Author Topic: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System  (Read 58289 times)

Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2012, 03:25:55 pm »
Lots of news lately about the NYPD/CIA spy program which has kept thousands of Muslims under surveillance, despite no evidence of wrongdoing (places spied on include a Muslim girls' school, for example, a number of delis, mosques and perfectly legitimate businesses).

Turns out the White House approved of the program, too.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/02/27/white-house-pumped-millions-into-nypds-muslim-surveillance-programs/

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Millions of dollars in White House money has helped pay for New York Police Department programs that put entire American Muslim neighborhoods under surveillance.

The money is part of a little-known grant intended to help law enforcement fight drug crimes. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush and Obama administrations have provided $135 million to the New York and New Jersey region through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, known as HIDTA.

Some of that money — it’s unclear exactly how much because the program has little oversight — has paid for the cars that plainclothes NYPD officers used to conduct surveillance on Muslim neighborhoods. It also paid for computers that store even innocuous information about Muslim college students, mosque sermons and social events.

The White House has, of course, declined to comment on this. 

In related doubleplusgood news, the NYPD want this referred to not as spying, but as "enhanced police investigation", echoing the "enchanced interrogation techniques" of torture used by the CIA.

Even better, the NYPD's spy program has disrupted the FBI's own investigations, into actual possibly legitimate plots (that the FBI didn't plan, even): http://www.ap.org/pages/about/whatsnew/wn_122311a.html

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When New York undercover officers and informants were infiltrating a mosque in 2006, they failed to notice the increasingly radical sentiments of a young man who prayed there. Police also kept tabs on a Muslim student group at a local collage, but missed a member’s growing anti-Americanism.

Those two men, Najibullah Zazi at the mosque and Adis Medunjanin at the school, would go on to be accused of plotting a subway bombing that officials have called the most serious terrorist threat to the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

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Media reports quoting anonymous FBI officials have suggested the NYPD botched the case when it showed a picture of Najibullah Zazi, the Denver shuttle-bus driver at the heart of the investigation, to Ahmed Afzali, a Queens Imam and sometime police informant. Afzali, the reports say, first called Zazi’s father Mohammed, then Najibullah himself, alerting them to the probe. The FBI, which had been monitoring the calls, was then forced to move immediately to arrest the Zazis — much sooner than it had planned.

On the other hand, the NYPD can't be doing too good a job of watching those mosques, since someone firebombed a bunch of them over New Years, and the NYPD refused to press terrorism charges for fear of being accused of botching yet another terrorism investigation. And, and everyone knows Muslims only ever commit terrorism, not suffer from it.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2012, 03:55:36 pm »
Fucking hell.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #62 on: February 29, 2012, 08:28:29 am »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/feb/28/chris-bryant-phone-hacking

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Chris Bryant tells MPs Scotland Yard had been 'suborned' and effectively become a subsidiary of News International

Chris Bryant, the Labour MP, has claimed that in light of recent revelations the News International phone-hacking scandal could turn out to be the biggest case of corporate corruption in the UK for more than 250 years.

Bryant told a Westminster Hall private members' debate on media regulation on Tuesday that his "poor researcher" had counted 486 lies told to parliament by News International, the police and other organisations about phone hacking and related investigations.

The Labour MP, who received £30,000 in damages from NI in January to settle his News of the World phone-hacking claim, also said evidence given to the Leveson inquiry on Monday suggested that a "culture of mass corruption was intrinsic to the Sun's modus operandi".

He added that Monday's Leveson evidence about the Met's original investigation into News of the World phone hacking also showed that Scotland Yard had been "suborned" and effectively become a subsidiary of News International.

Bryant, who sponsored Tuesday's debate, said the phone-hacking affair still had some way to go before it reached its conclusion. "I suspect we've just crept into act 4, scene 2."

He claimed it was now known that senior figures at News International ordered the mass destruction of evidence. The cover-up went to the highest levels at News International, Bryant said, and this in the end may turn out to be the biggest crime of all.

He also said that directors of News Corporation, News International's parent company, had failed to take their responsibilities seriously enough.

"I suspect that in the end this will turn out to be the single largest corporate corruption case in this country for more than 250 years," Bryant added.

He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

News Corp's directors, the Press Complaints Commission ("a toothless gaggle of compliant cronies"), the Met, and to some extent the law courts and parliament had all failed to bring those responsible to account, he added.

It turned out that News International were effectively buying entire stories from the Met.  Also that someone in the Met tipped off editor Rebekah Brooks about their investigation into the phone hacking before it was made public knowledge.

They also loaned her a police horse.

Junkenstein

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #63 on: February 29, 2012, 03:01:26 pm »
At this rate I would actually be surprised if it is not every single mainstream paper. Many run remarkably similar stories on the same day, which would indicate to me the information being sold and re-sold. NI may be getting the heat now, but I'm pretty sure everyone else is going to be having a bad time by the end of this.

Apart from Private Eye. Hislop talking to the Levenson Enquiry was a lesson in class and how journalism should be conducted.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/bbc_parliament/newsid_9640000/9640246.stm
(17th January for ease. I would not suggest looking at many others as the volume of obvious lies and outright retardation is incredible. Editors being unaware of the meaning of "ethics" springs to mind. That's editors, plural. The attitude of Dacre, chap who oversees the Daily Hate, I mean Mail was astonishingly arrogant. Good rage fuel if you need it I suppose)

« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 03:08:38 pm by Junkenstein »
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #64 on: February 29, 2012, 03:15:03 pm »
> He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

That's a very important point. If on the one hand rich and powerful corporations get away with anything, while on the other hand powerless minorities are being beaten up and killed by policemen, well, you might as well not have any laws at all.

(Ok that's not entirely true because in between those two extremes, it's still keeping a lot of things in check, but for a large part that's just some people and corporations still believing the law's the law and you keep to it, just because that's what you do. Alternatively not everyone turns into a ruthless psychopath, some people inherently prefer to do right and good)

Hey, wasn't there also something about a suspicious suicide or death just as the NotW scandal started leaking? (unless I'm mistaken and I'm thinking of another suspicious death in a different story)

Seeing that there's still important people hacking away at the case, will there come anything of that too?
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #65 on: February 29, 2012, 03:27:54 pm »
There was a suicide of a journalist who acted as a whistleblower on the case, yes.

The Hertfordshire police declared his death as "uexplained but not thought to be suspicious" and the coroner ruled that he died from natural causes, heavily suggesting alcohol and a failing liver were to blame.  A section 20 post-mortem was carried out by the coroner, which is usually only done in suspicious cases.

His drink problem was well known, though, as was his ailing health.  I mean, if I was going to kill an alcoholic with a failing liver, I'd know how I'd go about it.  On the other hand, I'm not sure what else he could have honestly revealed, he had talked about phone-hacking for years.  Unless his death was meant to be a message to other people considering breaking their vows of loyalty and silence, but then we're getting into some very speculative territory there.

Of more interest is private investigator Jonathan Rees and his possible involvement in the murder of Daniel Morgan, who was investigating corrupt London police at the time.  Rees went on to be hired by Andy Coulson, the former NotW editor who went on to work for David Cameron, briefly at least.  The possibility that News International carried out political intelligence gathering for the Tory Party, via corrupt Met officers, is the elephant in the room in this whole thing, and something that will probably never be fully investigated.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #66 on: February 29, 2012, 06:02:18 pm »
Which is certainly a concern. Investigation into most police corruption in the UK tends to be rather slow and ineffective. The IPPC could be seen as a bigger joke than the PCC. An important issue also here could be that while everyone acts busy condemning the PCC, the self regulation of police is left unchallenged and unchanged.

At least that seems to be what's occurring. I would imagine it serves media interests to say "we're sorry but we've changed.." speeches. It would leave any untouched sources free to do the same again which I would imagine to be inevitable.

The scale of this entire incident will probably never be truly known. I suppose it goes to show, if you go corrupt - Go BIG.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #68 on: March 05, 2012, 11:43:49 pm »
> He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

That's a very important point. If on the one hand rich and powerful corporations get away with anything, while on the other hand powerless minorities are being beaten up and killed by policemen, well, you might as well not have any laws at all.

(Ok that's not entirely true because in between those two extremes, it's still keeping a lot of things in check, but for a large part that's just some people and corporations still believing the law's the law and you keep to it, just because that's what you do. Alternatively not everyone turns into a ruthless psychopath, some people inherently prefer to do right and good)

Hey, wasn't there also something about a suspicious suicide or death just as the NotW scandal started leaking? (unless I'm mistaken and I'm thinking of another suspicious death in a different story)

Seeing that there's still important people hacking away at the case, will there come anything of that too?

Idea (just throwing this out there): if policemen were appointed by lottery (like Jury Duty in the US), it would be difficult for a police fraternity to "protect their own" (i.e., corruption within the police force would be less likely than minor and temporary individual acts of collusion with outsiders -- accidental rather than systemic corruption, in other words), and citizens would be expected to be educated in all of the ways policemen are expected to be educated (just as citizens in Athens were expected to know the mechanics of citizenship in case it became their job to act as executive). Furthermore, violence against police as a group would be a little more rare (the policeman could be your teacher, or your mother, or your best friend's little sister).

There are clearly downsides (a decrease in average police competence, experience doesn't really accumulate), but I find it interesting to consider.


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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #69 on: March 06, 2012, 12:16:19 am »
I think the downside of decrease in competence and especially not having experience (what about training?) would be a pretty tough one.

That said, the local neighbourhood officers we have here are pretty all right, doing a good job, helpful, don't beat up random people, etc. I dunno how we got that, but apparently there's ways? Also this is my local experience, other parts of NL might be worse, but nowhere near what I've heard about the US and UK.
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BabylonHoruv

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #70 on: March 06, 2012, 05:31:52 pm »
> He said: "Why this is a problem for us as politicians is that every single element of the regulatory regime failed."

That's a very important point. If on the one hand rich and powerful corporations get away with anything, while on the other hand powerless minorities are being beaten up and killed by policemen, well, you might as well not have any laws at all.

(Ok that's not entirely true because in between those two extremes, it's still keeping a lot of things in check, but for a large part that's just some people and corporations still believing the law's the law and you keep to it, just because that's what you do. Alternatively not everyone turns into a ruthless psychopath, some people inherently prefer to do right and good)

Hey, wasn't there also something about a suspicious suicide or death just as the NotW scandal started leaking? (unless I'm mistaken and I'm thinking of another suspicious death in a different story)

Seeing that there's still important people hacking away at the case, will there come anything of that too?

Idea (just throwing this out there): if policemen were appointed by lottery (like Jury Duty in the US), it would be difficult for a police fraternity to "protect their own" (i.e., corruption within the police force would be less likely than minor and temporary individual acts of collusion with outsiders -- accidental rather than systemic corruption, in other words), and citizens would be expected to be educated in all of the ways policemen are expected to be educated (just as citizens in Athens were expected to know the mechanics of citizenship in case it became their job to act as executive). Furthermore, violence against police as a group would be a little more rare (the policeman could be your teacher, or your mother, or your best friend's little sister).

There are clearly downsides (a decrease in average police competence, experience doesn't really accumulate), but I find it interesting to consider.

I can't see this as a useful approach.  It takes 2 to 4 years to train someone as a police officer.  Unless we approached this as something closer to a compulsory draft rather than a jury duty we won't have people who are adequately competent to do the job.  also, those 2 to 4 years are to achieve minimal competency which is then supplemented by on the job training and experience.  Even a military draft is usually only for 4 years.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #71 on: March 07, 2012, 12:07:55 am »
A solution, I believe, is to seperate training from the actual culture of the police force. Here, I think law enforcement training is quite good, in terms of teaching communication, race relations and the like. But, once a well-trained cadet goes on placement, some fat evil cynical bastard sits him down with a "forget that crap they teach you in the academy. Pinko's and femi's, the lot of 'em. You're in the real world now, and we need to arrest more non-white folk" type of mentality starts to entrench them.

Now, how to do that????
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #72 on: March 07, 2012, 09:16:56 am »
Not sure if this qualifies, but... The Obama administration on Monday plans to outline how U.S. laws empower the government to kill Americans overseas who engage in terrorism against their home country, a source familiar with the matter said, months after a drone strike killed a U.S.-born cleric who plotted attacks from Yemen.

"We're already doing it, we're just retrofitting the excuse now."

Holder basically said "the constitution says we only need due process, not a judicial review.  We have a process, we have a secret meeting, and if you're considered a national security threat, we'll kill you".

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Some have argued that the President is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces.  This is simply not accurate. “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.

So basically, the Star Chamber has been rehabilitated.

Bernard Finel says it best:

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So, due process can be met by secret deliberations with no right to confront one’s accuser, no right of appeal or judicial review, and no opportunity to introduce exculpatory evidence? It does not require any public notice as far as I can tell, and people on the death list might not even know they are on it or why. No one seems to have standing to challenge these decisions, except perhaps the targeted person, but since they don’t even need to be charged with a crime or indicted, I am not sure what they would be challenging.

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Look, I get that there are bad guys out there. And indeed, we may need to kill them on occasion. But why not have a public process? Why not require indictments and trials in absentia. Why not have judicial review?

Yes, the Star Chamber model is quicker. But since when is that the determinative principle on issues that confront fundamental questions of democratic governance and civil liberties?

LMNO

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #73 on: March 07, 2012, 12:49:57 pm »
This is really bad, isn't it?

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #74 on: March 08, 2012, 05:47:58 pm »
Yes, but now I wonder, can anybody just claim to have had a secret meeting with really high-up top-secret secret service secret agents and it was decided that <whoever they just caught killing> was a National Security Threat although the fact that he is is really top secret and I shouldn't even have said that much.

"No judge, of course any government officials you informed with would deny knowledge of this secret meeting and the secret decision made there in secrecy, either their security clearance it not enough and they truly don't know, or they do know and will deny it because it's top secret."

And get away with it?
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