commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The Salahis plead the Fifth before Congress…….

While they got dumped on by Congressmen from the House Committee on Homeland Security….the couple kept their mouths shut, under advice from their lawyers, who are sitting tight, while a Federal Grand Jury consisders weather to indite them for laying to Secret Service Uniform  Police Officers, who spoke to them on the night of the Indian State Dinner, and asked if they were invited to the event…..

This from the piece……

They also declined a chance to talk to the committee in a behind-closed-doors executive session. Which the committee’s ranking minority member, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said was just as well: “They’re not going to have state secrets.” King has agitated for White House officials like Social Secretary Desiree Rogersto testify about the security lapses; the White House has declined. Without them, the committee was just “going through the motions,” King complained.

“Did you have a good time in Las Vegas?” asked Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev), citing their celebrity “hosting” appearance at Pure nightclubSaturday. “Did you notice people had to stand in line and pay a fee — and they don’t allow party crashers?”

On the way out of the Cannon House Office Building, attorney Best held a brief press conference. He called the hearing a “charade” and “public flogging.” He said Congress would find the real answers by subpoenaing Rogers and Michele S. Jones, a Pentagon official whom the Salahis had e-mailed before the state dinner in their quest for an invitation.

“The Salahis are innocent and have committed no criminal act,” he said. “They believed in their hearts they were invited to the White House. This was not a stunt.”

Nor was it a joke either…….

We’ll see what the outcome will be……

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment, Family, Government, Law, Media, Men, Politics, Travel, Updates, Women | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Governement tries againt to charge Blackwater employees for crimes in Iraq…..

Two defense contractors working for a subsidiary of the former Blackwater Worldwide were charged today with shooting and killing two Afghan citizens in Kabul and wounding a third…..They were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Norfolk on charges including second-degree murder, attempted murder and firearms offenses. The indictment was unsealed Thursday afternoon.

The government hasn’t been doing too good in trying Americans in ‘war zones’ for crimes…..

In this case we’ll see how things develop…..

Oh, yea…you must know by now…they call themselves Xe Services….too much bad stuff associated with the name Blackwater these days…….

January 7, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Charges against Blackwater guards shootings in Iraq in 2007 thrown out……..

The charges lodged against five Blackwater guards, arising out a shooting in the Nisour Square, in Iraq, (resulting in several civilian deaths) while they were escorting a State Department motorcade, have been dismissed by U.S. Federal District Court Judge Ricardo M. Urbina in a 90-page opinion ……..That is summed up by this…….

In a “reckless violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights,” the judge wrote, investigators, prosecutors and government witnesses had inappropriately relied on statements that the guards had been compelled to make in debriefings by the State Department shortly after the shootings. The State Department had hired the guards to protect its officials.

The incident and its immediate media uproar put the State Department in a hot and glaring spot light….And forced State Department investigators to push hard for information, quickly about the incident……which turned the investigation a witch hunt that bent or completely disregarded basic criminal and judicial rules…..

The judge hi lighted the facts that…..

The guards had been told by State Department investigators that they could be fired if they did not talk about the case, but that whatever they said would not be used against them in any criminal proceeding.

Nevertheless, Judge Urbina found that “in their zeal to bring charges,” investigators and prosecutors had extensively used those statements, disregarding “the warning of experienced, senior prosecutors” that “the course of action threatened the viability of prosecution.”

“The explanations offered by the prosecutors and investigators in an attempt to justify their actions and persuade the court that they did not use the defendants’ compelled testimony were all too often contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility,” Judge Urbina wrote.

The judge also criticized prosecutors for withholding “substantial exculpatory evidence” from the grand jury that indicted the defendants, as well as for presenting “distorted versions” of witnesses’ testimony and improperly telling the grand jury that some incriminating statements had been made by the defendants but were being withheld.

While the State Department’s special agents provide investigative services every day in criminal cases….and provide protection for its charges ….this case was not a shinning moment for the service…..In addition, this  isn’t the first time that Bush Department of Justice attorney’s have been slapped d on the chin by judges for sloppy legal work…….

Note:…..Blackwater has changed its name to Xe Services…….

Note #2:…They were not happy in Iraq about the judges decision…….from the Washington Post…..

In Baghdad, relatives and victims of the shooting expressed frustration when told of Urbina’s decision. “There is no justice. These [people] have to have a trial in Iraq,” said Hussein Ali, the brother of Sa’di Ali, who was killed in Nissor Square.

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Politics, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Holder and the CIA review……….he retreats…….

On August 23, 2009, I wrote this about  how Atty. General Holder’s decision to investigate the CIA and its interrogation techniques was gonna occur as a cover for the president to seem tough on agency abuse……..I wrote a subsequent Update on September 18, 2009, in which I commented on the fact that seven former CIA Directors had written to Obama forcefully objecting to the naming of a special investigator to review what was originally about 24 cases of abuse of power and techniques……..

This evening has a backgrounder piece,  with leaked information to the Washington Post , giving details on less than 10 cases that the former prosecutor , John H Dunham will look at. As things have cooled on the story….. Holder has  retreated (but still kept Obama out of the spotlight, on the issue), issuing a statement clarifying the fact that probably no criminal charges will be filed……..John Wu, the person I thought this thing might find as the bad guy is NOT mentioned….at all……( I was wrong)……

…….I don’t think this  is gonna go anyplace…..Not with the agency, former Intel chiefs, the republicans, the grunts , and the agencies friends,  from both parties breathing down Obama’s neck……….And the issue has died in the media…….A victim of the White House’s constant throwing issues at the media and congress……….

Update:……..Obama has said again…he trusts Holder to press ahead…which doesn’t change my basic anaylsis of the situation……which is that not much is gonna happen here…….

Update#2……..Holder has found some backing from some retired military men who want the CIA to follow the rules, like the miltary is supposed to…..

September 19, 2009 Posted by | Law, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment