Thursday, July 24, 2014

Executive Order 12333: The Root of All Evil

The cornerstone of the post-September 11, 2001 new order of unaccountable mass surveillance, data-mining and the transformation of the United States of America into a land of war and woe called The Homeland truly began on December 4, 1981 with then President Ronald Reagan's Executive Order 12333. Long before the USA PATRIOT Act was rammed through a cowardly Congress in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks with no legitimate debate there was 12333 or "twelve-triple-tree" as insiders refer to it. With the continuing unveiling of different aspects of what is now obviously a "turnkey totalitarian" fascist state lurking just below the surface of the increasingly thinner outer veil that is the public government by whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, William Binney and Thomas Drake - as well as others who are still working anonymously (according to recent stories on NSA documents not provided by Snowden) we are on the precipice of losing even the pretense of freedom and democracy.
Executive Order 12333, which gave the intelligence apparatus a blank check to operate with impunity, to the point where it is arguable that it essentially created a shadow government  has been getting some long-deserved attention as of late. A story in McClatchy last year entitled "Most of NSA’s data collection authorized by order Ronald Reagan" is where the highly secret circumvention of the US Constitution broke out of the darkness and a recent follow-up editorial was published in the Washington Post entitled "Meet Executive Order 12333: The Reagan rule that lets the NSA spy on Americans" further shedding light on this most anti-American of diktats.  That 12333 was unleashed by Reagan, whose administration served as an incubator for the neocons who would resurface during the Bush-Cheney years after 9/11 was used as both a political cudgel to batter critics of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as to implement new NSA domestic surveillance programs that far exceeded the legitimate governing principles of the US. Reagan's administration also spawned the Iran-Contra cowboys, in particular Lt. Colonel Oliver North who facilitated covert arms and drug sales to finance extremist right-wing militias in Nicaragua.
North also had a fetish for surveillance, notable a program called REX 84 that was a prototype for martial law in America and dabbled with the advanced PROMIS software to spy on political dissidents and under a vaguely defined "national emergency" would suspend the constitution and put the control of the government under FEMA. Several years back journalist Christopher Ketcham did an outstanding piece entitled "The Last Roundup" which addressed the metastasizing cancer of the authoritarian surveillance-police state and the lists that were then being compiled for potential internment when that "national emergency" was declared. I excerpt the following from Ketcham:
The overzealous compilation of a domestic watch list is not unique in post-war American history. In 1950, the FBI, under the notoriously paranoid J. Edgar Hoover, began to "accumulate the names, identities, and activities" of suspect American citizens in a rapidly expanding "security index," according to declassified documents. In a letter to the Truman White House, Hoover stated that in the event of certain emergency situations, suspect individuals would be held in detention camps overseen by "the National Military Establishment." By 1960, a congressional investigation later revealed, the FBI list of suspicious persons included "professors, teachers, and educators; labor-union organizers and leaders; writers, lecturers, newsmen, and others in the mass-media field; lawyers, doctors, and scientists; other potentially influential persons on a local or national level; [and] individuals who could potentially furnish financial or material aid" to unnamed "subversive elements." This same FBI "security index" was allegedly maintained and updated into the 1980s, when it was reportedly transferred to the control of none other than FEMA (though the FBI denied this at the time).
FEMA, however—then known as the Federal Preparedness Agency—already had its own domestic surveillance system in place, according to a 1975 investigation by Senator John V. Tunney of California. Tunney, the son of heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney and the inspiration for Robert Redford's character in the film The Candidate, found that the agency maintained electronic dossiers on at least 100,000 Americans, which contained information gleaned from wideranging computerized surveillance. The database was located in the agency's secret underground city at Mount Weather, near the town of Bluemont, Virginia. The senator's findings were confirmed in a 1976 investigation by the Progressive magazine, which found that the Mount Weather computers "can obtain millions of pieces [of] information on the personal lives of American citizens by tapping the data stored at any of the 96 Federal Relocation Centers"—a reference to other classified facilities. According to the Progressive, Mount Weather's databases were run "without any set of stated rules or regulations. Its surveillance program remains secret even from the leaders of the House and the Senate."
Ten years later, a new round of government martial law plans came to light. A report in the Miami Herald contended that Reagan loyalist and Iran-Contra conspirator Colonel Oliver North had spearheaded the development of a "secret contingency plan,"—code named REX 84—which called "for suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the United States over to FEMA, [and the] appointment of military commanders to run
state and local governments." The North plan also reportedly called for the detention of upwards of 400,000 illegal aliens and an undisclosed number of American citizens in at least 10 military facilities maintained as potential holding camps.
North's program was so sensitive in nature that when Texas Congressman Jack Brooks attempted to question North about it during the 1987 Iran-Contra hearings, he was rebuffed even by his fellow legislators. "I read in Miami papers and several others that there had been a plan by that same agency [FEMA] that would suspend the American Constitution," Brooks said. "I was deeply concerned about that and wondered if that was the area in which he [North] had worked." Senator Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Iran, immediately cut off his colleague, saying, "That question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area, so may I request that you not touch upon that, sir." Though Brooks pushed for an answer, the line of questioning was not allowed to proceed.
Wired magazine turned up additional damaging information, revealing in 1993 that North, operating from a secure White House site, allegedly employed a software database program called PROMIS (ostensibly as part of the REX 84 plan). PROMIS, which has a strange and controversial history, was designed to track individuals—prisoners, for example—by pulling together information from disparate databases into a single record. According to Wired, "Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon's enemies list or Senator Joe McCarthy's blacklist looks downright crude." Sources have suggested to Radar that government databases tracking Americans today, including Main Core, could still have PROMIS based legacy code from the days when North was running his programs.
In the wake of 9/11, domestic surveillance programs of all sorts expanded dramatically. As one well-placed source in the intelligence community puts it, "The gloves seemed to come off." What is not yet clear is what sort of still-undisclosed programs may have been authorized by the Bush White House. Marty Lederman, a high-level official at the Department of Justice under Clinton, writing on a law blog last year, wondered, "How extreme were the programs they implemented [after 9/11]? How egregious was the lawbreaking?" Congress has tried, and mostly failed, to find out.
12333 was very fortuitous for the opportunist North, a traitor if there ever were one and the rest of his Iran-Contra cabal who are to this day turning up in positions of influence as the Obama regime relentlessly targets that longtime neocon object of hatred Russia. Reagan's executive order is now even more dangerous given the ridiculous criteria that the US government is using to place law-abiding citizens on an ever expanding "terorist" watch list as was just documented in a huge story by Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux at The Intercept entitled  "Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook for Labeling You a Terrorist" where the secret Obama administration enhanced rulebook was published. What we have here is absolute power with absolutely no accountability and with the courts and congress being weaponized against the people no realistic chance to effect any meaningful reform of these out of control agencies and programs.
While it is somewhat encouraging that "twelve-triple-three" is finally getting noticed and according to a story that was published yesterday in The Guardian entitled "US warned: surveillance reform hinges on change to Reagan executive order" the same former State Department official who wrote the Washington Post editorial on 12333 is pushing for awareness that any serious reform must start with the rollback of this crown jewel of the fascist state. I excerpt from The Guardian piece:
Like Snowden, Tye means to spark a debate on the proper boundaries of NSA authorities. His focus is on an obscure, Reagan-era executive order that serves as a foundational set of rules for the intelligence apparatus. The order, known as Executive Order 12333, renders the current surveillance debate hollow, he said, even as it shows signs of traction in the Senate.
"Without reform of activities under 12333, changes to the 215 program won't address the major challenges to Americans' privacy from the NSA," Tye, who until April worked on promoting internet freedom issues at Foggy Bottom, told the Guardian, using legal shorthand for the domestic phone data collection.
Without recourse to the trove of documentation Snowden disclosed to journalists – and speaking somewhat obliquely to underscore his stated refusal to discuss classified information – Tye said that 12333 provides NSA with a pathway to collect and retain Americans' data without a warrant, routing around laws intend to restrict and control both.
Tye is correct but the clock is ticking and time is rapidly running out. With half the world ablaze with war and social unrest - largely due to a deranged US foreign policy - and Obama and Kerry hellbent on starting World War III to avenge personal slights by Putin we very well are nearing that "national emergency" that Lt. Colonel North was setting up a response for. Any "terrorist" attack - either legitimate or that promised Dick Cheney special will firmly lockdown this country forever and all of that data that has been mined will be used to generate the pickup lists. If you are even reading this there is a damned good chance that you will be on one.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Secret Government Watchlist Criteria Revealed

Today the new First Look Media/Glenn Greenwald venture The Intercept published a story revealing a secret US government document outlining the rules - if you can call them such - governing the selection of individuals for the inclusion on terrorist watchlists. The story by Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux is entitled "Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook for Labeling You a Terrorist" draws off of a "key government document obtained by The Intercept" that does not cite former government contractor turned NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as the source. It has already been speculated that there is at least one additional leaker to Snowden and this document would appear to prove that much to the ongoing dismay of the lawless Obama regime.
The story hasn't really broken yet as it was just published a few hours ago and the entire western media is still focused on manufacturing a thick fog of bullshit and innuendo to tie Putin and Russia to the increasingly obvious shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 by forces within the Kiev junta so I will go ahead and excerpt some of the more interesting bits of the Intercept story here but please go and read it yourself and forward the link along with the entire 166 page government "rulebook" entitled "March 2013: Watchlisting Guidelines" that is published in its entirety at The Intercept:
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.
[This monstrosity can be parked directly on the doorstep of Obama’s Oval Office as well has his fiendish, longtime fixer Eric Holder’s office at DOJ – but Rachel Maddow and the rest of the liberal sellouts who would demand Bush’s head on a stick will still defend this gross violation of privacy rights – if they even bother mentioning it at all]
The document’s definition of “terrorist” activity includes actions that fall far short of bombing or hijacking. In addition to expected crimes, such as assassination or hostage-taking, the guidelines also define destruction of government property and damaging computers used by financial institutions as activities meriting placement on a list. They also define as terrorism any act that is “dangerous” to property and intended to influence government policy through intimidation.
This combination—a broad definition of what constitutes terrorism and a low threshold for designating someone a terrorist—opens the way to ensnaring innocent people in secret government dragnets. It can also be counterproductive. When resources are devoted to tracking people who are not genuine risks to national security, the actual threats get fewer resources—and might go unnoticed.
“If reasonable suspicion is the only standard you need to label somebody, then it’s a slippery slope we’re sliding down here, because then you can label anybody anything,” says David Gomez, a former senior FBI special agent with experience running high-profile terrorism investigations. “Because you appear on a telephone list of somebody doesn’t make you a terrorist. That’s the kind of information that gets put in there.”
The fallout is personal too. There are severe consequences for people unfairly labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government, which shares its watchlist data with local law enforcement, foreign governments, and “private entities.” Once the U.S. government secretly labels you a terrorist or terrorist suspect, other institutions tend to treat you as one. It can become difficult to get a job (or simply to stay out of jail). It can become burdensome—or impossible—to travel. And routine encounters with law enforcement can turn into ordeals.
[For anyone who has been subjected to a pre-employment or contingent-employment “security” screening be aware that there is now a search of the “terrorist” database included so this has an enormous potential for essentially getting one trapped in the spider’s web essentially blacklisted for perpetuity]
There are a number of loopholes for putting people onto the watchlists even if reasonable suspicion cannot be met.
One is clearly defined: The immediate family of suspected terrorists—their spouses, children, parents, or siblings—may be watchlisted without any suspicion that they themselves are engaged in terrorist activity. But another loophole is quite broad—”associates” who have a defined relationship with a suspected terrorist, but whose involvement in terrorist activity is not known. A third loophole is broader still—individuals with “a possible nexus” to terrorism, but for whom there is not enough “derogatory information” to meet the reasonable suspicion standard.
Americans and foreigners can be nominated for the watchlists if they are associated with a terrorist group, even if that group has not been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. They can also be treated as “representatives” of a terrorist group even if they have “neither membership in nor association with the organization.” The guidelines do helpfully note that certain associations, such as providing janitorial services or delivering packages, are not grounds for being watchlisted.
[Translation: If you happen to purchase gas at a convenience store owned by a Muslim using your credit card you may end up in the big government “terrorist database” and unlike the mafia who has a code of honor the USG will go after your family too]
The guidelines provide the clearest explanation yet of what is happening when Americans and foreigners are pulled aside at airports and border crossings by government agents. The fifth chapter, titled “Encounter Management and Analysis,” details the type of information that is targeted for collection during “encounters” with people on the watchlists, as well as the different organizations that should collect the data. The Department of Homeland Security is described as having the largest number of encounters, but other authorities, ranging from the State Department and Coast Guard to foreign governments and “certain private entities,” are also involved in assembling “encounter packages” when watchlisted individuals cross their paths. The encounters can be face-to-face meetings or electronic interactions—for instance, when a watchlisted individual applies for a visa.
In addition to data like fingerprints, travel itineraries, identification documents and gun licenses, the rules encourage screeners to acquire health insurance information, drug prescriptions, “any cards with an electronic strip on it (hotel cards, grocery cards, gift cards, frequent flyer cards),” cellphones, email addresses, binoculars, peroxide, bank account numbers, pay stubs, academic transcripts, parking and speeding tickets, and want ads. The digital information singled out for collection includes social media accounts, cell phone lists, speed dial numbers, laptop images, thumb drives, iPods, Kindles, and cameras. All of the information is then uploaded to the TIDE database.
Screeners are also instructed to collect data on any “pocket litter,” scuba gear, EZ Passes, library cards, and the titles of any books, along with information about their condition—”e.g., new, dog-eared, annotated, unopened.” Business cards and conference materials are also targeted, as well as “anything with an account number” and information about any gold or jewelry worn by the watchlisted individual. Even “animal information”—details about pets from veterinarians or tracking chips—is requested. The rulebook also encourages the collection of biometric or biographical data about the travel partners of watchlisted individuals.
[Not that it should be a surprise but the cheap feeling up of cute women or children along with the bonus of humiliating hapless travelers aren’t the only thing that TSA goons are getting over on – they are stealing EVERYTHING for inclusion into that massive storage facility out in Utah]
As for any more just go and read the entire piece because it's huge.  I tried to only grab some of the more relevant pieces that affect everybody but the devil is in the details – and in the White House – since this is Obama’s baby.

Just Like Sarin Gas Lies US MH17 Narrative Unravels

Having completed the initial wave of demagoguery, allegations without proof, sensationalist yellow journalism and lies of high government officials the Obama regime's slam dunk case against the hated Vladimir Putin for the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 over a war zone is disintegrating. We have seen this movie before back when there was the similar damning case being made against Syria's president Bashar al Assad for allegedly gassing his own people in that Damascus suburb of Ghouta late last summer. The telescreens on the cable "news" channels showed wall to wall crash site images just like that disgusting little loop of the poor dying children in Ghouta last summer. I happened to go out to have lunch at a local sports pub last Friday and every screen in the place - well over twenty of various sizes - were tuned into the carnage including graphic pictures of bodies which although digitally fuzzed over weren't conducive to good digestion. This is the way it is when you live in what writer Chris Hedges has called an "Empire of Illusion".
Despite Secretary of State John "Skull and Bones" Kerry's appearance on all five of the Sunday morning government propaganda shows - one too many as the asinine one let slip with a GASP off camera criticism of Israeli's "pinpoint" operation in Gaza which continues to produce civilian deaths including may children. He was inevitably pounced on by Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace for his latest gaffe of not being sufficiently lock-step with the shelling of children and it will be a boon for Republicans come election time. By Monday the story was already falling apart despite Kerry's latest indisputable proof and the admission came out that "Senior U.S. intelligence officials say they have no evidence of direct Russian government involvement in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17" and that the plane was likely shot down as the result of a "mistake". However the continued provocation of Russia and Putin will continue as the corrupt state-corporate media is now selling the line that Russia "created the conditions" for the shootdown.
This is a crock of shit because in the usual weaving of a narrative that completely omits any piece of actual history relevant to the lies of Washington the fact that what really "created the conditions" for the MH17 disaster was the US government backing of the coup d'etat assisted by fascists and neo-Nazis that displaced the democratically elected leader of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in February which destabilized the country. Libertarian former US Congressman Ron Paul said exactly that and predictably is being savaged for telling the truth by the neocon attack artists on the outer fringes of the media machine as the smears work their way through the echo chamber, coming soon to Jennifer Rubin's Washington Post blog. Now that the star-spangled sheep, already whipped into the usual bloodlust against Russia by months of lies have had the idea that Russia shot down the airliner firmly embedded in their thick skulls the shift will be on to the exploitation of the victims of the downed airliner to exploit the emotional factor. CNN is an expert with this having practically turned the entire operation over to 24/7 coverage of that other Malaysian Airlines jet a couple of months ago. As for the human interest story the inclusion of the 100 AIDS experts who were killed enroute to a conference will get the cruise missile liberals onboard and the narcissist in chief is already exploiting their deaths in his latest playing of the identity politics card as a way to disguise the bloodthirsty imperial agenda that is really at work.
So for now the blame game will be shifted back to medium heat because for the admission that there was no obvious Russian role in the shooting down of MH17 to have been made there is probably smoking gun proof of exactly the opposite and that an element of the junta in Kiev ordered the plane to be downed as a psychotic and cynical gambit that brings to mind Operation Northwoods. There is merit in this idea given the history of black ops as well as the ruthlessness of the neo-Nazis and fascists that the US supports within the Porshenko-Yatsenyuk illegitimate regime in Kiev. After all, the Kiev based junta did promise a "very nasty surprise" for anti-fascist, anti-austerity, federalist rebels who were gaining the upper hand in the civil war/ethnic cleansing operation in the east.  What could be more nasty than a false flag event, hundreds of dead bodies and a hell of a mess to clean up, a fully gestated media psyop to affix the blame and induce conditions of dramatically ratcheted down violence followed by a relentless barrage of civilian areas. Poroshenko immediately unleashed the GRAD attacks on Donetsk and has escalated the rhetoric - likely reading off of US supplied talking points to have the rebels officially designated as "terrorists" which would provide the impetus for the hitting of Russia with that "financial neutron bomb" which would be an unprecedented escalation and an act of war.
But something is up because with the Obama administration backing off - at least for now - and State Department representatives getting testy with the press and referring to social media as proof the plan to pin it on Putin has gone badly awry somewhere.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NFL Moral Beacon Tony Dungy is a Hypocritical Anti-Gay Bigot

Former NFL player, head coach and current television football analyst Tony Dungy has found himself in a bit of a pickle over comments that he made regarding St. Louis Rams rookie defensive lineman Michael Sam who is gay. Dungy, a man who wears his religion on his sleeve came under fire for his statement that were he still an NFL head coach that he would not have drafted Sam, a former University of Missouri All American who came out as being gay back in February prior to May's draft where he was taken in the seventh and last round by the Rams. Dungy, who rocketed to national fame as the coach who managed to do the unthinkable and turn around the perpetually putrid Tampa Bay Buccaneers into a winning team and who later won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts before ending up on network sports television slipped up like so many other pious bigots and let his true feelings get out.

In an story published in the Tampa Tribune - a town where Dungy is still treated like the coming of the messiah he was quoted as I excerpt:

"I wouldn't have taken him,'' said former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy, now an analyst for NBC. "Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn't want to deal with all of it."It's not going to be totally smooth " things will happen.''

Despite being placed on a media created pedestal as though he was some exalted moral authority Dungy must have been stunned at the backlash to his ill-advised comments and immediately threw the Rapture bus into reverse, leaving smoking rubber in his wake.

Dungy's "clarification" only further illustrates the hypocrisy of the man, one which is rampant among the most vocal adherents of the bastardized bible of chicken-fried, militarized American Christianity where the it was the money changers who ran Jesus's long-haired hippie ass out of the temple and stole his words for their blasphemous prosperity gospel. According to an ESPN story what the canonized Dungy really meant was:

"I do not believe Michael's sexual orientation will be a distraction to his teammates or his organization. I do, however, believe that the media attention that comes with it will be a distraction."

Which is total horseshit because when the Tim Tebow traveling salvation show was a hit a few years back with the "distraction" nearly tearing apart the Denver Broncos to the point where the former Florida Gator and religious icon who some - and I kid you not -were comparing to the earthly resurrection of Christ, it was Dungy who was one of Tebow's most steadfast advocates although the man couldn't accurately throw a football into the ocean eight out of ten times if he was standing knee deep in the surf. So much for the "distraction" hogwash, it was a brief moment when a charlatan was revealed for all to see. This isn't the first time that Dungy has found himself in trouble for anti-gay sentiments, in 2007 he endorsed a same-sex marriage ban backed by one of those all too prevalent so-called Christian hate groups called the Indiana Family Institute.

You know, the real Jesus hated hypocrites, probably as much as Dungy and his ilk hate gays although unlike the more honest members of the flock the former coach and television celebrity hides it very well. Jesus had not one word to say about homosexuality and for all that is known may have even been gay himself being that he only hung around with a pack of dudes and according the immutable word of God in the bible never consorted with a member of the opposite sex. The purveyors of the same snake oil that Jesus warned about - that of the pharisees and false-prophets are cunning in being able to cloak their savage, very un-Christlike hatred in the cloak of scripture that they have bastardized to reinforce their own narrow-minded intolerance.
Keith Olbermann may have been run out of MSNBC where he had a good run of trashing hypocrites and liars during the Bush-Cheney years, ceding the stage to sleazy Obama apologists like Rachel Maddow but he roasted the man that the media has spent years selling as being able to walk on water as just another one of the liars and swine who have helped to piss on everything that this once great country at one time - at least in theory - stood for. Here is a small part of Olbermann's already classic skewering of Dungy:

"I wouldn't want to deal with it, things will happen,' is remarkably similar to what football coaches and owners said until 1946 about players who looked like Tony Dungy. And it's remarkably similar to what NFL owners said until 1989 about guys who wanted to become NFL head coaches who look like Tony Dungy."

So Tony Dungy is a fake and a sanctimonious horse's ass as well. He was always a fraud in Tampa Bay where despite a defense stocked with future hall of fame players like Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch his teams could never get over the hump due to his stubborn refusal to accept what all but the willfully blind could see - that his quarterbacks stank. Dungy was run out of town after a crushing playoff humiliation by the Philadelphia Eagles in which with his job on the line, the team quit on him. He also only managed to win but one Super Bowl during his seven year stint as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts with record-shattering Peyton Manning in his prime. The performance of Manning (who just can't shake the choker label) during the butt-ugly 43-8 stomping of the "scared" Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl takes a bit of the taint off of Dungy's legacy but the fact is that he consistently underachieved as a coach and owes his national prominence largely to media hype.

Don't count on him falling from grace too much over his remarks about Michael Sam, the public relations and damage control teams are already frantically working to polish his halo. As for the general hypocrisy of the new breed of American Christianity that has risen to dominance by largely purging liberal voices from the flock - I learned at a young age the extent to which those practicing it were fakes and easily duped good folks whose trust and goodwill were exploited by con artists and political opportunists.

Back in the 1970's one of our local Baptist churches used to troll the neighborhood looking for potential converts to be the subjects of their brainwashing sessions or as it was formally known "Sunday School". Once the pickup lists had been drawn up the gaily colored church bus would be sent out to pick up the hapless and impressionable victims. My poor sister and I were like many other children conscripted out of our parents desire for peace and quiet and maybe some coveted whoopee time.

The cheery old lady who was in charge of the festivities while we were on the bus would lead us in chants and song of a a 'biblical' nature and I will never forget the day when the song happened to be one of those silly-assed rhymes that are so adored by the Christian Right. We sang - "you can't get to heaven with roller skates, because you'll roll right past those pearly gates", a verse or two later it became "you can't get to Heaven with hippie hair because the lord don't like that mess up there". I didn't sing but only looked on in a youthful recognition of the hypocrisy that in my now middle-aged years would come to be so dominant in the USA!, USA! USA!.

While she was singing this, banging on a tambourine for cadence, she was standing in front of a mural of a man with a scraggly beard and hair that rolled way down past his shoulders, maybe even to his buttocks..and it sure as fuck wasn't Ted Nugent.

Report: Foiled Domestic Terror Plots are Fed Setups

According to a new report by Human Rights Watch, the majority of the high-profile domestic "terrorism" plots that are foiled by the feds and then trumpeted by the corrupt state-corporate are in fact set-ups. It is the ultimate in self-justification for a bloated federal law enforcement system that continues to suck up taxpayer money while growing like a cancer. The war on terror has always been a massive fraud, conveniently providing cover for a massive expansion of the police state, the creation of the monstrosity that is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the lynchpin upon which the justification for the myriad of ongoing wars of imperial plunder are hung and a political scam that rewards those leeches and other bloodsuckers in Congress who are able to ride the big security state gravy train.
The report, according to a story in The Guardian entitled "Government agents 'directly involved' in most high-profile US terror plots": from which I excerpt:
Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the "direct involvement" of government agents or informants, a new report says.Some of the controversial "sting" operations "were proposed or led by informants", bordering on entrapment by law enforcement. Yet the courtroom obstacles to proving entrapment are significant, one of the reasons the stings persist.

The lengthy report, released on Monday by Human Rights Watch, raises questions about the US criminal justice system's ability to respect civil rights and due process in post-9/11 terrorism cases. It portrays a system that features not just the sting operations but secret evidence, anonymous juries, extensive pretrial detentions and convictions significantly removed from actual plots.

"In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act," the report alleges.
Citing 27 prominent "terrorism" cases the report finds only four that did not have some level of federal agents using bribes, false information and entrapment to make the big, media friendly bust - including the Boston Marathon bombers which our massive national system of surveillance and billions of dollars in taxpayer money to pay the salaries of our protectors couldn't stop. The setups all involve Muslims who as has been reported by the recent work of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald are specifically targeted for their political and religious beliefs.
The Greenwald piece, published by "The Intercept" is entitled "Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On" and in addition to the obvious profiling issues also touches on a culture of anti-Muslim bigotry that exists within federal law enforcement agencies:
The FBI—which is listed as the “responsible agency” for surveillance on the five men—has a controversial record when it comes to the ethnic profiling of Muslim-Americans. According to FBI training materials uncovered by Wired in 2011, the bureau taught agents to treat “mainstream” Muslims as supporters of terrorism, to view charitable donations by Muslims as “a funding mechanism for combat,” and to view Islam itself as a “Death Star” that must be destroyed if terrorism is to be contained.
John Guandolo, a former FBI counterterrorism official who takes credit for developing a training program for agents on the “Muslim Brotherhood and their subversive movement in the United States,” told The Intercept that he participated in investigations of some of the individuals whose email accounts were monitored. Echoing the “red under every bed” hysteria of the McCarthy era, Guandolo believes that “hundreds” of covert members of the Muslim Brotherhood are active in the United States, that some of them have succeeded in infiltrating the Pentagon, and that CIA director John Brennan is a secret Muslim.
Other former and current federal officials say such beliefs are not representative of the FBI or Justice Department. But blatant prejudice against Muslim-Americans is also documented in the Snowden archive.
In one 2005 document, intelligence community personnel are instructed how to properly format internal memos to justify FISA surveillance. In the place where the target’s real name would go, the memo offers a fake name as a placeholder: “Mohammed Raghead.”
Not that the FBI is the sole domain of anti-Muslim bigots, there is a huge national network of those who maintain think tanks, media chop shops and an army of activists to ensure that the demonization of Muslims is ongoing. Such fear-mongering and disinformation not only serves to continue to feed and expand the surveillance and police state but also provides the narrative for the "clash of civilizations" crusade that has been ongoing since then president George W. Bush stood atop that pile of rubble with a megaphone and fed a nation's prejudices and bloodlust right before his neocon packed administration lied the US into war with Iraq based on false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction and a bogus link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. The pushing of the Muslim war on America meme was getting much traction with ISIS and the new caliphate but has at least for the moment been overtaken by the even more institutionalized hatred for Russia and the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine provides a gift from the heavens to the narcissistic Obama in detouring from Iraq and Syria to avenge his wounded pride upon Putin.
But the setups (just say you love Osama) will continue as law enforcement in the USA!, USA!, USA! increasingly mimics the tactics of historic models of totalitarian states. It doesn't take much scrutiny to already see elements of the Gestapo, SAVAK, NKVD and Stasi at both the federal and local level and it is not going to ever get better - the proverbial ship has already sailed when it comes to being able to stop it and to this day far too many Americans are still living in fear to even realize that which has been wrought upon them in the name of national security.
Download the entire  Human Rights Watch report here: