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Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #1 
January 16 2015


US appeals court restricts police use of stun guns - Chicago Tribune
1 day ago - Police should not use stun guns on people who try to evade custody but pose no ... a federal appeals court decided in a ruling that will affect law enforcement ... no threat to anyone when he was shot five times with a Taser by Pinehurst police.
Second City Cop: Taser Restrictions
12 hours ago - Police officers lacked clear legal guidance on when they may zap people with Tasers, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decided on Monday, so it made a new rule ...
SC police told to adjust Taser policies after federal court's excessive ...
myinforms.com › Main › South Carolina (SC)
21 hours ago - South Carolina police agencies were told Friday to change their Taser policies after a federal court deemed it excessive force for officers to use stun guns on ...


Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #2 


Thursday, January 28, 2016Last Update: 8:53 AM PT
Judge Chides FBI for Cautious FOIA Handling

WASHINGTON - The FBI improperly withheld all records that would show how it responds to Freedom of Information Act requests, a federal judge ruled.
The political nonprofit National Security Counselors and the news-media outfit Truthout brought the challenge after the FBI refused to produce any records it generated in responding to FOIA requests over the last 25 years.
Joining those groups as plaintiffs were investigative Jeffrey Stein and Ryan Shapiro, who is studying FOIA and Privacy Act theory for his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Summarizing the case at issue as one "about how the FBI applies FOIA to FOIA," U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss said the exemption the FBI invoked here covers records compiled for law-enforcement purposes.
It said records related to past FOIA cases would risk "the implicit disclosure of highly sensitive information relating to ongoing investigations, confidential informants and classified national security matters," as paraphrased Friday by Judge Moss.
The FBI also invoked an invasion-of-privacy exception it said covers records tracking the performance of FBI personnel.
A court battle over the requests has been brewing for over three years, and Judge Moss granted each side partial summary judgment last week in a 63-page decision.
In rejecting the government's reliance on the "possible presence" of harm, Moss pointed to recent Supreme Court precedent warning "against permitting even substantial policy considerations to trump the plain language of the FOIA."
"There may be compelling reasons to authorize the FBI to withhold search slips and similar processing records," Moss wrote. "But the FOIA itself does not do so, and the FBI cannot act on the basis of an exemption ... that Congress has not provided."
An attorney for all the plaintiffs, National Security Counselors CEO Kel McClanahan echoed this sentiment.
"The overwhelming takeaway from this case is a reaffirmation that ... no amount of legal sleight of hand or predictions of dire consequence" can justify the FBI's decision to "create an exception to FOIA which would allow it to withhold the information it believed should be withholdable," McClanahan said in an email.
"The judge carefully dissected [the government's] argument and found that nothing in the statute or case law supported such an outlandish proposition," McClanahan added. "This opinion highlighted ... the basic truth that if an agency has a problem with the fact that the information it wants to withhold is not covered by an exemption, it should take the matter up with Congress, not the court system."
Judge Moss acknowledged the "gravity of the problem" the FBI faces, noting that its responding to requests for search slips and processing notes "might undermine the FBI's ability to exercise that authority by enabling sophisticated requesters to infer the existence of those records."
FOIA's exclusions simply do not apply, however, to the internal record-keeping documents that the plaintiffs sought.
"These narrowly defined exclusions relate to sensitive matters of law enforcement and national security," the ruling states. "They have nothing to do with the day-to-day administration of FOIA itself."
Moss also found it doubtful that the search slips requested here would disclose law-enforcement techniques as shielded by FOIA exemption 7(e).
"An agency cannot justify withholding an entire document simply by showing that it contains some exempt material," the decision says.
Stein and the National Security Counselors were less successful in seeking to compel disclosure of files that the FBI said contained information about private parties.
Though the plaintiffs pointed to FOIA's official-acknowledgment doctrine, which says an agency waives its right to invoke its exemption from disclosing certain information if it has already acknowledged the existence of said information in the past, Moss found that the information requested here was not a "perfect match" with what the FBI had already disclosed in previous requests for search slips and processing.
The FBI did not prevail, however, in withholding information that it said involved employees who perform FOIA searches.
On this point, Moss relied on a Supreme Court case over U.S. Air Force records.
Though the government can invoke the privacy exception used to shield "routine," internal information from public view, says the ruling, Moss said any document containing information of "genuine, significant public interest" is fair game for public consumption.
Under this logic, documentation of previous FOIA request processing is permitted under the public interest test, the court found.
By examining this information, the plaintiffs "may better understand the FBI's methods of processing FOIA requests, and, where appropriate, may hold the agency accountable for its missteps," Moss said, noting that governmental accountability is the very purpose of the FOIA's existence.
Declining to grant summary judgment for either party on certain issues, Moss called for further proceedings on Stein's claim that the FBI wrongfully invoked attorney-work-product privilege in withholding documents that a bureau lawyer prepared in anticipation of litigation.
More information "regarding the nature of the withheld documents" could "shed light" on what the decision referred to as a potential "novel concept of law," Moss said.
Representatives for the Department of Justice have not returned email Tuesday seeking comment nor phone call Wednesday.

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #3 
I just got this and want you to pass it on

om: Shane O'Sullivan
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2016 4:40 PM
To: e2films@gmail.com Shane
Subject: Parole Sirhan on February 10

Dear friends,
Twelve days from today, Sirhan Sirhan will again be considered for parole in San Diego. He was originally scheduled for release in 1984 but after intense political pressure, his parole date was rescinded and he has since been denied thirteen times.
In March, Sirhan will turn 72 years old, having spent two-thirds of his life in prison for a crime he cannot remember committing. For three years prior to his last parole hearing in 2011, Dr. Daniel Brown of Harvard Medical School spent over sixty hours with Sirhan trying to recover his memory of the shooting. Dr. Brown concluded Sirhan's amnesia for events before and during the shooting was real but his findings were ignored by the parole board, who saw the gaps in Sirhan's memory as a cynical ruse to minimise his responsibility for his crime.

Sirhan has been an exemplary inmate, with no prison violations since 1972 and an excellent work record. If paroled, he would be deported to Jordan to live out his final years, a danger to nobody. But as The Marshall Project recently discovered in a year-long examination of America's parole boards, parole decisions are often driven not by public safety but by politics. Since 1982, California has treated Sirhan like a political prisoner who will never be released, not a human being who has served his time and has the right to a fair hearing and the rule of law. In the courts, his habeas corpus petition was denied last year, despite new audio evidence indicating thirteen shots were fired in the Ambassador Hotel pantry that evening.
On Wednesday, with the support of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, we published transcripts of Sirhan's parole hearings dating back to 1985, so the public can read for themselves what passes for "due process" in this case in California. Today, I am publishing a new Kindle edition, In Jail with Sirhan Sirhan, an edited collection of jail logs recording Sirhan's first year in custody (see sample below) which will be free to download for five days from tomorrow to provoke discussion of Sirhan's case.
These new collections are part of a short campaign to raise awareness of Sirhan's case ahead of his parole hearing on February 10. After 48 years in prison, he has served his time and should be released. Please spread the word about the project to fellow researchers and your media contacts:
Campaign website: http://www.sirhanbsirhan.com

Campaign video: http://www.sirhanbsirhan.com/video

Parole hearing transcripts: http://www.maryferrell.org/pages/Featured_Sirhan_Parole_Hearing_Transcripts.html

All the best,
Shane O'Sullivan

E2 Films, London, United Kingdom

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #4 

Don't worry boys and girls.

The man who served 30 years was not related to you.
Go back to sleep.

As Bobbie Linicum was recently heard to say.

" I want to believe these are the good guys".


After 30 years, a prisoner gets a chance for justice

George Perrot was tied to a rape by an FBI analysis of a strand of hair, a method that has since been discredited.

George Perrot was tied to a rape by an FBI analysis of a strand of hair, a method that has since been discredited.

January 28, 2016

George Perrot could soon be free at last. He should never have been behind bars.

In a groundbreaking ruling with national implications, a Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered that he be given a new trial on the rape charge that put him behind bars for so long. It is the first time a judge in the United States has ruled that justice was denied because prosecutors relied on forensic hair analysis, now widely discredited.

“George was only 17 when he was arrested and has spent 30 years in prison without ever receiving a fair trial,” said his attorney, Kirsten V. Mayer. “He never had the opportunity to do the everyday things that are so easy to take for granted when you are not in prison. We are now working to reunite him with his family as soon as possible.”

Perrot was charged with raping an elderly Springfield woman in 1985, when he was 17, even though the victim, a neighbor, insisted he was not her attacker.

No matter, prosecutors argued: There was other evidence against Perrot — most notably, a single strand of hair found at the scene. On the stand, an expert witness from the FBI testified that the hair, found on the victim’s bed, was a match for Perrot, and that only someone “with a lesser amount of training” would conclude otherwise. In closing arguments, prosecutor Francis Bloom told jurors the hair evidence was so strong that Perrot could be innocent only if police had planted that strand in the victim’s house.

The jury convicted him.

We now know that Bloom crossed a line — in this and in other ways — presenting the jury with a false choice, a fact underscored by Judge Robert J. Kane’s thoughtful and thorough decision Tuesday.

Over the last two decades, consensus has grown that the microscopic hair analysis that was crucial to Perrot’s conviction, and a factor in hundreds of others, amounts to bogus science. The FBI now acknowledges that nobody can identify a particular person as the source of a hair or say whether a match is even probable.

“It is not a close call,” Judge Kane wrote. “Without that [hair analysis], the Commonwealth’s claims of Perrot’s violence were open to several lines of attack conducive

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #5 

Senators cannot even protect themselves
from CIA spying

You do know what to do

The Latest: FBI chief says encryption blocks investigations - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

The Latest: FBI chief says encryption blocks investigations

WASHINGTON - The Latest on the worldwide threat assessment from U.S. intelligence agencies (all times local):
February 9 2016


5 p.m.

FBI Director James Comey says one of the phones used by the killers in the San Bernardino, California, attacks remains inaccessible to investigators more than two months after 14 people were fatally shot.

Comey is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

He cites the case as an example of how encryption is affecting counterterrorism efforts. But he says the dilemma of bad guys "going dark" is mostly affecting state and local law enforcement officials who are trying to solve murder, drug and car accident cases.

Companies are increasingly making devices such as cellphones with encryption that allows only the people communicating to read the messages.

Comey says it's a big problem when law enforcement armed with a search warrant can't open a phone, even when a judge says there's probable cause to have it opened.


3:22 p.m.

CIA Director John Brennan had a heated exchange with a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee over whether the agency spied on staffers investigating harsh interrogation methods - a probe that resulted in the so-called torture report.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Brennan to acknowledge that a CIA search of intelligence committee files in January 2014 was improper and would not happen again. But Brennan held his ground.

At the time, Brennan denied that his personnel spied on Senate investigators. Later, an internal CIA review faulted five CIA employees for hacking into the intelligence committee's computers and emails. Brennan apologized to the top committee leaders, while insisting it was "very limited" access.

Wyden says both the CIA review and an inspector general's report of the incident found the agency had improper access to Senate files. But Brennan says Wyden mischaracterized the findings.

"Don't say that we spied on Senate computers or files. We did not do that," Brennan says.


Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #6 

March 1 2016

Japan recognises 'right to be forgotten' of man convicted of child sex offences

Court orders Google to hide news reports of Japanese man saying criminals are entitled to have their private lives ‘respected and rehabilitation unhindered’
A court in Tokyo has ordered Google to remove search results to protect a convicted man’s right to privacy. Photograph: Richard Levine/Demotix/Corbis

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

Tuesday 1 March 2016 05.16 EST
Last modified on Tuesday 1 March 2016 05.17 EST


Japan has taken another step towards recognising “the right to be forgotten” of individuals online after a court ordered Google to remove news reports about the arrest of a man who, according to the judge, deserved the chance to rebuild his life “unhindered” by records of his criminal past.

While Japanese courts have demanded the removal of information strictly for privacy reasons, the recent ruling by Saitama district court is the first in the country to cite the right to be forgotten – something that has been enshrined in law in the European Union – in demanding the removal of personal information online, according to legal experts.

The decision in December, which was only revealed in recently unearthed court documents, is expected to ignite a debate in Japan over whether authorities can reconcile an individual’s right to have expunged details of, say, a crime committed in the distant past with freedom of information and the public’s right to know.

In handing down the ruling the judge, Hisaki Kobayashi, said that, depending on the nature of the crime, individuals should be able to undergo rehabilitation with a clean online sheet after a certain period of time has elapsed.

“Criminals who were exposed to the public due to media reports of their arrest are entitled to the benefit of having their private life respected and their rehabilitation unhindered,” Kobayashi said, according to the Kyodo news agency.

Kobayashi added that it was difficult to live a normal life “once information is posted and shared on the internet, which should be considered when determining whether (the information) should be deleted”.

The man, who has not been named, had demanded that Google remove reports posted online more than three years ago detailing his arrest and conviction for breaking child prostitution and pornography laws, for which he was fined 500,000 yen (£3,165). He complained that the case appeared whenever his name and address were entered into Google search.

Google has appealed against the decision in the high court, although media reports say that the man’s criminal record no longer appears in its search results.

The Saitama case is not the only ruling to suggest that Japan is following the lead set by the EU, where residents can request the removal of search results that they feel link to outdated or irrelevant information about themselves on a country-by-country basis.

In November, a court in Tokyo became the first in Japan to issue a temporary injunction ordering Google to delete sea

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #7 

With prosecutors' blessing, a jailhouse informant tied to the Mexican Mafia gets leniency
March 5 2016


The snitch who helped federal authorities decapitate Mexican Mafia operations within the Orange County Jail, and who is at the heart of allegations that the district attorney's office misused informants, was rewarded Friday for his cooperation with a break on potential prison time.

Under California's three-strikes law, Fernando Perez — a career criminal who went by the name "Wicked" as a member of the 18th Street gang and later as the mysterious "Inmate F" in court papers — was facing 40 years to life on a conviction of being a felon with a firearm.

After state and federal prosecutors said they would not object to leniency, Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett on Friday gave Perez 21 years. Counting more than 13 years of time served, Perez has a little more than seven years left on his sentence and could be out sooner with good behavior.

NEWSLETTER: Get essential California headlines delivered daily >>

At a sentencing hearing last week, FBI agent Anthony Garcia told the judge that Perez, 34, had provided valuable information about associates in the Mexican Mafia. It included which inmates were on the gang's "hard candy" list — those marked to be killed — and which were on its "green light" list for beatings.
See the most-read stories this hour >>

The agent said that Perez had supplied about a dozen "kites," or surreptitious notes passed among inmates, providing a rare glimpse into the gang's inner workings.

"It's good to get one, but to get them on a regular basis is fantastic," Garcia said.

Had members become aware of Perez's cooperation with authorities, Garcia said, they would have killed him at the first opportunity. "I have no doubt about that," Garcia said. "The gang culture here is very clear on that. If you rat, you're dead."

Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph McNally described Perez as a low-level Mexican Mafia member who had helped convict more than 25 people targeted by an FBI-led task force called Black Flag.

Around 2010, McNally said, a war was raging between factions of the gang, and "ground zero … was the Orange County Jail."

Deputy District Atty. James Laird called the Mexican Mafia prosecutions "a huge win for law enforcement."

"The jail was running amok in 2010," he told the judge. "Things are back in order there."

Perez, accompanied to court by U.S. marshals, pleaded for leniency in a cracking voice.

"I'm no longer the person that I was when I was involved in the gang life," he told Prickett. "I have changed beyond words."

He also said he did not regret his decision to cooperate with authorities, even though it made him a marked man. "It has been nearly nine years since I held my children," he told the judge. "Please let me go home."

Prickett denied media requests to photograph Perez — a diminutive man with a shaved head and glasses — on the basis that it might endanger his life.

In the federal witness protection program as he serves his time, Perez is being held at a location secret even to his lawyer.

"I don't know where he is, I don't know where he's been, I have no way of contacting him other than relying on him to call me," Richard Curran said. When Perez is released, Curran said, he will be given a new name and go into hiding.

Perez's work as an informant was the catalyst for a controversy dogging the Orange County district attorney's office.

In 2011, well into Perez's career as a snitch, Orange County jailers put him in a cell next to Scott Dekraai — the former tugboat crewman who pleaded guilty to murdering eight people at a Seal Beach beauty salon.

Prosecutors hoped to use what the killer told Perez, during hours of secretly recorded conversations, to put Dekraai on death row.

The district attorney's office said the proximity between snitch and killer was mere coincidence. Dekraai's lawyer, Scott Sanders, insisted Perez had been planted — part of a widespread pattern of violating the rights of defendants who already had lawyers.

The controversy has caused numerous homicide cases to unravel. Last year, a judge ruled that prosecutors had improperly withheld informant-related evidence and threw the district attorney's office off the Dekraai case.

As a result of the ongoing controversy, the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday asked the Orange County district attorney's office and Sheriff's Department to detail their policies regarding the use of informants.

"We know that Orange County officials have failed to play by the rules," Brendan Hamme, an ACLU staff attorney, said in a statement. "What we don't know is

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #8 

Bookstore owner turns tables, questions why he was target of FBI probe
Bookstore owner was target of 2-year investigation

Theresa Baker-Pickering and her husband, Leslie Pickering, have learned that they were the subjects of an FBI investigation. 
on March 17, 2016 - 8:06 PM, updated March 18, 2016 at 6:29 AM


Pickering, long a target of the FBI, turns his story into an art exhibit
FBI asked for tracking of Pickering mail in 2012
Former Earth Liberation Front spokesman files federal suit for information from FBI

The FBI kept tabs on a Buffalo bookstore owner for two years.

Agents watched Leslie Pickering’s home and store, monitored his mail and used grand jury subpoenas to gather information about him.

At the core of the investigation was the allegation, still unproven, that Pickering, a longtime environmental activist, was operating an eco-terrorism cell out of Burning Books, his West Side bookstore.

The investigation turned up no evidence of a threat and was shut down after a confidential informant recanted part of her story, according to newly released FBI documents

March 22 2016

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #9 


Posted by Bill Conroy - March 27, 2016 at 8:43 pm

The Washington CannaBusiness Association, Headed by a Former Microsoft Executive, Is Playing a Major Role in Shaping the Emerging Legal-Marijuana Landscape

The lobbyist for a trade association that helped write legislation that will assimilate Washington State’s unregulated medical-marijuana market into it’s recently legalized recreational cannabis market appears to be having an oversized influence on the course of cannabis policymaking in the state, based on an examination of emails obtained through an open-records request.

That insider influence also appears to have crossed over some ethical borderlines and possibly influenced the course of an investigation

Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #10 
‘D.C. Madam’ attorney forbidden by Supreme Court to disclose records ‘relevant to present election cycle’


–Supreme Court issues ‘denial-without-explanation’ to ‘D.C. Madam’ attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley By Lori Price, http://www.legitgov.org | 03 May 2016 | On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court “denied a stay sought by Montgomery Blair Sibley, who had asked to be released from a lower court restraining order that barred him from sharing the records of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, known as the ‘D.C. Madam'” (The Washington Post). Sibley, attorney for the late Palfrey, seeks to release the sealed records that he has maintained are “relevant to the present election cycle.”

In his a blog entry posted Tuesday, entitled ‘My Next Steps…,’ Sibley discussed his next course of action. “Yesterday, the Supreme Court docketed the denial of my Application. They gave no reason for the denial of my request to review the refusal of the District Court Clerk to file my Motions for Modification of the Restraining Order which I believe prevents me from releasing information relevant to the present election cycle. So now what is my next step? Torn as I am that I should not be gagged from First Amendment political speech by a restraining order that I am being denied the opportunity to even asked to be dissolved… I will continue to press Obama Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Garland of the D.C. Circuit Court to expedite the resolution of the Petition I placed before him on March 9, 2016.”

For more on the history of the ‘D.C. Madam’ political scandal, see: CLG’s ‘DC Madam’ Phone Records.




May 3-4, 2016 — Trump refers to Rafael Cruz being with Oswald in New Orleans


May 3, 2016

Rafael Cruz and Lee Harvey Oswald has gone mainstream.


See realtime coverage

Donald Trump associates Ted Cruz’s father with JFK’s assassin

Washington Post

1030 hours GMT-5 5/3/16

Try watching this video on http://www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser. Never one to shy away from discussing unsubstantiated tabloid fodder, Donald Trump told the Fox News Channel on Tuesday morning that Ted.


Trump hits back at Cruz’s dad over ‘body of Christ’ appeal Fox News

Donald Trump Accuses Ted Cruz’s Father of Associating With Kennedy Assassin New York Times (blog)

Highly Cited:Trump accuses Cruz’s father of helping JFK’s assassinPolitico (blog)

Opinion:The Latest: Trump attacks Cruz’s father over Oswald photoDaily Mail

In Depth:News roundup: Trump says Cruz’s father was with JFK assassinSalt Lake Tribune (blog)






Clinton says she’d take Bill ‘out of retirement’ for White House jobs role

[Ed.: Public call-in segment: What jobs do you foresee Bill getting in the Clinton administration?
Oh, our first caller is Monica…]


TUESDAY, MAY 03, 2016


Tweet (WikiLeaks):

“Panama Papers not to be published or given to police/lawyers as money is moved and evidence destroyed http://www.dw.com/en/from-germany-to-the-us-authorities-want-access-to-panama-papers/a-19209191 …”

A film review: “Michael Moore’s new movie, “Where to Invade Next””.


Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #11 
I'd love it if you could circulate the following link. The FBI is trying to exempt itself from the Privacy Act, with respect to its biometric database. The public comment period ends June 6. There are only 6 comments so far so a push from likeminded people could really send a strong message.


Posts: 8,736
Reply with quote  #12 


Judge David Sentelle with judges Fay and Butzner ordered evidence of the cover-up submittted by Patrick Knowlton to be included as part of the final Report on Foster's death, over the objections of Kenneth Starr
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