transparency

Abby Martin of Media Roots on Citizen Journalism at SFSU

Abby Martin, Founder of Media Roots, speaks about citizen journalism at San Francisco State University on March 13, 2012 for the 'Media Literacy: Corporate Propaganda & Advocating Independent Journalism' Project Censored event.

http://www.twitter.com/abbymartin
http://www.mediaroots.org

9/11 Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

On July 23, 2010 Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein published an order terminating motions in the 9/11 wrongful death cases of Barbara Keating and Sara Low.

After languishing in his court for years and being told by their attorneys that they had almost no chance of getting a trial on liability, a proposed settlement was proffered in Keating v. American Airlines, Inc. and Low v. U.S. Airways, Inc. Unfortunately the good judge essentially sat on the motions for several months, neither ruling for or against them.

Can you imagine how the Keating and Low families felt? After all this time a settlement is finally agreed upon by both the plaintiffs and the defendants and what does Hellerstein do? Nothing! He simply refuses to rule either way.

It was not a case of the plaintiffs withdrawing before approval could be granted. Rather, it was that approval, nor for that matter disapproval, was simply not forthcoming. After twisting in the wind for so long and having all their efforts to establish a public archive squashed, the Low family, in particular, was devastated.

9/11 Transparency Muzzled

Bruce Golding of the New York Post has done a good job of reporting on the 9/11 property damage litigation, with the exception of addressing the issue of transparency, or more correctly, the lack thereof.

On July 1, 2010 Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein issued an order granting a joint motion approving property damage settlements in 18 of 21 cases asserting property damage claims from the September 11, 2001 attack. The proposed amount , $1.2 billion, represents a 72% discount from the settling plaintiffs' total claimed damages of $4.4 billion.

The payouts are on hold pending a legal challenge by developer Larry Silverstein who's seeking $12 billion for his WTC losses. He didn't join in the settlement, which he said was "shrouded in secrecy" and involved "collusive" deals struck by insurers with interests on both sides of the table.

In a separate order, signed by Judge Hellerstein on the same day, he resolved the intervenor's motion to unseal documents. The New York Times had moved to unseal, and thereby make public, the motion filed to approve the property settlement.

9/11's False Elvis

The New York Times recently published a profile of Alvin K. Hellerstein, the judge charged with overseeing the litigation stemming from the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. In it the judge was cited for his empathy towards the victims’ families and his commitment to transparency, when in fact just the opposite has been true in the wrongful death cases. One WTC responder has even gone so far as to glowingly refer to Hellerstein as the “Elvis of the 9/11 community.”

Legal experts believe that the judge may see his handling of the 9/11 litigation as his legacy. There is evidence to support that when you see how often he has been cited in the press, saying that he has a very strong policy in favor of public records and accountability. He’s also said, with reference to the property cases, that he would prefer more open records and that he might even consider unsealing them.

It would appear that the good judge certainly talks the talk, but does he walk the walk or do his rulings reveal that his comments are more specious rhetoric than a true commitment to transparency?

Sibel Edmonds New Website: BoilingFrogsPost.com

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com

From the About page:

"Boiling Frogs Post is an online news, editorial, analysis, and Podcast interview site covering select but significant blacked out stories and issues, while defying blinded partisanship. Each one of our partner investigative journalists brings 20+ years of investigative journalism experience in reporting controversial and daring topics. Our weekly Podcast interview series, the Boiling Frogs Show, features in depth original interviews with well-respected and controversial guests.

"This site has been set up to bring together members of the irate minority club: Those who have gotten tired of the very-dependent mainstream media & and the agenda-driven and partisan pseudo alternative fluff sites. We may be the irate minority out there, but over here we are the majority, so we rule. Together we hope to increase our numbers and take back our hijacked nation."

Site design by 9/11 Truth activist Scott Ford - http://www.Twerp.com

FBI Backs Off From Secret Order for Data After Lawsuit (Internet Archive)

Was this for your info, 911veritas?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/07/AR2008050703808.html

The FBI has withdrawn a secret administrative order seeking the name, address and online activity of a patron of the Internet Archive after the San Francisco-based digital library filed suit to block the action.

It is one of only three known instances in which the FBI has backed off from such a data demand, known as a "national security letter," or NSL, which is not subject to judicial approval and whose recipient is barred from disclosing the order's existence.

NSLs are served on phone companies, Internet service providers and other electronic communications service providers, but because of the gag order provision, the public has little way to know about them. Their use soared after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, when Congress relaxed the standard for their issuance. FBI officials now issue about 50,000 such orders a year.