What in the world is on the collective mind of the NYPD? It's bad enough they had a demographic unit that spied on Muslims in mosques both in and outside New York City. Now comes word, courtesy of the AP, that the department monitors each and every person who changes their name in the five boros. You heard right. People who change their name are the latest front in the NYPD's war on terror.
Muslims who do so are reportedly subject to special scrutiny. The police review their travel records, criminal histories, business licenses, and immigration documents. While a casual look at someone's criminal history might not make some people nervous, consider that police supervisors also select some people in this database for police visits.
The program was reportedly conceived to alert police to the presence of homegrown terrorists, but its expansion two years ago opens a Pandora's Box of possible abuses. Not only that, the NYPD appears to be in violation of a federal court order it agreed to in terms of intelligence gathering. That order allows background checks only when police have information about possible criminal activity. That same order prohibits opening investigations based solely on activities protected by the First Amendment.
What clearer example of protected speech is there than changing your name? It's been dome for generations by foreigners for a multiplicity of reasons. It's done every day by women who take their husbands' name after marriage. And you mean to say the NYPD is keeping an eye on all this? There's no excuse, any more than there was justification for spying on mosqueds as far away as New Brunswick, NJ.
So far, the police have not responded to questions about this program's legal justification, or whether any terrorists have been uncovered to justify it. Those answers need to come quickly, and the department needs to purge the names of the innocent from their database immediately.
Listen to Mark Riley Monday through Friday from 6 AM to 9 AM on WWRL 1600 and WWRL1600.com.
consenting to orders of protections- know first before you do
you should know when an order of
protection is issued from the
family court that person's name is
included in a homeland security
file and comes up when they fly,
many people consent to orders f
protections not knowing that it has
that kind of impact even when they
have not admitted to any wrongdoing,let us look at this,
About your concern regarding profiling of the name changes Arabic sounding to common American names and vice-versa. There is breaking news on MSNBC.com of a Minneapolis Somali American Pre-Med Abdisalan Hussein ali, 22, a Pre- Med. student carying out a suicide operation in Somalia. His family confirming his identy on Al-Shabab Matyr's Video. Bullethead was his local nickname before he and about 20 other youth left for operations in Somalia in 2008. Without their parents knowledge, putting themselves on the FBI "Operation Rhino" watch list.
Listening to your show the other morning - you were talking with a writer from the daily news? - i didn't catch his name. I heard you voice your concern about the lack of blacks working construction jobs in NYC. As I drive professionally here i have been in every nook and cranny of this city and have witnessed many of the things i heard talked about on your show that morning. I think it is naive on the your part and your guests to not state the obvious in the case of construction jobs and who is and isn't working. Go to most union work sites and you will see the diversity that i so often hear you talk about While its true we don't have our citizenship tattoo'd on our bodies (yet)it's better than a 50% chance that most of the hispanics doing this work are undocumented. As someone who is married to an immigrant I have been exposed to people being exploited right here in this city and their not all hispanics being taken advantage of. It is absolutely a fact that in many jobs our labor laws are non-existent and people are afraid to stand up because of no documentation.
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