Currently viewing the tag: "Alleged"

(Eugene Volokh)

The case is In re Marriage of Mendlowitz. The alleged slanders were an e-mail and a letter to the estranged wife’s business associates that seemed likely to interfere with her business relationships. They might indeed have led to a successful defamation lawsuit, and a lawsuit for interference with business relations. But a trial court judge went so far as to issue a domestic restraining order against such comments:

[Y]ou are disturbing the peace of the petitioner…. You have, by your own testimony, admitted to the defaming comments that you have made in these emails. And so therefore, the court is going to grant a restraining order for the next five years. You are not to contact [the wife], [her] employers, [her] potential employers in regard to [her] … You are not to contact any third parties in regard to [the wife], her reputation, her past acts.

This meant that any prohibited speech about his wife would be a crime. And because the order included boilerplate language ordering the estranged husband not to “harass, attack, strike, threaten, assault (sexually or otherwise), hit, follow, stalk, molest, destroy personal property, disturb the peace, keep under surveillance, or block movements,” the federal ban on gun possession by people who are the targets of restraining orders kicked in. (See PDF pp. 61–65 of my Implementing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Self-Defense article.)

Fortunately, the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision, concluding that this sort of alleged defamation isn’t sufficient to justify issuing such an order. Unfortunately, for the nearly two years between the trial court decision and the appellate decision, defendant had been entirely deprived of his Second Amendment rights, and been subjected to a prior restraint in violation of his First Amendment rights.




The Volokh Conspiracy

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Written by Mong Palatino

Isnayp, a communist media group in the Philippines, releases a video showing torture inside the military camps of the government in Bicol region.

Global Voices in English

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Two ex-leaders of the Oakland County Democratic Party are facing nine felony charges for allegedly committing voter fraud when attempting to get fake tea party candidates on Michigan ballots last November, as a way to pry support away from Republican candidates.

Former Democratic Party Chairman Michael McGuinness and ex-operations director Jason Bauer were indicted Wednesday on forgery and perjury charges. Bauer also faces three counts of notary fraud.

John Wisely of the Detroit Free-Press reports:

The indictment alleges that the pair attempted to place two county commission candidates, Aaron W. Tyler and Ruth Ann Spearman, and a state senate candidate, Johnathan M. Young, on the ballot without the candidates’ knowledge. The two men forged the signatures on the affidavit of identity and falsely swore under oath to qualify them to run, the indictment says.

“A scheme was devised by a party leader in Lansing to put people on the ballot on the Tea Party ticket,” Oakland Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “It may not be ethical, but it’s not illegal. But some folks were placed on the ballot without their knowledge and that’s the criminal side.”

As TPM has reported, Tea Partiers and Republicans in the state were suspicious that Michigan Tea Party was part of a scheme by Democrats to split the Republican vote, in the lead-up to the midterm elections. Bauer stepped down from his position following allegations that he notarized and filed papers for 13 sham candidates from the Michigan Tea Party.

In September, Michigan Circuit Court judges authorized a one-man grand jury to investigate the allegations. The Michigan Supreme Court also blocked the fake candidates from appearing on the ballot.

The two face up to 14 years in prison, if convicted. They were each released on a $ 25,000 personal bond, The Detroit News reports.







TPMMuckraker

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Militia activist Schaeffer Cox and four associates who reportedly stockpiled weapons were arrested on Thursday for allegedly conspiring to kill multiple Alaska State Troopers and a federal judge.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the group — Cox, Lonnie. G. Vernon and his wife Karen Vernon, as well as Coleman Barney of North Pole and Michael Anderson — were taken into custody by state police. All five face several state charges, including “conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit arson, misconduct involving weapons in the third degree, hindering prosecution in the first degree and tampering with evidence,” according to a press release by the Alaska State Troopers.

Only one of the individuals, Lonnie G. Vernon, has been charged on the federal level so far. He’s alleged to have threatened to murder U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline from on or about Feb. 4, continuing through Feb. 16.

U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler, the top federal prosecutor in Alaska, confirmed to TPM on Thursday that Vernon was the only individual facing federal charges. “I can’t really comment beyond anything else of what is publicly charged — Mr. Vernon is charged with threatening to kill the judge and his family, and he was arrested on that. Everything else, all the other arrests, are state.”

Loeffler said her office was working closely with state authorities. She declined to comment on whether Vernon was involved with any militia organizations and could not say how the threats were allegedly relayed. She said there is an arraignment scheduled for 10:30 a.m. local time Friday, where Vernon is expected to plead not guilty.

The News-Miner reports that Lonnie and Karen Vernon are already being tried in a federal civil case for allegedly owing “$ 166,000 in unpaid income taxes, interest and penalties for 1996 and the years 2000 through 2003.” Judge Beistline was presiding over their case, first filed in 2009. He wrote last month:

To date, the defendants have given the court no reason to believe that the government’s figures are wrong, nor have they apparently attempted to discuss these matters with the government in good faith. It has come to the point where defendants must set forth their position in plain English so that the court can understand whether or not they have any legitimate defenses to the government’s claims.

An arrest warrant had been previously issued for Alaska militia leader Schaeffer Cox after he failed to appear at a February 15 court date for a weapons charge. Cox was being tried for allegedly failing to tell a police officer that he was carrying a concealed weapon in March 2010. He had also been picked up around that time following an altercation with his wife, for which he pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment.

According to the Associated Press, Cox explained that he missed the February court appearance after the judge in his case barred him from discussing or arguing about his position on “the validity of, ‘sense’ of, or constitutionality of the law.”

“The judge,” Cox told the AP, “by signing an order forbidding all reference to the constitution, has divested himself of all authority vested in him by that constitution and the law requires me to now resist by all means necessary or else be an enabler of lawlessness.”

Cox, reports the Daily News Miner, considers himself a sovereign citizen (someone who believes that almost all forms of government in the United States are illegitimate), and said in a lengthy courtroom speech last year that he wouldn’t cooperate with the court system. He reportedly sees himself as a peacemaker between his supporters and the government. He is a leader of the Second Amendment Task Force, which eventually spawned the Alaska Peacemakers Militia. Cox also mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Republican Rep. Mike Kelly in 2008.

Cox says in a YouTube video that he’d “kill for liberty” and launches into conspiracy theories about the federal government and the existence of the IRS.

“Our government does not operate under the rule of law. They operate under the rule of force,” Cox says in the YouTube video. “It’s not the rule of law it’s the threat of force. You know how the Oxford English Dictionary defines terrorism? Government through intimidation. That is profound. My deepest fear is that our government is not going to hear us until we speak to them in their language, which is force. (APPLAUSE) That doesn’t necessarily mean violence. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against violence. I’m not against spilling blood for freedom. I’m not against- I will kill for liberty. Everyone asks will you die for liberty. That’s not really the right question to ask. The right question to ask is will you kill for liberty. Because if you would kill for liberty, it assumes you will die for liberty.”

Coleman Barney was also a member of the Second Amendment Task Force, and appeared at the Second Amendment March in April, 2010, dressed in colonial costume and touting an AK-47. Picture here, via the News-Miner.

“There’s been an explosion of anti-government sentiment, and part of that is the sovereign citizen movement,” Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center told TPM on Friday. “Anti-government is sort of understating their view of the fed.” The SPLC lists the Alaska Peacemakers Militia as an anti-government “patriot” group.

Additional reporting by Melissa Jeltsen.









TPMMuckraker

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The FBI has made an arrest in the MLK Day Spokane bombing. And the alleged culprit is-not surprisingly-a white supremacist.

An FBI source in Washington, D.C., said one man was arrested east of Spokane. Agents, including a bomb expert from Quantico, Va., were preparing to search a house where others associated with the suspect were living, the source said.

The suspects are apparently affiliated with white supremacists.

The source, who is familiar with the investigation but is not authorized to speak on the record, said that “good police work” led to the arrest and that forensic evidence taken from a backpack bomb was key to the case.

Eric Holder will have a press conference at 3PM.

Related posts:

  1. Bennie Thompson to Peter King: What about the White Supremacists?
  2. Some Terrorism Scares Are More Useful Than Other Terrorism Scares
  3. David Kris Resigns from DOJ


Emptywheel

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(Eugene Volokh)

ChristianNewsToday reports that there were many more attacks — “At least one Christian was killed and others injured when thousands of Islamic extremists set fire to 59 churches and at least 28 homes in western Ethiopia in the past five days, Christian leaders said,” with “More than 4,000 Christians … displaced as a result of attacks that began on Wednesday (March 2) after Muslims accused a Christian of desecrating the Quran by tearing up a copy, sources said.” Bloomberg News reports allegations of a smaller number of attacks (but that was as of Friday, while the ChristianNewsToday report is as of Monday). It also quotes “Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket Simon” as acknowledging that two “houses used for worship” were burned, though stating that no-one has died and labeling it “a very minor, isolated incident.”

I don’t know where exactly the truth lies, but I thought I’d note it, especially since there seems to be confirmation of at least two burnings. If anyone has pointers to more stories, outside those from advocacy groups (of which there are quite a few, see here), please let me know. Of course, sometimes advocacy groups are right, and sometimes they are more reliable than ostensibly impartial media; but on balance, I prefer to see some confirmation from non-advocacy-group sources (such as the Bloomberg News story I mentioned). Thanks to Paul Marshall (National Review Online) for the pointer.




The Volokh Conspiracy

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(Eugene Volokh)

ChristianNewsToday reports that there were many more attacks — “At least one Christian was killed and others injured when thousands of Islamic extremists set fire to 59 churches and at least 28 homes in western Ethiopia in the past five days, Christian leaders said,” with “More than 4,000 Christians … displaced as a result of attacks that began on Wednesday (March 2) after Muslims accused a Christian of desecrating the Quran by tearing up a copy, sources said.” Bloomberg News reports allegations of a smaller number of attacks (but that was as of Friday, while the ChristianNewsToday report is as of Monday). It also quotes “Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket Simon” as acknowledging that two “houses used for worship” were burned, though stating that no-one has died and labeling it “a very minor, isolated incident.”

I don’t know where exactly the truth lies, but I thought I’d note it, especially since there seems to be confirmation of at least two burnings. If anyone has pointers to more stories, outside those from advocacy groups (of which there are quite a few, see here), please let me know. Of course, sometimes advocacy groups are right, and sometimes they are more reliable than ostensibly impartial media; but on balance, I prefer to see some confirmation from non-advocacy-group sources (such as the Bloomberg News story I mentioned). Thanks to Paul Marshall (National Review Online) for the pointer.




The Volokh Conspiracy

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Washington (CNN) - The conservative legal watchdog group Judicial Watch filed suit Monday against Florida Democratic congressman Alcee Hastings, accusing him of sexually harassing a onetime female staffer during an assignment to Vienna, Austria.

The civil case filed at U.S. District Court in Washington is on behalf of Winsome Packer, who not only alleges the congressman sexually harassed her but claims that her affiliation with the Republican Party was used against her when Hastings retaliated following her complaints.

Hastings’ Capitol Hill office did not have an immediate comment on the lawsuit.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton, at a news conference announcing the lawsuit, said the alleged harassment took place for more than two years, ending in early 2010 when she left a staff job with a panel known as the Helsinki Commission, based in Vienna, Austria.

Hastings at the time was chairman of that group, formally known as the United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Quoting from the lawsuit, Fitton, seated alongside Packer, told reporters Hastings “was sexually attracted to Ms. Packer, wanted a sexual relationship with her, and would help progress her career if she acquiesced to his sexual advances.”

Reading from a prepared statement, Packer said in part “if Congressman Hastings thought the laws didn’t apply to him, this lawsuit will remind him otherwise.”

Fitton said during a period starting in January, 2008, Packer’s repeated complaints were ignored and that Hastings allegedly refused to stop unwanted behavior. Fitton said Hastings and his staff director Fred Turner, then retaliated against Packer threatening to dismiss her and to refuse to let her return to the U.S.

“Ms. Packer was particularly vulnerable to such threats because she was a Republican working for the Democratically-controlled commission,” Fitton said, “a point that both Mr. Hastings and Mr. Turner used to threaten and intimidate her.”

Judicial Watch seeks unspecified monetary damages against Hastings, Turner, and the commission, with all three parties named as defendants.

Hastings, a former federal judge, was removed by the U.S. Senate in 1989 on findings of bribery and perjury.

Fitton, when asked whether other people on staff were subjected to the alleged behavior, said Packer was the only known target of Hastings’ alleged harassment.


CNN Political Ticker

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The man the government says planted a bomb made out of a Pepsi can at a voting facility in Arkansas on the day of a Democratic primary last summer has now been charged for possessing unregistered weapons including a short barrel rifle, three machine guns and three silencers.

Federal prosecutors are also requesting a delay in the case against Mark Krause to allow more time for the FBI lab to finish its work. They have also charged Krause’s friend Michael Pierce with lying to federal officials about possessing the weapons, which had been stored in Pierce’s home.

According to a superseding indictment filed on Feb. 24, Pierce allegedly told a cooperating witness on Dec. 4 that he told FBI agents he didn’t have any more of Krause’s possessions but told the cooperating witness he still had his stuff (including the weapons). Pierce was released on $ 5,000 bond.

A federal defender for Krause wrote last week that the government’s motion was simply a “delay tactic the government is using to buy more time to investigate because the government does not have a case against Mr. Krause.”

The government is violating Krause’s constitutional rights by “allowing Mr. Krause to languish in jail while the government takes its leisurely time investigating Mr. Krause in hopes of finding an offense,” federal defender Bruce Eddy wrote on Krause’s behalf in a motion filed last week. Eddy accused the government of being on a “witch hunt” for Krause.

While the government has previously said Krause had writings on “militia extremism,” Krause’s friends say Krause was a liberal and have said he would never be involved in an anti-government group.







TPMMuckraker

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In January, I did a timeline of the key dates revealed in Manning’s July 6, 2010 charging document. I wanted to put the timeline laid out in yesterday’s charging document side-by-side with the earlier one to identify what new details there are, presumably showing us what the government has learned since July, as well as the chronology of when the government alleges Bradley Manning accessed and leaked particular documents.

Here’s what the government appears to believe happened.

Before January 8, 2010: Garani airstrike video

Based on my assumption that the video called BE22 PAX.wmv is the Garani video (see Specification 11), it appears Manning allegedly leaked that first. The government says that leak occurred by January 8, which happens to be the date when WikiLeaks said they had an encrypted video of an airstrike on civilians (note, in the past I have supposed that that was the Collateral Murder video, which appears to have been wrong). There’s nothing in the charging document that might explain how they think Manning leaked that video.

Before February 9, 2010: Iraq and Afghan warlogs

Interestingly, the government seems confident that Manning accessed both the Iraq and Afghan War logs by January 8. Yesterday’s charging sheet also describes the leak of 20 cables each from these databases possibly as early as New Years Eve in 2009, but definitely by February 9.

After February 11: Unauthorized software on SIPRNET and the Collateral Murder, Rejkjavik-13 cable, and Defense Intelligence documents

Then, remember, Manning came to the US in January to February 2010. Adrian Lamo has long alleged that Manning got help from some folks in Boston. The timeline shows Manning returned on February 11, which also happens to be the first date Manning is alleged to have put the first of two unauthorized pieces of software onto SIPRNET. Shortly thereafter-on February 15-is the earliest day the government thinks Manning could have leaked the Collateral Murder video, the Rejkjavik-13 cable, and the Defense Intelligence report. All of that suggests that the government believes Manning got software while in the US, loaded it onto SIPRNET when he returned to Iraq, then leaked those three documents using that software. Note, thought, that the last date for when Manning allegedly added this software was April 3, right before the Collateral Murder video came out, so it may be that video is the first thing they’re sure he used the software with. In any case, the government still seems to have no idea when these documents were leaked, suggesting that the software may have prevented the government from pinpointing when Manning allegedly leaked any given document using forensics.

March 8: Gitmo documents and bypassing information security

The government seems to know precisely what day, March 8, Manning accessed what I believe are the Gitmo documents, described as 700 SOUTHCOM documents. Though as with the other documents, they don’t seem to know when he leaked them. Note that March 8 is also the first date for which the government alleges Manning “attempt[ed] to bypass network or information system security mechanisms.”

Four days in March: WikiLeaks surveillance?

Then came the leak of “more than one classified memo” from a US intelligence agency, sometime between March 22 and 26. As I’ve been suggesting, that happened at precisely the time, Manning said in chat logs, that Manning confirmed he was talking directly with Julian Assange by matching what Assange said about surveillance with the surveillance evidence Manning tracked on DOD networks. On March 23, WL announced that, “We know our possession of the decrypted airstrike video is now being discussed at the highest levels of US command.” And in his discussion with Lamo, Manning also mentioned the government’s discussion of the airstrike video:

(2:14:46 PM) Manning: based on the description he gave me, I assessed it was the Northern Europe Diplomatic Security Team… trying to figure out how he got the Reykjavik cable…
(2:15:57 PM) Manning: they also caught wind that he had a video… of the Gharani airstrike in afghanistan, which he has, but hasn’t decrypted yet… the production team was actually working on the Baghdad strike though, which was never really encrypted

Which seems to suggest these intelligence memos may have related to the government’s surveillance of WikiLeaks itself. (Note, I’m not actually sure that Diplomatic Security qualifies as an intelligence agency; it’s possible the US command reference came from something else, something more clearly an intelligence agency.)

Mid-February, then after March 28: The State Department cables

The State Department cables appear to have come next.

As noted above, the government put the window for Manning to have accessed and leaked the Rejkjavik-13 cable-what he called “a test”-between February 15 and 18. (In chat logs, Manning noted that, “the result of that one was that the icelandic ambassador to the US was recalled, and fired,” so it may be by “test” they were trying to assess how the diplomatic community would respond to a leak of one of these cables.) The charging document puts the first date he may have accessed the State Department cables on March 28. So they’re claiming that he went and got the Rejkjavik cable, leaked it, and then went back and got the entire database.

The dates on these may also tell us something about the cables. The Rejkjavik-13 cable is dated January 13; the government lists February 15 as the first date Manning might have accessed it-so Manning accessed it just over a month after it was written. The last date from which we have State cables is February 28, 2010; the government lists the first date when Manning accessed the entire database as March 28, exactly a month later. Is it possible that the State Department cables only became accessible to Manning a month after they were first written?

If I’m not mistaken, the State Department cables are the only ones for which Manning is accused of exceeding his authorized access:

having knowingly exceeded authorized access on a Secret Internet Protocol Router Network computer, and by means of such conduct having obtained information that has been determined by the United States government pursuant to an Executive Order or statute to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national defense or foreign relations

This suggests two things. First, the State cables appear to be the only thing that Manning, as an Army intelligence analyst, didn’t already have authorized access to. This sort of makes sense, since everything else appears to have belonged to DOD. But it also might mean that the government is crafting this charge with the possibility of piling on later-perhaps with an Espionage charge if they can ever tie Manning to Julian Assange?

After April 11: Garani documents

WikiLeaks never released the Garani video Manning purportedly leaked. So we may never learn what WikiLeaks intended to do with it. But in chat logs, here’s how he described the video and related material.

(2:15:57 PM) Manning: they also caught wind that he had a video… of the Gharani airstrike in afghanistan, which he has, but hasn’t decrypted yet… the production team was actually working on the Baghdad strike though, which was never really encrypted
(2:16:22 PM) Manning: he’s got the whole 15-6 for that incident… so it wont just be video with no context
(2:16:55 PM) Manning: but its not nearly as damning… it was an awful incident, but nothing like the baghdad one
(2:17:59 PM) Manning: the investigating officers left the material unprotected, sitting in a directory on a centcom.smil.mil
(2:18:03 PM) Manning: server
(2:18:56 PM) Manning: but they did zip up the files, aes-256, with an excellent password… so afaik it hasn’t been broken yet
(2:19:12 PM) Manning: 14+ chars…

I find this interesting given that the government alleges Manning leaked “more than five classified records” related to the Garani airstrike (we know it was Garani by the date and location) sometime after April 11-that is, 4 months after they believe Manning leaked the video itself (again, assuming the BE22 PAX.wmv is the Garani video). While it’s possible Manning was trying to get something that might help WL decrypt the video, given the reference to “records,” I suspect these documents are the 15-6 investigation documents. It appears Manning was trying to provide context for the Garani strike, which resulted in the killing of up to 140 civilians. Note, too, that April 11 would have been just after WikiLeaks released the Collateral Murder video, so it may be that Manning was trying to find similar context for the events depicted in the video.

Early May: A new computer and the global address list?

Note, for some of the documents Mannnig is alleged to leak-the Gitmo documents, the Garani documents, and the State Department cables-the government just gives May 27 as the last day he might have leaked them. That is, they know he leaked them before they arrested him, but are not certain precisely when he did leak them. But it appears they think he got everything he was going to leak earlier.

The exception is the Outlook global address list, which Manning is alleged to have gotten after May 11. (See William Ockham’s comment for what the address list may have allowed Manning to do.)

The date the government alleges Manning accessed that list is one week after they allege he added a second piece of unauthorized software to SIPRNET on May 4.

And both of those dates are in the general time frame when Manning assaulted a colleague and was demoted.

Now, I’ve still got a lot of questions about this time frame. But one possibility is that the May 4 date reflects a new computer assignment, possibly tied to his demotion (though he still had access to SIPRNET on May 4; it’d be surprising that he still had access after his demotion). And I wonder whether Manning didn’t access the global address list as he grew increasingly frustrated with his plight?

In other words, it appears that after Garani videos (and after the release of the Collateral Muder video), Manning’s active access and leaking of documents tailed off. In other words, it appears that it was almost two months between the time Manning stopped actively leaking and the time the Army arrested him.

Related posts:

  1. Bradley Manning’s New Charges: “Bringing Discredit upon the Armed Forces”
  2. Is the Government Alleging Bradley Manning Loaded Encryption Software onto DOD Computers?
  3. Why Did Bradley Manning Allegedly Leak WikiLeaks Two Things before He Verified Assange’s Identity?


Emptywheel

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Well, it did make for good headlines:

Hamas Refuses UN Plan to Teach Holocaust

Hamas has condemned a United Nations decision to teach refugee children in Gaza about the Holocaust, saying it is a “lie invented by the Zionists” and would reinforce Israeli control over the Holy Land.

Reuters broke the story on Monday, saying the Hamas terrorist movement, which currently controls the Gaza Strip, demands that UNRWA – the UN organization that controls many aspects of the lives of Arab refugees and their millions of descendants - withdraw plans for a new history book in UN schools in Gaza.

After all, it demonstrated that UNRWA was trying to be evenhanded-and if the curriculum was never used, it was the fault of Hamas.

Actually, the curriculum was never used because there never was a UNRWA curriculum for teaching the Holocaust:

“There is not, and has never been, a plan for a Holocaust curriculum in any UNRWA school,” reports Bedein, who heads the Jerusalem-based Israel Resource News Agency (IRNA).

“When this story first surfaced [last year], our agency explored every level of the PA Ministry of Education,” Bedein noted, “because UNRWA schools in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza follow the curriculum and use the school books of the Palestinian Authority… We also examined all levels of the UNRWA education department to follow this up, and found out that there is no plan whatsoever by UNRWA to launch any kind of Holocaust curriculum.”

IRNA sent a formal query to UNRWA in this regard, and received a response from Michael Kingsley-Nyinah, Director of the Executive Office of UNRWA, which stated emphatically: “I am writing to clarify that there is no ‘Holocaust curriculum’ as such in UNRWA schools and there are no plans to introduce one.” [emphasis added]

I suppose that  is to be expected, considering UNRWA’s history of using textbooks that deny Israel’s right to exist.

The irony is that there actually is a resource on the Holocaust available in the UNRWA camps:

In every PA school library, the students have easy access to the doctoral thesis written by Palestinian Authority [chairman] Mahmoud Abbas only 26 years ago [later published as a book] entitled, ‘The Other Side: The secret relations between Nazism and the leadership of the Zionist movement,’ which he submitted to obtain his Ph.D. at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. That is the level of Holocaust education taught in the UNRWA Palestinian schools, inculcating a new generation of Palestinian pupils to believe that the World Zionist Congress worked in tandem with the Third Reich to murder millions of Jews.”

Here are 2 excerpts from Abbas’s thesis, The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism which was later published:

o “Having more victims meant greater rights and stronger privilege to join the negotiation table for dividing the spoils of war once it was over. However, since Zionism was not a fighting partner — suffering victims in a battle — it had no escape but to offer up human beings, under any name, to raise the number of victims, which they could then boast of at the moment of accounting…

It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement…is to inflate this figure so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions — fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand.”

o “A partnership was established between Hitler’s Nazis and the leadership of the Zionist movement… [the Zionists] gave permission to every racist in the world, led by Hitler and the Nazis, to treat Jews as they wish, so long as it guarantees immigration to Palestine.”

Aside from the his denial of the Holocaust, Abbas’ ignorance of history is illustrated by his claim that “Zionism was not a fighting partner — suffering victims in a battle”

Not surprisingly, the truth is the exact opposite of what Abbas writes. In his book, The Palestinian Right To Israel, historian Alex Grobman writes:

In September 1949, the British established a Palestinaian battalion attached to the East Kent Regiment, but the Jews wanted to fight under their own Jewish flag. The British wanted the battalion to be composed of equal numbers of Jews and Arabs, but this was unrealistic due to the large number of Jews who volunteered and the “grater proneness to desertion of the Arabs”.

By the end of war, there were more than 26,000 Jewish men and women from Palestine serving in the British Air Force, Navy, and Army. (p. 129)

History is obviously not Abbas’ forte.
Just as education is not one of UNRWA’s strengths.

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Daled Amos

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The military has filed 22 additional charges against Pvt. Bradley Manning, including aiding the enemy, in the alleged massive leak of classified files, NBC News reports.

Manning is accused of illegally downloading tens of thousands of classified documents from both the U.S. military and the State Department that were later released by WikiLeaks, Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube report.

The 23-year-old Manning was first charged on July 6 with eight charges including violating the Espionage Act by transmitting classified information to an unauthorized third party when he worked as a military intelligence analyst in Baghdad.

NBC reported that Pentagon and military officials said some of the classified information WikiLeaks released endangered the lives of informants and others who had cooperated with U.S. forces in Afghanistan:

According to the officials, the U.S. military rounded up many of those named and brought them into their bases for their own protection. But, according to one military official, “We didn’t get them all.” Military officials tell NBC News, a small number of them have still have not been found.

The “aiding the enemy” charge could result in the death penalty, but military prosecutors recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison if convicted only on that charge, said NBC. The military judge would still have the ability to disregard the prosecution’s recommendation.

Late Update: Manning’s attorney David E. Coombs responded to the new charges on his blog.

“Over the past few weeks, the defense has been preparing for the possiblity of additional charges in this case. The decision to prefer charges is an individual one by PFC Manning’s commander. The nature of the charges and the number of specifications under each reflects his determination, in consultation with his Staff Judge Advocate’s office, of the possible offenses in this case. Ultimately, the Article 32 Investigating Officer will determine which, if any, of these additional charges and specifications should be referred to a court-martial.







TPMMuckraker

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Back when WikiLeaks leaked the Collateral Murder video, I was agnostic about the value of the leak. Surely, exposing the cover-up of the killing of the Reuters journalists was important. But I thought the response focused too much on the soldiers who had been trained to respond the way they had, and too little on the architects of the policies that put them in that dehumanizing position.

I personally didn’t delve much into the Afghan cable dump, so I never really assessed its value. And with the sole exception of the Iran hiker cable-which the NYT left dangerously unredacted to make one of its pet points-I found the Iraq cables to be redacted beyond the point of usefulness.

And so it was that in the early days after the State cable release when Joe Lieberman was intervening to try to prevent publication of WikiLeaks, Joe Biden was calling Julian Assange a high tech terrorist, and Sarah Palin was advocating hunting down WikiLeaks like al Qaeda, I was somewhat agnostic on the value of the massive leaks WikiLeaks released. When Floyd Abrams was trying to distinguish “good” leaker Daniel Ellsberg from “bad” alleged leaker Bradley Manning, I knew there had been revelations important to my issues, but I wasn’t sure how Manning’s alleged leak would measure up across time.

That seems like a long, long time ago.

And while we don’t yet know how the State Department cable leaks will weather history, the importance of the leak now seems beyond question. Consider the way the NYT-the Administration’s mole in the press corps-continues to rely on the cable leaks even while it disdains Julian Assange as a bag lady. Indeed, on some stories the NYT is getting scooped on by their former reporters, they use cables as a crutch to catch up.

The NYT is not alone; it seems news outlets around the world have grown accustomed-and downright happy-that these sources are all out there to help them do their jobs.

And consider the range of stories we’ve seen. We’ve seen American pressure on allies to put counterterrorism policies-both data collection and torture-ahead of democracy. We’ve seen how our troops in Iraq knowingly turned over Iraqis to be tortured. We’ve seen our allies in the Middle East promising to cause democratic elections not to take place. And while I definitely don’t think WikiLeaks “caused” the Middle Eastern uprising, they did make it hard for Western elites to defend their former client dictators once the uprisings started.

Over time, I think one of the most damning lessons from the State cables will be evidence of the tolerance for bribery and looting that rots our foreign policy. Thus far, we’ve seen details of our allies’ oil bribery, our disinterest in doing anything about Hosni Mubarak’s or Muammar Qadaffi’s or the Saudis’ looting, We’ve also seen how our government apparently threw its investigation of rich tax cheats to get Switzerland to take three of our Gitmo detainees. Our government complains about the corruption of other countries. But as WikiLeaks makes clear, those complaints are mostly just for public show.

Our government may hate all these disclosures. But they are disclosures we, as citizens, need to demand our government deliver on its promise of democracy.

After all this time, it seems, El Pais editor Javier Moreno seems to have had the right read on these leaks.

A democracy comprises diverse elements: institutions and rules; free and fair elections; independent judges and a free press, among others. At the bottom of all this there are legal procedures. When these are flouted, all the rest is put at risk.

We have come to accept the difference between the government that we elect every five years, and the military, bureaucratic, and diplomatic apparatus that it is sustained by, but that all too often it fails to control. The WikiLeaks cables have confirmed this beyond any doubt.

Ellsberg’s leak of the Pentagon Papers proved our government systematically lied about the war in Vietnam. The WikiLeaks dumps have proved that our government systematically lies about democracy.

Related posts:

  1. Why Did Bradley Manning Allegedly Leak WikiLeaks Two Things before He Verified Assange’s Identity?
  2. Is the Government Alleging Bradley Manning Loaded Encryption Software onto DOD Computers?
  3. Did Manning Zerofill His Computers? Or Did the Military?


Emptywheel

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It is well known that Sharia forbids the propagation of non-Islamic religions. But simply going about one’s business in normal, daily life while identifying oneself as a non-Muslim is to make a non-Muslim faith visible. That appears to be all Dr. Maher Ayyad has done, though in a civilized society, there would be no such restrictions on his preaching openly if he so desired.

Compliance with the dhimma restrictions on the visibility of non-Islamic faiths is always in the eye of the Muslim beholder, and non-Muslims who stop short of cowering under a rock in fear may find themselves at risk — whether Christians in Gaza, or Ahmadis in Indonesia.

Incidents like this, which fit the pattern of an increasingly intrusive, aggressive enforcement of Sharia in Gaza will only help to empty the area of educated professionals — Christian surgeons included. In other words: jihad causes poverty. Not that it will stop anyone from blaming Israel, of course.

“Gaza assailants plant bomb under Christian car,” from the Associated Press, February 27 (thanks to Kevin):

A prominent Christian surgeon in the Gaza Strip said assailants threw a bomb at his vehicle and sent him threatening messages.

Dr. Maher Ayyad, 55, says no one was hurt in Friday’s bombing, though the explosion damaged his brother’s vehicle.

He said Sunday that after the blast, he received text messages to halt evangelical work or face harsh punishment. Ayyad says he does not preach his faith.

There are some 3,000 Christians in Gaza amid a population of some 1.5 million Muslims. They mostly have good relations. But some Gaza Christians have reported harassment by religious hardliners since the terrorist Islamic group Hamas seized power in 2007.

There have been sporadic attacks against Christians.

Funny how that keeps happening.

Jihad Watch

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Kansas City Star
Lawyer of Auburn alleged tree poisoner wants out of case
msnbc.com
As it is, though, the court appointed lawyer of Harvey Almorn Updyke, the man charged with poisoning the 130-year-old live oak trees at Toomer's Corner, has asked to be removed from representing Updyke. Attorney Philip O. Tyler cited a conflict of
Man charged in Auburn tree caseTampabay.com
Oak trees' death will not kill Auburn spiritDaily Home Online
Friend: 'Nothing criminal' in Updyke's pastOpelika Auburn News
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