Posts Tagged ‘police state’

By Thomas S. Neuberger
April 7, 2016

In July 2015, I reported on and analyzed the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism Program and concluded that it made every adult citizen a terrorism suspect. In January 2016, the FBI announced that it wants to make every high school teacher, administrator and student in America a spy to report to it or local State police suspicious words or activity by any teenager attending our schools. The FBI was not satisfied with its 2012 Communities Against Terrorism Program which asks our neighbors to read any of 25 widely circulated posters and then to report us if we act in certain suspicious ways. Now the FBI has widened its net to over 15 million teenagers in our high schools.

As I explained previously, the dangerous speech which the FBI wanted our neighbors to report included, for example, (1) posting anti-government or environmental slogans, banners, or signs that imply violence; (2) spraying anti-government graffiti; (3) downloading material of an extreme or radical nature with violent themes, or preoccupation with press coverage of terrorist attacks; (4) making unusual anti‑U.S. comments; or (5) making extreme racist or religious statements coupled with sentiments which appear to condone violence. As can be seen from this list of overbroad, vague and legally protected activities or speech which the FBI claims are red flags for terrorism, the FBI has little concern for our Bill of Rights, such as the right to speak freely or to read what we want.

And now, with a little sugar coating and Orwellian new speak, there is a dire warning that without this new program a student out there may detonate a “weapon of mass destruction” on all of us. So in January the FBI went after all our high school students when it issued its Preventing Violent Extremism In Schools Guidelines. Specifically, the FBI wants its spies to report any “statements or actions” which “cause concern.” “Schools should focus on a student’s behaviors and communications,” such as supporting “domestic extremist movements,” international terrorist organizations or hate crimes.

Within its category of “domestic terrorists,” the FBI identifies several violent extremism movements, “including but not limited to animal rights and eco‑terrorists, and anti‑government or radical separatist groups.” There it is again, “anti-government” speech, just like in the widely circulated FBI posters. The FBI puts such domestic groups right up there with ISIS and Al Qa’ida, as those who “decry western policies” or mistrust the government. Indeed, the FBI also identifies as needing watching teenagers with unacceptable “religious or cultural biases” after being raised in families outside the mainstream of society.

Now to keep a classmate from eventually using that ever useful propaganda tool known as a “weapon of mass destruction,” what will your average non-lawyer teachers do when “anti-government” words come out of the mouth of a student who opposes an oil pipeline or wants to “save the whales”?  Call the FBI, of course.  Will they err on the side of safety or let youthful exuberance slide?

The core problem here is that “the FBI defines violent extremism as encouraging, condoning, justifying, or supporting the commission of a violent act to achieve political, ideological, religious, social or economic goals.” But its premise is wrong that suspicious comments against government or vague or cryptic warnings that suggest or appear to endorse the use of violence in support of a cause are grounds to consider someone a potential terrorist. Remember Patrick Henry’s Revolutionary War cry – “Give me liberty or give me death.” If ever there was a statement endorsing violence, this is it, but he was a patriot. And I emphasize that the Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that government, and this includes the FBI, cannot “forbid or prescribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Brandenburg v. Ohio  (1969). So reporting students for “encouraging, supporting or justifying” violence as a means to social goals is clearly illegal. In a classic case, this must lead to the investigation of students reading about or discussing revolution, Marxism, Communism or whatever failed doctrine is still out there, even the radical theories behind the American Revolution in 1776 or the French Revolution a few years later.

Writing for the Rutherford Institute, constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead has pointed out the conflict here with our own early history: “Try suggesting, as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin did, that Americans should not only take up arms but be prepared to shed blood in order to protect their liberties, and you might find yourself placed on a terrorist watch list and vulnerable to being rounded up by government agents,” he notes. Declared Jefferson, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” Observed Franklin, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well‑armed lamb contesting the vote!” So what if a well-read student suggests in class, as Thomas Paine, Marquis de Lafayette, and John Adams did, that Americans should, if necessary, defend themselves against the government if it violates their rights.  He or she may be labeled a domestic extremist for such “anti-government” sentiments.

So if our public, private or religious schools anywhere in the United States give in and spy on over 15 million students, do the new Guidelines say anything about protecting the freedoms our fathers in World War II died to preserve? Buried in 28 pages we do find a paragraph containing a long mouthful of legalese which claims to recognize the “difference between protected speech and illegal incitement” and concedes that “espousing anti‑U.S. sentiment or extremist rhetoric is not a crime.” Educators are advised that “the issue is not if the individual voiced his/her support, but rather has advocated imminent violence in support of an extremist organization and that violence is likely to occur as a result.” For example, students consuming “violent propaganda” may result “in a strengthening of beliefs and aid development of radical views or a willingness to use violence in support of an ideology.” Again, what will a non-lawyer administrator do in light of these long equivocating statements and the possible threat of mass destruction? He or she will err on the side of safety which, I expect, is the real purpose behind the FBI’s Guidelines.

And this will take us one step further down the road to a police state with our neighbors, teachers and others monitoring our thoughts, speech and communications for disfavored ideas.  And then there will be the knock at the door demanding to question our son or daughter because someone has turned them in to have their thoughts, tweets, Facebook posts,  reading material or speech reviewed before federal or local police.

The FBI is making us into a nation of spies and informers at the cost of our heritage and freedoms. It is behaving as the feared Stasi in Communist East Germany, the secret police in Stalin’s Soviet Russia, or Hitler’s dreaded Gestapo, turning every neighbor into a spy on the other.  For the FBI most of us incorrectly fit the bill as extremists or terrorists. But again, recall our Colonial ancestor Patrick Henry, who argued about the value of potential violence in 1788, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” The FBI wants to question every student voicing similar sentiments.

That is plainly un-American and should not be permitted in any public, private or religious school.

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h/t Wirecuter

Forget that “war on cops.” Unaffordable penalties, incompetent courts, and heavy-handed tactics are all evidence of an official assault on regular Americans.

 The cops raided my wife’s pediatric practice looking for a fugitive, last week.

Actually, let’s put the word “fugitive” in quotes. The story is an eye-opening tale in itself. It’s also a glimpse at how business-as-usual in courts and cop shops around the country screws with people’s lives and alienates the public from those who are allegedly their protectors.
My wife, Dr. Wendy Tuccille, was on her way to the office in Cottonwood, Arizona, when her phone rang. Frantic staff called to tell her that the clinic’s parking lot was full of cops, there to arrest one of her employees, C.H. (it’s a small town so we’ll stick with her initials), on an outstanding warrant.

When my wife arrived she found a gaggle of cops—12 to 15 she told me, some in battle jammies—in plain view at the rear corner of the building. The parking lot was full of police vehicles, in sight of families and children arriving to be seen and treated.
“Who’s in charge here?” she asked, demanding that they move the Fallujah reenactment out of view.
“We were already in the process of moving the vehicles at this time,” Cottonwood Detective Sergeant Tod Moore insisted in a statement to me. “It should be noted only 1 marked police unit was in the main parking lot area of the business.” (The clinic’s staff dispute that point.) Moore also claimed that only 10 officers were present. They included three detectives dressed in civilian clothes—and tactical vests—who arrived to initiate the arrest, joined by seven additional officers, including SWAT members, who transported another suspect with them on the trip to deliver the arrest warrant that the detectives hadn’t brought along.
C.H.’s crime? It was an eight-year-old “amended charge of 28-1381A1 DUI to the Slightest Degree,” according to Court Clerk and Associate Magistrate Anna M. Kirton. Kirton signed C.H.’s release order after my wife paid $1,300 to spare her employee 26 days in jail. More accurately, C.H. was arrested for making only partial payment of the fines and fees she’d been assessed, and for missing a court appointment that she never knew about.
“I was young and stupid,” C.H. told me about the day in 2008 when her 21-year-old self was pulled over for a broken license plate light. She and her friends had open beer bottles in the car, and a marijuana pipe that C.H. claims wasn’t hers, but which ended up in her purse. The original arrest, then, was for open containers and “drug paraphernalia,” which was pled down to an even lesser charge.
After a night in jail, C.H. went to court, only to discover that there was no record of her arrest or charge to face, so she was sent home.
Years later, she was pulled over again and arrested on the original charge after the court got its paperwork in order. As Kirton told me, “On January 19, 2011, the Defendant entered into a plea with the State. She plead guilty to an amended charge of 28-1381A1 DUI to the Slightest Degree, (13-3415A was dismissed per the plea).  She was sentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence required by law in the State of Arizona. Part of this sentence included fines and fees totaling $2005.00.”
Actually, that was all of the sentence—provided she made her payments.
That’s where things get a bit fuzzy. C.H. tells me she thought she paid in full. The court says otherwise. C.H. got married at that time, so things may have fallen through the cracks in the confusion. Court records show an official notice to C.H. returned because of a bad address on September 24, 2012 and a failure to appear recorded against her the next day. A warrant for her arrest was issued a week later.
The “bad address” in the court files is C.H.’s mother’s house. It was the first place the police looked for her last week, so they have it accurately recorded somewhere as the place to find her. That house stopped being her official mailing address sometime last year, but it remains a convenient place to contact her—it was her mom who told police about C.H.’s job.
For whatever reason, the court notice of a command appearance never reached C.H., she remained unaware that the county thought she still owed $1,300, and last week a small army showed up to collect.
For all of its drama, the arrest was nothing special, in itself—just part of a regular bureaucratic spring cleaning. In response to my (very pointed) query, Detective Sergeant Moore wrote, “a Verde Valley Wide Warrant Sweep was conducted by members of the Cottonwood Police Department to include SWAT Members, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, PANT [Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking], GIITEM [Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission], Camp Verde Marshall’s Office, Clarkdale Police Department, US Marshall’s Office and HSI [Homeland Security Investigations]. The purpose of this sweep was to try and reduce the large number of outstanding warrants currently held by the numerous agencies listed.”
But why the small army? (Neither the U.S.Marshals Service nor Homeland Security responded to queries by press time.)
“The teams were tasked to apprehend people who had a variety [of] offenses,” Cottonwood Patrol Division Commander Jody Makuch said in an email. “While we cannot predict the behavior of the people who fail to meet their obligations, we do have to be prepared for a worst case scenario to protect the public and the officers.”
They had a quota to meet, so they went with one-size-fits-all.

Read the rest here

Conclusion: This attack on dissent is serious. Educate your family and friends about what’s going on. Do not be fooled by their propaganda, but beware of the risks of speaking out too freely.

Believe in conspiracy theories? You’re probably a narcissist: People who doubt the moon landings are more likely to be selfish and attention-seeking … Psychologists from the University of Kent carried out three online studies … -UK Daily Mail

We are seeing an increasing number of academic studies analyzing the psychology behind “conspiracy theorists” and those who question government propaganda. The idea being that people who don’t trust government may be mentally ill.

These analyses are published in prominent publications in the UK and are building a “scientific” literature revolving psychological dysfunction and “conspiracy theory.”

More:

Do you think the moon-landings were faked, vaccines are a plot for mind control, or that shadowy government agencies are keeping alien technology locked up in hidden bunkers?

If so, chances are you’re a narcissist with low self-esteem, according to psychologists. In the internet age conspiracy theories can incubate in quiet corners of the web, but it may be psychological predispositions of believers which keep them alive, rather than cold hard facts.

The article goes on to explain that researchers at the University of Kent have used online studies  from hundreds of people to generate the study’s conclusions.

The findings appeared in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science with the suggestion that those who adopt conspiracy theories have “outwardly inflated self-confidence” but may be “overcompensating for a lack of belief in themselves.”

The article mentions a previous study conducted by Oxford’s Dr. David Robert Grimes.

From what we’ve written on this study:

Grimes had the idea that mathematics could prove or disprove certain conspiracy theories. A physicist, he “developed a mathematical equation to derive the truth of conspiracy theories,” according to the Christian Science Monitor …

Grimes calculated that the moon landing and climate change conspiracies “would require about 400,000 secret-keepers each, the unsafe vaccination conspiracy would involve 22,000 people, and the cancer cure conspiracy would involve over 710,000 people.”  Even with the utmost secrecy, Grimes reports, his equations show within four years the conspiracies would be exposed nonetheless.

At the time, we commented on Grimes’s apparent “earnestness” in struggling to “understand how people can even engage in conspiratorial thinking to begin with.” We made this comment in relationship to yet a third article on the psychology of conspiracy.

This commentary appeared in the Guardian and, as we pointed out, “argued against conspiratorial thinking based on a new book, Suspicious Minds … written by Rob Brotherton.”

Basically, the idea is that people are naturally prone to conspiracy theories because of the way their brains have evolved. “Identifying patterns and being sensitive to possible threats,” the article explains, “is what has helped us survive in a world where nature often is out to get you.”

Brotherton explains in the article that he decided that the best way to present his thesis was to avoid confronting conspiracy theories head on. Instead, he wanted to explain how people adopted such theories for psychological reasons.

“I wanted to take a different approach, to sidestep the whole issue of whether the theories are true or false and come at it from the perspective of psychology. The intentionality bias, the proportionality bias, confirmation bias. We have these quirks built into our minds that can lead us to believe weird things without realising that’s why we believe them.”

So here we have three explanations of conspiracy theories presented by major publications in less than three month’s time. And, who knows, perhaps there were more.

In the conclusion to our Grimes’ analysis, we noted that: “It looks as if a more powerful and disciplined program may be underway. Something to ponder along with a further moderation of certain public declarations.”

By “public declarations” we meant those of individuals prone to mentioning conspiracy theories in non-appropriate contexts. As it turns out, we anticipated the current news cycle only by a couple of months.

Just this week, in fact, Attorney General Loretta Lynch attended a Senate Judiciary Hearing and acknowledged discussions at the Department of Justice of taking civil action against “climate change deniers.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) questioned her on the issue and drew comparisons between such deniers and the tobacco industry that claimed for decades that the tobacco was not proven to cause ill health.

The Clinton administration eventually brought a successful civil suit against Big Tobacco. And Whitehouse suggested that civil or criminal charges might be brought against “anti-warmists.”

The forces of intolerance are gathering in the US, just as overseas.

We have urged in the past that people pay close attention to these growing trends. By turning statements of opinion into a psychological condition they are trying to discredit anyone who speaks out against the government.

In the Soviet Union, people who spoke out against government policies were often placed in mental asylums. At the time, concerned citizens in the West protested such incarcerations as barbaric abuses. Yet now, if our supposition is correct, these practices are about to expand in the West as well.

Conclusion: This attack on dissent is serious. Educate your family and friends about what’s going on. Do not be fooled by their propaganda, but beware of the risks of speaking out too freely.

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Via John Whitehead @ The Rutherford Institute

We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”—President Harry S. Truman

Don’t Be a Puppet” is the message the FBI is sending young Americans.
As part of the government’s so-called ongoing war on terror, the nation’s de facto secret police force is now recruiting students and teachers to spy on each other and report anyone who appears to have the potential to be “anti-government” or “extremist.”
Using the terms “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably, the government continues to add to its growing list of characteristics that could distinguish an individual as a potential domestic terrorist.
For instance, you might be a domestic terrorist in the eyes of the FBI (and its network of snitches) if you:

  • express libertarian philosophies (statements, bumper stickers)
  • exhibit Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or gun club membership)
  • read survivalist literature, including apocalyptic fictional books
  • show signs of self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)
  • fear an economic collapse
  • buy gold and barter items
  • subscribe to religious views concerning the book of Revelation
  • voice fears about Big Brother or big government
  • expound about constitutional rights and civil liberties
  • believe in a New World Order conspiracy

Despite its well-publicized efforts to train students, teachers, police officers, hairdressers, store clerks, etc., into government eyes and ears, the FBI isn’t relying on a nation of snitches to carry out its domestic spying.
There’s no need.
The nation’s largest law enforcement agency rivals the NSA in resources, technology, intelligence, and power. Yet while the NSA has repeatedly come under fire for its domestic spying programs, the FBI has continued to operate its subversive and clearly unconstitutional programs with little significant oversight or push-back from the public, Congress or the courts. Just recently, for example, a secret court gave the agency the green light to quietly change its privacy rules for accessing NSA data on Americans’ international communications.
Indeed, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the FBI has become the embodiment of how power, once acquired, can be easily corrupted and abused.
When and if a true history of the FBI is ever written, it will not only track the rise of the American police state but it will also chart the decline of freedom in America.
Owing largely to the influence and power of the FBI, the United States—once a nation that abided by the rule of law and held the government accountable for its actions—has steadily devolved into a police state where justice is one-sided, a corporate elite runs the show, representative government is a mockery, police are extensions of the military, surveillance is rampant, privacy is extinct, and the law is little more than a tool for the government to browbeat the people into compliance.
The FBI’s laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, harassment and indoctrination, governmental overreach, abuse, misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property.
And that’s just based on what we know.
Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using intimidation tactics to silence Americans who are critical of the government; recruiting high school students to spy on and report fellow students who show signs of being future terrorists; or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then entrapping them, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.
The FBI was established in 1908 as a small task force assigned to deal with specific domestic crimes. Initially quite limited in its abilities to investigate so-called domestic crimes, the FBI has been transformed into a mammoth federal policing and surveillance agency. Unfortunately, whatever minimal restrictions kept the FBI’s surveillance activities within the bounds of the law all but disappeared in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The USA Patriot Act gave the FBI and other intelligence agencies carte blanche authority in investigating Americans suspected of being anti-government.
As the FBI’s powers have grown, its abuses have mounted.
The FBI continues to monitor Americans engaged in lawful First Amendment activities.
COINTELPRO, the FBI program created to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” groups and individuals the government considers politically objectionable, was aimed not so much at the criminal element but at those who challenged the status quo—namely, those expressing anti-government sentiments such as Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon. It continues to this day, albeit in other guises.
The FBI has become a master in the art of entrapment.
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the FBI has not only targeted vulnerable individuals but has also lured them into fake terror plots while actually equipping them with the organization, money, weapons and motivation to carry out the plots—entrapment—and then jailing them for their so-called terrorist plotting. This is what the FBI characterizes as “forward leaning—preventative—prosecutions.”
FBI agents are among the nation’s most notorious lawbreakers.
In addition to creating certain crimes in order to then “solve” them, the FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law, “including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies,” in exchange for their cooperation on other fronts. USA Today estimates that agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day. Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums: one particularly unsavory fellow, later arrested for attempting to run over a police officer, was actually paid $85,000 for his help laying the trap for an entrapment scheme.
The FBI’s powers, expanded after 9/11, have given its agents carte blanche access to Americans’ most personal information.
The agency’s National Security Letters, one of the many illicit powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act, allows the FBI to secretly demand that banks, phone companies, and other businesses provide them with customer information and not disclose the demands. An internal audit of the agency found that the FBI practice of issuing tens of thousands of NSLs every year for sensitive information such as phone and financial records, often in non-emergency cases, is riddled with widespread violations.
The FBI’s spying capabilities are on a par with the NSA.
The FBI’s surveillance technology boasts an invasive collection of spy tools ranging from Stingray devices that can track the location of cell phones to Triggerfish devices which allow agents to eavesdrop on phone calls.  In one case, the FBI actually managed to remotely reprogram a “suspect’s” wireless internet card so that it would send “real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI.”
The FBI’s hacking powers have gotten downright devious.
FBI agents not only have the ability to hack into any computer, anywhere in the world, but they can also control that computer and all its stored information, download its digital contents, switch its camera or microphone on or off and even control other computers in its network. Given the breadth of the agency’s powers, the showdown between Apple and the FBI over customer privacy appears to be more spectacle than substance.
James Comey, current director of the FBI, knows enough to say all the right things about the need to abide by the Constitution, all the while his agency routinely discards it. Comey argues that the government’s powers shouldn’t be limited, especially when it comes to carrying out surveillance on American citizens. Comey continues to lobby Congress and the White House to force technology companies such as Apple and Google to keep providing the government with backdoor access to Americans’ cell phones.
The FBI’s reach is more invasive than ever.
This is largely due to the agency’s nearly unlimited resources (its minimum budget alone in fiscal year 2015 was $8.3 billion), the government’s vast arsenal of technology, the interconnectedness of government intelligence agencies, and information sharing through fusion centers—data collecting intelligence agencies spread throughout the country that constantly monitor communications (including those of American citizens), everything from internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails.
Today, the FBI employs more than 35,000 individuals and operates more than 56 field offices in major cities across the U.S., as well as 400 resident agencies in smaller towns, and more than 50 international offices. In addition to their “data campus,” which houses more than 96 million sets of fingerprints from across the United States and elsewhere, the FBI is also, according to The Washington Post, “building a vast repository controlled by people who work in a top-secret vault on the fourth floor of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington. This one stores the profiles of tens of thousands of Americans and legal residents who are not accused of any crime. What they have done is appear to be acting suspiciously to a town sheriff, a traffic cop or even a neighbor.”
If there’s one word to describe the FBI’s covert tactics, it’s creepy.
The agency’s biometric database has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to DNA, and is being increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime.
This is what’s known as pre-crime.
If it were just about fighting the “bad guys,” that would be one thing. But as countless documents make clear, the FBI has no qualms about using its extensive powers in order to blackmail politicians, spy on celebrities and high-ranking government officials, and intimidate dissidents of all stripes.
It’s an old tactic, used effectively by former authoritarian regimes.
In fact, as historian Robert Gellately documents, the Nazi police state was repeatedly touted as a model for other nations to follow, so much so that Hoover actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police. As Gellately noted, “[A]fter five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.”
Indeed, so impressed was the FBI with the Nazi order that, as the New York Times revealed, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen, brought them to America, hired them on as spies and informants, and then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. Moreover, anyone who dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.
So not only have American taxpayers been paying to keep ex-Nazis on the government payroll for decades but we’ve been subjected to the very same tactics used by the Third Reich: surveillance, militarized police, overcriminalization, and a government mindset that views itself as operating outside the bounds of the law.
This is how freedom falls, and tyrants come to power.
The similarities between the American police state and past totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany grow more pronounced with each passing day.
Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian regime from the Roman Empire to modern-day America.
Yet it’s the secret police—tasked with silencing dissidents, ensuring compliance, and maintaining a climate of fear—who sound the death knell for freedom in every age.

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Cyber security expert and Libertarian presidential candidate John McAfee is alarmed at the potential implications from Apple being forced to create a virtual backdoor to their encrypted system. In an enlightening op-ed, McAfee blasts the FBI for its ineptitude, while exposing the archaic hiring practices of the Feds that create a technology gap between FBI and private sector capabilities. McAfee makes clear that if the government gains access, privacy, as we know it, will fail to exist.+

“No matter how you slice this pie, if the government succeeds in getting this back door, it will eventually get a back door into all encryption, and our world, as we know it, is over,” McAfee writes.

The tech guru offers his teams hacking services to the FBI free of charge, as a means of allowing the phone in question to be accessed – without allowing the government to have a backdoor into all iPhones. McAfee would provide the FBI with the information they claim to seek, while at the same time allowing for secure encryption to continue to exist – of course there is a distinct possibility that the actual intention of forcing Apple to create a backdoor isn’t to access this particular phone, but as a means of breaking encryption on a global basis.

Read McAfee’s op-ed to the FBI below:

Using an obscure law, written in 1789 — the All Writs Act — the US government has ordered Apple to place a back door into its iOS software so the FBI can decrypt information on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

It has finally come to this. After years of arguments by virtually every industry specialist that back doors will be a bigger boon to hackers and to our nation’s enemies than publishing our nuclear codes and giving the keys to all of our military weapons to the Russians and the Chinese, our government has chosen, once again, not to listen to the minds that have created the glue that holds this world together.

This is a black day and the beginning of the end of the US as a world power. The government has ordered a disarmament of our already ancient cybersecurity and cyberdefense systems, and it is asking us to take a walk into that near horizon where cyberwar is unquestionably waiting, with nothing more than harsh words as a weapon and the hope that our enemies will take pity at our unarmed condition and treat us fairly.

Any student of world history will tell you that this is a dream. Would Hitler have stopped invading Poland if the Polish people had sweetly asked him not to do so? Those who think yes should stand strongly by Hillary Clinton’s side, whose cybersecurity platform includes negotiating with the Chinese so they will no longer launch cyberattacks against us.

The FBI, in a laughable and bizarre twist of logic, said the back door would be used only once and only in the San Bernardino case.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, replied:

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

No matter how you slice this pie, if the government succeeds in getting this back door, it will eventually get a back door into all encryption, and our world, as we know it, is over. In spite of the FBI’s claim that it would protect the back door, we all know that’s impossible. There are bad apples everywhere, and there only needs to be in the US government. Then a few million dollars, some beautiful women (or men), and a yacht trip to the Caribbean might be all it takes for our enemies to have full access to our secrets.

Cook said:

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

The fundamental question is this: Why can’t the FBI crack the encryption on its own? It has the full resources of the best the US government can provide.

With all due respect to Tim Cook and Apple, I work with a team of the best hackers on the planet. These hackers attend Defcon in Las Vegas, and they are legends in their local hacking groups, such as HackMiami. They are all prodigies, with talents that defy normal human comprehension. About 75% are social engineers. The remainder are hardcore coders. I would eat my shoe on the Neil Cavuto show if we could not break the encryption on the San Bernardino phone. This is a pure and simple fact.

And why do the best hackers on the planet not work for the FBI? Because the FBI will not hire anyone with a 24-inch purple mohawk, 10-gauge ear piercings, and a tattooed face who demands to smoke weed while working and won’t work for less than a half-million dollars a year. But you bet your ass that the Chinese and Russians are hiring similar people with similar demands and have been for many years. It’s why we are decades behind in the cyber race.

Cyberscience is not just something you can learn. It is an innate talent. The Juilliard school of music cannot create a Mozart. A Mozart or a Bach, much like our modern hacking community, is genetically created. A room full of Stanford computer science graduates cannot compete with a true hacker without even a high-school education.

So here is my offer to the FBI. I will, free of charge, decrypt the information on the San Bernardino phone, with my team. We will primarily use social engineering, and it will take us three weeks. If you accept my offer, then you will not need to ask Apple to place a back door in its product, which will be the beginning of the end of America.

If you doubt my credentials, Google “cybersecurity legend” and see whose name is the only name that appears in the first 10 results out of more than a quarter of a million.

Make no mistake that this is one of the most epic battles in the history of privacy, as the decisions that are reached in this case will reverberate throughout the world and have far reaching consequences. There is a fundamental battle taking place as to whether an individual has a right to privacy or, if as the U.S. government is asserting; privacy is a privilege bestowed upon individuals at the behest of the government.+

Ironically, privacy is considered a fundamental human right as recognized in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in many other international and regional treaties. Privacy is the lynchpin of human dignity and many other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech have their roots in privacy.

When the U.S. government works to undermine what is considered a fundamental human right by most of the world, perhaps it’s time to seriously question why those elected to represent the people are actively working to undermine the rights of those that put them in office.


Source:

Mr LaVoy Finicum, recently executed for the crimes of trespassing and squatting, is a published author as many of you know. His book is called ‘Only by Blood and Suffering’ and is available on Kindle for $6.99. I will provide a link at the bottom.

I don’t know of a website or fund yet to help his survivors but when I do I’ll publish it. If one of you know of one already set up and running, please let me know in the comments.

But what we can do in the meantime is to buy a copy of the man’s book. He’s still getting paid whether he’s dead or alive. I don’t know if the federales have seized or put a hold on his family’s accounts, but if they have, they gotta release them sometime.
You’ll see at the link that the book’s available for free on Amazon Prime, but that doesn’t give the family any relief. Pay the 7 bucks.

Not only will buying the book put money into his family’s coffers, it will help to keep his name and memory alive. I believe it was the Greeks who said that a man is immortal as long as his name is remembered.

ONLY BY BLOOD AND SUFFERING

Please spread this on your FB pages, blogs and other social media. No need to credit or link to me, let’s just get a few books sold. Feel free to copy and paste.

Any doubt anyone has that the left in this country are the sickest,most truly depraved people on the planet-

Stories about the Malheur protests,the arrest of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and the killing of Lavoy Finicum by the stormtroopers.

Just read the comments…

The “Minds” of the Left

Boise, ID – A mistrial was called in the case of police accountability activist Matthew Townsend, who faces a potential five-year prison sentence for writing a Facebook post critical of a Meridian, Idaho police officer who arrested him without justification. His new trial, which is scheduled for three days, will begin on February 29.

Trial Judge Lynn Norton prompted Assistant Ada County Prosecutor James Vogt to move for a mistrial during the opening argument of defense counsel Aaron Tribble after Townsend’s attorney mentioned that the original arrest involved an alleged jaywalking violation, and that Townsend is now charged with a felony for complaining about the arrest on Facebook.

As before Vogt stated the reasons for his objection, Norton instantly asked the prosecutor: “Are you going to move for a mistrial?” Tribble pointed out that the charge had been described as a felony, and that the size of the jury – fourteen panelists, evenly divided between male and female – made it clear that the offense being considered was a felony, rather than a misdemeanor. Vogt protested that the instructions to the jury do not permit them to be informed of, or take into account, potential sentencing options, and contended that they likewise “cannot take into account the degree of the offense.”

The Idaho Rules of Criminal Procedure do not address that question. Courtroom spectator A.J. Ellis, who recently served jury duty in neighboring Owyhee County, told The Free Thought Project that “during jury selection we were explicitly told that the case before us dealt with a misdemeanor offense.” Several trial attorneys contacted for comment by The Free Thought Project in multiple states likewise reported that a mistrial on the grounds cited by Vogt at Norton’s prompting struck them as a novelty.

Tribble’s opening argument was interrupted by objections no few than four times before Norton invited Vogt to move for a mistrial. Both the prosecutor and the clearly partisan trial judge (about whose previous behavior more will be said shortly) were visibly unhappy with Tribble’s presentation. He informed the jury that “I don’t think your time is going to be well served” by the trial, because the prosecution cannot prove a key element of the alleged offense. Specifically, that Townsend intended to prevent Corporal Richard Brockbank of the Meridian Police Department from testifying in the preliminary hearing on the misdemeanor charge.

There are nine elements to this offense,” Tribble pointed out to the jury. “The prosecution’s evidence addresses eight of them.” The ninth – intent – cannot be proven with the available evidence.

During his opening argument, Vogt repeatedly emphasized an artfully crafted and dishonestly cropped version of Townsend’s March 18, 2015 Facebook post:

Tomorrow, I go to pretrial at the Ada County Courthouse to claim that my charge of “resisting or obstructing” a supposed jaywalking investigation after Meridian Police Department – Idaho officer RICHARD BROCKBANK refused to charge me after I demanded that he charge me for the “crime” that he supposedly stopped me for, is terroristic in nature and in other ways unconstitutional and criminal.
The cop refused to charge me for said “crime” that he was accusing me of and so I walked away… and was soon after kidnapped and hauled away by several costumed State goons for my disrespect of officer Brockbank’s harassment towards me.
I’m hoping that the REAL reason I was harassed to begin with will be released by the State rather than I... we shall see. If my case isn’t dismissed tomorrow upon my request, I will begin a non-violent and legal shame campaign that will be remembered. HOA “upsets”, protests in the aggressors neighborhoods (I know where you all live- this is notification of knowledge and future protests, not a threat), mailers, door hangers, online ads, local and (hopefully) national media- I’ve done it before and I can do it again as well as other peaceful, but… annoying avenues will commence.
The State has 3 options: drop the charges and leave me alone; 2) Endure my non-violent retaliation (do you want to be the focus of my rage?); 3) Kill me and deal with those that know, love, and care about me. Make your choice.” (Emphasis added.)

That message was “tagged” to the Meridian Police Department, every media outlet in Boise, and – since Townsend didn’t know how to contact Corporal Brockbank directly – everyone with the surname “Brockbank” on Facebook.

Studiously avoiding Townsend’s explicit repudiation of violence or unlawful action, and the fact that this statement was directed not merely at Brockbank but the media, Vogt pretended that this was a direct threat to Officer Brockbank and his family. He did this by repeating, as if in a mantra: “I know where you all live … leave me alone or be the focus of my rage … kill me.”
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/idaho-activist-railroaded-court-jaywalking/#jSTQgH5AV2xUpRh0.99

SF insig

De Oppresso Liber?  We Shall See

Via Oath Keepers-

This is addressed first and foremost to the entire U.S. military, but especially to the military Special Operations Command and community.    Secondly, it is addressed to federal LEOs, and especially to their SRTs, such as the FBI HRT (many of whom are former military special operations).  This comes from combat arms and special operations veterans, along with veteran Sheriffs and police officers, within the Oath Keepers organization:

Critical Warning:

The Ammon Bundy led occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon must be handled as a normal, non-crisis, law enforcement matter, and preferably by Oregon Sheriffs (who are organized as the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association), and their deputies, together with the local community there in Harney County, OR.   The locals can resolve this, if given enough time.   The Oregon Sheriffs can resolve this, if given enough time.

This situation must not be handled in a military or paramilitary fashion, using military assets, military rules of engagement, or otherwise attempting to end it suddenly by use of dynamic assault, resulting in catastrophic loss of life, as has occurred twice in recent American history, with horrific results (at Ruby Ridge in 1992, and at Waco Texas in 1993).  If you do it “Waco” style here, you risk pushing this nation over the edge into a civil war, because there are “no more free Wacos.

This is not an emergency situation, unless you turn it into one.  Ammon Bundy’s occupation of an empty building is essentially the same as civil-disobedience sit-ins that the political left has engaged in for decades, from anti-war and civil rights protesters in the 60s and 70s (including a nineteen month occupation of Alcatraz by American Indian activists), to Occupy Wall Street Movement and Black Lives Matter activists today.

These ranchers, cowboys, and veterans just happen to be armed, as westerners tend to be.   Get over it.  There are no hostages, there are no close-by neighbors at risk, there is nobody there except those who want to be.

So tread lightly, and at most handle this like the Montana Freeman standoff, where the FBI was patient and waited them out, with a peaceful surrender coming after eighty one days.   In this situation, the locals will likely have this resolved long before that length of time.  Regardless, there is no rush.

Despite that reality of there being no emergency here, we have very good reason to believe that ideologue leftist bureaucrats within the Obama Administration – such as within the D.O.J., and their politically minded “perfumed prince” puppets within the D.O.D. – are pressuring you to prepare to use military assets and military rules of engagement to conduct a dynamic raid.   We are an organization of current serving and retired military, police, fire-fighters and other first responders, and we have contacts at every major military installation in America (including Joint Base Lewis-McChord), and at the Pentagon.   We hear things.  We’ll just leave it at that.

And we know that the Obama Administration considered the use of military force during the Bundy Ranch standoff in April, 2014, pursuant to Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities.”  Fortunately for all Americans, they decided not to do it.  This fact was confirmed by a May 28, 2014 Washington Times article:

A U.S. official said the Obama administration considered but rejected deploying military force under the directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters.

From Inside the Ring: Memo Outlines Obama’s Plan to Use the Military Against Citizens

So, the military force hammer was, in fact, on the table during Bundy Ranch, as we suspected.  Please don’t try to tell us it’s not on the table again, now.   We know it is.  The only question is whether the Obama Admin leftist weenies will be foolish enough to try to actually use it, and if they do, whether you will be foolish enough to obey their idiotic orders and obediently act as that hammer.

In addition, it is clear you federal LEOs have not handled this in the normal law enforcement manner of cordoning off the area and immediately initiating negotiations.  Why is that?  Why has there yet to be even an attempt to open direct lines of communications between you and Ammon Bundy, as members of Pacific Patriot Network, Idaho III%, and Oath Keepers on the ground in Burns, OR have been repeatedly urging you to do for the past week, to no avail?

Don’t do it.  Do not follow unlawful orders if the Obama Administration fools decide to go “full retard.”  No matter how eager the politicians like Harry Reid are for Ammon Bundy’s head, after the black eye Ammon and his family gave them at Bundy Ranch in 2014, and no matter how much they pressure you to “make an example” out of these guys, you cannot drop the hammer on a bunch of ranchers, cowboys, and veterans sitting in an empty building without it blowing up in all of our faces.  Treat this with kid gloves, like the Montana Freeman standoff, instead of like the Waco standoff, or risk setting off a civil war.

The stuffed-shirt, pencil necked metrosexuals inside the D.C. beltway will not be the ones bleeding and dying in the chaos that could follow (at least not at first).

man_plucks_eyebrows_spornosexual_metrosexual_shutterstock_1000x667

Guys like this, in D.C., won’t be the ones who will bleed (not at first).

It will be you current serving military and LEO, and it will be us patriotic veterans, along with our many active duty brothers who still take their oaths seriously (and we are truly everywhere, including within your immediate ranks) who will bleed.  It will be the warrior class of America killing each other while the political hacks laugh (they hate you too, don’t you know).

Read the rest @ Oathkeepers here

Fairfax, Va. – The executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Tuesday regarding President Barack Obama’s Executive Gun Control Order:

Once again, President Obama has chosen to engage in political rhetoric, instead of offering meaningful solutions to our nation’s pressing problems.  Today’s event also represents an ongoing attempt to distract attention away from his lack of a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe from terrorist attack.

The American people do not need more emotional, condescending lectures that are completely devoid of facts.  The men and women of the National Rifle Association take a back seat to no one when it comes to keeping our communities safe.  But the fact is that President Obama’s proposals would not have prevented any of the horrific events he mentioned.  The timing of this announcement, in the eighth and final year of his presidency, demonstrates not only political exploitation but a fundamental lack of

seriousness.

The proposed executive actions are ripe for abuse by the Obama Administration, which has made no secret of its contempt for the Second Amendment.  The NRA will continue to fight to protect the fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms as guaranteed under our Constitution.  We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be harassed or intimidated for engaging in lawful, constitutionally-protected activity – nor will we allow them to become scapegoats for President Obama’s failed policies.