NCPCF News Digest – Issue No. 51 –  December 24, 2011

‘Civil Freedoms for All’   

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

In this issue

Mehanna conviction stirs outcry on rights                 

34 Congress members call for probe of NYPD-CIA spying on Muslims

Yes, Virginia, even the LED lights might be ‘listening’

The Incomplete Guide To Detainee Custody Under The NDAA

The Contradictions of Obama’s Outreach to American Muslims 

The militarization of ‘war on terror’ in the US

Upcoming Events

NCPCF–Sponsored Event Sunday, January 15, 2012   Time: 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Police State? Surveillance Society? Sneak and Peek? Entrapment? Infiltration?  Pre-crime Targeting? 

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS (Before they are read to you!)

Join Town Hall Meeting on MLK Day

MLK DC Library 901 G St. NW, Room A-5, Washington DC 20001 

(Get Directions:

Do you want to know about what federal agents are doing in your community? What your rights are? What to do when asked for an interview? Search warrants? Subpoenas? Fusion Centers? No fly lists? Guantanamo at home? Ask the experts!

Poll of the Week

Do you think the state of civil rights in the US will improve in 2012 (a presidential elections year)?  

Website of the Week

NLG – Know Your Rights


 News Digest

Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions           

A. New York Times (12/20): U.S. Citizen Is Convicted in Plot to Support Al Qaeda

B. Associate Press (12/20): Chicago fake-bomb suspect to change plea to guilty in deal with federal prosecutors

Legal expert Karen Greenberg says suspects in terrorism cases have one overwhelming incentive to cut a plea agreement and to avoid taking the case to a jury: They almost never win at trial.

C. Los Angeles Times (12/21): Woman held for allegedly providing funds to terrorists in Pakistan

D. Associated Press (12/21): Brothers sentenced for roles in NC terror plot

E. The Globe and Mail (12/22): Despite plea-bargain deal, Omar Khadr to spend his tenth New Year’s in Guantanamo

F. Boston Globe (12/22):Mehanna conviction stirs outcry on rights

To many civil libertarians, the conviction of Tarek Mehanna dangerously undermined free speech rights and delivered a stark message that holding radical ideas can be punished under the guise of national security.

Prison Conditions and Abuses  

Reuters (12/22): U.S. judge tosses lawsuit over Guantanamo treatment

Government Policy Under Scrutiny

A. Harpers (12/19): Court of Appeal Orders Release of Bagram Prisoner

B. Hot Air (12/22): Obama to add signing statement to defense authorization opposing NDAA

Congressional Hearings/Investigations

Washington Post (12/21): 34 Congress members call for probe of NYPD-CIA spying on Muslims

Civil Freedoms Under Threat

A. Computer World (12/19): Yes, Virginia, even the LED lights might be ‘listening’                 

B. Green in the New Red (12/20): FBI Says Activists Who Investigate Factory Farms Can Be Prosecuted as Terrorists

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has kept files on activists who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms and recommended prosecuting them as terrorists, according to a new document uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act.

C. TPM (12/20): The Incomplete Guide To Detainee Custody Under The NDAA

Is your arrestee a citizen or lawful U.S. resident?

D. CNN (12/21): New York Times files lawsuit seeking info on targeted killings


A. Naomi Wolf Blog (12/12): How Congress is signing its own arrest warrants

B. Conner Friedersdorf in the Atlantic (12/19): The Zenith of Civil Libertarian Anger at President Obama

C. Sahar Aziz in Huffington Post (12/19): The Contradictions of Obama’s Outreach to American Muslims

The Obama Administration has sabotaged its own high-minded public position by adopting the Bush Administration’s counterterrorism model that punishes the broad Muslim community rather than targeting genuine threats.

D. Glenn Greenwald in Salon (12/20): Can the U.S. Government close social media accounts?

The Obama administration and The New York Times are teaming up to expose and combat the grave threat posed by a Twitter account, purportedly operated by the Somali group Shabab, and in doing so, are highlighting the simultaneous absurdity and perniciousness of the War on Terror. 

E. Melvin Goodman in (12/21): The Bush/Obama War Against Truth

The harsh treatment of alleged leaker Bradley Manning is part of a broader campaign to silence government whistleblowers, a pattern that began with Vice President Dick Cheney’s outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame but has expanded under President Obama.

F. Ramzi Kassem in Al-Jazeera (12/22): The militarization of ‘war on terror’ in the US

The National Defence Authorisation Act continues the onward march of the ‘war on terror’ through the American homeland.


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