“Those who won our independence valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”
— Justice Louis Brandeis, Whitney v. California, U.S. Supreme Court
Courage to stand for a oneself, or for another: That is the first requirement.
Our freedom will not defend itself nor will a code section, of which there are many, rise by itself and prevent injustice. It takes people – combining their efforts and their strenghts – and it takes similarly situated people relating to a common plight and achieving justice together.
This blog is about that process: bringing people together to achieve justice.
July 31st is seen as World Day Against Electronic Torture. As it happens, it won’t take much for all of us to do
a little something, rather than waiting for a whole lot of nothing on this.
So one thing we can deal with is this recurrent issue: whenever these events occur, the public wonders why they happen, conclude it is improbable, and then walk away.
To address this, me and a TLC volunteer made a flyer, downloadable below. We featured Bald Eagles to show people in the United States one simple reason why this happens:
Because these sadistic tortures are broadcast in Asia and elsewhere, as psycho porn
So that can explain a lot: Real tragedy, on TV.
The United Nations Expert on Torture and Professor of International Law, Mr. Nils Melzer, has proceeded to investigate the matter and confirms this issue. He refers to it as “on demand” TV for “voyeuristic clients.”
We have pored through these reports to bring you the relevant citation, right here:
It’s simple: Just as there is an audience for Dexter and Punked, there is one for real abuse. Some sick people are in the throes of a shock addiction, and they will pay for it. I hope you join me in condemning the resulting Psycho Porn.
If you want Mr. Melzer’s full report confirming this issue, it’s here. Other copies can be had elsewhere at the UN.Org website.
The flyer we made is below. It has QR codes linking to a related news story on the Guardian, another QR which goes to the UN Rapporteur’s earlier report, and another QR link that goes to the Cyber-Torture.com website.
Please share by print, leaflet, or public posting. Or just use twitter, facebook, email, etc: the image and art are copyright free. Enclosed please also find other flyers from other activists in the event, so you can chose one or rotate them if you like.
We appreciate your reading through this work, which is done on a shoestring budget. We continue working to expose perpetrators who get caught, and helping restore people affected by these abuses. If you would like this work to continue, please encourage us with any sized donation atgofundme.com/thelegalcoop
People have long suspected they can be targeted for long term law enforcement attention. Such practices are of course usually denied, and the debate has raged on. One presumed vehicle has been umbrella Watchlists, those national scope devices which are all the rage lately, but any agency worth its salt would have a database of its own – or so the culture goes – which means there is a good chance any given Agency not only targets people, but makes long term plans based on such targets.
One problem with oversight of these systems has been the environment in which they thrive. Targeting seems to ride upon the information provided by Confidential Reliable Informants, or Confidential Human Sources, who wield secret identities, and whose records are hidden. CRIs and CHSs then become the secret gatekeepers for who should be treated to a life of suspicion.
What we have found in studying this matter, and as this U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Briefmakes clear, is that such a life of suspicion is a very difficult life. The question then becomes what part of our constitution allows such treatment and punishment without Due Process. Our research here shows there is no way to square our Consititution with how current watchlists are implemented.
Another facet is the prevailing mentality surrouding Confidential Sources: The mentality is that ‘it takes one to know one,’ so it takes a criminal to know a criminal. Now we know that CRIs and CHSs are comprised largely of experienced and well known criminals, and that this is how criminals get to dictate whose life will be effectively destroyed.
Up to now it has been difficult to obtain evidence of Agency targeting, but one of our most recent cases yielded that note above, plainly admitting that our client has been targeted, and by whom. We are bringing that document here so you can see what targeting looks like, first-hand:
So there it is, a government document saying someone is an Active Target of a certain Agency, in black and white. And there is the reference to the ‘Confidential Reliable Informant,’ as one expects with these systems.
There is more that was found from the records search on this client, suffice it to say we will be discussing this case as soon as we are able. For now rest assured, we are working to show unwarranted targeting exists, how it is damaging people, and how it should be stopped.
It’s the price of a magazine or newspaper that might have left you drained and sleepy at the end, with no change and no real information in sight. We are doing it different, making positive change happen because we believe in the community and what it can achieve together. Thanks.
Early this Morning we were in Court presenting a case under California’s Code of Civil Procedure 527.6, which prohibits harassment and stalking.
The victim is a 60 year old woman who has been subject to stalking and harassment by her neighbor, with her efforts to get government assistance yielding little.
What merits a 527.6 Order ?
Well I can describe the facts of this case so you can get an idea what is needed:
Here there was stalking, with Respondent repeatedly appearing at Respondent’s kitchen window, sometimes wielding a camera and snapping pictures of the inside of Petitioner’s home. Respondent had also combed through Petitioner’s facebook, compiling her information for his use. And there was defamation, a written libel in this case. Pretending to be a concerned neighbor Respondent crafted flyers to quietly spread serious and completely false rumors against Petitioner. Here is one example:
There is a lot more to that flyer but the bottom line was to allege that there was a question as to Petitioner’s mental sanity. Most of this was done by referring to her work on emerging medical technologies, which is information that is outside of the common experience. And the perps in this prepared another document which alleged she had engaged in violence – again a total fabrication – and this created the false impression of physical danger.
People who hear those combined labels of insanity and potential violence don’t want to talk to an allegedly crazy and potentially dangerous person – People worry about talking to someone that has been alleged to be crazy – they worry they might set them off – so this combintion makes it very hard to find out it’s happening, and even harder to dispel those lies.
The goal was to unhinge the Petitioner, so Respondent did not stop with defamation and stalking. He went into veiled threats of violence against her, including rape, by uttering these words at Petitioner’s kitchen window, since Petitioner is alone much of the time. The fear of violence or of further consequence usually has the additional and especially insidious effect of keeping victims silent.
That is usually enough for most stalkers, but this case had a unique angle: The Respondent literally tried to trap Petitioner inside a 12 foot high, 36 foot long Wall of plastic tarp he built just outside Petitioner’s windows. It looked like he was trying to build a cage.
He built this haphazard structure with wooden poles and staple guns, raising a wall of darkness around Petitioner’s home, robbing the Petitioner of sun and fresh air, and making her feel like a prisoner in her own home.
While he was building it he mouthed vile, sexually charged insults at the 60 year old Petitioner, who initially stood in disbelief in her own kitchen, watching herself being boxed in.
She cut down the first tarp enclosure, and he built another, this time with another man present, mouthing insults at belittling her. She called the police, and they did not solve the problem. The city was apparently too busy.
Since the Respondent had already threatened to shoot someone for serving legal papers on him, a well founded fear of violence kept other people from confronting the situation. To top it all off, there were no funds to hire a regular firm.
That’s where the Legal Co Op to got involved: People have a right to live peaceful, law abiding lives, free from a power-tripping stalking neighbor. It doesn’t matter who he is.
So we started investigating as described elsewhere. And it was this very morning that months of resolute picture taking, legal work, and journaling paid off. The evidence was clear and the result incisive:
The gavel came down for a 2 Year Restraining Order against Respondent’s harassment, which now promises jail time if the conduct continues. People may be soon be compensated for their losses, and peace may yet prevail there.
The Restraining Orders issued under that statute are transmitted directly to a Police computers system known as CLETS, and will immediately show up on the squad cars’ computer screens if you place a related call to the police. That means the police will know who they are dealing with before they arrive on the scene. It means that stalker’s record now reflects what they have been doing.
The Respondent was heard in his true colors at the end of the hearing, saying strange things like “the police” told him to do that, as if he was just doing what he was told. Well, no legitimate police would do such a thing, and it is he that will be held fully responsible.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this bit of positive action on this sparse front. We will continue to fight for people affected by harassment. We simply ask that you help support our work by making a $5 or $10 donation and comment right here:
The United Nations has jurisdiction over ill-treatment and harassment by government actors. By right of treaty, said jurisdiction extends within the United States.
Though such jurisdiction has been used to curtail abuses in conflict zones abroad, the UN has recently turned towards addressing what it calls ‘Cyber Torture.’
Cyber Torture is an insidious practice featuring misused medical implants, neurotechnological devices, weaponized psychology, information technology, and mobbing to create dramatic abuse and mistreatment of innocent people. Not surprisingly, the abuse is sometimes streamed live to voyeuristic clients for their ‘entertainment.’ Such practices are not limited to conflict zones, and the more exposure on this practice, the better.
The Legal Coop is working with individuals who are currently targets of such networks, and we will continue to endeavor to protect their rights.
There is now a call for feedback from the UN on the causes and potential solutions to ill-treatment, harassment, and torture. This is an opportunity to inform one of the few international bodies dealing with an issue that affects many.
There is a very short deadline to perform this action, three days from now: June 21, 2020 is the deadline for submissions. Accordingly, we will accept two paragraphs from each person interested in presenting feedback, and we will edit, anonymize and send an overall response by the deadline.
Simply email us with one paragraph on what you perceive as the causes for harassment and ill treatment by government actors, and one pragraph on what you perceive as potential solutions. Please send your contribution to thelegalcoop at protonmail dot com by 5PM U.S. PST, on June 21st, 2020.
You can also send your own report, and can find specific details here:
The Legal Coop continues addressing the many causes of harassment, there is one difficult topic that keeps coming up: misdirected police and intelligence resources.
These types of cases normally happen due corruption or flaws within our law enforcement system, and are difficult but not impossible to address. One common denominator is false charges or rumor, translating into prolongued surveillance, watchlisting, and harassent of law abiding citizens.
If you do not believe such situations occur, FNU Tanzin v. Tanvir (“Tanvir”) is an excellent source of clarity. In Tanvir the allegations are of persons watchlisted who did not commit a crime. Rather, in a very good example of a flaw in the system, they were allegedly watchlisted because the government wanted to recruit them. That’s right, watchlisting, as a means to eager labor.
This alleged ground for watchlisting is interesting, and one of the most baseless reasons we see : some official wanting a certain person, to rope them into their prized den of Confidential Human Source informants. As in, they wanted a snitch, and they thought watchlisting would make the recruiting easier.
Little credence if any, seems given to the individual’s wishes on the matter. Once watchlisted, some leaders in the community are told to ‘watch’ the person for reasons unkown, and word gets around. Then, lore has it that some will endeavor to expedite a calamitous ‘fall,’ where recruitment offers are more likely to succeed. Exclusion, job losses, and harassment eventually become the norm; there is no chance to confront the accuser, and no amends made for the ensuing suffering and economic losses.
Tanvir is among the cases aimed at changing that, first by seeking to establish the destructive nature of watchlisting. There are many harrowing tales of pursuit, derision, and aggression, all of which establish watchlisting is not really about secretive watching, as it seems to devolve into baiting and thus brings underserved and devastating consequences on good people. Tanvir also implicates religious freedom, due the well documented practice of heavy watchlisting, entrapment, and surveillance being leveled against muslim communities.
The second critical aspect of Tanvir is enabling fee awards to the few attorneys who pursue such cases. Fee awards make sense: Most victims are bewildered, shamed, and otherwise paralyzed by the inexplicable obloquy; they wait too long before enforcing their rights. This predictably renders many of them destitute. As a result, legal avenues for relief become inaccessible and underutilized, simply because victims lack the means to hire counsel. Absent fee awards, even pro bono attorneys are not incentivized to stand up for these people.
The presence of this case on the US Supreme Court docket has already created additional benefits. Scholars have been motivated to expose flaws in our watchlisting system, resulting in several useful amicus briefs. Amicus briefs are authored by “friends” of the court, who supplement the work of counsel in an important case. Quite frequently, the presence of several amicus briefs signals an important case. There are over a dozen amicus briefs in Tanvir.
These amicus briefs are frequently from leaders in the field, and useful for educating legal scholars, lawyers, law enforcement. They will provide a means to stem the excesses that are occuring within our current watchlisting and surveillance system. Two of the amicus briefs discuss not only the current flaws in the process, but the effects watchlisting is having on good citizens. Discussion Sections of interest include:
“The Combination of Substantial Control and Low Oversight Invites Error and Misuse.”
“Once Individuals Have Been Swept Up Into The System, It Is Almost Impossible For Them To Escape It.”
“Watchlisted Individuals Suffer Profoundly.”
The Legal Coop is providing the briefs for download here:
In our country we have established that certain impairments to our freedom or property require notice of the causal charge, and an opportunity to contest it. These principles are mostly embodied in our right to trial by a jury of our peers. Flaws in our current watchlisting system allow the transformation of simple rumors into secret and devastating charges, from which no one can extricate themselves through a trial, nor have the opportunity to confront the accusers. Our will and resources should align to prevent these unlawful practices from continuing.
Here is a link to the Tanvirdocket, the case is up for Oral Argument at the U.S. Supreme Court this Fall.
In viewing cases like Tanvir, it is good to know of good work being done by good people, trying to put an end to the flawed practices which are allowing unwarranted harassment. If you appreciate this work, please encourage us by going to https://gofundme.com/thelegalcoop and making a small donation.
A good person set upon, harassed, and frightened, even told she could not be in her own home, during Christmas. All for watering the lawn.
It takes some manipulation to achieve this and that is what apparently happened in this case. While machinery of law enforcement and even courts can be manipulated, such situations can be overcome.
So we took on this case to make a statement that law abiding people have nothing to fear. First we worked to reverse the illegal 100 Yard Stay Away Order, then, we pressed on until all charges were dismissed.
The important thing is that our would-be victim was brought right into the effort, in frequent contact with The Legal Co-Op, well supported and well informed. A pall of fear and panic vanishing to confidence in our legal system, and clarity in her rights. This enabled her to place her efforts where they count the most.
Allegations include the dumping of noxious substances into the backyard, the start of a rumor campaign questioning her state of mind, and the shouting at the victim from the middle of the street, viciously boasting of his ability to make her “suffer.”
Strangers soon began to reliably congregate in front of her house, flashing gang signs, and aggressing her at her house.
The perp is a big man, at nearly 300lbs, but in court he claimed he was intimidated or harassed by a petite, 120lb woman. He invoked the protection of the court, alleging he just wanted her to stay away from him.
Yet here he is, the perpetrator, who is alleging he wants to her to stay away from him, captured on video, glaring through and standing within an inch of her kitchen window. This scene was not the only time he was caught on camera, intimidating and harassing the would-be victim:
All the while the court system seem stacked against our client who faced false charges and was headed for a trial on false charges and resulting civil liability.
The Legal Coop has been working for months on this case, and we are happy to report some results: Aptly in this case, and just as the Spring truly beckoned the new, an innocent person smiled upon freedom from false charges, while the perpetrator found himself on the receiving end of the very thing he doled out.
It is said that one reaps what one sows. What did the Perp sow, in this case ?
A Civil Harasment Temporary Restraining Order has been Granted against the perpetrator in this case, and this time, the charges are supported.
He is now restrained. Police are now required to abide calls regarding violations. There is hope yet, that peace will prevail in the neighborhood.
Congratulations are in order to our client and to the Court and County staff who came to see the truth of the situation.
Thank you for donations, they have helped us fuel a fight against these injustices, informed the public, educated would-be victims, and build something we can all be proud of. We will draw more legal talent and supporting personnel by driving resources to this enterprise. We appreciate even a small donation and positive comment from you, here:
I am happy to report on one Perp’s ‘fake case,’ where good law enforcement was reportedly deceived into harassing an innocent person: All charges have been Dismissed.
The case was built on lies or exaggerated accusations. For one thing, the charge was ‘violating a domestic violence Order.’
Well that is interesting, because the victim and perp are just neighbors, and have never been in any type of relationship. Moreso, there was never any type of violence of any kind. So how does someone turn a neighbor dispute into a violation of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order ?
Well, that took some doing.
Their legal harassment was answered by The Legal Co-Op, who worked with the would-be victim to gather and present evidence, with the following result:
All charges levied in this case : Dismissed!
I can’t tell you the feeling of walking out with that vindicated and smiling person, proudly, into the Sun.
Please support our ongoing and growing work with victims of harassment, stalking and mobbing, by making even a small donation and positive comment right at this link:
The United Nations has one courageous torture expert who is on the trail of several weaknesses in our global law enforcement system. As we have been exposing here at The Legal Coop, these legal and investigative loopholes allow systematic harassment of our citizens.
Such harassment inflicts loss of livelihood, loss of social circle, and loss of well being on good people. All to satisfy revenge, profit, and even for the entertainment of “voyeuristic clients.”
According to a recent report by Mr. Nils Melzer, and as discussed at a 2/28/20 proceeding at the United Nations, the practice can misuse medical implants, neurotechnological devices, weaponized psychology, and mobbing – all to achieve the utter destruction of any one individual. We cite from Mr. Melzer’s report below, to aid and support people who are going through these challenges.
How is it done ?
Well for one thing, the expert finds these practices are not limited to rogue states, but are rather easily wielded by:
“corporate actors and organized criminals”
That means it can be done for revenge, profit, or sadist entertainment. These practices cause financial ruin and isolation by
“intimidation, harassment, surveillance, public shaming and defamation, as well as appropriation, deletion or manipulation of information.”
The resulting powerlessness and silence are easily enforced by the use of
“mobbing, cyber-bullying, and state-sponsored persecution depriving victims of any possibility to effectively resist or escape their abuse”
Finally, the misuse of high tech devices, allows severe mental suffering to be remotely inflicted:
“manipulation of stun-belts (A/72/178, para.51), medical implants and, conceivably, nano- or neurotechnological devices.”
The practices are not complicated, rely on various human weaknesses, and clearly thrive in authoritarian times. His presentations sternly warns of mobbing, ‘threats, intimidation,‘ and ‘inducing phobias,’ or ‘inducing anxiety’ all of which render people unable to work, and frightens them away from help. The result is devastating.
The report ends with the following paragraph:
“Challenges of new technologies: In order to ensure the adequate implementation of the prohibition of torture and related international legal obligations in present and future circumstances, its interpretation should evolve in line with new challenges and capabilities arising in relation to emerging technologies not only in cyber space, but also in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, nano- and neurotechnology, or pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences including so-called “human enhancement”.
Sound familiar ? Many people in the United States are presenting each of these situations, and many are increasingly getting our support to overcome these challenges. With your help, we reach more people every day.
Here is a video of Mr. Melzer discussing Psychological torture generally.
The Legal Coop is also proud to present Mr. Nils Melzer’s more complete report below, which contains all the material cited above, and where he twice makes reference to “targeted individuals.” It is hot off the presses, quickly formatted into a PDF, and is therefore not final.
Most people are surprised to see anyone at the United Nations openly expressing such a complete grasp of the situation. You should know that his is very much another case of one person, standing to stem a tide. Mr. Melzer is therefore facing resistance, including the recent withdrawal of $100,000 in earmarked funding, leading to the recent loss of his investigative team.
It is hoped that the particular country engaging in such de-funding can realize the shame and infamy that would befall anyone who ignores and therefore aids and abets these vile practices. It is also hoped that everyone reading this will take a moment and immediately support Mr. Melzer’s current effort on his twitter account (https://twitter.com/NilsMelzer), share this article, review the resulting dialogue and videos, and then seriously think aboutemailingthe UN’s OHCHR’s donor and external relations team to express support for Mr. Melzer’s worthy efforts concerning the pressing issue of Cyber Torture.
Mr. Melzer’s Bio:
“Mr. Melzer’s expertise in torture and CIDT was forged in the field: he is a 12 year veteran of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), there serving as Delegate, Deputy Head of Delegation, and Legal Adviser in various conflict zones. He also led the University of Zürich’s Swiss Competence Centre on Human Rights, and was Senior Adviser on Security Policy for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Melzer has written several books, including Targeted Killing in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2008), which was awarded a prize in International Law. He also co-authored manuals and policy guidance for the Red Cross, and Nato.
Mr. Melzer latest and perhaps greatest pursuit looks at the enemies of our freedom, and he leads the charge head on. Mr. Melzer has identified the gap in International Law regarding Torture – the one that allows psychological torture – a gap being expanded by technological advances, misuse of behavioral sciences, and plain old statutory loopholes.”
Mr. Melzer’s groundbreaking report can be downloaded at the link below: