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From: Thomas Pain
Organization: Glass House
Subject: Re: Republican Majority Leader Rejects Operation TIPS
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 06:36:52 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 02:36:52 EDT
Paul Wolf wrote:
> From Ritt Goldstein, firstname.lastname@example.org via "Ross"
> Republican Majority Leader Armey Rejects White House Plans for Operation
> TIPS, National ID
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
> Thursday, July 18, 2002
> WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Richard Armey today insisted that the
> controversial Operation TIPS program and a national ID card not be included
> in the legislation establishing a new cabinet-level Homeland Security
> "Majority Leader Armey has taken a courageous step in insisting that we
> protect our privacy in the fight against terror," said Rachel King, an ACLU
> Legislative Counsel. "There is no place in America for either an internal
> passport or for utility workers and cable technicians to become
> government-sanctioned peeping toms."
> As Chairman of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, Majority
> Leader Armey (R-TX) today included language in his markup of the
> legislation currently pending to create the Homeland Security Department
> that would prohibit the implementation of the now notorious Operation TIPS
> program and would forbid the creation of any national ID card, including
> de facto national IDs such as a nationally standardized driver's license.
> According to the White House, Operation TIPS (Terrorist Information and
> Prevention System) is scheduled to be introduced as a pilot project in
> August 2002 and would recruit one million volunteers in 10 cities across
> the country who would be encouraged to report suspicious, ostensibly
> terrorism-related activity. The program will target volunteers who because
> of their work as, for example, utility technicians or cable installers are
> "well-positioned to recognize unusual events," the White House says.
> Since Monday, TIPS has attracted fiery critiques from all points on the
> political spectrum. In addition to the ACLU, the Cato Institute and the
> conservative Rutherford Institute have both come out against the proposal.
> Without explanation yesterday, the U.S. Postal Service said it would not
> allow letter carriers to be involved with the program.
> Rep. Armey's prohibition on a national ID cuts directly to one of the key
> proposals in the White House's Homeland Security plan, released earlier
> this week. The plan identifies the standardization of driver's licenses
> nation-wide, a step which the apolitical National Research Council said
> amounts to a "nation-wide identity system" and which opponents say would be
> the creation of an internal passport, as an essential component of homeland
> security. National IDs are strongly opposed by groups as politically
> diverse as the ACLU and Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum.
> In addition to measures against Operation TIPS and national IDs, the ACLU
> also applauded the Majority Leader's inclusion of language in the bill
> that would establish the first-ever "Privacy Officer" in a cabinet-level
> department. This position would work as a close advisor to the Secretary
> and would be responsible for ensuring that any "technology research and new
> regulations from the Department respect the civil liberties our citizens
> A Summary of the Chairman's Mark can be found on-line at the Select
> Committee's website:
> I can't resist making a comment. If you want to know why the US Postal
> Service wouldn't want to be involved in this, take a look at
> Domestic CIA and FBI Mail Opening
> from the Church Committee Reports of 1975. As postal officials well know,
> from the 1878 Supreme Court decision in Ex Parte Jackson, 96 U.S. 727,733:
> Letters and sealed packages of this kind in the mail are as fully guarded
> from examination and inspection, except as to their outward form and
> weight, as if they were retained by the parties forwarding them in their
> own domiciles. The constitutional guaranty of the right of the people to
> be secure in their papers against unreasonable searches and seizures
> extends to their papers, thus closed against inspection, wherever they
> may be. Whilst in the mail, they can only be opened and examinedunder
> like warrant, issued upon similar oath or affirmation, particularly
> describing the thing to be seized, as is required when papers are
> subjected to search in one's own household. No law of Congress can place
> in the hands of officials connected with the postal service any authority
> to invade the secrecy of letters and such sealed packages in the mail;
> and all regulations adopted as to mail matter of this kind must be in
> subordination to the great principle embodied in the fourth amendment of
> the Constitution.
> - Paul
> From: John Wilmerding
> US Citizen Seeks Asylum From US Police
> Ritt Goldstein is living 'underground' in Sweden because he has received
> threats against his life from US police.
> In 1995, this justice of the peace and self-made millionaire launched a
> movement in Connecticut against police brutality and misconduct, which
> included a civilian review board with the power to make changes. The
> police responded with a campaign against him -- his home and office were
> ransacked, his car tampered with. He has been pepper sprayed, MACED and
> shot at. "Civilian review is an idea that will immediately inspire
> violent reaction from the police," said Connecticut State Police
> Association spokesman Dave McCluskey.
> Following six months of this treatment, with his health in decline and
> friends urging him to flee, Ritt sought political asylum in Sweden in
> July 1997. With ample evidence supporting his claims about his
> treatment in the US, he awaited, what he thought, would be an automatic
> offer of permanent asylum in Sweden.
> In a move that stunned Amnesty International and other human rights
> groups, Sweden's Immigration Board did not challenge the facts of
> Ritt's claim but said that there is no need for asylum because the US
> is an "internationally recognized democracy with a just legal system."
> Sweden's Alien Appeals Board upheld this decision which led to an
> order for his immediate deportation to the US. Ritt immediately went
> into hiding in Sweden as his case slowly grinds its way toward the
> European Court of Justice in Strasbourg. He has been described as
> "the man who fled the US in search of freedom."
> While Ritt's case receives little attention in the US, it has set off
> a wide debate in Europe. His supporters suspect that the Swedish
> immigration service simply does not want to embarrass the US by
> granting him asylum.
> You can understand why because there's a lot more at stake than Ritt's
> safety. If the world's most powerful nation can be called to task for
> human rights violations, then the behavior of every nation is able to
> be questioned: Germany's treatment of the Turks, the French of the
> Algerians, the Spanish of the Basques, and so on. Or what if the UN's
> war crimes tribunal went after some NATO pilots and commanders for
> bombing civilians. Until now, the court has only charged Arabs,
> Balkins, Cambodians, and Latinos. What if it started prosecuting
> agents of Washington. President Clinton's apology for US support of
> brutal dictators, such as in Guatemala, brings such possibilities to
> mind, especially since such support continues even now.
> In addition, if Ritt loses his asylum claim, US citizens will be ever
> more unwilling to work against police violence, at a time when Amnesty
> International says it occurs with "impunity" within the US.
> 1. Write the two following persons re Ritt's case (see sample letter
> Mr. Goran Persson, Prime Minister
> Mr. Goran Hakansson, General Director
> 2. Forward a copy of your letter to Mr. Goldstein at
> email@example.com so that he can use it as evidence of his
> support within the US.
> SAMPLE LETTER
> Dear (Prime Minister Persson/General Director Hakansson):
> I am writing you regarding the case of Ritt Goldstein, a US citizen,
> in order to express my concern about Sweden's decision to refuse him
> protection. Of particular concern, is the finding by Amnesty
> International's Swedish section that the handling of Mr. Goldstein's
> case, "goes against Swedish legislation."
> As detailed in Vi magazine (3 August 2000) and other publications, Mr.
> Goldstein led a US movement for police reform which led to a campaign
> of threats against his life by the police. It is because of these
> threats that Mr. Goldstein sought protection in your country. One of
> your own leading bishops, Claes-Gertil Ytterberg, as well as Caritas
> Sweden, and others, have called for Mr. Goldstein's protection in a
> 19 July 1998 debate piece in "Dagens Nyheter." Nonetheless, on 30
> January 1998, Utlanningsnamnden upheld the earlier SIV decision (24
> September 1997) which refused Mr. Goldstein Swedish protection, and
> sought his removal from Sweden.
> I am aware that Utlanningsnamnden rejected his asylum because it found
> that Mr. Goldstein's attackers were, "individual police", that the
> attacks, "were not authorized by police authorities", and that "the
> United States is a recognized democracy with a just legal system".
> I am shocked by this decision because there has been ample
> documentation of various miscarriages of justice within the US.
> Sadly, Amnesty International has noted that within the US "brutality
> following challenges to police authority has been widely documented"
> and human rights violations by US police occurs with "impunity".
> The Utlanningsnamnden decision not only puts Mr. Goldstein at risk,
> but it also makes it harder for others to speak out against human
> rights abuses. For this reason, I am not surprised that this
> decision prompted outcry within Sweden and focused attention about
> Mr. Goldstein's case in the media within the European Union. Nor
> am I am surprised that human rights groups such as Amnesty
> International and France Libertes support his claim for asylum. Is
> not an endangered American worth the same protection as your country
> would afford any other person?
> It truly appears to me that a unilateral review of Mr. Goldstein's
> case is in order. I urge you to pursue this review.
> Your truly,
> (name, city and state)
I hope so, Adolph W. (big brother) Shrub needs to be reeled in by the
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