Court and Judicial Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Court and Judicial Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of court and judicial corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
More than a quarter-century ago, Steven Donziger, a young American human rights lawyer, joined the legal effort to force Texaco to clean up the Ecuadoran headwaters of the Amazon rain forest. Between 1972 and 1992, the company dumped toxic waste and spilled billions of gallons of oil-exposed water across 1,700 square miles, an area larger than Rhode Island. In response, a coalition of rural Ecuadorans in the Lago Agrio region sued the US oil giant, and Donziger signed on to help and soon became the lead attorney on the case. In 2013, after a legal campaign that stretched across two continents, the 30,000 indigenous people and small farmers whom Donziger represented in a class-action lawsuit won a $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuadoran courts against Chevron, which acquired Texaco in 2001. It was one of the largest financial judgments ever against an oil company. Fast-forward to today, and Donziger is under house arrest in New York City, forced to wear an ankle monitor. The lawyer, now 59, is fighting contempt charges. Meanwhile, his clients in Ecuador have received nothing from Chevron. Without that funding, they have no way to cleanse the poisoned soil or treat what they say is an elevated number of cancer cases. In 2010 ... Chevron launched a countersuit in a New York federal court, alleging that Donziger and his allies had committed bribery and fraud in Ecuador to win the case. Meanwhile, residents in the Amazon rain forest live and work on poisoned land.
Note: Read more about this troubling case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Under a post-9/11 surveillance program known as "Upstream", the NSA is systematically searching Americans' internet communications as they enter and leave the United States. The agency sifts through these streams of data looking for "identifiers" associated with its many thousands of foreign targets – identifiers like email addresses and phone numbers. The NSA does all of this without warrants, without any individual judicial approval, and without showing that any of the people it is surveilling – including countless Americans – have done anything wrong. This surveillance raises serious constitutional concerns, but no court has ever considered a legal challenge to it because the government has claimed that allowing a suit against Upstream surveillance to go forward would implicate "state secrets". In 2007, for example, an appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Khaled El-Masri claiming that, in a case of mistaken identity, he had been kidnapped and tortured by the CIA. The court acknowledged the public evidence of El-Masri's mistreatment but held that state secrets were too central to the case to allow it to go forward. And in 2010, a different appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by five individuals who claimed that one of Boeing's subsidiary companies had flown the planes carrying them to the black sites where they were tortured by the CIA. This use of the state secrets privilege – to dismiss cases – departs from the supreme court's narrow framing of the privilege.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The House committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021, is nearly finished. Nearly 900 ... criminal prosecutions of alleged rioters remain underway, and one case has shed troubling new light on how the FBI investigated these defendants. The suspect's name is David Rhine. His lawyer is the first to present a potentially successful challenge to the geofencing warrant the FBI used to place some defendants inside the Capitol building during the attack. A previous Wired report last year found 45 federal criminal cases citing the warrant, which required Google to provide the FBI with data on devices using its location services inside a set geographic area. Rhine's case has revealed just how expansive the FBI's request to Google really was. Google initially listed 5,723 devices in response to the warrant, then whittled the tally to exclude likely Capitol staff and police as well as anyone who wasn't "entirely within the geofence, to about a 70 percent probability." The final list of identifying details handed over to the FBI had 1,535 names. It included people whose phones had been turned off or put in airplane mode, and "people who attempted to delete their location data following the attacks were singled out by the FBI for greater scrutiny." It's ... easy to envision geofencing warrants undergoing the usual surveillance mission creep. Left unchecked, law enforcement could decide geofence data would come in handy while looking for a journalist's whistleblowing source, or perhaps at political protests.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
At least 1,003 people have been arrested and charged so far for participation in events on Jan. 6, with 476 pleading guilty, in what has been the largest single criminal investigation in U.S. history. Of the 394 federal defendants who have had their cases adjudicated and sentenced ... approximately 220 "have been sentenced to periods of incarceration" with a further 100 defendants "sentenced to a period of home detention." There are six convictions and four guilty pleas on charges of "seditious conspiracy." This offense is so widely defined that it includes conspiring to levy war against the government and delaying the execution of any law. Those charged and convicted of "seditious conspiracy" were accused of collaborating to oppose "the lawful transfer of presidential power by force" by preventing or delaying the Certification of the Electoral College vote. Those who walked to the Capitol were not aware that the Department of Justice had created arbitrary markers. Anyone who crossed that invisible line was charged with violating Capitol grounds. The vast majority of those caught up in the incursion of the Capitol did not commit serious crimes, engage in violence or know what they would do in Washington other than protest the election results. Environmental activists ... anti-war activists and even congressional staffers have engaged in numerous occupations of congressional offices and interrupted congressional hearings. Will they be given lengthy prison terms based on dubious interpretations of the law?
Note: Read this article in full to understand the scope of this criminal investigation undertaken by the federal government, and why there are massive concerns of government overreach and erosion of civil liberties. Watch a brief video of Attorney Joseph D. McBride discussing his work with the Jan. 6 defendants, describing the horrendous conditions many of them faced.
Caleb Kenyon, a defense attorney in Florida, saw a geofence warrant was when a new client received an alarming email from Google in January 2020. Police were requesting personal data from the client, Zachary McCoy, and Kenyon had just seven days to stop Google from turning it over, the email said. The geofence warrant included a map and GPS coordinates, and instructed Google to provide identifying information for every user whose device was found within the radius of that location at a certain date and time. "It was so bizarre that I just didn't even have a concept for what I was dealing with," he said. Kenyon is not alone. As tech firms build ever more sophisticated means of surveilling people and their devices – technology that law enforcement is eager to take advantage of – the legal community is scrambling to keep up. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) ... recently created the Fourth Amendment Center, named for the constitutional right against unreasonable searches. The center is one of the few resources available for helping attorneys better understand how new technology is being used against their clients. It can be years before the defense community catches wind of the newest surveillance tools. Unlike other search warrants, geofence warrants don't require probable cause or a specific suspect in mind; they gather information on anyone within the vicinity of an alleged crime. Advocates argue this violates the fourth amendment.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
With the recent news that the Biden administration will end the COVID-19 public health emergencies this spring, it is time to take stock of the different policies and adaptations that came out of the lockdowns. Initially ... the lockdowns meant that courts were shut down in most states, creating long waits and lack of access to vital judicial proceedings. But the courts quickly pivoted. Despite initial technological challenges, the switch to remote family court hearings saved time and money, increased participation in court proceedings, improved legal representation for families living in rural areas, and created a more welcoming environment for children. This week, the American Enterprise Institute is releasing a report, authored by Maura Corrigan, former director of Michigan Health and Human Services, explaining what we can learn from how these courts operated and what practices we should use in the post-pandemic era. Major studies done on remote hearings found benefits to the practice, particularly in terms of participation. Parties to these hearings appreciated the end of "cattle call" docketing, which forced participants to wait (in person) until their case was called – a significant waste of time and resources for parties, attorneys, witnesses, the public and the judges. Under the new remote system, the times for these hearings were precise, wasting neither the time nor the resources of any parties to the case. There were also many anecdotal reports that children felt more comfortable in remote hearings.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The permissible exposure limit for ortho-toluidine is 5 parts per million in air, a threshold based on research conducted in the 1940s and '50s without any consideration of the chemical's ability to cause cancer. Despite ample evidence that far lower levels can dramatically increase a person's cancer risk, the legal limit has remained the same. Paralyzed by industry lawsuits from decades ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has all but given up on trying to set a truly protective threshold for ortho-toluidine and thousands of other chemicals. The agency has only updated standards for three chemicals in the past 25 years; each took more than a decade to complete. David Michaels, OSHA's director throughout the Obama administration, [said] that legal challenges had so tied his hands that he decided to put a disclaimer on the agency's website saying the government's limits were essentially useless: "OSHA recognizes that many of its permissible exposure limits (PELs) are outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health." The agency has also allowed chemical manufacturers to create their own safety data sheets, which are supposed to provide workers with the exposure limits and other critical information. OSHA does not require the sheets to be accurate or routinely fact-check them. As a result, many fail to mention the risk of cancer and other serious health hazards. Almost one-third of more than 650 sheets for dangerous chemicals contain inaccurate warnings.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.
Weeks before he was murdered, Victor Hugo Orcasita presented his wife with a letter describing his last wishes. Orcasita, a union leader, had been pushing for better conditions at his workplace, a mine in northern Colombia owned by a subsidiary of the Alabama-based coal company Drummond. Then the death threats started coming in. The miners’ union was convinced that Drummond was involved in the murders. To make the case that the company was complicit in the killings, the union turned to Terry Collingsworth, a lifelong human rights attorney. In March 2015, the case took a surprising turn. Drummond had returned fire in the legal fight with an unusual accusation. The company charged that Collingsworth – an advocate who recently brought a case before the U.S. Supreme Court – had led a "multifaceted criminal campaign" to extort Drummond into paying a costly settlement. This campaign, Drummond alleged, was in fact a racketeering conspiracy as defined by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO. Drummond's charges represent a scorched-earth legal strategy in which corporations are turning the tables on attorneys and advocates who accuse them of wrongdoing. By shifting the spotlight to these attorneys’ conduct, corporations effectively sidestepped the original allegations against them. The true purpose ... is to send attorneys and activists a message: Going toe-to-toe with heavyweight corporations can lead to personal ruin.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
Uvalde city officials are using a legal loophole and several other broad exemptions in Texas to prevent the release of police records related to last month's mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead, according to a letter obtained by NPR. Since the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School, law enforcement officials have provided little and conflicting information, amid mounting public pressure for transparency. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which is leading the state investigation, previously said that some accounts of the events were preliminary and may change as more witnesses are interviewed. The City of Uvalde has hired a private law firm to make its case, which cited the "dead suspect loophole," to deny the release of information because the gunman died in police custody. The legal exception bars the public disclosure of information pertaining to crimes in which no one has been convicted. The Texas Attorney General's Office has ruled that the exception applies when a suspect is dead. The maneuver has been used repeatedly by Texas law enforcement agencies to claim they're not required to turn over the requested information because a criminal case is still pending, even though the suspect is dead. The loophole was established in the 1990s to protect people who were wrongfully accused or whose cases were dismissed, said Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. "It is meant to protect the innocent," Shannon said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in policing and in the court system from reliable major media sources.
In the late summer of 2020, Bruce Bartman went to Pennsylvania's voter registration website and signed up his mother and mother-in-law to vote. Both women were dead. A few months later, Bartman, who is white, requested a mail-in ballot for his late mother and cast her vote for Donald Trump. Bartman was arrested that December and charged with perjury and unlawful voting. He pleaded guilty, admitted he made a "stupid mistake", was sentenced to five years of probation and barred from serving on a jury or voting for four years. When Bartman pleaded guilty, nearly 1,000 miles away, in Memphis, a Black Lives Matter activist named Pamela Moses was facing her own election-related criminal charges. A few years previously, Moses, who is Black, permanently lost the right to vote after committing a felony. But no one had actually removed Moses from the voter rolls or told her she couldn't vote. And in 2019, when state officials began looking into her eligibility, a probation officer signed a certificate saying Moses had completed her sentence and was eligible to vote. So she applied to do so. Even though corrections officials conceded they made an error, Moses was indicted anyway. She was sentenced to six years and one day in prison. The case ... underscored what many experts see as a double standard in the US criminal justice system: white people face relatively light punishment for intentional cases of fraud, while Black people face tougher punishments for unintentional voting errors.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the federal government can shield former government contractors from testifying about the torture of a post-9/11 detainee. The decision likely will make it harder for victims to expose secret government misconduct in the future. Abu Zubaydah was the first prisoner held by the CIA to undergo what, at the time, was euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation." During one 20-day period, he was waterboarded 83 times, 24 hours a day. During that period, the suspected terrorist was also slammed against walls, put in a coffin-like box for hours at a time to simulate live burial, and subjected to something the government called "rectal rehydration." In the end, the two CIA contractors who supervised Zubaydah's interrogation concluded that they had the wrong man. But when lawyers for Zubaydah subpoenaed them, the U.S. government blocked the move by invoking the so-called "state secrets" privilege. In this case, both the Trump and Biden administrations argued that even though the information about the torture program is widely known, confirming the existence of CIA black sites in Poland would jeopardize the U.S. government's relationship with foreign intelligence services. Josh Colangelo-Bryan, a lawyer who represents other Guantanamo Bay detainees, was ... critical. "There has been no accountability for the U.S. program that subjected people to torture," he said in a statement.
Note: Read more about the CIA's torture program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
In criminal trials, judges routinely rule that certain evidence or testimony does not get presented to the jury. By and large, these rulings to exclude evidence benefit the defendant. In ... cases against animal rights activists, who face hefty charges for removing ailing animals from farms, the typical logic behind keeping evidence from a jury is flipped on its head. The prosecutors, rather than defendants, have sought ... to suppress all mention during trial of animal cruelty. Next month, a Utah judge will hear pretrial motions on the exclusion of evidence in a case against two members of the animal liberation group Direct Action Everywhere. The activists face charges of burglary and theft for removing two suffering piglets from a hog farm in 2017, for which they could be sentenced to more than a decade in prison. The Utah attorney general is seeking to exclude all evidence and testimony relating to the torturous treatment of animals. The activists filmed themselves entering the pork facility; they turned the camera onto the pigs – mother pigs with bloody nipples, pigs with huge open sores, dead and dying piglets on the floor – and filmed themselves removing the piglets. The prosecution argues that ... the activists' commentary on the grim factory conditions and any mention of the company's mistreatment of its animals would be unfairly prejudicial. That a prosecutor would move to preclude real-time footage of the alleged crime speaks to a frantic desire to foreclose any reckoning with the case's crucial context.
Note: Read more about how video evidence of animal cruelty is suppressed to protect factory farms. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
In "Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System," [Judge Jed S.] Rakoff reaches far beyond corporate boardrooms to highlight an array of shortcomings within the criminal justice system. His proposed fixes are worthy of consideration but also lay bare a harsh reality: The entrenched interests tolerating the system's inequities and, in some cases, profiting from the status quo pose significant obstacles to reform. Rakoff realized that America's "system of justice is failing its mission" after becoming a federal district court judge a quarter-century ago. What's the nature of this failure? The country imprisons millions of indigent Americans yet routinely allows white-collar criminals to avoid punishment. "To a federal judge," he declares, the government's reluctance to hold executives accountable and instead enter into "cosmetic prosecution agreements" with corporations that are repeatedly violated and unenforced "is disturbing ... in what it says about the DOJ's apparent disregard for equality under the law." Rakoff fittingly cites Pfizer to exemplify his point. The four deferred-prosecution agreements between the pharmaceutical giant and federal authorities from 2002 to 2009 – all devised to prevent future misconduct – failed to stop the company from flouting the law. Through it all, Pfizer's executives went unpunished, and the fines the company paid represented a fraction of its ill-gotten gains.
Note: For a much deeper analysis and discussion of Judge Rakoff's highly revealing book by courageous journalist Matt Taibbi, see this excellent essay. Consider subscribing to Taibbi's excellent work. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the court system and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.
When lawyers were preparing to defend against a lawsuit over a death in police custody in Fresno, Calif., they knew whom to call. Dr. Gary Vilke has established himself as a leading expert witness by repeatedly asserting that police techniques such as facedown restraints, stun gun shocks and some neck holds did not kill people. Officers in Fresno had handcuffed 41-year-old Joseph Perez and, holding him facedown on the ground, put a spinal board from an ambulance on his back as he cried out for help. The county medical examiner ruled his death, in May 2017, a homicide by asphyxiation. Dr. Vilke, who was hired by the ambulance provider, charged $500 an hour and provided a different determination. He wrote in a report ... that Mr. Perez had died from methamphetamine use, heart disease and the exertion of his struggle against the restraints. Dr. Vilke ... is an integral part of a small but influential cadre of scientists, lawyers, physicians and other police experts whose research and testimony is almost always used to absolve officers of blame for deaths, according to a review of hundreds of research papers and more than 25,000 pages of court documents, as well as interviews with nearly three dozen people. Their views infuriate many prosecutors, plaintiff lawyers, medical experts and relatives of the dead, who accuse them of slanting science, ignoring inconvenient facts and dangerously emboldening police officers to act aggressively. Many of the experts also have ties to Axon, maker of the Taser.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Supreme Court had an opportunity this week to protect your right to record the misbehavior of rogue police officers. Instead, the court looked the other way while cops who sought to seize such a recording are shielded from accountability. So much for First Amendment protections. By declining to hear a case from a federal appellate court, the Supreme Court let stand a dangerous ruling granting qualified immunity to Denver police officers accused of snatching a computer tablet from a man who had used it to record them punching a suspect in the face and grabbing his pregnant girlfriend, causing her to fall to the ground. In recent years, such recordings have been vital to a national movement against racial injustice and excessive police force. In a few cases, the recordings have been a key to holding police accountable for a person's brutal death. By refusing to take Frasier v. Evans, the Supreme Court managed to set back both the public's right to record police and efforts to hold police accountable for violating citizens' constitutional rights. The decision in this case makes the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals an outlier and leaves people living in the six states it covers – Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming – with weakened constitutional rights. Six other federal appeals courts, covering nearly half of the states, have ruled that citizens have a clear constitutional right to record police in public.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in policing and in the judicial system from reliable major media sources.
On Tuesday, the supreme court issued an order requiring the Biden administration to reinstate the Trump-era policy that required asylum seekers from Central America to stay across the border in Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. On Thursday, the court blocked an extension of the federal emergency ban on evictions, gutting a 1944 law that gave the CDC the authority to implement such measures to curb disease, and endangering the 8m American households that are behind on rent – who now, without federal eviction protection, may face homelessness. Both of these orders last week were issued in the dead of night. Their opinions were truncated, light on the details of their legal reasoning, and unsigned. Vote counts were not issued showing how each justice decided. And despite the enormous legal and human impact that the decisions inflicted, they were the product of rushed, abbreviated proceedings. The court did not receive full briefs on these matters, heard no oral arguments and overrode the normal sequence of appellate proceedings to issue their orders. Welcome to the "shadow docket", the so-called emergency proceedings that now constitute the majority of the supreme court's business. Minimally argued, rarely justified and decided without transparency, shadow docket orders were once a tool the court used to dispense with unremarkable and legally unambiguous matters. The shadow docket's expanded use raises troubling questions – both for transparency, and for the separation of powers.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on court system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Members of the Sackler family who are at the center of the nation's deadly opioid crisis have won sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits linked to their privately owned company Purdue Pharma and its OxyContin medication. Federal Judge Robert Drain approved a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday that grants the Sacklers "global peace" from any liability for the opioid epidemic. "This is a bitter result," Drain said. "I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties have liability for those [opioid OxyContin] claims. ... I would have expected a higher settlement." The complex bankruptcy plan ... grants "releases" from liability for harm caused by OxyContin and other opioids to the Sacklers, hundreds of their associates, as well as their remaining empire of companies and trusts. In return, they have agreed to pay roughly $4.3 billion, while also forfeiting ownership of Purdue Pharma. The Sacklers, who admit no wrongdoing and who by their own reckoning earned more than $10 billion from opioid sales, will remain one of the wealthiest families in the world. Critics of this bankruptcy settlement, meanwhile, said they would challenge Drain's confirmation because of the liability releases for the Sacklers. "This order is insulting to victims of the opioid epidemic who had no voice in these proceedings," said Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The Department of Justice urged Drain to reject the settlement. Attorneys general for nine states and the District of Columbia also opposed the plan.
Note: Purdue Pharma spent $1.2 million on lobbying just before making this deal. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
The federal government deliberately targeted Black Lives Matter protesters via heavy-handed criminal prosecutions in an attempt to disrupt and discourage the global movement that swept the nation last summer in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Movement for Black Lives. The prosecution of protesters over the past year continues a century-long practice by the federal government, rooted in structural racism, to suppress Black social movements via the use of surveillance tactics and other mechanisms. "The empirical data and findings in this report largely corroborate what Black organizers have long known ... about the federal government's disparate policing and prosecution of racial justice protests," the report stated. Titled "Struggle For Power: The Ongoing Persecution of Black Movement By The U.S. Government," the report details how policing has been used historically as a major tool to deter Black people from engaging in their right to protest. It also drew a comparison to how the government used Counterintelligence Program techniques to "disrupt the work of the Black Panther Party and other organizations fighting for Black liberation." A key finding of the report was that the push to use federal charges against protesters came from top-down directives. In 92.6% of the cases, there were equivalent state level charges that could have been brought against defendants.
Note: Read about the FBI's COINTELPRO program which suppressed dissent by targeting activists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
Nashwan al-Tamir, wearing a white robe and long beard, does not pause to study the rows of people who fill the room. In the nearly 15 years since his capture, and seven since he has faced formal charges of being a high-level al-Qaeda operative who oversaw plots to attack Americans in Afghanistan, the 60-year-old Iraqi has gone through four judges, 20 defence lawyers and several prosecution teams. The courtroom here at GuantĂˇnamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba has moved, and the base in which it sits has grown larger. The only constant in these proceedings is Tamir himself, but he has grown older, and moves slower now, due to a degenerative disease. The world outside has changed dramatically in that time, too. Susan Hensler, Tamir's lead defence counsel since 2017, says the military court system through which her client is being prosecuted ... has yet to catch up to the new reality. "This process doesn't work," [she said]. "The fact that the 9/11 trial is still going on 20 years later is good evidence that it doesn't work. The fact that my client's trial has been going on for seven years and yet today we're discussing how to start over from the very beginning, again, is evidence that it doesn't work." This case has seen some 40,000 pages of briefings and orders and 3,000 pages of transcripts, but Tamir's trial is yet to begin. The same is true of the alleged masterminds of the 9/11 attacks. Many imprisoned here were subjected to torture, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, sexual harassment and physical abuse.
Note: Read excerpts from a letter by Sharqawi Al Hajj, a Yemeni citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and 9/11 from reliable major media sources.
An FBI special agent was testifying in the government's high-profile terrorism trial against Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind sheik" suspected of plotting the first attack on the World Trade Center. Frederic Whitehurst, a chemist and lawyer who worked in the FBI's crime lab, testified that he was told by his superiors to ignore findings that did not support the prosecution's theory of the bombing. "There was a great deal of pressure put upon me to bias my interpretation," Whitehurst said in U.S. District Court in New York in 1995. After the Justice Department's inspector general began a review of Whitehurst's claims, Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh decided to launch a task force to dig through thousands of cases involving discredited agents. The task force took nine years to complete its work and never publicly released its findings. Officials never notified many defendants of the forensic flaws in their cases and never expanded their review to catch similar mistakes. If the Justice Department was secretive, the agency's independent inspector general was not. Michael R. Bromwich's probe culminated in a devastating 517-page report in April 1997 on misconduct at the FBI lab. He concluded that FBI managers failed – in some cases for years – to respond to warnings about the scientific integrity and competence of agents. The chief of the lab's explosives unit, for example, "repeatedly reached conclusions that incriminated the defendants without a scientific basis" in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Note: Read more about the FBI's mishandling of forensic evidence in the Oklahoma City bombing case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.