by Adam Liptak
The New York Times
Trials are on the verge of extinction. They have been replaced by settlements
and plea deals, by mediations and arbitrations and by decisions from judges
based only on lawyers’ written submissions.
More from the New York Times
Federal courts conducted about 3,600 trials in civil cases last year, down
from 5,800 in 1962. That is not an enormous drop— until you consider that
the number of cases has quintupled in the meantime.
In percentage terms, only 1.3 percent of federal civil cases ended in trials
last year, down from 11.5 percent in 1962.
The trends in criminal cases and in the state courts are broadly similar, though
not always quite as striking. But it is beyond dispute that even as the number
of lawyers has grown twice as fast as the population and even as the number
of lawsuits has exploded, actual trials have become quite rare.
Instead of hearing testimony, ruling on objections and instructing jurors on
the law, judges spend most of their time supervising the exchange of information,
deciding pretrial motions and dealing with settlements and plea bargains.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with settlements, at least when they are
the product of reasoned and sensible compromise between evenly matched adversaries.
But trials are not disappearing simply because more cases are being settled.
Instead, they are increasingly being replaced by summary judgments, in which
judges evaluate evidence submitted to them on paper.
“During the last years of the 20th century, summary judgment in the federal
courts moved from a small fraction of dispositions by trial to a magnitude several
times greater than the number of trials,” Marc Galanter, who teaches law at
the University of Wisconsin and the London School of Economics and Political
Science, wrote last year in The Journal of Dispute Resolution.…
WASHINGTON – JUNE 22 – The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s, according to declassified documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden announced today that the Agency is declassifying the full 693-page file amassed on CIA’s illegal activities by order of then-CIA director James Schlesinger in 1973–the so-called “family jewels.” Only a few dozen heavily-censored pages of this file have previously been declassified, although multiple Freedom of Information Act requests have been filed over the years for the documents. Gen. Hayden called today’s release “a glimpse of a very different time and a very different Agency.”
I’m sure General Hayden would like us to take him at his word. But who on earth will believe the CIA has ‘reformed’ itself, when even the mainstream press reports blatantly illegal acts like extraordinary rendition? The worst abuses we never hear about.
By Steve Watson
Is it possible that the anthrax attacks were launched from within our own government? A former Bush 1 advisor thinks it is.
Francis A. Boyle, an international law expert who worked under the first Bush Administration as a bioweapons advisor in the 1980s, has said that he is convinced the October 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people were perpetrated and covered up by criminal elements of the U.S. government. The motive: to foment a police state by killing off and intimidating opposition to post-9/11 legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the later Military Commissions Act.
“After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration tried to ram the USA PATRIOT Act through Congress,” Boyle said in a radio interview with Austin-based talk-show host Alex Jones. “That would have set up a police state.
“Senators Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) were holding it up because they realized what this would lead to. The first draft of the PATRIOT Act would have suspended the writ of habeas corpus [which protects citizens from unlawful imprisonment and guarantees due process of law]. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, come these anthrax attacks.”
“At the time I myself did not know precisely what was going on, either with respect to September 11 or the anthrax attacks, but then the New York Times revealed the technology behind the letter to Senator Daschle. [The anthrax used was] a trillion spores per gram, [refined with] special electro-static treatment.…Continue reading
Written by Robert Kubey, EXTRA!
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Read the full article (below): Bush Moves Toward Martial Law by Frank Morales, published in TowardFreedom.com on October 26, 2006.
The article below is reprinted from EXTRA! Magazine
On October 17, 2006, when George W. Bush signed the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2007–a $538 billion military spending bill–he enacted into law a section called “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.” In the view of many, this Act substantially changed fundamental laws of the United States, giving Bush–and all future U.S. presidents–new and sweeping powers to use the U.S. military anywhere in the United States, virtually as he sees fit–for disaster relief, crowd control, suppression of public disorder, or any “other condition” that might arise.
News coverage of these significant changes in the law has been virtually nonexistent. At nearly every stage when it might have received coverage, the news media have completely ignored the story: When the NDAA was debated, when it was passed in the House on September 29 and in the Senate on Sept.… Continue reading
by Thom Hartmann
The President of the United States has the unrestrained Power of granting Pardons for Treason; which may be sometimes exercised to screen from punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the Crime, & thereby prevent a Discovery of his own Guilt. — George Mason (1725-1792), the “father of the Bill of Rights,” noting his objection to presidential pardon powers in his first draft commentary on the Constitution of the United States he helped write
Ambassador Joe Wilson writes a New York Times op-ed article suggesting that George W. Bush knowingly lied to the American people in a Constitutionally-required duty of Bush’s office – the State of the Union speech – and Wilson’s wife is punished by having her career and her life’s work destroyed (along with the destruction of a major CIA undercover asset in the front company of Brewster Jennings, Inc.).
Coincidence or conspiracy? That’s part of what U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was charged with discovering.
In the process, Fitzgerald found that somebody was repeatedly trying to “throw sand in the umpire’s eyes” – obstructing Fitzgerald’s investigation into the now-identified conspiracy to destroy a CIA asset as a form of political payback. That person obstructing the investigation into the conspiracy, Fitzgerald discovered, worked at the right hands of both President Bush and Vice President Cheney and was named Irving Lewis Libby.
Coincidence or conspiracy?
On January 26, 2007, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff reported that Libby was going to undertake an aggressive defense of his own role in what may be revealed as a larger criminal conspiracy centered in the White House.…Continue reading
Dear President Córdova,
Congratulations on your recent appointment at Purdue University. As a long time citizen of the state of Indiana, I welcome you to what I know to be an outstanding institution of higher learning. At the same time, I hope to help you see an immediate opportunity to make a great positive difference in the lives of the people of our state and, in fact, a great difference in the lives of people everywhere. Through your appointment you have been given this opportunity to speak out and denounce what can be called, at best, criminally negligent science on the part of a small segment of the Purdue faculty.
Last month, a few Purdue professors, along with some students, presented a short animation ostensibly related to the 9/11 tragedy at the World Trade Center (WTC). Surprisingly the University then announced this animation in a news release, as if it represented a scientifically accurate simulation of the impact of a Boeing 767 into the WTC’s north tower. Unfortunately, this short video clip is far from a scientifically-based production, as it actually contradicts several of the government’s own, much more intensive studies, and shamefully fails to capture some of the most basic aspects of the related events. To make things worse, Purdue University paradoxically implies that this brief animation provides support for the overworked fire-induced collapse hypothesis. By simultaneously contradicting and voicing support for the official story, Purdue has helped to promote the Bush Administration’s fraudulent 9/11 Wars, and instantly… Continue reading
Dangers of a Cornered George Bush
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity & Dr. Justin Frank
July 27, 2007
The “new” strategy of surging troops in Baghdad has simply wasted more lives and bought some time for the president. His strategy boils down to keeping as many of our soldiers engaged as possible, in order to stave off definitive defeat in Iraq before January 2009.
Bush is commander in chief, but Congress must approve funding for the war, and its patience is running out. The war — and the polls — are going so badly that it is no longer a sure thing that the administration will be able to fund continuance of the war.
There is an outside chance Congress will succeed in forcing a pullout starting in the next several months. What would the president likely do in reaction to that slap in the face?
What would he do if the Resistance succeeded in mounting a large attack on U.S. facilities in the Green Zone or elsewhere in Iraq? How would he react if Israel mounted a preemptive attack on the nuclear-related facilities in Iran and wider war ensued?
The answers to such questions depend on a host of factors for which intelligence analysts use a variety of tools. One such tool involves applying the principles of psychoanalysis to acquire insights into the minds of key leaders, with an eye to facilitating predictions as to how they might react in certain circumstances.
For U.S. intelligence, this common-law marriage of psychoanalysis and intelligence work dates back to the early 1940s, when CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services commissioned two studies of Adolf Hitler.…Continue reading
The Timeline to Tyranny
Ten advances towards the end of freedom and privacy in the United States
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The top ten advances towards tyranny in the United States during the tenure
of the Bush administration, from the Patriot Act to the latest expansion of
the illegal eavesdropping surveillance program.
1) The USA Patriot Act
The party line often heard from Neo-Cons in their attempts to defend the Patriot
Act either circulate around the contention that the use of the Patriot Act has
never been abused or that it isn’t being used against American citizens. Here
is an archive of articles that disproves both of these fallacies.
The Patriot Act was the boiler plate from which all subsequent attacks on the
Constitution were formed.
2) Total Information Awareness
"Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription
you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail
you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you
make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions
and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a
virtual, centralized grand database," infamously wrote New York Times writer
William Safire, announcing the birth of Total Information Awareness, a kind
of Echelon on steroids introduced a year after 9/11.
Helicopter Ben Unleashes Dollar Hyperinflation:
Fed Atempts to Bail Out Bankrupt Wall Street Speculators; Cheney Demands Staged Terror Attacks, War with Iran
By Webster G. Tarpley
Monday, August 13, 2007
Washington DC – August 12, 2007 – By deciding to ante up $38 billion for a hopeless bailout of predatory Wall Street hedge funds and the banks that stand behind them, Federal Reserve Chairman Helicopter Ben Bernanke has placed the bankrupt US dollar on a direct course towards the precipice of hyperinflation. In so doing, he has given new momentum to the backers and controllers of Dick Cheney, who favor an insane flight forward into general war with Iran, deluding themselves that they can thus escape from both military defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and from the death agony of the dollar.
On August 9-10, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve, plus the central banks of Australia, Norway, Switzerland, and other countries “injected” the equivalent about a third of a trillion dollars ($325 billion) into the money systems of the world. The Bank of Japan handed out a dramatic ¥ 1 trillion, about $8.5 billion. The European Central Bank showed signs of panic, or of realism, by spewing out about € 160 billion over two days. Their goal was to stave off a spreading panic at bond trading desks and in the capital markets of the world about junk bonds, collateralized debt obligations (CDOS), mortgage backed securities, and other paper debt instruments. At about 9… Continue reading
by Jenna Orkin* http://mikeruppert.blogspot.com
August 27, 2007
The tragic fire at the former Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan nine
days ago which took the lives of two firefighters, Joseph Graffagnino, 33 and
Robert Beddia, 53, and which has already spawned two criminal investigations,
highlights problems about which the community of Lower Manhattan has been warning
The company hired to perform the demolition of the building whose chief claim
to fame, post-9/11, was that it had been contaminated with 150,000 times the
normal levels of asbestos among other toxic substances, (which have since been
reduced to a supposedly “safe” level) has “apparently never done
any work like it” nor much of anything else since it was incorporated in
But while the John Galt Corporation has proven as mysterious as the eponymous
character in the Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged – which opens with the question,
“Who is John Galt?” – this elusiveness has allowed it to serve as
an effective front for members of Safeway Environmental Corporation whose contract
had been cancelled because of mob connections. One of Safeway’s owners, Hank
Greenberg, is a two-time felon who has been linked by the FBI to the Gambino
crime family. So it was no great surprise, when a building in the process of
demolition on Manhattan’s Upper West Side collapsed ahead of time, trapping
pedestrians including a seven-month-old baby, to learn that Safeway Environmental
was… Continue reading
By Kevin Ryan
It has been nearly three years since I wrote a letter to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), about their World Trade Center investigation. Shortly after firing me for writing this letter, my former employer, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), began making some suspicious statements.
These included the following three claims related to the question of whether or not UL performed fire-resistance testing of materials used in the WTC. 
One might wonder why UL felt the need to claim that there was “no evidence” if they simply do not do such work. But what is the truth about UL‘s involvement in testing materials for the WTC, in terms of the fire resistance the buildings required, but apparently did not have according to the government’s fire-based “collapse” hypothesis?
UL’s first claim
Apart from steel column assemblies, there were several other materials used in the WTC towers… Continue reading
By Robert Parry
September 19, 2007
In praising George W. Bush’s new choice for Attorney General, Vice
President Dick Cheney identified one freedom in particular that retired Judge
Michael Mukasey would protect: “the freedom from fear of terrorist attacks.”
The comment spoke volumes about the Bush administration’s priorities, fitting
with the President’s oft-repeated claim that the government has no more important
duty than to protect the American people.
That this claim goes unchallenged — despite the fact that the oath administered
to federal officials demands that they defend the Constitution and says nothing
about public safety — has been a leading indicator of how Bush and Cheney
have exploited the self-centeredness of many Americans to amass unprecedented
Since the 9/11 attacks, Bush and Cheney have taken the imperial presidency
to new heights by presenting themselves as the tough guys who will protect the
traumatized American people from the world’s bad guys, particularly scary Muslims.
From the start, Mukasey has been an ally in that mission.
As a federal judge in New York, Mukasey endorsed indefinite incarceration
of hundreds of Muslims on phony material witness warrants after the 9/11 attacks.
He also signed off on Bush imprisoning an American citizen — and Muslim
convert — Jose Padilla simply on a presidential say-so that Padilla was
an “unlawful enemy combatant.”
Ironically, the post-9/11 round-up of Arab cab drivers, pizza delivery men
and students came as the Bush administration was granting special permission
for rich Saudis, including members of Osama bin… Continue reading
BY RIDGELY OCHS
Six years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the number of first responders and workers
who are ill and seeking monitoring and treatment continues to rise, a trend
that surprises the medical professionals caring for them.
“When you are seeing this many people five or six years later, that catches
everybody’s attention,” said Janet Levelle, the senior social worker at
Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Long Island World Trade Center Monitoring
and Treatment Program based in Islandia and Nassau University Medical Center.
Dr. Benjamin Luft, who heads the Long Island program, said his group saw about
1,400 responders and workers from July 2006 to July 2007, more than twice what
they expected. About 68 percent of those were first-time visitors, and more
than 35 percent ended up with some treatment, including attention for respiratory,
gastrointestinal and mental health issues.
“Very honestly, in 2001 we did not expect this level,” Luft said.
Even as more seek help, issues about workers’ compensation benefits and funding
for monitoring and treatment programs persist. “We’re at a sad point,”
said John Feal, president of Feal Good Foundation, an advocacy group for Sept.
11 workers. “After six years I thought we would be at the midpoint of recovery
but we’re still on the decline.”
An estimated 40,000 people — about 5,000 of them from Long Island — were
involved in rescue and cleanup following the attacks. About 21,000 of these
people are… Continue reading
On Thursday, November 8th, from 1 to 2 PM Eastern, popular progressive Air America host and author, Thom Hartmann, will host a 9/11 truth debate between Kevin Ryan, 9/11 UL whistleblower and co-editor of the online “Journal of 911 Studies,” and Michael Shermer, publisher of “Skeptic Magazine” and Executive Director of the Skeptics Society.
Click here to Listen Live at the time of the show.
For some background on these participants, see:
Kevin Ryan is former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.
Through interviews, presentations, and his work as co-editor at the online Journal of 911 Studies, Mr. Ryan works to bring out the truth behind the events of 9/11/01 for the benefit of all people.
Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine and the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society. He is an author, speaker, and producer.
Dr. Shermer is a contributing editor and monthly columnist for Scientific… Continue reading
Ellsberg Says Sibel Edmonds Case ‘Far More Explosive Than Pentagon Papers’
‘Gagged’ FBI Whistleblower, Risking Jail, Says American Media Has Refused Her
Offer to Disclose Classified Information, Including Criminal Allegations, Information
Concerning ‘Security of Americans’
Charges Several Mainstream Publications Have Been Informed of ‘Full Story’
by Other FBI Leakers Nearly a Year Ago, Have Remained Mum…
Brad Friedman, The BRAD
“I’d say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers,”
Daniel Ellsberg told us in regard to former FBI translator turned whistleblower
“From what I understand, from what she has to tell, it has a major difference
from the Pentagon Papers in that it deals directly with criminal activity and
may involve impeachable offenses,” Ellsberg explained. “And I don’t
necessarily mean the President or the Vice-President, though I wouldn’t be surprised
if the information reached up that high. But other members of the Executive
Branch may be impeached as well. And she says similar about Congress.”
The BRAD BLOG spoke recently with the legendary 1970′s-era whistleblower in
the wake of our recent exclusive, detailing Edmonds’ announce that she was prepared
to risk prosecution to expose the entirety of the still-classified information
that the Bush Administration has “gagged” her from revealing for the
past five years under claims of the arcane “State Secrets Privilege”.
Ellsberg, the former defense analyst and one-time State Department official,
knows well the plight of whistleblowers. He himself was prepared to spend his
life in prison for… Continue reading
Sat Dec 22, 2007
The CIA obstructed an official US investigation into the September 11 attacks
by withholding tapes of interrogations of Al-Qaeda operatives, according to
former investigators quoted in a report on Saturday.
A review of documents by former members of the 9/11 commission revealed the
panel made repeated, detailed requests to the spy agency in 2003 and 2004 for
information about the interrogation of members of the extremist network, but
were never notified of the tapes, the New York Times reported.
The review of the commission’s correspondence with the Central Intelligence
Agency came after the agency earlier this month revealed it had destroyed videotapes
in 2005 that showed harsh interrogations of two Al-Qaeda members.
The review, written up in a December 13 memo prepared by Philip Zelikow, the
former executive director of the 9/11 commission, said that “further investigation
is needed” to resolve whether the CIA’s failure to hand over the tapes
violated federal law.
The memorandum does not assert that withholding the tapes was illegal but states
that federal law penalizes anyone who “knowingly and wilfully” withholds
or “covers up” a “material fact” from a federal inquiry,
the newspaper said.
The revelation adds to pressure on President George W. Bush’s administration,
already under fire over the affair by human rights groups and lawmakers who
allege that destroying the tapes covered up proof of torture.
Responding to the New York Times report, the CIA said the commission never
specifically asked for interrogation videos.
CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield told… Continue reading
New York Times bestselling author Steve Alten is releasing a novel January
22nd which addresses the 9/11 stand down, the injection of false radar blips
into air traffic controllers’ screens, PNAC, the 9/11 Commission whitewash,
the Anthrax attacks, and related issues.
Written in the exciting, cloak-and-dagger style of Tom Clancy, the novel —
The Shell Game — has a shot at educating a large segment of the American public
who would otherwise remain in the dark about some aspects of 9/11.
Alten is well-aware of media censorship of 9/11 truth (for example, he agrees
with this analysis, he also sent me an advance copy of the book), and is trying
to break through the media blockade using his resume as bestselling author to
spread his message.
I just finished reading The Shell Game, and caught up with Alten by email.
GW: I really like The Shell Game, Steve. It had me on the edge of my seat,
and I stayed up later than I should have a couple of nights to finish it.
SA: My books tend to be … page-turners. The Shell Game does that and adds
another twist … it’s all real, or it predicts what may really happen unless
we stop the insanity. To stop it you must first be aware of it.
GW: If enough people read The Shell Game, it could bypass media censorship
regarding 9/11 and reach people… Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
December 27, 2007
“There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater. … Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later….”
These are the words of Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), who as a young lawyer in Berlin during the 1930s experienced the Nazi takeover and wrote a first-hand account. His children found the manuscript when he died in 1999 and published it the following year as “Geschichte eines Deutschen” (The Story of a German).
The book became an immediate bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages–in English as “Defying Hitler.”
I recently learned from his daughter Sarah, an artist in Berlin, that today is the 100th anniversary of Haffner’s birth. She had seen an earlier article in which I quoted her father and e-mailed to ask me to “write some more about the book and the comparison to Bush’s America. … This is almost unbelievable.”
More about Haffner below. Let’s set the stage first by recapping some of what has been going on that may have resonance for readers familiar with the Nazi ascendancy, noting how “odd” it is that the frontal attack on our Constitutional rights is met with such “calm, superior indifference.”
Goebbels Would be Proud
It has been two years since top New York Times officials decided to let the rest of us in on the fact that the George W.…Continue reading