Holiday Greetings and New Year Renewals
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Justice Integrity Project thanks our readers for your interest and inputs. We share our hopes for a happy holiday season and a New Year of health and happiness in a just, prosperous and peaceful society.
To that end, we are going to be describing shortly a plan for readers to enhance effectiveness in fighting for justice. This draws on proven methods so that we can together spend more time during 2014 in success for the reform goals we share, and less time chronicling injustice.
A promising omen was a review of my new book, Presidential Puppetry, that syndicated columnist and intrepid reporter Andy Thibault published Dec. 31 in the Journal-Register consortium of Connecticut newspapers. His column, Kreig’s ‘Presidential Puppetry’ gives road map to master manipulators, argued for a path to reform via investigative reporting and blunt commentary, much as we seek to achieve via this site.
The U.S. Capitol is portrayed at left in an arrangement at the U.S. Botanic Gardens on the Washington Mall in a photo courtesy of a friend of the Justice Integrity Project.
In the spirit of our mission, we convey also below several compelling holiday messages.
The first is a column by my friend Jeanne Bishop. She describes in powerful terms her visit to the prisoner who murdered her sister, brother-in-law and their unborn child in what was undoubtedly Chicago's most notorious crime two decades ago when I met Jeanne.
The second is the holiday message by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. He sacrificed his future to try to bring the gift of privacy to the United States and world population. His message was conveyed by a British television station, Channel Four.
Next we have holiday messages from the best-known United States political prisoner, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (1999-2003). He is serving a long prison sentence centered on his 1999 reappointment to a state board of a major donor to the non-profit Alabama Education Foundation.
Another column is by former Alabama Republican political operative Jill Simpson, who blew the whistle in 2007 on the Republican frame-up Siegelman, her state's best-known Democrat.
She interrupted her honeymoon in Europe with her husband and co-author, Jim March, to write with him about the ongoing injustice of Alabama's continued jailing of the corruption-fighting journalist Roger Shuler. An arrogant judge who disregarded settled law about libel law jailed Shuler on contempt charges for failure to spike his stories involving the son of Siegelman's gubernatorial rival in Alabama.
We at the Project helped break the Shuler story in October. Appended below is recent coverage by others of his plight in the context of the world's second worst year on record for jailing journalists globally.
Even (or especially) on holiday, these are reminders of the important work that remains after we renew our bonds and spirits.
Looking ahead, we'll be drawing on proven methods for enhancing our effectiveness in reform. This includes tips drawn from the work of organizational strategist Sarah Robinson, author of Fierce Loyalties: Unlocking the DNA of Wildly Successful Communities. I've heard her speak at the National Press Club, and can recommend her book as a practical tool for this and similar groups.
Until then, with best regards,
-- Andrew Kreig
Related News Coverage
Huffington Post Singing Carols to Jesus in Prison t, Jeanne Bishop, right, Huffington Post, Dec. 23, 2013. I was sitting in the visiting room at a prison in downstate Illinois on a bitingly cold December day. The room is as stark as you'd expect: bare linoleum floor, plain white walls, a series of cubicles. Visitors sit across from inmates, separated by glass. I had come to see the man who had murdered my sister, her husband and their baby years ago. He killed them at the beginning of Holy Week, a time that marks death and resurrection. Our visit took place during Advent, a time that awaits a birth. He had apologized; I was there to try to reconcile. With Christmas approaching, I asked him what that day would be like for him. Would there be anything special to mark the day?
New Haven Register, Kreig’s ‘Presidential Puppetry’ gives road map to master manipulators, Andy Thibault, left, Dec. 31, 2013. Andrew Kreig covered federal courts in the 1970s for The Hartford Courant. Kreig seemed like he knew what he was doing, so I followed him around for a bit. The guy wore a nice suit, white shirt and a skinny tie. He was well over six-feet tall and trim. He moved swiftly and deliberately. I learned some time later he had been a boxer at Cornell, reaching the heavyweight finals of the Niagara Region AAU Golden Gloves. In federal court, the clerks and even the judges were friendly to him. I didn’t know what I was doing, but that didn’t really matter. I was a cub reporter for the Norwich paper, and most days started that way. By the end of the day, I was sort of supposed to know what I was doing. His reporting on the 2008 and 2012 elections inspired him to probe who really pulls the strings in Washington. The result is a most provocative book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters. Kreig broke the story of how President-elect Obama’s transition team feared a revolt if the new commander in chief pushed prosecution of CIA officials for torture and other crimes. “Presidential Puppetry” documents how Obama is among all recent U.S. presidents who have fostered confidential relationships with the CIA or FBI before they entered politics. For example, Obama’s first job out of college was for Business International Corporation, revealed by The New York Times as a CIA front.
PC World, Edward Snowden's Christmas message: a child born today will have no conception of privacy, Peter Sayer, Dec. 26, 2013. ”A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all,” Edward Snowden warned Wednesday in a message broadcast to U.K. television viewers. ”They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought,” said Snowden, famous for leaking documents from the U.S. National Security Agency that reveal just how much of what we say, write and do is already recorded and analyzed. ”That’s a problem because privacy matters. Privacy is what allows us to determine who we are, and who we want to be,” Snowden said in “video message” recorded for Channel 4, a commercially funded public service broadcaster. The video, one minute 43 seconds in duration, was produced by Praxis Films, the production company of freelance journalist Laura Poitras, who has worked on a number of stories about NSA surveillance based on the documents Snowden leaked.
New York Times, TV Message by Snowden Says Privacy Still Matters, Channel 4, Stephen Castle, Dec. 25, 2013. In a message broadcast Wednesday on British television, Edward J. Snowden, the former American security contractor, urged an end to mass surveillance, arguing that the electronic monitoring he has exposed surpasses anything imagined by George Orwell in “1984,” a dystopian vision of an all-knowing state. “A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all,” Mr. Snowden said in a Christmas Day message shown by Channel 4. “They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves — an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought.” Washington Post, Snowden says spying worse than Orwellian, Griff Witte, Dec. 25, 2013. In Christmas video, the NSA whistleblower says government surveillance has destroyed privacy.
OpEdNews, Holiday Greeting From Prison, Don Siegelman, Dec. 23, 2013. At left, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman is shown in a February 2008 CBS 60 Minutes story about his frame-up on corruption charges that seemed likely at one point to free him from prison on trumped up charges. His 2013 holiday message follows: "My Dear Friends: This has been my third Holiday Season in federal prison. If the Creator set a purpose for everything, then I know my job: To fight for justice! He has given me a personal, hands-on view of the tragedies created by our criminal justice system. It is not balanced or fair. It is not seeking truth or justice. Our system pursues convictions with an "anything goes" attitude! The President and the Attorney General have spoken out, allowing changes for some...so let's encourage them to be even bolder, to seek justice for all...Oh, yes we can! We cannot give up on true justice."
OpEd News, Let Roger Shuler Go Before Christmas -- The Only Journalist Held Indefinitely In The US, Jill Simpson and Jim March, Dec. 23, 2013. The Committee to Protect Journalists who are defending journalists worldwide recently announced their 2013 list of reporters imprisoned illegally around the world. As to be expected Turkey, Iran and China were at the top of the list but shamefully this time the US of A made the list as well due to the jailing of an Internet blogger named Roger Shuler in the state of Alabama.
Committee to Protect Journalists, Second worst year on record for jailed journalists, Elana Beiser, Dec. 18, 2013. For the second consecutive year, Turkey was the world’s leading jailer of journalists, followed closely by Iran and China. The number of journalists in prison globally decreased from a year earlier but remains close to historical highs. Turkey, Iran, and China accounted for more than half of all journalists imprisoned around the world in 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. In its annual census, CPJ identified 211 journalists jailed for their work, the second worst year on record after 2012, when 232 journalists were behind bars. The single journalist behind bars in the Americas was in the United States. Roger Shuler, an independent blogger specializing in allegations of corruption and scandal in Republican circles in Alabama, was being held on contempt of court for refusing to comply with an injunction regarding content ruled defamatory.
Think Progress, Ten Travesties Of Justice In 2013, Nicole Flatow, Dec. 23, 2013, also via Alternet. Every year, stories emerge that serve as a reminder that the American system of justice means injustice for too many, with some receiving little or no punishment for egregious offenses, while others receive harsh or faulty punishment for much less. Here are some of the worst injustices of 2013.
Bill Moyers and Company via Huffington Post, Watch: Incarceration Nation an interview with Michelle Alexander, Bill Moyers, Dec. 23, 2013. There are more African Americans under correctional control today -- in prison or jail, on probation or parole -- than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. According to the Sentencing Project, an advocacy group dedicated to changing how we think about crime and punishment, "More than 60 percent of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their thirties, one in every ten is in prison or jail on any given day." Because of the 40-year war on drugs and get tough sentencing policies, the American prison population has exploded from about 300,000 in the 1970s to more than 2 million today. The United States has a higher rate of incarceration than any other nation and spends billions every year to keep people behind bars. The cost on democracy is immeasurable.
Washington Post, Sledgehammer justice Sledgehammer justice, George F. Will, Dec. 25, 2013. How the government uses mandatory minimum sentences to gut constitutional rights.
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Editor's Choice: Scroll below for October 2014 news in our monthly roundup
Baylor University W.R. Poage Legislative Library, JFK Researcher Ed 'TreeFrog' Sherry Passes, Library Director Ben Rogers, October 2014. I only knew Ed 'TreeFrog' Sherry for just a few years through the Dallas conferences. He visited Poage Library a couple of times. On his first visit he immediately noticed that we needed research lockers. He quickly funded the project and continued to support the library. In May when he was facing surgery, he began sending his materials to Waco with the help of a friend. He continued this the entire time he was sick. The final boxes were sent last week and arrived on Tuesday, the day before he died. He even sent his Army dog tags for safe keeping as a reminder of his military intelligence service which served as the background for his later Kennedy research. While he was in the hospital, he took time to write out as best he could a short biography of his military service. This will be added to his web site next week. His generous spirit will continue as he has provided for the long-term care of his papers. Tributes from other JFK educators and researchers here.
CBS News, Ala. judge faces disbarment for domestic abuse, Vicente Arenas, Oct. 28, 2014. Judge Mark Fuller's criminal charges will be dropped if he successfully completes 24 weeks of counseling. But his professional fate lies in the hands of federal appeals court in Alabama. Photo of judge courtesy of Phil Fleming.
OpEdNews, Jet Fighter Shoot Down of MH 17 Still on Table -- Dutch Prosecutor, Michael Collins, Oct. 28, 2014. A senior prosecutor investigating the MH17 shoot down for the Dutch Prosecutors office, Fred Westerbeke, offered up many questions in an interview with Spiegel Online. He's open to the possibility that another plane shot down MH17 and welcomed Russian evidence in that regard. He indicated a less than forthcoming attitude on the part of the Germans when he commented on the new German intelligence (the BND) leak that absolved Russia of any involvement in the shoot down but blamed "pro Russian militias." Like the Germans, according to Westerbeke, it appears that the United States Obama administration has yet to supply its alleged satellite image evidence supporting the claims that pro-Russian militia forces brought down MH17.
Washington Post, USA Today’s Susan Page: Obama administration most ‘dangerous’ to media in history, Erik Wemple, Oct. 27, 2014. At some point, a compendium of condemnations against the Obama administration’s record of media transparency (actually, opacity) must be assembled. Notable quotations in this vein come from former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who said, “It is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering”; New York Times reporter James Risen, who said, “I think Obama hates the press”; and CBS News’s Bob Schieffer, who said, “This administration exercises more control than George W. Bush’s did, and his before that.” USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page has added a sharper edge to this set of knives. Speaking Saturday at a White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) seminar, Page called the current White House not only “more restrictive” but also “more dangerous” to the press than any other in history.
President Obama meets at the Pentagon Oct. 8, 2014 with senior military leadership, including Defense Secretary Charles Hagel, at the president's left, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, at right (White House photo).
Washington Post, Sharyl Attkisson’s computer intrusions: ‘Worse than anything Nixon ever did,’ Erik Wemple, Oct. 27, 2014. The intrusions into former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s computers constitute the narrative spine of the reporter’s new book Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington. The book starts with not really a word, but a sound: “Reeeeeeeeeee.” The author is shown in a file photo.
Daily Mail Online, 'Mainstream media outlets cover up for President Obama and kill unfavorable stories': Bombshell claims made by former CBS reporter in explosive new book, Pete D'amato, Oct. 25, 2014. Sharyl Attkisson left CBS in the spring and is now a contributor for The Daily Signal at conservative Heritage Foundation. She says the administration hounded her for her coverage of Fast and Furious and Benghazi. She also blames CBS for being willing to kill stories that were critical of government or controversial. A conflict of interest with CBS President David Rhodes, whose brother is part of the Obama administration, also complicated reporting. An ex-CBS reporter is releasing a book that blames mainstream media outlets for covering for President Obama. Sharyl Attkisson left CBS in the spring and opened up about her former employer and colleagues in 'Stonewalled' and claims that the media is liberal and covers up for the current administration. According to a review in the New York Post, officials within the administration constantly criticized Attkisson's report efforts as 'unreasonable.' Eric Schultz, part of the Obama press team, reportedly yelled at her when she pressed him about the scandal over the ATF's gun-walking scheme called Operation Fast and Furious. 'Goddammit, Sharyl!' he shouted. 'The Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable. You’re the only one who’s not reasonable!'
Cool Justice, What’s for lunch? 'more COOL JUSTICE' at John Bale Book & Café Co, Andy Thibault, Oct. 25, 2014. Connecticut author, speaker, and Freedom of Information advocate Andy Thibault will at a Waterbury bookstore Oct. 30 to sign copies of his latest book, a second collection of hard-hitting essays credited with helping to free a woman unjustly convicted of first degree murder. In his foreword to more COOL JUSTICE, Andrew Kreig states “More than ever, the public needs bare-knuckle advocates...One such fighter is Andy Thibault, author of the superb more COOL JUSTICE. His fifth book exposes injustice much in the style of his Law and Justice in Everyday Life, which he authored in 2002 to much acclaim.”
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, is shown in a portrait. A candidate for president of the United States in 1844, he was murdered that year as a mob stormed a jail cell in Carthage, Illinois where Smith and his brother were being held. The history is described in Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters, which recounts the oft-hidden history of today's leading political figures and candidates.
AP via Yahoo News, Mormon founder had teen bride during polygamy days, Brady McCombs, Oct. 24, 2014. The Mormon church acknowledges in a new essay that founder Joseph Smith had a teenage bride and was married to other men's wives during the faith's early polygamous days, a recognition of an unflattering part of its roots that historians have chronicled for years. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says most of Smith's wives were between 20 and 40 years old. One of them, however, was a 14-year-old girl who was the daughter of Smith's close friends. The essay posted this week on the church's website marked the first time the Salt Lake City-based religion has officially acknowledged those facts, though it also has not denied them. The article is part of a recent push by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to open up about sensitive issues within the faith. Other writings have addressed sacred undergarments worn by devout members; a past ban on black men in the lay clergy; and the misconception that Mormons are taught they'll get their own planet in the afterlife. The new article about Smith's wives during the 1830s and 1840s in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois, comes about 10 months after the church acknowledged polygamy was widely practiced among its members in the late 19th century.
AP via Washington Post, Putin accuses US of undermining global stability, Staff report, Oct. 24, 2014. President Vladimir Putin of Russia said Friday that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place because of U.S. attempts to enforce its will on other countries and that his nation will not comply.'
Washington Post, Could non-citizens decide the November election? Jesse Richman and David Earnest Oct. 24, 2014. Could control of the Senate in 2014 be decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens? In a forthcoming article in the journal Electoral Studies, we bring real data to bear on the question: How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Some of these non-citizens voted. Based upon extrapolations, 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010. Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections.
Newsweek, Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems, Julian Assange, Oct. 23, 2014. In June 2011, Julian Assange received an unusual visitor: the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, arrived from America at Ellingham Hall, the country house in Norfolk, England where Assange was living under house arrest. Extracted from When Google Met Wikileaks by Julian Assange, published by OR Books. Excerpt: If the future of the Internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world—in Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union and even in Europe—for whom the Internet embodies the promise of an alternative to U.S. cultural, economic, and strategic hegemony. A “don’t be evil” empire is still an empire.
Washington Post, Lewinsky mistreated by authorities in investigation of Clinton, report says, Rosalind S. Helderman, Oct. 23, 2014. When onetime White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky broke her silence with a major speech this week, one subject brought her nearly to tears. Lewinsky’s voice cracked as she recalled the moment in January 1998 when she was first confronted by FBI agents and lawyers working for Kenneth W. Starr’s Office of Independent Counsel, who threatened her and her mother with criminal prosecution if she did not agree to wear a wire against President Bill Clinton. Monica Lewinsky, now 41, has long felt that she was mistreated by authorities in the 12-hour marathon session, which began as an ambush at the food court at the Pentagon City mall and then moved to a hotel room at the mall’s adjoining Ritz-Carlton hotel. As it turns out, so did government lawyers who conducted a comprehensive review of the incident in 2000, two years after the encounter. Their findings are contained in a report — recently obtained by The Washington Post — that key players had long believed was under court-ordered seal.
Forbes, When Prosecutors Seek Higher Office, Questions Often Remain: Coakley And The Massachusetts Governorship, Harvey Silverglate, Oct. 22, 2014. It’s not unusual for a prosecutor to leverage her career into higher political office. Indeed, over twenty percent of sitting United States governors are former prosecutors, seven of whom served as state attorneys general. Martha Coakley—Massachusetts’ current Attorney General and a former child abuse prosecutor in Middlesex County—might thus seem an uncontroversial choice for governor this November. But in my opinion, prosecutors are sometimes particularly ill-suited for higher elective office. They often like to cultivate an image as protectors of the people (Coakley proudly states on her campaign website that “She is a voice for fairness for those who need it most”), but, in reality, they serve on one side of an adversarial criminal justice system. Just as defense attorneys seek exonerations, prosecutors seek convictions—not necessarily the truth.
USA Today, Reports: Man stopped after scaling White House fence, Staff report, Oct. 22, 2014. For the second time in a month, a man has jumped the White House fence, but this time the intruder was immediately apprehended Wednesday evening by the Secret Service, according to witnesses and media reports. Officers with the help of dogs apprehended the man on the North Lawn, an Al Jazeera America cameraman reported. A CBS News reporter said Secret Service agents immediately surrounded the man. The White House has been locked down. It's the 7th time this year that someone has scaled the wrought-iron fence.
Washington Post, Blackwater guards convicted in Iraq deaths, Spencer S. Hsu, Victoria St. Martin and Keith L. Alexander, Oct. 22, 2014. The American security contractors, who were accused of killing 14 unarmed Iraqis in a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007, had claimed they were acting in self-defense. The contractor shootings and the American government’s refusal to allow the men to be tried in Iraq sent relations between the two countries into a crisis, and the Blackwater name became shorthand for unaccountable U.S. power.
Washington Post, The bottom 90 percent are poorer today than they were in 1987, Matt O'Brien, Oct. 22, 2014. The bottom 90 percent are poorer today than they were in 1987. The housing bust has cast a long shadow-25 years, to be exact-on the wealth of the middle class.
Washington Post, USAID watchdog said to alter reports to shield agency, Scott Higham and Steven Rich, Oct. 22, 2014. The inspector general’s office removed critical findings, employees said. Editor's note: Unreported in this story is a potential motive for altering the records: To hide a recent example in the long history of USAID acting as a cover organization for CIA regime-change activities around the world, including Egypt.
National Memo, Ready For 2016? Too Bad, Gene Lyons, Oct. 22, 2014. By hard pundit law, nonstop media coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign begins on the morning after the 2014 congressional elections — approximately 18 months before normal Americans want to hear about it. So ready or not, here comes Campaign 2016. For a monthly magazine like Harper’s to jump the gun by two weeks requires considerable enterprise. “STOP HILLARY,” the magazine’s November 2014 cover insists. “Vote No to a Clinton Dynasty.”
National Press Club, Woodward and Bernstein say Nixon administration corruption far deeper than Watergate, Gilbert Klein, Oct. 21, 2014. Photo/Image courtesy of Noel St. John. The corruption of the Nixon administration was far deeper than the Watergate scandal, reporting legends Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein told interviewer Marvin Kalb Oct. 20. “You listen to the tapes, and the hate and the rage and the using the power of the presidency to settle scores goes on endlessly,” said Woodward, referring to the secret presidential tapes that he and Bernstein have listened to over the years. Marking the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, Woodward and Bernstein talked with Marvin Kalb on an edition of “The Kalb Report” to try to understand what motivated Nixon’s crimes and what it took for the Washington Post reporters to conduct their investigation. The program can be seen in its entirety here.
Editor's note: Best-selling author Roger Stone, an aide in the Nixon and Reagan White Houses, provided a starkly different interpretation of Watergate in an Oct. 21 lecture about his new book: Nixon's Secrets: The Rise, Fall and Untold Truth about the President,Watergate, and the Pardon. We shall explore Stoe's account soon here.
Washington Post, Ben Bradlee, legendary Washington Post editor, dies at 93, Robert G. Kaiser, Oct. 21, 2014. Benjamin C. Bradlee, who presided over the Washington Post newsroom for 26 years and guided the Post’s transformation into one of the world’s leading newspapers, died Oct. 21 at his home in Washington of natural causes. He was 93. From the moment he took over the Post newsroom in 1965, Mr. Bradlee sought to create an important newspaper that would go far beyond the traditional model of a metropolitan daily. He achieved that goal by combining compelling news stories based on aggressive reporting with engaging feature pieces of a kind previously associated with the best magazines.
Huffington Post, White House Chief Of Staff Negotiating Redaction Of CIA Torture Report, Sept. 21, 2014. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is personally negotiating how much of the Senate's so-called torture report, a probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program. McDonough’s role suggests that the Oval Office sees the feud as a high-stakes one.
Washington Post, Panetta clashed with CIA over contents of book, Greg Miller, Oct. 21, 2014. Leon Panetta, the ex-CIA director shown in a file photo, allowed his publisher to begin editing and making copies of the memoir before he had received final approval from the agency. Panetta’s decision appears to have put him in violation of the secrecy agreement that all CIA employees are required to sign and came amid a showdown with agency reviewers that could have derailed the release of the book this month, people involved in the matter said.
Boston Globe, When miscarriages of justice occur, prosecutors must answer for actions, Editorial board, Oct. 19, 2014. Twenty-nine years ago, a Berkshire County prosecutor named Daniel A. Ford made at least one awful decision: On the skimpiest evidence he charged a 19-year-old man with multiple counts of child rape. That may not be the worst of it; there are indications he may have played fast and loose with trial rules in order to get a conviction. Writing on the Globe op-ed page, lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who helped win Baran’s release in 2006, raised the possibility of removing Ford from his current job as a Superior Court judge, a position he has held since 1989.
FireDogLake, Shadow Facts About Shadow Government, David Swanson, Oct. 19, 2014. Tom Engelhardt keeps churning out great books by collecting his posts from TomDispatch.com. His latest book, Shadow Government, is essential reading. Of the ten essays included, eight are on basically the same topic, resulting in some repetition and even some contradiction. But when things that need repeating are repeated this well, one mostly wants other people to read them — or perhaps to have them involuntarily spoken aloud by everybody’s iPhones. We live in an age in which the most important facts are not seriously disputed and also not seriously known or responded to.
American Thinker, Stunning federal corruption case moving forward with almost no media attention, Thomas Lifson, Oct. 19, 2014. Corrupt federal prosecutors presenting false evidence in order to shake down a blameless corporation and bring in tens of millions of dollars seems like a pretty dramatic story. Especially when former prosecutors support the charge and a chief judge acts on the allegations and takes dramatic action. Yet the media silence is deafening. The Chief Judge of the Eastern District of California has taken what can rightly be called the “nuclear option” and recused all the judges in the district from the case because they may have been defrauded by the DoJ prosecutors. So far, aside from the local paper, the Sacramento Bee, it is only Sidney Powell of the New York Observer, writing in the opinion pages of that publication that has paid attention to what should be a prominent national media scandal. In brief, the Sierra Pacific Industries, a lumber producer, was accused by the federal government of starting a large wildfire, and fined $55 million, and compelled to hand over title to 22,500 acres of land. The only problem is that the prosecution was allegedly corrupt, and knowingly submitted false evidence.
In a photo drawn from the movie "Kill the Messenger," actor Jeremy Renner portrays the late investigative reporter and author Gary Webb. Webb's newspaper career cratered after his stories in the San Jose Mercury alleged that the CIA helped enable crack cocaine use.
Washington Post, Gary Webb was no journalism hero despite what 'Kill the Messenger' says, Jeff Leen, Oct. 18, 2014. Jeff Leen is the Washington Post's assistant managing editor for investigations.
Consortium News, WPost’s Slimy Assault on Gary Webb, Bob Parry, Oct. 18, 2014. Author Robert Parry is the former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter who broke the Iran-Contra smuggling scandal in 1985 with his AP colleague Brian Barger. The movie, “Kill the Messenger,” portrays the mainstream U.S. news media as craven for destroying Gary Webb rather than expanding on his investigation of the Contra-cocaine scandal. So, now one of those “journalists” is renewing the character assassination of Webb, notes Robert Parry. Jeff Leen, the Washington Post’s assistant managing editor for investigations, begins his renewed attack on the late Gary Webb’s Contra-cocaine reporting with a falsehood. Leen insists that there is a journalism dictum that “an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.” But Leen must know that it is not true. Many extraordinary claims, such as assertions in 2002-03 that Iraq was hiding arsenals of WMDs, were published as flat-fact without “extraordinary proof” or any real evidence at all, including by Leen’s colleagues at the Washington Post. A different rule actually governs American journalism – that journalists need “extraordinary proof” if a story puts the U.S. government or an “ally” in a negative light but pretty much anything goes when criticizing an “enemy.” If, for instance, the Post wanted to accuse the Syrian government of killing civilians with Sarin gas or blame Russian-backed rebels for the shoot-down of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, any scraps of proof – no matter how dubious – would be good enough (as was the actual case in 2013 and 2014, respectively). See also, Consortium News, The Sordid Contra-Cocaine Saga, Robert Parry, Oct. 9, 2014 and ‘Kill the Messenger’: Rare Truth-telling, James DiEugenio, Oct. 16, 2014.
New York Times, Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture, Charlie Savage, Oct. 17, 2014. The administration is debating whether to back away from President Obama?s view, as a senator, that a United Nations treaty against torture applies to American-run facilities anywhere in the world.
Vanity Fair, Could the Secret Service Have Saved J.F.K.? Susan Cheever, Oct. 17, 2014. As the agents who guard the president come under renewed scrutiny, vanityfair.com revisits the entrenched culture of the Secret Service a half century ago and reexamines the actions of John F. Kennedy’s security detail on that fateful day in Dallas. Back in Washington, other Secret Service members were disturbed by the partying in the White House detail. Abraham Bolden, the only African American agent in Kennedy’s detail, had experienced plenty of racism in the service and says in his 2008 book, The Echo from Dealey Plaza, that he was later framed and sent to prison as retribution for speaking out about the lax behavior tolerated within the department. That November day, Bolden was one of the agents who could hardly believe what he was seeing. Standing in the Secret Service office in Chicago just after the president was shot, he wrote that he heard a fellow agent cry out, “I knew it would happen. I told those playboys that someone was going to get the president killed if they kept acting like they did. Now it’s happened.”
New York Times, ISIS Militants in Syrian Border Town Begin to Retreat After a Monthlong Battle, Kareem Fahim and Helene Cooper, Oct. 17, 2014. The advance of Islamic State forces on the Syrian city of Kobani has stalled as the militants have been forced to retreat on several fronts, shifting the monthlong battle increasingly in favor of the Kurdish fighters defending the city, according to commanders and Kurdish and American officials.
Al.com, Federal Judge Mark Fuller's divorce records to be unsealed, Kyle Whitmire, Oct. 17, 2014. Most of the records from U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller's first divorce will be unsealed, a Montgomery County District judge decided after a brief hearing. The file from Fuller's divorce from his first wife, Lisa Boyd Fuller, had been put under seal by the court two years ago. Last week, the Alabama Media Group asked Montgomery Family Court Judge Anita Kelly to make it public again. During a brief hearing, lawyers for the parties consented to most of the file being unsealed. It "was better to allow the public to see what was in that file than have people speculate," said Fuller's lawyer, Barry Ragsdale. Fuller was arrested in August for assaulting his second wife, Kelly Fuller, in an Atlanta hotel. Rep. Terri Sewell said she would ask Congress to begin impeachment proceedings if Fuller, shown in his mug shot, has not resigned before Congress goes back into session. Meanwhile, Ragsdale said Sewell's decision to demand impeachment is disappointing. Editor's Note: The Justice Integrity Project, citing controlling Alabama law requiring open records, led an unsuccessful effort with two other news organizations to unseal the judge's divorce file three years ago.
Consortium News via OpEd News, The Neocons -- Masters of Chaos, Robert Parry, Oct. 17, 2014. If you're nervously watching the stock market gyrations and worrying about your declining portfolio or pension fund, part of the blame should go to America's neocons who continue to be masters of chaos, endangering the world's economy by instigating geopolitical confrontations in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Of course, there are other factors pushing Europe's economy to the brink of a triple-dip recession and threatening to stop America's fragile recovery, too. But the neocons' "regime change" strategies, which have unleashed violence and confrontations across Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran and most recently Ukraine, have added to the economic uncertainty. This neocon destabilization of the world economy began with the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 under President George W. Bush who squandered some $1 trillion on the bloody folly. But the neocons' strategies have continued through their still-pervasive influence in Official Washington during President Barack Obama's administration.
Consortium News, ‘Kill the Messenger’: Rare Truth-telling, James DiEugenio, Oct. 16, 2014. Much of modern American filmmaking is escapist and vapid, but not “Kill the Messenger,” the new movie recounting the brave Contra-cocaine reporting by Gary Webb (shown with his story) and his subsequent destruction at the hands of the mainstream media, writes James DiEugenio. I only met Gary Webb once – in December 1996. I was writing at Probe Magazine then and had covered Webb’s groundbreaking San Jose Mercury News three-part series, titled “Dark Alliance.” This fascinating, compelling series outlined a malevolent network which helped fund the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contra forces with profits from the cocaine trade in California. Webb’s story did not actually say the CIA was directly involved with this network. It said the Agency knew about it and turned a blind eye because the overriding objective had been to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua....The end result was to financially bolster the Contras, while thousands of Americans who could not afford powder cocaine now found themselves addicted to low-cost but high-grade crack. This took the old political adage – “the ends justify the means” – to mind-boggling new heights. Washington Post, Gary Webb was no journalism hero despite what 'Kill the Messenger' says, Jeff Leen, Oct. 18, 2014.Washington Post, Gary Webb was no journalism hero despite what 'Kill the Messenger' says, Jeff Leen, Oct. 18, 2014.
Washington Post, Biden’s son discharged from Navy after positive cocaine test, Katie Zezima, Oct. 16, 2014. Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine, a source familiar with the matter confirmed Thursday. A lawyer and former lobbyist, Biden applied for a commission into the reserve as a public affairs officer at age 42. Last May, Politico reported, Hunter Biden named to Ukraine gas board. Reporter Lucy McCalmont wrote that he would join Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, Burisma Holdings. Biden, shown in a file photo, said the company will help strengthen Ukraine’s economy.
Daily Beast, Smoking Gun, Elii Lake, Oct. 16, 2014. Insiders Blame Rove for Covering Up Iraq’s Real WMD. There’s one man, some Republicans say, who kept the public from learning about the chemical shells littered around Iraq. He was Bush's most important political adviser. Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to “let these sleeping dogs lie.” The issue of Iraq’s WMD remnants was suddenly thrust back into the fore this week, with a blockbuster New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of covering up American troops’ chemically induced wounds. To people familiar with the issue, both inside that administration and outside, the blame for the coverup falls on one particular set of shoulders: Rove’s.
President John F. Kennedy is shown in a file photo with his vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson.
Boston Globe, Answers sought on CIA role in ‘78 JFK probe; Investigators say files could prove interference, Bryan Bender, Oct. 15, 2014. It was nearly four decades ago that Eddie Lopez was hired by a congressional committee to reinvestigate the 1963 murder of President John F. Kennedy, a role that had him digging through top secret documents at the CIA. In the end, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported in 1978 that it believed the assassination was probably the result of a conspiracy, although it couldn’t prove that, and its conclusions are disputed by many researchers. But now Lopez is seeking answers to a lingering question: Could still-classified records reveal, as he and some of his fellow investigators have long alleged, that the CIA interfered with the congressional investigation and placed the committee staff under surveillance? “It was time to fight one last time to ascertain what happened to JFK and to our investigation into his assassination,” Lopez, who is now the chief counsel for a school district in Rochester, N.Y., said in an interview. He is joined in the effort by two other former investigators, researcher Dan Hardway and G. Robert Blakey, the panel’s staff director.
Miami Herald, Hatchet job: Roger Stone’s edgy takes on history and politics, Glenn Garvin, Oct. 15, 2014. President Kennedy was murdered not by Lee Harvey Oswald but a serial killer — his own vice president, Lyndon Johnson. And the Watergate scandal was not about President Nixon’s dirty political tricks, but, umm, hookers. This, at least, is the world according Roger Stone, the legendarily bare-knuckle Republican consultant who saved the 2000 presidential election for George W. Bush (or, depending on your perspective, stole it from Al Gore) and now styles himself an “alternative historian.” “I know a lot people don’t like to hear this; they think it’s crazy or partisan,” says Stone, who lives in Fort Lauderdale when his consulting firm is not out toppling governments or wrecking rival candidacies. “But they’re wrong. The evidence is there.” Some people clearly don’t mind hearing Stone’s theories. Last year, the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, his book The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, hit the New York Times best-seller list. Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall and Untold Truth About the President, Watergate and the Pardon, published in August, is hovering on Amazon.com’s top 25 political books and nearing a second printing. Despite the books’ success, they have not won Stone much admiration from mainstream journalists or historians.
Legal Schnauzer, Wife-beating federal judge Mark Fuller now faces scrutiny over procurement of prescription drugs, Roger Shuler, Oct. 15, 2014. Federal judge Mark Fuller, who is charged with beating his wife in an Atlanta hotel room, now faces an independent investigation into the possibility that he illegally obtained prescription drugs. That is from veteran Alabama lawyer and businessman Donald Watkins, via posts on his Facebook page. Watkins says he has a team of investigators working on the Fuller story. The results of their work are "mind boggling," Watkins says, and he plans to develop a criminal case against Fuller and his drug supplier. Watkins says his reporting on the Fuller case, plus his posts about an overtime-pay scandal involving Gov. Robert Bentley and a state trooper, have led to threats against his family. Fuller's apparent abuse of prescription drugs was an issue in his 2012 divorce case. Watkins is taking a closer look at the issue, and this is from one of his recent posts.
Judge Fuller is shown in a 2006 portrait in chambers, provided courtesy of Phil Fleming.
Legal Schnauzer, The nontraditional press did all of the heavy lifting on the story of wife-beating federal judge Mark Fuller, Roger Shuler, Oct. 14, 2014. Alabama's largest news organization is asking a state court to unseal a divorce file involving federal judge Mark Fuller, who is charged with beating his second wife in an Atlanta hotel room. In fact, nontraditional news sites, including our Legal Schnauzer blog, have done almost all of the heavy lifting. Al.com, with its major operations in Birmingham, Mobile, and Huntsville, now is taking the moral high road on the Fuller story. But when news of Fuller's divorce broke in 2012, al.com was nowhere to be found. How late is al.com to the party? It isn't even the first news organization to ask for the divorce file to be unsealed. Andrew Kreig, director of the D.C.-based Justice Integrity Project, led an effort to do that in May 2012. Bob Martin, publisher of the Montgomery Independent, and I lent our support to Kreig's effort, and you can read the petition here. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Anita Kelly, to whom al.com now addresses its request, did not unseal the file then.
New York Times, C.I.A. Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels, Mark Mazzetti, Oct. 14, 2014. The Central Intelligence Agency has run guns to insurgencies across the world during its 67-year history — from Angola to Nicaragua to Cuba. The continuing C.I.A. effort to train Syrian rebels is just the latest example of an American president becoming enticed by the prospect of using the spy agency to covertly arm and train rebel groups. An internal C.I.A. study has found that it rarely works. The still-classified review, one of several C.I.A. studies commissioned in 2012 and 2013 in the midst of the Obama administration’s protracted debate about whether to wade into the Syrian civil war, concluded that many past attempts by the agency to arm foreign forces covertly had a minimal impact on the long-term outcome of a conflict. They were even less effective, the report found, when the militias fought without any direct American support on the ground. The findings of the study, described in recent weeks by current and former American government officials, were presented in the White House Situation Room and led to deep skepticism among some senior Obama administration officials about the wisdom of arming and training members of a fractured Syrian opposition.
New Republic, Obama, Not Bush, Is the Master of Unilateral War, Jack Goldsmith and Matthew Waxman, Oct. 14, 2014. The president must force Congress to vote on his military powers. Late in the summer of 2013, President Barack Obama pulled back from his announced plans to use unilateral military force against Syria and stated that he would instead seek Congress’s approval. Obama’s predecessor asserted very broad presidential prerogatives in other military contexts, and his Justice Department wrote expansive legal justifications for unilateral war. But in the context of initiating war, Bush acted in a manner respectful of separation of powers. Both of Bush’s major wars—against the 9/11 perpetrators (and their protectors), and against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq—were clearly and formally approved in advance by Congress in, respectively, its September 2001 and October 2002 authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs). And it is Obama, not Bush, who has proven the master of unilateral war. Editor's Note: Both authors are law professors affiliated with the conservative Hoover Institution.
New York Times, The Secret U.S. Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons, John Paul Williams, Oct. 14, 2014. From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule. In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West. The American government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors. The government’s secrecy, victims and participants said, prevented troops in some of the war’s most dangerous jobs from receiving proper medical care and official recognition of their wounds.
The New Civil Rights Movement, GOP Official Asks Military Why They Haven't Launched Coup Against 'Domestic Enemy' Obama, David Badash, Oct. 14, 2014. Republican Debbie Dunnegan Waters is the Jefferson County Recorder of Deeds, an elected official in the state of Missouri. On Facebook last week, she posted a question to her friends in the military. Acknowledging that "there has to be something that I am just not aware of," Waters writes, "I cannot and do not understand why no action is being taken against our domestic enemy. I know he is supposedly the commander in chief, but the constitution gives you the authority. What am I missing? Thank you for your bravery and may God keep you safe."
Truthout, Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century, Jonathan D. Simon, Oct. 13, 2014. Is it futile to combat computerized vote-counting fraud, given the more general disenfranchisement of the American public? This and the emerging battlefield of corporate versus public interest is explored in an excerpt from "Code Red" by Jonathan Simon (shown in a photo).
Many despairing observers of The New American Century have asked me whether -- given the recent revelations about NSA surveillance, along with other signs that American democracy is deteriorating irrespective of which party governs -- an honest vote-counting system would even matter anymore. The ultimate, if uneasy, answer is "Yes." Perhaps the most penetrating lesson to be drawn from the Occupy experience is the disclosure of a previously unrecognized divide in the American body politic: that of the "99%" and the "1%." And the battle lines are indeed simple: a ruling elite, corporate and governmental, that is attempting to know as much as possible about you and me while seeing to it that we know as little as possible about them. The Information Age has turned a limited and rather selective battle into what amounts to total war.
It leaves us with the electoral process with the chance -- in a fair, observably counted election -- to elect to office candidates outside the power duopoly. We had better be counting the votes in public view. It is absurdly naive to believe that the corporate totalitarians would, with their own computers counting the votes in secret, go gentle into the night.
Washington Post, Can’t quit Mitt: Supporters try to nudge Romney into 2016 race, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa, Oct. 13, 2014. The vacuum of power within the Republican party and a lack of a clear front-runner could entice him to run for president a third time.
Jersey Journal, Jersey Journal/NJ.COM POLL: Public Agrees With Conclusions of 'Ruthless Ambition,' Louis Manzo, Oct. 13, 2014. In a recent poll of its readers [reported on October 3, 2014], the Jersey Journal and NJ.COM asked if the Bid Rig III Sting and arrests were politically motivated. The book Ruthless Ambition: The Rise and Fall of Chris Christie presented overwhelming evidence and documentation to support the conclusion. Those polled [424 participants] agreed at a —87.5. percent rate with the same conclusions reached in the book: the prosecutions were politically motivated.
Market Watch, Ebola stocks: 2 to sell, and 5 to consider buying, Nigam Arora, Oct. 13, 2014. It is unfortunate that out of the Ebola tragedy, there has been so much pumping especially on two stocks on which many unsuspecting investors will end up losing their shirts. Investors are encouraged to carefully study SEC filings of these two companies. Money has moved out of Ebola drug and vaccine stocks into these two stocks. After Ebola drug and vaccine stocks were pumped to unsustainable heights, they have been dumped on the theory that it is difficult to determine which company's products will work. The argument is simple and resonates with investors who are not seasoned to guard against pumps and dumps.
The Telegraph, Live stream of ISIL advance on Kobane, via APTN. Fighting between Islamic militants and Kurdish fighters in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane continued after the militants pushed their furthest yet into the town this week. This screen shot is from a video posted online on Oct. 11, 2014 by a group affiliated with the Islamic State. It purports to show the militants firing guns inside the besieged town. The footage has been authenticated against known locations and events by regional experts. Kurdish militiamen faced a fierce battle against the jihadis Saturday, but eventually managed to push them back. A United Nation warned that 12,000 people still trapped inside Kobane could be massacred by jihadists if the town fell.
Daily Mail, The last line of defense: ISIS and Kurdish forces just yards apart as Turkey continues to refuse to step in, Jennifer Newton, Oct. 12, 2014. This is the panoramic view of the skyline of Kobane showing just how close Islamic State fighters have come towards taking control of the Syrian border town. ISIS flags can be seen fluttering on the hill near to where militants are gathered, just yards from Kurdish forces. The terror group is pouring in reinforcementsl. The UN has warned that if Kobane were to fall to ISIS, thousands of civilians living there risk massacre.
In Douglasville, Ga, population 32,000, an armored personnel carrier costing $227,000 was bought using money taken from Americans under civil forfeiture laws.
Washington Post, Asset seizures fuel millions in police spending, Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Steven Rich, Oct. 11, 2014. Police agencies nationwide routinely buy vehicles and weapons with money and property seized under federal civil forfeiture law from people who were not charged with a crime.
World Crisis Radio, McCain, Courting War with Syria, Endorses the Terrorist Enablers in Turkey, Webster Tarpley, Oct. 11, 2014. General Maurice Gamelin in 1939-40 had 110 British and French divisions to Hitler’s 25 on the western front, but he sat still and refused to attack while Poland was crushed, because London and Paris wanted to keep Hitler in power and send him east against the USSR. Today it is the Syrian Kurds who are about to be massacred at Kobane and elsewhere. Why? Because the US (including Sen. John McCain, shown in a file photo), NATO, Turkey, and the Gulf monarchs want to use ISIS against Syria.The US media are playing up ISIS as invincible supermen with magical powers, but in reality they are only 25,000 psychotic patsies and brigands who could be pulverized by a 3- to 4-week air campaign of 100-200 sorties/day over Iraq and Syria, while arming the Syrian Kurds and forcing all neighboring nations to cut off support to the terrorists. If 200 sorties a day seems like a lot, remember that the US-centered coalition flew about 100,000 sorties against Iraq in about one month at the beginning of 1991, for about 3,335 sorties per day. The US and other nations have flown about 2,000 sorties against ISIS over the last two months, for about 35 per day. US General Martin Dempsey is now on the way into the history books in the infamous tradition of Gamelin.
OpEdNews, Ebola Update, Paul Craig Roberts (shown in file photo), Oct. 11, 2014. A number of readers have read reports that the CIA was active in West Africa just prior to the ebola outbreak, and some have read reports that the ebola strain is a weaponized version engineered to spread by air and surface contact. Some readers ask me to confirm or refute these reports. Although I cannot answer the questions, I can draw important conclusions from the fact that so many are asking them. It is clear as day that the US government has lost credibility among large segments of the American population as well as abroad. Increasingly, Americans do not believe their government or the media that lies for the government. This is why the print and TV media are on the decline, making it easier for the CIA to buy the media to serve its agendas
TechCrunch, Edward Snowden’s Privacy Tips: “Get Rid Of Dropbox,” Avoid Facebook And Google, Anthony Ha, Oct 11, 2014. According to Edward Snowden, people who care about their privacy should stay away from popular consumer Internet services like Dropbox, Facebook, and Google. Snowden conducted a remote interview today as part of the New Yorker Festival, where he was asked a couple of variants on the question of what we can do to protect our privacy. His first answer called for a reform of government policies. Some people take the position that they “don’t have anything to hide,” but he argued that when you say that, “You’re inverting the model of responsibility for how rights work.” He added that on an individual level, people should seek out encrypted tools and stop using services that are “hostile to privacy.” Earlier in the interview, Snowden dismissed claims that increased encryption on iOS will hurt crime-fighting efforts. Even with that encryption, he said law enforcement officials can still ask for warrants that will give them complete access to a suspect’s phone, which will include the key to the encrypted data. Plus, companies like Apple, AT&T, and Verizon can be subpoenaed for their data.
FireDogLake, In Historic Development, Seven Americans Are Notified by US Government They Aren’t on No Fly List, Kevin Gosztola, Oct. 11, 2014. As a result of a court ruling that found 13 United States citizens who were placed on the No Fly List had their rights to “procedural due process” violated, seven US citizens have been notified by the government that they are not currently on that particular watchlist. Veteran Ibrahim Mashal, one of the Americans notified he isn’t currently on the No Fly List, is shown in a file photo.
New York Times, Review: Kill the Messenger, Manohla Dargis, Oct. 10, 2014. At some point in almost every movie set in the world of journalism, someone drops a big speech about the Truth. The big speech in “Kill the Messenger,” a likable pulse-pounding fiction about a real investigative reporter, Gary Webb, arrives near the end. By then, Gary (Jeremy Renner, affable and on cruise control), has tramped, in victory and defeat, through his newspaper, The San Jose Mercury News, and parachuted in and out of danger while chasing a name-making story. It’s the mid-1990s. Mobile phones are as big as clown shoes, and a cutie named Monica Lewinsky has been working in the White House. Gary should be riding high after reporting a series, “Dark Alliance,” linking the Central Intelligence Agency with Nicaraguan contras and the wildfire-like spread of crack through black neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Instead, he sounds and looks haunted or maybe hunted. There are high-horse speeches, long goodbyes, enveloping sadness, a sense of doom; mostly, there is a journalist betrayed by many factors, including his own calling.
Montgomery Advertiser, Fuller's lawyer blowing smoke, Oct. 10, 2014. The lawyer for U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller would have Alabamians believe that the domestic violence case against his client is not such a big deal, that its all been overblown, that it got caught up in the current of negativity surrounding the Ray Rice case in the NFL. What rubbish. Attorney Barry Ragsdale also contends that, as a federal judge, Fuller is not pressured by politics and that calls for his resignation by most of the state's best-known political figures don't matter. More rubbish. These tone-deaf claims change nothing in Fuller's case and serve only to further offend Alabamians, who long ago recognized that his fitness for the bench has been irreparably compromised.
Stop War, John Pilger: The war criminals in our midst who should be in the dock with ISIS, Oct. 10, 2014. ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington and London who, in destroying Iraq as both a state and a society, conspired to commit an epic crime against humanity. By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of some 700,000 people — in a country that had no history of jihadism. The only effective opponents of ISIS are accredited demons of the west – Syria, Iran, Hezbollah. The obstacle is Turkey, an “ally” and a member of NATA, which has conspired with the CIA, MI6 and the Gulf medievalists to channel support to the Syrian “rebels,” including those now calling themselves ISIS.
War Is A Crime, Again the Peace Prize Not for Peace, David Swanson, Oct. 10, 2014. David Swanson is a Virginia-based author, commentator and peace activist shown with his son in a personal photo. The Nobel Peace Prize is required by Alfred Nobel's will, which created it, to go to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." The Nobel Committee insists on awarding the prize to either a leading maker of war or a person who has done some good work in an area other than peace. The 2014 prize has been awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay, which is not a person but two people, and they have not worked for fraternity between nations or the abolition or reduction of standing armies but for the rights of children. If the peace prize is to be a prize for random good works, then there is no reason not to give it to leading advocates for the rights of children. Malala Yousafzay became a celebrity in Western media because she was a victim of designated enemies of Western empire. Had she been a victim of the governments of Saudi Arabia or Israel or any other kingdom or dictatorship being used by Western governments, we would not have heard so much about her suffering and her noble work. Were she primarily an advocate for the children being traumatized by drone strikes in Yemen or Pakistan, she'd be virtually unknown to U.S. television audiences.
Documentary on JFK Assassination, 'Coup in Camelot Advanced Screening, Oct. 26, 2014 at the Texas Theater in Dallas, TX. Film trailer. "Coup in Camelot" is a powerful new documentary about the investigation of America's most infamous cold case -- the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Narrated by Peter Coyote and directed/produced by Stephen Goetsch, "A Coup in Camelot" shines a new light on the "forensic fingerprints" surrounding the tragic day in November 1963 that left the country without its 35th president. From JFK's plans for peace, to the United States immersion in Vietnam after President Kennedy's death, this powerful examination of new research with exclusive interviews and analysis by the top medical, forensic and research experts in the country unfolds to tell the dramatic tale of A Coup in Camelot. Directed and Produced by Stephen Goetsch, Written and Produced by Art Van Kampen, Narrated by Peter Coyote. Featuring Interviews with: Sherry Fiester, Douglas Horne, Dr. David Mantik, Vince Palamara, Dick Russell, Barry Ernest, Jerry Dealey.
Boston Globe, Justice system failed Bernard Baran, There should be consequences, Harvey Silverglate, Oct. 9, 2014. Bernard Baran was freed pending new trial on June 30, 2006, after serving 21 years in prison for child rape. Three years later, all charges were dropped. Baran died a free man on Sept. 1 at age 49. But for an act of God, he would likely have died in prison, forever deemed guilty of raping children at a day care center where he’d worked. Convicted amidst the national panic over supposed sexual abuse of preschool children, Baran fell victim to homophobia, hysteria, and arguable prosecutorial misconduct. While many now recognize these prosecutions as modern-day witch hunts, those responsible for his incarceration remain unapologetic and unpunished.
Huffington Post Black Voices, Author Cornel West: MSNBC And Many Black Journalists 'Just Want Access,' Rahel Gebreyes, Oct. 9, 2014. Cornel West is not happy with the state of black journalism today. In an interview with HuffPost Live on Wednesday, the Black Prophetic Fire author looked back at prominent African-Americans in history and lamented the decline of the independent black press. "We have too many black journalists today who just want access," he said. "[To] be at the White House or be at publicity and it’s understandable. It’s a human thing but it has to be called into question." West called out MSNBC as part of the problem and drew parallels between the network and the legacy of black journalist Carl Rowan, who West said embraced the “mainstream” too warmly. While blacks supported Rowan at the time, West didn’t think he effectively questioned the status quo. "We supported his upward mobility because he was still dealing with white supremacy and racism, but he was co-opted,” he said. “Carl Rowan was co-opted."
Consortium News, The Sordid Contra-Cocaine Saga, Robert Parry (shown in file photo), Oct. 9, 2014. Special Report: If you ever wondered how the mainstream U.S. media changed from the hard-nosed Watergate press of the 1970s into the brown-nose MSM that swallowed the Iraq War lies, a key middle point was the Contra-cocaine scandal of the 1980s/1990s, the subject of a new movie. The movie, "Kill the Messenger," is forcing the mainstream U.S. media to confront one of its most shameful episodes, the suppression of a major national security scandal implicating Ronald Reagan's CIA in aiding and abetting cocaine trafficking by the Nicaraguan Contra rebels in the 1980s -- and then the systematic destruction of journalist Gary Webb when he revived the scandal in the 1990s. Hollywood's treatment of this sordid affair will likely draw another defensive or dismissive response from some of the big news outlets that still don't want to face up to their disgraceful behavior. The New York Times and other major newspapers mocked the Contra-cocaine scandal when Brian Barger and I first exposed it in 1985 for the Associated Press and then savaged Webb -- shown in a photo with one of his major headlines, in 1996 when he traced some of the Contra-cocaine into the manufacture of crack which ravaged American cities. So, when you're watching this movie or responding to questions from friends about whether they should believe its storyline, you might want to know what is or is not fact. What is remarkable about this tale is that so much of it now has been established by official government documents. In other words, you don't have to believe me and my dozens of sources; you can turn to the admissions by the Central Intelligence Agency's inspector general or to evidence in the National Archives.
The Nation, The Government War Against Reporter James Risen, The vendetta against him and whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling reflects an antidemocratic goal: the uninformed consent of the governed, Norman Solomon and Marcy Wheeler, Oct. 8, 2014 (Oct. 27 print edition). Ever since New York Times reporter James Risen received his first subpoena from the Justice Department more than six years ago, occasional news reports have skimmed the surface of a complex story. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sterling—a former undercover CIA officer now facing charges under the Espionage Act, whom the feds want Risen to identify as his source—is cast as a disgruntled ex-employee in trouble for allegedly spilling the classified beans. But the standard media narratives about Risen and Sterling have skipped over deep patterns of government retaliation against recalcitrant journalists and whistleblowers. Those patterns are undermining press freedom, precluding the informed consent of the governed and hiding crucial aspects of US foreign policy. The recent announcement of Eric Holder’s resignation as attorney general has come after nearly five years of the Obama administration extending and intensifying the use of the Justice Department for retribution against investigative journalism and whistleblowing. John Brennan—President Obama’s former counterterrorism czar and now CIA director—has been at notable cross-purposes with both Risen and Sterling for more than a decade.
OpEdNews, Betraying Syrian Kurds; ISIL Slaughter Looming at Kobane as Turks Watch, Michael Collins (shown in photo), Oct. 8, 2014. The looming destruction of the Syrian Kurds in Kobane shows that the war on ISIL isn't about terror. It's about big power politics. The people? Who are they? Turkey, the United States, and the rest of NATO fiddle while Kobane burns.
First Look / Intercept, Key Democrats, Led By Hillary Clinton, Leave No Doubt That Endless War Is Official U.S. Doctrine, Glenn Greenwald, Oct. 7, 2014. Long before Americans were introduced to the new 9/11 era super-villains called ISIS and Khorasan, senior Obama officials were openly and explicitly stating that America's "war on terror," already 12 years old, would last at least another decade. Leon Panetta, the long-time Democratic Party operative who served as Obama's Defense Secretary and CIA Director, said this week of Obama's new bombing campaign: "I think we're looking at kind of a 30-year war." Then we have Hillary Clinton (whom Panetta gushed would make a "great" president). Like Panetta (and most establishment Republicans), Clinton made clear in her book that virtually all of her disagreements with Obama's foreign policy were the by-product of her view of Obama as insufficiently hawkish, militaristic and confrontational.
Washington Post, Twitter sues U.S., wants to disclose requests for data, Ellen Nakashima, Oct. 7, 2014. Justice Department restrictions limiting what Twitter can publicly say about the government’s surveillance orders violate the company’s First Amendment rights, the lawsuit alleges. Twitter, the world’s largest microblogging platform, on Tuesday sued the U.S. government, alleging that the Justice Department’s restrictions on what the company can say publicly about the government’s national security requests for user data violate the firm’s First Amendment rights. With its lawsuit, the San Francisco-based firm is seeking to go further than five other technology companies that earlier this year reached a settlement with the government on the permissible scope of disclosure at a time of heightened concern about the scale of government surveillance.
President Barack Obama meets with members of his national security team and senior staff to receive an update on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Administration’s response efforts Oct. 6, 2014. Vice President Joe Biden participates via secure video conference. White House Photo by Pete Souza.
RIA Novosti, Nuland's Visit To Kiev Might Bring Money for Covert Military Help, Propaganda: Analyst, Vadim Ghirda, Oct. 7, 2014. US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland held talks in Kiev on resolving the situation in the southeastern Ukraine. US Assistant Secretary of State's visit to the Ukrainian capital might bring the money for covert military assistance and propaganda efforts in the conflict-torn country, Andrew Kreig, Washington-based author and analyst, told RIA Novosti. "Ambassador Nuland and her contacts in the intelligence agencies and so-called 'non-government' and 'democracy-building' organizations can provide substantial, hard-to-trace support far beyond the $50 million that the White House announced," Kreig told RIA Novosti.
Washington Post, DOJ to review use of fake Facebook pages by federal law enforcement, Sari Horwitz, Oct. 7, 2014. A woman has sued after a DEA agent set up a profile in her name as part of a criminal investigation.
AP via Huffington Post, Federal Court Rejects Virginia Black-Majority District, Staff report, Oct. 7, 2014. A federal court has struck down the boundaries of Virginia's black-majority 3rd congressional district. The 2-1 ruling Tuesday by a panel of judges leaves the district intact for November's elections but orders the General Assembly to draw new boundaries by April 1, 2015. The court ruled in favor of two Virginia voters who accused the General Assembly of "racial gerrymandering" by improperly packing African-Americans into a black-majority district to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents. The GOP holds an 8-3 advantage in Virginia's congressional delegation. U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, the state's only black congressman, has represented the district since 1993.
Al Jazeera America, Biden calls UAE prince to clarify Syria remarks, Wire reports, Oct. 6, 2014. The vice president did not mean to imply in recent remarks that the Gulf ally was supporting Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria. Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday called the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates to clarify that he did not mean to imply in his remarks last week that the Gulf ally was supporting Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria, the White House said. Biden spoke with Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and a key Emirati leader. Sunday's phone call came after a day after Biden offered a similar apology to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about comments he made made at Harvard University on Thursday. Biden angered U.S. allies when he suggested that Turkey, Qatar and the UAE had extended "billions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons" to extremist groups trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president. Editor's note: Biden made the mistake of speaking factually, and therefore had humble himself before the Mideast potentates.
President Barack Obama, with Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., holds a meeting with intelligence community leaders in the Situation Room of the White House, Jan. 8, 2014 (White House Photo by Pete Souza).
Washington Post, New York Times’s James Risen says Obama ‘hates the press,’ Erik Wemple, Oct. 6, 2014. James Risen just added to the inventory of quotes from high-profile journalists that the Obama administration is a danger to a free press. “I think [President] Obama hates the press. I think he doesn’t like the press and he hates leaks,” Risen said in an address at Colby College in Maine. “I don’t think any of this would be happening under the Obama administration if Obama didn’t want to do it.” Risen has been fighting a subpoena to testify about the source for information he published about CIA efforts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program in his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. A chapter in the book details a bumbling plan by the CIA to fluster Iran’s scientists, and in 2010 the government indicted Jeffrey Sterling for passing along information to Risen for the book. Risen’s long fight against the subpoena to testify about his source has been covered extensively. Though departing Attorney General Eric Holder has said that Risen won’t be jailed in connection with his refusal to testify, Risen apparently hasn’t ruled out such a scenario: “I would go to jail to protect the confidentiality of sources,” he said at Colby College.
Washington Post, Leon Panetta, other former Obama subordinates show stunning disloyalty, Dana Milbank, Oct. 6, 2014. Leon Panetta, in an interview with USA Today’s Susan Page, criticized Obama in harsh terms that would have been dismissed as partisan sniping — if Panetta weren’t a Democrat who had served as Obama’s CIA director and secretary of defense. Panetta criticized his former boss for having “lost his way” — allowing the power vacuum in Iraq that created the Islamic State, rejecting Panetta’s and Hillary Clinton’s advice to arm the Syrian rebels and failing to enforce his own “red line” barring Syria’s use of chemical weapons. The interview was timed with this week’s launch of Panetta’s book, in which he wrote that Obama “avoids the battle, complains, and misses opportunities.” Panetta (shown in an official photo) also wrote of Obama’s “frustrating reticence to engage his opponents and rally support for his cause” and his tendency to rely “on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader.”
Who What Why, The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11, Peter Dale Scott (shown in a file photo), Oct. 5, 2014. Author Peter Dale Scott, considered the father of Deep Politics, explains the influential role of the government’s highest-level emergency planning group in four of the biggest events in the last half-century of American history. Here’s how personnel from the “Doomsday Project,” as the Continuity of Government group is known, tie together JFK’s assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11. Editor's Note: Scott made the presentation at the Assassination Archives and Research Center conference Sept. 28 on the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report.
Al.com, Removing Fuller would be long, arduous process, Mary Troyan, Oct. 5, 2014. Impeaching a federal judge is an arduous, time-consuming process that Congress has used sparingly, which may explain why no lawmaker has asked the U.S. House to impeach U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller. Most members of Alabama's congressional delegation called for Fuller's resignation almost three weeks ago, after he was charged with battery of his wife. Fuller, who works at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, has been suspended from the bench. His criminal case in Georgia is pending and his fellow judges are investigating whether further disciplinary action is warranted. But he has not voluntarily stepped down. "The request to resign is definitely pressure," said Charles Geyh, a professor at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University and author of When Courts and Congress Collide. "The question is whether (Fuller) wants to try to weather that storm. Because impeachment is a hassle."
Forbes, Boston Marathon Bombing Trial: Why Are Judges Loath To Change The Venue? Harvey Silverglate (shown in file photo), Oct. 5, 2014. Federal trial judge George A. O’Toole, Jr., recently refused to grant a change of venue motion in the upcoming Boston Marathon bombing-murder trial, illustrating with startling clarity that judges remain reluctant to let high-profile, hotly contentious and historic trials slip out of their hands, even when a fair trial demands a more disinterested jury (and, for that matter, judge). On September 24th Judge O’Toole did what experience predicted but what logic and justice would appear to weigh against: He turned down a request by the lawyers for bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (shown at right of Silverglate) to move his upcoming trial out of Boston, and to a venue – Washington, DC – where polling data indicated that fewer prospective jurors were willing to see the defendant sentenced to death.
McClatchy DC, Sources: U.S. air strikes in Syria targeted French agent who defected to al Qaida, Mitchell Prothero, Oct. 5, 2014. A former French intelligence officer who defected to al Qaida was among the targets of the first wave of U.S. air strikes in Syria last month, according to people familiar with the defector’s movements and identity. Two European intelligence officials described the former French officer as the highest ranking defector ever to go over to the terrorist group and called his defection one of the most dangerous developments in the West’s long confrontation with al Qaida. The identity of the officer is a closely guarded secret. The former officer apparently survived the assault, which included strikes by 47 cruise missiles.
World Crisis Radio, Obama Security Breaches Are Threat Messages from Wall Street/War Party/Rogue Network, Webster Tarpley, Oct. 5, 2014. September Incidents Seek to Goad Obama into Wider Syria, Ukraine Wars. Michaele and Tareq Salahi had no invitations but were able to crash a White House state dinner anyway. Shown here: Obama greeting the Salahis in the Blue Room of the White House on Nov. 24, 2009. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in the background. The message to Obama from the enablers: We can get to you anytime. So give us what we want.
War Is A Crime, Beyond '935 Lies,' David Swanson, Oct. 4, 2014. Charles Lewis' book, 935 Lies, would make a fine introduction to reality for anyone who believes the U.S. government usually means well or corporations tend to tell the truth in the free market. And it would make an excellent introduction to the decline and fall of the corporate media. Even if these topics aren't new to you, this book has something to add and retells the familiar quite well. The familiar topics include the Gulf of Tonkin, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, the civil rights movement, U.S. aggression and CIA overthrows, Pinochet, Iran-Contra, lying tobacco companies, and Edward R. Murrow. Lewis brings insight to these and other topics, and if he doesn't document that things were better before the 1960s, he does establish that horrible things have been getting worse since. Points I quibble with:
- Human Rights Watch as a model media organization? Really?
- The New America Foundation as a model media organization? Really?
- Think tanks as a great hope for integrity in public life? Really?
- After making 935 of the George W. Bush gang's lies a book title, you aren't sure he "knowingly" lied? Seriously?
New York Times, The Washington Post Regains Its Place at the Table, David Carr, Oct. 5, 2014. Nothing in God’s creation is ever as good as it once was, but the Washington Post is coming pretty close. The once-embattled newspaper is in the middle of a great run, turning out the kind of reporting that journalists — and readers — live for. That includes coverage that played a role in the resignation of the director of the Secret Service and investigative work that eventually led to the conviction of a former governor of Virginia on corruption charges. The people who work at the Post have been clobbered for decades for not matching the glory days of Watergate — it’s doubtful anyone ever will — but more recently, after a series of buyouts and some management blunders, the decline in ambition and quality was there for all to see. Editor's note: Warning this is a shameless puff-piece that equates prizes and spending with public service.
Politico, George W. Bush: I think Jeb wants it, Kendall Breitman, Oct. 2, 2014. Video. Former President George W. Bush, shown in an official photo, says he thinks his brother Jeb wants to be in the White House and added that he is pushing his younger sibling to run for president in 2016. “I think he wants to be president,’” George Bush said on Fox News. “I think [Jeb would] be a great president. He understands what it’s like to be president.” Jeb Bush has cited his family as a major factor in whether he will seek the Republican nomination and said he plans to make a decision next year. George Bush said he thinks that Jeb has yet to make up his mind about running. “[Jeb] and I had a conversation. I of course was pushing for him to run for president, he of course was saying, ‘I haven’t made up my mind,’” the former president said. “I truly don’t think he has, and plus I don’t think he liked it that his older brother was pushing him.”
Boston Globe, Stephen Lynch an unlikely hero of conspiracy theorists, Bryan Bender, Oct. 2, 2014. It remains a hidden — and highly controversial — chapter of the official record of the 9/11 attacks: the 28 pages that were excised from an 800-page public report about what US spy agencies knew about the terrorist plot that killed nearly 3,000 people. For Representative Stephen Lynch, a South Boston Democrat who has pored over them in a secure room in the US Capitol, declassifying the findings has been a goal for nearly a year — one he considers as urgent as ever. According to multiple people who have read it, the secret annex from a special congressional inquiry in 2002 reveals support for some of the 19 Al Qaeda hijackers from Saudi Arabia. Lynch, who with a Republican colleague has sponsored a resolution calling on the Obama administration to make the report public, said he believes the information has direct bearing on the new war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and other militant Sunni Muslim groups that are believed to be drawing some of their funding from the same Arab states that America considers key allies.
Facebook, Secret Service Expert: Joe Clancy 'Fantastic Choice,' Vince Palamara, My Facebook post sums up my feelings: “Yes! Joe Clancy, a great American and one of the best Secret Service agents ever (and a friend of a friend!), is now SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR, replacing the inept Julia Pierson. (although I am sure she is a nice lady). Joe attended West Point and graduated from Villanova University and is one tough guy you do NOT want to mess with. No exaggeration- I am a huge critic of their performance on 11/22/63, yet guys like Joe Clancy are fantastic; Clint Eastwood and John Wayne plus!”
Al.com, Judge Fuller's attorney: Incident has been overblown, Mary Troyan, Oct. 2, 2014. Two weeks after members of Congress asked U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to resign, the embattled judge shows no signs that he is considering stepping down. Fuller's attorney said this week that the alleged domestic-violence incident between Fuller and his wife, which resulted in misdemeanor battery charges being filed, has been overblown and that federal judges aren't susceptible to political pressure. "All those fine people are entitled to their opinion, but that holds no more sway over him than anything else," said Birmingham attorney Barry Ragsdale. "He knows what occurred and the conduct he engaged in and what he hasn't, and he recognizes those politicians have a need to respond to public pressure and public passions that a federal judge doesn't have to respond to."
Secretary of State John Kerry embraces Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden greet the Israeli delegation prior to a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Oct. 1, 2014 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).
New York Times, Secret Service Chief Resigns in Scandal Over Security Lapses, Michael S. Schmidt and Michael D. Shear, Oct. 1, 2014. Julia Pierson’s resignation came less than a day after lawmakers from both parties said they feared for the lives of the president and others in the protection of the agency. President Obama concluded that new leadership and a new direction was needed at the Secret Service “in light of recent and accumulating reports about the agency,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Wednesday. On Sept. 19, an intruder jumped over the fence around the White House and made it deep into the mansion. And late Tuesday, the agency acknowledged that just days before that breach, an armed man was allowed to ride in an elevator with the president during an event at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Pierson is shown in an official photo.
OpEdNews, Cuban Exile Militant Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Andrew Kreig, Oct. 1, 2014. A former CIA assassination team leader told a conference audience Sept. 26 in a blockbuster revelation that he saw accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald with their mutual CIA handler six weeks before the killing and there would have been no anti-Castro movement in Cuba without the CIA funding. Separately, the general counsel of the last major government investigation into the killing issued a statement saying the CIA had deceived him and the rest of the public during the late 1970s inquiry into the validity of the Warren report.
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Call to Action
The Justice Integrity Project urges readers to sign the petition to President Obama for clemency for former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (1999-2003), whom our research indicates was unjustly convicted in 2006 on politically motivated corruption charges. The petition is here. The goal is 100,000 signatures, with more than 50,000 already. Siegelman is shown above with his wife (at center), son and daughter. He was re-imprisoned at age 67 in September 2012 for nearly six more years in Louisiana.
The Project has extensively documented injustice in the case. An unprecedented coalition of former law enforcers, scholars, and others has denounced the prosecution as selective punishment for a non-crime: As governor in 1999, Siegelman reappointed to an unpaid state board a donor to a non-profit foundation, with Siegelman receiving no money. For this, authorities destroyed his life with more than a dozen years of investigations costing taxpayers vast amounts. For background, see the official site by his supporters and our recent column.
This is one of the most serious, detailed public interest books I have ever read, and I do read quite a bit.
I am in Afghanistan, with very little time to myself, and regret I have not been able to sit down with this book and give it the double read that it merits. As with any book that I consider a potential blockbuster, I started with the index, notes, and bibliography. All three are deep. This book is both a citizen's primer, and a reference work that will stand the test of time in helping future generations of students. It is a starting point for truth in the public interest.
I am one of those very few non-fiction reviewers that is also a former CIA clandestine case officer and a career intelligence officer. My reviews of over 300 books on intelligence are easily found (each review leading back to their Amazon home page) are easily found by searching for < Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Intelligence (Most)> without the brackets.
Imagine my astonishment, then, when I get through the first part of the book and discover that Obama may be CIA's second wholly-owned president. Obama's parents appear clearly documented as non-official cover CIA officers (officers spy, agents are the people they recruit) responsible for spotting, assessing, and recruiting among the Islamic up and comers. This section alone makes this book priceless. Read More...