THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.
But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.
A police video of a September drug raid in Utah provides graphic evidence of the sometimes dire consequences of SWAT-style drug law enforcement. In the video released by the Salt Lake Tribune, a member of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force repeatedly shoots and kills resident Todd Blair as Blair steps into a hallway holding a golf club like a baseball bat.
According to a Tribune article in December, Blair, while a methamphetamine user and familiar to police, was not the target of the raid and was not supposed to be in the house. In fact, police had earlier seen a man they thought was Blair leaving the house and pulled him over so he wouldn't be present during the raid. But the man was not Blair and was released, at which point police began to prepare a "dynamic entry" or no-knock raid.
Police had received a warrant for a no-knock warrant after claiming in their affidavit that the house had "lookouts" who would warn of their arrival and that their suspect -- not Blair -- might attempt to destroy the evidence. The affidavit did not mention that their suspect had already moved out of the house.
Because they had expected to raid an empty residence, the police SWAT team had not prepared a "dynamic entry" plan. Instead of falling back and creating one in the standard procedure, they retreated to a nearby retirement home and improvised one. They had also forgotten to bring along a copy of their search warrant -- not a legal failing in a no-knock raid, but another indication of a drug squad fraying at the edges.
The video show police yelling, "Police! Search warrant!" and breaking down the door in a matter of seconds. Ogden police Sgt. Troy Burnett was the first officer through the door when Blair, shirtless, stepped into a hallway brandishing the golf club. He was eight to ten feet away and not advancing when Burnett, without uttering a warning, shoots him three times in the head and chest. As he collapses, Burnett yells "Get on the ground!"
Utah authorities determined the shooting was justified.
A Magna, Utah, man says he suffered a weekend of torture at the hands of his six roommates. Thomas Chapman, 41, was interviewed by several local Salt Lake City media outlets Tuesday about the alleged assault.
Senator Carl Levin explained on the senate floor today that President Barack Obama insisted on indefinite detentions of U.S. citizens in the defense authorization act. Cenk Uygur discusses just how wrong this decision was.
Two men were charged with terrorism-related charges on May 20, bringing the number of men who have been accused of planning “terrorism” against the NATO summit up to five people. The authorities claim their cases have no connection to the first three men, who were charged with plotting terrorism on May 19. However, attorneys for the men, who are the first to be charged with terrorism under Illinois state law, consider them to be connected because there were two individual infiltrators involved – “Mo” and “Gloves,” who helped the FBI, Secret Service and Chicago police ultimately make arrests of these people.
Phone calls to Prague? Emails to Ecuador? The United States government can currently sift through any international communication that crosses outside of American territory, but all that might soon change.
The US Supreme Court decided on Monday this week that they will consider a case that challenges the powers for the federal government established in the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a legislation that allows authorities a wide breadth when getting away with snooping into private conversation in the name of national security.
Although US President Barack Obama campaigned on changing FISA back in 2008, the law on the books right now is carrying over the authoritarian powers installed under the administration of his predecessor, President George W. Bush. As it stands right now, the National Security Agency is allowed unfettered access to listening in on the conversations of Americans as long as they extend over international borders. The American Civil Liberties Union has been trying to change that, however, and might finally be able to take that fight to the highest court in the land.
Related: People across the country offer help to honor student jailed for truancy
HOUSTON—A judge threw a 17-year-old 11th grade honor student from Willis High School in jail after she missed school again.
Judge Lanny Moriarty said last month Diane Tran was in his Justice of the Peace court for truancy and he warned her then to stop missing school. But she recently missed classes again so Wednesday he issued a summons and had her arrested in open court when she appeared.
Tran said she works a full-time job, a part-time job and takes advanced placement and dual credit college level courses. She said she is often too exhausted to wake up in time for school. Sometimes she misses the entire day, she said. Sometimes she arrives after attendance has been taken.
The judge ordered Tran to spend 24 hours in jail and pay a $100 fine. Judge Moriarty admitted that he wants to make an example of Tran.
I wonder if this is unconstitutionally & illegally still active against US Citizens? COINTELPRO #FBI #NDAA
"COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations"
The Occupy Wall Street movement was created to combat corporate power but has since evolved. Police brutality took center stage when New York City police officers pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters, and since then a retired Philadelphia police captain has come forth to bridge the gap between protesters and law enforcement. Ray Lewis is in the process of potentially being stripped of his union benefits for protesting in his uniform, and he joins us with more on why he feels that it is necessary for him to speak out.
A west Georgia county jail opened a new dormitory Monday that will specifically house inmates who are military veterans.
The new dorm, built on to the Muscogee County jail nearly two weeks ago, adds to the growing number of prisons across the nation that have done the same in an effort to address the special needs of service members. The Florida Department of Correction, which opened special dorms for veterans in five Florida prisons in November 2011, is among them.
Muscogee County officials announced the opening of its new facility at the county jail in Columbus, Ga., at a public meeting Monday. Muscogee County jail is 20 minutes away from Fort Benning, one of the largest military bases in Georgia.