Italy: Supreme Court Rules that Fake Charity “Rescue” Ship Must Remain Impounded


The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that that the pro-invasion fake charity invader-“rescue” ship, the Iuventa—seized last year for criminal collusion with people smugglers in Libya must remain impounded pending charges to be brought against the crew.

The court has rejected an appeal against the seizure of the Iuventa, which was impounded in August 2017 following an investigation initiated by the Italian authorities.

The ship—run by the crypto-communist Jugend Rettet (“youth rescue”) organization in Germany—was impounded after evidence showed that the crew had actively colluded with invaders and organizers of small invader boats in Libya.

The collusion—mainly in the form of radio contact—allowed the Iuventa to sail to pre-determined spots off the Libyan coast, where it would load up hundreds of African invaders off rubber dinghies, claiming that they were being “rescued.”

This formal taxi service was a great boon to the smugglers, who then did not have to attempt to even cross the Mediterranean, but simply sail a few miles out to sea off the Libyan coast to discharge their cargo of Africans.

The Iuventa has been held in the port of Trapani since a judge in the western Sicilian city ruled in favor of the prosecution’s request for pre-emptive seizure, based on an anti-mafia law and done in order to prevent the alleged crimes from being committed again.

The investigation against the Iuventa included the use of an undercover agent, bugging devices, tapped phone calls as well as informant testimonies.

Aiding and abetting illegal migration can carry a prison sentence ranging from five to 15 years, and a fine of 15,000 euros (about $18,300) for each person who has been let in the country.

Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation will publish an explanatory statement in the coming weeks.



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Supreme Court Rules Cops Can Kill Non-Threatening People As Long As They Say They Were Scared

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In a ruling that will be used to a reinforce a disturbing pattern practiced by police officers across the United States, the Supreme Court has determined that officers who shoot non-threatening citizens are completely justified and cannot face consequences for their actions—as long as they express to the court that they feared for their safety.

The case of Kisela v. Hughes originated from a police shooting in Tucson, Arizona, in 2010. Police Corporal Andrew Kisela heard a report over police radio about a woman using a kitchen knife to hack a tree and acting erratically in public. He responded to the scene with two other officers.

On the other side of a chainlink fence, the officers saw Sharon Chadwick standing next to her car. Her roommate, Amy Hughes, emerged from the house with a kitchen knife held at her side. Despite the fact that the two women were standing at least six feet apart, the blade of the knife was facing away from Chadwick, and Hughes did not appear to be threatening her roommate in any way, all three officers approached the fence with their guns drawn.

Less than 60 seconds after Kisela saw Chadwick, he opened fire and shot Hughes four times through the fence. After she fell to the ground, officers jumped over the fence, approached Hughes and placed her in handcuffs, and then called paramedics.

It took just seconds for Officer Kisela to choose to shoot Hughes multiple times, even though she had not broken any laws and she did not appear to be threatening anyone. Miraculously, Hughes did not die from the gunshot wounds she sustained and Chadwick was not injured during the reckless attack.

Hughes filed a lawsuit against Kisela, based on the claim that her civil rights were violated during the shooting. While a federal district judge ruled in favor of Kisela, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision and argued that Hughes’ Fourth Amendment rights were clearly violated.

The Supreme Court has now reversed the 9th Circuit court’s decision, and in its opinion on the case, the court argued that there should not be a debate over whether Hughes’ Fourth Amendment rights were violated, because Kisela should automatically be afforded “qualified immunity” as a police officer.

“The Court need not, and does not, decide whether Kisela violated the Fourth Amendment when he used deadly force against Hughes. For even assuming a Fourth Amendment violation occurred—a proposition that is not at all evident—on these facts Kisela was at least entitled to qualified immunity. ‘Qualified immunity attaches when an official’s conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known … Because the focus is on whether the officer had fair notice that her conduct was unlawful, reasonableness is judged against the backdrop of the law at the time of the conduct.’”

As SCOTUS Blog noted, even if the Supreme Court judges believed that Kisela was guilty of violating Hughes’ Fourth Amendment rights, “Kisela still could not be sued because any rights that he might have violated were not clearly established—a key factor in whether government officials enjoy immunity from lawsuits.”

Even though Chadwick testified that she did not feel threatened by Hughes or the knife in her hand at the time of the shooting, the Supreme Court has chosen to side with the police officer who chose to open fire within seconds, before taking the time to accurately assess the situation.

By supporting Kisela’s actions, the Supreme Court has essentially given all police officers a blank check, which says that if they see a person standing in the distance on her property, and she appears to be holding a weapon in her hand, the officer has the right to open fire and shoot her multiple times—as long as the officer maintains that he feared for his safety, even if he cannot prove that the person he targeted was threatening him.

In a dissenting opinion, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued that while the other two officers attempted to use verbal commands to convince Hughes to drop the knife, Kisela made no attempt to de-escalate the situation and opted to use deadly force instead. 

“Hughes was nowhere near the officers, had committed no illegal act, was suspected of no crime, and did not raise the knife in the direction of Chadwick or anyone else. Faced with these facts, the two other responding officers held their fire, and one testified that he ‘wanted to continue trying verbal command[s] and see if that would work.’ But not Kisela. He thought it necessary to use deadly force, and so, without giving a warning that he would open fire, he shot Hughes four times, leaving her seriously injured. Kisela did not wait for Hughes to register, much less respond to, the officers’ rushed commands. Instead, Kisela immediately and unilaterally escalated the situation.”

It is no secret that police officers regularly get away with shooting and killing innocent citizens in the United States, and they do so by arguing that they opened fire because they feared for their safety.

By choosing to support a trigger-happy officer who chose to put lives at risk, the Supreme Court has made it clear that there will be no justice for the innocent woman who received life-threatening injuries as a result of the attack and that police will continue to get away with targeting the mentally ill, and will face no consequences for their actions.

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Joe Biden Boasts of Keeping ‘Brilliant Conservative’ Robert Bork Off Supreme Court

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Mark Zuckerberg proposes a “Facebook Supreme Court” to “rule” on hate speech: More censorship ahead

JD Heyes–Embattled Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who appears to be in a race with Google to see who can ban conservatives the fastest, now wants to create a “Supreme Court” that will “rule” on so-called “hate speech” posted to his social media platform.

In an interview with Vox, a Left-wing site that will never see it’s content vanquished on Facebook, provided details of this social media high court, suggesting it could be a tool for sorting out speech that other users find hateful or, at a minimum, invasive of their online ‘safe space.’

Zuckerberg floated the idea as his company lost about $100 billion in market value last month and amid growing, widespread calls for new regulations following several scandals involving wholesale data-sharing and data-mining, mostly for and by political campaigns.

As reported by Breitbart News, The Zuck was asked about the platform’s structure of governance and the general lack of self-regulation and oversight. Interviewer Ezra Klein noted that there is no “quadrennial election for CEO of Facebook” — which is true, but there is also the possibility, even likelihood, that if nothing changes at Facebook there will be substantial challenges to its dominance in the years ahead, and one that won’t be so restrictive of, shall we say, competing political views.

“Here are a few of the principles. One is transparency,” said Zuckerberg. “Right now, I don’t think we are transparent enough around the prevalence of different issues on the platform. We haven’t done a good job of publishing and being transparent about the prevalence of those kinds of issues, and the work that we’re doing and the trends of how we’re driving those things down over time.”

Like, say, transparency about why the company recently changed its algorithm to ensure that conservative, liberty-minded content would be censored or, at least downplayed? Because we know that’s happening.

Zuckerberg then talked about the lack of accountability for the platform’s moderation team who decide what content should be allowed and what should not be allowed. “A second is some sort of independent appeal process,” Zuckerberg said, ticking off another alleged company principle. “Right now, if you post something on Facebook and someone reports it to our Community Operations and Review Team looks at it and decides that it needs to get taken down, there’s not really a way to appeal that. (Related: Obama’s raid of Facebook data OK, but it’s a ‘scandal’ when Team Trump does it?)

“I think in any kind of good-functioning democratic system, there needs to be a way to appeal,” the Facebook CEO continued. “And I think we can build that internally as a first step.”

Hence the Supreme Court concept.

“What I’d really like to get to is an independent appeal. So maybe folks at Facebook make the first decision based on the community standards that are outlined, and then people can get a second opinion,” he said.

“You can imagine some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court, that is made up of independent folks who don’t work for Facebook, who ultimately make the final judgment call on what should be acceptable speech in a community that reflects the social norms and values of people all around the world.”

Therein lies the rub. Presumably, every “independent folk” who is hired to be on such a social media court would have to meet certain Facebook criteria; what will that criteria be (here’s a good place to be more ‘transparent,’ Zuck)? The problem is that conservative speech — normal, right-of-center speech — is being mislabeled as “hateful” and “divisive” by Alt-Left activists who don’t believe in the free exchange of ideas. We know that because former Google engineer James Damore is a victim, having been fired for stating a non-conformist view regarding human sexuality and engineering.

What is and is not “acceptable speech” on social media founded and run by Leftists is increasingly a political argument. How will Zuck’s court rule on that? Read

Stay fully informed without the censorship at — where else? —

J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.

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Saudi Crown Prince: Iran’s Supreme Leader ‘Makes Hitler Look Good’

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Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment

A retired Supreme Court justice believes the March for Our Lives protesters are aiming too low by asking lawmakers simply to reform the nation’s gun laws.

“The demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform,” John Paul Stevens wrote in a New York Times op-ed published on Tuesday. “They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

Stevens, 97, argues that the amendment — which states “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” — was born out of concern that a “national standing army might pose a threat to the security” of individual states and is “a relic of the 18th century.”

In 2008, Stevens was among four dissenters in the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in a landmark case, District of Columbia v. Heller, that held the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms for self-defense.

“That decision — which I remain convinced was wrong and certainly was debatable — has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power,” Stevens wrote in his op-ed. “Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”

Slideshow: Scenes from March for Our Lives rallies around the world >>>

Hundreds of thousands of people participated in Saturday’s anti-gun-violence marches in Washington, D.C., and numerous locations throughout the country, demanding Congress act to protect students in the wake of last month’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Many of the demonstrators chastised the gun lobby on signs and in speeches while expressing support for stricter background checks, an increase in the minimum age to buy certain firearms and a ban on semiautomatic weapons. But most did not call for an outright repeal of the Second Amendment as Stevens is suggesting.

“That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform,” he wrote. “It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world. It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008 and honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence.”

National polls show broad support for measures to reduce gun violence, including universal background checks, age restrictions and a ban on assault weapons. A Fox News poll released on Sunday found 53 percent of American voters believe “protecting citizens from gun violence” is more important than “protecting the right of citizens to own guns,” compared to 40 percent who believe the opposite.

At the White House on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Sanders said that “the president and the administration still fully support the Second Amendment.”

“We think the focus has to remain on removing weapons from dangerous individuals — not on blocking all Americans from their constitutional rights,” Sanders said.

Meanwhile, gun rights activists say the weekend demonstrations were an “attack” on the Second Amendment.

In Washington on Saturday, David Hogg, a Parkland survivor and one of the organizers of the March for Our Lives, criticized television pundits for painting him as antigun.

“They’ve made it seem like I’m trying to take away people’s guns — that I’m against the Second Amendment,” Hogg said. “My father is a retired FBI agent. I have guns in my house. I’m not against the Second Amendment.”

Cameron Kasky, another Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, made a similar point on “Fox News Sunday.”

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Countering extremism: Jihadist ideology reigns supreme

By James M. Dorsey

Edited remarks at India Foundation conference, Changing Contours of Global Terror, Gurugram, Haryana, 14-16 March 2018

The sad truth is that governments, law-enforcement agencies, security forces, intellectuals and journalists do not have an ideological response to political violence’s latest reiteration, jihadism. Moreover, the struggle against political violence is not one that is predominantly ideological.

To add to this, mistakes are being repeated. Al-Qaeda produced the counterterrorism industry in the context of a response that was focussed on law enforcement, security and military engagement. To be sure, that has produced significant results. It has enhanced security across the globe, stopped plots before they could be executed, driven Al-Qaeda into caves, and deprived the Islamic State group of its territorial base.

All of that, however, has not solved the problem, nor has it fundamentally reduced the attraction of religiously-cloaked extremism. No doubt, social media have provided militants with a megaphone. But let’s be clear: social media are vehicles, media channels, they are not drivers. Yet, much like the terrorism industry, the call for a counter-narrative has produced an industry of its own. As with the terrorism industry, it has vested interests of its own: its sustainability is dependent on the continued existence of perceived real threats.

Political violence has been a fixture of human history since day one and is likely to remain a fact of life. Its ebbs and flows often co-relate to economic, social and political up and down turns.

Further troubling the waters is the fact that the public and private anti-terrorism and counternarrative industries see human rights as second to ensuring security and safety; have little interest in addressing the problem through notions of alienation, marginalisation, socio-economic disenfranchisement, youth aspirations and basic rights in which counterterrorism and counter-narratives would be embedded. Aiding and abetting the problem are the ever more evident campaigns by non-egalitarian and non-inclusive democratic societies as well as autocratic Middle Eastern and North African regimes that either have reduced interest in independent analysis and reporting, seek to restrict freedoms of expression and the press, or define any form of dissent as terrorism.

The notion that one can eradicate political violence is illusionary. Political violence has been a fixture of human history since day one and is likely to remain a fact of life. Its ebbs and flows often co-relate to economic, social and political up and down turns. In other words, counterterrorism and counternarratives will only be effective if they are embedded in far broader policies that tackle root causes.

And that is where the shoe pinches. To develop policies that tackle root causes, that are inclusive and aim to ensure that at least the vast majority, if not everyone, has a stake in society, the economy and the political system involves painful decisions, revising often long-standing policies and tackling vested interests. Few politicians and bureaucrats are inclined to do so.

Starting with Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks, militants have benefited from the fact that the world was entering a cyclical period in which populations lose confidence in political systems and leaderships. The single largest success of Osama bin Laden and subsequent militants is the fact that they were able to disrupt efforts to forge inclusive, multicultural societies, nowhere more so than first in Europe, then the United States with the rise of Donald Trump, and exploit ripple effects in Asia.

The result is the rise of secular and religious nationalism, populism, greater acceptance of autocratic or illiberal rule, and the erosion of democratic values and institutions. Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of ethnic and religious prejudice that no doubt existed but lived under a cloud of primarily social taboos have become socially acceptable and often politically convenient. Of course, the refugee crisis put oil on the fire. 

With democracy on the defence, free market enterprise having failed significant segments of the public, and newly-found legitimacy for prejudice, bias and bigotry, democratic governments are incapable of credibly projecting a dream, one that is backed up by policies that hold out realistic hope of producing results.

Nonetheless, what makes this cycle of lack of confidence more worrisome and goes directly to the question of the ideological challenge is how it differs from the late 1960s, the last time that we witnessed a breakdown in confidence and leadership on a global scale.

The difference between then and now is that then there were all kinds of worldviews on offer: anti-authoritarianism, anarchism, socialism, communism, concepts of extra-parliamentary opposition, and in the Middle East and North Africa, Arab nationalism and Arab socialism. Today, the only thing on offer are militant interpretations of Islam and jihadism.

Human rights activist and former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki was asked in a Wall Street Journal interview why it was not only those who lacked opportunity and felt that they had no prospects and no hopes but also educated Tunisians with jobs who were joining the Islamic State group. His answer was:

It’s not simply a matter of tackling socioeconomic roots. You have to go deeper and understand that these guys have a dream – and we don’t. We had a dream – our dream was called the Arab Spring. And our dream is now turning into a nightmare. But the young people need a dream, and the only dream available to them now is the caliphate.

It’s hard to build an ideological challenge or develop counternarratives without a dream. With democracy on the defence, free market enterprise having failed significant segments of the public, and newly-found legitimacy for prejudice, bias and bigotry, democratic governments are incapable of credibly projecting a dream, one that is backed up by policies that hold out realistic hope of producing results.

Autocrats are in a no better situation. The mayhem in the Middle East and North Africa is not exclusively but is in many ways due to their inability and failure to deliver public goods and services. Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman appeared to be holding out a dream for his kingdom. But that dream increasingly is being shattered both in Yemen and at home. Autocrats in the Middle East and North Africa are about upgrading and modernising their regimes to ensure their survival, not about real sustainable change. Elsewhere, populists and nationalists advocating racial, ethnic and religious purity and protectionist economic policies are unlikely to fare any better.

What this means is that identifying the root causes of political violence demands self-inspection on the part of governments and societies across the globe. It is those governments and societies that are both part of the problem and part of the solution. It is those governments and elites that are at the root of loss of confidence.

Creating a policy framework that is conducive to an environment… that would favour pluralism and respect of human rights and counter the appeal of jihadism and emerging sectarian-based nationalism… involves fostering inclusive national identities that can accommodate ethnic, sectarian and tribal sub-identities as legitimate and fully accepted sub-identities in Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian, as well as in Western countries.

Translating the need to tackle root causes into policy is proving difficult, primarily because it is based on a truth that has far-reaching consequences for every member of the international community. It involves governments putting their money where their mouths are and changing long-standing, ingrained policies at home that marginalise, exclude, stereotype and stigmatise significant segments of society; emphasise security at the expense of freedoms that encourage healthy debate; and in more autocratic states that are abetted by the West, seek to reduce citizens to obedient subjects through harsh repression and adaptations of religious and political beliefs to suit the interests of rulers.

The result is a vicious circle: government policies often clash with the state or regime’s professed values. As a result, dividing lines sharpen as already marginalised, disenfranchised or discriminated segments of society see the contradiction between policies and values as hypocritical and reconfirmation of the basis of their discontent.

Creating a policy framework that is conducive to an environment in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia that would favour pluralism and respect of human rights and counter the appeal of jihadism and emerging sectarian-based nationalism is not simply a question of encouraging and supporting voices in the region, first and foremost those of youth, or of revisiting assumptions of Western foreign policies and definitions of national security. It involves fostering inclusive national identities that can accommodate ethnic, sectarian and tribal sub-identities as legitimate and fully accepted sub-identities in Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian, as well as in Western countries. It involves changing domestic policies towards minorities, refugees and migrants.

Inclusiveness means that victory has to be secured as much in militant strongholds in a swath of land that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean as in the dismal banlieues, run-down, primarily minority-populated suburbs of French cities that furnished the Islamic State group with its largest contingent of European foreign fighters; in the popular neighbourhoods in Tunisia that accounted for the single largest group of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq; in Riyadh, seat of a government whose citizens accounted for the second largest number of foreign fighters and whose well-funded, decades-long effort to propagate a puritan, intolerant, interpretation of Islam has been a far more important feeding ground for jihadist thinking than the writings of militant Islamist thinkers like Sayyid Qutb; and in Western capitals with Washington in the lead who view retrograde, repressive regimes like those of Saudi Arabia and Egypt as part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

It may be hard to imagine anything more brutal than the group, but it is a fair assumption that defeating the Islamic State without tackling root causes could lead to something that is even more violent and more vicious.

In territorial terms, the Islamic States group has been defeated but the problem remains unresolved. Al-Qaeda was degraded, to use the language of the Obama administration. In the process, it weakened a jihadist force that increasingly had advocated a gradual approach to the establishment of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law in a bid to ensure public support. Instead of reducing the threat of political violence, the largely military effort to defeat Al-Qaeda produced ever more virulent forms of jihadism as embodied by the Islamic State group. It may be hard to imagine anything more brutal than the group, but it is a fair assumption that defeating the Islamic State without tackling root causes could lead to something that is even more violent and more vicious.

Defining repressive, autocratic rule and the Islamic State group as the greatest threat to stability and security and the furthering of more liberal notions is problematic. In the case of the Islamic State group, that definition elevates jihadism – the violent establishment of pan-Islamic rule based on narrow interpretations of Islamic law and scripture – to the status of a root cause rather than a symptom and expression of a greater and more complex problem. It is an approach that focuses on the immediate nature of the threat and ways to neutralise it rather than on what sparked it. It also neglects the fact that the ideological debate in the Muslim world is to a large extent dominated by schools of thought that do not advocate more open, liberal and pluralistic interpretations of Islam.

That is where one real challenge lies. It is a challenge first and foremost to Muslims, but also to an international community that would give more liberal Muslim voices significant credibility if it put its money where its mouth is. Support for self-serving regimes and their religious supporters, as in the case of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, reduces the international community’s choices to one between bad and worse, rather than to a palate of policy options that take a stab at rooting out the problem and its underlying causes.

There are no quick solutions or short cuts and the value of partial solutions is questionable. The key is the articulation of policies that over the medium term can help generate an environment more conducive to change rather than the continuous opting for knee-jerk reactions to events and facts on the ground.

One place to look for alternative approaches is Norway. In contrast to most reactions to political violence and expression of pro-jihadist sentiment, Norway’s response to right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik’s traumatic attacks in 2011 that killed 77 people stands as a model for how societies can and should uphold concepts of pluralism and human rights. Norway refrained from declaring war on terror, treated Breivik as a common criminal, and refused to compromise on its democratic values. In doing so, Norway offered a successful example of refusing to stigmatise any one group in society by adopting inclusiveness rather than profiling and upholding the very values that autocrats and jihadists challenge.

The result of exclusively security-focused approaches, coupled with the exploitation of economic opportunity by autocratic Middle Eastern and North African regimes and Western governments, is an increasingly insecure region in which the creation of pluralistic societies that honour human rights seems ever more distant…

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Supreme Court Has Affirmed Cops Have No Duty to Protect Citizens and Parkland Proves It

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(Rutherford Institute) — In the American police state, police have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later.

In fact, police don’t usually need much incentive to shoot and kill members of the public.

Police have shot and killed Americans of all ages—many of them unarmed—for standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

So when police in Florida had to deal with a 19-year-old embarking on a shooting rampage inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., what did they do?


There were four armed police officers, including one cop who was assigned to the school as a resource officer, on campus during that shooting. All four cops stayed outside the school with their weapons drawn (three of them hid behind their police cars).

Not a single one of those cops, armed with deadly weapons and trained for exactly such a dangerous scenario, entered the school to confront the shooter.

Seventeen people, most of them teenagers, died while the cops opted not to intervene.

Let that sink in a moment.

Now before your outrage bubbles over, consider that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed (most recently in 2005) that police have no constitutional duty to protect members of the public from harm.

Yes, you read that correctly.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, police have no duty, moral or otherwise, to help those in trouble, protect individuals from danger, or risk their own lives to save “we the people.”

In other words, you can be outraged that cops in Florida did nothing to stop the school shooter, but technically, it wasn’t part of their job description.

This begs the question: if the police don’t have a duty to protect the public, what are we paying them for? And who exactly do they serve if not you and me?

Why do we have more than a million cops on the taxpayer-funded payroll in this country whose jobs do not entail protecting our safety, maintaining the peace in our communities, and upholding our liberties?

Why do we have more than a million cops who have been fitted out in the trappings of war, drilled in the deadly art of combat, and trained to look upon “every individual they interact with as an armed threat and every situation as a deadly force encounter in the making?

I’ll tell you why.

It’s the same reason why the Trump Administration has made a concerted effort to expand the police state’s power to search, strip, seize, raid, steal from, arrest and jail Americans for any infraction, no matter how insignificant.

This is no longer a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

It is fast becoming a government “of the rich, by the elite, for the corporations,” and its rise to power is predicated on shackling the American taxpayer to a life of indentured servitude.

Cops in America may get paid by the citizenry, but they don’t work for us.

They don’t answer to us. They’re not loyal to us.

And they certainly aren’t operating within the limits of the U.S. Constitution.

That “thin, blue line” of loyalty to one’s fellow cops has become a self-serving apparatus that sees nothing wrong with advancing the notion that the lives—and rights—of police should be valued more than citizens.

The myth of the hero cop really is a myth.

Cops are no more noble, no more self-sacrificing, no braver and certainly no more deserving of special attention or treatment than any other American citizen.

This misplaced patriotism about police and, by extension, the military—a dangerous re-shifting of the nation’s priorities that has been reinforced by President Trump with his unnerving knack for echoing past authoritarian tactics—paves the way for even more instability in the nation.

Welcome to the American police state, funded by Corporate America, policed by the military industrial complex, and empowered by politicians whose primary purpose is to remain in office.

It’s a short hop, skip and a jump from the police state we’re operating under right now to a full-blown totalitarian regime ruled with the iron fist of martial law.

The groundwork has already been laid.

The events of recent years have only served to desensitize the nation to violence, acclimate them to a militarized police presence in their communities, and persuade them that there is nothing they can do to alter the seemingly hopeless trajectory of the nation.

The sight of police clad in body armor and gas masks, wielding semiautomatic rifles and escorting an armored vehicle through a crowded street, a scene likened to “a military patrol through a hostile city,” no longer causes alarm among the general populace.

Few seem to care about the government’s endless wars abroad that leave communities shattered, families devastated and our national security at greater risk of blowback. Indeed, there were no protests in the streets after U.S. military forces carried out air strikes on a Syrian settlement, killing 25 people, more than half of which were women and children.

And then there’s President Trump’s plans for a military parade on Veterans Day (costing between $10 million and $30 million) to showcase the nation’s military might. Other countries that feel the need to flex their military muscles to its citizens and the rest of the world include France, China, Russia and North Korea.

The question is no longer whether the U.S. government will be preyed upon and taken over by the military industrial complex. That’s a done deal.

It’s astounding how convenient we’ve made it for the government to lock down the nation.

Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.

I’m referring to the corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.

This is the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected].

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Supreme Court Denies Trump Request To Hear Dreamer Lawsuit

WASHINGTON ― In a major setback for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a lawsuit over the future of an Obama-era program that protects so-called Dreamers from deportation.

The decision all but ensures that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will remain in effect for recipients after the March 5 deadline originally set by the White House. It also takes some of the pressure off Congress to act to pass its own legislation to protect young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, something lawmakers have repeatedly failed to do.

President Donald Trump rescinded DACA in September, putting its nearly 700,000 recipients at risk of losing two-year deportation relief and work permits. He said he wanted to put in place permanent protections for Dreamers, but demanded major policy changes on legal immigration, asylum seekers and border security that senators rejected earlier this month. 

The Trump administration has the power to end DACA, which President Barack Obama had implemented through executive action. But a spate of lawsuits in California and New York have argued that the White House flouted procedures required by federal law and violated the equal protection rights of DACA recipients.

Several lawsuits filed in the Northern District of California were consolidated into one and resulted in the first nationwide, preliminary injunction barring the Trump administration from ending the DACA program while the lawsuit proceeds. The order, issued in January, requires U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to keep processing DACA renewals for people who have been approved for the program in the past, but doesn’t require them to process first-time applications.

The Trump administration appealed the injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, but also took the unusual step of asking the Supreme Court to immediately consider the lawsuit rather than waiting for the appeals court to rule first.

White House spokesman Raj Shah responded to the Supreme Court’s decision Monday by criticizing the California judge who issued the injunction reopening the DACA program. He said the administration “fully expect[s] to prevail” in the end, and said the program “is clearly unlawful.”

“The district judge’s decision to unilaterally re-impose a program that Congress had explicitly and repeatedly rejected is a usurpation of legislative authority,” Shah said in a statement. “The fact that this occurs at a time when elected representatives in Congress are actively debating this policy only underscores that the district judge has unwisely intervened in the legislative process.”

The Supreme Court’s decision Monday concerned the California lawsuit. A separate judge issued a nationwide injunction earlier this month based on another lawsuit, this one heard in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

Congress has thus far been unable or unwilling to pass legislation to help Dreamers, though lawmakers in both parties claim they want to fix the issue. The Senate voted down multiple proposals this month, with Trump’s plan garnering the least support of all.

The House hasn’t taken up any legislation. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has repeatedly said he will bring up a bill the president would sign ― signaling that he might not allow votes on measures that lack Trump’s explicit endorsement.

Ryan told reporters earlier this month that the March 5 deadline was “not as important as it was before, given the court rulings.” However, he said, “I think this place works better with deadlines, and we want to operate on deadlines.”

While DACA remains in effect for people already approved for the program, it isn’t open for new applicants, including Dreamers who would otherwise be aging into the program. Some current recipients are also likely to temporarily lose their work authorization and deportation relief as they await approval of their renewal applications, which typically takes months.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Police State Supreme Court Ruling on Immigrants

Police State Supreme Court Ruling on Immigrants

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

The US Supreme Court is stacked with right-wing extremists – progressive voices for social justice entirely absent.

The words “Equal Justice Under Law” adorn the High Court Building’s west facade. Facing east is the motto “Justice, the Guardian of Liberty.”

Since the Court’s 1789 establishment, these words belie its rulings, arguments, “supreme” allegiance to power, and support for the divine right of capital. 

“We the people” are America’s privileged class, no others. The Constitution’s general welfare clause applies to them alone. 

In his book “Democracy for the Few,” Michael Parenti called the Supreme Court an “aristocratic branch” of government.

Its members are appointed. They serve for life, and have great power for good or ill – too much of the latter, not enough of the former.

Justices nearly always side with corporate America. Today they’re supremely pro-business, ideologically conservative and reactionary.

No one nominated by Republicans or undemocratic Dems approaches the stature of William Brennan, William Douglas, Thurgood Marshall or Louis Brandeis.

Five current Supreme Court justices are Federalist Society members – Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

The organization supports rolling back civil liberties, imperial wars, free-wheeling laissez-faire capitalism and corporatism, along with ending New Deal/Great Society social programs.

It’s against reproductive choice, government regulations, labor rights, environmental protections and justice in defense of privilege.

Jennings v. Rodriguez was argued before the High Court on November 30, 2016. On June 26, 2017, the court ordered the case reargued.

Reargument took place on October 3, 2017. It involves whether government authorities can indefinitely detain immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers (including individuals with permanent legal status), along with whether they’re entitled to bond hearings at six-month intervals while appealing their case.

Representing Alejandro Rodriguez et al, the ACLU argued that congressional statutes don’t authorize prolonged detention -that without periodic bond hearings, individuals would be unjustly deprived of their liberty.

Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, the ACLU said the case  “challenges the government’s practice of detaining immigrants facing deportation proceedings for months or years without due process, including many long-term green-card holders and asylum seekers.”

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on their behalf, ordering individual bond hearings at six-month intervals to decide whether prolonged detention without due process is justified.

Indefinite detention of undocumented immigrants costs over $2 billion annually, an unacceptable abuse of power.

“(N)o one should be locked up for months or years without a hearing to determine if their detention is even justified,” the ACLU argued.

US immigration policy is notoriously discriminatory, mostly harming people of color and Muslims.

Detainees held under deplorable conditions, treated like criminals, denied fundamental human and civil rights because they’re unwanted – including refugees and asylum seekers fleeing conflict zones or homeland repression.

On Tuesday, the High Court ruled 5 – 3 against Rodriguez et al – depriving them of due process and judicial fairness, hallmarks of all free societies, absent in America. 

Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch ruled with the majority. Elena Kagan recused herself. She was Obama administration solicitor general when it supported indefinite detention of immigrants.

Following the ruling, the ACLU tweeted: “This decision will impact the lives of thousands of people, including lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, and survivors of torture.” 

“Many will ultimately win their deportation cases, but would be forced to unjustly suffer first.”

Tuesday’s ruling affects hundreds of thousands of indefinitely detained immigrants, refugees ad asylum seekers – countless numbers of others in America vulnerable to arrest and similar oppressive treatment.

Most media scoundrels paid scant attention to the ruling. The NYT initially published an AP wire service report, not its own until Wednesday.

The Washington Post covered it. So did the Wall Street Journal. CNN, MSNBC, and NBC news ignored it. 

So did most congressional members – including self-styled progressives in name only Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Obama administration officials supported indefinite detention without habeas or due process rights.

Tuesday’s ruling provided more evidence of the absence of equity and justice in America – police state harshness replacing it.

The High Court remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit for further consideration on whether immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers have any constitutional rights – clearly not in America today.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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