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Abramoff gets 4 years in jail

Abramoff gets 4 years in jail

AP
September 5, 2008

Jack Abramoff, the once powerful lobbyist at the heart of a far-reaching political corruption scandal, was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday by a judge who said the case had shattered the public’s confidence in government.

Abramoff, who fought back tears as he declared himself a broken man, appeared crestfallen as the judge handed down a sentence lengthier than prosecutors had sought.

Over the past three years, Abramoff has come to symbolize corruption and the secret deals cut between lobbyists and politicians in back rooms or on golf courses or private jets. The scandal shook Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to Capitol Hill and contributed to the Republicans’ loss of Congress in 2006.

“I come before you as a broken man,” Abramoff said at his sentencing before U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle. “I’m not the same man who happily and arrogantly engaged in a lifestyle of political and business corruption.”

He added later that, “My name is the butt of a joke, the source of a laugh and the title of a scandal.”

Already two years into a prison term from a separate case in Florida, Abramoff, 49, will have spent about six years in prison by the time he is released, far longer than he and his attorneys expected for a man who became the key FBI witness in his own corruption case.

With Abramoff’s help, the Justice Department has won corruption convictions against former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles and several top Capitol Hill aides.

Because of that cooperation, prosecutors were reserved in their comments to the court. Rather than regaling the court with a summary of the misdeeds and the seriousness of the corruption, the Justice Department said little in court while urging leniency.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell portrayed Abramoff as a conflicted man. Yes, he corrupted politicians with golf junkets, expensive meals and luxury seats at sporting events. But he also donated millions of dollars to charity, and his good deeds were catalogued in hundreds of letters from friends.

“How can we be talking about the same person?” Lowell said. “But that’s the record: A modern-day ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.'”

Although Abramoff expressed remorse Thursday, he also has spent his time in prison cooperating with a book that portrays him much differently: as a victim of Washington politics.

The book, set for publication later this month and obtained by The Associated Press, says Abramoff was pressured to plead guilty. The book blames The Washington Post and Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee whose Senate committee investigated Abramoff, for making him the fall guy.

“I never expected that I would have to go to prison,” Abramoff says in the book, “until it became clear that the media could not allow this play to close without the hanging of the villain.”

In “The Perfect Villain: John McCain and the Demonization of Lobbyist Jack Abramoff,” Boston journalist Gary Chafetz portrays Abramoff as an innocent man who excelled in an already corrupt system and was undone by biased prosecutors, reporters and political enemies.

McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

That theory was nowhere to be found in court Thursday. Wearing green prison pants and a brown T-shirt, Abramoff wept as his attorney discussed his family’s suffering. He seemed shocked when Huvelle handed down her sentence, looking at his wife and children and shaking his head.

Huvelle could have sent Abramoff to prison for 11 years for conspiring to defraud the U.S., corrupting public officials and defrauding his clients, but she but showed leniency because of his work with the FBI. She rejected, however, proposals to reduce the sentence even further by giving Abramoff credit for the time he already has spent in prison on a fraudulent casino deal in Florida.

Abramoff could appeal the sentence because Justice Department infighting is partly responsible for the lengthy prison term. Prosecutors in Washington had hoped to combine the casino case and the corruption case into one plea deal. But Florida prosecutors refused to give up their piece, as did Washington prosecutors, so the deal was split in two.

Huvelle seemed perplexed by that decision, even as prosecutor Mary Butler asked her to treat the two cases as one. Neither Lowell nor the Justice Department spoke after court.

 



Fabled Enemies (the movie)
September 14, 2008, 1:35 pm
Filed under: 9/11, 9/11 commission, 9/11 commission report, 9/11 Explosions, 9/11 Eyewitness, 9/11 Firefighters, 9/11 hijackers, 9/11 Mysteries, 9/11 planes, 9/11 survivors, 9/11 Truth, 9/11 wargames, 9/11 whistleblowers, 9/11 workers, Able Danger, Afghanistan, Air Force, air force one, al-qaeda, Alabama, alaska, Alex Jones, anthrax, army, ATF, barry jennings, BBC, BBC foreknowledge, biden, Big Brother, Bill Clinton, bin laden, Bush Sr., California, Canada, carlyle group, CIA, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Congress, Continuity of Government, Controlled Demolition, Cynthia McKinney, DEA, Dennis Kucinich, Department of Defense, Department of justice, DHS, Dick Cheney, Dictatorship, DoD, Donald Rumsfeld, double agent, Echelon, Empire, EPA, False Flag, FBI, federal crime, Flight 93, florida, Fort Detrick, George Bush, george h. w. bush, Ground Zero, Homeland Security, House, INS, inside job, IRS, ISI, Israel, jerusalem, jihadist, joe biden, lee hamilton, Loose Change, Luke Rudkowski, marine, Martial Law, Media, michael chertoff, middle east, Military, mineta, Mineta Testemony, mohammed atta, money fraud, money laundering, Mossad, Mystery Plane, nation building, navy, New York, NIST, NORAD, NSA, occupation, Pakistan, Patriot Act, Pentagon, Philip Zelikow, Propaganda, Psyops, Richard Armitage, Saudi Arabia, SEC, secret service, Senate, sibel edmonds, special forces, Spy, State Sponsored Terrorism, sudan, Surveillance, Taliban, telecoms, Texas, thomas kean, Turkey, visa, War Crimes, war games, War On Terror, warrantless search, warrantless wiretap, Washington D.C., We Are Change, White House, World Trade Center, Zionism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fabled Enemies (the movie)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2144933190875239407&hl=en

 



U.S. Jailers allowed inmates to rape teenager

US Jailers Allow Inmates to Gang Rape 18 Year Old Brought in on Speeding Charges
Former Grant County, Kentucky Detention Center Officers Found Guilty of Civil Rights Violations in Teenager Rape Case

Comtex
August 15, 2008

A Kentucky jury convicted Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman, both former deputy jailers, on federal civil rights, conspiracy and obstruction charges, the Justice Department announced today. The defendants, former deputies at the Grant County Detention Center, were found guilty of conspiring to violate the civil rights of a teenage traffic offender when they arranged for him to be raped by inmates. The jury convicted the defendants on all charges and specifically found that the defendants were responsible for the aggravated sexual assault carried out by the inmates.

The defendants face up to life in prison when they are sentenced on Dec. 8, 2008.

The case stemmed from an incident that occurred on Valentine’s Day in 2003, when the defendants, along with their supervisor, former Sergeant Shawn Sydnor, taunted an 18-year-old high school student who had been brought to the detention center on a speeding charge. The deputies teased the teenager about his physical appearance and told him that he would make a good “girlfriend” for the other inmates. The defendants then solicited a group of convicted felons housed in a general population cell to scare the teenager. After eliciting an agreement from the inmates, the officers left the teenager in the cell where he was sexually assaulted by the other inmates.

Read Full Article Here

 



Joe Biden’s pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

Joe Biden’s pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

CNET
August 23, 2008

By choosing Joe Biden as their vice presidential candidate, the Democrats have selected a politician with a mixed record on technology who has spent most of his Senate career allied with the FBI and copyright holders, who ranks toward the bottom of CNET’s Technology Voters’ Guide, and whose anti-privacy legislation was actually responsible for the creation of PGP.

That’s probably okay with Barack Obama: Biden likely got the nod because of his foreign policy knowledge. The Delaware politician is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee who voted for the war in Iraq, and is reasonably well-known nationally after his presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008.

Copyright
But back to the Delaware senator’s tech record. After taking over the Foreign Relations committee, Biden became a staunch ally of Hollywood and the recording industry in their efforts to expand copyright law. He sponsored a bill in 2002 that would have make it a federal felony to trick certain types of devices into playing unauthorized music or executing unapproved computer programs. Biden’s bill was backed by content companies including News Corp. but eventually died after Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo lobbied against it.

A few months later, Biden signed a letter that urged the Justice Department “to prosecute individuals who intentionally allow mass copying from their computer over peer-to-peer networks.” Critics of this approach said that the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, and not taxpayers, should pay for their own lawsuits.

Last year, Biden sponsored an RIAA-backed bill called the Perform Act aimed at restricting Americans’ ability to record and play back individual songs from satellite and Internet radio services. (The RIAA sued XM Satellite Radio over precisely this point.)

All of which meant that nobody in Washington was surprised when Biden was one of only four U.S. senators invited to a champagne reception in celebration of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act hosted by the MPAA’s Jack Valenti, the RIAA, and the Business Software Alliance. (Photos are here.)

Now, it’s true that few Americans will cast their votes in November based on what the vice presidential candidate thinks of copyright law. But these pro-copyright views don’t exactly jibe with what Obama has promised; he’s pledged to “update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated.” These are code words for taking a more pro-EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) than pro-MPAA approach.

Unfortunately, Biden has steadfastly refused to answer questions on the topic. We asked him 10 tech-related questions, including whether he’d support rewriting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as part of our 2008 Technology Voters’ guide. Biden would not answer (we did hear back from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Ron Paul).

In our 2006 Technology Voters’ Guide, which ranked Senate votes from July 1998 through May 2005, Biden received a mere 37.5 percent score because of his support for Internet filters in schools and libraries and occasional support for Internet taxes.

Privacy, the FBI, and PGP
On privacy, Biden’s record is hardly stellar. In the 1990s, Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and introduced a bill called the Comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Act, which the EFF says he was “persuaded” to do by the FBI. A second Biden bill was called the Violent Crime Control Act. Both were staunchly anti-encryption, with this identical language:

It is the sense of Congress that providers of electronic communications services and manufacturers of electronic communications service equipment shall ensure that communications systems permit the government to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other communications when appropriately authorized by law.

Translated, that means turn over your encryption keys. The book Electronic Privacy Papers describes Biden’s bill as representing the FBI’s visible effort to restrict encryption technology, which was taking place in concert with the National Security Agency’s parallel, but less visible efforts. (Biden was no foe of the NSA. He once described now-retired NSA director Bobby Ray Inman as the “single most competent man in the government.”)

Biden’s bill — and the threat of encryption being outlawed — is what spurred Phil Zimmermann to write PGP, thereby kicking off a historic debate about export controls, national security, and privacy. Zimmermann, who’s now busy developing Zfone, says it was Biden’s legislation “that led me to publish PGP electronically for free that year, shortly before the measure was defeated after vigorous protest by civil libertarians and industry groups.”

While neither of Biden’s pair of bills became law, they did foreshadow the FBI’s pro-wiretapping, anti-encryption legislative strategy that followed — and demonstrated that the Delaware senator was willing to be a reliable ally of law enforcement on the topic. (They also previewed the FBI’s legislative proposal later that decade for banning encryption products such as SSH or PGP without government backdoors, which was approved by one House of Representatives committee but never came to a vote in the Senate.)

“Joe Biden made his second attempt to introduce such legislation” in the form of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which was also known as the Digital Telephony law, according to an account in Wired magazine. Biden at the time was chairman of the relevant committee; he co-sponsored the Senate version and dutifully secured a successful floor vote on it less than two months after it was introduced. CALEA became law in October 1994, and is still bedeviling privacy advocates: the FBI recently managed to extend its requirements to Internet service providers.

CALEA represented one step in the FBI and NSA’s attempts to restrict encryption without backdoors. In a top-secret memo to members of President George H.W. Bush’s administration including Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and CIA director Robert Gates, one White House official wrote: “Justice should go ahead now to seek a legislative fix to the digital telephony problem, and all parties should prepare to follow through on the encryption problem in about a year. Success with digital telephony will lock in one major objective; we will have a beachhead we can exploit for the encryption fix; and the encryption access options can be developed more thoroughly in the meantime.”

There’s another reason why Biden’s legislative tactics in the CALEA scrum amount to more than a mere a footnote in Internet history. They’re what led to the creation of the Center for Democracy and Technology — and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s simultaneous implosion and soul-searching.

EFF staffers Jerry Berman and Danny Weitzner chose to work with Biden on cutting a deal and altering the bill in hopes of obtaining privacy concessions. It may have helped, but it also left the EFF in the uncomfortable position of leaving its imprimatur on Biden’s FBI-backed wiretapping law universally loathed by privacy advocates. The debacle ended with internal turmoil, Berman and Weitzner leaving the group and taking their corporate backers to form CDT, and a chastened EFF that quietly packed its bags and moved to its current home in San Francisco. (Weitzner, who was responsible for a censorship controversy last year, became a formal Obama campaign surrogate.)

“Anti-terror” legislation
The next year, months before the Oklahoma City bombing took place, Biden introduced another bill called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. It previewed the 2001 Patriot Act by allowing secret evidence to be used in prosecutions, expanding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and wiretap laws, creating a new federal crime of “terrorism” that could be invoked based on political beliefs, permitting the U.S. military to be used in civilian law enforcement, and allowing permanent detection of non-U.S. citizens without judicial review. The Center for National Security Studies said the bill would erode “constitutional and statutory due process protections” and would “authorize the Justice Department to pick and choose crimes to investigate and prosecute based on political beliefs and associations.”

Biden himself draws parallels between his 1995 bill and its 2001 cousin. “I drafted a terrorism bill after the Oklahoma City bombing. And the bill John Ashcroft sent up was my bill,” he said when the Patriot Act was being debated, according to the New Republic, which described him as “the Democratic Party’s de facto spokesman on the war against terrorism.”

Biden’s chronology is not accurate: the bombing took place in April 1995 and his bill had been introduced in February 1995. But it’s true that Biden’s proposal probably helped to lay the groundwork for the Bush administration’s Patriot Act.

In 1996, Biden voted to keep intact an ostensibly anti-illegal immigration bill that outlined what the Real ID Act would become almost a decade later. The bill would create a national worker identification registry; Biden voted to kill an Abraham-Feingold amendment that would have replaced the registry with stronger enforcement. According to an analysis by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the underlying bill would have required “states to place Social Security numbers on drivers licenses and to obtain fingerprints or some other form of biometric identification for licenses.”

Along with most of his colleagues in the Congress — including Sen. John McCain but not Rep. Ron Paul — Biden voted for the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act (which was part of a larger spending bill). Obama voted for the bill containing the Real ID Act, but wasn’t in the U.S. Senate in 2001 when the original Patriot Act vote took place.

Patriot Act
In the Senate debate over the Patriot Act in October 2001, Biden once again allied himself closely with the FBI. The Justice Department favorably quotes Biden on its Web site as saying: “The FBI could get a wiretap to investigate the mafia, but they could not get one to investigate terrorists. To put it bluntly, that was crazy! What’s good for the mob should be good for terrorists.”

The problem is that Biden’s claim was simply false — which he should have known after a decade of experience lending his name to wiretapping bills on behalf of the FBI. As CDT explains in a rebuttal to Biden: “The Justice Department had the ability to use wiretaps, including roving taps, in criminal investigations of terrorism, just as in other criminal investigations, long before the Patriot Act.”

But Biden’s views had become markedly less FBI-friendly by April 2007, six years later. By then, the debate over wiretapping had become sharply partisan, pitting Democrats seeking to embarrass President Bush against Republicans aiming to defend the administration at nearly any cost. In addition, Biden had announced his presidential candidacy three months earlier and was courting liberal activists dismayed by the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping.

That month, Biden slammed the “president’s illegal wiretapping program that allows intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans without a judge’s approval or congressional authorization or oversight.” He took aim at Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for allowing the FBI to “flagrantly misuse National Security Letters” — even though it was the Patriot Act that greatly expanded their use without also expanding internal safeguards and oversight as well.

Biden did vote against a FISA bill with retroactive immunity for any telecommunications provider that illegally opened its network to the National Security Agency; Obama didn’t. Both agreed to renew the Patriot Act in March 2006, a move that pro-privacy Democrats including Ron Wyden and Russ Feingold opposed. The ACLU said the renewal “fails to correct the most flawed provisions” of the original Patriot Act. (Biden does do well on the ACLU’s congressional scorecard.)

“Baby-food bombs”
The ACLU also had been at odds with Biden over his efforts to censor bomb-making information on the Internet. One day after a bomb in Saudi Arabia killed several U.S. servicemen and virtually flattened a military base, Biden pushed to make posting bomb-making information on the Internet a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in jail, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

“I think most Americans would be absolutely shocked if they knew what kind of bone-chilling information is making its way over the Internet,” he told the Senate. “You can access detailed, explicit instructions on how to make and detonate pipe bombs, light-bulb bombs, and even — if you can believe it — baby-food bombs.”

Biden didn’t get exactly what he wanted — at least not right away. His proposal was swapped in the final law for one requiring the attorney general to investigate “the extent to which the First Amendment protects such material and its private and commercial distribution.” The report was duly produced, concluding that the proposal “can withstand constitutional muster in most, if not all, of its possible applications, if such legislation is slightly modified.”

It was. Biden and co-sponsor Dianne Feinstein introduced their bill again the following year. Biden pitched it as an anti-terror measure, saying in a floor debate that numerous terrorists “have been found in possession of bomb-making manuals and Internet bomb-making information.” He added: “What is even worse is that some of these instructions are geared toward kids. They tell kids that all the ingredients they need are right in their parents’ kitchen or laundry cabinets.”

Biden’s proposal became law in 1997. It didn’t amount to much: four years after its enactment, there had been only one conviction. And instead of being used to snare a dangerous member of Al Qaeda, the law was used to lock up a 20-year old anarchist Webmaster who was sentenced to one year in prison for posting information about Molotov cocktails and “Drano bombs” on his Web site, Raisethefist.com.

Today there are over 10,000 hits on Google for the phrase, in quotes, “Drano bomb.” One is a video that lists the necessary ingredients and shows some self-described rednecks blowing up small plastic bottles in their yard. Then there’s the U.S. Army’s Improvised Munitions Handbook with instructions on making far more deadly compounds, including methyl nitrate dynamite, mortars, grenades, and C-4 plastic explosive — which free speech activists placed online as an in-your-face response to the Biden-Feinstein bill.

Peer-to-peer networks
Since then, Biden has switched from complaining about Internet baby-food bombs to taking aim at peer-to-peer networks. He held one Foreign Relations committee hearing in February 2002 titled “Theft of American Intellectual Property” and invited executives from the Justice Department, RIAA, MPAA, and Microsoft to speak. Not one Internet company, P2P network, or consumer group was invited to testify.

Afterwards, Sharman Networks (which distributes Kazaa) wrote a letter to Biden complaining about “one-sided and unsubstantiated attacks” on P2P networks. It said: “We are deeply offended by the gratuitous accusations made against Kazaa by witnesses before the committee, including ludicrous attempts to associate an extremely beneficial, next-generation software program with organized criminal gangs and even terrorist organizations.”

Biden returned to the business of targeting P2P networks this year. In April, he proposed spending $1 billion in U.S. tax dollars so police can monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal activity. He made that suggestion after a Wyoming cop demonstrated a proof-of-concept program called “Operation Fairplay” at a hearing before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

A month later, the Senate Judiciary committee approved a Biden-sponsored bill that would spend over $1 billion on policing illegal Internet activity, mostly child pornography. It has the dubious virtue of being at least partially redundant: One section would “prohibit the broadcast of live images of child abuse,” even though the Justice Department has experienced no problems in securing guilty pleas for underage Webcamming. (The bill has not been voted on by the full Senate.)

Online sales of Robitussin
Around the same time, Biden introduced his self-described Biden Crime Bill of 2007. One section expands electronic surveillance law to permit police wiretaps in “crimes dangerous to the life, limb, and well-being of minor children.” Another takes aim at Internet-based telemedicine and online pharmacies, saying that physicians must have conducted “at least one in-person medical evaluation of the patient” to prescribe medicine.

Another prohibits selling a product containing dextromethorphan — including Robitussin, Sucrets, Dayquil, and Vicks — “to an individual under the age of 18 years, including any such sale using the Internet.” It gives the Justice Department six months to come up with regulations, which include when retailers should be fined for shipping cough suppressants to children. (Biden is a longtime drug warrior; he authored the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act that the Bush administration used to shut down benefit concerts.)

Net neutrality
On Net neutrality, Biden has sounded skeptical. In 2006, he indicated that no preemptive laws were necessary because if violations do happen, such a public outcry will develop that “the chairman will be required to hold this meeting in this largest room in the Capitol, and there will be lines wandering all the way down to the White House.” Obama, on the other hand, has been a strong supporter of handing pre-emptive regulatory authority to the Federal Communications Commission.

 

Tommy Chong: Biden ’authored the bill that put me in jail’

KXMB
August 24, 2008

It turns out that Obama’s new running mate is one of the leading crusaders in the war on drugs. Which isn’t something that’s likely to sit well with Obama’s base of young, college-aged supporters

Earlier this week, in an interview with the Washington Post, Tommy Chong was asked what the average citizen can do to further the cause of decriminalization. “Check out the people you’re voting for,” Chong replied. “For instance, Joseph Biden comes off as a liberal Democrat, but he’s the one who authored the bill that put me in jail. He wrote the law against shipping drug paraphernalia through the mail – which could be anything from a pipe to a clip or cigarette papers.”

Barack Obama’s V.P. selection Sen. Joe Biden also spnsored the Rave Act, which targets music events where drug use is allegedly prevalent.

Read Full Article Here

Experts: Many Americans Lost Homes Due to a Bill Championed by Biden
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5670703&page=1

Barack Obama: The Next PRESIDENT Is Joe Biden
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RElChQ6g2Io

VP Choice Biden Unpopular in Iraq: He’s creator of the idea of dividing Iraq
http://africa.reuters.com/world/news/usnLN96984.html

Biden’s Bill: The Patriot Act
http://www.tnr.com/columnist..582-b6ec-444834c9df73&k=93697

Biden called for unilateral Iraq invasion – in 1998
http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5492

 



Senators: FBI rules could target innocent people

Senators: FBI rules could target innocent people

AP
August 20, 2008

Proposed rules to help the FBI catch terrorists could lead to innocent Americans being spied upon by government agents or informants “all without any basis for suspicion,” a group of Democratic senators said Wednesday.

The rules, known as the attorney general guidelines, have not been approved or even publicly released yet, but four Democrats joined a growing chorus of lawmakers raising concerns after being briefed on what the guidelines say.

Among their fears: Americans could be targeted in part based on their race, ethnicity or religion — or free speech activities protected by the Constitution.

“As you know, attorney general guidelines were first implemented in the wake of the FBI abuses of the 1960s and 1970s, and serve as one of the most important bulwarks against future abuses,” the senators said in a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

The four Democrats — Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — indicated they remained concerned even after assurances from officials during the Justice Department briefings.

The lawmakers asked Mukasey to hold off finalizing the rules to allow a public review.

“Given the importance of these guidelines, providing a period of time for public comment would be a reasonable and responsible way to move forward and achieve the best possible end result,” the Democrats wrote.

Earlier this week, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, also called for delaying the guidelines.

Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the department will review the requests. Citing remarks earlier by Mukasey about the new rules, the spokesman said an investigation would not be opened based solely on a person’s race, ethnicity or religion.

“The guidelines will require all activities to have a valid purpose,” Roehrkasse said, adding that the rules will “include robust and effective oversight measures.”

The guidelines are expected to be finalized next week. They do not require congressional approval.

First reported last month by The Associated Press, the rules are intended to update policies governing investigations as the FBI shifts from a traditional crime-fighting agency to one whose top priority is protecting the United States from terrorist attacks.

Currently, the FBI must have evidence or allegations of wrongdoing before opening an investigation of U.S. citizens or legal residents from other countries. As described by some law enforcement officials, the new policy would let agents open preliminary terrorism investigations after mining public records and intelligence to build a profile of traits that, taken together, were deemed suspicious.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the rules, said factors that could trigger an inquiry would include travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity and access to weapons or military training, along with the person’s race or ethnicity.

Following their briefings, the four Democrats said the guidelines would:

_Let the FBI use “a variety of intrusive investigative techniques” with no evidence of possible wrongdoing. The techniques could include: long-term FBI surveillance, interviewing neighbors and work-mates, recruiting informants and searching commercial databases for information on people “all without any basis for suspicion.”

“We are particularly concerned that the draft guidelines might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” the senators wrote.

_Allow the government to collect foreign intelligence information inside the United States without current legal protections for U.S. citizens or legal residents. The senators noted that the broad term “foreign intelligence” would cover any information relating to the activities of a foreign government, organization or person.

_Allow the information gathered to be broadly shared among government agencies. “We have serious questions about the scope of information sharing as it relates to U.S. persons who are under no suspicion of wrongdoing,” the senators wrote.

 



Government to Share Info on Americans With Police

Government to Share Info on Americans With Police

Washington Post
August 16, 2008

The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.

The proposed changes would revise the federal government’s rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation’s 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive roughly $1.6 billion each year in federal grants.

Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months. They include a recent executive order that guides the reorganization of federal spy agencies and a pending Justice Department overhaul of FBI procedures for gathering intelligence and investigating terrorism cases within U.S. borders.

Read Full Article Here

 



Bush’s Political Enemies Put on No-Fly List

Bush’s Political Enemies Put on No-Fly List

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np5s2y-OPzE

7-Year Old Put On Terror Watch List
http://www.news.com.au/adelai..0,22606,24147755-5006301,00.html