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Wednesday :: January 14, 2015

Wednesday Open Thread

The Judge has rejected Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's request for a trial delay based on the Paris attacks.

"My detailed review of juror questionnaires in preparation for voir dire has so far confirmed, rather then undermined, my judgment that a fair and impartial jury can and will be chosen to determine the issues in this case,"

I'm in court all day, this is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Dershowitz Supplements His Request to Intervene in Jane Doe Lawsuit

[Warning: This is very long. It assumes you know the basics. If not, see my four prior posts on the Dershowitz - Jane Doe claims, accessible here.]

Victims' Rights Lawyers Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards have not yet responded in court to Alan Dershowitz' motion to intervene in the civil suit between Jane Does 1 and 2 and the Department of Justice. The Court has not yet ruled on Dershowitz' motion. Yesterday, Dershowitz filed a supplement to his motion. I have uploaded it here.

In addition to asking that he be allowed to intervene, he asks that Cassell and Edwards' allegations against him be stricken and that the Court enter a "show cause" order (explaining why they shouldn't be held in contempt of court.) [More...]

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AQAP Claims Credit for Charlie Hebdo Attacks

AQAP has issued a statement taking credit for the Charlie Hebdo killings. The reason for the operaton: Their insults to the Prophet.

We in the Organization of Qa'idatul Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula claim responsibility for this operation as a vengeance for the Messenger of Allah. We clarify to the ummah that the one who chose the target, laid the plan nd financed the operation, is the leadership of the organization.

It says by coincidence, Coulibaly had another operation set at the same time.[More...]

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Tuesday :: January 13, 2015

Facebook To Put Amber Alerts in Newsfeeds

Facebook is going to put Amber Alerts in users' newsfeeds.

Just another reason I don't like or have much use for Facebook. Or Joe Biden, who got the Amber Alert bill passed without hearings by sneaking it into another crime bill against drugs.

Worst presidential nomination scenario: Hillary decides not to run and Joe Biden takes a shot.

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ISIS Shows Off Its Next Generation of Killers

Update: 1/14/15: The fighter standing next to the child soldier who kills the Russian and Kazakh intel agents is Abu Saad al-Dagfhistani. He was killed in Kobane today according to ISIS accounts.

Al Hayat Media, an official media arm of the Islamic State, has a new video (I'm not linking to it) in which two captured Russian/Kazakh intelligence agents confess and are shot and killed. What's unusual is that the killer is about 10 years old. The video shows him prepare to kill the men and then proceed to shoot them in the head. The final screenshot in the video is of the child I wrote about here in an earlier video who was one of many children from Kazakhstan training in a camp in Syria. That child appears to be about 10 years old and looks and sounds female. S/he says to the camera, "We're going to kill you O kuffar...we're going to slaughter you."

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Je Suis Voltaire

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. - Voltaire

There has been a bit of back and forth about the Je suis Charlie. See contra Denise Oliver Velez.

Maybe I'm simple, but to me the issue is really simple - je suis Voltaire - I'm not agreeing with what you say, I'm defending your right to say it without getting killed.

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Tuesday Open Thread

The big bitcoin trial over Silk Road begins today. WIRED tells you why it matters.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome

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Hostage Interview: Coulibaly Said He Had Nothing Against Jews

One issue regarding the Kosher market attacks by Coulibaly continues to have conflicting information: his motive for picking the Kosher market. In his swan song video and his conversations recorded when his phone had not hung up after talking to a news station, he doesn't mention animosity towards Jews as a motive. His anger is directed at the French Government.

Now there's an interview with one of the hostages who he was talking to him during the incident, trying to empathize with him. The hostage says:

Google translated version: [More...]

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Jury Selection in Tsarnaev Trial and Comparisons

Update: Tsarnaev's defense team has now requested a continuance due to the Paris shootings.

Boston Magazine has an interesting interview with Stephen Jones, lead trial counsel for Timothy McVeigh, "Tale of Two Trials" on similarities and differences in McVeigh's case and that of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

On jury selection, he raises the issue of the "stealth juror."

The federal courts, in my opinion, engage in a fiction. The fiction is — and some sincerely believe it, but I think nevertheless it’s a fiction — that once the juror takes an oath as a juror that their personality and character sort of changes and now they recognize this tremendous responsibility on them. I’ve not found that to be true.

What I’ve found is that the more notorious the case is, or the greater the publicity, jurors campaign to be on the jury so they can be a part of history, and that was certainly the case in Mr. McVeigh’s jury.

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Sunday :: January 11, 2015

Sunday Night Open Thread

I didn't even realize the Golden Globes were on. There's an hour left, I hope I didn't miss much. Juliana Margulies is on now giving an award to George Clooney. His new wife is with him.

New seasons of Episodes and Shameless start tonight on Showtime. There's also Downton Abbey and a new episode of The Good Wife.

Update: The Good Wife apparently features the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases. It begins with a notice that it was it was written before the grand jury decision, and references to Ferguson are to events in August after the Michael Brown shooting. I wonder why they needed the disclaimer. (It's just starting here.)

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Almedy Coulibaly: Soldier of the Islamic State

Al Hayat Media, one of the media arms for the Islamic State (ISIS) has released a “martyrdom” video of Almedy Coulibaly, recorded before the Kosher market siege, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and explaining his reasons for hooking up with the Kouachi brothers and embarking on his killing spree. It’s already down from You Tube, but you can watch it here, here or here. Even though it is in French, I suggest you watch it to see the editing. If you'd rather read about it, descriptions by the media are here and here.

Al Hayat takes video recorded by Coulibaly after the Charlie Hebdo killings and the killing of the policewoman, but before the market killings, and adds its own text and descriptions, giving the impression he is being interviewed by ISIS. [More...]

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Saturday :: January 10, 2015

83 Year Old Female Protester Arrested Outside Dick Cheney's House

700,000 people marched in France today for freedom and to show their solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris.

In Suburban Washington, Code Pink and Witness Against Torture led about 20 people in a protest tour against torture, during which they went to the homes of torture apologists. Two protesters were arrested outside Dick Cheney's house. One was an 83 year old female. Police said she was inside the fence on his property and refused to leave.

Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin disputed the police account, telling CNN, "The police asked us to move to the street, so we did. And they arbitrarily arrested two of us."

Is it that the 83 year old didn't move quickly enough for police? I hope not. That would be unacceptable age discrimination.

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Anonymous Hackers Take Down French Jihadist Forum

After threatening to retaliate for the Charlie Hebdo attacks a few days ago, hackers affiliated with Anonymous have taken credit for hacking a French Jihadist forum called ansar-alhaqq.net. But according to Mashable, the forum was only down for an hour. I just checked and it's up now. The hackers' press release says:

It is clear that some people do not want, in a free world, this inviolable and sacred right to express in any way one's opinions. Anonymous will never leave this right violated by obscurantism and mysticism. We will fight always and everywhere the enemies of freedom of speech.

Charlie Hebdo, historical figure of satirical journalism has now been targeted. Anonymous must remind every citizen that the freedom of the press is a fundamental principle of democratic countries. Freedom of opinion, speech and to publish articles without any threat, and stress is a right "inalienable." Anonymous has always fought the slayers of these rights and will never allow a person to be shot down radically for publishing an article, a drawing, an opinion.

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The Kosher Market Hostage Incident

Update: Police say Hayat Boumeddiene is believed to have left for Turkey before the attacks and may be headed to Syria or now in Syria.

Update: A Muslim employee at the Kosher market is being hailed as a hero for protecting the shoppers in the freezer.

When the Islamist gunman broke into the store, Lassana Bathily, a 24-year-old Muslim from the African country of Mali, told customers to hide in the store's basement freezer.

Closing the freezer's doors, he told the customers to wait calmly inside while he keeps a lookout. After police raided the supermarket and killed gunman Amedy Coulibaly, the hostages emerged safely from the freezer.

Original Post Below

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Al Qaeda Explains Why It Targeted France and Charlie Hebdo

In addition to taking credit for the Charlie Hebdo attack, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) yesterday explained why France and Charlie Hebdo were selected as targets.

The leadership of #AQAP directed the operation, and they have chosen their target carefully as a revenge for the honor of Prophet (pbuh). The target was in France in particular because of its obvious role in the war on Islam and oppressed nations.

The operation was the result of the threat of Sheikh Usama (RA). He warned the West about the consequences of the persistence in the blasphemy against Muslims’ sanctities. Sheikh Usama (RA) said in his message to the West: If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.

Separately, in a 5 minute audio address released by al-Malahem Media, AQAP leader Shaykh Harith al-Nathari praised the attack. (He did not take credit.) [Added: A version with English subtitles is now available here.] Here is an English translation. [Another is here.] A snippet:[More...]

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