From Moyers & Co: Fighting For The Right To Free Speech




Fighting for the Right to Free Speech (via Moyers & Company)
Tim Karr is the senior strategist for Free Press, an advocacy organization that works to change media and technology policies, promote the public interest and strengthen democracy. He contributed this post for our “Take Action” section. “If large…


One may try to deny the "Snowden Effect," but NSA FOIA requests have skyrocketed since Snowden revelations


Jason Leopold (Journalist, FOIA Terrorist and truthseeker) writes another piece for Al Jazeera, "NSA Logs reveal flood of Post-Snowden FOIA Requests":

"The National Security Agency (NSA) has been flooded with thousands of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from journalists, civil rights groups and private citizens who have asked the agency to turn over the top-secret records that former contractor Edward Snowden leaked to the media, Al Jazeera can reveal.

In response to an open records request filed in November, the NSA has just released its FOIA logs to Al Jazeera. The hundreds of pages of documents describe post-Snowden requests that have been filed with the agency — on matters from its bandwidth consumption and it sprawling new data center in Utah to metadata records and contracts with Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden’s former employer."

I know, even the mention of Edward Snowden strikes horror and angst in his detractors still hung up on a false persona created by media moguls and government officials caught diddling the public with their pants unzipped. Too many still buy the lie of it's either right of left or traitor or hero created to divide and deflect......but I digress.

Edward Snowden did the world a service. Until Snowden began releasing information to journalists, the US people had become complacent in their delusion that, once Bush was gone, there would be no more spying or, at least, no reason to discuss it. We could not have been more wrong.

Snowden's revelations forced discussion - discussion that the NSA and the White House (as well as SSCI) really never wanted to have - and gave journalists, activists and human rights organizations a full set of questions to ask. Those questions, in themselves, confront the sense of superiority and separateness inherent in a government that no longer trusts (if it ever did) its own people - It hasn't for decades.

A government that claims transparency while covertly destroying that very thing.

Police State Blues: Denver Police Proving Reputation as Protest against Police Brutality ends with Police Brutality




Denver Police have a history of acting out their histrionics through bully actions and excessive presence.  Yesterday seemed to prove that rule once again.

Denver Anons (Denver members of the net-based collective also known as Anonymous) organized their monthly, nonviolent,  #Every5th (every month on the 5th since November, 2013) protest march through downtown Denver.

This march,  like all others, was a nonviolent act in support of the people and remained a nonviolent protest in response to the police riot in Albuquerque last month and the continued blatant and  ridiculously excessive force used by Albuquerque's police that has culminated in the shooting deaths of 23 out of 28 people since 2010 (it's not lost on anyone that the town of Albuquerque is only 555,417 per the 2012 census).

Starting at the bronze Liberty Bell replica at Lincoln Park at Civic Center, the marchers of Denver wound through the streets towards the 16th Street Mall - 16th Street Mall, a once busy inner city street was blocked off from commuter traffic decades ago. The street is open only to foot traffic through the shopping and business district with the exception of the small bus running through every 15 minutes...


From video shot, on the ground, during the march...




....More videos can be found "here"

According to the Press Release, posted on Pastebin by @AnarchoAnon, "here":

Anonymous Police Brutality Protest/#Every5th/@AnarchoAnon

MEDIA ALERT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: anarchoanon@riseup.net / @AnarchoAnon

Denver 4/5---Police in Denver violently attacked a protest march against police brutality on the Downtown 16th street mall a few minutes after it began at 5:30 pm. An estimated 7 arrests took place, with police violently tackling individuals in the crowd and spraying pepper spray at protesters and bystanders. A witness said that several of those arrested were passers-by who were not involved in the protest. This protest, called by the informal net-based group known as "Anonymous," was part of the "Every 5th" event series, in which protesters have gathered downtown on the 5th of every month to protest various issues since November 5, 2013. This particular march was planned in solidarity with recent protests over a police killing of a homeless man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with an eye to similar ongoing police brutality issues in Denver.

One participant said: "There was about 70 of us at the march. We peacefully marched from Civic Center Park to the 16th st mall, our usual march route. As soon as we turned off the mall, police officers violently tackled individuals, swung clubs at others, and sprayed clouds of pepper spray at the crowd. They then formed a line and took out rubber bullet guns, and continued to try to antagonize the crowd. The crowd grew larger as pedestrians became alarmed by the aggressive behavior of the Denver Police Department. There were also numerous military-style vehicles present with SWAT officers riding on the outside. This seems to be a deliberately intimidating response in which DPD is trying to send a strong message the citizens of their city that the police will not tolerate people speaking out against police brutality. Despite the police violence, our march continued successfully for several hours, snaking through city streets, denouncing police brutality with chants and fliers. This sort of behavior by the police really only serves to promote our protest, and as we saw today, it actually encourages people to join us."


Video of some of the arrests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUeXBG1E0W4
Archived livestream footage clips from march: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/anarcho-anon

Twitter handles with details from the event: @anarchoanon @standupdenver @mcsole @occupydenver @internerve

---End----
70 marchers were met by police in uniform and riot gear on the streets. The police arrived in vans, cruisers, armored humvees...

Quite some presence for only 70 nonviolent people on a Saturday evening - A group that has never been moved to violence of any kind since they began their monthly actions.

7 were not-so-nonviolently arrested by police that were actually acting out violently -  agitating, using pepper spray on members and bystanders, tackling - like bullies in a school yard...but I digress.  As indicated in the above video posted on UStream, one of those arrested shouted out that he was being arrested for (wait for it)....
Taking pictures.

Another view of DPD's not so finest hour...



....And another....




Ah, there's that police hysteria,again.

Denver Police (in a small city of 634,265 as of 2012) has its own history of abusive police actions.  In 2010 DPD ranked #1 in the nation in complaints of their use of excessive force.  According to David Packman's The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP) for 2010....


Law Enforcement Agencies Employing 1000+ OfficersThe following are the top 20 local law enforcement agencies by 6-month police misconduct rates that employ over 1000 law enforcement officers:
City
State
Officers Involved
PMR
1
Atlanta
GA
53
6547.25
2
New Orleans
LA
36
4972.38
3
Fort Worth
TX
23
3095.56
4
Louisville Metro
KY
17
2816.90
5
Jacksonville
FL
21
2480.80
6
Denver
CO
19
2465.93
7
Newark
NJ
16
2429.76
8
Nashville
TN
14
2276.42
9
Detroit
MI
33
2176.78
10
Seattle
WA
14
2124.43
11
Orange County
FL
13
2091.71
12
Dallas
TX
33
1945.18
13
Orange County
CA
16
1726.00
14
Prince George’s County
MD
15
1724.14
15
Memphis
TN
18
1715.92
16
Miami
FL
9
1677.54
17
Baltimore
MD
26
1671.49
18
Palm Beach County
FL
10
1598.72
19
Milwaukee
WI
16
1587.30
20
Jefferson Parish
LA
7
1393.03




From Packman's article, September, 2010:
When we dive down and get more granular by comparing the publicized excessive force reports for law enforcement agencies with over 1,000 sworn officers over that same period of time, January through June for 2010, we see something different…
City/County
State
Officers
EF Rate
1
Denver
CO
17
2206.36
2
Jacksonville
FL
12
1417.60
3
New Orleans
LA
7
966.85
4
Orange County
CA
8
863.00
5
Orange County
FL
5
804.51
6
Milwaukee
WI
8
793.65
7
Newark
NJ
5
759.30
8
Baltimore
MD
11
707.17
9
Prince George’s County
MD
6
689.66
10
Seattle
WA
4
606.98
11
Miami
FL
3
559.18
12
Louisville Metro
KY
3
497.10
13
Nashville
TN
3
487.80
14
Palm Beach County
FL
3
479.62
15
Los Angeles
CA
17
348.97
16
Detroit
MI
5
329.82
17
Memphis
TN
3
285.99
18
Chicago
IL
11
164.68
19
Fort Worth
TX
1
134.59
20
New York
NY
23
128.63

Denver appears to rank worst out of all 63 of those law enforcement agencies for credible excessive force reports with an estimated Excessive Force Rate of 2,206 officers involved in excessive force complaints per every 100,000 officers.

Since 2010, Denver has tried to change their image...

They hired a brand new shiney police chief imported from out-of-state (the third in less than 6 years)
fired officers found "guilty" of brutality and rehired them; refused to pursue action of other police charged with brutality in lawsuits brought be citizens; instituted one of the first Urban Camping Bans in the nation - making it illegal to be homeless in Denver (or be seen sitting, eating, sleeping or otherwise occupying public space as homeless or protesting in Denver proper in a public space or park); and conspired with Governor Hickenlooper to attack one of the first, long term nonviolent, fully peaceful protests - Occupy - a protest acting on their constitutionally guaranteed right.

Since, 2010, the City of Denver, its Mayor, and most obviously, the Denver Police Department has proven that they have not changed one iota. If anything, they are getting worse...

As they continue to show us what a Police State looks like...............




















"Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice."
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

A Wave of Action - Towards a new paradigm....Day 1...


Welcome to Day 1 #WaveOfAction...


Activist-Journalist, Political Prisoner Barrett Brown reaches plea deal - Stratfor still free to spy on activists for Corporate clients

From FreeBarrettBrown


From Democracy Now and Wired, Activist-Journalist and friend to the People's quest for truth, transparency and accountability, Barrett Brown has "reached a plea deal" with prosecutors - his sentencing date is to be April 29, 2013.

As reported here, previously, 12 of the original charges were dismissed, in early March this year, upon the prosecutor's .  Included in the charges dismissed were the charges relating to brown's posting of links leading to the doxed information posted by hackers involved in the hacking of Stratfor (Strategic forecasting).

According to Wired:

Prosecutors filed a motion this week in a Texas court agreeing to seal the plea agreement, which the court granted (.pdf).
Brown’s attorney, Ahmed Ghappour, won’t discuss the matter, due to a court-ordered gag, but another document filed by the government this week (.pdf) hints at the nature of the deal.
In the document, which supercedes two of Brown’s previous three indictments, the government charges Brown with two crimes: allegedly assisting the person who hacked Stratfor after the fact, and obstructing the execution of a search warrant targeting Brown.
The first charge is a new one and relates to assistance Brown allegedly gave the person who hacked Stratfor “in order to hinder and prevent [his] apprehension, trial and punishment.”
According to the government Brown worked to create confusion about the hacker’s identity “in a manner that diverted attention away from the hacker,” which included communicating with Stratfor after the hack in a way that authorities say drew attention away from the hacker. The hacker is not named, and it’s not clear if it’s convicted Stratfor intruder Jeremy Hammond, or an earlier hacker who’s known to have penetrated the company first.The two charges greatly reduce the amount of time he could face at a sentencing hearing, which previously had been estimated at more than 50 years.
The obstruction charge relates to an attempt by Brown and his mother to hide a laptop from authorities during a search of her home in March 2012. Brown’s mother was separately charged with obstruction and given six months probation.
Brown’s earlier indictments were poised to become a First Amendment test case. He was charged with 12 counts centered around a link he posted in a chat room that pointed to a file containing data stolen in 2011 from the intelligence firm Stratfor, or Strategic Forecasting. The data, stolen by Hammond, a member of the loosely affiliated Anonymous collective, included company emails as well as credit card numbers belonging to subscribers of Stratfor’s service.

Brown didn’t steal the data but simply copied a hyperlink from one public chatroom and reposted it to another.


Brown has been sitting in the Mansfield Jail, near Dallas, for 19 months since his arrest in 2012.   Alexander Zaitchick, in his article for Rolling Stone, last September, writes:

Given the serious nature of his predicament, Brown, 32, seems shockingly relaxed. "I'm not worried or panicked," he says. "It's not even clear to me that I've committed a crime." He describes his time here as a break from the drug-fueled mania of his prior life, a sort of digital and chemical fast in which he's kicked opiates and indulged his pre-cyber whims – hours spent on the role-playing game GURPS and tearing through the prison's collection of what he calls "English manor-house literature."


Brown has been called many things during his brief public career – satirist, journalist, author, Anonymous spokesman, atheist, "moral fag," "fame whore," scourge of the national surveillance state. His commitment to investigating the murky networks that make up America's post-9/11 intelligence establishment set in motion the chain of events that culminated in a guns-drawn raid of his Dallas apartment last September. "For a long time, the one thing I was happy not to see in here was a computer," says Brown. "It appears as though the Internet has gotten me into some trouble."

Before the Stratfor incident, Brown was reporting on the exposure of  HBGary Federal, Palantir and Berico, (Team Themis) and the discovery of their conspiracy to hire out their information war capabilities to corporations which hoped to strike back at perceived enemies, including US activist groups, Wikileaks and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

In an interview, September, 2011, Brown discusses corporate spying and a project to expose the role of major corporations use of social media sites for surveillance..





Barrett Brown has spent his career reporting on the nefarious activities of  secretive corporations attempting to destroy the right of the People to confront and hold accountable those corporations attempting to use companies like Stratfor, HBGary and others in order to spy on and disrupt activists, organizations and the People's voice. His fight for transparency and accountability of those who would covertly act against the interests of the People is a threat to the very people wielding power in the Halls of Congress, the Halls of Justice and even the Oval Office.

He remains a Political Prisoner martyred for the cause of the People.


SSCI votes 11-3 to declassify the executive summary of the Senate panel's report on the CIA torture program



As reported by Jason Leopold on Twitter a few hours ago, The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted today, 11 to 3, to declassify the executive summary of the Committee's now infamous report on the CIA Torture program.

In a statement made by Mark Udall (D-CO) on the  SSCI vote (via @JasonLeopold "Twitlonger" post):

Full statement from Udall on SSCI vote to declassify exec summary of CIA rpt:

Udall Heralds Historic Vote to Declassify Senate Intelligence Committee Study of CIA's Detention, Interrogation Program
Udall Pledges to Fight to Ensure White House, CIA Do Not Stymie Public Release of Landmark Study
Mark Udall, a leading advocate for Congress's duty to provide strong and independent oversight of covert agencies, heralded the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's bipartisan 11-3 vote today to declassify its landmark study of the CIA's detention and interrogation program. Udall, who serves on the committee and has led the effort to declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee's study, pledged to press the White House and CIA for the fullest possible declassification of the committee’s report.
"Today's vote is a historic moment for the Senate Intelligence Committee and our vigorous oversight efforts. I am calling on the president today to oversee the declassification process to ensure that as much of this important document as possible sees the light of day," Udall said. "The Constitution is clear and Coloradans agree that the Senate Intelligence Committee has a responsibility to oversee the CIA — regardless of who is president — and provide a full and accurate accounting of the operation and effectiveness of this misguided and destructive program.
"The public release of this study is critical to shedding light on this dark chapter of our country's history. It is also critical to restoring the credibility and integrity of the CIA as an institution. Anyone who dismisses this study for its focus on actions of the past need only look at the events of the past few months — in particular, the CIA's unauthorized search of the committee's computers — to understand that the CIA not only hasn't learned from its mistakes, but continues to perpetuate them. This study should impart crucial lessons to the CIA about the need to better operate and assess its programs and to accurately represent them. Acknowledging the detention and interrogation program's flaws is essential for the CIA's long-term institutional integrity, as well as for the legitimacy of ongoing sensitive programs. The findings of this report directly relate to how other CIA programs are managed today.
"To those who continue to argue that torture is effective, this study makes a powerful argument to the contrary — drawing from six million of the CIA's own records and past interview reports of key personnel to do so. I hope that one of the key lessons that the CIA and our national security leaders take from this study is that we should never again torture in the name of national security — and that oversight of intelligence operations is essential in a constitutional democracy."
Udall, who has repeatedly pressed the White House to publicly commit to declassifying the Senate Intelligence Committee's study, further urged the White House to ensure the CIA does not oversee the declassification of the study.
"Following today's historic vote, the president faces what I believe should be a straightforward question. He can defer declassification decisions to the CIA — which has demonstrated an inability to face the truth about this program — or pass this authority to the Director of National Intelligence or hold on to the redaction pen himself," Udall added. "The president needs to understand that the CIA's clear conflict of interest here requires that the White House step in and manage this process."

The Guardian's, Spencer Ackerman, reported yesterday:


The Senate select committee on intelligence has waged an unprecedented and acrimonious public battle with the CIA over a secret 6,300-page investigation concluding torture was an ineffective intelligence-gathering technique and that the CIA lied about its value. On Thursday, the committee is slated to take a belated vote to make it public.
Or more precisely, it will vote to make a slice public. And the CIA will have a significant degree of influence over how large and how public that slice will be.

The committee is not going to release the 6,300-page report. Its chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein of California, said on the Senate floor three weeks ago that only the “findings, conclusions and the executive summary of the report” were the subject of the committee’s declassification efforts. The vast majority of the Senate report – effectively, an alternative post-9/11 history detailing of years’ worth of CIA torture and cover-up – will remain shielded from public view.

“The executive summary will tell us much more than we know right now about the CIA program but much less than the full report,” Katherine Hawkins, a former investigator with the Constitution Project’s own private inquiry on counterterrorism detentions.
“I hope this is the beginning of the declassification process, not the end.”

Nor, staffers concede, is the committee itself even sure of the exact procedure that will unfold if it votes to declassify part of the report, let alone how long it will take.

The outline is clear enough: the Obama administration will review the sections of the report for declassification, and then declassification of some aspects of the report will occur. The CIA is expected to play a major role in approving material for release, despite feuding with the committee about what it considers an unfair and inaccurate portrayal.

Steven Aftergood, an intelligence policy analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, considers the agency’s role a conflict of interest.
“They functionally control the declassification process, and they have an interest in how they as an agency are portrayed in the final product,” Aftergood said. “They’re not an impartial party, and that’s a flaw in the process.”

A CIA spokesman, Dean Boyd, said the agency still had not received a final copy of the Senate report and could not comment on its contents. But he indicated the agency’s support for its release – something the White House has committed itself to, at least for some sections.

“If portions of the report are submitted to the CIA for classification review, we’ll carry out the review expeditiously,” Boyd said.
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to “speculate” in advance of the Senate vote on how long declassification would take. But she reaffirmed that Obama urges the committee “to complete the report and send it to us, so that we can declassify the findings and the American people can understand what happened in the past, and that can help guide us as we move forward”.

If public, the report would represent a milestone in reassessing what torture actually was, placing the stamp of officialdom on a narrative that has long been a dissenting view.

In a statement today, Dianne Feinstein stated "The full 6,200-page full report has been updated and will be held for declassification at a later time"

One wonders what was redacted from the original 6,300 page report that is now "updated" to 6,200 pages.

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