Distrust Festers Between US Muslims, Intel Agencies

An institutional climate of "Islamophobia" and wariness among many U.S. Arabs and Muslims of the federal government are proving to be substantial barriers to recruiting Arabic speakers into the United States’ counterterrorism agencies, observers say. Applications are being received in record numbers, but submissions from those who might be choice picks in the fight against … Continue reading “Distrust Festers Between US Muslims, Intel Agencies”

Bail Denied in ‘Rendition’ Terror Case

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a U.S. citizen accused of plotting with al-Qaeda to assassinate President George W. Bush, will remain in jail pending trial. That was the ruling yesterday by a federal magistrate in Alexandria, Virginia. And part of his reasoning may be found in a most unlikely place: a provision in the intelligence reform … Continue reading “Bail Denied in ‘Rendition’ Terror Case”

Exposing Corruption Doesn’t Pay, Gov’t Watchdog Warns

Amid charges that hundreds of whistleblower cases may have been arbitrarily dismissed, the U.S. Justice Department has admitted that it retroactively classified information that posed no threat to national security. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the admission could help former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) translator Sibel Edmonds, who has filed a … Continue reading “Exposing Corruption Doesn’t Pay, Gov’t Watchdog Warns”

Senator Seeks to Curb Controversial PATRIOT Act

Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, is on a collision course with President George W. Bush over how much leeway should be given to intelligence agencies and law enforcement to wage their "war on terror." Feingold has introduced three bills to limit provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, legislation passed shortly after the Sep. 11, … Continue reading “Senator Seeks to Curb Controversial PATRIOT Act”

Student in ‘Rendition’ Case Returns to US for Trial

Even as defense attorneys were filing court papers charging that the U.S. government was hiding behind secret evidence, and demanding their client’s release from a Saudi Arabian prison, Ahmed Abu Ali was being whisked back to the United States and charged with conspiring to kill President George W. Bush. The 23-year-old U.S. citizen, who had … Continue reading “Student in ‘Rendition’ Case Returns to US for Trial”

Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards?

NEW YORK – Civil libertarians are wondering if the new U.S. attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, will continue one of the trademarks of his predecessor, John Ashcroft: razzle-dazzle news conferences announcing the arrests of terrorists, followed by trials in which no one is charged or tried for any terror-related offenses. They point to the recent case … Continue reading “Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards?”

Jordanian-American’s ‘Rendition’ Case Takes a New Twist

The U.S. Department of Justice may make legal history in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit on behalf of a U.S. citizen being held in Saudi Arabia without publicly disclosing its reasons, citing an "extraordinarily high" government interest in protecting national security issues in the case. Other instances in which courts based their decisions on "secret … Continue reading “Jordanian-American’s ‘Rendition’ Case Takes a New Twist”

Anti-Terror Bill Targets Asylum Seekers

Controversial anti-immigration provisions that were stripped from an intelligence bill last year have resurfaced as the "Real ID Act," setting the stage for a partisan fight in Congress that could affect the cases of thousands of asylum-seekers. Authored by the powerful chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a conservative republican from Wisconsin, … Continue reading “Anti-Terror Bill Targets Asylum Seekers”

US Invokes Secrets Privilege in Torture Lawsuit

NEW YORK – The Justice Department has again asserted "state-secrets privilege" in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit by Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was detained in the United States in 2002 and sent against his will to Syria, where he says he was tortured until his release a year later. The privilege was … Continue reading “US Invokes Secrets Privilege in Torture Lawsuit”

Surfing the Web With Big Brother

NEW YORK – Is the U.S. government spying on its citizens’ e-mail and Web surfing habits? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a group that defends civil liberties on the Internet, believes the answer is probably "yes." Earlier this month, the San Francisco-based watchdog filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Bureau of … Continue reading “Surfing the Web With Big Brother”