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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability

War Criminals, Beware


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.

From Whitewater to Blackwater: Ken Starr, the Mercenaries' New Lawyer

By Jeremy Scahill and Garrett Ordower,

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.

In the Libby Case, a Grilling to Remember

Washington Post

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.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld To Be Prosecuted By Ed Asner

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 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.

First Award for Depleted Uranium Poisoning Claim

By Martin Williams,

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.

Judge orders Cheney visitor logs opened

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."

Ex-Commander Talks at Abu Ghraib Hearing

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.

Troops to Face Courts-Martial on Charges

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,

Nick Mottern (9149 806 6179);

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.

Guantanamo defense lawyer forced out of Navy

By Carol Rosenberg
McClatchy Newspapers

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.

Day four of Libby closed-door hearing

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.

Pardon Me? Scooter Libby's Trial Strategy

By Elizabeth de la Vega,

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.

DeLay Could Face Conspiracy Charge

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.

Verdict: Bush Is Guilty

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."

Armitage Shmarmitage

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.

Liar in Chief

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”.

Closed Hearings Ordered in Libby CIA Leak Case

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.

Misremembering Defense

FBI Suspected Rove and Libby Pre-Fitzgerald

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.

Read More:

Special Counsel Fitzgerald Under Attack

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.

Read More:

Death Penalty Sought for US Soldiers Accused of Iraqi Murders

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.

Greg Palast Fundraiser for Camp Democracy

8 to 10 PM
Monday Sept. 4th
Busboys & Poets Restaurant
2021 14th Street NW
Near U St. Metro, Green Line
Washington, D.C.

Celebrate Democracy on Labor Day with:

Investigative Journalist Greg Palast discussing breaking investigative reports

Lawyers Will Subpoena Bush White House in Phone Company Spying Case

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.

Plame considering suing Armitage

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.

Bush and Saddam Should Both Stand Trial, Says Nuremberg Prosecutor

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.

Bush is Two Times a Criminal

By Dave Lindorff,

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.

Chilean Court Strips Pinochet's Immunity

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.

Conyers: Bush might be 'on the way to jail'

By Lukery

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.

LeeB wrote:

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.

Plame to use "Paula Jones precedent" to force Cheney to testify

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.

Plame Lawyer Plans to Force Cheney, Rove Testimony

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.

Speaking Events


May 30 NYC here and here and here

August 27, Chicago


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