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Archive | Homeland Security

Bosch Fawstin’s Graphic Novel The Infidel Now Available for Download

Objectivist Cartoonist — perhaps the first major one since Spiderman creator Steve Ditko — whose debut graphic novel, TABLE FOR ONE, received the praise of Alex Toth, along with an Eisner Award nomination, has just released the first chapter/issue of his latest comic book, a graphic novel, in PDF form. 

Fawstin’s  THE INFIDEL, is a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins.

You can order it here.

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Think TSA Groping Was Bad? Search and Seizure Without Warrant

Glenn Greenwald brings to light some scary facts about the so-called Depart. of Homeland Security. In ”Homeland Security’s laptop seizures: Interview with Rep. Sanchez” he writes:

For those who regularly write and read about civil liberties abuses, it’s sometimes easy to lose perspective of just how extreme and outrageous certain erosions are.  One becomes inured to them, and even severe incursions start to seem ordinary.  Such was the case, at least for me, with Homeland Security’s practice of detaining American citizens upon their re-entry into the country, and as part of that detention, literally seizing their electronic products — laptops, cellphones, Blackberries and the like — copying and storing the data, and keeping that property for months on end, sometimes never returning it.  Worse, all of this is done not only without a warrant, probable cause or any oversight, but even without reasonable suspicion that the person is involved in any crime.  It’s completely standard-less, arbitrary, and unconstrained.  There’s no law authorizing this power nor any judicial or Congressional body overseeing or regulating what DHS is doing.  And the citizens to whom this is done have no recourse — not even to have their property returned to them.

[...] What kind of society allows government agents — without any cause — to seize all of that whenever they want, without limits on whom they can do this to, what they access, how they can use it:  even without anyone knowing what they’re doing?  

[...] Back then, this was painted as yet another Bush/Cheney assault on civil liberties, so one frequently heard denunciations like this from leading Democrats such as Sen. Pat Leahy:  ”It may surprise many Americans that their basic constitutional rights do not exist at our ports of entry even to protect private information contained on a computer. It concerns me, and I believe that actions taken under the cover of these decisions have the potential to turn the Constitution on its head.”  But now that this practice has continued — and seemingly expanded — under the Obama presidency, few in Congress seem to care.

Indeed, even in the wake of increasing complaints, Congress has done nothing to curb these abuses or even regulate them.  But at least one member of the House, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a California Democrat, is attempting to do something.  Rep. Sanchez has introduced a very modest bill — H.R. 216 — requiring Homeland Security to issue rules governing these searches and seizures so that they are no longer able to operate completely in the dark and without standards.  The bill would also impose some reporting requirements on DHS (Section 4); provide some very modest rights to those subjected to these seizures as well as some minor procedural limits on DHS agents (Sec. 2); and would compel “a civil liberties impact assessment of the rule, as prepared by the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Department of Homeland Security” (Sec. 2(b)(9)). [Glenn Greenwald, "Homeland Security's laptop seizures: Interview with Rep. Sanchez", Salon]

 Search and Seizure without warrant does not need to be regulated, as it is unconstitutional. This is the proper approach.

Related Reading: My TSA Encounter

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