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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Justice Department’

Israel Police to Expand Use of Body Cameras

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

by Andrew Friedman Israel Police told the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on Tuesday that a pilot program to supply officers with body cameras has been “very successful” and said the department plans to provide cameras to all officers within two years.

Committee Chairman Avraham Neguise (Likud), who initiated the program, said “we have been fighting over-policing vis-à-vis Ethiopian immigrants, and I am happy that by this a bill brought about this trial period. [The use of cameras] is critical to preventing police brutality, as well as baseless charges against police officers.”

Yossi Bachar, deputy commander of the Tel Aviv district, added that the cameras have been used for about 14 months in six different precincts, selected according to frequency of violence. In the coming year the program will get an additional NIS 20 million boost.

MK Shelly Yechimovich (Zionist Camp) said that despite the use of cameras to document police abuses, a simple arrest – even without physical abuse – can leave a scar on a young person that will never completely heal. Others MKs called for increased penalties for abusive cops, while others partly blamed illegal immigrants for the phenomenon.

“The police must do their jobs,” said MK Yulia Malinovsky (Israel Beytenu), adding that sometimes Ethiopian Israelis are arrested because they are mistaken for illegal immigrants, tourists who overstay their visas and foreign workers.

Avi Frankel, head of the police discipline department, clarified that the police do not keep statistics on brutality complaints because those complaints are handled and investigated by the Department for the Investigation of Police Officers, part of the Justice Ministry.

The Department is responsible for prosecuting and recommending prosecution for discipline offenses, officers suspected of abusing civilians. He also said that abuse numbers have dropped sharply in the past decade, from 95 cases in 2006 to 13 in 2016.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

FBI Backs Down, Hillary Clinton Not Charged on Personal Server Use at State Dept.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

FBI Director James B. Comey told reporters on Tuesday (July 5) he would not advise the Justice Department to file criminal charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of personal servers for all emails during her tenure at the U.S. State Dept.

“No reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” he said, explaining that in order to file criminal charges, the agency needed to prove deliberate intent to send and receive classified and/or secret information on a personal server.

However, he said, “There was evidence that [she and others with whom she communicated] were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive and classified information,” Comey told reporters at a news conference in Washington DC.

Clinton clearly put national security at risk, he acknowledged. Any regular government official could have faced administration penalties for the same actions, he said.

Over the past year, the agency scrutinized 30,000 emails, checked numerous servers and spoke with dozens of aides and other staff members. Of the emails that were examined over the past year, 110 emails in 52 chains contained classified information; 36 chains were determined to contain “Secret” information. Nine chains contained “Top Secret” information and eight chains contained “Classified information. Thousands of emails were not turned over to the authorities.

But that’s not all: At least 34,000 emails were destroyed by Clinton and her attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones who permanently destroy by sorting them using keywords and scanning with subject lines, Fox News reported.

The former Secretary of State was questioned three days ago by the FBI, just after her husband and former President Bill Clinton hopped aboard a plane on the tarmac before Justice Department Attorney General Loretta Lynch could disembark. The two chatted for about 30 minutes “allegedly “only” about their grandchildren, and former colleagues,” Lynch said later when asked by reporters.

But the whiff of other issues was unmistakable, and Hillary Clinton’s session with the FBI followed soon after, after a year of resistance and very involved, dragged out scrutiny into how and where her long-lost emails had gone missing. Lynch subsequently said she would most likely stand by the FBI’s recommendations regarding any indictment following the investigation into Clinton’s use of her personal server.

Some of those emails were destroyed by Clinton’s own attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones to ditch by sorting with keywords and scanning the subject lines, according to a report broadcast on Fox News.

When considering the standard regulations, at the very least the State Department should revoke Hillary Clinton’s Top Secret security clearance at this point, given the concrete evidence uncovered thus far. But “should” does not seem to apply in this campaign, let alone in the legal sphere when it comes to Hillary Clinton, according to former U.S. District Attorney and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The investigation was focused on whether or not Clinton violated 18 U.S.C. Section 793 of the Espionage Act — which Comey contends that she did not, due to lack of “intent.”

But Giuliani disagreed in an interview on Fox News Tuesday afternoon, pointing out that provision (f) in the code is very specific, defining “extreme carelessness” as “gross negligence.” That, he said, is a felony under the law — which means that Hillary Clinton broke the law. Repeatedly:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document. . .relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer, Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Hana Levi Julian

His Hands Weren’t Up: DoJ Clears Ferguson Police Officer

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Last summer’s shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer touched off months of nationwide upheaval. There was rioting, looting and violence in the wake of Michael Brown’s death, which many believed was the result of pure racism by a white police officer.

That officer, Darren Wilson, left his position with the Ferguson police force and was in physical danger because of a narrative that now appears to be largely fabricated.

“Hands up, don’t shoot!” became the rallying cry of thousands of protesters across the U.S. The Justice Department has now concluded, based upon extensive forensic evidence and evaluation of eyewitness testimony, that Michael Brown fought with Officer Wilson, reached for the officer’s gun and charged Wilson, and was not trying to surrender when he was shot dead.

The report issued by Justice concluded that witnesses who claimed Brown was in the process of surrendering when he was shot “were not credible.” Those now discredited claims were “inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence,” while some of the witnesses contradicted others’ and even their own testimony at various times.

The Justice Department cleared Officer Wilson of civil rights violations. The decision was announced Wednesday, March 4. The results of the DOJ investigation echoed results that the Missouri state grand jury issued on Nov. 24, when it announced its decision not to indict Wilson.

The Justice Department said “forensic evidence and other witnesses backed up the account of Officer Wilson, who said Mr. Brown fought with him, reached for his gun, then charged at him,” the New York Times reported.  The Justice Department concluded that Officer Wilson feared for his life when he shot Michael Brown.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

JP Morgan to Pay $1.7 Billion to Madoff Fraud Victims

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

J.P. Morgan Chase will pay $1.7 billion to victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi fraud scheme, according to deal announced by the Justice Department’s prosecutors, who agreed to delay criminal charges against the bank.

The financial institution is charged with violating the Bank Secrecy Act, and charges will be delayed for two years pending the payments and changes in the bank’s policies to stop prevent money laundering, which is how Madoff got away with his fraud until finally getting caught.

Madoff is serving a sentence of 150 years in prison for raking billions of dollars from investor’s accounts. One of those hardest hit was yeshiva University.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the bank failed to send U.S. regulators a formal report on Madoff’s activities even though it had informed Britain in 2008 that Madoff’s returns on investments were “too good to be true.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

US Seizing Iran Owned NYC 36-Story Building

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

The Justice Department has conducted the biggest seizure of terrorism-related assets in its history, confiscating a 36-story office building in Manhattan from an Iranian straw company.

A district court ruled on Tuesday that the office building’s owners, the Alavi Foundation and Assa Corp., were “shielding and concealing Iranian assets” in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in press release: “The Judge’s opinion upholds what was the contention of this office from outset: ‘Assa was (and is) a front for Bank Melli, and thus a front for the Government of Iran.'”

The building, at 650 Fifth Avenue, was built in the 1970s by a foundation linked to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Iranian government took over the building following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and since then it has been owned by a variety of banks and shell corporations, according to the Dept. of Justice.

The ruling allows the U.S. to seize bank accounts and other properties belonging to the building’s owner, and also, possibly, use the proceeds to compensate victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism.

Jewish Press Staff

Congress Must Pursue Leakgate

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

On its face, it might seem that Attorney General Eric Holder’s appointment of two veteran federal prosecutors to mount a criminal investigation into the recent spate of national security leaks is a step in the right direction. Indeed, those appointments seem to have quieted congressional calls for the appointment of a special independent investigative counsel and holding congressional hearings into what will doubtless come to be known as Leakgate. Yet there are some issues that come to mind.

For one thing, while we have no reason to doubt the integrity or qualifications of the two attorneys, they will be working within the confines of and answerable to higher-ups in the Justice Department, which, after all, serves as the administration’s legal adjunct. And they will have to work with the ordinary powers prosecutors have at their disposal.

It will be recalled that it was the extraordinary powers granted to the special prosecutors in the Watergate episode – Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski – that engendered much litigation and conflict but also enabled them to develop and follow leads in order to make headway in the case.

But more significant is that while the leaks certainly require attention in terms of criminal law, they surely have an overriding political aspect, raising as they do the possibility of possible Obama administration involvement – something especially significant now, in the run up to the November presidential election.

Holding public officials politically responsible – or exonerating them – for leaking to journalists in advance of an election is primary. Yet the secretiveness attendant to a criminal investigation, which will feature the empanelling of grand juries, issuance of subpoenas and interviews of potential witnesses, will also tend to dry up the public flow of information.

Those with inside knowledge will doubtless be counseled by their attorneys to keep their silence outside of the criminal investigation. And this would be true of a criminal investigation by either regular or special prosecutors. So the chances are the public will hear nothing more about the leaks until after the election, when the Justice Department investigation is concluded.

A further lesson from Watergate also presents itself. A robust and very public set of Senate hearings chaired and co-chaired by Senators Sam Ervin and Howard Baker were conducted at the same time as the criminal investigation – which resulted in a number of convictions of senior Nixon administration figures – and which certainly did not hamper it in any way. More to the point, the process of gaining those convictions was not compromised by the public hearings.

Voters have a right to know how the leaks of such important secrets came about, particularly as they prepare to cast their ballots in November. Properly designed Watergate-type congressional hearings would seem eminently appropriate to the task at hand.

Editorial Board

Buchanan Again

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
Over the years the Monitor has on several occasions revisited the matter of Pat Buchanan’s apparent obsession with Jews and Israel. The list of his statements about Jews and Israel, ranging from the insensitive to the derogatory, continues to grow, most recently with his complaint that if the Senate confirms Obama nominee Elena Kagan, “Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats.”
As with almost every one of Buchanan’s previous remarks concerning Israel or Jews, there are those who insist his words are being taken out of context or willfully misinterpreted. But with Buchanan it’s long reached the point where even if one were inclined to cut him slack on this or that individual comment, the sheer body of his work amounts to a damning indictment of his attitudes and mindset.
Buchanan’s strange concern for accused Nazi war criminals, coupled with his disdain for Holocaust survivors, whom he’s described as suffering from “group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics,” led Alan A. Ryan, Jr., a former Justice Department prosecutor, to characterize Buchanan as “the spokesman for Nazi war criminals in America.”
And Buchanan’s deep-seated resentment of what he’s described as “the caustic, cutting cracks about my church and my popes from both Israel and its amen corner in the United States” exploded to the surface in the late 1980s over the controversial move by Carmelite nuns to erect a permanent convent at Auschwitz.
Upset with conciliatory statements made by the late Cardinal John O’Connor and other church leaders, he sneered: “If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken. When Cardinal O’Connor of New York declares this ‘is not a fight between Catholics and Jews,’ he speaks for himself. Be not afraid, Your Eminence; just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role of defender of the faith.”
In 1982, Buchanan referred to the mass killing of Palestinians by Lebanese Christians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps as the “Rosh Hashanah massacre,” and opined that “the Israeli army is looking toward a blackening of its name to rival what happened to the French army in the Dreyfus Affair.”
So Buchanan already had something of a history when he gained notoriety, shortly before the 1991 Gulf War, by describing the U.S. Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory” and claiming that “There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East: the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.”
If anything, Buchanan has become even more outspoken about Jews and Israel over the past two decades. He’s authored books and columns arguing that the U.S. should not have fought Nazi Germany in World War II and has been in the forefront of those charging that the war in Iraq was dreamed up by a cabal of neoconservative Jews and their Knesset handlers.
In 2004, he accused President Bush of “outsourcing American Middle East policy to Ariel Sharon.”
In 2005, he asked, “Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam? Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.”
Also in 2005 he wrote, “Neocons say we attack them because they are Jewish. We do not. We attack them because their warmongering threatens our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon.”
In 2007 he observed, “If you want to know ethnicity and power in the United States Senate, 13 members of the Senate are Jewish folks who are from 2 percent of the population. That is where real power is at .”
And then just last year, in a column that appeared on Good Friday, a seemingly demented Buchanan wrote that the Justice Department’s determination to deport John Demjanjuk to Germany was reminiscent of “the same satanic brew of hate and revenge that drove another innocent Man up Calvary that first Good Friday 2,000 years ago.”
In other words, Buchanan likened the plight of an accused Nazi war criminal to that of Jesus Christ, the very object of his – Buchanan’s – religious veneration.

For every comment noted above, there are at least four or five others in the Buchanan oeuvre – dozens and dozens of statements oozing hostility and vitriol. A simple Google search using words like “Buchanan” and “Jews” will keep anyone busy for quite some time.

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.

Jason Maoz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/buchanan-again/2010/05/18/

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