Tag Archive: U.S.Department of Justice (DOJ)


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Desert Rose Creations / Family Survival Protocol   2013

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 Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are serious problems in the United States with long-term adverse consequences for children and society as a whole, and federal agencies should work with state and local partners to raise awareness of these issues and train professionals who work with youths to recognize and assist those who are victimized or at risk, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.Minors who are prostituted or sexually exploited in other ways should be treated as victims rather than arrested and prosecuted as criminals, as they currently are in most states, the report says.


“Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are often-overlooked forms of child abuse,” said Richard Krugman, co-chair of the committee that wrote the report, and vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.”Our national, state, and local laws and policies should recognize that and provide these children and adolescents with the support they need. Right now, they are often invisible to us, and when we do recognize them, we fail to see them as victims and survivors of abuse and violence.We hope our report will help open our nation’s eyes to a serious domestic problem in need of solutions.”

Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors refer to a range of crimes, including recruiting or transporting minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploiting them through prostitution, or exploiting them through survival sex (exchanging sexual acts for something of value, such as shelter or food), among other offenses. Young victims and survivors of these crimes face both immediate and long-term social, legal, and health consequences. As directed by its charge, the committee focused its report on exploitation and trafficking of minors who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and its territories, but urged readers and policymakers to consider the broader implications of its recommendations as they apply to all children and adolescents.

Despite the gravity of the problem, there is no reliable estimate of the scope or prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, the report says; estimates of the number of prostituted children and adolescents in the U.S., for example, have ranged from 1,400 to 2.4 million. These crimes are overlooked and almost surely underreported because they frequently happen at the margins of society and behind closed doors, and the young people involved often do not recognize themselves as victims of abuse. Those especially vulnerable to exploitation include youths who have been neglected or abused; those in foster care or juvenile detention; lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual youth; racial and ethnic minorities; and homeless, runaways, and “thrown-away” children who have been asked or told to leave home.

Efforts to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children in the U.S. are largely absent, the report says, and though efforts to respond to these problems are emerging, they are generally insufficient, uncoordinated, and unevaluated.Many professionals who interact with youth — such as teachers, health care providers, and child welfare and law enforcement professionals — are either unaware that trafficking and exploitation happen in their communities or lack the knowledge and tools to identify and respond to young people who are at risk.

Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors should be understood as acts of abuse and violence, the report says.All states have statutory rape laws specifying that a child under a certain age cannot legally consent to having sex and must be treated as a victim of a crime.And federal law on sex trafficking recognizes children as victims.However, in most states, commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors often are viewed through the lens of prostitution laws. As a result, laws allow prostituted minors to be arrested and charged with crimes instead of treating these sexually exploited minors as victims of crimes.These children and adolescents may be subject to arrest, detention, adjudication or conviction, and commitment or incarceration; they may have permanent records as offenders.

The report calls for all national, state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions to develop laws and policies that redirect young victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation under the age of 18 away from arrest and prosecution and toward systems, agencies, and services that are equipped to meet their needs.A small but growing number of states have enacted “safe harbor” laws designed to send young victims of exploitation to agencies that provide supportive services instead of sending them to the criminal or juvenile justice systems.

The U.S. departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education, working with other partners, should support national, regional, state, and local efforts to raise awareness of these crimes, the report says.These efforts should include training for professionals and others who routinely interact with minors. Health care and child welfare workers, the education sector, and the private sector have an important role to play in preventing, identifying, and responding to these problems.Efforts should also include campaigns to raise public awareness and specific strategies for raising awareness among children and adolescents. In addition, in the absence of an exhaustive list of resources for victim and support services, a digital information-sharing platform should be created to deliver reliable, real-time information on how to prevent, identify, and respond to the problem.

Despite the hard work of prosecutors and law enforcement in many jurisdictions, individuals who sexually exploit children and adolescents largely escape accountability, the report says. All jurisdictions should review and strengthen laws that hold exploiters, traffickers, and solicitors accountable for their role. These laws should include a particular emphasis on deterring demand, both through prevention efforts and penalties for those who solicit sex with minors.

In addition, the report recommends that the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education collaborate and partner with others to implement a national research agenda to advance understanding of this kind of exploitation and develop evidence-informed interventions to prevent youth from becoming victims and to assist those who have been exploited.

“It’s time to direct greater effort to preventing this kind of abuse, identifying young people who have become ensnared in it, and developing effective approaches that can enable them to reclaim their lives,” said committee co-chair Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of law at Vanderbilt University.

The study was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the U.S. Department of Justice. Established under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council provide independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, the private sector, and the public. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.

Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18358

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The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences.

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This  Article Courtesy of  Science Daily

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CrossTalk: Justice Deficit

RT RT

Published on Sep 30, 2013

United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law. Does this imply they did breach the law? Why does Obama want to shield the ex-President from prosecution? And why aren’t Bush & Co. held accountable for the Iraq disaster? CrossTalking with Inder Comar and Ed Krayewski.

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Why an Iraqi Single Mom Is Suing George W. Bush for War Crimes

Why an Iraqi single mom and a tech lawyer think they can prove the Iraq War was a “crime of aggression” under U.S. law.
Inder Comar and Sundus Shaker Saleh.

Sundus Shaker Saleh, pictured at right, with her lawyer, Inder Comar. Photo by Global Exchange.

George W. Bush keeps a low profile these days, making the rounds on the public speaking circuit, engaging in a bit of philanthropy here and there, occasionally sharing his dog paintings or offering an unsolicited opinion on the immigration debate or national security.

The case was filed on March 13, 2013, and the defendants have all been served notice to appear.

Given his role in the current media landscape, it may be easy to forget that just 10 years ago he led an invasion of a foreign country that many in the international community saw as criminal.

Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother of three, has not forgotten. The violence and chaos that engulfed Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 had tragic consequences for her family and ultimately forced her to flee her homeland for an uncertain future. She has left Iraq, but she is determined to make sure the world hears her story and that someone is held accountable.

Saleh is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit targeting six key members of the Bush Administration: George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz. In Saleh v. Bush, she alleges that the Iraq War was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and therefore constituted a “crime of aggression” under international law—a designation first set down in the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The aim of the suit is simple: to achieve justice for Iraqis, and to show that no one, not even the president of the United States, is above the law.

The case is being brought to trial by Inder Comar of Comar Law, a firm based in San Francisco. The majority of cases Comar takes involve providing legal support to private companies, primarily for the tech industry. He is measured and deliberate, perhaps not the long haired, vaguely out-of-touch wearer of hemp suits some might picture when imagining a human rights lawyer pushing for prosecution of U.S. government officials.

This summer, Saleh met with Comar at her home in Amman, Jordan, to discuss the upcoming trial.

Saleh related her story through a translator to Comar, who had traveled halfway around the world to hear her story firsthand. Saleh was a gracious host, according to Comar, pointing out the paintings she’d crafted and beaming over her children. She was warm, open, and quick to laugh. Her story, however, was rife with darkness.

Prior to the arrival of U.S. forces, Saleh said, Iraq was safe. People slept with their doors open at night. There were no militias, no checkpoints, no threats. All of that came to a halt following the U.S.-led invasion. Airstrikes damaged or destroyed vital infrastructure including highways, bridges, and wastewater treatment facilities. Diseases like typhus became commonplace. The swift collapse of a functioning government created an environment ripe for internecine warfare. Saleh’s twin brothers were both shot by militia members, and she no longer felt safe in her own home. So in 2005, Saleh fled Iraq. She was not alone. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, over 2 million people left the country, and over 2.7 million were internally displaced, including up to 40 percent of the Iraqi middle class.

To seek legal redress, Comar Law is invoking the Alien Tort Statute, a law passed in 1789 that permits a non-U.S. national the ability to sue in federal court for injuries “committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” The case was filed on March 13, 2013, with the U.S. District Court in Northern Calif., and the defendants have all been served notice to appear. Just like any other legal proceeding, there will be a great deal of back and forth before the hearing, which is scheduled to take place sometime in early 2014.

A tough case to make

Paul Stephan teaches law at the University of Virginia and has served as a consultant to the Department of State on matters of international law. In his opinion, Comar’s lawsuit against Bush administration officials is unlikely to succeed.

Many judges would view the ramifications of the invasion of Iraq not as a matter of law, but of politics.

For one, Stephan says, it’s difficult to sue a U.S. employee acting under the “scope of employment.” The Westfall Act of 1988 permits the United States as an entity to substitute itself in for individuals who were acting in their “scope of employment” for the case at issue.

The Westfall Act was enacted by Congress to supersede the Supreme Court’s decision in Westfall v. Erwin, a case involving a government employee, William Erwin, who was burned by exposure to toxic soda ash at an Army depot and then sued the depot supervisors. The Court’s ruling slightly modified the interpretation of law to open up government employees to greater legal liability for their actions. Congress immediately responded with the Westfall Act, which granted “absolute immunity” to government employees for any actions taken within the scope of their employment.

Precedent suggests that Stephan may be right. The district court of the District of Columbia dismissed a case by the ACLU of Northern California against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and nine other senior military leaders in 2007 on the grounds that these employees were acting within the scope of their employment and were therefore immune from liability under the Westfall Act.

The suit, Ali v. Rumsfeld, was brought on behalf of nine men subjected to torture and abuse under Rumsfeld’s command, with the ACLU arguing that the Constitution and international law prohibit torture and require commanding officers to report violations of the law. The ACLU further claimed that direct orders from Rumsfeld, as well as reports from detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, proved that Rumsfeld and the nine other defendants were well aware of and condoned the ongoing torture.

The second issue that Stephan points out is that the crimes in question didn’t take place in the United States. That makes it unlikely the courts will recognize the validity of the claim.

Thirdly, there’s the “political question.” Courts aren’t open to ruling on matters of a political nature, Stephan says. This doctrine of U.S. Constitutional law has its roots in the case of Marbury v. Madison, in which Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall drew a dividing line between matters over which the courts would have jurisdiction and matters best left to the legislative and executive branches of government. Many judges would view the ramifications of the invasion of Iraq not as a matter of law, but of politics.

“If the expectation is that a federal court will declare that the invasion, although duly authorized by Congress, violated international law and thus violates U.S. law, I would respond that we walked up and down that hill with respect to Vietnam,” Stephan said. “No federal court ever has recognized such a claim.”

Taking a deeper look

But Comar is optimistic that these hurdles can be overcome. The issue of whether or not Bush, Cheney, and the others will be found to have acted in an official capacity isn’t open and shut.

“Ms. Saleh alleges that these defendants entered into government in order to execute a pre-existing plan to overthrow the Hussein regime.”

According to Comar, part of the planning for the invasion happened within the United States, before these officials took office. Multiple letters and position papers emanating from the nonprofit think tank Project for a New American Century, or PNAC, indicate a long-term interest in regime change in Iraq. An open letter written in 1998 to then-president Clinton signed by Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld called for the removal of Saddam Hussein using military power. PNAC was also responsible for drafting and guiding the passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, which authorized military support for opposition to Saddam Hussein.

Then, in 2000, Wolfowitz was a signatory to the 90-page report issued by PNAC titled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century,” which calls for, among other things, global domination through force of arms. The document tellingly hints at the larger geopolitical justification for war with Iraq, stating that “while the unresolved conflict in Iraq provides the immediate justification [for U.S. military presence], the need for a substantial American force presence in the [Persian] Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

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Those documents suggest that, in order to show that these officials were acting in capacity as government employees, the United States needs to prove that the sum of their actions took place entirely within office. Since the officials participated in these actions before they took office, Comar claims, they clearly cannot have been acting in their scope of employment.

Then there’s the political question, which Comar concedes is an often-nebulous doctrine with no clear limits. But that doesn’t mean that the crime of aggression necessarily qualifies as a political question.

Though low-ranking soldiers were prosecuted for torture in Iraq, none of the policy architects were ever held accountable.

“The legality of a war under international law was exactly the type of legal question that the Nuremberg court adjudicated,” Comar says. “We believe that aggression as a tort is actionable under the Alien Tort Statute. It is not a generic international law claim but a bedrock norm of international behavior in the same manner as slavery, genocide or torture, which are all claims that can be made under the Alien Tort Statute.”

Comar is confident that the courts will hear the case but is clear-headed about the prospects for conviction. He says that failure to achieve a multimillion-dollar settlement would not mean failure overall. A trial requires the gathering of evidence and provides a record for posterity.

Furthermore, Comar says, the judiciary is likely the last place people like Sundus Shaker Saleh can turn. It is highly unlikely that any president would ever investigate a past administration in the way sought by the suit, since the executive isn’t keen to open the gates for further scrutiny into its actions. Indeed, the Obama administration has expanded many Bush programs, including the use of drone strikes and domestic surveillance.

Since neither the legislative nor the executive branch have attempted to investigate whether the Bush Administration officials are guilty of war crimes, the last remaining branch through which to seek redress is the judiciary. Pursuing the issue here, Comar believes, will force the issue back into the public sphere.

“Our law recognizes that the actions of every person in this country—even a president—is subject to judicial review before an impartial judge,” Comar says. He continues:

This is a concept that extends back to the Magna Carta, when English barons put restraints on their king in order to protect their rights and privileges. In this case, Ms. Saleh alleges that these defendants entered into government in order to execute a pre-existing plan to overthrow the Hussein regime—a plan that has now led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and U.S. servicemen and women, untold misery for millions, and chaos that continues to plague that country to the present day. This is the very behavior that was outlawed and declared criminal by the Nuremberg Tribunal.

It is unusual in the United States for high government officials to face legal consequences for their actions. Though low-ranking soldiers were prosecuted for torture in Iraq, none of the policy architects were ever held accountable.

Regardless of the resolution of Saleh v. Bush, the case sets an important precedent toward rebuilding a system of laws that apply equally to everyone, even if their alleged crimes were committed in the Oval Office.


Corey Hill wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions. He is the membership and outreach coordinator at Global Exchange. Follow Corey on Twitter at @Newschill.


YES! Magazine. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

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Les Grossman

Published on Aug 12, 2013

AG Holder Address the ABA on Prison Sentences

Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco where he is expected to discuss drug offenses and prison sentencing. Founded in 1878, the national association of lawyers includes 410,000 members.

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This  coming  from  an Administration  that  raids and  prosecutes LEGAL Marijuana  Dispensaries  in States  where  Marijuana  has  been  LEGALIZED! 

While  totally  at  peace  with the  concept of   gun  running ro drug dealers  via the DEA.

How   hypocritical  can  you  get ?

~Desert Rose~

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Holder seeks to avert mandatory minimum sentences for some low-level drug offenders

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Monday that low-level, nonviolent drug offenders with no ties to gangs or large-scale drug organizations will no longer be charged with offenses that impose severe mandatory sentences.The new Justice Department policy is part of a comprehensive prison reform package that Holder unveiled in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco. He also introduced a policy to reduce sentences for elderly, nonviolent inmates and find alternatives to prison for nonviolent criminals.

Graphic

Drug offenses account for 17%, or nearly one in five, of those in state prisons, according to national incarceration data.

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Drug offenses account for 17%, or nearly one in five, of those in state prisons, according to national incarceration data.

Justice Department lawyers have worked for months on the proposals, which Holder wants to make the cornerstone of the rest of his tenure.

“We must face the reality that, as it stands, our system is, in too many ways, broken,” Holder said. “And with an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to deter and to rehabilitate — not merely to warehouse and to forget.”

“A vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities,” Holder said Monday. (Excerpts of his ­prepared remarks were provided Sunday to The Washington Post.) He added that “many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate these problems rather than alleviate them.”

It is clear that “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason,” Holder said. “We cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation,” he added later in the speech.

Holder is calling for a change in Justice Department policies to reserve the most severe penalties for drug offenses for serious, high-level or violent drug traffickers. He has directed his 94 U.S. attorneys across the country to develop specific, locally tailored guidelines for determining when federal charges should be filed and when they should not.

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Holder’s move on mandatory minimums a boon to Rand Paul

Monday’s announcement that Attorney General Eric Holder will seek to get rid of mandatory minimum sentences for some low-level drug offenders could soon create some interesting bedfellows.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gestures as he speaks at a forum on immigration organized by the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

Reforming mandatory minimums is an issue that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been pushing (no pun intended) for a while now — including during an appearance at historically black Howard University earlier this year.

A Paul staffer said the potential 2016 presidential candidate, who has already proposed a bill giving judges more leeway in sentencing drug offenders below the mandatory minimums, will work with the Obama administration on the issue.

“This is already a bipartisan issue, led in the Senate by Sens. Paul, [Patrick] Leahy, [Mike] Lee and [Richard] Durbin,” said the staffer, granted anonymity to discuss strategy. “Senator Paul believes strongly in this issue and that we must find a solution. He is pleased to work with all who agree and want to push forward.”

The aide also said that there has been contact between Paul and the administration.

Update 1:17 p.m.: Paul has released the following statement: “I look forward to working with them to advance my bipartisan legislation, the Justice Safety Valve Act, to permanently restore justice and preserve judicial discretion in federal cases. … The Administration’s involvement in this bipartisan issue is a welcome development. Now the hard work begins to change the law to permanently address this injustice.”

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English: Eric Holder, Attorney General Nominee

English: Eric Holder, Attorney General Nominee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Hill

Texas GOP pans Holder move

By Mike Lillis and Bernie Becker 07/25/13 01:21 PM ET

The lawmakers say Thursday’s surprise move by Attorney General Eric Holder asking a court to require “pre-clearance” of new Texas laws steps on states’ rights, wastes taxpayer dollars and defies the Supreme Court’s June decision to scrap a key part of the Voting Rights Act.

“Once again it’s the federal government telling the states what they can and can’t do,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas). “Even after some defeats on the Voting Rights Act in the Supreme Court, the administration still continues to thwart the will of the people of Texas.

“We’re ending up wasting the taxpayers’ money when the court has already telegraphed that the Voting Rights Act is constitutionally infirm,” he added.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) argued that Holder “is trying to skirt the Supreme Court law” and “single out Texas.”

“My belief is [the] Voting Rights Act and those laws ought to be applied equally across states, and not played for political games, which is exactly what I see happening here,” Brady said. “Eric Holder [is] just singling us out – just skipped through the alphabet and happened to land on Texas.”

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) also panned Holder’s move, saying it fits the pattern of an agency that Republicans have long-criticized as over-stepping its legal boundaries.

“It’s pretty much par for the course with this Department of Justice,” he said.

Speaking in Philadelphia Thursday, Holder announced that the DOJ will ask a court to require Texas to get federal approval before newly passed voting rules, including a voter ID requirement, take effect.

The Voting Rights Act stipulated that such pre-clearance occur in Texas, but June’s Supreme Court ruling scrapped the coverage formula, effectively eliminating the pre-clearance requirement.

Holder said Thursday that “evidence of intentional racial discrimination” in Texas – “as well as the history of pervasive voting-related discrimination against racial minorities that the Supreme Court itself has recognized” – is indication that minority voters in the state need extra protections.

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KVUE

Associated Press

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Updated today at 11:07 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that the Justice Department is opening a new front in the battle for voter protections, a response to the Supreme Court ruling that dealt a major setback to the Voting Rights Act.

In a speech to the National Urban League in Philadelphia, Holder said that as its first move, the department is asking a federal court in San Antonio to require the state of Texas to obtain advance approval before putting future political redistricting changes in place.

The attorney general called the Voting Rights Act “the cornerstone of modern civil rights law” and said that “we cannot allow the slow unraveling of the progress that so many, throughout history, have sacrificed so much to achieve.”

The Supreme Court, on a 5-4 vote, threw out the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act, the law that became a major turning point in black Americans’ struggle for equal rights and political power.

The move in Texas is the Justice Department’s first action to further safeguard voting rights following the Supreme Court decision on June 25, said Holder, “but it will not be our last.”

“Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court’s ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law’s remaining sections to ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected,” Holder said.

The requirement to obtain advance approval from either the department or a federal court before changing voting laws is available under the Voting Rights Act when intentional discrimination against voters is found. If the court in San Antonio sides with the Justice Department position, the preapproval requirement would apply for 10 years.

The section of the Voting Rights Act Holder invoked can be applied to all types of voting changes — from moving the location of a polling place to imposing stringent requirements such as photo identification at the polls.

On Wednesday, the Republican-dominated North Carolina Senate gave preliminary approval to sweeping election law changes, including requiring voters to present photo ID at the polls and shortening early voting by a week.

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Interesting that  they  seek to  investigate  those  who leak the  crimes but  do  nothing  to  bring to  justice the  criminals  within the government that  perpetrate  the true  crimes.

If  memory  serves, I  believe  the  term “Declaration of  War”  was  used  when  referring to  a  Cyber  attack directed  at the  United  States.

Was it  not ?

Is it  then  not  safe  to  assume  that the  moment  the  United  States  used the  Stuxnet   virus (created  as  a joint  venture  between the  US  and  Israel);  was   by  US  definition a  declaration  of  war  against  Iran?

Was  it  not ?

Unsanctioned and  unwarranted   declaration of  war by the  United  States  against  Iran.  Or am I  missing   something?    Aside  from the   hypocrisy  of  course!

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                                             GEN Cartwright VJCS.jpg
General James Cartwright
8th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

The  Washington Post

Justice Dept. targets general in leak probe

A retired four-star Marine Corps general who served as the nation’s second-ranking military officer is a target of a Justice Department investigation into a leak of information about a covert U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program, a senior Obama administration official said.Retired Gen. James E. “Hoss” Cartwright served as deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was part of President Obama’s inner circle on a range of critical national security issues before he retired in 2011.
The administration official said that Cartwright is suspected of revealing information about a highly classified effort to use a computer virus later dubbed Stuxnet to sabotage equipment in Iranian nuclear enrichment plants.Stuxnet was part of a broader cyber campaign called Olympic Games that was disclosed by the New York Times last year as one of the first major efforts by the United States to use computer code as a destructive weapon against a key adversary.Cartwright, who helped launch that campaign under President Bush and pushed for its escalation under Obama, was recently informed that he was a “target” of a wide-ranging Justice Department probe into the leak, according to the senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.Justice Department officials declined to comment on the case, as did Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland, which is in charge of the investigation.Neither Cartwright nor his attorney, former White House counsel Greg Craig, responded to requests for comment.

The revelation, which was first reported by NBC News, means that an administration that has already launched more leaks prosecutions than all of its predecessors combined is now focused on one of its own. Since Obama took office, the Justice Department has prosecuted or charged eight people for alleged violations of the Espionage Act.

Cartwright was a regular participant in meetings of top national security officials at the White House and was thought to have significant influence with Obama before being passed over as a possible candidate to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A target is a suspect in a criminal case who has not yet been indicted but is expected to be. Federal prosecutors are not required to tell targets that they are under investigation but it is not uncommon for them to do so in cases when an indictment is likely.

The investigation into the Stuxnet leak was launched in June 2012 by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and gained momentum in recent months amid indications that prosecutors were putting pressure on a range of current and former senior officials suspected of involvement.

The leaks surrounding Stuxnet exposed details about what had been one of the most closely held secrets in the U.S. intelligence community, an ambitious effort by the National Security Agency in collaboration with the Israeli government to devise computer code that could cripple Iran’s alleged effort to pursue a nuclear bomb.

 

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Environmental

BP Coverup, Coverup

Bio

Greg Palast is a BBC investigative reporter and author of Vultures’ Picnic. Palast turned his skills to journalism after two decades as a top investigator of corporate fraud. Palast directed the U.S. governmentʼs largest racketeering case in history– winning a $4.3 billion jury award. He also conducted the investigation of fraud charges in the Exxon Valdez grounding.

Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Washington.

The BP gulf oil disaster has been the subject of a lot of examination, and recent examination shows that there’s more of a coverup then perhaps we have known. One of the people who’s done a lot of work on this is investigative journalist Greg Palast. And he now joins us from New York City. Greg’s a BBC investigative reporter, author of Vultures’ Picnic, and author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse and many other pieces of investigative work. Thanks very much for joining us, Greg.GREG PALAST, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Glad to be with you, Paul.JAY: So, first of all, what is the—I mean, people know the basic story of what happened, but what is the real essence of the coverup here?PALAST: Yeah, they don’t know the real story, not in the U.S. press. For British television, I investigated what really happened. Actually, right after Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010, I get a message from a witness, an insider from the Caspian Sea, which is, you know, the other side of the planet, in Asia, saying, I know exactly what happened here, ’cause the exact same thing happened in the Caspian Sea two years earlier: there was another BP rig—another BP rig blew out, just like the Deepwater Horizon. And BP covered it up. BP hid it because it occurred offshore off the nation of Azerbaijan, which is what I call—in my book Vulture’s Picnic I call it the Islamic Republic of BP. They own that place. They bought it—bribery.JAY: Now, the point here is that the cause of the Caspian Sea blowout, you’re saying, is essentially the same as what happened in the Gulf.

Read Full Transcripts Here

Dutch inventor cleans up water treatment

Published on May 22, 2012 by

http://www.euronews.com/ Water, water everywhere… but most of it is not fit to drink. Around one billion people do not have access to clean water.

Untreated or undertreated sewage not only threatens our health but contaminates water sources and the oceans.

The main sources of pollution are high amounts of nitrates and phosphates from wastewater and agricultural run-off.

Dutch scientists have developed a new water purification technology. The plant, in Epe in the Netherlands, has a new and innovative sewage treatment system.


Government tyranny: Illinois Department of Agriculture secretly destroys beekeeper’s bees and 15 years of research proving Monsanto’s Roundup kills bees

By Jonathan Benson,
(NaturalNews) An Illinois beekeeper with more than a decade’s worth of expertise about how to successfully raise organic, chemical-free bees is the latest victim of flagrant government tyranny. According to the Prairie Advocate, Terrence “Terry” Ingram of Apple River, Ill., owner of Apple Creek Apiaries, recently had his bees and beehives stolen from him by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDofA), as well as more than 15 years’ worth of research proving Monsanto’s Roundup to be the cause of…

Big Ag, Monsanto take over research universities and turn them into pro-industry propaganda machines

By Jonathan Benson, 
(NaturalNews) Back in the old days before food and agricultural corporations consolidated into the behemoths we know them as today, agricultural institutions of higher learning were dedicated to conducting unbiased research into cutting-edge food production and crop systems that benefited society as a whole. But today, these former “land-grant” universities have largely mutated into pro-industry, propaganda machines funded and controlled by corporate agro-giants like Monsanto that steer research…

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Cyber Space

~Anonymous ~ Message To NATO~

Published on May 22, 2012 by

~In Peace Only~Not War~

NATO ~ N[ot] A[ble] T[o] O[rcherstrate] war Any Longer…
NATO’s day’s are numbered…
As people do not fear them any longer…
From now on, NATO is the one with the fear…

Secrecy is outdated tool, that Wiki Leaks and Anonymous put out of service…
As We the People simply realized that Governments and Military cannot be above the Law…
Where Actions of People are Now becoming actions of People’s Governments…
Where Anonymous and WikiLeaks are truth with no disguise…
Where Total transparency is here for all to see…

Nothing Illegal, Nothing to worry….
Who is hiding his dirty underwear?…
People or Military and Governments?…
When Transparency become standard, fear become obsolete tool of control any longer…

Rather to try to defeat our Freedom Movement, you can simply Accept US…
Accept US AS FREE…
Join US to become FREE…
Simply because We the People NOW Know…
Truth is here…
We are FREE…

We are Legion…
We are Legion of Truth…
We are Legion of Freedom…

Do not need to expect US any Longer…
Because we are HERE and NOW…
Because We the People who KNOW…

http://soundofheart.org/galacticfreepress/content/freedom-project-anonymous-m…

Hackers hit US Justice Department, again

 

The US Justice Department has acknowledged an intrusion into its computer network

 

The US Justice Department has acknowledged an intrusion in its computer network as the notorious hacker collective Anonymous claimed to have obtained large amounts of data from it.

The US Justice Department acknowledged an intrusion in its computer network as the notorious hacker collective Anonymous claimed to have obtained large amounts of data from it.

SIEM for Cybersecurity – Learn Top Down Strategies to Help Protect Your Corporate Network. – Q1Labs.com/5_Step_Breach_Protection

“The department is looking into the unauthorized access of a website server operated by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that contained data from their public website,” a statement sent to AFP said.

“The Bureau of Justice Statistics website has remained operational throughout this time. The department’s main website, justice.gov, was not affected.”

The statement said the agency “is continuing protection and defensive measures to safeguard information” and will open a into any activity that appears illegal.

Earlier in the day a Twitter message and blog post believed to be from the hacker collective claimed to have obtained large amounts of data from the Justice Department site that it was releasing.

The message said the hackers were releasing “1.7GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now.”

Anonymous hackers briefly shut the US Justice Department website earlier this year
Enlarge

File photo of a masked member of the Anonymous hacker group. A Twitter message and blog post believed to be from the hacker collective has claimed to have obtained large amounts of data from the Justice Department site that it was releasing.

“Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump,” said the post by a using the name Jimmy89.

“We do not stand for any government or parties, we stand for freedom of people, and freedom of information. We are releasing data to spread information, to allow the people to be heard and to know the corruption in their government. We are releasing it to end the corruption that exists, and truly make those who are being oppressed free.”

The group, which is believed to be a loosely affiliated network of “hacktivists,” briefly shut the Justice Department website earlier this year after the file-sharing website was seized.

It has attacked sites of groups as varied as MasterCard and Visa, and the Tunisian and Yemen governments.

(c) 2012 AFP

Utah breach 10X worse than originally thought

SSNs on 280K exposed; names, birth dates of another 500K compromised

 By Jaikumar Vijayan

Click here to find out more!

April 09, 2012 — Computerworld — The scope of a data breach involving a Medicaid server at the Utah Department of Health is much worse than originally thought. State officials now say that close to 280,000 Social Security Numbers may have been exposed in the incident instead of 25,000, as originally believed.

Less sensitive personal data such as names, birth dates and addresses of another 500,000 people may have also been compromised in the breach, state officials said today.

Today’s announcement marks the second time in three days that Utah state officials have upped their estimates of a March 30 intrusion into a server containing Medicaid claims data on Utah residents.

According to the Utah Department of Technology Services (DTS) and the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), the breach stemmed from a configuration error at the user authentication layer. The error allowed attackers, believed to be operating out of Eastern Europe, to bypass the network, perimeter and application level security controls that were in place to protect the server.

Initially, state officials said the intrusion had allowed improper access to about 24,000 claims records. Each record could include Social Security Numbers, names, birth dates, addresses, tax identification numbers and treatment codes.

Read Full Article Here

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Survival / Sustainability

SHTF Communications Part I and II

Uploaded by on Nov 27, 2011

Can you hear me now?
SHTF communications is an important topic that I will touch upon briefly in this video. This is my selection for the bulk of my communications during SHTF. I encourage everyone to have a plan and take action.

http://foxtango.org/ft101/foxtangoft101.htm
Yeasu FT101E and Yaesu FT101F
YO100
YC-601 & YC-601B
FL-2100
QTR-24
FTV-250 and FTV-650B
YD-844
Phone Patch and Speaker
MFJ Antenna Tuner and AC/DC Converter

Links to get started in HAM Radio:
http://www.arrl.org/new-to-ham-radio
http://www.qrz.com/
http://www.hamwhisperer.com/
http://www.amazon.com/Ham-Radio-License-Manual-Arrl/dp/0872590976/ref=pd_sim_b_6
http://www.eham.net/exams/
http://www.wouxun.us (or other radio suppliers) http://www.yaesu.com/
(Radio Equipment) http://www.mfjenterprises.com/

Benefits Of 550 Paracord In The Wild

Uploaded by on Sep 15, 2008

Rope has so many uses in the outdoors. Some cord is better for survival than others. Military 550 cord tops them all in my opinion. This video will show and explain why. It’s versitile, light weight, extremely durable, strong(550lbs.), and the interior threads can be taken out and used for smaller tasks. For Survival it’s your best choice. Also good for camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, and even general everyday use.

  First Aid Kit

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Activism

Sea Shepherd Founder Paul Watson Fights Extradition to Costa Rica for 2002 Shark Defense

Published on May 22, 2012 by

DemocracyNow.org – Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, has been released on bail in Germany following his arrest for possible extradition to Costa Rica on decade-old charges stemming from a confrontation between a Sea Shepherd vessel with shark fin poachers off the coast of Guatemala. Sea Shepherd is known for using nonviolent direct action to enforce international fishing and conservation laws, and has been highly recognized for its anti-whaling efforts. Sea Shepherd continues to maintain that Watson’s arrest was politically motivated and is calling on its supporters to come together in a day of action on Wednesday when the Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla visits Germany. Watson joins us from Frankfurt. “We’ve never injured anybody,” Watson says. “The most powerful weapon in the world as far as I’m concerned is the camera, so we go into battle armed with cameras. … Right now 19 million sharks a year are being destroyed to feed the shark fin industry in Asia. And that means the fins are cut off of these animals and they’re thrown back into the ocean, and this is what we filmed off of Guatemala and this is what we intervened against — a highly illegal operation.”

To watch the complete daily, independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, and for more information, visit http://www.democracynow.org/

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Articles of Interest

Three out of four Americans want to end medical marijuana raids

By Jonathan Benson, 
(NaturalNews) The federal government’s continued “War on Drugs” is no longer getting a warm reception from the vast majority of Americans. A recent poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research (MDPR) reveals that three out of every four Americans now oppose needless federal prosecution of medical marijuana dispensaries, growers, sellers and users in states where medical marijuana has been legalized. The poll included 1,000 individuals of varying ages and demographics from all across the country…

EU food agency rejects France ban on Monsanto GM maize

 

Europe’s food safety agency EFSA on Monday rejected the grounds for a temporary French ban on a genetically modified strain of maize made by US company Monsanto.

Facts About Pink Slime – Learn What Scientists And Consumer Advocates Say About Pink Slime – www.BeefIsBeef.com

“Based on the documentation submitted by France, there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment,” EFSA said in a scientific opinion issued on its website.

A spokesman for Europe’s health commissioner John Dalli said the EU executive “will consider how to follow up on this ruling, though technically we could ask France to raise its ban” on MON 810.

“The commission will wait for the conclusions of the next environment ministers’ meeting June 11 in Luxembourg and hopes for a positive outcome to its proposals for cultivation, which have been blocked for almost two years by France and others,” spokesman Frederic Vincent told AFP.

Paris had asked Brussels in February to suspend the cultivation of MON 810 on the basis of new scientific evidence after France’s top administrative court in November overturned a government order banning the planting of genetically modified crops from Monsanto.

The court said that in a November 2008 ban, the government had failed to prove that Monsanto crops “present a particularly elevated level of risk to either or the environment”.

Monsanto markets MON 810 maize — which has been modified at a to include DNA from a bacteria — under the trade name YieldGuard as being resistant to that can threaten .

But some governments believe it could pose a danger to .

France in February pointed to a recent study by EFSA that raised concerns over another form of GM crop, BT11, that it said could also be applied to MON 810.

The European Commission at the time requested EFSA’s opinion on France’s request, but said it would not take any steps in the meantime.

Monsanto said in January that it had no intention of selling in France as it felt the market was not ready.

(c) 2012 AFP

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