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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability
By Ryan Singel, Wired News
San Francisco - Forty-eight lawsuits against the nation's largest telecommunications companies for alleged participation in a warrantless government surveillance program had their first day all together in court Friday, in a courtroom packed with more than two dozen lawyers for the government, the companies and civil liberties groups.
The class-action lawsuits accuse BellSouth, Cingular Wireless, Sprint, MCI, Verizon, AT&T and even cable provider Comcast of violating various privacy and fair business laws for allegedly collaborating with the government's warrantless eavesdropping on Americans' overseas phone calls, domestic phone logs and internet usage. Together, the suits seek millions in damages.
By Guardian Unlimited
A US soldier has been sentenced to 90 years in prison for conspiring to rape a 14-year-old Iraqi and kill her and her family.
Specialist James Barker was yesterday told he must serve 20 years before he could be considered for parole.
The 23-year-old - one of four US soldiers accused over the rape and killings - pleaded guilty and agreed to give evidence against the others to avoid the death penalty.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is calling for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to conduct a full, independent and public inquiry into the role of high-ranking U.S. officials in the abuse and torture of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo and elsewhere around the world. Sign the call.
FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU
Fox News reporters freed for $2 million
Terrorists used cash for arms to 'hit Zionists,'
payment said to encourage more abductions
By Aaron Klein
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
JERUSALEM – Palestinian terror groups and security organizations in the Gaza Strip received $2 million from a U.S. source in exchange for the release of Fox News employees Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, who were kidnapped here last summer, a senior leader of one of the groups suspected of the abductions told WND.
By James Vicini, Reuters
Washington - The Bush administration said on Monday that Guantanamo prisoners have no constitutional right to challenge their detention before U.S. federal judges, and the lawsuits by hundreds of detainees must be dismissed.
In papers filed with a U.S. appeals court in Washington, Justice Department attorneys gave their most detailed argument yet that the cases must be dismissed because of the tough anti-terrorism law signed by President George W. Bush last month.
War Crimes Suit Filed in Germany Against Rumsfeld, Other Top U.S. Officials Over Prisoner Torture
Attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a war crimes
lawsuit today in Germany against outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
and other high-ranking U.S. officials, for their role in the torture of
prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo. We go to Berlin to speak with CCR
A lawsuit in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the outgoing Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo
By ADAM ZAGORIN, from Time, in partnership with CNN:
Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, is heading to Germany today to file a new case charging outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with war crimes for authorizing torture at Guantanamo Bay.
By Marjorie Cohn
As the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and were on the verge of taking over the Senate, George W. Bush announced that Donald Rumsfeld was out and Robert Gates was in as Secretary of Defense. When Bush is being run out of town, he knows how to get out in the front of the crowd and make it look like he's leading the parade. The Rumsfeld-Gates swap is a classic example.
By Frida Berrigan
In These Times
Wednesday 08 November 2006
Inside the White House, President George W. Bush sat at a small desk. Surrounded by generals, congressmen and members of his administration, he signed the Military Commissions Act (MCA) into law. "It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill he knows will save American lives," he declared.
Outside the White House, it was raining. More than 100 religious leaders, survivors of torture and concerned citizens gathered to mourn the passing of a cornerstone of American law. Many of the marchers wore soggy orange jumpsuits and black hoods over their faces, representing the more than 400 men who remain imprisoned at Guantánamo. The gap between the Bush administration's agenda and the concerns of the activists outside could not have been greater.
By JEREMY BRECHER & BRENDAN SMITH
On November 14 a group of lawyers and other experts will come before the German federal prosecutor and ask him to open a criminal investigation targeting Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other key Bush Administration figures for war crimes. The recent passage of the Military Commissions Act provides a central argument for the legal action, under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction: It demonstrates the intent of the Bush Administration to immunize itself legally from prosecution in the United States, even for the most serious crimes.
By Jeremy Scahill and Garrett Ordower, www.thenation.com
Blackwater USA, the private military contractor in the Bush Administration's "war on terror," has a new lawyer working to defend it against a ground-breaking wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families of four of its contractors killed in Iraq. The new "counsel of record" for the North Carolina-based company is none other than former Whitewater investigator, Kenneth Starr--the independent counsel in the 1999 impeachment of President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. Starr was brought in last week by Blackwater to file motions in front of the US Supreme Court in a case stemming from the killing of four Blackwater contractors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah on March 31, 2004.
With withering and methodical dispatch, White House nemesis and prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald yesterday sliced up the first person called to the stand on behalf of the vice president's former chief of staff.
If I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was not afraid of the special counsel before, the former Cheney aide, who will face Fitzgerald in a trial beginning Jan. 11, had ample reason to start quaking after yesterday's Ginsu-like legal performance.
By David Swanson
The evidence that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld lied us into a war is overwhelming but also dry and dense. But imagine seeing it presented coherently and systematically in a dramatic performance full of humor and emotion. That is the gift that playwrite Craig Barnes has given us in "A Nation Deceived." The script is available now at http://www.anationdeceived.org and Barnes encourages you to take it to your local organizations and perform it. Beginning November 1st, you will be able to go to the same website and purchase a video on DVD of the play being performed by a group of actors with Ed Asner in the lead role. (If you're in Los Angeles on November 6, you can catch a live performance with Asner.)
To give you a taste of what this play is about, I interviewed the author. Audio of this interview is here:
David Swanson: Craig Barnes, author of "A Nation Deceived", it's good to talk to you.
Craig Barnes: Thank you, it's good to be here.
David Swanson: So, tell me about this play and where the idea came from to write it.
By Martin Williams, http://www.denniskyne.com
Dr Schott's research formed part of a study of 16 British veterans of conflicts in the Gulf, Bosnia, and Kosovo, which found that they had 14 times the usual level of chromosome abnormalities in their genes, raising fears that they will pass cancers and genetic illnesses to their offspring.
A Scots ex-soldier has become the first veteran to win a pension appeal after being diagnosed with depleted uranium (DU) poisoning during the 1991 Gulf war. A Pension Appeal Tribunal Service hearing in Edinburgh accepted medical evidence provided by Kenny Duncan, of Clackmannan, previously dismissed by the MoD, which revealed he had become ill after service in the Middle East.
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press
A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to release information about who visited Vice President Dick Cheney's office and personal residence, an order that could spark a late election-season debate over lobbyists' White House access.
While researching the access lobbyists and others had on the White House, The Washington Post asked in June for two years of White House visitor logs. The Secret Service refused to process the request, which government attorneys called "a fishing expedition into the most sensitive details of the vice presidency."
By Associated Press
Fort Meade, Maryland - An Army Reserve officer accused of ignoring abuses of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison was a daily visitor to the "hard site," where some detainees were stripped naked as an interrogation technique, a former military police commander testified Wednesday.
Capt. Donald Reese's testimony supported government allegations that Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, as director of the prison's interrogation center, knew about the abuse and lied about it.
By Associated Press
EVANSVILLE, Ind. October 18, 2006, 7:10 p.m. ET · Eight soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division were ordered Wednesday to be court-martialed on murder charges stemming from their service in Iraq, and two could get the death penalty for allegedly raping a 14-year-old and killing her and her family.
The Fort Campbell soldiers facing the death penalty are Sgt. Paul E. Cortez and Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman. Both are accused of raping Abeer Qassim al-Janabi in her family's home in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, then killing the girl, her parents and younger sister.
War Crimes Report Shows US Violations of International Law and Demands Prosecution of US Military and Civilian Leaders
Consumers for Peace, http://www.consumersforpeace.org
Nick Mottern (9149 806 6179); firstname.lastname@example.org
The violence of the Iraq War, the chaos that has come to Iraq, can be traced directly to the illegality of the invasion and occupation of that country and the illegality of the tactics and weapons being used to maintain the occupation. "U.S. War Crimes in Iraq and Mechanisms for Accountability" documents these violations and calls on us all to demand investigation and prosecution of violations of international law by military and civilian leaders.
By Carol Rosenberg
NEWARK, N.J. -- The Navy lawyer who took the Guantánamo case of Osama bin Laden's driver to the U.S. Supreme Court -- and won -- has been passed over for promotion by the Pentagon and must soon leave the military.
Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, 44, said last week he received word he had been denied a promotion to full-blown commander this summer, "about two weeks after" the Supreme Court sided against the White House and with his client, a Yemeni captive at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.
Nine national security documents and Wilson/Niger trip reports at issue
By Joel Seidman, NBC News
WASHINGTON - In what may be the most decisive pre-trial hearing in the CIA/Leak case against I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the parties involved are again facing off in courtroom arguments today over which, if any, classified documents Libby will be allowed to use to defend himself against charges of perjury and obstruction at his trial in January. Libby's attorney's, in a court filing, have identified nine national security matters they wish to present at trial. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is arguing to limit the classified materials allowed saying details in the documents will be a waste of time for a jury.
By Elizabeth de la Vega, TomDispatch.com
Maybe you are thinking that Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's case against Scooter Libby is yesterday's news, or, worse, in its last throes. Think again.
It has recently come to my attention that the title of the Ukrainian national anthem is "Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet." (Seriously, it is.) The same could be said of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's ongoing prosecution of Vice President Cheney's former aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby: The case - involving charges of perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice in connection with Fitzgerald's investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of the identity of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative - is not dead yet, nor is it even ailing.
The Associated Press
Wednesday 13 September 2006
Court to consider reinstating dropped charge against ex-House leader.
Austin, Texas - The state's highest criminal appeals court said Wednesday it would consider reinstating a conspiracy charge against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, further delaying his felony money laundering trial.
By David Swanson
Remarks from delivery of Bush Crimes Commission Verdict, Camp Democracy, September 13, 2006
The testimony that I presented in January to the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration was related to the evidence found in the Downing Street Memos. This evidence is connected to Count 1 in the Wars of Aggression Indictment being delivered today, which reads: "The Bush Administration authorized a war of aggression against Iraq."
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Friday 08 September 2006
In April, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald filed a court document in the CIA leak case claiming his staff had obtained evidence during the course of the three-year-old probe that proves "multiple" White House officials were engaged in a coordinated effort to discredit former ambassador Joseph Wilson.
Those officials, Fitzgerald said, eventually disclosed Wilson's wife's covert CIA status to the media as retribution for his public criticism of the Bush administration's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence.
George W. Bush is a liar. By his lies that convinced the nation to go to war in Iraq, a war which has to date killed almost as many Americans as the attacks of September 11, which has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and which has cost us $300,000,000,000 and counting, he committed treason against our nation. In his latest blitz of security speeches, to keep our minds off the subject of treason, and his critics off balance, he has been setting the stage with fear and using lies to bolster a specious defense of his administration’s “war on terror”.
By Joel Seidman, NBC News
Wednesday, 06 September 2006
A federal judge has ordered a series of closed hearings to determine if Vice President Cheney's former top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, can use certain classified information as a defense during his trial in the CIA/Leak case.
Judge Reggie Walton ordered two sets of closed door hearings. The first, to begin on September 25th, and "continue everyday thereafter until completed," will be to make all determinations concerning the use, relevance, or admissibility of classified information that would otherwise be made during the trial. The second set of closed hearing, set to begin October 10th, will deal with classified information the judge has determined to be admissible at trial.
The judge also ordered that the government's declassification team be present at both hearings.
According to rules governing classified documents known as CIPA, the Classified Information Procedures Act, in many cases, the government will propose a redacted version of a classified document as a substitution for the original, having deleted only nonrelevant classified information.
Wednesday, 06 September 2006
A couple of months before Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed special prosecutor to find out who told journalists that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA operative, Justice Department officials working under then-Attorney General John Ashcroft told Ashcroft that two senior White House officials may have lied to FBI investigators - a felony - when they were first questioned about their role in the leak in October 2003, according to numerous published reports and court documents.