Wow, updates on all three of the journalism cases I wrote about the other day.
Josh Wolf: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal decided that Wolf had no right to withold his videotapes from the Grand Jury. He plans to appeal to the full Ninth Circuit (I guess this latest decision was from a small subset of Ninth Circuit judges), and the to the Supreme Court. Till then, he’s still out on bail.
In the comments section of the article I just linked to, a fellow named Cody Molica linked to his own blog, where he has done extensive coverage of Wolf’s case. What is astounding in Molica’s reporting is how different the description of the initial incident (the protest Wolf filmed in July 2005) is from the police version. The police simply describe an event where protesters tried to set fire to a police car. Wolf’s lawyer (video on Molica’s site) tells a more in-depth story, beginning with SFPD officers driving their car through a group of protesters who had to dodge out of the way to avoid being hit. Then these officers allegedly began choking and beating some of the protesters; Wolf’s lawyer claims that these attackers were videotaped and are available online.
The “arson” claim seems to come from 1) a foam sign that the police car ran over/parked on when the car stopped, and 2) fireworks being lit by another group of protesters nearby. The car was not burnt (only reported damage is one broken tail light), and the police officers’ report simply says that one protester tried to shoot a bottle rocket at them.
This new info makes the FBI’s case ten times more fishy. They federalized this case to get video footage of activists not setting a car on fire? Please.
Updates on Wolf’s case here. There’s a link on that same page to donate money to his legal defense fund.
Greg Palast: Palast has now released more info on his own legal trouble. The “criminal complaint” filed against him is due to his crew filmed an Exxon oil refinery in Baton Rouge as part of a story about Katrina survivors; the refinerys is apparently considered “critical infrastructure”. Sounds like Exxon made a formal complaint to Homeland Security, which brings us up to speed. Exxon is a company which Palast has written very negative articles about. Revenge seems a more likely motive for Exxon than security.
Then all of the characters in Palast’s story get snarky. Palast asks a Homeland Security detective if “Louisiana is still part of the United States.” The detective reminds him, “If you remember, a lot of people were killed on 9/11.” And the Exxon rep pretends that security is a real issue here, saying “Obviously it’s important to national security that we have supplies from that refinery in the event of an emergency.”
That being said, Palast concludes with what appears to be some real anxiety about his situation. He asks readers to spread the word about this case, to donate money to the Palast Investigative Fund, or to buy stuff from the Investigative Fund.
HP: Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, who’s behind the spying/”pretexting” scandal at Hewlett-Packard said that she would not step down unless asked to by the Board. She was. She’ll step down as chair in January, but she will remain on the board (she just won’t be the head of it). The boardmember who did the leaking stepped down right away. The California Attorney General said they may prosecute people within HP and/or the investigators.
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