The 1% Wall Street global pols have a goal of installing the same global militarized security and policing in US cities deemed International Economic Zones----like Baltimore. They have worked through Bush and now Obama's terms to do this creating Homeland Security ----expanding NSA surveillance----rewriting US laws describing who and what is called a terrorist. At the same time ---through Bush and Obama the US economy has been kept stagnant with unemployment growing and poverty deepening in our US cities creating the current high crime and violence we see today. Here in Maryland with the Baltimore City jail everybody has known the state and city simply abandoned all oversight and accountability inside the jail creating a don't snitch attitude throughout because no one can attain justice. This is how gang formation starts----they know this and they are the ones installing this environment.
If you look at Homeland Security maps of the US you will see our US cities labelled as TROUBLED SPOTS because of this high level of violence and citizens are being labelled as gang members whether they are or not--or not knowing if that group is really criminal. People make associations----these Homeland Security maps look just like a military operation assessing strategy for a mission TO PROTECT CITIZENS from these growing threats from overseas terrorist and now our own citizens.
The new description of terrorism now includes some of what have been ordinary civil disobedience against institutions people feel are oppressing them-----such as the 99% of citizens feeling our government is oppressing us. So now, the general population is APPEARING to be a threat to SAFETY AND CIVIL STABILITY.
Again, it may appear to be directed at the underserved black communities but the goal will have the entire city under a SMART CITY surveillance that would make Stalin and Hitler fascists green with envy. So, if WE THE PEOPLE sit by silently thinking THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME----they are mistaken.
We all know the Baltimore City jail is being closed because Wall Street Baltimore Development is ready to gentrify this real estate while pols pose progressive towards moving and releasing prisoners. 99% of black citizens in underserved communities are simply citizens needing steady employment and an opportunity to build a stable home for their families-----that's who these very scary gang/terrorists are for the most part. Sure, there are some nasty criminals as well----but we do not change our entire value structure to address this.
You see why the video with Lady Heroin naming who they see as their 5% working for the 1% includes the 300 Black Men organization. This comment is coming from a completely separate voice in our black community feeling the same way.
A comment from a friend:
Larry Hogan, Baltimore Police Department, Munir Bahar, Nick Mosby, Brandon M. Scott---
Larry Hogan Said:
A "columnist" called me nasty and mean for not giving Democratic legislators prior notice of our plan to close the Baltimore City Detention Center. He even blamed it on my cancer, saying maybe the bald head and chemo was making me mean. Actually for safety reasons we could not leak this plan in advance to the gang leaders and criminals running the jail. But, we did give notice early that day to legislative leaders in advance. In spite of 10 days of 24 hour chemo I haven't become mean and nasty, I'm still the same nice guy I have always been, and we are still accomplishing great things for Maryland."
Larry Hogan---If there are "gang leaders and criminals running the jail" as you have stated in the press, then you are the head of the State and the gang leaders and criminals are on your payroll".
TO THE FBI: GOVERNOR LARRY HOGAN HAS JUST ADMITTED IN PUBLIC THAT GANG LEADERS AND CRIMINALS RUN THE STATE OF MARYLAND'S BALTIMORE CITY DENTENTION CENTER WHICH IS A DEPARTMENT UNDER HIS DIRECT CONTROL.
THIS IS WHY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE MUST EXPAND ITS INVESTIGATION INTO THE CORRUPTION OF THE GOVERNOR, THE MAYOR, THE BPD, CITY COUNCIL , THE SHERIFF AND STATES ATTORNEY WHO HAVE USED CAREER FELONS LIKE MUNIR BAHAR TO CONTROL GANGS AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES LIKE THE SAFE STREETS AND 300 MEN PROGRAMS OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS WHO ARE ALLOWED TO RUN STREET PROGRAMS AND THE JAILS AND PRISONS.
'The statistics compiled on police raids give a broad picture of how the tactic is used in Maryland. Of the 806 raids conducted in the six-month period, more than 94 percent stemmed from search or arrest warrants. Most of the others came as the result of a barricade situation'.
Our organization Citizens' Oversight Maryland travels to all Baltimore communities educating on public policy and embracing justice actions so we have knowledge of how troubling this SWAT team/home invasion situation is for black citizens in underserved communities-----IT IS VERY SERIOUS ---THEY ARE NOT REPORTING HOW COMMON THIS IS.
I showed a video yesterday from Brazil----home of Latin American International Economic Zones and the militarized sercurity coming with that---where citizens living ordinary lives suddenly fall victim to someone's TIP----some agency's assessment of civic violations----WHATEVER. This has been happening in Baltimore's black communities for a few decades but has heightened these several years of Obama/Congressional push towards installing militarized policing. Baltimore's Maryland Assembly pols pushed all these militarized policing policies always selling this a SOCIAL BENEFIT to stifle crime, violence.
A similar article in the Baltimore Sun had data showing almost all these SWAT home invasions came without justification. Those numbers were so high----we started to see police PLANTING evidence to justify these invasions. I am not making this up----it is documented and reported as happening far too often.
When citizens allow such a degradation of civil rights and liberties go unchecked we KNOW these structures grow in who they target. Years from now an academic and activist WILL BE LOOKED UPON AS AN ANTI-GOVERNMENT THREAT.
It is no coincidence that the pols pushing and passing these Homeland Security laws are the same 5% tied to global NGOs and corporate non-profit leadership. None of this is good for ANY CITIZEN.
Numbers paint portrait of SWAT team use
February 24, 2010|By Peter Hermann | firstname.lastname@example.org
After tactical officers burst into Cheye Calvos's house, bound his hands, held his mother-in-law on the floor and fatally shot his Labrador retrievers, the angry Berwyn Heights mayor was convinced that sheriff's deputies and other police in Prince George's County were out of control.
Even when police were serving routine warrants, regardless of whether intelligence indicated a threat, Calvo - who was absolved of any wrongdoing - argued that the police as a matter of policy deployed paramilitary teams armed with automatic weapons. Police expressed regret for the raid on Calvo's house in 2008, but the outrage over their tactics sparked legislation requiring police agencies in Maryland to compile data on tactical entries.
The first batch of numbers, obtained by The Baltimore Sun in a Public Information Act request to the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, is now out. And Calvo said it proves his point: In the last six months of 2009, Prince George's County police made more tactical raids - an average of more than one a day - than any other jurisdiction in Maryland, more than double the number conducted by officers in Baltimore City.
Police in Prince George's used tactical officers in 105 raids involving what the FBI defines as Part II crimes - nonserious felonies and misdemeanors - and 90 for more violent offenses, such as murder, rape and aggravated assault. In Baltimore City, police raided 84 houses, 30 for nonserious crimes. Baltimore County officers conducted 62 tactical raids, only one of which involved a nonserious crime.
The data do not include narratives, so it's impossible to know what intelligence police had in each situation without going through individual reports filed by 37 Maryland police agencies, which together performed 806 tactical raids in six months. For example, SWAT officers might be used to serve a warrant in a relatively minor case if police believe the target is armed.
But to Calvo, the numbers speak volumes about how different police agencies work.
"There are too many people in Prince George's County employed solely to dress up in military gear and kick in doors," the mayor said Tuesday. "How is this an efficient use of resources? They are creating situations where bad things can happen. Most of the time, things go fine, but sometimes the trigger goes off. Sometimes things go terribly wrong."
That's what happened to Calvo in the summer of 2008 when Prince George's County sheriff's deputies barged into his home with a warrant after they intercepted a package of marijuana addressed to the mayor's wife. Calvo was a victim of a ruse in which drug dealers were sending narcotics to unsuspecting recipients, hoping to intercept the boxes left outside front doors before the homeowners returned.
Calvo complained that a rudimentary investigation would have told police they were about to raid the house of a mayor and that sending officers with machine guns was overkill. The department's county police chief said at the time he called Calvo "to express my sorrow and regret," but a spokesman defended the raid as procedurally correct. A sheriff's department review concluded that deputies acted appropriately.
A Prince George's County police spokeswoman who spoke only on the condition that she not be identified, pointing to the delicate nature of the query and Calvo's pending lawsuit, would only caution that every tactical raid cited in the reports was the result of warrants issued by judges. She noted that even when minor crimes are alleged, most of those are concerned with drugs, and police always assume weapons are involved.
The spokeswoman also stressed that in 99 of the 195 raids, police did not have to break down doors or force their way into homes. She declined to comment further until the police chief could examine the data. The Prince George's County Sheriff's Office, which conducted the raid on Calvo's house, listed only one raid over the six-month period, a forceable entry in Bladensburg on Dec. 29 in which two arrests were made.
The statistics compiled on police raids give a broad picture of how the tactic is used in Maryland. Of the 806 raids conducted in the six-month period, more than 94 percent stemmed from search or arrest warrants. Most of the others came as the result of a barricade situation.
Police forced their way into 545 houses, seized property in 633 of the raids, made arrests 485 times and discharged their weapons five times. In the six months studied, seven civilians were hurt but none killed, and two animals were injured and two killed.
Baltimore police listed raid sites by ZIP code, with the most, 22, in Northwest Baltimore, followed by 14 in parts of East and Northeast Baltimore. There were nine in Waverly, four in Govans and five in Highlandtown.
Most of International Economic Zones are located on the coast and ports because this is the direct transportation route to global cargo ships. If you look again at a US map for Homeland Security the entire national coastline is now one big surveillance/securitized zone. When a nation becomes authoritarian and allows only these International Economic Zones be the only employment in the region---and if those global corporate factories are sweat shops filled with immigrant workers not wanting to be there-----THAT IS THE CONCERN FOR THE FAR-RIGHT WALL STREET GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS. The SOCIAL BENEFIT is NOT for the safety of citizens and community.
We are told US cities deemed International Economic Zones now have to protect against terrorists sometimes using global cargo as tools----we have to watch for criminal cartels now wanting to steal from these manufacturing facilities. We must watch for illegal movement of immigrants and workers throughout these global corporate campuses possibly up to no good----maybe planning some kind of organizing of 99%.
So, this designation of US cities as International Economic Zones passed by our Congressional pols WHICH ALMOST NO US CITIZEN WOULD WANT IF THEY KNEW WHAT THIS MEANS----becomes the entire motivation from the growing militarized securitization.
'Inflating the Importance of Potential Terrorist Targets
A fourth stratagem is to inflate the importance of potential terrorist targets. Thus, nearly half of American federal homeland security expenditure is devoted to protecting what the Department of Homeland Security and various presidential and Congressional reports and directives rather extravagantly call “critical infrastructure” and “key resources.”'
This article was too long to post in its entirety ----please Google to understand the drivers of these hyper-security policies.
Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security
August 2011John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart
The cumulative increase in expenditures on U.S. domestic homeland security over the decade since 9/11 exceeds one trillion dollars. It is clearly time to examine these massive expenditures applying risk assessment and cost-benefit approaches that have been standard for decades. Thus far, officials do not seem to have done so and have engaged in various forms of probability neglect by focusing on worst case scenarios; adding, rather than multiplying, the probabilities; assessing relative, rather than absolute, risk; and inflating terrorist capacities and the importance of potential terrorist targets. We find that enhanced expenditures have been excessive. To be deemed cost-effective in analyses that substantially bias the consideration toward the opposite conclusion, the security measures would have to deter, prevent, foil, or protect each year against 1,667 otherwise successful attacks that each inflicted some $100 million in damage (more than four per day) or 167 attacks inflicting $1 billion in damage (nearly one every two days). This is in the range of destruction of what might have happened had the Times-Square bomber of 2010 been successful. Although there are emotional and political pressures on the terrorism issue, this does not relieve politicians and bureaucrats of the fundamental responsibility of informing the public of the limited risk that terrorism presents, of seeking to expend funds wisely, and of bearing in mind opportunity costs. Moreover, political concerns may be over-wrought: restrained reaction has often proved to be entirely acceptable politically. And avoiding overreaction is by far the most cost-effective counterterrorism measure.
Mueller, John, and Mark G. Stewart. “Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security.” Homeland Security Affairs 7, Article 16 (August 2011). https://www.hsaj.org/articles/43
In seeking to evaluate the effectiveness of the massive increases in homeland security expenditures since the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, the common and urgent query has been “are we safer?” This, however, is the wrong question. Of course we are “safer”— the posting of a single security guard at one building’s entrance enhances safety, however microscopically. The correct question is “are the gains in security worth the funds expended?” Or as this absolutely central question was posed shortly after 9/11 by risk analyst Howard Kunreuther, “How much should we be willing to pay for a small reduction in probabilities that are already extremely low?”
Tallying the Costs — One Trillion Dollars and Counting
We have, in fact, paid — or been willing to pay — a lot. In the years immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on Washington and New York, it was understandable that there was a tendency to fashion policy and to expend funds in haste and confusion, and maybe even hysteria, on homeland security. After all, intelligence was estimating at the time that there were as many as 5,000 al Qaeda operatives at large in the country,2 and as New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani reflected later, “Anybody, any one of these security experts, including myself, would have told you on September 11, 2001, we’re looking at dozens and dozens and multi-years of attacks like this.”3
The intelligence claims and the anxieties of Giuliani and other “security experts” have clearly proved, putting it mildly, to be unjustified. In the frantic interim, however, the United States government increased its expenditures for dealing with terrorism massively. As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, federal expenditures on domestic homeland security have increased by some $360 billion over those in place in 2001. Moreover, federal national intelligence expenditures aimed at defeating terrorists at home and abroad have gone up by $110 billion, while state, local, and private sector expenditures have increased by two hundred billion more. And the vast majority of this increase, of course, has been driven by much heightened fears of terrorism, not by growing concerns about other hazards -- as Veronique de Rugy has noted, by 2008 federal spending on counterterrorism had increased enormously while protection for such comparable risks as fraud and violent crime had not, to the point where homeland security expenditures had outpaced spending on all crime by $15 billion.4
Tallying all these expenditures and adding in opportunity costs — but leaving out the costs of the terrorism-related (or terrorism-determined) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and quite a few other items that might be included — the increase in expenditures on domestic homeland security over the decade exceeds one trillion dollars. The details are in Table 1. This has not been enough to move the country into bankruptcy, Osama bin Laden’s stated goal after 9/11, but it clearly adds up to real money, even by Washington standards.5 Other countries like Britain, Canada, and Australia have also dramatically increased their expenditures.
I'm not going into US foreign military policy this week but it does factor into why our US Homeland Security is making a third world militarized policing and security structure of our US cities.
The US under Bush/Obama has backed out of every International Justice Organization and agreement from International Criminal Courts to how the US operates in occupied war zones. The Geneva Convention has been thrown aside because of these CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA Wall Street global corporate pols. This of course MAKES citizens in other nations anger at the US. If one can imagine living in what are now called TARGETED DRONE ASYMMETRIC WARFARE ZONES you would understand the reverse logic that this is a military structure leading to fewer civilian casualties. We have allowed politicians to stay in office that now are attacking a dozen nations in targeted killings. Since citizens cannot see, hear, or know these drones are around or who they are targeting----CITIZENS ARE LIVING IN CONSTANT FEAR IN NATIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD and yes, many civilians are killed in these targeted attacks as well.
Second, the nations being targeted are often Muslim nations who DO NOT WANT WALL STREET NEO-LIBERALISM in their nation AND WHO CAN BLAME THEM. So, this is what the SOCIAL BENEFIT for Americans become in total securitization of our US cities deemed International Economic Zones.
The same US militarized injustice making citizens in Muslim nations chant DEATH TO AMERICA are the same now making our black citizens in US cities become enraged at injustice. This is the perfect example of that saying against fascism----FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE -----THEN THEY CAME FOR THE-------BUT I WASN'T ONE OF THEM SO I WAS SILENT. These policies are not the face of the American people.
I know for a fact that most white US citizens are shocked and disgusted by all this as anyone----black and brown citizens under attack around the world creates that factionization in our US society.
Asia Pacific | News Analysis
Drone Strikes Reveal Uncomfortable Truth: U.S. Is Often Unsure About Who Will Die
By SCOTT SHANEAPRIL 23, 2015
Barack Obama inherited two ugly, intractable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he became president and set to work to end them. But a third, more covert war he made his own, escalating drone strikes in Pakistan and expanding them to Yemen and Somalia.
The drone’s vaunted capability for pinpoint killing appealed to a president intrigued by a new technology and determined to try to keep the United States out of new quagmires. Aides said Mr. Obama liked the idea of picking off dangerous terrorists a few at a time, without endangering American lives or risking the yearslong bloodshed of conventional war.
“Let’s kill the people who are trying to kill us,” he often told aides.
By most accounts, hundreds of dangerous militants have, indeed, been killed by drones, including some high-ranking Qaeda figures. But for six years, when the heavy cloak of secrecy has occasionally been breached, the results of some strikes have often turned out to be deeply troubling.
Every independent investigation of the strikes has found far more civilian casualties than administration officials admit. Gradually, it has become clear that when operators in Nevada fire missiles into remote tribal territories on the other side of the world, they often do not know who they are killing, but are making an imperfect best guess.
U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan
Since 2004, the United States has carried out more than 400 drone strikes inside the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Source: Bureau of Investigative Journalism (chart data)
By The New York Times
The president’s announcement on Thursday that a January strike on Al Qaeda in Pakistan had killed two Western hostages, and that it took many weeks to confirm their deaths, bolstered the assessments of the program’s harshest outside critics. The dark picture was compounded by the additional disclosure that two American members of Al Qaeda were killed in strikes that same month, but neither had been identified in advance and deliberately targeted.
In all, it was a devastating acknowledgment for Mr. Obama, who had hoped to pioneer a new, more discriminating kind of warfare. Whether the episode might bring a long-delayed public reckoning about targeted killings, long hidden by classification rules, remained uncertain.
Even some former Obama administration security officials have expressed serious doubts about the wisdom of the program, given the ire it has ignited overseas and the terrorists who have said they plotted attacks because of drones. And outside experts have long called for a candid accounting of the results of strikes.
“I hope this event allows us at last to have an honest dialogue about the U.S. drone program,” said Rachel Stohl, of the Stimson Center, a Washington research institute. “These are precise weapons. The failure is in the intelligence about who it is that we are killing.”
Ms. Stohl noted that Mr. Obama and his top aides have repeatedly promised greater openness about the drone program but have never really delivered on it.
In a speech in 2013 about drones, Mr. Obama declared that no strike was taken without “near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.” He added that “nevertheless, it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties” and said “those deaths will haunt us as long as we live.”
But over the Obama presidency, it has become harder for journalists to obtain information from the government on the results of particular strikes. And Mr. Obama’s Justice Department has fought in court for years to keep secret the legal opinions justifying strikes.
Micah Zenko, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations and lead author of a 2013 study of drones, said the president’s statement “highlights what we’ve sort of known: that most individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names.”
Almost all drone
in this area.
By The New York Times
Mr. Zenko noted that with the new disclosures, a total of eight Americans have been killed in drone strikes. Of those, only one, the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who joined Al Qaeda in Yemen and was killed in 2011, was identified and deliberately targeted. The rest were killed in strikes aimed at other militants, or in so-called signature strikes based on indications that people on the ground were likely with Al Qaeda or allied militant groups.
Though by most accounts six of the eight Americans were allied with Al Qaeda, Obama administration lawyers have ruled that a special legal review should be conducted before killing Americans suspected of terrorism. Such a review, they have argued, amounts to the legal “due process” required by the Constitution, though some legal scholars do not believe such reviews meet the constitutional test.
When Americans have been killed, however, the Obama administration has found it necessary to break with its usual practice and eventually acknowledge the deaths, at least in private discussions with reporters.
That was the case in the first C.I.A. drone strike, in Yemen in 2002, which turned out to have killed an American in Al Qaeda. It was the case in 2011, when an American Qaeda propagandist from North Carolina, Samir Khan, was killed along with Mr. Awlaki. And it happened two weeks later, when another American strike killed Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son and his 17-year-old cousin.
The rubble of a building that was destroyed in Yemen by a drone strike in 2011 against Qaeda militants, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the only one of eight American drone victims over all who was a target.
Military and intelligence officials said they did not know that the teenagers were present when they took a shot at a Qaeda operative who, it turned out, was not there. But such admissions, in the rare cases that officials were willing to discuss, undercut their argument that in most cases they were confident that they were killing only dangerous militants.
Most security experts still believe that drones, which allow a scene to be watched for hours or days through video feeds, still offer at least the chance of greater accuracy than other means of killing terrorists. By most accounts, conventional airstrikes and ground invasions kill a higher proportion of noncombatants. But without detailed, reliable, on-the-ground intelligence, experience has shown, drones make it possible to precisely kill the wrong people.
Mr. Zenko said that an average of separate counts of American drone strikes by three organizations, the New America Foundation, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Long War Journal, finds that 522 strikes have killed 3,852 people, 476 of them civilians. But those counts, based on news accounts and some on-the-ground interviews, are considered very rough estimates.
The proliferating mistakes have given drones a sinister reputation in Pakistan and Yemen and have provoked a powerful anti-American backlash in the Muslim world. Part of the collateral damage in the strikes has been Mr. Obama’s dream of restoring the United States’ reputation with Muslims around the globe.
Despite the bad reviews overseas, drone strikes remain persistently popular with the American public, with about two-thirds expressing approval in polls. And despite the protests of a few liberal Democrats or libertarian Republicans, they have enjoyed unusual bipartisan support in Congress, where they are viewed as reducing the threat of terrorist attack and keeping American operators out of harm’s way.
Mr. Zenko said that Mr. Obama and Congress should create a commission to examine the targeted killing program, its results and its flaws. But he said the combination of public and Congressional popularity probably mean that even the latest disclosures will not bring such scrutiny to the program.
“I predict that even this episode will have no effect,” he said.
Johns Hopkins leads in having a global security/surveillance corporation and pushes all of the worst of far-right repressive policies on surveillance and spying. With ties to both Homeland Security and NSA we have the gorilla in the room in corporations bringing these products. Of course we also have the global NGOs and corporate non-profits creating data showing how Baltimore has so many security needs.
When media news concentrates on all the police/citizen shootings and killings----when the majority of news focuses on every report of theft in the city----you are deliberately creating fear in citizens to promote installation of more and more security measures. I read an article in the Baltimore Sun that said employees of a global insurance corporation right on Pratt and Light Street felt fearful to simply come and go to work. I have for 10 years spent tons of time in that area but never have I seen a crime. That does not mean it doesn't happen----it means THE HYPE IS SUPER-SIZED TO CREATE MORE FEAR THAN NEEDED. So, now Baltimore Development Corporation needed to HEIGHTEN security and surveillance in the downtown areas. Baltimore is well on its way to being the most securitized city in the US outside NYC.
So, we have black underserved communities feeling the need for surveillance cameras----groups being watched as suspected crime cartels and as we see below----we always need to keep an eye on Muslims because ---they really hate having the nations' occupied by fear.
There is relatively few incidences of Muslim aggression as acts of terrorism but we need to protect ----it's all about SOCIAL BENEFIT.
The Horrifying Effects of NYPD Ethnic Profiling on Innocent Muslim Americans
A new report describes the concrete ways a clandestine spying program has caused individuals and communities to suffer.
America's largest city, an ethnically diverse, politically liberal melting pot of more than 8 million people, routinely violates the civil liberties of its racial and ethnic minorities. New York City's "Stop and Frisk" policy, the subject of class action lawsuit, annually ensnares hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers, a majority of them black and Latino. Complaints about searches sans probable cause are constant. Listen for yourself as a 17-year-old Harlem boy is stopped, called a "fucking mutt" and threatened with a broken arm. Read about the part of "Stop and Frisk" that was already declared unconstitutional in federal court. See the appalled street protesters. The visible activism and vocal dissent is as it should be.
But the sustained public backlash against "Stop and Frisk" is also a reminder that Americans know comparatively little about the Muslim Americans whose communities haven't just been disproportionately impacted by NYPD attention, but exclusively targeted in a deliberate, decade long policy of outright ethnic profiling.
As it turns out, many were too rattled to go on the record with complaints, and have spoken out for the first time only after being sought out by a coalition of civil-liberties organizations, which has compiled testimony that shows the high cost these innocents have paid merely for being Muslim in New York.
First, a bit of background:
The Associated Press brought the NYPD's clandestine spying on Muslims to the public's attention in a series of vital stories. Starting shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, officers infiltrated Muslim communities and spied on hundreds or perhaps thousands of totally innocent Americans at mosques, colleges, and elsewhere. These officers "put American citizens under surveillance and scrutinized where they ate, prayed and worked, not because of charges of wrongdoing but because of their ethnicity," the news agency reported, citing NYPD documents. Informants were paid to bait Muslims into making inflammatory statements. The NYPD even conducted surveillance on Muslim Americans outside its jurisdiction, drawing a rebuke from an FBI field office, where a top official charged that "the department's surveillance of Muslims in the state has hindered investigations and created 'additional risks' in counterterrorism."
NYPD brass and Mayor Michael Bloomberg defend these policies as counterterrorism efforts that are necessary to keep New Yorkers safe. As you ponder the specific costs of these policies, as evocatively described below, keep in mind one thing about the ostensible benefits: "In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques," the Associated Press reported, "the New York Police Department's secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation." They acknowledged, in court testimony, having generated zero leads.
Okay, now the costs.
"Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims," is available in its entirety here.
The abstract objections to police officers spying on innocent Americans based on their religion are presumably familiar to readers, so let's focus on concrete costs to the innocent victims:
- The week that AP published its investigation, "the students wouldn't come to the prayer room," the leader of a Muslim student group at a New York college said. "They felt they couldn't meet in their own space. The idea of being surveilled -- for a 19- or 20-year-old -- is a terrifying thing."
- A young man "who befriended a fellow mosque goer only to find out that his friend was an NYPD undercover responded by severing his relationship with the mosque for a year. He has since returned ... but refuses to involve himself in the mosque's activities, or to befriend anyone. He just goes to pray, and then promptly leaves, believing that anything more might put him at risk."
- Multiple imams reported that they "avoided providing one-on-one consultations because they could never be sure that a question posed by a congregant is a sincere one, or whether it is an attempt by an informant to elicit opinions that he or she will then pass on to their handlers." Said one, "The relationship of trust and confidentiality between an imam and his congregation is no less sacred than that of pastors, rabbis or others .... The actions of the NYPD have compromised this sacred relationship .... It not only weakens the capacity of some Muslim religious leaders to serve as advisers in sensitive matters, but it also compromises their effectiveness as partners in the struggle against extremism. After all, how can a leader give guidance in matters that he or she is hesitant to discuss in any way, for fear of covert monitoring or entrapment?
- The authors note that "almost all our interviewees noted that appearing Muslim, or appearing to be a certain type of Muslim, invites unwanted attention or surveillance from law enforcement." Said one, "There's always been a sense of stereotyping about dress. But now the veil thing has become more than just about being different. It has become charged with suspicion."
- Parents are anxious about the effect on their children, and nag them accordingly. A college student said "his parents did not want him to go to Muslim Student Association events or wear his Muslim hat." Another student "who wears the niqab, or face veil," noted that "her mother asked her to stop wearing all black because she worried her dress would draw police scrutiny."
- Many regular mosque-goers have decreased their attendance, "and those who attend do so to just pray and leave, looking over their shoulders for eavesdropping spies the entire time. One young woman who is responsible for organizing youth activities in her mosque noted how congregants have internalized the need to self-edit religious Sunday school curriculum: 'It's very difficult, it's very hard, you don't know what to say, I have to think twice about the sentences I say just in case someone can come up with a different meaning to what I'm saying.'"
- "Interviewees stress that the ever-present surveillance chills -- or completely silences -- their speech whether they are engaging in political debate, commenting on current events, encouraging community mobilization or joking around with friends. Political organizing, civic engagement and activism are among the first casualties."
- Said a community organizer, "We're Arabs, we talk about politics all the time .... Politics is all we do! Every coffee shop, it's either Al Jazeera or a soccer game on TV. This new idea that we must be suspicious of those who speak about politics -- something's wrong." The authors add that "business owners, mosque leaders and community members alike actively censor conversations, event programming, and internet usage in hopes that avoiding certain political content will keep them and their respective religious and social spaces off the NYPD's radar." And one business owner stated, "I don't allow Al Jazeera on in our hookah bar. Particularly when things flare up in the Middle East. We can't control what people start saying in response to the news, and we never know who else is in the bar listening."
- A Sunday school teacher explained that she is afraid to criticize the very policies that target her community: "I don't talk about the NYPD on Facebook. we'll put articles up, but we will never comment on them, put our own words. Maximum we'll say 'it's sad that this is happening.' But we will never show our anger, that we're really, really angry. Some people aren't afraid, but I am."
- Said one young man, "I come from a family of activists. My parents, when I first told them the Associated Press story is about to break, my dad told me don't do anything about it. That was the first time my dad ever told me anything like that. This was the first time in my own family where safety trumped what was the right thing to do."
- A community organizer states that "almost every rally and public forum I've attended in the last year begins with some type of disclaimer or call-out of informants and undercovers who might be in attendance and recording the conversation. Most speakers don't even know if such a disclaimer protects them in any way, but I feel it to be a necessary announcement so that the audience participants are conscious of the environment in which we are organizing."
- "Those we interviewed also expressed concern with how terms and expressions they use in their native languages might be literally translated and misinterpreted by law enforcement. A prominent Queens business owner explained how a common Arabic phrase to denote excitement could be mistranslated into English to convey that the one is so excited that he will 'explode.' The business owner explained that such phrases, commonly used to denote emotion, are seldom used anymore."
- The presence of informants who are Muslim or posing as Muslim has made everyone in these communities paranoid and mistrustful of one another, one interviewee explained: "Every other store on this street could be an informant. You start wondering about each one: how did this person get his liquor license so quickly? Or how come the cops aren't saying anything about this guy who is well known to be selling alcohol under the table, or to minors."
- Said the authors, "Ironically, those who have been approached by the NYPD become objects of suspicion among their own peers. Interviewees who had been contacted for questioning by the FBI or by the NYPD were worried that others in their community might find out, resulting in their being viewed by their peers and neighbors with either fear or mistrust. One young man whom NYPD detectives visited at home, questioning him in front of his neighbors, describes his subsequent social marginalization: 'Nobody will trust you with things that they did trust you with before .... Trust is gone. My own neighbor -- he doesn't say it, obviously no one says it. But I feel like it's on their faces. They
know something's not right because they were there when the NYPD visited us. I assume he figured out it was just a fishing expedition, but I generally feel that they don't want to deal with us.'"
Nearly all interviewees thought they knew someone who was an informant or an undercover officer. The reasons provided were diverse and contradictory, reflecting the widespread internal suspicion that surveillance has triggered within the American Muslim community. Someone viewed as overly religious was suspect, while another who frequented the mosque without seeming particularly religious was equally suspect .... Two interviewees recalled incidents where they falsely accused someone of being an informant, leading to potentially devastating reputational consequences for the accused. One of the students who was on a whitewater rafting trip that was attended by an undercover officer thought he could tell who that undercover was through a process of elimination. When invited to do so during a press interview on national television, he ventured a guess. He was wrong. In his interview, he still expressed remorse: 'I have to give him a call and apologize.'
A second interviewee recalled with regret how he was suspicious about a new member of the mosque whom he noticed suddenly became very involved and active in his mosque's administration. He discussed his concerns with others at the mosque. Later on, he found out that the same man had recently lost his job and had time on his hands. He described his feelings of guilt when he noticed that his warnings had led others to be wary of this man.
There's lots more in the report. I skipped whole categories of harm in my already-too-lengthy excerpting. Suffice it to say that the NYPD's surveillance program significantly affected the lives of its targets for the worse, making them frightened, paranoid, mistrustful of one another, less willing to participate in the civic process, and more inclined to practice their religion in isolation. If Catholics or Jews were targeted by a municipal police department in this way, utterly changing the dynamic of their faith communities for years on end, Americans would be outraged, doubly so if the surveillance produced zero leads and no evidence of averting any serious crime.
Yet somehow Bloomberg presides over all this, defending it after the fact, and remains a darling of the center-left, constantly getting adulatory treatment from the establishment press. "First, as somebody who has lived in New York for almost thirty-five years, I have to say your stand on the non-mosque that's not at Ground Zero marked the first time I've ever written a mayor to say thanks for doing the right thing," wrote Kevin Baker, interviewing Bloomberg when GQ declared him a Man of the Year in 2010. And he was right to praise him for that stand. "Your speech did a great job of tracing the fights for immigrants' rights, the fights for religious freedom in New York, all the way back to the Flushing Remonstrance of the seventeenth century," Baker continued. "Is New York City the place, more than any other, where we have fought it out over who gets to be a full American and what that means?"
It's self-congratulation I wish NYC deserved, but it doesn't in this case. Said Bloomberg in reply, "New Yorkers, I don't know that they like each other or socialize together, but they go down the same steps to the subway, they hail a cab at the same corner, they buy their coffee at the same Starbucks, their newspaper at the same kiosk -- and so people who look different, act different, sound different, smell different, dress different, whatever, they are not threatening, because you are next to them all the time." Quoth the report, "NYPD's Assistant Chief Thomas Galati testified that merely speaking in certain languages, particularly Urdu and Arabic, could trigger surveillance." Do you know what magazine story I'd absolutely love to see William Finnegan write? Joe Arpaio's Maricopa County and Michael Bloomberg's New York: compare and contrast.
What does it say about American liberalism today that two of the most significant municipal programs abrogating the civil liberties of racial and ethnic minorities thrive in a deep blue city that also happens to be the media capitol of the country ... and the guy presiding over it remains popular? Just now he's predicting drone surveillance in New York City's future. For what it's worth, NYC Muslims, Bloomberg has never even entertained any principled objections to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Baltimore has the benefit of decades of history out west and in Chicago with the influx of immigrant citizens into our major cities. We already know the tensions created when unemployment is high and resources scarce. Some of the criminal activity comes from these Asian and Latino nations with the immigrant citizens and some comes from trying to survive the city streets. Whatever the motivation ----we know how important the dynamics of employment, integration, and structures of justice are when we start this flux of immigrants into Baltimore.
The top issue in justice for black citizens with high unemployment is having a job. The top public policy by Baltimore City Hall is to outsource most employment outside the city leaving city citizens with growing unemployment. Now, I am not a rocket scientist but I feel a deliberate attempt towards creating instability in our city. Think what the coming economic crash from bond market fraud ----again, a deliberate platform for long-term unemployment and loss of resources----will do with this dynamic.
The same issues of trust and access to justice in black communities exists in our Latino and now growing Asian communities all with the kind of city hall who could care less about any public justice.
We know Baltimore City police are already installing a gang policing strategy that citizens out west have fought hard and long as discriminatory and including elements of that SWAT suspension of civil rights. So, we can expect the increase of gang activity across race and gender bringing heightened policing procedures AND WE ALL KNOW THESE POLICIES WILL BRING ALL THIS.
Knowing you are bringing on a great depression/recession while bringing more and more immigrant citizens is 1% Wall Street asymmetric warfare against the 99%.
rs -- Los Angeles County
Latino and Asian Gangs Engage in Deadly Warfare : Violence: Influx of Cambodians into Long Beach has escalated tensions. 'Cultural misunderstanding' is blamed by some officials.
April 15, 1991|DAVID HALDANE | TIMES STAFF WRITER
The violence started with two cars racing alongside each other down a narrow Long Beach street.
One was occupied by Latino youths, the other was full of young Southeast Asians. Suddenly, bullets streaked from the Asians' car into the Latinos', hitting the driver. Mortally wounded, he swerved into an intersection causing an accident.
That was in October, 1989. It was the beginning, Long Beach police now say, of a protracted gang war that has become one of the most violent in the city's history. On one side is the area's largest Latino gang, which for years has claimed as its turf a neighborhood of less than two square miles in central Long Beach. On the other are the offspring of the city's burgeoning Cambodian population, most of whom arrived as refugees in the late 1970s after the Vietnam War, settled in the same neighborhood and transformed it into an area now known as Little Phnom Penh.
The toll so far: nine deaths, more than 50 injuries and hundreds of arrests. The most recent death occurred last week when two suspected Latino gang members entered the upstairs balcony of an apartment building occupied by Cambodians and fired through a front window, killing a 17-year-old boy and injuring three others as they watched the 10 p.m. news.
"It's escalating at an alarming rate," said Norm Sorenson, a detective in the Long Beach Police Department's gang violence suppression unit, adding that some of the confrontations have involved assault rifles and machine guns. "It's gotten to the point where we're experiencing an incident almost every other day."
Theories abound as to the causes underlying the tension.
The Cambodians say their young people have been victimized for years by Latino gang members who beat them up, stole their money and verbally harassed them. While decrying the violence, they say, it has only been recently that Cambodian youngsters have begun fighting back by forming their own gangs.
Latinos point to simmering resentment among their young people over the influx of Cambodians. Since 1979, when the refugees began arriving, they say, the newcomers have virtually remade the neighborhood, often seeming more economically successful than those who have lived there for years.
"It's a problem of cultural misunderstanding," said Jerome Torres, a board member of the local League of United Latin American Citizens and president of the Hispanic Advisory Committee to the Long Beach Unified School District. "The Latino kids feel displaced."
Song S. Kamsath, the Cambodian director of the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach, said: "People are afraid. The Cambodians have nowhere to go."
Whatever the causes of the animosity, longtime residents say that it is taking place in an area that has traditionally been a landing point for immigrants and a home to minorities.
In the years leading to World War II, the neighborhood known as the "Anaheim corridor"--a 2.5-mile stretch of Anaheim Street from Long Beach Boulevard to Redondo Avenue--attracted many Jewish immigrants from Europe. Later, as the Jews moved into more affluent areas, the neighborhood became home to blacks and Latinos. Since 1979, according to city officials, about 45,000 Cambodians have settled in and around the area, giving Long Beach the largest Cambodian population of any city outside Southeast Asia.
Mostly refugees, many of the newcomers arrived after fleeing the dictatorial regime of Pol Pot, who ruled Cambodia from 1975 to early 1979, during which more than 1 million of the country's 7 million people died or were brutally murdered.
In Long Beach the newcomers began opening grocery stores, restaurants, Buddhist temples, newspapers and social service agencies. By pooling their resources, raising funds and securing low-interest government loans, they were able to bring about what most residents now recognize as an economic rebirth of the neighborhood. In the process they also transformed it into the most visibly Cambodian area in the country, despite the fact that nearly 40% of its residents are Latino compared to 25% who are Asian.
One highly visible symbol of the area's transformation is the new headquarters of United Cambodian Community, a major social service agency. Covering nearly a city block on Anaheim Street, the two-story building--dedicated Friday--sits on a lot previously occupied by the rundown headquarters of Centro de la Raza, a social service agency run by Latinos.
"They knocked the old building down and put up a beautiful new one," said Yolanda Benavidez, Latino coordinator of an anti-gang program in the school district. "We've tried to have a center like that for years and it hasn't come to pass; (this has) only brought more anger."
We have talked at length about Smart Meters, data surveillance, security cameras and the goals of SMART CITY. The SOCIAL BENEFIT is citizens being wired to compete globally -----the SOCIAL BENEFIT is energy and water sustainability----THE SOCIAL BENEFIT is community safety.
Why then are most citizens not wanting most of this surveillance, sustainability, safety network? The #1 asymmetric warfare tool for 1% Wall Street is controlling food, water, and energy so of course all connected with SMART CITY is tied to that concern. Most citizens do not want their personal data monitored no matter how many times we are told IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TERRORISTS. Many people understand how high-speed internet infrastructure is being moved into the realm of global corporations only. So we know this SMART CITY is not about CITIZENS AND THEIR NEEDS OR SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH.
The policies being pushed from Congress to the statehouses and then into our US cities are repressive and regressive----we know this will hit communities of color hardest first as we all are drawn into being the SUSPECT of anti-government sentiments.
Every bit of revenue that used to create our first world quality of life in communities, services, programs are being sent to a huge network of building, maintaining, securitizing all of which WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT NEED OR WANT.
Security Researchers Start Effort to Protect ‘Smart’ Cities
May 26, 2015 3:00 pm May 26, 2015 3:00 pm
Cesar Cerrudo, chief technology officer at IOActive Labs.Credit IOActive LabsIt’s a brave new world when hackers step in to protect citizens because regulators are not getting the job done.
Two years after President Obama signed an executive order setting voluntary guidelines that companies could follow to prevent cyberattacks — especially on critical infrastructure like dams and water treatment facilities — security experts have found that American critical infrastructure is still wide open to attack.
The order was a weakened alternative to cybersecurity legislation that the White House tried and failed to push through Congress after Senate Republicans argued the minimum standards would be too onerous on the private sector.
Last year, Cesar Cerrudo, an Argentine security researcher, began pointing out critical vulnerabilities in America’s so-called smart cities, where wireless sensors control a growing portion of city infrastructure from traffic lights to water and waste management systems.
One year later, Mr. Cerrudo discovered that little had been done to patch those basic vulnerabilities, even as cities around the world poured billions of dollars into bringing more of their basic infrastructure online. Without renewed focus on security, he and other researchers warn, those cities are just creating larger and larger targets for nation states and cyberterrorists.
“What I found is that there are a lot of security problems — the situation is really bad — but I didn’t want to just point out problems without offering solutions,” Mr. Cerrudo said.
In response, on Tuesday, he and others from IOActive Labs; Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cybersecurity company; and a growing list of security experts will announce a new Securing Smart Cities initiative. Their goal is to bring private security researchers and public administrators together to set up basic cybersecurity checklists for smart cities, including properly installed encryption, passwords and systems that can be easily patched for security holes.
They are also seeking to set up better security requirements and approval procedures for the vendors who install, monitor and oversee crucial systems. They want to track access to smart city systems; run regular tests to look for loopholes; and set up emergency response teams that can funnel reports of vulnerabilities from security researchers, coordinate patches and share that information with other cities. They also want to create manual overrides for all smart city systems, in the event they are compromised.
Surprisingly, as it stands, there is no such comprehensive system for vetting security and responding to cyberattacks at the city level.
This, even as spending on smart city technology balloons. In Saudi Arabia, $70 million has been poured into a project to build four smart cities. In South Africa, $7.4 billion has been funneled into a smart city project now underway. By 2020, the market for smart cities is expected to reach $1 trillion, according to Frost & Sullivan, a consulting firm.
“Every day cities are incorporating new technologies really fast without any testing and they are putting citizens and businesses at risk,” Mr. Cerrudo said in an interview. “Every day we depend more and more on technology. If that technology is not secure and protected, it will get attacked, and people and businesses will suffer the consequences.”
Of course all these surveillance and security issues in our US cities are promoted very strongly by global NGOs and Wall Street Baltimore Development non-profits. Follow the donations and funding from our foundations like Goldseker, our Baltimore Development Corporation and Baltimore City Hall Board of Estimate contract awards-----and the donations by our global corporate campuses heavily steeped in International Economic Zone militarized securities like UnderArmour----and we have a march towards third world authoritarian society.
Joint partnerships in building all these structures the US has never had and still does not need.
Homeland Security Support from NGOs/ Non-Profits
The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks the cooperation/ support of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and non-profits (charities) in the improvement of homeland security efforts in the U.S. Such increased cooperation has seldom occurred because DHS is not providing direct planning and/or funding of subject efforts. DHS tends to provide funds to individual states, and most states lack the personnel skilled in obtaining support from NGOs/ non-profits. Moreover, states do not have a clear picture of how these mostly volunteer organizations might be used to improve homeland security.
Our 501(c)(3) charity, NPI, has helped develop very successful homeland security projects overseas, and developed a model showing how charities may act to support homeland security projects here in the U.S. That model, known as the Citizen Corps or Gray-Protector Project, is shown on NPI's website (www.needfulprovision.org). NPI also has a number of related topics on its website. Overseas, NPI's work is well respected --- but NPI is ignored by DHS, here in the U.S. If DHS truly wants to enlist the help of NGOs/ charities, they may now decide to look at techniques that are well proven. (NPI's President, DAN, is a former GS-14 CIA Special Operations Officer with very extensive experience in the areas of counterterror, counterinsurgency, and homeland security. The homeland security concepts NPI is teaching foreign governments are based primarily on DAN's successful record as well as NPI's advanced concepts.)