You are here

Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Human Rights & Civil Liberties

DEA Seeks Ebonics Translators to Decipher Black Peoples' Phone Conversations

Don't get the wrong idea: this has nothing to do with the drug war being racist; they just need expert testimony to help win drug cases.

\r\n

Scott Morgan, StoptheDrugWar.org

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

\r\n

Ever since NAACP endorsed marijuana legalization in California, there's been a raging debate over whether the drug war targets black communities. Looks like the DEA just settled it.

\r\n

Atlanta  — Federal agents are seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help interpret wiretapped conversations involving targets of undercover drug investigations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent memos asking companies that provide translation services to help it find nine translators in the Southeast who are fluent in Ebonics, Special Agent Michael Sanders said Monday. [AP]

\r\n

But don't get the wrong idea. This has nothing to do with the drug war being racist. They just need expert testimony to help win drug cases:
"You can maybe get a general idea of what they're saying, but you have to understand that this has to hold up in court," he said. "You need someone to say, 'I know what they mean when they say 'ballin' or 'pinching pennies.'"

\r\n

More...

Other Countries Probing Bush-era Torture — Why Aren't We?

\r\n

"That's part of why we're so concerned. The Obama administration, rather than investigate the abuses of the last eight years, has increasingly become an obstacle to accountability."

Shashank Bengali, the McClatchy Newspapers, in Common Dreams

In June, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Canadian man who contends that U.S. authorities mistook him for an al Qaida operative in 2002 and shipped him to a secret prison in Syria, where he was beaten with electrical cables and held in a grave-like cell for 10 months.

\r\n

Four years earlier, however, the Canadian government had concluded an exhaustive inquiry and found that the former prisoner, Maher Arar, was telling the truth. Canada cleared Arar of all ties to terrorism and paid him $10 million in damages, and his lawyers say he's cooperating with an investigation into the role of U.S. and Syrian officials in his imprisonment and reported torture.

\r\n

More...

Rachel Maddow: Exposing Private Prison Industry Role in Shaping Arizona's Anti-Immigration Law

\r\n

    \r\n
  • Arizona Private Prisons Set to Gain From Arizona Immigration Bill
  • \r\n

  • Five are run privately, and the Governor has ties
  • \r\n

  • to the private sector.
  • \r\n

  • Incarceration
  • \r\n

\r\n

Heather,  Video Cafe

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

\r\n

Rachel Maddow followed up with KPHO's Morgan Loew on Arizona's private prison industry and on the sponsor of SB1070, Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, who's lobbying ties run even deeper than those of their Governor Jan Brewer. An article by In These Times summed up why as Rachel noted these Arizona pols are pushing the anti-immigrant hysteria even though it is not a very smart political strategy in the long term for the Republican Party. It's a Corporate Con Game:

\r\n

Yet the fact is, some backers of S.B. 1070 are wrapping themselves in the flag all the way to the bank.

\r\n

An In These Times investigation shows that the bill’s promoters are as equally dedicated to border politics as they are to promoting the fortunes of private prison companies, like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Geo Group, which stand to reap substantial profits as more undocumented residents end up in jail.

\r\n

As Loew reported back in May, here are Pearce's plans for legislation he wants to try to push through next year.

\r\n

More...

Big Brother: Obama Demands Access to Internet Records, in Secret, and Without Court Review

\r\n

    \r\n
  • Internet users do not give up their privacy rights when they log on, and the FBI should not have the power to secretly demand that ISPs turn over constitutionally protected information about their users without a court order.
  • \r\n

  • ACLU Report: Obama Continuing Bush-Era Torture Policies
  • \r\n

\r\n


Tom Burghardt, Global Research

The Obama administration is seeking authority from Congress that would compel internet service providers (ISPs) to turn over records of an individual's internet activity for use in secretive FBI probes.

In another instance where Americans are urged to trust their political minders, the Washington Post reported last month that "the administration wants to add just four words--'electronic communication transactional records'--to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval."

\r\n

Under cover of coughing-up information deemed relevant to espionage or terrorism investigations, proposed changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) would greatly expand the volume of private records that can be seized through National Security Letters (NSLs).

More...

Related:

ACLU Report: Obama Continuing Bush-Era Torture Policies, Deborah Weinstein,  TruthOut.org, in AlterNet

\r\n

    \r\n
  • Fear of an unchecked, unaccountable government permeates the report, particularly in the section about targeted killings.
  • \r\n

  • On torture, U.S. must clean house
  • \r\n

\r\n

Summary: Immigration Reform: Week of August 15

4 New Items including:

\r\n

    \r\n
  • Change? Obama's "Crimmigration" Policies Mimic Bush's
  • \r\n

  • Activists Pan Dems' Approach; Say Another Immigration Policy Is Possible
  • \r\n

\r\n

David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

Ben Sargent

Change? Obama's "Crimmigration" Policies Mimic Bush's, Walter Ewing, Immigration Impact

\r\n

    \r\n
  • The Obama administration has chosen to follow its predecessor in pursuing the criminal prosecution of unauthorized immigrants for minor, nonviolent offenses.
  • \r\n

  • DHS under the Obama administration is needlessly clogging the federal courts with people who have not committed any serious crime.
  • \r\n

\r\n

Arizona's D-Day, The Progress Report

\r\n

    \r\n
  • The Reform Immigration for American campaign reports that "there are twenty two copycats [laws] waiting to see which way the wind blows on states' ability to preempt federal immigration law."
  • \r\n

  • Arizona to appeal judge's immigration law ruling that put most of measure on hold
  • \r\n

\r\n

Activists Pan Dems' Approach; Say Another Immigration Policy Is Possible, David Bacon, TruthOut.org

\r\n

    \r\n
  • Grassroots groups don't like the Democrats' proposals for comprehensive immigration reform.
  • \r\n

  • Feds Suing AZ Over Immigration Law
  • \r\n

\r\n

Feds Suing AZ Over Immigration Law, The Washington Post
Justice Department to argue SB1070 steps on federal law.

Pages