June 2014 News Reports


Editor's Choice: Scroll below for our monthly roundup of June 2014 news

June 30

Supreme Court male GOP majorityWashington Post, Justices side with employers on birth control mandate, Robert Barnes, June 30, 2014. In one of the most contentious cases of the year, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations can opt out of the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court struck a key part of President Obama’s health-care law Monday, ruling that some companies may refuse to offer insurance coverage of specific birth Samuel Alitocontrol methods if they conflict with the owner’s religious beliefs. In a 5 to 4 ruling that pitted religious freedom against equal benefits for female workers, the court’s conservatives decided that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) gave employers the right to withhold certain birth control methods from insurance coverage. The contraceptive mandate “clearly imposes a substantial burden” on the owner’s beliefs, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., shown at right, wrote for the majority. It was the first time that the court had decided that the federal law covers corporations, not just the “persons” referred to in its text.

Time, Supreme Court Deals Public Unions a Blow, Haley Sweetland Edwards, June 30, 2014. The Supreme Court decided Monday that public sector unions cannot collect “fair share” fees from non-union-members, in a 5-4 decision that dealt unions a sharp blow. The much-awaited decision limits, but does not reverse, the court’s well-trodden ruling from 1977, known as Abood. In that case, the court found that requiring non-union-members to pay “fair share” fees did not violate workers’ First Amendment rights, so long as those fees do not go to advancing specifically “political or ideological” ends. The decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, marks a loss for public sector unions, which may see their coffers and power depleted in coming years, although it’s not the worst-case scenario that many labor activists feared.

FireDogLake, It’s Not Just Congress: Americans Also Losing Confidence in Presidency and Supreme Court, Jon Walker Monday June 30, 2014. The American people have been losing confidence in all three branches of government according to a new poll by Gallup. Confidence in Congress is at a new low at 7 percent, but so is confidence in the Supreme Court at 30 percent. I find that latter number very interesting because the Supreme Court is the branch most dependent of the confidence of the American people. The Supreme Court lacks the democratic legitimacy of Congress or the Presidency and with lifetime appointments it is one of the most poorly designed major governing institutions in the first world. It inherently needs the American people and the rest of the government to see it as fair for it to be able to really do its job.

White House Chronicles, When Less Was More in the News Business, Llewellyn King, June 30, 2014. When I first worked at the newspaper trade in Washington, back in 1966, it was a different journalism. Covering the White House was a simple matter: once through the gate, you could stroll through the West Wing and talk to people. Today, even if you have a regular or so-called hard pass, you are restricted to walking down the driveway to the press briefing room. If you have an appointment, or want to smell the flowers, you have to have an escort – usually a young person from the press office. Why this is, and what the purpose of this minder is, nobody has been able to tell me. It is so dispiriting to see the equanimity with which reporters accept their "prisoner status.”  It did not happen overnight, but gradually under president after president. In my time in Washington, reporter freedom has been curtailed at the White House to the point that unless you want to go to the briefing, there is no point in going through the gate. No news is available because you, the reporter, are not at liberty to collect it. But the real change is the proliferation of political media. This means there are more reporters chasing snippets of news. The big issues get lost as often as not while the news hounds are baying after trivia, little non-events, misstatements, or failure to apologize for imagined sleights. Also, White House staffers and people who work on Capitol Hill have less and less confidence in reporters and are less frank with them. I find very little point in interviewing Congress people these days because they worry that whatever they say will, if you like, go into their record to be dredged up way in the future.

National Enquirer, World Exclusive! Bill’s Stunning Confession: 'I’m Not Chelsea’s Real Dad!' Bob Hartlein, June 30 (print version July 7, 2014). Former President Bill Clinton once admitted he wasn’t the biological father of the couple’s only child -- daughter Chelsea. That’s the explosive claim of former Clinton aide Larry Nichols -- who further claims that Bill confirmed long-standing rumors that Chelsea’s read dad is Webster Hubbell, Hillary’s former law partner in Little Rock, Ark. As Hillary prepares to announce whether she’ll seek the 2016 presidential nomination, the “love child” scandal centering on 34-year-old Chelsea -- now pregnant with investment banker-husband Marc Mezvinsky, 36 -- has been slowly building traction. A June 2 report in the New Yorker referenced the rumors, citing claims made by anti-Clinton blogger Robert Morrow. A week later, another national magazine questioned whether Hillary was “hiding (a) bombshell paternity scandal.” To get to the bottom of the charges, the National Enquirer tracked down Larry, who began working for Bill when he was Arkansas governor. The 63-year-old ex-Clinton confidante told The Enquirer that Bill dropped the paternity bombshell during a conversation the two were having at the Arkansas Governor’s mansion. He says it took place in 1984, Bill’s second term in office.

June 29

Politico, Why I Left 60 Minutes, Charles Lewis, June 29, 2014. The big networks say they care about uncovering the truth. That’s not what I saw. Imagine discovering that a paid FBI informant may have actually killed a civil rights worker during one of the most famous civil rights marches in U.S. history? Or that a top county public school official had put 23 of his relatives on the payroll, sexually harassed female employees and separately had informed the parents of handicapped students that their children couldn’t attend school. Or uncovering the fact that the most famous divorce lawyer in America had been literally raping his clients. Or that the (then) biggest savings and loan fraud in the U.S. was actually an inside job, in which a banker had allowed his financial institution to be defrauded as he received millions of dollars from the perpetrators. Or that a presidential campaign co-chairman had helped teach white supremacist groups how to develop a militia capacity. In Washington, D.C., especially in Washington D.C., an investigative reporter’s shit detector must be mighty.

OpEdNews, Howard Zinn redjar via FlickrDo Something Small Today -- Recollections of a Conversation With Howard Zinn, Rob Kall, June 29, 2014. What are you going to do today to fight the system? If even a small percentage of the population did something every day, things would change. I asked Howard Zinn (shown in a file photo via Flickr), about a year before he passed away, what it would take to clean up the mess we're in.

Washington Post, Secrecy oaths at workplaces under scrutiny, Scott Higham and Kaley Belval, June 29, 2014. Firms are asking workers to sign nondisclosure agreements, which can create a chilling effect for people who want to report waste, fraud or abuse.

Huffington Post, Hillary's Hardest Choice (and the Democrat's Dilemma), Robert Reich, June 29, 2014. What's the reason for the tempest in the teapot of Hillary and Bill Clinton's personal finances? It can't be about how much money they have. The tempest can't be about Hillary Clinton's veracity. The story behind story is that America is in an era of sharply rising inequality, with a few at the top doing fabulously well but most Americans on a downward economic escalator. These days, voters want to know which side candidates are on because they believe the game is rigged against them. Which means that, as the ranks of the anxious middle class grow, the winning formula used by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama may no longer be able to deliver. In a world of downward mobility for the majority, Democrats need to acknowledge the widening divide and propose specific ways to reverse it. It's a gamble.

June 28

Seymour HershFireDogLake, The New Yorker on Ukraine: Instead of Sy Hersh, Keith Gessen, Deena Stryker, June 28, 2014. As the world anxiously awaits the next chapter in the tug of war between Russia and the West over Ukraine, I deconstruct a lengthy article in the May 12th New Yorker that shows how investigative reporting has been replaced by sugar-coated bias. This alarming trend is illustrated by the fact that, after Barack Obama Capital contributing regularly to the New Yorker since 1993, America’s foremost investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh (shown in a file photo) no longer writes for that magazine. A lengthy article on Ukraine by Keith Gessen indirectly explains Hersh’s disappearance, and the New Yorker’s abandonment of any progressive pretense.

Global Research, Today’s Oligarch Curtain of Lies, Theft, Death and Destruction Are Exposed As Never Before, Joachim Hagopian, June 28, 2014. An author, Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. Currently in America and many places throughout the world many of us are undergoing a fundamental change in our belief system as we come to realize what we have been taught as reality turns out anything but. An honest look at what is actually happening now around the world exposes the oligarch agenda to purposely increase worldwide tension, division and conflict. The oligarch planetary vision of destabilizing every Third World nation on earth is currently working according to plan now at an accelerated pace. Beyond the US and Europe, more citizens around the globe are growing angrier with their elected officials, realizing politicians’ priority is to serve the needs of their oligarch puppet master over the needs of their own people. Similar negative sentiments toward mainstream media also represent an across the boards distrust toward corporatized media coverage of world events. Even such traditionally prestigious and reputable newspapers like the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal are now regarded as in-bed, embedded journalism fused with the government. As such, last year’s June Gallup poll indicated that a whopping 80% of Americans aged 21 to 64 find mainstream media lacks credibility. All these results reflect a growing trend that an increasing segment of both the US and global population has come to believe and accept that they are systematically and regularly lied to and misinformed by their corrupt leaders in both government as well as corporate media.

Consortium News, Who Violated Ukraine’s Sovereignty?  Ray McGovern, June 28, 2014.Ray McGovernThe West has accused Russia of violating a 1994 pledge to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty in exchange for its surrender of Soviet-era nuclear weapons. But the West’s political and economic interference might also represent a violation, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, shown in a file photo.

LaRouche PAC, Obama's 'Drone Memo' Confirms—It's Murder, Staff report, June 28, 2014. On Monday, June 23, a federal appellate court released the so-called "drone memo" (Re: Applicability of Federal Criminal Laws and the Constitution to Contemplated Lethal Operations Against Shaykh anwar al-Aulaqi) authored three years ago by David Barron, Acting Assistant Attorney General, on behalf of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which memo justifies Obama's asserted right to kill American citizens overseas, employing drones, in violation of the Constitutionally guaranteed right to due process. In a column June 24 in the Guardian, Jameel Jaffer, the attorney who argued the case before the appellate court, pointed out, "Large parts of the memo—almost a third of it—have been redacted. The first 11 pages, which describe the government's allegations against al-Awlaki, are redacted in their entirety. Throughout the remainder of the memo, citations, sentences and even whole paragraphs have been stripped out, in some cases to protect genuine sources and methods but in others to obscure the precedents underlying the government's legal arguments. The redactions in the drone memo's footnotes are perhaps the most disturbing, because they suggest the existence of an entire body of secret law...withheld from the American public."

AP via Guardian, Obama uses embassies to push for LGBT rights abroad, June 28, 2014. President Barack Obama's administration has taken the US gay rights revolution global, using American embassies across the world as outposts in a struggle that still hasn't been won at home. The US sent five openly gay ambassadors abroad last year, with a sixth nominee, to Vietnam, now awaiting Senate confirmation. American diplomats are working to support gay rights in countries such as Poland, where prejudice remains deep, and to oppose violence and other abuse in countries like Nigeria and Russia, where gays face life-threatening risks. The watershed moment came in December 2011, when then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton went to the United Nations in Geneva and proclaimed LGBT rights "one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time."

June 27

Daily Howler LogoDaily Howler, Anthropology Lessons: Invention of Narrative 101! Bob Somerby, June 27, 2014. Bob Somerby is a comedian and was one the nation's first political bloggers in the 1990s with the Daily Howler, which focuses on media criticism. In today’s editions, Philip Rucker is on the front page of the Washington Post. Anthropologists are scurrying to acquire hard-copy editions of the paper, in which Rucker and his Hillary Clintontribal elders behave in ways these scholars are calling unprecedented. At issue is a cultural practice of the “mainstream press corps” known as “inventing a narrative.” Rucker’s second front-page report of the week supports the narrative introduced by the obscenely wealthy Diane Sawyer on June 6: Hillary Clinton is too damn rich to be running for president! Within the press corps, all “minions” must ignore the oddness of a person like Sawyer advancing this heartfelt concern. Rucker’s elders at the Post chose him to further the “narrative.” Rucker has executed the crucial third step in this familiar process. He suggests the narrative is coming from somewhere else, not his reports.

Washington Post, No, Mitt Romney isn’t running for president, Chris Cillizza, June 27, 2014.  Mitt Romney hasn't disappeared from the political scene the way many people thought he would after coming up on the losing end of the 2012 presidential race. But, that doesn't mean he's running for president -- or even thinking about running for president -- in 2016. Talk of a possible third presidential bid for Romney has surfaced of late -- with poll numbers that show he is well regarded by Republican voters and a growing sense within the GOP smart set that no candidate has really emerged from the pack as of yet. 1. Jeb Bush: Until he says "no" -- and we still think that's more likely than him saying "yes"  -- we are going to keep the former Florida governor at the top of these rankings. That ranking is largely built on his last name and the political and fundraising muscle it represents. As Philip Bump noted in a recent Fix post, however, Jeb's record on core conservative policies is not so good. (Previous ranking: 1)

Washington Post, The IRS isn’t the only agency with an e-mail problem, Melanie Sloan and Anne Weisman, June 27, 2014. Washington sure does love a political scandal, and no one more than House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa. The story of the missing IRS e-mail provides all the necessary ingredients: an agency accused of abusing its authority, outstanding congressional document requests and e-mail messages from a key IRS employee gone missing. The real scandal here lies well beyond the provocative details of the missing e-mail. Quite simply, from a record-keeping perspective, federal agencies have no idea how to manage their e-mail. Agency employees do not understand that many of their e-mail messages qualify as records that must be preserved for archival purposes, a requirement imposed by the Federal Records Act. And agencies are unwilling to invest in the electronic recordkeeping infrastructure that would ensure e-mail is properly managed and preserved.

WTVA News (Tupelo-Columbus, MS), Man arrested in Cochran photo scandal found dead, Staff report, June 27, 2014. Attorney Mark Mayfield has been found dead at his home in the Bridgewater subdivision. WLBT-TV is reporting they were told he suffered a gunshot wound and the death is being investigated as a suicide. Mayfield was arrested in May and charged with conspiracy in relation to a political scandal. A 28-year-old blogger, Clayton Kelly, allegedly went into a nursing home and photographed the bedridden wife of Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran without permission and posted an image online as part of an anti-Cochran video. Mayfield was a Board member of the Central MS Tea Party.

June 26

Columbia Journalism Review, Brick by brick: After years of shrinking ambition at the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination, Michael Meyer, June 26, 2014.  In April, six months after her family sold the newspaper it had controlled for eight decades to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth walked onstage in the paper’s auditorium to reverse what had been the signature strategy of her six years at the helm. Since she was named publisher in February 2008, a year the newspaper division of The Washington Post Company declared a loss of $193 million, Weymouth had sought to codify the Post’s identity as a paper “For and about Washington.” While touted as a strategy to leverage the Post’s brand of national politics reporting in the digital era, “For and about Washington” was a phrase meant to put a positive spin on retrenchment. As a practical matter, “For and about Washington” meant the Post no longer covered stories beyond its circulation area unless they had a direct link to political Washington or a federal government interest. Exceptions were made for impossible-to-ignore events, like school shootings and other catastrophes, but all domestic bureaus were closed and correspondents were called home.

Washington Post, Supreme Court rebukes Obama on recess appointmentsStephen Breyer, Robert Barnes, June 26, 2014. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that President Obama lacked constitutional authority to make high-level government appointments at a time he declared the Senate in recess and unable to act on the nominations. Obama made appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012 at a time when the Senate was holding pro forma sessions every three days precisely to thwart the president’s ability to exercise the power. “When the Senate declares that it is in session and possesses the capacity, under its own rules, to conduct business,” that is sufficient to keep the president from making recess appointments, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, shown in a file photo, wrote for the court. The court was interpreting the Constitution’s Recess Clause, which says the president “shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.”

Sir Jimmy SavileWashington Post, Former BBC celebrity Jimmy Savile accused of scores of sexual assaults in hospitals, Fred Barbash, June 26, 2014. An official report released this morning accused the late BBC celebrity DJ Jimmy Savile of sexually assaulting hundreds of people age 5 to 75 over several decades in British health facilities, according to news reports. The abuse allegedly occurred, among other places, at National Health Service hospitals that gave Savile unrestricted access because of his charitable work and his appointment to a task force overseeing medical facilities. He reportedly had the keys to some of the hospitals and came and went as he pleased. Editor's Note: Sir James Wilson Vincent "Jimmy" Savile, OBE, KCSG (31 October 1926 – 29 October 2011) was an English DJ, television presenter, media personality and charity fundraiser. He hosted the BBC television show Jim'll Fix It, was the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show "Top of the Pops," and raised an estimated £40 million for charities. He is shown in a file photo from a BBC appearance. We report the allegations above because, in our experience, claims of pedophilia are far more common against celebrities (including major politicians) than commonly reported. This week's report thus constitutes an exception to that pattern, but in a sense illustrates it also because the report comes only after the suspect's death after many decades of public life and alleged crimes.  

Washington Post, U.S. should take lead on setting global norms for drone strikes, John P. Abizaid and Rosa Brooks, June 26, 2014. Accountability, transparency needed for U.S. drone strikes.

FireDogLake, NSA Whistleblowers to Testify Before German Parliamentary Committee in July, Kevin Gosztola, June 26, 2014. National Security Agency whistleblowers Thomas Drake (shown at the National Press Club in a photo by Noel St. John) and William Binney will testify before a German parliamentary committee on July 3. They both will give testimony as part of an inquiry into details of NSA surveillance in Germany, which have been revealed through news stories based upon documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. German parliamentary members had been discussing the possibility of sending an “informal delegation” to Moscow for an “informal discussion” with Snowden. He did not want to provide testimony from within Russia. As a result, Snowden declined to testify, according to Jesselyn Radack, one of Snowden’s legal advisors and the national security & human rights director at the Government Accountability Project (GAP). The Bundestag committee of inquiry, which consists of eight members of parliament, decided upon a “mandate” for this inquiry in March. A copy of it indicates the committee will likely be asking questions about surveillance by the “Five Eyes” states—United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand—and their collection of data and interception of communications in Germany. The committee will also ask about how data was collected, retained, checked and analyzed by surveillance programs operated by the NSA and the British spy agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), as well as how private companies helped these agencies. It also hopes to learn more information on the use of diplomatic missions or military sites for surveillance and to what extent German, European or international laws were violated.

@20 Committee, Mea Culpa, John Schindler, June 26, 2014. I want to take this opportunity to address the recent controversy surrounding events in my private life which have regrettably become public. My actions showed poor judgment and were inexcusable. The only person to blame is me, and I take full responsibility. I apologize to my followers, my friends and family, the Naval War College, and most importantly, my wife, whose love and support I cherish beyond measure.

Columbia Journalism Review, Brick by brick, Michael Meyer, June 26, 2014 (Print edition on July1). After years of shrinking ambition at the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination. In April, six months after her family sold the newspaper it had controlled for eight decades to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth walked onstage in the paper’s auditorium to reverse what had been the signature strategy of her six years at the helm. Since she was named publisher in February 2008, a year the newspaper division of The Washington Post Company declared a loss of $193 million, Weymouth had sought to codify the Post’s identity as a paper “For and about Washington.” As a practical matter, “For and about Washington” meant the Post no longer covered stories beyond its circulation area unless they had a direct link to political Washington or a federal government interest. Exceptions were made for impossible-to-ignore events, like school shootings and other catastrophes, but all domestic bureaus were closed and correspondents were called home.

Paul SingerCorpWatch, U.S. Court Upholds $800 million payout from Argentina to Wall Street Hedge Fund, Pratap Chatterjee, June 26, 2014. Paul Singer (shown at right), the billionaire hedge fund manager, has claimed victory in a lawsuit to force Argentina to fork out almost 17 times more than he paid to buy bonds issued by the country. After Argentina’s economy crashed in 2001 and it defaulted on $80 billion in bonds, Singer’s Elliott Capital Management paid $49 million to buy $220 million in Argentine debt. Over the last 13 years, the value of these bonds has risen to $832 million which Singer wants paid off in full. Singer has been joined by several other Wall Street speculators such as Aurelius Capital Management and Blue Angel who together hold a total of $1.3 billion in Argentine debt. In the meantime, after extensive negotiations, almost all other holders of Argentina’s total $93 billion in debt agreed to forgive as much as 70 percent of what they were owed, recognizing that the country was in dire financial straits. “Society needs a way to allow people to start over again. This is why we have bankruptcy,” writes Martin Wolf in the Financial Times. “Indeed, we allow the most important private actors in our economies – companies – to enjoy limited liability. The ease with which US corporations can walk away from their creditors is breathtaking. A similar logic applies to countries.” But there is no international bankruptcy court for countries. Instead, beginning in 2009, Singer and his friends took advantage of the fact that much of the debt was issued under New York laws and went after Argentina in U.S. courts. This is not the first time that Singer, a lawyer trained at Harvard, has taken advantage of governments in dire straits. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was forced to pay him $90 million for $20 million in debt in 2002 and Peru had to pay him $58 million for debt he bought for $11 million in 1995.

June 25

U.S. SurempremeWashington Post, Supreme Court: Police must get warrants for most cellphone searches, Robert Barnes, June 25, 2014. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that police generally must obtain a warrant before searching the cellphone of someone they arrest, saying it was applying to modern technology the same privacy rights that date back to the nation’s birth. Modern cellphones “hold for many Americans the privacies of life,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote, quoting an earlier Supreme Court decision. “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.” Roberts said that in most cases when police seize a cellphone from a suspect, the answer is simple: “Get a warrant.” In general, warrants are required for searches, but the court’s precedents have said that a person’s privacy expectations diminish considerably after an arrest. Police may protect themselves and others by searching the arrestee for weapons or securing evidence that might be destroyed.

OpEdNews, Bigger Implications of Detroit's Water Shut-off For Up To Half Its Population, Rob Kall, June 25, 2014. The city of Detroit has announced that it will be shutting off the water for customers who are $150 or two months behind in paying bills. Half of the customers fit the profile-- over 150,000 people. It's so bad that a collection of groups are appealing to the United Nations for help. We can expect a lot more. Here is a city run by an un-elected mayor appointed by a right-wing governor. Shock Doctrine -- Naomi Klein described it and it's been done again and again, first in third world countries where the US-appointed dictators, now in a major city. Shutting off utilities can kill people.

FireDogLake, These Are the Americans on the No-Fly List Who Argued in Court Their Rights Had Been Violated and Won, Kevin Gosztola, June 25, 2014. Thirteen United States citizens represented by the American Civil Liberties Union sued the US government after they were prevented from flying over US airspace after January 1, 2009. They believed that they were on the No-Fly List because airline representatives, FBI agents and other government officials had informed them of this fact. But the government had provided them no notice or information on why they were placed on the watch list so they could challenge their inclusion. On June 24, after four years, the citizens finally achieved the victory they had been seeking. The US District Court for the District of Oregon ruled the citizens who were placed on the No-Fly List had their rights to “procedural due process” violated.

John McCain and Syrian RebelsTop Conservative News, ISIS brags about links to US Senator John McCain, Staff report, June 25, 2014. ISIS claims some of the Jihadists in this photo are members. The man on the far left is the notorious “Cannibal Jihadist” who had himself videotaped eating a human heart. The United States is manufacturing it’s own enemies. ISIS fighters are bragging on the internet about having their photo with US Senator John McCain. During the US bombardment of Libya, US backed Sunni Jihadists were actually bragging to media about fighting US troops in Iraq and having ties to Al-Qaeda. Nevertheless, Obama ordered the military to stand down and allow Sunni Jihadists to loot stockpiles of Libyan weapons. These weapons are now being used to wage Jihad in Mali, Nigeria, Chad, Syria, Iraq, and beyond. Now Obama is using these very same weapons to justify US military action in several African nations. The US then began supporting Sunni Jihadists in Syria. Among other things, the US provided Jihadists with a large number of Toyota trucks. When ISIS came roaring over the Iraqi border, the main vehicle their fighters were driving was Toyota trucks. The international media is also reporting that the United States gave anti-tank missiles to Turkey to distribute to Jihadists groups. The entire mission was green lighted by US Senator John McCain. In fact John McCain even had his picture taken with a group of Jihadists. One of those Jihadists was FSA Khalid al-Hamad. It was Khalid al-Hamad who became known as the “cannibal Jihadist” after having a friend video tape him eating a human heart! It is also been reported that Khalid al-Hamad called his unit the “Osama Bin Laden Brigade.”

Paul Craig Roberts.org, A New Recession and a New World Devoid of Washington’s Arrogance?  Paul Craig Roberts, June 25, 2014. Dr. Roberts, an author and historian, was formerly associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and assistant Treasury Secretary during the Reagan administration. A final number for real US GDP growth in the first quarter of 2014 was released today. The number is not the 2.6% growth rate predicted by the know-nothing economists in January of this year. The number is a decline in GDP of -2.9 percent. The US economy cannot grow because corporations pushed by Wall Street have moved the US economy offshore. US manufactured products are made offshore. Look at the labels on your clothes, your shoes, your eating and cooking utensils, your computers, whatever. US professional jobs such as software engineering have been moved offshore. An economy with an offshored economy is not an economy. All of this happened in full view, while well-paid free market shills declared that Americans were benefiting from giving America’s middle class jobs to China and India. I have been exposing these lies for a decade or two, which is why I am no longer invited to speak at American universities or to American economic associations. Today no one anywhere in the world believes the US government except the brain dead Americans who read and listen to the “mainstream media.” Washington’s propaganda dominates the minds of Americans, but produces laughter and scorn everywhere else.

CQ Roll Call, Why the White House’s e-Petition Site Failed, Chris Nehls, June 25, 2014. Online petitions are one bread-and-butter technique for issue advocacy. Sites like MoveOn and Change.org generate thousands of new petitions every month. The spectacular flame-out of the White House’s We The People online petition site, then, provides a unique worst practices test case for this particular civic tool. Connectivity editorial advisor Dave Karpf examines why the e-petition site failed in a recent article on TechPresident, How the White House's We the People E-Petition Site Became a Virtual Ghost-Town.

June 24

Guardian, Obama's 'drone memo' is finally public. Now show us the library of secret law, Jameel Jaffer, June 24, 2014. To this administration, transparency comes in the form of deleted pages. But too much of America's legal excuse for killing an American citizen remains classified.

Andy Thibault Connectcut Council on Freedom of Information (Robert Theisman) 21st Century Media, Post-Watergate Motto: 'We Eat Lawyers Bones for Breakfast,'  Andy Thibault, June 24, 2014. This will be the last regular installment of Cool Justice for 21st Century Media in Connecticut. I have the pleasure of digging into a couple special assignments and expect to have some work in print with our group over the next few months. As Cool Justice concludes this chapter, I thought it would be fun to share a few remembrances. Syndicated columnist and author Andy Thibault is shown in a June 18, 2014 Robert Theisman photo accepting the annual open government prize conferred by the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information at its annual awards luncheon for his investigative work advancing the cause of freedom of information in the state.

John SchindlerTruthdig, The New York Times’ Desperate Dive to the Bottom, Bill Boyarsky, June 24, 2014. The author is a former city editor of the Los Angeles Times. The motto of The New York Times has long been “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” After reading the Times report on how the paper might survive the digital era, I’m afraid it could be overtaken by a concept called “good enough.” “We must push back against our perfectionist impulses,” the report released last month said. The report, prepared by an internal task force headed by Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, an heir to the paper and formerly assistant metro editor, is called Innovation. In 96 pages, it prescribes drastic surgery to push the paper away from its fixation with print. Technical savvy and quick adaptability would be the hallmark of a new Times journalist—that and an ability to find and connect with an audience in the manner of The Huffington Post and the hot site BuzzFeed.

Forbes, Did Gawker Just Break Hawaiian State Law? Sarah Jeong, June 24, 2014. John Schindler, a professor at the Naval War College and prolific tweeter under the handle @20committee, sent a nude photo to a woman on Twitter. She screencapped the text he sent her, along with awkwardly amorous e-mails he had written her. Schindler, shown in his Twitter photo, has since deleted his Twitter account, gone silent on his blog, and has been placed on leave from the Naval War College. It’s unclear whether the woman actually wanted to humiliate him, but the ways in which it’s been tweeted and retweeted are a little more straightforward in intent and effect. People are glad that Schindler, who often went out of his way to bully others in the course of defending the NSA and its spying programs, has been taken down a peg. It feels karmic. A just retribution. Maybe even something like revenge? Hawaii is the tenth state to enact revenge porn legislation. The new statute criminalizes the “unlawful distribution of sexual representation.”  The statutory language contains a number of troubling defects, including the lack of an intent requirement. But the one to note this week is that the law lacks an exception for “newsworthy nudity.” In other words, John Schindler’s status as a public figure is no defense to publishing the screencaps on Gawker.

London Daily Mail, 'I am truly sorry': Woman who outed married U.S. Naval War College professor who 'sent her nude photo' says she now regrets going public with allegations, David Mccormack and Zoe Szathmary, June 24, 2014. A woman, known only as Lesley, who says she received explicit photos and messages from John Schindler, pictured, a married professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island has apologized for making their alleged correspondences public. Lesley allegedly gave screenshots of Schindler's intimate messages to @T3H_ARCH3R, a self-described internet troll, who then posted the photos online. Naval War College has said it is investigating Schindler and he has been placed on leave.

Rupert Murdoch 2009 World Economic ForumFireDogLake, Murdoch’s Favorite Editor, Rebekah Brooks, Cleared of Phone Hacking Charges, Spocko, June 24, 2014. The former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all charges in the phone hacking trial at the Old Bailey. Brooks, the one-time editor of the News of the World, was overcome with emotion as she was found not guilty of involvement in a conspiracy to hack phones between 2000 and 2006, as well as misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice. But while Brooks walked free from court to a waiting black cab today, her fellow former editor and ex-Downing Street spin doctor Andy Coulson was found guilty on one count of phone hacking. The jury returned this morning after continuing its deliberations for an eighth day, following the high profile trial that began in October last year. Brooks and Coulson, along with retired managing editor Stuart Kuttner, had been accused of being part of a conspiracy to hack phones over the course of a six-year period.  Now we see what political power can get you. I’m sure there is a lesson for us here in the US. I remember thinking, “With a combo of good journalists, lawyers and politicians we could uncover dirt at Fox News.” We could even use the Corrupt Foreign Practices Act. But the trick was to find others who felt as strongly as I did. Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who controls News of the World, is shown in a 2009 photo via Wikipedia and photographer Gage Skidmore.

June 23

Dick CheneyHuffington Post, By Rehabilitating Iraq War Boosters, Is the Press Trying to Forgive Itself? Eric Boehlert June 23, 2014. The bad bout of 2003 déjà vu continued on Sunday when former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on ABC's This Week to lecture President Obama about how his policies had allegedly made a mess out of Iraq, as violence there continues to grip the country and threatens to completely destabilize the nation. Cheney's appearance continues a maddening, week-long stroll down Baghdad memory lane as media outlets rush to get commentary from the people who, 11 years ago, got everything wrong about the Iraq War: The stunning cost, the causalities, the war planning, the intelligence, the sectarian violence. Why the strange rehabilitation? Here's a hint: People might be forgetting the deep bond that ran between the compliant Beltway media in 2003 and the very same failed Iraq War architects and partisan boosters the press is now turning to for advice. In other words, the Beltway press was part of the Iraq problem then. So it's not that surprising the press is part of the problem now.

OpEdNews, Lawrence Wilkerson Interview: Predatory Capitalism, China, Climate Change, Oligarch Parties, Rob Kall, June 23, 2014. The former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell talks about predatory capitalism, dual oligarchic parties, blood on the streets, socialism in capitalism, death of unions, secession of California, New England, southern parasite states, climate change, destabilizing mass migrations north, population explosion, and the "Scramble" scenario.

MinnPost, Five More Questions: Doug Kelley's high-stakes, high-profile, high-altitude adventures, Brian Lambert, June 23, 2014. Doug Kelley: "I think there were $41 billion worth of inter-corporate transfers in Petters’ little scheme. Think about that. It’s dizzying." The veteran partner at the firm of Kelley, Wolter & Scott has a long vitae of white-collar litigation, along with a list of board memberships and … an ongoing mountaineering and ice-climbing avocation. He has a feel for calculated risk. A lifelong Republican (Old School variety) Kelley has contented himself with working the levers of influence from his 25th floor office in downtown Minneapolis. His two most public cases in recent years have been serving as bankruptcy trustee for the massive Tom Petters Ponzi scheme and negotiator for the Minnesota Orchestra board in the protracted, acrimonious contract dispute with the musicians.

Death and Taxes, Former NSA spy deletes Twitter after his dick pics go public, Robyn Pennacchia, June 23, 2014. John Schindler—a former NSA counterintelligence officer and “secrecy expert” who made a name for himself in Conservative circles by trashing Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Glenn Greenwald—has deleted his Twitter and has been put on leave from his teaching post at Naval War College after a rather indecent communique went public on Twitter this weekend. Generally speaking, I am incredibly against the idea of publicizing someone’s nude pics on the internet without their consent. However, I will make a gleeful exception in this one case for someone who clearly is not too fond of privacy himself. I will make an exception for a person who argued against privacy for me and my fellow American citizens. Because in this case, it’s just straight-up karma.

June 21

Owen CanfieldTorrington Register Citizen, Andrew Kreig makes an impact with new book, Owen Canfield, June 21, 2014. Owen Canfield, shown in a file photo, started writing a Sunday column for The Register Citizen on Sept. 14, 2008. He had started his career at The Torrington Register 50 years ago, before leaving for a job at the Hartford Courant in 1965. Andrew Kreig has written an important book and Thursday he came to Litchfield’s beautiful Oliver Wolcott Library to speak about it. I haven’t yet had a chance to read the book, which is 469 pages long, including more than 1,100 footnotes, index, etc. But I heard most of what Kreig had to say and the exhaustively researched information in the book is unsettling. Here is a quote taken from one of the many endorsements printed in the front of the book. John Edward Hurley, a Washington commentator, civic leader and historian wrote, “Presidential Puppetry gives remarkable insight into how our Constitution has disintegrated at the hands of a few secret oligarchs who are calling the shots in domestic and foreign affairs. And if anyone should know the subject it would be the author, who is one of the best investigative journalists in the country.’’ That about sums up Andy and his terrific book. We knew each other very well when we were both employed by The Courant, he as an investigative reporter and I as a sports columnist. I have nothing but good memories of Andy. It was great to see him again and even greater to listen and absorb his very important message.

Peter Van BurenFireDogLake, Stung: Government Disappears Stingray Spying Records, Peter Van Buren, June 21, 2014. Author Peter Van Buren, shown in a file photo, is a former State Department officer assigned to Iraq. Cell phone technology is very useful to the cops to locate you and to track your movements. In addition to whatever as-yet undisclosed things the NSA may be up to on its own, the FBI acknowledges a device called Stingray to create electronic, “fake,” cell phone towers and track people via their phones in the U.S. without their knowledge. The tech does not require a phone’s GPS. This technology was first known to have been deployed against America’s enemies in Iraq, and it has come home to be used against a new enemy– you. Stingray is also known as an International Mobile Subscriber Identity. Stingray offers some unique advantages to a national security state: it bypasses the phone company entirely, which is handy if laws change and phone companies no longer must cooperate with the government. The device is made by the Harris Corporation. For Stingray, available only to law enforcement agencies, Harris requires a non-disclosure agreement that police departments around the country have been signing for years explicitly prohibiting them from telling anyone, including other government bodies, about their use of the equipment “without the prior written consent of Harris.”

OpEdNews, Full Jefferson Quote: 'The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots,'  Rob Kall, June 21, 2014. Paul Craig Roberts mentioned Thomas Jefferson's quote in my recent interview with him. He then forwarded me this full source of the quote. It was the first time I'd seen it, so I thought it might be of interest to others. Thomas Jefferson was the nation's third president, from 1801 to 1809. The quotation is from his earlier service in 1787 as United States minister to France.

June 20

Tech President, How the White House's We the People E-Petition Site Became a Virtual Ghost-Town, Dave Karpf, June 20, 2014. I spent April 2014 visiting the White House petition portal, We The People. It was quiet there. Too quiet. Only 85 petitions were created at We The People in April. None of them came anywhere close to the 100,000 signature threshold required for a government response. Half of the petitions had fewer than 500 signatures, and 85% of them had 2,000 or fewer signatures. Even though the site is explicitly set up to let people communicate demands to the Obama Administration, 40% of the petitions were clearly outside the scope of presidential power. The three biggest petitions called on the White House to overturn the FDA restrictions on e-cigarettes, designate Russia as a State Sponsor of terrorism, and maintain net neutrality. They’ve all vanished by now – any petition that doesn’t reach the 100,000 signature threshold within a month is removed from the site. The average user is signing a single petition and then never returning again. The original promise that "you will receive a government response" has been reinterpreted as "you will receive a response if and when it makes us look good."

Yahoo Small Business Community, Wikipedia’s Ruling Class Deciding How You See History, Mike Wood, June 20, 2014. There is nothing that I love more than a good content dispute on Wikipedia. The battle of wits, or should I say nitwits, going back and forth with each trying to stake their claim on content that should be introduced (or removed) into an article. While some of the disputes result in compromise and lead to an unbiased depiction of content related to the subject, most disputes continue for months and years and often wide up being judged by someone who has the most experienced Wikipedia account. Although Wikipedia is supposed to be governed by consensus, this rule is often disregarded by administrators and editors who simply want to make their point. As with war, the victor gets to write the pages of history. The same holds true on Wikipedia. Unfortunately, the “victor” tends to be the person who is the most respected (or feared) admin or editor on the website, regardless of the guiding policy. It is the view that they agree with what content goes into the article and that others will kindly follow their lead, even when they make a wrong decision or openly violate Wikipedia guidelines. This leads to pages that are linked to dispute tags being placed within the header to allow everyone to know that editors on Wikipedia are bickering and fighting over the correct wording to use for an article. Content is often left in dispute as very few people are willing to stand up and try to fight against experienced editors and admins because it only leads to rebuke of the editor for trying, and a potential ban from the site for edit warring.

Drone Crash at Creech Air Force Base March 5, 2013 (DoD Photo)Washington Post, More than 400 U.S. drones have crashed since ’01, hitting homes, roads, Craig Whitlock, June 20, 2014. A Post investigation exposes the potential dangers of opening U.S. skies to drone traffic, challenging officials’ assurances on drone safety.The worst crashes | Video: A drone films its own demise. Department of Defense Photo of drone crash at Creech Air Force base on March 5, 2013.

New York Times, Iraq Insurgents Reaping Wealth as They Advance, Rod Nordland and Alissa J. Rubin, June 20, 2014. When Qaeda-style insurgents overran the northern city of Mosul, among the war booty they seized were what they claimed were five American-made helicopters. Noting that they were still nearly new, the group said in a posting on Twitter, “We’ll expect the Americans to honor the warranty and service them for us.” “Not only are they effective jihadists but they have a sense of humor,” said Toby Dodge, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics, who related that anecdote.

Foreign Policy, Being a Neocon Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry, Stephen M. Walt, June 20, 2014. Stephen M. Walt is a professor of international relations at Harvard University. These guys were wrong about every aspect of Iraq. Why do we still have to listen to them?

Washington Post, The case that might cripple Facebook, Henry Farrell, June 20, 2014. An Irish judge has rendered a preliminary judgment that may have sweeping consequences for U.S. e-commerce firms. The judgment involves a case by a European privacy activist against Facebook. Businesses like Facebook, Google and Microsoft use an arrangement called Safe Harbor to export personal data from Europe to the U.S.

FireDogLake, Chris Christie And Scott Walker Facing Criminal Investigations, DS Wright, June 20, 2014. The field for the 2016 Republican presidential primary is hemorrhaging moderates. Both New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie and Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker are facing criminal investigations that could knock them out of the presidential race or even end their careers. According to the Associated Press, Governor Scott Walker, shown in an official photo, is being investigated by prosecutors for possible involvement in a “criminal scheme” to “illegally coordinate fundraising with outside conservative groups.” The prosecutors believe Walker may have been Scott involved in conspiring to violate election laws and file false campaign finance reports. Then there is Governor Chris Christie who, according to Esquire, may be the ultimate target of a probe by US Attorney Paul Fishman. It was already rather clear that some previous  members of the Christie’s Administration were facing charges, but now it is reported that the endgame for the US Attorney leading the case might be an indictment of Christie himself. The key is flipping one of Chris Christie’s political mentors and former Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson.

June 19

Chris Christie (official)Esquire, Exclusive: Prosecutor Is Closing In on Gov. Christie, Scott Raab and Lisa Brennan, June 19, 2014. Indictments against four cronies are near certain, sources say. Only question is if David Samson, Christie's longtime mentor, will flip.  “It’s over, it’s done, and I’m moving on.” -- Chris Christie, reassuring potential donors in Utah on June 14th. Back on planet Reality, meanwhile, Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, wades through the sewage of Christie’s stewardship. Two sources with intimate knowledge of the case say Fishman’s pace is quickening -- he has empaneled a second grand jury, and the U.S. Justice Department has sent assistant prosecutors and FBI agents to work the case. “What’s taking the most time,” according to one source, “is separating what's viable from all the bad stuff they’re finding that may not be viable.” Fishman’s challenge is to nail down specific criminal charges on several fronts -- the diversion of Port Authority money to fund New Jersey road and bridge projects; the four-day rush-hour closures of George Washington Bridge lanes in Ft. Lee; and a web of real-estate deals spun by David Samson, long a Christie crony, when he chaired the PA’s Board of Commissioners as Christie’s appointee. (One such deal, a stalled office-tower development in Hoboken, New Jersey, is central to a claim that Christie’s lieutenant governor told the town’s mayor that the state would withhold Hurricane Sandy relief aid from Hoboken if the mayor didn’t sign off on the development project.) See also the book this spring, Ruthless Ambition by Louis Manzo.

Roger ShulerBirmingham News via Al.com, Shelby County judge orders arrest of Legal Schnauzer blogger Roger Shuler, Kent Faulk, June 18, 2014. A Shelby County blogger who spent five months in jail until he removed from his website stories about the son of former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is now in more trouble with the law. A Shelby County judge recently issued a writ of arrest for Roger Shuler, author of the Legal Schnauzer blog, court records show. Efforts today to reach Shuler prior to the publication of this story were unsuccessful. The writ states that Shuler failed to make payment of court ordered fees and fines and did not appear as ordered by the court. Shelby County District Court Judge Ronald E. Jackson ordered that Shuler be arrested on the probation revocation complaint. The judge set an $845 cash bond that Shuler would have to post to be released from jail while a hearing is pending on revocation of his probation. Jackson had sentenced Shuler to 90 days in jail based on his conviction. But the judge suspended the sentence two years. Editor's Note: Shuler is shown in his jail mug shot the night of his arrest and beating in his garage Oct. 23 in Birmingham. Deputies arrested him on a contempt of court charge arising out of a libel suit, and then alleged he had to be subdued for resisting arrest. Shuler, held without bond on the contempt of court charge, unsuccessfully defended himself in court from the resisting arrest charge in a trial held without a defense lawyer and while Shuler had no ability to call witnesses, file motions or consult legal books. The major journalism organizations failed to argue on his behalf even though multiple Supreme Court decisions forbid jailing journalists pre-trial in a libel case or ordering prior restraint.

Matthew Reed and Mitchell Pearlman Robert Theisman PhotoAndy Thibault and James Herbert Smith (Robert Theisman Photo)man.jpgNew Haven Register, Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information announces open government award recipients, June 18, 2014. South Windsor Police Chief Matthew Reed, left, accepts an award from Mitchell Pearlman of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information at the Hartford Club Wednesday. At right, Council Chairman James Herbert Smith bestows the open government award on Andy Thibault (Robert Theisman Photos). A police chief, a state senator, an FOI Commission employee and two journalists have won the annual open government awards from the nonprofit Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, which has been advocating for freedom of information for six decades. South Windsor Police Chief Matt Reed was presented the Bice Clemow Award for his goal to “put out as much information as possible” to the public about crime in his community. Blogger and Digital First Media columnist Andy Thibault received the Stephen A. Collins Award for his dogged pursuit on virtually every FOI battlefront in the past year. Thibault was instrumental in ensuring that the clemency hearing of convicted murderer Bonnie Foreshaw proceeded in public, according to the CCFOI. State Sen. Edward Meyer received the Champion of Open Government Award for consistently voting for transparency in government and the people’s right to know. “He was one of only two senators to vote against making secret crime scene photos and emergency phone calls after the Sandy Hook school shooting,” the CCFOI said in its statement. Champion of Open Government awards also went to reporter Hugh McQuaid of the CTNewsjunkie for his “nuanced, straightforward, fair, insightful and alert” coverage on the governors task force on Victim Privacy and the People’s Right to Know, and the debates over the issue in the General Assembly; and to Thomas Hennick, public information officer of the FOI Commission.

June 17

Gertrude Bell in Babylon in 1909 (photo via Wikimedia) Gertrude Bell (via Daily Beast)Daily Beast, Gertrude of Arabia, the Woman Who Invented Iraq, Clive Irving, June 17, 2014. The story of the British intelligence agent who rigged an election, installed a king loyal to the British, drew new borders—and gave us today’s ungovernable country. Gertrude Bell came into Baghdad after months in one of the world’s most forbidding deserts, a stoic, diminutive 45-year-old English woman with her small band of men. She had been through lawless lands, held at gunpoint by robbers, taken prisoner in a city that no Westerner had seen for 20 years. It was a hundred years ago, a few months before the outbreak of World War I. Baghdad was under a regime loyal to the Ottoman Turks. The Turkish authorities in Constantinople had reluctantly given the persistent woman permission to embark on her desert odyssey, believing her to be an archaeologist and Arab scholar, as well as being a species of lunatic English explorer that they had seen before. She was, in fact, a spy and her British masters had told her that if she got into trouble they would disclaim responsibility for her.

June 16

Gallup, Key Midterm Election Indicators at or Near Historical Lows, Jeffrey M. Jones, June 16, 2014. Approval of Congress at 16%; national satisfaction at 23%. The election environment for congressional incumbents in 2014 will be challenging, with several key public opinion indicators as negative or nearly as negative as they have been in any recent midterm election year. This includes congressional job approval, which, at 16%, is on pace to be the lowest in a midterm election year since Gallup first measured it in 1974. Approval was 21% in 2010 and 50% in 2002.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lead their parties in the House of Representatives.

John BoehnerNancy Pelosi FireDogLake, Congressional Approval on Track to be Lowest for any Midterm in 40 Years, Jon Walker, June 16, 2014. Americans rarely have a high opinion of Congress, but currently its support for the body has been at record lows. Unless there is some dramatic change in the next few months this election could feature the lowest Congressional approval ratings of any midterm election in the past 40 years. Ideally, such horrible numbers should have most incumbent members of Congress terrified but that is not the case. In fact the number of incumbents who are at serious risk of losing their election this November is near historic lows. According to an analysis by FairVote, the number of naturally competitive districts has dropped to only 47 and we can assume roughly 98 percent of incumbents will win re-election. For the most part members simply don’t need to care about what voters think of their institution’s overall job performances. That should be considered a serious crisis in a democracy. 

Daily Mail, Hillary Clinton defended Thomas Alfred Taylor, 41, in 1975 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, James Nye, June 16, 2014. In a newly unearthed audio interview Hillary Clinton reveals how she managed to get a plea bargain for a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl - and shockingly laughs as she indicated she knew he may have been guilty. During the course of the conversation which dates from the early 1980s, Clinton, then 27, outlines how she used a mistake by the prosecution to get 41-year-old Thomas Alfred Taylor to walk free. Indeed, so cavalier is her attitude to securing the freedom of a man suspected of raping a child that the shocking and candid interview may tarnish her role as an advocate for women and children in the United States. The recordings which date from 1983-1987 were discovered by the Washington Free Beacon and are of Clinton recalling her role in the most important criminal case of her career. This is not the first time that the trial has been written about. In 2008 at the height of her primary battle with Barack Obama, a Newsday story focused on Clinton's deeply controversial strategy of attacking the credibility of the girl.

WebProNews, Will Policy Changes Make Wikipedia More Trustworthy? Chris Crum, June 16, 2014. The Wikimedia Foundation announced changes to its terms of service to address the problem of black hat paid editing of content such as Wikipedia articles. With half a billion people using Wikipedia every month, and the major search engines drawing from its information for quick answers to users’ queries, it’s pretty important that the content remains unbiased and factual, and not tainted by the influence of money in an undisclosed manner. “This new change will empower Wikipedia’s editor community to address the issue of paid editing in an informed way by helping identify edits that should receive additional scrutiny,” a spokesperson for the foundation tells WebProNews. “In addition, the change will help educate good-faith editors as to how they can continue editing in the spirit of the Foundation’s mission and provide additional tools in enforcing existing rules about conflicts of interest and paid editing.” Those who are being paid to edit will need to disclose the paid editing to comply with the new ToS [Terms of Service], and add their affiliation to their edit summary, user page, or talk page, and “fairly disclose” their perspective. There’s an FAQ about this here. Those who edit Wikipedia as volunteers and “for fun” don’t have to worry about anything changing with the new terms. Those employed by galleries, libraries, museums, etc. that pay employees to make “good faith” contributions are considered “welcome to edit” as long as the contributions aren’t about the actual institutions themselves.

Commonwealth Foundation Health Comparison Chart 2014FireDogLake, America Ranks No. 1 for Over-Priced, Inefficient Health Care, Jon Walker, June 16, 2014. Once again America wins the dubious distinction of having the least efficient health system. It simply can’t be overstated how wastefully corrupt our health care system is. The Commonwealth Foundation compared health care delivery in 11 developed nations, with findings announced June 16 and summarized in a chart.

June 15

FireDogLake, Meeting Logs: Obama Quietly Coddling Big Oil on 'Bomb Trains' Regulations, Steve Horn, June 15, 2014. When Richard Revesz, Dean Emeritus of New York University Law School, introduced Howard Shelanski at his only public appearance so far during his tenure as Ronald ReaganAdministrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Revesz described Shelanski as, “from our perspective, close to the most important official in the federal government.” OIRA has recently reared its head in a big way because it is currently reviewing the newly-proposed oil-by-rail safety regulations rolled out by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). A DeSmogBlog review of OIRA meeting logs confirms that in recent weeks, OIRA has held at least ten meetings with officials from both industries on oil-by-rail regulations. On the flip side, it held no meetings with public interest groups. OIRA was created in 1980 by President Ronald Reagan with the goal of getting rid of “intrusive” regulations.  Cost-benefit analysis was put on the map by Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein, “regulatory czar” and head of OIRA for President Barack Obama before Shelanski.

Global Research, How Government and the Media Equate Political Dissent with 'Conspiracy Theories' and 'Home Grown Terrorism,' Joachim Hagopian, June 15, 2014. Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. In this age of propaganda and disinformation when mainstream media outlets act as presstitutes for the corporatized federal government, there has been an overt movement in recent years to label dissenters, patriots, government critics and even returning US soldiers from the warfronts as potential homegrown terrorists. For decades, the government and co-opted mainstream media’s onetime favorite tactic heavy-handedly used to customarily dismiss their critics was to simply label those exposing government deception as “conspiracy theorists.” However, with distrust mounting amongst Americans toward both their leaders (86% distrust government) and the media (over 60% little or no trust toward media), this strategy is no longer working because so many conspiracies have been proven to be real.

June 14

OpEdNews, Washington's Iraq 'Victory,' Paul Craig Roberts, June 14, 2014. Conservative scholar Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is an author and former assistant treasury security during the Reagan administration. Washington has opened Pandora's Box. This is Washington's accomplishment in the Middle East. Even as Iraq falls to al Qaeda, Washington is supplying the al Qaeda forces attacking Syria with heavy weapons. It has demonized Iran, which has sent troops to defend the Washington-installed regime in Baghdad! Is it possible for a country to look more foolish than Washington looks? One conclusion that we can reach is that the arrogance and hubris that defines the US government has rendered Washington incapable of making a rational, logical decision.

Dissident Voice, How Finance Controls the White House, Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, June 14, 2014. Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters by Andrew Kreig (Eagle View Books,  2013) is a comprehensive expose of the wealthy corporate interests who are the real power behind the federal government. Kreig orients his book around Obama and Romney, the major presidential candidates in the 2012 elections. However in discussing Mitt Romney’s hidden ties to the financial oligarchy, he also explores the Bush family’s Wall Street connections, the history and structure of the Mormon Church (especially as it relates to Presidential Puppetry by Andrew Kreigcorporate America) and Karl Rove’s role in orchestrating Republican dirty tricks and voting fraud. Presidential Puppetry is meticulously researched and sourced, with a 17 page bibliography and 110 pages of footnotes and references. Kreig, a lawyer and respected Washington DC journalist, takes the 2012 presidential debates as his point of departure, noting the deliberate secrecy of both candidates around their personal background. This deliberate secrecy should have been a campaign issue. Yet neither raised it in the debates – there seemed to be a gentleman’s agreement not to do so. Kreig is also scathingly critical of the mainstream media’s failure to challenge either the secrecy or corrupt corporate influences it concealed.

FireDogLake, Federal Appeals Court: Warrant for Cell Phone Location Data is Required Under Fourth Amendment, Kevin Gosztola, June 11, 2014. A federal appeals court has ruled that “cell site location information is within the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy” and that gathering such information without a warrant violates a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Quartavius Davis was convicted of multiple offenses, including robbery, conspiracy and “possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.” The US Attorney’s Office got what is called a “D-order” from a federal magistrate judge to collect all his information. The standard for getting a D-order is that it be “relevant and material” to an investigation, which is lower than the probable cause standard required by the Fourth Amendment.

Eric CantorWashington Post, Dave Brat was mostly ignored by political reporters, Paul Farhi, June 11, 2014.There are hundreds of reporters covering politics in Washington. Before Tuesday night, only a few of them paid any attention to the year’s biggest political story. College professor Dave Brat’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, right, in the Republican primary in their Richmond-area district stunned more than Cantor and the GOP establishment. Most of the national news media slept through the campaign, waking up only when the votes started coming in Tuesday. The result: Perhaps not since the Chicago Daily Tribune’s infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline has the political press been so badly blindsided by an election result.

WhoWhatWhy, Where Congress Won’t Tread in Benghazi Hearings, Larry Hancock, June 11, 2014. Secretary of State John Kerry is almost certain to be a witness in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, after being released from a subpoena to testify before the House Oversight Committee on June 12. Never mind that he wasn’t the Secretary of State when more than 100 gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and killed four people, including Ambassador Christopher Stephens, on Sept 11, 2012. The Secretary of State on that day was potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The noisy fight between both parties over the necessity for Kerry’s testimony, exemplifies the one thing we know about Benghazi today: We’re no closer to the truth than we were 21 months ago.

June 10

Jerusalem Post, Education Ministry and Wikipedia collaborate to write content for the internet site, Lidar Grave-Lazi, June 10, 2014. Wikimedia Foundation chair hopes joint venture with Israel will serve as example for other education systems around the world. The Education Ministry and Wikipedia are joining forces to enable Israeli pupils to fill in missing information on the online encyclopedia’s site, it was announced Tuesday. Education Minister Shai Piron and Jan-Bart de Vreede, chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, have agreed on a collaborative program to train history, geography and science teachers to guide their students in editing and adding to Wikipedia articles. “It is important for us that the education system in Israel will lead the innovation and collaboration with Wikipedia and provide a wonderful opportunity to think outside the box and allow students in Israel to do things which will also influence others,” Piron said. This agreement marks the first systematic collaboration between an education system and the Wikimedia movement. See also, Redress Information and Analysis, Israeli propagandists taking over Wikipedia?  Editor, June 11, 2014. The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, has signed an agreement that will allow Israeli propagandists to promote Israel and its policies through the pages of Wikipedia, the world’s largest and most popular free encyclopedia. The article reminded us that Israelis are already making extensive use of Wikipedia to promote their views. Justice Integrity Project Editor's Note: This column includes offensive language deleted from this news excerpt.

June 9

WTVA-TV (ABC News affiliate in Tupelo-Columbus, MS), Study says MS, AL among most corrupt states, Staff and wire report, June 9, 2014. A new study recently released lists Mississippi and Alabama as two of the nation's most corrupt states. Researchers at Indiana University and City University of Hong Kong identified the most and least corrupt states in the study, "The Impact of Public Officials' Corruption on the Size and Allocation of U.S. State Spending," by examining thousands of convictions for violations of federal anti-corruption laws over a 32-year period. With that information, they created a "corruption index" by comparing convictions with the number of government employees in those states. Tennessee and Florida were also listed among the 10 most corrupt states in the United States. Those listed among the least corrupt states include Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Vermont, Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado and Kansas.

OpEdNews, Ukraine President Once Agent for U.S. State Department, Michael Collins, June 9, 2014. Two diplomatic messages from the WikiLeaks Public Library on U.S. Diplomacy indicate that newly elected President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, was an agent for United States State Department. Poroshenko is a Ukrainian oligarch, one of the fifty or so wealthiest citizens who run the country. It is unlikely the president got cash for his services but highly likely that he extracted financial advantage as a result.

June 8

James ClapperIntercept via OpEd News, Encouraging Words of Regret From Dean Baquet and Weasel Words From James Clapper, Glenn Greenwald, June 8, 2014. NPR's David Folkenflik has a revealing new look at what I have long believed is one of the most important journalistic stories of the last decade: The New York Times' 2004 decision, at the behest of George W. Bush himself, to suppress for 15 months (through Bush's re-election) its reporters' discovery that the NSA was illegally eavesdropping on Americans without warrants. Folkenflik's NPR story confirms what has long been clear: The only reason the Times eventually published that article was because one of its reporters, James Risen, had become so frustrated that he wrote a book that was about to break the story, leaving the paper with no choice. As Folkenflik notes, this episode was one significant reason Edward Snowden purposely excluded the Times from his massive trove of documents. In an interview with Folkenflik, the paper's new executive editor, Dean Baquet, describes the paper's exclusion from the Snowden story as "really painful." But, as I documented in my book and in recent interviews, Baquet has his own checkered history in suppressing plainly newsworthy stories at the government's request, including a particularly inexcusable 2007 decision, when he was the managing editor of The Los Angeles Times, to kill a story based on AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein's revelations that the NSA had built secret rooms at AT&T to siphon massive amounts of domestic telephone traffic. White House National Security Director James Clapper is shown in an official photo.

Phillip Puckett.jWashington Post, Amid firestorm of criticism, Puckett won’t take tobacco commission job, Laura Vozzella, June 8, 2014. Amid a firestorm of criticism regarding his resignation from the Virginia Senate, Democrat Phillip P. Puckett is withdrawing his name from consideration for a job with the state tobacco commission. Earlier, Republicans appeared to have outmaneuvered Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a state budget standoff by persuading the Democratic senator to resign his seat and possibly dooming the governor’s push to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. See also, Va. lawmaker to resign, paving way for jobs for self, daughter, according to associates.

New York Times, U.S. War Gear Flows to Police Departments, Matt Apuzzo, June 8, 2014. During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft. The equipment has Oregon Marion County SWAT Team during training (flikr and Wikimedia)been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units. Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs. Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection. In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids on barbershops that mostly led only to charges of “barbering without a license.” As the nation’s wars abroad wind down, many of the military’s surplus tools of combat have ended up in the hands of state and local law enforcement. Totals below are the minimum number of pieces acquired since 2006 in a selection of categories. "It just seems like ramping up a police department for a problem we don’t have,” said Shay Korittnig, a father of two in Wisconsin. He spoke against getting the armored truck at a recent public meeting in Neenah. “This is not what I was looking for when I moved here, that my children would view their local police officer as an M-16-toting, SWAT-apparel-wearing officer.”

June 6

Washington Post, Dead babies are probably just the beginning, Martin Sixsmith, June 2014. The discovery of a grave containing the remains of as many as 800 babies at a former home for unmarried mothers in Ireland is yet another problem for the Irish Catholic Church. The mother and baby home at Tuam in County Galway was run by the nuns of the Sisters of Bon Secours and operated between 1925 and 1961. It took in thousands of women who had committed the “mortal sin” of unwed pregnancy, delivered their babies and was charged with caring for them. But unsanitary conditions, poor food and a lack of medical care led to shockingly high rates of infant mortality. Babies’ bodies were deposited in a former sewage tank. Sadly, the mass grave at Tuam is probably not unique. I visited the site — the home was demolished in the 1970s — and spoke with locals who remember babies’ skulls emerging from the soil around their houses.

Washington Post, Vodafone reveals extent of tapping by governments, Craig Timberg, June 6, 2014. The world’s second-largest cellular carrier said “a small number” of countries have unfettered access to customers’ private communications.

Edward SnowdenAnti-Empire Report, Edward Snowden, William Blum, June 6, 2014. Is Edward Snowden a radical? In his hour-long interview on NBC, May 28, in Moscow, Snowden never expressed, or even implied, any thought – radical or otherwise – about United States foreign policy or the capitalist economic system under which we live, the two standard areas around which many political discussions in the US revolve. In fact, after reading a great deal by and about Snowden this past year, I have no idea what his views actually are about these matters. To be sure, in the context of the NBC interview, capitalism was not at all relevant, but US foreign policy certainly was. Edward added that the NSA has been unfairly “demonized” and that the agency is composed of “good people.” I don’t know what to make of this.

June 5

NSA Official LogoReset the Net via OpEdNews, Internet Users, Activists, and Tech Companies Unite to Shut Off Large Parts of the Web to Mass Government Spying, Press release, June 5, 2014. On the first anniversary of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing, Internet users and the largest tech companies in the world including Wordpress, Google, Mozilla, Tumblr, Twitter, Dropbox, Sendgrid and CloudFlare turn off weak security and turn on privacy, all over the web. -- Today as part of Reset the Net, tens of thousands of Internet users and the Internet's largest companies rallied to protect billions of people. These companies and users interfered directly in the NSA's runaway surveillance programs by securing websites, apps, and services while supporting the largest-ever movement in history to spread encryption tools and collectively improve the security of the web. Reset the Net demands that web services take concrete steps to protect their users from government snooping, while encouraging everyday Internet users to adopt free and open source privacy tools.

National Press Club, Lawyer calls for reversing U.S. conviction of Cuban intelligence agents, Marie Wood, June 5, 2014. Martin Garbus, a trial lawyer and member of the Cuban Five legal team, told their a National Press Club Newsmaker on June 4 that the events in the case of the Cuban Five are unprecedented in U.S. history. Garbus was referring to the trial and conviction of five Cuban intelligence agents dispatched to Florida in the 1990s. Garbus explained that the mission of the Cubans was to infiltrate Miami-based militant exile groups plotting terrorist attacks against Cuba. He recounted that after the the Cuban government relayed the findings of the Cuban Five to the FBI, including a plot to blow up an airplane of tourists going to Cuba, the U.S. government arrested the agents instead of the suspected terrorists. The resulting trial, Garbus said, was a lengthy one, in which the defendants were convicted of crimes against the U.S.

Associated Press via New Haven Register, Jailed Connecticut transgender teen Jane Doe accepted at Massachusetts facility, Dave Collins, June 5, 2014. A 16-year-old transgender girl detained without criminal charges at an adult women’s prison in Connecticut for the past two months has been accepted into a private treatment center for youths in Massachusetts. Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz said she expects the girl to be brought to the treatment center within the next two weeks. The teen, who was born a boy but identifies as a girl, has suffered sexual abuse and other trauma and has a range of mental health needs. Her lawyer has said he was worried her mental health problems were getting worse because she has been detained in what he called solitary confinement, which DCF officials denied. See also, Cool Justice Report via New Haven Register, DCF boss / ex-judge Katz has robitis bad, and that ain’t good, Andy Thibault, May 5, 2014. "Robitis: An affliction developed by otherwise semi-normal people wearing robes: Undue deference and power go to their heads and they think they have actually become smarter since being frocked. As such, they do not countenance anything approaching viable oversight."

Paulus Hook Association (New Jersey) via Vimeo, Interview of 'Ruthless Ambition' Author Louis Manzo by Dr. Jonathan Wharton, June 5, 2014 (video). 

June 4

President Barack Obama and President-elect Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talk after statements to the press following their bilateral meeting in Warsaw, Poland, as shown in a White House Photo.

Consortium News via OpEdNews, The Only Standards Are Double Standards, Robert Parry, June 4, 2014. Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko June 4,2014 Sometimes in dealing with the U.S. government and its compliant mainstream media, I'm left with the feeling that if it weren't for double standards, there would be no standards at all. From President Barack Obama to the editors at the Washington Post and the New York Times, it's obvious that what's good for the goose is not good for the gander. An election in an embattled country is valid and even inspiring if it turns out the way Official Washington wants, as in Ukraine last month; otherwise it's a sham and illegitimate, as in Syria this month. Similarly, people have an inalienable right of self-determination if it's Kosovo or South Sudan, but not if it's Crimea or the Donbass region of Ukraine. Those referenda for separation from Ukraine must have been "rigged" though there is no evidence they were. Everything is seen through the eye of the beholder and the beholders in Official Washington are deeply biased.

FireDogLake, New Organization Launched to Accept Submissions & Provide Support to Whistleblowers, Kevin Gosztola, June 4, 2014. A new organization has been launched by whistleblowers, journalists, activists, lawyers and former government officials to help whistleblowers make disclosures that are in the public interest. The launch was announced at a press conference at the National Press Club this morning. Similar to how WikiLeaks was initially set up, the organization has a website with a submission system developed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation known as “SecureDrop.” The system will make it possible for a person to submit material to the organization, ExposeFacts, while at the same time giving that individual a level of confidence that their identity will be protected.

Washington Lawyer, Cover Blown: NSA Surveillance and Secrets, Anna Stolley Persky, June 2014.

June 3

Washington Post, Hundreds of Pro-Russian militants wage shootout with border guards in Luhansk, Griff Witte and Carol Morello, June 3, 2014. After several days of setbacks, Ukrainian security forces sought to take the offensive Tuesday from pro-Russian insurgents in the country’s southeast, launching a major assault on a rebel stronghold. The attack on separatist positions in the city of Slovyansk began at dawn and continued throughout the day, with officials and residents reporting fierce clashes. Much of the fighting, however, was still conducted from a distance, with Ukrainian forces pounding rebel positions with artillery fire, residents said. Although troops were massing around Slovyansk, it was unclear whether they would attempt to enter the heart of the city — a move that could lead to high casualties on both sides and among civilians. Residents were urged Tuesday to remain inside their homes while battles raged on the outskirts of Slovyansk.

Bennett GershmanHuffington Post, Cruel Justice: The Case of Don Siegelman, Bennett L. Gershman, June 3, 2014. Bennett Gershman, a professor at law at Pace University and former New York prosecutor, is an author and authority on prosecutorial abuses in the United States. Of all the egregious instances of misconduct by the Bush administration's Department of Justice -- its ruthless pursuit of voting rights cases and government corruption cases against Democrats and firing U.S. attorneys who resisted -- no case epitomizes the abusive, vindictive, and politically-driven agenda as much as the prosecution of Don Siegelman. In 2002, Siegelman, a Democrat, was governor of the blood-red state of Alabama and was predicted to win re-election. But according to sworn and strongly-corroborated testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Alabama's top Republican operative Bill Canary contacted Karl Rove and instigated the Justice Department's prosecution of Siegelman. Rove contacted the Public Integrity Section, and Canary declared confidentially that "his girls would take care of Siegelman." When asked who "his girls" were, Canary replied Alice Martin, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and Leura Canary, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. Leura Canary, by the way, is Bill Canary's wife.

Center for Public Integrity, Court reopens third case after Center uncovered judicial conflicts of interest, Chris Youngemail, June 3, 2014. Judge's wife owned up to $100,000 in ExxonMobil stock when company came before him,
A federal appeals court has withdrawn a three-judge panel’s 2007 dismissal of a Pennsylvania man’s lawsuit against ExxonMobil Corp. after a Center for Public Integrity investigation found that the wife of one of the judges owned up to $100,000 worth of stock in the oil company at the time of the panel’s decision. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had dubbed the case as “frivolous” when it originally dismissed the case that accused ExxonMobil and its chairman of maliciously and illegally raising oil and gas prices. But the court reopened the case on May 15, one day after the court received a letter from the plaintiff, Daniel Tilli, saying that he was “in disbelief” that Judge Thomas Reavley did not know that his wife had owned stock in the oil company until seven years after the court ruled. Reavley is married to fellow 5th Circuit Judge Carolyn King. By law, judges cannot own even a single share of stock in companies that come before them. Nor can their spouses or dependent children. Tilli learned about the judge’s conflict of interest after it was brought to the 5th Circuit’s attention by the Center in early April. See also, Center for Public Integrity, Federal judges plead guilty, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir, Chris Young, April 28, 2014. Juris imprudence: Litigants reeling after judges admit conflicts of interest.  Guillermo Ramirez did not live long enough to learn that one of the judges in his case against DuPont owned stock in the chemical company. He died last year of cancer that he and his family believed he got from a DuPont fungicide that he had applied to his strawberry fields. Now his family is wondering whether his case will be reopened due to the Center’s findings about the judge’s conflict of interest in the case. The Center found 26 examples since 2010 where federal appellate judges ruled on cases in which they had a financial conflict. Sixteen judges in all 26 of those cases had letters sent to the litigants to alert them of the mistakes. The letters are the first step in possibly reopening the cases.

June 2

James Risen and Delphine Halgand Feb 11, 2014 Noel St. JohnNew York Times, Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Times Reporter Over Refusal to Identify Source, Adam Liptak, June 2, 2014. The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from James Risen, a reporter for the New York Times facing jail for refusing to identify a confidential source. The court’s one-line order gave no reasons but effectively sided with the government in a confrontation between what prosecutors said was an imperative to secure evidence in a national security prosecution and what journalists said was an intolerable infringement of press freedom. The case arose from a subpoena to Mr. Risen seeking information about his source for a chapter of his 2006 book, “State of War.” Prosecutors say they need Mr. Risen’s testimony to prove that the source was Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. official. In the adjoining photo courtesy of photographer Noel St. John, James Risen is shown with Reporters Without Borders U.S. Director Delphine Halgand last February at a news conference announcing her group's annual chart of press freedom  and repression worldwide.

The Professor's Blog, The Ukraine Junta’s Air Force massacre of unarmed civilians in Luhansk, Dr. Marcello Ferrada de Noli, June 2, 2014. Professor Ferrada de Noli is a longtime professor of psychiatry in Sweden and Italy, and human rights researcher who has challenged Western European claims to operate free of human rights violations. Kiev’s Junta “anti-terrorist op” has aimed principally to retake administrative or symbolic buildings held occupied by disaffected people in the Donbass region, which strongly reject the idea of being ruled by a government instrumented by fascists and Nazis. These buildings are meant to be retaken by force, as the Ukraine government refuses talks with the political representatives of the people of Donetsk, Luhansk, etc, and which have established autonomous administrations after their respective referendums on sovereignty. For these extreme violent measures, the Ukraine junta has been criticized by the international community. In EU, for instance, almost no country has been willing to endorse the use of lethal force to remove the occupants. This has been with the only exception of Sweden (and the tiny countries Lithuania, and Luxembourg). Several of the attacks by Ukrainian forces have resulted in slaughters of the civil population. In certain occasions shot at close range by the Ukraine soldiers. See, for instance, the Ukraine Army’s slaughter of Mariupol civilians May 9, 2014, with unarmed civilians shot & killed at close range.

June 1

Los Angeles Review of Books, A Dangerous Method: Syria, Sy Hersh, and Art of Mass-crime Revisionism, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, June 1, 2014. No one expects a literary journal to possess the capacity to judge technical claims, but every journalistic enterprise has to meet minimal standards. The use of anonymous sources is not problematic per se. But it is common practice among serious editors to find a second, named source to corroborate information obtained from an anonymous one. Hersh’s damning allegations are all attributed to a single source. There is no independent corroboration.

Paul Craig Roberts.org, False Flag Attacks, June 1, 2014. The dwindling number of defenders of the official conspiracy theory have been reduced to two arguments. One is that no government would attack its own people or stand aside while terrorists did so. The other argument is that if such a thing had happened, someone would have talked. Professor Daniele Ganser of the University of Basel in Switzerland provides details of two officially acknowledged government conspiracies to murder citizens for political reasons. One is Operation Gladio. The other is Operation Northwoods, drawn up by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. This was a conspiracy to kill Americans and to blame Castro. The purpose of the conspiracy was to create fear and anger among the US population that would support regime change in Cuba. General Lyman Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, failed to convince President John F. Kennedy to give the go ahead.