When police carried out a routine stop-and-search of her boyfriend on the London Underground, Gemma Atkinson filmed the incident. She was detained, handcuffed and threatened with arrest. She launched a legal battle, which ended with the police settling the case in 2010. With the money from the settlement she funded the production of this animated film, which she says shows how her story and highlights police misuse of counterterrorism powers to restrict photography
. [more inside]
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel
or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer
. It's Doomsday Preppers
, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
: US drones are coming back after initial attacks to target first-responder rescuers.
"Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets."
After an extensive
, months-long debate
, one of two controversial
papers showing ways the H5N1 "avian" influenza virus could potentially become transmissible in mammals with only 3 or 4 mutations was published
today. The journal included an editorial on the merits and drawbacks of "publishing risky research
" with regard to biosafety. The debate included an unprecedented recommendation by The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to block publication -- a decision they later reversed.
's special report
has additional articles, including interviews with the teams behind both papers.
This past November, news broke
of a rather odd domestic terror plot
that had been broken up by the FBI
. Four senior citizens in northern Georgia who met regularly at a local Waffle House, were allegedly planning to spread ricin and botulinum toxin in Atlanta and Washington, DC, in order to kill millions of people and "save the Constitution." But was there ever really a conspiracy
Mohammed el Gorani, the youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo, has written a memoir
of his time there, the lead up to his imprisonment, and subsequent release years later.
The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”
While the FBI's monitoring of Muslims
and infiltration of mosques
in the United States
is nothing new
, this is the first time I've seen any of documents they use to train some of their agents. [more inside]
"... Al Qaeda was forcing local affiliates (or at least its Iraqi one) to sustain themselves financially. If local groups must make their own money, governments and counterterror operatives can use Al Qaeda’s need to raise money - often using illicit means and pressure against local citizens - against the organization. That kind of counterterrorism would look less like war, and more like careful police work against what amounts to a criminal syndicate or mafia." [Inside Al Qaeda’s hard drives
"After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold. Hidden from view, standing just outside the frame of that now-famous photograph was a career CIA analyst
" - The man who hunted Osama bin Laden
"Davis didn’t have time to ponder their motives. The intersection of Jail and Ferozepur roads was packed with cars, bicycles, rickshaws, and pedestrians; the motorcycle pulled around his car and stopped just ahead of it. Shamshad, on the back of the bike, turned. He raised his pistol. He cocked it.
" [Black Ops and Blood Money
Constant led a paramilitary organization called FRAPH that terrorized Haiti
after the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide
. When FRAPH's fortunes declined, Toto mysteriously appeared in New York City, where he was scorned by the Haitian community
. Justice eventually caught up to Toto
, who is now imprisoned in New York state. [more inside]
Cartoonist Tim Kreider
) of The Pain
talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1
"Uniforms have been stolen in the past for this kind of thing."
An update on the investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008. (Previously
A mechanic noticed a strange device under the hood of a customer's car and offered to remove it for him. The customer, an Egyptian-American student named Yasir Afifi, shows his roommate, who posts pictures of it on Reddit to find out what the heck it is. Turns out it's an FBI GPS tracking device
, and the agency turned up quickly demanding he give it back. The ACLU is reportedly getting involved. [more inside]
Soldiers involved in the "Collateral Murder" video
have come forward to tell their story
. [more inside]
"What if America wasn't America?" That was the question posed by a series of ads broadcast in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ads which depicted a dystopian America bereft of liberty: Library
. Together with more positive ads like Remember Freedom
and I Am an American
, they encouraged frightened viewers to cherish their freedoms and defend against division and prejudice in the face of terrorism (seven years previously
). The campaign was the work of the Ad Council
, a non-profit agency that employs the creative muscle of volunteer advertisers to raise awareness for social issues of national importance. Founded during WWII as the War Advertising Council, the organization has been behind some of the most memorable public service campaigns in American history
, including Rosie the Riveter
, Smokey the Bear
, McGruff the Crime Dog
, and the Crash Test Dummies
. And the Council is still at it today, producing striking, funny, and above all effective
PSAs on everything from student invention
to global warming
to arts education
to community service
Additional resources: A-to-Z index of Ad Council campaigns
- Campaigns organized by category
- Award-winning campaigns
- PSA Central
: A free download directory of TV, radio, and print PSAs (registration req'd)
- An exhaustive history of the Ad Council [46-page PDF]
- YouTube channel
- Vimeo channel
- Twitter feed
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald
has new evidence. Previously.
2009: A True Story.
"My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
9/11 in comics,
including the black-covered The Amazing Spider-Man #36
in its entirety.
The Torture Question tonight on PBS by far, television's most in-depth look at how the controversial interrogation policy evolved after a major power struggle within the Bush administration.
(via Rocky Mountain News)
The problem, of course, is that it's often the things we'd rather not think about that we most need to hear, especially when those things are actions taken in all of our names with an eye toward making us safer. Ellen Gray
Watch a preview here
A surprise from Al Gore:
I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.
How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?
I thought maybe it was an aberration when three-quarters of Americans said they believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11, 2001. But more than four years later, between a third and a half still believe Saddam was personally responsible for planning and supporting the attack.
War Plans Drafted To Counter Terror Attacks in U.S.
Subtitled "Domestic Effort Is Big Shift for Military". See also martial law.
(I wonder how this would contrast/compare with FEMA?
And yes, I know this is "newsfilter", so take me out and shoot me.
Alarming Article on Security Procedures
What is alarming is not necessarily that there is a "no-fly" list, or that we have security measures in response to a percieved terrorist threat. What's alarming is that there seems to be no accountabity or due process demanded from public officials. Without accountability, what's to stop public officials from acting arbitrarily, or for some political endeavor? (See the Plame case.)
Combined with the Right's seeming position that the president is above the law in prosecuting a war, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 03-1027 (Rumsfield v. Padilla) and Case No. 03-6696 (Hamdi v. Rumsfield), (see also the recent DOJ position papers), and for the 1st time I am becoming nervous that America might devolve into something like a police state.
While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers
, which detail Torture's Paper Trail
, and, then there's Hungry for Air
: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
So, what now?
He's an American citizen
who's spent 2½ years in custody - charged with no crime - without his lawer, access to due process, habeas corpus, etc.
He has no constitutional safeguards and can be held like that because the president says he can be held like that.
Who says the president has that power? The president does.
Could he have even made
a "dirty bomb?"
A Picture of the Future, You're not in It
An address to the John F. Kennedy School of Government...September 11th, 2011
"After his capture he admitted being an al Qaeda member and agreed to send e-mails to his contacts,"
a Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters. "He sent encoded e-mails and received encoded replies. He's a great hacker and even the U.S. agents said he was a computer whiz."
In its haste to get a scary headline
the weekend after the Democratic Convention, did the Bush Administration deliberately blow the cover of one of its best informants within al-Qaeda?
Clinton’s Former Aide Drops Windfall in the Lap of Bush Campaign
"...Presidential challenger Kerry will have to think twice before attacking Bush on national security issues lest he lay himself open to reminders that a former Clinton aide and his own adviser was caught red-handed misappropriating classified materials that revealed how a Democratic president mishandled the threat of terror...."
"fleet owners of a tanker companies" = the new evil doers?
what kind of questions do yesterday's discovery of ricin in the capitol
, and the january 9th article ask about our "war on terror"? [ initial link via TPM ]
Visit Madison, Indiana. Why? We're not New York City!
Sure you can be opportunistic about selling gas masks
if you're an internet entrepreneur, but what if you're a small town in Indiana and you want to cash in on fear of terrorism. Why, tout what you don't have, of course.
"A safe place to visit...When you visit Madison you will discover that we have no tall buildings to fear, no nuclear power plants, airports or anything anyone would want to blow up."
DOJ Introduces New Threat Levels
Citizens should be alert, but continue to go about their normal daily spending activities.
Zacarias Moussaoui's legal brief to the Fourth Circuit
regarding his right to question witnesses and the United States' reply
. [warning: PDF]
Toppling one regime to build another, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
and a Republican coalition are pushing legislation to make the PATRIOT Act
permanent. It's daylight forever.
After her experience in the weeks before Sept. 11, she said, "I promised myself that in the future I always would try."
Time magazine person of the year - Coleen Rowley warns of more attacks. Is she doing the right thing or out of line by going public with warning?
``We face a hate-filled, remorseless enemy that takes many forms, has many places to hide and is often invisible
From UPI: Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International.
I am so NOT trolling. I am simply curious to see what MeFi users have to say about this interesting news item.
sick of rat beach? join al queda
it does'nt get a lot better than this - is this guy the next john walker lindh ?
Buy a Flight Manual, Get a Grand Jury Subpoena?
A guy qualified to fly and instruct on the Boeing 737 buys a CD on Ebay that contains the ground course for the same plane. Then the FBI gets involved, and, courtesy of section 501 (d) of the "USA Patriot Act", he can no longer even discuss the issue. [more inside]
America Still Unprepared - America Still in Danger,
a new report sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations
, claims that "a year after September 11, 2001, America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In all likelihood, the next attack will result in even greater casualties and widespread disruption to American lives and the economy. The need for immediate action is made more urgent by the prospect of the United States going to war with Iraq and the possibility that Saddam Hussein might threaten the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in America." While of al Qaeda, George Tenet says
that "the threat environment we face is as bad as it was before Sept. 11. It is serious—they have reconstituted, they are coming after us." This is not comforting (more inside.)
Elephant in the living room: A radical Islamic Nuclear Pakistan
(NYT reg. : name-metafilter password-metafilter) "Hard-line Islamic parties did unexpectedly well in Pakistan's election last week, and Pervez Musharraf's hold on power may be slipping. Do I need to point out that Pakistan is a lot bigger than Iraq, and already has nuclear weapons?...These guys [Bush Adm]want to fight a conventional war; since Al Qaeda won't oblige, they'll attack someone else who will [Iraq]. And watching from the alley, the terrorists are pleased. " -Paul Krugman, once again forced to state the obvious; the US is, effectively, helping with Al Qaeda's goal of radicalizing Islamic populations. In parts of Pakistan, they call Musharaff "Busharaff", and Nick Kristoff notes
"Even in Kuwait, where Yankees have the best possible claim on Arab gratitude, a significant minority of men and women regard us as worms" and that "The most common name given to Pakistani boys born after 9/11 in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province reportedly was Osama." What does this have to do with a war in Iraq? Well.........
Terrorism Status: Orange - High Condition
Homeland Security has announced that the Terrorism Advisory Status is moving up to Orange. According to the HSO
, Orange alerts mean that we should be "preparing to work at an alternate site or with a dispersed workforce, restricting access to essential personnel only."
What is your company's policy for the Orange alert? Will you be working from home tomorrow? Better compose that email to HR now...
In the midst of all the talk of possible terrorist deployments of Weapons of Mass-Destruction, this
seems like a somewhat dramatic, if effective, approach to pre-empting the threat of blackmarket nuclear proliferation. The co-operative approach adopted by the U.S and Russia - and presumably the Yugoslav Government itself - also seems encouraging.
Should this 'surprise-attack' approach now be used to negate the threat posed as nuclear facilities are decommissioned worldwide??
U.S. Consulate attacked in Karachi, Pakistan.
No one has claimed responsibility for the car bombing that has left 8 dead and another 40+ injured.
Who bombed Judi Bari?
We'll likely never know because of FBI bungling. Pursue and blame the victim
to stifle activist speech. So is this a running theme at the FBI?
Pat Buchanan the voice of reason?
in times of insane government decree's of "with us or against us" and "shoot first ask questions later." Its amusing that wackos like Buchanan's viewpoints start making sense. So what is the price of the american empire?
Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.
(NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today.
Here's the Wash. Post's
take on the story.