Good evening, let's kick things off with Democracy Now!
Lawyers For Terror Suspects Plan Legal Challenges Over Wiretaps
The New York Times is reporting defense lawyers for several Muslim men detained for alleged ties to Al Qaeda plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the government used illegal wiretaps against them. Two weeks ago, the Times revealed the Bush administration has authorized eavesdropping on Americans and foreign nationals within the United States without court orders.
The challenges would affect some of the biggest terrorism cases in the country. Several lawyers said they intend to press the government on whether prosecutors misled the courts about the origins of their investigations and whether the government may have withheld wiretaps that could prove their clients' innocence. Meanwhile, Justice Department prosecutors told the Times they were concerned the wiretaps could create problems for past and future terrorism cases. One prosecutor said: "If I'm a defense attorney, the first thing I'm going to say in court is, 'This was an illegal wiretap.' "
Wire taps that were illegal, unconstitutional, and a felony for the Bully Boy are now going to hurt their "terror" convictions. Everything he touches turns to crap.
Enron Accountant To Testify Against Former Top Execs
In other news, the former chief accountant for the scandal-plagued energy corporation Enron has reached a plea deal that will see him testify against two of the company’s top former executives. Richard Causey will appear in a Houston court today to plead guilty to at least one of the dozens of criminal charges against him. In return for leniency, Causey will testify against Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling. Causey is the 16th former Enron executive to reach a plea bargain. He was expected to stand trial alongside Lay and Skilling next month. Enron's collapse in 2001 ended the jobs of more than 5,000 workers and decimated the retirement savings of millions of investors.
No wonder they can't catch Osama, it's four years later and they still haven't put Ken Lay behind bars. That's how it goes for all of Bully Boy's friends, the Lays, the bin Ladens, go down the list.
Now be sure to check out Elaine's site Like Maria Said Paz and besides both noting Democracy Now!, we're also both noting something that C.I. passed on from community member Bonnie.
This is from DC Indymedia, "Support GI Resister Katherine Jashinski Now!:"
"…if there's anything I could be guilty of, it is my beliefs. I am guilty of believing this war is illegal. I'm guilty of believing war in all forms is immoral and useless, and I am guilty of believing that as a service member I have a duty to refuse to participate in this war because it is illegal,"
On December 6, 2004, Pablo Paredes refused to board the war-bound USS Bonhomme Richard leaving from San Diego,CA. Facing charges of "Missing Movement" and "Unauthorized Absence" Pablo was court martialed on May 11, 2005 for refusing to fight in a war, he challenged, was illegal.
Pablo Paredes' court martial on May 11th, 2005 at the San Diego, California Naval Base was one of the motivations for a nationwide Day of Action to Support GI Resisters called for by Courage to Resist on May 10th and taken up by dozens of groups across the nation!
Pablo's court martial in San Diego turned out to be an enormous political victory for Pablo and his supporters. Many creative actions in and outside the courtroom were mounted in Pablo's defense. From brilliant testimony in court by witnesses and attorneys, to nightly political and cultural events, the mobilization around Pablo's case was truly inspirational! Photos
Due the strong legal case put forward as well as nationwide political pressure, Pablo Paredes was sentenced to no jail time for his act of courageous resistance. He was convicted of "Missing Movement" for failure to board ship with his unit, and sentenced to two months restriction, three months hard labor without confinement, and reduction in rank to E-1. In early October, ten months to the day after he refused to board the war-bound USS Bonhomme Richard, and some 9 months before the scheduled expiration of his active duty obligation, Pablo Paredes is once again a civilian! On October 4, he completed his court martial sentence, and on October 6, he was discharged. Pablo is continuing his legal battle with the Armed Services, and his lawyers are currently challenging the Navy's rejection of Pablo's request for Conscientious Objector status in the Federal Court system.
For more information on Pablo Paredes and the history of his case
Here's a thought I had, you know how you see people wearing t-shirts of Che? Maybe we should be wearing some t-shirts of our modern heroes? Like we could wear a t-shirt with Pablo's picture on it. Or maybe a t-shirt of Camilo Mejia? Or maybe Medea Benjamin or Naomi Klein or anybody making a difference today like Amy Goodman?
That's not to take anything away from Che but I got lots of t-shirts, I don't just wear one, you know?
Pablo Paredes stood up to the Bully Boy's war machine and the propaganda. C.I. noted the DC Indymedia story this morning. (And Wally saw it and beat me to noting it! Burn! :D) Right now you got someone else taking a brave stand, Katherine Jashinski. She's got the Courage to Resist and you can have it to by signing up for alerts. They do a monthly newsletter by e-mail. There's no charge for it. So go sign up because you know ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox and PBS won't be telling you anything about it. It's real easy, you just put in your e-mail address and you get a confirmation e-mail and you reply. It's as easy as that. So think about doing it and if you can't think of a good reason for not doing it, then do it. (I did.)
And did you see C.I. this morning? Talking about Timothy Egan's "Police Forces, Their Ranks Thin, Offer Bonuses, Bounties and More"? Police departments need recruits and guess what?
Guess who won't let them recruit?
At some military bases, commanders will not even allow police recruiters on the grounds, for fear that they will steal troops who might otherwise re-enlist, said Lt. Mike Barletta of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
That's interesting, isn't it? They're suing universities for not letting them recuirt and they won't let police recruiters come on some military bases? Hypocrisy, that's what Bully Boy has brought America.
Betty's finished her latest chapter. It's about Thomas Friedman's imposed vacation and it's called "The Prig of Paxil." So check that out. And Tony asked me to note Danny Schechter's "The News About the News: More Media Decline in 2005:"
Perhaps it's just me-but news seems to be coming our way faster and with a greater fury than ever before. A tsunami of "Breaking News" bulletins courses through the veins and ganglia of what passes for an information system. A corporate news system pumps it on more platforms dedicated to "more news in less time" on the web, on TV, on the radio, and now on the phone. It's hard to escape the deluge.
Before we have time to digest it, or understand any story's implications, it's on to the next, making it more and more difficult to focus on any one item or connect it with another. The author Larry Beinhart of "Wag the Dog" fame speaks of the proliferation of "fog facts" in which important information systematically disappears from view.
No wonder a paralysis of analysis has set in with "on message" spin machines making it harder and harder for us to assess trends objectively, construct meaning or let us think for ourselves. Rather than inform, much of the news often disinforms distorts and deceives. Rather than strengthen our society by talking truth to power, our media system increasingly undermines democracy by making a civil discourse harder and harder to practice. The loud-mouthed partisans in the punditocracy turn substantive debate into noise. Heat, not light, proliferates.
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