Almost every American is very glad your authorities have broken the terrorist ring that was planning atrocities within Canada including, we're told, an attack on your Parliament Building.
Apart from legal proceedings against those arrested, two results of today's events will be your renewed discussions of internal security measures and security cooperation between Canada and America.
I'd like to say a few things to you about Canadian-American security cooperation.
I don't think the current security cooperation between our countries is as strong as it needs to be.
Both our countries are plagued by loud, leftist elements, particularly in media and universities, who don't understand civilization is now in engaged in a fight every bit as serious as the one it faced in the 1930s and 40s. The leftists seem to delight in any difference or distancing that occurs between our countries.
Those people are at best foolish. As civilized nations, we have a great mutual stake in defeating the terrorists. That's more likely to happen if Canada and America are shoulder-to-shoulder as we were in WW II.
Below is a copy of a letter I wrote in Jan. 2003 which The Wall Street Journal published. You'll quickly see its relevance to today; and to the discussions you will be having concerning internal and Canadian-American security cooperation.
Obviously, I hope one outcome of your discussions is that our two nations draw closer together. Discord between us only cheers the left and serves the terrorists.
Canada Is Not at Risk? Take a Reality Check
January 6, 2003
To the editor:
Your Dec. 18 article "Canada Bristles at U.S. Scrutiny of Its Citizens in Terror Probes" ends with American immigration policy expert Mark Krikorian's observation that "Canada has little incentive to tighten up its immigration system because its own security is not at risk, but the U.S. is at risk."
Actually, both countries are at risk; and Canada has plenty of incentive to tighten its immigration system.
Terrorists passing through Canada's immigration system may successfully attack their intended target, a nuclear power plant on the American side of the border. But because of wind direction, the major fallout and casualties could be in Canada.
And a nuclear suitcase bomb, meant to explode in New York or San Francisco, might accidentally be set off while a terrorist is changing planes at Toronto's Lester Pearson Airport.
Thoughtful readers can no doubt think of many other plausible instances in which Canada would be the victim of terrorist attacks, both intended and unintended.
Surely our Canadian neighbors realize that, like all civilized people, they are at risk from terrorist attacks. If not, God help them and us.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Almost every American is very glad your authorities have broken the terrorist ring that was planning atrocities within Canada including, we're told, an attack on your Parliament Building.
Posted by JWM at 5:35 PM
JinC regulars know I posted David Brooks' May 28 NY Times column, "The Duke Witch Hunt," which the Raleigh News & Observer republished on May 31 with the head, "Theory and reality at Duke."
Today in a letter to the N&O editor, an attorney for the N. C. NAACP, Al McSurely, responds to Brooks' column.
McSurely's letter is notable for its personal attacks on Brooks, its playing to stereotypes, its misrepresentation of facts, and its failure to mention many pertinent facts which have led most fair-minded people to question much of what the accuser and her supporters such as McSurely are saying.
The letter is so bad in terms of a careful presentation of the known facts that it has to give encouragement to those who believe the indicted lacrosse players are very likely innocent.
I'll say more about McSurely's latter this evening.
Now here's his letter.
David Brooks' May 31 Op-ed page article "Theory and reality at Duke" suggested that the Durham grand jury's indictments of three Duke lacrosse players are a "witch hunt."
He praised the men's lacrosse team because 39 of 54 recent graduates had careers in finance; the coach of the women's lacrosse team called them "great kids;" and two long-time Duke employees, a groundskeeper and equipment manager, said the team was "among the best groups of young men they have worked with during their long tenures at Duke."
Brooks conceded the team is "mostly white" (46 out of 47). He cited favorably a National Journal essay that estimated "an 85 percent chance" the men are innocent. Brooks speaks at this summer's National Conservative Student Conference. Look for the students at this right-wing Republican recruiting ground to express support for the right's new heroes: "The Duke 3."
Brooks' defense of the "kids" was not informed by several facts. For example, when the "kids" hired two women to entertain 44 men, they gave phony names. They lied about the nature of the party, saying it was a small bachelor party. Other Duke teams -- yes, apparently this is a Duke tradition -- report that when they hired female entertainers for team parties, the women had bodyguards.
They lied again about their sport, saying the gig was a bachelor party for some Duke track or baseball players -- perhaps to imply more diversity. The men had been drinking beer for 10 hours when the women arrived at midnight. Within five minutes, the men threatened the women with racial and misogynist verbal assaults.
Brooks' use of "witch hunt" is ironic, because the only broomstick at the party was brandished by one of the "great kids." Brooks did not mention that the Duke Hospital sexual-assault nurse examiner found the woman (two hours after the broomstick incident) displayed physical symptoms associated with rape and sodomy. He did not mention statements made by a couple of the "kids."
As the two women drove away from the Duke property, a neighbor heard a player yell: "Thank your grandpa for my nice cotton shirt." And an hour later, another player e-mailed several students: "tomorrow night, after tonight's show, I've decided to have some strippers over... However there will be no nudity. I plan on killing the b-s as soon as the[y] walk in, and proceeding to cut their skin off..."
There is a Salem witch hunt parallel here. Some men were caught with their macho entitlement views hanging out and, to save themselves, they have banned together to blame the survivor of their verbal assaults.
The N.C. NAACP has carefully monitored this case. Unlike Brooks or his expert, we do not "estimate" the innocence or guilt of anyone. The case will be tried in a court of law next spring. Rules of evidence, fair play and due process will be enforced. A jury will determine the truth, based on admissible evidence.
The NAACP stands for fair play for all parties, zealous investigation and deep concern for the survivors of racist/sexist attacks. We stand for justice and community.
N.C. NAACP Legal Redress Chair
Posted by JWM at 11:40 AM
Friday, June 02, 2006
(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
By the night of June2/3, 1940, the struggle to evacuate from Dunkirk members of the British Expeditionary Force and French troops came to an end. Here’s part of what the BBC's report to the British people on June 4.
The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, has described the "miracle of deliverance" from Dunkirk and warned of an impending invasion.Normally I don't editorialize, but I couldn't read the "we" and not make a comment. I'm guessing just about all of you understand.
His moving speech to Parliament came on the day the last allied soldier arrived home from France at the end of a 10-day operation to bring back hundreds of thousands of retreating allied troops trapped by the German Army. […]
Major-General Harold Alexander inspected the shores of Dunkirk from a motorboat this morning to make sure no-one was left behind before boarding the last ship back to Britain. (Actually, some were left behind to serve as a covering force for the last evacuees. Others, especially medical personnel, volunteered to remain behind to care for those who could not be evacuated because of the severity of their wounds. – JinC)
The beach and sea were in chaos. There were bodies floating in the water and we were under constant attack from machine-gun fire, bombing, explosions sending shrapnel in every direction. (Note the BBC referring to “we.” You wouldn’t have that today. One man’s Nazi or other sort of terrorist is now the BBC’s and other news organizations' “militant” or “insurgent.” – JinC) […]
Many thousands were taken straight off the beaches, struggling in shallow waters to board small vessels that transferred them to the waiting ships.
When those who survived the evacuation arrived exhausted in England they were welcomed as returning heroes and offered plenty of tea and sandwiches as they boarded special trains. […]
This afternoon Mr Churchill admitted to the House that when Operation Dynamo was launched on 26 May to rescue allied forces cornered by the advancing Germany Army, he expected about 20,000 or 30,000 would be saved.
But thanks to the valour of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, no less than 338,000 British and French troops were rescued and brought back across the Channel to fight another day.
Mr Churchill tempered his admiration for the success of Operation Dynamo with these words: "Wars are not won by evacuations".
He said there was no doubt in his mind that the last few weeks had been a "colossal military disaster".
The BEF had to leave behind all its heavy armour and equipment.
The French army was weakened, the Belgian army had surrendered, Channel ports, valuable mines and factories in France and Belgium had been taken over by the enemy.
He said the nation should brace itself for another blow. "We are told that Herr Hitler has a plan for invading the British Isles," he said.
He ended his speech with a defiant message to Hitler's armies.
"We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender."
Britain would "ride out the tyranny of war, if necessary for years, if necessary alone."
4 June 1940: "Dunkirk rescue is over - Churchill defiant" (BBC.co.uk)
Here's our Carolina neighbor and blogger David Boyd talking good sense to all of us :
Speaking of global warming, I've noticed a fun new trend. Tracy and I went to Homearama in Charlotte earlier this week.David,
Basically it's Showcase of Homes on steroids. The houses are 8000 to 10,000 square feet and are between $2 mil and $3.5 mil.
What's fun is how the builders and real estate agents all brag about how environmentally friendly the houses are. Does anybody believe this?
Yeah, sure insulation is better than it used to be and all that, but when you don't need 5,000 square feet per person to exist can you really say you're doing the environment a favor?
Look, if you want a big house, buy a big house because you want a big house. But don't sit in said big house being all smug about what a good person and environmental steward you are.
I agree with everything you say, including "don't sit in [your] big house being all smug about what a good person and environmental steward you are."
But if people can't sit in their big houses etc., where are the Democrats and environmentalists going to get their presidential candidates?
I'm mean, doesn't Kerry have 5 very large homes, not to mention the 3 SUVs, etc.?
And Gore? He's got at least 3 big ones, including one right here in Carolina on Figure Eight Island. It's right on the oceanfront Al doesn't want anyone to develop unless you know, they're the kind of people who will take care of our coastlines the way he does.
People like his 2004 running mate John Edwards, one of whose big houses (Does he own 3 or 4 them? - JinC ) is also on Figure Eight.
And people like Barbra Streisand, entertainer, Democrat, and environmental activist. She does a great job of maintaining the part of the Pacific coastline on which sit two large houses she built.
After the great job Barbra's done preserving the coastline, who'd begrudge her that 10,000 gal. heated pool she owns?
Now, David, back to your statement: "don't sit in [your] big house being all smug about what a good person and environmental steward you are."
I agree with what you say but do you think the Democrats and environmentalists will buy it?
They haven't so far.
Posted by JWM at 9:19 PM
If war crimes were committed by America's military at Haditha or anywhere else in Iraq, those believed to have committed them should be tried and, if found guilty, appropriately punished. The same is true of anyone believed to have participated in covering up such crimes.
The media has a right and obligation to report on any war crimes and actions that stem from them.
Most Americans will support the media for doing that.
But if the media gives us a replay of what it gave us after Abu Ghraib - sliming the entire military with a broad brush, countless republications of photos that no longer had news value, and served only the propaganda purposes of the anti-American left, and daily sermonizing about the shame of America - I think there will be a backlash against the media.
Most of us don't want to be burned again. No one but the Democratic Party base and the left has any interest in sliming the 99.9% of American servicemen and women who defend our freedoms.
More about this tomorrow. Heavy storms in the area so I'm shutting down for awhile.
I'll close with this comment I picked up at Captain's Quarters.
There's a media culture in this country that in large measure desires America's defeat. These people want Iraq to be Viet Nam. They long for it. They would rather hype the cause of the very people that would slit their throats as to say anything good about the military that protects them.
Should they report bad news? Of course. But don't tell me nothing good ever happens in Iraq. Don't tell me the enemy isn't bleeding too. Don't tell me that a few possible misfits are indicative of the character and performance of the entire United States Military.
Don't tell me valor is non-existent amongst our service people. Of course, if you waited for the MSM to tell you about it, you might think so.
George W. Bush needs to lead. In this case, leadership is making the case day after day after day. This the president has not done.
If we bail on Iraq, this nation will reap what it sows. And what it sows will be ugly indeed.
Trackback: Mudville Gazette
Posted by JWM at 5:08 PM
It's hard to believe anyone could write the following line, but John McCann does it anyway in today's Durham Herald-Sun:Perfect word choice, Tom."The lacrosse boys brought it on themselves, though -- even if the accuser's lying."This is despicable. Would McCann, who is black, even think of writing the same thing if the case involved a white accuser and 44 black members of the football team? Of course not.
What McCann says is despicable. It's every bit as despicable as Jesse Jackson's offering a college scholarship to the accuser regardless of whether she was telling the truth.
Despicable too was the failure of the liberal/leftist press to condemn Jackson's offer for what it was: an assault on truth and fairness.
Tom Bevan continues:
McCann brushes off the injustice suffered by the Duke lacrosse players with the trite phrase, "that's what can happen when you don't keep your nose clean."Well said, Tom.
This is a cowardly cop-out, not to mention McCann is invoking a standard that is unrealistic as well as unjust.
Does he mean anyone who attends a party where there is beer and strippers can be falsely accused of anything under the logic that attending the party in the first place isn't "keeping your nose clean?"
Setting aside the fact that three young men stand accused of a crime that could cost them the better part of their lives behind bars, the forty-four Duke players who have not been charged with committing any crime didn't deserve to have their reputations trashed and their season cancelled, or to be stigmatized and abandoned by the Duke faculty and university administration.
To suggest the players brought all this on themselves by the mere act of attending a party is more than grotesquely unfair, it's also a clever way to absolve those in the media and the community whose behavior toward the Duke players has been so shameful throughout this entire episode.
I understand it's difficult for some to focus on the facts in this case because the facts, at least at the moment, aren't very favorable toward the accuser.
As a result, this case is upsetting a whole host of traditional liberal stereotypes and tactics, not the least of which is a seemingly innate liberal reflex to attack white males as symbols of privilege and racial oppression whenever possible. (Bold added)
McCann's suggestion that the Duke players deserve the way they've been treated "even if the accuser's lying" shows just how warped that mentality can be and represents a new low point in the whole tragic saga.
Now let's turn the floor over to Betsy Newmark.
Can anyone believe that this guy would write the same thing if it were 40 black players accused of raping a white woman and if all the known evidence showed that they were innocent.McCann, like all of his kind, has no idea he is what he is. Let's hope in time he'll learn and change.
Would Mr. McCann be so sure that it doesn't matter that these guys have had their reputations ruined and that they had lost the chance to play the sport they'd come to Duke to play?
Would he just say so self-righteously that the black players deserved whatever they got even if a white stripper was lying about what happened? [...]
I know that parents across the country have used the Duke lacrosse story as a salutary lesson to tell their college-age children to be more careful about their behavior and to avoid such situations. But, no one deserves to have his life turned upside down because some woman made up a story about what happened to her at the party. [...]
It might help McCann to take a long look at some fine leaders like Durham Mayor Bill Bell and NC Central University Chancellor James Ammons. I can't see either of them buying into "even if the accuser's lying."
Meanwhile, isn't it wonderful to have access to bloggers like Betsy and Tom.
No wonder they're worried in the newsrooms.
Posted by JWM at 12:15 PM
Thursday, June 01, 2006
(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
Today we learn the twenty-two year old Lieutenant Churchill jumped at the chance to take leave from his regiment in India and return to London for “the season.” He visits Italy on the trip home.
From Churchill’s My Early Life:
With the approach of the hot weather season of 1897 it became known that a proportion of officers might have what was called “three months’ accumulated privilege” leave to England. Having so newly arrived hardly anybody wanted to go. I thought it was a pity that such good things should go a–begging, and I therefore volunteered to fill the gap.Churchill’s brother officers no doubt passed on the opportunity for home leave for two reasons. For most of them the expenses of the journey would have been a strain. And they were anxious to get on with their duties in their first overseas assignment, which they knew if they did well would help them in their Army careers.
I sailed from Bombay towards the end of May in sweltering heat, rough weather and fearful sea-sickness. […]
(Once in the eastern Mediterranean, Churchill left the ship to visit Italy. JinC)
I spent a fortnight in Italy, climbing Vesuvius, “doing” Pompeii and, above all, seeing Rome. I read again the sentences in which Gibbon has described the emotions with which in his later years for the first time he approached the Eternal City, and thought I had none of his credentials of learning it was not without reverence that I followed in his footsteps.
The formed a well-conceived prelude to the gaieties of the London season.
Expanse was not a concern for Churchill, and while he served bravely and with skill, the Army was always for him a means to an end which was located in London at 10 Downing Street.
There must be some very smart people at Examiner.com. They’ve just hired Raleigh teacher, Mom, and blogger Betsy Newmark to write a regular op-ed column for them.
Way to go, Examiner. You’ve hired a great one.
There are a lot of us here in North Carolina who believe if Betsy could have gotten to Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, and the Dixie Chicks early enough things just might have - well, you know.
Betsy’s first Examiner column is here. She wants to do away with college commencement addresses.
Gee, if that happens, where will liberal media and Hollywood celebs go in May and June to pick up an easy 30 or 40 thousand dollars for a twenty minute Bush-basher?
Have you thought about that, Betsy?
Posted by JWM at 10:24 PM
In the May 28 NY Times and republished in the May 31 Raleigh News & Observer David Brooks' column, The Duke Witch Hunt, begins:
Witch hunts go in stages. First frenzy, when everybody damns the souls of people they don't know. Then confusion, as the first wave of contradictory facts comes in. Then deafening silence, as everybody studiously ignores the vicious slanders they uttered during the moment of maximum hysteria.My first feeling after reading those words was relief: the outrageously unfair treatment the Duke Men’s lacrosse team’s received from the media and others seems to be beginning to subside.
But now that we know more about the Duke lacrosse team, simple decency requires that we return to that scandal, if only to correct the slurs that were uttered by millions of people, including me.
I also thought how the players, their families and friends must have felt reading those words.
I admired Brooks for having the grace and character to write them. Many who've said and done things far more unfair and dangerous than anything Brooks said will probably never acknowledge what they did, much less do it publicly.
I also thought this: "I know the 'must pay for Times Select' doesn’t like bloggers sharing an entire column with readers, but there are occasions when an exception is in order."
This is one of them so the rest of Brooks’ column follows.
I’ll say much more about it tonight.
We know now that the Duke lacrosse players are not the dumb jocks they were portrayed to be. The team has a 100 percent graduation rate. Over the past five years 146 members of the team made the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll, twice as many as any other A.C.C. lacrosse team.
According to the faculty report written by the law professor James E. Coleman and others — which stands out as the one carefully researched and intellectually honest piece of work in this whole mess — "The lacrosse team's academic performance generally is one of the best among all Duke athletic teams."
We also know that the lacrosse players are not the amoral goons of popular legend. The members of the Coleman commission interviewed many of the people the players came into contact with and found almost universal praise and admiration.
The groundskeeper and the equipment manager described the current team as among the best groups of young men they have worked with during their long tenures at Duke.
"The committee has not heard evidence that the cohesiveness of this group is either racist or sexist," the Coleman report says. The current and former black members of the team are "extremely positive" about the support they received. The coach of the women's lacrosse team says relations between the men and women are respectful and supportive. "They are great kids," she has said of the male players.
The male lacrosse players "volunteered for numerous community service activities," the report says, including reading programs, mentoring programs, the Special Olympics and Katrina relief.
Curiously, Nexis searches suggest that these facts have scarcely been reported in any newspaper or magazine.
We also know, as the Coleman report makes clear, that the members of the lacrosse team drank heavily, and when they did, they behaved irresponsibly. Of the 14 cases of "alcohol-unsafe" behavior reported at Duke in the fall of 2005, three involved lacrosse players. Of the four reported cases of disorderly conduct, one involved a lacrosse player.
Team members were caught playing drinking games, publicly urinating and hitting golf balls at buildings. The report notes that their behavior was alarming and deplorable, but adds: "Their conduct has not been different in character than the conduct of the typical Duke student who abuses alcohol. Their reported conduct has not involved fighting, sexual assault or harassment, or racist behavior."
We also know that the events of the night of March 13 are anything but clear-cut. In The National Journal, Stuart Taylor has written a devastating couple of essays on the weak case of the prosecutor, Mike Nifong. Citing the lack of DNA evidence, the seemingly exculpatory digital photos and the testimony of a taxi driver, Taylor, who is one of the most admired legal journalists in the country, estimates that there is an 85 percent chance the players are innocent.
Now, with the distance of some time, a few things are clear. There may have been a rape that night, but it didn't grow out of a culture of depravity, and it can't be explained by the sweeping sociological theories that were tossed about with such wild abandon a few weeks ago.
Furthermore, when you look at the hyperpoliticized assertions made by Jesse Jackson, Houston Baker and dozens of activists and professors, you see how mighty social causes like the civil rights movement, feminism and the labor movement have spun off a series of narrow social prejudices among the privileged class.
The members of the lacrosse team were male, mostly white and mostly members of the suburban bourgeois middle class (39 of 54 recent graduates went on to careers in finance). For many on the tenured left, bashing people like that is all that's left of their once-great activism.
And maybe the saddest part of the whole reaction is not the rush to judgment at the start, but the unwillingness by so many to face the truth now that the more complicated reality has emerged.
Posted by JWM at 2:38 PM
(One of a series of posts in the original web log tradition: notes and "thinking out loud." These posts will be most easily understood by regular visitors and are written with them especially in mind. But others are welcome.)
In a few minutes I’m going to post on New York Times’ columnist David Brooks May 28 column, The Duke Witch Hunt.
The title lets you know where Brooks is going. What it doesn’t tell you is that in his Apr. 9 column Brooks said some pretty rough things about the Duke lacrosse players, which he now has the grace and decency to acknowledge and correct.
Mentioning the post here gives me another chance to say how good I feel that just about every commenter here held on to sound judgment, respected due process and avoided the trashing of the players.
There weren’t all that many people behaving that way back in late-March and early-April. And there are still plenty now who aren’t acting that way.
Folks, in a tough time you stood out as intelligent, articulate and fair.
I won’t return again to this matter as regards you, but I won’t forget either. You’re a fine group.
I plan to stay with the poster part of the Duke lacrosse story. We’re all going to learn a lot by sticking with that story. These posts started it at JinC.
Duke lacrosse: What about the posters? (May 29)
Duke lacrosse: Crimetoppers poster questions. (May 30)
By way of follow up to those posts I’ve made contact with attorney Alex Charns. He was helpful and shared the material he’s sent to Durham City Manager Patrick Baker.
The posts also let you know I’ve been calling Durham CrimeStoppers and Cpl. Addison.
I called them again this morning. Left VMs. No call backs so far.
Are you surprised?
Yesterday I called Baker’s office asking to see copies of the CrimeStoppers posters.
I was passed on to an assistant’s VM. Left a message yesterday and again today. No call backs.
If I have to, I’ll make a trip down to City Hall early next week.
The two most recent posts concerning N&O coverage of the DLC are very important. I plan to post further on the N&O stories discussed in them. In case you haven’t read them they are:
There are new Duke lacrosse discrepancies. (May 27)
Duke lacrosse: Taking terrible and making it worse (May 31)
The N&O’s March 25 story is perhaps the most important story a newspaper has published so far on the DLC. It appeared just a day after the story broke. It presented the accuser as a very sympathetic victim while telling readers nothing about the cooperative actions of Duke lacrosse players.
The N&O’s story set the bias and inflamed the passions that much of the national media quickly picked up on.
But it started with The N&O.
I’ll post further on that story in a day or so.
BTW – Folks, I’ll bet you all noticed that Cpl. Addison of Durham CrimeStoppers is also quoted in The N&O’s March 25 story as a saying a “crime” was committed in the house
As promised I’ve sent Ted Vaden this post, Duke lacrosse: I'll try McClatchy's public editor again, which links to the other two N&O posts. Let’s see what we hear back.
Sunday Ed Driscoll gave me a nice link on this post: N. Y. Times dissembles in Kerry story. Big JinC traffic jump.
Yes, there is a world beyond the DLC and I'll try to get to it more often in the next few weeks. But the DLC matters are important and not enough media are paying attention to them.
I didn't spell check this or proof carefully. Time's pressing.
Posted by JWM at 1:29 PM
If you're a regular you know Ted Vaden, public editor of the McClatchy Company's Raleigh News & Observer, has failed to respond to a few recent emails.
The emails asked Vaden specific, fact-based questions about The N&O's coverage of the Duke lacrosse case; coverage many readers, including me, say is biased against the lacrosse players and has inflamed race and class relations in the community.
Why no response from Vaden?
I'm told he's been away lately.
What's more, there was the Memorial Day weekend; and perhaps as Vaden's told me before: "I guess I just lost your emails, John."
OK, but I won't give up.
I'm sending Vaden via email two new JinC posts. Both contain important, fact-based questions concerning The N&O's Duke lacrosse coverage.
The first post is "There are new Duke lacrosse discrepancies."
In that post I report and question two N&O news stories. Both new stories contain accounts of the accuser’s whereabouts and activities in the hours immediately preceding her arrival at the party where she says she was gang-raped. One account is by the accuser's father; the other by a man The N&O says drove her to the house.
But the two accounts contradict each other. The father and the man The N&O says drove her to the party put the accuser in different places doing different things in the same few hours just before the party.
The accuser's father's account is contained in a May 19 N&O story; the driver's account is contained in a May 27 N&O story.
If you compare the two stories, you'll quickly see the conflicts between the father and driver's accounts are HUGE.
The N&O made no effort in its May 27 story to reconcile or explain the conflicts.
In fact, The N&O didn't tell readers anything in its May 27 story about the conflicts.
Since May 27 through today, June 1, The N&O has told readers nothing about the conflicts.
If you're an N&O reader you may be asking: How can The N&O ignore such conflicts after sending reporters into courthouses looking for any misdemeanor charge against anyone whose name appeared on a Duke Men's lacrosse roster as far back as 1999; and then published its findings in a front page story in a Sunday edition?
The second post is "Duke lacrosse: Taking terrible and making it worse."
On March 24 The N&O broke the Duke lacrosse story, telling readers 46 lacrosse players had submitted to DNA testing following an allegation of gang-rape.
The following day The N&O granted the accuser an anonymous interview which it ran on page one beneath a five column headline spread.
The N&O's March 25 story headline:
DANCER GIVES DETAILS OF ORDEALThe N&O's sub-headline:
A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.The N&O's story was consistent with it's unqualified headlines.
In just the story's first five paragraphs The N&O presented the accuser as a frightened, tearful victim who heard the "barking of racial slurs" before the brutal crime.
N&O readers were told:
"authorities vowed to crack the team's wall of solidarity.Understandably, many N&O readers adopted a "slam those guys in jail" mentality.
"We're asking someone from the lacrosse team to step forward," Durham police Cpl. David Addison said. "We will be relentless in finding out who committed this crime."
But in its March 25 story The N&O didn't tell readers three Duke lacrosse players who rented the house where the alleged crime took place had all voluntarily given statements to the police and had offered to take lie detector tests; or that the lacrosse players were by March 25 acting on advice of counsel who had been seeking to meet with DA Nifong and the police.
The police knew long before March 25 of the player's cooperative actions. Did the police not tell The N&O about them?
What did The N&O ask the police about actions by the lacrosse players?
Did The N&O know by March 25 of the cooperative actions of the lacrosse players?
If The N&O did know, why didn't it tell its readers about the player's actions?
Readers who've seen our community torn to the point leaders were forced to take newspaper ads calling for public calm deserve answers to those questions.
I hope Vaden answers the questions in both posts.
Keep checking back. I'm not giving up. And I'll keep you informed.
Below a copy of an email I sent Anne Blythe, the reporter who wrote the May 27 story. I've heard nothing from her.
To Reporter Anne Blythe
Raleigh News & Observer
Per your bylined story today: "Accuser seemed OK early on, driver says"
The post linked below contains questions which your story did not address but which intelligent readers will naturally ask. I'll be happy to post at my blog the answers you provide.
"There are new Duke lacrosse discrepancies."
Also, you story tells readers: "He [Mr. Taylor] did not say whether they consumed any alcohol."
But you don't tell readers whether you actually asked Taylor whether he, she or they consumed alcohol while they were together,
Did you ask Taylor any questions about alcohol consumption involving him, her, or both?
If yes, what did he say?
If no, why not?
You can understand why readers would have an interest in such questions.
I'll post in full at www.johnincarolina.com your response.
Thank you for your attention to this email and the post linked.
Posted by JWM at 10:44 AM
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
Historian Douglas S. Russell tells us how Winston Churchill, a student at Harrow, became Lieutenant Churchill, 4th Queen’s Own Hussers.
Churchill entered Sandhurst on September 1st, 1893 at the age of eighteen years, ten months. He stood 5’ 6" tall._______________________________________________________
The Royal Military is located at Camberley, southwest of London. Founded in 1741, it served the purpose of training officers for the infantry and cavalry. Sometimes referred to as Britain’s West Point, it was not in fact a four-year college, and granted no degree.
Churchill took the standard course: three terms of instruction and training over an eighteen-month period. The old school is still there today, looking just as it did in the 1890s.
The subjects were few and practical: tactics, fortification, topography (map making), military law and military administration. He also trained in drill, marksmanship, riding, gymnastics, and fencing. Sandhurst uniforms were those of the regular army, including the red dress coat and the dress blue spike helmet.
Churchill did well at Sandhurst, graduating twentieth out of a class of 130 in December 1894. As he later wrote, "It shows that I could learn quickly the things that matter."
For the first time in his life his personal interests and his work were the same and he excelled. A distinguished career had begun.
Douglass S. Russell, Lt. Churchill,4th Queen’s Own Hussars. The Churchill Centre.
Before President Bush touched down in Pennsylvania Wednesday to promote his nuclear energy policy, the environmental group Greenpeace was mobilizing.I’m sure you don’t, Mr. Smith.
"This volatile and dangerous source of energy" is no answer to the country's energy needs, shouted a Greenpeace fact sheet decrying the "threat" posed by the Limerick reactors Bush visited.
But a factoid or two later, the Greenpeace authors were stumped while searching for the ideal menacing metaphor.
We present it here exactly as it was written, capital letters and all:"In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world's worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE]."Had Greenpeace been hacked by a nuke-loving Bush fan? Or was this proof of Greenpeace fear-mongering?
The aghast Greenpeace spokesman who issued the memo, Steve Smith, said a colleague was making a joke by inserting the language in a draft that was then mistakenly released.
"Given the seriousness of the issue at hand, I don't even think it's funny," Smith said.
And I guess I shouldn’t be laughing and passing the story on to JinC readers.
Anyway, Mr. Smith, did you hear the one about the actress and the bishop who met at a Greenpeace rally?
He asks if she really knows what it would be like if they experienced a meltdown.
She says, “Well, first we'll have to find a more private place, don't you think?”
Hat Tip: Mike Williams
Posted by JWM at 11:14 AM
On March 24 the Raleigh News & Observer broke the story we’ve come to call the Duke lacrosse case.
The following day The N&O’s front page carried a five-column, above the fold headline
A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.The story began:
The woman who says she was raped last week by three members of the Duke University lacrosse team thought she would be dancing for five men at a bachelor party, she said Friday. But when she arrived that night, she found herself surrounded by more than 40.Looking back now you may wonder why The N&O’s headlines provided no qualifications of any sort regarding what the dancer said happened that night?
Just moments after she and another exotic dancer started to perform, she said, men in the house started barking racial slurs. The two women, both black, stopped dancing.
"We started to cry," she said. "We were so scared."
Forty-six members of the men's lacrosse team submitted DNA samples Thursday in the unusual case. As of late Friday, there had been no arrests. Duke officials briefed university staff Friday on the allegations, and authorities vowed to crack the team's wall of solidarity.
"We're asking someone from the lacrosse team to step forward," Durham police Cpl. David Addison said. "We will be relentless in finding out who committed this crime." […]
Why did The N&O just headline that the woman had described a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence in the same way a paper might headline a new publisher’s plans for the paper?
But many decent people, prepped by the headlines, very likely put those questions aside as they felt great sympathy reading how the women, exposed to the "barking of racial slurs," “started to cry” and “were so scared.”
And once they learned police Cpl. David Addison had vowed, “We will be relentless in finding out who committed this crime,” they reacted as most decent citizens do.
They wanted to help the officer put those criminals behind bars, damn it!
That’s how, I believe, a lot of otherwise decent people began to adopt a “vigilante mentality” they now regret.
But what if somewhere in The N&O's first five paragraphs it told readers the three Duke lacrosse players who rented the house where the party was held had all voluntarily given statements to the police and had offered to take lie detector tests?
What if along with "authorities vowed to crack the team's wall of solidarity" The N&O had said something about players acting on advice of counsel who were seeking to meet with the DA and provide him information?
If people knew some of that it would have made a big difference in how people began to think about the story.
In fact it would have made a difference if The N&O had told readers any of those facts anywhere in its more than one thousand word March 25 story.
The police and District Attorney Mike Nifong knew all that information and much more about efforts the lacrosse players had made to cooperate with them.
Why didn’t The N&O tell readers about any of it? Did The N&O not know about that information?
The N&O didn’t report in its first Duke lacrosse story March 24 anything concerning cooperation by the Duke players beyond them submitting as ordered for DNA testing. Perhaps a deadline or something else prevented The N&O from informing readers.
But surely if The N&O knew that information, it should have told readers about it in its March 25 page one, headline story.
I hope readers ask The N&O’s public editor, Ted Vaden, about the questions I’ve raised here.
You can contact him at: email@example.com
In a day or so I’ll post further on how I think The N&O’s March 24 and 25 stories helped make a terrible situation worse, including more dangerous.
URLs March 24: http://www.newsobserver.com/742/story/421494.html
March 25: http://www.newsobserver.com/102/v-print/story/421799.html
Posted by JWM at 12:27 AM
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
(One of a series of weekday posts on the life Winston S. Churchill.)
Churchill in India, the Sudan, and South Africa.
In Parliament, Downing Street, and the Admiralty.
Pacing in his study, working in bed and singing in the bath.
Churchill seems at one time or another to have been everywhere.
Everywhere but in the kitchen.
His long-time aide Anthony Montague Browne relates this amusing incident involving a brief conversation:
“…at Downing Street during the early 1950s:Well, folks, I need to run now. I just heard the egg timer ring.
Winston: ‘I shall go to Chartwell next weekend.’
Clementine: ‘Winston, you can't. It's closed and there will be no-one to cook for you.’
Winston: ‘I shall cook for myself. I can boil an egg. I've seen it done.’
Churchill's threat was received in dumfounded silence on all sides but it was not carried out. His gastronomic priorities clearly prevailed!”
Douglas J.Hall, Man of Kent, Kentish Man: Churchill, Chartwell, and the Garden of England. (The Churchill Centre, Finest Hour, No. 111, Summer 2001)
(Readers note: Alex Charns, attorney for an unindicted Duke lacrosse player, has requested information from the City of Durham and its Police Department concerning publication and distribution of a Durham CrimeStoppers poster containing face-photos of 43 white Duke Men's lacrosse players.
If you're not familiar with the story, this post, "Duke lacrosse: What about the posters?", provides background as do these Durham Herald Sun and WRAL-TV news reports.)
Following up on yesterday’s post, "Duke lacrosse: What about the posters?"
I said in that post:
News reports and eyewitness accounts suggest the CrimeStoppers poster Charns is referring to is not the same as the “vigilante poster” The N&O published. But the matter is now in doubt.I haven’t gotten a call back from The N&O but I found a hard copy of its Apr. 2 West edition which contains a photo of a CrimeStoppers poster on pg. 20A.
I plan to call The N&O tomorrow and ask whether the poster it published was in fact the CrimeStoppers poster or, as I believe, a poster first published by a group that has not so far come forward and identified itself.
The poster’s headline is: PLEASE COME FORWARD.
That’s followed in smaller type by:
”We’re not saying that all 46 were involved. But we do know that some of the players inside that house on that evening knew(sic) what transpired and we need them to come forward”Next to all that is this:
Durham Police Cpl.
Please call Durham CrimeStoppers at 683 -1200. Callers may remain anonymous.The bulk of the poster is taken up with the face-photos of the 43 white lacrosse players wearing team jerseys.
At the bottom of the poster there’s this in very small type:
Note: There are four more players that were not retrieved from the GoDuke.com website before Duke took down the lacrosse team's roster on Monday morning, March 27th.The CrimeStoppers poster does not say Duke took down the pictures out of concern for the players' safety.
Not surprisingly, The N&O also doesn't mention why Duke took down the photos.
For that matter, neither the CrimeStoppers poster nor The N&O's story mentions that the lacrosse players who rented the house where the gang-rape is alleged to have occured voluntarily gave statements to the police and offered to take lie detectors tests. (Bold added)
The N&O’s CrimeStoppers photo appears to be one of at least two posters CrimeStoppers published targeting Duke lacrosse players. From the WRAL report:
[Durham city spokeswoman Beverly B. Thompson and police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said the poster was produced by CrimeStoppers, an independent organization that offers rewards for information about crimes, and was not covered by general rules that apply to many police department activities. …So, according to Thompson, there were two CrimeStoppers posters circulating in the community.
Questions were raised about the first flyer, released in early April, and it was amended within a day or so, [Thompson] said.
That’s not to say there weren’t other posters/flyers targeting the lacrosse players circulating at that time.
We just don't know yet.
Now let's turn to these two questions from yesterday’s post
So who authorized the CrimeStoppers poster? If it was CrimeStoppers, did it do so at the urging of DPD?I still don’t know the answer to either question but I’ve been trying all day to find out.
Three calls to CrimeStoppers. Each time I’ve been referred on and told I needed to speak to Cpl. Addison.
I’ve left two messages at the line phone number I was given for Addison. Its voice answer begins: “This is Durham CrimeStoppers.” I identified myself as a blogger planning to publish on this story and wanting to fact check. I left a callback number.
The third time I called CrimesStoppers I was given what I was told was Addison’s cell number. Called. Got a voice answer again and left the same message as before.
I also tried to reach Durham City spokeswoman Thompson and got a friendly person who said Thompson wasn’t taking calls but I could call CrimeStoppers and they would tell me “anything you want to know.”
I also called Charns' office. I was told he’s in court today with a trial.
I’ve emailed him asking if he can provide more information on the poster that led to his action. I’d like to see a copy.
I’ve also sent him yesterday’s post and an earlier one I did on biased Duke lacrosse reporting by USA Today, A USA Today Duke lacrosse report: Can you miss its bias?. That post includes a link to a USA Today website where there’s a photo of a “Wanted” or “vigilante” poster being used at a gathering at Duke the night of March 29.
I’ll stay on this and keep you posted.
And if you see Cpl. Addison ask him to please give me a call. I only want to know about how he and CrimeStoppers conducted the public’s business with regard to those Duke lacrosse posters.
URLs for this post:
Posted by JWM at 6:50 PM
Monday, May 29, 2006
(One of series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
Kathleen Hill, Marian Holmes, Elizabeth Layton and Peter Kinna don’t get much mention in the history books but we owe them a lot.
During World War II one or another of them was almost always within a few feet of Churchill during the times he worked alone on state matters.
The women would sit with fingers poised over a typewriter keyboard ready to record anything Churchill wished to dictate; Kinna would sit with steno pad and pencil in hand.
Churchill could be working in bed or on a train, ship, or plane. Something in a newspaper story would catch his eye and he’d want to ask a cabinet minister about it. He had only to name the minister and ask the question. It was all recorded and typed. In a minute or two Churchill could review a nicely typed minute he'd just dictated. (I hope you’ll pardon how I put that. – JinC)
A lengthy policy paper from the Foreign Office? Churchill called out questions and made comments as he read through it. When he reached the end of the document, a first draft of his responses to the F.O. paper was ready for review.
The system of always having someone at the ready to record in written form Churchill’s thinking; and then to direct to appropriate parties the results of his thinking in the form of questions, suggestions and directives had a great deal to do with Churchill’s success in leading the British war effort.
Martin Gilbert, Continue to Pester, Nag and Bite. (pgs. 10-12); and Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Finest Hour, 1939-1941. (See index for Kathleen Hill, Marion Holmes, Elizabeth Layton, and Peter Kinna)
Blogger Mark Finkelstein at Newsbusters tells us about a verbal dual at Fox News Watch between lefty media writer Neal Gabler and righty National Review editor Rich Lowry.
As Finlelstein reports:
The topic was the recent press leaks that have compromised a number of highly-classified anti-terrorism programs including the secret prisons for Al-Qaeda members, the monitoring of Al-Qaeda related phone calls and the gathering of phone calling patterns.From the FNW transcript:
Gabler: "There is a political component with Bush's ratings down, intimidating the press they think is good business and whacking the press is good politics but there is also I think importantly an ideological component.You bet the press is screaming.
This campaign against the press clearly was launched by Gonzales as another salient in the idea of executive power that is infallible and unassailable and I think that is one thing we are seeing here and Gonzales said before he retracted it, saying sometimes the First Amendment has to give way to security. And that is one of the things we're seeing and that is not just politics, that is more frightening."
Lowry: "As a matter of practice for decades there was a gentlemen's agreement you didn't go after reporters in the federal national security cases and what happened to blow up the gentlemen's agreement? One Patrick Fitzgerald blew it up. And who was cheerleading him on all along? The press."
Continued Lowry: "And this is a story about about partisan hypocrisy which comes back to bite you and it was it on the part of the press saying 'pursue the leak to the ends of the earth because it will hurt the Bush administration' and now the premises are followed to the logical conclusion and you have the press screaming."
It wants the Valerie Plame "leakers" in jail and the NSA leaker journalists preening at the Pulitzer awards banquets.
But the press shouldn't get what it wants.
Here's what should happen:
1) Fitzgerald and his many MSM fans should be forced to explain to the American people just how they think you "blow the cover" of a CIA agent whose neighbors say they knew for years she was CIA, and who's been driving to work at CIA headquerters for at least the last six years.
2) They expalin just how "the outing Valarie Plame" did anything but: a) give Fitzgerald and his associates a secure income and some noteriey for years; b) give MSM a chance to repeatedly attack the President: and c) give the American people a huge bill running now I'll bet into the tens of millions.
3) Those involved in disclosing national security secrets should be arrest, tried, and if convicted sentenced to long prison terms.
The NY Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, CBS and the rest of them have no right to enganger the rest of us.
And the sooner that's made clear the better.
Posted by JWM at 6:23 PM
It was just two months ago that the Raleigh News & Observer triggered a frenzy that’s engulfed and savaged members of the Duke Men’s lacrosse team present and past along with those defending them and asserting their right to presumption of innocence.
Now comes what may be a turning point in the battle to constrain the frenzied and assure some minimal fairness for the lacrosse players.
A leading constitutional lawyer in central North Carolina wants to take a look at some of what was going on two months ago. He's asking questions some people don't seem eager to answer.
We read in the Durham Herald Sun:
Constitutional lawyer Alex Charns says a police poster unfairly sullied the names of 46 Duke University lacrosse players, implying all were guilty of raping an exotic dancer before the district attorney announced he had sufficient evidence to indict only three.The entire H-S story is here.
Charns, representing one of the unindicted players, has requested a police internal investigation in connection with the poster that declared the alleged victim "was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community."
Charns said he believed the poster, which offered cash rewards for assistance in sol
ving the case, was displayed around the Duke campus and adjoining neighborhoods.
According to Charns, the poster "impugned the entire lacrosse team." …
Charns is talking about a poster published by Durham Crimestoppers. We need to know who authorized the publication of the Crimestoppers poster.
That authorization may or may not have come from the Durham Police Department.
Crimestoppers, as you can read at its website, is organizationally seperate from the DPD.
But the two organizations have a close working relationship. You get an idea of that just by looking at the two organizations' URLs.
A Durham officer is assigned full-time to work with Crimestoppers.
So who authorized the Crimestoppers poster? If it was Crimestoppers, did it do it at the urging of DPD?
If Crimestoppers published the poster on its own, why did it do that?
And is the Crimestoppers poster that same as the “vigilante poster” The N&O published?
News reports and eyewitness accounts suggest the Crimestoppers poster Charns is referring to is not the same as the “vigilante poster” The N&O published. But the matter is now in doubt.
I plan to call The N&O tomorrow and ask whether the poster it published was in fact the Crimestoppers poster or, as I believe, a poster first publilshed by a group that has not so far come forward and identified itself.
I hope I get a direct answer from The N&O. That can often be difficult. While The N&O talks a lot about openness and accountability you often find that …. (You all can finish the sentence, can’t you. – JinC).
I also plan to contact Charns tomorrow.
Look for more here on this matter and other Duke lacrosse case matters.
URL for Herald Sun story: http://www.herald-sun.com/durham/4-738696.html
Posted by JWM at 2:57 PM
Michelle Malkin has an outstanding post today, "FREEDOM IN NOT FREE’
It begins with a touching Cox and Forkum cartoon illustrating the hands of a grateful nation passing an American flag folded in triangle shape to the hands of the loved survivors.
Michelle then provides links to some of those honoring our military including La Shawn Barber and Mudville Gazette. We’re reminded The National Moment of Remembrance takes place at 3pm local time today for one minute. Op-For has President Reagan's tribute to the troops at Normandy. Dustin Hawkins has more memorable Memorial Day speeches. And there’s a lot more.
Michelle brings up Haditha and says while it’s casting a pall on this day, it cannot be ignored. She right.
She notes that chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, told CBS:
"[I]t would be premature for me to judge" the outcome of a Pentagon investigation into the killing of as many as a dozen Iraqi civilians by Marines.The post includes links to many Haditha news stories including ones at Time and the New York Times.
But at the same time, Marine Gen. Peter Pace said he believes it’s critically important to make the point that if certain service members are responsible for an atrocity there, they "have not performed their duty the way that 99.9 percent of their fellow Marines have."
The final part of Michelle’s post is a tribute to Marine Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas who was died after an IED exploded beside his vehicle in Haditha. He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. R.I.P. and comfort to his family and friends.
I hope you all visit Michelle’s post.
Posted by JWM at 11:30 AM
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Senator John Kerry is at it again. But he says this time he really will disprove all those things the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth brought to public attention during the 2004 presidential campaign.
The New York Times lends Kerry a hand today with a 1700-word, front page promo piece, "Kerry Pressing Swift Boat Case Long After Loss."
Here’s part of it:
[A]mong those who were on the front lines of the 2004 campaign, the battle over Mr. Kerry's wartime service continues, out of the limelight but in some ways more heatedly — because unlike then, Mr. Kerry has fully engaged in the fight. Only those on Mr. Kerry's side, however, have gathered new evidence to support their case.Sounds like what you’d expect from a Kerry press release, doesn’t it?
A number of bloggers have already torpedoed this latest example of Times’ political partisanship cloaked as news reporting. See, for example, Lorie Byrd at Wizbang, Ed Driscoll,and Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute.
But I want to fire my own round at a piece of outright New York Times dissembling.
The dissembling appears in the following paragraph referencing Swiftvet organizer John O’Neill and Kerry's 1971 testimony before the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations committee. The paragraph contains the Times' only mention of Kerry's 1971 testimony:
Mr. O'Neill said he "would be thrilled to look at anything [Kerry] wants to send." Still, he added, "I'm sorry he never apologized for his 1971 speech," referring to Mr. Kerry's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which he told other soldiers' accounts of ravaging Vietnamese villages and citizens. "I think it would have been a very positive thing to do in terms of the many thousands of people who survived Vietnam and felt that was very hurtful." (Bold mine)The Times' description of Kerry's testimony as telling "other soldiers’ accounts of ravaging Vietnam villages and citizens" is dissembling by virtue of the Times' silence regarding what it knows are the most notorious and disputed parts of Kerry's testimony.
The Times knows Kerry accused the American military at every level of command of being fully aware of war crimes committed on a daily basis. His exact words to the committee were:
“war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.”The Times knows Kerry told the committee his fellow Vietnam veterans, millions of them, were monsters. His exact words to the committee were:
The country doesn't know it yet, but it has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence.Kerry’s 1971 Senate testimony and his failure to ever apologize for sliming millions who served honorably tells us a lot about him.
And the Times’ dissembling about Kerry’s testimony tells us a lot about it.
And who’s surprised to see one in the service of the other?
They’re a “go together” duo.
It's just sad they'd present their dissembling on Memorial Day weekend.
UPDATE: May 29, 2006 - I just found at Confederate Yankee a fine post with a labeled aerial photo that leads CY blogger Bob Owens to say:
John Kerry did not take anyone into Cambodia from his swift boat based at Ha Tien. The navigable Giang Thanh River runs near the Cambodian border, but at no point does it ever cross.Take a look. Kerry may have that magic hat but Bob's got a real photo.
Posted by JWM at 3:39 PM