Progressive Calendar 02.08.11
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2011 15:03:29 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   02.08.11

1. Revolutions    2.08 5pm
2. Movement       2.08 5:30pm
3. 9/11 truth     2.08 6:30pm
4. PRT transit    2.08 6:30pm
5. Hajo Meyer     2.08 7pm

6. Alliant vigil  2.09 7am
7. State of State 2.09 11:15am
8. Race/MFIP      2.09 12noon

9. Ralph Nader    - Mubarak and the hollow rhetoric of reform
10. Chris Hedges  - Recognizing the language of tyranny
11. Tom Burghardt - American FBI/police state
12. ed            - Who's who?

--------1 of 12--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Revolutions 2.08 5pm

"Muslim World Intifadas"
The winds of democratic change have been blowing through the Arab world.
The spark of change was ignited in an unlikely place by an unlikely
person: a vegetable vendor in Tunisia.  Tunisian-Minnesotan Ouahib Chalbi
and St. Cloud State Professor Fouzi Slisli give deep perspective to the
uprisings, including an analysis of the role of political Islam in the
countries experiencing revolutions.

SPNN 15 viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)
Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am,
after DemocracyNow!  Households with basic cable may watch.
Tues, 2/8 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 2/9, 10am
"Muslim World Intifadas"

--------2 of 12--------

From: Jodi Williams <jodi [at]>
Subject: Movement 2.08 5:30pm

Movement Building
Tuesday, February 8th!
5:30-7:00 pm
Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar
3747 42nd Avenue S / Mpls
Harness the Power of Us
Our Voices.  Our Future.

As a community, struggles and successes in the Twin Cities are shared.
Learn about a cross-sector movement of African Americans in the Twin
Cities who are committed to positive education, health, and economic
outcomes in the black community and are willing to invest time, talent and
treasure to catalyze change. Trista Harris, Executive Director of
Headwaters Foundation for Justice and co-chair of the African American
Leadership Forum (AALF), will lead this movement building exercise where
you will learn about their policy agenda, share your ideas, and help build
a Minnesota where all can benefit from our state's civic and economic

Free and open to the public.  Food and drink are available for purchase on
site. Reserve your seat by contacting Jodi [at]
[mailto:Jodi [at]] or Find us on Facebook

--------3 of 12--------

From: shirley johnson <skjohnsn [at]>
Subject: 9/11 truth 2.08 6:30pm

Greetings fellow 9/11 Truthers,
Our next meeting will be held on
Tuesday, February 8th, 6:30 pm
Rondo Community Library
Southwest corner of University Avenue and Dale Street
St. Paul, MN
Parking underground the library is available

TOPIC:  What Works and What Distracts Regarding 9/11 Truth
 From the Australia 2009 9/11 Tour

This is a video of about 30-40 minutes in length and we will have a
discussion after.  Have you ever been frustrated getting someone to hear
about this issue?  Come and hear a panel of experts on this very topic.

Also at the meeting we will have updates on the Richard Gage Midwest
spring speaking tour.   He will be in town on April 13 - 14th.  We
will also hear of any developments on the other events we have planned.

Please give some thought to our meeting location, time, and place.  We
started using the Rondo site when our numbers grew too large to accomodate
our meeting at Mims.  At this time it is difficult to justify using the
big room at Rondo so we are contemplating a change in location, possibly a
different day or time.  What works for you?

Be prepared to leave the library in a timely manner.  I suggest you move
continuing converations about a mile west of Rondo to the Perkin's
restaurant near Snelling Avenue, on University Avenue shirley 651-291-7053

--------4 of 12--------

From: Drea Walker <walk828 [at]>
Subject: PRT transit 2.08 6:30pm  [PRT way better than LRT -ed]

CPRT has our monthly meeting this *Tuesday, February 8th at 6:30 pm* near
the University of Minnesota campus.  Meeting location is *Van Cleve Park
Recreation Center*, 901 15th Ave. SE, just north of Dinkytown.  Any of the
#3 bus routes stop across the street.  There are transportation
enthusiasts who will be happy to share experiences and insights about
Personal Rapid Transit.  In addition, there are many opportunities to get

Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) is the new solution to the public's transit
hassles.  Here's how it works:

Generally elevated or underground tracks (aka guideways)
direct small vehicles (think cabin of a family sedan)
to a destination chosen by the user (knowledge of system not required)
automatically (it's computer controlled)
safely (no crossings with other modes or pedestrians)
without stopping (no waiting at the red light)
and using emission-free vehicles.

Hop on board today!
Citizens for Personal Rapid Transit

CPRT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, education-based group.  We inform the
public of advancements in the transportation industry.  We do not oppose
other forms of mass transportation.  Transportation and access to
transportation should be a right - not a privilege.  We work toward the
goal that everyone will have equal and affordable access to quality
choices in transportation. Personal Rapid Transit is the best
transportation mode choice to achieve our goals, while preserving our
environment and urban spaces for generations to come.
Andrea "Drea" Walker UMN Urban Studies Senior Chair, Citizens for Personal
Rapid Transit cell:  952.215.5451 e-mail:  walk828 [at] Call, text,
or e-mail me anytime!

--------5 of 12--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Hajo Meyer 2.08 7pm

The Never Again for Anyone Speaking Tour: An Evening with Hajo Meyer
Tuesday, February 8, 7:00 p.m. Macalaster College, John B. Davis
Lecture Hall, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul.

This year international Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27th. A time
for reflection and commitment, please join Dr. Hajo Meyer in hearing about
his experience in Auschwitz and the lessons he has learned: Never Again
for Anyone. Dr. Meyer will be joined by Palestinian activist, Osama Abu
Irshaid, founder and editor of the newspaper Al Mezan, and Coya White Hat-
Artichoker, a Lakota activist for indigenous rights. Dr. Hajo G. Meyer was
born in Bielefeld, Germany, in 1924. In 1939, at the age of 14, he fled
alone to Holland to escape the Nazi regime. After the Germans occupied
that country, he was captured by the Gestapo in 1944, and survived ten
months in Auschwitz. After the war, he studied theoretical physics and
became a researcher at Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven. He
received his Ph.D. in 1956, and in 1974 became managing director of the
lab. Retiring in 1984, he became a maker of violins, selling his
instruments to professional musicians. He has devoted himself full-time to
his work as an activist and essayist.

Suggested Donation: $5.00 to $20.00. Sponsored by: American Muslims for
Palestine, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and the Middle
East Children's Alliance.

--------6 of 12--------

From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at]>
Subject: Alliant vigil 2.09 7am

Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am
Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday
morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems,
7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie.
We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies?
directions and lots of info:

--------7 of 12--------

From: Welfare Rights Committee <welfarerightsmn [at]>
Subject: State of State 2.09 11:15am

Come to the capitol and tell Governor Dayton and legislature that State of
the State is a disaster. We are in the worst economic crisis in decades,
yet Dayton and others are saying they will make more cuts to the poorest
of the poor. It's time to make our message clear: Tax the Rich and Use the
Money to Help Poor and Working People!

State of the State
Wednesday, February 9
11:15 a.m.
State Capitol Building, 2nd floor (outside the House Chambers)
75 MLK Blvd
Saint Paul, MN 55155

The State of the State speech starts at noon - we want all the politicians
to see our message as they go into the chamber.

For more info, email welfarerightsmn [at] We especially need help
from people who can drive people there and/or back!

Welfare Rights Committee PO Box 7266, Mpls MN 55407 pho: 612-822-8020
WelfareRightsMN [at]

--------8 of 12--------

From: Douglas Petty <lsmaller [at]>
Subject: Race/MFIP 2.09 12noon

TCRG Brown Bag Speaker Series: Wednesday, February 9, Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Topic: Comparing Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant Group Characteristics of
Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) Participants

Highlights from the DHS Racial/Ethnic and Immigrant Groups Participating
in the Minnesota Family Investment Program and the Diversionary Work
Program report will be presented with a discussion of methodology for
identifying Black and Asian immigrant groups, using DHS data from multiple
sources to compare participant characteristics by racial and ethnic

Featured Speaker: Dana DeMaster, Senior Research Analysis Specialist at
the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS)

Wilder Foundation, Room 2610
451 Lexington Parkway (at University Ave)
Saint Paul, MN 55114
Map  with the meeting's location

Event is FREE---Wilder's parking ramp is FREE (bring your own brown-bag

As always, we will have a free-flowing question and answer period after
the presentation. Join us to participate with your ideas, questions, and

You can join the TCRG Researchers Directory, a self-maintained
collection (LinkedIn group) of member profiles, opt into the Directory Here.

--------9 of 12--------

Mubarak and the Hollow Rhetoric of Reform
Time for Democracy in Egypt
February 8, 2011

Those politically savvy people who thought strongman, Hosni Mubarak would
be out before the end of the first week of the Egyptian uprising better
rethink the odds. For thirty years Mubarak has developed what can be
called a deeply rooted dictatorial regime with regular White House access
and annual largesse of some $1.3 billion in military equipment and

A former military man, he has been very alert to what is needed to
maintain the loyalties of the police, the intelligence security forces and
the army. If he goes, tens of thousands of those on his payroll could lose
their patronage and be on the outs if his government is really replaced.

Moreover, he enjoys the support of both the United States and Israel for
whom he has been a "stable" force against the pressures coming from Iran
and its allies in the Middle East.

Arrayed against him are a variety of protestors, best known for their
occupation of Tahrir Square in Cairo and whose grievances are being
reported hour-by-hour by the harassed international media, including the
much attacked Al-Jazeera. Widely noted are the solidarity, self-help,
stamina and democratic nature of the rebellion.

The state-controlled media, however, remains in Mubarak's hands. He has
shown he can cut off the entire Internet and mobile phone systems with
what one commentator called "the active complicity of the major corporate

Going into the third week of the uprising, the regime has reopened the
banks, and is urging businesses to open their doors. The government is
striving to wait out the protestors, whose daily supplies and energies are
being sapped by the overwhelming force arrayed against them to intimidate,
weaken and keep their numbers down not just in the Square but also in
other cities like Alexandria and Suez.

So far the army is remaining largely neutral. The regimes' paramilitary
gangs, in plain clothes, attacked the protestors inflicting fatalities and
injuries to see if they will cut and run. So far, the demonstrators are
well-organized in the Square and in other Cairo neighborhoods and are
holding their ground. But roundups of some of the leading dissidents for
brief imprisonments or worse and detaining or beating journalists

What these developments reflect is that the Mubarak regime is still in
charge, with just enough rhetoric of reform, while replacing some top
leaders and dismissing the board of Mubarak's political party, to show
some slack. Mubarak's tactic is to bend a little so as not to break.

But unless the largely urban, tech-savvy protestors can keep replenishing
their ranks and bringing more of the frightened rural poor to their
rallies, they risk being perceived as running out of steam. After all,
they cannot be seen as receiving aid from abroad as the Mubarak government
receives regularly from U.S. taxpayers. They cannot be seen as espousing
"radical ideologies" as the Mubarak government espouses radical use of
dictatorial violence and torture in the past and present.

In a way, the weaknesses of the protestors - no centralized leadership, no
resources - are also their moral strengths. That is why their great fear
is being infiltrated by organized provocateurs to creative "incidents" and
smears. So they have their own checkpoints leading to the Square and are
trying to keep good relations with the soldiers surrounding their

The Army is central to the perpetuation of the Mubarak forces and their
oligarchies. Under orders to appear neutral and maintain order, the Army,
like most Egyptians, is waiting for the next move of the two sides, though
alert to its own interests which include business investments.

Rumors are rife. But it seems that some people designated by the
protestors and representatives of the long politically suppressed Muslim
Brotherhood have met with Mubarak's people.

Mubarak's newly appointed vice-president, longtime intelligence chief,
Omar Suleiman, with close operational contacts in Washington, appears to
be making the decisions, if only to give the impression that Mubarak is
relenting and may be willing to remain as a figurehead president until his
term is up later this year.

All this disingenuous image of moderation may be the regime's way of
biding for time so as to more fully prepare to depress or destroy this
popular uprising in various ways short of massive violence watched by the
whole world in real time. Choosing the latter course could unleash forces
in this impoverished and brutalized country of 80 million people that both
the army could not contain and the already fragile economy could not

If, as rumored, the trade unions exert their independence and form worker
committees that could organize a general strike, then an alternative
support structure could join the protestors to call for some economic
relief, such as increasing wages and consumer subsidies. However, the
Mubarak government has an inside watch on anything like such an initiative
materializing as well. The regime is propagandizing that there is no
alternative to itself being the transition, whatever that may be, other
than chaos and radical revolution against the West.

What is the Obama Administration doing behind the scenes, beyond its
statement in favor of a transition government planning "open and fair
elections"? Will it stand with the people of Egypt and human rights if it
has to stand against what analyst Samah Selim described as the "terrifying
naked silence of multinational corporations and the national security
state against civil society?"

Time will surely tell.

Ralph Nader is the author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, a novel.

--------10 of 12--------

Published on Monday, February 7, 2011 by
Recognizing the Language of Tyranny
by Chris Hedges
Common Dreams

Empires communicate in two languages. One language is expressed in
imperatives. It is the language of command and force. This militarized
language disdains human life and celebrates hypermasculinity. It demands.
It makes no attempt to justify the flagrant theft of natural resources and
wealth or the use of indiscriminate violence. When families are gunned
down at a checkpoint in Iraq they are referred to as having been "lit up".
So it goes. The other language of empire is softer. It employs the
vocabulary of ideals and lofty goals and insists that the power of empire
is noble and benevolent. The language of beneficence is used to speak to
those outside the centers of death and pillage, those who have not yet
been totally broken, those who still must be seduced to hand over power to
predators. The road traveled to total disempowerment, however, ends at the
same place. It is the language used to get there that is different.

This language of blind obedience and retribution is used by authority in
our inner cities, from Detroit to Oakland, as well as our prison systems.
It is a language Iraqis and Afghans know intimately. But to the members of
our dwindling middle class - as well as those in the working class who
have yet to confront our new political and economic configuration - the
powerful use phrases like the consent of the governed and democracy that
help lull us into complacency. The longer we believe in the fiction that
we are included in the corporate power structure, the more easily
corporations pillage the country without the threat of rebellion. Those
who know the truth are crushed. Those who do not are lied to. Those who
consume and perpetuate the lies - including the liberal institutions of
the press, the church, education, culture, labor and the Democratic Party
- abet our disempowerment. No system of total control, including corporate
control, exhibits its extreme forms at the beginning. These forms expand
as they fail to encounter resistance.

The tactic of speaking in two languages is as old as empire itself. The
ancient Greeks and the Romans did it. So did the Spanish conquistadors,
the Ottomans, the French and later the British. Those who inhabit
exploited zones on the peripheries of empire see and hear the truth. But
the cries of those who are exploited are ignored or demonized. The rage
they express does not resonate with those trapped in self-delusion, those
who continue to trust in the ultimate goodness of empire. This is the
truth articulated in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and E.M.
Forster's "A Passage to India". These writers understood that empire is
about violence and theft. And the longer the theft continues, the more
brutal empire becomes. The tyranny empire imposes on others it finally
imposes on itself. The predatory forces unleashed by empire consume the
host. Look around you.

The narratives we hear are those fabricated for us by the state, Hollywood
and the press. These narratives are taught in our schools, preached in our
pulpits and celebrated in war documentaries such as "Restrepo". These
narratives humanize and ennoble the enforcers of empire. The government,
the military, the police and our intelligence agents are lionized. These
control groups, we are assured, are the guardians of our virtues and our
protectors. They produce our heroes. And those who challenge this
narrative - who denounce the lies - become the enemy.

Those who administer empire - elected officials, corporate managers,
generals and the celebrity courtiers who disseminate the propaganda -
become very wealthy. They make immense fortunes whether they deliver the
nightly news, sit on the boards of corporations, or rise, lavished with
corporate endorsements, within the vast industry of spectacle and
entertainment. They all pay homage, even in moments defined as criticism,
to the essential goodness of corporate power. They shut out all real
debate. They ignore flagrant injustices and abuse. They peddle the
illusions that keep us passive and amused. But as our society is
reconfigured into an oligarchic system, with a permanent and vast
underclass, along with a shrinking and unstable middle class, these
illusions lose their power. The language of pleasant deception must be
replaced with the overt language of force. It is hard to continue to live
in a state of self-delusion once unemployment benefits run out, once the
only job available comes without benefits or a living wage, once the
future no longer conforms to the happy talk that saturates our airwaves.
At this point rage becomes the engine of response, and whoever can channel
that rage inherits power. The manipulation of that rage has become the
newest task of the corporate propagandists, and the failure of the liberal
class to defend core liberal values has left its members with nothing to
contribute to the debate.

The Belgian King Leopold, promising to abolish slavery and usher the
Congolese into the "modern" era, was permitted by his European allies to
form the Congo Free State in 1885. It was touted as a humanitarian
gesture, as was the Spanish conquest of the Americas, as was our own
occupation of Iraq. Leopold organized a ruthless force of native and
foreign overseers - not unlike our own mercenary armies - to loot the
Congo of ivory and rubber. By the time the Belgian monarch was done, some
5 million to 8 million Congolese had been slaughtered. It was the largest
act of genocide in the modern era until the Nazi Holocaust. Leopold, even
in the midst of his rampage, was lionized in Europe for his virtue. He was
loathed in the periphery - as we are in Iraq and Afghanistan - where the
Congolese and others understood what he was about. But these voices, like
the voices of those we oppress, were almost never heard.

The Nazis, for whom the Holocaust was as much a campaign of plunder as it
was a campaign to rid Europe of Jews, had two methods for greeting
arrivals at their four extermination camps. If the transports came from
Western Europe, the savage Ukrainian and Lithuanian guards, with their
whips, dogs and clubs, were kept out of sight. The wealthier European Jews
were politely ushered into an elaborate ruse, including fake railway
stations complete with flower beds, until once stripped naked they became
incapable of resistance and could be herded in rows of five under whips
into the gas chambers. The Nazis knew that those who had not been broken,
those who possessed a belief in their own personal empowerment, would
fight back. When the transports came from the east, where Jews had long
lived in fear, tremendous poverty and terror, there was no need for such
theatrics. Mothers, fathers, the elderly and children, accustomed to overt
repression and the language of command and retribution, were brutally
driven from the transports by sadistic guards. The object was to create
mass hysteria. The fate of the two groups was the same. It was the tactic
that differed.

All centralized power, once restraints and regulations are abolished, once
it is no longer accountable to citizens, knows no limit to internal and
external plunder. The corporate state, which has emasculated our
government, is creating a new form of feudalism, a world of masters and
serfs. It speaks to those who remain in a state of self-delusion in the
comforting and familiar language of liberty, freedom, prosperity and
electoral democracy. It speaks to the poor and the oppressed in the
language of naked coercion. But, here too, all will end up in the same

Those trapped in the blighted inner cities that are our internal colonies
or brutalized in our prison system, especially African-Americans, see what
awaits us all. So do the inhabitants in southern West Virginia, where coal
companies have turned hundreds of thousands of acres into uninhabitable
and poisoned wastelands. Poverty, repression and despair in these
peripheral parts of empire are as common as drug addiction and cancer.
Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and Palestinians can also tell us who we are.
They know that once self-delusion no longer works it is the iron fist that
speaks. The solitary and courageous voices that rise up from these
internal and external colonies of devastation are silenced or discredited
by the courtiers who serve corporate power. And even those who do hear
these voices of dissent often cannot handle the truth. They prefer the
Potemkin facade. They recoil at the "negativity". Reality, especially when
you grasp what corporations are doing in the name of profit to the
planet's ecosystem, is terrifying.

All tyrannies come endowed with their own peculiarities. This makes it
hard to say one form of totalitarianism is like another. There are always
enough differences to make us unsure that history is repeating itself. The
corporate state does not have a Politburo. It does not dress its Homeland
Security agents in jackboots. There is no raving dictator. American
democracy - like the garishly painted train station at the Nazi
extermination camp Treblinka - looks real even as the levers of power are
in the hands of corporations. But there is one aspect the corporate state
shares with despotic regimes and the collapsed empires that have plagued
human history. It too communicates in two distinct languages, that is
until it does not have to, at which point it will be too late.

Copyright  2011 Truthdig, L.L.C.
Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle.

--------11 of 12--------

American Police State: FBI Abuses Reveals Contempt for Political Rights,
Civil Liberties
by Tom Burghardt / February 7th, 2011
Dissident Voice

As mass revolt spreads across Egypt and the Middle East and citizens there
demand jobs, civil liberties and an end to police state abuses from
repressive, U.S.-backed torture regimes, the Obama administration and
their congressional allies aim to expand one right here at home.

Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released an explosive
new report documenting the lawless, constitutional-free zone under
construction in America for nearly a decade.

That report, "Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence Violations from
2001-2008," reveals that the domestic political intelligence apparat
spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, continues to
systematically violate the rights of American citizens and legal

A rather ironic state of affairs considering the free passes handed out by
U.S. securocrats to actual terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on
9/11, as both WikiLeaks and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds disclosed last

Although illegal practices and violations were reported by the FBI to the
Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) after an unexplained
two-and-a-half-year delay, a further violation of lawful guidelines,
lawbreaking continued unabated; in fact, it accelerated as the Bureau was
given a green light to do so by successive U.S. administrations.

The IOB is a largely toothless body created in 1976 by the Ford
administration in the wake of disclosures of widespread spying and
infiltration of political groups by America's secret state agencies during
the sixties and seventies.

Reeling from revelations uncovered by Congress, investigative journalists
and citizen activists in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Ford's
caretaker government was forced to call a halt to the more egregious
practices employed by the FBI to keep the lid on and crafted guidelines
governing intelligence and surveillance operations.

In fact, the Attorney General's Guidelines regulating both FBI National
Security Investigations and Foreign Intelligence Collection (NSIG)
stipulate that "all government intelligence operations occur with
sufficient oversight and within the bounds of the Constitution and other
federal laws".

While it can rightly be argued these protocols were largely ineffective,
and had been breeched more often than not by the 1980s under President
Reagan, as revealed during the Iran-Contra scandal, and that antiwar,
environmental and solidarity groups continue to be spied upon and
destabilized by agents provocateurs and right-wing corporate scum, they
were thrown overboard entirely by the Bush regime in the aftermath of the
9/11 attacks.

Today the "looking forward, not backward" Obama administration has
whole-heartedly embraced Bushist lawlessness while charting an even more
sinister course of their own, now asserting they have the authority to
assassinate American citizens the Executive Branch designate as
"terrorists" anywhere on earth without benefit of due process or court

According to EFF, more than 2,500 documents obtained under the Freedom of
Information Act revealed that:

 * From 2001 to 2008, the FBI reported to the IOB approximately 800
violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing
intelligence investigations, although this number likely significantly
under-represents the number of violations that actually occurred.
 * From 2001 to 2008, the FBI investigated, at minimum, 7000 potential
violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing
intelligence investigations.
 * Based on the proportion of violations reported to the IOB and the FBI's
own statements regarding the number of NSL [National Security Letter]
violations that occurred, the actual number of violations that may have
occurred from 2001 to 2008 could approach 40,000 possible violations of
law, Executive Order, or other regulations governing intelligence
investigations. (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Patterns of Misconduct:
FBI Intelligence Violations from 2001-2008, January 30, 2011)

But FBI lawbreaking didn't stop there. Citing internal documents, EFF
revealed that the Bureau also "engaged in a number of flagrant legal
violations" that included, "submitting false or inaccurate declarations to
courts," "using improper evidence to obtain federal grand jury subpoenas"
and "accessing password protected documents without a warrant".

In other words, in order to illegally spy on Americans and haul political
dissidents before Star Chamber-style grand juries, the FBI routinely
committed perjury and did so with absolute impunity.

Reviewing the more than 2,500 documents EFF analysts averred that they had
"uncovered alarming trends in the Bureau's intelligence investigation
practices" and that the "documents suggest the FBI's intelligence
investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens
far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously

According to EFF, the "documents show that the FBI most frequently
committed three types of intelligence violations - violations of internal
oversight guidelines for conducting investigations; violations stemming
from the abuse of National Security Letters; and violations of the Fourth
Amendment, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and other laws
governing intelligence investigations".

"Based on statements made by government officials and the proportion of
violations occurring in the released reports," EFF estimates that "the FBI
may have committed as many as 40,000 intelligence investigation violations
over the past ten years".

The civil liberties' watchdogs revealed that the type of violation
occurring most frequently involved the Bureau's abuse of National Security
Letters (NSLs), onerous lettres de cachet, secretive administrative
subpoenas with built-in gag orders used by the FBI to seize records from
third-parties without any judicial review whatsoever.

Although National Security Letters have been employed by investigators
since the 1970s, after 9/11 Congress passed the repressive USA PATRIOT Act
which "greatly expanded the intelligence community's authority to issue

"During the course of a terrorism or counterintelligence investigation,"
EFF writes, "NSLs can be used to obtain just three types of records: (1)
subscriber and 'toll billing information' from telephone companies and
'electronic communications services;' (2) financial records from banks and
other financial institutions; and (3) consumer identifying information and
the identity of financial institutions from credit bureaus".

Abuses have been well-documented by the Justice Department's own Office of
the Inspector General. In their 2008 report, the OIG disclosed that the
FBI issued some 200,000 requests and that almost 60% were for
investigations of U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Given the symbiosis amongst American secret state agencies and grifting
corporations, EFF discovered that "the frequency with which companies
[received] NSLs - phone companies, internet providers, banks, or credit
bureaus - contributed to the FBI's NSL abuse".

"In over half of all NSL violations reviewed by EFF, the private entity
receiving the NSL either provided more information than requested or
turned over information without receiving a valid legal justification from
the FBI".

In fact, "companies were all too willing to comply with the FBI's
requests, and - in many cases - the Bureau readily incorporated the
over-produced information into its investigatory databases".

This too is hardly surprising, given the enormous profits generated by the
surveillance state for their corporate beneficiaries. As The Washington
Post revealed in their investigative series, Top Secret America, more than
800,000 corporate employees have been issued top secret and above security
clearances. Beholden to their employers and not the public who foots the
bill and is the victim of their excesses, accountability is a fiction and
oversight a contemptible fraud.

In a follow-up piece, Monitoring America, investigative journalists Dana
Priest and William M. Arkin revealed that the FBI "is building a database
with the names and certain personal information, such as employment
history, of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police
officer or a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously".

In other words, in order to "keep us safe" unaccountable securocrats are
constructing a Stasi-like political intelligence system that has
overthrown the traditional legal concept of probable cause in favor of a
regime rooted in fear and suspicion; one where innocent activities such as
taking a photograph or attending an antiwar rally now serves as a pretext
for opening a national security investigation.

According to Priest and Arkin, the Bureau database "is accessible to an
increasing number of local law enforcement and military criminal
investigators, increasing concerns that it could somehow end up in the
public domain," and used by employers to terminate political dissidents or
other "undesirable" citizens merely on the basis of allegations emanating
from who knows where.

As Antifascist Calling reported in October, "predictive behavior" security
firms, generously funded by the CIA's venture capitalist arm, In-Q-Tel,
have increasingly turned to monitoring social media sites such as Blogger,
Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube and are exploiting powerful computer
algorithms for their clients - your boss - thereby transforming private
communications into "actionable intelligence" that just might get you

In one case, EFF discovered that the FBI "requested email header
information for two email addresses used by a U.S. person". In response,
researchers averred "the email service provider returned two CDs
containing the full content of all emails in the accounts. The FBI
eventually (and properly) sequestered the CDs, notified the email provider
of the overproduction, and re-issued an NSL for the originally requested
header information; but, in response to the second NSL, the email provider
again provided the FBI with the full content of all emails in the

To make matters worse, "third-parties not only willingly cooperated with
FBI NSLs when the legal justification was unclear, however: they responded
to NSLs without any legal justification at all".

In conclusion, EFF wrote that "while the reports documenting the FBI's
abuse of the Constitution, FISA, and other intelligence laws are
troubling, EFF's analysis is necessarily incomplete: it is impossible to
know the severity of the FBI's legal violations until the Bureau stops
concealing its most serious violations behind a wall of arbitrary

This sordid state of affairs is likely to continue given Congress's utter
lack of interest in protecting Americans' constitutionally-protected right
to privacy, free speech and assembly.

With new moves afoot in Congress to pass a data retention law that
requires internet service providers to retain records of users' online
activity or, as in the repressive Egyptian U.S. client state, handing the
Executive Branch a "kill-switch" that would disconnect the American people
from the internet in the event of a "national emergency," the U.S.
oligarchy is planning for the future.

As the World Socialist Web Site points out, "The US government is well
aware that the Internet provides a forum for rapid communication and
organization, as demonstrated by the events in Egypt this week. In an
attempt to block communication within Egypt and with the external world,
US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak cut off the country's access to the
Internet altogether".

"Similarly," left-wing journalist Patrick Zimmerman writes, "the
fundamental goal of the US government in its attempts to gain control of
the Internet and monitor user activity has nothing to do with the 'war on
terror' or prosecuting criminals. Under conditions of growing social
inequality, government austerity, and expanding war abroad, the government
anticipates the growth of social opposition in the United States".

The Bush regime's "preemptive war" doctrine has been fully incorporated
into the Obama administration's "homeland security" paradigm. The
formidable police state apparatus that accompanies America's imperial
adventures abroad are now deployed at home where they have devastating
effects on an already dysfunctional democracy sliding ever-closer towards
an authoritarian abyss.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay
Area. His articles are published in many venues. He is the editor of
Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning,
distributed by AK Press.

--------12 of 12--------

  Who's Who?

 Hosni Mubarek
 Barack Obama
 Hosack Mubama
 Barni Obarek
 Bosack Oukeba
 Nihos Mababa
 Ackbar Rekmubar
 Hosni Obama
 Barack Mubarek


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