CONTENTS JULY 22, 2000
Click. MI5 and MI6 ordered to open files to the public.
Click. INSIDE THE DOJ - A WEEKLY LOOK Birthdays, What-ifs and Carnivore.
Click. The Genetic Bill of Rights.
Click. Preliminary Critique of the Danforth Report by Jon Roland © July 22, 2000
Click. Giuliani Says Activists Caused Epidemic
Click. Pittsburg Man Found Guilty In Molest Case. Ex-official may face nearly 10 years.
Click. PAYING THE OLD TITHE TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. Blackhawk developer Behring gives UC $7.5 million grant.
Click. Sonoma Judge Tansil dismisses 10 child pornography counts and accepts plea deal for 1 felony for Santa Rosa teacher who pleads no contest in molest case.
Sonoma Judge Tansil dismisses 10 child pornography counts accepts plea deal for 1 felony for Santa Rosa teacher who pleads no contest in molest case
By LORI A. CARTER © 2000 Santa Rosa Press Democrat Staff Writer 7/22/00
A high school teacher pleaded no contest Thursday to child molestation and child pornography charges in an agreement that could send him to prison for nine years.
Sentencing for Jeffrey Trowbridge is set for Oct. 6.
In exchange for dismissal of 10 misdemeanor charges, Trowbridge, 34, admitted a single felony count of lewd acts with a child and a misdemeanor child pornography charge.
Trowbridge attorney Richard Scott called the lewd act a "glancing touch" while his client and the victim were wrestling fully clothed, adding that he thinks probation would be a fair sentence.
Already on administrative leave from Montgomery High School, Trowbridge plans to resign, Scott said. School officials could not be reached late Thursday to comment on his employment status.
Prosecutor Joan Risse said the deal was agreeable to both sides because the victim, who was 9 at the time of the incident, will not have to testify. The deal was reached before the preliminary hearing, in which a judge decides if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.
"If we can resolve this prior to the preliminary hearing and the child doesn't have to testify, we'd like to do that," Risse said. "This child is related to him and he loves him."
Trowbridge is currently receiving therapy, Scott said.
"He wants to put this behind him," Scott said. "He wanted to make sure the child would not continue to be victimized."
In exchange for the dismissal of 10 misdemeanor charges of possessing child pornography -- a series of pictures he'd printed from the Internet -- Trowbridge pleaded no contest to one charge of possessing the material.
A no contest plea is the legal equivalent of guilty.
The maximum sentence for the misdemeanor charge is one year in county jail; the lewd acts charge carries a penalty of up to eight years in prison.
Under the agreement, Trowbridge will have to register as a sex offender under California's Megan's Law statute. The felony conviction also counts as a "strike," which would double the penalties if he commits other crimes.
In addition to possible prison time, Trowbridge may be ordered to pay as much as $10,000 in restitution to the victim.
Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Mark Tansil will receive results of a psychological exam and a Probation Department recommendation before deciding Trowbridge's sentence.
Trowbridge, who taught English at Montgomery from 1997 until his arrest in May, is the grandson of the late W.C. Trowbridge, a Democratic Party leader in Sonoma County who founded Trowbridge Canoe Trips and was a key advocate for construction of Warm Springs Dam.
PAYING THE OLD TITHE TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. Blackhawk developer Behring gives UC $7.5 million grant.
Money is to train urban school principals
By William Brand © Oakland Tribune Staff Writer 7/22/00
BERKELEY -- The developer of the posh Blackhawk development near Danville in Contra Costa County has given the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Education a $7.5 million gift to train principals for struggling urban schools.
The developer, Ken Behring, has stipulated that the money go for scholarships to UC Berkeley's new "Principal Leadership Institute" program in the School of Education.
The grant will be announced formally Tuesday by Gov. Gray Davis and UC Berkeley officials.
Davis is especially interested because legislation creating the institute here and a similar institute at UCLA was approved during the governor's emergency education session of the Legislature, which he convened after his election.
Proper graduate training -- especially for principals at underachieving, underfunded K-12 schools in inner cities and in rural areas, is a pressing problem in education, officials said. Behring's gift will endow scholarships to the program.
The gift apparently is the largest ever made to the School of Education. It also is one of the largest grants to the university this year, said Jose Rodriquez of the University Relations office.
The largest gift to UC Berkeley this year was a $15million donation from the Whitaker Foundation in May, which went to support the university's new bioengineering complex.
Last year, the university received a record $221.7 million in gifts.
"We don't have the figures yet for the fiscal year ending June 30, but we anticipate we will match that figure this year," Rodriquez said.
He said the largest gift ever received by the university was $50 million from an anonymous donor last year.
Behring, 71, was the developer of the exclusive Blackhawk gated community near Danville in Contra Costa County. The former owner of the Seattle Seahawks football team has used some of his wealth to establish a $10 million museum of vintage cars in Danville, next to a UC culture and science museum. A major philanthropist, Behring donated $20 million to the Smithsonian Institution in 1997.
Robert Jorgensen, director of school relations for the Principal Institute, said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl clinched the agreement with Behring for the donation during dinner at Chez Panisse last spring.
Jorgensen said the program is just beginning its first year of operation. The first 25 students began classes in June. The Behring gift will help the school expand to as many as 100 graduate students in the next three to four years.
"The idea of the institute was being planned here along with San Francisco State, Cal State Hayward and San Jose State. The governor's action dovetailed into what we were already doing," he said.
Pittsburg Man Found Guilty In Molest Case.
Ex-official may face nearly 10 years.
San Francisco Chronicle 7/22/00
PITTSBURG -- Jurors deliberated only about four hours yesterday to find a former high-ranking Pittsburg city official guilty on nine criminal counts, including molesting a boy he was supposed to be mentoring.
The jury convicted former Assistant City Manager Glenn Valenzuela of four felony counts of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy and five misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors. Victims of the misdemeanors include the 15-year-old molest victim and two other teens who were encouraged by Valenzuela to drink alcohol.
Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Peter Spinetta ordered that Valenzuela, 51, be jailed immediately pending sentencing, which is scheduled for August 17. He faces a maximum of nine years and four months in prison.
Valenzuela was hired by Pittsburg as the assistant city manager in 1998 and was considered the leading candidate to take over the city's administration. After an arrest warrant was issued for him last year, he fled to Yakima, Wash., where he had previously worked. He was fired by Pittsburg shortly after fleeing.
Valenzuela met his victim, who had been expelled from high school, through a mentoring program last year. They worked together on plans for a city skateboard park and batting cages, and eventually the boy was spending many nights at Valenzuela's house.
Deputy District Attorney Brian Welch called the case ``very sad.''
``This young man was excited about being in this mentoring program, and he and his mom thought Mr. Valenzuela could help him turn his life around,'' Welch said after the verdict was returned. ``It's very sad to see this young man getting victimized by someone who was supposed to really help him.''
During the trial, Valenzuela denied molesting the boy, and claimed that he had been framed by police.
Police found a videotape showing Valenzuela and his victim ``slamming'' alcohol. Valenzuela admitted during his testimony that he had provided the victim and at least one other boy with alcohol, but claimed he was trying to teach them about substance abuse or see if they had a drinking problem.
Valenzuela was also convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allowing the 15-year-old to use knives or firearms, and for allowing him to drive without a permit.
Valenzuela gave the boy gifts and took him on trips, but they reportedly had a falling-out, and the boy told his mother about the abuse.
Valenzuela claimed that he fled Pittsburg to prepare his legal defense.
Welch scoffed at the testimony, and said that obviously jurors did not believe Valenzuela's account.
``I felt the defendant had been caught in several significant lies on the stand,'' Welch said. '`I would think any reasonable juror would be concerned about that.''
Among the inconsistencies were his claims that he was worried about a police conspiracy against him, when in fact he had championed higher raises for police than for other city unions, Welch said.
Valenzuela's attorney, Gilbert Roque, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The victim and his mother were not in court when the verdict was returned, but Welch said ``I think this will be a relief for him.''
Giuliani Says Activists Caused Epidemic
By Robert Lederman © 2000 7/21/00
Watching him react at press conferences you know exactly when you are getting Rudy Giuliani angry. His eyes widen, the eyebrows arch and he gets that same, are you lookin' at me?,
expression Robert DeNiro had before going on a murderous rampage in the film Taxi Driver.
On Thursday 7/20/2000 a coalition of environmental activists got Giuliani particularly agitated by filing a Federal lawsuit charging that by indiscriminately spraying toxic pesticides his
administration was violating the Federal Clean Water Act, the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery (of Hazardous Waste) Act and the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act.
The suit, in which I am proud to be a plaintiff, also charges that the administration is violating all the labeling instructions that come with the insecticides and is spraying without obtaining any
of the legally required permits.
Here is a verbatim transcription of what Giuliani said when questioned by reporters about the lawsuit.
Mayor Giuliani, City Hall press conference 7/20/2000
"I think their lawsuit is highly irresponsible. Because it creates all kind of misleading impressions on the part of people. And in fact, maybe over a long period of time the kind of furor that they've created around the whole idea of insecticides has helped to contribute to the outbreak of things like this...This is very irresponsible in terms of what it does to public opinion and public emotion and public feelings. The mosquitoes that are carrying this virus are killers. They kill human beings.
Insecticides used in responsible ways pose no similar kind of threat to anyone."
In other words, activists are irresponsibly airing opinions and distributing scientific information on pesticides which run counter to official propaganda that insecticides are totally safe and that spraying them on our homes, streets, parks, waterways and bodies is desirable.
Blaming protesters and activists is a tried and true tactic for the Mayor. When activists protested the NYPD shooting of unarmed West African street vendor Amadou Diallo 41 times, the Mayor
claimed we were, "the worst element in society"-Daily News 4/1/99. This so-called worst element included elected officials, ministers, rabbis and even police officers. Giuliani and NYPD
Commissioner Safir repeatedly stated their theory that a rising murder rate and a sudden general increase in crime statistics after the Diallo protests were caused by protest signs comparing the
Mayor to Adolf Hitler and the NYPD to the Gestapo. According to their theory, the signs caused a drop in morale among police officers who then refused to arrest criminals.
Now activists are even causing epidemics.
Is the Mayor right? Is the information activists like myself are giving to the media and the public needlessly frightening people into being afraid of harmless pesticides? Are mosquitoes allegedly
infected with West Nile Virus really killers that must be stopped at ANY cost?
Last year according to the statistics released by the City seven elderly people supposedly died from the virus, yet to date none of the names of the deceased have been released nor have any human or bird blood and tissue samples been made available to independent scientists for testing and confirmation.
The Department of Health and CDC press releases state West Nile Virus is extremely hard to get and very rarely fatal with most of those infected recovering in a few days with no symptoms whatsoever. More people died last year from questionable NYPD shootings than are alleged to have died from the so-called epidemic.
Statistically, your chances of being seriously injured or killed by falling concrete in NYC is far greater than your chance of being harmed by West Nile Virus.
According to the Mayors own press releases only people with weakened immune systems such as the very young, the elderly and people with AIDs or other immune diseases are susceptible
to the virus. A weakened immune system just happens to be the single most common physiological side-effect of repeated exposure to pesticides. Another frequent symptom of pesticide exposure is encephalitis. Department of Health statistics show that seven cases of encephalitis is an average number per year for NYC.
The NYC Department of Health press releases also clearly state that children, the elderly and people with immune diseases like asthma are particularly susceptible to getting sick from pesticide
exposure. The segment of NYC population that includes these categories of people numbers in the millions. Based on the kind of statistical analysis Mayor Giuliani specializes in, the public health threat from using these pesticides is thousands of times greater than the threat of West Nile Virus.
While the Mayor and the CDC keep telling people that West Nile Virus has never before appeared in North America, the reality is that the CDC, the U.S. Army, Rockefeller University in Manhattan and the U.S. Animal Disease bio-warfare lab on Plum Island NY among others have been experimenting with West Nile Virus for decades. Sloan Kettering hospital in NYC was even experimentally injecting it into volunteers in order to test it as a cancer treatment in the 1950's. Documentation is provided below to prove these facts.
So what do you think? Should activists just mind their own business and let the Mayor spray the City as often as he likes with whatever toxic chemicals are handy? Does the public have a right to weigh in on this issue before being sprayed? Is the Mayor free to ignore all of the labeling instructions that the chemical companies and Federal regulations demand that pesticide applicators follow?
Unlike his frequent free speech violations, which can and often have been remedied in a court of law, there is no way to compensate people once you have permanently damaged their health. A court order cannot restore damaged genes, repair cells that have mutated into cancerous tumors from pesticide exposure or recreate the dead fish, birds, and beneficial insects that have
been exterminated from the local environment due to indiscriminate spraying. Our water and air quality, which more than any other factor determines the real quality of life in NYC, is being degraded each time the Mayor sprays. Keep in mind that NYC is an island-which make the massive spraying of chemicals that are never to be released over water completely illegal.
Below is a small sample of the information activists are distributing which the Mayor believes is wrongly influencing people. Want to help? Call the following numbers in NY State Attorney General Spitzers office and demand that they stop the Mayor from illegally claiming pesticides are safe and illegally dumping them in our environment.
David Nocenti, chief counsel to Elliot Spitzer 212 416-8095
Peter Lehner, in charge of environmental bureau for Elliot Spritzer 212 416-8450.
Queens Courier 2/17/2000
Attorney General To City Officials: Stop Claiming Malathion Is Safe
City officials including Mayor Rudy Gillian and Health Commissioner Nil L. Cohan have repeatedly violated federal and state regulations by offering public assurances that the pesticide marathon is safe, Judith Neck, a spokesperson for Attorney General Eliot Spritzer confirmed officials of her agency have notified the city's corporation counsel to "cease and desist" this practice. Peter Leaner, chief of the Attorney Generals environmental protection bureau, notified the city's corporation
counsel, Michael Hess, that safety claims about pesticides are in violation of US Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Law.
From: ANVIL LABEL
Harmful if absorbed through the skin. Do not induce vomiting because of aspiration pneumonia hazard. Avoid contact with skin, eyes or clothing. Do not apply directly to water, or to areas
where surface water is present. It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.
From the Promed website
Visit ProMED-mail's web site at
WEST NILE VIRUS UPDATE. 1950'S EXPERIMENTS USING WEST NILE VIRUS AT SLOAN KETTERING, NYC
In the 1950's, experiments with WNV were carried out on human volunteers at the Sloan- Kettering Institute of the Memorial Center for Cancer and Allied Diseases, New York. A total of 95 patients with neoplastic disease were inoculated intramuscularly with the WNV topotype strain Eg-101 in an effort to achieve therapeutic pyrexia and oncolysis in them.
Area Labs Have Long Studied Virus / Yale, Rockefeller began tests in '50s 09-29-1999 page A28
Epidemiologists suspect that the West Nile virus has for the first time been isolated in humans or animals in the Western Hemisphere, but the virus has for decades made its home in
several U.S. research laboratories, including Rockefeller University in Manhattan and Yale University in New Haven, Conn. In fact, investigators there were the first to grow and
study the West Nile virus in the United States. The work began in the 1950s when unidentified viral samples from around the world arrived at Rockefeller on a steady basis.
The following are verbatim descriptions of one of many passages from the Giuliani administration official handbook on Malathion.
City of New York Chem-bio Handbook
Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mayor
Page #76. Malathion
Malathion is a commonly used organophosphate insecticide that causes the same biological effects as nerve agents...Malathion can be absorbed by ingestion or through the skin.
Lab Focus Was On 4 Animal Diseases
When the military officially closed Ft. Terry in 1954, Army officers turned over to Plum Island scientists 134 strains of 13 viruses collected from four continents, most obtained for
development as biological warfare weapons.
Newsday 7/2/93 Plum Island Bird Kill Probed
The discovery of the remains of at least 10 dead birds in a courtyard of Plum Island's research laboratory for exotic animal diseases is being investigated by Agriculture Department
From: -DEADLY DISCOVERY Newsday, 9/25/99 “Virologist Thomas Monath, one of the country's leading authorities on mosquito-carried viruses, called the discovery [of the encephalitis virus in NY] "a bombshell," and added: "This is the biggest arbovirus story of the last 50 years. Wow!"...Monath, who works for OraVax, a biotechnology company in Boston, said that he has been working closely with CDC investigators in New York since the encephalitis outbreak began in late August.
[Note the names Jerry Hauer and Thomas Monath in the following article and the president of Rockefeller University] NY Times 8/7/98 GERM DEFENSE PLAN IN PERIL AS ITS
FLAWS ARE REVEALED. On May 22, President Clinton unveiled an ambitious plan to
stockpile vaccines at strategic sites around the country so communities could better fight germ attacks. "We must do more to protect our civilian population,"...A presidential meeting where seven scientists endorsed the stockpile plan included two men who stood to gain financially from the decision...Clinton's attending officials included the secretary of defense, the attorney general, the secretary of health and human services, the director of Central Intelligence and the president's national security adviser. The scientists present were...Dr. Joshua Lederberg, president emeritus of Rockefeller University...Jerome Hauer, head of emergency management for New York City...
The scientific panel also had two industry experts, both with financial ties to vaccine work...Dr. J. Craig Venter, president of The Institute for Genomic Research [the co-researchers with the Human Genome Project] and...Dr. Thomas Monath identified in a White House announcement as a vice president of OraVax and a former official of the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Army
Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the government's top body for defensive germ-warfare studies. ...Based in Cambridge, Mass., OraVax was founded in 1990 to tap an emerging multi-billion-dollar market in oral vaccines and antibodies to combat infectious diseases. But the small company kept having problems getting beyond research and bringing products to market. By 1996 and 1997, its survival at stake, OraVax tried to win part of the Pentagon's expanding germ work as a subcontractor to make smallpox and other vaccines. By early this year, that work had failed to materialize and the company's stock price was down 90 percent from $10 a share in the initial public offering...no one could recall Monath telling the president of his company's financial interest in vaccine stockpiles -- a step he now insists that he took....Monath said. "I don't make it a business of taking advantage of situations in which I'm asked to participate to push the OraVax agenda."...
[Note: West Nile Virus, Kunjin virus and St. Louis Encephalitis are variations of Japanese Encephalitis] From: http://www.bioinfo.com/jev.html
[from Federal Register: March 22, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 57, Page 11812]
Oravax/Peptide Therapeutics Group [PTG] Oravax Encephilitis Vaccine Patent Application from 1996:
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive License of a U.S. Government-Owned Patent
Agency: U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command,
DOD [Department of Defense].
Summary: In accordance with 37 CFR 404.7 (a)(I)(i),
announcement is made of the intent to grant an exclusive,
royalty-bearing, revocable license of U.S. Patent Application
Serial Number 08/348,882, filed November 28, 1994 and
entitled ``Infectious DNA Clones of Japanese Encephalitis
Virus and Attenuated Strains Japanese Encephalitis Virus
Made from the Clones'', to OraVax, Inc., 230 Albany Street,
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139. Rights to this invention are
owned by the United States Government as represented by the
Secretary of the Army. Anyone wishing to object to the grant
of this license has 60 days from the date of this notice to file
written objections along with supporting evidence, if any.
Written objections are to be filed with the Command Judge
Advocate, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel
Command, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland 21702-5012.
[Requests for further information should be directed to the
public affairs officer, Mr. Chuck Dasey (301) 619-2736]
The opinions expressed in my articles should not be taken as official statements by the No-Spray coalition or by the other plaintiffs in the anti-spray lawsuit which is made up of a very diverse group of environmental activists. Feel free to copy, repost or print out and re-distribute this information to your friends, the media or elected officials.
Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T.
(Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics)
For archived Lederamn articles see:
http://www.levymultimedia.com [For essays and notes on
pesticides scroll down to and click on Lederman archive link or
go to http://www.levymultimedia.com/lederman/index.htm]
Preliminary Critique of the Danforth Report by Jon Roland © July 22, 2000
This critique is based on news reports and television interviews of Danforth, as I do not yet had a copy of the complete report. However, several conclusions can be reached.
Jack Danforth is lying. It is not possible to reach the conclusions he has announced based on the evidence that has been discussed. Such evidence and analysis cannot prove a negative, and therefore one cannot be "100 percent" certain that government agents did not start the fire, direct gunfire at the Davidians on April 19, 1993, use military personnel, properly or otherwise, or conduct a coverup.
Danforth maintains there must be a "presumption" of innocence of the government. Nonsense. The standard of presumption of innocence unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt applies to individuals charged with a crime, but not to institutions or government offices. The appropriate standard for those who hold a public trust is merely "probable cause to suspect", and if such probable cause exists, it justifies defunding the agency, excluding its personnel from further government employment, and the creation of a new agency with new personnel to take over its functions. Such
probable cause to suspect certainly applies in this case and justifies such terminating action for the FBI.
First, Danforth is lying about the alleged tape of the Davidians presented as evidence they started the fire. Even if they had started some fires, that is not proof the FBI or Delta force agents did not also do so, and their use of incendiary rounds during the engagement is strong evidence that the agents either intended to start a fire or were reckless in their use of methods that could be expected to cause one. The Davidians might have been intending to use Molotov cocktails against the tanks. The injection of CS gas alone could be expected to have caused a fire in that environment, when
any spark or even gunfire could have set it off. The progress of the fire clearly indicates the detonation of CS, and therefore the injection of CS must be considered the primary cause of the fire, along with those who decided to inject it.
I have heard the tape before it was "enhanced" and it is incomprehensible. That is not to say that computer "enhancement" could not extract voices saying words like that. I would have to have the original tape and try to do it myself. But from what I heard, I doubt that it is possible to extract what they presented in court from that tape. Nor would it be possible to reliably use such an enhanced version either as evidence or to identify the person speaking. At best it is an indication, which might be used to find
other evidence, if it existed, but not as evidence in itself.
Similar considerations apply to computer enhancements of video or film footage. You might be able to identify, say, a license plate number, which might point to which vehicle to further examine for evidence it was involved in a crime, but lacking such further evidence, the computer-enhanced image alone should not be used as evidence.
Second, Danforth is also lying about the gunfire. He stated categorically that there was no credible evidence of gunfire by government agents, when he has the preliminary report of Carlos Ghigliotti and the earlier report by Allard, which are nothing if not credible. Perhaps not conclusive in the view of some, but certainly enough to doubt and prevent any conclusion that one can be "100 percent" certain no gunfire occurred. The fact that Ghigliotti is no longer alive to present his conclusions in personal testimony, and that Allard is unable or unwilling to do so because of his stroke, is not grounds to dismiss their work from consideration, and accept only the work of a contractor controlled by the government.
However, the fates of Ghigliotti and Allard could explain why Danforth is lying. Perhaps he got the message.
Third, Danforth is lying about the use of military personnel. He states that their use was not "improper" in a way that is intended to convey the impression that they were not used at all, but that is tergiversation. Statements by military personnel make it clear they were used, and any such use was not just "improper" but illegal, despite attempts to wiggle out from under the Posse Comitatus Act.
Fourth, Danforth is lying about the absence of a coverup. He admits the FBI had a "bunker mentality" and failed to "be forthcoming" with evidence, especially about the use of incendiary rounds, but claims that is not obstruction of justice? Of course it is a coverup. It continues to this day. Does he think the American people are idiots to believe such a preposterous quibbling over words? That it depends on what "is" is? Gimme a break!
It is reported that polls indicate 61 percent of the American people think the federal government caused the tragedy at Mount Carmel, and is guilty of crimes in that matter. After the Danforth Report, that percentage will only increase. The only thing that will make this issue go away is to criminally prosecute all the government personnel involved, up to the President of the United States, to exonerate the Davidians charged with crimes, to fully compensate the survivors of the victims, and to make reforms to insure that nothing like this ever happens again. Nothing less will do.
Constitution Society, 1731 Howe Av #370, Sacramento, CA 95825
916/568-1022, 916/450-7941VM Date: 07/22/00 Time: 08:25:42
MI5 and MI6 ordered to open files to the public.
The intelligence services – M15 and M16 – have been ordered to open their secret files to public scrutiny.
Every British citizen will, in theory, have the right to look at his or her file held among thousands of secret documents.
The Data Protection Commissioner, Elizabeth France, has ordered the services – and GCHQ, the Government's information-gathering centre – to comply with data protection law after losing patience with them following years of failed negotiations.
Jonathan Bamford, the Assistant Data Protection Commissioner, said: "We had made it clear to these agencies that we expect them to register under the data protection acts and comply fully with the data protection principles."
Mr Bamford added: "We will investigate any complaints – now called 'requests for assessment' – that we may review in relation to these agencies in the same way as for as any other data user."
Security chiefs have tried to resist registering by claiming that they are entitled to blanket exemption on the grounds of national security. The 1984 act – which incorporates the data protection principles into British law – requires that data is collected fairly and lawfully, that it is accurate and kept up to date, and that it is only used for the purposes which are stated in its entry on the Data Protection Register.
But after the new, tougher 1998 Data Protection Act came into force in March this year – requiring much more openness by organisations that hold files on individuals – the commissioner informed intelligence chiefs that they could face court action if they failed to comply. Mr Bamford said the three agencies were sent application forms to register under the data protection acts. The application for GCHQ has been returned and its entry now appears on the Data Protection Register.
The intelligence agencies are certain to seek to resist each application on the grounds of national security.
It appears that the commissioner is determined to tackle each application on its merits – the same that applies to other organisations such as the police. This would result in a huge additional workload for the intelligence services and ministers.
Under the 1998 act a refusal by the security and intelligence services to disclose personal records "in the interest of national security" has to be endorsed by a certificate issued by a minister of the crown. A refusal can be challenged before a data protection tribunal.
If all citizens can ask the intelligence service to see their files, the agencies may be faced with having to scrap many files of people they suspected in the past but who do fit the exact terms of MI5's, MI6's and GCHQ's current remit.
The head of MI5, Sir Stephen Lander, has already received an application under the Data Protection Act from the Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker. In his letter to Sir Stephen, dated 12 July, the MP for Lewes wrote: "As you will know, the Office of the Data Protection Registrar is of the view that the UK's security and intelligence agencies are duty bound to comply with the Data Protection Principles and thus the Data Protection Acts."
It continues: "Accordingly, I would appreciate it if you would kindly now advise me as to the procedure you plan to adopt in order to process this request, and also the prospective time-scale that will apply to this application." The Home Office would not comment on the application.
A spokesman for the Cabinet Office, which is the department dealing with inquiries, indicated that the Government will not intervene over the commissioner's tough line on the security and intelligence services.
He added: "This is a matter concerning the data protection acts and is therefore a matter for the Data Protection Commissioner. It is nothing to do with us."
The MI5 security service alone holds approximately 440,000 files, according to a parliamentary reply from the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, of which "290,000 [are] relating to individuals who may have been the subject of an inquiry or investigation". But unofficial estimates have put the figure much higher.
INSIDE THE DOJ - A WEEKLY LOOK Birthdays, What-ifs and Carnivore.
By Beverley Lumpkin © ABC News, Washington D.C.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEN AND JANET
Today, Friday the 21st, is Janet Reno’s 62nd birthday. It’s also Ken Starr’s birthday - his 54th. Sort of a cosmic coincidence.
‘CARNIVORE’ LOOSE AT FBI
This week, one top FBI official told me the bureau had been “eaten alive by Carnivore,” the bureau’s new high-tech e-mail snooping system, adding wryly that the FBI had “once again demonstrated our total inability to see ourselves as the rest of the world does.”
And can we talk about that name? Last week Reno indicated her personal distaste for it. Another senior FBI official admitted the reaction to it has been “sobering” and they may have to think a little harder about names in the future. One Justice official suggested, only half-jokingly, that the name should be changed immediately to “Mr. Warm & Fuzzy.”
The basic problem was, the FBI’s techies had devised a new gee-whiz piece of equipment that they didn’t think was such a big deal outside their own little world. But when they demonstrated it to the industry, the furor began. The FBI of course already has the authority to intercept e-mails in transit.
Generally it obtains a court order and serves it on the Internet service provider. But sometimes the provider can only give the FBI a flood of e-mails instead of narrowing them down to the traffic of one specified person.
The FBI doesn’t want to paw through them all, and some civil libertarians agree that it’s far better that agents do not. Carnivore enables them to exclude all but the targeted person. In conventional wiretaps, agents listening in must “minimize” or ignore any conversation that is not specifically covered by the court order as indicating criminal activity. With Carnivore, according to a senior FBI official, “this is in fact a better minimizer that we can do with headphones on a telephone tap.”
But Carnivore must be plugged directly into an Internet service provider’s system and that concerns some who worry the FBI could theoretically scan every piece of e-mail the ISP carries. The answer to those worries are multiple, according to the FBI: a combination of procedures, training, and routine audits — plus severe sanctions for any misuse. It’s a federal felony to improperly intercept an electronic communication.
BAKALY GETS A RAW DEAL
One would have to be a reporter with a heart of stone not to have been affected personally by the excruciating spectacle of the prosecution of Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s former spokesman, Charles Bakaly.
Here was a man not accused of leaking grand jury information, not in fact accused of leaking any information, but rather on trial for the alleged contemptuous action of causing a judge to hold a couple of hearings she would not have otherwise.
Judge Norma Holloway Johnson had originally agreed with President Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, that a New York Times piece stating that Starr was considering indicting the president while still in office was a grand jury leak.
But when the appeals court disagreed with her expansive view of grand jury material, she started aiming her sights on Bakaly for making false and misleading statements in documents filed with her. But Justice said there was no false statements case worth bringing.
That’s when she insisted Justice prosecute Bakaly for contempt of court. Justice officials tried to dissuade her, in vain. And Reno on Thursday morning acknowledged that if there’d been absolutely no basis for the prosecution, Justice could have so informed the court.
Instead there was the horrific situation of Johnson sitting as both judge and jury in a case in which she herself was the allegedly aggrieved party.
And when testimony ended, she decided to prolong the agony by requesting both sides to file findings of fact and proposed conclusions of law.
This is something she’s permitted to do in a trial without a jury, but it was certainly not required, and it means yet another month of uncertainty for Bakaly, who hasn’t worked since he was pushed overboard by Starr in March of 1999.
And as long as I’m criticizing the judge, Justice and the Independent Counsel for hanging Bakaly out to dry, what about the lofty New York Times? Bakaly testified he was promised by the reporter, Don Van Natta, Jr., that it would be made clear that the source of the story came from “outside” Starr’s office.
Instead, the story cited “associates of Starr.” As soon as Bakaly learned that, he told FBI agents, he knew he’d been “burned.” Even more, he anguished, he realized he would be prosecuted and probably disbarred.
Van Natta further committed an all-too-frequent sin: dishonestly clearing one of his sources by quoting his supposed refusal to comment. “Charles G. Bakaly 3d, the spokesman for Mr. Starr, declined to discuss the matter.”
Bakaly admitted on the witness stand that he had had numerous conversations with Van Natta; his argument was that he had not discussed any “non-public” matter, and that he had been trying to steer the reporter in a more favorable direction — which, after all, was part of his job description. Van Natta even inserted a quote from Bakaly: “ ‘We will not discuss the plans of this office or the plans of the grand jury in any way, shape or form,’ he said.”
As Slate.com’s Michael Kinsley so witheringly pointed out, “the Times not only allowed Bakaly to tell what the reporter knew to be a lie in its pages, but it told a knowing lie itself. Bakaly did not ‘decline to discuss the matter.’ “
But here’s the most astonishing misleading statement of all, and it was not committed by the accused: Bakaly had provided Van Natta with a redacted copy of an internal memorandum in which one of Starr’s attorneys had reviewed and compiled historical materials from the Watergate era, when 25 years earlier another set of lawyers had wrestled with the question whether a sitting president could be indicted.
But the Times quoted from the document, and referred to its arguments, as if, quoting the defense brief, they “described a current debate within the OIC rather than the debate that occurred a quarter century earlier within the Watergate prosecutor’s office.”
Now that should be a crime.
RENO REACHES A ‘WHAT-IF’ MILESTONE
Thursday marked Reno’s 275th press availability. And if I ever seem impatient or disgruntled, just consider the implications of that huge number. It’s not by accident that these weekly get-togethers are not called “news conferences” — her intention is not to make news but rather merely to make herself available to us.
In terms of that availability she clearly outshines all other Cabinet members, but at the same time, as anyone who’s watched them can attest, she probably gives less away than anyone else.
She has certain stock phrases that those of us who’ve been around for a while can actually start writing in our notes before she’s even finished uttering them. In her early years, she stated so many times, for so many different matters, that she wanted to “work with all concerned,” that several reporters would just jot down “WWAC.” Somehow she figured out what we were doing and modified the phrase.
Another favorite expression is “I think it’s so very important that … ” But her failure to make news is something about which she can joke, too. A frequent response whenever she’s asked any slightly speculative question is, “I don’t do what-ifs.”
This morning a fact sheet handed out after the 275th availability stated (with straight face): “The Attorney General has used the phrase ‘I don’t do what-if’s’ approximately 1,236,887 times.”
On 21 Jul 2000, at 10:16, wrote:
Originated: Biotech Activists ()
THE GENETIC BILL OF RIGHTS
By The Board of Directors, Council for Responsible Genetics
Our life and health depend on an intricate web of relationships within
the biological and social worlds. Protection of these relationships
must inform all public policy.
Commercial, governmental, scientific and medical institutions promote manipulation of genes despite profound ignorance of how such changes
may affect the web of life. Once they enter the environment, organisms
with modified genes cannot be recalled and pose novel risks to humanity and the entire biosphere.
Manipulation of human genes creates new threats to the health of individuals and their offspring, and endangers human rights, privacy and dignity.
Genes, other constituents of life, and genetically modified organisms themselves are rapidly being patented and turned into objects of commerce. This commercialization of life is veiled behind promises to cure disease and feed the hungry.
People everywhere have the right to participate in evaluating the social and biological implications of the genetic revolution and in democratically guiding its applications.
To protect our human rights and integrity and the biological integrity of the earth, we, therefore, propose this Genetic Bill of Rights.
THE GENETIC BILL OF RIGHTS
All people have the right to preservation of the earth's biological and genetic diversity.
All people have the right to a world in which living organisms cannot be patented, including human beings, animals, plants, microorganisms and all their parts.
All people have the right to a food supply that has not been genetically engineered.
All indigenous peoples have the right to manage their own biological resources, to preserve their traditional knowledge, and to protect these from expropriation and biopiracy by scientific, corporate or government interests.
All people have the right to protection from toxins, other contaminants, or actions that can harm their genetic makeup and that of their offspring.
All people have the right to protection against eugenic measures such as forced sterilization or mandatory screening aimed at aborting or manipulating selected embryos or fetuses.
All people have the right to genetic privacy including the right to prevent the taking or storing of bodily samples for genetic information without their voluntary informed consent.
All people have the right to be free from genetic discrimination.
All people have the right to DNA tests to defend themselves in criminal proceedings.
All people have the right to have been conceived, gestated, and born without genetic manipulation.
Mark Ritchie, President
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
2105 First Ave. South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404 USA
612-870-3400 (phone) 612-870-4846 (fax)