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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability
By David Corn, www.tompaine.com
After a brief hiatus to work on a book about the selling of the Iraq war and the CIA leak case, David Corn is back writing his twice-monthly column, "The Loyal Opposition" for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and is the author of The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers). Read his blog at http://www.davidcorn.com.
By Marc Ash, www.truthout.org
What will follow will be a rather frank discussion of our reporting of and involvement in the Rove indictment matter. If you like simple answers or quick resolutions, turn back now. This is our report to our readership. Our primary sources for this report are career federal law enforcement and federal government officials speaking on condition of anonymity. This report was developed under the supervision of all of Truthout's senior editors, which should be taken as an indication that we view this matter with the utmost seriousness.
By Arianna Huffington, www.huffingtonpost.com
It's been a week since Patrick Fitzgerald decided that he couldn't make the case against Karl Rove, and I'm amazed that more hasn't been made of the role Viveca Novak played in Rove's narrow escape from indictment. She was his human stay-out-of-jail-free card.
For those of you who don't remember this blip on the Plamegate radar, Novak was the Time magazine reporter who, over drinks with her old pal attorney Robert Luskin in the summer or early fall of 2004 at Washington's Café Deluxe, let it slip that his client Rove had been one of the sources who'd leaked the lowdown on Valerie Plame to Matt Cooper.
By Thomas Watkins, Associated Press
SAN DIEGO - Pentagon investigators threatened the death penalty and used other coercive techniques to obtain statements from some of the seven Marines and a Navy corpsman jailed at Camp Pendleton in the shooting death of an Iraqi civilian, two defense lawyers say.
Attorney Jane Siegel, who represents Marine Pfc. John Jodka, 20, said Naval Criminal Investigative Service officials spoke to her client three times after he was taken into custody May 12. Jodka was questioned for up to eight hours at a time and was not offered water or restroom breaks, Siegel said.
Senator Charles Schumer says he accepts the decision not to prosecute top White House aide Karl Rove in the CIA leak case, but he wants the investigation to continue until someone is held accountable.
A special prosecutor has been investigating whether any other White House officials were involved with the leaking of agent Valerie Plame's identity.
Plame was exposed eight days after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, alleged the U.S. manipulated intelligence to exaggerate an Iraqi nuclear threat.
By John Nichols, The Nation
Now that the long speculation about whether White House political czar Karl Rove would be indicted for the role he played in exposing the identity of a CIA operative is done, perhaps the investigation of the Bush administration "hit" on Iraq War critic Joe Wilson can focus in on the fundamental questions that have been raised by the machinations of key players in the administration with the apparent goal of punishing a former diplomat for exposing White House misstatements and misdeeds.
By New York Times
On Monday, the Bush administration told a judge in Detroit that the president's warrantless domestic spying is legal and constitutional, but refused to say why. The judge should just take his word for it, the lawyer said, because merely talking about it would endanger America. Today, Senator Arlen Specter wants his Judiciary Committee to take an even more outlandish leap of faith for an administration that has shown it does not deserve it.
With the news that White House senior adviser Karl Rove apparently will not be indicted in the CIA leak investigation, Media Matters for America urges the media to ask the following question: What about his security clearance?
As Media Matters has previously explained, both Rove's apparent confirmation of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity to syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak and his alleged disclosure of her identity to Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper should trigger the loss of his security clearance under the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement.
Statement of Christopher Wolf, Proskauer Rose LLP, Counsel for Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson
"We have become aware of the communication between Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Luskin concerning Karl. Rove's status in the criminal investigation. We have no first-hand knowledge of the reason for the communication or what further developments in the criminal investigation it may signal. While it appears that Mr. Rove will not be called to answer in criminal court for his participation in the wrongful disclosure of Valerie Wilson's classified employment status at the CIA in retaliation against Joe Wilson for questioning the rationale for war in Iraq, that obviously does not end the matter. The day still may come when Mr. Rove and others are called to account in a court of law for their attacks on the Wilsons."
Specter's new May 11th proposal for FISA "reform" would provide Bush with a defense to the commencement of impeachment proceedings based on illegal NSA spying as it expressly ratifies Bush's prior illegal acts and also provides amnesty from criminal prosecution to Bush, administration officials and telecom executives who participated in NSA spying programs pursuant to Bush's constitutional authority.
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches http://dahrjamailiraq.com
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed
*BAGHDAD, Jun 12 (IPS) - In the wake of the Haditha massacre, reports of
another atrocity have surfaced in which U.S. troops killed two women in
Samarra, and then attempted to hide evidence of their responsibility.*
Among the innumerable such cases people speak of, this one too has now
Truthout seems to be using Sealed Case 128 to justify not revealing Jason Leopold's sources for his May 13 article reporting Karl Rove had been indicted.
Yes, there has been a sealed case 06cr00128 styled Sealed v. Sealed on the District Court's docket (available through Pacer) since it was filed on May 17. It says "no further information is available" or something like that. It is still sealed, I've checked several times since then. If my handwritten notes are correct, it's the only District Court criminal case filed between May 9 (case 122) and May 18 (case 131) that remains sealed.
Sometimes people just don't know when to cry "uncle." I do. I asked Robert Luskin this morning if Karl Rove has made a deal with Fitzgerald. His response:
There has never, ever been any discussion of a deal in any way, shape or form.
Which is exactly what Luskin told me weeks ago. It's over, folks. Karl Rove will not be charged with a crime. He's cooperated with Fitzgerald by testifying to the grand jury five times and providing whatever information he had without a safety net. Without a 5k. Without assurances he would not be indicted. That's a hell of a risk, but Luskin pulled it off. My hat's off to Luskin.
By Peter Dyer, http://www.consortiumnews.com
Editor's Note: As the U.S. military completes its investigation of the alleged murder of 24 Iraqi civilians at the hands of U.S. Marines last November in Haditha, the next phase likely will be some form of court martial against Marines implicated in the case.
If that happens, President George W. Bush has made clear that he expects justice to be meted out to any Marine found guilty of a war crime against Iraqi civilians. But, as we anticipated in an earlier article, virtually no U.S. media attention has focused on the Nuremberg principles and Bush's culpability in the crime.
Judge seeks clarity on CIA leak case
By Joel Seidman
NBC Nightly News Producer
WASHINGTON - The federal district judge overseeing the CIA leak case against I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby will hold a pre-trial status hearing Monday. Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, is facing five counts of obstruction of justice, false statements and perjury in the investigation of who leaked CIA employee Valerie Plame’s name to the media.
By Murray Waas, National Journal
Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft continued to oversee the Valerie Plame-CIA leak probe for more than two months in late 2003 after he learned in extensive briefings that FBI agents suspected White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of trying to mislead the FBI to conceal their roles in the leak, according to government records and interviews. Despite these briefings, which took place between October and December 2003, and despite the fact that senior White House aides might become central to the leak case, Ashcroft did not recuse himself from the matter until December 30, when he allowed the appointment of a special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, to take over the investigation.
Over the last two months, teams from the Bush Crimes Commission have fanned out across the country, speaking to audiences on 16 campuses, including Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, M.I.T., U. of Chicago, and U.C.L.A.* We now have plans for major events in the fall, that will, with your help, continue to spread the testimony from the Commission and its findings.
Gen. Karpinski, Daphne Wysham, and Ann Wright at U.C.L.A.
By Michael Schwartz
University at Stony Brook
If you are looking for the best account of actually what happened in Haditha, I have pasted the best I have found in below: another terrific reporting job by Washington Post reporter Ellen Knickmeyer—or rather her anonymous Iraqi collaborator who did all the investigative work in Haditha. (But also credit Knickmeyer with commissioning it and publishing it). It tells the story as witnessed by local Iraqis, with enough corroborative evidence to satisfy even the most cynical (and racist) rejecter of Iraqi testimony.
The Marines were well prepared for war, but not for insurgency. Did some of them snap—and slaughter innocent civilians in cold blood?
By Evan Thomas and Scott Johnson
June 12, 2006 issue - The Marines know how to get psyched up for a big fight. In November 2004, before the Battle of Fallujah, the Third Battalion, First Marines, better known as the "3/1" or "Thundering Third," held a chariot race. Horses had been confiscated from suspected insurgents, and charioteers were urged to go all-out. The men of Kilo Company—honored to be first into the city on the day of the battle—wore togas and cardboard helmets, and hoisted a shield emblazoned with a large K. As speakers blasted a heavy-metal song, "Cum On Feel the Noize," the warriors of Kilo Company carried a homemade mace, and a ball-and-chain studded with M-16 bullets. A company captain intoned a line from a scene in the movie "Gladiator," in which the Romans prepare to slaughter the barbarians: "What you do here echoes in eternity."
Evidence that marines killed unarmed Iraqi civilians late last year is
roiling America's administration. The BBC claims American soldiers
executed more civilians in Iraq, in March
THE Iraq war, said President George Bush last week, "has created a
sense of consternation here in America. I mean, when you turn on your
TV screen and see innocent people die, day in and day out, it affects
By BRIAN BRADY, The Scotsman, email@example.com
AMERICA'S alliance with the new Iraqi government was plunged into major crisis last night as the country's prime minister and its people reacted with fury to the US military clearing its forces of killing civilians during operations against insurgents.
Iraqi leaders vowed to press on with their own probe into one of the most notorious American raids against extremist fighters, in the town of Ishaqi, rejecting the US military's exoneration of its forces.
By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - An Iraqi whose brother was killed by American troops during a raid north of Baghdad condemned on Saturday a U.S. military investigation that cleared forces of wrongdoing, as new footage showed that at least four children were among the victims.
The U.S. military said Saturday it found no wrongdoing by American troops accused of intentionally killing civilians during a March 15 raid in Ishaqi, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. As many as 13 Iraqis were killed.
Tensions rise as new government rejects US verdict clearing American troops of deliberately shooting 11 Iraqis
By Ben Gilbert in Baghdad and Stephen Khan, The Independent, UK
The Iraqi government has reacted furiously to a ruling that cleared American forces of executing a family of civilians north of Baghdad earlier this year, and pledged to continue its own inquiries into allegations of US war crimes.
CBC News , Canada
U.S. President George W. Bush says he's "troubled" by recent reports American forces may have committed atrocities in Iraq.
Bush's comment followed news reports of another possible massacre of civilians by U.S. troops, the third such set of allegations to have come to light in recent weeks.
The latest incident happened in March, in the village of Ishaqi, north of Baghdad. Two western news agencies broadcast video taken after the attack that shows 11 family members, including five children, shot dead.
Military probes shooting deaths of 5 kids, 4 women
Second major allegation of civilian killings
By Tim Harper, Toronto Star
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military said last night it would investigate allegations of a second massacre of Iraqi civilians by American troops after being presented with a video of what appeared to be the bodies of 11 people killed by gunfire in a town north of Baghdad.
Discrepancy seen as administration says he didn't learn of massacre probe for nearly a month
BY CRAIG GORDON, Newsday Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- The White House said yesterday it took nearly a month for President George W. Bush to learn the military was investigating whether Marines gunned down civilians in Haditha - an incident Iraq's leader called "a horrible crime" as he launched his own probe.
As horrible as the November 2005 massacre in Haditha was, it appears to be the tip of the iceberg. Today's news brings reports of another alleged mass killing of civilians by U.S. troops in Iraq, including a 6-month-old baby, last March.
While the details of that incident remain murky, the story of Haditha has now been told in chilling detail by numerous respected sources. In a several-hour-long rampage, a group of U.S. Marines shot 24 Iraqi civilians execution-style, at close range -- among them a 77-year-old amputee confined to a wheelchair and seven children ranging in age from 1 to 15. A 41-year-old woman was killed while trying to shield the youngest baby with her body.
By Associated Press
Baghdad, Iraq -- The U.S. military is bracing for a major scandal over the alleged slaying of Iraqi civilians by Marines in Haditha -- charges so serious they could threaten President Bush's effort to rally support at home for an increasingly unpopular war.
And while the case has attracted little attention so far in Iraq, it still could enflame hostility to the U.S. presence just as Iraq's new government is getting established, and complicate efforts by moderate Sunni Arab leaders to reach out to their community -- the bedrock of the insurgency.
By Toni Locy, Associated Press
If a prosecutor calls him as a witness, Vice President Dick Cheney probably can't avoid testifying in his former chief of staff's perjury trial, legal experts said Thursday.
"There may be significant issues of executive privilege and significant issues of classified information. But there are obviously significant factual issues that bear on the charges the prosecutor has brought" in the CIA leak investigation, said former federal prosecutor E. Lawrence Barcella Jr.
By TONI LOCY, Associated Press
A federal judge on Friday ordered Time magazine to turn over documents for a former White House aide to use in his defense to perjury and other charges in the CIA leak case.
The order by U.S. District Reggie B. Walton also said the New York Times might have to turn over some information but reduced the scope of documents the newspaper and other news organizations would have to provide to lawyers for the defendant, former top vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.