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Why Black Folks Need Encryption

The battle between Apple Computer and the FBI is not just about the encrypted messages on one iPhone. What it is really about is expanding the legal ability of the Federal Government to spy on it’s citizens.  This has been an ongoing battle largely behind the scenes between tech developers and Government agencies such as NIST and the NSA. Indeed in 1988 the Government forced standards groups to make TCP/IP the telecom standard upon which the Internet is based, and rejected the OSI standard in large part because the OSI Standard included encryption that was difficult to break, and features which allowed the development of advanced security technologies at the “transmission” level, whereas TCP had none, and was easily compromised by government spooks, who had been using and testing the vulnerabilities of the protocol stack for years. The Internet is not secure, and by design – can never be secured, which is why the Government defense and intelligence agencies use a custom variation of TCP/IP which incorporates capabilities to enhance secure communication.

There are roughly 7 major Commercial Off The Shelf encryption systems in use today. In order to sell those in the US, NSA requires that security “backdoors” be built in such that the systems may be easily compromised by the NSA, and we would assume law enforcement agencies. This requirement does not cover, and has not covered to this point encryption systems on devices which store information internally in flash memory or disk drives. As such manufacturers and equipment owners have been free to encrypt an secure their data by any means they deem appropriate.

There is no such thing as unbreakable encryption. Even that used by the most secret agencies in the Government isn’t unbreakable. What it is is a system which is difficult enough to break that only another government or massive corporation has access to the computer horsepower and scientists to do so – which costs lots and lots of money. So it is actually a race to develop new, more complex systems as the previous system is broken. And I can tell you from personal experience that two guys in a garage that against odds come up with something new and radical which might give those systems heartburn – are in for a visit by the guys in black suits shortly after letting the world know you’ve developed it.

Now – most of what you see on TV about the technology is bullshit. You are not breaking into a unknown secured local network just in time for the hero to do his thing with your trusty laptop. There is no such thing as a 100% secure network, if it has any connection at all to the Internet. The Internet of Things (IoT) which is a hot-button meme right now in the industry isn’t going to happen, because the security in wireless systems is so poor (on purpose and by design).

So…If you are using commercial off the shelf products like cell phones and computers – you can’t stop them from listening in. What you can do is make it difficult enough that unless somebody like the NSA comes after you, you have security. Which is exactly what Apple did.

Here’s why civil rights activists are siding with the tech giant.

Last night, the FBI, saying that it may be able to crack an iPhone without Apple’s help, convinced a federal judge to delay the trial over its encryption dispute with the tech company. In February, you may recall, US magistrate judge Sheri Pym ruledthat Apple had to help the FBI access data from a phone used by one of the San Bernadino shooters. Apple refused, arguing that it would have to invent software that amounts to a master key for iPhones—software that doesn’t exist for the explicit reason that it would put the privacy of millions of iPhone users at risk. The FBI now has two weeks to determine whether its new method is viable. If it is, the whole trial could be moot.

That would be a mixed blessing for racial justice activists, some of them affiliated with Black Lives Matter, who recently wrote to Judge Pym and laid out some reasons she should rule against the FBI. Theletter—one of dozens sent by Apple supporters—cited the FBI’s history of spying on civil rights organizers and shared some of the signatories’ personal experiences with government overreach.

“One need only look to the days of J. Edgar Hoover and wiretapping of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to recognize the FBI has not always respected the right to privacy for groups it did not agree with,” they wrote. (Targeted surveillance of civil rights leaders was also a focus of a recent PBS documentary on the Black Panther Party.) Nor is this sort of thing ancient history, they argued: “Many of us, as civil rights advocates, have become targets of government surveillance for no reason beyond our advocacy or provision of social services for the underrepresented.”

Black Lives Matter organizers have good reason to be concerned. Last summer, I reported that a Baltimore cyber-security firm had identified prominent Ferguson organizer (and Baltimore mayoral candidate) Deray McKesson as a “threat actor” who needed “continuous monitoring” to ensure public safety. The firm—Zero Fox—briefed members of an FBI intelligence partnership program about the data it had collected on Freddie Gray protest organizers. It later passed the information along to Baltimore city officials.

Department of Homeland Security emails, meanwhile, have indicated that Homeland tracked the movements of protesters and attendees of a black cultural event in Washington, DC, last spring. Emails from New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metro-North Railroad showed that undercover police officers monitored the activities of known organizers at Grand Central Station police brutality protests. The monitoring was part of a joint surveillance effort by MTA counter-terrorism agents and NYPD intelligence officers. (There are also well-documentedinstances of authorities spying on Occupy Wall Street activists.)

In December 2014, Chicago activists, citing a leaked police radio transmissionalleged that city police used a surveillance device called a Stingray to intercept their texts and phone calls during protests over the death of Eric Garner. The device, designed by military and space technology giant Harris Corporation, forces all cell phones within a given radius to connect to it, reroutes communications through the Stingray, and allows officers to read texts and listen to phone calls—as well as track a phone’s location. (According to theACLU, at least 63 law enforcement agencies in 21 states use Stingrays in police work—frequently without a warrant—and that’s probably an underestimate, since departments must signagreements saying they will not disclose their use of the device.)

In addition to the official reports, several prominent Black Lives organizers in Baltimore, New York City, and Ferguson, Missouri, shared anecdotes of being followed and/or harassed by law enforcement even when they weren’t protesting. One activist told me how a National Guard humvee had tailed her home one day in 2014 during the Ferguson unrest, matching her diversions turn for turn. Another organizer was greeted by dozens of officers during a benign trip to a Ferguson-area Wal-Mart, despite having never made public where she was going.

In light of the history and their own personal experiences, many activists have been taking extra precautions. “We know that lawful democratic activism is being monitored illegally without a warrant,” says Malkia Cyril, director of the Center for Media Justice in Oakland and a signatory on the Apple-FBI letter. “In response, we are using encrypted technologies so that we can exercise our democratic First and Fourth Amendment rights.” Asked whether she believes the FBI’s promises to use any software Apple creates to break into the San Bernadino phone only, Cyril responds: “Absolutely not.”

“I don’t think it’s any secret that activists are using encryption methods,” says Lawrence Grandpre, an organizer with Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle in Baltimore. Grandpre says he and others used an encrypted texting app to communicate during the Freddie Gray protests. He declined to name the app, but said it assigns a PIN to each phone that has been approved to access messages sent within a particular group of people. If an unapproved device tries to receive a message, the app notifies the sender and blocks the message from being sent. Grandpre says he received these notifications during the Freddie Gray protests: “Multiple times we couldn’t send text messages because the program said there’s a possibility of interception.”

Cyril says “all of the activists I know” use a texting and call-encryption app calledSignal to communicate, and that the implication of a court verdict in favor of the FBI would be increased surveillance of the civil rights community. “It’s unprecedented for a tech company—for any company—to be compelled in this way,” Cyril says….

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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DOJ Newest Civil Rights Strategy – Locking Up Bad Judges

By now it should be obvious to everyone that the problems in Law Enforcement extend to the Judiciary. Further – conservative “No-Tax” freaks on the right have created a system wherein any semblance to a fair an equitable tax system is replaced by a predatory Judicial and draconian laws shifting the tax burden onto the poor. The Ferguson Report was a watershed in exposing such criminal schemes, often which target minorities under The New Jim Crow.

It has been a long time coming, but the DOJ is finally preparing to hold corrupt and predatory Judges at the local level…Accountable.

TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

What is interesting about this law, is it goes far beyond just the issue of Debtors, and suggests that even local legislators may be held accountable for willfully creating local laws which violate Civil Rights as defined under the Constitution. Which doesn’t mean that a local law challenged before a higher court and ruled unconstitutional makes local legislators liable – but does mean those legislatures which (as in North Carolina) have ruled the Federal Constitution null and void can be tried and jailed for passing laws violating Civil Rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

I gotta believe that Tea Baggers in jail are going to have a harder time than Jared the child molester.

 

How Locking Up Judges Could End Debtors’ Prisons

Civil rights lawyers want the DOJ to give judges who break the law a taste of their own medicine.

Justice Department officials warned U.S. judges and court administrators this week that practices like incarcerating poor people without determining whether they could afford outstanding fines are illegal and unconstitutional.

But civil rights advocates with clients who’ve had their lives torn apart after being accused of petty crimes, receiving traffic tickets or charged with municipal code violations say the feds have a much more effective method of fixing the widespread problem: locking up judges.

In a nine-page letter sent to all state chief justices and state court administrators on Monday, the DOJ’s Vanita Gupta, who heads the Civil Rights Division, and Lisa Foster, the director of the Office of Access to Justice, urged local officials to “review court rules and procedures within your jurisdiction to ensure that they comply with due process, equal protection, and sound public policy.”

Judges who incarcerate poor people because they missed a payment are breaking the law, the letter said. What many courts consider a “routine administrative matter” of forcing defendants to pre-pay a “bond” or “bail” before they’re allowed to schedule a court date is actually unconstitutional, Gupta and Foster wrote. Locking people in cages for long periods of time solely because they can’t afford to buy their freedom is a violation of the country’s supreme law, the U.S. Constitution.

Civil rights advocates praised the Justice Department for sending the letter. However, they say there’s a much more powerful tool available if the feds really want to deter judicial crime: Federal prosecutors can hold judges accountable for their unlawful conduct by charging them with a federal crime.

Section 242 of Title 18 of the U.S. code — the so-called “color of law” statute — is the same federal civil rights legislation that Justice Department prosecutors use against police officers and prison guards who use excessive force and make false arrests. The law applies to prosecutors and judges, too. But the feds don’t use it against them often.

Hub Harrington, a former circuit judge in Shelby County, Alabama, who in 2012called Harpersville Municipal Court a “debtors prison” and a “judicially sanctioned extortion racket,” suggested prosecuting judges who break the law at a December meeting at the White House. He said he approached the Justice Department and the Alabama Attorney General about the issues in Harpersville and was frustrated that former Municipal Court Judge Larry Ward wasn’t charged over his conduct.

“We’ve been talking about the victims,” Harrington said at the time. “What about the perpetrators? We got the laws in place. We already have the law you can’t put indigent people in jail without a hearing. We don’t need more laws. We need to enforce the ones we’ve got.”

Alec Karakatsanis from Equal Justice Under Law, an organization that has been suing cities engaged in widespread unconstitutional practices, said the DOJ letter was a good start and could help “eradicate any notion that any judge can be ignorant of basic principles of constitutional law.” But he hoped bad judges would be indicted.

“For a long time, our courts have become places where impoverished people and people of colors’ rights are violated with virtual impunity every day as a matter of daily practice,” Karakatsanis said. “You’d like to think that the people who are tasked with applying the law are held to the same standards as everyone else, and when people are blatantly violating the law, there should be consequences for them.”

It would be “a hard argument for any judge to make that they thought it was OK for them to be throwing people in jail for not being able to make payments without making any type of inquiry into their ability to pay,” he added. But the problem is so widespread and commonplace that prosecution could be less likely.

“It’s not just a ‘few bad apples,’ we have a legal system that has lost it’s way, become desensitized towards caging people,” Karakatsanis said. “One of the really difficult and sad things about our legal system is that the more common something is, the more difficult it is to prosecute because there’s this sense that ‘Well, everyone is doing it, so it would break the system.’” …Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Feds Drop the Hammer on Drumph Militia – Arrest Campaign Co-Chair for Conspiracy

Apparently the DOJ has had enough of the right wing armed Militia extremists, and finally has begun to hold them accountable for their domestic terrorism. The Drumph is about to find at least a segment of his racist popular support …In jail. They aren’t being prosecuted because they are Trump supporters -buy rather the fact that they have committed crimes. It has been noted here, as well in a lot of other places the difference in handling these folks and a black or minority person who would point a gun at a federal or local police officer.

I would imagine that a lot of this is being driven by the violent reactions of Trump supporters against those who do not toe their line, or protesters –  mirroring that of Hitlers Brown Shirts during his rise to power. It was common for Hitler’s supporters to violently attack. beat, and even kill anyone they felt opposed them or belonged to another party.

Long past time to reign that shidt in.

Trump campaign co-chair arrested for conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States

Jerry Delemus, the husband of a New Hampshire Republican lawmaker and co-chair of the state’s “Veterans for Trump” coalition, was arrested Thursday for his role in the armed standoff nearly two years ago at the Bundy ranch.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Delemus on nine federal charges — including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, obstruction of justice, attempting to impede or injure a federal law enforcement officer and several firearms charges, reported Portsmouth Patch.

The Tea Party activist and outspoken Donald Trump supporter traveled cross-country in 2014 to take part in the armed standoff between Bureau of Land Management agents and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his militia supporters in a dispute over unpaid grazing fees.

He was apparently the security team member who asked Jerad and Amanda Miller toleave the Bundy ranch just weeks before they gunned down two Las Vegas police officers.

Delemus also traveled to Oregon in January to take part in the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve.

His wife, state Rep. Susan Delemus (R-Rochester) announced the arrest to the former chairman of New Hampshire’s Republican Party — who issued a call on Facebook for “all NH patriots to come together ASAP” to ”protest this tyranny in the most visible way possible.”

“She said that the FBI just rolled up with lots of vehicles and Agents who were in tactical gear,” posted Jack Kimball, the former GOP chair. ”They forced their way into Jerry Delemus and Sue’s condo with weapons drawn and arrested Jerry and took him away.”

Delemus and his wife have been quoted multiple times by local and national media about their support for Trump.

Susan Delemus gained a measure of fame after she declared every politician but Trump was lying to her through the television.

“We’ve got people in positions of power who I know for a fact are liars. Liars!” Delemus said. “I watch the TV — My president comes on the TV and he lies to me! I know he’s lying. He lies all the time.”

She also made news four years ago, when she angrily confronted state officials in an attempt to keep Obama off the ballot in New Hampshire, causing the assistant secretary of state to fear for his safety.

Most recently, Susan Delemus made news for siding with Trump in his feud with Pope Francis.

“The Pope is the anti-Christ,” Susan Delemus posted on her own Facebook page. “Do your research.”

Jerry DeLemus switched over in July from Sen. Ted Cruz’s leadership team in New Hampshire, and instead backed Trump because he’s an “anti-politician.”

The failed candidate for “constitutional candidate” also organized the infamous rally where Trump failed to correct a man who called Obama a Muslim.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Domestic terrorism, The Clown Bus

 

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DOJ Sues Ferguson After City Tries to Waffle on Consent Decree

No surprise here. The City Council was involved in the corruption in the first place.

Meet sme of those responsible for the racist court and legal system in Ferguson, here.

Feds Drag Ferguson To Court And Throw The Constitution At It

Un-indicted murderer Darren Wilson (center – back), with his arm around Mary Ann Twitty, who was fired for racism, corruption, and misconduct as Ferguson’s Top Court Clerk

 

The deal would have brought positive change to the mostly white police force in Michael Brown’s hometown.

The Justice Department filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday in an effort to end what it described as patterns of constitutional violations by the city’s police department and municipal court.

The decision comes one day after Ferguson rejected a negotiated deal that would have set the St. Louis suburb on a path toward reforming its police department.

The original deal was arranged over 11 months after the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division released a damning report last March chronicling routine patterns of constitutional abuses in the city, where an overwhelmingly white police force preyed on black residents who many officers saw “less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.”

The report depicted a corrupt local government, in which the police department and municipal court “worked in concert to maximize revenue at every stage of the enforcement process” for several years. The Justice Department also released troubling emails from Ferguson officials that referred to President Barack Obama as a “chimpanzee” and African-Americans as having “no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”

The negotiated deal would have required several progressive changes, including pushing police to practice de-escalation tactics without using force, mandating extensive training for officers and making city officials engage with minority groups that have had negative experiences with the police department.

At a Ferguson City Council meeting on Tuesday night, all six council members voted to accept the deal only under “certain conditions,” meaning they were asking for changes. They wanted different deadlines and fees from those set forth in the original bargain. They also asked to remove a key line that would have mandated higher pay for police officers in the city, which officials have maintained the city cannot afford. The council members also wanted a provision removed that would have made the entire deal void if the city decided to contract with another law enforcement agency for policing services.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Ferguson City Council’s vote “leaves us no further choice” but to sue.

Ferguson officials had hoped to negotiate further, but knew a lawsuit was a possibility.

“We do believe these conditions maintain the spirit and integrity of the consent decree and allow the city to move forward,” Councilman Wesley Bell said at a press conference in Ferguson on Wednesday.

Bell, an attorney who helped negotiate the original deal, proposed the conditions that the council adopted unanimously. He suggested the amendments were necessary for Ferguson to continue to function after the enforcement of the consent decree.

Bell is a seasoned operator in local Missouri politics. He serves as prosecutor in Riverview, judge in Velda City and city attorney in Wellston. He was central to Wellston contracting for police services with the newly formed North County Police Cooperative, which is unaccredited.

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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FBI Investigates Possible Crimes in Flint Water Crisis

Not sure what they could prosecute other than gross negligence…Unless they have a smoking gun…

The DOJ obviously feels there is something to look at.

An “Old Warrior” makes the case here

A bit of the history, and why the Governor is culpable.

FBI Joins Investigation of Flint Water Lead Contamination

The FBI is working with a multi-agency team investigating the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water, alongside Environmental Protection Agency investigators who can tackle criminal violations of federal environmental law, officials said Tuesday.

Several local, state and federal officials have resigned since doctors revealed last year that using the Flint River for the city’s drinking water supply caused elevated levels of lead in some children’s blood. Lead contamination has been linked to learning disabilities and other problems. Michigan’s governor has apologized repeatedly for the state’s role.

FBI spokeswoman Jill Washburn told the AP in an email that the agency’s role is “investigating the matter to determine if there have been any federal violations.” She declined to say when the FBI got involved.

Officials haven’t said whether criminal or civil charges might follow the investigation.

In addition to the FBI and the EPA, the team includes the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Gina Balaya, a U.S. attorney’s spokeswoman in Detroit, told The Associated Press in an email. The Detroit Free Press first reported the FBI’s involvement Tuesday.

In November, the EPA announced it was auditing how Michigan enforces drinking water rules and said it would identify how to strengthen state oversight. The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit said in January that it was investigating the water crisis with the EPA.

Flint switched its water source from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money while under state financial management. The river water was not treated properly and lead from pipes leached into Flint homes. The city returned to Detroit’s system in October while it awaits the completion of a separate pipeline to Lake Huron this summer.

The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to hold a hearing Wednesday on Flint’s water crisis. Detroit schools emergency manager Darnell Earley, who was state-appointed emergency manager for Flint when its water source was switched, had been asked to testify but declined the invitation, Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said in an email.

The federal investigation is one of several taking place into Flint’s water supply. Last month, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the appointment of a special counsel to help his office investigate whether laws were broken.

An independent panel appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder has determined that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was primarily responsible for the water contamination. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission also plans to hold hearings to explore whether the civil rights of Flint residents were violated.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in American Genocide, Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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Why Does The FBI Ignore The Council of Conservative Citizens Hate Group?

The C of CC is probably the most prominent hate group in America. They count and have counted as members people like former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi, former RNC Chair Haley Barber, and a host of other Republican politicians. It would seem that those relationships have shielded the organization form the just scrutiny of the DOJ and FBI…Sometimes referred to as the KKK in suits, the C of CC advances and agenda no less toxic than the other white supremacist groups.

So, if looking for culpability in the organization which poured hate into Dylaan Roots head – you need to aim a little higher at the Republican congressmen and Senators who actively resisted the FBI stepping in on their friends and partners.

The FBI Ignored Dylann Roof’s Hate Group

The feds say they didn’t investigate the group that helped inspire the killer, but even hate speech is free speech—until it promotes violence.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it did not investigate the hate group that inspired Dylann Roof to kill nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina last year.

FBI spokeswoman Jillian Stickels told The Daily Beast that there is no record of an investigation into the Council of Conservative Citizens. This comes after The Daily Beast requested FBI files on the group through the Freedom of Information Act. The FBI did not respond to requests for files on the CCC’s most prominent leaders.

The FOIA request also covered one week following the June 17, 2015 attack, indicating that the FBI wasn’t looking into the group even after it was revealed that Roof cited the CCC in his manifesto.

Roof wrote that he Googled “black on White crime” and found them.

“The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders,” Roof said, adding that more research led him to “fight” a race war.

After the Charleston shooting, the CCC’s webmaster first said the FBI was looking into suspected ties between him and Roof, and then later denied being part of any investigation.

The Council of Conservative Citizens was founded in 1985. It was meant to be a successor to the White Citizens Councils formed to oppose desegregation following the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education. (Justice Thurgood Marshall called the councils the “uptown Klan.”) The FBI maintainedextensive records on the earlier Citizens’ Councils, particularly in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Senator Trent Lott posed with officials of the pro-white Council of Conservative Citizens in 1997. From left, William D. Lord, state coordinator; Mr. Lott; Tom Dover, president, and Gordon L. Baum, executive officer.

But the practice apparently did not continue, despite inflammatory statements from the new CCC. In the 1980s, the CCC called blacks “genetically inferior.” In 2001, the CCC website said, “God is the author of racism. God is the One who divided mankind into different types. Mixing the races is rebelliousness against God.”

Racist statements don’t automatically trigger an FBI investigation, of course. What’s usually needed is a link to a threat of violence or criminal activity. Recent prosecutions of ISIS members show that the government may investigate and prosecute people for as little as re-blogging an image that calls for violence.

Other hate groups have been investigated by the FBI, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, including the Aryan Nations, the National Alliance, and several neo-Nazi groups.

From the C of CC Newsletter

The director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project speculated the CCC was not extreme enough to worry the FBI.

“It may be that they considered the Council to be too mainstream to investigate,” Heidi Beirich said. “After all, several GOP lawmakers including Trent Lott were very close to the group in the 1990s.”

The CCC was co-founded by two Democrats, former Georgia governor Lester Maddox and former Louisiana congressman John Rarick. Republican senator Trent Lott spoke to the CCC at least five times, as did Republican congressman Bob Barr in 1998. Mike Huckabee, another Republican, delivered a videotaped speech to the group in 1993 when he ran for governor of Arkansas.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and prominent Republican supporter at a C of CC meeting in 2001

This historical one, just for fun –

 
 

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DOJ To Investigate Chicago Police

They are going to need Elliot Ness, Melvin Purvis, and a large gang of G-Men to get anywhere close to the bottom of this one.

Al Capone, before the Chicago Police took over the corruption business, the City’s most famous gangster

Department Of Justice To Investigate Chicago Police: Report

The Department of Justice will open an investigation into potential civil rights violations by the Chicago Police Department, The Washington Post first reported Sunday.

Full details of the probe are expected to be announced later this week.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wrote to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Dec. 1 urgently requesting a probe into the police department. Madigan asked the DOJ to investigate issues including use of deadly force, discriminatory policing and internal misconduct to determine if they amount to civil rights violations.

Madigan called for the DOJ probe days after a court order forced the city of Chicago to release dashboard camera footage of a fatal police-involved shooting from 2014. The video shows 17-year-old Laquan McDonald walking away from police before he is shot 16 times.

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on Nov. 24 over his involvement in McDonald’s shooting. The 13-month delay in bringing criminal charges and the release of the video prompted public calls for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign.

Both Emanuel and Alvarez have rebuked calls for their resignation. But hours before Madigan’s call for a federal civil rights probe, Emanuel fired his hand-picked police chief and said it was time for “fresh eyes and new leadership” after the public loss of trust in the department.

A Department of Justice official would not confirm the probe but said Sunday via email:

Civil Rights Division lawyers are reviewing the many requests for an investigation, which is the department’s standard process, and the Attorney General is briefed regularly on the review and expects to make a decision very soon.

Chicago Police News Affairs similarly sidestepped commenting on the reported probe, but said via email:

The Justice Department is currently investigating any actions and statements of CPD officers in connection with this shooting. If the criminal investigation concludes that any officer participated in any wrongdoing, we will take swift action.

The FBI, DOJ and the Independent Police Review Authority are all currently reviewing the McDonald case, including claims that police tampered withsurveillance video from a nearby Burger King restaurant that captured the shooting.

This week the city will release video of another fatal police-involved shooting that occurred just eight days before McDonald’s 2014 killing. Lawyers for the family of slain 25-year-old Ronald Johnson III said the circumstances seen on the video are similar to those in the McDonald shooting.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

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