Saturday, May 26, 2007

Best Duke-Cornell Game Coverage

As of Saturday night at 10:00 pm eastern, the Raleigh News & Observer Online is going with a so-so AP report of Duke’s great win today.

At there's a link to some terrific AP game photos and a fine article by Mike Corey: “Hill & Laettner Would Have Been Proud”

But the absolute best game reporting I've found is by Brian Delaney, sports writer for Cornell’s hometown paper, The Ithaca Journal.

Delaney begins:

Zack Greer’s uncanny ability to score goals cost Cornell its perfect season.

Greer fought off a heavily-draped Danny Nathan to catch and convert a Peter Lamade pass with three seconds left, leading top-seeded Duke to a dramatic 12-11 victory over Cornell and into Monday afternoon’s NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship game.

A record crowd of 52,004 at M&T Bank Stadium watched a fantastic finish that included a furious Big Red comeback from a 10-3 deficit with 21 minutes remaining.

Senior midfielder Brian Clayton drew Cornell even on a goal with 17 seconds left, but Duke won the ensuing faceoff – a rare feat on this day – and Lamade fed the ball perfectly to Division I’s leading goalscorer, who wasted no time turning and firing home No. 67 on the season.

None have been bigger. …

Duke (16-2) will face third-seeded Johns Hopkins (12-4) at 1 p.m. Monday in a repeat of the 2005 national championship game that Hopkins won, 9-8. The Blue Jays advanced with an 8-3 victory over Delaware in Saturday’s first semifinal, a game that set an NCAA record for lowest scoring output in a final four contest.

But Duke and Cornell more than made up for the sheepish opening act.

“It was one of the best lacrosse games I’ve ever been around,” said Duke senior Matt Danowski, who finished with a goal and two assists. ...
You can read Delaney’s entire story here where you'll also see two powerful and touching post game photos.

I plan to write Delaney in a day or two. I’ll post my letter.

Meanwhile, you can reach him at

Duke 12 - Cornell 11; Devils on All-America team

Tremendous game.

Cornell tied with 17 seconds.

Duke scored the winning goal with 3 seconds left.

Coach Danowski is being interviewed. He's seems remarkably calm. He's speaking graciously about a fine Cornell team that deserves admiration for coming back from a 10-3 deficit and almost pulling it out.

At they've just posted:

"Four Blue Devils Earn First Team USILA All-America Honors"
Four Duke players – defenseman Casey Carroll, attackman Matt Danowski, attackman Zack Greer and long stick midfielder Nick O'Hara – have been named First Team All-America by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association as the organization announced its prestigious squads on Saturday.

In addition, goalkeeper Dan Loftus and defenseman Tony McDevitt were third team picks while midfielder Brad Ross received honorable mention recognition.
There's more here.


Duke Lax on ESPN – 2

Today’s Men’s semi-final NCAA national championship game between Cornell and Duke will be televised on ESPN – 2 starting at 2:30 PM Eastern.

You can read more about the game here at Duke’s sports site:

The Women’s lacrosse team lost Friday in the semi-finals to Virginia, 14-13. It’s the third year in a row the Women’s team has lost in the national championship semi-finals.

I’m sorry for that, but every time I think of them I think of last year, and their decision to wear those sweatbands in support of the innocence of David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.

They'll always be champions in my book. They were the only group of any size at Duke last spring who said what should have been said: "Innocent!"

As for today: Go Devils!

INNOCENT: Prof’s Wise Lesson

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
Brooklyn College Professor KC Johnson posts today:

As the men’s lacrosse team prepares to take the field in today’s Final Four, another unfortunate sports column, this one from Mike Wise of the Washington Post.
“With all due respect to those ‘INNOCENT’ bracelets worn around Durham this year,” Wise writes, “this isn’t ‘To Kill a Mockingbird II.’”
With all due respect to Wise, here’s North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper: “We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations….[We] believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.”

In short, each and every person who wore an “innocent” bracelet—which, Wise neglected to mention, contained the numbers of the three accused players—was vindicated by Cooper’s all-but-unprecedented declaration. …

The second part of Wise’s statement is even more intriguing. It’s been a while since I’ve read the Harper Lee novel, but as I recall, none of the novel’s characters claimed that the man falsely accused of rape, Tom Robinson, was (to borrow a phrase preferred by Duke administrators) a “choirboy.” Indeed, Robinson’s personal character wasn’t a major theme of Lee’s novel. Nor was the character of Robinson’s friends, or any people who happened to play on sports teams with Robinson.

Instead, To Kill a Mockingbird explored how an ambitious prosecutor fanned racial prejudice and brought charges against a man he knew or should have known was innocent; how the majority of the town allowed emotion to overcome reason and joined the mob; and how Atticus Finch and his family experienced this prejudice first-hand when Finch defended Tom Robinson, stood up to the mob, and argued that all people—even those who don’t represent a group politically popular with the local majority—deserve the same procedures before the law.

To me, those are themes that resonate given the experience of Durham over the past 15 months. But, as I said, it’s been a while since I read the Harper Lee book.

Perhaps Wise obtained a different interpretation from someone who has read it more recently than I have. After all, as Mike Nifong told the Herald-Sun last year, To Kill a Mockingbird is his favorite book.
KC’s entire post is here. He links to Wise.

Way to go, Professor. And Go Blue Devils!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Churchill Series – May 25, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Readers’ Note: Recently a few of you who will be visiting Normandy this summer asked if I’d post on any visits Churchill made to Normandy. I’ll do that next week.
Also, some have asked for some visitor information, particularly to the invasion beaches and the military cemeteries. I’ll post on those topics starting this weekend.


Yesterday’s post contained excerpts from William Manchester’s review of The Fringes of Power, Sir John (Jock) Colville’s book composed of entries from diaries he kept while serving as a private secretary to British prime ministers including, for most of WW II, Churchill.

Among the Manchester excerpts was this paragraph :

Americans, who knew little of Churchill until he began running the crusade against Hitler (running it from an office in the Admiralty; it took Chamberlain a month to move out of Downing Street) cannot understand why Englishmen were slow to grasp his greatness. As we watch him through the eyes of his private secretary, however, we see how his public's perception of him changed.
There’s some information I want to give you about Chamberlain’s staying on at Downing Street for a month. Then I want to say something about Manchester.

Remembering Churchill became PM on May 10, 1940 this from Their Finest Hour, volume two of Churchill’s “History of World War II” (Houghton Mifflin):
Early on the morning of May 11 I sent a message to Mr. Chamberlain: “No one changes houses for a month.” This avoided petty inconveniences during the crisis of the battle. I continued to live at Admiralty House and made its map room and the fine rooms downstairs my temporary headquarters. (pg. 10)
As far as I know, Churchill’s “no one changes houses” directive applied to all cabinet members of Chamberlain’s former government. It was very important not only for “avoiding inconveniences during the crisis of the battle,” but for showing regard for the feelings of outgoing cabinet members whose posts came with housing. That was a very important consideration at a time when Churchill was seeking to build a coalition national unity government.

Now to Manchester. Of course, he knew what I’ve just told you, but he still takes a jibe at Chamberlain for taking “a month to move.” I don’t know why he would do that but from time-to-time I come across similarly unnerving things Manchester does either by commission or omission.

That said, I still find his Churchill books great reads.

Along with remembering those who served, those serving and all their families, I hope you have a restful weekend.

Learning About America – 5/25/07

Remember Colorado University Professor Ward Churchill and the move to fire him despite his having tenure? If fired, Churchill will be the first tenured professor in CU’s history to be fired.

If anyone has forgotten Churchill’s plagiarism, his faked American Indian “ancestry” to get a position at CU in the first place, his encouragement of terrorists, and much more, please visit here.

Now, Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Rosen brings us up-to-date on Churchill's situation. In doing that, Rosen also tells us a lot about America today.

Excerpts from Rosen:

The Ward Churchill saga goes on - and on and on, ad nauseam. We learned last week that a five-member panel representing the University of Colorado Faculty Senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure voted 3-2 that Churchill be suspended rather than fired.

But just how did we learn this?

The Denver Post, in a story on May 17, tells us that the committee's confidential report was "obtained" by the newspaper. What an interesting way to phrase it.

In other words, an unauthorized copy of the faculty committee's report, intended for the eyes of CU President Hank Brown, was leaked to the Post (and The Associated Press) by someone who violated the confidentiality agreement.

You needn't be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the leaker was likely a faculty member sympathetic to Churchill, or his attorney, David Lane.

Since the Post has, itself, been sympathetic to Churchill while the Rocky Mountain News has been far more critical, it's not surprising the Post was awarded the local scoop.

It's also not surprising that self-serving faculty members would recommend that the school be lenient with Churchill for several reasons:

1. The firing of a tenured professor sets an inconvenient precedent for them, threatening their inviolable job security and insulation from the consequences of unconscionable behavior.

2. Although Churchill is being disciplined for plagiarism, willful misrepresentation of facts and conduct that "falls below minimum standards of integrity," his defenders have framed this as a free-speech issue, which they believe to be an absolute protection.

3. Churchill's tasteless, hateful, bitter and cockeyed views are shared by many of his left-wing, blame-America-first colleagues in academia, including some at CU.

Another ploy of Churchill apologists is that he should be awarded the academic equivalent of a get-out-of-jail-free card and be exempt from any punishment for his blatant research misconduct.

Why? Because of the way it came to the school's notice when he brought attention to himself by calling victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns" who deserved what they got.
Rosen goes on to explain why that shouldn’t happen. He closes with:
The regents can't allow themselves to be cowed by that threat.
If they cave now, CU's integrity and credibility will be forever stained.

It's long since time to throw the bum out.
I hope CU throws him out. As Rosen says, it’s long since time.

Wake up, America. The Left is stealing our country.

And wake up, college and university givers. Look where your money's going.

Rosen's entire column is here.

Reagan’s White House Diaries

In the 5/28 National Review (print - not available online):

Ronald Reagan’s White House diaries, to be published by Harper-Collins and excerpted in Vanity Fair, confirm what his letters and radio commentaries proved to liberals who had consigned him to duncehood while he governed: Reagan was a clear, concise writer – a sign of a clear mind. There are no masterpieces of malice , as in the diaries of John Quincy Adams, but there is much pith, sometimes brutal, occasionally droll.

Of Alexander Haig’s resignation: “Actually the only disagreement was over whether I made policy or the Sec. of State did.”

His near assassination: “Getting shot hurts.”

Moammer Qaddafi: “Beneath contempt.”

Lowell Wicker: “a pompous, no good, fathead.”

Bob Woodward: “He’s a liar.”

Alas, there is also the occasional boo-boo: “Rite(sic) to Life people say [Sandra Day O’Connor is] pro-abortion. She declares abortion is personally repugnant to her. I think she’ll make a good justice.”

Homer nodded. Babe Ruth whiffed. We are lucky to have these diaries and to have had their author.
On Reagan’s Haig comment: do you recall that on the day Reagan was wounded during the assassination attempt Haig rushed to the White House and announced: “I’m in charge?”

I bet we’ll all be interested to see if anyone asks Woodward to review the book.

I liked President Reagan. I’ll be saying more about him in the coming days. June 5 is the third anniversary of his death.

INNOCENT: Duke & 88’s disaster grows

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
Since it appeared last April as a full-page ad in The Chronicle, Duke University’s faculty Group of 88’s inflammatory and exploitive “social disaster” statement has concerned and angered members of the Duke community and the broader public.

The 88’s statement has drawn criticism from students, parents, alums, and other faculty. Now we’re hearing some trustees are also critical of the group and its ad, although no trustee has so far spoken publicly.

Yesterday and today things got worse for Duke and the Group of 88.

Yesterday the Duke Conservative Union placed a powerful full-page ad in The Chronicle.

You can read the ad here at Durham-in-Wonderland. The DCU ad exposes some of the best known of the "88" faculty by quoting them. Following one after another, the quotes don't make a pretty sight. How can people say such things? Don't they realize what they're revealing about themselves?

The ad ends by inviting the 88 to follow AG Roy Cooper’s advice to those who owe apologies to the victims of the Hoax witch hunt and frame-up.

The ad does something else that deepens the 88 ad disaster for Duke and the 88. At the bottom of the ad, the DCU is clearly listed as the ad’s sponsor who also paid for it.

That will remind people that no sponsor was listed as placing the Group of 88’s disaster ad nor has there ever been any explanation of who paid for the ad and where the funds came from. Did the 88 chip in for the ad? Was the money taken from department funds? Or was grant money used?

Duke's President, Richard ("whatever they did was bad enough") Brodhead has evidenced no interest in finding out who placed and paid for the ad.

Today more trouble for Duke and the Group of 88.

And it’s the worst kind of trouble for Duke and the 88 ad sponsor.

It's trouble Duke and the 88 have made themselves. Excerpts from KC Johnson today:

… [The 88’s ad] did specifically assert that five Duke academic departments (Romance Studies; Psychology: Social and Health Sciences; Art, Art History, and Visual Studies; Classical Studies; and Asian & African Languages & Literature) as well as 10 academic programs formally endorsed the statement.

It is hard to overstate how unusual such an endorsement is. Academic departments rarely sign onto statements that do not directly deal with departmental concerns. That nearly 20 percent of a school’s arts and sciences departments would endorse a statement such as that produced by the Group of 88 is extraordinary.

These departmental (and program) endorsements gave the statement added heft—perhaps explaining why the statement’s principal author, Wahneema Lubiano, included the names of the relevant departments in the text.

How could it be, as occurred in each of the five departments above, that a majority of a department’s professors did not sign onto the ad individually, but then took the far more significant step of supporting a formal departmental endorsement of the statement?

Well, it turns out, they didn’t.

In some, and perhaps all, of the five departments, no vote to sign onto the ad ever occurred. There was no informal polling of department members, either. Some, and perhaps all, of the departments listed as signing onto the Group of 88’s statement did not, in fact, ever endorse the ad.
KC goes on to cite data, including statements from department members that support what he’s saying.

He follows with this: “At the Volokh Conspiracy, Northwestern law professor Jim Lindgren (who has served as an associate dean at two universities) explained the severity of this breach of academic protocol. KC then quotes Lindren:
Could it be that one or more of the approximately 15 departments or programs that supposedly endorsed the letter did not do so? Did the letter writers fabricate departmental or programmatic support that did not exist, either intentionally or out of confusion?

That is a truly frightening possibility, even if less likely to have happened than some of the other [possible explanations]. After the Group of 88’s letter was published with departments and programs at Duke presented as official signatories, the President or the administration would likely have talked to at least a few chairs to determine the circumstances of their departments’ signing on.

Is it possible that the President or another member of his administration had discovered that the authors of the Group of 88 were falsely claiming official Duke departmental endorsements that were fraudulent—and kept silent about it?
You can read KC's entire post here.

In the matters of who placed the inflammatory Group of 88 ad, who paid for it and with funds from what source, and why some departments were listed as signed on when they never were and who is responsible for that, President Brodhead is as alert and involved as Durham Police Chief Steve Chalmers was during his departments framing of three innocent students.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Churchill Series - May 24, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

When Churchill came to the prime minister’s office on May 10, 1940, he inherited Chamberlain’s private secretary, John (Jock) Colville. A supporter of the Munich agreement, Colville held Churchill in very low regard, something Churchill knew. But Churchill kept Colville on and in time Colville grew to admire Churchill. After Churchill left office, they remained close friends until Churchill's death in 1965.

During his years at Downing Street, Colville, in violation of the rules, kept a personal diary which he later published as “The Fringes of Power: Downing Street Diaries.” The following is an excerpt from William Manchester’s review of Colville’s book:

" When King George VI (who shared [Colville’s] doubts about Winston) handed Churchill the seals of office, Jock quoted R.A. Butler as saying the prime ministry had been "sold to the greatest adventurer in modern political history. . . . a half-breed American."

However, once the new Prime Minister had rallied the dispirited, defeatist country, a universal joint shifted somewhere in Britain's national mood, and Winston's conquest of Colville's heart began.

Americans, who knew little of Churchill until he began running the crusade against Hitler (running it from an office in the Admiralty; it took Chamberlain a month to move out of Downing Street) cannot understand why Englishmen were slow to grasp his greatness. As we watch him through the eyes of his private secretary, however, we see how his public's perception of him changed.

Only 18 months earlier they had rejoiced in the shabby deal at Munich. But in 1940, as Colville's admiration of him grew, the nation's grew also. Rarely in history has a leader actually led his countrymen from the garden path to the paths of righteousness, transforming them from sheep to lions.
Hat tip – The Churchill Centre

Durham votes DPD Probe; Chalmers speaks out

A lot has been happening in Durham today.

The Raleigh N&O is reporting “Council votes for independent lacrosse probe:”

City Council members in a split vote today conveyed their intent to set up a third-party investigation of the Durham Police Department’s handling of the Duke lacrosse case.

But they agreed on little else during a fractious debate where questions flew about just what such a report would achieve, who would conduct it and how much it would cost.
They plan to discuss it again on June 1 after a budget work session.

Police Chief Steve Chalmers said after the council meeting he worked behind the scenes to try to coordinate a third-party review. This was before he issued a report May 11 about the case that many city leaders have said left key unanswered questions.

Chalmers spoke to reporters briefly after the council session, a rare public appearance for the chief.

He said he stood ready to answer questions directly from council members. He said he would have included more information in his report but was told by City Manager Patrick Baker to pare it down to four or five pages. …
WRAL is reporting “Durham Police Chief Wanted Outside Probe of Lacrosse Case:”
Durham's police chief said Thursday that he wanted a third-party review into investigators' handling of the Duke lacrosse case, but City Manger Patrick Baker wanted to go ahead and release an internal report on the matter.

Chief Steve Chalmers said he also wanted an in-depth detailed report but that Baker told him to keep the report to 4 to 5 pages.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell had called for the review following the May 11 police department report that found no wrongdoing by investigators in the case.

Bell said the report lacked focus and left questions unanswered about the yearlong criminal investigation of rape and sexual assault charges filed against three former lacrosse athletes.

Bell seemed a bit skeptical about Chalmers' claim, wanting to know why that wasn't known when the departmental report was released.

On Thursday, City Council members agreed, voting 6-1 to pursue another review that detailed officers' roles in the case, as well as District Attorney Mike Nifong's.

Councilwoman Diane Cattoti voted against the measure, saying she wasn't against an outside review but she would not vote in favor of one without details and parameters.

Details of that review will be finalized at a June 1 meeting. …
I’ll have comments tomorrow.

The entire N&O story is here: the WRAL story is here.

INNOCENT: Any N&O accountability?

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
In her most recent Sunday print column Raleigh News & Observer executive editor for news Melanie Sill told readers [excerpts]:

I'm on the boards of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the N.C. Open Government Coalition. Both belong to a broader movement drawing in lots of people who aren't journalists: lawyers, librarians, professors, voters' rights groups and many others.

Some want to hold government accountable by keeping records and meetings open. Others oppose big government and see access as a key way to contain its power.

This fight needs soldiers. …

Let your elected officials know you support open government, and check or contact me if you want to know more.
Sill also posted her column at the Editors’ Blog (she's titled it: "The Neff brothers and your right to know") where I just left the following comment:

Dear Melanie:

I want our government to be as open and accountable as possible. I also want the same for our newspapers. Readers need to demand openness from the N&O and hold it accountable when it withholds information from us.

Why won't you tell us when the N&O first learned of the extraordinary cooperation the Duke lacrosse captains had provided police on March 16, 2006; and when and in what detail the N&O first reported that information to readers?

Why is that information still secret more than 14 months later?

Why was there no mention of the captains’ cooperation in your March 25, 2006 “anonymous interview” story about a night you said ended in “sexual violence?”

Who decided to suppress that information and instead promulgate the “wall of solidarity” falsehood? And why did those N&O journalists do it?

The players and their parents have a right to know and so does the public.

Who were the N&O journalists who decided those early Duke lacrosse stories would repeatedly tell the public the accuser was “the victim?” And why did those journalists do that?

Readers should have been told that during her interview with the N&O on March 24, 2006 Crystal Mangum said “the second dancer” had also been sexually assaulted but hadn’t reported it because of fear of losing her job.

Why weren’t readers told Mangum had said of Roberts: "I got the feeling she would do just about anything for money?"

Why did the N&O decide to withhold that important exculpatory information?

What purpose did it serve to withhold that information for thirteen months and not disclose it until AFTER NC AG Cooper declared the players innocent?

You’ve told people the “anonymous interview” story was on deadline.

Well, in that case, why couldn’t the N&O have disclosed a day or two later the exculpatory information that the “frightened young mother” had said “the second dancer” was also sexually assaulted at the party?

For thirteen months the N&O covered up that information and other information regarding what Mangum said during the interview.

Thirteen months!

That’s five months longer than DNA expert Brian Meehan covered up his exculpatory DNA findings.

Is there a National Freedom of Press Information and a N.C. Open Newspaper Coalition?

What about a Society for the Prevention of Framing by the N&O?

For the benefit of readers who want to check what I’ve said here is first, a link to the N&O’s original “anonymous interview” story which ran on March 25, 2006:

and second, a link to the N&O April 12, 2007 story in which it reports information it left out of the March 25, 2006 story without actually ever telling readers it did:

Melanie, I hope you answer the questions I’m asking here. Doing so will be an indication that you're willing to soldier in the cause of open journalism.


John in Carolina

Clinton Staff Shakeup Due

The AP reports:

Hillary Rodham Clinton's deputy campaign manager wrote a memo this week urging the Democratic front-runner to bypass the Iowa caucuses, in order to spend time and resources in New Hampshire, South Carolina and several larger states hosting primaries next Feb. 5.

The memo emerged days after a new Des Moines Sunday Register poll of likely caucus goers showed Clinton trailing rivals John Edwards and Barack Obama in Iowa, which is scheduled to hold the first voting contests next January 14.

"I believe we need a new approach to winning the Democratic nomination," deputy campaign manager Mike Henry wrote. "This approach involves shifting the focus away from Iowa and running a campaign that is more focused on other early primary states and winning this new national primary."

There was no indication Wednesday that Henry's advice would be heeded. Campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said both the candidate and her top advisers are committed to campaigning in Iowa and that Henry's views were not shared by others in the campaign.

"These are Mike's thoughts, the memo was unsolicited, and it does not reflect in any way Sen. Clinton's thinking," Wolfson said.
The sentence after that should have read:
”'We’re looking not just at replacing Henry, but at a staff shake-up that will bring people on board who’ll help Sen. Clinton win Iowa,' Wolfson added."
But Wolfson didn’t say that although we all know it’s going to happen because whenever the deputy campaign manager writes a memo saying the campaign strategy needs to change and the campaign spokesperson says, “No, it doesn’t,” that’s a sure sign of a big split within the campaign staff. Some staffers are going to go soon, and with a mega-millions campaign like Hillary's, you can be sure there'll be money to bring new staffers on board. The coming shakeup won't be a disguised cost-cutting move.

But the AP makes no mention of a staff split and impending shakeup. It doesn’t even say how it came by the memo.

Instead the AP purrs on to reassure Iowa Clinton supporters:
Indeed, Clinton has a full schedule of events in western Iowa this weekend and is scheduled to campaign in state the following two weekends as well.

Clinton's campaign in Iowa is headed by veteran strategist JoDee Winterhoff and is opening ten separate offices throughout the state.

"We are absolutely, unequivocally committed to Iowa and we are adding staff daily," Winterhoff said, estimating the number of people working on the campaign to be "well north of 50."

Clinton has also won the endorsement of former-Gov. Tom Vilsack and his wife Christie, who accompany her on virtually all of her campaign stops. ...
The rest of the story is here.

Stay tuned for further developments

INNOCENT: H-S v. N&O – 5-24-07

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
The Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald Sun both reported on a Durham Superior Court hearing and decision yesterday in which the Duke lacrosse case was a factor.

How do the papers’ reporting compare?

Let’s start with the N&O’s report. It’s headlined: "Dismissal bears marks of Duke lacrosse case"

The reporter is Anne Blythe, who co-reported both the N&O’s biased and racially inflammatory March 24 story which “broke the case” and repeatedly referred to the accuser as "the victim," and the even more biased and racially inflammatory March 25 story which withheld the news that Mangum had said Kim Roberts, the “second dancer,” was also raped at the lacrosse team party while it reported the lie that the players had not cooperated with police.

Yesterday’s N&O’s story appeared in the “B” section of the West edition at the bottom right hand corner of the page.

The first five paragraphs read:

A judge dismissed assault and weapons charges against a teenager Tuesday and in the process admonished the district attorney's chief investigator for intimidating a witness.

The issue before Judge Orlando Hudson was whether Breon Jerrard Beatty, 18, could get a fair trial on charges that stemmed from a shooting in August.

Bob Brown, the defense lawyer representing the teen, complained that Linwood Wilson, a tall, hulking man who has been the district attorney's chief investigator since December 2005, threatened a witness charged in the same incident to the point where irreparable damage had been done to Beatty.

The two-hour hearing not only highlighted the specifics of one case, it provided hints that the climate in Durham County courts has chilled for prosecutors in the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse case.

At several points in the hearing, Hudson and Brown each referred in disparaging terms to the lacrosse case and to District Attorney Mike Nifong, whose handling of the case has him facing career-threatening ethics charges before the State Bar. …
Now yesterday’s H-S report of the same story.

The H-S headline: "Judge: DA's office ran afoul with tactic"

The reporter is John Stevenson. Last August I posted on a fake story he authored regarding a supposed DNA link to a lacrosse player. During the fall 2006 election campaign, Stevenson’s pro-Nifong stories were, IMHO, as helpful to Nifong as was Duke President Richard (“whatever they did was bad enough”) Brodhead’s silence.

The H-S story appeared on its front page in the upper left hand corner.

The first five paragraphs:
Durham's top judge ruled Tuesday that the District Attorney's Office used illegal witness intimidation to manipulate a shooting case against documented gang member Breon Beatty, meaning the charges against Beatty must be dismissed unless prosecutors mount a successful appeal.

Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson accepted an argument that the alleged intimidation, coupled with a threat, unconstitutionally deprived Beatty of a witness in his favor.

A DA's Office investigator linked to the alleged intimidation was Linwood Wilson, who played a key investigative role in the now-dismissed Duke University lacrosse sexual offense case. The DA's Office in that case was also accused by attorneys for since-exonerated lacrosse players of pressuring a witness, something Wilson insisted at the time was not true.

Regarding the DA's Office's behavior in the Beatty case, Beatty's lawyer, Bob Brown, said: "That is tampering with a witness. That is intimidation of a witness. If it was me as a defense attorney making these threats, I would be arrested. It is wrong. It is illegal."

Chief Assistant District Attorney David Saacks countered that no threats were involved, but Hudson wasn't convinced.
The entire N&O story is here and the entire H-S story is here.

Two differences between the papers’ reports:

1) The H-S goes into quite a bit of detail concerning Wilson’s involvement in the arrest and trial last year on a three year old shoplifting warrant of Moezeldin Elmostafa, the cab driver who helped confirm Reade Seligmann’s alibi. The N&O doesn’t mention Elmostafa by name and simply says defense attorneys in the Duke case complained that those “who could offer testimony that conflicted with the prosecutor's version of events were brought in on old warrants and intimidated by Wilson.”

2) The N&O did seek a statement from at least one Duke Hoax defense attorney:
"The Duke lacrosse case opened a window into the Durham District Attorney's Office and how they operate," said Joseph B. Cheshire V, one of the defense lawyers in that case. "That window allowed not only the public to look in, but it allowed judges to look in. Hopefully that will continue for the transparency of justice"
The H-S offered nothing from Duke Hoax defense attorneys and made no mention of trying to reach any.

Both papers failed to report something that should have been reported: Durham’s Chief Assistant District Attorney David Saacks, who prosecuted the Beaty case, also sought the non-testimonial court order directing all 46 white members of the lacrosse team to submit to police DNA testing and mug shot and torso photographing. Attorneys have said they can’t recall any other NC prosecutor signing a DNA testing request so broad in its scope. “A big fishing net,” one attorney called it.

How did the N&O and the H-S run stories with headlines Dismissal bears marks of Duke lacrosse case and DA's office ran afoul with tactic, and then fail to let their readers know of the prosecuting ADA’s very important involvement in the Duke Hoax case?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Churchill Series – May 23, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

General Charles de Gaulle first met Churchill on June 9, 1940 in London. French Premier Reynaud had sent de Gaulle as his emissary to apprise the British of the deteriorating military situation in France and to seek the prompt return to France of British troops evacuated from Dunkirk just days before.

De Gaulle described the meeting and the man:

Mr. Churchill received me at Downing Street. It was my first contact with him. The impression he gave me confirmed me in my conviction that Great Britain, led by such a fighter, would certainly not flinch.

Mr. Churchill seemed to me to be equal to the rudest task, provided it had also grandeur. The assurance of his judgment, his great culture, the knowledge he had of most of the subjects, countries, and men involved, and finally his passion for the problems proper to war, found in war their full scope. On top of everything he was fitted by his character to act, take risks, play the part out-and-out and without scruple. In short, I found him well in the saddle as a guide and chief. Such were my first impressions. …

The harsh and painful incidents that often arose between us, because of the friction of our two characters, the opposition of some of the interest of our two countries, and of the unfair advantage taken by England of wounded France, have influenced my attitude towards the Prime Minister, but not my judgment.

Winston Churchill appeared to me, from one end of the drama to the other, as the great champion of a great enterprise and the great artist of a great history.
One of the first tributes Queen Elizabeth II received following Churchill’s death was from de Gaulle who said: “In the great drama he was first among all.
The Complete War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle. (Simon & Schuster) (pgs, 57-58)

O, those Carter years

A lot of people have forgotten what things were like when Jimmy Carter occupied the White House. The Lynchburg News & Advance reminds us:

Double-digit inflation. Sky-high interest rates. Rising unemployment rates. The Soviet Union on the march in Afghanistan and with a firm grip over Eastern Europe. The U.S. Embassy staff in Tehran, Iran, held as hostages for more than 400 days with little done to rescue them. Congressional Democrats in open revolt, not to mention the opposition Republicans.
Come to think of it, things were really much worse than the N&A says.

FHA 30 year fixed mortgage were over 14% and rising (they’re now at 6.5%).

Unemployment was over 10% (it’s now at 4.5%). Real wages were stagnant or declining. Inflation was over 10%.

Carter agreed those were all problems and he knew right where the blame lay: with everyone else.

Carter responded to the news of the hostage taking of our diplomats in Iran with a pledge not to leave the White House until they were released.

Remember? The Iranian kidnapper thugs cheered when they heard the news. Carter had made himself their hostage.

Carter kept his pledge until polls and primary results indicated Senator Ted Kennedy might indeed wrest the 1980 Democratic Party nomination from him. Teddy was “out there” telling America that it needed to get ride of “this failure of a President.”

At the point, Carter announced he was releasing himself from his “ White House” pledge.

Carter went on to say some pretty ugly things about Kennedy and his own cabinet members, many of whom he fired in one day.

And, of course, he had some ugly things to about America. Remember “malaise?”

And do you remember: “The job of President is just too big for one man?”

That’s what Carter’s apologists kept telling us.

And there was: “Americans have to accept that the country’s best days are behind it. Japan has simply surpassed us. And that’s not Carter’s fault.”

Carter agreed with all of that then. I’m sure he still agrees with all of it now.

And to think he had to sit through President Reagan’s funeral service and hear people say Reagan ignored the Carter excuses and reminded Americans we could do much better than what Carter left us with.

So who’s really surprised an angry Carter’s now slamming President Bush? It’s so in character for Carter.

Thank you Lynchburg N&A.

You can read the entire N&A editorial here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Churchill Series – May 22, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

In 1910 Churchill, then age thirty-six, was Home Secretary, in which office he oversaw Britain’s police and prison functions. He wrote at the time:

The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilization of any country.

A calm and dispassionate recognition of the rights of the accused against the State, and even of convicted criminals against the State, a constant heart-searching by all charged with the duty of punishment, a desire and eagerness to rehabilitate in the world of industry all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment, tireless efforts towards the discovery of curative and regenerative processes, and an unfaltering faith that there is a treasure, if you can only find it, in the heart of every man – these are the symbols which in the treatment of crime and criminals mark and measure the stored-up strength of a nation, and are the sign and proof of the living virtue of it.
Martin Gilbert, In Search of Churchill: A Historian’s Journey. (John Wiley & Sons) (pg.269)


At Friends of Duke University Jason Trumpbour, a Duke alum, former Maryland Asst. State Attorney General and now a Law Professor at the University of Maryland-Baltimore has just posted a “must read” for all those who care about justice for Duke Hoax victims, the future of Duke University and an American legal system that strives to live up to our countries founding principles.

Some excerpts from Trumpbour’s post:

Now that Reade, Collin and David have finally been exonerated, it is time to think about the future of FODU. Obviously, our number one priority was ending the hoax and getting Reade, Collin and David from out of harm’s way and that has been achieved.

However, our approach was originally premised on the fact that Duke should be a part of that process, not only for the sake its falsely accused students, but for its own sake. That objective has yet to be realized.

Together, with many others, we changed the world around Duke for the better. However, [Duke’s Board of Trustees Chair] Bob Steel’s most recent letter and the News and Communications Office’s recent attempts at [a history rewrite] show the University still singing exactly the same tune it was a year ago.

When FODU first began operating, a friend of mine who is an alumnus was excited because he thought FODU could become an alternative to the University’s official, administration run alumni organization that would be more responsive to the concerns of alumni.

Something like that has already happened as the FODU bulletin board has morphed into the Duke Community Forum and will likely live on beyond us.

For my part, I have always hoped that the need for our group would be temporary.

Unfortunately, the legal case is over and here we all still are. At some point, the administration will have to come to terms with the lacrosse case. It is not going to go away. The incident will be relived countless more times as the many books about it are released.

The story is not going to get any better for Duke with each retelling--indeed, quite the opposite. …
Jason says more about Duke and then moves on to “Celebrations:”
Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending not one, but two celebrations.

The first was a luncheon, hosted by our moderator for FODU members and parents in the Washington area. David Evans and his family were the guests of honor.

The second was a dinner hosted in New York by the Wolcotts in honor of last year’s graduating seniors on the lacrosse team. It is a tradition to have a dinner each year for the graduating seniors, but circumstances prevented last year’s seniors from getting theirs.

Over the course of the last year, I have had a chance to get to know many of the player’s families. I never fail to be amazed at their ability to conduct themselves with grace and dignity and even good humor throughout their ordeal. …

It is worth noting that, to date, the players are the only actors in the entire saga who have expressed any genuine regret for inappropriate behavior on their part and who have been willing to examine themselves with an eye toward improvement.

They are better people for this experience and will use what they have learned to make a difference in the world. Who else in all this can say that?

For those of us who love Duke, the dignity with which the players, especially Reade, Collin and David, conducted themselves throughout their ordeal showed Duke students in such a positive light and gave us all something of which to be proud. …
There’s much more to Jason’s post. You can read it all here.

Hat tip to Joan Collins.

A DPD Outside Investigation: Questions

It looks like there’s going to be some sort of outside investigation into the Durham Police Department’s Duke lacrosse “investigation” which led to the arrests and indictments of three clearly innocent Duke students.

An investigation is certainly needed into how and why Durham police arrested and charged three clearly innocent people when, as NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said, there never was evidence of their guilt.

To do that, sworn officers of DPD had to engage in a lot of careful planning and coordination with each other, as well as with outside the department members of the “Nifong/DPD team.”

The frame-up of the Duke lacrosse players was especially difficult and time consuming given that they had effective defense attorneys.

Which DPD officers did what and why? Who directed them? Who coordinated their activities? Was the decision that DPD repeatedly tell the public falsehoods in order to cover-up what was really happening made by DPD officers or someone on “the Nifong/DPD team?”

For an outside investigation to answer those questions with confidence and in detail it will need to have first-rate investigators with powerful investigative tools and financial and other resources.

So some questions:

What kind of charge will the Durham City Council give the investigators? What resources of money and personpower will they have?

Will they be able to compel cooperation from DPD officers? If some officers balk at cooperating, what powers will the investigators have to compel their cooperation? Subpoena power?

What legislation and regulations will govern what the investigators can and can’t do?

Will statements made by DPD officers be under oath? Will they be made in public?

Will the investigators be limited to interviewing DPD officers? Or will they be able to interview others such as defense attorneys who represented the framed students?

What about DA Mike Nifong and members of his staff, such as Durham’s Chief ADA David Saacks?

How did Saacks, an experienced prosecutor sworn to protect the rights of the innocent, come to accept that all 46 white members of the lacrosse team were suspects; and that a court should order them to submit to police DNA testing and face and torso photographing?

We need to learn from Saacks what DPD did to convince him to request what many NC attorneys say was an unprecedented and dubious court order. And, of course, we need to hear DPD’s side of that matter.

Something else: Will investigators talk to people such as Durham attorney Alex Charns?

Charns represents one of the lacrosse players “the Nifong/DPD team” didn’t indict. He's asked for an official investigation into the production and distribution of a Durham CrimeStoppers Duke lacrosse Wanted poster that told the community an “horrific crime” was committed at the lacrosse party.

A DPD officer wrote the text of the CS Wanted poster and released it to DPD substations, media and others. The poster was then distributed in the community on a DPD header.

Folks, there’s more I could say but I’ll stop now and ask what are your thoughts concerning an outside investigation?

The Churchill Series – May 21, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Today a few of Winston Churchill’s May 8, 1945 V- E Day recollections.

But they’re not the recollections of a great war leader and statesman. They’re really the sort of recollections you’d expect from someone who at the time was bright, aware and almost five years old. And that’s just what they are.

Churchill’s grandson and namesake recalls:

At last the war was over. V-E Day was a day which none of my generation will ever forget. Following the unconditional surrender of Germany to the Allies on 8 May 1945, the entire British nation, after more than five long years of war, launched into a great and spontaneous celebration of victory.

Aged four and a half, waving my paper Union Jack on a stick and with my hand firmly held by [my nanny,] “Mrs. M.”, I joined the half-million strong crowd that gathered outside Buckingham Palace on that joyful day.

I was not in the least surprised to see Grandpapa appear on the balcony with King George VI, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, as we all cheered them to the echo.

What could be more natural? I always knew he was the most important Grandpapa in the whole world.
Winston S. Churchill, Memories and Adventures. (Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson) (pg. 34)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Carter’s latest: You decide

When it comes to truth telling most Democrats rank former President Jimmy Carter right up there beside Senator Ted Kennedy, Reverend Al Sharpton, former President Bill Clinton and film faker Michael Moore. Maybe even a little higher than Sharpton and Moore.

With that as background, I’ll bet you know a few days ago Carter was reported to have said a number of things about the current Bush administration, including that it's the “worst in [America’s] history.”

Carter’s remarks got American’s thinking about whose administration is really the worst in our history. That’s never good for “the Carter legacy” MSM Dems have worked so hard to prop up and inflate.

Carter must have learned what was happening because now the AP is telling us:

Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday his remarks were "careless or misinterpreted" when he said the Bush administration has been the "worst in history" for its impact around the world.

Speaking on NBC's "Today," Carter appeared to retreat from a statement he made to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a Saturday story in which he said: "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."

Carter said Monday that when he made the comment, he was responding to a question comparing the Bush administration's foreign policy to that of Richard Nixon.
But who can you believe? Carter and the AP are equally unreliable sources.

Fortunately for those who care about the truth, there’s an audio tape of Carter’s actual remarks. You can listen to them here at AOL Audio Player. [Look on the left side of the screen for the large box titled “Carter Interview.”]

If after listening to the tape, you decide Carter’s telling the truth when he claims his remarks were “careless or misinterpreted” rather than deliberate, don’t contact me.

Just double your usual weekly contribution to or send George Soros a signed blank check.

Once more, the audio's here.

To Durham’s Mayor & City Council

Readers Note:

I’ve sent the following email to Durham's Mayor, Bill Bell(, and to Durham City Council Members Eugene Brown (, Diane Catotti (, Howard Clement (, Cora Cole-McFadden ( ), Thomas Stith ( ), and Mike Woodard ( )



Dear Mayor Bell and Council Members Brown, Catotti, Clement, Cole-McFadden, Stith and Woodard:

I’m a Durham City resident who’s blogged for two years as John in Carolina at

I post often on aspects of the Duke Hoax, especially the injustices it’s spawned.

Like many Durham citizens, I’m delighted you’re considering an independent investigation of the Durham Police Department’s actions and inactions following Ms. Crystal Mangum’s false witness.

One goal of an independent investigation should be to learn why DPD repeatedly told the public crimes had been committed at the lacrosse party when, as the Attorney General said, there never was any evidence such crimes had been committed.

The Baker/Chalmers report ignored that critical question, among others.

Beginning on March 24, 2006 and for days thereafter, DPD Cpl. David Addison, as DPD spokesperson, repeatedly told media and the public that horrific crimes were committed at the lacrosse team party. This from a March 24 WRAL report quoting Addison:

”You are looking at one victim brutally raped. If that was someone else's daughter, child, I don't think 46 [DNA tests] would be a large enough number to figure out exactly who did it.”
Who told Addison to make such statements? Why did DPD repeatedly tell the public things it knew weren’t true?

On March 28, 2006 Addison, as Durham CrimeStoppers Coordinator, sent DPD substations, media and others an email containing the text of a Durham CS Wanted poster which read:
On Monday, March 13,2006, about 11:00pm, the Duke University Lacrosse Team solicited a local escort service for entertainment. The victim was paid to dance at the residence located at 610 Buchanan.

The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community.

Durham Police needs your assistance in solving this case. We are asking anyone who has any information related to this case, please contact lnv. Himan at 560-4582 x229.

Information can also be provided anonymously through Durham CrimeStoppers at 683-1200 or by email to (Please use an anonymous email account). Durham CrimeStoppers will pay cash for any information which leads to an arrest in this case.
Please know the grammar, spacing and other such errors in Addison’s text here are as in his original. You can view a photocopy of the Durham CS’s Duke Lacrosse Wanted poster on a DPD header here at

Why did Cpl. Addison send DPD substations, media and others such a false and inflammatory statement? Was he told to do that?

The Durham CS Wanted poster, along with the anonymous “Vigilante” poster quoting Addison, circulated for at least two weeks in Durham, all the while further inflaming hate-filled people, and thereby making an already dangerous situation even more dangerous.

The situation became so dangerous that Mayor Bell, acting wisely, joined in mid-April with NC Central University Chancellor Ammons and Duke University President Brodhead to take full-page newspaper ads calling for public calm and a chance for the judicial system to work.

No one in DPD did anything to correct or disown the CS Wanted poster until April 10, the day the public would learn that DNA results Durham’s Chief ADA David Saacks had told a court would “immediately exonerate the innocent” had all come back negative.

On the morning of April 10 Addison’s DPD supervisor, Major Lee Russ, directed him to change the CS poster. You can read more about Russ’ directions and why he says he told Addison to change the poster here.

I’ve interviewed Maj. Russ twice. Both times I asked him who supervised and approved Addison’s actions during the period in question.

Russ acknowledges Addison began reporting to him last February, but he’s declined to say whether he or someone else actually supervised and OK’ed what Addison said and did in his public Duke lacrosse statements and in the Durham CS Wanted poster.

Following this post is a full text copy of my second interview with Russ (email exchange) completed in December, 2006.

In that interview Russ says Addison will have no comment to make in response to questions I began asking Addison in May, 2006.

As Russ knew at the time of our interview, Addison has never responded to my questions although I had left many phone messages for Addison in which I identified myself, explained the purpose of my call, and requested a callback.

An independent investigation must identify those on the “Nifong/DPD team” who decided Addison would tell the public the lacrosse players were not cooperating with DPD when, in truth, the players’ cooperation was much greater than DPD often receives from citizens, something the “Nifong/DPD team” knew when Addison repeatedly told an unsuspecting public the “wall of silence” lie.

If those people aren't identified and punished, who would trust DPD?

City Manager Baker and Police Chief Chalmers failed to address the falsehoods and danger that certain officers, acting in DPD's name, inflicted on decent citizens who trusted their police department and expected it to make the city safer, not more dangerous.

By their failures, Baker and Chalmers have made an indepentent investigation necessary and urgent.

Among the injustices spawned by Mangum’s false witness there’s this: the entire DPD is taking a big hit in public respect and trust for what I believe are at worst the actions of a few dozen. That’s not right.

You know better than most how demanding and dangerous police work is. You also know most DPD officers do fine work. They deserve our admiration and thanks.

The work of DPD’s many fine officers will be made somewhat easier and Durham will be a much better community if all of us have the results of a thorough, comprehensive and “no-favorites” investigation that identifies those who fell short, explains why that happened, acknowledges those who did fine work, and gives Durham direction as to how we can imporve the DA’s office and the DPD.

Thank you for your attention to this letter.


John in Carolina



Dear Major Russ:

Thank you for returning my call and agreeing to answer questions regarding Cpl. David Addison and the CrimeStoppers "Wanted" posters concerning the Duke Men's lacrosse team.

I've numbered the questions for your reference when responding.

If you prefer to answer in interlinear form, that's fine. Whatever works best.

1) Who determined that Cpl. Addison would be DPD spokesperson on the Duke lacrosse (DL) case during the period 3/24 to 3/27 after which date it appears Ms. Kammie Michael became DPD's DL spokesperson?

2) According to documents made public in court as part of the DL discovery process, DPD investigating officers were told that as of 3/24 they were to report directly to DA Mike Nifong's office. Did Cpl. Addison also report to the DA's office beginning on 3/24 and through 3/27?

3) A comparison of DPD records with media reports from the time reveal Cpl. Addison, as quoted and attributed in media, gave the public considerable false information. Who supervised Cpl. Addison during the 3/24-27 period?

4) We know public spokespersons are often misquoted and the press can "get it wrong," so government agencies regularly issue follow-up press releases correcting false reports. Did DPD or any other Durham govt. agency issue any public statement/ press release correcting
any of the misinformation attributed to Cpl. Addison?

Two more questions and I'm done.

5) Fact-checking and updating from my notes of our May interview: Do I have it right that you said Cpl. Addison produced the first CrimeStoppers poster on 3/27 without DPD involvement; and without speaking with anyone connected with CrimeStoppers about the DL flyer because CrimeStoppers had given him permission to act to issue posters based on his judgement?

6) Cpl. Addison doesn't return my calls. Do you know how I might get him to do so or answer emails.

Thank you for your attention to these questions.

Finally, as a long-time Durham resident, I've had many chances to witness outstanding police work by DPD officers. I've always appreciated it and been grateful for it, too.




(This is the full text of Russ’ response with only paragraph breaks inserted for readers’ ease.)

Dear John in Carolina,

We have a public information officer (PIO) that works for the department and handles the vast majority of our media requests. Kammie Michaels is our PIO. We don’t assign anyone to be our department spokesperson for particular cases including the Duke lacrosse case. Cpl. Addison does occasionally fill in as the department spokesperson for media requests. I took the job as Major over Kammie and David in late February and both have reported directly to me since that time.

We take great care to ensure that information disseminated from our agency is as accurate and timely as possible. However, we have over 600 employees all of which are subject to human error and, once information leaves this department, we have little to no control in ensuring that it is accurately understood and repeated.

If we recognize that an error has been made on our part, we take every reasonable corrective measure, however, we certainly do not have the time to issue new press releases every time information we disseminate to the public is misconstrued or misrepresented. I am not aware of any member of my staff or this Department ever intentionally providing false information to the public so, with that said, I will not comment further or in any more detail on this issue.

Cpl. Addison serves as the Durham Crimestoppers coordinator and has done so for some time. He has done a great job in this position. This year Corporal Addison won the Outstanding Young Public Servant Distinguished Service Award from the Jaycees for his work in with the Crimestoppers program.

Cpl. Addison had always operated with the authority to do Crimestoppers bulletins without running them through the Crimestoppers board in the past.

After the concerns brought forward after the initial Duke Lacrosse Crimestoppers bulletin, I review all bulletins prior to their release simply so to provide a fresh set of eyes on the information and any constructive suggestions. Cpl. Addison will have no further comments on this incident or the Duke Lacrosse case in general.

I hope this information has been of assistance to you.

Regarding your final comment, thank you for taking the time to convey this message to us. We appreciate your support and kind words.

Lee Russ

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Six Day War Lesson

With the 40th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War just a few weeks away, Charles Krauthammer reminds us of how the war came about and the lesson Israel took from the war [excerpts]:

… On May 16, 1967, Egyptian President Gamal Nasser demanded the evacuation from the Sinai Peninsula of the U.N. buffer force that had kept Israel and Egypt at peace for 10 years.

The United Nations complied, at which point Nasser imposed a naval blockade of Israel’s only outlet to the south, the port of Eilat - an open act of war. ...

[The] three-week period between May 16 and June 5 helps explain Israel’s 40-year reluctance to give up the fruits of the Six Day War - the Sinai, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza - in return for paper guarantees of peace. Israel had similar guarantees from the 1956 Suez War, after which it evacuated the Sinai in return for that U.N. buffer force and for assurances from the Western powers of free passage through the Straits of Tiran.

All this disappeared with a wave of Nasser’s hand. During those three interminable weeks, President Lyndon Johnson tried to rustle up an armada of countries to run the blockade and open Israel’s south. The effort failed dismally.

It is hard to exaggerate what it was like for Israel in those three weeks. …

With troops and armor massing on Israel’s every frontier, jubilant broadcasts in every Arab capital hailed the imminent final war for the extermination of Israel. “We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants,” declared PLO head Ahmed Shuqayri, “and as for the survivors - if there are any - the boats are ready to deport them.”

For Israel, the waiting was excruciating and debilitating. Israel’s citizen army had to be mobilized. As its soldiers waited on the various fronts for the world to rescue the nation from peril, Israeli society ground to a halt and its economy began bleeding to death.

Army Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin, later to be hailed as a war hero and even later as a martyred man of peace, had a nervous breakdown. He was incapacitated to the point of incoherence by the unbearable tension of waiting with the life of his country in the balance.

We know the rest of the story. Rabin recovered in time to lead Israel to victory. But we forget how perilous was Israel’s condition. The victory hinged on a successful attack on Egypt’s air force on the morning of June 5. It was a gamble of astonishing proportions.

Israel sent the bulk of its 200-plane air force on the mission, fully exposed to antiaircraft fire and missiles. Had they been detected and the force destroyed, the number of planes remaining behind to defend the Israeli homeland - its cities and civilians - from the Arab air forces’ combined 900 planes was . . . 12.

We also forget that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank was entirely unsought. Israel begged Jordan’s King Hussein to stay out of the conflict.

Engaged in fierce combat with a numerically superior Egypt, Israel had no desire to open a new front just yards from Jewish Jerusalem and just miles from Tel Aviv. But Nasser personally told Hussein that Egypt had destroyed Israel’s air force and airfields and that total victory was at hand. Hussein could not resist the temptation to join the fight. He joined. He lost.

The world will soon be awash with 40th anniversary retrospectives on the war - and on the peace of the ages that awaits if Israel would only return to June 4, 1967.

But Israelis are cautious. They remember the terror of that unbearable May when, with Israel possessing no occupied territories whatsoever, the entire Arab world was furiously preparing Israel’s imminent extinction. And the world did nothing.
What’s changed since June, 1967? Is the Arab world more moderate, more willing to live peacefully with Israel?

If the Israelis again “traded land for peace,” who would assure that peace? The U.N.? The European Union?

The U. S. can’t assure Isreal’s safety. Look at the trouble we’re having in Iraq.

Who can’t understand the Israeli’s reluctance to trust the Arabs; and their realization that if they don’t look out for themselves, no one else will?

Krauthammer’s column is here.

INNOCENT:A&S Faculty Dean Responded

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
This post, “INNOCENT: To Duke’s A&S Faculty Dean,” contains background regarding the public silence of, as far as I know, all Duke University Arts & Sciences faculty when their student, then Duke sophomore Reade Selgimann, was subjected to shouted physical threats, including death threats, on May 18, 2006 outside and within the Durham County Courthouse.

The post also contains an email I sent A&S Faculty Dean, George L. McLendon, asking him to place before the A&S faculty my request that the faculty: 1) make a statement condemning the threats made to Seligmann; and 2) express its regret to Seligmann and his family for the ordeal they endured.

I cited as precedent an Academic Council statement condemning three still unsolved cross burnings which occurred one evening in Durham almost exactly a year previous to the threats shouted at Seligmann.

A reader promptly commented that McLendon was not the right administrator to whom to make my request. The reader told me to check constitutions of various constituent organizations within Duke University.

Before I could do that I head back from Dean McLendon as follows:

I have forwarded your email to Paul Haagen,chair of the academic
council.(A commentator astutely notes that I have no special standing with this group).

I personally deplore and condemn any threats directed at Mr Seligmann,or at any other member of the Duke community,as a result of this tragically misguided prosecution and the events which surrounded it
I've sent McLendon the following email:
Dear Dean McLendon:

Thank you for passing on my email to outgoing Academic Council Chair Paul Haagen. I'll followup with him today.

I appreciate your including in your email your personal condemnation of those who threatened Reade Seligmann on May 18, 2006.

I'll post on your response later today, with a copy of your email included. I have no doubt Reade and his family will see it and appreciate your actions.

I hope other senior Duke administrators follow your example of publicly condemning the racists who threatened Seligmann. As far as I know , to date you are the only one who's done so.


John in Carolina
Later today I’ll post what I send Haagen.

In the rest of this post I want to respond to some comments readers made on the thread of the post with my email to McLendon. Reader comments are in italics; mine in plain. ---

A reader asked whether I "really expected an answer from McLendon” but also encouraged me to keep at it “because someone needs to join the issue and evidence the agenda.”

I know many times I won’t get an answer but as the reader points out, there are other reasons for sending emails such as the one I sent to McLandon. One very important one is that I hope by doing so I prompt others to write similar emails. One polite, fact-based email often doesn’t make much difference, but many such emails…… (you know the rest).

A reader said in part: “Virtually the entire non-student population at Duke has been quiet while a) a corrupt DA attempted to send [three innocent students] to jail; and b) a segment of the University’s faculty publicly expressed their absolute disdain for the very students they teach. The hundreds of other teachers at Duke let the Gang of 88 speak for the [Duke]. … It’s not that they [‘the 88”] see anything to apologize for – they simply are not sorry."

Good points all except at least a few of "the 88" now say they would not sign the "social disaster" statement again.

A reader asks: “Why restrict it to the death threats against Reade Seligmann? What about the "Castrate!!" sign (and the other outrages)in front of David Evans' house?”

Reader, I agree with you which is why I’ve posted at least 30 times concerning the “Castrate” banner. Your comment is a good reminder I need to get back to N&O exec news editor Melanie Sill and ask her why she hasn’t responded to an email I sent her asking why last March and April the N&O withheld the news of the “Castrate” banner.

Also, Reader, I hope you visit JinC often and comment often.