Posts tagged Department of Justice
By Judy Morris
Drudge Report Headline 5/30: PRESS REVOLTS OVER OTR MEET (OTR is Off the Record)
AP: NO THANKS… Breitbart article titled AP WON’T ATTEND HOLDER’S OFF-RECORD BRIEFING
CNN: NUH UH… CNN article titled Holder runs into roadblocks on off-the-record meetings on leaks
HUFFPO: NO GO… CNN article titled Holder runs into roadblocks on off-the-record meetings on leaks
DNC: SUCK IT UP… Twitchy article titled Bam! DNC’s Woodhouse tells journos to suck up off-the-record Holder meeting or shaddup; Tapper, Ace shred
POLITICO: WE’LL BE THERE… CNN article titled Holder runs into roadblocks on off-the-record meetings on leaks
REPORTERS NOW PRIESTS… National Journal article titled 7 Reasons Why the Media Shouldn’t Keep Eric Holder’s Secrets
Across the pond, The Telegraph (British) chirped in with a piece hilariously titled Barack Obama: even the mainstream media has given up on the hopey-changey stuff
The hopey-changey stuff? I can’t stop laughing!!
The rats in the palace are scurrying like the cockroaches. While CNN has seen a boost in ratings because it’s embraced a bit of adventurism by having folks like Alex Jones on to liven up the generally boring rhetoric, MSNBC ratings are in crash mode. MSNBC is the palace guard for Emperor Obama and its powerful empress, Rachel Maddow, can’t even hold the lies and propaganda together as evidenced by the monumental crash of MSNBC’s government approved version of Pravda (sorry for the insult to Pravda).
The Obama administration-friendly MSNBC is taking a stunning ratings crash dive – averaging a dismal 175,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic.
For broadcast media, losing a big chunk of the coveted 25-54 age group is like a direct hit from a nuclear bomb. It also signals that the young are considerably less inclined to succumb to propaganda.
While all of this is eminently entertaining, optimism is not warranted when it comes to MSM who is not about to change its evil ways. It’s all just about the incessant whining of the pampered, haughty and arrogant lords and ladies of the media who sold out their journalist professions for fame, fortune and celebrity.
But not to worry! The real media and real journalists have moved to a new address. They live on the Internet in cyberspace and they have websites, blogs, radio shows and Internet TV to directly challenge MSM and the government.
All is well. The rats and cockroaches can bitch, moan and whine all they want but at the end of the day they are still irrelevant and just a dying breed of traitors.and propagandists.
To read more articles like this please visit http://judymorrisreport.blogspot.com
By Neil Macdonald, CBC News
Posted: Feb 6, 2013
Some say U.S. president is waging a ‘war on whistleblowers’
In 2001, when Israel started killing militant Palestinian enemies (and, often, innocent bystanders) with missiles fired from helicopters hovering so high you could barely see them, foreign reporters were urged by the Israeli government to call the practice “targeted killing.”
Most of us, including many of my American colleagues, preferred the term “extrajudicial assassination.” We felt we were in the news business, not the euphemism business.
Today, 12 years later, the Washington Post carries a front-page headline about the U.S. drone program titled, “Targeted killings face new scrutiny.”
Yet another government document has been leaked, this time a so-called “white paper” in which the U.S. Department of Justice lays out the administration’s justification for killing American citizens it suspects of belonging to Al-Qaeda.
U.S. media outlets, it seems, are perfectly comfortable with the term “targeted killing,” now that it is a major tool for the Pentagon and CIA.
It’s also clear American media outlets are comfortable suppressing news the government does not want published. Today’s story reveals not just that the Americans have operated a secret drone base for years in Saudi Arabia, but that the Post, along with various other news organizations, have been keeping that fact to themselves at the government’s request.
History of suppressing sensitive information
It isn’t the first time such information has been suppressed. In 2005, bowing to the White House, the New York Times for months kept confidential the fact that the Bush administration had been carrying out warrantless wiretapping. The revelations eventually provoked Congress to pass a new law.
Reports on the U.S. drone program, also based on leaks, have described how Barack Obama’s administration has become ever more dependent on remote-controlled killing. Obama himself reportedly signs off personally on each target.
The American public has been largely unconcerned with the program, except when the person killed has been an American citizen. (The U.S., unlike many other countries, accords its citizens special protections from government intrusions.)
That is the focus of the latest leak. The “white paper” in today’s story appears under the arid title “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qaeda or an Associated Force.”
The term “senior operational leader” appears to be key. An American citizen who is a low-level fighter would appear to enjoy a legal immunity that does not extend to foreign nationals suspected of planning or involvement in attacks on Americans.
As the Post story rather dryly notes, “The number of attacks on Americans is minuscule compared with the broader toll of the drone campaign, which has killed more than 3,000 militants and civilians in hundreds of strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.”
There is an accompanying article today on the astonishing fact that 54 countries, including Canada, have participated in or enabled the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program of sending suspected militants to be interrogated, sometimes under torture, in secret prisons and by totalitarian regimes worldwide.
Twelve years ago, reporters had a different term for that sort of thing, too: kidnapping.
Obama’s ‘war on whistleblowers’
All these hardened security measures were begun under the Bush administration. President Obama, who once denounced them and even, as president, ordered Bush legal memos be made public, has not just amplified Bush’s programs, but has begun vigorously hunting down and prosecuting officials who leak details.
And that is one initiative the American media is not so comfortable with.
Some are calling it Obama’s “war on whistleblowers.” Current Attorney-General Eric Holder has prosecuted more officials for leaking information to reporters than any of his predecessors since the Second World War.
The government has hunted down intelligence officials who leaked details of expensive programs to spy on internet traffic, wiretaps placed in the Israeli embassy in Washington and of Obama’s personal involvement in selecting drone targets.
The lawyer for one of those officials said Holder’s prosecutors “don’t distinguish between bad people – people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money – and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions.”
Several news outlets have noted, rather acidly, that the administration seems fairly expert at leaking classified material that makes the government look good.
None of this makes Obama different from any previous president. It just demonstrates his ability to keep the nation’s media on board, and mete out punishment when they publish the wrong sorts of secrets.
Republished with permission
By Kathy Gill
Commentary: I spent much of Saturday trying to reconcile two very different approaches to justice meted out by the Obama Administration.
The first is old (mid-December) news: British bank HSBC launders money for at least a decade and is fined four weeks earnings. I learned about it Friday from The Daily Show.
How can anyone other than a banking executive look at this action on the part of the U.S. government and say, “There is justice here; this is fair and reasonable.”
They can’t. Because it’s not.
The other case is about Aaron Swartz, a talented and extraordinary young man, a technologist and activist. At age 14, he helped develop RSS, the technology that underpins the web’s information subscription system.
Cory Doctorow called him “a full-time, uncompromising, reckless and delightful shit-disturber.”
At age 26, he killed himself this weekend.
In its obituary, the NY Times notes his sense of public good, reporting that in 2008 he joined forces with Carl Malamud, the founder of public.resource.org, to make legal records freely accessible. Aaron legally obtained about 20 million pages of documents from PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), the repository for federal judicial documents.
The government shut down the free library program, and Mr. Malamud feared that legal trouble might follow even though he felt they had violated no laws. As he recalled in a newspaper account, “I immediately saw the potential for overreaction by the courts.” He recalled telling Mr. Swartz: “You need to talk to a lawyer. I need to talk to a lawyer.”
Mr. Swartz recalled in a 2009 interview, “I had this vision of the feds crashing down the door, taking everything away.” He said he locked the deadbolt on his door, lay down on the bed for a while and then called his mother.
The federal government investigated but did not prosecute.
Also in 2008, Aaron issued a Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto, calling for scholarly work to be released online in the “grand tradition of civil disobedience.” Research demonstrates that openly accessible publications are cited by others more often than research blocked by digital lock-and-key. This spread of knowledge is good for society as a whole.
Yet the DOJ, in the person of Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, indicted Aaron, charging him with stealing 4 million documents from MIT and JSTOR.
If convicted, Aaron faced up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
For a first offense, a victimless crime where more than half of the information was in the public domain and where the “stolen property” had been returned. Where there was no harm and no theft according to one expert witness, only a Minority Report-like “pre-crime” presumption.
His expert witness clearly articulates the weakness of the DOJ case.
I know a criminal hack when I see it, and Aaron’s downloading of journal articles from an unlocked closet is not an offense worth 35 years in jail.
At the time of Aaron’s actions, the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network.
Aaron Swartz … was an intelligent young man who found a loophole that would allow him to download a lot of documents quickly. This loophole was created intentionally by MIT and JSTOR, and was codified contractually in the piles of paperwork turned over during discovery.
If I had taken the stand as planned and had been asked by the prosecutor whether Aaron’s actions were “wrong”, I would probably have replied that what Aaron did would better be described as “inconsiderate”. In the same way it is inconsiderate to write a check at the supermarket while a dozen people queue up behind you or to check out every book at the library needed for a History 101 paper. It is inconsiderate to download lots of files on shared wifi or to spider Wikipedia too quickly, but none of these actions should lead to a young person being hounded for years and haunted by the possibility of a 35 year sentence.
You have to ask yourself: who in the Department of Justice did Aaron embarrass so badly back in 2008? Or which academic journal publisher has an “in” with the U.S. government?
Let me close with this observation from lawyer Lawrence Lessig:
Early on, and to its great credit, JSTOR figured “appropriate” out: They declined to pursue their own action against Aaron, and they asked the government to drop its. MIT, to its great shame, was not as clear, and so the prosecutor had the excuse he needed to continue his war against the “criminal” who we who loved him knew as Aaron.
He was brilliant, and funny. A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.
How can anyone other than a publishing executive look at this action on the part of the U.S. government and say “that’s fair and reasonable.”
They can’t. Because it’s not.
The mission of the Department of Justice is, in part, “to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
They failed on both counts here.
Our public legal system — the one that is supposed to be looking out for us, the citizens of the United States — kowtowed to a British corporation while grinding its heel into a 26-year-old idealist.
We should be ashamed.
We live in a democracy. Tell your friends but just as importantly, tell your Congressmen and our President.
The DOJ was wrong, not once, but twice.
Only we can make sure it doesn’t happen again.
First published at The Moderate Voice; edited for typo.
Update: 9:45 pm Sunday
Anonymous hacks MIT.edu (the site was down earlier tonight), calls for reform of computer crime law as well as copyright and intellectual property law, “returning it to the proper principles of common good to the many, rather than private gain to the few.”
PDF of the entire page:
Kathy Gill (@kegill)has 20 years experience in digital media—both development and instruction. Since 2003, she has taught at the University of Washington and currently manages the website for King County Elections. A political junkie, her consulting work includes four years writing about U.S. politics for about.com, one of the top 10 visited Web content sites on the Internet, and she has worked with Boeing, AT&T Wireless, SAFECO, and Microsoft on intranet projects.
This article originally appeared on GeekWire.
Re-blogged with permission.
In respect and support, Aaron’s manifesto is posted below.
Guerilla Open Access Manifesto
Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.
There are those struggling to change this. The Open Access Movement has fought valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it. But even under the best scenarios, their work will only apply to things published in the future. Everything up until now will have been lost.
That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.
“I agree,” many say, “but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, they make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it’s perfectly legal — there’s nothing we can do to stop them.” But there is something we can, something that’s already being done: we can fight back.
Those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.
Meanwhile, those who have been locked out are not standing idly by. You have been sneaking through holes and climbing over fences, liberating the information locked up by the publishers and sharing them with your friends.
But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral — it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy.
There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.
We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world.<P>We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.
With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?
July 2008, Eremo, Italy
Despite voting to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, there’s little House Republicans can do in the short term to compel him to turn over documents — unless it wanted to revisit a long-dormant power and arrest him.
The thought is shocking, and conjures up a Hollywood-ready standoff scene between House police and the FBI agents who protect the attorney general. It’s a dramatic and unlikely possibility not least because Congress doesn’t even have a jail any longer. But in theory it could happen.
By Doug Book
Wiretap applications obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform prove Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant AG Lanny Breuer lied to Committee members when they claimed DOJ personnel knew nothing of the tactics used by the ATF during Operation Fast And Furious.
Wiretap applications are forms that must be filled out and submitted to a judge, asking permission to perform a wiretap. As these requests may only be made if all other information-gathering techniques have been tried and found wanting, the applications are completed in extraordinary detail, listing all prior methods employed by law enforcement to gather existing evidence. In short, the entire history of the efforts put forth by law enforcement during a particular case or investigation are presented in writing to the court.
According to Committee chair Darrell Issa, six wiretap applications are now in Committee possession, all presented to the court between March and June of 2010 and all having been approved by Department of Justice officials. In fact, “each application included a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer to Paul M. O’Brien, Office of Enforcement Operations, authorizing the wiretap applications on behalf of the Attorney General.” “The memoranda from Breuer are marked specifically for the attention of Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor for Operation Fast and Furious.”
By Cassandra Anderson
Ron Paul’s Restore America Plan is a 12-page budget that cuts $1 trillion in spending the first year and balances the budget by the 3rd year. Paul proposes eliminating 5 federal executive agencies that include the following departments: Commerce, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development and the Interior. The video below explains why it would be a tremendous benefit to get rid of the Department of Interior.
The Department of the Interior has over 70,000 employees and receives more than $12 billion in taxpayer funds.
Federally Owned Land
The Department of the Interior (DOI) is unconstitutional because control over land, water, resources and wildlife are not mentioned as an enumerated power in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Additionally, the federal government’s ownership of nearly 30% of US land, primarily in the Western states, is an affront to the Equal Footing Doctrine.
When the federal government exerts power that is not specifically given to the feds in the Constitution, it is a violation of the Tenth Amendment and states’ rights.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) has closed enormous swaths of land to development, resulting in economic devastation because most wealth is created from land. Under Paul’s plan, the States would regain control over their land.
Here are a few examples of how the DOI has abused its power over federal land:
• President Bill Clinton declared Utah’s Grand Escalante Staircase a National Monument (under control of the DOI), limiting almost 2 million acres from economic development.
• Nevada is over 80% federally owned, so Yucca Mountain has been targeted by the feds as a nuclear dump site for our country’s 77,000 tons of radioactive waste because it is less trouble to cut through federal red tape on federal land.
The DOI’s sub-agency, the US Geological Survey, appears to have fudged data that favors dumping in Yucca Mountain.
By Kyle Rogers, Charleston Conservative Examiner
Just days ago, CBS national news printed new details about Department of Justice operation ”Fast & Furious.” Internal memos show that agents actually discussed using the operation as a “false flag” to justify taking away the 2nd amendment rights of US citizens.
Congress is currently investigating Fast & Furious. Attorney General Eric Holder has already been caught making at least one false statement under oath.
Gun rights advocates have been asking why Republicans aren’t calling for criminal charges against Eric Holder. Many have criticized FOX News for giving the story little coverage. CBS national news has been breaking most of the new details related to Fast & Furious. Recently Eric Holder yelled at a reporter at an event in DC. He blamed the media for public outrage over Fast & Furious, and told a reporter “you guys need to stop it.”
Today, Texas Congressman Ron Paul became the first GOP president candidate to call for criminal charges against Eric Holder.
Speaking to syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones, Paul called for Holder to be ”immediately fired.” Paul went on to say “I think it was criminal,” and called the operation a ”false flag.” He said that there needs to be an immediate investigation into Holder himself, and said Holder ”deserves charges.”
Paul went on to discuss a now infamous memo from White House lawyers who claim Obama has the right to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world. Paul stated that Obama is trying to ”legalize Martial law.”
Paul also mocked the FBI’s claim of uncovering an Iranian assignation plot against the Saudi ambassador. He said the man arrested ”may never be tried because they don’t want the truth to come out.”
US authorities have initiated the largest round of domain name seizures yet as part of their continued crackdown on counterfeit and piracy-related websites.
With just a few days to go until “Cyber Monday” more than 100 domain names have been taken over by the feds to protect the commercial interests of US companies.
The seizures are disputable, as the SOPA bill which aims to specifically legitimize such actions is still pending in Congress.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have resumed “Operation In Our Sites”, the domain name seizing initiative designed to crack down on online piracy and counterfeiting.
The new round comes exactly a year after 82 domains, including Torrent-Finder, were taken over in 2010. At the time ICE labeled the actions “Cyber Monday crackdown,” referring to the Monday following Thanksgiving where consumers are persuaded to shop online.
TorrentFreak has identified more than 130 domains taken over by the government during the last 24 hours, which makes this the largest seizure round to date. The authorities have yet to comment via official channels, but we assume that they will use the same justification for the domain seizures as they did last year.
“Intellectual property crimes are not victimless,” said Attorney General Eric Holder at the time.
The U.S. government agency that works hand in hand with the open borders movement— the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)— is dedicating more than half a million dollars to help “limited English proficient” populations access taxpayer-funded public housing programs.
The move comes less than a week after a separate agency—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—allocated $25 million to battle childhood obesity in “hard-to-reach, limited English proficiency and minority communities.” In this case the CDC claims that, while the rate of childhood obesity is high overall in the U.S., it’s particularly higher in minority and low-income communities.
When it comes to public housing the government must ensure that persons who are limited English proficient (LEP) have access in their native languages to information on all programs, services and activities provided by Uncle Sam. So the agency has doled out $649,000 to seven “community organizations” that “serve diverse communities” across the county. “Through these partnerships, HUD will ensure that the LEP individuals and families have meaningful access to information on fair housing, homeownership, lead abatement, housing assistance, and countless other services,” according to HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
The community groups will use the taxpayer dollars to create “fair housing presentations and trainings on HUD programs” in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Amharic and Korean in Washington D.C. They will also conduct “community meetings and refugee orientation sessions” to educate Bosnians and Arabic speakers about affordable housing in St. Louis. In New York they will distribute brochures in Nepalese, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish, Korean and Chinese and in San Diego posters, brochures and other tools will be created in Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi-Turkish, Somali, Burmese and Bhutanese.
Earlier this year HUD teamed up with President Obama’s favorite open borders group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), to promote a billion-dollar program with Spanish ads encouraging Latinos—possibly illegal immigrants—to apply for free U.S. taxpayer dollars. The campaign warned Hispanics that time was running out to get up to “$50,000 in help” from Uncle Sam to pay their mortgage, past due charges, taxes, insurance and even legal fees associated with their home.
Under Obama, a number of government agencies have allocated huge sums of money to programs that specifically target minorities. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) has spent nearly $10 million to bring “environmental justice” to poor and minority communities around the country and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has dedicated tens of millions of dollars to provide inner city neighborhoods with healthy foods.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also dedicated vast resources to minority causes. A few months ago it ordered Colorado officials to protect the interests of “language minority populations” by strengthening a Court Interpreter Oversight Committee that assures immigrants who don’t speak English get free translators. Before that the agency announced the administration’s commitment to eliminating written tests that discriminate against minorities in the workplace.