TOPICS

"debunkers" #gifiles #occupywallstreet 7/7 bombings 9/11 9/11 attacks 9/11 Citizens Commission 9/11 Commission 9/11 Commission Report 9/11 Conspiracy Roadtrip 9/11 Fahrenheit 911 9/11 families 9/11 phone calls 9/11 survivor 9/11 truth 9/11 Truther 9/11 Truth Movement 9/11 victims 9/11 War 9/11 War Games 9/11 Wars 9/11 Whistleblowers 9/11 workers 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington 9/11: Press For Truth 10th Anniversary 757 911 first responders 911 museum 911blogger 911truthnews.com 2012 Abbottabad Able Danger accountability ACLU activism activists Adam Curtis Adam Syed AE911truth ae911truth.org Afghanistan aftermath Ahmadinejad AIPAC Air Force One al-Awlaki al-Qaida Alan Colmes Alan Grayson Alec Baldwin Alec Station Alex Jones Alfreda Frances Bikowsky Alhazmi Ali Soufan Al Jazeera Almihdhar al Qaeda Amalgam Virgo American War Machine Among the Truthers Andrew Card Andrew Napolitano Andrews Air Force Base anniversary Ann Wright Anonymous Anthony Shaffer Anthony Summers Anthrax Antonio Martinez Anwar al-Alwlaki Anwar al-Awlaki Anwar Awlaki architects Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth artifacts assassination Atiyah abd al-Rahman Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation b BAE Ban Ki-moon Barack Obama Barcelona Barnes and Noble Barrie Zwicker baseball cards BBC BCCI Behrooz Sarshar Benedict Sliney Ben Fordham Ben Sliney Bill Clinton Bill Doyle Bill Maher Bill Moyers Bill O'Reilly bin Laden Blackwater Bloomington Bob Bowman Bob Graham Bob Kerrey Bob McIlvaine Bosnia Brett Smith Brian Kilmeade Brooklyn Bridge Bruce Ivins Building 7 Building What bureaucracy Bush Bush Administration C-SPAN Camp David cancer capitalism Cass Sunstein censorship Champion Cheney China Chip Berlet Chris Hedges Chris Mohr Christian Chuck Schumer CIA Cindy Sheehan CIT Citizen Investigation Team Civil Disobedience civil liberties Classified Woman classroom CNN Cofer Black COG Cointelpro Cold War Cole Bombing Coleen Rowley Colin Powell Colorado Colorado Public Television Condonleezza Rice Con Edison congress conspiracies conspiracy conspiracy theory Constitution consumerism contradictions Cordoba Initiative corporate media Cosmos Counter-Terror Expo Counterpunch counterterrorism coverup cover up CPT12 cryptome.org cybersecurity Cynthia McKinney Dahlia Wasfi Daniel Ellsberg Daniel Pipes Daniel Sunjata Dave Frasca David Chandler David Long David Ray Griffin David Swanson David Weigel DC debris debunking Deep Politics Democracy Now Democratic Party demolition Demos Dennis Kucinich detainee detainees Detroit DIA Dick Cheney Dick Gregory Disconnecting the Dots disinformation documents Donald Rumsfeld donations Donna Marsh O'Connor Downing Street drones dust Dwight D. Eisenhower DynCorp Egypt Egyptian Revolution Eleanor Hill Elena Kagan Eleventh actions Emanuel Sferios Emily Louise Church empire engineers entrapment Eric Bolling Eric Holder Eric Margolis espionage act Evan Dando evidence exercises explosions extremism F-16 FAA facebook Fahrenheit 9/11 Fake Phone Calls theory FBI FDR Analysis Fealgood Foundation FEMA firefighters first responders Flight 77 flight 93 Florida FOIA foreknowledge FOX FOX News Frances Bikowsky Frank Legge Fran Townsend fraud Fred Burton fresh kills funding FX Gareth Newnham Gawker General Assemby George Bush George Tenet George W. Bush Geraldo Rivera Germany Geronimo Gladio Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald globalization Global Jihad Unit Graeme MacQueen Green Party Gregg Roberts Ground Zero Ground Zero mosque groups Guantanamo Guantanamo Bay Gulf of Tonkin hackers Hamid Karzai Haqqani health Health Bill hearing Heather Penney Heroin hijackers hijacking Hilary Clinton Hillary Clinton History Commons historycommons.org hit piece Homeland Security Howie Hawkins HR 847 Huffington Post Hypothesis Image Comics immunity Indefinite Detention India infiltration Inspire magazine Intelligence Advisory Board intercept International Center for 9/11 Studies investigation Iowa Iran Iran-Contra Iraq Iraq War ISI Islam Israel issues James Bamford James Gourley Jane Mayer Janet Napolitano Janette MacKinlay Jason Leopold Jay Carney Jeffery Farrar Jellyfish Jersey Girls Jesse Ventura JICI Jim Corr Jim Fetzer Joe Biden Joe Rogan John Albanese John Ashcroft John Bursill John Duffy John Feal John Gross John Judge John Lennon John Pilger John Stewart John Walker Lindh Joint Congressional Inquiry Joint Forces Intelligence Command Jonathan Barnett Jonathan Cole Jonathan Kay Jon Cole Jon Faine Jon Gold Jon Stewart Joseph Doyle journalism Journal of 9/11 Studies Joy Behar Judge Hellerstein Judy Wood Julia Gillard Julian Assange justice Justice Department KALW Katherine Bigelow kdub Keith Olbermann Kent Gibson Kevin Barrett Kevin Bracken Kevin Fenton Kevin Ryan Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Korey Rowe Kosovo Kristen Breitweiser KSM LaborTech Langley Larry Silverstein Laurie Manwell Lawrence Wilkerson lawsuit Lee Hamilton Leon Panetta Libya lies limited hangout Link TV Liz Cheney Lloyd's of London London Truth Action Loose Change Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup Lorie Van Auken Lupe Fiasco Mahmoud Ahmed mainstream mainstream media Manny Badillo Mark Basile Mark Bavis Mark Rossini Mark Ruffalo Matt Taibbi Media Matters Media Roots MEK Mexican drug cartel Michael Anne Casey Michael Canavan Michael Goodwin Michael Moore Michael Mukasey Michael Mullen Michael Ruppert Michael Scheuer Mickey Huff Mike Gravel Mike Huckabee milestone Military Tribunals Mindy Kleinberg Mohamed Osman Mohamud Mohammad Atta Mohammed Junaid Babar Morocco Mosque Mother Jones msnbc Muburak Muhammad Hussain Mumbai attacks Murdoch Muslim Muslim Center My Pet Goat Nafeez Ahmed nano-thermite Naomi Klein Naomi Wolf National Institute of Standards and Technology National September 11 Memorial NATO NBC NDAA Netanyahu Newburgh 4 news News Corp New York New York City New York magazine New York TImes New Zealand NFL Niels Harrit NIST Noam Chomsky NORAD NORAD. FAA Norman Mineta Norway NSA NYC NYCCAN NYPD Obama Occupy Wall Street official account Official Government Version Oliver North Olympia Snowe Operation Dark Heart Operation Northwoods Opium Osama Bin Laden Oslo Ottawa OWS P2 Pakistan Palestine Panetta Pat Curley Patriot Act Patriot Defense Group Patty Casazza Paul Thompson Peace of the Action Pentagon Pentagon Papers PENTTBOM Peter Dale Scott Peter King Peter Phillips petition Philadelphia Philip Giraldi Philip Zelikow phone hacking photographs photos physical evidence Pilots for 9/11 Truth Pinochet Pipeline Pittsburgh Steelers plane crash PNAC podcast Political Prisoners political research associates Port Authority Preet Bharara press press release Press TV Prince Bandar Project Censored propaganda pseudo-journalism psychology Pumpitout Radio Qatar Quantico questions R. Leslie Deak rachel maddow radar Radio 2GB Ramzi bin al-Shibh Rap News Rashard Mendenhall Ray Kelly Ray McGovern Raymond Davis Ray Nowosielski Rediscover911 remains Remember Building 7 Rescue Me Research Rethinking Counterterrorism RIBA Richard Blee Richard Clarke Richard Falk Richard Gage Richard Mellon Scaife foundation Richard Meyers Rich Blee Rick Veitch Rita Katz Robert Fisk Robert Foster Robert Parry Robert Scheer Rock Creek Free Press Rolling Stone Rory Albanese Roseanne Barr Rosie O'Donnell Rudy Giuliani Russ Baker Russia Today Saddam Hussein Saeed Sheikh Samir Khan Sarasota Saudi Saudi Arabia Saudis SCAD scads Scott Ford Scott Noble Screw Loose Change Sean Penn secrecykills.com self-deception Senate Senator Mike Gravel Sept. 11 September 11th September 11th Advocates September 11th attacks settlement Shadow Government Shanksville Shoestring shoot down Sibel Edmonds Sibel Emonds simulations SITE sounds South Park Spain speculation speech SPLC spying State crimes against democracy State Department State Of Emergency Stephen Cozen Steve Dusterwald Steven Hatfill Steven Jones Strategy of Tension Stratfor Supreme Court surveillance surveillance state Susan Rice Syed Shazad Taliban taped terrorism terror plot Terror Timeline The Big Lie The Corrs The Daily Show The Eleventh Day of Every Month The Facts Speak For Themselves The Hard Evidence Tour The Huffington Post The Jersey Girls The New Yorker The Pentagon The Post-9/11 World The Power of Nightmares Thermate The Third Stage Thierry Meyssan think tank Thomas Kean Tom Drake Tom Owen Tom Ridge Tom Wilshire Tony Shaffer Tony Szamboti Topps Top Secret America torture Toward Justice Toxic to Democracy Truth Truth Action truthaction.org Truth Action Ottawa Truth Be Told Comics truther Truth Movement truthout.org Truth Revolution Truth Rising TSA twin towers twitter U.S. UN underwear bomber United 93 United 175 United Airlines United Nations University of Colorado University of Virginia UN Watch US government US Military vaccines Valerie Plame Vanessa Lang Langer victims videos videotaped visa express visibility Visibility 9-11 Wall Street war war crimes war games warnings War on Terror Washington Post We Are Change Welt der Wunder Whistleblower whistleblowers White House Who Is Rich Blee Whoopi Goldberg Wikileaks William Blum Willie Nelson Will McCants wiretaps World Series World Trade Center WTC WTC 7 WTC7 Xe Yemen Zacarias Moussaoui Zadroga Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Zelikow

The NYPD Spy Program and the US Surveillance State

NYPD-spy-on-muslims
February 22, 2012
Source: Salon
Category: COMMENTARY

PHOTO: Mohammed el-Sioufi, an accountant and vice president of the Islamic Culture Center, a mosque in Newark, is interviewed by the Associated Press about the New York Police Department’s surveillance of the Muslim community in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (Credit: AP/Charles Dharapak)

The hallmark of a Surveillance State is that police agencies secretly monitor and keep dossiers on not only those individuals suspected of lawbreaking, but on the society generally, including those individuals about whom there is no suspicion of wrongdoing. For the past year, the Associated Press has systematically exposed how the New York Police Department, often working in conjunction with the CIA, engaged in a sprawling spying campaign aimed at Muslim individuals, students, institutions and mosques in the United States, all without a whiff of any suspected wrongdoing. Yesterday, the four AP investigative reporters who have exposed this program won a well-deserved Polk Award for their “investigation that showed the NYPD had built one of the largest domestic intelligence agencies in the country.” In particular, the “reporters documented how the NYPD assigned ‘rakers’ and ‘mosque crawlers’ to ethnic neighborhoods, infiltrating everything from booksellers and cafes to Muslim places of worship.”

On Monday, AP detailed how the NYPD spied on numerous Muslim students and their campus organizations. In particular, “police trawled daily through student websites run by Muslim student groups at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers and 13 other colleges in the Northeast” and “talked with local authorities about professors in Buffalo and even sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip, where he recorded students’ names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed.” The dossiers noted the names of Muslim student leaders and even stored emails sent and received by some of them. All this, even though the “documents mention no wrongdoing by any students.”

Today, AP released a newly obtained report by the NYPD from 2007 about the Muslim community in Newark, New Jersey — both Middle Eastern and African-American in origin — prompting one of the AP reporters, Matt Apuzzo, to ask on Twitter: “If NYPD can write docs like this outside its jurisdiction, where cant they go? Post-9/11, is NYPD a nat’l police force?” As AP reported today about this newly released dossier: “Americans living and working in New Jersey’s largest city were subjected to surveillance as part of the New York Police Department’s effort to build databases of where Muslims work, shop and pray.” The report was produced as part of a surveillance campaign whereby “plainclothes officers from the NYPD’s Demographics Units fanned out across Newark, taking pictures and eavesdropping on conversations inside businesses owned or frequented by Muslims.” Yet again, “the report cited no evidence of terrorism or criminal behavior,” but was meant to instead be “a guide to Newark’s Muslims.” AP continued:

Such surveillance has become commonplace in New York City in the decade since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police have built databases showing where Muslims live, where they buy groceries, even what Internet cafes they use and where they watch sports. Dozens of mosques and student groups have been infiltrated and police have built detailed profiles of ethnic communities, from Moroccans to Egyptians to Albanians. . . . The effect of the program was that hundreds of American citizens were cataloged — sometimes by name, sometimes simply by their businesses and their ethnicity — in secret police files that spanned hundreds of pages.

It is really worth looking at this document for a sense of how insidious it is when the government spies on and compiles files about innocent citizens. The report contains numerous maps identifying the locations of all mosques in Newark:

It contains photographs of those mosques and other Islamic groups and even schools, including ones in private homes, accompanied by identifying information and other notes suggesting some sort of nefarious intent (“aggressive counter-surveillance observed,” which presumably means that someone from the mosque was watching police agents spy on them):

l

l

l

l

The report even includes maps and active surveillance of halal shops, Middle Eastern groceries, and restaurants where Muslims gather:

l

l

l

l

AP details that numerous names of individuals suspected of no wrongdoing are often included in these files; here, for instance, is what was contained the dossier compiled by the NYPD about the Muslim community on Long Island:

The effect of the program was that hundreds of American citizens were cataloged — sometimes by name, sometimes simply by their businesses and their ethnicity — in secret police files that spanned hundreds of pages:

— “A Black Muslim male named Mussa was working in the rear of store,” an NYPD detective wrote after a clandestine visit to a dollar store in Shirley, N.Y., on Long Island.

— “The manager of this restaurant is an Indian Muslim male named Vicky Amin” was the report back from an Indian restaurant in Lindenhurst, N.Y., also on Long Island.

— “Owned and operated by an African Muslim (possibly Sudanese) male named Abdullah Ddita” was the summary from another dollar store in Shirley, N.Y., just off the highway on the way to the Hamptons, the wealthy Long Island getaway.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long claimed — preposterously — that the NYPD does not target communities for survillence based on their religion, but as AP notes: ”In one section of the report, police wrote that the largest immigrant groups in Newark were from Portugal and Brazil. But they did not photograph businesses or churches for those groups.” That’s because “‘No Muslim component within these communities was identified,’ police wrote.” In the wake of this latest evidence, Bloomberg seemed to abandon that denial, shifting instead to justification: “The police department goes where there are allegations. And they look to see whether those allegations are true,” said the Mayor. “That’s what you’d expect them to do. That’s what you’d want them to do. Remind yourself when you turn out the light tonight.”

This government spying on the perfectly innocent activities of innocent Americans and other legal residents is just a tiny though illustrative fraction of the dossiers being regularly compiled by government agencies. The Surveillance State compiles a massive amount of data about even the most innocuous activities of Americans – recall that the Washington Post‘s “Top Secret America” 2010 series reported that ”every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications” – and the scope of what it gathers always expands and never constricts. But there are two odious aspects of the Surveillance State specifically highlighted by the NYPD’s program here.

First, Muslims generally — and, increasingly, American Muslims — are branded with virtually official non-person status under the law. On Monday, I wrote about the way in which core tyrannical powers — arbitrary detention, limitless spying, due-process-free assassinations — have become normalized in the U.S., Israel and its Western allies, but it is almost always Muslims who are the target of these abuses. Every serious episode of civil liberties assaults in American history was driven by the full-scale demonization of one specific group. There are still plenty of groups who perform that function, but there is no question that Muslims are the prime target now.

Second, this perfectly illustrates what I have often described as the one-way mirror dynamic of the American Surveillance State: it isn’t merely that the State knows more and more about the private activities of citizens, but worse, that happens at exactly the same time that citizens know less and less about the activities of the State. At exactly the same time that the Surveillance State has exploded into a sprawling, ubiquitous, unaccountable apparatus, the U.S. Government and its various agencies have erected an increasingly impenetrable wall of secrecy behind which it operates. This imbalance grows inexorably. Note how the NYPD report — which collects all sorts of information about Newark Muslims suspected of no wrongdoing — contains these designations and warnings on its cover:

That’s the essential expression of the American Surveillance State: we can and will know everything about what you do, and you will know virtually nothing about what we do. In a healthy society, that formula would be reversed: the citizenry (with rare exceptions) would know most everything about what their government does, while the government would know nothing about what citizens do in the absence of well-grounded suspicion that they have done something wrong. Yet here we have the NYPD wandering outside of its jurisdiction in order to spy on the innocuous activities of a community of a religious minority (not even the Newark Mayor was informed about this), and the most disturbing part of it all is how common it now is.

* * * * *

Speaking of the one-way mirror of the Surveillance State, a Polk Award was also awarded yesterday to The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer for her excellent article on the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers, which I wrote about here. As the Committee awarding the Polk Awards put it: Mayer “ends her masterful tale with the conclusion that America’s bloated ‘national-surveillance state’ poses a greater threat to civil liberties than ever before.”

You must be logged in to post a comment.