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AG Gonzales fired US Att'y who convicted baby shark poachers w/ ties to Rev Sun Myung Moon

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 12:05 AM
Original message
AG Gonzales fired US Att'y who convicted baby shark poachers w/ ties to Rev Sun Myung Moon
Looks like another potential investigation that might lead into the Moon-Bush connections that Gonzales wanted to shut down... US attorney *performance issues*, don'tcha know.



February 12, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO - United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that $1.5 million has been designated for rehabilitating and restoring marine wildlife habitat in the San Francisco Bay to further protect the California leopard shark. $910,000 of the funds have been assembled from payments by a San Leandro church, and restitution by the churchs pastor and five other criminal defendants who were involved with an operation that poached thousands of California leopard sharks from the San Francisco Bay for more than ten years. The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC), which includes the Bay Area Family Church in San Leandro, has agreed to pay $500,000 for the wildlife restoration partnership. In addition, $300,000 from the California Coastal Conservancy and $300,000 through the combined contributions of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation were today designated for the same purpose.

The HSA-UWC, founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, will contribute the $500,000 as part of a non-prosecution agreement with the United States Attorneys Office. Six individuals have now been convicted and sentenced for knowingly catching thousands of undersized (under 36 inches in length) leopard sharks out of the San Francisco Bay and selling them to aquarium dealers in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. These defendants will pay the following amounts for wildlife restoration:

1. Kevin Thompson, the pastor of the Bay Area Family Church, will pay $100,000 in restitution.
2. Ira Gass, 53, of Azusa, California, will pay $100,000 in restitution.
3. Vincent Ng, 43, of Oakland, California, will pay $100,000 in restitution.
4. John Newberry, 34, of Hayward, California, will pay $50,000 in restitution.
5. Hiroshi Ishikawa, 36, of San Leandro, California, will pay $40,000 in restitution.
6. Sion Lim, 39, of San Francisco, California, will pay $20,000 in restitution.

.....

The investigation began in Miami, when a pet trade distributor was caught with 18 undersized leopard sharks from California and was convicted in 2003 of one count in violation of the Lacey Act and received an 18 month sentence. The Chicago U.S. Attorney's Office entered into pretrial diversion with two individuals associated with the case who agreed to pay $5,000 each and perform community service. The U.S. Attorneys office in Los Angeles has also prosecuted individuals in connection with this case. The investigation led back to the Bay Area where the principal suppliers were located.

.....




The Minister, The Sharks And $1.2M

January 29, 2007


The poaching was uncovered after a two-year investigation by US Special Agent Roy Torres, of the Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement, in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK. The UK investigation, by Stephen Maidment, of Defra's Fish Health Inspectorate, traced some of the sharks to a company in Hertfordshire.
Mr Maidment said: "It was felt it would be cruel to parcel them up and send them back to California to be dumped in the sea, so it was agreed that they'd stay where they were."
A further 19 leopard sharks were recovered during the investigation in the US.

US attorney Kevin V Ryan said: "This case exemplifies this office's commitment to protecting the wildlife in the San Francisco Bay from illegal poaching and smuggling on the international black market."

The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity was founded by Rev Moon in 1954, who claimed to have been visited by Jesus as a teenager and told to complete the work Christ left unfinished following his crucifixion.
The movement attracted controversy in the 1970s and 1980s after suggestions that it was little more than a cult and accusations it used brainwashing techniques to recruit impressionable young people.
It has since invested heavily in legitimate businesses, especially in America, where its massive seafood empire, True World Foods, supplies raw fish to more than 6,000 restaurants.
Mr Thompson has until March to surrender himself into custody.

---------------------------------------------------------

Church's fishing empire

Reverend Kevin Thompson arrived in the United States in the late 1980s after leaving his native Jarrow.
He quickly found a home working for the Unification Church's domestic fishing empire before becoming youth pastor in Berkeley, California.
Fishing has been an important part of the movement's beliefs since its founder Rev Sun Myung Moon said he was `King of the Ocean' and Thompson, who was a keen fisherman, took this to heart.
After becoming pastor at the Unification Church in San Leandro, California, the father of five called his ministry `Ocean Church'.
It is understood he paid young people between 1 and 1.50 for each shark caught and sold them on for up to 20 each to aquariums and dealers across the US, UK and Netherlands.

Thompson was only caught when dealers in Florida and Chicago were arrested and gave evidence against him.




Prosecutor Firings Not Political, Gonzales Says



Attorney General Acknowledges, Defends Actions

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 19, 2007; Page A02


Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales acknowledged yesterday that some U.S. attorneys have been asked to resign their posts in recent weeks because of performance issues, but he denied any political motives and vowed to quickly submit new nominees for the jobs to the Senate for confirmation.

"What we're trying to do is ensure that for the people in each of these respective districts, we have the very best possible representative for the Department of Justice," Gonzales testified, adding later: "I would never, ever make a change in a United States attorney for political reasons or if it would in any way jeopardize an ongoing serious investigation. I just would not do it."

Gonzales's remarks in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee came in response to questions from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other lawmakers about the forced removals of at least six U.S. attorneys, including several who have overseen some of the government's highest-profile corruption prosecutions.

Officials say the removals include those of Carol C. Lam in San Diego, who led the corruption prosecution of former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), and Kevin V. Ryan in San Francisco, who has handled the probe into a lab at the center of a sports doping scandal involving baseball player Barry Bonds and other athletes.

.....




By the way, Robert Parry has two Moon-Bush investigative articles just posted.

Moon/Bush 'Ongoing Crime Enterprise'

One Mother's Tale: Moon & Her Son



(emphasis added)
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. Definitely worth recommending--fascinating article. That Rev Moon is everywhere....NT
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deacon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 03:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. k + r
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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 02:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. Every time Gonzo testifies he should be hooked up to a polygraph! n/t
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 04:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. Oh My Goddess ;-D
This is another one to add to my blog series. I just did one for Carol Lam and how she got fired for doing her job. Luckily she also just got two more crooks on the take, which is the main focus of my last comic.

Looks like I'll have to find out what other US Attorney's were fired for doing their job, i.e. investigating government wrongdoing.

One thing I worry about concerning the loop hole in the patriot act that led to this abuse, and it is this:

I think it would be wise to wait until 08/09 to make any changes, because we would need those very same options to get rid of the ones who were placed there by the Bush Regime/Cartel/Cabal...


Thanks so much for posting seafan :applause:
I'll give a special shout out and a tip of the hat to you when I publish my blog. I'm thinking of starting a new series "Unsung Heroes", in honor of those Patriots who lost their jobs and if I expand it to include the wars, then there would be room for more honors to recognize the troops :patriot: . Some who have lost their jobs as well, and some paying the ultimate price, THEIR LIFE..... :cry:


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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Gonzo needs to be Impeached, now!
His message is: Any US Attorney that brings charges on a Rethug will be fired.
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 05:45 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Or any investigations of government wrongdoing
which we all know there is plenty.

As John Dean says we can start impeachment of ANY cabinet member/appointee who has abused the constitution or not upheld their oath of office.

I agree.....


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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. It would be interesting to know what cases all of these fired US attorneys were working on.
...then we'd have more indications of what else Bu$hCo is trying desperately to hide.

Exposing Bu$hCo's vulnerabilities such as the Duke-stir's partners in crime,... Bu$hCo's long-standing links with Rev. Moon and his propaganda tool, the Washington Times,... trying to dig up more anti-Clinton dirt in Arkansas,.... y'all get the picture.


Fleshing out the cases these fired US attorneys were working on, and how they related to Bu$hCo, would be quite helpful, imho.
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. I read where Harriot Meirs was involved in the AG in Arkansas losing his job,
evidently they (the White House) didn't want this info to come out, that they fired the AG to fill the vacancy with Rove's protege and that Harriot took part in this scandal.
But hey, Rove needs to put his people in place to carry cover for 08. Even though he has pledged he is "retiring from politics" don't believe a word of it. In case you haven't noticed they have a huge problem with telling the truth....

I hope the ex AG speaks out about this abuse of power and why he thinks he was fired. There has been several coming out claiming they were fired for doing their jobs.

And again the Dems should put off fixing the loophole until they can fire the Bush cronies put in power by this abuse. The AG cronies could never get these positions any other way. So, we i.e. the Dems need to ensure we don't fix the problem before we take care of business of firing these crooks.


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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
GONZO needs to be fired.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
9. I still think Gonzales should be impeached and removed before even Cheney.
He protects all of these traitors, thieves and murderers while they merrily continue their crime sprees. He needs to lead the pack, imho.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R!
:kick: & :thumbsup:
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
11. Here's a bunch of Robert Parry and Moon-related radio shows
Here we go:
FTR#489Second Interview with Robert Parry
FTR#490Another Interview with Robert Parry
FTR#491Another Conversation with Robert Parry (III)

It's also interesting that Moon lobbied heavily for, and benefitted from, Bush's faith-based initiatives. Here's a 2004 SF Chronical article on that:

Moonies knee-deep in faith-based funding
Pushing celibacy, marriage counseling under Bush plan

Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer

Sunday, October 3, 2004

President Bush has some new troops in his crusade to promote "healthy marriage" and teen celibacy with federal funds -- followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial Korean evangelist and self-proclaimed new world messiah.

At least four longtime operatives of Moon's Unification Church are on the federal payroll or getting government grants in the administration's Healthy Marriage Initiative and other "faith-based" programs.

....

"Moon has been a big backer of the faith-based initiative,'' said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. "But it's beyond belief that you can have the University of Bridgeport issuing marriage education certificates and claim that is secular.''

Lynn said the Oakland program also shows how "there is virtually no monitoring of where this money is going.''

"Money goes out and nobody knows how it's used and nobody knows what it's for,'' he said.

....

Free Teens USA, an after-school program in New Jersey promoting abstinence until marriage, has been given $475,000 by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, another part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Free Teens is led by Richard Panzer, another alumnus of Unification Theological Seminary. Panzer was also a leader in the American Constitution Committee, one of many political organizations affiliated with Moon.

...


Here's a half hour show that has more info on Moon's Free Teens USA program:
FTR 452- The Mooning of America's Teens and FTR 453: Verges For the Defense.

The 2nd half hour show ties into Moon's history with the Bolivian Cocaine Coup. One of the figures that carried out the Moon-supported coup was Nazi war-criminal Klaus Barbie. Verges was hired to defend Barbie by Nazi-financier Francois Genoud. Genoud is also connected to the Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood's al-Taqwa network that has extensive connections to European far-Rightists and terrorist financing.

And here's another show covering many other Moonie-related topics, including his relationship with the Yakuza: FTR-291 From Kennebunkport to Pearl Harbor: Bush, Moon, and the Rising Sun

Enjoy! :)
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Thanks for these links, ftr23532.
Another kick for the truth to emerge. It will take all of us to make sure it happens.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. You're welcome!
Moon is both a blessing and a curse: few figures have a history as revealing about the deep corruption present in our power structures as Reverent Moon. And even fewer are as bizarrely attention-grabbing. The Moonie-opportunity to expose these critical chapters of our hidden history cannot be missed!!! :bounce:
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-19-07 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #11
30. Let's not forget Bush/Moon's longtime alliance with Tim LaHaye of LEFT BEHIND books.
Edited on Mon Feb-19-07 09:47 AM by blm
Pure political mind control.
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westerebus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
12. The sooner the better.
The first and last AG to be indited and convicted was Mitchell from the nixon administration. Gonzo is his reincarnation. He gave nixon cover for all kinds of illegal activities; including wiretapping and military/FBI/CIA infiltration of peace and civil rights organizations. Sound familiar?
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
13. This is a gross abuse of power on the part of the administration.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
14. I first showed up on the internets ( ;) ) warning about the Bush-Moon alliance
and how they were serving each other's needs.

Knowing Moon was also aligned with the whole Left Behind craze was troubling, too, as those were political books more than anything else.

I also warned that Moon had acquired nearly half this nation's fishing industry. Quietly. The corpmedia let him have his way without scrutiny for 14 years - something you would never expect from a healthy media. They are just now reporting on what he has acquired all those years while they looked the other way.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. The so-called media have much to answer for. It won't be pretty. n/t
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
18. Rev Moon OWNS Poppy Bush
Rev Moon's made a pretty big investment in the rest of the Bush Family Evil Empire, too. Take Neil. Please.



Know your BFEE: Rev. Sun Myung Moon OWNS Poppy Bush


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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Thanks, Octafish. Here is also an extensive archive on Moon:
Dark Side of Rev. Moon, at ConsortiumNews.


People who aren't aware of these ties will be shocked and disgusted.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Robert PARRY is great. So is John GORENFELD.
I Approve This Messiah.com at Where in Washington, D.C. is Reverend Moon?

PS: blm is great, too. The moniker stands for "Bush Luvs Moonies." Heh!



Orrin Hatch luvs Rev Moon, Big Time, too.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
19. Not many know about how big a player Moon is in Republic politics
It would turn off a lot of Americans if they did.
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judaspriestess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
20. There is nothing "holy" going on here
terribe people
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
22. You protect the boss.
Rule number one.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
23. Do not these losers get it? No one trusts anything you say, bozos.
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Spiffarino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
25. K&R for the most corrupt AG in modern history
Edited on Sun Feb-18-07 09:30 PM by Spiffarino
Time to clean house. Impeach him along with the Chimp and Darth Vader.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
28. k & r
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Emit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-19-07 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
29. Shit.
Edited on Mon Feb-19-07 12:23 AM by Emit
Is there a limit to the number of bookmarks we can have at DU? I hope not! Thanks for posting. B'd & K'd!

Edited to add, woulda' R'd but I missed the deadline.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-22-07 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
31. kick
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-22-07 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
32. Okay...THAT'S IT! Where are the House & Senate Judiciary Committees on this?
I heard something about an investigation ...but this calls for action.

Gotta look up the members.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-22-07 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Okay...House & Senate Judiciary Committee Chair start Investigations in March...
Edited on Thu Feb-22-07 12:54 PM by KoKo01
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2/8/2007

House Judiciary Committee Will Take Action to Protect U.S. Attorney Appointments Process


For Immediate Release Contact: Jonathan Godfrey(202) 226-6888
February 08, 2007 Melanie Roussell(202) 226-5543

(Washington, DC)- Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman joined his Senate Judiciary Committee counterparts in expressing the need to protect U.S. Attorney appointment processes. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported a bill providing for a 120-day limit for U.S. Attorneys appointed by the Attorney General. Chairman Conyers plans to hold hearings and move forward with Courts Subcommittee Chairman Howard Bermans House version of the bill.

Conyers released the following statement today:

The House Judiciary Committee will act on this issue quickly. We plan to hold hearings in March, followed by consideration of Chairman Bermans bill. I applaud the Senates quick action on this issue and look to join my colleagues in addressing what has become a serious problem in our legal system. Our legislation will return check and balances to our federal prosecutors appointment process and eliminate any inference of political cronyism in our legal system.


##110-JUD-020807a##

http://judiciary.house.gov/newscenter.aspx?A=765



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