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Archive for December 22nd, 2008

FBI Agent in Sen. Stevens Case Lodges Explosive Allegations Against Government

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – An FBI agent involved in the Sen. Ted Stevens public corruption case is accusing the government of “violations of policy, rules and procedures as well as possible criminal violations” that include disclosing names of grand jury witnesses during the investigation and altering a document that was later turned over to the defense.
In an explosive affidavit flush with blacked out names and passages of sensitive information, the unnamed agent accused an unnamed government investigator of becoming too close with witnesses and disclosing far too much information to people about the investigation. The accusations were filed  late Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Washington.
The agent has asked for whistle blower status.
Stevens’ attorney responded Monday by filing a motion asking that the indictment be dismissed or the judge order up a new trial. Stevens was convicted on public corruption charges shortly before the Nov. 4 election, which he lost.
“A whistle blower complaint submitted by a Special Agent with the FBI now confirms what the defense has long contended: the government cheated and lied in order to obtain a verdict against Senator Ted Stevens,” the motion said.
The FBI did not have an immediate comment last night.

Read More Details in Associated Press Story

Read Washington Post Version

Read FBI Agent’s Statement

Read Stevens Motion To Dismiss

Witness Regrets Testifying (AP)

Breaking News: Five Men Found Guilty in Ft. Dix Terrorism Case

In a long drawn out court battle, the government emerged victorious. The question is: How big of a victory is it in the war on terrorism?

By Troy Graham
The Philadelphia Inquirer
CAMDEN, N.J. — A federal jury today found the five foreign-born Muslim men guilty of conspiring to kill military personnel, but not guilty of attempted murder.
The verdict ends one of the country’s most sensational cases of domestic terrorism, a case that garnered international headlines on May 7, 2007, when the defendants were arrested in coordinated raids.
The jury returned at 1:20 p.m. and was finished reading their verdict on the multiple charges at 1:35 p.m.
The judge read a statement from the jury, that said in part:
“The American justice system is a precious and fragile thing…This has been one of the most difficult things we have ever had to do…We have not reached our conclusion lightly…We are confident we have reached it fairly and impartially. We ask that our privacy be respected.”
The eight woman four men have remained anonymous.
For Full Story
Read Verdict
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

David Ogden Possible Pick For No. 2 Spot in Atty. Gen. Office

It could be an obvious pick considering he’s already involved with the Obama team. We’ll know soon enough.

By Joe Palazzolo
Legal Times
David Ogen/law firm photo

David Ogden/law firm photo

WASHINGTON — With congressional pressure mounting, the short list for the Department of Justice’s No. 2. position appears to be getting shorter all the time.
President-elect Barack Obama’s transition staff has declined to discuss potential Justice nominees, or even reveal who on the transition team is mustering names. But Washington lawyers have been speculating for weeks that Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr’s David Ogden, who is heading the Justice Department transition team, is the likely pick for deputy attorney general. One Washington lawyer close to the transition says his nomination is all but assured.
Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School, has also been named as a possibility, though many say the position would be an odd fit. Denied a hearing by Republicans after President Bill Clinton nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 1999, Kagan has re-emerged as a potential Supreme Court pick for Obama.
For Full Story

Could Lashkar-e-Taiba be the New Bully in the Terrorism World?

Like in the world of computers and video games, there’s always something new and improved about to come out. Could that be true in the terrorism world?  Is the India terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the new and improved al Qaeda?

BY JAMES GORDON MEEK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON – U.S. intelligence was caught off-guard by Lashkar-e-Taiba’s “highly sophisticated” Mumbai terror strikes last month, which top spies now consider the debut of a new “brand name” to rival Al Qaeda.
The Islamist group was formed with Pakistani government help decades ago, but U.S. officials admit underestimating Lashkar’s shift from waging a minor conflict in the Kashmir region to threatening Westerners and Jews.
“There is real concern over the fact LeT has raised its profile,” a U.S. counterterror official told the Daily News. “A lot of people are watching closely now to see if they’re plotting new attacks.”
The group is as mainstream in Pakistan as its ally Hamas is in the Palestinian territories.
For Full Story

Terrorist Extradition From Britain Slower than Molasses

There is slow justice and then there is very very slow justice. Here is the latter.

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
SOUTH LITTLETON, England — Soon after al-Qaeda bombed two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, a U.S. federal judge issued a warrant for Khalid al-Fawwaz, an accused conspirator in the attacks and a confidant of Osama bin Laden.
British police promptly arrested Fawwaz, a Saudi national, at his home in London. Two other al-Qaeda suspects were later detained nearby. British authorities pledged to extradite the men to the United States as swiftly as possible so they could stand trial.
But a decade later, none of the defendants has moved any closer to a U.S. courtroom. One died of cancer in July. The other two, including Fawwaz, remain in prison here as their hearings drag on.
As the long-delayed British extraditions show, it is extraordinarily difficult to bring international terrorism suspects to justice by prosecuting them in U.S. civilian courts. The cases underscore the challenge facing President-elect Barack Obama as he tries to find a way to close the Navy prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and end the military tribunals set up by the Bush administration to handle terrorism cases from abroad.
For Full Story

U.S. Atty. Fitzgerald Avoids Controversy at College Commencement Speech

Some people were probably expecting a little jab at Gov. Blagojevich during his speech. But U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitgerald didn’t throw any punches.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PEORIA, Ill. – U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s 9-minute commencement address at Bradley University on Saturday may be most notable for what it didn’t mention: There weren’t any juicy new details about the corruption case he’s brought against Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Delivering the midyear commencement address at the central Illinois school, Fitzgerald urged graduates not to turn their backs on the opportunity to work in public service.
“You will not be making a sacrifice. You will be making the smartest decision you ever made,” said Fitzgerald, who was also awarded an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters.
But Fitzgerald made no mention of the charges he brought against the Democratic governor earlier this month, charges that shook the Illinois political establishment and put the state in the national spotlight.
For Full Story