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interpreting the constitution
crowd control
crowd control
interpreting the constitution
one nation, under surveillance
number 147    
source: Viroqua Institute
Municipal officials in the District
of Columbia have announced
an ambitious program to
consolidate the operation of
more than 5200 surveillance
cameras, giving law
enforcement and other city
agencies access to the system
in real time. The network,
which will be administered by
the city’s Homeland Security
and Emergency Management
Agency, will be the most
extensive municipal video
surveillance program in the
country. Civil liberties
organizations have criticized
the initiative, questioning the
effectiveness of security
cameras and warning of
potential abuses of
surveillance networks.

The DC police first
implemented a video
surveillance system in 2006,
installing 92 cameras in high
crime neighborhoods. At the
time, city officials stressed that
the video feeds would not be
actively monitored, and they
required that signs notifying
the public of the surveillance
being conducted be posted in
close proximity to each
camera. The consolidated
network will not require such
public notification of
videotaping; the restriction on
active monitoring of video
feeds was lifted by the DC
chief of police in 2007.

Chicago is currently one of the
most monitored cities in the
US, with a centrally controlled
network of more than 3000
video security cameras.
London is regarded as having
the most extensive surveillance
system, comprising as many as
500,000 individual cameras.     
it's all true
A survey performed by The Pew
Research Center found that a
majority of respondents said that
they felt that they "haven’t moved
forward in life or have fallen
backwards” over the past five

The Center found that 25 percent
of those surveyed said that have
not made economic headway in
the past five years and 31 percent
said that they were worse off than
they were in 2003.  The study
also found that 54 percent of
those who identified themselves
as middle class said that they
have made no economic progress
or fell behind.  53 percent of
middle class respondents said
that they have had to reduce
family spending because of
economic considerations.  The
poll also found that 25 percent of
respondents who have jobs said
that they felt they may be laid off
in the near future.

The data represents the “most
downward short-term assessment
of personal progress in nearly half
a century of polling” performed by
the Center in cooperation with the
Gallup organization.     
it's all true
A security consultant who worked for
a national telephone company in
2003 has provided Congress with an
affidavit revealing the existence a
high-speed access point into the
company’s cellular network that
allows the government to review and
record customer’s cell phone calls,
emails- including copies of any
attachments, text messages, internet
usage, faxes, billing information,
transactional history and physical

Consultant Babak Pasdar said that
employees of the company referred
to the access point as the “Quantico
circuit”, which gave a “third party
access to all communications on its
network connected with mobile
phones, from conversations to
emails, internet use, document
transmission, videos, text messaging-
anything.”  The circuit included a 45-
megabit per second data access port
that could monitor and record over
2000 simultaneous conversations.  
The company kept no records of
what information was accessed
through the portal.  When Pasdar
brought his awareness of the circuit
to the attention of his supervisors, he
was threatened with termination and
advised in strong terms to “forget
about the circuit” and
“move   on”.  Quantico, Virginia is the
location of the electronics
surveillance center for the FBI.

Pasdar has not identified the
telecommunications company due to
a confidentiality agreement he signed
as a requirement of his employment,
but the allegations that he makes in
the affidavit echo similar assertions
by former employees of Verizon and
AT&T.  As previously reported by, both companies
are currently being sued for allowing
the government to access their
telecommunications networks with no
search warrant.  Pasdar had
previously briefed members of
Congress of the existence of the
circuit in confidence and
anonymously, but went public with his
story in February as a whistleblower.  

Pasdar said that the Quantico circuit
allows “listening in and recording all
conversations en-mass,” identifying
and tracking all in and out bound
calls, trending calling patters and
internet behavior and “tracing the
user’s physical location.”  Pasdar
said that the “circuit was tied to the
organization’s core network,”
allowing access to “all the systems in
the data center without apparent
it's all true
Detailed instructions for the torture of
detainees held by the US military
were decided upon by a small group
of President Bush’s advisors in the
White House Situation Room during
top-secret meetings between 2001
and 2003.  The administration
officials conceived of and personally
approved specific torture regimens
for specific detainees, stipulating
which torture tactics were to be used
and in what order they should be

The torture approval meetings were
convened by then National Security
Advisor Condoleezza Rice and
included Vice President Dick Cheney,
the former Secretaries of Defense,
Donald Rumsfeld
and State, Colin Powell, the former
CIA Director, George Tenent and
then Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The group, known as the “Principals
Committee”, also approved the use
of “combined” interrogation
techniques, where detainees would
be submitted to different kinds of
torture simultaneously, in cases of
detainees who were difficult to
break.  In a meeting in the summer of
2003, Tenent made a detailed
presentation to the group seeking
approval to submit a particular
detainee to combined “enhanced
interrogation techniques”.  The
tactics included slapping, forcing
detainees into stress positions for
long periods of time, sleep
deprivation and simulated
drowning, among other tactics.  
Although he agreed with the
concept of “enhanced”
questioning techniques, Ashcroft
felt that White House officials
should not be devising
interrogation tactics.  Ashcroft
reportedly said after a meeting of
the committee, “History will not
judge this kindly.”  President Bush
admitted that he knew of the
torture strategy sessions.  Bush
commented at a recent press
conference, “Well, we started to
connect the dots in order to
protect the American people, and
yes, I’m aware our national
security team met on this issue.  
And I approved.”              
it's all true
...and it will be the right
decision ever."
Washington  DC    03.12.08
verbatim                                                         number 28.6
"Removing Saddam
Hussein was the right
decision early in my
presidency, it is the right
decision now...
mt      nj       de      mn     ky
Number of resturants per
selected states
A University of Georgia student who
photographed the exteriors of local
chicken processing plants as part of
a class project was questioned by
county sheriffs after a passing
motorist reported that a man who
may be Middle Eastern-looking was
behaving suspiciously. The sheriff’s
office forwarded the matter to the
FBI, which conducted a face-to-face
interview with the student, 23-year-
old Jim Diffly, to confirm that he
“wasn’t Middle Eastern.” The incident
has angered civil liberties advocates,
who say it raises privacy issues and
indicates improper profiling by law
enforcement authorities.

Diffly was working on a field research
project on the local chicken
processing industry for a history
class when he stopped to
photograph a plant near Gainesville,
Georgia. He was confronted
a few minutes later by sheriffs who
questioned him about his activities
and motives. One of the officers
asked Diffly, who has a beard and
long hair, “What’s up with the beard?”

After about twenty minutes, the
sheriffs let Diffly go, but they
contacted the nearest FBI field office
about the incident because,
according to a spokesman, they
regarded the chicken processing
plant as a potential terrorist target.
Two weeks later, FBI agent William J.
H. Filson met with Diffly and his
history professor in an Athens,
Georgia pizza restaurant so that
Filson could observe that Diffly was
indeed a “Caucasian student.”

Diffly told student newspaper
Red and Black
the episode is "like
profiling and almost harassment."       
it's all true
White House Torture Team Approved Each Odious Order
DC Zooms In On
Total Surveillance
Privileged Executive Bush Dictates Authoritarian
The ongoing skirmish between
Congress and the White House over
the Bush administration’s broad
assertion of executive privilege was
ratcheted up a notch last week when
lawyers for the House Judiciary
Committee filed a motion asking a
federal judge to compel the testimony
of two former presidential advisers
after they failed to respond to

The motion compared the actions of
the administration to the embattled
Nixon White House at the height of
the Watergate scandal. Democratic
members of the Judiciary Committee
said that they had no choice but to
file a lawsuit when White House aides
Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten
refused to appear before the panel
and Attorney General Michael
Mukasey declined to refer the matter
for prosecution.
The presidential staffers had been
subpoenaed to testify in the
investigation into the Justice
Department’s dismissal of selected
US attorneys in 2005, which critics
have described as a politically
motivated purge. The White House
has maintained that executive branch
deliberations are not subject to
congressional oversight, and that the
protection extends to all executive
branch personnel. The filing by the
House lawyers challenges this view,
reading in part, “Not since the days
of Watergate have the Congress and
the federal courts been confronted
with such an expansive view of
executive privilege as the one
asserted by the current presidential
administration and the individual
defendants in this case.”

After their failure to appear before
the Judiciary Committee, the House
223-32 to hold both Miers and
Bolten in contempt. Speaker of
the House Nancy Pelosi then
referred the matter to the Attorney
General, asking that he order a
criminal investigation, but in
March he refused, implicitly
affirming the White House position
that executive privilege extends to
members of the president’s staff.  

The motion filed by the House
lawyers asks the court to rule that
each invocation of executive
privilege must be itemized and
that Miers and Bolten must
produce detailed privilege logs
identifying documents being
withheld under the privilege. The
administration, which called the
House lawsuit "political theater", is
scheduled to respond to the
motion in early May.                  
all true
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