New York: Police training the troops to viciously attack and deny the humanity of Muslims

[The growing police state apparatus in the US trains the police forces to attack targeted communities aggressively, with no reluctance or remorse.  This article details how such training is being done in New York and elsewhere, with malevolent slanders against Muslims.  Since this exposure came to light, the police commanders and politicians like Mayor Bloomberg have tried to deny–and when that didn’t work, to distance themselves from, and denounce–this practice.  In this way, the officials reveal that they understand that the claims of “American democracy” and of a “post-racial America” “free of racial profiling” are empty claims, with no relation to reality.  — Frontlines ed.]
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January 23, 2012

Training film uses invented charges, such as this picture falsely depecting a "desired" White House under Islamic flag, to inflame police against Muslims

In Police Training, a Dark Film on U.S. Muslims

By MICHAEL POWELL, New York Times

Ominous music plays as images appear on the screen: Muslim terrorists shoot Christians in the head, car bombs explode, executed children lie covered by sheets and a doctored photograph shows an Islamic flag flying over the White House.

“This is the true agenda of much of Islam in America,” a narrator intones. “A strategy to infiltrate and dominate America. … This is the war you don’t know about.”

This is the feature-length film titled “The Third Jihad,” paid for by a nonprofit group, which was shown to more than a thousand officers as part of training in the New York Police Department.

In January 2011, when news broke that the department had used the film in training, a top police official denied it, then said it had been mistakenly screened “a couple of times” for a few officers.

A year later, police documents obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Law reveal a different reality: “The Third Jihad,” which includes an interview with Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was shown, according to internal police reports, “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training.

During that time, at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers, saw the film.

News that police trainers showed this film so extensively comes as the department wrestles with its relationship with the city’s large Muslim community. The Police Department offers no apology for aggressively spying on Muslim groups and says it has ferreted out terror plots. Continue reading

10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free

[From the start of European settler colonialism in the Americas, with the forced removal and genocide of the native indigenous and the harnessing of enslaved African labor, vast sections of people in the US have never lived in “a land of the free.”  And for many descendents of the settlers, freedom has not been all it has been cracked up to be–and today, it is crumbling, and in its wake, the illusions of freedom are crumbling as well.  The economic crisis hitting jobs, housing, health, and education–and the growth of the police state, the intensifying suppression of targeted communities, and suspension of basic liberties to ensure the unrestricted march to war, wave upon wave–have all brought us to a critical point.  Even the proponents of “American moral and political superiority” find themselves choking on these hollow words.

When the truth is found to be lies…..all the joy within you dies” – the Jefferson Airplane.  “Cast away illusions, prepare for struggle.” – Mao Zedong.   It has now come to the point that these features are even described in this article from the Washington Post.  The description is chilling; the analysis is not ours, but that of the author. — Frontlines ed.]

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By Jonathan Turley, Published in The Washington Post, January 13, 2012

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country. Continue reading