Feds Launch More Tools To Capture, Pressure Suspects

Washington Post, Eyes in the Sky: Privacy issues hover over police drone use, Peter Finn, Jan. 23, 2011. The drone technology that has revolutionized warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is entering the national airspace: Unmanned aircraft are patrolling the border with Mexico, searching for missing persons over difficult terrain, flying into hurricanes to collect weather data, photographing traffic accident scenes and tracking the spread of forest fires. But the operation outside Austin presaged what could prove to be one of the most far-reaching and potentially controversial uses of drones: as a new and relatively cheap surveillance tool in domestic law enforcement.

Huffington Post, Twitter Diplomacy: U.S. Diplomacy Embracing Twitter Amid Global Crises, Matthew Lee, Jan. 23, 2011. The State Department is tightening its embrace of Twitter and other social media as crises grip the Middle East and Haiti, with officials finding new voice, cheek and influence in the era of digital diplomacy. Even as it struggles to contain damage caused by WikiLeaks' release of classified internal documents, the department is reaching out across the Internet. It's bypassing traditional news outlets to connect directly and in real time with overseas audiences in the throes of unrest and upheaval.

CBS News, One-Fifth of House Freshmen Sleep in Offices: A Short Commute, Blow-up Mattresses and Crock Pots Spell Fiscal Conservatism Among New Members, Phil Hirschkorn and  Wyatt Andrews, Jan. 22, 2011. At least 21 new members of the House have been dubbed part of the "Slumber Party" -- representatives who have announced they will live and sleep in their office.
Weekly Standard via Paul Ryan website, Knowledge Is Power: Paul Ryan and Bob Corker are unusual members of Congress. They know a lot, Fred Barnes, Jan. 17, 2011. Even with the addition of Corker [R-TN] and Ryan [R-WI], the roll call of members of Congress, past and present, whose mastery of complex issues brought power and prominence is remarkably short.
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Critics Attack Swedish PM

Below is a selection of significant blogs and news articles on legal reform and related political, security and media factors. The articles contain a sample of news. Click the links to see full articles.

Professor’s Blog, Swedish PM Reinfeldt lies in London on Assange extradition, Marcello Vittorio Ferrada de Noli (Italy) Jan. 21, 2011. According to a breaking AP news 21/01 2001, Swedish PM Reinfeldt told reporters Thursday (in London) that "Sweden's policy is not to extradite people to nations with the death penalty. But he said Sweden's courts, not its government, would decide that." This is utterly untrue. Everybody in Sweden with some insight in domestic political affairs, knows that the Swedish government has collaborated in the rendition of political prisoners labeled in the USA as terrorists to countries in which the death penalty is in use. Decisions of this kind taken in recent years by the Swedish government had absolutely nothing to do with the Swedish courts, which have been in the best case overruled or simply -- like in the most notorious cases -- not even engaged.

OpEd News, Justice Department Leakers of Classified Info. Get a Pass, Jesselyn Radack, Jan. 20, 2011. It is indisputable that the Obama, via the Holder Justice Department, has brought more "leak" prosecutions than any presidential Administration, ever. To add hypocrisy to the injury of selective and malicious prosecutions of Shamai Liebowitz, Thomas Drake, Stephen Kim, and Jeffrey Sterling -- the Justice Department's own attorneys are immune from the "war on leaks." U.S. District Court Judge Maxine Chesney ruled last week that the Justice Department does not have to disclose the identities of two lawyers who were found by the Office of Professional Responsibility to have intentionally disclosed classified information to the media in 1996.

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Update Radio: Comcast-NBC, WikiLeaks Controversies

By Andrew Kreig / Director's Blog

Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior vice president and policy director at the Media Access Project, described on my Washington Update radio show today the implications of recent controversial decisions by the Federal Communications Commission to approve Comcast’s deal with NBC Universal this week and create “Net Neutrality” rules. "Andy" Schwartzman has directed Media Access Project’s (MAP) policy efforts since June, 1978. His group's take on the Comcast deal? "FCC Approval of Comcast-NBCU Colossus Will Have Devastating Impact On Free Speech."

The discussion was broadcast Live! nationwide at noon (ET) with my co-host Scott Draughon. You can listen via the archive on My Technology Lawyer Radio Network. Click here for access. We began the show with descriptions of our own investigative reporting on the WikiLeaks government probes in Sweden and the United States, which prompted a reprint of one of our stories today on The Swedish Wire, as described more fully below. In other significant news, the New York Times reported that a federal appeals court hearing yesterday obtained by Democratic former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman showed that Republican judges long hostile to his defense on corruption charges may be reconsidering. This is in light of a Supreme Court decision last June that questioned "honest services" convictions in the case. Schwartzman, above right, is one of the nation's leading media attorneys advocating public interest positions. He has appeared on behalf of MAP before the Congress, the FCC and the courts on issues such as cable TV regulation, minority and female ownership and employment in the mass media,”equal time” laws and cable “open access."

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Jan. 18 Media Advisory on WikiLeaks/Assange News

The Justice Integrity Project updated our recent reports linking the ongoing probes of WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange in Sweden and in the United States. This provided a summary for other researchers of:
Swedish flag1) Here are our major recent investigative reports and opinion columns on the topics of free press, national security and personal privacy: 

2) Here are our recent radio or TV interviews on the topic (available globally by archive):

3) Our archive of such reports arranged by date is in our website section labelled News Reports accessible at the top of our home page, with most of the reports also published as notes to a blog here, typically within a day or two of original publication.

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We Honor the King, Eisenhower Legacies on Jan. 17

By Andrew Kreig / Director's Blog

of the former general's powerful remarks warning the public to become vigilent against the threat to democracy posed by what he called a new "military-industrial complex" unprecedented in United States history. His granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, amplifies that message in a new essay excerpted below.

The date is also the national holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated at age 39 after helping lead the struggle culminating in the major civil rights laws in the 1960s. In 1955, he led the non-violent bus boycott in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama after Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of a bus as required under segregation. He is portrayed at right in a 1966 photo via Wikipedia with Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. Johnson, elected to the Senate in 1948, had won from fellow segregationists virtually unprecedented influence early in his career because they believed his acumen could help segregation endure. Instead, Johnson as president shocked his former Southern mentors by pushing through rights legislation. The final push came because of violence in the South and continuing discrimination throughout the nation, including the murder of civil rights workers in Mississippi, the bombing of a black Alabama church and the brutal suppression of Alabama civil rights marchers in Alabama. However, Johnson warned King, according to biographers, that signing civil rights legislation under Democratic leadership in Washington would lead to the demise of the party in the Deep South for generations.

The nearly decade-long, Republican-led effort to pursue former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges, thereby removing the state's last Democrat of potential statewide electability, suggests one way that Johnson's prediction unfolded, as amplified below.

Click on the links to see the full columns on these and other topics excerpted as follows:

Washington Post, 50 years after the 'military-industrial complex,' what Eisenhower really meant, Susan Eisenhower, Jan. 14, 2011. I've always found it rather haunting to watch old footage of my grandfather, Dwight Eisenhower, giving his televised farewell address to the nation on Jan. 17, 1961.The 50-year-old film all but crackles with age as the president makes his earnest, uncoached speech. I was 9 years old at the time, and it wasn't until years later that I understood the importance of his words or the lasting impact of his message.

Tickle the Wire, Happy MLK Day, Allan Lengel, Jan. 17, 2011. A salute to a man who did some extraordinary things during an extraordinary era. He died at the young age of 39.The man left behind so many great quotes, including this one: "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

OpEd News, My Upcoming Appeal Hearing on January 19th, Don Siegelman, Jan. 17, 2011. I believe that the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the earlier ruling of the 11th Circuit and sent my case back because the U.S.S.C. [U.S. Supreme Court] wants a different result...That is good news for me. If I do not win ....every governor, every U.S. Member of Congress and Presidents Bush and Obama will be subject to prosecution....Also keep in mind we have a motion for a new trial pending which lays open the government's misconduct starting with [Karl] Rove and ending with Bill Canary [Rove's friend and longtime Republican ally, and husband of the U.S. attorney whose office prosecuted Siegelman -- and who has been retained so far by the Obama administration].

">RT, Can Gov. Don Siegelman stay out of jail? Thom Hartmann, Jan. 18, 2011. Video interview. "You don't have a Constitutional right not to be framed."

Locust Fork News-Journal, Glynn Wilson, Jan. 17, 2011. Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman will be back in court again on Wednesday, Jan. 19, this time before the same panel of Republican-appointed justices on the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld parts of his conviction in Atlanta two years ago. “I believe that the U S Supreme Court vacated the earlier ruling of the Eleventh Circuit and sent my case back because the court wants a different result,” Siegelman said. “That’s good news for me.”