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‘Gagged’ by the Government December 26, 2014

Posted by rogerhollander in Civil Liberties, Constitution, Criminal Justice, Surveillance State.
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Roger’s note: Here is a phrase I find myself using with increasing frequency: “this is truly frightening.”  Do you know what a National Security Letter is?  Do you think that one in a hundred thousand Americans has any idea what a National Security Letter is, or that the notion even exists?  It is a lock-you-up-and-throw-away-the-key kind of thing, the kind of thing Kafka and Orwell tried to warn us about.  The government orders you to provide certain information.  You will go to jail if you refuse to  provide it.  You are not allowed to tell anyone that you have been so ordered.  You are not allowed to tell anyone that you have been ordered not to tell anyone.  If you do, you will be financially ruined and thrown into jail.  No appeal.  No recourse.  Add this to the loss of habeas corpus, indefinite detention, state sponsored and sanctioned systematic torture programs, and presidential kill lists.  Does “truly frightening” really do the trick here anymore?

 

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A Police State Story

by ALFREDO LOPEZ

For the past three months, I and other leaders of the organization May First/People Link have been under a federal subpoena to provide information we don’t have. During that time, we have also been forbidden by a federal court “gag order” to tell anyone about that subpoena, although we had already announced it and commented on it before the order was sent. Finally, we were forbidden from telling anyone about the gag order itself.

It all sounds comical but any laughter would end if we violated that “gag order,” because that would be a felony and we could face prison sentences and huge fines.

We were silenced by our own government in a case we had nothing to do with and over information we didn’t have…and we couldn’t tell anyone about any of it.

Alfredo Lopez writes about technology issues for This Can’t Be Happening!

 

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