Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for the ‘government malfeasance’ Category

“Anybody want to hear the one about the audio recording the cops said didn’t exist? “

Posted by Charles II on January 1, 2015

A California attorney has begun posting diaries on Daily Kos regarding cases he has defended. They are extremely entertaining. His first:

The transcript was a window into the heart of darkness. Bill apparently thought Stoney was a cop come to reward him for setting up Dave. He apparently wanted everybody to know what a good job he had done. He spared no details. He told about how he was in jail for burglary, drugs, and perjury when the detective approached him with a deal to lighten his sentence. All he had to do was go out and set up Dave. He was instructed in detail as to how he was to approach Dave. He reported his progress regularly to the detective. The detective introduced him to Joyce and told him how use her to get into Dave’s confidence. Bill said he was always afraid Joyce was a cop and actually asked Stoney if she was. Finally, Stoney identified himself as a private investigator working for the defense attorney. Bill was stunned. He asked for an attorney. Stoney advised him that he was going to be confronted in court with the statements he had just made. Bill said “What do I care? I’m in here for perjury anyway!”

Forward to the preliminary hearing. Bill testified under oath to the detective’s version of the story. My turn. I asked Bill if he had ever met the couple sitting in the second row of the courtroom. He looked out and saw Stoney and the stenographer. At that point, I handed a copy of the transcript to that smarmy lying bastard of a DA. He read a couple of sentences and asked for a recess. When we came back, he abruptly dismissed the charges regarding the pill sales.

His latest:

I have contended that the greatest power a license to practice law confers is the power to compel powerful people to testify under oath. But police have developed a countermeasure. It’s called lying. It’s a powerful device because it’s institutionally protected. Few lawyers can beat them head on. They will always be “believed.” Cops sardonically call it “testilying.” However, there is a workaround. It involves maneuvering them into telling the wrong lies. To do this, you have to exploit a common character flaw – hubris. Cops who lie are generally infected with a compulsion for dominance. They need to let you know they are lying and that you can’t do anything about it. That’s why I love to tell about the missing tape recording.

Posted in evil, government malfeasance, judiciary, liars | 1 Comment »

Is the U.K. Independent on the reservation?

Posted by Charles II on August 23, 2013

(crossposted with minor revisions at DK)

It’s an odd question, to be sure, but one in response to a very odd event. The Independent is a newspaper that I have traditionally regarded as off the reservation in the very best sense of the term. That is, I have always regarded them as a left-wing newspaper refusing to be marginalized and demanding that issues of importance to the left receive the same attention as those of interest to the rest of the corporate media.

But Glenn Greenwald has published a piece in The Guardian in which he says (to distill it down) that the Independent has published an article which could, perhaps, endanger lives based, according to The Independent, on “documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden” but which, according to Greenwald “clearly did not come from Snowden or any of the journalists with whom he has directly worked.”

For both of those statements to be true, the documents would have to have come from the government based on a list of the documents that Snowden obtained but has not published. They could, for example, have been based on documents supplied from the government based on the (apparently ineffectual) audit of Snowden’s actions or based on decrypts of the materials obtained from Miranda. Once in the public domain, the government could easily use them against Miranda to allege that the materials he has are being used to aid the enemies of Britain.

Greenwald quotes Snowden as saying that:

“It appears that the UK government is now seeking to create an appearance that the Guardian and Washington Post’s disclosures are harmful, and they are doing so by intentionally leaking harmful information to The Independent and attributing it to others.

The Independent’s Oliver Wright has said,

“For the record: The Independent was not leaked or ‘duped’ into publishing today’s front page story by the Government.”

He is receiving a torrent of well-deserved abuse for publishing dodgy material from dodgy sources for dodgy purposes.

______
The relevant phrases from the Independent are these. They either could serve to identify the site and therefore endanger the lives of personnel or provide information about sourcing for the article:

Britain runs a secret internet-monitoring station in the Middle East to intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, The Independent has learnt.

The Independent is not revealing the precise location of the station but information on its activities was contained in the leaked documents obtained from the NSA by Edward Snowden.

installation is regarded as particularly valuable by the British and Americans because it can access submarine cables passing through the region

Many of them came from an internal Wikipedia-style information site called GC-Wiki

The Independent understands that The Guardian agreed to the Government’s request not to publish any material contained in the Snowden documents that could damage national security.

A senior Whitehall source said: “We agreed with The Guardian that our discussions with them would remain confidential”.

It [the intercept station] is part of the surveillance and monitoring system, code-named “Tempora”,

Across three sites, communications – including telephone calls – are tracked both by satellite dishes and by tapping into underwater fibre-optic cables.

The Middle East station was set up under a warrant signed by the then Foreign Secretary David Miliband

Posted in government malfeasance, media, NSA eavesdropping, secrecy, truthiness, wiretapping | 1 Comment »

Pumping iron: how the financial system affects stock prices/updated

Posted by Charles II on April 17, 2012

Update from Larry Elliott,The Guardian:

The International Monetary Fund warned today that the European debt crisis could flare up again at any time and send the global economy back into deep recession.

Olivier Blanchard, the Fund’s chief economist, said there was currently “an uneasy calm” following the tensions in financial markets at the end of 2011, with hopes of a gradual recovery dependent on keeping the single currency in one piece.

______________
Barry Ritholtz has an interesting graph from Michael R. Rosenberg of Bloomberg that shows how financial conditions affect stock prices.

In brief:

The Bloomberg U.S. Financial Conditions Index combines yield spreads and indices from U.S. Money Markets, Equity Markets, and Bond Markets into a normalized index.

What this says is that the Index looks at how expensive money is, relative to the risk-free rate in various venues. The risk free rate has been lowered about as much as is possible, unless people start paying the government to borrow money. So far, every time that money has started to get more expensive to borrow, the Fed has dumped liquidity into the system, lowered the long-term risk free rate, and thereby forced down shorter-term rates to the point that they’re all up against the zero bound.

Click for more
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in financial crisis, government malfeasance, stock market | Comments Off on Pumping iron: how the financial system affects stock prices/updated

The Most Open Administration in History

Posted by Charles II on November 14, 2010

Read the following with the understanding that the Bush Administration suppressed this as well. But things like this make one wonder whether the DoJ under Eric Holder has improved since the days of Alberto Gonzales. Denial of legitimate FOIAs is illegal, not a good thing for the nation’s top law enforcement agency to be engaged in.

From the National Security Archive, an invaluable independent organization which seeks to pry things loose from the archives of the national security state:

Washington, DC, November 13, 2010 – The Department of Justice censored dozens of pages of a candid history of Nazi-hunting (and Nazi-protecting) by the U.S. government to such a self-defeating extent that former officials leaked the entire document to the New York Times this week, instead of fulfilling the Freedom of Information request and lawsuit filed by the National Security Archive and its counsel David Sobel.

“Now that we can compare the redacted document with the complete text of the original report, it is clear that the Justice Department is withholding information without legal justification,” said David Sobel. “For an administration – and an Attorney General – supposedly committed to an ‘unprecedented’ level of transparency, this case provides a troubling example of how far the reality is from the rhetoric.”

The National Security Archive submitted its FOIA request for the history of the Office of Special Investigations in November 2009, only to be denied by the Justice Department on grounds that the document – although completed in 2006 and never revised since then – was only a draft and was “predecisional” and therefore withholdable under the 5th exemption to the FOIA.

Posted in doing the right thing, Eric Holder, fascism, government malfeasance, history, our tax dollars at work, stupid, WTF? | 3 Comments »

Dancing the bacillus nova

Posted by Charles II on September 9, 2008

What do you call it when top legislators think that the nation’s leading law enforcement agency is, in effect, covering up an attempt to assassinate Senators Pat Leahy and Tom Daschle?

Scott Shane and Eric Lichtblau, NYT, on the anthrax case (via t/o):

“My conclusion at this point is that it’s very much an open matter,” Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, said…

In April 2007…prosecutors sent Dr. Ivins a formal letter saying he was “not a target” of the investigation. And only a week before Dr. Ivins died did agents first take a mouth swab to collect a DNA sample, officials said.

…Officials also acknowledged that they did not have a single, definitive piece of evidence indisputably proving that Dr. Ivins mailed the letters – no confession, no trace of his DNA on the letters, no security camera recording the mailings in Princeton, N.J.

…”If the case is solved, why isn’t it solved?” Mr. Grassley asked. “It’s all very suspicious, and you wonder whether or not the F.B.I. doesn’t have something to cover up and that they don’t want to come clean.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in FBI, government malfeasance, terrorism | 2 Comments »

How Quickly People Forget

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 20, 2008

It’s been disappointing, to say the least, that Senator Obama hasn’t spoken out again, publicly and forcefully, against the FISA telecom immunity fiasco that Steny Hoyer has decided must happen.

Yet, in answer to those who would gloat over this because they backed another candidate, Glenn Greenwald reminds us that there is another powerful Senator and major presidential candidates who has done somewhat less:

I remember a few months ago, when the Senate was preparing to vote on amnesty and FISA, and we had to force statements out of Clinton and Obama. Both of the statements they issued were vague and non-committal, and I and many other bloggers were extremely critical of both. In response, Obama almost immediately issued a much clearer and more committed statement. Clinton never did. Were you yelling and kicking and screaming back then like you claim today you would be doing if she were still running? I don’t recall that.

Just a little reminder. (Here’s another one.)

UPDATE: Some people are saying “Yeah, so what? She’s not the nominee.” Well, Obama isn’t either — he’s just the presumptive one at this point. Back in February, Senator Clinton was the presumptive nominee. She had promised the month before to oppose telco immunity.

Instead of whipping up support for the immunity-stripping FISA bill amendment, she didn’t even bother to show up for the vote. Obama at least managed that — during the height of the primary battle — and managed to vote for the immunity-stripping amendment.

So when you hear people saying that the results on FISA would have been better if Hillary was in Obama’s position: Well, not so long ago, she was in his position, and she did have the chance to use her position as presumptive nominee to mobilize opposition to immunity. Instead, she didn’t even bother to show up for the vote.

Neither Senator has covered him/herself in glory on this. But you can’t pretend that Senator Clinton was or would have been better on this than Senator Obama, because she’s already shown that she wouldn’t be — and wasn’t.

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, Barack Obama, FISA, government malfeasance, Hillary Clinton | 3 Comments »

From Hell’s Heart, Spitzer Stabs At Thee

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 15, 2008

If you’re a predatory lender, that is.

Dandelion Salad reminds us of why the banks wanted Spitzer gone. (Funny how David Vitter and Larry Craig are still in office, isn’t it?)

Posted in abuse of power, banking, big money, BushCo malfeasance, capitalism as cancer, David Vitter, Debra Jean Palfrey, distractions, DoJ, economy, Eliot Spitzer, GOP/Media Complex, government malfeasance, gravy train, Larry Craig | 1 Comment »

Bonddad Speaks. You Listen.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 28, 2008

Shorter Bonddad: People were warning the Federal Reserve about the dangers of unregulated money, but Greenspan ignored their warnings.

Posted in big money, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, capitalism as cancer, corruption, credit cards, economy, eedjits, government malfeasance, mortgage crisis, stock market | Comments Off on Bonddad Speaks. You Listen.

Pounding The Table

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 25, 2008

oppo.jpg

The old lawyer’s saw goes something like this, if I recall it correctly: “If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If the facts are not on your side, pound the table.”

A new shadowy wingnut-welfare group is out there and buying a lot of table-pounding and oppo-flinging:

Stepping up the pressure on House Democrats, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has launched a national ad campaign criticizing Democrats for not passing the Senate’s surveillance bill.

According to the group’s press release, the ad “will be seen on cable and satellite stations throughout the country and is also seen locally in 17 media markets across the United States.” The ads target 15 House Democrats, such as Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN). Brian Wise, the spokesman for the group, told me that the group had chosen the 15 because they were Dems “who we believe understand the issue and who would be the most effective to pushing the House leadership to vote on this.” He added: “politics really has nothing to do with it.”

Uh-huh. Then why is it that your little group is lying out its ass about the bill, won’t disclose its donors, and is run by Clifford D. May, who in addition to being a fixture at the National Review and other wingnut-welfare outlets, was the RNC’s Communications Director during the late 1990s?

Recovering Republican Ron Amundson has a great idea for a counter-ad. Kudos to Ollie at BSP for pointing me to this. By the way, considering that Tim Walz has resisted the Fear Factor crapola surrounding FISA, maybe it might be time for Open Left to consider taking him off their Enemies List? It might be something to show that, in the wake of the primary-endorsement fiasco involving Al Franken, the national netroots isn’t as clueless and ham-handed as they can sometimes seem when intervening in local politics.

UPDATE: Ollie at BSP says that Rep Eliot Engle (D-NY), one of the token Democrats on the FDD masthead, has apparently decided to leave the group as a direct response to their targeting Democrats with their FISA-fear ads. Oh, and somebody might want to ask Tom Scheck why he cites the Owatonna People’s Press instead of Bluestem Prairie on the FDD-Walz flap, even though the OPP has no RSS feed and it’s not a paper he seems to visit regularly, whereas he’s been familar with BSP since at least December of 2006.

Posted in 2008, anti-Americanism, anti-truth, conservativism, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, Democrat-bashing, Democrats, Democrats with spines, eedjits, fearmongering, Flying Monkey Right, GOP bullying, government malfeasance, totalitarianism, WTF? | 5 Comments »

Monday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 18, 2008

cat-herding.jpg

— Google:  Saving us all?  Could be.

— Remember when presidential signing statements were just commentary and not attempts to subvert the laws to which they were attached?  Mcjoan does.

— Brownsox looks for evidence of the “coattails” effect.  So far, he’s not finding it.

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, energy, environment, FBI, government malfeasance, saving the earth | 1 Comment »