Patterico's Pontifications


Beltway Sniper Execution Scheduled for Tuesday

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 10:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Beltway snipers terrorized the Washington DC-Virginia area in September and October 2002. John Allen Williams aka John Allen Muhammad was convicted of capital murder in November 2003 and sentenced to death in March 2004. His teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, was also convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison in December 2003.

Muhammad’s execution is set for Tuesday, November 10, 2009. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to halt Muhammad’s execution:

“Convicted D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad has lost his last appeal, opening the way for his scheduled execution in a Virginia prison on Tuesday.

Mr. Muhammad and his 17-year-old accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, terrorized the Washington region in September and October 2002 as they engaged in a series of apparently random sniper attacks.

In all, 16 individuals were shot. Ten died.

Muhammad was tried and convicted in Prince William County, Va., for capital murder in an act of terrorism and for engaging in at least two murders within three years. The case focused primarily on the Oct. 9, 2002, killing of Dean Meyers. Mr. Meyers was shot in the head while refueling his car at a Sunoco gas station in Manassas, Va.”

However, three liberal members of the Court expressed concern about the rapid pace of the Virginia death case:

“The court did not explain why it would not hear the case. But three justices – John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor – said they were concerned about the rapid pace of the Muhammad case. Rules in Virginia allow for capital cases to move through the state system faster than the time frame set out under federal law.

Justice Stevens said he would favor granting an automatic stay of execution in every death-penalty case before the high court to allow careful consideration of the issues. But Stevens wrote that having reviewed Muhammad’s claims, he would not dissent from the court’s decision to not hear the appeal.”

Muhammad’s last hope is a clemency petition pending before Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.


Hasan: “We Love Death More Then You Love Life”

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan reportedly told senior Army physicians at Fort Hood Walter Reed that Muslim troops should be released as conscientious objectors:

“As a senior-year psychiatric resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan was supposed to make a presentation on a medical topic of his choosing as a culminating exercise of the residency program.

Instead, in late June 2007, he stood before his supervisors and about 25 other mental health staff members and lectured on Islam, suicide bombers and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, both Muslim countries, according to a copy of the presentation obtained by The Washington Post.

“It was really strange,” said one staff member who attended the presentation and requested anonymity because of the investigation of Hasan. “The senior doctors looked really upset” at the end. These medical presentations occurred each Wednesday afternoon, and other students had lectured on new medications and treatment of specific mental illnesses.”

Were the doctors upset because Hasan didn’t cover the right topic? Maybe, but I hope this is what triggered their concern:

“The last bullet point on that page reads simply: “We love death more then (sic) you love life!”

Under the “Conclusions” page, Hasan wrote that “Fighting to establish an Islamic State to please God, even by force, is condoned by the Islam,” and that “Muslim Soldiers should not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk to hurting/killing believers unjustly — will vary!”

The final page, labeled “Recommendation,” contained only one suggestion: “Department of Defense should allow Muslims (sic) Soldiers the option of being released as ‘Conscientious objectors’ to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events.”

It will be hard for the government to discount the possibility of terrorism in the face of mounting anecdotal evidence like this.


Hasan to be Tried in Military Court

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 7:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Multiple sources report Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan will be tried in a military court. In addition, from the same Houston Chronicle link, Hasan has reportedly refused official interviews and requested an attorney. His family has hired John P. Galligan, a Texas lawyer with experience in other high-profile military court cases (reports on those cases are here and here).

In addition, ABC says the victim toll has risen to 43. The number of victims increased because some did not initially report their injuries.


UPDATE: Hot Air quotes an LA Times Top of the Ticket report that the DOJ may take jurisdiction if this is labeled a terrorist event.

The Gold Medal in Women’s Hair Pulling Goes to …

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 6:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert in a November 5, 2009, game with Brigham Young:

Lambert has been suspended indefinitely, but she’s sorry:

“I am deeply and wholeheartedly regretful for my actions,” Lambert said in a statement. “I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation.”
“I take full responsibility for my actions and accept any punishment felt necessary from the coaching staff and UNM administration,” Lambert said. “This is in no way indicative of my character or the soccer player that I am.”


ABC: FBI knew Hasan Tried to Contact Al-Qaeda

Filed under: Terrorism — DRJ @ 1:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air links to an ABC News report that “the FBI knew that Major Nidal Hasan had attempted to contact al-Qaeda and its associates months before Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, killing 13 people.” But it’s not clear whether the FBI told the Army.

Ed adds this Update: “In case you missed WaPo’s story on Hasan over the weekend, note what he told a neighbor on the morning of the murders after handing her a Koran: “I’m going to do good work for God.”

President Obama warned Americans not to jump to conclusions about Hasan. Now we learn the FBI and Hasan’s superiors, co-workers, and neighbors apparently did not jump to conclusions about Hasan, despite his questionable actions and rhetoric. Like Victor Davis Hanson, most Americans understand the problem isn’t Americans “jumping to conclusions”:

“When the entire story emerges of Hasan’s prior clear record of demonstrable hate and venom, and when such transgression is collated with the military’s inaction, and when all that is juxtaposed to the tepid, appeasing response of the Obama administration, I predict that there will be a firestorm that we have not yet witnessed. What we are enduring is surreal—have we lost our collective minds?”


UPDATEMark Steyn:

“General Casey has a point: An army that lets you check either the “home team” or “enemy” box according to taste is certainly diverse. But the logic in the remarks of Secretary Napolitano and others is that the real problem is that most Americans are knuckledragging bigots just waiting to go bananas. As Melanie Phillips wrote in her book Londonistan:

Minority-rights doctrine has produced a moral inversion, in which those doing wrong are excused if they belong to a ‘victim’ group, while those at the receiving end of their behaviour are blamed simply because they belong to the ‘oppressive’ majority.

To the injury of November 5, we add the insults of American officialdom and their poodle media. In a nutshell:

The real enemy — in the sense of the most important enemy — isn’t a bunch of flea-bitten jihadis sitting in a cave somewhere. It’s Western civilization’s craziness. We are setting our hair on fire and putting it out with a hammer.


Remember Valour IT

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 1:33 pm

A Valour IT update from Cassandra at Villainous Company:

Tomorrow is the Marine Corps Birthday. One of the traditions we keep to in the Corps is the Commandant’s Birthday message – it is played at every Marine Corps Ball and at any place where Marines gather all over the world. This is last year’s message from the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. It makes the point that Marines have been at the forefront of the war on terror for over a quarter of a century:

The Marine team is within sight of our 35K goal, but we need your help to get there! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the birth of our Corps than to boost the Marine team to its first victory ever.

Valour IT provides adaptive technology to help severely wounded vets recover faster, establish a support system, and regain their independence. Since the program began, every single dollar raised by Valour IT has been used to provide:

· 4,100+ voice activated laptops

· over 30 Wii systems

· and nearly 100 handheld GPS devices to wounded vets at:

Balboa Naval Hospital
Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton
Brooke Army Medical Center
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital
Madigan RMC
Walter Reed AMC
National Naval MC (Bethesda)
and VA centers nationwide.

The men and women of the United States military have given their all to defend the values we Americans hold dear. For the price of a few sixpacks of beer or some dip and chips, you can tell them that you honor their sacrifices and their service. Please give generously. They did:

ObamaCare: Dithering while the economy burns

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:40 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Folks from Allahpundit to Robert Reich are noticing the same thing:

Obama’s focus on health care when the economy is still so fragile and unemployment moving toward double digits could make it appear that the administration has its priorities confused. While affordable health care is important to Americans, making a living is more immediately urgent. Yet the administration’s efforts to date on this more basic concern have been neither particularly visible nor coherent. It’s hard for most people to understand that unemployment would be worse were it not for the stimulus package; the much-flaunted new “green jobs” have not appeared yet, nor are they likely to for years. The White House has had equal difficulty explaining to Main Street why it would be far worse off today had Wall Street’s biggest banks not been bailed out. Almost nothing has trickled down. Small businesses still can’t get loans.

In reality, the stimulus has fallen well short of Obama’s promises and is filled with fraudulent numbers to boot. The stimulus argument does not even ask how adding $200 billion to one part of the economy created/saved 650,000 jobs, but removing $200 billion from another part of the economy has not cost a single job. And the “green jobs” claims are a scam. But Reich does grasp the basic political point that the US economy has shed about two million jobs since May, when Democrats started trying to take over the healthcare system in earnest. And it’s not a good look.

In this environment, it is not surprising that voters are not excited about ObamaCare mandates that will kill up to another 1.6 million jobs (according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses), with up to 5.2 million low-wage workers at risk of losing their jobs or having their hours of work reduced (according to the Heritage Foundation). That is not just a right-wing talking point; the lefty Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has expressed the same concerns.

Indeed, ObamaCare — like the bulk of Pres. Obama’s “too much, too soon” agenda — is already a drag on our economy:

There is little reliable data explaining why companies are retrenching despite signs of life in the economy, including recent increases in production in some industries and rises in housing prices and new home sales. However, a variety of organizations that monitor business behavior, including the NFIB, the Associated General Contractors of America and the National Small Business Association, say political uncertainty is a substantial factor, alongside other more typical problems, such as availability of credit.

“No question, this is a tough issue for a lot of these companies,” said David Wyss, chief economist at ratings firm Standard & Poor’s. “It’s all anecdotal, and it affects everybody differently, but the one common factor is people postpone decisions, and I’m afraid that’s going to slow us down coming out of the recession.”

Mr. Wyss said the resulting lack of hiring is one reason he’s forecasting just 1.5% growth in the economy for 2010. “It’s better than going down but it’s not going to be fun.”

Academic economists have long noted a link between economic growth and the political environment. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in his 1979 Ph.D. thesis, wrote that “increased uncertainty provides an incentive to defer…investments in order to wait for new information.”

This uncertainty turns up in the forecasts from firms like Administaff, too.

Ironically completing the vicious cycle, rising unemployment is a primary driver of Obama’s declining popularity (and likely the GOP gains on the Congressional ballot). The economy and jobs were the issues that walloped Democrats in the bellwether of Virginia this past Election Day. And job growth may not turn around enough for voters to notice by next November. The more Dems dither and threaten the business climate, the more unemployment rises, and the harder it gets for Dems to pass their agenda. I think James Carville would have the appropriate advice.


Astonishing Greenwald Dishonesty: Greenwald Lies About What He Says In a Post — In An Update to the Very Same Post

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

Glenn Greenwald has added an update to the top of his post about coverage of the Fort Hood shooting, in which he professes to be shocked — shocked!! that Allahpundit and I took his post as an attack on us in any way.

I didn’t write a critical word about Allahpundit — let alone about Patterico — both of whom are now screaming that I “smeared” them. In fact, to the extent I commented on Allahpundit’s commentary at all, it was to state that “at times” he was “appropriately skeptical.”

This is easily shown to be an utter lie. All I have to do is quote Greenwald’s original post:

Allahpundit’s post consists of a very thorough, contemporaneous, and — at times — appropriately skeptical chronicling of what major media outlets were reporting about the Fort Hood attack, combined with his passing along of much unverified gossip and chatter from Twitter, most of which turned out to be false.

News flash: when you say that a blogger is passing along a bunch of false information, that does not constitute praise. That is criticism.

I knew Greenwald was capable of bold and breathtaking dishonesty, but I never thought that his lies would extend to misrepresenting the content of his own post, in an update to that very post.

(By the way, as I show in my post below, the bolded language is false, as most of the claims that Allahpundit passed along from Twitter were true — including items that contradicted the official narrative put out by government officials. The two times that Allahpundit passed along Twitter rumors that added to the confusion and had no basis in reality, Allahpundit explicitly warned readers that the claims were unverified — warnings that were deleted by Greenwald in his quotation of Allahpundit.)

Greenwald’s update, in fact, makes it even more clear that he intended to slam both Big Media for getting facts wrong, and “right-wing bloggers” for mindlessly passing along the inaccurate Big Media claims. Greenwald dismisses Allahpundit’s commentary with phrases like “right-wing bloggers who copy down what they are hearing on TV” and “Hot Air’s dutiful passing on of their reports” and “Allahpundit’s thorough stenographic recording of what he was hearing.” As much as he wants to deny that he intends to slam Allahpundit, these phrases reveal quite clearly that Greenwald is portraying Allahpundit as a mindless stenographer who dutifully passes along anything he sees on TV. In that regard, then, Greenwald’s update confirms precisely what he is trying to deny.

This further proves that his repeated surgical removal of Allahpundit’s expressions of caution were not accidents, but were acts of deliberate dishonesty.

In other words, par for the course.

More Greenwald Dishonesty: Claim That “Most” of Allahpundit Twitter Info “Turned Out to Be False” Turns Out to Be Yet Another Greenwald Lie

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:18 am

Glenn Greenwald, in his post about Allahpundit and me and Glenn Reynolds, made the following assertion:

Allahpundit’s post consists of a very thorough, contemporaneous, and — at times — appropriately skeptical chronicling of what major media outlets were reporting about the Fort Hood attack, combined with his passing along of much unverified gossip and chatter from Twitter, most of which turned out to be false.

Greenwald has now appended a whiny little introduction to his post, in which he falsely claims that “I didn’t write a critical word about Allahpundit.” To which I say: Glenn Greenwald, you are a very bad liar. In the bolded portion of the quote I just provided, you can see this is a lie — unless, of course, you don’t consider it to be criticism to claim that a blogger has “pass[ed] along . . . much unverified gossip and chatter from Twitter, most of which turned out to be false.”

But was “most of” the Twitter information passed along by Allahpundit false? An analysis by reveals that Greenwald’s claim is a rank falsehood. As it turns out, “most of” the Twitter material passed along by Allahpundit turned out to be true. As for the small minority of items that proved to be false (there were only two), it turns out that Allahpundit warned against both of them — but Allahpundit’s warnings were misquoted by Greenwald in both instances.

Let’s take Allahpundit’s citations of Twitter one by one, rendering a verdict as to each:

Update: Hearing reports on Twitter that there have been shootings in the parking lot of some store in Killeen, the town adjacent in Fort Hood. Grain of salt, though: I haven’t seen anything like that on the wires.

Verdict: false . . . but Allahpundit warned it might be false. A fact which the dishonest Greenwald did not tell his readers. Here is how the dishonest Greenwald quoted Allahpundit here:

Update: Hearing reports on Twitter that there have been shootings in the parking lot of some store in Killeen, the town adjacent in Fort Hood. . . .

Whoops! Looks like Greenwald ignored the caveat! Let’s move on to the next citation of Twitter by Allahpundit:

Update: Am hearing via Twitter that Fort Hood’s public affairs office says the earlier reports of a third shooter were wrong and were based on a second eyewitness report of the second shooter. Which means everyone’s in custody now.

Verdict: mixed. Reports of a third shooter were indeed wrong. But reports of a second shooter were also wrong. So Twitter here contributed to the understanding of the truth, but also perpetuated an untruth that had been previously disseminated by Big Media.

I think that, here, the role of Twitter was a net positive for the truth. But, unlike Greenwald, we are scrupulously honest here. So we’ll classify this one as “mixed” — a verdict that gives maximum credibility to Greenwald. (By the way, if you automatically assume the truth of Twitter reports, you are a moron. But that’s neither here nor there. So we’ll let that point slide as well.)

Onto the next Allahpundit citation of Twitter:

Update: Heavy suspicions of a fragging grow heavier still. From Chuck Todd’s Twitter account: “More from NBC’s Pete Williams: US official says early reports are the man in custody is in the military, late 30s, with officer rank.”

Verdict: true. Hasan is 39 and is a major. Twitter wins here.

Update: Good lord — there’s a report from BNO News on Twitter that new shooting is being heard on the base. Nothing on the wires yet. Big grain of salt.

Verdict: false. But Allahpundit explicitly warned readers it might be false. And Greenwald lied about that by failing to pass on Allahpundit’s caveat. Again. Here is Greenwald’s quotation of Allahpundit:

Good lord — there’s a report from BNO News on Twitter that new shooting is being heard on the base. . . .

Once again, Greenwald deliberately omits Allahpundit’s caveat. Let’s move on to Allahpundit’s next allegedly irresponsible citation of Twitter:

Update: And yet another reminder: Hearing rumblings on Twitter right now that Perry was wrong and that the two other “suspects” have now been released.

Verdict: true. The other suspects were indeed released and Hasan was indeed a lone gunman. Governor Perry was wrong, and Twitter was right. So, not only was Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter dead on — but here, Twitter apparently beat out the Governor of Texas on accuracy in this case.

Onto the next one:

Update: Lots of buzz on Twitter about Shep Smith’s interview with a colleague of Hasan’s who claims he was known to say things about standing up to the American aggressors in the Middle East. I can’t find a clip or print account, though. If you see one, please e-mail it to our tips account; I don’t have time to follow the comments below.

Verdict: true. This Twitter buzz turned out to be precisely correct. Onto the next Twitter citation by Allahpundit:

I’m hearing on Twitter that Fox interviewed one of his neighbors within the last half-hour or so and that the neighbor claims Hasan was handing out Korans just this morning. Does anyone have video? Or is this a bad lead? Smells fishy to me but multiple people have mentioned it.

Verdict: true. Even though Allahpundit expressed reservations about it — and Greenwald quoted this passage in a way that suggested it was false — it turned out to be utterly true.

So, adding up the above, we find the following:

  • Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter rumors that proved true: 4.
  • Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter rumors that proved to be ambiguous: 1.
  • Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter rumors that proved to be false: 2.

    And in both cases, Allahpundit warned readers against accepting the Twitter assertions. And in both cases, Glenn Greenwald quoted Allahpundit as if he were promoting the falsehood, while surgically excising Allahpundit’s cautionary language.

So much for Glenn Greenwald’s claim, regarding Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter information, that “most of” it “turned out to be false.” In fact, “most of” it turned out to be true — and Allahpundit warned readers against every Twitter rumor that later proved to be completely false.

Not that the dishonest Greenwald communicated any of this to his gullible readers.

Greenwald could not be more dishonest.

Will his defenders note this dishonesty? Pardon me if I decline to hold my breath.

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