Archive | December 24, 2012

The FBI Treated Occupy Like a Terrorist Group

Now that it’s been over a year since the Occupy movement swept across the country, FOIA requests are being fulfilled, revealing uncomfortable details about how authorities viewed the protestors. One such request by the Partnership for Civil Justice came through this weekend, and the 112 heavily redacted pages reveal that theFBI approached the Occupy Wall Street protests as “criminal activity” — which is not terribly surprising — and investigated the groups as perpetrators of “domestic terrorism” — which is fairly unsettling. More specifically, the Feds enlisted its own as well as local terrorism task forces in nine different cities across the country to investigate Occupy. In Memphis, the group was lumped together with Anonymous and the Aryan Nation in discussing the threat of “domestic terrorism.” White supremacists and 99 Percenters aren’t really two groups that we think about hand-in-hand but whatever.

RELATED: ‘Lone Wolf’ Bomb Suspect Needed a Lot of Help from the the NYPD

This isn’t the first time that a FOIA request has shown the FBI to have engaged in some suspicious activity around the Occupy movement. In September, a FOIA request from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) showed extensive surveillance of the movement’s prominent players, leading ACLU attorney Linda Lye to ask, “Why does a political protest amount to a national security threat?” The FBI denied the surveillance accusations by saying that its investigation did not  include “unnecessary intrusions into the lives of law-abiding people” and that its prohibited from investigating Americans “solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment or the lawful exercise of other rights.” Of course, if you classify the actions as “domestic terrorism,” other rules apply.

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Head-on crash amid holiday travel kills 4 in Ohio

Four people were killed early Sunday when a minivan carrying a family leaving a Christmas party went the wrong way on a southwestern Ohio highway and hit another minivan whose driver and family were going to see grandparents for the holidays, police said.

The 2:30 a.m. head-on collision on Interstate 75 near Franklin claimed the lives of three adults and a 7-year-old boy and critically injured two other children, said Ohio State Patrol Sgt. Stan Jordan.

Alcohol was a suspected factor, Jordan said. Investigators smelled liquor in the minivan that was going the wrong way and found a bottle of alcohol in the vehicle, he said.

Jordan said Joshua Nkansah, 40, of Fairfield, was driving with his children when he turned his minivan around on the highway and started driving the wrong way. The vehicle hit another minivan carrying Scott and Michele Barhorst of Madisonville, Tenn., and their four children, who range in age from 8 to 18, the officer said.

Nkansah was killed along with his 7-year-old son, David, and 31-year-old Michele Barhorst, Jordan said. Scott Barhorst, 37, later died at a Cincinnati hospital.

Jordan said Nkansah’s 4-year-old son, Darius, and the Barhorsts’ 9-year-old daughter, Haley, were in critical condition.

The Barhorsts were headed to St. Mary’s in western Ohio to visit the children’s grandparents for Christmas, Jordan said. Nkansah’s wife was home at the time of the accident, he said.

Former President Bush still hospitalized

President George H.W. Bush, who has been in a Houston hospital with a lingering cough since November, needs to “build up his energy” before he can be released, doctors said Sunday.

Methodist Hospital spokesman George Kovacik said in an emailed statement that doctors are still optimistic the 88-year-old Bush will make a full recovery, but are being “extra cautious” with his care. Bush is in stable condition, he said.

Bush was hospitalized Nov. 23 for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough. Hospital officials have said Bush has been receiving physical therapy to increase his strength.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said on Thursday Bush could be released in time for Christmas.

However, Kovacik said Sunday a discharge date has not been set, and it remains unclear whether the 41st president will be able to spend the holiday at home. Kovacik said that could be decided Monday, Christmas Eve.