Dec. 9 Radio Update: WikiLeaks, Israeli Justice

Joe Lauria, the Wall Street Journal's United Nations correspondent, says most of his fellow UN correspondents are delighted with the revelations from secret U.S. documents released by Wikileaks and its partners from its recent stash of 250,000

secret papers. Speaking on the weekly Washington Update public affairs show that I co-host with Scott Draughon, Lauria, left, said the leaks tend to confirm U.S. intelligence-gathering of a kind that are suspected of all major nations, but are hard to prove. Especially interesting, he said, was disclosure that the State Department has sought DNA and other personal information about diplomats from many nations for unknown purposes.

Another guest on the show was Craig Corrie, the father of Mideast peace proponent Rachel Corrie, right, an Evergreen State College student who was killed at age 23 in Palestine on March 16, 2003 trying to prevent the demolition of the home of a Palestinian family. 

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New Articles Highlight Washington Post Conflicts

The Washington Post published two articles about its Kaplan subsidiary on Dec. 7 that illustrate themes we addressed in our blog the same day, which we entitled, "The Washington Post's Hidden Agenda?" Our colum addressed the inherent conflict when the Kaplan subsidiary provides 62% of the Post's revenue, with some methods allegedly so deceptive they are being aggressively investigated by state and federal authorities and other methods government funded or otherwise controversial. A newspaper's watchdog function on behalf of its readers, who contribute 4% of the Post's revenue via circulation and some 15% via advertising, is inevitably compromised when the lion's share of revenue is from another source.
In a related matter, the prominent Democratic lawyer and political commentator Lanny Davis founded a firm that represents the for-profit education industry, of which Kaplan is a prominent part. The news media, including the Post, frequently quote Davis regarding his views, which tend to espouse similar policies as the Post's editorial page. Melanie Sloan, longtime executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Reponsibility in Ethics in Washington (CREW), has joined the Davis firm. She and CREW wrote a letter to Congress last summer suggesting that critics of the for-profit education sector were overzealous. Her letter followed a political column by Davis in a Capitol Hill newspaper making similar points. She and Davis say they came to independent conclusions, and decided only afterward to work together.
The new Post articles are excerpted below, with the full stories available by clicking the links:
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Dec. 7 News Round-Up: Tough Question for Rice

Investigative reporter Lucy Komisar today illustrates the kind of tough questions that reporters at corporate-owned outlets are increasingly reluctant to ask public officials and former public officials for fear of creating antagonism against the reporter, media organization and/or affiliates of the media outlet. Komisar reports her question here, followed by its convoluted answer:

George W. Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations Friday and used the occasion to attack WikiLeaks. I used the occasion — an HBO History Makers Series moderated by TV anchor Katie Couric– to ask her a question.

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The Washington Post’s Hidden Agenda?

By Andrew Kreig /JIP Executive Director's Blog

The Justice Integrity Project announced last month that we could fulfill our mission of legal reform only if we expanded our commentary to include media trends that curtail aggressive reporting of documented abuses. Today, we’ll examine how the Washington Post's revenue stream from its Kaplan subsidiary creates a hidden agenda that undermines the paper's coverage of sensitive issues involving government officials.

Kaplan provides 62% of Post revenue. Its educational services include those from government-supported initiatives in both K-12 and advanced education, such as for-profit colleges and various test-preparation courses. This Kaplan-generated revenue compares to just 4% from newspaper circulation, which is augmented by about 15% in newspaper advertising, according to recent quarterly reports.

On Dec. 6, Dr. David Goodstein published a column in the Daily Censored entitled, “So You Want To Blow Your Whistle?”  Goodstein, 72., described how the Kaplan-owned CHI Institute in Broomall, PA promptly fired him from his position as director of education in 2006 after he expressed reluctance to bribe hospital CFOs to place two externs in a program. The program cost students $18,000 per year in tuition, 90% of it funded with federal grant money. Students and state investigators suspected that the program failed in suspicious ways to provide adequate preparation for a good job.

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Dec. 6 News: Stripper Further Implicates Georgia Judge

By Andrew Kreig

In the Justice Integrity Project's most current national round-up of news about misconduct allegations involving law enforcement, a Georgia stripper further implicated a disgraced federal judge. Also, a former Wall Street Journal editor decried U.S. State Department lawlessness apparent from the most recent Wikileaks release. 

Additionally, a New Jersey radio station will host the Project today in discussing our latest report on the national implications of an official corruption trial unfolding in Newark's federal court. Excerpted below are columns by Alabama legal commentator Roger Shuler, left, and former Journal associate editor and Reagan assistant Treasury secretary Paul Craig Roberts:

Legal Schnauzer, Did Drug Abuse and Racism Effect a Federal Judge's Rulings? Roger Shuler, Dec. 6, 2010. Jack T. Camp (right) recently pleaded guilty to federal drug charges related to his relationship with a stripper and resigned as a U.S. district judge in Atlanta. The Camp investigation produced evidence that indicates he was not an impartial arbiter on the bench, according to an article in the Newnan (GA) Times-Herald.

OpEd News, Western Civilization Has Shed Its Values, Paul Craig Roberts (below), Dec. 5, 2010. In my opinion, the most important of all the cables leaked [in Wikileaks] is the secret directive sent by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to 33 US embassies and consulates ordering US diplomats to provide credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, frequent-flyer account numbers and biographic and biometric information including DNA information on UN officials from the Secretary General down, including "heads of peace operations and political field missions."

The directive has been characterized as the spy directive, but this is an unusual kind of spying. Usually, spying focuses on what other governments think, how they are likely to vote on US initiatives, who can be bribed, and on sexual affairs that could be used to blackmail acquiescence to US agendas. In contrast, the information requested in the secret directive is the kind of information that would be used to steal a person's identity. (Emphasis in original.)

The Project's radio interview will be New Jersey’s WRRC 107.7 FM on the Carson’s Corner show at 3:30 p.m., available through much of the central part of the state. We'll focus on our latest report, “Christie's Corruption Case Shows Horrid Legacy of 'Loyal Bushies, Cover-ups.'" The report draws national implications from the ongoing corruption trial in Newark’s federal court of former New Jersey state assemblyman Harvey Smith.

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Dec. 4 News Round-Up: Wikileaks Attacks?

Listed below is our editor's selection of news and opinion articles relevant to the Justice Integrity Project mission, primarily from independent news outlets: 

OpEd News, Is the USA Attacking With Denial of Service Attacks? Rob Kall, Dec. 3, 2010. It has been reported that was taken down because of massive denial of service attacks. This raises the question, "Who is coordinating these attacks?" Some experts have speculated that some hackers who were annoyed by Wikileaks unleashed these attacks. I don't buy it. There's something more interesting going on here. I think the US government may be involved and that raises a lot of questions.

Washington Post/Tikkun, Save Obama's presidency by challenging him on the left, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Dec. 4, 2010. [T]here is a real way to save the Obama presidency: by challenging him in the 2012 presidential primaries with a candidate who would unequivocally commit to a well-defined progressive agenda and contrast it with the Obama administration's policies....Far from weakening his chances for reelection, this kind of progressive primary challenge could save Obama if he moves in the desired direction. And if he holds firm to his current track, he's a goner anyway.
American Scholar, Unauthorized, But Not Untrue: The real story of a biographer in a celebrity culture of public denials, media timidity, and legal threats, Kitty Kelley, Winter 2011. Shortly after my book Oprah: A Biography was published last April, one of Oprah Winfrey’s open-minded fans wrote to her website saying she wanted to read the book. Oprah’s message-board moderator hurled a thunderbolt in response: “This book is an unauthorized biography.” The word unauthorized clanged on the screen like a burglar alarm. Suddenly I heard the rumble of thousands of Oprah book buyers charging out of Barnes & Noble—empty-handed. Editor's Note: Kitty Kelley has accepted an invitation for the MTL "Washington Update" radio show co-hosted by JIP Director Andrew Kreig on a date TBA. We are proud to share her unique expertise regarding the marketplace for ideas and information.

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