Saturday, January 21, 2017

BAUAW NEWSLETTER, SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2017

Very Sad News from Amnesty International:

Native American Activist Leonard Peltier Denied Clemency


Native American activist Leonard Peltier was denied clemency by President Obama today after more than four decades in prison.
“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”
“Leonard Peltier is 72 years old and in failing health. The failure to act may have condemned him to die in prison.”
http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/native-american-activist-leonard-peltier-denied-clemency

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Chelsea Manning Support Network
President Obama Commutes Chelsea's Sentence!
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

President Obama Commutes Chelsea's Sentence!!!

Chelsea Manning Support Network
January 17, 2017
“Today’s victory is a victory for all those who stood with Chelsea Manning.”
President Obama has commuted all but four months of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former US Army Intelligence Analyst serving 35-years for releasing classified information. Chelsea’s attorney Nancy Hollander, who spoke with President Obama’s counsel earlier today, confirms that “Chelsea will walk out of Fort Leavenworth a free woman in four months, on May 17th.”
The Chelsea Manning Support Network applauds this decision by outgoing President Barack Obama, and extends our heartfelt gratitude. A commutation can not be reversed by a future president.
“Today’s fantastic news goes a long way to making amends for the brutal treatment Chelsea was illegally subjected to while awaiting trial at the Quantico Marine Brig. It’s tragic that Chelsea had to spend 7-years imprisoned for releasing documents that should never have been classified in the first place, and were clearly in the public interest,” stated Chelsea Manning Support Network co-founder Jeff Paterson. “All of us who worked on Chelsea’s behalf are overjoyed.”
The Chelsea Manning Support Network was founded in the weeks following Chelsea’s arrest in Iraq in May 2010. The Network covered 100% of the legal fees associated with her pretrial hearing, court martial trial, and raised a significant amount toward the legal costs of her appeal. Many days during her trial, the courtroom was packed with supporters wearing “truth” shirts.
“Over the last few years, I’ve come to know Chelsea as a deeply intelligent, sensitive woman who doesn’t deserve to spend decades in prison. I often feared that any more time behind bars would be devastating for Chelsea, or potentially even lethal, especially with President-Elect Trump taking office. Soon, she’ll have a chance to live the life she’s been denied for almost seven years,” Rainey Reitman, co-founder of the Chelsea Manning Support Network.
In addition to fundraising, the organization worked to raise awareness of Chelsea’s case. The Support Network held hundreds of rallies around the world, from San Francisco and London. Chelsea’s supporters became regular participants in yearly pride parades the last several years. In addition, the Support Network placed billboards in Los Angeles and Kansas City, ran a full-page New York Times ad, and helped generate over one million petition signatures in support of Chelsea’s release.
"In conversations Chelsea and I had while she was imprisoned, I learned that she’s not only driven by principles, but that she believes in the foundations of America’s government. She dreamed about attending graduate school, and helping to research ways that government could use technology to improve transparency and public participation. Whatever she chooses to do now, the world is better for having a bright young person free to pursue a meaningful life," noted former campaign manager Emma Cape.
“I believe that the support for Chelsea demonstrated that whistleblowers who oppose injustice will not face powerful government retribution alone,” declared Rainey Reitman. “Today’s victory is a victory for all those who stood with Chelsea Manning.”




*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


BREAKING: BAD NEWS on Mumia Abu-Jamal:

ALERT:

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has filed the (predicted) appeal of Mumia's recent court victory, which granted his right to the curative drug for his Hepatitis-C infection. 

See Mumia"s comment below

Join the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal 
for MLK Day in Oakland:

_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
THE DOC APPEALS
[col. writ. 1/14/17] ©'17 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Several days ago, the Pa. DOC appealed the Jan. 3rd US District Court ruling that granted an injunction against the DOC's so-called 'protocol' covering hepatitis treatment (or should I say lack of treatment?).
The state waited almost 10 days to file an appeal saying they didn't have the time needed to obey a court order that gave them 2 weeks (14 days) to begin the process.
They also ignored the court's order that the DOC was enjoined from using its 'protocol'--they continue to use it, as if no court order was ever issued.
If that ain't contempt of court, what can it be called?
The State violates constitutional rights daily--because it can. What's another court order?
To them, it ain't worth the paper it's printed on.
From the very beginning the DOC has spit in the eye of the judge. They've filed false documents. They've made misleading claims. They tried to intimidate him.
Why should they now be any different?
And yet, the battle goes on, to save the lives of thousands of prisoners in Pa. dungeons.
--©'17maj.
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _

After last month's successful Mumia Action Coalition rally and march in Oakland, the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal is calling all activists to join the labor contingent for the MLK march on Monday January 16. We will be gathering in front of the State Building at 16th St. & Clay in downtown Oakland at 10:45 AM and then moving to Oscar Grant Plaza around the corner to join the main march. We'll have a large Free Mumia banner and posters, but if you have your own bring that.  Let's make Mumia's recent courtroom victories a reality by organizing a spirited contingent demanding his immediate release from prison after 35 years on slow death row! 

For more info: call Gerald at 510-417-1252

About the recently appealed Court victory:

On January 3rd, a federal court granted Mumia Abu-Jamal's petition for immediate and effective treatment for his Hepatitis-C infection, which has hitherto been denied him. The judge struck down Pennsylvania's protocols as "deliberate indifference to serious medical need."

This is a rare and important win for innocent political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in a court system that has routinely subjected him to the "Mumia exception," i.e., a refusal of justice despite court precedents in his favor. Thousands of Hep-C-infected prisoners throughout Pennsylvania and the US stand to benefit from this decision, provided it is upheld. 

But, it is up to us to make sure that this decision is not over-turned on appeal--something the State of Pennsylvania will most likely seek.

Hundreds demonstrated in both Philadelphia and Oakland on December 9th to demand both this Hep-C treatment for prisoners, and "Free Mumia Now!" In Oakland, the December 9th Free Mumia Coalition rallied in downtown and then marched on the OPD headquarters. The Coalition brought over two dozen groups together to reignite the movement to free Mumia; and now we need your support to expand and build for more actions in this new, and likely very dangerous year for political prisoners. 

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

"Labor Rising Against Trump"

Dear Friends,

Monday, January 16, 2017 was a success in the fight to reclaim Martin Luther King's legacy as we were joined by several thousand in the street in Oakland for the "Reclaim King's Radical Legacy March." To continue to build momentum in raising awareness about King's legacy, we invite you to join "Labor Rising Against Trump" to learn more about King's support for the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike during the final days of his life in the Spring of 1968. This film explores King's historic links with labor as he believed that economic justice and organized workplaces were central to the liberation of African Americans and all working people during the Civil Rights movement.

The film will be shown on Wednesday (1/18/17) at the Omni Commons Disco Room (4799 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland) at 7pm. Requested Donation of $5 (no one turned away for lack of funds). Snacks and light refreshments will be provided.

The link to the Film Screening Event on IndyBay.org is found below:

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


Protect Kevin "Rashid" Johnson from Prison Repression!

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

WHEN: Anytime
WHAT: Protect imprisoned activist-journalist Kevin "Rashid" Johnson
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1794902884117144/


On December 21, 2016, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson was the victim of an
assault by guards at the Clements Unit where he is currently being held,
just outside Amarillo, Texas. Rashid was sprayed with OC pepper gas
while handcuffed in his cell, and then left in the contaminated cell for
hours with no possibility to shower and no access to fresh air. It was
in fact days before he was supplied with new sheets or clothes (his bed
was covered with the toxic OC residue), and to this day his cell has not
been properly decontaminated.

This assault came on the heels of another serious move against Rashid,
as guards followed up on threats to confiscate all of his property – not
only files required for legal matters, but also art supplies, cups to
drink water out of, and food he had recently purchased from the
commissary. The guards in question were working under the direction of
Captain Patricia Flowers, who had previously told Rashid that she
intended to seize all of his personal belongings as retaliation for his
writings about mistreatment of prisoners, up to and including assaults
and purposeful medical negligence that have led to numerous deaths in
custody. Specifically, Rashid's writings have called attention to the
deaths of Christopher Woolverton, Joseph Comeaux, and Alton Rodgers, and
he has been contacted by lawyers litigating on behalf of the families of
at least two of these men.

As a journalist and activist literally embedded within the bowels of the
world's largest prison system, Rashid relies on his files and notes for
correspondence, legal matters, and his various news reports.
Furthermore, Rashid is a self-taught artist of considerable talent (his
work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and books);
needless to say, the guards were also instructed to seize his art
materials and the drawings he was working on.

(For a more complete description of Rashid's ordeal on and following
December 21, see his recent article "Bound and Gassed: My Reward for
Exposing Abuses and Killings of Texas Prisoners" at
http://rashidmod.com/?p=2321)

Particularly worrisome, is the fact that the abuse currently directed
against Rashid is almost a carbon-copy of what was directed against
Joseph Comeaux in 2013, who was eventually even denied urgently needed
medical care. Comeaux died shortly thereafter.

This is the time to step up and take action to protect Rashid; and the
only protection we can provide, from the outside, is to make sure prison
authorities know that we are watching. Whether you have read his
articles about prison conditions, his political or philosophical
polemics (and whether you agreed with him or not!), or just appreciate
his artwork – even if this is the first you are hearing about Rashid –
we need you to step up and make a few phone calls and send some emails.
When doing so, let officials know you are contacting them about Kevin
Johnson, ID #1859887, and the incident in which he was gassed and his
property confiscated on December 21, 2016. The officials to contact are:

Warden Kevin Foley
Clements Unit
telephone: (806) 381-7080 (you will reach the general switchboard; ask
to speak to the warden's office)

Tell Warden Foley that you have heard of the gas attack on Rashid.
Specific demands you can make:

* That Kevin Johnson's property be returned to him

* That Kevin Johnson's cell be thoroughly decontaminated

* That Captain Patricia Flowers, Lieutenant Crystal Turner, Lieutenant
Arleen Waak, and Corrections Officer Andrew Leonard be sanctioned for
targeting Kevin Johnson for retaliation for his writings

* That measures be taken to ensure that whistleblowers amongst staff and
the prisoner population not be targeted for any reprisals from guards or
other authorities. (This is important because at least one guard and
several prisoners have signed statements asserting that Rashid was left
in his gassed cell for hours, and that his property should not have been
seized.)



Try to be polite, while expressing how concerned you are for Kevin
Johnson's safety. You will almost certainly be told that because other
people have already called and there is an ongoing investigation – or
else, because you are not a member of his family -- that you cannot be
given any information. Say that you understand, but that you still wish
to have your concerns noted, and that you want the prison to know that
you will be keeping track of what happens to Mr Johnson.

The following other authorities should also be contacted. These bodies
may claim they are unable to directly intervene, however we know that by
creating a situation where they are receiving complaints, they will
eventually contact other authorities who can intervene to see what the
fuss is all about. So it's important to get on their cases too:

TDCJ Ombudsman: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

The Inspector General:  512-671-2480

Let these "watchdogs" know you are concerned that Kevin Johnson #1859887
was the victim of a gas attack in Clements Unit on December 21, 2016.
Numerous witnesses have signed statements confirming that he was
handcuffed, in his cell, and not threatening anyone at the time he was
gassed. Furthermore, he was not allowed to shower for hours, and his
cell was never properly decontaminated, so that he was still suffering
the effects of the gas days later. It is also essential to mention that
his property was improperly confiscated, and that he had previously been
threatened with having this happen as retaliation for his writing about
prison conditions. Kevin Johnson's property must be returned!

Finally, complaints should also be directed to the director of the VA
DOC Harold Clarke and the VA DOC's Interstate Compact Supervisor, Terry
Glenn. This is because Rashid is in fact a Virginia prisoner, who has
been exiled from Virginia under something called the Interstate Compact,
which is used by some states as a way to be rid of activist prisoners,
while at the same time separating them from their families and
supporters. Please contact:

VADOC Director, Harold Clarke
804-887-8081
Director.Clarke@vadoc.virginia.gov

Interstate Compact director, Terry Glenn
804-887-7866

Let them know that you are phoning about Kevin Johnson, a Virginia
prisoner who has been sent to Texas under the Interstate Compact. His
Texas ID # is 1859887 however his Virginia ID # is 1007485. Inform them
that Mr Johnson has been gassed by guards and has had his property
seized as retaliation for his writing about prison conditions. These are
serious legal and human rights violations, and even though they occurred
in Texas, the Virginia Department of Corrections is responsible as Mr
Johnson is a Virginia prisoner. Despite the fact that they may ask you
who you are, and how you know about this, and for your contact
information, they will likely simply conclude by saying that they will
not be getting back to you. Nonetheless, it is worth urging them to
contact Texas officials about this matter.

It is good to call whenever you are able. However, in order to maximize
our impact, for those who can, we are suggesting that people make their
phone calls on Thursday, January 5.

And at the same time, please take a moment to sign the online petition
to support Rashid, up at the Roots Action website:
https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/prison-activist-gassed-in-clements-unit-prison-texas-law-enforcement-is-violently-out-of-control

Rashid has taken considerable risks in reporting on the abuse he
witnesses at the Clements Unit, just as he has at other prisons. Indeed,
he has continued to report on the violence and medical neglect to which
prisoners are subjected, despite threats from prison staff. If we, as a
movement, are serious about working to resist and eventually abolish the
U.S. prison system, we must do all we can to assist and protect those
like Rashid who take it upon themselves to stand up and speak out. As
Ojore Lutalo once put it, "Any movement that does not support their
political internees ... is a sham movement."

**********************

To learn more about Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, the abuses in the Texas
prison system, as well as his work in founding and leading the New
Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter, see his website
athttp://www.rashidmod.com

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*






As Robert Boyle, Esq. said, "The struggle is far from over: the DOC will no doubt appeal this ruling. But a victory! Thanks Pam Africa and all the Mumia supporters and all of you."

"Everyone has to get on board to keep the pressure on. We have an opportunity here that we have never had before. We are going to do it as a unified community, everyone together." - Pam Africa  
Let me be honest. We fundraise like we breathe. We have to. We are going to win-- with your key help. We've got until midnight tomorrow to raise just $2,021! We're 97% there. Please pitch in today to help us reach $60K!

Tomorrow your phone will ring with a special message from Mumia. In it, he says, "This is indeed a serious time for me, and for us all. It is not easy to take on the state and prevail; however, it is right to do so. With your help, we may be able to prevail. This is Mumia Abu-Jamal, thanking you for supporting Prison Radio."

John, the clock's running out- but it's not too late to chip in and help us reach our goal! You can open the airwaves for prisoners to speak out in this urgent time of massive incarceration.

Will you pitch in with a gift of $103, $35 or even $250 to bring us to our goal by midnight and amplify the voices of prisoners?
CONTRIBUTE >
Thank you for being a part of this struggle.

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, Director
Facebook
Twitter
Website
To give by check: 
PO Box 411074
San Francisco, CA
94141

Stock or legacy gifts:
Noelle Hanrahan
(415) 706 - 5222

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)

Rasmea Defense Committee statement - December 21, 2016

Rasmea retrial set for May 16, 2017

Support the defense now!


This morning, Rasmea Odeh and her defense attorney Michael Deutsch were called into Judge Gershwin Drain's courtroom in Detroit, where the judge and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel were in attendance. The parties all agreed on May 16, 2017, as the new starting date for Rasmea's retrial.

The defense committee will continue to send regular updates regarding any pre-trial hearings or other appearances that Rasmea must make between now and the retrial, as well as requests to participate in regular defense organizing and activities.

In addition, we urge supporters to continue to
call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade
 at 313-226-9100,
or tweet @USAO_MIE
and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea.

Lastly, and in the spirit of the season, please help us win #Justice4Rasmea by making your end-of-year donation to the defense fund! We thank you all for your continued support!



Background info

Statement from Tuesday, December 13


U.S. Attorney extends political attack on Rasmea, brings new indictment against the Palestinian American


Today, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced that a grand jury she had empaneled returned a new, superseding indictment against Rasmea Odeh for unlawful procurement of naturalization. This new indictment, just four weeks before her retrial, is a vicious attack by prosecutors desperate after a series of setbacks in their case against the Chicago-based Palestinian American community leader. From the outset, the government has attempted to exclude and discredit evidence of Rasmea's torture at the hands of Israeli authorities, but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the prosecution, which led to the retrial; and the government's own expert affirmed that Rasmea lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Knowing that it faces the real prospect of losing a retrial before a jury, the U.S. Attorney's office has reframed its case against Rasmea, putting allegations of terrorism front and center. In the first trial in 2014, prosecutors were barred from using the word "terrorism," because Judge Gershwin Drain agreed the word would bias the jury. The new indictment adds two allegations that preclude this protection: first, that the crimes she was forced by torture to confess to are "terrorist activity"; and second, that she failed to report an alleged association with a "Designated Terrorist Organization." Despite the government's claim that this is a simple case of immigration fraud, this new indictment is written to ensure that Rasmea stands before a jury as an accused terrorist.

The Rasmea Defense Committee is urging supporters to call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade at 313-226-9100, or tweet @USAO_MIE, and demand that she stop wasting taxpayer money, that she stop persecuting a woman who has given so much to U.S. society, and that she #DropTheChargesNow against Rasmea. In addition, the committee is calling on supporters to help win #Justice4Rasmea by donating to the defense and organizing educational events about the case.

"They [the prosecutors] are switching course because they know that a jury will believe Rasmea," says Nesreen Hasan of the Rasmea Defense Committee and its lead organization, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. "We have always said, from day one, that this is a political case, and that the government is prosecuting Rasmea as part of a broader attack, the criminalization of the Palestine liberation movement. This new indictment is literally the same charge, with the same evidence - immigration forms. Only now, they want to paint Rasmea, and all Palestinians, as terrorists. The real criminals in this case are the Israelis who brutally tortured Rasmea 45 years ago, as well as those in the U.S. government who are trying to put her on trial for surviving the brutality committed against her."

Prosecutors will be disappointed to find that these new allegations fail to erode Rasmea's support. People have mobilized by the hundreds for countless hearings, every day of her 2014 trial, and her appeal earlier this year. "We have people ready to come from across the Midwest to stand with Rasmea in Detroit on January 10, but we are also prepared to adjust those plans to be there whenever we are needed," says Jess Sundin of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, who lives in Minneapolis and has mobilized dozens of Minnesotans and others in support of the defense. "We will redouble our organizing and fundraising work, and make certain Rasmea has the best defense possible."

According to lead defense attorney Michael Deutsch, "We also intend to challenge this indictment as vindictive and politically-motivated."

Visit www.justice4rasmea.org for more information.

### End ###
Copyright © 2016 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!
Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
MinneapolisMN  55414

Add us to your address book



*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Table of Contents:

A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

B. ARTICLES IN FULL



*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*




Read more about this action at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_lsTTIlJff6anpUaUdoYWUwVU0/view

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*






*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*





*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*




*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*




Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw Kindle Edition

by Kevin Rashid Johnson (Author), Tom Big Warrior (Introduction), Russell Maroon Shoatz(Introduction)

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013RU5M4S



Join the Fight to Free Rev. Pinkney!

Click HERE to view in browser

http://www.iacenter.org/prisoners/freepinkney-1-28-15/

UPDATE:

Today is the 406th day that Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan
languishes in prison doing felony time for a misdemeanor crime he did not
commit. Today is also the day that Robert McKay, a spokesperson for the
Free Rev. Pinkney campaign, gave testimony before United Nations
representatives about the plight of Rev. Pinkney at a hearing held in
Chicago. The hearing was called in order to shed light upon the
mistreatment of African-Americans in the United States and put it on an
international stage. And yet as the UN representatives and audience heard
of the injustices in the Pinkney case many gasped in disbelief and asked
with frowns on their faces, "how is this possible?" But disbelief quickly
disappeared when everyone realized these were the same feelings they had
when they first heard of Flint and we all know what happened in Flint. FREE
REV. PINKNEY NOW.

Please send letters to:
Marquette Branch Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney N-E-93 #294671
1960 US Hwy 41 South
Marquette, MI 49855

Please donate at http://bhbanco.org (Donate button) or send checks to BANCO:
c/o Dorothy Pinkney
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Contributions for Rev. Pinkney's defense can be sent to BANCO at Mrs Dorothy Pinkney, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Or you can donate on-line at bhbanco.org.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



State Seeks to Remove Innocent PA Lifer's Attorney! Free Corey Walker!


The PA Office of the Attorney General (OAG) filed legal action to remove Corey Walker's attorney, Rachel Wolkenstein, in November 2014. On Tuesday, February 9, 2016 the evidentiary hearing to terminate Wolkenstein as Corey Walker's pro hac vice lawyer continues before Judge Lawrence Clark of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas in Harrisburg, PA.

Walker, assisted by Wolkenstein, filed three sets of legal papers over five months in 2014 with new evidence of Walker's innocence and that the prosecution and police deliberately used false evidence to convict him of murder. Two weeks after Wolkenstein was granted pro hac vice status, the OAG moved against her and Walker.

The OAG claims that Wolkenstein's political views and prior legal representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal and courtroom arrest by the notorious Judge Albert Sabo makes it "intolerable" for her to represent Corey Walker in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Over the past fifteen months the OAG has effectively stopped any judicial action on the legal challenges of Corey Walker and his former co-defendant, Lorenzo Johnson against their convictions and sentences to life imprisonment without parole while it proceeds in its attempts to remove Wolkenstein.

This is retaliation against Corey Walker who is innocent and framed. Walker and his attorney won't stop until they thoroughly expose the police corruption and deliberate presentation of false evidence to convict Corey Walker and win his freedom.

This outrageous attack on Corey Walker's fundamental right to his lawyer of choice and challenge his conviction must cease. The evidence of his innocence and deliberate prosecutorial frame up was suppressed for almost twenty years. Corey Walker must be freed!

Read: Jim Crow Justice – The Frame-up Of Corey Walker by Charles Brover

Go to FreeCoreyWalker.org to provide help and get more information.


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

The Oasis Clinic in Oakland, CA, which treats patients with Hepatitis-C (HCV), demands an end to the outrageous price-gouging of Big Pharma corporations, like Gilead Sciences, which hike-up the cost for essential, life-saving medications such as the cure for the deadly Hepatitis-C virus, in order to reap huge profits. The Oasis Clinic's demand is:

PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!


WE DEMAND:

PUBLIC HEALTH, NOT CORPORATE WEALTH!

IMMEDIATE AND FREE TREATMENT FOR ALL HCV-INFECTED PRISONERS!

NO EXECUTION BY MEDICAL NEGLECT!

JAIL DRUG PROFITEERS, FREE MUMIA!

This message from:
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610 • www.laboractionmumia.org
06 January 2016

Mumia Is Innocent!  Free Mumia!
 

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



Major Battles On
For over 31 years, Major Tillery has been a prisoner of the State.
Despite that extraordinary fact, he continues his battles, both in the prison for his health, and in the courts for his freedom.
Several weeks ago, Tillery filed a direct challenge to his criminal conviction, by arguing that a so-called "secret witness" was, in fact, a paid police informant who was given a get-out-of-jail-free card if he testified against Tillery.
Remember I mentioned, "paid?"
Well, yes--the witness was 'paid'--but not in dollars. He was paid in sex!
In the spring of 1984, Robert Mickens was facing decades in prison on rape and robbery charges. After he testified against Tillery, however, his 25-year sentence became 5 years: probation!
And before he testified he was given an hour and a ½ private visit with his girlfriend--at the Homicide Squad room at the Police Roundhouse. (Another such witness was given another sweetheart deal--lie on Major, and get off!)
To a prisoner, some things are more important than money. Like sex!
In a verified document written in April, 2016, Mickens declares that he lied at trial, after being coached by the DAs and detectives on the case.
He lied to get out of jail--and because he could get with his girl.
Other men have done more for less.
Major's 58-page Petition is a time machine back into a practice that was once common in Philadelphia.
In the 1980s and '90s, the Police Roundhouse had become a whorehouse.
Major, now facing serious health challenges from his hepatitis C infection, stubborn skin rashes, and dangerous intestinal disorders, is still battling.
And the fight ain't over.
[©'16 MAJ  6/29/16]
Major Tillery Needs Your Help and Support
Major Tillery is an innocent man. There was no evidence against Major Tillery for the 1976 poolroom shootings that left one man dead and another wounded. The surviving victim gave a statement to homicide detectives naming others—not Tillery or his co-defendant—as the shooters. Major wasn't charged until 1980, he was tried in 1985.
The only evidence at trial came from these jailhouse informants who were given sexual favors and plea deals for dozens of pending felonies for lying against Major Tillery. Both witnesses now declare their testimony was manufactured by the police and prosecution. Neither witness had personal knowledge of the shooting.
This is a case of prosecutorial misconduct and police corruption that goes to the deepest levels of rot in the Philadelphia criminal injustice system. Major Tillery deserves not just a new trial, but dismissal of the charges against him and his freedom from prison.
It cost a lot of money for Major Tillery to be able to file his new pro se PCRA petition and continue investigation to get more evidence of the state misconduct. He needs help to get lawyers to make sure this case is not ignored. Please contribute, now.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
    Financial Support: Tillery's investigation is ongoing, to get this case filed has been costly and he needs funds for a legal team to fight this to his freedom!
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC
    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney
    Seth Williams:
    Free Major Tillery! He is an innocent man, framed by police and and prosecution.
    Call: 215-686-8711 or

    Write to:
    Major Tillery AM9786
    SCI Frackville
    1111 Altamont Blvd.
    Frackville, PA 17931

      For More Information, Go To: Justice4MajorTillery/blogspot
      Call/Write:
      Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq. (917) 689-4009RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com





      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

      *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


      Commute Kevin Cooper's Death Sentence

      Sign the Petition:
      http://www.savekevincooper.org/pages/petition.php


      Urge Gov. Jerry Brown to commute Kevin Cooper's death sentence. Cooper has always maintained his innocence of the 1983 quadruple murder of which he was convicted. In 2009, five federal judges signed a dissenting opinion warning that the State of California "may be about to execute an innocent man." Having exhausted his appeals in the US courts, Kevin Cooper's lawyers have turned to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to seek remedy for what they maintain is his wrongful conviction, and the inadequate trial representation, prosecutorial misconduct and racial discrimination which have marked the case. Amnesty International opposes all executions, unconditionally.

      "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." - Judge William A. Fletcher, 2009 dissenting opinion on Kevin Cooper's case

      Kevin Cooper has been on death row in California for more than thirty years.

      In 1985, Cooper was convicted of the murder of a family and their house guest in Chino Hills. Sentenced to death, Cooper's trial took place in an atmosphere of racial hatred — for example, an effigy of a monkey in a noose with a sign reading "Hang the N*****!" was hung outside the venue of his preliminary hearing.

      Take action to see that Kevin Cooper's death sentence is commuted immediately.

      Cooper has consistently maintained his innocence.

      Following his trial, five federal judges said: "There is no way to say this politely. The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing."

      Since 2004, a dozen federal appellate judges have indicated their doubts about his guilt.

      Tell California authorities: The death penalty carries the risk of irrevocable error. Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted.

      In 2009, Cooper came just eight hours shy of being executed for a crime that he may not have committed. Stand with me today in reminding the state of California that the death penalty is irreversible — Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted immediately.

      In solidarity,

      James Clark
      Senior Death Penalty Campaigner
      Amnesty International USA

        Kevin Cooper: An Innocent Victim of Racist Frame-Up - from the Fact Sheet at: www.freekevincooper.org

        Kevin Cooper is an African-American man who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in 1985 for the gruesome murders of a white family in Chino Hills, California: Doug and Peggy Ryen and their daughter Jessica and their house- guest Christopher Hughes. The Ryens' 8 year old son Josh, also attacked, was left for dead but survived.

        Convicted in an atmosphere of racial hatred in San Bernardino County CA, Kevin Cooper remains under a threat of imminent execution in San Quentin.  He has never received a fair hearing on his claim of innocence.  In a dissenting opinion in 2009, five federal judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signed a 82 page dissenting opinion that begins: "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." 565 F.3d 581.

        There is significant evidence that exonerates Mr. Cooper and points toward other suspects:

          The coroner who investigated the Ryen murders concluded that the murders took four minutes at most and that the murder weapons were a hatchet, a long knife, an ice pick and perhaps a second knife. How could a single person, in four or fewer minutes, wield three or four weapons, and inflict over 140 wounds on five people, two of whom were adults (including a 200 pound ex-marine) who had loaded weapons near their bedsides?

          The sole surviving victim of the murders, Josh Ryen, told police and hospital staff within hours of the murders that the culprits were "three white men." Josh Ryen repeated this statement in the days following the crimes. When he twice saw Mr. Cooper's picture on TV as the suspected attacker, Josh Ryen said "that's not the man who did it."

          Josh Ryen's description of the killers was corroborated by two witnesses who were driving near the Ryens' home the night of the murders. They reported seeing three white men in a station wagon matching the description of the Ryens' car speeding away from the direction of the Ryens' home.

          These descriptions were corroborated by testimony of several employees and patrons of a bar close to the Ryens' home, who saw three white men enter the bar around midnight the night of the murders, two of whom were covered in blood, and one of whom was wearing coveralls.

          The identity of the real killers was further corroborated by a woman who, shortly after the murders were discovered, alerted the sheriff's department that her boyfriend, a convicted murderer, left blood-spattered coveralls at her home the night of the murders. She also reported that her boyfriend had been wearing a tan t-shirt matching a tan t-shirt with Doug Ryen's blood on it recovered near the bar. She also reported that her boyfriend owned a hatchet matching the one recovered near the scene of the crime, which she noted was missing in the days following the murders; it never reappeared; further, her sister saw that boyfriend and two other white men in a vehicle that could have been the Ryens' car on the night of the murders.

        Lacking a motive to ascribe to Mr. Cooper for the crimes, the prosecution claimed that Mr. Cooper, who had earlier walked away from custody at a minimum security prison, stole the Ryens' car to escape to Mexico. But the Ryens had left the keys in both their cars (which were parked in the driveway), so there was no need to kill them to steal their car. The prosecution also claimed that Mr. Cooper needed money, but money and credit cards were found untouched and in plain sight at the murder scene.

        The jury in 1985 deliberated for seven days before finding Mr. Cooper guilty. One juror later said that if there had been one less piece of evidence, the jury would not have voted to convict.

        The evidence the prosecution presented at trial tying Mr. Cooper to the crime scene has all been discredited…         (Continue reading this document at: http://www.savekevincooper.org/_new_freekevincooperdotorg/TEST/Scripts/DataLibraries/upload/KC_FactSheet_2014.pdf)

             This message from the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. July 2015

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*


        CANCEL ALL STUDENT DEBT!

        Sign the Petition:

        http://cancelallstudentdebt.com/?code=kos



        Dear President Obama, Senators, and Members of Congress:


        Americans now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. Eighty-six percent of that money is owed to the United States government. This is a crushing burden for more than 40 million Americans and their families.

        I urge you to take immediate action to forgive all student debt, public and private.

        American Federation of Teachers
        Campaign for America's Future
        Courage Campaign
        Daily Kos
        Democracy for America
        LeftAction
        Project Springboard
        RH Reality Check
        RootsAction
        Student Debt Crisis
        The Nation
        Working Families


        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson


        Updates from Team Lorenzo Johnson

        Dear Supporters and Friends,


        Show your support for Lorenzo by wearing one of our beautiful new campaign t-shirts! If you donate $20 (or more!) to the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson, we will send you a t-shirt, while supplies last. Make sure to note your size and shipping address in the comment section on PayPal, or to include this information with a check.




        Here is a message from Lorenzo's wife, Tazza Salvatto:


        My husband is innocent, FREE HIM NOW!
        Lorenzo Johnson is a son, husband, father and brother. His injustice has been a continued nightmare for our family. Words cant explain our constant pain, I wish it on no one. Not even the people responsible for his injustice. 
        This is about an innocent man who has spent 20 years and counting in prison. The sad thing is Lorenzo's prosecution knew he was innocent from day one. These are the same people society relies on to protect us.

        Not only have these prosecutors withheld evidence of my husbands innocence by NEVER turning over crucial evidence to his defense prior to trial. Now that Lorenzo's innocence has been revealed, the prosecution refuses to do the right thing. Instead they are "slow walking" his appeal and continuing their malicious prosecution.
        When my husband or our family speak out about his injustice, he's labeled by his prosecutor as defaming a career cop and prosecutor. If they are responsible for Lorenzo's wrongful conviction, why keep it a secret??? This type of corruption and bullying of families of innocent prisoners to remain silent will not be tolerated.
        Our family is not looking for any form of leniency. Lorenzo is innocent, we want what is owed to him. JUSTICE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FREEDOM!!! 

                                  Lorenzo's wife,
                                   Tazza Salvatto
        Lorenzo is continuing to fight for his freedom with the support of his lead counsel, Michael Wiseman, The Pennsylvania Innocence Project, the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, and the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson.
        Thank you all for reading this message and please take the time to visit our website and contribute to Lorenzo's campaign for freedom!
        Write: Lorenzo Johnson
                    DF 1036
                    SCI Mahanoy
                    301 Morea Rd.
                    Frackville, PA 17932
         Email: Through JPay using the code:
                      Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC
                                              or
                      Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com
                                             or
                      Directly on ConnectNetwork -- instructions here

        Have a wonderful day!
        - The Team to Free Lorenzo Johnson

        Write: Lorenzo Johnson
                    DF 1036
                    SCI Mahanoy
                    301 Morea Rd.
                    Frackville, PA 17932

         Email: Through JPay using the code:
                      Lorenzo Johnson DF 1036 PA DOC
                                             or
                      Directly at LorenzoJohnson17932@gmail.com

        freelorenzojohnson.org

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*



        B. ARTICLES IN FULL


        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        1)  Obama Commutes Sentence of F.A.L.N. Member Oscar Lopez Rivera




        2)  DAPL Cops Open Fire on Prayer Circle with Rubber Bullets, Shoot Water Protectors in the Back
         January 17, 2017
        http://thefreethoughtproject.com/dapl-cops-water-protectors-rubber-bullets/

         
         
         



        3)  For Trump’s Nominees, a Billionaires’ Guide to Running the Government
        By 

        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/business/donald-trump-billionaires-cabinet-nominees.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0




        4)   U.S. Bombs ISIS Camps in Libya





        5)  Student Loan Collector Cheated Millions, Lawsuits Say




        6)  Isidro Baldenegro, Mexican Environmental Activist, Is Shot to Death


        7)  Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Nominee, Failed to Disclose $100 Million in Assets




        8)  ‘Justice Nightmare’: 32 Years in Texas Prisons After Conviction Voided



        9)  Julian Assange Repeats Offer of Extradition to U.S.


        10)  C.I.A. Torture Detailed in Newly Disclosed Documents


        11)  ‘This Is Our Right’: Inauguration Protests Erupt With a Mission to Disrupt




        12)  U.S. Airstrike Kills More Than 100 Qaeda Fighters in Syria














        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        1)  Obama Commutes Sentence of F.A.L.N. Member Oscar Lopez Rivera




        President Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of a man convicted for his role in a Puerto Rican nationalist group linked to more than 100 bombings in New York and other cities in the 1970s and 1980s.
        The man, Oscar Lopez Rivera, was serving a 70-year sentence after being convicted of numerous charges, including seditious conspiracy, a charge used for those plotting to overthrow the United States government.
        He was linked to the radical group known as the F.A.L.N., the Spanish acronym for the Armed Forces of National Liberation, and was one of more than a dozen group members convicted in the 1980s.
        Under Mr. Obama’s commutation order, Mr. Lopez Rivera’s prison sentence will expire May 17. It was one of 209 grants of commutation by the president announced Tuesday.
        The F.A.L.N., which waged a violent campaign for the independence of Puerto Rico, was considered by the authorities to be among the most elusive and resilient terrorist groups to operate in the United States. Among its notable attacks was a bombing at Fraunces Tavern in New York in 1975 that killed four people.
        The group was known for its tight-knit membership, fanatical zeal and hit-and-run tactics, as exemplified by the bombings of four government buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve in 1982 that seriously wounded three police officers.
        Mr. Lopez Rivera was not specifically charged in the Fraunces Tavern bombing but more broadly with, among other things, the interstate transportation of firearms with the intent to commit violent crimes, and transportation of explosives with intent to kill and injure people and to destroy government buildings and property.
        President Bill Clinton offered Mr. Lopez Rivera and other members of the F.A.L.N. clemency in 1999, a decision that stirred an emotional debate. Mr. Clinton said their sentences were out of proportion with their offenses.

        While 12 prisoners accepted the offer and were freed, Mr. Lopez Rivera rejected the chance to reduce his sentence because it did not include all of the group’s members, his lawyer, Jan Susler, said at the time. If he had accepted the agreement, she said, he would have been eligible for release in 2009.
        A senior Obama administration official said on Tuesday that Mr. Lopez Rivera, 74, had served nearly half of his life in prison and was the only F.A.L.N. member still in prison.
        In 1981, he was sentenced to 55 years for seditious conspiracy and in 1988 was sentenced to an additional 15 years for conspiring to escape from a prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
        The news on Tuesday was received with jubilation by some on social media.
        On Twitter, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” wrote: “Sobbing with gratitude here in London. OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA IS COMING HOME. THANK YOU, @POTUS.”
        Over the years, supporters of Mr. Lopez Rivera have tried to have him freed on parole. The National Boricua Human Rights Network in 2011 said that he posed no threat to the public and that others who were released went on to have productive, trouble-free lives.
        A lawyer for Mr. Lopez Rivera, Jan Susler, said in an interview on Tuesday that there was widespread support for the commutation of his sentence.
        “Really the only controversy is that this man was still in prison after 35 years after not being convicted of hurting or killing anyone,” she said.
        In an earlier interview with El Nuevo Día, Mr. Lopez said: “I want to enjoy Puerto Rico, my family. But I like to work. I have some skills — organizing, helping young people — that I want to share with people.”







        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        2)  DAPL Cops Open Fire on Prayer Circle with Rubber Bullets, Shoot Water Protectors in the Back
         January 17, 2017
        http://thefreethoughtproject.com/dapl-cops-water-protectors-rubber-bullets/

        Morton County Sheriff’s Department officers together with the National Guard began firing less-than-lethal projectiles, pepper spray, and, reportedly, mace on a group of water protectors at Standing Rock during what was supposed to be a prayerful, peaceful walk to the drill pad where work is rumored to continue on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

        And all of this, of course, happens on the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — who dedicated his life to non-violence to spark drastic change on the issue of civil rights.

        Around 200 water protectors eventually grouped at the site of the drill pad, and three were arrested — accused of trespassing after cutting a razor wire fence and then allegedly tampering with industrial lighting.

        As the crowd verbally taunted militarized police sporting riot shields and military gear, the situation Monday quickly tensed, and police began spraying people with mace. Soon after, as some water protectors sang and prayed, police fired rubber bullets at a few individuals, who then had to be transported away from the scene for medical assistance.

        Reports from people at the camps indicated police brought in vehicles with water cannons just beyond the scene. In the video below, we can also see police open fire on water protectors with rubber bullets in their backs as they are running away from the tear gas.

        Water protectors also gathered at Highway 1806’s Backwater Bridge, where a blockade of cement barriers, burned out vehicles, and razor wire remains in place after a confrontation in the autumn.  
        In fact, that site has seen several confrontations between water protectors and police from multiple states led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department over several months — the worst occurring on the night of November 20 when less-than-lethal rounds, tear gas, and water cannons were employed to allegedly control the crowd. 

        Hundreds were injured and dozens had to be treated for hypothermia when law enforcement sprayed protectors with pressurized water in sub-freezing temperatures. Police claimed protectors acted violently against them and set several fires which blazed out of control — but video showed the pipeline opposition group defending against the onslaught of force, mainly hurling tear gas canisters back at police.

        Monday night’s showdown between National Guard-reinforced law enforcement and completely peaceful water protectors at first seemed it would devolved into a similarly unjustified use of force, but — though many were maced and a few shot with projectiles — the situation did not spiral completely out of control.

        Before night fell on the camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, activists filmed and photographed a surface-to-air missile system brought by law enforcement to the area near pipeline opposition camps — allegedly in place to shoot down any drones flown above the scene.

        Despite evacuation and emergency orders in place in the area, water protectors remain encamped near the banks of the Missouri River in protest against completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. A fracture also occurred after Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II asked those unprepared to endure the harsh winter on the open plains to vacate the camps.

        Additionally, Oceti Sakowin — now the primary and largest camp — lies in the river’s floodplain and, as snow thaws, will eventually be submerged. 

        Water protectors have vowed to remain at the location until construction of Dakota Access is permanently halted — but considering the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump has openly courted Big Oil, it appears unlikely the effort will see its dream of protecting the drinking water source of some 18 million people and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe will come to fruition.

        Law enforcement did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the events of Monday night.

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        3)  For Trump’s Nominees, a Billionaires’ Guide to Running the Government
        By 
        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/business/donald-trump-billionaires-cabinet-nominees.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

        Pity the poor billionaires who are about to take the oath of office. For them, everything is going to change.
        In winning the presidency, Donald J. Trump proposed a grand hypothesis: that the federal government can be managed like a business. “If we could run our country the way I’ve run my company, we would have a country that you would be so proud of,” he told voters in the final presidential debate. It’s a theory that has been suggested, to various degrees, by almost every president in the last century, from Calvin Coolidge to Barack Obama.
        What’s different this time is the vigorousness of the experiment. With his inauguration on Friday, and a cabinet that is likely to include three billionaires, five former chief executives and some of the business world’s most accomplished leaders, Mr. Trump is poised to test, perhaps once and for all, if good governance and crafty deal making are really similar skills.
        But, as anyone who has spent time in a laboratory can attest, experiments are messy. Separating the signals from the noise takes diligence. And in this case, so much will depend on the savviness of those woeful billionaires who had it so good, and now will be guinea pigs thrust into a maze that has overwhelmed so many test subjects before them.
        “Running an agency is very, very different from running a company,” said Carlos M. Gutierrez, who was commerce secretary under George W. Bush after serving as chief executive of Kellogg’s. “Some of the skills do transfer, but you have to be careful figuring out which ones. In government, you can’t fire anyone. Your board of directors is 535 people in Congress, and half of them want to see you fail.”
        One of the first challenges will be figuring out what “business leadership” means when so many of capitalism’s tools — firing misbehaving employees; giving raises to those who overperform — aren’t allowed by federal rules. “C.E.O.s who come in saying, ‘I’m going to show everyone how it’s done,’ are the ones most likely to fail,” Mr. Gutierrez said.
        One problem has always been that while the business world rewards leaders for an intense focus on a singular goal — maximizing profits as efficiently as possible — government yearns for the opposite: pleasing the largest number of people with methods that offend the fewest. And while competition is usually a good thing within business, inside government, it’s often more corrosive, as the partisanship of the past decade demonstrates.
        “You succeed in Washington by collaborating,” said Henry M. Paulson Jr., who was widely lauded as Treasury secretary for Mr. Bush and, before that, as chief executive of Goldman Sachs.
        Businesspeople tend to see competition as a means to find the best solutions, a sorting device that pushes the smartest ideas ahead. But many of the trickiest government issues, like immigration or tax reform, involve dozens of agencies, as well as lawmakers and lobbyists, who must be persuaded to cooperate. Intelligence in government is almost always a humble, group activity.
        “You can’t just think about your own agency, or your own goals,” Mr. Paulson said. “You have to please both sides of the aisle, while making sure you’re not outshining other officials, and persuading employees who don’t have to obey your orders. And you have to adjust to having a boss, the president, instead of being the boss. It takes a lot of humility.”
        Some of Mr. Trump’s picks might have an easier time making the transition than others. Rex W. Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil and the choice for secretary of state, is among the nominees who have spent their careers involved in the day-to-day operations of complicated firms that span continents.
        “Tillerson has basically been a politician for the last 20 years; he’s just been doing it for the nation of Exxon,” said Paul H. O’Neill, who became Treasury secretary during Mr. Bush’s first term after leading the aluminum company Alcoa. “He’s negotiated with foreign governments, he’s had more than 80,000 employees. You don’t run a company that size by telling people what to do. You learn how to persuade them to follow your vision, to accommodate all kinds of different agendas and personalities.”
        Other cabinet secretaries have spent their careers mostly as investors, not as direct managers. Hedge fund and private equity professionals like Steven T. Mnuchin, likely to be the next Treasury secretary; Betsy DeVos, who has been tapped as education secretary; and Wilbur L. Ross, the expected commerce secretary, have largely devoted their lives to buying and selling companies. And so there are questions about how well they will make the shift to jobs that demand a day-to-day focus on the smallest details of governance.
        Mr. Ross, whose confirmation hearing was held on Wednesday, presents a fascinating test subject. As an acquirer of steel mills, coal mines and other heavy industries, he has amassed a personal fortune worth billions. “Over the years, I’ve had businesses that actually operated in some 23 countries,” Mr. Ross said at the hearing. “We have been on the ground in all of the major trading partners of this country.”
        Usually, when Mr. Ross buys a new company, he follows a pretty successful script: He shows up, says a few words and then hands operations to professional managers who know how to run things — and who know he will fire them if they fail.
        However, when Mr. Ross takes the oath of office, that script will change. He will be whisked off to the executive wing of the Commerce Department and walked past long rows of barren offices. (The furniture of political appointees is removed during each presidential transition, and — spoiler alert — it often takes weeks for new desks and bookcases to arrive.) If he can find enough chairs, he might call a meeting of the few employees milling around (his deputies and key department heads need senatorial approval, which might take a few months). He will be handed dozens of binders explaining how his department does everything from monitor weather satellites to administer patents, and admonished to study up. (Congress loves humiliating cabinet members who haven’t done their homework, and explaining that you are an excellent delegator, alas, fails to impress on Capitol Hill.)
        If Mr. Ross hopes to fly to one of the department’s satellite offices, he will have to decide if he wants to complete the reams of paperwork needed to use his own jet, or go coach, as secretaries in previous administrations were encouraged. “Perception matters a lot in Washington,” said Karen G. Mills, who always flew in the cheap seats as administrator of the Small Business Administration after a career in finance left her with more than $40 million. “I did, however, try to avoid the middle seat.”
        If Mr. Ross is lucky, by the end of his first day, someone will have shown him where the bathrooms are. There’s a risk, however, that the agency’s permanent staff’s “No. 1 goal will be to find ways to sabotage each new cabinet secretary as soon as they walk through the door,” said Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker who was a campaign adviser to Mr. Trump. “All those bureaucrats overwhelmingly voted for Clinton. There won’t be any real cooperation until we change federal law so we can fire them.”
        Worst of all, though, is that at the end of his tenure, no matter how hard Mr. Ross works or how much he sacrifices, a large part of his success — as well as that of the other secretaries and this experiment as a whole — will be outside his control. Ultimately, the most important variable in testing this hypothesis will be Mr. Trump himself. What kind of management style will he adopt? Will he be an operator or a delegator? Will he change as president, or simply relocate and remain C.E.O. in chief?
        How a president behaves filters into the cabinet, and senior officials, no matter how talented or powerful they once were, become an appendage of their new boss — a hard demotion for any former master of the universe. If Mr. Trump can’t manage the presidency, then no one working for him is likely to succeed. And vice versa.
        So as this experiment unfolds before a captivated nation, pity Mr. Ross and all the poor billionaires. They are sacrificing themselves so that all of us might learn. And, in case they are wondering: The bathrooms are down the hall and around the corner. You’re responsible for replacing the toilet paper if you’ve used the last of the roll.
        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        4)   U.S. Bombs ISIS Camps in Libya





        WASHINGTON — Two United States Air Force B-2 bombers attacked Islamic State training camps outside of Surt, Libya, overnight, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
        Military analysts were assessing the impact of the strikes, but officials said it was possible that dozens of Islamic State fighters may have been killed.
        The Pentagon’s Africa Command announced on Dec. 19 the official end of air operations against the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL, in Surt, the group’s coastal stronghold, after conducting 495 strikes against truck bombs, heavy guns, tanks and command bunkers there.
        But the need to carry out additional strikes reflected the resilience of the Islamic State in Libya. While the group was driven out of Surt last month, the Islamic State still has several hundred fighters who have dispersed across Libya and pose a threat to the country, its neighbors and potentially Europe, according to American officials and the Africa Command.
        Jonathan Winer, the Obama administration’s special envoy to Libya, told Congress in November that the Islamic State, as it suffered defeats in Surt at the hands of Libyan fighters and American warplanes, was most likely forming cells around the country. He called on Libyans to unite behind the country’s fledgling Government of National Accord to combat the terrorists.
        A recent analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a policy organization in Washington, found that Islamic State militants operating as “desert brigades” south of Surt had ambushed Libyan military positions, disrupted supply lines with explosives and established checkpoints on key roads. The Islamic State is recruiting foreign fighters into southern Libya and is most likely relying on the same havens used by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, according to the analysis.

        The two B-2 bombers flew a round-trip mission of about 34 hours from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and dropped satellite-guided bombs on the training camps, military officials said.


        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        5)  Student Loan Collector Cheated Millions, Lawsuits Say




        Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, has for years misled borrowers and made serious mistakes at nearly every step of the collections process, illegally driving up loan repayment costs for millions of borrowers, according to lawsuits filed on Wednesday by a federal regulator and two state attorneys general.
        Navient handles $300 billion in private and federal loans for some 12 million people — touching about one in four student loan borrowers. Every customer may have been affected by Navient’s misdeeds, said Lisa Madigan, the attorney general of Illinois, announcing her own lawsuit with the one filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
        Navient does not make the loans, but it holds lucrative contracts to collect payments each month on behalf of banks, government and other lenders.

        The damages sought could reach billions of dollars, said Ms. Madigan, who sued Navient and Sallie Mae — which split into the two companies in 2014. Washington State’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, filed a similar lawsuit against both companies.
        The lawsuits describe routine mistakes and lapses in oversight that over time added up to systematic failures, eerily similar to the mortgage servicing industry’s bungling of borrower accounts and property foreclosures during the 2008 recession. Financial companies eventually paid more than $100 billion to settle mortgage-related lawsuits.
        Navient mishandled loan payments, buried critical information in fine print and set obstacles for borrowers trying to release co-signers from their loans, among other failings, according to the consumer bureau’s legal filing.
        The move was one of a series of late-hour actions by the Obama administration just days before the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. It is also a politically perilous time for the consumer bureau, which has long been the target of criticism by Republican lawmakers. Several have called for the president-elect to fire its director, Richard Cordray — a move that would likely set off a legal challenge over the president’s authority to do so.
        Republicans have also taken aim at the Dodd-Frank Act, the 2010 law that imposed more regulations on banks and created the consumer bureau. The law also specified that the bureau’s director can be fired only for cause, defined as “inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance.”
        Crushing student debt was a flash point on the campaign trail, as students complained that loans had diminished their career prospects. The issue helped fuel Bernie Sanders’s campaign in the Democratic primaries, and sparked discussions about reining in college costs. Total outstanding student loan debt hovers at more than $1.4 trillion. Student loan debt has surpassed credit card and auto loan debt.
        Navient, which plans to fight the lawsuits, denied all wrongdoing.
        “The allegations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are unfounded, and the timing of this lawsuit — midnight action filed on the eve of a new administration — reflects their political motivations,” Patricia Nash Christel, a company spokeswoman, said in a written statement. “We will vigorously defend against these false allegations.”
        Regulators and consumer groups have long complained about widespread abuses in the student loan market, but Wednesday’s coordinated state and federal action, which stems from investigations that began about three years ago, is a legal attack that is likely to resonate throughout the industry.
        Navient is accused of deliberately steering borrowers away from income-based repayment plans that could have lowered their loan costs — in order to maximize its own profits. Enrolling customers in such plans can be time-consuming and complex, and Navient’s compensation system for its customer service representatives encouraged them to push struggling customers toward other options, according to the bureau’s complaint.
        Derek Smith said he is one such borrower. In 2011, when his loan payments kicked in, he was living in a homeless shelter in Boston. He had no job and three children.
        Mr. Smith was exactly the kind of former student who should have had his payments reduced, according to Persis Yu, director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center. But that never happened, she said. After struggling for two years to make a dent on his loans, Mr. Smith defaulted and his wages from a new job were garnished. Collection calls poured in.
        “I was just at a standstill,” said Mr. Smith, whose debt has ballooned to more than $13,000.
        Navient declined to comment on Mr. Smith’s case, but said it was “a leader in enrolling eligible borrowers into income-driven repayment programs.”
        Sallie Mae, which was not named in the consumer bureau’s lawsuit, said in a statement that Navient had “accepted responsibility for all costs, expenses, losses and remediation” stemming from investigations into the company’s past lending practices.
        The bureau’s lawsuit does not estimate how much money individual borrowers have lost, which would vary widely from person to person. But it alleges that the scope of the problem is vast, and involves a long list of reckless mistakes and potentially willful violations.
        Navient “used shortcuts and deception to illegally cheat struggling borrowers out of their rights to lower payments,” Mr. Cordray said. “These unlawful practices have cost student loan borrowers across the country both heartache and money.”
        In one example, the agency accused Navient of marring the credit reports of injured military veterans.
        Borrowers with a “total and permanent” disability are eligible to have their federal student loans discharged. Navient improperly marked some of those charged-off loans as defaults, the bureau said, leaving those borrowers, including disabled soldiers, with black marks on their credit records that could have prevented them from obtaining mortgages and other loans.
        And officials said that Sallie Mae, which originated some loans that Navient inherited, made loans that were crafted to ensnare students in debt. These loans were “designed to fail,” Ms. Madigan said, and should be discharged.
        Student loan debt can haunt borrowers long after they graduate. In the past decade, the number of people 60 and older with student loans has quadrupled, according to a report in January by the consumer bureau. More than 2.8 million Americans over the age of 60 had student loan debt outstanding, up from 700,000 in 2005.
        This is not the first time in the spotlight for Navient or its subsidiaries. Consumer groups have long been raising alarms about the company and its practices.
        “The allegations in the complaint mirror the experiences of the dozens of borrowers that we have worked with,” said Ms. Yu at the National Consumer Law Center.
        The bureau’s lawsuit focuses on possible wrongdoing from 2010 onward. The state lawsuits stretch back further, as early as 2000, Ms. Madigan said.
        As far back as August 2015, Navient warned investors in a regulatory filing that it was under investigation by the consumer bureau and could face legal action.
        In 2014, the Justice Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, fined Navient for illegally overcharging military members. The company, officials found, flouted the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a federal law that protects active duty military members, requiring lenders to reduce interest rates on any loans to 6 percent.
        One of Navient’s subsidiaries, Pioneer Credit Recovery, which was also named in the lawsuits announced Wednesday, previously collected on defaulted federal student debt, but the Education Department ended that arrangement two years ago because, it said, Pioneer made “materially inaccurate representations” to borrowers.
        Navient still holds a contract with the department to service federal student loans, which runs through 2019.

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        6)  Isidro Baldenegro, Mexican Environmental Activist, Is Shot to Death



        MEXICO CITY — Isidro Baldenegro López, an indigenous activist whose struggle to protect the pine-oak forests of Mexico’s Sierra Madre range won him the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, has been killed by a gunman, the authorities said on Wednesday.
        A leader of the Tarahumara people who live among the jagged peaks of the western Sierra Madre, Mr. Baldenegro defended the area’s old-growth forests against powerful local strongmen allied with drug traffickers and loggers.
        The killing was the second of a Goldman prizewinner in less than a year. Last March, gunmen attacked and killed Berta Cáceres, who led her Lenca people of Honduras against a proposed dam.
        Seven people have been arrested in her killing, but in a statement on Sunday, her family said that the Honduran government had yet to investigate who had ordered it.
        The death of Mr. Baldenegro, coming so soon after Ms. Cáceres’ murder, highlights the danger faced by environmental defenders in Latin America, where mining, energy, agribusiness and logging interests have generated violent conflict with local communities.
        His fight to protect his community’s ancestral lands went back decades, and his father, Julio Baldenegro, was assassinated in 1986 for his opposition to logging.
        Threats had forced the younger Mr. Baldenegro, 51, to leave his community in the remote southern part of Chihuahua State, said Isela González, the director of Alianza Sierra Madre, an organization that works with the Tarahumara to defend their land rights.
        He returned recently to visit an uncle in the village, Coloradas de la Virgen. On Sunday afternoon, Romero Rubio Martínez, who was present at the uncle’s house, pulled a gun, fired six shots and fled, according to the Chihuahua prosecutor’s office.

        Mr. Baldenegro died a few hours later, Ms. González said. The motive was unclear, according to the prosecutor’s statement.
        Mr. Baldenegro won the Goldman Prize in 2005, the year after he was released from prison, where he had spent 15 months on weapons and drug charges that were eventually thrown out.
        In 1993, Mr. Baldenegroformed an advocacy group and began organizing sit-ins and marches to force the government to suspend logging licenses, according to the Goldman Prize. But despite early victories, the government continues to grant concessions, Ms. González said. Legal cases filed by the Tarahumara to assert their rights over their ancestral lands have been stuck in court for decades, she said.
        The violence in the region has intensified since the government’s campaign against drug cartels began at the end of 2006. Local bosses known as “caciques formed alliances with drug traffickers, which provided them with hit men,” she said.
        Many of the Tarahumara, including Mr. Baldenegro and his family, were forced to leave their communities before the threat of armed men who arrived to clear the forest and plant marijuana on the deforested mountainsides.
        Over the past six years, he had been working with a “very low profile,” Ms. González said. In the last year alone, four other activists in the same municipality, Guadalupe y Calvo, have been killed, she said.
        Susan R. Gelman, president of the Goldman Environmental Foundation, called on the Mexican authorities to find Mr. Baldenegro’s killers and bring them to trial. “Unfortunately, too many governments are failing to create safe spaces where people can voice their dissent and organize movements free of persecution and violent attacks,” she said in a statement.
        Almost three-quarters of the known deaths of environmental activists worldwide occurred in Central and South America, according to a report by the organization Global Witness, which analyzed 116 killings in 2014.
        Erika Guevara-Rosas, the Americas director at Amnesty International, called the killing of Mr. Baldenegro “a tragic illustration of the many dangers faced by those who dedicate their lives to defend human rights in Latin America, one of the most dangerous regions in the world for activists.”


        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        7)  Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Nominee, Failed to Disclose $100 Million in Assets




        WASHINGTON — Steven T. Mnuchin, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick to be Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven.
        The revelation came hours before Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was scheduled to testify on Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, which has historically been bipartisan in its demands for transparency from nominees. Mr. Mnuchin was ready to outline his vision for the economy and defend himself against claims that he headed a bank that ran a “foreclosure machine” during the financial crisis.
        “In his revised questionnaire, Mr. Mnuchin disclosed several additional financial assets, including $95 million worth of real estate — a co-op in New York City, a residence in Southampton, New York, a residence in Los Angeles, California, and $15 million in real estate holdings in Mexico,” Democratic staff members of the Senate Finance Committee wrote in a memo on Thursday. “Mr. Mnuchin has claimed these omissions were due to a misunderstanding of the questionnaire.”
        According to the memo, Mr. Mnuchin also initially failed to disclose that he is the director of Dune Capital International, an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, which is a tax haven, along with management posts in seven other investment funds.
        And he belatedly disclosed that his children own nearly $1 million in artwork.
        Democrats pounced on the “inadvertent” omissions Thursday morning, calling them more evidence that Mr. Mnuchin is not fit to steer the country’s economic agenda.

        “Never before has the Senate considered such an ethically challenged slate of nominees for key cabinet positions,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said in a statement. “Mr. Mnuchin’s failure to disclose his Cayman Islands holdings just reeks of the swamp that the president-elect promised to drain on the campaign trail.”
        And American Bridge, the so-called Democratic super PAC, said Mr. Mnuchin’s holdings were a sign that Mr. Trump’s government would not look out for working class Americans.
        “By slamming through Mnuchin, Senate Republicans are becoming accessories to Trump’s future corruption, helping him stack his cabinet with shady billionaires who, like Trump, will rig the government to serve their own interests at the expense of the American people,” said Shripal Shah, vice president of American Bridge.
        Asked about the omissions at the hearing, Mr. Mnuchin described them as a simple mistake made amid a mountain of bureaucracy.
        “I think as you all can appreciate, filling out these government forms is quite complicated,” Mr. Mnuchin said, noting that he had handed over 5,000 pages of disclosures. “Let me first say, any oversight, it was unintentional.”

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        8)  ‘Justice Nightmare’: 32 Years in Texas Prisons After Conviction Voided





        The legal record shows that Jerry Hartfield’s first murder conviction was thrown out on appeal, and for the next 32 years, he was not officially guilty of anything, not sentenced to anything. Yet he spent that time in Texas prisons, in what an appellate court now calls “a criminal justice nightmare.”
        He was finally tried and convicted again in 2015, but on Thursday, Mr. Hartfield moved closer to freedom than he has been in decades. A state Court of Appeals ruled that he was not only denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial, but to a degree the court had neither seen nor imagined before; it noted that the important precedents dealt with delays of three years, six years, eight years — not 32.
        The three-judge panel dismissed the indictment against Mr. Hartfield, who is developmentally disabled, in effect erasing the recent conviction. But it is still not clear whether, or when, he will get out of prison.
        Prosecutors could appeal Thursday’s ruling to the Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas’ highest criminal tribunal. The state Attorney General’s Office, which has argued against Mr. Hartfield, referred questions to the Matagorda County District Attorney’s Office, which did not reply to requests for comment.
        “We are deeply mindful that our conclusion today means that a defendant who may be guilty of murder may go free,” Judge Gina M. Benavides wrote for the Court of Appeals. “However, based on the United States Constitution, it is the only possible remedy.”
        All told, Mr. Hartfield, now 60, has spent more than 40 years behind bars for the murder of a bus station ticket clerk.
        His case can seem like something out of absurdist fiction: a court ruling ignored or forgotten, an appeal dismissed by a court that agreed with the substance but said it had been filed under the wrong statute, a retrial after most of the evidence had been lost and witnesses had died, and an argument by prosecutors that Mr. Hartfield, himself, was to blame for the delays, and caused them intentionally.
        “Once you call this Kafkaesque, you can’t really call anything else Kafkaesque, because there’s nothing else remotely like this,” said David R. Dow of the University of Houston Law Center, one of the lawyers who represented Mr. Hartfield on appeal. “This was the perfect storm of everything that could go wrong with the criminal justice system.”
        On Sept. 17, 1976, Eunice Lowe, a 55-year-old white woman, was killed where she worked, the Continental Trailways station in Bay City, southwest of Houston. The killer bashed in her head with a pickax, stole money from the station and took her car, and there was evidence of sexual assault after death.
        Mr. Hartfield, a black man, signed a confession that he later disavowed, and, crucially, investigators said he told them where to find Ms. Lowe’s car. Experts placed his I.Q. in the 50s or 60s, which his lawyers contend made him easily coerced by detectives, and unable to understand his rights or his confession.
        A jury convicted him and he was sentenced to death. But the Court of Criminal Appeals later overturned that verdict, ruling that a potential juror had been improperly dismissed for having doubts about the death penalty, and ordered a new trial. After years of legal wrangling, the high court ruling took effect in March 1983.
        Under Texas law at the time, prosecutors had a way to avoid a retrial and preserve the conviction — but only if they acted within a time frame set by the court. Because the trial error had to do with capital punishment, if the governor commuted the sentence to life in prison, then it would be as if the appellate court had never ruled, and the guilty verdict would remain in effect.
        That was apparently never communicated to the prison system. Mr. Dow said that Mr. Hartfield thought he was awaiting a new trial, but did not have the capacity to understand the delay or what to do about it.
        Whether the District Attorney’s Office understood what had happened at the time is unclear, but it never took steps to retry him, and the case lay dormant for the next 23 years. Prosecutors have argued that Mr. Hartfield had legal representation all along, because his original defense team remained his lawyers of record until a court formally dismissed them in 2013. But Mr. Hartfield’s new lawyers say he had no legal counsel from 1983, when the original team thought they were done with the case, until a federal court appointed a lawyer in 2008.
        Starting in 2006, a fellow inmate helped Mr. Hartfield file motions in various courts. Some were rejected outright, and at least one apparently went to the wrong office. One federal judge ruled in his favor, but another said he had to keep trying in state court.
        Finally, in 2013, Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that Mr. Hartfield’s conviction and life sentence were void, but his motions were also void. The motions were filed under a law applying to people who have been convicted, the court said, and there was no valid conviction on record in his case. He refiled under a different provision, and prosecutors finally sought a new trial.
        Mr. Hartfield’s lawyers said the charges should be dismissed because he was denied a speedy trial. Prosecutors argued that while the government was negligent, the defendant was partly to blame for the delays. For more than two decades, they said, he acquiesced in his imprisonment without trial, as a ploy to avoid the death penalty and to make it harder to mount a case against him. (The Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that intellectually disabled people cannot be executed.)
        The District Attorney’s Office was able to locate just one of the 16 evidence exhibits used at the original trial, several witnesses had died, and at least one had dementia. The murder weapon was lost, along with blood and semen samples that could have yielded DNA. Ms. Lowe’s car no longer existed.
        But the trial court ruled that the case could proceed, and in 2015, 38 years after his first trial, Mr. Hartfield was convicted again and sentenced to life in prison. If that sentence were counted from the start of his time in prison, he would have been eligible for parole long ago.
        If he is released based on Thursday’s ruling, he would probably live with one of his two sisters, Mr. Dow said. “I’m not sure if he knows about this ruling yet,” Mr. Dow said. “I think it’s unlikely he really understands it very well.”

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        9)  Julian Assange Repeats Offer of Extradition to U.S.


        LONDON — Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has claimed asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on accusations of rape, said on Thursday that he stood by his offer to be extradited to the United States provided “his rights” would be “protected.”
        Last autumn and again last week, Mr. Assange, 45, wrote on Twitter that he would accept extradition if the former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning were freed. On Wednesday, President Obama commuted Ms. Manning’s 35-year sentence, meaning she will be released in May.
        Ms. Manning, as American soldier Bradley Manning, passed 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks and, as a result, was court-martialed and convicted.
        In an online news conference on Thursday, Mr. Assange repeated that “I stand by everything I said, including the offer to go to the United States if Chelsea Manning’s sentence was commuted.” But “it’s not going to be commuted” until May, he said. “We can have many discussions to that point.”
        In other words, not now. The other issue for Mr. Assange is that there is no public indictment of him from the United States and no extradition order. American officials have not requested that he come to the United States.
        There is, however, an extradition order from Sweden, as it investigates a 2010 accusation of rape. He has not been charged by Sweden, but he faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.

        In 2012, Mr. Assange fled to the Ecuadorean embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. He has remained there, unable to leave. He insists that if he went to Sweden, he would be sent to the United States to face charges, suggesting that there is a secret indictment facing him.
        Asked at the news conference why he is willing to go to the United States where there is no public extradition order and not willing to go to Sweden, Mr. Assange said that American and British officials refused to tell his lawyers whether there was a sealed indictment or a sealed extradition order against him.
        “In the U.S. that’s exactly the problem,” he said. “Is there an extradition order? Is there a charge? The U.S. Justice Department operates exactly as if there is a sealed indictment,” he said. “The British government refuses to confirm or deny if there is an extradition order.”
        Mr. Assange said that either there was “a deliberate attempt by the U.S. Justice Department to keep me and WikiLeaks in a state of uncertainty, abusing the process,” or, he said, “there is a sealed indictment.”
        “I’ve always been willing to go to the United States provided my rights are respected, because this is a case that should never have occurred,” Mr. Assange said, adding that he was confident of winning any case brought against him.
        The F.B.I. continues to investigate the Manning leaks. Any decision on whether to charge or to extradite Mr. Assange will now fall to the administration of Donald J. Trump.
        Mr. Trump, who criticized WikiLeaks for the Manning leaks, has praised the organization and Mr. Assange for publishing hacked emails from senior Democrats and the Democratic National Committee during the presidential campaign.

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        10)  C.I.A. Torture Detailed in Newly Disclosed Documents


        When C.I.A. interrogators in a Thailand prison sent a cable to agency headquarters recounting that they had been slamming Abu Zubaydah, a captured terrorism suspect, against a wall, they emphasized that they were obeying instructions to take steps to prevent his injury, like putting a rolled-up towel behind his neck, and described the practice in detached terms.
        “Subject was walled with the question, ‘What is it that you do not want us to know?’” reported a cable from Aug. 5, 2002, part of a trove of newly disclosed documents about the agency’s now-defunct “enhanced interrogation” program. “Subject continued to deny that he had any information.”
        From the perspective of Mr. Zubaydah — whom interrogators eventually conceded had no additional information, contrary to their suspicions at the time — the experience felt far different.

        “He kept banging me against the wall,” Mr. Zubaydah told his lawyer in 2008, in a narrative that has now been declassified. “Given the intensity of the banging that was strongly hitting my head I fell down on the floor with each banging. I felt for few instants that I was unable to see anything, let alone the short chains that prevented me from standing tall. And every time I fell he would drag me with the towel which caused bleeding in my neck.”
        Batches of newly disclosed documents about the Central Intelligence Agency’s defunct torture program are providing new details about its practices of slamming terrorism suspects into walls, confining them in coffinlike boxes and subjecting them to waterboarding — as well as internal disputes over whether two psychologists who designed the program were competent.
        The release of the newly available primary documents, which include information not discussed in a 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the C.I.A. torture program that was released in 2014, comes at the same time as an urgent legal battle is unfolding over the potential fate of the still-classified, 6,700-page full version of that report.
        Lawyers for two detainees who were subjected to the C.I.A.’s most extreme “enhanced” interrogation techniques, Mr. Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the suspected mastermind of the deadly October 2000 attack on the American destroyer Cole, are asking federal judges to order the executive branch to deposit a copy of the full report with the judiciary to ensure that the Trump administration and congressional Republicans do not destroy it. But the Obama administration, in its waning hours, is fighting that idea.
        On Thursday, the judge overseeing Mr. Zubaydah’s habeas corpus case, Emmet G. Sullivan, ordered the United States government to “immediately” preserve a complete, unredacted copy of the Senate report and deposit it with the court for secure storage by Feb. 10.
        Against that backdrop, the two sets of newly available documents present a vivid contrast in perspectives, as the C.I.A. cables recount in bloodless bureaucratese the infliction of techniques that Mr. Zubaydah recalled experiencing in harrowing terms.
        For example, when interrogators at a C.I.A. black site prison in Thailand confined Mr. Zubaydah in a cramped box on Aug. 5, 2002, they observed to headquarters that he showed “signs of distress,” according to one of the cables from a group the government declassified as part of a lawsuit against the psychologists who designed the program. The lawsuit is being brought by detainees represented by lawyers including from the American Civil Liberties Union. The A.C.L.U. provided the documents to The New York Times.
        Mr. Zubaydah remembered the box experience in more vivid terms.
        “I felt I was going to explode from bending my legs and my back and from being unable to spread them not even for short instants,” he wrote to his lawyers in 2008, noting that the box was so short and tight he could not sit up or change positions. “The very strong pain made me scream unconsciously.”
        Other C.I.A. cables also clinically recount applying torture methods like the suffocation technique known as waterboarding. (Previously disclosed documents and the Senate report executive summary had already discussed Mr. Zubaydah’s waterboarding in extensive detail, including that he was subjected to the treatment 83 times in one month.) The contemporaneous cables describe him crying, but generally use bland descriptions, like: “Water treatment was applied.”
        For Mr. Zubaydah, it felt as if he was “dying.” “They kept pouring water and concentrating on my nose and my mouth until I really felt I was drowning and my chest was just about to explode from the lack of oxygen.”
        Mr. Zubaydah also described experiencing what he thought were persistent health consequences of his torture, including severe headaches and seizures. Many other detainees experienced lasting harm after harsh treatment in American custody, including post-traumatic stress disorder, a recent New York Times investigation found.
        Another group of documents produced in discovery from that lawsuit, first provided by the A.C.L.U. to The Washington Post, showed that in mid-2003, about a year after the agency hired the two contract psychologists, James Mitchell and J. Bruce Jessen, to design a torture regimen for Mr. Zubaydah, unidentified C.I.A. employees raised sharp questions about their ethics and competence to judge whether the techniques they had orchestrated were harmful or effective.
        While other documents, including the Senate report summary, have shown that there were internal concerns about relying so heavily on the two psychologists, the newly available documents add texture to that history.
        For example, a June 2003 message that appears to have been sent by an official representing a “Renditions and Detainees Group” at the C.I.A., which had assumed control of Mr. Mitchell’s and Mr. Jessen’s activities, criticized the psychologists’ “arrogance and narcissism” and “blatant disregard for the ethics shared by almost all of their colleagues.” But the same message also recommended that the two psychologists be assigned to develop a code of ethics and standards for interrogators. “We have identified this as a major gap in our program,” the official wrote.
        A lawyer for the psychologists, Henry F. Schuelke III, declined to comment.
        The newly available files supplement the publicly available historical record about the torture program, intensifying questions about whether the public will ever see the full fruits of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation — the result of years of combing and contextualizing millions of pages of government documents by committee staff members.
        Democrats raised fears last month that the incoming administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has voiced support for the outlawed interrogation methods detailed in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report, could cause all copies of the document to be “hidden indefinitely, or destroyed.”
        In 2015, after Republicans took control of the Senate and the Intelligence Committee, they asked President Obama to return all copies of the full report, which former Democratic senators have said contains “volumes of new information” that were not made public when a 500-page executive summary was disclosed in 2014.
        Mr. Obama did not comply with that request, and in December of last year, he notified the Senate that he was including a copy of the full, still-classified report in his presidential records that would be deposited at the National Archives. But Michel Paradis, a lawyer for Mr. Nashiri, argued that Mr. Obama’s decision about his presidential records was insufficient, because Mr. Trump might seek to withdraw the report from the archives and destroy it.
        Last week, in response to a request by Mr. Nashiri’s lawyers to secure a copy of the full report in the hands of the judiciary, Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Obama administration to provide a copy to the court’s security officer. (Lawyers for Mr. Zubaydah are separately making the same request.)
        But in court filings, the Obama administration asked Judge Lamberth to reconsider, making two arguments: Preserving it would interfere with congressional-executive branch relations, and giving a copy to the court was unnecessary in part because of Mr. Obama’s archived copy. It also suggested that the executive branch would appeal if the judge did not change his mind.
        On Thursday afternoon, Judge Lamberth refused, saying in a terse, two-page order that the court was “obliged” to protect Mr. Nashiri’s possible right to access the report and saying that nothing had changed since he issued the original, “crystal clear” order. He threatened to hold the executive branch in contempt if it did not comply, although he did not set a specific deadline.
        The C.I.A. cables revealed other potentially important new details. For example, detainees at C.I.A. prisons have long claimed that they were injected with unknown drugs against their consent, which had powerful effects on them — something that medical experts have denounced as unethical. While previously released documents from 2004 said that C.I.A. prisoners could be sedated as a last resort, a newly released cable describes a different practice.
        In April 2002, C.I.A. personnel at an interrogation site wrote that they planned to transport a detainee — apparently Mr. Zubaydah — “in a state of pharmaceutical unconsciousness to decrease potential security concerns as well as to maximize the intended effect of disorienting” him. It is unclear from the documents whether the C.I.A. followed through.
        The new information is consistent with the conclusion of the Senate committee’s torture report that the C.I.A.’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques was not effective in acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.
        On Aug. 18, 2002, after 15 days during which Mr. Zubaydah was repeatedly waterboarded, kept for hours in small boxes, pushed into walls and threatened, the interrogators sent a cable to headquarters stating their conclusions. The prisoner “has not provided significant actionable info beyond previously provided details,” they wrote.

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        11)  ‘This Is Our Right’: Inauguration Protests Erupt With a Mission to Disrupt







        WASHINGTON — The dissent came early.
        From ocean to ocean, from the Midwest and the Maryland suburbs, the protesters came here to stand on a different side of history, trudging beneath a spitting rain toward a celebration they were powerless to stop but desperate to at least interrupt: the presidential inauguration of Donald J. Trump.
        They hauled signs: “Reject, Resist,” “Putin’s Orange Puppet,” “Rage, Rage Against the Dying of Our Rights.”
        They chanted — “We are a peaceful protest!” — but by late morning, several shop windows in downtown Washington had been shattered, the air filling with a spray deployed by police.
        Others encountered officers in riot gear and crowd-dispersing sprays that burned in their eyes — the sprays’ contents spreading to restaurant workers at a refreshment booth nearby.
        Along several access points, the protesters hoped simply to put themselves in the way, locking arms.
        “This is our right,” said Mica Reel, 21, who took part in an attempted human blockade near an inauguration entrance, “to stand here.”
        Mr. Trump was sworn in around noon. The resistance was already well underway.
        Across the city — and with rallies planned throughout the country all weekend, cresting with a massive women’s march in Washington on Saturday — the demonstrations simmered in the hours before Mr. Trump was to take office.
        Some convened before sunrise, in downtown Washington, to protest Mr. Trump’s immigration policies, a gathering dotted with black hats that read “Not My President.”
        Ramah Kudaimi, 30, who sits on the board of the Washington Peace Center, helped organize the protest and said Mr. Trump’s proposed immigration policies would destroy a number of communities and would hurt groups like Muslims and transgender people.
        “It’s important from Day 1 of Trump’s administration that we make clear that we are going to be disrupting his agenda,” she said. “When communities are under attack, we are going to fight back.”
        Just before 9 a.m., about 150 protesters gathered in McPherson Square, breaking off in groups to march along I Street. An organizer advised two dozen charges on the day’s aims: to disrupt Mr. Trump’s celebration as much as possible — an objective, he predicted, that would rankle “mainly police officers and Trump supporters.”
        “Police officers,” a woman in the crowd grumbled, “are Trump supporters.”
        A few attendees drummed on buckets, nodding at the instructions. At least a few wondered aloud about divine intervention in the weather. “It’s the Earth crying,” said Elodie Huttner, 52, “about the climate-denial president.”
        Before 11 a.m., windows at a bank and cafe had been shattered during a passing demonstration on I Street — images captured protesters holding hammers — with witnesses reporting that a police spray had been deployed.
        Most groups were tamer.
        Near the Capitol South Metro station, 52 middle-school students, bused in from Massachusetts, wore matching blue hats and held red pom-poms.
        “We have a pretty split group of supporters and nonsupporters,” said Anna Baboval, a seventh-grade geography teacher. “But they’re all pretty excited to experience history.”
        A teenager approached Ms. Baboval. “Would it be bad if I bought a pin with a swear on it?” he asked.
        “Please don’t do that,” she said.
        Other protest literature was more subtle. Kenneth Harringer, a 54-year-old tax preparer from Silver Spring, Md., held a sign rendered in Russian, citing the country’s interference in the election. Its message: “Not My President.”
        “Google Translate,” Mr. Harringer said.



        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        12)  U.S. Airstrike Kills More Than 100 Qaeda Fighters in Syria




        WASHINGTON — As the clock wound down on Barack Obama’s presidency, an Air Force B-52 bomber carried out a punishing airstrike against a training camp of Al Qaeda in Syria, the Pentagon said Friday.
        The attack, which took place west of Aleppo, killed more than 100 fighters, according to the Pentagon. Armed drones were also involved in the operation, which took place Thursday evening local time.
        It was the second major strike carried out by American warplanes in Mr. Obama’s waning hours in the White House. On Thursday, the Pentagon reported that B-2 stealth bombers had flown their first combat mission in nearly six years to attack two training camps in Libyathat were being used by the Islamic State, which is also known as ISISor ISIL.
        The flurry of airstrikes against militant groups in North Africa and the Middle East illustrates the challenges that President Trump faces in carrying out the vow in his inaugural address to combat “radical Islamic terrorism,” which he promised to “eradicate completely from the face of the earth.” The extremists have proved to be resilient and are operating in far-flung countries that are racked by internal fighting and where there is little or no American military presence.
        The B-52 strike on Thursday, the Pentagon said, was directed at the Shaykh Sulayman Training Camp in Idlib. Pentagon officials said that it had been in operation for several years but had only recently become a base for “core Al Qaeda” extremists, who have largely come from outside Syria to fight and plot attacks. All told, 14 bombs and missiles were used in that attack.

        “The removal of this training camp disrupts training operations and discourages hard-line Islamist and Syrian opposition groups from joining or cooperating with Al Qaeda on the battlefield,” Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.
        The airstrike was condemned by the Syrian opposition group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, which complained that the camp for new recruits was one of theirs and that the practical effect would be to eliminate fighters who are confronting Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian leader. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front, claims to have broken with Al Qaeda, but American officials say they are still a Qaeda affiliate.
        “America chose to confront the Syrian people and their mujahedeen,” the group said in a statement, which was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which studies terrorist groups.
        The Pentagon has announced other attacks against Qaeda operatives in recent days, asserting that more than 150 terrorists had been killed since Jan. 1.
        On Thursday, the Pentagon disclosed that it had carried out an airstrike on Tuesday in Idlib Province that killed Mohammad Habib Boussadoun al-Tunisi, whom it described a Qaeda leader linked to plots against Western targets.
        According to a Pentagon statement, Mr. Boussadoun went to Syria in 2014 after spending several years in Europe and other countries in the Middle East where he maintained ties with extremists. Earlier in January, airstrikes killed two other Qaeda leaders, the Pentagon said.

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

        *---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*










































































































































        __._,_.___

        Posted by: bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

        Reply via web post                       Reply to sender            Reply to group            Start a New Topic           Messages in this topic (2)                       

        Have you tried the highest rated email app?
        With 4.5 stars in iTunes, the Yahoo Mail app is the highest rated email app on the market. What are you waiting for? Now you can access all your inboxes (Gmail, Outlook, AOL and more) in one place. Never delete an email again with 1000GB of free cloud storage.


        Yahoo! Groups
        • Privacy • Unsubscribe • Terms of Use 




        .


        __,_._,___

        No comments: