NYPD Official Admits Spying On Muslims Didn’t Generate A Single Lead Or Terrorism Case

[An oppressive dragnet of surveillance, harassment, stalking, and ostracism, this CIA/NYPD program of racial/religious profiling has been conducted and budgeted under the phony guise of “homeland security” and “criminal justice” — but its just Islamophobic repression without a shred of evidence to disguise or provide cover for it. — Frontlines ed.]

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Michael Kelley , Business Insider, August 21, 2012

The secret New York Police Department unit that spied on Muslims for more than six years never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo of the AP report.

The Demographics Unit – built with the help of the CIA in the wake of 9/11 – assembled databases on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropped on conversations, infiltrated Muslim student groups and mosques, cataloged every Muslim in New York with an Americanized surname, and even set up a surveillance hub in New Jersey.

But in a June 28 deposition, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati admitted he never created a lead based on a Demographics report since he arrived 2006 and wasn’t aware of any previous ones.

From AP:

Galati, the commanding officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, offered the first official look at the Demographics Unit, which the NYPD denied ever existed when it was revealed by the AP last year. He described how police gather information on people even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing, simply because of their ethnicity and native language.

The testimony was part of the Handschu case, a lawsuit that began in 1971 over NYPD spying on students, civil rights groups, and suspected Communist sympathizers during the 1950s and 1960s.

NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, himself a target of ‘ill-considered’ prosecution, tweeted that the admission demonstrates “willful violation of 4th Amendment. No probable cause. Mere suspicion now justification for all kinds of injustice.” Continue reading

The Rohingya “Palestinians Asia”

by filistina

Officially designated by the UN as one of the most persecuted communities in the world and referred to as Palestinians Asia, but few know their name.

The Rohingya have been subject to a program of ethnic cleansing supported by the Government of Burma (Burma). Despite their existence in Burma, dating from the 8th century, the Rohingya are condemned as “non-citizens” and “illegal immigrants”. Aimed as a result of religion and race, the Rohingya are suffering from oppression and discrimination they encounter in face of the Buddhist majority of Racine. The confiscation of land, forced labor and denial of the very basic human rights-including education, healthcare and marriage-are typical of the daily reality of Rohingya.

The injustice against the people of the Rohingya is deeply rooted in institutions and in the government system of Burma. Can be seen at 1982 Law on Nationality introduced the Burmese junta, which recognizes 135 ethnic tribes in Burma, and explicitly excludes the Rohingya. This legislation has received widespread condemnation for the biased nature and its incompatibility with international standards of human rights, including the right to citizenship.

This systematic denial of human rights, based on the refusal of the government of Burma to grant citizenship to the Rohingya, leaving them stateless in their own country. The denial of citizenship has been used as a tool to deprive Rohingya of their identity and their right to exist.

This severe marginalization and restriction of basic rights and fundamental freedoms, has forced the Rohingya to flee their homes in search of viable conditions. Therefore, between 1978 and 1992, some 200,000 Rohingya fled to save themselves from the tyranny of the Burmese army. Most fled to Bangladesh, where they remain as refugees. Life in Bangladesh proved not much improved since Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world in which prevailing discrimination against ethnic minorities. Like Rohingya living in Burma, so the Rohingya refugees are restricted to traffic, often are exploited and their main resources are greatly limited. Also Rohingya women have often been victims of sexual violence in refugee camps. The hostility in Bangladesh has led epmenos Rohingya to seek refuge in other countries, such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, where they met but similar treatment. Continue reading

Los Angeles: FBI Sting Lawsuit Blocked by “State Secrets” Doctrine

Behind this plaque are the “state secrets” of Islamophobic and racially profiled sting operations–endorsed as unchallengable and unquestionable by the courts

It was like a James O’Keefe hidden camera operation gone wrong: In 2006, despite no evidence of wrongdoing, the FBI sent informant Craig Monteilh to spy on a California mosque, only to have Ahmadullah Sais Niazi, the guy Monteilh was trying to convince to launch a fake terrorist operation, report the informant to the authorities. (Naturally, in 2009 the FBI then unsuccessfully tried to prosecute Niazi anyway).

The Monteilh-Niazi incident was part of “Operation Flex,” an FBI counterterrorism program that involved surveillance of the Muslim community in Southern California. Three local Muslims, Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, Ali Uddin Malik, and Yasser AbdelRahim, sued the FBI in February 2011 arguing that the FBI violated their constitutional rights. The Obama administration responded by invoking the state secrets doctrine, which often serves as a sort of get-out-of-court-free card for the government, and asking Judge Cormac J. Carney to dismiss the case because it would force disclosure of materials that could jeopardize national security. Carney did just that on Wednesday, accepting the government’s argument that the case would endanger state secrets. In doing so, Carney dismissed the plaintiffs’ argument that embracing the state secrets doctrine in the Monteilh case would lead to a state of affairs where “any practice, no matter how abusive, may be immunized from legal challenge by being labeled as ‘counterterrorism’ and ‘state secrets.'”

“Such a claim assumes that courts simply rubber stamp the Executive’s assertion of the state secrets privilege. That is not the case here,” Carney wrote. “The Court has engaged in rigorous judicial scrutiny of the Government’s assertion of privilege and thoroughly reviewed the public and classified filings with a skeptical eye.”

The case involves two key elements of the Obama administration’s approach to national security: The use of FBI informants and fake terror plots and the aggressive use of the state secrets doctrine to keep its counterterrorism operations secret. As Trevor Aaronson reported in his award-winning story for the September/October 2011 issue of Mother Jones, “With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.” Continue reading

Greece: Police in new clashes at steel plant

July 23, 2012
Riot police clashed with protesting steel workers outside a factory near Athens on Monday, in a labor dispute that has triggered a political spat in the crisis-hit country.

Police said they used pepper spray and scuffled with protesters, when about 150 demonstrators challenged a cordon west of the capital. No arrests were reported.

On Friday, police ended a strike at the private steel plant that had lasted nearly nine months, clashing with protesters on a picket line, after a court declared the strike illegal.

Left wing opposition parties are backing the steelworkers’ demands, accusing the new conservative-led government of acting like “gangsters.” Continue reading

The US hand in which Egyptian glove? — Military, or Muslim Brotherhood, or both?

[When the people rose up against the Mubarak compradarchy, some said the US-Mubarak relationship would not be broken.  But soon, the US imperial hegemonists decided to unhinge their prospects from Mubarak, and focus efforts on sidelining the popular revolt by encouraging the Egyptian military to declare “support” for the uprising.  Some said the US now had the new, effective puppet relationship with the military, to further stem popular revolt and prevent Muslim Brotherhood seizure of the the process.  But ongoing struggle discredited the military, and the Muslim Brotherhood took advantage and jockeyed for position, and power.  The Obama administration then maneuvered toward rebranding the Muslim Brotherhood “democratic” and finding suitable enticements for the hegemonist’s new Egyptian alliance–and overtly took sides with MB primacy over the military. Yet the people, whose historic Tahrir Square revolt unhinged all the old imperial arrangements, are not satisfied with any of this shell game in the halls of power.  Democratic pretense only works on the gullible, and the people have learned far too much to be taken in.  The wheels will continue to revolve. — Frontlines ed.]

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Egypt: US for Strong Mursi Presidency

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, BBC, 16 July 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged the new President to fully assert his authority.

The new Egyptian leader, Mohamed Mursi on Sunday July 15, received a much-needed backing in his standoff with the country’s military when the visiting United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton urged him to assert the full authority of his office.

Clinton on the other hand told the country’s military officers to return to what she described as a purely national security role, after they stepped aside last month, promising to retain wide-ranging legislative and political powers.

Shortly after meeting with the US official for about an hour, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi in a rare public rebuke apparently directed at the powerful Moslem Brotherhood to which Mursi belongs, declared that the Armed Forces would not allow people he described as pushed from outside to dominate the country. Al Jazeera Television reported that Tantawi’s comments that were delivered to reporters after a military ceremony in the city of Ismailia, sounded a discordant note after Clinton’s urgings.

Clinton’s discussions with President Mursi on Saturday July 14 focused on the domestic political deadlock and economic development. She pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief, private investment and job creation funds – money the US administration had earlier promised. Clinton said her country’s shared strategic interests far outnumbered differences with Egypt. At a joint news conference with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohammed Amr, the US Secretary of State said her visit to Cairo was to re-affirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and their democratic transition.

However, on Saturday evening, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Clinton’s Cairo hotel, chanting anti-Islamist and anti-US slogans in protest at her visit. Another protest outside the US Embassy was organised by Coptic Christian youth activists who chanted that Americans and the Moslem Brotherhood could not be trusted, the BBC said.

The Government of Violence : A Massacre In Dandakaranya

By Kamal K.M, Countercurrents.org, 16 July, 2012

‘Dandakaranya’ is a stretch of forest in India that runs through the states of Chattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra , and Andhra Pradesh. Roughly translated in Sanskrit, the word means `Jungle of Punishment’.

When you enter the village of Kottaguda , located in Bijapur district of Chattisgarh, the first impression is one of serenity. The vestiges of the Salwa Judum pillage from a few years ago still remain as a burnt scar. The houses have stood starkly against these acts of aggression.

We couldn’t see any trace of massacre from ten days ago.

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We were a group of thirty people from different parts of India , people of different professions and academic backgrounds. There were some people in the group who had been to similar kind of fact finding report missions, like Advocate Tharakam, Prasanth Haldar, V.S Krishna, Advocate Raghunath, C Chandrasekhar, R Shiva Shankar, and Ashish Gupta. Some of them were official members of different human rights organizations under the umbrella of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO). We – advocates, teachers, government employees, students, former trade union activists and media professionals – were united by a single objective – to unearth the truth about what had actually happened on the night of June 28 th .

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When we entered the village there was a solemn air about it. The only humans we saw there were some heavily armed paramilitary forces inside the bushes – they might have been from CoBRA force or CRPF.

The men in arms averted our gaze. They couldn’t meet our eye with the shadow of the dastardly act of a few days ago looming large over them.

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8pm on the evening of 28 th June, Kottaguda village in Bijpapur District, Chattisgarh.

There was a meeting being held to discuss the upcoming seed festival – Beeja Pondum. It was a wet monsoon night. Some people from other villages, like Sarkeguda and Rajpenta, were also attending the meeting. A few children loitered around playfully. At 10pm , the CoBRA force and CRPF cordoned off the villages and started firing indiscriminately and without any warning.

The first attack came from the west, and instantly killed three adivasis. This was quickly followed by firing from three other directions. Terrified villagers started running – some tried to take shelter, some ran towards their respective villages. Yet, the bullets continued to spray for another 30 minutes. Then, as if to survey the dead, the CRPF forces fired two flare guns that lit up the area. They languidly ambled through the scene and collected the dead bodies that remained.

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The national Media duly reported the incident following the government version. But by the next morning it slowly emerged that those killed were actually villagers. It was infact a massacre. It was clear that the victims were tribal villagers, who were randomly killed. Some news papers and tv channels corrected their mistake and reported the truth. Some still have not corrected their mistake. Continue reading

Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood and the Military: A New Deal?

Jul 05 2012 by Salma Shukrallah, http://www.jadaliyya.com

The Egyptian Republican Guard was responsible for president-elect Mohamed Mursi’s safety during his speech in Tahrir Square. Image originally posted to Flickr by Johnathan Rashad

Speculation is rife that the Muslim Brotherhood are again reaching a deal with the ruling military council after weeks of what seemed to be escalating tensions between the two. The long awaited government Morsi is expected to appoint soon may reveal what the two parties will finally agree upon.

While sources at the office of President Mohamed Morsi have revealed that Egypt’s newly-inaugurated head of state has not yet contacted anyone specific for the post of prime minister, analysts hint ongoing negotiations may be the source of this delay.

“There’s broad consensus between the Brotherhood and military leaders on the need to accommodate the military’s longstanding political and economic interests,” political analyst Hesham Sallam told Ahram Online.

“But the devil’s in the details; I don’t think the two sides have reached agreement on specifics,” Sallam added. “Control over cabinet appointments is probably one source of these disagreements.”

On 30 June, Morsi was sworn into office before Egypt’s High Constitutional Court (HCC), bringing an end to an ongoing conflict with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

The Brotherhood had earlier rejected a constitutional addendum giving the SCAF legislative powers at the expense of Egypt’s dissolved parliament and keeping the Armed Forces independent of the president. Morsi’s oath before the HCC, however, appeared to signal a retreat from the Brotherhood’s stated position. Continue reading