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April 12, 2009

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sbw

JMH, I checked that out but TyphusPad chose that moment to swallow the point. Thanks for making it. Of course, it's academic, and we're all happy that the captain is safe.

Thomas Collins

Perry uses the driver and gets off a nice drive!

Oh, has anyone shouted out to the BU Terriers men's hockey team? Down by two goals with less than a minute to go, the Terriers tie it up in regulation and win the NCAA Division 1 title in overtime!

sbw

And Typhus Pad swallowed my Typhus Pad comment, too. Sigh. Watch the missing comment appear.

Elliott

It offends my highly tuned sense of golf outfit propriety.

I can't muster outrage over the hat. However, for his midriff exposure hitting his second shot into 18 on Friday, mere opprobrium is too light a penalty.

JM Hanes

My Dad used to do some ticket trading so that he could take a group of pals to the opening rounds of the Masters and then watch the final rounds at home on the tube. He liked getting a chance to see all the golfers -- from older pros to up & coming younger guys -- who didn't get much video coverage. Then he could follow all the big names (and the replays) at once from his comfy chair, with a martini in hand, of course.

Danube of Thought

"And your proof is that when the pirates had put someone aboard the Bainbridge, Phillips went overboard and Navy guys shot the pirates."

My proof is a year operating small boats in combat in the Mekong Delta with SEALS, and five years at sea in DDG's.

The Bainbridge CO was very prudent to wait them out, and it is good that the snipers had shots from about 30 meters. A covert operation with swimmers would certainly not have been a first option, but had the pirates continued to keep the ship at a distance of 300 yards upon pain of shooting Phillips, such an operation would have soon become necessary to prevent Phillips from being taken ashore.

"REMF" means plenty to me, Charlie, and I assume you're telling us that that's what you were. I wasn't. My knowledge of what I have been talking about is professional.
Yours is a bit insane (can't swim 300 yards; never find the boat in the dark; no SEALs available; and etc.).

Maybe you ought to try constitutional law again. Better yet, find another sport.

Thomas Collins

Nice pitch by Perry.

Danube of Thought

"Now remember that the lifeboat is drifting with the 10 knot wind, and that even 30 feet down there are still currents, and that, as you correctly point out, those currents aren't the same as on the surface. And you're swimming on a compass bearing with no visual reference to correct your drift. and you have to hit something that's 28 feet long by 10 feet wide."

Go talk to a SEAL. Ask him whether he could do it. Ask him about his training for long-range combat dives.

JM Hanes

sbw: It swallowed my hotlink too, but, as you suggest, it's all water under the lifeboat now. Captain Phillips is a true profile in courage, and he will, I hope, soon be homeward bound.

JM Hanes

And I denounce myself for misspelling Captain Phillips' name the first time around.

narciso

Look we give credit to those who pulled off the operation, and brought Capt. Phillips safe and sound. In so far as Obama didn't interfere in the operation, kudos on that score, hope that lesson applies in the future, This has been primarily our concern in the past, for a host of reasons

The Stevens case, I'm even more astonished every time I hear of it. It seems they were
monomaniacly set against him, in Ahab fashion, like Fizgerald was with Libby as Starr was accused of being. I'm begining to think that there was actually nothing they could actuallt prosecute him for, otherwise
they would have found some evidence.

Thomas Collins

Congrats to Cabrera.

Jane

Bummer!

clarice

Solomon Wisenberg has this on the Stevens' prosecution(WOW):
"The most interesting thing to me about the MOTION OF THE UNITED STATES TO SET ASIDE THE VERDICT AND DISMISS THE INDICTMENT WITH PREJUDICE (”Motion to Set Aside”) in U.S. v. Theodore F. Stevens is the revelation that no FBI-302 was ever prepared of star Government witness Bill Allen’s April 15, 2008 interview. This was a pre-indictment interview attended by four Government attorneys and one FBI agent. Not to prepare a 302 “Memorandum of Interview” of this session was a clear departure from standard FBI practice. (Two of the prosecutors took notes, however, which is presumably how the review team learned about the April 15 interview.) In fact, post-indictment interviews of witnesses and potential witnesses should also generate 302s, the only exception being testimony preparation sessions. (But even exculpatory statements made in pre-trial testimony prep sessions must be reported to the defense by the prosecution, whether or not notes of the session are produced.)

It is hard for me to believe than an agent would have taken it on himself or herself not to prepare a 302 of the April 15 interview. The OPR investigation may ultimately provide the answer, but my guess is that the lone agent in attendance was ordered by somebody not to prepare a 302. The Stevens defense team had produced the October 6, 2002 “Torricelli Letter” to the Government in early 2008, prior to the April 15 interview. That letter, in which Senator Stevens specifically asked Allen to bill him for construction work, was obviously a potential problem for the Government. By the time of trial Allen recalled a conversation with Stevens’ friend Bob Persons in which Persons told Allen not to worry about the Torricelli Letter because “Ted is just covering his ass.” But Allen recalled no conversation, with Persons or anyone else, about the letter during the April 15 interview. Allen first told the prosecutors about the “covering his ass” conversation with Persons shortly before trial in a testimony prep session. As soon as they heard the story and anticipated using it at trial, prosecutors were duty bound to reveal the contradictory content of the April 15, 2008 interview to the defense team. But the original prosecution team never revealed the existence of the April 15 interview to the Court or to Stevens’ attorneys.

Did the original prosecutors forget about the April 15 interview during pre-trial, trial, and immediate post-trial? I suppose it is possible. We will await the OPR report to find out. The interview was in April 2008. Stevens was indicted in July 2008 and went to trial in late September 2008. By demanding an immediate trial, which was his right, Stevens forced the Government to get ready for trial in a hurry. Of course, it is easier to forget about an exculpatory interview when no 302 is prepared in the first place.

The prosecution team also prepared the GOVERNMENT’S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL, filed in January 2009. In that Opposition, in discussing Allen’s testimony about the Torricelli Letter, the Government stated:

“In claiming that Allen’s testimony was false, defendant relies first on the fact that Persons’s comment was not recorded in the government’s memoranda of its interviews with Allen. This fact proves nothing, however, because the government was not even aware of the October 6, 2002 note until defendant produced it in early 2008, long after most of the memoranda were prepared. Moreover, it was not until shortly before trial that the government questioned Allen about defendant’s statement that he had asked Persons to speak to Allen about a bill, and thereby learned about Persons’s remark. Allen’s recollection on this point was not recorded in an FBI 302 because it was disclosed during a trial preparation session.” (Emphasis added).

In its recent Motion to Set Aside, the Government rightfully informed Judge Sullivan that this statement was inaccurate in light of the review team’s recent discovery of the April 15, 2008 interview.

The defense team correctly noted that many judges routinely accept the Government’s boilerplate pronouncement that all Brady material has been provided to the defense. Judge Sullivan, to his credit, did not do so here. The defense also admirably commended the new review team and AG Holder and stressed that some prosecutors who came to the case late may not have known about all of the Brady problems.

We are left for now with the sobering comments of the Stevens’ defense team:

“[I]t is crucial that this matter be fully investigated to determine the complete facts and assess responsibility.” "

http://letterofapology.com/2009/04/04/reflections-on-the-stevens-debacle/

bad

Choices, choices... Do they plead shoddy or shitty ...

Danube of Thought

"The whole question was 'why don't they swim to the lifeboat, flashbang tthem, kill the pirates?'"

Wrong yet again. At no time did I ever inquire why they didn't do so. I said that it was a possible means of rescuing the man if it appeared there were no other way to save him. And although you have repeatedly pronounced the suggested operation as "stupid," you haven't explained why it is that the SEALs train so rigorously to do such stupid things.

Charlie, have you ever heard a shot fired in anger?

daddy

Thank you Clarice and thank you JMH,

I would also like to know who convinced Judge Sullivan to deny Steven's an Alaska venue for the trial as opposed to DC. Any remotely objective observer, familiar with the particulars of the cabin/the charges/etc, would have known that an Alaska venue for the Trial would have immediately exposed the implausibility of the Prosecution's 250K refurbishment charge. So who laid out the case that convinced Sullivan to hold the Trial in DC? Whoever did that, in my view, consciously and intentionally did so knowing full well that by denying jurors the opportunity to view the cabin with their own eyes, to compare it with surrounding similar cabins, and to question local builders as to the actual value of the work accomplished, they were absolutely denying Steven's judicial fairness.

As for Parson's, who I believe is the owner of The Double Muskee restaurant in Girdwood (best one in town), what did he say about the Allen comment under testimony? As far as I know, Parson's, unlike Bill Allen, who has multiple felony charges hanging over his head, is an honest citizen without any mitigating legal reasons whatever to lie about conversations with Ted Steven's, so I'd love to hear what he said. Any idea where to find those statements?

And lastly, how come every whistle blower on the planet gets unchallenged front page headlines for months on end, yet finding out anything about whistleblowing FBI Rookie Agent Gay is like finding a needle in a haystack. Yet once his allegations did appear, they beat the bushes in Alaska to find folks to dump on Gay and to laud the integrity of those he accused, and in one instance failing to mention that the individual criticizing Gay was a retired FBI Agent, undoubtedly personally familiar with the Senior Agent Gay was whistleblowing against, yet that essential bit of background never made it into print.

bad

Personally, I'm shocked they beat up a Gay...

daddy

Too fast for me Bad,

Had to read that 3 times befor it sunk in:)

JM Hanes

daddy:

If we're thinking the same guy who purportedly made the CYA remark to Allen, I'm not sure he actually testified. He has since said that he never made any such comment. I don't have a terribly firm grasp of all the details though.

narciso

Well Flynn, you know that 'the narrative; is more important than the facts, the sad
state of the disgraced Joe Wilson, the mysterious death of the dissident reporter
Sy Hersh, wait a minute, you mean to tell me they suffered no retribution for their
allegations, 'stop the presses'


I remember before I was so thoroughly immersed in your neck of the wood's mores
and customs, that the indictment seemed right, that was the era of 'Porkbuster' and the ridiculing of a former WW 2 vet, for
misunderstanding the nature of the internet,
that part I found a little excessive and juvenile, but there must have been a reason; I mean that couldn't have been a miscalculation by the likes of the Pajamas
crew. But some things rankled, like during
the end of the trial, one of the jurors in D.C, well I figured there must have been a lobbyist there involved right, took a leave
of absence, and froze the trial within spitting distance of the election. I inquired about that aspect, and I wasn't reassured. If I had known a former player from the Libby case, had been involved I would have smelled a nutria. Then the nature of the Girdwood property and the ludicrous improvements struck me as odd. I still never suspected the kind of deliberate
obfuscation of the factual record, to render
a totally false portrait. I know that's never happened either in recent memory.

Captain Hate

I'm disappointed the First Dog is 6 months old. The Obama girls missed the magic of puppyhood.

Bammers wanted them to have a pet that experienced the type of abandonment issues that he did; hence the weirdness of naming it BO (was its name Soetero or Dunham before?). Hopefully he's not too envious of it having papers with the "Sire" field completely and accurately filled out.

richard mcenroe

Of course, there's still that American-flagged tug being steered towards the Somali coast. What's Barry doing about that?

clarice

daddy, Morris' crew persuaded the Judge to have it in D.C> I cited the stuff on another thread here.

That's why it is a particular kind of chutzpah for them to piss and moan to the WaPo that one reason for the evidentiary slip ups is that the evidence was in Alaska and it was very hard and time consuming to properly review it.

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