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2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part Three

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The bill's vague and open-ended language hides its true intent as to what "violent radicalization" and "homegrown terrorism" are? It will be whatever the administration says they are. Violent radicalization is defined as "adopting or promoting an extremist belief system (to facilitate) ideologically based violence to advance political, religious or social change." [2]

Homegrown terrorism is used to mean "the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily with the United States or any (US) possession to intimidate or coerce the (US) government, the civilian population....or any segment thereof (to further) political or social objectives." [3]

Along with other repressive laws enacted after 9/11, the new law may be used against any individual or group with unpopular views - those that differ from established state policies. Prosecutors henceforth will be able to target believers in Islam, anti-war protesters, web editors, internet bloggers and radio and TV show hosts and commentators with views the bill calls "terrorist-related propaganda." [4]

Many observers fear that the proposed law will be used against U.S.-based groups engaged in legal but unpopular political activism, ranging from political Islamists to animal-rights and environmental campaigners to radical right-wing organizations. There is concern, too, that the bill will undermine academic integrity and is the latest salvo in a decade-long government grab for power at the expense of civil liberties. [5]

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American Muslims alarmed at CIA-NYPD covert surveillance

The seven-million strong Muslim American community was alarmed at the revelation that the New York City Police Department have carried out covert surveillance on Muslims with the help of the CIA. An Associated Press (AP) report recently published by the Washington Post [6] exposed the NYPD spy program, which is allegedly being conducted with the assistance of individuals linked to the CIA.

Following a month-long investigation, the AP reported that the NYPD is using covert surveillance techniques "that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government" and "does so with unprecedented help from the CIA in a partnership that has blurred the bright line between foreign and domestic spying."

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The AP report follows a recent Mother Jones [7] revelation that after years of emphasizing informant recruiting as a key task for its agents, the FBI now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies -- many of them tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States. "In addition, for every informant officially listed in the bureau's records, there are as many as three unofficial ones, according to one former high-level FBI official, known in bureau parlance as "hip pockets." The informants could be doctors, clerks, imams. Some might not even consider themselves informants. But the FBI regularly taps all of them as part of a domestic intelligence apparatus whose only historical peer might be COINTELPRO, the program the bureau ran from the '50s to the '70s to discredit and marginalize organizations ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to civil-rights and protest groups."

The AP investigative report revealed that the NYDP has dispatched teams of undercover officers, known as 'rakers,' into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program. The report said: The NYDP have monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as 'mosque crawlers,' to monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing. The NYPD officials have scrutinized imams and gathered intelligence on cab drivers and food cart vendors, jobs often done by Muslims. Many of these operations were built with help from the CIA, which is prohibited from spying on Americans but was instrumental in transforming the NYPD's intelligence unit, the AP report added.

Indiana Supreme Court rules against Fourth Amendment

Indiana 's highest court has turned against our rights and the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Court of Indiana decided on May 12, 2010 that the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not apply to the citizens of Indiana.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, vacated by the Indiana Supreme Court, says: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Indiana Supreme Court, in a 3-2 decision, ruled that cops can force their way into your home without a search warrant. Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

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Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all; a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

The court's decision stems from a Vanderburgh County case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment. When the couple went back inside their apartment, the husband told police they were not needed and blocked the doorway so they could not enter. When an officer entered anyway, the husband shoved the officer against a wall. A second officer then used a stun gun on the husband and arrested him.

Disastrous fallout of the ruling:   Radio host Mike Church has reported on his website that Newton County Sheriff Department head, Don Hartman Sr., contends the ruling means that random house to house searches are now possible. "According to Newton County Sheriff, Don Hartman Sr., random house to house searches are now possible and could be helpful following the Barnes v. STATE of INDIANA Supreme Court ruling issued on May 12th, 2011. When asked three separate times due to the astounding callousness as it relates to trampling the inherent natural rights of Americans, he emphatically indicated that he would use random house to house checks, adding he felt people will welcome random searches if it means capturing a criminal."

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opednews.com

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part One

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