Looks like it’s open season in the US for anyone who has anything to do with WikiLeaks.
Jacob Appelbaum (of TOR) was detained in the US border after returning to the US from The Netherlands earlier today. He was detained for three hours while the stormtroopers from the US Army and ICE questioned him about WikiLeaks (he’s a WikiLeaks contributor), searched his belongings (incl. his computer) and seized three cellphones.
This is what it’s become? Anyone even remotely involved with the organization is now subject to “random” searches and having their belongings seized for no good reason.
It’ll be curious to know, if the US Army really thought Mr. Appelbaum had anything to do with the Afghanistan war documents leak or were they just harrassing him for being associated with their new Public Enemy Number One.
WikiLeaks.org is accepting donations at its website.
Not just content on detaining foreign nationals indefinitely while their legal status is getting cleared up, the USCIS is getting increasingly criticized for causing the deaths of several foreign nationals in their custody due to denying chronically ill detainees medical treatment.
The New York Times tells a story of Hiu Liu Ng, who died earlier this month due to an untreated cancer. The officials in charge of his care were claiming he was faking his symptoms for months and did not take him to see a doctor despite many pleas by Mr. Ng. When he died, he had a fractured spine, could not walk or eat and the cancer had spread to his liver, bones and lungs. ICE (the “police” force of USCIS) officials meanwhile deemed him fit to be driven several hours from Rhode Island to Connecticut in shackles. He died a week later. I can’t even begin to think how painful the drive must have been for Mr. Ng.
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. After all illegal immigrants, or people suspected of being illegals, are considered to be worse than common criminals and without any real human rights. This is exactly how they get treated by USCIS and ICE, and a large portion of Americans think that’s just fine and dandy.
I know it’s far too much to hope USCIS and ICE to treat their detainees as human beings, but maybe there’s some hope for change if attitude towards suspected illegal immigrants changes from guilty until proven innocent to innocent until proven guilty. I’m not holding my breath.
I wrote last year about two lawsuits filed against the US Government by two immigrants deported from the country. The deportees claimed the US immigration officials escorting them out of the country drugged them with powerful antipsychotic drugs against their will and with no medical reason to pacify them while they were in custody and en route back to their home countries. Both those cases have since been settled out of court in favor of the deportees.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) changed its rules regarding Involuntary chemical restraint of detainees (i.e. torture) after the lawsuits so that any such actions requires a court order, but a Washington Post article investigating the issue says ICE has continued to ignore its rules.
Haldol, one of the drugs routinely administered to deportees, has been in used in Soviet Union, where it was often given to political dissidents imprisoned in psychiatric hospitals. It is good to know “cultural” exchange with the Soviet Union is still bearing fruit.
CNN.com reports that two immigrants, who were deported from the United States, are suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the help of ACLU.
It appears that ICE decided it’d be a good idea to forcefully inject the detainees with powerful anti-psychotic drugs to make the detainees easier to handle. The detainees medical condition was not assessed before the injections, so the drugs could’ve had severe side effects with other medication the detainees might have taken.
I know ICE really doesn’t think immigrants, especially the illegal ones, have any rights and that they can do whatever they please to these people, but this is going way over the line. It is, according to all international (and likely domestic) laws, torture, plain and simple.
Let’s see what becomes of this. Will some higher ups get a slap on the wrist, or is there going to be an appropriate punishment for all involved for torturing another human being?
ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency in charge of, among other things, keeping illegal immigrants out of the country raided 32 mod chipping “operators” earlier this week in 16 states. The operation was a cooperative effort with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESA, unsurprisingly, applauded the raids wholeheartedly.
The rest of the country, however, aren’t seeing things quite in the same light ICE and ESA are. Especially gamers. The reaction to the raids has been overwhelming and 100% negative. Even the venerable John Dvorak felt compelled to speak out against the raids.
One of the best written counterpoints to ICE’s and ESA’s black-and-white view of the world is a forum post on Xbox Scene by twistedsymphony titled The Legality Of Modding, and how everyone is a criminal according to the DMCA. It raises several questions about ESA’s motivations, the PR spin put on the raids and modding video game consoles in general.
Technically speaking the people raided might all be guilty of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The raids are, however, yet another sign of how utterly ridiculous the DMCA is.