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Dear Liberal America: The FBI Is Not Your Friend -- And It Never Has Been

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The love and kisses tour of J. Edgar Comey has put a smiling face on an agency known for hardball and duplicity.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, Salon / AlterNet

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April 21, 2018 | Have you been watching the roundelay of appearances former FBI Director James Comey has made this week on his tour to promote his book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership”? On Tuesday, he was on the "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" on CBS, the same day his book was released. Colbert did everything but ruffle his hair, sharing a paper cup of red wine with him, seeming to commemorate the beverage Comey poured for himself aboard a private government jet returning to Washington on the day he was fired on May 9, 2017. Colbert teased him. Comey demurred. Hilarity ensued.

Thursday night he was on the "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC, an appearance that was promoted in advance like she had scored a visit from Beyonce. Maddow’s interview with Comey was subdued and actually appeared to reveal a few nuggets of news, but Comey spent a lot of time answering questions with a frown and a painfully reluctant, “That’s another one I can’t answer.” 

Lucian K. Truscott IV has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter, covering stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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From the Archives | Envisioning An America Free From Police Violence and Control

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  • In “The End of Policing,” Alex S. Vitale argues that police reforms implemented in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri — from diversity initiatives to community policing to body cameras — fail to acknowledge that policing as an institution reinforces race and class inequalities by design.
  • Related: 4 Disabled People Dead in Another Week of Police Brutality
  • Related: Special Report | Killing Him While He's Dead; This Didn't Have to Happen.

Rashmee Kumar, the Intercept

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https://cdn-ed.versobooks.com/images/000010/546/9781784782894-5a539d7f727ddb71411f1c7ca7930d80.jpg October 15 2017 | Images from the mass protests in St. Louis last month against the acquittal of a white former police officer in the fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith felt like déjà vu: raised fists, Black Lives Matter signs, swarms of police armed in full riot gear. But this time, as police made arrests on the third night of protests, they began to chant “Whose streets, our streets” — a refrain that, stolen from the voices of protesters, mutated into an unsettling declaration of power, entitlement, and impunity.

So far this year, 773 people have been fatally shot by police, according to the Washington Post, while independent databases that include other causes of death by police report tolls above 900. In the three years since the flashpoint of Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, pushes for reform have reverberated through all levels of government, most notably from former President Barack Obama’s policing task force. And yet, much like gun violence itself, police brutality in the United States remains stuck on repeat. A new book published last week goes beyond the rhetoric of reform to interrogate why we need police at all.

https://cdn01.theintercept.com/wp-uploads/sites/1/2017/10/Rashmee-Kumar_avatar_1508025504-1508025504..jpg Rashmee Kumar is the copy editor at the Intercept. She has previously worked at Guardian US, NJ Advance Media, and the Star-Ledger. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in journalism and media studies.

Full story … 

Related:

4 Disabled People Dead in Another Week of Police Brutality, David M. Perry, the Nation 

https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/police-brutality-mentally-il-ap-img.jpg?scale=896&compress=80 Supporters hold up signs during a 2014 protest in support of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man who died after a violent confrontation with Fullerton police. (AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill)

  • Police don’t need better training; they need to stop treating noncompliance as justification for violence.
  • Related: It's Time for People with No Country to be Unapologetically Selfish and Intolerant.

Related:

Special Report | Killing Him While He's Dead; This Didn't Have to Happen. Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Part 1: Killing Him While He’s Dead
    • The problem isn’t that so many people are hurt and angry; the problem is that more aren’t.
  • Part 2: Sacramento Police Said They Were Making Changes. Then They Killed Stephon Clark.
    • This Didn't Have to Happen.

 

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'If black shoot them', former Kentucky acting police chief told recruit.

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Disturbing exchanges were uncovered between a Jefferson County assistant chief and a recruit during an unrelated investigation. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

  • Court documents described a pattern of ‘racist and threatening’ messages from the assistant chief Todd Shaw, who was fired in November.
  • Related: To Protect and Serve ~ Norm Stamper
  • Related: Weekend Read - It’s past time for white supremacy to die.

Jamiles Lartey, the Guardian

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Mon 22 Jan 2018 | The former acting chief of a Kentucky police department instructed a police recruit to shoot black teenagers on sight if caught smoking marijuana, according to court documents.

“Fuck the right thing. If black shoot them,” assistant chief Todd Shaw wrote in response to a younger officer’s query, part of what the Jefferson County attorney’s office described as a pattern of “highly disturbing racist and threatening Facebook messages” from Shaw.

Jamiles Lartey is a reporter for Guardian US

Full story … 

Related:

To Protect and Serve ~ Norm Stamper, Kirkus Reviews

  • https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Rsl37BzQL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgHow to Fix America’'s Police
  • A vivid, well-written, vitally important book.
  • Related: Special Report | Curbing Police Brutality
     

Related:

Weekend Read - It’s past time for white supremacy to die, Heidi Beirich, Southern Poverty Leadership Conference (SPLC)

  • This weekend we're bringing you an editorial by our Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich from our latest Intelligence Report, reminding us that if we want to reverse a trend that saw hate groups rise for the third year in a row, we must dismantle the white supremacy that's embedded so deeply in American society.
  • Related: Hate Groups Attack Southern Poverty Law Center, and Some Journalists Pile On

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America's Mass Incarceration Crisis Begins in Its Schools

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Image via HBO

  • We spoke with Anna Deavere Smith about Parkland, the school-to-prison pipeline, and her new HBO film, 'Notes from the Field.'
  • Related: How America Outlawed Adolescence

Naveen Kumar, Vice

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Mar 1 2018 | When Anna Deavere Smith first started using the “documentary theatre” style of performance she pioneered—for which she interviews hundreds of people surrounding a particular subject and acts out excerpts from the transcripts—she trained her focus on riots that erupted from racial tensions in Brooklyn (Fires in the Mirror) and LA (Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992).

More than 25 years later, the Pulitzer finalist and Tony nominee is a staple of drama curriculums, and America’s racial divide is as fraught as ever.

Naveen Kumar, Freelance Writer and Editor

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Related:

How America Outlawed Adolescence, Amanda Ripley, the Atlantic

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2016/10/03/WEL_Ripley_Adolescence_opener_ALT3/1920.jpg?1475522587 André Chung

  • At least 22 states make it a crime to disturb school in ways that teenagers are wired to do. Why did this happen?
  • Related: From the Archives | Where Do We Draw the Line When It Comes to Zero Tolerance in Schools?

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Rachel Meeropol on Illegal Detentions

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Former US Attorney John Ashcroft

It seems to me incredibly relevant that the communities likely to be subjected to discriminatory and arbitrary national security policies are black and brown communities … . That it seems that the rights of those individuals maybe don’t weigh quite as heavily as the rights of others, and that’s something we have to confront.

Rachel Meeropol, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)


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June 30, 2017 | This week on CounterSpin: After 9/11, hundreds of non-citizen Muslim, Arab and South Asian men should be locked up and treated as suspected terrorists, despite no http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Defend%20Civil%20Liberties%20Graphic_2.jpgevidence of terrorist connections. That policy came from the highest levels of government; that’s why a suit brought on behalf of some of those men sought damages from top officials, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft. The Supreme Court has just denied the men’s right to sue those officials. What does that mean for accountability when powerful people make unconstitutional policy? We’ll hear from Rachel Meeropol, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. (MP3)

Transcript: Janine Jackson interviewed Rachel Meeropol for the June 30, 2017, episode of CounterSpin about the Supreme Court’s rejection of an unlawful detention lawsuit. This is a lightly edited transcript.

If We Don’t Have Accountability, There’s Nothing to Stop it From Happening Again <https://fair.org/home/if-we-dont-have-accountability-theres-nothing-to-s...

Rachel Meeropol is a Senior Staff Attorney and Associate Director of Legal Training and Education at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on prisoners' rights, Muslim profiling, criminalization of dissent, and First Amendment issues.

Full story … http://fair.org/home/rachel-meeropol-on-illegal-detentions-dan-zukowski-...

What We Discovered During a Year of Documenting Hate

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Hate crimes often fall through the cracks in our justice system, and we've only just scratched the surface of understanding why.

Rachel Glickhouse, ProPublica

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Dec. 26, 2017 | The days after Election Day last year seemed to bring with them a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents. Reports filled social media and appeared in local news. There were the letters calling for the genocide of Muslims that were sent to Islamic centers from California to Ohio. And the swastikas that were scrawled on buildings around the country. In Florida, “colored” and “whites only” signs were posted over water fountains at a high school. A man assaulted a Hispanic woman in San Francisco, telling her “No Latinos here.”

But were these horrible events indicative of an increase in crimes and incidents themselves, or did the reports simply reflect an increased awareness and willingness to come forward on the part of victims and witnesses? As data journalists, we went looking for answers and were not prepared for what we found: Nobody knows for sure. Hate crimes are so poorly tracked in America, there’s no way to undertake the kind of national analysis that we do in other areas, from bank robberies to virus outbreaks.

Rachel Glickhouse is the ProPublica partner manager for Documenting Hate.

Full story … 

As Mueller closes in, paranoia spreads in the White House

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  • Jeff Sessions tries to purge FBI of Comey’s influence, while right-wingers spread outrageous conspiracy theories.
  • Related: Special Report | Donald Trump’s first anniversary: Democracy on life support; How do we resist Donald Trump’s malignant reality?

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Heather Digby Parton, Salon

http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_gavel.jpg 01.24.2018 | So Tuesday was a very busy day. Mueller runs a tight ship so it's quite likely this latest flurry of leaks is coming from the Department of Justice as a defensive response to the bizarre counter-narrative unfolding in the parallel universe of right-wing media and the GOP Congress. They have gone completely berserk.

House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and the Tea Party fanatics who were weaned on the phony Benghazi investigations, have settled on a new crackpot theory: The FBI is full of Hillary Clinton supporters who stacked the deck in her favor for years and used all the powers of the "Deep State" to create this Russia hoax out of whole cloth. This time around, instead of emails, these folks are in a frenzy over some text messages showing that a couple of FBI employees had political opinions — which of course proves that Clinton should be in jail.

Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon.

Full story … 

Related:

Special Report | Donald Trump’s first anniversary: Democracy on life support; How do we resist Donald Trump’s malignant reality? Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Ryan%2C%20Trump%2C%20McConnell.jpgPaul Ryan; Mitch McConnell; Donald Trump (Credit: AP/Getty/Salon)

  • Part 1: Democracy on life support: Donald Trump’s first anniversary
  • Ignorance is a terrible wound when it is self-inflicted.
  • Part 2: One year later: How do we resist Donald Trump’s malignant reality?
  • A year after Trump's election, a numbness has set in. We must resist that too; it's poisonous to democracy.
  • Related: Whether or Not Trump Remains in Office, We Must Contend With the Forces That Enabled His Rise

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After the rescue: what does the future hold for California's Turpin children?

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Trauma experts are divided over the prospects of the 13 children who escaped alleged parental abuse – but recent survival stories offer some hope.

Rory Carroll, Guardian 

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Sat 20 Jan 2018  | The 13 siblings are safe now, ensconced in the folds of California’s medical care, and it is their parents’ turn to be shackled.

A family that inhabited its own secluded world in a tile-roofed suburban house, a world of alleged violence, suffering and depravity, suddenly faces two very different paths.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/contributor/2014/11/14/1415969428559/Rory-Carroll.jpg?w=140&h=140&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=4c82bb5d2065aaffed1163e97ddc10f8 Rory Carroll is a west coast correspondent based in Los Angeles for Guardian US.

Full story … 

 

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2016/10/03/WEL_Ripley_Adolescence_opener_ALT3/1920.jpg?1475522587 André ChungRelated:

How America Outlawed Adolescence, Amanda Ripley, the Atlantic

  • At least 22 states make it a crime to disturb school in ways that teenagers are wired to do. Why did this happen?
  • Related: From the Archives | Where Do We Draw the Line When It Comes to Zero Tolerance in Schools?

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