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Sunday :: July 27, 2014

Trial Monday on Production of Missing Video From OKC Bombing

Utah attorney Jesse Trentadue has been fighting for years to obtain videos referenced in Secret Service and FBI timelines of the Oklahoma City Bombing investigation. Trial in his FOIA lawsuit (see IntelFiles case page for background) begins tomorrow in federal court in Utah. Trentadue's brother Kenneth died in an Oklahoma detention facility in 1995. The government claimed his death was a suicide. Jesse says the condition of his brother's body shows it was murder.

On Monday, a three-day trial is scheduled to begin in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on a lawsuit by lawyer Jesse Trentadue. He filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking documents and videotapes from the bombing investigation — including one tape he believes shows two suspects exiting a Ryder truck parked in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and the detonation of explosives in the vehicle.

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New York Times Editorial: Feds Should Legalize Marijuana

The New York Times has taken a bold step. Its editorial board is calling for the legalization of marijuana -- Repeal Prohibition Again.

The Times will feature marijuana legalization all week in a series of articles, High Time. Here's the first article, Let the States Decide. [more....]

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Saturday :: July 26, 2014

No Treaty, No Problem for the DEA

Update 7/27: The Netherlands has authorized Aruba to release Hugo Carvajal, saying he does have diplomatic immunity. Looks like the DEA has lost this round. Definitely the right decision in my view.

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Venezuela does not allow the extradition of its citizens to the U.S. That doesn't stop the DEA. The latest conquests in its global war on drugs: Benny Palmeri-Bacchia, a Venezuelan attorney who served as a judge and prosecutor, and Hugo Carvajal Barrios, aka "Pollo" (chicken), the former head of Venezuela's Military Intelligence. Palmeri-Bacchi was arrested en route to Disneyland with his family for a vacation, and Carvajal was arrested in Aruba (as the result of a year long DEA plan to arrest him outside of Venezuela, more on this below.) [More...]

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Saturday Open Thread

For Stephanie Grisham, the press secretary for Arizona Attorney General Tom Home , who said in an email that the claims being made by the media witnesses and defense attorneys about the botched execution of Joseph Wood are not accurate.

"He went to sleep, and looked to be snoring. ...I was surprised by how peaceful it was. There was absolutely no snorting or gasping for air."

(h/t SJ in comments.) This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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ISIS Publishes Graphic Photos of Multiple Beheadings

ISIS yesterday published its most gruesome photos yet of multiple beheadings at the Division 17 base in Raqqa, Syria. I'm not going to link because they are just too gross.

The New York Times says 50 Syrian soldiers were killed. Reuters says the same.

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Friday :: July 25, 2014

Friday Night Open Thread

As expected following the media's publication of multiple unnamed law enforcement leaks concerning Stephen Silva, (background here) Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers have renewed their motion to determine the source of law enforcement leaks. I'm glad to see they complained about the leak I thought was the most egregious -- you can read the leak here. As I wrote:

....leaks by law enforcement that this is bad for Jahar because it shows he was more than an errand boy are just speculation. And incredibly out of line for law enforcement, who have no business opining to the media on the specifics and strength of any defendant's defense.

The defense wants to know what steps the Government took after the June hearing at which the judge expressed his concern about leaks to avoid future ones.

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 12 hour cease-fire tomorrow.

I wonder what ISIS has been up to the past 2 days. I'll write about it later if there's anything new.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thursday :: July 24, 2014

Another Complaint About Auto-Play News Videos

It is getting harder to find news sources on just about any topic that don't have intrusive, time-wasting auto-play videos. Lately, more and more major news sites have them. I refuse to link to them, and it takes a ridiculously long amount of time to click through several sources on any topic hoping to find one without a video and popup ads and surveys.

Here's a post I wrote a year ago on how to disable them. But it's still not an ideal solution.

I'd like to start a list of major sites that have the auto-play videos so readers know to avoid clicking on them when they see them elsewhere. I'll update this post with specific sites later tonight, but feel free to name the media sites with them in comments (no links please, I want to avoid giving them traffic.)

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Thursday Open Thread

Hope I got the day right. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

Check out the ISIS Tour bus.

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Another Botched Execution: 2 Hours to Die

Joseph Wood was executed in Arizona yesterday. It took two hours to kill him. The execution was not halted, even though he repeatedly gasped and snorted during it.

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution saw Wood start gasping shortly after a sedative and a pain killer were injected into his veins. He gasped more than 600 times over the next hour and 40 minutes.

Most disgusting comment, from a relative of the victim named Richard Brown:

Why didn't we give him Drano?

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Silva, Silva and Tsarnaev: A Confusing Story

Yesterday the feds arrested Stephen Silva of Cambridge, MA for heroin dealing and possession of a firearm with a partially obliterated serial number. Leaks from law enforcement claimed the gun is the one used to kill a Cambridge police officer days after the Boston Marathon bombings.

In June, the Judge in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's case said he was very concerned about leaks but declined to issue a gag order. He should be more concerned now. As should the judge in Silva's case, since Silva isn't charged with anything related to the bombing, the Tsarnaev's or the officer's shooting.

He was charged with unlawful possession of a gun that had an altered or obliterated serial number. That police say it's the same gun that killed the officer says nothing about how the Tsarnaev's got it. Silva could have given it any number of people who might have given it to the Tsarnaevs. who ended up giving it to the Tsarnaevs. Maybe someone paid a drug debt with the gun and not being into guns, sold it the next day, and the person he sold it too sold it to Tsarnaev.

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Tuesday :: July 22, 2014

U.S. Judge Approves Search Warrant for Entire Gmail Account

U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in the Southern District of New York has approved a search warrant request for the entire contents of an unnamed person's Gmail account, with no restrictions. Federal prosecutors requested the warrant in a money laundering investigation.

The decision is contrary to earlier rulings by Magistrate Judges in Kansas and Washington, DC. I have uploaded the opinion here. [More...]

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Israel Says Fate of One Soldier in Ambush is "Unclear"

Update: since writing the post below, the Israeli Defense Forces have posted on Twitter that they are trying to "identify" (not locate) the 7th soldier. Nor do they describe him as "missing."

A vehicle carrying 7 soldiers was attacked July 20. We have identified 6 of their bodies. Efforts to identify the 7th soldier are ongoing.

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On Sunday, Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prossor, denied Hamas had captured an Israeli soldier.

Yet, today the Israeli Army says the fate of the one of the seven soldiers in an armored vehicle in Shujaiyeh, Gaza that was attacked by Hamas is "unclear." He is classified as "missing" but presumed dead. [More...]

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Monday :: July 21, 2014

Azamat Tazhayakov Convicted of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy in Boston

Azamat Tazhayakov has been found guilty of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy as to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's backpack, but not his laptop.

Juror Daniel Antonino told reporters the jury believed the laptop had been taken "because it was valuable, plain and simple," and not to influence the investigation.

The defense will appeal. Among other things, they say Azamat was prejudiced by the split verdict form.

Moral of the story: Don't talk to the Feds without a lawyer. Our prisons are filled with people who thought if they could only tell their side of the story, the cops would see it their way. It rarely happens. Ask for a lawyer immediately and don't talk until you've consulted one. [More...]

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ISIS: No Shortage of New Recruits

ISIS has released these photos of its new recruits being trained somewhere in Ninawah. Apparently, there is no shortage of volunteers. (None of these photos have gruesome images or depict killings or injuries.)

Note the boys dressed in white. In one photo, one of the boys is taking pictures and in another, one is just holding the flag. Since the soldiers are in beige uniforms, I thought maybe he was like the team "mascot" -- or ISIS had implemented a "bring your kids to work" day. Apparently not: In this photo, the kid marches with his gun. In this photo, the two boys in white are seated with the group, one holds a gun and another the flag.

Is ISIS just training young boys, or using them in actual combat? And what's the difference between the soldiers in gray versus those in tan? Do they have different functions?

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New Report on Human Rights Abuses in U.S. Terror Cases

The Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School has released a new report, Illusion of Justice, Human Rights Abuses in U.S. Terrorism cases.

The 212 page report examines 27 terror cases from start to finish.

[S]ince the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, DC, the United States government has failed to meet its international legal obligations with respect to its investigations and prosecutions of terrorism suspects, as well as its treatment of terrorism suspects in custody.

One of the big problems is of course the FBI's overuse of terror stings. Here are the major concerns, according to the study: [More...]

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