The Feds are watching -- badly

The FBI's modern snoop program is racist, xenophobic, misdirected, dangerous -- and really, really stupid

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Muslims, the Internet -- what isn't the government spying on?

yael@sfbg.com

So, you're a law enforcement officer in training for participation on a local Joint Terrorism Task Force. Or a student at the United States Military Academy at West Point, involved in the counterterrorism training program developed in partnership with the FBI. Or you're an FBI agent training up to deal with terrorist threats.

Get ready for FBI training in dealing with Arab and Muslim populations.

Take note that "Western cultural values" include "rational, straight line thinking" and a tendency to "identify problems and solve them through logical decision-making process" — while "Arab cultural values" are "emotional based" and "facts are colored by emotion and subjectivity."

Be advised that Arabs have "no concept of privacy" and "no concept of 'constructive criticism'" and that in Arab culture it is "acceptable to interrupt conversations to convey information or make requests."

"Westerners think, act, then feel," an FBI powerpoint briefing notes, while "Arabs feel, act, then think."

Those are some of the most dramatic examples of racial profiling and outright racist stereotyping revealed in thousands of pages of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Bay Guardian, the ACLU of Northern California and the Asian Law Caucus.

The documents show a pattern of cultural insensitivity, sometimes bordering on the ridiculous, not only tolerated by promoted as official instructions by the FBI. The records also show a broad pattern of surveillance of people who have engaged in no criminal activity and aren't even suspected of crimes, but have been targeted because of their race or religion.

Pieces of this story have come out over the past year as the ACLU has charged the FBI with racial profiling and Attorney General Eric Holder has insisted it's not happening. And some of the documents — which are not always properly dated — may be a few years old.

But none of it is ancient history: All of the material has been used by the FBI in the past few years, under the Obama administration.

This is the first complete report with the full details on a pattern of behavior that is, at the very least, disturbing — and in some parts, reminiscent of the notorious (and widely discredited) COINTELPRO program that sought to undermine and disrupt political groups in the 1960s.

The information suggests that the federal government is using methods that are not only imprecise and xenophobic but utterly ineffective in protecting the American public.

"This is the worst way to pursue security," Hatem Bazian, professor of Near East Studies at UC Berkeley, told us.

CULTURAL STEREOTYPES

Dozens of documents attempt to describe "Arabs and Muslims" but other groups aren't left out of the sweeping stereotyping and blatant racism and xenophobia that the FBI has used in its training guides. One training presentation is titled "The Chinese." The materials give such tips as "informality is perceived as disrespectful." The presentation warns "expect your gift (money) to be refused" but advises to give "a simple gift with significant meaning- tangerines or oranges (with stems/leaves.)" But "never give a clock as a gift! (death!)"

And if those in the training on "The Chinese" find themselves in "interactions with the opposite sex," then "touching, too many compliments, may imply a romantic liaison is desired — be careful!"

The vast majority of the "cultural awareness" training materials imply that the authors believe that the law enforcement personnel receiving the training will never be female or interact with female members of the groups they describe. Some warn repeatedly to never ask Arabs how "females in their family" are doing in polite conversation.

Comments

otherwise they wouldn't work at all and, for that matter, they wouldn't be funny anything like as much as they usually are.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 27, 2012 @ 4:45 am

CNN exclusive: FBI misconduct reveals sex, lies and videotape

By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN Special Investigations Unit
January 27, 2011

Washington (CNN) -- An FBI employee shared confidential information with his girlfriend, who was a news reporter, then later threatened to release a sex tape the two had made.

A supervisor watched pornographic videos in his office during work hours while "satisfying himself."

And an employee in a "leadership position" misused a government database to check on two friends who were exotic dancers and allowed them into an FBI office after hours.

These are among confidential summaries of FBI disciplinary reports obtained by CNN, which describe misconduct by agency supervisors, agents and other employees over the last three years.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 27, 2012 @ 7:35 am

[url=][/url]

Posted by mandingOO on Jun. 27, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

This type of cultural ignorance has always been the cornerstone of US intelligence, whether it was against its own citizens or foreigners. It's hard to be a good spy and be cutlurally stupid.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 28, 2012 @ 4:27 am

Regarding detection via the Internet: I think German probably meant to say the chats might have been "unencrypted," not "open source."

Posted by Guest on Jun. 28, 2012 @ 8:11 am

WOW! She Did It Again!!!

Australia says NO -- Second Time she has done this!

She sure isn't backing down on her hard line stance and one has to appreciate her belief in the rights of her native countrymen.

A breath of fresh air to see someone lead. Australian Prime Minister does it again!!

The whole world needs a leader like this!

Prime Minister Julia Gillard Australia

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques.

Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'

'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.'

'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!'

'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

NOTE: IF we circulate this amongst ourselves in Canada & USA , WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 29, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

I dealt with Iraqis every single day for 16 months, in negotiations, meetings, "town-halls" and in firefights...this is accurate, it's a cultural difference, but the truth.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 30, 2012 @ 2:51 am

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Posted by Demaemiain on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

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