April 19

Katherin Andrade, 24
Jennifer Andrade, 19
Aldrick Bennett, 35
Susan Benta, 31
Mary Jean Borst, 49
Pablo Cohen, 38

Yvette Fagan, 34
Doris Fagan, 60

Lisa Marie Farris, 26
Ray Friesen, 76
Dayland Gent, 3

Diana Henry, 28
Paulina Henry, 24
Phillip Henry, 22
Stephen Henry, 26
Vanessa Henry, 19
Zilla Henry, 55

Novellette Hipsman, 36
Floyd Houtman, 61

Cyrus Howell, 8
Rachel Howell, 23
Star Howell, 6

Sherri Lynn Jewell, 43

David Michael Jones, 38
Michelle Jones, 18
Serenity Sea Jones, 4

Bobbie Lane Koresh, 16 months
David Koresh, 33

Jeffery Little, 31
Nicole Elizabeth Gent Little, 24

Livingston Malcolm, 26

Douglas Wayne Martin, 42
Lisa Martin, 13
Sheila Martin, 15

Abigail Martinez, 11
Audrey Martinez, 13
Juliete Santoyo Martinez, 30
Crystal Martinez, 3
Isiah Martinez, 4
Joseph Martinez, 30

Jillane Matthews
Alison Bernadette Monbelly, 31

Melissa Morrison, 6
Rosemary Morrison, 29

Sonia Murray, 29
Theresa Noberega, 48
James Riddle, 32
Rebecca Saipaia, 24

Judy Schneider, 41
Mayanah Schneider, 2
Steve Schneider, 48

Laraine B. Silva, 40

Floracita Sonobe, 34
Scott Kojiro Sonobe, 35

Aisha Gyarfas Summers, 17
Gregory Allen Summers, 28
Startle Summers, 1

Hollywood Sylvia
Lorraine Sylvia, 40
Rachel Sylvia, 13

Doris Vaega
Margarida Joanna Vaega, 47
Neal Vaega, 37

Martin Wayne, 20
Mark H. Wendell

Medical Marijuana Business Attracts Hedge Funds, Venture Capitalists

Marijuana has been a cash crop for many years in this country. The only problem is that most of that crop had been grown illegally. Now, that medical marijuana is legal in 15 states and the District of Columbia, legalized marijuana has quickly become so popular it is attracting attention from hedge fund managers and venture capitalists, not to mention a whole new batch of entrepreneurs.

Doctors still can’t prescribe marijuana because it is categorized as a schedule one drug like LSD. But they can recommend it and that’s all anyone needs to get a medical marijuana license that allows them to buy marijuana legally in those 15 states, with three more states about join them.

Each license sells for around $130 and some clinics selling the licenses have brought in more than a million dollars in just their first year. The once illegal joint is selling like hot cakes throughout middle America to consumers who no longer have to worry about getting arrested for possession, at least by local or state authorities.

The federal government still outlaws marijuana possession but it’s unlikely someone with a medical marijuana license will be busted by an FBI or DEA agent if caught smoking in his or her own home. In fact, just last year U.S. enforcers promised to leave medical marijuana operations alone if they complied with state law.

That prompted a significant increase in interest among entrepreneurs. Today, there are an estimated 2,400 medical marijuana dispensaries from California to Maine. In Colorado, they outnumber Starbucks two to one.

 

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Rep. Lewis passed over for powerful chairmanship

Republicans passed over  Rep. Jerry Lewis in favor of a veteran Kentucky lawmaker Wednesday to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

The party’s steering committee rejected Lewis’s request to waive term limits that bar him from reclaiming the post he held when Republicans last held the majority.

The decision deprives Lewis of a position that would have given him control over the federal government’s purse strings and a heightened ability to direct millions of dollars to his home district, which includes some of the Pass area.

See also: CREW’s Most Corrupt: Rep. Jerry Lewis

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Startups Backed By The CIA

The spy agency has a venture capital arm that is funding an array of companies developing bleeding-edge technologies.

Tiny cameras. Hearing devices for the teeth. Wi-fi for refrigerators. These are some of the products made by companies that have caught the eye of In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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Retired airman accused of soliciting minor

An outstanding warrant remains in effect for an Air Force officer accused of soliciting sex from a person he thought was a 15-year-old girl in an Internet chat room.

Maj. Reinaldo Canton was arrested in 2007 on suspicion of meeting a girl he met online at a mall in Layton, Utah. The “girl” was actually an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent working for an Internet sex crimes unit.

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US contacts allies about WikiLeaks move

The United States has briefed its key allies, including Britain, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia ahead of the mass release of classified documents by WikiLeaks.

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks plans to release around three million leaked documents, including cables sent to Washington from American embassies throughout the world.

The website had previously posted online secret details of US military operations in war-ravaged Iraq and Afghanistan.

United States Department of State Spokesman Philip Crowley says the United States is “gearing up for the worst-case scenario.”

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Cops & Firemen

Radley Balko on the Militarization of Police

2010 National Drug Control Strategy

President Obama’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy uses a multifaceted approach to combat drug abuse and drug use in America’s communities.

This Strategy “provides a collaborative and balanced approach that emphasizes community-based prevention, integration of evidence-based treatment into the health care system, innovations in the criminal justice system, and international partnerships to disrupt drug trafficking organizations. Because nearly all Americans are impacted by the consequences of drug use, the Strategy is designed to be relevant at the local level. Whether you are a parent looking for information, a community member interested in treatment resources, a police officer or local elected official searching for new approaches to drug-related crimes, or someone who wants to know more about the Administration’s drug policy, the National Drug Control Strategy will serve as a useful resource.”

Forty years since the Kent State massacre

May 4 marks the 40th anniversary of the shootings of unarmed student protesters at Kent State University in northeast Ohio. The Ohio National Guard killed four students and wounded nine others at a rally against the Nixon administration’s decision to escalate the Vietnam War by invading neighboring Cambodia.

The four students who died were Allison B. Krause and Jeffrey Glenn Miller, who had participated in the antiwar protest, and two bystanders, Sandra Lee Scheuer and William Know Schroeder, who were walking between classes when the troops opened fire. Miller was killed instantly, Scheuer died within minutes, while Krause and Schroeder succumbed to their wounds after several hours.

One of the students wounded, Dean Kahler, 20, was a first-semester freshman who was a curious onlooker to the protest. A bullet cut his spinal column, leaving him in a wheelchair to this day.

At least 67 bullets were fired during the 13-second fusillade, and students were hit over a wide area. The closest of the victims, one of the wounded, was 71 feet from where the troops formed a firing line. The furthest, wounded in the neck, was 750 feet away. The four dead students were between 265 and 345 feet distant. None of the victims was armed or could have posed a physical threat to the guardsmen.

The Kent State Massacre was part of a wave of violent state repression that swept the United States in the aftermath of the April 30 television announcement by President Richard Nixon that US forces had crossed the border from Vietnam and invaded Cambodia.

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FBI Adds Electronic Form for FOIA Requests

The FBI has a new electronic form designed to make requesting information easier. In addition, the bureau has retooled it records website, including a guide for research in FBI Records.

Of course, filing a request has always been the easiest part of making a FOIA request of the FBI. George Washington University’s National Security Archive has criticized the bureau for its high percentage of “no records exist” responses in 2008, and the low percentage of requests granted by the FBIA.

For more, click here.

Oklahoma Passes Bill Outlawing Militia Recruitment

Last week the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill that equates recruiting militia members to recruiting gang members.

“Recruiting membership in an unauthorized militia or the Ku Klux Klan would be a crime if legislation approved Thursday by the House of Representatives becomes law. ‘This is making unauthorized militias illegal,’ said Rep. Mike Shelton, the amendment’s author,” News OK reported on Thursday.

Shelton wants to send people to prison who do not ask the state for permission to form a militia. If the bill becomes law, it will likely be challenged as unconstitutional. However, the bill and its passage in the Oklahoma House reveals there is support on the part of lawmakers to deny citizens their rights under the First Amendment (specifically, the right to peaceably assemble).

A news report video on the law can be viewed here.

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FBI: Ex-airman claimed he had dynamite

BANGOR, Maine — A former Air Force intelligence specialist showed signs of paranoia aboard a trans-Atlantic flight and told federal air marshals that he had dynamite in his boots and laptop computer, forcing the plane to be diverted to Maine, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Derek Stansberry told the FBI that fellow passengers were talking about him, ridiculing him and using interrogation techniques on him, and suggested that he concocted the dynamite story to divert attention from the fact he held “classified information,” according to an affidavit.

Passengers reported that seat cushions, pillows and blankets were taken to the back of the plane, where federal air marshals erected a bunker of sorts around the boots and laptop “to dampen the effects of any potential explosion,” FBI Special Agent James McCarty wrote in the affidavit.

Stansberry, 26, of Riverview, Fla., is charged with false information and threats, and interfering with a flight crew. He was ordered detained pending a competency hearing.

The Air Force described him as a former intelligence specialist who served four years, ending his Air Force career as a senior airman in 2009 at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

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New Study: Drug law enforcement contributes to gun violence and high homicide rates and increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting organizations involved in drug distribution could unintentionally increase violence

See also: Study links drug enforcement to more violence

Today, the newly formed International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) released their first report: Effect of Drug Law Enforcement on Drug-Related Violence: Evidence from a Scientific Review.

“Given the growing emphasis on evidence-based policy-making and the ongoing severe violence attributable to drug gangs in many countries around the world, a systematic review of the available English language scientific literature was conducted to examine the impacts of drug law enforcement interventions on drug market violence.”

The results of the review found that “an increase in drug law enforcement interventions to disrupt drug markets is unlikely to reduce violence attributable to drug gangs. Instead, from an evidence-based public policy perspective and based on several decades of available data, the existing evidence strongly suggests that drug law enforcement contributes to gun violence and high homicide rates and that increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting organizations involved in drug distribution could unintentionally increase violence. In this context, and since drug prohibition has not achieved its stated goal of reducing drug supply, alternative models for drug control may need to be considered if drug-related violence is to be meaningfully reduced.”

Ex-FBI Agent Gets 30 Years for Home-Invasion Plot

A former Federal Bureau Investigation agent was sentenced today in California to 30 years in prison for plotting a violent home invasion of a suspected drug stash house in Orange County in what turned out to be an FBI sting.

Vo Duong Tran, 42, of New Orleans, was convicted in March 2009 of plotting the robbery with an accomplice, Yu Sung Park. Park, 36, of Wilmette, Ill., was also sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., to 30 years in prison.

Tran worked for the FBI’s Chicago Division from 1992 to April 2003.

CNN poll confirms: Most Americans believe their government is a threat to their welfare

A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken – though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what’s broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.

Major Drug Conference in Mexican Drug War Says Prohibition Has Failed, Calls for New Policy

Coming as Mexico‘s war on drugs turns bloodier by the day, the conference concluded that current prohibitionist policies are a disaster.

Editor’s Note: With 137 people killled last week in the Mexican drug war, a conference on this topic couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

On Monday and Tuesday in Mexico City, political figures, academics, social scientists, security experts, and activists from at least six countries came together for the Winds of Change: Drug Policy in the World conference sponsored by the Mexico City-based Collective for an Integrated Drug Policy (CUPHID). Coming as Mexico’s war on drugs turns bloodier by the day, the conference unsurprisingly concluded that current prohibitionist policies are a disaster.

“The principal conclusion is that we need a more integrated drug policy based on prevention, scientific evidence, and full respect for human rights,” summarized CUPHID president Jorge Hernandez Tinajero. “It remains clear that, yes, there exist alternatives to the current strategy.”

In a press release after the conference, CUPHID emphasized the following points:

  • The so-called war on drugs has failed and, without doubt, we need “winds of change” to advance toward alternative policies to address the problematic of drugs across the globe.
  • The prohibitionist paradigm has been ineffective, and furthermore, for the majority of countries it has implied grave violations of human rights and individual guarantees, discrimination, and social exclusion, as well as an escalation of violence that grows day by day, ever broadening the scope of impunity for organized crime.
  • Drugs are never going to disappear. Thus, a more realistic drug policy should focus on minimizing the harms associated with drug use – overdoses, blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS, and violence. This concept is known as “harm reduction,” and must be the backbone of any drug policy.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department buys gear from company targeted by sweatshop investigators

The Safariland website is a virtual big box retailer of tactical equipment, chemical weapons and forensics for police departments, military and private security contractors. The Premium Wallbanger System is used for SWAT team entry operations and can create a shooting port through a wall. It can use an explosive charge to breach metal doors and provides OVC spray coverage. The Protech brand makes a rifle threat plate that can withstand multiple rounds from an AK-47. The DeltaNu Reporter is a handheld illicit drug identification system. The Monadnock Autolock defender baton is expandable and comes with a guard for hand protection.

In the early days Safariland kept it simple. The Ontario-based multinational corporation birthed in a ’60s suburban Los Angeles garage was known for custom holsters. The manufacturer claims that 70 percent of peace officers in North America currently use Safariland duty gear. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department purchases duty gear from the manufacturer.

Decades of growth and a series of mergers and acquisitions has left Safariland the flagship of 19 companies under control of the British defense contractor BAE Systems. The free trade business model of the ’90s put Safariland in a factory in Mexico well before the consolidation with BAE systems took place. The North America Free Trade Agreement fueled the growth of maquiladoras. The border factories import materials into Mexico for assembly and then re-export them to the U.S. to enter the global marketplace.

The treaty made conditions ripe for economic and environmental exploitation. The effect of the duty-free and tax-free provisions of NAFTA that leave little or in most circumstances zero development in the communities the workers live.

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Let Dr. Aafia go home, Mr. President

Reading all those legal thrillers by John Grisham and watching Hollywood blockbusters that portray innocent individuals framed and ensnared by a powerful system, one always thought: Of course, these things do not happen in real life.

I am not so sure anymore though. The abduction, persecution and now conviction of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated neuroscientist, by the U.S. authorities reads like a regulation Grisham thriller written for Hollywood.

Aafia disappeared with her three children on her way to Jinnah International Airport airport for Islamabad way back in 2003. Five years later, she was presented in a New York court in March 2008 as “a top al-Qaeda terrorist” and the “most dangerous woman on earth,” as United States Attorney General John Ashcroft put it.

The U.S. authorities claimed then that Aafia was captured near Ghazni governor’s office in Afghanistan with a bag that carried instructions on making explosives and a list of U.S. landmarks.

But more damningly, the U.S. authorities claimed that the frail mother of three attacked a team of eight U.S. soldiers, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Afghan officials in Ghazni with a highly sophisticated, heavy M-4 gun in Ghazni when they went to question her. Surprisingly though, it’s Aafia who ended up with two gunshot wounds, inflicted point blank. None of the officials she allegedly attacked sustained any injuries or wounds.

Last week, after months of courtroom drama and charade of a trial, Aafia was convicted of attempted murder and attacking U.S. soldiers and FBI officials with a deadly weapon.

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Manifesto of Joe Stack

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?”  The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time.  The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken.  Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it.  I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head.  Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy.  Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all.  We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers.  Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”.  I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood.  These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

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Report to Congress about the USA PATRIOT Act

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, released a new report Report to Congress on Implementation of Section 1001 of the USA PATRIOT Act.

This report details “Section 1001 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Patriot Act), Public Law 107-56, directs the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ or Department) to undertake a series of actions related to claims of civil rights or civil liberties violations allegedly committed by DOJ employees. It also requires the OIG to provide semiannual reports to Congress on the implementation of the OIG’s responsibilities under Section 1001.”

Feds Can Search, Seize P2P Files Without Warrant

The authorities do not need court warrants to view and download files traded on peer-to-peer networks, a federal appeals court says.

Wednesday’s 3-0 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concerned a Nevada man convicted of possessing child pornography as part of an FBI investigation. Defendant Charles Borowy claimed the Fourth Amendment required court authorization to search and seize his LimeWire files in 2007.

The San Francisco-based appeals court, however, cited the nation’s legal standard, reiterating that warrants are required if a search “violates a reasonable expectation of privacy.” (.pdf)

Borowy, the court noted, “was clearly aware that LimeWire was a file-sharing program that would allow the public at large to access files in his shared folder unless he took steps to avoid it.”

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FBI probes US school webcam ‘spy’ case

The FBI is investigating a Pennsylvania school district officials accused of secretly activating webcams inside students’ homes, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will explore whether Lower Merion School District officials broke any federal wiretap or computer-intrusion laws, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Days after a student filed a suit over the practice, Lower Merion officials acknowledged on Friday that they remotely activated webcams 42 times in the past 14 months, but only to find missing student laptops. They insist they never did so to spy on students, as the student’s family claimed in the federal lawsuit.

Families were not informed of the possibility the webcams might be activated in their homes without their permission in the paperwork students sign when they get the computers, district spokesman Doug Young said.

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Phony US Marshal Apprehends, Deports Woman

A Hemet man who passed himself off as a U.S. Marshal was able to enter San Diego International Airport with a “prisoner” after convincing airport security officers he was a federal agent, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

Suzanne Trevino, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said in a telephone interview that an investigation has revealed that someone who presented “falsified law enforcement documents” was able to get past security and eventually make it to a gate with a prisoner. The individual presented himself as a law enforcement officer and followed the proper procedures, including logging in, she said.

The agency learned about the incident after being contacted by “local law enforcement” about the potential breach in security.

“We are working with law enforcement and other departments to make sure this does not happen again,” Trevino said.

Trevino declined to discuss what law enforcement officers are required to do to verify their status, or what policy changes have taken place since the incident.

After the “prisoner” took off in a plane, Trevino said, the individual left the airport.

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Arpaio Tactics Causing Fear And Loathing In Maricopa County

Sheriff Joe Arpaio‘s crusade against Maricopa County officials has created a “year-long emotional roller-coaster” for some county employees, they tell the Arizona Republic.

Arpaio, whose controversial immigration enforcement tactics have made him a nationally known figure, is reportedly being probed by a federal grand jury. The investigation is considering whether the sheriff abused his power by going after political opponents and others who crossed him, including several county supervisors and judges.

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Man who says he spied on mosques for FBI files lawsuit

Craig Monteilh says he lives in danger.

He’s been targeted for death by Islamic extremist groups, the Romanian and Mexican mafias and white supremacist groups. One fugitive now wants his head, he claims.

Today Monteilh, a 47-year-old fitness consultant, plans to serve papers on the people he says put him in this bind – his former employer, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Irvine Police Department.

Monteilh, who says he spied on mosques for the FBI as an undercover informant, filed a lawsuit last week claiming his agency handlers violated his civil rights and put his life in danger.

“They put me in prison with no protection,” he said. “There were hits on my life. I had to do what was necessary to survive in there in defense of my own life.”

He said his FBI supervisors reneged on a promise of severance and protection after a FBI supervisor muddled an operation that would have uncovered “bomb making materials” at a mosque, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit, seeking $10 million in damages, was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Jan. 22.

Monteilh, 47, spied on nearly a dozen mosques from July 2006 and October 2007 on the FBI’s behalf, posing as a Muslim convert, the suit alleges.

Two of the mosques were in the San Gabriel Valley, including the Al-Nabi Mosque in West Covina and the Masjid Al-Fatiha mosque in Azusa, he said.

“The government will have an opportunity to respond to these allegations in court,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. “However, the accusations appear to be an attempt to discredit law enforcement for personal gain, at the expense of the Muslim-American community.”

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A little brain food for the perpetually Recovering City of Big Bear Lake Council and other prostitutes of the Prison-Industrial Complex

Former Fulton County, GA, Sheriff’s Deputy Convicted on Obstruction of Justice Charges Related to Federal Investigation of Inmate Death

Richard Glasco

ATLANTA, GA—Mitnee Markette Jones, 46, of Atlanta, Georgia, a former Fulton County Sheriff’s Department deputy assigned to work at the Fulton County Jail, was convicted by a federal jury late yesterday in Atlanta for her role in the obstruction of a federal investigation of a 2008 inmate death.

Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “We’re still uncertain exactly why Mr. Glasco died, but this conviction brings us one step closer to learning the truth. Deputy Jones lied and covered up what happened in Mr. Glasco’s cell, and now she is being held accountable.”

Gregory Jones, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta, said, “The conviction of Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy/Jailer Mitnee Jones on charges related to lying to the FBI and providing false statements as part of a serious investigation into the death of a Fulton County jail inmate should serve as a message to others that the FBI expects full cooperation in such matters. For a sworn law enforcement officer to deliberately mislead a federal investigation is unconscionable, and the jury, with a returned verdict of guilty, agreed that it should not be tolerated.”

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Most U.S. Union Members Are Working for the Government, New Data Shows

[ You allow your police to form labor unions, then think you can ever be free from crime?  Or free at all?  Stupid Merikins. ]

For the first time in American history, a majority of union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Friday.

In its annual report on union membership, the bureau undercut the longstanding notion that union members are overwhelmingly blue-collar factory workers. It found that membership fell so fast in the private sector in 2009 that the 7.9 million unionized public-sector workers easily outnumbered those in the private sector, where labor’s ranks shrank to 7.4 million, from 8.2 million in 2008.

“There has been steady growth among union members in the public sector, but I’m a little bit shocked to see that the lines have actually crossed,” said Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president for labor at the United States Chamber of Commerce.

According to the labor bureau, 7.2 percent of private-sector workers were union members last year, down from 7.6 percent the previous year. That, labor historians said, was the lowest percentage of private-sector workers in unions since 1900.

Among government workers, union membership grew to 37.4 percent last year, from 36.8 percent in 2008.

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DOJ Finds FBI Violations Over Phone Conversation Requests

A Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Use of Exigent Letters and Other Informal Requests for Telephone Records

The U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General has just released a report which concludes that the Federal Bureau of Investigation violated U.S. laws by claiming terrorism emergencies which allowed it to collect more than 2,000 records on U.S. telephone calls between 2002 and 2006. This report follows two previous DOJ OIG reports on the matter, commonly referred to as ‘National Security Letters‘, which are also available at the Justice Inspector General website.

The Washington Post first broke this story yesterday and DOJ has now made the unclassified version available to the public.

Smith & Wesson Executive Indicted

A Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. sales executive and a former Secret Service official were among 22 officials at companies that supply law enforcement and the military who were charged with violating U.S. anti-bribery laws.

Amaro Goncalves, vice president of sales at Smith & Wesson, and R. Patrick Caldwell, chief executive officer of Protective Products Of America Inc. and a former deputy director of the U.S. Secret Service, were among the individuals indicted for engaging in schemes to bribe foreign officials, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer said today in a statement.

The indictments, which name only the individuals and not the companies they work for, stem from a Federal Bureau of Investigation undercover operation that focused on bribery allegations in the military and law-enforcement products industry, Breuer said. Yesterday, 21 defendants were arrested at a convention in Las Vegas and one was arrested in Miami, the government said.

The indictments unsealed today in Washington represent the largest single investigation and prosecution against individuals under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Department of Justice said. The law prohibits U.S. citizens and companies from paying bribes to foreign officials to gain business. The indictments were returned Dec. 11 by a grand jury in Washington.

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The Universal Soldier

He’s five foot-two, and he’s six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He’s all of thirty-one, and he’s only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.

He’a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn’t kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.

And he’s fighting for Canada,
He’s fighting for France,
He’s fighting for the USA,
And he’s fighting for the Russians,
And he’s fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way.

And he’s fighting for Democracy,
He’s fighting for the Reds,
He says it’s for the peace of all.
He’s the one who must decide,
Who’s to live and who’s to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He’s the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can’t go on.

He’s the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can’t you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.

Chords:- F,G7,C,Am Dm,Em

Just a reminder to the pig-sucking, brain-dead, flacid, perpetually-Recovering City of Big Bear Lake Council

Paul Chabot would love this commercial:

Teens Too Smart To Buy Anti-Drug Ads

A kid of about 13 wanders through a house party.  He goes outside where there are a quartet of pot smokers who offer him a joint.

He thinks for a moment, then there are all these quick flashes of him with pills, hiding stuff under his bed, getting into fights with his family, falling asleep in class and getting busted at school.

The ad implies that trying pot once will turn you into a full-on drug fiend within days.  This flies in the face of all science on the subject, but since when were facts used in anti-drug ads?

So the kid just shrugs and goes back into the party — ostensibly to eat more junk food and, quaff ‘energy drinks’, and listen to L’il Wayne and Snoop Dogg.

Does anyone really think kids will believe this fear-mongering balderdash?

In the 1980s, when I was a teen, they tried to stuff all this ‘Just Say No’ stuff down our throats and all it did was make us think that adults were morons.  If this new ad campaign is anywhere near as effective as previous government-run, anti-marijuana messages, we should see the number of teen drug users increase 10% within the next few years.


Now, instead of representing their constituents, like the pretty girl above, our mayor and council work for these guys…

Top row:  Rodney (“Baby Rod”) Hoops and Floyd Tidwell.  Bottom row: Gary Penrod and Cindy Beavers

And these guys work by preying on you.

Bob (RIP) and Mayor Liz, by the way, used to run a little back-room operation from their tourist shop.  They would purchase and re-sell meals to the Sheriff’s Department for their inmates.  They could have bought them direct, but were feeding their sheep while primping for the Master’s Work.

Liz, you’re supposed to be a psychologist.  Do you remember that little thing that Erikson called “ego integrity?”  Where will you find yours?  Tell the truth, Doc.

Gerald Celente Interview – Words of wisdom

Gerald Celente in Wikipedia

Trends Research Institute

Trends Journal

Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail

Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nation’s immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when The New York Times obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.

But behind the scenes, it is now clear, the deaths had already generated thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry.

The documents, obtained over recent months by The Times and the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act, concern most of the 107 deaths in detention counted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since October 2003, after the agency was created within the Department of Homeland Security.

The Obama administration has vowed to overhaul immigration detention, a haphazard network of privately run jails, federal centers and county cells where the government holds noncitizens while it tries to deport them.

But as the administration moves to increase oversight within the agency, the documents show how officials — some still in key positions — used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse.

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Time for full disclosure of DNA databases

Editorial: Time for full and frank data disclosure

WHEN a defendant’s DNA appears to match DNA found at a crime scene, the probability that this is an unfortunate coincidence can be central to whether the suspect is found guilty. The assumptions used to calculate the likelihood of such a fluke – the “random match probability” – are now being questioned by a group of 41 scientists and lawyers based in the US and the UK.

These assumptions have never been independently verified on a large sample of DNA profiles, says the group. What’s more, whether some RMPs are truly as vanishingly small as assumed has been called into question by recent insights into DNA databases in the US and Australia.

The group, led by Dan Krane of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, is demanding access to CODIS – the US national DNA database, which contains over 7 million profiles – so that they can test the assumptions behind RMPs. They have outlined their arguments in a letter, which was published in Science in December (vol 326, p 5960). “The national US database is a truly enormous source of data,” says signatory Larry Mueller of the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Such research could reveal if incorrect RMPs are prompting jurors and judges to attach undue weight to DNA evidence, possibly leading to miscarriages of justice. Even if these fears are not borne out, independent checks on the DNA held in large databases like CODIS are vital to maintaining confidence in DNA evidence presented in courts all over the world, the group says. Access would also allow the number of errors in CODIS to be measured.

See also:  FBI resists scrutiny of “matches.”

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Right-wing radio host, Hal Turner, was an FBI informant

The New Jersey Record reports that ultra-right-wing radio host/blogger Harold Charles “Hal” Turner worked for over five years for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Turner was tried last month for threatening three federal appellate judges in Chicago: Judges Richard Allen Posner, Frank Hoover Easterbrook, and William Joseph Bauer. Turner’s case ended in a mistrial and he is scheduled to be retried in March. According to the Record, Turner was paid and coached by the FBI while he broadcast neo-Nazi and white supremacy views over the radio and internet:.

As Turner took to his radio show and blog to say that those who opposed his extremist views deserve to die, he received thousands of dollars from the FBI to report on such groups as the Aryan Nations and the white supremacist National Alliance, and even a member of the Blue Eyed Devils skinhead punk band. Later, he was sent undercover to Brazil where he reported a plot to send non-military supplies to anti-American Iraqi resistance fighters. Sometimes he signed “Valhalla” on his FBI payment receipts instead of his own name.

His dual life of shock jock and informant offers a window into the murky realm of domestic intelligence in the years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in particular, the difficult choices for the FBI in penetrating controversial fringe groups with equally controversial informants. In interviews, he said the FBI coached him to make racist, anti-Semitic and other threatening statements and now he feels double-crossed by the bureau after his arrest. The documents reviewed by The Record, however, show repeated instances of federal agents admonishing Turner for his extremism.

Turner blames the FBI, saying that while agents never said he could threaten judges, they coached him on the limits of what he could say. As a result, Turner said he felt he had wide latitude. “I was given specific instructions,” he said.

White House Review of Christmas Terror Attempt Now Available

Unclassified Summary of December 25, 2009 Terror Plot

The Obama White House has just released this unclassified review of the events leading to the attempted bombing on board a commercial airliner en route from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25, 2009. This event, widely reported in the domestic and international press, made clear to Americans that the counter-terror system meant to protect them is not perfect, even when information is available to spy agencies. In response, President Obama publicly expressed his anger at these counter-terror agencies for this security lapse and ordered a classified review of the matter.

Executive Memo With Recommendations

See the video with Obama’s comments from today here

See also ODNI‘s Press Statement regarding Obama’s chastisement.

Finally, see the assessment by the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism

FBI investigating corruption allegations at Bexar Sheriff’s narcotics unit

Over the holidays, the SA Express News reported on a possible brewing corruption scandal at the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office narcotics division. According to reporter Guillermo Contreras (“Bexar narcotics deputies probed,” Dec. 27):

The FBI is investigating the Bexar County sheriff’s narcotics unit over allegations that some of its deputies might have been unlawfully taking evidence or stealing money and property from people they detain or arrest, the San Antonio Express-News has confirmed.

The two-year-old probe includes allegations of civil rights violations, but has expanded as agents learned about deputies who are living beyond what their county pay could afford — group trips to Las Vegas and the purchase of a large property in South Texas, for example.

“There have been many complaints about that narcotics division,” said one law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation, one of several who confirmed its existence. “The complaints include stuff about rogue cops and deputies running roughshod, arresting people without cause and stealing money.”

“It’s not the whole (narcotics) division, but four or five names keep coming up,” another source in the criminal justice system said. “But it doesn’t end there. They’re also looking up the chain to see what they knew.”

Independent of those sources, the Express-News confirmed FBI agents have approached several defense attorneys to interview their clients about the allegations.

Among the accusations are claims that deputies, while moonlighting in private security jobs, took advantage of their roles as law officers and shook down people at apartment complexes where deputies were hired to provide security. Some complained to federal officials about the deputies using excessive force and threats.

Here comes “Pinky” for his final disgrace

[ Before making a big mistake, insist that "Pinky" Stout debate Mike Ramos in public and make a recording available on the Internet.  This jerk can hardly tie his shoes.  He was put into office by the military/prison-industrial complex mafia bosses, in an era of secrecy and censorship.  He was chosen for his ignorant obedience.  Let's see how he looks when we can really see him. By the way, MID/PID scum:  You don't run this county any more. ]

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SAN BERNARDINO – Former district attorney Dennis Stout says he’s ‘committed’ to winning back his old job.

Stout is determined to root out government corruption…

“During eight years that I was district attorney, we prosecuted over fifty major corruption cases. By the time I completed my second term, corruption in San Bernardino County was pretty much under control. But, during the last seven years, it has reared its ugly head again.”

Stout did not seek re-election in 2002 and was replaced by Mike Ramos.

Stout expects to make a formal campaign announcement within two weeks. (INT)

Story Date: January 6, 2010

Rival Gangs Doing Business Together in L.A.

LOS ANGELES — Some neighborhoods in Southern California are experiencing a kind of truce between rival gangs that used to fight each other.

The decrease in gang violence in recent years has led some experts to theorize that gangs are now working together.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Los Angeles told La Opinión that although they are not investigating a particular case of collaboration between rival gangs, they are aware of a trend in which gangs of different ethnicities are working together.

“We know Latino gangs are working with African-American gangs to get drugs or arms, and we are already doing intelligence work,” said Robert Clark, special agent with the FBI’s Criminal Division. “It’s a trend we are seeing among different groups. And I think if they see an opportunity to collaborate across these barriers, they’re going to take it,” he added.
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Wife of slain El Monte civic leader didn’t think drug war would touch her family

[ When you live in a democratic society, you are equally responsible for the crimes you allow your "po-po" to commit.  Take back control of your life from him  Stop the drug war. See Law Enforcement Against Prohibtion. ]

Betzy Salcedo cited an old Mexican saying: He who doesn’t owe anything has nothing to fear. She always figured that people who had nothing to do with drug trafficking would not be targets in the country they loved.

The wife of Agustin Roberto “Bobby” Salcedo, the El Monte civic leader abducted and killed in Durango, Mexico, during a vacation with her, talked to The Times’s Mexico City Bureau chief Tracy Wilkinson about what happened.

“We were just going out with a group of friends,” Betzy Salcedo said, speaking slowly and casting her eyes downward. “You are careful, you look around, but you never think this kind of thing can happen … to innocent people. We were having a good time. Then we were in the mouth of the wolf.”

Hours later, Bobby Salcedo was dead, hauled away from the bar with five other men, their bodies dumped in a dried-grass field on the outskirts of town.

Arrangements were being made Saturday to repatriate Salcedo’s body. The 33-year-old, who was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, was an assistant principal and school board member in El Monte.

His slaying underscores the random volatility of the violence in Mexico and the ease with which the pain it causes can seep past the country’s borders.

Read Tracy Wilkinson’s full story here.

Drug Smuggling At Costa Rica’s Main Airport Up 63%

Perhaps it is due to the economic crisis or just a fast way to get rich, as many more this past year have decided to take the chance and smuggle drugs out of Costa Rica by was of the country’s major airport, the Juan Santamaría International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría), in San José.

The Policía de Control de Drogas (PCD) – drug enforcement police – reports that drug smuggling at the airport was up 63% in 2009 over 2008, confiscating some 37% more cocaine than the previous year.

The majority the 35 “burros” detained in 2008 were Europeans.

During the period of January 1 to December 31, the PCD reports confiscating 88 kilos of cocaine at the Santamaría, however, the haul for 2009 was 209 kilos.

The PCD attributes the higher level of detections to better surveillance at the airport, with the support of some 61 officers of the Policía Aeroportuaria (airport police) and the Fuerza Pública (regular police) that took the time to follow up on suspected passengers.

Most of the detainees were detected moments before they were ready to board their flight, much to do with being too nervous in the eyes of the police.


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Former Army Ranger Tries to Hire a Hit on a Federal Prosecutor

SEATTLE — A former Army Ranger convicted of leading a 2006 Tacoma bank robbery in a terrifying military-style heist has pleaded guilty to attempting to hire a hit man to kill a federal prosecutor.

Luke E. Sommer also pleaded guilty Monday to attacking a robbery co-defendant behind bars because he thought the man had ratted him out.

Sommer, 22, of Peachland, British Columbia, pleaded guilty in federal court to assault with a deadly weapon and solicitation of a crime of violence. Under terms of his plea agreement, he will face 20 years in prison in addition to the 24-year sentence he received in the August 2006 robbery of a Bank of America branch.

Court documents say Sommer offered an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent as much as $20,000 to kill a federal prosecutor in March, shortly after Sommer was sentenced on the bank robbery charges.

Sommer also pleaded guilty to attacking a co-defendant with a prison-made knife in January 2009 at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac. The victim suffered a minor stab wound.

Related reading

Prosecutors: Ex-Ranger assaulted heist partner

Former Lewis Ranger sentenced in bank robbery

Shining Path Indoctrination School Dismantled in Lima Jail

LIMA – Authorities at Lima’s Canto Grande Prison dismantled a school of the The Communist Party of Peru (Partido Comunista del Perú), more commonly known as the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), terrorist group that was indoctrinating inmates and their families in that jail, the local press reported on Saturday.

According to the daily El Comercio, the alarm sounded in October when the Counter-Terrorist Directorate (DIRCOTE – Dirección Contra el Terrorismo) anti-terrorist police got wind of Shining Path prisoners there involved in raising awareness among relatives of inmates convicted of terrorism.

The situation in Canto Grande had become so overwhelming that prison officials banned entry into cellblocks controlled by Shining Path prisoners – some 80 per block – while some entrances had been closed off from the inside with metal fittings.

El Comercio said that the work of jailers was almost nonexistent, since they could only perform guard duty from outside each cellblock.
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7,724 Slain in Mexico in 2009

MEXICO CITY – Last year was the deadliest in Mexico in the past decade, with 7,724 people killed in violent incidents attributed to organized crime, Mexico City daily El Universal said on Friday.

That total translates into an average of more than 21 homicides a day.

The newspaper, which has been keeping a daily tally of the number of deaths from Mexico’s drug war, said there have been 16,205 organized crime-related killings in Mexico since President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa took office in December 2006.

Chihuahua was far and away the most violent state in Mexico last year, with 3,250 murders, followed by Sinaloa (930), Durango (734), Guerrero (672), Baja California (444), Michoacan and Sonora, according to El Universal.

Mexican authorities do not provide homicide figures stemming from the cartels’ battles with each other and the security forces.

The Mexican government has deployed more than 40,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police nationwide to combat the drug cartels and other organized criminal outfits in the country’s most violence-ridden states.

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Iraqis outraged as Blackwater case thrown out

In this Oct. 2007 image, Mohammed Hafiz holds
a picture of his 10-year-old son, Ali Mohammed,
who was killed when guards employed by
Blackwater allegedly opened fire at Nisoor
Square in Baghdad. Iraqis responded with
bitterness and outrage Jan. 1 at aU.S. judge’s
decision to throw out a case against Blackwater
guards accused in the killings.

BAGHDAD — Iraqis seeking justice for 17 people shot dead at a Baghdad intersection responded with bitterness and outrage Friday at a U.S. judge’s decision to throw out a case against a Blackwater security team accused in the killings.

The Iraqi government vowed to pursue the case, which became a source of contention between the U.S. and the Iraqi government. Many Iraqis also held up the judge’s decision as proof of what they’d long believed: U.S. security contractors were above the law.

“There is no justice,” said Bura Sadoun Ismael, who was wounded by two bullets and shrapnel during the shooting. “I expected the American court would side with the Blackwater security guards who committed a massacre in Nisoor Square.”

What happened on Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007, raised Iraqi concerns about their sovereignty because Iraqi officials were powerless to do anything to the Blackwater employees who had immunity from local prosecution. The shootings also highlighted the degree to which the U.S. relied on private contractors during the Iraq conflict.

Blackwater had been hired by the Department of State to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The guards said they were ambushed at a busy intersection in western Baghdad, but U.S. prosecutors and many Iraqis said the Blackwater guards let loose an unprovoked attack on civilians using machine guns and grenades.

“Investigations conducted by specialized Iraqi authorities confirmed unequivocally that the guards of Blackwater committed the crime of murder and broke the rules by using arms without the existence of any threat obliging them to use force,” Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement Friday.

He did not elaborate on what steps the government planned to take to pursue the case.

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Hemet-San Jacinto Valley gang task force targeted by explosives

Members of the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force were the apparent targets by someone who rigged the group’s building to explode, said Hemet Police Department Lt. Duane Wisehart.

The building is located in the 500 block St. John Place although there are no signs that the group is housed there, Wisehart said.

According to a news release, unknown persons manually rigged the building in an attempt to cause an explosion. Officers arriving for work Thursday discovered the plot and vacated the premises.

“We are lucky they found what they did,” Wisehart said by telephone. “Otherwise someone could have been seriously hurt or killed.”

Wisehart said there is no doubt the task force members were the target. He declined to describe how the building was rigged to explode, but said it was armed to go off by movement within the structure, rather than by a timer.

Emergency crews and the Sheriff’s Hazardous Device Team are in the process of making the building safe, so that the investigation can continue.

Wisehart said the task force includes members of the Hemet Police Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Probation Department and others.

Old school meth: Mexican cartels go back to basics

Mexican cartels are increasingly going “old school” to keep supplying America with methamphetamine despite an ingredient squeeze.

Some gangs have responded to a Mexican crackdown on their meth chemical of choice — pseudoephedrine — by reviving a production method so old, it was used by U.S. motorcycle gangs and bathtub chemists in the 1970s and ’80s, recent seizures show.

The re-emergence of the “P2P method” demonstrates how frustrating it is to crack down on a synthetic drug that — unlike cocaine, heroin and marijuana — comes from recipes of chemical ingredients, known as “precursors,” instead of a plant.

When police succeed in cutting off the supply of one precursor, traffickers move on to or make another.

“Chemical restrictions are like squeezing mud, the stuff just comes out between your fingers,” said Steve Preisler, who wrote the “Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture” under the nom de plume Uncle Fester and is considered the father of modern meth-making. “They make life difficult for the smurfers (home producers) but for people with connections, well, they find it to be no problem at all.”
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FARC in Colombia : A History of Armed Resistance

CARTAGENA DE INDIES, Colombia — In May 2003 a leak from the Bush Treasury Department indicated that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) was about to add to its extensive narcotics traffickers list. This time it would add someone in Colombia.

OFAC would be using one of the enlightened Republican Congress’s new drug war laws, the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. I was pretty sure who the new addition would be. The word “kingpin” was a dead giveaway.

It had to be the guy who had attained high office; whose brother had organized 20 or more death squads and maintained a couple of them out at the family hacienda; whose cousin in the Colombian Congress was the mouthpiece for those death squads as well as a close friend and promoter of various well known narcotraficantes, including the legendary Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria; someone whose own father was wanted by the Colombian police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for cocaine trafficking when he was killed in an abortive kidnap plot; and who himself was removed from his position as mayor of Medellín for having well-known ties to drug runners.

Who else could it be, but master criminal and El Presidente himself, Álvaro Uribe Vélez?

Imagine my surprise when it was announced the next day, that it was not Uribe after all, but the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo) and 15 of their known or suspected leaders, even though I already knew they had to be a bad bunch of hombres. Five years before, in 1997, they were named a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Department of State.

It couldn’t have been easy to make it to the top of two government lists at the same time (the terrorist list and the narcotraficantes list) and be the defining designees of a whole new hyphenated word, “Narco-terrorist”! That should keep them from gaining credibility with anyone with media access in the U.S.! I started wondering who these FARC guys were. Somebody needed to check them out, find out where they came from, and why.

See also:

New Year Greetings from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC)

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