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NCPCF News Digest - Issue No. 59 -  February 23, 2012

‘Civil Freedoms for All’   

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.   Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this issue

NYPD spying program aimed at Muslims

Capitol Bomb Plot Raises FBI Sting Questions

Civil Liberties Group Joins Occupy Protester’s Fight

How the FBI Invents Terrorists Like the U.S. Capitol ‘Suicide Bomber’

Racial profiling by law enforcement is poisoning Muslim Americans’ trust

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Website of the Week

Stop the NDAA

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Faces of Repression

Feb. 20 is the Ninth Commemoration of Dr. Al-Arian Political Persecution with no end in sight

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News Digest

Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Material Support         

A. The Detroit News (2/16): ‘Unchanged,’ Abdulmutallab gets 4 life terms

B. New York Times (2/17): F.B.I. Arrests Man in a Suspected Terrorist Plot Near the U.S. Capitol

C. Huffington Post (2/17): Capitol Bomb Plot Raises FBI Sting Questions

The facts of the case, involving a prolonged undercover operation involving government informants-turned-terrorism-enablers, is likely to raise concerns similar to those voiced last fallwhen federal agents announced they’d foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

D. USA Today (2/21): Informants integral in FBI’s war on terror
Since the 9/11 attacks, when virtually no anti-terror intelligence network existed, federal authorities have tapped into a vast network of informants — many of them in the U.S. Muslim community — who have assisted in the arrests of suspects from D.C. to Portland, Ore.

Profiling

A. Associated Press (2/18): NYPD monitored Muslim students all over Northeast
The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the elite Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.

B. The Middletown Press (2/21): Connecticut Muslim leaders seek documents on NYPD probe of Yale students

C. Wall Street Journal (2/23): Newark mayor seeks probe of NYPD Muslim spying

The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city called for state authorities Wednesday to investigate a widespread spying operation conducted in Newark’s Muslim neighborhoods by the New York Police Department that he characterized as “deeply offensive.”

Community Action/Building Our Coalition 

A. New York Times (2/16): Civil Liberties Group Joins Occupy Protester’s Fight

Occupy reminded us how critical — and irreplaceable — public space is to expressing a message and assembling with others to discuss important issues of the day.

B. Tenth Amendment Center (2/16): Seven and Counting. Two More Cities Reject NDAA

C. WWLP.com (2/17): Northampton “opts out” of federal law

Government Policy Under Scrutiny

WIRED (2/22): DOJ Urges Supreme Court to Halt Challenge to Warrantless Eavesdropping 

Civil Freedoms Under Threat

A. NextGov (2/16): DHS defends social media monitoring program

B. Wall Street Journal (2/17): Google’s iPhone Tracking
Web Giant, Others Bypassed Apple Browser Settings for Guarding Privacy

C. The Atlantic (2/21): Who Do You Trust Less: The NSA or Anonymous?
Intelligence officials seem to be polishing up their case to take on Anonymous like a ‘stateless’ 

Editorials/Opinions 

A. Mary Dudziak in New York Times (2/15): This War Is Not Over Yet

B. Jameel Jafaar in ACLU.org (2/15): A Brewing Battle Over Warrantless Wiretapping

The new statute permits the NSA to intercept phone calls and e-mails between the U.S. and a foreign location, without making any showing to a court and without judicial oversight, whether or not the communication has anything to do with al Qaeda — indeed, even if there is no evidence that the communication has anything to do with terrorism, or any threat to national security.

C. Carl Mirra in Antiwar.com (2/16): The NDAA and the Militarization of America

D. Andrew Bacevich in Alternet (2/19): The 3 Stages of the “War on Terror”: From Shock and Awe to Assassinations

A war that once occupied center stage in national politics has now slipped to the periphery, with legal and moral questions raised by the war left dangling in midair.

E. Mansfield Frazier in the Daily Beast (2/19): How the FBI Invents Terrorists Like the U.S. Capitol ‘Suicide Bomber’

Even the authorities admit the alleged suicide bomber apprehended near the U.S. Capitol posed no threat. This is how the feds create ‘terrorists’ so they can arrest them.

F. Samuel Rascoff in the New York Times (2/20): Uncle Sam Is No Imam

G. Bill Ong Hing in Huffington Post (2/21): Lessons to Remember From Japanese Internment

In order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, the Supreme Court should make clear in these cases that the United States respects the fundamental constitutional and human rights –even in times of war. These cases present the Supreme Court with a direct test of whether it will meet its deepest constitutional responsibilities to uphold the law in a clear-eyed and courageous manner.

H. Sahar Aziz in the Guardian (2/21): Racial profiling by law enforcement is poisoning Muslim Americans’ trust

By using ‘community outreach’ to spy on citizens, counter-terror agencies are wrecking their most valuable asset: good will

I. Glenn Greenwald in Salon (2/22): NYPD spying program aimed at Muslims

The hallmark of a Surveillance State is that police agencies secretly monitor and keep dossiers on not only those individuals suspected of lawbreaking, but on the society generally, including those individuals about whom there is no suspicion of wrongdoing.

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