Bush-Era Spying ‘Made Legal’ Under Obama

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/09-0

Security officials defend legality of government’s top-secret surveillance system

Lauren McCauley

Despite feigned outrage over the use of “illegal” surveillance techniques employed under the Bush administration, in the follow up to this week’s news of a massive government surveillance system, revelations have come forth regarding President Obama’s role in not only the expansion of existing surveillance methods but also of the codification of laws that permit the violation of Americans’ civil liberties.

Speaking with Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace about what President Obama has done with surveillance programs inherited from the Bush administration, Michael Hayden, former director of both the NSA and CIA answered:

In terms of surveillance? Expanded [the programs] in volume, changed the legal grounding for them a little bit. […]

We’ve gotten more of these records over time. With the amendment to the FISA Act, in 2008, which Senator Obama finally voted for, NSA is actually empowered to do more things than I was empowered to do under President Bush’s special authorization.

“We misunderstood Barack Obama years ago when he slammed the Bush administration for arbitrary intrusion in the privacy of citizens, in the name of the war on terrorism,” writes political blogger Juan Cole, referencing the President’s 2007 declaration that he would “provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our constitution and our freedom.”

“No more illegal wiretapping of American citizens, he promised. But note that he didn’t say ‘no more wiretapping,’” Cole continues. “Apparently Obama only meant that he would pass laws and issue presidential decrees that allowed the government to violate civil liberties, so that the vast domestic surveillance was legal, in contrast to its illicit character under Bush. It isn’t the surveillance that he was promising to curtail.”

In a statement issued Saturday, Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., defended the legality of the top-secret government surveillance program, PRISM, under Section 702 of FISA, as approved by Congress in 2008.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/09-0

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Cop Sexually Assaults Woman Then Arrests Her For Protesting

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Greek Transsexuals Are Being Rounded Up, Arrested and Threatened In a Pre Pride CrackDown

From planetransgender:  http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2013/06/greek-transsexuals-are-being-rounded-up.html

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Amidst the Greek government’s ongoing draconian reaction to the recent protests and the subsequent silencing of the media, there is yet another untold story of human suffering. The police at the bequest of the Orthodox church are targeting law abiding transgender residents of the northern city of Thessaloniki in a bid to terrorize the LGBT community by breaking the weakest link, before the city’s second Pride.

The Transgender citizens of this city are already marginalized, and desperately need the world to know about this.

Source grr Reporter: The police in Thessaloniki has been carrying out a series of ungrounded arrests of transgender persons as stated by the Greek Transgender Support Association. “According to written complaints filed by our members who live in Thessaloniki, it is clear that from 30 May 2013 onwards, the police have been carrying out purges and arrests of transgender citizens on a daily basis. The same complaints state that those arrested are being taken to the police headquarters in Thessaloniki in Dimokratia Square, where the victims are waiting for at least three or four hours to be identified under the pretext that the authorities should establish whether the particular person was not a prostitute,” reads an address of the non-governmental organization (NGO).

The Association stresses that the police behaviour during the arrests was offensive, humiliating and that it was intended to undermine the dignity of transgender persons. In three of the complaints, the victims note that traffic policemen had stopped transgender women while they were driving their cars without any proof or suspicion of any fault or violation of the law. Later, they were taken to the police station in order for their identity to be verified.

The testimonies of a large number of victims suggest that before being released from custody, the policemen threatened transgender women, warning them that if they did not “return to normal”, legal proceedings against them would be initiated for indecent behavior in public places.

Continue reading at:  http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2013/06/greek-transsexuals-are-being-rounded-up.html

Father Confronts Transgendered Child Shopping for Prom

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A Gown With No Gender

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2013/06/03/op-ed-gown-no-gender

Why high schools should really drop the gender segregation when it comes to graduation robes.

BY Michelle Garcia
June 03 2013

In some high schools, there are two graduation robes. Female students wear one color robe, and male students wear the other. After four years of high school, it doesn’t matter that you’re a straight-A student on the scholarship track to the best university you could get into or that you’re just a traditional dummy who shocks everyone by showing up sober, let alone actually receiving a diploma. No, you’re a girl, so you must wear The Girl Robe.
It’s absurd that in 2013, something that should be gender-neutral like education can culminate in gender segregation. Women are probably told to wear a dress and heels underneath — because you’re a lady, darn it, and you’re going to be dignified!
What’s worse, some schools eschew school colors by ensuring that girls wear white robes and boys wear black. Is this like wearing a white dress on your wedding day to declare your virginity to the world? If that’s the case, some of those robes should be off-white, but fortunately most high schools don’t like to slut-shame their students in such an official capacity.
When it comes to the gendered gown, we’ve received a few reports of transgender and gender-nonconforming students who are being forced to wear graduation gowns that do not correspond with the gender with which they identify.
In particular, Pennsylvania student Issak Wolfe won the right to run for prom king. Initially, however, his principal placed his female birth name in the column for prom queen, so there’s that. But after that was rectified, when graduation came around, the Red Lion Area School District told him he could wear the boy’s cap and gown, but his female birth name would be read when he accepted his diploma. Damian Garcia, a transgender male senior at a Catholic school in Albuquerque, was told that he had to wear the white cap and gown that was intended for female students. Sadly, he’s decided that the only dignified thing left for him to do would be to miss his own high school graduation. Fortunately, Chris Calderon-Perez, a transgender student in Fostoria, Ohio, will be allowed to wear the female gown, because she is female, and her principal understands that.
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Meeting the Needs of Transgender Patients: Medical Informaticists Work through the EHR Challenges

From Healthcare Informatics:  http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/article/meeting-needs-transgender-patients-medical-informaticists-work-through-ehr-challenges

Efforts are underway to find ways to modify EHRs in order to meet the special needs of transgender patients

May 30, 2013

On April 30, 2013, JAMIA, theJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association, published online an article titled “Electronic medical records and the transgender patient: recommendations from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health EMR Working Group,” authored by Madeline B. Deutsch, M.D., Jamison Green, Ph.D., JoAnne Keatley, M.S.W.., Gal Mayer, M.D., Jennifer Hastings, M.D., and Alexandra M. Hall, M.D.

As the article’s abstract notes, “Transgender patients have particular needs with respect to demographic information and health records; specifically, transgender patients may have a chosen name and gender identity that differs from their current legally designated name and sex. Additionally,” the authors note, “sex-specific health information, for example, a man with a cervix or a woman with a prostate, requires special attention electronic health record (EHR) systems. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) is an international multidisciplinary professional association that publishes recognized standards for the care of transgender and gender-variant persons.”

The Executive Committee of WPATH last year convened an Electronic Medical Records Working Group comprised of clinicians and clinical informaticists, in order to make recommendations for developers, vendors, and users of EHRs, with respect to the needs of transgender patients. The recent result of that committee’s work was published in 2012 as an online book, available free of charge, and titled “Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data in Electronic Health Records: Workshop Summary.” That document was prepared by Joe Alper, Monica N. Feit, and Jon Q. Sanders, for the Board on the Health of Select Populations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), as a summary of the workshop “Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data in Electronic Health Records.”

Madeline B. “Maddie” Deutsch, M.D., of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who was the lead author of the JAMIA article, spoke recently with HCI Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland regarding the challenges and opportunities inherent in honoring the wishes and needs of transgender and gender-variant patients while working with electronic health records. Below are excerpts from that interview.

What was your goal in doing this research and putting together this article?

Continue reading at:  http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/article/meeting-needs-transgender-patients-medical-informaticists-work-through-ehr-challenges

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I am Bradley Manning

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