April 30, 2007 -- A TALE OF TWO TRIALS: INFLUENCE PEDDLING, JUDGE SHOPPING, AND DIRTY PROSECUTORS
On May 2, US Federal Judge Peter Messitte will again take up the case of Ken Ford’s request for access to government documents, including trial transcripts, in order to facilitate his appeal for conviction of possessing classified National Security Agency documents at his Waldorf, Maryland home. The government, through US Attorney for Southern Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and the original prosecuting attorney, Assistant US Attorney for Southern Maryland David Salem, is arguing that release of the transcripts contain classified information and, therefore, must be withheld under the provisions of the Classified Information Procedures Act.
Ford was set up in a clumsy Justice Department, FBI, and NSA Security Division operation to punish him for his May 2003 signals intelligence (SIGINT) analysis report that concluded, based on intercepts of Iraqi communications, there was no truth to the Bush administration’s claim that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Ford’s report, with his name and that of his supervisor on it, ended up on Vice President Dick Cheney’s desk. From that time on, Ford was a marked man for the neo-con cabal operating within the White House, Justice Department, Pentagon, and US Intelligence Community senior staff.
The Bush administration, using an FBI confidential informant with documented ties to two intelligence contractors, TASC and Bearing Point, planted a classified document in Ford’s home after she had struck up a relationship with the NSA analyst and former uniformed Secret Service officer who guarded President Bill Clinton. Ford was convicted in December 2005 of possessing classified information and making a false statement to a government agent. In March 2006, Ford was sentenced to six years in prison. Messitte refused to allow Ford to remain free pending an appeal of his conviction.
Just as the case with other US Attorneys around the country who were “loyal Bushies” and kept their jobs while a number of other US Attorneys were fired for political reason, the US Attorneys office for Southern Maryland is rife with political malfeasance, especially in the Federal Public Defender’s Office. The Ford case was highlighted by judge shopping, suborning perjury from witnesses, jury tampering, witness badgering, questionable fraternization between the chief prosecutor and the public defender, and using the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) to withhold evidence from the defense.
Uneven scales of justice in two cases in neighboring jurisdictions: the Ford and Rosen-Weissman cases.
Compare the Ford case to the case of the two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) officials, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, charged with illegally receiving classified information from convicted former Pentagon intelligence official Larry Franklin. Unlike the Ford case, the Rosen-Weissman case involved the passing of classified CIA information to a foreign intelligence agency – Israel’s Mossad. Last month, US Federal Judge for Eastern Virginia T. S. Ellis ruled against prosecutors who also wanted to invoke the CIPA provisions to withhold classified information from the defense team representing Rosen and Weissman, both of whom are charged with violating the 1917 Espionage Act. The Rosen-Weissman lawyers are viewed as trying to “graymail” the prosecution by forcing a delay in the trial or withdrawal of charges by forcing the disclosure of classified information.
The Rosen-Weismann team are arguing that the government seeks to try their clients based on “secret evidence” and the Coalition for Jewish Concerns (AMCHA) is arguing that by perpetuating the “myth” that that a powerful lobby of those who are loyal to Israel first and America second controls the reins of government, the prosecutors in the AIPAC case are emulating the prosecutors of French Jewish Army officer Alfred Dreyfus who was convicted of treason based on secret evidence. In reality, Ken Ford is the actual new Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was targeted because he was Jewish, Ford was partly targeted because he was a rising African American intelligence professional in a world that is largely composed of conservative white males.
It will be interesting to see whether Judge Messitte follows the precedent set by Judge Ellis in the AIPAC case. If Messitte rules for the government and agrees to keep the transcripts from the Ford trial secret and refuses to allow Ford’s release from prison to prepare his appeal, then prosecutors Rosenstein and Salem, with their close links to groups aligned with AIPAC and like-minded organizations, can be accused of the very cabalism, a perception that AMCHA called a “myth” in its arguments against the use of secret evidence in the Rosen-Weissman case in Virginia.
April 30, 2007 -- THE MULTIPLE SEX SCANDALS THAT COULD SINK THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND THE GOP
From Baghdad’s Camp Cropper, where a major US military detention center is located, to the White House, Pentagon, and offices along Washington DC’s “Gucci Gulf” K Street corridor, a series of major sex scandals threaten to bring yet another body blow on the Bush administration and the Republican Party.
In Baghdad, US Army Lt. Col. William H. Steele, who was in charge of high-value detainees at the Camp Cropper detention facility, is under a UCMJ Article 32 investigation for maintaining a relationship with the daughter of a detainee, using an unauthorized cell phone, being “sloppy” with classified information, but more importantly, possessing pornography, including videos.
The investigation of Steele may have something to do with the homo-erotic materials, including photos and videos, spirited from the Abu Ghraib prison, some of which were released to the media. On November 18, 2005, WMR reported:
“There is good reason for the embarrassment of the Pentagon in the [Abu Ghraib] affair. The orders to take the sexually-oriented photos and videos, some of which involve teenage Iraqi boys and girls and sodomization by their guards, came directly from a pedophile and closeted male homosexual ring operating in the White House, according to the intelligence sources. Copies of the tapes and photos were sent directly to the White House for the entertainment of senior members of the Bush White House, including officials in the Vice President's office and the Executive Office of the President.
AND WASHINGTON DC
When the photos at Abu Ghraib became public, the senior military command structure in Iraq ‘went nuts,’ according to an individual who witnessed the cover-up of the affair. ‘They ordered an immediate policy of denial about details of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib,’ said the source. The source added that senior officers were disgusted that lower ranking guards were prosecuted and jailed when the order for the mistreatment came directly from the White House.
All this makes the case of Lt. Col. Steele even more curious. If he is aware of the use of Abu Ghraib and other detention centers for filmed sexual misconduct for entertainment purposes, the Pentagon charge of possession of pornography may have something to do with previous cover-ups of serial sexual misconduct relating to military prisoners.
The use of military prisons in Iraq and civilian youth camps in Texas and Florida by the GOP for sexual exploitation is not the only sex scandal that stands to bring down the Bush administration and the GOP. Beyond the male congressional page sex scandal that enmeshed GOP congressmen from Mark Foley to then-Speaker Dennis Hastert and the presence in the White House Press Corps of a reporter linked to Christian Right financiers who also ran a male prostitution escort service, the Brent Wilkes, Duke Cunningham, Kyle “Dusty” Foggo prostitute scandal involving Shirlington Limousine delivering prostitutes to the Watergate and Washington hotels to service top GOP officials and CIA personnel at “poker parties,” and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz’s sweetheart high-paying job for his girlfriend, comes news that ABC News is in possession of Deborah Palfrey’s (“the DC Madam’s) client phone number list.
One name already leaked from the list was Randall Tobias, the Deputy Secretary of State for International Assistance and administrator of the US Agency for International Development. Tobias, who is on record favoring abstinence to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, resigned suddenly after his name was leaked. Tobias also said prostitution is a leading cause of AIDS although he admitted to paying one of Palfrey’s women for a “massage.” ABC News has already reported that a number of Washington VIPs have been Palfrey’s clients, including White House and Pentagon officials, top DC lobbyists and lawyers, and, as reported some weeks ago to WMR, some members of Congress are also implicated in DC’s latest “Hookergate.”
Add the Palfrey list to further revelations from former Nevada gubernatorial candidate and one-time domina Leola McConnell about the past sexual homosexual exploits of George W. Bush and former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe, as well as the peculiar Las Vegas appetites of “Morality Czar” William Bennett (whose brother Robert is serving as Wolfowitz’s attorney in the World Bank’s “Concubinegate” scandal, and we yet see the downfall of the neo-con Republican Party as a result of a LMD, “Libido of Mass Destruction.”
April 30, 2007 -- Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Bush administration turned down or ignored most offers of foreign assistance, a total of $854 million, in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster along the Gulf coast. Rather than accept offers of foreign military rescue personnel and search and rescue teams, the Bush administration turned relief efforts over to private mercenary companies like Wackenhut, Steele Foundation, and the Christo-fascist firm, Blackwater USA, which is financially tied to the Republican Party.
It turns out that Karen Hughes, the international "Axis Sally" voice of the failed Bush administration, sent out a message to US diplomatic titled the "Echo Chamber." The message said the U.S. deeply appreciated foreign offers of assistance although most of these offers were ignored. On September 9, Hughes said that the Katrina response by the White House "was not a failed relief effort but a foreign press that did not appreciate the federal government's good work."
Yesterday's Post story was not the first report on the United States turning down post-Katrina international assistance. WMR reported the following on September 3, 2005: "International relief efforts for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina are being stalled by inaction from the White House and State Department. The Bush administration is sending confusing and mixed signals to nations around the world which have aircraft sitting on runways and medical and disaster recovery crews on standby. In Russia, Canada, France, Germany, Cuba, Mexico, China, and dozens of other countries, critical resources such as search and rescue helicopters, ships, cargo aircraft, divers, urban search and rescue teams, medicine, and food are sitting idle awaiting a green light from Washington. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, just back from her thousand dollar shoe shopping spree in New York, says the Bush administration and that "crack team" at FEMA are still trying to figure out what assistance is needed. ALL of it is needed. This is the problem with having an expert on the Czechoslovakian military (which no longer exists) as Secretary of State -- she possesses only limited and trivial knowledge that has no relevance today. Playing more politics, Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega (who, like John Bolton, is a Jesse Helms protege) is refusing to allow Venezuelan humanitarian aid workers on American soil. President Hugo Chavez accused the Bush administration of not preparing an adequate evacuation plan for New Orleans and called Bush the 'vacation cowboy.' Noriega takes his orders from the fanatic Florida exile junta whose titular head is Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff is likely demanding relief crews be interviewed, photographed, and fingerprinted before being allowed entry to the United States. 'His job is to oversee surveillance, not recovery,' one long time Washington, DC policy adviser said of Chertoff. Once again, for the trillionth time, the Bush administration has shown itself to be inept and uncaring. Its time for them to go."
On September 1, 2005, WMR reported: "Its U.S. policy not to accept foreign aid in a natural disaster (always has been, even under Democratic administrations). Its considered beneath the dignity for a 'super power' to accept foreign aid. Other nations have offered aid in the past only to be given the back of Uncle Sam's hand. If this ridiculous policy were to change (along with the Secretary of State who most world leaders think is a joke), France would be the first to offer assistance to its cousins in Acadiana and southern Mississippi. Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has offered gasoline and food. Fidel Castro would offer doctors (they are top notch). [Note: President Castro has offered 1100 Cuban doctors for the relief effort - the Bush administration's answer to Castro's first offer before Katrina struck, 'do not publicize this offer of assistance']. Ditto on aid from Russia (they've already offered helicopters but were told they could only be used to rescue Russian nationals trapped in New Orleans (3 on the upper floors of a hotel, at last count). We could count on Canada, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Japan, Britain, Spain, Italy, China, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Jamaica, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, and a number of other nations."
It's nice to know the Washington Post finally reported on the Katrina international aid story one and a half years after Katrina struck.=
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