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By arrangement with LegitGov.org.
Photograph via Flickr by ISAF Media.
December 11, 2011—Two New York lawmakers want to place a passenger advocate at airports to immediately act on complaints from passengers about security screenings. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and state Sen. Michael Gianaris, both Democrats, are calling on the Transportation Security Administration to create the position at all airports. The proposal to be released Sunday was prompted by recent claims that elderly women were strip searched by security officials at Kennedy Airport, which the TSA denies, saying it doesn’t conduct strip searches.
—Boston police: 46 arrested
December 11, 2011—The police swept into Occupy Boston’s campsite early Saturday morning, bringing one of the country’s largest continuous demonstrations inspired by New York City’s Occupy Wall Street protest to an end. Police officers arrived shortly before 5 a.m., dragging tents out of the camp and warning the roughly 75 protesters who had stayed the night there that they would be arrested if the did not leave. Some protesters noted that they could not read police badges, and some members of the media said they were kept at a distance as arrests were being made.
December 11, 2011—It is the other Guantánamo, an archipelago of federal prisons that stretches across the country, hidden away on back roads. Today, it houses far more men convicted in terrorism cases than the shrunken population of the prison in Cuba that has generated so much debate. An aggressive prosecution strategy, aimed at prevention as much as punishment, has sent away scores of people. They serve long sentences, often in restrictive, Muslim-majority units, under intensive monitoring by prison officers.
December 9, 2011—U.S. military officials at Guantanamo Bay are defending conditions in a disciplinary block known as “Five Echo,” taking the unusual step Friday of releasing photos of a section of the jail not typically shown to outsiders. Lawyers for prisoners call it inhumane to keep detainees there for 22 hours a day, especially when they have not been convicted of a crime. David Remes, a Washington-based attorney who represents three prisoners who have been held in Five Echo, said this week that the disciplinary unit appears to violate the Geneva Conventions. “Five Echo is really a throwback to the bad old days at Guantánamo,” Remes said.
December 10, 2011—Last Monday, at the Obama administration’s request, the Supreme Court accepted review of a lower court decision which allowed an opponent of the Iraq war, Steven Howards, to sue agents of the United States Secret Service for arresting him after a brief verbal confrontation with then-Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. As with many other cases this term, the Obama administration is lining up with law enforcement and seeking a Supreme Court ruling that curtails or eliminates suits to enforce democratic rights. Reichle v. Howards will be argued next March or April and then decided before the current Supreme Court terms ends in late June.
December 10, 2011—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday it found chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas in water supplies in Wyoming. The EPA’s findings are based on two deep wells drilled to monitor water in the aquifer located in Pavillion, Wyoming. The EPA says that sampling turned up compounds “likely associated with gas production practices” in the monitoring wells in addition to private and public drinking wells.
December 8, 2011—In what was billed by the White House as a major speech on the economy, President Barack Obama on Tuesday combined a potted review of American history with half-truths and lies in an attempt to present himself as a fighter for social equality and critic of Wall Street. Obama, who has spent nearly three years in the White House single-mindedly defending the interests of the financial elite, has in recent weeks adopted this populist persona with the aim of derailing the emergence of social protest, in the form of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and seeking to channel it behind his reelection campaign.
December 8, 2011—New gene assembly technology that offers great benefits for scientific research could also be used by [pharma-]terrorists to create biological weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Wednesday. Experts have warned that the increasing ease with which bioweapons can be created might be used by terror groups to develop and spread new diseases that could mimic the effects of the fictional global epidemic portrayed in the Hollywood thriller Contagion.
This link roundup originally appeared at LegitGov.org.