Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for October 2014 news in our monthly roundup
Al.com, Removing Fuller would be long, arduous process, Mary Troyan, Oct. 5, 2014. Impeaching a federal judge is an arduous, time-consuming process that Congress has used sparingly, which may explain why no lawmaker has asked the U.S. House to impeach U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller. Most members of Alabama’s congressional delegation called for Fuller’s resignation almost three weeks ago, after he was charged with battery of his wife. Fuller, who works at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, has been suspended from the bench. His criminal case in Georgia is pending and his fellow judges are investigating whether further disciplinary action is warranted. But he has not voluntarily stepped down. “The request to resign is definitely pressure,” said Charles Geyh, a professor at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University and author of When Courts and Congress Collide. “The question is whether (Fuller) wants to try to weather that storm. Because impeachment is a hassle.”
McClatchy DC, Sources: U.S. air strikes in Syria targeted French agent who defected to al Qaida, Mitchell Prothero, Oct. 5, 2014. A former French intelligence officer who defected to al Qaida was among the targets of the first wave of U.S. air strikes in Syria last month, according to people familiar with the defector’s movements and identity. Two European intelligence officials described the former French officer as the highest ranking defector ever to go over to the terrorist group and called his defection one of the most dangerous developments in the West’s long confrontation with al Qaida. The identity of the officer is a closely guarded secret. The former officer apparently survived the assault, which included strikes by 47 cruise missiles.
War Is A Crime, Beyond ‘935 Lies,’ David Swanson, Oct. 4, 2014. Charles Lewis’ book, 935 Lies, would make a fine introduction to reality for anyone who believes the U.S. government usually means well or corporations tend to tell the truth in the free market. And it would make an excellent introduction to the decline and fall of the corporate media. Even if these topics aren’t new to you, this book has something to add and retells the familiar quite well. The familiar topics include the Gulf of Tonkin, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, the civil rights movement, U.S. aggression and CIA overthrows, Pinochet, Iran-Contra, lying tobacco companies, and Edward R. Murrow. Lewis brings insight to these and other topics, and if he doesn’t document that things were better before the 1960s, he does establish that horrible things have been getting worse since. Points I quibble with:
- Human Rights Watch as a model media organization? Really?
- The New America Foundation as a model media organization? Really?
- Think tanks as a great hope for integrity in public life? Really?
- After making 935 of the George W. Bush gang’s lies a book title, you aren’t sure he “knowingly” lied? Seriously?
New York Times, The Washington Post Regains Its Place at the Table, David Carr, Oct. 5, 2014. Nothing in God’s creation is ever as good as it once was, but the Washington Post is coming pretty close. The once-embattled newspaper is in the middle of a great run, turning out the kind of reporting that journalists — and readers — live for. That includes coverage that played a role in the resignation of the director of the Secret Service and investigative work that eventually led to the conviction of a former governor of Virginia on corruption charges. The people who work at the Post have been clobbered for decades for not matching the glory days of Watergate — it’s doubtful anyone ever will — but more recently, after a series of buyouts and some management blunders, the decline in ambition and quality was there for all to see. Editor’s note: Warning this is a shameless puff-piece that equates prizes and spending with public service.
Facebook, Secret Service Expert: Joe Clancy ‘Fantastic Choice,’ Vince Palamara, My Facebook post sums up my feelings: “Yes! Joe Clancy, a great American and one of the best Secret Service agents ever (and a friend of a friend!), is now SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR, replacing the inept Julia Pierson. (although I am sure she is a nice lady). Joe attended West Point and graduated from Villanova University and is one tough guy you do NOT want to mess with. No exaggeration- I am a huge critic of their performance on 11/22/63, yet guys like Joe Clancy are fantastic; Clint Eastwood and John Wayne plus!”
Al.com, Judge Fuller’s attorney: Incident has been overblown, Mary Troyan, Oct. 2, 2014. Two weeks after members of Congress asked U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to resign, the embattled judge shows no signs that he is considering stepping down. Fuller’s attorney said this week that the alleged domestic-violence incident between Fuller and his wife, which resulted in misdemeanor battery charges being filed, has been overblown and that federal judges aren’t susceptible to political pressure. “All those fine people are entitled to their opinion, but that holds no more sway over him than anything else,” said Birmingham attorney Barry Ragsdale. “He knows what occurred and the conduct he engaged in and what he hasn’t, and he recognizes those politicians have a need to respond to public pressure and public passions that a federal judge doesn’t have to respond to.”
New York Times, Secret Service Chief Resigns in Scandal Over Security Lapses, Michael S. Schmidt and Michael D. Shear, Oct. 1, 2014. Julia Pierson‘s resignation came less than a day after lawmakers from both parties said they feared for the lives of the president and others in the protection of the agency. President Obama concluded that new leadership and a new direction was needed at the Secret Service “in light of recent and accumulating reports about the agency,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Wednesday. On Sept. 19, an intruder jumped over the fence around the White House and made it deep into the mansion. And late Tuesday, the agency acknowledged that just days before that breach, an armed man was allowed to ride in an elevator with the president during an event at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Pierson is shown in an official photo.
OpEdNews, Cuban Exile Militant Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Andrew Kreig, Oct. 1, 2014. A former CIA assassination team leader told a conference audience Sept. 26 in a blockbuster revelation that he saw accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald with their mutual CIA handler six weeks before the killing and there would have been no anti-Castro movement in Cuba without the CIA funding. Separately, the general counsel of the last major government investigation into the killing issued a statement saying the CIA had deceived him and the rest of the public during the late 1970s inquiry into the validity of the Warren report.