Patterico's Pontifications


The Jamil Hussein Controversy, Explained

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:26 pm

Shorter left-wingers:

Conservative “warbloggers” are “teh stupid” (as the kids say nowadays) because they unquestioningly accepted a statement made by a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior.

How do we know the warbloggers got their facts wrong? Well, you see, according to a statement made by a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior . . .

Parallels bolded for the benefit of the dimmer lefties who might not get it otherwise.

P.S. FOR CONSERVATIVES ONLY: This is like throwing out chum in shark-infested waters. Stay on the boat and watch the fun.

Understanding the Insurgency

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:55 am

Bill Ardolino has a fascinating interview with a civil servant in Fallujah. It is one of the best pieces about Iraq I have read in some time.

Read it all.

UPDATE: Here’s a teaser to get you to read it. The interviewee says we are financing the insurgency. Read the interview to see how.

House Staff Report on Berg(l)er: The Justice Department Cannot Be Sure He Didn’t Take Original Classified Documents

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Scum — Patterico @ 6:46 am

Via Hugh Hewitt comes a link to the House Staff Report on Sandy Berg(l)er’s theft of classified documents.

From the executive summary:

The full extent of Berger’s document removal, however, is not known, and never can be known. The Justice Department cannot be sure that Berger did not remove original documents for which there were no copies or inventory. On three of Berger’s four visits to the Archives, he had access to such documents.

I wonder what the coverage will be like in the L.A. Times, whose editors said in 2004:

Berger, who admits he made an “honest mistake,” is guilty of taking copies and handwritten notes (that too is a serious violation of the rules) but not original documents.

A search for the word “Berger” on the paper’s web site reveals no articles. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

L.A. Times Lionized Man With Highly Questionable Background

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:04 am

This is an amusing (if distressing) post about a L.A. Times puff piece from July 2005 about a man named Hector Marroquin, Sr. The article portayed Marroquin as a former gang member who “turned his life around long ago” and left the gang life:

Big Hector Marroquin still looks like the widely feared gang leader he once was. Tattoos spiral up his big arms and across his chest and a heavy gold chain hangs at his neck. His head gleams bald above a lush, chestnut goatee and a cross dangles from a pierced eyebrow. Black Ray-Bans rest on his forehead. He looks like a man who is used to being obeyed.

He turned his life around long ago by becoming a roofer, building his own company and becoming a man of peace. By the mid-1990s, law enforcement officers, ministers and a state senator were seeking him out to negotiate gang truces from Lennox to Santa Monica.

According to the article, once he was clean, Marroqin started a legitimate gang intervention agency:

Within a year, Hector Sr. had founded No Guns, a gang intervention agency funded by the city.

“No Guns.” Remember that name. It will provide comic relief later in this post. The article continues:

The Marroquins do what worked for them: Give troubled men hard work, honest money and male support. So far, 60 former felons have found construction jobs and gained union membership through their program.

The article implies that, since starting his gang intervention agency, Marroquin Sr. has had only one brush with the law, a weapons arrest which led to an acquittal. That arrest is portrayed as a cautionary tale about how unreasonable authority figures refused to believe that a man could turn his life around.:

It hasn’t been a smooth walk. In 1998, Hector Sr. was tried on illegal weapons charges and acquitted. The case and accompanying news coverage scarred his reputation.

“If a good man can turn bad, how come a bad man can’t turn good?” Big Hector asked.

This fluff job quoted exactly three people: Marroquin, and two other employees of his gang intervention agency . . . one of whom is his son.

Notably, it does not quote any police officers.

A recent L.A. Weekly story about Marroquin does quote police officers — and it paints quite a different picture of Marroquin indeed (h/t Patricia).

The L.A. Weekly article chronicles Marroquin’s several serious brushes with the law — many involving firearms — since starting “No Guns.” Police say Marroquin is a Mexican Mafia gang member who allegedly ordered a hit on a police informant — according to that informant, who is now dead. The criminal legal problems of Marroquin’s son and daughter, both of whom worked at “No Guns,” have been eye-opening as well, including his daughter’s alleged involvement in the burning of a corpse whose brains were splattered across the walls of “No Guns.” And the story also discusses how Marroquin collected big bucks from government officials, despite financial irregularities that had been revealed in an audit conducted before The Times published its puff piece.

The ugly details are in the extended entry.


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