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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Greenwald: NSA Targets Five American Muslim Leaders For Surveillance, Apparently Because They Are Muslim

Via Kevin Gosztola at FDL's The Dissenter, we have Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain at The Intercept revealing yet more NSA activity in violation of the First Amendment's freedom of religion guarantee. Here's Gosztola's summary:
...

Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept have published a much-anticipated story revealing five prominent Muslim-Americans the National Security Agency and FBI spied upon. The surveillance, which primarily appears to have involved monitoring their emails, was conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The five individuals are: Faisal Gill, a former member of President George W. Bush’s administration and a Republican Party operative; Asim Ghafoor, a public relations consultant, lobbyist, lawyer and advocate for the rights of American Muslims; Agha Saeed, a professor who has mobilized American Muslims to become involved in the American political process; Hooshang Amirahmadi, founder and president of the American Iranian Council, who has done considerable work on American policy toward Iran; and Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is the largest Muslim civil rights organization in America.

The national legal advocacy organization, Muslim Advocates, reacted, “This report confirms the worst fears of American Muslims: the federal government has targeted Americans, even those who have served their country in the military and government, simply because of their faith or religious heritage.  The report clearly documents how biased training by the FBI leads to biased surveillance.”

...
Oh, and Gosztola notes this bit of raw, offensive incivility:
On a visceral level, The Intercept included a section from July 2005 instructions on how to format internal memos “justifying surveillance.” The NSA did not use “John Doe” in the place where the name is supposed to be. They used “Mohammed Raghead” instead.
And this from Greenwald and Hussain:
“I just don’t know why,” says Gill, whose AOL and Yahoo! email accounts were monitored while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. “I’ve done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my community—I’ve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.”
Please read both articles. Apparently, in today's America, being both a Muslim and a civil liberties activist are enough in combination to ensure you will be spied upon by the most invasive arm of your government. If the Hobby Lobby case wasn't enough to signal to you the death of the First Amendment's establishment clause, this revelation should finish the job. If you're not Christian, as I am not, you have a choice: keep a low profile... or expect your government to spy on you. Once again, Thomas Jefferson turns in his grave...

3 comments:

  1. CIA, Senate and a Constitutional Crisis Resolved (not in favor of the Constitution)
    http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/07/11/cia-senate-and-a-constitutional-crisis-resolved-not-in-favor-of-the-constitution/

    L'Enfant de la Haute Mer(http://inconue.wordpress.com)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why haven't you mentionned me?

    L'Enfant de la Haute Mer(http://inconue.wordpress.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, Enfant; I only just read the post and wrote a post this morning (Sat. 6/12). I'll append a H/T.

      Delete

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Current and Recent Reading and Viewing

• King, Laurie R., Mary Russell series.
—. The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
—. A Monstrous Regiment of Women.
—. A Letter of Mary.
—. The Moor.
—. O Jerusalem. ...
If you are unfamiliar with Ms. King's Mary Russell series of Holmes novels, please do yourself a favor and begin with the first, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, and just keep going. If you have female children of the right age, you may want to introduce them to these books; Ms. Russell is a splendid role model for someone who would become a strong, intellectual, adventurous woman. King's prose is beautiful, too. Highly recommended!
• Rennison, Nick. Sherlock Holmes: The Unauthorized Biography.
Rennison weaves the scant information Conan Doyle provides on Holmes's background into the fabric of the stellar lights of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with such convincing detail that one could almost believe Holmes was an actual historical figure. If you like reading British biographers (face it; Americans write biography wholly differently) and you have a passion for Sherlock Holmes, you will very likely enjoy this book. As in eating a Dagwood sandwich, it helps to take it in small bites at a time.
• PBS Masterpiece - BBC. Sherlock, Season 3. Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman.
Sunday 1/19/2014, Premiere, "The Empty Hearse".
Sunday 1/26: "The Sign of Three".
Sunday 2/2, "His Last Vow".
Need I even comment on this?

I imagine people, especially Sherlockians, will either love this series or hate it. I am inclined to take each episode at face value, as a sort of parody of the traditional Conan Doyle Holmes story model, having (in my opinion) very little obligation to conform to that model as long as it does not deliberately poop on the basic conventions Doyle established. The setting is either present day or near future (some of the technology, and the reference to hardware Holmes apparently has installed in contact with his brain, lead me to call it the future), and many of the human elements are right out of Doyle: Holmes, who has just returned from his "dead" period, is an absolute a(bleep!)hole to Watson; Mrs. Hudson starts out talking to Watson, who announces he is recently engaged, as if he is surely gay; Watson is played (to type) as not the brightest bulb on the string, etc. My advice: do watch, but just sit back and enjoy the fireworks, the effects, and the unsubtle humor. I've read that women find Cumberbatch very good-looking; perhaps some men will as well.
• Douglas, Carole Nelson. Irene Adler series.
—. Good Night, Mr. Holmes.
—. The Adventuress (formerly Good Morning Irene)
—. A Soul of Steel (formerly Irene at Large)
—. Another Scandal in Bohemia (formerly Irene's Last Waltz)
Here's Dr. Watson (i.e., Conan Doyle) on Irene Adler:
To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler... yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
Carole Nelson Douglas, perceiving the memory of Adler as anything but "questionable," frames a series of mystery novels in which Adler is the detective, accompanied by her own Watson, Penelope "Nell" Huxleigh, Adler's husband Godfrey Norton is the strong male lead, and Holmes appears only incidentally. Adler is granted an astonishing but undeniably plausible variety of skills to ply in her role, and her background as an American opera diva contributes to the stories in an entertaining way. Douglas has done us a real favor in fleshing out this character, who is only once mentioned in the Canon but deserves and receives a much deeper treatment in Douglas's books.
• Millett, Larry. Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota series.
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance
—. The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes
Millett writes a flavor of Holmes novels that I call either "American Sherlockiana" or "Sherlockian Americana," take your choice. Either way, the series comprises novels in which Holmes and Dr. Watson have an adventure involving America, which nation to all appearances Conan Doyle himself admired. Millett sets his stories in Twin Cities in Minnesota, adds his own detective, Shadwell Rafferty, a barkeep with an analytical mind, and lets loose with a series of five adventures well worth your time. I read these years ago, but they have been recently re-released; see Millett's web site at the link above.


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