On 4 January, UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to the US, where he is indicted by the US on 18 federal charges carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years in jail over alleged espionage and hacking which resulted in the publication of classified Afghan and Iraq war logs and State Department cables by WikiLeaks. The judge said the defendant, who suffers from clinical depression, could commit suicide in a US prison. The American government has signalled that it will appeal the British court's decision. Assange would hardly receive a fair trial if extradited to the US, Taylor Hudak, editor of acTIVism Munich and co-founder of Action4Assange believes...
The American Herald Tribune (AHT) is back. We escaped the treacherous wrath of notorious thought police agencies including the US Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA as well as a few of their media front operations including CNN, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg News. With a slip and a slide and a pirouette or two we danced out of the clutches of the US Dark State and re-emerged at .ca, ahtribune.ca. There are many very strange and menacing things going on with the Justin Trudeau government in my home country.
The long, destructive conspiracy theory known as Russiagate, the mother of them all, at last evaporates into thin air. No shred of it remains as of back-to-back disclosures over the past couple of weeks. Where does this leave us? What is to come of this momentous turn of events? Among those not inclined toward hysteria or copious quaffs of Democratic Party Kool–Aid, it has long been a question how those who concocted and sustained the tales of Russian “meddling,” “collusion,” and mail hackery would manage their embarrassment — not to mention their potential legal liabilities — once their edifice-built-on-sand collapsed, as it was destined from the first to do. The early signs are as some predicted: They will slither quietly off the stage without comment, they will deny their incessant, ever-vehement accusations, they will profess to weariness, they will insist there are more important things to think about now.
The White House press office did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment on the families’ characterizations of the meeting. One day after that encounter, Justice Department officials agreed to release the name of one mid-level Saudi religious official who had been tied to the case in an FBI document that had been partially declassified earlier. At the same time, however, Barr asserted the state secrets privilege to protect other FBI documents sought by the families. The latest flurry of statements supporting that claim responded to challenges from the plaintiffs. Although the close alliance between the United States and the Saudi kingdom has survived countless moments of tension, it has frayed in recent months in ways that could prove helpful to plaintiffs in the 9/11 lawsuit. In recent weeks, Republican senators from states that have been hard hit by the collapse of world oil prices have criticized the Saudi government with growing intensity. On March 25, before the Trump administration negotiated a cut in Saudi oil production, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska cited the law under which the 9/11 families were allowed to sue the Saudi government as one of the levers of pressure that the United States could use if the kingdom did not take account of American concerns. In a letter on Monday, three other influential senators asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to examine in depth why the FBI has refused to disclose more information about Saudi connections to the plot in response to a subpoena filed by the 9/11 families in 2018. Those senators, Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican, and two Democrats, minority leader Charles Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, cited a recent investigative report by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine that raised new questions about the FBI’s inquiry into the Saudi role in the attacks. “The September 11 attacks represent a singular and defining tragedy in the history of our Nation,” the senators wrote to the Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz. “Nearly 20 years later, the 9/11 families and the American public still have not received the full and transparent accounting of the potential sources of support for those attacks to which they are entitled.”
We, the undersigned organizations and prominent individuals, condemn the false claims of criminal charges by the US government against the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and other high-ranking officials with the pretext of their alleged involvement in international drug trafficking. The US government is offering a $15 million bounty for information that would lead to the arrest of Venezuelan President Maduro. Bounties of $10 million are offered for the National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, retired generals Hugo Carvajal and Clive Alcala, Minister for Industry and National Production Tareck El Aissami, and other Venezuelans. The US government indictments accuse the Venezuelan officials of participating in a “narco-terrorism conspiracy” with the Colombian guerrilla group FARC to “flood the United States with cocaine.”
It is surreal that the United States—during the COVID-19 global pandemic—chooses to put its efforts into this ridiculous, evidence-free indictment against Maduro and other members of the government. There is better use for the money put up as a reward in the overstretched hospital in Elmhurst in New York City. Already, there is pressure on the United States to cut the sanctions not only against Venezuela but also against Iran (even the New York Times came out on March 25 to call for an end to sanctions on Iran). The World Health Organization has made it clear that this is just not the time to hamper the ability of countries to get precious supplies in to tackle the pandemic. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a ceasefire in conflicts; it is only a matter of days before he was expected to make a statement about sanctions.
For twenty years, right-wing extremists in Miami and Washington have been slandering the Venezuelan government, accusing it of drug trafficking and harboring terrorists without ever offering even a shred of evidence. They finally got their wish on Thursday, when the U.S. Department of Justice unveiled indictments against President Nicolás Maduro and 13 other current or former members of Venezuela’s government and military. In addition to the indictments, Attorney General William Barr offered a $15 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Maduro, as well as $10 million rewards for Diosdado Cabello (president of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly), Tarek El Aissami (vice president for the economy), Hugo Carvajal (former director of military intelligence) and Cliver Alcalá (retired general).
The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies, according to a report by Politico’s Betsy Woodruff Swan. While the asks from the Department of Justice will likely not come to fruition with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives, they demonstrate how much this White House has a frightening disregard for rights enumerated in the Constitution. The DOJ has requested Congress allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation,” according to draft language obtained by Politico.
The latest available case-by-case records from the Department of Justice (DOJ) show that the prosecution of white-collar offenders in January 2020 reached an all-time low since tracking began during the Reagan Administration. Only 359 defendants were prosecuted in January 2020. Almost all of these were individuals rather than businesses.
In December last year, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit, an initiative aimed at quote, combating violent crime and seven of America’s most violent cities through a surge in federal resources. While the seven cities targeted by this new law enforcement initiative are near or at the bottom of the Bureau of labor statistics unemployment rate from major cities, indicating that unemployment is at the higher end of the scale. What Barr calls the surge in federal law enforcement resources to combat crime, including tens of millions of dollars for hiring more police officers, doesn’t seem to be available to get anyone a job who isn’t willing to be a cop. What do the residents of these cities do in the face of this new effort to allegedly combat crime that doesn’t actually address the roots of crime, nor does it meet the needs of the people most affected by the crime?
In testimony before Congress, FBI officials have hidden behind the First Amendment to defend their abysmal record on fighting white supremacist violence. That’s hogwash. FBI rules on domestic operations are tremendously lax (too lax in fact), and the agency and their Joint Terrorism Task Forces have repeatedly and continuously infiltrated and surveilled peace, environmental, racial justice, economic justice, animal rights and solidarity groups throughout the bureau’s 100 year history. In 2010, the DOJ Inspector General called out the FBI for launching domestic terror investigations against Greenpeace, PETA, and anti-war groups. More recently, the FBI sent paid informants to infiltrate the Standing Rock protest camp and Occupy Cleveland, and other left-leaning protests.
The Intercept’s revelation that the Operation Car Wash team sabotaged the 2018 presidential elections shows what everyone already knew but couldn’t prove concretely: that the Lula conviction was a gigantic legal farce. In any nation that was even minimally civilized the case against Lula, as well as a good part of Operation Car Wash in general, would have been dismissed a long time ago due to the glaring disregard of the right of innocent until proven guilty and due process. Operation Car Wash implemented a veritable free-for-all against the PT and Lula which included illegal coercion...
Julian Assange’s attorney Barry Pollack responded to the news, saying: “Today the government charged Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for encouraging sources to provide him truthful information and for publishing that information. The fig leaf that this is merely about alleged computer hacking has been removed. These unprecedented charges demonstrate the gravity of the threat the criminal prosecution of Julian Assange poses to all journalists in their endeavor to inform the public about actions that have taken by the U.S. government.” Journalists, press freedom organizations and other figures were quick to respond to the additional charges laid against Assange.
WASHINGTON - Today, reports indicate that the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has recommended the agency move to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The reports follow Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s recent announcement of his recommended approval of the merger. If approved by both the DOJ and the FCC, the number of national wireless carriers would be reduced from four to three, leading to less competition and higher prices for consumers. Low-income and marginalized communities who disproportionately rely on T-Mobile and Sprint for affordable services may also find themselves priced out of wireless service.
Due to a fake news article by the Guardian Newspaper, written by Luke Harding of the Guardian along with Villavicencio and Dan Collyns, reporting that Paul Manafort had met with Julian Assange, the DOJ in the U.S. is investigating the claim of the meeting. There is no evidence of such a meeting. In truth, facts show that Manafort actually met with President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador to arrange the eviction of Assange. Yet, in recent breaking news from Wikileaks, the U.S. DOJ has issued letters to interrogate 6 former diplomats and staff at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.