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L.A. DUI Checkpoints: Now With More Saliva in Your Questionable Fourth Amendment Practices Bad news from the open-air prison we call America today out of L.A., where cops are going to start demanding saliva samples from citizens it stops at DUI checkpoints who it finds suspiciously suspicious.
Details from SoCal public radio station KPCC website:
Starting this weekend, law enforcement in Los Angeles will begin expanded use of saliva swab test kits on drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs.....
Susan Melkisethian / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-NDSusan Melkisethian / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
The testing is already used at some LAPD DUI checkpoints and at three stations that have jails. A $520,000 grant awarded to the L.A. City Attorney’s Office will expand the regular use of the test next year...
Do you gotta give them your spit? No. Legally, just your blood. God bless America! (Reason)
Meet Carl Hart, the Scientist Debunking America's Myths About Drugs Dr. Carl Hart defies all preconceptions of the word "neuropsychopharmacologist." With thick dreadlocks that dangle well below his shoulders, a penchant for studded earrings, and a gold incisor that flashes when he grins, Hart, 47, was the only black man in America to receive a Ph.D in neuroscience in 1996 upon completing his doctorate at the University of Wyoming.
Though he continues to break Ivy League stereotypes as Columbia University's first tenured African-American science professor, Hart shakes the foundations of his field in a much more significant way than race: His research suggests that for the last three decades, law enforcement, politicians, and the media have been lying to Americans about the dangers of cocaine, methamphetamines, and other illegal drugs.
"I have been studying drugs for 22 years," Hart said in an interview with Columbia College Today. "I am here to tell you, drugs are not the bogeyman that people said they were."
Dispelling the myths surrounding drug abuse and addiction is precisely the goal of Hart's new book, High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.
Hart's autobiography weaves personal memoir, Drug Science 101, and enlightened discussions of American racial politics into one engaging narrative. High Price is structured around Hart's own remarkable journey from an impoverished childhood on the streets of Miami's roughest neighborhoods to a professional career studying drugs in the ivory towers of academia. (Policy Mic)
Conspiracy Theorists Aren't Really Skeptics: The fascinating psychology of people who know the real truth about JFK, UFOs, and 9/11 To believe that the U.S. government planned or deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks, you’d have to posit that President Bush intentionally sacrificed 3,000 Americans. To believe that explosives, not planes, brought down the buildings, you’d have to imagine an operation large enough to plant the devices without anyone getting caught. To insist that the truth remains hidden, you’d have to assume that everyone who has reviewed the attacks and the events leading up to them—the CIA, the Justice Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, scientific organizations, peer-reviewed journals, news organizations, the airlines, and local law enforcement agencies in three states—was incompetent, deceived, or part of the cover-up.
And yet, as Slate’s Jeremy Stahl points out, millions of Americans hold these beliefs. In a Zogby poll taken six years ago, only 64 percent of U.S. adults agreed that the attacks “caught US intelligence and military forces off guard.” More than 30 percent chose a different conclusion: that “certain elements in the US government knew the attacks were coming but consciously let them proceed for various political, military, and economic motives,” or that these government elements “actively planned or assisted some aspects of the attacks.”
How can this be? How can so many people, in the name of skepticism, promote so many absurdities?
The answer is that people who suspect conspiracies aren’t really skeptics. Like the rest of us, they’re selective doubters. They favor a worldview, which they uncritically defend. But their worldview isn’t about God, values, freedom, or equality. It’s about the omnipotence of elites.
Conspiracy chatter was once dismissed as mental illness. But the prevalence of such belief, documented in surveys, has forced scholars to take it more seriously. Conspiracy theory psychology is becoming an empirical field with a broader mission: to understand why so many people embrace this way of interpreting history. As you’d expect, distrust turns out to be an important factor. But it’s not the kind of distrust that cultivates critical thinking. (Slate)
Portland's Pot Vote Could Make It A Gateway City For Maine It's been a big year in the marijuana legalization movement. Not only did Colorado and Washington voters make marijuana legal last November, but this week Coloradans approved a ballot measure to tax marijuana sales.
Also this week, Michigan voters in three cities removed penalties for possession. And in Portland, Maine, voters passed by an overwhelming margin an ordinance to legalize possession of up to 2.5 ounces.
At a victory party at a Portland pub Tuesday night, activists lit up a foot-long joint and passed it around in celebration — until they were asked to put it out. Smoking pot in public is still illegal, and marijuana remains outlawed at the state and federal levels.
That's why Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck says not much will change as a result of the city's vote.
"State law pre-empts an ordinance of this sort, a local ordinance of any sort," he says.
The other reason Sauschuck says it won't change much is because Maine is one of 13 states that has already decriminalized marijuana possession. It's just a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. (National Public Radio)
D.C. mayor backs decriminalizing marijuana, replacing criminal charges with civil fines D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) on Wednesday offered his first unequivocal support for decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, adding momentum to a legislative proposal that has the support of a supermajority on the D.C. Council and could make the District one of the nation’s most lenient jurisdictions on marijuana possession.
Under a measure proposed by council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in the District would no longer be punishable by six months in jail and a penalty of $1,000.
Instead, those caught with amounts of the drug deemed for personal use would risk only a civil charge and a ticket of $100 — the equivalent of parking in a no-parking area in the District at rush hour.
Wells, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor, and civil liberties groups have urged passage of the measure. They say the District’s marijuana laws have disproportionately affected African Americans and have saddled some residents with criminal records, making it hard for them to find gainful employment. (Washington Post)
Florida Cop Buys $100 in Groceries for Woman Caught Shoplifting Food A struggling Florida mom who was caught trying to shoplift hundreds of dollars of groceries ended up with food and a ride home from a kind-hearted police officer, instead of a ride to the stationhouse.
When Miami-Dade Police Officer Vicki Thomas, 55, was dispatched to look into a shoplifting case at a Publix grocery store, a store manager led her to Jessica Robles.
"She was crying. I said, 'Okay, what did she take?' And he pointed to a grocery cart that was full of groceries," Thomas told ABCNews.com. "I've been on [the job] 23 years, and I went, wow."
"She just filled up the grocery cart and she just walked out, which shocked me and I asked her, 'Why?'" Thomas recalled. "She said, 'My children were hungry.' And that immediately impacted me." (ABC)
For First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana -- Support surged 10 percentage points in past year, to 58% For marijuana advocates, the last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented success as Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. And now for the first time, a clear majority of Americans (58%) say the drug should be legalized. This is in sharp contrast to the time Gallup first asked the question in 1969, when only 12% favored legalization.
Americans' Views on Legalizing Marijuana
Public support for legalization more than doubled in the 1970s, growing to 28%. It then plateaued during the 1980s and 1990s before inching steadily higher since 2000, reaching 50% in 2011.
A sizable percentage of Americans (38%) this year admitted to having tried the drug, which may be a contributing factor to greater acceptance.
Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans' tolerance for marijuana legalization. Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating. Last week, California's second-highest elected official, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said that pot should be legal in the Golden State, and advocates of legalization are poised to introduce a statewide referendum in 2014 to legalize the drug.
The Obama administration has also been flexible on the matter. Despite maintaining the government's firm opposition to legalizing marijuana under federal law, in late August Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced the Justice Department would not challenge the legality of Colorado's and Washington's successful referendums, provided that those states maintain strict rules regarding the drug's sale and distribution.
The movement to legalize marijuana mirrors the relatively recent success of the movement to legalize gay marriage, which voters have also approved now in 14 states. Public support for gay marriage, which Americans also overwhelmingly opposed in the past, has increased dramatically, reaching majority support in the last two years. (Gallup)
Horrifying New Drugs! Does New Zealand's New Synthetic Drug Law Offer a Safer Way Forward? Time magazine warns "The World's Most Horrifying Drug May Have Claimed Its First U.S. Victim." The horror of this "new" drug, "krokodil," is that it "eats the skin" of those who use it.
Why would anyone use drugs with all their risks, let alone an untested new drug or a drug that reportedly "eats their skin?" Because the reasons that people use drugs are important to them. People use drugs to get high for various reasons (i.e. to feel good, to forget their troubles, to seek the "truth" or the "divine," for excitement or adventure, or to relieve boredom).They use drugs to ward off "dope sickness" (i.e. prevent withdrawal symptoms). They use drugs to enhance their performance of some task (such as studying, flying an airplane or driving a truck for many hours, or hitting homeruns). And people use drugs to fit in socially (to feel relaxed with strangers or to accommodate peer pressure). However, federal, state and international law recognize "medical use" as the sole legitimate reason one can use a drug (other than tobacco, alcohol and caffeine). These non-medical reasons are compellingly important to the tens of millions of Americans who use drugs knowing that their drug use is against the law and harshly punished. Laws and treaties that limit the legal manufacture of drugs only for medical purposes results in all non-medical drug use being more dangerous because it is unprotected by government or market-based regulation and inspection. Now New Zealand is changing that approach.
The dangerous drug du jour, "krokodil," is a version of desomorphine being made informally in Russia. It is a fast acting narcotic derived from codeine which is extracted from opium poppy. Desomorphine is reported to be 8 to 10 times more potent than morphine. (Huffington Post)
New Orleans Film Festival 2013, Day 3: 'Whole Gritty City' shines light on NOLA marching bands There's not an award for the New Orleans-iest movie shown at the New Orleans Film Festival, but if there were, "The Whole Gritty City" would certainly be a contender -- if not a shoo-in -- to win it.
Directed by Richard Barber and Andre Lambertson, it's an impassioned documentary look at the often-unsung heroes of Mardi Gras parades and halftime shows the city over: the local high school marching bands.
Those bands are, of course, vitally important to continuing New Orleans' legendary musical traditions, passing on a love of music from generation to generation. But, as Barber and Lambertson expertly show, they're far more than just music makers. Using emotion and humor -- and, of course, toe-tapping performances -- "The Whole Gritty City" isn't simply a lecture on why marching bands are important to us, the spectator. Rather, it ups the stakes by showing how the bands, and the tireless work of their big-hearted bandleaders, are so immeasurably important to the kids who form the rank and file. (The Times-Picayune)
Arrest in U.S. Shuts Down a Black Market for Narcotics Nearly everything about Silk Road was shrouded in secrecy.
It began in 2011 as an underground online marketplace for drug users, a site where endless varieties of marijuana — as well as LSD, ecstasy and prescription pills — could be bought from sellers across the world. It branched out to other illicit goods, including forged documents, and emerged as a black market version of eBay, where criminals could do business with more than 100,000 customers.
It worked on one basic principle: Everyone remained anonymous. Users could gain access to the network only through software meant to ensure anonymity. Credit cards and PayPal were not accepted. Bitcoins, a virtual currency, were, and even those transactions were scrambled. All that connected them in real life was a name, often fake, and the address to which the package would be sent.
And the mastermind behind Silk Road was cloaked in mystery, known as Dread Pirate Roberts, after a character in the movie “The Princess Bride.” But Silk Road went dark this week, and its owner was unmasked as Ross Ulbricht, 29, who is accused in a criminal complaint, among other things, of asking a man to kill a Silk Road vendor who had threatened to reveal the identities of others who used the site. (New York Times)
Colorado accepts first applications for recreational-marijuana stores Colorado marked a new marijuana milestone Tuesday when it became the first state to begin taking applications from people wanting to open legal recreational-marijuana stores.
The first applicants arrived at the Marijuana Enforcement Division's offices south of downtown Denver shortly before 9 a.m., carrying heavy boxes and bulging binders. Just after 9, Andy Williams, the owner of the Medicine Man medical-marijuana dispensary, stepped into an office conference room to become one of the first to submit an application.
"We're excited," he said. "Some folks are afraid to be first, but we welcome it." (Denver Post)
Teen LSD Party In Mill Valley Turns Into Marin County Blood Ritual An all-night, LSD-fueled party in Mill Valley, California went wildly out of control early Sunday morning, requiring law enforcement officers from no less than five nearby towns to bring everyone back down to earth.
Things started to turn south around 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning, when paramedics received a call that a boy had started suffering from seizures after taking acid. EMTs from the Southern Marin Fire District arrived at the scene to find a 16-year-old boy covered in blood and using "superhuman strength" to block their entrance. The boy became increasingly violent until the paramedics called for backup, bringing in everyone from the Marin County Sheriff's Department to Mill Valley and Tiburon police. A second call for help brought in additional officers from around the area. (SFist)
"Now You See Me": A Movie About the Illuminati Entertainment Industry? "Now You See Me" is about big-time magicians doing incredible magic tricks … and some kind of a bank heist. But mostly, "Now You See Me" is about a shady organization named "The Eye" that controls these entertainers. While most viewers are dizzied with the senseless action of the movie, an important message is being communicated: The occult elite controls the entertainment business … Do you see it?
Warning: Gigantic spoilers ahead!
Most critics had the same complaint about Now You See Me: The story makes absolutely no sense and is completely illogical. I wholeheartedly agree with them. Almost everything that happens during the entire movie is implausible. Even the mind-blowing overarching “master plan” of the movie actually depends on so many variables that could go wrong that it is, in fact, a horrible plan.
While most viewers will try to make sense of the action in Now You See Me, the movie simply keeps repeating to the viewers “The closer you look, the less you see”. It also constantly repeats that magicians always do something to distract the audience while the real magic happens elsewhere. Does this apply in the movie itself? Of course it does. The police chase, the bank heist plot, the explosions are there to keep the viewers’ eyes occupied while the real underlying story unfolds: It is about the entertainment industry, the forces that rule it and those that are used by it. It is also about the audience, the masses that are being fooled by master illusionists. The first lines of the movie say it all:
“Come in close. Closer. Because the more you think you see, the easier it’ll be to fool you. Because what is seeing? You’re looking, but what you’re really doing is filtering, interpreting, searching for meaning. My job? To take that most of gifts you give me, your attention, and use it against you.” (Vigilant Citizen)
Marijuana investors commit more than $1 million after Denver meeting A medical marijuana grower works at his site at a rented Denver metro area warehouse in this November, 2010 file photo. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post)
Denver council passes historic retail marijuana rules and regulations
Federal government seeks banking solution for marijuana businesses
Colorado first state in country to finalize rules for recreational pot
Denver police defend decision to stand down during marijuana giveaway
Feds seek to legalize marijuana industry banking
Long line, but no hassles for free pot giveaway at Civic Center
Former Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer now in the pot regulation game
A Denver meeting of a marijuana industry investment group resulted in more than $1 million in new money being pumped into cannabis businesses, the group announced Wednesday.
Troy Dayton, the CEO of The ArcView Group, said members of the group's investor network are still sealing deals after Tuesday's meeting at the Denver Athletic Club, but he said the total invested is expected to be "well over $1 million." In addition, the investment group's members also raised $22,000 for flood relief, which Dayton said will be donated to the Lyons Community Foundation through a special fund-raising effort set up by the marijuana industry. (Denver Post)
Standing Up for GMOs On 8 August 2013, vandals destroyed a Philippine “Golden Rice” field trial. Officials and staff of the Philippine Department of Agriculture that conduct rice tests for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) had gathered for a peaceful dialogue. They were taken by surprise when protesters invaded the compound, overwhelmed police and village security, and trampled the rice. Billed as an uprising of farmers, the destruction was actually carried out by protesters trucked in overnight in a dozen jeepneys.
The global scientific community has condemned the wanton destruction of these field trials, gathering thousands of supporting signatures in a matter of days.* If ever there was a clear-cut cause for outrage, it is the concerted campaign by Greenpeace and other nongovernmental organizations, as well as by individuals, against Golden Rice. Golden Rice is a strain that is genetically modified by molecular techniques (and therefore labeled a genetically modified organism or GMO) to produce β-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential component of the light-absorbing molecule rhodopsin in the eye. Severe vitamin A deficiency results in blindness, and half of the roughly half-million children who are blinded by it die within a year. Vitamin A deficiency also compromises immune system function, exacerbating many kinds of illnesses. It is a disease of poverty and poor diet, responsible for 1.9 to 2.8 million preventable deaths annually, mostly of children under 5 years old and women. (Science)
'Dabbing:' Dangerous New Drug Seized in Maryland -- "This is the crack of marijuana," one official quoted a user as saying of the concentrated butane hash oil. A drug that is gaining popularity on the West Coast is moving eastward and is expected to become more of a threat in Maryland, according to a state law enforcement official.
That drug, butane hash oil, is such a concentrated form of marijuana that users have been known to pass out while ingesting it, police said.
“It’s what’s described to me by one user, ‘This is the crack of marijuana,’” said Sgt Mike Conner, who works in the criminal enforcement division with the Maryland State Police. He said it is being seized in Maryland on state highways and through the mail system and "eventually it will come here" on a more widespread basis.
“It’s so potent. …. “It’s a popular way of people getting a very, very strong high,” he said.
He said police have discovered butane hash oil, also known as “dabbing,” “honey,” “amber,” “wax” or “ear wax,” being shipped through the postal system to addresses in Maryland, though he said he was unable to specify exact locations. He said drug dealers and users don't know how to extract the powerful oil from marijuana, so they buy it and have it shipped. (Towson Patch)
Radios failed during Navy Yard attack, emergency responders say Radios for federal firefighters and police officers failed during Monday’s mass shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard, according to union representatives for first responders.
Union officials said police and firefighters resorted to using their cellphones and radios from D.C.’s emergency responders to communicate with each other during the attack.
Anthony Meely, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Naval District Washington (NDW) Labor Committee, said police officers who were first on the scene at the Navy Yard had trouble communicating with others in the force via their radios.
Initially, officers found that their radios were working. But as they ventured deeper into the building where the shooting took place, their equipment stopped functioning.
After the first shootout with the gunman, one officer found his radio’s battery was dead, while another officer could not receive a signal from his radio and was unable to call for help. That forced them to use an officer’s cellphone to call others outside the building, according to Meely. (The Hill)
Aaron Alexis Carved 'My ELF Weapon' on the Stock of his Shotgun -- Were ELF waves used to trigger Aaron Alexis to go on a rampage? Officials involved in the investigation of the Navy Yard shooting, have come forward with new insights on the weapon that was used in the shooting. Alexis had carved the words ‘My ELF weapon’ on his Remington 870-Express-Tactical shotgun. ELF stands for ‘extremely low frequency’, and usually refers to communications or weather.
For those who are familiar with this technology, it is well understood that this is used in programs such as H.A.A.R.P. It has also been reported by several government whistle blowers, and even political activists that they suspected a ‘ELF weapon’ was being used on them.
The report about the carvings is most interesting, because it seems to confirm the claim made by Alexis that 3 men were following him using an ELF weapon while he was in his hotel room. He even filed a report to the Newport, Rhode Island Police stating these claims. Aaron stated he had to change his hotel 3 different times because these people were using the microwave machine on him. (IntelliHub)
Navy Yard shooter was on Antidepressant Trazodone—How many more drug induced shootings until lawmakers wake up? It took less than 48 hours to learn that Washington Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis, is another in a long line of psychiatric drug-induced perpetrators.
The New York Times has reported that while in Providence Rhode Island on August 23, 2013, and again, five days later, in Washington, D.C., Alexis had been prescribed Trazodone, an antidepressant that carries an FDA black box warning for suicide, and is documented to cause mania and violent behavior.
Now, twelve innocent people (plus the shooter) are dead at the Washington Navy Yard. Yes, these senseless deaths are sad, tragic, and incomprehensible. And it is time to point the finger at those who are responsible.
Because lawmakers, both at the state and federal level, refuse to address the enormous amount of information revealing the connection between violence and prescription psychiatric drugs, mass shootings, like the massacre which occurred at the Washington Navy Yard, will continue.
Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, and dozens of high profile shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence. (Citizens Commission on Human Rights International)
Navy Yard: Swat team 'stood down' at mass shooting scene One of the first teams of heavily armed police to respond to Monday's shooting in Washington DC was ordered to stand down by superiors, the BBC can reveal.
A tactical response team of the Capitol Police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers.
The Capitol Police department has launched a review into the matter.
Aaron Alexis, 34, killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.
"I don't think it's a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene," a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC. (BBC)
THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT: HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE JOBS TO COMPUTERISATION? Abstract: We examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation. To as-sess this, we begin by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a
Gaussian process classifier. Based on these estimates, we examine expected impacts of future computerisation on US labour market outcomes, with the primary objective of analysing the number of jobs at risk and the relationship between an occupation’s probability of computerisation, wages and educational attainment. According to our estimates, about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk. We further provide evidence that wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relation-
ship with an occupation’s probability of computerisation. Keywords:Occupational Choice, Technological Change, Wage Inequality, Employment, Skill Demand (Oxford University)
DHS internal report: Navy Yard shooting has 'no known connection to terrorism' “[Metropolitan Police are] responding to reports of shots fired at the Washington Navy Yard Base,” the DHS report reads. “The Base in [sic] on lockdown. It remains an active scene and the subject is not in custody. Multiple units responding including SWAT unit at this time. Subject allegedly has multiple weapons. 3 victims at this time. Shots were reported to be fired in Building 197, the cafeteria, on the base. Additional street closures include the 11th St Bridge and M Street are closed between 2nd and 4th Streets,SE. All outbound flights out of DCA are on hold by FAA as a result of this incident.” (The Daily Caller)
DNA Double Take From biology class to "C.S.I.," we are told again and again that our genome is at the heart of our identity. Read the sequences in the chromosomes of a single cell, and learn everything about a person’s genetic information — or, as 23andme, a prominent genetic testing company, says on its Web site, "The more you know about your DNA, the more you know about yourself."
But scientists are discovering that — to a surprising degree — we contain genetic multitudes. Not long ago, researchers had thought it was rare for the cells in a single healthy person to differ genetically in a significant way. But scientists are finding that it’s quite common for an individual to have multiple genomes. Some people, for example, have groups of cells with mutations that are not found in the rest of the body. Some have genomes that came from other people.
"There have been whispers in the matrix about this for years, even decades, but only in a very hypothetical sense," said Alexander Urban, a geneticist at Stanford University. Even three years ago, suggesting that there was widespread genetic variation in a single body would have been met with skepticism, he said. "You would have just run against the wall." (New York Times)
U.S. Attorneys Say Marijuana Memo Won't Affect Their Anti-Pot Work In my Forbes column last week, I cited reasons to doubt the Justice Department's newfound respect for state marijuana laws—in particular, its fork-tongued record on medical marijuana. Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority notes several recent comments from U.S. attorneys that reinforce the case for skepticism. The gist of their reaction to Deputy Attorney General James Cole's August 29 memo, which was widely interpreted as a green light for legalization in Colorado and Washington, is that they plan to proceed pretty much as before. Here is what a spokeswoman for Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, had to say (emphasis added here and later):
The office is evaluating the new guidelines and for the most part it appears that the cases that have been brought in this district are already in compliance with the guidelines. Therefore, we do not expect a significant change.
That is pretty telling, since Haag's crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries has been one of the most aggressive in the country, featuring the closure of city-supported outlets in San Francisco and a forfeiture action aimed at shutting down Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the state's largest dispensary. In a February 2011 letter to Oakland's city attorney, Haag declared, "We will enforce the [Controlled Substances Act] vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law." (Reason)
Exclusive: NSA Using Copyright Claims To Crush Free Speech? Can a government agency block criticism by claiming copyright infringement? Sounds a bit ridiculous but it is happening. The NSA is effectively stopping one small business owner from criticism, claiming that by using its name he has infringed on their copyright.
Can they do that?
This is a Reality Check you won’t see anywhere else.
This is a story I had a hard time believing until I looked into it for myself. Here is the backstory.
Dan McCall is the owner of a company that makes snarky t-shirts. The company is called Liberty Maniacs. Liberty Maniacs carry a number of t-shirts dealing with lack of privacy and the growing police state. They sell on a site called www.Zazzle.com
None of it has been a problem—until Liberty Maniacs released a shirt called “The NSA.”
The image looks like the NSA logo but has a motto that is clearly a pun—“Peeping while you are sleeping”—followed by the phrase “The NSA, the only part of government that actually listens.” (Ben Swann)
Taken -- Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing? On a bright Thursday afternoon in 2007, Jennifer Boatright, a waitress at a Houston bar-and-grill, drove with her two young sons and her boyfriend, Ron Henderson, on U.S. 59 toward Linden, Henderson’s home town, near the Texas-Louisiana border. They made the trip every April, at the first signs of spring, to walk the local wildflower trails and spend time with Henderson’s father. This year, they’d decided to buy a used car in Linden, which had plenty for sale, and so they bundled their cash savings in their car’s center console. Just after dusk, they passed a sign that read “Welcome to Tenaha: A little town with BIG Potential!”
They pulled into a mini-mart for snacks. When they returned to the highway ten minutes later, Boatright, a honey-blond “Texas redneck from Lubbock,” by her own reckoning, and Henderson, who is Latino, noticed something strange. The same police car that their eleven-year-old had admired in the mini-mart parking lot was trailing them. Near the city limits, a tall, bull-shouldered officer named Barry Washington pulled them over.
He asked if Henderson knew that he’d been driving in the left lane for more than half a mile without passing.
No, Henderson replied. He said he’d moved into the left lane so that the police car could make its way onto the highway.
Were there any drugs in the car? When Henderson and Boatright said no, the officer asked if he and his partner could search the car.
The officers found the couple’s cash and a marbled-glass pipe that Boatright said was a gift for her sister-in-law, and escorted them across town to the police station. In a corner there, two tables were heaped with jewelry, DVD players, cell phones, and the like. According to the police report, Boatright and Henderson fit the profile of drug couriers: they were driving from Houston, “a known point for distribution of illegal narcotics,” to Linden, “a known place to receive illegal narcotics.” The report describes their children as possible decoys, meant to distract police as the couple breezed down the road, smoking marijuana. (None was found in the car, although Washington claimed to have smelled it.)
The county’s district attorney, a fifty-seven-year-old woman with feathered Charlie’s Angels hair named Lynda K. Russell, arrived an hour later. Russell, who moonlighted locally as a country singer, told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for “money laundering” and “child endangerment,” in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road. “No criminal charges shall be filed,” a waiver she drafted read, “and our children shall not be turned over to CPS,” or Child Protective Services. (The New Yorker)
Exclusive: IRS manual detailed DEA's use of hidden intel evidence Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigative trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years.
The practice of recreating the investigative trail, highly criticized by former prosecutors and defense lawyers after Reuters reported it this week, is now under review by the Justice Department. Two high-profile Republicans have also raised questions about the procedure.
A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manual instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied by the DEA's Special Operations Division, especially from affidavits, court proceedings or investigative files. The entry was published and posted online in 2005 and 2006, and was removed in early 2007. The IRS is among two dozen arms of the government working with the Special Operations Division, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.
An IRS spokesman had no comment on the entry or on why it was removed from the manual. Reuters recovered the previous editions from the archives of the Westlaw legal database, which is owned by Thomson Reuters Corp, the parent of this news agency. (Reuters)
Trail of U.S. Criminal Investigations Altered to Cover up DEA Unit’s Role as Data Source From a constitutional rights perspective, the latest revelation about the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is even more troubling than what’s been reported on National Security Agency (NSA) activities, according to legal experts.
An investigation by Reuters found a secretive DEA unit known as the Special Operations Division (SOD) has been helping state and local law enforcement with drug busts by providing information collected from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a “massive database of telephone records.”
That database, known as DICE, contains roughly a billion records and is accessed by about 10,000 law enforcement agents across the nation. SOD’s wiretap data usually comes from foreign governments, U.S. intelligence agencies or court-authorized domestic telephone surveillance.
But the disturbing part is the DEA requires police who receive the agency’s help to cover up the fact that they were given the tips—and not even tell defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges that their investigations began with the DEA. (AllGov)
Administration says it's serious about privacy, defends NSA programs The Obama administration says it takes privacy criticisms over its surveillance programs seriously while defending them to Congress and the U.S. public.
Obama met Thursday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers -- both critics and supporters -- to discuss surveillance activities of the National Security Agency. Also, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander was on Capitol Hill to answer House lawmakers' questions in a classified briefing before the August recess, The Hill reported.
"Today's meeting was constructive and the President committed that he and his team would continue to work closely with the Congress on these matters in the weeks and months ahead," the White House said in a statement.
"We will continue to work through the August recess on proposals to improve transparency and strengthen privacy protections to further build the confidence of the American public in our nation's counterterrorism programs," the lawmakers said in a joint statement. (United Press International)
New York woman visited by police after researching pressure cookers online -- Long Island resident said her web search history and 'trying to learn how to cook lentils' prompted a visit from authorities but police say search was prompted by tipoff A New York woman says her family's interest in the purchase of pressure cookers and backpacks led to a home visit by six police investigators demanding information about her job, her husband's ancestry and the preparation of quinoa.
Michele Catalano, who lives in Long Island, New York, said her web searches for pressure cookers, her husband's hunt for backpacks and her "news junkie" son's craving for information on the Boston bombings had combined somewhere in the internet ether to create a "perfect storm of terrorism profiling".
Members of what she described as a "joint terrorism task force" descended on Catalano's home on Wednesday.
Catalano was at work, but her husband was sitting in the living room as the police arrived. She retold the experience in a post on Medium.com on Thursday. She attributed the raid largely to her hunt for a pressure cooker, an item used devastatingly, allegedly by the two Tsarnaev brothers, in Boston, but also used by millions across the country to prepare vegetables while retaining most of their nutrients.
The story later took on a different complexion when police finally explained that the investigation was prompted by searches a family member had made for pressure cooker bombs and backpacks made at his former workplace. The former employer, believing the searches to be suspicious, alerted police. Catalano said the family member was her husband. (London Guardian)
Video of Clashes in Brazil Appears to Show Police Infiltrators Among Protesters Supporters of Brazil's protest movement and the police in Rio de Janeiro spent much of Tuesday arguing online over which side was to blame for violence at a demonstration the night before, at the start of a papal visit.
While neither side was able to produce definitive proof of who instigated the clashes on Monday near the governor’s palace in Rio, shortly after Pope Francis left the area, an examination of video recorded by witnesses, protesters and the police did appear to show undercover officers — called infiltrators by the protesters and intelligence agents by the authorities — at work.
A central piece of evidence in the arguments presented by both sides was 40 seconds of video released by Rio’s military police that showed a man near the front line between the two sides lighting and then hurling a Molotov cocktail, which exploded with a loud bang near officers in riot gear.
Video released by the military police in Rio de Janeiro recorded as a standoff between protesters and officers turned violent on Monday night.
Although the police provided the video to the newspaper O Globo, and issued an invitation to the public via Twitter to watch what the department described as images of the protester who started the confrontation by throwing a Molotov cocktail at officers, within hours the clip was mysteriously removed from YouTube. (New York Times)
How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages
• Secret files show scale of Silicon Valley co-operation on Prism
• Outlook.com encryption unlocked even before official launch
• Skype worked to enable Prism collection of video calls
• Company says it is legally compelled to comply - Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.
The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.
The documents show that:
• Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;
• The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;
• The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
• Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;
• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;
• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport". (London Guardian)
7 Ways The Obama Administration Has Accelerated Police Militarization There were signs that President Barack Obama might rein in the mass militarization of America's police forces after he won the White House. Policing is primarily a local issue, overseen by local authorities. But beginning in the late 1960s with President Richard Nixon, the federal government began instituting policies that gave federal authorities more power to fight the drug trade, and to lure state and local policymakers into the anti-crime agenda of the administration in charge. These policies got a boost during Ronald Reagan's presidency, and then another during President Bill Clinton's years. Under President George W. Bush, all of those anti-drug policies continued, but were supplemented by new war on terrorism endeavors -- yet more efforts to make America's cops look, act and fight like soldiers.
But Obama might have been different. This, after all, was the man who, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004, declared the war on drugs an utter failure. As Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum wrote in a 2011 critique of Obama's drug policy:
Obama stood apart from hard-line prohibitionists even when he began running for president. In 2007 and 2008, he bemoaned America’s high incarceration rate, warned that the racially disproportionate impact of drug prohibition undermines legal equality, advocated a “public health” approach to drugs emphasizing treatment and training instead of prison, repeatedly indicated that he would take a more tolerant position regarding medical marijuana than George W. Bush, and criticized the Bush administration for twisting science to support policy -- a tendency that is nowhere more blatant than in the government’s arbitrary distinctions among psychoactive substances.
Indeed, in his first interview after taking office, Obama's drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, said that the administration would be toning down the martial rhetoric that had dominated federal drug policy since the Nixon years. "Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on a product,' people see a war as a war on them," Kerlikowske told The Wall Street Journal. "We're not at war with people in this country."
This was an notable break from previous administrations. Rhetoric does matter, and for a generation in the U.S., cops had incessantly been told that they were in a war with drug offenders -- this, in a country where about half the adult population admits to having smoked marijuana.
Unfortunately, while not insignificant, the change in rhetoric has largely been only that. The Obama administration may no longer call it a "war," but there's no question that the White House is continuing to fight one. Here's a quick rundown of where and how Obama's policies have perpetuated the garrison state: (Huffington Post)
Why were roadblocks in St. Clair and Bibb counties asking for blood and DNA samples this weekend? St. Clair and Bibb county authorities are confirming there were roadblocks at several locations in their counties Friday and Saturday asking for blood and DNA samples. However, the samples were voluntary and motorists were paid for them as part of a study, they said.
According to Lt. Freddie Turrentine of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, it isn't the first time such roadblocks have occurred in the area.
"They were here in 2007," said Turrentine, the supervisor in charge of the roadblocks, which took place in several locations in St. Clair County Friday night, early Saturday morning and Saturday night and early Sunday morning. "It's just with social media and Facebook now, word of it has just exploded."
Turrentine said the roadblocks were part of a study conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. St. Clair County was asked to participate by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs because it had worked with the group six years ago. (AL.com)
Michael Hastings Rips Obama Drone Speech Journalist Michael Hastings had very harsh words for President Barack Obama on Saturday morning.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki," Hastings ripped Obama's recent foreign policy comments, saying the president had bought into the Bush administration's neoconservative worldview.
On Thursday, Obama gave a major national security speech in which he defended the use of drone strikes as a key counterterrorism tool. Hastings said the speech marked a reversal in Obama's thinking.
"If you compare this speech to the speech he gave in Cairo, in 2009 or his Nobel Prize speech, you see almost a total rejection of the civil rights tradition that President Obama supposedly came out of... and just an embrace of total militarism," Hastings said.
"That speech to me was essentially agreeing with President Bush and Vice President Cheney that we're in this neo-conservative paradigm, that we're at war with a jihadist threat that actually is not a nuisance but the most important threat we're facing today," Hastings continued.
You can read the full text of Obama's speech here, and watch a video of Hastings' remarks above. (MSNBC)
Peaceful Protester Tasered Outside DOJ While Demanding Wall Street Prosecutions (VIDEO) Carmen Pittman had no intention of becoming an activist, but her bank, the Department of Justice and Occupy Atlanta turned her into one. Shortly before her grandmother died in 2011, the family realized that JPMorgan Chase was preparing to foreclose. HuffPost interviewed her late that year for a story on Occupy Atlanta and found a bewildered and desperate 21-year-old, talking about her childhood home in the past tense.
"My every Christmas, my every Thanksgiving, my every birthday, my every dinner was in this house," Pittman said then of a home that had been in her family since 1953. "This was the base home. We could not stay away from this home. This home is my every memory."
A year later, she won the house back from Chase. During the course of her fight, she was arrested for sitting on the floor of a local Chase branch and refusing to leave until the bank turned over the deed.
On Tuesday, she was camped out in front of the Department of Justice in Washington, having been fully transformed into an activist by her experience, asking why more Pittmans have been arrested related to the foreclosure fraud crisis than top Wall Street executives. She was answered with a stun gun.
The video above shows three large men surrounding Pittman as she tries to cover her face. Abruptly, an officer tasers her, and she crumples to the ground before being hauled off and arrested. (Huffington Post)
FBI: Agents died in fall from helicopter off Va. coast Two members of the FBI’s elite counterterrorism unit died Friday while practicing how to quickly drop from a helicopter to a ship using a rope, the FBI announced Monday in a statement.
The statement gave few details regarding the deaths of Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw, other than to say the helicopter encountered unspecified difficulties and the agents fell a “significant distance.”
A law enforcement source told The Pilot the incident happened about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The official blamed bad weather for the incident and said the agents – members of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, based in Quantico – fell into the water. The official said he believed the agents died as a result of the impact rather than drowning.
Glenn McBride, a spokesman for the state medical examiner’s office, said it could be months before his staff can release a final cause and manner of death for the two agents. He said they must wait for the results of routine toxicology tests.
According to a Navy official, the agents were using a ship the FBI had leased from the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. No Navy personnel were involved in the exercise, the Navy official said. - Last month, the team was involved in the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. And in February, it rescued a 5-year-old boy held hostage for six days in an underground bunker in Alabama. (Hampton Roads)
This Marijuana Security Firm Struck Gold After Solving One Of The Toughest Problems In Legalization Canna Security America, led by Dan Williams, might be the furthest thing you think of when you hear the term "marijuana business."
For years, Williams and his partners worked for Envision, a firm that created the security systems at places as mundane as Chipotle Mexican Grill.
But after striking off on their own, Williams and his partners have become the go-to firm for the installation of security systems in marijuana dispensaries across Colorado.
The firm is so good that state legislators writing up regulations for the marijuana business asked Williams and his associates to weigh in on what a pot shop really needs to remain secure.
Security is one of the most crucial pieces of the marijuana industry puzzle. Legalization can only work if the business becomes legitimized and the product is removed from the black market trade.
So without top-tier security systems at every stage of the process, the entire legalization process could break down. (Business Insider)
Manufacturing the Deadhead: A product of social engineering… In 2012 Jan Irvin made an important discovery. In the course of re-publishing The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by the Dead Sea Scrolls scholar John Allegro, Irvin had been researching the letters of one of Allegro’s most prominent critics, Gordon Wasson, at various university archives (including Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, and the Hoover Institute at Stanford) when he came across primary documents–letters actually written by Wasson–showing that he had worked with the CIA.
Though Gordon Wasson was both chairman for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Vice President of Public Relations for J.P. Morgan Bank, he is most famous as the individual who “discovered”, or more accurately popularized, magic mushrooms. An article in Life magazine described fantastic visions and experiences Wasson claimed to have had while under their influence (see Life, May 13, 1957 – Seeking the Magic Mushroom). Wasson’s claims were the first description of the effects of psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms presented to the general public.
Irvin saw troubling implications in his discovery. He was aware, of course, of the CIA’s infamous Project MK-ULTRA, in which the organization had given LSD to unsuspecting U.S. citizens. He also knew of the many conspiracy theories claiming that the government has been somehow involved with the creation of the “drug culture.” He was also aware of Dave McGowan’s research on the drug and music movement that had come out of Laurel Canyon in the 1960‘s, which showed that many of the “rock idols” who created it were the children of members of military intelligence.
So the fact that a member of the CIA had also been involved with the discovery of Psilocybe mushrooms fit into a large collection of troubling linkages between the American government and the drug culture that emerged during the 1960’s. Irvin decided to do further research into the government’s involvement with the “psychedelic movement”. An obvious question he hoped to answer was: Had Wasson been somehow involved with MK-ULTRA?
During this research, Irvin came in contact with another scholar, Joe Atwill, author of Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. Atwill’s research into the origins of Christianity had led him to conclude that Rome had invented the religion. Further, he believed that the Caesars had deliberately brought about the Dark Ages. They had used Christianity as a mind control device to give slavery a religious context intended to make it difficult for serfs to rebel. Like Irvin, Atwill had become suspicious of the U.S. government’s many connections to the psychedelic movement, which reminded him of the Caesars’ intellectual debasing of their population to help bring on the Dark Ages. (Gnostic Media)
The Truthseeker: Boston Bombing What You Aren't Told - Triggers pulled on 4th, 2nd & 1st Amendments distracted by flag waving; clunky FBI propaganda; and unleash the War on Bathtubs. Seek truth from facts with former Marine Corps officer James Fetzer, editor of Storyleak Anthony Gucciardi, the Corbett Report's James Corbett, Questioning the War on Terror author Kevin Barrett, Boston eyewitnesses, and Fmr. Rep. Ron Paul. (Russia Today)
Boston bombing suspect cites U.S. wars as motivation, officials say The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.
From his hospital bed, where he is now listed in fair condition, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has acknowledged his role in planting the explosives near the marathon finish line on April 15, the officials said. The first successful large-scale bombing in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, era, the Boston attack killed three people and wounded more than 250 others.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation, said Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police as the two attempted to avoid capture, do not appear to have been directed by a foreign terrorist organization.
Rather, the officials said, the evidence so far suggests they were “self-radicalized” through Internet sites and U.S. actions in the Muslim world. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has specifically cited the U.S. war in Iraq, which ended in December 2011 with the removal of the last American forces, and the war in Afghanistan, where President Obama plans to end combat operations by the end of 2014.
Obama has made repairing U.S. relations with the Islamic world a foreign policy priority, even as he has expanded drone operations in Pakistan and other countries, which has inflamed Muslim public opinion. (Washington Post)
Chambliss: Law enforcement agency may have had info about Boston bombing in advance Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Channel 2 Action News late Tuesday afternoon that a law enforcement agency may have had information in advance of the Boston bombings that wasn't properly shared.
"There now appears that may have been some evidence that was obtained by one of the law enforcement agencies that did not get shared in a way that it could have been. If that turns out to be the case, then we have to determine whether or not that would have made a difference," Chambliss said.
Though Chambliss would not get into specifics on the information or whether or not the bombing could have been prevented, he told Channel 2 Action News that they will find out if someone dropped the ball.
"Information sharing between agencies is critical. And we created the Department of Homeland Security to supervise that. We created the National Counter Terrorism Center to be the collection point for all of this information, and we're going to get to the bottom of whether or not somebody along the way dropped the ball on some information and did not share it in a way that it should have been shared." (Associated Press)
EXCLUSIVE: Chinese carjack victim of Boston bombers only escaped when they stopped for Red Bull... and they didn't kill him because he 'wasn't American'
Man carjacked by Boston bombing suspects says he was able to escape after Dzhokhar ~ Tsarnaev went into a store for Red Bull and chocolate bars
~ The victim, a Chinese man in his early 20s, ran to a gas station nearby, where he was told a cashier that his captors had a bomb and guns - A man taken hostage by the alleged Boston bombers after he was car jacked was able to escape after they stopped to buy cans of Red Bull at a gas station, MailOnline can reveal.
The carjacking victim, whose name has not been revealed, has told authorities that being Chinese almost certainly saved his life, saying that the brothers told him they would not kill him because he was 'not American.'
The victim was able to jump out of the car and flee while Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, looked to buy cans of the energy drink and chocolate bars.
From interviews with the staff at both gas stations and court records, MailOnline has been able to piece together the frantic events of the early hours of last Friday.
The terrifying sequence of events began when Tamerlan carjacked a Mercedes SUV car at gun point barely 40 minutes after MIT campus police officer Sean Collier was killed as he sat in his patrol car.
Tamerlan jumped into the passenger seat of the Mercedes and told the driver: 'Did you hear about the Boston explosion... I did that.' (UK Daily Mail)
Police State on Display The Boston Marathon bombing has already demonstrated the best and the worst of America for all the world to see.
First, let’s talk about the best. When the bombs detonated, despite the shock and the horror of the blown-off legs and arms, and the blood on street and sidewalk, and without knowing what else might be coming, ordinary citizens jumped into action to try and help the gravely wounded and the dying. Average people with no experience in this kind of mayhem stepped up without hesitation to care for strangers, applying tourniquets, carrying people who couldn’t walk to hospital tents, or just holding a hand and calling for help.
People pored over their cellphone photo records and camera files, looking for photos that could help identify the killers. Without their volunteer actions, the police and federal agencies would have had no clue who they were looking for. With them, it was quick work pinpointing and identifying the two men who appear to have placed the two bombs.
Later, while police failed to catch one of the brothers suspected of having been a bomber, despite placing all of metropolitan Boston under a kind of martial law, it was a citizen who, after the so-called “lock-down” of the city had been lifted, spotted the suspect and alerted police.
Now for the worst.
Let’s start with the martial law. Okay, it wasn’t a declaration, but with police and the Mayor ordering everyone in Boston and its suburbs to stay inside and lock their doors, “answering only to police,” it was virtually the same thing. (Nation of Change)
Suspects Roused by Jihadist Thought ~ Brother Says They Were Motivated by Muslim Anger at U.S.; Fireworks May Be Source of Explosives The investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing yielded two revelations Tuesday: The surviving suspect said he and his brother were inspired by jihadists online, and the brothers bought two large pyrotechnic devices that could shed light on how they built their explosives.
Authorities have been trying to piece together how and why the brothers accused of the April 15 bombing carried out their plans. In limited communication with federal investigators, including handwritten answers, surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said he and his older brother acted alone and without the help of any terrorist group, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The two were acting as jihadists, motivated by Muslim religious anger at the U.S., the surviving brother told interrogators, these officials said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that the brothers were self-trained and self-indoctrinated, and were striking back at the U.S. for killing Muslims. His statements and other evidence have led U.S. authorities so far to believe that the bombers weren't part of a larger terror group, though no firm conclusions have been made. (Wall Street Journal)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Mom Spoke To Tamerlan Before Deadly MIT Shootout The mother of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, spoke to her deceased elder son as the deadly standoff at MIT escalated Thursday night — and explains what her older child said before he died in a hail of bullets in a tense confrontation with police.
Zubeidat Tsarnaev believes her sons are innocent and have been set up as culprits in the Boston Marathon bombings — last week, the distraught and grieving Zubeidat claimed that her elder son had a working relationship with the FBI.
She said during an initial interview:
“Being a mother, what I can say is that I am very sure, I am like 100 percent sure, that is is a setup. My two sons are really innocent, and I know that neither of them never, never has talked about whatever they are saying about [them] now … My son would never do this. It is a setup. He was controlled by FBI like for three, five years. They knew what my son was doing. [...] they were controlling every step of him.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in the MIT shootout, and brother Dzhokhar, who was gravely injured, are accused of a horrific crime and a potential anti-US campaign of attack — but when listening to Zubeidat speak, it’s difficult not to identify to some small degree with the pain of a mother whose sons are at the center of the mayhem. (The Inquisitr)
EXCLUSIVE: Did 'controlling' mother of Boston 'bombers' lead them on the path to radicalization? Uncle claims she allowed hardline cleric to preach to boys at their kitchen table Accused bombers introduced to hardline Islamic views by their mother, an uncle tells MailOnline ~ Firebrand cleric was able to preach at the family's kitchen table ~ Their mother, Zubeidat, described as the 'boss' of the family ~ 'One of the biggest causes is her,' the uncle says of the brothers' beliefs in radical Islam - The two men who allegedly carried out the Boston Marathon bombing were ‘failed’ by their parents, especially their ‘controlling’ mother who encouraged their move towards Islamic radicalization, relatives told MailOnline today.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaeva looked up to mother Zubeidat as an ‘angel’ but, according to one of their uncles, she was the one who allowed them to be introduced to hardline Islamic views.
Ruslan Tsarni claimed that Zubeidat allowed a firebrand cleric into their house to give one-on-one sermons to Tamerlan over the kitchen table during which he claimed he could talk to demons and perform exorcisms.
Family friends also told MailOnline that the boys’ father Anzor never stood up to his wife and revealed that she was the ‘boss’ of their house.
Until now Tamerlan has been blamed for leading his ‘sweet, innocent’ younger brother down the path to radicalism that allegedly ended with them killing three people and injuring 170 at the Boston Marathon last Monday. (UK Daily Mail)
Older Boston Suspect Made Two Trips to Dagestan, Visited Radical Mosque, Officials Say Two years ago, while visiting his family in the Russian region of Dagestan, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the prime suspect in last week’s Boston Marathon bombings, was flagged as a potential extremist by Russian security services. The only evidence they had were his regular visits to a mosque that gets more than its share of attention from police. Since its construction in 2000, the mosque’s broad, emerald-colored dome has been the center of the region’s Salafi community, which adheres to a more orthodox brand of Islam and, over the years, has been a hangout for men killed in shootouts with Russia’s counterterrorism forces.
According to a source close to the Russian security services who specializes in religious radicalism, Tsarnaev attended services at the mosque on Kotrova Street during both of the extended visits he made to Dagestan over the past two years. That is why Russia’s Federal Security Service, the agency better known as the FSB, sent a warning to the FBI in 2011 to be aware of Tsarnaev’s possible links to extremism.
In a statement on April 19, the FBI said it had received information from an unidentified “foreign government” that Tsarnaev was “a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared … to join unspecified underground groups.” In response, the FBI said it interviewed Tsarnaev and checked its records for relevant information, but “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign.” (Time)
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