Homeland Theater

JTTF targets protesters

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado released documents May 18 confirming that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Denver is targeting peaceful political activists for harassment and building files on constitutionally-protected political activities that have nothing to do with terrorism or other criminal activity.

Peaceniks protest TOPOFF 3

From Connecticut's Shore Publishing group of community newspapers:

New London -- Drawing parallels to Cold War-era paranoia and fear mongering, a regional group is organizing protests of next month's TOPOFF3 drill, which will simulate a chemical attack on New London. Department of Homeland security officials have said the drill, beginning on April 4, will take place mostly at Fort Trumbull State Park, and will not interfere with daily activities in the city. Culled from the memberships of the Southeastern Connecticut Peace and Justice Network and the War Resisters League, the Mock Terror Task Force has been holding informational forums with promises of future protests in front of City Hall during the exercise.

Bond market prepares for terror

From the Bond Buyer, April 1:

The Bond Market Association will participate in next week's U.S. TOPOFF 3 test, an exercise in which municipal market participants, government agencies, and trade groups will explore how a simulated terror scenario might affect market operations, the association said yesterday.

Ex-national security bigwigs protest profligance

A group of ex-national security officials have sent an open letter calling for weaning America off the oil addiction and asking the Bush administration to spend $1 billion on develeoping more fuel-efficient automobiles.

Retail gasoline prices now averaging above $2 a gallon make US reliance on foreign suppliers a looming national security crisis, a group of 31 former officials wrote.

Feds seal off Siskiyou National Forest protest zone

Authorities at Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest have closed public access to an area where protesters have been blocking loggers from felling trees in an old growth forest reserve partially damaged by fire. Protesters have been trying to prevent a crew from going to work on the Fiddler timber sale in a remote area bordering the Kalmiopsis Wilderness since a federal court injunction was lifted March 7. Eleven people were arrested March 7 and 11 more last week.

Lone nut named in Lefkow case

An apparent lone nut, Bart Ross, left a suicide note claiming responsibility for the murder of two family members of Chicago federal Judge Joan Lefkow before blowing his own brains out, throwing suspicion off the white supremacist World Church of the Creator (see our last blog post on the case).

U.S. finally outlaws execution of children

On March 1, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that executing convicts who were under 18 when their crime was committed constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. In a commentary for TruthOut, Marjorie Cohn notes that this finally brings the US in line with the civilized world:

Undocumented immigrants to get ankle bracelets

A new Homeland Security Department pilot program is placing electronic ankle bracelets—similar to those placed on criminal offenders—on immigrants who are waiting for a resolution on their legal status. Homeland Security says the program is an alternative to internment in detention centers, and is designed to address the problem of undocumented immigrants failing to show up for their hearings. (FSRN, March 3)

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