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News :: Human Rights
Police state measures intensified in run-up to 2014 Boston Marathon
14 Apr 2014
In preparation for the first Boston Marathon since the April 15, 2013 bombings, City of Boston officials have announced increased security measures for this year’s event.
In preparation for the first Boston Marathon since the April 15, 2013 bombings, City of Boston officials have announced increased security measures for this year’s event taking place on Patriot’s Day, April 21. Last year’s attack claimed the lives of three people and injured 264 others. The tragedy was seized upon and used to implement far-reaching attacks on democratic rights, including a police lockdown of the Boston area.

Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed in a shootout with police within days of the bombings. Tsarnaev’s younger brother, Dzhokhar, was severely wounded and captured by police. He is now facing a trial in which US prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, after denying him his Miranda rights and questioning him for days after the arrest without a lawyer.

One year on, little is known about the events of last April 15 and its aftermath. Whatever Dzhokhar may have told the FBI remains secret. Not only were the rights of the suspects violated, but those of the entire population of Boston and surrounding areas. The Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against illegal search and seizure without warrants was blatantly violated as people in Watertown, Massachusetts were forced from their homes at gunpoint.

With this as the background, claims that the new measures are simply aimed at protecting the Marathon should meet with the skepticism they deserve.

The new measures include the posting of 40 to 50 security checkpoints along Boylston Street from Massachusetts Avenue to the finish line. According to Sergeant Michael McCarthy of the Boston police, the checkpoints will be more like “observation points” and spectators will not have to pass through a metal detector or be scanned with a security wand.

Officials have said that “temporary” surveillance cameras will be installed along the 26.2-mile route, which begins in Hopkinton and passes through a number of other suburbs to Brookline before ending at the Boston public library in Copley Square. Several police and state agencies have agreed to provide live footage from their public cameras, which can be integrated into one giant surveillance system so multiple agencies can monitor crowds at the same time.

The feeds will include images from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which used a $6.9 million Homeland Security loan to install 435 cameras, allowing the monitoring of two-thirds of all bus trips on the system. The MBTA also has a large number of cameras throughout its stations and footage from these will also be made available.

That the new measures are part of a longer-term plan was made clear in an April 12 Boston Globe article, which noted, “Law enforcement officials began conceiving of the idea to combine the feeds three years ago, but last year’s attacks convinced them to go ahead with the plans.” It would be more accurate to say that last year’s attacks, and the wholesale junking of constitutional rights in its aftermath, created more favorable conditions to go ahead with the plans without arousing significant public protest.

The security measures announced for the Marathon are part of a broad range of efforts by the US state to collect massive amounts of information about the population and its activities, as revealed in the exposures by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. A central role in this is played by the secretive teams that bring together federal, state and local law enforcement agencies under the so-called Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs).

It was the JTTF that brought together a Boston FBI agent and the two Massachusetts State Police officers involved in the interrogation and assassination of 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev. Todashev, an associate of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed during questioning by the FBI and Massachusetts State Police at his home on May 22, 2013. It was reported March 21 that the FBI agent who shot and killed Todashev is to be cleared of all charges.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM) filed a lawsuit in federal court for the release of documents about the Commonwealth’s participation in the JTTFs and the role of local agencies in the killing of Todashev.

A press release dated April 10 states, “JTTFs have broad powers to investigate people and groups, yet little is known about how they function and to whom they are accountable. The recent reports about the death of Todashev raised more questions about how our state collaborates with federal agencies and about who is in charge when something goes wrong.”

The ACLUM issued a request under the Freedom of Information Act in December 2013 seeking information about the structure of the task force, the number and types of investigations done by the Boston FBI and the Todashev investigation. The FBI denied the Todashev request and has yet to provide any records regarding the other requests of the ACLU.

The lawsuit states that “The federal government’s collaboration with Massachusetts state and local police, especially through the JTTF, has for years been shrouded in secrecy,” and that the JTTF “conducts hundreds of investigations in Massachusetts every year using a broad array of tools.”

Explaining the nature of these “tools,” the press release notes:

“In 2008, the FBI released new guidelines that relaxed the standards required to open investigations on individuals and groups, including investigations and what the FBI termed ‘assessments.’ Under the new rules, the FBI and JTTFs may open assessments on individuals without any factual indication of wrongdoing or threat to national security. In the assessment stage of an investigation, law enforcement agents can use intrusive investigative techniques such as informants, interviews under false pretenses, and unlimited physical surveillance techniques previously reserved for investigations supported by factual concerns.

“The FBI retains the data it collects about assessment targets, even if the investigation reveals no evidence of wrongdoing. This practice raises additional questions about the civil liberties of innocent individuals subjected to assessments based on the criteria established by the FBI. It also raises serious questions about the effectiveness of such assessments.”

The massive video and physical surveillance of the Boston Marathon provides the FBI with a dragnet which will catch up not only the expected one million Marathon spectators, but much of the population of the Boston metropolitan area. Millions of people not suspected, let alone convicted, of any crime will be recorded and end up in the files of the FBI without knowing it.
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For New England's Secession from a Corrupt Union
14 Apr 2014
Repost from April 2013
The USA has now come full circle. Americans are living under a hostile occupation in their own land, by their own government. Regime authorities openly declare the “homeland” a battlefield. The battle, waged by the federal government--a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate America--the employers--targets the American people, the employees or ‘enemy’ : spied on, catalogued, check-pointed, ID’d, patted down, scanned, soon-to-be-droned, run out of their homes, set in gun sights, riddled in mass shootings, OK’d for arbitrary internment and execution, or blasted to oblivion in the midst of core unifying community events like the Boston Marathon (a sophisticated, state-level-style strategic targeting of solidarity, like bombing a packed mosque on a Baghdad Friday). No place like home, you keep telling yourselves.

Eighteenth century Bostonians lived under a hostile occupation. The practice of troops entering and searching homes without warrants was one of the catalysts of the revolution, and resulted in the drafting of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment--now a dead letter in a broken contract, as demonstrated in Watertown on April 19, 2013, where residents were rousted from their homes at gunpoint by MPs.

The Boston Massacre was another spark, leading to the outbreak of the first revolutionary battles still commemorated there today on “Patriot’s Day.” This was the day of the bombing massacre and military shakedown. A probable pre-emptive strike against true blue resistance from freedom-loving Bostonians to the fascist New Order. It was all havoc and mayhem, the hallmark of evil.

Boston was the cradle of the revolution, of American liberty, now an incongruous sounding phrase, under the New Order...unless connoting corporate freedom to lawlessly dominate, control and reap the spoils. Today, lovers of personal liberty are an ‘extremist’ threat. Sometimes called the Athens of America, Boston also has probably the highest concentration of brain power per head in the US -- smart freedom-lovers. Send in the tanks! (News ticker: ‘DOW hits all-time high.’)

That said, it needs qualification: modern warfare has its Orwellian up is down psychological aspect--our heads are our Achilles heels. And so the jackbooted martial law lockdown was actually welcomed by glaze-eyed, knee-jerk conformists, attuned to the false flag ‘news movie’ puppet show, a military/police manhunt drama, for an immigrant bomber on the loose. The patsy suspect could have been easily found up to several nights after the bombing unperturbedly sleeping in his own bed, in his dorm room (confirmed--UMass). The glaring lack of open trials in all of these affairs underlines their nature as special operations, immune from the light of public inquiry.

As terrorized Bostonians naturally looked to leadership in the unprecedented crisis, with the chill of a full-on martial law drill, official pronouncements on the meaning of the attack were lacking. They had only a hometown sports hero stepping up to the plate, lending his endorsement to the media-driven, Swiss cheese story line. It was left to the Red Coats star ballplayer to set the tone for the community’s response with his (coached?) "This is OUR #@! city" remark: a sandlot reaction along the lines of "It's MY ball!," yet perfectly suited to invite regressive, internecine nipping within a traumatized population looking for scapegoats; a useful idiot’s spin of the horrible event into a divisive focus on 'us and them,' native and immigrant camps (like home and away teams), deflecting attention from those ‘charged to protect us,’ now illegally rolling tanks into town, rousting frightened residents from their homes, shutting down the city, occupying the Common and constantly changing the contradictory story. Never mind that the sportsman is himself also an immigrant--the group he is scapegoating. Hopefully, astute Bostonians would have noticed the hypocrisy and not fallen for the base appeal to hate, which by virtue of whose interests it serves, tends to reinforce the overall impression of a stage-managed terror event. These fit a by now familiar pattern of ‘drill gone live,’ followed by the broadcast networks carpet-bombing living rooms with a contrived cover story.

And then there were the amazing ‘coincidences’...The JFK library fire occurring around the same time as the downtown explosions, not officially part of the attack. This is the smoking WTC building 7 of the Boston bombing--not hit, but burning anyway. It’s been plausibly surmised that WTC 7 housed the likely command and control center for the 911 attack in New York and as evidence of the conspiracy, had to be destroyed. In Boston, after contradictory official explanations of a bomb, then incendiary device, then fire, the City Fire Department later issued a conclusion that can only be called contemptuous: it would have been a fire, caused by “careless disposal of smoking materials” -- a cigarette? -- in an HVAC unit -- in a building showing evidence of blast damage -- ‘shattered windows’ (Boston Globe). At least two library employees reported having heard an explosion (op. cit.). Other damage was done, significantly, to the library’s archives, possibly destroying documentary evidence from one or another of the multiple Kennedy murders, in the 50th anniversary year of the most notorious of these, another patsy-fronted and sickening state-within-the-state crime, which seems to have been the initial coup that set the precedent for the assassinations, attacks and bombings, etc. that have since followed, on the course to our new fascist order.

Another incredible ‘coincidence’--landing gear debris from the 911 attack suddenly appears, having gone unnoticed for 12 years in New York City’s well-combed ground zero, one week following the Boston attack, “America’s second 911,” presumably as a reminder, to integrate the new outrage into the ‘war on terror’ narrative, giving this domestic repression operation -- a new Boston-massacre -- added-value as propaganda for the unfinished business of continuing foreign wars.

In a land of laws, we could expect the immediate public trial of the accused, surviving Boston bomber and a public inquiry into the brutal death, apparently in custody, of the other accused. As it happens, both are conveniently mute. The survivor has been cycled out of the news. Found sheltering in a boat, he may well fear burial at sea.

*UPDATE* In an unprecedented (since 911) nod to legality, US federal authorities will apparently be trying the surviving accused bomber, who is reportedly no longer mute and has pled not guilty to charges (looking “medicated,” according to a Boston WBZTV reporter present at the arraignment). A fair trial would seem to be already out of the question. One witness has been brazenly murdered, by the FBI, during interrogation, implicating the agency in the Boston terror bombing. Two more witnesses, the FBI arresting agents of the defendant’s deceased brother (the alleged accomplice) were killed in a purported ‘training accident.’

A trial date has not yet been set.

New update--death penalty sought, state may get guilty plea as life saver.

Scofflaw Corporate Gangsters

The first rule of self-defense is at least knowing the enemy. If an authority has broken its social contract with the people, violated its solemn oath to uphold that contract, trampled the rights of its citizens, would claim for itself the right to confine or assassinate them by executive fiat -- even as it tries to disarm them; engages in domestic terrorism and would call defending your life or liberty a crime (terrorism or sedition), then that authority is utterly tyrannical and unequivocally illegitimate and must be removed by whatever means necessary.

Towards Restoration of Self-Governance

It’s time for New Englanders, true to their patriot heritage, to defend their freedom, their children’s futures and their very lives; to rise to the occasion and lead the way towards breaking the cycle of violent repression within this hijacked Union. A way forward can already be discerned in the grassroots secessionist movement in the state of Vermont. Neighboring Quebec has a well-established secessionist Party (PQ), currently the governing Party in the province. This international stirring towards devolution (also appearing in several EU countries), to counter ever greater concentration of economic and political power (towards unaccountable corporate world government) could form the basis of a New England-wide Secessionist Movement and future political union -- possibly with Quebec -- divorced from tyrannical federal control from Washington or Ottawa, its vassal. The goal would not be Balkanization but effective dissolution of the current, corporate-controlled federal power centers by the legal withdrawal of their subjects from the existing political framework. The secession process could grow to include other states outside of New England, which together would be free to decide in future to create a reformed federal union, under a restored US Constitution, to replace the current, irrevocably corrupt United States of America.

April, 2013
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Re: Police state measures intensified in run-up to 2014 Boston Marathon
11 May 2014
CONCORD, N.H., May 9, 2014 – The New Hampshire legislature has passed a bill which bans government officials from obtaining “information contained in a portable electronic device” without a warrant “signed by a judge and based on probable cause.” The House and Senate passed slightly different versions of the bill, so a conference committee was appointed on Wednesday to get the final version of the bill to the Governor’s desk.

House Bill 1533 (HB1533) was introduced by Rep. Neal Kurk and passed both the House and Senate by unanimous voice votes. The House version includes misdemeanor penalties for a “government entity” which violates the act, and civil liability as well. The Senate version keeps the civil liability, allowing a person to sue for damages, while removing the criminal penalties. This difference is what will be worked out in a joint committee in the coming week.

Both versions set up a potential legal conflict with federal surveillance programs as well. The bill reads, in part:

“Government entity” means a federal, state, county, or local government agency, including but not limited to a law enforcement agency or any other investigative entity, agency, department, division, bureau, board, or commission, or an individual acting or purporting to act for, or on behalf of, a federal, state, county, or local government agency. “Government entity” shall not apply to a federal government agency to the extent that federal statute preempts state statute.

Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey sees the inclusion of federal agencies in this clause as an important part of the bill. “Including federal agencies in this prohibition on obtaining electronic information without a warrant does three important things,” he said. “It will force the federal courts to take a position on the constitutionality of mass federal surveillance programs, since federal statute cannot preempt if it’s not constitutional in the first place,” he said. ‘It also brings to the forefront that each state does indeed have a role to play in rejecting unconstitutional spying programs, whether they’re state or federal.”

Maharrey said that while it would be “highly improbable” for HB1533 to actually stop federal spying programs in the state, there are other parts of the bill that would have an immediate impact on the practice effect of the surveillance.

NSA collects, stores, and analyzes data on countless millions of people without a warrant, and without even the mere suspicion of criminal activity. The NSA tracks the physical location of people through their cellphones. In late 2013, the Washington Post reported that NSA is “gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” This includes location data on “tens of millions” of Americans each year – without a warrant.

Through fusion centers, state and local law enforcement act as information recipients from various federal departments under Information Sharing Environment (ISE). ISE partners include the Office of Director of National Intelligence, which is an umbrella covering 17 federal agencies and organizations, including the NSA. State and local law enforcement share data up the chain with the feds.

The NSA expressly shares warrantless data with state and local law enforcement through a super-secret DEA unit known as the Special Operations Division (SOD). That information is being used for criminal prosecutions. A Reuters report last fall showed that most of this shared data has absolutely nothing to do with national security issues. Most of it involves routine criminal investigations.

This data sharing shoves a dagger into the heart of the Fourth Amendment. Passage of HB1533 into law would prohibit this from happening in the State of New Hampshire.