Federal public defender convincingly argues that the FBI used an unprecedented "modern-day general warrant" to seize personal data of anyone who "could have been" in the approximate vicinity of the Capitol on Jan 6. "Defending democracy" by obliterating bedrock civil liberties
The warrant was "fatally over-broad and devoid of particularity, and therefore impermissible under the Fourth Amendment." There was never any particularized probable cause cited by FBI -- making it certain that searches were conducted on people who committed no crime whatsoever
Rather than establishing any basis for probable cause that subjects of the search had committed a crime, the government relied on hypothesis and conjecture that merely "equated presence at the Capitol with criminal activity" -- bizarrely invoking "the pandemic" in its reasoning
In other words, to obtain its general warrant and seize the personal data of thousands of people without establishing any particularized probable cause that they had engaged in criminal activity, the government simply "equated presence to criminality"
But because this Jan 6 investigation is the most important in the history of human civilization or something, and Democracy™ as we know it hangs in the balance, expect these brazen, precedent-setting abrogations of the Fourth Amendment to be largely ignored -- or cheered
Rebecca Fish -- Assistant Federal Public Defender in Tacoma, WA -- did an excellent, thorough job on this motion. Well worth reading documentcloud.org/documents/2316…
As recently as November 3, a brand new Jan 6 defendant was arrested. FBI agent writes that he/she attempted to use the same "geofence warrant" (general warrant) to establish this suspect's criminality, but failed. Then tried facial recognition software, and failed. But pressed on
The suspect's criminal conduct is alleged to be that he walked into the Capitol at 2:50pm, took a selfie with his wife (who was also arrested), and then walked out at 3:00pm. These were the fruits of an extensive investigation by an agent in the FBI's "Joint Terrorism Task Force"

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More from @mtracey

Mar 23
If you're demanding Joe Biden be granted the power to unilaterally ban TikTok -- prohibiting all Americans from using a particular social media app -- you're demanding one of the most brazen acts of state censorship ever, and chanting "CCP" over and over again won't change that
Here's the bill that has the most momentum and is likely to pass the Senate. It would vest the president with unilateral power to make an incredibly vague determination that some entity poses a "national security" risk, and then just let him take whatever punitive action he wants Image
Of course it's not only China that would be designated a "foreign adversary" whose "holdings" are subject to censorship. And it's not only TikTok that could be banned under this authority. It's a sweeping new array of ill-defined "national security" powers handed to the Executive Image
Read 4 tweets
Mar 23
Fun fact: this person lobbying for direct NATO intervention in Ukraine (WWIII) just so happens to be a "fellow" at some "defense" Think Tank in Kyiv funded by the US and UK governments. So congratulations, taxpayers -- you're also *paying* for the WWIII lobbying
Boatloads of $$$ are funneled into Ukraine "civil society" organizations through a vast constellation of intermediaries. (Apparently "civil society" includes makeshift Think Tanks founded by a former Defense Minister.) It'd be almost impossible to comprehensively track this stuff
Compounding the challenge, in what must've been an honest mistake, the National Endowment for Democracy recently scrubbed its website's archive of "Ukraine 2021" grant awardees
Read 4 tweets
Mar 22
Biden is compromised by Communist China! That's why he threatened four times to go to war against China, launched a new military alliance to "counter" China, keeps building new US bases around China, imposed drastic sanctions on key exports to China, and accuses China of genocide
Biden is compromised by Communist China! That's why he's accelerating US militarization of Taiwan to levels not seen since Nixon first established official relations with China
Biden is compromised by Communist China! That's why he ordered the Pentagon to plan for simultaneous nuclear war with Russia and China
Read 5 tweets
Mar 21
Just like that Putin arrest warrant was coincidentally issued last week, today the State Department coincidentally issued its big Human Rights Report accusing China of genocide, crimes against humanity, systemic racism, violence against LGBTQI+, social media censorship, and so on Image
I'm not saying China and the US have equivalent internet regulation regimes, but come on, imagine writing this as a US government official as though it's supposed to cast unique aspersion on your targeted enemy government Image
Read 4 tweets
Mar 21
Read any "strategic policy" literature lately? It's getting hallucinogenic ImageImage
If you want a real masterclass in comically sterile verbiage, read this stuff ImageImage
And then whatever this is Image
Read 4 tweets
Mar 21
Interesting comment from Sen. Chris Murphy on February 25, 2014 discussing the situation in Ukraine: "I think it was our role, including sanctions and threats of sanctions, that forced, in part, Yanukovych from office"

He famously visited Kyiv with McCain the previous December
Murphy adds, "billions of dollars in new economic opportunities for the US" were at stake in Ukraine, and "we shouldn't be shy about making clear that interest"

This was back when they weren't required to speak exclusively in "democracy" platitudes
"With respect to Ukraine, we have not sat on the sidelines," Murphy says. "We have been very much involved." In fact, it was this extensive US involvement that "helped lead to this change in regime"

Pretty sure Murphy would be considered a Russian propagandist today...?
Read 6 tweets

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