Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘crimes’

The end of denial on Chile

Posted by Charles II on December 12, 2015

Jonathan Franklin, The Guardian:


A former conscript in the Chilean army has been charged with murder after confessing on a live radio phone-in to participating in the deaths of 18 opponents of the late military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Guillermo Reyes Rammsy, 62, was arrested on Friday and charged over the 1973 murders of Freddy Taberna Gallegos and German Palomino Lamas, members of Chile’s Socialist Party.

The extraordinary confession began on Wednesday afternoon when a man called in to Chile’s most famous talk show “Chacotero Sentimental” (Loving Betrayal) and told host Roberto Artiagoitía that he was considering suicide.

After briefly describing a frustrated romance, the caller went on to describe his involvement in a string of human rights crimes. He said that, as a conscript, he had participated in 18 executions, following Pinochet’s military coup against the government of president Salvador Allende.

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The limited hangout: Clinton admits Honduras coup role

Posted by Charles II on December 6, 2015

This actually came out a couple of months ago, but as part of keeping the record on the Honduran coup, I thought it was worth posting.

Mark Weisbrot, Al Jazeera:

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a review of Henry Kissinger’s latest book, “World Order,” to lay out her vision for “sustaining America’s leadership in the world.” In the midst of numerous global crises, she called for return to a foreign policy with purpose, strategy and pragmatism. She also highlighted some of these policy choices in her memoir “Hard Choices” and how they contributed to the challenges that Barack Obama’s administration now faces.

The chapter on Latin America, particularly the section on Honduras, a major source of the child migrants currently pouring into the United States, has gone largely unnoticed. In letters to Clinton and her successor, John Kerry, more than 100 members of Congress have repeatedly warned about the deteriorating security situation in Honduras, especially since the 2009 military coup that ousted the country’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. As Honduran scholar Dana Frank points out in Foreign Affairs, the U.S.-backed post-coup government “rewarded coup loyalists with top ministries,” opening the door for further “violence and anarchy.”

Clinton admits that she used the power of her office to make sure that Zelaya would not return to office. “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico,” Clinton writes. “We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

Clinton’s false testimony is even more revealing. She reports that Zelaya was arrested amid “fears that he was preparing to circumvent the constitution and extend his term in office.” This is simply not true. As Clinton must know, when Zelaya was kidnapped by the military and flown out of the country in his pajamas on June 28, 2009, he was trying to put a consultative, nonbinding poll on the ballot to ask voters whether they wanted to have a real referendum on reforming the constitution during the scheduled election in November. It is important to note that Zelaya was not eligible to run in that election. Even if he had gotten everything he wanted, it was impossible for Zelaya to extend his term in office. But this did not stop the extreme right in Honduras and the United States from using false charges of tampering with the constitution to justify the coup.

I would say even more damning is Clinton’s characterization of Kissinger as “a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. ” Kissinger is a war criminal, and a promoter of Operation Condor, including a direct role in fomenting the massacre in Chile.

If Hillary Clinton is a friend of Henry Kissinger, she is no friend to liberty and the rule of law.

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The earth expires in flatulence

Posted by Charles II on December 5, 2015

Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian:

Massive natural gas storage leak alarms California residents, climate activists

Rupture at Aliso Canyon natural gas storage site has released the equivalent of 800,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and won’t be plugged for another three months

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Corrupt, from top to bottom

Posted by Charles II on December 4, 2015

The Wisconsin Republican Party really is completely corrupt, from top to bottom. Brendan Fischer f PRWatch, via The Madison CapTimes (h/t noblejoanie of the Eschatonians):

In ‘extraordinary’ move, WI Supreme Court fires Scott Walker prosecutor to stave-off SCOTUS review: Brendan Fischer of PR Watch writes: “‘What a mess this court has wrought!’ Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson declared in the latest chapter in the state’s John Doe legal saga. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s majority contorted itself to find a new way to protect both Scott Walker and the Court’s biggest supporters–not to mention itself–following its decision in July rewriting the state’s limits on money in politics and ending the ‘John Doe’ investigation into Walker’s campaign coordinating with dark money groups. Wednesday’s ruling was supposed to be a straightforward decision on a motion to reconsider, in light of additional evidence that Walker and his allies had violated the campaign finance laws that the Court upheld in July. The Court denied that motion, but then (in a lengthy unsigned opinion) went further, rewriting its July decision to fire the Republican Special Prosecutor who had led the investigation, Francis Schmitz, making it harder for him to challenge the justices’ conflicts-of-interest by appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Those conflicts arise from the fact that the same groups that coordinated with Walker’s campaign were among the majority’s biggest financial supporters, raising concerns under U.S. Supreme Court precedent about whether the justices should have heard the case at all. ‘The miscalculation I made in this investigation was underestimating the power and influence special interest groups have in Wisconsin politics,’ said Schmitz, a retired U.S. Army colonel and former counter-terrorism prosecutor.”

the Court’s four-justice majority was elected to the bench with at least $10 million in spending from precisely the same groups accused of coordinating with Walker, and precisely the same groups that were under investigation in the John Doe–namely, Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. –

The majority’s “rationale simply seems invented to justify the pre-ordained desired result,” Justice Abrahamson wrote in dissent.

With Schmitz off the case, it is unclear who can represent the prosecution moving forward. The Court previously denied motions by other members of the prosecution team to intervene in the case, even for the limited purpose of preserving evidence.

See more at:

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Minnesota nice

Posted by Charles II on November 26, 2015

Abby Simons and David Chanen, Strib:

A Mankato police officer said he got a phone call about 1 a.m. Tuesday from an old high school friend.

The man on the other end of the line was Allen Lawrence “Lance” Scarsella III, who confessed that just two hours before he had shot five people at a protest outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct station, according to court documents.

He remains in the Hennepin County jail, along with Nathan Gustavsson, 21, of Hermantown, Minn., and Daniel Macey, 26, of Pine City, Minn., who turned themselves in. On Wednesday, police also announced the arrest of Joseph Martin Backman, 27, of Minneapolis, on suspicion of assault.

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If corporations are people, they are very bad people

Posted by Charles II on January 16, 2012

John LaForge, truthout, on the latest atrocity:

In the amoral milieu of the corporate bottom line, you can’t blame Tokyo Electric Power Co. for trying.

Tepco owns the six-reactor Fukushima complex that was wrecked by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and smashed by the resulting tsunami. It faces more than $350 billion in compensation and clean-up costs, as well as likely prosecution for withholding crucial information that may have prevented some radiation exposures and for operating the giant station after being warned about the inadequacy of its protections against disasters.

So, when the company was hauled into Tokyo District Court October 31 by the Sunfield Golf Club, which was demanding decontamination of the golf course, Tepco lawyers tried something novel. They claimed the company isn’t liable because it no longer “owned” the radioactive poisons that were spewed from its destroyed reactors.

“Radioactive materials that scattered and fell from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant belong to individual landowners there, not Tepco,” the company said. This stunned the court, the plaintiffs and the press. An attorney for the golf club said, “We are flabbergasted….”

You gotta admit, that’s a novel defense. If they get away with it, I wonder what’s next? Guys claiming that they are not responsible for the deaths of people they shoot because the bullet is not longer in their gun?

Anyway, as we groan about the outrageous conduct of our corporations, it’s good to keep in mind that foreign corporations aren’t sweethearts either.

Posted in corporatists, corruption, crimes, impunity, Japan | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

FOX In the Henhouse: Murdoch Protector Darrell Issa Hit With Yet Another Ethics Scandal

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 13, 2011

Speaking of Rupert Murdoch and his media empire, the House Ethics guy who has so far flatly refused to investigate News Corp’s hacking the phones of 9/11 victims has been hit with yet another ethics scandal:

This morning, the group American Family Voices filed a formal ethics complaint against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, regarding the “symbiotic relationship” the congressman has established between his business interests and public responsibilities.

The AFV letter showcases a laundry list of Darrell Issa’s more questionable deeds, among them his purchasing millions of dollars of high-yield Goldman Sachs mutual funds at the same time he was pressuring the Securities and Exchange Commission to drop a fraud lawsuit against Goldman Sachs.

And what does Darrell Issa do when caught out like this? What every Republican caught out does: scream and squeal to his media buddies that Democrats ate his baby are picking on him!

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