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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Human Rights & Civil Liberties

The TSA's state-mandated molestation

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  • The humiliations of the patdown policy, which Janet Napolitano wants to expand, are an Orwellian assault on American freedom.
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  • The ACLU maintains an ever-growing database of these indignities, many so graphic they're illegal to broadcast over public airwaves. Actions that violate FCC standards are embraced by the TSA.
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  • Rape Victim Arrested After Refusing TSA Pat-Down
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Jennifer Abel, London Guardian | UK/Reader Supported News

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A TSA officer signals an airline passenger forward at a security checkpoint at Seattle-Tacoma international airport, Washington State. Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP

The holiday brought bittersweet news: unless the Transportation Security Authority disbands, I'll never see a certain friend of mine again. His long-term unemployment finally ended, and next month, he starts a great new job. But it's in Texas, too far to drive; from my place in Connecticut to his new home in San Antonio is 2,000 miles – 500 more than separates London from Moscow.

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As an American – that is, someone considered lucky to get seven consecutive days off work – the only way I could possibly travel such distance is to fly. But flying includes the legal obligation I submit to having my genitalia groped by some TSA thug wearing the same latex gloves already shoved down nine dozen other strangers' underwear. There's only two ways an American flyer can reliably avoid this: be rich enough to buy your own plane, or a high-ranking congressman or other VIP exempt from the indignities they inflict upon ordinary citizens.

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Rape Victim Arrested After Refusing TSA Pat-Down, KVUE-TV | TX
An Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (TX) (ABIA) spokesman says it is TSA policy that anyone activating a security alarm has two options.  One is to opt out and not fly, and the other option is to subject themselves to an enhanced pat down.  Hirschkind refused both and was arrested.

WikiLeaks: How U.S. tried to stop Spain's torture probe

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  • The episode, revealed in a raft of WikiLeaks cables, was part of a secret concerted U.S. effort to stop a crusading Spanish judge from investigating a torture complaint against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five other senior Bush lawyers.
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  • WikiLeaks Cable: White House Worked With GOP To Kill Bush Torture Probe
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Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald | FL

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Spain's Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, left, speaks with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, center, in the company of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Eduardo Aguirre at Spain's Interior Ministry in Madrid, Tuesday Oct. 24, 2006. Gonzales was in Madrid for talks with Spanish officials on cooperation in fighting terrorism, organized crime and illegal immigration. Paul White / Associated Press

It was three months into Barack Obama's presidency, and the administration -- under pressure to do something about alleged abuses in Bush-era interrogation policies -- turned to a Florida senator to deliver a sensitive message to Spain:
Don't indict former President George W. Bush's legal brain trust for alleged torture in the treatment of war on terror detainees, warned Mel Martinez on one of his frequent trips to Madrid. Doing so would chill U.S.-Spanish relations.

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Rather than a resolution, though, a senior Spanish diplomat gave the former GOP chairman and housing secretary a lesson in Spain's separation of powers. "The independence of the judiciary and the process must be respected,'' then-acting Foreign Minister Angel Lossada replied on April 15, 2009. Then for emphasis, "Lossada reiterated to Martinez that the executive branch of government could not close any judicial investigation and urged that this case not affect the overall relationship.''

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WikiLeaks Cable: White House Worked With GOP To Kill Bush Torture Probe, David Corn, Mother Jones
A WikiLeaks cable shows that when Spain considered a criminal case against ex-Bush officials, the Obama White House and Republicans got really bipartisan.

Rape Victim Arrested After Refusing TSA Pat-Down

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An Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (TX) (ABIA) spokesman says it is TSA policy that anyone activating a security alarm has two options.  One is to opt out and not fly, and the other option is to subject themselves to an enhanced pat down.  Hirschkind refused both and was arrested.

KVUE-TV | TX

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Joanne Thielen

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest  today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

Early Wednesday (Dec 22) morning, a computer glitch shut down a security checkpoint for a couple of hours at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.  The line snaked out the door as many travelers waited for more than an hour and some missed their flights.  One of the first people in line after that shutdown never made it through. She was arrested and banned from the airport.

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Claire Hirschkind, 56, who says she is a rape victim and who has a pacemaker-type device implanted in her chest, says her constitutional rights were violated.  She says she never broke any laws.  But the Transportation Security Administration disagrees.

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Hirschkind was hoping to spend Christmas with friends in California, but she never made it past the security checkpoint.

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The Most Important Free Speech Issue of Our Time

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Net neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time. And that's why, this Tuesday (Dec 21), when the FCC meets to discuss this badly flawed proposal, I'll be watching. If they approve it as is, I'll be outraged. And you should be, too.

Al Franken, (D-MN), Huffington Post

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

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If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.This Tuesday (Dec 21) is an important day in the fight to save the Internet.

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As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it's a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate.

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This principle is called "net neutrality" -- and it's under attack. Internet service giants like Comcast and Verizon want to offer premium and privileged access to the Internet for corporations who can afford to pay for it.

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Republicans Hope to Trample Constitution With Racist New Proposals

For the last two years, conservatives have flouted their disdain for the Constitution and their desire to effectively replace it with a Tea Party manifesto. Sadly, they appear to be wasting no time after last November’s election in declaring war on the nation’s founding document.

Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

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Flush with excitement over their recent electoral gains, Republican state lawmakers are partying like it’s 1859. A group of lawmakers from 14 states, led by nativist Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce (R), plan to thumb their nose at the 14th Amendment’s grant of citizenship to nearly all persons born within the United States by introducing legislation that will “end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens.”

Meanwhile, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R) recently returned to his state from a Beltway pilgrimage to GOP interest groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, intended to drum up support for his expected upcoming U.S. Senate race. Shortly after completing this pilgrimage, Haridopolos laid out a plan to fast-track an obviously unconstitutional proposal that would nullify the Affordable Care Act.

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