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Posts Tagged ‘ACORN’

Velvet Revolution Lawyer Sends Letter To Maryland AG Requesting Prosecution of Breitbart, O’Keefe, And Giles For Violating Maryland’s Privacy Laws.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack apologizes to Shirley Sherrod for his giving creedance to Breitbart’s dishonest and racist tactics along with The Fox “News” Channel’s echo chamber that made her their latest scalp.

Kevin Zeese, an attorney for Velvet Revolution sent a letter early this month to Maryland state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and State’s Attorney Patricia Coats Jessamy asking them to prosecute James O’Keefe, Hannah Giles and Andrew Breitbart for violating Maryland’s Privacy Statute. It included the following,

Under Maryland’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act, it is unlawful to tape record a conversation without the permission of all parties. See Bodoy v. North Arundel Hosp., 945 F. Supp. 890 (D. Md. 1996). Additionally, recording with criminal or tortuous purpose is illegal, regardless of consent. Disclosing the contents of intercepted communications with reason to know they were obtained unlawfully is a crime as well. Violations of the law are felonies punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years and a fine of not more than $10,000.

I also call upon your office to bring conspiracy charges against Andrew Breitbart for paying and directing O’Keefe and Giles and then directly carrying out the distribution of the illegally obtained tapes, also a felony under applicable Maryland law. Mr. Breitbart is the director of BigGovernment.com, an internet website that pushes far right propaganda and he has used the ACORN tapes as a fundraising tool for his operations.

We believe that the case for criminal prosecution has been made stronger by the release of four official reports on the criminal conduct of these three individuals, which I have linked below, and by the recent arrest of Mr. O’Keefe in Louisiana for his illegal entry into Senator Landrieu’s Senate Office in order to tamper with her telephone system. The House Judiciary Committee, the former Connecticut Attorney General, the California Attorney General and the General Accounting Office prepared these reports.

Each of these reports paints a damning picture of O’Keefe, Giles, and Breitbart, who went on a multi-state crime spree, invading the privacy of ACORN staffers nationwide, taping their conversations and then editing them to create the appearance of illegality and impropriety by ACORN/staffers. Each of these reports makes clear that neither ACORN nor its staffers committed crimes but that O’Keefe, Giles, and conspirator Breibart did. In fact, the California Attorney General granted O’Keefe and Giles immunity in exchange for the unedited copy of their illegal tape, which showed that the tape was intentionally edited to portray a harmful picture of ACORN.

Indeed, as reported here at American Commentary Blog back in January in a report titled,”While Karma Catches Up To Republican Brownshirt James O’Keefe And A Mentor, Propagandist Breitbart, Examination Of Fellow Thugs In The Landrieu Office Phone Tampering Attempt Turns Up Questionable Connections That Require Official Investigation.”, the growing body of lawsuits were beginning in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Also, the Landrieu break in was mentioned as well as questionable connections of O’Keefe’s Brownshirts he was partnered with. Robert Flannagan is the son of William Flanagan, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana and Stan Dai had a connection to the Director of National Intelligence. As reported by Lindsay Beyerstein at Alternet in “James Bond Wannabe Part of Right-Wing Plot To Tamper With Senator’s Phones“,

The circumstances of Dai’s arrest are difficult to square any theory that the men were just checking the protocols of Landrieu’s phone system. A federal law enforcement official told the Associated Press that one of the four suspects was arrested a few blocks away in a car with “a listening device that could pick up transmissions.” Another anonymous official told MSNBC that the man in the car was Stan Dai. It’s unclear why the listening device wasn’t mentioned in the affidavit. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Louisiana declined my request for further comment. …

In 2008, Dai served as associate director of the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity Washington University. The ICCAE is funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and charged with recruiting the next generation of spooks. A university official assured Laura Rozen of Politico that Dai was a civilian whose job with the university ended in 2008 when the grant money ran out.

Last June, Dai was a featured speaker on torture and terrorism at a “CIA Day” for students in the Junior Statesmen of America’s summer school. The mission of the Junior Statesmen, according to the organization’s Web site, “is to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.” The students visited Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va., and then returned to Georgetown for a series of lectures.

Dai was a speaker at a CIA program called “Annual Junior Statesman Summer School” as reported here and the brochure of the event showed some interesting things,

Let’s look at the brochure or packets from the CIA program at which Dai was a speaker called “Annual Junior Statesman Summer School” Speakers Program. It cites his occupation as “freelance consultant”. It lists his career history as a former Assistant Director of the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity Washington University, as serving as the Operations Officer of a Department of Defense irregular warfare fellowship program, and also as an Undergraduate Fellow on Terrorism of the Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies (a neoconservative think tank with ties to Richard Perle).

It should be noted that consultant is a common cover for covert agents as indicated in a recent interview by Valerie Plame Wilson though it could be legitimate.

The Use Of Racism As A Political Tactic By The Right

Racism has been a tool for many governments throughout history for taking or holding power from the time of slavery, to the rise of fascism in Europe in the 20’s and 30’s up to today’s political tactics of the right in the United States. Since the Civil Rights Act was enacted by the Johnson administration, the Republicans under the Nixon administration developed what has come to be known as the Southern strategy to take advantage of white resentment. Since the age of Reagan and voo doo economics for the rich, multi-national corporations, and the military industrial complex, it has become worse. To vilify any of the people’s money going to the people for their benefit instead of everything for corporate interests, scapegoats have been needed. The have nots needed to be divided to vote against their interests and racism has provided the perfect weapon. And now that the Democrats elected Obama, the right has reached for old racist themes such as he is a socialist or Marxist (like they called Dr. Martin Luther King) though he has governed center to center right and the echoes of the racist “send them back to Africa” theme can be seen in the birther movement. The reappearance of dog whistles of the old south has opened the door for tools like Breitbart and he hasn’t disappointed. Add in the false race baiting stories generated by Fox “News” that has led to the destruction of ACORN, the bogus “New Black Panthers” story, the Van Jones firing, and now the firing of Shirley Sherrod, while dismantling the public square and attacking the themes of the 14th amendment, and has become way too obvious to deny or ignore. But Breitbart may have bitten off more than he can chew as Sherrod is contemplating whether or not to sue.

Disgusting Display

Two disgusting displays have emerged from this whole Sherrod affair. The first was done by Breitbart and Fox News (and subsequently on cue by “mainstream” reporting). In what can best be decribed as there is no low too low to go for the cause behavior, Breitbart edited a speech to the NAACP by Sherrod to make her out to be racist in her job with the Department of Agriculture when the speech was about overcoming the murder of her father by a white farmer and subsequent negative feelings to help a white farmer save his farm while working for a non profit organization before her job at the Department. She was glad she did because it wasn’t about race but about helping the poor. Breitbart’s vile and vicious artistry initially even fooled the NAACP as they condemned Sherrod before fact checking and then issuing a quick apology. The second disgusting display was Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s “quick response” firing of Sherrod without getting her side of the story, fact checking the claims, or facing her. This is following a pattern that has become all to familiar, which is tap dancing to right wing media like puppets on a string. That is because Obama’s administration is too populated by members of Will Marshall‘s DLC or “New Democrats“, the group of Democrats that are moderate conservatives (rebranded “centrists”) that have controlled the Democratic party policy since the 1980’s. They spend way too much time running away from the “L” word and dismissing fellow Democrats they view as “too liberal” as well as working to defeat “too progressive” or “liberal” branded legislation or amendments without examining the merits. The Democrats need “New Democrats” alright, the old ones that put right before wrong instead of political calculation before what is right. The right wing takes no prisoners and has named us that do not agree with their politics as enemies and unAmerican. There is no middle in their absolutism and eliminationism. This is a battle for survival.

Haiti And The American Right. You Knew It Was Coming.

The use of racism in American politics is nothing new, especially since this country had slavery of African Americans from its colonial beginnings. But through a Civil War and determined struggle by brave people in our past, racism as an institutional blight on the United States began to wane despite resistance from its white population and horrendous Supreme Court decisions. Later, social acceptance of racism was relegated to rightwing hate groups. That is, until Richard Nixon and the Republican Party decided to push racial division with its “Southern Strategy” to tap into racial resistance to Great Society policies for social and economic justice. With the rise of the mythic Ronald Reagan and his voo doo political economics came the use of the term “welfare queen“, and the rise of rightwing talk radio with their idea of equivalence of race with poverty and injustice and the responsibility of government to provide programs that are designed to alleviate it to promote the general welfare of the people is somehow in their eyes unnecessary and represents “big government”. You can see it clearly in the latest words of hate speaker and propagandist Rush Limbaugh and with the latest from the Christian Right’s Pat Robertson.

Someone needs to inform Limbaugh and Robertson that the condition of Haiti is not due to its racial makeup, liberalism or tax policy, communism, or pacts with the devil, but was mainly made in the USA with the added CIA Narco-colonialism.

The multinational corporate interests that back the infrastructure of the American rightwing benefit from racial politics. It divides up the have nots in our society to dilute any political success they might garnish if they pulled together into a political movement. Racial politics is involved in the demonization of ACORN and union busting, privatizing government services and the appointment of conservative radicals on our judiciary. It is used in our foreign policy and free trade exploitation of third world countries for cheap labor, and especially ethnic fear that has led to abuse of immigrants, acceptance of torture and pre-emptive war with covert operations and propaganda to cover up our true designs of multinational corporate control of oil reserves and the natural gas trade. This needs to change if we want a better sustainable future for our children.