The fact that the nomination of a known torturer to be head of the CIA hasn’t been rejected out of hand even by Democrats in the Senate is truly shameful. Not only did Gina Haspel oversee torture when she was head of a CIA blacksite in Thailand, she later ordered the destruction of the video evidence of torture. None of those facts are in dispute, yet a significant number of Senators claim they need to give her a “fair” hearing before deciding if they should oppose her.
Trump is surrounding himself with torture apologists. He wants Haspel to replace his current CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, whom he has nominated to become Secretary of State. Pompeo himself has a troubling record of openly supporting torture and making deeply bigoted, Islamophobic remarks.
These two can hardly be counted on to push back against any amoral or unconstitutional scheme John Bolton, might instigate. We have no control over Trump’s hiring of Bolton as his national security advisor, but we can convince the Senate to reject Haspel and Pompeo.
The Senate will consider Pompeo’s nomination first. If we can block that, there will be no vacancy atop the CIA for Haspel to fill, so her nomination will effectively also be blocked.
Sue and Chip
The Department of Justice’s continuing felony prosecutions stemming from an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist protest during Trump’s inauguration has taken yet another bizarre turn.
As Congress seeks to counter Russian attempts to influence in our elections, lawmakers have turned for help to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, an 80-year-old law that requires agents of foreign principals to register with the Attorney General. Several bills have been introduced to strengthen enforcement of the law, which has been rarely used.
Officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI, with the blessing of the White House, have been holding meetings with security experts to develop backdoors that would give law enforcement uninterrupted access to encrypted data.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) has the authority to look through an US person’s (i.e. citizen or lawful permanent resident) electronic devices at the border and at international airports even if they cannot cite a reason for being suspicious.A bipartisan bill proposed in Congress on Tuesday would limit these practices and strengthen the Fourth Amendment rights of US persons when they are reentering the country.
In 2018, most people recognize the colossal failure of the War on Drugs. Donald Trump not only doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo, he apparently lives in an alternate universe.
Gina Haspel should be subject to a criminal investigation, not running the CIA. Defending Rights & Dissent adamantly opposes her nomination and calls upon the Senate to reject her.
The Justice for Muslims Collective has organized a growing coalition of justice groups standing in solidarity with Noor Salman and demanding an end to the prosecution against her.
We all want our children to be safer at school, but Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018 threatens the civil liberties of students
The CLOUD Act would require that foreign governments get their requests for an individual’s data approved by the executive branch instead of an independent U.S. judge.
Defending Rights and Dissent joined with Black Lives Matter DC, the Stop Police Terror project and over 50 other organizations to demand that the DC City Council hold a public hearing outside of work hours, to hear public testimony regarding racism and violence in the Metropolitan Police Department
Actions by state legislatures to circumvent their state’s public records and public meeting laws demonstrate the sweeping efforts by legislative bodies to undermine democracy in their jurisdictions.
It seems that every week brings news of another local police department adopting another new technology to monitor our words, movement, or relationships online and off.