I SPENT 18 years in prison for robbery and murder, 14 of them on death row. I’ve been free since 2003, exonerated after evidence covered up by prosecutors surfaced just weeks before my execution date. Those prosecutors were never punished. Last month, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 to overturn a case I’d won against them and the district attorney who oversaw my case, ruling that they were not liable for the failure to turn over that evidence — which included proof that blood at the robbery scene wasn’t mine.
Chilling story at the NY Times.
From the NY Times (mind the paywall):
On Valentine’s Day, the elder Mr. Engle said, his son had entered a minimum-security prison in Beaver, W.Va., to begin serving a 21-month sentence for mortgage fraud. He then proceeded to tell me the tale of how federal agents nabbed his son — a tale he backed up with reams of documents and records that suggest, if nothing else, that when the federal government is truly motivated, there is no mountain it won’t move to prosecute someone it wants to nail. And it was definitely motivated to nail Charlie Engle.
Mr. Engle’s is a tale worth telling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its punch line. Was Mr. Engle convicted of running a crooked subprime company? Was he a mortgage broker who trafficked in predatory loans? A Wall Street huckster who sold toxic assets?
No. Charlie Engle wasn’t a seller of bad mortgages. He was a borrower. And the “mortgage fraud” for which he was prosecuted was something that literally millions of Americans did during the subprime bubble. Supposedly, he lied on two liar loans.
Woman sees man undressed in his own home: man gets arrested for indecent exposure (woman is the victim)
Man sees woman undressed in her own home: man gets arrested for voyeurism (woman is the victim)
Woman (of age) has sex with her father: man gets arrested for incest (woman is the victim)
Man emotionally baits woman by appealing to her basic emotional needs then uses that emotional leverage to get money:Woman is being exploited
Woman emotionally baits man by appealing to his basic emotional needs then uses that emotional leverage to get money:Woman is being exploited
the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record. In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki’s father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims. That’s not surprising: both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality. But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”: in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.
But late Friday afternoon, the Obama DOJ filed the government’s first response to EFF’s lawsuit (.pdf), the first of its kind to seek damages against government officials under FISA, the Wiretap Act and other statutes, arising out of Bush’s NSA program. But the Obama DOJ demanded dismissal of the entire lawsuit based on (1) its Bush-mimicking claim that the “state secrets” privilege bars any lawsuits against the Bush administration for illegal spying, and (2) a brand new “sovereign immunity” claim of breathtaking scope — never before advanced even by the Bush administration — that the Patriot Act bars any lawsuits of any kind for illegal government surveillance unless there is “willful disclosure” of the illegally intercepted communications.
In other words, beyond even the outrageously broad “state secrets” privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and — even if what they’re doing is blatantly illegal and they know it’s illegal — you are barred from suing them unless they “willfully disclose” to the public what they have learned.
Idiots spout idiotic things, either though willful ignorance or just malfeasance.
Either way, the Wikileaks FAQ is there to help shut them up.
What news organizations have access to the diplomatic cables and how did they get them?
According to the Associated Press, Wikileaks gave four news organizations (Le Monde, El Pais, The Guardian and Der Spiegel) all 251,287 classified documents. The Guardian subsequently shared their trove with The New York Times.
So have all 251,287 documents been released to the public?
No. Each of the five news organizations is hosting the text of at least some of the documents in various forms with or without the relevant metadata (country of origin, classification level, reference ID). The Guardian and Der Spiegel have performed analyses of the metadata of the entire trove, excluding the body text. The Guardian’s analysis is available for download from its website.
Wikileaks itself has released (as of 1:06pm on 7 December 2010) 1095 documents out of the total 251,287. The Associated Press has reported that Wikileaks is only releasing cables in coordination with the actions of the five selected news organizations. Julian Assange made similar statements in an interview with Guardian readers on 3 December 2010. Cables are being released daily as the five news organizations publish articles related to the content.
Who is responsible for redacting the documents? What actions did Wikileaks take to ensure that individuals were not put in danger by publication of the documents?
According to the Associated Press and statements released by Wikileaks and Julian Assange, Wikileaks is currently relying on the expertise of the five news organizations to redact the cables as they are released, and is following their redactions as it releases the documents on its website. (This cannot be verified without examining the original documents, which we have not done — nor are we linking to them here.) According to the BBC, Julian Assange approached the US State Department for guidance on redacting the documents prior to their release. One can imagine the dilemma for the Department there: assist and risk legitimating the enterprise; don’t assist and risk poor redaction. In a public letter, Harold Koh, legal adviser to the Department of State, declined to assist the organization and demanded the return of the documents.