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Old 12-23-05   #1
Synikul
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Secret surveilance

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EXCLUSIVE: Nuclear Monitoring of Muslims Done Without Search Warrants
Posted 12/22/05
By David E. Kaplan

In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts.

Federal officials familiar with the program maintain that warrants are unneeded for the kind of radiation sampling the operation entails, but some legal scholars disagree. News of the program comes in the wake of revelations last week that, after 9/11, the Bush White House approved electronic surveillance of U.S. targets by the National Security Agency without court orders. These and other developments suggest that the federal government's domestic spying programs since 9/11 have been far broader than previously thought.

The nuclear surveillance program began in early 2002 and has been run by the FBI and the Department of Energy's Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST). Two individuals, who declined to be named because the program is highly classified, spoke to U.S. News because of their concerns about the legality of the program. At its peak, they say, the effort involved three vehicles in Washington, D.C., monitoring 120 sites per day, nearly all of them Muslim targets drawn up by the FBI. For some ten months, officials conducted daily monitoring, and they have resumed daily checks during periods of high threat. The program has also operated in at least five other cities when threat levels there have risen: Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York, and Seattle.

FBI officials expressed concern that discussion of the program would expose sensitive methods used in counterterrorism. Although NEST staffers have demonstrated their techniques on national television as recently as October, U.S. News has omitted details of how the monitoring is conducted. Officials from four different agencies declined to respond on the record about the classified program: the FBI, Energy Department, Justice Department, and National Security Council. "We don't ever comment on deployments," said Bryan Wilkes, a spokesman for DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages NEST.

In Washington, the sites monitored have included prominent mosques and office buildings in suburban Maryland and Virginia. One source close to the program said that participants "were tasked on a daily and nightly basis," and that FBI and Energy Department officials held regular meetings to update the monitoring list. "The targets were almost all U.S. citizens," says the source. "A lot of us thought it was questionable, but people who complained nearly lost their jobs. We were told it was perfectly legal."

The question of search warrants is controversial, however. To ensure accurate readings, in up to 15 percent of the cases the monitoring needed to take place on private property, sources say, such as on mosque parking lots and private driveways. Government officials familiar with the program insist it is legal; warrants are unneeded for monitoring from public property, they say, as well as from publicly accessible driveways and parking lots. "If a delivery man can access it, so can we," says one.

Georgetown University Professor David Cole, a constitutional law expert, disagrees. Surveillance of public spaces such as mosques or public businesses might well be allowable without a court order, he argues, but not private offices or homes: "They don't need a warrant to drive onto the property -- the issue isn't where they are, but whether they're using a tactic to intrude on privacy. It seems to me that they are, and that they would need a warrant or probable cause."

Cole points to a 2001 Supreme Court decision, U.S. vs. Kyllo, which looked at police use -- without a search warrant -- of thermal imaging technology to search for marijuana-growing lamps in a home. The court, in a ruling written by Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled that authorities did in fact need a warrant -- that the heat sensors violated the Fourth Amendment's clause against unreasonable search and seizure. But officials familiar with the FBI/NEST program say the radiation sensors are different and are only sampling the surrounding air. "This kind of program only detects particles in the air, it's non directional," says one knowledgeable official. "It's not a whole lot different from smelling marijuana."

Officials also reject any notion that the program specifically has targeted Muslims. "We categorically do not target places of worship or entities solely based on ethnicity or religious affiliation," says one. "Our investigations are intelligence driven and based on a criminal predicate."

Among those said to be briefed on the monitoring program were Vice President Richard Cheney; Michael Brown, then-director of the Federal Emergency Management Administration; and Richard Clarke, then a top counterterrorism official at the National Security Council. After 9/11, top officials grew increasingly concerned over the prospect of nuclear terrorism. Just weeks after the World Trade Center attacks, a dubious informant named Dragonfire warned that al Qaeda had smuggled a nuclear device into New York City; NEST teams swept the city and found nothing. But as evidence seized from Afghan camps confirmed al Qaeda's interest in nuclear technology, radiation detectors were temporarily installed along Washington, D.C., highways and the Muslim monitoring program began.

Most staff for the monitoring came from NEST, which draws from nearly 1,000 nuclear scientists and technicians based largely at the country's national laboratories. For 30 years, NEST undercover teams have combed suspected sites looking for radioactive material, using high-tech detection gear fitted onto various aircraft, vehicles, and even backpacks and attaché cases. No dirty bombs or nuclear devices have ever been found - and that includes the post-9/11 program. "There were a lot of false positives, and one or two were alarming," says one source. "But in the end we found nothing."

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/ar...051222nest.htm

I'm outraged! Outraged, I tell you!!!! By god it is an unalienable civil right to have nuclear material in my home, and the gov't has no fucking business snooping around my nuclear material!!!!! This Bush bastard is another Hitler, and if I want to talk on the phone with my terrorist buddies in Saudi Arabia, they had damn well better not listen in!









Seriously, does anyone have any problem with this? I don't.
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Old 01-02-06   #2
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i do... slippery slope and all... targeting and all...

plus the idea that they get to come onto your property to do it... i don't like the idea of The Man™ being able to sit on my property whenever he wants just to check and make sure i ain't doing anything illegal.
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Old 01-02-06   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by errantrogue
i do... slippery slope and all... targeting and all...

plus the idea that they get to come onto your property to do it... i don't like the idea of The Man™ being able to sit on my property whenever he wants just to check and make sure i ain't doing anything illegal.
The targeting is what makes it acceptable. Are you planning on blowing anybody up? That's who we're talking about with these programs. Petty criminals, and even the average murderer still has all the rights they're entitled to, but if you want to blow up as many Americans as you can, then I have a very hard time getting pissed off that the feds are listening to your calls, or checking the radiation levels of your house or church.
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Old 01-02-06   #4
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and just how many of these people DO want to blow up as many people as possible? and how do we know? wouldn't there be some sort of evidence that would fulfill probable cause for surveillance that ISN'T "okay, you're muslim, and participated in protests agains Israel and the US, you MUST be a tewwowist?"
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Old 01-02-06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by errantrogue
and just how many of these people DO want to blow up as many people as possible? and how do we know? wouldn't there be some sort of evidence that would fulfill probable cause for surveillance that ISN'T "okay, you're muslim, and participated in protests agains Israel and the US, you MUST be a tewwowist
All muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists that are threatening the USA are muslims, so it would be an act of criminal negligence on the part of our gov't, which has the job of preventing acts of terrorism, to not take a closer look at muslims than others in the name of some bullshit idea of political correctness. When Baptists start blowing people up, I'll be in favor of the same measures for them.

BTW the Baptists who do blow people up are being watched as well. All the radical anti-abortion groups are so fed infiltrated that they can't make a move without someone knowing about it.
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Old 01-03-06   #6
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80% of mosques are funded by the Saudi terrorists in Saudi Arabia
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Old 01-03-06   #7
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yeah well 65% of statistics are made up on the spot.
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Old 01-03-06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sephardic-male
80% of mosques are funded by the Saudi terrorists in Saudi Arabia
I wonder how much of that support from the ruling class of Saudi Arabia is from a sincere belief in Wahabbism, and how much of it is a political game, playing both sides against the middle.
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Old 01-03-06   #9
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Its great! I mean, it was cool when J. Edgar was tapping all those commie phone lines too, right? After all... they were suspected commies! Who cares if our rights to privacy are being ripped away, as long as its only the bad guys. I mean, we are 100% positive its only the bad guys... right?
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Old 01-03-06   #10
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Originally Posted by thefr0g
Its great! I mean, it was cool when J. Edgar was tapping all those commie phone lines too, right? After all... they were suspected commies! Who cares if our rights to privacy are being ripped away, as long as its only the bad guys. I mean, we are 100% positive its only the bad guys... right?
We're talking about people who want to mass murder Americans. Did you miss that point? Will you be one of the people bitching about the president not doing his job if we have another major attack?
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Old 01-04-06   #11
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I'd rather have my personal freedoms and privacy than have the fucking government hold my hand everywhere I go.
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Old 01-04-06   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synikul
We're talking about people who want to mass murder Americans. Did you miss that point? Will you be one of the people bitching about the president not doing his job if we have another major attack?

But... what about in the long term? A lot of people see this as the first step to becoming a police state. That's the way freedom topples: one brick at a time. Ease the masses in gently and slowly so they don't notice, and only in hindsight do they realize what it is they gave up. 20 years from now are we going to look back and go, "Oh shit! What the fuck happened? Why didn't I notice?".
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Old 01-04-06   #13
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My 1st instinct was to like this because it pisses most liberals off, but then when I think about it and see the way that Bush is so smugly talking about it and really THINK about it, I am pretty sure I dont want my government to be spying on me. I know I know, its not spying on me calling my friends in the US its only when my friends from Japan, England, China, Greece and Italy call me. Which is fucking often enough. I dont like that.

I think we should just fucking knock off the nonsense spying and allow the government to racially profile arab males the way they ought to.
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Old 01-04-06   #14
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i think it's outrageous...aren't there other ways to monitor if nucleur type of articles are coming into our country, or is it really that easy to mix up a batch in your basement...what about other options of destruction, does their nucleur sniffer detect that?

today they're choosing acceptable targets...those "terrorists" but what's to stop them from encroaching on the rights of non terrorist americans, political malcontents and other...threats to the bush agenda?

"Cole points to a 2001 Supreme Court decision, U.S. vs. Kyllo, which looked at police use -- without a search warrant -- of thermal imaging technology to search for marijuana-growing lamps in a home. The court, in a ruling written by Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled that authorities did in fact need a warrant -- that the heat sensors violated the Fourth Amendment's clause against unreasonable search and seizure."

at least there are some judges left with a bit of rationality...
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Old 01-04-06   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked Lady
But... what about in the long term? A lot of people see this as the first step to becoming a police state. That's the way freedom topples: one brick at a time. Ease the masses in gently and slowly so they don't notice, and only in hindsight do they realize what it is they gave up. 20 years from now are we going to look back and go, "Oh shit! What the fuck happened? Why didn't I notice?".
I doubt that is going to happen. Americans are willing to tolerate this when it's directed at enemies who want to mass murder us. If it starts branching out too much, then I expect the congress to act against it. Just last week they proved it can be done. All it takes is 41 senators to kill anything.
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Old 01-04-06   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordyn
i think it's outrageous...aren't there other ways to monitor if nucleur type of articles are coming into our country, or is it really that easy to mix up a batch in your basement...what about other options of destruction, does their nucleur sniffer detect that?

today they're choosing acceptable targets...those "terrorists" but what's to stop them from encroaching on the rights of non terrorist americans, political malcontents and other...threats to the bush agenda?

"Cole points to a 2001 Supreme Court decision, U.S. vs. Kyllo, which looked at police use -- without a search warrant -- of thermal imaging technology to search for marijuana-growing lamps in a home. The court, in a ruling written by Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled that authorities did in fact need a warrant -- that the heat sensors violated the Fourth Amendment's clause against unreasonable search and seizure."

at least there are some judges left with a bit of rationality...

You're joking, right? This is not about pot growers, or any kind of common crime. The rights of petty criminals are intact. This is aimed at people who have openly expressed a desire to detonate a nuclear weapon in the USA. It is being argued that the president has the legal authority to do this granted to him by the resolution against Al-Qeada that was passed right after 9/11. It's in a totally different legal category from cops trying to bust drug dealers.
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Old 01-04-06   #17
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I wouldnt' be worried about a big attack that just seems silly to me. Why not strike with small surges instead of one big attack? It makes more sence to bring a country down little by little instead of blowing it to bits. Also, why just monitor Muslim areas? These people aren't stupid. IF there is a nuclear bomb in the United States don't you think it would make more sence to put it somehwere other than Muslim areas?
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Old 01-04-06   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synikul
You're joking, right? This is not about pot growers, or any kind of common crime. The rights of petty criminals are intact. This is aimed at people who have openly expressed a desire to detonate a nuclear weapon in the USA. It is being argued that the president has the legal authority to do this granted to him by the resolution against Al-Qeada that was passed right after 9/11. It's in a totally different legal category from cops trying to bust drug dealers.
For now.
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Old 01-05-06   #19
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they should reduce immigration from terrorist supporting hellholes like Saudi Aarabia
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Old 01-05-06   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefr0g
For now.
And as I replied to WL, if that changes, I expect the congress to act against it.
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