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Archive for July, 2009

Suspected Nazi Demjanjuk Charged in Germany

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

A new chapter begins in the tale of suspected Nazi John Demjanjuk after so many have already been written. Will prosecutors get it right this time?

By ROLAND LOSCH
Associated Press Writer
MUNICH — German prosecutors formally charged John Demjanjuk on Monday with 27,900 counts of being an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp during World War II.

The charges against the 89-year-old retired auto worker, who was deported from the U.S. in May, were filed at a Munich state court, prosecutors in the city said in a brief statement.

Doctors cleared the way for formal charges earlier this month, determining that Demjanjuk (dem-YAHN’-yuk) was fit to stand trial so long as court hearings do not exceed two 90-minute sessions per day.

The court must now decide whether to accept the charges – usually a formality – and set a date for the trial. Court spokeswoman Margarete Noetzel said the trial was unlikely to start before the autumn.

For Full Story

Ex-Feds Louis Freeh and Michael Garcia to Testify in Supreme Crt. Nominee’s Hearing

Louis Freeh

Louis Freeh

Ex-U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia

Ex-U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Two big-name ex-feds scheduled to testify on behalf of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are former FBI director Louis Freeh  and former N.Y. U.S. Attorney Michael J. Garcia.

The hearing begins Monday at 10 a.m.

The witness list, according to the Judiciary Committee,  is as follows:

For the Majority:

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York
Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police
David Cone, former Major League Baseball pitcher
JoAnne A. Epps, Dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law, on behalf of the National Association of Women Lawyers
Louis Freeh, former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Michael J. Garcia, former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Patricia Hynes, President, New York City Bar Association
Dustin McDaniel, Attorney General, State of Arkansas
Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York County, New York
Ramona Romero, National President, Hispanic National Bar Association
Congressman Jose E. Serrano, New York Sixteenth District
Theodore M. Shaw, Professor, Columbia Law School
Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Minority Witnesses

Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity
Sandy Froman, Esq., former President, National Rifle Association of America
Dr. Stephen Halbrook, Attorney
Tim Jefires, Founder, P7 Enterprises
Peter Kirsanow, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
David Kopel, Esq., Independence Institute
John McGinnis, Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
Neomi Rao, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
Frank Ricci, Director of Fire Services, ConnectiCOSH (Connecticut Council on Occupational Saftey and Health)
David Rivkin, Esq., Partner, Baker Hostetler
Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Professor, Georgetown University School of Law
Ilya Somin, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
Lieutenant Ben Vargas, New Haven Fire Department
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life

Report Says Law Enforcement Deaths Up 20% in 2009

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Agent Paul Sorce died in March 2009

FBI Agent Paul Sorce died in March 2009

WASHINGTON — In the line of duty deaths for law enforcement officers jumped 20 percent in the first half of 2009 after hitting a 50-year low during the same period a year ago, according to a report released Sunday by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).

Specifically, 66 law enforcement officers died between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2009, compared to 55 during the same period last year. All were men. Among those who died on duty was Detroit FBI agent Paul Sorce. He was killed in a car crash in March.

Even with this year’s upswing, the law enforcement organization said the 2009 figures still represented the second lowest total since 1965.

“While it is encouraging that officer fatalities remain comparatively low, the 2009 figures do present some cause for concern,” said NLEOMF chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd in a press release.

“Officers continue to face serious threats from armed offenders who don’t think twice about opening fire on law enforcement. That was tragically illustrated by the horrific multiple-death incidents this year in Oakland, Pittsburgh and Okaloosa County, Florida,” he said.

“Those dangers, coupled with the fact that far too many law enforcement officers are dying on our roadways in traffic-related incidents, many of which involve drunk drivers, show that we still have a long way to go in ensuring that our officers can do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.”

Read Report

Govt Scraps Plans to Build New Detroit FBI Headquarters Downtown

McNamara Building/wikipedia photo
McNamara Building

It’s too bad the new plans were scrapped. It would have been good for development in a city that is hurting. Plus, the FBI could use an upgrade on its aging offices. On the other hand, the existing building, the McNamara Building is centrally located downtown. Under these difficult times, the FBI in Detroit will have to make due.

Paul Egan
The Detroit News
DETROIT — The federal government has scrapped plans to build an FBI headquarters in downtown Detroit, a spokesman for the General Services Administration said Friday.

Instead, the government plans to find more space for the FBI at its present home inside the McNamara Building on Michigan Avenue, David Wilkinson said in a telephone interview from Chicago.

“That will be the long-term answer,” Wilkinson said.
It’s bad news for agents and support staff who were pleased in May 2007 when the GSA announced it had awarded a $100 million contract to build the FBI an eight-story office building, a four-story parking garage and a single-story automotive facility on a 10.9-acre site across from the Greyhound bus station.

In January 2008 the government announced it had canceled the contract, citing the collapse of the credit market and unforeseen site development problems. But the GSA said it was continuing to plan for a new building and look for alternative sites.

For Full Story

Weekend Entertainment: Sacha Baron Cohen Interviews Real Terrorist in New Movie “Bruno”

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

Pres. Obama Nominates 6 U.S. Attys. Including Son of Sen. And 1st Woman U.S. Atty. in Hawaii

Ohio nominee Steven Dettelbach
Ohio nominee Steven Dettelbach

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – President Obama on Friday announced nominees for six U.S. Attorney posts. The nominees included the first woman U.S. Attorney in Hawaii and the son of a state senator in South Dakota.

In Hawaii, the president nominated Florence T. Nakakuni, 57, an assistant U.S. Attorney in Hawaii for the past 24 years, according to the White House. She currently heads the Drug and Organized Crime Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In South Dakata, Brendan Johnson, 34, the son of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) was nominated. The Associated Press reported Friday night that the senator, who has served since 1997, said he did not take part in the nomination process. Brendan Johnson is a partner in the law firm of John, Heidepriem, Abdallah and Johnson in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“My father said,” Don’t consult me. Don’t update me. I’m not going to be involved in the process,” AP quoted the son as saying back in January.

The AP quoted the Senator who issued a statement saying” “While I stepped back from his nomination process so it would remain unbiased as a father and a lawyer. I’m very proud of Brendan.”

Other nominees, according to a White House Press release include:
Arizona: Dennis Burke, 46, a senior advisor to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano.

Northern District of Ohio: Steven Dettelbach, 43, a partner with Baker & Hostettler in Cleveland .

Alaska: Karen Loeffler, 52, an Assistant United States Attorney for Alaska for 20 years and current the interim U.S. Attorney.

Southern District of Ohio: Carter M. Stewart, 40, a lawyer at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More Details in White House Press Release

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Stinging Report Says Bush White House Kept Justice Dept. Lawyers in the Dark on Warrantless Wiretaps

There’s no sugar coating the ugly truth about the way things were handled. The biting report also confirms outsiders’ suspicions that the White House undermined the Justice Department’s mission.

dark

By Carrie Johnson and Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The Bush White House so strictly controlled access to its warrantless eavesdropping program that only three Justice Department lawyers were aware of the plan, which nearly ignited mass resignations and a constitutional crisis when a wider circle of administration officials began to question its legality, according to a watchdog report released today.

The unclassified summary by five inspectors general from government intelligence agencies called the arrangements “extraordinary and inappropriate” and asserted that White House secrecy “undermined” the ability of the Justice Department to do its work.

The report is the first public sign of a long running investigative review of a program that provoked fierce conflict within the highest levels of the Bush administration in 2004. At the time, the Justice Department’s second in command and the director of the FBI both vowed to resign if President Bush continued with electronic intelligence gathering that they believed was outside the boundaries of the law.

Today’s report was mandated by Congress in legislation last year that updated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to accommodate new technologies. The bulk of the review remains highly classified.

For Full Story

Read Report

Sen. Hagan Submits 3 Names For N.C. U.S. Atty

U.S. Atty. George Holding
U.S. Atty. George Holding

Interesting that the senator wants the U.S. Attorney Holding to stay in office and handle certain public corruption cases. Good or bad idea?

By WRAL.com
RALEIGH, N.C. – U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan on Friday submitted three names to President Barack Obama for U.S. attorney in the federal court system’s Eastern District of North Carolina.

But Hagan said she wanted U.S. Attorney George Holding to remain in office to handle political corruption investigations into former Gov. Mike Easley and former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

“During my conversations with the Office of the White House Counsel, there was an interest expressed by the counsel’s office to potentially appoint a separate individual to begin handling other matters not related to these investigations,” Hagan wrote in her letter to Obama.

She recommended Ben David, district attorney for New Hanover and Pender counties; Hampton Dellinger, Easley’s former legal counsel and a partner in the Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson law firm; and Thomas Walker, a partner at the Alston and Bird law firm who concentrates on complex federal and state government investigations and white-collar defense.

For Full Story