Tag Archives: Military

A multinational group wants you to join ‘Asgardia’ — the first outer-space nation with a mission to defend Earth

asgardia space station mission earth protection James Vaughan

 

A new country called Asgardia, named after Norse mythology’s city in the skies, could be the first nation ever created in space. The hope is to embark on a mission to mine asteroids and defend Earth from dangerous meteorites, space debris, and other threats.

That is, if everything goes according to an uncertain, open-ended, and audacious plan put forth by its founders.

The group behind the Asgardia project includes space experts based out of Canada, Romania, Russia, and the United States, and they announced their sovereign ambitions from a press conference in Paris on Wednesday.

Their core concept is to launch a robotic satellite within the next 18 months (60 years after Russia launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite), then eventually follow up with a permanent space station “where people can live, work, and have their own rules and regulations,” one founding member told Business Insider.

The hope? To “democratize space,” they say.

Ultimately, the organizers envision Asgardians building “a state-of-the-art protective shield for all humankind from cosmic manmade and natural threats to life on earth such as space debris, coronal mass ejections and asteroid collisions,” according to an emailed press release.

“We must leave [Earth] because it’s very much in the nature of humanity,” Ram Jakhu, the director of McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law and an Asgardia project founding member, told Business Insider in a phone interview before Wednesday’s press conference.

“Humanity left Africa and covered the whole globe. The resources of Earth will be depleted,” he said. “Third, I would say, we have a wish to go where nobody has gone before.”

Who is behind Asgardia?

Timothy Wild, a spokesperson for the consortium, would not disclose which researchers or other experts are currently aligned with the project, nor how many, during our call.

But we count at least five so far, according to materials shared by the publicity company that Wild works for:

  • Igor Ashurbeyli — founder of the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC) in Russia and the new chairman of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) “science of space” committee
  • David Alexander — director of Rice University’s Space Institute
  • Ram Jakhu — director of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University
  • Joseph N. Pelton — director of the Space and Advanced Communications Research Institute (SACRI) at George Washington University
  • Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu — a Romanian cosmonaut

Wild noted that the project is in its “early stages” and is hoping the initial publicity will attract engineers, scientists, and other talent.

“What we’re doing now is a call to arms, so we want to widen the net,” he said.

In addition to experts, Asgardia is calling on you to join its ranks.

“[T]he site will allow the first 100,000 people to register to become citizens of Asgardia alongside their nationality on [E]arth,” the release stated.

Asgardia is also crowd-sourcing its flag, insignia, and even national anthem.

How is it funded?

Wild would not disclose the organization’s current funding level, but claimed Ashurbeyli had put forth a substantial amount of money to get the Asgardia project going.

“We’re absolutely confident the satellite will launch within 18 months,” Wild said. “But in terms of absolute numbers [of money], we’re not there yet.” Wild would also not disclose how Asgardia’s founders plan to acquire cash to fund its future efforts.

It will likely need tens of millions of dollars to start out, and later perhaps billions to sustain itself.

Substantial, fist-size satellites called nanosats can be built and launched for roughly millions of dollars. But sending up larger objects requires more powerful and expensive launchers.

Right now, one of the cheapest rides into orbit a couple of hundred miles above Earth is a Falcon 9 rocket, and SpaceX charges roughly $60 to $65 million for the whole ride (some companies will share payload space and split the cost).

Meanwhile, it took 18 nations and about $100 billion to build and operate the International Space Station (ISS).

Can you actually form a new nation in space?

asgardia space nation website logo An image of Asgardia’s symbol featured on the supposed nation’s website. Asgardia.space

In an emailed press release, Ashurbeyli said that “Asgardia is a fully-fledged and independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations — with all the attributes this status entails.”

However, according to current international space law, the country that launches an object into space is responsible for it, including any damage it causes to denizens of Earth.

“The project is creating a new framework for ownership and nationhood in space, which will adapt current outer space laws governing responsibility, private ownership and enterprise so they are fit for purpose in the new era of space exploration,” the organization said in its emailed release. “By creating a new Space Nation, private enterprise, innovation and the further development of space technology to support humanity will flourish free from the tight restrictions of state control that currently exist.”

How would that be different from the ISS?

“The ISS is a joint venture. There’s no entity called ‘ISS,'” Jakhu said. “It’s just one facility, parts of which are controlled by different nations. It’s more or less a condo.”

And when asked about the laws behind forging a country on a yet-to-be-launched space station, Jakhu acknowledged the challenge, but he seemed optimistic.

“We have not seen any nation attempt this before. So this will be a first,” he said. “We’ll start small and eventually people will be going there, and working, and having their own rules and regulations … This facility will become an independent nation.”

Business Insider contacted the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) for clarification on whether or not current space laws would permit a new country to declare itself in space — from the ground, with an uncrewed satellite, or even with people aboard a space station. We also asked the organization how (if it’s not yet permitted) a new nation like Asgardia might need to change space law to form itself.

UNOOSA representatives did not immediately respond to our query.

How will Asgardia get built?

permanent space colony 1 Future Human Evolution

While painting an ambitious vision of a peaceful future in space, Asgardia is curiously quiet on the specifics.

Business Insider pressed its representatives for details about timelines, funding, satellite and space station designs, launch vehicles, personnel, and more, but Asgardia declined to provide that information.

“At this point we’re trying not to give too much technical detail away,” Wild said. “We have some ideas, but it’s not at the level of understanding to put into the public domain … [W]e’re taking a measured approach. We’re explaining what we want to do now and not jumping the gun on too many details.”

Jakhu and Asgardia’s organizers expect to draw plenty of critics, including analogies to the fizzling Mars One project — an effort that continues to claim it will set down astronauts that it has recruited on the red planet, though multiple investigations suggest it lacks the funding, manpower, and expertise to pull off the feat.

However, Jakhu and Wild pointed out that trying to form the first space nation a couple hundred miles above Earth is a lot different than trying to colonize Mars, as Elon Musk of SpaceX and Mars One intend.

“I’m sure people will ridicule [Asgardia], but I’m not worried. Anyone who tries out-of-the-box things is initially ridiculed,” Jakhu said. “Everything that’s amazing starts with a crazy idea. After awhile science fiction becomes science fact, and this is an idea which is just being initiated.

Asked if Jakhu would live in Asgardia, he responded, “why not?”

“I think it’d be less risky than going to Mars,” he said. “And you could more easily come back to Earth if you didn’t like it.”

CONTINUE READING…

44 Percent of Texans Think U.S. Military Might Be Coming to Impose Martial Law

Joint Bulgarian US military training

The multistate training operation Jade Helm 15 will begin next month, and plenty of Texans still seem to think that this is all an elaborate ruse and the federal government is about to take over Texas — a state that is already part of a larger country that the federal government oversees. It wasn’t clear how many people thought that the U.S. military was building tunnels under abandoned Walmarts FEMA camps. Thanks to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, we now know that the answer is: “More than a few!”

Forty-four percent of Texas voters — including 31 percent of Democrats — think that it is very or somewhat likely that the federal government is sending troops to Texas and other states so it can impose martial law; 43 percent think it is likely that the federal government just wants to take their guns. 

Strangely enough, slightly fewer Texan voters thought that it was a good idea that Governor Greg Abbott sent the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises, saying that it is “important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights, and civil liberties will not be infringed.” Thirty-nine percent of registered voters — and 85 percent of tea party Republicans — supported this move, while 32 percent had no opinion whatsoever. Although the difference between the number of people who think the government is coming to turn Texas into a socialist wasteland and those who think it is a good idea to monitor the military is within the margin of error, there’s always the possibility that a very small number of Texans think the government is coming to impose martial law and are ready to submit and declare allegiance, federalism be damned. 

If these people exist, we assume they might be friends with the people who sent aluminum-foil hat kits to Greg Abbott’s office instead of just filing a letter to complain about the Texas State Guard being deployed. 

The Texas Tribune

CONTINUE READING…

Operation Jade Helm

The following is information concerning the Military Operation “JADE HELM 15”.

 

 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9WH4g6wxfg

http://d38zt8ehae1tnt.cloudfront.net/swf/player.swf?v=1166

http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/200467/operation_jade_helm_15_huge_info__interview_with_militia_professor_doom/

 

A couple months ago the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) stated that the number one threat to the United States is none other than its own citizenry. This isn’t some small group of spun out nuts or even groups of people that the government feels are too religious such as Waco Texas and The Branch Davidians. As far as Islam, they were not even mentioned in the report.  Instead, huge swaths of American culture and people were listed as the most likely threat to our country. These were some of the groups listed; Christians, Home Schoolers, Members of the Tea Party, Constitutionalists, Preppers (people who can food), Militia and the terrorist group they are most concerned about is returning combat veterans of the United States of America.  http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/03/operation-jade-helm-military-trains-martial-law-american-south-west/

The news of JADE HELM 15 has caught the internet on fire. Now, coming out of the woodwork are the nay sayers, propagandists, and straight out liars. Yes, I am calling them exactly what they are, liars. Political Correctness stops here. The truth may hurt, but it is the truth. If you don’t like that, then either go to a different site or change your behavior.

There have been individuals from “trolls” to others that “claim” they are ex-Special Operations Command stating “this is not a real drill,” Or that “the documents have been modified.” These statements are not true, and are only being used in another “PSYOP” upon the American People. I will prove to you beyond the shadow of a doubt this operation is, in fact, true, and call these people out for what they are, liars! Anyone who tells you this is not a planned drill is lying to you either blatantly or by complete ignorance, neither of which is acceptable.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/03/jade-helm-15-is-real-heres-the-proof/#PYf4GTytdyUeOEwz.99

From July 15th to September 15th, over a thousand armed American soldiers will maneuver through the Southwest United States as part of a vast operation with a single motto: “Master the Human Domain.” Internet conspiracy theorists wait their whole lives for a moment this rich.

“JADE HELM 15” is a real military exercise cooked up by the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). It’s also, if you ask a certain cohort of internet dweller who thinks each day will be the one when Barack Obama personally carries away his guns, the first phase of martial law in America. When I was first forwarded this slideshow—apparently a preliminary briefing on Jade Helm marked marked “For Official Use Only”—the conspiracy theorists were the only ones talking about the exercise.

AllNewsPipeLine.com considers this the beginning of the end:

With September of 2015 consistently being warned of as a potential timeframe for the global collapse and World War 3, are these exercises more proof that something huge will happen near that date or just more ongoing drills as posse comitatus no longer applies upon American soil and America turns into a ‘no longer’ invisible dictatorship?

The site adds that FEMA-operated “death domes” are already being erected across Texas to prepare for civilian abductions during Jade Helm. InfoWars, the New York Times of right-wing paranoia, notes that “Although nations can benefit from joint drills, the exercises also serve to blur the lines of national sovereignty, slowly leading to the formation of a North American Union.”

FreedomOutpost.com is equally suspicious:

For years now, our veterans, Christians, patriots, gun owners, constitutionalists, pro-life advocates, small government supporters, small businesses, real journalists in the press, anti-corruption activists, anti-UN Agenda 21 advocates, anti-global warming supporters, anti-war patriots, anti-criminal immigration supporters, have all been targeted by this administration as enemies of the United States, even within government documents. Are we supposed to trust that they have pure intentions now?

Realizing that ignoring the paranoid will do nothing to quiet them, Army spokespeople are trying to ease everyone’s nerves with some military boilerplate. From ArmyTimes.com:

The Army says Jade Helm is a real exercise and will take place in the Southwest, as the slides indicate. But USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria said that’s the extent of the reports’ accuracy.

“It’s a training exercise. Just a regular training exercise,” Lastoria said of Jade Helm, which USASOC documentation references as a training exercise in at least one previous year as well.

It’s funny how even an extremely mundane denial sounds ominous coming from the Pentagon. Lastoria also spoke to Stars & Stripes:

“This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for Army Special Operations Forces because they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.”

But you don’t need to believe in FEMA death domes or an Islamofascist White House to find Jade Helm a little bit unsettling—even if it just a routine exercise meant to simulate a future Middle Eastern war zone inside America. One particular slide, which divides up the Southwest into “hostile” or “insurgent” pockets, has been the epicenter or message board frothing:

Jade Helm: The Pretend Invasion of Texas That's Driving the Web Crazy

http://gawker.com/jade-helm-the-pretend-invasion-of-texas-thats-driving-1693863561

The following is a downloadable PDF of the US Army Special Operations Command:

Jade-Helm-Martial-Law-WW3-Prep-Document-1

Also see this:

For More Information See: 

White House Memorandum: https://m.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/25/presidential-memorandum-delegation-authority-pursuant-section-1236b2-nat

Jade Helm: http://www.scribd.com/doc/258605525/Jade-Helm-Martial-Law-WW3-Prep-Document-1

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/03/25/administration-declassifies-top-secret-doc-that-reveals-israels-nuclear-secrets/

http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/03/25/kerry-heading-back-to-switzerland-for-nuke-talks-with-iran

http://rt.com/news/244117-saudi-arabia-bombs-yemen-houthis/

NDAA: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CPRT-113HPRT92738/pdf/CPRT-113HPRT92738.pdf

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site

 

 

https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/us-news/video/2015/feb/24/homan-square-chicago-black-site-video

 

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site

While US military and intelligence interrogation impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles and even a cage – focuses on American citizens, most often poor, black and brown. ‘When you go in,’ Brian Jacob Church told the Guardian, ‘nobody knows what happened to you.’ Video: Phil Batta for the Guardian; editing: Mae Ryan

 

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

 

Held for hours at secret Chicago ‘black site’: ‘You’re a hostage. It’s kidnapping’

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Read more

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “Nato Three”, was held and questioned at Homan Square in 2012 following a police raid. Officers restrained Church for the better part of a day, denying him access to an attorney, before sending him to a nearby police station to be booked and charged.

Chicago’s Homan Square ‘black site’: surveillance, military-style vehicles and a metal cage

 

“Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”

The secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown.

 

Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside.

“It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.

Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution.

“This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”

Much remains hidden about Homan Square. The Chicago police department did not respond to the Guardian’s questions about the facility. But after the Guardian published this story, the department provided a statement insisting, without specifics, that there is nothing untoward taking place at what it called the “sensitive” location, home to undercover units.

“CPD [Chicago police department] abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them. It also houses CPD’s Evidence Recovered Property Section, where the public is able to claim inventoried property,” the statement said, something numerous attorneys and one Homan Square arrestee have denied.

“There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not any different at Homan Square,” it continued.

The Chicago police statement did not address how long into an arrest or detention those records are generated or their availability to the public. A department spokesperson did not respond to a detailed request for clarification.

When a Guardian reporter arrived at the warehouse on Friday, a man at the gatehouse outside refused any entrance and would not answer questions. “This is a secure facility. You’re not even supposed to be standing here,” said the man, who refused to give his name.

A former Chicago police superintendent and a more recently retired detective, both of whom have been inside Homan Square in the last few years in a post-police capacity, said the police department did not operate out of the warehouse until the late 1990s.

But in detailing episodes involving their clients over the past several years, lawyers described mad scrambles that led to the closed doors of Homan Square, a place most had never heard of previously. The facility was even unknown to Rob Warden, the founder of Northwestern University Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, until the Guardian informed him of the allegations of clients who vanish into inherently coercive police custody.

“They just disappear,” said Anthony Hill, a criminal defense attorney, “until they show up at a district for charging or are just released back out on the street.”

‘Never going to see the light of day’: the search for the Nato Three, the head wound, the worried mom and the dead man

Homan Square

 

‘They were held incommunicado for much longer than I think should be permitted in this country – anywhere – but particularly given the strong constitutional rights afforded to people who are being charged with crimes,” said Sarah Gelsomino, the lawyer for Brian Jacob Church. Photograph: Phil Batta/Guardian

Jacob Church learned about Homan Square the hard way. On May 16 2012, he and 11 others were taken there after police infiltrated their protest against the Nato summit. Church says officers cuffed him to a bench for an estimated 17 hours, intermittently interrogating him without reading his Miranda rights to remain silent. It would take another three hours – and an unusual lawyer visit through a wire cage – before he was finally charged with terrorism-related offenses at the nearby 11th district station, where he was made to sign papers, fingerprinted and photographed.

In preparation for the Nato protest, Church, who is from Florida, had written a phone number for the National Lawyers Guild on his arm as a precautionary measure. Once taken to Homan Square, Church asked explicitly to call his lawyers, and said he was denied.

“Essentially, I wasn’t allowed to make any contact with anybody,” Church told the Guardian, in contradiction of a police guidance on permitting phone calls and legal counsel to arrestees.

Church’s left wrist was cuffed to a bar behind a bench in windowless cinderblock cell, with his ankles cuffed together. He remained in those restraints for about 17 hours.

“I had essentially figured, ‘All right, well, they disappeared us and so we’re probably never going to see the light of day again,’” Church said.

Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly, known as the ‘Nato Three’ Brian Jacob Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly, known as the ‘Nato Three’. Photograph: AP/Cook County sheriff’s office

Though the raid attracted major media attention, a team of attorneys could not find Church through 12 hours of “active searching”, Sarah Gelsomino, Church’s lawyer, recalled. No booking record existed. Only after she and others made a “major stink” with contacts in the offices of the corporation counsel and Mayor Rahm Emanuel did they even learn about Homan Square.

They sent another attorney to the facility, where he ultimately gained entry, and talked to Church through a floor-to-ceiling chain-link metal cage. Finally, hours later, police took Church and his two co-defendants to a nearby police station for booking.

After serving two and a half years in prison, Church is currently on parole after he and his co-defendants were found not guilty in 2014 of terrorism-related offenses but guilty of lesser charges of possessing an incendiary device and the misdemeanor of “mob action”.

It’s almost like they throw a black bag over your head and make you disappear for a day or two

Brian Jacob Church

The access that Nato Three attorneys received to Homan Square was an exception to the rule, even if Jacob Church’s experience there was not.

Three attorneys interviewed by the Guardian report being personally turned away from Homan Square between 2009 and 2013 without being allowed access to their clients. Two more lawyers who hadn’t been physically denied described it as a place where police withheld information about their clients’ whereabouts. Church was the only person who had been detained at the facility who agreed to talk with the Guardian: their lawyers say others fear police retaliation.

One man in January 2013 had his name changed in the Chicago central bookings database and then taken to Homan Square without a record of his transfer being kept, according to Eliza Solowiej of Chicago’s First Defense Legal Aid. (The man, the Guardian understands, wishes to be anonymous; his current attorney declined to confirm Solowiej’s account.) She found out where he was after he was taken to the hospital with a head injury.

“He said that the officers caused his head injuries in an interrogation room at Homan Square. I had been looking for him for six to eight hours, and every department member I talked to said they had never heard of him,” Solowiej said. “He sent me a phone pic of his head injuries because I had seen him in a police station right before he was transferred to Homan Square without any.”

Bartmes, another Chicago attorney, said that in September 2013 she got a call from a mother worried that her 15-year-old son had been picked up by police before dawn. A sympathetic sergeant followed up with the mother to say her son was being questioned at Homan Square in connection to a shooting and would be released soon. When hours passed, Bartmes traveled to Homan Square, only to be refused entry for nearly an hour.

An officer told her, “Well, you can’t just stand here taking notes, this is a secure facility, there are undercover officers, and you’re making people very nervous,” Bartmes recalled. Told to leave, she said she would return in an hour if the boy was not released. He was home, and not charged, after “12, maybe 13” hours in custody.

On February 2, 2013, John Hubbard was taken to Homan Square. Hubbard never walked out. The Chicago Tribune reported that the 44-year old was found “unresponsive inside an interview room”, and pronounced dead. After publication, the Cook County medical examiner told the Guardian that the cause of death was determined to be heroin intoxication.

Homan Square is hardly concerned exclusively with terrorism. Several special units operate outside of it, including the anti-gang and anti-drug forces. If police “want money, guns, drugs”, or information on the flow of any of them onto Chicago’s streets, “they bring them there and use it as a place of interrogation off the books,” Hill said.

‘That scares the hell out of me’: a throwback to Chicago police abuse with a post-9/11 feel

Homan Square

 

‘The real danger in allowing practices like Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,’ criminologist Tracy Siska told the Guardian. Photograph: Chandler West/Guardian

A former Chicago detective and current private investigator, Bill Dorsch, said he had not heard of the police abuses described by Church and lawyers for other suspects who had been taken to Homan Square. He has been permitted access to the facility to visit one of its main features, an evidence locker for the police department. (“I just showed my retirement star and passed through,” Dorsch said.)

Transferring detainees through police custody to deny them access to legal counsel, would be “a career-ender,” Dorsch said. “To move just for the purpose of hiding them, I can’t see that happening,” he told the Guardian.

Richard Brzeczek, Chicago’s police superintendent from 1980 to 1983, who also said he had no first-hand knowledge of abuses at Homan Square, said it was “never justified” to deny access to attorneys.

“Homan Square should be on the same list as every other facility where you can call central booking and say: ‘Can you tell me if this person is in custody and where,’” Brzeczek said.

“If you’re going to be doing this, then you have to include Homan Square on the list of facilities that prisoners are taken into and a record made. It can’t be an exempt facility.”

Indeed, Chicago police guidelines appear to ban the sorts of practices Church and the lawyers said occur at Homan Square.

A directive titled “Processing Persons Under Department Control” instructs that “investigation or interrogation of an arrestee will not delay the booking process,” and arrestees must be allowed “a reasonable number of telephone calls” to attorneys swiftly “after their arrival at the first place of custody.” Another directive, “Arrestee and In-Custody Communications,” says police supervisors must “allow visitation by attorneys.”

Attorney Scott Finger said that the Chicago police tightened the latter directive in 2012 after quiet complaints from lawyers about their lack of access to Homan Square. Without those changes, Church’s attorneys might not have gained entry at all. But that tightening – about a week before Church’s arrest – did not prevent Church’s prolonged detention without a lawyer, nor the later cases where lawyers were unable to enter.

The combination of holding clients for long periods, while concealing their whereabouts and denying access to a lawyer, struck legal experts as a throwback to the worst excesses of Chicago police abuse, with a post-9/11 feel to it.

On a smaller scale, Homan Square is “analogous to the CIA’s black sites,” said Andrea Lyon, a former Chicago public defender and current dean of Valparaiso University Law School. When she practiced law in Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s, she said, “police used the term ‘shadow site’” to refer to the quasi-disappearances now in place at Homan Square.

I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and hold somebody before booking for hours and hours

James Trainum, former detective, Washington DC

“Back when I first started working on torture cases and started representing criminal defendants in the early 1970s, my clients often told me they’d been taken from one police station to another before ending up at Area 2 where they were tortured,” said Taylor, the civil-rights lawyer most associated with pursuing the notoriously abusive Area 2 police commander Jon Burge. “And in that way the police prevent their family and lawyers from seeing them until they could coerce, through torture or other means, confessions from them.”

Police often have off-site facilities to have private conversations with their informants. But a retired Washington DC homicide detective, James Trainum, could not think of another circumstance nationwide where police held people incommunicado for extended periods.

“I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and just hold somebody before booking for hours and hours and hours. That scares the hell out of me that that even exists or might exist,” said Trainum, who now studies national policing issues, to include interrogations, for the Innocence Project and the Constitution Project.

Regardless of departmental regulations, police frequently deny or elide access to lawyers even at regular police precincts, said Solowiej of First Defense Legal Aid. But she said the outright denial was exacerbated at Chicago’s secretive interrogation and holding facility: “It’s very, very rare for anyone to experience their constitutional rights in Chicago police custody, and even more so at Homan Square,” Solowiej said.

Church said that one of his more striking memories of Homan Square was the “big, big vehicles” police had inside the complex that “look like very large MRAPs that they use in the Middle East.”

Cook County, home of Chicago, has received some 1,700 pieces of military equipment from a much-criticized Pentagon program transferring military gear to local police. It includes a Humvee, according to a local ABC News report.

Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations.

“The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,” Siska said.

“They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.”

 

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“We Are In The Bullseye!” Expert Warns, “By Midweek, All Hell’s Going To Break Loose!”

 

 

Michio Kaku joins CBS This Morning to warn 250 million Americans that “we are in the bullseye” and by midweek, “all hell’s going to break loose” as America prepares to be pummeled by something sounding almost Biblical, ‘BomboGenesis’. Kaku warns that air, train and vehicle traffic could be paralyzed next week, and schedules disrupted: “A massive disruption that will peak around November 13th to November 15th” Kaku informs us, before telling us that we could feel the ‘ripple effects’ throughout November. Kaku also warns “the Earth is changing” and we need to get used to seeing more “violent swings.”

World ominously close to nuclear war – Noam Chomsky

The world has come ominously close to a nuclear war in the past and it could happen again as Russia and the West have slipped back into what seems like another Cold War, world-renowned scholar Noam Chomsky tells RT’s Sophie&Co.

World ominously close to nuclear war – Noam Chomsky

Once NATO has expanded its borders all the way to reach Russia, its mission has very much changed since it was initially established, Chomsky said. Now, its aim is to take control of global energy systems rather than maintaining intergovernmental military balance.

The world has never been closer to a nuclear war that could wipe out all of its initiators, and the threat is no longer a thing of history, according to Chomsky.

“The worst-case scenario, of course, would be a nuclear war, which would be terrible. Both states that initiate it will be wiped out by the consequences. That’s the worst-case. And it’s come ominously close several times in the past, dramatically close. And it could happen again, but not planned, but just by the accidental interactions that take place – that has almost happened,” Chomsky told Sophie Shevardnadze.

The overall situation of international instability was worsened by US involvement in the Middle Eastern affairs and damaging regional conflicts, Chomsky says, comparing its actions in Iraq to a hit with a “sledgehammer.”

Chomsky went on to discuss with RT the former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, and the US’ ever-expanding global spying that are having a dangerous impact on the domestic population and is inspiring other governments worldwide to do the same.

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(Old News) Ex-USAF officers: UFOs targeted global nukes

Published time: October 22, 2010 05:57
Edited time: October 22, 2010 05:57

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Military, Nuclear, Russia, SciTech

Little green men from another world do want something. And what they apparently want is to save mankind from mutual nuclear annihilation. (Really, stop laughing).

That’s according to a panel of men who spoke at Washington, DC’s National Press Club.

According to these men, UFOs were spotted hovering over nuclear missile sites and military bases all over the world, mostly in a surveillance capacity. But there have been incidents when surveillance wasn’t the only objective. In March 1967, two incidents occurred at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, rendering 20 ICBMs temporarily unlaunchable. In 1966, at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, the launch countdown of several ICBMs was set off, causing US Air Force missile officers to scramble with an override.

Our missile began going into what’s called a ‘no-go’ condition or unlaunchable. Essentially they were disabled,” said retired USAF First Lieutenant Robert Salas.

He would know. His duty was to monitor readiness and security of ten missiles and to launch them if ordered by his commanding officers.

In 1966, according to a launch officer, David Shure, his missiles were temporarily activated just as his security guard was reporting a bright object moving from missile to missile to missile,” claimed author and researcher Robert Hastings.

In October 1982, in then, Soviet Ukraine, launch countdowns were set off on a number of missiles, only to be hurriedly deactivated by Soviet officers after 15 harrowing seconds.

Given the fact that these incidents have gone on over there including one incident of their missiles being temporarily activated when a UFO was hovering over the missile base, identical to what occurred over here, I think we can rule out that whoever are piloting these craft are either American or Russian,” said Hastings.

This is all apparently in the name of saving humankind.

Before you double over in hysterical laughter, consider something, these are men who are retired Air Force colonels, missile launch officers, missile base commanders, etc. There are reportedly 120 of them who have given their witness testimony and rendered that testimony as “official” by turning them into affidavits. It’s all in a detailed report they’ve submitted, entitled “Witness Testimony: UFOs at Nuclear Weapons Bases”

Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe we’ll never know. But whatever you do, don’t call us “crazy”.

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