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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability
By PETE YOST, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — In a new court filing, the prosecutor in the CIA leak case revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney made handwritten references to CIA officer Valerie Plame — albeit not by name — eight days before her identity was publicly exposed.
The new court filing is the second in little more than a month by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald mentioning Cheney as being closely focused with his then-chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, on Plame's CIA identity and on her husband, Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.
During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.
By BETH DeFALCO, Associated Press Writer
TRENTON, N.J. -- Two New Jersey public interest lawyers sued Verizon Communications Inc. for $5 billion Friday, claiming the phone carrier violated privacy laws by turning over phone records to the National Security Agency for a secret government surveillance program.
Attorneys Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer filed the lawsuit Friday afternoon in federal district court in Manhattan, where Verizon is headquartered.
A privacy advocate explains why Americans should care about the NSA’s database of phone records.
By Susanna Schrobsdorff, Newsweek
May 12, 2006 - Domestic spying or national security? The debate over whether the government is poking too closely into Americans’ lives was inflamed this week following reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) is creating a massive database of millions of phone records—and that three major telecom companies have cooperated in the effort. For privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a San Francisco-based nonprofit, the answer is clear: the NSA is spying on Americans. And, according to EFF, it is illegal for telecom companies to supply customer calling details to the NSA unless they follow established legal procedures to obtain a warrant.
By John Markoff, New York Times
The former chief executive of Qwest, the nation's fourth-largest phone company, rebuffed government requests for the company's calling records after 9/11 because of "a disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process," his lawyer said yesterday.
The statement on behalf of the former Qwest executive, Joseph P. Nacchio, followed a report that the other big phone companies - AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon - had complied with an effort by the National Security Agency to build a vast database of calling records, without warrants, to increase its surveillance capabilities after the Sept. 11 attacks.
By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
Within the last week, Karl Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, as well as a few other high level administration officials, that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly announces the charges against him, according to sources.
Details of Rove's discussions with the president and Bolten have spread through the corridors of the White House where low-level staffers and senior officials were trying to determine how the indictment would impact an administration that has been mired in a number of high-profile political scandals for nearly a year, said a half-dozen White House aides and two senior officials who work at the Republican National Committee.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecom giant of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications.
Reporters at the major cable television networks plan to be on the ground Friday outside a federal district court where the jury considering the fate of President Bush's senior adviser Karl Rove.
No formal indication has been given of Rove's status, though lawyers close to the case have said his fate is likely to be determined soon. Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who is investigating the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, is scheduled to meet with the grand jury in the case Friday.
Telcos Could Be Liable For Tens of Billions of Dollars For Illegally Turning Over Phone Records
This morning, USA Today reported that three telecommunications companies – AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth – provided “phone call records of tens of millions of Americans” to the National Security Agency. Such conduct appears to be illegal and could make the telco firms liable for tens of billions of dollars. Here’s why:
By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU
Please join us at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning at the U.S. Courthouse in Alexandria, VA for the oral arguments in El Masri v. Tenet, our challenge to the Bush Administration's practice of “extraordinary rendition”:
Tomorrow, Friday, May 12 at 10 a.m.
Where: Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse
401 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314
By Rep. John Conyers, http://www.dailykos.com
Last night, I filed an amicus brief with 71 other Democratic Members of Congress in two cases challenging the Bush Administration's illegal warrantless domestic spying.
It is very disturbing that, on the same day we learn that the NSA has been secretly collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, we also learn that the Department of Justice has abruptly cancelled its investigation into the Agency's warrantless wiretapping program. These developments clearly point to the urgent need for oversight and review of this program. Congress has failed to provide this critical oversight which has led us to the courts.
David Shuster is convinced that Rove will be frog marched very soon.
Geneva - The United States has put on trial more than 100 armed forces' staff accused of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan and Iraq, twice the number asserted by rights groups, a US official said on Monday.
Defending US policy before the United Nations' Committee against Torture, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Stimson said all allegations of mistreatment of detainees were investigated.
By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report
Hundreds of pages of emails and memos "discovered" by the White House in February and turned over to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald show that Karl Rove played a much larger role in the Valerie Plame Wilson leak case than he had previously disclosed to a grand jury and FBI investigators.
In February, TruthOut was the first to report the existence of the 250 pages of emails from Vice President Dick Cheney's office and the Office of the President that were written in mid-2003.
By James Vicini, Reuters
Washington - The lawyer for former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby said on Friday he would argue that his client revealed intelligence on Iraq after Vice President Dick Cheney authorized it and President George W. Bush declassified the information.
At a hearing on what documents the prosecution must turn over to the defense, lawyer Theodore Wells also said he believed there may be testimony or statements by Bush and Cheney that the disclosure of the intelligence was authorized.
May 5 (Bloomberg) -- The defense lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, charged with lying to investigators about the leak of a CIA agent's identity, said he'll seek testimony in the case from the operative's husband.
Lawyer Ted Wells, representing former chief of staff I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby, said about five witnesses would testify that agent Valerie Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, revealed her secret job duties before they were disclosed in a 2003 newspaper column. Wells spoke at a hearing in Washington as U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said he'll reject at least some of Libby's requests for government documents for his defense.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby have wrapped up a meeting in the perjury and obstruction case against the indicted administration official, RAW STORY has learned.
The meeting is believed to have centered on the kinds of testimony that will and will not be allowed in the case against Libby relating to the leak of classified information and outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.
From ABC News' The Note.
(While RAW STORY has been critical of the Note's reporting recently, we have decided to carry this story largely because it identifies a specific reporter by name.)
ABC News' Jason Ryan reports:
"The grand jury hearing the leak investigation case is scheduled to meet at 9:30 am ET. Special prosecutor Fitzgerald is in town for a 1:30 pm ET hearing before Judge Walton in the Libby case. The hearing will be a status conference requested by Libby's lawyers after Fitzgerald disclosed in court papers that President Bush had authorized Libby to disclose sections of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's WMD."
By MARTY AUSSENBERG, http://www.memphisflyer.com
It now seems beyond question that, at the very least, Karl Rove will be indicted for perjury, false statements and/or obstruction of justice in what's come to be known as "Plamegate" (the outing of a CIA agent to extract revenge against her husband, Ambassador Wilson, for challenging the President's assertion that Saddam was buying nuclear materials from Africa). The corporate media and the blogosphere are abuzz, speculating on the timing of Rove's indictment, and laying the foundation for such an indictment
or so a good rumor has it
ABC The Note:
The grand jury investigating the CIA leak may meet this morning at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC.
Read this related Kos diary by Kagro X.
By Charlie Savage, The Boston Globe
President cites powers of his office
Washington - President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
By Rupert Cornwell, the Independent
The Pentagon has brought criminal charges against the second-ranking US intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib jail - the most senior figure yet to be accused in the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal that shocked the world and left a black stain on America's human rights record.
The seven formal charges against Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Jordan, who was in charge of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Centre at the prison near Baghdad during the second half of 2003, come two years after the scandal first became public. The 12 counts against him include cruelty, maltreatment of prisoners, dereliction of duty and three counts of lying to Major General Antonio Taguba, who conducted the first official probe into the events at the prison, and to a subsequent Pentagon investigation in 2004.
By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
Despite vehement denials by his attorney who said this week that Karl Rove is neither a "target" nor in danger of being indicted in the CIA leak case, the special counsel leading the investigation has already written up charges against Rove, and a grand jury is expected to vote on whether to indict the Deputy White House Chief of Staff sometime next week, sources knowledgeable about the probe said Friday afternoon.
By Congressman John Conyers, www.dailykos.com
As some of you may be aware, according to the President and Congressional Republicans, a bill does not have to pass both the Senate and the House to become a law. Forget your sixth grade civics lesson, forget the book they give you when you visit Congress - "How Our Laws Are Made," and forget Schoolhouse Rock. These are checks and balances, Republican-style.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
Karl Rove's appearance before a grand jury in the CIA leak case Wednesday comes on the heels of a "target letter" sent to his attorney recently by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, signaling that the Deputy White House Chief of Staff may face imminent indictment, sources that are knowledgeable about the probe said Wednesday.
It's unclear when Fitzgerald sent the target letter to Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin. Sources close to the two-year-old leak investigation said when Rove's attorney received the letter Rove volunteered to appear before the grand jury for an unprecedented fifth time to explain why he did not previously disclose conversations he had with the media about covert CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who criticized the Bush administration's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence.
Seeking Accountability for Bloody Attacks:
* Fallujah, Iraq -- 2004
* U.N. Compound in Lebanon -- 1996
MARTI HIKEN, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.nlg.org/mltf
COLLEEN FLYNN, email@example.com
W. GORDON KAUPP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hiken, a spokesperson and co-chair for the National Lawyers Guild
Military Law Task Force, is the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act
Ray Accuses Bush of War Crimes on Major TV Show: Transcript of Ray McGovern Interview on Jim Lehrer's News Hour
JIM LEHRER: A 20-year veteran of the agency, Mary McCarthy, was fired on Thursday for leaking information about CIA secret prison camps to the Washington Post. The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for those stories.
CIA Director Porter Goss reportedly told CIA employees Friday that McCarthy had failed a polygraph test and then admitted to unauthorized disclosures. There's no word on whether the government will take any further action against her.
Writing on behalf of his One America political action committee, former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards sent an email Saturday seeking signatories in an effort to expand the powers of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate President Bush's role in the strategic leaking of information related to Iraq.
In the form letter on Edwards' site, he writes, "I urge you to extend Mr. Fitzgerald’s charter to include the behavior of the President in this disgraceful affair."
By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation
It is one of the most infamous incidents of the war in Iraq: On March 31, 2004, four private American security contractors get lost and end up driving through the center of Falluja, a hotbed of Sunni resistance to the US occupation. Shortly after entering the city, they get stuck in traffic, and their small convoy is ambushed. Several armed men approach the two vehicles and open fire from behind, repeatedly shooting the men at point-blank range. Within moments, their bodies are dragged from the vehicles and a crowd descends on them, tearing them to pieces. Eventually, their corpses are chopped and burned. The remains of two of the men are strung up on a bridge over the Euphrates River and left to dangle. The gruesome image is soon beamed across the globe.