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Gov. Hogan pardoning 34 victims of racial lynching in Maryland

Politico -

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will posthumously pardon 34 victims of racial lynching in the state who were denied legal due process in the allegations against them between 1854 and 1933, a spokesman for Hogan said Saturday.

Michael Ricci, Hogan’s spokesman, said the sweeping pardon is the first of its kind by a governor.

Hogan will sign the order at an event honoring Howard Cooper, a 15-year-old who was dragged from a jailhouse and hanged from a sycamore tree by a mob of white men in 1885 before his attorneys could file an appeal of a rape conviction reached by an all-white jury in minutes.

Earlier this year, the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project and students at Loch Raven Technical Academy petitioned Hogan to issue the pardon for Cooper. After receiving the request, the Republican governor directed his chief legal counsel to review all of the available documentation of racial lynching in Maryland.

“Justice has not been done with respect to any of these extrajudicial killings, which violated fundamental rights to due process and equal protection of law,” according to a draft clemency document that Hogan is scheduled to sign.

Hogan and other state officials are scheduled to attend a ceremony in Towson, Maryland, next to the former jailhouse where Cooper was held. A historic marker will be unveiled at the site in a partnership with the Baltimore County Coalition of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, the Equal Justice Initiative and Baltimore County.

The sign says Cooper’s body was left hanging “so angry white residents and local train passengers could see his corpse.”

“Later, pieces of the rope were given away as souvenirs,” the sign says. “Howard’s mother, Henrietta, collected her child’s remains and buried him in an unmarked grave in Ruxton. No one was ever held accountable for her son’s lynching.”

The ceremony is part of a continuing effort by the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, a group of 13 county chapters that is working to document the history of lynching in the state.

In 2019, a marker in Annapolis, the state capital, commemorated the five known Black men who were hanged or fatally shot without trial in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County.

The Equal Justice Initiative has documented more than 6,500 racial lynchings in the country.

Will Schwarz, who is president of the memorial project, described the posthumous pardons as a powerful moment in acknowledging the truth — a critical step toward reconciliation. He said the history of racial terror lynching in the United States has been ignored for so long that most people don’t know the scale of the problem.

“We have a responsibility to try and dismantle that machine of white supremacy and this is a big piece of it, acknowledging the violation of civil rights and of due process that were a part of these awful lynchings,” Schwarz said.

There have been 40 documented lynching cases in Maryland, Schwarz said. In some of those cases, the victims were not yet arrested, so they were not part of the legal system and not eligible for the posthumous clemency approved Saturday by Hogan.

Two years ago, state lawmakers created the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is the first of its kind in the nation. The commission was formed to research lynchings and include its findings in a report.

Cyberattack on critical pipeline freezes deliveries to U.S. East Coast

Politico -

The main fuel supply line to the U.S. East Coast was shut down on Friday after the pipeline's operator was hit by what is believed to be the largest successful cyberattack on oil infrastructure in the country's history.

The attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which runs 5,500 miles and provides nearly half the fuel used on the East Coast, affected some of the company’s IT systems. Colonial said in a statement late Friday that it has engaged an unidentified third-party cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident, and has contacted law enforcement and other federal agencies.

The attack presents a major test for how the Biden administration will respond to cyber attacks on critical infrastructure at a time when hackers are increasingly targeting essential utility services. The outage, depending on its duration and who is found to be behind it, could send fuel prices in the southeastern U.S. above $3 a gallon, market analysts said.

"I’m unaware anything approaching this magnitude in the U.S.," said Bob McNally, president of energy consultancy Rapidan Energy, who served on the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration. "In the U.S., this is a new escalation, a much more important attack on a vital piece of infrastructure."

The strike against Colonial was a ransomware attack, according to a security researcher who requested anonymity to speak freely. CISA believes that the intrusion is the work of the criminal ransomware gang known as Darkside and not a nation-state, the researcher said. CISA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said the attack is the latest indication that the government isn't ready for potentially debilitating cyber strikes.

"There’s obviously much still to learn about how this attack happened, but we can be sure of two things: This is a play that will be run again, and we’re not adequately prepared," Sasse said in a statement. "If Congress is serious about an infrastructure package, at front and center should be the hardening of these critical sectors — rather than progressive wishlists masquerading as infrastructure.”

Fuel imports into New York Harbor should cushion the blow for drivers in Baltimore and places north, market analysts said. But if Colonial remains down past the start of this coming week, drivers could begin to hoard fuel and prices will rise dramatically even before the normal start of the summer driving season, when prices normally increase.

"Colonial delivers products to terminals every five days," said Andy Lipow, president of consulting firm Lipow Oil Associates. "There may be some terminals that had been depending on deliveries yesterday, today or tomorrow that will be immediately affected. But on a widespread basis, in four to five days you’ll see signs of impact, especially when consumers get wind of what’s going and start filling up their cars."

Colonial said it is working to restore its service and return to normal operations. In response to a request for comment, a company spokesperson said they have no additional details to provide at this time.

The FBI, the Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could not be immediately reached for comment.

Improving cybersecurity in the energy sector has been a key task for several federal agencies. Last month, the DOE and CISA launched an initiative to work with industrial control system operations in the electric sector to improve cybersecurity detection.

Colonial Pipeline is the largest refined products pipeline in the United States, transporting 2.5 million barrels per day, and about 45 percent of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and heating oil.

The pipeline attack could be a litmus for the Biden administration’s overall cyber strategy, which has been slowly taking shape. So far, officials have been keen on using sanctions and indictments to respond to major events, as seen in President Joe Biden’s executive order last month in response to the months-long SolarWinds hack on federal government agencies and about 100 companies. And the latest development has the potential to put more pressure on the Biden administration and lawmakers as they debate adding cybersecurity funding to the administration’s $2 trillion-plus infrastructure proposal, which has been scrutinized for lacking those funds.

Last year, a crack in in the pipeline that went undetected for days or weeks leaked 1.2 million gallons of gasoline in a nature preserve near Charlotte, N.C. And in February, hackers gained access to a water treatment facility’s computer system near Tampa, Florida, and attempted to raise the amount of sodium hydroxide, or lye. Russian military hackers also targeted computer systems belonging to banks, energy firms, senior government officials and airports in Ukraine in June 2017 as a part of the so-called “NotPetya” cyberattack.

Sam Sabin and Eric Geller contributed to this report.

GA Voters Support Voting Law, Oppose Corporate Meddling

Real Clear Politics -

We recently wrote about national polling showing plurality support for Georgia's new elections law, as well as national data tracking the public's paltry appetite for corporations using their influence to wade into cultural and political skirmishes. One issue set on which there is pretty clearly a large "silent majority" is wokeness and ubiquitous political correctness. That reality played out in the aforementioned nationwide polling, and it's been replicated in a new survey of Georgia voters. After weeks of unhinged attacks, disgraceful demagoguery, outright lies and racial bullying - led by...

Cheney, Romney and Bush Are True Patriots

Real Clear Politics -

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas writes Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush have her undying respect for the manner in which they have stood steadfast in defense of the US Constitution and their principles -- even in the face of brutal and unwarranted attacks by their own party.


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