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Federal Agencies Fail to Report Hate Crimes to FBI as Mandated

In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBI’s national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned.

The lack of participation by federal law enforcement represents a significant and largely unknown flaw in the database, which is supposed to be the nation’s most comprehensive source of information on hate crimes. The database is maintained by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which uses it to tabulate the number of alleged hate crimes occurring around the nation each year.

The FBI has identified at least 120 federal agencies that aren’t uploading information to the database, according to Amy Blasher, a unit chief at the CJIS Division, an arm of the bureau that is overseeing the modernization of its information systems.

The federal government operates a vast array of law enforcement agencies — ranging from Customs and Border Protection to the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Amtrak Police — employing more than 120,000 law enforcement officers with arrest powers. The FBI would not say which agencies have declined to participate in the program, but the bureau’s annual tally of hate crimes statistics does not include any offenses handled by federal law enforcement. Indeed, the problem is so widespread that the FBI itself isn’t submitting the hate crimes it investigates to its own database.

“We truly don’t understand what’s happening with crime in the U.S. without the federal component,” Blasher said in an interview.

At present, the bulk of the information in the database is supplied by state and local police departments. In 2015, the database tracked more than 5,580 alleged hate crime incidents, including 257 targeting Muslims, an upward surge of 67 percent from the previous year. (The Bureau hasn’t released 2016 or 2017 statistics yet.)

But it’s long been clear that hundreds of local police departments don’t send data to the FBI, and so given the added lack of participation by federal law enforcement, the true numbers for 2015 are likely to be significantly higher.

A federal law, the 1988 Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act, requires all U.S. government law enforcement agencies to send a wide variety of crime data to the FBI. Two years later, after the passage of another law, the bureau began collecting data about “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” That was later expanded to include gender and gender identity.

The federal agencies that are not submitting data are violating the law, Blasher told us. She said she’s in contact with about 20 agencies and is hopeful that some will start participating, but added that there is no firm timeline for that to happen.

“Honestly, we don’t know how long it will take,”Blasher said of the effort to get federal agencies on board.

The issue goes far beyond hate crimes — federal agencies are failing to report a whole range of crime statistics, Blasher conceded. But hate crimes, and the lack of reliable data concerning them have been of intense interest amid the country’s highly polarized and volatile political environment.

ProPublica contacted several federal agencies seeking an explanation. A spokesperson for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, which handles close to 50,000 offenses annually, said the service is adhering to Defense Department rules regarding crime data and is using a digital crime tracking system linked to the FBI’s database. But the Army declined to say whether its statistics are actually being sent to the FBI, referring that question up the chain of command to the Department of Defense.

In 2014, an internal probe conducted by Defense Department investigators found that the “DoD is not reporting criminal incident data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in the annual Uniform Crime Reports.”

ProPublica contacted the Defense Department for clarification and shared with a department spokesman a copy of the 2014 reports acknowledging the failure to send data to the FBI.

“We have no additional information at this time,” said Christopher Sherwood, the spokesman.

Federal agencies are hardly the only ones to skip out on reporting hate crimes. An Associated Press investigation last year found at least 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments that repeatedly failed to report hate crimes to the FBI.

In the case of the FBI itself, Blasher said the issue is largely technological: Agents have long collected huge amounts of information about alleged hate crimes, but don’t have a digital system to easily input that information to the database, which is administered by staff at an FBI complex in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Since Blasher began pushing to modernize the FBI’s data systems, the Bureau has made some progress. It began compiling some limited hate crimes statistics for 2014 and 2015, though that information didn’t go into the national hate crimes database.

In Washington, lawmakers were surprised to learn about the failure by federal agencies to abide by the law.

“It’s fascinating and very disturbing,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who said he wanted to speak about the matter with the FBI’s government affairs team. He wants to see federal agencies “reporting hate crimes as soon as possible.”

Beyer and other lawmakers have been working in recent years to improve the numbers of local police agencies participating in voluntary hate crime reporting efforts. Bills pending in Congress would give out grants to police forces to upgrade their computer systems; in exchange, the departments would begin uploading hate crime data to the FBI.

Beyer, who is sponsoring the House bill, titled the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act, said he would consider drafting new legislation to improve hate crimes reporting by federal agencies or try to build such a provision into the appropriations bill.

“The federal government needs to lead by example. It’s not easy to ask local and state governments to submit their data if these 120 federal agencies aren’t even submitting hate crimes data to the database,” Beyer said.

In the Senate, Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota said the federal agencies need to do better. “I’ve long urged the FBI and the Department of Justice to improve the tracking and reporting of hate crimes by state and local law enforcement agencies,” Franken told ProPublica. “But in order to make sure we understand the full scope of the problem, the federal government must also do its part to ensure that we have accurate and trustworthy data.”

Virginia’s Barbara Comstock, a House Republican who authored a resolution in April urging the “Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal agencies to work to improve the reporting of hate crimes,” did not respond to requests for comment.

By: A.C. Thompson and Ken Schwencke

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Washington’s Obsession With Punishing Secrecy Violations — until Hillary Clinton

Secrecy is a virtual religion in Washington. Those who violate its dogma have been punished in the harshest and most excessive manner – at least when they possess little political power or influence. As has been widely noted, the Obama administration has prosecuted more leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined. Secrecy in DC is so revered that even the most banal documents are reflexively marked classified, making their disclosure or mishandling a felony. As former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden said back in 2000, “Everything’s secret. I mean, I got an email saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ It carried a top secret NSA classification marking.”

People who leak to media outlets for the selfless purpose of informing the public – Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Drake, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden – face decades in prison. Those who leak for more ignoble and self-serving ends – such as enabling hagiography (Leon Panetta, David Petreaus) or ingratiating oneself to one’s mistress (Petraeus) – face career destruction, though they are usually spared if they are sufficiently Important-in-DC. For low-level, powerless Nobodies-in-DC, even the mere mishandling of classified informationwithout any intent to leak but merely to, say, work from home – has resulted in criminal prosecution, career destruction and the permanent loss of security clearance.

This extreme, unforgiving, unreasonable, excessive posture toward classified information came to an instant halt in Washington today – just in time to save Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. FBI Director James Comey, an Obama appointee who served in the Bush DOJ, held a press conference earlier this afternoon in which he condemned Clinton on the ground that she and her colleagues were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” including Top Secret material.

Comey also detailed that her key public statements defending her conducti.e., she never sent classified information over her personal email account and that she had turned over all “work-related” emails to the State Department – were utterly false; insisted “that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position . . . should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation”; and argued that she endangered national security because of the possibility “that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.” Comey also noted that others who have done what Clinton did “are often subject to security or administrative sanctions” – such as demotion, career harm, or loss of security clearance.

Despite all of these highly incriminating findings, Comey explained, the FBI is recommending to the Justice Department that Clinton not be charged with any crime. “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” he said, “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” To justify this claim, Comey cited “the context of a person’s actions” and her “intent.” In other words, there is evidence that she did exactly what the criminal law prohibits, but it was more negligent and careless than malicious and deliberate.

Looked at in isolation, I have no particular objection to this decision. In fact, I agree with it: I don’t think what Clinton did rose to the level of criminality, and if I were in the Justice Department, I would not want to see her prosecuted for it. I do think there was malignant intent: using a personal email account and installing a home server always seemed to be designed, at least in part, to control her communications and hide them from FOIA and similar disclosure obligations. As The New York Times noted in May about a highly incriminating report from the State Department’s own Auditor General: “emails disclosed in the report made it clear that she worried that personal emails could be publicly released under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Moreover, Comey expressly found that – contrary to her repeated statements  – “the FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014.” The Inspector General’s report similarly, in the words of the NYT, “undermined some of Mrs. Clinton’s previous statements defending her use of the server.” Still, charging someone with a felony requires more than lying or unethical motives; it should require a clear intent to break the law along with substantial intended harm, none of which is sufficiently present here.

But this case does not exist in isolation. It exists in a political climate where secrecy is regarded as the highest end, where people have their lives destroyed for the most trivial – or, worse, the most well-intentioned – violations of secrecy laws, even in the absence of any evidence of harm or malignant intent. And these are injustices that Hillary Clinton and most of her stalwart Democratic followers have never once opposed – but rather enthusiastically cheered. In 2011, Army Private Chelsea Manning was charged with multiple felonies and faced decades in prison for leaking documents that she firmly believed the public had the right to see; unlike the documents Clinton recklessly mishandled, none of those was Top Secret. Nonetheless, this is what then-Secretary Clinton said in justifying her prosecution:

I think that in an age where so much information is flying through cyberspace, we all have to be aware of the fact that some information which is sensitive, which does affect the security of individuals and relationships, deserves to be protected and we will continue to take necessary steps to do so.

Comey’s announcement also takes place in a society that imprisons more of its citizens than any other in the world by far, for more trivial offenses than any western nation – overwhelmingly when they are poor or otherwise marginalized due to their race or ethnicity. The sort of leniency and mercy and prosecutorial restraint Comey extended today to Hillary Clinton is simply unavailable for most Americans.

What happened here is glaringly obvious. It is the tawdry by-product of a criminal justice mentality in which – as I documented in my 2011 bookWith Liberty and Justice for Some – those who wield the greatest political and economic power are virtually exempt from the rule of law even when they commit the most egregious crimes, while only those who are powerless and marginalized are harshly punished, often for the most trivial transgressions.

Had someone who was obscure and unimportant and powerless done what Hillary Clinton did – recklessly and secretly install a shoddy home server and worked with Top Secret information on it, then outright lied to the public about it when they were caught – they would have been criminally charged long ago, with little fuss or objection. But Hillary Clinton is the opposite of unimportant. She’s the multi-millionaire former First Lady, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State, supported by virtually the entire political, financial and media establishment to be the next President, arguably the only person standing between Donald Trump and the White House.

Like the Wall Street tycoons whose systemic fraud triggered the 2008 global financial crisis, and like the military and political officials who instituted a worldwide regime of torture, Hillary Clinton is too important to be treated the same as everyone else under the law. “Felony charges appear to be reserved for people of the lowest ranks. Everyone else who does it either doesn’t get charged or gets charged with a misdemeanor,” Virginia defense attorney Edward MacMahon told Politico last year about secrecy prosecutions. Washington defense attorney Abbe Lowell has similarly denounced the “profound double standard” governing how the Obama DOJ prosecutes secrecy cases: “lower-level employees are prosecuted . . . because they are easy targets and lack the resources and political connections to fight back.”

The fact that Clinton is who she is: that is undoubtedly what caused the FBI to accord her the massive benefit of the doubt when assessing her motives. Her identity, rather than her conduct, was clearly a major factor in his finding nothing that was – in the words of Comey – “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice.”

But a system that accords treatment based on who someone is, rather than what they’ve done, is the opposite of one conducted under the rule of law. It is, instead, one of systemic privilege. As Thomas Jefferson put it in a 1784 letter to George Washington, the ultimate foundation of any constitutional order is “the denial of every preeminence.” Hillary Clinton has long been the beneficiary of this systemic privilege in so many ways, and today, she received her biggest gift from it yet.

The Obama-appointed FBI Director gave a press conference showing that she recklessly handled Top Secret information, engaged in conduct prohibited by law, and lied about it repeatedly to the public. But she won’t be prosecuted or imprisoned for any of that, so Democrats are celebrating. But if there is to be anything positive that can come from this lowly affair, perhaps Democrats might start demanding the same reasonable leniency and prosecutorial restraint for everyone else who isn’t Hillary Clinton.

 

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Leaked Docs Reveal How Easily FBI Can Spy on Journalists

(COMMONDREAMSNewly leaked documents published by The Intercept expose just how easy it is for the FBI to spy on journalists using so-called National Security Letters (NSLs).

The classified rules, which had previously been released only in heavily redacted form, “show that the FBI imposes few constraints on itself when it bypasses the requirement to go to court and obtain subpoenas or search warrants before accessing journalists’ information,” The Intercept‘s Cora Currier wrote on Thursday.

According to the reporting, an attempt to access journalists’ call data with an NSL must be approved by the typical chain-of-command as well as the FBI’s general counsel and the executive assistant director of the agency’s National Security Branch.

“Generally speaking, there are a variety of FBI officials, including the agents in charge of field offices, who can sign off that an NSL is ‘relevant’ to a national security investigation,” Currier explained.

Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an advocacy group which had petitioned for the release of these documents, calls Thursday’s revelations “quite disturbing, since the Justice Department spent two years trying to convince the public that it updated its ‘Media Guidelines’ to create a very high and restrictive bar for when and how they could spy on journalists using regular subpoenas and court orders. These leaked rules prove that the FBI and [Department of Justice or DOJ] can completely circumvent the Media Guidelines and just use an NSL in total secrecy.”

The Intercept added: “There is an extra step under the rules if the NSL targets a journalist in order ‘to identify confidential news media sources.’ In that case, the general counsel and the executive assistant director must first consult with the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division.”

Of this low additional hurdle, Timm scoffs: “That’s it! They don’t have to even go through the motions for following any of the several rules laid out in the DOJ [M]edia [G]uidelines: like get the Attorney General to sign off, exhaust all other means of investigation, alerting and negotiating with the affected media organization, making sure what is being sought is essential to the investigation, etc.”

Furthermore, the rules stipulate that if “the NSL is trying to identify a leaker by targeting the records of the potential source, and not the journalist, the Justice Department doesn’t need to be involved.”

And then there’s the matter of transparency, Timm writes, comparing the information gleaned through the leak with what was previously made available by the DOJ:

The other major question here is: why are these rules secret in the first place? The information that has been redacted here by the Justice Department—and which they are fighting to keep secret in court—is incredibly mundane. The fact that the FBI has to get another person in the bureaucracy to sign off on a particular investigation should not be a state secret, nor would it remotely harm any ongoing investigation, nor would “tip off” any alleged criminals to how to evade surveillance.

In an effort to make the rules more transparent, the Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2015 filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit demanding the DOJ release the secret rules targeting journalists. Last month, a coalition of 37 news organizations—including the Associated Press, NPR, and Buzzfeed—filed a legal brief supporting that demand.

Just last week, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bill that would have dramatically expanded the FBI’s authority to use NSLs to obtain Electronic Communication Transaction Records (ECTR) such as email time stamps, senders, and recipients, as well as browsing metadata such as history and location—all without a warrant.

However, digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation warned at the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “switched his vote to ‘No’ at the last minute so that he may be able to bring up the amendment during future debate.”


This article (‘Quite Disturbing’: Leaked Docs Reveal How Easily FBI Can Spy on Journalists) by Deirdre Fulton originally appeared on CommonDreams.org and is licensed Creative Commons 3.0. The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: edits@theantimedia.org

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Firefox Voices Support For Apple, Launches Advocacy Campaign For Encryption

Mozilla and Firefox Executive Director Mark Surman have come out in support of Tim Cook’s and Apple’s resistance to complying with the recent legal order to unlock an iPhone recovered during the FBI investigation surrounding the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015.

 

 

“We respect the concerns of law enforcement officials, but we believe that proposals to weaken encryption — especially requirements for backdoors — would seriously harm the security of all users of the Internet,” said Surman. The Firefox exec not only shared a post on The Mozilla Blog, but also wrote an op-ed for CNN and a piece on Medium as well.

 

In fact, Mozilla launched a Privacy & Encryption Advocacy campaign earlier this February, even before Apple published its open letter about the dangers of building a backdoor into iOS. Users can sign up on Firefox’s educational campaign website to receive “resources and videos about encryption and other topics essential to protecting the Web,” Mozilla writes.

“We will also need to get Mozilla’s community — and the broader public — involved. We will need them to tell their elected officials that individual privacy and security online cannot be treated as optional. We can play a critical role if we get this message across,” Surman writes. “We know this is a tough road. Most people don’t even know what encryption is. Or, they feel there isn’t much they can do about online privacy. Or, both.”

Mozilla has championed Internet issues before, and collaborated with the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) to develop the Let’s Encrypt project. Still in beta, Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated Web certificate authority that allows secure connections between web browsers and website servers.

 

 

Apple has three more days to change their mind about not decrypting the iPhone for the FBI, but it’s unsure if they’ll comply or just stick to their guns. Multiple other Internet-focused companies have come out in support of Apple’s stance, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Twitter and Facebook. Apple’s own track record on the issue speaks for itself

However, the justice department did recently come after Apple, calling their protest a “marketing strategy,” according to the New York Times, and didn’t show any indication of changing their mind about their request in court documents.

Separately, Bloomberg recently published details about a secret memo regarding senior national security officials ordering “agencies across the U.S. government to find ways to counter encryption software and gain access to the most heavily protected user data on the most secure consumer devices, including Apple Inc.’s iPhone.”

According to Bloomberg, the confidential National Security Council memo is titled “decision memo,” and reveals that “the government [has been privately] honing a sharper edge to its relationship with Silicon Valley alongside more public signs of rapprochement.”

The memo also instructed government agencies to identify laws that need changing regarding encryption, focus on creating workarounds to access a locked device and also estimate the additional funds needed to budget for the extra expense.

 

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Apple Won’t Help The FBI, and Here’s Why You Should Care

n a first-of-its-kind ruling, a U.S. magistrate has ordered Apple to assist the government in unlocking the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The FBI is seeking information that may be on Farook’s employer-issued phone as it investigates the Dec. 2 shootings that left 14 people dead.

Tashfeen Malik (left) and Syed Farook died in a gunbattle with police after the couple attacked a gathering of Farook's colleagues, killing 14.

Last Dec. 2 in San Bernardino, 14 people were killed by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who subsequently were killed by police. They had an Apple iPhone 5C, and the FBI wants to know what’s on that phone.

The phone is locked by a passcode, and if you enter the wrong code 10 times, the phone will be wiped. The FBI asked Apple for help — it’s not just an encryption problem but a design problem; the security is baked into the design of the hardware and the software. The company refused to help, so the FBI is using a 1789 law called the All Writs Act, which basically lets a judge issue “all writs necessary” to do something that might not be covered by existing laws, to force Apple to help the agency bust the passcode on the phone.

Apple is having none of it. The company designed the software on the phone to make it impossible for anyone — even Apple itself — to get inside a phone without the passcode. This design sets the company apart from competitors who want to know everything and mine everybody’s data. Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at a conference last fall and is quoted in Fast Company:

Privacy is a key value of our company. We think it will become increasingly important to more and more people over time as they realize that intimate parts of their lives are in the open and being used for all kinds of things… What we’ve said is that one of the key tenets that we feel very strongly about is that you can’t have a backdoor in the software, Because you can’t have a backdoor that’s only for the good guys. Any backdoor is something the bad guys can exploit.

Now that the FBI has called in the judge, Cook has taken a loud and public stance in fighting the writs. In a long public letter, he writes about the government demands:

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

He calls it a dangerous precedent:

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data.The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge. Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

anti-apple

Apple may well lose some business over this. Many people are claiming that the company is “building phones for terrorists.”

mims

Others, like Chris Mims of the Wall Street Journal, see a strong, principled position that takes real guts.

richie

And others note that Apple is an international company and that if this backdoor was built in for the FBI, where does it stop? If the security is baked into the hardware and the software, it’s very difficult for anyone in any country to get into it without Apple’s assistance — and the company is very loudly refusing to give that help.

Opinions about this are all over the map. Donald Trump wonders “To think that Apple won’t allow us to get into her cellphone? Who do they think they are?” Yet the American Enterprise Institute, not exactly a hotbed of left-wingers, says Apple is right to fight encryption court order as Congress dithers.

It will be interesting to see whether Apple loses customers because of this or gains them. Some are calling this Cook’s defining moment, while others are accusing him of supporting terrorists. But it’s such an important issue and one has to ask, what’s reasonable and right?

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

This is indeed a defining moment, not just for Americans but for people around the world. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes, “Once this master key is created, governments around the world will surely demand that Apple undermine the security of their citizens as well.” Indeed, this is much bigger than the question of what’s on the phone belonging to two dead terrorists; it’s about the right to privacy of people everywhere, in democracies and dictatorships alike.

And right now the technology doesn’t exist to do it. Apple would have to write a new operating system. It will be interesting to see if the company can be forced to do that. There are people all over the world, with fewer protections and rights than Americans have, who are probably praying that won’t happen.

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Breaking News: 1 Activist Killed, Bundy Brothers and 6 Others Arrested in Oregon

For weeks, law enforcement had kept their distance from the isolated wildlife refuge. They wanted to avoid a massacre out in Oregon’s high desert.

Since Jan. 2, former rancher Ammon Bundy and several other armed activists had chosen the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as the site of a daring protest that riveted and infuriated many Americans.

The men, who gave news conferences in their cowboy hats, opposed the government’s prosecution of two local ranchers — as well as federal administration of the West’s vast public wildlands. The local sheriff, fearing violence, pleaded for the men to leave.

They called his bluff and refused, and on Tuesday afternoon, the government finally played its hand.

At least one occupier was killed and eight others were in custody on federal charges Tuesday night after law enforcement struck in a flurry of surprise arrests that caught protesters who had temporarily left the occupied refuge, apparently to attend a community meeting.

Gunshots broke out when the FBI and the Oregon State Police apparently intercepted Bundy and several of his supporters on a rural stretch of U.S. Highway 395.

The protesters had been en route to a meeting with hundreds of Oregon residents, many of them supporters of the occupation, about 100 miles north of the refuge in the town of John Day. They never made it.

Details of what happened during the showdown were scant. Officials would only say that shots were fired.

His brother, Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nev., was shot in the arm, and Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, a 55-year-old Arizona rancher who had acted as a spokesman for the group, was killed in the highway confrontation, according to Nevada state Assemblywoman Michele Fiore.

Ammon Bundy, 40, who has acted as a leader of the occupation, told his wife in a phone call that the group had been cooperative when law enforcement agents confronted them, according to Fiore, a Bundy family supporter who spoke with Bundy’s wife on Tuesday.

She said Bundy told his wife that Finicum was shot three times while he had his hands up in the air. This account could not immediately be confirmed.

“It’s very unfortunate. The only saving grace is there are six witnesses to it,” Fiore said in an interview.

“My perspective is our government has acted lawless and we have got to stop” it, she said.

Ryan Bundy, a resident of Bunkerville, Nev., was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, treated and released into FBI custody.

The Bundy brothers are the sons of Cliven Bundy, a southern Nevada rancher who was at the center of a tense armed standoff of his own with federal Bureau of Land Management officials in 2014.

When federal officials seized some of the family’s cattle over an estimated $1million in unpaid grazing fees, a ragtag band of armed militiamen rode to his defense at his ranch about 90 miles outside Las Vegas. The BLM backed down and released the cattle.

“Isn’t this a wonderful country we live in?” the elder Bundy said sarcastically Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Times informed him about the arrests and the death.

“We believe that those federal people shouldn’t even be there in that state, and be in that county and have anything to do with this issue. … I have some sons and other people there trying to protect our rights and liberties and freedoms, and now we’ve got one killed, and all I can say is, he’s sacrificed for a good purpose,” he said.

In addition to the Bundy brothers, those arrested on the highway included Brian Cavalier, 44, also of Bunkerville; Shawna Cox, 59, Kanab, Utah; and Ryan Waylen Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont.

Within two hours, officials had also arrested Peter Santilli, 50, of Cincinnati and Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, of Cottonwood, Ariz. Another occupier, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, turned himself into police in Peoria, Ariz., without incident, officials said.

All face a federal felony charge of a conspiracy to impede federal officers from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

The group of about 15 men and women took over the wildlife refuge Jan. 2 after a march in support of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steve Hammond, a father and son who had been sentenced to prison for setting fires on federal land.

The protesters have issued a muddled set of demands for ending the occupation. They demanded freedom for the imprisoned Hammonds and asked that federal land be returned from the U.S. government to local landowners, the county and the town of Burns, near the refuge.

They made it clear they were willing to resort to violence if the federal government moved against them, but also said they did not want such a confrontation.

Firearms were a constant presence at the wildlife refuge. Men walked around casually with assault rifles slung over their shoulders or with handguns holstered on their hips. One day a reporter saw a man dressed in military clothing with a patch that read “MILITIA,” cleaning a Russian rifle.

When asked on Jan. 15 about all the weaponry, Ammon Bundy replied, “That’s ridiculous that you would connect walking around with arms to violence. That’s what keeps it peaceful.”

Through it all, the protesters won support from around the country, and also among some local residents. But they also angered many. Around Burns, signs popped up declaring: “Bundy militia go home” and “No Bundy caliphate.”

The occupiers repeatedly said they were protesting on behalf of their fellow citizens.

“We’re trying to accomplish the task of restoring rights to the people who have lost them or surrendered them,” Ryan Bundy said earlier this month.

“We don’t want it to end with violence. We’re not looking for bloodshed,” he said in an interview with The Times.

But around Burns, frustrated community members wondered when the occupation might end.

“We can enforce the Constitution in Harney County, and that’s what we intend to do,” Ammon Bundy told reporters one day. “We have a lot of plans.”

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FBI Let Jared Fogle Molest Children For Years During Undercover Investigation

ZIONSVILLE, Indiana — It’s often been said that the wheels of justice turn slowly and the case of former sandwich shop spokesperson , who recently pleaded guilty to sex with minors, is an unfortunate example of the cost of that creeping pace.

Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle walks to a waiting car as he leaves his home, in Zionsville, Ind. A raid at Fogle’s home on Tuesday is just the latest bad news to hit the ubiquitous sandwich chain. The company has been struggling with sales, its CEO is being treated for cancer and it’s trying to convince customers about the quality and value of its food. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle walks to a waiting car as he leaves his home, in Zionsville, Ind. A raid at Fogle’s home on Tuesday is just the latest bad news to hit the ubiquitous sandwich chain. The company has been struggling with sales, its CEO is being treated for cancer and it’s trying to convince customers about the quality and value of its food. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

In August, Fogle agreed to plead guilty to possession of child pornography and sex with two minors. The media got a closer look at the evidence against him on Oct. 27 when The New York Post revealed the contents of audio tapes secretly recorded by Rochelle Herman-Walrond, a journalist who went undercover to assist the in their investigation of Fogle.

Beyond the appalling contents of the tapes themselves, in which Fogle openly brags about raping a boy in Thailand, they reveal that the government knew about his crimes for years before taking action to stop them, as noted by Justin Gardner, a writer for The Free Thought Project:

“[Herman-Walrond] contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who asked her to wear a wire. … She wore a wire for four-and-a-half years before the FBI took action and arrested Fogle.”

In August, Herman-Walrond even questioned the slow progress of the case herself in an interview with ABC affiliate WWSB, where she commented, “That was my biggest question, ‘Why was it taking so long?’ … A case of this size just happens to take that long, and that’s what I was told.”

In his plea bargain, Fogle agreed to plead guilty to paying for sex with two minors and possessing child pornography, but Hermand-Walrond has told the media that she believes there are more victims. Russell Taylor, the head of Fogle’s defunct charity to fight childhood obesity, filmed an additional 12 victims engaging in sexual conduct and shared those images with Fogle.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, a great deal of federal law enforcement resources remain focused on countering terrorism, but the efficiency and effectively of these efforts are also under scrutiny. Rather than targeting genuine terrorists, the analysis suggests that the FBI and other agencies encourage or actively manufacture terrorist behavior for which suspects are later arrested. These cases often move much more quickly than the decade-long investigation of Fogle, as Gardner observed in his report:

The casual excuse is the bureaucracy itself, but we know that when the government wants to act quickly, it does. It does not hesitate in killing, disappearing, or jailing those it deems are a threat to government, and it sets aside constitutional protections to do so.

However, when the threat is in the form of sexual predation on children, government takes its time because ‘it just happens to take that long.’”

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Anonymous Claims ISIS Plans More Attacks on Sunday including Atlanta

, the loose collective of online activists, said Saturday it has uncovered information about Islamic State group attacks in Paris as well as on locations in the U.S., Indonesia, Italy and Lebanon, all apparently set for Sunday. OpParisIntel, a group within Anonymous, released a statement saying it had collected information about imminent attacks by the militant group — aka , and — on the French capital a little more than a week after a series of coordinated attacks there left 130 dead and hundreds injured.

Anonymous also said the Islamic State group is planning an assault at the WWE Survivor Series event scheduled to take place in the Philips Arena in Atlanta Sunday at 7.30 p.m., as well as attacks at multiple events in Paris.

The collective published the list of potential targets alongside a statement: “The goal is to make sure the whole world, or at least the people going to these events, know that there have been threats and that there is a possibility of an attack to happen. Another goal is to make sure Daesh knows that the world knows and cancels the attacks, which will disorientate them for a while.”

The targets listed by Anonymous are as follow:

  • Demonstration by Collectif du droit des femmes (Paris)
  • Cigales Electroniques with Vocodecks, RE-Play & Rawtor at Le Bizen (Paris)
  • Concrete Invites Drumcode: Adam Beyer, Alan Fitzpatrick, Joel Mull at Concrete (Paris)
  • Feast of Christ the King celebrations (Rome/Worldwide)
  • Al-Jihad, One Day Juz (Indonesia)
  • Five Finger Death Punch (Milan)
  • University Pastoral Day (Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon)

“We only appeared now because our goal was to remain undercover and report everything to the right authorities and let them take all the action. But when authorities do not take action, Anonymous does. This part of the op started last Monday and has, and will be active 24 hours a day as long as the op is going on.”

Speaking to International Business Times, the group behind the attack said it had passed proof to , , and the Australian government but has no plans to release it publicly. “If we share the proof [publicly] everyone will start calling it fake because screenshots can be edited and accounts can be deleted. We have purposely not shared account links publicly because they would be shut down immediately and then no one would believe the proof.”

Last week Anonymous declared war on ISIS and vowed to track it down online as part of Operation Paris (or OpParis) and has since released a guide for all those looking to take part in the operation, which already has identified tens of thousands of Twitter accounts it said are associated with ISIS while also taking some websites offline. ISIS has responded to the threat from Anonymous, warning of a reciprocal attack against the activist group

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N.J., Philly-area Colleges on High Alert After FBI Warns of Threat

Colleges throughout the tri-state area may see more police and security on campus today after the FBI warned them yesterday about a threat of violence made against a Philadelphia-area college.

The FBI’s Philadelphia office notified dozens of colleges in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey on Sunday about the threat that was found on a social media website. No specific college was named, however, the post specified that a violent act would happen around 2 p.m.

“No specific college or university was identified in the posting, but given the recent shooting incidents elsewhere across the country, the FBI thought it was important to share the threat,” Rowan University officials said in a statement sent to the campus community Sunday night.

The threat on an all-anonymous message board stated: “On October fifth, at 1 pm Central time, a fellow robot will take up arms at a university near Philadelphia.”

The threat comes less than a week after nine people were killed by gun violence at a community college in Oregon. A threat was also made on social media prior to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College.

Colleges that received the warning from the FBI — including Rowan University, Rowan College at Gloucester County, Stockton University, Temple University, Drexel, and more — said they would be increasing patrols and security on campus Monday.

Students and faculty are advised to report anything suspicious by calling the campus’ public safety number or by calling 911.

While most colleges said operations would continue as normal, students were expressing concern about attending class, saying they planned to not attend or requesting the colleges close for the day.

While Rowan University did not adjust its schedule, officials reminded students of its attendance policy on social media Sunday night, saying students can be excused if they have a “reasonable concern” for their safety.

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Seeking Justice: More Places Legalize Marijuana, More People Get Arrested for Possessing it

The total number of marijuana-related arrests nationwide rose in 2014, despite the implementation of legalization laws in two states, according to data released today by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the 2014 Uniform Crime Report, police made 700,993 arrests for marijuana-related offenses, some 7,500 more arrests than were reported in 2013. Of those arrested, 619,808 (over 88 percent) were charged with possession only — a two percent increase since 2013.

Annual Arrests in the US 1965-2014

Marijuana arrests comprised nearly half (45 percent) of all drug-related arrests nationwide, at a cost of nearly half a billion dollars.

In the two states (Colorado and Washington) that have legalized marijuana-related activities, cannabis-related arrests plummeted in 2014 — indicating that that other jurisdictions are prioritizing arrests at a time when the majority of the public is opposed to criminalization. (Recent changes in marijuana laws in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC are not reflected in the 2014 arrest data, but will be reflected in 2015 data.)

As in previous years, marijuana possession arrests were most likely to occur in the midwest and in the southeastern regions of the United States. Far fewer marijuana arrests were reported in the western region of the United States, where possessing the plant has largely been either legalized or decriminalized.

The total number of marijuana arrests for 2014 are some 20 percent lower than the totals for 2007 when police made an all-time high 872,721 cannabis-related arrests.

by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

– See more at http://blog.norml.org/2015/09/28/fbi-uptick-in-marijuana-arrests-in-2014/#sthash.FCroK9qy.dpuf