Spying on Americans: Senate Intelligence Authorization Act, Would Allow Arrest of Journalists, Anti-war Activists, Academics and Students

internet-surveillance-2-400x193Freedom in America is being systematically destroyed: one police state law at a time – with most people ignorant and/or indifferent about what happening.

Washington’s criminal class is bipartisan – in lockstep against government representing everyone equitably and fairly, serving privileged interests only.

S. Res. 1705: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 compromises free expression and privacy rights already gravely eroded.

If enacted, Section 603 will require online companies to inform Washington of any “actual knowledge” of “facts and circumstances” related to undefined “terrorist activity” – meaning warrantless searches and seizures of personal electronic content will be authorized, potentially subjecting countless numbers of innocent people to unjustifiable scrutiny.

Vague language makes independent journalists, political, anti-war, and social justice activists, academics and students doing legitimate research, as well as others vulnerable to being called suspected terrorists.

The possibility could encourage self-censorship. Service providers may over-report to show compliance with the law. Online users could be flagged for using suspect words or phrases.

One definition of terrorist activity can be another’s way of describing freedom fighting. Legitimate government criticism could be misinterpreted and misused.

Anyone ideologically opposed to US policies could become vulnerable to arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for expressing their views online. Police states operate this way.

Provisions like Section 603 violate fundamental constitutional and international law guaranteed rights. At stake is further erosion of First and Fourth Amendment freedoms.

Senate members overwhelmingly support S. 1705. Before recessing until September, they were set to pass it by voice vote until Senator Ron Wyden objected.

He wants normal debate procedure followed. He noted valid concerns raised by Internet companies about Section 603.

The Internet Association representing dozens of technology companies said vague language about what constitutes terrorism creates “an impossible compliance problem.”

It’ll result in “massive reporting of items that are not likely to be of material concern to public safety.” Wyden said “Internet companies should not be subject to broad requirements to police the speech of their users.”

He knows of no law enforcement or intelligence agencies suggesting Section 603 will help identify terrorists. He urges revision or elimination of this section altogether.

Thirty-one civil liberties organizations and trade associations expressed opposition to Section 603 in a letter sent Senate leaders.

They include Project Censored, the Media Freedom Foundation, the ACLU, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Federation of America, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and American Library Association among others.

They warned of concerns raised above. Innocent people committing no crimes would be at risk. “Complying with Section 603 would create a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech and would impermissibly burden individuals’ First and Fourth Amendment rights,” they said.

“Whether a given comment is a true threat of violence, an expression of a sincerely held religious belief, or a simple joke among friends is a determination that providers are ill-suited to make, particularly when the consequence is reporting a person to the government under the suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities.”

Section 603 is unconstitutional. It way oversteps. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Internet companies may report any content they believe relates to criminality.

“Section 603’s reporting requirement threatens individuals’ constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of expression and would burden US-based providers without providing a clear benefit to law enforcement. For these reasons, we urge you to reject this flawed provision and to remove it from the Intelligence Authorization Act,” the signatories said.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Kiev Junta War Crimes

 

In-depth Report:

 

kiev-protester-handgun-400x266A new Foundation for the Study of Democracy (FSD) report is titled “War crimes of the armed forces and security forces of Ukraine: torture of the Donbass region residents.”

It provides graphic evidence of horrendous Kiev war crimes Western media ignore.

Earlier articles discussed Kiev’s dirty war. It deliberately targeted civilian neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

It used of cluster munitions, white phosphorous and other chemical weapons, as well as cold-blooded murder of hundreds of captives.

Most were abducted civilians. They were brutally tortured, murdered and secretly buried. Eyewitnesses exposed the crimes.

FSD’s report provides more damning evidence of junta torture, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Over 100 former regime prisoners were interviewed – ones lucky to be alive. An unknown number of captives were tortured to death. Many others continue being held.

Ukraine’s National Guard, other military units, internal affairs ministry and security service (SBU) bear full responsibility for high crimes.

So does Washington for empowering and supporting them.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protects fundamental freedoms at all times – including during “war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation.”

It’s been in force since 1953. It established a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). It adjudicates for anyone claiming lost rights – including nation-states and individuals.

It’s the only human rights body of its kind. ECHR says

“the State is responsible for the actions of all of its agencies, such as the police, security forces, other law enforcement officials, and any other State bodies who hold the individual under their control, whether they act under orders, or on their own accord.”

Article 3 states “(n)o one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Clear evidence shows Kiev culpability. ECHR so far failed to act. Whether it plans to remains to be seen.

Liliya Rodionova is Committee for Refugees and Prisoners of War (Donetsk) deputy head. She commented on junta released prisoners. Her remarks make disturbing reading as follows:

“Almost everyone released comes back with their ribs and legs broken and teeth ripped out. There is not a single person with no marks of beating.”

“Treatment does not begin until right before the exchange. There is a guy with eight gunshot wounds. Even at the hospital, he was beaten.”

“They stuck fingers in his wounds. They use pliers to rip out teeth and beat right in the wounds. Many come back with fractured skulls.”

“One of the torture tools is an awl that they use for stabbing prisoners. Lately, they have been seizing ordinary people, not members of the self-defence forces.”

“They use gunpowder and electroshock to torture people. They brand them.”

“Some were thrown into a pit with dead bodies, crushed with a shovel bucket, had a smouldering iron stuck in their mouth.”

“People were kept in iron containers with no source of oxygen. The torture techniques are sophisticated and brutal.”

“They leave the victims maimed. Those in need of medical treatment, even with diabetes, receive (none).”

“Prisoners from our side can be told by the color of their skin. It is grayish.”

“Each time an exchange is to take place, we draw up a list of acute patients, but the other side won’t release them.”

Junta torturers are US allies – installed by coup replacing Ukrainian democratic governance.

Washington has a sordid history of allying with ruthless despots worldwide for its own self-interest.

In November 2014, SBU operatives tortured Ukrainian citizen Alexander Agafonov to death. His wife, Yana, commented saying:

“They have beaten him to death simply. When they came, they took him away to torture him.”

“When they brought his body back, (his) heels were blue. (His) were blue.”

‘He’s got some traces of punctures on his hands. I don’t know what they did to him, punctured him or drove the needles under his nails.”

“There were holes on his hands. Each bone has a hole in it. They tortured him like…when there was a real war no one has tortured people the way they tortured him.”

Evidence FSD obtained showed prisoners were electroshocked.

They were savagely beaten with iron bars, baseball bats, sticks, rifle butts, bayonet knives and rubber batons. Abuse continued for days.

They were stabbed, had ribs, arms and legs broken, were branded with red-hot objects, and were shot in different parts of their bodies.

Pliers ripped out teeth. Civilians were targeted like combatants. Anyone opposing junta rule remains vulnerable.

Abducted women were repeatedly raped. Some victims had Nazi swastikas and SS symbols burned into their flesh.

They were held for days in freezing temperatures. Denied food and medical treatment.

Force-fed psychotropic substances causing extreme pain. Most endured mock firing squads.

Their family members were threatened with rape and death.

One released prisoners said junta operatives “attached wires from a battery to my hand, poured water and switched on the current.”

“I blacked out several times and just as I came to, they would pour water and after some time continued the questioning.”

Another victim said “(t)hey hit (him) in the groin with a shocker and added voltage, because it kept getting more and more painful.”

“It hurt so bad. I fell down, shouting: Just shoot me, why are you torturing me? I do not know anything.”

“Then they started hitting me on the legs and on the shoulders with a hammer, an ordinary hammer. They kept doing it until I lost consciousness.”

Other released prisoners said the following:

“They executed the beatings in groups of three to four people, used electro-shock devices, made us kneel with bags on our heads, and fired their guns near the ear.”

“Then their commanding officer came, took us and put on a chain in a pit, handcuffed.”

“I could not stand on my feet, nor could I lie down, so I was hanging on that chain because my ribs and fingers were broken.”

“The (Nazi infested) Azov battalion officers arrested me in Mariupol. I felt machine gun fire over my head.”

“After that, they drove me to the Mariupol airport, where they tried to force me to give testimony by putting a plastic bag on my head that did not let any air get to me.”

“They used a shocker on me and wanted to throw me into a pit filled with corpses.”

“I saw a guy standing waist-deep in a hole in the ground and being buried with a shovel bucket and then the truck run over him.”

FSD’s report makes disturbing reading. It called torture in Ukraine more serious than what it was able to document.

Horrific abuse made some victims “unrecognizable.” They were beaten to pulps. “Every part of their bodies was beaten with meat hanging from their bones,” said FSD.

Unknown numbers continue enduring horrific treatment – much like what CIA operatives inflict on victims in global black sites.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.  His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Nazi Kiev Official Greeted in Ottawa and Washington

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

In-depth Report:

 

Kiev’s national security and defense council secretary Andriy Parubiy was feted Andriy-Parubiy-Ottawa-400x262on visits to Ottawa and Washington.

He came seeking more heavy weapons and funding than already provided. He orchestrated February 2014 Maidan killings.

As security chief, he controlled access to weapons used. He took full advantage. He positioned snipers with automatic weapons in Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall.

They murdered around 100 protesters and police. President Viktor Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed. His ouster followed.

Things were scripted in Washington. The rest, as they say, is history. Plans are to Nazify Ukraine nationwide.

Eliminate Donbass democracy. Use Ukraine as a dagger against Russia’s heartland. Perhaps a prelude to WW III.

Parubiy belongs in prison, not high office. He’s responsible for mass murder and coup following violence he and others staged.

On February 23, Canada’s Globe and Mail covered his Ottawa visit. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper marches in lockstep with imperial US policy.

Parubiy said Canada has an “authoritative voice” on what’s ongoing in Donbass. He asked for help to get Washington to supply more heavy weapons and funding than already.

He wants Canada and other Western countries helping the same way.

So Kiev can prepare for renewed aggression against its anti-fascist Southeastern citizens wanting fundamental democratic freedoms everyone deserves.

So-called “defensive” ones are for offense. Including virtually anything short of nuclear bombs. Maybe they come later.

According to the Globe and Mail, Parubiy met with “Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson and James Bezan, the parliamentary secretary to the defence minister…”

Other scheduled meetings followed with House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer an various MPs.

“Canada has been a kind of a leader in the world vis-a-vis Ukraine,” said Paubiy (in translation).

“Words and actions are the same in Canada, so it’s kind of an example for the rest of the world with their Ukraine policy.”

Parubiy discussed Canadian and US support for the next phase of Kiev’s planned aggression.

He called its dirty war without mercy “a global challenge, a global fight, not just a Russia-Ukraine fight.”

He sounded like a sawdust Caesar saying “we are fighting not only for Ukraine but for Euro-Atlantic and European values.”

Providing more funding and heavy weapons likely assures a deeper hole.

Following discussions, Canada’s Nicholson said Canada supports Minsk. “Any attempt to reduce or take away Ukraine’s sovereignty in that way is completely opposed by Canada,” he added.

He withheld comment on whether Ottawa would supply Kiev with weapons.

On February 25, Parubiy arrived in Washington. America’s global propaganda service Voice of America interviewed him.

Ukraine’s Unian (dis)information agency said he discussed some of the armaments he wants Washington to supply – including anti-tank systems and other heavy weapons.

“The list of required equipment has already been submitted to US President Barack Obama, but it is also planned to present it to other officials who ‘are directly involved in the decision making process,’ ” said Unian.

He’s scheduled to meet with Speaker John Boehner, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, and Pentagon officials.

No comment on whether he and Obama will meet. Maybe quietly with little or nothing said.

Kiev and Washington are partners in high crimes. Renewed aggression on Donbass is planned at Obama’s discretion.

Parubiy is a convenient stooge. He came to get marching orders. They exclude peace, stability and good will.

Rogue states make their own rules. Oppose them and face possible imprisonment or death.

Ukrainian Law Professor Olga Zagulskaya criticized Kiev’s war on Donbass. Persecution followed.

She now suffers from hypertension. Kiev’s “psychological torture had its intended effect,” she said.

She was warned her students prepared to boycott her. They were

“set upon (her) by the ‘intelligentsia’ of Miroslav Popovich, Yuriy Vinnichuk ,and Otar Dovzhenko.”

“At least three SBU men were circling around (her), which means it’s not a purely student event.”

Journalists targeted her. Articles said “Lvov National University professor openly supports terrorists.”

She faced possible criminal charges.To avoid legal proceedings, she resigned three years before retirement.

“At one point (she) felt so dizzy (she) could no longer stand.” She sought medical care. She’s “in treatment, possibly for a long time.”

“All because” she opposes Kiev’s war on Donbass. “(A)s Taras Shevchenko once said,” she explained: ‘I incur punishment, I suffer, but I do not repent!’ ”

Obama’s Ukrainian friends are cutthroat killer Nazi thugs. Zagulskaya is lucky to be alive.

She could have been imprisoned or marked for death. Hooligans running Ukraine operate this way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.