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25 September 2010

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Bart

This event sounds like it's made to order for the use of such phrases as "Chilling effect" and "Slippery slope".

Jake

Sorry Colonel...

When it comes to terrorism I do not trust the FBI. They are out of their league. They however are still the best "gum shoe" cops on the street when it comes to murder, bank robbery, etc... But counterintelligence and terrorism? I have no confidence in them.

As far as DoJ is concerned... These guys really worry me....

Jackie

Well, I certainly hope the FBI never finds out about the antiwar posters in the trunk of my car. I've been carting them around since 2002-03. I made then so the targeted country names could be changed.

This all feels so Richard Nixon-ish.

Has the FBI jumped into the paranoia business?

ex-PFC Chuck
I do not have an equally high opinion of the Department of Justice's prosecutors. pl

As if on cue, a Scott Horton/Harpers link that just came across on my RSS ticker feed and, in turn, a link from inside of that piece.

http://harpers.org/archive/2010/09/hbc-90007650

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/2010-09-22-federal-prosecutors-reform_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

CK

I bet there might even be some disparagement of Israel discovered. The raids do follow immediately upon the heels of the President's condemnation of any words, thoughts, blog posts, dreams that are unstinting in the support of "that plucky little theocracy."

The Twisted Genius

I don't like it. I'm sure the warrants and searches were done up all nice and legal. However, all this pervasive surveillance and aggressive search for enemies of the state is uncomfortably reminicent of Honecker's DDR. All the FBI agents I know are fine professionals, but I'm afraid the "you're either with us or against us" attitude is spreading in the Counterterrorism Division.

optimax

Just heard Weiner read a statement on the radio that "the U.S. needs to stop funding Israel and Colombia. Our tax dollars should not be used to kill people." (paraphrase)

Doubt if Colombia has enough pull to persuade the administration to raid her home, but it looks like the Col's earlier prediction that criticism of Israel could lead to charges of terrorism of U.S. citizens has already come true.

This foreign influence is oppressive.

William R. Cumming

The FBI has struggled to adapt since the May 2002 announcement by the Director that it was being reorganized from an investigative organization to an analytical one (i.e. domestic intel)! Most interested observers and knowledgeable people seem to have concluded that redirection has largel failed. I suspect that fallout from this event will not make life easy for the FBI its appointees, and 12,600 gold badge agents (out of almost 36,000 employees)! And did you notice a new authorization for GAO to review the FBI Anthrax investigation that concluded a person deceased had "done it"!roicommission to rv

dan of steele

what bothers me a lot is that most people accept this as completely normal and correct. I live in Germany right now but get US teevee via Armed Forces Network on satellite. They do try to offer a bit of everything so we can see CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox of course. I also have access to many English speaking foreign news channels such as BBC, France24, Euronews, RTV (Russia), PressTV (Iran), CCTV (China), Deutsche Welle (Germany), and Al Jazeera to name a few.

The information that is regarded as news is so incredibly different between the US based senders and the rest of the world that one sometimes wonders if there is a parallel universe. Fox is particularly outrageous in their approach but apparently only people who live outside the US notice.

"slippery slope"? we in the US are on a greased toboggan going at breakneck speed done that slope and cheering our incurious asses off.

graywolf

dan of steele:
None of those referenced media orgs. have a history of being especially objective. Their biases are pretty anti-American, though.
If Fox is outrageous, what is Al Jazeera?
Yes, there is an "alternative universe."
The good guys and the bad guys.

ked

If these are the real bad guys we must fear, this Terrorism thing isn't as bad as I was lead to believe.

Plus, it is Election AND Budget season.

zanzibar

Yes, the clarity of the black and white world of the graywolves. They will cheer as fascism marches, only to fall victim to its capriciousness. Of course, when its far too late.

Norbert N, Salamon

This type of police action reminds me what was common in Hungary before 1956 - I do not know anythiong thereafter, as I was oin Canada. The only way to stop such behavoir is by REGIME CHANGE - voluntary [East Germany] or forced France in xviii century.;/

Good luck USA, you will need it, since a corporation is not only a legal construct, but has attained unlimited human rights with respect to corrupting the GOVERNMENT.

HH

We are just a few small steps away from branding any opposition to US war making as support for terrorism. It is a bitter disappointment to find the former constitutional law professor in the White House harassing antiwar activists.

Obama now asserts that he has the power to summarily execute US citizens suspected of terrorism. The widespread silence in the face of this outrageous claim of tyranical power marks the death of our democracy.

walrus

HH:

"

We are just a few small steps away from branding any opposition to US war making as support for terrorism. It is a bitter disappointment to find the former constitutional law professor in the White House harassing antiwar activists.

Obama now asserts that he has the power to summarily execute US citizens suspected of terrorism. The widespread silence in the face of this outrageous claim of tyranical power marks the death of our democracy.
"

Don't you just love it when things go according to plan?

What did you expect? I've been warning of it since 2003, as have others.

You cannot even try to get these laws changed without being labeled "Soft On Terrorism".

Now just make an example of a few left wing bloggers as well, and your Republic is finished. This is what the concept of "Chilling Effect" is all about.

You will still have a choice of rich oligarchs to elect every few years, however they govern for their own benefit, not yours.

J

If my old friend Herb could see how his Bureau has changed (and not for the better), he'd be rolling in his grave.

John Minnerath

Where did "Obama now asserts that he has the power to summarily execute US citizens suspected of terrorism"
appear?
I agree that the GWOT has given rise to laws that seriously impact our civil rights, but where and when was this statement attributed to Obama made?

J

Colonel,

Jason Ditz's article over at Antiwar.com about the FBI took any documents containing the word 'Palestine' .

optimax

J.M.,

Obama never asserted he can assasinate American citizens in public, as far as I know. News orgainzations uncovered the administrations go ahead to assasinate an American citizen, Awlaki, who is a radiacal cleric living in Yemen.


"But the disclosure last month by news organizations that Mr. Awlaki, 39, had been added to the C.I.A. kill list shifted the terms of the legal debate in several ways. He is located far from hostilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the perpetrators of 9/11 are believed to be hiding."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/world/14awlaki.html?_r=1&src=mv

Nightsticker

Colonel Lang,

"Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes". Well, Juvenal was writing about the problem of keeping a handle on horny 2nd century housewives but the thought is commonly expanded to include "who is going to watch the secret police [e.g. the FBI] who are watching us to protect us?"
It used to be that it was the Congress and the DOJ and the Courts and the Media. [I beg your correspondents not to indulge themselves by writing in to list the historic occasions wherein this oversight was imperfect.]
But most importantly it came from a genuine respect for the Constitution and the rule of law hard wired into the FBI culture. We were "officers of the court" as well as Special Agents on the criminal side or Case Officers on the CI/CT side.
I am concerned that many more than half of the Bu is now made up of people who came in during the last 10 years and acculterated in an environment wherein "national security letters" [in lieu of search warrants] and "enhanced interrogation" and "drone attacks on american citizens abroad" were topics that "reasonable men" debated rather than abbhorred.
Thucydides in his history of the Peloponesian War had a line something to the effect that"things were commonplace later in the war that would have been unthinkable at the beginning". I think we are starting to experience that. It is part of the "blowback".

Nightsticker
USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Patrick Lang

Nightsticker

I am unhappy with the attitudes which I have seen recently in the federal courts and the DoJ and FBI people associated with various cases. pl

Fred

Osama bin Laden achieved a victory beyond his wildest dreams when we proceded to defeat ourselves in pursuit of 'prefect' security.

The Twisted Genius

Nightsticker, your observation is spot on. The "genuine respect for the Constitution and the rule of law" you speak of is weakening in many government agencies beyond the FBI. I remember when just the thought of possibly collecting on U.S. persons was enough to send any NSAer into convulsions. It was simply unthinkable. I don't think that deeply held conviction is as strong as it once was up at the Fort. I see this coarsening of attitudes throughout the IC.

Check out this post by Jon Robb on Global Guerillas. I think it speaks to the same problem from a different direction.

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2010/09/journal-notes-from-underground.html#comments

zanzibar

Nightsticker

Right on!

Its only a matter of time when this attitude leads to serious political abuse. Much, much worse than what we are seeing today which would have been unacceptable to my parents generation.

We are on an untenable financial course. As the palatable options dwindle abuse of constitutional liberties are a given. Our children will unfortunately live in an environment that our forefathers abhorred!

Twit

John Minnerath and Optimax:

The Obama administration has indeed asserted both the right to kill Americans overseas without due process, and also that Americans should be prevented from challenging in court the legality of such a decision.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/20/the_lwot_us_asserts_right_to_target_americans_shahzad_appears_in_court

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/09/25/secrecy

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