Monday, October 06, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
"Joan Foster" Eviscerates Robert Steel
I’ll admit to having been fascinated by the Scott Peterson trial…this seemingly “normal” young man with his pregnant lovely wife. How did those last horrific moments come about? What did he say? What did she? What was in his mind as he watched her die? I would wonder how he rationalized snuffing her life and the life of his child? If one could ever get the truth from him, what would he say? What was he thinking? How does someone like this form a personal defense… even to his own self?
Nowadays I think this same way about Robert Steele and Dick Brodhead. What’s the emotional and moral make-up of folks like this? I’ll confess I’ve never met either of them. I bet they are charming at cocktail parties and impressive in their insular little world, okay…fine. But everything I ever needed to know about either of them, I learned , if true and accurate, in the written summary of the third lawsuit.
Let’s start with Steele. Jason Trumpbour relays a conversation with Steele that just might be the most stunning moral indictment of the current Duke leadership to date. Now, stay with me here. Trumpbour tells us Steele felt it would be best FOR DUKE if Collin, Reade, and Dave…WENT TO TRIAL. Best for Duke. Say that again: “BEST FOR DUKE.” If convicted, he shrugged, “it would all be sorted out on appeal.”
Who thinks like that?
What kind of man thinks like that?
I can’t even type that without stopping to take a deep, outraged breath. Imagine you are the Finnertys, or the Evans. Or the Seligmanns. Your child, your boy, already scourged, and branded, and sullied by an outrageous LIE, would best serve the University’s interest by going TO TRIAL, perhaps being convicted of a felony and imprisoned in some hellhole. This is the measured, moral opinion of the chairman of the Board of Trustees at his school. It would be BEST for Duke for your INNOCENT child, your ravaged family to endure a TRIAL. And let’s remember the backdrop of this time: the Black Panthers, well represented , no doubt, in our prison system, shouting at Reade “You’re a dead man walking!!!” Sure, Chairman Steele, let it all be sorted out on appeal.
BEST FOR DUKE. He can pull these three young lives out of the equation, discard them, and focus on what’s BEST FOR DUKE.
Wow! That Chairman Steele!…he gives new definition to being a “company man.” And Brodhead, the subservient, self-serving lackey. Duke parents and alumni, you can’t say from here on, you don’t know the quality and moral compass of your leadership!
So what does that say about how Steele ( and his willing sidekick Brodhead) perceive the worth, the humanity, the reality of the lives of Collin, Reade, and Dave? Are they expendable for the PR purposes of Duke? Is it much more INSTITUTIONALLY important in the mind of Chairman Steele to prop up a life-destroying LIE so that Duke appears even-handed and sensitive to Durham’s homegrown strippers and lap-dancers? In lock-step with Durham’s cracker-jack, dump-burning governing entities? Supportive of the “castrate” sign- carrying, racist- diatribes of its activist professors? Why Chairman Steele should have just run a spot on local TV and made his message plain:
“ Hi, I’m Bob Steele, Chairman of the BOT of Duke University and I approve this message:
In the best interests of Duke University, to show our inclusiveness and reverence of even drug-addled, mentally ill prostitutes; our fear of our activist faculty; our guilt-fueled submissiveness to the local political intelligentsia; and our heavy duty P.C. credentials …. we will aid and assist D.A. Nifong in railroading three innocent students of ours and besmirching for life the reputations of their teammates. We and our employees will accomplish this by ignoring and/or suppressing or even ALTERING when we must any exculpatory evidence to the contrary. Like the local newspapers, we will also try to level the playing field, by ravaging the “histories” of these young men to try to bring them down to a level where the Lap-dancer /deranged former felon /and prostitute will appear their moral “equal.” To that end, we will empower commissions to uncover anything and everything negative that we might hand the media to envelop these boys in that stain. We will opine that “whatever they did was bad enough.” We will cancel their season and start a “Mea Culpa” progression around town, mournfully apologetic for having these young privileged men in our midst. We will turn our eyes away from any and all violations of OUR OWN conduct codes as long as the objects of these violations are these young men of the wrong race and income group. We will refuse to meet with their terrified parents or read the defense files that might force us to confront their ABSOLUTE INNOCENCE. We will look on mute while our faculty radicals ravage them in print from ad to op-ed over and over again. Proclaim them “farm animals” and let our silence speak approval.
We will do all this in the best interests of Duke University. To send to the world and our student body, through our actions, a moral imprint of what the leadership of Duke University considers the new expediency, the new righteousness. Here is our blueprint for what’s really important for those who aspire to assume the helm of any business. It’s not people, it’s not the lives of three young men or the reputation of forty-plus others. It’s PR and PC. Public relations and Political Correctness. It’s IMAGE. It’s that thin layer of false veneer we’ll protect NOT with OUR LIVES OR LIVELIHOODS, oh no! But those of OTHERS!
It’s protecting our bottom line and our top guys at the price of those we consider expendable. The Coach, the kids. In the business world we can kick the small investor and the retiree to the curb in the holy name of our corporate interest; at Duke, it’s three white students and their white coach. That’s our lesson for the leaders of tomorrow: it’s BETTER FOR US if these three nothing, nobody, non –protected species kids go to trial… so-o-o-o, let’s help it happen. If convicted….Gee Whiz, no Biggie…it will be settled out “on appeal.”
How does that sound to you, Alumni and parents? Do you like what you hear from the top? Am I wrong? Okay, you give me another way to interpret those words between Trumpbour and Steele. Look at your child before you do. Think of HIM as Chairman Steele and his Lapdog Brodhead’s sacrificial lamb. “If convicted, it can be sorted out on appeal.”
“YOU’RE A DEAD MAN WALKING” they shouted at Reade.
I’ve really tried to think of an alternative take on Chairman Steele’s words. Not to excuse or defend him but just because they astound me. I don’t know people who think like this. Maybe I don’t move in the proper exalted circles.
How can the best interests of Duke trump three real young lives? How can the best interests of Duke require the suspension of all logic and common sense, the suppression of evidence, the submission to the mob? How can the best interests of Duke under the current leadership be only about artificial IMAGE…not about its students, not about the rule of law, and dear God, especially….” not about the truth?”
No parent or alumni can say “move on” until they can confront the awful reality of those unanswered questions. Until they absorb the consequences of the cold fact THAT THIS IS THE MINDSET of those who still remain in power at Duke.
I'm reminded of the last powerful scene in the first Godfather movie: the bereaved newly widowed sister, waving the newspaper describing the Mob hits , pointing at Michael Corleone, besseching her sister-in'law to face it all..."THAT'S your husband! THAT'S your husband!"
That's your Chairman of the BOT.
That's your President of the once esteemed Duke University.
“Honey, you can’t leave” … until all you "Move-On Minions" confront the enormity of what was done to these kids.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Chuck Cooper and Dave Thompson React to Duke Crying
Said Pamela Bernard, Duke's vice president and general counsel, "if these plaintiffs have a complaint, it is with Mr. Nifong. Their legal strategy - attacking Duke - is misdirected and without merit."
Plaintiffs' counsel, Charles Cooper and David Thompson, watching Miss Bernard's remarks:
Plaintiffs' counsel, Charles Cooper and David Thompson, watching Miss Bernard's remarks:
Monday, January 14, 2008
Saturday, October 20, 2007
APB: Who is "Dukeblues44?"
Mike Gaynor, at the Liestoppers Forum:
DIW comment: "The Ryan M. e-mail...was sent anonymously to the Durham police on 3/27/06 from the following e-mail address :Dukeblues44. We know, from Himan's deposition, that Nifong was receiving information on the case from a woman who worked in his office and whose husband was with the Duke police. This e-mail address sure sounds like a moniker for a Duke cop."
Plenty of people surely know who's email address is or was Dukeblues44@gmail.com.
At least some of them also want the real abuse that followed the Gang Rape Lie not to be repeated and to be fairly compensated.
It only takes one.
Please identify Dukeblues44.
Communicate it the way you feel most comfortable.
I don't hide.
Michael J. Gaynor
95 Darrow Lane
Greenlawn, New York 11740-2803
(631) 757-9452 (tel)
(631) 754-3437 (fax)
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Tortmaster, Hero of the Hoax
A long, long, loooooong time ago, the only reason to visit talkleft became the opportunity to read the consistently excellent analyses of a single voice of reason among many, many vapid blowhards.
His utter vaporization of the "Listening Statement" Revisionists in today's Chronicle warrants re-publication in full, in as many fora as possible, as the student athletes' attorneys hone their Bowie knives for jungle conflict. Tortmaster's painstakingly thorough evisceration of the ad, which exemplifies the "critical thinking" of 88 lucky coffee house poets and assistant librarians, begins shortly past mid-scroll through the comments page accessed by the above link, at "2:31 AM EST." It continues uninterrupted through six consecutive posts, the last timed in at "3:30 AM EST."
It reads, in its entirety, as follows:
Let's look at the Listening Ad, but first let's look at it in context. It was drafted mere days after the alleged rape became public knowledge. Was it rash to jump on a bandwagon that was only 12 days old?
Keep in mind that even eventually disbarred attorney Mike Nifong would not indict anyone for the alleged crime until 12 days AFTER the Listening ad was published. Any conclusions about a "social disaster" did not even have enough time to become properly gossip-based yet.
There were the protests, including the "castrate" banner, the potbangers marching up Buchanan Boulevard, and, of course, the wanted posters depicting the faces of the lax players. Not pictures of the eventually-indicted players, but pictures of all the players.
The context includes the fact that local media had begun to focus on the Lacrosse team. A week before the Listening ad came out in the student newspaper, the News&Observer ran an editorial by Ruth Sheehan presuming guilt and presuming a lacrosse "wall of silence," with her "we know you know" piece.
The context also includes the fact that the Listening ad's author, Wahneema Lubiano, chose to publish it in the school's newspaper. What better way to cause harm to students than publish something about them in the student's own newspaper? Who better to publish it than gobs of faculty and whole university departments and programs?
The context also includes other editorials written by the Gang of 88, including the infamous one by Professor Chafe with the Emmett Till comparison. He wrote the following in the Duke Chronicle a week before the Listening Ad:
"Sex and race have been intertwined since the beginning of American history. They remain so today, throughout America and here at Duke. The events that occurred on Buchanan Boulevard two weeks ago are part of a deep and troubling history."
But Lubiano also had an editorial published in the News&Observer in which she wrote in May 2006:
"An anger is surfacing against aspects of everyday life at Duke, an anger that is playing out in the aftermath of the accusations against the lacrosse team and responses to those accusations. The changes at Duke that critics want to see are coming more sharply into view as a result of struggle in this moment of spectacle."
The Listening ad author wrote that "[a]n anger is surfacing ... in the aftermath of the ... accusations against the lacrosse team ...." She wrote this in a paper with a printing of 167,891 copies each weekday in the Raleigh-Durham area.
The context also includes what the author of the Listening ad thought of the ad herself. As reported by ESPN, "Lubiano knew some would see the ad as a stake through the collective heart of the lacrosse team."
The context of the "Listening ad" included some lacrosse students sleeping in cars to avoid public consternation or worse, staying over at the homes of anonymous friends or even leaving the state.
On March 30, 2006, a few days before the publication of the Listening ad, the News&Observer printed a story which included the following subheading and copy:
The case, which erupted last week when police took DNA from all but one member of the team, heightened tensions between the city and Duke, a private university sometimes accused of walling itself off from a community with blue-collar roots.
The incident has sparked outrage on and off campus about classism, racism and sexual violence. The woman, an N.C. Central University student and employee of an escort service hired for the party, is black; she told authorities that her attackers were white....
Frustration over Duke's response continued Wednesday.
Wednesday's Take Back the Night rally, planned months ago, drew nearly a thousand people. Students and residents walked nearly a mile from East Campus to the landmark chapel on West Campus, chanting, 'Hey, hey, ho, ho, all rape has got to go.'
Ignacio Adriasola, an art history graduate student, had a sign taped to his shirt: 'It isn't what Duke has, but what it lax,' using the shorthand word for lacrosse.
Jean Leonard, Duke's sexual assault support services coordinator, welcomed rally participants from Duke, NCCU and Durham Technical Community College. TV trucks from national media outlets rumbled nearby. 'Tonight is about more than a great media story that the nation has great interest in,' Leonard said. 'Tonight is more about healing.' "
(capitalization of subheading added).
As you can see, the context included an atmosphere of heightened worry; Duke administrative staff and students alike were on the record presuming guilt. Tension was building. The national media had arrived at last! This was all BEFORE Lubiano published the "Listening ad."
Approximately a week prior to the Listening ad, the students' lawyers were already concerned about prejudicial pretrial publicity. A March 30, 2006 News&Observer article had the following headline: "Lacrosse players' lawyers object."
Eventually, Mike Nifong is disbarred, in part, for his prejudicial pretrial public statements, and the defense lawyers cite Duke faculty in their Motion to Change Venue. Of course, such a motion is filed when a party believes that it cannot receive a fair trial in that particular venue.
On the "Diverse" Education website, it is posted:
"The [Listening] advertisement gained additional prominence when, in the fall, the defense attorney for the lacrosse players requested a change of venue, citing the advertisement as evidence of Duke faculty bias against the players."
About a week before the publication of the "Listening ad," every literate person in Durham (and some who just watched television news) knew that the BIG DAY was approaching. Mike Nifong had publicly said that DNA results for the case would be available on or about April 10, 2006. On April 1, 2006, the N&O printed an article proclaiming:
"District Attorney Mike Nifong said Friday that no charges will be filed in the investigation of a report of rape at a Duke University lacrosse party until at least the WEEK OF APRIL 10. He also said he won't release DNA results that had been expected next week.
The tests, which are comparing the DNA of 46 lacrosse players with samples taken from the accuser as well as from towels, rags and rugs in the house where the party was held, COULD BE COMPLETED NEXT WEEK, Nifong said."
Now, anybody riding the backs of presumptively innocent students for his or her political agenda would know that APRIL 10 was an important day. If the DNA came back negative, the sane response would be a dismissal of claims (especially given the alleged 30-minute violent gangrape by 3 Division I athletes).
In other words, if hay were to be made, it had better be harvested fast. In a mass e-mail to other professors, Lubiano directed her colleagues to review the Listening ad quickly, sign on and hurry up: "We're trying for Thursday (04/05) if we can do it; if not, then next Monday (04/10)."
Thus, not only does it appear that Lubiano whipped up the "Listening ad" in record time, she did so as quickly as possible in case the boys were ACTUALLY FOUND TO BE INNOCENT.
The best context of all, of course, is the author's interpretation of her own handiwork. In this case, Lubiano unequivocally stated in her e-mail to colleagues that,
"African & African-American Studies is placing an ad in The Chronicle ABOUT THE LACROSSE TEAM INCIDENT." (emphasis added).
So, it seems that Lubiano's admission against interest proves that the Listening ad was about "the lacrosse team incident." But she went further and signed up not just 87 other colleagues, but also whole university programs and departments, including the following:
Duke University's African-American Studies
Duke University's Romance Studies
Duke University's Social & Health Sciences
Duke University's Franklin Humanities Institute
Duke University's Critical Studies Program
Duke University's Art Department
Duke University's Art History Department
Duke University's Latin American Studies
Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies
Duke University's Women's Studies Program
Duke University's Program in Education
Duke University's European Studies Program
The "Listening ad," taken in context, heightened tensions on campus, aligned a huge number of professors, departments and programs against the lacrosse players, was raised in a Motion to Change Venue to protect the students and joined such other recent disparaging editorials as Sheehan's and Chafe's.
To say the ad was not about the lax hoax is to ignore the ad's author, the timing of its publication, and even the first line of the ad. For those who have not seen the "Listening ad," it can be found at Johnsville.blogspot.com.
At the top of this "PAID ADVERTISEMENT," it provides: "Regardless of the results of the police investigation ...." This is stated without previous mention of any event deserving of a "police investigation." The author was obviously referring to the Duke hoax investigation.
In the same paragraph, Lubiano describes "this moment's extraorinary spotlight." Again, an obvious reference to the Duke rape hoax.
The next paragraph, which is just one sentence, claims that "[I]t is a disaster nonetheless." The author appears to be describing BOTH what happened at 610 Buchanan and other perceived acts of racism at Duke (and elsewhere).
The next one-sentence paragraph states that "[t]hese students are shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman and to themselves."
THAT is a prejudgment. The words used were "WHAT HAPPENED to this young woman ...." The author could have used words such as "what was alleged to have happened." Lubiano mentioned in her e-mail that she had made drafts of the piece, so she had time to edit the language. It is also instructive to note that the Listening ad sets an early emphasis on "shouting."
The next paragraph appears to be a quote, but there are no quotation marks or attribution. This is a continuing problem in the advertisement. "We want the absence of terror.... Terror robs you of language and you need language for the healing to begin." As stated previously, the author was obviously discussing the hoaxed rape allegations and generic perceived racism. Which would the reader perceive as more likely deserving of actual "terror"?
The next paragraph again appears to be a quotation mark-less quote, but this is attributed to the Independent (but no particular speaker). Significantly, this quote appeared approximately 3 days after the Duke rape hoax became public knowledge: "This is not a different experience for us here at Duke University. We go to class with racist classmates, we go to gym with people who are racists ... It's part of the experience." (ellipses in original).
The author is apparently conveying that rape (or is it just the generic perceived racism) is as abundant as ipods about campus. Since I am an American, I read the ad left to right and top to bottom, the context leads me to believe that rape may be as prevalent as fast food at Duke.
After three unattributed apparent quotes, there is this: "... I am only comfortable talking about THIS EVENT in my room with close friends. I am actually afraid to even bring it up in public. But worse, I wonder now about everything.... If SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS TO ME ...." (emphasis added).
What do you think "this event" means? The Duke hoax, of course. No other specific event is alluded to in the least. Also, consider what the apparent quotation implies: The speaker has nothing to fear if there is just an investigation of students who are presumed innocent, but she does have something to fear "if something like this happens" to her. Something like what? A rape, of course, a prejudged, juried and executed rape.
After another unattributed quote, there is, in the center of the Listening ad, in giant eye-catching print, "WHAT DOES A SOCIAL DISASTER SOUND LIKE?"
After two quotes attributed only to the Independent (and not a person), the ad goes on to provide: "... no one is really talking about how to keep the YOUNG WOMAN herself central to this conversation, how to keep her humanity before us ... she doesn't seem to be visible in this. Not for the university, not for us." (emphasis added).
It seems strange to me that everyone quoted by Lubiano was a poet. In a poetic way, the author inserted this "quote" in the ad to apparently get the university to support the "invisible" woman and not the university's students.
The next unattributed "quote" also seems to be egging on the University and the community to strive to achieve greater success in arresting someone. Consider how this "quote" attempts to elicit action while it, at the same time, prejudges the case and prejudices the lacrosse players:
"I can't help but think about the different attention given to WHAT HAS HAPPENED from what it would have been if the guys had been not just black but participating in a different sport, like football, something that's not SO UPSCALE." (emphasis added).
"What has happened" refers to the Duke lacrosse hoax, and the author appears to be saying, that he or she wants arrests now! The "different attention" is the lock-up of the offenders. Finally, the use of the "so upscale" language prejudices the boys in a classist way.
The next unattributed "quote" again appears to egg on the university to take action about the Duke rape hoax. The "quote" provides:
"And this is what I'm thinking right now - Duke isn't really responding to THIS. Not really. And THIS, what HAS HAPPENED, IS A DISASTER. THIS IS A SOCIAL DISASTER." (emphasis mine except last sentence).
Use of the word "this," of course, refers to the Duke rape hoax. So do the words "what has happened." Even a feeble-minded person would conclude that an investigation is not a disaster, but a rape would be. "This" rape "happened." That is a prejudgment.
The remaining substantive portions of the "Listening ad" provide additional clues as to the motivation behind it, including use of the date "March 13th," which could only reference the date of the fake gangrape.
Lubiano notes at the bottom that "[t]his ad, printed in the most easily seen venue on campus, is just one way for us to say that we're hearing what our students are saying."
This raises a couple of issues in my mind: (1) it is a "Paid Advertisement," which means that faculty felt it was so important that they spent their own money on it; and (2) the implication is that entire departments and programs at Duke University also paid for the advertisement, which as described above prejudged the students as guilty of "this" and "what happened."
Then, Lubiano goes on to write the following: "We're turning up the volume in a moment when some of the most vulnerable among us are being asked to quiet down while we wait."
- "[T]urning up the volume" is akin to the "shouting" described earlier in the ad. In context, this is at a time when the local and national media have already turned up the volume, when potbangers and 1,000-person domestic violence protest marches were roaming Durham.
- "[T]urning up the volume" and "shouting" do not seem to be the best way for university professors to achieve a measured response or dialogue.
- "[I]n a moment" again refers to the fake rape and its warm afterglow.
- "[I]n a moment when some of the most vulnerable among us are being asked to quiet down while we wait" refers to waiting on due process and court hearings. Lubiano and the Gang of 88 are telling their students NOT to wait for due process. Join a lynch mob, see the world.
Next, the Gang of 88 compliment the potbangers and protesters, leaflet spammers, wanted poster hangers, castrate banner holders (one for each side of that HUGE banner) with this: "To the students speaking individually and to the protestors making collective noise, thank you for NOT WAITING and for making yourselves heard." (emphasis added).
- Lubiano and the Gang of 88 are lucky some crackpot did not take "individual" action.
-"[T]hank you for NOT WAITING" is positive reinforcement for judgment rushing and the perceived university-sanctioned elimination of due process.
Finally, the "Listening ad" concludes with a list of all the university departments and programs aligned against the lacrosse students. I can just imagine a lacrosse player reading the ad and thinking, "We didn't do it, but the African & African-American Studies Program, the Psychology Department and even the Franklin Humanities Institute believe we did, and they want us arrested."
A website address is given because of "space limitations" in listing all of the faculty signatories, which lends weight (in numbers) to the charges and instructions contained in the ad.
My problems with the "Listening ad," which are many and varied, do not include the allegation that the ad's author is dumb. Far from that, I think the ad was well-crafted to tacitly, yet obviously, refer to the rape as basically well-established fact.
It was also surgically designed to extract as much marrow as possible from the bones of Duke University. The Gang of 88 chose that moment to press an advantage and "negotiate" their demands with the university. Some of my problems with the "Listening ad" include the following:
A. Using what was essentially gossip (triple hearsay at best) to stir up an already tense situation.
B. Using this gossip to extract demands from the University.
C. Providing negative pre-trial publicity against their own students.
D. Failing to reflect, soberly, on the ramifications of their actions (lynching their own students)(ignoring due process)(the propriety of basing demands on gossip).
E. Implying, in a crafty way, that it was the institutional belief of a large faction in the University that rushing to judgment was condoned.
F. Implying, in a careful way, that it was the institutional belief of a large faction in the University that a rational approach to days-old gossip was "making collective noise" rather than waiting to allow due process protections to attach.
G. The shoddy scholarship involved.
H. Attacking and attempting to alienate 46 of their own students.
I. Painting themselves into such a corner that they could not later apologize and acknowledge their misdeeds.
J. Providing intellectual support to a false prosecution.
K. Prejudging and convicting their innocent students.
L. Compounding their error with a subsequent "Clarifying Statement," editorials, letters to the editor, articles, "Shut Up and Teach" forums, etc.
M. Bringing the University into disrepute.
Based upon their power play, the Gang of 88 were able to extract a number of concessions from Duke, including, among other things, the elevation of the African & African-American Studies Department, the appointment of a Diversity & Equity Officer, numerous committee investigations, including the infamous Campus Culture Initiative, various benefits for faculty and students involved in the protests or "Listening ad" and, most significantly, a chilling of speech on campus, causing other professors and administrators to refrain from denouncing the obvious hoax (and the actions of the 88).
These are my opinions only. MOO! Gregory
Tenured Dook "Professors"
And John Burness responds, "For what?", when asked if the University would apologize to the indicted players, post-exoneration.
Keep gearing for trial, Duke, as the 88 begin simultaneously stitching the world's largest wallet while singing, "We Shall Overcome."
Thursday, September 06, 2007
The Circle Jerk Continues, Easley Fondling Saacks
Mike Easley was the Attorney General of North Carolina in 1998 when his subordinates, David Hoke and Debra Graves, framed Alan Gell. Despite their egregious conduct, Hoke and Graves are still putting people in prison. Alan Gell is still a nobody. Mike Easley is now the Governor.
Ron Stephens was Durham County District Attorney in 1993-94 when his subordinates, Mike Nifong and Mary Winstead, sought to convict Timothy Malloy of bogus rape charges after Winstead "accidentally" altered and erased portions of not one, but two (2!), audio cassette tapes crucial to the defendant's case. Winstead now works with Hoke and Graves. Tim Malloy is still a nobody. Mike Nifong thought he could impose Durham Justice on Somebodies. Bad thought. He's going to jail tomorrow and is going to pay for the sins of his mentors for the rest of his miserable life. Ronnie Stephens? He's now a judge.
Jim Hardin was Durham County District Attorney in 2002 when Tracey Cline sought to convict Leon Brown of bogus rape charges although the only DNA recovered from inside the alleged victim belonged to her white cousin, the man she'd initially identified as the perpetrator. Brown, who is black, languished in jail for a year awaiting trial, after Hardin had personally given the cousin full immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony against Brown. The jury foreman considered the case a complete "waste of time," adding, "we all wondered what we were doing there. The evidence was nonexistent. We're very comfortable with the decision we made. I can't understand why that man spent a year in jail when there was no evidence whatsoever against him. It made no sense to us. Where's the justice?" Leon Brown is still a nobody. Tracey Cline is still a nobody. Jimmy Hardin? He's now on hiatus from his judgeship, after having been pegged by Easley to act as interim Durham County District Attorney following Nifong's disbarment.
Mike Nifong was Durham County District Attorney on March 23, 2006 when his subordinate, David Saacks, submitted a perjurious affidavit to Judge Ronnie Stephens, in support of a non-testimonial order for the taking of photographs and DNA samples of all forty-six white members of the Duke men's lacrosse team. As I wrote, here, the affidavit, co-executed by KC Johnson's other not-so-bad guy, Investigator Benny Himan,
"alerted Stephens to "medical records that were obtained by subpoena" indicative of Mangum having "signs, symptoms and injuries consistent with being raped and sexually assaulted vaginally and anally." As you, of course, now know, medical records had not yet even been printed, let alone obtained by law enforcement authority, at the time Saacks and Himan swore to the lies quoted, and said records, once obtained, contained no memorializations remotely tending to substantiate Saacks' and Himan's contemptible perjury. Accordingly, the photographs Mangum viewed when making her sham "identifications" of April 4th should never have been ordered to have been taken in the first place. The unconstitutionally ordered photographs were then "used" by Nifong and Mangum and Gottlieb in what is quite probably the most procedurally tainted and flagrantly unconstitutional "lineup," ever."
In a very large way, Saacks kick-started the entire mess.
Today, Governor Easley tapped Saacks to fill the seat vacated by Nifong. As properly observed by my buddy and hoax hero Bill Anderson, in a 5:36 p.m. comment left on KC Johnson's thread,
"Let's see, the "best" choice is someone who ordered the NTO that was a fishing expedition based solely on race. In other words, Durham now has a "new" prosecutor who helped to create a hoax, eviscerated constitutional rights, and bears a lot of responsibility for what happened.
Furthermore, where was Saacks when his boss and the police were breaking the law? Oh, he was supporting the lawbreakers.
Saacks belongs in jail, not in an office where he can send people to jail. I understand K.C.'s point, given the dregs that washed up on the governor's list, but once again we see that when it comes to supporting criminality, no one outdoes the State of North Carolina."
What a joke. North Carolina Good Ol' Boys Politics. A sad, sorry, despicable joke. It's not funny, though, for the Nobodies.
Roll, Benny, Roll!
This are the extent of my notes. I would hand things to Investigator Himan, and he would file them. I did take notes to organize myself and to help Investigator Himan organize the investigation just on my board. And I have a board in my office, it's a, dry-erase board. And, for example, Investigator Himan would say, "I need to have someone look at different things, how we can get a hair analysis done," And I would put my name next to that. And then he'd say, "I need a background done for this person." I would assign someone to do that if he wasn't going to do it. He'd say, "I need a court order to get e-mail records," put his name next to that, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I had asked him and was under the impression that he was taking photographs of the board, and when we finished that we would clear it. That wasn't done. And I apologize for that.
DPD Supervisor of Investigations, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, 4/19/2007
Q: You've been a member of the Durham Police Department for [nearly] twenty years, correct?
Q: Before being offered, and accepting, that job, you were required to attend police academy instruction and training, correct?
Q: In fact, you had to be certified as having successfully completed such training before starting your employment with the DPD, right?
Q: In other words, you could not be hired as a Durham police officer until having passed that professional course of training, correct?
Q: That professional training included instruction in the appropriate and acceptable ways of interviewing witnesses, no?
Q: And, "witnesses" includes crime victims, suspects, and third parties with information relevant to assist in your investigation of a crime, doesn't it?
Q: And you passed that training, of course, didn't you?
Q: You were also trained in the manner in which to make and keep notes of witness interviews, correct?
Q: Passed that training, too, right?
Q: And that training instructed that you, whenever possible, make your notes contemporaneously, that is, at the same time as, your conversations with witnesses, isn't that so?
Q: In fact, writing down witness statements at the very time the statements are made is the favored practice, is it not?
Q: An officer who writes a witness statement into his notes at the time the statement is being made is an officer using good and accepted practice, isn't that true?
Q: Well, an officer writing his notes of a statement at the time the statement is made is not doing anything wrong, is he?
Q: He's not going to be reprimanded for that, is he?
Q: Because, if you're writing down a witness statement at the time the statement is made, you are following the favored practice taught to you all the way back in the police academy, correct?
Q: I'm sure you strive, every day, to perform your job according to the proper procedures you were taught all the way back in the police academy, don't you?
Q: Because you want to do things right, right?
Q: Because you're a good officer?
Q: Your training also taught you that you should take great care to write down witness statements in your notes as accurately and completely as possible, correct?
Q: You've been trained to record the witness' statements in writing as the witness is speaking, correct?
Q And to ask the witness to repeat or clarify a particular statement that you want to memorialize perfectly in your notes, right?
Q: You were trained, in fact, to use quotation marks to connote written notes that record exactly what a witness said, were you not?
Q: And that is your own custom and practice, isn't it?
Q: So, if a witness interview note written by you includes matter framed by quotation marks, you are indicating by the quotation marks that that is exactly what the witness said, fair?
Q: If it's in quotation marks, it's not your own summary or impression of what was said, it is what was said, right?
Q: And it is, of course, your custom and practice to include in your interview notes any and all information that you deem relevant, or important, to on-going investigation, isn't it?
Q: I mean, you'd never not write down information given by a witness that you felt was important to solving the crime, right?
Q: So, you always do write down any and all important information told to you by the witness you're interviewing, correct?
Q: What do I mean? I mean, information that you, in the course of your investigation, and in consideration of your training and experience, feel is important to the case?
Q: You don't "leave out" any important stuff then, agreed?
Q: That's very important to the conduct of a thorough criminal investigation, isn't it?
Q: It's very important to justice-minded criminal investigation, isn't it?
Q: What do I mean? I mean that you know, from your training and experience, that your notes of witness interviews are often used by the District Attorney's office in the prosecution of defendants charged with the crimes you've investigated, isn't that so?
Q: You know, from your training and experience, that you might expect to be called as a witness at a criminal trial to read your investigative notes to a jury, correct?
Q: In fact, you've testified to juries in open court "X" times, haven't you?
Q: And you know, from your training and experience, that your notes of witness interviews are often introduced in open court as evidence in criminal trials, correct?
Q: You know, from your training and experience, that trials of crimes charged often occur long after, sometimes years after, the alleged crime and your investigation of it, don't you?
Q: And, knowing that, you always make sure that your contemporaneous notes of witness interviews are as full and complete and accurate as possible, correct?
Q: To help refresh your own recollection when you are called upon to testify about events long past, correct?
Q: Because your own memory of, say, investigating a purse theft would be sharper and more accurate at the time you spoke to witnesses shortly after the theft occurred than it would be, say, three or four years after its occurrence, fair?
Q: And you'd agree with me, wouldn't you, that the purpose of a criminal trial is not exclusively to secure a conviction against an accused?
Q: You'd agree with me, wouldn't you, that the dual purpose of a criminal trial is to see that, both, the guilty are convicted and that the not guilty are set free?
Q: In other words, to insure that justice is served?
Q: Which is, in large part, why it is your own custom and practice to make your notes of witness interviews at the time of the interview, or as quickly as is reasonably possible for you to do so, correct?
Q: So that the jury will have a record of witnesses recollections of a particular event at a time shortly after the event occurred, correct?
Q: Because, in your experience, the recollections of witnesses tend to change over time, do they not?
Q: In fact, it has been your experience that witnesses memories of particular events fade with time, hasn't it?
Q: Yes or no: Do you mean by that answer that, in your experience, some witnesses' memories have actually improved over time? Um-hum.
[Seek court permission to have 3 pieces of scrawl marked for identification]
Q: Now, your job also requires you to make and keep comprehensive reports of all information developed during the course of investigation, does it not?
Q: A typical such report, as opposed to witness interview notes alone, would include all relevant information you have developed pertaining to a particular investigation, fair?
Q: The report might be added to from time to time as an on-going investigation proceeds, correct?
Q: It might also include investigative information developed by other officers working on the case, correct?
Q: It would include information, for example, about the scene of the crime? Personal observations upon canvassing an area? Complaining witness or witnesses? Injuries? Personal property damage? Evidence secured from the scene? Eyewitnesses? Descriptions of suspects? Contact information -- addresses, phone numbers, and the like? Witness interviews? Fair? Anything else?
Q: Good and accepted practice is to type information already secured onto the report as soon as is reasonably possible, correct?
Q: What do I mean? I mean, if you're sitting around the station, having already secured the name and address of a suspect, and fellow officers are out in the field trying to secure the identity of a second suspect, it would be good and accepted practice for you to type the name of the suspect you've already identified onto the report, wouldn't it?
Q: There's nothing in Departmental Regulations or police academy training instructing that you should not enter the information you already possess, is there?
Q: There's nothing in Departmental Regulations or police academy training instructing that you should wait for fellow officers to complete every phase of on-going investigation before you type information you already possess onto the report, is there?
Q: In fact, the favored practice is to type information onto those reports as soon as possible after the information is received, isn't it?
Q: Even if further investigation is on-going, right?
Q: Because if information already received is recorded in a timely manner, there is virtually no possiblity that the information will be accidentally misplaced or lost, right?
Q: Most of this is pretty much just common sense, isn't it, Sergeant?
Q: And it happens, on occasion, that you interview a witness with another officer, doesn't it?
Q: And the other officer contemporaneously makes written notes of the witness' statements, as well, correct?
Q: Because, like you, he or she has attended and passed police academy training, correct?
Q: Because, like you, that other officer has learned the DPD's accepted, proper procedures, correct?
Q: Because, like you, he strives every day to do his job correctly?
Q: Because, like you, he strives every day to follow proper and favored procedure, correct?
Q: Because he's a good officer, right?
Q: In fact, all officers conducting investigations for the Durham Police Department report to you, don't they?
Q: Because, since February, 2006, you have been the Department's Supervisor of Investigations, correct?
Q: In fact, it is your responsibility, in that role, to insure that all officers follow good and accepted practice and procedure in the conduct of their investigative and reporting duties, correct?
Q: If an officer was unacceptably late in filing reports of information developed during the investigative course, it would be your job to talk to that officer, correct?
Q: It would be your job to order that officer to timely file his report, correct?
Q: It would be your job to monitor his conduct thereafter, and see that your order has been carried out, correct?
Q: It would be your job to impose reprimand or punishment, possibly including termination, if the officer continued to disregard your order and proper Departmental practice, correct?
Q: But you haven't had to reprimand or punish officers under you for untimely report filing since you became Investigations Supervisor, have you?
Q: Because the Durham Police Department only employs good, competent officers, doesn't it?
Q: Okay. Now, on those occasions when you and another officer interview a witness together, you compare your own notes with those of your brother officer soon after the interview, don't you?
Q: And you expect, even before comparing your notes with those of your brother officer, that his and yours will memorialize similar, if not exact, information, correct?
Q: And, as concerns particular information contained in the comprehensive report, the particular officer who developed that information is typically the officer who types it onto the body of the document, correct?
Q: There is space provided on the formal report for the investigating officer to type in statements secured during witness interviews, correct?
Q: The information typed in that space on the formal report would include all of the important information included in your original notes of the witness interview, correct?
Q: And since you always include any and all important information stated by a witness in your hand-written notes, you simply have to type onto the formal report the entirety of what you've previously written down when interviewing the witness, correct?
Q: And, in the event that a witness was interviewed by you and another officer, that officer's hand-written notes would also be transferred to the formal, typed report, correct?
Q: But there shouldn't be any significant or important difference between his report entry and yours, should there?
Q: Because you interviewed the witness together, right?
Q: Heard the same statements at the same time, right?
Q: And, following good and accepted police procedure, you both took notes contemporaneously, that is, at the same time the statement was being uttered, correct?
[Insert 633 additional questions, here.]
Q: Now, there are Departmental regulations, are there not, setting forth the time by which information previously collected is to be typed onto the formal report, correct?
Q: Well, have you, in your lengthy career, developed a custom and practice that you strive to follow regarding the time between your conduct of an interview and when you type your notes of that interview into the formal report?
Q: Okay. Is it fair to state that the formal, typed report is to be filled in within a reasonable time following the collection of the information that is to be memorialized upon the body of the report?
Q: What constitutes a reasonable time?
Q: Well, I understand that circumstances of a particular investigation, or of an officer's personal life, might vary the definition of "reasonable time" a bit from case to case but, certainly, you'd agree with me that the passage of four months between investigation undertaken and typing the investigative results into a formal report is unreasonable, wouldn't you?
[Insert 897 additional questions, here]
Q: It would be particularly unreasonable when counsel representing an individual or individuals indicted for the crime under investigation have demanded your report for months and months, wouldn't it?
[Seek court permission to have neatly-typed, single-spaced, thirty-three page "Report" marked for identification]
Crystal Mess, August 25, 2006
Where are Gottlies' real notes?
Do it, Ben.