Category Archives: pseudo-freedom

The Trump Administration Is Keeping a U.S. Citizen Secretly Locked Up Without Charges

For nearly two months, the U.S. military has been detaining an American citizen at a secret jail in Iraq, denying him access to a lawyer and even refusing to release his name. The Trump administration is calling the citizen an “enemy combatant,” claiming he was fighting for ISIS in Syria, but it has not presented any evidence to back up its allegations.We went to court asking a judge to protect the citizen’s constitutional rights, including the right not to be imprisoned without charge and the right to challenge his detention in court. The Trump administration has told the court that it doesn’t have to respect these essential due process rights.The Pentagon and Justice Department ignored our initial request for access to the U.S. citizen so we could advise him of his rights and offer him the opportunity of legal representation. We then filed a habeas corpus petition on the citizen’s behalf in federal court in Washington, demanding that the government justify its detention of the unnamed American. All U.S. citizens have the right to habeas corpus no matter where the government holds them or what it accuses them of. And, as we know from the government’s practices in places like Guantánamo, when it tries to undercut this right it opens the door to abuses, including the arbitrary detention of innocent people.We also asked the court to order the government to connect the citizen with ACLU attorneys because he is facing grave threats to his liberty and possibly his life. The government could continue imprisoning him without charge, force him to confess to crimes he may not have committed, or, as a Human Rights Watch expert warns, hand him over to Iraqi custody, in which he would likely be subjected him to torture, an unfair trial, and possible execution.The government’s response is straight out of “Catch-22.” It is arguing that the ACLU cannot seek relief on the citizen’s behalf because we have never met him and don’t know his wishes. But that is a conundrum of the government’s own creation because it has provided no other way for this citizen to legally defend himself.Instead, the government is piling one speculation on top of another. Maybe, the government suggests, the American could have conveyed his needs to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) when it visited him in custody, and maybe that organization could have contacted his family, and maybe his family could have found a lawyer to file a case on his behalf. In fact, the American citizen has made his wishes clear. U.S. officials told The Washington Post that the citizen has repeatedly demanded a lawyer. The government has effectively denied that request. And, as a former ICRC official explains in our latest court filing, there are multiple reasons why the U.S. citizen is unlikely to obtain counsel by going through the ICRC. To begin with, the ICRC’s main purpose is to monitor conditions of detention, not to find lawyers for prisoners. The citizen may not have family he can contact, or he might be afraid of contacting family for fear they will suffer retaliation. It is also possible the citizen’s family might not welcome contact from him, or, even if it did, the family may not know how to navigate the U.S. court system.The bottom line is that the imprisoned American citizen clearly wants a lawyer and doesn’t have one, thanks to the roadblocks the government itself has put in place.Learn More About The CaseThe government also complains that allowing counsel to have access to the citizen wouldn’t be “easy.” But constitutional rights do not depend on the government’s convenience. Federal courts have ruled that citizens have a right to an attorney even when detained as enemy combatants at secure military facilities, whether in the U.S. or abroad. And for more than 13 years, courts have ensured attorney access to non-citizens imprisoned at Guantanamo, rejecting government attempts to restrict it. Even George W. Bush’s attorney general and former federal district court judge, Michael Mukasey, ruled that the government’s national security interests cannot override an American citizen’s right to a lawyer.By opposing the ACLU’s efforts in this case, the Trump administration is taking a very dangerous step: It is blocking an Americans citizen’s access to his own country’s courts. It is also undermining the bedrock guarantees of habeas corpus, which for centuries has served as the greatest check on unlawful government detentions. Now, we’re fighting to stop the government’s unconstitutional attempt to create a new rights-free zone.

Source: The Trump Administration Is Keeping a U.S. Citizen Secretly Locked Up Without Charges

University of Cincinnati to allow white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus – Columbus – Columbus Business First _ UC President not smart enough to realize that no one invited him to speak – but it’s ok that a UC Policeman murdered a local Black-American neighbor and got away with it?

University of Cincinnati President Neville Pinto issued a statement Friday evening saying that the university had a First Amendment obligation to allow a white nationalist, Richard Spencer, to speak on campus.

Source: University of Cincinnati to allow white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus – Columbus – Columbus Business First

New Russian Facial-Recognition Tech May Fight Crime But It’s Already Misused Against Opposition

Clearly, FindFace and similar programs will be used not only by cities in CCTVs to fight crime and terrorism, and intelligence agencies everywhere, but will be used by all sides in every conflict, for good and ill. The policy question then will likely becomes how to create remedies for misuse rather than deterrence.Devising remedies means a lot more research is needed on the misuse of the technology. But in the Russian setting, there are so many factors at work against the opposition already — including covert surveillance of their private lives by state TV and broadcasting without their permission —  that isolating the effect of FaceFind could be difficult.

Source: New Russian Facial-Recognition Tech May Fight Crime But It’s Already Misused Against Opposition

Hijab: Empowering or oppressive? – sister-hood magazine. A Fuuse production by Deeyah Khan.

My belief, that women should not be dictated to on what they should or shouldn’t wear by French or any other public policy, is grounded in the principles of free choice. Similarly, women should not be forced to cover up to satisfy a strict interpretation by men, based upon their patriarchal cultural framework, and little girls, absolutely not!

Source: Hijab: Empowering or oppressive? – sister-hood magazine. A Fuuse production by Deeyah Khan.

Germany: AfD Accuses Google of Sabotaging Campaign – SPIEGEL ONLINE _ Google says no to hate ads, so on to Facebook and Twitter to target hate and racist political messages!

As part of its digital campaign strategy, AfD has even brought on American consultants with the Harris Media advertising agency. The Texas consulting firm specializes in customers with “controversial” messages who range from Donald Trump and the gun lobby to France’s far-right Front National. Their task is to adapt Kunkel’s print campaign for the digital world. Two Harris employees have also embedded themselves in the digital “war room” inside the AfD’s national headquarters in Berlin.But it appears that the American pros are running into hurdles — with one of the most important advertising platforms around. Officials with AfD have complained that Google is blocking large parts of its advertising campaign. “We aren’t having difficulties with any other platform,” said campaign manager Kunkel. He said that Facebook and Twitter are treating AfD like a normal customer. “But Google is sabotaging us, creating a disadvantage for us relative to our political competition.”Dividing the Pie Between Google, Facebook and TwitterThe dispute shines a spotlight on the role the U.S. Internet giants are playing in the current German election. For the first time, the criteria used by major American internet platforms to decide on what paid political content can be disseminated to their users — and what cannot — is playing a central role in a German election.

Source: Germany: AfD Accuses Google of Sabotaging Campaign – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Man arrested for driving truck towards anti-fascist protesters in Washington state | US news | The Guardian

When the truck, which sported a Confederate battle flag decal as well as American flags, sped through the intersection of West 6th and Washington Streets, it was followed by a motorcyclist who had been seen leaving the Patriot Prayer rally. Both were stopped by police.The motorcyclist tore off his protective gear and made for counter-protesters before he was stopped. The driver of the truck was apprehended and cuffed. Vancouver police reported two arrests.Protesters claimed that a second truck, white and carrying four passengers – one wearing the black polo-shirt uniform of the “Proud Boys” group, another wearing a Donald Trump cap – was also driving at high speed through the streets, reversing and veering dangerously close to protesters.Greg Liascos, who attended the event, said he saw occupants of the second vehicle “throwing things from the truck” at counter-protesters. Occupants reportedly also used pepper spray. When a plastic bottle and a tennis ball were thrown back, the driver reportedly commenced revving the vehicle and “driving up and reversing down streets” at up to 40mph.

Source: Man arrested for driving truck towards anti-fascist protesters in Washington state | US news | The Guardian


Good police should be supported – bullies and cowboys should not! Police body-camera video shows Wubbels, who works in the burn unit, calmly explaining that she could not take blood from a patient who had been injured in a deadly car accident, citing a recent change in law. A 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling said a blood sample cannot be taken without patient consent or a warrant. Wubbels told Payne that a patient had to allow a blood sample to determine intoxication or be under arrest. Otherwise, she said police needed a warrant. Police did not, but Payne insisted. The dispute ended with Payne saying, “We’re done, you’re under arrest” and pulling her outside while she screamed and said, “I’ve done nothing wrong!” He had called his supervisor and discussed the time-sensitive blood draw for over an hour with hospital staff, police spokeswoman Christina Judd said.”It’s not an excuse. It definitely doesn’t forgive what happened,” she said.Payne wrote in a police report that he grabbed Wubbels and took her outside to avoid causing a “scene” in the emergency room. He said his boss, a lieutenant whose actions also were being reviewed, told him to arrest Wubbels if she kept interfering.The detective left Wubbels in a hot police car for 20 minutes before realizing that blood had already been drawn as part of treatment, said her lawyer, Karra Porter. Wubbels was not charged.”This has upended her worldview in a way. She just couldn’t believe this could happen,” Porter said.Wubbels and her attorneys on Thursday released the video they obtained through a public records request to call for change. She has not sued, but that could change, said attorney Jake Macfarlane.Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said that the video was concerning and called the police chief to ask for a criminal investigation.The department is open to the inquiry that will be run by Salt Lake County’s Unified Police, Judd said. Gill’s office will review the findings.In response to the incident, Judd said the department updated its blood-draw policy last week to mirror what the hospital uses. She said officers have already received additional training.

Source: News from The Associated Press

‘Please stop!’ Brutal killing of a student in Philippines drug war sparks nationwide anger | World news | The Guardian

Duterte has lashed out at any criticism. He warned the European Union not to “fuck with us” after the European parliament passed a resolution expressing “grave concern over credible reports” that Philippine police were engaged in extrajudicial killings, a claim officers strongly deny. Despite the criticism, Duterte has remained a popular leader and polls have shown continued domestic support for his war on drugs. But the death of Santos appears to be a turning point. Three government bodies, the department of justice, the senate, and the Commission on Human Rights, launched investigations.Santos’s last words have become viral on social media and on Monday protesters gathered at the People’s Power Monument in Manila to voice their outrage.

Source: ‘Please stop!’ Brutal killing of a student in Philippines drug war sparks nationwide anger | World news | The Guardian