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Observations and commentary from a Christian libertarian perspective, written by a freedom-obsessed father of six children and husband to one exquisitely lovely wife.
Updated: 10 weeks 4 days ago

A "Deal" to Protect the Guilty: Bonneville County's Indecent Proposal to Chris Tapp (IMPORTANT UPDATE, 3/21)

Sun, 03/12/2017 - 22:43


Danny Clark's 14th Century antecedent administers "justice."

See the update below

Idaho Falls resident Christopher Tapp has spent more than two decades behind bars for a murder he did not commit. He was convicted on the basis of a confession extracted from him through psychological torture -- a fact that even the Bonneville County Prosecutor's Office has now grudgingly conceded. Now Bonneville County Prosecutor Danny Clark is reportedlyseeking a face-saving plea bargain on the eve of a judicial hearing that would exonerate Tapp.
No physical evidence or eyewitness testimony connected Tapp to the scene of the June 1996 murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. Idaho Falls Police Sergeant Jared Fuhriman, who was lead investigator, initially sought to bully Tapp into implicating a friend -- either Jeremy Sargis, whose family had the means to arrange for legal representation, or Ben Hobbs, who had been arrested in Nevada for rape. All three of these young men were excluded as suspects by DNA evidence.
A grieving heroine: Carol Dodge. Rather than following the evidence to a plausible suspect, Fuhriman and his comrades at the IFPD made do with the suspect that they had, isolating the 20-year-old from his family, and arresting him after his mother tried to contact an attorney.

Polygraph examiner Steven Finn, systematically lying to the victim, convinced Tapp that he was being "untruthful" in denying involvement in the murder, and that unless he offered a "truthful" confession he would face the death penalty. Only by admitting to a "limited" role in a crime committed by others, Tapp was told, could he save his own life.
Following a May 1998 trial replete with perjured testimony by Fuhriman and his colleagues, Tapp was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. At the time, Angie Dodge's mother Carol believed firmly in Tapp's guilt. Several years later, she examined the videotaped interrogations -- and has now become the most passionate advocate for Tapp's exoneration.

There are two separate appeals underway on Tapp's behalf, both of which will be considered on April 25. The legal advocacy group Judges for Justice, which consists of retired judges, FBI investigators, and legal specialists, is preparing to present a detailed and overwhelming case for Tapp's innocence. In doing so, they will place before the court, and the public, an equally voluminous case for decades of criminal misconduct by Fuhriman (who was subsequently elected Mayor of Idaho Falls), his associates in the Idaho Falls Police Department, and the Bonneville County Prosecutor's Office.
Tapp has been relocated to the Bonneville County Jail in Idaho Falls in anticipation of next month's hearing -- which means that Prosecutor Danny Clark and his minions will have more than a month to manipulate him into a plea bargain, which would be a bookend to compliment the process through which he was seduced into a false confession in January 1997.

Twenty years ago, Fuhriman and his comrades wanted to close a murder case to avoid an institutional embarrassment. Now, they want to wring the last full measure of usefulness from their victim by having him accept a deal that will protect them at the cost of his exoneration.

In aletter to Tapp, Judge Michael Heavey advises him that deal that would likely involve an Alford Plea – under which he would assert his innocence while admitting that the prosecutor could prove his guilt in court. This would allow Tapp to be sentenced to the time he has already served, and perhaps a brief term of probation.
“If you accept an Alford deal, then you spent 20+ years in prison for nothing,” Judge Heavey explained. "Fuhriman wins, [former Bonneville DA Kip] Manwaring wins, [assistant prosecutor John] Shindurling wins, Finn wins.... Chris Tapp loses 20 years."
No better than a child molester: Fuhriman. Anything short of complete exoneration “is a big loss for you,” Heavey advised him. “The prosecutor’s office has done everything they can to keep you in prison for the rest of your life, they are not honorable people. They have the leverage, for about one more month…. Don’t give in, you are an innocent man.”
The wrongful conviction of Christopher Tapp is just one of several cases -- such as the equally bogus double-murder convictionof Lanny Smith, and the utterly bizarre rape convictionof Michael Whiteley -- demonstrating the deeply dysfunctional nature of Bonneville County's criminal "justice" system. The Tapp case, however, poses the most acute risk to the county's political class: It has received national publicity, the victim is still a young man, he has influential advocates (including the murder victim's mother), and his exoneration would lead to a civil rights suit he would easily win.
This explains why the County is desperate to have Tapp sign a deal and seal up the matter before next month's hearing. In the fashion of the inquisitor presiding over William Wallace's torture at the climax of Braveheart, Prosecutor Danny Clark -- like his colleagues, a conservative and pious man -- are urging their victim to acknowledge their divine authority as a condition of being released from his agony.

At one point during the lengthy (and, thankfully, video-recorded) process of manipulating Tapp into a false confession, Sergeant Fuhriman told the victim to look carefully at a religious icon the interrogator displayed as a tie-pin -- a figure of the Angel Moroni, who is revered as a divine messenger in the Mormon faith. Fuhriman explained to Tapp that he was a Mormon Bishop (a position broadly congruent with that of a parish priest) and assured his victim that he would act as his"guardian angel" -- while warning that he was also his "last hope."

Fuhriman new that the DNA evidence at the murder scene had excluded Tapp. The police sergeant was also aware that Tapp's utter lack of familiarity with the specifics of that crime, or the scene where it occurred, meant that he was being maneuvered into a false confession.

None of this mattered to Fuhriman, who -- with his comrades Steven Finn and Ken Brown -- preyed on the vulnerabilities  of their captive, weaknesses that Furhiman had come to know when he was prowling the halls of the junior high school Tapp had attended several years earlier.

Assistant prosecutor John Shindurling, who tried the case in May 1998, was present for an interrogation session during which Tapp's captors systematically fed him details of a crime with which he had nothing to do. Shindurling would later assure the jury that only through direct involvement in that crime could Tapp have known those details. Fuhriman himself would directly perjure himself on the witness stand by making the same claim.

If Danny Clark were any part of a man, he would move to vacate Tapp's conviction, and seek appropriate punishment for Fuhriman and his accomplices in this monumental crime.

In 1880, as her dispossessed people were being starved through the instrumentality of a corrupt Indian agent named James Wilbur, the heroic Sarah Winnemucca confronted that pious fraud. Wilbur, who was given to religious posturing, had accused Winnemucca of "putting the Devil" into the heads of the Paiutes by explaining how the agent had been making himself wealthy by embezzling money and supplies that had been promised to the desperate people over whom he had been given control.

"Mr. Wilbur, you forget that you are a Christian when you can talk so to me," she told him in tones of well-earned, and tightly controlled, contempt. "You are starving my people here.... Everybody in Yakima City knows what you are doing, and hell is full of just such Christians as you are!"

Danny Clark, Jared Fuhriman, and their co-conspirators have implicated themselves in one of the most egregious criminal injustices in the history of Idaho. Everybody who has studied the case knows what they have done, and are doing now -- and hell is full of such sanctimonious frauds as they are.

                      Update: The Bastards of Bonneville County Have Won

"A deal has been reached in the Christopher Tapp case," reports today's Idaho Falls Post-Register. Appellate attorney John Thomas, who will discuss the details of the arrangement today with prosecutor Danny Clark and Judge Alan Stephens in anticipation of a hearing tomorrow, says that Tapp will not admit guilt as part of the deal -- which means, most likely, that the innocent man will take an Alford plea. This would mean immediate release from prison -- but not from the underlying conviction. It would also protect Fuhriman and his accomplices in the kidnapping, torture, and theft of twenty years from Tapp.

The rape conviction will be vacated; the murder charge will remain, and Tapp will still be required to pay "restitution" for a crime he didn't commit. This means that rather than being compensated by Bonneville County for the theft of his life, Tapp -- a convicted felon with dismal employment prospects -- will probably spend the rest of his life as an indentured servant, subject to wage garnishment and incarceration if he can't make the extortion payments required of him."Chris spent 20 years of his life convicted on a lie, and now he's being released to live the rest of his life as a lie because people who have power can justify this," observes Angie's long-suffering mother, Carol Dodge. "They could care less what happens to Chris. All they cared about was having no liability."

There must be, and will be, accountability for the crimes committed by Fuhriman and his comrades.


 

This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast also examines the most recent developments regarding Chris Tapp's wrongful imprisonment:



Be sure to visit the Libertarian Institute -- which will be publishing my forthcoming book on the Christopher Tapp case.





Dum spiro, pugno!

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They're All "Heroes" -- No Matter What Laws they Enforce

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 22:27

Actually, it was a righteous rebellion, not a mere "riot."


Given the rarity of the surname, it is likely that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is related to deputy federal marshal Edward Gorsuch, who was killed an in violent episode that left the nation shocked and terrified, and was an overture to a long and bloody military conflict. 
Deputy Marshal Gorsuch was 57 years old at the time he received his commission, and was killed on the second day of his service. The US Marshals Service deputized him on September 10, 1851 to enforce a warrant issued under the Fugitive Slave Law to recover two human beings Gorsuch claimed as his property. He and Marshal Henry H. Kline, along with several other deputies, had the “law” on their side when they traveled to Christiana, Pennsylvania, bearing a warrant that authorized them to abduct four men who had freed themselves – and to conscript any white citizen they encountered to serve as accomplices in that act.
William Parker Late in the evening of September 10, the kidnappers, who included at least two of Gorsuch’s sons, surrounded a two-story fieldstone home owned by William Parker, a 29-year-old farmer and militia organizer who had escaped from slavery nine years earlier. Operatives of the Underground Railroad had warned Parker of the impending raid. 
Gorsuch imperiously demanded the surrender of his former captives. When no answer came from inside the home, the marshals invaded the domicile – and were promptly driven out by the occupants, one of whom wielded a pitchfork. 
Standing in the front yard of the home, the marshals read the warrants to Parker, who looked down on them contemptuously from a second-floor window.
“I don’t care about your warrant, your demands, or your government,” Parker replied. “You can burn us, but you can’t take us. Before I give up, you will see my ashes scattered on the earth.”
“I want my property, and I shall have it,” bellowed Gorsuch, pretending as if words scribbled by a functionary on a piece of paper gave him title of ownership over other human beings. Realizing that such a claim would avail nothing with Parker, Gorsuch appealed to biblical passages enjoining servants to obey their masters. 
Parker, who apparently knew the Bible better than Gorsuch, replied by citing New Testament verses teaching the equality of all human beings before God. 
“Where do you see it in Scripture that a man should traffic in his brother’s blood?” Parker demanded of the deputy marshal. 
“Do you call a n*gger my brother?” Gorsuch exclaimed.
“Yes, I do,” Parker defiantly replied. 
The situation congealed into a standoff that lasted until daybreak. Shortly after dawn, Parker’s wife used a horn to summon help from Parker’s militia, who arrived bearing whatever weapons they could muster. The alarm also brought two local Quakers named Elijah Lewis, a shopkeeper, and Castner Hanway, a local miller. Both of these white men were well-known for their sympathies toward escaped slaves. 
Relieved by the arrival of two white men, Marshal Kline waved his warrant in their face and told them that they were required to assist in the recovery of Gorsuch’s “property.” Once again, this demand was in harmony with what the federal government called the “law” – and when Lewis and Hanway replied that they would have no part in an abduction they were told that they were committing a federal “crime.”
Surrounded, outnumbered, hungry, and humiliated, Deputy Marshal Gorsuch lost what remained of his composure.
“I have come a long way and I want my breakfast,” he snarled at Parker. “I’ll have my property, or I’ll breakfast in hell.”
Dickinson Gorsuch “Go back to Maryland, old man,” one of the black militiamen taunted Gorsuch.
“Father, will you take all this from a n*gger?” asked his twenty-year-old son, Dickinson, who was part of the posse. 
Parker snapped at Dickinson to keep a civil tongue, or he’d knock his teeth down his throat. Dickinson’s reply to Parker was issued by way of his revolver, inspiring a rejoinder delivered from a shotgun wielded by one of Parker’s associates. Dickinson fell, but he would survive.

The posse opened fire on the home, but was very quickly swarmed by the militia. Gorsuch’s other son, Joshua, was beaten bloody, but escaped, along with the rest of their raiding party-- save one. The Deputy Marshal himself proved to be the only fatality. 
It’s quite likely that several of Gorsuch’s accomplices in the attempted abduction would also have been killed, if not for the intervention of Lewis and Hanway, the two abolitionists they had threatened with arrest. Adamantly opposed to slavery but determined to save lives where possible, the two Quarters, at some substantial personal risk, dragged several wounded men to safety. 
Within hours, tidings of the “Christiana Riot” had been dispatched throughout the country by way of telegraph, and a militarized task force composed of constables, federal marshals, and U.S. marines was deployed to comb the countryside in search of alleged co-conspirators.
"Tragedy at Christiana": Yes, it was called a "tragedy."
“They spread out across the autumn countryside, forcing their way into the homes of blacks and whites alike, threatening anyone who was thought to have anything to do with the Underground Railroad, arresting scores of men on suspicion, with little concern for constitutional niceties,” recalls Fergus M. Bordewich in his book Bound for Canaan. “As one eyewitness put it, `blacks were hunted like partridges.’” 
Parker, knowing that he and his friends faced summary execution if the joint federal-state task force found them, gathered the fugitive slaves in his protection and took them, by way of the underground, to Rochester, New York, and he eventually emigrated to Canada. 
In the U.S., where the Fugitive Slave Act had effectively nationalized the practice of chattel slavery, Parker was wanted for murder and “treason” for defending the right to self-ownership. In Canada, he and other black refugees could vote, own property, and enjoy due process protections on equal terms with Canadians of any other ethnic background.  
Acting on the assumption that the blacks who repelled Gorsuch and his posse at Christiana were acting under the pernicious influence of white seditionists, the administration of Millard Fillmore arranged the indictment of 38 people for “levying war against the United States.” 
This would have been the largest treason trial in American history, and the prosecution intended that it would put down the growing rebellion against the Fugitive Slave Law.
Resistance to that act was widespread in the northern states, several of which enacted “personal liberty laws” that nullified enforcement of the federal measure within their respective jurisdictions. This development prompted southern defenders of slavery – who just a few years later would invoke the heritage of 1776 to justify secession – to condemn as traitors those who undermined the sacred and imperishable Union. They had an ally in arch-unionist Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster. 

“If men get together and combine, and resolve that they will oppose a law of the government, not in any one case, but in all cases; if they resolve to resist the law, whoever may be attempted to be made subject of it, and carry that purpose into effect, by refusing the application of the law in any one case, either by force of arms or force of numbers – that, sir, is treason,” bloviated Webster in a speech shortly before the trial.
The indictment against the Christiana defendants asserted that they “did traitorously assemble and combine against the United States” for the purpose of preventing “by means of intimidation and violence the execution of the said laws of the United States.” 
In December 1851, Hanway became the first to stand trial. His role in the events at Christiana was peripheral, but “the federal government felt that it had to convict a white man to avenge Gorsuch’s death in the eyes of Southerners,” explains Bordewich. That ambition was thwarted when the jury took all of fifteen minutes to acquit the pacifistic miller of all charges. The Fillmore administration made a desultory effort to prosecute other defendants during its final year. 
After Franklin Pierce assumed office in March 1853, he dismissed the case – but not the effort to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law. In 1854, Pierce deployed 1,600 troops to Boston in order to take into custody a man named Anthony Burns, who had escaped bondage in Virginia. Local abolitionists had liberated Burns from the custody of Deputy US Marshal James Batchelder, who was killed in the line of duty by citizens acting in the righteous defense of the life of an innocent man.
The names of both James Batchelder and Edward Gorsuch are inscribed on the honor (if that word applies) roll of US law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.  On September 11, 2015, Gorsuch received a heartfelt tribute from a fellow law enforcement officer. 

“Sir, on today[,] the 164th anniversary of your death[,] I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice to our Country,” wrote an anonymous member of the US Border Patrol in the “reflections” section of the Officer Down Memorial Page, which is devoted to “Remembering All of Law Enforcement’s Heroes.” 
All law enforcement officers, we are insistently told, are “heroes,” even when enforcing government edicts that are morally unsupportable. Members of that fraternity of state-licensed violence regard the detestable likes of Batchelder and Gorsuch as their kin, as well they should.

This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast also examines the Christiana Rebellion:




Be sure to visit the Libertarian Institute.







Dum spiro, pugno!


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Teaching Kids to Trust the Police is Child Abuse

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 00:57

Somebody who would do this to a child should be horsewhipped, at the very least.

Integral to the American concept of liberty is the right to hold the state at bay, which is why children are never too young to be taught to regard government employees with suspicion and defensive hostility. Some conscientious parents in Northampton, Massachusetts acted on that principle by demanding an end to a program intended to habituate public school inmates to the presence of police officers. 
The local police department, acting on an initiative that originated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, had dispatched officers to the local elementary school each week for an event called “High-Five Friday,” in which officers would exchange friendly greetings with cops who in practically any other context would treat such physical contact as a felonious assault on an officer. Police Chief Jody Kasper explains that she thought “it was a great way to start building relationships with young kids.”
That program was “paused” following complaints from a handful of parents who believe that it is the better part of wisdom to teach their children to avoid contact with the police, rather than seeking it out. In announcing the decision on his Facebook page, the department mentioned that “children of color, undocumented immigrant children or other children who may have had negative encounters with law enforcement” had expressed concerns about the program, which cued up the predictable reactions from the punitive populist faction. 
“Why don’t you toughen up out there in Northampton, all right?” eructated Bill O’Reilly, offering the jocular suggestion – at least, I think he was kidding – that the principal and the school board should be arrested. Minor-league talk radio personality Charlie Brennan insisted that “this is why Donald Trump’s gonna get re-elected – stories like this.” 
A contributor to The New American magazine who serves as that publication’s liaison to the white nationalist subculture snarked that “there’s no more `safe space’ for law-abiding citizens than when the police occupy part of it,” and insisted that no true American could possibly object to having an armed, costumed stranger clothed in “qualified immunity” breathing down his neck. 

“It’s entirely understandable, for instance, that a child hailing from a Third World nation with corrupt police may feel apprehension at the sight of the men in blue,” he patriot-splained. “But not that long ago people would have understood the proper response: You take the student aside and gently explain that the police visiting his school are there as friends.”
“Some might also wonder about the parenting evident here,” he continued in the style of a Soviet commissar tutoring parents about their duty to raise children in the fear and admonition of the state and its human emissaries. “If your child has some irrational cop phobia, do you try and educate and change his mind? Or should you moan and groan and change all of society to accommodate irrationality?” 
The “Caucasian leftists” and “minority” parents who complained about the police outreach program embody the “snowflake spirit of the age,” concludes the TNA contributor, whose otherwise barren rhetorical pantry is well-stocked with clichés. To be fair, this story does expose a rather shocking failure on the part of parents in the community – that is, those who accepted the program with bovine docility, rather than expressing skepticism about it. If it is “irrational” for parents to teach their children to be leery of police officers, why do police officers and prosecutors cultivate that attitude within their own children? 
Every parent whose children have been sentenced to attend the Regime’s mind-laundry should review the advice offered by Professor James Duane of Regent University Law School in his slender and indispensable book, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent
Over the past several years, Professor Duane has made hundreds of presentations, each of which begins with an invitation to any audience members whose parents were police officers or prosecutors to ask what advice they had been given by their parents. 
“Every time this happens, without exception, [I’ve been told] the same thing: `Years ago, my parents explained to me that if I were ever approached by a law enforcement officer, I was to call them immediately, and they made sure that I would never agree to talk to the police.’ Not once have I ever met the child of a member of law enforcement who had been told anything different.” 
Several news accounts mention the fact that among those who objected to the Northampton police outreach program included “children who may have had negative encounters with law enforcement.”
“Wow, only in grammar school, and they already have a sour relationship with police,” sneers the above-quoted commentator. “Their futures are bright.” 
It is surpassingly easy for children to find themselves detained, shackled, or otherwise abused by police as a result of entirely trivial misconduct. Witness the case of Michael Davis, a five-year-old from California who was arrested, cuffed, and hauled away to jail for “battery on an officer” after he pushed away the hand of an officer who had touched him without consent and kicked the assailant in his knee in an act of righteous self-defense. 
This was a case involving a delicate snowflake who filed a complaint after his feelings were hurt– none other than Lt. Frank Gordo, who lodged a complaint against the mother of his victim, accusing her of “discriminating” against him by taking the story to the media. 
Incidents of this kind are becoming commonplace. Two years ago a misbehaving third-grader in Covington, Kentucky had his arms shackled behind his back at the elbows for fifteen minutes by a sheriff’s deputy. The eight-year-old supposedly attempted to elbow the deputy after going to the bathroom. 
“You don’t get to swing at me like that,” the heroic tax-feeder lectured his captive. “You can do what we’ve asked you to do, or you can suffer the consequences.” 
In 2014, deputies in Greene County, Virginia handcuffed a four-year-old who had been disruptive in class and briefly detained him at the sheriff’s office. The sheriff insists that the deputy “did what he had to do” and claims that the mother was “appreciative of the way he handled the situation,” which if true would be utterly horrifying.  
Until recently, school resource officers in Texas would routinely treat student misbehavior as misdemeanor criminal offenses, issuing citations that could lead to fines and jail time. School officials in Syracuse, Utah have warned that students who are found at the high school during release-time religious instruction would be issued trespassing citations that, once again, can lead to fines and even jail time. The amalgamation of public education and law enforcement has created countless variations on the theme of criminalizing what had once been treated as minor disciplinary matters.
While police can cause problems for students who misbehave, their presence in schools can be even more dangerous to youngsters who are obedient and conscientious. Professor Duane urges parents to teach their school-age children that “you cannot listen to your conscience when faced by a police officer and think I have nothing to hide.” 
Police are trained to lie as an investigative tactic, and rewarded when their lies prove to be instrumental in obtaining convictions. Innocent and well-intentioned children who somehow find themselves on the receiving end of police attention are “sometimes the most likely to be unfairly influenced by deceptive police interrogation tactics, because they tragically assume that, somehow, `truth and justice will prevail’ later even if they falsely admit their guilt,” Duane emphasizes. “You cannot safely trust a single thing police officers say when they are trying to get you to answer their questions…. Even if you are innocent, the police will do whatever it takes to get you to talk if they think you might be guilty.” 
No better illustration of that reality can be found than the case of Idaho Falls resident Chris Tapp, who has spent twenty years in prison for a murder he did not commit. The only evidence against Tapp was a patently false confession extracted from him through the efforts of IFPD Sergeant (and future Idaho Falls mayor) Jared Fuhriman. 
Fuhriman had been a DARE instructor and resource officer at Tapp’s junior high school. Desperate to clear the case, and left without any good leads after DNA evidence had cleared the three young men considered suspects – including Tapp – Fuhriman used his supposed friendship with his victim to lure him into lengthy interrogation sessions that mutated into something akin to psychological torture. Eventually Fuhriman convinced Tapp that unless he confessed to some role in the murder, he would inevitably be sent to the electric chair. 

“Christopher would just keep saying, `Fuhriman is my friend, mom – he wouldn’t put my life in jeopardy, he wouldn’t lead me astray,” his mother, Vera Tapp, told me in a telephone interview. “He was just such a `good old boy’ with Christopher…. You can see it in the videos – `Oh, Christopher, we’re friends, we’re buddies,’ you know, laughing and joking around. And that’s just what he did when [Tapp] was in junior high. He [was] learning people’s trust and how to manipulate people. And that’s what he did – he manipulated Christopher.”
It is a screaming pity that Christopher Tapp wasn’t given the advice that police and prosecutors offer to their own children: Do not, under any circumstances, talk to a law enforcement officer, beyond demanding access to your parents and, if possible, an attorney. 
Given that police and prosecutors tell their own children not to trust law enforcement officers, why shouldn’t parents employed in the productive sector do likewise?

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, acting on an invitation from the late Justice Scalia, insists that the Second Amendment doesn't protect the right of Mundanes to possess "weapons of war." If it didn't, that amendment would be worse than useless, as I explain in this week's Freedom Zealot Podcast:



Be sure to check out the Libertarian Institute -- and share it with your liberty-minded friends.







Dum spiro, pugno!

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Sheik Omar: The Death of a Deep State Asset

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 01:39




It is one of nature’s ironic mercies that the same disease responsible for disfiguring Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman’s face left him blind, thereby sparing him the sight of his Gorgon-like features. The sheik died from complications of that disease – diabetes – at age 78 in a federal prison cell in North Carolina, a peaceful end to a long life largely devoted to terrorist violence. He had lived at taxpayer expense for roughly one-third of that life. For the better part of a decade prior to his June 1993 arrest, Sheik Omar had covertly been on the federal payroll as a CIA asset.
Abdel-Rahman was the “spiritual leader” of the terrorist cell that carried out the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people were killed in that attack, which inflicted $500 million in damage and would have been apocalyptic in scope if the bomb-laden Ryder truck used in the plot had been placed in the proper section of the basement parking garage. The plan was to send one of the towers toppling into the other.
A native Egyptian, Sheik Omar boasted of his involvement in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Six years later the U.S. State Department placed Sheik Omar's name on its "watch list" of non-Americans believed to be involved in terrorism. That did not prevent the CIA from enlisting Sheik Omar as a "valuable asset" in covert operations involving the Afghan mujahideen during the 1980s.

Between 1980 and 1989, the CIA pumped more than $3 billion in aid into the Islamic resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Following more than a decade and a half of combat in that country, Americans have come to understand how tenaciously Afghans fight to expel foreign occupiers – and the fact that the country’s tribal culture is an impenetrable mare’s nest. It should also be clear by now that the CIA has an uncanny instinct for supporting the worst of the contending factions in any country upon which its gaze descends.  Author Kurt Lohbeck documented in his study Holy War, Unholy Victory: Eyewitness to the CIA's Secret War in Afghanistan that during the mid-1980s the CIA invested most of its aid in the least combat-worthy and most anti-American factions of the mujahideen. Among the CIA's dubious beneficiaries was Sheik Omar.

Writing in the May 1996 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, foreign correspondent Mary Anne Weaver recalled that it was in Peshawar, Pakistan, that Sheik Omar "became involved with U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials who were orchestrating the war" against the Soviets, and that the "sixty or so CIA and Special Forces officers based there considered him a 'valuable asset' ... and overlooked his anti-Western message and incitement to holy war because they wanted him to help unify the mujahideen groups."

Sheik Omar and his associates created an institution in Peshawar, Pakistan, called the Service Office, which recruited Muslims from around the world as volunteers to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Branches of the Service Office were created throughout Europe and the United States, thereby providing a ready slush fund for terrorists and anti-Western agitators. While the Service Office sluiced money into the coffers of terrorists, Sheik Omar preached his gospel of jihad in Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, and in Islamic population centers in Turkey, Germany, England, and even the United States — despite his listing on the State Department's "watch list." 

Sheik Omar's status as a “valuable asset” to the CIA didn’t end after the Red Army vacated Afghanistan in early 1989.

On May 10, 1990, Sheik Omar was granted a one-year visa from a CIA agent posing as an official at the U.S. Consulate in Khartoum, Sudan, and he arrived in New York in July 1990. In November of the same year Sheik Omar's visa was revoked, and the State Department advised the Immigration and Naturalization Service to be on the lookout for him. So attentive was the INS to this advisory that it granted Sheik Omar a green card just five months later.
This wasn’t a failure of the vetting procedure. It was the peculiar kind of “success” that often facilitates the arrival of capable practitioners of violence who are useful for the Deep State’s domestic operations.

The killing of Kahane: Clues found -- and hidden -- by the FBI. The American-based radicals who sponsored Sheik Omar's 1990 trip to the U.S. included Mahmud Abouhalima, a CIA-supported veteran of the Afghan campaign. Also helping to make arrangements for the sheik's visit was Mustafa Shalabi, the Brooklyn-based director of Alkifah, a support fund for mujahideen fighters. Another leader of Sheik Omar's American network was El Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian expatriate who went on to murder Jewish nationalist Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Abouhalima and Nosair were eventually among those convicted of conspiring with Sheik Omar to wage urban warfare in the United States, and in that campaign they made use of skills imparted to them by the CIA and the U.S. military.

During the 1995 conspiracy trial, attorneys for Sheik Omar and his disciples introduced a file documenting that in 1989, the U.S. Army had sent Special Forces Sergeant Ali A. Mohammed – who had been cashiered from the Egyptian Army several years earlier -- to Jersey City to provide training for mujahideen recruits, including Abouhalima and Nosair. Although Omar was regarded as the cabal’s spiritual leader, and Nosair was said to be the signal-caller, US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald believed that Mohammed was the chief architect of “al-Qaeda’s terrorist infrastructure in the U.S.”

Catch and release: Mohammed. In March 2001 – a few months before the immeasurably bloodier encore at the World Trade Center – Mohammed pleaded guilty to charges arising from the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which 258 people were murdered. He was then allowed to flee the jurisdiction without being sentenced.

Mohammed’s main role in the 1993 plot was to train and supervise the others. According to Two Seconds Under the World, a book on the 1993 WTC bombing co-written by Newsday’s Pulitzer-winning investigative team, all of this was done under constant FBI surveillance. The Bureau had ample advance notice of what Sheik Omar’s disciples intended to do.

Following the murder of Rabbi Kahane in November 1990, the FBI seized and impounded 49 boxes of documents from Nosair's New Jersey apartment; the cache included bomb-making instructions, a hit list of public figures (including Kahane), paramilitary training materials, detailed pictures of famous buildings (including the World Trade Center), and sermons by Sheik Omar urging his followers to "destroy the edifices of capitalism."

Owing to incompetence or (more likely) something much worse, the FBI made none of the evidence available to New York City Assistant District Attorney William Greenbaum, who prosecuted the case. In fact, the FBI made no investigative use of the material until after the Trade Center bombing in 1993.

Hamstrung by the FBI's decision to withhold the evidence collected at Nosair's apartment, Greenbaum was unable to secure a murder conviction in the killing of Kahane. After being convicted on firearms-related charges Nosair began a seven-year term in Attica prison, where he continued to direct the affairs of Sheik Omar's terrorist network.

By March 1991, Sheik Omar and his associates had seized control of the Alkifah fund, which had by then swollen to an estimated $2 million. The CIA-originated fund helped finance Nosair's trial defense. It was also used to procure many of the bomb components that were assembled under the expert supervision of Afghan terrorist Ramzi Yousef, who was imported by the Sheik Omar network in late 1992.

Yousef was convicted on September 8, 1996 of plotting a 48-hour campaign of bombings against American commercial flights over the Pacific Ocean. The campaign would have targeted a total of 12 jetliners and as many as 4,000 passengers. Yousef met Abouhalima in Afghanistan in 1988, and it was Abouhalima who brought the Afghan terrorist to the United States in September 1992 on behalf of Sheik Omar's network.

Shortly after Yousef's arrival, the FBI subpoenaed two dozen of Sheik Omar's followers and questioned them about the sheik, Nosair, and Abouhalima. However, no arrests were made, no grand jury investigation was launched, and the FBI chose to downgrade its scrutiny of Omar's network — just as plans were being finalized for the Trade Center bombing. This curious decision is even more peculiar in light of the fact that the FBI had obtained intelligence on the network's capabilities and intentions from Emad A. Salem, a former Egyptian Army officer and FBI informant who served as Omar's security guard.

Salem's relationship with the FBI was turbulent, and there were suggestions of impropriety in his personal contacts with FBI handler Nancy Floyd. However, he had repeatedly warned the FBI that Nosair was running a terrorist ring out of his prison cell, and he had supplied detailed descriptions of the Sheik Omar network's plans. But the FBI, professing doubts about Salem's reliability, severed contacts with him seven months before the bombing.

Appendages of the same beast: CIA asset Omar with FBI informant Salem. In the aftermath of the 1993 Trade Center bombing, the FBI renewed its association with Salem, paying him a reported $1 million to infiltrate Sheik Omar's group once again. Salem was many things, some of them unsavory, but he was not a fool; this is why he secretly recorded many of his conversations with law enforcement agents, including exchanges in which it was revealed that the FBI had detailed prior knowledge of the Trade Center bomb plot.

According to Salem, the FBI had planned to sabotage the Trade Center bomb by replacing the explosive components with an inert powder. The October 28, 1993 New York Times reported that in one conversation Salem recalled assurances from an FBI supervisor that the agency's plan called for "building the bomb with a phony powder and grabbing the people who [were] involved in [the plot]." However, the supervisor, in Salem's words, "messed it up."

Salem recalled that when he expressed a desire to lodge a protest with FBI headquarters, he was told by special agent John Anticev that "the New York people [wouldn't] like the things out of the New York office to go to Washington, DC." Unsatisfied, Salem rebuked Anticev: "You saw this bomb went off and you ... know that we could avoid that.... You get paid, guys, to prevent problems like this from happening."

Perhaps the most remarkable illustration of the depth of the FBI's knowledge of the Sheik Omar network came after the World Trade Center bombing, when the Bureau employed Salem's services as an informant once again. As the Wall Street Journal subsequently reported, from March to June 1993 Salem "helped organize the 'battle plan' that the government alleged included plots to bomb the United Nations and FBI buildings in New York, and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels beneath the Hudson River…. Mr. Salem recruited seven local Muslims to scout targets, plan tactics and obtain chemicals and electrical parts for bombs."

By the time the FBI closed in on the plotters on June 23, it had literally hours of videotapes documenting the conspiracy in intimate detail — including footage of conspirators mixing fertilizer and diesel fuel to build a bomb.

Sheik Omar is presented by the Regime and its heralds as the incarnation of what we are told is the implacable, all-encompassing menace of radical Islam. However, his career actually demonstrates that the large-scale evils not directly created by the Deep State are generally co-opted by it. Omar embodied Frederic Bastiat’s maxim that government enriches its power by creating the poison and the antidote in the same laboratory.


My apologies: An accident involving an icy parking lot and gravity's cruel demands -- and a knee suddenly wrenched in a direction contrary to its design specifications -- left me immobilized for a while, and the resulting backlog explains the unusually long hiatus at this page. I appreciate your patience.


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Meet the New "Specially Protected Class"

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 19:19





Adams Lin literally fainted as he read a court order authorizing federal marshals to confiscate his property. The officers seizedhis car, his designer clothes, a flat-screen television, golf clubs, computer, and even his treasured Samurai sword.

Unlike countless other Americans who have been pillaged by federal law enforcement officials, Lin was not a victim of the officially sanctioned plunder called civil asset forfeiture. His property was confiscated after Lin’s boss failed to make a $200,000 payment toward the $22.4 million civil damage award granted to a man who was left paralyzed through Lin’s occupational misconduct.

Lin’s boss is Palm Beach County, Florida Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, and he has adamantly refused to make payments to Dontrell Stephens, who was shot by Lin after the panicking deputy mistook the 19-year-old’s cell phone for a gun.

“There’s nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait and find out what this is and get killed,” whined Sheriff Bradshaw on the day of the shooting. His department quickly exonerated Lin and promoted him – before the public release of video that proved that the victim had never posed a threat to the deputy.

Rather than complying with the court order, Bradshaw filed an appeal. After the award was upheld last May, Bradshaw appealed again – which triggered an injunction leading to the seizure of property from the deputy who was directly responsible for the unlawful shooting of an innocent teenager. Owing to his service as an asset of the state’s punitive apparatus, Lin was able to get his confiscated property back. His victim, of course, remains paralyzed.
Lin continues to be held in high regard by Bradshaw, which is why the sheriff selected him to be one of seven sergeants from his department assignedto the presidential security detail at the Palm Beach Airport during the president’s recent visit.


This obviously wasn’t a reward for Lin’s exceptional valor. The deputy’s pants-wetting meltdown that led to the near-murder of Stephens, and his fainting spell triggered by enforcement of the court order, demonstrate that he’s hardly Horatiusat the bridge in dealing with adversity. It was a gesture of calculated contempt toward those who believe that police officers should be held accountable for personal misconduct, and an assertion of the institutional sense of entitlement that characterizes law enforcement – and that has been reinvigorated by the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Donald Trump has repeatedly describedthe privileged personalities who constitute the state’s punitive caste as “the most mistreated people” in society. In a recent exercise in self-pity publishedby the cyber-journal Law Officer, Major Travis Yates of the Tulsa Police Department embellishes Trump’s claim, complaining that law enforcement officers are the victims of what he calls “The New Discrimination in America.”

“We see police officers being assaulted,” insisted Yates. “We see police officers being murdered. And much of it, is just because they wear a uniform.”

Police officers are occasionally assaulted, and on austerely rare occasions murdered on-duty – much less frequently, as it happens, than they were under the reign of the last self-described law-and-order president, Ronald Reagan. Those who lend credence to Yates’s jeremiad, however, would believe that the desecrated bodies of police officers can be found dangling from hanging trees throughout the length and breadth of this hate-intoxicated, ungrateful land.

“From slavery to the KKK to Jim Crow laws, nothing much has changed in this country,” he intones. “We continue to hate and we continue to kill and the only difference now is we are doing it to those in uniform.”

This ambient violence sometimes leads people to shun police officers in restaurants, or call them “vile and hateful names.” A similarly grievous illustration of what he invites the reader to pretend is unconscionable anti-cop bigotry was an executive order by Barack Obama placing modest limits on the transfer of war-fighting materiel from the Pentagon to local police agencies.

Like many others in the self-described Blue Lives Matter movement, Major Yates confuses a chosen occupation – one involving the state-sanctioned exercise of aggressive violence -- with an innate characteristic. He also ignores the critical distinctions between hateful and spiteful verbal abuse -- on one hand -- and the forceful criticism of officials who are, or at least should be, accountable to the public they claim to serve.

Yates does understand the essential nature of the occupation he has chosen. In a previous essay, he complained that citizens who are urging police to rediscover the lost skill of de-escalation in encounters with citizens are demanding that “police stop being police.”

Yeah, they're just like victims of Jim Crow.
“Follow the commands of a police officer, or risk dying,” Yates snarled, expressing the discretionary power to kill that was not enjoyed or exercised by slaves or those subject to Jim Crow laws.  From his perspective, only aberrant bigotry could motivate those who take issue with the fact that police consider themselves invested with that power, or criticize them when its exercise is manifestly indefensible.

Once clad in the habiliments of the state’s punitive priesthood, police expect and demand deference from Mundanes. Recent studies conducted by a team of cognitive neuroscientists at McMaster University suggest that the mere act of donning the official costume alters the way those thus attired – in this case, students, rather than police officers – view people who are regarded as socially marginal or otherwise “problematic.”

It is incontestable that once an individual swaddles himself in police attire he begins to assess everyone who surrounds him in terms of potential threats to “officer safety.” It is likewise clear that the relatively modest occupational risks of police officers are amplified by the requirement that they enforce measures that are innately illegitimate.

Missouri State Trooper Beau Ryun, to cite a perfectly suitable recent example, was “assaulted” by 22-year-old Jonathan Timmons during a recent traffic stop, and was rescued by the intervention of a motorist named Charles Barney and a 74-year-old woman identified only as “Sandra.” That’s as far as the story will be recounted in most re-tellings: A heroic paladin of public order was viciously attacked, and was rescued by two “civilians,” who have been nominated for “honorary trooper awards.”

Little if any attention will be paid to the prelude of this altercation.

Timmons, a resident of New York State, was not suspected of an actual crime against person or property. He was stopped by Trooper Ryun because of a “lane violation.” If the vehicle had not displayed out-of-state license plates, it’s quite possible that Ryun would have ignored this trivial transgression. Owing to the perverted priorities of prohibition, however, traffic infractions of this kind are coveted, because they provide opportunities for drug arrests and asset forfeiture.

Timmons, unfortunately, was far too cooperative following Ryun’s pretext stop, agreeing to sit in the patrol vehicle while the trooper conducted a consent search. When Ryun reached for the handcuffs, Timmons decided to fight back. His offense was morally indistinguishable from that of an escaped slave who “assaulted” an officer enforcing the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law – Deputy U.S. Marshal James Batchelder, to cite one example.

Batchelder was killed by an abolitionist posse seeking to liberate a man named Anthony Burns, who had been “lawfully” arrested by the marshal for rendition to the Virginia man who claimed to “own” him. Yes, Burns violated the “law” by escaping from involuntary servitude. In similar fashion, Timmons broke the “law” by being in possession of marijuana, and by resisting state-sanctioned abduction by an armed stranger.

Deputy Marshal Batchelder’s name is inscribed on the honor roll of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Those who compile such rosters do not inquire into the legitimacy of the statutes whose enforcement led to the deaths thus tabulated, or consider whether killing or dying to enforce them is justifiable.

Timmons faces six criminal charges, including felonious assault on a “special victim.” Yes, Missouri is among the SSRswithin the American soyuz that formally designate police as a “specially protected class.” Over the past two years, law and order conservatives who otherwise abhor the concept of “hate crimes” have proposed, and sometimes enacted, hate crimes statutes that enhance penalties for crimes against police officers.

In Louisiana, for example, citizens can now be charged with a “hate crime” under that state’s Blue Lives Matter statute, which was signed into law last year. Two bills being reconciled in the Mississippi State Legislature would have the same impact.

House Bill 645, titled the “Back the Badge Act of 2017,” would triple the penalties for committing an act of violence against law enforcement officers or other first responders (who are included in the bill in order to expand its constituency, not because of an outbreak of violence against firefighters or EMTs). A similar measure, Senate Bill 2469, the “Blue, Red, and Med Lives Matter Act,” has passed that chamber of the state Legislature. That bill designates police and other first responders as a specially protected class for the purpose of hate crimes prosecution. Mississippi state law currently doubles penalties for crimes targeting people belonging to specially protected classes.
 Caesar keeps the Praetorians happy.
The Fraternal Order of Police and other police unions have been agitating for federal “hate crimes” legislation for the benefit of law enforcement, and Donald Trump is eager to oblige them. His recent executive order instructs newly installed Procurator General Jeff Sessions to “pursue appropriate legislation … that will define new Federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing Federal crimes, in order to prevent violence against Federal, State, tribal and local law enforcement officers.”

With three exceptions – piracy, counterfeiting, and treason – “federal crimes” do not exist under the constitutional framework, which likewise does not authorize the federal government to investigate and punish violations of state laws. Self-described constitutionalists once regarded such considerations as important.

Just months ago, the “law and order” constituency was denouncing the President of the United States for seeking to “federalize” law enforcement. Now that same cohort is offering full-throated approval of the president’s eagerness to expand federal involvement in local law enforcement – and to federalize prosecution of people accused of criminal offenses resulting from encounters like the one involving Jonathan Timmons and Trooper Ryun.

After spending Barack Obama’s reign denouncing his regime as the distillate of despotism, right-collectivists are eagerly applauding the enhancement of state power under a president with whom they can identify.

Statists of all varieties remain committed to Lenin’s formula, under which the fundamental political question is “who does what to whom.” The “what” in that equation – the exercise of essentially illimitable state power – remains intact; the “who” and “whom” have simply exchanged places. Somewhere in hell, Lenin is kvelling.


The same Regime that promises border security has been known to vet refugees for the purpose of recruiting terrorists -- but what should we expect from a system based on demographic central planning? This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast:



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