Who's A Rat - Largest Online Database of Informants and Agents
HomeMembers LoginLatest NewsRefer A LawyerMessage BoardOnline StoreAffiliatesAbout UsContact Us
Who's A Rat - Largest Online Database of Informants and Agents Worldwide!
Site Navigation
Visit Our Store
Refer A Lawyer
Affiliates
Link To Us
Latest News
Top Secret Documents
Make A Donation
Important Case Law
Members Login
Feedback
Message Board
Legal Information
Advertise your AD, Book or Movie

Informants and Agents?Who's a Rat Message Board

WhosaRat.com
Register  |   |   |  Calendar  |  Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,154
Reply with quote  #1 
For a partial history of FBI  agents getting caught committing voter fraud
google the words leonard gates fbi.
To see how corrupt Blackwater is see  http://iraqforsale.org/

August 23, 2008 6:09 PM PDT

Joe Biden's pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

By choosing Joe Biden as their vice presidential candidate, the Democrats have selected a politician with a mixed record on technology who has spent most of his Senate career allied with the FBI and copyright holders, who ranks toward the bottom of CNET's Technology Voters' Guide, and whose anti-privacy legislation was actually responsible for the creation of PGP.

That's probably okay with Barack Obama: Biden likely got the nod because of his foreign policy knowledge. The Delaware politician is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee who voted for the war in Iraq, and is reasonably well-known nationally after his presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008.

Copyright
But back to the Delaware senator's tech record. After taking over the Foreign Relations committee, Biden became been a staunch ally of Hollywood and the recording industry in their efforts to expand copyright law. He sponsored a bill in 2002 that would have make it a federal felony to trick certain types of devices into playing unauthorized music or executing unapproved computer programs. Biden's bill was backed by content companies including News Corp. but eventually died after Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo lobbied against it.

Biden

Sen. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, whose anti-encryption legislation was responsible for the creation of PGP.

(Credit: Biden.senate.gov)

A few months later, Biden signed a letter that urged the Justice Department "to prosecute individuals who intentionally allow mass copying from their computer over peer-to-peer networks." Critics of this approach said that the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, and not taxpayers, should pay for their own lawsuits.

Last year, Biden sponsored an RIAA-backed bill called the Perform Act aimed at restricting Americans' ability to record and play back individual songs from satellite and Internet radio services. (The RIAA sued XM Satellite Radio over precisely this point.)

All of which meant that nobody in Washington was surprised when Biden was one of only four U.S. senators invited to a champagne reception in celebration of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act hosted by the MPAA's Jack Valenti, the RIAA, and the Business Software Alliance. (Photos are here.)

Now, it's true that few Americans will cast their votes in November based on what the vice presidential candidate thinks of copyright law. But these pro-copyright views don't exactly jibe with what Obama has promised; he's pledged to "update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated." These are code words for taking a more pro-EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) than pro-MPAA approach.

Unfortunately, Biden has steadfastly refused to answer questions on the topic. We asked him 10 tech-related questions, including whether he'd support rewriting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as part of our 2008 Technology Voters' guide. Biden would not answer (we did hear back from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Ron Paul).

In our 2006 Technology Voters' Guide, which ranked Senate votes from July 1998 through May 2005, Biden received a mere 37.5 percent score because of his support for Internet filters in schools and libraries and occasional support for Internet taxes.

Privacy, the FBI, and PGP
On privacy, Biden's record is hardly stellar. In the 1990s, Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and introduced a bill called the Comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Act, which the EFF says he was "persuaded" to do by the FBI. A second Biden bill was called the Violent Crime Control Act. Both were staunchly anti-encryption, with this identical language:

It is the sense of Congress that providers of electronic communications services and manufacturers of electronic communications service equipment shall ensure that communications systems permit the government to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other communications when appropriately authorized by law.

Translated, that means turn over your encryption keys. The book Electronic Privacy Papers describes Biden's bill as representing the FBI's visible effort to restrict encryption technology, which was taking place in concert with the National Security Agency's parallel, but less visible efforts. (Biden was no foe of the NSA. He once described now-retired NSA director Bobby Ray Inman as the "single most competent man in the government.")

Biden's bill -- and the threat of encryption being outlawed -- is what spurred Phil Zimmermann to write PGP, thereby kicking off a historic debate about export controls, national security, and privacy. Zimmermann, who's now busy developing Zfone, says it was Biden's legislation "that led me to publish PGP electronically for free that year, shortly before the measure was defeated after vigorous protest by civil libertarians and industry groups."

While neither of Biden's pair of bills became law, they did foreshadow the FBI's pro-wiretapping, anti-encryption legislative strategy that followed -- and demonstrated that the Delaware senator was willing to be a reliable ally of law enforcement on the topic. (They also previewed the FBI's legislative proposal later that decade for banning encryption products such as SSH or PGP without government backdoors, which was approved by one House of Representatives committee but never came to a vote in the Senate.)

"Joe Biden made his second attempt to introduce such legislation" in the form of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which was also known as the Digital Telephony law, according to an account in Wired magazine. Biden at the time was chairman of the relevant committee; he co-sponsored the Senate version and dutifully secured a successful floor vote on it less than two months after it was introduced. CALEA became law in October 1994, and is still bedeviling privacy advocates: the FBI recently managed to extend its requirements to Internet service providers.

CALEA represented one step in the FBI and NSA's attempts to restrict encryption without backdoors. In a top-secret memo to members of President George H.W. Bush's administration including Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and CIA director Robert Gates, one White House official wrote: "Justice should go ahead now to seek a legislative fix to the digital telephony problem, and all parties should prepare to follow through on the encryption problem in about a year. Success with digital telephony will lock in one major objective; we will have a beachhead we can exploit for the encryption fix; and the encryption access options can be developed more thoroughly in the meantime."

There's another reason why Biden's legislative tactics in the CALEA scrum amount to more than a mere a footnote in Internet history. They're what led to the creation of the Center for Democracy and Technology -- and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's simultaneous implosion and soul-searching.

EFF staffers Jerry Berman and Danny Weitzner chose to work with Biden on cutting a deal and altering the bill in hopes of obtaining privacy concessions. It may have helped, but it also left the EFF in the uncomfortable position of leaving its imprimatur on Biden's FBI-backed wiretapping law universally loathed by privacy advocates. The debacle ended with internal turmoil, Berman and Weitzner leaving the group and taking their corporate backers to form CDT, and a chastened EFF that quietly packed its bags and moved to its current home in San Francisco. (Weitzner, who was responsible for a censorship controversy last year, became a formal Obama campaign surrogate.)

"Anti-terror" legislation
The next year, months before the Oklahoma City bombing took place, Biden introduced another bill called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. It previewed the 2001 Patriot Act by allowing secret evidence to be used in prosecutions, expanding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and wiretap laws, creating a new federal crime of "terrorism" that could be invoked based on political beliefs, permitting the U.S. military to be used in civilian law enforcement, and allowing permanent detection of non-U.S. citizens without judicial review. The Center for National Security Studies said the bill would erode "constitutional and statutory due process protections" and would "authorize the Justice Department to pick and choose crimes to investigate and prosecute based on political beliefs and associations."

Biden himself draws parallels between his 1995 bill and its 2001 cousin. "I drafted a terrorism bill after the Oklahoma City bombing. And the bill John Ashcroft sent up was my bill," he said when the Patriot Act was being debated, according to the New Republic, which described him as "the Democratic Party's de facto spokesman on the war against terrorism."

Biden's chronology is not accurate: the bombing took place in April 1995 and his bill had been introduced in February 1995. But it's true that Biden's proposal probably helped to lay the groundwork for the Bush administration's Patriot Act.

In 1996, Biden voted to keep intact an ostensibly anti-illegal immigration bill that outlined what the Real ID Act would become almost a decade later. The bill would create a national worker identification registry; Biden voted to kill an Abraham-Feingold amendment that would have replaced the registry with stronger enforcement. According to an analysis by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the underlying bill would have required "states to place Social Security numbers on drivers licenses and to obtain fingerprints or some other form of biometric identification for licenses."

Along with most of his colleagues in the Congress -- including Sen. John McCain but not Rep. Ron Paul -- Biden voted for the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act (which was part of a larger spending bill). Obama voted for the bill containing the Real ID Act, but wasn't in the U.S. Senate in 2001 when the original Patriot Act vote took place.

Patriot Act
In the Senate debate over the Patriot Act in October 2001, Biden once again allied himself closely with the FBI. The Justice Department favorably quotes Biden on its Web site as saying: "The FBI could get a wiretap to investigate the mafia, but they could not get one to investigate terrorists. To put it bluntly, that was crazy! What's good for the mob should be good for terrorists."

The problem is that Biden's claim was simply false -- which he should have known after a decade of experience lending his name to wiretapping bills on behalf of the FBI. As CDT explains in a rebuttal to Biden: "The Justice Department had the ability to use wiretaps, including roving taps, in criminal investigations of terrorism, just as in other criminal investigations, long before the Patriot Act."

But Biden's views had become markedly less FBI-friendly by April 2007, six years later. By then, the debate over wiretapping had become sharply partisan, pitting Democrats seeking to embarrass President Bush against Republicans aiming to defend the administration at nearly any cost. In addition, Biden had announced his presidential candidacy three months earlier and was courting liberal activists dismayed by the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping.

That month, Biden slammed the "president's illegal wiretapping program that allows intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans without a judge's approval or congressional authorization or oversight." He took aim at Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for allowing the FBI to "flagrantly misuse National Security Letters" -- even though it was the Patriot Act that greatly expanded their use without also expanding internal safeguards and oversight as well.

Biden did vote against a FISA bill with retroactive immunity for any telecommunications provider that illegally opened its network to the National Security Agency; Obama didn't. Both agreed to renew the Patriot Act in March 2006, a move that pro-privacy Democrats including Ron Wyden and Russ Feingold opposed. The ACLU said the renewal "fails to correct the most flawed provisions" of the original Patriot Act. (Biden does do well on the ACLU's congressional scorecard.)

"Baby-food bombs"
The ACLU also had been at odds with Biden over his efforts to censor bomb-making information on the Internet. One day after a bomb in Saudi Arabia killed several U.S. servicemen and virtually flattened a military base, Biden pushed to make posting bomb-making information on the Internet a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in jail, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

"I think most Americans would be absolutely shocked if they knew what kind of bone-chilling information is making its way over the Internet," he told the Senate. "You can access detailed, explicit instructions on how to make and detonate pipe bombs, light-bulb bombs, and even -- if you can believe it -- baby-food bombs."

Biden didn't get exactly what he wanted -- at least not right away. His proposal was swapped in the final law for one requiring the attorney general to investigate "the extent to which the First Amendment protects such material and its private and commercial distribution." The report was duly produced, concluding that the proposal "can withstand constitutional muster in most, if not all, of its possible applications, if such legislation is slightly modified."

It was. Biden and co-sponsor Dianne Feinstein introduced their bill again the following year. Biden pitched it as an anti-terror measure, saying in a floor debate that numerous terrorists "have been found in possession of bomb-making manuals and Internet bomb-making information." He added: "What is even worse is that some of these instructions are geared toward kids. They tell kids that all the ingredients they need are right in their parents' kitchen or laundry cabinets."

Biden's proposal became law in 1997. It didn't amount to much: four years after its enactment, there had been only one conviction. And instead of being used to snare a dangerous member of Al Qaeda, the law was used to lock up a 20-year old anarchist Webmaster who was sentenced to one year in prison for posting information about Molotov cocktails and "Drano bombs" on his Web site, Raisethefist.com.

Today there are over 10,000 hits on Google for the phrase, in quotes, "Drano bomb." One is a video that lists the necessary ingredients and shows some self-described rednecks blowing up small plastic bottles in their yard. Then there's the U.S. Army's Improvised Munitions Handbook with instructions on making far more deadly compounds, including methyl nitrate dynamite, mortars, grenades, and C-4 plastic explosive -- which free speech activists placed online as an in-your-face response to the Biden-Feinstein bill.

Peer-to-peer networks
Since then, Biden has switched from complaining about Internet baby-food bombs to taking aim at peer-to-peer networks. He held one Foreign Relations committee hearing in February 2002 titled "Theft of American Intellectual Property" and invited executives from the Justice Department, RIAA, MPAA, and Microsoft to speak. Not one Internet company, P2P network, or consumer group was invited to testify.

Afterwards, Sharman Networks (which distributes Kazaa) wrote a letter to Biden complaining about "one-sided and unsubstantiated attacks" on P2P networks. It said: "We are deeply offended by the gratuitous accusations made against Kazaa by witnesses before the committee, including ludicrous attempts to associate an extremely beneficial, next-generation software program with organized criminal gangs and even terrorist organizations."

Biden returned to the business of targeting P2P networks this year. In April, he proposed spending $1 billion in U.S. tax dollars so police can monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal activity. He made that suggestion after a Wyoming cop demonstrated a proof-of-concept program called "Operation Fairplay" at a hearing before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

A month later, the Senate Judiciary committee approved a Biden-sponsored bill that would spend over $1 billion on policing illegal Internet activity, mostly child pornography. It has the dubious virtue of being at least partially redundant: One section would "prohibit the broadcast of live images of child abuse," even though the Justice Department has experienced no problems in securing guilty pleas for underage Webcamming. (The bill has not been voted on by the full Senate.)

Online sales of Robitussin
Around the same time, Biden introduced his self-described Biden Crime Bill of 2007. One section expands electronic surveillance law to permit police wiretaps in "crimes dangerous to the life, limb, and well-being of minor children." Another takes aim at Internet-based telemedicine and online pharmacies, saying that physicians must have conducted "at least one in-person medical evaluation of the patient" to prescribe medicine.

Another prohibits selling a product containing dextromethorphan -- including Robitussin, Sucrets, Dayquil, and Vicks -- "to an individual under the age of 18 years, including any such sale using the Internet." It gives the Justice Department six months to come up with regulations, which include when retailers should be fined for shipping cough suppressants to children. (Biden is a longtime drug warrior; he authored the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act that the Bush administration used to shut down benefit concerts.)

Net neutrality
On Net neutrality, Biden has sounded skeptical. In 2006, he indicated that no preemptive laws were necessary because if violations do happen, such a public outcry will develop that "the chairman will be required to hold this meeting in this largest room in the Capitol, and there will be lines wandering all the way down to the White House." Obama, on the other hand, has been a strong supporter of handing pre-emptive regulatory authority to the Federal Communications Commission.


0
joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,154
Reply with quote  #2 
read until you drop - 3 stories-not short

Show of support for the Jena Six

By from staff and wire reports
Bucks County Courier Times



As tens of thousands of protesters gathered 1,300 miles away in tiny Jena, La., about 150 area residents walked across the Trenton Makes Bridge on Thursday as a show of solidarity.

The plight of the so-called Jena Six, a group of black teens initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate, became a flashpoint for one the biggest civil-rights demonstrations in years with similar rallies held in cities across the country.

“Do you know what kind of symbol a noose sends?” Bucks NAACP President John Jordan said from a grassy area next to East Bridge Street in Morrisville. “The NAACP was formed to combat lynching. It’s a racial crime, it’s a hate crime, not a prank.”

Jordan was referring to the initial event that led to attempted murder charges against five black teens.

In August 2006, a black Jena High School student asked whether blacks could sit under a shade tree frequented by whites. The answer was yes, but the next day nooses were hanging from the tree. Three white students were suspended but not criminally prosecuted. In the ensuing months racial tensions escalated, culminating in December when white student Justin Barker was knocked unconscious during a fight. Six black teens were arrested. Five were originally charged with attempted murder and a sixth was booked as a juvenile on sealed charges. Of the five facing attempted murder, four have had their charges reduced.

“They gave those [white kids] three days [suspension], they gave Mike Bell 22 years,” Jordan said.

Mychal Bell, now 17, is the only one of the defendants to be tried. He was convicted of aggravated second-degree battery, but his conviction was tossed out last week by a state appeals court that said Bell, who was 16 at the time of the beating, could not be tried as an adult on that charge.

He remained in jail pending an appeal by prosecutors. An appellate court on Thursday ordered a hearing to be held within three days on his request for release. The other five defendants are free on bond.

Barbara Albany of Trenton said the kind of racism the noose symbolizes has no place in today’s society.

“That should be over by now but it’s stronger today than ever,” Albany said.

Jordan and other NAACP leaders around the country as well as other civil leaders — like Wayne Council and Lee Hood of Fathers and Men United for a Better Trenton — organized the rallies and marches to show support for the Jena Six and also to draw attention to inequalities elsewhere.

“We’re not condoning fighting,” Lisa Washington of Lawrence, N.J., said as she crossed the bridge with her children. “But they shouldn’t be charged with attempted murder for basically a fight.”

Protesters chanted, “Free the Jena Six,” and “No justice, no peace,” as passing cars honked during the 90-minute rally.

The teens’ case galvanized demonstrators as few legal cases have in recent years.

Stephanie Brown, national youth director for the NAACP, said the Jena case resonates with the college-aged crowd because they aren’t much older than the six youths charged. Many of the student protesters had been sharing information about the case through Facebook, MySpace and other social-networking Web sites.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, who led a throng of people three blocks long to the Jena courthouse with an American flag resting on his shoulder, likened the demonstration to the marches on Selma and the Montgomery bus boycott.

People began massing for the demonstrations in Jena before dawn Thursday, jamming the two-lane highway leading into town and parking wherever they could. State police estimated the crowd at 15,000 to 20,000. Organizers said they believe it drew as many as 50,000.

Demonstrators gathered at the local courthouse, a park, and the yard at Jena High where the tree once stood (it was cut down in July). At times the town resembled a giant festival, with people setting up tables of food and drink and some dancing while a man beat on a drum.

LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters has usually declined to discuss the case publicly. But on the eve of the demonstrations, he denied the charges against the teens were race-related and lamented that Barker, the victim of the beating, has been reduced to “a footnote” while protesters generate sympathy for his alleged attackers.

President Bush said he understood the emotions and the FBI was monitoring the situation.

“The events in Louisiana have saddened me,” the president told reporters at the White House. “All of us in America want there to be, you know, fairness when it comes to justice.”

While Jena Six supporters were overwhelmingly black, young whites were also present.

“I think what happened here was disgusting and repulsive to the whole state,” said Mallory Flippo, a white college student from Shreveport, La. “I think it reflected badly on our state and how it makes it seem we view black people. I don’t feel that way, so I thought I should be here.’

Courier Times staff writer Matt Coughlin contributed to this report.


now read court case of black FBI agent Donald Rochon
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:nmgIb7MY4C4J:caselaw.findlaw.com/data2/circs/dc/045278A.pdf+donald+rochon+fbi&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

then read
OBSERVER; Our Prankster G-Men

* Print
* Save
* Share
o Digg
o Facebook
o Newsvine
o Permalink

By RUSSELL BAKER
Published: January 27, 1988

LEAD: The latest F.B.I. horror story is about the pranks white agents in Omaha played on Donald Rochon, the only black agent in the office.

The latest F.B.I. horror story is about the pranks white agents in Omaha played on Donald Rochon, the only black agent in the office.

Like the time somebody took Mr. Rochon's desk photo of his family and taped an ape's head over his son's face.

And the way somebody would scrawl ''Don't come'' on Mr. Rochon's invitations to office parties.

And the time he was taking scuba diving instruction when somebody put a picture on the office bulletin board showing two scuba divers emerging from a garbage dump, with a picture of Mr. Rochon's face pasted over the face of one of the divers.

Agent Thomas Dillon explained that this and other scuba-diving thigh-slappers concocted in the Omaha office were ''funny'' because ''the reason blacks can't swim as well as whites is because their bone density is thicker.'' The wit must have had Omaha's white F.B.I. agents rolling in the files at those office parties.

The agent in charge at Omaha has said he considered the pranks ''healthy'' and evidence of ''esprit de corps.''

Applying for transfer to Los Angeles to be near his desperately ill father, Mr. Rochon found himself transferred instead to the Chicago office, whose agents were determined not to be outdone by Omaha's in healthy esprit de corps. Mr. Rochon arrived to find his desk had been turned away from the others and a piece of melted chocolate placed in his telephone earpiece.

This story goes on and on without getting any nicer until we learn that it was investigated and authenticated by the Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And of course F.B.I. Director William S. Sessions says racism ''will not be tolerated'' in the agency.

What else could he say? That the F.B.I. suffers from deeply rooted cor-ruption of the spirit? That the rot was bred into it during the long reign of J. Edgar Hoover? That it's time to shut the thing down and rethink from the beginning what a national police agency ought to be?

Not a single one of the gang of 13 pursuing Presidential nominations has been willing to make such a sensible proposal. Though each may be desperately in need of a way to catch public attention, none are desperate enough to do so by pointing out that it's past time for folding up the dreary old F.B.I. and replacing it with something up-to-date.

You can't blame them much. The American political memory is haunted by fear of the F.B.I. blackmail that J. Edgar Hoover employed to make politicians do things his way. Nowadays, of course, we have a new F.B.I. run by upright, decent directors - Webster, Sessions - men carefully chosen for strength of character, men utterly unlike terrifying old J. Edgar Hoover, good men, not blackmailers, not eavesdroppers, not well poisoners.

This latest F.B.I. story of Omaha and Chicago agents enjoying their ''healthy'' pranks at Mr. Rochon's expense scarcely conforms, however, to the portrait of a ''new'' F.B.I.

One of the uglier sides of the ''old'' F.B.I. was its contempt for blacks. J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to destroy Martin Luther King, documented at depressing length in David J. Garrow's ''Bearing the Cross,'' set the tone and style for the bureau's attitude in racial matters.

The Rochon affair suggests the tone and style are still embedded in the agency's personnel. After all those decades when the F.B.I. was being contorted into the bureaucratic embodiment of J. Edgar Hoover, it is not surprising that it cannot rid itself of his spirit.

What is surprising, though, is the ham-handed childishness of the attacks aimed at Mr. Rochon by men who, we are urged to believe, represent the best in American law enforcement. The cruelties they aimed at their victim were the sort of stuff that might be beneath the dignity of a high school sophomore.

It is shocking to realize that grown men, sufficiently intelligent to win employment in what has always been thought to be an elite force, could engage in such imbecilities.

It is alarming that their boss could think such half-witted behavior ''healthy'' and symptomatic of high esprit. Any competent urban police lieutenant would see at once that minds capable of amusing themselves with the stuff that tickled Omaha and Chicago F.B.I. agents ought to be restricted to the quietest beat in town.

Many urban policemen believe that, aside from its skill at hogging publicity, the F.B.I. is very inferior at most of the police arts. They seem to have a case.

And don't bother tapping my phone either, men, unless you want to know what dullness is
0
joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,154
Reply with quote  #3 


Mahru-Thomas venture files for Chapter 11

(Crain’s) — A venture controlled by Chicago developer Daniel Mahru and undercover FBI informant John Thomas has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a lender filed to foreclose on a $20-million loan on a Miami office building.

Mr. Thomas began working undercover in 2003, when he pleaded guilty in federal court on Long Island, N.Y., to a nearly $314,000 scam involving a client of his former billboard leasing company.

The Miami deal is one of several transactions that Messrs. Thomas and Mahru teamed up on since September 2005, when Mr. Mahru split from his former partner, controversial Democratic fund-raiser Antoin Rezko.

In a statement, Mr. Thomas says, "We had a dispute with our lender; we negotiated a forbearance (agreement), and we ultimately were forced to file for Chapter 11 ... as a way to protect assets and to work through a sale or a refinancing."

Advertisement
Related Article Topics | Related Industry News

In court papers, Ocean Blue contends the building is worth at least $35 million.

Mr. Mahru, CEO of Chicago-based Radian Development LLC, did not return a call requesting comment, and one of his attorneys was unavailable for comment.

The venture, Ocean Blue Leasehold Property LLC, is one of four companies related to the 12-story office building that last week filed for protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami. The bankruptcy case was filed about a month after an affiliate of Legg Mason Real Estate Investors Inc. filed a foreclosure lawsuit in a Florida state court.

The loan, which now has an outstanding balance of $19.6 million, was used to finance the purchase in September 2006 of the nearly 142,000-square-foot building in downtown Miami. The loan went into default on June 1, when Ocean Blue missed a payment, according to the foreclosure complaint.

Messrs. Mahru and Thomas are personally named as defendants in the foreclosure case because they personally guaranteed repayment, according to the complaint in that case, filed Aug. 20. The Chapter 11 cases filed last week involved only corporate entities; the two executives did not personally file for protection from creditors.

As a part of his plea agreement, Mr. Thomas, who was indicted under the name under Bernard T. Barton Jr., was given permission by a federal court judge to “engage in authorized criminal activity at the direction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” according to a court order.

Related story: Real estate exec plays mole in Fed probe

Mr. Thomas’ sentencing, which has been delayed until he completed his cooperation with the FBI, is scheduled for Feb. 19.

Mr. Mahru began teaming up with Mr. Thomas after Mr. Mahru split from Mr. Rezko. Last year, Mr. Rezko was charged with fraud in two federal cases unrelated to Mr. Thomas, one involving state pension money and the other involving a loan for Mr. Rezko’s restaurant business. He has denied the charges.

0
joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,154
Reply with quote  #4 
2 reads

1st read

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Russia's New Nuclear Challenge to Europe
from Mike Ruppert
http://www.copvcia.com

SPEAKING RUSSIAN

Here's my take on what the Russians are saying in a uniquely Russian way. (This is not a real letter, although it could be.)

Dear George Bush and Dick Cheney:

So, you do not wish to accept the generous terms we offered. OK, then. We will destroy the bridge over which Tbilisi receives most of its supplies from the west. There will be food shortages in the capital and plenty of other shortages as well. The capital city will soon be functioning only at maybe 1/2 to 2/3 of its pre-invasion state. Try to plan and execute something in that environment. It will also cut travel and communication between key areas of the country and it will lock refugees out of less-"stressed" areas. It will not hinder our movements at all but displaced persons will cripple yours. Should the BTC pipeline need repair for any future damages you will not be able to get the material and equipment to it. Only we will, and British Petroleum will come begging to us for assistance.

We will start forest fires in regions where you or your puppet Saakashvili might like to hide troops, tanks and anti-aircraft artillery. And if Turkey or any other NATO country tries to send aid we will block it, thus proving that NATO is ineffective for the protection of Georgia or any other part of Europe east of Gdansk in the North and Sofia in the South. We will leave Georgia in our own time and in our own way. And when we do leave, we will leave behind an invalid, incapable of functioning without billions of dollars of your aid. You have so much money to spend now don't you? Your own bridges are falling down because you cannot afford to repair them. You are broke and your nation is tired of war after seven years. We are happy to sign your paper so that you may tell your people and your allies that you are doing something but you are only fashioning the noose with which you are hanging yourselves. We are happy to give you all the rope you need for this purpose. It is good, strong Russian rope. You talk -- and we will continue to act in a Russian way that has been feared and respected throughout Europe since the Tsars.

You threaten to kick us out of the G8? We are terrified! Britain, France, Germany and Italy depend upon our natural gas to keep from freezing. And Japan buys oil from us as well. The winter is fast approaching and it could be very cold this year. Very cold. We shut down gas exports to the Ukraine a few years ago and this proved that we could shut down all of Europe.

It is no secret that our military doctrine calls for the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in a potential confrontation with you. This is how we protect against your oh-so-expensive precision guided munitions. You know and we know that we have them in South Ossetia and Abkhasia now.

So what are you doing America? Keep aggravating us and we will continue to punish those countries in the region who support you. You are backing yourselves and, unfortunately us too, into a corner where we both will have to dust off our launch codes. We do not think you really want to do this. We, on the other hand, are Russian.

Perhaps Vice President Cheney will have a heart attack on his way to push the button. We doubt that President Bush can find it.

Have a nice day,


Sincerely,

Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev

-----MCR

2nd read

While Steve Sachs is spending most of his time right now investigating police surveillance of activist groups, he has several other projects under way, including a federal death penalty challenge and the search for a ‘Civil Gideon’ test case.
Spying inquiry fits with Sachs’ retirement style
CARYN TAMBER
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
August 17, 2008 6:59 PM
Steve Sachs is retired. Really, he is.

The thing is, you wouldn’t know it if he didn’t say so.

In no particular order, here’s what the former attorney general of Maryland has been up to: heading an inquiry into surveillance of peace and anti-death penalty activists by the Maryland State Police; serving as co-chairman of the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee; representing a federal death-row inmate; looking for the perfect test case on the right to counsel in civil cases; and hanging out with his three grandchildren.

Oh yes, and he had triple bypass surgery in April.

“I had no symptoms,” Sachs said. His doctor “fortuitous[ly] discovered that I had clogged arteries from all that foie gras that I’ve eaten. In my case, the red wine didn’t flush it out.”

Sachs, 74, who won top honors in the 2002 Leadership in Law award program, served as U.S. attorney for Maryland from 1967 to 1970 and state attorney general from 1979 to 1987. He spent the rest of his career at what is now Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr LLP, where he remains of counsel despite retiring in 2000.

Sachs’ major project these days is investigating the alleged police spying. After the ACLU filed a lawsuit claiming that state police infiltrated three activist groups in 2005 and 2006, Gov. Martin O’Malley — who was mayor of Baltimore during the relevant time — appointed Sachs to look into the matter.

Along with Deputy Attorney General J.B. Howard and Assistant Attorney General Josh Auerbach, Sachs has been busy every day speaking with state troopers, activists and ACLU staff, he said. He said the report he will produce “won’t be short” and will touch on “both the facts as we see them as well as the legal, constitutional, public-policy considerations that lie behind the operation.”

Sachs also co-leads the Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee, a body created by the judiciary to monitor judicial candidates’ election tactics. That position hasn’t taken much of his time lately, though, as the committee has not received a complaint about judicial electioneering since January.

He speaks passionately about the death penalty case he is handling. He was court-appointed to represent Dustin J. Higgs in his post-conviction appeals. Higgs was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of three women on federal land in Prince George’s County.

A key post-conviction issue is the job done by trial counsel’s investigator, Sachs said. The original investigator found only a few documents about Higgs’ childhood in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; the post-conviction found 300 documents detailing Higgs’ learning and family problems growing up, he said.

Sachs and his co-counsel also have challenged the prosecution’s use of comparative bullet lead analysis testimony, a technique used to show matches between bullets. The FBI ceased using the technique in 2005.

Sachs said Higgs’ lawyers have raised several other post-conviction issues and are waiting for a decision from U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte.

He is also working with the Public Justice Center to find a case that will force the Court of Appeals to rule on whether indigent parties in civil litigation have the right to court-appointed counsel. The court considered a case in 2006 where “civil Gideon,” named for the Supreme Court case that established a right to counsel for criminal defendants, was at issue, but it was not necessary for the court to decide that question to decide the case.

“We’re looking for a case in which the Court of Appeals will have to face the issue,” Sachs said. [PHP][/PHP]
0
joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,154
Reply with quote  #5 
August 23, 2008 6:09 PM PDT

Joe Biden's pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

By choosing Joe Biden as their vice presidential candidate, the Democrats have selected a politician with a mixed record on technology who has spent most of his Senate career allied with the FBI and copyright holders, who ranks toward the bottom of CNET's Technology Voters' Guide, and whose anti-privacy legislation was actually responsible for the creation of PGP.

That's probably okay with Barack Obama: Biden likely got the nod because of his foreign policy knowledge. The Delaware politician is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee who voted for the war in Iraq, and is reasonably well-known nationally after his presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008.

Copyright
But back to the Delaware senator's tech record. After taking over the Foreign Relations committee, Biden became been a staunch ally of Hollywood and the recording industry in their efforts to expand copyright law. He sponsored a bill in 2002 that would have make it a federal felony to trick certain types of devices into playing unauthorized music or executing unapproved computer programs. Biden's bill was backed by content companies including News Corp. but eventually died after Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo lobbied against it.

Biden

Sen. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, whose anti-encryption legislation was responsible for the creation of PGP.

(Credit: Biden.senate.gov)

A few months later, Biden signed a letter that urged the Justice Department "to prosecute individuals who intentionally allow mass copying from their computer over peer-to-peer networks." Critics of this approach said that the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, and not taxpayers, should pay for their own lawsuits.

Last year, Biden sponsored an RIAA-backed bill called the Perform Act aimed at restricting Americans' ability to record and play back individual songs from satellite and Internet radio services. (The RIAA sued XM Satellite Radio over precisely this point.)

All of which meant that nobody in Washington was surprised when Biden was one of only four U.S. senators invited to a champagne reception in celebration of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act hosted by the MPAA's Jack Valenti, the RIAA, and the Business Software Alliance. (Photos are here.)

Now, it's true that few Americans will cast their votes in November based on what the vice presidential candidate thinks of copyright law. But these pro-copyright views don't exactly jibe with what Obama has promised; he's pledged to "update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated." These are code words for taking a more pro-EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) than pro-MPAA approach.

Unfortunately, Biden has steadfastly refused to answer questions on the topic. We asked him 10 tech-related questions, including whether he'd support rewriting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as part of our 2008 Technology Voters' guide. Biden would not answer (we did hear back from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Ron Paul).

In our 2006 Technology Voters' Guide, which ranked Senate votes from July 1998 through May 2005, Biden received a mere 37.5 percent score because of his support for Internet filters in schools and libraries and occasional support for Internet taxes.

Privacy, the FBI, and PGP
On privacy, Biden's record is hardly stellar. In the 1990s, Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and introduced a bill called the Comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Act, which the EFF says he was "persuaded" to do by the FBI. A second Biden bill was called the Violent Crime Control Act. Both were staunchly anti-encryption, with this identical language:

It is the sense of Congress that providers of electronic communications services and manufacturers of electronic communications service equipment shall ensure that communications systems permit the government to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other communications when appropriately authorized by law.

Translated, that means turn over your encryption keys. The book Electronic Privacy Papers describes Biden's bill as representing the FBI's visible effort to restrict encryption technology, which was taking place in concert with the National Security Agency's parallel, but less visible efforts. (Biden was no foe of the NSA. He once described now-retired NSA director Bobby Ray Inman as the "single most competent man in the government.")

Biden's bill -- and the threat of encryption being outlawed -- is what spurred Phil Zimmermann to write PGP, thereby kicking off a historic debate about export controls, national security, and privacy. Zimmermann, who's now busy developing Zfone, says it was Biden's legislation "that led me to publish PGP electronically for free that year, shortly before the measure was defeated after vigorous protest by civil libertarians and industry groups."

While neither of Biden's pair of bills became law, they did foreshadow the FBI's pro-wiretapping, anti-encryption legislative strategy that followed -- and demonstrated that the Delaware senator was willing to be a reliable ally of law enforcement on the topic. (They also previewed the FBI's legislative proposal later that decade for banning encryption products such as SSH or PGP without government backdoors, which was approved by one House of Representatives committee but never came to a vote in the Senate.)

"Joe Biden made his second attempt to introduce such legislation" in the form of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which was also known as the Digital Telephony law, according to an account in Wired magazine. Biden at the time was chairman of the relevant committee; he co-sponsored the Senate version and dutifully secured a successful floor vote on it less than two months after it was introduced. CALEA became law in October 1994, and is still bedeviling privacy advocates: the FBI recently managed to extend its requirements to Internet service providers.

CALEA represented one step in the FBI and NSA's attempts to restrict encryption without backdoors. In a top-secret memo to members of President George H.W. Bush's administration including Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and CIA director Robert Gates, one White House official wrote: "Justice should go ahead now to seek a legislative fix to the digital telephony problem, and all parties should prepare to follow through on the encryption problem in about a year. Success with digital telephony will lock in one major objective; we will have a beachhead we can exploit for the encryption fix; and the encryption access options can be developed more thoroughly in the meantime."

There's another reason why Biden's legislative tactics in the CALEA scrum amount to more than a mere a footnote in Internet history. They're what led to the creation of the Center for Democracy and Technology -- and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's simultaneous implosion and soul-searching.

EFF staffers Jerry Berman and Danny Weitzner chose to work with Biden on cutting a deal and altering the bill in hopes of obtaining privacy concessions. It may have helped, but it also left the EFF in the uncomfortable position of leaving its imprimatur on Biden's FBI-backed wiretapping law universally loathed by privacy advocates. The debacle ended with internal turmoil, Berman and Weitzner leaving the group and taking their corporate backers to form CDT, and a chastened EFF that quietly packed its bags and moved to its current home in San Francisco. (Weitzner, who was responsible for a censorship controversy last year, became a formal Obama campaign surrogate.)

"Anti-terror" legislation
The next year, months before the Oklahoma City bombing took place, Biden introduced another bill called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. It previewed the 2001 Patriot Act by allowing secret evidence to be used in prosecutions, expanding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and wiretap laws, creating a new federal crime of "terrorism" that could be invoked based on political beliefs, permitting the U.S. military to be used in civilian law enforcement, and allowing permanent detection of non-U.S. citizens without judicial review. The Center for National Security Studies said the bill would erode "constitutional and statutory due process protections" and would "authorize the Justice Department to pick and choose crimes to investigate and prosecute based on political beliefs and associations."

Biden himself draws parallels between his 1995 bill and its 2001 cousin. "I drafted a terrorism bill after the Oklahoma City bombing. And the bill John Ashcroft sent up was my bill," he said when the Patriot Act was being debated, according to the New Republic, which described him as "the Democratic Party's de facto spokesman on the war against terrorism."

Biden's chronology is not accurate: the bombing took place in April 1995 and his bill had been introduced in February 1995. But it's true that Biden's proposal probably helped to lay the groundwork for the Bush administration's Patriot Act.

In 1996, Biden voted to keep intact an ostensibly anti-illegal immigration bill that outlined what the Real ID Act would become almost a decade later. The bill would create a national worker identification registry; Biden voted to kill an Abraham-Feingold amendment that would have replaced the registry with stronger enforcement. According to an analysis by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the underlying bill would have required "states to place Social Security numbers on drivers licenses and to obtain fingerprints or some other form of biometric identification for licenses."

Along with most of his colleagues in the Congress -- including Sen. John McCain but not Rep. Ron Paul -- Biden voted for the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act (which was part of a larger spending bill). Obama voted for the bill containing the Real ID Act, but wasn't in the U.S. Senate in 2001 when the original Patriot Act vote took place.

Patriot Act
In the Senate debate over the Patriot Act in October 2001, Biden once again allied himself closely with the FBI. The Justice Department favorably quotes Biden on its Web site as saying: "The FBI could get a wiretap to investigate the mafia, but they could not get one to investigate terrorists. To put it bluntly, that was crazy! What's good for the mob should be good for terrorists."

The problem is that Biden's claim was simply false -- which he should have known after a decade of experience lending his name to wiretapping bills on behalf of the FBI. As CDT explains in a rebuttal to Biden: "The Justice Department had the ability to use wiretaps, including roving taps, in criminal investigations of terrorism, just as in other criminal investigations, long before the Patriot Act."

But Biden's views had become markedly less FBI-friendly by April 2007, six years later. By then, the debate over wiretapping had become sharply partisan, pitting Democrats seeking to embarrass President Bush against Republicans aiming to defend the administration at nearly any cost. In addition, Biden had announced his presidential candidacy three months earlier and was courting liberal activists dismayed by the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping.

That month, Biden slammed the "president's illegal wiretapping program that allows intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans without a judge's approval or congressional authorization or oversight." He took aim at Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for allowing the FBI to "flagrantly misuse National Security Letters" -- even though it was the Patriot Act that greatly expanded their use without also expanding internal safeguards and oversight as well.

Biden did vote against a FISA bill with retroactive immunity for any telecommunications provider that illegally opened its network to the National Security Agency; Obama didn't. Both agreed to renew the Patriot Act in March 2006, a move that pro-privacy Democrats including Ron Wyden and Russ Feingold opposed. The ACLU said the renewal "fails to correct the most flawed provisions" of the original Patriot Act. (Biden does do well on the ACLU's congressional scorecard.)

"Baby-food bombs"
The ACLU also had been at odds with Biden over his efforts to censor bomb-making information on the Internet. One day after a bomb in Saudi Arabia killed several U.S. servicemen and virtually flattened a military base, Biden pushed to make posting bomb-making information on the Internet a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in jail, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

"I think most Americans would be absolutely shocked if they knew what kind of bone-chilling information is making its way over the Internet," he told the Senate. "You can access detailed, explicit instructions on how to make and detonate pipe bombs, light-bulb bombs, and even -- if you can believe it -- baby-food bombs."

Biden didn't get exactly what he wanted -- at least not right away. His proposal was swapped in the final law for one requiring the attorney general to investigate "the extent to which the First Amendment protects such material and its private and commercial distribution." The report was duly produced, concluding that the proposal "can withstand constitutional muster in most, if not all, of its possible applications, if such legislation is slightly modified."

It was. Biden and co-sponsor Dianne Feinstein introduced their bill again the following year. Biden pitched it as an anti-terror measure, saying in a floor debate that numerous terrorists "have been found in possession of bomb-making manuals and Internet bomb-making information." He added: "What is even worse is that some of these instructions are geared toward kids. They tell kids that all the ingredients they need are right in their parents' kitchen or laundry cabinets."

Biden's proposal became law in 1997. It didn't amount to much: four years after its enactment, there had been only one conviction. And instead of being used to snare a dangerous member of Al Qaeda, the law was used to lock up a 20-year old anarchist Webmaster who was sentenced to one year in prison for posting information about Molotov cocktails and "Drano bombs" on his Web site, Raisethefist.com.

Today there are over 10,000 hits on Google for the phrase, in quotes, "Drano bomb." One is a video that lists the necessary ingredients and shows some self-described rednecks blowing up small plastic bottles in their yard. Then there's the U.S. Army's Improvised Munitions Handbook with instructions on making far more deadly compounds, including methyl nitrate dynamite, mortars, grenades, and C-4 plastic explosive -- which free speech activists placed online as an in-your-face response to the Biden-Feinstein bill.

Peer-to-peer networks
Since then, Biden has switched from complaining about Internet baby-food bombs to taking aim at peer-to-peer networks. He held one Foreign Relations committee hearing in February 2002 titled "Theft of American Intellectual Property" and invited executives from the Justice Department, RIAA, MPAA, and Microsoft to speak. Not one Internet company, P2P network, or consumer group was invited to testify.

Afterwards, Sharman Networks (which distributes Kazaa) wrote a letter to Biden complaining about "one-sided and unsubstantiated attacks" on P2P networks. It said: "We are deeply offended by the gratuitous accusations made against Kazaa by witnesses before the committee, including ludicrous attempts to associate an extremely beneficial, next-generation software program with organized criminal gangs and even terrorist organizations."

Biden returned to the business of targeting P2P networks this year. In April, he proposed spending $1 billion in U.S. tax dollars so police can monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal activity. He made that suggestion after a Wyoming cop demonstrated a proof-of-concept program called "Operation Fairplay" at a hearing before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

A month later, the Senate Judiciary committee approved a Biden-sponsored bill that would spend over $1 billion on policing illegal Internet activity, mostly child pornography. It has the dubious virtue of being at least partially redundant: One section would "prohibit the broadcast of live images of child abuse," even though the Justice Department has experienced no problems in securing guilty pleas for underage Webcamming. (The bill has not been voted on by the full Senate.)

Online sales of Robitussin
Around the same time, Biden introduced his self-described Biden Crime Bill of 2007. One section expands electronic surveillance law to permit police wiretaps in "crimes dangerous to the life, limb, and well-being of minor children." Another takes aim at Internet-based telemedicine and online pharmacies, saying that physicians must have conducted "at least one in-person medical evaluation of the patient" to prescribe medicine.

Another prohibits selling a product containing dextromethorphan -- including Robitussin, Sucrets, Dayquil, and Vicks -- "to an individual under the age of 18 years, including any such sale using the Internet." It gives the Justice Department six months to come up with regulations, which include when retailers should be fined for shipping cough suppressants to children. (Biden is a longtime drug warrior; he authored the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act that the Bush administration used to shut down benefit concerts.)

Net neutrality
On Net neutrality, Biden has sounded skeptical. In 2006, he indicated that no preemptive laws were necessary because if violations do happen, such a public outcry will develop that "the chairman will be required to hold this meeting in this largest room in the Capitol, and there will be lines wandering all the way down to the White House." Obama, on the other hand, has been a strong supporter of handing pre-emptive regulatory authority to the Federal Communications Commission.

0
joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,154
Reply with quote  #6 
                                                                                       

Alaskans angered that Palin is off-limits

                                                                               
                                                                               
                                        Meghan Stapleton, Edward O'Callaghan
Al Grillo / Associated Press
ANSWERS: McCain campaign staffers Meghan Stapleton and Edward O’Callaghan answer questions on the firing of Walt Monegan at an Anchorage news conference on Sept. 16.
                                       
                                                                                       
Queries are directed through the McCain campaign machine. Her political capital at home is eroding.
                                                                                                                               
By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer                                                
September 21, 2008                                                
                                                                                                                                                ANCHORAGE -- Jerry McCutcheon went to Sarah Palin's office here last week to request information about the firing of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, the scandal that for weeks has threatened to overshadow the governor's role as Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate.

McCutcheon was given a phone number in Virginia to call: the national headquarters of the McCain-Palin campaign.

               
 
       
       
Related Content
                                       
                                               
                       
       
Top of the Ticket:
               
City folk they aren't.
Countdown to Crawford:
               
Vice President Dick Cheney has a passion for secrecy. He went to court to protect details about the role of energy executives in private meetings he led to develop the Bush administration's national...


Why, he wanted to know, did he have to call a campaign office 4,300 miles away to find out what was going on in Alaska government? The longtime civic activist phoned his local state representative, Les Gara, who quickly filed a protest.

These days, many such queries about Monegan -- or anything else involving Palin's record as governor -- get diverted to McCain staffers. A former Justice Department prosecutor from New York flew in recently to advise the governor's lawyer and field reporters' calls about Monegan. Soon after, Palin's willingness to cooperate in the Legislature's probe of the affair ended.

A recent call to John Cramer, the head of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs -- who clashed with Palin during her years as mayor of Wasilla -- was returned by a McCain campaign operative who had just arrived from Washington, D.C. "John who?" she asked.

In stubbornly independent Alaska, the sudden intrusion of a political campaign into so many corners of state government -- not to mention Wasilla, where a dozen or more campaign researchers and lawyers have also begun overseeing the release of any information about Palin's years as mayor -- has touched a raw nerve. McCain staffers have even been assigned to answer calls for Palin's family members, who have been instructed not to talk.

"Why did the McCain campaign take over the governor's office?" the Anchorage Daily News demanded in an editorial Saturday. "Is it too much to ask that Alaska's governor speak for herself, directly to Alaskans, about her actions as Alaska's governor?"

The partisan spillover of the presidential campaign into the statehouse, political analysts here say, now threatens Palin's most powerful political capital in Alaska: her commitment to transparency, her willingness to forge bipartisan alliances with Democrats to advance her legislative agenda, and her battle to upend the good ol' boy network.

"Is this going to dilute her image as a maverick who will clean out the rascals from their perches of power, when she herself cannot tolerate questions into her behavior, investigations into the firing of a public safety commissioner?" said Gerald McBeath, political science professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

Palin, he said, is "still popular" in Alaska, "but she is not beloved. And there's a difference between the two. She's getting a lot more criticism at the state level as a result of her vice presidential candidacy."

Democratic leaders, whom the Palin camp accuses of initiating rounds of partisan sniping, say the bipartisanship that helped Palin win passage of ethics measures, a new natural-gas pipeline and an increase in the oil production tax -- in most cases over the objections of her own Republican leadership -- is essentially over.

"She would have gotten none of her bills passed without us, and to see her come in and attack us now the way she's attacking us, when it's completely unwarranted, is just tearing people up," said Democratic state Sen. Bill Wielechowski. "I think it's going to make it hard for her to come back and govern in this state."

Even conservatives are expressing resentment over the governor's about-face on the Monegan investigation and the infiltration of state government by the McCain campaign.

"This Palin VP thing has Alaskans all stirred up. Much like Palin divided the Republican Party, she has managed to divide the state over her national candidacy," conservative talk-show host Dan Fagan complained in a commentary last week.

"My fellow conservatives, remember how frustrating it was when Bill Clinton committed perjury and liberals looked the other way. As conservatives, we are no better unless we demand full disclosure from our governor," he said. " . . . No politician is so popular and charismatic that they should be above accountability and telling the truth."

Most of the battle lines have been drawn around what is commonly called Troopergate: allegations that Monegan was fired in July because he had refused to terminate Palin's former brother-in-law, a state trooper whose divorce from Palin's sister was messy.

Palin insists the firing was motivated by Monegan's insubordination on budget issues, not her sister's situation, though the governor and her husband, Todd, admit complaining in the past about the trooper. They said their former brother-in-law had threatened the family, driven his patrol car after drinking alcohol and illegally shot a moose.

Palin had welcomed the Legislature's inquiry and promised to cooperate.

But she now says the state personnel board, not the Legislature, is the proper venue to probe what happened. The board consists of three GOP appointees.

Palin's spokespeople have accused the Democratic chair of the state Senate Judiciary Committee, Hollis French, and others of turning the probe into a partisan attack. In a media interview earlier this month, French warned that the committee's final report might turn into "an October surprise" for the McCain campaign.

On Friday, French, who was Palin's point man in the Legislature on the oil production tax hike, waited for more than half an hour for subpoenaed witnesses, including Palin's husband. None showed up.

Several other witnesses had been scheduled to testify voluntarily but, on the advice of Palin's attorney general, also did not appear.

The resulting standoff has put Alaska on the verge of a constitutional crisis, as the legislative and executive branches each refuse to budge, and no one is sure who is in charge. Legislators say they will consider holding in contempt any witnesses who ignore subpoenas, and they have challenged the right of the attorney general, who is appointed by the governor, to advise state employees on whether to testify.

The standoff has ended any vestiges of bipartisan goodwill for Palin in Juneau, after just 21 months in office. "The level of money [the McCain campaign] sent up here to attack people is unprecedented in a small state like this. If [McCain] were truly a reformer, he'd end this nonsense and apologize to all the people he's attacked up here," said Rep. Gara, a Democrat.

The biggest controversy came Tuesday, when the McCain-Palin campaign called a news conference to dispute the claim that Monegan was dismissed for refusing to fire the trooper.

Edward O'Callaghan, who until recently was co-chief of the terrorism and national security unit of the U.S. attorney's office in New York, and a former Palin spokeswoman now working for the national campaign, accused Monegan of a "rogue mentality" and "outright insubordination." They said he had flown to Washington, D.C., without Palin's approval to lobby for more police funding.

Democratic leaders, incensed that outsiders were attacking a respected former state official, produced a travel document Friday showing that in fact Monegan had a signed authorization from the governor's chief of staff before making what the Palin camp had called an "unauthorized" lobbying trip.

"I don't know why they're trying to paint this [legislative investigation] as a Democratic partisan attack," said state Sen. Wielechowski. "The thing I constantly remind people of is: Democrats didn't push this. You know who pushed it? It was the Republicans. This is the thing people conveniently forget now. There were no Democrats out there screaming for an investigation."

The House Judiciary Committee vote to endorse the issuance of the subpoenas included five Republicans and two Democrats.

Taylor Griffin, the McCain-Palin spokesman in Alaska, said the governor believes the state personnel board is a more objective forum for answering any outstanding questions.

"The governor . . . has nothing to hide, and she instructed her staff to cooperate with the inquiry because she thought it was important to get the facts out," Griffin said.

"But this was all before she was named as the Republican vice presidential running mate. After that, things changed. There was a partisan switch that was flipped among many in the Legislative Council, five of whom have endorsed Obama, several of whom are featured in a picture on Obama's website," he said. The 14- member council -- which oversees legislative business between sessions -- unanimously authorized the probe.

Meanwhile, the blogs in Alaska have been full of rants about the McCain campaign. "A pack of high-powered East Coast lawyers are the new artisans of the Palin 'image.' If anyone has a question about Palin's 20 months as governor, ask the McCain campaign, because apparently no one else can give you the answers. This is not going over well in Alaska," one blogger wrote last week.

"Who the hell do they think they are?" wrote another.

Yet many on both sides of the political fence who initially were critical of Palin have rallied behind her.

"Everything that's flitting through my mind right now is better left where it is," Rep. Jay Ramras, a Fairbanks Republican who has been a strident critic of Palin, told the Anchorage Daily News last week. The governor, he said, has become "the American idol of politics."
0
joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,154
Reply with quote  #7 
see link for full story
http://www.dailycommercial.com/News/LakeCounty/20jan2013range#comment



RETIRES COPS NOW PACKING HEAT

Saturday, January 19, 2013

 

Lt. Jine Evans, left, verifies each participant arm before start the shooting training on Friday, January 18,2013 at Sumter SHeriff's Firearms Training Facility.

0
joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,154
Reply with quote  #8 



https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/07/putin-approves-change-to-law-decriminalising-domestic-violence

Russia
Putin approves change to law decriminalising domestic violence
Critics say amendment sends wrong message in country whe






http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-trump-1st-month-deadliest-2015-killings-article-1.2966610



KING: Trump’s 1st month is deadliest since 2015 for cop killings
Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 4:53 PM



President Trump’s first month in office ended with at least 105 people killed by American police.
Police brutality. Remember that? The issue that gripped our nation, catalyzed a movement, and got the attention of the world for two straight years.

Today, Sandra Bland would have and should have turned 30 years old. She should have never been pulled over by police in Texas. She damn sure shouldn’t have been threatened with violence, assaulted by police, arrested and thrown in a local jail where she died days later.

From the summer of 2014 until the start of the presidential election, it would be hard to argue that police brutality was anything other than one of our nation’s most pressing public issues. But the extended election cycle, from the primaries to the general, sucked the wind out of almost every important issue being discussed and debated across the country. Instead, like clockwork, our nation primarily obsessed over Donald Trump’s latest tweets, the wide variety of white supremacists and neo-Nazis who professed their undying love for him, and the latest twist and turn into the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.





Trump is President, the Justice Department is about to be in the hands of a team who could care less about police brutality, and we just experienced the deadliest month at the hands of American police since 2015.

President Trump’s first month in office ended with at least 105 people killed by American police. That’s the highest number of people killed by American police in any one month since 2015. And because Trump’s claiming jobs gained for January, and because the major police unions all endorsed Trump, I’



POLITICS
Former FBI Agent: We Must Get to the Truth on Russia and Trump

Nancy Pelosi's right — we can't let up on this as-of-yet rumor.

BY SUSAN SURFTONE
FEBRUARY 06 2017 5:08



https://www.policeone.com/officer-misconduct-internal-affairs/

Texas cop fired over feces sandwich fired again– Jan 30, 2017
Matthew Luckhurst was originally given an indefinite suspension in October after giving a homeless man a feces sandwich





Woman says President Trump made her single again.

A retiree in Washington State told Reuters she called it quits with her husband of 22 years because he voted for Trump — something she saw as a “deal breaker.”

“It totally undid me that he could vote for Trump,” said Gayle McCormick, 73, a retired California prison guard who called herself a “Democrat leaning toward socialist.”

“It opened up areas between us I had not faced before,” she said.


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fcc-internet-20170204-story.html


FCC is stopping 9 companies from providing subsidized Internet to the poor



http://reason.com/archives/2017/02/06/fbis-insider-trading-investigated


FBI's Insider Trading Strategist Faces Criminal Inquiry Over Leaks to Press
The alleged misconduct could cast further doubt on U.S. attorney Preet Bharara's campaign against "insider trading."
| February 6, 2017

A New York-based FBI agent who played a leading role in a string of recent insider trading prosecutions is under criminal investigation for what federal prosecutors, in a recent court filing, call "unquestionable misconduct by an agent of the Government…improper and inexcusable."

It's the sort of story that ordinarily might be splashed across the front


http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/nyc-correction-officer-busted-stealing-boyfriend-phone-article-1.296440



NYC correction officer busted for stealing her boyfriend’s phone
BY THOMAS TRACY
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, February 4, 2017, 8:26 PM



http://www.waow.com/story/34439801/lawmaker-demands-fbi-give-up-information-on-wi-youth-prison


Lawmaker demands FBI give up information on WI youth prison ...
WAOW-
Van Wanggaard of Racine sent a letter to Justin Tolomeo, special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Milwaukee office, on Jan. 30. Wanggaard asked Tolomeo to ...


http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2017/02/oregon_standoff_defendant_duan.html

Oregon standoff defendant Duane Ehmer gets into heated exchange ...
OregonLive.com
FBI agents testified that Ehmer voluntarily signed a consent form allowing the ... The agent said he told Ehmer that those who had no felony warrants




FBI Octopus
exposing FBI tentacles



http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2017/02/06/louis-ciminelli-two-others-resign-from-lpciminelli.html


Louis Ciminelli, two others resign from LPCiminelli
Buffalo Business First-
Frank Ciminelli said he has hired former FBI Special Agent and Chief Division Counsel Paul Moskal to handle risk assessment and an aggressive compliance ...





http://www.wcnc.com/news/politics/bill-adds-police-stop-education-to-training/401189679



Bill adds police stop education to training

5:10 PM. EST February 06, 2017


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Would you know what to do if you got pulled over by a police officer? The House is talking about a bill that would spell out the procedures for everyone, and some in our area say it's long overdue.

No one wants to get pulled over, but it happens. Thing is, not everyone knows exactly what to do.

“This is perfect-- this is exactly what we’ve been lobbying for.”

M. Quentin Williams is a former FBI agent and prosecutor who also wrote a book called “How Not to get Killed by the Police




https://www.amazon.com/Plot-Kill-King-Behind-Assassination/dp/1510702172/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=13W6B7CPRNJ4HYYP9FEV

5 out of 5 stars

A Tour de Force of Investigative Reporting: Best Book Ever on the MLK Jr. Assassination!!
ByPhillip F. Nelsonon July 29, 2016
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. This is an OUTSTANDING book, arguably the best ever compendium of the people, events and documented evidence related to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Do not let the "1 star" reviews confuse you, they have been written for the very purpose of reinforcing the lies and deceit that were planted decades ago to hide the true story of the outrageous plot. The trolls are easily identifiable because they are too cowardly to use their real names and hide behind the most ridiculous and banal monikers, which usually connote the opposite of what the term is meant to describe.

Dr. William Pepper has courageously--and nearly singlehandedly--completed the investigation that should have been done by the FBI nearly half a century ago. But, as he has amply demonstrated, since that was the organization behind the set-up for MLK's murder and cover-up, the reason for their failure to conduct that inquiry becomes painfully obvious. While Pepper has only hinted at the connection to the White House, to state that the plot to kill King was put in motion by high-level criminals in the FBI, with help from the local Memphis police, the CIA and the leaders of the Dixie Mafia, along with a cover up that repeated the same patterns as the JFK and RFK assassinations, as well the that of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, it is no stretch to complete the circle: That it was all done with either the blessing, the instigation or at least the acquiescence of the POTUS himself: LBJ.

There are many stunning discoveries that Dr. Pepper has uncovered as well, including the assertion that at least three men within MLK's own circle betrayed him, one of whom is still considered one of the "leaders" of the civil rights "movement." But under my "no spoilers" rule, those names will not be repeated here, let it be sufficient to say that they provided all that the FBI officials who were constructing the elaborate plans needed to know as to the "comings and goings" of MLK to complete their deadly mission.

Phillip F. Nelson, author of "LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination" and "LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus"




http://news-sentinel.com/news/local/Parents--Learn-more-about-dangerous-mobile-apps-available-to-your-children


Parents: Learn more about dangerous mobile apps available to your ...
News Sentinel-
Scheduled speakers include FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Robertson, Det. Chris McCarty of the Fort Wayne Police Department and Crista Miller,




https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://samuelwalker.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/dwf2003.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiRoJStov3RAhUp5oMKHb8-AbYQFgghMAM&usg=AFQjCNHvECQi9UMp22u1mzutFXNo2_tM4g


Police Sexual Abuse of Teenage Girls: A Update on “Driving While Female - Samuel Walker
samuelwalker.net ›
by S Walker
on “Driving While Female” by the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The 2002 ... This report found 72 cases of police officer sexual abuse of teenage girls (and ...



http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/21/us/fbi-misbehavior/

FBI battling 'rash of sexting' among its employees
By Scott Zamost and Drew Griffin, CNN Special Investigations Unit




https://www.postguam.com/news/local/fbi-awards-uog-master-s-grads/article_d2a2f0b4-ec47-11e6-ae99-63ff899956be.html

FBI awards UOG master's grads
Grads receive award for campaign against sexting, cyberbullying

Post News Staff
Some of the University of Guam masters degree graduates yesterday received the 2016 Director’s Community Leadership Award from the FBI.

These graduates received national recognition for their creation of the nonprofit organization “Project Foresight Guam: Sexting & Cyberbullying Awareness Campaign” and the positive impact it has had on the community, according to a press release from the FBI.

FBI Honolulu Division’s Assistant Special Agent in Charge Tuan M. Nguyen recognized the graduates’ achievement.

Sixteen students from the Master of Public Administration’s Practicum class of Spring 2016, received the recognition


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-new-york-mafia-idUSKBN15L2FH

Judge Rejects New York Mafia Informant’s Lawsuit Against FBI



Joseph Barone was a former Mafia informant for the FBI when he spent 19 months in a Brooklyn prison before a federal jury acquitted him in 2010.

Barone, now 55, sued the FBI, saying the bureau wanted to discipline him for refusing to trick a gangster from the Gambino crime family into confessing crimin


http://gizmodo.com/trumps-new-head-of-border-patrol-might-want-to-delete-t-1791995136


Trump's New Head of Border Patrol Might Want to Delete This Tweet

US Custom and Border Protection’s new chief of Border Patrol, Ron Vietello (left) and a tweet he sent out in March of 2016 (right)
This week President Trump named Ronald



http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-seattle-divests-from-wells-fargo-20170206-story.html

NATION
Seattle becomes the first city to sever ties with Wells Fargo in protest of Dakota Access pipeline
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

? ?
Copyright ? 2001-2004 Who?s A Rat. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.
?