“They asked about the new caravan and if word had gotten out about how difficult it is to seek asylum in the U.S.,” Drehsler said. “Then before I left, the female agent asked if I rented or owned my home.”
This sounds much more like a political intimidation operation than serving a national security purpose.
This is obviously happening more and more. High profile cases like journalists and activists caught up in association with Snowden, like Greenwald, Poitras and Lavabit's founder... Are probably known to most here. But I wonder if most are aware even a journalist covering the dakota pipeline protests was detained by the US government(1).
So if you want to retain your civil rights in America, you either can't cover protests, or can't travel to the Middle East. Or both.
Anyways, who on earth is downvoting my parent comment??
And it Was cowardly to downvote the original comment, which was documentably factual. It's more than a little prudish to come at me a day later and threaten me with a ban. If you have some kind of personal issue with me, I'd like it explained please.
In addition to the guidelines, you might also find these links helpful for getting the original spirit of this site:
Our global political landscape must radically improve for humanity's sake. It seems that every government, particularly the 'western' ones are racing headlong into outright facism: all because of political and corporate maneuvering.
A quote directly from the article sums up the counterpoint nicely:
“We are a criminal investigation agency, we’re not an intelligence agency,” the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 Investigates. “We can’t create dossiers on people and they’re creating dossiers. This is an abuse of the Border Search Authority.”
Pray tell, what is the line between creating a dossier and conducting an investigation? When does a collection of evidence of a given suspects involvement (or non-involvement) become a dossier?
Although I don't believe it's relevant to this case, the unnamed source is wrong. The DHS absolutely is an intelligence agency. It even has an office (DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis) dedicated to synthesizing and disseminating the intelligence it collects. Intelligence collected by CBP is part of that mandate.
"CBP told our colleagues at NBC News that the names in the database are all people who were present during violence that broke out at the border in November. The agency also said journalists are being tracked so that the agency can learn more about what started that violence."
To me it just seems like a way to harass and disrupt journalists trying to closely cover the story.
Messing with the press will always be construed as intimidation. Means to an end. And rightfully so. So as the government; just don't do it. Don't even think about it. The press doing their job is the turning point in the feedback loop that makes democracy work.
The first amendment protects the press, as well as the people's right "...to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
The whole "keep tabs on journalists to learn more about the violence that journalists didn't contribute too" is a strawman argument, and a fairly obvious boot-licking one at that.
Suddenly? No. This is the inevitable result of the normalization of authoritarianism, militarism and mass surveillance that began after 9/11.
I mean, we have a President who outright calls the press enemies of the people, and half the country agrees with him, and most of the rest just dismiss it as Trump being an angry crazy man. That's how far the Overton window has been pushed towards protofascism in the US.
Could you give a specific example of this?
^ videos of Trump encouraging violence
Further facts include that the president has lied about the migrant caravan in question as a way to win political support by claiming it contains middle eastern terrorist elements, and diseases like smallpox and leprosy which will be spread to Americans.
Now we learn that journalists covering the caravan are facing undue scrutiny by border agents and are being tracked and you want to simply dismiss the context?
So that you do not misunderstand, I'm not saying that any of this excuses Khashoggi's murder. I'm saying that it's disingenuous to suggest that those who ordered his killing were motivated be some sort of generalized antipathy to journalism.
I'm not saying those who ordered his killing did so because he was a journalist, I'm saying Donald Trump shrugged his shoulders in part because Khashoggi wrote for the Washington Post. Donald Trump is known for holding grudges and for treating those he views as loyal differently. For instance, he suggests the federal government should de-fund disaster relief for California (didn't vote for him) wildfires while saying the government will give "A+" relief for an Alabama (did vote for him) tornado. He is a strictly transactional man. He's called out the Washington Post specifically and has looked into hurting Amazon as a way of punishing Bezos for owning the Post.
Or maybe he shrugged his shoulders because a foreign intelligence agent got killed by a foreign intelligence agency in a foreign country? Surely Trump, with U.S. and allied intelligence at his disposal, must have been made aware of Khashoggi's true nature.
Indeed, the German press was reporting that Khashoggi was an intelligence agent right away. It took the Post several weeks to finally admit as much, and still they've continued to spend millions of dollars (for example, on Super Bowl ads) to pretend Kashoggi was a real journalist.
Whatever you think of Trump, the Post deserves a great deal of contempt.
For the longest time Trump refused to even consider that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the killing, so that's a stretch.
> Surely Trump, with U.S. and allied intelligence at his disposal, must have been made aware of Khashoggi's true nature.
Trump famously discounts the conclusions of our intelligence agencies and can't pay attention to the presidential daily briefing unless his name is included in big bold letters. I think it's a stretch to say that if our intelligence agencies know one thing then it's a given Trump knows it (and believes it) as well.
If your definition of 'refused to even consider' is raised the issue directly with the leader of Saudi Arabia, well then, sure.
But flagging them so that all future border crossings result in automatic detainment for questioning can't be seen that way. I can only read that as surveillance and harassment.
I agree that it is surveillance, but you seem to forget that that's one of the things law enforcement does in an investigation.
so yes. keep complaining about your governments hard work to keep you safe, i'm sure the opposing forces will thank you later.
If you simply think that the same actions when done by a Western government are somehow more justifiable/right then you simply fell for some form of exceptionalism propaganda.
The very reason why we're supposed to be more free is because we're not supposed to do these things on principle, even if it makes the work of security officials more convenient to do them.
Have you called your Representative to express your opinions?
Have you voted for politicians who oppose the reauthorization?
There's a system in place to stop this, you're just not using it.
"Suppress normal democratic dissent" and "fascism" sounds like a conspiracy theory.
There’s no credible linkage to even the ridiculously vague definition of the “war” and migrants fleeing repressive regimes in Central America.
I know many people who were impacted by 9/11. The people responsible were posing as businessmen with normal visas. It disgusts me that our policy is to chase boogeymen and do harm to people and to the nation in pursuit of cheap applause.
End of the day, the consequence of the stupid policy decisions made by Bush and Obama, and then amplified by the Trump circus will result in claw-back of war powers by Congress.
That never leads anywhere. Good ideas can stand up to criticism. Strong opinions necessarily must be defendable. You don't get that with a hugbox.
So I put my karma on the line for what I think is good argument.
> Therefore, it can be claimed as warzone under the AUMF.
How delightfully convenient and simultaneously nonsensical.
If you are going to be that overly simplistic and reductionist (and willfully ignorant) about what is happening and why then you may as well just come out in support of all-out martial law and start setting up the FEMA camps in case of a terrorist attack.
> Next question.
You say that like you think your answer was a good one.
If I had said "Mr Obama and Mr Holder think the border is dangerous" then sure.
But what I said was that a US president and attorney general have previously used the loose writing of the 2001 AUMF to expand the "War on Terror" to new theaters. Therefore it is likely a similar case can be made to expand the theater to the southern border.
It's been good enough to get FISA warrants for surveillance and executions.
We might see that it's obviously flawed, but the people we've elected disagree.
You're always at war.
Are you suggesting blind fealty? If so, relevant.mp4: https://youtu.be/2HYIJahQKaI?t=189
Good individuals (or governments) can do very bad things. And bad individuals (or governments) can do very good things. When one immediately jumps to one conclusion or another, it leaves one open to being trivially manipulated. In political jargon - being made into a useful idiot .
In this case it was particularly bad since it wasn't "one" but rather entire groups of people either blindly supporting or blindly opposing the caravan based on political ideology. Comments running contrary to the groupthink tended to be simply attacked instead of considered.
Are there reasons to support the investigation into the caravan? Absolutely. Are there reasons to oppose it? Absolutely. But people are increasingly becoming simple minded on political issues and will simply go full-on one way or the other. This (to borrow from a peer comment) is what is "completely incompatible with functioning democracy."
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot
The OC's statement came across as, "The government is doing this for you, so don't question it." To me, it didn't come across as including the facet of being pro/against the caravan in question, whatsoever, but - to the OC's credit - maybe it was there and I just missed it...
It is about how journalists reporting on it are marked for special treatment at the US border. I fail to see any complex pro/con political issue there. Free press is a constitutional right for a reason.
In this case it would likely have also been a politically destabilizing event in the US. You would have had far right vigilantes work to 'apprehend' the trespassing individuals which likely would spark 'anti-vigilante' action from far left individuals. Violence would have been inevitable due to the fact you have loonies on both ends meeting up with emotions flaring high. This could have been an organic action, but it could also have been driven by actors who would benefit from such instability.
In any case it would be absolutely remiss for the government to not investigate the funding, composition, and other aspects of the caravan. And on this front the journalists were/are not only witnesses but witnesses with video, photographic, and audio evidence as well as first person accounts. Like the article states, "[The investigators] said that I [journalist] was on the ground and they’re not, which I thought was really interesting.". The really important question is whether the investigation has gone from investigation to intimidation, which would be an issue.
So is the government doing their due diligence, or are they intimidating journalists? Perhaps it's even a bit of both. But I don't think this article is enough evidence to really determine one way or the other and so I think the wisest course of action would be to await further information.
 - https://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-m...
As is the question of why they're fleeing Honduras in the first place. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/07/crisis-of-hond...
The caravan engaged in numerous criminal actions and likely conspired to engage in further criminal action at or within the US. Not investigating this would be remiss of the government, regardless of whether or not they find such actions justifiable. If we only investigated those we did not like or defended those we did, we'd have quite the broken system -- and, in fact, such systems were the norm for much of society's existence. Suffice to say such systems were not conducive to justness or fairness.
What does it have to do with putting journalists on a customs control list for special treatment when re-entering the US?
Einstein quote on people:
>Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions that differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
It's more than just a trust in rulers. I agree with Einstein. It's a complete subservience to them.
But what's wrong with that? Americans have every right to be "demotivated" and seek change from the government. The government has zero authority to coerce people to support the government, or to prevent dissatisfied citizens from agitating for change through free speech.
Oh the poor poor US government, with its trillions of dollars in resources and monopoly on the use of lethal force, stopped dead in their tracks by their eternal nemesis, the free citizen airing their opinion.
There are places you can go where governments blame journalists and other opinionated people for all their problems. There are even a few places where the government will go further than mere coercion and intimidation and actually murder people who speak out against it.
Turkey or Saudi Arabia. Maybe North Korea or the Congo.
Perhaps those countries are more to your liking?
"It's like a video game, if there are obstacles in your path then you're heading in the right direction"
read from the perspective of a person crushing journalists implies that they are going in the "right direction", as the journalists are just obstacles they need to clear in their crusade for power/wealth.
The people in control want zero accountability despite what they may say. Power corrupts people and once they experience it, they want more.
I know people from China, and they, to a person, say where they came from is a hideous form of life. They could say nothing. The father of this family will not return, ever. If he does, he stands to be arrested for what basically amounts to "thought crimes".
This man has explained to me so many things about the facets of life in China. From filial piety, to how Confucianiam/Legalism is the thought process of everyone in power. He was saying that the current Chinese leader is in love with the writings and legalist thought of Han Fei Zi and Shang Yang, and these two ancient philosphers inform his current thinking strategies. Even the new social credit system stems from this thinking of rewarding people for being "good" and even being a prefect for the state for additional "rewards". China is now offering bounties to people who turn in their neighbors for looking at porn. I believe the going rate for a turn in and subsequent conviction is $86k. I pray nothing like this comes to the west.
And official Chinese state report (run translator)
Had some minor victories.
I assumed I was gonna be harassed, maybe even spend time in jail.
Not entirely sure why I was spared. Worst I got was called names by the local press, politicians.
Or how about this:
"Citizens United’s David Bossie and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski argued that Washington bureaucrats are seeking to undermine the presidency of Donald Trump."
Sorry, if I find Atkisson a dubious source of information.
An interviewer is supposed to push back when claims are made that contradict reality. Chris Wallace's interview with Stephen Miller for how it's done.
One problem I feel exists (no evidence) is that sometimes the options are fluffy interview or none at all, and the interviewer is incentivized not to dig out the truth but to get the guest. It’s a bummer. I feel like the blame lays on the guest more than the interviewer because they tend to have the power in that dynamic.
Your problem with Atikisson is she interviewed people you disagree with?
Atkinson who was illegally spied on by Obama admin, has been excellent in doing real journalism. Her TED talks about fakenews and media bias are excellent.
Lara Logan, Tim Pool, Atiksson, and maybe 10 others have shown they can put their biases aside and do work. It’s a sad state of journalism right now, but even sadder that even acknowledging other people give some consumers a “dubious” impression.
She never pushes back on any claim made, no matter how ludicrous.
It sounds like only people and journalists who are covering "the caravan" are being tracked. Not that it makes it any better.
It also seems to have been started very recently, probably under the current administration.
How is this intimidation? Isn't this "Keeping borders safe 101" ?
(I'm a legal temp immigrant in the US, and I have a hard time understanding why some things are news in this country).
The caravans are lawful asylum seekers that are only crossing at non recognized points because the administration has taken active and dubiously legal efforts to forcibly prevent them from reaching and applying for asylum at regular ports of entry, going so far as to close ports if entry and fire chemical weapons across an international border for that purpose.
Not that being sympathetic to them would be problematic even if that wasn't the case.
> I'm a legal temp immigrant in the US
No, you aren't. Immigrants are permanent. You can be a legal immigrant or a legal temporary worker or visitor, but you can't be a legal temporary immigrant.
Even in the parts of the country superficially under control of the central government (the parts where the cartels don't openly operate marked patrol vehicles as if they were the government), the cartels operate with virtual impunity and frequently with active, high-level cooperation by the police and military (whole specialized units of which have gone over to the other side and become cartels), including the military at least cooperating in and covering up and possibly actually carrying out mass killings on behalf of the cartels.
And this isn't just violence unrelated to the violence Central American asylum seekers are fleeing; that violence they are fleeing is in no small part due to deportation of violent criminals, often in gangs of US origin connected to international organized crime including the Mexican cartels, deported from the US, who have then extended the criminal networks of the already internationally-connected, US-origin gangs across Central America.
The idea that Mexico is a safe country for those who have a reason to flee the violence in Central America is, well, not something that can be reconciled with the nature and source of the violence in Central America and the conditions in Mexico.
BTW, about this claim that people are fleeing violence... why should we take that at face value? Could they be fleeing the law? They could in fact be the cause of the violence. We have no way to conduct background checks.
As the grounds for asylum or
refugee status (the difference is in where you apply) in both international and US domestic law include both threats from the government and from groups the government is unwilling or unable to control, the fact that the same nongovernment and not-restrained-by-government groups one is fleeing from are operating in and not effectively constrained by the government in another country would make that country unsafe.
> BTW, about this claim that people are fleeing violence... why should we take that at face value
No, we should have a non-rubber-stamp application and review process theat evaluates evidence.
Which, newsflash, we have for asylum seekers (actually, we have two of them—the “affirmative” and “defensive” asylum processes), and that is exactly what the Administration is trying to prevent them from accessing.
Clearly, it is not asylum that they seek. At best, they are shopping around for the most lucrative benefits. If they just wanted asylum, heading south would have made as much sense as heading north -- and more if Mexico is really so scary. Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia are all safe countries.
You want a review process that evaluates evidence, but how? A person shows up with a coached sob story and forged or missing identity. If it were just one person, perhaps we could have the CIA spend a few million dollars in a possibly futile effort to uncover the person's past. With so many people, that is simply not possible. What you are proposing is that we accept the word of these people, meaning that 100% of them would qualify. That is unrestricted entry.
Some legal temp workers (e.g., H-1Bs) are not prohibited from having intent to immigrate when they acquire temp worker status (this is what the H-1B being a “dual-intent” visa means), but that's about it for overlap.
I'm not sure what crime these journalists are going to commit that makes us need to track them.
So, if for some reason, there are journalists that are creating content for groups/regimes that are anti-America (lets say ISIS, Assad, Ahmedinajad or Jong Un), would that journalist never been seen with any kind of suspicion in the US?
It's not that you can't be suspicious of journalists, you just need an actual reason and there really isn't a clear one here.
Edit: People are also particularly touchy about this because suppression of activists and journalists enables more authoritarian control and human rights abuses to the point where it's a trait of every recent authoritarian government I'm aware of.
What's the reason for the visa, though? Tracking/monitoring or because a work visa is needed? Looking at visitor visas, most employment-type activities are not eligible, including arriving as a crew-member of a ship (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-...).
Unfortunately no citation.
I didn't know most countries have a special visa for journalists. What was your source?
After the Snowden revelations this should not surprise anyone but most articles on these issues have bland assertions of 'law' disconnected from events on the ground. Contrast that with articles on China, Russia that are met with indignation and outrage for the exact same issues.
Its like using 'moderation' as a euphemism for censorship when it happens here, while continuing to shout censorship in other cases. If China or Russia did this it would be unilaterally condemned as totalitarian and oppression but because we did it there must be some 'rule of law' reason. People who care about these issues would be outraged wherever it happens. Selective outrage gives oppressive governments a pass and dilutes fundamental issues people claim to care about.
Is this legal in the US or is the current US administration in hot water?
There is at least one journalist who has the infamous "Fiche S". This one is not illegal, but contain basically whatever the police want to put on it, which can be a stretch from reality. The deletion of the fiche was also refused .
Then we got at least one journalist who had, illegally this time, a file by the military . Even though the file is illegal, she was refused access to it.
And then, even for basic citizen, there is police files (STIC), which can contain whatever the police wants to put on it and has been leaked several time, for example, to employer like Ikea . It also happened to famous people to have their file leak .
Has European, we like to think we do much better than the US when it comes to abusive surveillance, but the reality is we basically kind of do the same.
It’s no coincidence that massive Russian influence campaigns that put a buffoon in the White House followed their usurpation of Snowden and Wikileaks.
Fast and furious helped cement the right wing distrust of government and gin up the crazy gun people.
Iran-Contra undermined the global strategy for dealing with terrorist incidents by refusing to negotiate. It also highlighted the continued contempt for Latin America that facilitates a lot of anti-US sentiment in the region.
You'll have to provide proof to back up that claim, otherwise there's no reason to believe it.
If you’re talking about PACs and vested interests, we at least, if we wanted it enough, could make changes but enough people are okay with them so there is no pressure to make radical change.
There are no term limits for parties, so the collective interests are even more anti-citizen than the individual interests.
> Is this legal in the US or is the current US administration in hot water?
Keeping immigrants in indefinite detention probably isn't legal in the US, doesn't mean it's not going to continue.
> current US administration in hot water?
The FBI is working their way through jailing senior members of the Trump campaign.
Nope. They tried, got caught and nothing happened.
I don't know where people get the idea that Germany has no corruption issues. It does. It also regularly blocks incentives that try to get a hold of said corruption.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-47263226 : former election campaign chief Paul Manafort is the big one.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46347887 George Papadopoulos received a short prison sentence for lying to the FBI.
The following associates are convicted but not yet sentenced, presumably while they cooperate with investigators:
Rick Gates has pled guilty to conspiracy against the United States (!)
Michael Cohen has been allowed medical leave before serving his sentence: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/nyregion/michael-cohen-pr...
Michael Flynn (who was actually, briefly, a member of the Trump administration) has pled guilty to lying to the FBI.
The caravan had already successfully and illegally overrun the border between Mexico and Guatemala.  It's reasonable to believe they aimed to attempt to do the same thing at the US border. It's not easy to stop thousands of people when they keep moving forward. But if so this would be a very severe crime. Aiding a signal unlawful entry into the US is a significant felony subject to up to 10 years in prison.  Conspiring and facilitating the unlawful entry of thousands?
It'd be remiss of the government to not carry out an investigation and determine how the caravan formed, who it was comprised of, who was funding it, who was assisting it, who was directing it, and so forth. And in this regard on-the-ground reports from journalists offer a great deal of insight.
As for the journalists themselves, I think the most important point is one of investigation vs intimidation. Declaring yourself a journalist does not then grant immunity to investigation of your actions. If so, that would exploited by subversive interests. So the question becomes were the journalists simply being investigated or were they being intimidated?
 - https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1327
Upon first glance this doesn't seem true. Your link says that this punishment exists only if the alien is already convicted of an aggravated felony.
The reason the legalese is so obtuse is because it also encompasses aiding or assisting in the legal entry of an alien for whom there is "reasonable ground to believe" will engage in unlawful activity.
 - https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182
Or must we first ensure that we deflect blame from the current administration, notably characterised by ongoing violent rhetoric about journalists, including a surprising effort to ignore the government sanctioned murder of a journalist by an "ally".
The US government has been caught spying on and manipulating journalists since the G.W. Bush administration, and Obama was particularly energetic.
One of her allegations of hacking was a stuck delete key 
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post stated: "The Rosen affair is as flagrant an assault on civil liberties as anything done by George W. Bush’s administration, and it uses technology to silence critics in a way Richard Nixon could only have dreamed of. To treat a reporter as a criminal for doing his job — seeking out information the government doesn’t want made public — deprives Americans of the First Amendment freedom on which all other constitutional rights are based."
People said the same things when Snowden leaked PRISM etc.