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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability


There Should Be No Sighs of Relief: Manning Verdict a Very Pyrrhic Victory

By Alfredo Lopez


The Bradley Manning verdict may seem a victory of sorts for the defense -- it's certainly being treated that way in the mainstream media -- but the decision handed down Tuesday by Court Marshal Judge Colonel Denise Lind is actually a devastating blow not only to Manning, who was convicted of unjustifiably serious charges brought by an aggressive administration seeking to make an example of him, but also to Internet activity in general and information-sharing in particular.

Holder Promises Snowden Won’t be Tortured?

 In arguing that Russia should send Edward Snowden back to the U.S. to face charges for exposing, from inside the NSA, a vast surveillance network on whole populations, Attorney General Eric Holder was in the ironic position of alleging that:

Collateral Murder in Military Court: Bradley Manning’s Story

by Debra Sweet                   More than 60 of us filled the courtroom, and spilled into the overflow trailer, at Ft. Meade last Thursday (July 25).  The chief prosecutor for the government, a sneering Major Fein, in closing argument called Bradley Manning a “traitor” for the first time, and also a “hacker,” an “anarchist,” and a “humanist who does not care about humans.”

Holder promises Russia not to torture Snowden: A Shameful Day to Be a US Citizen

By Dave Lindorff


I have been deeply ashamed of my country a number of times. The Nixon Christmas bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong was one such time, when hospitals, schools and dikes were targeted. The invasion of Iraq was another. Washington’s silence over the fatal Israeli Commando raid on the Gaza Peace Flotilla--in which a 19-year-old unarmed American boy was murdered--was a third.  But I think I have never been as ashamed and disgusted as I was today reading that US Attorney General Eric Holder had sent a letter to the Russian minister of justice saying that the US would “not seek the death penalty” in its espionage case against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, promising that even if the US later brought added charges against Snowden after obtaining him, they would not include any death penalty, and vowing that if Snowden were handed over by Russia to the US, he would “not be tortured.”


So it has come to this: That the United States has to promise (to Russia!) that it will not torture a prisoner in its control -- a US citizen at that -- and so therefore that person, Edward Snowden, has no basis for claiming that he should be “treated as a refugee or granted asylum.”


Why does Holder have to make these pathetic representations to his counterpart in Russia? 


Because Snowden has applied for asylum saying that he is at risk of turture or execution if returned to the US to face charges for leaking documents showing that the US government is massively violating the civil liberties and privacy of every American by monitoring every American’s electronic communications.


Snowden has made that claim in seeking asylum because he knows that another whistleblower, Pvt. Bradley Manning, was in fact tortured by the US for months, and held without trial in solitary confinement for over a year before being finally put on trial in a kangaroo court, where the judge is as much prosecutor as jurist, and where his guilt was declared in advance by the President of the United States -- the same president who has also already publicly declared Snowden guilty too...


For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF inThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent three-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to:www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1888

Why Should We Have Any Confidence in a Justice Department Investigation Bringing Justice?

by Debra Sweet         Editor's Note from Dennis Loo.com: Obama's Justice Department is the same DOJ that has blocked torture victims from being able to sue for damages in court, declaring that allowing evidence of their torture by the U.S. and clients of the U.S. would reveal "national security" secrets (as if the world didn't all know that the U.S. is and has been torturing people), the same DOJ that is going after whistleblowers, not against those the whistleblowers have revealed to be committing crimes, the same DOJ that presides over the mass incarceration of millions (including the torture of many) here in the U.S.

#FreeBrad Hall Of Shame: Lamo, Obama, Choike, Lind, Showman, et al.

 “We are a nation of laws.  We don’t let individuals make decisions about how the law operates.  He [Bradley Manning] broke the law!” – President Obama, speaking on April 21, 2011 in San Francisco.

CIA Officer Convicted in Italy Has Been Arrested in Panama

(Reuters) - Former CIA Milan station chief Robert Seldon Lady, convicted in Italy of kidnapping an Egyptian Muslim cleric, has been arrested in Panama, Italian judicial sources told Reuters on Thursday.
Italy's highest court last year upheld a guilty verdict against Seldon Lady for the kidnapping of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, who was snatched from a Milan street in 2003 and flown to Egypt for interrogation, where he says he was tortured for seven months.
The imam, also known as Abu Omar, was a resident in Italy at the time of the abduction.
Seldon Lady was given a nine-year prison sentence and another 22 Americans seven-year sentences in absentia for the abduction of the imam.
The Italian trial was the first of its kind against the "rendition" flights practiced by the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, which have been condemned by human rights groups.
(Reporting by Luca Trogni; writing by Catherine Hornby; editing by Andrew Roche)

Just for Sissies: US Flaunts the Rule of Law while Demanding that other Countries Honor It

By Dave Lindorff 


Ah, the rule of law. How often we hear our government leaders angrily demand that the rest of the world adhere to this sacred stricture, most recently as it demands that countries -- even countries with which the US has signed no extradition treaty like Russia or China -- honor the US charges leveled against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and send him to the US for trial.


Aiding the Enemy: Who’s Really the ‘Enemy’ in the Bradley Manning Case?

By John Grant


We now have clarity from a full-bird colonel in judicial robes that Bradley Manning is to be charged with “aiding the enemy.” OK, not much of a surprise here. Colonel Denise Lind’s ruling seems pretty predictable.

Same Old ‘Same Old’: Acquittal of Zimmerman Reminds (Again) that Racism Persists

By Linn Washington Jr.


I received the text message from my buddy blasting the acquittal of George Zimmerman minutes before I boarded an airplane in London in route to South Africa.

To say I was not surprised by the acquittal handed down by the predominately white, all-female jury is an understatement. 

His 'Crime' is Patriotism, not Betrayal Like Hale's Philip Nolan, Snowden has Become a 'Man Without a Country'

By  Dave Lindorff

 

In Edward Everett Hale's short story "The Man Without a Country," US Army Lt. Philip Nolan, following a court-martial, is exiled from his country, his citizenship snatched away, leaving him doomed to sail the seven seas confined to a Navy vessel, unable to make any country his home. His crime: being seduced by a treacherous leader to betray the US of A, the country of his birth.

A Personal Essay On the Zimmerman Trial By a Grown-up Florida Boy: Of Criminals and Crackers

By John Grant


When people think of Florida, they think of oranges and pink flamingos, palm trees and beaches, the blue-green ocean. They think of Disney and margaritas. ... But it has a feral heart, a teeming center that would rage out of control if not for the concrete and rebar that keeps it caged.

  -Lisa Unger, from Black Out

George Zimmerman's Trial & the Tribulations of Black People

 

By Dennis Loo            On July 12, 2013’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” panelist Matt Lewis, a senior contributor to The Daily Caller and columnist to The Week Magazine, responded to Bill Maher’s query about the George Zimmerman trial by describing it as confrontation between “a wannabe gangster” and a “wannabe cop.” Both Cornel West, another panelist last night, and Maher, objected immediately to this false characterization of Trayvon Martin.

In Obamaland, ‘Rule of Law’ is for the Other Suckers: US (and French) Courts Have Ruled Head-of-State Immunity is Absolute

By Dave Lindorff


It is clear that the entrapment and forced landing in Austria of the official airplane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was the work of the US, which was obviously behind the decision by France and Portugal to deny air rights to the flight, and which also was obviously behind the Austrian government’s demand to be allowed to search the jet after it landed. After all, those countries have no interest themselves in capturing US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is only Obama’s and the NSA’s quarry. 


A Noir America: Killers and Roller-Coaster Rides

By John Grant


We're all aware of the reputed Chinese curse about living in interesting times. Upheaval seems to be in the air. According to Wikipedia, the interesting times curse was linked with a second, more worrisome curse: "May you come to the attention of those in authority."

PROTESTING KILLER DRONES AT THE CIA: FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD

I just returned to my home in Wisconsin after spending four days in the Washington, DC area, participating in two actions against drones organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR).  I flew to DC on Thursday.  On Friday we returned to the US Attorney’s office in Alexandria, VA to follow up on the criminal complaint we filed in May, and on Saturday we did an action at the CIA where six of us were arrested.  I had purchased a one-way ticket to fly out there because I did not know when I would be able to return home.

Biden/Obama full-court press on Snowden is a bad joke: The Real Traitors to America are in Washington and New York

By Dave Lindorff


It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry as the US goes all out to get its hands on National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

FBI Knew of Plot to Execute Occupy Activists but Did Nothing

By Dave Lindorff


Would you be shocked to learn that the FBI apparently knew that some organization, perhaps even a law enforcement agency or private security outfit, had contingency plans to assassinate peaceful protestors in a major American city — and did nothing to intervene?

When the official default is to lie: In Us We Have to Trust

By Dan DeWalt


“If people can't trust not only the executive branch but also don't trust Congress, and don't trust federal judges, to make sure that we're abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we're going to have some problems here.”   


Snowden’s escape: China, Hong Kong and Russia Foil US Attempt to Silence NSA Whistleblower

By Dave Lindorff


Now that Edward Snowden is safely away out of the clutches of the US police state, at least for now, let’s take a moment to contemplate how this one brave man’s principled confrontation with the Orwellian US government has damaged our national security state.


Bush, Rice, Powell Served in Suit Filed by Iraqi Over Illegal War

Attorney Inder Comar is maintaining a website at http://witnessiraq.com which describes the lawsuit:

Witness Iraq has brought a lawsuit against key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Paul Wolfowitz.

In Saleh v. Bush, plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh alleges that the Iraq War was a premeditated war against the Iraqi people, the planning of which started in 1998. The war was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and under international law constituted a “crime of aggression” — a crime first set down at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II.

[Copy of the Saleh v. Bush complaint]

Today Comar has this update:
 
Friends - some major updates on the Iraq War Case, Saleh v. Bush, et al., C 13 1124 (JST) (N.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2013). The plaintiff, an Iraqi woman now living in Jordan, alleges that defendants Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz violated international law in waging war against Iraq.
 
The Court has ordered a briefing schedule regarding the legality of the war (PACER docket pleading attached).  The briefing will take place over several months and will not be completed until at least November.
 
Defendants Bush, Rice and Powell have been served with the lawsuit through their counsel of record, the Department of Justice. The remaining defendants - Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz - will be served on or before June 21, 2013. [Here's the order: PDF]
 
The legality of the Iraq War -- and whether Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz allegedly committed the crime of aggression under international law, forbidden by the Nuremberg Trials -- is now before a court of law. If you can, help me spread this incredible story. 

Updates will be posted at our host site, witnessiraq.com, which also has copies of the Complaint and other materials.
 

Here Comar interviews the plaintiff and other victims:

He was 29

 

Many years later they found him in a monastery in China.

He agreed to be interviewed.

He looked happy in the eyes.

He said,

“One question.”

So I said,

“Hong Kong, June 2013. 

You were 29.

You said your greatest fear was

That nothing would change,

That the government would continue to grant itself

Unilateral powers.

Every time there is a new leader,

‘They’ll flip the switch’, you said...

A whistleblower holding all the cards: Why did Edward Snowden go to Hong Kong?

By Dave Lindorff

A lot of people in the US media are asking why America's most famous whistleblower, 29-year old Edward Snowden, hied himself off to the city state of Hong Kong, a wholly owned subsidiary of the People's Republic of China, to seek at least temporary refuge.

Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the US, they say. And as for China, which controls the international affairs of its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, while granting it local autonomy to govern its domestic affairs, its leaders "may not want to irritate the US" at a time when the Chinese economy is stumbling.

These people don't have much understanding of either Hong Kong or of China.

Blue Steals Green: Police Corruption’s the Dark Underside of the Drug War’s Iceberg

By Linn Washington, Jr.


Drug-related corruption within the Philadelphia Police Department – once again – is the target of federal authorities.

This latest action by federal authorities involves two patrolmen charged with trafficking drugs and robbing suspected drug dealers while on-duty and in full uniform.

Obama, Clapper and most of Congress are full of s**t: Where’s the Bullshit Repellent When We Need It?

By Dave Lindorff

Many years ago, back in 1975 when Gerald Ford was the nation’s default president, I spent a summer living in the home of two friends, both important anti-war academics, who had two young children. One of their kids, Jacob, who was about seven at the time and smart as a whip, had been given the gift of a can of compressed air which carried a label claiming it contained a miracle product called “Bullshit Repellent.”  Whenever someone in the house -- family member, me, or some other guest -- would say something ridiculous, stupid or false, someone would inevitably yell out, “Jacob, get the Bullshit Repellent!”  Jacob would come running in enthusiastically with the can and would spray it proudly at whoever was uttering the BS.

I sure wish I had Jacob and his spray can right now. I simply cannot believe the BS being spouted by President Obama, National Security Agency Director James Clapper, or the members of Congress who should be demanding their heads for the unprecedented surveillance and spying on all Americans that has just been exposed.  


Making the hero pay: A Nation’s Betrayal

By Dan DeWalt


This week, the government began their assault against private Bradley Manning. Even though he has already plead guilty to misusing classified documents and faces twenty years in prison, prosecutors want him branded as having aided the enemy, with a life sentence to go along.

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