Monthly Archives: April 2009

States Secrets Privilege can’t be used for rendition case.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has told Eric Holder NO on using the states secret privilege argument in the rendition case against a Boeing subsidiary.

Bet that just ruined his day! From the Jurist writeup linked above:

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday that the state secrets privilege does not bar a lawsuit against a company that allegedly provided logistical support for CIA rendition flights. Plaintiffs Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah, and Bisher al-Rawi allege that Jeppesen Dataplan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing, knowingly supported direct flights to secret CIA prisons, facilitating the torture and mistreatment of US detainees. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened in 2007 before the defendant filed an answer, arguing that the lawsuit posed a risk to national security. In overturning the lower court’s dismissal of the case, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the state secret privilege must be based on actual evidence in the case, not on what evidence might be involved in the case:

Concluding that the subject matter of this lawsuit is not a state secret because it is not predicated on the existence of a secret agreement between plaintiffs and the Executive, and recognizing that our limited inquiry under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) precludes prospective consideration of hypothetical evidence, we reverse and remand.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed the suit on plaintiffs’ behalf, welcomed [press release] Tuesday’s ruling, saying, “[t]his historic decision marks the beginning, not the end, of this litigation.

ACLU is batting a thousand lately..and I do love it! 😉

100 Freaking Days..are u kidding me?

I like Jon Stewart’s take on this horseshit:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
How to Judge a Guy in 100 Days
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis First 100 Days

And the DS does their version of judging The Big O;

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
The Best F#@king News Team – 100 Days Rockin’ Eve
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis First 100 Days

Witch Hunt movie shown in Bakersfield last night.

Yesterday was a full, very long day for me. I was at the Kern County Courthouse steps 90 minutes before the rally began and didn’t get home until after 9 pm. It was organized by the folks that directed and produced Witch Hunt. Seems the local News organizations beat me there.

The directors are Don Hardy and Dana Nachman. Sean Penn was the Executive Producer, KTF Films was the company that produced the movie.

There were old, young and every age in-between there. The crowd slowly started assembling. Signs began to be made. I ran into Jeff and Cozmo, two friends I see at many of the rallies and protests. Jeff is a Vet that lives in an airplane hanger here in Bako. Sweet man and a wonderful little Conure Parrot he calls Cozmo.

When the rally began, there was a decent crowd in attendance. I am short so I made my way to the stage to get some photos from that angle as well.
What was emotional for me was seeing the victims of this prosecutorial misconduct up close and personal. They are all so old now. My age and older. The children are now grown and some have kids of their own. Most if not all of the victims showed up from where they now live around the US. They have all moved out of California, some of their children still live in Bakersfield.

Who can blame them for leaving this place? A place that took away the best part of their lives, that took them away from their children who ranged in age from 6 to 12. The place that took them in their prime and slammed them into prison for anywhere from 6 to 20 years. Look at the photo of John Stoll when he was given his sentence of over 100 years for molesting his own son. Then look at the photo of him now. John spent the longest time in jail..20-fucking-years.

Sean Penn spoke at the end of the rally. It was a call to hold our elected officials, including our bastard DA, Ed Jagels accountable for their actions. It was a call to know who your voting for and what they stand for. The message of the rally was this:

It can happen to anyone. Any of us can have our entire lives ruined and turned upside down by over zealous District Attorneys, Sherriff deputies and fucked up Judges in the pockets of law enforcement. Social Workers that have no idea what went down (if anything), they just prompt the kids and threaten the kids and maintain the status quo. Any of us can spend the best years of our lives in prison and be innocent of the charges. Anyone

The Fox Theatre was packed. There were many many of us in attendance. Although I had seen the movie already, I went to see it without commercials and uncut for television. It was horrifying to see and hear what went down in the mid-80’s here in Bakersfield. It was hard to hold back the tears when Jeff Modahl, John Stoll and all the other good folks caught up in this disgusting witchhunt told their nightmare stories to the camera.

I had to leave shortly before the end. I couldn’t take anymore of it. My emotions ran the gamut, from anger to sadness to empathy and beyond. Seeing the victims sitting around me and then seeing them in their younger years on the screen, totally terrified, just choked me up. The footage of the trials was gut-wrenching. Watching Brenda Kniffen being sentenced, waving to her family and being taken away, only to faint tore me up.

The film goer’s were caught up in the moment as well, booing when the bullshit DA Ed Jagels was on the screen, when his clone Lisa Green badgered the children during the appeals when they actually told the truth and admitted they had never been touched much less abused by their parents and their parents friends. The film also tells the stories of the children that were used to indict and convict their own parents. How some of them tried to commit suicide in later years because of the guilt. How they tried to soothe their emotional pain with drugs. How they are afraid to bathe their own children because they know what can happen when bullshit is slung from the highest law enforcement officials in town.

These victims were working class people. Not middle class, working class. The film covers all the participants in this decade’s long nightmare. As the film’s website states:

This film shows viewers what the real crime in this case is, not molestation, but the crime of coercion. Viewers hear from the child witnesses who were forced to lie on the witness stand as they describe scary sessions with sheriff’s deputies in which they were told — not asked — about sexual experiences that happened to them. Their coerced testimony led to dozens of convictions. Many times their own parents were the ones they put behind bars.

It will rock you, but not in a good way. It will challenge you to think about what can be done to any of us under the cover of law enforcement and justice. It’s about civil rights being violated by all segments of law enforcement, elected officials, judges and the like. It’s about hiding evidence that would of proven innocence for years if not decades. . Rent it, buy it, just see the 91 minutes of real Americana.

See how easy it was to ruin the lives of innocent, hard-working people. People like you…and me.

Thank you to the victims that allowed their nightmares to be told:

John Stoll
Jeff Modahl
Jack and Jackie Cummings
Rick and Marcella Pitts
Brenda and Scott Kniffen
Allen Grafton
Eddie Sampley
Victor Monge
Carla Modahl

May the rest of your lives be free of fear and full of happiness.

Witch Hunt showing tonight in Bakersfield

Here is a trailer of the documentary. My post on this documentary is here. Tickets available at

100 days of Republican failure.

Bernie Horn has a great read up at Campaign For America’s Future. He breaks down what the right side of the aisle has done in the last 100 days. It isn’t pretty m’dear reader. From his article:

Why it’s the same old white guys: Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey, Fox News president Roger Ailes and his troop of politiclowns, and of course Rush Limbaugh.

Think about that. Cheney and Rove are the ugliest faces of the last eight years. (I mean that metaphorically.) Usually leaders of the outgoing Administration shuffle off the stage quietly—especially when that Administration was so unpopular. So isn’t it amazing conservatives care a whit what they say?

Gingrich and Armey are old guard conservatives disguised as new conservative spokesmen. Both Armey’s FreedomWorks and Gringrich’s American Solutions helped put on the Tax Day Tea Parties. At the direction of former GOP consultant Roger Ailes, Beck, Hannity, and the rest of the Fox noise machine practically sponsored the Tea Parties. Considering all the great issues facing America—recession, the health care crisis, global warming, troops fighting in two countries—wasn’t the tea party exercise simply pathetic?

Nothing new from them, just rehashing and re-releasing the same ole same ole, as well as recycling some of their party faithful..which btw are no longer in elected office.

On the legislative is a farce indeed. The Party Of No has managed to look ridiculous:

In mid-January, conservatives had the chance to support reauthorization of the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Only 9 GOP Senators and 40 Republican Representatives did so. This vote was a political no-brainer, and yet few conservatives joined in.

Then in late January and early February, conservatives had the opportunity to participate in shaping the President’s Economic Recovery legislation. Instead, Republicans in both the House and Senate voted by wide margins for extreme right-wing substitutes which would have cut tax brackets for the rich, given new tax deductions to businesses, and deleted all the job-creating spending in the Obama measure. Ultimately, only 3 GOP Senators and no GOP Representatives voted for the President’s Recovery bill.

In March, conservatives had another chance to engage in bipartisanship and rejected it. Only 7 Republican Senators and 16 Republican Representatives supported the Omnibus Appropriations Act that would the keep the government running until the end of the fiscal year. This Act was needed because George W. Bush failed to pass appropriations for Fiscal Year 2009.

Finally in April, not only did no Republicans support Barack Obama’s budget, they offered a substitute budget for FY 2010 that would impose extreme right-wing ideology on America. The GOP plan would have rescinded the recently-enacted economic stimulus package, which would cause America—and the world—to spiral into Depression. It would hand over nearly $4 trillion in tax cuts to the rich and freeze non-defense, non-veteran spending for five years. And it would privatize Medicare and cut Social Security.

The cough Republican alternative budget was an exercise in futility but they didn’t realize it evidently as they kept rolling it out in front of the tv cameras. How out of touch can one group of politicians be?

Welcome to the Democratic side of the aisle Arlen..PA will be a blue state next election and you jumped from a sinking ship just in time.