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by Rick Rozoff
On June 29 US President Barack Obama hosted his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe at the White House and weeks later it was announced that the Pentagon plans to deploy troops to five air and naval bases in Colombia, the largest recipient of American military assistance in Latin America and the third largest in the world, having received over $5 billion from the Pentagon since the launching of Plan Colombia nine years ago.
Six months before the Obama-Uribe meeting outgoing US President George W. Bush bestowed the US's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, on Uribe as well as on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
A press account of the time expressed both shock and indignation at the White House's honoring of Uribe in writing that "Despite extra-judicial killings, paramilitaries and murdered unionists, Colombia's President Uribe has won the US's highest honor for human rights." More, HERE
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Colombia ‘most dangerous’ place for trade unionists
Colombia remains the most dangerous place on earth to be a trade unionist, with 70 people killed there last year for union activities.
In addition, 260 Colombian trade unionists received death threats “in a climate of continuing impunity for the assassins, according to the annual survey released today by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. More, HERE.
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US military chief backs counter-insurgency for Mexico
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2009 (Reuters) - The U.S. military is ready to help Mexico in its deadly war against drug cartels with some of the same counter-insurgency tactics used against militant networks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the top U.S. military officer said on Friday.
Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, also said the Defense Department was moving quickly to provide the Mexican military with equipment, including helicopters, under a $1.4 billion U.S. aid initiative.
"They have an urgent need. We all have a sense of urgency about this. And so we're all going to push pretty hard to deliver that capability as rapidly as possible," Mullen told reporters in a conference call as he returned from his first official visit to Mexico as Joint Chiefs chairman. More, HERE.
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D.C. Area Officers Subject of FBI Probe; Did Police Take Money to Protect Gambling Ring?
By Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Federal authorities are investigating whether a group of Washington area police officers took money to protect a high-stakes gambling ring frequented by some of the region's most powerful drug dealers over the past two years, according to internal police documents and law enforcement sources.
The officers include five veterans in Prince George's County, a District police official and a former D.C. Housing Authority officer. Two under investigation have been spotted on police surveillance outside gambling sites, including one providing security in tactical gear. Witnesses have alleged that others wore police uniforms and drove marked cruisers to gatherings. One was arrested in a police raid outside a game with a handgun. More, HERE
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Outrageous and Unique Tell-All Exposes Los Angeles Municipal Court, in a Book by Gary Kramer
FORTUNA, Calif., July 8 , 2009
PRNewswire/ -- Almost thirty years ago Outskirts Press author Gary Kramer prepared to publicly expose the alleged corruption he had witnessed firsthand while working as a courtroom clerk at the Los Angeles Municipal Court. He meticulously gathered documentation to support his allegations and compiled his evidence in a detailed letter to the FBI and other organizations. But he never sent it. Instead, Kramer decided to put it all together in a book that was published April 29th of this year. He jokingly admits it took longer than he anticipated mainly because he was in fear of his safety and the future of his family. He also admits that his behavior was not perfect by any means.
He began writing in earnest after watching the O.J. Simpson murder trial and seeing some of the same characters in his book parading around like pillars of the legal community. The result is "Injustice For All", which he calls "a story about my integrity, my character, and my sanity being tested to the limits in a world of craziness, violence, tragedies, and corruption." The book is also an autobiography which is just as crazy as or worse than his courthouse experiences.
Mr. Kramer worked as a clerk in the Los Angeles Municipal Court System from 1967 to 1981. During this time he claims to have witnessed many strange and unethical practices as well as outright criminal violations. He claims to have witnessed a well-organized group of judges commit numerous felony criminal violations, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice,
forging counterfeit documents and other violations --involving judges, police officers, personnel from the governor's office, and many attorneys, including two of O.J. Simpson's attorneys.
He says, "The statute of limitations for prosecuting the crimes expired more than twenty years ago, so these people don't have to worry about charges being filed against them. Some of the judges have been removed publicly from the bench for judicial misconduct and other charges, and some of the attorneys have been disbarred." But he believes it is possible that many of the
unethical and illegal practices continue, and Kramer wants "Injustice For All" to help bring it to a halt.
"The misconduct outlined in this book entails the most insidious kind of official lawlessness and disregard for the statuary and constitutional rules by which a society of millions and a heritage of centuries have sought to preserve fundamental fairness within a legal system that cannot escape the inherent imperfections of mankind."
"Injustice For All" is shocking and controversial, but it is also a humorous look at this period in Kramer's career. He gives the reader a rare glimpse into the court's lesser known chambers to witness some wacky and generally unprofessional behavior.
Was it ok for an attorney who represented O.J. Simpson to have 30 traffic tickets "fixed" or for another attorney to claim it was ok for a judge he was representing to "fix" over a hundred traffic tickets for the judge's son and his son's teammates on the school football team? According to Kramer, it was not only ok - it was just business as usual at the Los Angeles Municipal Court. He calls the working conditions "challenging" and compares it with working in a mental institution.
SOURCE Gary Kramer
Gary Kramer, +1-707-725-3228,
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