Missouri police gun down man working to expose corruption.

by Mr. Charrington on September 12, 2012

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12:50pm September 12th, 2012:

I called Troop C of the Missouri State Highway Patrol to solicit more information about the incident that happened the day prior. Not too surprisingly, Al Nothum, the “public information officer”, wasn’t too public with the related information. Just imagine if this situation would have been different.

Do you think the names of the shooter(s) would have been withheld for so long? That the details surrounding an incident that caused a person to be airlifted to a hospital with two shots to the chest and one to the head would be summarized by saying a “confrontation” occurred? Might the shooter(s) in this incident be afforded double standards due to his place of employment?

Jeffrey Weinhaus

It seems we have a developing story. Jeffrey Weinhaus [born October 6, 1966], a member of Central Missouri Copblock, has been gunned down by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Jeff was working on and had a lot of info incriminating info on surrounding Leos and various departments.

A friend and I, that both knew Jeff personally, were discussing this event and this is what he had to say…

“He named highway patrol cops by name. we have been exposing them all. we have been physically trying to wake the masses and start this party before they do. they start it, its game over from the start. he was armed, that is true. he was very fucking scared, and wasn’t leaving home without one. he was going to meet the troopers. there was no warrant, yet the news says there is, so meh. they called him there to meet and shoot him, and they did.”

http://www.copblock.org/20857/jeffreyweinhaus/

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attack on paid for CIA agents

An interior view of the damage at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi September 12, 2012.(Reuters / Esam Al-Fetori)

The US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed when local militia assaulted Washington’s consulate in Benghazi. President Barack Obama has condemned the attack.

Reports from various sources paint an unclear picture of the circumstances surrounding Ambassador John Christopher Steven’s death.

A group of extremist militia members stormed Benghazi’s US consulate on Tuesday night. Stevens may not have been killed in the Tuesday night assault, however, but rather when a second mob attacked his motorcade as it was leaving Benghazi Wednesday morning, the Guardian said.

Libyan officials alleged that Islamist militants fired rockets at Steven’s car, killing him and three other embassy staffers. Witnesses cited by local media claimed that members of the hardline Islamist group Ansar Al-Sharia were among the ranks of the attackers.

President Obama and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen have roundly condemned the attack, and mourned Steven’s death.

“Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi,” Obama said in a statement.

“We apologise to the United States, the people and to the whole world for what happened,” interim Libyan president Mohammed Magarief said in a news conference. “We confirm that no one will escape from punishment and questioning.”

The US diplomatic facility in eastern Libya was evacuated following violent clashes, and a horde of militia members then stormed the building and torched it.

Tunisian Salafis are now calling for an attack on their country’s US embassy, Tunisian media outlets said. Salafis militants had previously attempted to attack the embassy, but were repelled by security forces. Many in the region believe another attack is imminent.

President Obama has ordered increased security for US diplomatic personnel around the world, and a Marine fleet anti-terrorist security team has been dispatched to Libya to boost security.
Film mocking Muhammad sparks violence, worldwide anger among Muslims

The outbreak of violence is part of global Islamic outrage against the American amateur film ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ which was deemed offensive to the Prophet Muhammad. Similar attacks took place at the US embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

The independent film was allegedly produced and directed by Sam Bacile, a 56 year-old Israeli-American real estate developer. According to Ynet, Bacile said he raised $5 million from about 100 Jewish donors, whom he declined to identify. On the eleventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, controversial pastor Terry Jones released a video promoting the film, which portrays the Prophet in what he described as a “satirical” manner.

http://rt.com/news/us-ambassador-libya-killed-946/

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A St. Louis, Michigan police officer intent on enforcing a mandatory leash law repeatedly shot a family’s dog as a neighbor watched in horror.

Via WNEM:

Walmsley says she was outside playing with her own dog when her neighbor’s golden retriever, Scout, ran over into her yard. She says she called the dog over to play, which Scout did, and then Scout ran back over back into his own yard. That’s when Walmsley says a police officer showed up.

Walmsley said the officer asked if the was dog hers. She said “no,” but told the officer Scout wasn’t dangerous. She says the officer tried to catch the dog, who apparently didn’t want to be caught. The dog tried to run away and when cornered by the officer, let out a little growl. Walmsley says she couldn’t believe what happened next.

“I heard ‘pop pop pop pop pop,’ and I thought, ‘what is going on,’ and I [saw] the St. Louis Police Department standing over my dog,” said Scout’s owner.

“He just started shooting him, he just kept shooting him in the head,” said Walmsley. “I said, ‘What are you doing? He’s just a puppy!’”

The dog was taken to the vet were it later died.

The witness says the officer wasn’t provoked and she doesn’t feel his reaction was warranted. Scout’s owners were inside their house during the incident.

The police chief says the shooting was justified because the officer “felt threatened.”

That the dog was the one being threatened and was merely acting in self-defense I guess is in no way relevant.

http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=40914

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ATF’s latest gun grab – they can even take your home.

by Mr. Charrington on September 10, 2012

The Obama administration is making it easier for bureaucrats to take away guns without offering the accused any realistic due process. In a final rule published last week, the Justice Department granted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authority to “seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled-substance abuses.” That means government can grab firearms and other property from someone who has never been convicted or even charged with any crime.

It’s a dangerous extension of the civil-forfeiture doctrine, a surreal legal fiction in which the seized property — not a person — is put on trial. This allows prosecutors to dispense with pesky constitutional rights, which conveniently don’t apply to inanimate objects. In this looking-glass world, the owner is effectively guilty until proved innocent and has the burden of proving otherwise. Anyone falsely accused will never see his property again unless he succeeds in an expensive uphill legal battle.

Such seizures are common in drug cases, which sometimes can ensnare people who have done nothing wrong. James Lieto found out about civil forfeiture the hard way when the FBI seized $392,000 from his business because the money was being carried by an armored-car firm he had hired that had fallen under a federal investigation. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Mr. Lieto was never accused of any crime, yet he spent thousands in legal fees to get his money back.

Law enforcement agencies love civil forfeiture because it’s extremely lucrative. The Department of Justice’s Assets Forfeiture Fund had $2.8 billion in booty in 2011, according to a January audit. Seizing guns from purported criminals is nothing new; Justice destroyed or kept 11,355 guns last year, returning just 396 to innocent owners. The new ATF rule undoubtedly is designed to ramp up the gun-grabbing because, as the rule justification claims, “The nexus between drug trafficking and firearm violence is well established.”

The main problem is that civil forfeiture creates a perverse profit motive, leaving bureaucrats with strong incentives to abuse a process that doesn’t sufficiently protect those who may be wrongly accused. Criminal forfeiture is more appropriate because it’s tied to a conviction in a court with the option of a jury trial and evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Innocents like Mr. Lieto have to fight against the might of the U.S. government with a watered-down standard that stacks the legal deck so prosecutors can get a quick win.

The rule extending civil-forfeiture power to the ATF recognizes this dynamic, stating with perhaps unconscious cynicism that an uncontested civil forfeiture “can be perfected for minimal cost” compared to the “hundreds or thousands of dollars” and “years” needed for judicial forfeiture. Nowhere is there any recognition of the burden placed on innocent citizens stripped of their property, or of the erosion of their civil liberties. In fact, the rule argues that, because in the past the ATF could turn over requests for civil forfeiture to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there has been no change in “individual rights.”

Instead of expanding the profit motive in policing, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. should be working to eliminate it.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/6/atfs-latest-gun-grab/

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Feds seize gold coins worth $80 mln from Pennsylvania family

by Mr. Charrington on September 9, 2012

Pennsylvania government steals family's gold coins

A federal judge has upheld a verdict that strips a Pennsylvania family of their grandfather’s gold coins — worth an estimated $80 million — and has ordered ownership transferred to the US government.

Judge Legrome Davis of the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a 2011 jury decision that a box of 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle coins discovered by the family of Israel Switt, a deceased dealer and collector, is the property of the United States.

In the midst of the Great Depression, then-President Franklin Roosevelt ordered that America’s supply of double eagles manufactured at the Philadelphia Mint be destroyed and melted into gold bars. Of the 445,500 or so coins created, though, some managed to escape the kiln and ended up into the hands of collectors. In 2003, Switt’s family opened a safe deposit back that their grandfather kept, revealing 10 coins among that turned out to be among the world’s most valuable collectables in the currency realm today.

Switt’s descendants, the Langbords, thought the coins had been gifted to their grandfather years earlier by Mint cashier George McCann and took the coins to the Mint to have their authenticity verified, but the government quickly took hold of the items and refused to relinquish the find to the family. The Langbords responded with a lawsuit that ended last year in a victory for the feds.

Because the government ordered the destruction of their entire supply of coins decades earlier, the court found that Switt’s family was illegally in possession of the stash. Even though they may had been presented to the dealer by a Philadelphia Mint staffer, Judge Davis agrees with last year’s ruling that Mr. McCann broke the law.

“The coins in question were not lawfully removed from the United States Mint,” the judge rules.

Despite this decision, though, the attorney representing Switt’s family says the government has no right to remove their own items and transfer property back to the state.

“This is a case that raises many novel legal questions, including the limits on the government’s power to confiscate property.

http://rt.com/usa/news/gold-coins-pennsylvania-family-626/

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Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent ac-tion, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

Filmmaker Kristin Canty’s quest to find healthy food for her four children turned into an educational journey to discover why access to these foods was being threatened. What she found were policies that favor agribusiness and factory farms over small family-operated farms selling fresh foods to their communities. Instead of focusing on the source of food safety problems — most often the industrial food chain — policymakers and regulators implement and enforce solutions that target and often drive out of business small farms that have proven themselves more than capable of producing safe, healthy food, but buckle under the crushing weight of government regulations and excessive enforcement actions.

Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasona-bly burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.

http://undergrounddocumentaries.com/farmageddon-the-unseen-war-on-american-family-farms/

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Cop rapes woman

When a cantina waitress came home crying with bruises on her wrists, arms and legs to tell relatives that she’d been raped by a Houston police officer, they didn’t believe her at first.

She had told them that an officer handcuffed her outside her workplace, drove her to a secluded park and – still in handcuffs – raped her multiple times, including on the trunk of his police cruiser.

“I just never thought that a police officer would do that to a person,” Israel Ramirez, a family member, testified through a translator Tuesday in a Harris County courtroom.

Abraham Joseph, 28, is on trial for two counts of aggravated sexual assault in the alleged Jan. 2 rape, which could result in a prison sentence of five years to life. A Harris County grand jury indicted Joseph on Jan. 20, and Houston Police Department officials said they relieved the officer of duty the same day the woman reported the alleged attack.

The Houston Chronicle does not identify victims of sexual assaults.

On Tuesday, Ramirez and his girlfriend, Ana Riviz, shared what they saw when they asked the victim for proof, initially disbelieving that an officer would harm a civilian.

They drove back to the park where she said the attack happened, finding tire tracks and body fluids, Ramirez said. Back at home, they debated whether to call police.

“She didn’t have any legal documentation,” Ramirez said. “The fear was that they’d come and say, ‘Look, you’re lying,’ then arrest her and deport her.”

Hours later, they called 911. After talking with officers at their home, Ramirez accompanied one officer to Townwood Park to show them what they had found. Riviz went to the hospital with the woman, who is in her 20s.

Defense attorney Nicole DeBorde told the jury in her opening statements Tuesday morning that they undoubtedly would want to scold Joseph because he made several mistakes.

“He compromised his ability to do what he needed to as a police officer,” DeBorde said. “But what Mr. Joseph did not do was anything that was not by agreement.”

DeBorde told the jury that the witnesses and victim “have a great deal to gain” for making such serious allegations against a police officer. The woman has filed a lawsuit against Joseph.

DeBorde also said “little things” in the case don’t add up and are not trivial, but very important to Joseph.

In questioning, she targeted memory differences such as was it Ramirez or Riviz who drove to the park and conflicting statements provided to officers.

Only one officer who arrived later spoke fluent Spanish, so Ramirez, who spoke limited English, translated for the first officer to arrive at their home.

HPD patrol officer Vernon English, one of the first responders to the call, also testified Tuesday, reviewing photos of the tire tracks and dried fluids he found at the park.

As a trainer for new officers, English said he met Joseph on his first day and regularly asked questions about how to fill out different reports. Joseph joined the force in July 2009 and was assigned to the department’s Southwest Patrol Division.

“He was really quiet,” English said. “I was one of the only senior officers to my knowledge he would have a conversation with.”

The plaintiff is expected to testify when the trial continues Wednesday. Advocates say illegal immigrants are often victimized because of their fear of reporting crimes to police.

“She’s going to tell you that she’s the perfect victim for a cop who’s a rapist,” said Harris County Assistant District Attorney Heyward Carter in his opening statement. “Abraham Joseph made one mistake, just one: He underestimated (the victim’s) bravery and her willingness to come forward.”

http://www.chron.com/default/article/Trial-opens-for-ex-HPD-officer-accused-of-raping-3838542.php

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The Gray State: So Close You Can Touch It

by Mr. Charrington on September 5, 2012

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TSA liquid testing inside terminal at Columbus OH Airport Video

by Mr. Charrington on September 5, 2012

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Your cellphone is a tracking device that lets you make calls

by Mr. Charrington on September 5, 2012

Your cellphone is a tracking device that lets you make calls

By Cory Doctorow at 3:55 pm Tuesday, Sep 4

Just in case you had any doubts about how much of a security risk your mobile phone presents, have a read of Jacob Appelbaum’s interview with N+. Jake’s with both the Tor and Wikileaks projects, and has been detained and scrutinized to a fare-thee-well.

Appelbaum: Cell phones are tracking devices that make phone calls. It’s sad, but it’s true. Which means software solutions don’t always matter. You can have a secure set of tools on your phone, but it doesn’t change the fact that your phone tracks everywhere you go. And the police can potentially push updates onto your phone that backdoor it and allow it to be turned into a microphone remotely, and do other stuff like that. The police can identify everybody at a protest by bringing in a device called an IMSI catcher. It’s a fake cell phone tower that can be built for 1500 bucks. And once nearby, everybody’s cell phones will automatically jump onto the tower, and if the phone’s unique identifier is exposed, all the police have to do is go to the phone company and ask for their information.

Resnick: So phones are tracking devices. They can also be used for surreptitious recording. Would taking the battery out disable this capability?

Appelbaum: Maybe. But iPhones, for instance, don’t have a removable battery; they power off via the power button. So if I wrote a backdoor for the iPhone, it would play an animation that looked just like a black screen. And then when you pressed the button to turn it back on it would pretend to boot. Just play two videos.

Resnick: And how easy is it to create something like to that?

Appelbaum: There are weaponized toolkits sold by companies like FinFisher that enable breaking into BlackBerries, Android phones, iPhones, Symbian devices and other platforms. And with a single click, say, the police can own a person, and take over her phone.

You may be saying here, “Huh, I’m sure glad that I’m not doing anything that would get me targeted by US spooks!” Think again. First, there’s the possibility that you’ll be incorrectly identified as a bad guy, like Maher Arar< who got a multi-year dose of Syrian torture when the security apparatus experienced a really bad case of mistaken identity.

But second, remember that whatever governments can do with technology, organized criminals can do too (this is doubly true of back-doors that governments mandate in telecoms equipment and software to make spying easier — they can be used by anyone, not just "good guys").

And finally, remember that whatever the leet haxxors of the mafia are doing today on the cutting edge will be reduced to a short script that can be run by fatfingered noobie script kids tomorrow, in automated attacks that are indiscriminately ranged against tens of millions of devices in the hopes of finding a few that are vulnerable.

Or as Jake says:

The first response people have is, whatever, I’m not important. And the second is, they’re not watching me, and even if they were, there’s nothing they could find because I’m not doing anything illegal. But the thing is, taking precautions with your communications is like safe sex in that you have a responsibility to other people to be safe—your transgressions can fuck other people over. The reality is that when you find out it will be too late. It’s not about doing a perfect job, it’s about recognizing you have a responsibility to do that job at all, and doing the best job you can manage, without it breaking down your ability to communicate, without it ruining your day, and understanding that sometimes it’s not safe to undertake an action, even if other times you would. That’s the education component.

So security culture stuff sounds crazy, but the technological capabilities of the police, especially with these toolkits for sale, is vast. And to thwart that by taking all the phones at a party and putting them in a bag and putting them in the freezer and turning on music in the other room—true, someone in the meeting might be a snitch, but at least there’s no audio recording of you.

http://boingboing.net/2012/09/04/your-cellphone-is-a-tracking-d.html

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