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Posted: 5/3/2003 7:51:03 PM EDT
[url=alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15770]Patriot Raid[/url]
A month ago I experienced a very small taste of what hundreds of South Asian immigrants and U.S. citizens of South Asian descent have gone through since 9/11, and what thousands of others have come to fear. I was held, against my will and without warrant or cause, under the USA PATRIOT Act. While I understand the need for some measure of security and precaution in times such as these, the manner in which this detention and interrogation took place raises serious questions about police tactics and the safeguarding of civil liberties in times of war. That night, March 20th, my roommate Asher and I were on our way to see the Broadway show "Rent." We had an hour to spare before curtain time so we stopped into an Indian restaurant just off of Times Square in the heart of midtown. I have omitted the name of the restaurant so as not to subject the owners to any further harassment or humiliation. We helped ourselves to the buffet and then sat down to begin eating our dinner. I was just about to tell Asher how I'd eaten there before and how delicious the vegetable curry was, but I never got a chance. All of a sudden, there was a terrible commotion and five NYPD in bulletproof vests stormed down the stairs. They had their guns drawn and were pointing them indiscriminately at the restaurant staff and at us. "Go to the back, go to the back of the restaurant," they yelled. I hesitated, lost in my own panic. "Did you not hear me, go to the back and sit down," they demanded. I complied and looked around at the other patrons. There were eight men including the waiter, all of South Asian descent and ranging in age from late-teens to senior citizen. One of the policemen pointed his gun point-blank in the face of the waiter and shouted: "Is there anyone else in the restaurant?" The waiter, terrified, gestured to the kitchen. The police [red]placed their fingers on the triggers of their guns[/red]
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(I call bullshit here...)
and kicked open the kitchen doors. Shouts emanated from the kitchen and a few seconds later five Hispanic men were made to crawl out on their hands and knees, guns pointed at them. After patting us all down, the five officers seated us at two tables. As they continued to kick open doors to closets and bathrooms [red]with their fingers glued to their triggers,
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(again)
no less than ten officers in suits emerged from the stairwell. Most of them sat in the back of the restaurant typing on their laptop computers. Two of them walked over to our table and identified themselves as officers of the INS and Homeland Security Department. I explained that we were just eating dinner and asked why we were being held. We were told by the INS agent that we would be released once they had confirmation that we had no outstanding warrants and our immigration status was OK'd. In pre-9/11 America, the legality of this would have been questionable. After all, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized." "You have no right to hold us," Asher insisted. "Yes, we have every right," responded one of the agents. "You are being held under the Patriot Act following suspicion under an internal Homeland Security investigation." The USA PATRIOT Act was passed into law on October 26, 2001 in order to facilitate the post 9/11 crackdown on terrorism (the name is actually an acronym: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.") Like most Americans, I did not recognize the extent to which this bill foregoes our civil liberties. Among the unprecedented rights it grants to the federal government are the right to wiretap without warrant, and the right to detain without warrant. As I quickly discovered, the right to an attorney has been seemingly fudged as well. [red]When I asked to speak to a lawyer, the INS official informed me that I do have the right to a lawyer but I would have to be brought down to the station and await security clearance before being granted one. When I asked how long that would take, he replied with a coy smile: [size=3]"Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe a month."[/size=3][/red]
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THAT PART I believe. And that's what disturbs me most. Go read the rest of the article.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 7:51:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2003 7:52:27 PM EDT by KBaker]
Then there's [url=wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,58326,00.html]This: [/url]
Ex-Intel VP Fights for Detainee Friends of an Intel programmer who is being held in a federal prison can't help but shake their heads in disbelief. They've also launched a website pushing for his release and collecting donations for his defense. The most salient explanation for the arrest seems to be a link between the programmer, Maher "Mike" Hawash, and a charitable organization to which he donated a fairly large sum three years ago. The U.S. government has subsequently tagged the charity as having ties to terrorism. Hawash, a U.S. citizen, was arrested last month by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. [red]For nearly two weeks, he has been held as a so-called "material witness" in solitary confinement in a federal lockup in Sheridan, Oregon. The designation allows authorities to hold him [u][i]indefinitely[/i][/u] without charging him with a crime.[/red] The Department of Justice has required a federal court to seal Hawash's case. He has only limited access to his family and lawyer. A friend and former colleague at Intel, Steven McGeady, is championing Hawash's case. McGeady, a former vice president at the chipmaker who hired Hawash as a programmer in 1992, was a high-profile witness in the Microsoft antitrust trial. "People say this doesn't happen in this country," McGeady said, "but one of my neighbors has been disappeared. It's not what he might have done that matters to me -- they disappeared him. They need to question him and let him go, or charge him. It's like Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka." McGeady set up a website, Free Mike Hawash, that urges supporters to write politicians and donate to a legal defense fund. The site is drawing considerable attention online, climbing the charts on Daypop and Blogdex. Because of the campaign, the office of Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has promised to contact the FBI about the case, McGeady said. Authorities have detained at least 44 other material witnesses in probes following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to an investigation by The Washington Post. Hawash, an Arab American, was arrested by FBI agents at about 7 a.m. March 20 as he arrived for work at the Intel plant in Hillsboro, Oregon. During his arrest, a squad of armed agents in bulletproof vests stormed his home, seizing computers and files. His wife, Lisa, and their three children were asleep at the time. Neither the FBI, which arrested Hawash, nor the U.S. Marshals office, which is responsible for his detention, would provide any information about the case, citing a gag order. "Due to court rules I can't answer any questions," said Beth Ann Steele, a spokeswoman in the FBI's Portland office. Calls to the U.S. Attorney's office in Portland requesting comment were not returned. An FBI press release concerning Hawash's arrest says simply that four federal search warrants were executed in the Hillsboro area as part of an "ongoing investigation." There are no hints about the nature of the investigation, except that it is unrelated to the war in Iraq, or the number of people detained. Though he's guessing, McGeady said it was possible Hawash was targeted because of charitable donations he made in 2000 to the Global Relief Foundation, a Muslim charity that purported to fund mosques and schools in the United States, as well as West Bank medical facilities. However, two years after Hawash made his donations, the Illinois-based charity was accused of links to terrorist organizations, and the Treasury Department froze its assets. The charity denies the accusations and is fighting the pending extradition of one of its founders. to a story in The Oregonian newspaper, Hawash donated about $10,000, which the paper uncovered by examining the foundation's federal tax returns. Hawash made the donations after a representative solicited funds at a local mosque or Islamic center, the paper said. "The organization is legit," Hawash told a reporter. "We believed that they are doing good work. It's a well-known organization." But McGeady said Hawash's detention could easily be related to something else. "I'm completely puzzled," he said. "He has family in the West Bank, but he's not political. He worked at Intel Israel for two years, for heck's sake. His most political act was setting up an ISP on the West Bank, and in my opinion that's not political. I don't know. Maybe it's a case of mistaken identity. Maybe it's something beyond my comprehension." Hawash, 38, was born in the West Bank but became a U.S. citizen in 1988. His wife, two of his children and his stepchild are all American-born. Hawash co-authored a book on multimedia programming. He was laid off from Intel in 2001, but was later rehired as a contract programmer. According to The Washington Post's November investigation, at least 44 people have been arrested and detained as material witnesses in post-Sept. 11 terrorist probes. The paper was unable to determine hard numbers because of secrecy surrounding the cases. The 1984 material witness statute was designed to coax testimony from unwilling witnesses or those likely to flee the country. But since Sept. 11, authorities have made widespread use of the statute to detain suspects indefinitely without charging them with any crime. According to the Post, none of the 44 witnesses held was charged, and nearly half were not called to testify before a grand jury. Most were held in maximum security for periods ranging from days to "several months or longer." At least seven were U.S. citizens, the Post reported. In early 2002, Jose Padilla was detained as a material witness for allegedly plotting to explode a "dirty" nuclear device. The U.S. government subsequently designated him an "enemy combatant" and has held him in a Navy brig in South Carolina. Padilla has not been tried and is denied access to a lawyer.
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But, but, this is [i]America!!![/i] It [b][u][i]CAN[/b] happen here![/i][/u]
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 8:01:46 PM EDT
I got $5 that said they did have their fingers on the triggers.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 8:04:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 8:15:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Spade: I got $5 that said they did have their fingers on the triggers.
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Hell, they might have. I call bullshit on the guy [i]actually noticing[/i]. Unless you're a shooter, most people don't [i]notice[/i], they simply [i]assume.[/i] I'm willing to bet Elian's uncle would swear on a stack of bibles that the INS jackboot had [i]his[/i] finger on the trigger of the MP5 when he came to take the kid.
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 8:49:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KBaker:
Originally Posted By Spade: I got $5 that said they did have their fingers on the triggers.
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Hell, they might have. I call bullshit on the guy [i]actually noticing[/i]. Unless you're a shooter, most people don't [i]notice[/i], they simply [i]assume.[/i] I'm willing to bet Elian's uncle would swear on a stack of bibles that the INS jackboot had [i]his[/i] finger on the trigger of the MP5 when he came to take the kid.
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Yeah, I see your point. A lot of people probably see the finger there and think that it's on the trigger and ready to go. OTOH, doesn't NYPD issue Glocks? And doesn't Glock make a special trigger (The "New York Trigger") that they use in their guns to make the pull heavier? I don't remember ever thinking that I needed a heavier trigger on a Glock in order to not negligently shoot stuff, so, why would they, unless they go around putting their fingers on the trigger?
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 9:37:41 PM EDT
OK, here's another related issue. [url=www.ajc.com/print/content/epaper/editions/today/metro_e31bafdaa0dd11890007.html]GBI agent appeals transfer over case Militia leader fired after security memo disclosed[/url]
Jimmy Wynn fears the United Nations, a New World Order and government-implanted tracking devices. Wynn, the commanding officer of the Militia of Georgia and a Lawrenceville resident, asks supporters to report to him specifics of large police activities such as roadblocks "or house-to-house search and seizures." So when the leader of the paramilitary group started working last spring as a retail clerk at Southeastern Guns in Norcross, his position worried Gwinnett County police and set in motion a chain of events that shed a glimmer of light on the highly secretive state Department of Homeland Security. The case illustrates the dilemmas that investigators wrestle with as the nation wages an ongoing war on terror: Who should police keep tabs on? What should they do with the intelligence they gather? And what is "imminent" danger? The case started when a Gwinnett detective issued a classified "intelligence release" [red]warning police of Wynn's new job, that he has "insinuat[ed] the use of violence against law enforcement officers" and often carries guns in his car.[/red] The report said the job would allow Wynn "to collect intelligence" on police, getting officers' home addresses when they complete federal paperwork when buying guns. Wynn, 45, was not wanted on any criminal charges, the report advised --- just keep an eye on him. Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent John Lang, who was assigned as a threat analyst to the Department of Homeland Security, saw the memo and decided making note of the information was not enough. He called the gun shop owner and told him about the memo concerning his employee. Wynn was fired.
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Well in that case, I guess we're all fucked. Has there been an unusual wave of layoffs among members recently? Hmmm?
Wynn, who has been mostly unemployed since he was laid off from Lucent Technologies in late 2001, did not know why he lost his job until last week [red]when he was told by a reporter.[/red] He said he has never advocated violence against the police or government officials. He was angry when he learned why he was fired. He said he "was done plain dirty and the system is still trying to set me up in order to make their blunders look as though they have some semblance of truth." Wynn's former boss, David Simons, said Wynn was a probationary employee and set to be fired anyway because of job performance.
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"That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!" Hell, he might be telling the truth, but it sure smells like the "advisory" was an influencing factor.
About a month later, Lang, a veteran and highly decorated agent who investigated the murders of Buckhead socialite Lita Sullivan and DeKalb County Sheriff Derwin Brown, was reprimanded and transferred to another job. [red]Superiors said Lang violated agency policy by sharing the information with a civilian.[/red]
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Gee, imagine that, a government employee overstepping his authority! Whodathunkit?
Furthermore, Lang "more than likely contributed to, if not caused, the termination of a subject's job because of his association with a particular group with no evidence of a crime being planned or committed, and without consulting a superior, might well be more than society is willing to accept," GBI legal director Mark Jackson wrote in a letter. Lang sees the issue very differently and is appealing the decision. Lang did not want to comment for this article. But, in a letter appealing his reprimand, he pointed to the FBI's inaction before the Sept. 11 attacks as his motivation. "This delay and sitting on information is precisely why incidents like Sept. 11 occurred," Lang wrote. "What good is intelligence if it is not used to alert innocent victims and prevent violent behavior or incidents? Reprimand's impact The reprimand could set a precedent, Lang said, that "will likely dampen other agents' aggressiveness in making decisions in a timely manner when time is of the essence to prevent an act of terrorism." Lang also stated that affording intelligence to nonpolice is common: "Traditionally, we have had no qualms about sharing intelligence information with private security departments such as Georgia Power, Delta Air Lines and the Anti-Defamation League regarding employees or others suspected of criminal activity." Wynn, who has been with the militia since 1987, said police have investigated him in the past and he goes out of his way to avoid any appearance of illegality. "I do not discuss acts of sedition, violence, or any kind of activity which may be deemed to be illegal --- not even in joking," he said. "Am I concerned about roadblocks? You're damn right I am. So, do I advocate attacking [police] at checkpoints? No. As a matter of fact, I don't even carry a firearm in my automobile because I fear it would give the overzealous [police] an excuse to shoot me."
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It's not paranoia when they really [i]are[/i] out to get you...
Don English, attorney for the Police Benevolent Association of Georgia, said the organization is helping Lang fight the case because of its broad implications. "This is something important for law enforcement in general," said English. "This could be a sign of the time to come --- any officer who is proactive and effective is subject to have things placed under a microscope." 'Imminent' undefined The key to the case, now before a DeKalb County Superior Court judge, is the meaning of "imminent" danger. "By failing to define the word 'imminent' within policy, the Bureau clearly left this determination to the individual agent's discretion," wrote Steven Wisebram, Lang's attorney. The GBI acknowledged "imminent" is not defined in GBI protocol, but wrote the American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "about to occur or impending, about to take place." Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and criminal law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the terms "imminent and inevitable often get interchanged. "It's not irrational for this officer to do what he did," she said. "He interpreted this information like the president did on the war in Iraq." She said police must make a showing in court to get a wire tap or a search warrant. But they are free to collect intelligence on people. "In this country you don't need any showing to put someone under a microscope," Levenson said. "Because of people's fear and the need to make a difference in protecting them, [police] may be stepping over boundaries." Robert Friedmann, a Georgia State University criminal justice professor who studies terrorism and security issues, said law enforcement agencies, most of whom are stretched for staffing, won't spend time collecting intelligence for the sake of doing it. "You want to focus on leads that produce results," he said. "You don't want to be East Germany but you don't want to be fish bait waiting for the terrorists to strike. That's the dilemma of a democratic society." About the question of how that information should be used or shared, Friedmann said: "My hunch is we're in virgin territory. "It's not an easy call to make," he said. "It's not just a professional judgment. It's an art."
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I thought it was covered under law? Slippery slope, anyone?
Link Posted: 5/3/2003 9:43:04 PM EDT
i still feel safer and that's what matters ... right? [:(]
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 2:46:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Red_Beard: i still feel safer and that's what matters... right?[:(]
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In a word, no. And this isn't a Democrat administration and we can't blame Clinton because, guess what, he [b]isn't[/b] the President. But now, I'm at a loss as I don't know whom to blame. GBJr wouldn't be a hypocrite. Would he?[img]http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung/fragend/confused-smiley-015.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 5:44:24 AM EDT
Slippery slope, anyone?
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Oh yes, most definitely. But it is very hard to keep the pendulum in the middle. There are bound to be incidents like these; misunderstandings, over-reactions, and perhaps over-zealousness. I’d like to see the cops kick in a few doors out in Hollywood
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 6:03:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2003 6:03:46 AM EDT by cyanide]
I [b]can remember[/b] when I said stuff like this would happen and was told by a lot of members here----[b]"if your not doing anything wrong you don't have to worry"[/b] it is only going to get worse folks.
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 6:24:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2003 7:12:52 AM EDT by liberty86]
Originally Posted By KBaker: Then there's [url=wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,58326,00.html]This: [/url]
Ex-Intel VP Fights for Detainee Friends of an Intel programmer who is being held in a federal prison can't help but shake their heads in disbelief. They've also launched a website pushing for his release and collecting donations for his defense. The most salient explanation for the arrest seems to be a link between the programmer, Maher "Mike" Hawash, and a charitable organization to which he donated a fairly large sum three years ago. The U.S. government has subsequently tagged the charity as having ties to terrorism. Hawash, a U.S. citizen, was arrested last month by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. [red]For nearly two weeks, he has been held as a so-called "material witness" in solitary confinement in a federal lockup in Sheridan, Oregon. The designation allows authorities to hold him [u][i]indefinitely[/i][/u] without charging him with a crime.[/red The Department of Justice has required a federal court to seal Hawash's case. He has only limited access to his family and lawyer. A friend and former colleague at Intel, Steven McGeady, is championing Hawash's case. McGeady, a former vice president at the chipmaker who hired Hawash as a programmer in 1992, was a high-profile witness in the Microsoft antitrust trial. "People say this doesn't happen in this country," McGeady said, "but one of my neighbors has been disappeared. It's not what he might have done that matters to me -- they disappeared him. They need to question him and let him go, or charge him. It's like Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka." McGeady set up a website, Free Mike Hawash, that urges supporters to write politicians and donate to a legal defense fund. The site is drawing considerable attention online, climbing the charts on Daypop and Blogdex. Because of the campaign, the office of Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has promised to contact the FBI about the case, McGeady said.]
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Hawash was charged last week with "giving material support to Al Queada", and "making war on the United States. He was 1 of 5-6 Portland OR residents who went to china after 9/11, attempting to enter Afghanistan to help Al Queada against US troops. The "Charity" he gave tens of thousands to appears to be a front group.
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 6:35:15 AM EDT
Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and criminal law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the terms "imminent and inevitable often get interchanged. "It's not irrational for this officer to do what he did," she said. "He interpreted this information like the president did on the war in Iraq."
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What a giant leap in logic. Fed calls up work and gets guy fired = The American war machine in iraq?
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 6:46:56 AM EDT
where is inbro when you need him TXL
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 7:04:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By liberty86: Wabash was charged last week with "giving material support to Al Queada", and "making war on the United States. He was 1 of 5-6 Portland OR residents who went to china after 9/11, attempting to enter Afghanistan to help Al Queada against US troops. The "Charity" he gave tens of thousands to appears to be a front group.
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It's "Hawash", but you're right. The story is [url=www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=57151]here[/url]
Grand Jury Indicts Mike Hawash A federal grand jury has indicted seven people from the Portland area accused of trying to join the terrorist organization al-Qaida to fight US troops in Afghanistan. Six people were arrested last fall and the seventh was taken into custody as a material witness last month before he was charged. The indictment today lists software engineer Maher "Mike" Hawash along with the other six people -- Jeffrey Battle, Patrice Lumumba Ford, brothers Ahmed and Muhammad Bilal, Habis Al Saoub and October Martinique Lewis. All but Al Saoub are in federal custody on charges of conspiracy to wage war against the United States and conspiracy to support al-Qaida. They also face money laundering and firearms charges.
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I'm not real happy about the ability of the government to arrest and hold someone without charges and without counsel for weeks or months, though. It [i]invites[/i] abuse.
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 7:06:25 AM EDT
Why would anyone want to be borned a southwest Asian anyway? They shoulda never done that. [;)]
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 7:35:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By liberty86: Hawash was charged last week with "giving material support to Al Queada", and "making war on the United States. He was 1 of 5-6 Portland OR residents who went to china after 9/11, attempting to enter Afghanistan to help Al Queada against US troops. The "Charity" he gave tens of thousands to appears to be a front group.
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[stick] [b]BAD[/b] Muslim, no virgin! Sorry, I just couldn't resist. [:D]
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 12:34:44 PM EDT
I'm glad I'm not an Arab born immigrant who donated large sums of money to terrorist organizations.
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 12:52:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 12:54:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2003 12:56:07 PM EDT by cyanide]
The second story is trash, the first one is a guy who got boned on this law or did I read it wrong ???????[url]http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15770[/url]
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 1:04:21 PM EDT
anybody that goes to see "rent", and babbles about how great the "vegetable curry" is; deserves to be detained. what a wuss!
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 4:43:50 PM EDT
I don’t know how true any of this is (though these articles seem pretty self-serving!!). But I do know that [b]everybody[/b] in prison is innocent – just ask them!! And we all know how O.J. was framed!! So I’m going to be a little skeptical!!! [:D]
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 4:50:51 PM EDT
Power corrupts
Link Posted: 5/4/2003 8:48:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cyanide: I [b]can remember[/b] when I said stuff like this would happen and was told by a lot of members here----[b]"if your not doing anything wrong you don't have to worry"[/b] it is only going to get worse folks.
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I can remember when I said it would happen, and most people said "who cares - it'll only happy to suspicious foreigners like you, DK-Prof, not to american citizens like us" Good luck with that when you're a "material witness" or an "enemy combatant" and your civil rights magically disappeared.
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