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"I am honor-bound to protect you, brother."

The Interpreters We Left Behind. "As our troops pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we're abandoning fixers and translators to the dangerous countrymen who view them as traitors. Asylum in the U.S. could be their last hope. If only we'd let them in."
posted by homunculus on Mar 27, 2014 - 26 comments

AUMF

60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History. "Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 17, 2014 - 23 comments

Act of Terror: arrested for filming police officers - video

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]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 29, 2013 - 24 comments

The Permanent War

The Permanent War (video). "This project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing." Part 1: Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists. Part 2: A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy. Part 3: Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 25, 2012 - 68 comments

When it comes to prosecuting speech as support for terrorism, it’s the thought that counts.

On April 12, Tarek Mehanna was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison. The sentence has renewed worries about the extent to which political speech might be counted as material support for terrorism and possible effects on Al Qaeda recruitment efforts. One wonders just how far the law might go. [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood on Apr 23, 2012 - 151 comments

Notes From Guantánamo

My Guantánamo Nightmare. Lakhdar Boumediene was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for seven years without explanation or charge until his case made it to the Supreme Court, leading to a decision which bears his name and his release ordered by a federal judge. The NYTimes has his and another account from another former detainee: Notes From a Guantánamo Survivor. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 9, 2012 - 63 comments

Terrorists for the FBI

Terrorists for the FBI: Inside the Bureau's secret network that surveils and entraps Americans.
posted by homunculus on Aug 22, 2011 - 36 comments

What is the meaning of the assassination of OBL?

Guy Rundle teases out the meanings of the bin Laden assassination, in contrast to the Eichmann trial.
posted by wilful on May 5, 2011 - 93 comments

Twitter Joke Trial

Back in May this year, British Twitter user Paul Chambers was found guilty of sending a 'menacing electronic communication'. The communication in question? A Twitter update written when stuck at an airport, saying the following: "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" [more inside]
posted by Catseye on Nov 12, 2010 - 73 comments

A Tale of 2 Gitmo Opinions

In Gitmo Opinion, Two Versions of Reality. "When Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ordered the release of a Guantánamo Bay detainee last spring, the case appeared to be a routine setback for an Obama administration that has lost a string of such cases. But there turns out to be nothing ordinary about the habeas case brought by Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, a Yemeni held without charges for nearly eight years. Uthman, accused by two U.S. administrations of being an al-Qaida fighter and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, is among 48 detainees the Obama administration has deemed too dangerous to release but 'not feasible for prosecution.' A day after his March 16 order was filed on the court's electronic docket, Kennedy's opinion vanished. Weeks later, a new ruling appeared in its place. While it reached the same conclusion, eight pages of material had been removed, including key passages in which Kennedy dismantled the government's case against Uthman."
posted by homunculus on Oct 13, 2010 - 92 comments

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

Court Affirms Ban on Aiding Groups Tied to Terror. "In a case pitting free speech against national security, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal law (PDF) that makes it a crime to provide 'material support' to foreign terrorist organizations, even if the help takes the form of training for peacefully resolving conflicts."
posted by homunculus on Jun 22, 2010 - 59 comments

Leon Panetta and the C.I.A.

The Secret History: Can Leon Panetta move the C.I.A. forward without confronting its past?
posted by homunculus on Jun 14, 2009 - 42 comments

You Break It, You Bought It, America

In his latest national security speech, President Obama unequivocally reaffirms his commitment to closing GITMO. President Obama's strong statements reaffirming his administration's commitment to cleaning up the legal and ethical mess the Bush administration left behind comes just after congressional Democrats recently saw fit to capitulate to the Republican minority by defunding President Obama's efforts to close GITMO, ostensibly to ensure that President Obama proceeds prudently and avoids setting the terrorists loose on America's strip malls. But others interpret these latest maneuvers from the "weak-kneed" congressional Dems as reflecting a sudden acute case of the political jitters, pointing out that, despite all the fearful talk of the imminent dangers of possible terrorists being held and tried on American soil, it's not as though we haven't done it before. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 21, 2009 - 176 comments

Obama administration's blackmail diplomacy over torture evidence

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.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 12, 2009 - 282 comments

Three Opinions On What to Do With the Bush Administration's Misdeeds

Bringing Justice to the War on Terrorism. 3 views on how the incoming administration should deal with the legal legacy of Bush Administration policies like torture, surveillance, and extraordinary rendition. Charles Fried makes the case against criminal prosecutions, Dahlia Lithwick makes the case for investigations followed by prosecutions, and Jack Balkin argues for truth commissions. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 11, 2009 - 80 comments

Closing Guantánamo

Closing Guantánamo: A forum on what to do with detainees.
posted by homunculus on Dec 30, 2008 - 18 comments

The True Price of Torture

Tortured Reasoning. "George W. Bush defended harsh interrogations by pointing to intelligence breakthroughs, but a surprising number of counterterrorist officials say that, apart from being wrong, torture just doesn’t work. Delving into two high-profile cases, the author exposes the tactical costs of prisoner abuse."
posted by homunculus on Dec 18, 2008 - 82 comments

Stellar Wind

The Fed Who Blew the Whistle: Is he a hero or a criminal? Three years after the New York Times first revealed the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program, whistleblower Thomas Tamm has acknowledged his role in making it public. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 16, 2008 - 51 comments

Vang Pao

Gen. Vang Pao’s Last War. "The U.S. government relied on Vang Pao and his Hmong soldiers to battle Communism in the jungles of Laos. Why is the Justice Department now calling him a terrorist?" [more inside]
posted by homunculus on May 11, 2008 - 21 comments

Shred the banana peel

State Secrets: A government misstep in a wiretapping case. A New Yorker article on the Kafkaesque case of Al Haramain v. Bush. [Via Threat Level.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 26, 2008 - 20 comments

Charges against artist Steve Kurtz thrown out

Biomaterial charges against N.Y. art professor dismissed. A judge has thrown out the charges against Steve Kurtz. Finally. Kurtz's case was previously discussed here and here. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 21, 2008 - 29 comments

Watch Lists

ACLU Watch List Counter: U.S. Terror List Now Exceeds 900,000 Names. That's an awful lot of terrorists. More Privacy and Surveillance Filter: Bruce Schneier on The Myth of the 'Transparent Society', Glenn Greenwald on The Banality of the Surveillance State, and Stephen Colbert on AT & Treason. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Mar 8, 2008 - 46 comments

Improved Billboard Touts AT&T and NSA Collaboration

"The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants." [Via Threat Level.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 28, 2008 - 67 comments

InfraGard

The FBI Deputizes Business. "Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to 'shoot to kill' in the event of martial law."
posted by homunculus on Feb 9, 2008 - 70 comments

Terrorism or fearmongering?

Tame Iti, Maori activist, is no stranger to controversy - with his full facial moko he has a face you won't soon forget. But is he a terrorist? Recently, the New Zealand Police force carried out a series of "raids" against a "training camp" in the north island, in the first use of the Terrorism Suppression Act, legislated in 2002. The act itself is not without it's critics but the country seems divided about the raids. Deluded extremists? Harmless Activist? or Real Threat? Some have claimed the raids are politically motivated, enacted by a police force with a declining public image. The whole case is racially loaded [more inside]
posted by Dillonlikescookies on Oct 16, 2007 - 17 comments

11:54

Surveillance Society Clock. "It's six minutes before midnight as a surveillance society draws near within the United States." [Via Danger Room.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 18, 2007 - 37 comments

Con vs. Con

But Is It War? A vigorous debate among three conservatives about the limits of post-9/11 executive power.
posted by brain_drain on Sep 7, 2007 - 25 comments

"If you scratch a paranoid, you find a narcissist"

What's the Big Secret? Four surveillance experts try to figure out what the NSA's superclassified wiretapping program really is (hint: it may have something to do with the filters). They don't seem to realize that this kind of reckless public discussion means some Americans are going to die. [Via Threat Level.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 30, 2007 - 47 comments

Padilla Found Guilty on All Counts

A verdict on Padillaand the US. [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 16, 2007 - 91 comments

National Surveillance State

Bush Gets a Spying Blank Check. The passage of the new FISA bill was a hurried response to the revelation that the FISA court recently decided that at least part of the NSA wiretapping program is illegal. It looks to be another step in our gradual transition into a National Surveillance State.
posted by homunculus on Aug 5, 2007 - 78 comments

Torture Teachers

Rorschach and Awe. "America's coercive interrogation methods were reverse-engineered by two C.I.A. psychologists who had spent their careers training U.S. soldiers to endure Communist-style torture techniques. The spread of these tactics was fueled by a myth about a critical 'black site' operation."
posted by homunculus on Jul 31, 2007 - 57 comments

Lord of War

Busting the Merchant of War. "The Bush administration finally nails a notorious supplier to terrorists—after he spent 30 years hiding in plain sight." [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 25, 2007 - 15 comments

Green Scare

The Green Scare: Rod Coronado gave a talk in San Diego and the feds called his words ‘terrorism.’ How new laws are equating environmentalists with Al Qaeda. [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on May 14, 2007 - 39 comments

Big Brother is Watching You. On CCTV.

George Orwell, Big Brother is watching your house. With CCTV. Perhaps the Surveillance Camera Players could put on a performance there. It looks like Britain really is becoming a surveillance society. [Via Digg.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 2, 2007 - 44 comments

AT&T Unity Plan FREE calling to 100 million customers.

AT&T and Verizon obey FBI emergency requests, even if they're of dubious legality, and they get paid for it. But AT&T can't be sued, they say, because that would endanger national security.
posted by homunculus on Mar 20, 2007 - 42 comments

You had to live -- did live, from the habit that became instinct and the assumption that every sound you made was overheard.

For Your Eyes Only? Allegations that the government is reading your e-mails, with the help of AT&T. The latest episode of NOW did a good piece on the NSA's domestic surveillance program (previously discussed here.) It can be viewed on their website. Meanwhile, Canadian human rights attorney Maureen Webb has written a new book on the scope of government surveillance, and found that the use of sophisticated methods to search for terrorists is not identifying the right suspects.
posted by homunculus on Feb 21, 2007 - 72 comments

Your world, delivered to the NSA

AT&T Ducks Accountability. Lawsuits, Questions Follow NSA Surveillance Approval.
posted by homunculus on Jan 21, 2007 - 14 comments

Habeas Corpus Thisus!

The Pentagon has set down the rules regarding trials of terrorist suspects facing trial in the new military commissions court system. At least one US military attorney, Major Michael Mori, who is defending Australian terror suspect David Hicks, has blasted the new rules saying that the Pentagon still do not include fundamental rights such as habeas corpus.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments on Jan 18, 2007 - 30 comments

Guantanamo Bay: 5th Anniversay Today Triggers International Protests

Jan. 11, 2002, the first 20 detainees, shackled and blindfolded, arrived from Afghanistan .... and since then, nearly 800 prisoners have passed through the detention center in southeastern Cuba. To mark the anniversary, demonstrations are planned Thursday in New York, London, Sydney, Australia, and other cities as well as dozens of small towns in the United States and Britain. Gitmo Detainees Join Hunger Strike .... & .... WikiPeidia History Article
posted by Bodyguard on Jan 11, 2007 - 7 comments

Ontario Judge: Anti-Terrorism Act Unconstitutional

Part of anti-terroism act ruled unconstitutional in Canada on the grounds that defining a motive as a crime contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Two days ago, the same court struck down a related official secrets law after the RCMP used it to search the house of a reporter investigating the Maher Arar torture scandal. The act itself was the subject of a rare Senatorial rebuke in 2001 which blocked a number of other dangerous sections. Five years on, are we ready to take a more measured approach to combatting terrorism?
posted by Popular Ethics on Oct 24, 2006 - 13 comments

SHAC 7

The first member of SHAC 7, an animal rights group convicted for their organizational role in a campaign against animal research at Huntingdon Life Sciences (previously discussed here and here), began his three-year prison sentence today. Meanwhile, Horowitz and Malkin are still at large.
posted by homunculus on Oct 3, 2006 - 38 comments

Abu Ali guilty of terror plot

Abu Ali guilty of terror plot. A Virginia jury has found Ahmed Omar Abu Ali guilty of terrorism related crimes. The prosecution charged he provided material support to Al Qaeda (pdf). His defenders claim his confession while in Saudi custody was obtained through torture. Does the goal of preventing terrorism justify relying on the Saudi's questionable interrogation methods?
posted by justkevin on Nov 22, 2005 - 11 comments

w00t

Blair loses in the Commons for the first time since his election in 1997. MPs refused to pass laws allowing terrorist suspects to be jailed without trial for 90 days, and Blair's parliamentary majority of 66 turned into a minority of 31. The government has been holding back on the vote for months in an attempt to persuade their party to back the Prime Minister - they failed.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 9, 2005 - 38 comments

Yarr! There be a precedent!

What if there were an established international legal precedent for addressing the terrorism problem? Maybe there is. And maybe it involves a plank. Or an eyepatch. Or, like, a hook instead of a hand. [via aldaily]
posted by willpie on Aug 19, 2005 - 19 comments

Another Fan Of Torture Reveals Himself

Another Fan Of Torture Reveals Himself Eugene Volokh, a former clerk to Justice O'Connor and a leading voice in conservative legal circles has some interesting opinions on punishment:

[T]hough for many instances I would prefer less painful forms of execution, I am especially pleased that the killing — and, yes, I am happy to call it a killing, a perfectly proper term for a perfectly proper act — was a slow throttling, and was preceded by a flogging. The one thing that troubles me (besides the fact that the murderer could only be killed once) is that the accomplice was sentenced to only 15 years in prison, but perhaps there's a good explanation.
posted by expriest on Mar 17, 2005 - 84 comments

Not guilty.

Not guilty. It's been nearly 20 years since Air India Flight 182 crashed into the ocean off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people aboard, after a bomb went off in the luggage compartment. Today, the two main suspects in the case were acquitted. Families of the victims are upset, disgusted. Of the 329 victims, 82 of them were under the age of 12. Let's take a moment to remember them; victims of one of the worst terrorist acts prior to September 11th, 2001.
posted by juliebug on Mar 16, 2005 - 53 comments

Padilla

So, what now? Do they charge him? 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?"
posted by Smedleyman on Mar 2, 2005 - 29 comments

Told you so

I hate people who say I told you so... But.... Edgar Morales shot a little girl, does that make him a terrorist? Other gang members were prosecuted before this for terrorism, other groups who maybe should have haven't - so what's the new law for? Is this the first of many prosecutions under new laws which some said would do one thing but are actually doing something else?
posted by Smedleyman on Dec 28, 2004 - 60 comments

Boston man gets felony charges for dressing as hooded Iraqi

Joe Previtera, a 21 year old student at Boston College, was arrested Wednesday and charged with felonies after dressing as a hooded Iraqi prisoner in front of a military recruitment center in downtown Boston. Previtera faces misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and felony charges of making a false bomb threat and using a hoax device. The charges apparently reflect the District Attorney's concern that Mr Previtera might have been mistaken for a terrorist...
posted by tapeguy on Jun 3, 2004 - 65 comments

malvo case ehxibits

Scribbling for jihad. Malvo case: defendant's trial exhibits.
posted by hama7 on Dec 12, 2003 - 16 comments

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