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  • Will Lieberman Use Fort Hood Shooting to Crush our Right to be Radical? | Charity & Security Network
    a press release Senator Susan Collins R ME said The case raises questions about whether or not restrictive rules have a chilling effect on the legitimate dissemination of information making it too difficult to connect the dots that would have allowed a clear picture of the threat to emerge Unfortunately she did not question whether or not intelligence agencies are collecting too much information about innocent Americans to be able to effectively assess or manage truly useful intelligence One witness Frances Fragos Townsend former Assistant to President Bush for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism said that rules for information sharing spelled out in FISA as well as the new Attorney General Guidelines and the internal operating guidelines are cumbersome and discouraging She opined that agents tracking Hasan when confronted with the need to get supervisor s approval to share information which she admitted would have been forthcoming might have decided it was just not worth it It almost sounded like she was saying agents are just too lazy to follow information sharing procedures in order to stop a potential terrorist threat Politically Correct Several members of the committee latched on to the notion that political correctness prevented colleagues of Major Hasan from raising concerns to superiors They had no evidence for this theory of extreme sensitivity in the ranks but seemed to love it Senator John McCain R AZ encouraged each witness to adopt this theory and would not accept no for an answer even when he extended it to the FBI That s right according to Senator McCain FBI agents probably hesitated to share intelligence about Hasan for fear of being politically incorrect Viva Domestic Intelligence Several witnesses urged the committee to ensure that law enforcement has all the tools it needs for domestic intelligence investigations haven t we heard

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/Lieberman%20_Crush_Right_Radical (2016-02-16)
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  • Looking Ahead to 2010 | Charity & Security Network
    1400 16th Street NW Ste 210 Washington DC 20036 2009 Highlights January After the 2008 election staff worked with network members to produce recommendations for reform Worked with the Constitution Project to draft and submit recommendations to the Obama transition team Eliminate Unnecessary Barriers to Legitimate Charitable Work During this period we set up our office established a bi weekly newsletter and a listserv for information sharing and discussion between network members February Coordinated filing of an a micus brie f from ten nonprofits supporting due process rights for charities accused of supporting terrorism in KindHearts v Paulsen This is a constitutional challenge to a Treasury action shutting down the group pending investigation in February 2006 The investigation has never been concluded and the group s assets including about 1 million remain frozen Coordinated nonprofits filing comments on USAID s proposed Partner Vetting System PVS including sample comments for nonprofits and publication of Issue Brief USAID Must Consider Alternative Vetting Approaches a comprehensive examination of PVS and its deficiencies March Co sponsored a panel at the National Press Club with Cordaid a Dutch development organization on the theme Friend Not Foe How the War on Terror Hurts the Work of Charities The event featured both U S and international nonprofits An audio file of the event is posted on our website and a report based on the event was published in December April Contributed chapter on U S laws impacting NGOs for a book edited by the London School of Economics Civil Society Centre to be published by Kumarian Press in late 2009 Commitment from House Financial Services Committee to conduct an oversight hearing May Published articles detailing a Justice Department report finding problems with terrorist watchlists FBI infiltration of mosques use of Fusion Centers to track legitimate dissent and more June Launched www charityandsecurity org a one stop resource for the latest news studies and events that impact U S charities and foundations It includes a Resourcespage covering pending legislation court cases and abstracts of studies a Blog with commentary and a Solutions page highlighting potential reforms Held the first focus group to discuss the pros and cons of reform ideas at the Grantmakers Without Borders conference in early June In his Cairo speech President Obama made a positive statement about changing charitable giving rules that negatively impact Muslim donors July Held a successful panel discussion event Dilemma for US NGOs Counterterrorism Laws v the Humanitarian Imperative The audio files are posted on our website Participated in meetings with Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing David S Cohen August Brought together legal experts for two days of brainstorming new national security rules and policies for nonprofits The resulting draft was circulated to the Network for comment Met with White House staff about the need for reforming current rules and policies September Joined Civicus Early Warning System project as the U S representative to track and report threats to civil society Published detailed information on the favorable court decision in

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/looking_foward_2010 (2016-02-16)
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  • Thoughts about Charities on Human Rights Day 2009 | Charity & Security Network
    address basic survival needs such as hunger shelter healthcare see Article 25 and long term sustainability of society through education Article 26 social security Article 22 cultural life Article 27 and more Second nonprofits provide a forum and vehicle for people to pool their collective voice and resources for betterment of society as a whole The U S Department of State recognized the right to freedom of expression peaceful assembly and association enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in its 2006 Guiding Principles on Non Governmental Organizations The right of nonprofits to operate is inherent in the Declaration s guarantee of freedom of expression and communication Article 19 freedom of peaceful assembly and association Article 20 and participation in the democratic process Article 21 But the way U S national security law has been applied to charities grantmakers and other nonprofit organizations violates these fundamental rights U S practice is not consistent with the State Department s Principles see comparison In particular material support laws that bar aid from getting to people in need violate Article 2 which states Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration without distinction of any kind such as race colour sex language religion political or other opinion national or social origin property birth or other status Furthermore no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs whether it be independent trust non self governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty This problem can be fixed We can align security which is also a human right Article 3 with charity The sooner the

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/Human_Rights_Day_2009 (2016-02-16)
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  • Trick or Treat for Frozen Funds | Charity & Security Network
    has frozen and left in legal limbo as a result of shutting down charities as supporters of terrorism If my 25 could help 41 children how many could be helped if Treasury would release these funds To answer this question we got out the calculators and figured it out using the limited publicly available information on exactly how much charitable money Treasury is sitting on From news reports we know that there is at least 6 million in frozen funds from two of the nine U S charities that have been shut down The total in blocked or frozen assets is 20 7 million but this includes individuals and non charitable organizations listed as supporters of terrorism The actual number is somewhere in between The startling results are in this chart For the sake of discussion let s assume the minimum 6 million were released Then a whopping 9 840 000 children could receive basic health supplies Or if we spend the 6 million another way 10 440 000 children could be vaccinated against polio or 22 200 000 severely malnourished children could get ready to eat nut spread Or 8 186 families could get tents On it goes And the numbers are even more staggering if you use the 20 7 million figure So with all the suffering in the world why has Treasury refused every request to release frozen charitable funds for humanitarian purposes I haven t heard a plausible explanation yet Maybe the Congress needs to ask Treasury this same question They might just be able to do something about it That could make a lot of kids very happy Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/trick_treat_frozen_funds (2016-02-16)
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  • Provision that Criminalizes Conflict Resolution Training Ignored by Senate Committee | Charity & Security Network
    does not require any proof that the defendant intended to further any act of violence by the foreign organization The bill that the Committee voted on and passed did not amend the material support statute Quickly passed in the weeks after the attacks on Sept 11 2001 the Patriot Act amended the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ADEPA making expert advice and assistance a crime punishable by a 10 to 15 year prison sentence 120 individuals or organizations have faced federal material support cases since the law passed in 2001 but only half of those cases result in successful prosecutions The law has frightened groups who seek to aid the thousands of people caught in the middle of a civil war or national catastrophe For instance when government forces and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka were engaged in daily fighting a group of American physicians wanted to provide their expert medical advice on how to address the shortage of medical facilities and trained physicians in refugee camps located in Tiger controlled regions but were afraid to do so because they fear prosecution for providing material support The omission by the Committee to change the statute is seen as a mistake by some experts David Cole a Georgetown University law professor said We don t make the country safer by criminalizing those who advocate nonviolent means for resolving disputes Congress can and should draw a clear line between assistance that further terrorism and that which does not Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/Ignored_Senate_Committee (2016-02-16)
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  • Why We Signed Comments Opposing USAID's Partner Vetting System | Charity & Security Network
    S government plan for the rest of the world Since our beginning in 1983 Grassroots International has maintained its independence and autonomy from the U S government irrespective of which party is in power in the White House or Congress by not seeking or taking USAID funding We see the Obama Administration s Partner Vetting System PVS as proposed for recipients of USAID funding as another step that potentially threatens to undermine the autonomy of all US aid and development organizations and their credibility in the countries they work in overseas with their grantees partners and for that matter governments Like our colleagues within the Charity Security Network we strongly support the prevention of any funds not just USAID monies being misappropriated by terrorist organizations But we also remain convinced that due diligence conducted by NGOs would be a superior approach to vetting than list checking and that the fundamental flaws in the current design of USAID s PVS should be reconsidered and redesigned Like the Treasury guidelines the PVS could in effect turn charities into mini intelligence agencies This role is quite different from the one for which they were chartered and requires resources that simply are not available to most aid organizations It would be tragic in the face of President Obama s historic speech to the Arab and Muslim world in Cairo if these efforts by Treasury resulted as we noted back in 2003 in cutting off the oxygen to the courageous few who provide the real democratic alternatives in Palestine and the larger Middle East The regulations currently under discussion at the Treasury Department threaten to do just that And that is why even though Grassroots International does not take USAID funding we signed on to the comments submitted to Treasury by a number of our

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/Why_We_Oppose_PVS (2016-02-16)
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  • This Ramadan, Give Without Fear (But Give Wisely) | Charity & Security Network
    had violated a charity s basic due process rights In January a federal appeals court upheld a lower court s ruling that the material support provisions of certain counter terrorism financing laws were overly vague and therefore unconstitutional In addition advocacy groups for the nonprofit sector like the Charity and Security Network and Grantmakers without Borders continue their efforts to reform charitable giving policies and pull the pendulum back towards the middle after its far swing to the right during the Bush administration Some observers will note that the administration has not yet taken concrete action to reform the underlying laws governing charitable giving That may be the case However there are reasons to be optimistic The Secretary of the Department of Treasury Timothy Geithner recently gave his own commitment to working with representatives from the nonprofit sector on the issues But actual reforms of the underlying laws will likely need time In office for only seven months President Obama is handling an unprecedented economic crisis and two wars and engaged in an all out effort to reform our broken healthcare system Many key political appointments at the agency level including the Department of Treasury remain to be filled Those appointees who have been appointed need time to get situated as they are critical in pushing the President s agenda forward But let s put all that aside for a moment the economic downturn along with rising unemployment and lower consumer spending means charitable contributions are down and many American Muslim nonprofits are cutting staff and scaling back on important programs This Ramadan you simply cannot shy away even if you may feel constricted financially The need is simply too great But Give Wisely Many donors particularly those immigrants from Muslim majority countries feel strongly that their zakat should go to the poor of their countries of origin especially when those countries are suffering from man made or natural disasters However donating to causes overseas can be very complicated When contributing internationally consider these few suggestions that can help minimize the risks of running afoul of counter terrorism financing laws First consider U S based Section 501 c 3 charities that provide relief services overseas and that have a significant track record of conducting such activities These charities are organized under U S laws and are accountable to federal and state authorities Do your due diligence Investigate the charity Is the organization transparent Does it give the names and bios of its board of directors or trustees and staff Does it conduct annual audits and are those readily available Are its annual filings to the IRS easily accessible Are its board members and staff reachable and accessible to answer your questions Important information about a nonprofit s programs and activities are generally made available on www guidestar org When making a contribution clarify your intent and indicate whether the donation is to be used for a specific program or activity or whether it is for general purposes You can specify

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/Ramadan_Give_Without_Fear_Give_Wisely (2016-02-16)
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  • National Security Advisor Stresses Need to Address Drivers of Violent Extremism | Charity & Security Network
    such factors as poverty hunger lack of education and abuse of human rights Addressing the President s long term strategy to prevent terrorism and violence Brennan said We cannot shoot ourselves out of this challenge We can take out all the terrorists we want their leadership and their foot soldiers but if we fail to confront the broader political economic and social conditions under which extremists thrive then there will always be another recruit in the pipeline another attack coming downstream Indeed our failure to address these conditions also plays into the extremists hands allowing them to make the false claim that the United States actually wants to keep people impoverished and unempowered U S charities and grantmakers are in a position to make a positive difference in this effort The programs we operate respond to natural disasters provide shelter and other necessities for refugees help impoverished communities with economic development provide education and protect human rights There are even charities that specialize in conflict resolution training teaching people how to use nonviolent means to achieve their legitimate goals U S government policies and rules that create barriers to this work are counterproductive That is why we have called for reforms that protect security and charity See more information on reform proposals here Brennan closed is speech with an essential point Finally as I described we will harness our greatest asset of all the power of America s moral example Even as we aggressively pursue terrorists and extremists we will uphold the values of justice liberty dignity and rule of law that make people want to work with us and other governments want to partner with us Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/brennan_speech_CSIS (2016-02-16)
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