Police State

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Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

"Secret police used to have to jail and torture people to get their personal information."

And they still do that. Despite Facebook, Twitter, and high tech spying. Perhaps becuse, despite current US bluster in defence of the indefensible, torture is far less often about extracting information as it is about extracting confessions.



So glad to see you back in these parts, FM! And enjoying your posts too!



See You on the Dark Side  -  by Pepe Escobar


"Let's talk about PRISM. And let's see some implications of the Edward Snowden-leaked National Security Agency (NSA) Power Point presentation for Total Global Domination. What's in a name? A prism breaks light into a spectrum of color. PRISM as expressed in its Dark Side of the Moon-ish logo, is no less than a graphic expression of the ultimate Pentagon/neo-con wet dream, the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine..."


My Creeping Concern That the NSA Leaker Is Not What He Purports To Be   -  by Naomi Wolf


"I hate to do this but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the NSA leaker is not what he purports to be.

Some of Snowden's emphases seem to serve an intelligence/police state objective, rather than to challenge them..."


What Do We Know About Canada's Eavesdropping Agency?


"Here's a closer look at CSEC and what it does..."


In Praise of Mess, Chaos and Panic   -   by Arthur Silber


"...I want mess. I want chaos. I want to see the ruling class in unrelenting, hysterical panic. My fantasy is that a dozen, or a hundred Edward Snowdens appear, each laden with huge piles of documents. And all those documents are dumped on the internet -- but in a fully mindful and discriminating manner, and with a specific purpose in mind.

The Death State's ruling class is intent on destruction, brutality, oppression and murder, and as they tell us repeatedly, their work is far from done. The purpose of unmasking all the secrets that the ruling class is so desperate to keep, of shoveling all of it directly into the blazing, unforgiving sunlight in a fully unfiltered way, is to stop them.

At this moment in history, I submit there is no more important purpose in the world. Some might even describe it as a noble purpose.

Stop them. Your life -- and the lives of many others -- depend upon it."


NSA Copies All Internet Data, Creates Dossiers on Every User


"According to the AP, the NSA copies ALL INTERNET traffic in and out of the United States for analysis by hoovering all data that passes through fiber lines..."


NSA's Canadian Counterpart Runs Massive Domestic Spy Program  -  by Keith Jones


"On the basis of secret government directives, Canada's national security apparatus is conducting mass surveillance of Canadians parallel to if not directly patterned after, the domestic spying operation of the US National Security Agency (NSA)..."


This is an interesting article that talks about the workplace stress caused by employer surveillance.  An insightful contrast with the government surveillance.  I agree with the author that one of the chief purposes of total surveillance is getting people to self censor in all realms of their lives not just primarily being about the prevention of ongoing plots against the government.

In Canada we already have sent people to jail for organizing protests and arrested them before the events.  It would be absurd to think that the people who are engaged in planning civil disobedience to stop pipelines are not being actively monitored.

If the government okays certain pipelines I expect that shortly thereafter activists will be confronted by heavily armed police force breaking into their homes in the middle of the night and terrorizing their families. The same type of raids that were conducted against the anarchists in the lead up to the TO G8/G20 summit.  After all the democratically elected Harper government will have green lighted the projects. In Canada you have nothing to fear as long as you don't try to stop the resource extraction corporations. But that is the global reality not just here.


The gold standard for routine, workaday surveillance used to be the post office.


A key problem at the post office was rampant Taylorism (industrial time management).

Workers who worked hard and were efficient were not rewarded; they got more work and longer routes.  Therefore workers “paced themselves” so they would not conspicuously exceed their quotas.

Management’s main job was squeezing more work out of the employees, and a key task was to identify and push the workers who were “pacing themselves”.

The whole system was underpinned by the surveillance system.  It wasn’t just to detect mail theft.  It was to catch workers who weren’t giving what the USPS considered 100%.

Employers can read workers’ email, see what websites they visit and read any emails or text messages stored on work-issued computers or smartphones. In all but six states (California is one of the exceptions), employers can require employees to provide their passwords to social networking sites. And in most states, employers can monitor their employees and are not required by law to tell them it’s happening.

Michael Cunningham found this out the hard way.

His employer suspected he wasn’t working when he said he was and put a GPS device on Cunningham’s personal car without telling him. Officials tracked him driving to a diner instead of work, tracked his son driving to an internship and tracked him during an approved vacation in Massachusetts. A year later, they fired him, explaining the GPS had confirmed their suspicions that he was falsifying his time sheets.

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Cunningham sued his employer, the New York state Department of Labor, but lost. Judges in New York’s Appellate Division ruled that the law does not prohibit employers from using GPS to monitor employee behavior if it is relevant to the employee’s job performance.

The ruling means that although the government has to get a warrant to use a GPS device to track criminals, it can legally track its employees without approval from the employee or a judge, said Corey Stoughton, the ACLU lawyer on the case.

In the private sector, the objective of surveillance is enhanced productivity.

And it works best, in true Panopticon style, when employees assume surveillance is universal and pervasive and modify their activity without the local Bill Lumbergh showing up to give them a nudge.

And then the company can lay off Bill Lumbergh! That’d be great! Start chewing those Rolaids, Bill!

In other words, control is internalized together with, of course, the stress.

In private life, I think a similar dynamic will apply as surveillance becomes more pervasive.

The result will not be enhanced productivity; it will be enhanced compliance.

We will experience the Stasi-worthy anxiety that our activities are being continually observed and judged and we may be found wanting.



RT: Cross Talk - 'US of Security' (and vid)


"Is the national security state on the rise? Can society and the media reverse this trend? Is the kind of surveillance practiced today necessary? And what about checks and balances? CrossTalking with Michael Kelly, Katherine Maher and Dave Lindorff.."

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

And they still do that. Despite Facebook, Twitter, and high tech spying. Perhaps becuse, despite current US bluster in defence of the indefensible, torture is far less often about extracting information as it is about extracting confessions.

Of course they still jail and torture people.   But the existing model of centralized corporate controlled social networking and proprietary software makes the spies' jobs a whole lot easier.

As some kind of minimal defense, we need everyone to become a little more geeky, and make doing geeky things a little easier for everyone.


radiorahim wrote:
When Amazon can delete copies of George Orwell's "1984" from your Kindle by remote control, we have a problem.

One more reason for me to stick to these old-fashioned things called "books."

radiorahim wrote:
There are solutions or at least partial solutions in most cases, but the ruling elites have encouraged people to value convenience over privacy and freedom.   The task is to make privacy and freedom more convenient and to encourage people to value it.

I'm not on Facebook. You won't believe how many people have tried to tell me that I can simply choose to protect my privacy through the Facebook settings. I once met an NDP organizer who, in briefing potential candidates, told us to post nothing on the web today that we aren't prepared to defend on the front page of the Globe and Mail tomorrow.


The nice thing about me being the age I am (49) is that none of the stupid things I did as a kid, teen and young adult is on the net in any way.

My 15yr old stepdaughter already has stuff that will haunt it on facebook 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

I'm not on Facebook. You won't believe how many people have tried to tell me that I can simply choose to protect my privacy through the Facebook settings. I once met an NDP organizer who, in briefing potential candidates, told us to post nothing on the web today that we aren't prepared to defend on the front page of the Globe and Mail tomorrow.

There is no privacy at all on Facebook even if you can figure out the ever changing "privacy settings".

The thing is, all servers keep logs of the things that "clients" do on the network.   In any network the person who owns the server owns all of the logs.   

So, Zuckerburg & Co. have a record of everything you "like", every photo you've been tagged in and who you've tagged, everything you read or comment on and every link you click on.    They have a log of all of your chats.    How long do they keep their logs?   Who knows?   Maybe they dump them every now and then or maybe they keep them forever.

There are attempts to build decentralized user controlled social networking through projects like Diaspora*, Friendica and GNU Social.    In a decentralized social network your data is held on a server run either by people you trust, or if you're totally paranoid, one that you control yourself.   (Nothing wrong with being paranoid when it comes to computer security).

Sooner or later one of the decentralized services or perhaps something new that combines elements of all of them will take off.


Edward Snowden Charged with Espionage


"On Friday evening, the Obama administration announced that it has filed three charges under seal on June 14 in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. The charges are stealing government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and wilful communication of classified information.

The real criminals are the accusers."


Prism and the Rise of a New Fascism  -  by John Pilger


"...we are all witnesses now, and the rest is up to us."


Canada Enacts Law Threatening Masked Protesters With Ten-Year Jail Term  -  by Keith Jones


"Bill C-309, the Preventing Persons from Concealing Their Identities During Riots and Unlawful Assemblies Act - makes it a crime punishable by a ten-year prison term to incite a riot while wearing a mask or any covering, including face paint.

Critics of the new law have rightly condemned it as a flagrant attack on the right to free speech."


US Asks Moscow to 'Look At All Options Available to Expel Snowden (and vid)


"On Sunday, WikiLeaks which is allegedly helping Snowden escape the American justice system tweeted Snowden left Hong Kong and is 'bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum.' Ecuador is currently considering Snowden's bid for asylum."


Second NSA Whistleblower Being Ignored: James Corbett (and vid)


"...But again I find it fascinating that so much attention is being put on Snowden at the exact same time as another NSA whistleblower, Russell Tice, just stepped forward with some incredible revelations including the fact that in 2004 the NSA was wire-tapping soon to be president Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, presumably for the purpose of blackmailing...

and journalists like Glen Greenwald who are endlessly documenting every twist and turn in the Snowden case haven't even acknowledged that this other whistleblower has just stepped forward with these new revelations..."


NSA Whistleblower: Russ Tice Unplugged (podcast)


"Not just 'meta-data'. They are collecting everything."



Interview 687 - Sibel Edmonds Blows the Whistle on Government Blackmailing (and vid)


"In this remarkable conversation, Sibel Edmonds reflects on Russ Tice's recent revelations to Boiling Frogs Post and The Corbett Report that the NSA has wiretapped top government officials for years.."


Russia: Snowden Didn't Cross Border, US Accusations Groundless


"Washington's allegations over fugitive Edward Snowden are 'unacceptable' as he never crossed the Russian border, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.  As a consequence, any attempt to accuse or threaten Moscow by the US is unfounded.


'Mad Invader, Eavesdropper', China Slams US After Snowden Accusations


"...The column praises the former CIA contractor for his 'fearlessness that tore off Washington's  sanctimonious mask. In a sense, the US has gone from a model of human rights to an eavesdropper on personal privacy, the manipulator of the centralized power over the international internet, and the mad invader of other countries' networks,' the People's Daily said."


Pirate Party Norway: Snowden Passed Through Norway to Iceland


"Organization Pirate Party Norway claims that Edward Snowden landed at Oslo..."


The Terminal: Snowden Stuck in Moscow Airport, 'Can't Buy Ticket With Invalid Passport'


"Edward Snowden is not booked to fly out of Moscow over the next three days, and with no valid passport, the NSA whistleblower might be stuck in airport limbo indefinitely."


Search For Scapegoat: US Tries to Demonize Snowden to Smother his Revelations (and vid)


"US vents anger at China and Russia"


Follow the Money: The Secret Heart of the Secret State  -  by Chris Floyd


"The biggest open secret all these creepy jerks are hiding is the secret of corporatism (or what Gabriel Kolko calls 'political capitalism): There is nothing in the world that can't be turned into a huge money maker for the State and its favored friends in 'private' business, at the same time it is used to amass still greater power.

This is true in multiple forms for the fraud that is the 'intelligence industry'."


Canada Played Key Role in US, UK Biological Weapons Programs: Walkom


"Defence Minister Peter MacKay insists that the CSE, the government's electronic spy agency, is not listening in on the private conversation of Canadians. Can he be believed?

If a new book on Ottawa's role in another top-secret role in another top-secret national security field is any indication, the answer is a clear no."


Who Watches the Watchers? (and vid)


"As the NSA and other spooks continue to spy on the world's communications, we ask, who watches them? Are we already living in George Orwell's 1984? To mull over these issues, Oksana is joined by Rick Falkvinge, Swedish Pirate Party founder and internet freedom activist."

Don't miss..

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

The fact that spies are spying on us is a no-brainer.

IMHO, the task for progressives should be to promote efforts to help people defend themselves against spying.


Julian Assange: 'No Stopping' Release of Additional NSA Secrets (and vid)


"There is no stopping the publishing process at this stage. To take someone's passport away from them is a disgrace. Mr Snowden has not been convicted of anything. There are no international warrants out for his arrest. To take a passport from a young man in a difficult situation like that is a disgrace.

He is a hero. He has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their commmunications, far beyond anything that happened under Nixon..."


Putin: Snowden Can Stay in Russia If He Stops Damaging USA


"President Vladimir Putin says NSA leaker Edward Snowden may stay in Russia, if he wants to, but only if he stops activities aimed against the United States.

However, Russia is not going to extradite Snowden, the president underlined.

'Russia has never extradited anyone and is not going to do so..."


America's Edward Snowden Problem  -  by Peter Lee


"Current predictions are that Snowden may rusticate at the airport in Moscow for months, raising the possibility that Putin will eventually offer Snowden asylum, thereby giving the United States teh perfect excuse to forget about Snowden and his awkward information.

For the next few weeks the Obama administration's best hope and evolving strategy - is to get the American people, against their most visceral instincts, to stop caring about Edward Snowden."


EU Using US Spying Report as Trade-Talk Leverage (and vid)


"The European contries are protesting the US spying program hoping to gain leverage in trade talks with Washington..."


Chris Hedges in Ottawa: Days of Destruction and Days of Revolt (podcast) From Rabble frontpage


"...a growing radical evil."


Edward Spenser Has Not Applied For Asylum in Russia - Russian Migration Service


"The Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) has refuted media reports which claim that NSA leaker Edward Snowden applied for political asylum in Russia."


BTS: ...RIP Michael Hastings (and vid)


"...BTS wraps up the show by highlighting the late Michael Hastings as the day's hero, citing his work as an honest journalist and courageous storyteller who pulled no punches."


'Act of Aggression': Bolivia to File UN Complaint over Airspace Blockade (and vid)


"An act of aggression and violation of international law' is how Bolivia's UN envoy described Austria's decision to search the Bolivian presidential jet for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The envoy has pledged to make an official complaint to the UN.

The move to detain the presidential plane triggered a wave of furious rhetoric from Latin American leaders who alleged it had been 'kidnapped by imperialism'.


Europe Cravenly Colluding With US in Criminality  -  by Finian Cunningham


"It is hard to know which is the more outrageous: the US government's forced landing this week of the Bolivian President, Evo Morales' official jet in Europe; or the European authorities' compliance with the Americans in their act of international piracy..."


[url=http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/05/edward-snowden-asylum/]NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden offered asylum in Venezuela[/url]


Op-ed by Suzanne Moore in the Guardian:

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/03/when-states-monitore... states monitored their citizens we used to call them authoritarian. Now we think this is what keeps us safe.[/url]

America controls the sky. Fear of what America might do can make countries divert planes – all because Edward Snowden might be on one.

Owning the sky has somehow got to me more than controlling the internet. Maybe because I am a simpleton and sometimes can only process what I can see – the actual sky, rather than invisible cyberspace in which data blips through fibre-optic cables. [...]

When did you surrender your freedom to communicate, something that was yours and yours alone, whether an email to a lover or a picture of your child? Ask yourself, do you feel safer now you know that you have no secrets? Now, the intimacies that are of no import to anyone but you have been subject to virtual extraordinary rendition. Because, fundamentally, your government does not trust you. Why therefore should you trust it?



Reports are that Bolivia has joined Venezuela in offering asylum, and Nicarauga seems ready to as well.




'Free From Imperial Persecution': Three Latin American Countries Offer Shelter to Edward Snowden (and vid)


"Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela have indicated they could give asylum to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. It comes in the wake of the UNASUR summit, where Latin American leaders slammed EU 'imperial' skyjack of President Morales' plane..."


Snowden: NSA Is In Bed With the Germans


"They are in bed with the Germans, just like with most other Western states,' the German magazine quotes Snowden as saying, adding that the NSA has a Foreign Affairs Directorate which is responsible for cooperation with other countries..."


France Accused of Running Vast Data Surveillance Scheme to Keep Tabs on Population


"According to an investigation by leading French newspaper Le Monde, France's foreign intelligence agency, the DGSE, systematically collects and records information about every line of electronic data sent by computers and telephones..."


US Postal Service Photographs 160 Billion Letters Annually


"As Washington officials continue to grapple with the fallout from the NSA scandal, it has been revealed that the US Postal Service photographs the outside of every piece of mail it processes each year - around 160 billion pieces annually.

At the least the [MICT] program shows that traditional mail is held up to the same kind of scrutiny that the NSA gives to phone calls, emails and internet services.

'It's a treasure trove of information,' James J Wedick, a former FBI agent told the New York Times."


The Servility of the Satellites  -  by Diana Johnstone


"...the citizenry is informed of this latest stage of the ongoing de-democratization process only when it is well underway. The result is an ever-wider gap between 'the political class', which includes both politicians and the mass media, on one hand, and the general population on the other.

The principal remaining task of the political class is to entertain the general population with the illusion that they are still living in a democracy, and that the officials they elect are acting in their interests..."

precisely the situation in Canada also


New Snowden Leak: Australia's Place in US Spy Web


"Ex NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden has disclosed his first set of documents outlining Australia's role in NSA surveillance programs. picking out four facilities in the country that contribute heavily to US spying.

Australia is one of the 'Five Eyes' - an alliance of intelligence-sharing countries which include the US, United Kingdom, CANADA, Australia and New Zealand.

Snowden recently commented that the other parties in the 'Five Eyes' 'sometimes go even further than the NSA people themselves..."


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Landscapes of emergency (12 min video)

Landscapes of Emergency is a brief glance over the undeclared state of emergency that casts its shadow over the functions and the phenomena of public space in Athens today, at this time of crisis. Relying upon the readings of two lawyers, it attempts a passage through the dark landscapes that the new dogma of public security leaves in its wake. And it chooses to view the crisis as a way of managing urban everydayness, as a way of managing it militarily. It comprises a thematic intervention-deflection as part of The Space That Remains, a research strand of the project The City at a Time of Crisis. Yet through its deflecting characteristics it simply reaffirms the initial fears that led to the creation of this research strand. In other words, it confirms that the space that remains is ever-lessening and that the state of emergency educates us to live, in the end, with this loss. More attempts to articulate these fears are hosted at the The Space That Remains strand on crisis-scape.net.



NSA's Spy Program Encompasses Most Countries in Latin America - New Cables


"The NSA's spy program encompasses most countries in Latin America, new cables released by Edward Snowden have confirmed. The datat gathered on military affairs and 'commercial secrets' has provoked a flurry of furious rhetoric from regional leaders..."

As opposed to the moribund silence here...


RT: Breaking The Set (and vid)


"...Finally, an interview with Russell Tice, fomer intelligence analyst and original NSA whistleblower about how the recent NSA scandal only scratches the surfact of a massive surveillance apparatus..."


Breaking: My Asylee Status Now Formal': Snowden Declares 'Acceptance' of All Offers of Support Or Asylum


"I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in future,' Snowden stated on Friday during his meeting with rights activists and lawyers at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.

'With for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela's President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal,' his address reads."


California Prison Inmates Continue Strikes Until Demands Met (and vid)


"Inmates across California say they are risking their lives to stop torture in prisons..."

see also 'More Prisons More Prisoners Thread'. Prisons are an important aspect of the Police State.


Imprisoned CIA Whistle-Blower Has Advice For Edward Snowden


"Imprisoned CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou has advice for Snowden - and a warning for the rest of us.

'Everyone is corrupt I've come to learn..."


MERCOSUR Presidents Condemn Washington's Illegal Surveillance Practices (and vid)


"Heads of States of the South American trading bloc MERCOSUR met in the Uruguayan capital city of Montivideo where they addressed the Morales incident.

The renowned Argentine political scientist and sociologist Atilio Boran provides even more alarming data on what he calls an 'out of control', 'neo-totalitarian' espionage apparatus: 1 million officials working across 16 intelligence agencies of the US government."

Any ringing denunciations of this neo-totalitarianism from the no difference party yet?


Microsoft Helped the NSA Bypass Encryption, New Snowden Leak Reveals


"...internal National Security Agency memos show that Microsoft actually helped the federal government find a way to decrypt messages sent over select platforms, including Outlook.com, Web Chat, Hotmail service and Skype."


Putin: Snowden Will Leave Russia at Earliest Opportunity


"...They scared other countries. No one wants to accept him.' When asked about what was next for Snowden, Putin replied: 'How should I know? That's his life, his fate..."


Russia Receives Snowden Temporary Asylum Request


"The Russian Migration Service confirmed it has received whistle-blower Edward Snowden's application for temporary asylum. It can take authorities up to three months to consider his request..."


'You Are Being Tracked': ACLU Reveals Docs of Mass License Plate Reader Surveillance


"License plate readers are among the latest items being regularly added to the arsenal of law enforcement gizmos and gadgets.."


Was Michael Hastings' Car Hacked?


"Richard Clark says it's possible. 'There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers - including the United States - know how to remotely seize control of a car."


How To Be A Rogue Superpower


"Today, if you are a 21st century 'dissident' and need asylum/protection from the only superpower left, there is essentially none to be had. If Snowden is proving one thing, it is this - in 2013, Planet Earth isn't big enough to protect the American version of 'dissidents'. Instead, it looks ever more like a giant prison with a single implacable policeman, judge, jury and jailer."

and, in case it isn't obvious already, 'executioner'


Forget Prism: FAIRVIEW is the NSA's Project to 'Own the Internet'


"According to Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency senior executive...'Upstream means you get inside the system before it's in the Internet. In its pure form,' he said. 'You've got programs and umbrella programs.'

FAIRVIEW is one such umbrella. Drake referred to it as a 'highly classified program' for tapping into the world's intercontinental fiber optic cables.

'It's just a name,' Drake said, 'that at the highest level means to own the Internet.'


A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State (MP3)  MUST LISTEN!


"John Whitehead discusses a recent attack by Alcohol Beverage Control agents on college students purchasing water and the larger trends toward a police state in the United States. Learn more at Rutherford.org Whitehead's latest book is A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State."

"Get up off your butts and do something!"


Prometheus Among the Cannibals, A Letter to Edward Snowden  -  by Rebecca Solnit


"...They say you, like Bradley Manning, gave secrets to their enemies. It's clear who their enemies are: you, me, us.

All this almost infinitely broad information harvest criminalizes all of us.

This metadata- the patterns and connections of communications rather than their content -- is particularly useful, as my friend Chris Carlsson pointed out, at mapping the clusters of communications behind popular movements, uprisings, political organizing: in other words, those moments when civil society rises to shape history, to make a better future in the open world of the streets and squares.

The goal of gathering all this metadata, Chris speculates, 'is to be able to identify where the 'hubs' are, who the people are who spread ideas and information from one network of people to the next, who help connect small networks into larger ones, and thus facilitate the unpredictable and rapid spread of dissent when it appears.

Those who demonize you show, as David Bromwich pointed out in a fine essay in the London Review of Books, their submission to the power you exposed.

Your act is rearranging our world. How much no one yet knows...."



'Black Day' For Liberty: Hedges' NDAA Challenge Thrown Out


"US troops now free to 'seize US citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely,' says Hedges.

'It's sad that we can't even find any kind of redress through the courts,' Hedges told the Huffington Post. 'There's nowhere left to turn in this really egregious assault against our most basic liberties.."


Video of Violent SQ Arrest Prompts Outrage From Innu Community (and vid)


"The officer grabs the man's shoulder with one hand and rains baton strikes down on him with the other. Another police officer is holding the man against the ground as this unfolds. With her right knee placed on the subject's stomach, she punches him in the face...

Warning, the video below contains graphic content..."