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US Government Accused of Seeking to Conceal Deal Cut With Sinaloa “Cartel”
Oct 5 2011 - 6:38pm
U.S.-Backed Programs Supplying the Firepower for Mexico’s Soaring Murder Rate
Apr 20 2011 - 7:46pm
U.S. Private Sector Providing Drug-War Mercenaries to Mexico
Apr 13 2011 - 8:11pm
Tahrir and Beyond: Ten Days That Shook My World
Mar 26 2011 - 1:06am
Why Is TeleSur a Flop? Look No Farther than Its Libya Coverage
Feb 24 2011 - 11:39pm

U.S. Customs' hurricane-relief Blackhawks pulling press duty

The crews for three U.S. Customs Blackhawk helicopters stationed at Crestview Airport in Florida are "livid" because they have not been directed to provide full-time support for the ongoing hurricane-relief effort in the nation's Gulf Coast region, according to Mark Conrad, a former regional Internal Affairs supervisor for U.S. Customs.

Conrad says instead of helping people left desperate in the wake of Katrina's wrath, the Blackhawk's actually were slated to transport a CNN news crew to take video shots of those people.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection leadership in Miami is behind the press-play strategy, Conrad says.

"They have three Blackhawk helicopters and crew just sitting there doing nothing, just so they can look good for CNN. The crew is livid," Conrad says. "They made one trip earlier and flew over Biloxi, (Mississippi) where there are dead bodies everywhere. Those are highly trained crews and Blackhawk helicopters can carry a lot of food and water. They could be doing something."

Recompensan a inmigrantes ilegales con rancho en giro extraño de la justicia en la frontera

En la primeravera de 2003 el propietario de un rancho en el sur de Texas hacía guardia sobre la frontera de México con Estados Unidos.

Se encontraba ahí para proteger su tierra de un súbito ataque de inmigrantes ilegales que podrían cruzar la frontera para trabajar en ranchos como en suyo, o quizá en los hogares de los suburbios de personas ricas más al norte.

El ranchero protegía su territorio junto a sus compañeros fanáticos que participaban en el grupo paramilitar xenófobo Ranch Rescue. Si la persona equivocada “invadía” América, él y su escuadrón de “patriotas” armados estarían preparados para tomar la ley en sus propias manos.

Y al parecer el ranchero de Arizona capturó a su hombre y según los reportes lo golpeó con su pistola.

Enlodando el legado de una vaca sagrada del periodismo

Esto llegó recién, calientito de la máquina de cables de PRNewswire:

Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI - News) anunció hoy que Jerry Ceppos, vicepresidente de noticias, ha sido elegido para obtener el retiro anticipado, efectivo a partir de agosto 31.

Ceppos, de 58 años, ha estado en su actual empleo desde 1999. En él, ha supervisado las operaciones noticiosas de todos los diarios de Knight Ridder, en la oficina de la compañía en Washington (junto a Tribune Co.), para los Servicios de Información Knight Ridder/Tribune. De 1995 a 1999, fue editor ejecutivo en el San Jose Mercury News. Previamente, pasó 23 años en varios puestos de noticias en el Miami Herald y el Mercury News.

Es el mismo Ceppos que movió el piso debajo de Gary Webb luego de que escribiera su señera serie de investigaciones para el Mercury News, exponiendo la suave cobertura de esta nación a la guerra contra las drogas.

Muckraking the legacy of a journalism sacred cow

This just in, hot off the PRNewswire spin machine:

Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI - News) announced today that Jerry Ceppos, vice president/news, has elected to take early retirement, effective Aug. 31.

Ceppos, 58, has been in his current job since 1999. In it, he has had oversight of the news operations for all of Knight Ridder's daily newspapers, for the company's Washington Bureau and (with Tribune Co.) for the content of Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. From 1995 until 1999, he was executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to that, he had spent 23 years in various news positions at The Miami Herald and the Mercury News.

This is the same Ceppos that pulled the rug out from under Gary Webb after he penned his groundbreaking investigative series for the Mercury News exposing the soft underbelly of this nation’s war on drugs.

Illegal immigrants awarded ranch in border-justice twist

Back in the spring of 2003, an Arizona ranch owner stood guard along the U.S./Mexican border in South Texas.

He was there to protect his land from the onslaught of illegal immigrants who might cross the border to work on ranches like his, or maybe in the exoburb homes of wealthy people further north.

The rancher was standing his ground with like-minded zealots participating in the xenophobic militia-like group called Ranch Rescue. If the wrong person "invaded" America, he and his cadre of armed "patriots" were prepared to take the law into their own hands.

And it seems the rancher from Arizona got his man – and then reportedly bashed him with his gun.

Authentic journalism knocking on U.S. Supreme Court's door

A story first reported by Narco News has shown up in a Supreme Court petition filed recently by Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who is seeking to take on the White House over a national-security nuclear option known as state secrets privilege.  

Edmonds was fired from her job after blowing the whistle on alleged espionage being carried out by a fellow FBI employee. She is now being prevented from pursuing a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit filed in 2002 (based on alleged violations of her civil rights) because of the state secrets privilege claim. The claim essentially shuts down her ability to present evidence in the case under the smokescreen that it would jeopardize national security.

Edmonds’ petition for review, called a writ of certiorari, states the following:

Petitioner Sibel Edmonds, a former translator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who was terminated in retaliation for reporting serious security breaches and potential espionage within the FBI’s translation unit, seeks review of the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirming the dismissal of her retaliatory termination case on the basis of the state secrets privilege. Petitioner (Edmonds) also seeks review of the Court of Appeals’ … exclusion of the press and the public from appellate argument.

Has media been duped by Homeland Security, FBI `turf war'?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees agencies like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, often seems to be knocking heads with the FBI over turf when it comes to issues of national security, such as terrorism investigations.

At times, these pitched jurisdictional battles would come off as comical farces -- material for a 21st Century version of the Keystone Cops -- if it were not for the gravity of what’s at stake: Human lives.

But maybe these territorial tiffs are really not about something as abstract as agency “turf wars,” as we have been lead to believe by the spate of media reports on the issue. After all, there’s a certain sense of integrity implied by the use of that term — that somehow in the “patriotic” race to protect the nation, the FBI and DHS are just extremely competitive. And of course, in America, competition is always a good thing, right?

But what if that line of reasoning is a big ruse? What if instead we are dealing with the more concrete notion of “career monopoly” –- the decidedly greedy desire by an individual or group of individuals to control the whole board.

New State Department stats contradict media's narco-war hype

A recent editorial in the San Antonio Express-News begins like this:

In this dusty town torn by violence, walking down the street is an act of courage.

It could be Baghdad, where calm is defined as the gap between suicide bombings.

But it is not; it is Nuevo Laredo, and the violence grows every day.

How clever to draw an analogy between Baghdad and Nuevo Laredo. Baghdad is already brimming with U.S. troops fighting a “terrorist insurgency.” Maybe it’s now time to send soldiers into Nuevo Laredo, to protect U.S. citizens from the “narco-terrorists” -- or so seems the subtle message of the analogy.

But is this picture being painted for us based on hype or facts?

Posada Carriles deportation case turns into Bay of Pigs sparnfarkel

Accused terrorist Luis Posada Carriles failed to make his case to be set free on bond today. Posada, as you recall, has been in federal custody for a couple months now pending a ruling on his request for asylum.

Of even greater interest, however, is the fact that the Associated Press reports that the federal immigration judge hearing Posada’s case “asked lawyers involved in the deportation case … to provide briefs on whether the Bay of Pigs invasion could be considered an act of terrorism.”

That’s right, U.S. prosecutors and Posada’s attorneys will now have to duke it out over whether the U.S. government engaged in an act of terrorism against the Cuban government in the early 1960s. And the irony is that it will be to the benefit of U.S. prosecutors to argue that it was terrorism, since it would seem to bolster the government’s case against granting Posada asylum.

Hispanic federal agents send letter to Bush

The Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association (FHLEOA) has taken its concerns over the federal government’s anemic record of hiring Hispanics directly to the Big Cheese in the White House.

The U.S. government’s dire hiring track record was exposed in a recent report to the president issued by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The report shows that Hispanics -- one of the fastest growing minority populations in the country -- represent only 7.3 percent of the federal workforce, while they represent nearly 13 percent of overall U.S. workforce.

FHLEOA wants to make sure President gets the message that it’s not sufficient for the government to just talk about leaving no Hispanic behind. The Administration actually has to make sure the government is hiring them first.

So Sandalio Gonzalez, national president of FHLEOA, sent Bush the following letter (which can also be found on the organization’s Web site.)

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