Justice Articles from 2018

Animal Rights Activists Face Multiple Felony Charges, Brought by Prosecutors With Ties to Smithfield Foods

[Justice]
Animal Rights Activists Face Multiple Felony Charges, Brought by Prosecutors With Ties to Smithfield Foods
by Glenn Greenwald, Lee Fang, Leighton Akio Woodhouse
Posted June 15, 2018

documenting cruelty is criminal?Six animal rights activists in California have been charged with multiple felony counts in two separate criminal cases brought by Utah prosecutors last month. If convicted, they could face many years in prison.

That case arises out of the filming of horrific conditions at an industrial farm that supplies turkeys to Norbest, a large company that aggressively markets itself to the public as selling “mountain grown” turkeys who are treated with particularly humane care. Norbest is now owned by a supplier of Whole Foods.

Last year, the activists entered the facility and filmed the horrifying conditions in which the turkeys were encaged. The activists also rescued three severely sick and injured turkeys who were on the brink of death, brought them to a veterinarian for medical care, and then to a sanctuary to live. More…

‘New York Times’ Teams Up with Israel to Smear Slain Medic Razzan al-Najjar as ‘Complex,’ Not Innocent

[Media]
‘New York Times’ Teams Up with Israel to Smear Slain Medic Razzan al-Najjar as ‘Complex,’ Not Innocent
By Donald Johnson, James North, and Philip Weiss
Posted June 12, 2018

medic killed by Israeli forcesThe New York Times today printed a long article giving credence to Israeli claims that Razzan al-Najjar, the young medic killed by an Israeli sniper a week ago, was not innocent. The article takes at face value Israel’s desperate efforts to taint the young woman, whom the army has previously maintained it killed by accident.

The first paragraph announces the Times’s service to Israel:

The Israeli military published a brief video on Thursday aimed at showing that a Palestinian medic killed by Israeli forces last week was not the neutral health care worker she has been portrayed as. The article parrots Israeli hasbara, or propaganda, about al-Najjar: that in a video interview of the medic that the Israelis passed along she described herself as a “human shield.”

Not till paragraph 20 of 22, does the Times state what Jonathan Ofir reported yesterday, the Israeli video cut short al-Najjar’s actual statement in an effort to misrepresent her. More…

And . . . yet another Wells Fargo banking scandal

[Justice]
And . . . yet another Wells Fargo banking scandal
by Simon Black
Posted June 11, 2018

Another Wells Fargo fraudIs it Friday again? Must be time for another banking scandal!

Seriously– these banking scandals are happening with such regularity and predictability it would be almost comical. . . were it not for the millions of people who have had their lives turned upside down.

The latest transgression involves, once again, our old friends at Wells Fargo. Bear in mind that the ink isn’t even dry yet on the $1 billion check that Wells Fargo wrote last week as a penalty to settle its previous scandal, where they defrauded 570,000 clients in a car insurance scam. More…

Edward Snowden: ‘The people are still powerless, but now they’re aware’

[Social]
Edward Snowden: ‘The people are still powerless, but now they’re aware’
By Ewen MacAskill and Alex Hern
Posted June 11, 2018

SnowdenEdward Snowden has no regrets five years on from leaking the biggest cache of top-secret documents in history. He is wanted by the US. He is in exile in Russia. But he is satisfied with the way his revelations of mass surveillance have rocked governments, intelligence agencies and major Internet companies.

Snowden, weighing up the changes, said some privacy campaigners had expressed disappointment with how things have developed, but he did not share it. “People say nothing has changed: that there is still mass surveillance. That is not how you measure change. Look back before 2013 and look at what has happened since. Everything changed.” More…

A Dangerous Escalation in “The War on Leaks”

[Justice]
A Dangerous Escalation in “The War on Leaks”
By Andrea Peterson
Posted June 11, 2018

dangerous escalation in The New York Times reported that a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer, James Wolfe, was arrested Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Times reporter Ali Watkins and other journalists.

During the investigation into Wolfe and leaks from the Committee, the Justice Department went after Watkins’ data—seizing years of records related to her email accounts and phone number, according to a letter the agency sent to Watkins. The Wolfe indictment serves as an immediate warning to journalists—and sources—to carefully consider how they communicate, and to remember that they ultimately do not have control over the information sent to others. It should also be a wake-up call for everyone who cares about the First Amendment. More…

This is Why You Can’t Trust “Experts” and Lab Results at Trial

[Justice]
This is Why You Can’t Trust “Experts” and Lab Results at Trial
By The Daily Bell Staff
Posted June 9, 2018

lab results not necessarily reliableLast year, a Massachusetts court had to vacate 21,000 drug convictions due to one state lab employee.

First, Annie Dookhan lied about her qualifications in order to advance her carer as an expert witness. She was testifying at trials, getting people thrown in jail, without any actual expertise on topics on which she testified. Then, Dookhan committed fraud by falsely certifying that inert substances were illegal drugs. Then Dookhan was convicted in 2013, but the cases she worked on were not vacated until 2017.

She was paroled after three years and released from prison before the sentences of those she helped convict were vacated. That’s because, despite the clear wrongdoing, the state still fought against dismissing the cases tainted by Dookhan’s lies.

Carl Williams, staff attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts, said his organization faced resistance and had to sue the district attorney’s office to bring about the thousands of dismissals. He stated in a phone interview that this, “the largest dismissal of criminal cases based on a single court filing in history,” is part of a systemic problem involving prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and jailers. More…

Sorrow, Outrage Over IDF Killing of Nurse in Gaza as Deathtoll Surpasses 120

[Justice]
Sorrow, Outrage Over IDF Killing of Nurse in Gaza as Deathtoll Surpasses 120
by Jon Queally
Posted June 6, 2018

Paelstinian death toll keeps rising“Razan was not shooting,” said one witness. “Razan was saving souls and treating the wounded.”

On the same day the U.S. vetoed a resolution at the U.N Security Council demanding an end to Israel’s practice of firing on unarmed demonstrators in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the Gaza strip, outrage was again heightened after a nurse attempting to attend to injured protesters was shot and killed by IDF snipers near the Gaza border.

The killing of Razan Al-Najjar—the 21-year-old nurse and volunteer medic who witnesses say was “shot as she ran toward the fortified border fence, east of the south Gaza city of Khan Younis, in a bid to reach a casualty” on Friday—made her the latest victim of Israeli’s “shoot to kill” policy that has been used against Palestinians since weekly protests began earlier this year. More…

Social Media Now Being Used by Police and Intelligence Agencies to Collect Biometrics

[Media]
Social Media Now Being Used by Police and Intelligence Agencies to Collect Biometrics
By Nicholas West
Posted May 31, 2018

police using social media to build biometric databaseAmid the ongoing Facebook/Cambridge Analytica debacle over their general surveillance and misuse of users’ private data, there is an emerging trend that is infinitely more disturbing.

The first story popped up in the UK yesterday where police admitted to using a photo sent through WhatsApp to cull fingerprints for evidence that successfully led to the conviction of 11 individuals for drug crimes. The story further revealed that this was not just a special-use case; apparently it is a technique that has been developed specifically to use the vast amount of public photos available to extract evidence from images that have been posted or transmitted online.

As reported by Dawn Luger for The Daily Sheeple, this new technique is being rolled out and law enforcement is calling it “groundbreaking,” as it can pull information from even partial photos: More…

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