Brainfingerprinting and Civil Liberties

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) otherwise known, as brain fingerprinting will revolutionize how governments worldwide administer security and criminal justice. The potential repercussions for privacy rights are devastating. In years to come governments as well as corporations will possess the tools to examine an individual's brain waves and attempt to determine if they're lying.

In effect, FMRIs are neural imaging of one's brain waves. The technology allows researchers to map the brain's neurons as they process thoughts, sensations, memories, and motor commands. Since debuting a decade ago, brain fingerprinting has facilitated transparency with the cognitive operations behind behavior such as feeling stimulated by music or recognizing a familiar face in a crowd.

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IL-11 John Pavich addresses Human Rights in the Age of Terrorism during college speech

John Pavich, Democratic Candidate in IL-11, spoke at his alma mater, St. Norbert College, in DePere Wisconsin on Wednesday evening. John, who served in counter terrorism operations of the CIA, discussed human rights in the age of terrorism to a crowd of about 75 students, faculty, and community members.

John addressed the threats to our basic constitutional liberties and the need to have a public debate on the proper balance between efforts to fight terrorism and preserving basic civil liberties, which he believes have been thwarted by a climate of fear. John also addressed the dangers of warrantless wiretaps on American citizens and the efforts to strip the judiciary of power to review actions of the President of the United States.

John spoke for about 25 minutes and then answered audience questions for another hour. Many of the questions focused on Iraq and how to deal with the current situation there.  One audience member asked about torture and John's perspective as a former CIA agent.  John also addressed general questions about Democratic policy vs. Republican policy.

At the end, 10-15 audience members stayed and chatted with John and his wife, Kelly Pavich,  about his campaign and getting involved to get John elected in IL-11.

See more information at:

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Bush and Other Republicans Don't Trust Americans

I've been pondering the whole warrantless wiretapping, spying on Americans approach taken by Bush and defended by Republicans - what is an effective way to talk about it?  I think the beginning is the need to ask why the President and his defenders don't trust average Americans?  The whole premise is that Americans are in league with terrorists, are actively working to undermine the US, are making contact with terrorists in an effort to promote violence in the US.  This is a convenient and cheap way to score political points, but shows a basic distrust of American citizens.  Maybe we should start asking "Why does the President think ordinary Americans are in league with terrorists?  Can he point to one citizen knowingly, actively aiding terrorists?"

I'm also struck by the common refrain "If you're innocent you have nothing to hide." The response I've started giving is, "As an American citizen I have the right to keep my conversations private from the Government.  Doing so is not hiding, it is exercising my freedom as an American and no president has the right under any guise to infringe on my liberty as a citizen."

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Looks like one (Iran) is nearly down, one more to go (Syria)...

As Paul Craig Roberts warns, <Americans need desperately to comprehend that if Bush attacks Iran and Syria, as he intends, terrorism will explode, and American civil liberties will disappear into a 30-year war that will bankrupt the United States.> ?columnsName=pcr

Are we just too far gone, at this point, to even consider that its not going to happen? /article11746.htm

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FOUND: U.S. Constitution

by Walter Brasch

           Sarah Palin stood before an audience of 600 at the first Tea Party convention and in her twinkly home-spun rhetoric, declared we don't need a professor of law but a commander-in-chief. As expected, she received roaring applause. And, as expected, she was wrong.

           After Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, aided by a compliant Congress and a nation largely afraid to stand up for their rights, abused the Constitution for almost eight years, what the United States needs is a leader who understands constitutional law and who is unafraid of making sure all Americans understand that the fabric that became America should not be torn apart for political convenience.

           Dick Cheney and George W. Bush established policies which violated:

           ● The First Amendment (freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances)

           ● The Fourth Amendment (freedom from unreasonable searches)

           ● The Fifth Amendment (right of due process and to protect against self-incrimination)

           ● The Sixth Amendment (due process, the right to counsel, a speedy trial, and the right to a fair and public trial by an impartial jury)

           ● The Eighth Amendment (reasonable bail and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment), and

           ● The Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection guarantee for both citizens and non-citizens)

           Bush–Cheney Administration actions also violated provisions of Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to petition the courts to issue a writ of habeas corpus to require the government to produce a prisoner or suspect in order to determine the legality of the detention. Only Congress may order a suspension of habeas corpus, and then only in “Cases of Rebellion or Invasion.” Congress did not suspend this right; nothing during or subsequent to the 9/11 attack indicated either a rebellion or invasion under terms of the Constitution.

           It wasn't just liberals who argued about Constitutional violations.  Many leading conservatives argued that the Bush–Cheney Administration overreached in its lame attempt to "keep America safe." Among those conservatives who objected were Bob Barr, Grover Norquist, Alan Caruba, and William F. Buckley, the founder of modern conservative thought. Also objecting to the wide-reaching policies of the Bush–Cheney Administration were federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, which leans to the right.

           In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004), Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who had been nominated for the Court by Ronald Reagan, was forceful in her majority opinion, which attacked Bush–Cheney Administration policies. According to O'Connor:

      It is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that our Nation's commitment to due process is most severely tested; and it is in those times that we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad.  . . . (The imperative necessity for safeguarding these rights to procedural due process under the gravest of emergencies has existed throughout our constitutional history, for it is then, under the pressing exigencies of crisis, that there is the greatest temptation to dispense with guarantees which, it is feared, will inhibit government action.) . .  . (It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties, which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.)

           A large population of misinformed citizens—including leading politicians, pundits, and blowhards—claim even if everything else was true about protecting rights during times of war, the Constitution protects only American citizens and not foreigners. The Supreme Court has several times ruled otherwise. In 1886, the Supreme Court, in its Yick Wo v. Hopkins decision, reaffirmed the principle that the Constitution protects all persons, even foreigners, in U.S. jurisdiction. More than a century later, in Boumediene v. Bush (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that the right of habeas corpus applies to all persons, even terrorists confined in Guantanamo Bay. Not one of the nine justices, or even the Bush–Cheney Administration itself, disagreed with that principle. The only dissent was that such prisoners were on foreign soil and outside the jurisdiction of the Constitution; the Supreme Court ruled that the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base was on U.S., not Cuban, soil.

           And now in an interesting twist of logic come the Teabaggers, who continue to claim that not only doesn't the Constitution apply to foreigners but that they want to impeach President Obama because he violated Constitutional rights. Alas, they can't provide specific instances that will hold up in any federal court. But, like much of what the Tea Party zealots say, it makes good rhetoric, and the mainstream media, often without challenge, publish and air their views to a mass audience.

           But Sarah Palin and the party who loves her demand that this nation get rid of its professor of constitutional law and replace him with a man who is a true blue, 100 percent all-American commander-in-chief. You know, the kind who sends American forces into Iraq to chase mythical weapons that don't exist, and then claims at least his invasion got rid of a dictator. The kind who costs more than 4,000 American deaths and more than 30,000 injuries, many of them permanent. The kind who doesn't give the troops the armament and protection they need while in battle, and then the rehabilitation they need when they can no longer fight.

           In case Sarah Palin didn't read the Constitution, President Barack Obama is the president of the United States and the commander-in-chief of the nation's military. The biggest difference is that this president and commander-in-chief is just as aggressive in protecting the principles of the Constitution as he is in protecting the safety of the American people.

 [Walter Brasch is the author of 17 books, including the national award-winning America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights and Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available at,, and numerous independent and chain stores. Dr. Brasch is professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University. You may contact him through his website, or by e-mail at]





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