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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 Misty Dingos on 2/8/2011 12:14:06 PM , Rating: 1
OK because I am nice person and I like to help people out, let me give you some advice.

1. People that are members of the NRA are not necessarily half-retarded inbred rednecks. What you are doing here is called stereotyping. It isn't really very nice and has been used by some really bad people. Like the Nazis , the KKK and the Democratic Party (just kidding about the Democrats there). So you should really stop stereotyping people.

2. I am not sure what you mean by Palin-like ignorant dumbfuck TP'ers. Are they women? In general any woman could be considered Palin-like because she is a woman. Or perhaps you meant just her hair color, which would be silly and I think you are more angry than silly. Perhaps you shouldn't use such vague descriptions next time. Now the "ignorant dumbfuck TP'ers" well I get that. The last time someone toilet papered my house I was pretty mad. But I think that trying to label them insane is probably not warranted. So the tip here is you should use a term like Evil-Do'er it makes you sound less angry and more reasonable. Which might persuade more people with your argument.

3. Yes violence is violence. But here you are stating the obvious. But the sad reality is that most violence is perpetrated by our loved ones. Sad but true you are more likely to be beaten or killed by someone you love than anyone else. So what you might propose is for the cameras to be removed from the streets and place them in the houses and apartments of America.

4. You should get some counseling. Really. The anger and venom you put in a simple post that is only mildly controversial is alarming. Go hug a puppy. (not to death! if the puppy can't breath you are doing it wrong.) You do realize that anger and violence often go together. Go to a local health center and tell them how angry you feel and perhaps they will give you some pills to calm you down because you need to.

There I feel so much better to have helped someone, even if he or she is an asinine, child throwing a tantrum.

By The Raven on 2/8/2011 1:25:31 PM , Rating: 2

Oh and you should've used the term profiling instead of stereotyping, in light of the subject matter ;-)

And hey! Not all Nazis were bad people! Now you are stereotyping!

By FITCamaro on 2/8/2011 2:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking its Keith Olbermann or one of those guys. Has about the same taste to it as one of their "news" broadcasts.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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