Category Archives: crime

Hastert Hush Money

hastert hush money

I was wondering how it was possible that I was watching Donald Trump, the Republican “presumptive nominee” for president of the United States, giving a foreign policy speech yesterday afternoon.

Then news broke that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had been sentenced to fifteen months in prison and fined $250,000. He was guilty of  structuring bank withdrawals to hide the fact that he was taking out millions in cash.

How is it possible that a former politician and high school wrestling coach was able to withdraw $3.5 million in cash? The former Speaker had parlayed his status as an elite Washington insider into a job as a high paid Washington lobbyist.

Hastert Hush Money

The cash was hush money Hastert paid to a former high school wrestler whom he had molested when he was his coach. The judge called him a “serial child molester.”

Here’s the story in the NY Times. Here’s a National Review story about Hastert’s rise from suburban Chicago high school teacher to Washington insider.

Siri Spy

160227-siri-spy

Apple doesn’t want to let Siri spy on you.

The Guardian reports, “When Apple announced in 2014 that it would no longer be able to break into its iPhones even under a court order, law enforcement agencies reacted with rage.”

The government is citing the All Writs Act of 1789 to force Apple to write code to open the iPhone of a dead San Bernardino terrorist.

Wired quotes Nate Cardozo of the Electronic Frontiers Foundation saying,”The FBI “chose this case very carefully”. The feds want backdoors built into devices so they can access information. He thinks this is the “perfect case” to push for “backdoor” legislation.

Siri Spy

Apple says that courts recognize computer code as a form of speech. Compelling the company to make speech against its will could be a first amendment violation.

Apple asks, “what’s to prevent the government from forcing a computer company to write code to turn on the microphone, or the camera to spy on a suspect?”

Nilay Patel explains the legal case in The Verge. He thinks it will go to the Supreme Court.

 

iPhone Smarter Than Uncle Sam

160223 iphone

Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA, is on Apple’s side in the fight over cracking the iPhone of dead terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. So is Ted Olson, former Solicitor General for George W. Bush. His wife was killed in the original 9/11 attack.

iPhone Smarter Than Uncle Sam

The FBI says Apple’s reluctance to co-operate is a marketing stunt. The government’s computers can be hacked but the government can’t hack Apple’s phone.

Seems hard to blame Apple for wanting us to know about it.

 

Gun Sales Person of the Year.

160108-gun-sales

Gun sales have soared under President Obama’s leadership.

Gun walking

160107-gun-walking

President Obama says ATF doesn’t just conduct background checks for gun sales. They also go after drug cartels. US News says doesn’t do background checks, the FBI does.

ATF was, however, involved in the sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels in the Fast and Furious “gun walking” scandal.