Following a months-long investigation, the Department of Justice has announced the existence of a well-funded plot "conceived, sponsored and directed" by "high-ranking members of the Iranian government" to assassinate Saudi Arabian ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir on U.S. soil in conjunction with informants in Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas. The "Hollywood" plot, revealed in an afternoon press conference and described in a detailed 21-page complaint [PDF], is alleged to have involved an attack on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. One suspect, naturalized American citizen Arbab Arbabsiar, has been arrested, while co-conspirator and Quds Force member Gholam Shakuri remains at large. Iranian officials were quick to label the charges a "fabrication" intended to distract from America's economic troubles.
Eric Holder has announced a full criminal investigation into the deaths of two detainees in CIA custody. The breaking story is also being reported by Talking Points Memo. This latest development comes as a result of a preliminary DOJ investigation into possible criminal acts stemming from the Bush torture policies that President Obama requested in August 2009, which was broadly criticized at the outset as not going far enough.
The FCC and Department of Justice have approved Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal. The acquisition marks the first time a major television network will be owned by a cable provider. Opponents like Al Franken decry the deal as giving “unprecedented control over the flow of information in America” to a single media conglomerate. FCC news release about conditions imposed on the merger. (Scribd link)
New Orleans detective pleads guilty to major coverup of police shootings in aftermath of Katrina. Among other things, Lohman has admitted involvement in planting a handgun at the scene, drafting fake police reports, and lying to federal agents as part of a conspiracy to cover up the truth about a shooting incident in which six unarmed civilians were shot by New Orleans' police. With news of Lohman's guilty plea announcement coming amid a renewed DOJ push to investigate allegations of police abuse in New Orleans, some are wondering who'll be next in front of a jury. (Via TPM.)