Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Air Force Veteran Used Facebook To Solicit Minor Girls For Sex.

(14 June 2012) The 39-year-old head of a Civil Air Patrol program in Oakridge,TN pleaded guilty to sexual abuse charges. (By Karen McCowan of The Register-Guard) The leader of a Civil Air Patrol cadet program in Oakridge was sentenced Wednesday, 13 June to five years in prison for sexually abusing two female high school students. David Sierakowski, 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual abuse for fondling the breasts of two girls, one 15 and one 17. The truck driver and U.S. Air Force veteran also pleaded guilty to three counts of first-­degree online corruption of a child. Those charges reflect three separate occasions in which Sierakowski used Facebook instant messaging to solicit the girls to engage in sexual conduct and to arrange physical meetings with them. Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti ordered Sierakowski to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. His younger victim, who turned 15 shortly before the April incidents, was a participant in the Civil Air Patrol program and knew him as a family friend and from attending the same church, prosecutor Erik Hasselman told Chanti. The 17-year-old victim did not participate in the program, which Oakridge School District Superintendent Don Kordosky described as a paramilitary extra­curricular activity that focuses on physical fitness as well as on exposing students to aviation, including riding in airplanes, and the Civil Air Patrol’s search and rescue mission. Sierakowski met the older victim when both attended the younger one’s 15th birthday party in March, Hasselman said. The state sought no restitution in the case, in part because Sierakowski has a family, the prosecutor said. “You can imagine, in a small community like this, the emotional impact this has had not only on his wife but also on his children,” Hasselman said. “This has been very tough. The children are not only suffering the absence of their father, but the potential stigma that goes along with the crimes that he committed. This is not a happy day for anybody, by any means, but the victims feel some sense of justice.” Sierakowski told Chanti he was “extremely sorry that I’ve done this.” “I want to get help so that nothing like this happens again and so I can be the husband and father that I should be,” Sierakowski said as his wife sat with their pastor in the courtroom. Chanti urged him to use his prison time to immediately begin working on the underlying issues that led to his crimes. “You’re going to be in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a long time, but the damage you’ve done is lifelong,” the judge said. Not only did he betray his wife, children and the public trust of his Civil Air Patrol position, she said, but he robbed his victims of “their innocence and their right to grow into young women without violation.” Kordosky called Sierakowski’s crimes tragic, and noted that the school district conducted a criminal background check before clearing him to work with students. The superintendent said some parents of the 10 students who took part in the cadet program have expressed interest in “seeing it continue because of its positive impact on many kids despite this disaster.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Former Appellate Defense Attorney For Cadet Webster Smith Named To Probe National Security Leaks.

U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., Ronald Machen, was named by attorney General Eric Holder to oversee investigations into leaks of classified information that have roiled Congress and led to calls for a special prosecutor. His decision came hours after President Barack Obama denounced the notion that the White House was engaging in politically motivated leaks and declared that he had “zero tolerance” for such national security breaches. On December 23, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Machen to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 11, 2010. Machen grew up in Detroit, Michigan.He attended Stanford University, where he was a walk-on wide receiver for the Stanford Cardinal football team. Machen graduated from Stanford in 1991 with bachelor degrees in economics and political science. He earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1994. After graduating Harvard, Machen served as a law clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was the Appellate Defense Attorney for Coast Guard Cadet Webster Smith, who was the first Coast Guard cadet ever to be court-martialed. The case was appealed all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. http://www.amazon.com/CONDUCT-UNBECOMING-Officer-Lady-ebook/dp/B006VPAADK Sen. John Cornyn said Machen, a contributor to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, was too politically partisan to handle the leak probes. Holder praised Ronald Machen, who represented Coast Guard Cadet Webster Smith, in his appeal of his court-martial conviction for sexual assault, as experienced and highly respected. "We have a man who have shown independence, an ability to be thorough and who has the guts to ask tough questions," Holder told the committee. "And the charge that I've given him is to follow the leads wherever they are, whether it is _ wherever it is in the executive branch or some other component of government. I have great faith in his abilities." At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said they want the attorney general to appoint a special counsel to look into the leaks, rather than Holder's choices, U.S. Attorneys Ron Machen and Rod Rosenstein, who hold political appointments. Graham and Grassley were referring to a procedure by which a special counsel appointed from outside the Justice Department conducts the leak investigations. In recent days, lawmakers from both parties have deplored what they called a cascade of leaks of sensitive national security secrets disclosed in news reports. House members and senators have complained about reports of a U.S.-led cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program, stories about Obama’s involvement in authorizing deadly drone strikes and reports that the U.S. infiltrated an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group plotting an attack on a U.S. airliner. Holder did not specify which leaks were being investigated. Government officials usually decline to do so because such a statement could confirm the accuracy of the classified information that was published. “The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated,” Holder said in his statement. “The Justice Department takes seriously cases in which government employees and contractors entrusted with classified information are suspected of willfully disclosing such classified information to those not entitled to it, and we will do so in these cases as well.” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said he and Holder had discussed the appointment of the prosecutors, whom he praised as “strong, capable, independent.” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the investigation must be fair and thorough. “These U.S. attorneys will need to have the ability to follow the investigation wherever it may lead,” he said. “I look forward to hearing how they will be independent from the chain of command.”

Dismissed Federal Employees Cannot Avoid MSPB

Fired federal employees have limited route for challenging dismissals (Robert Barnes, 6/11/2012, WP) Federal employees who were fired because they did not sign up for the U.S. draft may not challenge the constitutionality of their dismissals in federal district courts, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The Supreme Court Justices ruled 6 to 3 that Congress has set up a strict method for government employees to appeal their dismissals — first before the Merit Systems Protection Board and then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal District — even if the claim is that the firing was unconstitutional. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, said the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 was intended to replace a patchwork of statutes and rules that developed when employees had the right to challenge agency actions in district courts across the country. The system would be undermined, he wrote, if it could be bypassed “simply by alleging that the statutory authorization for such action is unconstitutional.” The case was brought by Michael B. Elgin, who was hired by the Internal Revenue Service in 1991. He was up for a promotion 11 years later when a background check revealed that he had failed to register for the Selective Service, as is required of men between ages 18 and 26. Another federal law bars employment by executive branch agencies of men who knowingly and willfully failed to register. Elgin said he had been unaware of the Selective Service requirement as a younger man, but the government disagreed and fired him in 2007. He appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), arguing among other things that the federal law barring his employment discriminated on the basis of sex, since only men are required to sign up for the draft. An administrative law judge (ALJ) turned down his appeal, and said the MSPB lacked authority to determine the constitutionality of the statute that led to his dismissal. Elgin then took his claim to a district court and ultimately the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Boston. The Supreme Court’s decision was not about the constitutionality of the statute in question, but the legal route Elgin must take. Lower courts have split on the question of which route is proper. Thomas, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, said the law was clear that the only avenue for Elgin was the federal circuit court. The only exception, the majority said, is when an employee alleges that the firing violated a specific federal law outlawing discrimination. The court’s dissenters said Elgin’s constitutional challenge was “a far cry from the type of claim that Congress intended to channel through” the MSPB. Such an administrative tribunal lacks the expertise and authority to decide constitutional claims, wrote Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Such a path forces the Federal Circuit to address the constitutional issues without benefit of a full record developed at the administrative level, he wrote. The case is Elgin v. Department of Treasury .

Gaddafi Is Now A Martyr.

Gaddafi died at the hands of an angry mob aided by a French air strike. It was a shameful spectacle. There is no law and no order in Libya. Shame on the NTC. It was a lynch mob. Gaddafi was captured alive. He deserved a trial. Such barbarism is ample evidence of how far man has progressed in his attempt to civilize himself. God help us.

Gaddafi was trying to flee the city in a convoy of cars when they came under attack from NATO jets. The French claimed responsibility for the airstrike. Charred remains of 15 pickup trucks lay burned out on a roadside where Gaddafi's convoy had attempted to punch through NTC lines. Inside the ruined vehicles sat the charred skeletons.

Unlike Saddam Hussein of Iraq, who was hanged, Gaddafi died on his feet, standing up and fighting back.

"While he was being taken away, they beat him and then they killed him," a senior source in the NTC told Reuters news agency. "He might have been resisting."

Officials said Gaddafi's son Mo'tassim, also seen bleeding but alive, had also died. Another son, heir-apparent Saif al-Islam, was variously reported to be surrounded, captured or killed as conflicting accounts of the day's events crackled around networks of NTC fighters rejoicing in Sirte.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, spearheaded the Franco-British move in NATO to back the revolt against Gaddafi.

Shortly before dawn prayers on Thursday, Gaddafi, surrounded by a few dozen loyal bodyguards and accompanied by the head of his now non-existent army Abu Bakr Younis Jabr, broke out of the two-month siege of Sirte and made a break for the west.

But they did not get far.

NATO said its warplanes fired on a convoy near Sirte about 8:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. ET), striking two military vehicles in the group, but could not confirm that Gaddafi had been a passenger. France later said its jets had halted the convoy, which was comprised of some 80 vehicles.

By averting a possible dispute in Libya and internationally about where to try him, and denying him a final platform for his trademark lengthy speeches, the summary killing on a desert road is very troubling and unworthy of great powers.

"Gaddafi is now a martyr and thus can become the rallying point for irredentist or tribal violence -- perhaps not in the immediate future but in the medium-to-long term," said George Joffe, a north Africa expert at Cambridge University.

"The fact that NATO can be blamed for his death is worrying, in terms of regional support, and may undermine the legitimacy of the National Transitional Council."

At the end his so-called friends and allies of convenience deserted him, like Jesus' disciples and friends before his crucifixion.

The death of Gaddafi is a setback to campaigners seeking the full truth about the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland of Pan Am flight 103 which claimed 270 lives, mainly Americans, and for which one of Gaddafi's agents was convicted.

Gaddafi loved his green stick.

In the end all of his friends deserted him. US President Barack Obama (R) and Libyan Leader Moamer Kadhafi shake hands during the Group of Eight (G8) summit in L'Aquila, central Italy, on July 9, 2009. Group of Eight leaders grappled at a summit in Italy with reining in unprecedented government support for their economies as divergences emerged over whether their economies were ready. AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images) AFP/Getty Images

Gaddafi at the G8-SUMMIT was with them but not of them.