Justice Department Rejects Key Reforms to FBI Whistleblower Regulations

By: Thursday October 23, 2014 4:25 pm

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is considering an array of new procedures that may modestly improve protections for whistleblowers, however, the Justice Department rejected a number of key reforms that “whistleblower advocates” have urged the agency to adopt.

Under a presidential policy directive President Barack Obama issued in October 2012, which applied to whistleblowers with “access to classified information,” Attorney General Eric Holder was required to deliver a report within 180 days that assessed the “efficacy” of the FBI’s regulations. But it was not until June 2, 2014, that Holder delivered this report that was long overdue.

 

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit by Seattle Police Officers Who Believe Restricting ‘Use of Force’ Violates Their Rights

By: Tuesday October 21, 2014 12:25 pm

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by nearly one hundred Seattle police officers, who claimed a “use of force” policy adopted in response to a Justice Department lawsuit violated their constitutional rights to defend themselves.

Government Frustrates Court’s Plan for Release of Videos of Guantanamo Prisoner Being Force-Fed

By: Thursday October 16, 2014 2:05 pm

The United States government is planning to appeal a decision by a federal judge, who ordered the release of at least twenty-eight videos of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner being forcibly extracted from his cell in shackles and force-fed. Attorneys for the Justice Department have requested an administrative stay so videos are not made public before an appeal is filed.

Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Syrian who has been imprisoned at Guantanamo since 2002 and was cleared for release in 2009 by President Barack Obama’s own review task force, engaged in a hunger strike with other prisoners in April 2013. He was protesting his indefinite detention and confinement conditions.

In Report to UN Committee Against Torture, US Government Touts Division That Doesn’t Really Prosecute Torturers

By: Thursday October 16, 2014 7:56 am

The United States government submitted its “periodic report” to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. There are multiple glaring aspects of the government’s report on how it believes it is complying fully with the Convention Against Torture (CAT), however, one part of the report where the government claims to have done what it was supposed to do to investigate torture stands out. In particular, the government highlights a Justice Department division as a challenge to impunity for torture, which appears to have prosecuted zero public cases of torture against US officials.

To those unfamiliar, countries which are signatories to the CAT are expected to submit reports every four years to the committee. The committee reviews the report and then issues its own “concluding observations” with concerns and recommendations to the “State party.”

From James Risen, a Powerful New Book About the “War on Terror”

By: Tuesday October 14, 2014 6:04 pm

No single review or interview can do justice to Pay Any Price — the new book by James Risen that is the antithesis of what routinely passes for journalism about the “war on terror.” Instead of evasive tunnel vision, the book offers big-picture acuity: focusing on realities that are pervasive and vastly destructive.

Yet Another Example of How Government Uses “Legal Process” to Coerce Reporters to Reveal Sources

By: Saturday October 11, 2014 12:46 pm

In 2011, a reporter for Fox News named Mike Levine was issued a grand jury subpoena as part of a Justice Department leak investigation. The subpoena demanded Levine reveal the names of “law enforcement” sources, who confirmed details for a story he wrote on Somali-Americans being indicted on terrorism charges in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Levine fought the subpoena and lost in July. Despite the fact that the government had defeated , the government withdrew the subpoena in April 2012.

In Case of Palestinian American, Prosecutors Criminalize Political Activity and Create ‘Prejudicial Atmosphere’

By: Wednesday October 8, 2014 10:14 am

A lawyer representing Palestinian American Rasmea Odeh, who is accused of immigration fraud, says the United States government’s request for an “anonymous jury” in the case and the partial sequestration of jurors is all a part of prosecutors’ efforts to create a prejudicial and fearful atmosphere.

Government: “Protesting Mob” Intends to Tamper with Jury in Case Against Palestinian American Rasmea Odeh

By: Monday October 6, 2014 3:50 pm

The United States government in the case of Palestinian American Rasmea Odeh has requested that a court “empanel an anonymous jury” and order the US Marshal Service to partially sequester jurors during her trial. The government contends that a prominent Palestinian organizer has engaged in a “concerted effort to improperly influence the criminal proceedings” by building public support for Odeh.

Odeh is the 67-year-old associate director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago. She has been a naturalized citizen in the US since 1995. But, on October 22, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security suddenly had her arrested.

Judge Rejects Obama Administration’s ‘Deeply Troubling’ Effort to Close Hearing on Forced-Feeding at Guantanamo

By: Thursday October 2, 2014 5:00 pm

A federal judge rejected efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration to close a hearing in a lawsuit brought by a Guantanamo Bay prisoner, who wants a court to determine whether the government’s practice of forced-feeding is lawful.

Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who is Syrian, was cleared for release by Obama’s Guantanamo review task force in 2009, however, he remains imprisoned without charge or trial. He has been in detention since 2002. He went on hunger strike and began to be subjected to forced-feeding on April 9, 2013.

Judge Rejects DOJ’s Secrecy Argument That Public Doesn’t Know How to Evade Location Tracking

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 9:33 am

In a case involving a Freedom of Information Act request for information related to government policies and procedures for law enforcement use of cell phone tracking, a federal judge has ordered the release of records, which the Justice Department sought to keep secret by claiming they would “alert law violators”—otherwise known as criminals—to how to evade detection.

The ACLU in Northern California and San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a lawsuit seeking documents on location tracking technology on July 31, 2012. The Justice Department has produced a few documents but has continued to insist that many of the documents requested are “work product” so they are protected from disclosure. The agency has also refused to search for documents that were requested.

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