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Thread: Police States

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    Default Police States

    PM announces sweeping police powers

    Press Association
    Wednesday September 28, 2005 1:18 AM

    Police and local authorities will be given sweeping summary powers to fight crime and anti-social behaviour, Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

    A complete rethink is needed to end the Dickensian approach to 21st century crime, the Prime Minister told Labour's party conference.

    "For eight years I have battered the criminal justice system to get it to change," he said in Brighton.

    "And it was only when we started to introduce special anti-social behaviour laws we have made a difference."

    Mr Blair added: "I now understand why. The system itself is the problem.

    "We are trying to fight 21st century crime - anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, organised crime - with 19th century methods, as if we still lived in the time of Dickens.

    "The whole of our system starts from the proposition that its duty is to protect the innocent from being wrongly convicted.

    "Don't misunderstand me. That must be the duty of any criminal justice system.

    "But surely our primary duty should be to allow law-abiding people to live in safety.

    "It means a complete change of thinking. It doesn't mean abandoning human rights. It means deciding whose come first."

    The summary powers will deal with drinking, drug-dealing and organised crime. Teams of local police and community officers will be put in place across the country.

    And head teachers will be given "the full disciplinary powers they want", he said.

    © Copyright Press Association Ltd 2005, All Rights Reserved.,00.html

    Sierra Times
    Thursday September 29, 2005 - 03:20:27 PM, PDT

    Just as expected, Bush wants more power
    By Larry A. Jones

    It should come as no surprise that on the heels of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Bush is asking for more dictatorial power.

    Just as 9-11 provided the supposed justification of the gutting of our Constitutional rights through the 'Patriot' and other related Acts, now Bush wants to be allowed to send in the military to respond to "national disasters" without anyone's authority but his own.

    This notion is so wrong for so many reasons, it will no doubt be seriously considered by our geniuses in Congress and may even become law.

    Ignoring for the moment that this will mean that while our National Guard is deployed overseas, the military will be 'assisting' us here at home - a topsy-turvy use of resources that only to Bush & Co. would seem logical - it also means that upon the slighest pretext, the Commander-in-Chief could declare an emergency, direct the invasion of any state by the military and -- if Katrina is any example, confiscate all weapons.

    Folks, this is why the 2nd Amendment was added to the Constitution. This is what Great Britain did and why state militias were formed in the first place.

    Once again, the state governors should not take this lying down. Any such law should be rejected and if passed by Congress, declared immediately unConstitutional. Further, the states should begin reimplementation of state militias. Otherwise, we will be naked and defenseless when the army comes knocking at our doors.

    If Bush gets his way, the governor of a state will no longer have any say, and will not have to grant any authority; instead, on the command of the President, military troops can be sent into any state, any city and just "take over."

    Our weak, gutless and witless Congress will not doubt rubber-stamp this crazy notion as a supposed 'necessary response' to the Katrina mess. If so, our days as a free nation are truly numbered.

    The problem is, we the people have basically asked for it. By complaining of the failure of the government to act more responsively to Katrina, the government is responding to that complaint by a demand for more power. In an earlier article, I said we should be careful what we ask for as we just might get it.

    Well, here it comes.

    Jose Padilla: Constitutional Unperson?
    by Gene Healy
    September 25,2005

    Gene Healy is a senior editor at the Cato Institute and author of the Cato study "Deployed in the U.S.A.: The Creeping Militarization of the Home Front."

    John Roberts’ confirmation hearings focused heavily on abortion, judicial philosophy, and the powers of Congress--all important issues, to be sure. But soon the Supreme Court may be called upon to decide an even more important question: Does the president have the power to seize an American citizen on American soil, strip him of his constitutional rights, and hold him in a military prison for the duration of the war on terror--perhaps forever?

    Judge J. Michael Luttig, who is said to be on the president’s “short list” to fill a second Supreme Court vacancy, believes the answer is yes. On Sept. 9, in Padilla v. Commander C.T. Hanft, Luttig and two other federal appellate court judges reversed the federal district court that had ordered the government either to charge suspected terrorist Jose Padilla with a crime, or release him.

    Padilla, a Brooklyn-born American, was arrested by federal agents at O'Hare International Airport in May 2002, and held on a material witness warrant. Two days before a hearing in federal court on the validity of that warrant, the president declared Padilla an "enemy combatant" plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in the United States, and ordered him transferred to a naval brig in South Carolina, hundreds of miles away from his lawyer. Padilla has been held there for over three years without charges or meaningful access to counsel.

    There's little in Padilla's background to suggest he's an innocent man wrongly accused--he's a violent ex-con with apparent ties to Al Qaeda. But "the innocent have nothing to fear" is cold comfort and poor constitutional argument. The very principle that imprisons the guilty can be used to seize the innocent.

    The principle the Bush administration has advanced to justify Padilla's detention is broad indeed. It amounts to the assertion that the executive branch can serve as judge, jury, and jailer in cases involving terrorist suspects. Of all the powers claimed by the president since September 11, that power is the one most to be feared--not least because, due to the nature of the war on terrorism, it's a power unlikely ever to be relinquished.

    The grounds for Judge Luttig’s decision are somewhat narrower, but no less dubious. Without ruling on the Bush administration’s staggering executive power claims, Judge Luttig held that the use-of-force resolution Congress passed prior to the war in Afghanistan was broad enough to authorize the seizure and prolonged detention of American citizens here in the United States. That resolution reads, in relevant part, “[T]he President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.” Judge Luttig’s assertion that quasi-permanent imprisonment in a military brig constitutes “necessary and appropriate force” is an exercise in question-begging. If Congress intended to give the president the power to declare an American citizen a constitutional “unperson” and hold him without charges or a trial, the least our courts could require is a clear statement from Congress to that effect.

    Thus far, President Bush has wielded this vast power sparingly. But there’s no guarantee that he--or his successors--will continue to show restraint. In fact, in 2002, the administration considered broader use of domestic detention. As Newsweek reported in April 2004, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wanted to invoke the “enemy combatant” concept to hold six Americans from Lackawanna, New York in a military brig without access to the courts. “They are the enemy, and they’re right here in the country,” Cheney declared, according to an administration official. The administration also considered using the power against other Americans, including a group of suspected terrorists in Portland, Oregon. It was, surprisingly enough, Attorney General John Ashcroft who spoke up for civil liberties and the rule of law, convincing the administration to pursue the Lackawanna Six through ordinary constitutional processes.

    Yet if the Supreme Court upholds the September 9th ruling in the Padilla case, ordinary constitutional processes could be suspended at the will of the president. No president should be trusted with a power that vast.

    This article was published in the Miami Herald on September 24, 2005.

    FBI to get veto power over PC software?
    September 27, 2005 11:37 AM PDT

    The Federal Communications Commission thinks you have the right to use software on your computer only if the FBI approves.

    No, really. In an obscure "policy" document released around 9 p.m. ET last Friday, the FCC announced this remarkable decision.

    According to the three-page document, to preserve the openness that characterizes today's Internet, "consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement." Read the last seven words again.

    The FCC didn't offer much in the way of clarification. But the clearest reading of the pronouncement is that some unelected bureaucrats at the commission have decreeed that Americans don't have the right to use software such as Skype or PGPfone if it doesn't support mandatory backdoors for wiretapping. (That interpretation was confirmed by an FCC spokesman on Monday, who asked not to be identified by name. Also, the announcement came at the same time as the FCC posted its wiretapping rules for Internet telephony.)

    Nowhere does the commission say how it jibes this official pronouncement with, say, the First Amendment's right to speak freely, not to mention the limited powers granted the federal government by the U.S. Constitution.

    What's also worth noting is that the FCC's pronunciamento almost tracks the language of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Almost.

    But where federal law states that it is the policy of the United States to preserve a free market for Internet services "unfettered by federal or state regulation," the bureaucrats have adroitly interpreted that to mean precisely the opposite of Congress said. Ain't that clever?
    Posted by Declan McCullagh
    About the author
    Declan McCullagh
    chronicles the intersection of politics and technology from Washington, DC.

    EFF to fight Feds' wiretapping demands
    September 28, 2005 8:18 AM PDT

    A new federal regulation ordering broadband providers to include backdoors in their networks for wiretaps is expected to be challenged in court.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Wednesday that it plans to file suit against the new federal rule, announced last Friday and scheduled to take effect in early 2007. The suit won't be filed until the rules are officially published (probably next month) at the earliest.

    In Friday's announcement, the Federal Communications Commission said that broadband providers and Internet phone companies that link to the public telephone network (Vonage, Packet 8, SkypeOut) must rewire their networks to readily accommodate police wiretaps. If they don't comply, they must shut down.

    "A tech mandate requiring backdoors in the Internet endangers the privacy of innocent people, stifles innovation, and risks the Internet as a forum for free and open expression," EFF said in a press release.

    Two of the four FCC commissioners who voted on the regulations acknowledged that the agency's on shaky legal ground. That's because the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act was not intended to regulate Internet providers, and Congress even said so at the time.
    Posted by Declan McCullagh

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    New Law slated to install Police State in Canada
    - Connie Fogal

    Connie Fogal, Leader of CAP, says " 'NO' to an impending federal law
    to give police and national security agencies new powers to
    eavesdrop on cellphone calls and monitor the Internet activities of

    "This law is another destruction of Canadian freedom,"insists Fogal.
    "It moves Canada even further into the realm of a police state.
    This is an adjunct to our nefarious anti terrorism laws imposed on
    an uninformed citizenry by our Parliament and Senate. It is another
    elimination of some of our sovereign rights that were supposed to be
    guaranteed to us under our Constitution and our Charter of Rights
    and Freedoms. It is an act of stealth imposed under the guise of
    national security."

    Fogal asks? "Why is this being done? Canada is mirroring recent
    U.S legislation because our government has committed Canada by
    stealth and backroom deals to a North American Union: US, Canada,
    and Mexico under US command and control. Information on this year's
    meeting by the three national leaders at Bush's ranch in Texas on
    North American Union has been revealed even in mainstream media."

    "This latest piece of liberty stripping legislation is but one more
    incremental step of stealth because Canadians would not tolerate
    this if we were allowed to have full information of what is going
    on. This is an incredible situation," reported Fogal.

    She continued, "Many Canadians fought and died in WW2 to stop this
    very kind of police state activity. What we are witnessing now with
    these types of laws is an exact pattern of liberty -stripping
    imposed by Hitler on Germans under the guise of 'National Security'.
    Good people there who turned a blind eye or failed to resist later
    discovered it was too late. Their liberty was completely eliminated .
    Eventually it reached a stage where even Germany's highest court
    judges were committing crimes by convicting innocent people. See
    the Nuremburg Trials. Even Judges are corruptible in such regimes.
    As Harry Rankin, Vancouver's renowned 25 year alderman and criminal
    lawyer, used to say, 'If you want justice, go to church,not to the
    courts. The courts are there to apply the law created by
    politicians.' "

    "Fogal, a lawyer, said,"Canada along with many countries has been
    participating for years in an eavesdropping program called Echelon.
    That is illegal. What government is trying to do is make it legal.
    It is illegal because our system as a democracy had built in
    protections for the good and innocent. Police have to justify any
    invasion of privacy before a court of law. If the court did not
    accept the reason for the invasion, it was not allowed. This
    protection is core to civil liberties. We should not abandon it.
    We must not abandon it, if we are to be a free and democratic

    "It is such hypocrisy for Canada to be supporting the US occupation
    of Afghanistan and Iraq as deliverers of "freedom" when new local
    draconian laws at home are stripping Canadians and Americans of our
    liberty. It is time for a reality check," insisted Fogal.

    "At a crucial point in 'the tide of the affairs of men' human beings
    have to take a stand and be counted. Better sooner than later when
    to do so means imprisonment or death, as happened in Germany. I,
    for one, say "NO" to another deceitful and wrongful law. I also
    speak as the leader of a small federal party voicing the view of
    thousands of Canadians who feel betrayed by the existing
    Parliamentarians,"said Fogal.
    - Connie Fogal, lawyer, Director Defence of Canadian Liberty
    Committee and Leader of Canadian Action Party/parti action
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    The Scary US of A.

    I am a retired, politically aware thinking Canadian citizen. I have postively viewed the US from across our shared border for over 40 years as an adult, mostly sympathetic and supportive.

    But the US has evolved into a different country.

    I will never in my life visit the US again. I believe all visitors to the US risk being thrown into jail and never heard from again. All that has to happen is for any US citizen to take a dislike to me for any reason and to call the Homeland Security Department and say that I was overheard talking about planting a bomb. I would then be arrested, branded a terrorist, put in jail and never heard from again. My relatives and friends would not know what happened to me. All US officials would say they know nothing of me. I would not have access to a lawyer. The US justice system would not have to prove me guilty of anything to keep me. I would not even be allowed to prove myself innocent.

    I now view the US in the same light as I view countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea and China, all countries I would never visit for fear of my life.

    My heart goes out to the average law abiding American citizen who have in the past been able to live their lives free of government interference but who are now watching their freedoms disappear in the name of homeland security.

    I pity us all when the US Christian right has full control over the US society and begins to use US nuclear weapons in a holy war against all of us in the world who do not share their beliefs. Mankind's Armageddon will be either from our destruction of our natural environment or from a holy nuclear war.

    Have a good day.
    Last edited by kickinback; 06-10-2005 at 06:47 PM.

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    I feel exactly the same way,kickinback.

    On September the eleventh,2001,America was attacked by "terrorists";on September the twelfth,2001,some 400Million North Americans became the suspects.

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    The Uk will go the same way as the US in time. Sad state of the times. We hope to be long gone from England when that happens. Portugal or Spain will do nicely. And the sun is out 300 days a year!!
    Zubaidi:Monetary value of the Iraqi dinar must revert to the previous level, or at least to acceptable levels as it is in the Iraqi neighboring states.

    Shabibi:The bank wants as a means to affect the economic and monetary policy by making the dinar a valuable and powerful.

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    The Rock at Gibraltar looks excellent for some reason.Think that's where I'll find myself in time.

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    Bill Would Give Cover to Pentagon Spies in U.S.
    # In an effort to thwart domestic terror, some privacy protections would be rolled back.

    By Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer

    WASHINGTON — Pentagon intelligence operatives would be allowed to collect information from U.S. citizens without revealing their status as government spies under legislation approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee and publicly released this week.

    The bill would end a long-standing requirement that military intelligence officers disclose their government ties when approaching an American citizen in the United States — a law designed to protect Americans from domestic intelligence activities by the Defense Department.

    The provision is one of several sections of the legislation that would roll back privacy-related protections as part of an effort to improve the ability of U.S. intelligence agencies to detect and prevent domestic terrorist plots. Another provision would make it easier for U.S. spy agencies to gain access to sensitive government records on citizens that are generally prohibited from being disseminated under privacy laws.

    The changes are part of an intelligence authorization bill that calls for what officials described as a significant increase in funding for U.S. spy agencies; it would shift money away from controversial spy satellite programs that many lawmakers consider outdated and unnecessary.

    Actual budget numbers are classified, but annual intelligence spending is said to exceed $40 billion. The authorization bill was approved by the Intelligence Committee in closed session last week, but the text of the legislation was not made public until Thursday, when the bill was filed with the full Senate.

    Although the bill was endorsed unanimously by committee members, two Democrats expressed concerns with the privacy provisions in written comments attached to the legislation. Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon said they considered the military intelligence provision a mistake. Pentagon operatives "should be required to tell United States citizens in the United States who are not suspected of any wrongdoing that they work for the government," the senators wrote.

    They said they intended "to support changes to this authority as the legislation moves forward."

    Supporters of the provision noted that it would extend to Pentagon intelligence operatives authority that CIA case officers already have.

    The CIA is barred from collecting intelligence on U.S. citizens, but agency officers routinely approach American business executives and overseas travelers to glean information on foreigners.

    The bill states that the terrorism threat highlights "the need for greater latitude to assess potential intelligence sources, both overseas and within the United States."

    It also stipulates that the changes do not expand the intelligence collection mission of the military: The changes are designed primarily for "assessment contacts" in which operatives try to learn more about a source before asking him or her to spy.

    The provision would mainly apply to the Defense Intelligence Agency, a Pentagon spy service with officers around the world responsible for collecting military-related intelligence from human sources.

    Levin and Wyden also expressed concern over a provision that would ease protections on the personal data federal agencies collect on U.S. citizens. The legislation would allow intelligence services to share such data with one another, and to request records from domestic agencies that have counter-terrorism responsibilities.

    Federal privacy laws would continue to restrict sharing of health records collected by the Veterans Administration, for instance, because the agency does not have a domestic security function.

    But Levin and Wyden complained that a proposed new rule would allow the CIA to obtain sensitive records on American citizens from the Justice Department Civil Rights Division "as long as the records related to a lawful and authorized foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activity."

    The senators said they thought it unwise to relax such protections.

    Critics said the privacy provision would erode protections implemented in 1974 to guard against abuses by the FBI and other agencies in collecting data on U.S. citizens.

    "This allows intelligence agencies to go fishing … for totally unrelated information to flesh out their investigations," said Timothy Sparapani, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington. "You'd be surprised how wide a net could be cast with this exemption."

    The new rules would expire in four years, requiring Congress to reevaluate the record-sharing program before implementing it permanently.

    The authorization bill is expected to be considered by the full Senate this month.,4206130.story

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