Little Known FBI’s Race-Based Surveillance

There have been numerous media reports about a very troubling practice by the FBI to designate Black activists as “Black Identity Extremists”, an often bogus designation which is then used to justify subjecting the said activists to all levels of surveillance–private, local, state, federal and even military surveillance in major cities like Houston, LA, Chicago, New York and others. The rationale, a bogus one, is that a “Black Identity Extremist” or BIE is more likely to attack law enforcement officers and thus needs to be placed under 24-hour surveillance.

The controversy surrounding this program, beyond its prima facie racism, centers around the ease with which a Black activist could end up in this designation. Several media reports have said that even mundane activities like organizing or attending a Black Lives Matter rally could in the eyes of the FBI qualify a Black activist as a BIE subjecting them to unjustified long-term government surveillance, the fruits of which could be used in their criminal prosecution. Needless to say, Black activists who support/sympathize with Black Lives Matter on social media (Twitter, Facebook) can also very easily be designated as BIEs. Simply put, this is a very serious problem that is yet to garner the mainstream media attention it deserves.

Yours Truly has ranted and raved about the lack of mainstream media attention surrounding this seemingly–let’s face it–racist surveillance by the FBI for quite a while now, wondering when House Democrats would take up this serious issue with the justice department.

Well, it turns out Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee (R-TX) did indeed raise this issue with then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a House hearing on November 14, 2017. Rep Jackson-Lee asked Sessions; “My question is, as I hold up the poster dealing with the report under your jurisdiction–Black Identity Extremists. It is interesting to me that you are opposing [meant targeting] individuals who are opposing lethal force, similar to the attack on Reverend Dr Martin Luther King on Cointelpro, but there seems to be no report dealing with the tiki torch parade in Charlottesville chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’. Why is there an attack on Black activists versus any report dealing with the Alt Right and the White Nationalists?” AG Sessions responded that he was not aware of the report.

Cointelpro which Rep Jackson-Lee referenced in her questioning was a controversial and secret surveillance program the FBI deployed on Black civil rights activists in the 60s, most notably, on the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Historians agree that the primary reason the FBI ran Cointelpro on Black civil rights activists was to scare them into silence. This is precisely why when Black activists hear about “Black Identity Extremists” they are immediately reminded of stories they’ve read about Cointelpro and are justified in questioning whether the FBI has indeed reverted back to its 1960s tactic of stifling Black dissent.

Bottom line the “Black Identity Extremist” debate is one that begs for serious mainstream media attention. The mainstream media and indeed members of Congress must not remain silent as a section of the population is unjustly subjected to heightened levels of government surveillance all in an effort to stifle their first amendment compliant political speech. At moments like these, Martin Niemoller’s famous words come to mind; “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist, then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist, then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

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Florida Police Arrested 6 Yr Old Black Girl Over Tantrum At School

In one of the most outrageous cases illustrating the ease with which children of color get caught up in the criminal justice system, we now get a shocking report out of Florida that police in Orlando arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted and took a mugshot of a 6 year old Black girl because she threw a tantrum at Lucious & Emma Nixon Elementary School where she’s a first-grader. Yeah, Orlando police charged first-grader Kaia with battery and threw her in the back of a squad car for a trip to a juvenile detention center. Absolutely outrageous!!

According to her visibly upset Grandma Meralyn Kirkland, Orlando police charged her granddaughter with battery because she got upset and kicked somebody (presumably one of her classmates). Kirkland says she tried to explain to an officer that her granddaughter had a medical condition (sleep apnea) which the family was trying to resolve but the officer was very dismissive. The officer she spoke to apparently responded saying, “I have sleep apnea and I don’t behave that way.”

Rebecca J. Kavanagh a New York City Public Defender has dug up the name of the officer who arrested little Kaia and surprise surprise, the officer, Dennis Turner, also arrested an 8 year old Black boy on the same day for an unrelated incident. Folks, it appears the school-to-prison pipeline is alive and well in Orlando, Florida.

Bottom line folks, there are a lot of problems with the criminal justice system and it may be easy for us members of the public to simply sit on the bleachers and point fingers at law enforcement for all the problems. The reality however is that these are systemic problems in the criminal justice system that sooner or later consume even well-meaning, good-natured individual officers. In other words, even though the officer mentioned above is cast in very negative light, the real problem is that he finds himself in a culture at the Orlando Police Department where it is very normal to criminally prosecute children of color for being children. While there will certainly be an effort to go after officer Dennis Turner individually, one only hopes that this troubling incident will spark a real debate about the real systemic problem which is the school-to-prison pipeline.

On a lighter note, if little Kaia can kick so hard at 6 years old as to warrant a battery charge, maybe the Miami Dolphins or Jacksonville Jaguars should keep an eye on her for a future Hall of Fame Kicker spot.

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Is Tulsi Gabbard The Trump Candidate?

The question as to whether Dem Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is a “spoiler” has been around ever since she announced her bid for the U.S. Presidency. Some in the mainstream media have even accused her of being a Russian plant out there to forment chaos in the Democratic Presidential nomination thereby handing Trump an easy win. Tulsi’s camp has of course vociferously denied these allegations

When news came out after the first Democratic Presidential debate that Tulsi was the most Google-searched candidate, rumors flared up again with some claiming that Russian troll bots were the ones engineering those searches. Google even temporarily shut down Tulsi’s advertising campaign during these wild searches which the tech giant characterized as “suspicious”. Team Tulsi countered Google’s action with a massive $50 million dollar lawsuit accusing the tech giant of among other things, violations of her free speech rights. The lawsuit is still pending in federal court.

The “Tulsi is a Russian plant” controversy however officially blew up yesterday during the second Democratic Presidential debate in Detroit where she eviscerated one of the leading and beloved Dem Presidential candidates Kamala Harris over her record as a California prosecutor.

The issue that got most people’s attention is not the fact that Tulsi eviscerated Senator Kamala Harris, but the manner in which Fox News and it’s most valued customer President Trump, amplified the attacks. This to many “Tulsi is a Russian plant” enthusiasts was the “a-ha” moment they’d been waiting for. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, just look at mainstream media’s S.E. Cupp‘s Tweet which says it all. So Team Tulsi before you start gunning for Yours Truly, a near certainty at this juncture, maybe you should go after mainstream media’s S.E. Cupp first.

Bottom line in every election cycle there are always accusations of “spoiler” candidates–you’ll remember Jill Stein in 2016. Yours Truly is by no means saying Tulsi is the spoiler candidate in 2020. All Yours Truly is pointing out is that this “Tulsi is a Russian plant” narrative has been simmering amongst grassroots Democrats for a while now and it appears to have finally boiled to the surface after last night’s debate. Why is Trump’s favorite TV network Fox News so interested in and even cheering on Tulsi? Is Tulsi the Trump candidate? All these are questions that will only get louder as the Dem Presidential nomination contest progresses and as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Trump Says Ignoring Congressional Subpoenas Is Criminal

CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett yesterday aired a video clip of then presidential candidate Trump railing about the potential consequences of Hillary Clinton ignoring Congressional subpoenas. Trump is apparently on record saying, “You know when you delete something or when you don’t provide the documents requested after you get a subpoena from the United States Congress, that’s a criminal act.” This is shockingly the same conduct President Trump’s administration is currently engaged in, with seemingly not enough outrage from congressional Democrats and the mainstream media.

Bottom line House Democrats need to counter much harder Trump administration’s stone-walling or even outright rejection of congressional subpoenas and this eye-opening video from OutFront CNN showing Trump saying such conduct is criminal should feature prominently in the Dem counter message.

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Kamala Harris Says Barr’s Conduct Undermines Justice System

Appearing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show Dem Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris pointed out a serious consequence of Attorney General Barr’s conduct that receives very little media attention. AG Barr is often criticized for his overt political bias, but as Senator Kamala Harris aptly pointed out, his troubling conduct is having a real devastating effect on the integrity of the overall justice system. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Sen Harris told Maddow, “Everyday in America there are people walking into courthouses around our country, state courthouses, federal courthouses. And they’re going to walk into those courthouses skeptical of whether justice actually occurs in those places. And that is real, that is a real consequence when we see the kinds of behavior we’ve been seeing under this administration which is that it is undermining people’s confidence in our democracy. And that is not an overstatement.”

Senator Harris later added, “One of our greatest strengths as a nation is that we have a system of democracy that we will fight for, that we will die for, and one of the most significant pillars in that system is our justice system. Now we know it is imperfect and we know it is deeply flawed in many ways. But when the highest official in the land[Barr] presents himself to the world the way we just witnessed, I think it calls into question the integrity of the system overall.”

This was such a profound statement by Senator Kamala Harris especially as it relates to communities of color who as we know are disproportionately targeted by the U.S. criminal justice system. Senator Harris’ forceful argument is that if the head of DOJ(AG Barr) displays such callous disregard for the rule of law (willfully lying to Congress, ignoring Congressional requests for testimony), then his DOJ in the eyes of the public, has lost all moral authority to hunt down other lawbreakers–the thieves, bank robbers, rapists etc.

In essence, Sen Harris’ argument is that AG Barr’s gravest “sin” is not necessarily that he is a partisan political hack, but that his unfortunate actions are seriously detrimental to a key pillar of our democracy–the justice system. Both Democrats and Republicans benefit from a sound justice system meaning Barr is sacrificing a key pillar of our democracy for the benefit of only one person–President Trump.

Bottom line, even though AGs are political appointees, it has always been expected of them to project an image of independence from the executive branch so as to instill confidence among the public that they are not being unduly influenced by external forces when making prosecutorial decisions. With the current state of affairs, no reasonable person can make the argument that AG Barr is not acting under the direction of/in concert with the Trump administration. Trump and Barr echo each other, sometimes even using the same phrases in their public utterances. For this and many other reasons, the only recourse is for AG Barr to resign so that efforts can begin to restore the integrity of the justice system which he has severely shattered.

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Extremely Hostile Ultra Right Wing 5th Circuit Court Strikes Again

Yours Truly has repeatedly warned you about the ultra right wing 5th Circuit Court of appeals that is extremely hostile to poor minority litigants. The running joke in the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi region which the 5th Circuit Court covers is that if you are not a rich white Republican advocating some Republican party ideals(2nd amendment, anti-abortion etc) your petition will fall on deaf ears.

Now the extremely hostile 5th Circuit Court has struck again, this time ruling against the time honored, universally accepted Brady Rule which the U.S. Supreme Court instituted in 1963 requiring prosecutors to share exculpatory information with criminal defendants.


This opens the door wide open for all kinds of prosecutorial abuses the Brady Doctrine was meant to cure. It also sets the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi region back to the path of mass incarceration which even prominent Republicans agree disproportionately affects minorities, especially blacks.


Yours Truly has repeatedly said the 5th Circuit Court and its associated district courts are not courts of law but rather branches of the GOP advancing GOP ideals, in this case mass incarceration–profit from imprisoning/detaining as many minorities as possible. Yours Truly suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court either (1)abolish the bogus 5th Circuit Court or (2) create a provision where indigent pro se litigants in TX, LA and MI are allowed to file complaints in other circuits or (3) most preferred option–create a mechanism outside the judicial misconduct process where litigants can air their complaints/frustrations about their experiences at the 5th Circuit Court that would be shared with other federal circuit courts of appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court. This would be similar to the complaints hotline most companies have for disaffected customers. As a wise man once said, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

There is no reason to have a court that is extremely hostile to indigent pro se litigants when the vast majority of cases in TX, LA, and MI involve indigent pro se litigants. The 5th Circuit Court and its associated district courts should be left to handle cases from rich white Republicans, the court’s preferred/favored litigants.

So you ask, “But @Emolclause, how is this relevant to the #TheResistance? You’ve really veered into la la land with this 5th Circuit stuff.” Well here’s why it is relevant, very relevant. We are currently engaged in a major fight over the U.S. Supreme Court(Brett Kavanaugh). It is very important for people to realize that what Republicans have already done with state courts and federal courts like the 5th Circuit Court, they now intend to do with the U.S. Supreme Court–transform the U.S. Supreme Court into yet another GOP outpost for rubber stamping the Republican party agenda. In other words the Texas Supreme Court, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the 5th Circuit Court and its associated district courts are no longer courts of law in the traditional sense but rather outposts of the Republican party. Republicans want to do the same with the U.S. Supreme Court and you should be terribly worried.

Bottom line our job is to fight like hell to ensure the courts remain an independent third branch of the government like the framers intended and not subservient outposts of any political party.

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Proof That Congressional Republicans Have Become A Criminal Enterprise


Ever since Trump became President, many have wondered why congressional Republicans have totally abdicated oversight functions that all their predecessors routinely conducted and Americans came to expect as the norm. The inaction as regards oversight by House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s congress has struck most Americans as very strange and has spawned many conspiracy theories, the most popular one being that Russian President Putin has “Kompromat” on all congressional Republicans.

President Trump with Congressional Republicans

Well, courtesy of a bombshell article by The Daily Intelligencer, we now find out that congressional Republicans have actually compiled a secret list of things they have vowed to block from any congressional oversight requested by Dems–a sad and totally unprecedented move by U.S. members of congress.


The list of items GOP has vowed to keep away from any congressional oversight includes “election security and hacking attempts”, ” White House security clearances”, “Trump’s Tax Returns”, ” Trump’s family businesses”, among many others. Think about that, we currently have GOP members of congress whose stated mission is to hide from the public any wrongdoing by Trump and his administration–the aforementioned criminal enterprise.

Bottom line Dems and the mainstream media must start calling out congressional Republicans for totally abdicating their oversight functions. Its about time people started calling Trump’s GOP what it truly is–a criminal enterprise. What House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell are presiding over in congress today goes way beyond what Americans would characterize as “politics as usual” and is borderline if not out and out criminal conduct.

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Trump, The Subject Of Mueller Probe Cannot Nominate A SCOTUS Justice. Can He?


Dem Senator Corey Booker is advancing a novel legal theory(#BookerTheory), a brilliant one as far as Yours Truly is concerned, arguing that because Trump is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation (TrumpRussia), his nomination of a Supreme Court Justice to replace retiring Justice Kennedy creates an unacceptable conflict of interest. Senator Booker made the argument when he appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.


According to Senator Booker, this is unacceptable because it boils down to Trump appointing a Supreme Court Justice for the specific purpose of helping him with the TrumpRussia investigation. There’s a very realistic chance that at some point, TeamTrump will challenge an aspect of Mueller probe in federal court, especially a subpoena for his testimony. Such a challenge would most likely end up in the Supreme Court to be adjudicated by Trump’s Supreme Court pick. Senator Booker’s argument is that this creates an unacceptable conflict of interest that may further tarnish the image of the Roberts Supreme Court.

It’s also worth pointing out that no previous U.S. President has nominated a Supreme Court justice while under criminal investigation. This is probably the strongest argument in the #BookerTheory because simply put, we’ve never been here before. The founding fathers never envisioned that someone engaged in or suspected of criminal conduct would ever rise to be President.

The fact that we are in unchartered waters means there is no Supreme Court precedent establishing Trump’s ability to nominate a Supreme Court justice under these circumstances but more importantly, creates a fertile ground for a legal challenge testing Senator Booker’s novel legal theory.

While Dems are engaged in an all out warfare with Republicans over whether Trump’s Supreme Court nominee should be seated before or after the midterms, maybe they should step aside and give serious consideration to the #BookerTheory–whether the ongoing Mueller probe precludes Trump from making the said Supreme Court nomination in the first place. Brace yourselves folks it’s Bush v Gore all over again.

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