U.S. Court to Hear Conspiracy Case against Cheney, Rumsfeld

Military officer April Gallop, who survived the 9/11 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, has charged Bush administration officials with conspiring to carry out the event. Tomorrow, her case will be heard in Federal Court:

 

Top Secret Military Specialist April Gallop saw disturbing things up close that have not been reported in the media.

 

On the morning of September 11, 2001, she was ordered by her supervisor to go directly to work at the Pentagon, before dropping off her ten-week-old son Elisha at day care...



Escaping through the hole reportedly made by Flight 77, she saw no signs of an aircraft – no seats, luggage, metal, or human remains.  Her watch (and other clocks nearby) had stopped at 9:30-9:31 a.m., seven minutes before the Pentagon was allegedly struck at 9:38 a.m.



The 9/11 Commission reported that "by no later than 9:18 a.m., FAA centers in Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Washington were aware that Flight 77 was missing and that two aircraft had struck the World Trade Center."



Why then were there no anti-aircraft defenses, Gallop asks, or alarm warnings inside the Pentagon?

 

...On April 5th, 2011, at 11 a.m., at the Federal Courthouse at 141 Church Street in New Haven, Connecticut, the case of Gallop v. Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Myers will be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

 

Gallop's case will bring legal scrutiny upon many Bush administration claims about the attacks which were previously assumed to be fact.

 

Ms. Gallop will, through photographic and other physical evidence, as well as the testimony of a multitude of military and civilian survivors, demonstrate the impossibility of her having lived through the attack on the Pentagon if it had taken place as the government and the defendants claim...

 

"No independent court has applied legal procedures to review the available evidence on who was responsible for the attacks."

 

Also, that "it is not acceptable for a constitutional state...to declare war, bomb a foreign country, and place it under military occupation," without first identifying suspects.

 

Dieseroth also said the U.S. "was under burden of proof" that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the attacks, yet the FBI admits it has no evidence presentable in court to back this up.

Weekly Pulse: The New Hunger Epidemic, Making CPCs Come Clean, and Smoking Hipsters

by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger

As some Americans obsess over whether to brine or deep-fry their Thanksgiving turkeys, others are going hungry. Seth Freed Wessler reports for ColorLines that 50 million Americans went hungry in 2009, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Astonishingly, more than 36% of female-headed households suffered from food insecurity last year, in spite of a massive expansion of federal food stamp benefits as part of the economic stimulus. Forty-two million families received food stamps last year, 10 million more than the year before. Congress gutted the food stamp program this summer. If something isn’t done, families of four will lose $59 a month in food stamp benefits at the end of 2014. At the time of the cuts, House Democrats promised to restore food stamp benefits during the lame duck session of Congress, but Freed notes there’s been little sign recently that they plan to follow through on the promise.

Making Crisis Pregnancy Centers come clean

The New York City Council is preparing to vote on the legislation to force so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) to disclose that they are not health care facilities and that they do not provide birth control or abortions. CPCs are anti-choice ministries that deliberately mimic abortion clinics in order to trick women who might be seeking abortions. It’s all a ruse to bombard these women with false information about abortion under the guise of health care. As we discussed last week in the Pulse, CPCs also serve as incubators for more extreme forms of anti-choice activism, from clinic obstruction to violence.

In RH Reality Check, Dr. Lynette Leighton explains why she supports New York City’s proposed bill to require so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” to disclose that they aren’t real clinics staffed by health care providers:

As a family physician, I provide comprehensive health care for all of my patients, including safe abortions for women who decide to end a pregnancy. I’ve cared for many women who came to me in crisis when they learned they were pregnant. The last thing my patients need is to be misled by anti-abortion organizations masquerading as health clinics. I’m strongly in favor of the New York City bill requiring crisis pregnancy centers to disclose that they do not provide abortions or contraception, or offer referrals for these services.

New York CPCs are claiming that the requirement to disclose violates their freedom of speech, Robin Marty notes in RH Reality Check. In other words, they are claiming a First Amendment right to bait and switch. The executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is scheduled to testify before the City Council that the free speech claim is baseless.

See you in court!

In other reproductive rights news, the Center for Reproductive Rights took the FDA to court on Tuesday over access to the morning after pill. The FDA has been ignoring a court order to make emergency contraception available over the counter to women of all ages, and the Center is going to court to spur the agency to comply, Vanessa Valenti reports for Feministing.

Look at this smokin’ hipster

Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds is courting hipsters with a new “Williamsburg” cigarette, Brie Cadman reports for Change.org. “[Smoking Camels is] about last call, a sloppy kiss goodbye and a solo saunter to a rock show in an abandoned building… It’s where a tree grows,” according to the online ad copy. Mmm, kissing smokers.

It’s all part of an online marketing campaign in which users are invited to guess where brand mascot Joe Camel will show up next week. Interestingly, the contest’s name is “Break Free Adventure,” a twist on the Camel brand’s “Break Free” tagline. Odd that they’d pick a slogan usually associated with quitting smoking, rather than feeding the addiction. Those hipsters sure love irony.

Blowing the whistle on health insurers

On Democracy Now!, health insurance executive turned whistleblower Wendell Potter predicts that the Republicans will back off their grandiose campaign promises to repeal health care reform and instead try to dismantle the bill’s provisions that protect consumers. Potter notes that health insurers are major Republican donors, and that parts of the law are very good for insurers, notably the mandate forcing everyone to buy health insurance.

Apparently, some true believers haven’t gotten the memo. Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly notes that some Republican members of Congress are still gunning to shut down the government over health care reform and other spending.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse for a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

 

 

Coleman / Franken Update:

Norm Coleman has had several vote quests struck down by the Minnesota Second District Court, and Al Franken told a conference of Democratic Senators today that he can see a "light at the end of the tunnel." I hope that means Al will be awarded certification on his seat by the Minnesota Court very soon. The Democrats need his vote to fight off the filibuster strength of the Republicans in the Senate.

In order to get a real sense of what's happening, I spent time reading .pdf files at the Minnesota Second District Court web site this afternoon, and, going back a couple of weeks, it's clear that Norm Coleman is  following every failed approach with a newer one... what he is doing is stalling and, I expect, it is stalling at the instruction of the Republican National Committee.

There's more...

Prop 8 Arguments will be heard on March 5th

On Thursday, March 5th the CA Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the overturning of Prop 8.

Tomorrow, those interested will be able to watch live streaming of the court proceedings on the California Channel, link here:

http://www.calchannel.com/

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Are Lawyers The Best Way To Save The Earth?

(cross posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

Back in August Stephen Hockman QC proposed an interesting idea. Namely proposing that a body similar to the International Court of Justice in The Hague be the supreme legal authority on issues regarding the environment. Hockman argues that for the lack of solutions at hand for addressing climate change, "only an impartial adjudicating body is capable of providing the catalyst for a global consensus as to the fairest way to distribute the burdens that accompany solutions to the climate change problem."

The understandable reluctance of developing countries to sign up to carbon commitments - unless the developed world is prepared to make an equitable contribution - calls for more radical options. Those options must be realised at state, regional and international levels, and they will require political, economic and legal solutions.

In this mix, international legal instruments are crucial. The existing tools lack the necessary jurisdiction, clout and transparency. The time is ripe for a serious consideration of an international court for the environment. Such a court was mooted in Washington in 1999, but sank without trace. Today, however, we cannot afford to drop the ball.

Hockman, who is also a trustee of Client Earth, a nonprofit environmental law group, argued that such an institution would also offer a centralized system, "an enhanced body of law regarding environmental issues, and consistency in the resolution of environmental disputes". He wrote that such a court should be compulsory and have its own scientific body to assess technical issues.

However some are skeptical as to whether this concept would work, as Environmental Capital notes:

But what about the two giants in that global economy? The U.S. and China together account for about half the world's greenhouse-gas emissions. Any meaningful climate-change pact begins and ends with what Washington and Beijing decide. And while both presidential candidates are less hostile to the ICC, ceding control to supra-national jurisdictions generally gives the U.S. pause. Chinese leaders, meanwhile, have not traditionally embraced global law or institutions with open arms.

Concluded Environmental Capital: "Are lawyers really the best way to save the earth?"

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Diaries

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