updates 01/11/2017 On this Page:  ACLU    Alternative Views on ACLU    EFF    Snowden    Americans United Various Groups on System Abuse, Various Articles or Links. These groups seem to be fighting system abuse on various fronts, including legally and through education campaigns.  See Two Horns, Racketeering, Making the Other Guy Look Bad, Invisible Fingers etc. for optional ways of keeping an objective viewpoint about groups like this in case things are not as they seem.  Although it might be unlikely, invisible fingers could tweak problems first with clean-up crews following up by  making money off legal fees.  In other words, mafia types of operations could be making sure they have fingers in the pie both for and against.  There could also be an international terrorist component trying to both disturb the flow of American operations (like police and prison systems) by having abuses in them,  and then bankrupt the United States from resulting huge lawsuit costs against government. ---  ACLU:  American Civil Liberties Union ACLU Website https://www.aclu.org/  Surveillance Issues - ACLU https://www.aclu.org/issues/national-security/privacy-and-surveillance See also:  Notes Section Commentary on this website   Alternative views on the ACLU on this website   Notes 5/11/2015 Section Commentary on this website SWAT Excessive Use of Force - ACLU An Us Against Them Mentality Toward the Public Emailed letter from ACLU sent to members: Limit the abusive use of SWAT.  Outrageous! Police should serve and protect our communities, not wage war on the people who live in them.  Nearly 80% of the SWAT raids the ACLU studied* were to serve search warrants, usually in drug cases. SWAT teams are forcing their way into people’s homes, often in the middle of the night, using paramilitary weapons and tactics and doing needless damage to people and property. Poor communities and communities of color bear the brunt of this unnecessary force. It does not have to be this way. We can make sure that police honor their mission to protect and serve, by ensuring that hyper- aggressive military tools and tactics are only used in situations that are truly “high risk.”  Right now, a twenty-month-old toddler named Baby Bou Bou is recovering after a flashbang grenade thrown by a SWAT officer in Georgia exploded in his crib. The grenade blew a hole in his chest that has yet to heal. Doctors are still unable to fully assess lasting brain damage. This unnecessary tragedy demands immediate action.  Community members, faith leaders, and elected officials across the aisles are building a movement to limit the use of SWAT to situations in which such aggressive tactics are truly necessary to save a life. This would be the first effort of its kind and set a precedent for other states.  We need to let the Georgia legislature know that people across the country are watching. Baby Bou Bou’s case is one of many casualties of a drug war that is being fought with heavy artillery and waning public support, mainly in poor communities and communities of color. If we can urge Georgia to pass a landmark bill, that will be a crucial first step in the right direction to limit the excessive use of SWAT across the country.  Will you call on the Georgia state legislature to address this problem now, before more kids lose their lives because of this excessive militarization? *Source: ACLU Militarization Report Edward Snowden - ACLU Emails from/on Edward Snowden sent to members of ACLU See also:  Edward Snowden video interview by ACLU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIhS9aB-qgU https://www.aclu.org/video/snowden-and-aclu-sxsw Letter From Edward Snowden - enclosed in letter sent by Anthony Romero of ACLU (see below): May 2014 Dear Friend (From Edward Snowden), I blew the whistle on our government’s massive, unconstitutional surveillance program.  Maybe you agree with my decision to do so.  Maybe you don’t.  But I hope you will agree with me that our Constitution’s 4th Amendment still matters, that it prohibits the indiscriminate search or seizure of our private records, and that there is no organization in America more fundamental to protecting American liberty than the ACLU.  Americans should be able to call, buy a book, or write to a friend without worrying about government agents “collecting it all,” and we shouldn’t have to fear how those innocent communications might be misinterpreted or abused by the NSA’s and FBI’s domestic surveillance programs.  And we do know they’ll be misused: after all, they already have been.  The NSA’s own secret “compliance” report - finally in public hands after being hidden behind closed doors - admits that the agency violated US laws and regulations at least 2,776 times in a single year.  It’s time to put a stop to this out-of-control abuse.  But to convince Congress to rein in the NSA for the first time in almost 40 years, we’re going to need the ACLU.  And they’ve done it before.  The ACLU was born in opposition to what notoriously became known as the “Palmer Raids.”  Attorney General Mitchell Palmer had been monitoring, rounding up, and deporting so-called radicals.  Thousands of people were arrested without warrants and without regard to constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure.  It led to brutal treatment in horrible conditions.  A small group of brave idealists stood in opposition to this utter betrayal of American principles.  And, for over 90 years, that’s what we’ve counted on the ACLU to do - take a strong stand to protect our civil liberties, especially when fear outweighs rational debate.  In turn, the ACLU has always counted on dedicated individuals willing to step forward and support the organization’s unflinching commitment to defending our fundamental freedoms.  Supporting the ACLU is about protecting freedom, demanding justice, and standing up for what you believe in.  From the Palmer raids, to Japanese internment, to protecting the free speech of political protestors, to fighting for reproductive rights, to ending Bush-era torture, to leading the fight today against the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance, the ACLU and its staunch supporters have been there to stand up for our rights.  When I struggled with the decision to risk my life, my freedom and my family to come forward with the truth about the government’s dragnet surveillance programs, I worried whether the facts alone would be enough to bring these abuses to an end.  With its skill, determination, and passion, the ACLU has helped put those worries to rest.  They have been leading the fight to expose and end out-of-control government surveillance for over a decade - and I know they’ll never stop fighting until they win.  But to keep waging that fight and so many other critical battles, they need people like you.  Recently, I met with ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero to discuss our shared commitment to ending mass surveillance.  When Anthony shared this quote from Roger Baldwin, one of the ACLU’s founders, it struck a chord with me:  “So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’ll be called a democracy.”  I’ve chosen my way to fight.  I hope you will choose yours.  And I hope you will put lending your passion, energy, and financial support to the ACLU at the center of that decision.  Thank you for standing up for freedom. Yours in service, Edward Snowden Letter From Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director: I asked Edward Snowden to write a letter to encourage more people to become involved in the ACLU’s work.  After reading it, I decided to forward it to you as well, becaused I wanted you to see his words about our organization.  I know that Snowden is something of a lightning rod, igniting the passions of people who care deeply about this country.  But, here’s what I would tell you.  Snowden’s whistleblowing revelations about massive government surveillance efforts blew the lid off of what may be the most extensive surveillance program any democracy has ever directed at its own citizens.  And they revealed that, for the better part of a decade, our government has been actively misleading us about the extent of NSA spying on ordinary Americans.  Because of Edward Snowden’s willingness to step forward, at great personal risk, we now have the best chance we’ve ever had to bring an end to out-of-control government surveillance of American citizens.  I’m writing to you because I’m counting on your immediate financial support to make the most of this long-sought opportunity.  With your immediate financial support, the ACLU can continue to move decisively on multiple fronts to bring illegal and unconstitutional government spying to an end and to advance all of our critical work.  No one knows the importance of the information revealed through the classified materials that Snowden provided to journalists more than our team of lawyers, researchers and advocates.  Ever since the events of September 11, 2001, they have been leading the fight to curtail government surveillance conducted in the name of national security.  Many of them have devoted the majority of their professional lives to this effort.  But, as diligently as we have pursued our goal, we’ve been stymied at every turn - until now.  We filed our first lawsuit to stop unconstitutional NSA spying within weeks of the December 2005 revelations that President Bush had repeatedly authorized the NSA to monitor phone calls of people inside the U.S. without a warrant.  We won that case in district court, but lost it on appeal.  Then, despite intense ACLU opposition, Congress passed - and President Bush signed into law - the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, ratifying and expanding the warrantless surveillance program.  Less than an hour after the Act was signed, the ACLU filed our Amnesty v. Clapper lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality.  That case went all the way to the Supreme Court, but we ultimately lost it on a classic Catch-22.  The ACLU’s clients couldn’t challenge the secret spying program because they couldn’t demonstrate that they had been secretly spied on.  The program’s very secrecy became its strongest shield.  The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in that case came down last February.  Quite honestly, even the relentless lawyers of the ACLU were convinced we had come to a standstill with little hope of ending a spying program that we suspected was spinning dangerously out of control.  Less than four months later, The Guardian released a document provided by Snowden, the first in a series of disclosures detailing the NSA’s spying activities.  Talk about a game-changer.  Ever since that first revelation, things have moved at a fast and furious pace.  Six days after that first article in The Guardian, armed with proof the NSA is tracking our phone calls, we filed ACLU v. CLapper arguing that the NSA’s phone-records program is both illegal and unconstitutional.  We have been pressing President Obama, who has been forced to repeatedly address blatant abuses of power by our intelligence agencies.  We are actively pressing for passage of the USA Freedom Act, genuine reform legislation sponsored by one of the original authors of The Patriot Act.  And we are providing legal counsel to Snowden, as he is being pursued by the most powerful government in the world.  A few months ago, I traveled to Moscow and met with Ed Snowden.  I couldn’t help but think that I was talking to a young man who could be facing a life of exile or imprisonment.  He’s physically isolated from his family, friends and lawyers.  He’s in the middle of an international maelstrom, having provoked the ire of U.S. government officials.  But, he moves and speaks with a calmness and equanimity that I’ve come to recognize.  I’ve seen it in other ACLU clients who have stepped forward to defend freedom at great personal cost.  It’s the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have chosen to stand up for what you believe in.  And that’s exactly what I’m asking you to do today - the same way you have at so many other critical moments in our work together.  In the weeks and months ahead, we have the opportunity to do something big and important.  We can bring an end to an NSA surveillance program that breaks the law, defies the Constitution, and threatens to erode the right to privacy that is fundamental to our democracy.  We can take on one of the most outrageous civil liberties abuses of our lifetime - and we can win.  It won’t be easy.  Prevailing in the face of challenges as deep and profound as this is never a simple task.  But, I have no doubt we can carry the day and, in the process, win a truly significant civil liberties victory.  As always, we are counting on your involvement and financial support to reach our goal - on this front and across all of our work.  With events moving quickly and the stakes extraordinarily high, I urge you to send as generous a donation as you can possibly afford.   Thank you so much for all that you do to support and sustain our most critical efforts. Sincerely, Anthony D. Romero ACLU Executive Director Invasion of the Data Snatchers ACLU video clip https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/invasion-data-snatchers?printmail=1 Colorado Spying on Americans - ACLU Also, please consider checking into the possibility of similar spying in Durango, Colorado and elsewhere in Colorado.    https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/co-springs-police-conducted-surveillance-denver-spy-files-aclu-reveals ACLU section updated 12/15/2016 ALTERNATIVE VIEWS ON ACLU Alternative Views And Some Additions to Disclosures in About Section Comment:  How might human rights groups like the ACLU be connected to a pro-minority group of terrorists, embedding psyops and indiscriminate killing to express deep-seated rage and to promote agendas, including playing both sides of the field to tunnel people toward a certain direction?  Can we imagine them tweaking public opinion and aggressively pushing systems through legal acts?  On the surface, they might be promoting one thing, but if we did keeper, we might find they were behind the things they seem to be fighting against.  Although real discrimination in the USA and elsewhere cannot be denied as a historic and current problem, going after innocent people to make a statement and further a personal cause is not the answer.  If some of our civil rights groups are doing these things - and funneling funds through the legal system by exploiting lawsuits to fund their network of attorney organizations and insurance companies, we have to shift response gears.  If some of these groups have family and racial ties to Big Brother (corporate conglomerating) we need to stop that as well.  However, it is possible we are dealing with more than one thing. This website does not take a stand and does not claim to know whether the ACLU or any other group are part of a long-ranging agenda (like Communist) to destroy capitalism and democracy.  Things could be as they seem - that they are sincerely fighting tyranny in the form of Big Brother as elitist corporatism and discrimination of various groups.  Another way such groups can try to tear down the USA and other western democratic countries is through either exaggerated liberalism or conservatism to divide and conquer people.  We can ask ourselves if angry gays are behind it, disenfranchised from spirituality or old world style non-whites, people wanting to dominate others over race and religion.  We can ask if a primarily Nordic, Jewish, Islamic or other group is behind such agendas, and if they are running their fingers through civil rights groups. Daniel Pipes:  Did the ACLU disrupt my talk at American University?  Matt Bowles (ACLU National Field Coordinator) connections to anti-Israel activities.   From notes section on this website.  10/13/2015: (2004) Daniel Pipes (correspondent/Middle East think tank) http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2004/03/did-the-aclu-disrupt-my-talk-at-american My name is Joe Cortina: the ACLU Trojan horse of the Jew https://mynameisjoecortina.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/the-aclu-trojan-horse-of-the-jew/ Judicial Watch:  You Can’t Trust The ACLU Excerpt: Surprise, surprise. The ACLU reneged on a promise it made to a California Superior Court and sought attorneys’ fees related to a Judicial Watch “Special Order 40″ lawsuit (Harold P. Sturgeon v. William J. Bratton, et al.). Thankfully, I just learned we beat their dishonest efforts back in court. http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/weekly-updates/01-you-cant-trust-aclu/ Media Matters:  O’Reilly thinks they are a terrorist group http://mediamatters.org/research/2005/03/03/oreilly-on-aclu-i-think-theyre-a-terrorist-grou/132833 Speroforum:  on World Social Forum and American Life League Report Excerpt: Yet another article, from 2005, applauds the Forum’s “diversity” – which is actually quite exclusive: “While all those who are at the Forum (or most at least!) acknowledge the need to come together to face the imperial power of globalisation led by the US, the WSF ‘open space’ continues to be a space that is bitterly contested at the level of ideas. The major actors in the WSF include the Left of various shades (communists, social democrats, fourth internationalists), religious groups (many ascribing to the “liberation theology” positions and genuinely opposed to imperialism) and NGOs.” [Amit Sen Gupta, “The World Social Forum Sprouts Wings,” 2-20-05, See: ForumsSocialMundial.org http://www.speroforum.com/a/WOVKDOVABA28/75265-Catholic-Social-Injustice-review-of-new-American-Life-League- video#.Vc4cc_lViko Alternative Views on ACLU section updated 01/11/2017 --- Americans United AU Website: https://www.au.org/ Mission: Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans. Americans United, or AU, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, Americans United works in the courts, in Congress and state legislatures, at the White House and in the arena of public opinion. AU section updated 12/17/2016 --- EFF: ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION EFF Website : https://www.eff.org/ Coverage of Surveillance Abuse, Digital Legalities and Much More Electronic Frontier Foundation 815 Eddy Street San Francisco CA 94109 USA ACLU v Clapper and Congress How Second Circuits Decision Affects Legislative https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/05/aclu-v-clapper-and-congress-how-second-circuits-decision-affects-legislative EFF section updated 12/15/2016 --- EDWARD SNOWDEN Some Resources jump down to links, etc. COMMENTARY His Revelations and the Complex High Tech World of Surveillance Many people have to rely on others for technical information.  We are at the mercy of those with high tech knowledge and all the ways people can get at our privacy.  It is tempting to consider the only solution is to hang it up.  We could simply destroy the gadgets and stop using them until such time as we have a better way of protecting ourselves as a whole.  The way things are now, there truly is not much that can be done no matter how much we try.  We have gotten ourselves in a real mess, frankly, and it is far more serious than many people realize.  It’s a nightmare.  I look around - maybe you do, too - and system/surveillance abuse is absolutely not being talked about by the vast majority of the population.  People are really not focused on this crisis at all.  They are talking and thinking about just about anything and everything else.  How do you get through something like that?  Any of you can go to the internet yourselves and pull up what I have here, but the real point of putting several links here is to provide another way of showing the thugs out there that there are people who don’t like what is going on and we do want another way of life and future for ourselves than having every last bit of our private lives potentially invaded from every direction.  This is a human rights issue because the ultimate conclusion of all this control is that we could be rounded up and killed like victims of the Holocaust.  We are dealing with massive thievery: thievery of money, ideas, peace of mind, safety....you name it.  Using the internet should be a tool for everyone, a safe high powered tool.  It has so many good things about it.  Instant access to so many topics and ideas.  It’s great.  It’s habit forming.  But it also a deadly weapon because it lets strangers in our livingrooms,  bedrooms, offices and most personal papers.  We have people out there robbing us of our dignity. But we just keep buying the gadgets that are our doom.  We keep burning fossil fuels which are also causing damage.  We self-sabotage ourselves into some kind of pit from which there will be no return.  The best we can do is find like-minded people who are in tune and awake - no matter their technical or surveillance/system knowledge - and pull resources.  The people who are doing these terrible things to us do not want us to focus on getting together to fight them.  In addition to surveillance, they do use telepathy and psychotronic attacks to keep us distracted and lost.  They thrive on the ignorance of family members and friends.  They love it when someone cannot imagine that their thoughts in their heads can be intercepted by a hidden outside third party, just like tapping into a computer.  It’s a terrible thing.  Few of us want to think that our own brains and thought processes are open turf like that.  The best way to thwart that kind of attack is to know your own tendencies and what your own energy feels like.  Then you can sense better when things are shifting and that you are not being yourself or that an alien energy has come in. LINKS NPR Organization.  Before Snowden (2014) Other whistleblowers before Snowden http://www.npr.org/2014/07/22/333741495/before-snowden-the-whistleblowers-who-tried-to-lift-the-veil Mashable (2014) This is a very good link which provides both a run-down on the top NSA revelations of Snowden and also a link to a more detailed list of what he revealed.  Snowden came forward around June 2013 and used a British journalist who turned out to be very ethical and good at getting the information out to the public. http://mashable.com/2014/06/05/edward-snowden-revelations/ Washington Post on blogs (2014) Copy of blog (DaStu 6/3/2014 7:49 PM MDT)  from Washington Post with an alternative view of Snowden as whistleblower) Excerpt:  There was a time when the United States did not torture. They do now. The consequence of these actions against those in Gitmo and what they did to Manning is a loss of credibility. The Snowden model may not have been how past whistle blowers have behaved but it is certainly a model future whistle blowers will follow. When a system of government allows the government to violate the Constitution without any consequence and the Supreme Court continues to believe a government can do whatever it likes, we will continue to have these whistle blowers.  The best way to prevent a whistle blower is to not break the law to begin with. It is not possible to keep criminal behavior a secret so stop trying. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/a-true-whistleblower-doesnt-behave-like-edward- snowden/2014/06/02/5e8484e0-e90c-11e3-afc6-a1dd9407abcf_story.html New York Times (2014) Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower By THE EDITORIAL BOARD JAN. 1, 2014 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/02/opinion/edward-snowden-whistle-blower.html?_r=0 Common Dreams (2014) Snowden Documentary Confirms Existence New National Security…. http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/10/12/snowden-documentary-confirms-existence-new-national-security- whistleblower The Guardian Snowden - Whistleblower - Protections (2016) Excerpt:  Edward Snowden has called for a complete overhaul of US whistleblower protections after a new source from deep inside the Pentagon came forward with a startling account of how the system became a “trap” for those seeking to expose wrongdoing.  The account of John Crane, a former senior Pentagon investigator, appears to undermine Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other major establishment figures who argue that there were established routes for Snowden other than leaking to the media. Crane, a longtime assistant inspector general at the Pentagon, has accused his old office of retaliating against a major surveillance whistleblower, Thomas Drake, in an episode that helps explain Snowden’s 2013 National Security Agency disclosures. Not only did Pentagon officials provide Drake’s name to criminal investigators, Crane told the Guardian, they destroyed documents relevant to his defence.  Snowden, responding to Crane’s revelations, said he had tried to raise his concerns with colleagues, supervisors and lawyers and been told by all of them: “You’re playing with fire.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/22/snowden-whistleblower-protections-john-crane Ed Snowden section updated 07/07/2016
System Abuse System Abuse
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