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Mike German was fired by the FBI for exposing their cover up. He now works for the ACLU and is speaking out about how the government targets people based on religion and politics, with little oversight.  (Source: Network World)
Feds have little respect for your privacy, Constitution

The police are watching you.  If you're the wrong religion, they'll spy on your every move.  If you voice the wrong political opinions they'll be watching you.  According to Mike German, a 16-year veteran with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, this is happening right in the U.S.

Mr. German has become the FBI's worst nightmare.  Fed up with the abuses of privacy he was seeing, he complain to higher authorities and was promptly fired by the FBI.  Recently he became the ACLU's Policy Counsel on National Security, Immigration and Privacy [press release]. And he's speaking up about what he witnessed.

States Mr. German in a recent interview with Network World:

The most disturbing thing we've uncovered is the scope of domestic intelligence activities taking place today. Domestic spying is now being done by a host of federal agencies (FBI, DOD, DHS, DNI) as well as state and local law enforcement and even private companies. Too often this spying targets political activity and religious practices. We've documented intelligence activities targeting or obstructing First Amendment-protected activity in 33 states and DC.

He says that this Orwellian atmosphere could leave the U.S. a far different beast than the proud beacon of freedom it once was.  He states, "The biggest threat is that the increase surveillance of political activity will create a chilling effect that will dissuade people from exercising their rights, which will cause significant harm to participatory democracy."

He states that the "War on Terror" will continue to serve as an excuse for federal agencies to trample civil liberties.  He says that there are no clear-cut guidelines as to when you get put on a "watchlist" and are spied on by federal agents.  It's impossible to find out if your on a list and equally impossible to dispute or ask to be removed from a list.  

He also blasts TSA "enhanced pat-down" procedures and body scanners, calling them "unreasonable invasions of privacy that do not enhance security."

Given the Supreme Courts interpretation that privacy is a fundamental human right and thus Constitutionally protected by the Ninth Amendment, and given the First Amendments protections concerning freedom of speech and religion, Mr. German's claims are alarming.  Are U.S. federal employees deliberately spying on citizens and violating their rights, without the slightest legal accusation?

It'd be easy to dismiss Mr. German's claims as the words of a disgruntled employee.  But consider Mr. German's story of his departure from the agency:

I left the FBI when the DOJ Inspector General failed to investigate an FBI cover-up of a failed FBI counterterrorism investigation I reported, or protect me from official retaliation that resulted. I reported the information to Sen. Grassley and resigned. Grassley put pressure on the IG, so almost two years later the IG issued a report that showed the FBI falsified and backdated records about the case and retaliated against me for reporting it. I joined the ACLU two years later because I knew from my counterterrorism work that protecting civil liberties and keeping law enforcement accountable is what keeps America safe from terrorism and other crime.

Mr. German was clearly vindicated in the case that led to his dismissal.  The fact that the FBI tried to cover up its own wrongdoing and then punished Mr. German certainly damages its credibility and offers support for Mr. German's claims.



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By T2k on 2/8/2011 12:04:10 PM , Rating: 0
I did not forget Muslim radicals, I even mentioned them.

They incite hatred overseas, Palin does it here - naturally she's doing it more subtle but it's still hatred and still the classic dumb sh!t anti-government crap and it's dangerous.

Yes, that was my point: you have to monitor nutjobs if you want to prevent AZ-style massacres whatever their crazy beliefs are but FBI should not be this free-roaming agency as they are allowed since Patriot Act I and especially II.


By The Raven on 2/8/2011 12:40:34 PM , Rating: 1
Where did you mention Muslim radicals?

And BTW they incite hatred here at home too. Remember the Ft. Hood shooter for example?

Palin does it as much as you are right here in this thread. Look in the mirror bro.

And how is it subtle according to people who think she has anything to do with the AZ shootings (and yes it was extremely tragic, but it is no massacre. You would be more persuasive if you stay away from the hyperbole). Targeting, reloading? Real subtle. And by the way if she was trying to get someone killed, do you really thing that she would incriminate herself that way while she is in the public spotlight? Well... it is Palin we are talking about lol.

If you love the gov't so much and think they should make all of our decisions for us, then you would like it better in China, The USSR, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, etc. Feel free to leave. And when you miss limited gov't, you are always welcome to come back to the land of the free because it is just that, the land of the free. We just have to keep it that way.
quote:
Yes, that was my point: you have to monitor nutjobs if you want to prevent AZ-style massacres whatever their crazy beliefs are but FBI should not be this free-roaming agency as they are allowed since Patriot Act I and especially II.
Wait, so why are you so pro-gov't? You do know that the FBI is a branch of the gov't, right?

Anyway, based on that quote, you are in agreement with me and we can leave it at that if you want.


By The Raven on 2/9/2011 3:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
I mention "Muslim radicals " and I get rated down two comments in a row. Did you people not read what I said...?
quote:
Violent nutjobs are violent nutjobs. We should be mindful of them period regardless of religion , which I think we agree on. Let's just all focus on that since we agree.


By dgingeri on 2/8/2011 1:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
Did you happen to read anything about the guy who did the shooting in AZ? He's left leaning, not right, in his political views, but just barely left of center. NOT A RADICAL.

His issues extend from deep seeded depression and an educational system that, instead of helping him find the help he needed, just took the 'safe' road and booted him, taking away his future. He would never get accepted by another college after that. Instead of his friends helping him, they all withdrew, leaving him alone. Instead of his family helping him, they all withdrew, leaving him alone. They all took his hope away. Without hope, people do go crazy, and this is the result you get.


By FITCamaro on 2/8/2011 1:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
Please show me where Sarah Palin has said anything along the lines of "Go beat up liberals/minorities/blacks/etc" or "You should shoot any Democrat". I'll be waiting a while. However I can find numerous videos/writings of liberals saying people like Sarah Palin need to die.

For 8 years liberals talked about how Bush should be killed/impeached/etc. But when a conservative says that people with Obama's policies and beliefs need to be "targeted" to be defeated in elections, somehow now WE'RE the violent and hateful ones.


By mkrech on 2/8/2011 4:50:20 PM , Rating: 2
What, no profanity, no bold, no unnecessary white space (ya, your probably a bigot). Come on T2k, don't let me know on the over/under for your stress induced aneurysm.
;)
Seriously though, relax dude, your making it to easy to repudiate your attempts to form a valid argument.


By mkrech on 2/8/2011 4:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
oops, typo
quote:
don't let me know on the over/under

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should be:

don't let me down on the over/under
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oooo, I kinda like that extra white space. ;)


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