Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

Crisis Actors Richard and Jennifer Sexton as Nick and Laura Phelps - Sandy Hook“Sim Cell” Operatives Richard and Jennifer Sexton Posing as Nick and Laura Phelps at Sandy Hook

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“Those conspiracies that are too incredible to be believed, are by the same right, those which most often succeed.” — Marshall McLuhan

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“It gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them.”  — Adolph Hitler

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“Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” — Thomas Jefferson

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VisionBox Crisis Actor Unit at Work in Local Denver Mall________________________________________

Active Shooter Crisis Actors Target Mall Shootings via Visionbox

DENVER, CO, October 31, 2012 — A new group of actors is now available nationwide for active shooter drills and mall shooting full-scale exercises, announced Visionbox, Denver’s leading professional actors studio.

Visionbox Crisis Actors are trained in criminal and victim behavior, and bring intense realism to simulated mass casualty incidents in public places.

The actors’ stage acting experience, ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary American theater, enables them to “stay in character” throughout an exercise, and improvise scenes of extreme stress while strictly following official exercise scenarios.

The actors regularly rehearse scenarios involving the Incident Command System and crisis communications, and appear in interactive training films produced in both 2D and stereoscopic 3D.

Producers Jennifer McCray Rincon and John Simmons formed the group to demonstrate emerging security technologies, help first responders visualize life-saving procedures, and assist trainers in delivering superior hands-on crisis response training.

For example, with a large shopping center, the producers review all security camera views and design dramatic scenes specifically for existing camera angles, robotic camera sweeps, and manually-controlled camera moves.

The producers then work with the trainers to create a “prompt book” for the actors so that key scenario developments can be triggered throughout the mall shooting simulation, and caught on tape.

The actors can play the part of the shooters, mall employees, shoppers in the mall, shoppers who continue to arrive at the mall, media reporters and others rushing to the mall, and persons in motor vehicles around the mall.

Visionbox Crisis Actors can also play the role of citizens calling 911 or mall management, or posting comments on social media websites.

During the exercise, the producers use two-way radio to co-direct the Crisis Actors team from the mall dispatch center and at actors’ locations.

Within this framework, the exercise can test the mall’s monitoring and communications systems, the mall’s safety plan including lockdown and evacuation procedures, the ability of first responders and the mall to coordinate an effective response, and their joint ability to respond to the media and information posted on the Internet.

Security camera footage is edited for after-action reports and future training.

Visionbox is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. Crisis Actors is a project of the Colorado Safety Task Force established by Colorado State Senator Steve King.

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After this article drew the attention of both the public at large as well as independent investigators and researchers, the Crisis Actors Unit website went through a rapid-fire series of graphic gyrations: shutting down, opening up again to dispute any involvement with the Sandy Hook false flag attack, then going private, with a requirement to join and view the site being a certificate of completion of training by FEMA, before it ostensibly shut down for good (changed URLs and ISPs). All of this occurred in January of 2013.

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Great post and footage, wrong interpretation. This isn’t the rehearsal, there was no rehearsal. This is the event — you’re looking at it. This is what actually went down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. Or perhaps better put: a fair portion of it. A preplanned, staged drill, put over on the unsuspecting public as the worst school rampage shooting in American history.

Take careful note that no one in this raw footage of the event is anxious, distraught, or even in anything akin to a hurry. Is this the scene at which innocent women and children are being chopped to ribbons by a deranged madman wielding the latest and greatest in lethal small-arms technology as we speak? The answer is: it’s supposed to be. I’ve inevitably come to the rather painstaking and demoralizing conclusion that more than likely, no one was harmed or injured at Sandy Hook Elementary School that day. It was all just one big world-class dog and pony show aimed at further restrictions on the rights of lawful gun owners in the short term and a general nationwide confiscation campaign on down the road.

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Classified FEMA-DHS Sandy Hook Emergency Management Drill Handbook CoverThe cover of a 20-page classified FEMA/DHS “Ex Plan” operations manual for a “mass casualty drill”, in this instance testing preparedness for “emergency response for mass casualties involving children”, to be carried out on 12/14/2012, the day of the alleged Sandy Hook school rampage shootings.

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In terms of the 9/11 false flag attack alone I was hesitant to state that it really pretty much rose to the level of the Manhattan Project in scope: years in the planning, with an unbelievable number of people involved, all acting in secrecy, with no one ever breaking ranks and outing the program to the public.

I say I hesitated to state it for the record, even though the thought surely occurred to me, and the same for Sandy Hook.

But when all of these continuous and ongoing, rabble-rousing dog and pony shows are taken into account, I feel I can safely say that that’s pretty much exactly what we’re looking at here, a modern day shadow government Manhattan Project, years in the planning, with an unbelievable number of people involved, and not one of them breaking ranks so far to inform the public as to what’s really going on.

I would have to say that the one guy who came the closest to doing so, however, was this man — Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver — in his televised press conference 3 days after the fact.

My intuitive take on Dr. Carver was that he was a good man who had all this thrust upon him at the last minute out of the blue and didn’t like any of it one little bit. I think he was a “less than willing” participant who in the end agreed to play along for reasons known only to him and his “handlers” at that point. With him my gut leans more toward coercion than bribery, but we will probably never know any more about it than we do right now, with the conceivable exception of a potential “death bed confession” down the road.

If you watch the following controversial video paying close attention to his questionable statements and unorthodox mannerisms, bearing all that I have related to you in mind, I believe you can put some method to his madness: Clearly “under control” and generally clueless, not at all certain what he should say, could say or shouldn’t say, visably wriggling like a fresh caught fish on a hook he couldn’t get off of, but wriggling nonetheless and just wanting off of it more than anything…

Again, if you listen to his statements very carefully, you will get the most “skinny” you’re ever going to get from any of the participants involved that day in terms of what was actually going on.

My personal fav (paraphrasing): “…as for the people of Newtown, I hope this doesn’t all come crashing down on their heads later on…”

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Thanks Dr. Carver! I get it: as your rather cryptic and thinly-veiled indictment of the complicity of a goodly portion if not all of the local residents in this fraudulent dog and pony show (as was necessarily required in this particular instance) fits the available puzzle pieces as they have manifested themselves over time thus far, which tend to portray a massive amount of funding having been pumped into an “area so deeply underwater it was struggling for its very survival” in general over the previous three years, and the startling transformation of “a particularly seedy part of town, chiefly known for its bars, bikers and prostitutes” into a “Mayberry-like village reminiscent of an on-location movie set”.

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And there’s even some credible evidence that Sandy Hook Elementary School hadn’t even been operational for the five or so years prior to the events which occurred on 12-14-2012…

Or afterward…

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110 Floors of Massive Skyscraper VaporizedI realize this may be a stupid question, but where did 110 stories of skyscraper just go?

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“The limitations are mental limitations… They’re psychological and emotional limitations about what it is we’re allowing ourselves to see… about the nature of the universe. It is a game in many ways of perception… and you get the world that you perceive. And if you keep perceiving it on one level then indeed you will get that world. And if you open that world up… you will get a larger…infinite… world.” — Master of Ceremonies, Breakthrough Energy Conference, Holland 2012

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“If you listen to the evidence carefully enough, it will speak to you and tell you exactly what happened. If you don’t know what happened, keep listening to the evidence until you do. The evidence always tells the truth. The key is not to allow yourself to be distracted away from seeing what the evidence is telling you” — Dr. Judy Wood, Ph.D

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When I decided to blow the dust off of this convoluted can of worms after 3 or 4 years and take another look at it through hopefully something akin to fresh eyes, I really wasn’t unable to uncover much in the way of any new theories, revelations, or smoking guns, with the hallmark exception of analysis provided by independent researchers Dr. Judy Wood of wheredidthetowersgo.com and Richard D. Hall of richplanet.net. But the light these two dedicated researchers have managed to shine on previously unknown, un-thought-of, overlooked, disregarded and/or purposefully-suppressed elements of the 9/11 false flag attacks was more than sufficient to blow me away…

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Ben Rich Quote Poster

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Dr. Wood’s Research on “Ongoing Molecular Disassociation”

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Dr. Judy Wood

“Somebody has the ability to direct energy in such a way as to disrupt the molecular bonds of matter.” 

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Dr. Judy D. Wood is a former professor of mechanical engineering with research interests in experimental stress analysis, structural mechanics, optical methods, deformation analysis, and the materials characterization of biomaterials and composite materials.

She is a member of the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM), co-founded SEM’s Biological Systems and Materials Division, and has served with the SEM Composite Materials Technical Division.

Dr. Wood received her B.S. in Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering, 1981), her M.S. in Engineering Mechanics (Applied Physics, 1983), and her Ph.D. in Materials Engineering Science in 1992.

She is also the author of the book, Where Did The Towers Go? The Evidence of Directed Free-Energy Technology on 9/11. 

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Where Did The Towers Go - Dr. Judy Wood

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World Trade Center Facts

The twin towers were each 110 stories tall. The north tower (WTC 1)was 1368 feet high and the south tower (WTC 2) was 1362 feet high. Each tower was 208 feet x 208 feet in length and width. This rendered one acre — or 40,000 square feet — per floor. The combined total weight of the twin towers was 1,500,000 tons.

Aside from these 2 towers there were 5 other buildings in the complex proper: WTC 3: Hotel—22 Floors; WTC 4: South Plaza Bldg—9 Floors; WTC 5: North Plaza Bldg—9 Floors; WTC 6: US Customs House—8 Floors; WTC: 7–47 Floors. 200,000 tons of steel and 425,000 cubic yards of concrete were used in the construction of the entire World Trade Center complex.

Source:  The New York State Education Department website.

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World Trade Center Site PlanWorld Trade Center Site Plan 2001

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FEMA World Trade Center Debris Field MapFEMA World Trade Center Debris Field Map

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Richard D. Hall’s Research & Analysis: “The Ball”

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Richard D. Hall

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Richard graduated in electrical engineering from Newcastle University in 1990. He worked on engineering projects for NEI (formerly Rolls Royce) from 1986 until 2002, when he left the profession to work as a freelance IT consultant and web designer.

His book Aliens Before Gentlemen – A Guide to the Future  postulates what information might become common knowledge in a post-disclosure world. Over the last few years Richard has researched UFOs and other related phenomena and launched the website richplanet.net in early 2008. Since then he has produced 2 documentaries and a series of TV programs about the UFO phenomenon which are being screened on Edge Media Television.

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The two videos above contain the best available analysis of “the ball”, while the two videos below back it up with independent raw footage and observations.

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The “Tribute in Light” memorial is in honor of the citizens who died in the WTC attacks

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If you never heard of Rick Rescorla, you are missing out on one of the best stories of a true “American” hero.

Rick was born Cyril Richard Rescorla, in Cornwall, England in 1939.

During WWII the 175th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. 29th Infantry Division was headquartered in Rick’s hometown. Being a typical young boy he fell head over heals in love with the American G.I.s. He grew up an athlete, excelling in boxing.

In 1957 Rescorla joined the British Army, serving with the Parachute Regiment and also with intelligence. Upon leaving the military he served in various capacities as a police officer.

He moved to the United States and joined the United States Army in 1963, wanting to go to Vietnam to fight. In 1965 he was a platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and faught in the Battle of Ia Drang … the battle recounted in the book and depicted in the movie “We Were Soldiers Once”.

While serving in Vietnam Rick earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Rescorla was a very bright and astute man. He was a critical thinker. In 1992 he warned the World Trade Center’s Port Authority that the massive structures were vulnerable to (what we now call) VIEDs in the basement parking garage. But his warning was not heeded.

In 1993 the first terrorist attack on the WTC happened. Rick helped evacuate the building, and was the last man out.

Rescorla eventually became director of security for Morgan Stanley, headquartered in the World Trade Center in 1997. Feeling the WTC was too vulnerable a target for terrorists, Rick recommended Morgan Stanley leave the structure and find new office spaces.

But they were locked into a lease, so Rescorla then made certain all employees of Morgan Stanley train and practice in emergency evacuations from the WTC building, drilling them every three months.

On September 11, 2001, Rick Rescorla was supposed to be on vacation. Instead, he was filling in so one of his deputies could take some time off.

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The last known picture taken of Rick Rescorla on 9-11-2001 as he lead the evacuation

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When all the Morgan Stanley employees were safely out, Rick went back inside to help more people escape the inevitable doom he had feared and predicted years before.

On the warm, bright, sunny morning of September 11, 2001 Rick Rescorla was not  the last man out of the World Trade Center …

Rick Rescorla’s birth certificate may have said England, but he was an American hero through and through…

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Where are we at ten years after the greatest treachery ever perpetrated on America?

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“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy enough. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”  — Herman Goering

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“When the American people find out about how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned and they are going to be angry.”  — Senator Ron Wyden

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The Patriot Act (the full name is the USA Patriot Act, or “Uniting and Strengthening America Act by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001″) was enacted by the U.S. Congress on October 26, 2001, at the request of President George W. Bush in response to the terrorist acts of September 11.

It gives controversial new powers to the Justice Department in terms of domestic and international surveillance of American citizens and others within its jurisdiction. According to its sponsors, the Act was needed to address a situation that had not existed before – the presence of terrorists within our national borders – and the need to apprehend and prosecute them, hopefully before rather than after they acted.

Opponents of the Act, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, say that the Act has undone previous checks on civil liberty abuses of the past and unnecessarily endangers privacy and discourages free speech.

Among the Act’s provisions, flowing out of the government’s ability to legally tap telephone lines in certain cases, is the ability to intercept Internet messages through its Carnivore program.

Theoretically, the government has the ability to intercept all messages that are “relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation,” a lower standard than the previous one in which a crime had to have been committed. The Act allows the guidelines to apply to all surveillance cases, not just those of suspected terrorists.

Some opponents allege that the Act was on the drawing boards prior to September 11. Many parties agree that the Act was rushed through Congress in a kneejerk reaction, and with a minimum of study, debate, discussion, and oversight.

In addition to the surveillance provisions, the Act includes sections related to money-laundering and immigration and also contains a section that condemns discrimination against Muslims and Arab-Americans.

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It Gets Better…

Most ominously, however, are the claims which have been made that entire sections of the Patriot Act are verbatim and identical to two of the most frightening laws in human history:

1)  The 1929 Bolshevik Communist Criminal Act  established Communist control in the age of Joseph Stalin. It created a security apparatchik unparalleled in its intrusion into the lives of ordinary, non-political families.

For enforcement, it created the Gulags, which quickly filled with intellectuals and dissidents, poets and hard luck Russian people who got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was enough for a neighbor to point a finger secretly for that individual to disappear to the Siberian work camps for life. Secret charges, secret evidence, secret accusations figured prominently— same as in the Patriot Act.

Citing newly-available Soviet KGB documents, historian Dmitri Volkogonov, head of a special Russian parliamentary commission, recently concluded that “from 1929 to 1952 21.5 million Soviet people were repressed. Of these a third were shot, the rest sentenced to imprisonment, where many also died.”

And…

2)  Germany’s Enabling Act of 1933.  As comforting and innocuous as it sounds, the “Enabling Act” actually established the legal framework for Nazi Fascism.

The Enabling Law lay the parameters for the Third Reich of Adolph Hitler. The German word “Gestapo” is actually an acronym of GEheim STAdt POlezi. Translation: “Homeland Security.”

Whether or not the Patriot Act reads like these other infamous fascist documents paragraph for paragraph or clause for clause, laws establishing fascist control over the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany are replicated in the Patriot Act today. Like the iron fist of the Nazis and Communists, Americans must now submit to “roving surveillance” and warrantless searches, without the requirement for a judge’s authorization. Surveillance laws are part of a larger arsenal of weapons against political dissidents and whistle-blowers.

Most Americans still don’t know the Patriot Act authorizes secret charges relying on secret evidence and secret grand jury statements. Under the Patriot Act, Americans have no right to know who has accused them of what criminal activities, or the dates of the alleged offense. They’re not even told what law was broken. The government has power to lock up Americans on military bases or other prisons without a hearing or trial. We can be detained indefinitely without any rights of due process at all.

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The Shocking Truth About the USA PATRIOT Act and its Application to American Citizens at Large: a Must See !

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Ever Heard of the “Secret”  Patriot Act?

It Seems There Are Two : One We Know About, and One We Don’t…

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Much of the Patriot Act was a wish list of changes to surveillance law that Congress had previously rejected because of civil liberties concerns. When reintroduced as the Patriot Act after September 11th, those changes — and others — passed with only limited congressional debate.

Just what sort of powers does the Patriot Act grant law enforcement when it comes to surveillance and sidestepping due process? Here are three provisions of the Patriot Act that were sold to the American public as necessary anti-terrorism measures, but are now used in ways that infringe on ordinary citizens’ rights:

1)  Section 215: “Any Tangible Thing”

Under this provision, the FBI can obtain secret court orders for business records and other “tangible things” so long as the FBI says that the records are sought “for an authorized investigation . . . to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.” The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must issue the order if the FBI so certifies, even when there are no facts to back it up. These “things” can include basically anything—driver’s license records, hotel records, car-rental records, apartment-leasing records, credit card records, books, documents, Internet history, and more. Adding insult to injury, Section 215 orders come with a “gag ” prohibiting the recipient from telling anyone, ever, that they received one.

As the New York Times  reported, the government may now be using Section 215 orders to obtain “private information about people who have no link to a terrorism or espionage case.” The Justice Department has refused to disclose how they are interpreting the provision, but we do have some indication of how they are using Section 215. While not going into detail, Senator Mark Udall indicated the FBI believes it to allows them “unfettered” access to innocent Americans’ private data, like “a cellphone company’s phone records” in bulk form. The government’s use of these secret orders is sharply increasing — from 21 orders in 2009 to 96 orders in 2010, an increase of over 400% — and according to a brand new report from the Washington Post,  80% of those requests are for Internet records.

2)  National Security Letters

Among the most used — and outright frightening — provisions in the Patriot Act are those that enhanced so-called National Security Letters (NSLs). The FBI can issue NSLs itself, without a court order, and demand a variety of records, from phone records to bank account information to Internet activity. As with 215 orders, recipients are gagged from revealing the orders to anyone.

While NSLs existed prior to 2001, they were infrequently used. The Patriot Act lowered the standard making it easier for the FBI to use NSLs to obtain the records of innocent people with no direct link to terrorists or spies, and their use skyrocketed. According to the ACLU’s report on Patriot Act abuses, there were 8,500 NSLs issued in 2000 but approximately 192,000 issued between 2003-2006. All of these NSL’s led to one terror conviction, and in that case, the NSL wasn’t even needed.

Not surprisingly, FOIA requests have found abuse of their NSL authority: “mistakes” that led to getting information on the wrong people, ISPs handing over extra or wrong information, and dozens of “exigent letters” that “circumvented the law and violated FBI guidelines and policies.” The EFF has successfully challenged the NSL gag orders in multiple cases as unconstitutional under the First Amendment, but the overall scheme still survives to this day.

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3)  Sneak and Peek Warrants

Section 213 of the Patriot Act normalized “sneak and peek” warrants. These allow law enforcement to raid a suspect’s house without notifying the recipient of the seizure for months. These orders usually don’t authorize the government to actually seize any property — but that won’t stop them from poking around your computers. Again, sneak-and-peek warrants could be used for any  investigation, even if the crime was only a misdemeanor.

From 2006-2009, sneak-and-peek warrants were used a total of 1,755 times. Only fifteen of those cases—a microscopic 0.8%—involved terrorism. The rest were used in cases involving drugs or fraud.

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On the ten-year anniversary of the bill’s signing into law, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the Justice Department to turn over records related to the government’s secret interpretation and use of Section 215, regarding which Senator Ron Wyden, like Senator Udall, has offered ominous warnings: “When the American people find out about how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act,”  said Wyden on the Senate floor in May, 2011, “they are going to be stunned and they are going to be angry.”

After ten years, it’s crystal clear that the “emergency measure” sold as a necessary step in the fight against terrorism, is being used routinely to violate the civil liberties of ordinary people in non-terrorism cases, threatening the Constitutional rights of every one of us.

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Some of the More Noteworthy Patriot Act Abuses: 2001-2011

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 Man Charged Under Patriot Act – Feds Admit Not A Terrorist!

NEWARK, N.J. — 2005: Federal authorities used the Patriot Act to charge David Banach, 38, with interfering with the operator of a mass transportation vehicle and making false statements to the FBI. He is the first person arrested after a recent rash of reports around the nation of lasers being beamed at airplanes.

If convicted, Banach could be sentenced to 25 years in prison and fined $500,000.

The FBI acknowledged the incident had no connection to terrorism but called Banach’s actions “foolhardy and negligent.”

Banach’s lawyer said his statements were given during several hours of questioning without an attorney present and that he was being harshly prosecuted because authorities were eager for an arrest.

“My client is in some ways a sacrificial lamb,”  attorney Gina Mendola-Longarzo said. “A message is being sent.”

Mendola-Longarzo said her client was simply using the hand-held device to look at stars with his daughter on the family’s deck. She said Banach bought the device on the Internet for $100 for his job testing fiber-optic cable. “He wasn’t trying to harm any person, any aircraft or anything like that,”  she said.

A month earlier, the FBI and the Homeland Security Department had sent a memo to law enforcement agencies saying there was evidence that terrorists have explored using lasers as weapons. But federal officials have said there is no evidence any the current incidents were part of a terrorist plot.

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In-Flight Confrontations Can Lead to Terrorism Charges

OKLAHOMA CITY AND LOS ANGELES — 2009: Tamera Jo Freeman was on a Fronteir Airlines flight to Denver in 2007 when her two children began to quarrel over the window shade and then spilled a Bloody Mary into her lap.

She spanked each of them on the thigh with three swats. It was a small incident, but one that in the heightened anxiety after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks would eventually have enormous ramifications for Freeman and her children.

A flight attendant confronted Freeman, who responded by hurling a few profanities and throwing what remained of a can of tomato juice on the floor.

The incident aboard the Frontier flight ultimately led to Freeman’s arrest and conviction for a federal felony defined as an act of terrorism under the Patriot Act, the controversial federal law enacted after the 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

“I had no idea I was breaking the law,”  said Freeman, 40, who spent three months in jail before pleading guilty.

Freeman is one of over 200 people on flights who have been convicted under the amended law. In most of the cases, there was no evidence that the passengers had attempted to hijack the airplane or physically attack any of the flight crew. Many have simply involved raised voices, foul language and drunken behavior.

Some security experts say the use of the law by airlines and their employees has run amok, criminalizing incidents that did not start out as a threat to public safety, much less an act of terrorism.

In one case, a couple was arrested after an argument with a flight attendant, who claimed the couple was engaged in “overt sexual activity” — an FBI affidavit said the two were “embracing, kissing and acting in a manner that made other passengers uncomfortable.”

“We have gone completely berserk on this issue,”  said Charles Slepian, a New York security consultant. “These are not threats to national security or threats to aircraft, but we use that as an excuse.”

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd defended the prosecutions, saying that they have helped improve airline security. He added that the department has only pursued prosecution “when the facts and circumstances of a particular case warrant such action.”

Indeed, the law has given airlines new flexibility to clamp down on unruly behavior. But the intent of the Patriot Act provisions was to put terrorists in violation of the law before they could execute an actual takeover, said Nathan Sales, a law professor at George Mason University who helped write the Patriot Act when he served in the Justice Department.

But Sales acknowledged that in the fervor to protect the skies, the practical application of the law has strayed.

“A woman spanking her child is not as great a threat to aviation as members of Al Qaeda with box cutters. That much is clear,”  he said.

For decades, airline personnel and law enforcement have had wide latitude in prosecuting unruly passengers, not only for assaults or threats but also for any behavior, including arguing, that disrupts a flight or “lessens the ability” of crew members to perform their jobs.

In practice, however, airlines have largely maintained order under Federal Aviation Administration rules, in which hundreds of unruly passengers are simply slapped with an infraction and fine each year.

According to FAA guidelines issued in 2007, “interference or intimidation of a crew member by itself is not chargeable under the [criminal] statute unless it rises to the level of physical assault, threatened physical assault or an act posing an imminent threat to the safety of the aircraft or other individuals on the aircraft.”

Sept. 11, however, changed everything. Within two months of the attacks, Congress passed the Patriot Act, a sweeping attempt to improve the nation’s defenses against international terrorism. It included broad new powers for law enforcement in such areas as electronic surveillance, money laundering and search warrants.

Included were two key provisions on airline security. The first defined disruptive behavior as a terrorist act, reflecting the seismic shift in airline security.

The second broadened the existing criminal law so that any attempt or conspiracy to interfere with a flight crew became a felony — a change that allowed flight personnel to act against suspicious passengers even if they hadn’t begun an actual assault.

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