VIDEO: Mara Verheyden-Hilliard: FBI Used Counterterrorism Resources To Monitor Occupy Group It Deemed NonViolent
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund recently released newly obtained Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents which reveal that the FBI has been spying on Occupy Wall Street activists well before their very first protest.
In spite of the agency having acknowledged repeatedly in their internal documents that the movement opposes violence, and thus poses no threat, it still used counterterrorism resources and counterterrorism authorities to monitor them.
This may indicate that the movement’s political views in themselves are somehow being construed by officials as a ‘threat’.
The FBI stonewalled The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s FOIA request for over a year, and chose to release the highly redacted documents on the Friday going into the weekend preceding Christmas — a common tactic used by Federal agencies when releasing potentially embarrassing information, to ensure minimal press coverage and minimal public attention.
Today, Amy Goodman invited Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, to appear on DemocracyNow to discuss the group’s FOIA request and findings.
Verheyden-Hilliard tells about the FBI’s “intense coordination both with private businesses, with Wall Street, with the banks, and with state police departments and local police departments around the country.” The documents show the FBI going as far as using private groups as “proxy forces” to conduct undercover infiltration against the peaceful protesters to then report their findings back to the agency.
Robert Gibbs On U.S. Killing 16 Yr Old American 2-Weeks After Killing His Father: ‘Have A More Responsible Father’ (video)
In April 2010, Anwar al-Awlaki — an American citizen and an alleged leader of al-Qaeda operating out of Yemen — was placed on President Obama’s ‘Kill List’ for assassination. On September 30, 2011, an American drone targeted and killed him.
Two weeks later and over 200 miles away from where Awlaki was killed, his 16 year old son, Abdulrahman — an American citizen and native of Denver, CO — was targeted and murdered by an American drone.
The Obama Administration, to date, has refused to explain why they killed this young American boy. They have never claimed that he was in anyway affiliated with al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization. In fact the boy had not even seen his father in over two years, since his father went into hiding.
A couple of reporters from WeAreChange.org approached Former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, and asked him several questions regarding the President’s flip-flop on NDAA, his ‘Kill List’, and how he justified extra-judicially killing a 16 year old American citizen. Here is the portion of the transcript that pertains to al-Awlaki’s son’s assassination, by journalist Sierra Adamson:
Adamson: Do you think the killing of al-Awlaki’s 16 year old son, an American citizen, was justifiable?
Gibbs: I…I…I…I … I’m not going to get into al-Awlaki’s son. I know that Anwar al-Awlaki renounced his citizenship—
Adamson: His son was still an American citizen.
Gibbs: —did great harm to people in this country, and was a regional al-Qaeda commander, hoping to inflict harm and destruction on people that share his religion and others in this country.
Adamson: That’s an American citizen that’s been targeted without due process of law, without trial, and he’s under age. He’s a minor.
Gibbs: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they’re truly concerned about the well-being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al-Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.
Wow! So, even though you cannot choose your parents, Gibbs warns that you may be assassinated for being the offspring of the ‘wrong ones’.
HuffPost Live’s Alyona Invites All-Star Panel To Discuss CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s Plea Deal (video)
CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou plead guilty this morning to revealing the identity of a CIA officer in the agency’s detention and interrogation program. He is expected to spend 2 1/2 years in prison.
The reason he chose to negotiate a plea deal rather than go to trial was summarized succinctly by Marcy Wheeler (investigative blogger, Emptywheel):
… the rush to make a plea deal came after [U.S. District Court Judge] Brinkema ruled, on October 16, that the government didn’t need to prove Kiriakou intended to damage the country by leaking the names of a bunch of torturers. That ruling effectively made it difficult for Kiriakou to prove he was whistleblowing, by helping lawyers defending those who have been tortured figure out who the torturers were.
So ironically, John Kiriakou — who took enormous risks as a whistleblower to expose criminality — will do jail time as if he were the criminal, while the torturers themselves remain free.
Today on HuffPost Live, Alyona Minkovski hosted an all-star panel to discuss the John Kiriakou whistleblower case, including:
- Marcy Wheeler (Grand Rapids, MI) Investigative Blogger, Emptywheel @emptywheel
- Kelley Vlahos (Washington, DC) Columnist, Antiwar.com @KelleyBVlahos
- Col. Morris Davis (DC, WA) Former Chief Prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantanamo @ColMorrisDavis
- Jesselyn Radack (Washington, DC) National Security & Human Rights Director at Government Accountability Project @JesselynRadack
- Josh Gerstein (Arlington) Reporter, POLITICO @joshgerstein
ACLU’s Adam Schwartz: Law Enforcement Uses Fusion Centers To Scrutinize Innocent Americans (video)
Reason TV interviewed Adam Schwartz of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois where he discussed how law enforcement’s pervasive surveillance and data gathering efforts pose a threat to Americans’ constitutionally protected privacy and First Amendment rights. Schwartz describes the significance of fusion centers and the role they play: “In the wake of the 9-11 terror […]
A Sitting NY Supreme Court Judge With Cancer Makes A Plea For Medical Marijuana
After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, New York Supreme Court justice Gustin L. Reichbach found himself immersed in a world of pain and misery, brought on by months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. He’s spent 40 years in the law — over two decades as a judge — and thus never could have imagined that he would […]
Why Is Louisiana The Prison Capital Of The World? Police Profit By Keeping Private Prisons Full
The $182 million private prison industry in Louisiana thrives from a system rife with conflicts of interest, not unlike the kinds found in the most corrupt third world countries. According to a scathing article this Sunday in The New Orleans Times-Picayune, the very people entrusted to enforce the law in the state have deep financial ties to the for-profit prisons, which house […]