Another Example of Dissent Being Equated With Terrorism

A question on a Department of Defense (DoD) training exam states that the exercise of First Amendment rights in the U.S. is an "example of low level terrorism". New DoD employees are being trained to select "Protests" as the answer to a question about identifying an act of terror. This is one of several examples of when dissent and protest is being equated with terrorism. Civil liberty advocates, like the ACLU, and political activists, are outraged at these "deeply disturbing" assertions.

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USAID Seeks Comments on Expanding PVS to Contractors

On Friday May 26 USAID published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments on implementation of its problematic Partner Vetting System for acquisition awards. Comments are due August 25th. The notice notes that the final rule for NGOs has been delayed and that USAID "has not yet made a final decision on whether to implement PVS."

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Political Activist Detained by TSA Officials for Carrying Money; ACLU Files Suit

Coming just weeks after a Missouri Fusion Center bulletin warned of "rightwing extremists and militia members" supporting certain political parties, a political activist was detained by airport security after screeners spotted a metal box containing money. According to Bierfeldt, the money was the proceeds raised from selling campaign merchandise at a regional conference.

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ACLU Report Documents Ways U.S. Counterterrorism Laws Chill Muslim Donors, Charities

A June 2009 report from the American Civil Liberties Union details how US counterterrorism laws deny Americans their constitutional rights and have jeopardized national security. Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity: Chilling Muslim Charitable Giving in the “War on Terrorism Financing”, calls on the President, federal agencies and Congress to  rethink and redo laws and policies that make donating to charity and the humanitarian work of NGOs into suspect activities and provide little or no redress for the accused to respond to charges of supporting terrorism.

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State Secrets Protection Act Passes House Subcommittee on Constitution Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

After hearing testimony on why the application of the executive state secret privilege needs to curtailed, a House subcommittee passed the State Secret Protection Act, but limited some appeals, and sent it to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration. Debate over a similar bill in the Senate has been repeatedly postponed. 

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