Monday, June 06, 2011

A Curious, if Rare Example of Justice

Occasionally one of the "good guys" prevails in this Byzantine "justice system" we suffer under. Behold!

H/T: Market Ticker

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Smell Test: FAIL!

In a previous life this humble blogster had occasion to participate in a "covert" law enforcement operation involving two agencies; one federal and one of Los Angeles county. He therefore managed to acquire a somewhat rudimentary insight into the workings of "sting" operations as popularized in the 1973 film staring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

Probably the most annoying and frustrating feature of such projects is the tendency of higher supervisorial and administrative bureaucrats personnel to micromanage how these scenarios play themselves out. Contrary to conventional wisdom, most, if not all, such capers are closely monitored by command and control functionaries for the simple reason that the political and career-destroying fallout can prove to be: shall we say "unpleasant".

In 1974 a president of the United States was forced to resign over the coverup of a third rate burglary operation aimed at garnering political dirt on an opponent who arguably had the chances of a snowball in hell of gaining the presidency. That burglary resulted in prison terms for several of the personages involved in the incident as well as the disgrace/conviction of the serving Attorney General.

The Watergate scandal did not involve the death or injury of a single human being. Such is not the case regarding the unfolding scandal involving the alleged "sanctioned" transfer of at least 1800 firearms to drug cartels in Mexico by the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Not only are there two federal agents murdered by the "walked" firearms, but an as yet unknown number of Mexican and US citizens whose bodies have been discovered in mass graves in Mexico.

When questioned regarding operation "Gun Runner" involving the ATF approving of the sale of firearms to "straw" buyers for illegal trans shipment to drug cartels in Mexico, the White House and the Attorney General denied approval for or much less knowledge of such an operation. In light of documents provided by ATF agents who have come forward protesting "Gun Runner" and this writers prior experience, the denials fail the smell test big time.

One may be excused for inquiring qui bono (who benefits) from what amounts to such a human tragedy. The answer is very likely contained in a revealing article here and hopefully you, dear reader will read the entire text. If whistleblower ATF agent John Dodson had not revealed that the walking of guns to Mexican drug cartels had been engineered by his bosses the allegations regarding ATF being used as a tool to advance the citizen disarmament political agenda of the Obama Administration would lack traction.

The AK-47 used to gun down fellow federal agent Brian Terry, once recovered, would no doubt have been identified by ATF as a weapon recently purchased from a US gun dealer on the southwest border (ATF would have had, after all, the serial numbers and other identifying documentation).
There would have been no need to mention the existence of any ATF ‘secret sting,’Operation Fast and Furious, or any links between these ATF endeavors and the movement of the weapon used to murder Terry across the US border and into the hands of his Mexican assailants.
Instead, the discovery and identification of the AK-47 used to gun down a US agent as one sold by a US gun dealer and then trafficked ‘illegally’ over the border into Mexico and into the possession of the cartels might have created a ‘perfect PR storm,’ neatly reinforcing the arguments put forth, first, by Mexico’s government, which contends there would be no gang violence in that country if the US didn’t supply gangs with guns; second, by higher-ups in the US government who favor tougher gun-control laws and non-intervention in Mexico (DOJ and the Obama Administration); and, third, by the public anti-gun lobby in America.
Indeed, here’s how that story would have read: Mexico’s claim re the US fueling cartel violence is right, and worse yet, weapons trafficked from the US [gun dealers and gun shows] are no longer being used just to murder Mexicans, but to kill Americans as well.
The silence concerning this unfolding scandal on the part of most of the "mainstream media" is deafening. Instead, the population is treated to a feeding frenzy concerning "Weinergate" (pun intended). We, as imperial subjects of the former Republic known as the United States are truly, not only bankrupt but thoroughly screwed.


h/t: Mike Vanderboegh

An Open Letter to My Fellow Lovers of Liberty

Yesterday concluded the trial in the Netherlands of Geert Wilders. Mr Wilders was prosecuted for speaking his opinions. He did not interfere in the internal affairs of any Muslim nation nor did he incite anyone to violence unless those who would kill him for expressing his opinions are considered "incited".

I have seen nothing in the so called "libertarian" media expressing any outrage at this so called trial in a "Western" nation. I have however, read reams condemning Israel for defending its existence against those who are routinely incited to commit a second holocaust.
The following is a translated transcript of Geert Wilders' closing argument at his trial:
Mister President, members of the Court,
I am here because of what I have said. I am here for having spoken. I have spoken, I speak and I shall continue to speak. Many have kept silent, but not Pim Fortuyn, not Theo Van Gogh, and not I.
I am obliged to speak. For the Netherlands is under threat of Islam. As I have argued many times, Islam is chiefly an ideology. An ideology of hatred, of destruction, of conquest. It is my strong conviction that Islam is a threat to Western values, to freedom of speech, to the equality of men and women, of heterosexuals and homosexuals, of believers and unbelievers.
All over the world we can see how freedom is fleeing from Islam. Day by day we see our freedoms dwindle.
Islam is opposed to freedom. Renowned scholars of Islam from all parts of the world agree on this. My witness experts subscribe to my view. There are more Islam scholars whom the court did not allow me to call upon to testify. All agree with my statements, they show that I speak the truth. That truth is on trial today.
We must live in the truth, said the dissidents under Communist rule, because the truth will set us free. Truth and freedom are inextricably connected. We must speak the truth because otherwise we shall lose our freedom.
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.
The statements for which I am being tried are statements which I made in my function as a politician participating in the public debate in our society. My statements were not aimed at individuals, but at Islam and the process of islamization. That is why the Public Prosecutor has concluded that I should be acquitted.
 Mister President, members of the Court,
I am acting within a long tradition which I wish to honour. I am risking my life in defence of freedom in the Netherlands. Of all our achievements freedom is the most precious and the most vulnerable. Many have given their lives for freedom. We have been reminded of that in the commemorations of the month of May. But the struggle for freedom is much older.
Every day the armoured cars drive me past the statue of Johan de Witt at the Hofvijver in The Hague. De Witt wrote the "Manifesto of True Freedom" and he paid for freedom with his life. Every day I go to my office through the Binnenhof where Johan van Oldenbarneveldt was beheaded after a political trial. Leaning on his stick the elderly Oldenbarneveldt addressed his last words to his people. He said: "I have acted honourably and piously as a good patriot." Those words are also mine.
I do not wish to betray the trust of the 1.5 million voters of my party. I do not wish to betray my country. Inspired by Johan van Oldenbarneveldt and Johan de Witt I wish to be a politician who serves the truth end hence defends the freedom of the Dutch provinces and of the Dutch people. I wish to be honest, I wish to act with honesty and that is why I wish to protect my native land against Islam. Silence is treason.
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.
Freedom and truth. I pay the price every day. Day and night I have to be protected against people who want to kill me. I am not complaining about it; it has been my own decision to speak. However, those who threaten me and other critics of Islam are not being tried here today. I am being tried. And about that I do complain.
I consider this trial to be a political trial. The values of D66 [a Dutch leftist liberal party] and NRC Handelsblad [a Dutch leftist liberal party] will never be brought before a judge in this country. One of the complainants clearly indicated that his intentions are political. Even questions I have asked in parliament and cooperation with the SGP are being brought as allegations against me by Mr Rabbae of GroenLinks [the leftist Dutch Green Party]. Those on the Left like to tamper with the separation of powers. When they cannot win politically because the Dutch people have discerned their sinister agenda, they try to win through the courts.
Whatever your verdict may be, that is the bitter conclusion of this trial.
This trial is also surrealistic. I am being compared with the Hutu murderers in Rwanda and with Mladic. Only a few minutes ago some here have doubted my mental health. I have been called a new Hitler. I wonder whether those who call me such names will also be sued, and if not, whether the Court will also order prosecution. Probably not. And that is just as well. Because freedom of speech applies also to my opponents.
My right to a fair trial has been violated. The order of the Amsterdam Court to prosecute me was not just a decision but a condemning verdict by judges who condemned me even before the actual trial had begun.
Mister President, members of the Court, you must now decide whether freedom still has a home in the Netherlands
Franz Kafka said: "one sees the sun slowly set, yet one is surprised when it suddenly becomes dark."
Mister President, members of the Court, do not let the lights go out in the Netherlands. Acquit me: Put an end to this Kafkaesque situation.
Acquit me. Political freedom requires that citizens and their elected representatives are allowed to voice opinions that are held in society.
Acquit me, for if I am convicted, you convict the freedom of opinion and expression of millions of Dutchmen.
Acquit me. I do not incite to hatred. I do not incite to discrimination. But I defend the character, the identity, the culture and the freedom of the Netherlands. That is the truth. That is why I am here. That is why I speak. That is why, like Luther before the Imperial Diet at Worms, I say: "Here I stand, I can do no other."
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.
Mister President, members of the Court, though I stand here alone, my voice is the voice of many. This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of expression is the life source of our Western civilisation.
Do not let that source go dry just to cosy up to a totalitarian regime. "Freedom," said the American President Dwight Eisenhower, "has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die."
Mister President, members of the Court, you have a great responsibility. Do not cut freedom in the Netherlands from its roots, our freedom of expression. Acquit me. Choose freedom.
I have spoken, I speak, and it is my duty - I cannot do otherwise - to continue to speak.
Thank you.
The verdict in Mr Wilders' trial is expected to be handed down on 23 June.