President Obama was elected on a platform that included promises for increased transparency and openness in government. Despite this rhetoric, Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any administration in history.
Here's a guide to how the government has focused its weapons of surveillance on millions of Americans.
This article was first published by PRWatch.org on December 31, 2012, while we were writing our report "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street," published by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy in May 2013. We re-release it now as part of a PRWatch series on the new report.
Records obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy (DBA/CMD) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request indicate that the FBI employed tactics under a "counter terrorism" initiative called "Operation Tripwire" in the monitoring of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists.
The Center for Media and Democracy has signed onto a letter with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and 26 other civil and human rights groups urging Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) director Robert Mueller to reform intelligence tools that express an anti-Muslim bias.
The letter addresses FBI intelligence guidelines for law enforcement that purport to identify when a religious convert becomes a "Homegrown Islamic Extremist," but the list of "indicators" are behaviors protected by the First Amendment. The FBI has publicly declared that "strong religious beliefs should never be confused with violent extremism," but these guidelines contradict that message.
By Will Vickery
In April, 2009, former vice president Dick Cheney called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to release classified memos he said demonstrated how well "harsh interrogation methods" -- torture -- worked to prevent terrorist attacks and save lives. But investigators with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) just released a report saying that the CIA memo Cheney cited as justifying U.S. torture contains "plainly inaccurate information" that undermines its conclusions.