October 23, 2011
Traffic Tickets and You
An article I wrote about the plight of a Florida man who flashed his headlights at oncoming motorists to warn them about the a speed trap and was ticketed for his trouble is now up at Pajamas Media. The good guy won this one, and might win another one. As always, the comments are probably more interesting than my writing. Have a look!
October 13, 2011
Lanny Davis Arrives to Spin Gunwalker
You can gauge how serious a political crisis is by who the people under fire bring in to shore up their defenses. Clintonista Lanny Davis, who represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment, has now stepped up to issue an op-ed piece that attempts to make a molehill out of a mountain.
Davis' article in the Huffington Post is a perfect culmination of the spin that has been offered so far by the Justice Department, the White House, a smattering of loyal House Democrats, and the media. As such, it offers one-stop shopping to debunk all of the deception being offered to undermine the pursuit of the most deadly and damning political scandal in American history.
If ever there is an example of hyper-partisanship, the recent personal attacks challenging the honesty and competence of Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the ATF's errors in its "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking program should be Exhibit A.
Davis is entirely correct... just not in the way he intended. Under Eric Holder, the Department of Justice has been packed with far-left wing ideologues and Stalinesque snitch programs designed to silo and isolate employees, compartmentalizing the sweeping and radical changes that the Administration seems to implement, as noted in Christian Adams' new book, Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department. As for Eric Holder's credibility, Davis "forgets" to mention the Attorney General's two previous bouts of forgetfulness on the stand, regarding the pardons of nationalistic terrorists and financier Marc Rich in years past. The only question regarding Mr. Holder's sworn testimony is why he isn't required to present it while wired to a polygragh.
Then Davis gets very creative with his description of Operation Fast and Furious.
This was a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) program in which guns were allowed to be illegally purchased so that they could be tracked to gun traffickers and Mexican drug cartel leaders. But the ATF, which now is supervised by the Justice Department, lost track of the guns -- which were "allowed to walk," as the parlance goes. Some of the guns were later found at the scene of murders of law enforcement officers.
Davis is desperate to compartmentalize the scandal as a rogue operation carried out in isolation by local ATF agents. The facts are that Operation Fast and Furious was a multi-department, multi-agency operation.
In the Department of Justice alone, the ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (and the directors of each), and a dozen top Justice Department officials, including Deputy Attorney Generals, Assistant Attorney Generals, Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals, and U.S. Attorneys were aware of the plot, with documentation already revealing that the #2 man in Justice was getting detailed briefings, in addition to the at least five reports that crossed Attorney General Holder's desk.
Operation Fast and Furious also could not have occurred without extensive interaction with the State Department, which would have had to authorize the shipment of thousands of weapons in what would otherwise be felony violations of the Arms Export Control Act.
The Department of Homeland Security, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol would also have been in the loop, and it was agents from these agencies that have become the first known U.S. law enforcement agents murdered by guns provided under Operation Fast and Furious other alleged gun-walking programs.
The Treasury Department also played a role in the task force, specifically the IRS Criminal Investigative Division (IRS-CID).
The White House National Security Council (NSC) was also briefed directly from agents in the field.
This wasn't an isolated operation, but a cabinet-level orchestration seeking to achieve unofficial, illegal, unconstitutional, possibly terrorist and treasonous policy goals.
There is no question that the program was botched -- Eric Holder has called it seriously flawed and immediately established a DOJ Inspector General investigation. But the Republican haste to blame it all on Holder and accuse him of lying to Congress -- even calling for a special prosecutor -- seems to me to be way over the top.
Let's be crystal clear on this next claim by Mr. Davis, so that there can be no mistake. There was nothing "botched" about Operation Fast and Furious. There wee no mechanisms in the program to track weapons, specific, documented incidents where federal agents interfered on behalf of weapons smugglers who were interdicted by state law enforcement, and at least one incident where an ATF agent bought weapons with taxpayer funds, authorized by a senior ATF agent, and delivered weapons directly to cartel members.
ATF agents have testified in sworn statements in front of Congress that the purpose of Operation Fast and Furious was to put thousands of American guns in the hands of the Sinaloa cartel. Interdiction was dissuaded, and tracking impossible. Supervisors were elated when OFF turned up at the scenes of murders. This was government-sanctioned arms smuggling to narco-terrorists locked in a near civil war with the legitimate government of Mexico. Nothing was "botched," and there was never an attempt to enforce laws until Brian Terry was killed and whisteblowers came forward to shut the program down.
Here are the facts I believe congressional Republicans making these personal attacks on Holder know, or should know.
First, Republican congressional leaders know that this is not the first time this type of ATF gun-tracking program has gone wrong. A similar program with similar problems began under the George W. Bush administration. As CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson reported, "Operation Wide Receiver" was implemented in 2007 during the tenure of then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. A source told Attkisson that during this program, hundreds of guns "walked" across the Mexican border.
Davis would love to be able to muddy the waters of the scandal by implying that the previous Administration was involved, but the facts do not support his spin.
Where Operation Fast and Furious was a multi-agency, multi-department plot involving high-ranking government appointees and possibly elected officials, Operation Wide Receiver was a local BATF operation, using untested new technologies in an attempt to interdict and capture weapons smugglers. Wide Receiver used RFID chips placed in weapons shipments and surveillance aircraft in hopes of tracking smugglers to their bosses. The plan failed because agents did not know how to install the RFID devices competently, shortening the range of their broadcast signals, combined with the fact that smugglers were far more cunning than the agents allowed. Aware of the limited loiter times of then-current surveillance assets, the smugglers would wait until the monitoring aircraft had to refuel, at which point they would sprint to the border. Wide Receiver's failures were apparent and the operation was shut down after hundreds of guns made it over the border. Operation Fast and Furious was designed explicitly to walk guns, and succeeded wildly, successfully delivering thousands of guns, responsible for the deaths of 200+ people before ATF agents finally blew the whistle.
Second, Republicans know Holder was asked a question during a congressional hearing about when he first learned about this program in the context of prior questions concerning the mismanagement of the program. He said he first learned about it -- meaning the problems and faulty tactics -- in the spring of 2011.
Republicans know that the former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona, the jurisdiction in which ATF was implementing the program, and the former acting director and deputy director of ATF supposedly in charge, have said they also did not know about the problems in Fast and Furious until just recently, and that they had not briefed the attorney general until this year, as he testified.
The "former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona" Davis refused to name is Dennis Burke, a political appointee elevated to that position due to his loyalty to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Burke was Napolitano's Chief of Staff while she was Governor of Arizona, and he is now the "former" U.S. attorney due to his actions in the gun-walking scandal.
Third, the Republicans know Holder could not be expected to have remembered a few lines making general reference to this program among hundreds of pages of reports from 24 departments regularly delivered to the office of the attorney general. Even if Holder had read every line of every report -- and Republicans know he didn't and it would be unreasonable to expect an attorney general to do so -- it is a fact that none of the references to the program included any disclosure of the problems and errors in the Fast and Furious program, as Republicans also know.
Davis asks us to believe that a high-risk, politically-motivated multi-department, multi-agency plot that measured its success in the body count of Mexican citizens was something that the Attorney General not only was unaware of while it was being run, and that even after whistleblowers brought the program down he had no interest in learning anything about the program in the months before he was asked to testify under oath. If you find that credible, Mr. Davis would like you to be part of the jury pool when the criminal trials start.
Fourth, congressional Republicans should recognize that ultimately, this is a law enforcement issue that needs bipartisan support and assistance, not political cheap shots. You would think that conservative Republicans, who are known to emphasize law enforcement, would be providing the ATF and other law enforcement with the maximum number of tools to control and track these guns. These include closing loopholes in laws that facilitate following guns across the border and imposing strict reporting requirements for gun purchases to help combat gun trafficking. Unfortunately, many of those most vocal in criticizing Holder have opposed this legislation.
As we have well established in our continuing coverage of the scandal, there was nothing like a law enforcement operation that came out of Operation Fast and Furious, or the nine other alleged gun-walking operations in five states. The obvious and apparent goal of the plot was to ship as many guns into Mexico as possible, so that when they were recovered at crime scenes, they could lend credence to the 90-percent lie that President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Secretary of State Clinton and others had staked the reputations on.
Americans have become so tired of politicians in Washington politicizing virtually everything.
Mistakes can never be honest. Motives are always questioned. Members of the opposition are not only the subjects of policy disagreements; they must be demonized.
I say respectfully to Republicans responsible for these unfortunate attacks on Eric Holder what I have previously said to Democrats who unfairly personally attacked Bush Attorney General Gonzales:
We are all sick of this -- in both parties.
The only honest mistake related to Operation Fast and Furious was the mistake that field agents had that their supervisors and the political appointees they reported to cared about law and justice more than political opportunism.
Three American Federal agents were shot with guns walked by the Obama Administration, and their sacrifice pales in number when compared to the 200+ dead that the Mexican Attorney General has claimed in her investigation into this betrayal.
A bipartisan group of Arizona sheriffs (5 Republicans, 5 Democrats) have called for an independent counsel to prosecute those involved in the murderous scheme.
They too, have cried out, "Enough!"
Mr. Davis isn't supporting them.
I guess they couldn't afford his retainer.
October 06, 2011
Could Obama Administration Officials Face Life in Prison or Death Penalty Charges for Gunwalker?
Allegations are that the Obama Administration had gun-walking operations in at least 10 cities in 5 states, including the Midwest and East Coast states. The operations were not feeding weapons just to cartels, but street gangs, contributing to the murder of an unknown (for now) number of American citizens, in addition to hundreds of deaths in Mexico.
If we take Operation Fast and Furious (2,020) guns and assume it was one of the larger operations, and from that assume an average operation provided half that amount (1,010), we're looking at an estimate of 10,100 guns.
If we assume OFF was a representative sample of the number of guns an average Obama Administration gun-walking program distributed, we're looking at 20,200 guns given to criminals, enough to arm a U.S. Army division.
It seems reasonable to assume that our President, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Attorney General were responsible for contributing to what U.S. code defines as international terrorism, and what could very much fit the definition of treason.
Our President and members of his Cabinet have committed the most serious criminal crimes in American political history, and could face the rest of their lives behind bars or execution for it.
Do you understand yet why they will fight this tooth and nail? The people will do anything to save their own necks, and have already demonstrated that your lives mean nothing to them.
Is this sinking in yet?
October 04, 2011
Until The Produce Evidence I'm Calling Bullsh*t: AP Spins for Obama About Operation Wide Receiver
I don't buy any of this:
The federal government under the Bush administration ran an operation that allowed hundreds of guns to be transferred to suspected arms traffickers — the same tactic that congressional Republicans have criticized President Barack Obama's administration for using, two federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
When Bush, a Republican, was president, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Tucson, Ariz., used a similar enforcement tactic in a program it called Operation Wide Receiver. The fact that there were two such ATF investigations years apart in separate administrations raises the possibility that agents in still other cases may have allowed guns to "walk."
It's damn funny the Associated Press sources Wide Receiver to Bush, when in October of 2010 Obama's minions at the DOJ were passing memos indicating that Wide Receiver was still sealed, and mentioned in a current context along with Fast and Furious and a third unnamed operation.
I would love for AP's Pete Yost to explain who in the Obama Administration told him that Wide Receiver was walking guns in the Bush years. I'm not saying Wide Receiver didn't exist in 2006 or 2007, I'm just not buying the gun-walking angle.
This reeks of political gamesmanship, and I'm not buying the word of anonymous embattled DOJ officials who haven't produced the first bits of evidence to support their claims.
September 26, 2011
Vanderboegh/Codrea Gunwalker Bombshell Supported by Congressional Documentation
Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea have a letter that proves the ATF was arming cartels directly using taxpayer dollars. This means that the Obama Administration's claim that Operation Fast and Furious was a law enforcement operation gone wrong is a complete and utter lie if it can be corroborated.
I can corroborate that. Check out attachment one to the March 3 letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder and then Acting ATF Director Ken Melson.
[note: wrong attachment image used earlier. This is the correct document. h/t David Codrea]
I hope they find a nice dark and dank prison cell for the Obama Administration officials involved, which, judging by the depth and breadth of the conspiracy this far, should be the majority of them.
September 22, 2011
"Leaky" No More
When the Iran-Contra scandal was just beginning to brew, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy strategically leaked an unclassified draft report on the Iran-Contra affair in order to ensure a press frenzy. He made the calculated assessment that leaking the report to damage the Reagan Presidency was worth his seat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Leahy has never (to my knowledge) made any comment on whether his goal was to simply cripple Reagan, or if he thought he had a real shot of seeing Reagan impeached. Either way, it was a calculated risk that paid off well for the Vermont Democrat.
We're hearing the words "Iran-Contra" again.
This time they are surfacing—along with Watergate—in comparison to the greatest political scandal of our age, a number of operations where agents acting on behalf of the executive branch "walked" thousands of weapons into the hands of drug cartels and domestic gangs. At the moment the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is focused like a laser on one federal operation based in Arizona that supplied 2,020 weapons to the Sinaloa cartel, but is aware of evidence of other operations in Florida, two operation in Texas, and another supplying domestic crimes in Indiana.
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa is doing the bulk of the heavy lifting regarding Gunwalker, with some help in the House and a handful of Republican Senators.
The Senate Judiciary Committee should be running a parallel investigation into some of the most serious allegations ever made against a sitting Administration, a series of crimes that has implicated in a body count of at least 200 dead and two dead federal agents. But guess who is in charge of the Senate Judiciary Committee?
Yes, our good friend and loyal American Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
Scandals are to be aired when they serve the needs of the party, and to be covered up, regardless of how many innocents die, if that serves the needs of the party.
As Mike Vanderboegh points out, Leahy isn't interested in justice. He's only interested in protecting the political investment he made in President Obama.
It's too bad he lacks the guts to tell that to the widows and children left behind.
September 21, 2011
Corrupt as Hell: Acting DOJ Inspector General Tips Off Obama's Gunwalker Co-conspirators
Perhaps you've read about the audiotapes posted to CBS news, of a conversation between the gun dealer that sold many Fast and Furious guns and the ATF agent that was part of the operation.
Now we find out that those tapes came out after the acting Inspector General leaked them to the suspects in the case, jeopardizing the Oversight investigation.
In a letter released on Wednesday to Acting Justice Department Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar, they expressed deep concern over her decision to turn over to U.S. prosecutors in Arizona audio recordings obtained during her investigation.
Representative Darrell Issa, head of the House Oversight Committee, and Charles Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Schnedar apparently did not consider the significant harm caused by giving the recordings to those under investigation.
They criticized the move as potentially obstructing the congressional probe into the operation because potential witnesses may have colluded about what to tell investigators.
Schnedar needs to be fired, and if statutes allow it, charged for obstruction of justice and any related charges (aiding and abetting the enemy?).
This is mob-lawyer-level actions committed by a federal official in charge or one of the most important investigations in U.S. history... and considering the hundreds dead, I'm not overselling that at all.
September 19, 2011
Should Obama Administration Officials Face Death Penalty?
Barack Obama's inept Presidency is coming under fire from all corners now, with his top problems now being scandals involving apparent corruption involving a massive loan to Solyndra that involves apparent political payoffs, and a similar bit of corruption that may have threatened national security when the White House attempted to rig the testimony of a general for their campaign donors at LightSquared.
The worst affront, however is Operation Fast and Furious and other suspected gun-walking operations that could not have functioned as a law enforcement endeavor and which only makes sense as an attempt to implement the radical Cloward-Piven strategy and destroy capitalism in America.
Taken in the aggregate with so many of the economic, regulatory, and political moves we've seen since January 20, 2009, it is hard to conclude that the goal of the Obama administration is anything but the intentional destruction of our government.
If this can be proven, should Obama Administration officials face extensive prison time, or do such crimes against the nation warrant the use of the rarely-used implementation of the federal death penalty?
This is not hyperbole by any stretch of the imagination. The details on the Lightsquared scandal are still coming out, but does appear to be at least a nominal threat to our national security and the safety of American servicemen in harm's way.
Gunwalker, in it's various incarnations, armed cartels and domestic criminal gangs with "walked" weapons and turned federal law enforcement agencies into a blocking force that actively kept gun smugglers and their contraband from being intercepted.
They not only armed this nation's enemies when they armed Mexican drug cartels, they ensured that the smugglers themselves would not face arrest during the duration of the operation.
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2381 > Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
Ensuring that our enemies are delivered weapons constitutes levying war, adhering to our enemies, and giving them aid and comfort within the United States and elsewhere is treason, a crime punishable by death.
Barack Obama lauds himself for having so many "firsts" as a President. Considering his actions in office, he may also deserve becoming the first U.S President sent to death row, along with members of his blood-soaked Cabinet.
Top State Prosecutor in Mexico Holds Obama Administration's Gunwalker Responsible for Death of Her Brother, Thousands of Otherse
We can't get the mainstream media to do anything other than cover-up for "Teh Won," but south of the border they see the Administration's Gunwalker gorefest as the massive criminal conspiracy that it is.
Morales said she did not want to draw conclusions before the outcome of U.S. investigations, but that deliberately letting weapons "walk" into Mexico would represent a "betrayal" of a country enduring a drug war that has killed more than 40,000 people.
Concealment of the bloody toll of Fast and Furious took place despite official pronouncements of growing cooperation and intelligence-sharing in the fight against vicious Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. The secrecy also occurred as Mexican President Felipe Calderon and other senior Mexican officials complained bitterly, time and again, about the flow of weapons into Mexico from the U.S.
Patricia Gonzalez, the top state prosecutor in Chihuahua at the time of her brother's 2010 kidnapping, noted that she had worked closely with U.S. officials for years and was stunned that she did not learn until many months later, through media reports, about the link between his death and Fast and Furious weapons.
"The basic ineptitude of these officials (who ordered the Fast and Furious operation) caused the death of my brother and surely thousands more victims," Gonzalez said.
Operation Fast and Furious was just one of at least five alleged gun-walking operations that sent weapons not just to criminals along and over our southern border, but which also purposefully armed gangs in the Midwest.
As the corpses pile up, it seems more and more likely that the ultimate goal of Gunwalker was never law enforcement at all, but a criminal and perhaps treasonous attempt by political ideologues to wreck both the United States and Mexico to create the optimal conditions to achieve a radical leftist dream of destroying the way America works.
As an attempt to impose Cloward-Piven Strategy Gunwalker was almost successful, and if ATF line agents had not blown the whistle on the Administration, it may have stood a chance of succeeding.
It was a high-risk plot that should result in impeachment, resignations, and criminal charges, up to and including the textbook definition of treason for aiding and abetting the enemies of our nation, arming them with weapons used to cut down our own citizens.
We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail in our pursuit of this story.
September 18, 2011
Evil Exists: A Cautionary Tale For Our Times
I've been out of police work for more than a decade now. In many ways, it seems like only yesterday, yet I know better. Any policeman knows that even when absent from the job for a few weeks of vacation, an edge is lost and must be regained. I know there are many things I've forgotten, not big things, but nuances, insights, personal procedures that helped me to be sharp and effective in my specific duties. Other things, if not exactly forgotten, have faded to the back of my consciousness, painful things, particularly painful things that happened to others, things over which I had no control.
As well as teaching, I'm a professional singer. I'm not on the concert circuit, living out of a suitcase, constantly traveling, conducting master's classes, always hustling to promote myself while hoping against hope that the voice stays healthy. Rather I sing with a fine chorale that is the principal chorus of a fine symphony, and I'm also paid to sing with a metropolitan church choir that has a few hired choral guns, so to speak. This allows the church to do a higher level of music and more of it, which would not be possible by relying merely on volunteers. It's far from a huge amount of money, but it's nice to be paid for all of those years of rehearsal and effort and equally nice to work with nice people who appreciate my efforts.
So it was that in our warm-up rehearsal this morning, before the second service, one of the volunteer members of our choir delivered a painful reminder that in an instant took me back more than a decade. She and her husband are good people, personable folks anyone would like to know, and it was distinctly disturbing to hear her emotion-choked voice, a voice tinged with terror, as she related this cautionary tale.
Last week, one unremarkable morning, my friend's young daughter, the mother of a newborn, was home alone. Her husband was gone to work, when suddenly, the doorbell began insistently ringing and did not stop. Realizing something was very wrong and clutching her newborn to her chest, she peered through the peephole in the front door and saw two unfamiliar black men, one ringing the bell but being careful to lower his face, the other facing away from the door.
She called her young husband who told her to immediately call 911, and as she did, telling her story in a state of confusion and fright, she saw the burglars heading around the house, and she knew they were going to break into her home through the back door. Staying on the line with the police, she locked herself in her bathroom and taking her two small dogs with her, barricaded herself, the dogs and her baby, as best she could, in a closet in that bathroom.
Despite the barking of the dogs, she could hear the burglars breaking through the door. They rattled the doorknob of the bathroom, but did not enter. She heard them ransacking her bedroom and other portions of her home. The terror in my friend's voice as she relived the danger her daughter faced, the horror of what might have happened, was gripping and enraging. As I so often have throughout my police career and my life thereafter, I wished I had been there, for if I had, our community would have been short two predators one way or the other. But as usual, I wasn't there, and I could only listen in frustration.
The police, amazingly, were only about a block away, and in the meantime, my friend's son-in-law had called them and told them what was happening, so they and their son-in-law were racing the police. By the time they arrived, it was all over. Four police cars and four officers were present and they managed to capture the drugged juvenile getaway driver and his car, but the burglars, carrying most of the young couple's jewelry, had leapt the back fence and were long gone. Their TV set was unplugged and set aside for quick removal, but was still present. The young mother was unhurt but fundamentally changed--they all were.
They young parents have not returned to the house—their home—since that morning. They will return only to move their remaining property to another house elsewhere, a house they hope will be safe, a house that may once again become a home. The police told them that home invasion burglaries are an epidemic in their area. They're trying hard to stop them, but results are few and far between. The juvenile they caught will almost certainly lawyer up and say nothing, and because he's a juvenile, will experience no real punishment and will have no incentive to give up his pals.
My friends, their daughter and her husband are Christians. They know intellectually that evil exists. They read about it often and believe that through their Christian faith, they help to fight evil. But until that day, they did not know, did not believe in every fiber of their beings that evil could and would visit them, that it would actively seek them out in their home. They could not imagine that evil would imperil their lives and the life of their child. Certainly, they were aware of the depravity criminals inflict on others every day. They, like most people, shook their heads and sympathized with news accounts of innocent citizens, good people, who have been maimed, raped, even killed by two legged predators, but until last week, it was something that always happened to someone else. No longer.
Over the last year I wrote a five part series titled "Me? Own A Gun?" that explores the practical, ethical, moral and legal issues revolving around gun ownership. Here's how to access that series:
But don't go there, don't read that series, until you read the rest of this article after the break.
I didn't pat my friends on the back, nor did I console them. We had a church service to do, other things upon which to concentrate and for them, for all crime victims, that's a good thing. But there are things they need to consider, and I hope they will as they read this article. Many of these things are truisms, aphorisms self-styled elite, anti-gun, anti-freedom "activists" call clichés or mere anecdotes. But as any honest police officer can attest, these aphorisms, and millions of stories just like that of my friends, while anecdotes, are the very face of reality. Let's begin by becoming familiar with criminals, our own domestic terrorists.
THE ENEMY: Most criminals are young males between the ages of say 15 and 25. Fortunately, by the mid twenties, most young men realize that crime is a one-way ticket to jail, death or both and quit, but some never learn. Race depends on where one lives, but statistically, most criminals, particularly in urban areas, are Black or Hispanic, and some racial groups specialize in certain types of crimes.
Fortunately, most criminals aren't particularly smart. The criminal mastermind of TV and the movies is a rare commodity. However, one should not confuse book intelligence with animal cunning and determination, which can serve even dumb criminals well.
Burglars are opportunists. Most will only burglarize homes during the day when there is a substantially lower risk of running into a homeowner. Criminals fear armed homeowners far more than the police because the police are predictable and probably won't kill them unless they do something really stupid. A scared citizen might waste them accidentally, because they take things personally, or just for fun. Most burglars, if they suspect anyone is home, will simply go elsewhere, which greatly lessens their risk. Burglars who enter a home knowing someone is present are very dangerous. Those who will burglarize a home at night, particularly when they know people are present are often deadly.
Most burglars aren't armed with guns, but are almost always armed with knives or other burglary tools that can easily inflict deadly wounds. They may also arm themselves with weapons found in the home. However a growing number of burglars, particularly younger burglars, are carrying handguns, and out of fear, bravado, or simply because they're so wasted on various drugs they have no rational judgment, are willing to use them. Burglars who hit occupied homes at night should always be assumed to be armed with guns and willing, even eager, to use them.
The burglars who hit the young couple's home were practicing common daylight burglary techniques. Knock on the door or ring the bell to be sure no one is home, then sneak around the back where they can't be seen and break in. Even if the home has an alarm system, they can be in and out long before the police arrive, particularly if they're smart enough to use police scanners and/or lookouts. In their case, it's likely the burglars knew the young mother was home and chose to break in anyway despite the certain knowledge that she was calling the police and despite her frantically barking dogs. She is very, very lucky. That locked bathroom door would not have survived a determined assault more than a few seconds.
THE POLICE: There are a great many criminals, far, far more citizen/targets, and very few police. The aphorism is simple: "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away." Our young mother, frightened nearly to death, cowering in a closet, clutching her newborn, hearing two burglars rattling the locked but flimsy door of her bathroom knows that now. The truth of police response time is not something the police want most people to know.
In most communities in America, people would be amazed—and distressed--to learn how few officers are working the streets at any time of the day or night. The day shift is the least staffed of the three daily shifts. If the dispatcher receives your call in a timely manner, if he or she clearly understands what is happening and makes a clear, instructive and timely radio call, officers have a reasonable chance of getting to that call quickly. However, police lore is full of stories of dispatchers who never answered emergency calls, who assigned them a low response priority, or who simply forgot, leaving victims to be beaten, raped, maimed, even killed.
Even if the dispatcher handles your call properly and promptly, officers may not be available or anywhere near your home. Particularly in semi-rural or rural areas, police help can be a half hour or much more away. Even if the first officer arrives within five minutes of your call, he will still have to orient himself and decide what to do before acting. You're in the house; you know exactly what's going on. He may know only that a burglary in progress has been reported at your address. He may—and this is likely—choose to wait for other officers to arrive before acting. How much time did our young mother have?
Without a doubt, the police love to catch bad guys in the act. They love to be the hero. They love to put them away, but even if they caught the burglars invading the young couple's home, they'd probably be out on bond within days, and almost certainly committing other burglaries while awaiting trial. Some are bold enough to repeatedly hit the same homes over and over. What most people don't understand is that the police can't be held liable for failing to protect any given citizen. The law—which has gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court—is very clear on this. This may sound outrageous, but what community could afford a police department if it could be successfully sued whenever a criminal harms a citizen?
ALTERNATIVES: As my friends and their son-in-law raced to her aid, what were they prepared, intellectually and physically, to do? Were they armed, well trained and ready to use those arms? If unarmed, did they have any idea what they'd be facing if they confronted the burglars, drug-crazed, habitually violent and armed criminals willing to do anything to escape? They are fortunate in one thing: unlike most people, they now have no doubt about the issues I've raised in this article (and raise in much greater detail in the five-part series). They have no doubt that evil can and will visit them. Hopefully they realize that moving is not proof against future attacks.
When faced with aggression, there are three options: run away, fight, or throw yourself on the mercy of those cruel, stupid and evil enough to attack you without provocation in the first place. Running away is not always an option, as one still terrified young woman now knows. Throwing oneself on the mercy of criminals is the ultimate crap shoot. True, some burglars only want property and will grab and run, or simply run, if confronted. Others will, in a drug-induced rage, savage anyone in their way. Some, if they think they have the time, will engage in a bit of rape or torture, considering it an unanticipated bonus. Some few will kill anyone that sees them to avoid prison or simply because they like killing. Frivolous people often obsess about the motivations of vicious criminals. "Why did he do it?" They ask. "How did society fail them?" The simple truth is that a great many criminals, particularly the most cruel and brutal, do it simply because they like it. What greater motivation do they need?
The third and most effective alternative is firearms. Firearms truly are equalizers that can allow a slight young woman protecting an infant to overpower and stop two far larger, far more violent and determined thugs. With proper training in marksmanship and tactics, virtually anyone can prevail over even determined, armed criminals. In fact, firearms are used as often as two millions times every year in America to stop violent crime, usually without a shot being fired. The media doesn't want you to know that.
At this point, our young couple has choices to make. Why is she alive? Was God watching out for her? Perhaps, but if so, what do we make of all those victims of crime who were not so fortunate?
Some things are certain: Evil does exist and can and will wreak havoc upon anyone without warning. Good intentions and a good and virtuous life are not protection against evil. Practicing the "right" politics is meaningless. Depending on the good will of criminals for your safety is the very definition of insanity.
If you are unable to accept and act upon these simple realities of life, I sincerely wish you good luck. If you do accept reality and wish to be prepared, you have some additional reading to do.
September 16, 2011
Gunwalker: Despite More Confirmed Deaths, Obama's DOJ Continues Ttying to Cover-Up the Conspiracy
My latest update on this treasonous Administration's plot to arm drug cartels and street gangs on both sides of the border is posted at Pajamas Media
September 10, 2011
FBI Hid Fast and Furious Gun, Spent $70K to Arm Cartels
At Pajamas Media.
September 07, 2011
IHOP Shooter Used the Same Kind of Rifle ATF/DOJ/DHS Walked into Mexico
Don't expect the network news or cable television pundits make the connection, but the two AK-pattern semi-automatic rifles recovered from the scene of the IHOP massacre in Carson City, NV yesterday are the same weapons that Eric Holder's Justice Department and Janet
Reno's Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security allowed to be smuggled into Mexico by the thousands.
The bloodbath that had the local sheriff making comparisons to 9/11 is what happens in Mexico every single day, thanks to your government's criminal actions, actions that they are still desperately trying to cover-up.
The rifle used in the shooting was manufactured by Norinco and has not been imported into the United States since the early 1990s, but they are still commonly found on the market.
The Romarm Cugir found in his vehicle is the most popular weapon smuggled to the Sinaloa cartel under the protection of the federal law enforcement agencies involved in Operation Fast and Furious, and is commonly imported as the Century Arms WASR-10.
We do not know why Eduardo Sencion went on his rampage. All we know is that he had a history of mental illness, and was armed with the same weapons our government purposefully sent by the trunkload to murdering narco-terrorists.
September 06, 2011
Gunwalker Hits the Midwest
Indiana this time. But you know, it's just an isolated incident.
My latest on this on-going scandal at Pajamas Media.
Obama's DOJ Let Cartel Bombmaker Walk
Jean Baptiste Kingery seems to be yet another thug that took advantage of the Obama Administration's criminal stimulus package for the southwest, building grenades and IEDs for the Sinaloa cartel.
So what did the Department of Justice do when they caught him. They released him free as a bird within hours.
Federal authorities are probing why the U.S. in 2010 let go an Arizona man accused of supplying grenades to a Mexican drug cartel, a case that played a role in the ouster last week of the nation's top firearms regulator and the U.S. attorney in Phoenix.
U.S. officials said missteps in the case, which hasn't been previously disclosed, are being investigated by the Justice Department and Congress. Federal agents in 2009-10 at the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led the case against the suspect, who they believed was dealing grenades to cartels in Mexico. The case was overseen by prosecutors in the Arizona U.S. attorney's office, the U.S. officials said.
The Arizona U.S. attorney's office and the Phoenix ATF office are the Justice Department units behind another botched operation, called Fast and Furious, which has been the subject of intense congressional interest this year. The Fast and Furious program allowed suspected smugglers to buy about 2,000 firearms, some of which later turned up at drug-related crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S.
Apparently the Obama Administration didn't think they were causing enough damage just running guns to Mexico, and so they released a bomb-builder and—against the pleading of ATF officials—so that he could flee to Mexico and resume building explosives.
When Mexican police finally caught up to Kingery they found enough material to construct 500 hand grenades, the iconic Shepard Fairey Obama "Hope" poster thumb-tacked to the plaster wall over his workbench.
I may have made up that last part.
The sad thing is that is is utterly believable.
September 02, 2011
GunWalker Cover-Up Comes Apart At The Seams
It's starting to fall apart for Eric Holder's Justice Department and the Obama Administration, as you'll see in my latest article at Pajamas Media.
Media Matters has made their normal dysfunctional attempt to shield the Administration, in this case, the opinion of Michael Sullivan, a acting ATF director under the Bush Administration, as cited in an interview with Kelly Wright on Fox News.
KELLY WRIGHT (ANCHOR): The President says he knew nothing about the operation, but the Justice Department has been slow in responding. Do you think this will lead all the way to the White House being involved?
SULLIVAN: I would be surprised. From our experience at ATF, firearms trafficking cases were fairly routine in terms of the nature and scope of the investigations. They didn't require authorities outside of ATF, and for the purpose of initiating it. Could folks have been briefed up, considering the violence in Mexico and the violence on the border, about the strategy, that's clearly possible. But the project itself was well within the rights of the director to essentially approve or to reject.
Media Matters, of course, refuses to provide some key details about Fast and Furious, starting with the fact that no ATF director has the authority to approve a gun-walking program, just interdiction programs. Nor do they have the authority to authorize a program that spans international borders as Fast and Furious was designed to do from the outset.
The fact remains that multiple cabinet-level agencies—as many as four, including DOJ, DHS, Treasury, and State—colluded in Operation Fast and Furious had to work together, and the most logical nexus for such a high profile operation are political appointees in each of those organizations and the elected officials that appointed them.
That doesn't fit the narrative fiction Media Matters would like to propagate, but hey, they've aren't paid by a foreign felon to spread the truth.
September 01, 2011
Five Questions the Media Won't Ask The Administration About Gunwalker
So far, the shuffling of employees--and some might argue, the buying of their silence--has been the only reaction to the Gunwalker scandal, in which various agencies of the federal government conspired to assure the success of straw purchasers and smugglers running guns to a violent Mexican drug cartel.
In the months since the scandal was revealed, the Department of Justice (DOJ) , BATF, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Division (IRS-CD), Department of Homeland Security, and Department of State, have conspired to stonewall and House and Senate investigations that have been launched to investigate a scandal that appears to be worse than Iran-Contra and Watergate combined.
The scandal is not complicated, and would be revealed by the answering of five simple questions that the media dare not demand answers to from this Administration.
1. Who came up with the idea of allowing guns to be purchased by straw purchasers and then "walked" across the border by smugglers?
2. Who authorized Operation Fast and Furious in the Department of Justice?
3. Who authorized Operation Fast and Furious in the Department of Homeland Security?
4. Is Operation Fast and Furious the only operation of its type, or were there similar operations in Texas, Florida, and other states as evidence suggests?
5.What, precisely, did Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Janet Napolitano know about Operation Fast and Furious, and when did they know it?
Answering these five simple questions would go a long way towards revealing if Operation Fast and Furious was merely the most inept and bloody law enforcement operation in modern American history, or if it was--as logic and circumstantial evidence suggests--a criminal conspiracy intent on manufacturing evidence to justify gun control initiatives and further the Administration's political agenda at the cost of Mexican and American lives.
August 31, 2011
Fast and Furious "Botched?" Hardly.
Botched Probe Into Gun Smuggling Leads to Justice Dept. Shakeup
ATF Chief Reassigned in Wake of Botched "Gunwalking" Operation
--International Business Times
US agents botch big "sting" operation in Mexico
--The Voice of Russia
These are just a handful of news articles in the past 24 hours after Ken Melson's banishment to the Department of Justice that insist upon calling the Gunwalker scandal a "botched" operation.
Botched? In what way was Operation Fast and Furious botched?
It was designed from the outset to provide federal law enforcement security to straw purchasers of firearms, assuring that neither the purchasers nor the smugglers stood any chance of being arrested by federal, state, or local authorities. What they offered for the entire life of the operation was protection to criminals.
There was never a mechanism to arrest the alleged targets of the operation, which were in Mexico and out of our jurisdiction. The Operation kept Mexican authorities and even their own agents in Mexico purposefully in the dark, trying to make certain that the Mexican police were totally unaware that American law enforcement was facilitating the smuggling of weapons into Mexico that were then used to kill Mexican and U.S. nationals, including police officers and soldiers.
Fast and Furious was only "botched" in that the scheme to arm the Sinaloa cartel by our DOJ, DHS, and White House was eventually ratted out by one of the participants when the plot led to the death of a fellow federal agent.
Fast and Furious did precisely what Obama wanted it to, which was to put American guns in the hands of Mexican criminals in order to justify more gun control in the United States, like the long gun reporting rule celebrated in the ATF.
This was a criminal conspiracy. The only thing that was botched was the cover-up.
August 30, 2011
Meet the New Boss...
Melson is out, only to be replaced by B.Todd Jones.
Jones was appointed to chair the Attorney General's Advisory Committee back in August of 2009, and was briefed in Gunwalker.
According to Senator Charles Grassley's June 15, 2011 congressional testimony attachment 4, the chair of AGAC (Jones) was a member of the Southwest Border Strategy Group and attended at least one briefing on Fast and Furious in October 2009.
He appears to be complicit in the coverup, just like Melson.
Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Thanks to CY reader Josh for the tip.
U.S. Attorney that Ran Fast and Furious Abruptly Resigns as other Players are Reassigned
Dennis Burke, a close confidant and former chief of staff for Janet Napolitano, has resigned, effective immediately, just days after testifying in from of the Congressional Oversight committee about his role in Operation Fast and Furious:
Burke's resignation comes days after he testified before a Congressional committee about his office's role in the ATF gun-smuggling operation known as "Fast and Furious" that has become the center of a growing scandal because some of the weapons federal firearms officials were tracking in the operation ended up used in crimes and many others could not be accounted for.
According to Fox News, Burke became physically ill during his testimony and could not continue.
Burke is the same slimeball that blocked Brian Terry's family from being recognized as crime victims in court after Terry was murdered and two Fast and Furious weapons were recovered at the scene of his death.
The only plausible reason Burke would have done that was an attempt to limit his own legal exposure and that of the government as it relates to investigations about Agent Terry's murder.
Burke's sudden resignation occurs on the same day other players in Gunwalker scandal were reassigned:
In Phoenix, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, who oversaw Fast and Furious on a day-to-day basis, was reassigned from the criminal to civil division. Also in Phoenix, three out of the four whistleblowers involved in the case have been reassigned to new positions outside Arizona. Two are headed to Florida, one to South Carolina.
Hurley's reassignment came after three ATF supervisors responsible for the operation were promoted. William G. McMahon, a former deputy director of operations, took over the Office of Professional Responsibility. Field supervisors William D. Newell and David Voth also moved up despite heavy criticism.
The moves follow a series of reports by Fox News detailing the face-off between Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, whose investigators have recently broadened their probe. It now reportedly shows a deeper involvement of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
One has to wonder whether the government's endgame to silence those involved in the scandal is going to be successful because of this sudden flurry of moves, or if it is a desperate attempt to salvage the conspiracy as it is falling apart for the Obama Administration.
I have a gut feeling that Rep. Issa and Senator's Grassley and Cornyn have the executive branch painted into a corner, and for the first time, I'm really starting to wonder if impeachment is on the table.
LEVERAGE: Melson Out at ATF, Moves to Main Justice. The Gunwalker Cover-Up Continues
Acting ATF Director Ken Melson indicated from the start of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal that he had no intention of being the fall guy for Eric Holder's Justice Department. It appears he still retains enough leverage—he knows who authorized Operation Fast and Furious, which the DOJ, DHS, Treasury and White House still refuse to answer—to ensure that he wasn't fired, and was instead just moved closer where his bought silence can be monitored.
Sources say ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson is being moved out of the top job at the Bureau. It's not yet publicly known where he would go, but sources inside the Justice Department believe one option is a transfer to a position at Department of Justice headquarters. The Justice Department had no immediate comment, and did not confirm the move.
Melson's move would be another in a number of high-level personnel shifts, as the Inspector General continues investigating the so-called gunwalker scandal at the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Thousands of weapons were smuggled to the Sinaloa cartel with U.S. government protection provided by the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, elements of other agencies and the probable involvement if not direction of the Obama White House, and not a soul involved has so much as been fired.
The perps have all be transferred to main Justice, where their silence is all but assured.
This is a blatant cover-up of a RICO-investigation worthy crime perpetrated by the highest levels of government, and it is increasingly obvious that the Obama Administration has every intention of getting away with this without any accountability whatsoever, regardless of the number of lives this operation cost.
Update: Emailed statement from Grassley's office:
"Today's announcement is an admission by the Obama administration that serious mistakes were made in Operation Fast and Furious, and is a step in the right direction that they are continuing to limit any further damage that people involved in this disastrous strategy can do.
"There's a lot of blame to go around. As our investigation moves forward, and we get to the bottom of this policy, I wouldn't be surprised to see more fall out beyond the resignations and new assignments announced today.
"The Justice Department and the ATF have yet to answer a majority of the questions and still must produce many of the documents Congressman Issa and I have asked for. We're looking for a full accounting from the Justice Department as to who knew what and when, so we can be sure that this ill-advised strategy never happens again."
I'd summarize that as "nice try, Barack, but this isn't over yet."
August 23, 2011
Wanna Know What I Really Think of Holder, Napolitano, Obama, and Gunwalker?
Ask me... I'll tell you.
The Fife Element
"I believe the primary purpose of Gunrunner was so the the administration could be shocked, shocked! that American guns were being used by drug runners in Mexico and thus have an excuse for ever more draconian gun laws in the US.
"It's as though Barney Fife sold his only bullet to the bad guys, hoping to arrest them after they'd shot someone."
That droll summary by a commenter to a post on the blog Wizbang! over the weekend sums up the opinion of a growing number of Americans that are learning of the "Gunwalker" scandal and the apparent cover-up of the botched program by elements of the Executive branch.
Operation Fast and Furious was a poorly conceived and ineptly executed multi-agency scheme that Obama Administration officials claim was a attempt to catch trafficking rings supplying Mexican drug cartels with weapons from U.S. gun shops.
What actually transpired is that a multiple-agency federal anti-crime task force composed of agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) watched and effectively provided a law enforcement shield so that a relative handful of low-level gun runners without any ties to cartel leaders were allowed to traffic 2,020 firearms to the foot soldiers of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
The strike force placed tracers (GPS "bugs") on just two of 2020 weapons; there was no possible way of tracking them. Nor was there a possible mechanism of affecting arrests of cartel leaders in Mexico. Worse, they purposefully kept Mexican officials in the dark about the operation.
The weapons seem to have been sent to Mexico for one reason only; to be used in crimes. When the weapons were discarded at crimes scenes--which gunmen frequently did to avoid to being tied to specific murders via ballistic forensics--the recovered weapons were traced by the BATF and used to manufacture evidence to support President Obama's dishonest claim that U.S. guns stores were the primary supplier of cartel weapons. The President and federal law enforcement agencies reporting to him seemed to be working on gun control "under the radar," indeed.
The gun-running operation came to an end only after a U.S. border Patrol Agent was gunned down in a firefight, and two of the weapons were traced back to the operation, at which point whistleblowers within the BATF came forward to expose the plot.
It has been more than six months since Operation Fast and Furious was exposed, and during that time the federal law enforcement agencies involved in the scandal have participated in what appears to be a high-level cover-up of the operation, and one that the Obama Administration and their allies in the media are desperately trying to contain. They are using a number of methods, including attacking congressional investigators, stonewalling requests for information, and controlling individual employees inside the operation by recalling them to Washington and putting them in desk jobs where they can be more easily monitored.
Despite the stonewalling attempts of the Administration, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hold up the preferred narrative of a localized law enforcement operation gone horribly wrong.
The mainstream media and the White House are eager to portray Operation Fast and Furious as a solitary and limited operation that was the responsibility of a small band of BATF misfits in Arizona, backed by an overzealous U.S. District Attorney.
While the Administration has continued to push that story, emails confirm that every director of a law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice was briefed on the scheme from the beginning, and that FBI criminal informants were part of the plot.
Dennis Burke, the U.S. Attorney that holds at significant responsibly for this debacle is a close confidant of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; he was her Chief of Staff when she was the governor of Arizona and their relationship no doubt played a role is his appointment as a U.S. attorney, one of dozens of politicized hirings in the Department of Justice that other PJMedia reporters have been following. Despite these close ties between Burke Napolitano, the media and White House are doing their best to try to pretend that this was a BATF operation, with minimal contacts with other elements of the DOJ or from other branches of government.
We must ask ourselves as rational people, "How likely is it that someone as deeply connected to law enforcement in Arizona as Janet Napolitano as former governor and state attorney general, who is now the Secretary of Homeland Security with a huge stake in the events occurring along the southern border, has a close confident and former staffer as the U.S. Attorney running Operation Fast and Furious, and she knew nothing about the operation?" It is almost inconceivable that Napolitano wasn't directly involved in briefings regarding Operation Fast and Furious from the very beginning; one could and perhaps should make the argument that she has even more reason to be aware of and involved with Operation than any of the other directors or cabinet level officials that had a role in the plot. You won't see her name mentioned in the narrative however; it simply won't do to have another Cabinet level official facing fire in editorials and from Congressional investigators.
The mainstream media not pursuing this line of questioning because they've invested their own "single bullet" on the claim that Operation Fast and Furious was a horrible, but isolated mistake. But emerging evidence suggests that Fast and Furious was just one element of a scandal we know as "Gunwalker," with allegations of operations in two Texas field operations areas and one in Florida already on congressional radar and subject to inquires by Senators and Congresspersons alike.
And some media outlets are becoming tired of the obedient elitist press corps.
As the Dallas Morning News vents, "details only get worse" in regards to the Gunwalker conspiracy. CNS News pointedly notes that the Justice Department is being as vague as possible, dancing around the question of, "What did Attorney General Eric Holder know, and when did he know it?"
In an interview with Human Events, House Oversight and Government Reform committee member Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona's 1st District admits that the President himself is a potential target of the investigation.
Goser indicates that Operation Fast and Furious is the focus of the current investigation, but notes that they are aware of other allegations, including plots to supply both the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas with weapons, which could be the basis for even wider investigations of the Obama Administration's role is supply drug cartels with advanced weaponry.
Those close to the investigation seem to think that evidence of corruption and criminality in Operation Fast and Furious may be enough not to bring down just U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, but his peers and perhaps even the Obama Administration.
Barney seems to have fired his only bullet, and shot himself in the foot in the process.
August 17, 2011
President Obama’s Un-Plausible Deniability
When we see a cover-up being orchestrated, we should rationally assume that the cover-up exists to hide criminal culpability. When we see corruption spread across the highest and most connected levels of government, we should rationally assume that the person at the top, President Obama, likely was involved.
My latest at Pajamas Media.
August 15, 2011
"I just can’t imagine anyone dumb enough to think you could keep this a secret."
Patrick Richardson, one of my partners at Pajamas Media working on the Gunwalker scandal, has an excellent interview posted with Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC). The Congressman seems to think... well, why don't you just go read the article directly, and see for yourself.
At this point, I don't think it a bold move at all to predict that the crimes committed by the government under the color of law in Gunwalker, and the ensuing (and on-going) coverup) will take down the Obama Administration from the inside in coming months. Months, not years.
More whistleblowers are coming forward out of enlightened self-interest ( the secure, encrypted email account firstname.lastname@example.org for this very reason) and out of patriotism to share what they know of the operation, and it seems very likely that Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano, and the White House are neck-deep in either the original crime, and/or the cover-up.
With a few notable exceptions, the national media is avoiding covering this story as much as possible, but with more Congresspersons and Senators speaking out, and the exposure of other possible gun-walking operations approaching critical mass, even the most recalcitrant media outlets can't avoid covering the story forever.
Elements of the Obama Administration participated in a scheme that ensured the arming of the violent Sinaloa drug cartel with 2,020 firearms, and as a result, hundreds of Mexican nationals and at least three U.S. federal agents were shot, two fatally.
They are accessories to murder, and they will be held to account for their felonies.
August 12, 2011
Houston, We Have a Problem
Can an American news agency that knew that Operation Fast and Furious was "walking" thousands of firearms to Mexican drug cartels face criminal and civil charges for their role in covering up the program?
That is a question the Washington Post, its editors, reporters, and lawyers should be sweating, as evidence emerges that the newspaper may have been aware of the multi-agency "Gunwalker" program that led to the deaths of an estimated 150 Mexican police and soldiers or more, the shooting of three American federal agents, and countless casualties on both sides of the border.
Neil W. McCabe reveals the stunning allegations in Human Events with an article accusingly titled, The Washington Post has a Partner’s Share in Agent Terry's Death.
The story--which must be read in its entirety--reveals that Post reporters James V. Grimaldi and Sari Horwitz, research editor Alice Crites and staff writer William Booth worked extremely closely with the ATF in Houston, TX, over a period of months to write a series of articles called "The Hidden Life of Guns."
Grimaldi and Horwitz shared a byline on a key story in the series, As Mexico drug violence runs rampant, U.S. guns tied to crime south of border, which McCabe claims as evidence of the incestuous relationship that had developed between the journalists and the ATF:
This team worked for months with the ATF so closely that when the article was published the paper, it had prepared maps and charts based on ATF-provided statistics. Its online presentation included a video narrated by ATF Special Agent J. Dewey Webb, and a video of an interrogation of an illegal alien picked up in a weapons case in a private room with an ATF agent, apparently without the detainee knowing he was being recorded.
The statistics cited by the Post in the article, maps, and charts were apparently based upon gun trace data using Operation Fast and Furious statistics. McCabe argues that the relationship between ATF and the Post writers and editors was so close that the reporters must have known that the ATF and other federal law enforcement agencies were allowing straw purchasers to walk the weapons into Mexico and arm the cartels with weapons used to murder hundreds.
If that is indeed the case--and that is a big "if"--then the Post has crossed an major ethical line in what it decided to conceal to protect their assets, similar to what CNN did when it looked the other way as Saddam Hussein's thugs were raping and torturing Iraqi citizens.
The allegation of collusion between the Post and the ATF isn't the only reason the Houston ATF should be worried this week. Houston area gun shops supply a surprising number of guns showing up in central and southern Mexico, suggesting the possible existence of a Gunwalker program that is equal to or even dwarfs Arizona's Operation Fast and Furious.
Congressional investigators with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are focusing on the ATF's Houston office, one of the three additional areas where an operation like Operation Fast and Furious may have occurred, as reported in a previous Pajamas Media report.
Congressional investigators are researching an initiative that sounds very, very familiar.
...congressional leaders want to know if similar problems happened in Houston during an investigation done under the auspices of an ATF initiative called "Gunrunner." The operation targeted "straw buyers" in border states recruited to legally purchase handguns and high-powered rifles only to hand the weapons over to members of the drug cartels.
"The ATF agents encouraged them to go through with the sales," said Houston attorney Dick DeGuerin, who represents Carter's Country, the largest independent gun retailer in our region.
DeGuerin said starting in 2006, Houston ATF agents asked Carter's Country for help by alerting agents when a suspicious gun buyer tried to purchase multiple weapons. DeGuerin referred to this effort as a "stall and call."
"Stall the purchaser, call the ATF, let an ATF agent come out and watch the sale so they could follow it," DeGuerin said.
"Did the ATF always show up?" asked Local 2 Investigator Robert Arnold.
"No, they didn't," DeGuerin said.
If that sounds familiar, it should... Carter's Country is the exact same gun shop savaged by the Post reporting team in the article that drew McCabe’s attention at Human Events.
Carter's Country is now in a legal battle with the ATF, with the ATF attacking the gun store for supplying weapons to straw purchasers which found their way south to the cartels, and the gun store claiming that it was doing exactly what the ATF asked it to do.
DeGurein claims to have documentation that correlates their version of events, and ATF Houston has declined to talk.
Senator Charles Grassley sent a statement to KRPC in Houston that pulled no punches:
"Knowingly allowing guns to be purchased by straw buyers and then transferred to third parties is wrong no matter how you cut it. Whether it's one or 1,800, the ATF's actions in Houston and Phoenix were reckless and ill-advised. The Justice Department and the ATF need to come clean, accept responsibility, and provide honest, straightforward answers from here on out."
The multi-agency task force that took part in these and other suspected "walking" operations in Texas and Florida have a lot to answer for.
So does the Washington Post, which apparently not only knew about the program, but chose to cover it up with a hit piece by one of the reporters involved in the Houston reporting operation that had just returned to duty following a plagiarism scandal.
Neither the Holder Justice Department nor the Washington Post seem to care the least little bit about acting ethically or legally.
No wonder they work so well together.
August 05, 2011
Just One More Reason to Carry a Concealed Weapon
An unknown number of victims are hospitalized with serious injuries. One victim was ripped from his bike and beaten unconscious. People were afraid to get out of their cars to assist the seriously injured man for fear of putting their own lives in jeopardy.
An unarmed man cannot stand against a violent mob, but with a firearm, he stands a chance of not just saving his life, but the lives of others.
Contempt Of Cop: Update 2
On July 31, I posted an article (here) about the behavior of Canton, OH police officer Daniel Harless during his arrest of a man legally carrying a concealed handgun. I also wrote about the thoughtless, off-topic anti-gun comments of the President of the Canton City Council, Allen Shulman. Mr. Schulman apparently continues to be concerned by issues other than those of the behavior of Officer Harless and the Canton Police Department. Here’s an example from the Canton Fox affiliate:
"Schulman told Fox 8, 'We've received hundreds of e-mails, all from out of town, not only out of town but out of state, Texas, Arizona, places that seem to love people carrying concealed weapons."
Schulman said the case illustrates the inherent dangers of Ohio's concealed weapon law, which he calls, 'crazy'.
'I believe in people's right to bear arms, but I believe in rational, reasonable gun laws, and these concealed weapons are going to create a lot of problems', said Schulman. 'And my biggest concern is, it's going to end up killing people.'"
As I noted in that article, I sent a link to the article to Mr. Schulman—an attorney—inviting him to respond and promising to print his unedited response. It's unsurprising that Mr. Schulman has not, as yet, responded. I will also send Mr. Schulman a link to this article, and the offer stands.
Many readers raised thoughtful, intelligent points and questions relating to the case, as our readers always do. I hope to address them to their satisfaction in this update to the original article. I hold out this hope as I now have information that was unavailable when I wrote the original. The focus of this article will be to provide readers with insight into the factors any police chief must consider in dealing with the kind of disciplinary issues presented by the behavior of an officer like Daniel Harless. As with much relating to police work, it's more complicated and difficult than many realize.
One of the concerns of many readers was my reluctance to say without qualification that Off. Harless should be fired. I was unwilling to make that assertion because I did not have sufficient information about Off. Harless and his background. That lack of information has been rectified.
Go here, here and here for articles and another police dashcam video of Officer Harless on July 29, 2010. In that video, he has stopped a vehicle and finding a small pistol on the floorboard, behaves as he did in his confrontation with Mr. Bartlett. Among his angry, out of control comments were (NOTE: OBSCENE LANGUAGE WARNING):
"Don't fucking fart wrong."
"I'll send you to the fucking grave."
"I'll tell you what motherfucker; I'll shoot you in the face and I’ll go to sleep tonight."
These were not, by any means, his only similar comments, or even his most obscene or ill considered.
Apparently, the Canton PD was not aware of this earlier video as Chief Dean McKimm has said that both videos will be part of the investigation—already underway--into the behavior of Off. Harless precipitated by his encounter with Mr. Bartlett.
While there is information indicating that there have been a number of complaints lodged against Off. Harless in the past, there are no revealing details available about those complaints and what kind of discipline—if any—resulted apart from a reprimand for failing to activate a dashboard camera. The specifics of personnel actions are usually exempt from Freedom of Information laws.
Police Chiefs must balance a great many considerations. They must uphold the regulations and procedures of their agency, and must also uphold and fairly and uniformly enforce the law. In disciplinary matters, they must be careful to see that the punishment fits the offense, and that similar punishment is given for similar offenses. Officers must be able to feel that when they are falsely accused, their agency will protect them, and that when they make mistakes, they will not be excessively punished or thrown to the wolves. On the other hand, the public must be able to have confidence in its police force and in its professionalism. If the public believes that officers may abuse their authority with impunity, there are many negative consequences for the police and the community, both immediate and cumulative.
Police chiefs must also deal with political issues and must be ready and able to fight off unfair or unwise political whims. And they often have to deal with unions. The Canton PD is apparently a union shop. Officers represented by unions are often able to get away with behaviors that would certainly result in discipline, even firing, in non-union agencies.
They must see that internal investigations are conducted impartially and fairly, and with calm professional deliberation. While they should never rush to judgment—politicians often want an immediate pound of flesh with attendant headlines—they should not unnecessarily delay internal investigations. It is not fair to the officers involved or the public and it tends to greatly harm morale. They must consider not only the short-term effects of their decisions, but the long-term effects as well.
THE HARLESS CASE:
Chief McKimm's comments have already indicated that Off. Harless violated a number of agency policies and procedures, but we do not know the specifics. There is also the possibility of violations of the law. As Off. Harless has worked for the Canton PD for 14 years, the Chief must consider negligent retention. In addition, Chief McKimm has suggested that Officer Mark Diels, the officer accompanying Off. Harless in the Bartlett video, will be investigated for failing to report the behavior of Off. Harless.
The Bartlett video alone clearly suggests that the behavior Off. Harless exhibited was not an anomaly. His rage, obscene and threatening language, and the fact that his anger did not, with time and the diminution of any potential threat, diminish combine to suggest that this is his common behavior. It's rather like anti-aircraft fire directed at fighter pilots. Tracer rounds are loaded only every 10th or 20th round in a belt or try of ammunition, so they see only a fraction of the rounds directed at them. The vehemence and lack of control Off. Harless exhibited clearly suggest that this was only a representative sample of his usual behavior. The 2010 video lends powerful support to this contention.
TOOLS: Police officers use a variety of tools in their daily work. It is important that they use them wisely and properly. Among these tools are:
(1) Apparent—as opposed to genuine—anger.
(2) Misrepresentations and lies.
(3) Real and implied threats.
(4) Use of harsh language.
Off. Harless is apparently unable or unwilling to use these tools properly and effectively. Misused, these tools can not only be dangerous, but can greatly diminish public respect for police authority. Considering that the police can function only because most of the public is willing to respect their authority at any given time, this is an issue that is never far from a professional police officer's mind.
(1) Anger: Police officers are expected to keep their emotions under control and to be in control of any situation. There are times when it might be wise to make a suspect think that an officer is angry, but this must be a carefully employed device, not an out of control emotion. Yes, police officers must be good actors. The officer must use apparent anger to achieve a desired outcome, he must never allow anger to override his judgment and ability to determine what a desired outcome should be.
(2) Misrepresentations and Lies: Generally speaking, it is best never to lie to a suspect or any member of the public. That doesn't mean that it might never be smart or justified to do that, but it must be used wisely and carefully. If a criminal catches a police officer in a lie, they've blown their credibility and the criminal knows they have nothing to fear from the officer. Police officers who lie to the public likewise run the risk of being discovered and of losing public support.
(3) Real and implied threats: Several readers—and others elsewhere in the blogosphere—have suggested that Off. Harless should be fired solely because of the threats he made to Mr. Bartlett (and now, others). Here it's important to consider not only department policy, but the letter of any applicable laws. Police officers deal with threats every day in many ways. They must determine if a reasonable person would believe that a given threat was a genuine threat of injury or death which the person making the threat had the means to act upon and the intention to carry it out, or whether it was just an idiot running his mouth. It is a good thing indeed that perhaps 95% of all threats fall into the latter category. While it's never nice to be threatened, even most victims, upon reflection, realize that they were never in any real danger and that the person making the threat has no intention of causing them harm in the future.
It is never smart—never—for a police officer to make threats. Professional officers might warn people of the specific possible consequences of their actions and might tell them that they'd prefer not to arrest them, but assure them that they will as a means of encouraging them to behave properly. However, professionals do not make angry, obscene, outlandish threats that no rational person would know that they could not carry out because most people understand that police officers just don't behave that way.
However, in this case, Mr. Bartlett, or any citizen, would have been justified in fearing for their safety at the hands of Off. Harless. How could they know that he would not carry out his threats? Citizens expect police officers to be calm and professional. When people behave as Off. Harless was behaving others tend to call the police, just in case. When the police are behaving that way, whom do you call?
It's interesting that the most credible, disturbing threat, and the threat that any police chief should take very seriously, was the threat to stop and arrest Mr. Bartlett—and tow his car—whenever Off. Harless saw him in the future. Off. Harless was essentially telling Mr. Bartlett that he would falsely arrest him whenever he saw him. Also implied is that other officers would do the same. Could Mr. Bartlett—or any citizen in Mr. Bartlett's position--reasonably believe that Off. Harless would act on that threat? Of course they could and should. Could they reasonably fear that Off. Harless might use the fact that they carry a concealed weapon as a future excuse to shoot them? There is no question about it.
(4) Use of harsh language: Police officers are not dainty flowers engaged in tea parties. They often deal with rough, crude people, people who use "to fornicate" as every part of speech, often in the same sentence. However, police officers also deal with people at every level of society. Smart officers rarely, if ever, use obscenities. It's just too easy to accidently slip into them at inappropriate times and places.
While it's possible that a carefully chosen obscenity might have a desired effect in highly specific circumstances, it's also possible that it might not. For people who do use "to fornicate" as every part of speech, a police officer trying to do the same is as likely to sound odd, out of place and clumsy as he is to seem like one of the f***in' boys. Use obscenities too much and too loudly, and they lose whatever positive effect they might have otherwise had. One might consider "motherf****r" to be the nuclear weapon of the obscenity arsenal. The most powerful weapon in one's arsenal should not be used first. If so, how do you deescalate? If it doesn't work, what's left? Calling someone a "poopy face?"
The other issue with obscenities is that they are generally indefensible, particularly when used with the frequency, vehemence, and crudity of Off. Harless. If a citizen complains how can such language be excused or defended? What tactical utility does it have? What legitimate police purpose does it serve?
Every contemporary police officer must behave as though everything they do will be witnessed. and recorded. I always taught my trainees to treat people as they would want any police officer to treat their mother or wife. Having to explain the kind of language used by Off. Harless on the witness stand before a jury is a losing proposition for any police officer. And if an officer is known to regularly use obscenities, it will be presumed that any complaint lodged against him relating to the use of obscenities is at the very least, plausible.
(5) Bluffing: This is closely aligned with lying and threats. It is best never to bluff, for when a criminal calls your bluff, your credibility and effectiveness are immediately shot. What would Off. Harless have done if Mr. Bartlett called his bluff, if he told him that if he felt he was justified to shoot him? Short of going completely berserk and doing just that, his bluff would have been called. He might have beat Mr. Bartlett, but more likely, he would have descended into screaming, spitting, impotent rage.
OTHER ISSUES: If we assume—and in this case, it would seem to be a reasonable assumption—that Off. Harless regularly behaves as he behaved on the two videotapes, why, in 14 years, has this behavior not been identified and corrected? Are his fellow officers aware of it? Of course they are. Off. Diels' behavior in the Bartlett video suggests that he was trying, as unobtrusively as possible, to calm Off. Harless down. Canny viewers will also notice that when Off. Harless began to go berserk on Mr. Bartlett, Off. Diels quickly intervened and handcuffed Mr. Bartlett, likely for his own protection against Off. Harless. Remember that Off. Diels is also being investigated for not telling superior officers about the behavior of Off. Harless.
Have Off. Harless' shift supervisors been completely unaware of his temper, of his lack of self control? Have they never seen even a hint of this kind of behavior? Again, we still do not know the details of the multiple past complaints lodged against Off. Harless, but surely his supervisors must have seen some disturbing behaviors in the past. If so, what, if anything, did they do? If they did nothing, can we reasonably assume that this kind of behavior is, if not accepted in the Canton Police Department, at least tolerated?
Did Off. Harless violate the law? It's likely. There is a real, not semantic, difference between an officer who, in good faith, makes a mistake, and an officer who, through negligence or malice, makes a false arrest. Would a reasonable officer faced with the circumstances of the Bartlett traffic stop have arrested Mr. Bartlett? No. They would have realized that under the circumstances, Mr. Bartlett did his best to comply with the concealed weapons law. Adding a charge of stopping on the roadway is what is know in police work as a "chickenshit ticket," a ticket that is barely—just barely—legitimate, but which no reasonable officer would write. Professionals don't arrest people—traffic tickets are arrests—who are doing their best to obey the law, and they certainly don't stack chickenshit charges.
If Off. Harless did make a false arrest, he also committed assault and battery. Taking a citizen falsely arrested into custody requires that the officer put his hands on him—battery—and restrain him, depriving him of his liberty. Not only would Off. Harless be potentially criminally liable, he can certainly be sued, and with him, his superior officers, and the City of Canton.
There is also the potential issue of steroid abuse. I have no direct knowledge of the use or abuse of steroids by anyone involved in this case, however, steroid rage is a commonly known phenomenon, and the behavior of Off. Harless is reminiscent of steroid rage. This possibility would be worth investigating.
Off. Harless has accomplished something quite remarkable. With his two videos, he has essentially established the presumption that he is abusive and unprofessional to everyone he meets. These videos will follow him for the rest of his professional life and will often be used to impeach his character and on duty demeanor. He has convinced most reasonable people that when they meet him, they should expect him to abuse his power and to put them in fear of not only their safety but their very lives. Even in the You Tube age, this is quite an accomplishment.
It is this fact that will weigh most heavily on Chief McKimm. The lawsuit, which will certainly be filed against the Canton PD will allege, in part, negligent retention. It will allege that the Canton PD knew or should have known that Off. Harless was abusive and dangerous, that his future abuse of citizens was entirely foreseeable, yet he was not fired. The personnel file of Off. Harless will be opened, and these videos—potentially others—will be played.
Chief McKimm will surely have to confront the reality that in the future, it will be virtually impossible to defend Off. Harless against clearly bogus charges of abusive behavior and false arrest. He will have to confront the reality that he and his subordinates should have known about Off. Harless and should have either corrected his behavior sometime within the previous 14 years or fired him. Even if Chief McKimm could care less about such behavior, Off. Harless has made this case so public and volatile that he cannot be ignored. Even with the understanding that firing Off. Harless will appear to be an admission of guilt in the civil case that is sure to come, Chief McKimm will have no choice. Retaining Off. Harless is simply too dangerous in many ways.
Knowing only what we now know about Off. Harless, it is apparent that he should not be working as a police officer and that he must be fired. Even with union protection to consider there is no other rational choice. In a professional agency, those who should have known about Off. Harless, and those who did but chose to do nothing, should also face discipline. Whether this occurs will tell the citizens of Canton, Ohio a great deal about their police department and about their elected city officials.
Officer Harless has significantly wounded the respect of the public for American police officers, and has been allowed to do so by his employers, one of whom seems far more interested in denying Americans their Second Amendment rights than in dealing with the issue at hand.
July 31, 2011
Contempt of Cop: Concealed Carry Division
In an article the good folks at Pajamas Media were kind enough to publish on July 16, I addressed the issue of police officers around the nation arresting and even beating citizens for lawfully photographing them as they go about their official, public duties. The following two paragraphs are from that article and apply directly to the subject of this post as well.
“Contempt of cop” is a play on words of the common legal term “contempt of court.” The latter refers to a judge holding someone responsible for conduct — usually in the courtroom — that is disrespectful or disruptive, that reflects blatant contempt for the law, the judge and his lawful authority. The former is similar. It refers to a cop’s reaction to the same kind of behavior by a citizen in their presence. In the best sense of the term, an officer’s attention will be attracted by someone who goes out of their way to irrationally and unnecessarily antagonize a police officer in a public setting. In such circumstances, it would be foolish for a police officer to allow that person to go unpunished lest their behavior encourage others to insult, even attack other officers.
Contempt of cop also applies to the worst instincts some police officers develop. In those cases, officers become “badge-heavy,” they begin to take matters personally. They become hypersensitive to any insult, real or imagined. They don’t consider the elements of the law, they take offense, act first and make up the rest later. Such officers are unpredictable and dangerous, not only to the public, but to their fellow officers who know that the bad will of the public is cumulative. Abuse the citizenry enough, and the officers who suffer for it — and some will suffer — will often be professionals, men and women of good will undeserving of their fates.
To this I would add one other simple fact of American policing: any and every rational officer must assume that any and every person with whom they have contact could be carrying a concealed weapon. This was so even in the years before most states allowed concealed carry, and since only Illinois does not allow it in any way, it remains an even sounder practice—even in Illinois. Most officers know that they will be speaking with people who are legally armed at any time. They also know that these people are thoroughly vetted by the state and are among the most law- abiding people in society. Every rational officer knows that they have less to fear from these people than almost any other class of citizens, and should have no surprise or anger when they do come into contact with them.
On June 8, 2011 in Canton, Ohio Officer Daniel Harless of the Canton Police Department was involved in one of the most egregious examples of Contempt of Cop I've ever seen. Go here for that article and video, and here for a related article. It was compounded in July by lawyer and Canton City Council President Allen Shulman who obviously has little respect for the Constitution, and less for anyone living outside Canton who dares to express an opinion. The links in this paragraph will take you to the police dash-cam footage of Officer Harless, and to the audio of Mr. Shulman's comments. Both speak, in many ways, for themselves.
The police video begins with Officer Harless stopping, in what is apparently a high-crime neighborhood, to investigate a parked car and three people. There is nothing obviously wrong with the officer's approach or his demeanor in speaking with the three people, one of who, apparently a known prostitute, is standing to the rear of the right side of the parked car. As he approaches, he orders the two people in the car to stay in the car. For the next five minutes he begins to threaten to jail everyone, yet there is no apparent violation of any law. He does not approach or directly speak to the driver until about 6:05 into the 17+ minute video. That's when the contempt of cop occurs, but not in the way a reasonable person might imagine.
Ordering the driver—William Bartlett--out of the car, Off. Harless begins aggressively questioning him (Bartlett immediately tried to tell Harless he was carrying a concealed weapon but Harless shut him off) and almost immediately accuses him of lying, despite there being no obvious evidence or indicator of deception. Within seconds, Bartlett tells Off. Harless that he has a concealed carry permit, and raises both of his hands. Harless immediately loses his temper and begins screaming at him. He grabs his right side—which Bartlett immediately tells him is his handgun, removes it, and another officer rushes over and handcuffs Bartlett, who is completely inoffensive, saying "yes sir" and "no sir" throughout the video despite being vilely insulted and repeatedly threatened by the officer.
Bartlett has clearly committed contempt of cop, apparently because he did not immediately inform Harless of his concealed carry status as required by Ohio law. Remember that Bartlett was obeying the orders of the officer to stay in his car, and that he did inform him within seconds of his first opportunity to speak with the officer. This obviously means nothing to the officer who is raging angry and screaming, calling Bartlett "stupid," and "an idiot," among other insults. Among the officer's early, screaming utterances:
"I could blast you right in the mouth!"
"I'm so close to caving in your goddamned head!"
"Talkin' to me with a fuckin' gun!"
"People like you don't deserve to move through fuckin' public; stupid idiot!"
Off. Harless aggressively grabs Bartlett by his handcuffs—officers know that this is painful and intimidating—and roughly jerks him back to his patrol car. It appears, from the sounds and from what is being said, that he is not gentle in putting Bartlett in the back of his patrol car, where he continues to loudly berate him.
At about 11:00 into the video, the dispatcher can be heard telling Harless that Bartlett has a concealed carry license. Harless did run his license plate earlier. It is not known why the dispatcher did not tell him this earlier.
Bartlett is still very polite, obviously afraid of Harless, who escalates to threatening to kill him, saying that he could have pulled out his "Glock 40" and shot him ten times. There was, of course, absolutely no justification for the use of deadly force. In fact, there was no justification for arresting Bartlett, but Harless continued:
"And he [referring to his fellow officer] would have been a nice witness as I executed you because you're stupid!"
For a time, Harless speaks to his fellow officer who appears to be trying to calm Harless down, and obviously remembers what Harless does not: they're being recorded. During the course of the incident, that officer does only what he must, being very quiet and engaging in no unprofessional conduct, and is careful not to turn his face toward the camera. Harless continues to loudly and angrily insult Bartlett, swearing broadly. Toward the end of the tape, he returns to Bartlett, threatens to charge him with felonies, and continues his tirade, threatening to harass him without cause whenever he sees him in the future:
"I'm going to pull that car over, tow it, and you’re going to jail every time."
This is one of the most badge-heavy officers I've ever had the misfortune to see. His actions and emotional state are far out of proportion to the situation. He allowed a completely non-threatening situation involving a very polite and cooperative citizen who was doing nothing more than exercising a fundamental Constitutional right and doing his best to obey Ohio law—which he did at the earliest reasonable opportunity—to send him into a dangerous and towering rage. He took personally what no officer should take personally.
Until Officer Harless lost control of himself, he was obviously behaving reasonably and professionally. It might have even been within the reasonable boundaries of professional discretion to handcuff Bartlett for the purpose of searching him for additional weapons, and perhaps even seating him in a patrol car only long enough to be sure that there were no outstanding warrants. If there were none, the reasonable thing to do would have been to explain, sincerely apologize and release him. However he compounded his grossly unprofessional behavior by arresting Bartlett, charging him with failing to tell him about his concealed carry permit, and with parking on the street. Clearly, he acted first and made up the charges later.
Many across the nation have called for the firing of Officer Harless. Based only on this incident, that would probably be excessive. If, however, Off. Harless has a history of such behavior firing might be warranted. If not, any responsible police supervisor or administrator should take great care to be certain that Off. Harless will never again behave so irrationally--for very obvious reasons--before allowing him to have contact with the public. The only good thing that can be said about his behavior in this incident is that he did not step over the line of overtly and brutally assaulting Bartlett—or worse. Even so, a false arrest is, in fact, an assault, as I suspect Off. Harless and the Canton PD will soon—to their dismay—discover. Anyone viewing the video might be forgiven for thinking that he was frequently very close to stepping over that line.
There is one additional issue that the Canton Chief of Police—or any police executive--should consider. With this video in the public domain, Off. Harless will be forever uniquely vulnerable to charges of harassment and abuse of his authority. Every police officer knows that some citizens, and unscrupulous attorneys, will lie about their actions, falsely accusing them of all manner of misconduct. Off. Harless has done something quite remarkable: created the presumption that he is out of control and abusive. Sadly, he has also tainted every professional police officer.
I should address two issues that Daniel Zimmerman at "The Truth About Guns" (the first link) slightly misstated. The brief search of the car depicted in the video was not obviously illegal. Officers do have the power to search vehicles under such circumstances for their protection, subject to some specific limitations. I was concerned that the officers did not remove the driver before conducting the search, as not only does the law allow this, but leaving anyone in a car you're searching is, to say the least, foolish and dangerous. In fact, had they removed the driver, he would almost certainly have informed them earlier that he was armed, though it's far from certain that Off. Harless would have reacted less explosively.
The other issue is that of Miranda. Simply being arrested is not a trigger for the reading of Miranda. Miranda applies only in cases of "custodial interrogation," which means that the person is under arrest and officers are questioning them with the goal of obtaining incriminating evidence. Even if officers don't mirandize under those situations, it means only that incriminating statements will usually be excluded from court. Miranda is not an automatic get out of jail free card.
Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm seems to be on the right track. He has suspended Harless, who has worked for the Canton PD for 14 years, and an investigation is being completed. Chief McKimm said:
“I think it’s important for citizens to understand that the behavior demonstrated on the video is wholly unacceptable, and it violates many of our rules, our regulations and standards we demand of our officers."
He also said:
“The city administration, in conjunction with the police department, recognizes the seriousness of this matter."
While the administration of the City of Canton may well recognize the seriousness of the issue, there appears to be considerable doubt in that regard about Canton City Council President Allen Shulman, who will almost certainly not be nominated for Chamber of Commerce business and tourism promotion awards for the foreseeable future. Those listening to his statement will likely hear what I heard: self-righteous indignation and arrogant condescension.
Mr. Schulman seems particularly incensed about three things:
(1) That anyone dare criticize Canton City government or any of its branches for its apparent slowness in dealing with this case.
(2) That anyone not a resident of Canton level any criticism or indeed, even venture an opinion.
(3) That any unwashed bumpkin be allowed to carry a concealed weapon, which as every civilized, enlightened being—such as Allen Schulman—knows will inevitably lead to chaos and mayhem.
But Mr. Schulman--who is a Democrat--is not against guns, no. He said:
"For those people who are going to say I am against guns, I am not against handguns, I’m not against people that hunt with weapons, but we all should believe in common sense, reasonable gun control laws that don’t allow this kind of thing to happen at 1:30 in the morning in a crime-ridden neighborhood with prostitution and drugs while we sit every week and listen to our citizens say, ‘we want to be protected.’
Well, we are being protected. And I know the police department and the safety director and the mayor will investigate this thoroughly. And that’s one of the benefits of having a video that allows our citizens some transparency as to what happens in these stops. But these laws are completely insane."
Let's set aside, for the moment, the fact that everywhere concealed carry has been in effect—and that's most of America—violent crime has decreased and the kinds of shootouts and mayhem anti-gun advocates have predicted have simply failed to materialize. Concealed carry licensees are among the most law-abiding, responsible people in America. Considering that in order to received their licenses they must spend considerable time and money and be thoroughly vetted by the state, this is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that Mr. Schulman--attorney Schulman--is apparently unaware of this commonly known reality.
Consider too attorney Schulman's apparent inability to process logic. If given a choice about the best and most rational time and place in which to carry a concealed handgun, and those choices were: (A) In a crime-ridden neighborhood with prostitution and drugs at 1:30 in the morning, or (B) In a completely safe neighborhood at 1:30 in the afternoon, who would not choose "A"? Apparently Mr. Schulman would not. Mr. Schulman believes that the laws that allow honest citizens to carry concealed weapons "are completely insane." He also believes that the people of Canton, OH are "being protected." Again, Lawyer Schulman apparently does not know that the police have no legal duty or obligation to protect any individual citizen (US Supreme Court: Castlerock v. Gonzales), or perhaps he simply doesn't want the citizens of Canton to know that.
Given the opportunity to speak for the City of Canton, Mr. Schulman does not address the actual issues, he does not reassure the citizenry that they have nothing to fear from their police force, but takes the opportunity to berate citizens who dared to contact an elected official to express their concerns, and engaged in an anti-Constitution, anti-gun tirade. I suspect that a great many Americans would believe that it is Mr. Schulman's thinking and those who mirror that way of thinking that is "completely insane." I also suspect that enough citizens of Canton, OH might share my suspicion to see that Mr. Schulman is denied further opportunities to embarrass their fair city at the next electoral opportunity.
I will, by the way, as a public service, and no doubt, to greatly annoy Mr. Schulman, send him a link to this article. Should he respond, I'll be happy to print his response in its entirety.
There are a number of lessons inherent in this sorry situation. It remains to be seen whether they are taken to heart. They are:
(1) Such notification laws are of no practical use. Not only do they not protect police officers, but they allow out of control officers like Daniel Harless protected means of harassing the law abiding. Any competent officer should assume that anyone with whom they interact could be armed. In addition, computer records should indicate any citizen with a state issued license.
(2) In cases like this where it is more than obvious that the officers involved exceeded their lawful authority, all charges against those they mistreated should be immediately dropped by the prosecutor involved. That has apparently not yet been done in this case. There is no excuse for causing innocent citizens falsely arrested to go through the trouble and expense of having to go before a judge—even for arraignment—for the charges to be dropped.
(3) Politicians should follow Abraham Lincoln's advice: "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt."
July 30, 2011
Associated Press Covers Gunwalker, in Detail
And rather fairly at that, though I think they may be a bit too inclined to give the ATF the benefit of the doubt, instead of being more suspect of the motivations of the Obama Administration officials at the heart of the scandal and most of the bloggers and investigators that have propelled this story are.
The fact remains that the various DOJ, DHS, and Treasury agencies and operatives that have had a hand in this scandal are all very much in cover-up mode, hoping that they can survive the Congressional investigations and leaks to investigators that keep shifting the blame higher in the Obama Administration.
It may take multiple impeachments and criminal trials, but we'll get to the bottom of this.
MIKE ADDS: Many Americans don't know that the Associated Press, like Reuters, is a "wire service." The term comes from the old days when news was disseminated by dedicated land-lines, or wires. Now, of course, it's done via the Internet.
Even news outlets like the New York Times can no longer afford to maintain news bureaus around the globe, however, organizations like the AP can pay local writers and photographers associated with them to submit stories and photographs, which the AP markets via subscription to local, regional and even national news organizations. This allows your local newspaper to feature stories it could not otherwise obtain.
The problem with this system is that if the AP is biased—and it often is—or if the AP gets it wrong, every subscriber around the world is biased or gets it wrong and everyone reading those stories is misinformed. Is the AP always biased? Of course not, but when it is, that bias is invariably toward the left, the progressive, socialist side of the political aisle.
As Bob has noted, Ms. Arrillaga's story is well done and quite informative, particularly for those who haven't been keeping up on Gunwalker unlike CY readers, but it suffers from several of the problems I've mentioned (after the break).
Ms. Arrillaga accurately recounts the genesis of the case and the disgust of honorable ATF agents like John Dobson who were ordered to allow criminals to buy thousands of guns and send them across the border with no way to track them or to determine who would receive them or how they would be used. She writes:
"It was supposed to be the big case — the one that went beyond the buyers, the drug cartels' equivalent of pawns in a game of chess. Taking them out alone doesn't assure victory.
Fast and Furious had far loftier goals: To go after those directing gun buys on behalf of the cartels. Maybe bring down an entire trafficking cell. Or even cripple a cartel itself.
To try and capture a few kings.
A different kind of strategy was developed and put in motion. It went like this: Instead of working to interdict the many guns that were bought, ATF agents allowed weapons to move through the trafficking network in an attempt to identify additional conspirators and, ideally, build a bigger, stronger case."
Those with experience in law enforcement should already be seeing the inherent absurdity. She continues:
"It was a risky proposition for a typically risk-adverse agency, a strategy in which the consequences may not have been entirely thought through. But this puzzle had many more pieces that came together to complete the final picture: Gun laws that make curbing arms trafficking challenging. Several unsuccessful prosecutions. A government faced with a deadly, and growing, problem — and the need for a solution, no matter the hurdles.
By the time Fast and Furious was launched in the fall of 2009, gun violence in Mexico was clearly out of control. Daily news reports described bloody shootouts as drug cartels battled for power, and worry had increased about cross-border violence in the many burgs straddling the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
Mexico looked to the United States to both blame and beg for help. Its own stiff gun laws had long driven criminals north of the border to expand their armories, but better efforts to trace crime guns recovered in Mexico underscored the enormity of the problem.
By 2009, the ATF was reporting that some 90 percent of the weapons Mexican authorities recovered and submitted for tracing originated in the United States, and pressure was increasing from Mexican officials for the United States to address the issue. Even before he was sworn in, Barack Obama vowed to Mexican President Felipe Calderon that the United States would step up efforts to stop the trafficking of weapons south.
The question was how to do it."
Ms. Arrillaga does lay out the potential motivations of higher-ups in the ATF and DOJ quite well. However, she not only misses the point—their real motivations--but stops far short of explaining why their ideas were, at their very foundation, idiotic. The only way to "capture a few kings" would be to follow illegally purchased gun from the point of their illegal purchase until they actually found their way into the hands of the heads of drug cartels in Mexico. Any rational ATF agent could have told those coming up with such a scheme—if they actually thought it through to any degree—that it would not and could not work. In fact, rational agents tried to do just that.
The heads of cartels weren't sending people on shopping trips for personal weapons. No cartel head said "Jose, I would like a new Glock 17. Please send someone to Bob's Gun Emporium in Phoenix to pick one up for me." They would almost certainly never lay eyes on these weapons, which were for the use of their soldiers, people at the lowest levels of their criminal enterprises. At best, they would always be many levels removed from actual involvement. Prosecution would require the arrest of lower-ranking criminals within their organizations and "flipping" them, convincing them to testify against people higher up the chain who gave them orders to break the law. When we consider that these people would know that testifying against their bosses would lead not only to their deaths but the horrible deaths by rape and torture of all the members of their families, it's easy to understand the lunacy of this approach.
Compounding the problem is the fact that Mexican cartel bosses are wanted for far more serious crimes than illegally procuring guns in America: crimes such as extortion, kidnapping, bribery, uncountable numbers of drug crimes, conspiracies and murders too numerous to count. Mexican law enforcement--at every level--is compromised by criminals. Even if this was not so, Mexican cooperation with American law enforcement is unreliable at best and is often hostile. The Mexican government is not exactly consistently cooperative when it comes to extradition of criminal suspects, particularly those who have bought off much of the government.
Even so, all of this is not the biggest hurdle to success. ATF and DOJ leaders wouldn't even tell their own agents in Mexico about the case. If the ATF hid the details—even the very existence--of the case from its own people, how could the ATF possibly work with Mexican authorities in all of the ways necessary to eventually build criminal cases against the heads of cartels?
The biggest problem, a problem that Ms. Arrillaga avoids, is that this was never a real law enforcement operation. Even if we discount the Obama Administration's terminal schizophrenia in trying to determine whether such things are threats to national security or common crimes which should be prosecuted in the criminal courts, any competent reporter should be able to smell the real motive behind Gunwalker. However, it would appear that Ms. Arrillaga is a standard AP/legacy media reporter.
By this I mean that such people do not sit down to meetings every morning and brainstorm ways to damage conservatives. Well, actually, some of them do, as we learned in the Journolist scandal, but for the most part this just doesn't happen. It's not necessary because in most news shops, there is not a single conservative or independent. Everyone shares the same assumptions, beliefs and motivations. Ms. Arrillaga, for example, uncritically repeats the Obama Administration's 90% lie. Her obviously anti-gun beliefs underlie her writing and undermine her ability to dig deeply enough to unearth the real genesis of Gunwalker. If you are predisposed to believe that gun ownership itself is a societal evil, you're particularly unlikely to question such lies.
The Obama Administration was not content to manipulate the already substantial carnage in Mexico and on our southern border to lobby for greater gun control, though they certainly tried. The lie that 90% of the guns seized in Mexico by Mexican law enforcement authorities were purchased in the US has always been a part of effort. Some have more recently revised the lie downward to 70%. There seems little doubt that the Administration was determined to force the violence and public outcry over it to escalate in ways that would predictably lead to the deaths of more Mexicans and Americans to build support for additional gun controls that could not be obtained through the legislative process due to an almost complete lack of public support. Such an irredeemably evil policy could only have been formulated at the highest levels of government. Ms. Arrillaga does not develop the well-known involvement of the FBI, Homeland Security, IRS and even the State Department in this debacle. She does not mention the testimony of ATF managers that has, only this week, placed direct knowledge of the case in the White House for the first time. We have long known about the direct involvement of Justice Department officials of the highest rank, but she does not develop this in any significant sense.
The media often professes great respect for the Constitution, particularly the First Amendment, and is often outraged by alleged violations of the law by governmental officials (particularly when they are Republicans). Ms. Arrillaga provides a case in point:
"… several cases had been tossed over lack of evidence. Most notable was one of the last big cases the Phoenix ATF investigated before Fast and Furious — the widely publicized probe of gun shop owner George Iknadosian, who was accused of knowingly selling hundreds of guns to straw buyers.
In March 2009, a judge threw out the case against Iknadosian, noting that the weapons were purchased legally and there was no proof that they ultimately wound up in the hands of unlawful possessors. It was a hard pill to swallow, and the lead agent on that case, ATF special agent Hope MacAllister, would go on to become the lead case agent for Fast and Furious."
Examining Ms. Arrillaga's prose on its face, there is no "there" there. The federal law regarding straw purchases of firearms requires the government to prove the person purchasing a firearm was doing it with the knowledge that the gun was actually being purchased for someone who could not legally purchase the gun themselves. That is the crime, and it is the government's obligation to prove its elements. This is the nature of our criminal justice system: the presumption of innocence. If I legally buy a gun, and several months later, sell it to a friend, not knowing that he is not legally authorized to buy a gun himself, I have not violated the law. I have not made a straw purchase, and no rational federal prosecutor should try to bring a case against me. They can certainly prosecute my friend who knew that he was not allowed to own firearms, but I am blameless.
According to Ms. Arrillaga's story, the guns were legally purchased and there was no evidence that they were ever given to people who could not legally possess them. If this is the case—and Ms. Arrillaga represents that it is—what could possibly have possessed any federal prosecutor to bring charges in the first place? There was no crime! Yet Ms. Arrillaga writes the story as though the Judge involved threw out a worthy case on a technicality, writing: "it was a bitter pill to swallow." Indeed it was, but the pill was bitter because, as Ms. Arrillaga represented it, the government had no case to begin with.
How could Ms. Arrillaga have missed this? Again, if you believe that the mere possession of firearms is inherently bad, that it marks those who possess them as stupid, unsophisticated, even inherently dangerous, and if you believe that government should restrict civilian ownership and use of firearms in any way possible, it becomes easy to ignore any elements of a story that get in the way of that narrative. Gun dealers sell guns. This is bad. The government charged a gun dealer with a crime involving guns, so he should have been convicted.
Ms. Arrillaga does well explain why ATF field agents found the plans of their superiors horrifying, yet suggests that many were excited to be involved in such a cutting edge, "creative" case. She does expose, step by step, how the agents became disenchanted and how, with the death of Border Patrol Officer Brian Terry, the whistleblowing began. Yet, she still can't figure out what is going on:
"That the goal was laudable, no one disputes. But in the aftermath of Fast and Furious, the ATF and Justice Department are rethinking old investigative techniques vs. new, whether the end justifies the means, and how to better weigh risks vs. benefits.
The Justice Department has since clarified its policy regarding gun investigations, prohibiting operations "which include guns crossing the border." The policy adds that if there is knowledge that guns are about to enter Mexico, "immediate action" should be taken to get the weapons — even if it jeopardizes an investigation. Also, gun shops in Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona are now required to alert the ATF to purchases of two or more high-powered rifles in a five-day span to help agents spot suspicious buying patterns."
The goal was not laudable. It was farcical, impossible. No rational law enforcement agency could have possibly believed that it could have worked. The only possible explanation—that the Obama Administration manipulated and materially worsened the violence in Mexico and along the border at the entirely foreseeable escalated cost in lives in pursuit of gun control policies—entirely escapes Ms. Arrillaga who speaks instead of the clarification of DOJ policies, such as actually seizing guns about to illegally enter Mexico, policies which have theoretically always been in place and which are ATF SOP (standard operating procedure). She also uncritically parrots a new Obama mandate requiring FFL licensees in the border region to tell the ATF about the purchase of two or more rifles within five days.
Ms. Arrillaga ignores the brutal irony inherent in this. The ATF was aware of the illegal purchases of thousands of weapons, often hundreds in a single transaction. Agents not only watched such sales being made in person, they actually set up video feeds so ATF and DOJ bureaucrats in Washington could watch straw purchases being made in real time, vicariously living the excitement. Her anti-gun preconceptions prevent her from putting two and two together and asking the questions which logically result. She wrote that the ATF was aware of the illegal sale of thousands of guns, sales worried gun dealers reported to the ATF before and as they were happening. She wrote that the ATF, over and over again, told them to make those sales. She wrote that after the sales were made, ATF agents were ordered to simply let the guns walk. She wrote that hundreds, even thousands of these guns are still unaccounted for.
Why then wouldn't she wonder why a policy requiring gun dealers to do, on a much smaller scale what they have already been doing for years, not only makes no sense, but is obviously nothing more than part of a desperate attempt to obscure real incompetence and criminality on the part of the highest levels of the Obama Administration? Can't she at least see that such a policy is simply another meaningless gun control gesture that can have no effect on real criminals? Like most of her legacy media colleagues, her preconceptions prevent her from seeing the glaringly obvious reality apparent to those who understand that it is not inanimate objects that perpetrate evil, but people.
Ms. Arrillaga has indeed done a service of information, and her article is not blatantly anti-gun, yet the anti-gun, anti-freedom assumptions of too much of the legacy media are clearly present. Ms. Arrillaga has inadvertently informed the public of the fact that those assumptions prevent reporters from actually getting at the real story, substituting instead the predictable anti-gun narrative. I suspect that Ms. Arrillaga is an honest, hard working reporter who cannot imagine that she is biased, and who simply cannot see what she is missing. If you were surrounded by people who shared your assumptions, beliefs and political goals, you'd probably be in the same boat.
Ms. Arrillaga's article is ultimately a case of caveat emptor—let the buyer beware—in reading wire service journalism.
July 19, 2011
DOJ Pressured Gun Dealers to Supply Guns to Cartels
Hope and change and death:
...the dealer was worried about a spike in sales to those reselling the guns to the cartels: a handful of buyers bought 212 guns in a few days.
"According to witnesses, that meeting was for the purpose of convincing the gun dealer to continue selling to the suspects and continue providing information to the ATF despite misgivings caused by the high volume of purchases," Issa and Grassley said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
ATF correspondence released three months ago suggested gun dealers began balking in April 2010, not December 2009.
Prosecutors painted a different picture of the meeting in a January 2011 memo turned over to lawmakers. It said the dealer was concerned about endangering himself or violating the law. He was told he did not have to participate in the sting.
But the gun dealer was also told that information he did give about large firearms sales was "very important and useful to ongoing ATF investigations," said the memo, obtained by Reuters, suggesting he was pressured to continue in the sting.
July 18, 2011
The Chickens Are Coming Home... To Roost
The target of a scapegoating attempt by the Obama Administration, acting ATF Director Ken Melson fires back:
rnal "smoking gun" report that acknowledges the role of top officials in the program that allowed guns to flow illegally into Mexico, according to the head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Kenneth Melson, the ATF acting director, earlier this month also told congressional investigators examining the role of top officials in the ill-fated program that affidavits in support of wiretaps used in the operation are inconsistent with what Justice Department officials have said publicly.
Melson told the investigators that when he raised his concerns with the Justice Department about "institutional problems" with the Fast and Furious operation, department officials resisted his desire to share his thoughts with Congress.
"It was very frustrating to all of us," Melson told congressional investigators over the Fourth of July holiday, "and it appears thoroughly to us that the department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the department."
The more I dig into this story here and at Pajamas Media, the more it seems improbable that Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano were not aware of Gunwalker.
"Gunwalker" itself seems like an even better name for the scandal than it once did, as the plot is both different from the Bush-era Gunrunner program, and can denote more that just Operation Fast and Furious in Arizona, including Operation Castaway in Florida, the two suspected gun-running operations in Texas, and any similar operations that may have been run concurrently in other operational areas that are yet to be discovered.
Grassley and Issa are asking the pointed, specific questions of prosecutors that already have the answers and are looking to catch the defendants in a provable lie. Rather obviously, they smell blood.
The top officials of the top law enforcement agencies in our federal government have delegitimized themselves and the reputations of tens of thousands of good officers and agents for what increasingly looks like a malicious, murderous attempt by key appointed officials of the Obama Administration to orchestrate a plot that only makes sense as a justification for gun control.
The people must have their independent prosecutor, and if the evidence supports charges, impeachment in Congress and prosecutions as warranted under the laws of the United States in a federal court. Considering the severity of the crimes, Congress should also consider the rare but legal option of allowing Mexican prosecutors to extradite those that deserve to be charged in Mexican courts.
There must be accountability, or else.
July 14, 2011
Gunwalker: Comment of the Day
The federal government [is] using federal agencies to break federal laws so that same federal government can impose more federal laws on the people that did not break the law. If this isn't a direct violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights nothing ever will [be].
July 13, 2011
Smoking Gun: Email Shows ATF Intent to Use Gunwalker Guns to Push Gun Control
This one email clearly and unambiguously shows that Officials within the ATF had the intention of using "walked" guns to push for more gun controls. I'd like to hear from any lawyers in the crowd: is this the stuff that conspiracy charges are made of?
If there are similar emails within ATF, DOJ, and other agencies and departments that were part of the various Gunwalker schemes that are now coming apart at the seems, do we have the making of a RICO case against officials that may have been involved?
July 12, 2011
Meet Ken Blanco: The Fall Guy
I made mention in my latest Pajamas Media article that the Obama Justice Department is attempting to find a patsy to take the blame for "Fast and Furious."
A well-placed source provided me the name of the individual that has been designated by higher-ups to take the fall, and I reached out to him, hoping that he might decide to reach out as a whistle-blower in his own right, if only out of enlightened self-interest.
Well, he declined to speak (to me at least).
That said, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco has been identified as the Administration's probable fall guy, for several reasons.
The primary reason, as it always is with anything involving Holder and Obama, is politics. Blanco is not the politico that his superiors are, which is strike one. they look out after theri own, and while Blanco is career, he isn't apparently an Obamite. He is apparently a decent human being and competent DAAG, according to the source. That's two strikes against him in an organization as corrupt and politicized as the highest levels of Justice.
Blanco's third strike happens to be the fact that he was the signing authority that authorized the wiretaps for Fast and Furious. There is a looooong way between signing off on wiretaps and authorizing felony gun smuggling to narco-terrorists, however, so it will be interesting to see if DOJ has the gall to actually try to make this stick in the face of rapidly emerging evidence of a wider scandal.
As always, any DOJ, ATF, DHS, FBI or other tipsters that would like to come forward about what officials knew, and when they knew it, are invited to drop me a secure line at email@example.com.
July 11, 2011
Hushmail Tipline Launched for Gunwalker
Some incredibly brave ATF and DOJ employees have come forward to warn the American people about "Operation Fast and Furious," a multi-agency operation in Arizona that resulted in the federal government facilitating arms smuggling to Mexican drug cartels.
There are now unverified allegations that Fast and Furious may have been just one compartmentalized operation of many.
If sources are correct, there was an "Operation Castaway" providing up to 1,000 weapons to MS-13 in Honduras, and a possible third operation, codename unknown, that may have been run out of Houston, Texas, that provided the weapons used to ambush ICE agents in Mexico, killing Jaime Zapata.
As a service for tipsters who want to see those responsible for these operations held to account, we are now opening a secure email tipline, firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can send tips, photos, or forward emails or documents using your own existing email accounts, or get your own secure email address at https://www.hushmail.com/.
You are promised anonymity in exchange for your tips, though we may require verification of specific allegations.
Any evidence collected will be used in future articles here on Confederate Yankee, or at Pajamas Media.
Caught up in Gunwalker, Obama Pushes Gun Control Through Executive Fiat
He can't deliver enough guns to narco-terrorists to change public opinion, so he's just going to start having his Justice Department declaring new rules that will do nothing to stop crime.
In an effort to stem the illicit flow of weapons into Mexico, the Justice Department says gun shops in four Southwest border states will be required to alert the federal government to frequent buyers of high-powered rifles.
The new policy comes amid wide-spread criticism of a failed federal probe called Operation Fast and Furious aimed at dismantling large-scale arms trafficking networks along the Arizona border with Mexico.
Senator Grassley's office provided a rebuttal to this absurd requirement almost as soon as it was made, stating via email:
We've learned from our investigation of Fast and Furious that reporting multiple long gun sales would do nothing to stop the flow of firearms to known straw purchasers because many Federal Firearms Dealers are already voluntarily reporting suspicious transactions. In fact, in just the documents we've obtained, we are aware of 150 multiple long guns sales associated with the ATF’s Fast and Furious case, and despite the fact that nearly all of these sales were reported in real time by cooperating gun dealers, the ATF watched the guns be transported from known straw purchasers to third parties and then let the guns walk away, often across the border.
This makes it pretty clear that the problem isn't lack of burdensome reporting requirements. The administration's continued overreach with regulations continues, and is a distraction from its reckless policy to allow guns to walk into Mexico.
Operation Fast and Furious failed in Mexico. Operation Castaway is just coming to light, proving the Administration's gun smuggling support is far more than an isolated incident, and suggesting that a much larger conspiracy--and I mean that in the legal sense--is afoot within the Obama Administration. Quite frankly, I suspect we're on the cusp of seeing enough evidence to warrant an independent prosecutor, and I would not be surprised if there is enough evidence to warrant a prosecution under the RICO statute.
Nobody died as a result of Watergate, and that was enough to end a Presidency. If supplying a minimum of 3,000 weapons to violent narcotics organizations in two countries isn't enough to put members of the Obama Administration in prison, what is?
Media Matters Correctly Refutes Media Claims About Gunwalker
I've tried to tell folks not to conflate Gunrunner (the Bush-era program) with Gunwalker, otherwise known as the project level "Operation Fast and Furious."
Few have listened, however, giving Media Matters some fuel to claim that the scandal is not as widespread as some of my peers have claimed.
And they're right.
As of this particular moment in history, there is zero evidence showing that there was any stimulus spending used to fund Gunwalker. Your Executive branch was subsidizing murders with your regular tax dollars instead.
It is patently untrue that Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech about Gunwalker in early 2009. His probable lies about what he knew and when he knew it would have dated from much later in the year.
In light of Operation Castaway, however, it seems possible that the stimulus funds highlighted by Media Matters as going to other ATF offices outside of Arizona may have been laying the groundwork to set up a much wider weapons smuggling ring than was first thought.
We'd long been under the impression that Gunwalker was an isolated event, occurring only in Arizona. We were wrong. Operation Castaway provided 1,000 guns to MS-13 in Honduras using the same technique (if you can call arming terrorists a technique) as Gunwalker. We simply don't know yet if there were other operations being run out of Justice arming other Mexican cartels, or other violent drug gangs in other countries like MS-13 in Honduras. Logic would say at this point that such operations are at the very least plausible, and perhaps probable.
Obama's Justice Department, acting in concert with the State Department and DHS, has facilitated the smuggling of 3,000 weapons to narco-terrorists since late 2009, fomenting civil war in Mexico and threatening to destabilize other countries in Central America.
Quite frankly, our Executive Branch is proving as dangerous as al Qaeda, and just and lawless and uncaring about the lives it destroys.
July 08, 2011
It's a Trap!
I've seen several claims in the past 24 hours that "prove" that Attorney General Eric Holder, or Congress, or the President, or the Pope, knew about Gunwalker/Fast and Furious because of a speech someone made, or because of legislation being proposed or because of a line item in the Stimulus bill.
I would strongly urge caution in these matters.
Please Keep in mind that Gunrunner is a long-term cartel weapons interdiction program that kicked off during the previous administration. there is no indication that Gunrunner has ever been anything but above-board. The program/project framework has long been used in business and government, with the program being the general vision, with individual projects/operations as steps towards realizing that vision.
It looks like this:
- Project 1
- Project 2
- Project 3
Gunwalker/Fast and Furious was a specific secret operation or project within the much larger framework of Gunrunner. A list of all operations with the Gunrunner program is not publicly available, but I would be stunned if the total number of projects wasn't several dozen, or more, with many or most of them being covert and unknown to the public.
Gunwalker and Gunrunner are not the same thing even though they are related. We have enough evidence coming in—at a pace "fast and furious," one might say—and do not need to make leaps of logic. There is no need to jump the gun or make wild accusations.
Justice will be served.
July 07, 2011
The ATF ran Gunwalker, with the knowledge and support of the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, the FBI, the IRS, and the DEA, with the knowledge of
four six directors and probable involvement of the at least two cabinet level appointees.
I guess this is what Obama meant by "shovel-ready."
No Hiding Now
Someone tell me: do they have nice golf facilities at Leavenworth?
"It is one thing to argue that the ends justify the means in an attempt to defend a policy that puts building a big case ahead of stopping known criminals from getting guns. Yet it is a much more serious matter to conceal from Congress the possible involvement of other agencies in identifying and maybe even working with the same criminals that Operation Fast and Furious was trying to identify."
That's the key to this mess -- and the reason that Operation Fast and Furious might turn out to be the biggest Washington scandal since Iran-Contra.
As Issa and Grassley note in their letter, had the other agencies shared information -- theoretically the goal of the post-9/11 revamp of the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies -- "then ATF might have known that gun trafficking 'higher-ups' had already been identified."
So if the identities of the Mexican criminals were known to the feds, what was the point of Project Gunrunner -- and why is Holder so desperately trying to stonewall by withholding hundreds of documents from Congress?
Law-abiding gun owners and dealers think they already know. With the Obama administration wedded to the fiction that 90 percent of the guns Mexican cartels use originate here -- they don't -- many suspect that "Fast and Furious" was a backdoor attempt to smear domestic gun aficionados as part of its stealth efforts on gun control by executive fiat.
"I just want you to know that we're working on it," Obama was quoted as saying to gun-control advocate Sarah Brady in March. "We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."
Unfortunately for the administration, this one's out in the open now.
If it is confirmed that the worst suspicions are true—that the Obama Administration supplied weapons to narco-terrorists, in order to undermine U.S gun laws—there will not be a stonewall big enough for them to hide behind, and both impeachment and jail time must not be just possible, but probable for those involved. They are, after all, accessories before the fact who aided and abetted the murders of two U.S. federal agents, and an estimated 150 law enforcement officers and soldiers, and an unknown number of civilians, in Mexico.
If evidence can prove that domestic policy was the ultimate goal of Gunwalker, impeachment should be the least of the Administration's worries, and the Republican-led House of Representatives needs issue legislation making the extradition of government officials involved in international crimes easier, so that those responsible for this debacle may face justice for the crimes they committed.
Passing such a law would have an immediate and chilling effect on any following administration, be it Republican or Democrat, that felt that committing crimes in allied countries was the proper way to sway domestic opinion.
July 06, 2011
Melson Implicates DOJ in Gunrunner
Once again, the Obama Administration has been outmaneuvered.
Acting Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Director Kenneth Melson, in surprise July 4th testimony to chief House investigator Rep. Darrell Issa's panel, corroborated shocking suggestions that the Fast & Furious gun running scam on the U.S.-Mexico border included more federal agencies—and tax dollars—than previously revealed. What's more, he suggested that top Justice officials muzzled ATF as it sought to clean up the episode after two of the guns in the scam were linked to the December killing in Arizona of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
In a five-page letter to Attorney General Eric Holder following Melson's testimony, Issa, chair of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and Senate Justice Committee ranking member Sen. Charles Grassley, called for greater cooperation in Issa's probe of Fast & Furious. And they warned Holder not to fire Melson and make him "the fall guy in an attempt to prevent further congressional oversight."
"The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities. While this is preliminary information, we must find out if there is any truth to it. According to Acting Director Melson, he became aware of this startling possibility only after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the indictments of the straw purchasers, which we now know were substantially delayed by the U.S. Attorney's Office and Main Justice," the duo wrote.
I made the Iran-Contra comparison several weeks ago. It now sounds like I was far more right than I had any reason to expect.
There were felonies committed here by Obama Administration officials, and if i don't miss my guess, I suspect things are only going to get worse.
July 05, 2011
An Interesting Bit of Gunwalker Speculation
There really isn't enough meat on this to even call it a theory, but it is an interesting inkling of an idea that Mad Saint Jack has come up with regarding President Obama's decision to skip the opportunity to use a recess appointment to give anti-gun Chicago ATF Agent Andrew Traver the top job in the agency.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with Mexican criminals armed with Gunwalker AK-pattern rifles on December 14.
If documentation exists—and that would be hugely speculative and extreemly unlikely—showing that the White House or senior Department of Justice management passed on the opportunity to appoint Traver as a result of Terry's murder, then all bets are off regarding the damage to the Presidency and the Attorney General.
This bears watching.
June 27, 2011
June 25, 2011
Pissing Off All The Right People
It looks like all the coverage of the Obama Administration gun-smuggling disaster known as "Gunwalker" is starting to get the waterboys of convicted felon George Soros worried.
Media Matters called me out by name in recent smear piece over the coverage of Gunwalker at Pajamas Media.
I can hardly wait to see their attack on fellow liberal Jon Stewart.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Fast and the Furious - Mexico Grift|
I'm sure it will be posted just as soon as Eric Holder's Department of Justice writes it for them.
June 23, 2011
On the Airwaves on Gunwalker
Mike and I have both been part of the team providing on-going coverage of the ATF/DOJ/DHS "Gunwalker" scandal through Pajamas Media, and while the MSM is trying to avoid the story as much as possible, talk radio seems to love it. I've done three radio shows this week so far and will be doing three more tomorrow, and Mike is going to be speaking on the Martha Zoller Show (syndicated in GA) this morning at 11:20 ET.
The MSM can try to ignore this, but just like past scandals, they can't keep the truth from coming out. We're going to keep pushing this story until the Obama Administration officials that are accessories to 152+ police murders are held to account.
June 22, 2011
Gunwalker: Facebook Edition
My Gun Culture knocks it out of the park.
Via the always awesome SayUncle.
June 21, 2011
Predictable: NY Times Goes to Bat For Obama Administration Over GunWalker, Lies
It is hardly surprising that the left-wing MSM is trying to cover Obama's backside and see if they can get him past the scandal with his skin intact, but if this is the best they've got, Obama's toast.
If Congressional Republicans are really intent on getting to the bottom of an ill-conceived sting operation along the border by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, they should call President Felipe Calderón of Mexico as an expert witness.
Mr. Calderón has the data showing that the tens of thousands of weapons seized from the Mexican drug cartels in the last four years mostly came from the United States. Three out of five of those guns were battlefield weapons that were outlawed here until the assault weapons ban was allowed to lapse in 2004. To help him stop the bloody mayhem, he is pleading with Washington to re-enact the ban and impose other needed controls.
I suppose we should be encouraged that the unsigned editorial is no longer trying to defend Obama's 90-percent lie, but they're still lying.
As I revealed today at Pajamas Media, MExico has over 300,000 weapons recovered from crime scenes locked up in vaults, and only 5,114 submitted in 2007-08 have been found to have come from the U.S.
Somebody do the math on that... does that sound like "three out of five" to you? The Times lied.
Of course, the lying doesn't stop there.
The editorial claims that the 1994 "assault weapons ban" that sunset in 2004 meant that " battlefield weapons that were outlawed here."
Not to put too fine a point on it, but bullshit.
The 1994 Bill to Outlaw Scary-Looking Cosmetic Features did not ban a single battlefield weapon. Not one.
But all of that is irrelevant. What we are witnessing here is a heavily-biased New York Times editorial board declaring that it is more important to salvage this trainwreck of a Presidency than it is to seek out and punish those that implemented a plot that put an estimated 2,000 Gunwalker firearms into the hands of narco-terrorists, which were used to kill at least 150 Mexican police and soldiers along with at least two U.S. federal agents.
Who are the real monsters? The bloodthirsty cartels, or the cool and calculating Manhattan liberals that enable their gun suppliers?
June 17, 2011
Mexican Government Opens Investigation Into Gunwalker
From Human Events:
Rahm Emanuel, when he was Obama's chief of staff, famously said that no crisis should ever go to waste if it could advance the agenda. Did Obama go Rahm one better, advancing the gun-control agenda by manufacturing a crisis caused by gunrunning into Mexico, where one of the gunrunners was the U.S. government?
Members of the Mexican Congress think the answer is yes and have opened their own investigation. From the Mexican standpoint, Operation Fast and Furious was an act of war on Mexico.
For Americans of a certain age, the next question is, "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"
June 02, 2011
5 Dead, 1 Injured in Yuma Shooting
Scattered reports are coming in, and it looks now like a shooter has killed at least 4people and seriously injured another before taking his or her own life in a series of shootings in and around Yuma, AZ.
The shootings took place at 3 or more locations, which would seem to indicate a methodical elimination of specific individuals and not a random spree-type killing. One of those killed was a divorce attorney, though there is no word about who the other victims are at this time.
More updates as this develops.
May 17, 2011
S'il est coupable, l'Amérique doit exécuter Dominique Strauss-Kahn
"If he is guilty, America should execute Dominique Strauss-Kahn," is what I hope the French take away from the headline, though Google Translate doesn't always work as intended.
I say this because once upon a time in America, Strauss-Kahn's violent sexual assault would have resulted in a lynching by outraged citizens. Some years later, in some parts of the country, his crime could have been prosecuted as a death penalty case (side note: I am still personally in favor of forcible rape or sexual assault being treated as a capital crime). As it is, the disgraced Frenchman stands the possibility of spending his remaining years in an American prison, unless he OJ's his way out with high-priced lawyers and political pressure.
The French seems stunned at his "perp walk" and incarceration in Riker's, his suicide watch and prison jumpsuit. In their class-driven society, such treatment for a man of his stature is unthinkable.
It highlights one of America's greatest ideals. No man is above the law. It isn't true all the time, and especially when the offender is rich and powerful and influential enough, but we do have our moments.
The poor woman Strauss-Kahn is accused of raping and sodomizing is a Muslim. Sadly, in her own barbaric culture in many parts of the world she would most likely be put to death for her "crime," or would face nearly insurmountable odds in getting a conviction, needing multiple male witnesses, etc, and even if successful in putting her abuser in prison, faces the distinct possibility of an "honor killing" from her own family because of the twisted beliefs of her misogynistic donkey-humping cult.
Only in America could the victim of this violent crime have a possibility of finding justice, and her accused be treated from the outset like a criminal he most likely is instead of a privileged elite. Remember that as America-hating elitists try to turn us into a lesser nation.
MIKE ADDS: What Bob said.
May 01, 2011
NRA Calls For Holder's Ouster for BATF "Gunrunner" Incompetence
Wayne LaPierre wants U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation for the guns his agency intentionally supplied to drug dealers.
The National Rifle Association's CEO Saturday said Attorney General Eric Holder should step down for allowing an operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to occur on his watch that involved the sale of guns to suspicious customers with ties to Mexican drug cartels.
The ATF allegedly encouraged gun dealers to sell multiple firearms to known and suspected criminals as part of a broader sting operation to crack down on gunrunning. In a speech to thousands of gun activists here, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said two assault rifles that the ATF "let walk" were found at the crime scene where a border patrol agent was gunned down in December.
"Operation Fast and Furious may have gotten one or perhaps two federal agents killed, and countless other innocent victims have been murdered with the illegal guns that our own government allowed into Mexico all to advance a political agenda," he said.
The specific political agenda that LaPierre refers to is the oft-debunk fiction pedaled by the Obama Administration that civilian gun stores in the United States are responsible for 90-percent of the firearms the Mexican government has recovered from cartels. The actual figure is just eight-percent, and that includes the thousands of firearms that Holder's Justice Department knowing let gun smugglers take into Mexico.
"Gunwalker" AKA "Fast and Furious" was a transparent scheme by a radical President and Attorney General to create death and violence to justify more stringent gun control laws for our nation, and they were willing to put the lives of law enforcement officers and civilians on both sides of the border in jeopardy in order to do so.
Republicans in the House and Senate should hammer the White House relentlessly over the apparent crimes carried out by Obama's Justice Department. Congressional investigations and criminal charges should be investigated. At least two weapons these men gave to some of the most violent criminals in the world have been used to killed a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.
Holder is morally an accessory to murder. His resignation is the least Americans should be calling for as this scandal continues to unravel.
April 14, 2011
Duke LAX Rape Accuser to Face Murder Charges in Stabbing Death
Duke University's "Gang of 88" faculty members really backed a winner in Chrystal Mangum:
The man Crystal Mangum is accused of stabbing has died, Durham Police Department Chief Jose Lopez Sr. said Wednesday.
Mangum already was in jail under a $300,000 secured bond charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
"More than likely, we will be upgrading the charge to murder," Lopez said.
In 2006, Mangum, 32, falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of raping her.
Mangum had just been in court on December in an arson case where she had threatened to stab her previous boyfriend. That trial ended in a mistrial.
Perhaps this time they'll put this psychopath in prison for life, where she belongs.
April 13, 2011
UNC Student Falsified Hate Crimes Allegations
I anticipate his expulsion from the university as a warning to others.
February 11, 2011
Police Down Bank Robber on Camera in Cary, NC
Not a whole lot to say about this. The video says it all:
The officer closest to the shooter near the sidewalk was armed with a carbine and appears to have fired a 3-round burst to the back left side of the robber's head at a distance of maybe 10 yards. His death appears to have been instantaneous.
My prayers go out to the hostages, the officer (or officers) that will have to deal with the psychological trauma of taking a life, and to family of the shooter, Devon Mitchell, a 19-year-old who made a horrible decision, and paid for it with his life.
December 26, 2010
American Gunned Down, Framed by Mexican Troops
Remember folks: it's American gun dealers that are the cause of violence in Mexico, not rampant Mexican corruption:
Joseph Proctor told his girlfriend he was popping out to the convenience store in the quiet Mexican beach town where the couple had just moved, intending to start a new life.
The next morning, the 32-year-old New York native was dead inside his crashed van on a road outside Acapulco. He had multiple bullet wounds. An AR-15 rifle lay in his hands.
His distraught girlfriend, Liliana Gil Vargas, was summoned to police headquarters, where she was told Proctor had died in a gunbattle with an army patrol. They claimed Proctor — whose green van had a for-sale sign and his cell phone number spray-painted on the windows — had attacked the troops. They showed her the gun.
His mother, Donna Proctor, devastated and incredulous, has been fighting through Mexico's secretive military justice system ever since to learn what really happened on the night of Aug. 22.
It took weeks of pressuring U.S. diplomats and congressmen for help, but she finally got an answer, which she shared with The Associated Press.
Three soldiers have been charged with killing her son. Two have been charged with planting the assault rifle in his hands and claiming falsely that he fired first, according to a Mexican Defense Department document sent to her through the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
It is at least the third case this year in which soldiers, locked in a brutal battle with drug cartels, have been accused of killing innocent civilians and faking evidence in cover-ups.
A ban of non-commercial travel and mined border would go a long way towards minimizing this and other problems, including illegal immigration, terrorist infiltration, and drug smuggling.
November 11, 2010
Is the"Felon With a Gun" Photo Real or Photoshopped?
Notice the "photo" funny shadow on the big pistol, what is the big white blotch on the left sleeve………fun never ends.
The photo in question shows a man holding a pair of firearms... or does it? The comment provided by "L.Booth" seems to suggest that the photo used in the article was manipulated, or "PhotoShopped."
So let's put that claim to the test, by providing the photo and subjecting it to the scrutiny of Internet experts and laymen alike.
Below is the uncropped photo that the image in the Pajamas Media article was created from (click the photo for the full-size 2048 x 1536 image or follow this link).
Is the man in the photo really holding firearms...
...or is it faked?
August 06, 2010
Remembering Omar Thorton, Thief, Murderer, and Would-be Media Victim
I'm still waiting for The Won to declare that Omar Thorton "acted stupidly" in going on a racist shooting spree after being caught on tape as a thief and fired, but you know that isn't going to happen. Not even after the murderer called 911 and confessed before killing himself.
Omar Thornton, 34, called 911 after shooting 10 co-workers -- eight fatally -- on Tuesday morning at Hartford Distributors. He introduced himself as "the shooter over in Manchester" and said he was hiding in the building, but would not say where.
"You probably want to know the reason why I shot this place up," he said, his voice steady. "This place is a racist place. They treat me bad over here. They treat all the black employees bad over here, too.
"So I took into my own hands and handled the problem," he said. "I wish I could have got more of the people."
Omar Thorton, Facebook fan of Barack Obama, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, beer theft and racism, is dead, but only after murdering eight others who weren't thieves.
The media wants to bend to his family's wishes to brand him a victim. No. Omar Thorton was a thief. Omar Thorton was a murder. Racism? A thug's petty excuse for mass murder.
Omar Thorton is going to rot in Hell.
I wonder how long it will be before the left puts him on a tee shirt.
August 04, 2010
"I killed the five racists that was there that was bothering me."
The other three he murdered, and the others he tried to kill? I guess they were just for fun.
After being presented video evidence that he stole beer from the company he worked at, Omar Thorton pulled a gun and murdered eight co-workers before holding authorities at bay. He spoke to his family, and then finally turned the gun on himself.
I wasn't there, and don't know all the details, but I suspect that Thorton wasn't fired because the company he worked for and the union he was a part of were a cabal of racists out to get him.
I suspect it had far more to do with him being a thief.
July 28, 2010
Judge Blocks Sections of AZ Immigration Law... For Now
Most of the law has been approved, but the most controversial provisions have been blocked from going into effect when the law becomes active tonight. The contest provisions are not overturned, and are merely placed on hold.
What is the practical implication of the decision? Experts and pundits alike are scrambling to determine the effect, and as I'm just as (un)qualified as many of the other pundits, here is my take.
The law allowed to go into effect tonight will have little practical effect on how police officers in Arizona do their jobs, but the considerable public support for the bill and the fact that much of the law was not successfully challenged means that criminal aliens will likely continue their exodus from the state. Remember that SB 1070 was Arizona's first high profile battle in their war against illegal aliens, and their is absolutely nothing that changes the political climate.
The politicians who pushed this legislation are still in office, and still afforded what amounts to a mandate by the people to continue their efforts. Public opinion in Arizona, as well, is strongly against illegal immigration, and the continuing interest in the case is fueling a drive in many states to pursue similar laws.
The public has had it with criminal aliens, and those that would exploit them for political power. This isn't over, not by a long shot.
Another Anna Chapman? Russian Beauty Arrested for Weapons Smuggling
24-year-old Anna Fermanova was arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle night-vision equipment out of the country.
A young beautician has been charged with trying to smuggle weapons parts into Russia as U.S. authorities continue to investigate suspected foreign spies.
Anna Fermanova, who lives near Dallas, Texas, was apprehended while trying to take three hi-tech night-vision rifle sights aboard a flight to Mexico.
The 24-year-old was stopped in March by officials at JFK Airport in New York and the items were confiscated.
She was allowed to complete her journey and arrested when she returned to the U.S. earlier this month.
Fermanova is currently under arrest at her parents' home in Plano, Texas, on $50,000 bail.
She is expected to attend court in New York in the next few weeks where she faces a possible ten years in prison.
Under U.S. law, sophisticated military weapons cannot be exported without the approval of the U.S. State Department.
Ignorance of the law is no defense, but her apparent attempt to cover-up the serial numbers of the NVGs she was smuggling seems to indicate she was well aware of what she was doing, and simply very bad at stealing the technology.
July 24, 2010
No, Texas Hasn't Been Invaded
Twitter exploded a while ago about this story, which claims that heavily-armed Los Zetas gunmen of the Gulf Cartel have taken over ranches on the U.S. side of the border.
My curiosity got the better of me, and so I called the Laredo Police Department, and had a delightful chat with the acting watch commander, Sgt. Perez.
Sgt. Perez informed me that I was her seventh caller about this claim since she came on duty this afternoon. She stipulated two things that blows holes in the invasion claim.
- The location of the alleged invasion is outside of their city-limits jurisdiction, so they would not be involved, and;
- while they would not be involved in any law enforcement response outside of their jurisdiction, they work closely with the county sheriff's office and would know if such an event is occurring.
She also provided me the number of the Webb County Sheriff's Department. The deputy that answered the phone there was less amused, having also dealt with this rumor multiple times in a short amount of time. She also told me that there was no invasion and no law enforcement siege, and that deputies were continuing normal operations.
Don't believe the hype.
Update: The Laredo Morning Times dumps all over this false alarm as well.
Update: Simple Questions For the Laredo Truthers:
If there is any truth at all to this story, there will be several simple, easily discoverable facts.
- What are the names and exact addresses of the ranches that were taken over?
- What are the names of the ranchers and families that were displaced?
July 12, 2010
Duke Rape Case Accuser Heads to Court on Attempted Murder Charges
A Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University athletes of rape four years ago will be in court Monday on a separate case in which she faces multiple charges, including attempted first-degree murder.
Crystal Mangum will be in court at 2:30 p.m. Monday to tell the judge that she doesn't want to be on house arrest at her friend's house anymore. She will also try to regain custody of her three children, ages 10, 9 and 3.
Mangum was arrested in February and charged with attempted first-degree murder, five counts of arson, assault and battery, communicating threats, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, injury to personal property, identity theft and resisting a public officer.
Police said she assaulted her boyfriend, Milton Walker, set his clothes on fire in a bathtub and threatened to stab him.
"I am being unfairly treated due to preconceived notions that people had about me concerning another case," Mangum said in a news conference last month on the porch of a friend's house, where she is staying while under house arrest while awaiting trial.
Which other case is the obvious question. After all, the Duke case was hardly her first brush with the law.
In related news, the home in Durham where the non-rape occurred is being demolished.
It had to be.
It was white.
July 10, 2010
Wife of Oil Exec Wounded By Shoe Box Bomb
Well, the President did ask his tolerant, peace-loving followers—no doubt the same kind souls that sit at home sharpening their Obama Youth knives preparing for their One Nation meetings—to get in their neighbor's faces.
Perhaps someone just took that advice too literally.
The woman was opening a package left at her doorstep in the 2100 block of Seamist Court Friday evening. She had found the shoe-sized box in front of her home about a day ago but didn't decide to open it until around 6:30pm Friday. The woman, who officials said is in her 60s, took the box to the backyard and opened it on the patio. That's when it exploded.
"Don't know where it came from -- postal service or whether it was dropped off. I don't have that information yet," said HPD Lt. Colin Weatherly."The person went outside, basically opened the packaged; it detonated."
Residents told Eyewitness News that when the bomb went off, it sounded like a transformer blew.
The woman survived the blast, and is being treated for facial injuries.
Get in their face, blow it off... hey, you voted for change, didn't you?
July 06, 2010
Is a .30-06 the Best Round for Aliens?
I always thought the .223 was purpose-built for little green men, but to each his own:
Fairfield Police Sgt. James Perez said Dane Eisenman, 57, responded to a classified advertisement for a .30-06 rifle about a month ago. While filing out the paper for the rifle, police said, he mentioned to the seller what he would be using the weapon for.
"He said he was going to use the weapon to kill aliens," Perez said.
The seller was unsure if Eisenman was referring to space aliens or illegal aliens, Perez added. Sgt. Perez said Eisenman told the seller of the rifle every 36,000 years, aliens who live under the sun come to Earth to kill humans, and he needed to be prepared because "They're going to be coming soon."
The U.S. Justice Department immediately vowed to fight any laws aimed at resisting their invasion.
June 22, 2010
Mexican Cartels Threaten U.S. Cops
While Obama dithers and panders, the drug lords smell weakness and openly threaten American police:
Police officers in a small Arizona border city are on heightened alert following a tip that a Mexican drug cartel will put them in its crosshairs if they conduct off-duty busts.
The threat stems from a marijuana seizure made this month by two off-duty police officers riding on horseback in an unincorporated area east of Nogales, a city of roughly 20,000, Police Chief Jeffrey Kirkham told FoxNews.com.
"The word was that these particular officers would be targeted if they were ever in that area again and were not on duty and intercepted any drug trafficking," Kirkham said. "It said they should look the other way."
The unidentified officers were able to confiscate roughly 400 pounds of marijuana during the seizure in early June at a known smuggling corridor along the U.S.-Mexican border where there is "relatively no fencing," Kirkham said. No arrests were made, and the smugglers were able to retreat into Mexico.
These police officers did more off duty to protect this nation and our children from drugs than President Obama has ever has on the job. As a result of the Obama Administration pandering to illegal aliens in hopes of converting them to Democratic voters, law enforcement officers on the border are forced to go armed at all times.
The government's continued indifference is a betrayal of the men and women who do they best they can to protect us and our children from violent cartels and the poison they sell.
June 16, 2010
Liberal College Professor Collects Another Murder Charge
This time, the murder of her 18-year-old brother in 1986.
Amy Bishop has been charged with murder for the 1986 shotgun slaying of her 18-year-old brother in their Braintree home, according to Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating.
"The grand jury has indicted Amy Bishop for murder in the first degree,'" Keating told reporters today."Here in Massachusetts, we had evidence of a murder. We proceeded with that, as we should have."
Bishop is the Obama-worshiping fanatic professor that gunned down six of her her fellow professors at the University of Alabama - Huntsville months after she was denied tenure. Three of her victims died.
June 15, 2010
Arrest Bob Etheridge
Arrogant, entitled liberal Democrat Bob Etheridge assaulted a man in broad daylight in front of witnesses on a Washington, DC street, in an encounter that was captured on two cell phone cameras and broadcast around the world.
The attack was indefensible, by Etheridge's own admission.
The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department needs to launch a full and immediate investigation of this incident. Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier has a responsibility to protect people in her city from all criminal behavior, even that committed by Democratic Congressmen.
Update: A protest against Etheridge by his constituents is scheduled for tomorrow in Raleigh.
You can also protest Etheridge by contributing to his opponent in November, Renee Ellmers, here.
June 04, 2010
Where are they NOW?
Debrahlee Lorenzana claims that she was harassed almost daily by her managers at Citibank, who apparently thought she was "too hot" and dressed in a manner they found sexually distracting.
A photoshoot arranged by Lorenzana's lawyer claims to show her in some of the apparel she wore to work.
She is certainly an attractive woman who choses to accentuate instead of hide her femininity with her choice of apparel, but her clothes did not seem to be outside the bounds of professional dress for that environment, and her outfits (at least those shown) were certainly more tasteful than some.
My question is simple: where are the feminists?
You might think that groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) and similar feminist groups would criticize Citibank for their apparent bias against Lorenzana. After all, equal rights should apply to all people if they are truly equal, and that includes women that are attractive... does it not?
Feminist outrage is apparently reserved to protest for the rights of the ugly and unattractive.
Pretty ladies... it seems you are on your own.
May 24, 2010
It's All Fun For Them, Until One of Their Little Unionized Terrorists Get Shot
I was offline most of the weekend, spending the bulk of Saturday and Sunday in an NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home course with a class filled with NRA instructors. All of us were concealed carry permit holders, and all had previously taken the Personal Protection in the Home course (more on the courses at another time, perhaps).
As a result, I didn't get a chance until today to read about Nina Easton's account of a SEIU/NPA mob action that terrified the teen-aged son of a Bank of America lawyer, who was alone when the mob poured out of 14 buses and stormed their home.
I was not there and cannot provide details, context, or the perceptions of the young man trapped inside the home, but I would not begrudge anyone the right to arm themselves if their home is suddenly surrounded, swarmed by a crazed and shouting mob.
Grasping the size of the angry horde massing outside, trapped family members have every reason to go into a state of high alarm, as any reasonable person would under these completely unreasonable circumstances.
If a homeowner in such a situation felt that a chanting mob banging forcefully on door and windows was attempting to break into the home, they would be fully justified under the laws of many states if the decided to start firing a gun through the door into the tightly packed mob behind it in order to stop what they felt was a felony home invasion in progress.
This is not an extreme nor unusual statute, but a simple acknowledgment of castle doctrine and stand your ground laws applied to a bizarre situation. The simple fact of the matter is that the union mob need not intend harm upon the family they've besieged, they merely need to act in such a way as to make those poor trapped souls feel in fear for their lives from the mob actions. At such a point, angrily thrown rocks, kicked doors and punched-out windows could unleash a volley of gunfire, causing casualties among those attempting to terrorize a family at home.
No jury on earth would convict a family trapped by 500 thugs screaming through bullhorns and causing them to reasonably suspect that their lives were in danger from a mob they thought was breaking down his door, and it's doubtful there would even be a prosecution in many jurisdictions.
Barack Obama's comfort with thug politics and love of strong-arm behavior may get some of his supporters killed one day, and he'll have no one to blame but his own tactics and allies.
May 22, 2010
Arkansas Cop-Killers Were Sovereign Citizen Extremists
The two police officers gunned down in Arkansas Thursday were killed by a father and son that were part of the radical sovereign citizen movement.
The Arkansas State Police on Friday identified the pair — killed Thursday during an exchange of gunfire with the police — as Jerry R. Kane Jr., 45, of Forest, Ohio, and his son Joseph T. Kane, believed to be 16.
About 90 minutes before the shootout with the police, Sgt. Brandon Paudert, 39, and Officer Bill Evans, 38, were killed with AK-47 assault rifles after stopping a minivan on Interstate 40 in West Memphis, Ark., the authorities said.
Jerry Kane, who used the Internet to question federal and local government authority over him, made money holding debt-elimination seminars around the country. He had a long police record and had recently complained about being arrested at what he called a “Nazi checkpoint” near Carrizozo, N.M., where court records showed he spent three days in jail on charges of driving without a license and concealing his identity before posting a $1,500 bond.
Sheriff Gene Kelly of Clark County, Ohio, told The Associated Press on Friday that he had issued a warning to officers on July 21, 2004, saying that Mr. Kane might be dangerous to law enforcement officers. Sheriff Kelly said he had based his conclusion on a conversation the two men had had about a sentence Mr. Kane had received for some traffic violations.
Sheriff Kelly said that Mr. Kane complained in 2004 about being sentenced to six days of community service for driving with an expired license plate and no seat belt, saying that the judge had tried to "enslave" him. Mr. Kane had added that he was a "free man" and had asked for $100,000 per day in gold or silver.
I have never seen or heard of a "sovereign citizen" that wasn't a chronic screw-up that was drawn to the movement to excuse their own chronic bad decision-making. Many—like Joe Stack, the man who flew a plane into IRS offices earlier this year in a vengeful murder/suicide—are tax cheats and scam artists with great disdain for government and law-enforcement officers. They feel the law is the cause of their problems... not their own corruption and moral turpitude.
The world is better off without such people.
It is a shame that they sometimes take good people with them when they self-destruct.
May 20, 2010
Mexican Pirates Robbing Americans At Gunpoint in Border Lake
Somebody call John Kerry and his swift boat, as it seems he might be useful after all.
While the U.S. government does nothing, the violence and criminality spilling over from Mexico's civil/drug war continues to escalate:
Officials in Zapata are warning boaters on the waters of Falcon Lake to be on alert.
The alert comes after at least three pirate types of attacks within the past month.
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez says, "They have been victims of piracy and I dare say that word. They have been robbed by people using AR-15’s or handguns to their heads. It's just not safe to go to the Mexican side anymore."
It's not safe on the American side of this border lake created by the damming of the Rio Grande between Mexico and Texas, either. The most recent event occurred this past Sunday, as suspected Zetas cartel gunmen robbed fishermen in American waters on the lake.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration, allowing Mexican President Felipe Calderon a soapbox to rant about Arizona's new anti-criminal immigrant law, refuses to do anything to control our southern border or protect American citizens.
May 19, 2010
Keeping up a Proud Family Tradition
On the up side, at least she kept dry.
May 17, 2010
Wave of Chinese Blade Attacks Continues
A man attacked six girls with a meat cleaver at a busy Chinese market before committing suicide by jumping out of a building, according to state-run media. Two of the six were seriously injured, according to the state-run Guangzhou Daily. All six were hospitalized.
The attack occurred about 7 p.m. Sunday (7 a.m. ET) in the market in Foshan, Guangzhou province, according to the report. The man, thought to be about 20 years old, jumped from a three-story building and died, according to Guangzhou Daily.
The attack was the seventh such mass knife attack in China in recent weeks, five of which occurred at schools. More than 100 people have been wounded or killed in the spate of attacks, and authorities are struggling to understand the causes.
May 16, 2010
Freak Defends Freak
Is it any surprise that the kind of pervert that would seduce his own wife's daughter and who was accused of molesting a seven-year-old adopted child would support a man accused of raping other children?
In a just world Roman Polanski and Woody Allen would both be rotting in prison, but what should be found every bit as revolting is how they are accepted among most of their predator peers in the entertainment industry with few reservations.
May 11, 2010
Drugpac Shakur? Tupac's Mom Facing Felony Drug Charges
A hearing has been delayed for the mother of rapper Tupac Shakur after her arrest in North Carolina on drug charges.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that 63-year-old Afeni Shakur Davis was charged in April with felony possession of marijuana, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance and simple possession of a controlled substance. Her hearing, originally scheduled for Monday, was continued until Aug. 24.
May 05, 2010
It Must Be Contagious
Spending all your time thinking, writing, and talking about homosexuality must eventually turn you gay.
Fred Phelps must be about to burst into flames...
May 03, 2010
Hutaree Cultists Out On Bail
When they were first arrested after being accused of plotting the murder of police officers in hopes of starting a civil war, the charges against the militant Hutaree cult sounded serious and shocking.
After reviewing the evidence, however, the judge in the case has lashed out at the government for deficiencies in the case and ordered the suspects freed on bail:
In a blistering attack, U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts in Detroit said prosecutors had failed to persuade her the defendants were a danger to the community.
While they may have engaged in "offensive and hate-filled speech," it was not at all clear that they had conspired to break any laws, Roberts wrote.
"Discussions about killing local law enforcement officers -- and even discussions about killing members of the Judicial Branch of Government -- do not translate to conspiring to overthrow, or levy war against, the United States Government," she wrote in a 36-page opinion.
The fury of the judge does not seem to bode well for the government's case.
April 22, 2010
Did Obama Lie About His Role In Selling His Old Seat?
An improperly-redacted copy of a subpoena issued by the defense in United States v. Rod Blagojevich sure makes it look that way. What the subpoena alleges Obama did is at odds about what he claimed publicly.
We know Barack Obama lies. What we don't know is whether or not he has been dumb enough to get exposed as a criminal as well. I certainly hope not.
The thought of "President Biden" is almost too much to bear.
April 17, 2010
Latest on the Bautsch/Brown Attack in New Orleans
The Hayride continues to make the case that the attack on Bobby Jindal's 25-year-old campaign fundraiser Allie Bautsch and her boyfriend Joe Brown after an event at Brennan's last Friday night was politically motivated.
I agree that is by far the most likely scenario. The reports the victims made to police make it clear that when they left the restaurant they were followed and then set-upon by left-wing protestors that had attempted to rush the restaurant much earlier in the evening, and which had chased another person into a cab shortly before the attack on Bautsch and Wilson.
Ambushed from behind by 3-5 thugs, Wilson suffered a concussion, broken nose, and broken jaw. Bautsch had her ankle broken. Both will take months to heal.
High-ranking Democrats and their media allies continue to trumpet the threat of "right wing violence." That call to caution isn't completely unwarranted, as the recent arrest of the Hutaree militia-cult proves. But the simple fact of the matter is that most violence of this sort comes from leftists, and the media spends most of its time finding way to ignore that fact.
April 14, 2010
As we discussed some last night, Bobby Jindal's campaign finance director Allee Bautsch and her boyfriend Joe Brown were hospitalized after they were assaulted Friday night after leaving a fundraiser at Brennan's Restaurant in the French Quarter.
There are at least two very similar descriptions of the primary assailant.
...in his 20s, looked "dirty," and wore his hair in an auburn-colored ponytail. The man was 6 feet, 1 inch tall with a thin build, police said. He wore a light-colored T-shirt and dark pants.
...a white man who appeared to be dirty, in his 20s, about six feet tall with a thick build and thin face. He had a beard and auburn-colored hair in a pony tail
As it so happens, a parade of protesters on their way to harrass the SLRC and Jindal's fundraiser at Brennan's were caught on camera and posted in a series of videos on YouTube.
One video in particular, titled "SRLC Protest 9 April 2010 - Onward to Brennan's" captured a brief shot of a young man who comes close to matching those general descriptions at the 1:40 mark on the video.
I caution that this is by no means a smoking gun proving that this is the man who assaulted the couple (he can be seen walking with a child at the 2:00 mark of this video). Odds are that he is not related to the attack, but I hope that the New Orleans Police are showing this and similar videos captured around Brennan's that evening to Bautsch and Brown so that they either identify or rule out assailants that may have been caught on film.
April 13, 2010
Jindal Staffer and Boyfriend Badly Beaten, Hospitalized After Leaving Fundraiser
Bobby Jindal's campaign finance director Allee Bautsch and her boyfriend Joe Brown were hospitalized this weekend after they were badly beaten leaving a Friday night fundraiser at Brennan's Restaurant being held for the Louisiana Republican Party.
According to various reports, Bautsch and Brown left the restaurant and were going to their car parked two blocks away when the incident occurred. One of Bautsch's legs was badly broken, and required surgery. It will be 2-3 months before she recovers. Brown suffered a concussion, broken nose, and broken jaw. It sounds as if he was very lucky to avoid a fractured skull, or worse.
Some commenting on the story have implied that the couple was targeted for wearing Sarah Palin pins, and that the assailants were left wing protestors that has been outside the restaurant earlier in the evening. There is absolutely no evidence that supports either of these contentions at this time. In fact, Michelle Malkin reports that they were not wearing Palin pins.
There simply isn't enough information to know what occurred or why at this time, and the NOPD and Jindal's office are refusing to provide more details because of the assault investigation.
If it turns out that they were targeted for being part of the fundraiser and suspects can be identified, it will be interesting to see if hate crimes charges will be filed.
Update: More details of the assault have been released:
New Orleans police say that the incident began about 10:45 p.m. when a group of three to five men made "derogatory comments" to Bautsch and her boyfriend. When the man described as the male victim "turned toward" the group of men, at least one of the men struck him repeatedly. The woman "fell to the ground and screamed," the news release said.
Police released a description of one suspect, saying he was in his 20s, looked "dirty," and wore his hair in an auburn-colored ponytail. The man was 6 feet, 1 inch tall with a thin build, police said. He wore a light-colored T-shirt and dark pants.
Update A slightly different description:
Police said they only have a description of one of the suspects, who was described as a white man who appeared to be dirty, in his 20s, about six feet tall with a thick build and thin face. He had a beard and auburn-colored hair in a pony tail. His accomplices were also said to be white men
March 31, 2010
Great Job Clearing The Crime Scene, Guys
I'm glad that law enforcement was able to take down the Hutaree cult without shots being fired, but as with the Waco raid, there is good reason to question to question whether how they executed the raids were in the best interests of public safety (which, coincidentally, is the subject of an article I'm writing for Pajamas Media).
But now I'm concerned that they did a less than stellar job of securing the crime scene, thanks to this line in a Wall Street Journal report.
The Hutaree appears based at Mr. Stone's home, a pair of dilapidated house trailers near the intersection of dirt roads in rural Clayton, Michigan—population 303—about 85 miles southwest of Detroit. The yard this week held three cars, a dog house, debris and a gun leaning on an old washing machine. [my emphasis--ed.]
I'm going to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and suggest they can tell a firearm from a length of pipe. If they are, what does that say about the ability of the authorities to seal a crime scene? More importantly, if they are unable to secure weapons laying in public view in plain sight, can we trust that they have done a thorough job sweeping the area for hidden munitions, such as the kind of IEDs the Hutaree were presumably planning to use in the crimes they are alleged of plotting?
March 30, 2010
FBI Had Agent Inside Hutaree Cult
Thomas William Piatek should be able to provide solid, first-hand evidence of the Hutaree plot to kill police officers in hopes of triggering a civil war, which means the prosecutors should have solid case that will keep these folks behind bars (or attached to a needle) where they belong.
March 29, 2010
Hutaree Plot Revealed
If the allegations are true, this was one nasty little cult:
The indictment claims that the Hutaree planned to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather in Michigan for the funeral. According to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with improvised explosive devices rigged with projectiles, which constitute weapons of mass destruction, according to the announcement by U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.
"Because the Hutaree had planned a covert reconnaissance operation for April which had the potential of placing an unsuspecting member of the public at risk, the safety of the public and of the law enforcement community demanded intervention at this time," McQuade said in the announcement. "Hutaree members view local, state, and federal law enforcement as the 'brotherhood,' their enemy, and have been preparing to engage them in armed conflict."
The alleged plot is one spawned of a vicious mind. When a police officer dies in the line of duty, the funeral typically consists of dozens of officers, and often includes representatives of local law enforcement agencies from around the region, federal and state law enforcement, and local and state authorities in addition to grieving family members and friends.
The slow-moving procession would be an easy target for IEDs, and it would not be surprising if it is revealed that the group planned to lie in wait with the intention of ambushing police and rescue units responding to the initial attack.
If the attacking force were sufficiently competent, they could easily kill dozens in such a scenario.
Update: According to the NY Times a total of nine co-conspirators were charged, and the charges include sedition.
I do take issue with the claim made by the Detroit FBI SAIC:
"This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society," Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, said in a statement. "The F.B.I. takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States."
There are groups like these throughout society? Really?
If that is the case, we would have already had attacks such as those the Hutaree envisioned, or at least similar arrests. As we have neither, it strongly suggests that Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, is full of crap.
The article also sheds light on more details of the attack that the cult had been plotting:
The indictment charged that between August 2008 and the present, the defendants — led by David Brian Stone, 45, who also used the name "Captain Hutaree" — developed a conspiracy that they hoped would result in a war against the United States government. They allegedly decided they would kill a local law enforcement officer, and then bomb the funeral caravan. The killings "would intimidate and demoralize law enforcement diminishing their ranks and rendering them ineffective," it said.
Afterward, the indictment said, Hutaree members would retreat to several "rally points" and wage war against the government, using prepared fighting positions as well as "trip-wired and command-detonated" bombs.
"It is believed by the Hutaree that this engagement would then serve as a catalyst for a more wide-spread uprising against the government," the indictment said.
Mr. Stone used the Internet to obtain diagrams of "explosively formed projectiles," a particularly lethal form of roadside bombs responsible for many deaths of United States soldiers in Iraq, the indictment says.
AP Sources: Hutaree Militia Were Plotting to Kill Cops?
Such is the claim, but does it really make sense?
People familiar with the case against seven suspects arrested by the FBI this weekend say the case revolves around a plot to kill police officers.
Two law enforcement officials tell The Associated Press that members of the group in the Midwest had planned multiple attacks on police officers or other law enforcement personnel as a way of acting out their hatred for the government.
From what I've read of the Hutaree and similar groups, they see the federal government as their enemies. They tend to champion local and state governments having more authority. Members of this same cult recently helped a nearby militia conduct search and rescue operations at the request of local law enforcement. This claims doesn't seem to make sense.
Another theory postulates that the group was plotting to attack Muslims, though there has been precisely zero evidence of that displayed, either.
The seven Hutaree arrested over the course of the weekend have a court appearance scheduled for later today. Perhaps then we can find out precisely what they were arrested for, and whether or not federal law enforcement was justified in such a massive display of manpower for so few suspects.
An identically-sized domestic terrorist cell was successfully apprehended in Willow Springs, NC without the massive show of force authorities used in this tri-state raid. Both groups were religious extremists with large caches of weapons intent on holy war.
So why were their arrests so radically different?
Some have posited that perhaps federal authorities were attempting to provoke a response from other militias known to be active in the area. Until there is some explanation by authorities as to why such a greater show of force was warranted in this more recent arrest, we have no way of proving these theories wrong.
March 28, 2010
FBI Arrests Seven in Bomb-Making Raids
The media and blogosphere have been all over the map on this one. Last night federal agents conducted raids in three states, apparently targeting a small end-times religious cult called the Hutaree. According to Fox News, the raids were carried out to arrest those suspected of manufacturing and selling pipe bombs. If true, then yeah, arresting those involved was a good idea.
I'm just glad the raids were executed without anyone targeted being killed.
Federal law enforcement has a rather dismal record (to put it mildly) of botching raids on armed religious cults, and timing the raid during the current political crisis means that any gunplay could have caused the militia-saturated region to quickly escalate into bloody skirmishing between militiamen and federal authorities. It was a bad tactical decision, that could have ended badly for everyone.
I question the wisdom of using such heavy forces (including armored vehicles and helicopters according to witness reports), when light, fast and quiet raids would have been at least as effective.
More than the timing, I question the leadership.
March 16, 2010
Attack Thwarted On Lenin's Corpse
Rest easy, liberals... Lenin wasn't hurt.
The man, named as Sergey Karpentsov, is quoted as saying he wanted to let loose a volley of bullets at Lenin's carefully embalmed corpse, one of the Russian capital's most popular and ghoulish tourist attractions.
"My main demand is the quick bulldozing of the mausoleum which contains the body of the anti-Christ," he said. "I wanted to open fire on the tomb with an assault rifle but I was advised not to do that in case the tomb is armour-plated."
Police say they spotted Karpentsov behaving strangely near the mausoleum and that he viciously beat a police officer who confronted him before shooting and wounding the man.
March 04, 2010
Domestic Violence Lobbyist Guns Down Husband After Five Day Marriage
While it is far from always being the case, most of us tend to think of domestic violence as a crime that typically occurs within the home, not blocks away:
Witnesses told police that Bridges was wearing a nightgown and a shower cap as she argued with Rankins on the sidewalk on North Avenue near West Peachtree Street around 10:45 p.m. Monday.
And moments later, witnesses said, they heard shots. They said she then "calmly walked away."
A MARTA police officer stopped her as she was getting into her car, perhaps to return to her home nearby on Centennial Olympic Park Drive.
Arelisha Bridges apparently chased down her new husband in her car and then shot him down on the street after an argument.
Bridges is registered as a lobbyist for the little-known National Declaration for Domestic Violence Order, but seems to have been almost inactive in that role.
Seems she should have been a lobbyist for Orderly Domestic Violence.
February 18, 2010
Duke Lacrosse Stripper Jailed
It would have been really difficult for her to do this if she had been in jail for trying to frame the Duke lacrosse team for rape:
Durham police arrested Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Gale Mangum, 33, late Wednesday after she allegedly assaulted her boyfriend and set his clothes on fire in a bathtub.
Authorities charged her with five counts of arson, simple assault, identity theft, communicating threats, damage to property, resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer and three counts of child endangerment.
It is believed one of her children called 9/11.
You stay classy, Crystal.
February 14, 2010
Did Congressman Delahunt Play Role In Cover-Up of Professor/Murderer Amy Bishop's First Killing?
Amy Bishop is facing three counts of first-degree murder for killing three and wounding three others during a biology faculty meeting at the University of Alabama-Huntsville on Friday, and news broke yesterday that Bishop had shot her own brother to death in 1986. There are conflicting accounts of her brother's death, including a version where she seems attempted to carjack someone and escape the scene before being disarmed by police at gunpoint. There are also hints that Bishop was released and the death classified as an accident as part of a cover-up.
This is relevant to the future of Congressman William Delahunt (D-MA), the district attorney at the time Bishop killed her brother, who is considering whether or he will run for reelection or retire.
If Delahunt's name comes up too often in relation to the Seth Bishop case and there are even hints that he may have played a significantly suspect role in the decision not to charge Amy Bishop the first time she took a life, then retirement would seem to be the only logical decision.
Update: Good Grief. Bishop and her husband were suspects in a 1993 bombing as well?
February 13, 2010
Professor Bishop's Reviews From Students Very Mixed, Edited Post-Shooting
Amy Bishop, the professor that killed three of University of Alabama-Huntsville biology faculty members and wounded three others after being denied tenure, had very mixed reviews on her teaching abilities, according to the Web site ratemyprofessor.com.
While no students doubted her knowledge of the subject matter, a significant number of them accused Bishop of being an incompetent educator, unable to relate the subject matter to her students in a way that they could understand.
In addition, several made references to political comments Bishop made, including one who said "she is a socalist but she only talks about it after class." Another student wrote that Bishop, " She's a liberal from 'Hahvahd' and let's you know exactly how she feels about particular subjects."
The later user's comment had mysteriously been removed from Bishop's profile on www.ratemyprofessors.com/ by Saturday morning, the day after the shooting, after being referenced on multiple web sites and blogs.
February 12, 2010
Professor Snaps, Kills Faculty When Denied Tenure
Amy Bishop Credit: Bob Gathany / The Huntsville Times
Authorities said a female faculty member during a Biology faculty meeting learned she would not receive tenure. She then pulled out a gun and started shooting.
Tenure in this case refers to a senior academic's contractual right not to have their position terminated without just cause.
Police also have the alleged shooter's husband in custody. He has not been formally charged with anything.
UA-Huntsville spokesman Ray Garner confirmed three people were shot and killed.
What sickens me the most is that according to the story, the Harvard-educated shooter, Amy Bishop, obviously suspected that she was going to be denied tenure, and brought the gun into the meeting to kill those peers who told her she wasn't as good as she thought. Pathetic.
Even if it is found that she ended up leaving and returning with a gun, would that make her killings any less premeditated?
2/14 Update: Turns out Bishop was told she wasn't getting tenure last spring, and she sat quietly in the faculty meeting for a least a half-hour before pulling a 9mm pistol and gunning down her peers.
February 04, 2010
I Guess They Don't Throw Fruit Anymore
DC Caller's Jim Treacher was injured in a hit-and-run yesterday:
I was more than halfway there when a black SUV made an illegal left turn and hit me head-on. I absolutely had the right of way. I yelled something like, "Are you really doing this?" as it hit me before I could move. I landed on my face on the street and smashed my glasses and scraped my hand and immediately I knew something was wrong with my left knee. I lay there screaming and cursing for I don't know how long, and a crowd of people gathered and told me to hold still.
Treacher's knee was broken. Pretty rough criticism, if you ask me.
According to witnesses, the vehicle that made the illegal left turn, ran Treacher down, and then sped away without stopping, belonged to the Secret Service (update: State Department security?).
Watch out, Jon Stewart.
February 02, 2010
Top Prosecutor in Landrieu Phone Incident Steps Down
This probably isn't close to being what it seems:
A Justice Department news release said Jim Letten, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, recused himself from the case a day after the Jan. 25 arrests in Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in New Orleans. Letten's top lieutenant, assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann, has taken over.
The news release didn't say why Letten removed himself, and his spokeswoman Anna Christman said she couldn't comment.
One of the suspects is the son of Letten's Shreveport-based counterpart.
Earlier Monday, the man who first published James O'Keefe's explosive videos exposing wrongdoing at community organizer ACORN came to the filmmaker's defense, claiming he "sat in jail for 28 hours without access to an attorney" while the prosecutor made his case to the media.
O'Keefe was "framed" by the media and the U.S. attorney's office, Andrew Breitbart, publisher of BigGovernment.com, told Fox News.
Click here to read the affidavit.
"James O'Keefe sat in jail for 28 hours without access to an attorney, while the U.S. attorney leaked the information about his arrest, helping the media frame it as 'Watergate Junior,'" Breitbart said.
While the timing of the announcement of Letten's pulling himself of the case seemed suspicious because of Brietbart's claims of a set-up, the simple fact of the matter is that Letten recused himself more a week ago, on Jan. 26, with the most obvious reason being that one of men arrested with O'Keefe is the son of a colleague.
That being said, I would not be surprised at all if Eric Holder's Selective Justice Department is going to do all it can to discredit and smear O'Keefe considering the damage he did to ACORN, and if O'Keefe really did go 28 hours with an attorney and the Justice Department did leak information designed to smear these young men, then we could very well see a situation develop where the charges against O'Keefe and his fellow defendants simply go away.
While letting O'Keefe off would bring howls of protest from progressives still out for blood over ACORN's exposure as a bunch of thugs who willingly enable child sex slavery, avoiding an investigation into improprieties in Justice would be far more important to Holder, Obama, and the "Chicago Way" of politics if there is any truth in Breitbart's claims.
February 01, 2010
There simply isn't a clearer example of abuse of power in our current Congress, as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi abuses her power to commandeer military aircraft for use as private jets for her children.
Pelosi should step down immediately as Speaker. If Democrats have any integrity at all, they'd push for her to resign from office entirely and support an inquiry into whether she should face criminal charges.
January 28, 2010
Roeder Shoots for Unique Defense
When Scott Roeder gunned down late-term abortionist George Tiller in a Witchita, Kansas, last May, shock waves were felt immediately around the nation, and media attention was intense and predictably "front page" in nature.
Now that Roeder is actually on trial for Tiller's murder, the national media is offering much more subdued exposure, still covering it, but relegating the story to the deeper recesses of their news pages and web sites. Do the media simply not care as much about the murder of abortionists any more?
I suspect that the left-leaning media is still strongly interested in seeing Scott Roeder sent to prison for a very long time for putting a .22-caliber bullet in George Tiller's head, but they may concerned about popularizing Roeder's defense, perhaps worried that it might work.
Defence lawyers are expected to seek a conviction for the substantially less serious offence of voluntary manslaughter, defined as "an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force".
Noting that abortion is legal in Kansas, the judge has told Mr Roeder's lawyers that they must show that the doctor posed "imminent danger" in order to justify a voluntary manslaughter plea.
The judge has yet to rule whether he will allow jurors to consider the lesser charge.
I do not think there can be a valid claim that Tiller posed an "imminent danger" to unborn children at the moment he was gunned down, and my layman's perspective is that the judge will probably not allow the jury to consider the voluntary manslaughter charge because of that fact. That argument seem would have the most weight if Tiller had been gunned down at his clinic prior to killing an unborn baby, but as that isn't what happened, the point is moot.
If the judge does allow the jury to consider the voluntary manslaughter defense, that would presumably set a precedent for allowing such defenses, whether or not Roeder is ultimately convicted of murder of manslaughter.
Is the media concerned that putting a focus on Roeder's trial and defense may inspire the copycat murders of the few remaining doctors that practice late-term abortion? Or are there simply more pressing stories in the news cycle?
01/29 Update That didn't take long. The judge did not allow the jury to consider Roeder's defense, and they quickly convicted him of first degree murder.
Which of course made this the current top story on CNN.
January 07, 2010
St. Louis Workplace Violence: Five Workers Shot, Shooter Commits Suicide
A disgruntled employee of more than 20 years entered the St. Louis branch of ABB Power and shot five others this morning before turning the gun on himself. The shooter, identified as Timothy Hendron, killed at least one of his co-workers. Several others are in serious-to-critical condition.
There is still a lot of confusion/misinformation over what precisely occurred and why, but several accounts indicate that Hendron was part of a class-action benefits lawsuit against his company, though it is unknown if that had any direct impact on today's events.
If anger over the court case is found out to be the proximate cause of the shooting, then it will be the second shooting this week with such a cause.
Please say a prayer for those affected.
Update: According to police, the suspect killed three ABB workers and wounded 5 others before taking his own life. There is still no word on a motive. The class-action lawsuit of which Hendron was a part was just getting underway this week.
December 22, 2009
Another Police Ambush in Washington State
Two Pierce County deputies were "basically ambushed" Monday night when responding to a domestic violence call near Eatonville, about an hour south of Seattle, a sheriff's spokesman said.
It was the third apparent police ambush in Western Washington since Oct. 31. Eight deputies or officers were shot in those cases; five fatally. Investigators say the incidents are unrelated.
Police said the latest shooter, identified as David Edward Crable, 35, was shot and killed during the incident, which happened shortly after 9 p.m. in the 34300 block of Tanwax Court East.
One deputy was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and was in critical condition Tuesday morning. The other was rushed to Madigan Army Medical Center and was upgraded to serious condition early Tuesday, Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Some of the officers that worked the case of four officers murdered in a coffee shop ambush several weeks ago are also working this crime scene.
In sharp contrast to the coffee shop ambush, however, in this instance the daughter and brother of the shooter apparently risked their lives to drag one of the wounded deputies to safety and begin first aid. Family members and friends of Maurice Clemmons helped him evade law enforcement even after they knew he gunned down officers in cold blood.
Note: I removed the word "Fatal" from the headline. While the suspect that ambushed the officers did in fact die during the attack, the headline could easily have misconstrued as meaning that the law enforcement officers seriously injured in this attack were killed at that time.
December 10, 2009
Thank God for Incompetence
A would-be murderer missed his teacher twice before jamming an almost unjammable gun:
A community college student was upset about his grades when he walked into a classroom and fired two shots at his professor before his new rifle jammed, police said Wednesday.
Jason M. Hamilton, 20, was unable to continue shooting at mathematics professor Tatyana Kravchuk, who ducked behind a desk and was not hit, Prince William County police Maj. Ray Colgan said. No one was injured.
"Probably what prevented a further tragedy was that the gun jammed," Colgan said.
Hamilton bought the Marlin .30-06 bolt-action rifle Monday at a Dick's Sporting Goods store near the campus, police said.
There isn't any political angle to this story, just a failed human being looking to take out his frustration on someone else, unsurprisingly finding he's incompetent at that as well.
I suspect, however, that he'll excel as a prison girlfriend.
December 04, 2009
Sounds Like a Downer
Ecstasy pills shaped like Barack Obama have hit the streets of Palmview, Texas.
First-time users report an immediate and intense feeling of elation which quickly fades into confusion, disillusionment, and denial.
Repeat users find the drug makes them more lethargic and dependent, but otherwise does nothing for them, even as every additional dose triples in cost.
December 03, 2009
Fort Hood Hero Cop's Career Cut Short
Sgt. Kim Munley, one of two civilian police officers that were among the first to respond to jihadist Nidal Hasan's rampage at Fort Hood, may have her career as a street cop cut short as a result of her injuries.
Sgt. Kimberly Munley said doctors have told her she needs a total knee replacement, a surgery set for January, but that her new knee is likely to wear out sooner if she runs or carries the 15- to 25-pound gear pack required by her job.
"I do want to stay in law enforcement. I'm not going to be able to do what I did before, which is basically work the street," she told Wilmington, N.C., television station WECT on Wednesday. "It's going to give me another avenue to look in as far as possibly teaching and instructing."
Hopefully she'll be able to find other law enforcement duties as rewarding as her role as a street cop.
Hasan, the radical Muslim soldier that shot Munley and more than three dozen others, remains hospitalized, paralyzed, and potentially facing the death penalty.
December 01, 2009
Maurice Clemmons Killed By Seattle Police After Manhunt
It appears Clemmons was shot in an area where police had been investigating friends and family members who were thought to have been harboring the cop-killer.
Maurice Clemmons, the suspect in the murders of 4 Lakewood Police Officers has been fatally shot by Seattle Police. It happened around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning along South Kenyon Street in the Rainier Valley.
Authorities suspected 37-year old Clemmons of gunning down 4 police officers at a coffee shop Sunday morning in Lakewood, a suburb about 35 miles south of Seattle.
His death comes just one day after Pierce County Sheriff's authorities said they believed Clemmons was being helped to escape capture by a network of friends and family.
On Monday night, officers had surrounded a house in the south Seattle suburb of Renton, questioning residents who may have aided Maurice Clemmons since the Sunday morning shootings. Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said no one was arrested.
It was believed that Clemmons was shot in the abdomen during the attack on the Lakewood officers at a coffee shop near Tacoma.
Troyer also said some of those who have helped Clemmons have tried to mislead police. "Yes, we think we've been given misinformation. Our main goal is to get him into custody, then we'll deal with everything else," Troyer told reporters in Renton Monday night.
Police scanner audio indicates that Clemmons ran from a home when he was shot, and that people inside the home acted suspiciously, requiring officers to pull back while Clemmons was on the ground until they could secure the scene.
Hopefully, all of murderer's friends and family member will face felony charges for assisting this thug's attempt to evade justice.
November 30, 2009
Friends and Family Helping Cop-Killer Evade Police
I remember when Eric Robert Rudolph was hiding in the mountains of western North Carolina, and the media echoed law enforcement's disgust of a killer being sheltered by those with right-wing anti-government sentiments.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I doubt that narrative will go quite as far, so kudos to the Seattle Times for reporting what much of media will probably try to avoid:
Maurice Clemmons has been getting help and shelter from friends and relatives since shortly after the Sunday morning shooting deaths of four Lakewood police officers, authorities have concluded.
"Basically, there's no way that he could be doing this by himself; he was shot in the abdomen," said Sheri Badger, Pierce County spokeswoman at the incident command center.
Also frustrating to law-enforcement officers is that Clemmons reportedly told acquaintances the night before the attack to "watch the news" because he was going to "kill cops."
No one reported his comments to police until after the attack, Badger said.
I'm going to loop this back around once more to Christopher John Monfort. Like Clemmons and many African-Americans, Monfort was weaned in a culture that not only demeans law and order, but which actively glorifies violence against it in popular music and other entertainment.
Folks want to ignore the truth because they want to avoid being called racists, but the simple fact of the matter is that much of African-American culture ranges between distrust of the police and outright hostility, and that hostility has exploded into violence that has left six police officers in this area alone gunned down in less than a month, with only one of those six escaping the coroner's attention.
It probably wouldn't take very much effort at all to loop this violent hatred of authority to the disdain of law practiced by left wing groups primarily composed of minorities such as ACORN, the thugs we've seen in SEIU, the New Black Panthers, and the slightly more sophisticated bigotry of Jeremiah Wright and both Barack and Michelle "for the first time in my life" Obama, but frankly, I'm tired.
Directly or indirectly, there is an African-American culture problem here that no one wants to address, much less attempt to fix. The recent ambushes of police officers by these particular angry black men simply underscore that uncomfortable and deadly truth.
Seattle Police Focusing on Cowan Park in Manhunt
Police are setting a perimeter around Cowan Park in Seattle as they hunt for a suspect wanted for the murder of four police officers yesterday in Parkland, WA. According to police radio chatter, a blood trail has been found, and CSI units are being called in to investigate.
Suspect may have Twitter account: http://twitter.com/mauriceclemmons, though he certainly didn't do much with it if he did.
Moments after that information went out, Twitter went down. Probably unrelated, but you never know...
November 29, 2009
Paroled Commuted Cop Killer
The Seattle Times has identified a suspect in today's shooting of four Lakewood, WA police officers in a local coffee shop:
A 37-year-old Tacoma man, Maurice Clemmons, is being sought for questioning in the execution-style shooting of four Lakewood police officers this morning, according to two law-enforcement sources.
Clemmons, who was recently released from jail, has an extensive criminal record in Pierce County and Arkansas, court records show. Clemmons is wanted in Arkansas and faces eight criminal charges in Washington state.
While governor of Arkansas, 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckebee paroled a violent repeat offender by that same name as noted in this 2004 article:
Maurice Clemmons received a 35-year sentence in the early 1990s for armed robbery and theft. His sentence was commuted in May 2000, and he was let out three months later.
The following March, Clem-mons committed two armed robberies and other crimes and was sentenced to 10 years. You'd think they'd keep him locked up after that, but no: He was paroled last March and is now wanted for aggravated robbery.
If Huckabee decides to set these criminals free, Jegley says, at least "he ought to give an accounting. I can't imagine why in the world they'd want them released from jail. There's a good reason we're afraid of them. The sad truth is that a significant number of people re-offend."
The victims' families, Jegley says, "deserve an explanation. I look into people's eyes who've suffered the unspeakable. I believe they deserve justice.
If Huckabee—now a Fox News personality—did set this man free, his aspirations for a future White House run may be over.
Update: The Times confirms that Huckabee set this suspect free.
Update: Huckabee offers a deflection. My response? Yes, the legal systems in Arkansas and Washington did fail in protecting citizens from this violent thug, but Huckabee made it all possible.
It's rather hard to rape children or massacre law enforcement officers in Washington when still locked up in an Arkansas jail.
BREAKING: Four Police Officers Assassinated in Coffee Shop Ambush
The early reports indicated a targeted killing by a two gunman targeting police officers. There do not appear to be any other people injured. The shooters escaped the scene and are at large. Below is the Google street view image of the coffee shop on 116th and Steele where the killing occurred.
McChord Air Force base is directly across the street, and Interstate 5 and WA State 512 are only seconds away. The killers were possibly miles away as the first 911 calls were being made.
It is probably a total coincidence, but Parkland is 22 miles down I-5 from Evergreen State College, the radical leftist school that helped create Rachel Corrie and Andrew Mickel, the later of which ambushed a police officer in Nov 2002, and is now on death row. Another radical leftist shot and killed a police officer on Halloween after firebombing four police cars on Oct. 22, and was in turn shot earlier this month.
Update: War on Cops in Washington. Now, let us see if they are really willing to look at the motivations of the killers.
November 24, 2009
Authorities to Release Findings in Census Worker's Death
UPDATE: Confirmed Suicide
Answers coming this afternoon at 2:00 PM:
Kentucky State Police Lt. David Jude says a news conference is set for 2 p.m. EST at the agency's crime lab.
Federal and state investigators who have been working the case since September haven't yet announced whether Bill Sparkman's death was a homicide, suicide or accident.
Sparkman's naked body was found Sept. 12 near a cemetery in a heavily wooded area of southeastern Kentucky. One of the witnesses who found the body said the 51-year-old was bound with duct tape, gagged and had an identification badge taped to his neck.
Earlier this month, law enforcement officials were investigating whether Sparkman may have staged an elaborate suicide to appear like murder so his son could make a life insurance claim.
Shortly after news of Sparkman's death was reported left wing propagandists in the blogosphere and news media were quick to try to capitalize on his death, implying that it was the fault of conservative politicians, or anti-government paranoia from backwoods rubes.
Even early on most credible sources found it more likely that Sparkman might have stumbled across a drug operation or moonshiners than any anti-government group.
Unsupported lies, however, are for more useful for the left's agenda.
Update: Sparkman's death was confirmed to a be a suicide staged to look like murder. May God have mercy on his family and his troubled soul.
November 17, 2009
Leftist Terrorist Lawyer Ordered to Jail
If there is any justice, this will work out to be a life sentence.
A federal appeals court has ordered leftist Manhattan civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart to surrender and begin serving her sentence immediately on her 2005 conviction for shuttling messages from imprisoned terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman.
Stewart, 70, has been free on bail pending appeal since her 2005 conviction for using her status as Abdel-Rahman's lawyer to violate federal rules barring him from communicating from his high-security imprisonment, and her 2006 sentence to 28 months in jail by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl.
A three-judge panel of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Tuesday morning's ruling, not only affirmed Stewart's conviction and ordered her to prison immediately, but remanded the case to Koeltl to consider whether she should get a harsher sentence.
November 15, 2009
Future ACORN Employees of the Year?
As we've seen in the various videos released thus far, ACORN seems completely fine with the idea of trafficking children for the purposes of pedophile prostitution. We can only assume that Mario Andrette McNeill and Antoinette Nicole Davis are looking to not just join the group, but shoot for senior management positions.
The two are presently under arrest for kidnapping, and human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution.
November 13, 2009
Census Worker Made Suicide Look Like Homicide for Insurance Payoff?
I guess they'll quietly drop this from the narrative.
Two law enforcement officials, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said investigators were trying to determine whether Bill Sparkman committed suicide but altered the scene to make it look like a homicide, allowing his son to collect.
Life insurance policies typically do not cover suicides within a certain time period after the policy begins.
Sad, in so many ways.
November 02, 2009
Explosion at Bragg OP Kills Civilian
An explosion on a Fort Bragg observation point killed a civilian Friday, Fort Bragg spokeswoman Jackie Thomas said Sunday.
Two civilians were in the area when the blast went off at 12:15 p.m., Thomas said.
One was killed, the other was not injured. The names of the victims were not released. Thomas said they were not Army employees.
It sounds like these civilians were probably not supposed to be there, but the statement is so antiseptic that we can't be sure exactly what is going on.
I'm going to recall an old NCIS episode and wonder if they might have been hunting scrap metal on a bombing range and set off unexploded ordnance.
Update: When I'm good, I'm good. Score one for Darwin:
Fort Bragg officials say a civilian killed in an explosion at the North Carolina Army post was scavenging for scrap metal when he stepped on a round and it exploded.
October 19, 2009
An Armed Society...
The FBI says the number of police officers slain in the line of duty fell sharply last year.
Bureau statistics list 41 law enforcement officers killed in 2008. The list includes one FBI agent, Sam Hicks, who was shot and killed during a drug raid outside Pittsburgh.
Felony killings of police officers haven't been that low since 1999, although police officer support groups — which use different standards to count officer killings — say the number of officers killed hasn't been this low since the 1960s.
It doesn't fit any of the preferred narratives, so don't count on seeing this reported in too many places.
This is especially true considering it occurred during a year where concealed carry permit applications skyrocketed nationwide, along with the sale of ammunition, handguns, and so-called assault rifles.
Gun sales went up, and the killing of law enforcement officers went down. Just another inconvenient truth.
Yes, We Cannabis
You'll be hearing that quip a lot:
Federal drug agents won't pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.
Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.
October 16, 2009
Uh... this doesn't seem to match the Heene family balloon boy story:
October 08, 2009
Infamous Pistol-Toting Soccer Mom Victim of Murder-Suicide
Meleanie Hain, who made the news last year after open-carrying to a youth soccer game and having her permit revoked and later reinstated, was shot and killed last night in an apparent murder-suicide:
A Lebanon woman who gained national notoriety last year as a champion of Second Amendment rights after she brought her loaded handgun to her 5-year-old daughter's soccer game was shot and killed Wednesday night in an apparent murder-suicide.
Meleanie Hain, 31, and her husband, Scott Hain, 33, were pronounced dead by Lebanon County coroner Dr. Jeffrey Yocum shortly after 8:30 p.m. after a two-hour standoff with police outside their home at Second Avenue and East Grant Street. The episode ended quietly when police entered the house after trying to make contact with anyone inside.
No cause of death was announced, and autopsies were scheduled for today, said Yocum.
Lebanon police Chief Daniel Wright was guarded with information as detectives began the preliminary stages of the investigation late Wednesday night. He acknowledged that the Hains were both found dead and had suffered gunshot wounds inside their 1 ½-story brick home in a quiet neighborhood in Lebanon's southside. He would not provide any additional details, other than to say that police do not feel any other people were involved.
District Attorney David Arnold, who was at the scene, refused to comment.
Several neighbors said they heard or saw the couple's children run from the house screaming, "Daddy shot Mommy!" shortly before the 911 Center was called at 6:20 p.m.
Murder-suicides are among the most selfish of crimes, often depriving children of both parents and destroying their childhoods and their ability to trust and relate to others during their formative years.
Like the murder-attempted suicide that took place in my town yesterday morning, my thoughts and prayers go out to the traumatized children first and foremost as I wonder what can turn "love" into such selfish, family-destroying hate.
September 25, 2009
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Sounds
G20 protesters are complaining that they have come under the attack from LRADs, or Long Range Acoustic Devices. LRADs are capable of directing sound at extremely high decibels, and can be used to project a warning over distances in a focused "sonic beam," or can be used to cause pain through extremely loud sounds. Using LRADs in the latter manner would classify them as a less-than-lethal weapon, though one capable of causing permanent hearing loss.
The Drudge Report has a link this morning, "Video of 'Acoustic Weapons' Deployed on American Soil" that links to the following clip on YouTube.
But do you notice something about the way the "acoustic weapon" is being deployed? If you look at the video, it is clearly not being used as a weapon.
How do we know this?
Because if you watch the video, people cross back and forth in front the LRAD the entire time it is being used, and some even slow down or stop directly in front of it from mere yards away to shoot video, as this guy did.
The LRAD is the large gray disk mounted on the back of the black truck in the left of the frame. Moments before, a pair of young women wandered across the shot to no apparent ill effect, and seconds after, another videographer passed in front of the same device in the foot steps of the first.
I will readily agree that an LRAD can be used as a weapon. But I'd submit this very video as evidence it was not being used that way in Pittsburgh yesterday, at least now when captured on camera.
September 24, 2009
More than 40 Drug Dealers Arrested Near Site of Census Worker's Hanging in Past Month
A fact underplayed even in those news sites that chose to report it.
Part-time census worker Bill Sparkman was found hanged in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky on September 12. Contrarys to what multiple news sites and left wing blogs have erroneously reported, Sparkman's body was recovered on the 12th in an advanced state of decomposition; he was not killed on the 12th.
Left wing media have eagerly posited that Sparkman's death was purposefully done on the 12th to coincide with the Tea Party Protest held in Washington, DC on that date. This is categorically false, and local police chief suspects that Sparkman may have stumbled across a meth lab:
However, the local police also consider it possible that Sparkman was killed because he came across illegal activity. A local police chief, Jeff Culver, said the area has a history of methamphetamine manufacturing and other drug trading.
"That part of the county, it has its ups and downs. We'll get a lot of complaints of drug activity. They'll whittle away, then flourish back up," he said.
Officially, authorities have not yet determined if the death was a homicide or a suicide.
9/25 Update: This account says Sparkman died early on 9/11, casting previous media accounts of the condition of his body at the time of recovery into question.
Census Worker Found Hanged in KY
The state, not the lube.
The AP report states that Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker, was found hanged from a tree with the word "fed" written on his chest in a remote corner of Daniel Boone National Forest.
The only problems with that theory is:
- lack of evidence
- lack of evidence, and
- lack of evidence
And while liberals are quick to blame the vast right wing conspiracy for Mr. Sparkman's death, they had to overlook this part of the story to do so:
Appalachia scholar Roy Silver, a New York City native now living in Harlan County, Ky., said he doesn't sense an outpouring of anti-government sentiment in the region as has been exhibited in town hall meetings in other parts of the country.
"I don't think distrust of government is any more or less here than anywhere else in the country," said Silver, a sociology professor at Southeast Community College.
Hopefully the investigation into Mr. Sparkman's death will lead to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the person or persons responsible for his death. And I rather suspect that when they do find a motive, it will have very little to do with politics and quite a bit to do with him stumbling across marijuana farming, meth labs, or moonshining.
September 16, 2009
"Well, You Know, Kids Sometimes Don't Always Like What Their Parents Want Them to Do."
I know we have several months remaining, but I'd still like to nominate this as the Parental Understatement of the Year.
Christian Pebbles of Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said the teen made it clear why she started the blaze, which damaged church pews.
"She hates the church and she worships the devil," Pebbles said. "That's the reason why."
Pebbles said the teen was taken into custody on suspicion of felony arson.
"Well, you know, kids sometimes don't always like what their parents want them to do," said Annette Hilt, the suspect's mother. "Everybody knows that."
Yeah, remember that time when you were a kid and rebelled by setting fire to a church building with dozens of people inside?
September 15, 2009
Escalation of Force
"The [Long Range Acoustic Device] was stationed by San Diego County Sheriff deputies at a recent town hall forum hosted by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) in Spring Valley and at a subsequent town hall with Congressman Darrell Issa (R-San Diego)," East Country Magazine reported after reviewing official records. It was also parked at a local sand-building competition along the beach.
Though the Long Range Acoustic Device can be used for hailing, it has also been employed as a weapon, most prominently in 2005 by a cruise ship, which used it to ward off attacking pirates. In fact, the device, which was developed after the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, is designed precisely for that sort of mission. It can permanently damage hearing, depending on how it's used.
Deploying the Long Range Acoustic Device to local events has provided ammunition to critics of Police Sheriff Bill Gore, who was the agent-in-charge of the FBI's infamous 1992 Ruby Ridge siege. In response to questions posed by East Country Magazine about use of the technology, Gore said that officers had the appropriate training and that the device's use as a deterrent is just a "precaution in case you need it."
I understand why law enforcement desires less-than-lethal solutions, and I also understand why they prefer to deploy these tools at a distance instead of at close range. The obvious hope—the "holy grail"—is a system that can help law enforcement control a situation and deescalate a threat without putting officers or their opposition at risk of suffering permanent injury or death. A system that creates separation is presumably thought to reduce the inherent risk of short-range confrontations.
But is an LRAD an acceptable tool for use for non-violent domestic crowd control?
While I can see an obvious need for systems that make keep potentially heavily-armed crowds at a distance in foreign theaters of combat, I'm at a loss to explain why domestic law enforcement agencies feel the need to deploy acoustic weapons that have the potential to create permanent physical damage in situations where no reasonable person expects the level of violence that could justify such a system.
The deployment of an LRAD in the situation as described seems to be an unwarranted escalation of force from law enforcement, one that poses a significant simultaneous threat of permanent injury to large numbers of people. It has the potential to be used as a communications tool, or a weapon as indiscriminate as a claymore mine.
My gut reaction s that full-power military grade LRADs do not belong in the hands of civilian law enforcement at benign public gatherings any more than fully-automatic M4s do, and that having such systems in place will only encourage agitators to bring weaponry sufficient to counter these systems, putting the population at large at a much great risk than there would have been if LRADs was never introduced to the situation at all.
September 14, 2009
ACORN: Rotten to the Core
Busted for the third time helping a "pimp" and "prostitute" illegally acquire housing loans for a brothel to traffic in under-age illegal aliens. ACORN is a corrupt and possibly criminal enterprise, and all federal and state associations and funding to the group should immediately be severed.
The Department of Justice must launch an investigation immediately, and if they fail to do so, Eric Holder needs to step down as Attorney General.
September 11, 2009
Anti-Abortion "Sign Man" Brutally Shot Down
Jim Pouillon, known among his neighbors as the "sign man" for his signs opposing the practice of abortion, was gunned down this morning in Owosso MI as students at the high school across the street were unloading from buses at 7:20 a.m.
Owosso resident Gary Shepherd, who lives near the high school, said he was in bed sleeping when he heard "four shots and tires squeeling."
He and his wife went outside to see what was happening.
"I just saw several people that I knew who were medical officials working on (Pouillon) and giving him CPR," Shepherd said. "It's a pretty sad day when somebody shoots someone over a political agenda that he had. He was always known as the 'sign man.' ... This country is based on freedom of speech."
A second man police was believed killed by the same suspect around 6:00 a.m. at nearby Fouss Gravel. The suspect in both shootings is believed to be the same man, and is in police custody.
A press conference has been scheduled by local law enforcement to discuss the shootings at 11:30 CT.
h/t Don Surber, who is also covering.
Update: The Blog Prof has a post up where a commenter suggests that the protester's murder was a crime of opportunity committed by someone strongly opposed to his views who was already on the hook for the earleir murder that morning. Gravel company owner Mike Fuoss was gunned down first, and the shooter, knowing he was going to be captured for the Fuoss murder, decided to "kill that ass," —abortion protester Poullion—who was apparently known to stand outside the high school in the mornings.
I'm not sure if that makes Poullion's murder an assassination, a crime of opportunity, or a bit of both.
July 25, 2009
Is Henry Gates A Crook?
Dan Riehl discovered a possible reason why Harvard professor Henry Gates famously acted like such a arrogant jerk when approached by a police officer investigating a breaking and entering call last week.
Gates has been running an charity that seems to bank most of its donations, and may have thought the cops were coming to arrest him for that.
It's too soon to know for sure if Gates has done anything illegal with the funds that his charity hasn't properly accounted for, but I was Gates, I wouldn't worry.
If Obama Justice Department will cover for the New Black Panthers, I'm sure they'll cover for a personal friend, even if he acted "stupidly."
December 16, 2008
Closure? Adam Walsh Murder Case Closed After 27 Years
Ottis Toole, always a suspect, has officially been named as the murderer of Adam Walsh. Walsh was killed and decapitated in 1981, and Toole signed a confession in 1983 that he later recanted. Toole, a convicted serial killer, died in prison in 1996. The case is now finally closed after all these years.
If you're much younger than I am—say under 30—you may not know much about his disappearance and murder, but you still live in a world profoundly touched by the Adam's kidnapping and murder, in ways big and small.
Adam's death spurred his parents to help create the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In addition, President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act in 2006 to help track sex offenders.
John Walsh has helped put over a thousand fugitive behind bars as the host of America's Most Wanted. Copycat programs by local news media and law enforcement agencies have netted thousands of fugitives more.
Walmart named the nearly ubiquitous "Code Adam" missing child alert they created after him. If you've ever had a child wander away in a store, it is this procedure that locks the store down and hopefully keeps predators from being able to escape with them. Pictures of missing kids on milk cartons. Dedicated missing persons units in large police departments. Increased security in schools, malls, and elsewhere. All have their roots in the agony of the Walsh family, and their tireless advocacy to try to make sure that other families don't have to experience what they did.
I'm certain there is never real closure with the death of a child, but perhaps knowing that Adam's case is finally closed can bring some peace to a family that has done so much to keep others from feeling a similar loss.
December 05, 2008
The Facebook Friends Murder
Wake County NC authorities have identified the body recovered behind an unoccupied dwelling as 18-year-old Matthew Josiah Silliman, who had been the subject of a Silver Alert for missing adults with certain mental impairments in late November.
Four area high school students that were Sillimans' "friends" on Facebook are now facing murder charges in Silliman's death:
As Silliman's identity was being confirmed, four Wake County high school students who are connected to him through the social networking site Facebook were denied bond when they appeared in court for the first time to face murder charges in his death.
Allegra Rose Dahlquist, 17, of 601 Walcott Way, Cary; Ryan Patrick Hare, 18; of 100 Walnut Hill Court, Apex; Aadil Shahid Khan, 17, of 901 Bristol Blue St., Apex; and Drew Logan Shaw, 16, of 107 Woolard Way, Apex, had been arrested Wednesday.
All four were in the Wake County jail Thursday evening. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 22.
Authorities have not released either a cause of death for Silliman, nor have they provided a motive for his murder. The WRAL reporter, however, hints at a possible angle:
Family members declined to comment after the brief court hearing, but Billy Shenk, a friend of Shaw's, said he and the 16-year-old were part of a "juggalo" crew, which Shenk described as a group of outcasts.
"It's not a gang, not violence," he said. "It's just a group of people who are tired of being picked on and everything, so we just form together and grew strong."
Shenk added that he does not think Shaw is a violent person.
"He's a really good kid after you guys get to know him. All these people are saying Gothic kids are the reason for all this. No, it's not," he said.
On his MySpace page, Shaw, a sophomore at Panther Creek High School in Cary, referred to himself as a "juggalo," which also denotes a fan of the hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse.
A friend of Shaw's, in a posting on his MySpace page Thursday, described it as "a state of mind," and belief in the Dark Carnival, a fictional theme in the group's albums. Numerous other Web sites explain the term in other details.
I said the reporter provided a hint; I didn't say it was necessarily a good one.
Various musical genres have been blamed for playing a role in homicides and suicides for as long as I can remember, and if these suspects shared musical interests it can indicate that they are acculturated similarly, but it does not mean that the music is a trigger for the murder. If it was we'd have emos and goths and juggalos offing people (or more likely, themselves) at an astounding rate, or at least that greater than say, Britney Spears fans.
That said, it is possible that law enforcement beleives the Dark Carnival mythology played a role in Silliman's death. If that is the contention of authorities or this reporter, however, they haven't yet decided to share why they think that was a contributing factor.
It will be interesting to see what, if any role Facebook postings by the deceased or the accused play in this case, and if they are used in the trials by either the prosecution or defense.
Facebook and MySpace pages and similar social media sites will continue to playa greater role in both criminal investigations and the background investigations by journalists of both crime suspects, and victims. As we become more immersed in the technology, the technology is going to strip away our anonymity and provide possible insights into our motivations. Profilers and criminal psychologists are going to have a field day once they start grasping and data-mining the technology. Let's just hope they draw the right decisions from what they discover.
November 24, 2008
A Bird In Hand
While roughly 6,600 of us have concealed carry permits here in Wake County, none were around yesterday when Fred Ervin robbed a BP gas station and then crossed the street to carjack a woman loading groceries into her car. When Ervin attacked Irene Moorman Bailey to get her keys, other shoppers who stepped in to stop the assault were forced to resort to fowl play:
"The lady was being beaten on the ground. She was lying on the ground and the guy was on top of her – physically hitting her," shopper Randy Owens said.
Bystanders intervened and hit the man in the head with a frozen turkey that Bailey bought, police said.
"I was just grocery shopping, like any other day, and I happened to come out and I saw all this chaos that just had happened," shopper Leanne Sweet said.
"Several people interceded and tried to get him away from her," Owens said.
The man managed to get into Bailey's 2001 Nissan Maxima and hit five other cars while escaping from the parking lot, officers said.
"He backed across and he hit the Cadillac and our car, and hit another car that was parked," Owens said.
"My bumper's cracked and the whole side is dented in," Sweet said.
Officers found Fred Ervin, 30, in Bailey's car, Fuquay-Varina police said. Ervin was taken to WakeMed with a serious head wound. He was listed in fair condition Sunday evening.
When Ervin is released, police said he will face these charges: assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, robbery, driving with a revoked license, hit and run and larceny.
I love my peeps.
June 25, 2008
Multi-Gunshot Suicides Soon to Be On the Rise
So says the Supreme Court.
There is a macabre old urban legend that has floated around for years in which an exceedingly bad person—a wife-beater, a child-abuser, or other such societal dreg—is found perforated with bullets, and knowing local law enforcement officials note that the miscreant's death was a serious suicide, where the deceased if found having shot himself in the head and/or back multiple times, in some variations even taking the time to reload an empty weapon and fire again.
Such stories, of course, are told with a knowing smile.
We find before us—and perhaps a bit beneath us—a Supreme Court of the United States that in this session has found more sympathy and more previously unknown rights for suspected terrorists and child rapists than it has for the average American.
From Bagram to Baltimore, expect to hear some names and dates begin to be associated with this and similar urban legends.
It is a truism of the human experience that when a people sees their system of justice fail due to inequities in the judicial process, they will find justice on their own.
May 20, 2008
Third Cop Found Guilty in Botched Atlanta Raid; War Contagion Probably to Blame
Arthur Tesler has been found guilty of making false statements in a case resulting from the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman during a botched Atlanta drug raid. Gregg Junnier and Jason Smith were two other officers involved in the raid who have already pled guilty to federal conspiracy charges.
Expect the Times to now explain how Smith's war-related violence became contagious and affected Junnier and Tesler.
May 02, 2008
Bomb Detonates in Front of NC School, Moron Bombers Injured
May Day. A great day to relax, enjoy spring weather, and attempt to throw pipe bombs at schools.
Acting on an anonymous tip, Sampson County deputies found a Chevrolet minivan outside Sampson Regional Medical Center with a side window blown out and blast marks on the outside of a door, authorities said.
Inside the hospital emergency room, Martin Bryant Boyette and Julio Frentez Morales were receiving treatment for injuries from a bomb blast, authorities said. An investigation determined that the pair had made several bombs at Boyette's house, where both lived, and Morales tried to throw one out the window of the minivan on U.S. Highway 701 as they drove past Hobbton Schools, authorities said.
The bomb went off in Morales' hand, seriously injuring him, and a piece of shrapnel hit Boyette in the back of the head, authorities said.
"It's scary to think that these individuals were going to throw an explosive device out of a vehicle in front of a school," Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said in a statement. "What were they thinking? What possible thrill could be worth potentially injuring an innocent person, especially a child?"
Follow the link, and you'll be shocked, shocked to discover that other explosives—and drugs—were found in a search of their home. Luckily this special class of moron is mercifully rare everywhere, and getting rarer day-by-day.
March 06, 2008
UNC Student Body President Gunned Down
A body was found, shot multiple times in the head, yesterday morning about a half-mile from the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill.
She has now been identified.
Chapel Hill police have identified a woman found dead near the University of North Carolina campus Wednesday morning as the university's student body president.
UNC senior Eve Carson, 22, was found shot multiple times in the head about a half-mile from campus.
The News & Observer seems to hint that the murder may have occurred during a carjacking.
Investigators are looking for Carson's stolen 2005 blue Toyota Highlander with Georgia license plate AIV 6690. They believe the vehicle was taken during the crime.
What a shame, to lose such a promising young person to seemingly random violence.
The University's statement is here.
Police are asking anyone with information to call 919-968-2760.