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Archive for November, 2008

Father of Ft. Dix Defendants Living the American Nightmare

The Ft. Dix trial has been full of drama. Ferik Duka is part of it.

wcbstv.com

wcbstv.com

By George Anastasia
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN, N.J. — It’s the American dream turned nightmare.
Ferik Duka said last week that he had brought his family to the United States nearly 25 years ago for a better life.
Once, he thought he had found it.
Now, he and his wife, Zurata, sit in a federal courtroom in Camden each day watching and listening as their three oldest children, sons Dritan, 29, Shain, 27, and Eljvir, 25, stand trial on allegations that they plotted a jihad-inspired attack on Fort Dix.
The charges, Ferik Duka said, are ridiculous; his sons are not guilty.
“I’m confident in the American justice system,” he said. “My sons are innocent.”

For Full Story

See Daily Transcript Of The Trial and Videos

Presidential Election Helps KKK Revival

istock photo

istock photo

Nothing helps hate groups more than more hate. The election of Barack Obama seems to be giving groups like the KKK a boost.

By Howard Witt
Chicago Tribune correspondent
BOGALUSA, La. — Barely three weeks after Americans elected their first black president amid a wave of interracial good feeling, a spasm of noose hangings, racist graffiti, vandalism and death threats is convulsing dozens of towns across the country as white extremists lash out at the new political order.
More than 200 hate-related incidents, including cross-burnings, assassination betting pools and effigies of President-elect Barack Obama, have been reported so far, according to law-enforcement authorities and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. Racist Web sites are boasting that their servers are crashing under the weight of exponential increases in page views.
Even more ominously, America’s most potent symbol of racial hatred — the Ku Klux Klan — has begun to reassert itself, emerging from decades of disorganization and obscurity in a spate of recent violence.

For Full Story

Read ticklethewire.com report on hate groups and the Obama Factor

Video of Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey Fainting on Thursday Night In Washington

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g34t9PvfsdM

Eric Holder Could Face Tough Questions About Controversial Pardon For Marc Rich

Eric Holder/law firm photo

Eric Holder/law firm photo

President-elect Obama’s pick of Eric Holder as the new Attorney General is getting a thumbs up from many career Justice employees. And the likelihood of him being confirmed is high. But during confirmation hearings he’s likely to face some tough questions about the controversial pardon of billionaire Marc Rich while he served as deputy Attorney Gen. under President Clinton.

By George Larnder Jr.
New York Times
Op-Ed Page

WASHINGTON — WHEN President Bill Clinton pardoned a billionaire fugitive from justice on his last day in office, even usually loyal Democrats were dismayed. Representative Henry Waxman of California called it “bad precedent” and “an end run around the judicial process.” He said it appeared to set a double standard for the wealthy and powerful.
The billionaire was Marc Rich, a commodities trader, and his pardon is a subject of discussion again because Eric Holder, Mr. Clinton’s deputy attorney general at the time and a key figure in the clemency process, is reported to be Barack Obama’s choice for attorney general. In the years since the Rich pardon, Mr. Holder has said he “never devoted a great deal of time to this matter.” He also told an interviewer that, in hindsight, he wished that the Justice Department had been “more fully informed” about the case. As someone who helped cover the story for The Washington Post, I think the issue is far more complicated and deserves more scrutiny if Mr. Holder is to become our top law-enforcement official.
For Full Story

Federal Air Marshals Unlawfully Denied Overtime

Air Marshals might find the skies a little friendlier if they could get their overtime.

By Michael Grabel
ProPublica

Federal air marshals have been unlawfully denied overtime, and as a result the U.S. government could be liable for millions of dollars in back pay, according to a court opinion (PDF) unsealed this week in Washington, D.C.
The lawsuit, filed in 2006, involves 1,805 air marshals who said they haven’t been fully compensated for flight delays, time for writing reports and off-duty fitness and firearms training needed to pass quarterly tests. The judge’s opinion cited a 2004 study by the Air Marshal Service which showed that agents in the Chicago field office averaged about 10.5 hours a day.
For Full Story

Read Court Opinion

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Calif. Feds Ask Judge To Unseal Grand Jury Transcripts And Other Documents in Steroid Probe (AP)

Correctional Officer Melissa Foy Given National Award

WASHINGTON — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund on Friday named senior officer specialist Melissa Foy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons officer of the month for October.
Foy works at the high-security facility, U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton in West Virginia.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said in a statement:
“Officer Foy knows the majority of inmates and her instincts help her recognize when they are involved in suspicious behavior or prohibited acts. She has forwarded raw intelligence to the Special Investigation Staff which has been instrumental in solidifying criminal cases against individual inmates. With an educational background in substance abuse and dependency, Officer Foy ascertained that inmates were getting a “high” from a medication which was being dispensed daily. She identified the drug and worked with the Health Services Department to ensure that the facility discontinued prescribing this medication. In addition, adjustments were made in how medications were dispensed to the inmates.”


Ex-Football Player Vick Put Family Pets in Ring With Pit Bulls

The more we know, the more we realize Michael Vick will never get the Humanitarian Award.

By HANK KURZ Jr.
The Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. — Michael Vick put family pets in rings with pit bulls and thought it was funny watching the trained killers injure or kill the helpless dogs, a witness told federal investigators during the dogfighting investigation that brought Vick down.
In a 17-page report filed Aug. 28, 2008, by case agent James Knorr of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and released Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, a person identified as confidential witness No. 1 said Vick placed pets in the ring against pit bulls owned by “Bad Newz Kennels” at least twice and watched as the pit bulls “caused major injuries.”
For Full Story

Witness in Sen. Steven’s Case Claims He Would Have Testified Differently Without Govt. Coaching

Did feds go too far in coaching witness in the Sen. Stevens case? Does Stevens have a shot of overturning conviction on appeal or getting a pardon from Pres. Bush? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

Sen. Ted Stevens/official photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A witness in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has told a federal judge that he received extensive help from prosecutors prior to taking the stand and would have testified differently had he not been given the assistance.
He also said he had an agreement with the government that gave him immunity from prosecution in the case. During the trial, he told the jury that no formal deal existed.
“I would not have given the same testimony” without the help or the agreement, wrote the witness, David Anderson.
For Full Story

Read Witness Letter to Judge

Read Government Response