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Red Dawn, Chicago Spring and ACT of WAR

Red Dawn, Chicago Spring and ACT of WAR

Posted by KENNETH LANGDON

Written by Dave Hodges

Is the US military and the Bankster controlled federal government on a collision course? When one begins to connect the dots, with each dot representing a critical intersect point between the two entities, it strongly appears that an irrevocable bifurcation between the two is underway and the point of no return may have already been reached. Why else would we be witnessing the training of Russian troops to carry out policing activities in and around the Colorado Springs area later this month?
A report from the Daily Caller noted that the Labor Department has withdrawn a highly controversial Obama administration order which would’ve outlawed any form of child labor on family farms. This regulation would have dealt a death blow to the economic viability of America’s small farmers. As a result, food prices would have astronomically skyrocketed because all food production would have subsequently emanated from the large corporate owned farms. As an aside, the large corporate owned farms were exempt from this Labor Department restriction and of course, illegal migrant labor would be permitted on the corporate farms as well. To many, the defeat of this illegal and unconstitutional child labor regulation marked a victory for the average American. However, there may be a more ominous message behind the rescinding of this policy as it becoming clear that the Obama administration is seeking to conceal the rift between its bankster benefactors and the US military as it is becoming clear that Obama suddenly backed away from a policy that the military refused to support.

The use of child labor on family farms is a long-established tradition in American history. It is the sole reason why America’s schoolchildren have enjoyed three months off from attending school as children assisted their parents in the harvesting of crops. When we witness the Agenda 21 enforcement agents from the banker-run federal government actively seeking to control all food in order to make Americans entirely dependent upon the federal government, this latest Obama power grab makes a great deal of sense.

Only three days after the announcement of this illegally contrived Labor Department regulation banning child farm labor, the Obama administration withdrew its mandate citing “public outrage” as the sole reason. Really? Public outrage in only three days forced this dictatorial regime to do an about face? Who is Obama kidding? What about Obama’s lack of reaction to the public outrage over the banker bailouts that 95% of Americans vehemently opposed? What about the previously ignored public outrage over the chicanery related to the passage of national healthcare that over 80% of Americans opposed? What about the ongoing public outrage over the sexual assault acts performed everyday by the criminal TSA as they continue to goose Granny and molest our children at the nation’s airports? Ninety percent of the country had not even heard of this farm labor policy. The Obama administration’s explanation for withdrawing the policy over “public outrage” is ludicrous.

Curiously, the enforcement mechanism for this insane policy would’ve fallen to Homeland Security and amazingly, to the military. This means that forces of our military would have faced off against American farmers. There can be no doubt that many farmers would have defended to the death their historical right to property and parenting rights. The real reason for the withdrawal of the child farm labor policy has to do with the fact that the US military was not willing to murder American farmers on behalf of the Wall Street bankers and their large agricultural partners. The Obama administration is concealing this serious rift from the American people!
Further evidence of this growing conflict comes from Afghanistan as we should not forget that when Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, visited Afghanistan in March, there was an attempt on his life. Following the incident, all American soldiers in Panetta’s presence were unilaterally disarmed, thus providing another example of distrust between the two institutions.

It is also no secret that in recent months, America has positioned its military in the Gulf region to launch military strikes upon Syria and Iran. It is also no secret that the Russians have threatened our government with war if America attacks its two aforementioned allies. This clearly casts Russia into the role of being a military enemy of the US. Why then, would the federal government mandate that enemy Russian paratroopers be trained at Fort Carson Army base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in late May and early June of this year? Yet, this is an undeniable fact as Defense Department spokesperson, Commander W. L. Snyder, told the New American, that Russian troops would be training in southern Colorado for three weeks in which they would be allowed to provide security at local baseball games and to participate in roadside checkpoints as well as to conduct war game military raids on local terrorist base camps. The unmistakable conclusion is that our enemies are being trained to interact with the American public and to participate in policing activities on American soil. Are you baffled? Well, so was I, until I realized that the Russian troops are only the enemy of our military and US citizens, not the enemy of the banksters who run the government!

Shouldn’t the presence of Russian troops on American soil be considered an act of war? Why then would Russian troops be given access to one of our most important and secure military bases in the country? Why then are Russian troops being allowed to view how our military will meet a crisis not to mention the fact that we are giving the Russian military access to the inner workings of a key military installation while training on American soil for the first time? Is this is just a significant military intelligence victory for the Russians? Has the Obama administration lost its mind by revealing our military command and control capabilities in a crisis situation? Or, is this apparent abject stupidity on the part of the Obama administration being carried out with clear intent, precision and purpose to a level which would make Benedict Arnold jealous? Why else would Russian troops be trained to carry out policing activities on American soil in which they will supplant our domestic forces? There are still more dots to connect.
It has been widely reported that Homeland Security has purchased hundreds of bulletproof checkpoint structures along with several hundred million rounds of ammunition typically used in house to house fighting. We already know that the Fort Carson based Russians will be training with American weapons and ammunition. Are the dots beginning to take shape?
There can be no other purpose for the procurement of these materials, by Homeland Security, other than to use them in order to subjugate the American civilian population with American military weapons and Homeland Security provided ammunition.
Given the fact that the federal government has enacted unconstitutional detention policies through the NDAA, and it lists American veterans, Libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, and Constitutionalists as domestic terrorists in the Homeland Security’s MIAC Report, it appears that the bankster run federal government and its Russian mercenaries are declaring war on average Americans as America enters into a very draconian state of martial law which will be enforced by foreign soldiers who will not hesitate to fire on American citizens.
We already know that 70% of all US military political donations go to Ron Paul. This fact, alone, places the bulk of the American military at odds with the despots who have taken over the federal government because Ron Paul is an anathema to the banker run government status quo. And when one adds to the fact that it’s becoming common knowledge that nearly every Republican primary has been rigged against Ron Paul, should it be surprising that Ron Paul delegates plan to transform the Republican presidential candidate selection process into a brokered convention in which the current political fraud would have to be carried out in the clear light of day. In this scenario, Ron Paul could win, so long as he would be alive to enjoy the fruits of this strategy. A Ron Paul presidency would spell the end of the Federal Reserve, the IRS and the Wall Street banker bailouts. And of course, there would not be a military industrial complex”cash cow” war with Iran and Syria under a Paul presidency.
Is anyone else’s memory is reverting back to the Democratic California Primary held in 1968 in which, to the profound dismay of the establishment of that day, was won by Bobby Kennedy? If Ron Paul were to meet the same fate as Bobby Kennedy, would America likely accept another lone nut gunman assassination theory? Would the subsequent civil disobedience make the 1992 LA riots look tame by comparison? Would the American military subsequently fire on Americans in the streets in order to restore order? Or, is it more likely that our bankster run government would use their Wall Street funded Russians assets to quell the disturbances and install a total banker run scientific dictatorship that would make Hitler and Stalin envious?
To the banksters, the Russian troops are a necessary evil because if American troops would not fire on American farmers, in defense of the now aborted child farm policy, then they cannot be counted on to fire on Americans at the whim of the banksters in support of the coming public disarmament and eventual total subjugation.
It is interesting to note that the movie depicting a Russian invasion of the US, Red Dawn, is being rereleased. As in the movie, the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming, and America may not have to wait long to discover the real reasons behind their military presence on American soil! The connecting of these dots clearly demonstrates that the powder keg is ready to explode, but what event will light the fuse?
There are plans in place for a mass evacuation of downtown Chicago in reaction to possible riots, on May 20-21, the dates of the upcoming NATO Summit? A Milwaukee based Red Cross memo indicates that there is indeed such a plan. Officials have been asked to make plans in order to assist Chicago residents in the event of a mass exit from Chicago. Does the term, ”false flag” come to anyone else’s mind? One doesn’t have to have a doctorate in history to recall Operation Northwoods, Abel Danger and the relationship to 911. And one doesn’t have to be a Jeopardy contestant to remember the London terrorist drills that coincided with the London subway bombings. And don’t forget, the same exact events transpired a short time later in Spain!
With Russian soldiers chasing imaginary American “terrorists” on our soil, prudent Americans may wish to eliminate Chicago as vacation destination later this spring where it is rumored that Windy City will be the next Oklahoma City event.
On April 28, 2012, Ron Paul warned America to be on the alert for a false flag in the near future. Is America living in a time in which the possibility of a military coup is bubbling up to the surface and we are about to witness the bankster push back to America’s defiance to the New World Order? Will all Americans soon be forced to choose to take sides between supporting our loyal military or the bankster run government and its growing number of mercenary forces on our soil?
George Washington faced the Hessians and it is likely that will we soon be facing the Russians as they go house to house armed with newly purchased Homeland Security ammunition in order to arrest suspected dissidents and to seize our privately owned guns under the Obama supported U.N. Small Arms Treaty Ban.
When our sworn enemies have access to our military bases, are policing local baseball games, participating in traffic stops and are playing war games on American soil with Americans as their intended target, maybe we all should be asking more a lot more questions before the proverbial fuse is lit.
Dave Hodges

SOURCE

Potential NATO Summit Violence Leaves Chicago on Edge

Concerns About NATO Summit Violence Leave Chicago Guessing About Security

War On

— As concerns about security grow in the run-up to the NATO summit, it’s becoming difficult to separate myth from reality.

Are there plans in place for a mass evacuation of downtown in the event of riots on May 20-21? A Red Cross memo out of Milwaukee indicates that there is.

Officials there have been asked to make plans to assist residents in the event of a mass exodus.

Chicago officials say the plan didn’t come from them. The U.S. Secret Service isn’t talking.

There also are reports that a heavily armed security team will start making a very public appearance around federal buildings in the Loop this week. Officials with the Chicago NATO host committee were completely in the dark. They had no reports of any such plans.

A source told CBS 2 that security forces in full battle gear would not be seen this week.

As for the Red Cross plan, CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of an e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area.

It said the NATO summit “may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”

According to a chapter spokesperson, the evacuation plan is not theirs alone.

“Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service,” she said.

Officials at Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication said the directive did not come from them.

The U.S. Secret Service did not return calls for comment.

Some downtown residents told CBS 2’s Mike Parker that the news has them on edge.

Brad Klein said it is “very unnerving. I feel a little bit unsafe, just a bit more than a little bit. It doesn’t make me feel like I want to be in the city during the NATO conference.”

An executive with the Service Employees International Union, who trains members in preparation for the summit, thinks such a plan might be “over the top.”

SEIU Local 1 training director Tom Dobry said, “This could be a lot like Y2K – a lot of hype and buildup. People will say, ‘that was it?’ Not a big deal.”

Chicago residents certainly hope that to be true. But one cannot blame them for wondering exactly what’s going on.

One example happened last week, when protest groups revealed the plans for a security zone around the summit meeting site: McCormick Place.

One major expressway (I-55), Lake Shore Drive, and a large chunk of the lakefront will be closed. The security zone will extend several blocks to the west, south and north of McCormick place. That zone will be completely shut down, they say.

Those protesters came directly from a meeting with the Secret Service when those details were released. However, there was not a single confirmation from the feds.

One thing they have confirmed: Commuter trains will run under McCormick Place during the summit, but the Secret Service said in a statement to “expect delays.”

How bad will those delays get? They aren’t saying.

However, the South Shore will be asking riders to take a survey to determine how many people will even bother coming into the city.

Conductors on the train said the rail agency is trying to determine how many cars to run per train. Since each train car, they say, will take up to eight minutes to undergo a security sweep, they want to run a few cars as possible

SOURCE

Incentivizing Selective Enforcement

Incentivizing Selective Enforcement

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– As Jessica Shaver and I chat at a coffee shop in Chicago’s north-side Andersonville neighborhood, a police car pulls into the parking lot across the street. Then another. Two cops get out, lean up against their cars, and appear to gaze across traffic into the store. At times, they seem to be looking directly at us. Shaver, who works as an eyebrow waxer at a nearby spa, appears nervous.

“See what I mean? They follow me,”
says Shaver, 30. During several phone conversations Shaver told me that she thinks a small group of Chicago police officers are trying to intimidate her. These particular cops likely aren’t following her; the barista tells me Chicago cops regularly stop in that particular parking lot to chat. But if Shaver is a bit paranoid, it’s hard to blame her.

A year and a half ago she was beaten by a neighborhood thug outside of a city bar. It took months of do-it-yourself sleuthing, a meeting with a city alderman and a public shaming in a community newspaper before the Chicago Police Department would pay any attention to her. About a year later, Shaver got more attention from cops than she ever could have wanted: A team of Chicago cops took down her door with a battering ram and raided her apartment, searching for drugs.

Shaver has no evidence that the two incidents are related, and they likely aren’t in any direct way. But they provide a striking example of how the drug war perverts the priorities of America’s police departments. Federal anti-drug grants, asset forfeiture policies and a generation of battlefield rhetoric from politicians have made pursuing low-level drug dealers and drug users a top priority for police departments across the country. There’s only so much time in the day, and the focus on drugs often comes at the expense of investigating violent crimes with victims like Jessica Shaver. In the span of about a year, she experienced both problems firsthand.

THE BATTERY

On the night of May 13, 2010, Shaver was smoking a cigarette with her friend Damon outside the Flat Iron bar in Wicker Park. She said she saw a woman walking away from the bar alone when two men began shouting profanities at her. The men then began walking toward the woman. “I made eye contact with her, and she looked like she was in trouble,” Shaver said.

Shaver shouted at the men to leave the woman alone, at which point she says the the two men turned their attention to her, approached her, and began shouting at her. Damon told the men to leave Shaver alone. They jumped Damon and began to beat him. Shaver said she then tried to pry the men off her friend, and managed to free him long enough for him to get away and call 911. Shaver said she was punched repeatedly, including in the face. She fell, stood up, and was hit in the face again. The men then robbed her and left. When she woke up the next morning with bruises, she went to the hospital. Doctors found a concussion and several contusions.

Two weeks later, Shaver still hadn’t heard from the detective assigned to her case. When she finally went to the police station in person to get an update on the investigation, she was told there was no record of the incident. She filed another report, but was told it was unlikely police would be able to track down the witnesses again, and that even if they were, the witnesses’ memories were likely to have faded. Shaver says she decided to investigate on her own. She went back to the Flat Iron and questioned customers and employees herself. A bartender gave her the men’s nicknames: “Cory” and “Sonny,” the guy who hit her. Shaver learned that Sonny was also a reputed cocaine dealer. She heard he had a violent streak, and had been banned from a number of neighborhood bars.

“I was scared,
” Shaver said. “I’d heard bad things about this guy, and he knew who I was.”

Shaver is thoroughly tattooed, which makes her easy to recognize. So she dyed her hair, covered her tattoos with clothing, and kept investigating. She worked her way through social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace until she was able to put actual names to her attackers’ faces and nicknames. And yet she still couldn’t get anyone at Chicago PD to help her. “I gave them the guy’s name and everything,” she said. “There were even hip hop videos online with him in them. I told them, ‘That’s the guy!’ They still wouldn’t listen to me.”

In August 2010, three months after the attack, Shaver contacted a reporter for Time Out Chicago, who began asking around about her case. Shaver also met with Chicago Alderman Joe Marino. Shortly before the Time Out article went to press, a detective finally called Shaver down to the police station to identify her attacker. But even with her identification, the police didn’t arrest “Sonny.” He wasn’t charged with the assault until the following month, when he was arrested on an unrelated domestic violence charge.

Shortly after she finally identified her attacker at the police station, Shaver said the detective in charge of her case told her, “Now I don’t want to hear any more bitching from you.”

MISPLACED PRIORITIES

Arresting people for assaults, beatings and robberies doesn’t bring money back to police departments, but drug cases do in a couple of ways. First, police departments across the country compete for a pool of federal anti-drug grants. The more arrests and drug seizures a department can claim, the stronger its application for those grants.

“The availability of huge federal anti-drug grants incentivizes departments to pay for SWAT team armor and weapons, and leads our police officers to abandon real crime victims in our communities in favor of ratcheting up their drug arrest stats,” said former Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Stephen Downing. Downing is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an advocacy group of cops and prosecutors who are calling for an end to the drug war.

“When our cops are focused on executing large-scale, constitutionally questionable raids at the slightest hint that a small-time pot dealer is at work, real police work preventing and investigating crimes like robberies and rapes falls by the wayside,” Downing said.

And this problem is on the rise all over the country. Last year, police in New York City arrested around 50,000 people for marijuana possession. Pot has been decriminalized in New York since 1977, but displaying the drug in public is still a crime. So police officers stop people who look “suspicious,” frisk them, ask them to empty their pockets, then arrest them if they pull out a joint or a small amount of marijuana. They’re tricked into breaking the law. According to a report from Queens College sociologist Harry Levine, there were 33,775 such arrests from 1981 to 1995. Between 1996 and 2010 there were 536,322.

Several NYPD officers have alleged that in some precincts, police officers are asked to meet quotas for drug arrests. Former NYPD narcotics detective Stephen Anderson recently testified in court that it’s common for cops in the department to plant drugs on innocent people to meet those quotas — a practice for which Anderson himself was then on trial.

At the same time, there’s increasing evidence that the NYPD is paying less attention to violent crime. In an explosive Village Voice series last year, current and former NYPD officers told the publication that supervising officers encouraged them to either downgrade or not even bother to file reports for assault, robbery and even sexual assault. The theory is that the department faces political pressure to produce statistics showing that violent crime continues to drop. Since then, other New Yorkers have told the Voice that they have been rebuffed by NYPD when trying to report a crime.

The most perverse policy may be asset forfeiture. Under civil asset forfeiture, police can seize property from people merely suspected of drug crimes. So long as police can show even the slightest link of drug activity to a car, some cash, or even a home, they can seize it. In the majority of cases, most or all of the seized cash goes back to the police department. In some cases, the department has taken possession of cars as well, but generally non-cash property is auctioned off, with the proceeds then going back to the department. An innocent person who has property seized must go to court and prove his property was earned legitimately, even if he was never charged with a crime. The process of going to court can often be more expensive than the value of the property itself.

Asset forfeiture not only encourages police agencies to use resources and manpower on drug crimes at the expense of violent crimes, it also provides an incentive for police agencies to actually wait until drugs are on the streets before making a bust. In a 1994 study reported in Justice Quarterly, criminologists J. Mitchell Miller and Lance H. Selva watched several police agencies delay busts of suspected drug dealers in order to maximize the cash the department could seize. A stash of illegal drugs isn’t of much value to a police department. Letting the dealers sell the drugs first is more lucrative.

Earlier this year, Nashville’s News 5 ran a report on how police in Tennessee are pulling over suspected drug dealers and seizing their cash along I-40, often without bothering to make an arrest. The station combed through police reports showing that officers spent 10 times as long policing the side of the interstate where a drug runner would be leaving after he sold his supply — and thus would be flush with sizable amounts of cash — than on the side where he was likely to be flush with drugs. The police were letting the drugs be sold in order to get their hands on the cash.

Back in Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) recently signed a new law that will require convicted drug dealers to reimburse the police agencies that arrested and prosecuted them. The law will provide even more incentive for departments to devote time and resources to drug crimes — and that shift comes at the expense of solving more serious crimes.

The bill does not require reimbursement from convicted rapists or murderers.

Which means battery victims like Shaver can expect even less cooperation from police as more officers are moved to investigations that pay for themselves — and then some.

THE RAID

Shaver’s next encounter with Chicago police came in April of this year. She and her then-boyfriend were living on the first floor of a three-story graystone in the Edgewood neighborhood. “Nate,” a friend of Shaver’s boyfriend whom Shaver describes as a “stoner hippie,” was between residences, and asked if he could sleep on their couch while he waited for his new apartment to become available. They agreed.

“He never had keys,
” Shaver said. “He’d text us when he was coming home to sleep, and one of us would let him in. He had been here about a week before the raid.”

The raid came on the night of April 14, 2010, part of a series of drug raids across Chicago that night by the city’s Mobile Strike Force and Targeted Response Unit, essentially a SWAT team.

Shaver, her then-boyfriend and a roommate were in the apartment with her four dogs when the door flew open with the crash of a battering ram. “I thought we were being robbed,” Shaver recalled. “It wasn’t clear to us that they were cops at all. I had a flashback to my attack. I was just terrified. I peed myself. I had peed myself, and I was shaking, trying to gather my dogs while they were pointing these guns at me — these huge guns that could blow me apart. My Vizsla mix ran off, and I was afraid they were going to shoot it. I asked if I could get it, and they said ‘We don’t give a fuck about your dog.’

According to the search warrant, the police were searching for Nate. Shaver said they looked through Nate’s belongings gathered on the couch and found about $900 and a sandwich bag filed with marijuana. They didn’t leave a receipt for what they took.

“They were going through his mail,” she said. “They tried to say he was my brother. They kept looking for some way to say he had always lived here. He had mail here, but it was mail he brought from his old place. It all had his old address on it.”

Shaver’s boyfriend and roommate were handcuffed. Shaver started to panic. She told the police about her prior assault, and asked if she could take some anti-anxiety medication and change her clothes. They refused.

“There were 20 to 25 cops in my apartment now. Some of them were in street clothes. Some of them were in SWAT clothes with face masks. They told me I wasn’t allowed to move. I wasn’t even certain they were police until about two hours later, when a uniformed cop showed up with the warrant,”
she recalled.

Shaver says she heard laughter from her bathroom and bedroom. “They went to my bathroom and started going through all of my medication, laughing about how messed up I was,” she said. “I also have a ‘lady drawer,‘ where I keep sex toys and some sex-related gag gifts friends have given me.” Shaver said that when the cops finally left, they had left her place a shambles. When she looked in her bedroom, the police had emptied the drawer and laid all of her sex toys out on her bed.

The raid ruined the door to Shaver’s apartment and she has since been evicted. She filed a complaint with Chicago PD, but never heard back. When she attempted to get a copy of the affidavit for the search warrant to see what probable cause they had for such a violent raid, she was told that since she was not the target of the raid, she is not allowed to see the affidavit. As for “Nate,” authorities have yet to issue a warrant for his arrest. Chicago PD and the officer who left Shaver his number after the raid did not return The Huffington Post’s requests for comment.

FIGHTING CONSENSUAL CRIMES IN A VIOLENT CITY


“This case is a perfect example of how the war on drugs distracts police from doing the job we hired them for,”
Downing said.

Chicago is one of the most violent cities in the country, and is home to America’s most violent neighborhood. The city is usually left out of annual “Most Dangerous Cities” lists because of disputes between the state of Illinois and the FBI on how crimes are reported, but Chicago has roughly triple the murder rate of New York City, and double that of Los Angeles. Crime has gone down in Chicago over the last 20 years as it has in the rest of the country, but at a slower rate than in cities of similar size.

Perhaps more tellingly, the city’s clearance rate — the percentage of homicides solved by police — was 70 percent in 1991. It dropped to under 40 percent in 2008 and 2009. According to a report (PDF) from the criminal justice reform advocacy group The Sentencing Project, drug offenses made up 4.8 percent of Chicago PD arrests in 1980. In 2003, they made up 28.2 percent. The overall number of drug arrests increased 264 percent over that period. An analysis by the Marijuana Policy Almanac found that from 2002 to 2007 alone, overall pot arrests in Cook County jumped from 25,776 to 32,996.

The drug war’s financial incentives appear to be having an effect. A drug offender is much more likely to be arrested in Chicago than he was 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. But kill someone in Chicago, and you’re only about half as likely to be caught as you were in the early 1990s.

Last July, more than a year after her attack, Shaver’s assailant “Sonny” was finally convicted. He was sentenced to six months of probation. Reflecting back on the last tumultuous two years, Shaver says, “It just doesn’t make sense. Repeat violent offenders get to walk while casual pot smokers get terrorized by SWAT teams. I’m pretty disappointed in the justice system.”

SOURCE

GUILTY! The 20 Counts against Former Governor Blagojevich


Blagojevich on guilty verdict: ‘I frankly am stunned’

By Bob Secter and Jeff Coen Tribune reporters

3:26 p.m. CDT, June 27, 2011

A federal jury today convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on 17 of 20 counts, finding he brazenly abused the powers of his office in a series of attempted shakedowns captured on undercover government recordings.

Blagojevich showed no reaction as the jury announced their decisions. Once the verdicts were read, he sat back in his chair with his lips pursed, looked toward his wife Patti and whispered, “I love you.”

As the first guilty verdict was read, Patti Blagojevich slumped into the arms of her brother, who stroked her head. She kept shaking her head “no” as the jurors left the courtroom, and once the judge was gone, the former governor grabbed his wife’s right hand and hugged and kissed her.

Blagojevich spoke briefly as he and his wife left the federal courthouse. “Patti and I are obviously very disappointed,” he said at a bank of microphones. “I frankly am stunned.”

“There’s not much left to say other than we want to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and try to sort things out,” he added. The two then walked to a waiting car as some in the crowd booed.

As Blagojevich pulled away from the courthouse, the forewoman of the jury told reporters that jurors were confident it was a “fair and just” verdict.

She and the rest of the jurors are attended a press conference in the courthouse.

A woman, known as Juror 103, said Blagojevich’s testimony made reaching a verdict a bit more difficult “because he was personable.”

“It made it harder to separate that from what we had heard” in recordings, she said.

Another woman, Juror 140, said she sometimes found Blagojevich’s testimony “manipulative.”

“I would rather have heard just the facts,” she said. “I think (with) our verdict, we did not believe it (the testimony).”

That same juror said the evidence on the sale of the U.S. Senate seat was the clearest of all the charges because of the abundance of recorded evidence. “We felt he was trying to make a trade for the Senate seat,” she said.

The jury took multiple votes at times during the 10 days of deliberations. It convicted Blagojevich on all 11 counts on the sale of the U.S. Senate and all three counts on the shakedowns of Children’s Memorial Hospital and a racetrack executive.

The jury acquitted him on one count and deadlocked on a second count accusing him of shaking down a construction executive. It also deadlocked on the one count alleging Blagojevich shook down then-U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel.

This marks the second time in less than a year that the 54-year-old Blagojevich, the onlyIllinois chief executive ever impeached and ousted from office, had been convicted of a crime. The jury at his first trial last summer found him guilty of lying to theFBI, though that panel deadlocked on all the other counts. That impasse set the stage for a retrial.

This time the verdict was unequivocal, with the jury of 11 women and one man finding Blagojevich guilty on 17 criminal counts he faced, including charges of wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery and conspiracy. The marquee charge in the case involved an attempt by Blagojevich in late 2008 to cash in on his power to name a replacement in theU.S. Senate for newly electedPresidentBarackObama.

The jury acquitted Blagojevich on one count and deadlocked on two others.

At the prosecution’s request, the judge imposed a travel restriction on Blagojevich, instructing him to not to leave northernIllinois.

Blagojevich, the fourth formerIllinois governor convicted of felonies since 1973, likely faces a significant prison sentence.


The sweeping verdict after last summer’s muddled end to the first trial represents a redemption of sorts for the office of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who on the day of Blagojevich’s arrest in 2008 accused the then-governor of spearheading a “political corruption crime spree.”

Responding to complaints from jurors in the first trial that the government presentation was confusing, prosecutors streamlined the case by jettisoning complicated racketeering charges. Charges were also dropped against Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, his chief fundraiser who had been tried beside the former governor last summer.

In repackaging the case, prosecutors dispensed with evidence aimed at showing that Blagojevich had conspired with top fundraisers from the earliest days of his administration to corrupt state boards and pocket ill-gotten proceeds. Also erased was testimony about Blagojevich’s expensive taste in clothing and his tendency to shirk official responsibilities.

Testifying in his own defense, Blagojevich claimed prosecutors had twisted his words recorded on secret government wiretaps and insisted he was guilty of nothing more than thinking out loud. What’s more, Blagojevich’s lawyers emphasized, none of the illegal plots he was accused of hatching ever came to fruition.

Blagojevich’s turn on the witness stand, something he had promised to do in his first trial before backing out, proved a double-edged sword. Under cross-examination he came off as a quibbler as a prosecutor drew a bead on his credibility from the very first question: “You are a convicted liar, correct?”

Even before the verdict, Blagojevich’s defense team laid the groundwork for a likely appeal. They filed several motions for mistrial that accused U.S. District Judge James Zagel of pro-prosecution bias, but he denied them.

From the beginning, the case against Blagojevich was fraught with political overtones, though even before his arrest the former governor’s once-promising career had been in a steep decline amid scandal, tanking poll ratings and public feuds with leaders of his own Democratic party.

Given the nature of the charges, critics ofObama eyed the case closely for any hint that that the president or his close associates — among them new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,Obama’s former chief of staff — had abetted Blagojevich’s attempts at wheeling and dealing.

But wiretaps and testimony showed an incoming White House both wary of Blagojevich and largely unresponsive to his attempts to land a cabinet post, ambassadorship or other lucrative post as the price for naming a senator to Obama’s liking.

In the end, jurors agreed with prosecutors that Blagojevich had tried to sell the Senate in a variety of ways, including an attempt to steer it to U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in exchange for $1.5 million in campaign cash promised by Jackson supporters.

Blagojevich was also convicted of several other shakedowns involving misuse of his official powers to raise campaign cash. The victims included a race track executive seeking swift action on a bill to benefit his industry and the CEO of Children’s Memorial Hospital seeking an increase in state-paid Medicaid reimbursement rates for pediatric specialists.

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The 20 Counts of Blagojevich

Rod Blagojevich was originally charged with 24 counts. During the second trial, the prosecution pared the counts to 20. What follows is a run down of the charges and the verdict for each.

Count 1-Wire fraud related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY

Count 2-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 3-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 4-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 5-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 6-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 7-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 8-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 9-Wire fraud related to the Racing Bill-GUILTY

Count 10-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 11-Attempted extortion related to School Shakedown-NO VERDICT

Count 12-Attempted extortion related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY

Count 13-Bribery related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY

Count 14-Extortion conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY

Count 15-Bibery conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY

Count 16-Attempted Extortion related to Tollway Shakedown-NO VERDICT

Count 17-Bibery related to Tollway Shakedown-NOT GUILTY

Count 18-Extortion conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 19-Attempted extortion related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Count 20-Bribery conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

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