Meet your future FEMA camp: An actual prison rebranded as a refugee center

by: J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Imagine, for a moment, that you have lost your home in a natural  disaster and with it most of your possessions. It’s wintertime, you live on the  East Coast, and your old neighborhood has been leveled. What cash you have is  being used for the most basic of necessities; you don’t have enough money to  move into a hotel and even if you did they are all full anyway.

You have  nowhere to go. You are completely reliant on the government for  subsistence.

Life is as bad as it can get – or is it?

You learn  that you will be moved from the miserable tent city where you are now being  housed to a new temporary facility that used to be, of all things, a  prison.

While some officials see this as the state making the best use of  available resources, others see it as a prelude of things to come, should  societal order break down at some point in the future.

‘They might as  well use it’

Life in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy is still dicey  for many New Yorkers and New Jerseyans who continue to suffer mightily in its  wake. With so many residents now homeless, the state of New York is considering  reopening the recently closed Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island  as a way to temporarily house people displaced by the storm and this past week’s  nasty winter storm, The New York Post reported.

The facility,  which was closed last December, served as a medium-security prison. Officials  say it has the capacity to feed and house as many as 900 people who now have  nowhere else to go.

“Our facilities staff have to go through it to  determine what it would take to get it up and running for such a purpose,” Peter  Cutler, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, told the  paper.

“Of course, the challenge is the fact that it was closed a year  ago and all of the major infrastructure components, such as boilers and  wastewater system, were deactivated,” he added.

As many as 40,000 New  Yorkers need shelter following the one-two punch of Sandy and the recent  nor’easter. On Staten Island alone, officials said, some 5,200 people have  applied for temporary FEMA housing, but like the FEMA in the wake of Hurricane  Katrina, the bureaucracy is painstakingly slow – only about two dozen people  have been successfully placed in housing, say federal officials, leaving us to  wonder if this agency’s historic bureaucratic inertia is still George W.  Bush’s fault.

At least the Post understands the irony of using a  former prison to house  post-storm refugees, saying such an arrangement may “resemble a scene out of  ‘The Walking Dead.'” But not everyone thinks it’s a bad idea.

“It’s  empty. They might as well use it,” said Rob Conigatti, 39, who lost his Dongan  Hills home and is now staying with his extended family. “At least they have the  right facilities. You can’t keep them in schools. The kids gotta go to  school.”

Note to self – Don’t rely on the government

A lot  of folks are staying in homes without power and heat and are merely riding out  the hard times. Others are staying with friends and family.

Many others;  however, don’t have such choices. So they have to take what they get,  essentially. In this case, they get FEMA.

“We have not got into the  discussion of longer term transitional housings,” said Councilman James Oddo  (R-SI). “If there is no other viable option, it shouldn’t be taken off the table  because of a quote unquote stigma. Between being cold and having people dry, in  a warm, secure place, I know what my choice is.”

But, of course, he  doesn’t really have to make that choice.

Some have firmly rejected the  notion. That includes Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, according  to sources who spoke with the Post.

A number of residents hardest  hit by the storms feel the same way.

“I lost everything, but I still have  my pride. We don’t have to stay in a prison,” said Wally Martinez, 44, who is  staying at the Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Shore Acres with his wife,  two kids and family dog. “My brother was once in that very prison and my mother  used to visit him regularly. She used to tell me how miserable he looked and how  filthy and disgusting that prison was.”

If there is a better reason to be  prepared to take care of yourself in times of turmoil than having to rely on the  “charity” of government, we can’t think of one.

Sources:

http://www.myfoxdc.com

http://www.nypost.com

http://www.foxnews.com

 

Attorneys: Obama’s secret cybersecurity law may allow ‘military deployment within the US’

The White House on Wednesday received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from two attorneys with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), demanding that President Barack Obama release the text of what they called a “secret” new cyber security law that appears to enable “military deployment within the United States.”

The FOIA was filed in response to an article that appeared in The Washington Post this week, claiming that Obama issued a secret directive shortly before the elections that empowers the military to “vet any operations outside government and defense networks” for cyber security purposes.

However, because the exact text of the directive remains a secret, nobody can really say exactly what it does. That was somewhat disconcerting to American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel Michelle Richardson, who told Raw Story on Wednesday that without the text, “it’s hard to see what they mean.” Raw Story

HIGHLIGHTS

The potential of martial law became a topic actually discussed by Congress last year when lawmakers first considered provisions for this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. Before the House and Senate agreed on including a section to the law letting the White House arrest and detain any U.S. citizen indefinitely without trial or charge, another provision was almost put on the books that would have essentially allowed for military rule during some situations. RT

The NDAA’s S. 1867 would “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of the bill, said last year. RT

Opponents expressed concern about whether the government should impose cyber security mandates on private-sector infrastructure Relevant Products/Services operators and whether the military or Department of Homeland Security should take the lead in civilian cyber security. cio-today.com

A cyber security bill backed by the leader of the Senate Homeland Security committee was voted down for a second time on Nov. 14, probably kicking any possible congressional action on the issue into next year and setting the stage for an executive order aimed at bolstering critical infrastructure networks. gsnmagazine.com

Senior defense officials have been extremely vocal this year in pushing for cyber security legislation, warning that unless something is done to increase the cyber security of America’s banks, utilities, energy companies, communications providers, and transportation firms, the nation faces a “cyber Pearl Harbor.” foreignpolicy.com

(PressTV)

AN/HJ

ALSO SEE: Secretary of Defense: Will it Take a ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’ to Break Congressional Deadlock?

Canadian police urge Parliament to pass domestic spying bill

RT

© Agence France-Presse/Patrick Kovarik

Police across Canada are urging Ottawa to resurrect a controversial Internet surveillance bill that would allow them to monitor Canadians’ digital activities in real-time without a warrant.

­The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has made a plea to on the federal government to pass Bill C-30, also known as the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act ahead of a gathering by the provincial and federal justice ministers next week.

The group is concerned that Parliament will be closed down before the legislation is passed.

“We have a fear that it will die on the order paper,” said Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu, who is also the president of the association. “And if it does, then our investigators will be constrained and victims will suffer greater harm because of that,” the Canadian Press reports.

Deputy police chief Warren Lemcke agreed with Chu’s assessment, saying that “right now there are gangsters out there communicating about killing someone and we can’t intercept that,” as cited by CBC news.

The legislature, introduced in the Canadian Parliament last February, demands that the country’s telecommunication industry provide law enforcement with the “authority to intercept communications and to require telecommunications service providers to provide subscriber and other information, without unreasonably impairing the privacy of individuals, the provision of telecommunications services to Canadians or the competitiveness of the Canadian telecommunications industry.”

If passed, the law would also give the police the power to make it a crime to use social media as a tool to injure, alarm or harass individuals. It would also grant access to the individual’s private data such as name, address, phone number and email without a warrant.

The law would ask the companies to place tracking bugs in their programs so that police, if needed, could spy on conversations if they got the necessary legal approvals.

Until now, C-30 has remained shelved by Parliament, and has not been debated after receiving mass criticism when it was originally released.

Critics claimed that the authorities would likely use the powers to harass peaceful protestors and activists.

A number of social media protests were organized, one of which circulated personal details from the divorce files of the bill’s sponsor of the bill-Public Safety Minister’s Vic Toews.

People also marched on the streets, demanding checks to the would-be unlimited police powers.

A public opinion poll conducted by Angus Reid after the bill’s introduction concluded that “the idea of surrendering subscriber data and identifiers without a warrant” is rejected by almost two thirds of Canadians.

ALSO SEE: UK government think tank calls for infiltrating conspiracy websites

Court Upholds Law That Could Imprison Pastors For Preaching Biblical Doctrines

by, lastresistance.com

In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. The law was pushed by every gay rights organization in the country. They claim that anyone who says anything negative about homosexuality is guilty of bullying them and therefore constitutes a hate crime.

Under the strictest definition of the law, any biblical preaching against sin in general, especially that of homosexuality could be considered hate language and therefore a hate crime. If convicted of the felony offense, a person could spend as much as 10 years in prison.

In 2010, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act’s constitutionality was challenged in court by the American Family Association of Michigan along with several Michigan pastors, Levon Yuille, Rene Ouellette and James Combs. The pastors and AFA of Michigan president Gary Glenn actively preached against homosexuality and that it was a sin according to the Bible. They saw the Hate Crimes Prevention Act as a violation of their constitutional rights for free speech and religion. Their federal lawsuit was filed against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Later that year Holder filed for a dismissal of the lawsuit on the grounds of standing and ripeness. Standing and ripeness are legal terms that have to do with their legal ability to file the suit for future circumstances that may or may not ever happen. A federal district judge granted Holder’s request and dismissed the lawsuit.

The dismissal ruling was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by Robert Muise, Senior Counsel and Co-Founder of AFLC Co. Muise argued his case before the court in January of this year. The Sixth Circuit also dismissed the case claiming that the plaintiffs did not have proper legal standing to challenge the law.

After the disappointing news of the dismissal, Muise commented:

“There is no doubt that this federal criminal statute violates the First Amendment on its face. Thus, the Act chills the exercise of free speech, specifically the free speech of our clients, who speak out against homosexuality. This chilling effect is sufficient to confer standing to challenge the Act as a matter of law.”

David Yerushalmi, another Senior Counsel and Co-Founder of AFLC offered this statement:

“Criminalizing religious opposition to homosexuality while elevating those who engage in homosexual acts to a protected class under federal law is a clear violation of the Constitution and a frightening abuse of federal power.”

Not every member of Congress was in favor of the bill as it was passed when the Democrats ruled both the House and Senate. Iowa Congressman Steve King (R) wrote to AFLC on their efforts to challenge the legality of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act saying:

“I want to commend you for your courage to challenge the constitutionality of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. As a Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, I worked hard to stop this legislation in Committee and on the floor of the House of Representatives. . . . Like you, I believe this ‘Hate Crimes’ Act is unconstitutional and marks an unprecedented move to regulate and criminalize thoughts.”

This week, the AFLC took steps to have their case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court by filing a writ of certiorari. They are asking the high court to review the lower courts’ decisions to dismiss the case that challenges the constitutionality of the Hate Crimes law.

If the Supreme Court rejects the request to hear the case, then the Hate Crimes Prevention Act may and will be used against anyone that says or does anything that a homosexual deems offensive or hurts their pride and self-esteem. Pastors in churches across the country could find themselves facing 10 years in prison for preaching God’s Word.

The Hate Crimes Prevention Act protects perverted sinners from having their feelings hurt, but it does nothing to protect Christians from having someone like a homosexual denigrate their beliefs and feelings. They will still be allowed to say what they want about Jesus Christ or anyone that follows Him and that won’t be considered hate language. But tell someone that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin against God and you could go to jail.

This ladies and gentlemen is Obama’s agenda and if he gets re-elected next week, it will only get worse for us Christians. It will be the first time in our nation’s history that Christians will be openly and legally persecuted.

ALSO SEE:

Arizona man sent to jail for holding Bible studies in his home

Family Faces Fines for Hosting Bible Study

Pastor Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison For Teaching That Parents Should Spank Their Children

Obama signs new Executive Order expanding Homeland Security mission in the U.S.

By: Kenneth Schortgen Jr, Examiner.com

On Oct. 26, President Obama signed a new Executive Order which expands the role and scope of Homeland Security in states and areas across the country. This order, which establishes a new Security Partnership Council, will have far reaching effects in the overall mission of Homeland Security, and for state and local areas that interact with the Federal agency.

Economically, the Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council Executive Order will increase funding and resources to state and local governments to fulfill Homeland Security programs and doctrines, as well as increase Federal oversight in the implementation of directives tied to the agencies mission.

The purpose of this order is to maximize the Federal Government’s ability to develop local partnerships in the United States to support homeland security priorities. Partnerships are collaborative working relationships in which the goals, structure, and roles and responsibilities of the relationships are mutually determined.

There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships — between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement — to address homeland security challenges.

Sec. 3. Mission and Function of the Council and Steering Committee

(ii) promote homeland security priorities and opportunities for collaboration between Federal Government field offices and State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders;

(iii) advise and confer with State, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders and agencies interested in expanding or building local homeland security partnerships; – Whitehouse.gov

Since it’s creation in 2001 from the aftermath of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security has expanded its authority over states, communities, and law enforcement each year. From expanding TSA responsibilities over airport transportation to now include trains, subways, and even highway checkpoints, to new regulations in how border control agents function in immigration conflicts, Homeland Security is one of the fastest growing government agencies in the past decade.

Through creating a new Steering Committee in partnership with how Homeland Security missions, directives, and programs are implemented in state and local levels, the fine line between state sovereignty and the need protect the country from disaster and terror attacks is becoming smaller every day. Over the past few years Homeland Security grants to local law enforcement have led to a militarization of police and public safety, and new drone technology is being used in criminal investigations outside the scope of national security.

In a little more than a decade, the Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with its underlying and partnering Federal agencies, have infiltrated nearly every community in America. This new Executive Order, which expands the scope of the agency and gives it greater power in state and local partnerships, will mean greater loss of freedoms and liberties to both the states and citizens as the Federal government imposes greater authority over what should remain state sovereignty scope and missions.

Secret presidential kill-list “totally right, totally constitutional”, says Homeland Security chairman

Global Research / We are Change

… and if you question it, you are “a horrible moron,” concludes Peter T. King, Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

This 2-minute video from We Are Change Luke Rudkowski powerfully captures what US “leadership” has become. The good news is their arrogance and evasion is only tragic-comic sideshows to the “emperor has no clothes” obvious facts of their massive crimes centering in war and money.

This is what matters:

  • War law within US treaties is crystal-clear in letter and intent: no nation may use military armed attacks unless under attack by another nation’s government. The US military armed attacks in current and expanding targets are obvious unlawful and unconstitutional Wars of Aggression. War law was written in every language on the planet for the people to uphold limited government in war.
  • War law is the legal victory of all American families’ sacrifices through two world wars. US military have Oaths of Enlistment to support and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. War law’s treaty-status means US military are obligated to refuse all orders in current wars and act to arrest those who issue them. There are no lawful war orders when the wars are unlawful.
  • The use of war violence is usually associated with criminal acts for money, and lies to evade public recognition of these obvious crimes. Crimes by US oligarchic “leadership” for money are just as obvious upon inspection. Propaganda by US corporate media‘s six companies to criminally lie and evade is also easy to prove for anyone willing to look.

This is our present and future:

  • Americans can choose intellectual integrity and moral courage to use their voices and actions in light of the “emperor has no clothes” obvious. This will save millions of lives, help billions in poverty, and reclaim trillions in the public’s monies that have been looted. The obvious war-murders will end. Obvious reforms to release looted money, and reforming credit and money as public services rather than bankster parasitism can quickly cause full-employment for infrastructure investment.
  • Americans should consider a Truth & Reconciliation offer to the “1%” criminals. The advantage is to split those members willing to reclaim their hearts and integrity to help us, make it easier for the criminals to surrender rather than fight us, and most quickly enact policies to reclaim our humanity.
  • Americans could refuse to engage in this basic civil requirement for freedom, and earn the Greek insult for political apathy that is so powerful it’s remained untranslated for over 2,000 years: idiot.

Choose carefully. You may just have what you choose and work for.

NSA Director Pushes Cybersecurity Bill

by defensetech

Cyberattacks have breached the Pentagon and sent businesses into bankruptcy. Still, it might take a cyberdisaster that causes damage on the scale of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to get lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at shoring up the U.S.’s infrastructure.

The White House has proposed an executive order to address part of the problem, but Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, says that is not enough.

The Pentagon has a pilot program that will help private companies work with the government to help them protect their own information.

But that program “doesn’t give us the ability to work with the Internet service providers and allow that to benefit the rest of the critical infrastructure and the rest of government,” Alexander said during an Oct. 1 panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. “That’s really what we need this legislation for.”

An executive order also would fail to address liability protections to shield companies from lawsuits over information-sharing that are needed to encourage participation, says Susan Collins (Maine), the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee and a co-sponsor of cybersecurity legislation.

“I think the executive order is a mistake,” Collins says. “I fear that it actually could lull people into a false sense of security that we’ve taken care of cybersecurity.”

This article first appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report.

– Jen DiMasci

Defense.org

New US-Canada Border Regime: Deep Integration and the North-American Homeland

By Dana Gabriel

The Beyond the Border deal announced in December 2011 represents the most significant step forward in U.S.-Canada cooperation since NAFTA. Dual action plans are further transforming trade, regulatory and security relations between both countries. Over the next few years, various cross-border initiatives will be rolled out, with some beginning as pilot programs. The U.S. and Canada have laid the framework for a new border regime which is taking their partnership to the next level and pushing the continent closer to a fully integrated North America security perimeter.

The Department of Homeland Security and Canada Border Services Agency recently announced the Phase I pilot of the Entry/Exit program which is part of the Beyond the Border action plan. It will include collecting and exchanging biographic information of third-country nationals, permanent residents of Canada, and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. at four selected land border ports of entry. A fact sheet stressed how this, “is an important step as both countries move towards a coordinated entry/exit system that will strengthen border and immigration programs, support law enforcement, and accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods into Canada and the United States and across our common border.” The Canadian government is also advancing plans to use biometrics for immigration and border security that would bring them in line with the U.S. and other countries. The perimeter security agreement called for implementing, “systematic and automated biographic information-sharing capability by 2013 and biometric information-sharing capability by 2014.” A North American biometric identification system could be used to restrict, track and trace our movements.

On October 4, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Transport Canada officials announced the extension of the expedited screening initiative, TSA Pre✓™ which will now include lanes for Canadian NEXUS members at 27 participating U.S. airports. Canadian Minister of State For Transport Steven Fletcher explained that, “The Government of Canada and the United States are delivering on commitments to include Canadian NEXUS members in designated TSA Pre✓™ lanes as part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan.” He went on to say, “This will mean smarter and faster air travel for Canadian NEXUS members traveling within the U.S., while maintaining a high level of aviation security.” TSA Administrator John Pistole acknowledged that, “The inclusion of Canadian NEXUS members in TSA Pre✓™ is an important step in further harmonizing the security screening process between the U.S. and Canada.” Under NEXUS, pre-screened travelers are granted expedited access across the border, by air, land or sea. As part of the perimeter security deal, both countries are expanding and integrating trusted traveler programs.

The Next-Generation pilot project which would permit U.S. agents on Canadian soil is on hold while legal issues are being resolved. The security perimeter agreement stated that both countries would, “create integrated teams in areas such as intelligence and criminal investigations, and an intelligence-led uniformed presence between ports of entry.” The plan which is a land-based version of the Shiprider program was scheduled to be deployed this summer. Allowing U.S. agents to cross the border and pursue suspects into Canada poses a threat to sovereignty and could infringe on personal privacy laws. The pilot project is part of the process of acclimating U.S. policing activities in Canada and could later be expanded.

Last month, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency established a pre-clearance initiative pilot project on import re-inspection activities for fresh meat. This is tied to the Beyond the Border deal and is aimed at streamlining meat inspections at the U.S.-Canada border. Just as the joint program was being rolled out, XL Foods in Alberta, Canada announced a massive recall of meat products due to E. coli contamination. This came on the heels of a letter from the Safe Food Coalition to the USDA citing concerns that food safety could be compromised and requesting that the border inspection pilot be halted. Some of the potential tainted meat could have been shipped to at least eight U.S. states. In a press statement, the Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, Wenonah Hauter pointed out that, “the Obama Administration and the Harper Government in Canada have been plotting to eliminate the very border inspection program that tipped off authorities that there was a major problem brewing with the products originating from the XL plant.” Plans to further deregulate food safety inspections could lead to more trouble in the future.

In September, Transport Canada and the United States Coast Guard launched a pilot project that will include joint Port State Control inspections of non-Canadian and non-U.S. flagged vessels in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway. Rear Adm. Mike Parks, Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District described how, “This initiative is in keeping with President Obama’s and Prime Minister Harper’s Beyond the Border Perimeter Security Initiative protecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway region, which provides common access to the heart of North America. Our goal is to make vessel inspections more efficient and facilitate American and Canadian business on both sides of our shared border.” The program is outlined in the Regulatory Cooperation Council action plan and establishes a, “safety and security framework for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway that will align the two countries’ regulatory requirements. This pilot project will look for efficiencies in order to reduce duplicate inspections and impediments to trade.” When completed, recommendations will be made on whether to form a permanent binational foreign vessel inspection program.

NAFTA partners, in conjunction with multinational corporations and influential think tanks are pushing for deeper North American integration. As far as the upcoming U.S. election goes, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both committed globalists and have no intentions of upholding the constitution or protecting what is left of American sovereignty. The notion of real choice is now even more of an illusion. Minus the Democrat and Republican rhetoric, it’s essentially the same policies, same agenda, and the same team. It doesn’t matter who wins the presidency, the path towards a North American Union will continue.

Dana Gabriel is an activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade, globalization, sovereignty, security, as well as other issues. Contact: beyourownleader@hotmail.com. Visit his blog at Be Your Own Leader

DHS to start testing drones over US for ‘public safety’

Russia Today

© AFP
The Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in flight.

Don’t be surprised if you catch a federal fleet of sneaky spy drones soaring over your head in the near future, but don’t be too terrified – it’s all in the name of public safety.

The US Department of Homeland Security is asking the makers of small unmanned aerial vehicles to submit their crafts for consideration as the agency ramps up the construction of a full-fledged surveillance state across America. The DHS plans to soon conduct drone tests over the Fort Sill, Oklahoma US Army base, and they’re already soliciting spy planes from the private sector so they can select what kind of UAV to use.

According to a request for information published on the Federal Business Opportunities website recently, the DHS is determined to begin drone tests over the military base soon and is seeking submissions from drone makers that don’t mind making a few bucks by having their products put into the US airspace to conduct sweeping surveillance.

The Borders and Maritime Security Division of the DHS”will conduct flight testing and evaluation of airborne sensors and small unmanned aerial systems,” the request reads, and now invites vendors to submit drones to be tested “under a wide variety of simulated but realistic and relevant real-world operation scenarios.”

The solicitation says that drones will be evaluated to see how well they perform law enforcement operations and conduct search and rescue missions, but once a craft is handed over to the DHS then the details will be put under lock and key. Specifically, the call for work says, “the information within each test report will be classified as For Official Use Only, and will not be shared with the general public.”

Given that the department has already addressed the issue of acquiring drones to give the DHS a better eye of domestic doings, though, those law enforcement operations in question could very well transcend away from legitimate uses and quickly cause civil liberty concerns from coast-to-coast.

Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told a House Committee panel in July that the DHS was “looking at drones that could be utilized to give us situational awareness in a large public safety [matter] or disaster” and the next piece of the puzzle is already being put into place. With their latest solicitation, the DHS acknowledges that it is specifically testing a “Robotic Aircraft For Public Safety,” but the components necessary to be considered suggest that any drone adopted by the agency will be brought in for sweeping surveillance.

The solicitation request requires that all drones be equipped with Electro-Optical/Infra-Red sensors, as well as the technology to sniff out certain chemicals from thousands of feet from above. The UAV must also have an integrated laser designator, can be hand-launched by a single person and must be able to be remotely managed by a pilot with only one day of training.

The Federal Aviation Administration is working towards putting the finishing touches on rules and regulations for widespread domestic drone use, and the agency expects as many as 30,000 UAVs will be in America’s airspace by the decade’s end.

Corrupt Court upholds NDAA; stay extended on indefinite detention injunction

© Agence France-Presse
Protesters wearing orange prison jump suits and black hoods on their heads march during a protest against holding detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay during a demonstration in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington

(RT.com) A federal appeals court has extended a stay on the injunction blocking the notorious indefinite detention provision in the 2012 defense bill that lets the US government jail any American without end over even suspected terrorist ties.

This comes as attorneys for the White House fight to lift the order imposed by a federal judge last month that made permanent an injunction on a statute of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. On Tuesday, an appeals panel weighed in to offer the latest installment in the Hedges v Obama saga and agreed to side with the White House.

President Barack Obama signed the NDAA into law late last year, and the now infamous provision that allows for indefinite detention of US citizens without trial – Section 1021 – was challenged in court shortly thereafter by a team of plaintiffs led by former New York Times journalist Chris Hedges.

The Obama administration insists that the indefinite detention provisions of the legislation are necessary for the safety and security of the nation, a claim that Hedges and his colleagues have condemned whole-heartedly in the ten months since the NDA went on the books. Journalists and human rights activists insist that Section 1021 actually allows the government to label any American citizen as a suspected terrorist and then treat them accordingly.

“We conclude that the public interest weighs in favor of granting the government’s motion for a stay,” Appeals Court Judges Denny Chin, Raymond Lohier and Christopher Droney – all appointed by President Obama – wrote in a three-page order that also expedited the appeal. POLITICO obtained the motion on Tuesday (.pdf).

“Upon due consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that the government’s motion is GRANTED.”

The order by appeals court comes after Judge Lohier temporarily blocked Judge Forrest’s decision, using a so-called administrative stay on September 17.

The appeals court judges argue against the fears of Hedges and his co-plaintiffs, decision that in its motion the US government “clarifies unequivocally that, ‘based on their stated activities,’ plaintiffs, ‘journalists and activists[,] . . . are in no danger whatsoever of ever being captured and detained by the US military.'”

They also stated, “the statute does not affect the existing rights of United States citizens or other individuals arrested in the United States.”

In May, Judge Forrest ruled Section 1021 of the NDAA failed to “pass constitutional muster” and ordered a temporary injunction.

In its original form, the NDAA allows the military hold anyone accused of having “substantially supported” al-Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces” until “the end of hostilities” and indefinitely imprison anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the United States, yet fails to explicitly define what is constituted as such. In her injunction, Judge Forrest said, “In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more.”

“An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so,” Judge Forrest ruled.

During both a question-and-answer session on Reddit.com last week and during a recent appearance at a Bradley Manning fundraiser in Washington, Mr. Hedges expressed fear over his personal assumption that the Obama administration is already using the NDAA to hold Americans without trial. Because of the White House’s relentless legal fight to keep Section 1021 on the books, Hedges say, he fears that American-Pakistani dual-citizens could already be behind bars without charge.

Plaintiffs and their attorneys say they intend on taking the case to the Supreme Court.

%d bloggers like this: