Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Evidence LAPD Officers May Have Killed Notorious B.I.G.

New Evidence That LAPD Officers May Have Killed Notorious 

CBS Los Angeles is now reporting
new evidence that officers within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) may have played a role in the death of rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as the Notorious B.I.G and Biggie Smalls.

Wallace was murdered March 9, 1997.

According to witnesses, a lone gunman in the driver's seat of a black Chevy Impala pulled up to the truck, where Wallace was sitting in the passenger seat, and opened fire. Wallace died shortly thereafter.

The Wallace family filed suit against the LAPD in 2005, bringing forth additional evidence that implicated LAPD officers in the death of Christopher Wallace. The two officers under suspicion are David Mack and Rafael Perez.

Both Perez and Mack are in prison now for unrelated crimes, Mack for bank robbery and Perez for stealing cocaine.

The new evidence involves an alleged conversation between Perez and a cellmate in the L.A. County jail. Mack and Perez were reportedly close confidants with Death Row Records, the label that represented rap artist Tupac Shakur, who was involved in a highly publicized dispute with Biggie. C

In sworn statements, the cellmate said that Mack and Perez were on the scene when Biggie was killed, with Perez working security:

"Perez told Mack that Biggie Smalls was in his truck----circle whose truck?----Kicking it with someone else in the truck."

The cellmate says that Perez never said he set up the murder of Biggie Smalls, but that he strongly believes Perez had something to do with the murder. There were hundreds of pages of documents in the inmate's sworn statements that were not utilized in the original LAPD investigation.

Former LAPD Lead Investigator Russell Poole says that the documents are crucial and that he was frustrated that his investigation in to the murder was thwarted when he got too close to the truth. Poole resigned from the LAPD in 1999.

Poole put things in to proper context by referencing the fact that the LAPD was already dealing with major headaches after the Rodney King beating just a few years earlier, as well as the O.J. Simpson trial. This racially charged environment, according to Poole, made LAPD officials squeamish about the idea of enduring yet another major controversy.

Poole also mentioned the financial incentives of the department for possibly covering up the truth. According to Wallace family attorneys, Rafael Perez was on duty the night of the homicide.

If Perez was involved, then the LAPD would become liable for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Given the LAPD's tattered history of corruption and abuse of power, it is entirely conceivable that officers were involved in the murder of the Notorious B.I.G. as well as the deaths of countless citizens whose stories will never be told.

Additionally, the fact that officers Perez and Mack were both sent to prison gives tremendous credibility to Russell Poole's allegations. One might hope that years later, since the dust has settled and a few bigwigs have retired, the world may finally get the truth about what happened to Christopher Wallace.

The East Coast-West Coast battle between Biggie and Tupac was one of the most unfortunate incidents in the history of hip-hop. The gang warfare mentality of the West Coast, which was artificially contrived when guns and drugs from outside sources were allowed to flood South Central Los Angeles, is reflected in the music of Tupac Shakur and other groups of the day, namely N.W.A.

This kill-or-be-killed mentality spread like social poison with an in-your-face style of music that translated into real violence that ended the lives of scores of young black men.

As a fan of both Biggie and Pac, I believe that Tupac was truly prepared to die. I honestly don't believe that Biggie wanted to die and that he and his partner Sean "Diddy" Combs were hoping that common sense might prevail in this deadly game of chicken.

In the West Coast, though, where children are militarized at an early age and prepared for a short existence, beefs like this typically don't end until someone is in a casket. Years after the deaths of Biggie and Pac, homicide is the leading cause of death for young black males, with gangsta rap serving as fuel for the fire.

But while it's easy to blame the artists for the music that encourages black men to carry guns and kill one another, we must look deeper at the gun manufacturers, government officials, record labels and others who earn billions by creating this deadly environment. Quite a few institutions have blood on their hands, and we must dig to the root in order to stop it.

Watch the case here:
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. To follow Dr. Boyce on Facebook, please click here.

Entitlements—A Debate Deferred

By Howard Rich
Washington politicians have worked themselves into a fine lather lately debating spending cuts. Yet as familiar rhetorical jabs are exchanged over proposed reductions to things like NPR and the National Archives, the real spending debate is being ignored.

I’m referring of course to the debate over “entitlements” — decades’ worth of multi-trillion dollar promises made by former Congresses that had no intention whatsoever of keeping any of them.

Once a distant dilemma, entitlements are now the “wolf at the door,” a present, pernicious threat to the immediate fiscal health of our nation. Yet as this unprecedented wave of red ink crests over our country — dwarfing the debate over discretionary spending — politicians of both parties remain incapable of leveling with the public regarding the damage to come.

In fact entitlement reform isn’t even part of the budgetary conversation.
Get full story here.

Net Neutrality Hits Capitol Hill

By Adam Bitely
On Wednesday, the House Communications and Internet Subcommittee held a hearing on the recently approved Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations for the Internet commonly referred to as “Net Neutrality.” These first ever Internet rules were passed by the FCC in a recent 3-2 vote of the FCC commissioners.

Many have questioned whether the FCC has any authority to even propose such “Net Neutrality” regulations. One of those who have raised suspicions of the FCC’s new power is one of the FCC’s own — FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker.

Commissioner Baker stated that the FCC has overstepped its authority with the “Net Neutrality” regulations and requested that Congress investigate whether or not the FCC had acted within its bounds. The response she received was sad, being told only that the Courts can decide that at some point in the future.
Get full story here.

ACORN Activists Denounced Reaganomics and Organized Elaborate Protests that Invoked 1930’s Depression Prior to 1982 Mid-Term Elections

By Kevin Mooney
While the nation was still mired in a deep recession, self-described community activists staged elaborate protests against President Reagan’s policies in the early 1980’s, a Nexis search reveals. On the anniversary of his 100th birthday, Reagan is widely credited and praised for re-energizing the economy and reversing the “malaise” of the 1970’s.

But just before the mid-term elections in 1982, history appeared to have turned in the other direction. Reagan’s popularity had plummeted in response to persistent unemployment, which also opened the way for Democratic gains in the House and Senate.
Get full story here.

Islamic terrorists changing tactics, Intel chief tells Congress

Al-Qaeda is probably plotting a number of terrorist attacks against the U.S. homeland in order to maintain worldwide attention focused on their political issues, according to a review of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's testimony before a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday.

Clapper, along with CIA director Leon Panetta, appeared before U.S. Senators only two days after prosecutors in New York revealed announced the successful law enforcement operation against a radical Islamic threat.
Federal prosecutors last week charged seven alleged Taliban associates -- two of them U.S. citizens -- with trying to provide assistance to the extremist group’s military efforts in Afghanistan. The two Americans were identified as Alwar Pouryan and Oded Orbach.

During his testimony, Clapper stated that al-Qaeda’s ability to perpetrate large-scale terrorism attacks --  such as the September 11, 2001, attacks -- is weaker than it was in past years thanks to US operations stateside and abroad against Islamic extremists.
In his statement, Clapper claims to believe that al-Qaeda’s leadership is becoming more decentralized and focusing on targets that can easily and swiftly be attacked without notice.

Clapper testified on Wednesday before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is assessing how Congress should respond to international threats. Critics of his past statements and gaffes believe that the former Navy admiral will attempt to mend his tarnished image as a counterterrorism leader.

For instance, last week he testified that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood was a secular organization. That statement surprised terrorism experts and intelligence officials who are more than familiar with the Muslim Brotherhood's ties to terrorism and terrorist groups and its advocacy of Sharia law.

Several terrorism experts have told the Law Enforcement Examiner that al-Qaeda has all but abandoned Afghanistan. Clapper is expected to tell the panel of Senators that it has been migrating from its traditional base in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region to Somalia and Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula.

But al-Qaeda continues to recruit "jihadists" for attacks on Western countries, Clapper said. And some of those recruits are Americans.

As a result, law enforcement agencies have stepped up their arrests of suspected terrorists in the United States recently, according to an official from the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Plots disrupted during the past year were unrelated operationally, but are indicative of a collective subculture and a common cause that rallies independent extremists to want to attack the Homeland,” Clapper said during his testimony.

The arrests within the U.S. homeland and the military successes in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as U.S. assistance to Pakistan, are helping to eliminate the al-Qaeda threat, and so its leaders must seek alternatives to past operations

The Terror of the Internet in the Middle East

As we watch the most incredible of events unfold in the Middle East, we certainly don't know how they will conclude and it may take longer to understand them. Social Media, nay, the Internet, didn't cause the revolution in Egypt. They underlying cause is more likely ineffective and unjust totalitarian rule. We can dismiss how Milennials are shaping the first world today. But whenever you have the largest demographic bubble in history at the peak of youth, and they don't have a just role to play in an unjust society, they tend to find one.

Bring Wael @ghonim back sign San 
Francisco #jan25 #Egypt protest #googleDemocracies look back fondly at student revolutions, from 1968 and beyond. But what is happening in the developing world today could hope to end so well. About 15 years ago there was an article in the Economist that I can't access now that predicted the large concentration of impoverished youth in the Middle East would push thing to the brink. Were it not for the aggressive growth policies of Bejing subsidizing the poor in the Chinese hinterlands there would have been bread riots in a civilization predisposed to revolution.

Revolutions happen when circumstances are unjust, there is enough of a body to form a politic and they have the ability to organize. The internet certainly reduced coordination costs to bring #jan25 together. But perhaps we have reached a point across the world where enough connections have happened that people expect the ability to communicate with a high degree of freedom. Even when forbid by dictatorial or oligarchical rules of law.

I believe in Egypt enough people had just enough of a taste of free communication to know what it means. The ability to communicate across distances, groups, openly published or with a semblance of privacy. And when you have that, it is hard to picture going back.

I believe where Mubarak failed was not in his believe in his own power. But they way he wielded it in the end within this new environment. He let the internet become a terrorist.

While that word may spark a strong reaction, let me explain. Since the time of the Zealots, terrorism has always been a series of tactics deployed by the minority to provoke change by the group in power by turning the people they have power over against them. Terrorists cause terror to provoke an overreaction by the State against them. As the State's countermeasures trend towards abusing their own norms and laws, and take away the civil liberties of the people, the people turn against them.

The protestor's use of the internet served to coordinate their actions. But it was also an act of publishing. One the state was not prepared for, let alone accustomed to. By the time it was amplified and coopted by traditional foreign media it had something it new it had to react to as a second order. But not how to deal with the first order. So it shut it down.

When Mubarak shut down the internet, the people found ways to route around points of control. But the people also I believed realized that the state was acting unjustly towards them in an extreme way. It took away something they had learn to value if not expect.

The US administration has recently grouped net freedom into universal values, and is taking a stand to support them. I can't tell you how proud I am that they are taking this stand. This isn't US chauvinism that projects unilateral power and by direct consequence dismantles the greatest multilateral system of foreign relationships ever. That happened with the last administration. This one knows that in the balance of information arbitrage, the state with information values, Wikileaks or not, will prevail if it holds true.

This new foreign plank is what we used to be good at. Taking a stand upon a right or value and building alliances upon which it stands. It is foreign policy with the most modern purpose. For progression doesn't stop at your shores when you want to build your future instead of cower in someone else's past.
I wrote most of this on the day Mubarak stepped down to mark it for myself.

By Ross Mayfield

Cavaliers Hand Lakers Third Straight Loss, 104-99

Four late free throws from Anthony Parker and Ramon Sessions Wednesday brought the Cleveland Cavaliers a stunning 104-99 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Cavaliers scored 22 points over the final 6 minutes to rally past a team that has suffered two unlikely setbacks heading into the All-Star break.

The defending-champion Lakers fell to Charlotte by 20 points Monday and now have lost to a club that recently established the longest losing streak in the history of the NBA.

Los Angeles dropped the final three games of a seven-game road trip, having also fallen to Orlando.
Cleveland led for most of the third period, but the Lakers moved a point in front midway through the fourth quarter and seemed likely to pull away down the stretch. Instead, it was Cleveland that made the key plays while both Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher missed 3-point tries for the Lakers in the final seconds.

Parker’s two free throws gave Cleveland a four-point lead with 18 seconds left and Sessions made two more with 11 seconds remaining to again put the Cavaliers in front by four.

Sessions scored 32 points off the bench and Antawn Jamison added 19 for the Cavaliers.

Pau Gasol had 30 points and 20 rebounds for the Lakers. Bryant scored 17 points while making just 8-of-24 shots from the field.

Mexican Authorities Say Drug Cartel Shot and Killed ICE Agent

ICE Agent Jaime Zapata/ice photo
By Allan Lengel

No surprise.
Mexican authorities are saying that two ICE agents who were shot in the northern part of the country Tuesday were ambushed on a road about four hours north of Mexico City by drug cartel gunmen, the Washington Post reports. One died and the other was wounded and is stable condition.

The paper reported that the governor of San Luis Potosi, Fernando Toranzo, where the shootings took place, were killed by the same cartel that has wreaked havoc in his state.

The paper reported that the agent killed has been identified as Jaime Zapata, 32. The other agent, whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital in Houston. They were assigned to the ICE attache in Mexico City.

The paper reported that the Mexican government bans U.S. law enforcement personnel from carrying guns.

A press release said that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. had decided to form a joint task force, led by the FBI, to track down the perpetrators.

Agent Zapata joined ICE in 2006 and was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Special Agent in Charge in Laredo, Tex., where he served on the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit as well as the Border Enforcement Security Task Force, ICE said in a statement.

He began his federal law enforcement career with the Department of Homeland Security as a member of the U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, Az. A native of Brownsville, Tex., he graduated from the University of Texas at Brownsville in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

If Captured Bin Laden Might Go to Gitmo, CIA Head Says

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"
By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON - After almost 10 years, it seems like nothing more than a lot of “what ifs” and fantasy on the part of the U.S. government as to what it would do with Osama bin Laden if it ever captured the elusive man.

Still, CIA Director Leon Panetta testified Wednesday before a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill that the administration would probably take him to the military prison at Gitmo, the Associated Press reported.
AP’s Eileen Sullivan went on to write “that suggests that, at least under current law, bin Laden would not be transferred to US soil to be tried in the civilian court system.”

Bin laden has been indicted in federal court in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.
But the new White House spokesman Jay Carney said, according to AP:

“The president remains committed to closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, because as our military commanders have made clear, it’s a national security priority to do so.

“I’m not going to speculate about what, you know, would happen if we were to capture Osama bin Laden.”

1 Deputy U.S. Marshal Shot and Killed and 2 Others Wounded in W. Virginia; Suspect is Killed

By Allan Lengel

One deputy U.S. marshal was shot and killed and two others were wounded in Elkins, West Virginia on Wednesday morning while trying to serve an arrest warrant for a man who failed to show up for a court appearance on charges of drugs and weapons, the Charleston Gazette reported. Authorities shot and killed the gunman.

The paper reported that State Police troopers and deputy Marshals were at the home of Charles Smith. After forcefully entering the home, Smith opened fire with a shotgun.

The paper reported that one Marshal was struck in the neck while another was hit in a bulletproof vest and a third one in the arm or hand.

A Marshal and trooper opened fire and killed Smith, the paper reported.

The U.S. Marshals Service said two of the agents were taken to local hospitals and the one who was shot in the neck was transported by helicopter. His condition was not immediately known.

Video: Chris Christie Addresses the American Enterprise Institute and Lays Out a National Vision

Well, Ann Coulter wants New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to run for President and now Christie who says he is NOT running shows up in DC with a national agenda speech.
Gov. Chris Christie today delivered a broadside against the broken politics of Washington and the need for straight talk to solve the country’s problems in a speech that will stoke talk of a 2012 presidential bid by the New Jersey Republican.
“I look at what’s happening in Washington right now and I am worried,” said Christie in an address at the American Enterprise Institute. “What game is being played down here is irresponsible and it’s dangerous.”
Asked whether he would consider running for president in 2012, Christie acknowledged that he “see[s] the opportunity” but quickly added: “That’s not a reason to be president of the United States.”
And yet, Christie’s speech, which spanned roughly 45 minutes, had all the traditional markers of someone eyeing national office.
“Leadership today in America has to be about doing the big things and being courageous,” said Christie. At another point, Christie argued that “we have to bring a new approach and a new discipline to this.”
The national GOP could use Chris Christie but he must be vetted more. If indeed, he decides to open up discussions of a Presidential candidacy, his opponents will certainly do it for him.
But, for now, Christie is a breath of fresh air and believe me on the Presidential stage, the GOP could use it.

Posted by: Flap

Colin Powell demands answers over false Iraq intel: reports | The Raw Story

Colin Powell demands answers over false Iraq intel: reports | The Raw Story: "LONDON — Ex-secretary of state Colin Powell called on the CIA and Pentagon to explain how he was given unreliable information which proved key to the US case for invading Iraq, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

Powell's landmark speech to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, cited intelligence about Iraq leader Saddam Hussein's bioweapons programme gained from a defector, codenamed Curveball.

But he has now admitted that he lied to topple the dictator, in an interview with the Guardian.

'It has been known for several years that the source called Curveball was totally unreliable,' Powell told the British newspaper....

- bth: when Powell gave his famous speech I believed him. I didn't believe Bush or Cheney or the neocons but when Powell said, it I figured that was that. So now Powell is calling the CIA? He has known for years that this guy Curveball was a liar set up by Chalabi and others. Further if Colin Powell had in 2002 or 3 when he found out he had been used by Cheney, resigned, history would be vastly different and he would likely be president today. But Powell is consistent. Powell does what is good for Powell. He has been that way since Vietnam. One wonders what the world would be like if he had been a better man, a braver man.