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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

Victory! Individuals Can Force Government to Purge Records of Their First Amendment Activity | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Posted by M. C. on September 16, 2019

The FIB will do what it wants.

It knows about keeping a second set of books.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/09/victory-individuals-can-force-government-purge-records-their-first-amendment

By Aaron Mackey

The FBI must delete its memo documenting a journalist’s First Amendment activities, a federal appellate court ruled this week in a decision that vindicates the right to be free from government surveillance.

In Garris v. FBI, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the FBI to expunge a 2004 memo it created that documented the political expression of news website www.antiwar.com and two journalists who founded and ran it. The Ninth Circuit required the FBI to destroy the record because it violated the Privacy Act of 1974, a federal law that includes a provision prohibiting federal agencies from maintaining records on individuals that document their First Amendment activity.

EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case that called on the court to robustly enforce the Privacy Act’s protections, particularly given technological changes in the past half century that have vastly increased the power of government to gather, store, and retrieve information about the expression and associations of members of the public. For example, law enforcement can use the Internet to collect and store vast amounts of information about individuals and their First Amendment activities.

Congress passed the Privacy Act after documenting a series of surveillance abuses by the FBI and other federal agencies, including tracking civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., and spying on political enemies by President Richard Nixon. The law established rules about what types of information the government can collect and keep about people. The Act gives individuals the right to access records the government has on them and change or even delete that information.  One of the most protective provisions is a prohibition against maintaining records of First Amendment activity. Law enforcement was given a narrow exception for records that are “pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement purposes.”

As EFF’s brief argued, “The prescient fears of the Act’s authors have been proven true by forty years of technological innovation that have given the federal government unprecedented ability to capture and stockpile data about the public’s First Amendment activity.”

In reversing a trial court’s ruling that the FBI did not have to delete the 2004 memo, the Ninth Circuit reviewed the language of the statute and concluded that the FBI did not have an authorized law enforcement purpose for keeping the memo. As the court explained, the Privacy Act’s expungement provision defines “maintain” as “maintain, collect, use, or disseminate.”

The court said that because the definition is broad, Congress intended for the statute’s protections to apply to all those distinct activities. Simply put, an agency facing an expungement claim under the Privacy Act must show that the record at issue is pertinent to an authorized law enforcement activity both (1) during the initial collection of the record, and (2) during the ongoing storage of that record.

Or as the court put it: “That is, if the agency does not have a sufficient current ‘law enforcement activity’ to which the record is pertinent, the agency is in violation of the Privacy Act if it keeps the record in its files.”…

Targeted Individuals' 24/7 Nightmare: NSA Whistleblower ...

 

 

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Court: FBI Must Destroy Memos Calling Antiwar.com a Threat | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on September 13, 2019

The FIB is not our friend.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/court-fbi-must-destroy-memos-calling-antiwar-com-a-threat/

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

In a major victory for Antiwar.com, free speech and journalism, a federal appeals court has ruled that the FBI must expunge surveillance memos that agents had drafted about the website’s co-founders Eric Garris and Justin Raimondo in the early years following the 9/11 attacks.

“It’s been a long fight and I’m glad we had an outcome that could might affect future FBI behavior,” said Garris, who runs Antiwar.com, based in the San Francisco Bay area. “I just wish Justin was still here to know that this has happened.”

Raimondo, 67, passed away in June from a long bout with cancer. He and Garris had sued the FBI in 2013 demanding it turn over all the memos and records it was keeping on the two men and the website, which has been promoting anti-interventionist news and views from a libertarian-conservative perspective since 1995. (Full disclosure, this writer was a regular columnist for Antiwar.com beginning in 2009).

They won their case, and in 2017 the FBI agreed to turn over all the memos and settle their legal fees, $299,000, but the final expungement of two key memos involving intelligence gathered on the men and Antiwar.com, had yet to be expunged from the agency’s record.

As this writer pointed out after the 2013 lawsuit was launched, the years following the 9/11 attacks were particularly heady for the FBI. Thanks to the Patriot Act, the federal law enforcement agency got sweeping new powers to spy on Americans, and they used those authorities with gusto, and harassing activists and journalists—even mainstream organizations like The Associated Press—became de rigueur.

It all began when an observant reader brought a heavily redacted 2004 memo to Antiwar.com’s attention in 2011. It was part of a batch of documents the reader had obtained through FOIA requests. It was clear from the documents’ contents that the FBI had been collecting information and records on Raimondo and Garris for some time. At one point the FBI agent writing the April 30, 2004 memo on Antiwar.com recommended further monitoring of the website in the form of opening a “preliminary investigation …to determine if [redaction] are engaging in, or have engaged in, activities which constitute a threat to national security.”

Why? Because the website was questioning U.S. war policy (for those who do not remember, if you took an anti-war position anytime between September 11, 2001 and 2004 you were considered so far Left you couldn’t see straight, or you had to be a subversive, if not a traitor to your country. It is clear from the memos the agents involved were erring toward the latter in regards to Antiwar.com…

Other things noted in the documents::

— Garris had passed along a threat he received on Sept. 12, 2001 from a Antiwar.com reader obviously disgruntled with the website’s coverage of 9/11. The subject line read, “YOUR SITE IS GOING DOWN,” and proceeded with this missive: “Be warned assholes, ill be posting your site address to all the hack boards tonight … your site is history.”

Concerned, Garris forwarded the email to the FBI field office in San Francisco. Garris heard nothing, but by January 2002, it turned up again, completely twisted around, in a secret FBI memo entitled, “A THREAT BY GARRIS TO HACK FBI WEBSITE.”

It turns out this “threat” went on to justify, at least in part, the FBI’s ongoing interest in monitoring the website.

— The FBI took interest in Raimondo’s writing about a 2001 FBI investigation of five Israeli nationals who were witnessed smiling and celebrating and taking pictures of the burning Twin Towers from a rooftop perch across the river from Manhattan in Union City, New Jersey, on 9/11. After witnesses called the police, the individuals, who all worked for a local moving company, were taken into custody and grilled by FBI and CIA for two months after it was deemed their work visas had expired. They were eventually deported without charge.

Raimondo, in writing about the case in 2002, linked to an American-generated terror watchlist (which had been published elsewhere on the Internet) that went out to Italian financial institutions and included the name of the man who owned the New Jersey moving company in question.

— The FBI noted Antiwar.com was cited in an article, the name of the author redacted, about U.S aid to Israel.

— They also noted that Raimondo had appeared on MSNBC to talk about his opposition to the Iraq War.

— It also cited an article that listed Antiwar.com as a reference was handed out in 2002 at a “peaceful protest” at a British air base in the U.K.

— The FBI was watching a member of a domestic neo-Nazi group who had “discussed a website, Antiwar.com” while encouraging fellow members at a conference to “educate themselves” about the Middle East conflict.

— The agency said a special agent’s review of hard drives seized during an investigation of an unnamed subject, revealed that the subject had visited Antiwar.com between July 25, 2002 and June 15, 2003, “among many other websites.”…

Looking back, it’s hard to fathom how such tiny (Constitutionally protected) crumbs led the FBI to the conclusion that Garris and Raimondo, two dedicated activists (Raimondo was also a prolific author) with decades of time in California’s political trenches, might be a “threat to national security,” but there you are. The website, which is a non-profit and relies heavily on individual donors, lost three significant benefactors since the story broke in 2011, resulting in the lost of $75,000 a year from 2011 to 2013.

“The FBI’s surveillance has impacted our clients’ ability to maintain support for their website and has impacted their editorial choices– exactly the type of harm the First Amendment is supposed to protect against,” Julia Harumi Mass, Antiwar’s ACLU attorney at the time, told this writer in 2013.

The case decided on Wednesday revolved around two remaining memos that the FBI had so far refused to expunge. One involved the call Garris made to the FBI in 2002. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Northern California found that the government did not have a compelling law enforcement reason to keep them…

Be seeing you

I

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9/11 After 18 Years – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2019

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/09/09/9-11-after-18-years/

Paul Craig Roberts

I would appreciate hearing from readers whether they have come across a report in the print, TV, or NPR media of the highly professional four-year investigation of WTC Building 7’s demise.  The international team of civil engineers concluded that the official story of Building 7’s destruction is entirely false.  I reported their findings here: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/09/04/the-official-story-of-the-collapse-of-wtc-building-7-lies-in-ruins/

I suspect that the expert report is already in the Memory Hole.  Popular Mechanics, Wikipedia and CNN cannot label a distinguished team of experts “conspiracy theorists.”  Therefore the presstitutes and assorted cover-up artists for the 9/11 false flag attack on the United States will simply act as if no such report exists. The vast majority of people in the world will never hear about the report. I doubt that the real perpetrators of 9/11 will even bother to hire their own team to “refute” the report as that would bring the report into the news, the last place the perpetrators want it to be.

The 9/11 Commission report was not an investigation and ignored all forensic evidence. The NIST simulation of Building 7’s collapse was rigged to get the desired result.  The only real investigations have been done by private scientists, engineers, and architects.  They have found clear evidence of the use of nano-thermite in the destruction of the twin towers.  More than 100 First Responders have testified that they experienced a large number of explosions inside the towers, including a massive explosion in the sub-basement prior to the time the airliners are said to have hit the tower.  Numerous military and civilian pilots have said that the flight maneuvers involved in the WTC and Pentagon attacks are beyond their skills and most certainly beyond the skills of the alleged hijackers.  Wreckage of the airliners is surprisingly missing from impact sites.  And so on and so on. That Building 7 was a controlled demolition is no longer disputable.

On the basis of the known evidence, knowledgeable and informed people have concluded that 9/11 was an inside job organized by Vice President Dick Cheney, his stable of neoconservatives, and Israel for the purpose of reconstructing the Middle East in Israel’s interest and enriching the US military/security complex in the process.

Most people are unaware of Robert Mueller’s role as FBI Director in protecting the official 9/11 story from the evidence.  Paul Sperry reports in the New York Post the many actions Mueller took as FBI director to hide the facts from Congress and the public.  https://nypost.com/2019/09/07/robert-mueller-helped-saudi-arabia-cover-up-its-role-in-9-11-attacks-suit/?utm_source=facebook_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site+buttons&utm_campaign=site+buttons

Patrick Pasin, a French author, provides additional evidence of Mueller’s misuse of his office to protect an official lie. An English language translation of Pasin’s book, The FBI Accomplice of 9/11, has been published by Talma Studios in Dublin, Ireland.  https://www.amazon.com/FBI-Accomplice-11-Documents-ebook/dp/B07TRXKNG2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Patrick+Pasin&qid=1567967650&s=books&sr=1-1

Pasin’s book consists of his organization of the known evidence, which has been suppressed in order to perpetrate a false story of 9/11, into a compelling account of how a false flag attack was protected from exposure.  He details the plan “through which the FBI tried to prove the government conspiracy narrative—no matter the cost.”  Keep in mind that Mueller is the one that the Deep State set on President Trump.  Dirty business is Mueller’s business…

In 3 days it will be the 18th anniversary of 9/11.  What have we learned in these 18 years?  We have learned that thousands of experts with hard evidence cannot prevail over a transparent official lie.

Be seeing you

WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Store

 

 

 

 

 

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The FBI’s terrorism watch list violates the Constitution, federal judge says

Posted by M. C. on September 6, 2019

“Innocent people should be beyond the reach of the watchlist system,” Gadeir Abbas, a CAIR attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “We think that’s what the Constitution requires.”

It is a sad state of affairs when the Jihadist version of AIPAC, CAIR, succeeds in defending US rights where congress fails.

https://outline.com/aBzwXa

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that an FBI watch list of more than 1 million “known or suspected terrorists” violates the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens in the database.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia in favor of 23 Muslim Americans who sued over their inclusion in the Terrorist Screening Database found that the watch list infringes on their constitutional right to due process. Trenga noted that the list restricts their ability to fly and engage in everyday activities and backed the plaintiffs’ concerns that they were flagged secretly and without a clear methodology.

“There is no evidence, or contention, that any of these plaintiffs satisfy the definition of a ‘known terrorist,’ ” wrote Trenga, adding that even harmless conduct could result in someone being labeled as a “suspected terrorist” on the watch list.

“An individual’s placement into the [watch list] does not require any evidence that the person engaged in criminal activity, committed a crime, or will commit a crime in the future,” the judge wrote, “and individuals who have been acquitted of a terrorism-related crime may still be listed.”

The ruling could reshape the government’s process for a watch list that has long been criticized for inaccuracy and described by opponents as “a Muslim registry created in the wake of the widespread Islamophobia of the early 2000s.” Trenga ordered both the plaintiffs and defendants to submit arguments about how to fix the constitutional problems with the database, which encompasses nearly 1.2 million people, including about 4,600 U.S. citizens or residents, as of June 2017.

Trenga’s 32-page opinion was hailed as a significant win by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the civil liberties organization that filed the lawsuit in 2016…

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CAIR-HAMAS!! | Kristi Ann's Haven

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Robert Mueller and James Comey have made the FBI a threat to democracy former agent warns | Daily Mail Online

Posted by M. C. on September 5, 2019

ad nauseum…

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7423843/Robert-Mueller-James-Comey-FBI-threat-democracy-former-agent-warns.html

By Daniel Bates For Dailymail.com

  • The FBI under Robert Mueller undermined public confidence in justice while James Comey nearly destroyed it completely, a new book by an ex-agent claims
  • Mike German writes in his upcoming book that Mueller wanted to ‘remake the FBI in his own image’ with no room for dissent
  • Mueller’s FBI silenced whistle-blowers, undermined controls over its operations and created a new category of victims, German writes 
  • The attacks on 9/11 ‘justified unleashing the FBI from traditional legal and moral restraints in order to prevent the follow up attacks they predicted’
  • Upon request from the FBI under Mueller, Congress loosened the Foreign Service Intelligence (FISA) act – meaning the FBI could ‘surreptitiously father information about anyone it deemed ‘relevant’ 
  • It is likely that these looser rules would have helped Mueller during his investigations as Special Counsel and Comey when he was director of the FBI
  • Meanwhile, German claims that Comey breached a ‘cardinal rule’ of the FBI by commenting on Trump’s uncharged behavior in regards to the 2016 election 
  • Comey’s actions tipped the tightest presidential election in history and cast a cloud of illegitimacy over the Trump administration even before taking office’ 
  • German writes: ‘The FBI has systemic problems that, left unchecked, make the bureau a threat to the very democracy it is intended to serve’

The FBI under Robert Mueller undermined public confidence in justice while James Comey nearly destroyed it completely, a new book claims.

Ex-FBI agent Mike German, a 16 year veteran of law enforcement, writes the former directors of the bureau turned it into a ‘lawless law enforcer’.

In Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy, German says: ‘The FBI has systemic problems that, left unchecked, make the bureau a threat to the very democracy it is intended to serve’.

In a damning history of the FBI, German claims that Mueller, who later became the Special Counsel in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, wanted to ‘remake the FBI in his own image’ with no room for dissent.

He threw out the safeguards that were brought in by the Church Committee in 1975 and brought about a ‘new era of abuse’ against citizens.

Mueller’s FBI has silenced whistle-blowers and created many ‘victims of the FBI’ says German, who became an adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after retiring and has written papers attacking the bureau.

Comey went further and ‘dispensed with the illusion the bureau was impartial and apolitical’ when he made his public comments about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016.

German claims that Comey breached a ‘cardinal rule’ of the FBI by commenting on a subject’s uncharged behavior and his comments cast a ‘cloud of illegitimacy’ over Trump’s presidency before he even took office…

‘The stain of the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover-era abuses should have served as a strong warning that public trust can be lost more easily than it can be recovered’.

German also states his belief that the FBI should have more vigorously pursued bank executives behind the 2008 financial crash.

In some of his most damning comments in the book, German writes that by targeting protesters and minorities and not white nationalists, the FBI contributed to a ‘societal breach’.

German writes: ‘I believe that the FBI has contributed to a breakdown of public trust in government institutions… the FBI widened the divide between us and them – the protected versus the suspected.

‘When members of the public internalized that government institutions would not protect their rights and privileges, they had to decide which side they were on’.

Be seeing you

hoover

Yes son, you too can grow up to be lying scum and hate black people.

 

 

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Forget the Russians: It’s the Federal Reserve Seeking to Meddle in Our Elections

Posted by M. C. on September 3, 2019

Fed President Bill Dudley. Dudley wrote that, “Trump’s re-election arguably presents a threat to the United States’ and global economy, and if the goal of monetary policy is to achieve the best long-term economic outcome, the Fed’s officials should consider how their decisions would affect the political outcome of 2020.”

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/september/02/forget-the-russians-it-s-the-federal-reserve-seeking-to-meddle-in-our-elections/

Written by Ron Paul

The US Constitution never granted the federal government authority to create a central bank. The Founders, having lived through hyperinflation themselves, understood that government should never have a printing press at its disposal. But from the very beginning of America’s founding, the desire for a crony central bank was strong.
In fact, two attempts were made at creating a permanent central bank in America prior to the creation of the Fed. Fortunately, the charter for The First Bank was allowed to expire in 1811, and President Andrew Jackson closed down the Second Bank in 1833.

But, unfortunately, a third attempt was successful and the Federal Reserve was unconstitutionally created by Congress in 1913. Americans have been living under a corrupt and immoral monetary system ever since. The Federal Reserve is the printing press that has financed the creation of the largest government to ever exist. Endless welfare and endless military spending are both made possible by the Federal Reserve. The Fed can just print the money for whatever the US establishment wants, so those of us who long for a Constitutional and limited government have few tools at our disposal.

Despite all the propaganda claiming “independence,” the Fed has always been a deeply political institution. Because the Fed is a government-created monopoly with key government-appointed employees, its so-called “independence” is a mere fiction. However, the US Congress created the Fed with legislation; it can also abolish the Fed with legislation.

Last week, the facade of Federal Reserve “independence” was dealt a severe blow. Ironically, the person who broadcast to the world that the Fed is anything but “independent” was ex-New York Fed President Bill Dudley. Dudley wrote that, “Trump’s re-election arguably presents a threat to the United States’ and global economy, and if the goal of monetary policy is to achieve the best long-term economic outcome, the Fed’s officials should consider how their decisions would affect the political outcome of 2020.”

The timing of Dudley’s threats to use Fed monetary policy to affect the outcome of a US election couldn’t come at a more striking time. After all, for more than two solid years Americans have been bombarded with fabricated stories about Russians rigging our elections. And yet here is a Federal Reserve official threatening to do the same exact thing – but this time for real!

Whether it’s the mainstream media, the CIA, the FBI, or now the Federal Reserve, more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that there is a Deep State in America and its interests have nothing to do with American liberty. In fact, our liberty is what the Deep State wants to abolish.

When it comes to the Federal Reserve, I stand firmly by my conviction that it needs to be audited and then ended as soon as possible.

America’s Founders were not perfect. They were human beings just as capable of error as we are. But they had a remarkable understanding of the ideas of liberty. They understood that liberty cannot exist with a government that has access to a printing press. Sound money and liberty go hand-in-hand. If we want to enjoy the blessings of Liberty, we must audit and then end the Federal Reserve!

Be seeing you

 

That close

I lowered the interest rate by this much…

 

 

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“Red Flag” Gun Confiscation Laws Are Even Worse Than You Think – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 30, 2019

Plus, the FBI has just recently stated that if you believe in “conspiracy theories,” you are a “domestic terrorist threat.” That statement is from an FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office, dated May 30, 2019. That FBI designation alone could very easily precipitate a “red flag” gun confiscation order being rendered against you.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/chuck-baldwin/red-flag-gun-confiscation-laws-are-even-worse-than-you-think/

By

Chuck Baldwin Live

As I said in this column last week, Republicans Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio are joining forces with liberal Democrats to soon enact “red flag” gun confiscation laws. I also reported on the push for the enactment of other gun control measures such as universal background checks being promoted on Capitol Hill and by the White House here.

Yes, Donald Trump is calling for “red flag” gun confiscation laws and universal background checks. Trump said, “I have an appetite for background checks. We’re going to be doing background checks. We’re going to be filling in . . . the loopholes.”

I urge readers to watch my 8-minute video exposing Donald Trump’s betrayal of his promise to protect the 2nd Amendment and share it with as many of your friends as you can. If we don’t convince our U.S. senators to reject these egregious gun control measures, THEY WILL BE PASSED, AND TRUMP WILL SIGN THEM INTO LAW. We have about two or three weeks to convince our senators to reject these new gun control laws. That’s it.

Please watch the video and share it with everyone you can.

If law-abiding gun owners don’t call their U.S. senators en masse, and I mean posthaste, you are very likely to wake up one morning around 4am to the sound of a SWAT team breaking down your door to confiscate your guns, prepared to kill you or any member of your family who resists. Why? Perhaps because a gun-hating neighbor hates you having guns or a relative doesn’t like you and is looking for any way to “teach you a lesson” or your ex-spouse is looking for any way to “get even” with you or an anti-gun cop with a grudge wants to send a political message or a family doctor or school teacher overheard one of your children talk about how many guns daddy has and became alarmed, etc., ad infinitum.

Plus, the FBI has just recently stated that if you believe in “conspiracy theories,” you are a “domestic terrorist threat.” That statement is from an FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office, dated May 30, 2019. That FBI designation alone could very easily precipitate a “red flag” gun confiscation order being rendered against you.

And Donald Trump himself recently demonstrated how dangerous “red flag” laws are. In a tweet on August 13, President Trump said,

Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!

Are you paying attention? Donald Trump was threatening to use a “red flag” law to authorize police agencies to take away an American citizen’s Natural God-given right of self-defense simply because Trump didn’t like what the citizen said—about him.

Folks, don’t you see? Those in authority can use “red flag” gun confiscation laws against ANYONE they want and for ANY REASON they want.

In other words, there doesn’t have to be a reason. Under “red flag” laws, all it takes for police to come and seize your guns is for someone to make a “red flag” accusation against you. That’s it. And, yes, it really IS that easy.

“Red flag” laws not only eviscerate the 2nd Amendment, but the 1st Amendment, 4th Amendment, 5th Amendment, 6th Amendment, 7th Amendment and 8th Amendment.

The enforcement of “red flag” laws is actually much worse than you think, so says Donald Kilmer, an attorney who has litigated and defended against many state and federal gun charges.

Everyone is debating “red flag” laws like they’re some new thing, but California has had variations of them for decades. We call them domestic violence restraining orders, civil harassment restraining orders, workplace restraining orders, elder abuse restraining orders, mental health seizures and prohibition orders, and, more recently, gun violence restraining orders.

They’re all meant to disarm dangerous people — but they’re all fundamentally flawed.

None of these red flag laws would have prevented recent mass shootings. And in my 23 years practicing law in the heart of Silicon Valley, I have litigated dozens of these cases. I’ve seen firsthand the practical enforcement problems that emerge in real-life cases.

These kinds of court orders are usually obtained from a judge ex parte. That’s fancy Latin for: The judge only hears one side of the story, it is not your side, and you may not even know about it until after the fact. Then they immediately strip you of fundamental constitutional rights for the duration of the orders. You’ll get your “full due process” hearing, but not until later.

And any violation of these orders is separately punishable as a crime. So even if you are innocent of the underlying conduct that inspired the “red flag” order, if you violate the order pending your hearing, you can still face criminal charges.

That kind of situation is ripe for danger. In one situation in Baltimore, police ended up shooting [and killing] a man when they came to collect his guns under a “red flag” law.

In one case in Southern California, a client had to pay a $1,000 ransom, that was reduced from an initial “offer” of $4,000, to get his 50-gun collection back.

Experienced counsel to defend you in a “due process” hearing will run about $15,000 in fees. If you lose and want to appeal, expect to spend another $25,000 to $100,000 in fees and costs. And even with all of that, you might still lose.

To win these hearings, you have to refute an allegation that you pose a danger to yourself or others where a judge already issued a temporary ex parte order that concluded you were already a danger. Many judges will likely err on the side of caution, and against your rights.

As a practical matter, if the government’s interest is in separating a potentially-dangerous person from guns, it makes no sense to leave other guns that belong to family members in the home. So, if you live with someone that gets a red flag order issued against them, then you and others living in the same home risk losing your guns, too.

Even if you win, the judge isn’t going to just hand your guns back to you at the end of the hearing. It’s probably a good idea to “lawyer up” just to go through the process of recovering your guns, so you don’t go to jail or prison for accidentally breaking an obscure firearm law or regulation. You wouldn’t want to set off a red flag.

Law-abiding gun owners better get a big whiff of reality SOON and realize that if they are going to maintain the right to keep and bear arms much longer, THEY must step up to the plate and defend that right—and I mean RIGHT NOW…

How much does the 2nd Amendment mean to you? Each of us will determine the answer to that question by what we do or do not do RIGHT NOW.

P.S. I, again, URGE readers to watch my 8-minute video regarding Trump’s betrayal of the 2nd Amendment and the push for the enactment of “red flag” gun confiscation laws and share it with everyone you can. In the video, I also include the phone numbers for both the White House and U.S. Senate, where you can call and voice your opposition.

Be seeing you

Will Red Flag Laws Become Red List Executions?

 

 

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10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall | TheHill

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2019

https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/458173-10-declassified-russia-collusion-revelations-that-could-rock-washington-this

Behind the scenes, some major events were set in motion last autumn that could soon change the tenor in Washington, at least as it relates to the debunked Russia collusion narrative that distracted America for nearly three years.

It was in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

About the same time, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, under then-Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), voted unanimously to send 53 nonpublic transcripts of witnesses in its Russia review to the director of national intelligence (DNI) for declassification. The transcripts were officially delivered in November.

Now, nearly a year later, neither release has happened.

To put that into perspective, it took just a couple of months in 2004 to declassify the final report on the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks after a presidential commission finished its work, which contained some of the nation’s most secretive intelligence revelations.

But the long wait for transparency may soon end.

The foot-dragging inside the intelligence community (IC) that occurred under now-departed DNI Dan Coats and his deputy, Sue Gordon, could halt abruptly. That’s particularly true if Trump appoints a new IC sheriff, such as former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the current ambassador to the Netherlands, or longtime national security expert Fred Fleitz…

1.)   Christopher Steele’s confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under Freedom of Information Act lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.)   The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I’m told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.)   The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources. We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump’s transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government’s Russia probe.

4.)   The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele’s dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren’t shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.)   Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes’s five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.)   The ‘Gang of Eight’ briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren’t initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.)   The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele’s own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI’s final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele’s information as only “minimally corroborated” and the bureau’s confidence in him as “medium.”

8.)   The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ’s inspector general interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton’s opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump, had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn’t disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.)   The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe had started and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I’m told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump’s orbit.

10.)  Records of allies’ assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas — possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy — were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence. My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General William Barr’s recent comments that “the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it’s a serious red line that’s been crossed.”

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More Spying and Lying – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/andrew-p-napolitano/more-spying-and-lying/

By

While most of us have been thinking about the end of summer and while the political class frets over the Democratic presidential debates and the aborted visit of two members of Congress to Israel, the Trump administration has quietly moved to extend and make permanent the government’s authority to spy on all persons in America.

The president, never at a loss for words, must have been asked by the intelligence community he once reviled not to address these matters in public.

These matters include the very means and the very secret court about which he complained loud and long during the Mueller investigation. Now, he wants to be able to unleash permanently on all of us the evils he claims were visited upon him by the Obama-era FBI and by his own FBI. What’s going on?

Here is the backstory.

After the lawlessness of Watergate had been exposed — a president spying on his political adversaries without warrants in the name of national security — Congress enacted in 1978 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It prescribed a means for surveillance other than that which the Constitution requires.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution — written in the aftermath of British soldiers and agents using general warrants obtained from a secret court in London to spy on whomever in the colonies they wished and to seize whatever they found — was ratified as part of the Bill of Rights to limit the government’s ability to intrude upon the privacy of all persons, thereby prohibiting those procedures used by the British.

Thus, we have the constitutional requirements that no searches and seizures can occur without a warrant issued by a judge based on a showing, under oath, of probable cause of crime. The courts have uniformly characterized electronic surveillance as a search.

I am not addressing eyesight surveillance on a public street. I am addressing electronic surveillance wherever one is when one sends or receives digital communications. FISA is an unconstitutional congressional effort to lower the standards required by the Fourth Amendment from probable cause of crime to probable cause of foreign agency.

Can Congress do that? Can it change a provision of the Constitution? Of course not. If it could, we wouldn’t have a Constitution.

It gets worse.

The court established by FISA — that’s the same court that President Donald Trump asserts authorized spying on him in 2015 and 2016 — has morphed the requirement of probable cause of being a foreign agent to probable cause of communicating with a foreign person as the standard for authorizing surveillance.

What was initially aimed at foreign agents physically present in the United States has secretly become a means to spy on innocent Americans. In Trump’s case, the FISA court used the foreign and irrelevant communications of two part-time campaign workers to justify surveillance on the campaign…

The late Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland once wrote that we cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution to follow and which to ignore. If we could, the Constitution would be meaningless.

Did he foresee our present woes when he wrote, “If the provisions of the Constitution be not upheld when they pinch as well as when they comfort, they may as well be abandoned”?

Is that where we are headed?

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Siege at Ruby Ridge – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/no_author/siege-at-ruby-ridge/

Ammo.com

…During the standoff, a voluntary surrender date was negotiated with the Marshals Service for October 1991, but the United States Attorney’s Office refused the settlement. The Deputy Director of the Special Operations Group of the Marshals Service, using evidence obtained through surveillance, believed that the best course of action was to drop the indictment, issue a new one under seal, and use undercover agents to arrest Weaver, who presumably would have dropped his guard. This recommendation was again rejected.

Shooting the Weavers’ Dog: The Siege of Ruby Ridge Begins

On August 21, 1992, six heavily armed, camouflaged U.S. Marshals went to the Weaver property with the purpose of reconnaissance. The Weavers’ dogs gave away the position of the Marshals, alerting their 14-year-old son Sammy and a 24-year-old friend of the family named Kevin Harris, who investigated what the dogs were barking at while armed.

Unsurprisingly, there are several accounts of how the shooting began.

The Weavers claim that the camouflaged Marshals fired first and refused to identify themselves. The Marshals claim that when they rose to identify themselves, they were fired on by Sammy Weaver and Kevin Harris. In yet another version of events, Marshals shot the Weavers’ dog Striker as he exposed their position and were fired upon by Sammy in retaliation.

Once the shooting began, Randy Weaver’s son, Sammy, was shot in the back by Marshals immediately after yelling, “I’m coming, dad!” as he ran back to the house. That is to say, he was fleeing the scene, not regrouping for another attack.

After this initial exchange, the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team – sometimes disparagingly called the “Hostage Roasting Team,” due to their proclivity to burn down buildings – was called in to assess the situation.

Sniper and observer teams were deployed by the Hostage Rescue Team. A sniper aimed for an instant kill shot on Randy, but Randy moved at the last minute and the shot entered his shoulder, exiting through his armpit. He then fled back to the house from the shed where he had been viewing the body of his dead son.

A second shot missed Kevin Harris and hit Vicki in the head, who was holding their 10-month-old daughter at the time in her arms, a powerful image often invoked in the telling of the story. This same second shot hit Harris after exiting Vicki. An internal investigation found that the second shot was out of policy and that the failure to request surrender was “inexcusable.”

FBI Sniper Lon Horiuchi fired through a door without seeing who was on the other side of it – at people who were fleeing and posed no threat. He was later charged with manslaughter in these deaths, but the charges were dropped. Horiuchi was also involved in the Waco siege, and Timothy McVeigh printed up cards for gun shows encouraging people to target him. Indeed, McVeigh considered targeting Horiuchi and his family rather than the federal building. In 1995, he pleaded the Fifth when questioned about the matter by the United States Senate. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

The rules of engagement were changed on the fly to effectively encourage shooting anyone on sight. This included the remaining Weaver children, who were known to carry weapons 81 percent of the time. Once the siege began, none of the Weavers fired a shot.

The standoff lasted ten days, and involved between 350 and 400 agents who cruelly named their camp, “Camp Vicki.” They would routinely call out “Vicki, we have blueberry pancakes,” but claimed to not know that she was dead. Supporters of the Weavers and opponents of the ATF and FBI formed a vigil.

Weaver’s commanding officer from Vietnam, James “Bo” Gritz (who was currently running for President on the Populist Party ticket) acted as a mediator between the family and government agents. Radio broadcaster Paul Harvey intervened, offering to pay for a robust defense for Weaver if he surrendered. This was what led Weaver to abandon the standoff and surrender himself to federal authorities.

The Aftermath of the Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge

Weaver was charged with ten counts, including the original charges, of illegal firearms sales. His attorney, Gerry Spence, successfully defended Weaver against a host of charges, including murder, by using a self-defense argument. Weaver was ultimately only convicted of the charge of failure to appear, for which he was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a fine of $10,000. He was credited with time served plus three months. Kevin Harris was acquitted of all charges. These were the longest deliberations in Idaho criminal history.

Weaver sued the federal government, which avoided a civil trial by awarding damages of $1,000,000 each to the three surviving Weaver children and $100,000 to Randy. Harris eventually received a settlement of $380,000 after several years of appeals against a government who claimed they would never issue any payment to someone who had killed a federal marshal.

It is worth noting that the federal government took active steps to cover their tracks after the Siege of Ruby Ridge. The chief of the bureau’s Violent Crimes and Major Offenders Section pled guilty to attempting to destroy all copies of the FBI’s internal report on the siege. Federal Judge Edward Lodge penned a lengthy list of misdeeds, including fabrication of evidence and refusing to comply with court orders.

Deval Patrick, then-Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and later Governor of Massachusetts, later found that federal agents had not used excessive force.

One of the biggest changes after the Siege of Ruby Ridge was a change in the rules of engagement. In October 1995, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information ordered all federal agencies to standardize their rules of engagement, particularly as pertained to deadly force. Randy and his daughter Sara wrote a book about the events in 1998 entitled The Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge. The family now live in Kalispell, Montana. Sara became a Born Again Christian in 2012, and forgave the federal agents.

There was, predictably, very little meaningful blowback on the United States Marshals Service or any other parts of the federal government. The Ruby Ridge Task Force delivered a highly redacted 542-page report. And the six marshals involved in the initial shootout were given the highest commendations awarded by the United States Marshal Service.

In 1997, the Justice Department declined to prosecute senior FBI officials for covering up the details of the case. Two FBI agents were prosecuted, one served 18 months in prison for destruction of evidence and the other had the charges dismissed. The second-in-command of the FBI was demoted and three other agents were suspended.

In 1996, Weaver offered his services to defuse tensions between the FBI and the Montana Freeman, however, this offer was declined. In 2000, Weaver visited the former site of the Branch Davidian Church that had been destroyed in another high-profile siege. He later offered support to Edward and Elaine Brown, who were resisting federal taxes at the time…

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