Patterico's Pontifications

11/5/2009

Verdict in Raymond Jessop Trial

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 9:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The prosecution in the Raymond Jessop case rested its case this morning and the defense did not put on any evidence. Thus, after 9 days, 21 prosecution witnesses, and 45 minutes per side of closing arguments, the case went to the jury at 4:00 PM CST today.

The jury returned a guilty verdict less than 3 hours later, and the sentencing phase will begin on Monday:

“Jessop will remain in jail until 10 a.m. Monday, when the punishment phase of the trial will be held. Jessop’s sentence will be determined by the jury. He could get two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 for sexual assault of a child, a second degree felony.”

The closing arguments by the prosecution and defense are reported at the link.

– DRJ

Reports: Hasan Is Devout Muslim

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:29 pm

All links come from Allahpundit’s excellent reporting.

The Washington Post is reporting that Hasan is a “very devout” Muslim:

He had been a “very devout” worshiper at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, attending prayers at least once a day, often in his Army fatigues, said Faizul Khan, a former imam there.

The WaPo and other outlets are confirming the earlier reports that Hasan was strongly opposed to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and was agitated about his upcoming deployment to one of those wars. The Post also says:

“He came to mosque one or two times to see if there were any suitable girls to marry,” Khan said. “I don’t think he ever had a match, because he had too many conditions. He wanted a girl who was very religious, prays five times a day.”…

A co-worker at Walter Reed said Hasan would not allow his photo to be taken with female co-workers, which became an issue during Christmas season when employees often took group photos. Co-workers would find a solo photo of Hasan and post it on the bulletin board without his permission.

Fox News:

A former neighbor of Hasan’s in Silver Spring, Md., told Fox News he lived there for two years with his brother and had the word “Allah” on the door.

He was reportedly handing out copies of the Koran this morning:

News Channel 25′s Henry Rosoff has learned the Hasan, was giving all of his furniture along with copies of the Qu’ ran to neighbors Thursday morning.

CNN has surveillance video of Hasan in traditional garb:

This is all an important part of who this shooter is.

And L.A. Times readers still don’t even know he is a Muslim.

When we decide you need to know, that’s when you’ll know.

Fort Hood Shooting Brings Back Memories

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 9:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Fort Hood is located in central Texas near the town of Killeen, Texas. Sadly, Killeen is now the site of two tragic mass murders — today’s shooting at Fort Hood and the 1991 Luby’s massacre that killed 24 people.

Seven of today’s wounded were initially taken to Killeen’s Metroplex Adventist Hospital. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Kolobziejczyk said it brought back memories of the Luby’s shooting:

“Kolobziejczyk was a local television reporter when the Killeen Luby’s massacre happened in 1991.

“This brings up familiar emotions but I think (the) Luby’s (incident) did unfortunately prepare us for situations like these.”

The hospital had planned a fundraising gala tonight. The event will go on with all proceeds benefiting today’s victims and their families.

– DRJ

Obama Gives Shout-Out to Department of Interior Staff for “Extraordinary Conference” — Oh, and One More Small Thing . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:04 pm

. . . there was also a mass murder at Fort Hood:

But enough about that! How about that conference, huh?

Coverage of the Fort Hood Shooting: Hot Air vs. the L.A. Times; UPDATE: Shooter Still Alive; UPDATE: L.A. Times Flushes Original Story Down Memory Hole

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:13 pm

[UPDATE 11-5-09 11:17 p.m.: The L.A. Times has whisked the original version of its story down the memory hole. Never fear: I knew this was coming and saved a copy. See UPDATE x4 below. — P]

Whenever there is breaking news, it’s good to keep a few things in mind:

  • Don’t jump to conclusions.
  • Don’t be afraid to discuss relevant topics even if they seem politically incorrect.
  • Always follow Allahpundit.

With these caveats in mind, it’s interesting to compare the coverage of the Fort Hood shootings by Allahpundit to the coverage by the L.A. Times. We know that the shooter has been identified as Major Malik Nadal Hasan, who was a psychiatrist at Fort Hood. From there, coverage differs wildly.

Perusing Allahpundit’s coverage, which is excellent and still developing, we learn the following:

  • The Austin-American Statesman reported that, according to Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Hasan “was upset about being deployed to Iraq.” (This had not happened yet but was upcoming.)
  • There is a report that the shooter was shouting something in Arabic at the time of the shooting.
  • Shepard Smith interviewed Hasan’s cousin:

    The cousin said that Hasan had always been Muslim, disputing reports that Hasan was a Muslim convert. The cousin also confirmed that Hasan had requested not to be deployed overseas to the war. He said that being deployed was “his worst nightmare.” According to the cousin, Hasan was desperately trying to avoid being deployed.

  • Shepard Smith also had an interview with a retired colonel who worked with Hasan at the Fort Hood psyche ward:

    The colonel heard Hasan say that “maybe the Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor” in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also heard Hasan comment that he was “almost sort of happy” about a shooting at a Little Rock recruitment center.

    The colonel confirms that Hasan was about to be deployed but did not say whether it was to be to Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • As of the publication of this post, the latest is that Hasan may have written Internet posts approving of suicide bombings:

    Federal law enforcement officials say the suspected Fort Hood, Texas, shooter had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.

    The officials say the postings appeared to have been made by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who was killed during the shooting incident that left least 11 others dead and 31 wounded. The officials say they are still trying to confirm that he was the author.

    Again, remember the warning about jumping to conclusions. This is not confirmed. But it is interesting.

Given the above facts, would you be surprised to learn that as of the time of this post, the L.A. Times story on the shooting has no mention of the shooter’s religion, his alleged rants against U.S. involvement in Iraq, his alleged approval of suicide bombings, or the allegations that he was shouting something in Arabic as he shot?

Now, keep in mind my first injunction above. This is a breaking story, and we don’t know for sure what his motivations were. Don’t jump to conclusions. However, I do note that the L.A. Times saw fit to spend a couple of paragraphs talking about suicides at Army bases due to deployments to the war:

Base personnel have accounted for more suicides than any other Army post since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with 75 tallied through July of this year. Nine of those suicides occurred in 2009, counting two in overseas war zones.

Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, has been leading an effort to reduce the number of Army suicides, which has climbed sharply this year, possibly as a result from long and repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Somehow, this is relevant, even though Hasan was never deployed to the war, even once. But his religion? His rants against the war? His desperate attempts to avoid deployment? His alleged shouting in Arabic? His alleged approval of suicide bombings? There is not one word about any of that.

Regardless of what Hasan’s motivation turns out to be, this information is relevant to the overall assessment. It could turn out that Hasan’s motivations have nothing to do with the war or Islam. Based on what I’m reading tonight, that appears unlikely . . . but I’m not jumping to any conclusions.

But the fact that we don’t know his motivations yet with crystal clarity is no excuse for burying the facts I have just related to you. As we try to figure out what’s going on, those facts matter. If you read Hot Air (or this site) you’re learning those facts. If you read the L.A. Times, they are being hidden from you.

And it’s quite clear why: political correctness. The L.A. Times will bury this as long as they can — probably until they’re embarrassed into revealing it due to its clear relevance. They will applaud themselves for being sober and cautious — something they would never do if the shooter were an aficionado of Rush Limbaugh instead of Allah and anti-American rants.

And so, a large news organization pats itself on the back for its correct beliefs — as its readers have no idea what’s going on.

Die, Big Media. Die already.

UPDATE: The latest word is that Hasan is still alive. What did I say about jumping to conclusions? Just because 500,000 news organizations already reported that he was dead, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true.

Take a deep breath and wait for the facts. And for God’s sake, be willing to discuss all the facts.

UPDATE x2: Hasan’s alleged comment:

There was a grenade thrown amongs a group of American soldiers. One of the soldiers, feeling that it was to late for everyone to flee jumped on the grave with the intention of saving his comrades. Indeed he saved them. He inentionally took his life (suicide) for a noble cause i.e. saving the lives of his soldier. To say that this soldier committed suicide is inappropriate. Its more appropriate to say he is a brave hero that sacrificed his life for a more noble cause. Scholars have paralled this to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers. If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory. Their intention is not to die because of some despair. The same can be said for the Kamikazees in Japan. They died (via crashing their planes into ships) to kill the enemies for the homeland. You can call them crazy i you want but their act was not one of suicide that is despised by Islam. So the scholars main point is that “IT SEEMS AS THOUGH YOUR INTENTION IS THE MAIN ISSUE” and Allah (SWT) knows best.

Honestly, how long can the L.A. Times bury its head in the sand?

UPDATE x3: Much more on Hasan’s devout Muslim faith here. And L.A. Times readers are still in the dark . . .

UPDATE x4: The paper has now whisked the original version of the story down the memory hole, and replaced it with a new one at the same Web address. I knew they would do this, as they have a history of doing it. So I copied the whole text of the story as it appeared when I first did the post. Read that here. Then I copied a changed version at 6:46 p.m., after it was known that Hasan was alive. That version also suppressed any mention of the items mentioned in this post. Read that version here.

Mass Murder at Fort Hood

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:30 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Twelve dead, 31 wounded, and possibly 3 shooters.

– DRJ

AARP Endorses Health Care

Filed under: Health Care — DRJ @ 1:13 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AARP has officially announced its support for the $1.2 trillion House version of ObamaCare. An AARP spokesman also said the organization has had a large gain in new members and renewals since it initially announced its support for health reform last summer.

– DRJ

A New Chief for the LAPD

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 11:34 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

My column on Charlie Beck’s appointment as LAPD’s next chief is up on Pajamas Media today. I point out the welcome differences between Beck and his predecessor, differences also discussed in today’s Los Angeles Times.

I was surprised to read, in Wednesday’s L.A. Times, that Deputy Chief Michel Moore had made such a strong impression on the police commission as they narrowed the field of contenders down to three. It was generally assumed within the department that the three finalists would be Beck, Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell, and either the department’s highest-ranking black officer, Earl Paysinger, or one of the two high-ranking women, Assistant Chief Sharon Papa or Deputy Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur. This is Los Angeles, after all, where one has come to expect identity politics to play a role.

So while it was surprising to see Moore among the finalists, I was all the more taken aback to read that the commission had ranked him ahead of Beck and McDonnell when they submitted the names to Mayor Villaraigosa, and that Villaraigosa had been “bowled over” by Moore during their one-on-one interview. This points out a flaw that has long plagued the LAPD’s promotion process. The department’s upper ranks are liberally supplied with people who know how to take tests and give great interviews, but who nonetheless are ineffective leaders. I have no doubt that Moore was impressive in his talks with the police commissioners and the mayor, but when it comes to leading a police department he isn’t in the same league with either Beck or McDonnell, a fact plainly obvious to the department’s rank and file but not, apparently, to the commission and the mayor.

The Huffington Post discussed Beck’s solid reputation with the rank and file, pointing out that “[i]n 2003, Bratton appointed Beck captain of the Rampart Division, which was struggling with fallout from a 1999 corruption scandal in its anti-gang unit.” What wasn’t mentioned was that Beck had been preceded as Rampart’s commanding officer by Michel Moore, who was installed by former Chief Bernard Parks following the explosion of the Rampart scandal. The officers at Rampart had already been demoralized by the scandal, which, we must remember, was confined to a handful of officers. But Moore’s tenure at Rampart made things even worse, exemplifying the excesses of the Parks years that brought the LAPD close to ruin. Discipline was unduly harsh and capriciously meted out, with officers suspended for petty infractions that would ordinarily have resulted in nothing more than a chewing out from the watch commander.

Moore’s departure from Rampart was celebrated, and Beck’s tenure there was marked by improved morale and falling crime, all accomplished without even a hint of corruption. When Beck received his well-deserved promotion to commander, a huge contingent of Rampart officers filled the Parker Center auditorium to see him receive his new badge and be sworn in. Such displays of support for someone so high in the chain of command are all but unheard of. Moore’s promotion ceremonies could have been held in the men’s room with plenty of room to spare.

I think most in the LAPD would have been just as pleased had Jim McDonnell been selected, but it’s frightening to know that Moore, who has 90 percent of William Bratton’s arrogance but only five percent of his talent, came so close to being chosen.

–Jack Dunphy

ObamaCare: Public opinion and Voter opinion

Filed under: General — Karl @ 7:19 am

[Posted by Karl]

The following, courtesy of Pollster.com, are a series of poll averages measuring opinion about ObamaCare.

pollsterhcr1104

This is the basic poll of polls, including different types of samples, polling methodologies, and question wording, showing 50.5% disapprove, 43.7% approve.

(more…)


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