Scandals

Submitted by tnjp on July 1, 2013 - 9:03pm.

StopWatching.Us - Sign TODAY!

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs!

Submitted by tnjp on May 18, 2013 - 5:55pm.

This Isn’t the First Time the IRS has Targeted Specific Groups
by Rainforest Action Network
May 17, 2013
Written by Melanie Gleason

At first glance, it may seem like another annoying addition to the scandal du jour list: Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that the Justice Department and FBI began a criminal investigation on whether Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees broke the law when they targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status–using search terms such as “tea party” and “patriot.”

However, what may initially appear as a political party tit for tat goes much deeper–in that the IRS has long been a vehicle of political retribution (with politics depending on what administration is currently seated in power)–and perhaps most disconcerting of all: tossing the constitutionally guaranteed equal protection clause right out the window.

The recurrent theme of governmental power targeting marginalized political communities has been a consistent, abysmal tradition dating back to the FDR administration. The administration admitted using inflated charges of tax evasion on political targets such as former Louisiana governor and senator Huey Long. And the tactic of wielding the IRS’ fiery wrath is an equal opportunity strategy for both sides of the aisle: under the Nixon administration, the IRS created the Special Services Staff (SSS) to look into thousands of perceived political enemies–including reporters who wrote critical stories of Nixon, such as Newsday’s Robert Greene, and civil rights organizations like the NAACP.

Submitted by tnjp on May 16, 2013 - 2:18pm.

Monitoring of AP Phones a "Terrifying" Step in State Assault on Press Freedom


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges joins us to discuss what could mark the most significant government intrusion on freedom of the press in decades. The Justice Department has acknowledged seizing the work, home and cellphone records used by almost 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press. The phones targeted included the general AP office numbers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, and the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery.

Submitted by tnjp on September 2, 2012 - 2:28pm.

WikiLeaks and Free Speech
By MICHAEL MOORE and OLIVER STONE
Published: August 20, 2012

WE have spent our careers as filmmakers making the case that the news media in the United States often fail to inform Americans about the uglier actions of our own government. We therefore have been deeply grateful for the accomplishments of WikiLeaks, and applaud Ecuador’s decision to grant diplomatic asylum to its founder, Julian Assange, who is now living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Ecuador has acted in accordance with important principles of international human rights. Indeed, nothing could demonstrate the appropriateness of Ecuador’s action more than the British government’s threat to violate a sacrosanct principle of diplomatic relations and invade the embassy to arrest Mr. Assange.

Since WikiLeaks’ founding, it has revealed the “Collateral Murder” footage that shows the seemingly indiscriminate killing of Baghdad civilians by a United States Apache attack helicopter; further fine-grained detail about the true face of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; United States collusion with Yemen’s dictatorship to conceal our responsibility for bombing strikes there; the Obama administration’s pressure on other nations not to prosecute Bush-era officials for torture; and much more...

Submitted by tnjp on November 12, 2010 - 2:57pm.


George W. Bush: Torturer-in-Chief
David Cole
November 10, 2010
In an uncoerced confession in his new memoir, Decision Points, former President George W. Bush proudly admits that he personally signed off on the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in 2003. Former Vice President Dick Cheney made the same admission in a televised interview shortly before he left office. In one sense, this is nothing new. It had long been reported that the CIA's use of what the Bush administration euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation techniques" had been approved at the highest levels of the administration. But now both Bush and Cheney have publicly admitted to specifically signing off on the CIA's torture tactics. Their direct personal admissions now seal the case against them.

What case, you might ask? There is in fact no criminal or civil case against the former president or vice president for these actions. And both men no doubt felt comfortable admitting they had authorized what the world recognizes as torture because they believe they are politically immune from being held accountable. Even before the midterm elections, Barack Obama had insisted that he wanted only to look forward, not backward. With a strengthened Republican Party after the elections, it is even less likely that Bush or Cheney will be held accountable by the Obama administration. On November 9 the Justice Department announced that no criminal charges would be brought against the CIA agents who destroyed videotapes of the torture interrogations; that part of the cover-up, it seems, has succeeded...

Submitted by tnjp on October 24, 2010 - 11:00pm.



US turned blind eye to torture
Leaked documents on Iraq war contain thousands of allegations of abuse, but a Pentagon order told troops to ignore them.
Gregg Carlstrom Last Modified: 24 Oct 2010 15:31 GMT
An alleged militant identified only as "DAT 326" was detained by the Iraqi army on July 7, 2006 at a checkpoint in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. When US forces interrogated him later that night, he described hours of brutal abuse at the hands of the Iraqi soldiers, an allegation apparently backed by the findings of a medical exam.

DAT 326 states he was told to lay down on his stomach with his hands behind his back, which is when the Iraqi soldiers allegedly stepped, jumped, urinated and spit on him.

[…] DAT 326 was evaluated and treated for his injuries at Cobra Clinic. Injuries include blurred vision, diminished hearing in left ear, bleeding in ears, bruising on forehead, neck, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, and thighs, cuts over the left eye and on the upper and lower lips, hemorrhaging eyes, blood in nasal cavities, and swollen hands/wrists.


Since the alleged torture was committed by Iraqi forces, the US quickly dropped the case: "Due to no allegation or evidence of US involvement, a US investigation is not being initiated," the report said.

A review of the leaked documents reveals more than 1,000 allegations of abuse committed by Iraqi security forces. Not all of them are credible, as some detainees showed no physical evidence of abuse, while others changed their stories during multiple interrogations.

But hundreds of them – like "DAT 326" – are supported by medical evidence and other corroboration. Those reports demonstrate a clear pattern of abuse and torture in Iraqi jails, one that a high-level Pentagon directive barred US forces from investigating.

"Only an initial report will be made"

The instruction not to investigate was handed down in fragmentary order (FRAGO) 242, first mentioned in a report filed on May 16, 2005...

Submitted by tnjp on October 22, 2010 - 8:39pm.



IN VIDEO: the biggest document leak in history exposes real war
October 21st, 2010 by Rachel Oldroyd

Twelve weeks ago the Bureau of Investigative Journalism was given access to the biggest leak of military documents in history.

These documents formed a database of nearly 400,000 military logs recorded over six years of the Iraq war and covering the years 2004 to 2009.

There are over 37 million words used to recount military significant actions that took place across the entire country. This material provides an unrivalled portrait of one of the most controversial wars of the modern age.

For the first time the files reveal just how much the American military detailed the escalating violence in Iraq, and how this contrasts markedly to what the politicians said in public. This is the story behind the pronouncements – the uncensored detail Washington did not want us to know...

Submitted by tnjp on June 30, 2008 - 8:48pm.


It Was Oil, All Along
June 28, 2008
By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Oh, no, they told us, Iraq isn't a war about oil. That's cynical and simplistic, they said. It's about terror and al Qaeda and toppling a dictator and spreading democracy and protecting ourselves from weapons of mass destruction. But one by one, these concocted rationales went up in smoke, fire, and ashes. And now the bottom line turns out to be....the bottom line. It is about oil.

Submitted by tnjp on June 29, 2008 - 4:06pm.



U.S. Military Demands Bonus Money Back from Soldiers with Arms, Legs Blown Off
by David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) In some cases, the U.S. military has been denying wounded soldiers the full amount of their enlistment bonuses, under the rationale that the soldiers are unable to fulfill the full term of their service contract.

The policy came to light after Jordan Fox, who was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq and sent home three months early, received a letter asking him to repay $2,800 of his signing bonus. Fox had been hospitalized for several months, and still has an injured back and a blind right eye.

"I was just completely shocked," Fox said. "I couldn't believe I'd gotten a bill in the mail from the Army."

Upon signing up for military service, troops may receive up to $30,000 in signing bonuses. These bonuses are contingent upon fulfilling a specified term of service.

But according to CBS affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh, the military has asked "thousands" of injured troops to return part of their bonuses.

Submitted by tnjp on December 21, 2007 - 2:54pm.

Rigid voter law still being enforced
Posted on Thu, Dec. 20, 2007 BY GARY FINEOUT
TALLAHASSEE --
Despite a federal judge's order, state election officials have told Florida's 67 election supervisors to keep following a controversial voter registration law.

U.S. Judge Stephan Mickle earlier this week ordered state officials to stop enforcing the 2-year-old law that requires information filled out on voter registration forms to match numbers maintained in state and federal databases.

But Sarah Jane Bradshaw, the interim head of the state Division of Elections, told election supervisors to maintain their current procedures for verifying voter registration forms while the state prepares an appeal of the ruling. ''We will advise you as soon as we have determined whether the Supervisors of Elections will need to take any action to comply with this injunction. Please do not change any of your procedures until further notice,'' Bradshaw wrote in an e-mail that was sent out late Tuesday.

A spokesman for Secretary of State Kurt Browning contended that state officials were not defying the judge's order.

''I would disagree with that statement,'' said Sterling Ivey.

Submitted by tnjp on December 12, 2007 - 4:50am.

Beyond Justice: Bush Administration's Labor Department Abuses Labor Union Regulatory Authorities
By Scott Lilly
December 10, 2007

Read the full report (pdf)

The State Department Web site explains American democracy to the rest of the world as follows:

"The rule of law is a fundamental component of democratic society in the United States, the rule of law is based primarily on the U.S. Constitution and on the assurance that U.S. laws—in conjunction with the Constitution—are fair and are applied equally to all members of society."

How closely the United States actually adheres to those principles, however, has been increasingly drawn into question—particularly over the course of the past year. Revelations about the firing of U.S. attorneys because they were not sensitive enough to the Bush administration’s political priorities almost turns the State Department claims on their head...

Submitted by tnjp on November 25, 2007 - 7:45pm.

Protest activities announced By Paul Flemming November 24, 2007
Here are some of the events of the week announced by organizers on Friday:


  • 6 p.m., Sunday at Free Spirit Community Church in Springfield for a mass meeting.

  • 7 p.m., Monday at Providence FGME Church in Springfield for a political forum.

  • 7 p.m., Wednesday at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Panama City for a prayer meeting.

  • 7 p.m., Friday, at the Glenwood Community Center in Panama City for a youth rally.

  • 9 a.m., Dec. 1, beginning at Redwood Cemetery for a march to the Bay County Juvenile Courthouse, with a rally set for 11 a.m. at the courthouse.


PANAMA CITY — Six weeks after the verdict in the Martin Lee Anderson case, ministers and activists announced a week of events to mark their outrage at the outcome.

Seven former drill instructors and a camp nurse were cleared of all charges in the death of Anderson, a Panama City teen who died Jan. 6, 2006, after he was struck, kneed and forced to breathe ammonia capsules at a Bay County juvenile boot camp...

Submitted by tnjp on August 29, 2007 - 10:30pm.



Guard Uses Taser on Man Holding Newborn By JUAN A. LOZANO Tue Aug 14
HOUSTON - In a confrontation captured on videotape, a hospital security guard fired a stun gun to stop a defiant father from taking home his newborn, sending both man and child crashing to the floor. Now William Lewis says his baby girl suffers from head trauma because she was dropped.

"I've got to wonder what kind of moron would Tase an adult holding a baby," said George Kirkham, a former police officer and criminologist at Florida State University. "It doesn't take rocket science to realize the baby is going to fall."...

Submitted by tnjp on July 25, 2007 - 10:16pm.

Since Sunday, when I announced that I am drafting two censure proposals condemning the President, Vice President, and the administration for their misguided actions in Iraq and for their disregard for the rule of law, I've received thousands of emails and phone calls from people in Wisconsin and around the country. I've also read and watched what 'pundits' and the 'D.C consultant class' have had to say about my proposals. And, while it's really no surprise, the two couldn't be farther away from one another.

I've heard some pundits characterize censure as 'piling on' an unpopular president that could, in the end, hurt Democrats in 2008. Some have said it's a 'big tactical mistake. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point...

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