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11201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 23, 2008, 02:58:37 PM

August 20, 2008, 6:45 a.m.

‘Just Words’ That Joe Biden Would Like To Forget
The curse of a loose mouth and Nexis.

By Jim Geraghty

The fun thing about an Obama-Biden ticket is that the McCain campaign can point to a new awkward comment by Joe Biden — either on the importance of experience, in praise of McCain, or in support of invading Iraq — that contradicts the stands and qualities of the Democratic nominee for every day from now until Election Day.

Biden, on a post-debate appearance on MSNBC, October 30, 2007: “The only guy on the other side who’s qualified is John McCain.”

Biden appearing on The Daily Show, August 2, 2005: “John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off, be well off no matter who...”

On Meet the Press, November 27, 2005: “I’ve been calling for more troops for over two years, along with John McCain and others subsequent to my saying that.”

Reacting to an Obama speech on counterterrorism, August 1, 2007: “‘Look, the truth is the four major things he called for, well, hell that’s what I called for,’ Biden said today on MSNBC’s Hardball, echoing comments he made earlier in the day at an event promoting his book at the National Press Club. Biden added, ‘I’m glad he’s talking about these things.’”

Also that day, the Biden campaign issued a release that began, “The Biden for President Campaign today congratulated Sen. Barack Obama for arriving at a number of Sen. Biden’s long-held views on combating al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” That release mocked Obama for asking about the “stunning level of mercury in fish” and asked about a proposal for the U.S. adopt a ban on mercury sales abroad at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Assessing Obama’s Iraq plan on September 13, 2007: “My impression is [Obama] thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany” of peaceful coexistence among warring sects. “I’ve seen zero evidence of that.”

Speaking to the New York Observer: Biden was equally skeptical — albeit in a slightly more backhanded way — about Mr. Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Also from that Observer interview: “But — and the ‘but’ was clearly inevitable — he doubts whether American voters are going to elect ‘a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,’ and added: ‘I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.’”

Around that time, Biden in an interview with the Huffington Post, he assessed Obama and Hillary Clinton: “The more people learn about them (Obama and Hillary) and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate.”

December 11, 2007: “If Iowans believe campaign funds and celebrity will fix the debacle in Iraq, put the economy on track, and provide health care and education for America’s children, they should support another candidate,” said Biden for President Campaign Manager Luis Navarro. “But I’m confident that Iowans know what I know: our problems will require experience and leadership from Day One. Empty slogans will be no match for proven action on caucus night.”

Also that night, Biden said in a campaign ad, “When this campaign is over, political slogans like ‘experience’ and ‘change’ will mean absolutely nothing. The next president has to act.”

September 26, 2007: Biden for President Campaign Manager Luis Navarro said, “Sen. Obama said he would do everything possible to end the war in Iraq and emphasized the need for a political solution yet he failed to show up to vote for Sen. Biden’s critical amendment to provide a political solution in Iraq.

December 26, 2006: “Frankly, I think I’m more qualified than other candidates, and the issues facing the American public are all in my wheelbarrow.”

 Biden on Meet the Press in 2002, discussing Saddam Hussein: “He’s a long term threat and a short term threat to our national security… “We have no choice but to eliminate the threat. This is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world.”

Biden on Meet the Press in 2002: “Saddam must be dislodged from his weapons or dislodged from power.”

Biden on Meet the Press in 2007, on Hussein’s WMDs: “Well, the point is, it turned out they didn’t, but everyone in the world thought he had them. The weapons inspectors said he had them. He catalogued — they catalogued them. This was not some, some Cheney, you know, pipe dream. This was, in fact, catalogued.”

Biden, on Obama’s Iraq plan in August 2007: “I don’t want [my son] going [to Iraq],” Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said from the campaign trail Wednesday, according to a report on Radio Iowa. “But I tell you what, I don’t want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years and so how we leave makes a big difference.” Biden criticized Democratic rivals such as Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama who have voted against Iraq funding bills to try to pressure President Bush to end the war. “There’s no political point worth my son’s life,” Biden said, according to Radio Iowa. “There’s no political point worth anybody’s life out there. None.”

Biden on Meet the Press, April 29, 2007: “The threat [Saddam Hussein] presented was that, if Saddam was left unfettered, which I said during that period, for the next five years with sanctions lifted and billions of dollars into his coffers, then I believed he had the ability to acquire a tactical nuclear weapon — not by building it, by purchasing it. I also believed he was a threat in that he was — every single solitary U.N. resolution which he agreed to abide by, which was the equivalent of a peace agreement at the United Nations, after he got out of — after we kicked him out of Kuwait, he was violating. Now, the rules of the road either mean something or they don’t. The international community says “We’re going to enforce the sanctions we placed” or not. And what was the international community doing? The international community was weakening. They were pulling away.”

Biden to the Brookings Institution in 2005: “We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out — equally a mistake.”

Analyzing the surge on Meet the Press, September 9, 2007: “I mean, the truth of the matter is that, that the — America’s — this administration’s policy and the surge are a failure, and that the surge, which was supposed to stop sectarian violence and — long enough to give political reconciliation, there’s been no political reconciliation... The reality is that, although there has been some mild progress on the security front, there is, in fact, no, no real security in Baghdad and/or in Anbar province, where I was, dealing with the most serious problem, sectarian violence. Sectarian violence is as strong and as solid and as serious a problem as it was before the surge started.”

Biden in October of 2002: “We must be clear with the American people that we are committing to Iraq for the long haul; not just the day after, but the decade after.”

On Meet the Press, January 7, 2007, assessing the proposal of a surge of troops to Iraq: “If he surges another 20, 30, or whatever number he’s going to, into Baghdad, it’ll be a tragic mistake, in my view, but, as a practical matter, there’s no way to say, ‘Mr. President, stop.’”

On Meet the Press, November 27, 2005: “Unless we fundamentally change the rotation dates and fundamentally change how many members of the National Guard we’re calling up, it’ll be virtually impossible to maintain 150,000 folks this year.” (The number of troops in Iraq peaked at 162,000 in August 2007, during the surge.)

Having said all that: “There’s something decent at the core of Joe Biden.” — Jim Geraghty, December 13, 2007

— Jim Geraghty writes the “Campaign Spot” blog for NRO.

National Review Online -
11202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 23, 2008, 09:32:03 AM

Well, at least with Biden, Obama locks up all three of Delaware's electoral votes!   evil


I love watching the dems self-destruct. Wouldn't miss it.
11203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 23, 2008, 09:01:40 AM

Biden has a good point!
11204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 23, 2008, 08:40:25 AM
Biden? Biden? Bwahahahahahahahaha!

The only thing that could make this better is having Celine Dion sing "My heart will go on" to open the democratic convention.
11205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: It's all about back yards on: August 22, 2008, 09:25:48 PM
Wow. My spanish is better than I though....   grin
11206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: August 22, 2008, 02:46:24 PM
A Response to Feminists on the Violent Oppression of Women in Islam   
By David Horowitz and Robert Spencer | Thursday, January 24, 2008

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has succeeded in putting the feminists and Islamists on the defensive. As David Horowitz and Robert Spencer note in the article below, the DHFC's exposure of the feminist movement's lack of attention to women's rights in the Muslim world has caused many of the movement's most prominent activists to sign a letter protesting that they originated concern for Muslim women. The letter, drafted by feminist writer Katha Pollitt, has been signed by such notables as:
Susan Faludi, the author of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women, which argues conservatives are trying to suppress American womyn, and The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America, which claims terrorism provided a handy excuse for the American Right to begin binding women's feet again;
Julianne Malveaux, who expressed her feelings about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on PBS' To the Contrary, "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease"
Jennifer Baumgardner, a Nation writer whose idea of fighting female oppression is staging productions of The Vagina Monologues;
Dana Goldstein, an employee of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress and a writing fellow at the Soros-funded The American Prospect; and
More than 700 more leftists.
The letter spread quickly, beginning on the website of the far-Left's flagship publication, The Nation. (The Nation's piece was also picked up by Yahoo News). Soon, it had been posted on Mother Jones, the Islamic Forum, the University of Maine, and many other sites -- including that of a woman named Heart who is running for president. Not all are pleased; at least one insists U.S. immigration laws and Israeli treatment of Palestinians are a more direct affront to women's rights than clitorectomies. (She asks, "Does Ms. Pollitt think that 'Muslim countries' are particularly hostile to women’s rights for some reason?") Nonetheless, the very fact that the Left, so long silent about the crimes countenanced by its Islamic partners in the antiwar movement, now feels that it must mount a rousing defense is a vindication of our efforts. -- The Editors.

This week, seven hundred feminists signed an Open Letter complaining that “columnists and opinion writers from The Weekly Standard to the Washington Post to Slate have recently accused American feminists of focusing obsessively on minor or even nonexistent injustices in the United States while ignoring atrocities against women in other countries, especially the Muslim world.”

We recognize this Open Letter as a delayed response to the Freedom Center’s Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, which protested the silence of feminists over the “Oppression of Women in Islam” on campuses all over the country last fall, organized sit-ins at a dozen Women’s Studies Departments to protest the absence of courses and department-sponsored events confronting the issue, and made this a matter of national discussion and debate. This is why the signers of the Open Letter complain that “‘Women’s rights are human rights’ was not a slogan dreamed up by David Horowitz or Christina Hoff Sommers,” two of our speakers for Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. (We never claimed it was.)

The signers of this Letter claim that, “contrary to the accusations of pundits,” they support Muslim feminists in “their struggle against female genital mutilation, ‘honor’ murder, forced marriage, child marriage, compulsory Islamic dress codes, the criminalization of sex outside marriage, brutal punishments like lashing and stoning, family laws that favor men and that place adult women under the legal power of fathers, brothers, and husbands, and laws that discount legal testimony made by women.”

Well, we welcome these avowals of support for the rights of Muslim women. However, forgive us for doubting their sincerity. As one of us pointed out in a speech given at the University of Wisconsin during Islamo-Fascism Week:

“One of our concerns … is the failure of the Women’s Studies Movement to educate students about these atrocities. Our researchers looked at more than 600 Women’s Studies programs on fifteen American campuses, which focus on the unequal treatment of women in society. But they were unable to locate a single class which focuses on the oppression of women under Islamic law.”

What was true last October is still true today. As recently as December 10, a Muslim teenager was strangled by her father for refusing to wear a hijab without a protest from the American feminist movement. And that is only one of many crimes committed in the name of Islam against Muslim women over which the feminist movement continues to be silent.

On New Year’s Day, Amina Said, 18, and her sister Sarah, 17, were shot dead in Irving, Texas. Police are searching for their father, Yaser Abdel Said, on a warrant for capital murder. The girls’ great aunt, Gail Gartrell, told reporters, “This was an honor killing.” Apparently Yaser Said murdered his daughters because they had non-Muslim boyfriends.

The signers of the Open Letter say that they are against honor killing. Here is an honor killing in the United States. Where are these feminists on this issue? Why are they not supporting the hunt for Amina’s and Sarah’s killers and organizing a campaign in the Muslim community to stop such practices?

On Sunday, January 20, the New York Times published an article, “A Cutting Tradition,” which falsely described female genital mutilation practiced under Islamic law as “circumcision” and portrayed it in a generally positive light, and even warned against “blindly judging those who practice it.” The article made no mention of the physical effects of this barbaric practice, which affects 140 million Muslim girls who have their genitals sliced off yearly, and in some 15 million cases their vaginal tract sewn up. These effects, as enumerated by the British Medical Journal in 1993, are “Immediate physical complications include severe pain, shock, infection, bleeding, acute urinary infection, tetanus, and death. Long-term problems include chronic pain, difficulties with micturition and menstruation, pelvic infection leading to infertility, and prolonged and obstructed labor during childbirth.”

Where is the feminist outrage over the New York Times article? Where are the feminist demonstrations against this practice? Where are the campus teach-ins? Where are the candlelight parades? What Muslim organizations have been confronted for their complicity in this assault on female Muslim children? This is a horrific crime against the female gender -- global in extent -- and yet one would be hard-pressed to identify a single public event, protest or march organized by feminists to oppose it.

The Open Letter mentions the feminist “V-Day” organized to protest violence against women. We challenge the signers of this letter to identify the speeches given during “V-Day” that protested female genital mutilation in the Islamic world. We challenge them to identify the Vagina Monologue of Islamic misogyny.

We are encouraged by the fact that these American feminists feel the need to respond to our challenge over their silence as a movement on violence against Muslim women and to assert their opposition to these barbaric practices. We challenge them now to put actions behind their words.

Join us in sponsoring a campus tour on the Oppression of Women in Islam with speakers such as Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Form academic committees to provide curricula on these subjects in Women’s Studies courses. Devote a major segment of your V-Day demonstrations to the plight of Muslim women. Join us during Islamo-Fascism Week II this spring in appealing to campus Muslim organizations to condemn these practices.

Then we’ll know you’re serious.
11207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: August 22, 2008, 02:40:40 PM
China Looks Across the Strait   
By Dan Blumenthal and Christopher Griffin
The Weekly Standard | Friday, August 22, 2008

For Beijing, Russia's invasion of Georgia has been a mixed blessing. Vladimir Putin stole China's limelight during the Olympics' opening ceremonies with a fireworks display of his own in the Caucasus and embarrassed his Chinese hosts. On the other hand, Putin's Olympics offensive has a long-term upside for Beijing: that the West dithered during the invasion of an upstart democracy must have provided comfort to those in China who want to settle the Taiwan issue by force.
The U.S. response to the invasion of Georgia was embarrassing. President Bush chose not to interrupt his Beijing itinerary of watching basketball and beach volleyball, and his administration's lackadaisical actions sent a clear message to his Chinese hosts about waning American will to stand by its allies. The initial call by both presidential candidate Barack Obama and President Bush that both aggressor and victim stand down must have been music to China's ears.
For years China has been selling the argument that Taiwan is a provocateur. Beijing argued throughout the administration of independence-leaning Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian that "separatists" in Taipei had hijacked Chinese "compatriots" on the island who really want unification with the Chinese motherland. Remove the separatists, China's rhetoric went, and Taiwan will return to the motherland--allow them to govern, and China will one day have to attack.
The election of the more accommodationist President Ma Ying-jeou has somewhat stalled China's belligerence, but Taiwan is a democracy and the "separatists" will be voted back in one day. The Taiwanese public, moreover, is itself becoming more separatist--only a tiny and diminishing minority wants to unify with China. This fact may explain why, even after Ma's election, China has not halted its military build-up across the Strait: Over 1,000 ballistic missiles, 300 advanced fighters, dozens of submarines and destroyers are poised to wreak havoc on the small, isolated island. As China grows stronger it is no longer fanciful to imagine it pulling a Putin, trumping up any number of Taiwanese "provocations" as a pretext to attack.
The underlying tensions in the Taiwan Strait bear important similarities to those in the Caucasus. Just as authoritarian Russia objects to a democratic, pro-American Georgia, so too authoritarian China sees a democratic, pro-American Taiwan as a gaping wound on its periphery. The main cause of tensions is domestic politics. An authoritarian China, like authoritarian Russia, needs fervent nationalism to retain its shaky legitimacy. The "sacred goal" of reunifying the motherland serves that purpose well.
America's tepid response to Russia's invasion of Georgia has harmed its ability to act as a global deterrent. If Washington was slow in response to Georgia, a country that it sponsored for NATO membership, whose president it feted at the White House in 2006 and that hosted President Bush in 2005 with great fanfare, Beijing must wonder if the United States would do anything for isolated Taiwan. Unlike Georgia, Taiwan is a pariah in the international community.
Washington's complicity in Taiwan's isolation only tempts Chinese aggression. While Russia's actions have sent a harmful signal to all would-be aggressors, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is far from inevitable. The United States can recapitalize its maritime and air forces in the Pacific, and make it clear that it will defend Taiwan from attack. America is a $15 trillion economy that can afford the weapons it needs to keep the peace in the Pacific. While Beijing's military threat to Taiwan should be taken seriously, China is a $3 trillion economy with a host of domestic problems.
In the end, though, the true path to peace in the Strait is a reformed and liberalized China focused on its manifold domestic problems rather than on a bellicose nationalism.

Dan Blumenthal is a resident fellow and Christopher Griffin a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
11208  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 22, 2008, 02:33:26 PM
Hmmmmm. That kind of sounds like making a brief statement to the police.....    evil
11209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 22, 2008, 09:45:39 AM

What Sort of Plea Did Clinton Cop?
Chris Suellentrop
Posted Friday, Jan. 19, 2001, at 7:09 PM ET

President Clinton and Independent Counsel Robert Ray agreed Friday to settle the seven-year Whitewater probe. The president admitted that he gave misleading testimony in the 1998 Paula Jones case about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, accepted a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license, and promised to cover $25,000 in legal fees related to disbarment proceedings against him in Arkansas. In exchange, Ray agreed not to indict Clinton on perjury charges. What kind of agreement is this?

It's not your everyday legal agreement. It's not a declination, in which a prosecutor drops a criminal investigation because the case isn't solid enough to indict. Nor is it a plea bargain, in which a prosecutor accepts a guilty plea from the indicted in exchange for a lenient sentence (because, of course Clinton was never indicted). Nor is it a referral of a criminal case to civil authorities for resolution (such as when a criminal antitrust case is referred to civil prosecutors). The most unusual aspect of the deal is that Clinton reached a civil resolution with a criminal prosecutor.

The Clinton-Ray agreement occupies a legal space somewhere between a declination and a plea bargain. Ray declined to indict Clinton for criminal perjury (as in a declination), but he also struck a deal that requires Clinton to admit his evasions in the Jones proceedings and to pay a price (as in a plea bargain).

The deal brings in a third party, the Arkansas Supreme Court's Committee on Professional Conduct, which was considering disbarment of Clinton--a civil action--over his alleged perjury. How exactly the deal was brokered is not clear. But here's what it offers the three parties: Ray goes home knowing that Clinton received some punishment for his behavior. The Supreme Court's committee gets the same satisfaction. And Clinton frees himself from the clutches of a criminal prosecutor and from a civil proceeding in which he could have been disbarred.

Next question?

Explainer thanks Paul Butler, professor of criminal law at George Washington University Law School, and Jamin Raskin, professor of constitutional law at American University.

Chris Suellentrop, a former Slate staffer, writes "The Opinionator" for the New York Times.
Article URL:
11210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 22, 2008, 09:14:50 AM
Can you cite the source for your statistics?
11211  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 22, 2008, 09:08:18 AM
Ok, say it's you vs. Johnny Ratzo. Now you're standing over Johnny but no passer-by has dialed 911. Are you going to call 911? What do you say to the dispatcher on the recorded line? Do you have an attorney on retainer? Will your attorney call 911 for you ?
11212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 21, 2008, 09:42:07 PM
Ahhh I have always liked the quote, "I don't care if he's a dictator as long as he's (America) our dictator".  So true; we have supported so many despots and butchers to further our own gain and oddly quite a few have come back to bite us.  And only then do we act noble and indignant. 

**Let's just put aside what we did in rebuilding Germany and Japan post-WWII and examine other dictators we were aligned with. Taiwan and South Korea spring to mind. Initially they were both quite totalitarian when we aligned with them out of pragmatism. Over time, we were able to pressure them into becoming very decent nations with human rights and free elections, not to mention quite a bit of prosperity. Which side of the Korean border would you rather live on? Would you rather live in Taipei or Beijing?**

We can't be the policeman of the world; tragedy happens, or as GM said, "War is brutal and horrible." 

**It is brutal and horrible. There is nothing romantic or wonderful about war, much like choosing to have a limb amputated, it's something to do only when there is no other viable option. True enough that we at any one time can't address every wrong in the world and confront every dictator, this does not mean that we can't act in a manner that furthers the cause of human freedom as well as our national interest.**

GM, I believe YOU said, "If I had to choose between dead enemy civilians and dead US troops, I'ld choose for dead enemies."  Obviously, you don't care a whole lot for those innocent civilians - so what's your point or criticism of the "liberal left"?

**If I had to choose that an utterly sterile war could be fought where no innocents at all were killed or wounded, that would be my preference. If there was never a need for war ever, that would be even better. The US goes to incredible lengths to avoid the deaths of innocents and tries to provide humanitarian aid while engaging in combat operations. This is because of core American values. The left loves to claim to care about people, but does nothing but love and support the worst dictators and ideologies on the planet, so long as they are sufficiently anti-american.**
11213  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: August 21, 2008, 08:33:02 PM
More kids die from drowning in swimming pools every year than are killed by firearms. I'm saying it's long past time we ban the possession of swimming pools.  evil
11214  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 21, 2008, 08:30:05 PM
Let's get this straight; Miquel Goodguy killed one (Johnny Ratzo) and wounded two others forcing them to flee.  And Miguel is covered in blood.  No witnesses to how it started, just one witnesses report, "fight in progress".  Seems to me that the Det. has PC to arrest Mr. Goodguy regardless of how he tells the story and/or the previous arrest record of the "victims".

**He does have PC, however depending on state law and department policy, the Det or ranking officer on scene may well have the discretion to not arrest Miguel on the scene while the investigation takes place. Self defense is an absolute defense against a criminal charge, not a mitigating factor. It very well could be forwarded to the DA's office to determine if charges should be pursued. The DA might bring charges or convene a grand jury to examine the case to decide if there are charges to be pursued.** 

Talking to police MAY get him exonerated OR arrested. 

**Without saying a word, there is PC to arrest Miguel. In choosing to do so, he risks losing evidence that could be collected that would corroborate his claim of self defense. Lots of jurors expect that a rightious person would indeed make some sort of statement to law enforcement, especially a statement asserting self defense.**

And his own words might bury him later.  The "disparity of force and violence of the assault" needs to be proven and evaluated by the DA. 

**If there were three assailants, that's all you need for disparity of force that would justify Miguel using deadly force. There are plenty of use of force expert witnesses that can testify how three unarmed attacks can quickly overwhelm a single person and cause him/her serious bodily injury/death. Most everyone in law enforcement understands this concept**

And hanging overhead is the potential civil action of the "sweet and innocent" bride of dear but dead Johnny Ratzo. 

**Civil liability hangs over the head of everyone at all times. In self defense, the 1st problem is surviving the confrontation, the 2nd is the criminal justice system, the civil side is the least of your worries. If Miguel ends up doing time in the CDC, a civil suit from Johnny Ratzo's survivors is really the least of his problems. If Miguel were cleared on the criminal side, then it would be tougher to pursue something on the civil side. Still, that's the least of the concerns in this scenario.**

What was Mr. Goodguy's state of mind?  Could lethal force have been avoided?  Did he try to retreat, or did he take the attack to them?  We (the police) don't know the "facts", just Mr. Goodguy's opinion. 

**Once Miguel makes the assertion that he acted in self defense, then he has a due process right to that assertion being investigated as the caselaw I posted above says. The investigation pieces together facts, and with a degree of cooperation from Miguel then there is opportunity for evidence that corroborates his claim that there were multiple attackers to be found and documented.**

I still would think Basic Rule # is to keep your mouth shut.  "I am so shook up, I just can't talk right now..." and wait until your attorney arrives is good advice.  Wait for an attorney; his job is to defend you.

**Big boy rules apply. You do what you think is in your best interest. Unless you have a prior professional relationship with an attorney and a LARGE retainer, it's very unlikely he/she will be rolling to represent you minutes after a self defense incident.**

As an example, most Officer Involved Shooting Protocols ask for the officer involved to give a voluntary statement immediately after the shooting. 

**OIS policies vary from dept. to dept. Law enforcement officers have issues related to Garrity that allows the agency to compel a statement/written report that citizens don't face. My dept. requires a written report for any use of force to be completed before the end of the shift. Were I to have a similar encounter with a Johnny Ratzo while off duty, i'd make an initial statement to the responding officers to ensure that they had the evidence that would corroborate my assertion of a lawful use of force. Yes, i'd get legal representation, but i'd make an initial statement as well**

 Yet in nearly every case BEFORE giving a voluntary statement to his own police department the officer involved will "speak with their attorney PRIOR to giving a voluntary statement."  Now, if a police officer thinks an attorney is necessary BEFORE he gives a voluntary statement, I sure do!

**The point were are debating is not to have an attorney or not, but if it's good policy to never talk to the police, no matter what.**
11215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 21, 2008, 08:51:35 AM
The Left, Georgia and Double Standards   
By Steven Plaut | Thursday, August 21, 2008

Putin's Russia is, at this very moment, in the process of inventing a new "nation" that is in need of "self-determination" as a shrewd and brutal ploy to break up Georgia. It is has shrewdly coordinated moves by separatists inside Georgia to serve as a justification for its own invasion.

The Putin regime articulates outrage about the mistreatment of the Ossetians, while mysteriously being totally callous about its own human rights abuses inside Russia, especially in Chechnya. It is obvious that the  Russians are preaching human rights and self-determination as a weapon to engage in aggression. 

The story brings to mind two historical parallels. The first is the campaign by Nazi Germany on behalf of "self-determination" for the Sudeten Germans inside Czechoslovakia in the 1930s.  Germany also invented a "people" in need of self-determination inside the small state it had designs on. Thus, it invented claims of human rights abuses and then used the separatist activities of the Sudetens as an excuse to invade and demolish Czechoslovakia. It goes without saying that human rights were respected much more inside Czechoslovakia than inside Nazi Germany.  And ethnic Germans already had their own sovereign countries they could migrate to if they were unhappy in the Sudeten areas of Czechoslovakia.

The other historical parallel concerns the invention of a "Palestinian people."  The Arabs use the "Palestinian" separatist movement in a similar way to how Russia uses the Ossetian separatists.  The Arabs and their apologists invent tales of "human rights abuses" by Israel of "Palestinians" much like Russia invents stories about Georgian mistreatment of Ossetians. Never mind that the human rights of Arabs inside Israel are respected infinitely better than are those of Arabs inside Arab countries, and that non-Arabs inside Arab countries are treated even worse.  The world is up in arms about so-called Israeli "apartheid," while in reality Israel is the only Middle East regime that is not an apartheid regime.

Yes, the Georgians did sometimes mistreat the Ossetians and the Ossetians have a far stronger case for self-determination than the "Palestinians."  The Ossetians speak their own language unrelated to that of their neighbors and have their own culture.  In comparison, the "Palestinians" are far less different culturally and less distinct linguistically from the Arabs in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria (whence most of them migrated into "Palestine" in the late 19th and early 20th century).

These phenomena beg a serious question: If the world is horrified at Russian aggression and behavior towards Georgians, where is its outrage at Arab aggression towards Israel and behavior identical to that of Russia?  Why are those who dismiss the claims of a right to self-determination by Ossetians not dismissing as a similar Sudeten-style ploy the demands for "Palestinian self-determination?" Why are Palestinians, who enjoy treatment far better than that of the Ossetians and the Chechens, the focus of countless media exposes about their imaginary mistreatment by Israel?

And where are all those solidarity protesters? Where are the "International Solidarity Movement" protesters who like to attack Israeli troops and police and to serve as "human shields" to protect the Palestinian "victims" of Israeli self-defense? Why are they not rushing to Ossetia and Georgia to stand up to the Russian troops, throwing rocks at them and singing Kun-Ba-Ya? 

Where are the leftist human shields blocking the path of Russian military vehicles the same way they block Israeli Defense Forces operations? Are they afraid they will not be served the same nice gourmet lattes they get when Israeli forces apprehend them for hooliganism in the West Bank?

Why are leftists not organizing ships to break the Russian blockade of the Georgia coast the same way they are trying to provide sea-borne aid to the Hamas in Gaza?  Where are the Rachel Corries and why are they not challenging Russian bulldozer crews?  Why are the Anarchists against the Wall not hopping planes to Tbilisi to challenge Russian construction crews erecting walls in Abkhazia and Ossetia?  Why are the Israeli leftist professors not holding pro-Ossetian poetry readings and solidarity rallies in Tbilisi?

Here we have the hypocrisy of the members of the political faith exposed for all to see.

Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog" at
11216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 20, 2008, 11:05:15 PM

Obama channels UN’s Egeland in sneering at American charity

As if Barack Obama didn’t do enough damage with his “above my pay grade” response on abortion at the Saddleback Church presidential forum on Saturday, Jay Ambrose finds another revealing nugget in a different answer Obama gave Rick Warren.  When asked about his own shortcomings, Obama gave an initially touching response in identifying a “fundamental selfishness” in his youth that led to destructive behaviors.  Unfortunately, Obama then expanded on his statement to accuse Americans of a lack of charity:

“Americans’ greatest moral failure in my lifetime,” he said, “has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”

Sorry, but he can hang that one up. Whatever the case is with his own selfishness, the evidence of an internationally superior American generosity is impressive, beginning with the numbers on our charitable giving. We give twice as much as the British per capita, and according to The American magazine, seven times as much as the Germans and 14 times as much as the Italians.

Even in inflation-adjusted dollars, the amount given each year just keeps getting larger, and meanwhile, we do far more volunteer work than in other industrialized countries.

Obama’s allegation echoes that of then-UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland in December 2004.  In the immediate aftermath of the Asian tsunami disaster, Egeland commented that America was “stingy” (as well as other Western nations).  He called on the US to take more money in taxes so that the funds could get redirected to the UN relief funds:

“It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really,” the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. “Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become.”

“There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy,” he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe “believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It’s not true. They want to give more.”

This makes sense if people count only that charity taken by threat of force by the government.  Even then, the notion made no sense; the US sent a massive Navy presence to the islands devastated by the tsunamis to ensure the proper distribution of relief, at no small cost to our nation and military during a period when we were fighting two wars.  Even apart from that, Americans raised over $2 billion privately for tsunami relief, more than doubling the $900 million spent by the US government.

In fact, no country even came close to our efforts in tsunami relief.  Germany and Australia gave $1.3 billion, the UK almost $800 million, Canada $780 million, Japan $500 million, and France gave $300 million.

The American noted the difference between Americans and the rest of the world as givers:

No developed country approaches American giving. For example, in 1995 (the most recent year for which data are available), Americans gave, per capita, three and a half times as much to causes and charities as the French, seven times as much as the Germans, and 14 times as much as the Italians. Similarly, in 1998, Americans were 15 percent more likely to volunteer their time than the Dutch, 21 percent more likely than the Swiss, and 32 percent more likely than the Germans. These differences are not attributable to demographic characteristics such as education, income, age, sex, or marital status. On the contrary, if we look at two people who are identical in all these ways except that one is European and the other American, the probability is still far lower that the European will volunteer than the American.

In Spain, the government studied this question and found that the US more than doubled any Western nation in per-capita donations (in Euros):


Czech Republic………………25


So the notion that Americans somehow come up short on charitable giving is simply a myth.  Moreover, it’s a myth with a purpose.  The people who float this nonsense want to take more out in taxes so that the elites who run the government make the decisions on how the money gets spent, and not the people who originally earn the money.

Once again, we see Obama give a knee-jerk Blame America First response without knowing the facts.  Americans give mightily, as a normal condition and especially in times of crisis.  Does Obama think he can win the votes of Americans by slandering them?

Addendum: As Instapundit notes, perhaps Obama can stop lecturing Americans about how to care for their figurative brothers and set an example by taking care of his own real brother, living in destitution and squalor.

Update: And while we’re talking about charity, please visit Baldilocks’ site to help her support the school Obama forgot.

11217  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: August 20, 2008, 06:19:38 PM
Some criminals are incredibly sharp witted and can lie with incredible ability.

The police arrive and based on what she saw on the net, grandma refuses to speak to the police. Meanwhile, the little dirtbag tells the police that he was walking down the sidewalk when the old lady confronted him at gunpoint and abducted him into her home. He then says he was trying to call 911 for help when she caught him and told him to tell the dispatcher he broke in, all while at gunpoint.

I wish I could ask the prof to answer that one.  evil
11218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 20, 2008, 06:00:49 PM
**It always amazes me how the left seems not to care how many lives are lost by the people they claim to care for so much. Never a dictator you can't side with, so long as he's anti-american, right JDN? Who cares about the Vietnamese and Cambodians the left delivered into mass graves, right? Why not do the same to the Iraqis and Georgians too? Keep the left's streak going.**

Pinning Civilian Deaths on the Great Satan   
By Mark D. Tooley | Friday, October 13, 2006

A British medical journal is once again inflating the number of Iraqis killed during the U.S.-led liberation of that country -- and pillars of the Religious Left have welcomed the chance to demonize the United States. The Lancet, is claiming that the freeing of Iraq has caused more than 600,000 deaths. The study interviewed 1,849 families and found that 547 people died in the post-invasion period, whereas these families remembered only 82 dying during a similar period before the invasion. From these 465 additional deaths, the study confidently extrapolated that 654,965 civilians have died from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As one blogger points out, the study claims that more Iraqi civilians have been killed over the last three years than were German civilians killed during five years of intense Allied bombing during World War II.

That is a remarkable claim indeed, but one eagerly embraced by Religious Left activists Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Bob Edgar of the National Council of Churches, who are eager for macabre new grist for their antiwar, anti-American tirades.

“From now on, any political debate on Iraq must start here and be disciplined by these FACTS,” Wallis asserts. “Not by politics, not by arguments, not by visions of democracy in the Middle East, but by the deaths caused to so many of God’s children.”

Edgar sounded a similar note of confidence about the study’s assertions. “When I first heard that nearly two-thirds of a million Iraqis have been killed I was shocked and horribly saddened,” he said. “The perpetrators of this war can no longer tell us this is 'collateral damage' as they prosecute this war. They must face up to the widespread death and destruction that is being inflicted daily upon innocent men, women, and children living in a country that never attacked the United States.”

Even the study acknowledges that two-thirds of these supposed 600,000-plus civilian deaths were caused by insurgents and sectarian violence, not by the Allied forces. At least Wallis makes reference to this. But naturally he and Edgar will latch onto the study as definitive validation of their demand for immediate U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, although such a precipitous withdrawal would certainly increase the sectarian strife, send an invitation to jihadists, and result in a bloodbath as did our withdrawal from Vietnam (which Edgar and Wallis also supported).

“Any politician speaking about the war should be asked how they intend to stop the violence and blood-letting that has overwhelmed that country,” Wallis demands, assuming it is within the power of U.S. politicians to stop Sunnis and Shiites from killing each other. ”Every candidate running for the U.S. Senate or Congress should be asked how they feel about the loss of all these lives and how they intend to stop it,” Wallis further opines, without explaining how any member of the U.S. Congress could stop all “the violence” in any country.

Edgar insists that “nearly every major Christian church leader spoke out against this war before the invasion” because the war “did not remotely meet the criteria of a just war.” Of course, neither Edgar nor Wallis have ever described what exactly would constitute a just war. Wallis is pacifist who believes that force is never justified, and Edgar, although disclaiming the label, is at least opposed to wars waged by the U.S. military, most especially those waged against Communists.

Wallis and Edgar have long experience in opposing the America at war. Both came of age politically by opposing the Vietnam War. Edgar as a young Democratic U.S. Representative from Philadelphia was even a member of the notorious 94th U.S. Congress, which refused to aid the drowning South Vietnamese in 1975 as they were overrun by North Vietnam's Soviet-supplied tanks.

Like others on the anti-war Left, Wallis and Edgar saw the Vietnam War as purely the invention of U.S. interventionism and imperialism. All killed Vietnamese and U.S. servicemen were victims of U.S. folly. American withdrawal from Southeast Asia was the end of Wallis’ and Edgar’s interest in any killing there. The victorious Communists murdered millions in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Thousands more “boat people” would drown at sea or be killed by pirates as they attempted to flee from their “liberated” lands.

We will never know how many more countless deaths occurred because of the corruption and oppression of the Marxist police states that governed Cambodia for another two decades, and which still govern Laos and Vietnam. The sum total of human suffering caused by the poverty and oppression of those tyrannical regimes is incalculable. Southeast Asia without Communism could have replicated the prosperity and freedom of today’s South Korea, Taiwan, or Singapore.

But old Religious Left activists like Edgar and Wallis ignore the fruits of their activism, trying to relive those youthful days today. Even now, they avoid commenting about the many ongoing crimes of the Vietnamese and Laotian Communists, who came to power thanks in part to the causes Wallis and Edgar led, and whose 30 years of persecutions include the torment of Christians and other religious believers.

Similarly, Edgar and Wallis never had much to say about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis whom Saddam Hussein murdered, a number that would have been even higher without the U.S. and British air forces giving 10 years of protection to the Kurds and southern Shiites. Like others on the left, Edgar and Wallis exclusively blamed the U.S for hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who ostensibly died from United Nations sanctions against Saddam’s regime. Saddam’s own role in hoarding cash, medicines, and food for his own supporters, while withholding such essentials from his perceived enemies, was largely unremarked upon.

Edgar and Wallis do not have the nerve to assert it specifically, but the obvious implication of all their frenzied activism and statements before and after the U.S. led overthrow of Saddam’s regime is that Iraq would be better off if the dictator had been left in power. They should simply say it. At least their argument would be an honest one. Dictators, however brutal, at least can offer a terrible stability.

Perhaps Edgar and Wallis should go a step further. In his bold and ridiculous new 9/11 conspiracy book, Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11, David Ray Griffin blames the United States for 180 million deaths around the world every decade. Griffin, a professor emeritus at United Methodist Claremont School of Theology in California, claims that the U.S., as the hegemon of a global capitalist empire, is responsible for nearly every premature death everywhere. As such, it is worse than Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and is today the “chief embodiment of demonic power.” Ray’s book, which alleges the Bush administration actually blew up the World Trade Center and Pentagon, was published by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) publishing house.

Edgar and Wallis, who are eager to accept the dubious claim that the U.S. has killed 600,000 Iraqi civilians, may as well accept Griffin’s bracing thesis in full. Like Griffin, and at variance with traditional Christianity, they see the world as basically an innocent place, sullied only by the demonic presence of the United States. Edgar says he is praying for an end to the “unspeakable horrors” endured by Iraqis, by which he means chiefly the U.S. presence. But the poor Iraqis were suffering unspeakably long before U.S. forces appeared.   

A premature exit by the U.S. from Iraq, as from Southeast Asia 30 years ago, could expand those horrors exponentially. But Edgar and Wallis prefer to slay their own favorite, and largely imagined dragon.

Mark D. Tooley directs the United Methodist committee at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

11219  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: August 20, 2008, 05:14:28 PM
In reference to the other thread, would the law prof suggest that she make no statement when the police arrive?
11220  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 20, 2008, 05:11:33 PM
In the US criminal justice system, there are different ethical standards for the different players.

The defense attorney has an obligation to advocate in the best interest of his client. Guilty or innocent, right or wrong, the defense is only interested in the best possible outcome for those he/she represents. Not society, not justice, the client alone is the person to be served.

The prosecutor is supposed to be interested in justice and act in furtherance of justice and the public good. Win/loss ratios, political gain are not supposed to be part of their consideration in choosing to prosecute or not.

The law enforcement officer is supposed to be a witness for the truth. Not a cat's paw of the prosecution or an enemy of the defense but a fair and impartial finder of fact. Conducting an investigation is like doing a complex math problem, not only do you need to get the right answer, you have to show your work. Through the entire legal process, you need to be able to demonstrate how you went from the start of the investigation and arrived at probable cause, and hopefully beyond a reasonable doubt.

If a woman gets murdered, and the husband tells you about a one armed man that did it, you'd better make a good faith effort to investigate that claim. Based on actuarial tables, the husband is the best suspect, but although statistics and patterns of crime are something to be aware of, you need to pursue every lead and follow the evidence where it leads you. You don't assume the husband did it, then try to assemble a case against him, you make a good faith effort to reconstruct what did happen and pursue every lead. What the law professor leaves out, is that every bit of evidence will be examined and every aspect of the investigation will be deconstructed and scrutinized on the stand.

As the caselaw I posted above states, as an investigator, you are obligated to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor for discovery purposes. Failing to do so not only compromises the case, it places you in legal jeopardy if you fail to act in good faith.

Let me address the prof's core claim. If you are guilty of a crime, don't speak to the police. Agreed. However, if you did something that is potentially illegal, or potentially legal depending on certain elements you'd better make sure the cops know those elements that will vindicate you.

Let's say Miguel is walking down the street in Santa Barbara, minding his own business. Suddenly he is attacked by three thugs. Given the disparity of force and the violence of the assault on his person, Miguel uses an edged weapon against the attackers. One falls to the ground, mortally wounded, the two others flee to tend to their wounds. While the battle was engaged, a passerby calls 911 to report a "fight in progress". As patrol units roll up, the find Miguel standing over the fallen perp, weapon in hand. Miguel gets taken down at gunpoint, cuffed and stuffed in the back of the patrol car.

Quickly, the initial investigation shows that Miguel is a solid citizen with a clean record. The decedent is one Johnny Ratzo, a freshly paroled felon with a violent criminal hx that goes back to his teens. CDC has validated him as a member of the Aryan Brotherhood and his corpse is littered with prison tats.

Heeding the advice he saw on the net from a law professor, Miguel immediately "lawyers up" and says nothing but a request for an attorney. The SBPD det. that catches the case arrives on scene and examines what he has:

1. Dead Johnny Ratzo, apparently killed by edged weapon wounds.

2. Live Miguel Goodguy, in possession of a knife covered in blood who refuses to make any statement explaining how he came to be disheveled and covered in blood.

There is a minimal crime scene to be documented. Pretty much photos of the decedent and any visible blood spatter. The crime scene tech mistakenly bags Miguel's knife in a biohazard bag fearing bloodborne pathogens after seeing the badly infected track marks where Johnny Ratzo had been skin popping meth since leaving Pelican Bay.

So, the det has P.C. to arrest Miguel and because Miguel has followed the advice from the professor, the opportunity to preserve the serological/DNA evidence that would demonstrated that Miguel acted in self defense against multiple attackers is lost. Because the case appears to be so straight forward, no other investigation is needed to pursue the case.

Because of Miguel's silence, the det. never queries any database to check for known criminal associates of Johnny Ratzo. Because of that, when those two known associates drive to Bakersfield for medical treatment, and BPD gets called by the hospital to investigate two subjects with knife wounds, the is no "be on the lookout" flag attached their their names when BPD officers "run" them for wants and warrants at the hospital. Because Miguel made no statement, no one seizes the convenience store camera footage that puts Johnny Ratzo and his two associates two blocks away from the assault, 10 minutes before as they buy malt liquor and Philly blunts before the footage gets erased.

By the time Miguel gets his first face to face with his attorney, he's in county in an orange jumpsuit and all the evidence that would corroborate his self defense claim is gone. Meanwhile, the local press is abuzz with "local man charged with murder" coverage.

Sound good?

Here is the problem with defense attorneys, very few ever defend innocent people. Their bread and butter is defending Johnny Ratzo and his ilk. If Johnny Ratzo gets arrested, then nothing he says will help him, so from that perspective the advice is good. However, if you are a Miguel Goodguy, then it may well do more harm than good in a scenario like the one I illustrated above.

11221  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DA/LEO lia for failure to disclose exculpatory evidence on: August 20, 2008, 09:34:51 AM
Ok, I'll post more later, but to get to the main points, I liked the Det. although he didn't go into enough detail to clarify his point, but the prof is a bonehead. Confirming my opinion about many defense attorneys, the prof appears to have stopped doing legal research after getting his J.D.

Read the caselaw below and note how it undercuts most of the prof's assertions:

Officer Liability for Failure to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence

Mark Newbold, Deputy City Attorney, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte, NC

Police chiefs should be aware that their officers could be subject to liability in federal court for failing to disclose to a prosecutor any evidence that may be favorable to a defendant. Although the federal courts are divided as to the source of this obligation, it appears that officers acting in bad faith could be found to have committed an "affirmative abuse of power." Such allegations against police officers are rare; nevertheless, they are often difficult to rebut. This column reviews the important court decisions on the issue and makes recommendations to police departments to reduce the risk of litigation.

Brief History of Prosecutor's Duty

The landmark case of Brady v. Maryland1 places on a prosecutor an affirmative constitutional duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to a defendant. This constitutional duty is triggered by the impact that the favorable evidence has on the outcome of the criminal proceeding. It requires the prosecutor to evaluate a case in its entirety and look at the cumulative effect that withholding the information has on the outcome of the trial.

Brady arose out of a line of cases going back to the early 1900s that addressed circumstances where prosecutors knowingly presented perjured or false evidence.2 Not too long ago discovery was virtually nonexistent in criminal proceedings. At times, fundamental fairness took a backseat to the adversarial process and the pressure to win. The result is the need for some prosecutors to be reined in and reminded that fundamental fairness is always more important than obtaining a guilty verdict.

The next chapter unfolded in Brady. The prosecutor in that case did not affirmatively present false or misleading information to the court. Rather, the prosecutor suppressed a statement favorable to the defendant after the defendant made a request for such statements. In response to the prosecutor's decision to withhold evidence, the court in Brady stated, "We now hold that the suppression of evidence by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution."3 The court explicitly reasoned that fundamental fairness outweighed adversarial posturing and required that the accused be afforded a review of information that is favorable to his defense.4

Prosecutor's Duty in Brady Expanded

In Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the prosecutor's duty to disclose evidence relative to the credibility of a governmental witness.5 Later, in United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976), the Court made it clear that the defendant need not request exculpatory information from the prosecutor. Rather the duty to disclose attached regardless of whether the defense requested the evidence.

In Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995), the Supreme Court reviewed the Brady doctrine and found three circumstances where the duty attaches: first, where "previously undisclosed evidence revealed that the prosecution introduced trial testimony that it knew or should have known was perjured." Id.; second, "where the Government failed to accede to a defense request for disclosure of some specific kind of exculpatory evidence." Id.; and third, where the defense failed to request information or made a general request for exculpatory evidence. Id.

The effect of the above is that prosecutors can no longer feel comfortable holding back some evidence that might be exculpatory. In order to avoid a breach of their duty, cautious prosecutors must now continuously review their files and constantly evaluate their cases with an eye towards identifying exculpatory evidence.6

Favorable Evidence Must Be "Material"

The constitutional duty is not triggered simply because the evidence might be favorable to the defendant. Rather, the touchstone of materiality is whether the failure to disclose the information undermines the confidence in the outcome of the trial. The failure to disclose strikes at the very purpose of the trial itself, which is to ensure the accused is afforded a process that is fundamentally fair before the accused is deprived of his or her freedom or property.

"The question is not whether the defendant would more likely than not have received a different verdict with the evidence," the Court wrote in Kyles, "but whether in its absence he received a fair trial, understood as a trial worthy of a confidence. A 'reasonable probability' of a different result is accordingly shown when the government's evidentiary suppression 'undermines confidence in the trial.'"7

An Officer's Duty to Disclose Evidence to the Prosecutor

Inevitably, some defendants sought to extend the reasoning in Brady to police officers. Rather than correcting alleged disclosure violations by police by remanding or reversing criminal proceedings, several courts in the late 1980s allowed defendants to file civil actions for damages in federal court against officers. Unlike prosecutors who are generally immune from civil actions for their prosecutorial acts, officers are accorded only qualified immunity. Essentially, officers were being held to the same standard as prosecutors but were treated differently when it came to the remedy available to the plaintiff.

One such example is McMillian v. Johnson, 88 F.3d 1554 (11th Cir. 1996), where a former prison inmate sued several law enforcement officials for damages after a murder charge was dismissed against him. McMillian alleged, among other claims, that police officers violated his due process rights by withholding exculpatory and impeachment evidence from the prosecutor. Specifically, officers were accused of withholding three statements from the prosecutor that would have contradicted evidence that was admitted at trial.

In McMillian the court discussed the relationship of Brady to an officer's duty to disclose. "The Constitution imposes the duty to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense to the prosecutor," the court wrote. "Investigators satisfy their obligation under Brady when they turn exculpatory and impeachment evidence over to the prosecutor." Id. at 1567. "Our case law clearly established that an accused's due process rights are violated when the police conceal exculpatory or impeachment evidence." Id. at 1569.

The court in McMillian relied on the approach adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which reasoned that "police are also part of the prosecution, and the taint on the trial is no less if they, rather than the state's attorney, were guilty of the nondisclosure."8 The court wrote that "the duty to disclosure [sic] is that of the state, which ordinarily acts through the prosecuting attorney; but if he too is the victim of police suppression of the material information, the state's failure is not on that account excused." Id.9

In Jean v. Collins, 221 F.3d 656 (4th Cir. 2000), Jean was convicted of rape and first-degree sexual offenses. The court held that the government's failure to disclose audio recordings and accompanying hypnosis reports were Brady violations. The court noted that a police officer who withholds exculpatory information from a prosecutor can be liable under Section 1983 but only where the officer's failure to disclose the exculpatory information deprived the Section 1983 plaintiffs of their right to a fair trial. Id.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The role of the police is not the same as that of the prosecutor. Hence, it is inconsistent to hold the police to the same standard.10 Moreover, there are several good common-sense reasons for not holding officers to the same standard. The terms "exculpatory," "material," and "impeachment" are so steeped with technical legalistic meaning that even a trained prosecutor has difficulty determining when a piece of evidence falls within his or her duty to disclose.

Furthermore, evidence that is favorable to the defendant may not, in many circumstances, be identified as such until the entire case is ready for trial. In some investigations the accumulation of evidence occurs over a period of years. What may have been a seemingly meaningless statement made by a person early in the investigation may not actually be favorable to the defendant until it is compared to other pieces of evidence that are collected years later in the investigation. In other investigations the identification of the evidence as exculpatory does not occur until the defendant decides to produce his or her evidence. This in effect allows the defendant to control the timing of the when evidence will be identified as favorable&3151;a questionable tactic if officers are to be exposed to damages.

Reducing Liability Risks

Although the federal courts are divided as to the source of the obligation of officers to turn exculpatory evidence over to the prosecutor, it is clear that officers may be subject to liability in federal court for failing to do so. The dust has not settled sufficiently for us to determine just what minimal level of culpability must be involved before officers will be held liable for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence. Nevertheless, it is clear that officers acting in "bad faith" could be found to have committed an "affirmative abuse of power." If an officer commits an affirmative abuse of power then he or she has deprived a defendant of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.11 An example of bad faith would be where officers knew the information was exculpatory but deliberately removed the information from the file so the prosecutor could not review the information.

Obviously this does not happen frequently. Nevertheless, it is difficult for officers to rebut allegations of bad faith. The fact that information did not make it over to the prosecutor opens the door to the assertion that it was done in bad faith. Essentially, it is better not to answer allegations of missing documents in the first place. The following are some common-sense suggestions that police departments may want to consider for reducing the risk of litigation on this issue.

Consider installing a tracking system that identifies when the entire file is transmitted to the prosecutor. There should be a way to verify that the prosecutor has acknowledged receipt of the investigative file. This way, the department can verify that the contents of the materials were in fact transferred to the prosecutor.

Discourage investigators from keeping a separate personal file of the investigation. Maintain the integrity of the official file. This prevents investigators from inadvertently forgetting to place material in the official file. The discovery of a statement anywhere other than the official file opens the door to allegations of deliberate nondisclosure. It is much easier to keep track of the investigation than to have to counter the allegation of intentionally mishandling a case.

Make sure the prosecutor is aware of "street" files that contain information on governmental witnesses. Always run government witnesses' names through these files. If you get a hit, the prosecutor needs to determine whether the information is exculpatory or effects the witness's credibility.

Come to a consistent understanding on the disposition of handwritten notes. Some investigators choose to discard the notes after they complete their reports. In this circumstance, investigators will have the burden of showing that as a matter of routine and habit they always recorded the entire contents of notes onto the report and therefore had no need to retain the notes. However, if your investigators discard their notes is because they don't want the defense to know about them, they are opening themselves up to allegations of deliberately destroying potential exculpatory statements.

Don't hesitate to document the precise dates and times you discuss the case with the prosecutor. The documentation will come in handy in the event there is a dispute as to whether you provided them with exculpatory evidence. Remember they have prosecutorial immunity, you don't.

Make sure recruit and in-service training includes training on an officer's duty to disclose exculpatory evidence. Do not rely solely on local and federal prosecutor's presentations. They tend to focus only on their duties under Brady and Giglio, rather than addressing the officer's duty to disclose.


Brady v. State of Maryland, 373 U.S. 89 (1968).

In Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 112 (1935), the Supreme Court made clear that deliberate deception of a court and jurors by the presentation of known false evidence is incompatible with "rudimentary demands of justice." This was reaffirmed in Pyle v. Kansas, 317 U.S. 213 (1942). In Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959), the Court continued with this line of reasoning and said, "The same result obtains when the State, although not soliciting false evidence, allows it to go uncorrected when it appears." Id. at 269.

Brady, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 1197.

"The principle [supporting the holding] is not punishment of society for misdeeds of a prosecutor but avoidance of an unfair trial to the accused. Society wins not only when the guilty are convicted but when criminal trials are fair; our system of justice suffers when any accused is treated unfairly." Id.

"When the reliability of a given witness may well be determinative of guilt or innocence nondisclosure of evidence affecting credibility falls within this general rule." Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150, 153 (1972).

"Nevertheless, there is a significant practical difference between the pretrial decision of the prosecutor and the post-trial decision for the judge. Because we are dealing with an inevitably imprecise standard and because the significance of an item of evidence can seldom be predicted accurately until the entire record is complete, the prosecutor will resolve doubtful questions in favor of disclosure." United States v. Agurs, 98 S.Ct. 2392, 2400 (1976).

Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419, 432 (1995), citing United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S. 667, 678 (1985).

Freeman v. Georgia, 599 F.2d 65, 69 (5th Cir. 1979), and Geter v. Fortenberry, 849 F.2d 1550 (5th Cir. 1988).

However, it is submitted that the precedent cited does not directly support the theory that officers should be held personally liable for failure to disclose exculpatory evidence to the prosecutor. At best, McMillian relies on authority that stands for the proposition that the officer's actions will be imputed to the state—not to him personally.

"The Brady duty is framed by the dictates of the adversary system and the prosecution's legal role therein. Legal terms of art define its bounds and questions as whether an item of evidence has exculpatory or 'impeachment' value and whether such evidence is 'material.' It would be inappropriate to charge police with answering these same questions, for their job of gathering evidence is quite different from the prosecution's task of evaluating it. This is especially true because the prosecutor can view the evidence from the perspective of the case as a whole while police officers, who are often involved in only one portion of the case, may lack necessary context. To hold that the contours of the due process duty applicable to the police must be identical to those of the prosecutor's Brady duty would thus improperly mandate a one-size-fits all regime." Jean v. Collins, 221 F3d 656 (4th Cir 2000).

In Jean, the court concludes the standard applicable to officers is analogous to the circumstances in Arizona v. Youngblood where the court refused to find officers violated the due process clause in the absence of evidence of bad faith on the part of the officers. (Officers failed to refrigerate evidence connected to a rape).

This column is prepared monthly by members of IACP's Legal Officers Section. Interested section members should coordinate their contributions with Elliot Spector at 860-233-8251.                       

For more information, please contact:
Gene Voegtlin
(703)836-6767, ext. 211
11222  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 08:17:10 PM
I think it's entirely reasonable to UA people in "safety sensitive" positions. An impaired person shows up for work at a fast food joint, maybe you get the wrong order at the drive thru. A railroad employee goes to work impaired and as a result a chlorine tanker breaches in the midst of a densely populated urban area at o'dark 30 in the A.M. and you know better than I how nightmarish that would be.

My jurisdiction borders a rail line and I see all sorts of interesting placards on the tank cars passing by at all hours. My PPE consists of a dark blue polyester uniform and reminds me of the old hazmat joke:

"How do firefighters know there is a hazmat spill?"

"All the dead cops laying around"
11223  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 07:18:18 PM
I can think of at least 343 reasons that a firefighter would want the NSA to employ their capabilities to intercept and analyze communications in al qaeda infested areas.
11224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 06:52:33 PM

Check it out and see just how wonderful life was under Saddam.
11225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 06:46:37 PM
Well, Saddam's thugs aren't feeding dissidents feet first into industrial plastic shredders anymore. His two sociopathic sons have committed their last rapes. People vote. Iraqi Kurdistan is a major success story.

No, Iraq won't be a setting for Club Med resorts anytime soon, but at least they have a chance at a better future. Expect Russia to do anything like that?
11226  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 06:42:00 PM

I think the reforms in the PATRIOT act were needed and neccesary. There is a lot of hype surrounding it by people who really can't define why it's bad or can suggest better options.

G M (civ. police Lt.)
11227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 06:01:37 PM

**It's hardly a good point. We freed the Iraqis from Saddam and are rebuilding the country. I doubt very much Russian troops are building schools and giving medical treatment to Geogians right now.**

Ahhh lately we sure aren't doing a very good job of rebuilding ; and we did a heck of a job destroying Iraq.

– Education: According to a 2005 analysis by the United Nations University, since the 2003 invasion, 84 percent of Iraq’s higher education institutions had been “burnt, looted or destroyed.”

– Medical Care: Before the U.S. invasion, there were 34,000 doctors registered in Iraq; an estimated 20,000 have left since then. “It’s definitely worse now than before the war,” Eman Asim, a Ministry of Health official who oversees the country’s 185 public hospitals, told the New York Times in 2004.


**Yeah, good to cite old and probably misleading sources, and again missing the point. What we do and why we do it is different than what is done elsewhere.**
11228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: August 17, 2008, 04:06:09 PM


(ANSAmed) - TUNIS, AUGUAT 12 - In Tunisia, which mostly takes into consideration the women's role in the active life among the Arab countries, it might seem controversial but the statistics are merciless: 20% of the married women are victims of violence on the part of their spouse. According to the statistics announced by daily Le Temps, many of them become disfigured, handicapped, receive psychological traumas and in various cases end up committing suicide. And all this, or almost all this, happens in silence between the home walls. For fear of further retaliation, and in order not to allow showing that the marriage has been ruined, due to a psychological and physical subjection which have lasted for centuries, such as that for example which requires that the wife should always walk two steps behind her husband. Feminist organisations have been leading for a long time a campaign to raise the awareness aimed at convincing the victims of this violence to at least trust them and the social workers. However, the fact that the first step has to be made by both spouses in the family remains unchanged. The law, obviously, also punishes this kind of violence. However, the feminists observe that the law is totally dissatisfying. Because if the victim intends to file a complaint, they must present a medical certificate issued by a public hospital certifying injures curable in 21 days. In case the prognosis results lower, the complaint will not be accepted. (ANSAmed).
2008-08-12 14:29
11229  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 03:46:05 PM
Lt MedTB:
The "Founding Fathers" seemed to have an appreciation of the weaknesses inherent in systems of power, building in the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.
All words are open to interpretation, so it seems that it is the constant responsibility of any citizenry to stay engaged in this process of critical thinking; observing, evaluating, voting, dissenting - whatever is necessary.
Fear is a tried and true tactic to erode this independent thinking process, and I think it is worth stepping back and evaluating any large policy changes based on fear to see if they are rational or not, and to see if they are worth the cost.
e.g. "The bad people are a out there and a threat to you and your family. Unless we get the power to "X", we cannot guarantee your safety". True? Not true?

So, are there threats to the US, or is it just fearmongering?
11230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: August 17, 2008, 03:43:07 PM
**Waiting for American feminists to get upset about this anytime now. Yup, anytime soon....**  rolleyes,0,6108880,full.story

Pakistani women burned by acid or fire rely on beauty of others

K.M. Chaudary / Associated Press
Saira Liaqat, 26, puts make up on a client at the Depilex beauty center in Lahore, Pakistan.
Women who say their husbands threw acid at them or burned them find help in becoming self-reliant through salon work.
From the Associated Press

1:14 PM PDT, August 16, 2008

LAHORE, PAKISTAN -- Saira Liaqat squints through her one good eye as she brushes a woman's hair. Her face, most of which the acid melted years ago, occasionally lights up with a smile. Her hands, largely undamaged, deftly handle the dark brown locks.

A few steps away in this popular beauty salon, Urooj Akbar diligently trims, cleans and paints clients' fingernails. Her face, severely scarred from the blaze that burned about 70% of her body, is somber. It's hard to tell if she's sad or if it's just the way she now looks.

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Moving on

At work
"Every person wishes that he or she is beautiful," says Liaqat, 21. "But in my view, your face is not everything. Real beauty lies inside a person, not outside."

"They do it because the world demands it," Akbar, 28, says of clients. "For them, it's a necessity. For me, it isn't."

Liaqat and Akbar got into the beauty business in the eastern city of Lahore thanks to the Depilex Smileagain Foundation, an organization devoted to aiding women who have been burned in acid or other attacks.

About five years ago, Masarrat Misbah, head of Pakistan's well-known Depilex salon chain, was leaving work when a veiled woman approached and asked for her help. She was insistent, and soon, a flustered Misbah saw why.

When she removed her veil, Misbah felt faint. "I saw a girl who had no face."

The woman said her husband had thrown acid on her.

Misbah decided to place a small newspaper ad to see if others needed similar assistance.

Forty-two women and girls responded.

Misbah got in touch with Smileagain, an Italian nonprofit that has provided medical services to burn victims in other countries. She sought the help of Pakistani doctors. Perhaps the biggest challenge has been raising money for the cause, in particular to build a special hospital and refuge for burn victims in Pakistan.

Her organization has about 240 registered victims on its help list, 83 of whom are at various stages of treatment.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan found that in 2007, at least 33 women were burned in acid attacks, and 45 were set on fire. But the statistics are probably an undercount, since many cases go unreported out of fear.

The victims Misbah has helped need, on average, 25 to 30 surgical procedures over several years, but she soon realized that wasn't enough. Some, especially those who were outcasts in their families, had to be able to support themselves.

To her surprise, several told her they wanted to be beauticians.

"And I felt so sad," Misbah says. "Because beauty is all about faces and beautiful girls and skin."

She helped arrange for 10 women to train in a beauty course in Italy last year. Some have difficulty because their vision is weak or their hands too burned for intricate work. But several, including Liaqat and Akbar, are making their way in the field.

The salon in Lahore is not the usual beauty parlor. There are pictures of beautiful women on the walls -- all made up, with perfect, gleaming hair. But then there's a giant poster of a girl with half her face destroyed.

"HELP US bring back a smile to the face of these survivors," it says.

Working for the salon is a dream come true for Liaqat, whose mischievous smile is still intact and frequently on display. As a child she was obsessed with beauty. Once she burned some of her sister's hair off with a makeshift curling iron. She still wears lipstick.

Akbar, the more reserved one, also carries out many administrative and other tasks for the foundation. One of her duties is collecting newspaper clippings about acid and burn attacks on women.

Both say they are treated well by clients and colleagues, but Misbah says some clients have complained.

"They say that when we come to a beauty salon, we come with the expectation that we're going to be relaxed, in a different frame of mind," Misbah says. "If we come here and we see someone who has gone through so much pain and misery, so automatically that gives us that low feeling also. They have a point.

"At the same time, there are clients who take pride in asking these girls to give them a blow-dry, or getting a manicure or pedicure taken from them."

Sometimes they ask what happened.

According to Liaqat and a lawyer for her case, she was married in her teens, on paper, to a relative, but the families had agreed she wouldn't live with him until she finished school. Within months, though, the man started demanding she join him.

One day at the end of July 2003, he showed up at their house with a package. He asked her to get him some water. He followed her to the kitchen, and as she turned around with the water, she says, he doused her with the acid. It seared much of her face, blinded her right eye, and seriously weakened her left one.

Liaqat shakes her head when recalling how a few days before the incident she found a small pimple on her face and threw a fit.

After she was burned, her parents at first wouldn't let their daughter look at a mirror. But eventually she saw herself, and she's proud to say she didn't cry.

"Once we had a wedding in the family. I went there and all the girls were getting dressed and putting on makeup. So that time, I felt a pain in my heart," she says. "But I don't want to weaken myself with these thoughts."

Her husband is in prison as the attempted murder case against him proceeds. The two are still legally married.

Akbar says she found herself in an arranged marriage by age 22. Her husband grew increasingly possessive and abusive, she says. The two had a child.

About three years ago, Akbar says, he sprinkled kerosene oil on her as she slept and lighted it.

A picture taken shortly afterward shows how her face melted onto her shoulders, leaving her with no visible neck.

Akbar has not filed a case against her now ex-husband. She says she'll one day turn to the law, at least to get her daughter back.

Both women were reluctant for a reporter to contact their alleged attackers.

Liaqat and Akbar have undergone several surgeries and expect to face more. They say Misbah's foundation was critical to their present well- being.

"Mentally, I am at peace with myself," Akbar says. "The peace of mind I have now, I never had before. I suffered much more mental anguish in my married life."

Bushra Tareen, a regular client of Liaqat's, praises her work.

"I feel that her hands call me again and again," Tareen says. She adds that Liaqat and Akbar remind her of the injustices women face, and their ability to rise above them.

"When I see them, I want to be like them -- strong girls," she says.

Liaqat is grateful for having achieved her goal of being a beautician. She worries about her eyesight but is determined to succeed.

"I want to make a name for myself in this profession," she says.

Akbar plans to use her income one day to support her little girl, whom she has barely seen since the attack.

"I'm independent now, I stand on my own two feet," she says. "I have a job, I work, I earn. In fact, I'm living on my own . . . which isn't an easy thing to do for a woman in Pakistan, for a lone woman to survive."
11231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 03:08:52 PM
While it is easy and perhaps right to admire and respect the Georgians, one needs to be practical too.  And, sometimes one needs to be fair and put ourselves in the other (Russian) person's shoes.  Aren't we being a little bit hypocritical in our condemnation of Russia when we would probably have done the same thing if Mexico became a close Russian/Iranian/North Korean ally with talk of a missile defense system?

**I very much doubt it. We don't act now, with multiple Mexican military incursions onto US soil, attacks on border law enforcement.**,0,2584755.story

A good point is raised.

**It's hardly a good point. We freed the Iraqis from Saddam and are rebuilding the country. I doubt very much Russian troops are building schools and giving medical treatment to Geogians right now.**
11232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-Georgia on: August 17, 2008, 02:39:29 PM

August 16, 2008
BUSH AND SAAKASHVILI....Josh Marshall on the Russo-Georgian war:

The truth is that the US screwed up here in a big way. This isn't to excuse the Russians. But we pumped the Georgians up as our big Iraq allies, got them revved up about coming into NATO, playing all this pipeline politics, all of which led them to have a much more aggressive posture toward the Russians than we were willing, in the final analysis, to back up. So now they've gotten badly mauled.

I've read variations on this theme about a hundred times now, and I really feel like some pushback is in order. The idea that we somehow prompted Mikheil Saakashvili to undertake his invasion of South Ossetia last week just doesn't bear scrutiny.

Look: Saakashvili came to power on a Georgian nationalist platform of recovering Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He's been jonesing for an excuse to send troops in for years, regardless of anything the U.S. did or didn't do. Likewise, Putin has been eagerly waiting for an excuse to pound the crap out of him in return — again, regardless of anything the U.S. did or didn't do. (You don't think Russia was able to mount a highly precise counterattack within 24 hours just by coincidence, do you?)

Now sure, in general, Kosovo + missile shield + NATO enlargement + resurgent Russian nationalism formed the background for this war, and maybe the U.S. has played a bad hand on this score. But Bush administration officials have said for months (i.e., before the war started, meaning this isn't just post hoc ass covering) that they've urged Saakashvili to stay cool. And I believe them. What else would they do, after all? There was never any chance that we were going to provide Georgia with military help in case of a Russian invasion, and it's improbable in the extreme that anyone on our side said anything to suggest otherwise. When Saakashvili says, just hours before sending troops into South Ossetia, that he understands this means war with Russia but he "cannot imagine the West not coming to Georgia's aid," he's being delusional.

The U.S. should have played a smarter, longer-term game here. But that said, supporting Georgia's future entry into NATO and helping to modernize their military really isn't the same thing as encouraging Saakashvili to start a war with Russia. It just isn't.

—Kevin Drum 1:37 PM
11233  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 02:10:36 PM

You are active duty .mil, right?
11234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Articulating our cause against Islamic Fascism on: August 17, 2008, 06:21:18 AM
Here is the problem with Dr. Wheeler's hoped for fragility; Mohammed was criticized and mocked during his lifetime. Once Mohammed gained power, he had those that criticized and mocked him tortured and killed. That's been islam's default response ever since.

Ask Theo VanGogh how this strategy worked in the Netherlands.....   sad
11235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: August 17, 2008, 06:16:03 AM
Sorry, I should have added more.

I think that it's important to examine how various nations/cultures educate and socialize their children as this will be a good starting point in attempting to extrapolate the long term trajectories of those cultures/nations.

I'm not sure I agree with all the points made by the professor, but it's an interesting perspective.
11236  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 06:09:31 AM
A line from an instructor in my police academy class years ago went something like "The public gets the law enforcement it deserves" obviously referencing Jefferson's statement on gov't.

The public elects the officials, that pass the laws, that law enforcement enforces. If you don't like the "war on drugs" as an example, then get the laws changed.
11237  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 17, 2008, 06:02:11 AM
I think we can all agree the frog metaphor has been beaten, or maybe boiled to death. evil

All I know about the NSA is what is open source information. To the best of my knowledge, the NSA has an army of mathematicians and linguists only, aside from their "NSA police" and other support personnel. It's all about SigInt collection and analysis OCONUS. To my knowledge, they do not have any direct action capabilities.

I'm unsure why the NSA's existence would be objected to.
11238  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 16, 2008, 08:54:06 AM
To paraphrase an infamous leader of a real police state, "How many divisions does the NSA have?"
11239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: August 16, 2008, 08:47:51 AM

Worth watching.
11240  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 16, 2008, 08:42:22 AM
What about it?
11241  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 07:43:24 PM
As it stands, the US doesn't have the infrastructure for a police state. A rough estimate is that there are about 800,000 law enforcement officers nationwide. The vast majority of those are uniformed officers engaged in general law enforcement duties, and employed by small towns with less than 10 officers.

We don't have a "national police force". The US is the only nation in the world (to my knowledge) that has elected law enforcement officials. The vast majority of officers work at the local level under the direction of locally elected officials that shape the policy and character of the agencies.

Of those officers tasked to investigations, the vast majority work crimes with direct impact on their communities. Most work under immense caseloads trying to "clear" cases with very limited resources. I am not aware of any law enforcement agencies with too many officers and not enough crime.
11242  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 04:53:05 PM

I think it's pretty clear that the courts have established that no matter what technology brings forth, it cannot be used by law enforcement without due regard for constitutional protections. If I had "x-ray goggles" and was using them to view inside your house, this has to meet the same standards as an old fashioned physical entry/search of your home. Better have a warrant or fall under the warrantless exemptions before doing so.
11243  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 04:42:10 PM

Crafty Dog here, using the Moderator's Perogative:

GM, would you please be so kind as to summarize the rather lengthy contents of your URL?  smiley

Executive Summary

China today faces a very modern paradox. On one side, the government understands that information technologies are the engine driving the global economy, and that Chinese economic growth will depend in large measure on the extent to which the country is integrated with the global information infrastructure. At the same time, however, China is an authoritarian, single-party state. Continued social stability relies on the suppression of anti-government activities. To state the problem simply, political control is dependent on economic growth and economic growth requires the modernization of information technologies, which in turn, have the potential to undermine political control.

The "Great Firewall of China" is failing, largely due to the increased volume of Internet traffic in China. The government knows that it can no longer hope to filter out all "objectionable" material before it enters China’s networks; and so, faced with these contradictory forces of openness and control, China is seeking to strike a balance between the information-related needs of economic modernization and the security requirements of internal stability. In seeking to reach this balance, the Chinese state has found an extraordinary ally in private telecommunications firms located primarily in Western countries. Many companies, including notably Nortel Networks, until recently Canada’s largest firm, are playing key roles in meeting the security needs of the Chinese government. Nortel Networks and other international firms are in effect helping China to displace the firewall it constructed at the international gateway with a more sophisticated system of content filtration at the individual level.

Old style censorship is being replaced with a massive, ubiquitous architecture of surveillance: the Golden Shield. Ultimately the aim is to integrate a gigantic online database with an all-encompassing surveillance network – incorporating speech and face recognition, closed-circuit television, smart cards, credit records, and Internet surveillance technologies. This has been facilitated by the standardization of telecommunications equipment to facilitate electronic surveillance, an ambitious project led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US, and now adopted as an international standard.

Many people in China have been arrested for Internet-related "crimes," ranging from supplying e-mail addresses to Internet publications to circulating pro-democratic information or articles that are critical of the Chinese government, in blatant contradiction of international human rights law guaranteeing freedom of speech. Charges are typically "subversion" or "threatening to overthrow the government" as the line between criminal activity and the exercise of freedom of speech is non-existent in China. The development of this new all-encompassing architecture of electronic surveillance will make the lives of such courageous activists even more difficult.

In November 2000, 300 companies from over 16 countries attended a trade show in Beijing called Security China 2000. Among the organizers was the "Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Commission for the Comprehensive Management of Social Security." A central feature of the show was the Golden Shield project, launched to promote "the adoption of advanced information and communication technology to strengthen central police control, responsiveness, and crime combating capacity, so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of police work." China’s security apparatus announced an ambitious plan: to build a nationwide digital surveillance network, linking national, regional and local security agencies with a panoptic web of surveillance. Beijing envisions the Golden Shield as a database-driven remote surveillance system – offering immediate access to records on every citizen in China, while linking to vast networks of cameras designed to increase police efficiency.

In order to make the Golden Shield a reality, the Chinese government is dependent upon the technological expertise and investment of Western companies. Canada’s Nortel Networks is playing a key role in these developments as witnessed by:

-- its joint research with Tsinghua University on specific forms of speech recognition technology, for the purpose of automated surveillance of telephone conversations;

-- its strong and early support for FBI plans to develop a common standard to intercept telephone communications, known as CALEA, in conjunction with technology transfer through its joint venture, Guangdong Nortel (GDNT);

-- its close relationship with Datang Telecom, a Chinese firm with substantial interests in the state security market in China;

-- the promotion of JungleMUX which allows video surveillance data to be transported from remote cameras back to a centralized surveillance point to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS);

-- the deployment of its "Personal Internet" suite in Shanghai, greatly enhancing the ability of Internet service providers to track the communications of individual users;

-- a US$10 million project to build a citywide fibre-optic broadband network in Shanghai (OPTera) enabling central authorities to monitor the interests of subscribers at the "edge" of the network, principally through the Shasta 5000 firewall, in direct conflict with the right to privacy. This technology will also make it more difficult for dissidents to have clandestine communications and facilitate police monitoring of Internet users attempting to access URLs not judged appropriate by the Chinese government;

-- the integration of face recognition and voice recognition technology in collaboration with AcSys Biometrics, a subsidiary of Burlington, Ontario-based NEXUS. (2)

Many other Western firms have been involved in the development of a repressive state security apparatus through the following developments:

-- a nationwide database containing information on all adult Chinese citizens;

-- smart cards for all citizens which can be scanned without the owner’s knowledge at a distance of a few metres;

-- closed-circuit television to monitor public spaces;

-- technology which allows the Public Security Bureau to make instant comparisons of fingerprints;

-- development of firewalls in China.

The self-interested high-tech discourse promises that new information and telecommunication technologies are inherently democratic and will foster openness wherever they are used. China’s Golden Shield: Corporations and the Development of Surveillance Technology in the People’s Republic of China debunks this myth. Technology is embedded in a social context and, in this report, it has been shown to bolster repression in a one-party state in the name of expanding markets and exponential profits.


China has long suffered from inadequate telecommunications. Economic growth has demanded modernization of an infrastructure characterized by outdated technology and limited access to the resources necessary to develop it. To overcome these deficits, the government has embarked on a well-financed effort to modernize its information infrastructure. China has therefore quickly become one of the world’s largest consumers of telecommunications equipment.

An important goal of this modernization has been the acquisition of advanced telecommunications equipment from industrialized nations, on the premise that the technologies of the information revolution provide China with the opportunity to "leapfrog" and vastly improve capabilities in areas related to telecommunications. The transfer of these technologies to China has been facilitated by two mutually supporting trends.

First, there is enormous competition among telecommunications firms to get a share of the relatively undeveloped but rapidly expanding Chinese telecommunications market – the largest market in the world. Naturally, the lure of potential billions has attracted every major telecommunications corporation, including US-based Lucent and Cisco, European wireless giants Nokia and Ericsson, and Canada’s Nortel Networks – not to mention countless others. From these companies, China is buying more than US$20 billion worth of telecom equipment a year.

China is reported to account for about 25% of the world’s market for telecommunications equipment and is expanding exponentially. Much of this growth is achieved through sales by foreign telecommunications companies and by joint ventures with Chinese partners, which brings us to the second important trend.

The installation of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate economic reform greatly complicates the state’s internal security goals. As the amount of information traveling over China’s networks increases exponentially, the government’s ability to control that information declines.

The exponential growth of the Internet in China has led some to argue that as new technologies are adopted they will inevitably create a more open, democratic society. The premise of much research is that the Internet is an inherently democratizing medium, promoting pluralism, strengthening civil society, and pressuring governments to become more accountable to their people. In the post-Cold War world, the power of information and communication technology to transform repressive societies is often held to be self-evident.

Recent events in China present a rather different story. It is well documented that the Chinese government is committed to controlling online content and to restricting the access citizens have to information published outside the country. (3) They also aim to prevent the emergence of "virtual organizing" that has become an important feature of the Internet in other countries. In this regard, the Internet presents a number of unique challenges to the regime. Recent data from a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) survey shows that 10% of users admit to regularly using proxy servers to defeat censorship, that most users trust foreign news sources almost as much as government sources, and that the majority believe that the Internet will have significant social and political effects. (4)

In light of this rapid transformation, Chinese authorities are keen to acquire new technologies that will serve to increase their surveillance capabilities. While the Internet may empower ordinary people, it may also provide the government with a new range of repressive tools to monitor private speech and censor public opinion.

From the first linking of China to the global Internet in 1994, central authorities have consistently sought to control China’s Internet connections. Heavily restricting international connectivity was a key principle in China’s nascent Internet security strategy. Now, seven years later, international connections for all five of China’s major networks (5) still pass through proxy servers at official international "gateways." (6) Filtering and monitoring of network traffic is still focused at this level. Derisively termed "The Great Firewall" (7) by hackers and journalists worldwide, this strategy has enjoyed varying degrees of success. Continued economic modernization, however, has led to exponential growth in the demand for international bandwidth, and the sheer volume of Internet traffic today poses a serious challenge to the strategy of State control at the gateway level.

Originally, there were many reasons for constructing the Chinese network along the lines of this "Great Firewall" model. The gateways would modulate the pace of China’s opening up to the world through electronic interaction. The government would decide at what rate to expand the connections and could theoretically shut them down in a social emergency.

The gateways were to serve as the first line of defence against anti-government network intrusions. They would serve as a firewall, restricting the amount of information about internal networks available to foreign intruders. The gateways were designed to prevent Chinese citizens from using the Internet to access forbidden sites and anti-government information from abroad. In theory, State control of the routing tables at the gateway level offered authorities the hope that they could prevent their own people from accessing foreign sites like the Cable News Network (CNN), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Tibet Information Network or Human Rights Watch/Asia.

China’s Internet regulations and legislation are guided by the principle of "guarded openness" – seeking to preserve the economic benefits of openness to global information, while guarding against foreign economic domination and the use of the Internet by domestic or foreign groups to coordinate anti-regime activity.

The stakes are high – for the government, as China integrates into the global economy, and for the would-be "cyber-dissident," who ultimately faces the death penalty for illegal use of the Internet.
11244  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 04:04:14 PM
Ahhhh that is my concern; protection/erosion of Civil Liberties.

**It's easy to proclaim noble sounding statements about civil liberties while having only a superficial grasp of the complexities of the issues. Worrying about gov't oppression in the US is like worrying about Ebola while you smoke and are 100 pounds overweight. Is it theoretically a threat? Sure. What do the statistics say?**
11245  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 03:54:38 PM
As usual, GM is logical.

Where I still am left with doubt is that the reasonableness of the existing standard was developed in the context AND LIMITATIONS of the then existant technology.  As technological capabilities evolve ever more rapidly, are we headed towards a situation where everyone can be monitored all the time?

**The technology already exists to theoretically monitor everyone to a degree all the time. China tries. The US is nowhere near that.**
11246  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 15, 2008, 03:49:23 PM
**It's easy to get excited about technology, but as cited below it's not the technology that matters. It's about what the courts see as the "reasonable expectation of privacy".**




No. 99—8508. Argued February 20, 2001–Decided June 11, 2001
Suspicious that marijuana was being grown in petitioner Kyllo’s home in a triplex, agents used a thermal imaging device to scan the triplex to determine if the amount of heat emanating from it was consistent with the high-intensity lamps typically used for indoor marijuana growth. The scan showed that Kyllo’s garage roof and a side wall were relatively hot compared to the rest of his home and substantially warmer than the neighboring units. Based in part on the thermal imaging, a Federal Magistrate Judge issued a warrant to search Kyllo’s home, where the agents found marijuana growing. After Kyllo was indicted on a federal drug charge, he unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized from his home and then entered a conditional guilty plea. The Ninth Circuit ultimately affirmed, upholding the thermal imaging on the ground that Kyllo had shown no subjective expectation of privacy because he had made no attempt to conceal the heat escaping from his home. Even if he had, ruled the court, there was no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy because the thermal imager did not expose any intimate details of Kyllo’s life, only amorphous hot spots on his home’s exterior.

Held: Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment “search,” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant. Pp. 3—13.

    (a) The question whether a warrantless search of a home is reasonable and hence constitutional must be answered no in most instances, but the antecedent question whether a Fourth Amendment “search” has occurred is not so simple. This Court has approved warrantless visual surveillance of a home, see California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207, 213, ruling that visual observation is no “search” at all, see Dow Chemical Co. v. United States, 476 U.S. 227, 234—235, 239. In assessing when a search is not a search, the Court has adapted a principle first enunciated in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 361: A “search” does not occur–even when its object is a house explicitly protected by the Fourth Amendment–unless the individual manifested a subjective expectation of privacy in the searched object, and society is willing to recognize that expectation as reasonable, see, e.g., California v. Ciraolo, supra, at 211. Pp. 3—5.

    (b) While it may be difficult to refine the Katz test in some instances, in the case of the search of a home’s interior–the prototypical and hence most commonly litigated area of protected privacy–there is a ready criterion, with roots deep in the common law, of the minimal expectation of privacy that exists, and that is acknowledged to be reasonable. To withdraw protection of this minimum expectation would be to permit police technology to erode the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Thus, obtaining by sense-enhancing technology any information regarding the home’s interior that could not otherwise have been obtained without physical “intrusion into a constitutionally protected area,” Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 512, constitutes a search–at least where (as here) the technology in question is not in general public use. This assures preservation of that degree of privacy against government that existed when the Fourth Amendment was adopted. Pp. 6—7.

    (c) Based on this criterion, the information obtained by the thermal imager in this case was the product of a search. The Court rejects the Government’s argument that the thermal imaging must be upheld because it detected only heat radiating from the home’s external surface. Such a mechanical interpretation of the Fourth Amendment was rejected in Katz, where the eavesdropping device in question picked up only sound waves that reached the exterior of the phone booth to which it was attached. Reversing that approach would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology–including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home. Also rejected is the Government’s contention that the thermal imaging was constitutional because it did not detect “intimate details.” Such an approach would be wrong in principle because, in the sanctity of the home, all details are intimate details. See e.g., United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705; Dow Chemical, supra, at 238, distinguished. It would also be impractical in application, failing to provide a workable accommodation between law enforcement needs and Fourth Amendment interests. See Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 181. Pp. 7—12.

    (d) Since the imaging in this case was an unlawful search, it will remain for the District Court to determine whether, without the evidence it provided, the search warrant was supported by probable cause–and if not, whether there is any other basis for supporting admission of that evidence. Pp. 12—13.

190 F.3d 1041, reversed and remanded.

    Scalia, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O’Connor and Kennedy, JJ., joined.

11247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War? on: August 14, 2008, 08:41:53 AM
This means the Saudis do not anticipate that we/Israel will stop Iran from becoming nuclear. Oh joy....  sad
11248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: August 13, 2008, 09:59:20 PM,8599,1205309,00.html

Exclusive Book Excerpt: How an Al-Qaeda Cell Planned a Poison-Gas Attack on the N.Y. Subway
Saturday, Jun. 17, 2006

Target of Terror: Passengers wait for their train on a New York City subway platform last week

Al-Qaeda terrorists came within 45 days of attacking the New York subway system with a lethal gas similar to that used in Nazi death camps. They were stopped not by any intelligence breakthrough, but by an order from Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Zawahiri. And the U.S. learned of the plot from a CIA mole inside al-Qaeda. These are some of the more startling revelations by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, whose new book The One Percent Doctrine is excerpted in the forthcoming issue of TIME. It will appear on early Sunday morning.

U.S. intelligence got its first inkling of the plot from the contents of a laptop computer belonging to a Bahraini jihadist captured in Saudi Arabia early in 2003. It contained plans for a gas-dispersal system dubbed "the mubtakkar" (Arabic for inventive). Fearing that al-Qaeda's engineers had achieved the holy grail of terror R&D — a device to effectively distribute hydrogen-cyanide gas, which is deadly when inhaled — the CIA immediately set about building a prototype based on the captured design, which comprised two separate chambers for sodium cyanide and a stable source of hydrogen, such as hydrochloric acid. A seal between the two could be broken by a remote trigger, producing the gas for dispersal. The prototype confirmed their worst fears: "In the world of terrorist weaponry," writes Suskind, "this was the equivalent of splitting the atom. Obtain a few widely available chemicals, and you could construct it with a trip to Home Depot — and then kill everyone in the store."
The device was shown to President Bush and Vice President Cheney the following morning, prompting the President to order that alerts be sent through all levels of the U.S. government. Easily constructed and concealed, the device ensured that mass casualties would be inevitable if it could be triggered in any enclosed public space.
Having discovered the device, exposing the plot in which it might be used became a matter of extreme urgency. Although the Saudis were cooperating more than ever before in efforts to track down al-Qaeda operatives in the kingdom, the interrogations of suspects connected with the Bahraini on whose computer the Mubtakkar was discovered were going nowhere. The U.S. would have to look elsewhere.
Conventional wisdom has long held that the U.S. has no human intelligence assets inside al-Qaeda. "That is not true," writes Suskind. Over the previous six months, U.S. agents had been receiving accurate tips from a man the writer identifies simply as "Ali," a management-level al-Qaeda operative who believed his leaders had erred in attacking the U.S. directly. "The group was now dispersed," writes Suskind. "A few of its leaders and many foot soldiers were captured or dead. As with any organization, time passed and second-guessing began."
And when asked about the mubtakkar and the names of the men arrested in Saudi Arabia, Ali was aware of the plot. He identified the key man as bin Laden's top operative on the Arabian Peninsula, Yusuf al Ayeri, a.k.a. "Swift Sword," who had been released days earlier by Saudi authorities, unaware that al-Ayeri was bin Laden's point man in the kingdom.
Ali revealed that Ayeri had visited Ayman Zawahiri in January 2003, to inform him of a plot to attack the New York City subway system using cyanide gas. Several mubtakkars were to be placed in subway cars and other strategic locations. This was not simply a proposal; the plot was well under way. In fact, zero hour was only 45 days away. But then, for reasons still debated by U.S. intelligence officials, Zawahiri called off the attack. "Ali did not know the precise explanation why. He just knew that Zawahiri had called them off."
The news left administration officials gathered in the White House with more questions than answers. Why was Ali cooperating? Why had Zawahiri called off the strike? Were the operatives who were planning to carry out the attack still in New York? "The CIA analysts attempted answers. Many of the questions were simply unanswerable."
One man who could answer them was al-Ayeri — but he was killed in a gun battle between Saudi security forces and al-Qaeda militants who had launched a mini-insurrection to coincide with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Suskind quotes a CIA operative as questioning whether it was an accident that the Saudis had killed the kingpin who could expose a cell planning a chemical weapons attack inside the U.S. "The Saudis just shrugged," the source tells Suskind. "They said their people got a little overzealous."
11249  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 13, 2008, 05:20:41 PM
Every state requires that you display a state issued identifier on your vehicle for the use of government, including law enforcement purposes. You do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy for that vehicle information including registered owner/s, payment of fees/taxes and insurance status. This identifier can and has been used for surveillance purposes since cops have been chasing bad guys in cars.
11250  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: August 13, 2008, 04:37:41 PM
The lines for the most part have been drawn by legislation and caselaw. The technology changes, but the lines haven't, for the most part.
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