a group of 43 senators — 29 Republicans and 14 Democrats — wants to implement a law that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. The two primary sponsors of the bill are Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. Perhaps the most shocking aspect is the punishment: Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.
The proposed measure, called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), was introduced by Cardin on March 23. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the bill “was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”
Julian Assange launched a successful libel complaint against Kurt Eichenwald which has resulted in Kurt removing all mention of Newsweek from his twitter bio.
Full transcript of the complaint:
Where is the line between humanitarian aid and exploitation? Cases like the Zoe’s Ark scandal, the Silsby scandal, and others provide a troubling picture of war torn or disaster stricken areas creating situations ripe for abuse by NGO’s and other “charitable” groups that severely lack public or governmental accountability. These cases raise the question of transparency in aid work, and suggest that issues in this area have been ongoing in different regions for some time.
To get an idea of how relevant this issue currently is, Russia Today published an article yesterday revealing that more than 100 missing refugee children in Calais may have become victims of sex trafficking. Julian Assange has also questioned the legitimacy of Bono’s “One” foundation, calling it a “special ops match made in heaven.” Elizabeth Lee Beck, a Yale-educated litigator in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit, appeared in a bombshell interview with alternative media website Infowars, where she referenced issues that had come up in her research in regards to the death of Peter Smith, Beranton Whisenant and others. Given these developments, it is especially timely to take a closer look at scandals like Zoe’s Ark and ask why, after over a decade, the issues stemming from such cases have not been fully addressed.
The 2007 Zoe’s Ark scandal was one of the first of a string of NGO related cases of misconduct which resulted in accusations from the President of Chad that the NGO had been intending to sell the children to human trafficking and organ trafficking networks. Despite the members of the charity receiving convictions on charges of child trafficking, and receiving sentences of eight years hard labor, the accused were repatriated to France after the intercession of Nicholas Sarkozy. Sarkozy personally persuaded Idriss Deby to give the offenders Presidential pardons. The group later faced related charges in France.
Some 310 violations have been committed by Israeli forces against journalists since the start of the year, the Committee for the Support of Journalists revealed in a report yesterday.
The report, which covers the period between 1 January and 30 June, states that excessive force was used against media personnel in violation of all international and human rights conventions which guarantee the freedom of press.
Journalists were arrested, detained and prevented from entering areas to provide coverage, the organisation said, while many had their equipment damaged or confiscated. Others were barred from travel or had their homes raided, while media outlets were shut down or threatened.
Cop gets caught planting fake evidence.
House conservatives will launch an effort to conduct an official House Judiciary Committee-led congressional investigation into former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and fired former FBI director James Comey, a notorious leaker, Breitbart News can confirm exclusively.
Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) have drafted an amendment that would compel government cooperation with a congressional probe into Lynch’s and Comey’s activities.
Specifically, the amendment—a draft of which was obtained by Breitbart News—would compel the production of documents and evidence regarding Lynch’s order to Comey to “mislead the American people by starting he should refer to the investigation into the mishandling of classified data and use of an unauthorized email server by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a ‘matter,’ rather than a criminal ‘investigation.’”
Abby Martin runs video on John Podesta:
The Israeli army accidentally revealed the existence of a previously unacknowledged airbase through its official website, hastily removing all references when the exposure was pounced upon by the media.
Friday, Sept. 26 — the radio program “This American Life” will air a jaw-dropping story about Wall Street regulation, and the public will have no trouble at all understanding it.
The reporter, Jake Bernstein, has obtained 46 hours of tape recordings, made secretly by a Federal Reserve employee, of conversations within the Fed, and between the Fed and Goldman Sachs. The Ray Rice video for the financial sector has arrived.
First, a bit of background — which you might get equally well from today’s broadcast as well as from thisarticle by ProPublica. After the 2008 financial crisis, the New York Fed, now the chief U.S. bank regulator, commissioned a study of itself. This study, which the Fed also intended to keep to itself, set out to understand why the Fed hadn’t spotted the insane and destructive behavior inside the big banks, and stopped it before it got out of control. The “discussion draft” of the Fed’s internal study, led by a Columbia Business School professor and former banker named David Beim, was sent to the Fed on Aug. 18, 2009.
It’s an extraordinary document. There is not space here to do it justice, but the gist is this: The Fed failed to regulate the banks because it did not encourage its employees to ask questions, to speak their minds or to point out problems.
Just the opposite: The Fed encourages its employees to keep their heads down, to obey their managers and to appease the banks. That is, bank regulators failed to do their jobs properly not because they lacked the tools but because they were discouraged from using them.
A New York Times reporter not only gave money to a child pornographer, but did business with him and even signed on to an illegal porn website as a member and administrator, documents unsealed yesterday in a federal criminal proceeding in Nashville reveal. He claims in one court document, he only “posed” as a pedophile.
The reporter is Kurt Eichenwald, who quit the Times in October, 2006. He already had a lot of explaining to do earlier this year about his conduct while working on the Justin Berry story when it was revealed in March that, without telling his editors, he gave $2,000 to Berry — an 18-year-old who’d spent five years making child porn of himself, when Eichenwald first contacted him in 2005. By then, Berry was an adult recruiting minors to perform sexually on webcams. After discovering this, Eichenwald found Berry a lawyer, who took him to the Department of Justice and got him immunity from prosecution in exchange for turning state’s evidence against four mostly gay and young men. All were eventually charged and convicted of making and distributing porn depicting underage teen boys. After Eichenwald wrote a blockbuster story about Berry for the Times, his journalism techniques aroused controversy in press circles. Even so, no one knew about the $2,000 check, and most of the media feted him.
Press adulation evaporated in March of this year however, when revelations of the $2,000 check emerged at a criminal trial in Michigan for one of the four accused men. Testifying there, Eichenwald said he was not acting as a reporter when he gave Berry the money, but was trying to save him from sexual exploitation and later demanded the money back before he started doing a Times piece.
This summer, a court hearing in the Nashville case revealed that Eichenwald gave yet more money to Berry, again without telling his editors. CounterPunch was the first to report this, and days later, the Times picked up the story. The Times didn’t say what the money — $1,184 — bought, and Eichenwald demurred that he had no independent recollection of having spent it. Two days after the Times report, he resigned from the Conde Nast financial magazine Portfolio without explanation.
The Nashville court documents unsealed yesterday reveal the following:
• Using a fake name, Eichenwald spent $1,184 to buy digital photos from Berry. It is not clear whether they were pornographic, or if they were made when Berry was under age 18 or older. But PayPal allows purchasers to send memos with their money, and Eichenwald sent Berry several messages discussing the quality of the pictures he bought. “I found a pretty good one but the lighting sucks… still worth 100.” “There are just 20 in the file, and most of them are nothing (shots of beds and driveways, or you rolling a joint).” “I found 3 so far that I either didn’t already have and were good.” “100…we gotta talk about what the really good ones are.” (The ellipses are in the court document.)
• Eichenwald encouraged Berry in his business endeavors while Berry was making child porn. In one PayPal message from June 2005, cited in the Nashville documents, Eichenwald writes Berry that “I’ll be online today. Find me and lemme know what to do. And I have other proposals for you that would get you even more money.”
• During this same period, Eichenwald sent Berry the $2,000 check. In the Michigan trial, he testified that he assumed when he sent it that Berry was broke. Documents just unsealed in Nashville reveal that hours after receiving the money, Berry videotaped a 14-year-old boy masturbating. A few days later, he uploaded the illegal tape to JustinsFriends.com, his gay porn website that had lain dormant for months. Soon JustinFriends.com was up and running again, with new content, including masturbatory images of the 14-year old.
• Under the pseudonym “Roy Rogers,” Eichenwald was signed on as a member of the revivified JustinsFriends.com. But he was no ordinary member: He had administrative privileges, meaning he could enter areas of the internet open only to site managers with an administrative password. He used this privilege to enter an area where one could monitor new subscriptions to the illegal porn site. He visited this area over 20 times in late June, 2005.
All this information has come out in Tennessee federal court because one of the four convicted men, Timothy Richards, is trying to convince a judge that Eichenwald and Berry engaged in a conspiracy to entrap him into Berry’s criminal activities with underage pornography. In extensive filings which Eichenwald and his lawyers tried for weeks to keep sealed, Richards’ allegations are vigorously contested. Rather than conspiring, Eichenwald says in one filing, he was just trying to learn more about Berry. After consultation with his wife, he adopted the tactic of “posing as an online predator.” In 1999, National Public Radio freelancer Larry Matthews was successfully prosecuted by the Department of Justice after working on a story about child porn in which he impersonated a pedophile online by using a pseudonym and downloading illegal material.
In addition to two civil attorneys, Eichenwald recently retained a criminal defense lawyer. He is Stephen Ryan, whom Eichenwald often cited in financial stories when he worked for the New York Times. Ryan is also the defense attorney for Justin Berry.
Not only Eichenwald but also the Times has a lot more explaining to do. In March the paper’s public editor, Byron Calame, savaged Eichenwald over the $2,000 check, while giving Eichenwald’s editor, Larry Ingrassia, a pass. But now it seems more and more extraordinary that New York Times editors did not conclude that Eichenwald’s dealings with Berry had far transcended anything that could be regarded as appropriate for an objective reporter. Even so, the Times was happy to publish a hyped story which led to a hysterical circus of congressional hearings and fueled witch-hunting legislation against not just sex offenders, but even teen networking sites such as MySpace.
After the documents were unsealed this reporter contacted the New York Times asking whether they were previously aware of Eichenwald’s actions as now revealed in the court documents in Nashville. The Times was asked specifically about five points:
1. Eichenwald used the $1,184 PayPal payments he paid Justin Berry to buy photos from Justin. Was Eichenwald’s editor or anyone else at the Times aware that Eichenwald was engaged in business transactions with Justin in 2005 around the time of the buying of photos?
2. Eichenwald told Berry during this time that he could help him with ideas to make more money. Is this something the Times was aware of?
3. Hours after Eichenwald paid Justin Berry $2,000 on June 8, 2005, Berry produced a video of a 14-year-old boy masturbating. Was the Times aware of this?
4. Images of the 14-year old masturbating were uploaded a few days later to a heretofore dormant gay porn website run by Berry. During this period, Eichenwald became a member of the same website. Was the Times aware he was a member?
5. Eichenwald was not merely a member of the illegal site mentioned above. He also had administrative privileges to enter it, involving a special password available only to those managing the site. He used the password more than 20 times in late June, 2005 to sign onto the site. Was the Times aware of this?
The Times responded that it is “in the process of independently reviewing” the documents unsealed in Nashville.