Monday, January 10, 2011

Mirror, Mirror, On The wall, Which Bank Is The Most Evil Of All?

The Witch Hunt Continues...
A Swiss banker, Rudolf Elmer, who blew the Whistle on Swiss private bank Julius Bär "whose actions caused a U.S. judge to briefly shut down WikiLeaks three years ago goes on trial next week for distributing confidential documents."

Journalists trying to investigate the story threatened in the Caymen Islands?
He then moved to Mauritius and began sending global tax authorities what he said were the secrets of his former employer.

Elmer said he initially tried to fight offshore abuses himself but didn’t get anywhere. When the tax authorities failed to act on the information he provided, he decided to go public with it and contacted Wikileaks

Wikipedia eventually published documents exposing allegedly illegal activities by Julius Bär clients in the Cayman Islands (see box).

Julius Bär did not want to comment. Wikileaks whistle-blowers are usually anonymous. Why was it different with you?

R.E.: I wasn’t looking for anonymity. I signed the first whistle-blower letter to emphasise the credibility but also to show my civil disobedience. It is my conviction that my name is important. People then got in touch with me and I received additional information from other bank clients and further data.

Also, I can now show how Swiss and international legal and fiscal authorities dealt with the data, which in practice was as follows: the Swiss authorities didn’t take up the data, although it concerned abuse within Switzerland; foreign authorities on the other hand launched successful criminal and retroactive taxation procedures and received several million dollars in evaded taxes. The matter is still not yet over.
In 2004 Elmer noticed two men following him to work. Later, he saw them outside his daughter's kindergarten, then from his kitchen window. His wife was followed in her car. The men offered his daughter chocolates in the street and late at night drove a car at high speed into the cul-de-sac where he lived. The stalking continued, on and off, for more than two years. The police said there was nothing they could do. In 2005, they searched his house using a prosecutor's warrant, and he was imprisoned for 30 days, accused of violating Swiss bank secrecy, which is, as he put it, "an official violation, like murder".

Julian Assange announced that in early 2011 WikiLeaks will release information about corruption in the banking industry.
We have one related to a bank coming up, that's a megaleak. It's not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it's either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it," Assange said in the interview posted on the Forbes website.

He declined to identify the bank, describing it only as a major U.S. bank that is still in existence.

Asked what he wanted to be the result of the disclosure, he replied: "I'm not sure. It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume."

He compared this release to emails that were unveiled as a result of the collapse of disgraced energy company Enron Corp.

The offshore bank account details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals" and corporations – detailing massive potential tax evasion – will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The First Amendment

The First Amendment is the foundation of Shoe08.

On the second day of the 112th Congress (January 6, 2011), Congresswoman Giffords read aloud on the House floor the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Let's look at it this way:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

Congress shall make no law prohibing the free exercize thereof

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press

Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble

Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I do believe that is clear and unequivical.

For the purpose of this blog, we are focused on those prohibitions on congress not to abridge the rights of the people re free speech, free press freedom to peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Please reflect, if you will, the nature and subject of some of the most recent posts, here at Shoe08. The US Government is trying to use the Espionage Act to abridge Free Spech, Free Press and the Right To Peaceably Assemble. Journalists are being intimidated, taken as hostages, fired, and even killed, because some other folks do not like what the journalists say, report, or because the US Government is keeping secrets from We The People, while telling us a pack of lies.

Two days after making posting this video to her Youtube and Facebook site, Congresswoman Giffords was shot in the head, while peaceably assembaling with members of We The People, when she was shot in the head, and others were shot and killed or wounded. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords represents Arizona's Eighth Congressional District. She serves on the House Committees on Armed Services, Science and Technology and Foreign Affairs, and is Chair of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.

It is ironic that a supporter of the 1st and 2nd Amendment should be a victim of someone who does not respect the 1st Amendment.

I am deeply saddened by the tragedy in Arizona.
Best wishes for Gabriella Giffords recovery.

Condolances to family and friends of Judge Roll, and the others who were slaughtered without any warning.

May all those who were wounded have a good recovery.

May the killer, reflect on his crimes, and his hatred of the rights of others to live a life of liberty and persue happiness. But, the fact is, he may have lacked insight due to mental illness.

Folks, some people just hate our Constitution, and to all of those who have been making fun of reading the Constitution into the Congressional Record, I ask you, why? What way is better? What is there to fear in supporting our Constitution? What is there to fear from hearing others out, from reading what others write, or from coming together to discuss and debate peaceably? Why should keeping secrets trump Sunshine?

PS: Here is Rep. Gifford's Youtube Channel.
You can get to her killer's channel by scrolling down to the bottom left corner to subscriptions, there are two, click on classitup10.

let's look at it this way...

Rep Giffords recovery was made possible by immediate action, and quality health care by top doctors.

Jared became increasing­ly erratic, and violent due to the failure of immediate action, and recieving no apropiate health care.

Compare and contrast.

From Salon...
Perhaps the most honest portrait of Loughner comes from someone who actually knows the kid. Bryce Tierney may have been the last person Loughner reached out to before the attack, according to a report in Mother Jones. After receiving a late-night voice mail from Loughner, Tierney saw the shooting on the news and immediately suspected that the shooter was his friend.

Tierney remembers how Loughner held a grudge against Rep. Giffords dating back to a question he had asked and she had answered -- unsatisfactorily, to Loughner -- in 2007. Though Loughner had always been a bit strange, Tierney goes on to explain how he became almost incoherent over the course of the next few years.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

DOJ Subpoenas Twitter Records in Fishing Expedition

The Witch Hunt Begins!

What might the US DOJ be fishing for?
Now read this... my opinion, this is a fishing expidition, and will do more damage to the US reputation among "normal" people than the creation of the Collateral damage video. After all, what are we fighting for?

Glenn Greenwald writes on salon, that the original order, issued Dec 14th, from Federal Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan was sealed, but was unsealed january 5th, at Twitter's request, to give the targets 10 days to appeal.

A copy of the Order served on Twitter is here.
The Order was signed by a federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia, Theresa Buchanan, and served on Twitter by the DOJ division for that district. It states that there is "reasonable ground to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation," the language required by the relevant statute. It was issued on December 14 and ordered sealed -- i.e., kept secret from the targets of the Order. It gave Twitter three days to respond and barred the company from notifying anyone, including the users, of the existence of the Order. On January 5, the same judge directed that the Order be unsealed at Twitter's request in order to inform the users and give them 10 days to object; had Twitter not so requested, it would have been compelled to turn over this information without the knowledge of its users. A copy of the unsealing order is here.

Collateral Murder

Greenwald believes that the order stems from an investigation into the video Collateral Murder, which was worked on in Iceland.

The Guardian reports that an Iceland PM plans to fight the order.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the "USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?"

She said she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She wrote: "department of justice are requesting twitter to provide the info – I got 10 days to stop it via legal process before twitter hands it over."
Jonsdottir said she was demanding a meeting with the US ambassador to Iceland. "The justice department has gone completely over the top." She added that the US authorities had requested personal information from Twitter as well as her private messages and that she was now assessing her legal position.

"It's not just about my information. It's a warning for anyone who had anything to do with WikiLeaks. It is completely unacceptable for the US justice department to flex its muscles like this. I am lucky, I'm a representative in parliament. But what of other people? It's my duty to do whatever I can to stop this abuse."

In a sweeping effort to connect Bradley manning, who is being held in solitary confinement in a military brig, with WikiLeaks, and prove that Jullian Assange interacted with Manning before the leaks, the DOJ is apparently conducting a fishing expidition....
The order (PDF) also covers "subscriber account information" for Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private charged with leaking classified information; Wikileaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum; Dutch hacker and XS4ALL Internet provider co-founder Rop Gonggrijp; and Wikileaks editor Julian Assange.

Appelbaum, who gave a keynote speech at a hacker conference last summer on behalf of the document-leaking organization and is currently in Iceland, said he plans to fight the request in a U.S. court. Appelbaum, a U.S. citizen who's a developer for the Tor Project, has been briefly detained at the border and people in his address book have been hassled at airports.

The U.S. government began an criminal investigation of Wikileaks and Assange last July after the Web site began releasing what would become a deluge of confidential military and State Department files. In November, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the probe is "ongoing," and a few weeks later an attorney for Assange said he had been told that a grand jury had been empaneled in Alexandria
Gregg Mitchell, blogging on The Nation, with live updates all weekend...
The Wikileaks News & Views Blog, Special Weekend Edition!

BELOW The full story of the shocking new DOJ move against WikiLeaks supporters, seeking records from Twitter, as it developed, most recent news at top.

12:35 WikiLeaks official Twitter feed: "Note that we can assume Google & Facebook also have secret US government subpeonas. They make no comment. Did they fold?"

Here is a link to the US Investigation into this "incident." No wonder reuters continued with it's FOIR after obtaining this report!
It's pretty ironic that our government is trying to secretly crack down on the people who are exposing many of its shameful secrets.

The Obama administration has far better things to do than pick on the hardiest defenders of open government and freedom of information.

This campaign of harassment and intimidation that the Justice Department is evidently undertaking against volunteers and supporters of WikiLeaks is embarrassing and abhorrent. We call for it to end. Immediately.

As progressives, we believe in a government that is open, straightforward, and accountable to the people it serves. This is a democracy.

We, the people of America, have a right to know what is being done in our name, and to whom. There is no moral justification for the corrupt culture of data-mining, surveillance, and secret-keeping that the political establishment of this country has created, sanctioned, and perpetuated over the years.

When Barack Obama ran for President, he ran on a platform of change. He promised to end abuses of power, and govern more responsibly.

But unfortunately, instead of changing D.C., he has let D.C. change him, in his zeal to avoid confrontation and acrimony.

What Obama doesn't seem to understand or appreciate is that you can't upend the establishment by singing Kumbaya. You have to be confrontational.

WikiLeaks has been effective because it has dared to share, and even publish, what others wouldn't or couldn't. If its volunteers shied away from confrontation, it wouldn't be on anybody's radar. We would be unaware of the covert and illegitimate activities of our government that they have exposed.

By choosing to persecute whistleblowers, the Obama administration is betraying our finest traditional values, and wasting an opportunity to shake up the status quo. What they're trying to do to WikiLeaks is beyond troubling. It's appalling.

And it needs to stop.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

State of War Against Whistleblowers Accelerates Under the Obama Administration

Jeffrey Sterling, who once tried to sue the CIA for race based discrimination, has been arrested today, for "leaking" State Secrets to NYT's journalist, James Risen, who published a story about the unlawful Bush wiretaps, and who's book, State of War proved to be a huge embarrassment to the CIA.

The indictment alleges that Sterling took a number of steps to facilitate the disclosure of the classified information, including:

*stealing classified documents and other information from the CIA and unlawfully retaining those documents without the authority of the CIA;

*communicating by telephone, via e-mail and in person with the author in order to arrange for the disclosure of or to disclose classified information to the author;

*meeting with the author in person to orally disclose classified information to the author and to provide documents containing classified information to the author for review or use;

*characterizing the classified information in a false and misleading manner as a means of inducing the author to write and publish a story premised on that false and misleading information;

*deceiving and attempting to deceive the CIA into believing that he was a former employee adhering to his secrecy and non-disclosure agreements; and

*deliberately choosing to disclose the classified information to a member of the media, knowing that such an individual would not reveal his identity, thereby concealing and perpetrating the scheme.

The court has determined he is a danger to the community, and he is being held over the weekend. His attorney is in VA.

The indictment alleged that Sterling, retaliating for the CIA's refusal to settle on favorable terms his discrimination claims, disclosed information about the program.

It said he discussed the information with the reporter in early 2003 and later in connection with a book published in January 2006.

The Justice Department did not identify the reporter.

But the dates and other details in the indictment make clear it involved New York Times reporter James Risen, whose 2006 book "State of War" revealed details of the CIA's intelligence activities involving Iran.

The source familiar with the case confirmed that the reporter in the indictment was Risen.

Sterling's case against the CIA for race based discrimination was dismissed based on the Governments claim that trying the case would pose a risk that State Secrets would be revealed. The Government's case against Sterling today claimes he leaked the classified info in retaliation against the CIA.
A federal judge granted the government’s request and immediately dismissed Sterling’s civil rights case under the state secrets doctrine. The Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.

“We recognize that our decision places … a burden on Sterling that he alone must bear,” the Fourth Circuit said in an August 2005 decision. But the court concluded: “There is no way for Sterling to prove employment discrimination without exposing at least some classified details of the covert employment that gives context to his claim.”

Sterling’s prosecution will likely involve disclosure of some of the same highly sensitive information that prompted the government’s earlier invocation of the state secrets privilege.,,20137092,00.html
Sterling, 34, is convinced his career at the Central Intelligence Agency was derailed by racial discrimination—and last summer he became the first black case officer to sue on those grounds. Two months later he was fired. "I wasn't good enough for them," he says, "based not on my abilities but on my color." The CIA vehemently denies Sterling's allegations. Says spokesman Bill Harlow: "We have zero tolerance for discrimination here." On April 17 the agency moved to have the suit dismissed, arguing it was a threat to national security. "This is a very important case," says former CIA agent Robert Baer, author of a book about the agency. "The last thing the agency wants is to be labeled racist."

Sterling joined the CIA in 1993 and two years later became a case officer in the Iran Task Force. (He was the only black among its more than 20 professionals.) To prepare, he spent a year studying Farsi, the language of Iran. Sent to Bonn in 1997 to recruit Iranians as agents, he grew frustrated when he wasn't given new prospects to recruit. Perplexed, he returned to Langley and confronted his supervisors. "I asked why I wasn't receiving any assignments. They said, "Well, you kind of stick out as a big black guy,'" Sterling recalls. "They said, 'You bring unwanted attention to where you're assigned.' Everyone in management agreed I was too conspicuous. And I said, 'Well, when did you realize that I was black?'"
In other cases, Stephen Kim, a foreign policy analyst who worked at the U.S. State Department, was charged in August with leaking a top-secret intelligence report to a news reporter last year.

Also last year, a former high-ranking official at the National Security Agency was charged with illegally possessing classified information that he allegedly gave to a reporter at the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

Obama has backtracked on his campaign rhetoric, and now demonstrates he will not tolerate Wistkeblowers on his watch!
When a candidate for President in 2008, Senator Barack Obama said, "Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal." Obama was referring to the Bush Administration's use of phone companies to illegally spy on Americans. He said, "We only know these crimes took place because insiders blew the whistle at great personal risk...

However, as President, Obama says -- No whistleblowing on my watch! As he has on so many issues as President, Obama is taking a 180-degree turn from his comments as a candidate -- comments on which the American people relied and for which they elected him.

Now, the Obama administration's warning to Bradley Manning and to other whistleblowers is -- blow the whistle on government criminal actions and we will put you in solitary confinement before you are charged, much less go to trial. You will be treated as an "enemy combatant" in America's ongoing wars on about everything, including the truth.

Here is the New York Times take on this....
In making their case against Mr. Sterling, prosecutors provided details in the indictment of phone calls between the residences of Mr. Sterling and the reporter and quoted from e-mails sent between their accounts.

Justice Department rules say prosecutors may seek subpoenas of journalists only if the information they are seeking is essential and cannot be obtained another way, and the attorney general must personally sign off after balancing the public’s interest in the news against the public’s interest in effective law enforcement.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment about why Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. approved seeking a subpoena of Mr. Risen in light of the fact that prosecutors could obtain an indictment of Mr. Sterling without it.

Jeffrey Sterling represents the fith persecution of Whistleblowers by Obama.
The record number of leak prosecutions in the Obama Administration now include Mr. Sterling, former FBI linguist Shamai Leibowitz, former NSA official Thomas A. Drake, Army private Bradley Manning, and former State Department contractor Stephen Kim.