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Entries in Federal Bureau of Investigation (5)


US War on Terror Feature: Obama Continues Bush's "Extraordinary Renditions" (Whitlock)

The three European men with Somali roots were arrested on a murky pretext in August as they passed through the small African country of Djibouti. But the reason soon became clear when they were visited in their jail cells by a succession of American interrogators.

U.S. agents accused the men — two of them Swedes, the other a longtime resident of Britain — of supporting al-Shabab, an Islamist militia in Somalia that Washington considers a terrorist group. Two months after their arrest, the prisoners were secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York, then clandestinely taken into custody by the FBI and flown to the United States to face trial.

The secret arrests and detentions came to light Dec. 21 when the suspects made a brief appearance in a Brooklyn courtroom.

The men are the latest example of how the Obama administration has embraced rendition — the practice of holding and interrogating terrorism suspects in other countries without due process — despite widespread condemnation of the tactic in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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"It's Official: Tunisia Now Freer than the US" (Cole)

Tunisian Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi announced on Monday the dissolution of the country’s secret police arm. This step toward democracy is the most important taken by any Arab country for decades.

Arguably, Tunisians are now freer than Americans. The US government thinks our private emails are actually public. The FBI and NSA routinely read our email and they and other branches of the US government issue security letters in the place of warrants allowing them to tap phones and monitor whom we call, and even to call up our library records and conduct searches of our homes without telling us about it. Millions of telephone records were turned over to George W. Bush by our weaselly telecom companies. Courts allow government agents to sneak onto our property and put GPS tracking devices under our automobiles without so much as a warrant or even probable cause. Mr. Obama thinks this way of proceeding is a dandy idea.

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Terrorism Weekly: How Britain's Police Infiltrated the Environmental Movement (and Why It Will Continue)

In Britain this week the story of an eco-warrior and professional mountain climber was front-page news. We learned of Mark Stone was a keen supporter of environmental causes and active in a variety of protest movements. Even better, he owned a van allowing him to transport his comrades to various gatherings.

So far, a tale of a dedicated activist. But Stone actually had a different job and a different name. Mark Kennedy was a policeman who had grown his hair long, left behind his wife and children, and gone deep undercover for seven years, travelling to 22 different countries, to infiltrate the environmental movement and solve the problem of domestic extremism". He had spied on all those who thought he was a keen protector of the environment, leaving behind a profound sense of betrayal when the truth of his identity emerged.

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US Surveillance Special: Your Government is Watching You...More and More (Priest/Arkin)

Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.

The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The government's goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States.

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Is the FBI Shutting Down Progressive Dissent? (Howell)

Is free speech worth the constitutional paper it’s written on?

After the September 26 FBI raids on peace activists’ homes in Minneapolis, Chicago and North Carolina, it appears to depend on who’s speaking and what they’re saying.

The pretext for the raids was investigating “material aide to terrorists”, resulting in grand jury subpoenas and confiscation of computers, books, music CDs and from one home, a Martin Luther King poster. The targeted Minneapolis activists have openly protested US military policy since the 1980s. The FBI certainly knows they have nothing to do with terrorism. These activists simply have the audacity to challenge bi-partisan US invasions, occupations and support for dictatorships and human rights abusers. Dissent on the left has long been seen as ‘criminal behavior’. Where once “the communist threat" was the argument for such repression, now, “terrorism” is.

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