organization:doj

  • First-ever private border wall built in #New_Mexico

    A private group announced Monday that it has constructed a half-mile wall along a section of the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico, in what it said was a first in the border debate.

    The 18-foot steel bollard wall is similar to the designs used by the Border Patrol, sealing off a part of the border that had been a striking gap in existing fencing, according to We Build the Wall, the group behind the new section.

    The section was also built faster and, organizers say, likely more cheaply than the government has been able to manage in recent years.

    Kris Kobach, a former secretary of state in Kansas and an informal immigration adviser to President Trump, says the New Mexico project has the president’s blessing, and says local Border Patrol agents are eager to have the assistance.

    “We’re closing a gap that’s been a big headache for them,” said Mr. Kobach, who is general counsel for We Build the Wall.


    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/may/27/first-ever-private-border-wall-built-new-mexico
    #privatisation #murs #barrières_frontalières #USA #Mexique #frontières #business #complexe_militaro-industriel
    ping @albertocampiphoto @daphne

    • The #GoFundMe Border Wall Is the Quintessential Trump-Era Grift

      In 2012, historian Rick Perlstein wrote a piece of essential reading for understanding modern conservatism, titled “The Long Con” and published by the Baffler. It ties the right’s penchant for absurd and obvious grifts to the conservative mind’s particular vulnerability to fear and lies:

      The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march, of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.

      Lying, Perlstein said, is “what makes you sound the way a conservative is supposed to sound.” The lies—about abortion factories, ACORN, immigrants, etc.—fund the grifts, and the grifts prey on the psychology that makes the lies so successful.

      Perlstein’s piece is all I could think of when I saw last night’s CNN story about the border wall GoFundMe, which seemingly has actually produced Wall. According to CNN, the group We Build the Wall says it has produced a half-mile of border wall in New Mexico. CNN was invited to watch the construction, where Kris Kobach, who is general counsel for the group, spoke “over the clanking and beeping of construction equipment.”

      #Steve_Bannon, who is naturally involved with the group, told CNN that the wall connects existing fencing and had “tough terrain” that means it was left “off the government list.” The half-mile stretch of wall cost an “estimated $6 million to $8 million to build,” CNN reported.

      CNN also quoted #Jeff_Allen, who owns the property on which the fence was built, as saying: “I have fought illegals on this property for six years. I love my country and this is a step in protecting my country.” According to MSN, Allen partnered with United Constitutional Patriots to build the wall with We Build the Wall’s funding. UCP is the same militia that was seen on video detaining immigrants and misrepresenting themselves as Border Patrol; the Phoenix New Times reported on the “apparent ties” between the UCP and We Build the Wall earlier this month.

      This story is bursting at the seams with an all-star lineup of right-wing scammers. The GoFundMe itself, of course, has been rocked by scandal: After the effort raised $20 million, just $980 million short of the billion-dollar goal, GoFundMe said in January that the funds would be returned, since creator Brian Kolfage had originally pledged that “If for ANY reason we don’t reach our goal we will refund your donation.” But Kolfage quickly figured out how to keep the gravy train going, urging those who had donated to allow their donations to be redirected to a non-profit. Ultimately, $14 million of that $20 million figure was indeed rerouted by the idiots who donated it.

      That non-profit became #We_Build_The_Wall, and like all good conservative con jobs, it has the celebs of the fever swamp attached to it. Not only #Kris_Kobach, a tenacious liar who failed at proving voter fraud is a widespread problem—but also slightly washed-up figures like Bannon, Sheriff David Clarke, Curt Schilling, and Tom Tancredo. All the stars are here!

      How much sleazier could it get? Try this: the main contractor working at the site of New Wall, according to CNN, is Tommy Fisher. The Washington Post reported last week that Trump had “personally and repeatedly urged the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” to give the contract for the border wall to the company owned by Fisher, a “GOP donor and frequent guest on Fox News,” despite the fact that the Corps of Engineers previously said Fisher’s proposals didn’t meet their requirements.

      Of course, like all good schemes, the need for more money never ceases: On the Facebook page for the group, the announcement that Wall had been completed was accompanied with a plea for fans to “DONATE NOW to fund more walls! We have many more projects lined up!”

      So, what we have is: A tax-exempt non-profit raised $20 million by claiming it would be able to make the federal government build Wall by just giving it the money for it and then, when that didn’t happen, getting most of its donors to reroute that money; then it built a half-mile of wall on private land for as much as $8 million, which went to a firm of a Fox News star whom President Trump adores.

      Perlstein wrote in the aforementioned piece that it’s hard to “specify a break point where the money game ends and the ideological one begins,” since “the con selling 23-cent miracle cures for heart disease inches inexorably into the one selling miniscule marginal tax rates as the miracle cure for the nation itself.” The con job was sold through fear: “Conjuring up the most garishly insatiable monsters precisely in order to banish them from underneath the bed, they aim to put the target to sleep.”

      The Trump era is the inartful, gaudy, brazen peak of this phenomenon. This time, instead of selling fake stem cell cures using the language of Invading Liberals, the grifters are just straight-up selling—for real American dollars—the promise of building a big wall to keep the monsters out.

      https://splinternews.com/the-gofundme-border-wall-is-the-quintessential-trump-er-1835062340

    • Company touted by Trump to build the wall has history of fines, violations

      President Donald Trump appears to have set his sights on a North Dakota construction firm with a checkered legal record to build portions of his signature border wall.
      The family-owned company, #Fisher_Sand_&_Gravel, claims it can build the wall cheaper and faster than competitors. It was among a handful of construction firms chosen to build prototypes of the President’s border wall in 2017 and is currently constructing portions of barrier on private land along the border in New Mexico using private donations.
      It also, however, has a history of red flags including more than $1 million in fines for environmental and tax violations. A decade ago, a former co-owner of the company pleaded guilty to tax fraud, and was sentenced to prison. The company also admitted to defrauding the federal government by impeding the IRS. The former executive, who’s a brother of the current company owner, is no longer associated with it.
      More than two years into his presidency, Trump is still fighting to build and pay for his border wall, a key campaign issue. After failing to get his requests for wall funding passed by a Republican-held Congress during his first two years in office, Trump has met resistance this year from a Democratic-controlled House. His attempt to circumvent Congress through a national emergency declaration has been challenged in the courts.
      On May 24, a federal district judge blocked the administration from using Defense Department funds to construct parts of the wall. The Trump administration has since appealed the block to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals and in the interim, asked the district court to allow building to continue pending appeal. The district court denied the administration’s request.
      Despite the uncertainty, construction firms have been competing to win multimillion-dollar contracts to build portions of wall, including Fisher Sand & Gravel.

      Asked by CNN to comment on the company’s history of environmental violations and legal issues, the company said in a statement: “The questions you are asking have nothing to do with the excellent product and work that Fisher is proposing with regard to protecting America’s southern border. The issues and situations in your email were resolved years ago. None of those matters are outstanding today.”
      Catching the President’s attention
      The company was founded in North Dakota in 1952 and operates in several states across the US. It’s enjoyed public support from North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer, who as a congressman invited the company’s CEO, Tommy Fisher, to Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018. Cramer has received campaign contributions from Fisher and his wife. A photo of the event shared by Fisher in a company newsletter shows Tommy Fisher shaking Trump’s hand.
      The Washington Post first reported the President’s interest in Fisher. According to the Post, the President has “aggressively” pushed for the Army Corps of Engineers to award a wall contract to Fisher.
      The President “immediately brought up Fisher” during a May 23 meeting in the Oval Office to discuss details of the border wall with various government officials, including that he wants it to be painted black and include French-style doors, according to the Post and confirmed by CNN.
      “The Army Corps of Engineers says about 450 miles of wall will be completed by the end of next year, and the only thing President Trump is pushing, is for the wall to be finished quickly so the American people have the safety and security they deserve,” said Hogan Gidley, White House deputy press secretary.
      A US government official familiar with the meeting tells CNN that the President has repeatedly mentioned the company in discussions he’s had about the wall with the head of the Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite.
      Fisher has recently made efforts to raise its public profile, both by upping its lobbying efforts and through repeated appearances on conservative media by its CEO, Tommy Fisher.

      In the past two years, for example, the company’s congressional lobbying expenditures jumped significantly — from $5,000 in 2017 to $75,000 in 2018, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit that tracks lobbying expenditures.

      When asked about Fisher Sand & Gravel’s lobbying, Don Larson, one of Fisher’s registered lobbyists, said: “I am working to help decision makers in Washington become familiar with the company and its outstanding capabilities.”
      Media Blitz
      As part of a media blitz on outlets including Fox News, SiriusXM Patriot and Breitbart News, Tommy Fisher has discussed his support for the border wall and pitched his company as the one to build it. In a March 5 appearance on Fox & Friends, Fisher said that his company could build 234 miles of border wall for $4.3 billion, compared to the $5.7 billion that the Trump administration has requested from Congress.
      Fisher claimed that his firm can work five-to-10 times faster than competitors as a result of its construction process.
      The President has also touted Fisher on Fox News. In an April interview in which he was asked about Fisher by Sean Hannity, Trump said the company was “recommended strongly by a great new senator, as you know, Kevin Cramer. And they’re real. But they have been bidding and so far they haven’t been meeting the bids. I thought they would.”
      Despite the President’s interest, the company has thus far been unsuccessful in obtaining a contract to build the border wall, beyond that of a prototype.

      Earlier this year, Fisher put its name in the running for border wall contracts worth nearly $1 billion. When it lost the bid to Barnard Construction Co. and SLSCO Ltd., Fisher protested the awards over claims that the process was biased. In response, the Army Corps canceled the award. But after a review of the process, the Army Corps combined the projects and granted it to a subsidiary of Barnard Construction, according to an agency spokesperson.
      It’s unclear whether the project will proceed, given the recent decision by a federal judge to block the use of Defense Department funds to build parts of the border wall and the administration’s appeal.
      Fisher, which has a pending lawsuit in the US Court of Federal Claims over the solicitation process, is listed by the Defense Department as being among firms eligible to compete for future border contracts.

      It has moved forward with a private group, We Build the Wall, that is building sections of barrier on private land in New Mexico using private money raised as part of a GoFundMe campaign. Kris Kobach, the former Kansas Secretary of State who is now general counsel for the group, said a half-mile stretch is nearly complete, at an estimated cost of $6 million to $8 million.

      In a statement, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said Fisher Industries has told them that the company has begun construction on private property along the border “in the approximate area of a USBP border barrier requirement that was not prioritized under current funding.”
      The spokesperson added: “It is not uncommon for vendors” to demonstrate their capabilities using “their own resources,” but the agency goes on to “encourage all interested vendors” to compete for border contracts “through established mechanisms to ensure any construction is carried out under relevant federal authorities and meets USBP operational requirements for border barrier.”
      In responses provided to CNN through Scott Sleight, an attorney working on behalf of the company, Fisher maintained that it’s “committed to working with all appropriate federal government officials and agencies to provide its expertise and experience to help secure America’s southern border.”
      The company says it has “developed a patent-pending bollard fence hanging system that [it] believes allows border fencing to be constructed faster than any contractor using common construction methods.” It also added: “Fisher has been concerned about the procurement procedures and evaluations done by the USACE to date, and hopes these issues can be remedied.”
      Relationship with Sen. Cramer
      A month after attending the 2018 State of the Union address with Cramer, Fisher and his wife, Candice each contributed the $5,400 maximum donation to Cramer’s campaign for the US Senate, Federal Election Commission records show.
      Fisher also donated to several Arizona Republicans in the 2018 election cycle, including giving the $5,400-maximum donation to Martha McSally’s campaign, records show.
      A recent video produced by Fisher Sand & Gravel demonstrating its ability to construct the wall includes a clip of Cramer at the controls of a track-hoe lifting sections of barrier wall into place, saying “this is just like XBOX, baby.” Cramer was joined at the demonstration by a handful of other Republican lawmakers from across the country.

      Cramer has been publicly critical of how the Army Corps has handled its border wall construction work, arguing that it has moved too slowly and expressing frustration over how it has dealt with Fisher. In an interview with a North Dakota TV station, Cramer said that he believes the corps “made a miscalculation in who they chose over Fisher” and that the company had been “skunked so to speak.” Cramer added that Fisher “remains a pre-qualified, high level, competitor.”

      In an interview with CNN, Cramer said that the company has come up in conversations he has had with administration officials, including the President and the head of the Army Corps, but while the senator said that he would “love if they got every inch of the project,” he added that he has “never advocated specifically for them.”
      "Every time someone comes to meet with me, whether it’s (Acting Defense Secretary) Shanahan, General Semonite, even with Donald Trump, they bring up Fisher Industries because they assume that’s my thing," Cramer said.
      “One of the things I’ve never done is said it should be Fisher,” Cramer said. “Now, I love Fisher. I’d love if they got every inch of the project. They’re my constituents, I don’t apologize for that. But my interest really is more in the bureaucratic process.”
      According to an administration official familiar with the situation, Cramer sent information about Fisher to the President’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, who then passed it along to the Army Corps of Engineers for their consideration. The source tells CNN that Kushner was not familiar with the company prior to getting information about them from Cramer.
      Cramer said he does recall passing along information about the company to Kushner, but that he did not know what Kushner did with the information.
      On May 24, Cramer told a North Dakota radio station that the President has asked him to examine the process of how federal border wall projects are awarded.
      “We’re going to do an entire audit,” Cramer said. “I’ve asked for the entire bid process, and all of the bid numbers.” Cramer told CNN the President said he wanted the wall built for the “lowest, best price, and it’s also quality, and that’s what any builder should want.”
      Asked about aspects of the company’s checkered legal record, Cramer said “that level of scrutiny is important, but I would hope the same scrutiny would be put on the Corps of Engineers.”
      Environmental violations
      Though its corporate headquarters are in North Dakota, Fisher has a sizable footprint in Arizona, where it operates an asphalt company as well as a drilling and blasting company. It’s there that the company has compiled an extensive track record of environmental violations.
      From 2007 to 2017, Fisher Sand & Gravel compiled more than 1,300 air-quality violations in Maricopa County, culminating in the third highest settlement ever received by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department, according to Bob Huhn, a department spokesperson. That’s a record number of violations for any air-quality settlement in the county, Huhn said. The settlement totaled more than $1 million, though the department received slightly less than that following negotiations, Huhn said.
      Most of the violations came from an asphalt plant that the company was running in south Phoenix that has since closed. While the plant was still running, the City of Phoenix filed 469 criminal charges against the company from August to October of 2009, according to a city spokesperson.
      According to a 2010 article in the Arizona Republic, Fisher reached an agreement with Phoenix officials to close the plant in 2010. As part of the deal, fines were reduced from $1.1 million to an estimated $243,000 and all criminal charges were reduced to civil charges.
      Mary Rose Wilcox was a member of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors at the time the city and county were fighting Fisher over the asphalt plant, which was located in her district. “They tried to persuade us they were good guys since they were a family-owned company. But they were spreading noxious fumes into a residential area,” Wilcox said. “We tried to work with them, but their violations were just so blatant.”
      Michael Pops, a community activist who lived in the area around the plant, remembers fighting with Fisher for six years before the plant finally shut down. “The impact they had on this community was devastating,” Pops said, adding many low-income residents living near the asphalt plant were sickened from the fumes the plant emitted.
      The company has also racked up more than 120 violations with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality from 2004 until as recently as last summer, according to the department.
      In 2011, Fisher agreed to a Consent Judgement with ADEQ over numerous air quality violations the company had committed. As part of that settlement, Fisher agreed to pay $125,000 in civil penalties, and that it would remain in compliance with state air quality standards. Within two years Fisher was found to be in violation of that agreement and was forced to pay an additional $500,000 in fines, according to the state’s attorney general’s office.
      Legal trouble
      Internally, the company has also confronted issues.
      In 2011, Fisher Sand & Gravel agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a sexual discrimination and retaliation suit filed by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit charged that the company violated federal anti-discrimination laws when it “subjected two women workers to egregious verbal sexual harassment by a supervisor and then fired one of them after she repeatedly asked the supervisor to stop harassing her and complained to a job superintendent.”
      The settlement required Fisher to provide anti-discrimination training to its employees in New Mexico and review its policies on sexual harassment.
      Micheal Fisher, a former co-owner of Fisher and Tommy’s brother, was sentenced to prison in 2009 for tax fraud, according to the Justice Department. Fisher pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the [Internal Revenue Service], four counts of aiding in the filing of false federal tax returns for FSG and four counts of filing false individual tax returns,” according to a Justice Department release.
      The company also admitted responsibility for defrauding the US by impeding the IRS, according to the DOJ. Citing a long standing policy of not commenting on the contracting process, the Army Corps declined to comment on whether Fisher’s history factored into its decision not to award Fisher a contract.

      https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/31/politics/fisher-sand-and-gravel-legal-history-border-wall/index.html

    • Private US-Mexico border wall ordered open by gov’t, fights back and is now closed again
      https://pbs.twimg.com/card_img/1138820979432574978/Q3ljdAXu?format=jpg&name=600x314

      The privately funded portion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall is now fully secure and closed again after one of its gates had been ordered to remain open until disputes about waterway access could be resolved.

      “Our border wall & gate are secure again and we still have not had a single breach. I want to thank the IBWC for acting swiftly and we look forward to working with you on our future projects,” triple amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage posted to Twitter on Tuesday night.

      Kolfage created We Build The Wall Inc., a nonprofit that is now backed by former Trump Administration Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. The group crowd-funded more than $22 million in order to privately build a border wall and then sell it to the U.S. government for $1.

      A portion of that wall has been constructed in Texas for between $6 and $8 million. The 1-mile-long wall is located on private property near El Paso, Texas, and Sunland Park, New Mexico.

      However, the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) had ordered a 33-foot gate within the private border wall to remain open – not locked and closed – over a waterway access issue, according to BuzzFeed News. The IBCW addresses waterway issues between the U.S. and Mexico.

      “This is normally done well in advance of a construction project,” IBWC spokesperson Lori Kuczmanski said. “They think they can build now and ask questions later, and that’s not how it works.”

      BuzzFeed reported that the IBWC said the gate “had blocked officials from accessing a levee and dam, and cut off public access to a historic monument known as Monument One, the first in a series of obelisks that mark the U.S.–Mexico border from El Paso to Tijuana.”

      By Tuesday night, the IBWC said the gate would remain locked at night and issued a statement.

      “The U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) will lock the privately-owned gate on federal property at night effective immediately due to security concerns,” it said.

      The statement continues:

      The USIBWC is continuing to work with We Build the Wall regarding its permit request. Until this decision, the private gate was in a locked open position. We Build the Wall, a private organization, built a gate on federal land in Sunland Park, N.M., near El Paso, Texas, without authority, and then locked the gate closed on June 6, 2019. The private gate blocks a levee road owned by the U.S. Government. After repeated requests to unlock and open the private gate, the United States Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC), accompanied by two uniformed law enforcement officers from the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office, removed the private lock, opened the gate, and locked the gate open pending further discussions with We Build the Wall. The gate was also opened so that USIBWC employees can conduct maintenance and operations at American Dam.

      The USIBWC did not authorize the construction of the private gate on federal property as announced on We Build the Wall’s Twitter page. The USIBWC is not charged with securing other fences or gates as reported by We Build the Wall. The international border fences are not on USIBWC property. The USIBWC did not open any other gates in the El Paso area as erroneously reported. Other gates and the border fence are controlled by other federal agencies.

      When the proper documentation is received for the permit, USIBWC will continue to process the permit application.

      Before the statement had been released, Kolfage posted to Twitter.
      https://a

      mericanmilitarynews.com/2019/06/private-us-mexico-border-wall-ordered-open-by-intl-group-later-closed-locked-after-security-concerns/

    • lien propre:

      Glen Greenwald, Micah Lee - 20190412

      https://theintercept.com/2019/04/11/the-u-s-governments-indictment-of-julian-assange-poses-grave-threats-t

      In April, 2017, Pompeo, while still CIA chief, delivered a deranged speech proclaiming that “we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” He punctuated his speech with this threat: “To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.”

      From the start, the Trump DOJ has made no secret of its desire to criminalize journalism generally. Early in the Trump administration, Sessions explicitly discussed the possibility of prosecuting journalists for publishing classified information. Trump and his key aides were open about how eager they were to build on, and escalate, the Obama administration’s progress in enabling journalism in the U.S. to be criminalized.

      Today’s arrest of Assange is clearly the culmination of a two-year effort by the U.S. government to coerce Ecuador — under its new and submissive president, Lenín Moreno — to withdraw the asylum protection it extended to Assange in 2012. Rescinding Assange’s asylum would enable the U.K. to arrest Assange on minor bail-jumping charges pending in London and, far more significantly, to rely on an extradition request from the U.S. government to send him to a country to which he has no connection (the U.S.) to stand trial relating to leaked documents.

      Indeed, the Trump administration’s motive here is clear. With Ecuador withdrawing its asylum protection and subserviently allowing the U.K. to enter its own embassy to arrest Assange, Assange faced no charges other than a minor bail-jumping charge in the U.K. (Sweden closed its sexual assault investigation not because they concluded Assange was innocent, but because they spent years unsuccessfully trying to extradite him). By indicting Assange and demanding his extradition, it ensures that Assange — once he serves his time in a London jail for bail-jumping — will be kept in a British prison for the full year or longer that it takes for the U.S. extradition request, which Assange will certainly contest, to wind its way through the British courts.

      The indictment tries to cast itself as charging Assange not with journalistic activities but with criminal hacking. But it is a thinly disguised pretext for prosecuting Assange for publishing the U.S. government’s secret documents while pretending to make it about something else.

      Whatever else is true about the indictment, substantial parts of the document explicitly characterize as criminal exactly the actions that journalists routinely engage in with their sources and thus, constitutes a dangerous attempt to criminalize investigative journalism.

      The indictment, for instance, places great emphasis on Assange’s alleged encouragement that Manning — after she already turned over hundreds of thousands of classified documents — try to get more documents for WikiLeaks to publish. The indictment claims that “discussions also reflect Assange actively encouraging Manning to provide more information. During an exchange, Manning told Assange that ‘after this upload, that’s all I really have got left.’ To which Assange replied, ‘curious eyes never run dry in my experience.’”

      But encouraging sources to obtain more information is something journalists do routinely. Indeed, it would be a breach of one’s journalistic duties not to ask vital sources with access to classified information if they could provide even more information so as to allow more complete reporting. If a source comes to a journalist with information, it is entirely common and expected that the journalist would reply: Can you also get me X, Y, and Z to complete the story or to make it better? As Edward Snowden said this morning, “Bob Woodward stated publicly he would have advised me to remain in place and act as a mole.”

      Investigative journalism in many, if not most, cases, entails a constant back and forth between journalist and source in which the journalist tries to induce the source to provide more classified information, even if doing so is illegal. To include such “encouragement” as part of a criminal indictment — as the Trump DOJ did today — is to criminalize the crux of investigative journalism itself, even if the indictment includes other activities you believe fall outside the scope of journalism.

      As Northwestern journalism professor Dan Kennedy explained in The Guardian in 2010 when denouncing as a press freedom threat the Obama DOJ’s attempts to indict Assange based on the theory that he did more than passively receive and publish documents — i.e., that he actively “colluded” with Manning:


      The problem is that there is no meaningful distinction to be made. How did the Guardian, equally, not “collude” with WikiLeaks in obtaining the cables? How did the New York Times not “collude” with the Guardian when the Guardian gave the Times a copy following Assange’s decision to cut the Times out of the latest document dump?

      For that matter, I don’t see how any news organisation can be said not to have colluded with a source when it receives leaked documents. Didn’t the Times collude with Daniel Ellsberg when it received the Pentagon Papers from him? Yes, there are differences. Ellsberg had finished making copies long before he began working with the Times, whereas Assange may have goaded Manning. But does that really matter?

      Most of the reports about the Assange indictment today have falsely suggested that the Trump DOJ discovered some sort of new evidence that proved Assange tried to help Manning hack through a password in order to use a different username to download documents. Aside from the fact that those attempts failed, none of this is new: As the last five paragraphs of this 2011 Politico story demonstrate, that Assange talked to Manning about ways to use a different username so as to avoid detection was part of Manning’s trial and was long known to the Obama DOJ when they decided not to prosecute.

      There are only two new events that explain today’s indictment of Assange: 1) The Trump administration from the start included authoritarian extremists such as Sessions and Pompeo who do not care in the slightest about press freedom and were determined to criminalize journalism against the U.S., and 2) With Ecuador about to withdraw its asylum protection, the U.S. government needed an excuse to prevent Assange from walking free.

      A technical analysis of the indictment’s claims similarly proves the charge against Assange to be a serious threat to First Amendment press liberties, primarily because it seeks to criminalize what is actually a journalist’s core duty: helping one’s source avoid detection. The indictment deceitfully seeks to cast Assange’s efforts to help Manning maintain her anonymity as some sort of sinister hacking attack.

      The Defense Department computer that Manning used to download the documents which she then furnished to WikiLeaks was likely running the Windows operating system. It had multiple user accounts on it, including an account to which Manning had legitimate access. Each account is protected by a password, and Windows computers store a file that contains a list of usernames and password “hashes,” or scrambled versions of the passwords. Only accounts designated as “administrator,” a designation Manning’s account lacked, have permission to access this file.

      The indictment suggests that Manning, in order to access this password file, powered off her computer and then powered it back on, this time booting to a CD running the Linux operating system. From within Linux, she allegedly accessed this file full of password hashes. The indictment alleges that Assange agreed to try to crack one of these password hashes, which, if successful, would recover the original password. With the original password, Manning would be able to log directly into that other user’s account, which — as the indictment puts it — “would have made it more difficult for investigators to identify Manning as the source of disclosures of classified information.”

      Assange appears to have been unsuccessful in cracking the password. The indictment alleges that “Assange indicated that he had been trying to crack the password by stating that he had ‘no luck so far.’”

      Thus, even if one accepts all of the indictment’s claims as true, Assange was not trying to hack into new document files to which Manning had no access, but rather trying to help Manning avoid detection as a source. For that reason, the precedent that this case would set would be a devastating blow to investigative journalists and press freedom everywhere.

      Journalists have an ethical obligation to take steps to protect their sources from retaliation, which sometimes includes granting them anonymity and employing technical measures to help ensure that their identity is not discovered. When journalists take source protection seriously, they strip metadata and redact information from documents before publishing them if that information could have been used to identify their source; they host cloud-based systems such as SecureDrop, now employed by dozens of major newsrooms around the world, that make it easier and safer for whistleblowers, who may be under surveillance, to send messages and classified documents to journalists without their employers knowing; and they use secure communication tools like Signal and set them to automatically delete messages.

      But today’s indictment of Assange seeks to criminalize exactly these types of source-protection efforts, as it states that “it was part of the conspiracy that Assange and Manning used a special folder on a cloud drop box of WikiLeaks to transmit classified records containing information related to the national defense of the United States.”

      The indictment, in numerous other passages, plainly conflates standard newsroom best practices with a criminal conspiracy. It states, for instance, that “it was part of the conspiracy that Assange and Manning used the ‘Jabber’ online chat service to collaborate on the acquisition and dissemination of the classified records, and to enter into the agreement to crack the password […].” There is no question that using Jabber, or any other encrypted messaging system, to communicate with sources and acquire documents with the intent to publish them, is a completely lawful and standard part of modern investigative journalism. Newsrooms across the world now use similar technologies to communicate securely with their sources and to help their sources avoid detection by the government.

      The indictment similarly alleges that “it was part of the conspiracy that Assange and Manning took measures to conceal Manning as the source of the disclosure of classified records to WikiLeaks, including by removing usernames from the disclosed information and deleting chat logs between Assange and Manning.”

  • KEI letter to US DOJ, opposing IBM acquisition of Red Hat | Knowledge Ecology International
    https://www.keionline.org/30093

    Très intéressant sur les relations Logiciels libres et grandes entreprises. Utiliser le LL comme cheval de Troie pour renforcer des services spécifiques... brisant la confiance et la neutralité du libre. L’inverse de ce que décrit « Des routes et des ponts » sur les partenariats communs-privés.

    The following was sent to US DOJ today, to express KEI’s opposition to the IBM acquisition of Red Hat.

    13 March 2019

    Bindi R. Bhagat
    U.S. Department of Justice
    Antitrust Division
    Technology and Financial Services Section

    Dear Ms. Bhagat,

    Thank you for taking our call today, regarding the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) effort to buy Red Hat, Inc. As discussed, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) is opposed to IBM acquiring Red Hat.

    At present, Red Hat controls the most important Linux distribution for Internet and cloud servers.

    The important metrics in this area include, but are not limited to, the share of Internet traffic supported by Red Hat server installations, as well as the revenue that Red Hat realizes for maintaining and customizing Linux server software, compared to other Linux server distribution companies or organizations.

    Red Hat is an important contributor to the Linux kernel and to the code that is used in many elements in the broader GNU/Linux platform of free software programs that are used by server platforms, including the many non-Red Hat Linux distributions.

    IBM is proposing to pay a large premium for Red Hat. Prior to the acquisition offer, Red Hat was valued at approximately $20.5 billion. IBM is proposing to buy Red Hat for $34 billion, a premium of about 67 percent of the previous value.

    IBM could have invested in Red Hat stock at a much lower price, if the objective was simply to share in the expected profits of Red Hat, continuing its current business offerings. What IBM gains from its acquisition of Red Hat is control, and the ability to shape the direction of its software development efforts, to favor IBM’s own cloud services.

    Today Red Hat is considered a neutral partner for many companies offering or developing cloud services. If IBM acquires Red Hat, the trust in Red Hat will be eroded, and IBM will have powerful incentives to influence Red Hat’s software development efforts towards providing special functionality and benefits to IBM and the IBM cloud services, and even to degrade the functionality of services to companies that compete directly with IBM, or fail to buy services from IBM.

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) should consider the impact of the merger on the incentives that Red Hat will have, post merger, to undermine competition and degrade the benefits of a more level playing field, for this critical Internet resource and platform.

    Our concerns are shaped to some degree by the detrimental decision made by the DOJ in approving the Oracle acquisition of Sun Computer’s open source assets, including the MySQL database program. At the time, DOJ viewed the MySQL software as unimportant, because the revenues were small, relative to other database programs. Most users of MySQL did not pay any fees to use the software. Our organization, KEI, used MySQL to support our Joomla, Drupal and WordPress content management systems, and did not pay fees to Sun Computer, along with countless other businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals who also used the free version. We were concerned, at the time, that Oracle would degrade and slow the development of the capacities of MySQL, in order to protect Oracle’s very expensive proprietary database services. We believe that our concerns about Oracle have unfortunately been borne out, by the blunting of the rate of innovation and ambition for MySQL, the fact that Open Office (another program gained in the acquisition of Sun Computers) is no longer an important free software client for office productivity, and Oracle’s aggressive litigation over copyright and patent claims related to Java.

    The DOJ might consider conditions on the merger that would provide greater assurances that Red Hat will not be used to create an unlevel playing field that favors IBM’s own cloud services. We are willing to suggest such conditions, relating to governance, licensing and other issues. For example, the DOJ could require IBM to show how it will ensure the continued policy of ensuring that Red Hat’s patents are only used for defensive purposes. Conditions on this issue should be durable, and avoid predictable loopholes.

    IBM’s competitors and existing customers of Red Hat will have more informed suggestions as to specific conditions that would protect IBM’s competitors. But overall, the best decision would be to reject the merger, on the grounds that is is fundamentally designed to create an unlevel playing field.

    Red Hat is not just another technology company. It is one of the main reasons the Internet functions as well as it does.

    Sincerely,

    James Love
    Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
    1621 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20009
    https://keionline.org

    #Communs #Logiciels_libres #Red_Hat #IBM

  • Crucifying Julian Assange
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/crucifying-julian-assange

    What is happening to #Assange should terrify the press. And yet his plight is met with indifference and sneering contempt. Once he is pushed out of the embassy, he will be put on trial in the United States for what he published. This will set a new and dangerous legal precedent that the Trump administration and future administrations will employ against other publishers, including those who are part of the mob trying to lynch Assange. The silence about the treatment of Assange is not only a betrayal of him but a betrayal of the freedom of the press itself. We will pay dearly for this complicity.

    #MSM

  • The Growth of Sinclair’s Conservative Media Empire | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/22/the-growth-of-sinclairs-conservative-media-empire

    Sinclair is the largest owner of television stations in the United States, with a hundred and ninety-two stations in eighty-nine markets. It reaches thirty-nine per cent of American viewers. The company’s executive chairman, David D. Smith, is a conservative whose views combine a suspicion of government, an aversion to political correctness, and strong libertarian leanings. Smith, who is sixty-eight, has a thick neck, deep under-eye bags, and a head of silvery hair. He is an enthusiast of fine food and has owned farm-to-table restaurants in Harbor East, an upscale neighborhood in Baltimore. An ardent supporter of Donald Trump, he has not been shy about using his stations to advance his political ideology. Sinclair employees say that the company orders them to air biased political segments produced by the corporate news division, including editorials by the conservative commentator Mark Hyman, and that it feeds interviewers questions intended to favor Republicans.

    In some cases, anchors have been compelled to read from scripts prepared by Sinclair. In April, 2018, dozens of newscasters across the country parroted Trump’s invectives about “fake news,” saying, “Some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think. This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.” In response, Dan Rather, the former anchor of “CBS Evening News,” wrote, on Twitter, “News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

    It’s unclear whether Sinclair is attempting to influence the politics of its viewers or simply appealing to positions that viewers may already have—or both. Andrew Schwartzman, a telecommunications lecturer at Georgetown Law School, told me, “I don’t know where their personal philosophy ends and their business goals begin. They’re not the Koch brothers, but they reflect a deep-seated conservatism and generations of libertarian philosophy that also happen to help their business.”

    Sinclair has even greater ambitions for expansion. In May, 2017, the company announced a proposed $3.9-billion merger between Sinclair and Tribune Media Company, which owns forty-two television stations. The merger would make Sinclair far larger than any other broadcaster in the country, with stations beaming into seventy per cent of American households. The proposal alarmed regulatory and free-speech experts. Michael Copps, a former official at the Federal Communications Commission, told me, “One of the goals of the First Amendment is to make sure the American people have the news and information they need to make intelligent decisions about our democracy, and I think we’re pretty close to a situation where the population lacks the ability to do that. That’s the whole premise of self-government.” He went on, “There are a lot of problems facing our country, but I don’t know one as important as this. When you start dismantling our news-and-information infrastructure, that’s poison to self-government and poison to democracy.”

    In subsequent years, Smith took measures to deepen Sinclair’s influence among policymakers, apparently recognizing that the company’s profits were dependent upon regulatory decisions made in Washington. One of Smith’s first notable forays into politics was his support for Robert Ehrlich, Jr., a Republican congressman who represented Maryland from 1995 until 2003. Sinclair became a top donor to Ehrlich and, in 2001, Ehrlich sent the first of several letters on Sinclair’s behalf to Michael Powell, who had recently become the chair of the F.C.C. The commission was investigating a request from Sinclair to buy a new group of stations, and Ehrlich protested the “unnecessary delays on pending applications.” The F.C.C.’s assistant general counsel responded that Ehrlich’s communication had violated procedural rules. Ehrlich sent another message, alleging that the delays were politically motivated and threatening to “call for a congressional investigation into this matter.” He added, “Knowing that you have served as Chairman for a few short months, we would prefer to give you an opportunity to address these concerns.” The proposed acquisitions were approved.

    A former general-assignment reporter at the station, Jonathan Beaton, told me, “Almost immediately, I could tell it was a very corrupt culture, where you knew from top down there were certain stories you weren’t going to cover. They wanted you to keep your head down and not upset the fruit basket. I’m a Republican, and I was still appalled by what I saw at Sinclair.” Beaton characterized the man-on-the-street segments as “Don’t forget to grab some random poor soul on the street and shove a microphone in their face and talk about what the Democrats have done wrong.” He said that reporters generally complied because of an atmosphere of “intimidation and fear.”

    After Trump’s victory, it looked as though Sinclair’s investment in the candidate would pay off. In January, 2017, Trump appointed Ajit Pai, a vocal proponent of media deregulation, to be the chair of the F.C.C. Pai, formerly an associate general counsel at Verizon and an aide to Senators Jeff Sessions and Sam Brownback, was exactly the sort of commission head that Sinclair had been hoping for. He believed that competition from technology companies such as Google had made many government restrictions on traditional media irrelevant—an argument that echoed Smith’s views on ownership caps and other regulations. Sinclair executives quickly tried to cultivate a relationship with Pai; shortly after the election, he addressed a gathering of Sinclair managers at the Four Seasons in Baltimore. He also met with David Smith and Sinclair’s C.E.O., Christopher Ripley, the day before Trump’s Inauguration.

    It’s not unusual for business executives to meet with the chair of the F.C.C., but Pai soon announced a series of policy changes that seemed designed to help Sinclair. The first was the reinstatement of the ultrahigh-frequency discount, an arcane rule that digital technology had rendered obsolete. The move served no practical purpose, but it freed Sinclair to acquire many more stations without bumping up against the national cap.

    The F.C.C. soon made other regulatory modifications that were helpful to Sinclair. It eliminated a rule requiring television stations to maintain at least one local studio in licensed markets, essentially legitimatizing Sinclair’s centralized news model. Perhaps most perniciously, Pai took steps toward approving a new broadcast-transmission standard called Next Gen TV, which would require all consumers in the U.S. to purchase new televisions or converter devices. A subsidiary of Sinclair owns six patents necessary for the new standard, which could mean billions of dollars in earnings for the company. Jessica Rosenworcel, the sole Democratic commissioner at the F.C.C., told me, “It’s striking that all of our media policy decisions seem almost custom-built for this one company. Something is wrong.” Rosenworcel acknowledged that many F.C.C. policies need to be modernized, but, she said, “broadcasting is unique. It uses the public airwaves, it’s a public trust.” She added, “I don’t think those ideas are retrograde. They are values we should sustain.”

    The F.C.C. and the D.O.J. both warned Sinclair about the dummy divestitures, insisting that the company find independent owners in ten problematic markets. According to a lawsuit later filed by Tribune, instead of taking steps to appease regulators, Sinclair executives “antagonized DOJ and FCC staff” by acting “confrontational” and “belittling.” The company offered to make sales in only four of the markets, and told the Justice Department that it would have to litigate for any further concessions. One Sinclair lawyer told government representatives, “Sue me.” There was no tactical reason for Sinclair to take such a combative and self-sabotaging stance. Instead, the episode seemed to reflect how Trump’s own corruption and conflicts of interest have filtered into the business community. One industry expert who followed the proceedings closely told me that the company clearly “felt that, with the President behind them, why would the commission deny them anything?

    Then, in April, the Web site Deadspin edited the broadcasts of Sinclair anchors reciting the script about fake news into one terrifying montage, with a tapestry of anchors in different cities speaking in unison. The video ignited public outrage, and Trump tweeted a defense of Sinclair, calling it “far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.” (In a statement, a spokesperson for Sinclair said, “This message was not presented as news and was not intended to be political—there was no mention of President Trump, political parties, policy issues, etc. It was a business objective centered on attracting more viewers.”)

    #Médias #Concentration #Dérégulation #Etats-Unis #Sinclair

  • Les Américains enquêtent sur les liens entre Lafarge/GBL et les groupes terroristes en Syrie. Martin Buxant - 4 Mai 2018 - L’Echo
    https://www.lecho.be/tablet/newspaper/une/les-activites-syriennes-de-gbl-interessent-les-americains/10008983.html

    Cela commence à faire tache du côté de Gerpinnes, le QG de la famille Frère, actionnaire de référence de GBL. Depuis plusieurs mois, le holding financier du baron Albert Frère est dans le collimateur des enquêteurs belges et, singulièrement, du parquet fédéral, la plus haute autorité belge en matière d’antiterrorisme. Celui-ci a ouvert un dossier en novembre dernier et désigné un juge d’instruction pour enquêter sur des faits commis par le cimentier #Lafarge en Syrie – une entreprise dont #GBL est aujourd’hui actionnaire à 9,43% (20% jusqu’en 2015, date de la fusion avec le Suisse Hocim).


    680 millions de dollars
    Deux préventions sont, à ce stade, explorées par les enquêteurs. Financement d’un groupe #terroriste et participation aux activités d’un groupe terroriste. Lafarge a en effet travaillé entre autres avec l’organisation État islamique (EI) et le Front al Nosra (lié à Al-Qaïda) en vue de préserver les intérêts de son implantation de Jalabiya, une usine située à 90 kilomètres de Raqqa, capitale de l’EI. Cette implantation a représenté un investissement de 680 millions de dollars pour Lafarge en 2010.

    Entre 2011 et 2015, des dizaines millions de dollars auraient été versés via différents canaux (commissions, droits de passage, revente de matériel,…) aux groupes terroristes – ceci alors que la Belgique et les forces de la coalition étaient engagées en pleine guerre contre l’EI en Syrie et en Irak.

    D’après une source judiciaire, « les billets de banque retrouvés dans la poche d’un #Abaaoud ou d’un autre provenaient peut-être de Lafarge. C’est de cela qu’il s’agit. C’est ce cercle du financement du terrorisme que l’on doit casser ».

    Le parquet fédéral a donc ouvert un dossier GBL. Dans un premier temps, les Belges se sont contentés d’épauler les autorités judiciaires françaises qui mènent le dossier Lafarge mais le volet belge a pris de l’ampleur, entre autres via des perquisitions et saisies chez GBL mais aussi via la mise sur écoute téléphonique de plusieurs responsables du holding financier.

    L’ampleur du dossier est devenue telle qu’il a aujourd’hui éveillé la curiosité des autorités américaines. Deux agences, le #FBI et le DOJ (Ministère de la Justice), ont demandé l’accès à toutes les pièces des dossiers « syriens » Lafarge/GBL.

    Interrogé, le parquet fédéral n’indique pas si les pièces ont été transmises. Étant donné le haut degré de collaboration antiterroriste entre Belges, Français et Américains, il apparaît peu probable que l’accès au dossier Lafarge/GBL soit refusé aux autorités américaines…
    Une seule question se pose désormais avec acuité aux enquêteurs dans ce dossier : est-il possible que les représentants de GBL au sein de Lafarge aient pu tout ignorer des agissements du cimentier en Syrie en vue de préserver les intérêts de leur usine ?

    Dommages collatéraux
    A ce stade, les documents saisis sont encore en cours d’analyse. « Le degré d’implication et de connaissance des dirigeants de GBL n’est pas arrêté, mais une chose est déjà certaine : on se trouve à tout le moins face à des comportements complètement #immoraux et #anti-éthiques. C’est très grave », selon une source.

    Plusieurs responsables du groupe, dont Gérald Frère, Gérard Lamarche, Thierry de Rudder, Victor Delloye et Albert Frère, ont été mis sur écoute, selon certains compte-rendus consultés par Le Monde.
    D’après plusieurs sources, l’intérêt américain pour le dossier n’est pas encore très clair mais Washington met en avant la théorie des effets, c’est-à-dire que potentiellement les activités de Lafarge en Syrie ont impacté son économie et sa sécurité nationale. Potentiellement, pour Lafarge/GBL, les dommages collatéraux peuvent être importants puisque les Etats-Unis, en vertu des législations antiterroristes, peuvent empêcher certains groupes qu’ils ont dans leur viseur judiciaire de travailler sur leur territoire.

    Autre effet potentiel, souligne un analyste, le Suisse #Holcim pourrait se retourner contre Lafarge/GBL pour ne pas avoir été mis au courant des déboires judiciaires de Lafarge.

    À ce stade, il est peu probable qu’un procès du groupe GBL se tienne en Belgique : la voie privilégiée par les autorités judiciaires belges est de fournir tous les éléments aux Français qui, eux, pilotent le dossier Lafarge.

    Les autorités belges ont fait de la lutte contre la #corruption internationale une priorité. Des trafics de faux passeports aux dossiers d’adoption bidouillés en République démocratique du Congo, jusqu’aux commissions payées en #Syrie. Une directive a été donnée aux enquêteurs de pousser leur travail le plus loin possible.

    « C’est notre enquête interne qui a permis de révéler ces faits »
    Chez GBL, on trouve la pilule judiciaire particulièrement amère et – pour tout dire – injuste. Le holding financier a engagé les services de #Linklaters, un important cabinet d’avocats bruxellois pour défendre ses intérêts. Les conseils du groupe préfèrent s’exprimer off the record mais la ligne de défense est claire : « Le groupe GBL et ses représentants n’avaient strictement aucune connaissance des activités et du mode opératoire de Lafarge en Syrie et actuellement le groupe GBL collabore pleinement et entièrement avec la justice belge. »

    Du côté de GBL, on met l’accent sur le fait que c’est un audit diligenté au sein de Lafarge à la demande expresse de GBL qui est à l’origine des révélations sur les agissements avec l’#État_islamique. Cet audit a été réalisé par le cabinet Baker & McKenzie et toutes les conclusions ont été transmises aux enquêteurs belges et français, insiste-t-on du côté de GBL. « C’est quand même à souligner : c’est nous-mêmes qui avons permis que ces faits soient mis au jour via un travail de bénédictin », dit-on.

    GBL pointe le fait que tous les documents nécessaires ont pu être saisis lors des perquisitions dans les bureaux du groupe. Et les conseils du groupe expliquent ceci : GBL est une holding financière détenant des participations dans une dizaine de sociétés. Le fonctionnement du groupe est celui-ci : GBL délègue des représentants dans les conseils et comités des structures où elle a investi, mais c’est d’abord et avant tout les aspects financiers qui sont scrutés. « Le profil des représentants le prouve, ce ne sont pas des opérationnels. Ils reçoivent des dossiers de la part du management, ils discutent des ordres du jour, mais ils sont actifs sur les points financiers. Nos représentants n’ont évidemment jamais entendu parler de #Daech ou quoi que ce soit et dès que ça a été le cas il y a eu audit interne et transmission des pièces à la justice. »

    La justice estime que certaines pièces et PV sont manquants : « Si des pièces sont manquantes, c’est chez Lafarge, nous n’avons jamais eu accès à ces pièces. » Sur le fait que les comptes rendus de certaines écoutes téléphoniques laissent entendre que des représentants de GBL auraient pu se douter des agissements de Lafarge en Syrie : l’instruction judiciaire est en cours et les avocats du groupe GBL n’ont pas encore eu accès au dossier judiciaire complet et ne peuvent donc prendre position. « Personne chez GBL n’était au courant. Ces informations ne sont pas remontées depuis Lafarge. À présent, c’est à la justice à déterminer qui savait quoi, comment et à quel moment. » Interrogé également, le CEO du groupe GBL Gérard Lamarche assure ne jamais avoir été mis au courant des agissements de Lafarge en Syrie.

    #grand_homme #grand_patron #javel #terrorisme #argent #LafargeHolcim #multinationales #influence #attentats #BNB

    Suite de https://seenthis.net/messages/652093

  • 15-Year-Old Schoolboy Posed as CIA Chief to Hack Highly Sensitive Information

    https://thehackernews.com/2018/01/crackas-with-attitude-hacker.html

    A notorious pro-Palestinian hacking group behind a series of embarrassing hacks against United States intelligence officials and leaked the personal details of 20,000 FBI agents, 9,000 Department of Homeland Security officers, and some number of DoJ staffers in 2015.

    Believe or not, the leader of this hacking group was just 15-years-old when he used “social engineering” to impersonate CIA director and unauthorisedly access highly sensitive information from his Leicestershire home, revealed during a court hearing on Tuesday.

    Kane Gamble, now 18-year-old, the British teenager hacker targeted then CIA director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano, as well as other senior FBI figures.

    Between June 2015 and February 2016, Gamble posed as Brennan and tricked call centre and helpline staff into giving away broadband and cable passwords, using which the team also gained access to plans for intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran.

    Gamble said he targeted the US government because he was “getting more and more annoyed about how corrupt and cold-blooded the US Government” was and “decided to do something about it.”

  • Uber data breach “raises huge concerns”, says UK watchdog | TechCrunch
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/22/uber-data-breach-raises-huge-concerns-says-uk-data-watchdog

    The fallout from Uber’s disclosure yesterday of a massive data breach affecting 57 million users and drivers that it concealed for a year continues: The UK’s data protection watchdog has put out a strongly worded statement saying the company’s announcement “raises huge concerns around its data protection policies and ethics”.

    It has also warned that deliberately concealing breaches from regulators and citizens “could attract higher fines”.

    It’s not yet clear exactly how many UK Uber users have been directly affected by the October 2016 breach — although Uber disclosed yesterday that some international users are affected.

    At the time of writing the company has not responded to requests for a more detailed breakdown of which markers are affected by the breach, including whether UK Uber users’ data was compromised.

    In a blog post yesterday Uber said that “some personal information of 57 million Uber users around the world” had been in the files downloaded by hackers, including “names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers”.

    “Our outside forensics experts have not seen any indication that trip location history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers or dates of birth were downloaded,” it added.

    The UK regulator’s remarks are a clear warning shot for a company that has already been censured by a US federal agency on data security and privacy grounds — agreeing in August to 20 years of privacy audits by the FTC to settle a probe into privacy and security complaints that pre-date this new and larger data breach.

    The comments are also significant because Uber is currently appealing a decision this September by London’s transport regulator to strip it of its license to operate in the UK capital. (Though it can, and is, continuing to operate in the city during the appeals process.)

    Among Transport for London’s cited concerns for withdrawing licensing from Uber is its approach to explaining its use of internal software, Greyball — which Uber used in the US to try to monitor and block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to its app, in an attempt to sidestep regulators and law enforcement agencies. Earlier this year the DoJ was reported to be investigating Uber’s use of Greyball.

    It is also facing a string of other federal probes relating to various aspects of its business operations.

    Here’s the full statement on the Uber breach from ICO deputy commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone:

    Uber’s announcement about a concealed data breach last October raises huge concerns around its data protection policies and ethics.

    It’s always the company’s responsibility to identify when UK citizens have been affected as part of a data breach and take steps to reduce any harm to consumers. If UK citizens were affected then we should have been notified so that we could assess and verify the impact on people whose data was exposed.

    We’ll be working with the NCSC plus other relevant authorities in the UK and overseas to determine the scale of the breach, how it has affected people in the UK and what steps need to be taken by the firm to ensure it fully complies with its data protection obligations.

    Deliberately concealing breaches from regulators and citizens could attract higher fines for companies.

    The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of the GCHQ domestic intelligence agency, has also put out a statement about the Uber breach, in which it says: “Companies should always report any cyber attacks to the NCSC immediately. The more information a company shares in a timely manner, the better able we are to support them and prevent others falling victim.”

    The agency also notes that it’s working closely with the UK’s National Crime Agency and the ICO to investigate “how this breach has affected people in the UK and advise on appropriate mitigation measures”.

    “Based on current information, we have not seen evidence that financial details have been compromised,” the NCSC adds.

    #Uber #Grossbritannien #Europa #Recht

  • Les principales chaînes mondiales d’information en continu, par Cécile Marin (@mdiplo, avril 2017)
    https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/cartes/chaines-info

    FBI, DOJ Eye Russian Media Outlets as ’Foreign Agents’
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=19989

    Alyona Minkovski : (…) I used to work for #RT. I hosted a show at RT America. And they all exist under this kind of umbrella structure of Russian government-funded media organizations. Sputnik and RT both have offices in DC. Sputnik now has an FM station that they’ve taken over. RT America, the DC, New York, Miami bureau, they have their own programing that’s different from what RT International does, that airs just in the United States. (…) So I think that something like this raises a lot of questions because there are a lot of good people who are trying to do good journalism at those organizations, and there’s a lot of questionable journalism at those organizations, too. But whether or not you should use a World War II era law that makes these entities register as foreign agents, I think should make us ask a lot questions because then there’s a certain precedent being set because normally that’s not actually enforced from what I understand here in the United States. When Russia actually kicked out a lot of NGOs because they had a same foreign entity law that was passed, human rights organizations widely criticized it.

    RT trouble le concert de l’information internationale, par Maxime Audinet
    https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2017/04/AUDINET/57379

    Fort de 2 100 employés et disposant de bureaux dans 19 pays, le groupe s’est développé grâce aux moyens importants mis à sa disposition par l’État russe. Selon un sondage de l’institut Ipsos conduit en novembre 2015 dans 38 pays, ses chaînes sont regardées par 70 millions de personnes chaque semaine ; une audience qui se situe derrière celle du service international de la British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), mais devant celle de la Deutsche Welle et de France 24. Avec respectivement 8 et 36 millions de téléspectateurs hebdomadaires, RT est en outre la cinquième chaîne internationale la plus regardée aux États-Unis et en Europe, ses cibles prioritaires. Depuis son lancement, son budget a décuplé, passant de 29 à 290 millions d’euros — près d’un quart des dotations publiques accordées aux médias. RT s’est adaptée rapidement à la promotion des contenus sur Internet, en utilisant massivement les technologies numériques virales (retransmission vidéo en direct, images à 360 degrés). Le groupe a ouvert de multiples comptes sur les réseaux sociaux, ainsi que sur YouTube, où il se présente comme la première source d’information du monde, avec 4,5 millions d’abonnés toutes chaînes confondues.

    #médias #information #télévision

  • US government demands details on all visitors to anti-Trump protest website

    The American DoJ (Department of Justice) asks Dreamhost, the roster of anti-Trump website disruptj20.org, to hand over ALL information of this site, code, logs, e-mail accounts, and the IP addresses of the 1.3 million visitors.

    Dreamiest denied and went to court.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/14/donald-trump-inauguration-protest-website-search-warrant-dreamhost

    The US government is seeking to unmask every person who visited an anti-Trump website in what privacy advocates say is an unconstitutional “fishing expedition” for political dissidents.

    #EFF
    #surveillance

  • Reality Leigh Winner, 25, arrested and charged with leaking top-secret NSA docs on Russia hacks to The Intercept / Boing Boing
    https://boingboing.net/2017/06/05/reality-leigh-winner-arrested.html

    Winner had been a government contractor with Top Secret clearance at a Georgia facility since February, according to the DOJ. On May 9, the government claims she printed classified information from the facility and mailed it to a media outlet.

    #leaks #trump #Russie #élections #États-Unis

  • #Assange : l’enquête pour viol en Suède classée sans suite
    AFP / 19 mai 2017
    https://www.romandie.com/news/Assange-l-enquete-pour-viol-en-Suede-classee-sans-suite_RP/797328.rom

    ❝Le parquet suédois a annoncé vendredi qu’il abandonnait ses poursuites pour viol contre le fondateur de WikiLeaks Julian Assange, refermant une saga judiciaire qui durait depuis 2010.

    « La procureure Marianne Ny a décidé de classer sans suite l’enquête pour viol présumé contre Julian Assange », a indiqué le parquet dans un communiqué.

    • La mention de « sans suite » est plutôt trompeuse : il me semble que ce n’est pas ainsi qu’on peut qualifier la décision de la procureure. Cela ressemble plutôt à une suspension de l’action judiciaire. Je ne sais pas s’il y a l’équivalent en droit français.

      Le communiqué de presse dit ceci (en suédois)

      Pressmeddelanden
      https://www.aklagare.se/nyheter-press/pressmeddelanden/?newsId=7748BBE8C90BAF32

      Vid en presskonferens i Stockholm den 19 maj redogjorde Marianne Ny för sitt beslut.

      – Julian Assange tog för nästan fem år sedan sin tillflykt till Ecuadors ambassad i London, där han fortfarande befinner sig. Han har alltså undandragit sig alla försök för svenska och brittiska myndigheter att verkställa beslutet om att överlämna honom till Sverige enligt EU-reglerna om en europeisk arresteringsorder. Min bedömning är att överlämningen inte kan verkställas inom överskådlig tid, säger Marianne Ny.

      Enligt lagen ska en brottsutredning ske skyndsamt. Vid den tidpunkt när en åklagare inte har möjlighet att vidta fler utredningsåtgärder är åklagaren skyldig att lägga ned förundersökningen.

      – Alla möjligheter att för närvarande driva utredningen framåt är uttömda. För att kunna gå vidare skulle det krävas att Julian Assange formellt skulle delges misstanke om brottet. Det kan inte förväntas att vi skulle få bistånd av Ecuador med detta. Utredningen läggs därför ned.

      – Om han vid en senare tidpunkt skulle göra sig tillgänglig kan jag besluta att omedelbart återuppta förundersökningen. Mitt beslut innebär att det för tillfället inte är meningsfullt att driva utredningen vidare, säger Marianne Ny.

      Mais comme le traducteur attitré de ST s’est étranglé avec un bout de surströmming qui dépassait de son knäckelbröd, ce n’est pas aisé à comprendre.

      En gros, ça dit ce que tu as repris dans ton commentaire, mais le paragraphe Enligt rappelle que la loi oblige à effectuer l’enquête dans des délais brefs et que lorsqu’il n’est pas possible de mener de nouvelles investigations, le procureur est tenu de clore l’enquête préliminaire.

      Et surtout, le dernier paragraphe dit : si ultérieurement il [Assange] se rendait disponible, je pourrais décider de rouvrir immédiatement l’enquête préliminaire.

    • Sweden Withdraws Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, but He Still Faces Serious Legal Jeopardy
      https://theintercept.com/2017/05/19/sweden-withdraws-arrest-warrant-for-julian-assange-but-he-still-faces-

      BUT THAT CELEBRATION obscures several ironies. The most glaring of which is that the legal jeopardy Assange now faces is likely greater than ever.

      Almost immediately after the decision by Swedish prosecutors, British police announced that they would nonetheless arrest Assange if he tried to leave the embassy. Police said Assange was still wanted for the crime of “failing to surrender” — meaning that instead of turning himself in upon issuance of his 2012 arrest warrant, he obtained refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. The British police also, however, noted that this alleged crime is “a much less serious offence” than the one that served as the basis for the original warrant, and that the police would therefore only “provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence.”

      That could perhaps imply that with a seriously reduced police presence, Assange could manage to leave the embassy without detection and apprehension. All relevant evidence, however, negates that assumption.

      Just weeks ago, Donald Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo, delivered an angry, threatening speech about WikiLeaks in which he argued, “We have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” The CIA director vowed to make good on this threat: “To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.”

      Days later, Attorney General Jeff Sessions strongly suggested that the Trump DOJ would seek to prosecute Assange and WikiLeaks on espionage charges in connection with the group’s publication of classified documents. Trump officials then began leaking to news outlets such as CNN that “U.S. authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.”

  • 5 jours sous #trump

    Five. Days. In.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

    On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.

    On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.

    On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.

    On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.

    On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.

    On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.

    On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”

    On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.

    On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.

    On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.

    On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.

    On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.

    On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.

    On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.

    On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is of the 2009 inauguration of 44th President Barack Obama, and is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.

    On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.

    On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.

    On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.

    On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.

    On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

    From News and Guts

    *credit for compilation: Karen Cornett-Dwyer
    h/t Laura McTighe

  • US DoJ Has Unlocked iPhone Without Apple

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/29/technology/apple-iphone-fbi-justice-department-case.html?_r=0

    The Justice Department said on Monday that it had found a way to unlock an iPhone without help from Apple

    [...]

    law enforcement’s ability to now unlock an iPhone through an alternative method raises new uncertainties, including questions about the strength of security in Apple devices.

    The development also creates potential for new conflicts between the government and Apple about the method used to open the device and whether that technique will be disclosed. Lawyers for Apple have previously said the company would want to know the procedure used to crack open the smartphone, yet the government might classify the method.

  • En complément à http://seenthis.net/messages/320887
    Microsoft vs. DoJ: The battle for privacy in the cloud
    http://www.infoworld.com/article/2859897/internet-privacy/microsoft-vs-doj-the-battle-for-privacy-in-the-cloud.html

    What issue can unite the #EFF and #BSA? Fox News and The Guardian? Amazon and eBay? The ACLU and the Chamber of Commerce?

    The issue is the demand by the Department of Justice that #Microsoft deliver the email correspondence and address book data from one of their customers as demanded by a warrant, apparently related to a drugs case (although all the documents remain sealed). Microsoft won’t. The reason? The customer, the email, and the server it’s on are all in Ireland and operated by a local subsidiary.

    #surveillance

  • As public service to the community, staff members of The Leslie Report shall publish a copy of a complaint YR submitted to the IRS, below:

    August 31, 2012

    Internal Revenue Service
    Exempt Organizations Unit
    1100 Commerce St.
    Dallas, TX 75242-1198

    Re: A referral for noncompliance with tax laws against exempt organizations Edison International Foundation EIN:95-4383002; Southern California Edison Co Veba Represented Trust Ein: 95-4372790; Southern California Edison Co Veba Non Represented Trust EIN: 95-4372792

    PRELIMINARY STATEMENT:

    In lieu of using IRS Form 13909 (Tax-Exempt Organization Referral Form), please consider this communication a formal complaint (referral) against Rosemead, California-based Edison International , Southern California Edison; Edison International Foundation EIN:95-4383002; Southern California Edison Co Veba Represented Trust Ein: 95-4372790; Southern California Edison Co Veba Non Represented Trust EIN: 95-4372792.

    On August 22, 2012 Edison International (“EIX”) and Southern California Edison (“SCE” — collectively, “Edison”) were duly served with a request for production of IRS Form 990, Form 990 Schedule A, and Form 1023. (See Exhibit 1.)

    Specifically, the request stated in part: “Please consider this communication a formal request to SCE and EIX (including, but not limited to, all subsidiaries and foundations owned and maintained by SCE/EIX) to produce their IRS Form 990, Form 990 Schedule A, as well Form 1023. ”

    In a letter dated August 30, 2012 (see attachment), Edison (through their senior attorney Allan D. Johnson) informed me that they will not comply with the request. Edison wrote: “EIX and SCE are unaware of any authority that would obligate them to produce these documents to you.” Furthermore, Edison also wrote: “Neither EIX nor SCE plan to take any further action in response to your request.”

    In view of Edison’s anticipatory failure to comply, the undersigned reluctantly makes this referral.

    INTRODUCTION:

    Close to one year ago, I fortuitously stumbled upon unusually large and highly peculiar financial transactions in conjunction with what appeared to me to be clear attempts to conceal and mislead involving the California Bar Foundation, CaliforniaALL, as well as utility companies Southern California Edison, PG&E, AT&T, Sempra, and Verizon.

    In my opinion, and based on the information I’ve discovered, it appears that funds were misappropriated and/or laundered through the misuse of non-profit entities California Bar Foundation and CaliforniaALL. Although other potential explanations certainly exist, based on these individuals’ involvement in the “OBAMA FOR AMERICA” 2008 presidential campaign, one likely possibility is that funds originating from utility companies were unlawfully misdirected to that campaign by representatives of those utility companies (i.e. Edison International, Southern California Edison) who supported then Senator Barack Obama in hope he would expand the Smart-Grid and clean energy initiatives.

    INTRODUCTION OF ACTORS:

    1. AMBASSADOR JEFFREY BLEICH — Mr. Bleich served as a director with the Foundation in approximately 2007-2008, as well as president of the State Bar of California.

    In 2007, Mr. Bleich established “OBAMA FOR AMERICA” National Finance Committee and served as its Chair.

    He is a personal friend of President Obama, who served as President Obama’s personal attorney and subsequently was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Mr. Bleich was a partner with the San Francisco office of Munger Tolles & Olson, which represents clients Edison International, Southern California Edison, and Verizon Wireless.

    Out of close to 230,000 lawyers in California, also serving as a director with the California Bar Foundation in approximately 2007-2008 was another attorney from Munger Tulles Olsen, Mr. Bradley Phillips. Presently, Ms. Mary Ann Todd (also of Munger Tolles & Olson) and Richard Tom of Southern California Edison are directors with the California Bar Foundation.

    2. DEREK ANTHONY WEST OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE — Mr. West, who goes by the name “Tony West,” presently serves as third in command within the Department of Justice below Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer.

    Around 2007-2008, Mr. Tony West also served as Chair of the “California Finance Committee” of “OBAMA FOR AMERICA.”

    Prior to joining the DOJ, Mr. West was a partner at the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster, the law firm which assisted with the legal aspects of creating CaliforniaALL.

    Along with attorneys Raj Chaterjee and Susan Mac Cormac, Mr. West was part of senior partner James Brosnahan’s clique. For example, it was Brosnahan, West, and Chaterjee who defended John Walker Lindh, who is more widely known as the “American Taliban.” (It should be noted that it was actually Mr. Brosnahan who initially agreed to the representation since he knows Lindh’s father — Frank Lindh — who served as in-house Chief Legal Counsel at PG&E; Mr. Lindh is presently the Chief Legal Counsel of the CPUC.)

    Mr. West is married to Maya Harris, sister of Kamala Harris, who was part of CaliforniaALL.

    3. STEVEN CHURCHWELL OF DLA PIPER — Mr. Churchwell is a partner at the Sacramento office of DLA Piper, where non-profit CaliforniaALL was housed free of charge. Churchwell served as Treasurer, draft committee of “OBAMA FOR AMERICA” — also housed at the Sacramento offices of DLA Piper, adjacent to its roommate — CaliforniaALL.

    DLA Piper represents client Sempra Energy which owns San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

    4. RON OLSON OF MUNGER TOLLES & OLSON — Mr. Olson is a partner with the Los Angeles office of Munger Tolles & Olson, which represents clients Edison International, Southern California Edison, and Verizon Wireless. In addition to representing Edison, Olson is also a board member of Edison International and Southern California Edison, as well as the board of Berkshire Hathaway, City National Corporation, The Washington Post Company, Western Asset Trusts, RAND Corporation, the Mayo Clinic, and the Council of Foreign Relations.

    As of 2008, in-house general counsel for Edison International and Southern California Edison is Mr. Robert Adler — former managing partner of Munger Tolles & Olson.

    Around 2007-2008, Ron Olson was also part of “OBAMA FOR AMERICA.”

    5. JAMES J. BROSNAHAN OF MORRISON & FOERSTER – Mr. Brosnahan is presently a senior partner at the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster.

    He considers himself to be the “mastermind behind the Democratic Party.” CaliforniaALL was created by Morrison & Foerster, under the supervision of Mr. Brosnahan (known as the prosecutor of Caspar Weinberger). Specifically Susan Mac Cormac and Eric Tate assisted with the legal aspects of creating the entity. Mr. Brosnahan represented utility companies during California’s energy crisis (which Joe Dunn, Martha Escutia, and Geoffrey Brown were investigating) opposite Thomas Girardi.

    Later, Dunn, Escutia, Brosnahan, and Girardi launched the online publication known as Voice of OC.

    6. CHRISTOPHER JACOB YOUNG OF KEKER & VAN NEST — Mr. Young, commonly known as “Chris Young,” is currently listed on the State Bar of California’s database as an associate with Keker & Van Nest. Around 2007-2008, Mr. Young was an associate at Morrison & Foerster.

    Around 2007-2008, Mr. Young served as “Northern California Deputy Finance Director” for “OBAMA FOR AMERICA.”

    As noted above, State Bar of California records still show that Chris Young is an employee of Keker & Van Nest. However, very recently, Keker & Van Nest ( at the direction of partners John Keker and Jon Streeter, who also worked on the 2008 campaign as a “bundler” and is presently a director with the Foundation) abruptly removed Chris Young’s name from its web-site.

    7. ANNETTE CARNEGIE — Ms. Carnegie is presently employed at the Kaiser Foundation. Around 2007-2008, she was a partner at Morrison & Foerster and served as a director of the California Bar Foundation. In 2008, the Foundation poured into CaliforniaALL the large sum of $774,247; by comparison, most other donations were around $10,000 to $20,000. As shown below, the transfer of said money appears to be imbued with fraud and secrecy, especially in connection with four utility companies (Verizon, PG&E, Edison, and AT&T).

    8. KAMALA HARRIS — In around 2007-2008, Ms. Harris served as the District Attorney in San Francisco while at the same time she was also Co-Chair of “OBAMA FOR AMERICA.” Ms. Harris was part of CaliforniaALL’s “Advisory Council.” She is the sister of Maya Harris, who is married to Tony West. Media reports provide that parliamentarian Willie Brown served as mentor to both Tony West and Kamala Harris, and was Ms. Harris’s paramour. John Keker of Keker & Van Nest (known as the prosecutor of Oliver North) is also considered to be a “mentor” of Kamala Harris. (Incidentally, State Bar of California Board of Governor member Gwen Moore — also a “mentee” of Willie Brown — was honored by CaliforniaALL at a lavish dinner in a Sacramento hotel. Parliamentarian Moore is no stranger to your agency, having been the target of a sting operation known as Shrimpscam.)

    9. OPHELIA BASGAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (“HUD”) — In around 2007-2008 , Ms. Basgal was Vice President of Civic Partnership and Community Initiatives at PG&E, where she managed the company’s $18 million charitable contributions program, and oversaw its community engagement programs and partnerships with community-based organizations. Separately, around that time she surprisingly served as “Treasurer” with the “California Supreme Court Historical Society.” In that role, she presumably had contact with many judges, including those who were handling matters dealing with PG&E, such as Justice (Ret.) Joseph Grodin who acted as the mediator in a case Attorney General Bill Lockyer advanced against PG&E, which Jerry Brown (cousin of Geoffrey Brown) later dismissed in his capacity as the new Attorney General for California.

    Ms. Basgal served as a director of CaliforniaALL.

    10. VICTOR MIRMAONTES — Mr. Victor Miramontes, a resident of San Antonio, TX and business partner of former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros in an entity known as CityView, was the chairman of CaliforniaALL.

    Mr. Miramontes has various connections to Orange County, and is otherwise familiar with its various legal circles.

    11. SARAH E. REDFIELD — Ms. Redfield is presently a professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and served as the interim director of CaliforniaALL. Events surrounding Redfield, as shown below, also appear to be imbued with fraud and deceit, and it appears her role was to create a subterfuge to justify the existence of CaliforniaALL. Since CaliforniaALL’s main achievement was the purported creation of a “Saturday Academy of Law” at UC Irvine (“SALUCI”), Ms. Redfield pretended to have engaged in Requests for Proposals (“RFP”), as well as falsely claiming that she “launched” SALUCI. For her services as interim executive director and an alleged consultant of CaliforniaALL, Professor Redfield was paid approximately $160,000 as an “independent contractor.” She gave very little, if anything, in return for the $160,000 she was paid. In fact, she took credit for the extremely hard work of others, especially that of Rob Vacario of Santa Ana who co-founded SALUCI several years earlier.

    12. JUDY JOHNSON – Ms. Johnson is the former Executive Director of the State Bar of California. Ms. Johnson (along with Robert Hawley and Starr Babcock) is no stranger to financial schemes. For the past 8 years, she has been quietly serving as the president of an entity with a misleading name (California Consumer Protection Foundation AKA “CCPF”). This entity absorbed close to $30 million in class action cy pres awards, as well as fines and settlements imposed by the CPUC on utility companies. CCPF forwarded those funds to mostly questionable ACORN-like entities in South Los Angeles or to an entity headed by Michael Shames known as UCAN — presently under federal grand jury investigation in San Diego. It appears that Ms. Johnson used her position as executive director of the State Bar of California (which is supposed to supervise and discipline lawyers) as “clout” to obtain cy pres awards from the settlement of class actions prosecuted and defended by various law firms in courts and before the CPUC. In addition, while never prosecuted for the scheme, some have speculated that Johnson and cohorts Hawley (whom Johnson labeled the “Wizard of OZ”) and Babcock were “in” on a financial scheme perpetrated by former State Bar employee Sharon Pearl, who was lightly prosecuted by then-attorney general Jerry Brown, cousin of Geoffrey Brown.

    Ms. Johnson was part of CaliforniaALL’s Advisory Council and was responsible for maintaining secrecy over the project by misleading the public, including a quadriplegic law-student, litigant Sara Granda.

    13. RUTHE CATOLICO ASHLEY — Ms. Ashley is a former employee of McGeorge School of Law who later served as a “Diversity Officer” at Cal PERS. Ms. Ashley also served as member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors alongside Mr. Bleich, and came up with the idea to create CaliforniaALL during a meeting with Sarah Redfield and Peter Arth, Jr. (the assistant to CPUC President Michael Peevey). After CaliforniaALL came into existence, Ms. Ashley, after a simulated search, was selected to serve as CaliforniaALL’s executive director.

    14. SONIA GONZALES — Ms. Gonzales presently serves as the Foundation’s executive director as of earlier this year, after the former executive director (Ms. Leslie Hatamyia) suddenly quit. Ms. Gonzales is a close friend and confidante of Ms. Maya Harris, the wife of Mr. Tony West.

    She presently serves the same function as current Foundation directors Mary Ann Todd of Munger Tolles & Olson, Jon Streeter of Keker & Van Nest, Douglas Winthrop of Howard Rice, Richard Tom of Southern California Edison, and Raj Chatterjee of Morrison & Foerster.

    15. JOE DUNN — Mr. Dunn is the creator of online publication “Voice of OC” – Orange County’s Nonprofit Investigative News Agency. He is also a Trustee of the UCI Foundation (an entity which obtained funds from a separate charitable entity known as CaliforniaALL (FEIN Number 51-0656213). Presently, Dunn serves as Executive Director of the State Bar of California – an entity which also controls and maintains a foundation known as the California Bar Foundation. The California Bar Foundation very quietly transferred close to $780,000 to CaliforniaALL. Previously, In his role as a politician and business partner of Martha Escutia, Dunn was involved in matters relating to utility companies operating in California.

    16 . GEOFFREY BROWN – a former commissioner with the CPUC and former board member of the California Bar Foundation. While at the CPUC, Brown was the assigned commissioner in the application Edison International/ Southern California Edison — owners of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) – submitted to the CPUC for authorization: (1) to replace SONGS 2 & 3 steam generators; (2) establish ratemaking for cost recovery; and (3) address other related steam generator replacement issues.

    Messrs. Geoffrey Brown, Michael Peevey, and Peter Arth were also involved in countless proceedings involving California energy crisis. Those proceedings were mainly litigated by the law offices of Munger Tolles & Olson (representing Southern California Edison), Morrison & Foerster, Keker & Van Nest (representing PG&E), DLA Piper (representing Sempra Energy — owner of San Diego Gas & Electric). At times, said proceedings concluded in settlements worth billions of dollars.

    Previously, I asked the State Bar of California to investigate this matter. Within a few hours of sending the request, Geoffrey Brown sent me a demand to cease and desist from insisting that he had done anything wrong under threat of litigation. In essence, Brown wanted me to ignore the circumstances dealing with the fact that he was both a CPUC Commissioner and a Director with the Foundation when it quietly made the largest grant in its history to an entity that was conceived by CPUC’s Peter Arth to absorb hundreds of thousands of dollars from utility companies.

    FACTUAL BACKGROUND:

    In approximately 2007, Ruthe Catolico Ashley — an attorney from Sacramento and a member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors — was employed by Cal PERS as a “Diversity Officer.” Prior to her employment with Cal PERS, Ms. Ashley was employed as a career counsel at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. While at McGeorge, Ms. Ashley met diversity expert Sarah Redfield. At that time, Jeffrey Bleich of Munger Tolles & Olson was serving as President of the State Bar. Both Bleich and Ashley are politically active, and were supporting the 2008 campaign of Barack Obama for President. Ruthe Ashley was involved in the Asian-Americans for Obama branch in Sacramento.

    In April 2007, Ashley and Sarah Redfield were urged to meet Peter Arth, Jr. of the California Public Utilities Commission at a restaurant in San Francisco. During that meeting, the idea to create CaliforniaALL (initially named CaAAL or CaALL) was conceived. Eventually, Cal PERS, the CPUC, and the State Bar of California endorsed in principle the creation of CaliforniaALL – a Section 501(c)(3) entity that would raise funds to be used to support a more diverse workforce in California.

    At that time, both Ashley and Redfield were also part of the State Bar of California’s Council on Fairness and Access, as well as a separate project by the State Bar of California known as The Diversity Pipeline Task Force, through which both presumably amassed vast amounts of data and information on the topic of diversity pipeline projects.

    Subsequent to the meeting with Peter Arth, on June 26, 2007 State Bar BOG member Ruthe Catolico Ashley and Patricia Lee presented to the entire BOG a proposal (see http://www.scribd.com/doc/48713393/1-In-June-26-2007-Member-of-State-Bar-Board-of-Governors-Ruthe-Ashley-Presen ) urging the BOG to support the creation of California Aspire Achieve Lead Pipeline Project (CaAAL), later named CaliforniaALL.

    For reasons that are not clear to me, Jeffrey Bleich saw fit to call an urgent, emergency-like meeting of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, Committee on Operations in order to appoint Peter Arth of the CPUC as member of the State Bar of California’s Council on Fairness and Access. See: http://www.scribd.com/doc/103136304/2nd-Upload-of-Document-Peter-Arth-Assistant-of-CPUC-s-Michael-Peevey-Emergen

    Papers were filed with both state and federal agencies to allow CaliforniaALL to operate as a tax exempt entity. Victor Miramontes listed himself as Chairman of the Board, and Sarah E. Redfield served as CaliforniaALL’s interim executive director for a period of 6 months. Serving as CaliforniaALL’s legal counsel were Susan Mac Cormac and Eric Tate of Morrison & Foerster.

    Despite the fact that she served as interim executive director, and despite the fact that it was a given that Ruthe Catolico Ashley would be hired as the permanent CEO, Sarah Redfield nevertheless apparently engaged in an RFP (request for proposal) which was closed just as quickly as it started even before Ms. Ashley was hired as the permanent CEO.

    CaliforniaALL’s web site (www.calall.org) stated:

    “Saturday Law Academy RFP

    PLEASE NOTE:

    The application process for this RFP is closed. Please contact Sarah Redfield at sarah.redfield@gmail.com or (207) 752-1721.

    RFP PROPOSAL INFORMATION

    California ALL seeks proposals to implement its law career pathway starting with the 2008-09 academic year (AY).

    The following and attached document describes a program area in which California ALL has particular interest based on its initial research. An additional RFP will follow for college level prelaw work. Self generated proposal for other parts of the pipeline will also be considered, and another round of RFPs is possible. California ALL has not attached a specific dollar amount to the RFP, though cost effectiveness and the presence of a competitive match will be part of its consideration. California ALL has some funding in hand from a generous grant from Verizon for the Saturday Academy and intends to seek additional funding as needed to support programs selected. It is anticipated that funding will be provided for year one of the (3 year) proposal, with following years contingent on successful completion of the prior year(s). ”

    The California Attorney General RCT reflects that CaliforniaALL obtained its “Charity” status on March 14, 2008 (FEIN Number 510656213). The address for CaliforniaALL is listed as 400 Capitol Mall, Suite 2400, Sacramento, California. This is actually the address of the law firm of DLA Piper, where CaliforniaALL resided free of charge courtesy of partner Steven Churchwell – an attorney specialized in the representation of political entities.

    CaliforniaALL’s 2008 tax-return shows an expense of around $16,000 for “occupancy.” See http://www.scribd.com/doc/48714110/6-CaliforniaALL-2008-Tax-Return

    In June 2008, after a nationwide search and aided by a pro bono head-hunting firm in its search for a permanent CEO, CaliforniaALL not surprisingly hired Ruthe Catolico Ashley as its chief executive officer. (See Press Release http://www.scribd.com/doc/48717715/5-California-ALL-Announces-Hiring-of-Ruthe-Ashley-as-CEO-on-June-4-2008 )

    As the purpose of CaliforniaALL was to transfer funds forward, it did so by awarding small grants to the UCI Foundation (FEIN Number 952540117), where State Bar of California executive director Joe Dunn serves as trustee and chair of the Audit Committee, for the purported purpose of establishing a Saturday Law Academy at UC Irvine known as SALUCI.

    Sarah Redfield’s CV, which states (falsely) that she launched SALUCI, can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/48772426/10-Resume-CV-of-University-of-New-Hampshire-School-of-Law-Professor-Sarah-E-

    In September 2009, Ruthe Catolico Ashley exited CaliforniaALL (http://www.scribd.com/doc/48713268/7-Ruthe-Ashley-Announces-Departure-from-CaliforniaALL-in-September-of-2009 ), the entity which she previously proclaimed to Diane Curtis that it “will change the face of the future in the workplace and of our leaders,” “will be a model for other states,” and “is here to stay for the foreseeable future.”

    Ultimately, the following events prompted me to ask Voice of OC to make its tax returns available for my review, as required by IRS regulations: the sham RFP by Sarah Redfield, who pre-selected the UCI Foundation as the only recipient of funds from CaliforniaALL; Joe Dunn served as chair of the UCI Foundation audit committee; in September 2009 Ruthe Ashley abruptly exited CaliforniaALL; in September 2009 Joe Dunn (together with his business partner Martha Escutia, James Brosnahan — who created CaliforniaALL, and Thomas Girardi of In Re Girardi, Erin Brokovich, and the one who James Towery appointed his personal attorney (Jerome Falk of Howard Rice) to act as special prosecutor against him) launched an online “news agency” known as Voice of OC. I also suspected that James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster (who represented various utility companies during California’s energy crisis) may have engaged in a scheme with Joe Dunn, as Dunn was the person investigating those utility companies and California’s energy crisis. In fact, Dunn was discredited by the media for claiming that he was the one who “cracked” Enron.

    Voice of OC ignored my request for its tax records, whereupon I filed a complaint with the IRS. To date, I have not received a response from the IRS indicating that it has taken any steps to help me obtain those much needed records and impose the appropriate sanctions against Voice of OC.

    Nevertheless, I continued with the inquiry as large pieces of the puzzle were missing. Later, when Mr. Tony West was appointed third in command at the DOJ, I learned of his identity due to wide media coverage and his association with Morrison & Forester and James Brosnahan. From there, it became harder to ignore the common denominator of “OBAMA FOR AMERICA” involving James Brosnahan, Tony West, Chris Young, Annette Carnegie, and Susan Mac Cormac (of Morrison & Foerster) Geoffrey Bleich, Ron Olson (of Munger Tolles & Olson) Steven Churchwell ( of DLA Piper) in conjunction with Kamala Harris — which is that money originating from utility companies was misappropriated or laundered through the California Bar Foundation / CaliforniaALL to the campaign of “OBAMA FOR AMERICA.”

    Other then collecting close to $2 million directly from utility companies (including the “hush-hush” transfer of $774,247, comprised of one installment of $5000 and another contribution of $769,247 from the Foundation which was never mentioned in the Foundation’s “newsroom” or by any other of its publications such as the California Bar Journal or by any of the newsletters and alerts published by CaliforniaALL), CaliforniaALL appears to have been be a sham, phantom entity from its inception in 2008 to the day it began to slowly be dissolved in approximately 2009, subsequent to the election of Barack Obama as president of the U.S. Its only alleged achievement was providing some money for the creation of the Saturday Academy of Law at UC Irvine (“SALUCI”) in approximately 2008-2009. Here too vast and intense suspicious circumstances exist as the funds from CaliforniaALL actually went to the UC Irvine Foundation, where the present executive director of the State Bar of California (Senator Joe Dunn) serves as a member of the audit committee, and it turns out that the SALUCI was actually already created in 2005 and was fully operational before CaliforniaALL arrived on the scene. In addition, some records seem to indicate that Verizon Wireless funneled the money directly to SALUCI , while CaliforniaALL took the credit.

    Specifically, the Foundation reported to the IRS that REVENUE LESS EXPENSES in 2007 equaled plus +$373.842.00. However, in 2008, the Foundation reported to the IRS that REVENUE LESS EXPENSES equaled minus -$537,712. In its 2008 Annual Report (See page 9 : http://www.scribd.com/doc/48712884/3-2008-Annual-Report-of-Foundation-of-the-State-Bar-of-California-Foundation ), the Foundation alludes to CaliforniaALL by stating:

    “In 2007-2008, the Foundation supported the launching of CaliforniaALL and, as the project filed for incorporation and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, served as CaliforniaALL’s fiscal sponsor. A collaboration between the California Public Employment Retirement System, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Department of Insurance, and the State Bar of California, CaliforniaALL was created in an effort to close the achievement gap among California students from preschool to the profession and, specifically, to bolster the pipeline of young people of diverse backgrounds headed for careers in law, financial services, and technology. Once CaliforniaALL obtained its tax-exempt status and was able to function as a fully independent nonprofit organization, the foundation granted the balance of funds raised for the project – totaling $769,247 – to the new entity.”

    Also cleverly buried in the California Bar Foundation’s 2008 annual report was the following sentence :

    “We thank the following corporations for their gifts in support of CaliforniaALL:

    AT & T

    Edison International

    PG & E Corporation Foundation

    Verizon”

    See page 24 : http://www.scribd.com/doc/48712884/3-2008-Annual-Report-of-Foundation-of-the-State-Bar-of-California-Foundation

    While I was able to ascertain from California Bar Foundation’s tax records an “exit” of the $774,247 in 2008 (the apparent source of which was allegedly the above-referenced 4 utility companies), I was unable to ascertain when and where the Foundation reported to the IRS — either in 2008 or 2007 or 2006 or 2005 — an “entry” of those funds which it allegedly held in trust for CaliforniaALL.

    (Later, Jill Sperber of the State Bar of California, in a letter she sent to me dated July 28, 2011 claimed that “….No State Bar or California Bar Foundation funds were used for CaliforniaALL creation…The California Bar Foundation served as CaliforniaALL’s escrow holder only to hold fundraising funds before its formal incorporation… Once CaliforniaALL was formed as a non-profit entity, the funds were paid over to it…”

    Most troubling, however, is the fact that Verizon did not report to the IRS either in 2007 or 2008 that it had contributed any money to the California Bar Foundation or CaliforniaALL. See :

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/102325087/Verizon-Foundation-IRS-990-Year-2007
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/102325330/Verizon-Foundation-IRS-990-Year-2008

    As such, several days ago, on August 22, 2012, in search of the truth, Edison was duly served with a request for production of IRS Form 990, Form 990 Schedule A, and Form 1023. On August 30, 2012 Edison stated that it does not plan to comply with the request.

    In view of the above, I urge you to investigate this matter to determine whether Edison’s refusal violated IRS rules and regulations. I ask that you impose appropriate sanctions against any and all involved, if supported by the results of your investigation.

    I look forward to your response. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.

  • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey In The Company He Keeps As Inquiry Launched to Determine Liability of Brown-Forman Corporation as Potential Accessory After the Fact to Alleged Embezzlement by DOJ’s Tony West, Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich

    In the aftermath of accusations leveled at USDOJ’s Tony West and US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich that funds were misappropriated from the California Bar Foundation by various individuals through the misuse of phantom entity CaliforniaALL to benefit “Obama for America,” sources seeking anonymity maintain an inquiry has been launched to examine the role, if any, of Tennessee-based Jack Daniel Distillery and parent company — the Brown-Forman Corporation.

    The focus of the inquiry is to examine the totality of the circumstances surrounding Jack Daniel’s employee and California Bar Foundation director, Christy Susman.

    Please continue @:
    http://lesliebrodie.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/jack-daniels-tennessee-whiskey-in-the-company-he-keeps-as-in

  • Amid Concerns of Cover-Up by DOJ’s Lanny Breuer YR Submit Narrative to FBI Re DOJ’s Tony West, Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich, HUD’s Ophelia Basgal, Keker & Van Nest’s Chris Young, Kamala Harris, Phantom Non-Profit CaliforniaALL, Obama for America :

    Per our telephone conversation, following is a narrative describing the suspicious circumstances relating to non-profit entity CaliforniaALL (FEIN Number 51-0656213), Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich, United States Department of Justice’s Tony West, Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Ophelia Basgal, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster, and Chris Young of Keker & Van Nest.

    The narrative is divided to 4 parts: 1. General Introduction; 2. Introduction of Actors; 3. Fortuitous Discovery of CaliforniaALL; and 4. Factual Background Regarding CaliforniaALL.

    1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION:

    As described below, my inquiry began close to one year ago when I stumbled upon unusually large and highly peculiar financial transactions in conjunction with what appeared to me to be clear attempts to conceal and mislead. I immediately notified various entities, including submitting a tip to your agency. Due to circumstances which cannot be viewed as mere coincidence, I was under the impression that funds might have been misappropriated by Voice of OC — specifically, by its founders 1) Joe Dunn and 2) Martha Escutia (both former state senators who were overseeing utility companies and the CPUC and investigating the California energy crisis), and 3) Thomas Girardi and 4) James Brosnahan who were litigating cases involving the California energy crisis on opposite sides, and/or Geoffrey Brown, former Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission and 2007 Director of the California Bar Foundation (the “Foundation”) during the time of the suspicious transfer of funds to CaliforniaALL (an entity of which CPUC’s Peter Arth was one of the main initiators).

    However futile, I also asked the State Bar of California to investigate this matter. Within a few hours of sending the request, Geoffrey Brown sent me a demand to cease and desist from insisting that he had done anything wrong under threat of litigation. In essence, Brown wanted me to ignore the circumstances dealing with the fact that he was both a CPUC Commissioner and a Director with the Foundation when it quietly made the largest grant in its history to an entity that was conceived by CPUC’s Peter Arth to absorb hundreds of thousands of dollars from utility companies.

    While the Foundation alleges that the source of the (relatively) large sum of $774,247 which it transferred to CaliforniaALL was from four utility companies (AT&T, PG&E, Edison International, and Verizon Wireless — as reflected in the Foundation’s 2008 Annual Report and tax return showing contributions to CaliforniaALL), there is no corresponding entry in any Foundation tax return (for tax years 2007 or 2008), nor any mention in the Annual Report, showing the initial receipt of those funds. These facts raised suspicions that money may have been misappropriated from the Foundation, and places those individuals who controlled the Foundation (Jeffrey Bleich, Annette Carnegie, Douglas Winthrop, Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Geoffrey Brown, and others), who “legally” created CaliforniaALL (James Brosnahan, Tony West, Chris Young and the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster), who controlled the money (Ophelia Basgal of PG&E; Douglas Winthrop, attorney for PG&E; Jeffrey Bleich, attorney for Verizon Wireless; and Edison (client of James Brosnahan, Tony West, Chris Young, and Annette Carnegie), who controlled CaliforniaALL (Ruthe Ashley, Ophelia Basgal), and who controlled the finances for the Obama for America’s 2008 campaign (Jeffrey Bleich, Tony West, and Chris Young) in a very awkward position.

    Other then collecting close to $2 million directly from utility companies (including the “hush-hush” transfer of $774,247, comprised of one installment of $5000 and another contribution of $769,247 from the Foundation which was never mentioned in the Foundation’s “newsroom” or by any other of its publications such as the California Bar Journal or by any of the newsletters and alerts published by CaliforniaALL), CaliforniaALL appears to have been be a sham, phantom entity from its inception in 2008 to the day it began to slowly be dissolved in approximately 2009, subsequent to the election of Barack Obama as president of the U.S. Its only alleged achievement was providing some money for the creation of the Saturday Academy of Law at UC Irvine ("SALUCI") in approximately 2008-2009. Here too vast and intense suspicious circumstances exist as the funds from CaliforniaALL actually went to the UC Irvine Foundation, where the present executive director of the State Bar of California (Senator Joe Dunn) serves as a member of the audit committee, and it turns out that the SALUCI was actually already created in 2005 and was fully operational before CaliforniaALL arrived on the scene. In addition, some records seem to indicate that Verizon Wireless funneled the money directly to SALUCI , while CaliforniaALL took the credit.

    Nevertheless, I continued with the inquiry as large pieces of the puzzle were missing, and in fact stated so in a letter seeking information about one of the actor’s employment history. However, within the past several weeks, I believe that I finally managed to put all the pieces together. In my opinion, and based on the information I’ve discovered, it appears that funds were misappropriated and/or laundered through the California Bar Foundation by various individuals through the misuse of CaliforniaALL. Although other potential explanations certainly exist, based on these individuals’ involvement in the “Obama for America” 2008 presidential campaign (as discussed below), one likely possibility is that the funds were unlawfully misdirected to that campaign.

    PART 2: INTRODUCTION OF MAIN ACTORS:

    1. AMBASSADOR JEFFREY BLEICH — Mr. Bleich served as a director with the Foundation in approximately 2007-2008, as well as president of the State Bar of California.

    In 2007, Mr. Bleich established Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee and served as its Chair.

    He is a personal friend of President Obama, who served as President Obama’s personal attorney and subsequently was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Mr. Bleich was a partner with the San Francisco office of Munger Tolles & Olson, which represents client Verizon Wireless.

    Out of close to 230,000 lawyers in California, also serving as a director with the Foundation in approximately 2007-2008 was another attorney from Munger Tulles Olsen, Mr. Bradley Phillips. Presently, Ms. Mary Ann Todd (also of Munger Tolles & Olson) is a director with the Foundation.

    2. DEREK ANTHONY WEST OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE — Mr. West, who goes by the name “Tony West,” presently serves as third in command within the Department of Justice below Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer.

    Around 2007-2008, Mr. Tony West also served as Chair of the “California Finance Committee” of “Obama for America.”

    Prior to joining the DOJ, Mr. West was a partner at the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster, the law firm which assisted with the legal aspects of creating CaliforniaALL.

    Along with attorneys Raj Chaterjee and Susan Mac Cormac, Mr. West was part of senior partner James Brosnahan’s clique. For example, it was Brosnahan, West, and Chaterjee who defended John Walker Lindh, who is more widely known as the “American Taliban.” (It should be noted that it was actually Mr. Brosnahan who initially agreed to the representation since he knows Lindh’s father — Frank Lindh — who served as in-house Chief Legal Counsel at PG&E; Mr. Lindh is presently the Chief Legal Counsel of the CPUC.)

    Mr. West is married to Maya Harris, sister of Kamala Harris, who was part of CaliforniaALL.

    3. JAMES J. BROSNAHAN OF MORRISON & FOERSTER - Mr. Brosnahan is presently a senior partner at the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster.

    He considers himself to be the “mastermind behind the Democratic Party.” CaliforniaALL was created by Morrison & Foerster, under the supervision of Mr. Brosnahan (known as the prosecutor of Caspar Weinberger). Specifically Susan Mac Cormac and Eric Tate assisted with the legal aspects of creating the entity. Mr. Brosnahan represented utility companies during California’s energy crisis (which Joe Dunn, Martha Escutia, and Geoffrey Brown were investigating) opposite Thomas Girardi.

    Later, Dunn, Escutia, Brosnahan, and Girardi launched the online publication known as Voice of OC.

    4. CHRISTOPHER JACOB YOUNG OF KEKER & VAN NEST — Mr. Young, commonly known as “Chris Young,” is currently listed on the State Bar of California’s database as an associate with Keker & Van Nest. Around 2007-2008, Mr. Young was an associate at Morrison & Foerster.

    Around 2007-2008, Mr. Young served as “Northern California Deputy Finance Director” for “Obama for America.”

    As noted above, State Bar of California records still show that Chris Young is an employee of Keker & Van Nest. However, very recently, Keker & Van Nest ( at the direction of partners John Keker and Jon Streeter, who also worked on the 2008 campaign as a “bundler” and is presently a director with the Foundation) abruptly removed Chris Young’s name from its web-site.

    5. ANNETTE CARNEGIE — Ms. Carnegie is presently employed at the Kaiser Foundation. Around 2007-2008, she was a partner at Morrison & Foerster and served as a director of the Foundation. In 2008, the Foundation poured into CaliforniaALL the large sum of $774,247; by comparison, most other donations were around $10,000 to $20,000. As shown below, the transfer of said money appears to be imbued with fraud and secrecy, especially in connection with four utility companies (Verizon, PG&E, Edison, and AT&T).

    6. KAMALA HARRIS — In around 2007-2008, Ms. Harris served as the District Attorney in San Francisco while at the same time she was also Co-Chair of “Obama for America.” Ms. Harris was part of CaliforniaALL’s “Advisory Council.” She is the sister of Maya Harris, who is married to Tony West. Media reports provide that parliamentarian Willie Brown served as mentor to both Tony West and Kamala Harris, and was Ms. Harris’s paramour. John Keker of Keker & Van Nest (known as the prosecutor of Oliver North) is also considered to be a “mentor” of Kamala Harris. (Incidentally, State Bar of California Board of Governor member Gwen Moore — also a “mentee” of Willie Brown — was honored by CaliforniaALL at a lavish dinner in a Sacramento hotel. Parliamentarian Moore is no stranger to your agency, having been the target of a sting operation known as Shrimpscam.)

    7. OPHELIA BASGAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT ("HUD") — In around 2007-2008 , Ms. Basgal was Vice President of Civic Partnership and Community Initiatives at PG&E, where she managed the company’s $18 million charitable contributions program, and oversaw its community engagement programs and partnerships with community-based organizations. Separately, around that time she surprisingly served as “Treasurer” with the “California Supreme Court Historical Society.” In that role, she presumably had contact with many judges, including those who were handling matters dealing with PG&E, such as Justice (Ret.) Joseph Grodin who acted as the mediator in a case Attorney General Bill Lockyer advanced against PG&E, which Jerry Brown (cousin of Geoffrey Brown) later dismissed in his capacity as the new Attorney General for California.

    Ms. Basgal served as a director of CaliforniaALL.

    8. VICTOR MIRMAONTES — Mr. Victor Miramontes, a resident of San Antonio, TX and business partner of former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros in an entity known as CityView, was the chairman of CaliforniaALL.

    Mr. Miramontes has various connections to Orange County, and is otherwise familiar with its various legal circles.

    9. SARAH E. REDFIELD — Ms. Redfield is presently a professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and served as the interim director of CaliforniaALL. Events surrounding Redfield, as shown below, also appear to be imbued with fraud and deceit, and it appears her role was to create a subterfuge to justify the existence of CaliforniaALL. Since CaliforniaALL’s main achievement was the purported creation of a “Saturday Academy of Law” at UC Irvine ("SALUCI"), Ms. Redfield pretended to have engaged in Requests for Proposals ("RFP"), as well as falsely claiming that she “launched” SALUCI. For her services as interim executive director and an alleged consultant of CaliforniaALL, Professor Redfield was paid approximately $160,000 as an “independent contractor.” She gave very little, if anything, in return for the $160,000 she was paid. In fact, she took credit for the extremely hard work of others, especially that of Rob Vacario of Santa Ana who co-founded SALUCI several years earlier.

    10. JUDY JOHNSON – Ms. Johnson is the former Executive Director of the State Bar of California. Ms. Johnson (along with Robert Hawley and Starr Babcock) is no stranger to financial schemes. For the past 8 years, she has been quietly serving as the president of an entity with a misleading name (California Consumer Protection Foundation AKA “CCPF”). This entity absorbed close to $30 million in class action cy pres awards, as well as fines and settlements imposed by the CPUC on utility companies. CCPF forwarded those funds to mostly questionable ACORN-like entities in South Los Angeles or to an entity headed by Michael Shames known as UCAN — presently under federal grand jury investigation in San Diego. It appears that Ms. Johnson used her position as executive director of the State Bar of California (which is supposed to supervise and discipline lawyers) as “clout” to obtain cy pres awards from the settlement of class actions prosecuted and defended by various law firms in courts and before the CPUC. In addition, while never prosecuted for the scheme, some have speculated that Johnson and cohorts Hawley (whom Johnson labeled the “Wizard of OZ”) and Babcock were “in” on a financial scheme perpetrated by former State Bar employee Sharon Pearl, who was lightly prosecuted by then-attorney general Jerry Brown, cousin of Geoffrey Brown.

    Ms. Johnson was part of CaliforniaALL’s Advisory Council and was responsible for maintaining secrecy over the project by misleading the public, including a quadriplegic law-student, litigant Sara Granda.

    11. RUTHE CATOLICO ASHLEY — Ms. Ashley is a former employee of McGeorge School of Law who later served as a “Diversity Officer” at Cal PERS. Ms. Ashley also served as member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors alongside Mr. Bleich, and came up with the idea to create CaliforniaALL during a meeting with Sarah Redfield and Peter Arth, Jr. (the assistant to CPUC President Michael Peevey). After CaliforniaALL came into existence, Ms. Ashley, after a simulated search, was selected to serve as CaliforniaALL’s executive director.

    12. SONIA GONZALES — Ms. Gonzales presently serves as the Foundation’s executive director as of earlier this year, after the former executive director (Ms. Leslie Hatamyia) suddenly quit. Ms. Gonzales is a close friend and confidante of Ms. Maya Harris, the wife of Mr. Tony West.

    She presently serves the same function as current Foundation directors Mary Ann Todd of Munger Tolles & Olson, Jon Streeter of Keker & Van Nest, Douglas Winthrop of Howard Rice, and Raj Chatterjee of Morrison & Foerster.

     

    PART 2: FORTUTIOUS DISCOVERY OF CaliforniaALL

    At the outset, and to deflect potential allegations that I am motivated by politics, I wish to assure you and the agency that my inquiry into these issues was not and is not motivated by politics. In fact, the only actor referenced above that I have ever met is James Brosnahan, who I met once for a short period of time while a volunteer with BASF - VLSP, a volunteer organization that awarded me a volunteer of the year award. In fact, I initially suspected the misconduct described herein was committed primarily by various other people (i.e. Holly Fujie, Leslie Hatamiya, Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Robert Hawley, Starr Babcock, and Judy Johnson). However, the facts eventually led me to Mr. Brosnahan. Following is a brief overview describing how I stumbled upon this information.

    In 2010, the United States Federal Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit issued its final ruling in the disciplinary matter of In Re Girardi by imposing close to $500,000 in sanctions on Walter Lack of Engstrom Lispcomb & Lack and Thomas Girardi of Girardi & Keese stemming from an attempt to defraud the court and cause injury to Dole Food Company in the underlying litigation. You may have heard of Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi as they are the lawyers who were featured in the movie “Erin Brokovich” involving utility company PG&E.

    The court ruled that Walter Lack (who stipulated to special prosecutor Rory Little that his prolonged acts of misconduct were intentional) and Thomas Girardi intentionally and recklessly resorted to the use of known falsehoods for years. The Ninth Circuit ordered Girardi and Lack to report their misconduct to the State Bar of California.

    The State Bar of California disqualified itself from handling the matter since Howard Miller (of Girardi & Keese) served at that time as its president, and had also made the decision to hire then-chief prosecutor, James Towery.

    Mr. Towery, in turn, appointed Jerome Falk of Howard Rice (now Arnold & Porter) as outside “special prosecutor” to determine whether or not to bring charges against Girardi and Lack. (Mr. Falk is a colleague of Douglas Winthrop, and both represented PG&E in its massive bankruptcy proceedings.)

    Mr. Falk, in turn, exercised prosecutorial discretion and concluded that he did not believe Lack acted intentionally and that no charges will be brought against the two attorneys.

    Within days of Mr. Falk’s decision, I filed an ethics complaint with the State Bar of California against Jerome Falk, James Towery, Howard Miller, and Douglas Winthrop (managing partner of Howard Rice and then-elected president of the Foundation), alleging that it was improper for Mr. Towery to appoint Mr. Falk given the close personal relationship between Howard Miller and Douglas Winthrop. Specifically, Howard Miller — in his capacity as president of the State Bar — had appointed Douglas Winthrop as president of the California Bar Foundation, a foundation maintained and controlled by the State Bar. (Much later I also discovered that Jerome Falk is actually the personal attorney of Thomas Girardi, and that Howard Rice and Jerome Falk represented Walter Lack, Thomas Girardi, Engstrom Lispcomb & Lack, and Girardi & Keese in approximately 2007, and for a period of 2 years, in a malpractice action.)

    As such, while at the time I was not familiar with those individuals, I reviewed the Foundation’s annual reports to familiarize myself with the names of the Foundation’s board of directors, and to try to resolve various inconsistencies regarding who was serving as the Foundation’s president and why Robert Scott Wylie appeared to be the president when data showed that he had relocated to Indiana in 2006. I checked the Foundation’s tax returns and it was then that I fortuitously stumbled upon the fact that the Foundation ended 2008 close to $500,000 in the negative. Specifically, the Foundation reported to the IRS that REVENUE LESS EXPENSES in 2007 equaled plus +$373.842.00. However, in 2008, the Foundation reported to the IRS that REVENUE LESS EXPENSES equaled minus -$537,712.

    I was also troubled by the fact that the 2008 California Bar Journal Annual Report noted that the Foundation was the “fiscal sponsor” of CaliforniaALL, while the same report also mentioned that the source of the money was 4 utility companies.

    In its 2008 Annual Report ( See ), the Foundation alludes to CaliforniaALL by stating:

    “In 2007-2008, the Foundation supported the launching of CaliforniaALL and, as the project filed for incorporation and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, served as CaliforniaALL’s fiscal sponsor. A collaboration between the California Public Employment Retirement System, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Department of Insurance, and the State Bar of California, CaliforniaALL was created in an effort to close the achievement gap among California students from preschool to the profession and, specifically, to bolster the pipeline of young people of diverse backgrounds headed for careers in law, financial services, and technology. Once CaliforniaALL obtained its tax-exempt status and was able to function as a fully independent nonprofit organization, the foundation granted the balance of funds raised for the project – totaling $769,247 – to the new entity.”

    Also cleverly buried in the California Bar Foundation’s 2008 annual report was the following sentence (which should be scrutinized by your agency):

    “We thank the following corporations for their gifts in support of CaliforniaALL:

    AT & T

    Edison International

    PG & E Corporation Foundation

    Verizon”

    *

     

    I believe that the statement that the Foundation granted “the balance” of funds raised for the project most likely refers to a previous $5000 sum which the Foundation awarded to CaliforniaALL for “research,” also in 2008. As such, $769,247 plus $5000 equals $774,247, which is the sum the Foundation reported to the IRS.

    However, I find mildly problematic the claim that the Foundation raised funds specifically for “the project” in 2007 (per the sentence “granted the balance of funds raised for the project”), especially in conjunction with a separate disclosure by which the Foundation thanks four utility companies (which are incidentally clients of Morrison & Foerster, Howard Rice, and Munger Tolles Olsen). In my opinion, this may reflect an attempt to engage in financial shenanigans through the Foundation — otherwise, why wouldn’t the four utility companies just give the funds to CaliforniaALL directly?

    Even more troubling, while I was able to ascertain from Foundation’s tax records an “exit” of the $774,247 in 2008 (the apparent source of which was allegedly the above-referenced 4 utility companies), I was unable to ascertain when and where the Foundation reported to the IRS — either in 2008 or 2007 or 2006 or 2005 — an “entry” of those funds which it allegedly held in trust for CaliforniaALL.

    (Later, Jill Sperber of the State Bar of California, in a letter she sent to me dated July 28, 2011 claimed that “....No State Bar or California Bar Foundation funds were used for CaliforniaALL creation...The California Bar Foundation served as CaliforniaALL’s escrow holder only to hold fundraising funds before its formal incorporation... Once CaliforniaALL was formed as a non-profit entity, the funds were paid over to it...”

    Ultimately, by conducting further research into the actors and events surrounding the Foundation, CaliforniaALL, and related entities, individuals, and events, I unearthed what appears to be a lengthy trail of attempts to mislead and defraud.

     

    PART 3: FACTUAL BACKGROUND

    In approximately 2007, Ruthe Catolico Ashley — an attorney from Sacramento and a member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors — was employed by Cal PERS as a “Diversity Officer.” Prior to her employment with Cal PERS, Ms. Ashley was employed as a career counsel at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. While at McGeorge, Ms. Ashley met diversity expert Sarah Redfield. At that time, Jeffrey Bleich of Munger Tolles & Olson was serving as President of the State Bar. Both Bleich and Ashley are politically active, and were supporting the 2008 campaign of Barack Obama for President. Ruthe Ashley was involved in the Asian-Americans for Obama branch in Sacramento.

    In April 2007, Ashley and Sarah Redfield were urged to meet Peter Arth, Jr. of the California Public Utilities Commission at a restaurant in San Francisco. During that meeting, the idea to create CaliforniaALL (initially named CaAAL or CaALL) was conceived. Eventually, Cal PERS, the CPUC, and the State Bar of California endorsed in principle the creation of CaliforniaALL – a Section 501(c)(3) entity that would raise funds to be used to support a more diverse workforce in California.

    At that time, both Ashley and Redfield were also part of the State Bar of California’s Council on Fairness and Access, as well as a separate project by the State Bar of California known as The Diversity Pipeline Task Force, through which both presumably amassed vast amounts of data and information on the topic of diversity pipeline projects.

    Subsequent to the meeting with Peter Arth, on June 26, 2007 State Bar BOG member Ruthe Catolico Ashley and Patricia Lee presented to the entire BOG a proposal (see http://www.scribd.com/doc/48713393/1-In-June-26-2007-Member-of-State-Bar-Board-of-Governors-Ruthe-Ashley-Presen ) urging the BOG to support the creation of California Aspire Achieve Lead Pipeline Project (CaAAL), later named CaliforniaALL.

    Eventually, Cal PERS (Ashley’s employer), the CPUC, and the State Bar of California endorsed in principle the creation of CaAAL. For reasons that are not clear to me, CaAAL was apparently a secret project since the California Bar Journal never bothered to report about it, and a press release issued by the State Bar of California was only delivered to CaAAL. Specifically, on August 1, 2007, California Bar Journal’s editor Diane Curtis issued a very limited press release on behalf of the State Bar which I was only able to locate on CaAAL’s now defunct website (www.calall.org) stating:

    "STATE BAR JOINS DIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP

    San Francisco, August 01, 2007 — The State Bar of California is joining forces with the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Public Retirement System and the state Department of Insurance in a united effort to promote diversity in the workplace.

    California Aspire Achieve Lead Pipeline Project (CaAAL Pipeline Project) will focus on education and mentoring, starting as early as pre-school, to provide skills and instill motivation in young people who are not well represented in the legal, financial and information technology professions.

    “The real winners are the young people of California who will advance from these programs and the entire populace of California that will have the benefit of a diverse and vibrant pool of bright young people from all sectors of our diverse population,” said State Bar President Sheldon Sloan. Sloan beefed up a bar diversity pipeline project put in place by his predecessors that has been embraced by lawyers and jurists statewide.

    Bar Vice President Ruthe Ashley, who chairs the bar’s Pipeline Task Force and recently became Cal PERS’ Diversity Officer for External Affairs, “has done a fantastic job of moving this initiative forward,” added Sloan. “Now that she has brought in Cal PERS and CAL PUC, this program is here to stay for the foreseeable future.”

    In large part because of the bar’s experience and success in identifying programs that help young people move on to successful careers in law, CaAAL’s first-year focus will be on diversifying the legal profession. “We have relationships in place. We have best practices. We have done the research,” said Ashley. The second-year focus will be on financial institutions and the third year on information technology. Funding for the new nonprofit is expected to come from private partners and public sector grants.

    Ashley said the nonprofit will be the umbrella organization that will coordinate activities in five different geographic “centers of excellence.” She is hoping that the board for the new nonprofit will promote replication proven programs, such as Street Law, Pacific Pathways and the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, and that the new entity “will be a model for other states.”

    “The vision is that it will change the face of the future in the workplace and of our leaders,” said Ashley."

    Papers were filed with both state and federal agencies to allow CaliforniaALL to operate as a tax exempt entity. Victor Miramontes listed himself as Chairman of the Board, and Sarah E. Redfield served as CaliforniaALL’s interim executive director for a period of 6 months. Serving as CaliforniaALL’s legal counsel were Susan Mac Cormac and Eric Tate of Morrison & Foerster.

    Despite the fact that she served as interim executive director, and despite the fact that it was a given that Ruthe Catolico Ashley would be hired as the permanent CEO, Sarah Redfield nevertheless apparently engaged in an RFP (request for proposal) which was closed just as quickly as it started even before Ms. Ashley was hired as the permanent CEO.

    CaliforniaALL’s web site (www.calall.org) stated:

    “Saturday Law Academy RFP

    PLEASE NOTE:

    The application process for this RFP is closed. Please contact Sarah Redfield at sarah.redfield@gmail.com or (207) 752-1721.

    RFP PROPOSAL INFORMATION

    California ALL seeks proposals to implement its law career pathway starting with the 2008-09 academic year (AY).

    The following and attached document describes a program area in which California ALL has particular interest based on its initial research. An additional RFP will follow for college level prelaw work. Self generated proposal for other parts of the pipeline will also be considered, and another round of RFPs is possible. California ALL has not attached a specific dollar amount to the RFP, though cost effectiveness and the presence of a competitive match will be part of its consideration. California ALL has some funding in hand from a generous grant from Verizon for the Saturday Academy and intends to seek additional funding as needed to support programs selected. It is anticipated that funding will be provided for year one of the (3 year) proposal, with following years contingent on successful completion of the prior year(s).”

    The California Attorney General RCT reflects that CaliforniaALL obtained its “Charity” status on March 14, 2008 (FEIN Number 510656213). The address for CaliforniaALL is listed as 400 Capitol Mall, Suite 2400, Sacramento, California. This is actually the address of the law firm of DLA Piper, where CaliforniaALL resided free of charge courtesy of partner Gilles Attia — an attorney specialized in the representation of wi-fi companies.

    CaliforniaALL’s 2008 tax-return shows an expense of around $16,000 for “occupancy.” See http://www.scribd.com/doc/48714110/6-CaliforniaALL-2008-Tax-Return

    In June 2008, after a nationwide search and aided by a pro bono head-hunting firm in its search for a permanent CEO, CaliforniaALL not surprisingly hired Ruthe Catolico Ashley as its chief executive officer. (See Press Release http://www.scribd.com/doc/48717715/5-California-ALL-Announces-Hiring-of-Ruthe-Ashley-as-CEO-on-June-4-2008 )

    As the purpose of CaliforniaALL was to transfer funds forward, it did so by awarding small grants to the UCI Foundation (FEIN Number 952540117), where State Bar of California executive director Joe Dunn serves as trustee and chair of the Audit Committee, for the purported purpose of establishing a Saturday Law Academy at UC Irvine known as SALUCI.

    Sarah Redfield’s CV, which states (falsely) that she launched SALUCI, can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/48772426/10-Resume-CV-of-University-of-New-Hampshire-School-of-Law-Professor-Sarah-E-

    In September 2009, Ruthe Catolico Ashley exited CaliforniaALL (http://www.scribd.com/doc/48713268/7-Ruthe-Ashley-Announces-Departure-from-CaliforniaALL-in-September-of-2009 ), the entity which she previously proclaimed to Diane Curtis that it “will change the face of the future in the workplace and of our leaders,” "will be a model for other states," and “is here to stay for the foreseeable future.”

    Ultimately, the following events prompted me to ask Voice of OC to make its tax returns available for my review, as required by IRS regulations: the sham RFP by Sarah Redfield, who pre-selected the UCI Foundation as the only recipient of funds from CaliforniaALL; Joe Dunn served as chair of the UCI Foundation audit committee; in September 2009 Ruthe Ashley abruptly exited CaliforniaALL; in September 2009 Joe Dunn (together with his business partner Martha Escutia, James Brosnahan — who created CaliforniaALL, and Thomas Girardi of In Re Girardi, Erin Brokovich, and the one who James Towery appointed his personal attorney (Jerome Falk of Howard Rice) to act as special prosecutor against him) launched an online “news agency” known as Voice of OC. I also suspected that James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster (who represented various utility companies during California’s energy crisis) may have engaged in a scheme with Joe Dunn, as Dunn was the person investigating those utility companies and California’s energy crisis. In fact, Dunn was discredited by the media for claiming that he was the one who “cracked” Enron.

    Voice of OC ignored my request for its tax records, whereupon I filed a complaint with the IRS. To date, I have not received a response from the IRS indicating that it has taken any steps to help me obtain those much needed records and impose the appropriate sanctions against Voice of OC.

    Nevertheless, I continued with the inquiry as large pieces of the puzzle were missing. Later, when Mr. Tony West was appointed third in command at the DOJ, I learned of his identity due to wide media coverage and his association with Morrison & Forester and James Brosnahan. From there, it became harder to ignore the common denominator of “Obama for America” involving Morrison & Foerster’s James Brosnahan, Tony West, Chris Young, Annette Carnegie, and Susan Mac Cormac, in conjunction with Geoffrey Bleich and Ruthe Ashley — which is that money was misappropriated or laundered through the Foundation.

    Thank you for your assistance. I will keep you updated if I obtain any further information. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

  • Ruthe Catolico Ashley (AKA Ruthe Ashley of “Diversity Matters” in Sacramento California) Hereby Asked to Admit Matters Re: Friend Tani Cantil Sakayue, Judicial Council Member Dave Rosenberg, Morrison & Foerster, DOJ’s Tony West, Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich, Obama for America, and CaliforniaALL – Part 1ember was one Jeffrey Bleich (AKA Jeff Bleich).

    Admit that your name is Ruthe Catolico Ashley AKA Ruthe Ashley.

    Admit that you are a close personal friend of California Chief Justice — The Honorable Tani Cantil – Sakayue.

    Admit that around 2007-2008 you served as member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors (“BOG”).

    Admit that around 2007-2008 also serving as BOG member was one Jeffrey Bleich (AKA Jeff Bleich).

    Admit that while serving as BOG member you proposed the creation of CaAAL later known as CaliforniaALL.

    Please continue @:

    http://tinyurl.com/rcatoadmit

  • Jeff Bleich (Friend of Barack Obama – U.S. Ambassador To Australia – California Bar Foundation Board Member – Munger Tolles & Olsen Partner) Asked Comment on Prime Facie Showing of Conspiracy to Embezzle $780,000 from Cal Bar Foundation Involving Himself, DOJ’s Tony West, Keker & Van Nest’s Chris Young, MoFo’s James Brosnahan to Embezzle $780,000 from Cal Bar Foundation, vis-a-vis Sham Non-Profit Entity CaliforniaALL, to Election Campaign of Barack Obama.

    Please see story @:

    http://lesliebrodie.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/jeff-bleich-friend-of-barack-obama-u-s-ambassador-to-austral

  • Lanny Breuer — USDOJ’s Assistant Attorney General — Alleged Lack of Integrity Source of Even Greater Concern Amid Newest Revelations Involving Munger Tolles & Olson’s Jeff Bleich — Friend of Barack Obama and US Ambassador to Australia

    Jeffrey Bleich of Munger Tolles & Olson – presently the U.S. ambassador to Australia and a close friend of U.S. President Barack Obama — is under renewed scrutiny in connection with recent revelations dealing with DOJ’s Tony West, MoFo’s James Brosnahan, and KVN’s Chris Young.

    Mr. Bleich served as member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, as well as board member of the California Bar Foundation.

    Verizon Communications (which heavily contributed to CaliforniaALL) is a client of Munger Tules & Olson, where Bleich serves as partner.

    Please continue @:
    http://lesliebrodie.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/lanny-breuer-usdojs-assistant-attorney-general-alleged-lack-

  • Munger Tolles & Olson’s Jeffrey Bleich (AKA Jeff Bleich) — Friend of Barack Obama, US Ambassador to Australia, 2008 California Bar Foundation Board Member, Attorney for Verizon Wireless — Under Renewed Scrutiny Amid New Revelations

    Jeffrey Bleich of Munger Tolles & Olson – presently the U.S. ambassador to Australia and a close friend of U.S. President Barack Obama — is under renewed scrutiny in connection with recent revelations dealing with DOJ’s Tony West, MoFo’s James Brosnahan, and KVN’s Chris Young.

    Mr. Bleich served as member of the State Bar of California Board of Governors, as well as board member of the California Bar Foundation.

    Verizon Communications (which heavily contributed to CaliforniaALL) is a client of Munger Tules & Olson, where Bleich serves as partner.

    According to sources seeking anonymity, the very recent sudden and abrupt departure of associate Christopher J. Young (AKA Chris Young) from San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest is viewed with intense interest in seeking to further solve the mystery surrounding a sub-Rosa “hush-hush” transfer of $780,000 from the California Bar Foundation to now defunct non-profit entity CaliforniaALL.

    According to the sources, Chris Young (who in 2008 served as Barack Obama’s Northern California Deputy Finance Director ) prior employment with Morrison & Foerster at around 2008 is a very important piece of the puzzle, indeed, as in 2008 Susan Mac Cormac of Morrison & Foerster created the entity known as CaliforniaALL; Annette Carnegie of Morrison & Foerster served as California Bar Foundation board member which had transferred the funds to CaliforniaALL, sub-rosa ; Derek Anthony West (AKA Tony West) of Morrison & Foerster served as Barack Obama’s Co-Chair, California Finance Committee; and lurking in the background was James Brosnahan of Morrison & Foerster — a self-described mastermind behind the Democratic Party.

    Per the sources, in addition to the above, other suspicious and unsettling circumstances surrounding CaliforniaALL may cause one to entertain thoughts quartet Brosnahan/West/Young/Carnegie were instrumental in causing money to be moved from Cal Bar Foundation to Barack Obama’s election campaign, vis-a-vis CaliforniaALL, unlawfully.

    Please continue @:
    http://lesliebrodie.posterous.com/munger-tolles-olsons-jeffrey-bleich-aka-jeff