Patterico's Pontifications

4/22/2013

The Insane Sorority Girl Letter

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:33 pm

The sorority sister who wrote this diatribe at her sisters (yes: not “to” her sisters but “at” her sisters) seems like a horrible person . . . yet, at the same time, I gotta admit: I think she’s kind of funny.

And I learned a new phrase reading it. The phrase in question will jump out at you.

Strong, strong language below the jump. I am including the whole letter, together with a dramatic reading.

This is either why our society is falling apart, or why it’s awesome, or maybe both. I’m so confused.

(more…)

Canada Disrupts Al Qaeda Plot

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:20 pm

On April 14, 2013, the Los Angeles Times published a story titled: With Al Qaeda shattered, U.S. counter-terrorism’s future unclear.

A growing group of analysts and former government officials say the threat from Al Qaeda affiliates is overblown. Most terrorist groups are focused on local concerns, not on America, and have little or no ability to organize a broader plot.

“To the best of our information, there is nobody out there with both the desire and the capabilities to cause any serious damage to the U.S. in any way at this moment,” said Rosa Brooks, a former deputy assistant secretary of Defense.

Note well: she didn’t say anything about Canada!

Police say they have arrested two men accused of conspiring to carry out an “al-Qaeda supported” attack targeting a Via passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area, following a cross-border investigation that involved Canadian and American law enforcement.

In a press conference that followed a report by CBC’s Greg Weston, police named the two accused as Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto. They have been charged with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack and “conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.”

RCMP officials said the two accused were plotting to derail a passenger train.

As I say, the Los Angeles Times article appeared April 14. The next day, two bombs took the lives of three people in Boston, including that of an eight-year-old boy.

But never fear. As long as we ignore our neighbor to the north, the story must be right about America — the Tsarnaevs notwithstanding. After all, as Stephen Hayes points out, the Obama administration has been very quick to assure the public that there is no connection between the Boston Marathon bombings and Al Qaeda.

In an exceptionally well-reported story in the Daily Beast Friday, we read this:

“One U.S. intelligence official who was regularly briefed on the investigation told Newsweek that he and his colleagues all but ruled out al Qaeda central or one of its affiliates giving direct and specific instructions for the attack.

Those comments were published less than a full day after the authorities first revealed the pixilated photos of the two attackers taken on marathon day, just hours after the public first learned their names and well before Dzokhar Tsarnaev was captured alive.

And if the Obama administration says so, well, it must be true!

This is not, of course, the first time we’ve seen an apparent eagerness from the Obama administration to minimize or dismiss the possibility of broader ties to international terrorism after attacks or attempted attacks on U.S. interests. Three days after the attempted bombing of an airplane on Christmas Day 2009, President Obama suggested that the attempted attack was the work of “an isolated extremist.” He made the claim despite the fact that the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told interrogators in interviews shortly after his capture that he’d worked with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Five months later, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called the attempted bombing of Times Square by Faisal Shahzad a “one off” attack. Other administration officials downplayed the likelihood of ties to foreign jihadists. But several days later, Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that the Pakistani Taliban “helped facilitate” the attack. “We know that they probably helped finance it and that he was working at their direction.”

Perhaps most famously, the Obama administration downplayed involvement of al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in the attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Despite ample evidence of their involvement – including real-time reporting from U.S. officials on the ground in Benghazi, a memo September 12 from the CIA station chief in Tripoli with details of the attacks and who conducted them, and communications intercepts from those involved in the assault – administration officials for days (even weeks) suggested that the attacks came spontaneously in response to an anti-Islam video.

These initial assessments fit nicely with the administration’s broader narrative about the end of the War on Terror and the imminent demise of al Qaeda. They were also wrong.

Today’s Canada plot is a reminder of just how wrong they were.

And anyway: counterterrorism is not just about Al Qaeda.

Maybe we need to make sure that the terrorists’ names are spelled correctly on the watch lists and flight manifests. Maybe we need to take steps to make sure that a perfect spelling match with foreign names is not critical. Maybe we should pay attention to foreign governments when they tell us we have a dangerous radical Islamist in our midst.

President Obama, stop telling us Al Qaeda and other terrorists have been vanquished — and start making your FBI and Homeland Security protect us from those who would kill us for what we believe. Thanks!

How Was the Nadia Naffe Case Frivolous and Abusive? Let Me Count (Just a Few of) the Ways

Filed under: General,Nadia Naffe — Patterico @ 6:44 am

As I indicated on Friday evening, the frivolous and abusive lawsuit by Nadia Naffe against me has been dismissed. Ken from Popehat has the rundown on what happened procedurally, and has posted a collection of excellent legal documents that provide all the information necessary for anyone with an abiding interest in the case.

I thought I would highlight a few quotations from the publicly available filings in this matter that show how my lawyers demonstrated that her lawsuit lacked merit.

First, a brief recap: Naffe initially sued, not only me, but also Los Angeles County, my former boss Steve Cooley, and (incredibly) my wife. My lawyers filed a set of motions showing how utterly meritless Naffe’s claims were. In particular, they blasted Naffe for her irresponsible decision to name my wife as a defendant. In response, Naffe made no attempt whatsoever to justify having sued my wife. She simply dismissed my wife from the suit. There was never any basis whatsoever for naming my wife in this lawsuit, and I believe that Naffe’s decision to do so was simply a tactic designed to terrorize my family.

Bolstering my conclusion that this was a politically motivated attack were the admissions by Neal Rauhauser (the hatchet-man associate of Brett Kimberlin) that he had arranged counsel for Naffe. Rauhauser proudly trumpeted his silly but telling hope that the lawsuit would accomplish his (and Kimberlin’s) long-held goal of costing me my job.


Above: Neal Rauhauser and Nadia Naffe, 2012

(It did nothing to dispel my suspicions about the political nature of this lawsuit when a lawyer who was suing James O’Keefe took over the litigation — after the judge had issued a ruling that expressed extreme skepticism about whether Naffe could show damages in excess of $75,000. Usually, lawyers don’t get too excited about lawsuits that the judge has said are unlikely to be profitable.)

Basically, I had put up a publicly available court document from PACER, and soon learned that the lawyers who had uploaded it to PACER had not redacted it, as they were supposed to have done. So I took down the link to the document a little over an hour after the post was published. I redacted the document, and put it back up. And Nadia Naffe literally made a federal case out of it.

The meat of the Court’s ruling dismissing her claims is contained in the Court’s tentative ruling, which was confirmed by a short minute order on Friday. As Ken did, I want to emphasize two comments that the judge made in the tentative ruling concerning the manner in which Naffe and/or her attorneys “played fast-and-loose” with my language. Here is the first:

In paragraph 39 of the FAC [First Amended Complaint] Plaintiff quotes Frey as saying the following: “You owe [O’Keefe] @gamesokeefeiii a retraction. A big one. You’d better issue it promptly. [A threat made as a Deputy District Attorney].” FAC 39. The Court may consider the text of Frey’s actual statement in connection with a Rule 12(b)(6) challenge. See Marder v. Lopez, 450 F.3d 445, 448 (9th Cir. 2006), Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688-89 (9th Cir. 2001.). Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s use of quotation marks, the language “[A threat made as a Deputy District Attorney]” does not appear in Frey’s actual comment. See Frey Decl. (Docket No. 40), Exh. KK, at 266. The Court would consider issuing sanctions against Plaintiff and/or her attorneys for the contents of paragraph 39. [emphasis added]

They inserted words inside quotation marks that I had never said. The second comment by the judge:

In her Opposition brief, Plaintiff characterizes this as “Frey issu[ing] a direct threat against Ms. Naffe with Frey stating that he intended to investigate Ms. Naffe for possible criminal misconduct.” Docket No. 53, at 11:18-21. Again, sanctions may very well be in play for Plaintiff’s (and/or her counsel’s) willingness to play fast-and-loose with the language that is actually at issue here. [Emphasis added]

One other observation I would like to emphasize from the judge’s tentative ruling concerns Naffe’s claim that she was having trouble finding employment because of what I said about her. I present the judge’s response without comment:

As for those interested in the facts of the case, the reader needs to understand that when the case was dismissed, the case was still in the stage where we were challenging the pleadings. That means that, to a large extent, the judge was forced to accept even untrue allegations as if they were true. For example, when Naffe falsely claimed that I blog and tweet on the taxpayer dime, my lawyers were forced to accept that as true for purposes of our motions, even though it is false. It is a very frustrating position for a person to be in — but such is the plight of a civil defendant.

There were, however, limited ways that we were permitted to dispute some of her allegations in certain contexts. Towards that end, I provided a declaration that is probably the best document for you to read if you are interested in the underlying history of the case. My declaration explains, among other things, how I began writing about Naffe, and how I obtained and posted the deposition transcripts.

My declaration also provides proof that contradicted several of Naffe’s assertions in her complaint and declarations. For example:

  • Naffe claimed that I had not obtained the deposition transcripts from PACER, but had somehow obtained them though resources available to me as a DDA. Not so. I provided proof, in the form of records from PACER, showing I had downloaded the transcripts from PACER on the same Saturday that I posted them.
  • Naffe claimed that I had issued certain posts “as a Deputy District Attorney.” Not so. I provided printouts of those actual posts in which I said in the body of the post that I was posting as a private citizen and not a DDA.
  • I provide proof in the declaration that the link to the publicly available deposition transcripts containing Naffe’s Social Security Number was removed from the post about an hour and 17 minutes after it was first put up. (Indeed, if Ron Brynaert had not publicly tweeted the fact that the transcript contained her Social Security number, it could have been taken down and redacted with nobody being the wiser. But for some reason Brynaert — who has also complained about me to my workplace, and has spoken of punching me in the nose and taking a “shit” on my wife — decided to make this information public rather than emailing me privately. Draw your own conclusions as to why.)
  • Naffe claimed that she had been intimidated by my March 2012 post linking to her deposition, and that she made her blog private as a result. Our 12(b)(1) reply provided proof that her blog was still public in May 2012, and that she was blogging that she had not been intimidated by my post.

Let me provide you specific quotes on that last point, because they are telling. Here is her sworn declaration from November 19, 2012:

In other words, as a result of the actions of MR. FREY, I was in fact intimidated into not giving evidence of O’Keefe’s wire tapping to the County. . . . As a direct result of MR. FREY’s harassment, and in order to prevent further harassment, I have been forced to make private both my Twitter account and my blog at nadianaffe.com. Though I desire to, MR. FREY has made it impossible to freely participate in online speech. [Emphasis added]

Naffe’s claim of harassment revolved around a post and other tweets that I published in late March 2012. That’s when she was supposedly intimidated into making her blog private and not reporting evidence of a crime. Yet we showed that her blog was still public in May 2012, when she published a post at nadianaffe.com that said:

Patrick Frey may have believed that posting my Social Security Number and medical records online to his blog, in retaliation, would intimidate and stop me from telling the truth about O’keefe [sic], chill my First Amendment right and dissuade me from coming forward to report a crime committed in his jurisdiction. Though, what he has accomplished is precisely the opposite. These two civil servants, both deputy district attorney’s [sic] in Los Angles [sic] County, in the past were able to bully and harass private individuals, with impunity. But their patent on intimidation and retribution expired when they came to me. The Frey’s [sic] are the poster children for the type of rampant corruption Carmen Trutanich, Alan Jackson and Danette Myers [sic] have each spoken out against. (Exhibit LL at 268-269.) [Emphasis added]

If you read only one document from this latest round of filings, I would read my declaration, mentioned above. If you read a second document, I would read this one: the reply brief on the anti-SLAPP motion. This is one of my favorite documents in the whole lawsuit. It describes Naffe’s suit as “a classic SLAPP – a lawsuit calculated to retaliate against expression that makes the plaintiff angry.” Page 2 lists various statements of hers that we had demonstrated to be deceptive and/or misleading. Pages 11-12 set forth the specific context for my remark that Naffe was “full of false allegations.” It also opposed her seeking discovery by making these points:

Plaintiff has boasted that she will use the discovery process in this case to harass Mr. Frey on unrelated issues including (1) how Mr. Frey and his wife afforded their house; (2) an unrelated incident in which Mr. Frey was the victim of a false police report; and (3) the identity of an unrelated anonymous blogger.

It’s impossible to list all the deceptive and/or misleading aspects of Naffe’s lawsuit in a single blog post. Hopefully, this gives you a sense of why we considered it to be a meritless attack on free speech — and why the judge dismissed the case and threatened Naffe and/or her lawyers with sanctions.

Once again, I want to reiterate my praise for my skilled and principled attorneys: Kenneth P. White (Ken from Popehat), and Ron Coleman (from Likelihood of Confusion). Without people like Ken and Ron standing up for free speech, this country would be a poorer place.

The Onion Channels Hillary

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:23 am

In the wake of the New York Post reporting 12 dead in the Boston Marathon bombings, the Onion had an entertaining piece. An excerpt:

This Is A Tragedy—Does It Really Matter Exactly How Many People Died Or What Any Of The Details Are?

By Col Allen, “New York Post” editor

Yesterday’s violent attack at the Boston Marathon has left all of us struggling to come to terms with such a senseless display of carnage. In the wake of this devastating tragedy, we at the New York Post join the nation in mourning those who were lost in this horrible event so that we may console one another and ultimately emerge from this catastrophe stronger and with a greater compassion for one another.

And so, as we attempt to begin the healing process, let us not bicker over such trivial matters as the actual death toll and what exactly happened at yesterday’s bombing. After all, is it really important, in the aftermath of an event so disastrous and sad, to pick apart the so-called information surrounding this horrific situation and find out what actually happened?

To think, these poor victims have not even been buried yet, and some people out there are already quibbling over little details like how many people have died or what the basic facts of this tragedy even are. Can’t they see it’s not the time for that discussion?

It goes on in that vein. The amusement factor of the piece doubled after the Post published a picture of two innocent people on its front page and described them as the people sought by the FBI.

And yet . . . it occurred to a sharp-eyed reader of mine that the position absurdly attributed by the Onion to the editor of the New York Post was actually espoused by one Hillary Clinton with respect to Benghazi:

When we’re mocking the media, it’s hilarious. When a liberal Secretary of State is saying it for reals, she is Putting Republicans in Their Place.


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