Breaking News: Judge in Stratfor spying whistleblower trial refuses to recuse herself despite serious conflict of interest in Hammond case

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, who denied bail to Jeremy Hammond, a 27-year-old Chicago activist accused of hacking the private intelligence firm Stratfor to show systemic corruption by the firm, refused to recuse herself from the case despite substantial evidence showing a glaring conflict of interest. Preska failed to disclose that her husband, Thomas J Kaveler is an employee of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a current Stratfor client and associate. Kaveler himself was among the documents leaked in the alleged whistleblower effort to uncover corruption between Stratfor, its clients and the government. Stratfor collected information on social movements, critics of corporate clients and on the Occupy movement, of which Hammond was a supporter. Preska may also have been mentioned in the Stratfor emails.

Her judgment to deny Hammond bail came in a long, prewritten statement read at his November hearing, in which she described him as more dangerous than a terrorist or a pedophile-both clearly prejudicial statements. It also shows her decision against Hammond was crafted well in advance, without regard to the evidence. Her refusal to step away from the case, clearly a violation of judicial ethics, is more troubling among revelations that the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Stratfor and local law enforcement combined to discredit and undermine the Occupy movement, according to recent FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act to  the “Partnership for Civil Justice” Fund.

According to the documents the FBI shared intelligence with banks, Wallstreet, Media organizations and corporations, acting as an intelligence wing for the so-called 1%. Even though the FBI acknowledged at the time that the movement was peaceful and non-violent, they continued to promote the movement as having the potential for terrorism and criminality. Interestingly, that was the narrative promoted by the corporate media.  It should be noted that there was no reported attention to the Tea Party, in which members frequently attended rallies with weapons, including a presidential rally. The FBI has a long history of infiltrating, instigating, interfering with and disrupting peaceful social and civil rights movements.

The Stratfor documents were released to WikiLeaks, an unbiased third party whose only intent is transparency and uncovering secret government corruption. Speaking from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has received asylum, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange recalled the “232 journalists who are in jail” around the globe, including activists like Hammond and Bradley Manning. Both still have not been afforded the constitutional right of a trial. Manning has been imprisoned without trial for more than 2 years. Hammond will have been imprisoned without trial for a year this coming March.

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About 900poundgorilla

W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books.His latest is "The Last Man," a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, "Broken: One Soldier's Unexpected Journey Home," was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, "Everything for Love" chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book "Burn Down the Sky" is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best Of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, "Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol" recieved national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace. View all posts by 900poundgorilla

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