Jury Convicts Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow in Chinatown Racketeering, Murder Case

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Prosecutors said Chow ordered the slaying of the head of a Chinese fraternal organization with criminal ties that Chow then took over. They also charged him with conspiracy to murder another rival.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) —  Sudhin Thanawala reports: A jury convicted a key defendant Friday of racketeering, murder and scores of other counts after a years-long federal undercover investigation centered in the Chinatown district of San Francisco that also ensnared a California state senator.

“Investigators say Chow used the organization as a front for drug trafficking, money laundering and the sale of stolen cigarettes and alcohol. He was convicted of all 162 counts against him, most of which involved money laundering and theft.”

Defendant Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, in a black sports coat and tie, stared straight ahead and showed no reaction as the verdicts were announced. He could face life in prison during his March 23 sentencing.

Defense attorneys said they plan an appeal, claiming Senior District Judge Charles Breyer unfairly limited their case by refusing to let a number of witnesses testify and did not appear to be paying attention during the trial. Breyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Defense attorney J. Tony Serra said Chow was “noble in his acceptance of defeat” and told his attorneys they would prevail in the next round.

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“The agent, who testified under a false name, said he wined and dined Chow and his associates for years. Chow willingly accepted envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash for setting up various crimes, including illegal liquor and tobacco sales.”

Prosecutors said Chow ordered the slaying of the head of a Chinese fraternal organization with criminal ties that Chow then took over. They also charged him with conspiracy to murder another rival.

Investigators say Chow used the organization as a front for drug trafficking, money laundering and the sale of stolen cigarettes and alcohol. He was convicted of all 162 counts against him, most of which involved money laundering and theft.

[Read the full story here, at The Seattle Times]

The prosecution’s main witness against Chow was an undercover FBI agent who posed as a foul-mouthed East Coast businessman with mafia ties while infiltrating Chow’s organization.

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The agent, who testified under a false name, said he wined and dined Chow and his associates for years. Chow willingly accepted envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash for setting up various crimes, including illegal liquor and tobacco sales, the agent said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Adopts Southern Accent for Memphis Crowd

Kyle Olsen reports: Hillary Clinton campaigned in Memphis, Tennessee yesterday and Huma Abedin didn’t forget to pack the candidate’s fake southern accent.

It took Clinton only about 50 seconds to unpack it before a crowd at LeMoyne-Owen College.

“I gotta tell you,” Hillary said with a distinct drawl, “I loved coming to Memphis in the past.PANTSUIT-REPORT

“You know, I didn’t live too far away for a long time, just across the river. Do we have anybody from Arkansas here toniiiiight?” she asked.

“Now, after the 2008 election, then president-elect Obama called me and asked me to come see him in Chicagooooo,” Clinton said….(read more)

Source: The American Mirror


[INFOGRAPHIC] How to File a Freedom of Information Act Request

Though it has been in place since 1967, some of us don’t fully understand—or take advantage of—the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The act, often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government, requires federal agencies to disclose requested information. While there are nine specific exemptions, the FOIA grants citizens a wide range of information controlled by the U.S. government.

As election season nears, and in light of an outbreak of high profile investigations into government dealings, FOIA requests have gained currency as an indispensable tool to shed light on the inner workings of public affairs.

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies under subpoena before the House Oversight Committee as lawmakers continue their probe of whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Especially in the internet age, citizens should have free and unrestricted access to government information. As an essential tool to gain access to the troves of electronic information at the heart of the biggest, most important government disputes, FOIA requests are crucial for a transparent democracy. But to tap into the heaps of information, electronic and otherwise, you need to know how to file a request and identify the nine exemptions. This infographic clearly details the process of filing a request under the act as well as what happens once a request is made.

Source: logikcull.com


Trey Gowdy Frustrated by Dem Stonewalling 

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Ryan Lovelace reports: Two top Clinton aides, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan, will appear before the House Select Committee on Benghazi next month, but when will the committee interview several other top Obama administration officials and Clinton allies?

“What can I do to make the Department of State produce Jake Sullivan’s emails to me? I’ve asked. I’ve sent a subpoena. I don’t know what else I can do. I can’t send the FBI to get him.”

House Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., described how the committee intends to finish its work before the calendar year 2015 ends, in an exclusive interview with the Washington Examiner.

“I have a freshman in college who could go pull up all of her emails and have them printed off by this afternoon. I don’t know what takes so long, but it’s been months and months and months. And we still don’t have all the documents we’ve asked for.”

Gowdy discussed his desire to interview key Obama and Clinton operatives, including former State Department deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, State Department undersecretary for management Patrick Kennedy, and State Department chief of staff Jon Finer. He also indicated his frustration at the lack of information former State Department policy planning director Jake Sullivan has produced.

Sullivan now serves as a top foreign policy adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Abedin is a top aide and confidant of Clinton, and Kennedy and Finer remain at the State Department.

Gowdy said he wants all of the documents relating to these individuals before interviewing them, but continues to face an uphill battle. Read the rest of this entry »


AP Sues Feds Over Fake News Story 

Federal documents revealed that an FBI agent had pretended to be an AP reporter in order to target a teenager suspected of making bomb threats to a local high school in 2007. The agent fabricated a draft of an AP story and placed it on a website made to look like The Seattle Times in order to plant malicious software on the suspect’s computer.

Julian Hattem reports: The Associated Press is bringing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeking information about the government’s use of a fake news story to catch a teenager suspected of calling in bomb threats.

“We cannot overstate how damaging it is for federal agents to pose as journalists. This practice undermines the credibility of the independent news media, and should not be tolerated.”

Along with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the AP asked a district court on Thursday to force the department to turn over records regarding the FBI’s impersonation of a journalist and creation of a fake story in 2007.

“Yet while the public clearly has a strong, compelling interest in knowing more about the FBI’s use of this tactic, the FBI seems determined to withhold that information. We have been left with no choice but to look to the court for relief.”

— Katie Townsend, the litigation director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Reporters from the two organizations submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests soon after news of the sting came to light in October but have not received any records in response, they said.

[Read the full story here, at TheHill]

“We cannot overstate how damaging it is for federal agents to pose as journalists,” Katie Townsend, the litigation director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said in a statement. “This practice undermines the credibility of the independent news media, and should not be tolerated. Read the rest of this entry »


Canada Participates in Just 3% Coalition Airstrikes Against ISIL in Iraq and Syria

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Fight Doesn’t Match Tory Rhetoric: Canadian military aircraft have flown 1,320 sorties, or individual missions, over Iraq and Syria since last year. That accounts for 2.7 per cent of the 47,705 total sorties flown by coalition aircraft since the war against ISIL started.

Despite Conservative warnings about the “horrific” threat posed by the ISIL, new figures show Canadian military aircraft have conducted less than three per cent of all coalition missions in Iraq and Syria.

“Comparing Canada’s contribution to other allies is difficult because each participating country reports differently. But defence expert David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says Canadian aircraft flew about six per cent of all coalition missions during the war in Libya, and about 10 per cent in Kosovo.”

The war against ISIL figured prominently on the campaign trail Monday as Prime Minister Stephen Harper used a stop in Markham, Ont. to pledge that a re-elected Conservative government would provide more assistance for religious minorities and refugees in the Middle East.

Harper went on to criticize Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Tom Mulcair for promising to end Canada’s participation in the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIL, saying that humanitarian aid alone won’t solve the crisis.

“What is happening in the areas controlled by (ISIL) is really something we have not seen in millennia. It’s just beyond horrific,” he said, adding, “We are a country that can contribute militarily and in the humanitarian sense, and we are doing both.”

But a Citizen analysis raised questions about whether Canada’s military contributions in the fight against ISIL match Harper’s warnings.

Defence Department figures show Canadian military aircraft have flown 1,320 sorties, or individual missions, over Iraq and Syria since last year. That accounts for 2.7 per cent of the 47,705 total sorties flown by coalition aircraft since the war against ISIL started.

Comparing Canada’s contribution to other allies is difficult because each participating country reports differently. But defence expert David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says Canadian aircraft flew about six per cent of all coalition missions during the war in Libya, and about 10 per cent in Kosovo. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon: The ‘Least Ambitious’ Bureaucrat Could Process Clinton’s Personal Emails Faster

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“Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

David Francis writes: So far, the State Department, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, has released just a small sampling of 55,000 pages of email from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s home internet server. The PANTSUIT-REPORTtiming of the releases have been less than ideal: The first batch was released on the afternoon of May 22, the Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend. The second came late in the evening, on June 30, less than an ideal time for reporters to dig in to find a story.

According to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, the pace of the releases, just like their timing, is also less than ideal.

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“Now, any person should be able to review that in one day — one day,” the judge said at a Wednesday hearing, while reviewing an Associated Press request for the release of just over 60 emails. “Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

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New York Daily News

[Read the full text here, at ForeignPolicy.com, and more at the New York Daily News]

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[Noah Rothman on the Media’s Favorite Framing Device: ‘Republican Reaction’ Stories]

Read the rest of this entry »


SMIDGEN REPORT SPECIAL UPDATE: IRS Created ‘Special Project Team’ of ‘Hundreds of Lawyers’ to Hide Information from Congress

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The American Center for Law and JusticeJay Sekulow reports: New testimony reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used “hundreds of attorneys” to SMG-REPORThide critical information from Congress’s investigation of the IRS targeting of conservatives.

According to new congressional bombshell testimony today, the IRS set up a previously unknown “special project team” comprised of “hundreds of attorneys,” including the IRS Chief Counsel (one of only two politically appointed positions at the IRS).

The “special project” this team was given?  Concealing information from Congress.

The IRS’s director of privacy, governmental liaison, and disclosure division, Mary Howard, testified that soon after the IRS targeting scandal was revealed, the IRS “amassed hundreds of attorneys to go through the documents [requested by Congress] and redact them.”

Shulman looks on as Lerner delivers an opening statement to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Washington

Members of Congress have long complained that many of the documents produced by the IRS have been “redacted to the point of absurdity.”

Now we know why.

As the Washington Times reports:

Mary Howard, who also works as the head Freedom of Information Act officer in the IRS, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that once the “special project team” was created and operational, she never saw requests for information.

“My understanding was that it started soon after the request came from Congress and other investigators asking for documents around this whole issue,” which she surmised meant around spring of 2013.

In other words, as soon as the IRS targeting scandal broke, the IRS set up a special O-SMDGE-CONDENSEDteam of hundreds of attorneys, including President Obama’s political head of the Chief Counsel’s office, to keep requests for publicly available information away from the person who would normally review those documents and turn them over to Congress and the public.  That “special” team then overly redacted, delayed, and determined which documents it wanted Congress to see.

After setting up a special “group” to target and delay applications by Tea Party groups for tax-exempt status, the IRS set up a new “special project team” to delay and redact information from Congress about that targeting.  Can you smell a cover-up? Read the rest of this entry »


CHILL: Washington Times Sues Homeland Security over Seizure of Reporter’s Notes

SEAL_s160x160Kellan Howell reports: The Washington Times and one of its former journalists on Thursday sued the Department of Homeland Security, accusing federal agents of illegally seizing the newspaper’s reporting materials during the execution of a search warrant in an unrelated case.

In a motion filed in federal court in Greenbelt, The Times and reporter Audrey Hudson asked a judge to force the federal agency to return all reporting files and documents it seized from Ms. Hudson’s home office during a raid in early August.

The newspaper alleged that federal agents accompanying Maryland State Police on the raid took materials from Ms. Hudson’s office that were not covered by the search warrant that authorized the collection solely of evidence about guns and a potato launcher allegedly possessed by her husband, Paul Flanagan.

The seized materials included documents the newspaper had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act as well as notes and memos that identified confidential sources from a series of investigative stories that exposed problems inside the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.

The seizure violated Ms. Hudson’s and the newspaper’s constitutional rights, the court filing argued. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Military Docs Confirm: Obama Admin Silencing, Criminalizing Christianity

Multiple eyewitnesses and military documents have now confirmed Wednesday’s report that soldiers at a recent briefing on Fort Hood were told that Christians and Tea Partiers are dangerous extremists who are “tearing the nation apart,” and that donating to such groups now constitutes a military crime. Ft. Hood has denied the charges, but evidence continues to mount.

According to documents produced by a recent FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request from Judicial Watch, the military is now using a hysterically left-wing group of partisan fanatics known as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to train soldiers on “extremism.” The SPCL is on the record openly trashing and condemning mainstream Christian groups, Tea Parties and border security groups as “domestic hate groups.”

Breitbart adds:

A month earlier, a security presentation portrayed the Founding Fathers as extremists. Before that, Breitbart News reported on a Christian chaplain who was officially censored by military commanders for talking about the importance of religious faith. And several months before that, Lt. Col. Jack Rich at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, instructed soldiers that traditional Christian beliefs are incompatible with ‘Army values.’

Read the rest of this entry »