Moments ago, WCVB Boston reported that, according to “a federal official,” Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been arraigned in his hospital bed.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving accused Boston Marathon bomber, has been arraigned in his hospital bed, a federal official tells NewsCenter 5′s Kelley Tuthill.
The complaint against him has been sealed, according to Gary Wente, the circuit executive for the U.S. Courts in Boston.
Law enforcement sources tell ABC News Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing, is awake and responding sporadically in writing to questions.
The source told ABC’s Pierre Thomas investigators were questioning the 19-year-old Tsarnaev about other cell members and other unexploded bombs, but said no details were given yet on answers.
More information from Twitter — no links yet.
WCVB reporter Tuthill “a little frustrated” that no pool reporter was allowed to be present at the arraignment–they had been told it would be “public.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has no announced that Tsarnaev will not be treated as an “enemy combatant.”
Suck it, Lindsey!!
WCVB has also posted a newly released photo of Tsarnaev leaving an ATM after using the card stolen from the highjack victim.
I’ll post more details in the comment thread as I get them.
Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev “will not be treated as an enemy combatant,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.
Carney’s statement comes after a group of Republican lawmakers led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have called for Tsarnaev to be treated as an enemy combatant, at least for the purposes of interrogation. “The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent,” Graham said in a statement along with Sens. John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, and Rep. Peter King.
Tsarnaev, Carney said, is a U.S. citizen and should be treated as such and tried in civilian court. “This is absolutely the right way to go and the appropriate way to go,” he said.
The Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder made the determination of how to try Tsarnaev and “the whole national security team supports this decision,” Carney said, adding that because the suspect is a citizen, there is no other option for how to try him.
I’m not the the resident psychologist here, but I really feel hyper-religiousity is a fricking mental disease. I know it is a social one. I have no idea why some people feel they have the right and duty to plaster their religious beliefs all over the rest of us, but it is clearly not an American idea. Here’s the latest whackadoodle attempt to do an end run around our constitution by a cluster of bananas in North Carolina.
The Constitution “does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional” according to a resolution sponsored by North Carolina House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes (R) and ten of his fellow Republicans — a statement that puts them at odds with over 200 years of constitutional law. In light of this novel reading of the Constitution, Starnes and his allies also claim that North Carolina is free to ignore the Constitution’s ban on government endorsement of religion:
SECTION 1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.
SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.
This resolution is nothing less than an effort to repudiate the result of the Civil War. As the resolution correctly notes, the First Amendment merely provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” and, indeed, the Bill of Rights was originally understood to only place limits on the federal government. For the earliest years of the Republic, the Bill of Rights were not really “rights” at all, but were instead guidelines on which powers belonged to central authorities and which ones remained exclusively in the hands of state lawmakers.
In 1868, however the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified for the express purpose of changing this balance of power. While the early Constitution envisioned “rights” as little more than a battle between central and local government, the Fourteenth Amendment ushered in a more modern understanding. Under this amendment, “[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” nor may any state “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment completely transformed the nature of the American Republic, from one where liberties were generally protected — if at all — by tensions between competing governments to one which recognized that there are certain liberties that cannot be abridged by any government.
So, a few folk want a state religion in North Carolina because sectarian opening prayers just aren’t pious enough for them.
A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.
The legislation grew out of a dispute between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In a federal lawsuit filed last month, the ACLU says the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.
Overtly Christian prayers at government meetings are not rare in North Carolina. Since the Republican takeover in 2011, the state Senate chaplain has offered an explicitly Christian invocation virtually every day of session, despite the fact that some senators are not Christian.
In a 2011 ruling on a similar lawsuit against the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not ban prayer at government meetings outright, but said prayers favoring one religion over another are unconstitutional.
“To plant sectarian prayers at the heart of local government is a prescription for religious discord,” the court said. “Where prayer in public fora is concerned, the deep beliefs of the speaker afford only more reason to respect the profound convictions of the listener. Free religious exercise posits broad religious tolerance.”
Supplanting modernity, science, rationale thought and replacing it with government mandated religious views is the agenda here. Here’s another good example. RNC Chair Reince Preibus thinks he knows more than doctors. He equates letting doctors and women decide about the outcomes of late term abortions–and possibly pre-term births–to infanticide.
In an article published Wednesday on the conservative website RedState, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus blasted Democrats for supporting Planned Parenthood, while floating the damning suggestion that the likes of President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) support infanticide.
“The President, the Senate Majority Leader, the House Democratic Leader, and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (in whose home state this hearing occurred) made funding Planned Parenthood an issue in the 2012 campaign,” Priebus wrote. “They should now all be held to account for that outspoken support. If the media won’t, then voters must ask the pressing questions: Do these Democrats also believe a newborn has no rights? Do they also endorse infanticide?”
Priebus appeared to predicate much of his piece on recent testimony from a Planned Parenthood lobbyist before the Florida legislature. The lobbyist was posed a number of hypotheticals on what the women’s healthcare organization would do if a baby survived a botched abortion.
“Not once in her testimony did the Planned Parenthood representative say the newborn baby has a right to life. Not once did she say anyone has a duty to care for the child,” Priebus wrote. “Whether the living, breathing child survives is up to the adults in the room because, as we now know, Planned Parenthood doesn’t believe the baby has rights.”
Who better knows the outcome of this situation? The State? Priestb00 and his merry band of republican religious nuts?
This reminds me of the attempts in Louisiana and other places to drain money from public schools to religious-based schools. Republicans are horrified to think that religions other than their own might have access to the funds. This is playing out in Tennessee right now.
Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are threatening to block Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s school voucher bill over fears that Muslim schools could receive funding.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Monday that Haslam hinted that he would withdraw his bill after objections from Republican lawmakers that it was not broad enough and that the vouchers could be used by Islamic schools.
Over the weekend, state Sen. Jim Tracy (R) had told The Murfreesboro Post that he had “considerable concern” that tax dollars could go to schools that teach principles from the Quran.
Tracy, who is on the Senate Education Committee and identifies himself as a member of the Church of Christ, insisted that Islamic school funding was an “an issue we must address” before the voucher bill can go forward.
“I don’t know whether we can simply amend the bill in such a way that will fix the issue at this point,” he said.
Yes, there is one Muslim school in Memphis that would have access to state funds under the bill. So, it’s wrong to fund Muslim schools, but you can guess which religious schools should be the only ones funded by government.
Look, I have nothing against other people’s free practice of religion. There are at least two great places for that to happen. The places are called THEIR home and THEIR place of worship. Every place else should be a religion-free zone. It’s obvious these folks didn’t get a very good education in American history or political thought. For that matter, the don’t appear to have been well-educated in much else. OR, they are just plain crazy. I’m going with the latter.
The frantic hunt for an ex LAPD officer turned shooter has turned into a series of odd and frightening events. The manhunt started out as a search for what was thought to be a spree shooter with a manifesto. The manifesto is available on line and talks about Christopher Dorner’s beef with his former employer the LA police department. It seems the LAPD is now in a stranger-than-life manhunt that is providing more support for Dorner’s manifesto than for the hunt for the ex cop who shot and killed 3 people, including a police officer and the daughter of a former police chief.
It was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil.
It appears that the drone came from the Customs and Border Control Federal Agencies as reported by the UK-based Daily Express. You’ll notice that most of the chilling and accurate coverage in this post comes from the UK.
POLICE plan to use spy drones in the hunt for a Rambo-style ex-soldier and policeman who has murdered three people and vowed to kill again.
They believe burly, heavily-armed Christopher Dorner is holed-up in the wilderness of California’s snow-capped San Bernardino mountains 80 miles east of Los Angeles.
The burnt-out shell of his pick-up truck was discovered in the nearby resort of Big Bear, where residents and tourists have been warned to stay indoors as the search continues.
Yesterday, as a task force of 125 officers, some riding Snowcats in the rugged terrain, continued their search, it was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil.
A senior police source said: “The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
Asked directly if drones have already been deployed, Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz, who is jointly leading the task force, said: “We are using all the tools at our disposal.”
The use of drones was later confirmed by Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio, who revealed agents have been prepared for Dorner to make a dash for the Mexican border since his rampage began.
He said: “This agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement. That’s all I can say at the moment.”
Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for lying about a fellow officer he accused of misconduct, has vowed to wreak revenge by “killing officers and their families”.
The most bizarre and sad stories from this chase are the number of innocent people who have been shot and endangered by police who appear to be chasing down anything remotely resembling Dorner’s transportation. This included an elderly Hispanic woman and her daughter delivering newspapers and neighborhood homes surrounding their ambush.
Two women who were delivering newspapers in Torrance, Calif., early Thursday were shot by jittery Los Angeles police officers who mistakenly thought cop-hunting fugitive Christopher Dorner might be in their vehicle, NBCLosAngeles.com reported.
One was shot once and the other twice; both were were expected to survive. Police did not release their names.
Police detectives investigate a shooting scene involving a black Honda pickup truck in Torrance, Calif. Police opened fire on the vehicle in a case of mistaken identity while searching for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner.
The LAPD detectives were in the neighborhood to watch over a home they believed Dorner might target. Hours earlier, the fired cop had allegedly ambushed officers in two other cities, killing one of them.
Across the region, cops on high alert were on the lookout for Dorner’s dark-colored Nissan truck. In the predawn dark, they saw a blue pickup rolling through the streets with no headlights on.
It’s unclear what happened next, but LAPD Chief Charlie Beck confirmed the officers fired on the vehicle, hitting the two occupants. He said it was a tragic case of “mistaken identity.”
David Perdue was on his way to sneak in some surfing before work Thursday morning when police flagged him down. They asked who he was and where he was headed, then sent him on his way.
Seconds later, Perdue’s attorney said, a Torrance police cruiser slammed into his pickup and officers opened fire; none of the bullets struck Perdue.
His pickup, police later explained, matched the description of the one belonging to Christopher Jordan Dorner — the ex-cop who has evaded authorities after allegedly killing three and wounding two more. But the pickups were different makes and colors. And Perdue looks nothing like Dorner: He’s several inches shorter and about a hundred pounds lighter. And Perdue is white; Dorner is black.
“I don’t want to use the word buffoonery but it really is unbridled police lawlessness,” said Robert Sheahen, Perdue’s attorney. “These people need training and they need restraint.”
Police gave no warning to any of these folks. They obviously didn’t look very carefully either as two petite hispanic women and a skinny white dude don’t look a bit like the suspect who is a well built, large black man.
The women’s lawyer, Glen Jonas, told the Times LAPD not follow protocol or the rules of engagement before they decided to exercise deadly force.
‘With no warning, no command, or no instructions, LAPD opened fire on their vehicle,’ Jonas said.
‘This wasn’t even close,’ their attorney said.
‘This was two petite Latina women versus a large black man, with a different vehicle, different color. The police didn’t take the time to do the identification. They didn’t give the “suspect” the opportunity to surrender. So the whole thing was just mishandled, and we expect that the city will acknowledge that and go from there.’
The police have lost track of the suspect and are now offering a huge reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest. Given the trigger happy police and the drone, I doubt arrest is what these folks have in mind. The most interesting thing is the shift of public opinion. The LAPD has a PR nightmare on their hands as well as the manhunt. This is from the Christian Science Monitor
The hunt for alleged cop killer Christopher Dorner has turned into a major public relations challenge for law enforcement officials, in particular the Los Angeles Police Department working its way back from a history of corruption and abuse.
Not only have hundreds of well-trained officers equipped with military-style vehicles – including helicopters with thermal imaging devices one pilot says can pick out a rabbit in a snowstorm – been unable to find the man charged with killing three people and wounding two others on a rampage aimed at police officers and their families.
The LAPD also has been forced to reexamine the reasons for Mr. Dorner’s dismissal as a police officer in 2009 – brought about, Dorner charges in the 11-page manifesto he posted on Facebook, by racism in the department. And the LAPD is having to make amends to the two people – a middle-aged Hispanic woman and her mother delivering newspapers – wounded when police riddled their truck with gunfire. (The women’s truck was neither the make nor the color of Dorner’s pickup later found abandoned.)
America’s history is sepia-soaked with outlaws who have engendered popular support. In keeping with this difficult-to-deconstruct phenomenon, a number of social media corners are cheering on suspected murderer Christopher Dorner while authorities are still trying to track him down.
Frankly, I find it very disturbing that the police are using more and more military style tactics. There are now scads of articles where military tactics used in Iraq are being used in the streets of the US by police departments. BB pointed out a few of these to me and you may want to look a them.
So, there is a growing question about the usefulness of these insurgency tactics in Afghanistan, but apparently, it’s fine to use them in US cities. This first jumped into public awareness in 2008 as John McCain suggested it was a good thing during his campaign for POTUS.
Senator John McCain has suggested adopting tactics used in Iraq to combat urban crime here at home. McCain made the comment while he spoke before the National Urban League.
Sen. John McCain: “And some of those tactics, very frankly — you mention the war in Iraq — are somewhat like that we use in the military. You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment, and then they cooperate with law enforcement.”
We’ve had our own issues down here in New Orleans with our corrupt police, our broken criminal justice system, and out of control urban shootings. I believe this will continue to be an issue. Here’s a related thing I just learned today and it’s been on the ACLU’s radar since 2006. It’s just been expanded to something really frightening in a DHS Report which many lawyers believe is a direct violation of the 4th amendment.
The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.
The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.
“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary said.
The memo highlights the friction between today’s reality that electronic devices have become virtual extensions of ourselves housing everything from e-mail to instant-message chats to photos and our papers and effects — juxtaposed against the government’s stated quest for national security.
The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The President Barack Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later. Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.
So, we should really be worried about our due process and the access of police departments–all ready out of control–to sophisticated military tactics, techniques, and equipment via Homeland Security. Meanwhile, keep your eyes on the Dorner case. It appears to be layered with morality plays and plots from movies.
It’s always difficult to report that some one young has died. It’s even worse when the circumstances of death seem beyond explanation as always seems to be the case with suicides. The story of online activist Aaron Swartz is filled with glimpses into a brilliant mind, a passionate advocate for access to knowledge, a search for justice against suppression and censorship and our government who seem intent on prosecuting the wrong people these days for the wrong reasons.
Aaron Swartz, the Internet political activist who co-wrote the initial specification for RSS, has committed suicide, a relative told CNN Saturday. He was 26.
“Great minds carry heavy burdens,” wrote one user on Reddit, a popular social media website that Swartz helped develop and popularize following a merger in 2006.
Swartz also co-founded Demand Progress, a political action group that campaigns against Internet censorship.
A young prodigy, his passion pushed limits and landed him in legal troubles in recent years.
In 2011, he was arrested in Boston for alleged computer fraud and illegally obtaining documents from protected computers. He was later indicted from an incident in which he allegedly stole millions of online documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He pleaded not guilty in September, according to MIT’s “The Tech” newspaper.
Yes. Swartz helped develop Reddit and RSS feed. He will now be best known as a victim of government prosecution overkill. It’s an odd story in the endless one where big businesses and government work hard to make sure that anything slightly worth knowing must be associated with some one’s exorbitant profit and a form of ownership.
Congress passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in 1986 to deal with the then-new problem of malicious computer hacking. Because the law was passed when the Internet was still in its infancy, the exact scope of its provisions remains murky today. For example, there have been cases of employers suing employees under the CFAA for using their employer-provided credentials to access information on the corporate intranet that wasn’t intended for them.
In 2008, the government prosecuted a woman under the CFAA after her “cyber-bullying” of a teenager contributed to her suicide. The government argued that the woman’s actions violated the MySpace user agreement, and therefore constituted unauthorized access to MySpace servers. The woman was convicted, but her conviction was later thrown out by an appeals court.
The government seems to be making a similar argument in the Swartz case. It says he violated the CFAA when he “intentionally accessed computers belonging to MIT and JSTOR without authorization, and thereby obtained from protected computers information whose value exceeded $5,000—namely, digitized journal articles from JSTOR’s archive.” By breaking Swartz’s actions up into five different date ranges and charging him under two different sections of the CFAA for each, the government has ginned up a total of 10 counts, each of which is theoretically punishable by five years in prison. For good measure, they also charged Swartz with one count of “recklessly damaging” a computer under the CFAA and two counts of wire fraud.
It’s a stretch to say that Swartz gained unauthorized access to JSTOR’s servers. Initially, he did have authorization to access both the network and the JSTOR website. But according to the indictment, “each user must agree and acknowledge that they cannot download or export contents from JSTOR’s computer servers with automated computer programs such as Web robots, spiders, or scrapers.” The government seems to believe that once Swartz ran afoul of this contractual requirement, he became an unauthorized user and therefore a felon under the CFAA.
But treating the violation of such use restrictions, or the evasion of efforts to enforce them, as a felony is overkill. Automated crawling of websites is an extremely common activity that can have social benefits. While crawling a public (or, in the case of JSTOR semi-public) website against the wishes of its owner is generally bad manners, it’s hardly comparable to hacking into someone’s computer to access private information.
I have a major soft spot for hacktivists like Swartz. Not only is it a matter of being awed by their brilliance, but by what appears to be an ethos based on just getting knowledge for the sake of knowledge. There’s a basic underlying democratic principle in the idea that human knowledge belongs to all of us. Evidently, JSTOR must’ve agreed with him.
Swartz’s subsequent struggle for money to offset legal fees to fight the Department of Justice and stay afloat was no secret.
After the September charges came down, the wife of Creative Commons founder Larry Lessig – social justice lawyer Bettina Neuefeind – established and organized the site free.aaronsw.com to raise money for his defense.
Demand Progress – itself an organization focused on online campaigns dedicated to fighting for civil liberties, civil rights, and progressive government reform - compared The Justice Department’s indictment of Swartz to “trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library.”
Swartz’s suicide came two days after JSTOR announced it is releasing “more than 4.5 million articles” to the public.
So, this isn’t the most political or strategic post we’ve ever put on the blog. Aaron’s passing isn’t one of those newsy obits that will get played at the end of the year in some tribute gala. I think, however, we need to notice his tragic death, his brilliant short, life and his commitment to an open internet with accessible content. His story is really one about our freedom to know which is really the final frontier of our humanity.