SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Friday allowed whistle-blower site WikiLeaks to resume operation in the United States, a week after ordering its U.S. hosting company and domain registrar to shut down and lock the renegade’s site from the internet.
The judge conceded the futility of attempts to censor information, in this instance private banking records, after it has been posted to the internet.
“When this genie gets out of the bottle, it’s out for all purposes,” U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said after a more than 3-hour-long hearing here. Earlier, White said he had “an obligation to get it right” and that “I took an oath to uphold the Constitution.”
White signed an order last week that effectively took down the WikiLeaks site in the United States and also locked “the WikiLeaks.org domain name to prevent transfer of the domain name to a different domain registrar.”
WikiLeaks, a whistle-blower site publishing thousands of leaked documents, was taken offline in the United States after posting allegedly stolen documents: individuals’ banking records that suggest a Cayman Islands branch of a Swiss bank was helping customers practice money laundering and tax evasion across the globe.
Dynadot – WikiLeaks’ U.S. hosting company and domain registrar based in San Mateo, California — agreed to take down and lock the site at the behest of Julius Baer Bank and Trust. Judge White, appointed by the second President Bush, signed off on the deal last week. While users could not get to the site using the wikileaks.org domain name, the site was still reachable by users who knew its IP address, which supporters spread around the web.
The judge held a hearing here Friday to reconsider his initial decision because federal law required it, and because he was having second thoughts. “There are serious questions of prior restraint, possible violations of the First Amendment,” he said from the bench. (Hours later, he issued this ruling.)
The FBI now keeps a list of over 900,000 names belonging to known or suspected terrorists, the American Civil Liberties Union said today.
If that number is accurate, it would be an all-time high, exponentially more than the 100,000 names on the list several years ago. But the number needs to be taken with a grain of salt: after all, the ACLU doesn’t keep the list, the FBI does, and the bureau doesn’t generally like to talk about it. (Indeed, the FBI has not yet responded to a request for comment for this post.)
But if the ACLU’s figure isn’t accurate, it’s also unlikely to be off by that much. Last September, the ACLU notes, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General reported the FBI watch list was at 700,000 names, and growing at 20,000 names per month.
Found on the Strangers Slog.
According to this video, Comcast hired uninterested people to essentially take up space at the most recent FCC hearing on net neutrality in Boston. With the room full, many citizens actually interested in the public hearing were turned away because the room was full preventing them from voicing concerns.
Larisa Alexandrovna | rawstory.com
Hijacker had post-9/11 flights scheduled, files say
Newly-released records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request contradict the 9/11 Commission’s report on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and raise fresh questions about the role of Saudi government officials in connection to the hijackers.The nearly 300 pages of a Federal Bureau of Investigation timeline used by the 9/11 Commission as the basis for many of its findings were acquired through a FOIA request filed by Kevin Fenton, a 26 year old translator from the Czech Republic. The FBI released the 298-page “hijacker timeline” Feb. 4.The FBI timeline reveals that alleged hijacker Hamza Al-Ghamdi, who was aboard the United Airlines flight which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, had booked a future flight to San Francisco. He also had a ticket for a trip from Casablanca to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.Though referenced repeatedly in the footnotes of the final 9/11 Commission report, the timeline has not previously been made available to the public.The FBI timeline is dated Nov. 14, 2003 but appears to have been put together earlier (since the last date mentioned in the document is Oct. 22, 2001) and was provided to the 9/11 Commission during its 2003 investigation. The final Commission report cites the FBI timeline 52 times. (more…)
One of the true joys this past holiday season for me was getting together with some friends and watching the movie What Would Jesus Buy?From his site Reverend Billy lays his cause: “Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir believe that Consumerism is overwhelming our lives. The corporations want us to have experiences only through their products. Our neighborhoods, “commons” places like stoops and parks and streets and libraries, are disappearing into the corporatized world of big boxes and chain stores.”Sounds reasonable, the movie documents Reverend Billys tour and the madness that surrounds the Holiday Season, sure it’s nearing May but consumerisim goes beyond Christmas, the principles in this movie are not only sound but are presented in a hilarious manner wich make it so good things can come.Well, The Rev and The Church of Stop Shopping will be in Seattle
WASHINGTON – Chanting “$25 million isn’t enough!” dozens of sick 9/11 first responders stood in the rain on Capitol Hill Tuesday and urged President Bush to restore funding to help pay their medical bills. Joseph Zadroga, whose son James died of lung disease after working 100 hours at the site for the NYPD, said the government needs to help those who helped the city get back on its feet after the towers fell.
“They dug this country out of a hole and now it’s time for this country to dig them out of their holes,” he said as he held back tears. Bush has budgeted just $25 million for 9/11 health care programs in 2009 – compared with $108 million for this year. The Daily News, in a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials, has also fought for more funding for the city’s sick heroes. “We lost 3,000 lives on 9/11, but thousands more have lost their health,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens). She is sponsoring a bill named after James Zadroga that would mandate health care funding for ailing 9/11 workers.
“It is a scandal that we do not have health care for these men and women who risked so much to help others.” John Feal, a Ground Zero volunteer who lost part of his foot when an 8-ton steel beam fell on it, organized the rally, which had been expected to draw hundreds of people. He said he wasn’t discouraged by the small turnout.
“Numbers don’t compare to our spirit,” he said. “Our spirit is strong.” Sick workers were also meeting privately with several members of Congress to urge them to pass the Zadroga bill.
Visit Victoria 9/11 Truth
ACADEMY AWARD WINNER – Best Documentary Feature
An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
Kosovo clashes ‘ethnic cleansing’
The Nato commander in overall charge of Kosovo has likened the recent violence in the province – in which at least 28 people have died – to ethnic cleansing.
Kosovo Serb protesters attack UN police
Violent protests rocked Serb-dominated northern Kosovo on Friday, as mobs chanting “Kosovo is ours!” hurled stones, bottles and firecrackers at U.N. police guarding a bridge that divides Serbs from ethnic Albanians.
Yahoo | AP
Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other’s borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.
Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas.
The U.S. military’s Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.
The new agreement has been greeted with suspicion by the left wing in Canada and the right wing in the U.S.
Google Inc. will begin storing the medical records of a few thousand people as it tests a long-awaited health service that’s likely to raise more concerns about the volume of sensitive information entrusted to the Internet search leader.
The pilot project to be announced Thursday will involve 1,500 to 10,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic who volunteered to an electronic transfer of their personal health records so they can be retrieved through Google’s new service, which won’t be open to the general public.
Each health profile, including information about prescriptions, allergies and medical histories, will be protected by a password that’s also required to use other Google services such as e-mail and personalized search tools.
Google views its expansion into health records management as a logical extension because its search engine already processes millions of requests from people trying to find about more information about an injury, illness or recommended treatment.
But the health venture also will provide more fodder for privacy watchdogs who believe Google already knows too much about the interests and habits of its users as its computers log their search requests and store their e-mail discussions.
“Wait a minute, we can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions,” Pentagon general counsel William Haynes to Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for Guantánamo’s military commissions.
Secret evidence. Denial of habeas corpus. Evidence obtained by waterboarding. Indefinite detention. The litany of complaints about the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay is long, disturbing and by now familiar. Nonetheless, a new wave of shock and criticism greeted the Pentagon’s announcement on February 11 that it was charging six Guantánamo detainees, including alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, with war crimes–and seeking the death penalty for all of them.
Now, as the murky, quasi-legal staging of the Bush Administration’s military commissions unfolds, a key official has told The Nation that the trials have been rigged from the start. According to Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for Guantánamo’s military commissions, the process has been manipulated by Administration appointees to foreclose the possibility of acquittal.
Colonel Davis’s criticism of the commissions has been escalating since he resigned in October, telling the Washington Post that he had been pressured by politically appointed senior Defense officials to pursue cases deemed “sexy” and of “high interest” (such as the 9/11 cases now being pursued) in the run-up to the 2008 elections. Davis, once a staunch defender of the commissions process, elaborated on his reasons in a December 10, 2007, Los Angeles Times op-ed. “I concluded that full, fair and open trials were not possible under the current system,” he wrote. “I felt that the system had become deeply politicized and that I could no longer do my job effectively.”
Appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle Open Forum, former Congressman Dan Hamburg and Lewis Seiler shed light on the coordinated federal government programs to build detention camps in undisclosed locations within the United States.
“The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”
- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943
Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of “an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.”
Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.
According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of “all removable aliens” and “potential terrorists.”
From the History Channel’s show Conspiracies: Anthrax Attacks explaining how the weaponized strain could only come from the United States BioDefense Program.