL is located in Richland, Washington, and is no doubt a veritable spider’s nest of Infragard membership and domestic intelligence gathering activities.)

Chartrand Elected Vice President of InfraGard’s Evergreen Chapter in Washington State

Chartrand Elected Vice President of InfraGard’s Evergreen Chapter in Washington State

Greg Chartrand, a counterintelligence officer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been elected Vice President of InfraGard’s Evergreen Chapter in Washington State. InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and the private sector that was established to share information and intelligence regarding critical infrastructures. Chartrand specializes in information sciences and special technologies. He is the first PNNL employee to serve in the role of vice president of InfraGard’s Evergreen chapter. (announced 4/1/2006)

Now guess, who is the Infragard Evergreen Chapter President?

From the Washington state InfraGard website at http://www.infragard-wa.org/ here is a list of the 2007 Board of Directors of the Evergreen Chapter:

2007 Board of Directors
President:Todd Plesco
Vice President: Raymond Pompon
Coordinator: Erin Klunder, Infragard Coordinator, FBI Seattle

So who is Todd Plesco? Todd it turns out is not only Compliance Security Officer for King County Public Health, one of the largest health departments in the U.S, where access to medical records is part of his job, an access that is probably pretty useful to the FBI as part of Todd’s role as an Infragard secret agent man. Not always looking happy, Todd has a resume that probably is not too different from a lot of the techie’s involved in Infragard — military experience, lots of information security background, and training at Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glencoe, Georgia. From Todd’s personal blog (Todd Plesco’s Desert Storm Gallery), here is a trophy photo from his days in the U.S. Marine Corps during Gulf War 1. Todd describes the shot by writing, “Since the Middle East forbade alcohol, we found it a task to obtain one frosty cold beer. Here I am, having a celebratory beer on news that Pres Bush has determined “mission accomplished”. My guess it that it was not much of a task to find that cold one, in reality, was it Todd? Nor to find that medical record that the FBI asked you for on a King County resident of interest for their involvement in protesting phase two of the Bush families wars in Iraq and the Gulf.

InfraGard provides us a look at social networking in the age of the surveillance society and the recruitment of a domestic intelligence organization. Thus it is no surprise that Todd Plesco participates in every on line social networking circle imaginable from FaceBook to PeekYou to MeetUp to Friendster and in most all of them makes reference, even in Friendster, to his InfraGard affiliation.

Closer to home, who are two prominent Spokane participant in InfraGard? Nolan Garrett and Jeff Jones, co-founders of Intrinium Security in the Spokane Valley (see bios at crosstechmedia.com) As their company website shows, Garrett and Jones are InfraGard recruiters. From the Intrinium website, you can go directly to the InfraGard website and watch a video of FBI director Robert Mueller extolling the virtues of paranoia and domestic spying/surveillance (remember it was on Mueller’s incompetent watch that this country lost the Twin Towers.

The cachet of Infragard membership is such that some members use it as a tag added to their names when they sign blog entries.

And don’t worry, if you are looking for membership in this “club” and have the following documents, your application will be expedited:

InfraGard Qualified Substitutes for Records Check

The following United States Government-issued Security Clearances are Qualified Substitutes for the records check required for InfraGard Membership:

  1. Confidential
  2. Secret
  3. Top Secret

An InfraGard Applicant/Member may submit evidence of their possession of one of the above clearances to expedite the initial processing and periodic renewal of their InfraGard Membership.

Just remember to send your completed application to:

FBI Seattle
InfraGard Program Coordinator
Federal Office Building
1110 Third Ave
Seattle, Washington 98101-2904

And please remember: All applications should be typed and placed in a sealed envelope.

What sort of people are members of Infragard? Well, given that it started out in 1996 under the pretext of “guarding the infrastructure” of the cybernetic world, many members were and are computer techs, ITs, techie-types.

In the case of Mr. Chartrand, mentioned above for his role as Vice President of InfraGard’s Evergreen Chapter in Washington State, he is a counterintelligence officer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This despite serious intel shortcomings at the labs.

Intel Shortcomings at Two Labs: IG. An inspector general inquiry at the Lawrence Livermore and Pacific Northwest national laboratories has found that while federal and contractor employees were generally in compliance with Energy Department policies and procedures for intelligence activities, only four of 29 intelligence and counterintelligence analysts at the labs interviewed could define a “U.S. person.” In a new report, the IG said it also found that the labs’ reviews to assess adherence to guidelines on retention of information on U.S. persons were incomplete and that none of the 29 analysts interviewed could correctly describe the process for reporting conduct that would violate a 1981 executive order aimed at ensuring the effectiveness of intelligence and counterintelligence activities. In conducting the review, the IG interviewed DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration officials at the Richland (Wash.) Operations and the Livermore (Calif.) Site offices, and contractor officials at LLNL and PNNL. To remedy the problems, the IG recommended that DOE and NNSA ensure employees receive training familiarizing them with the Executive Order and DOE Procedures for Intelligence Activities. The directors of the DOE and NNSA intelligence officers agreed with the recommendations, and told the IG in an Aug. 6 letter they would “will make a renewed effort to ensure” all pertinent employees “achieve the requisite familiarity” with the department’s procedures and the executive order. The report is available at http://www.ig.doe.gov.

http://regionaloutreach.pnl.gov/speakers-bureau/events_archive.aspx

The focus on technology infrastructure is evident in the many InfraGard meetings like this held by the MidTennessee chapter of Infragard — * (Oct. 19) InfraGard Middle Tennessee meeting, 11:30 a.m., speaker FBI liaison Victor Rodriguez on new FBI CyberCrime unit in Nashville, Cisco offices, 700 Executive Center. Details.

The InfoSecNews website provides an interesting running compendium of news articles.

http://www.infosecnews.org/hypermail/thread.html

And of course, as one would expect, a major government project to infiltrate civic society will produce many offspring. Take this for example, Agrigard.

What is Agrigard? According to the InfraGard website, The food and agriculture section of the program, dubbed AgriGard, is where farmers and other rural residents have a role to play. Food and agriculture was designated a special interest group because it’s physically impossible for local law enforcement or any government agency to secure every head of livestock, field and tanker truck across the nation.

Members of AgriGard use a secure Internet portal to provide the FBI “on-the-ground” information about their local communities that may be helpful in preventing terrorism and other crimes. They are able to access current information about local threats, advisories, alerts and warnings, many of which are not available to the public. Members also may share information with each other and the FBI through the secure portal, in addition to learning about ongoing research on critical infrastructure protection.

And as Infragard and its FBI bosses indicate repeatedly, “You may not be an FBI agent, but you can do your part to protect America by joining today.” They appeal to the “secret agent man” and Soviet bloc neighborhood informant in every American, for example stating,

The proliferation in recent years of popular television programs and movies featuring FBI agents might lead one to believe entry into that profession is open to virtually anyone with a yearning for adventure and a belief in the agency’s motto – “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.” The truth, however, is that rigorous academic, fitness and security standards preclude most Americans from ever becoming FBI agents. But farmers, ranchers and other rural residents do have a unique opportunity to help the FBI protect America’s food supply, through membership in local chapters of the FBI’s InfraGard program.

Infragard members now have their own website and “alliance” at http://www.infragardmembers.org/ and their own Infragard National Members Alliance Quarterly Newsletter, subscription to which is of course reserved for your neighbors, friends, coworkers and employers who have passed an FBI background check.

Or perhaps you want to become a Weapons of Mass Destruction First Responder . (As an example of the fact that anyone in our communities might be part of this secret FBI organized organization, the author of this first responer article is Freeman Mendell, Infragard National Members Alliance Board of Directors member and an Audit Manager for the Galveston County Auditor’s Office in Galveston County, Texas. The language used in the documents and websites of and related to Infragard is troubling to some and has been from the start, especially the use of the term “homeland”. From the 2007 National Strategy for Homeland Security comes this:

As we sustain the evolution underway in these areas, success in securing the Homeland
requires that we prioritize the continued transformation of our law enforcement and military
instruments of national power.

What type of weapons might the U.S. government arm members of Infragard with? One example from this network news video is this LED Incapacitator, a new weapon for which U.S. Homeland Security paid almost $1 million dollars. It is expected to be put in the hands of local and state police forces, the US Coast Guard, Secret Service, Border Patrol and U.S. Air Marshalls. The film footage in the video link had to be modified by KOVR CBS Channel 13 in Sacramento, California to prevent it from causing TV viewers to become dizzy. The video photo starts with protesters being attacked by police, suggesting that this is the type of scenario in which the weapon would be used.

So at what type of meeting might there be a prominent presence of InfraGard? The Secure World Expo for one. Without much more brains than the FBI team tracking Osama Bin Laden, one can conclude that all the sponsor organizations listed down the left side of that web page are deeply InfraGard involved. And they are only the tip of the iceberg. Of course the model is to integrate all government and corporate entities in this neo-fascist, national security state project.

Peter H. Gregory is an information security expert. On his blog “Securitas Operandi“, he has placed a logo for InfraGard on his blog and states that he is on the Board of Directors of the Evergreen Chapter (Washington State) of Infragard. He is also on the board of advisors and a frequent lecturer for the National Security Agency (NSA) certified University of Washington Certificate Program in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity (Press Release). In fact, Gregory’s list of his involvement in Advisory Boards and Memberships serves as a good starting point in exploring organizations in the Northwest, some of them U.S. domestic intelligence-related organizations such as the FBI Tip Line at NW Warn . For whatever reasons — to reassure the reader or himself — Gregory also posts the InfraGard Code of Ethics.

Here is just one example of the type of information one would find on the Infragard website —

If It Breaks, It Doesn’t Matter How
By Ira Winkler

Too many companies separate different security disciplines into different departments. This espionage case study, demonstrates that you need holistic protection to truly protect your information.

The Attack
An accomplice and I tested this organization’s susceptibility to social engineering. Getting started, we reconnoitered the main entrance to our client’s building and found that the reception/security desk, staffed by a single female receptionist, was in the middle of a very large lobby. The next day, we walked into the building during the morning rush pretending to be on cell phones. We stayed at least 15 feet from the woman at the security desk and simply ignored her as we walked by.

Once inside the facility, we found a conference room, setup shop and sat down to plan the rest of the day, deciding that a facility badge would be a great way to get things rolling. I picked up the phone, called the main information number and asked for the office that makes up the badges. I was forwarded to the reception/security desk and, pretending to be the CIO, told the person on the other end of the line that he wanted a couple of subcontractors to get badges. The person told me to “send them down to the main lobby.”

A uniformed guard greeted us in the lobby and took us back to a room where they made up the badges. The guard asked us what we were working on, and we mentioned computers, so he asked us if we needed access to the computer room. Of course I said, “That would help.”

Within minutes my accomplice and I both had badges with access to all office areas and the Computer Operations Center. An hour later, we went to the basement and used my badge to open up the main computer room door. Everyone was in one room of the facility. Through a window we saw what appeared to be the server room and used my badge to walk right in. There was one monitor turned on and it appeared to be a Windows Primary Domain Controller (PDC). We brought up the user administration tool, added a new user to the domain, and made the user a member of the administrators group, then quickly left.

With in two hours we had full control of and access to the entire corporate network, for all practical purposes. As part of this test, we also used the badges to perform some after-hours walkthroughs of the building focusing on the executive suites. In doing this, we found the key to the CEO’s office and were able to plant a mock bug in there. Can you imagine the ramifications of that?

The Outcome
Nobody outside the team knew what we did until they were told. After they were informed, the guard supervisor called me and wanted the name of the guard who issued the badges. I told him that the fact that he didn’t know who did it was a problem in and of itself and refused to disclose this information. If he wanted it, he would have to contact the CIO.

Clearly, this focuses on one attack vector of the espionage simulation. There were weaknesses in the organization’s computers, as well as their overall physical security, providing multiple ways to compromise the same information. The compromised information could have resulted in tremendous loss of intellectual property, and in some cases, placed the corporate executives at great risk. Since the company’s line of business involves critical infrastructure components, the information could enable successful terrorist attacks.

How this Could Have Been Prevented
This espionage simulation highlighted how physical and technical vulnerabilities combine to cause great damage, and security programs must be holistic in response. The security desk should have been closer to the entrance, and there should have been a formal process for issuing badges. Access to special areas, like the computer room, should require approval from a known entity and once granted, a confirmation should have been sent to the approver. The password feature of the screensaver for the PDC should have been activated, the account should not have been logged on in the first place, and the addition of an administrator-level account should have been audited and alerted.


Ira Winkler CISSP, CISM is well known for his social engineering skills. More of his case studies appear in his books, Corporate Espionage and Spies Among Us.

 

Posted in Corruption, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, InfraGard, Know Your Rights, Surveillance Society, Unanswered Questions | 1 Comment »

Sound the Alarm — We Will Not Be Silent

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 7, 2008

There are times when to show up in great numbers is itself an act of resistance.

March 19, 2008 is one of those times.

We need to show up.

www.5yearstoomany.org

A CALL TO ACTION: March 19, 2008 will mark the beginning of the 6th year of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. This is the time in which we live. This is our time to respond.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.

(Original video)

*********************************************

As long as the United States is engaged in an illegal war of occupation and as long as it suppresses opposition to that illegal war through constitutional violations at home, there will be increasing dissent and protest at home. We will not be silent! — David Brookbank

We Will Not Be Silent

 

Iraqi Victims — Photos from Fallujah

 

Banning Free Speech and Dangerous T-Shirts

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest and Free Speech, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

4/16/08 Chief Anne Kirkpatrick on Keeping the Community “Safe”

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 31, 2008

Of all people…

On Wednesday, April 16, 2008, the Spokane City Forum will bring Anne Kirkpatrick, chief of the scandal-ridden Spokane Police Department, speaking about “What it takes to keep a Community Safe”.

Interestingly, in the age of private security contractors, domestic spying, and use of illegal government powers, Kirkpatrick will team with the local head of a national company which engages in secret collaborations with the police.

If you would like to see which side of her mouth the Chief speaks on this occasion, or perhaps even hear her sing, “I fought the Police Guild and the Police Guild won”, as well as learn more about private/public cooperation in the age of the police state, please read the following details. Then don’t miss the event…


Phone: 509-777-1555
Fax: 509-747-1171

Remind me of upcoming Spokane City Forums…


Meeting Location:
First Presbyterian Church
318 South Cedar Street
Spokane, WA 99204

Meeting Time: 11:45 A.M.

Take me to…
First Presbyterian Church

Cost to attend is $10.00 and includes lunch. Please make reservations at least two business days in advance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 11:45 First Presbyterian Church, Spokane

Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Police Chief & Pat DeVries, President of DeVries Business Records Management

“What it takes to keep a Community Safe”

One of the most fundamental necessities in life is safety. To reach this level of safety, it takes a partnership between both civilian and governmental organizations. Anne Kirkpatrick and Pat DeVries will speak about what it takes to prevent crime from the Police Department down to the civilian level.

* Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Chief of Police, has been in law enforcement for more than 25 years, including three posts as Chief of Police in Washington cities. Her diverse experience has given her great perspective on leadership. She will speak in detail about the guiding principles important in leading a Police Department as well as discuss what it takes to lead “through the storms” that come.

* Pat DeVries is the Owner/President of DeVries Business Records Management, a company celebrating 20 years of operation. In addition to his professional experience, he has been leading the charge of crime prevention from the civilian sector. He is the President of “Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest,” a local division of a national civilian crime prevention organization. He will share his wisdom in what civilians can do to collaborate with the Police Department to make our communities safer for everyone.


Posted in Educating the Chief, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Solutions, Unanswered Questions, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »

Sibel Edmonds — Blowing the lid off the FBI, CIA, and high level US Traitors

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 21, 2008

Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged person in US history. The government has repeatedly invoked the State Secrets Privilege in her case – not for reasons of ‘national security’ but to hide ongoing criminal activity. Please call Congressman Henry Waxman and John Conyers as well as Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy to demand public open hearings into Edmonds’ case and the State Secrets Privilege.

Sibel Edmonds — PEN Newman Award RecipientPEN American Center has named Sibel Edmonds, a translator who was fired from her job at the FBI after complaining of intelligence failures and poor performance in her unit, as the recipient of this year’s prestigious PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.

Sibel Edmonds — Investigations Thwarted — Why have so many investigations been dropped? Whose interests are being served? Demand hearings.

Sibel Edmonds: A Patriot Silenced, Unjustly Fired but Fighting Back to Help Keep America Safe — ACLU

Jan. 6, 2008 The Sunday Times (of London) — For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets

Jan. 20, 2008 The Sunday Times (of London) — FBI Accused of Covering up Government Dealings with Network Stealing Nuclear Secrets

Let Sibel Edmonds Speak — Official documents prove FBI lied to protect US Officials

Daniel Ellsberg on Failure of US Media to Report Coverup by FBI, CIA, and Department of State Treason — 1 and 2.

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Up 40% year-to-date

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 20, 2008

Usage statistics for this blog show readership up 40% year-to-date. On-line just 6 months, SpokanePoliceAbuses will go over 20,000 hits in the next couple days and reached a single week high with a day remaining in the week.

Whether it is satellite imagery of the CIA’s SERE Torture Training facility outside Spokane, video of police brutality and arbitrary exercise of repressive powers by the Spokane Police Department, or links to SPD officers such as bodybuilding undercover SPD cop Mel Tramell or recently fired SPD cop and deputized federal drug task force member Jason Uberuaga (alleged rapist), you will find information on it here.

Want to see pictures of weaponry in the militarized arsenal of the Spokane area law enforcement? You will find it here.

Concerned about Spokane Police officers blogging under pseudonyms and phony names on Spokesman-Review blogs? Get the story and analysis at SpokanePoliceAbuses.

Not aware that Spokane was the site of mass civil action and brutal repression against the likes of Elizabeth Gurley-Flynn in 1909?

Did not know that martial law was declared in Spokane by the federal government in 1917? Click here.

Concerned about possible ethical issues involving Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick? Read more.

Information on those matters and more can be found here at SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com

Want to know more about Spokane area law enforcement “personalities of note” such as Ron “Rocketsbrain” Wright, Mark Fuhrman, Alan Chertok, and Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak?

Looking for statistics, reports and information for your own investigations and efforts to bring to Spokane Police Department under civilian oversight?

Concerned about the unresolved homicide-by-cops of Otto Zehm?

Disturbed by the involvement of FBI agent Jason Oakley in the spying on and infiltrating of local activist organizations? See also FBI Watchlist — Spokane Edition.

There are also numerous videos, some related to the Spokane Police Department such as “You Honkey, We Drinkey — or Officer Brownlee’s Excellent Adventures” and those related to the Police Riot against Youth in Riverfront Park on 7/4/07.

However, there are many other videos. Want to see the infamous UCLA tasering video, or the tasering of the University of Florida student who attempted to address Sen. John Kerry, or the Polish man tasered and killed in the Vancouver International Airport?

These videos are evidence of the danger of misuse of tasers by poorly trained, unskilled, and out-of-control police officers. They are also evidence of the lie of freedom and democracy in North American which rapidly being disclosed to the people of the world by citizen journalists armed with cameras, cell phones, and recording devices.

David Brookbank — owner, administrator and author of the SpokanePoliceAbuses blog — believes that there is an intimate and demonstrable connection between abuses of police power in Spokane, Washington, and the unrelenting imperialist brutalization of the globe by the government of the United States. As a result, this blog also hosts a number of articles, commentaries, photographs, links, and videos related directly to fascism, imperialism, Iraq, Vietnam, Nixon, Bush, anti-war protest, U.S. government spying and lying, and numerous other subjects.

Thus one will find here music videos, some with commentary, such as Call it Democracy, Welcome to 1984, Ohio, and La Coartada.

A favorite video of mine is “What it’s like” by Everlast, presented in the context of a Spokane Police Officer’s statement to a community health worker: “I have a job to do. I have to get these shit bags out of the park”.

There are documentary clips such as Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, U.S. government waterboarding training videos, and Ward Churchill on Perpetual War: State Sponsored Terrorism.

Please visit this site frequently. Send the link to those you know looking to bring accountability to the Spokane Police Department and those abusing power around the world.

And finally, please send your suggestions, leads, and comments to me at spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane LE Personalities, Statistics, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Video of Spokane protest arrests shows lack of respect for free speech

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 20, 2008

Though the event occurred on June 27, 2007, I have just come across this video and commentary about the arrest of two protesters during then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s secret meeting with Spokane area law enforcement. The importance of this information falls in two areas — 1) the text reprinted below is an excellent statement by a Spokane journalist on Spokane police acting arbitrarily against peaceful protesters, and 2) it includes an exceptionally revealing video of the arrests of both the wheelchair-bound Rebecca Lamb and local populist Dan Treecraft. (Note: as of 1/24/08 Frank Sennett will be a Chicago journalist, having just taken over the position of editor for Time Out Chicago.)

(quote)

Video of Spokane protest arrests shows casual lack of respect for free speech

Watch this video of the June 27 protest against U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and you’ll see a peaceful group of demonstraters calling for an end to the war.

But the Spokane Police Department can’t just let the proceedings play out calmly. Instead, an officer moves to arrest a woman in a wheelchair–Rebecca Lamb–after she refuses to move behind an arbitrary free-speech line officers are setting up with traffic cones and yellow tape. That’s even though the group is showing no tendency toward disorder or disruption.

With this capricious exercise of police authority (and authority granted by whom?–certainly not the Constitution), the officers turn the heat up on the proceedings and earn some chants along the lines of “No more cops.”

Soon, they arrest protester Dan Treecraft for crossing the street.

The SPD leadership must set a much higher threshold for triggering arrests of peaceful protesters in Spokane.

This is not a police state nor a security state.

People require the latitude to express themselves peacefully under the law without being bullied and ordered around by officers who somehow perceive 55-year-old, wheelchair-bound activists as threats to public safety.

UPDATE: Here’s another video of the arrests, forwarded by a reader.

(end quote)

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Canada Puts U.S. on Torture Watch List

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 18, 2008

The Canadian government has put the United States on a watch list of countries that could practice torture. The mention is made on a secret Canadian government document not intended for public release. The document cites the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay and lists U.S. interrogation techniques including “forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation.” Other countries on the list include Israel, Syria, China, Iran and Afghanistan.

(reported 01/18/2008 on Democracy Now! website — Democracy Now is daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 650 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the U.S.)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Testimonies, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

War Made Easy

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 13, 2008

Watch the trailer… then buy the DVD

WAR MADE EASY reaches into the Orwellian past to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Comments Off on War Made Easy

Urgent Call– Protest to close down Guantanamo — Friday, Jan. 11, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 10, 2008

GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION

Tell the government, tell the community, tell the world

GUANTANAMO MUST BE CLOSED!

108 N. Washington St, Spokane (downtown at corner Riverside and Washington)

Friday, January 11, 2008 at 4 PM

– Bring your signs. Bring your friends. Bring your OUTRAGE.

The Spokane American Legion Building at 108 N. Washington houses the offices of psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the architects of the military’s psychological torture plan used at Guatanamo, Abu Ghraib, Baghreb, and the secret so-called “black sites”, known by thinking people as “torture centers”.

The Role of Spokane, Fairchild, and the SERE/JPRA Program in U.S. Torture and Geneva Convention Violations (this post includes links to the major exposes on Mitchell/Jessen, Guantanamo, and videos of waterboarding, etc.

– Called by PJALS – Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane

Friday, January 11, 2008 marks the 6th year since the opening of the prison and torture center at Guantanamo Bay. As Americans responsible for funding this horror, many of us in Spokane plan to make known our abhorrence of that awful place, and will continue to demand that it be shut down – and shut down in a way that does not involve simply circulating its prisoners to other secret U.S.-run prisons.

PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane) 35 W. Main, Spokane WA 99201 509-838-7870

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Protest, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Spokane’s Para-military SWAT Team — Police, Propaganda, and Pavlischak

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008

[Before the Vietnam War was even over, the Spokane Police Department began forming its own para-military unit with the assistance of former Marine Corps member, Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak. Then, after 27 years as a member of the Spokane Police Department, Pavlischak turned to training mercenaries and human rights abusers as an employee of special police and military operations training companies.

The following text is derived from a Spokane Police Department propaganda tract. Links have been added to certain text to provide additional information and context. The Spokane Police Department SWAT team is a para-military organization which engages in extracurricular activities of a potentially illegal nature. In addition, there are apparent conflicts of interest between former SPD employees (including former SPD SWAT team members), weapons companies supplying the SPD, and mercenary training organizations which currently employ them.]

“It’s a very dangerous thing when you’re telling cops they’re soldiers and there’s an enemy out there. I don’t like it all.” Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institution research fellow and former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City * —]


History


The Spokane Police SWAT Team first came into existence in 1972. Back then the Team consisted of five members, who had their own military fatigues and who’s arsenal consisted of two pump shotguns, a privately owned big game rifle, and the department issued six shot revolvers.

Today the team consists of twenty-five highly trained members. The Team is “part-time” meaning that SWAT is a specialty assignment in addition to a primary function like patrol or detective. This speaks to the dedication of the members because it requires them to work the equivalent of two “full-time” jobs. The team structure consists of a commander holding the rank of lieutenant, a four member-training cadre holding the rank of either sergeant or corporal and twenty-one operators who span the ranks of detective to police officer. The ranking member of the training cadre also serves as the acting commander in the absence of the lieutenant. There is one member assigned to full-time SWAT duties providing administrative, equipment, training, and tactical support.

Former Chief of Police, Roger Bragdon and retired Detective Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak both played significant roles in the development of a professional Team that lives up to its motto: “We give it R. Best.” The motto is dedicated to Corporal Robin Best who died training with the Team. Robin’s name is among those on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC and it appears on similar memorials here in the state of Washington.

Member Selection

When a SWAT vacancy opens, a department wide announcement is distributed throughout the department. Any officer holding the rank of Police Officer (PO), Police Officer First Class (PFC), Senior Patrol Officer (SPO), Corporal or Detective is invited to apply. Applicants must have three years law enforcement experience and are screened through a six-step process: formal application, performance review, physical fitness test, marksmanship, oral interview, and administrative approval.

The fitness test components are: a three mile run in under twenty-four minutes, followed immediately by ten overhand chin ups, fifteen dips, fifty pushups, and fifty sit-ups. Both the pushup and sit-ups have to be completed in sixty seconds. Candidates then run obstacle course wearing a tactical style vest. The obstacle course is approximately 400 meters long and includes: a four foot chain link fence, an incline run, a belly crawl, a six foot wall, and a 150 lb dummy drag. Immediately after the obstacle course, candidates run to the firing range where they must qualify by shooting two consecutive targets with a minimum score of 90 % on each. The fire their issued handgun using the Practical Police Course (PPC).

All current SWAT members must pass and maintain the same physical and shooting standards on a quarterly basis. These tests are sometimes unannounced.

Equipment

The Team’s firearms are Heckler and Koch (H&K) with the exception of handguns and marksmen rifles. The team maintains and deploys the H&K MP-5, 33, 53, and the G3 model rifles. Handguns are the Glock .40 caliber fitted with M-3 tactical lights, and the marksman use custom rifles built off Remington 700 actions. The CART Team maintains and deploys all the specialty impact munitions and chemical agents utilizing both 37 mm and 40 mm launchers. Our retired member Skip Pavlischak, who is an adjunct instructor for the H&K International Training Division, provides us with training and technical assistance.

The Team also has the equipment necessary for all types of tactical missions. The equipment includes night vision devices, lighting systems, shields, bunkers, breaching tools, noise/flash diversions (NFDD), and other mission specific tools.

The Team uses two dedicated marked police cars for “quick response” deployment of weapons and equipment during duty shifts by member working patrol. Two Chevy suburbans, retrofitted with extended running boards and handles are utilized for most tactical missions. The Team also has a separate equipment vehicle and recently acquired an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).

Training

Each Team member attends Basic SWAT School, taught by instructors from the Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA). The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) accredits this course.

The team is divided into four squads with one team leader and one trainer assigned to each squad. Two squads train each Friday, with the marksman and CART members receiving additional training on Tuesdays. So, members receive twenty to twenty-four hours of training per month depending on their Team specialty. Six of the Team’s operators are cross-trained as marksman, three as chemical agent deployment specialists (CART), two as emergency medical technicians (EMT), six are certified firearms instructors and three are certified defensive tactics instructors. Training for the full team is held several times a year and usually includes one full week per year commonly referred to by members as “hell week.”

The team regularly trains in the areas of slow and deliberate searching, dynamic and hostage rescue entries, NFDD, marksmanship, immediate action drills, vehicle assaults, special events, active shooter scenarios, security details, open air assaults and camouflaged movement.

The team members also attend WSTOA training on a regular basis augmented by specialty schools such as courses presented by H&K or the Sure Fire Institute.

Deployment

The team is activated for standard tactical missions like high risk warrant service, high-risk arrest, barricaded persons, security details, hostage takers and sniper suppression. Last year the SPD Team was activated on fifty-six occasions spanning the gamut of tactical missions. Because Spokane is the largest metropolitan area in the Inland Pacific Northwest, the SWAT Team occasionally receives requests to deploy in an adjoining or near-by jurisdiction. We also have a close relationship with our local Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team.

(Source — http://www.freewebs.com/thecmclan/swathistory.htm )

“It’s a very dangerous thing when you’re telling cops they’re soldiers and there’s an enemy out there. I don’t like it all.”  Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institution research fellow and former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City * —]

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

The Shock Doctrine — Naomi Klein (short version)

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 17, 2007

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism — by Naomi Klein

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the “War on Terror” to Halliburton and Blackwater…. After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts…. New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks — wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy. Sometimes, when the first two shocks don’t succeed in wiping out resistance, a third shock is employed: the electrode in the prison cell or the Taser gun on the streets.

Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, The Shock Doctrine vividly shows how disaster capitalism — the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock — did not begin with September 11, 2001. The book traces its origins back fifty years, to the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, which produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today. New, surprising connections are drawn between economic policy, “shock and awe” warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s, research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay.

The Shock Doctrine follows the application of these ideas though our contemporary history, showing in riveting detail how well-known events of the recent past have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine, among them: Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

*************************

The Age of Disaster Capitalism (reprinted in CommonDreams.org)

Calling things what they are — Video conversation between Naomi Klein & John Cusack

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Protest and Free Speech, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Police Reservists Bring the War Home — MoJoBLOG

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 10, 2007

We already know that the war in Iraq has come home to the U.S. All wars do. The demons of the Vietnam War live among us in the form of mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, and post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

To begin to get an inkling of what we are in store for as this fiasco called the war on terrorism comes home to the U.S., all we have to do is read the stories of protesters being tasered, beaten, arrested, assaulted with impunity, surveilled, put on ‘Homeland Security’ lists, and defamed.

And for those of us locally, we know all about Spokane-based ‘psychologists’ Jessen and Mitchell and their reverse engineering of survival techniques to develop more efficient torture techniques for use in violation of U.S and international laws and conventions.

At the same time, our Fairchild AFB has provided the aircraft and crews to support the bombing of civilian and military targets in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nationally we have seen Blackwater International’s mercenaries on the streets of New Orleans during the Bush-bungled fiasco in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Be aware that we will see Blackwater and other mercenary companies in many other contexts here and abroad over the years that come.

And then, of course, just look at the types of training being received by local ‘law enforcement’.

As pointed out in this MotherJones Blog posting and in the USA Today story linked to it, we are already experience problems with police forces around the countryside. Spokane already has its share of police officers, sherrif’s deputies, and other security and law enforcement personnel with duty history in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, our local law enforcement agencies have armed up with AR-15‘s, H&K G3A3 battle rifle, H&K MP5SD4 suppressed submachine gun, and untold other military surplus weapons.

Get ready for the abuses. And be ready to see former Iraq/Afghanistan war vets in police uniforms on the streets of U.S. cities and towns tasering, beating, and killing mentally ill and drug-addicted fellow vets as the war comes comes home to roost — live and in living color — over the next few years.

**********************

(From Mother Jones Magazine on-line edition)

MoJoBLOG

~Police Reservists Bring the War Home

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken an unprecedented number of National Guard reservists and put them into active combat overseas. Many of those reservists were police officers before they were deployed. Now that some of them are finally coming home, they are have a difficult time making the transition from street combat to beat patrols in their old jobs, reports USA Today.

In March, for instance, an Austin, Texas police officer who had recently returned from Iraq fired his gun into the parking lot of a crowded shopping center while chasing an unarmed suspect. A bullet from his gun hit a parked van, narrowly missing two children who were sitting inside. The officer was reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder that had gone undiagnosed.

The Austin episode was one of a string of close calls police departments have observed among officers recently returning from Iraq. A few big-city police departments are creating “re-entry” programs for returned vets to help prevent such incidents in the future, but most aren’t, meaning that some of the cops coming back from the Middle East may be ticking time-bombs. So much for the Iraq war making Americans safer at home…

(Originally printed in MotherJones )

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Dr. Tom Jeannot reflects on July 4, 2007 in Spokane, Washington

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 5, 2007

Originally posted to spokaneprogressives and sent to other friends…

July 4, 2007

Hi, friends.

After the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, the Walker Report coined the expression, a “police riot,” to characterize the brutal repression of dissent during those unforgettable hours. American citizens exercising their Constitutionally protected First-Amendment rights to assemble and speak out against the carnage in Vietnam were met with the iron fist of the state, a scenario repeated again and again at places like Kent State and Jackson State, against the Black Panther Party everywhere and MOVE in Philadelphia, and on it goes in a list too long to rehearse now. What is demonstrated is the fundamental incompatibility of the national security state with elementary democracy, even in the limited form envisioned by the Constitution.

A generation later, with the Constitution even more imperiled than it was in that last great hour, the police state with its state security apparatus has descended on the people once more like a cloud of poison gas. The slightest expression of civil liberty suffices to provoke the hydra-headed beast to the brutality of its nightsticks, handcuffs, choke-holds, and paddy wagons.

We are choking on it right now, right here, today.

Last week (on June 27, 2007), Dan Treecraft and Rebecca Lamb merely sought to assemble for the redress of their grievances against the Attorney General of the United States. The occasion of their arrest is a scene repeated in city after city all across the land.

The black community in the US has long been weary of the grim conditions of lockdown now visited upon a tepid left, all too happy to secure the proper permits and pen themselves in the corrals known in this Time of Bush as “free speech zones,” once any one of us is even slightly emboldened to reclaim the public spaces now almost wholly given over to panoramic shopping malls and ersatz theme parks.

In our own local community, cops routinely shoot people and beat them up. I do not want to say it, except that it’s true.

You don’t want to say: pig!

You want to maintain proper decorum and civility, the high road, the civic virtues of polite discourse, only to discover that the discursive practice of the state security apparatus is Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition and the prison-industrial complex, Blackwater and Halliburton, talking and refusing to talk in the voices of a Dick Cheney, a Scooter Libby, or a Tony Snow. When you speak, then, this is how it answers: it answers with men who place themselves outside the rule of law, know no accountability for their conduct, and would as easily maim, kill, or disappear you as go to the country club for cocktails.

You would think we were in Argentina in the time of the Colonels and Chile in the time of Pinochet.

I was there today (July 4, 2007). I’ll tell you what happened on my sworn honor to tell the truth. I should have been arrested and I feel guilty that I was not. It must be remembered that the subject is youth. Bob Zeller came out in solidarity, as did Dan and Jan Treecraft. Otherwise, these young people were high-school aged, in their late teens, and in their early twenties. They are suffocating in the cloud of poison gas that has descended upon Spokane. They lack the lungs to breathe this air.

I won’t tell you how I found out that a group of young people planned to meet in Peaceful Valley under the Maple Street Bridge at five o’clock on the Fourth of July in order to stage a protest against the pandemic of police brutality. Many of the same youth had already met with police violence in Critical Mass and other ways. Many, perhaps most, dress in black. You see them gathered and you think for a minute that you’re on the Left Coast. Many wear the bandanas across their faces made famous again by the Zapatistas. They are not especially well clarified in theory and philosophy: they are broadly, roughly, and approximately anarchists. Last Fourth of July, fifty of them turned out. Today the number was greater, perhaps as many as seventy. Peaceably assembling in the park under the bridge, people talked quietly among themselves until a few minutes past five, when four brief speeches were made. The first speaker gave a history lesson on COINTELPRO. Next came a young woman to talk about the gendered dimension of police brutality today. Since I cannot help speaking, I was honored to speak next, briefly, reminding the comrades of the Battle in Seattle in 1999 and the links of this event to a global movement from Venezuela to South Africa. The last speaker presented a statistical analysis of the numbers of police dead by comparison with other workers to make the point that cops rarely die on the job. Everyone listened quietly and attentively. There was a very good vibe.

While the speeches were being made, the cops started to show up. One of them approached an organizer of the event, but the group demanded that everyone be addressed. He told us, in effect, that the police would withdraw if we followed the simple rules of pedestrian right-of-way and so forth. Everyone agreed. No one was in the mood for a confrontation with the police. Please allow me to repeat this: no one gathered was in a mood to tangle with or antagonize cops. Some speech had an antagonistic, oppositional quality to be sure, and not all speech was decorous, although I cannot recall finding a provision to the contrary in the Constitutional guarantee.

The situation is this: these young people have speech and signs; the cops have sidearms, nightsticks, and all of the other lovely accoutrements of the national security state. After all, they are the police, increasingly militarized, with the full force of the police state to back them up. I presume the young people were in the same mood I was in, having no desire to poke a stick or throw a rock at men with guns, because I figure there’s not exactly what you’d call a balance of forces.

Well then, after the speeches, we fell more or less into order and proceeded to march. The last I heard, such marches are a hallowed American tradition, and what better way to celebrate the revolutionary heritage of the Fourth of July. We kept mainly to the sidewalk, up from Peaceful Valley and into downtown Spokane. We marched around the gods of commerce with their gaudy logos and then made our way into Riverfront Park. Naturally, the park was crowded. Perhaps we took people too much by surprise to react much. It was fun, it lasted ten or maybe twenty minutes through the Park, and then we came round by the clock tower. An organizer invited us to stick around for something to eat and to talk, but the event was essentially over at this point. In fact, I had just made the reasonable decision to go home, get some dinner, walk my dogs, even feeling a little elated to find things coming off so nicely in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

We took up our space by the clock tower and some companions laid out a blanket, appropriately depicting the Flag. People began talking and eating and things were, as someone my age will be sure to say, mellow. Meanwhile, we noticed police forming a perimeter, initially I would say at a distance of about forty yards–SPD and Riverfront Park Security personnel–to the north, and then along the sidewalk to the immediate south of our location. Gradually, choreographically, the perimeter began to tighten. Pretty soon it was hard to ignore the fact that we were being surrounded by about twenty cops. I didn’t count, so I can’t be sure of the number. It was not a small number. I began to think about the talk the one cop had given us under the bridge and how compliant everyone was. But the perimeter continued to tighten, we were surrounded, and now there were two rings of cops, the first closing in on the blanket at center, the second on all points of the compass further out. Then the inner ring of cops started taking pictures with the clever little cameras we have these days, and they were positively starting to crowd the folks now hemmed in on all sides on the blanket. Some of the kids started–I would say, squawking–and then obstructing the camera lenses with the signs we’d been carrying.

You know how it is when somebody comes right up on your personal space? Being an American white “middle-class” white guy, I’m inclined to take this sort of thing as a sign of aggression. I don’t know, maybe it’s different in Hong Kong or Manhattan.

Since I was in the act of leaving at this moment, I must say I didn’t quite see exactly what happened next; I saw it, but I’m not a very good reporter (even though I co-hosted “On the Clock” for over two years with Wil, who was also there and has a much better eye for detail). I was on the outer perimeter. Suddenly, perhaps four cops bum-rushed one young man who was sitting on some kind of canister just off the blanket. Wil told me afterwards that the young man had touched a cop, which I guess was all the provocation they needed (although the whole episode had the feeling of a pretext). You’ll have to remember that the cops were steadily closing in on the blanket area and undertaking this homeland security business of snapping everyone’s picture, and by now the kids-to-cops pixels were rather high-resolution. It looked to me, in other words, like they just wanted any excuse to start roughing people up. You can see the fourteen photographs by going to the link I’ve posted below (from the SR, sent courtesy of Rebecca Lamb). They hauled this one kid off, perhaps as many as four cops heading south with him out towards Spokane Falls Boulevard.

There was a brief lull in the action. I believe people were trying to find their bearings. A crowd was beginning to gather, initially mainly in support of the kids, although as the crowd thickened, I would say to several hundred onlookers by the end, its complexion also changed and there was many a brown-shirt cheering on the cops with some of the blockheads volunteering to form a human chain.

After the lull–I was having one of those slow-motion experiences–near pandemonium set in. Cops were knocking kids down right and left. The crowd began to chant, “Let them go!” On the outer perimeter where I still was, having unsuccessfully tried to call Beverly on my little cell phone gadget to ask her whether I should try to get arrested, a goon, if I may call him that, came up to me and another friend of ours who meanwhile had shown up and could give his own account of what happened, and he told us that unless we vacated, or if we remained where we were we would be subject to arrest for criminal trespass. I’m sure there must be some legal authority for trumping up this charge. Our friend and I stayed right where we were, but it appeared that now that the cops had secured the center of the action at the blanket–under a tree, by the way, where the remaining kids had joined arms–they were cherry-picking various people off to the side to subject them to the same hospitality. So the effect was that this was happening around me but not to me.

Again, it appeared that the cops were singling out certain people on the periphery, then rushing and arresting them. I was even wearing my tee-shirt with the photograph of Fidel Castro shaking hands with Ernest Hemingway, which Wil had brought me back from Cuba; but I guess this wasn’t enough to win me a nightstick.

The SR reporter was there whose name is included below, and I gave him a somewhat impassioned statement, taking the First Amendment, peaceable assembly, free speech, civil liberties, and the Fourth of July as my themes, especially eager to point out that THE YOUNG PEOPLE HAD DONE NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO PROVOKE THE POLICE EXCEPT CONCLUDE THEIR MARCH BY GATHERING AROUND A BLANKET TO SHARE SOME FOOD AND CONVERSATION, bringing to an end what would have been AN UPLIFTING EVENT FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY IN HONOR OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY TRADITION, and a much better way to spend the afternoon than shopping in River Park Square.

Around about then, I left the park and came home, to discover that fully seventeen youth had been arrested on this gorgeous evening in Spokane.

The term, “riot,” connotes mayhem. I use the term, “near-riot” instead because police procedure on this occasion was systematic and orchestrated. It was as systematic and orchestrated as it can be when brutal thugs take out nightsticks and handcuffs and start wailing on innocent youngsters.

Ironically, the absurdly thuggish, unprovoked, and gratuitous police conduct on this occasion enacted the raison d’etre of the occasion itself, to protest police brutality. It was as if they were determined to demonstrate, almost as if it were theater, the very bill of particulars that had been brought against them.

Peace!

Tom

[ More about Dr. Tom Jeannot, the 4th of July, and state repression ]

 

Censorship

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

The War Against Us All — Immortal Technique with Mumia Abu Jamal

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 3, 2007

the war against us all

 


“the war against us all. this war in iraq isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of wars to come. all around the world, at the whim of the neo-cons in the white house. this is the bush doctrine come to life. war. war. and more war. war brought to you by the big corporate masters who run the show. this isn’t just a war on iraqi’s, or afghani’s, or even arabs or muslims. it is ultimately a war on us all. that’s because the billions and billions of dollars that are being spent on this war, the cost of tanks, rocketry, bullets, and yes, even salaries for the 125,000 plus troops is money that will never be spent on education. on health care. on the reconstruction of crumbling public housing. or to train and place the millions of workers who had lost manufacturing jobs in the past 3 years alone. the war in iraq, is in reality, a war against the nation’s workers and the poor. who are getting less and less. while the big defense industries are making a killing, literally. what’s next? iran? syria? north korea? venezuela? we’ve already seen the corporate media play megaphone to the white house to build and promote a war based on lies. war is utilized by the imperialists, first and foremost, to crush internal enemies. we’re seeing the truth of his insight when we see the sad state of american education. the rush of seniors to buy affordable medications from the canadians, because american drugs are just too expensive. the threatened privatization of social security, and the wave of repression that comes with an increasingly militarized police. this is a war on all of us. and the struggle against war is really a struggle for better life, for the millions of folks who are in need here in this country. the fight against the war is really to fight for your own interests. not the false interests of the defense industries, or the corporate media, or the white house. down with the wars for empire, from death row, this is mumia abu-jamal.”(Music: Immortal Technique with Mumia Abu Jamal)

http://www.freemumia.org/index.html

Posted in All-white SPD?, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Protest and Free Speech, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces — by James Petras (CounterPunch)

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 30, 2007

November 28, 2007

Counterattack as Fateful Referendum Looms

CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces

By JAMES PETRAS

On November 26, 2007 the Venezuelan government broadcast and circulated a confidential memo from the US embassy to the CIA which is devastatingly revealing of US clandestine operations and which will influence the referendum this Sunday, December 2, 2007.

The memo sent by an embassy official, Michael Middleton Steere, was addressed to the Director of Central Intelligence, Michael Hayden. The memo was entitled ‘Advancing to the Last Phase of Operation Pincer’ and updates the activity by a CIA unit with the acronym ‘HUMINT’ (Human Intelligence) which is engaged in clandestine action to destabilize the forth-coming referendum and coordinate the civil military overthrow of the elected Chavez government. The Embassy-CIA’s polls concede that 57 per cent of the voters approved of the constitutional amendments proposed by Chavez but also predicted a 60 per cent abstention.

The US operatives emphasized their capacity to recruit former Chavez supporters among the social democrats (PODEMOS) and the former Minister of Defense Baduel, claiming to have reduced the ‘yes’ vote by 6 per cent from its original margin. Nevertheless the Embassy operatives concede that they have reached their ceiling, recognizing they cannot defeat the amendments via the electoral route.

The memo then recommends that Operation Pincer (OP) [Operación Tenaza] be operationalized. OP involves a two-pronged strategy of impeding the referendum, rejecting the outcome at the same time as calling for a ‘no’ vote. The run up to the referendum includes running phony polls, attacking electoral officials and running propaganda through the private media accusing the government of fraud and calling for a ‘no’ vote. Contradictions, the report emphasizes, are of no matter.

The CIA-Embassy reports internal division and recriminations among the opponents of the amendments including several defections from their ‘umbrella group’. The key and most dangerous threats to democracy raised by the Embassy memo point to their success in mobilizing the private university students (backed by top administrators) to attack key government buildings including the Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council. The Embassy is especially full of praise for the ex-Maoist ‘Red Flag’ group for its violent street fighting activity. Ironically, small Trotskyist sects and their trade unionists join the ex-Maoists in opposing the constitutional amendments. The Embassy, while discarding their ‘Marxist rhetoric’, perceives their opposition as fitting in with their overall strategy.

The ultimate objective of ‘Operation Pincer’ is to seize a territorial or institutional base with the ‘massive support’ of the defeated electoral minority within three or four days (presumably after the elections though this is not clear. JP) backed by an uprising by oppositionist military officers principally in the National Guard. The Embassy operative concede that the military plotters have run into serous problems as key intelligence operatives were detected, stores of arms were decommissioned and several plotters are under tight surveillance.

Apart from the deep involvement of the US, the primary organization of the Venezuelan business elite (FEDECAMARAS), as well as all the major private television, radio and newspaper outlets have been engaged in a campaign of fear and intimidation campaign. Food producers, wholesale and retail distributors have created artificial shortages of basic food items and have provoked large scale capital flight to sow chaos in the hopes of reaping a ‘no’ vote.

President Chavez Counter-Attacks

In a speech to pro-Chavez, pro-amendment nationalist business-people (Entrepreneurs for Venezuela ­ EMPREVEN) Chavez warned the President of FEDECAMARAS that if he continues to threaten the government with a coup, he would nationalize all their business affiliates. With the exception of the Trotskyists and other sects, the vast majority of organized workers, peasants, small farmers, poor neighborhood councils, informal self-employed and public school students have mobilized and demonstrated in favor of the constitutional amendments.

The reason for the popular majority is found in a few of the key amendments: One article expedites land expropriation facilitating re-distribution to the landless and small producers. Chavez has already settled over 150,000 landless workers on 2 million acres of land. Another amendment provides universal social security coverage for the entire informal sector (street sellers, domestic workers, self-employed) amounting to 40 per cent of the labor force. Organized and unorganized workers’ workweek will be reduced from 40 to 36 hours a week (Monday to Friday noon) with no reduction in pay. Open admission and universal free higher education will open greater educational opportunities for lower class students. Amendments will allow the government to by-pass current bureaucratic blockage of the socialization of strategic industries, thus creating greater employment and lower utility costs. Most important, an amendment will increase the power and budget of neighborhood councils to legislate and invest in their communities.

The electorate supporting the constitutional amendments is voting in favor of their socio-economic and class interests; the issue of extended re-election of the President is not high on their priorities: And that is the issue that the Right has focused on in calling Chavez a ‘dictator’ and the referendum a ‘coup’.

The Opposition

With strong financial backing from the US Embassy ($8 million dollars in propaganda alone according to the Embassy memo) and the business elite and ‘free time’ by the right-wing media, the Right has organized a majority of the upper middle class students from the private universities, backed by the Catholic Church hierarchy, large swaths of the affluent middle class neighborhoods, entire sectors of the commercial, real estate and financial middle classes and apparently sectors of the military, especially officials in the National Guard. While the Right has control over the major private media, public television and radio back the constitutional reforms. While the Right has its followers among some generals and the National Guard, Chavez has the backing of the paratroops and legions of middle-rank officers and most other generals.

The outcome of the Referendum of December 2 is a major historical event first and foremost for Venezuela but also for the rest of the Americas. A positive vote (Vota ‘Sí’) will provide the legal framework for the democratization of the political system, the socialization of strategic economic sectors, empower the poor and provide the basis for a self-managed factory system. A negative vote (or a successful US-backed civil-military uprising) would reverse the most promising living experience of popular self-rule, of advanced social welfare and democratically based socialism. A reversal, especially a military dictated outcome, would lead to a blood bath, such as we have not seen since the days of the Indonesian Generals’ Coup of 1966, which killed over a million workers and peasants or the Argentine Coup of 1976 in which over 30,000 Argentines were murdered by the US- backed Generals.

A decisive vote for ‘Sí’ will not end US military and political destabilization campaigns but it will certainly undermine and demoralize their collaborators. On December 2, 2007 the Venezuelans have a rendezvous with history.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50 year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed). His new book with Henry Veltmeyer, Social Movements and the State: Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina, will be published in October 2005. He can be reached at: jpetras@binghamton.edu

www.counterpunch.org

Democracy Now interview of Petras by Amy Goodman — 11/30/07

Cuba and Venezuela Face US and Colombia — by James Petras

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Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Call it Democracy — Bruce Cockburn

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 29, 2007

~ Call it Democracy ~
*

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament —
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
You don’t really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

 


 

Cockburn Project *

 


Alternative video — Call it Democracy *

 


 

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Urgent — “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot” — by Naomi Wolf

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 29, 2007

Interview of Naomi Wolf by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman (19 minutes)

Video Text Audio MP3

(Excerpt )

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Start off with the stories that you tell in your book.

NAOMI WOLF: Well, they’re the stories of societies that were systematically closed down by would-be despots, would-be dictators, whether they were on the left or the right, who essentially developed a blueprint in the first part of the twentieth century to crush democracies or to crush democracy movements. So they’re also individual stories of how people react as a democracy is being closed down.

But I guess the book really began with a very personal story, because I was forced to write it, even though I didn’t really want to, by a dear friend who is a Holocaust survivor’s daughter. And when we spoke about news events, she kept saying, “They did this in Germany. They did this in Germany.” And I really didn’t think that made sense. I thought that was very extreme language. But finally she forced me to sit down and start reading the histories, of course, not of the later years, because she wasn’t talking about German outcomes, ’38, ’39; she was talking about the early years, 1930, ’31, ’32, when Germany was a parliamentary democracy, and there was this systematic assault using the rule of law to subvert the rule of law.

And once I saw how many parallels there were, not just in strategy and tactics that we’re seeing again today, but actually in images and sound bites and language, then I read other histories of Italy in the ’20s, Russia in the ’30s, East Germany in the ’50s, Czechoslovakia in the ’60s, Pinochet’s coup in Chile in ’73, the crushing of the democracy movement in China at the end of the ’80s. And I saw that there is a blueprint that would-be dictators always do the same ten things, whether they’re on the left or the right, and that we are seeing these ten steps taking place systematically right now in the United States.

(end excerpt)

Please use the links above to read, watch, or listen to this urgent call to action.

America Freedom Campaign

47-minute talk by Naomi Wolf author of “The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot” given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Protest and Free Speech, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

The People vs. Bush — Evidentiary Item #1

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 24, 2007

This brief documentary — accompanied by Taps and Edwin Starr’s ‘War’ (What is it Good For) — makes the case from start to finish for the impeachment and war crimes trials of George W. Bush.

To quote George W. Bush, “Bring it on.”

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Be a Whistle Blower

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 24, 2007

original link

Nobody wants to be party to coverups, outright lies and the other scandalous behavior sometimes exposed in the worlds of big government and big business. But what should you do if you discover something you think is unethical or potentially criminal? Something totally nefarious and evil? Here’s our guide to snitching on the bad guys without getting caught.

Understand the Consequences

Going up against the evil corporations or the Big Bad Fed can have serious repercussions — whistleblowers have been ostracized, fired, threatened, jailed, and worse.

Still, from Deep Throat to Big Tobacco, whistleblowers have a distinguished legacy of helping the public good. Stephen M. Kohn, President of the National Whistleblower Center in Washington DC says “The majority of all civil fraud recoveries in the U.S. are based on whistleblower disclosures,” which means it could be up to you to point out wrongdoings.

In the end, most whistleblowers do end up exposed out of necessity, whether for legal testimony or simply due to accidental exposure. Most get fired, but many whistleblowers have also sued their former employers and won their cases. Legal protection for whistleblowers varies from country to country, and Wired can’t provide you with legal advice, but you should understand that the choice to blow the whistle is ultimately fraught with risk.

Here are some tips that might help you remain anonymous — and possibly evade detection long enough to get the word out.

Surf Anonymously

One tool explicitly designed with whistleblowers in mind is Tor (surf to https://tor.eff.org/). Tor is a free networking software program and allows you to use the internet anonymously. Need to log in to that GMail account you used to contact the press, but you’re stuck at work? Tor can help cover your tracks.

When you log into to Tor you join a network of machines scattered around the world that pass internet traffic randomly amongst themselves before it emerges at its destination. The process is somewhat like a ball bouncing around inside a sealed box. Every now and then a ball comes out of the box, but it’s impossible to tell who put it in the box to begin with.

The process is called “onion routing,” and it was first developed at the Naval Research Laboratory. Tor uses a layered encryption protocol, which is where the onionskin analogy comes from. Tor is designed to defeat one specific type of digital eavesdropping known as traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that tracks who is talking to whom over a public network.

Without Tor, a malicious employer can easily detect any outgoing traffic announcing your whistleblowing intentions.

Use Encryption

Tor alone isn’t enough to hide you from the snoops. To use our earlier example, if you login to Gmail via Tor and send your whistleblowing message, the company might not be able to trace where it can from, but they can read it the minute it leaves Tor.

In other words, anonymity is not the same as security.

It’s important to recognize that Tor does not encrypt traffic once it emerges from the Tor network. Thus, there’s the possibility your data is going to be exposed unless you’ve bothered to encrypt it.

To learn more about encrypting your e-mail, see the Wired How To Wiki entry: Keep Your E-mail Private, Secret and Secure.

But if you’re collecting whistleblowing data you’ll likely want to encrypt more than just your e-mail.

Lock Down Your Files

Protect those contact lists and secret documents with some hefty crypto if you don’t want to get caught.

Encrypting a file in Windows XP is easy as long as your hard drive is formatted as NTFS. The FAT32 filesystems doesn’t natively support encryption, but if you’re running NTFS, the process is simple. Just select the files or folder in Windows Explorer, right click and choose “Properties.” In the “Attributes” section at the bottom, click “Advanced” and check the “encrypt contents to secure data” box. Click OK twice.

There are a couple of caveats here. First, the encryption is useless if someone else knows your login password (which is often assigned by the IT department). Second, if you encrypt a folder, anyone can still read the file names. They just can’t open the files. So, changing the names to something obfuscated is a good start.

A better option is to use GPG4win, an open source encryption program for Windows. It encrypts files with a private key, always the strongest type of file encryption. Again, if anyone else has access to your account, the security provided is ruined because they will have access to your GPG key.

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t control access to your computer, you might consider investing in an encrypted USB thumb drive, though there could be some record of accessing it on your computer that leaves you vulnerable.

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Comments (1)

Use a local encrypted file system for your private files – http://www.truecrypt.org/ You can encrypt a flash drive or keep an encrypted file system as a file on your hard drive.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Protest and Free Speech, Solutions, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Citizen videographer describes filming police homicide by TASER

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 24, 2007

Paul Pritchard had been living in China and had just returned to Canada on October 14, 2007, to provide care for his ill father. While Pritchard was in the Vancouver International Airport that day, Robert Dziekanski from Poland was experiencing a crisis.

Dziekanski had arrived at the airport from his native Poland some 10 hours before, unable to speak English, unattended by anyone, and awaiting the arrival of his mother with whom he had come to live. In fact his mother had been at the airport for the arrival of his flight but had returned to her Kamloops home when she did not find him. He had not cleared customs for reasons unclear at the time and he was left trying to figure out what to do next.

Paul Pritchard was in the right place at the right time to get both audio and video of the attack on Dziekanski by four Royal Candian Mounted Police (RCMP). Within a couple minutes, Robert Dziekanski was dead. Subsequent to the events, the RCMP issued disceptive and false statements. In addition, the RCMP confiscated Mr. Pritchard’s video recording and refused to return it. Currently there is nationwide outrage and protest in Canada. A moratorium on the use of Tasers has been issued in parts of the country. Several nationwide reviews of RCMP conduct and police use of tasers are underway.

Moral of the story for Spokanites? : Please acquire a video camera and/or a cell phone with quality video capacity and adequate battery capacity. Learn to use it well and learn your rights. We as global citizens are entering a period of turmoil characterized by assaults on freedom by authority, primarily law enforcement. Time to get ready. Know your rights.

Video interview of Paul Pritchard on his videotaping of RCMP attack on Robert Dziekanski in Vancouver

Video of RCMP attack on Robert Dziekanski

CBC Coverage of Dziekanski homicide (see related links on right side of article)

UN Committee on Torture declares Taser a form of torture

UN:  Tasers are a form of torture (CBS News)

Mr. Robert Dziekanski last words, translated

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mr. Robert Dziekanski last words, translated

The New Zealand Herald reports that a Polish YouTube blogger has translated the last words of Robert Dziekanski:

“I want to get out, help me find the way…Police! Police! Can’t you help me?”

He got his way out, I suppose…

– new zealand herald: Man tasered to death was ‘asking for help’ (warning: graphic video, photos)
– stuff.co.nz: Local lesson in taser death – lawyer

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Spokane taser, Testimonies, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Videos | Leave a Comment »

We Will Not Be Silent

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 21, 2007

As long as the United States is engaged in an illegal war of occupation and as long as it suppresses opposition to that illegal war through constitutional violations at home, there will be increasing dissent and protest at home. We will not be silent!

We Will Not Be Silent

 

Iraqi Victims — Photos from Fallujah

 

Banning Free Speech and Dangerous T-Shirts

 

 

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Protest, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Here Come’s The Thought Police — Baltimore Sun

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 20, 2007

baltimoresun.com

The Center for Constitutional Rights

Democracy NOW interview on Thought Police legislation (or watch Video Format)

———————————-

Here come the thought police

By Ralph E. Shaffer and R. William Robinson

November 19, 2007

 

With overwhelming bipartisan support, Rep. Jane Harman’s “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” passed the House 404-6 late last month and now rests in Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Homeland Security Committee. Swift Senate passage appears certain.

Not since the “Patriot Act” of 2001 has any bill so threatened our constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The historian Henry Steele Commager, denouncing President John Adams’ suppression of free speech in the 1790s, argued that the Bill of Rights was not written to protect government from dissenters but to provide a legal means for citizens to oppose a government they didn’t trust. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence not only proclaimed the right to dissent but declared it a people’s duty, under certain conditions, to alter or abolish their government.

In that vein, diverse groups vigorously oppose Ms. Harman’s effort to stifle dissent. Unfortunately, the mainstream press and leading presidential candidates remain silent.

Ms. Harman, a California Democrat, thinks it likely that the United States will face a native brand of terrorism in the immediate future and offers a plan to deal with ideologically based violence.

But her plan is a greater danger to us than the threats she fears. Her bill tramples constitutional rights by creating a commission with sweeping investigative power and a mandate to propose laws prohibiting whatever the commission labels “homegrown terrorism.”

The proposed commission is a menace through its power to hold hearings, take testimony and administer oaths, an authority granted to even individual members of the commission – little Joe McCarthys – who will tour the country to hold their own private hearings. An aura of authority will automatically accompany this congressionally authorized mandate to expose native terrorism.

Ms. Harman’s proposal includes an absurd attack on the Internet, criticizing it for providing Americans with “access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda,” and legalizes an insidious infiltration of targeted organizations. The misnamed “Center of Excellence,” which would function after the commission is disbanded in 18 months, gives the semblance of intellectual research to what is otherwise the suppression of dissent.

While its purpose is to prevent terrorism, the bill doesn’t criminalize any specific conduct or contain penalties. But the commission’s findings will be cited by those who see a terrorist under every bed and who will demand enactment of criminal penalties that further restrict free speech and other civil liberties. Action contrary to the commission’s findings will be interpreted as a sign of treason at worst or a lack of patriotism at the least.

While Ms. Harman denies that her proposal creates “thought police,” it defines “homegrown terrorism” as “planned” or “threatened” use of force to coerce the government or the people in the promotion of “political or social objectives.” That means that no force need actually have occurred as long as the government charges that the individual or group thought about doing it.

Any social or economic reform is fair game. Have a march of 100 or 100,000 people to demand a reform – amnesty for illegal immigrants or overturning Roe v. Wade – and someone can perceive that to be a use of force to intimidate the people, courts or government.

The bill defines “violent radicalization” as promoting an “extremist belief system.” But American governments, state and national, have a long history of interpreting radical “belief systems” as inevitably leading to violence to facilitate change.

Examples of the resulting crackdowns on such protests include the conviction and execution of anarchists tied to Chicago’s 1886 Haymarket Riot. Hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee for several decades during the Cold War and the solo hearings by a member of that committee’s Senate counterpart, Joseph McCarthy, demonstrate the dangers inherent in Ms. Harman’s legislation.

Ms. Harman denies that her bill is a threat to the First Amendment. It clearly states that no measure to prevent homegrown terrorism should violate “constitutional rights, civil rights or civil liberties.”

But the present administration has demonstrated, in its response to criticism regarding torture, that it can’t be trusted to honor those rights.

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Posted in Censorship, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Protest, Protest and Free Speech, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

FBI — Fabricating Bogus Information — False Ballistic Information

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 20, 2007

(quote) Hundreds of defendants sitting in prisons nationwide have been convicted with the help of an FBI forensic tool that was discarded more than two years ago. But the FBI lab has yet to take steps to alert the affected defendants or courts, even as the window for appealing convictions is closing, a joint investigation by The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” has found. (end quote)This is the breaking news from the Washington Post and 60 Minutes. The same FBI which — through its incompetence and arrogance — brought you the 911 disaster now brings you another in a series of on-going scandals and failures.

Based on faulty science, years of FBI and DOJ stonewalling, and arrogant disregard for standards of justice, the FBI has certified decades worth of ‘forensic’ testing on bullets, the results of which now prove to be worthless. And while hundreds sit in jail or awaiting prosecution on the basis of FBI “Fabricated Bogus Information”, the FBI sanctimoniously goes about their shoddy work from Spokane, Washington to Washington, DC, and from Guantanamo, Cuba to Mahmudiya, Iraq.

Silent Injustice: A Joint Project of the Washington Post and 60 Minutes

So now to list of discredited short cuts to the truth like reading palm leaves and lie detecter tests and waterboarding, add FBI forensic analysis of lead content of bullets.

FBI Failures

TRAC FBI

DOJ Inspector General Report (5/2007) on uncoordinated FBI efforts with Spokane area law enforcement

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »