US Official Admits That Following Terrorist Attacks, It Starts Arresting People Based On Ideology To 'Get Them Off The Streets'

from the police-state dept

CNN has one of those useless filler stories concerning the Paris attacks where it notes that the FBI will be ramping up wiretapping of suspected ISIS “sympathizers” in the wake of the attacks. That’s sort of a dog bites man story if you think about it. What else are they going to do? However, as Adam Johnson notes, the article has a bizarre statement by an “anonymous” law enforcement official at the end. The story mostly talks about how the FBI similarly ramped up its wiretapping following the shootings in Garland, Texas, and then admits that law enforcement will then use that information to arrest people based on non-terrorism charges just to “get them off the street.”

The Garland attack ushered in several months of stepped-up use of 24/7 monitoring on suspected ISIS supporters. FBI Director James Comey has described the period between May and July as one that stretched the FBI’s resources, and that isn’t sustainable. Dozens of arrests were made, in many cases not for terrorism-related charges if the FBI couldn’t gather enough evidence of a plot.

“In some cases we just needed to get people off the streets,” one senior law enforcement official said.

In other words, the wiretapping becomes a pretense to find anything to lock up people based on their ideological views, even if they’re doing nothing related to terrorism. That seems like the very definition of a police state.

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Comments on “US Official Admits That Following Terrorist Attacks, It Starts Arresting People Based On Ideology To 'Get Them Off The Streets'”

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53 Comments
Median Wilfred says:

Suspected ISIS supporters?!?

How can I tell if the FBI thinks/believes that I am an ISIS supporter that needs to be off the streets?

Is there some criteria I can apply in the absence of a DoJ lawyer? What criteria does the FBI apply? What the hell? How is someone supposed to “know the law” to avoid breaking the law? Am I just supposed to follow along with CNN/Fox, get a yellow ribbon magnet for my car and pray piously for the best?

For what it’s worth, I’m not an ISIS sympathizer, but I don’t often feel like putting a fake ribbon magnet on my car, and I believe that the USA should have stayed out of Iraq altogether, WMDs or not. The whole thing stinks of such massive corruption that corrupt has become the new normal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Suspected ISIS supporters?!?

Not to mention… the main people that such campaigns are going to get off the streets are the disaffected and people sympathetic to the struggles of those labeled terrorists.

So it messes up their potential support network, but does nothing about actual ISIS members, pre-radicalized individuals, or general terrorists, who will all happily slap yellow ribbons on their cars because they’re trying to avoid detection.

The real tell sign is when people who have been grumbling against the government and attending protest rallies suddenly become model citizens. THOSE are the people to watch — them and the people they contact.

Padpaw (profile) says:

Re: Suspected ISIS supporters?!?

Who said anything about ISIS. Ideology applies to every group they disagree with. Be it Occupy, NRA, general protesters, environmentalists, people that want to secede from the states. the list is infinite.

You do not have to be a member of the ideals of ISIS to be considered a threat to the state. You just have to think for yourself and not support the government 100%.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Where Have I Heard This Before?

Worse, if you remember the whole scene:

Renault: “Realizing the importance of the case, my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects.”
Nazi officer: “We know already who the murder is.”
Major Strasser: “Good, is he in custody?”
Renault: “Oh, there’s no hurry…”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You are under 24/7 surveillance and I doubt you have anything to do with terrorism.
You posting here has been recorded, the phone calls to you parents were recorded, the emails to your friends, the call you had with your lawyer, the pictures you sent to your girl-/boyfriend, your location via your cellphone…

The only difference is that those arrested might have said something that isn’t anti IS. The FBI said they don’t have enough for a plot which means they don’t have anything. If they had then the FBI would arrest them on terror charges of some kind (i.e. 11 years in prison for posting a “how to use bitcoin” on Twitter).

That leaves only the option that the Gov vanishes people that don’t think the way it wants them to. That’s stuff you hear from countries like North Korea, Saudi Arabia or pre-war Iraq and I guess now the USA.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m not Israeli and my comment had nothing to do with Israel so it’s not at all clear what you’re trying to accomplish.

My point was not that people are going to “come for the Jews” but instead that people have forgotten how easy it is to incrementally become a terrible police state with the political boost given by fear of a hated outsider.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yes, pretty much entirely through the paranoid rantings of others. I think it’s a pretty silly idea that some people “deserve” a space because an old book makes up some braggadocio about their fantastical idea of a large middle eastern kingdom based off the loosely combined fact of a small historical kingdom and a “big fish” narrative based loosely on claims to borders far more extensive than those supported by archaeology (likely inspired by real empires that really did have such broad dominion in the region, at different times before and after the existence of the historical Israeli polities) in turn supported by the wealth of a US interested in maintaining a dependent ally/toehold that is culturally unable to ally itself with the surrounding powers.

But again, you COMPLETELY FAIL TO ANSWER MY QUESTION about what your relation your comments have to my point that it’s dangerous to let a state expand its own powers at the expense of the people by using the foil of a hated outsider. I’m not sure if you’re trolling, obsessed, honestly missing the point, or what, but so far you’ve totally avoided the topic the article and I broach regarding the misuse and expansion of state power.

Padpaw (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“it can’t happen here” blinds people to the reality.

Most would prefer to stay willfully blind than admit things are not perfect. I have given up trying to alert my friends and family to what is happening. Most think I am nuts, for believing history is repeating itself.

If you live in the states I suggest emigrating asap if you can as it will be messy.

Daydream says:

The best possible light:

“What these terrorists are, what they’re trying to do, is to try and polarize the community.
Make it so that there’s no middle ground, no compromise, no chance for peace.
Now, in order to do that, they need to strike at moderates, the center, people who are just like them, but are against violence.
These ISIS folks, they’re saying they’re Islam; that means that they want to hurt, to kill Islamists, Muslims, who don’t agree with them, who want to be peaceful. And we can’t let that happen.

Now what’s happening now, we’ve had an incident, and tensions, morale, however you want to put it, is running high for ISIS right now, and that means the peaceful Muslims are in the most dangerous situation they can be in.
What we’re doing is, these peaceful people are in the most danger, so we’re making them safe, we’re taking them into protective custody until the hubbub with this latest attack dies down.
What we’re doing, is detaining them for their own safety.
We’re doing this to save their lives.”

Look at me, I’m a spin-doctor!

Wendy Cockcroft says:

Re: The best possible light:

What scares me is I can actually see that happening. I’ve seen Westerners from both sides of the pond advocating denying asylum for refugees.

This is probably what ISIS wants as it a) makes people desperate and more willing to get involved with them just to survive, and b) this creates a bigger army for the boots on the ground offensive by the West that they actually want. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

Anonymous Coward says:

Who the fuck are we to decide what's 'right'?

We invade their country, break their moral laws, force a new style of government on them, kill their family members, bomb their homes, kill their leaders, meddle in their affairs and generally speaking treat them like crap by acting like some crusading hero.

If I were in their shoes i’d want to open up a can of jihad on these foreign invaders too.

Maybe if we stopped being ass holes we would not have a bunch of disgruntled people wanting to kill us. But that does not sell illegal spying, guns, bombs, tanks, airplanes and missiles.

AN69 (profile) says:

Re: Who the fuck are we to decide what's 'right'?

“We invade their country, break their moral laws, force a new style of government on them, kill their family members, bomb their homes, kill their leaders, meddle in their affairs and generally speaking treat them like crap by acting like some crusading hero.”

That is just so stupid.. so inane.. so lacking in any historical knowledge. You could only write this as an AC.

AN69 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Who the fuck are we to decide what's 'right'?

Assuming you are responding to me..

“We invade their country, break their moral laws, force a new style of government on them, kill their family members, bomb their homes, kill their leaders, meddle in their affairs and generally speaking treat them like crap by acting like some crusading hero.”
That is just so stupid.. so inane.. so lacking in any historical knowledge. You could only write this as an AC.

“care to counter his argument with some facts of your own? or just say that 1 statement and expect people to believe you versus the evidence in his statement”

” The Western countries invaded Iran went they violated their UN Treaty by invading Kuwait. Once defeated, Iran repeatedly violated a truce/peace treaty The US enforced the treaty by removing the government that would not observed the UN sanctions. In the process, the general territory of the area called Iraq, needed a new government as the overthrown one, was tyrannical and not based on any rule of law. In the process of enforcing the treaty, government officials that did not surrender were eventually killed as they continued to lead an armed response to military forces charged to enforcing the agreement.
In any military action, local residents that harbored, supported or otherwise provided aid to combatants were impacted including death of them or their family. As in any case in war, some “innocent” bystanders were also killed or wounded.
The people were allowed to get together and design a framework to replace their tyrant government that existed before. There were national elections for vote for a constitutional government. Once the new government was in place, it failed. Given the immaturity of the people on self government and the total lack of any sense of nationhood this was the only reasonable expectation.

Anarchy has replaced the “new” government, as most of the citizens are are unable to find any way to take control of their country from various invasions of cults and home grown sects. The anarchy as created even more destruction, death and wounding that any one of the previous western nation actions. The anarchy is now overflowing into other “countries” in the area.

The United Nations invaded Iran when they invaded Kuwait. The “Leader” of Iran violated the peace treaty. FACT! (you might want to debate whether the US should have re-invade based on the violations.) (The French didn’t push back on the Germans when they violated the Treaty of Versailles by moving German troops moved into the Rhineland. They had some fun 4 years later.)
In war, burning fields and villages and otherwise destroying artifacts of human presence has been almost the very definition of War for the last 3000+ years. That is why most people don’t like war.. it is meant to the last straw.

What is basically forgotten is the “Esteemed Leader” of Iraq caused the the initial problem. When their Esteemed Leader starts screwing around with other countries and their allies (UN) and pisses them off by severe violations their Treaties (UN membership) .. the country does’t get to vote much any more.

Sort of like, if you murder my wife, and are convicted by the court, you don’t get to declare your own moral codes nor expect that you live your life like you did before.

As to breaking their moral laws, I don’t know what the crap that means. But to suggest that ISIL is acting on some moral code that can be allowed to exist is just beyond the pale. ISIL is a bunch of mentally defective aka infected with some rabies-like virus that needs to be cleansed from humanity. Ebola, HIV, and ISIL are just complete and deadly diseases that the world must expunge. I am not sure what AC meant by moral law.. like stoning woman adulterer? Like killing gays? If they want that as their legal code, I suppose I might let them get with their own program. But I sure as crap don’t want to have that debate with my next door neighbor in the US. It might work for them.. but that has NOT been proven as they have have had no viable self-government in 1500 years let alone that last 200 years. But I’m pretty sure that that regardless of what their constitution says, they can/will stone adulterers like the some Indians continue practicing SATI (widow burning).

If you want to move on to Afghanistan… an area without a country.. then let’s move on..

If and when any religious moral code allows, supports and encourages the “punishment” of offenders outside of their borders, then by ANY definition, that is an act of war; with all it attributes. No moral code enforcement that violates an individual’s natural rights can be allowed to span national borders. No individual, sect, or viral infected individuals can cross national borders without expecting international impact including war or other equivalent response.

As to Citizens or residents that harbor, support or otherwise cloth, feed, or provide comfort to their warrior class, well, they are liable. They HAVE to be. Is it okay to bomb the quartermaster but not the farmer that is bringing the food? Is it okay to bomb the armored trucks that delivery the weapons, but not the local sailor that landed them? Is it okay to bomb the military accountant, but not the people that deliver the money. If so, lets get rid of the middle man, aka targets. But we still have all those “locals” making/allowing/supporting it. They are the “problem”. In the best case, too primitive and naive to understand or care about the implications, but more likely, fully aware of the ethics involved.

And if you think the citizens are too timid, stupid, scared or uneducated to take control and put their government back into some World wide accepted box, then I would suggest they are probably too weak, uneducated, and timid to define their own government and make it work. Ideas are not enough for a government. Africa proves that. Countries must have a citizen base that will FIGHT and KILL to make those ideas real. In the end, the historical ignorant administrations of both Bush and Obama thought that free elections would work in Iraq and Afganistan. That was/is just plan stupid as most of those people do NOT have any experience in self government and two, there is no sense of unity within the community to be governed. (US Revolution worked, French/Russian/USSR failed)

As to “meddle in their affairs”.. we have to agree that the society/culture was a failure because their leader, which they provided support for the Iraq invasion or otherwise harbored groups that created acts of war (bombing). I will “Meddle in the Affairs” of anyone that supported or otherwise allowed violation MY definition of Natural rights for me, my family or my community .. like the right to life.

Yes… My Natural Rights are supported by the UN. Anyone tool that thinks they can come into a country for unilateral retribution is creating an act of war. Any country that harbors, supports or otherwise encourages that behavior is an Allied. They own the implications of the acts. The leadership of those countries are responsible is and MUST be prepared for an appropriate response. The CITIZENS/Residents are ultimately responsible. They can NOT get / have a get out of War card.

Until cross section people / citizens (National or whatever term for the geographical area are willing to FIGHT and DIE for a rule of law aka government it will not stick. It will be expropriated by some tyrant. The US Revolution only worked when the Tories went back to the UK or Canada and all the colonies banded together for what was a touch and go for 15 years.

And to treating them like crap.. that is just “crap”.
The last 30 years of war by the Western powers (excluding Russia and the third world countries of likes of the Balkans) has wasted too much money and their own military’s lives protecting the “not so innocent” local citizens. And given they are part of the problem, meaning they were aiding and supporting regimes (aka governments) whose behavior was the justification for a call to war, they were treated better than almost ANY conquered people in history.

I could go on.. but I don’t have much time for naive, ignorant, and “the West is Evil” infected individuals.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Who the fuck are we to decide what's 'right'?

The only item from the list that you sort of refuted was the last one. I didn’t see anything that rebutted any of the other claims. There was a lot about how everything we did was justified, but that seems to agree with the original premise that we have in fact done all those things:

– invaded countries
– break their moral laws (OK I don’t know about this one)
– force a new style of government on them
– kill their family members
– bomb their homes
– kill their leaders
– meddle in their affairs

I would say other than the second one, all those others are events that pretty everyone agrees have actually happened. Your original comment seemed to dispute that – is that not what you meant?

GEMont (profile) says:

Mayday In America

That seems like the very definition of a police state.

Omigawd!!

Somebody finally noticed!!??!!??

Naw. Must be a typo.

The eternally incorruptible and blessed saints of the US federal government would never allow fascism to take over the USA.

No way.

Can’t happen here.

America is immune to anti-democratic ideologies.

Ask any American.

Must be a typo.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A year after the war starts, there will be no homeless on the streets of America.

Of course, Americans with homes, will have all been far too busy supporting the war effort and pretending everything is ok, to notice the disappearance of the millions who once slept in alleyways and on park benches.

Not that anyone would have given a shit had they noticed the hundreds of unmarked black trucks cruising the streets in the dead of night.

After all, every good American knows that poor people choose to be poor, so its their own fault anyway.

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