The Hard Truth

Journal of Political News & Constitutionalism

Archive for the ‘law enforcement’ Category

Milwaukee mayor wounded after being hit with pipe

leave a comment »

From The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was in the hospital on Sunday after he was attacked by a person using a metal pipe as the mayor and his family left the Wisconsin State Fair.

Barrett was in stable condition Sunday at a local hospital and was alert and talking when he arrived there on Saturday night, the Milwaukee Police Department said in a statement. It did not provide more details, and a spokeswoman for the police department did not have any further information.

Police said Barrett was leaving the state fair on Saturday night when he heard a woman crying out for help in the city of West Allis, about six miles west of Milwaukee.

Police said Barrett began calling 911 when the suspect who was attacking the woman charged at the mayor and began hitting him with a metal pipe. The suspect then fled the scene, authorities said.

The woman was not injured, and police were still searching for the suspect, who has a criminal arrest record, authorities said.

No other details were immediately available Sunday

Advertisements

Hostile bloggers facing fines, jail?

leave a comment »

Posted: May 06, 2009
10:39 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

1ST AMENDMENT ON TRIAL

Proposal ‘comes close to making it federal offense to log onto Internet’



Jail cell

A new proposal in Congress is threatening fines and jail time for what it calls “cyberbullying” – communications that include e-mails and text messages that “cause substantial emotional distress.”

The vague generalities are included in H.R. 1966 by California Democrat Linda Sanchez and about a dozen co-sponsors.

But it already is being condemned as unconstitutional, unrealistic and probably ineffectual.

At Wired.com, in a report labeled “Threat Level,” writer David Kravets criticized the plan to demand “up to two years in prison for those whose electronic speech is meant to ‘coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress.'”

“Instead of prison, perhaps we should say gulag,” he wrote.

(Story continues below)

Such limits never would pass First Amendment muster, “unless the U.S. Constitution was altered without us knowing,” he wrote. “So Sanchez, and the 14 other lawmakers who signed on to the proposal are grandstanding to show the public they care about children and are opposed to cyberbullying.”

The plan is labeled the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, after the 13-year-old Meier, whose suicide last year reportedly was prompted by a woman who utilized the MySpace social networking site to send the teen critical messages.

Speak out now against limits on your speech!

The defendant in the case, Lori Drew, was accused under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

“Sanchez’s bill goes way beyond cyberbullying and comes close to making it a federal offense to log onto the Internet or use the telephone,” Kravets wrote. “The methods of communication where hostile speech is banned include e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones and text messages.”

“We can’t say what we think of Sanchez’s proposal,” he said. “Doing so would clearly get us two years in solitary confinement.”

Wrote a contributor to the Wired forum page, “If passed, this legislation could be easily abused with the effect of criminalizing all criticism. You probably [couldn’t] even criticize the legislation itself because it would cause Sen. Sanchez emotional distress or possibly be considered a form of intimidation.”

The bill, which has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, states, “Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

It states: “Cyberbullying can cause psychological harm, including depression; negatively impact academic performance, safety, and the well-being of children in school; force children to change schools; and in some cases lead to extreme violent behavior, including murder and suicide.”

Teen homeschooler jailed under Patriot Act

leave a comment »

Posted: May 04, 2009
8:31 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

HOMELAND INSECURITY

FBI holds 10th-grader for months with little contact from family


Ashton Lundeby

A 16-year-old homeschooled boy from North Carolina was taken away from his home in handcuffs two months ago and has been held by the FBI in Indiana ever since, a victim, his mother claims, of the Patriot Act spun out of control.

According to Annette Lundeby of Oxford, N.C., armed FBI agents and local police stormed her home around 10 p.m. on March 5, looking for her son, Ashton. The officers presented a federal search warrant and seized the tenth-grader’s computer, cell phone and bank statements.

Ashton was then taken to a juvenile facility in South Bend, Ind., charged with making a bomb threat in Indiana from his home computer.

His mother, however, told Raleigh’s WRAL-TV that she argued with the authorities, claiming someone must have hacked into her son’s IP address and used it to make crank calls. The agents’ search, she claims, also failed to uncover any trace of bomb-making materials.

“Undoubtedly, they were given false information,” Lundeby told the station, “or they would not have had 12 agents in my house with a widow and two children and three cats.”

Allowed little access to see her son over the last two months, facing a court date that keeps being pushed back and given no information by FBI agents sitting behind a gag order on the case, Lundeby now says the USA Patriot Act has unjustly imprisoned an innocent boy and stripped her son of due process.

“We have no rights under the Patriot Act to even defend them, because the Patriot Act basically supersedes the Constitution,” she told WRAL-TV. “It wasn’t intended to drag your barely 16-year-old, 120-pound son out in the middle of the night on a charge that we can’t even defend.”

Passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the USA Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism – or P.A.T.R.I.O.T. – Act armed law enforcement with new tools to detect and prevent terrorism. Among other measures, it better enables interagency cooperation and allows law enforcement a wider array of technological and surveillance tools to more quickly and stealthily investigate terrorist threats.

Dan Boyse, a former U.S attorney not connected to the case, explained to WRAL-TV how Ashton Lundeby could have been swept up by the Patriot Act.

“They’re saying that ‘we feel this individual is a terrorist or an enemy combatant against the United States, and we’re going to suspend all of those due process rights because this person is an enemy of the United States,'” Boyce told the station.

Boyce theorized that if an FBI agent came to the conclusion that Lundeby was a serious terrorist threat, the usual rules of law enforcement don’t apply.

“There’s nothing a matter of public record,” Boyce said. “All those normal rights are just suspended in the air.”

Ashton’s mother told the television station, “Never in my worst nightmare did I ever think that it would be my own government that I would have to protect my children from. This is the United States, and I feel like I live in a third world country now.”

The WRAL-TV news report, including Annette Lundeby’s comments, can be seen below:

According to the WRAL-TV report, because a federal judge has issued a gag order in the case, the U.S. attorney in Indiana cannot comment on Lundeby, nor can the FBI.

Military Police at the Kentucky Derby

leave a comment »

Infowars
May 3, 2009

A Google News search does not produce a story or even a brief mention of the fact military police were on hand at the Kentucky Derby to keep restless plebs in line. However, an Associated Press photograph, posted on the Yahoo! News website, shows two MPs in combat fatigues with side arms restraining a man at the derby.

police state   Military Police at the Kentucky Derby
MPs
Military police detain a fan who ran onto the track following the running of the 135th Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 2, 2009, in Louisville, Ky.

“Military police detain a fan who ran onto the track following the running of the 135th Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 2, 2009, in Louisville, Ky.,” the photo caption reads.

The photo was also included in a slideshow on the Yahoo! Sports website, although the text of the article does not contain a mention of military police at the event.

“The military has NO BUSINESS policing the citizens except during extraordinarily exceptional times of national emergency by an executive order. This is very disturbing and completely un-American. Maybe even more disturbing is that no one seems to care how quietly and easily we have accepted the burgeoning police state,” an article comment states.

Infowars has reported on numerous instances of military involvement with local law enforcement in violation of Posse Comitatus. In March, we reported on U.S. Army troops dispatched to patrol the streets of Samson, Alabama, after a murder spree.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
  • efoods

On April 6, we reported on a DHS, federal, state, Air Force, and local law enforcement checkpoint in Tennessee. On April 3, Infowars was instrumental in the cancellation of a seatbelt checkpoint that was to be conducted in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and the 251st Military Police in Bolivar, Tennessee.

Last December, we reported on the Marine Corps Air and Ground Combat Center dispatching troops to work with police on checkpoints in in San Bernardino County, California.

On Aprill 22, we reported the deployment of 400 National Guard Combat Support Battalion troops to “maintain public order” at the Boston Marathon.

Last June, Infowars posted an article by D. H. Williams of the Daily Newscaster reporting the deployment of 2,300 Marines in the city of Indianapolis under the direction of FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Prison Planet’s Paul Joseph Watson reported a story on April 22 covering the assault of a local television news team by an irate police officer in El Paso, Texas. A video taken by the news videographer shows uniformed soldiers working with police officers at the scene of a car accident.

The presence of uniformed and armed military police at the Kentucky Derby is part of an ongoing campaign to acclimate the populace to the presence of soldiers at public events.

Guess how DHS defines who is a terrorist now

leave a comment »

Posted: May 02, 2009
8:35 pm Eastern

HOMELAND INSECURITY

2nd ‘domestic extremism’ report includes ‘alternative media,’ ‘tax resisters’ in lexicon

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Two weeks before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security penned its controversial report warning against “right-wing extremists” in the United States, it generated a memo defining dozens of additional groups – animal rights activists, black separatists, tax protesters, even worshippers of the Norse god Odin – as potential “threats.”

Though the “Domestic Extremism Lexicon” was reportedly rescinded almost immediately, Benjamin Sarlin of The Daily Beast recently obtained and published online a copy of the unclassified memo, dated March 26, 2009.

While many of the groups listed in the lexicon – such as Aryan prison gangs and neo-Nazis – may indeed be widely considered extremists, others will likely take offense at being described as a potential “threat.”

Are you ready for a second Declaration of Independence? Sign the petition promoting true freedom once again!

For example, the memo defines the “tax resistance movement” – also referred to in the report as the tax protest movement or the tax freedom movement – as “groups or individuals who vehemently believe taxes violate their constitutional rights. Among their beliefs are that wages are not income, that paying income taxes is voluntary, and that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allowed Congress to levy taxes on income, was not properly ratified.”

The report, however, continues in its assessment of tax protesters, asserting that members “have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.”

Similarly, the lexicon concludes its definition of “black separatists” by asserting, “Such groups or individuals also may embrace radical religious beliefs. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence directed toward local law enforcement in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.”

In his blog piece titled “Who You Calling an Extremist?” Sarlin writes, “Partisans leapt to decry the first DHS memo as part of a Democratic conspiracy to marginalize right wingers. But it became clear that DHS’s broad descriptions of extremists were symptomatic of an ongoing agency problem that crossed ideological lines.”

The lexicon states its purpose is to provide “definitions for key terms and phrases that often appear in DHS analysis that addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States.”

Apparently, the DHS analyzes the “threat” level of Internet news websites like WorldNetDaily, for the lexicon defines “alternative media” as “a term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.”

The term “black power,” widely used in a variety of contexts, also merits a definition in the lexicon: “A term used by black separatists to describe their pride in and the perceived superiority of the black race.”

The DHS memo also includes precursors to the ill-fated “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” report, which prompted outrage from legislators and a campaign calling for the resignation of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

For example, the lexicon contains virtually the same broad-stroke language the right-wing extremism report used.

“Rightwing extremism,” the lexicon defines as those “who can be broadly divided into those who are primarily hate-oriented, and those who are mainly antigovernment and reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority. This term also may refer to rightwing extremist movements that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

The lexicon further points to those who oppose driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

“Anti-immigration extremism,” the lexicon defines as “a movement of groups or individuals who are vehemently opposed to illegal immigration, particularly along the U.S. southwest border with Mexico, and who have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism to advance their extremist goals. They are highly critical of the U.S. Government’s response to illegal immigration and oppose government programs that are designed to extend ‘rights’ to illegal aliens, such as issuing driver’s licenses or national identification cards and providing in-state tuition, medical benefits, or public education.”

Unlike the right-wing extremism report, however, the lexicon includes definitions of extremism across a broad spectrum of issues: anarchy, animal rights extremism, black nationalism, Cuban independence, environmentalism, Jewish extremism, Mexican separatism, right-wing militias, white supremacists, the anti-war movement and more.

Among the more curious groups the DHS appears to be monitoring is the “racial Nordic mysticism” group, defined as “an ideology adopted by many white supremacist prison gangs who embrace a Norse mythological religion, such as Odinism or Asatru.”

Among the more comical definitions is the description given of what “racist skinheads” wear, enabling law officers, it appears, to identify skinheads by their preferred brand of footwear:

“Dress may include a shaved head or very short hair,” the report states, “jeans, thin suspenders, combat boots or Doc Martens, a bomber jacket, and tattoos of Nazi-like emblems.”

Sarlin, who first publicized the memo, reports that a spokesperson for DHS told him the memo was recalled “within minutes” of being issued but declined to offer any details on the reasons for its withdrawal.

Hospitals tagging babies with electronic chips

with one comment

Posted: January 15, 2008
1:00 am Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2009 WorldNetDaily.com

LIFE WITH BIG BROTHER

Privacy advocates protest as half of Ohio birthing centers turn to tracking technology

Over half the birthing facilities in Ohio are being equipped with an RFID infant protection system placed on infants at birth to prevent them from being abducted from the hospital or from being given to the wrong mother.

“Standard protocol in the hospitals using the VeriChip system is that the baby receives an RFID anklet at birth and the mother receives a matching wristband,” VeriChip spokeswoman Allison Tomek told WND. “The mothers are not asked.”

VeriChip Corp., a publicly listed company headquartered in Delray Beach, Fla., is marketing though its wholly-owned subsidiary, Xmark, a HUGS brand tag-and-bracelet infant security system. The RFID tag is attached to an infant at birth by an ankle bracelet that is detected by monitors positioned throughout the hospital.

Critics charge the VeriChip system is an intrusive technology solution to a problem that is rare.

“The VeriChip infant security system is a technology looking for a solution,” said Katherine Albrecht, founder and director of CASPIAN, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering.

“Baby snatching from hospital facilities is a diaper full of nonsense,” Albrecht told WND.

She cited a January 2003 report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children concluding that of approximately 4.2 million births per year at 3,500 birthing centers in the U.S., abductions by non-family members are estimated at between zero and 12 per year. Of those, the mother is re-united with the child 95 percent of the time.

“Ironically, relying on RFID technology could end up making a rare occurrence more likely,” Albrecht said. “Once hospital staffers rely on computer systems to track the human inventory in their care, they become less vigilant.”

Albrecht is co-author along with Liz McIntyre of “Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Purchase and Watch Your Every Move.”

The HUGS system can detect if the RFID tag is lifted from the baby’s skin, if the ankle strap broken or if the baby’s RFID tag and the mother’s don’t match.

If a newborn is removed from the ward without authorization or a baby is placed with the wrong mother, the system triggers an alarm that can cause hospital entrances and exits to lock shut.

“The infant abductions that do occur tend to happen in larger, more impersonal hospitals,” Albrecht emphasized.

“We actually investigated an abduction that involved a baby who was wearing an RFID ankle bracelet at the time of the abduction,” Albrecht said. “What happened was a woman dressed up in hospital scrubs. Even though the other staffers in the maternity ward did not recognize this woman, nobody reported her, because they thought the RFID system would take care of any problem.”

The woman figured out how to turn the RFID system off, Albrecht said, ‘and she just walked right out of the hospital carrying the baby, without anybody stopping her.”

VeriChip objects, claiming its RFID anklet-and-bracelet infant security system has prevented baby abductions. Spokeswoman Tomek, however, declined to cite specific proof, claiming privacy issues and the need to keep hospital security procedures confidential.

The VeriChip RFID anklets and bracelets are removed by the birthing facility when the mothers and babies are released.

HUGS system RFID anklets and bracelets are not equipped with GPS technology.

VeriChip also produces a human implantable RFID chip that is marketed in the health care area for chronic diseases, including diabetes or stroke, or memory impairment illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease.

“The only viable part of the VeriChip market right now is this infant security system,” Albrecht told WND. “People in the United States don’t want the human implantable RFID chips VeriChip thought was going to be the core of their business.”

Albrecht said VeriChip hopes eventually there will be a mandatory program such as the UK has for implanting RFID chips in prisoners.”

The VeriChip human implantable RFID chip was cleared for medical use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration in October 2004.

VeriChip currently has a market capitalization of about $20 million and 2006 sales of more than $27 million.

VeriChip stock closed yesterday at $2.02 a share.

Radio chip coming soon to your driver’s license?

leave a comment »

Posted: February 28, 2009
12:25 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

LIFE WITH BIG BROTHER
Homeland Security seeks next-generation REAL ID

Privacy advocates are issuing warnings about a new radio chip plan that ultimately could provide electronic identification for every adult in the U.S. and allow agents to compile attendance lists at anti-government rallies simply by walking through the assembly.

The proposal, which has earned the support of Janet Napolitano, the newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security, would embed radio chips in driver’s licenses, or “enhanced driver’s licenses.”

“Enhanced driver’s licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it’s less elaborate than REAL ID,” Napolitano said in a Washington Times report.

REAL ID is a plan for a federal identification system standardized across the nation that so alarmed governors many states have adopted formal plans to oppose it. However, a privacy advocate today told WND that the EDLs are many times worse.

Radio talk show host and identity chip expert Katherine Albrecht said REAL ID earned the opposition of Christians because of its resemblance to the biblical “mark of the beast,” civil libertarians opposed it for its “big brother” connotations and others worried about identity theft issues with the proposed databases.

“We got rid of the REAL ID program, but [this one] is way more insidious,” she said.

Enhanced driver’s licenses have built-in radio chips providing an identifying number or information that can be accessed by a remote reading unit while the license is inside a wallet or purse.

The technology already had been implemented in Washington state, where it is promoted as an alternative to a passport for traveling to Canada. So far, the program is optional.

But there are other agreements already approved with Michigan, Vermont, New York and Arizona, and plans are under way in other states, including Texas, she said.

Napolitano, as Arizona’s governor, was against the REAL ID, Albrecht said. Now, as chief of Homeland Security, she is suggesting the more aggressive electronic ID of Americans.

“She’s coming out and saying, ‘OK, OK, OK, you win. We won’t do REAL ID. But what we probably ought to do is nationwide enhanced driver’s licenses,'” Albrecht told WND.

“They’re actually talking about issuing every person a spychip driver’s license,” she said. “That is the potential problem.”

Imagine, she said, going to a First Amendment-protected event, a church or a mosque, or even a gun show or a peace rally.

“What happens to all those people when a government operator carrying a reading device makes a circuit of the event?” she asked. “They could download all those unique ID numbers and link them.”

Participants could find themselves on “watch” lists or their attendance at protests or rallies added to their government “dossier.”

She said even if such license programs are run by states, there’s virtually no way that the databases would not be linked and accessible to the federal government.

Albrecht said a hint of what is on the agenda was provided recently by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The state’s legislature approved a plan banning the government from using any radio chips in any ID documentation.

 

Schwarzenegger’s veto noted he did not want to interfere with any coming or future federal programs for identifying people.

Albrecht’s recent guest on her radio program was Michigan State Rep. Paul Opsommer, who said the government appears to be using a national anti-terrorism plan requiring people to document their identities as they enter the United States to promote the technology.

“The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was … just about proving you were a citizen, not that you had to do it by any specific kind of technology,” Opsommer said.

But he said, “We are close to the point now that if you don’t want RFID in any of your documents that you can’t leave the country or get back into it.”

Opsommer said his own state sought an exception to the growing federal move toward driver’s licenses with an electronic ID chip, and he was told that was “unlikely.”

He was told, “They were trying to harmonize these standards with Canada and Mexico [so] it had to apply to everybody. I was absolutely dumbfounded.”

WND previously has reported on such chips when hospitals used them to identify newborns, a company desired to embed immigrants with the electronic devices, a government health event showcased them and when Wal-Mart used microchips to track customers.

Albrecht, who has worked on issues involving radio chip implants, REAL-ID, “Spychips” and other devices, provided a platform for Opsommer to talk about drivers licenses that include radio transmitters that provide identity information about the carrier. She is active with the AntiChips.com and SpyChips.com websites.

Opsommer said he’s been trying for several years to gain permission for his state to develop its own secure license without a radio chip.

“They have flat out refused, and their reasoning is all about the need for what they call ‘facilitative technology,’ which they then determined was RFID,” he said during the recent interview.

According to the U.S. State Department, which regulates international travel requirements, U.S. citizens now “must show proof of identity and proof of U.S. citizenship when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the countries of the Caribbean by land or seas.”

Documentation could be a U.S. passport or other paperwork such as birth certificates or drivers’ licenses. But as of this summer, one of the options for returning residents will be an “Enhanced Driver’s License.”

The rules are being promulgated under the outline of the WHTI, a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which requires travelers to present a passport or other identity documents on entry into the U.S.

While the government has expressed confidence that no personal or critical information will be revealed through the system, it also says drivers will need special information on how to use, carry and protect the radio-embedded licenses as well as “a shielded container that will prevent anyone from reading your license.”

But Albrecht, the author or co-author of six books and videos, including the award-winning “Spychips: How major corporations and government plan to track your every move with RFID,” warns it goes much further.

“This must be nipped in the bud. Enhanced DL’s make REAL ID look like a walk in the park,” Albrecht said.

“Look, I am all in favor of only giving drivers licenses to U.S. citizens or people that are otherwise here in this country legally,” Opsommer said, “But we are already doing that in Michigan. We accomplished that without an EDL, as has virtually every other state via their own state laws.

“But just because we choose to only issue our license to U.S. citizens does not mean that our licenses should somehow then fall under federal control. It’s still a state document, we are just controlling who we issue them to. But under the EDL program, the Department of Homeland Security is saying that making sure illegals don’t get these is not enough. Now you need the chip to prove your citizenship,” he continued.

Opsommer further warned the electronic chips embedded in licenses to confirm identity are just the first step.

“Canadians are also more connected to what is going on in Britain with the expansion of the national ID program there, and have seen the mission creep that occurs with things like gun control first hand … Whatever the reason, as an example, just last week the Canadian government repatriated a database from the U.S. that contained the driver’s license data of their citizens,” he said.

“Someone finally woke up and realized it would not be a good idea for that to be on American soil … I think it is only logical that we as state legislators really understand how the governments of Mexico and Canada will have access to our own citizen’s data. Right now it is very ambiguous and even difficult for me to get answers on as a state representative.”

But Opsommer said Big Brother concerns certainly have some foundation.

“So if EDLs are the new direction for secure licenses in all states, it just reinforces what many have been telling me that DHS wants to expand this program and turn it into a wireless national ID with a different name,” he said. “We’ll wake up one day and without a vote in Congress DHS will just pass a rule and say something like ‘starting next month you will need an EDL to fly on a plane, or to buy a gun, or whatever.'”