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The USA is the most corrupt country in the world and I have 10,000 posts that point heavily to that fact…

FBI Probes Mishandling of Remains at Arlington Cemetery July 1, 2011

The FBI and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command are now looking into the mishandling of remains and mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery. The probe is part of a broad investigation run by the Justice Department that also includes a federal grand jury, sources tell The Washington Post.

The criminal inquiry is seeking evidence of contracting fraud and falsification of records.

The investigation into activities of the nation’s most hallowed military burial ground has been ongoing for the past six months.

Congress is also looking into the mess at Arlington that includes poor management, millions in waste, misplaced and misidentified remains, four cases of crematory urns being dug up and dumped in a dirt pile, and a mass grave.

Superintendent John C. Metzler Jr. and Deputy Superintendent Thurman Higginbotham were both forced out, the Post reported.

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‘Whitey’ Bulger, Accused Mobster, Seeks Court-Appointed Lawyer June 26, 2011

James “Whitey” Bulger, the accused Boston mobster arrested in California with $800,000, was given three days to show why a lawyer should be appointed to represent him at taxpayer expense.

Bulger, 81, and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 60, made initial appearances in federal court in Boston Friday after a trip from California. Bulger, who was a fugitive for 16 years, didn’t oppose his continued detention while awaiting arraignment. Wearing jeans and a white hooded sweatshirt, he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs by U.S. marshals.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said prosecutors oppose any kind of taxpayer-funded attorney for Bulger, saying he has “family resources available.” Bulger was asked by Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler if he could afford an attorney.

“Not after you took my money,” Bulger responded. More than $800,000 in cash and more than 30 firearms, along with false identification, were found in Bulger’s apartment after his arrest, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

“We think he has more access to cash,” Kelly said. “We clearly don’t think this was his last stash.”

The government seized all of Bulger’s assets, said Peter Krupp, a lawyer appointed to provisionally represent him. Bowler gave Krupp until the close of business on June 27 to make any filings regarding the appointment of lawyers to represent Bulger. She gave Bulger the same deadline to file a financial affidavit.

Bulger is described in a 111-page indictment dated May 23, 2001, as a leader of a criminal organization known as the “Bulger Group” and “Winter Hill Gang.”

The gangs committed extortion, loan sharking, bookmaking, narcotics trafficking and murder, beginning about 1972, the government said. Bulger was wanted in connection with 19 murders.

Bulger may face life in prison or the death penalty if he is convicted of murder, depending on the jurisdiction, Carmen M. Ortiz, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, said.

Greig, who fled with Bulger in 1995, was charged in an April 1997 complaint in federal court in Boston with harboring and concealing him from arrest. If convicted, she may face a five-year prison term.

After appearing yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal, Greig was returned to the custody of U.S. Marshals. She is scheduled to return to court June 28 for a hearing on bail.

Entering the courtroom, Bulger mouthed the word “hello” to his brother William, who was seated in the second row. Greig’s twin sister, Margaret McCusker, also attended the court appearances.

William Bulger served as president of the Massachusetts Senate from 1978 to 1996 and later became president of the University of Massachusetts. While president of the university, he appeared before a U.S. House committee and refused to answer questions about his brother’s whereabouts, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Bulger and Greig were arrested June 22 in Santa Monica, California, after FBI agents and Los Angeles police put an apartment building under surveillance and lured Bulger outside with an undisclosed ruse, said FBI agent Richard DesLauriers.

The arrests came as the result of a tip received the day before generated as the result of an ad campaign about Greig. The ads ran in 14 cities starting this week and targeted women who were the same age as Greig and might have been her co- worker, hair-stylist or neighbor.

The tip was received by the FBI’s Los Angeles office. While the ads didn’t run in Los Angeles, news coverage of the campaign aired in that market on national news and cable outlets, DesLauriers said.

FBI Informants

U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf was assigned to preside over Bulger’s case. It was in Wolf’s courtroom in 1998 that Bulger’s partner, Stephen Flemmi, revealed that he and Bulger were FBI informants and had been promised immunity from prosecution.

Bulger’s group was also linked to illegally shipping arms to the Irish Republican Army and importing about 36 tons of marijuana into the U.S., both in 1984, prosecutors said.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Bulger worked as an informant on mob activities for the FBI in Boston, according to the agency. He was indicted in January 1995 for racketeering violations, including activities while he was an informant. Five years later he was indicted for multiple murders.

Bulger, who was born in Boston, has a violent temper and was known to frequent libraries and historic sites, the FBI said. He carried a knife and kept physically fit by walking on the beach, the agency said.

Another girlfriend of Bulger’s cooperated with the government in trying to track down the fugitive in 1996, according to a 1997 FBI affidavit in support of the criminal complaint against Greig. The woman, who told the FBI she had been Bulger’s girlfriend for 20 years, found out in 1994 that he had been involved with Greig as well during that time.

The former girlfriend told the FBI in 1996 that, after Bulger was charged in January of 1995, he returned to Massachusetts and picked up Greig, according to the affidavit.

In 2008, the FBI doubled its $1 million reward for information leading to Bulger’s capture. Officials said the disposition of the reward — and a $100,000 reward for Greig — is undetermined.

DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said speculation that the bureau knew of Bulger’s whereabouts before this week’s advertising campaign was wrong.

“Any claim that the FBI knew Mr. Bulger’s whereabouts prior to the FBI’s publicity efforts this week are completely unfounded,” DesLauriers said in a statement posted on the website of the FBI’s Boston division. “When we learned his location, he was arrested promptly.”

The case is U.S. v. Bulger, 94-cr-10287, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston.)

© Copyright 2011 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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Hackers Break into Arizona Police Computers June 24, 2011

* Arizona DPS confirms “computer issues”

* Group says it hacked computer to protest immigration law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Computer hackers who
previously broke into a U.S. Senate server and brought down the
CIA web site struck an Arizona police web site on Thursday.

Lulz Security, saying it opposed a tough anti-immigration
law in Arizona, said it was releasing documents that related to
border control and other law enforcement activities. Its
headline was “Chinga La Migra,” Spanish for a more profane way
of saying “Screw Immigration.”

It released contact information for several people. Reuters
was able to reach two of them to establish that they were

“We are aware of computer issues,” said Steve Harrison, a
spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, “We’re
looking into it. And of course we’re taking additional security

The Mexico border state passed a law last year ordering
police to check the immigration status of anyone suspected to
be in the United States illegally, in a bid to curb illegal
immigration and border-related crime.

A majority of Americans supported the measure, but outraged
opponents charged it was unconstitutional and would lead to the
harassment of Hispanic-Americans, and called for an economic
boycott of the desert state.

The most controversial parts of the law were blocked by a
federal judge shortly before it came into effect last July,
although Arizona is pursuing an appeal.


Lulz, a group of rogue hackers who have not been
identified, posts the results of its hacks on Twitter, the
microblogging site where the group has cultivated more than

So far LulzSec’s publicized assaults on Sony Corp., the
CIA, News Corp’s Fox TV and other targets have mostly resulted
in temporary disruptions of some websites and the release of
user credentials.

There have been few arrests in the hacks. British police
said Tuesday that they had arrested a 19-year-old man on
suspicion that he was connected to attacks on Sony, the CIA and
a British police unit that fights organized crime.

Spanish police earlier this month apprehended three men on
suspicion they helped Anonymous, a second rogue hacking group
that has teamed up with LulzSec.

Hacker attacks forced Brazil to shut down its presidential
website and other government sites temporarily Thursday, a
day after cyber attacks briefly disabled other government

LulzSec, whose hacks started to hit headlines last month,
has published the email addresses and passwords of thousands of
alleged subscribers to porn sites, it temporarily took down the
public website of the CIA, and it published data from internal
servers of the U.S. Senate.

Security experts who have researched LulzSec’s origins say
it emerged from Anonymous, which became famous for attacking
the companies and institutions that oppose WikiLeaks and its
founder, Julian Assange. Anonymous also attacked Sony and
governments around the globe that it considered oppressive.

LulzSec’s members are believed to be scattered around the
world, collaborating via secret Internet chat rooms. Suspected
leaders include hackers with the handles Kayla, Sabu and
Topiary, security experts say.

The group’s name is a combination of lulz, which is slang
for laughs, and sec, which stands for security.

(Additional reporting by Tim Gaynor in Phoenix and Roberto
Samora in Sao Paulo)

(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Jim Finkle; Editing by Paul

© 2011 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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US Hits Iran Air, Port Company with Sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration hit two pillars of the Iranian economy with sanctions Thursday, targeting the Islamic republic’s national airline carrier and a major port company on charges that they facilitate illegal weapons trade and help the mighty Revolutionary Guard corps in destabilizing activity in Iran and nearby countries.

The Treasury Department’s action blocks any assets in the United States belonging to Iran Air, Tidewater Middle East Co. and three other firms. It also prevents Americans from doing business with them.

In a joint statement, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the hardline Revolutionary Guard’s use of Tidewater and Iran Air for proliferation activities was indicative of its increasing power in the Iranian economy. This displaces legitimate private Iranian companies in the commercial and energy sectors, which they called “deeply troubling.”

The Revolutionary Guard serves as the “enforcer” for the Iranian regime by suppressing peaceful protests, and imports and exports weapons for the government, the secretaries said. They also blamed it for supporting terrorism in the Middle East.

The other companies sanctioned were the Mehr-e Eqtesad-e Iranian Investment Company, Iran Air Tours and the Behnam Shahriyari Trading Company. Iranian businessman Behnam Shahriyari was personally targeted for his alleged role in providing weapons to the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Although the sanctions only apply to the United States, senior Treasury and State Department officials said they hoped other countries would take a closer look at business being conducted with the companies. The U.S. is hoping authorities will halt the refueling of Iran Air planes, though non-U.S. airports are not required to take any action against the company, the officials said.

The Treasury Department says Iran Air has helped the military obtain raw materials such as titanium sheets, which can be used in support of advancing nuclear weapons. It has also transported rockets on passenger planes and taken missile components to Syria, Treasury alleges.

The airline operates about 40 aircraft flying to 35 international destinations.

The statement from Geithner and Clinton said preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a top U.S. priority. They said they remain deeply concerned about Iran’s uranium enrichment program, even if the Iranian government insists it is solely designed for energy purposes.

“The international community must continue to increase and broaden the scope of pressures on Iran,” the two secretaries said. “We have made important progress in isolating Iran, but we cannot waver. Our efforts must be unrelenting to sharpen the choice for Iran’s leaders to abandon their dangerous course.”

Tidewater manages seven ports in Iran and serves as a key element in Iran’s infrastructure and transport network. Treasury says it has operations at terminals that have facilitated the Iranian government’s weapons trade.

The company has no relation to Tidewater Inc., an international shipping company based in the United States.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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AP Analysis: Edwards Mixed Personal with Public June 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The legal case against two-time presidential candidate John Edwards focuses on where to draw the line between the public and private in a politician’s life, a divide he riskily straddled throughout his entire career and family life.

Edwards isn’t alone. The private activities and concerns of public officials increasingly seem to be pulled or pushed into the public arena. Is that Rep. Anthony Weiner modeling his underwear? Donald Trump and Sarah Palin use a knife and fork to eat pizza! Which school did President Barack Obama pick to go all the way in college hoops?

These things don’t reveal much about their qualifications to lead, yet they fascinate Americans.

Edwards, a millworker’s son, was a master at honing an image of his private life for public consumption.

There was much to draw the public to Edwards and his family that seemed so full of youthful vibrancy. He had a whip-smart wife who was at least his equal in political talent and a daughter getting her Ivy League education. The tow-headed youngest daughter and son coaxed smiles out of voters and even from the journalists invited to board the family’s campaign bus, eat their snacks and join their sing-alongs. The way that the Edwardses dealt with their son Wade’s death in an auto accident won sympathy.

But from the start, there were ruses. Edwards’ chief criminal accuser, former aide Andrew Young, writes in his book how Edwards would drive a beat-up Buick Park Avenue while on campaign business, stashing his BMW and Lexus to keep up the “everyman” image.

Now the central dispute over his indictment on felony charges is whether money that two of his supporters spent to keep his mistress in hiding were campaign contributions that should have been reported publicly, as prosecutors say, or private gifts from friends, as Edwards’ lawyers claim.

Edwards’ team says the payments were to keep the affair a secret from hurting his cancer-stricken wife. The government alleges they were a scheme to keep the child conceived by Edwards and Rielle Hunter a secret from the public to protect his White House ambitions.

“A centerpiece of Edwards’ candidacy was his public image as a devoted family man,” the indictment of Edwards says. “The communication strategy developed by Edwards’ campaign stressed the importance of publicizing, among other things, ‘that (Edwards’) family comes first.’”

That is a reference to the communications plan Edwards’ advisers wrote in advance of the 2008 nominating race, when the former North Carolina senator was coming off a losing race as vice presidential nominee to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on the 2004 ticket.

The undated document, turned over to prosecutors and provided to The Associated Press by a person involved in the investigation, stressed that “JRE” — the initials Edwards’ staffers often used to refer to him — had a unique chance to show Americans how he “shares their everyday values.”

“JRE is a household name, and we have a remarkable opportunity to give voters a richer understanding of just who John Edwards is — the man, not the politician,” the plan said. President George W. Bush “of course, has done a tremendous job in this regard — in 2000, among many other things, people knew he liked to clear brush, that he loved baseball, that he loved his wife, and that he had overcome personal adversity. “

It recommended that Edwards use every chance to attend activities with his family, such as going to a theme park, rodeo or high school football games. “These do not need to be advertised to the press,” it said. “Word will get out on its own. And hearing about things like this from your friend or neighbor is much more powerful than a staged photo-op on the 6 p.m. news. We should do this AS OFTEN as possible.”

It also suggested that a book by his wife, Elizabeth, would help the effort. She ended up writing “Saving Graces,” published in September 2006. That book and a second published after her husband’s campaign was over and his philandering exposed endeared her to many as a woman of strength who gracefully dealt with hardships, even the cancer that would kill her. Meanwhile, campaign operatives whispered behind the scenes that Elizabeth could often be cruel and demanding.

While the campaign communications plan stressed Edwards’ devotion to family and Elizabeth, he was secretly spending time in the lead-up to the campaign with his videographer.

“In the same way that so many know that JRE is the son of a mill worker and the first person in his family to go to college (which we cannot repeat enough), we need people to know:

“— that his family comes first,

“— that he and Elizabeth have overcome tremendous challenges and adversity,

“— that faith has been an important part of his life,

“— what his friends think about him, and

“— what he likes to do for fun.”

Even disregarding the National Enquirer reports during the campaign about Edwards’ affair, which he denied, there were other signs the public image of his private life was not as it seemed.

While Edwards’ campaigned on a fight against poverty and the “Two Americas” of the haves and have-nots, it was disclosed that he was getting $400 haircuts, building a 28,000-square foot home and consulting work for a hedge fund that catered to the wealthy.

Edwards’ lies eventually alienated most of his one-time supporters and advisers and demolished his political career. Now he really does have more time for family, and even now it is still part of his public image.

As he left federal court Friday in a crush of media photographers, his daughter Cate was by his side.


Baker reported from Raleigh, N.C., and can be reached at . Pickler can be reached at

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Art Exhibit Offers ‘Urban Therapy’ for NYers June 3, 2011

NEW YORK  — Noise never sleeps in the city. Streets are choked with vehicles that produce a near constant din of rumbling engines. Parks are often full of chattering crowds on sunny days.

The clamor is enough to make even the hardiest New Yorkers brainsick, thirsting for a spot of tranquility in the swirl of urban chaos.

An exhibit by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes that opened in a downtown Brooklyn storefront on Thursday for eight days in June could be just the palliative for the over-worked, over-stimulated New Yorker.

Called the “Sanatorium,” it is a temporary clinic where visitors can participate in 15 different idiosyncratic and tongue-in-cheek therapies that aim to lighten the load of urban life. The therapies draw from Gestalt psychology, conflict resolution techniques, corporate coaching, psychodrama, art performance and hypnosis. Volunteers will be on hand to guide visitors through the activities.

“It’s like a series of self-discovery games,” said Reyes who was sporting a lab coat during a recent visit to the sprawling “Sanatorium,” which covers two floors of an approximately 25,000-square-foot space. The artist is known for enigmatic, participatory works that blend sculpture, architecture and performance. Among his best known works is “Floating Pyramid,” a 20-foot white pyramid cast off into a Puerto Rico bay in 2004, forcing people to swim out to reach it.

Crystal Butler, 42, is one of the volunteer “therapists.” She said she could relate to the concepts at work in Reyes’ clinic.

“New York has a level of human contact and activity and noise than I have ever come in contact with in any of the other cities I lived in,” said Butler, who has lived in Washington, D.C., and Dallas, and recently moved here from Los Angeles. “People need more of a respite.”

The exhibit is the first in a series of interdisciplinary works commissioned for a two-year project by the Guggenheim Museum exploring “stillness” that will include contributions from composer Arvo Part, architectural firms Snohetta and Solid Objectives and surprise performances throughout the city by the group Improv Everywhere.

An online component includes video and data studies of noise and stillness by graduate students, including an interactive map of about 270,000 noise complaints to the city’s 311 line between 2004 and 2005.

A glance at complaints on the map recorded between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. demonstrates how ubiquitous and constant noise is: One caller said the resident in a nearby apartment at Ninth Avenue and West 43rd Street was “creating a disturbance by dropping item on the floor, moving furniture and generally making a lot of noise.”

Up the street, another caller complained of “excessive noise coming from a delivery truck.” And a couple blocks away, a caller complained of a man in a hallway yelling for somebody named “Tony” for 30 minutes.

Curator David van der Leer, who is originally from Holland, said he was struck by the commotion when he moved to New York City five years ago. “It’s such a noisy city in comparison to other cities around the world,” he said. “I wanted to do a project that was related to finding these quiet moments.”

He said the “Sanatorium” could help visitors take a step back and reflect on their lives and the city around them.

“By doing so, I think we are creating a nice, quiet zone in downtown Brooklyn,” he said.

Much like an actual clinic, visitors are greeted by receptionists, who determine what kind of therapy is appropriate to their needs, and then are directed to sit in a “waiting room” before being able to proceed.

There is “The Museum of Hypothetical Lifetimes,” where visitors curate miniature exhibits of their lives with the help of a therapist by placing small objects — tarot cards, trinkets, toys — that represent different phases of their life inside a maze-like model of a museum.

Troy Turnwald, 24, wearing baby-blue tennis shoes, a tie and jeans, was among the first visitors to curate his own miniature museum show, and said it was “extremely enlightening” to be able to associate the objects with his life. He said he had come to the exhibit to find some tranquility.

“Everybody’s got stress in their lives, and I was curious to see what was being done here to alleviate that,” said Turnwald, a cashier at a Brooklyn supermarket who moved to the city about a year ago from Grand Rapids, Mich. “I just sometimes feel assaulted by the immensity of the city.”

Another therapy is “Goodoo,” where visitors are asked to direct their “healing energies” to other people by adorning voodoo dolls with ornaments like red silk flowers, light bulbs and toy guitars. The “goodoo” dolls can then be taken home.

Somewhat more seriously, or perhaps more gut-wrenching, is a piece called “The Vaccine against Violence,” in which each visitor is asked to express their urban frustrations by attacking a hooded dummy with a balloon for a head and sporting a drawing of whatever is causing the stress. (The idea was developed by Antana Mockus, former mayor of Bogota, Colombia).

Mel Bucholtz, of Boulder, Co., will be leading individuals and groups to relax and reflect on their lives through a short therapeutic hypnosis technique he refers to as “the tuning effect.”

“I think people can benefit a lot from getting a little bit of distance from noise and frenetic activity,” he said of the exhibit. “They can actually come to a place and play to do it.”

On the first day of the exhibit, in the dimly-lit basement of the building, about two dozen people were spread out in front of Bucholtz on a mat, lounging, sitting or lying down on pillows.

As Bucholtz’s soothing voice softly guided participants through the 20-minute exercise, the faintest of snores could be heard in the room, though sleep was not the intention — and Bucholtz would pleasantly ask for people to stay awake. The objective of the exercise, he explained, was to slow the conscious mind’s brainwaves and to bring people to a sense of stillness where they can “objectively observe highly charged issues.”

After the session, Dean Daderko said he was surprised by how much calmer he felt after the exercise.

“I feel like we get used to feeling perpetually overwhelmed,” said the 39-year-old who has lived in New York City since 1996. He said when he leaves the city for the countryside or beaches, he realizes how constant the stress is.

“I always describe the beach as having a pipe cleaner through my brain,” he said. “It’s like things get cleaned out there.”

Another volunteer therapist, Anna Konkle, 24, grew up in Vermont and in a small town in Massachusetts, but moved to New York City six years ago to go to acting school. She said she grew up with a mother who practiced meditation, surrounded by nature.

Though what attracted to her the city was the hubbub and lifestyle, she said it is a struggle to stay in the present and focused.

“Here, more than anywhere else, I want to go to therapy,” she said. “Here, you can easily be broken down. There is so much stimulation.”


© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Philly Mob, Once Written Off, Has Bounced Back May 28, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Just a few years ago, federal authorities thought they had the Philadelphia-area mob close to sleeping with the fishes: One boss had turned government informant, his successor was convicted of racketeering and the underworld organization seemed in disarray.

But a federal grand jury report unsealed Monday, announcing charges against the top two reputed Philadelphia mobsters and 11 others, paints a picture of La Casa Nostra as alive and well.

Its 70 pages detail an operation that has rebounded and is thriving in some of classic staples of organized crime: sports betting, electronic gambling, coded conversations and violent threats.

“Despite the clear history over the past 30 years, there are people still willing to be involved in this type of activity,” said Barry Gross, a former assistant U.S. attorney who helped bring down several city crime bosses. “These allegations seem to be in line with what they’ve always done. … It continues.”

The old-school hallmarks of organized crime are detailed in a report that reads like something straight from the big screen, replete with real-life characters who go by “Uncle Joe,” ”Mousie,” ”Bent Finger Louie” and “Sheep.”

The report outlines a structured world of bosses and underbosses, where members are “made” or “straightened out” in a ceremony where a knife and gun are displayed, and the potential member must agree to be willing to use either of them to help “our friends.” The guiding rule of this underworld is “omerta,” the code of silence, the grand jurors wrote, and the penalty for violating that code is death.

The indictment alleges that reputed mob leader Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi, reputed underboss Joseph “Mousie” Massimino and 11 others engaged in loan sharking and ran illegal gambling businesses involving video poker machines and sports bookmaking.

There are no murder charges, but authorities allege the men used threats to kill or harm people to recoup business debts.

In April 2002, for example, two of the defendants went to collect “Uncle Joe’s money” and one of them told the debtor that he was “capable of cracking” the victim if necessary, the grand jurors allege. In another instance a month later, two defendants allegedly told a victim they had repeatedly assaulted another debtor, once with a bat.

The indictment paints a picture of a classic world of coded talk, where illegal gambling machines — placed in coffee shops, restaurants and other places — are spoken of as espresso or coffee machines. Reputed mobsters and associates engage in and secret “walk and talks,” the report alleges, having covert conversations on foot to hinder interception.

“Organized crime still exists in the Philadelphia area,” George Venizelos, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia field division, said at a news conference announcing the charges. “It has not disappeared.”

That’s a different tune than authorities were singing several years back, especially after former mob boss Ralph Natale was sentenced in 2005 to 13 years in prison.

Natale is believed to be the first reigning mob boss ever to testify for federal authorities.

It 1999, Natale admitted he ordered or personally committed a total of eight murders in exchange for a shorter prison term. He later testified in four trials, including that of Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, the man investigators say succeeded him as leader. Merlino and six others were convicted of racketeering and other mob-related activities but cleared on murder and attempted murder charges.

“He helped expose it and helped eradicate the La Cosa Nostra in the Philadelphia area,” Gross said then.

In announcing the latest arrests, however, federal authorities described a revived and reinvigorated criminal enterprise that, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said, “has shown a remarkable ability to reorganize.”

Edwin J. Jacobs Jr., an attorney who has represented Merlino and other alleged mobsters in the past, said prosecutors typically talk in cycles.

“At the conclusion of a racketeering case, the government will announce that they have delivered a fatal blow to organized crime,” said Jacobs, who declined to address the latest charges specifically. “But when they indict the next case, they readily acknowledge a healthy and a vibrant and a powerful organization.”

Gross said every past prosecution has hurt La Casa Nostra significantly, but the potential for making money keeps people coming back.

“It’s about the money. It’s always about the money,” he said.

One notable absence from the indictment is actual violence, something noted by a federal magistrate at a detention hearing for Ligambi and another defendant.

A decade ago, the last big mob indictment alleged three slayings, part of a bloody period in which more than 30 people were killed in gangland violence — starting with the March 21, 1980, assassination of former crime boss Angelo Bruno.

The latest incarnation of the city’s La Cosa Nostra, authorities allege, rules based on past reputation and fear.

“What they’re banking on is fear,” federal prosecutor John S. Han said. “They don’t need to commit actual violence.”

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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FBI Wants Unabomber’s DNA for 1982 Tylenol Poisoning Probe May 21, 2011

May 19 (Bloomberg) — The FBI is seeking DNA from Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, who’s serving a life sentence for killing three people with homemade bombs, in connection with the 1982 Tylenol poisonings

Seven people in the Chicago area died, and thousands of bottles of the over-the-counter painkiller were withdrawn. The case was never solved.

Kaczynski made the disclosure in court papers in an effort to stop an auction of his belongings now in progress. It was confirmed today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“As part of our re-examination of the evidence developed in connection with the 1982 Tylenol poisonings, we have attempted to secure DNA samples from numerous individuals, including Ted Kaczynski,” the agency said today in a statement. “To date, Mr. Kaczynski has declined to voluntarily provide this sample.”

Kaczynski said in a handwritten court document that prison personnel told him the Chicago office of the FBI “wanted a sample of my DNA to compare with the partial DNA profiles connected with a 1982 event in which someone put potassium cyanide in Tylenol.”

“I have never even possessed any potassium cyanide,” wrote Kaczynski, 68, a former mathematics professor.

Kaczynski, who grew up in the Chicago area, said he refused to surrender a sample unless “the FBI would satisfy a certain condition that is not relevant here.”

DNA Request

Kacyzinski wrote that two prison officers approached him on April 27 and told him the FBI would seek a court order unless he voluntarily gave a DNA sample.

He cited the visit in his attempt to prevent the auctioning of his belongings, asking federal courts in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, to keep until his death some of the things seized from his Montana cabin when they arrested him in 1996.

He wants the government to keep all his journals, which “may provide evidence as to my whereabouts and activities in 1982,” for example.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Shelledy, who represented the government in the auction case, said in an e-mail, “We will not comment further on the investigation” Kaczynski mentioned.

In court papers responding to Kaczynski’s motion, Shelledy wrote, “Kaczynski has not been indicted” in the Tylenol case, and “no such federal prosecution is currently planned.”

Possible Evidence

Kaczynski wrote that some of the items the government is auctioning could “turn out to be important” in resolving whether he had anything to do with the poisonings.

DNA testing, he said, might cast suspicion on innocent people because 1 percent to 5 percent of Americans share partial profiles.

He also asked that everything he wrote in code be withheld from the sale, because that’s how he wrote when describing his illegal acts.

Neither court ruled on the auction, which started yesterday and will end June 2.

Kaczynski attended high school in Evergreen Park in suburban Chicago. He graduated from Harvard College, then got master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan.

Tracked and caught by the FBI, he pleaded guilty in 1998 in Sacramento, California, to 13 charges. They included allegations growing from four Sacramento-area explosions that left two men dead and accusations related to a third death, in New Jersey, the Associated Press reported at the time.

Case Still Open

The Tylenol case was being examined by grand juries in two Illinois counties in January 2010, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing people familiar with the investigation. DNA was taken from one suspect after a court order, the Tribune said.

Johnson Johnson, maker of the drug, was viewed as a “hero” for withdrawing 31 million bottles of Tylenol and offering replacements in tablet form, which was safer, according to the New York Times.

Bill Price, a JJ spokesman, declined to comment in an e- mail today.

–With assistance from Michael Riley in Washington. Editors: Charles Carter, Andrew Dunn.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

© Copyright 2011 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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Somethings Make Your Day: This is One of Them… April 7, 2011


Bruce Fein, a former Reagan administration official in the Department of Justice and chairman of American Freedom Agenda writes in his 15-page argument of Obama’s course that “Barack Hussein Obama has mocked the rule of law, endangered the very existence of the Republic and the liberties of the people, and perpetrated an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”


RESOLVED, That Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following article of impeachment to be exhibited to the Senate:



In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has usurped the exclusive power of Congress to initiate war under Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the United States Constitution by unilaterally commencing war against the Republic of Libya on March 19, 2011, declaring that Congress is powerless to constrain his conduct of the war, and claiming authority in the future to commence war unilaterally to advance whatever he ordains is in the national interest. By so doing and declaring, Barack Hussein Obama has mocked the rule of law, endangered the very existence of the Republic and the liberties of the people, and perpetrated an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor as hereinafter elaborated.


1. Article II, Section IV of the United States Constitution provides: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

2. According to James Madison’s Records of the Convention, 2:550; Madison, 8 Sept., Mr. George Mason objected to an initial proposal to confine impeachable offenses to treason or bribery:

Why is the provision restrained to Treason & bribery only? Treason as defined in the Constitution will not reach many great and dangerous offences. Hastings is not guilty of Treason. Attempts to subvert the Constitution may not be Treason as above defined–As bills of attainder which have saved the British Constitution are forbidden, it is the more necessary to extend: the power of impeachments.

3. Delegates to the Federal Convention voted overwhelmingly to include “high crimes and misdemeanors” in Article II, Section IV of the United States Constitution specifically to ensure that “attempts to subvert the Constitution” would fall within the universe of impeachable offences. Id.

4. Alexander Hamilton, a delegate to the Federal Convention, characterized impeachable offenses in Federalist 65 as, “offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the violation or abuse of some public trust. They are of a nature which with peculiar propriety may be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done to society itself.”

5. In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of impeachment against then President Richard M. Nixon for actions “subversive of constitutional government.”

6. Father of the Constitution, James Madison, observed that, “Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other…. War is the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.”

7. James Madison also instructed that “no nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

8. The exclusive congressional power to commence war under Article I, section VIII, clause XI of the Constitution is the pillar of the Republic and the greatest constitutional guarantor of individual liberty, transparency, and government frugality.


9. Article I, Section VIII, Clause XI of the United States Constitution provides: “The Congress shall have the power … To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

10. Article II, Section II, Clause I of the United States Constitution provides: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”

11. The authors of the United States Constitution manifestly intended Article I, Section VIII, Clause XI to fasten exclusive responsibility and authority on the Congress to decide whether to undertake offensive military action.

12. The authors of the United States Constitution believed that individual liberty and the Republic would be endangered by fighting too many wars, not too few.

13. The authors of the United States Constitution understood that to aggrandize power and to leave a historical legacy, the executive in all countries chronically inflates danger manifold to justify warfare.

14. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, in Federalist 4 noted:

[A]bsolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans. These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.

15. Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 69 that the president’s Commander-in-Chief authority

…would be nominally the same with that of the King of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first general and admiral of the confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war, and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies; all which by the constitution under consideration would appertain to the Legislature.

16. In a written exchange with Alexander Hamilton under the pseudonym Helvidius, James Madison wrote:

In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. Beside the objection to such a mixture to heterogeneous powers, the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man; not such as nature may offer as the prodigy of many centuries, but such as may be expected in the ordinary successions of magistracy. War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. In war, the public treasures are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war, the honours and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered, and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honourable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.

17. James Madison also wrote as Helvidius to Alexander Hamilton:

Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges, whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded. They are barred from the latter functions by a great principle in free government, analogous to that which separates the sword from the purse, or the power of executing from the power of enacting laws.

18. On June 29, 1787, at the Federal Convention, James Madison explained that an executive crowned with war powers invites tyranny and the reduction of citizens to vassalage:

In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

19. In a letter dated April 4, 1798, James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson:

The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, & most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature. But the Doctrines lately advanced strike at the root of all these provisions, and will deposit the peace of the Country in that Department which the Constitution distrusts as most ready without cause to renounce it. For if the opinion of the President not the facts & proofs themselves are to sway the judgment of Congress, in declaring war, and if the President in the recess of Congress create a foreign mission, appoint the minister, & negociate a War Treaty, without the possibility of a check even from the Senate, untill the measures present alternatives overruling the freedom of its judgment; if again a Treaty when made obliges the Legislature to declare war contrary to its judgment, and in pursuance of the same doctrine, a law declaring war, imposes a like moral obligation, to grant the requisite supplies until it be formally repealed with the consent of the President & Senate, it is evident that the people are cheated out of the best ingredients in their Government, the safeguards of peace which is the greatest of their blessings.

20. During the Pennsylvania Convention to ratify the Constitution, James Wilson, a future Justice of the United States Supreme Court, observed:

This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large: this declaration must he made with the concurrence of the House of Representatives: from this circumstance we may draw a certain conclusion that nothing but our national interest can draw us into a war.

21. In 1793, President George Washington, who presided over the Federal Convention, wrote to South Carolina Governor William Moultrie in regards to a prospective counter-offensive against the American Indian Creek Nation: “The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress, therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”

22. President Thomas Jefferson, who served as Secretary of State under President Washington, in a statement before Congress regarding Tripoli and the Barbary Pirates, deemed himself “unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense.” He amplified: “I communicate [to the Congress] all material information on this subject, that in the exercise of this important function confided by the Constitution to the Legislature exclusively their judgment may form itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstance of weight.”

23. In a message to Congress in December, 1805 regarding potential military action to resolve a border dispute with Spain, President Thomas Jefferson acknowledged that “Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force.” He requested Congressional authorization for offensive military action, even short of war, elaborating:

Formal war is not necessary—it is not probable it will follow; but the protection of our citizens, the spirit and honor of our country, require that force should be interposed to a certain degree. It will probably contribute to advance the object of peace.

But the course to be pursued will require the command of means which it belongs to Congress exclusively to yield or deny. To them I communicate every fact material for their information, and the documents necessary to enable them to judge for themselves. To their wisdom, then, I look for the course I am to pursue; and will pursue, with sincere zeal, that which they shall approve.

24. In his War Message to Congress on June 1, 1812, President James Madison reaffirmed that the shift in language from make to declare in Article I, Section VIII, Clause XI of the United States Constitution authorized at the Constitutional convention did not empower the Executive to involve the United States military in any action aside from defense against an overt attack. Although President Madison was convinced that Great Britain had undertaken acts of war against the United States, he nevertheless maintained that he could not respond with military force without congressional authorization. He proclaimed:

We behold, in fine, on the side of Great Britain, a state of war against the United States, and on the side of the United States a state of peace toward Great Britain.

Whether the United States shall continue passive under these progressive usurpations and these accumulating wrongs, or, opposing force to force in defense of their national rights, shall commit a just cause into the hands of the Almighty Disposer of Events, avoiding all connections which might entangle it in the contest or views of other powers, and preserving a constant readiness to concur in an honorable re-establishment of peace and friendship, is a solemn question which the Constitution wisely confides to the legislative department of the Government. In recommending it to their early deliberations I am happy in the assurance that the decision will be worthy the enlightened and patriotic councils of a virtuous, a free, and a powerful nation.

25. In his Records of the Convention, 2:318; Madison, 17 Aug., James Madison wrote that the power “To declare war” had been vested in the Congress in lieu of the power “To make war” to leave to the Executive “the power to repel sudden attacks.”

26. Mr. Elbridge Gerry “never expected to hear in a republic a motion to empower the Executive alone to declare war,” but still moved with Mr. Madison “to insert declare—in place of make” in Article I, Section VIII, Clause XI. Id.

27. Mr. George Mason was against “giving the power of war to the Executive, because not safely to be trusted with it; or to the Senate, because not so constructed as to be entitled to it. He was for clogging rather than facilitating war; but for facilitating peace.” Yet Mr. Mason “preferred declare to make.” Id.

28. Mr. Roger Sherman “thought [the proposal] stood very well. The Executive shd. be able to repel and not to commence war.” Id.

29. Delegates to the Federal Convention overwhelmingly approved the motion to insert “declare—in place of make,” to deny the Executive power to initiate military action, but to permit the Executive to repel sudden attacks unilaterally. Id.

30. Then Congressman Abraham Lincoln sermonized:

Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose — and you allow him to make war at pleasure…. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much as you propose. If, to-day, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, “I see no probability of the British invading us” but he will say to you “be silent; I see it, if you don’t.”

The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood.

31. Crowning the President with unilateral authority to commence war under the banner of anticipatory self-defense, prevention of civilian slaughters, gender discrimination, subjugation of ethnic or religious minorities, or otherwise would empower the President to initiate war without limit, threatening the very existence of the Republic. Although a benevolent Chief Executive might resist abuse of an unlimited war power, the principle, if ever accepted by Congress, would lie around like a loaded weapon ready for use by any successor craving absolute power.

32. Thomas Paine justly and rightly declared in Common Sense that “in America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”

33. Article 43 Paragraph 3 of the Charter of the United Nations provides that all resolutions or agreements of the United Nations Security Counsel “shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.”

34. Article 43 Paragraph 3 of Charter of the United Nations was included specifically to allay concerns that prevented the United States of America from ratifying the League of Nations Treaty in 1919.

35. That treaty risked crowning the President with the counter-constitutional authority to initiate warfare. On November 19, 1919, in Section II of his Reservations with Regard to Ratification of the Versailles Treaty, to preserve the balance of power established by the United States Constitution from executive usurpation, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge resolved as follows:

The United States assumes no obligation to preserve the territorial integrity or political independence of any other country or to interfere in controversies between nations — whether members of the League or not — under the provisions of Article 10, or to employ the military or naval forces of the United States under any article of the treaty for any purpose, unless in any particular case the Congress, which, under the Constitution, has the sole power to declare war or authorize the employment of the military or naval forces of the United States, shall by act or joint resolution so provide.

The rejection of Lodge’s reservations by President Woodrow Wilson and his Senate allies insured defeat of the treaty.

36. Section 2(c) of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 clarifies Presidential authority to undertake military action as follows:

The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

37. In United States v. Smith, 27 F. Cas. 1192 (1806), Supreme Court Justice William Paterson, a delegate to the Federal Convention from New Jersey, wrote on behalf of a federal circuit court:

There is a manifest distinction between our going to war with a nation at peace, and a war being made against us by an actual invasion, or a formal declaration. In the former case it is the exclusive province of Congress to change a state of peace into a state of war.

38. In Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U.S. 258, 267 (1890), the Supreme Court of the United States held:

The treaty power, as expressed in the Constitution, is in terms unlimited except by those restraints which are found in that instrument against the action of the government or of its departments, and those arising from the nature of the government itself and of that of the States. It would not be contended that it extends so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids, or a change in the character of the government, or in that of one of the States, or a cession of any portion of the territory of the latter, without its consent.

39. In his concurrence in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 642-643 (1952), which rebuked President Harry Truman’s claim of unilateral war powers in the Korean War, Justice Robert Jackson elaborated:

Nothing in our Constitution is plainer than that declaration of a war is entrusted only to Congress. Of course, a state of war may in fact exist without a formal declaration. But no doctrine that the Court could promulgate would seem to me more sinister and alarming than that a President whose conduct of foreign affairs is so largely uncontrolled, and often even is unknown, can vastly enlarge his mastery over the internal affairs of the country by his own commitment of the Nation’s armed forces to some foreign venture.

40. All treaties are subservient to the exclusive congressional power to commence war. In Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 18 (1957), the United States Supreme Court held:

There is nothing in [the Constitution’s text] which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification of the Constitution which even suggests such a result.

41. Unconstitutional usurpations by one branch of government of powers entrusted to a coequal branch are not rendered constitutional by repetition. The United States Supreme Court held unconstitutional hundreds of laws enacted by Congress over the course of five decades that included a legislative veto of executive actions in INS v. Chada, 462 U.S. 919 (1982).

42. In their dissent in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004), Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia recognized the “Founders’ general distrust of military power lodged with the President, including the authority to commence war:

No fewer than 10 issues of the Federalist were devoted in whole or part to allaying fears of oppression from the proposed Constitution’s authorization of standing armies in peacetime. Many safeguards in the Constitution reflect these concerns. Congress’s authority “[t]o raise and support Armies” was hedged with the proviso that “no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years.” U.S. Const., Art. 1, §8, cl. 12. Except for the actual command of military forces, all authorization for their maintenance and all explicit authorization for their use is placed in the control of Congress under Article I, rather than the President under Article II. As Hamilton explained, the President’s military authority would be “much inferior” to that of the British King… (Citing Federalist 69, Supra.)

43. On December 20, 2007, then Senator Hillary Clinton proclaimed: “The President has the solemn duty to defend our Nation. If the country is under truly imminent threat of attack, of course the President must take appropriate action to defend us. At the same time, the Constitution requires Congress to authorize war. I do not believe that the President can take military action — including any kind of strategic bombing — against Iran without congressional authorization.”

44. Then Senator Joseph Biden stated in a speech at the Iowa City Public Library in 2007 regarding potential military action in Iran that unilateral action by the President would be an impeachable offense under the Constitution:

It is precisely because the consequences of war – intended or otherwise – can be so profound and complicated that our Founding Fathers vested in Congress, not the President, the power to initiate war, except to repel an imminent attack on the United States or its citizens.

They reasoned that requiring the President to come to Congress first would slow things down… allow for more careful decision making before sending Americans to fight and die… and ensure broader public support.

The Founding Fathers were, as in most things, profoundly right.

That’s why I want to be very clear: if the President takes us to war with Iran without Congressional approval, I will call for his impeachment.

I do not say this lightly or to be provocative. I am dead serious. I have chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. I still teach constitutional law. I’ve consulted with some of our leading constitutional scholars. The Constitution is clear. And so am I.

I’m saying this now to put the administration on notice and hopefully to deter the President from taking unilateral action in the last year of his administration.

If war is warranted with a nation of 70 million people, it warrants coming to Congress and the American people first.

45. In a speech on the Senate Floor in 1998, then Senator Joseph Biden maintained: “…the only logical conclusion is that the framers [of the United States Constitution] intended to grant to Congress the power to initiate all hostilities, even limited wars.”

46. On December 20, 2007, then Senator Barack Obama informed the Boston Globe, based upon his extensive knowledge of the United States Constitution: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”


47. President Barack Obama’s military attacks against Libya constitute acts of war.

48. Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-4) had the following exchange with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates during a March 31, 2011 House Armed Services Committee Hearing on the legality of the present military operation in Libya:

Congressman Forbes: Mr. Secretary, if tomorrow a foreign nation intentionally, for whatever reason, launched a Tomahawk missile into New York City, would that be considered an act of war against the United States?

Secretary Gates: Probably so.

Congressman Forbes: Then I would assume the same laws would apply if we launched a Tomahawk missile at another nation—is that also true?

Secretary Gates: You’re getting into constitutional law here and I am no expert on it.

Congressman Forbes: Mr. Secretary, you’re the Secretary of Defense. You ought to be an expert on what’s an act of war or not. If it’s an act of war to launch a Tomahawk missile on New York City would it not also be an act of war to launch a Tomahawk missile by us at another nation?

Secretary Gates: Presumably.

49. Since the passage of United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 on March 19, 2011, the United States has detonated over 200 tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and 455 precision-guided bombs on Libyan soil.

50. Libya posed no actual or imminent threat to the United States when President Obama unleashed Operation Odyssey Dawn.

51. On March 27, 2011, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that Libya never posed an “actual or imminent threat to the United States.” He further stated that Libya has never constituted a “vital interest” to the United States.

52. United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 directs an indefinite United States military quagmire in Libya, authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians, which clearly contemplates removal by force of the murderous regime of Col. Muammar Qadhafi.

53. In a Letter From the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate sent March 21, 2011, President Barack Obama informed Members of Congress that “U.S. forces have targeted the Qadhafi regime’s air defense systems, command and control structures, and other capabilities of Qadhafi’s armed forces used to attack civilians and civilian populated areas. We will seek a rapid, but responsible, transition of operations to coalition, regional, or international organizations that are postured to continue activities as may be necessary to realize the objectives of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.”

54. In his March 21, 2011 letter, President Barack Obama further informed Members of Congress that he opted to take unilateral military action “…in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.”

55. President Barack Obama has usurped congressional authority to decide on war or peace with Libya, and has declared he will persist in additional usurpations of the congressional power to commence war whenever he decrees it would advance his idea of the national interest. On March 28, 2011, he declared to Congress and the American people: “I have made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies, and our core interests” (emphasis added).

56. President Obama’s humanitarian justification for war in Libya establishes a threshold that would justify his initiation of warfare in scores of nations around the globe, including Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Myanmar, China, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Cuba, and Russia.

57. In Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928), Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote on behalf of a majority of the United States Supreme Court:

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.

58. President Barack Obama has signed an order, euphemistically named a “Presidential Finding,” authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, further entangling the United States in the Libyan conflict, despite earlier promises of restraint. Truth is invariably the first casualty of war.

59. In response to questions by Members of Congress during a classified briefing on March 30, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that the President needs no Congressional authorization for his attack on the Libyan nation, and will ignore any Congressional attempt by resolution or otherwise to constrain or halt United States participation in the Libyan war.

60. On March 30, 2011, by persistent silence or otherwise, Secretary Clinton rebuffed congressional inquiries into President Obama’s view of the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution of 1973. She failed to cite a single judicial decision in support of President Obama’s recent actions, relying instead on the undisclosed legal opinions of White House attorneys.

61. President Barack Obama, in flagrant violation of his constitutional oath to execute his office as President of the United States and preserve and protect the United States Constitution, has usurped the exclusive authority of Congress to authorize the initiation of war, in that on March 19, 2011 President Obama initiated an offensive military attack against the Republic of Libya without congressional authorization. In so doing, President Obama has arrested the rule of law, and saluted a vandalizing of the Constitution that will occasion ruination of the Republic, the crippling of individual liberty, and a Leviathan government unless the President is impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office by the Senate.

In all of this, President Barack Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Coffee Talk!

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Canada holds Somalia ‘terror’ man March 30, 2011

Somali Islamist group al-Shabab has been linked to al-Qaeda

Canadian authorities have arrested a man accused of seeking to travel to Somalia to join a militant group.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, was stopped at Toronto Pearson airport on Tuesday, Canadian police said in a statement.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said he was bound for Cairo, then Somalia.

He planned to join al-Shabab, which the US and Canada consider a terror group, and “participate in their terrorist activities”, police said.

The man was charged under federal law with attempting to participate in terrorist activity and with providing counsel to a person to participate in such activity, police said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said he would be identified when charges are formally laid in court on Wednesday.

Anti-terror police began investigating him in October, and arrested him without incident after learning he planned to travel to Somali to link up with al-Shabab, police said.

“The RCMP plays a critical role in the fight against global terrorism, and this investigation is an example of our dedication to this important cause,” Inspector Keith Finn said.

“We will continue to work with partners to eliminate terrorist criminal activity in Canada and abroad.”

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“Dangerous” book destroyed in US… September 27, 2010

Tags: Commentary, books, Politics, Pentagon, World
Dmitry Borisov
27.09.2010, 16:22

The Pentagon of the United States has bought and trashed all the 9,500 copies of the book on secret military operations in Afghanistan. It has become the first case when any ministry or department was so anxious to destroy the entire edition of the book. This seems archaic, to say the least, in our informational epoch.

The memoirs, entitled Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan and the Path to Victory, were written by a former military intelligence agent, retired Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer. The book was expected to be released on September 24th, before the Pentagon ordered to destroy all the copies. Anthony Shaffer himself does not think his memoirs disclose any dangerous information, unlike the U.S. military. A Pentagon spokesperson said they could harm national security, after over 200 fragments containing secret information were found in the book, including the description of secret operations, activities of the CIA and the National Security Agency.

Numerous words and whole paragraphs have been sponged out from the original text throughout the book’s 299 pages, substantially reducing its size and making it senseless to print the rest. Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer said that “buying 10,000 books to suppress a story in this digital age is ludicrous”. It is clear that the original story has already leaked into the web, Director General of the Effective Policy Foundation Kirill Tanayev said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

Indeed, it is next to impossible to limit the spread of information throughout the Internet, which is true not only for the United States, but also for Russia, Europe and Asia. In compliance with the widely accepted practice, any country, Russia among them, may curb this spread only amid a counter-terrorist operation or ongoing terrorist attacks. In most cases, the military decide what information can be disclosed, which may produce lawlessness.”

The American military pledged to pay Antony Shaffer for his work, after people refused to buy the incomplete book. Meanwhile, one of the salesmen at the eBay auction says he is ready to sell the unedited book for $2,000. The number of similar proposals is very likely to increase in the nearest future.

The scandal around Shaffer’s book burst out following the monumental leak of classified Afghan war documents, released by WikiLeaks in July. The Pentagon urged the return of all documents and the destruction of their copies, but the website’s owners not only refused to do this, but are said to be preparing a series of new exposures. Once the information spreads throughout the web, it becomes indestructible, and the countdown has therefore begun for the appearance of the book’s copies.

Coffee Talk!

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I Am Detained By The Feds For Not Answering Questions…

I Am Detained By The Feds For Not Answering Questions:

Very interesting true story of a man who came home from China and the trouble he had with American border crossing…

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