OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE
United States District Court, District of Hawaii
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ERIC H. HOLDER
Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. (born January 21, 1951), is the 82nd and current Attorney General of the United States, and the first African American to hold that position. He is serving under President Barack Obama.
Holder previously served as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, United States Attorney, and Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and as a senior legal advisor to then-Senator Barack Obama during Obama's presidential campaign. He was one of three members of Obama's vice-presidential selection committee.
After graduating from law school, Holder joined the U.S. Justice Department's new Public Integrity Section during an interval lasting from 1976 to 1988. During his time there, he assisted in the prosecution of Democratic Congressman John Jenrette for bribery discovered in the Abscam sting operation. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan appointed Holder to serve on the Bench as a Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Holder stepped down from the bench in 1993 to accept an appointment for U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from President Bill Clinton. He was the first African-American U.S. Attorney in that office. At the beginning of his tenure, he oversaw the conclusion of the corruption case against Dan Rostenkowski, part of the Congressional Post Office Scandal. He was a U.S. Attorney until his elevation to Deputy Attorney General in 1997.
Deputy Attorney General
In 1997, upon the spring retirement of Jamie Gorelick, Clinton nominated Holder to be the next Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno. Holder was confirmed several months later in the Senate by a unanimous vote. During his confirmation hearing, Holder's opposition to the death penalty was questioned, but he pledged his intention to cooperate with the current laws and Attorney General Janet Reno, saying, "I am not a proponent of the death penalty, but I will enforce the law as this Congress gives it to us." Holder was the first African-American to serve in that position. Holder briefly served as Acting Attorney General under President George W. Bush, until the Senate confirmed Bush's nominee, John Ashcroft.
Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder opened an Interagency Working Group meeting of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta served as the Commission’s first chairman) hosted by the Department of Justice on October 18, 2000 .
As Deputy Attorney General, Holder advised Reno about how far to go in the Justice Department's use of the Independent Counsel statute. Ultimately, Reno made the fateful decision to permit Kenneth Starr to expand his investigation into the Lewinsky affair, indirectly leading to Clinton's impeachment.
In his final days with the Clinton administration, Holder was involved with Clinton's last-minute pardon of fugitive and Democratic contributor Marc Rich. Between November 2000 and January 2001, Jack Quinn, Rich's lawyer and former White House Counsel from 1995-96, had been contacting Holder, testing the waters for the political viability of a presidential pardon. After presenting his case to Holder in a November phone call and a last minute January 17th letter, Quinn arranged a phone call between the White House and Holder, asking the Deputy Attorney General to share his opinion on the Rich pardon. Ultimately, Holder gave Clinton a "neutral, leaning towards favorable" opinion of the pardon.
During his February testimonies before the House Government Reform Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder argued his phone call was not intended as a formal Justice Department blessing of the pardon, saying, "my interaction with the White House, I did not view as a recommendation. Because... I didn't have the ability to look at all the materials that had been vetted through the way we normally vet materials." He also did not believe his opinion would be interpreted as a go-ahead for the pardon. "What I said to the White House counsel ultimately was that I was neutral on this because I didn't have a factual basis to make a determination as to whether or not Mr. Quinn's contentions were in fact accurate, whether or not there had been a change in the law, a change in the applicable Justice Department regulations, and whether or not that was something that would justify the extraordinary grant of a pardon."
An investigation championed by Republican House Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Dan Burton concluded, in a 2003 report covering 177 Clinton pardons, that Holder had played a significant role in facilitating the Rich pardon, first by recommending the well-connected Jack Quinn to legal representatives of Marc Rich, by failing to fully inform prosecutors of the pending pardon, and by eventually delivering a "neutral leaning favorable" opinion of the twilight pardon to the President from a position of authority. Holder has expressed some regret over his handling of the Rich pardon, stating "I wish I had done some things differently with regard to the Marc Rich matter. Specifically, I wish that I had ensured that the Department of Justice was more fully informed and involved in this pardon process".
Holder was also involved in Clinton's decision to reduce the sentences of 16 members of the Boricua Popular Army, an organization that has been categorized by the FBI as a terrorist organization. The clemency request was initially opposed in 1996 by U.S. Pardons Attorney Margaret Love. When Holder was elevated to Deputy Attorney General in 1997, he was asked to reexamine the issue by 3 members of Congress. In July 1999, Holder recommended clemency to President Clinton with a report from then U.S. Pardons Attorney Roger Adams that neither supported nor opposed clemency. A month later, the clemency was granted by Clinton. According to The Hartford Courant, the clemency was unusual because it was opposed by the FBI, the federal prosecutor and the victims. According to the newspaper, it was also unusual because, before the commutations, the Boricua Popular Army members were not required to repudiate their actions, and they were not asked to provide any information concerning the whereabouts of Victor Manuel Gerena, a co-conspirator and one of the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, or the millions of dollars stolen by the group in a 1983 robbery of Wells Fargo in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Since 2001, Holder has worked as an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., representing clients such as Merck and the National Football League. He represented the NFL during its dog fighting investigation against Michael Vick.
In 2004, Holder helped negotiate an agreement with the Justice Department for Chiquita Brands International in a case that involved Chiquita's payment of "protection money" to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a group on the U.S. government's list of terrorist organizations. In the agreement, Chiquita's officials pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $25 million. Holder represented Chiquita in the civil action that grew out of this criminal case.
In March of 2004 Holder and Covington & Burling were hired by Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to act as a special investigator to the Illinois Gaming Board. The Gaming Board had voted 4-1 earlier that month to allow a casino to be built in Rosemont, Illinois. That vote defied the recommendation of the board's staff, which had raised concerns about alleged organized-crime links to the Rosemont casino's developer. The move had also raised concerns that the governor had named his close friend and fund-raiser, Christopher Kelly, as a "special government agent" to be involved in official state negotiations about the casino. Holder's legal work for the State of Illinois never materialized when the board reversed its decision and refused to hire Kelly. The investigation was subsequently canceled on May 18, 2004.
While D.C. v. Heller was being heard by the Supreme Court in 2008, Holder joined the Reno-led amicus brief, which urged the Supreme Court to uphold Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and said the position of the Department of Justice, from Franklin Roosevelt through Bill Clinton, was that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms for purposes unrelated to a State’s operation of a well-regulated militia. Holder said that overturning the 1976 law "opens the door to more people having more access to guns and putting guns on the streets."
Nomination for the office of Attorney General
Holder favors closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, although he has said that the detainees are not technically entitled to Geneva convention protections. He is opposed to the Bush administration's implementation of the Patriot Act, saying it is "bad ultimately for law enforcement and will cost us the support of the American people." He has been critical of US torture policy and the NSA warrantless surveillance program, accusing the Bush administration of a "disrespect for the rule of law... [that is] not only wrong, it is destructive in our struggle against terrorism."
On December 1, 2008, Obama announced that Holder would be his nominee for Attorney General. If the Senate confirms him, he will be the first African-American Attorney General....
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Public Integrity Section
The Public Integrity Section oversees the federal effort to combat corruption through the prosecution of elected and appointed public officials at all levels of government. The Section has exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of criminal misconduct on the part of federal judges and also monitors the investigation and prosecution of election and conflict of interest crimes. Section attorneys prosecute selected cases against federal, state, and local officials, and are available as a source of advice and expertise to other prosecutors and investigators. Since 1978, the Section has supervised the administration of the Independent Counsel provisions of the Ethics in Government Act.
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NEW DISCOVERY (03-08-2011): Eric Holder's connection to the developing MERS corruption scandal.
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Former Justice Department Lawyer Accuses Holder of Dropping New Black Panther Case for Racial Reasons
June 30, 2010
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks, Friday, June 11, 2010, at the Richard B. Russell Federal Courthouse in Atlanta. (AP)
A former Justice Department attorney who quit his job to protest the Obama administration's handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case is accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of dropping the charges for racially motivated reasons.
"I mean we were told, 'Drop the charges against the New Black Panther Party,'" Adams told Fox News, adding that political appointees Loretta King, acting head of the civil rights division, and Steve Rosenbaum, an attorney with the division since 2003, ordered the dismissal.
Asked about the Justice Department's claim that they are career attorneys, not political appointees, Adams said "obviously, that's false."
"Under the vacancy reform act, they were serving in a political capacity," he said. "This is one of the examples of Congress not being told the truth, the American people not being told the truth about this case. It's one of the other examples in this case where the truth simply is becoming another victim of the process."
Adams claimed an unnamed political appointee said if somebody wants to bring these kinds of cases, "that' not going to de done out of the civil rights division."
Adams also accused Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez of lying under oath to a federal commission about the circumstances surrounding the decision to drop the probe.
The Justice Department has defended its move to drop the case, saying it obtained an injunction against one member to keep him away from polling stations while dismissing charges against the others "based on a careful assessment of the facts and the law."
But Adams told Fox News that politics and race was at play in the dismissal.
"There is a pervasive hostility within the civil rights division at the Justice Department toward these sorts of cases," Adams told Fox News' Megyn Kelly.
Adams says the dismissal is a symptom of the Obama administration's reverse racism and that the Justice Department will not pursue voting rights cases against white victims.
"In voting, that will be the case over the next few years, there's no doubt about it," he said.
In an opinion article published in the Washington Times last week, Adams said the dismissal "raises serious questions about the department's enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election."
Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler dismissed Adams' accusations as a "good faith disagreement" with ulterior motives.
"It is not uncommon for attorneys within the department to have good faith disagreements about the appropriate course of action in a particular case, although it is regrettable when a former department attorney distorts the facts and makes baseless allegations to promote his or her agenda," she said in a written statement.
In the final days of the Bush administration, three Black Panthers -- Minister King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson -- were charged in a civil complaint with violating the Voter Rights Act in November 2008 by using coercion, threats and intimidation at a Philadelphia polling station -- with Shabazz brandishing what prosecutors called a deadly weapon.
The Obama administration won a default judgment in federal court in April 2009 when the Black Panthers didn't appear in court to fight the charges. But the administration moved to dismiss the charges in May 2009. Justice attorneys said a criminal complaint, which resulted in the injunction, proceeded successfully.
The department "is committed to comprehensive and vigorous enforcement of both the civil and criminal provisions of federal law that prohibit voter intimidation. We continue to work with voters, communities, and local law enforcement to ensure that every American can vote free from intimidation, coercion or threats," Schmaler said Wednesday.
But the Justice Department's explanation has failed to appease the United States Commission on Civil Rights, which is probing the department's decision, or Republican lawmakers who say the dismissal could lead to an escalation of voter intimidation.
The commission held a hearing in April in which Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who has led the charge for answers from the Justice Department, was among those testifying. The Justice Department did not provide witnesses at that hearing. Instead, Perez testified before the commission in May.
"At a minimum, without sufficient proof that New Black Panther Party or Malik Zulu Shabazz directed or controlled unlawful activities at the polls, or made speeches directed to immediately inciting or producing lawless action on Election Day, any attempt to bring suit against those parties based merely upon their alleged 'approval' or 'endorsement' of Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jackson’s activities would have likely failed," he told the commission.
The commission has repeatedly sought information from the Justice Department, going as far as filing subpoenas. Schmaler said the department has provided 2,000 pages of information in response.
But Adams said in the Times article that the department ordered the attorneys "to ignore the subpoena, lawlessly placing us in an unacceptably legal limbo."
Adams also says that after the dismissal, Justice Department attorneys were instructed not to bring any more cases against racial minorities under the Voting Section.
Adams told Fox News that the New Black Panther case was the "easiest I ever had at the Justice Department.
"It doesn't get any easier than this," he said. "If this doesn't constitute voter intimidation, nothing will."...
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NEW DISCOVERY (07-31-10): More evidence of the Israeli/Jewish connections with the 9-11 terrorist attacks, and undisclosed political and financial relationships between the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Larry Silverstein, Governor Linda Lingle, George W. Bush, Michael Mukasey, Joshua Gotbaum, AIG, Chubb Group, Hank Greenberg, Marsh & McLennan, Jeff Greenberg, Tim Geithner, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Ron Burkle, Yucaipa, Aloha Airlines, David Banmiller, David Farmer, Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, Goldman Sachs, The Nature Conservancy, Tesoro Petroleum, Shell Oil, Barack Obama, and others as detailed in the following Exhibits:
Barack Obama is tied in pretty tightly with Goldman Sachs
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NEW DISCOVERY (07-11-10): More undisclosed conflicts of interest between Attorney General Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, AIPAC, Linda Lingle, David C. Farmer, Judge David Ezra, Judge Barry Kurren, Carlyle Group, Henry Kissinger, others:
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NEW DISCOVERY (04-17-09): More factual evidence of fraud, bad faith, theft, racketeering, destruction of evidence, violation of civil rights, undisclosed conflicts of interest, etc:
April 17, 2009
Fannie Mae CEO to Run Bank Bailout
By JIM KUHNHENN, AP
WASHINGTON (April 17) - The White House turned to an experienced former investment banker Friday to run the federal government's $700 billion bank rescue effort, selecting the head of mortgage giant Fannie Mae as an assistant Treasury secretary.
Allison, who must be confirmed by the Senate, would bear the title of assistant Treasury secretary for financial stability and counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
He would be in charge of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the fund that has injected billions of dollars into banks in hopes of unclogging credit. He would inherit a program that has been sharply criticized in Congress and which banks have come to view warily because of the restrictions attached to receipt of its funds.
President Barack Obama's administration has been slowly filling Treasury positions, hindered by candidates who have either withdrawn from consideration or been caught up in the vetting process.
Fannie Mae, seized by federal regulators in September, is closely overseen by federal regulators, making the chief executive's job tough to fill in the private sector. The company, therefore, appears likely to turn to an insider as Allison's replacement.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Fannie Mae was expected to name Michael J. Williams, the company's chief operating officer and a longtime executive as Allison's replacement. Fannie Mae declined to comment.
Allison's selection presents the administration with yet another challenge. If Allison is confirmed, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be without chief executives. David Moffett, formerly Freddie Mac's CEO, resigned in March.
In Allison, the White House selected a former Merrill Lynch investment banker who became chairman of the retirement fund manager TIAA-CREF. Allison served as finance chief for John McCain's 2000 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. But politically, Allison has shown himself to be bipartisan in his allegiances, contributing to both Democrats and Republicans, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Since taking over in September at Fannie Mae, where he took no salary, Allison, the son of an FBI agent, developed a reputation for open-mindedness with consumer advocates, even those who have had an a contentious relationship with the giant company.
"Mr. Allison is well-positioned to lead the TARP," said Scott Talbott, chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry group. "He has a wealth of experience with buying, selling, protecting, and managing assets to protect the taxpayer investment and strengthen the economy."
Some industry officials said that by pulling Allison away from Fannie Mae, the White House was signaling that TARP would remain a viable component of the government's stabilization efforts for the financial industry, even in the face of hostile lawmakers and wary bankers.
Bert Ely, a banking industry consultant, said Allison has the advantages of being a known quantity to the Obama administration who is "much more of a financial heavyweight" than Kashkari.
Plus, he said, the new job would likely be more of a challenge than running Fannie and Freddie, which have been operating under tight government oversight since last September. "In this new situation, he's going to be much more of a policy maker," Ely said. "I can understand why he would want to take it."
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April 7, 2009
Sen. Ted Stevens' conviction set aside
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal judge on Tuesday set aside the conviction of Republican former Sen. Ted Stevens while excoriating the case's prosecutors.
District Judge Emmet Sullivan also appointed an independent, nongovernment attorney, Henry Schuelke III, to investigate possible misconduct by the government lawyers who prosecuted the 85-year-old former senator from Alaska.
"In nearly 25 years on the bench, I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case," Sullivan said.
In October, Stevens was found guilty of seven counts of lying on Senate ethics forms. He lost his bid for re-election in November to Democratic challenger Mark Begich, then mayor of Anchorage.
In December, an unnamed FBI whistle-blower accused prosecutors of withholding evidence from the defense. The whistle-blower reported that someone with the government had an inappropriate relationship with Bill Allen, an oil industry executive who was the government's key witness.
In a dismissal motion filed Wednesday, the Justice Department acknowledged that Stevens was not given access to the notes taken by prosecutors during an April 2008 interview with Allen.
The notes show that responses by Allen were inconsistent with testimony he gave against Stevens and that information from the interview could have benefited Stevens at trial, according to the motion.
"When we were finally given [the notes], you might have thought my reaction would be to celebrate, do high-fives, that we were right," Brendan Sullivan, an attorney for Stevens, said Tuesday. "It was not like that at all. I was sick to my stomach. How could they do that? Then my revulsion turned to rage, silent rage for a number of days."
The revelation also helped prompt Attorney General Eric Holder to drop the case.
"In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement last week.
"If I were Sen. [Robert] Byrd, I'd say 'hallelujah,' " a triumphant Stevens said after leaving the courthouse Tuesday.
Stevens maintained his innocence throughout a government investigation that led to an indictment and conviction for failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of "freebies" from an oilfield services company on Senate ethics forms.
In a statement read to the court Tuesday, Stevens said that his faith in the justice system had been restored.
"Until recently, my faith in the criminal justice system was unwavering. But what some members of this prosecution team did nearly destroyed my faith. Their conduct has consequences they must know can never be reversed," he said.
"But [I now have] new hope that others may be spared from similar miscarriages of justice."
Stevens added that he would "encourage the enactment of legislation to reform laws relating to the responsibilities and duties of those entrusted with the solemn task of enforcing federal criminal laws."
Paul O'Brien, one of the new government attorneys assigned to the case, made no attempt to the justify the conduct of the previous prosecution team. "We deeply regret this occurred," he said. "We apologize to the court."
In issuing his ruling, Sullivan noted the Justice Department's investigation into potential misconduct by government prosecutors had gone on for six months with no result.
"The silence is deafening," Sullivan said.
The judge previously had excoriated prosecutors during the trial and held the prosecution in contempt at one point.
One of Stevens' longtime friends, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, said last weekend that Stevens was "screwed by our own Justice Department."
Hatch praised Holder for "standing up and fixing this foul situation."
"I think he's more than shown integrity and decency in this matter, and it's not an easy thing for him to do that," Hatch said. "He has, in looking at it, realized now what people like myself have been saying is 100 percent right."
In the days that followed the Justice Department's dismissal motion, Alaska state Republican leaders, including Gov. Sarah Palin, called on Begich to step down and allow a rematch without what has been called the "taint" of a criminal case against Stevens.
"There's no way [Stevens] can just 'put this behind him' as some have suggested he should," Palin said in a statement released Tuesday.
Begich, while indicating his support for a special prosecutor to investigate the botched prosecution, stated that he intends to serve his six-year term.
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NEW DISCOVERY (02-13-09): More undisclosed conflicts of interest between witnesses Erik Prince, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Paul Bremer, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, Kenneth Starr, Ron Rewald, Larry Mehau, Dan Inouye, Daniel Akaka, John Waihee, Ben Cayetano, David Farmer, Paul Alston, Judith Neustadter Fuqua, others...:
February 13, 2009
In shift, Blackwater dumps
By MIKE BAKER, Associated Press Writer Mike Baker
RALEIGH, N.C. – Blackwater Worldwide is still protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, but executives at the beleaguered security firm are taking their biggest step yet to put that work and the ugly reputation it earned the company behind them.
Blackwater said Friday it will no longer operate under the name that came to be known worldwide as a caustic moniker for private security, dropping the tarnished brand for a disarming and simple identity: Xe, which is pronounced like the letter "z."
It's a rare surrender for a company that cherished a brand name inspired by the dark-water swamps of northeastern North Carolina, one that survived another rebranding effort about a year ago, following a deadly shooting in Baghdad's Nisoor Square. The decision to give it up underscores how badly the Moyock-based company's brand was damaged by that incident and other security work in Iraq.
"They have established themselves as the bad guys," said Katy Helvenston, who sued the company following her son's death during a mission in Fallujah while working for Blackwater in 2004. "They've established such a horrible reputation. Why else would they change their name?"
Blackwater acknowledged last year in an interview with the The Associated Press the damage to its reputation had persuaded the company to focus on lines of business other than private security contracting.
The issue came to a head last month, when the State Department said it would not rehire Blackwater to protect its diplomats in Iraq after its current contract with the company expires in May. The company has one other major security contract, details of which are classified.
"It's not a direct result of a loss of (that) contract, but certainly that is an aspect of our work that we feel we were defined by," said spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell.
The company is also replacing its bear paw logo with a sleeker black-and-white graphic based on letters that make up the company's new name. In a note to employees, president Gary Jackson said the name change reflects the company's new focus, and he indicated Xe would not actively pursue new security business.
"This company will continue to provide personnel protective services for high-threat environments when needed by the U.S. government, but its primary mission will be operating our training facilities around the world," Jackson said.
It has expanded other businesses such as aviation support, recently building a fleet of 76 aircraft that it has deployed to such hotspots as West Africa and Afghanistan. The company got its start in training and continues to build up that business. Last year, some 25,000 civilians, law enforcement and military personnel attended a Blackwater class.
The company's changes aren't entirely voluntary. The 2007 shooting in Nisoor Square involving Blackwater guards left at least a dozen Iraqi civilians dead, infuriated politicians in Baghdad and Washington, triggered congressional hearings and increased calls that the company be banned from Iraq.
Late last year, prosecutors charged five of the company's contractors — but not Blackwater itself — with manslaughter and weapons violations. In January, Iraqi officials said they would not give the company a license to operate. The State Department responded by informing Blackwater it would not renew a contract that comprises a third of the company's nearly $1 billion in annual revenue.
"It would hurt us," company CEO Erik Prince said in an interview before losing the State Department deal. "It would not be a mortal blow, but it would hurt us."
Blackwater has rebranded before, introducing a new name — Blackwater Worldwide — and slight changes to its logo about a year ago. But Friday's announcement cuts ties entirely with a name created in 1997 when Prince and some of his former Navy SEAL colleagues launched the company.
Xe will cover the parent brand for the two-dozen subsidiaries, and none of those subsidiaries will retain the word "Blackwater" in their names.
Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, chair of the Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and a longtime Blackwater critic, said the new name won't change the fact that its actions have resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians.
"Blackwater's notorious reputation will outlast its name," she said.
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February 11, 2009
Obama under fire for adopting
By Inter Press Service
William Fisher, Inter Press Service
Before a federal appeals court in San Francisco Monday, lawyers from the Obama Department of Justice invoked the same "state secrets privilege" used by the administration of ex-President George W. Bush to argue that a lawsuit brought on behalf of Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyan Mohammad and four other alleged victims of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program should not go forward because revealing the evidence would harm national security.
If the appeals court agrees, it will mean that the alleged victims will not have their day in court. The court has not yet ruled on the case.
The defendant in the civil lawsuit is known as Jeppesen Dataplan, a subsidiary of aerospace giant Boeing, which is alleged to have knowingly provided the CIA with the chartered aircraft used to "render" terror suspects to countries where they were tortured.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Ben Wizner, who argued Monday on behalf of Mohammad and the other appellants, told IPS: "To date, not a single alleged torture victim has had his day in court. In this case, most of the evidence is already public. There are no 'state secrets' here."
"And if there were, our federal courts are well prepared to handle this issue," he added.
"This is a betrayal of the rule of law," the attorney said. "It is not the standard we expected from the Obama administration."
The ACLU was encouraged to believe that the Obama Justice Department would break from the practices of the Bush administration. Eric Holder, recently confirmed as the new attorney general, said at his confirmation hearing: "I will review significant pending cases in which DOJ [Department of Justice] has invoked the state secrets privilege, and will work with leaders in other agencies and professionals at the Department of Justice to ensure that the United States invokes the state secrets privilege only in legally appropriate situations."
This appeared to be at odds with testimony by Obama's nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who told senators at his confirmation hearing that the practice of rendition would be continued, but that "extraordinary rendition" - sending terror suspects to countries where they are likely to be tortured - would end.
In a statement, Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director, said: "Eric Holder's Justice Department stood up in court today and said that it would continue the Bush policy of invoking state secrets to hide the reprehensible history of torture, rendition and the most grievous human rights violations committed by the American government. This is not change. This is definitely more of the same."
He added: "Candidate Obama ran on a platform that would reform the abuse of state secrets, but President Obama's Justice Department has disappointingly reneged on that important civil liberties issue. If this is a harbinger of things to come, it will be a long and arduous road to give us back an America we can be proud of again."
The Mohammad case stems from a federal lawsuit filed in 2007 by the ACLU against Jeppesen on behalf of five victims of the United States government's "extraordinary rendition" program.
The suit charged that Jeppesen knowingly participated by providing critical flight planning and logistical support services to aircraft and crews used by the CIA to forcibly "disappear" the five men to detention and interrogation.
According to the ACLU, shortly after the suit was filed, "The government intervened and inappropriately asserted the 'state secrets privilege,' claiming further litigation would undermine national security interests, even though much of the evidence needed to try the case was already available to the public."
The case was dismissed in February 2008, and the ACLU then appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the San Francisco Bay area.
According to published reports, Jeppesen had actual knowledge of the consequences of its activities. A former Jeppesen employee informed Jane Mayer of The New Yorker magazine that, at an internal corporate meeting, a senior Jeppesen official stated: "We do all of the extraordinary rendition flights - you know, the torture flights. Let's face it, some of these flights end up that way."
The case has also caused a furor in Britain and a problem for the US State Department.
In a separate case brought on behalf of Mohammad, who is a legal British resident, Britain's High Court refused to release seven paragraphs that the court had redacted in an earlier opinion. The High Court said that the redacted material lent credence to the torture allegations by Mohammad.
The court said that it reached its decision because of what it called a threat from the United States to reconsider sharing intelligence with the British.
But, in a highly unusual criticism, the High Court expressed dismay that a democracy "governed by the rule of law" would seek to suppress evidence "relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be."
The court said the Bush administration had made the threat in a letter to the Foreign Office last September. It called on the Obama administration to reverse that position.
The British foreign secretary, David Milliband, denied that there was any threat from the US. But, in a statement last week, the State Department said that the United States "thanks the UK government for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information" and that "the United States investigates allegations and claims of torture, and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment such as those raised by Binyam Mohammad."
After Mohammad was captured, then-US Attorney General John Ashcroft said that he had been complicit with Jose Padilla in a plan to detonate a "dirty bomb" in the United States. Padilla was never charged with this plot, but was convicted on other terrorism-related charges by a federal court in 2007. Last year, the Justice Department said it was dropping the dirty-bomb charges against Mohammad, and last October all charges against him were dropped.
The ACLU last week sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to clarify the Obama administration's position on the Mohammad case and to reject what it described as the Bush administration's policy of using false claims of national security to avoid judicial review of controversial programs.
The ACLU's Romero said: "The latest revelation is completely at odds with President Obama's executive orders that ban torture and end rendition, as well as his promise to restore the rule of law."
It has been 50 years since the United States Supreme Court last reviewed the use of the "state secrets" privilege. During the Bush administration, government lawyers invoked the "state secrets" privilege more often than any prior administration to stop cases from proceeding.
Among such cases was that of whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds, who was fired from her position as a language specialist at the FBI's Washington Field Office in March 2002, after she accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving foreign nationals, alleging serious acts of security breaches, cover-ups, and intentional blocking of intelligence which, she contended, presented a danger to US security.
Her case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear it. And in 2007, the Supreme Court refused to review the "state secrets" privilege in a lawsuit brought by ACLU client Khaled al-Masri, an innocent German citizen who was kidnapped and rendered to detention, interrogation and torture in a CIA "black site" prison in Afghanistan.
See also: Uncle Sam’s Torture Chambers
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NEW DISCOVERY (02-04-09): More undisclosed conflicts of interest between David Farmer, James Nicholson, Steven Guttman, Paul Alston, Judith Neustadter Fuqua, John Waihee, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Janet Reno, Alberto Gonzales, Michael Mukasey, Eric Holder, and other witnesses in this case:
June 26, 2008
Pardongate Is The Least of
© Jack Cashill, www.WorldNetDaily.com
“I was wondering when you were going to call me,” so said the irrepressible Nolanda Butler Hill when I phoned last week.
She knew precisely what item of news had prompted me to call: the revelation that Barack Obama had selected Clinton Deputy Attorney General and Ron Brown protege, Eric Holder, to help vet his vice presidential candidates.
As the confidante and business partner of the late Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, Hill knows from personal experience that Holder’s sins go well beyond his seamy role in the Marc Rich pardon scandal.
In the way of background, in May 1995, Clinton’s unpredictable Attorney General Janet Reno called for an independent counsel to assess whether Ron Brown had “accepted things of value” from Hill in exchange for his influence.
Reno’s pursuit of Brown did not shock either of them. He had been the subject of an inquiry for months. Targeting Hill, however, had no precedent, and it unnerved them both.
By statute, the independent counsel law applied only to political and government figures. “It was unlawful,” says Hill of her own targeting, “I was the only such person in history.”
In time, the independent counsel also targeted Brown’s son, Michael, for laundering money to his father through a scam minority set aside deal with a sleazy pair of Asian-American fundraisers. In Hill’s words, Michael “was as guilty as a goose.”
Hill and Brown both understood that she was being targeted in the hopes that she would roll over on Brown. Her condition for not doing so was that Brown share with her his every point of vulnerability.
Nowhere was Brown more vulnerable than in his unwelcome role as chief bagman for the Clintons’ relentless and often illicit fundraising in the run-up to the 1996 election.
Hill learned virtually every unseemly detail--from Brown’s go-between work with the Chicoms and their American vendors to his wholesale distribution of walking around money to Democratic race hustlers. As Brown understood, Hill knew way too much.
Even before his own mysterious death, Brown worried openly about her life and safety. He went so far as to call Hill’s sister, with whom she stayed from time to time, and insist Hill not be allowed to go out jogging alone.
As soon as Brown died, the independent counsel ceased the investigation into his illicit activities. As to Michael, he pled guilty to a single misdemeanor, accepted a small fine, and was out playing golf with the president a month later.
Not surprisingly, however, the Justice Department kept the pressure on the outspoken Hill, still deeply troubled by the circumstances surrounding Brown’s death.
Hill took heart when, in July 1997, President Clinton appointed Holder to replace Jamie Gorelick as Deputy Attorney General. Although ostensibly second in command, the Deputy AG was the real power in Justice, the Clinton equivalent of a Soviet “political officer.”
Hill knew Holder through Brown, who had been instrumental in getting him his previous job as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
She and her attorney wasted no time in contacting Holder at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, which was held that year in San Francisco in early August.
Holder, however, did not get to be Deputy AG by being naïve. “The train is already going down the tracks,” he explained to Hill. “It will take your cooperation to stop it.”
The “train” in question was a D.C. grand jury, which was being led to indict Hill. The “cooperation” meant Hill keeping her mouth shut.
Hill clarifies, “He [Holder] told me and my attorney that if I told what I knew about election fundraising I would be indicted.”
Holder was as good as his word. On March 13, 1998, ten days before Hill was to testify in a suit brought by Judicial Watch on the subject of Brown’s fundraising, the Clinton Justice Department indicted Hill on trumped up charges of fraud and tax evasion.
The willfully blind lead of the New York Times called the indictment “a vivid example of how an investigation can outlive its target.”
Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch knew better. In a motion to the court, he would write, “The timing of these events is neither accidental nor coincidental. Ms. Hill’s indictment was likely an effort to retaliate against her and deter her from giving any further damaging testimony at the March 23, 1998 hearing.”
At White House bidding, Holder had Hill indicted to shut her up, and he succeeded. Anxious, alone, and broke, facing as many as seventy years in prison if convicted, Hill chose to negotiate a deal.
On June 15, 1999, a day before her fifty-fifth birthday, she reported to a halfway house in Seagoville, Texas, her silence at least temporarily assured.
As James Sanders, my partner on the TWA 800 investigation, can attest, silencing whistleblowers through bogus prosecution was the modus operandi in the Holder era. Sanders and his wife Elizabeth were indicted and convicted on federal conspiracy charges on Holder’s watch.
Although generally appalled by the Clintons, Hill understands how betrayed they must feel when their very proteges desert them for Obama.
Holder did so early on. “Given Holder’s credentials,” the Chicago Tribune reported breathlessly in August 2007, “it isn’t outside the realm of possibility to suggest he could wind up the nation’s first African-American attorney general should Obama win the White House.”
Hill thinks she knows why Holder jumped ship. He was a key player in a racially exclusive cabal of DC insiders. “He’s so racist it’s not even funny,” she says of Holder, “not only racist but elitist.”
Still, no matter how compromised Holder might be, Obama can ill afford to dismiss him from his vice-presidential selection committee.
Obama has already had to dismiss one of the three selectors. If he dismisses a second, it will become absurdly obvious that the real problem is not Holder or Jim Johnson of Countrywide fame, but Mr. Obama himself
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NEW DISCOVERY (12-05-08):
Judson ON THE RECORD - VERY IMPORTANT!! New Member, Sheldon, is Pres. of YAL @ Idaho State, seeking Utah YAL...& member Judson Witham has filed the Utah lawsuit against Obama!!
Friday, December 5, 2008 5:48 PM
From: "Jud Witham" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com, "Vaughn & Lynda Robison" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Specialops@huffingtonpost.com, email@example.com, Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Hapa1234@aol.com, "MadMax@RoadWarriorRadio.com, Curt Crosby" <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
BYU LAW LIBRARY after sending and receiving FAXES for me for YEARS, suspended my use of the FAX services et al AS Channel 5 Salt Lake called them asking about me ?? YUP BYU retaliated because ?????
My position is to UPHOLD the LAW to see to it that QUALIFIED CITIZENS are our representatives and IF NOT, well, you do the math. My filing speaks for itself.
I am NOT the least RACIST and ACTUALLY I understand Freedom and Liberty is NOT the sole property of ANY party, group or....LIBERAL after all should always be HOW Liberty Is Observed !!! Liberally HELLO !!!!
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
I did provide Barrack Obama's Counsel with the following:
§4. Citizenship. That all persons who were citizens of the Republic of Hawaii on August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States and citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.
And all citizens of the United States resident in the Hawaiian Islands who were resident there on or since August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight and all the citizens of the United States who shall hereafter reside in the Territory of Hawaii for one year shall be citizens of the Territory of Hawaii.
This section was supplemented by the Act of July 2, 1932, 47 Stat 571, amended by the Act of July 1, 1940, 54 Stat 707, providing that for purposes of Act of Sept. 22, 1922, 46 Stat 1511, women born in Hawaii prior to June 14, 1900 deemed U.S. citizens at birth. But Act of Sept. 22, 1922 was repealed by Act of Oct. 14, 1940, 54 Stat 1137, which in turn was repealed by Act of June 27, 1952, 66 Stat 166 (McCarran-Walter Act), and the present provisions are contained in 8 U.S.C.A. 1435(a).
Under Art. 17, §1, of the Const. of 1894 (adapted from the 14th Am. of the U.S. Const.) all persons born or naturalized in the Hawaiian Islands and subject to the jurisdiction of the Republic of Hawaii were citizens thereof. Between 1842 and 1892, 731 Chinese and three Japanese were naturalized in Hawaii; since 1892, none. Birth certificates by the Territory of Hawaii are not controlling, and persons applying for admission to the United States with such certificates may be detained by immigration officers for the purpose of determining citizenship, 35 Ops. 69. The secretary of Hawaii may issue to persons born in Hawaii certificates of Hawaiian birth, which are prima facie evidence: HRS §§338-41 to 44, see also former law: L. 1905, c. 64; am. L. 1907, c. 79; rep. L. 1909, c. 15; R.L. 1915, p. 1487; R.L. 1925, c. 21; R.L. 1935, c. 247. A person born in the Kingdom of Hawaii of British parents domiciled there was held to be a citizen of the Republic of Hawaii although he was registered at birth at the British consulate and had never renounced allegiance to the British crown nor sworn allegiance to the Hawaiian government: 11 H. 166. On citizenship of persons born in the United States of alien parents, see 169 U.S. 649. Mere residence in foreign state after majority does not expatriate, 31 F.2d 738. But son of naturalized Hawaiian citizen became expatriated through residence in foreign country of birth. 89 F.2d 489, cert. den. 301 U.S. 682, reh'g den. 301 U.S. 713. Naturalization as Hawaiian citizen did not occur under Const. of 1894 by issuance of certificate of Minister of Interior where allegiance to native land not renounced and court order not obtained. 117 F.2d 588, reh'g den. 120 F.2d 760, aff'd by divided court, 315 U.S. 783.
Chinese who were Hawaiian citizens on Aug. 12, 1898, by either birth or naturalization, whether under the monarchy or the republic, became American citizens under this §: 23 Ops. 509; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 118; and their wives and children were thereafter entitled to enter the Territory; 23 Ops. 345; and such a citizen could take oath that he was such, and obtain an American register for a vessel which had a Hawaiian register on that date and was then owned and continued to be owned by a Hawaiian citizen until purchased by such Chinese; 23 Ops. 352. Son of Chinese, naturalized Hawaiian citizen, born in China in 1894 and remaining there through minority, did not become citizen and not entitled to enter U.S. 69 F.2d 681. Chinese held for deportation may set up American citizenship in habeas corpus or deportation proceedings, but the burden is on them to prove such citizenship: 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 6; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 44; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 104; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 113; 1 U.S.D.C. Haw. 234; 270 Fed. 57.
Habeas corpus lies to protect immigrant's right to have question of citizenship determined; 160 Fed. 842, affirming 3 U.S.D.C. Haw. 168. See also §§100 and 101, and notes thereto; also note to Joint Resolution of Annexation, RLH 1955, page 13.
Woman of Chinese ancestry, born in Hawaii in 1894 but married to Chinese alien in 1910, could not be naturalized under the Acts cited in first paragraph of this note as they stood prior to 1940 amendment, because of her nonresidence on July 2, 1932, 88 F.2d 88.
For decisions generally on immigration and citizens see notes to §§100 and 101, and note to RLH 1955, §57-43; also, presumptions: arising from findings of Board of inquiry or certificate of identity, 29 F.2d 500; 30 F.2d 516; 49 F.2d 19 and 24; may be rebutted, 30 F.2d 65; lack of, prima facie supports right to deport, 36 F.2d 563; fraud must be alleged in complaint, 63 F.2d 375 and 377. Delay for depositions may be a matter of right, 33 F.2d 236. Proof of Chinese descent shifts burden of proof: 104 F.2d 21, 111 F.2d 707. Finding of citizenship on previous entry not binding: 124 F.2d 21; but see 188 F.2d 975.
Under the treaty with Spain and Acts of Congress, a Puerto Rican, residing in Puerto Rico on April 11, 1899, and a year thereafter, who did not declare his decision to preserve his allegiance to Spain, did not lose his political status by removing to Hawaii in 1901, but became a citizen of the United States under a subsequent Act of Congress and hence entitled to vote in Hawaii: 24 H. 21.
Although §8(a)(1) of the Act of March 24, 1934, c 84, 48 Stat 456, 462, provides that Filipinos shall be placed on the quota basis as aliens, it is specifically made inapplicable to Hawaii and immigration is determined by the Interior Dept. on basis of industrial needs.
Referred to in 13 H. 21, 556; 162 Fed. 470.
Filipino national in Hawaii became alien by proclamation of Philippine Independence, 183 F.2d 795.
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--- On Fri, 12/5/08, Vaughn & Lynda Robison <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Vaughn & Lynda Robison <email@example.com>
Subject: [ronpaul-16] VERY IMPORTANT!! New Member, Sheldon, is Pres. of YAL @ Idaho State, seeking Utah YAL...& member Judson Witham has filed the Utah lawsuit against Obama!!
Date: Friday, December 5, 2008, 3:54 PM
1. Sheldon Kreger is Pres. of the Idaho State Univ. Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). He says Univ of Utah/BYU have not got a YAL organized and wants to help Utah get them started and coordinate between Utah and Idaho YAL groups. Dave used to be President of the Univ of Utah Students for Ron Paul, and organized a rally downtown for all of us on Oct. 13, 2007 (still on our calendar of past events). And David Garber & Ken were with the BYU Students for Ron Paul. We passed these names on to Sheldon. Click on his name and send him an email if you have any new details to add for helping him contact people interested in organizing YAL groups in Utah.
2. Judson Witham -- over 30 lawsuits against Obama nationwide regarding his lack of citizenship to be running for President -- the Internet listed that Utah had a lawsuit, also, and after more digging, we found that the person filing the lawsuit against Obama in Utah was our very own member Jud Witham!! How COOL is that!!!! Jud, do you need any help and/or support on this lawsuit? Thank YOU for taking a stand against those attempting to steal the US Constitution!!
(Anybody who wants to help Jud with this lawsuit, feel free to contact him. Likewise, anybody who is able to help Mike Ridgeway finish paying off his lawyer for a very successful lawsuit against the Utah GOP leaders who did their malicious scam on him---the judge declared Mike innocent last July---please feel free to contact him, also ---- Ron Paul has asked all of us to clean house with the local party first, and Mike, et.al, has been doing that for 10 years on their own--we encourage all meetup members to join with Mike Ridgeway and the others who are ashamed and disgusted at the party's corruptness in our state that must be replaced with "good, honest, and wise" leaders before we can ever get liberty-minded candidates with integrity elected here in Utah!)
Back to Jud>>>
HAVING UTAH INCLUDED IN THE OBAMA LAWSUITS AGAINST HIS FRAUDULENT CLAIM OF BEING A LEGAL CITIZEN IS AWESOME!!
Watch reports on this from Devvy Kidd at WND (World Net Daily). She's contacted the FBI to do a check on campaign funds fraud by Obama, she's talking and reporting about all 30 lawsuits (which include 2 more at the US Supreme Court level by a Democrat named Berg and another lawsuit by the presidential candidate Alan Keyes!!--the rest all seem to be lawsuits that are against their state's Secretary of State, demanding answers for Obama's proof of citizenship), and she's contacting the Electoral College about not voting until this is settled.
Allegedly, the Hawaii governor swore under oath 2 months ago that Hawaii does NOT have any birth certificate, and that the governor has allegedly sworn under oath that Obama was born in Kenya. This is a direct attack on the US Constitution, nothing to do with race.
It is to take down the last of the US Constitution, which is to take down the Electoral College (having the US public manipulated into demanding the "people's vote" is more important than the Electoral College vote, and to throw away the US Constitution or have it "re-written"---not realizing the "people's vote" is a rigged election), and to also take down the "natural born citizen" requirement.
Obama has hired THREE LAW FIRMS, not 3 lawyers, but 3 law firms, to handle this first lawsuit by Leo-Somebody at the US Supreme Court. There's been monkey-business with clerks stalling all of the 30 lawsuits, with the excuse that it was "not filed correctly." Leo's lawsuit was stalled by the clerk having an anthrax search on the papers/envelope he'd had filed with them.
They're stalling big time. Stalling until after the Dec. 15 Electoral College vote. Stalling until after he gets into office on January 20th.
And mainstream media had a complete blackout on this story until today (Friday, 12-5-08) when the Chicago Tribune ran the story, with the L.A. times picking up on it, and now many major papers nationwide, including "Drudge" on the Internet, are finally running this story (that started last June or before). But none of the Salt Lake papers are running any of it yet. Why is that, when we're a "red state" and allegedly all voted for McCain?
The question has already been posed as to what to do if Obama is declared unable to take the presidential office because "the US Constitution doesn't tell us what to do." Well, yes it did. It said a "natural born citizen." When you break a rule, you go back to the beginning. You don't use the broken rule as an excuse to change the rules.
Yeah, that probably means another election. We say have lawsuits filed against McCain, again (they got dismissed earlier), to undo Congress' "resolution" that stated that his illegal immigrant status was ok with them, and then have all the rest of the candidates put back on the ballot who got left off even though they were only suspending their campaign, including Ron Paul.
Don't know if that means Pelosi would be the temporary prez after January 20 until a new election is handled or not. Don't know what options are out there that are legal for this. But the "Establishment" having 2 illegals running for president at all, is beyond a reasonable doubt that this was an "accident."
--This message was sent by Vaughn & Lynda Robison (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Utah Campaign for Liberty.
To learn more about Vaughn & Lynda Robison, visit his/her member profile
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