Showing posts with label Law Enforcement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Law Enforcement. Show all posts

August 22, 2016

FBI Not Credible in that The Clinton Email Investigation was Not Political

FBI Director Comey, testified and handed over emails
 to partisan committee and also made decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton

The political dust-up over the FBI handing documents about the Hillary Clinton email investigation to Congress is intensifying, with Republicans complaining the materials were turned over in such a way that assessing them is difficult and Democrats contending they should not have been given to legislators.

On Tuesday, the FBI delivered to Congress an overview of the investigation along with summaries of more than a dozen interviews with senior Clinton staffers, other State Department officials, former secretary of state Colin Powell and at least one other person, according to an email from a senior aide to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) that was sent to congressional offices.

The tussle centers over whether the FBI has the authority to impose sharp restrictions on the material, which comingled classified and non-classified documents. The FBI required Congress to maintain the materials in a secure area accessible only by those who have clearances. Also at issue is the aim of Grassley and other Republicans to publicly release the summaries, which include new, unclassified details about the FBI’s server investigation.

In announcing the agency’s findings last month, FBI Director James B. Comey said the investigation was untainted by political influence. Comey has said he wants to release more details than normal about the agents’ work to underscore the nonpartisan nature of the probe. But the unusual delivery of the records, and the restriction imposed by the FBI, have fueled the partisan squabble.

“I certainly don’t think it was done to feed the political fire; I think it was done, as the director said, in the interest of transparency,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “But while that might be a good thing in the short term for the bureau, I think it’s very problematic in the longer term for the entire Department of Justice.”
The FBI declined to comment for this story. Ron Hosko, a former assistant director at the FBI, said Comey has “spoken repeatedly on his respect and understanding” of congressional oversight, and that is probably why the director was so responsive to legislators’ inquiries.

“There is an oversight responsibility. There is an undeniable political piece of this thing,” Hosko said. “I don’t see Comey or the FBI trying to push back and say, ‘You’re not entitled to X’ if the law says they are.”

Comey announced last month that he was recommending that Clinton not be charged in connection with her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, offering an unusual level of candor at a news conference in which he opined that she was “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information. He later promised to release some materials to Congress.

Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman who has worked for several Democratic campaigns, said that although Comey might have been seeking to burnish his reputation for honesty, he ultimately treated Clinton unfairly and set a potentially dangerous precedent for future high-profile cases. Witnesses, Miller said, might be less likely to come forward — and agents and prosecutors tempted to work differently — knowing Congress would one day have access to what they said and did.

“That’s obviously not how the FBI is supposed to work,” Miller said. 

And Comey’s release has not mollified Republicans who want more information. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the House Oversight Committee chairman, said he was concerned about what was not included in the binders full of documents, and he continued to question Comey’s conclusion that Clinton should not be charged.
FBI Director James Comey said on July 5 that Hillary Clinton should not be charged for her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. Here's what he said, in three minutes. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)
“This whole case is upside down and backwards,” Chaffetz said. “There’s nothing normal about it.”

Grassley and his staffers have complained to the FBI that the unclassified material released to Congress was mixed with classified material, making its review and possible release burdensome.

The staffers and officials whose interview summaries are unclassified include longtime aide Huma Abedin; former chief of staff Cheryl Mills; former campaign staffer Heather Samuelson, who helped sort Clinton’s emails so they could be produced publicly; and former IT staffer Bryan Pagliano, who set up a server in Clinton’s home, according to the email from the Grassley staffer.

Summaries also include Powell, Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy; former assistant secretary for diplomatic security Eric Boswell and former executive secretary Stephen Mull, according to the email. Powell, who also used a private email account while secretary of state but not a private server in his home, wrote in an email that he had “a pleasant interview with two agents.”

“It was less about the specifics of emails than the whole process of how they are handled and how to manage info flow in the future,” Powell wrote.

Fewer than “a dozen and a half paragraphs” of the FBI’s 32-page investigative summary also are marked as secret, according to the Grassley staffer’s email.

It remains unclear whether that summary will be released, even if Congress is able to separate classified portions from the unclassified material.

On Wednesday, Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman, wrote to Michael DiSilvestro, the director of the Office of Senate Security, asking him to separate the classified materials from the non-classified ones. Grassley had earlier told a Washington Post reporter he hoped the non-classified would be made public eventually. But DiSilvestro wrote back Thursday that the FBI had provided the material with a “handling restriction” that all of it be kept in his office, and the Judiciary Committee and the FBI would have to negotiate different terms.

On Friday, Grassley wrote back that his committee had not agreed to such restrictions on non-classified material, and it would be “inappropriate” for DiSilvestro to let the FBI dictate what could be done with it.

“Absent such prior agreement, there are serious Constitutional separation of powers issues raised by the Executive Branch purporting to instruct a Senate office how to handle unclassified, non-national security information,” Grassley wrote. “It’s unclear how the Executive Branch would have any authority to do so.”

DiSilvestro’s office referred a reporter to the Senate secretary. A representative there did not return a message seeking comment.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton’s campaign, has said the handing over of documents was “an extraordinarily rare step that was sought solely by Republicans for the purposes of further second-guessing the career professionals at the FBI.” But, he added that “if these materials are going to be shared outside the Justice Department, they should be released widely so that the public can see them for themselves, rather than allow Republicans to mischaracterize them through selective, partisan leaks.”

There already seems to have been at least one, though it is not especially negative for Clinton. The New York Times reported that she told investigators that Powell had advised her to use a personal email account, and that was included in the materials turned over to Congress. The paper reported, though, that Clinton had made the decision to use private email before Powell gave her that advice. 

July 21, 2014

No Hearsay: ATF Stings Targets Minorities

WASHINGTON — The nation's top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not actually exist.
At least 91% of the people agents have locked up using those stings were racial or ethnic minorities, USA TODAY found after reviewing court files and prison records from across the United States. Nearly all were either black or Hispanic. That rate is far higher than among people arrested for big-city violent crimes, or for other federal robbery, drug and gun offenses.
The ATF operations raise particular concerns because they seek to enlist suspected criminals in new crimes rather than merely solving old ones, giving agents and their underworld informants unusually wide latitude to select who will be targeted. In some cases, informants said they identified targets for the stings after simply meeting them on the street.
"There's something very wrong going on here," said University of Chicago law professor Alison Siegler, part of a team of lawyers challenging the ATF's tactics in an Illinois federal court. "The government is creating these crimes and then choosing who it's going to target."
Current and former ATF officials insist that race plays no part in the operations. Instead, they said, agents seek to identify people already committing violent robberies in crime-ridden areas, usually focusing on those who have amassed long and violent rap sheets.
"There is no profiling going on here," said Melvin King, ATF's deputy assistant director for field operations, who has supervised some of the investigations. "We're targeting the worst of the worst, and we're looking for violent criminals that are using firearms in furtherance of other illegal activities."
The ATF's stash-house investigations already face a legal backlash. Two federal judges in California ruled this year that agents violated the Constitution by setting people up for "fictitious crime" they wouldn't otherwise commit; a federal appeals court in Chicago is weighing whether an operation there amounted to entrapment. Even some of the judges who have signed off on the operations have expressed misgivings about them.
On top of that, defense lawyers in three states have charged that ATF is profiling minority suspects. They asked judges to force the Justice Department to turn over records they hope will prove those claims. Last year, the chief federal judge in Chicago, U.S. District Court Judge Ruben Castillo, agreed and ordered government lawyers to produce a trove of information, saying there was a "strong showing of potential bias."
Justice Department lawyers fought to block the disclosures. In one case in Chicago, the department refused to comply with another judge's order that it produce information about the stings. The records it has so far produced in other cases remain sealed.
Because of that secrecy, the data compiled by USA TODAY offer the broadest evidence yet that ATF's operations have overwhelmingly had minority suspects in their cross hairs. The newspaper identified a sample of 635 defendants arrested in stash-house stings during the past decade, and found 579, or 91%, were minorities.
The ATF said it could not confirm those figures because the agency does not track the demographics of the people it arrests in stash-house cases.
That alone is troubling, said Emma Andersson, a staff attorney for the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project. "Management is simply putting its head in the sand," she said.
Other police agencies routinely collect that type of information to monitor racial profiling, and Attorney General Eric Holder said in April that the Justice Department would attempt to do so, as well. "To be successful in reducing both the experience and the perception of bias, we must have verifiable data about the problem," Holder said at the time.
"It's not enough to say we're not purposely targeting young men of color," said Katharine Tinto, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law who has studied the ATF's tactics. "When you have a possibly discriminatory effect, it should still require you to go back and look at the structure of the operation," including where and how agents choose to conduct the operations.
ATF guidelines require that field supervisors and officials in Washington approve each stash-house sting. The reviews focus mostly on ensuring that suspects have a sufficiently serious record to justify such a costly, and at times dangerous, undercover investigation; officials said they do not include any consideration of the suspect's race.
The ATF declined to explain how it selects the stings' targets, other than to say its agents rely on criminal records, police intelligence files and confidential informants to identify people already responsible for violent robberies. Still, court records raise questions about how and where those informants go about finding suspects.
In one case in San Diego, a government informant, identified in court records only by the pseudonym "Tony," testified that he sometimes approached people on the street to see if they wanted to commit a drug robbery. Which streets, defense attorney John Kirby asked.
"Different neighborhoods. I have targeted all kinds of areas," the informant replied.
"Do you do it in La Jolla?" Kirby asked, referring to the well-to-do seaside section of San Diego.
"I'm not familiar with La Jolla," he replied.
"Scripps Ranch?" Kirby asked, referring to another.
Kirby, a former federal prosecutor, said it was clear to him ATF informants were "trolling what was almost exclusively an African-American neighborhood, and there aren't a lot of those in San Diego."
The ATF offers a suspected robber the chance to steal 40 kilograms of cocaine.
In another case, a federal appeals court judge said the ATF dispatched an informant "to randomly recruit 'bad guys' in a 'bad part of town.' " The judge, Stephen Reinhardt,went on to express doubts about "whether the government may target poor, minority neighborhoods and seek to tempt their residents to commit crimes that might well result in their escape from poverty," calling that approach an "open invitation to racial discrimination."
A California federal judge similarly accused ATF agents this year of "trolling poor neighborhoods" for suspects before he dismissed criminal charges against three men. The government has appealed that decision.
The stings are engineered to produce prison sentences of a decade or more, mostly by capitalizing on federal laws that impose tough mandatory penalties for people who conspire to possess large quantities of drugs — even if those drugs don't actually exist.
Another USA TODAY investigation last year found that although the ATF stash-house operations have succeeded in locking up some well-armed suspects with long records of violence, they have also swept up scores of low-level crooks who jumped at the potential payday for a few hours of work. One investigation targeted off-duty Army Rangers; in another, agents had to supply their would-be armed robbers with a gun.
The ATF cut its use of stash-house stings by more than half this year, in part because "you've advertised this technique," King said.
King, who is black, said he had approved some stings and rejected others, looking only at the suspect's criminal record and never at his race. "When I hear that argument that ATF is targeting minorities or, in particular, African Americans, I find it offensive because that means I would be a party to such an unfair thing," King said. "It's the furthest thing from the truth."
To prove that the ATF has engaged in profiling, suspects must go beyond showing that the ATF's tactics have led to a large percentage of minority arrests. Instead, they also must find similarly situated white people who were not prosecuted, then show that the government was discriminating on purpose — a legal barrier few overcome.
Even getting judges to order the government to release records in pursuit of such a claim is uncommon, Siegler said. The judges who ordered disclosure based their decisions mostly on records showing that nearly all of people arrested in ATF stings in Chicago were minorities. "The numbers are troubling. Judges see these numbers, and they feel like there's something going on here that's not quite right," she said.
USA TODAY identified suspects' races using federal prison data and other records. It identified Hispanic suspects by comparing their names to a U.S. Census Bureau list of "heavily Hispanic" surnames, an approach widely used for identifying trends based on ethnicity. (The U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which lists inmates' races on its website, said it would violate a federal privacy law to also disclose whether they are Hispanic.) Where possible, USA TODAY verified that information with other police records or the suspects' lawyers.
More than 55% of the suspects USA TODAY identified were black; more than 33% were Hispanic.
Those numbers appear unusual even in the context of a criminal justice system that already is made up mostly of blacks and Hispanics. Minorities are about a third of the nation's population, but are nearly three-quarters of federal prison inmates.
By comparison, about 76% of the people charged with violent crimes in the nation's major cities are minorities. Minorities make up about 72% of the people serving prison sentences for murder, and about 71% of people convicted of federal gun and drug offenses.
Beyond that, the demographics of ATF's stings appear lopsided even after accounting for suspects' criminal records, USA TODAY found after reviewing data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Every person sentenced to federal prison is assigned a numerical "criminal history" score based on his or her prior convictions. Among defendants with the very worst criminal records, minorities made up less than 72% of defendants in other federal drug, gun and robbery cases
Justice Department officials reject most such comparisons. In a court filing this year, government lawyers said the only way suspects could show they had been targeted because of their race would be to find another person "who told a confidential informant or an undercover agent about a desire to commit an armed robbery and then was either not approached during a proactive investigation or who was approached and then not prosecuted, solely because of his race."
Contributing: Mark Hannan

February 1, 2014

The Bieber’s Personal Jet Detained in NJ

Justin Bieber’s personal plane was held at an airport tonight after authorities suspected it was carrying marijuana, police sources said.
The aircraft had just arrived in New Jersey’s ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl when authorities detected what was described as a strong odour of pot.
The plane, believed to be a twin-jet Raytheon Hawker 800, was ordered to be held at Teterboro Airport until drug-sniffing dogs could check it out.
A canine team sniffed the jet for pot as part of a U.S. Customs search.


A canine team sniffed the jet for pot as part of a U.S. Customs search.

 Bieber had chartered the private jet to fly him, his father and friends to the game which sees the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos.
Justin Bieber's mugshot after being arrested for alleged DUI
Oh Biebs
Bieber had planned to fly in to New Jersey from his home town in Canada so he could join the hundreds of thousands of people who had descended on New York for the game.
3AM has contacted reps for the singer.
assault on Wed.
TMZ has now reported the dispute was all over the volume of the radio in his limo.
Police were originally called to the incident on December 29 after the singer had been to a Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey game.
A statement from Toronto police said Bieber allegedly struck the limousine driver on the back of the head several times during an altercation.
At the time police said they were investigating an assault allegation, but it was unclear whether the allegation was against Bieber himself or a member of his entourage.
He is due to appear in court on March 10.
Bieber is already facing a driving-under-the-influence case in Miami and remains under investigation for vandalism in Los Angeles. 

May 2, 2013

Scotland Yard Failed to Sack Officers With Serious Misconduct Against Immigrants

Operation Elveden: Arrested officer is London borough commander

Britain’s biggest police force failed to sack officers found to have committed serious misconduct, including accessing a confidential database to find details about an ex-partner and assaulting an interviewee.  

Scotland Yard disciplined 42 officers and staff in the first two months of this year, among them a police constable who was fired for engaging in online paedophile activity.
However, 15 of those brought before a misconduct hearing escaped with either a written warning or a formal reprimand.
These included a constable who made false vehicle check entries on the police national computer to get information about a former partner’s address, a community support officer who was unfit for duty because of alcohol consumption, and a civilian employee who committed criminal damage.
Last year a detective constable was given a final written warning but allowed to keep his job after becoming aggressive during an interview and assaulting the person they were questioning.
Another constable escaped dismissal for corrupt practice after producing their warrant card in an attempt to escape prosecution for a speeding offence.
In 2012 the Metropolitan Police held 232 misconduct hearings, resulting in 96 officers and staff being sacked.
Those fired included constables who tried to gain free entry to a nightclub, gambled on duty, supplied fireworks to under-age children, were convicted of distributing child abuse images, held a former partner’s 10-year-old child in a headlock, ate food in a supermarket without paying, and stole handbags from a club in Wimbledon.
Scotland Yard today for the first time released details of officers and civilian staff who went before misconduct panels and the outcomes of their cases.
The force said in a statement: “The Metropolitan Police Service has over 30,000 police officers and over 5,000 special constables, the vast majority of whom perform their duties to a high standard.
“The MPS is committed to delivering a professional service and we expect our employees to behave professionally and with the utmost integrity at all times, whether on or off duty.” 

November 28, 2012

Rio and it’s Homicidal Law Enforcement

As Brazil prepares to host two high-profile global events, filmmaker José Padilha suggests that while improving security is a worthy goal, its methods and rationale are deeply flawed.
"Elite Squad: The Enemy Within" is an engrossing look at how BOPE’s success in shutting down slum drug dealers has left an opening for corrupt cops. (Sundance Institute)
Brazil doesn’t make the Top 10 of Transparency International’s annual list of the most corrupt countries–it’s tied with Cuba and Montenegro at No. 69 out of 178 — but you’d never know that after watching Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, a white-hot blast of cinematic righteousness that makes Rio de Janeiro look like ground zero for sleazy dealings, extrajudicial police executions and political chicanery.
Directed by José Padilha, whose 2002 documentary Bus 174 detailed how police incompetence turned a Rio bus hijacking into a disastrous media circus. This film is a sequel to his 2007 film Elite Squad, which told how the BOPE, the Special Police Operations Battalion of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro state, used violence and fascist tactics to shut down drug dealers in that city’s slums. The new film centers on Nascimento, a BOPE leader from the first film who, after a botched standoff between rioting prisoners and his men leads to a massacre of the criminals, finds that he has become a public hero, and is kicked upstairs to a position of even more authority.
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within then becomes an engrossing look at how BOPE’s success in shutting down slum drug dealers has left an opening for corrupt cops, who move into the favelas and form their own widespread criminal organization. Even worse, these murderous paramilitaries are supported by the local government, which sees them as a source of power and votes. In a real switch, Nascimento decides to fight this corrupt system with whatever tools are at his disposal.
Padilha’s film is exciting, fast-moving and swarming with top-notch action sequences. It’s as good as any Hollywood cop film you can name. It’s also scary as all get-out, a look at a law enforcement system that seems totally out of control. A 2009 Human Rights Watch report found that Rio police kill one person for every 23 they arrest. That figure in the U.S. is one killed for every 37,000 arrested.
“Why is it that everything in Rio is so violent? Even the traffic,” Padilha asked in an interview with Miller-McCune. “I did three movies to try to answer that question. In Bus 174, you see how the state mistreats a street kid [the hijacker]. The way the state is handling the small-time criminals and street kids is breeding violent criminals. Then in Elite Squad, look at how the state treats the police. They choose bad people, they pay bad wages–the state itself is creating corrupt and violent cops.
“In Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, I try to say why. The answer is in the interface between politicians and the police. I force Nascimento to deal with the police, drug dealers, and the politicians. And you learn all the decisions made that deal with security in Rio are politically oriented, what will get me the most votes.”
What all this says about public security in Rio during the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics is what gives Elite Squad even more immediacy. Padilha admits that things are being done to make the city safe – but for the wrong reasons.
“Things have to be done anyway, beyond the World Cup and the Olympics,” he said. “We should have changed things much earlier, and the fact someone is finally doing something speaks very lowly of us.”
For the immediate future, this means the concentration is on driving drug dealers and other violent criminals out of neighborhoods that tourists frequent, such as the area around the airport and Ipanema. “This program is working, and it’s a good thing,” said Padilha, “but I think the real things that will solve the problem in the long run are not being tackled.”
What the system needs desperately is better police training, higher wages, reform of the medieval jail system, and better social services for youth and juvenile offenders. “This is all very complicated to tackle, and takes a long time, a huge political commitment,” said Padilha. “That is not happening. What is happening are special political decisions and special policies that will have a fast effect in the context of the World Cup.”
It’s all, Padilha notes, part of the growing pains of being an emerging world superpower. “It’s the same thing as in Russia, where there is a huge structure of corruption, and the country is clearly a power,” he said. “I think every country, in its own way, goes through that. Brazil can develop economically while being socially fair and democratic.
“Is there a direct connection between economic growth and social justice? Yes, but it’s not a simple one. And in a short span, it’s possible to grow economically and be unfair to the population.”

October 4, 2012

Anti Gay Activist Say Obama is Made FBI and CIA Gay

 Camenker, a US family rights and pro-life activist said the FBI and CIA have gone gay and that a terrorist movement de-listed homosexuality as a mental illness

According to Brian Camenker a family rights and pro-life activist the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) became gay and a threat to the family.
He also said that an ‘extreme terrorist movement’ was behind the removal of homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses.
Appearing on the Voice of Christian Youth Americaprogram Crosstalk, with host Jim Schneider, Camenker head of the MassResistance organization said: ‘It’s unbelievable. ... They have started a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender program on their careers website and they apparently have even gone from there to embracing the gay agenda, having a gay advisory committee, welcoming homosexuals as FBI agents, getting involved with pride events, but more than that going to gay pride events and encouraging homosexual activists to report hate crimes and working with them against pro-family groups.
‘…It is very, very frightening to see. The FBI is very powerful and they can do a lot of damage if they are out to get you.
‘We’ve seen that in the schools, we’ve seen that all over the place. We’re really scared about the FBI being this out homosexual organization.’
According to Camenker even the CIA isn’t ‘safe’ anymore from the ‘gay agenda. In the old days you thought of the CIA as being this internal spy organization but now what they are doing is they are actually participating in these activities [like gay pride events]’.
Camenker went on to lament that gays are no longer banned from serving in the CIA but instead the agency is participating in the ‘gay agenda’ adding: ‘Man, this is really, really, really bad.’
Camenker argued on the MassResistance website that: ‘The US military and State Department aren’t the only branches of the US government to “go gay”.
‘Since the Obama Administration took control, the FBI and CIA, the two main federal law enforcement and surveillance organizations, have fully embraced the homosexual and transgender movements, and appear to be poised to crack down on pro-family groups and citizens who are critical.’
Camenker regards Barack Obama as ‘more aggressive at pushing the radical homosexual and transgender agendas than anyone could possibly have imagined.
‘The fact that the mainstream media (and most of the conservative media) is almost completely silent about this gives him even more cover to continue. In a second term, it would unquestionably get even worse.’
Camenker is also concerned that the Republican candidate Mitt Romney has been recruited into the ‘gay agenda’ saying: ‘When Romney announced to a national audience that he would support ‘gay rights’ and in effect be the most pro-homosexual Republican president ever, that didn’t give us much confidence.’
Towards the end of the program on VCY Camenker criticized California’s new law limiting the practice of harmful and discredited sexual orientation conversion therapy on minors. He claimed that ‘an extreme terrorist movement in the medical community’ was behind the removal of homosexuality from mental illness listing.
He also claimed that conversion therapy works as ‘there is a whole world of ex-gays around’.
He warned that the new California law will be especially bad for ‘these kids who have been preyed upon by the homosexual movement’ and that homosexuality for them should be seen as ‘just a fad.’
Later, Camenker and program host Schneider agreed with a caller’s rant against homosexuality and said that it is not a sexual orientation but an ‘addiction’ and ‘deviation that goes against nature itself.’ 

September 15, 2012

Nakoula From The Islam Film Interviewed Today

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula with hat, scarf and glasses on being escorted from his homeNakoula Basseleyfrom his home just after mid Nakoula was escorted night

Suspect Nakoula

 A man suspected of involvement in the making of an anti-Islamic film that has sparked violent protests across the Middle East and north Africa is being questioned by US probation officers.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was convicted of bank fraud in 2010 and later released on condition that he did not access the internet or use aliases.
He has denied involvement in the film, clips of which have been posted online.
At least seven people died in protests over the film on Friday.
The Egyptian Prime Minster, Hisham Qandil, has called on the US to ensure no further insults to Prophet Muhammad.
The US, he said, should "take the necessary measures to ensure insulting millions of people and their beliefs does not happen".
"It is unacceptable to insult our prophet and it's also unjustifiable to have a peaceful demonstration turned violent," he said in an interview with BBC Arabic.
On Tuesday, the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed after the US consulate was stormed in the city of Benghazi.
Anger over the inflammatory film was cited as a spark for the attack, but there is suspicion that it was pre-planned.
The US victims were repatriated on Friday in a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base attended by US President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
It is unclear who is behind the film - Innocence of Muslims - which has been widely circulated on the internet in English and Arabic.
Any portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous, and the film depicts him as a foolish, power-hungry man.
The character is also seen having sex with his wife and other women. In one scene he is seen sanctioning the sexual abuse of children, in another he says he is gay.
The original posting of a 14-minute trailer for the film on Youtube came from an account linked to the name 'sambacile'.
No film-maker by the name of Sam Bacile has been traced, and the US authorities suspect Nakoula Basseley Nakoula of using the pseudonym.
Nakoula served 21 months in prison for using stolen identities to open numerous bank accounts that he later used to withdraw funds.
He was released in June 2011 with the proviso that he did not access the internet or use any aliases without permission.
Nakoula, who was also convicted of drugs offences in 1997, volunteered for questioning and was escorted from his home by officials early on Saturday, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
He wore a scarf, hat and sunglasses to hide his identity as he left his home in the suburb of Cerritos.
Local media reported that a man later emerged from the police station wearing the same outfit.
Peace call
Anger over the film erupted on Tuesday when, as well as the attack in Benghazi, the US consulate in Cairo was attacked.
There has since been violent unrest in Yemen, Sudan and Tunisia, with further protests in Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey.
An attack on a Nato base in Afghanistan on Saturday that killed two US marines was also carried out in response to the video, the Taliban have said.
The US has stepped up security at its embassies across the region, and the EU has urged leaders in Arab and Muslim countries to call for peace.


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March 25, 2012

Trayvon Martin’s Case from a Legal Distanced Way

Hot Air.Com offers a sober opinion on how this case is proceeding in a legal way. It also shows what the major politicians are saying or not in regard  to this so unfortunate death of Trevor. I will borrow some of them to shed more light, at least from a  legal way of what’s happening and what are the major politicians saying if anything on this. Lots of things are happening and lots of people getting involved. The important thing is what impact if any is this having or going to have in this case if it reaches court.
Let’s start at the top with the commander in chief, The President:

President Obama said Trayvon Martin’s death particularly resonated with him as an African-American parent. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said in brief remarks outside the White House. 

 Some are claiming that Obama played the race card, but that’s been an important part of the context of this case all along.  All things considered, Obama’s statement was rather restrained.  He seems to have learned a lesson from the Henry Gates incident in 2009, to which Obama reacted by claiming that law enforcement officers “acted stupidly” in the same breath in which he said that he didn’t have all of the facts of the case.  Instead, this time Obama restricted his commentary to noting how any American parent would want a full investigation of the incident, and praising Florida Governor Rick Scott for launching a task-force investigation of the incident.

The DoJ will probe the shooting, too, which Obama noted but which had already been announced.  However, there is almost no chance that the federal government will have any opening, since George Zimmerman wasn’t an agent of the state or local government.  That makes prosecuting Zimmerman under civil-rights legislation almost impossible, especially given the circumstances of the initial assault.  Be sure to see the lengthy explanation of Florida’s self-defense laws in my earlier post to see why Zimmerman will probably face some sort of prosecution if the stated facts of the case are borne out, but that will come from the county or state level, not federal.

Meanwhile, the media leaped at the chance to compare Obama’s statement to the silence from Republican presidential candidates on the shooting.  That’s a bit silly; even Obama took quite a while to comment on the case, and as Earl Ofari Hutchinson writes atElectronic Urban Report, for the same reasons:
Obama, as all sitting presidents, doesn’t take positions on controversial state issues, and that’s the key. They are state issues, and to interfere is to step into a political minefield that would do far more harm than good. It would violate the rigid separation of federal and state powers. It would open the floodgate for any and every individual and group that has a legal wrong, grievance, or injustice to expect, even demand, that the president speak out on their cause. While tens of thousands nationally and globally are rallying behind the demand for arrest and prosecution of Zimmerman, there are millions more that quietly and openly demand that Florida officials resists any rush to judgment about the Martin killing.
Presidential statements on a controversial issue will polarize, and fuel political backlash. This would certainly be the case if Obama utters a word about Martin. In fact, the Martin slaying is a near textbook example of the fury and passion that racial leaden cases and issues always stir. Martin is African-American, and his self-admitted killer is non-black. Obama is African-American and there’s rarely been a moment during his tenure in the White House that he hasn’t been relentlessly reminded of that. The one time that he gingerly ventured into the minefield on a racially charged local issue was his mild rebuke of the white officer that cuffed Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates in 2009. The reaction was instant and rabid. Polls after his mild rebuke showed that a majority of whites condemned Obama for backing Gates and, even more ominously, expressed big doubts about his policies.
The president relearned a bitter lesson. If you speak out on an issue that involves race, police authority, and local law and local matters you will pay a heavy political price for it. While presidents have routinely spoken out on the deaths of police officers, political initiatives in states, and other local issues, there is no implication or inference of political partisanship or interference in a state matter. Speaking out on a controversial racial issue, as Martin is, would have a direct political inference, namely that the president is taking sides. In an election year, this would have be even more problematic. The GOP presidential contenders would be quick to pounce and would lambaste Obama as playing the race card and inflaming passions. Or, more charitably, that he was butting into an issue that he has no authority over, and that this is yet another example of the White House’s over reach on local matters.
The Trayvon Martin shooting does raise questions about self-defense laws and carry permit legislation only if Zimmerman didn’t violate either of them in the shooting, which seems unlikely under the circumstances.  Those, however, are state-level issues, not federal, so presidential candidates (and Presidents) aren’t under any requirement to share their thoughts.
Update: Rep. Allen West has called the lack of action against Zimmerman “an outrage,” through his Facebook page:
Noting that he had taken some time to “assess the current episode,” West wrote: “The US Navy SEALS identified Osama Bin Laden within hours, while this young man laid on a morgue slab for three days. The shooter, Mr Zimmerman, should have been held in custody and certainly should not be walking free, still having a concealed weapons carry permit. From my reading, it seems this young man was pursued and there was no probable cause to engage him, certainly not pursue and shoot him….against the direction of the 911 responder.”
The congressman added: “Let’s all be appalled at this instance not because of race, but because a young American man has lost his life, seemingly, for no reason.”
The Florida lawmaker said that he had signed a letter supporting the Justice Department’s investigation but that he did not plan to attend protests in Florida “to shout and scream, because we need the responsible entities and agencies to handle this situation from this point without media bias or undue political influences.”
That went much farther than Obama did, although as a Representative elected from Florida, West has more political connection to what happens in the state.
UpdateMediate notes that Mitt Romney has made a statement today about the case, and Newt Gingrich did last night:
Shortly after President Obama spoke out for the first time on the killing of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney followed suit, issuing a statement, through a spokesperson, which read “What happened to Trayvon Martin is a tragedy. There needs to be a thorough investigation that reassures the public that justice is carried out with impartiality and integrity.”
Romney’s statement was similar to comments made by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who told CNN’s Piers Morgan, last night, that “I think that Americans can recognize that while this is a tragedy, and it is a tragedy, that we’re going to relentlessly seek justice. And I think that’s the right thing to do.”

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