Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept have published a much-anticipated story revealing five prominent Muslim-Americans the National Security Agency and FBI spied upon. The surveillance, which primarily appears to have involved monitoring their emails, was conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday July 9, 2014 8:54 am|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday July 2, 2014 2:23 pm|
A political prosecution against a Palestinian-American activist and University of South Florida professor, which began in February 2003, appeared to come to an end on June 27 as the United States government announced it was dropping all charges against him.
|By: DSWright Tuesday July 1, 2014 2:25 pm|
Attorney General Eric Holder, appointed in the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency, is beginning to have his legacy evaluated and it is not looking good. A creature of Wall Street who helped represent some of the culprits of the mortgage crisis in private practice, Holder never made an honest or substantive efforts to go after his former clients who helped crash the economy in 2008.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday June 23, 2014 4:10 pm|
A redacted legal memo produced to justify the “targeted killing” of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by the CIA in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011, was finally released after a federal appeals court ordered its disclosure.
The memo had been the subject of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and two New York Times reporters, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane. Requests had been filed in 2011 and 2012, and President Barack Obama’s administration had spent the last three years arguing in courts that the government did not have to disclose the legal analysis for whether the United States government has the authority to target and kill an American abroad.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday June 23, 2014 11:47 am|
Reflecting on mass incarceration in the United States, which he has experienced firsthand during his time in prison at the Federal Correctional Institution of Loretto, Pennsylvania, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou advocates for prison sentencing reform in his latest letter from jail.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday June 18, 2014 4:34 pm|
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuador Embassy in the United Kingdom for two years. To mark the anniversary, his legal defense team is making a push to have the United Nations Human Rights Commission intervene in the case. His legal defense team is also planning to make a filing in Swedish courts next week that will contain new information.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday June 18, 2014 10:22 am|
A city circuit judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking applications to the Florida state court and the state court’s orders approving the use of “StingRay” devices capable of surveillance of entire communities. But the judge did not resolve the issue of the United States Marshal’s Service seizing copies of records from the Sarasota Police Department so the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would not be able to get them.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday June 9, 2014 3:33 pm|
Nearly ninety-five percent of individuals on a Justice Department list of “terrorism and terrorism-related convictions” from 2001-2010 included some elements of preemptive prosecution, according to a study by attorneys which they say is the first to “directly examine and critique preemptive prosecution and its abuses.”
The study is called “Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution.” It was released by Project SALAM, which stands for Support and Legal Advocacy for Muslims, and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF), a coalition of groups that “oppose profiling, preemptive prosecution and prisoner abuse.”
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday June 9, 2014 10:55 am|
The defense for a young Muslim who was arrested outside a Chicago bar in an undercover FBI sting operation and charged with trying to blow up the bar has submitted a motion objecting to a secret session that was held in court over access to secret surveillance records. Defense attorneys were barred from being present. Only people from the US Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and “other agencies” were allowed, despite the fact that court proceedings were supposed to be open to the public.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Saturday June 7, 2014 8:29 am|
Disclosures from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden made it possible to see how the government misled the FISA court and manipulated secret processes intended to provide a check on surveillance powers. That likely inspired the district court judge to take the bold move of granting defense attorneys access to surveillance records. However, it would appear this federal appeals court is still compromised by the national security state and unwilling to act independently of the fear prosecutors manufacture to maintain control over the courtroom.