Patterico's Pontifications

5/31/2007

“Caveat Blogger”

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 7:29 pm

Beldar offers yet another reminder of why bloggers need to be careful what they write.

Bratton vs. Parks: No Contest

Filed under: Crime,General — Jack Dunphy @ 9:41 am

[Posted by Jack Dunphy.]

Rank-and-file officers on the LAPD certainly have their reasons for being disappointed with Chief William Bratton. I have expressed some of those reasons in my columns on National Review Online, most recently here. But disappointed as we might be with Bratton, you’d have a hard time finding anyone on the department lamenting the fact that L.A. city councilman Bernard Parks was ousted from the job.

So it’s laughable to see Parks insinuating, as he did at a recent city council meeting, that the LAPD would be in better shape today if he had been retained as chief. During a discussion of the LAPD’s handling of the May Day protest at MacArthur Park, Parks played a video supplied by “community members” that portrayed the May Day melee as merely the latest in a series of abuses committed by LAPD officers during Bratton’s tenure. Among these were the videotaped arrests of Stanley Miller, who was struck with a flashlight after fleeing from a stolen car, and William Cardenas, who was punched in the face by officers attempting to arrest him for a felony warrant. For Parks to suggest that these incidents would not have occurred had he been in command of the LAPD is beyond absurd.

But, on second thought, maybe not so absurd after all, but not for the reasons Parks would wish. Under Parks’s autocratic stewardship, morale in the LAPD was abysmal. Officers were leaving the department in droves, far outpacing recruiting efforts. So perhaps it’s true that those controversial arrests would not have occurred, but only because there wouldn’t have been any cops left to make them.

William Bratton could do better, but even on his worst day he’s a better chief than Parks was on his best.

L.A. Weekly Article on Yagman Trial

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:12 am

The L.A. Weekly has an article about the Yagman trial, and I have a couple of quotes:

“I have no doubt Yagman and his lawyer are going to make a circus out of this trial,” says Patrick Frey, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who operates the influential legal-community Web site Patterico.com — and who dis-trusts Yagman. “They’re going to make it a David-versus-Goliath thing.”

I have no reason to believe that I was misquoted, but now that I see that statement in print, I realize that it doesn’t quite reflect my true view. I believe that Yagman and his lawyer will try to make the trial a circus — placing the focus on Yagman’s adversarial relationship with the federal government, rather than on the evidence of Yagman’s shady financial dealings — but I doubt Judge Wilson will allow it to become a circus.

(By the way, calling this site “influential” definitely torpedoes the credibility of the article! Reporter Patrick McDonald obviously doesn’t read ThinkProgress, or he would know that this site is not “influential” — it’s obscure.)

In 1994, Yagman grabbed headlines when he publicly derided U.S. District Judge William Keller as a “drunk” and an “anti-Semite.” As a result, he was suspended from practicing law by a federal Standing Committee on Discipline. In typical Yagman style, he fought back vociferously. The committee’s decision was reversed a year later — on the grounds of free speech.

At the time, now–Assistant D.A. Frey, a.k.a. “Patterico,” worked for Keller as a law clerk. “Yagman clearly said untrue things,” says Frey. “It was part of a pattern that he would say outrageous things about conservative judges so he could get them to recuse themselves for his civil rights cases — and then get liberal judges” to oversee his cases, often against police.

That’s definitely an accurate quote. That’s what the guy does.

The article also quotes me as praising Judge Wilson with an almost Harriet-Miers-like devotion. You’ll have to click through for that quote.

All in all, interesting stuff. It’s one of the few articles about the trial that I have seen anywhere. With the coverage Yagman has gotten in the past, I’m surprised that the L.A. Times isn’t covering it extensively.

Or am I?

AP Spins for the Terrorists on GTMO Suicide

Filed under: Media Bias,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:00 am

The AP reports on a recent suicide at Guantanamo, with characteristic pro-terrorist spin:

A Saudi Arabian detainee died Wednesday at Guantanamo Bay prison and the U.S. military said he apparently committed suicide. Critics of the detention center said the death showed the level of desperation among prisoners.

Way to put that spin up front, AP!

The article reinforces this spin again:

Defense attorneys said the death was likely an act of desperation at a prison camp where detainees are denied access to U.S. civilian courts and isolated in their cells for up to 22 hours a day.

”You have five and a half years of desperation there with no legal way out,” said Michael Ratner, president of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights. ”Sadly, it leads to people being so desperate they take their own lives.”

Of course, the New York Times editors who reprinted this piece might remember that they published a lengthy article in September 2006, based on interviews with over a hundred detainees and GTMO personnel, that provided extensive and detailed support for the idea that the 2006 suicides at GTMO were a publicity stunt. That article set forth clear evidence that the suicides were designed as an act of propaganda, specifically to get people across the world to believe that Gitmo was driving inmates to suicide, and had to be shut down.

Have New York Times editors forgotten about that article? Is the AP unaware of it? It would appear so, because only in the last paragraph of today’s article do we see this:

The former commander of the detention facilities, Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris, described those suicides as acts of ”asymmetric warfare” — an effort to increase condemnation of the prison.

Further, the article provides no indication that Adm. Harris’s opinion was backed up by extensive evidence — or that it might have some relevance to the most recent suicide.

Nah, AP editors, it’s far better to put up front the claims by “critics” (meaning you) that “the death showed the level of desperation among prisoners.” That’s what the terrorists at GTMO would want you to say, after all — and you wouldn’t want to let them down, would you?

(Thanks to See Dubya for the link to the article.)

Snopes Remains Shameless

Filed under: General,Terrorism — Justin Levine @ 3:57 am

[posted by Justin Levine]

Patterico justifiably took Snopes to task in 2004 for skewing the real issue behind the Annie Jacobsen story concerning the suspicious behavior on flight 327.

Recent events seem to have vindicated key claims of Jacobsen’s story – but Snopes continues to be disingenuous about the controversy.

Snopes writes:

Claim: Passengers encountered by reporter on airline flight were proved to be terrorists making a dry run at assembling a bomb on-board.

Status: False

[UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Note that this is different from Snopes’s original characterization of the controversy, as detailed in my 2004 post:

Claim: Reporter encounters terrorists on airline flight who are making a dry run at assembling a bomb on-board.

Status: False.

More on this in the UPDATE BY PATTERICO below.]

Snopes then even has the gall to cite the latest government [PDF] report as “proof” about the veracity of its own assessment.

Technically, Snopes is correct of course – but only because it constructs a disingenuously worded “claim” upfront, rather than reassess the story under a reasonable “claim”.

It is true that none of the passengers were “proven” to be terrorists. The latest government [PDF] report does not offer any such proof either.

However, contrary to Snopes implication, (more…)

“Deport the Criminals First” — Part Two of an Ongoing Series: The Murder of Jenny Garcia

Filed under: Deport the Criminals First,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:00 am

[“Deport the Criminals First” is a recurring feature on this blog, highlighting crimes committed by illegal immigrants — with a special focus on repeat offenders. I argue that, instead of arresting illegal immigrants who work hard for a living, we should use our limited immigration enforcement resources to target illegal immigrants who commit crimes in this country — especially violent crimes.]

From Channel 8 news in Austin, Texas, January 27, 2004:

On Monday two girls found their older sister — a freshman at St. Edward’s University — stabbed to death inside the family’s Northwest Austin home. Detectives later connected a man to the capital murder after he placed a call to APD’s Homicide Tip Line.

Channel 8 News in Austin published this photo of “Jenny” Garcia:

virginia-garcia.jpg

The story continued:

People living at the Champion Forests subdivision in Northwest Austin are still in shock over the death of 18-year-old Virginia Garcia. The victim’s neighbors are relieved a suspect is behind bars.

People describe the Champion’s Forest subdivision in Northwest Austin as a quiet neighborhood. A Monday night murder disrupted the community.

Police said Garcia — better known as “Jenny” — was stabbed to death by 20-year old David Diaz Morales inside her home. Police charged Morales with her murder. Detectives believe he was infatuated with the St. Edward’s University freshman. Police said Morales broke into the home and stabbed Garcia.

Jenny Garcia died at the hands of someone who should have been deported when he was arrested for a previous crime. The web site of U.S. Congressman John Culberson says:

On January 26, 2004, 18-year-old Virginia Garcia was raped and murdered by David Diaz Morales in Austin, Texas, a sanctuary city. Morales, an illegal immigrant, had been arrested previously for child molestation, but was not deported because Austin’s sanctuary policy prohibited the arresting officers from determining his immigration status.

Do-gooders prevent police and immigration authorities from identifying a criminal as a deportable illegal alien. And Jenny Garcia dies as a direct result. The connection is clear and unmistakable. Her blood is on their hands.

P.S. Some Republican lawmakers tried to put an end to this concept of sanctuary cities — and guess what happened?


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