Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mike Huckabee: A Portrait of Bad Judgment

Mike Huckabee is a case study of a politician who has a history of making bad choices. Especially, when it comes to pardoning criminals.
Many people are justifiably outraged that this isn't the first time that Mike Huckabee has exercised poor judgment in deciding whether or not to allow a convicted criminal to go free. The former Arkansas Governor supported the parole of a a convicted rapist named Wayne Dumond, who, upon his release from prison, raped and murdered a woman. We now learn that Maurice Clemmons, the man who killed four police officers in Washington, is the second example of Mike Huckabee's inability to protect the public from dangerous criminals.
However, what is equally outrageous is Mike Huckabee's press release made in response to this tragedy:
"The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and Washington State. The murder of any individual is profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within.
Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State. He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, making him parole eligible and was paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state. This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers."
As expected, Mike Huckabee doesn't admit his role in the release of Marice Clemmons. Instead, he shifts the blame on the "failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State." Yet, we all know that as Governor of Arkansas, he granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence despite the protest from prosecutors.
But it isn't surprising that Mike Huckabee is attempting to distance himself from the controversy. The former Arkansas Governor played the same blame game when Wayne Dumond raped and murdered a female victim after he obtained freedom from prison.
Mike Huckabee clearly has a history of making bad choices. Granting freedom to violent criminals does call Huckabee’s judgment into question. However, the greater problem is the lack of character displayed by the statement he released. His eagerness to throw everyone under the bus to absolve himself of blame is pretty disgraceful.
Mike Huckabee's choice in refusing accept responsibility for allowing Wayne Dumond and Maruice Clemmons to go free is just further evidence that Mike Huckabee is man who continually makes one bad decision after another.
As more facts come to light concerning the clemency of Maurice Clemmons, you can expect Mike Huckabee to evade, spin and blame others for allowing a criminal to roam the streets of America.
At least Mike Huckabee made the right choice to not run in 2012.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The KSM trial - a look into the future

(names, except for the obvious big ones, are made up and not meant to represent any specific person)

Wednesday September 23, 2011


In a stunning final development to a trial that had been a circus ever since it started, Judge Robert Smith granted a motion to dismiss the case against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and his four comrades. The announcement was made at 10am at the beginning of the session and caused pandemonium in a trial already famous for its insanity.

"My hands are tied" stated Judge Smith just before he made the announcement that stunned everyone, even the defense, "As soon as these five individuals entered federal criminal court, they had to be granted the same rights as the average citizen who is brought before here. To follow what the prosecution is asking me to overlook would destroy all the criminal justice protections created over the last fifty years. There are too many violations of the law to overlook or ignore, and I will not see thousands of innocent found guilty all based on this one trial."

After what seemed to be a few moments of stunned disbelief, an uproar arrived like a tidal wave. The defense counsel were thrilled, the defendants were screaming "Allah Akbar", the 9/11 families were screaming in horror and anger and most reporters didn't know what to do. "This is a great day for American justice" said defense counsel Jon Roberts, one of a dozen lawyers who volunteered to defend KSM and his associates. "If the Bush administration had not violated all laws of decency and international human rights, then this would be an shut case. Instead because of Bush, Cheney, Rove and the Neo-Con cabal, an innocent man was brought through hell but now can receive justice". Roberts, a member of the ACLU, was silent on whether the five individuals would thereby sue members of the Bush administration and the U.S. government for violation of their civil rights. However he mentioned he would be willing to provide legal services for the five individuals again.

Since being brought to Manhattan for trial, the trial of these five individuals has become a circus unlike anything in American legal history. The five men brought numerous motions to dismiss based on the violation of their Miranda rights, failure to provide a speedy trial and having been tortured. Nearly every evidentiary issue became a full hearing with the government declaring nearly every piece of evidence as "protected for reasons of National Security", something that did not stand after the District Attorney tried to protect a list of CIA interrogators as classified.

"I've had enough of this! The prosecution can not hide all evidence from the defense and expect this to be a fair trial. That's something any law student would know, why don't you?" asked Judge Smith angrily before demanding the Federal Government turn over everything to KSM's defense team. "This would never have happened if the Bush administration had did its job correctly" muttered head Prosecutor Michael Dombrowski, something that did not sway Judge Smith but was stated repeatedly later by both Attorney General Holder and President Obama.

Later evidentiary hearings took on a sinister note when a member of the CIA extraction team was brought into court to testify as to the night of the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in pakistan. Alan Zahra, a ten year CIA veteran was repeatedly hammered by the defense on how KSM was not mirandized in Pakistan nor did the CIA stop questioning when KSM asked for his lawyer. Finally the CIA officer was asked about waterboarding which led to the summation of the anger among many CIA officers and American citizens "Damnit to hell, they're TERRORISTS, not American citizens. We wouldn't do this to an American citizen, but they don't get the same rights we do!" Witnesses later said the look of mortification on the eyes of the prosecutor told everyone that his case was doomed. Zahra remained defiant as he walked down from the stand his eyes locked on KSM's.

Days after testifying Zahra's wife and five year old daughter were kidnapped and, two days later, murdered by beheading. After that, no CIA officer agreed to testify but that didn't stop the New York Times from publishing the defense list of CIA members who participated in the interrogation, extraction and secret prison programs. Three individuals on that list were found murdered days later, and the CIA said that their human intelligence program was ruined for a generation. Mr Zahra refused comment at this time.

Then there was the attempt by the five individuals to represent themselves in open court, a privilege permitted by the Constitution, which Judge Smith was hamstrung to accept. Once there the five individuals made such a delay in things that it took the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn their right to defend themselves as being nothing more then a delaying tactic. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was especially notorious and nearly caused a dozen fights to break out when he called a family member of a 9/11 victim to the stand only to laugh and taunt her for her loss. Finally one man tried to jump the railing and attack the five masterminds only to have to be restrained by the NYPD to the laughing of the five individuals.

In the end, it was all the violations of federal criminal law that finally caused the case to fall apart. In an interview shortly after the stunning announcement Judge Smith admitted that the government's case took too many liberties with federal law to permit it to go forward.

"Once these individuals are brought into federal criminal court, they have to follow federal criminal law. And there are too many violations of those held rights to allow this case to go forward. If there was one or two violations of the rights of criminal defendants then maybe I could have let this slide. But if this case was allowed to continue, every right secured for defendants over the last fifty years would be destroyed. The criminal justice system is designed to let guilty go free if it means protecting that one innocent person from being railroaded. The federal government knew what they were getting into when they brought this case here." Judge Smith admitted that he hated making this decision but said "that the destruction of federal criminal law was a far greater punishment then anything individuals do to him".

Reaction in the political world to this stunning development was loud and vicious. In a released statement, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said "We have now seen the true extent of the Bush Administration's law breaking and because of that we had a slam dunk case against a known terrorist thrown out on a technicality". President Obama added "My administration strove to correct the mistakes made by the Bush administration. The next terrorist to be brought to court will not be able to get away with these shenanigans". Attorney General Holder refused comment stating that he was looking at what the next move would be against KSM and the others.

On the right the reaction was apoplectic; "The President expected a show trial but the only show he got was how far we have fallen and how pathetically weak we are" shouted radio host Rush Limbaugh "Because the administration wanted the chance to embarrass the Bush Administration in open court, we now have five terrorist who have been let go and now can sue us for their damages. What kind of a country is this that would allow this?" Sarah Palin released a statement on her facebook page calling this trial "A travesty of justice, an insult to the families of 9/11 and a mishandling of the President's constitutional duty to protect the American people".

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and the five masterminds are in a New York City jail and will likely be released in a few days. Administration officials stated there was no way they would let the five individuals free in the United States but, when asked how they could stop it, were silent. KSM gave one statement only as he was leaving court "You infidels are killing yourselves for us. But this will not stop our jihad against you!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Day After California

Its up to debate whether California will sink into the ocean or not but there is no debate that our state is falling into financial disaster. The top breaking news for California today is that the projected deficit for California is nearly $21 billion:
California's finances have been so bad that the governor's finance director, Mike Genest, told a budget forum in Washington last week that back in February he had combed through the U.S. Constitution to research whether California could legally declare bankruptcy -- or revert to some kind of territorial status. (Neither was realistic, he determined.)
Hmm...declaring bankruptcy or stop being a state and become a territory of the United States.

Movies that depict the end of the world such as 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow are quite popular at the box office.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has already held a statewide garage sale to help raise money for the state. Maybe he should do a movie about the end of California called "The Day After California" and donate the box office profits to Sacramento.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ft Hood Murderer; Four legs good, two legs better?

It's been four days since the Ft Hood massacre where Major Nidal Halik Hasan went out, screamed "Allah Akbar" and shot 13 people. In those four days there's been a lot of discussion about the motives of this individual, some based on fact and some based on nothing more then hyperbole. President Obama went out the day of the shooting and stated that we shouldn't jump to conclusions, a statement I agree with entirely. When you do that you make it far harder for the truth to come out or to gain traction. And in the end the truth is the only thing that matters.

Now there's been a bunch of information that's been discovered about this individual

1) He attended the same mosque that some of the 9/11 hijackers did, with an iman who praised the actions of this individual after the fact.

2) The intelligence community has reported that they have information that Hasan tried to contact Al-Qaeda

3) He had a history of statements that were warning flags to his fellow soldiers, including support for suicide bombings against American soldiers, he was a Muslim first and an American second. This was done in person and on message boards.

4) The Washington Post reported that he told his neighbors and friends that he was going to go out to do "God's Work" the day of the murders

5) He had gone to extreme lengths to avoid deployment

There's also a fair amount of information to suggest that while his statements made alot of people uncomfortable and were warning flags to people at both Walter Reed and Ft Hood, no one wanted to comment on it for fear of looking racist.

So with all that information, there's a STRONG case to be made that this guy is a home grown terrorist. I don't know if it meets the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard for the law but its strong.

So what's been the response?

An all out attempt to blame everything else which includes

1) Blaming 'teasing' and racism

2) Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from listening to the stories of other veterans

3) That his religion is irrelevant and you're a racist for thinking otherwise

4) That its the military's fault for being over stretched

5) That its Bush's fault

Is the 'mainstream media' discussing his faith or the mosque he attended? No instead we get reports about howthis will lead to Islamophobia or how to do such would give credence to the right wing or that there are Christian nuts too or that we can't go investigating every muslim soldier because it would destroy diversity. So we are getting every possible excuse, which conveniently enough ties in with every single liberal talking point about the war and dealing with Muslims. While alternative arguments are clearly welcome on how to explain the motive of the murderer, many of these are just grasping at liberal straws to avoid the majority of evidence. You don't get PTSD by LISTENING to veterans, you get it by being in combat. I, and millions of others, were teased and harassed (including at times for my faith) but the vast majority of us don't shoot people. And the military being overstretched and whatnot have been claims since 2003.

But what about other murders? Say......the murder of George Tiller, a Kansas Abortion Doctor. Surely they wouldn't jump to conclusions and would wait some time while fleshing out all sorts of possible excuses



A Minute

The truth is that the liberal media are more then happy to jump to conclusions about murders that would fit their template. When it was a census worker (who now people believe was a suicide) it was Glenn Beck, anti-government right wing christian militias and talk radio. When it was an abortion doctor it was every right wing blog under the sun, Christians, the Catholic Church and Rush Limbaugh. And if there's no proof, who the hell cares? Just shout it enough times as loud as you can from the roof tops and people will believe it. After all "If you tell a lie long enough loud enough then people will sooner or later believe it". But when there's proof staring at you in the face, when there's evidence of a very strong case, and it involves the murder of a 'protected class of individuals' in an effort that 'would inflame the right wing', then the motive must be blurred to the point of lunacy. You can't discuss what's right in front of you, instead you have to squint and shut your eyes.

For right now the evidence suggests that Nasan was a home grown jihadist who wanted to murder Americans who were "harming his brothers and sisters". But there are elements who want to ignore the fact that, while they scream about right wing hate and christian extremists, there are people of a certain religious faith who have perverted it beyond all logic who want to kill us because we are different then them. What you call that is willful ignorance.

The Real Lesson of the Fort Hood Massacre

The recent revelation that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the lone shooter behind the Fort Hood massacre, was that attended the same Mosque that the 9/11 terrorists. This new fact has prompted Sen. Joe Lieberman to launch a Congressional investigation to look into whether there is connection that ties these terrorists together.

While Senator Lieberman should investigate to see if such a link exists, the Fort Hood massacre raises a related issue that absolutely demands a congressional investigation.

Our military has always been vulnerable to terrorists attacks oversees yet there is a growing trend that bases within the United States are vulnerable to attacks:

"U.S. authorities have disclosed at least 10 domestic terrorism investigations in the past year, the most since 2001. A number of them involved plots or attacks against U.S. military personnel within the United States.

In September, federal prosecutors charged two North Carolina men with conspiring to kill personnel at the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico. In June, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, an American Muslim convert, allegedly shot and killed a soldier and wounded another at a military recruiting center at Little Rock in what he said was retaliation for U.S. counterterrorism policies worldwide.

In April, the last of five men convicted of planning to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J., a plot inspired by foreign terrorist groups, was sentenced to 33 years in prison."

The military is well aware of this issue and foresaw that this would be a problem in the future. In 1984, US Navy Seal named Richard Marcinko, (now retired) at the request of the U.S. Navy, created a special unit, known as Red Cell. This counter-terrorist unit was designed test to see how vulnerable Navy bases were to terrorist attacks. Red Cell tested the security of Navy bases around the world and was able to infiltrate supposedly impenetrable, highly secured bases, nuclear submarines, ships and other “secure areas”, including the Presidential plane Air Force One. The US Navy later disbanded Red Cell.

In 1992, Richard Marcinko wrote a book called Rouge Warrior in which he discusses his experiences of testing security at military bases and how vulnerable they are to Islamic terrorist attacks.

It is now 2009. The idea of military bases in the United States being under a terrorist attack is no longer a theoretical military exercise. It is now a present reality because they are increasingly becoming targets by homegrown radical jihadists.

Perhaps the real disturbing fact isn't whether or not there is a connection between Maj. Nidal Malik and the September 11th terrorists, but that our military institutions are not just vulnerable to external threats but are now vulnerable to internal threats as well.

And that is a matter for Senator Lieberman to look into.

UPDATE: Joe Gandelman at the Moderate Voice asks an important question:

If American intelligence agencies missed the signs pre-911 and they missed a big hint pre-Fort Hood, exactly what are they missing now, as you read this post?
If that is true, this fact raises another serious security concern for our military. This means homegrown jihadists are willing to be turncoats to terrorists and kill soldiers on bases U.S. bases. This raises an even scarier question: Is there a real possibility of terrorists infiltrating our military and intelligence agencies?

That is a MAJOR security concern also worth an Congressional investigation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

GOP Wins In VA and NJ!!

Congrats to Bob McDonnell on becoming Governor of Virginia and Chris Christie on becoming the Govenor of New Jersey!

However, we're still waiting for the results of the NY-23 district race to see if Hoffman defeats Owens. From what I'm seeing on the television news right now, it doesn't appear likely that Hoffman will win.

The NY-23 election is noteworthy because grassroots conservatives fought against the GOP elite by rallying around Hoffman forcing Dede Scozzafava to resign and the GOP establishment to back Hoffman.

However, if Hoffman loses the election, it will appear that the grass root conservatives have enough clout defeat the GOP insider's candidates to but may not have enough clout to win elections.

It will also be bad news for such high profile conservatives such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes who broke rank with the GOP elite and supported Hoffman rather than Scozzafava.

Many conservatives were particularly upset that Newt Gingrich backed Scozzafava and proclaimed that it was a embarrassment his part for endorsing her. But in the end, if Hoffman loses, the egg will be on the faces of Palin and the rebellious conservatives rather than the GOP establishment.

However, the grass-roots insurrection against the Republican Party may have lost the battle in NY-23 tonight but war between the GOP elite and the tea party conservatives has just begun as they begin to line up candidates to run against the Republican candidates in other midterm elections:
Conservatives are already planning to replicate their efforts in at least two U.S. Senate races – in California, where Chuck DeVore is challenging establishment candidate Carly Fiorina in the race to oust Barbara Boxer – and in Florida, where former House Speaker Marco Rubio is challenging Gov. Charlie Crist in the race to replace the retiring Mel Martinez.
The list of conservatives running against GOP backed candidates is growing. In Illinois, Eric Wallace, a conservative GOP candidate, is withdrawing his primary bid for Illinois' U.S. Senate and potentially re-entering the race as an Independent to challenge Rep. Mark Kirk who is supported by the Republican Party.

The most important lesson we can take from the NY-23 race comes from Erick Erickson, the editor of the conservative blog is this:
"The establishment has now learned it can be beaten from within its own base . . . If the GOP wants to fight the base in California and Florida, game on."

He added, rhetorically: "Do they want that?"