Late Night: The New Pearl Harbor

By: Thursday September 11, 2014 8:00 pm

“Time flies, whether you’re having fun or not.” -Lynda Barry

This thought has been haunting me lately as we approached the 13th anniversary of The Day That Changed Everything (for the worse).

The stark images from the day itself, so overplayed yet ambiguous, seem insignificant now compared to what followed, which is so much more dreadful than anything I could have imagined at the time.

 

Even More Military Equipment Being Sent To Local Police Forces

By: Tuesday August 5, 2014 12:10 pm

Despite crime being on a steady decline for the past decade and the threat of international terrorism being wildly overstated, local police departments are stockpiling military grade weaponry. The militarization of police forces has become such a prominent phenomenon that the ACLU now dedicates a portion of its resources to studying the trend. Community policing – particularly in poor areas where people of color live – has been replaced with military style raids by heavily armed SWAT Teams.

Lawsuit Challenges Secretive Policy Allegedly Used Against Muslim Immigrants to Deny Citizenship

By: Friday August 1, 2014 9:35 am

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of five Muslims allegedly denied American citizenship because of a secretive policy a Homeland Security Department’s immigration agency operates. The program grants the government broad discretion to designate those applying for citizenship as “national security concerns.”

According to the ACLU’s filed complaint [PDF], the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has engaged in the “unlawful delay and denial of plaintiffs’ applications for citizenship and lawful permanent residence [LPR] under a secretive policy” known as the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CAARP).

Supreme Court to Hear Case Involving Whether Government Employees Can Go to Press & Blow the Whistle

By: Monday May 19, 2014 3:03 pm

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from the administration of President Barack Obama that will address the issue of whether someone employed by the federal government has a right to go public with their whistleblower claims, such as evidence of misconduct by an agency.

‘Proper Channels’ Didn’t Work for Employees Who Revealed Secret Service Director’s Personal Surveillance Op

By: Monday May 12, 2014 8:28 am

Agents from a Secret Service surveillance team detailed to patrol the White House compound and protect President Barack Obama were ordered to go watch the home of a neighbor of a “personal friend” of the agency’s director, the Washington Post reported.

Remarkably, this is one of those instances (yet again) where government employees sought to go through “proper channels” in order to blow the whistle on what they thought was a “potentially illegal use of government resources.”

Senate Subcommittee Investigation Into Whistleblower Allegations Finds Misconduct by DHS Watchdog

By: Friday April 25, 2014 7:32 am

The person within the Department of Homeland Security, who whistleblowers are supposed to be comfortable with contacting to report waste, fraud, abuse or other examples of corruption, failed to maintain independence as the Department’s Inspector General. He has been placed on “administrative leave” by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

US Border Patrol Insists on Secrecy for Agents Who Kill People on Mexican Side of Border

By: Monday March 3, 2014 3:30 pm

A review by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) of violence by US Border Patrol Agents responsible for more than forty “border-related deaths” was completed after Congress ordered US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to examine its “use of force policies and practices.” However, the result of this PERF review is being kept secret by the government.

Obama Administration Abuses National Security, Secrecy Powers

By: Thursday February 13, 2014 6:00 pm

Would the US Government executive branch abuse its state secrets privilege, abuse the classification of documents, and use its ability to prevent a foreign national’s entry to the US to bar her access to the court system? Would it spend millions of taxpayer dollars on lawyers improperly?

Snowden, Merkel, Obama, and King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

By: Monday January 20, 2014 3:21 pm

President Obama has said that Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a favorite of his, but again and again, he seems not to understand what King was saying.

Edward Snowden and Angela Merkel are giving him an opportunity to reread it and try once more to get the point.

Lawsuit Challenging Laptop Searches at US Border Is Dismissed by Federal Judge

By: Tuesday December 31, 2013 3:57 pm

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the constitutionality of suspicionless searches and seizures of laptops and other electronics at the United States/Canadian border.

The ACLU claimed, “While traveling home to New York on an Amtrak train in May 2010, Pascal Abidor, an Islamic Studies Ph.D. student, was questioned, handcuffed, taken off the train and kept in a holding cell for several hours before being released without charge. When his laptop was returned 11 days later, there was evidence that many of his personal files, including research, photos, and chats with his girlfriend, had been searched.”

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