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Spy in the sky: Baltimore police secretly patrol citizens with tech used in Iraq war

RT | August 24, 2016

Police in Baltimore are facing a new scandal for their use of surveillance planes from the Iraq war to secretly spy on residents.

The aerial snooping has been happening since January without authorities informing the public they are being monitored for as much as 10 hours a day, Bloomberg reports.

Police from both Baltimore city and county are already under fire for the shooting of 23-year-old mother Korryn Gaines earlier this month – and face blowback from a damning report detailing the use of excessive force and targeting of minors.

While a fictional version of Baltimore’s police force was featured in the HBO series “The Wire,” the real-life version has been criticized for its warrantless use of Sting Ray cell phone tapping equipment favored by the National Security Agency.

The Cessna spy plane is fully kitted out with cameras and bankrolled by “justice reform” advocates from Texas, Laura and her husband John Arnold, the former Enron trader who made billions in hedge funds.

MIT-trained, Air Force Academy-graduate Ross McNutt created the spy planes for use in the Iraq war. The founder of the USAF’s Center for Rapid Product Development, he was tasked with creating a system to catch those planting roadside IEDs in Iraq, and produced Angel Fire, a live-feed surveillance system that uses synchronized cameras attached to a plane.

The camera images are stabilized and stitched together using computers, then fed to the ground, producing a constantly updated photographic map of the area.

The Angel Fire technology was used in Iraq from 2007. McNutt then moved on to courting commercial and local government clients.

LA County Sheriff’s Department tested the system in 2012 with a nine-day trial over Compton. Citizens protested after they found out they had been surveilled a year later.

Baltimore was later chosen as the ideal place for surveillance “because it was ready, it was willing, and it was post-Freddy Gray,” McNutt said, referring to the African-American man who was killed while in police custody in 2015.

During the trial of Caesar Goodson, the only police officer brought up on charges for the death of 25-year-old Gray (and eventually acquitted), protesters gathered outside the courthouse had no idea that overhead, they were being watched by the same police force.

Cops, and their super-rich benefactors, are able to monitor an area by streaming real-time images to analysts down below. The footage is also stored on hard drives for easy access later.

Crimes are logged each day and any that may be solved with the help of Persistent Surveillance are highlighted, although it’s not known if police brutality is being tracked.

The equipment can be used to follow the route of criminals fleeing a crime scene, but can also be used for unwarranted surveillance.

McNutt approached the ACLU to counter accusations of invading privacy. While the ACLU appreciated his candor, they were alarmed at the “Big Brother” implications of such a system.

August 24, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Teen Faces Life for Breaking Windows While Cops who Murdered Freddie Gray Receive Far Less

By Jay Syrmopoulos | The Free Thought Project | May 2, 2015

Baltimore, Md. – In a telling indictment of the lack of justice in the U.S. justice system, 18-year-old Allen Bullock, who has no adult criminal record, faces the potential of life in prison. Under Maryland State Law, rioting carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Meanwhile, the six officers charged in the death of Freddie face maximum sentences ranging from 20 to 60 years.

Bullock faces charges stemming from a single incident, as seen in an almost iconic photo smashing in a police car with a traffic cone. He turned himself in after being encouraged by his parents, according to The Guardian.

In addition to facing shorter sentences for far more serious crimes, the officers were also given bonds ranging from $250,000-$350,000 while Bullock’s bond was set at $500,000.

All six of the officers have posted bond and been released, while Bullock remains locked up; unable to afford the half a million dollar bond.

It seems patently absurd that a teenager is facing the potential of far more prison time for eight misdemeanor charges than any of the police officers, charged with assault, manslaughter, and second-degree murder.

What message does this send our children?

The state, as evidenced by the respective potential penalties, is telling us that Freddie Gray’s life is worth less than that of some windows on a cop car.

Does smashing a police cruiser’s windows with a traffic cone truly deserve a greater penalty than taking a young man’s life?

This is why you see people taking to the streets across the U.S. and standing in solidarity with the Baltimore protesters, as Americans are tired of being abused and having their rights violated by law enforcement.

Americans are fed up with being victimized by those who have been given great power by the state. All too often, those same individuals then use that power to cover for one another, refusing to cross the thin blue line, denying accountability, while systematically laying blame on those they victimize.

While it is heartening to see the indictments of these six Baltimore cops, the double standard is extremely apparent, as highlighted by the disparity in bond and penalty in the cases mentioned above.

May 2, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 2 Comments

Man Dies Seven Days After Beating by Baltimore Police, Who Still Won’t Say Why They Arrested and Beat Him

By Carlos Miller | PINAC | April 19, 2015

Freddie Gray, the 27-year-old man who was whisked away last week by Baltimore police and thrown into the back of a police van, only to later show up in a coma at a hospital, died earlier today.

But Baltimore police have yet to explain why they arrested him in the first place or how he ended up with a broken back.

Had it not been for witnesses video recording several officers dragging him into the van as he screamed in pain, he may have disappeared entirely without a trace.

But today, seven days after Gray was seen conscious and coherent as he was being dragged into the van, police are saying they cannot comment until a “proper and thorough investigation is undertaken.”

In other words, they are waiting to see if any other video surfaces before they create their narrative which will no doubt accuse Gray of being “belligerent” and “combative,” a man showing superhuman strength as he fought off four brave officers, who were only looking out for his safety, and wanted nothing more than to go home to their families that night.

Never mind the fact that perhaps Gray wanted to do the same before he was confronted by police on April 12 for unknown reasons.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Gray was walking down a street when four bicycle police officers tried to detain him, prompting him to run, causing them to run after him.

At least two videos surfaced, but they begin recording after he was detained when he is already screaming in pain. It appears as if they had already broke his back because he doesn’t appear to be able to move his legs as they are dragging him into the van.

Once the doors of the van were closed, one can only imagine what took place because by the time he was transported to the hospital, he was unresponsive.

Gray is the 348th person killed by police since January 1, 2015, according to Killed by Police, an average of more than three people a day. Meanwhile, six cops have been killed by gunfire in the line of duty during that same time, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

 

 

April 19, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Students In Baltimore Taught To Ignore 9/11 Skeptics

By Keelan Balderson | Wide Shut | July 10, 2013

A new extra-curricular history program taught in Carroll County, Baltimore, USA, is warning students not to get sucked in to 9/11 conspiracy theorizing and that the official Government approved narrative is the only version with any “credence”.

The summer course offered to middle-schoolers aged around 11 years old is one of the first classes to go in depth with the subject with children, some of who were not alive when the tragedy took place.

“That is the first time I have talked about it in front of a group of more than five or six,” said teacher Mike Chrvala. In the past decade, discussing the day has gotten easier, he explained.

Carroll County holds free enrichment classes each year on subjects that include art, play-writing and science. Dick Thompson, the county’s coordinator of the summer courses, thought a class on 9/11 could provide important lessons for children born after the event. It is not taught in great depth during the school year – reports the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

Unsurprisingly the class strongly adheres to the official Government narrative, glossing over “conspiracy theories” as nonsense and praising the controversial Patriot Act and post 9/11 security measures.

Casey Jillson, 12, said the event isn’t just “a bad thing” but has resulted in some positive postscripts. “Our country learned to be more secure and safe,” she explained.

Chrvala hopes his students will “become little torchbearers to teach about 9/11,” though it seems they will only be regurgitating the contextless and biased story cherry-picked and spun together by the Bush Administration.

This isn’t the first or last school class that ignores the Bush Administration’s pre-planned invasion of Afghanistan, and the vast amount of data that shows that elements of the Government had foreknowledge of the attacks and “failed” to prevent the plot at key points, such as the granting of the alleged hijacker’s US Visas despite them failing to correctly fill out applications.

Such alternative information is considered dangerous by Western Governments, with Obama’s information Tsar Cass Sunstein advocating “cognitive infiltration”, and the UK’s DEMOS think tank suggesting so called “critical thinking” be taught in schools so children can counter the “radicalizing” conspiracy theories.

Of course not every wild “space beam” theory has credence, but if true “critical thinking” is to form the basis of children’s education, Government theories should be put under just as much scrutiny as the alternatives.

July 11, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , | 1 Comment

Beaten for Filming a Beating, Woman Says

By RYAN ABBOTT | Courthouse News | May 10, 2013

BALTIMORE – Baltimore police beat up a woman and smashed her camera for filming them beating up a man, telling her: “You want to film something bitch? Film this!” the woman claims in court.

Makia Smith sued the Baltimore Police Department, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and police Officers Nathan Church, William Pilkerton, Jr., Nathan Ulmer and Kenneth Campbell in Federal Court.

Smith claims she was stuck in stand-still rush hour traffic in northern Baltimore when she saw the defendant officers beating up and arresting a young man.

She says pulled out her camera, stood on her car’s door sill and filmed the beating.

“Officer Church saw plaintiff filming the beating and ran at her,” the complaint states. “He scared her and she sat back in her vehicle. As he ran at her, he yelled, ‘You want to film something bitch? Film this!’

“Officer Church reached into plaintiff’s car and grabbed her telephone-camera out of her hand, threw it to the ground and destroyed it by smashing it with his foot.

“Officer Church pulled plaintiff out of her car by her hair and beat her. Officers Pilkerton, Ulmer, and Campbell then ran to plaintiff’s car and joined Officer Church in beating plaintiff and arrested her using excessive force. At all times described herein, plaintiff’s two year old daughter witnessed her mother’s beating and arrest by the Officers, as did others.”

Smith claims the cops taunted her and threatened to take her daughter away. She says they refused to call her mother to her toddler.

“The officers, despite the pleas of plaintiff, refused to call plaintiff’s mother. Instead, the officers tormented plaintiff by telling her that her daughter would be taken from her and sent to Social Services. Seeing plaintiff’s distressful reaction to these tormenting threats, they continued,” the complaint states.

Smith says claims she was arrested and taken to jail on bogus charges that she assaulted Church and resisted arrest.

She claims Church failed to appear for her trial – twice, and prosecutors dropped the charges, but she had to hire a lawyer and spend more money recovering her impounded car.

She claims Baltimore police have a history of illegally seizing and destroying recording devices.

She seeks $1.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages for civil rights violations, conversion and infliction of emotional distress.

She is represented by Christopher Lyon, with Astrachan Gunst Thomas.

Police departments around the country have been accused of similar responses to citizens filming them abusing other people.

May 11, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Eighth Annual Citgo-Venezuela Heating Oil Program Launched

Venezuelanalysis | February 4, 2013

Logo_citgo_03Last Thursday, at the Night of Peace Family Shelter in Baltimore, CITGO Petroleum Corporation President and CEO Alejandro Granado and Citizens Energy Corporation Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II launched the eighth annual CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program with the first heating oil delivery of this winter’s initiative.

The program, which began as a single donation in 2005 in response to the high prices of heating oil resulting from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, has grown well beyond its original scope. Today, it has become a humanitarian symbol of unity between the people of Venezuela and those in need in the United States.

This year, the program has a heightened sentiment as it comes at a time when Venezuelans and many in the world send their wishes for the health and prompt recuperation of President Hugo Chávez, who has supported this initiative since its creation eight years ago.

“The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program has been one of the most important energy assistance efforts in the United States. This year, as families across the Eastern Seaboard struggle to recover from the losses caused by Hurricane Sandy, this donation becomes even more significant,” said Granado. “This energy assistance program is an integral example of the humanitarian principles endorsed by the CITGO ultimate shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

Over the years, the program has helped more than 1.7 million people stay warm during the coldest months of winter by donating more than 200 million gallons of heating oil worth more than $400 million. It is estimated that this year the program will help more than 100,000 families in 25 states plus the District of Columbia, including members of more than 240 Native American communities and more than 200 homeless shelters.

“CITGO invests relatively more than any other major oil company in social responsibility projects. As a matter of fact, our percent of revenue spent in social programs has been five times more than those of other much larger, vertically-integrated competing global brands. It is a core principle of our business to use the strength of our resources to help people in need,” Granado said.

Since the program’s creation, CITGO has partnered with Citizens Energy Corporation, a non-profit organization created in 1979 by former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II. Citizens Energy Corporation, which has used successful ventures in the energy and health care industries to finance charitable programs in the U.S. and abroad, has provided energy assistance to families in need for more than 30 years.

“We are so grateful for this generous donation from the people of Venezuela and CITGO Petroleum Corporation. After eight years and more than 200 million gallons of heating oil distributed within the U.S., the burden of another difficult winter threatens the livelihood and safety of senior citizens and low-income families,” Kennedy said. “It is critical that we continue to support American families through this program. Thanks to this partnership, we will help more than 400,000 people stay warm and safe this winter.”

Kennedy emphasized the commitment CITGO has made to American communities. He said that he has approached major U.S. oil companies and oil-producing nations to ask them to assist the poor in bearing the burden of rising energy costs. “They all said no,” he said, “except for CITGO, President Chávez and the people of Venezuela.”

Congressman Elijah Cummings (MD), who also spoke during the event, reiterated the importance of helping those in need. “I commend CITGO and Citizens Energy Corporation for launching the Heating Oil Program this year. This program is literally life-saving for so many whose resources are already stretched thin in tough economic times. I stand with the many Baltimore and Washington recipients who thank both CITGO and Citizens for their commitment to helping our communities,” he said.

Echoing those sentiments, Claudia Salerno Caldera, Venezuela’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America, addressed the plight of poor people and why humanitarian assistance is so vital. “The vision of social responsibility in the energy policy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has allowed us to assure that our profits benefit the neediest people in our country. Just as the government of President Hugo Chávez has made significant efforts in the fight against poverty and in the promotion of social justice in Venezuela, this program demonstrates that our commitment to the poor transcends all boundaries, ideological and geographical,” Salerno said.

Families struggling to pay for home heating oil can call Citizens Energy Corporation at 1-877-JOE-4-OIL (1-877-563-4645), to see if they are eligible for heating oil assistance. Once approved, the household will receive an authorization letter with details for arranging a one-time delivery of 100 free gallons of oil.

For more information about the program, click here.

Edited by Venezuelanalysis.com

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information visit www.citgo.com.

Beginning in 1979 with oil-trading ventures in Latin America and Africa, Citizens Energy has used revenues from commercial enterprises to channel millions of dollars into charitable programs in the U.S. and abroad. Whether heating the homes of the elderly and the poor, lowering the cost of prescription drugs for millions of Americans, or starting solar heating projects in Jamaica and Venezuela, Citizens Energy creates social ventures as innovative as the businesses that finance them. For more information, visit www.citizensenergy.com.

February 4, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment