Trump: Now an Agent of the American Police State

If you thought the militarized police response to Ferguson and Baltimore was bad, brace yourselves. Many police, including beat cops, now routinely carry assault rifles. Combined with body armor and other apparel, many officers look more and more like combat troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks to President Trump, this transformation of America into a battlefield is only going to get worse. To be fair, Trump did not create this totalitarian nightmare. However, he has legitimized it and, in so doing, has also accelerated the pace at which we fall deeper into the clutches of outright tyranny.

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Show Notes

“Battlefield Main Street: Pentagon Project Lets Police Forces – Even in Small Towns – Arm Themselves With Military Gear,” The Daily

“Congress Quietly Passed a Bill Allowing Warrantless Searches of Homes—Only 1% Opposed It,” The Free Thought Project

“Trump to Fully Restore Military Surplus Transfers to Police,” The New York Times

“Trump lifts ban on military gear to local police forces,” USA Today

“From Mayberry to Ferguson, the rise of the modern cop,” The Washington Post

“Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons,” The Daily Beast

“America’s police are looking more and more like the military,” The Guardian

“West Lafayette police acquire military vehicle,” Indy Star

“The cops at Ohio State have an armored fighting vehicle now,” The Daily Caller

“Police Are Getting the Military’s Leftover Armored Trucks,” The New York Times

“Drawing Down: How To Roll Back Police Militarization In America,” The Huffington Post

“Seattle police department has network that can track all Wi-Fi enabled devices,” Raw Story

“Little oversight seen in military surplus giveaways,” Associated Press

“The militarization of U.S. police forces,” Reuters

“Does military equipment lead police officers to be more violent? We did the research,” The Washington Post

“The Shocking Tales of 11 of the Most Over the Top US Police Paramilitary Raids and the Innocent People They Victimized,” Alternet

“Why Are Police Unions Blocking Reform?” The New Yorker

“The USA as a Failed State: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me,’” Counterpunch

Battlefield America Is the New Normal: We’re Not in Mayberry Anymore

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins and Outs of the Right to Protest

We are witnessing a politically correct philosophy at play, one shared by both the extreme left and the extreme right, which aims to stifle all expression that doesn’t fit within their parameters of what they consider to be “acceptable” speech. There are all kinds of labels put on such speech—it’s been called politically incorrect speech, hate speech, offensive speech, and so on—but really, the message being conveyed is that you don’t have a right to express yourself if certain people or groups don’t like or agree with what you are saying.  Hence, we have seen the caging of free speech in recent years, through the use of so-called “free speech zones” on college campuses and at political events, the requirement of speech permits in parks and community gatherings, and the policing of online forums. Clearly, this elitist, monolithic mindset is at odds with everything for which America is supposed to stand.

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Show Notes

James Madison, “FEDERALIST NO. 10 (1787)”

Benjamin Franklin, “Silence Dogood, No. 8,” The New-England Courant (Jul. 9, 1722)

 “Constitutional Q&A: The Right to Protest,” The Rutherford Institute

Second Amendment

 First Amendment

United States v. Schwimmer, U.S. Supreme Court (1929)

Texas v. Johnson, 491 US 397 - Supreme Court 1989

 DeJonge v. Oregon

 Lloyd Corp., Ltd. v. Tanner

 City of LaDue v. Gileo

 United States v. Grace

 Ward v. Rock Against Racism

 Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western N.Y.

Snyder v. Phelps

Lewis v. Wilson

 Helms v. Zubaty

 Acosta v. City of Costa Mesa

 Gilles v. Blanchard

 Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Comm. Sch. Dist.

 Boardley v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior

 Forsyth County, Ga. v. Nationalist Movement

 Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham

 Thomas v. Chi. Park Dist.

 Hague v. Comm. for Indus. Org.

 Jones v. Parmley

 Cole v. Arkansas

 Chesney v. City of Jackson

United States v. Masciandaro

Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Concealed Carry”

Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Open Carry”

“Supreme Court Turns Down Case on Carrying Guns in Public,” The New York Times

“The Competing Messages:  The Protests; Demonstrators Steer Clear Of Their Designated Space,” The New York Times

“Chilling First Amendment Activity,” Medium

“Protesters Flood Streets, and Trump Offers a Measure of Praise,” The New York Times

“To fight bigotry and hate, don’t muzzle it. There’s a better way,” The Washington Post

Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins and Outs of the Right to Protest

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins & Outs of the Right to Protest

“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.” — Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

There was a time in this country, back when the British were running things, that if you spoke your mind and it ticked off the wrong people, you’d soon find yourself in jail for offending the king.

Reacting to this injustice, when it was time to write the Constitution, America’s founders argued for a Bill of Rights, of which the First Amendment protects the right to free speech. James Madison, the father of the Constitution, was very clear about the fact that he wrote the First Amendment to protect the minority against the majority.

What Madison meant by minority is “offensive speech.”

Unfortunately, we don’t honor that principle as much as we should today. In fact, we seem to be witnessing a politically correct philosophy at play, one shared by both the extreme left and the extreme right, which aims to stifle all expression that doesn’t fit within their parameters of what they consider to be “acceptable” speech.

There are all kinds of labels put on such speech—it’s been called politically incorrect speech, hate speech, offensive speech, and so on—but really, the message being conveyed is that you don’t have a right to express yourself if certain people or groups don’t like or agree with what you are saying.

Hence, we have seen the caging of free speech in recent years, through the use of so-called “free speech zones” on college campuses and at political events, the requirement of speech permits in parks and community gatherings, and the policing of online forums.

Clearly, this elitist, monolithic mindset is at odds with everything America is supposed to stand for.

Indeed, we should be encouraging people to debate issues and air their views. Instead, by muzzling free speech, we are contributing to a growing underclass of Americans—many of whom have been labeled racists, rednecks and religious bigots—who are being told that they can’t take part in American public life unless they “fit in.”

Remember, the First Amendment acts as a steam valve. It allows people to speak their minds, air their grievances and contribute to a larger dialogue that hopefully results in a more just world. When there is no steam valve to release the pressure, frustration builds, anger grows and people become more volatile and desperate to force a conversation.

The attempt to stifle certain forms of speech is where we go wrong.

In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that it is “a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment...that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.” For example, it is not a question of whether the Confederate flag represents racism but whether banning it leads to even greater problems, namely, the loss of freedom in general.

Along with the constitutional right to peacefully (and that means non-violently) assemble, the right to free speech allows us to challenge the government through protests and demonstrations and to attempt to change the world around us—for the better or the worse—through protests and counterprotests.

As always, knowledge is key.

The following Constitutional Q&A, available in more detail at The Rutherford Institute (www.rutherford.org), is a good starting point.

Q:        WHAT LAWS GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO PROTEST?

A:         The First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Protesting is anexercise of these constitutional rights because it involves speaking out, by individual people or those assembled in groups, about matters of public interest and concern.

Q:        WHERE CAN I ENGAGE IN PROTEST ACTIVITY?

A:         The right to protest generally extends to places that are owned and controlled by the government, although not all government-owned property is available for exercising speech and assembly rights. However, beyond public or government property, a person cannot claim a First Amendment right to protest and demonstrate on property that is privately owned by someone else. This also applies to private property that is generally open to the public, such as a shopping mall or shopping center, although these areas sometimes allow demonstrations and other free speech activity with permission from the owner. You are also entitled to engage in protest activities on land you own.  The Supreme Court has ruled that the government may not forbid homeowners from posting signs on their property speaking out on a political or social issue.

Q:        WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS TO PROTEST IN A TRADITIONAL PUBLIC FORUM?

A:         Places historically associated with the free exercise of expressive activities, such as streets, sidewalks and parks, are traditional public forums and the government’s power to limit speech and assembly in those places is very limited. The government may not impose an absolute ban on expression and assembly in traditional public forums except in circumstances where it is essential to serve a compelling government interest.  However, expression and assembly in traditional public forums may be limited by reasonable time, place and manner regulations. Examples of reasonable regulations include restrictions on the volume of sound produced by the activity or a prohibition on impeding vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  To be a valid time, place and manner regulation, the restriction must not have the effect of restricting speech based on its content and it must not be broader than needed to serve the interest of the government.

Q:        CAN I PICKET AND/OR DISTRIBUTE LEAFLETS AND OTHER TYPES OF LITERATURE ON PUBLIC SIDEWALKS?

A:         Yes, a sidewalk is considered a traditional public forum where you can engage in expressive activities, such a passing out literature or speaking out on a matter of public concern. In exercising that right, you must not block pedestrians or the entrances to buildings. You may not physically or maliciously detain someone in order to give them a leaflet, but you may approach them and offer it to them.

Q:        CAN MY FREE SPEECH BE RESTRICTED BECAUSE OF WHAT I SAY, EVEN IF IT IS CONTROVERSIAL?

A:         No, the First Amendment protects speech even if most people would find it offensive, hurtful or hateful. Speech generally cannot be banned based upon its content or viewpoint because it is not up to the government to determine what can and cannot be said. A bedrock principle of the First Amendment is that the government may not prohibit expression of an idea because society finds it offensive or disagreeable. Also, protest speech also cannot be banned because of a fear that others may react violently to the speech.  Demonstrators cannot be punished or forbidden from speaking because they might offend a hostile mob. The Supreme Court has held that a “heckler’s veto” has no place in First Amendment law.

Q:        HOW DO THESE RIGHTS APPLY TO PUBLIC PLACES I TYPICALLY VISIT?

A:         Your rights to speak out and protest in particular public places will depend on the use and purpose of the place involved.  For example, the lobbies and offices of public buildings that are used by the government are generally not open for expressive activities because the purpose of these buildings is to carry out public business. Protesting would interfere with that purpose.  Ironically, the meetings of a governmental body, such as a city council or town board, are not considered public forums open for protest activities because the purpose of the meeting is generally to address public business that is on the agenda.  However, some government councils and boards set aside a time at the meeting when the public can voice their complaints.

The grounds of public colleges and universities are generally considered available for assembly and protest by students and other members of the institution’s community.  However, those who are not students, faculty or staff of the institution may be denied access to the campus for speech and protest activities under rules issued by the school.

Public elementary and secondary school grounds also are not considered places where persons can engage in assembly and protest.  However, students at these schools do not lose their right to free speech when they enter the school. The First Amendment protects the right of students to engage in expressive acts of protest, such as wearing armbands to demonstrate opposition to a war, that are not disruptive to the school environment.

Q:        DO I NEED A PERMIT IN ORDER TO CONDUCT A PROTEST?

A:         As a general rule, no. A person is not required to obtain the consent or permission of the government before engaging in activities that are protected by the First Amendment.  One of the main reasons for that constitutional provision was to forbid any requirement that citizens obtain a license in order to speak out.  The government cannot require that individuals or small groups obtain a permit in order to speak or protest in a public forum.

However, if persons or organizations want to hold larger rallies and demonstrations, they may be required by local laws to obtain a permit.  The Supreme Court has recognized that the government, in order to regulate competing uses of public forums, may impose a permit requirement on those wishing to hold a parade or rally.  Government officials cannot simply prohibit a public assembly according to their discretion, but the government can impose restrictions on the time, place, and manner of peaceful assembly, provided that constitutional safeguards are met. Such time, place and manner restrictions can take the form of requirements to obtain a permit for an assembly.

Whether an assembly or demonstration requires a permit depends on the laws of the locality.  A permit certainly is required for any parade because it would involve the use of the streets and interfere with vehicle traffic. A permit to hold an event in other public places typically is required if the gathering involves more than 50 persons or the use of amplification.

Q:        DO COUNTER-DEMONSTRATORS HAVE FREE SPEECH RIGHTS?

A:         Yes, they do. Just because counter-demonstrators oppose you and the viewpoint of your demonstration does not mean they have any less right to speak out and demonstrate. However, the same rules apply to counter-demonstrators as apply to the original assembly. The group cannot be violent and must assemble and protest in an appropriate place and manner.

Q:        WHAT CAN'T I DO IN EXERCISING MY RIGHTS TO PROTEST?

A:         The Supreme Court of the United States has held that the First Amendment protects the right to conduct a peaceful public assembly. The First Amendment does not provide the right to conduct a gathering at which there is a clear and present danger of riot, disorder, interference with traffic on public streets or other immediate threat to public safety. Laws that prohibit people from assembling and using force or violence to accomplish unlawful purposes are permissible under the First Amendment.

Q:       AM I ALLOWED TO CARRY A WEAPON OR FIREARM AT A DEMONSTRATION OR PROTEST?

A:         Your right to have a weapon with you when you protest largely depends on what is allowed by state law and is unlikely to be protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee to freedom of speech. Not all conduct can be considered “speech” protected by the First Amendment even if the person engaging in the conduct intends to express an idea. Most courts have held that the act of openly carrying a weapon or firearm is not expression protected by the First Amendment.

The right to possess a firearm is protected by the Second Amendment, and all states allow carrying a concealed weapon in public, although most require a permit to do so. Some states allow persons to openly carry firearms in public. However, it is not yet settled whether the Second Amendment guarantees the right to possess a firearm in public. Thus, the right to carry a firearm at a demonstration or protest is a matter that depends on what is allowed under state law. Carrying other weapons, such as stun guns, which are not firearms also is subject to restrictions imposed by  state law. Possession of weapons also may be prohibited in certain places where demonstrations might take place, such as a national park.

Even if possession of weapons is allowed, their presence at demonstrations and rallies can be intimidating and provocative and does not help in achieving a civil and peaceful discourse on issues of public interest and concern. Demonstrations often relate to issues raising strong feelings among competing groups, and the presence of counter-demonstrators makes conflict likely.  In these situations, where the purpose of the gathering is to engage in speech activities, firearms and other weapons are threatening, result in the suppression of speech and are contrary to the purpose of the First Amendment to allow all voices to be heard on matters of public importance.

Q:        WHAT CAN’T THE POLICE DO IN RESPONDING TO PROTESTERS?

A:         In recent history, challenges to the right to protest have come in many forms. In some cases, police have cracked down on demonstrations by declaring them “unlawful assemblies” or through mass arrests, illegal use of force or curfews. Elsewhere, expression is limited by corralling protesters into so-called “free-speech zones.” New surveillance technologies are increasingly turned on innocent people, collecting information on their activities by virtue of their association with or proximity to a given protest. Even without active obstruction of the right to protest, police-inspired intimidation and fear can chill expressive activity and result in self-censorship. All of these things violate the First Amendment and are things the police cannot do to censor free speech. Unless the assembly is violent or violence is clearly imminent, the police have limited authority under the law to shut down protesters.

Clearly, as evidenced by the recent tensions in Charlottesville, Va., we’re at a crossroads concerning the constitutional right to free speech.

As Benjamin Franklin warned, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”

It must be emphasized that it was for the sake of preserving individuality and independence that James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely.

This freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society. Conversely, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American Peoplewhen we fail to abide by Madison’s dictates about greater tolerance for all viewpoints, no matter how distasteful, the end result is always the same: an indoctrinated, infantilized citizenry that marches in lockstep with the governmental regime.

Some of this past century’s greatest dystopian literature shows what happens when the populace is transformed into mindless automatons. For instance, in George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.”

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.

This is the final link in the police state chain.

If ever there were a time for us to stand up for the right to speak freely, even if it’s freedom for speech we hate, the time is now.

# # # #

 

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. He is the president and spokesperson of the Rutherford Institute. Mr. Whitehead is the author of numerous books on a variety of legal and social issues, including Battlefield America: The War on the American People.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law, and served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971.

Tear Gas, Guns and Riot Squads: The Police State’s Answer to Free Speech Is Brute Force

Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America. It’s all a lie. There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force. What is this language of force? Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality. This is not the language of freedom. This is not even the language of law and order. Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo.

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Show Notes

The Militarization of American Police, The Leonard Lopate Show

 “Police Are Using Military Weapons to Occupy Ferguson, Missouri,” Slate

Kettling

 “The lessons of Baltimore, and Ferguson, and too many places,” Los Angeles Times

“Victory in Unlawful Mass Arrest During 2004 RNC the Largest Protest Settlement in History,” NYCLU

“Militarized Police Are Cracking Down on Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters,” The Nation

 “KKK rally peaceful, police tear gas protesters afterward,” C-Ville Weekly

“Protesters Surround KKK Gathering In Charlottesville,” NPR

“Right to protest also means freedom from militarized police,” USA Today

“Does military equipment lead police officers to be more violent? We did the research,” The Washington Post

“Will the Growing Militarization of Our Police Doom Community Policing?” COPS

“Police fire tear gas at crowd protesting Charlottesville KKK rally,” Roanoke Times

“‘Comply or Die’ policing must stop,” Daily KOS

“I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me,” The Washington Post

“Contempt of cop, America’s defiance revolution,” CBC News

“How To Break Up a Peaceful Protest Peacefully,” Forbes

Tear Gas, Guns and Riot Squads: The Police State’s Answer to Free Speech Is Brute Force

Battlefield America: The War on the American People

Rutherford Institute

Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: FBI Infiltrates Peaceful Activists, Again!

Peter B. Collins Presents Hendrik Voss

For many years, peaceful protesters have gathered each November at Fort Benning, Georgia to advocate for the closure of America’s torture academy, the School of the Americas (renamedWestern Hemisphere Institute for Security and Cooperation). Hendrik Voss explains that his organization, School of the Americas Watch, has accessed FBI documents showing that undercover operatives have infiltrated the group for at least 10 years on the pretext of potential violence. The files show that the infiltrators repeatedly reported that the activists “never exhibited a propensity for violence”, yet peaceful First Amendment activists continued to be monitored.

*Hendrik Voss is national organizer for School of the Americas Watch. Get details on the Fort Benning protests November 20-22 here.

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Processing Distortion: “How “Anti-Terror” Police State Systems Were Used to Roll Up Occupy”

Peter B. Collins Presents Beau Hodai

Beau Hodai is an independent investigative journalist who makes heavy use of public documents in his reporting. He describes how he was booted from covering an ALEC conference in Phoenix, and later learned that similar methods were used to monitor, infiltrate and disrupt Occupy Phoenix. We touch on the FBI's Operation Tripwire and go into detail on his report Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street. We discuss the alliance of our expanded police networks with corporate security forces utilizing the Patriot Act and other enabling laws to gather intelligence on First Amendment activists, and Hodai’s latest investigation of deep conflicts of interest of Mark Brnovich, a candidate for Arizona Attorney General who was a lobbyist for corporate prison operator CCA.

* Beau Hodai is a freelance reporter and investigative journalist who contributes to PR Watch. He is the founder of DBA Press.

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The EyeOpener- Health Freedom & Freedom of Speech

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Of the many constitutionally-guaranteed rights of the American public that the federal government has sought to destroy in recent decades, the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech is arguably the most important. If the ability for citizens to express themselves in the political, personal and commercial spheres is infringed, abridged, restricted or regulated by government agencies, this is one of the most obvious hallmarks of tyranny.

The Food and Drug Administration has appointed itself arbiter of what commercial speech is acceptable or unacceptable when it comes to marketing vitamins, supplements, foods, drugs, and other health products. Like every other form of government-imposed authority, however, that position of arbitration has been abused, corrupted, and, ultimately, used as an instrument to shut down competition from companies who threaten the business interests of the lobbyists and industry insiders that themselves populate the FDA.

In this episode of our EyeOpener Report James Corbett presents the corruption infested and special interest driven FDA’s tyrannical powers in setting impossible rules on the marketplace, placing prior restrictions on the speech of health product manufacturers, and inserting itself as the umpire in the arena of the marketplace by using consumer safety as the ostensible reason.

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Press Release: FBI Attempts to Hold Sibel Edmonds’ Book Hostage- Illegally & Unconstitutionally

Investigation Shows Agency Used Contract to Censor Whistleblowers

PR1The following press release was issued today by my attorneys and the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC). For the full release visit their website at http://www.whistleblowers.org

Washington, D.C. April 10, 2012. Today, the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) revealed that the FBI required employees to sign employment contracts that are illegal under Federal law. The NWC launched the investigation in response to a nearly yearlong campaign by the FBI to prevent the publication of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ new book, Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. [Read more...]

Podcast Show #43

The Boiling Frogs Presents Stephen Kohn

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Stephen Kohn joins us to discuss his book The Whistleblower's Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing what’s Right and Protecting Yourself. He explains whistleblowing as a civil liberties and a First Amendment issue, the role of whistleblowers as enablers of congressional oversight, and discusses the legal and political implications involved in whistleblowing. Mr. Kohn presents us with astounding statistics and reports illustrating how whistleblowing is far more effective than regulatory authorities, and how contributions by corporate whistleblowers uncover far more fraud and corruption within their companies than all the government police and regulatory authorities combined. Stephen Kohn talks about the differences and the existing double standards between corporate and government whistleblowers, the escalation of retaliation against national security whistleblowers under the Obama administration, the travesty of justice and constitutional violations in the Bradley Manning Case, upcoming legislation in Congress to further penalize whistleblowers, and more!

stevekohnStephen M. Kohn is the Executive Director of National Whistleblowers Center, one of the nation’s foremost experts in whistleblower protection law, and the author of The Whistleblower's Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What's Right and Protecting Yourself, and the first legal treatise on whistleblowing, Protecting Environmental and Nuclear Whistleblowers: A Litigation Manual. Since 1984, Mr. Kohn has successfully represented whistleblowers in numerous cases (both at trial and on appeal), has testified in Congress on behalf of whistleblower reforms, and has worked directly with the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee on drafting the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate whistleblower law. Mr. Kohn has a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law; an M.A. in Political Science from Brown University; and a B.S. in Social Education from Boston University. In addition to his books on whistleblower law, Mr. Kohn is the author of Jailed for Peace and American Political Prisoners.

Here is our guest Stephen Kohn unplugged!

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The Eloquent & Powerful Summation of the Bradley Manning Case

Legal Scholar Steve Kohn on Bradley Manning & the Travesty of Justice

manningLast Tuesday Peter B Collins and I interviewed Mr. Stephen M. Kohn of National Whistleblower Center on his recently released book, corporate and government whistleblowers, whistleblower laws, and upcoming legislation. During the interview we asked him about the Bradley Manning case. Mr. Kohn’s sincere, eloquent and passionate response was one of, if not the best, summations we had ever heard. The entire interview will be posted next week, on Friday, May 13. However, we decided to prepare the following brief clip which covers Mr. Kohn’s powerful response to the Manning case, and share it with you right away.

Please listen to the following statements on the Bradley Manning travesty of justice by Steve Kohn and let it sink in. You may want to listen to it again; if so, please do. Then, think about it; think about our Constitution and where we are today, and ask yourself the following question: our citizenship oath requires that we support and defend our Constitution against all enemies- foreign and domestic; who or what should be considered the biggest enemy of our Constitution today?

Here is Mr. Stephen M. Kohn on Bradley Manning!

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Is the First Amendment Dead & Gone? You bet!

…and so are so many other rights

I just received an email with a link to the following clip, and with the link came the headline that read:

 

‘Wikileaks Has Proven the First Amendment is Dead & Gone!’

Is the First Amendment dead & gone? You bet! Has it been dead and gone for a while now? You bet! Where have these people been? Don’t take me wrong. I agree with what’s being said, and I’m so very glad that it is being said; finally. Maybe it took this latest war (this has been resembling a war more and more every day) to get some people see the reality on the ground-make that, in our nation…and while you are at it, make that for almost a decade. So why is this the case?

Please chime in with your thoughts on this, because the last time I checked:

The Fourth Amendment was Dead & Gone: Think NSA illegal eavesdropping; think FBI national security letters… [Read more...]

Podcast Show #30

The Boiling Frogs Presents Carlos Miller

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Carlos Miller provides us with an overview of the history, purpose and mission of his award-winning website Photography is Not a Crime. He talks about First Amendment violations against photographers throughout the country, which occur on a shockingly regular basis, and illustrates this alarming trend with documented incidents and examples. Mr. Miller tells us about abuses and misinterpretation of State Wiretapping Laws, the recent attention given to these abuses by the mainstream media and the previous lack of coverage, the increased power of ordinary citizens due to the internet, and more.

CMillerCarlos Miller is a multimedia journalist based in Miami. In 2007, after he was arrested for photographing a group of Miami police officers against their wishes, Miller launched Photography is Not a Crime. He was charged with nine misdemeanors and spent 16 hours in the county jail. Miller, a 10-year veteran reporter, originally intended to document his trial with his blog, but soon began documenting abuses against other photographers throughout the country. Some of these incidents ended in arrest. Most of them were intimidation against the photographer. But each and every one of these incidents was a complete First Amendment violation against the photographer. Over a year's time, Photography is Not a Crime has become a trusted destination for First Amendment news as it relates to photography, videography and writing, and the site has been mentioned in publications such as the New York Times, Fox News, The Chicago-Sun Times, The Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the Miami New Times, who called his blog one of “Miami’s best blogs”. When Miller went to trial last year, he was acquitted of all charges except resisting arrest without violence. Acting as his own lawyer, Miller appealed the decision and that case is currently pending.

Here is our guest Carlos Miller unplugged!

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