In Leak Prosecution, Attorneys Demand to Know if Government Has “Agreement” with Reporter James Risen

By: Thursday October 30, 2014 5:30 pm

Attorneys for former CIA officer and whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling are demanding evidence of any “understandings” or “agreements” between the United States and James Risen, a New York Times reporter, for testimony in the case.

The demand comes after Attorney General Eric Holder made comments yesterday at the Washington Ideas Forum about whistleblowers and whether the administration would be willing to put a reporter in jail if they refused to comply with a subpoena and provide compelled testimony.

 

Did US Government Invoke “State Secrets” in Defamation Case Because Anti-Iran Organization Is Engaged in Graymail?

By: Thursday October 30, 2014 11:04 am

Attorneys for a business owner, who claims his company, Enterprises Shipping and Trading SA, was defamed by an anti-Iran advocacy group, are imploring a federal judge to not allow the United States government to invoke the state secrets privilege without making their reasons for doing so public. They suggest to the judge that the organization may be engaged in graymail.

Guantanamo Prisoner’s Attorneys Argue Government Appeal to Stop Release of Forced-Feeding Videos Would Fail

By: Tuesday October 28, 2014 3:59 pm

Attorneys for a Guantanamo Bay prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who has pursued a lawsuit against the United States government’s forced-feeding of prisoners, have asserted a federal court has all the authority it needs to release videos of Dhiab being force-fed and forcibly removed from his cell. The attorneys maintain the government is “seeking secrecy to prevent accountability, not to protect national security.”

Judge Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court in the District of Columbia ordered the disclosure of videos to the press on October 3.

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.

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