Federal agencies have nominated more than 1.5 million names to terrorist watchlists over the past five years alone, yet being a terrorist isn’t a condition of getting on a roster that is virtually impossible to be removed from, according to a leaked US “Watchlisting Guidance” manual. The 166-page document, marked as “sensitive security information” and published by The Intercept, comes amid increasing skepticism over how people are placed on or get off of US terrorism databases like the no-fly list that bars flying to and within the United States.

Attorney General Eric Holder, for example, had claimed last year that national security would be imperiled if the public knew that a Stanford University graduate student was placed on the no-fly list because an FBI agent checked the wrong box on a nomination form. And just last month, a federal judge ruled that the government’s method for allowing the public to challenge placement on the no-fly list was “wholly ineffective” and unconstitutional.

The leaked manual says there are a dozen-plus US agencies that have nominating power for the several watchlists the government maintains. But the guidance given to the agencies is vague and confusing, and it says that “concrete facts” about whether somebody is a danger “are not necessary.” All nominations to the National Counterterrorism Center are considered “valid” unless that agency has evidence to the contrary. Of the nearly 470,000 nominations last year, the agency rejected 4,915.

The manual makes clear that “reasonable suspicion” for placement is necessary. But what that means is anybody’s guess.

You don’t need to be a terrorist to get on no-fly list, US manual says | Ars Technica
Three years ago, a team of Israeli documentary-makers produced a brilliant film about the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank entitled The Gatekeepers. For this, they persuaded five former heads of the Shin Bet, the nation’s security service, to be interviewed on camera. The outcome was fascinating, and devastating. Each chief in turn described the ruthless policies he had enforced to sustain Israeli dominance. Most agreed that repression had been counter-productive. Part of the explanation, they said, was that since the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish fanatic back in 1995, no Jerusalem government has pursued a serious political strategy for peace. The security forces have simply been left to impose varying degrees of repression, while Jewish settlers grab ever-larger areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem. In a remarkable moment of frankness, one former Shin Bet chief said: ‘Occupation has made us a cruel people.’
Max Hastings

By putting government and politics into the center of economic analysis, Polanyi makes it clear that today’s vexing economic problems are almost entirely political problems. This can effectively change the terms of modern political debate: Both left and right today focus on “deregulation”—for the right it is a rallying cry against the impediments of government; for the left it is the scourge behind our current economic inequities. While they differ dramatically on its desirability, both positions assume the possibility of a “non-regulated” or “non-political” market. Taking Polanyi seriously means rejecting the illusion of a “deregulated” economy. What happened in the name of “deregulation” has actually been “reregulation,” this time by rules and policies that are radically different from those of the New Deal and Great Society decades. Although compromised by racism, those older regulations laid the groundwork for greater equality and a flourishing middle class. Government continues to regulate, but instead of acting to protect workers, consumers, and citizens, it devised new policies aimed to help giant corporate and financial institutions maximize their returns through revised anti-trust laws, seemingly bottomless bank bailouts, and increased impediments to unionization.

The implications for political discourse are critically important: If regulations are always necessary components of markets, we must not discuss regulation versus deregulation but rather what kinds of regulations we prefer: Those designed to benefit wealth and capital? Or those that benefit the public and common good?

The free market is an impossible utopia

(via rumagin)

standwithpalestine:

Israel targeted and killed four Palestinian boys earlier today as they were playing football on the beach in Gaza. 

Their names were Ismael Mohamed Bakr, 9, Ahed Atef Bakr, 10, Zakaria Ahed Bakr, 10 and Mohamed Ramez Bakr, 11, and they were all from the same family.

According to Abu Hassera, whose shirt was stained with blood: “When the first shell hit the land, they ran away but another shell hit them all. It looked as if the shells were chasing them.”

Now, everyone is used to seeing pro-Israel bias in the media and it’s no surprise. But this ‘article’ from the New York Times is something else. As pointed out by Ben White: there is no mention of “Israel”, or the “IDF”, or “Israeli military”, or basically any agency.

(Source: standwithpalestine)

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