OP-ED: Why Donald Trump Had to Go

UPDATE 20. January: No Pardons For Edward Snowden Or Julian Assange

UPDATE 19. January 2021: Well, what can one say? --->>> TRUMP FAILED! By just pardoning war-criminals turned murderers, fraudsters, drug peddlers and members of the mob, he has NOT served justice with his final and last clemency drive.

UPDATE 19. January 2020: Pamela Anderson calls on Trump to pardon Julian Assange: ‘It would be a perfect way to go out’ + US Files Appeal in Assange Case + Pamela Anderson pleads with Trump to pardon 'free speech hero' Assange: 'Do the right thing'

UPDATE 08. January 2021: An appeal to U.S. Judge Robert Pratt

UPDATE 25. December 2020: Trump pardons of Blackwater contractors an ‘insult to justice’ - Lawyers and rights defenders say Trump pardons of four men convicted in killings of 14 Iraqis in 2007 undoes years-long fight for accountability.

UPDATE 22. December 2020: Trump Pardons Two Russia Inquiry Figures and Blackwater Guards, who are convicted war criminals. Will he soon issue a preemptive pardon for himself and family members? Or when will he finally do the right thing? - which is to pardon, exonorate and rehabilitate Assange and Snowden!

PROLOGUE: Snowdon and Assange are the most honest and deserving candidates for a presidential pardon.

The Case For a Pardon of Edward Snowden by President Trump

The real criminals are those he exposed: the security state officials who illegally and unconstitutionally spied on innocent people by the millions, and who still do so.

Edward Snowden speaks via video link at a news conference for the launch of a campaign calling for a pardon on September 14, 2016, in New York City (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images).

By Glenn Greenwald - 15. December 2020

A U.S. appellate court in September unanimously ruled that the NSA’s program of mass domestic surveillance was illegal, as well as likely a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The court, and the broader public, knew about this illegal mass surveillance program created by the NSA only because Edward Snowden, while working inside that agency, discovered its existence and concluded in 2012 that the American public has the right know about what was being secretly done to them and their privacy by their own government.

Upon making the decision to blow the whistle on this security state illegality, Snowden delivered the documents relating to that program and other then-unknown systems of mass online surveillance not by dumping them indiscriminately on the internet or selling them or passing them to foreign governments, but by providing them to journalists (including myself) with The Guardian, The Washington Post and other news outlets. The documents Snowden provided were accompanied by requests to report them responsibly. He thus relinquished the power entirely to make decisions about which documents would and would not be published, leaving those decisions exclusively to news outlets.

That meant that Snowden himself never made a single document publicly available; every document that was reported was the result of decisions by newsrooms around the world that their publication would be in the public interest and would not endanger innocent people. That method of whistleblowing chosen by Snowden — patterned after the one Daniel Ellsberg used in 1971 to make the public aware of years of lying to the American public by the U.S. Government about the Vietnam War, when he gave the top-secret Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and asked them to report it in the public interest — enabled journalists to inform the American citizenry about illegal and unconstitutional spying by the U.S. Government in the most responsible manner possible.

Indeed, the very first program we reported — on June 6, 2013 — was the mass domestic spying program which the appellate court just ruled was illegal and likely a violation of the constitutional rights of all Americans. That first article we published revealed a top secret court order under which “the National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers,” and required major telecommunications carriers “on an ‘ongoing, daily basis’ to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.”

The months of reporting that followed, all singularly enabled by Snowden’s courageous whistleblowing, triggered so much vital public debate about privacy and mass surveillance, and fostered so many legal and technological privacy reforms around the world, that the reporting earned virtually every award journalism has to give, including the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. For those who have not seen it, the 2014 documentary by Laura Poitras about the work Snowden did with journalists, Citizenfour, which received the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary, shows much of the Snowden story in real time and can be viewed on YouTube; the feature film “Snowden,” available on Netflix and other platforms, separately explores the trajectory which Snowden traversed from enlisted U.S. Army soldier, CIA contractor and NSA expert to one of this generation’s most consequential whistleblowers.

The recent appellate court ruling in U.S. v. Moalin, issued on September 2, emphasized the U.S. surveillance state’s sustained law-breaking. “The telephony metadata collection program exceeded the scope of Congress’s authorization” and “therefore violated that section of [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act],” the court concluded, referring to the 1978 law requiring the government to first obtain warrants before spying on the communications of U.S. citizens. Though its ruling of illegality meant it was unnecessary to rule definitively on the program’s unconstitutionality, the court nonetheless noted that “the government may have violated the Fourth Amendment” with this spying program and warned of the dangers of “the collection of millions of [] people’s telephony metadata, and the ability to aggregate and analyze it.”

In ruling the NSA’s mass surveillance program illegal, the court noted the indispensable role Snowden played in enabling the protection of Americans’ rights. It was Snowden, explained the court, who “made public the existence of NSA data collection programs.” And, the court added, “Snowden’s disclosure of the metadata program prompted significant public debate over the appropriate scope of government surveillance” and ultimately led to reform: “Congress passed the USA FREEDOM Act, which effectively ended the NSA’s bulk telephony metadata collection program” and also “prohibited further bulk collection of phone records after November 28, 2015.” Moreover, observed the court, it was “news articles in the wake of the Snowden disclosures [which] revealed that the government had been using evidence derived from foreign intelligence surveillance in criminal prosecutions without notifying the defendants of the surveillance.”

This recent ruling is by no means the first time a court or other official body has declared illegal the spying programs which Snowden exposed. In 2015, CNN similarly reported that “a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that the telephone metadata collection program, under which the National Security Agency gathers up millions of phone records on an ongoing daily basis, is illegal under the Patriot Act.” The New York Times reported in 2014 that “an independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency’s program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only ‘minimal’ benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down.” In 2018, The Guardian reported about the British equivalent of the NSA: “GCHQ’s methods for bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards, the European court of human rights has ruled.”

Abuses of power by these agencies continue in full force. More recently, the Justice Department’s Inspector General found in 2019 that the FBI deceived the FISA court with false statements to obtain a warrant to spy on former Trump 2016 campaign official Carter Page. A former FBI lawyer pled guilty to doctoring emails to obtain those spying warrants. A DOJ report found more material errors from the FBI in the spying process in 2019. Late last year, the FISA court itself “issued a strong and highly unusual public rebuke to the FBI” and, the prior year, “found that the FBI may have violated the rights of potentially millions of Americans — including its own agents and informants — by improperly searching through information obtained by the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program.”

 

That is precisely the abuse Snowden acted to stop. And that is why the people and institutions across the political spectrum who have devoted themselves to protecting the right to privacy, safeguarding internet freedom and combating the abuses of the security state have advocated a pardon or clemency for Snowden: the ACLU, Sen. Rand Paul, The New York Times, Congressmen Matt Gaetz, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, internet pioneer Timothy Berners-Lee, Daniel Ellsberg, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, press freedom groups, and international human rights and civil liberties groups. They have all argued that Snowden deserves clemency or a pardon.

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Meanwhile, so many of the arguments against pardoning Snowden, and demanding his lifelong imprisonment or exile, come from the very security state operatives whose crimes he exposed. That includes John Brennan and James Clapper, along with their hawkish and neocon allies such as Susan Rice and Liz Cheney. And to make their case, these Deep State operatives and warmongers rely upon one demonstrable lie after the next. Indeed, it was their blatant lies in the first place that prompted Snowden to knowingly risk his liberty by revealing the existence of these mass surveillance programs.


The first contact Snowden made with a journalist about the possibility of whistleblowing was a pseudonymous email he sent to me in December, 2012. But what solidified with finality his decision to blow the whistle was watching President Obama’s senior national security official, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, commit a felony when he blatantly lied to the Senate on March 12, 2013, by falsely denying — when asked by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) — that “the NSA collect[s] any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”

When Clapper told that lie, Snowden was holding the documents in his hand that proved that the NSA was doing exactly that which Clapper, in his public testimony, denied that it was doing. In other words, he knew for a fact that the senior national security official in the U.S. Government lied to the American people and the Senate about the mass spying they were conducting against Americans. A person in Snowden’s position acting with just and noble motives would be impelled to disclose, not conceal, the truth — and that’s exactly what Snowden did. The real criminals were security state officials like James Clapper for criminally lying to the Senate and his colleagues in the secret surveillance state who illegally spied on entire populations.

But James Clapper was never prosecuted for lying to the Senate. In fact, he did not even lose his job: he served as Director of National Intelligence for another three years, until the end of the Obama administration. And now this proven liar — like so many security state agents — works inside the corporate media, delivering the “news” for CNN. How can anyone justify wanting to see Edward Snowden rot in prison for life while the real powerful criminal whom he exposed, such as James Clapper, go free and thrive? Who besides a craven authoritarian would regard that as a just outcome?

Speaking of proven liars, those who oppose a pardon of Snowden do so by invariably lying about him and what he did. Why would they do that? It’s because the reality is that he acted honorably and for noble ends. So they have to manufacture falsehoods to justify their demands that a hero be punished.

Take, for instance, the completely fabricated accusations voiced Sunday night by Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), daughter of the former Vice President and key ally of pro-war House Democrats in blocking Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Germany. To justify her opposition to a Snowden pardon, she just lied outright:

That Snowden “handed over US secrets to Russian and Chinese intelligence” is every bit as much of a lie as those told by her dad in 2002 about Saddam’s nuclear weapons stockpiles and alliance with Al Qaeda. She just manufactured this accusation out of thin air. Nobody can ever prove a negative — therefore, nobody can proffer dispositive proof that Snowden (or, for that matter, Liz Cheney) did not turn over U.S. secrets to the governments in Beijing and Moscowbut the burden of proof is on those hurling accusations of this sort to produce evidence for it, and she has none. That’s because none exists.

But that does not stop Endless War advocates like Liz Cheney from saying it anyway — precisely because Liz Cheney is a compulsive liar who will say anything to manipulate the public, just like her father taught her to do. The same is true of former CIA Director and proven pathological liar John Brennan. On Monday, he echoed the same false allegation as Liz Cheney did, in order to defend James Clapper and attack Senator Paul for advocating a pardon for Snowden:

John O. Brennan @JohnBrennan

Jim Clapper has had a lifetime of dedicated & selfless service to America. Edward Snowden betrayed his country, providing exceptionally sensitive intelligence to China & Russia. You consistently demonstrate utter ignorance of U.S. national security. You disgrace the Senate. https://t.co/FO0FmmJZ8x

Senator Rand Paul @RandPaul

James Clapper brazenly lied to Congress denying that the Deep State was spying on all Americans. @Snowden simply revealed Clapper’s lies and exposed unconstitutional spying. He deserves a pardon from @realDonaldTrump!

December 14th 2020

2,003 Retweets9,778 Likes

If there is any lesson we ought to have learned over the past two decades, it is that nobody should believe the claims of national security operatives without substantial evidence being presented. For anyone who wants to claim or believe that Snowden handed over secrets to Russia and/or China, you should demand evidence first. Where is it?

What makes this claim even more dishonest is that it exploits the fact that the U.S. Government forced Snowden, against his will, to stay in Russia. Snowden’s original plan, as has been amply documented, was to fly from Hong Kong after providing us with the archive and reviewing key documents, then transit through Moscow on his way to South America, where he intended to seek asylum in Ecuador or Bolivia.

But he was trapped in the Moscow International Airport because the U.S. State Department under John Kerry invalidated his passport while he was in transit, and then-Vice President Joe Biden threatened and coerced every other country considering offering him asylum or allowing him safe passage to South America (as he did with Cuba, which withdrew its offer of safe transit). A 2013 NPR headline tells part of that story: “Biden Asks Ecuador To Deny Snowden Asylum.” That was before he obtained asylum in Russia, something he was forced by Obama officials and Biden himself to do.

 

So U.S. officials first prevented Snowden from leaving Russia, and then, with such audacity and dishonesty, have for years exploited the fact that he’s in Russia to manipulate public opinion and smear him as a Kremlin agent. And, as is true for all such allegations that a U.S. citizen is working for Moscow, the accusation is tossed out routinely without any evidence, because there is none.

Then there’s the allegation that Snowden caused harm to national security or to innocent people, a claim that has been made against every whistleblower for decades who exposes corruption and criminality by the security state. Just as is true of the claim that Snowden sold or provided secrets to the governments of Russia and China, one should not even consider accepting the truth of this claim absent evidence to corroborate it.

Where is this evidence? Who was harmed by this NSA reporting? Not a single example or piece of evidence has ever been furnished in response to those questions, with the defenders of NSA opting to just repeat the accusation over and over in the hope that people will assume that it is true by virtue of its repetition.

But even if such harm could be established, the argument depends upon a complete distortion of the process used by Snowden to blow the whistle on Deep State criminality. Again, there is not one document from the NSA archive that was published because Snowden chose for it to be published. He used the opposite method for whistleblowing: recognizing that he should not have the power as a single individual to make choices about which documents should and should not be published, he instead gave the archive to journalists and asked that we make those decisions editorially, in as responsible a manner possible, guided by the standard journalistic public interest assessment.

That means that if there were documents that people believe should not have been disclosed, the choice to publish those documents rested with the top editors at leading media outlets — The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC News and other outlets around the world — not with Snowden, who was never even consulted on these choices. Once Snowden realized the magnitude of criminality, deceit and corruption inside the security state, he concluded that the most just course was to turn over to journalists a massive archive regarding these programs, so that it was not up to him to curate in advance which documents should be seen by the public, but instead leave it to experienced journalists to make those determinations.


Then there’s the claim — based on a substantial set of falsehoods — that Snowden somehow acted improperly by fleeing the U.S. to seek refuge in Russia rather than submitting himself to the U.S. justice system in order to “make his case”, a falsehood-drenched allegation voiced most memorably by Obama national security adviser Susan Rice to Charlie Rose in 2014:

The claim that Snowden should have or could have come back to the U.S. to convince a jury that what he did was justified is nothing short of a lie. Under the archaic statute which the Obama administration aggressively used to prosecute more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined — the Espionage Act of 1917 — someone is automatically guilty if they provide classified information to a person who is unauthorized to receive it (including a journalist), and they are absolutely barred even from raising a “justification” defense in court.

In other words, as Susan Rice well knows, Snowden would not be able to return to the U.S. and try to convince a jury of his peers that what he did was justified because the law under which they chose to prosecute him does not allow a defendant even to raise that as a defense. Instead, this old statute ensures a rigged process where a guilty verdict is all but inevitable. That’s precisely why Obama officials and security state operatives use this 103-year-old law — originally designed by Woodrow Wilson to criminalize dissent from U.S. participation in World War I — against whistleblowers who expose their crimes not by acting with foreign governments but with journalists.

Susan Rice @AmbassadorRice

I. Just. Can’t. Congratulations GOP. This is who you are now.

The Hill @thehill

Q: "Do you want to give Edward Snowden a pardon and bring him back?" President Trump: "I'm going to look at it." https://t.co/Lb75QVaGVb

August 16th 2020

9,609 Retweets39,702 Likes

Then there’s the reality that — as Daniel Ellsberg argued in a Washington Post op-ed about Snowden’s leaving the U.S., headlined “NSA leaker Snowden made the right call” — those who are now accused of endangering national security have essentially no chance of obtaining a fair trial in the U.S. “The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago,” Ellsberg wrote, adding:

I hope Snowden’s revelations will spark a movement to rescue our democracy, but he could not be part of that movement had he stayed here. There is zero chance that he would be allowed out on bail if he returned now and close to no chance that, had he not left the country, he would have been granted bail. Instead, he would be in a prison cell like Chelsea Manning, incommunicado.

He would almost certainly be confined in total isolation, even longer than the more than eight months Manning suffered during her three years of imprisonment before her trial began recently. . . .

Snowden believes that he has done nothing wrong. I agree wholeheartedly. More than 40 years after my unauthorized disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, such leaks remain the lifeblood of a free press and our republic. One lesson of the Pentagon Papers and Snowden’s leaks is simple: secrecy corrupts, just as power corrupts….

But Snowden’s contribution to the noble cause of restoring the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution is in his documents. It depends in no way on his reputation or estimates of his character or motives — still less, on his presence in a courtroom arguing the current charges, or his living the rest of his life in prison. Nothing worthwhile would be served, in my opinion, by Snowden voluntarily surrendering to U.S. authorities given the current state of the law.

The idea that you must meekly submit to the world’s most aggressive Prison State, where the rules are made by the very high officials whose crimes you exposed, is authoritarian dreck.

Snowden well knew, when he decided to inform his fellow citizens of these systems of mass surveillance, that there was a very high probability that he would end up in a maximum security U.S prison for decades if not the rest of his life. That’s precisely what made Snowden’s actions so courageous: how many people would be willing to make that sacrifice? But that does not mean Snowden has some moral obligation to help an unjust state keep him in a cage for life out of vindictive vengeance because he exposed their crimes.


President Trump has, on two occasions, indicated that he was considering the possibility of pardoning Snowden. A pardon is not only just on its own terms but would also be an expression of exactly the reason the U.S. Constitution vests the unilateral pardon power in the U.S. President: to prevent the abuse of the justice system for vindictive ends or to shied abuses of official power by those who operate in the dark (my arguments for why the ongoing attempted extradition and prosecution of Julian Assange is also a massive abuse of power have been set forth in prior articles as well as in a show I produced on the topic).

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

If Trump follows through on a pardon of @Snowden, it'd be a huge victory against CIA/FBI/NSA abuses. Everyone from @RandPaul, @mattgaetz & @TulsiGabbard to @ACLU, @BernieSanders & @nytimes have advocated this. The only ones angry would be Brennan, Clapper, Comey & Susan Rice.

December 13th 2020

Even if you’re someone who believes that Snowden ought to be punished in some way — and I am not — he has been. Seven years in exile, separated from your friends, family and fellow citizens, in a country in which you never chose to live and to which you have no connections, is a serious deprivation. That is particularly true now that Snowden’s long-time partner, his American wife Lindsay Mills, announced that the couple is expecting their first child in January, a son who will automatically be a U.S. citizen and who should have the right to live with both of his parents in his country of citizenship.

For decades, it was a staple of left-wing politics that the CIA and the secret security state, long referred to by scholars as the Deep State, pose a grave threat to core democratic values and constitutional rights. Over the last five years, beginning with the 2016 election, the Trump movement and Trump himself has seen up close and personal how easily and casually those powers are abused, and how destructive are the results, as the president himself said when he told The New York Post why he was considering this pardon.

A pardon of Edward Snowden would be one of the greatest blows against Deep State abuse of secrecy and spying power in decades: probably the most significant act since President Eisenhower’s 1961 warnings in his Farewell Address about the growing anti-democratic dangers of the “military industrial complex” or, at the very least, the mid-1970s reforms of the intelligence community.

A pardon of Snowden by Trump would prompt bipartisan cheering across the U.S. and would engender support globally across the ideological spectrum. The only ones angered by it would be exactly those people — John Brennan, James Clapper, Jim Comey, Susan Rice — whose ongoing ability to abuse their spying power against the U.S. population depends upon their vindictive use of the justice system to destroy the lives of those who reveal their crimes.

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SEE ALSO:

www.pardonsowden.org

The campaignwebsite has been on and off and has been seriously hampered since its inception. Often users just get: The server at www.pardonsnowden.org is taking too long to respond.

But the campaign had already delivered over 1 mio signatures to former president Obama, who did nothing.

President Trump's November 25 move to pardon the retired general who pleaded guilty twice has made people wonder if he would similarly pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden or WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Trump tweeted, "It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon.

#PardonSnowden

https://www.tweetforsnowden.org

If we show overwhelming support to #PardonSnowden right now, we could finally get justice for him, and set a precedent that protects whistleblowers, journalists, and defenders of human rights in the future. Write to the President.

President Trump is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, but he needs to know that the American public supports this action. Sign the petition now.

===

UPDATES:

Why Donald Trump Had to Go

By Peter Koenig - 22. January 2021

There is an agenda. A huge agenda. It is a Globalist agenda that is in the process of inflicting gigantic harm to humanity. It is called the Covid-19 – The Great Reset, issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), authored by its founder, Klaus Schwab. If left undisturbed, The Great Reset’s plan is a crime of epic dimensions, never seen before in our civilization. Mr. Trump did not want to be part of this agenda.

Donald Trump, for better or for worse, is not a Globalist. He calls himself a patriot. He wanted to Make America Great Again (MAGA). Sounds silly? Perhaps. But it’s not globalist. Therefore, Mr. Trump was not the guy of the Globalist Cabal, currently calling the shots on world events – way above Presidents like Donald Trump and those of the other 192 UN member countries. This Globalist Cabal has enormous power. Jo Biden and his gang respond to this power.

What is behind Donald Trump’s “silly” idea of MAGA, the western globalist-brainwashed world cannot understand. It was supposed to bringing the United States back to again becoming a sovereign, independent, economically autonomous nation. On more occasion than one Mr. Trump said, he wishes the same for every nation in the world. He also insinuated that NATOs purpose was passé. And he said before his 2016 election, under his Presidency the US would no longer be the policeman of the world. He may have tried on all of these scores, but the Powers That Be (PTB) had other ideas.

In foreign policy – interfering in other countries’ affairs – he certainly didn’t act according to his pre-election promises (or was not allowed to by the PTB); not in Syria, not in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea – not in Europe, not anywhere in the world where “American interests” are at stake – as they euphemistically call “interference” in other sovereign nations’ affairs.

Especially not in Russia and China. Quarreling with these sovereign nations, and menacing them, was a lost cause. He knew it, but it was good for cosmetics. It presents well as an international show of upmanship, for maintaining the image of a super-power and an emperor. Both of which are long gone. But perception is always limping behind facts.

However, you have to give him this: Against the wishes and pressure of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), Donald Trump did not start any new wars. He maintained those started under his predecessors – six active ones – give or take a conflict here and there. Thereby keeping he MIC at bay.

Donald Trump obviously did not fit the Globalist agenda. It was not his plan. Contrary to what many may think, he had no ambitions for a One World Order (OWO), which is clearly the Globalist’s goal. This is the plan behind the Great Reset (see this The World Economic Forum (WEF) Knows Best – The Post-Covid “Great Global Reset”). To achieve completion of the Great Reset, millions of people may have to die.

The Globalist Cabal doesn’t care. Jo Biden doesn’t care. Because Jo Biden is a Globalist, as well as his crew, inherited mostly from the Obama era – and so is Hillary (on her “demolish Libya” initiative, cynically laughing and referring to Muammar Gadhafi: “We came, we saw, he died”), still an important figure of this – let me call it what it is – a criminal clan.

The political career of Jo Biden’s was born in the swamp of Washington – and the way it looks today, it will end in the swamp of Washington, either with him as President – or without him as President. At this age, despite all the noble words spoken at his inauguration, Jo Biden will not reform his conscience. “I will be President not only for those who voted for me, I will be President also for those who didn’t vote for me; I will be President for all Americans.” This slogan-style wishy-washy palaver has no meaning.

There is not one US President who hasn’t used such words, at least during the inauguration – and most of them much earlier during their campaigns. “I will work to unite our badly divided America again.” When in the last 70 Years were the United States united? Never. Will Jo Biden meet the challenge?

During his inauguration speech, as well as in several previous occasions, including the pre-election Presidential Debates, Jo Biden referred to the coming “Dark Winter” – hoping that America will get through it without harm. What is the “Dark Winter”? – Why the mystery, instead of transparency? Why talk in code-language, when American people are, as Biden implied, his number one priority?

Did his remark refer to Operation Dark Winter which was a code name for a senior-level bio-terrorist attack simulation conducted on June 22–23, 2001, at Andrews Air Force Base Maryland? The simulation was designed to carry out a mock version of a covert and widespread smallpox attack on the United States. The simulation was sponsored and carried out by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies (CCBS) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Note – the Johns Hopkins research and teaching complex is strongly supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Does this mean that there is or may be a plan for a biowarfare attack – in the form of Ebola, smallpox or a stronger strand of coronavirus? Or any other highly infectious and deadly disease? – If so, Mr. Biden, and all the others who mentioned a Dark Winter ahead, including Barak Obama, must know what’s behind it. And they hide it from the people.

The insinuation that such a catastrophe may be in the making, without openly warning the people, or better, preventing the Dark Winter – is certainly not a sign of caring for the people. To the contrary, it shows distain for the people – the lower casts. Sounds like Hillary Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorables” in a 2016 Presidential campaign speech. Seems, the core of the Dems, as they pan out with Jo Bidens election, have a particular flair to feel above the rest of the people.

People, and unity within the United States seem clearly not to be a priority preoccupation of Jo Biden’s. Much more important, how can he – or rather the team behind him – be a driver in the implementation of the globalist agenda, the Great Reset. Because, he, Jo Biden, and the swamp behind him are committed to this cause. The Globalist Cabal, chose him over a continuation of Donald Trump’s Presidency.

Never mind that there was massive – but massive, proven voter fraud, possibly in the hundreds of thousands, maybe over a million votes were added to Biden or electronically switched from Trump to Biden. But Mr. Trump’s legal team was not successful in bringing forward and defending their evidence before any court, including the US Supreme Court. Imagine the Immense power behind this Global Cabal!

Mr. Trump, like him or not, for his country he had another agenda. He wanted to rebuild the US economy again. Bringing back outsourced labor, create jobs. His approach may have been inadequate, and at times he sounded awkward addressing economic issues, as well as the people. But he was not a Globalist, he did not strive for an OWO. That’s why 80 million Americans voted for him. They do not want an OWO. Most of the world – 99.99% – do not want an OWO.

Those who voted for Trump also sensed that the so-called Dems had not the least interest of the people in mind. Never had, at least not since JFK.

So, Donald Trump did not fit the agenda of the Global Cabal – also called “Deep State”. Those, who are way above the President of the US – and the leaders (sic) of the world. They are dead-set on implementing the Great Reset – grabbing more power for themselves, more wealth – and a technified, digitized, robotized world, a totally electronic plutocracy – a technocracy cum tyranny, under which the Epsilon-people (lowest cast in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World) will behave and obey as they are digitally ordered – modern slaves – own nothing and be happy – the Great Omen of the Great Reset.

And if their eugenist wish comes through, they, the Globalist Cabal, will reign over a massively reduced population. That’s where the current western inoculation campaign comes in – all three of the most used vaccines, or rather toxic injections – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraSeneca – contain mRNA, thus, DNA-altering substances – and have so far not proven effective as vaccines. To the contrary, dangerous side effects and death rates exceed by far the common measures of traditional vaccines. They also contain sterilization and infertility components which fits the eugenics agenda well.

Unfortunately, Russian and Chinese traditional live-attenuated vaccines (a weakened form of the virus) that creates a strong and long-lasting immune response, are not freely available in the west. Such vaccines do not affect the human DNA. However, the methodology is based on decades of experience.

The imminent question is – why suddenly a new type, never tested before vaccine? What is the agenda behind these new types of jabs? Do they have to do with the implementation of the Great Reset? – Why are scientists not allowed to talk openly about the effects and possibly long-term negative impacts of these new-type injections? Why do governments around the globe keep any true science about them under wraps – prohibited – censored in the media – even forbidden under fine and in extremis arrest in psychiatric wards?

Why this immense drive to vaccinate everyone as fast as possible – under menace “if you are not vaccinated, you cannot move”? – And that for a virus – covid-19 – that has a mortality rate approximately comparable to, or in some years even less, than the common flu? – See Anthony S. Fauci, Director the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID / NIH – USA), in “Covid-19 – Navigating the Uncharted”, New England Journal of Medicine – NEJM (28 February, 2020):

If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%)…

Among Jo Biden’s first decisions during his few days as President is an increased effort of vaccination – with the mRNA-type vaccines, as well as massive testing by the also proven ineffective and an totally inappropriate PCR test – in the US.

He vows to vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days if his Presidency. This is spot-on with the Great Reset and the Globalist Cabal’s agenda. He has already been warning about the spread of a new more infectious covid-mutation – which would require more of the unpopular repressive measures – also further infringing on the already hard-hit economy. And if Washington decides to “tighten the screws” on the population (Mme. Merkel’s expression), Europe will soon follow suit – and so will all the other western world’s vassals.
——-

Think that’s exaggerated? You may want to read up on the Great Reset and its follow-on White Paper, “Resetting the Future of Work Agenda: Disruption and Renewal in a Post-COVID World” which is basically an implementation manual of the Great Reset. See also The Post Covid World, The WEF’s Diabolical Project: “Resetting the Future of Work Agenda” – After “The Great Reset”. A Horrifying Future.

Following the agenda of the Globalist Cabal is Mr. Biden’s number one priority. On his first “work day”, actually on his Inauguration Day, he has not hesitated to sign 17 Executive Orders, of which the New York Times says:
“Despite an inaugural address that called for unity and compromise, Mr. Biden’s first actions as president are sharply aimed at sweeping aside former President Donald J. Trump’s pandemic response, reversing his environmental agenda, tearing down his anti-immigration policies, bolstering the teetering economic recovery and restoring federal efforts to promote diversity.”

Among these measures are returning the US to WHO, making Anthony Fauci, Director NIAID / NIH, the head of the U.S. delegation to the organization’s Executive Board. “He will jump into the role with a meeting this week”, says the NYT. Mr. Fauci has long been known for his conflict of interest with the vaccine pharma-companies, and for working hand-in-hand with Bill Gates, who funds up to one third of WHO’s budget, and calls the shots on WHO’s vaccination policy. What does that say for Jo Biden, other than he plays already on his first day into the hands of the Globalist Cabal.

President Biden also signed a National Mask Mandate – or “the 100 days masking challenge”, when every serious scientist says how dangerous wearing masks is. However, this is a step towards the Globalist Cabal’s crackdown on humanity, that and social distancing, and isolation by quarantining – leading to lockdowns after lockdowns – all within a massive fear campaign. This is supposed to bring the populace at large to its knees, so that the implementation of the horrible steps within the Great Reset will encounter less resistance.

Mr. Trump never saw lockdowns or mask wearing as the solution to the covid-19 crisis – an opinion shared by many high-ranking scientists and professors the world over. He wanted the already covid-destroyed economy to get back running again, as quickly and as closely as possible to “normal” – thereby also improving the desperate employment situation of the people.

You may see the details of Mr. Biden’s 17 first-day Executive Orders here https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/biden-executive-orders.html

So, because Mr. Trump didn’t see eye to eye with the Globalist Cabal, he had to go. His quest for justice from the High Courts with regard to voter fraud was denied.
—–

The Great Reset agenda, dictated by the Globalist Cabal, is to be implemented in its cruelest details under the supervision of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Medicine (funded by the Rockefeller Foundation), WHO, the IMF, World Bank — and the entire UN apparatus. It is an integral part of the UN Agenda 21-30, which depicts to the world the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as the agenda’s glorious “raison d’être”.

In fact, the Great Reset is the key driver of the UN Agenda 21-30. The SDGs are but a noble gesture to tell the Global South how interested the West, or Global North is in the wellbeing of the poor and marginalized people of the nations of the Global South, also called Third World or “developing countries”.

The caveat for the implementation of the SDGs is that the “developing” countries are expecting massive funding from the IMF, World Bank and regional development banks, as well as western bilateral aid organizations, to implement these goals. But, as we know, these development assisting funds come with tight strings attached.

In the case of the SDGs, countries receiving foreign funding from the financial gods mentioned before, have to commit to following the rules and dictates of the Globalist agenda. i.e., the rules and narrative of the Great Reset. Plus, most of the funding comes in the form of loans. That means further debt-enslavement, further dependence on the west, the Global North, for trade and exploitation of their natural resources.

One may wonder, who needs more development the West / Global North or the Global South? – It depends on the criteria of development. It could be – the more digitized and uniformly controlled the world population is, the more developed it is. Or – alternatively, the more sovereign nations collaborate peacefully as independent nations, each with their own culture, their own money, their own fiscal policies and social coherence – the more developed, equal, just and peaceful the world will become.

You choose.

Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

===

No Pardons For Edward Snowden Or Julian Assange

According to a CNN report, Trump submitted to Republican national security hawks and abandoned clemency for the NSA whistleblower and the WikiLeaks founder

By Kevin Gosztola - 20. January 2021

Photo: The White House

Although several long shot campaigns were mounted, President Donald Trump did not pardon any whistleblowers who were indicted or prosecuted under the United States Espionage Act. He also declined to pardon the only journalist ever to be indicted under the World War I-era law.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden were not offered clemency because Trump "did not want to anger Senate Republicans who will soon determine whether he's convicted during his Senate trial."

"Multiple GOP lawmakers had sent messages through aides that they felt strongly about not granting clemency to Assange or Snowden," according to CNN.

NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, who was the first to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act under Trump, and former CIA officer John Kiriakou pursued pardons. They were effectively denied as well.

On January 17, the New York Times reported that an associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Kiriakou a pardon would cost him $2 million.

"I laughed. Two million bucks—are you out of your mind?" Kiriakou told the Times. "Even if I had two million bucks, I wouldn't spend it to recover a $700,000 pension."

The report exposed a sliver of the corruption around pardons in the final days of the Trump presidency, as "several people with connections" to Trump apparently "accepted large sums of money" in return for clemency.

Kiriakou said Trump was not the only president in history to encourage this kind of behavior. "Certainly, Bill Clinton did at the end of his administration well. But this just highlights how the pardon process in the United States is broken."

Throughout the past three months, prominent supporters of Assange, like Pamela Anderson and Glenn Greenwald, were frequent guests on Fox News during primetime in order to communicate the case for a pardon directly to Trump.

A few Republicans in Congress, like Senator Rand Paul and Representative Matt Gaetz, crafted a partisan pitch for pardoning Snowden that went something like Democratic allies, such as former director of national intelligence James Clapper, persecuted him. 

“He revealed that James Clapper, the highest-ranking, most powerful spy in the world, was spying on Americans and lied to us about it,” Paul declared. “So I think what Snowden did was a service to the American people and he ought to be pardoned.”

But Snowden did not have millions of dollars to pay off Trump nor was he ever going to do Trump any political favors.

Snowden responded, "Reports that Trump has let himself be bullied out of pardoning Assange, mistakenly believing Senate Republicans won't vote to impeach him if he caves. Once he's out of power, they're going to vote to impeach him anyway. Which, well—that's one way to be remembered."

"Trump will either be remembered as the first president since JFK, who from his first to last day in office was hated by the NSA, CIA, and FBI, or as the one who caved to pressure at the very last moment," Snowden further suggested.

He constantly bashed the "deep state" during his campaign and presidency, but whenever he needed to challenge national security institutions and stand up to their apparatchiks in the Republican Party, he showed there was nothing behind it.

"[The rhetoric] ended up not really serving anybody," Kiriakou contended.

Which is not to say the pardon campaigns by Assange, Snowden, Winner, Kiriakou, and others were a waste of time. Nobody would have predicted President Barack Obama would commute U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning's sentence in 2017 during the final days of his administration.

https://www.informationclearinghouse.info/trump-wiki.JPG


Assange, who was indicted under Trump, will remain in Belmarsh, a high-security prison in London where COVID-19 has recently spread through his unit. The Biden Justice Department is expected to pursue an appeal of a British court’s decision to deny the U.S. government's extradition request against Assange.

With a newborn, Snowden and his wife, Lindsay Mills, will remain in Moscow. They will live in exile at least until Snowden can return and defend his whistleblowing acts in a courtroom in the Eastern District of Virginia. (Significant reform is necessary for that to happen.)

Winner will be able to leave Federal Medical Center Carswell and go to a halfway house as early as November 2021. However, she also must worry about COVID-19 outbreaks at Carswell.

Because Kiriakou completed his sentence several years ago, his circumstances are far less dire. He still would like to reclaim his pension.

In the end, a president who built up a brand of standing up to the so-called swamp did not want to take any heat for pardoning individuals loathed by the very establishment that despises him. He was spineless and weak.

Trump risked a scandal over pardons for his son-in-law or any one of his cronies. He was not willing to take the same risk for Assange, Snowden, or Kiriakou.

"No president wants to really be involved in a controversy. Donald Trump [was] no different," Kiriakou concluded.

===

Pamela Anderson calls on Trump to pardon Julian Assange: ‘It would be a perfect way to go out’

https://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BB1cTtPH.img?h=203&w=270&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=227&y=162By Louis Chilton - 19. January 2021

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Anderson claimed that she had access to Trump, and was trying to persuade him to extend a pardon to Assange. 

“I know that I am in his ear,” she said. “I know he is debating and we will see what happens. He has until midday on the 20th and I hope he makes that decision because I think that could add a positive to his legacy.

“I think that he is obviously against fake news and WikiLeaks is anti-fake news. It would be a perfect way to go out.”

The US authorities allege that by publishing tens of thousands of classified documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars back in 2010, WikiLeaks and Assange placed lives in danger.

Trump is reportedly set to pardon more than 100 people before he leaves office on 20 January.

When Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid voiced scepticism that Trump would be willing to extend a pardon to Assange, Anderson responded: “I have been supporting him for a very long time and freedom of speech is really important.

Assange, pictured in 2019 from the window of a prison vanAFP via Getty Images

Assange, pictured in 2019 from the window of a prison vanAFP via Getty Images © Provided by The Independent

“I think this would be a monumental position that Trump could take, that would help with human rights and the rights of a free press because it is a very dangerous situation if we don't have a free press.”

With Joe Biden’s inauguration just a day away, many are still unsure what to expect from the departing Trump, whose presidency has been blighted by controversy. Earlier this month, the former Apprentice star was impeached by the House of Representatives for a second time for his role in inciting the 6 January riots on Capitol Hill.

Pamela Anderson pleads with Trump to pardon 'free speech hero' Assange: 'Do the right thing'

... or go directly to: 

FOX News

By Josh Feldman

Pamela Anderson Appears on Tucker Carlson’s Show to Urge Trump to Pardon Julian Assange: ‘This is His Time to Shine’

Pamela Anderson appeared on Fox News Monday night to tell Tucker Carlson that President Donald Trump should pardon Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

After Carlson’s monologue calling for Trump to pardon Assange, he brought on Anderson and told viewers she’s “been in close contact with Julian Assange.”

Anderson said, “Like you said, it’s freedom of the press, freedom of speech. If we don’t have that, we don’t have a democracy. I really thank you for what you’re saying and I think, like you said, this is a defining moment for the president.”

“This is why he’s president,” Anderson continued. “This is his time to shine. To really make an impression on the world that this was freedom of speech. Because if this goes to trial, that’s the end of the First Amendment.”

She said people around Trump might try to “bully” him out of doing it but added, “He needs to do the right thing.”

While Trump was considering preemptive pardons for himself, his children and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, a source close to the process said those are no longer expected. 

Trump is also not expected to pardon Edward Snowden or Julian Assange, whose roles in revealing US secrets infuriated official Washington.

While he had once entertained the idea, Trump seems to have decided against it because he did not want to anger Senate Republicans who will soon determine whether he's convicted during his Senate trial. Multiple GOP lawmakers had sent messages through aides that they felt strongly about not granting clemency to Assange or Snowden.

As he departs office, Trump has expressed real concern that Republicans could turn on him. A conviction in the Senate impeachment trial would limit his future political activities and strip him of some of the government perks of being an ex-president.

Trump is less worried about being barred from running from office again, and more concerned with the optics of being convicted by the Senate, people familiar with the matter said.

But then, Trump is always good for a surprise and might set Assange and Snowden free.

===

While the British gutter-press the Daily Mail published a heinous report backstabbing Julian Assange, who didn' trust them with documents, and high-ranking personalities a well as celebrities plead for clemency, the USAmerican lawyers filed their ridiculous appeal and even got from the criminal British judiciary another 14 days to substantiate it:

US Files Appeal in Assange Case

The U.S. on Tuesday filed an appeal in London against a British judge’s decision to block Julian Assange’s extradition on health grounds.

The United States has filed an appeal of Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s Jan. 4 decision to block WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States because of an extreme risk of suicide. 

a man in a suit and tie: Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook showing Julian Assange, centre, appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court where the WikiLeaks founder was refused bail, in London, Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021. The United States authorities are appealing against a recent court decision to block the extradition of Assange, and WikiLeaks said Wednesday the denial of bail would be appealed. (Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP)

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook showing Julian Assange, centre, appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court where the WikiLeaks founder was refused bail, in London, Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021. The United States authorities are appealing against a recent court decision to block the extradition of Assange, and WikiLeaks said Wednesday the denial of bail would be appealed. (Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP) © Elizabeth Cook/PA/AP

Washington’s British lawyers’ filed papers with the High Court in London on the final day of a 14-day deadline, a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed to Britain’s Press Association.

The PA reported that the U.S. has been granted an additional fortnight to file details to back up its appeal. 

An administrative decision by the High Court is expected on whether to allow the appeal before any hearings could be heard.

The filing comes on the last full day of the Trump administration, which prosecuted Assange on 17 charges under the Espionage Act and one charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

The incoming Biden administration has given no indication how its Department of Justice would deal with the case.  

===

Julian Has Suffered Enough…

Julian has already served a very long sentance

===

EXCLUSIVE: Politicians, Trump Allies, Nobel Winners, and More Sent Formal Letter to President Urging Pardon for Assange

By Cassandra Fairbanks - 18. January 2021

Politicians, celebrities, journalists, Nobel Peace prize winners as well as current and former heads of state sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The letter was included with Assange’s formal pardon request that was sent to the White House in December.

Among the signatories are Roger Stone and Dinesh D’Souza, who both received pardons from President Trump themselves. 

The letter explained that President Trump could put a “defining stamp on your presidential legacy by pardoning Julian Assange or stopping his extradition.”

TRENDING: "The Movement We Started Is Only Just Beginning" - President Trump Promises His Movement Will Live On in Farewell Speech (VIDEO)

“The US prosecution of Assange is unprecedented: he faces 175 years in prison for the same publications for which he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This prosecution threatens the constitutional protections that Americans hold dear. By offering a pardon, to put a stop to the prosecution of Assange, your presidency will be remembered for having saved First Amendment protections for all Americans,” the letter stated.

The people who signed on to the statement represent nearly every corner of the globe — and the political spectrum.

Notable signatories include former presidents of Switzerland, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Brazil and Colombia. Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Mairead Maguire, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchú, and Shirin Ebadi also signed on.

As far as Americans who signed the letter, there was Rep. Paul Gosar, Right Livelihood Laureate Daniel Ellsberg, actress Pamela Anderson, member of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad and founder of Revolver News Darren Beattie, director Oliver Stone, lawyer Robert Barnes, documentary producer Daniel Bostic, CEO of XStrategies Alex Bruesewitz, Republican entrepreneur Michael Coudrey, Assistant Editor at American Greatness Pedro L. Gonzalez, Gateway Pundit writers Cassandra Fairbanks, Cristina Leila, Jim Hoft and Joe Hoft, One America News reporter Jack Posobiec, podcaster and author Michael Malice, 32 year US combat veteran Col. Rob Maness, journalist Charlie Nash, journalist and YouTuber Tim Pool, journalist Celine Ryan, Blaze TV hosts Elijah Schaffer and Lauren Chen, Senator Rand Paul’s Chief Strategist Doug Stafford, Daily Caller reporter Jorge Ventura, Summit News founder Paul Joseph Watson, President of the New York Young Republican Club Gavin Wax, and New York Times Best Selling Author Tom Woods — and many more.

It didn’t stop there, the letter was also endorsed by current and former senior state officials representing nations including Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, Iceland, Israel and Spain.

Other fascinating figures included Terry Gilliam, former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Alan Rusbridger, Duchess of Beaufort Tracy Somerset, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and 21 Right Livelihood Award laureates.

As Gateway Pundit previously reported, Julian Assange formally requested a pardon from President Donald Trump on December 15.

The formal pardon request came on the heels of a viral claim from a Trump ally that the president would be pardoning the publisher. While he ended up retracting his statement, claiming he had faulty sources, it was clear that it was a move that people from both sides of the political spectrum support. The tweet gained over 75,000 “likes” on Twitter in about an hour, before being retracted.

Assange is currently stuck in an uncertain limbo in Belmarsh Prison in the UK. He won his extradition case, but is being held in case the US DOJ opts to appeal the verdict. If he is extradited to the United States, he will likely never see the outside of a prison cell for the rest of his life.

This election highlighted the unbound corruption of the US media and deep state, entities which Trump has battled since he came in office in January 2016. Like our president, Assange has battled these malign influences on our democracy throughout his career.

Assange’s passion for uncovering corruption was helpful to Trump during his first bid in 2016, when WikiLeaks shined a light on Hillary Clinton colluding with the media and using her positions of power to enrich herself and those around her.

The swamp exposed by WikiLeaks is made up of the same Washington insiders that have worked to undermine Trump’s presidency and electoral bids at every level.

It is time for Trump to pardon Assange, so he can continue his work helping to “drain the swamp.”

===

Mitch McConnell Reportedly Threatened President Trump: “If You Pardon Julian Assange, We are Much More Likely to Convict You in an Impeachment Trial” (VIDEO)

Mitch MsConnel was himself pardoned by Trump earlier - what a heinous snitch, who is called by Rudy Giuliani “Liar” Mitch McConnell: “I Never Liked Liars Whether They Posed as Senators or Anybody Else” (VIDEO)

===

THE CROWN JUDICIARY OF THE B.A.R. IN THE UK AND THE USA ARE AT THE CORE OF INJUSTICE

An appeal to U.S. Judge Robert Pratt

and Associated Press reporter Ryan Foley to dare expose judges’ criminality, not only President Trump’s; and promote the holding of  unprecedented citizens hearings on judges’ unaccountability and consequent riskless crimes, abuse of power, and disregard for ethical standards

https://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL2/DrRCordero-JudgeRPratt.pdf

 

By Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.
Ph.D., University of Cambridge, England
M.B.A., University of Michigan Business School
D.E.A., La Sorbonne, Paris
Judicial Discipline Reform
New York City
https://www.Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org
, ,

 

U.S. Senior District Judge Robert W. Pratt
U.S. District for the Southern District of Iowa
https://www.iasd.uscourts.gov/content/senior-district-judge-robert-w-pratt

 

Mr. Michael Messina
Judicial Assistant
    tel. (515)284-6254

 

Mr. Ryan Foley, reporter; and Mr. Ron Nixon, international investigations editor

Associated Press

   tel. +1(202) 281-8604; +1(202) 641-9000

https://www.ap.org/contact-us/contact-newsroom

 

Dear Judge Pratt, Mr. Foley, Mr. Messina, Mr. Nixon, and Advocates of Honest Judiciaries, 

 

1. You, Judge Pratt, made your views on the pardons granted by President Trump in December 2020 known to Associated Press (AP) reporter Ryan J. Foley, who wrote the article referring to you and titled “Federal judge in Iowa ridicules Trump's pardons”, published on December 30.

 

2. AP reporter Foley explained that “Pratt made the remarks when asked for comment on pardons granted to two former top aides for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign, who were convicted in a corruption scheme related to the Iowa caucuses”.

 

3. AP Foley quoted you as saying, “It’s not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals”.

 

4. This is an appeal for you to be consistent and honest by applying to yourself and your fellow judges that very same principle to expose judges’ pardons of each other. Doing that requires more integrity and therefore is riskier than being flippant in ‘ridiculing Trump’s pardons’. However, you can do that on the solid basis of the facts discussed hereunder, which are known to you given that you have dealt as an insider of the judicial class for the more than your 20 years on the bench.

 

5. By exposing judges’ reciprocal pardons, you can set off in the administration of justice, not only by the Federal Judiciary, but also by its state counterparts, transformative change: what goes into the process of change comes out transformed into a different system of justice, one where judges are held accountable for their conduct and liable to compensate their victims.

 

6. If you can muster the necessary consistency, honesty, and integrity, you can exit the judiciary into retirement, not as yet another judge among thousands. Rather, you can bring down, not merely a top official and all his aides, as occurred in the Watergate scandal, which forced President Nixon to resign and sent all his White House men to prison in 1974, but a whole branch of government that judges, rendered unaccountable through reciprocal pardons, risklessly run, as shown below, as a criminal enterprise.

 

7. That is how instead of ridicule as a hypocrite, you can earn praise as the main character of the bestseller and protagonist of the blockbuster movie/documentary ‘All the judges’ exposer’.

 

A. Federal judges pardon each other by dismissing 100% of complaints against them

 

8. The Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO; 28 USCode §§601-613; here with bookmarks added to facilitate navigation) is submitted to Congress and made available to the public (§604(a)(3, 4)), e.g., on AO’s website. The Director is appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and can be removed by him and the other members of the Judicial Conference of the U.S., which includes, among others, all the chief judges of the 13 federal circuits and two national courts (§331). They are imputed with knowledge and approval of the Annual Report.

 

9. The 2019 Report is the latest version available, covering the fiscal year October 1, 2018-September 30, 2019. If the norm holds, the 2020 Report will be published in March 2021.

 

10. The Report contains the official statistics of the U.S. courts, titled Judicial Business [year]; e.g., Judicial Business 2019.

 

11. Some of AO’s official statistics (§604(h)(2)) deal with the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act of 1980, (the Act; §§351-364).

 

12. The Act entrusts federal judges with the exclusive authority to self-discipline. This means that any complaint against a federal judge must be filed with the respective chief judge, whose decision is reviewable only by the circuit’s judicial council, composed of the chief and circuit and district judges. They are not independent and unbiased. By definition, the chief judges and the judges on the judicial councils are the peers, colleagues, and friends of the complained-against judges.

 

13. In fact, their own official statistics contained in the Annual Report show that federal judges abuse their self-disciplining authority year after year by dismissing 100% of complaints against their fellow judges and denying 100% of petitions to review those dismissals.

 

14. These are the pardons that federal judges grant each other. They are not only the product of unprincipled friendship or of the gang mentality(>OL2:569¶¶13-16) that causes judges to conceive of themselves as ‘we against, and regardless of, the rest of the world’. These pardons are the means by which judges bribe and extort each other: ‘Today I pardon you and tomorrow you do likewise by dismissing any complaint against me or my friends...or else!

 

B. Federal judges pardon each other preemptively, sparing each other any conviction

 

15. When judges pardon their fellow judges by dismissing 100% of the complaints against them, their effect is as that when “a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals”. However, the nature of their pardons is significantly more harmful to the administration of justice, for it entails evading its administration:

 

16. When Trump pardons anybody, there has already been a conviction. The pardonee underwent an adversarial confrontation with The People, represented by the prosecutor, in open court before, in most cases, a jury acceptable to the prosecutor too. This in turn occurs only after discovery of evidence, whose production the prosecutor has power of subpoena, search and seizure, and contempt to compel. And this takes place after the defendant receives a complaint to which he must answer by filing a response as a public document, which he must serve on the prosecutor.

 

17. That is essentially the same procedure followed in a civil case, which is started by the plaintiff filing a complaint and serving it on the defendant, who must also answer her through a written response; both are public documents. The plaintiff has the right to obtain discovery by compelling the production of evidence. At trial, she can call the defendant and cross-examine witnesses

 

18. By contrast, judges pardon each other before there was ever a conviction because they simply dismiss the complaint and do not allow the complainant any discovery. Worse yet, the complaint is not made public by the chief judge who receives it, who need not transmit it to the complained-against judge at all. This is what the Act provides:

 

§352. Review of complaint by chief judge

 

(a) EXPEDITIOUS REVIEW; LIMITED INQUIRY.—The chief judge shall expeditiously review any complaint received under section 351(a) or identified under section 351(b). In determining what action to take, the chief judge may conduct a limited inquiry for the purpose of determining—

 

(1) whether appropriate corrective action has been or can be taken without the necessity for a formal investigation; and

 

(2) whether the facts stated in the complaint are either plainly untrue or are incapable of being established through investigation.

 

For this purpose, the chief judge may request the judge whose conduct is complained of to file a written response to the complaint. Such response shall not be made available to the complainant unless authorized by the judge filing the response. [Imagine Trump’s pardonees filing a response that they do not authorize the court to make available to the prosecutor. Would you trust it to be truthful and complete?] The chief judge or his or her designee may also communicate orally or in writing with the complainant, the judge whose conduct is complained of, and any other person who may have knowledge of the matter, and may review any transcripts or other relevant documents. The chief judge shall not undertake to make findings of fact about any matter that is reasonably in dispute.

 

(b) ACTION BY CHIEF JUDGE FOLLOWING REVIEW.—After expeditiously reviewing a complaint under subsection (a), the chief judge, by written order stating his or her reasons, may—

 

(1) dismiss the complaint—

 

19. If the chief judge does not dismiss the complaint, §352(a)(1) provides that the “chief judge shall promptly (1) appoint himself or herself and equal numbers of circuit and district judges of the circuit to a special committee to investigate the facts and allegations contained in the complaint [but not those made by the complained-against judge so as not to cast doubt on the word of a fellow judge]”.

 

20. The committee must file a report with the circuit’s judicial council; but has no authority to send the complainant a copy. The council can dismiss that report without serving a copy of it on the complainant. It may do anything and nothing else without giving notice to the complainant.

 

21. Actually, the complainant can only have a review of the chief judge’s order disposing of the complaint. To that end, the complainant must file a petition with the judicial council. Section 352(c) provides that “The denial of a petition for review of the chief judge's order shall be final and conclusive and shall not be judicially reviewable on appeal or otherwise”.

 

22. So why would chief judges bother to transmit complaints to complained-against judges, appoint special committees, or pay any attention to their reports, given that they know that complained-against judges need not even respond to complaints? If they do, they may tell ‘a bunch of lies and nonsense’ because their responses will not be transmitted to complainants, who will consequently not have the opportunity that any plaintiff has, namely, to scrutinize and challenge a defendant’s response, whether in the plaintiff brief known as the reply or in the courtroom.

 

23. In fact, years go by without a single special committee being appointed to investigate any complaint. It is the norm for judicial council members not to read petitions to review chief judges’ complaint dismissals. The councils deny 100% of review petitions by the clerk of court rubberstamping a 5¢ form that dumps the complaint out of court without giving any reason. Its only operative word is “denied”. Criminals’ gang mentality is never to incriminate one of their own, for a violation of their conspiracy of silence is deemed treason and punished with treatment as a pariah or worse.

 

24. Complainants are limited to filing a complaint that launches from the outside the secret procedure of a star chamber, which they cannot enter. They are not allowed to compel the production of evidence, let alone call the judge to the stand and cross-examine her witnesses, to rebut what protects all fellow judges, the presumption of impunity, and dispute what it confers: unaccountability.

 

25. It follows that complainants are deprived of what all other plaintiffs and prosecutors are entitled to: the administration of justice through an adversarial proceeding that takes place in public because "Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done" (Ex parte McCarthy, [1924] 1 K. B. 256, 259 (1923). Cf. "Justice must satisfy the appearance of justice", Aetna Life Ins. v. Lavoie et al., 475 U.S. 813; 106 S. Ct. 1580; 89 L. Ed. 2d 823 (1986)).

 

26. Complainants are denied due process of law so that judges can arrogate to themselves unequal (28 USC §358(a)) protection from the law. Thereby judges elevate themselves to Judges Above the Law.

 

27. Unlike Trump’s pardonees, complained-about judges remain with their reputation unblemished. There is no register of judges who have ever been complained-against, the equivalent of the sex offender register. Their names are as unknown as were those of the pedophilic priests that the Catholic Church transferred from diocese to diocese without ever warning churchgoers and the rest of the public that there were brought into their midst predators that would again abuse their power and trust and harm them too.

 

28. Judges have had no qualms about finding pedophilic priests and their complicit Church liable to compensate their victims. What an outrageous double standard applied in flagrant self-interest by hypocrites! By so doing, judges have breached their oath of office (28 USC §453) to “do equal right to the poor [in ties to them] and to the rich [in power to reciprocally dismiss complaints].

 

29. With their silence before and after dismissals of complaints and denials of review petitions, and about the underlying conduct complained-about, judges provide accessorial aid to their fellow ‘priests’ even if they, just as Then-Judge Amy Coney Barrett, have never dismissed or denied any, for they too have a legal (18 U.S.C. §3057) and ethical (Code of Conduct for Judges, Canon 3B(6)) duty to speak up to denounce their brethren and sisters so as to safeguard the integrity of the Judiciary and of judicial process.

 

30. If “a criminal like Trump [and the] other criminals” had the sole authority to process complaints against any of them, would they dispose of those complaints in any way different from that in which judges dismiss 100% of complaints against themselves and deny 100% of review petitions?

 

C. Sources of evidence and examples of judges’ criminality

 

31. Through their preemptive reciprocal pardoning, federal judges ensure that they wear “The Teflon Robe”. That is the title of an informative and outrage-provoking 3-part report that beginning on June 30, 2020, was published by Thomson Reuters, a major news agency, with more than 2,500 reporters and over 600 photo journalists. On the strength of its manpower and concomitant financial resources, it conducted a nationwide investigation of judges. It found “hardwired judicial corruption”.

 

32. “Hardwired” are also judges’ pardons of each other upon complaint filing, for they have become part of their institutionalized modus operandi. They are integral to their interpersonal relations and provide the insurance upon which they rely to risklessly commit crimes.

 

33. In the same vein, Boston Globe, the main newspaper in Massachusetts and a reputable one, published on September 30, 2018, its report “Inside our secret courts”, in whose “private criminal hearings [conducted even by clerks with no law degree], who you are –and who you know– may be just as important as right and wrong”.

 

34. Evidence of federal judges’ criminality is also discussed briefly in the blurbs hereunder; in more detail in a general article thereon; and in even greater detail in the specific articles that form part of my three-volume study of judges and their judiciaries. Based on professional law research and writing, and strategic thinking, the study is titled and downloadable thus:

 

Exposing Judges' Unaccountability
and Consequent Riskless Abuse of Power:

Pioneering the news and publishing field of
judicial unaccountability reporting
*

 

* Volume 1: https://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL/DrRCordero-Honest_Jud_Advocates.pdf >all prefixes:page# up to prefix OL:page393

 

Volume 2: https://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL2/DrRCordero-Honest_Jud_Advocates2.pdf >from OL2:394-1143

 

Volume 3: https://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL3/DrRCordero-Honest_Jud_Advocates3.pdf >from OL3:1144

 

i. Open the downloaded files using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available for free.

 

35. Some of those articles have been posted to my website:  

 

Judicial Discipline Reform
at
https://www.Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org

 

36. They have attracted so many webvisitors and elicited from them such a positive reaction that 36,597+ and counting (>Appendix 3) have become subscribers.

 

37. You can subscribe for free to its articles, such as this one, thus:

 

go to https://www.Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org <left panel ↓Register   or
+ New   or   Users   >Add New.

 

 

1. Abusive self-enrichment

 

38. Under their ‘Teflon Robe’, federal judges hide their own criminality. The latter finds a revealing example in a daring denunciation by a person as knowledgeable about financial matters as former presidential frontrunner Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is still a member of the Senate.

 

39. In her "I have a plan for the Federal Judiciary too”, she stated that federal judges fail to recuse themselves from cases in which they own stock in one of the companies that is a party to the case before them in order to resolve the ensuing conflict of interests in their favor so as to protect or increase the value of their stock. Sen. Warren refers to such practice throughout the Federal Judiciary as its judges’ abusive self-enrichment. She attributes it to federal judges’ unaccountability.

 

40. To engage in such self-enrichment, federal judges necessarily commit the crimes of fraud on parties; concealment of assets; tax evasion; money laundering; fraud on, or collusion with, banks through misrepresentation of funds’ provenance; and breach of contract for judicial services, of the oath of office, and of public trust.

 

2. Fraudulent filing and approval of financial disclosure reports

 

41. To conceal assets and evade taxes, federal judges file fraudulent annual financial disclosure reports required under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S. Code, Appendix).

 

42. While their reports are public documents, they are filed pro forma (*>jur:65fn107c, d; jur:65§§1-3) with, and approved as a matter of course by, not an independent reviewing body, but rather other judges, who are their peers, colleagues, and friends; and depend for their survival on reciprocal approval of their own reports since they too commit and cover up crimes as principals and accessories.

 

43. The unaccountability resulting from the fraudulent dealing with those reports removes the moral reins on greed and allows it to run amok throughout the Federal Judiciary.

 

3. Judges’ bankruptcy fraud scheme

 

44. People who go bankrupt by definition do not have enough money to meet their needs. The vast majority of them cannot afford a lawyer and must appear without one (pro se) in court. They are overwhelmed by the mindboggling complexities of bankruptcy law and procedure. As a result, they fall prey to judges’ bankruptcy fraud scheme. Its spread to Covid-caused bankruptcies will allow judges and their cronies in the bankruptcy industry to take advantage of people’s financial and emotional distress, thereby harming them even more grievously.

 

4. Interception of emails and mail

 

45. Judges intercept people’s emails and mail to detect and suppress those of their critics. This is a crime under 18 U.S.C. [Federal Criminal Code] §2511. Their interception is enabled by the Federal Judiciary’s nationwide computer network, vast expertise, and devastating power to retaliate against even the largest recalcitrant mass communication entities.

 

46. This judges’ crime is likely to set off the most intense national outrage because it affects directly the largest number of We the People and deprives us of our most cherished rights, to wit, those guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of ‘freedom of speech, the press, and assembly [on the Internet or by letter] to petition the government [of which judges constitute the third branch] for a redress of grievances [which includes compensation, similar to the more than $2.5 billion that the Catholic Church has had to pay to the victims of its pedophilic priests and its covering up of their crimes]”.

 

47. The exposure of judges’ interception can provoke the gravest institutional and national crisis, for which of the other two branches will dare exercise constitutional checks and balances to hold the Federal Judiciary and its judges accountable? Only an informed and outraged People can so disregard their rulings and shame them as to deprive them of any moral standing and force them to resign.

 

5. Failure to read the overwhelming majority of briefs

 

48. The official statistics of the federal courts show that federal judges dump 93% (>OL2:457§D) of appeals to the circuit courts through orders that are “on procedural grounds [mostly the one-fit-all pretext of ‘lack of jurisdiction’], unsigned, unpublished, without comment, and by consolidation”.

 

49. “The math of abuse” demonstrates judges’ failure to read most briefs. Yet, judges advertise that upon a party filing a brief, which costs $Ks and even $10Ks to produce, and paying the filing fee of $505, they will provide the service of determining the appeal by applying the law to the facts of the case. Instead, they have their clerks dispose of the corresponding case or motion by rubberstamping a 5¢ dumping form that neither discusses the facts nor applies to them the law. It contains only an unresearched, unreasoned, arbitrary, and fiat-like order.

 

50. This constitutes fraud in the advertising inducement and in the performance; breach of a service contract; intentional causation of emotional distress; and compensable intentional waste. The call for parties to jointly demand that they be compensated for such waste and fraud will attract a large segment of the national public.

 

6. Sham hearings on the Rules for Processing Complaints

 

51. To implement the Act, the judges adopted the Rules for Processing Judicial Conduct and Disability Complaints. Initially, they adopted rules in each circuit; thereafter, they adopted and amended nationally applicable ones in 1986, 2000, 2008, 2015, and 2018.

 

52. The Rules have changed nothing, for the judges have kept dismissing 100% of complaints against them.  

 

53. On each occasion, they have held a public hearing on the proposed new rules to pretend compliance with that requirement (28 USC §358(b)), but they held it in bad faith, for they had no intention of applying the new rules to hold each other accountable. The judges’ public hearings on the rules have been a sham.

 

54. Their sham constitutes fraud on the public that has caused foreseeable and thus intentional injury in fact: The judges have made witnesses write and submit comments; prepare to deliver them orally; and spend, just as the audience have had to, on travel to a single place in the nation and on room and board to attend the hearing. They have frustrated the reliance interest that they created in witnesses, the audience, and subsequent complainants, all of whom reasonably expected that the judges would apply the new rules fairly and impartially. The judges have caused them compensable injury.  

 

D. Proposed plan of concrete, reasonable, and feasible actions for exposing judges’ crimes

 

55. You, Judge Pratt and reporter Foley, can take the lead in exposing judges’ “bad Behaviour”, to which the Constitution refers in Article III, Section 1, as the basis for terminating judges’ holding office. Their “bad Behaviour” includes their crimes as well as abuse of power, unethical behavior, and their failure to abide by the injunction of Canon 2 of their Code of Conduct, which requires judges to “avoid impropriety and even the appearance of impropriety”.

 

56. You should undertake that exposure to be consistent with your views and values, as reported by Mr. Foley: “[Pratt] said those who abuse positions of public trust for personal gain must face severe consequences, in order to deter misconduct and promote public confidence. Otherwise, he warned, “political corruption will slowly corrode the foundations of our democracy until it collapses under its own weight”.

 

57. For the sake of your integrity and that of our democracy, you can proceed alone or together; with fellow judges, journalists, or me; whether openly and notoriously or as a discreet informant, to:

 

a. i. publish in a national newspaper or magazine the equivalent of the famous open letter I accuse! of French writer Emile Zola to the President of the French Republic to expose the military’s anti-Semitic conspiracy against Jewish Lt. Alfred Dreyfus, except that yours would be addressed to President elect Joe Biden as he prepares to establish the commission for the reform of the judicial system that he announced in an interview with CBS newsanchor Nora O’Donnell on October 22, 2020.

 

ii. Your letter can be the first step in transformative change, just as the exposés by reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times and journalist Ronan Farrow writing for The New Yorker informed the public on October 5 and 10, 2017, respectively, about Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuse, and thereby set off within a week here and abroad the MeToo! movement, which has transformed society.

 

iii. That constitutes a reliable and repeatable precedent for the reasonable expectation that your I accuse! letter can lunch a national and international movement for judicial abuse of power exposure, compensation of victims, and reform through transformative change;

 

b. present your letter at a press conference;

 

c. ask that President Trump and President elect Biden release the secret FBI vetting reports on judicial candidates and nominees, which are apt to contain incriminating information about them and others, obtained in part by the FBI exercising powers that the media lack, e.g., of subpoena, search and seizure, contempt;

 

d. approach national publishers to request that they publish one or a series of my articles (App:6) exposing unaccountable judges risklessly running the Federal Judiciary as a criminal enterprise;

 

e. ask that AP, Reuters, Boston Globe, and other media join forces to investigate with me judges’ “bad Behaviour”, which they can start and conduct cost-effectively by using the abundance of leads that I have gathered (*>OL:194§E);

 

f. endeavor to hold unprecedented citizens hearings on judges’ “bad Behaviour”, to be conducted by multidisciplinary panels of journalists, professors, and experts; at media stations and university auditoriums; where the victims of, and witnesses to, judges’ “bad Behaviour” can tell their story to the national public; and do so mostly through interactive video conference to reduce travel expenses; reach the largest life audience possible; and receive their feedback in real time;

 

g. encourage the formation of local chapters of parties who have appeared before the same ‘badly behaving’ judge or in the same court that covers up for them, to demand collectively compensation for the abuse and waste that they have suffered;

 

h. promote the holding of the first-ever, and national conference on judges’ “bad Behaviour”, where the report of the citizens hearings will be presented;

 

i. advocate the calling of the constitutional convention that since April 2, 2014, Congress has been petitioned to convene by 34 states, a number that satisfies the amending provisions of Article V of the Constitution. A runaway convention may fashion a new constitution that enables We the People, the Masters of all public servants, to hold our judicial public servants accountable and liable to compensate their victims.

 

j. foster the development of the website of Judicial Discipline Reform, as proposed in my business plan, to turn it from an informational platform into:

 

1) a clearinghouse for complaints against judges uploaded by anybody;

 

2) a research center for fee-paying clients auditing judges’ decisions and searching many other writings from many sources that through computer-assisted statistical, linguistic, and literary analysis can reveal the most persuasive type of evidence: judges’ patterns, trends, and schemes of “bad Behaviour”; and

 

3) the digital portal of a multidisciplinary academic and business venture, which should be the precursor to the creation within a top university or think tank of the institute of judicial unaccountability reporting and reform advocacy.

 

 

E. My offer to present this article and its proposals

 

58. I offer to make a presentation of this article and its proposals to you and your guests followed by a Q&A session. To set its terms and scheduling you may get in touch with me using my contact information below.

 

59. The presentation can take place via video conference on short notice. In fact, there is already an agenda, to which can be added the elements particular to this article.

 

60. To decide whether to organize the presentation you may watch my video and follow it on its slides.

 

61. To consult with others on this article and/or interest people in attending the presentation you may widely share this article and post it to social media, such as:

 

Facebook

Youtube  

LinkedIn

Instagram

Google plus      

Pinterest

Twitter: An appeal to US Judge Robert Pratt & Associated Press Ryan Foley to dare expose judges’ criminality, not only P. Trump’s; and hold unprecedented citizens hearings for victims of their crimes to tell their story; https://judicial-discipline-reform.org/OL2/DrRCordero-JudgeRPratt.pdf

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dare trigger history!...and you may enter it.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.
Judicial Discipline Reform
2165 Bruckner Blvd
Bronx, New York City 10472-6506
    tel. +1(718)827-9521

 

, ,

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-richard-cordero-esq-0508ba4b

NOTE: Given the interference with Dr. Cordero’s email and e-cloud storage accounts described at *>ggl:1 et seq. and >OL2:1114§G, when emailing him, copy the above bloc of his email addresses and paste it in the To: box of your email so as to increase the chances of your email reaching him at least at one of those addresses.

Every meaningful cause needs resources for its advancement;
none can be continued, let alone advanced, without money

Put your money where your outrage at abuse and passion for justice are.

Donate to

Judicial Discipline Reform

through Paypal
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=HBFP5252TB5YJ

by making a deposit or an online transfer to
Citi Bank, routing number 021 000 089, account 4977 59 2001 or

by mailing a check to the above address.

===

Trump pardons of Blackwater contractors an ‘insult to justice’

Lawyers and rights defenders say Trump pardons of four men convicted in killings of 14 Iraqis in 2007 undoes years-long fight for accountability.

By Jihan Abdalla - 25. December 2020

Washington, DC – It took a drawn-out and complicated legal process for four employees of a private United States security firm to be convicted in the September 2007 killings of 14 Iraqi citizens in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.

US prosecutors said the heavily armed Blackwater contractors used sniper weapons, machine guns and grenade launchers to indiscriminately fire at civilians in the crowded traffic circle, causing massive carnage and the killing of two children.

All four men, who are US army veterans, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

But in an instant, US President Donald Trump undid those measures when he pardoned Nicholas Slatten, Paul Alvin Slough, Evan Shawn Liberty and Dustin Laurent Heard earlier this week, in a move described by lawyers and human rights defenders as a miscarriage of justice.

“This pardon is an insult to justice and an insult to the victims who waited so many years to see some measure of justice,” Sarah Holewinski, Washington director at Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera.

It took a drawn-out and complicated legal path for the four men who worked for a private security firm to be convicted in the killing of 14 Iraqi citizens in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square in September 2007 [File: Karim Kadim/AP Photo]

After the years-long legal process that included re-trials, Slatten was sentenced in 2019 to life in prison without parole for the murder of Ahmed Haithem Ahmed al-Rubia’y, a 19-year-old medical student who was driving his mother to an appointment when he was killed.

The three other Blackwater contractors were convicted of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and other charges in a 2014 trial. After an appeal and resentencing, they were each given between 12- and 15-year prison terms.

The killings, which took place as the Blackwater employees escorted a US convoy of vehicles in the Iraqi capital, prompted an international outcry and raised questions about the ethics of using private security contractors in US wars abroad.

Holewinski said two boys below age 12 were among the victims in Nisour Square that day.

“When the US Justice Department prosecuted these men, we saw the rule of law at work. Now Trump’s contempt for the rule of law is on full display,” she said.

Lengthy court proceedings

Lawyers representing the victims say more than 30 people travelled from Iraq to the US to testify in the criminal proceedings against the Blackwater contractors.

They recounted the horrors that took place that day 13 years ago, when 17 Iraqis were killed and at least 30 people were injured in what they called a massacre. The FBI charged the men with 14 deaths that they determined violated the use of deadly force.

In court, the contractors’ defence teams argued the men opened fire after being ambushed by armed fighters.

Blackwater, now renamed Academi, was founded by Erik Prince, a staunch Trump ally and the brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. It was one of several private military firms hired to assist the US army in Iraq following its 2003 invasion and occupation of the country.

Citing an internal Department of Defense census, the Brookings Institution said almost 160,000 US private contractors were employed by numerous firms operating in Iraq in 2007 – nearly as many as the total number of US soldiers stationed there at the time.

Lawyers say more than 30 people travelled from Iraq to the United States to testify in the criminal proceedings against the Blackwater employees [File: Atef Hassan/Reuters]

“These veterans were working in Iraq in 2007 as security contractors responsible for securing the safety of United States personnel,” Trump said in his official clemency statement on Tuesday, about the Blackwater employees.

“When the convoy attempted to establish a blockade outside the ‘Green Zone,’ the situation turned violent, which resulted in the unfortunate deaths and injuries of Iraqi civilians,” the US president said.

Paul Dickinson, a litigation lawyer who represented six victims and their families in a civil lawsuit which was settled out of court in 2010, said the pardons are “a slap in the face” for the victims.

“Up until two days ago we had done the right thing for the people in Iraq who were victims of these shootings,” Dickinson told Al Jazeera.

“All the time and effort that the FBI and the federal prosecutors put into this has been wiped out,” he said.

“These victims have been slapped in the face because the United States government told them that we were going to fight for them, that we were going to hold people accountable for the crimes that they committed.”

Dickinson said Blackwater contractors routinely did not follow the rules of engagement in Iraq, shooting indiscriminately into cars and buildings and frequently disrespecting locals. For many Iraqis, it was difficult to differentiate between the US army and private contractors.

‘Dealt justice a blow’

Ali al-Bayati, a member of Iraq’s Human Rights Commission, said the pardons are hurtful to the Iraqi victims who believed in the US justice system and have undermined the US’s standing in a protracted conflict.

“The world looks to the United States as a superpower and a defender of democracy and human rights,” al-Bayati told Al Jazeera.

“The president of the United States has used his authority and power in a wrongful way,” he said, adding that the pardons “dealt justice a blow” and harmed “the reputation of the United States” both in Iraq and abroad.

Trump’s Blackwater decision is part of a string of pardons of allies and loyalists issued during his final weeks in office. In the past week, he has pardoned nearly 50 people.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince arriving for a closed meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC [Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo]

Al-Bayati said he hopes US President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated on January 20, would reverse the pardons of the Blackwater contractors.

“We hope that the incoming president will change the behaviour of the United States in front of the international community and Iraq, because these actions have deeply hurt Iraq,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Blackwater pardons continue to reverberate among civil and human rights advocates in the US, who say they illustrate Trump’s disregard for the rule of law.

“President Trump’s decision to pardon four mass murderers shows just how little respect he has for both our legal system and the sanctity of human life, especially the lives of Muslims and people of color,” Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement.

“These Blackwater mercenaries were convicted of perpetrating one of the most infamous war crimes of the American occupation of Iraq,” Awad said. “Pardoning them is an unconscionable act of moral insanity.”

Source : Al Jazeera

===

The pre-Christmas wave of 20 pardons and commutations are not likely to be the last before Mr. Trump leaves office on Jan. 20.

George Papadopoulos served 12 days in jail for lying to the F.B.I. about his contacts with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential race. He was pardoned by the president on Tuesday.
George Papadopoulos served 12 days in jail for lying to the F.B.I. about his contacts with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential race. He was pardoned by the president on Tuesday. Credit...Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

By Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmid - 22. December 2020

In an audacious pre-Christmas round of pardons, President Trump granted clemency on Tuesday to two people convicted in the special counsel’s Russia inquiry, four Blackwater guards convicted in connection with the killing of Iraqi civilians and three corrupt former Republican members of Congress.

Among those pardoned was George Papadopoulos, who was a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to federal officials as part of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Also pardoned was Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who pleaded guilty to the same charge in 2018 in connection of the special counsel’s inquiry. Both men served short prison sentences.

The Mueller-related pardons are a signal of more to come of people caught up in the investigation, according to people close to the president.

Mr. Trump’s pardon list also included four former U.S. service members who were convicted of killing Iraqi civilians while working as contractors in 2007.

One of them, Nicholas Slatten, had been sentenced to life in prison after the Justice Department had gone to great lengths to prosecute him. Mr. Slatten had been a contractor for the controversial company Blackwater and was sentenced for his role in the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad — a massacre that left one of the most lasting stains on the United States of the war.

The three former members of Congress pardoned by Mr. Trump were Duncan Hunter of California, Chris Collins of New York and Steve Stockman of Texas.

Mr. Hunter was set to begin serving an 11-month sentence next month. He pleaded guilty in 2019 to one charge of misusing campaign funds.

Mr. Stockman was convicted in 2018 on charges of fraud and money laundering and was serving a 10-year sentence.

And Mr. Trump granted full pardons to two former Border Patrol agents whose sentences for their roles in the shooting of an alleged drug trafficker had previously been commuted by President George W. Bush.

The pardons are not likely to be the last before Mr. Trump leaves office on Jan. 20, and they will no doubt feed the notion that Mr. Trump has used his pardon power aggressively for personal and political purposes. The founders gave the president the power to serve as the ultimate emergency break on the criminal justice system to right the wrongs of those deserving of grace in mercy.

A tabulation by the Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith found that of the 45 pardons or commutations Mr. Trump had granted up until Tuesday, 88 percent aided someone with a personal tie to the president or furthered his political aims.

Presidential Pardons, Explained

President Trump has discussed potential pardons that could test the boundaries of his constitutional power to nullify criminal liability. Here’s some clarity on his ability to pardon.

    • May a president issue prospective pardons before any charges or conviction? Yes. In Ex parte Garland, an 1866 case involving a former Confederate senator who had been pardoned by President Andrew Johnson, the Supreme Court said the pardon power “extends to every offense known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment.” It is unusual for a president to issue a prospective pardon before any charges are filed, but there are examples, perhaps most famously President Gerald R. Ford’s pardon in 1974 of Richard M. Nixon to prevent him from being prosecuted after the Watergate scandal.
    • May a president pardon his relatives and close allies? Yes. The Constitution does not bar pardons that raise the appearance of self-interest or a conflict of interest, even if they may provoke a political backlash and public shaming. In 2000, shortly before leaving office, President Bill Clinton issued a slew of controversial pardons, including to his half brother, Roger Clinton, over a 1985 cocaine conviction for which he had served about a year in prison, and to Susan H. McDougal, a onetime Clinton business partner who had been jailed as part of the Whitewater investigation.
    • May a president issue a general pardon? This is unclear. Usually, pardons are written in a way that specifically describes which crimes or sets of activities they apply to. There is little precedent laying out the degree to which a pardon can be used to instead foreclose criminal liability for anything and everything.
    • May a president pardon himself? This is unclear. There is no definitive answer because no president has ever tried to pardon himself and then faced prosecution anyway. As a result, there has never been a case which gave the Supreme Court a chance to resolve the question. In the absence of any controlling precedent, legal thinkers are divided about the matter.
    • Find more answers here.

And by nullifying the legal consequences of convictions in the Russia inquiry, Mr. Trump escalated a long campaign, aided by his outgoing attorney general, William P. Barr, to effectively undo the investigation by Mr. Mueller, discredit the resulting prosecutions and punish those who instigated it in the first place.

The White House continued to chip away at the legacy of the Mueller investigation in a statements released on Tuesday night. The statement made a point of saying that the Mueller investigation “found no evidence of collusion in connection with Russia’s attempts to interfere in the election,” and dismissively referred to Mr. Papadopoulos’s crime as “process related.”

“Of course I would be honored to be pardoned,” he said.

 

Alex van der Zwaan leaves the U.S. District Court after his sentencing in Washington on April 3, 2018.
Alex van der Zwaan leaves the U.S. District Court after his sentencing in Washington on April 3, 2018. Credit...Leah Millis/Reuters

Mr. van der Zwaan was sentenced in April 2018 to 30 days in prison for lying to investigators for the special counsel’s office with a Russian intelligence officer who worked closely with Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Mr. Manafort was convicted in 2018 on a range of charges, including tax and bank fraud. He was ordered to serve a combined seven years in prison. This year, Mr. Manafort was granted home confinement amid fears of the coronavirus spreading in prisons.

Mr. Manafort had agreed to cooperated with prosecutors, and pleaded guilty to some charges against him, but prosecutors later accused him of misleading them and of being of no use in the investigation. Mr. Manafort’s allies hope that Mr. Trump will pardon him.

Two other figures convicted in the Russia investigation, Mr. Manafort’s deputy, Rick Gates, and the president’s former personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen, are seen as unlikely candidates for a pardon from Mr. Trump. Both men cooperated with the investigations into the president.

Peter Baker contributed reporting.

 

Maggie HabermanMichael S. Schmidt

Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt

READ ALSO:

Trump’s Pardon of Flynn

===

Clemency Power ›

Presidential Pardons, Explained

President Trump has discussed potential pardons that could test the boundaries of his constitutional power to nullify criminal liability. Here’s some clarity on his ability to pardon.

    • May a president issue prospective pardons before any charges or conviction? Yes. In Ex parte Garland, an 1866 case involving a former Confederate senator who had been pardoned by President Andrew Johnson, the Supreme Court said the pardon power “extends to every offense known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment.” It is unusual for a president to issue a prospective pardon before any charges are filed, but there are examples, perhaps most famously President Gerald R. Ford’s pardon in 1974 of Richard M. Nixon to prevent him from being prosecuted after the Watergate scandal.
    • May a president pardon his relatives and close allies? Yes. The Constitution does not bar pardons that raise the appearance of self-interest or a conflict of interest, even if they may provoke a political backlash and public shaming. In 2000, shortly before leaving office, President Bill Clinton issued a slew of controversial pardons, including to his half brother, Roger Clinton, over a 1985 cocaine conviction for which he had served about a year in prison, and to Susan H. McDougal, a onetime Clinton business partner who had been jailed as part of the Whitewater investigation.
    • May a president issue a general pardon? This is unclear. Usually, pardons are written in a way that specifically describes which crimes or sets of activities they apply to. There is little precedent laying out the degree to which a pardon can be used to instead foreclose criminal liability for anything and everything.
    • May a president pardon himself? This is unclear. There is no definitive answer because no president has ever tried to pardon himself and then faced prosecution anyway. As a result, there has never been a case which gave the Supreme Court a chance to resolve the question. In the absence of any controlling precedent, legal thinkers are divided about the matter.
    • Find more answers here.

 

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August 2021
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