FBI

Andy’s Blog: The USA Is Its Own Third Reich

Item: The CIA and the Pentagon are carrying out a chilling and illegal "targeted killing" program in which people far from any battlefield are determined to be enemies of the state and killed without charge or trial — and the program is expanding rapidly.

The ACLU has sued top CIA and Pentagon decision-makers to seek accountability for the unlawful killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen last year. We'll keep fighting in court for as long as it takes. But you can help end illegal targeted killings now.

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So. How different can this possibly be from the murders and disappearances committed by the German Gestapo, the Israeli Mossad, the East German Stasi or the Russian Secret Police and all other similarly wrought internal secret killers who legally - or illegally, as in our case - prey upon their own citizens with such impunity.

UNDERSTAND THIS: The USA is under no security threat big enough to warrant the targeted killings of American citizens now under way by our CIA and Pentagon death squads. It’s of no consequence that this country may have been attacked by a foreign terror force resulting in 3,000 deaths if what we do in return is 1) murder a million Iraqis, 2) kills thousands of innocent women and children as collateral damage in targeting Taliban or insurgent fighters in other countries, and 3) hunt down right here on US soil and murder any of our US Sisters and brothers unless PROVEN INNOCENT in direct contravention of our way of justice.

These agencies have been granted far too many powers in overreaction to 9-11 - and you’d better believe the internal and external mercenaries - local police included - love this freedom to kill. They love it. They’re in the streets and quiet corners of the country and elsewhere playing god as if granted the divine right to execute on the spot. We must remove this right and clamp down on internal security forces just as the Free French or American revolutionaries or the Italian, Spanish and German undergrounds did in previous wars.

We citizens are at war with our own government, make no mistake. And this includes this president and his Defense Department, and his CIA, and his FBI and his military intelligence apparatus. This is the power that intoxicates, the power to kill, especially to kill with no consequences.

How sad can it be that we must write these things down and urge resistance in the strongest of terms? But we must.

We must.

TTT Mon, Dec 6 @9AM: THE FBI AT WAR IN MINNESOTA: The New Gestapo? KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Online @KFAI.org

TruthToTell Mon, Dec 6 @9AM: THE FBI AT WAR IN MINNESOTA: The New Gestapo? KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Online @KFAI.org 

REMEMBER: CALL IN: 612-341-0980

This week, we dive into that morass commonly called national or homeland security, but we try to get down to cases about why the FBI raided and arrested several local activists in the antiwar movement, and why US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago has now insisted that three antiwar women activists from the Twin Cities must appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago very soon.

TTT'S ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with one of the activists raided, one of the subpoenaed women and a defense counselor, along with two former FBI agents. Why are our law enforcement agencies at all levels being used to kill peaceful dissent from public policies that started and keep us at continuous war inside and outside the United States?

GUESTS:

SARAH MARTIN – Minnesota anti-war activist, Member of Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)

JESS SUNDIN – Leader, The AntiWar Committee

BRUCE NESTOR - Attorney for arrested activists; Past President, National Lawyers Guild of MN

COLEEN ROWLEY - Former FBI Agent and Whistleblower, Attorney, now a Minnesota anti-war activist

MIKE GERMAN -Attorney, ACLU, Washington DC's Policy Counsel on National Security, Immigration and Privacy; Former FBI Agent; author of Thinking Like a Terrorist

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MINNECULTURE SPECIAL: PUBLIC ART SAINT PAUL: One for All - AUDIO HERE

Listen (below) to a Minneculture documentary profile of St. Paul's unique nonprofit providing and maintaining the buildings, open spaces and art works influenced and designed with artistic sensibilities. Produced and hosted by Andy Driscoll.

Integrating artistic influence into what might otherwise be labeled mundane projects has been the business of Public Art Saint Paulfor over 20 years, founded and led by its indefatigable Founder/President, Christine Podas Larson, whose core belief blending art, infrastructure, community, utility and environmental commitment to making places of spaces, indoors and out, and endowing existing and new projects with artistic flourish and plenty of chutzpah. Meet Podas-Larson, a few of the artists in this outfit's creative corral and a couple of city fathers who wrapped their heads around all of this.

The story is told in 30 minutes with comments interspersed with the music of saxophonist/composer Stan Getz, his works, his collaborators and his breathy horn.

Legacy Coordinator for KFAI is Nancy Sartor.

On-air guests:  

Public Art Saint Paul President CHRISTINE PODAS-LARSON

Saint Paul Artist-in-Residence MARCUS YOUNG

UofM Studio Arts Professor and Watershed Artist-in-Residence CHRISTINE BAEUMLER

Saint Paul Artist/Sculptor/Designer (and Minneapolis Artist-in-Residence) SEITU JONES

Photographer WING YOUNG HUIE

Saint Paul Councilmember (Ward Two) DAVE THUNE

Saint Paul Public Works Director RICH LALLIER

Title: Public Art Saint Paul:One for All

Length: 28:59 minutes (39.81 MB)

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First Person Radio–Dec 1: CLYDE BELLECOURT: AIM Founder, Heart of the Earth Director-AUDIO HERE

Richard LaFortune and Laura Waterman Wittstock, with Andy Driscoll talk with guest, Clyde H. Bellecourt (shown above in yellow)recently returned from the American Indian Movement conference in San Francisco which included a Thanksgiving ceremony on Alcatraz Island, in commemoration of 41 years since the original occupation in 1969.

First Person Radio's KFAI PAGE local: 90.3 FM in Minneapolis; 106.7 FM St. Paul and later HERE in CivicMedia's Archives and click on any Wednesday on the calendar for your preferred show.

Clyde H. Bellecourt lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He continues to direct national and international AIM activities, is a coordinator of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, and leads Heart of the Earth, Inc. an Interpretive Center located near AIM's 40-year school site in Dinkytown, Minneapolis, MN.

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TruthToTell Nov 29: SINGLE-PAYER: On Life Support? - AUDIO HERE

Talk about a target on your back: The November 2nd Election was almost as much about the federal health care reform package as it was the Wall Street bailouts. And most progressive thinker believe that that health care package is anything but, with some notable exceptions – like no more preexisting conditions haunting future coverage, no more limits on catastrophic coverages and coverages of parented children extended up to age 26.

And yet, advocates for at least a state-based single-payer system, especially the one they call the Minnesota Health Care Plan, introduced by Sen. John Marty at least a couple of years ago, are undeterred, and the very large Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition (MUHCC) is in the lead, along with the Minnesota Chapter of Physicians for a National Healthcare Program (PNHP). The MHCP essentially removes third-party payers (insurance companies) from the reimbursement equation in Minnesota, replacing that with a plan which covers absolutely everything medically necessary for everyone in the state (universal coverage), regardless of employer or employment status, for the rest of their lives, and which is paid for out of a pool of public revenues and from which payments are determined by a system similar to the beloved Medicare system with similar cost controls (Medicare administrative costs are limited to 2.5% of premiums collected and the system watches doctors’ and hospital costs very carefully).

But, what can they possibly expect in this political atmosphere? TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with three of the more prominent activists in this movement.

SEN JOHN MARTY - Current Chair, Minnesota Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee

AMY LANGE - Executive Director, Minnesota Universal Heath Care Coalition

DAVID MAIR, MD - Physicians for a National Health Program-MN

TruthToTell Dec 6: THE FBI AT WAR IN MINNESOTA: The New Gestapo? AUDIO BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 12/06/2010

It’s come to this: it has become illegal to disagree with this nation’s government, its policies, its cavalier entries into war and to say anything publicly that would thus appear threatening to those policies, no matter how unconstitutional they may be.

(Check out the links among the details for a virtual library of articles and books and sites addressing these critical issues)

This week, we dive into that morass commonly called national or homeland security, but we try to get down to cases about why the FBI raided the homes of several local activists in the antiwar movement (JESS SUNDIN, a Minnesota Leader in The AntiWar Committee and COMMITTEE TO STOP FBI REPRESSION was one - and couldn't be with us after all.), and why US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago has insisted that three antiwar women activists – Tracy Molm, Sarah Martin and Anh Pham – are being called back before the Grand Jury in Chicago from the Twin Cities must appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago ver

TTT'S ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with one of the activists raided, one of the subpoenaed women and a defense counselor, along with two former FBI agents. Why are our law enforcement agencies at all levels being used to kill peaceful dissent from public policies that started and keep us at continuous war inside and outside the United States?

SOME WEBSITES TAKING THIS RISING FEDERAL AND LOCAL POWER TO TASK:

BILL OF RIGHTS DEFENSE COMMITTEE  defending the rule of law and rights and liberties challenged by overbroad national security and counter-terrorism policies.

PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN FOR THE CONSTITUTION (focusing on ways to prevent local law enforcement from serving as agents for Homeland Security)

COMMITTEE TO STOP FBI REPRESSION

GUESTS:

SARAH MARTIN – Minnesota anti-war activist subpoenaed, Member of Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)

BRUCE NESTOR - Attorney for arrested activists; Past President, National Lawyers Guild of MN

 

COLEEN ROWLEY - Former FBI Agent and Whistleblower, Attorney, now a Minnesota anti-war activist

MIKE GERMAN -Attorney, ACLU, Washington DC's Policy Counsel on National Security, Immigration and Privacy; Former FBI Agent; author of Thinking Like a Terrorist

RICHARD NEUMEISTER - Advocate and blogger for openness in and access to state and local government; opponent of state and local police intelligence-gathering


60:28 minutes (27.69 MB)

The Police Culture is Killing US

The recent FBI raids on citizen anti-war activists and continuing reports on police killings continue in cities across the country are giving rise to new outrage over the treatment of regular folks and active dissenters – but in all the wrong places. That is, even our so-called liberal legislators and elected executives have said nothing in the wake of what appears to be the senseless violence, raids and arrests  occurring among all law enforcement agencies since 9/11, and enabled by certain clauses in the Patriot Act enacted in haste following that still-questionable debacle in New York and DC.

We at TruthToTell did a three-part series on police culture after witnessing many of those abuses by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in person – either in the streets or in various locales around the Twin Cities, but especially – and frighteningly – at the Republican National Convention in 2008. We’ll deal with the FBI later, but it is the daily assault on citizens by local cops that inspires this writing.

Nothing seems to crack open the cop culture, not indictments, not the rare conviction of a cop for out-and-out assaults and murders they commit on a more regular basis than ever before.

Minneapolis' is the worst police culture around here (Minnesota and the Upper Midwest) and one of the worst in the nation when it comes to violence, but time has worsened an already seriously corrupted 150-year-old system of violence and abuse. And it's polluting all police forces.

One need only listen to the recordings of their arrests and confrontations in the streets, disproportionately men and women of color - the first step on the road to disproportionately higher conviction rates, harder sentencing and concomitant prison populations. 80% of most prisons are men of color. Similar are the populations of women’s facilities.

It all starts with the cops. Or us. We, perhaps unwillingly or unwittingly, have been too long “collaborating” with the system by refusing to hold it  - and them -  truly accountable for these outrages against "civilians."

The entire criminal justice and political machinery (including arbitrators) of federal, state, local governments protect all but a handful of truly egregious violators of the law and Constitutional rights. The rest literally get away with murder.

As always, exceptions to these rules exist in the police, but their voices are quickly and effectively stifled, either by their bosses or by the Blue Code of Silence, thus enabling the worst of the worst to dominate the forces. “Violations” of the Code are redressed by shunning, perhaps even violence. Internal consciences are thus quelled and change is impossible from the inside. Internal Affairs divisions are hated, but tolerated if they don’t really cross the line into actual prosecution. And they generally don’t, leaving appeals processes to the toothless civilian review boards, themselves either co-opted by the department or by the politicians who appoint them.

The media then chime in with their compliant and complicit reporting of more visible incidents, rarely, if ever, challenging the content of police reports or the comments of a defensive police chief or spokesperson, thus tainting the potential trial jury pool either when that defendant comes to trial or the cop is called to account.

We are not really recruiting community police officers who, while armed, should rarely need to draw their weapons and who, when they stop a potential traffic violator, treat them as flawed humans, not the scum of the Earth they often portray violators of all kinds. We need master’s graduates who may eventually become hardened by some of the terrible crimes committed, but who don’t lose sight of the fact that not all of humanity is as bad as this drug dealer or that drugged-up and drunk perpetrator of robberies and domestic assaults. They must stop thinking that because we “outsiders” have not adequately addressed the conditions that spawn all this crime, we’re going to tolerate this outrageous violence inflicted on victims and perpetrators alike.

We need officers vested and invested in their communities, not just in themselves, and in their profession as professionals, not as street cleaners with weapons at the ready and the paranoia that comes from seeing a mortal threat behind a nasty word or a cry for help and responds with verbal and physical abuse.

We need chiefs who demand the highest order of professionalism from patrol to reporting and elected officials who will hold the hiring authorities accountable for their inability to control their people.

We need voters who elect candidates willing to hold their charges accountable and responsible for legal and professional exercise of their authority, not the cowboys who feed off each other’s hatreds and jitters to commit crimes as heinous as those they’re supposed to solve or stop.

And we need our elected officials from the President on down to dogcatchers to stand up and curtail the unconstitutional assaults on our citizens based on skimpy evidence and questionable connections to “terrorist” groups, foreign or domestic, especially when the term “terrorist” is far too readily assigned to those who disagree with this nation’s and this administration’s wartime, foreign and domestic policies – and say so publicly and loudly in a variety of forums. These dissenters are not terrorists. They are the same types of Americans who have invoked change over the centuries – the loud, the boisterous, the dissenters – tea-partiers on the other end of the spectrum (maybe), as it were.

Where is the FBI when stickers adorn the backs of trucks and SUVs showing a giggling kid pissing on the name of Obama? Those stickers all but threaten the President, as do the accompanying statements of “patriotism” when these stated tea-partiers laugh at challenges to their threatened violence against this man, Obama, whom they see as the anti-Christ. Where is the Patriot Act in quashing these dissenters from national policy as well as pissing on the President? Where are the raids on these people who are at least as dangerous or more so than the AntiWar Committee that openly opposes US prosecuted war on other nations, peoples and domestic dissenters? Where are Betty McCollum and Amy Klobuchar and other elected Democrats in expressing outrage over the FBI’s wanton linking of long-time anti-war and anti-racism dissenters to Hamas? Political dissenters empathize and identify with those victims of our neglect – and that’s what seems to threaten the system more than anything. But insisting on equity and adherence to American principles should not be fodder for continued oppression or arrests or raids, either. Why is free speech limited to those on the right or to corporations or to law enforcement itself?

We are all responsible for a civilized society that recognizes that crime – and dissent – often grows out of oppression and poverty and the subcultures that grow to survive in such conditions and be come criminal in the process. Crime cannot survive long in a climate of adequate food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, clean air and water, nondiscrimination, and equal opportunity.

And none of that should be excluded from any resident of this nation, this state or this city.

Andy Driscoll is producer/host of TruthToTell, airing live 9AM CDT on KFAI Radio in the Twin Cities and on your computer atwww.KFAI.org. Podcasts are heard or downloaded later from www.TruthToTell.org/archives. Driscoll’s email address is: andydriscoll[at]TruthToTell.org.