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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability
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.
Tuesday, 05 September 2006
Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald and his investigation of the outing of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame are under attack by multiple mainstream media organizations acting simultaneously. The reports are - at best - shoddy journalism and at worst a deliberate attempt to bury one of the most powerful political news stories in US history.
By Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press
An Army investigator has recommended that four soldiers accused of murder in a raid in Iraq should face the death penalty, according to a report obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.
Lt. Col. James P. Daniel Jr. concluded that the slayings were premeditated and warranted the death sentence based on evidence he heard at an August hearing. The case will now be forwarded to Army officials, who will decide whether Daniel's recommendation should be followed.
WHAT: Press Conference Releasing White House Subpoena
WHERE: Verizon Headquarters, 140 West St., New York (at Vesey Street, across from the World Trade Center site)
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 4:30 p.m.
WHO: Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer, attorneys for hundreds of plaintiffs in litigation against the Bush Administration and the phone companies
DETAILS: Two lawyers who brought the first lawsuit against the Bush Administration, Verizon and AT&T for illegally examining the phone records of virtually every American citizen will announce today that they are serving subpoenas on the Bush White House and on Verizon.
By MATT APUZZO and JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Former CIA officer Valerie Plame is considering suing the recent No. 2 State Department official in a case accusing members of the Bush administration of conspiring to leak her identity to the media, Plame's attorney said Tuesday.
Official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage held a one-hour meeting marked "private appointment" with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on June 13, 2003.
By Aaron Glantz, OneWorld US
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 25 (OneWorld) - A chief prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg has said George W. Bush should be tried for war crimes along with Saddam Hussein. Benjamin Ferencz, who secured convictions for 22 Nazi officers for their work in orchestrating the death squads that killed more than 1 million people, told OneWorld both Bush and Saddam should be tried for starting "aggressive" wars--Saddam for his 1990 attack on Kuwait and Bush for his 2003 invasion of Iraq.
By Dave Lindorff, http://www.thiscantbehappening.net
For the second time in two months, a federal court has ruled that the president is in violation of the Constitution. This time it's a federal court in Detroit that has ruled that President Bush has violated the Fourth Amendment against illegal search and seizure for his order to the National Security Agency to monitor the phone and Internet messages of Americans without bothering to obtain a court order based upon probable cause.
By EDUARDO GALLARDO, Associated Press
SANTIAGO, Chile -- Chile's Supreme Court voted Friday to strip Gen. Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution, an official said, allowing him to be tried on corruption charges for his once-secret multimillion dollar overseas bank accounts.
Judge Carlos Cerda said he found evidence that the 90-year-old former ruler used $2 million in government funds to benefit himself and his family during his 1973-1990 dictatorship.
I've been late responding to some comments today for a variety of reasons. Apologies 'bout that. There were some goodies - so i'll get to them soon.
Rep. John Conyers was a guest on Thom Hartmann's show this morning. If you act fast -- like before 2:00 a.m. GMT, TODAY, you can hear it for free on the internet toobz at the Seattle Air America affiliate I listen to. Thom specifically asked him about plans for impeachment.
By Lindsay Beyerstein
The Pensito Review reports that Valerie Plame's lawyer will use a precedent set during the Clinton administration to force Vice President Dick Cheney to testify in Plame's civil suit.
In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Bill Clinton's presidential immunity did not extend to private behavior. So, based on this "Paula Jones" precedent, Cheney's on the hook--unless his lawyers can convince the judge that if their client revealed Plame's identity it would have been on government business.
By Gina Keating, Reuters
Los Angeles - A lawyer plans to use a legal precedent that allowed President Bill Clinton to be sued while in office to force Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential adviser Karl Rove to testify in a lawsuit brought by former CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband.
California attorney Joseph Cotchett said he will ask a federal court to order Cheney, his ex-chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Rove to testify in depositions about their role in disclosing her classified status.
By Pete Yost, Associated Press
The Bush administration drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would retroactively protect policymakers from possible criminal charges for authorizing any humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees, according to lawyers who have seen the proposal.
The move by the administration is the latest effort to deal with treatment of those taken into custody in the war on terror.
By Rodrigue Tremblay
"A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang."
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Father of the American Constitution
"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime."
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
By Jennifer Van Bergen, http://www.tompaine.com
Jennifer Van Bergen is a journalist with a law degree. Her book The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America has been called a “primer for citizenship.” She can be reached at email@example.com.
A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that the Guantánamo military tribunals violate the U.S. Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and the laws of war. It was a landmark decision, but the court did not address whether anyone may be held criminally liable for these violations. Not only should those responsible for violating these laws be criminally charged, charges should be filed against those in the highest levels of government.
Officials move to rule out charges against military
BY R. JEFFREY SMITH, Washington Post
WASHINGTON — An obscure law approved a decade ago by a Republican-controlled Congress has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.
Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.
By Robert Verkaik, The Independent UK
The families of four British soldiers killed in Iraq have won an important round in their legal battle to force the Government to hold an independent inquiry into the decision to go to war.
Three judges sitting in the Court of Appeal in London ruled that the families should be entitled to argue their case at a new hearing later this year.
Lawyers for the families, whose relatives died in Iraq between 2003 and 2005, called the ruling "a stunning victory." "The Government now have to produce evidence to a full hearing in the Court of Appeal," said Phil Shiner, the families' solicitor. "That evidence needs to establish once and for all whether the decision to invade was lawful."
By Dave Lindorff, www.thiscantbehappening.net
Could George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and maybe Alberto Gonzales all end up sucking poison gas?
That, apparently, is a concern now being taken seriously by Attorney General Gonzales, who is quietly working with senior White House officials and friendly members of Congress to do what murderous dictators in Chile, Argentina and other bloodthirsty regimes have done as their future in office began to look uncertain: pass laws exempting them from prosecution for murder.
By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press
A powerful Republican committee chairman who has led the fight against President Bush's signing statements said Monday he would have a bill ready by the end of the week allowing Congress to sue him in federal court.
"We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will...authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said on the Senate floor.
By John Conyers, Jr.
I wanted to update you on the lawsuit I have filed against George W. Bush and members of his administration, referred to in legal parlance as Conyers v. Bush.
You are likely familiar with a number of steps I have taken to challenge the legality and constitutional grounds of the Administration's actions. From the lead up to Iraq, to the Downing Street Minutes, to the outing of a CIA agent, to warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens, I have called loudly for the Bush White House to explain itself.
Recently Passed Law Cutting Medicare, Student Loan Spending Is Invalid, Public Citizen Tells Federal Court
By Public Citizen, www.citizen.org
Version of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 Passed by Senate and Signed by President Was Different From House Version
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A law President Bush signed on Feb. 8 is invalid because he signed a version of the bill that was passed by the U.S. Senate but not the U.S. House of Representatives, Public Citizen told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in a lawsuit filed today. The law, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, decreases student loan and Medicare spending, extends welfare cuts and cuts federal funding of state child-support enforcement programs.
By Joe Strupp, Editor and Publisher
NEW YORK Attorney Erwin Chemerinsky, a co-counsel for Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson, said the couple's lawsuit against three top Bush administration officials who leaked her CIA identity in 2003 does not include reporters who received and reported the information because they were not "the appropriate targets."
"My sense is that there wasn't a desire to get into freedom of the press issues here," Chemerinsky told E&P today, one day after the lawsuit was filed. "The appropriate targets of the lawsuit are those who abused their power in government."
By Jeremy Cooke, BBC News, Washington
It is an extraordinary development: the vice-president of the United States and a dozen other administration officials accused, in court, of deliberately leaking the identity of a classified CIA operative.
In their lawsuit Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, accuse Dick Cheney and others of endangering the lives of themselves and their children by revealing her status.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
Syndicated columnist Bob Novak and officials speaking on behalf of White House political adviser Karl Rove have attempted to convince the American people that there wasn't a White House campaign to smear and discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson three years ago for speaking out publicly against the Bush administration's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence.
Statements from Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson on their Lawsuit against Rove, Cheney and Libby
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT
Valerie Plame Wilson - Press Statement, 14 July 2006
I am proud to have served my country by working at the Central Intelligence Agency. I and my former CIA colleagues trusted our government to protect us as we did our jobs. That a few reckless individuals within the current administration betrayed that trust has been a grave disappointment to every patriotic American. Joe and I have filed this action with heavy hearts but with a renewed sense of purpose. I would much rather be continuing my career as a public servant than be a plaintiff in a lawsuit, but I feel strongly and justice demands that those who acted so harmfully against our national security must answer for their shameful conduct in a court of law.
By Aaron Glantz, www.OneWorld.net
Iraq will ask the United Nations to end immunity from local law for U.S. troops, the country's human rights minister said on Monday, as the military named five soldiers charged in a rape-murder case that has outraged Iraqis.
According to the Pentagon, the indicted soldiers drank alcohol, abandoned their checkpoint, changed clothes to avoid detection and headed to a house, about 200 yards from a U.S. military checkpoint in Mahmoudiya, a poor slum on the outskirts of Baghdad. When they got there, the soldiers allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl and then killed the victim and her family to cover it up.
By Barbara Ferguson, Arab News — http://www.arabnews.com
WASHINGTON, 14 July 2006 — Dima Tahboub, the widow of Tareq Ayyoub, has announced she is suing the White House and the Pentagon for $30,000,000 over her husband’s death. Ayyoub, a 35-year-old Palestinian who lived in Jordan, had traveled to Baghdad to report the war for Al-Jazeera five days before he was killed when US bombing shattered their bureau in Baghdad. His widow told reporters from her home in Jordan, that she was unable to comment on the lawsuit.
By ALAN FREEMAN, http://www.theglobeandmail.com
WASHINGTON -- Former CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband have launched a lawsuit against U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, his former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby and top White House aide Karl Rove, alleging that they conspired to ruin the couple's respective careers.
Ms. Plame's identity as a Central Intelligence Agency covert agent was disclosed three years ago in a column by Washington journalist Robert Novak after leaks from top administration officials to Mr. Novak and several other journalists.
* Italian Probe of CIA Abduction Broadens to Domestic Spying Scandal and
"Black Propaganda" Misinformation Campaign by Italy Intel *
Two Italian intelligence officers have been arrested on charges they helped
CIA agents abduct a Muslim cleric off the streets of Milan three years ago.
Italian investigators are now widening their probe into whether Italian
intelligence agents were engaged in illegal domestic spying and a "black
By Jan Frel, AlterNet.org
A Nuremberg chief prosecutor says there is a case for trying Bush for the "supreme crime against humanity, an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation."
The extent to which American exceptionalism is embedded in the national psyche is awesome to behold.
While the United States is a country like any other, its citizens no more special than any others on the planet, Americans still react with surprise at the suggestion that their country could be held responsible for something as heinous as a war crime.