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Archive for the ‘Justice Department’ Category

Time to reassess. The Obama campaign to keep Plan B unavailable.

Posted by Charles II on May 7, 2013

Via Atrios, Irin Carmon at Salon

[District Court Judge Edward Korman] repeatedly slammed his hand down on the table for emphasis, interrupting the government counsel’s every other sentence with assertions like, “You’re just playing games here,” “You’re making an intellectually dishonest argument,” “You’re basically lying,” “This whole thing is a charade,” “I’m entitled to say this is a lot of nonsense, am I not?” and “Contrary to the baloney you were giving me …” He also accused the administration of hypocrisy for opposing voter ID laws but being engaged in the “suppression of the rights of women” with the ID requirement for the drug.

Judges saying things like this is unusual. The Department of Justice and the Obama Administration in general need to re-think how much they want to placate the right. On the Plan B story, at least, they simply look like fools.

Meanwhile, I’d like to buy Judge Korman a drink. After dealing with these liars, I’m sure he needs one.

Posted in Barack Obama, Justice Department, women's issues, wrong way to go about it | 3 Comments »

Justice Delayed, But Hopefully Not Denied

Posted by MEC on July 15, 2010

Five years after four white police officers opened fire on black people for the “crime” of trying to cross a bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Justice Department has filed charges of murder and attempted murder against the officers.

To justify the massacre, the officers arrested one of the survivors and later claimed they’d been fired on first, even though no weapon was found. Two police supervisors have been indicted for obstruction of justice.

Posted in Hurricane Katrina, Justice Department | Comments Off on Justice Delayed, But Hopefully Not Denied

And In News That Surprises Absolutely No One

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 1, 2009

The murderer of Dr. George Tiller turns out to be somebody who was deeply involved in the anti-choice movement and Operation Rescue, a person named Scott Roeder. Rising Hegemon has the details.

In other news, Attorney General Eric Holder made the following statement:

“The murder of Doctor George Tiller is an abhorrent act of violence, and his family is in our thoughts and prayers at this tragic moment. Federal law enforcement is coordinating with local law enforcement officials in Kansas on the investigation of this crime, and I have directed the United States Marshals Service to offer protection to other appropriate people and facilities around the nation. The Department of Justice will work to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice. As a precautionary measure, we will also take appropriate steps to help prevent any related acts of violence from occurring.”

There were similar bursts of violence all through both Bush administrations, when their respective Justice Departments telegraphed to the anti-abortion community that such would be handled leniently, if punished at all. There were also occasional bursts during the Clinton administration, particularly at its start as Al Giordano notes. But of course none dare call it terrorism, except for those of us in the lefty half of the blogosphere.

Posted in abortion, Justice Department, Professional Christians, rightwing moral cripples, terrorism | Comments Off on And In News That Surprises Absolutely No One

To do what is right or what is effective?/updated

Posted by Charles II on April 27, 2009

Keith Olbermann raised an interesting question: was the goal of the torture to elicit false confessions of a link between Iraq and 911, i.e., torture to produce propaganda? I think the answer is obvious: whatever happens in organizations is generally what is intended. If an organization uses techniques known to produce false confessions, then that is what they sought to obtain. Muriel Kane of Raw Story has assembled much of the evidence that this may have been the goal. It’s been interesting to watch Keith’s guests shrink from reaching an obvious conclusion. Their only cover is that from a legal standpoint, the proposition is far from proved.
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Update: Jonathan Landay of McClatchy has provided further evidence that torture was used to manufacture evidence of an Iraq-al Qaeda link (via DeLong)
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And, separately, Marjorie Cohn and Elizabeth de la Vega have framed perfectly the debate on whether to prosecute torture or whether to proceed through congressional hearings. (Cohn asserts that the function of torture was to produce false confessions but does not demonstrate that). Cohn argues for immediate prosecutions, while de la Vega argues for congressional hearings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Justice Department, Obama Administration, torture, transparency | 3 Comments »

I Can Haz Rule Of Law?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 22, 2009

Just Us

Per LHP at FDL, signs point to “yes”:

David Iglesias, one of the US Attorneys who were fired for actually trying to do their jobs in a fair, non partisan manner, has just been tapped by the Obama administration to prosecute Gitmo detainees. This is an inspired choice. Not just for the “up yours” message it sends to the loyal Bushies — though that adds some fun to the mix — but because his unique skill set positions him to handle all the permutations of prosecutions to come in these cases.

Go read the rest of Looseheadprop’s story. Rule of Law: It’s the new black! (And black is the new president.)

Posted in Barack Obama, Constitution, doing the right thing, DoJ, dope slaps for Dubya, Good Things, habeas corpus, Justice Department, Obama Administration, political prisoners, political purges, President Obama, rights, Rule of Law, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | Comments Off on I Can Haz Rule Of Law?

IOKIYAR: #4,213,783 in a Series

Posted by MEC on September 2, 2008

Photobucket


Reuters (via Fire Dog Lake) reports that Alberto Gonzales “mishandled” classified information by taking home notes he made during a secret Congressional briefing.

…Wait. That sounds familiar… Do you remember a similar report from about three years ago?

Of course you do, because all the Usual Suspects made a colossal stink about it, and never pass up an opportunity to keep reminding us about it: Sandy Berger, National Security Adviser to President Clinton, took document copies from the National Archives home with him. He was prosecuted for it, fined, and deprived of his security clearance for three years.

But there’s a big difference between what Berger did and what Gonzales did.

The difference is that Gonzales won’t be prosecuted.

In case you thought the Justice Department prosecuted Sandy Berger because being careless with classified information is a Very Serious Matter, now you know it’s only serious when a Democrat does it.

Posted in Alberto Gonzales, hypocrites, Justice Department | 3 Comments »

Trial by innuendo in anthrax killings: update 4

Posted by Charles II on August 7, 2008

David Willman, LAT

A top government scientist who helped the FBI analyze samples from the 2001 anthrax attacks has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him for the attacks, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who for the last 18 years worked at the government’s elite biodefense research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Md., had been informed of his impending prosecution, said people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and the FBI investigation…

Ivins died Tuesday at Frederick Memorial Hospital after ingesting a massive dose of prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine, said a friend and colleague, who declined to be identified out of concern that he would be harassed by the FBI….

The scientist faced forced retirement, planned for September, said his longtime colleague, who described Ivins as emotionally fractured by the federal scrutiny.

“He didn’t have any more money to spend on legal fees. He was much more emotionally labile, in terms of sensitivity to things, than most scientists. . . . He was very thin-skinned.”

Is this the kind of legal system we want? One in which people, whether guilty or innocent, commit suicide because they can’t pay for legal defense.

There is no evidence in this article to connect Ivins to the anthrax killings. It’s all innuendo and ugly gossip.
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Update 4. James Rowley and Avram Goldstein, Bloomberg:

“Scientists and legal experts questioned the reliability of novel genetic tests that the FBI says link deadly anthrax letters to an Army bioweapons scientist who authorities allege carried out the 2001 killings by himself.

Because the FBI has never offered such tests in criminal cases, it’s uncertain the results would have been admitted in court as evidence…

Gene sequencing that linked the highly refined anthrax spores used in the anthrax letters to a flask in Ivins’s laboratory was a key piece of evidence cited by the Justice Department yesterday as proof Ivins acted alone. The government said it will close the case soon.

“Microbial forensics is still a nascent field, and, as far as I know, no one has ever been convicted in a U.S. court on the basis of microbial forensic evidence,” said Peter Hotez, a microbiologist at George Washington University.

According to Paul de Armond, cited in Update 3:

Anthrax is remarkably immune from mutation, thanks largely to an odd life-cycle that vacillates between long periods of dormancy and brief periods of volatile activity. It’s estimated that over 100,000 cell divisions can occur before a mutation of the chromosomal DNA takes place. Since anthrax spends most of its time as dormant spores, this can take a long time — so long that two samples collected decades apart can and often do have the same DNA fingerprint.

What makes me think that the “novel genetics tests” will turn out to be like the novel fiber tests of the past?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Justice Department, wrong way to go about it | 11 Comments »

Hoo Boy

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 6, 2008

Not sure if this is Karl Rove’s and Rachel Paulose’s revenge, or a legitimate bust of guy abusing his Hatch Act oversight authority — or Rove taking advantage of a legitimate investigation to take out a threat to Rove. The FBI raid on OSC chief Scott Bloch’s DC offices is still big news:

The Inspector General for the Office of Personnel Management has been investigating Bloch for more than two years. He allegedly retaliated against career employees and obstructed an investigation.

He also admitted hiring the company “Geeks on Call” to purge his computer and two of his deputies’ computers. Bloch claimed the computers contained a virus; however, investigators are believed to suspect that he meant to destroy evidence.

The warrant to seize the computers apparently was part of an investigation of whether Bloch violated a Congressional mandate known as the Hatch Act. The act prohibits employees from using their offices for partisan political purposes.

The Office of Special Counsel was created by Congress after the Watergate scandal to protect federal whistleblowers.

Bloch has been a controversial figure since he was appointed by President Bush in 2004. One of his first official actions was to refuse to investigate claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Career employees in his office say Bloch blamed them for leaking the story and retaliated by creating a new field office in Detroit and forcing them to accept assignments there or relinquish their jobs.

Much blood in the water, obscuring the vision. Turf war, or something more?

Posted in abuse of power, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, FBI, Justice Department, Karl Rove, Rachel Paulose, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 3 Comments »

Rove’s Alabama Gulag: Censoring The Truth

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 25, 2008

Attaturk alerted us to this last night:

Off the Air in Alabama


I am now hearing from readers all across Northern Alabama—from Decatur to Huntsville and considerably on down—that a mysterious “service interruption” blocked the broadcast of only the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes this evening.
The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee. This station was noteworthy for its hostility to Siegelman and support for his Republican adversary. The station ran a trailer stating “We apologize that you missed the first segment of 60 Minutes tonight featuring ‘The Prosecution of Don Siegelman.’ It was a techincal problem with CBS out of New York.” I contacted CBS News in New York and was told that “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19, which had the signal and had functioning transmitters.” I was told that the decision to blacken screens across Northern Alabama “could only have been an editorial call.” Channel 19 is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, who can be contacted through Rhonda Barnat, 212-371-5999 or rb@abmac.com. Oak Hill Partners represents interests of the Bass family, which contribute heavily to the Republican Party.

The link to the 60 Minutes Siegelman segment is here, for those who missed it — or were kept from seeing it.

Posted in abuse of power, anti-truth, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, corruption, cronies, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, Justice Department, Karl Rove, political prisoners, renewable energy, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, speaking truth to power, totalitarianism, treason, WTF? | 1 Comment »

Let the eagle soar… to new heights of the absurd

Posted by Charles II on November 25, 2007

No Bush presidency would be complete without payola for those who made it possible. John P. Martin and Jeff Whelan, Star-Ledger (via t/o):

When U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie announced a $311 million settlement to end a probe into kickbacks by leading manufacturers of knee and hip replacements, he touted the agreement as a groundbreaking development for consumers and the industry.


The deal also proved to be lucrative for Christie's old boss.


Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft was one of five private attorneys whom Christie hand-picked to monitor the implant makers. Now Ashcroft's D.C.-based firm is poised to collect more than $52 million in 18 months, among the biggest payouts reported for a federal monitor.


Disclosed in SEC filings, the arrangement calls for Zimmer Holdings of Indiana to pay Ashcroft Group Consulting Services an average monthly fee between $1.5 million and $2.9 million. The figure includes a flat payment of $750,000 to the firm's "senior leadership group," individual legal and consulting services billed at up to $895 an hour, and as much as $250,000 a month for expenses including private airfare, lodging and meals. ...


Besides Ashcroft, the other monitors tapped by Christie are David Kelley, former U.S. attorney in Manhattan; Debra Yang, former U.S. attorney in Los Angeles; David Samson, former New Jersey attorney general, and John Carley, a former attorney for the Federal Trade Commission and later Cendant Corp.


That would be the Debra Wong Yang who resigned as US Attorney’s office investigating Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) to join Ted Olson’s law firm. She has denied she was pressured to resign despite ample evidence to the contrary. Such a cozy little world.

Give a shout out if you recognize other familiar names.

Posted in abuse of power, corruption, John Ashcroft, Justice Department | 1 Comment »

 
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