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09 August 2010

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eakens

does anybody know anything about the "calendar committee" might be a better question...

Kathleen

Wonder if this case will be dismissed like the 9 time delayed Aipac (Rosen/Weissman) espionage trial was dismissed. Silence in our MSm about this and the Nozette case.

They were all over the alleged Russian spies story. Not a peep out of the so called liberal Rachel Maddow, keith Olbermann etc about this investigation

DanM

http://www.buffalo.edu/UBT/UBT-archives/31_ubtw06/alumni_profiles/friedman.html

Cornell undergrad, then SUNY Buffalo for his JD. Interesting that he worked 20 years for White & Case in DC before being named to the bench by Clinton in 1994. I get the feeling he worked on a lot of "white collar" crime stuff for White & Case.

William R. Cumming

Given the CIPA filing suspect this case will be dismissed.

J

Colonel,

Bad news, it appears that Judge Paul L. Friedman is a pro-Israeli judge on the federal bench, and whom pro-Israeli/neocon prosecutors use in their 'judge shopping' on cases that the pro-Israel crowd wants either faded away or put down a dark hole out of sight/out of mind.

With Friedman, I don't look for a pro-U.S. outcome in the Nozette case.

Patrick Lang

WRC

Yup pl

johnf

Hassan Nasrullah has announced at his press conference that Hezbollah can intercept the signals of Israel's spy planes.

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/08/nasrallahs-press-conference_09.html

samuelburke

so whats the best the americans got in the face of traitorous acts being dismissed by a hostile lobby.

yup, ok, thats the way the cookie crumbles i guess.

Hannah K. O'Luthon

Dear Colonel Lang,

This post is completely off topic, except as another example of an investigation into Israeli intelligence activity. However, it does, I think, merit commentary by more competent observers.

The live broadcast of Hezbollah leader Hasran Nasrallah's press conference in Beirut last night on PressTV, the Iranian English language network, was, to say the least, an impressive performance: Here's a link url=http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=138064&sectionid=351020203] Nasrallah exhibited what he claimed was intercepted video trasmissions from Israeli surveillance drones flying over Lebanon in the period before the Hariri assassination. Without ranting and raving, he gave a detailed and plausible (to me at least) interpretation of that video footage as a preparation for an (Israeli) assassination attempt on Hariri. He also "outed" an Israeli informer in the Hezbollah ranks. In my view, Nasrallah scored a propaganda coup. I suspect that my view will be widely shared in the Middle East, although I fully expect the story to fall into the mainstream media memory hole in the West.
Neeedless to say, none of this is to be taken as a 100% endorsement of the veracity of Nasrallah's assertions, but rather as an appreciation of what seemed to me to be a masterfully effective presentation of the Hezbollah point of view. Whether or not revelation of this breach of Israeli communications security was a wise move militarily is another question, already addressed by Nasrallah during the question period following his speech. All of this is, of course, maneuvering in view of the forthcoming report of the U.N. commission investigating the Hariri assassination. Nasrallah was openly (and I would say understandably) skeptical about the objectivity of that commission. It seems to me that Nasrallah has tossed considerable new meat into the Hariri fire, and I would enjoy seeking it chewed upon by experts. (Indeed, the Nasrallah speech might merit a separate thread, but that, of course, is your decision, as is that of deciding whether or not this "off topic" comment merits the attention of your readers.)

Sidney O. Smith III

WRC

After reading your comments consistently at SST and also your cv at your website, it has dawned on me that no one on planet earth knows more about the nuances of regulations and laws that arise out of USG than you. You took civil service to an art form and my guess is that in the years to come, it will be important for people to know that someone like you worked for the USG.

I tell you that for the following reason. I sometimes think there is a way to curtail the impact of CIPA in an espionage case. (probably too late in Nozette case).

I discussed this idea with a lawyer far smarter than I, and she said, “why not?”. But neither of us know this aspect of federal law as well as you do. No where close. But we both have experience (former prosecutors) from which this idea originates.

I even considering contacting some people at the USDOJ and give them the idea but then I thought to myself, “Why help out those people?”

You know what I mean? I don’t see a whole lot of evidence that the USDOJ is representing the people of the US anymore. Am I right or wrong?

Stuart Wood

Col. Lang,
Have you ever read David Kaiser (historian at the Naval War College)? I am attaching his article/comments for your read (if interested)? I am always interested in your views on our societies condition.

Stuart R. Wood

Anger
By David Kaiser
(historian, Naval War College, Portsmouth, RI)
A Fourth Turning or Crisis inevitably has a large emotional component. We cannot say exactly why accumulated anger seems to burst forth every eighty years or so in modern societies, but we have seen it happen again and again, beginning with the American and especially the French Revolution in the late 18th century, and continuing through episodes like the Paris Commune and its violent suppression in 1870-1, the American Civil War, and even, perhaps, the great Indian Mutiny of 1857. In crises like the French and Russian Revolutions the violence becomes organized terror, leaving a terrible legacy behind. In the American Civil War and the much briefer German wars of the 1860s and 1870-1 the violence generally remained organized and military. One of Franklin Roosevelt's many great achievements was to channel American anger in productive directions between 1933 and 1945--first, against poverty and distress itself, then against the corporate interests that stood in his way, and finally against violently expansionist regimes abroad. Unfortunately we have not found such useful outlets during our current crisis.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove were certainly three very angry individuals indeed, and they intuitively seem to have sensed the anger in the country at large into which they could tap. 9/11 allowed Bush to mobilize the country to undertake vast imperial adventures in South Asia and the Middle East, even though the logic behind them clearly left a great deal to be desired--and even though he never caught the man actually responsible for the deaths of 3000 Americans on that day. Rove and Bush also cleverly mobilized peoples' anger over abortion and gay rights, while at the same time Fox News and Clear Channel stirred anger against bicoastal elites 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All that was enough to increase Bush's popular vote significantly and win a narrow re-election in 2004. Then, however, a series of disasters, culminating in the economic crash of 2007-8, turned the nation's anger largely against him, and swept Democratic majorities and Barack Obama into office. Still, the anger against Muslims persists, as illustrated by the disgraceful controversy over the mosque near ground zero. Republicans now talking about amending the 14th Amendment to do away with birthright citizenship may eventually propose inserting "except Islam" into the 1st Amendment.

I have now come to believe that Barack Obama, that calm, measured, intelligent man who never loses his temper, would have been a much more effective President in fifteen or twenty years' time, after the crisis was over. He had every opportunity to mobilize anger on his own behalf when he came into office--against bankers and the regulators who failed to restrain them; against officials from the previous Administration who had tortured prisoners in violation of US and international law; against the Bush Administration for leading us into endless wars of highly dubious utility; and against the Republican Party that refused, in effect, to work with him on anything from the word go. But he did not, trusting the American public to appreciate a measured and unemotional approach and seeking to leave painful controversies like torture behind. Perhaps all this might have worked had the economic crisis not been so serious--but as it turns out, it hasn't.

The President and the Democratic Congress are feeling the heat not only about the economy--which would have been much worse without the stimulus package, but which, as some pointed out at the time, needed and still needs even more drastic action--but also about another emotional issue, immigration. Illegal immigrants have become another focus of outrage, and the Administration seems to be taking their side. The Republicans, of course, are making the situation worse by refusing even to hear of immigration reform that would allow some people to stay, but the President has gone out on a limb by asking the Justice Department to challenge the Arizona law. Numerous reports tell us that the White House's political strategists are convinced that that law will accelerate the movement of the Hispanic vote into the Democratic Party, but I am not so sure. A lot of anecdotal evidence suggests that Hispanic citizens resent illegals just as much or more than mainstream whites. In any case, the lawsuit certainly looks like an attempt by a relatively weak federal government to prevent states from responding to their peoples' will. I doubt that the White House's strategy will pay dividends this fall.

The combination of our first black President, widespread economic distress, and a relatively interventionist economic policy has also revived the kind of white racist anger that helped bring Ronald Reagan into the White House. Millions of white Americans still believe that government entitlements keep minorities in clover while the deserving middle class suffers. In fact, federal welfare has practically disappeared, but much of the population was already accustomed to regarding Democrats as the giveaway party. They may have voted Republican in any case, but they are making more noise now.

Another specter looms now, thanks to the federal court decision restoring gay marriage rights in California. I know some readers will be offended by this position, but I wish the judge had not handed that decision down. His legal logic--that a ban on gay marriage is a clear denial of equal protection of the laws--is surely strong, but I would have been willing (not that I have a direct stake in the matter) to wait a few more years for gay marriage in California and other blue states simply for the sake of our political culture. Younger people are far more liberal on this issue than oldsters, and as a result, California voters would almost surely have accepted gay marriage the next time they voted on it. Instead we may have a replay of Roe v. Wade, another bottomless source of conservative resentment. The country may be ready to move beyond this issue--or it may not.

Immigration now seems to be the hottest-button issue, and the President in any case has to get on top of it and tell the country in no uncertain terms what he thinks we should do. He is a good person to explain the obvious--that we cannot simply expel all illegal aliens, who are estimated to make up as much as 1/5 of the population of Arizona, for instance, and thus have no choice but to find a way to legalize some of their status. But clearly tougher measures against illegals are inevitable in any case. One reason, perhaps, that the last Crisis turned out so well for the United States was that this issue had been taken off the table in 1924, by a tough law whose provisions were not loosened until 1965. Meanwhile, whoever actually wins the Congressional elections this fall, they are certain to leave the electorate more polarized than ever. The most reliable political web site shows the Republicans certain to recapture Senate seats in the red states of North Dakota, Arkansas, and Indiana, and has also suggested that Blue Dog Democrats are particularly vulnerable. More paralysis awaits. President Obama has real legislative achievements--the stimulus, health care, and, perhaps, financial reform--but none of them has done anything to cure the emotional ills of the American people, and we shall all pay the price for that.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Sidney. Off base in your description but hey it does make me feel good.
Actually one of the least studied organizations by ACADEMICS or THINK TANKS is the DOJ. Why? It is assumed they are competent because could an organization with 50,000 personnel with law degrees be off base? Over 120,000 personnel in DOJ and obviously even many lawyers in non-legal positions. FBI for example has over 32,000 employees but only about 13,000 are Gold Badge gun toting agents. And the latter can all retire after 20 years in spite of a death rate in the line of duty that would lighten the heart of any life insurance salesperson.
Well the basic trial divisions, civil, criminal, tax, anti-trust, and enviromental/natural resources should be the best and the brightest. But starting about 1980 there were two factors that influenced that capability. First, if you graduated from an Ivy law school or equivalent you really were not wanted in the trial divisions. Fortunately, because the DOJ itself lost a discrimination against women case in the 70's and because the other trial divisions had erected barriers that few women could jump, like 5 years prosecutorial experience in the criminal division, most of the women went to civil or environment. Since they did have brain power these orgs benefited.
But hey the test for the legal profession, of which 45% of all law school grads never practice law, and only 4% ever appear in court as a lawyer, is private firm partnership. The biggest and glossiest firms still have a glass ceiling preventing may women from becoming senior partners and in particular those that do that peculiar female thing call giving birth. But the profession is largely becoming female dominated one and perhaps those new brains in female bodies will eventually even impact the leadership of DOJ. In the meantime, many AG's have adopted the Edwin Meese model of running DOJ. A large number of special assistants, he had over 40, that eroded the chain of command and even the talent pool underneath at DOJ and except for social issue posturing DOJ started to really lose many many important cases, even in SCOTUS where a political tinge determined what was argued, certainly not what was best for the citizenry of the US. So yes, Sidney, please get someone to study the culture and failings of DOJ. Really only created in 1933, the modern DOJ is an adminstrative montrosity. Run by lawyers who rarely are good managers, and good management is the exception not the rule. I would fix it by eliminating all DOJ programs, functions, and activities unrelated to litigation, make the attorneys sign up for long term employment and double their salaries. As an example, do you think that BP can outgun DOJ in litigation? Exxon did in the EXXON VALDEZ spill. And while the basic DOJ litigation tactic is delay, many to big to fail firms have that strategy to just outwait DOJ.
CIPA was a reform but like all reforms now needs reform. Hope their are some insights in this comment.

J

It would be interesting if Judge Friedman was subpoenaed under oath regarding his 'conflict of interest' namely Israel and why he hasn't recused himself from the case.

On another note but one that has an AIPAC tether to it, take a look at this one:

Try Assange Under the Espionage Act
by Grant Smith, August 09, 2010

Dee Davenport

I have known Stuart for 40 years. and I know he has been set up.


markfromireland

@Dee Davenport if you "know" he has been set up presumably you can advance some evidence to back up your opinion ....

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