Category Archives: Phonies and Assclowns

Maybe in Prison he can Pass as a Cop

Jonathan Stevens in a familiar pose -- facing a mugshot camera

Jonathan Stevens in a familiar pose — facing a mugshot camera

Look at Florida, where the bad cops ain’t necessarily cops:

Police say 24-year-old Jonathan Stevens was arrested in Tampa over the weekend after flagging down a police officer. He had flashing red and blue lights on his SUV, and had a gun and a badge around his neck.

“The officer was suspicious. It just didn’t seem right to her,” said TPD spokesperson Andrea Davis.

Stevens’ car was not from a government agency, and he was not a government employee. Police say he admitted to making the whole thing up, and it’s not the first time.

In September, the Manatee Sheriff’s Office says he pulled over a driver in the parking lot of the Ellenton Outlets. He also faces charges related to that incident.

via Police: Fake cop pulled over real cop – FOX 35 News Orlando.

Wonder what Stevens's fellow defendants think about his cop act?

Wonder what Stevens’s fellow defendants think about his cop act?

OK, so that’s two times. You have to wonder how many times this assclown has done this and gotten away with it. But he ought to have tightened up his mental shot group by now, right? Errrrr… not right.

So what does this knucklehead do? Jan. 2 and he’s back at it:

His latest brush with the law happened this week when he grabbed a bite at Acropolis in Ybor City.

He made quite an impression.

“Acting like he was someone of authority all the time, in an off way,” said waitress Charley Pairas.

Pairas say he’s a regular customer, sometimes showing up two times a day. She thought he was an officer.

He even played the part.

“Every time I see him come in, he had a police vest on and a little badge that would hang down,” she said, adding that he would ask for a law enforcement discount.

Not just a three-time poseur but a cheap poseur.

Restaurant manager Jennifer Slater had her suspicions.

“He doesn’t act like our cops. I’ve never see him protecting our streets in Ybor,” Slater said.

He was arrested that day for impersonating a police officer, but it’s not the first time. A couple of days before, Stevens pulled over a real Tampa police officer in her patrol car.

So what story does his attorney tell?

His attorney Charley Demosthenous explained to the judge his client is an Army veteran who suffers mental issues, including extreme post-traumatic stress disorder.

“He was injured when his Humvee rolled over, and then he was beaten severely shortly afterwards, and almost died. He’s on medication as a result of that,” Demosthenous said.

Boy, that smells like bullshit to us. Not a lawyer’s bullshit, but a lawyer who’s been successfully bullshat himself. A severe beating seems more like what Stevens needs, than what he’s already had; and we’re suspicious of “vet” and “PTSD” claims of a guy busted three times as a phony cop. What are the odds he’s just as phony on that? Just about unity, we’re thinking.

Jeez, it’s not like Gulf Coast Florida cops need him. They’ve got enough bad publicity already (cowardly cop shot dog while raiding wrong house), imagine if this nutter was a real cop.

If you want to be a cop, the safe approach is to apply and then attend the academy. Just sayin’. Otherwise, the first guys who actually believe you are a cop might be your cellmates.

Iranian Criminal threatens WeaponsMan

Shahrzad-Mir-Gholikhan

Smile for the mugshot, jailbird.

Sharzad Mir Gholikhan, a convicted felon and sometime Iranian government agent, has threatened us (from Iran, apparently, and from an electronic address associated with an Iranian government propaganda agency), for calling her a weapons trafficker. Her picture is to the right; we believe this is a passport photo from State Department files. Here’s what she says:

Shahrzad Mirgholikhan
[email on file — claims an Iranian official status]
[IP on file —  from the  91.133.128.0 – 91.133.191.255 block historically associated with Iranian terrorist and government agency use].
Submitted on 2013/12/23 at 15:32 | In reply to [a WeaponsMan commenter].
How dare you are to use my name and give me the title of weapon trafficer! Remove my name from your False News otherwise I will take legal actions. SHAHRZAD MIRGHOLIKHAN

She addressed the comment to one of our commenters, but since he didn’t call her a “weapons trafficker,” she probably means us. We did call her a weapons trafficker. Let us explain why.

Shahzad Mir Gholikhan and Mahmoud Seif

Shahzad Mir Gholikhan and Mahmoud Seif, Iranian agents and weapons traffickers.

Here are some facts. She was arrested in Austria in 2004, caught red-handed in the act of weapons trafficking. Specifically, she was acquiring night vision devices which she said were going to the Iranian military and Revolutionary Guards, and she boasted about her connections to Iranian officials.

Sharzad had used the cover name of Farideh Fahimi to set up the deal between American and Austrian agents (unknown to her and her IRGC bosses, who thought they were corrupt Western businessmen) and Iranian agents.

(If you have a cover name, You Just Might Be a Spook).

Another shot of the lovely, and criminal, couple. She now says it's all his fault. He vanished back into the IRGC.

Another shot of the lovely, and criminal, couple. She now says it’s all his fault. He vanished back into the IRGC terror network.

She and her co-conspirator, allegedly her then-husband but possibly another Iranian agent (it is common to cover agent pairs as husband and wife), pled guilty in Austria to “Trading Defense Articles without a License” and served a short sentence.

She then fled to Iran.

She was in Iran at the time an indictment was issued by an American court in September, 2005.

For reasons known only to Gholikan and her bosses, she returned to the United States in 2007 and faced charges of weapons trafficking in US Federal Court. She was convicted of weapons trafficking in April, 2008.

She, in fact, pled guilty to weapons trafficking, but withdrew that plea when she discovered it came with a prison sentence.

She, in fact, stood trial twice, one mistrial with an American defense attorney, and one spectacular failure of a conviction acting as her own lawyer. (One is reminded of the conventional joke about a party to proceedings who acts pro se).

She, in fact, was sentenced to five years.

She would still be in prison in the United States if she had not been released as part of the current administration’s policy of appeasing the terrorist-mullah state.

She is permanently banned from the United States as a convicted felon.

She and her then-husband were involved in a scheme to buy industrial quantities of night vision equipment and smuggle the materiel to Iran, where it would be used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (the parallel terrorist army modeled on the Nazi SS) or exported to Iran’s terrorist clients worldwide.

Iran, the government of which still employs Sharzad Mir Gholikan, is the world’s single most active worldwide terrorism-sponsoring state, and has been since the Islamic revolution in 1979. The mullahs and their various Charlies McCarthy  used to deny this, but now they don’t even bother any more.

Incidentally, on the Spiegel link above, it’s nice to see Ahmadinejad praising Columbia University, a place that university President Lee Bollinger made safe and welcoming for anti-semites of all kinds, including the vertically-challenged Iranian frontman.

This is not secret stuff. It’s easily found with a few minutes monkeying with a search engine.

  • The alternative Miami New Times tells her story — she’s just a Mom Who Learned 1 Weird Trick of smuggling arms. The story’s primary source appears to be jailhouse comms from Gholikhan herself, hardly a credible person, and it’s full of weird things: “Experts say the coveted Generation III model [of night-vision goggle, presumably the PVS-7D] — commonly called ‘the Pirate’ by U.S. infantrymen — is the second-most-wanted item on foreign spies’ wish lists.” Whaaat?
  • She first started turning up in Iranian PressTV (a state-controlled news agency, that also is a common cover-for-status for IRGC terrorists and terrorism managers) while still in the jug, retailing a story of torture (the only detail of which is that they — O the humanity! — put her in handcuffs). The story contains the laughable line, “contrary to the harsh treatment of Iranians in US custody, the detained US citizens were treated well….” It’s laughable because Iran doesn’t even treat detained Iranians humanely, for crying out loud. PressTV was waiting for her on her release in early 2012 as part of the Obama Administration’s appeasement offensive, and she now pings us from a PressTV address.
  • She didn’t like prison, she told (who else?) PressTV:

She gave several interviews to Press TV during her time in prison speaking of her terrifying ordeal and mistreatment at the hands of prison staff. She said that she had been harshly treated and tortured by the prison officials.

“I am disgusted… by these people and their treatment. I would rather die than being in this garbage can one more day,” she told Press TV in one of her telephone interviews from the prison.

You’re not supposed to like it, honey child. It’s prison. You go there because you were bad. We commend to you a wise old American saying: “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

We’re real sorry you didn’t like American jail, Shahrzad. And we’re real intimidated by your legal threats. The last time Iranian agents came for us, they had guns (and were also trying to bribe our local nationals to do their dirty work for them). Nota bene that we’re still here. Sorry about that.

TSA Fails at One More Thing

tsa checkpointWe know, kind of a dog bites man story. The TSA has failed at everything, and it’s really no good at anything, except turning welfare bums into an angry and corrupt version of Paul Blart, Mall Cop. But from time to time some other branch of government investigates some aspect of the TSA’s work, in this case their Behavioral Detection Officers. Red-on-red ensues.

A BDO is an 82-IQ TSA guy given some pop-psychology training in spotting terrorist “tells,” who then goes out and harasses the traveling public with his insta-expertise. In this case the investigating agency is the amusingly named Government Accountability Office, which always strikes us as something like a Whorehouse Saving It for Marriage Office. The GAO report to Congress is here. The underlying and larger GAO Study is here. The bottom line, per GAO, is that per the psychological state of the art:

[T]he ability of human observers to accurately identify deceptive behavior based on behavioral cues or indicators is the same as or slightly better than chance (54 percent). GAO also reported on other studies that do not support the use of behavioral indicators to identify mal-intent or threats to aviation.

This caused a small splash in the corners of the media that are not in love with the TSA. Some media adore the agency, simply because it’s a welfare program for the mentally deficient that swells the ranks of government worker unions. And others dislike it, for the same reasons. For example, the Washington Times:

Government investigators said Wednesday that there is little evidence to show TSA employees are able to pick out potential terrorists by profiling behavior and that the agency may be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the 3,000 officers hired to do so.

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole is scheduled to appear before the Homeland Security Committee on Thursday to talk about the recent shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. [Ranking Member of the Committee Bennie] Thompson said the agency chief will have to explain why he thinks the behavior money is well-spent.

Desperate to preserve the program, TSA defended the research and said its own study shows its officers are “substantially better at identifying high-risk passengers than a random screening protocol.”

The TSA Peepers and Gropers Union wanted Pistole to ask for law enforcement credentials and guns for their mouth-breathing members, but he didn’t.

The Times’s analysis of the GAO paper is OK, so Read The Whole Thing™. But you also should read the whole paper, both to get a sense of the problem in depth (it’s only 14 pages, but that’s much longer than the précis that can be jammed into a news story — or a blog post, for that matter), and because the Times missed something big.

Some or our take-aways from the report:

  • Every boondoggle needs an acronym, and this one is SPOT: Screening of Passengers by Observation Technique. (Down, Spot. Bad dog).
  • “TSA has expended a total of approximately $900 million on the program since it was fully deployed in 2007.” Emphasis ours: this is a billion-dollar boondoggle.
  • “TSA deployed the SPOT program without validating the scientific basis for identifying passengers who may pose a threat” – a 2010 finding that’s unimproved in 2013. (Link to the 2010 GAO report, which is not as negative as the new follow-up).
  • “[T]he SPOT program lacked performance measures.” (2010, again).
  • The ace BDOs identified thousands of “threats to aviation” with their mad psyop skillz, of whom actually 0.0% turned out to be actual threats to aviation. 0.6% of the “threats” they flagged wound up being arrested, but usually because the individual was an illegal alien, had bogus documents, or was wanted on outstanding warrants.
  • A mere 99.4% of the travelers singled out for extra harassment using this methodology were BDO/SPOT false positives.
  • The rate of arrests varied enormously from one airport to another, indicating a lack of standardization, but no airport had higher than 17% of law enforcement referrals (a second stage referral) arrested. The airports with the higher rates of referral are suspected of using racial profiling to find their higher share of illegal immigrants and false documents.

Not all these findings were caught by the Times, and some of them are certainly shocking. But the Times’s reporters also missed, or at least, didn’t emphasize ,the finding that was, for us, the bombshell of the whole piece. It relates to the TSA’s “own study” the Times mentions above, and the GAO says:

GAO found that DHS’s April 2011 validation study does not demonstrate effectiveness of the SPOT behavioral indicators because of methodological weaknesses.… Specifically, as GAO reported in November 2013, these weaknesses include, among other things, the use of potentially unreliable data and issues related to one of the study’s outcome measures.

Let us translate that for you: DHS’s April 2011 study, which was made in response to, and purports to contradict an earlier GAO report critical of the Behavior Analysis Officer boondoggle, was a false, misleading report.

Now, it might have been deliberately false. And it might have been simple incompetence. With DHS and TSA, it’s hard to pick one over the other.

We do know this, and have frequently said so: Not one good, decent, honest, moral, ethical, intelligent or competent individual has ever been employed by the TSA for any purpose whatsoever.

As the non-reaction to the 2010 Government Accountability Office report shows, there is no accountability in government, and there won’t be this time, either, unless Congress takes action (so we could probably have left out all from the comma before “unless,” right?)  But there still is a faint hope. Zeroing out the funding for this wasteful, disruptive, and ineffective project, as Rep. Thompson (D-MS) wants to do, is a good start.

How the Administration plans to celebrate Veterans’ Day

jfonda2Allegedly antisemitic, arguably anti-American, rangey and cadaverous of appearance and impractical and doctrinaire of thought, foreign-born Samantha Power was always a … curious … choice for UN Ambassador. But she is probably a pretty good marker for how the Administration feels about its combat veterans: in general, it prefers those who betrayed them. Power’s Vets’ day message for you: “There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being ‘all in’ in every way — than Jane Fonda.”

New U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power didn’t waste her diplomatic skills on Vietnam veterans at a New York speech, praising actress Jane Fonda for “being outspoken on behalf” of her convictions.

Power, 43, was speaking at the United Nations Association of the USA 2013 Global Leadership Awards in New York Wednesday.

“Hi everybody,” Power said, according to a transcript. “You know life has changed when you’re hanging out with Jane Fonda backstage. There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being ‘all in’ in every way — than Jane Fonda. And it’s a huge honor just to even briefly have shared the stage with her.”

via America’s top UN diplomat has high praise for ‘Hanoi Jane’ | Fox News.

One wonders which of Fonda’s reported actions Power finds worthy of such “huge honor.” Was it crewing-up on a 57mm AA gun? You did recognize the setting of the photo above, yes? Here’s another from the same shoot (without resorting to the most common one):

fonda3

Haranguing POWs on propaganda audio tapes she made for their captors? Haranguing them in person? Informing on them? Precipitating their torture? (She admits all but the last, but still condemns veterans for criticizing her).

Of course, Sam Power is not the only Administration figure who likes Jane Fonda, but dislikes combat veterans (at least, American ones). There’s this knucklehead:

Jane_Fonda_Kerry_1970_25

So what does 70-something-and-wrinkly Hanoi Jane say now? She says vets need to “get a life” and forget about her betrayal. A bit too late for the ones who didn’t survive her buddies, the people who shot them down or the ones who, with her moral and possibly actual, physical, support, tortured them to death. They can’t get a life because they no longer had a life. Thanks, Jane. Thanks, Sam.

So remember that Hanoi interlude, the formative event in the Legend of Jane Fonda. That’s what Sam Power is celebrating; that’s the only A-Level public episode of Fonda’s long and parasitic trustafarian life. Well, some vet already drafted a suitable reply:

janefondahanoijane1

Table for two. Sharia Sam Power is joining her.

Don’t you hate it when the law gets up your….

colonoscopy-procedureIf you have just been pulled over for a moving violation, and you think you just saw a cop checking out your buns, you might just be right.

And if your natural reaction to that is stark staring terror, we’re not going to call you paranoid. Well, we might, but we bet David Eckert won’t. Here’s his story:

[Dangerous criminal Eckert, nabbed for a rolling-stop at a stop sign] appeared to be clenching his buttocks.  Law enforcement thought that was probable cause to suspect that Eckert was hiding narcotics in his anal cavity.  While officers detained Eckert, they secured a search warrant from a judge that allowed for an anal cavity search.

The lawsuit claims that Deming [New Mexico] Police tried taking Eckert to an emergency room in Deming, but a doctor there refused to perform the anal cavity search citing it was “unethical.”

But physicians at the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City agreed to perform the procedure and a few hours later, Eckert was admitted.

via 4 On Your Side investigates traffic stop nightmare | KOB.com.

This change of colon-examination venue may have legal consequences. The butt warrant was only good in one county, and it was invalid in the county where Gila Regional was. So the doctors and nurses who particpated there are exposed to potential liability — they went from being all up in Eckert’s nether reaches, to having a bunch of lawyers all up in theirs.

And “all up in” is not an exaggeration. In order, the Gila monsters:

  1. X-rayed Eckert’s abdominal area.
  2. Put on the blue glove. And gave him the finger wave.
  3. New set of gloves, new round of finger waves.
  4. In again, with the enema tube, as a throng of docs and cops kibitzed.
  5. As with the first finger wave, the first enema didn’t work, so they did it again.
  6. Brace yourseld! Here comes enema Number Three.
  7. With the enemas not working, they tried X-Rays again. 
  8. Then they put him under and did a colonoscopy. If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy, you’ve had to sign a mountain of waivers and disclaimers. Not Eckert: these barbers just did it without his permission (or a valid warrant).

Even if the warrant had been valid in the county where all this police interest in David Eckert’s fundamental orifice found expression, numbers six through eight or so took place after the expiration time listed on the warrant.

Asked about the incident, Deming Police Chief Brandon Gigante (any relation to this guy?) clammed up and lawyered up.

But hey, they found the drugs, and got a dangerous criminal off the street… right? Well, not exactly. Turns out, there never were any drugs, just a guy with a clenched butt. But if there had been any drugs up this guy’s wazoo, this eight-step collaboration between some cops and doctors who shared a prurient interest in one man’s rectum totally would have found them.

Now what? Well, for the foreseeable future, everybody’s going to be clenching their butts when they meet Deming police. This won’t be an act of planned civil disobedience, or disrespect for the law. It’s going to be simple fear. And at least two doctors are going to be clenching the same anatomical feature in the same way as they come under professional-ethics scrutiny.

So there we were, driving through Connecticut…

"I'm sorry, Dave. I can't do that." And the pod bay doors closed… Clunk.

“I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t do that.” And the pod bay doors closed… Clunk.

…and listening to the radio. Former Governor John Rowland (R-New-England-“lite-D”-type) has a talk show, and he was talking about the turrible events taking place at Central Connecticut State University, a hopped-up community college in New Britain. Seems a criminal had been seen (see left, a scary black criminal, although Rowland never said the b-word), and in Rowland’s view, the police very sensibly locked down the campus and flooded the zone with LENCO Bearcats and SWAT mall-ninjas, who ran around going “hut-hut-hut” and at least, unlike their brethren of Boston Marathon fame, didn’t have any reported negligent discgharges.

At 1600 the AUTHORITAHs had a press conference, and fortunately (or unfortunately, as it may be) the traffic was lousy enough that I was still within earshot of Rowland’s show. Most of the conference was taken up by the President of the College, some anonymous hack reaping his reward for toiling in the bureaucratic slave galleys. But when the conference was opened to questions, the press ignored the figurehead and zeroed in on the two police chiefs present: New Britain’s and CCSU’s campus cops’. And we quickly saw that something big was missing from this story of crime and punishment: a crime.

The cops tried to stonewall the press, but the reporters did that annoying reporter thing, asking the same questions over and over as if the questionee is stupid. And it became apparent that there’s a reason reporters do this: if you have people who are not high-handed and accustomed to shoving their way through a hostile media scrum, like these two small-time police chiefs, they will waver and tell you things that they didn’t want to say. The chiefs gave up the following facts with the greatest reluctance:

  1. There was no criminal misconduct, just various snitches trying to ingratiate themselves.
  2. The reason for the alarm? Someone (who turned out to be a student) was turned in to the New Britain PD for… wait for it…. wearing camouflage. He may also have had a sword. Asked if he had a handgun, one of the snitches said he had a backpack, which might have contained a handgun. (Hell, if you watch TV, it might have contained a nuke, too). No one actually saw a gun. The cops admitted this with great reluctance, but the reporters worried it out of them like a terrier gnawing on a rat.
  3. The police locked down the school, cancelled classes, and ran around campus pointing guns at people for the rest of the day.
  4. Students pointed to where the camo-clad menace went — into his dorm room in James Hall. Scores of police swarmed the hall, and arrested the menace, figuring they would figure out charges later, and two of his friends for being his friends.
  5. They then cleared every one of 415 or so rooms in the eight-floor building.
  6. Police admitted very reluctantly, 20+ minutes into the conference, that no weapons were found.
  7. It was 30+ minutes before they admitted that there was no real threat (unless you count a bunch of quasi-trained mall ninjas running around with their fingers on triggers).
  8. It was 40+ minutes in before they admitted that the “suspect” was cooperating, and that what he was wearing was a Halloween costume. 
  9. They said they were going to charge them, but they had run into a small problem of with what. But they were determined to think of something. (As you’ll see below, they did).

John Rowland thought this Stasi-type, informant-driven, zero-evidence dragnet was model police work. (Come in from the cold, Erich Honecker, all is forgiven). When a caller tried to say, “wait a minute, where’s the crime here?” Rowland testily cut him off and broke the connection. But he let people who shared his “let no whiff of liberty infringe on our atmosphere of pervasive, intrusive security” emote at great length. It was a “conversation” as political partisans like to have a “conversation” — all opinions from A to almost B!

Proving his brilliance by agreeing with us, Reason’s Ed Krajewski, er, “observes and reports”:

Central Connecticut State University declared a state of emergency and ordered a campus lockdown after reports of a possibly costumed armed man on campus also carrying what looked like a sword. “Somebody was seen either with a gun or was thought to have a gun,” a university spokesperson told the press. The lockdown ended after police took three people, including at least one student, the primary suspect, into custody. They recovered no weapons, and the Hartford Courant reports that the campus police chief said there was never a threat to anyone.  Nevertheless, even while acknowledging the incident “possibly could have been a Halloween costume,” the campus police chief insisted it “wasn’t a prank because there was concern, there was alarm.”

via Central Connecticut State University Locked Down After Campus Shooter “Scare” That Could’ve Been a Halloween Costume; Campus Police Chief Says There Was No Real Threat to Anyone, Charges Likely – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

The Hartford Courant — which, like Rowland, thinks this was cutting-edge police work — continues to report on this story. Some of the facts they emphasize in their front-page report include:

  1. Students were “alarmed”.
  2. The kid with the costume… which he was still wearing from a weekend party … is charged with “breach of the peace.” (Wait, he didn’t go nuts, the cops did? Oh right, the law doesn’t apply to cops. So you gotta find somebody else). The law-challenged CCSU police chief, one Chris Cervoni, says charges are justified “because there was concern, there was alarm.” So that’s when the Constitution gets suspended.
  3. The costume was supposed to be “Snake Eyes from the GI Joe movie.” Whoever that is. Turns out it’s a popular costume character for kids or adults, available in many versions from retailers like CostumeCraze and Target. (Costume… $32.95. Tuition… free cause Dd’s a professor, as you’ll see below… arrest record… Priceless!)

    Snake Eyes costume

    Note that it’s not even camouflaged. The snitch flunks Mall Cop 101, “observe and report.”

 

We’re not taking away what they’re taking away. Facts we also found in their article include:

  1. The would-be informant who triggered the whole thing is a Marine vet, and — wait for it — a former mall ninja SWAT officer.
  2. The suspect, Dave Kyem, is the son of a CCSU professor. The jokes write themselves.
  3. Despite the small Coxey’s Army of cops, they caught Kyem when… his friends told him “I think somebody got your Halloween costume conduses with a gunman.” And so Kyem called up the cops and said, “Yo.” They arrested him and his two roommates (as of the press conference, the CCSU police chief was hoplessly confused about whether the roommates were CCSU students, but they were).
  4. Kyem has been charged with “breach of the peace,” a misdemeanor. On Corvini’s theory that former-mall-cop angst equals behavior that shocks the conscience, apparently. We’ll see how that fares in court.

We note that CCSU is noted for bilge-low academic standards. It’s nonselective as to admissions (i.e., “fog a mirror”), and its most distinguished (?) professor is legendary academic fraud Michael Bellesiles. (In Bellesiles’s defense, look at the literacy level of these comments on his teaching, which also makes a point about CCSU. Pretty big fall for the guy who won the Bancroft Prize, albeit with a fabricated book. Note also that the CCSU student paper on Bellesiles, linked above, quotes Bellesiles saying “I wish I never written about guns,” which we will give the old phony credit for not having said that way. He’s a fraud, not a dolt; this is just one more data point on CCSU quality).

So it’s not really surprising to read this quote, from student Inassia Woods:

“I was really scared. I was really shaking but I just stayed calm,” Woods said.

You don’t say.

Connecticut? We don’t recommend it. But sometimes it’s between here and there.

Pro-terrorist Reporter, Lawyer smear SEALS with innuendo

AP's Adam Goldman: SEALs are thieves, pirates are victims.

AP’s Adam Goldman: SEALs are thieves, pirates are victims.

The smug mug you see opposite belongs to one Adam Goldman of the Associated Press, a man who never served in the military and doesn’t think much of those who do or have done. You might think that the SEALS who whacked the pirates and rescued the hostage were heroes. Not Adam Goldman, who went to the University of Maryland (oooooh!). Goldman thinks that they’re thieves, and he wants you to think that, but he isn’t man enough to do more than lay the innuendo down for you:

It was an unbelievable story, with a new retelling that hits the big screen Friday with Tom Hanks playing Capt. Richard Phillips. But the official version that unfolded in the Indian Ocean wasn’t as tidy as Hollywood’s, or the versions in Phillips’ own book or in contemporaneous news reports. In fact, many more than three shots were fired, $30,000 went missing and the integrity of the SEALs was questioned.

The unvarnished story begins on April 8, 2009. Four armed Somali pirates scurried up the side of a large cargo ship, Maersk Alabama, and took the crew and Phillips hostage. In a failed attempt to get the pirates to leave, Phillips gave them $30,000 from the ship safe. The pirates eventually abandoned the Maersk, jumping into a lifeboat and taking the cash and Phillips at gunpoint.

via $30,000 went missing amid rescue of Capt. Phillips EarthLink – Top News.

Never mind that the investigation — which included NCIS trying to trip them up while wired to a polygraph — cleared the SEALS. Wherever the money went, the last people known to have it were the pirates.

Of course, Goldman also thinks they shouldn’t have killed the pirates.

This is not surprising. Goldman’s history is one of writing anti-military and even pro-al-Qaeda pieces. Shortly before a couple of scrotes radicalized by the jihad preachers in a Boston extremist mosque blew up the Boston Marathon finish line, Goldman received a Pulitzer Prize for a series bashing the NYPD for keeping an eye on the jihad preachers in extremist mosques. One of his go-to sources, apparently the guy pushing the SEALS-as-thieves story, is a lawyer named Philip L. Weinstein, who represented one pirate (and who wants the missing $30k, perhaps). Weinstein is a a man who never served in the military and doesn’t think much of those who do or have done. Who does he like? That’s easy. He’s become a go-to guy for terrorists, pirates and al-Qaeda.

Weinstein did a great job for the surviving pirate (the clueless genius who went aboard USS Bainbridge to dictate terms, only to wind up in the brig). The guy may get out just this side of 2050, and will be deported back to whatever’s left of Somalia then. And it’s clear that, whether or not he gets his $30k pirate treasure, Weinstein (like Goldman) still has much more affinity for the pirates than the authorities that stopped them.

It’s about what you’d expect from the Associated (with terrorists) Press, whose idea of “journalistic objectivity” in Iraq was participating in terrorist acts including murders of election workers and foreign logistical contractors, and executions of hostages.

Goldman closes the article by quietly damning the movie Captain Phillips for not depicting the SEALs, as he does, as thieves.

Assclown of the Ides: Vietnam phony Joe Ellis

fabricating-phony-vietnam-hero-joe-ellis

This is the picture on Ellis’s faculty bio. It actually dates to the period during which he was caught fabricating his own history.

Even in fields of endeavor that are gigantic septic pools of homogeneous sewage, there’s the occasional stool that breaks surface, emitting more than the usual volume of methane-scented aromatics. In Hollywood, for example, you have Woody Allen, who not only married one of his own (step)daughters, but is now credibly accused of diddling the others, also. (What Who will Polanski do to catch up?) In academia, which unlike Hollywood does not require any particular talent, and employs rather more people rather less productively, it takes great and prodigious strivings for any particular clump to broach the surface of the ordure.

Meet Joseph Ellis.

Joe has some ideas on guns for you. You should believe him because he’s a professor and a big war hero:

There is an opinion abroad in the land that the right to bear arms is unlimited, an absolute right, like the right to vote or the right to a fair trial. ….

And yet, no matter how prevalent or fervently held, the opinion that the Bill of Rights supports and the high court acknowledges an absolute right to gun ownership is just plain wrong.

The language of the 2nd Amendment is quite clear: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” As the minority in the Heller decision argued, and more than a century of judicial precedent at the federal level established, the right to bear arms was not an inherent right of citizenship but rather a right that derived from service in the militia.

via There’s no unlimited right to bear arms – latimes.com.

Ellis is, in reality, an anti-gun academic, writing last month in the anti-gun Los Angeles Times, a paper that is determined always to scold, and never to surprise, its dwindling readership in its dwindling pages. Ellis fits that bill tidily. We’ll leave it to others to address the substance of his arguments, which seem to us to come down to “the Heller majority had it wrong! My fellow partisans in the minority were right!”, but we will note that the Heller majority already did that (address the substance of his arguments), as has done the main body of law professors, which is why the Heller decision comports to what these professors call the Standard Model of the 2nd Amendment.

Ellis’s article relies on his own authority as the self-nominated and relentlessly self-promoted Greatest Expert on the Founding Fathers™ to conclude that they meant, exactly, mirabile dictu, what Northeastern academic liberals like Ellis would now like them to have meant. He does this from time to time. In 2007, he took to the pages of the Washington Post to note his, and George Washington’s, but mostly his hiding behind George’s, disapproval of George Bush and the war in Iraq.

Beyond that framing, we shan’t address Ellis’s argument, except to note that all nine Justices accepted the right as an individual right, a fact Ellis characteristically misrepresents in his op-ed. We’re here to discuss Ellis’s character. Well, let’s begin with John Southard, writing in Spencer Tucker (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War. (p. 1299):

Joseph Ellis, a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, is perhaps the most renowned fake Vietnam War veteran. In 2001 the Boston Globe revealed that Ellis had lied to students and the public about having served in Vietnam with the US Army 101st airborne division. Ellis’s record shows that he graduated from William and Mary University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in 1965, went to graduate school at yell University, and then served as a history professor at West Point until 1972. He never set foot in Vietnam.

OK, so the guy made some bullshit Vietnam claims. Can’t even a professor fib a little? Well, on some subjects, no; but Ellis didn’t fib just a little. He told ever increasing lies to every single one of his classes at Mount Holyoke for over a decade, and he used those lies to boost his credibility with an appeal to authority and authenticity: as the New York Times Magazine noted, he trumped critics with the claim, I was there, man.  (Of course he wasn’t, and this Forrest Gump wannabe lied about being at a lot more places than Vietnam-in-combat). The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on 13 July 2001:

The Boston Globe dropped a cluster bomb on the bucolic campus of Mount Holyoke College, where Mr. Ellis is a history professor, by reporting that he had for years been lying to colleagues, reporters, and students about his own role in history.

The Globe reported, and Mr. Ellis later confirmed, that he had fabricated a past in which he was present at some of the most crucial episodes in postwar America: He had said that he was a paratrooper for the 101st Airborne in Vietnam; that he was on General William C. Westmoreland’s staff; that back in the United States, he was an antiwar protester and had participated in the civil-rights movement. He had also claimed to have scored the winning touchdown for his high-school football team in the last game of the season.

Those claims were untrue. Not exaggerated, not inflated: entitely made up. Despite this Academia has generally closed ranks behind the fabulist.

After Ellis’s lies were exposed, Mount Holyoke placed the professor on leave without pay for one year. In 2002 Ellis returned to Mount Holyoke, where he is now the Ford foundation professor of history.

Ellis today, still doing what he does best.

A somewhat more weathered Ellis today, still doing what he does best.

In fact, in 2005, they restored him to a named chair, although he has since been and is currently carried Emeritus. After his exposure as a fraud, as before, he continued to misrepresent his history to his students, albeit less boldly and frequently. He continued in good standing even as Ellis’s serial misrepresentation of his own history featured in two important books about academic fraud:  Past Imperfect: Fact, Fictions and Fraud in American History by Peter Charles Hoffer, which calls Ellis out not just in the pages but in the extended subtitle, and Scandals and Scoundrels by Rob Robin.

The guy’s a star of two books on academic phonies, and they promote him. High standards they’ve got there at Mount Holyoke.

And at the National Archives:

No one here at the archives seems bothered about what Mr. Ellis characterized as “having let stand and later confirming the assumption I went to Vietnam.” After a short talk, which culminates in his speculating about how John Adams might have co-written the Declaration of Independence, fan after fan approaches Mr. Ellis’s table with reverence, almost apologetically. No one asks about Vietnam.

Back to the Chronicle:

Mount Holyoke took a similarly defiant stance; the Globe reported last week (this is in 2001 – Ed.) that the college even attempted to dissuade the newspaper from publishing the original article, calling into question the legal basis of investigating statements made in the classroom.

When the newspaper went ahead, Mount Holyoke’s president, Joanne V. Creighton, issued a statement: “We at the college wonder what public interest the Globe is trying to serve through a story of this nature.”

It is, of course, doubtful that any of his academic fans in Mount Holyoke administration, at the National Archives, or in the press ever served in Vietnam, or any other American war, or know anybody who did. As John Kerry famously said, if you don’t go to school you can wind up in Iraq.

And if you do go to school you can just lie about it later, he ought to have added.

And with the support of organized Academia and the press, Ellis has been comfortable in stonewalling his critics. For example, after making a vague statement apparently written by a lawyer, as the Chronicle reported in 2001 and is still true today:

He has not spoken publicly about the matter since. Reporters had been warned that asking any questions about the controversy would result in “physical ejection” from the room.

Brave, brave Sir Joseph, standing up to his critics. He’s still the lying crapweasel who stood for years in front of the impressionable young girls at Mount Holyoke and told them that they should believe him, not only because he has strong opinions but because his opinions were formed by being there.  The Chronicle, again

Many of Mr. Ellis’s friends say that at first, they simply refused to believe what the Globe had reported. He had taught a popular course on Vietnam and American culture that he enlivened with details based, he said, on what he saw there. He had told colleagues that he And this brings us back to Prevaricating Joe’s LA Times Op-Ed. It’s essentially an Appeal to Authority; Ellis claims that he’s the best authoritity on what Jefferson and Adams and Madison meant, because he’s written so many books on them; he’s the expert, and he’s gotten inside their heads.

Ellis’s academic and popular histories are of a piece with his Vietnam fabulization, then: it’s the I was there, man, appeal made figurative and literary but it is no less a fable than his I was there man, claims about Vietnam, the protests, Martin Luther King’s marches, and, almost certainly, Woodstock.

Because, after all, every bullshit artist of the baby boom generation claims to have been at Woodstock, and Ellis is a prince among bullshit artists.

Peace, out.

NOTE

This post has been edited. Where the Southard quote said “Into thousand and one” has been corrected to “In 2001.” This is an example of what can bite you when you overrely on voice recognition technology, eh. –Eds.

Two Uses of Force Compared

The Miriam Carey Shooting

First, here’s PJ Media’s Jack Dunphy, making the case that the Capitol Police shooting of crazy lady Miriam Carey was, with a couple of caveats, a reasonable use of force:

In evaluating what any individual officer did or should have done in the succeeding eight minutes, it’s important to place oneself in the position of that officer….as the Supreme Court put it in Graham v. Connor, “The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

He posits a counterfactual which closely tracks Ms Carey’s actions, except the conclusion. The Capitol Police are restrained by a more restrictive ROE and:

She then crashes through the barricades lining the sidewalk at Constitution and Delaware, coming to rest at the steps of the Russell Senate Office Building. She then detonates the 500 lbs. of explosives she carries in the car, killing dozens, including some senators.

He says that like thinning the Senatorial herd is a bad thing. But in all seriousness, that might indeed have been what was on the menu. The cop on the scene has no way of knowing.

He points out that members of the public are saying:

She was unarmed, they say. And she suffered from postpartum depression — and she had a baby in the car. She didn’t hurt anyone. So why did the police have to shoot her? Why didn’t they just shoot out the tires, or use rubber bullets, or do any of a thousand other things other than what they did? Why, why, why?

We think if you’re reading this, you know why they didn’t just shoot out the tires. That’s Hollywood stuff, not reality. (Real-world cops do take out tires sometimes, but with spike strips, which requires preparation, ability to position a cop ahead of the vehicle, and the fleeing vehicle has to be channelized). Ditto, rubber bullets are screenwriter rubbish. The people talking about stuff like that have been misinformed by generations of Writers’ Guild luminaries untainted by exposure to physical reality. If someone is a threat, he must be stopped. There’s really no substitute for lead to center of mass, under combat conditions. We expect Jack would have made those points, too, were he not limited by wordcount.

So here we have a professional — “Jack Dunphy” is a pseudonym, but he’s on LAPD — who has concluded this shooting is justified, and gives good and concrete reasons why we should not ride the asses of the cops involved. (He was, like us, unthrilled by the one idjit who ripped a burst of seven unaimed shots after the fleeing car and across the public spaces in general. Aimed fire at solidly-acquired targets, please).

The José Guerena shooting

Next we have a shooting that is considerably more marginal. Because the homeowner had a gun, albeit he maintained discipline and kept it on safe, unlike the Keystone Kops raiding his house, the cops were arguably in the legal right on the Graham standard. But the $3.4 million settlement they paid, which comes with a de jure denial of any responsibility, is a de facto admission of misconduct that would be criminal — for anyone but cops.

The blogger who’s been all over this has been former Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week (er, two-time W4, it turns out; those responsible have been sacked), Herschel Smith of The Captain’s Journal. And he’s furious. Here’s Smith on the settlement:

I invite you to go back and watch the video again of the raid, and read the report(s).  Jose Guerena got off exactly zero (0) shots at the SWAT team, and the SWAT team killed him (Guerena had more self restraint that I would have in those circumstances).  In the end, no evidence was found linking him or his folks to any of the accused crimes.  The solution in matters such as this is to send a uniformed officer who knocks on the door and asks to speak to the owner of the home.  But the SWAT soldier-boys want to be cool.  You know what I’ve said about this.  Pulling off raids on Americans is cowardly.  If you want to be cool, sign up, get the training, and fly across the pond and do it for real like my son did.

If you recall the raid, what happened is that one of Sheriff Dupnik’s allegedly elite SWAT team, which does about three no-knock (or no-wait-for-reaction-to-knock, as in this case) raids a week currently, 99 out of 100 of which are routine warrant services, fell down and had a negligent discharge in the doorway, because his fat finger was on the bang switch when his fat ass could not negotiate the doorstep. That caused every other cop to open up, target or no, shredding Guerena. These geniuses captured the whole raid on video.

The panicking cops fired 71 shots at point-blank range, scoring 22 hits, mostly in the victim’s periphery, and 49 rounds that lodged variously in the house, other houses, vehicles, and Lord-knows-where. (This is a very large multiple of the rounds fired in the Bin Laden raid and many other combat-zone takedowns of armed, resisting terrorists. The difference is aimed, controlled fire, resulting from fire discipline and training). Despite the indisciplined firing, no bystander or police officer had any more than a near miss. They considered that the blood-soaked, moaning Guerena was probably mortally wounded, and to be sure they held paramedics off until he was definitely dead. It was not police work’s finest hour.

Hence, the settlement.

Smith’s previous coverage of this untrained but very active SWAT Team is here:

And the AZ [Red] Star’s coverage of the settlement:

  • $3.4 Million Settlement in Deadly SWAT Raid “The officers performed that day in accordance with their training,” a spokeswoman sniffed. Probably true… they just don’t seem to have had any.
  • The embattled Sheriff hits the friendly paper’s editorial page: Clarence Dupnik: SWAT Teams hold the line between order and chaos. If this was order, this amateur-night display of terrified contagious fire at, in most cases, no target at all. we’d hate to see chaos. Still trying to litigate the case in the press, Dupnik insists his men “perform admirably” and are “extremely judicious in their use of force.”

In fact, as Smith’s son, a fellow GWOT vet, notes, they’re at or below the level of the Iraqi or many other third-world armies.

Here’s Smith’s closing, which we find hard to beat:

the SWAT soldier-boys want to be cool. You know what I’ve said about this. Pulling off raids on Americans is cowardly. If you want to be cool, sign up, get the training, and fly across the pond and do it for real like my son did.

But go back again and watch the video. People are milling around as if nothing important is about to take place, loud music is playing, and the officers look like they don’t even have the discipline of teenagers playing paint ball.

Sheriff Dupnik is an ass clown, and so it’s appropriate that his SWAT team is comprised of ass clowns. In this case, they’re ass clowns with guns and a badge, and that makes them dangerous and evil.

The lesson that Dupnik and his amateur SWAT gang take away from this is that they got away with it. Expect a repeat.

In Belated Appreciation for Dead Che Day

I'm gonna need some clean up before I go on a t-shirt. ¡Hasta la muerte siempre!

I’m gonna need some clean up before I go on a t-shirt. ¡Hasta la muerte siempre!

Yesterday was Dead Che Day! In all the excitement, we missed it. But fortunately, he’s still dead today. Every day since October 9, 1967 is Dead Che Day around here, and it’s a matter of sheer delight to us that he’s, well, dead. He may be the role model of douchebag college students on six continents, but he’s toasting in Hell, and that’s a fair trade in our book. Although the thousands of Cubans, Congolese, Bolivians and various odds and ends he had shot might have wanted him to suffer more. C’est la guerre irregular, n’est-ce pas?

 

Did he Fight Like a Girl?

"He's resting. He's pining for the pampas."

“He’s resting. He’s pining for the pampas.”

The Daily Caller didn’t think so. They think the girls are better, and have a slide show entitled “9 girls with guns that would make better freedom fighters than Che Guevara.”

Why nine? Because that’s how many bullets executioner Mario Terán plugged him with before the Communist revolutionary, writhing on the floor and biting on his wrist to keep from crying out, finally succumbed to fate.

*Snork*.

And we thought we were cold.

A REAL freedom fighter in a beret -- Didi Nearne.

A REAL freedom fighter in a beret — Didi Nearne.

Unfortunately, the slideshow falls light-years short of the snark. The selections they made show why you should never give an assignment like this to an intern who’s never gotten beyond sighs and self-abuse vis-a-vis real physical women; every one of the nine is some fictional character from some recent Hollywood cartoonish ultra-violent show, except for one fictional character from a cartoonish 1970s classic.

Che deserves better, and worse, than that. He deserves to be compared to real women, not the teenage spankatorium-vision characters that Hollyweird offers up. Our nine real-world women who make better freedom fighters than Che?

You’re welcome to suggest your own: we could have while nines of nines, 99s of 99s, and they’d all be better that that Argentine blowhard. How hard would it be to find nine more WWII resistance characters? Nine more national folklore heroes? Nine more GWOT girls? Easy. And any one of them could take Che with one hand tied behind her back.

How bad was el Che as a freedom fighter? He sucked. Like the turbines of Glen Canyon suck.

Mythbusting Che in Four paragraphs

 

Ché takes aim with a Stechkin APS... probably at the back of some innocent's head.

Ché takes aim with a Stechkin APS… probably at the back of some innocent’s head.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa covers Che in some depth for the Independence Institute, and contrasts him with another historic Argentine, Juan Bautista Alberdi (to Che’s detriment). But for us the best part of Vargas Llosa’s takedown was four paragraphs that accurately describe Che’s military legacy, or lack of one:

Having failed as a hero of social justice, does Guevara deserve a place in the history books as a genius of guerrilla warfare? His greatest military achievement in the fight against Batista—taking the city of Santa Clara after ambushing a train with heavy reinforcements—is seriously disputed. Numerous testimonies indicate that the commander of the train surrendered in advance, perhaps after taking bribes. (Gutiérrez Menoyo, who led a different guerrilla group in that area, is among those who have decried Cuba’s official account of Guevara’s victory.) Immediately after the triumph of the revolution, Guevara organized guerrilla armies in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Haiti—all of which were crushed. In 1964, he sent the Argentine revolutionary Jorge Ricardo Masetti to his death by persuading him to mount an attack on his native country from Bolivia, just after representative democracy had been restored to Argentina.

Ché is a pop-art icon, but he was a lousy guerilla.

Ché is a pop-art icon, but he was a lousy guerilla.

Particularly disastrous was the Congo expedition in 1965. Guevara sided with two rebels—Pierre Mulele in the west and Laurent Kabila in the east—against the ugly Congolese government, which was sustained by the United States as well as by South African and exiled Cuban mercenaries. Mulele had taken over Stanleyville earlier before being driven back. During his reign of terror, as V.S. Naipaul has written, he murdered all the people who could read and all those who wore a tie. As for Guevara’s other ally, Laurent Kabila, he was merely lazy and corrupt at the time; but the world would find out in the 1990s that he, too, was a killing machine. In any event, Guevara spent most of 1965 helping the rebels in the east before fleeing the country ignominiously. Soon afterward, Mobutu came to power and installed a decades-long tyranny. (In Latin American countries too, from Argentina to Peru, Che-inspired revolutions had the practical result of reinforcing brutal militarism for many years.)

The name Laurent Kabila may ring a bell. Yes, he’s the fat, corrupt blood-diamond entrepreneur who overthrew the fat, corrupt Mobutu and precipitated 20 or so years of Congolese civil war. Kabila’s son, Joseph, former commander of Kabila’s child soldiers, inherited the de facto Kingdom of the Congo on Kabila’s assassination. (The country’s paper title is”Democratic Republic of the Congo” and it holds sham elections). Joseph Kabila is an improvement on his violent, incompetent father in one way only: he is not fat.

Back to Che.

Ché, sniveling in his brief captivity. American Félix Rodriguez, left.

Ché, sniveling in his brief captivity. American Félix Rodriguez, left.

In Bolivia, Che was defeated again, and for the last time. He misread the local situation. There had been an agrarian reform years before; the government had respected many of the peasant communities’ institutions; and the army was close to the United States despite its nationalism. “The peasant masses don’t help us at all” was Guevara’s melancholy conclusion in his Bolivian diary. Even worse, Mario Monje, the local communist leader, who had no stomach for guerrilla warfare after having been humiliated at the elections, led Guevara to a vulnerable location in the southeast of the country. The circumstances of Che’s capture at Yuro ravine, soon after meeting the French intellectual Régis Debray and the Argentine painter Ciro Bustos, both of whom were arrested as they left the camp, was, like most of the Bolivian expedition, an amateur’s affair.

Vencer o morir, eh, wise guy? You get "morir."

Vencer o morir, eh, wise guy? You get “morir.”

Guevara was certainly bold and courageous, and quick at organizing life on a military basis in the territories under his control, but he was no General Giap. His book Guerrilla Warfare teaches that popular forces can beat an army, that it is not necessary to wait for the right conditions because an insurrectional foco (or small group of revolutionaries) can bring them about, and that the fight must primarily take place in the countryside. (In his prescription for guerrilla warfare, he also reserves for women the roles of cooks and nurses.) However, Batista’s army was not an army, but a corrupt bunch of thugs with no motivation and not much organization; and guerrilla focos, with the exception of Nicaragua, all ended up in ashes for the foquistas; and Latin America has turned 70 percent urban in these last four decades. In this regard, too, Che Guevara was a callous fool.

Frankly, based on the statements of the Bolivians who killed him we’d accept “bold” but resist the term “courageous” for Che. He begged for his life and offered to deal his comrades away. It was too late; the Bolivians had his comrades, and had no interest in preserving his life.

Vargas Llosa calls Che “The Killing Machine.” That’s probably more a title of Che’s aspiration than actual achievement. True, he was able to order the execution of some thousands of bound prisoners in Havana, but so did many other revolutionaries. As a guerilla leader, he excelled most at getting his own men killed.

His actions in Bolivia are those of a man who had not read his own book. (We suppose it’s possible; someone else could have written the book for him). But he’s gone, and we’re here.

To celebrate Dead Che Day. Every day!