Federal appeals panel to hear CIA leak case

May 18, 2012

The Boston Globe on May 18, 2012 released the following:

“By Zinie Chen Sampson
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va.—A federal appeals panel will hear the case of an ex-CIA officer charged with leaking classified information about Iran’s nuclear program to a New York Times reporter.

Federal prosecutors will ask the panel Friday to reverse a pretrial ruling limiting the scope of reporter James Risen’s testimony in the prosecution of Jeffrey Sterling. They argue that the First Amendment doesn’t shield journalists from disclosing their sources during criminal prosecutions brought in good faith.

The judge ruled that Risen must testify at Sterling’s trial, but narrowed his testimony to four issues.

Prosecutors say Sterling was a key source in Risen’s 2006 book, “State of War.” They’re also challenging the court’s decision to strike two government witnesses and allow disclosure of the identities of covert CIA operatives to Sterling’s lawyers.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


US ‘Assange hunt’ chokes air for whistleblowers

March 27, 2012

RT on March 27, 2012 released the following:

“Washington’s relentless pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and alleged whistle-blower Bradley Manning, is no secret. But the fate of the two men has got US journalists worried, that they too could soon find themselves behind bars.

Julian Assange’s life resembles a game of chess. He is an Australian citizen in the custody of Britain fighting extradition to Sweden. But no one wants the king of WikiLeaks more than America. Washington has had secret plans for Assange since at least January 2011.

Ironically, the secret was uncovered earlier this month after five million confidential emails from the global intelligence company Stratfor were published by WikiLeaks.

“It’s done frequently when a defendant is outside the US. They’ll get an indictment, which is secret. They’ll seal the charging document of the indictment. They will ask for an arrest warrant and that will also be sealed. That way, the US stands behind a big large boulder, if you will, and then jumps out from that boulder and arrests someone,” says Douglas McNabb, federal criminal defense attorney and extradition expert.

Under house arrest for more than a year, Assange has not been charged with any crime in any country, though Sweden wants to question him over sex-related allegations. The US meanwhile, is determined to punish the forty-year old.

Apparently, it is payback for exposing confidential cables repeatedly shaming America by shining a spotlight on illegalities in overseas military operations and on some embarrassing tactics and opinions from the State Department.

Washington says publishing the documents has created a national security risk. The Justice Department has reportedly mounted an unprecedented investigation into WikiLeaks, aimed at prosecuting Assange under the espionage act.

“They’re going to continue going after Mr. Assange to make a point that we’re tough and we’re not going to let anybody threaten America, whether it’s Al-Qaeda or it’s an Australian national,” believes journalist James Moore.

And some say they’ll go to any lengths to make the point.

“The US government within the federal arena likes to charge others – that have either aided and abetted or assisted or were full blown co-conspirators – likes to go after those in order to flip them. To get them to co-operate with the US government against the major players, in this case Mr. Assange,” McNabb says.

The US is now apparently working on flipping none other than Private Bradley Manning. The US soldier is facing 22 federal charges for allegedly leaking 700,000 documents and videos to WikiLeaks. He’s one of six Americans, the Obama administration has charged with espionage.

“If one of those cases makes it to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court upholds the Espionage Act as an act which essentially criminalizes any whistleblower, anybody who exposes war crimes, anybody who challenges the official narrative of the lies of the state, then that’s it. Because that would mean that any leaker could automatically be sent to prison for life. And at that point any idea of freedom of information is over. We will only know what the state wants us to know,” Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author told RT.

“It’s supposed to be about protecting the national security of the United States. But that is not the way the journalism industry will view it. They will view it as being a message to them. ‘Be careful who you talk to. Be careful what you write because you can be next.’ I think a number of reporters will say ‘I am not risking it,’” Moore believes.

Critics say the Obama administration’s unprecedented “war on whistleblowers” may ultimately deliver a death sentence to freedom of the press in the US. If people and or publishers are criminally convicted and jailed for exposing the truth, more journalists may prefer to abandon First Amendment privileges and reserve the right to remain silent.

Julian Assange’s show ‘The World Tomorrow’ is to premiere on RT later this month.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Justices Take Case on Lying About Honors From Military

October 18, 2011

The New York Times on October 17, 2011 released the following:

“By ADAM LIPTAK

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether Congress can make it a crime to lie about having earned a military decoration.

The case arose from the prosecution of Xavier Alvarez under a 2005 law, the Stolen Valor Act. Mr. Alvarez, an elected member of the board of directors of a water district in Southern California, described his background at a public meeting in 2007.

“I’m a retired Marine of 25 years,” he said. “I retired in the year 2001. Back in 1987, I was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I got wounded many times by the same guy.”

That was all false, and Mr. Alvarez was charged with violating the law, which makes it a crime to falsely say that one has “been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States.” Mr. Alvarez argued that his remarks were protected by the First Amendment.

The trial judge rejected that defense, saying the First Amendment does not apply to statements the speaker knows to be false. The judge sentenced Mr. Alvarez to three years of probation.

A divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, reversed the ruling.

Judge Milan D. Smith Jr., writing for the majority, said that a ruling upholding the law would set a dangerous precedent. “There would be no constitutional bar,” Judge Smith wrote, “to criminalizing lying about one’s height, weight, age or financial status on Match.com or Facebook, or falsely representing to one’s mother that one does not smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, is a virgin, or has not exceeded the speed limit while driving on the freeway.”

“The sad fact is,” he wrote, “most people lie about some aspects of their lives from time to time.”

The full Ninth Circuit declined to rehear the case. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski concurred, saying that a ruling against Mr. Alvarez would be “terrifying,” as it would allow “the truth police” to censor “the white lies, exaggerations and deceptions that are an integral part of human intercourse.”

In a dissent, Judge Ronald M. Gould said the “lack of any societal utility in tolerating false statements of military valor” justified the law. He rejected the slippery slope argument, saying that “making false statements about receiving military honors is a carefully defined subset of false factual statement not meriting constitutional protection.”

In urging the justices to hear the case, United States v. Alvarez, No. 11-210, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. argued that Congress was entitled “to guard against dilution of the reputation and meaning of the medals.”

“The law,” Mr. Verrilli continued, “serves a compelling interest in protecting the integrity of the military honors program, thereby preserving the medals’ ability to foster morale and esprit de corps in the military.”

The central question in the case is whether statements known by the speaker to be false are entitled to First Amendment protection. In defamation and fraud cases, Mr. Verrilli wrote, the requirement of knowing falsity is sufficient to ensure adequate “breathing space” for statements that should be protected by the First Amendment, notably including criticism of the government. That same analysis should apply to false statements about medals, he said.

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has generally been sympathetic to free speech claims, ruling in favor of protesters at military funerals, the makers of violent video games and the distributors of materials showing cruelty to animals. Later this term, the court will consider whether the Federal Communications Commission may regulate cursing and nudity on broadcast television.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.