Think of it as an antidote to jingoistic propoganda masquerading as grief and remembrance that we’ll be bombarded with today.
Archive for the '“War on Terror”' Category
After a long legal battle, I-Witness Video has obtained and posted more than 600 pages of NYPD RNC-related activist surveillance documents, spanning from October 2003 to September 2004. On the I-Witness site, you can read more about the preceding legal fight, download a large PDF of the documents, or perform single-word searches on the documents.
I’ve already been going through them for about an hour, and am about to stop myself from looking at them all night. Otherwise I’m going to have nightmares. Lots of the stuff is really creepy. Some of it is creepy because of the infiltration factor that’s evident in what they’re able to find out; how disturbing to think of organizations and groups being infiltrated. However, some of the stuff isn’t creepy at first because it’s such public information, so the methods of obtaining the info aren’t so creepy seeming. But then, when you think about it a little more, it’s almost creepier, because the things they’re documenting seem so tame and so benign. I’m talking regular old community organization meetings, happy family-friendly kinds of marches and activities, that sort of thing. Green Party events held in sunny Tompkins Square Park, for fuck’s sake. These guys aren’t just worried about their infamous scary black bloc anarchists here, the kind of mythological threat that the cops and the press like to put on display to terrify the populace. Nah, they’re after anyone who has the slightest inclination towards evil anti-American concepts like justice or equality or liberation.
And that’s just the shit from the document that hasn’t been redacted (blacked out, usually with comments like “law enforcement privilege.” (Oh yeah, we know all about law enforcement privilege.)
Obviously, I know that the police and the rest of the government are fucking insidious, and all of this shit has gone on for decades upon decades in this country (centuries upon centuries, probably) and will continue to do so for a long while to come. And it’s not as if I don’t know that the groups and movements and coalitions and even social groups that I live and work within are heavily surveilled, even when we’re doing things that seem so innocent, so harmless, so tame, so right.
But it’s still scary. And it still might give me nightmares.
I think it might also convince to me finally start practicing better technology privacy and security measures – you know, encrypting emails, that sort of thing. I always think that I don’t say or write anything interesting or sensitive or important enough to really worry about. But I think I’m realizing that the cops find a whole lot more interesting than I would’ve thought.
And not surprisingly, we have the United States and the War on
brown people, I mean Muslims, I mean Terror, to thank for it. As described in this press release, the Human Rights Watch has released its World Report 2006. It’s rather grim.
New evidence demonstrated in 2005 that torture and mistreatment have been a deliberate part of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism strategy, undermining the global defense of human rights…
U.S. partners such as Britain and Canada compounded the lack of human rights leadership by trying to undermine critical international protections. Britain sought to send suspects to governments likely to torture them based on meaningless assurances of good treatment. Canada sought to dilute a new treaty outlawing enforced disappearances. The European Union continued to subordinate human rights in its relationships with others deemed useful in fighting terrorism, such as Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.
Many countries – Uzbekistan, Russia and China among them – used the “war on terrorism” to attack their political opponents, branding them as “Islamic terrorists.”
Not that I ever thought that any good has come from the “War on Terror,” but it’s striking and sickening to read about just how much damage it’s done to human rights, both in the US and globally.