Civil liberties thread

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O Really
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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I think the term "military justice" is an oxymoron. But I think the reason it's a separate code is that just by nature of the job, military people don't have the same life, rights, or conditions as the rest of the civilian population.

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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neoplacebo wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:24 pm
I'm no expert on the exact organizational arrangement but I think what I posted is correct; UCMJ is the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a totally separate legal system that members of the military are subject to; regular Constitutional rights are not recognized under this system.
Pretty sure the UCMJ would never apply to a civilian NSA employee, let alone a contractor like Snowden. That said, I'm also pretty sure that a public interest defense is not rooted in the Constitution, but is rather a legislative choice that has been excluded from Espionage Act trials according to O Really.
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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Vrede too wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:47 pm
neoplacebo wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:24 pm
I'm no expert on the exact organizational arrangement but I think what I posted is correct; UCMJ is the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a totally separate legal system that members of the military are subject to; regular Constitutional rights are not recognized under this system.
Pretty sure the UCMJ would never apply to a civilian NSA employee, let alone a contractor like Snowden. That said, I'm also pretty sure that a public interest defense is not rooted in the Constitution, but is rather a legislative choice that has been excluded from Espionage Act trials according to O Really.
I don't know either; but as far as I know the Alien and Sedition Act (1917) is still a federal law; it was enacted to prevent folks from being opposed to the US getting involved in WWI back when there was a considerable Socialist and Communist bloc in the US. I think only a handful of folks have ever been charged under it. Probably because it's unconstitutional (in my opinion).

Opps; just checked; the law was repealed in 1920

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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Even if public interest was a legal defence here, I think he'd have a hard time with it. It would take some really excellent jury selection.

"A 2018 Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 14% of Likely U.S. Voters today think Snowden is a hero for leaking information about the National Security Agency’s phone and e-mail surveillance programs, while another 29% think he’s a traitor who endangered lives and national security. Nearly half of voters (48%) think he falls somewhere in between the two. This shows little change from 2016."

He should, IMNVHO, just let it be. Accept that the consequences of his actions are that he's going to be a Russian or whatever, and at least he's not in jail.

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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O Really wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:14 pm
Even if public interest was a legal defence here, I think he'd have a hard time with it....
He seems to know that:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/17/politics ... air-trial/
"... if I'm going to spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom-line demand that we all have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that's the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won't provide access to what's called a public interest defense."
It sounds like he would be willing to accept the consequences if allowed to actually defend himself, a right we all take for granted. Assuming that he's telling the truth, this is consistent with the principles of civil disobedience - do the crime, take responsibility, IF government plays fair. Otherwise, be a revolutionary and screw civil disobedience.
"A 2018 Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 14% of Likely U.S. Voters today think Snowden is a hero for leaking information about the National Security Agency’s phone and e-mail surveillance programs, while another 29% think he’s a traitor who endangered lives and national security. Nearly half of voters (48%) think he falls somewhere in between the two. This shows little change from 2016."
Most alleged criminals would love those odds: 1-2 jurors that think there was no crime, 6 jurors that think maybe there was no crime. No wonder the government would limit his defense, IF he was allowed to live long enough to present it.

I would lie through my teeth to get on his jury.
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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An attorney forced out of the CIA's watchdog office is representing the Trump whistleblower

It must be professionally if not also personally terrifying to have the POSPOTUS publicly label your whistleblowing "fake news".

This is why whistleblowers like Edward Snowden give up on blowing the whistle through "proper" channels. Not just my view, it's also according to US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who argued at the time that it's what Snowden should have done.

Comments:
Book publishers and lawyers are making a fortune off of this administration.
"The complaint deals with President Trump’s communications with a foreign official, a concern the Inspector General Michael Atkinson flagged as “credible” and “urgent.”
-Interesting: Where are all the Trumpcult folks clamoring for THIS "IG" report?
So somebody at the DOJ made the decision not to forward the complaint to Congress as required by the Constitution? Who did that? Was it William Barr. It almost had to be.
"President Barack Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 19,"

Trump is probably wishing he knew about that 2 1/2 years ago so he could write an EO to undo it
Lawlessness. Plain and simple.
LOCK THEM UP!!!!
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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"When you can make people believe absurdities, you can make them commit atrocities."
-- Voltaire

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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There aren't many live martyrs.

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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Page 9:
Vrede too wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:10 pm
O Really wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:25 pm
"Edward Snowden says he would like to return to the US if he is guaranteed a fair trial"

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/17/politics ... air-trial/ ...
...
"... if I'm going to spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom-line demand that we all have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial. And that's the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won't provide access to what's called a public interest defense."
Nothing ambiguous there.

That's not a guarantee that this defense will prevail, he just wants the ability to present it and understands that he'll likely still lose. Of course, the government can't tolerate even the possibility that its unconstitutional spying will be proven to be contrary to the public interest.

I'm familiar with this situation. Antinuclear, tree hugger and peace activists are routinely denied the ability to present what's also called a 'preventing a greater harm defense'. When a free speech supporting judge does allow such a defense, we often win acquittal....
Government Moves To Block Alleged Drone Whistleblower’s Defense In Espionage Act Case

The United States government has moved to block Daniel Hale, a former U.S. Air Force language analyst, from presenting any evidence that he had “good motives” when he allegedly disclosed documents to a reporter that exposed a targeted assassination program involving armed drones.

Yet, while the U.S. government hopes to ensure Hale cannot put on a whistleblower defense during his trial, Hale’s defense attorneys have directly challenged the constitutionality of the Espionage Act, arguing [PDF] it violates the First Amendment. They also assert that the government is selectively and vindictively prosecuting Hale for his alleged act of dissent.
Juries should decide what's in the public interest and who the Espionage Act should apply to.


Revealed: how the FBI targeted environmental activists in domestic terror investigations

I might know some of the targets of these investigations, and could certainly have been a target of earlier ones since I was doing the exact same nonviolent direct action.
"When you can make people believe absurdities, you can make them commit atrocities."
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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A story on the local news tonight made me go :wtf: . The city here has installed foot long pieces of 2 x 4 boards in the middle of city park benches which are prevalent downtown and around the library and a few other places. The 2 x 4's are about a foot long and are cut at 45 degree angles on the ends with the long side fastened to the bench; they are placed in the middle of the benches to prevent anyone from lying down on the bench in an effort to "address" the homeless problem here. A picture of one was shown with the news story but it wasn't evident how they were attached to the bench. It sort of made me want to buy a bunch of hammers or wrenches to put near the benches. This just struck me as some kind of spiteful trump type shit. If I knew where the mayor lived I considered putting one of these devices on each of the tires on his car with gorilla glue. Might jar some sense into him.

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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California bans private prisons and immigrant detention centers...

Of course, prisoners in Pelican Bay, San Quentin, etc. might prefer the private run places.

https://www.latimes.com/california/stor ... facilities

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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O Really wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:53 pm
California bans private prisons and immigrant detention centers...
:clap: :---P
Of course, prisoners in Pelican Bay, San Quentin, etc. might prefer the private run places.

https://www.latimes.com/california/stor ... facilities
Could be, they're pretty bad. Lompoc's okay, or so I hear. However, I've yet to see anyone that says that private prisons and immigrant detention centers are better.
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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I think prisons should be a part of government's responsibility, and not farmed out to for-profit organizations. But I'm not really convinced that private prisons are, across the board, worse in any way than state-run facilities. These people think they are...
https://www.criminaljusticeprograms.com ... c-prisons/

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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We need a Human Rights and Democracy Act for the U.S., and a PROTECT Act for American Protesters

On Wednesday, Trump signed two bills meant to support the protest movement in Hong Kong. Would that domestic protest movements got a fraction of the love Capitol Hill and the White House are showering on those in Hong Kong.

Politicians love the ideals of the First Amendment when someone else is the target of protests. When they or their cronies are in the crosshairs? Not so much. They love human rights, unless they get in the way of the CIA.

Both bills sailed through Congress with only one nay vote. The Senate version of the PROTECT Act faced no opposition. S.2710, prohibits the export of tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, foam rounds, bean bag rounds, pepper balls, water cannons, handcuffs, shackles, stun guns, and tasers to Hong Kong Police.

The Human Rights and Democracy Act (S.1838), sponored by Senator Rubio (R-FL) includes a requirement that the president submit to Congress a “list of individuals responsible for committing acts that violate internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong, including the extrajudicial rendition or torture of any person in Hong Kong. The bill bars such individuals from entering the United States and imposes sanctions on them.” The lone holdout against the bill was Rep. Massie (R-KY).

Note that no one in the United States has been held accountable for the CIA’s extraordinary rendition and torture programs, and indeed, Gina Haspel is now the head of the CIA despite her record of participation in torture.

Protesters in the United States are regularly subjected to exactly the same weapons that Hong Kong police have used against protesters there. From the pepper spray assault on passive seated student protesters at UC Davis, to the use of rubber bullets and teargas in Ferguson, to water cannons and rubber bullets fired at Standing Rock Water Protectors, police in the U.S. have met peaceful protesters with violence.

In fact, police in the U.S. have access to military grade gear which they have unabashedly used to confront unarmed protesters. In Pittsburgh, and New York, protesters were deafened by Long Range Acoustic Devices, and armoured military vehicles greeted protesters in Ferguson, Standing Rock, and other sites. The weapons are surplus military, usually provided through the 1033 program. Since its inception, “more than $6,800,000,000 worth of weapons and equipment have been transferred to police organizations in all 50 States and four territories through the program.

A good first step to showing U.S. protest movements the same respect shown to Hong Kong would be to pass the H.R.1714, Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, which imposes transparency and limits on the program. For example, local police would no longer be allowed to receive free “bayonets, grenade launchers, grenades (including stun and flash-bang) and explosives” from the military.
"When you can make people believe absurdities, you can make them commit atrocities."
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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American Civil Liberties Union

Formation: January 19, 1920; 100 years ago!

:-||
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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Interesting that the proportions are virtually identical. How often do you see that?
If passed by the Senate, advocacy group Free Press warned, legislation would "reauthorize abusive government surveillance powers."

"The bill would reauthorize Section 215 powers Congress established under the USA Patriot Act in 2001," Free Press noted. "Section 215 is the provision national security agencies cited in the past to support their unwarranted collection of phone records of hundreds of millions of people in the United States."

"Opposition to this legislation is gaining momentum as the bill moves to the Senate," said Fulton. "It's unthinkable that anyone there would seek to grant an extension of these spying powers to the same agencies that have so often sidestepped safeguards and ignored Americans’ fundamental privacy rights."

The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that in addition to raising alarm about the bill's reauthorization of PATRIOT Act provisions, some are concerned that the measure could hand Barr more power to investigate President Donald Trump's political rivals.

"Congress has the chance to require independent, nonpartisan oversight of the FISA process, as proposed in multiple bipartisan bills," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told The Daily Beast. "Instead, House leaders seem intent on putting into law that FISA surveillance of politicians and candidates will be directly under the control of Attorney General Barr."

"Donald Trump has made it clear that he expects Bill Barr to politicize DOJ investigations on his behalf," Wyden added. "The solution to the concerns raised by the inspector general is not to codify the politicization of surveillance, especially in lieu of actual reforms."
:x :thumbdown:
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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"When you can make people believe absurdities, you can make them commit atrocities."
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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If allowed to stand this is a rotten precedent.
5 Seattle media outlets have to hand over their unpublished photos from a George Floyd protest to help police investigate suspected crimes, judge rules

Media outlets in Seattle have been ordered to hand over unpublished photos and videos from a May 30 protest to aid police in their investigation into suspected crimes, according to multiple reports.

King County Superior Court Judge Nelson Lee ruled on Thursday that a police subpoena for the materials was enforceable, The Seattle Times reported.

News outlets opposed the subpoena, arguing that it would compromise their independence and would endanger their employees.

News organizations in Washington state are usually protected by a shield law that, in most cases, prevents them from having to hand over documents to law enforcement, according to The Associated Press (AP).

However, Judge Lee said that the materials police sought were critical for their investigation into the alleged theft of police guns and suspected arson to police vehicles, thus removing the protections of the shield law, the paper reported....

Seattle Times Executive Editor Michele Matassa Flores told the court that she believes "it puts our independence, and even our staff's physical safety, at risk," the paper reported.

"The media exist in large part to hold governments, including law enforcement agencies, accountable to the public," said Matassa Flores.

"We don't work in concert with government, and it's important to our credibility and effectiveness to retain our independence from those we cover." ...
"When you can make people believe absurdities, you can make them commit atrocities."
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neoplacebo
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Re: Civil liberties thread

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Ah, the digital equivalent of "papers, please." The trump cult gushes in awe. The hanging judge sits back and grins.

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Re: Civil liberties thread

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Notice that all the cities Trump is sending his gestapo to are not only generally Democratic, but are also on the edges of the country, within the 100 mile limit where border patrol storm troopers have some ummm "flexibility" in little irritants like 4th Amendment rights.
https://www.aclu.org/other/constitution ... order-zone

They don't actually have free rein, as Trump probably believes, but they do have some scary privileges. But except to the people who get roughed up and frightened during the show, it's just an action film photo shoot for Trump's pretend "law and order" initiative.

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