Saturday, July 28, 2007

The N&O & "Bullies"

Did you know there are bullies at the N&O?

You can learn more about them, even learn the names of some of them, by reading this Editors' Blog post and its thread.

Back in February, when David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were still under indictment for sexually assaulting and kidnapping a woman the N&O had repeatedly told readers was "the victim," Dan Barkin, an N&O deputy managing editor, told readers:

I'd like to have a conversation with any of you reading this about the future of newsgathering (sic), and how traditional journalists can partner with the folks "formerly known as the audience" -- as some commentators call you -- in reporting on our community
Can you guess what readers wanted to talk to Barkin about? I provide samples in this post as well as some comments by the N&O's executive editor for news, Melanie Sill.

It's Sill who identifies "the bullies."


Comment from: JC [Visitor]
02/13/07 at 15:18

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."- John Adams

At this point, nearly 11 months after the N&O decided to present only PART of what the false accuser said [in your March 25, 2006 "anonymous interview" story], what was arguably just a mistake based on bad judgment or lack of information has blossomed into a full-blown breach of morality. LYING is unacceptable behavior for anyone, [most] of all journalists.

For many months now, the N&O has known that it is concealing the truth, and the N&O has known that such concealment continues to harm innocent persons.
How can you people sleep at night? Have you lost all sense of right and wrong, of truth and lies?

Still waiting,
Jim Curry

(Folks, Jim Curry's post was one of a number of such posts on the thread.

It's typical of many hundreds that other readers, including me and I'm sure some of you, had been posting for months at the Editors' Blog imploring the N&O to be honest and publish the full interview with Mangum rather than the carefully selected portions the N&O published on March 25; and which Nifong began using when he first started speaking publicly about the Duke lacrosse case on March 27.

No doubt all those readers' posts helped contribute to Melanie Sill's upset which you're about to read. - JinC)

Comment from: Melanie Sill [Member] ·
02/14/07 at 15:42


See prior posts on the Duke lacrosse case (25 of 'em so far) and extensive responses to these points. There's nothing to add at this point; our coverage on the lacrosse case continues.

As to your choice of posting this demand over and over, I see this kind of repetition as an attempt to bully us. Many people have tried to bully The N&O into doing things or not doing them over time; it didn't work then and it won't now.


Comment from: sweetmick [Visitor]
02/14/07 at 19:29

You see Melanie, what Jim Curry has done is to inadvertently expose you as a "sham reasoner", guilty of pseudo inquiry.

What you refuse to see about yourself is that your aim throughout all of this was NOT at finding the truth, but at making a case for some conclusion---namely, that they DID it---immovably believed in advance.

You have tried to make a case for the truth of a proposition that your commitment to which is already evidence and proof.

And now that your proposition has been shattered, you still can't let go.

[Your persistent] denial shows the extent to which reasoning and truth are merely "decorative" for you.

By your response to Jim Curry, who is not a bully and has not bullied you, you have shown just how much you have lost your conception of truth and reason. [...]

(Often at the EB when readers question the Deputy Managing Editors they go silent and Melanie steps in and takes over. Thus, EMU's comment. - JinC)

Comment from: EMU [Visitor]
02/15/07 at 20:57

Dan. Dan. Dan. Now where did that “I will respond to posts…” Dan Barkin go?

Melanie’s skirts grow longer with each Duke Lax Hoax comment. Melanie, how many N&O deputy managing editors do you presently have hiding behind your skirts?


As I say, folks, that's only a sample of what's on the thread.

Jim Curry and others on the thread were demanding what some N&O readers began demanding last March: that the N&O disclose the entire contents of the interview it conducted with Crystal Mangum on March 24.

Those readers believed the N&O deliberately withheld critically important information from the story it published the next day.

Their judgement was confirmed on April 12, 2007, the day after NC Attorney General Roy Cooper declared Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann innocent, when the N&O admitted it had withheld for thirteen months Mangum's claims the second dancer was also attacked but didn't report it for fear of losing her job. Also, that Roberts would "do anything for money."


Why do you think there's been so little criticism of the N&O for withholding that critically important information that was so exculpatory for the players?

Can you imagine how hard it would have been for then DA Nifong, Sgt. Gottlieb, Inv. Himan and the rest to try to explain how both women were attacked?

The N&O has said it was under deadline with the March 25 "anonymous interview" story. So why didn't Joe Neff or someone else report on the actual interview a few days or weeks later?

Why did Neff and Samiha Khanna, who worked on the April 12, 2007, story wait thirteen months before reporting news the public had a right to know and that would have been exculpatory for the players?

Does anyone know why the N&O did such a terrible thing?

Does anyone know why we've heard nothing from the N&O's public editor, Ted Vaden, who's supposed to be "the readers watchdog" and who frequently discourses on the N&O's "high standards of journalism ethics?"

Message to Melanie Sill: The people who kept demanding you report the news the N&O withheld from your deliberately fraudulent March 25 "anonymous interview' story aren't bullies. They're readers who only asked for what the N&O should have provided them: THE TRUTH!

If you had, there might never have been the monumental injustices that followed Nifong and the N&O's embrace and peddling of Crystal Mangum's lies.

Question for people who "really liked the N&O's coverage after the first few days:" How do you explain to yourselves why you like the coverage of a newspaper that hid for thirteen months news you should have had, and that was so exculpatory for the players most of you say you always thought were innocent?

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Churchill Series - July 27, 2007

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

The previous three series posts dealt with Churchill response to the problems the Germans' use of delayed-fuse bombs created,and the extraordinary courage of the people, all volunteers, who worked to diffuse the bombs, frequently at the cost of "life and limb."

Three such people who worked as a U. X. B.(unexploded bomb) team were, as Churchill described them, "the Earl of Suffolk, his lady private secretary, and his rather aged chauffeur. They called themselves 'the Holy Trinity' and diffused thirty-four bombs before the thirty-fifth claimed its forfeit. Up went the Earl of Suffolk in his Holy Trinity. But we may be sure that, as for Mr. Valiant-for-Truth, 'all the trumpets sounded for them on the other side.' "

In addition to great courage and sacrifice, "the Holy Trinity" embodied two other things that were essential to Britain's winning the war.

The first was a drastic change in British social practices, particularly class distinctions and privileges. The King and Queen went to their subjects to comfort them after they'd been bombed. "We're all in this together." In the tubes, the Lord would move a bit to make some extra room for the man who clerked at the Home Office. And a seaman just arrived from a dangerous Atlantic crossing had his first tea on land served by the lady who owned the manor house.

The other change was the increased role of women in jobs previously reserved for men. Women worked as ironmongers, drove trams, and took charge of ack-ack batteries (one of those was Churchill's youngest daughter, Mary, now Lady Soames, alert and spry at 87).

Of course, a certain amount of class distinction and gender bias survived the war and exist in Britain now as they do in every society. But they are greatly reduced from pre-war levels and some barriers have been completely destroyed.

At the war's end, few would've believed that within a generation one of Britain's major political parties would, for the first time in the country's history, be led by a woman; or that a few years later she'd become Britain's first woman to serve as Prime Minister. But Margaret Thatcher became PM in 1979.

I hope you all have a nice weekend.

In addition to Winston Churchill's Their Finest Hour (Riverside Press, 1949) (pgs. 360 - 363) information for this post was drawn from Wikipedia's Margaret Thatcher entry and Peter Ziegler's London at War: 1939-1945(Mandarin, 1996)

AJR & N&O's "No Anons" Hoax

In Justice Delayed, her 8,000 word assessment of media coverage of the Duke lacrosse case, Rachel Smolkin, managing editor of the American Journalism Review, failed to mention two of the most critical actions any news organization took with regard to what we know was a vicious hoax that led to monumental injustices fueled by often false, racially inflammatory and, in some cases, deliberately fraudulent media coverage.

One of those critical actions was the Raleigh News & Observer's decision to withhold from readers and the rest of the media the very important news, exculpatory for the players, that during the N&O's interview with the hoaxer, Crystal Mangum, she claimed the second dancer had also been sexually assaulted but didn't report it for fear she'd lose her job.Also, that Mangum had said the second dancer would "do anything for money."

The N&O said nothing about that information in the "anonymous interview" story it ran March 25, 2006, on its front-page:

Dancer gives details of ordeal

A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence
The second critical action Smolkin failed to mention was the N&O's decision to cover up for thirteen months the news it had withheld. The N&O only disclosed what it had done on April 12, 2007, the day after NC Attorney General Roy Cooper declared David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann innocent.

Surely Smolkin understands the seriousness of the N&O's decision not to disclose what Mangum actually said but instead tailor the interview so as to deceive the public and give Nifong a "case" in which he only had to explain how one dancer was raped instead of two.

Surely Smolkin also understands the seriousness of the N&O's decision to then cover up for thirteen months that it had withheld critically important and exculpatory news.

Smolkin must know how much more difficult it would have been for Nifong and his helpers to lie about two dancers being raped instead of one, especially as days before the N&O's March 25 story the second dancer, Kim Roberts, had told police no rape had occured and called Mangum's story "a crock."

On July 17 I posted on the N&O's news suppression, its cover-up and Smolkin's failure to mention either. ( "AJR article's biggest failing?" )

In that post I asked readers how Smolken, a journalist, editor and specialist in the area of journalism ethics could fail to mention the N&O deliberate withholding of exculpatory news and it's thirteen month cover-up.

Now I want to ask another question: why does Smolkin go along with the N&O's bogus claim that it didn't use anonymous sources when reporting the Duke lacrosse case?

Folks, I know you may be saying to yourselves:
"JinC has to be wrong on this one. No way the N&O would claim it didn't use anon sources on the Hoax story. The March 25 "night ending [in] sexual violence" story is based on an anonymous interview.

The N&O ran many Duke lacrosse stories using anonymous sources. Everyone knows that. There was even one story in which the N&O used so many anonymous sources it just described them all as "former classmates and neighbors, friends and family members."

Come to think of it, the N&O even published the anonymous "Vigilante" poster after Duke expressed concerns that doing so would endanger the players.

The N&O says a lot of false things, but JinC can't be right about the N&O claiming not to have used anons on the Hoax stories.

And there's no way the managing editor of the American Journalism Review would go for such a falsehood and pass it on to her readers."
Folks, I don't blame you for saying those things. But just bear with me for a few minutes.

I want to quote from a transcript I made of an audio recording of a National Press Club Newsmakers forum held at the Club on May 22. [you can purchase an audio cassette of the forum from the club by calling the archivist at 202-662-7598. Cost is $20.00 and includes postage. The Club usually ships the same day. Reference the Duke lacrosse forum on May 22]

The person speaking at the forum is N&O investigative reporter Joe Neff:
“One of the things that I think really helped our paper throughout this story is we have a really strict policy against the use of anonymous sources and we did not use a single anonymous source or unnamed source in our – uh – I think as of now we’ve written 541 articles by – with at least 19 different bylines on it and what that (Neff pauses)

It was really frustrating in the initial couple of weeks when it was so competitive and no other newspaper and no other radio or TV station felt compelled to – they were going with 'sources close to the prosecution' or 'we have learned' or 'Nightline has found out' and they would just put stuff out there.

Now some of it we knew because we were told off the record, but we won’t use it, but some of it was absolute nonsense –ah – ah – so it allowed us to get beat on some very small things, but in general by not using anonymous sources, we were really saved – ah – from putting some –ah- some bad stuff in the paper.”
(Moderator moves to another matter)
Now this from Smolkin's Justice Delayed:
[N&O executive editor for news Melanie] Sill's reporters also watched in frustration as national media vied for their sources. "It was a messy story, and the outside media coverage, especially the cable television shows, the presence of every national media outlet here, made it much harder to report," she says. "People we would normally just go interview were having press conferences, or wouldn't talk, or would only talk in a leaking situation." But top editors told the staff that quoting unnamed sources was unacceptable.
Folks, why do many journalists tell readers and listeners things that aren't true?

Why did a talented reporter like Joe Neff go up to the National Press Club and tell other journalists things he knew weren't true?

Why does a journalist such as Smolkin in a journal she edits fail to report and comment concerning the critically important and exculpatory news the N&O withheld last March 25 and its subsequent cover-up?

Why does Smolkin pass on to AJR readers as fact the N&O's bogus "no anons" claim?

There are a number of other major failings in Smolkin's Justice Delayed.

I was planning to hold off contacting her until I'd posted on them.

But I'm going to contact her now and invite her to respond.

I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Churchill Series - July 26, 2007

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

In Their Finest Hour, vol II of his History of World War II, Churchill writes about the threat posed to Britain by the German's use of delayed-fuse bombs; and the character and courage of those who served at extraordinary peril to diffuse the bombs:

These bombs had to be dug out, and exploded or rendered harmless. This was a task of the utmost peril, especially at the beginning, when the means and methods had all to be learned by a series of decisive experiences.

I have already recounted in Volume I the drama of dismantling the magnetic mine, but this form of self-devotion now became commonplace while remaining sublime. I had always taken an interest in the delayed-action fuse, which had first impressed itself on me in 1918, when the Germans had used it on a large scale to deny us the use of the railways by which we planned to advance into Germany. I had urged its use by us both in Norway and in the Kiel Canal.

There is no doubt that it is a most effective agent in warfare, on account of the prolonged uncertainty which it causes. We were now to taste it ourselves. [...]

Special companies were formed in every city, town and district. Volunteers pressed forward for the deadly game. Teams were formed which had good or bad luck. Some survived this phase of our ordeal. Others ran twenty, thirty, or even forty courses before they met their fate.

The unexploded bomb (U. X. B.) detachments presented themselves wherever I went on my tours. Somehow or other their faces seemed different from those of ordinary men, however brave and faithful. They were gaunt, they were haggard, their faces has a bluish look, with bright gleaming eyes and exceptional compression of the lips, withal a perfect demeanour. In writing about our hard times, we are apt to overuse the word "grim." It should have been reserved for the U. X. B. disposal squads.

One squad I remember which may be taken as symbolic of many others. It consisted of three people - the Earl of Suffolk, his lady private secretary, and his rather aged chauffeur. They called themselves "the Holy Trinity." Their prowess and continued existence got around among all who knew. Thirty-four unexploded bombs did they tackle with urbane and smiling efficiency. But the thirty-fifth claimed its forfeit. Up went the Earl of Suffolk in his Holy Trinity. But we may be sure that, as for Mr. Valiant-for-Truth, "all the trumpets sounded for them on the other side." (pg. 260-263)
It is always a wonder to me where people find such courage.

Tomorrow I'll end the four-part Churchill and U.X.B. series with a discussion of some unintended consequences of the German's use of the delayed-fuse bombs and a few comments about contemporary society.

Small Tech's & Outsourcing

Business Week columnist Vivek Wadhwa wants to tell us "Why Small Tech Companies Aren't Outsourcing." He says:

A common misconception is that today's outsourcing trend was driven by the tech industry. Even The Wall Street Journal ran a recent front-page article saying that Silicon Valley had helped power India's outsourcing boom by shifting sophisticated technology jobs there.

While the industry does indeed outsource, it has had a minimal impact on the trend as a whole, according to new research. The leading outsourcers have actually been large corporations such as General Electric (GE), Citibank (C), and American Express (AXP). Many of them sent abroad their IT systems, which are different from the innovative software products that tech companies develop.

In fact, few tech companies outsource core product development, because it just isn't practical to send this type of innovation offshore. Most are small or midsize businesses and can't achieve the economies of scale that larger businesses stand to gain from outsourcing.

The tech industry has never made up more than 15% of the outsourcing market, says Carnegie Mellon University professor Ashish Arora, who has researched outsourcing extensively. Banking, finance, and insurance account for about 40%, followed by telecom (17%), and manufacturing (12%). Arora includes the product development that companies such as Microsoft (MSFT), Adobe (ADBE.O), and Cisco (CSCO.O) perform in their offshore locations in his estimates.

New research by Columbia University professor Amar Bhide helps explain why tech companies don't outsource core product development.

Bhide interviewed the CEOs of 106 tech companies and concluded that the problems with outsourcing innovation greatly outweigh the advantages. His report, set to be released on July 20 at the Kauffman-Planck Summit on Entrepreneurial Research in Dana Point, Calif., suggests fears of outsourcing in the tech industry are greatly exaggerated.
The rest of Wadhwa's column is here.

Folks, I can't bring much first-hand experience to what Wadhwa says but I've been impressed by his obvious expertise in the areas he writes about.

He's saying things we don't often read in our newspapers or hear on the evening news.

I think Wadhwa's worth following, especially for those of you in the tech field.

Nifong's Apology: Some Thoughts (Post 1)

At a court hearing today to rule on procedural motions concerning criminal contempt charges he lied to the court, Mike Nifong said he wanted to "sincerely apologize to Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty, Mr. Evans and to their families."

His apology included this:

I have read the report released by the attorney general, including his recitation of evidence that I did not have, obtained from his own investigation. I agree with the attorney general’s statement that there is no credible evidence that Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans committed any of the crimes for which they were indicted or any other crimes during the party that occurred on March 13 and 14 of 2006 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.

Mr. Seligmann, Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Evans were entitled to the presumption of innocence when they were under indictment. Surely, they are entitled to more than that now as they go forward with the rest of their lives. And that is what the attorney general tried to give them in his declaration that they are innocent.
I'm sure Nifong's statement lessened somewhat the awful burdens he placed on David Evans, Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and their families.

For that, I'm glad.

But I'm cautious, too.

Is Nifong's apology today his first step in a process in which he'll promptly and fully disclose what he did to wrongly indict the three young men?

Is he ready to tell us how he subsequently worked for more than a year with certain Durham police officers and their supervisors to cover up their attempted frame-up?

Is Nifong ready to tell us not only what he did but who helped him and what they did?

If his apology is meant to be a first step in a full disclosure process, then Nifong has my admiration for stepping forward and at last starting to be honest with his victims - the three indicted players and their families most of all, the other players and their families who were trashed and endangered, the Durham community and the NC justice system.

On the other hand, what Nifong did today may be part of a calculated "time to move on, forget and forgive" strategy.

If that's the case, while I feel his acknowledgment of the players' innocence has value, we still must deal with a man who's working to deceive us in order to avoid both fully admitting what he did and the just consequences of his actions.

And let no one minimize the seriousness of Nifong's actions.

He used police officers, police investigative powers, the resources of the state and his own prosecutorial powers to indict, arrest and attempt to put in jail people who'd committed no crimes.

That's exactly how a police state works, except in police states no one dares to step forward as happened in the Hoax case, when decent people challenged Nifong, the police and their enablers in the media and at Duke University.

I'll post more on this tonight or tomorrow.

A thank you to KC Johnson for posting Nifong's apology in full.


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

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

I've just sent the following email to N&O Reporter Anne Blythe, one of two reporters bylined on the Raleigh News & Observer's deliberatly fraudulent March 25, 2006, "anonymous interview" story,

Dancer gives details of ordeal
A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.
That story reported "the victim's" claims that racial slurs were "barked" at her and the other danser before she was brutally beaten and gang-raped. The N&O also withheld from the story the critically important exculpatory news "the victim" said the second dancer had been sexually assaulted but didn't report it for fear of losing her job.


Dear Reporter Blythe:

Your story today, "Nifong apologizes to lacrosse players," includes this:
Defense lawyers have said the players scattered in the wee hours of the morning after the team party because the second escort service dancer threatened to call police about racial slurs uttered by partygoers.
I'm not aware of the defense attorneys saying any such thing.

Can you show me where they did?

If you can't, will you correct your story?

I'll publish your response in full.

Also, you and the N&O claim you reported in your March 25 story only things "the victim" said that were in "a police report."

You've never ID'ed which police report you used. Your March 25 story reported "the victim" saying things that are in no police report made public so far.

Did you really restrict what you reported Crystal Mangum said to what was in a police report? Or did you not?

If you really did use a police report, make it available. I'll publish that in full. People want to see it.

Thank you for your attention to my queries.


John in Carolina

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Churchill Series - July 25, 2006

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

The Winter (97/98) edition of Finest Hour, The Churchill Centre's quarterly, contains an outstanding article by it's then editor, Ron Cynewulf Robbins. Robbins' article, "Unswerving Resolution, Glinting Intellect," includes condiserable information about Churchill's and Britain's responses to the German's use of delayed-fuse bombs. [excerpts]:

At the onset of the Blitz [,Churchill] instantly perceived hidden dangers in the podgy below-normal-size bombs suddenly augmenting the terrorizing of London. Nose down, scores of them lay partially buried and he was convinced they had not gone off because they possessed a secret feature: delayed-action fuses.

His fears arose from his recollection of Germany's use of that type fuse during the previous conflict. Surely, he thought, the passing years had been marked by a startling advance in design? Subsequent events proved he was right.

As soon as the apparent "duds" were dropped, he injected his famous sense of urgency into the military machine. He insisted that the UXBs (short for unexploded bombs) must be dealt with rapidly. They were clustered at railway junctions. Traffic was piling up. Invasion loomed and lines to the south coast were imperative for men and material needed to repel an already mightily triumphant army poised in France, barely twenty miles from English shores.

The UXBs had triple objectives: to kill, demoralize the population, and disrupt vital production. The Germans, exploiting surreptitious pre-war mapping of strategically important factories and other essential facilities, were cunningly selecting targets: first London, then the rest of the country.

Spurred on by Churchill, the army organized bomb disposal squads with great expediency. The chief recruits were from the Royal Engineers, whose courage adorns British history. Their task wracked the nerves and wore down the strongest physique.

They worked steadfastly, even though they realized only the luckiest among those carrying out the final act of defusing would survive longer than just over a couple of months without being maimed or killed.

Sometimes Londoners, trapped beneath a bomb, clung desperately to life for long hours before soldiers could render the fuse harmless and haul them gently to safety. The plight of children was especially harrowing.

Churchill always met and thanked UXB squads when he toured bombed areas. He was deeply moved by their pallid cheeks and the strain etched on youthful brows. Throughout the war he did not encounter more haggard looks.

Despite what they had endured, their greetings were heartwarming, their loyalty firm and true. He commented: "Somehow or other their faces seemed different from those of ordinary men, however brave or faithful." Yet, he saw courage continued to shine in their eyes.

From the start of the UXB crisis, Churchill had pressed hard for the best possible equipment. Typically, he investigated what the United States might have available.

Inevitably, initial training for the squads was meager and the tools elementary. Royal Air Force personnel gave demonstrations of exactly how fuses manufactured in Britain were put together. Usually there were no more than half a dozen or so men in a team carefully shifting bombs to an open space where, to begin with, block and tackle, hammers and chisels were the sole equipment for defusion.

Removal of the deadly middle mechanism was a chore reserved for officers. The learning process demanded unflinching sacrifice. In the last four months of 1940 there were 125 deaths.

Six months was the limit for membership of the squads. However, the same soldiers kept extending their period of duty. Some heroes volunteered forty times in succession before death claimed them.

There were encouraging signs that the British were proving too clever for their opponents. The knack of teasing out a fuse after undoing the locking ring was quickly acquired.

The Germans now threw down a bigger challenge, with an infinitely more dangerous spring detonator. British science solved this problem too. Since the explosive was soluble, it was decided to steam it out, rendering the fuse ineffective. [...]

[Churchill's] marshalling of British brainpower and technocrats stands for all time as the achievement of a master mind. Added to this was his gift of inspiring himself and others to almost super-human endeavours. Inventions and daring enterprises were brought to swift completion; the will to win was marvelously served by instruments forged for victory with unparalleled resourcefulness.
When I think back on the people who volunteered for UXB work, I always admire their courage and ask myself where their sense of self-sacrifice came from. We owe the UXB people and others who sacrificed during WW II so much.

Tomorrow we continue the series on Churchill and the delayed-fuse bombs

What Dems Have Wrought

There was a time when, if you had to testify before a United States Senate committee, you could be sure of at least one thing: you'd testify in a setting free of harassment from visitors seated behind you.

That was true even when the majority party members controlling hearings were hostile to you and were them to skewer you rather than seek information.

Even when the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy was abusing witnesses, he made sure the audience didn't pile on.

During Judge Robert Bork's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and as recently as Justice Samual Alito's hearings, liberals and leftists in the audiences knew that when Sen. Teddy Kennedy engaged in gross witness abuse, they couldn't shout and cheer him on or they'd be ejected from the hearing room.

When Clinton's Housing Secretary, Henry Cisneros, testified before a Senate committee about a hush money scheme to silence his mistress, the Republican's controlling the hearings made sure the audience remained silent despite the outrageous criminal behavior Cisneros was testifying about. (He was later indicted and convicted, after which Clinton gave him a presidential pardon which drew no criticism from Democratic Party office holders and journalists)

Now, with the Democrats in charge of Senate hearings we read in the Raleigh N&O :

"Liar! Liar!" screamed onlookers as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I don't trust you," Sen. Patrick Leahy D-Vt., the committee chairman, told the nation's top law enforcement official.

"Mr. Attorney General, do you expect us to believe that?" an incredulous Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the senior member of his party on the committee, shot back after a Gonzales explanation.

In a tense political drama -- punctuated by boos and hisses from an audience filled with members of the liberal protest group Code Pink -- the credibility and competence of the head of the Justice Department was challenged by senators who hinted at possible perjury charges as they pointedly warned Gonzales to carefully review his testimony and submit corrections if warranted. [...]
Let the Senators grill Gonzales. If some of them think he's committed perjury, let them follow the law and do what's right.

But they shouldn't let Code Pink and other Democratic Party interest groups engage in witness abuse. That stuff is part of how a police state works. It doesn't belong in America.

Is it too much to ask one of the Democratic Party newspapers such as the NY or LA Times to remind their political allies of that?

Excusing Brodhead Hurts Duke

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

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
By now who doubts that following Crystal Mangum's vicious lies about white male Duke students who played on the school's lacrosse team, Duke's administration and some faculty acted in ways that gave credence to Mangum's lies and endangered the students ?

If you're still a doubter, talk to Duke trustees who've already quickly settled five lawsuits on condition that in exchange for money to partially offset the harm Duke did them, the litigants (the former lacrosse coach and four of the players) say nothing publicly about the settlements other than that they're satisfied with the settlements.

And we're told there are more lawsuits to come.

Even Dick Brodhead, the University's President, doesn't really defend what he and the University did. He says nothing about his refusal last Spring to meet with the lacrosse parents. He's never explained why, following consultation with some trustees, senior administrators and senior faculty, he's been silent since racists who flaunt that they carry firearms shouted threats, including death threats, at Reade Seligmann last May 18, outside and within the Durham County Courthouse.

When Brodhead does mention Duke's response to Mangum's lies and the Nifong led frame-up attempt and on-going cover-up, he mostly offers whines and excuses as when he famously told the late Ed Bradley last October "the facts kept changing."

Duke's trustees have sponsored a national "Dinner with Dick" tour aimed at convincing alums and others of two things. The facts "really, really" did change. And we all need to "look to the future."

This Duke alum wishes the trustees would stop trying to prop up Brodhead. They need to seek and find a new president who doesn't believe "facts [keep] changing".

Duke's next President must be someone who embraces and cherishes America and its system of justice. Duke should never again have a President who endorses the idea that the accused must prove their innocence at trial. That concept is for police states.

It's not hard to identify people who use facts to reason and accept and cherish the American system of justice.

Just look at what scholar and columnist Thomas Sowell wrote on April 25, 2006, exactly one month after the Raleigh N&O published its deliberately fraudulent "anonymous interview" story about a night of "sexual violence."

See if you can find even one factual error or erroneous conclusion in Sowell's column. Or anything that smacks of the Left's contempt for American values:

People who were not within 1,000 miles of Duke University have already taken sides in the case of a stripper who has accused Duke lacrosse players of rape.

One TV talk show hostess went ballistic when a guest on her program raised questions about the stripper's version of what happened.

Apparently we dare not question accusations of rape when it involves the new sacred trinity of race, class, and gender.

Media irresponsibility is one thing. Irresponsibility by an agent of the law is something else -- and much more dangerous. Prosecutors are not just supposed to prosecute. They are supposed to prosecute the right people in the right way. In this case, prosecutor Michael Nifong has proceeded in the wrong way.

Having an accuser or a witness pick out the accused from a lineup is standard procedure. That procedure not only serves to identify someone to be charged with a crime, it also tests the credibility of the accuser or witness -- or it should, if the lineup is not stacked.

A lineup should include not only people suspected of a crime but also other people, so that it tests whether the accuser or witness can tell the difference, and is therefore credible. But the stripper who claimed to have been raped by members of the Duke lacrosse team was presented with a lineup consisting exclusively of photographs of members of the lacrosse team.

In other words, whoever she picked out had to be a lacrosse player and would be targeted, with no test whatever of her credibility, because there was no chance for her to pick out somebody who had no connection with the team or the university. Apparently District Attorney Nifong was no more wiling to test the accuser's credibility than was the TV talk show hostess who went ballistic, though credibility is often crucial in rape cases.

Mr. Nifong went public with his having DNA evidence collected. Then, after the DNA failed to match that of the accused, the students were arrested anyway and their bail was set at $400,000 -- in a community where a youth accused of murder had bail set at $50,000.

When a prosecutor acts like he has made up his mind and doesn't want to be confused by the facts, that is when the spirit of the lynch mob has entered the legal system. When this happens on the eve of an election for the prosecutor, it looks even uglier.

If the young men accused of rape are in fact guilty, they need to be proved guilty because they are guilty, not because an election is coming up or there is racial hype in the media or a legally stacked deck. More important, we need to know that the rule of law is there for all of us, regardless of who we are or who our accuser might be.

Even beyond this case, we are increasingly becoming a society in which some people are allowed to impose high costs on other people at little or no cost to themselves. This sets the stage for extortion, not only of money but also of legal plea-bargains extorted by ambitious prosecutors.

The stripper, for example, does not even pay the price of having her name known, while the names and pictures of the accused young men are all over the media. Even if they are acquitted, or the charges thrown out of court, this case will follow them and they will be under a cloud for the rest of their lives.

Mr. Nifong has said that he has a third person whom he may indict. If so, he has already demonstrated to that third person what he can do by disgracing the other two and putting a heavy financial burden on their families for bail and lawyers. If that third person cannot stand the disgrace or his family cannot afford the expense, that is leverage for getting him to say whatever the prosecutor wants him to say.

This case presents opportunities as well as pressures. Race hustlers are having a field day, including the inevitable Jesse Jackson.

A fellow stripper who was at the same party sees in this an opportunity -- in her own words -- to "spin this to my advantage."

The biggest opportunity that this case presents is for District Attorney Michael Nifong to win his election, even if the case falls apart later and the law is cheapened by all this.
Thomas Sowell gave us that column - a wise and compassionate public service affirming what America strives to be - seven days after Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were indicted and a year before they, along with David Evans, were declared innocent by the NC Attorney General who called Nifong a rogue prosecutor.

For all but a few months of that year, Dick Brodhead went along with the rogue prosecutor's plans. Brodhead wanted to see the three young men stand trial where he said they'd have a chance to be "proved innocent." During his "Dinner with Dick" talks and at other times since he's assured people he's one of Nifong's critics.

Duke's BOT Chair, Robert Steel, keeps telling people that all the trustees support what Brodhead and other senior Duke administrators have done and not done in response to Mangum lies.

That, if true, is bad for Duke.

The University deserves better than Brodhead's whines. It should have a President who can take facts and reason as Thomas Sowell did in his April 2006 column titled: "Law or Lynch Law"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Churchill Series - July 24, 2007

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

Today we begin a four-part series concerning Britan's response to Germany's use during WW II of delayed-action bombs.

In Their Finest Hour Churchill records:

In the middle of September, a new and damaging form of attack was used against us. Large numbers of delayed-action bombs were now widely and plentifully cast upon up and became an awkward problem. Long stretches of railway line, important junctions, the approaches to vital factories , airfields, main thoroughfares had scores of times to be blocked off and denied to us in our need.

These bombs had to be dug out and exploded or rendered harmless. This was a task of the utmost peril, especially at the beginning, when the means and methods had all to be learned by a seriess of decisive experiences

I have already recounted in Volume I the drama of dismantling the magnetic mine, but this form of self-devotion now became commonplace while remaining sublime.
The Germans had first began using delayed-action fuses during WW I and the British quickly countered in kind.

At the outbreak of WW II, Churchill advocated dropping mines with delayed-action fuses into Germany's vital and heavily trafficked Kiel Canal, something he mentions in Their Finest Hour.

Tomorrow - How Britain set about reducing the problems presented by delayed-fuse bombs.
Winston S. Churchill, Their Finest Hour. (The Riverside Press, 1949) (pgs. 360-361)

"Comment Verification" Is Turned Off

For some months, "comment verification" has been a problem for many of you.

For the last three days, it hasn't worked at all.

Blogger, never very good with tech support in the past, hasn't been very good in this case, either.

But Blogger has assured me its put new "screens" in place that will take care of most of the problems "comment verification" is meant to eliminate.

We'll see.

In the meantime, I've turned off "comment verification."

I hope that helps you.

Reader comments on the threads here add a great deal to the posts, and often take them to a more informed and reflective level.


Duke's Moneta: "Nothing To Add." Really?

Larry Moneta is Duke's Vice President for Student Affairs.

According to Durham Police Investigator Benjamin Himan, one of two principal DPD investigators in the Duke lacrosse case, he interviewed Moneta on Apr. 20, 2006 at a police station at Northgage Mall, located about 10 minutes from Moneta's office.

Here are Himan's notes of the meeting as published at Liestoppers:

4/20/06 1303hrs - Met with Larry Moneta at Station 2. Mr. Moneta stated that he had been with Duke at his position for the past five years. He stated that he was first contacted by sue while he was in Naples, Florida he stated the date of the 25th but after a moment stated his dates were wrong and that he was contacted the 15th by Sue Woselak. He stated that he was informed of the incident but from sue that it was not a credible report from the stand point of the sexual assault accusation. He stated that he told her to notify john burness the senior vice president of community affairs. He stated that he also met with the parents when Mr. Alleva had the meeting with the parents. Mr. Moneta stated he had nothing to add in reference to anything involving this case.
CAUTION: Everything that appears in Himan's notes may not be true. (But you already knew that)

Well, OK, how about this caution? Any part of Himan's notes may be incomplete, with significant information omitted.

I think that's the case with Himan's notes of his interview with Moneta.

According to Himan's notes, all Moneta said worth notiing was:
On March 15 he was called by Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek who told him of the allegations. He told her to call Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations John Burness.

On March 25 Moneta attended a meeting Athletic Director Joe Alleva had with the lacrosse parents.

And on April 20 Moneta said he had nothing to add in reference to anything involving this case.
Gee, did Moneta really have to travel over to Northgate Mall if that's all they were going to talk about?

Couldn't he have told Himan all of that in a two or three minute phone call?

And why didn't Himan ask Moneta what Wasiolek said to him? Or what Moneta told Wasiolek to say to Burness?

And so many other questions?

By April 20, two Duke students had been indicted. Nifong and DPD were saying they were looking to indict one more. There were all the issues of the alleged stonewalling, the alleged racial slurs, access to student records protected by federal law, access to student dorms, "Wanted" and "Vigilante" posters that were circulated on campus, and much more.

But all Himan and Moneta talked about worth noting on April 20 are in Himan's notes?

You don't believe it, do you?

I don't either.

Himan's notes of his meeting with Moneta are most useful as a reminder that we have a very long way to go before we understand the "who did what and why" of first, the attempted frame-up, and then, the still on-going cover-up.

Thanks, Liestoppers, for posting Himan's notes.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Churchill Series - July 23, 2007

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

In last Friday's post I said I'd post further today concerning Churchill's attitude - really hatred - toward the Bolsheviks and Communists.

In August 1929 Churchill sailed to Canada along with his brother and their two sons. Also on board was Leopold (Leo) Amery.

Churchill and Amery were schoolmates at Harrow and had served together in Parliament. In the 30s they were part of the small group of Commons members who opposed the government's policy of attempting to appease Hitler. During WW II Amery served in Churchill's Cabinet.

On the ocean crossing the two got to talking about the existence of God. As recorded by Amery in his diary, Churchill told him he believed in God and that one reason for his belief "was the existence of Lenin and Trotsky, for whom a hell was needed."

Historian Martin Gilbert provides background for this post and Amery's diary quote in In Search of Churchill: A Historian's Journey (John Wiley & Sons, 1994. (p. 227)

Nifong & Duke's FERPA Fake

If you haven't already done so, please read this JinC post: “Duke FERPA Fakes.” It provides necessary background information for what follows.

Now excerpts from a letter University of Maryland Law School Professor Jason Trumpbour, a graduate of Duke Law School, posted at the Friends of Duke University main page:

[…] I want to call attention to some disturbing information brought to light by the folks at LieStoppers concerning Duke.

If you will recall, last May Mike Nifong requested the court issue a subpoena to Duke University to provide records of card key activity by all members of the Duke lacrosse team and also provide their home addresses.

This information is protected by a federal statute called the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act and cannot be disclosed without a showing of need. Nifong’s request was patently overbroad, but Duke University refused to challenge it.

Instead, Duke told the lacrosse players that it would comply with the request and that, if they did not like it, they could do something about it themselves. Attorneys for the lacrosse players challenged the request on their own and a hearing was held in July.

The judge then handling the case, Kenneth Titus denied the request.

It turns out that Nifong’s request was a complete fraud on the court because, as LieSoppers discovered, Duke University had already turned these records over to police months earlier in March, evidently in violation of FERPA. (emphasis added)

This new information is disturbing as it relates to Duke on several levels.

First, the Duke administration chose to supply personal information about its students to a manifestly unethical and corrupt district attorney in connection with a politically motivated investigation.

Do not be fooled by the administration’s story that they did not know what to believe or that they instinctively trust public officials. Duke had been told by the police that the case was bogus and the file would likely be closed after the police had interviewed that alleged victim. […]

Second, the principle beneficiary of this bit of theater would not have been Mike Nifong. He already had indictments against three defendants and he could have subpoenaed their records with no difficulty.

Nifong had no need to use the records of the other players at trial, because his position at that point in time was that they had been exculpated by the April 4 lineup. Nor would there have likely been any repercussions for him or the police for merely soliciting a violation of FERPA.

The real beneficiary would seem to be Duke University because it would provide a legal fig leaf to cover its apparent violation of federal law.

Worse, Nifong’s apparent willingness to cover for Duke shows that Duke, through its own misconduct, had found itself entangled in Nifong’s malicious prosecution to the point that its interests had started to overlap with those of Nifong. […]

Finally, and probably most disturbing of all, this surreptitious leak of private information occurred at a time when Duke was pretending to support the players, had encouraged them to talk to Duke officials citing a totally fictitious student/teacher privilege and had even hired a local attorney who they offered to the players in an ambiguous relationship meant to approximate that of a defense attorney.

Now we see what kind of “help” Duke was providing the players. No person truly acting in the role of defense counsel would have volunteered this information without a subpeona.

For those who insisted that [Friends of Duke University’s] criticism of the Duke administration for its lack of public support for its falsely accused students was unfair because Duke was probably concerned about its students and was probably working behind the scenes to help them, guess again. […]
There’s much more to Trumpbour’s letter before he ends with:
It is impossible to defend the administration’s motives in violating FERPA as somehow a well intentioned attempt to further the cause of justice as it understood it to be at the time. If the administration had truly been committed to justice, it would have pursed it without regard to where it might take them and which side it might be found to lay.

Yet, when the time came for speaking up for the due process rights of its students, the administration was silent and remained silent until late December.

No, there was never any commitment by the administration to seeing justice done in the lacrosse case at least through December and certainly not in March.

In the absence of such a commitment, there was only self interest and playing favorites.
A few thoughts: If you’re a justice-seeker who’s followed the Duke Hoax from the beginning, you know Trumpbour has tremendous credibility.

Like Duke Law Professor James Coleman, Trumpbour spoke out early against the travesties the now disbarred Nifong and certain DPD officers and their superiors engaged in. He was even singled out by Nifong for personal attacks, a “badge of honor” Trumpbour “earned” and I’m sure cherishes.

I hope you read Trumpbour’s entire letter here and Liestoppers’ post here.

Brief post w. lots of info

At Right Angles Jon Ham notes “it’s amazing how and when race can and can’t be used these days.”

He provides examples.

Give him a look.

INNOCENT: "If only" letters (Post 1)

Remember the letter the racist Professor Houston Baker, then at Duke, now at Vanderbilt, wrote last March endorsing the lies Crystal Mangum and Mike Nifong were telling about white male students at Duke who played on the school’s lacrosse team?

After reading Baker’s letter Dick Brodhead, Duke’s President, calculated it was in his best interests to say nothing critical of Baker while reckless member of the media and Duke’s faculty, echoing Baker, trashed and endangered the students with racially inflammatory mob cries.

But Duke’s Provost, Peter Lange, did respond. He told Baker he was "disappointed, saddened and appalled" by his letter which Lange termed a “form of prejudice.”

With that as background, KC Johnson recently told readers at Durham-in-Wonderland:

Below is a copy of the open letter penned by Baker on March 29, 2006—but with one modification. Every mention of “white” in the letter is replaced with “black”; every mention of “black” is replaced with “white.” I have put the modifications in bold so they are clear.
KC's "slightly modified" letter is here.

With what KC did in mind, I’ve decided to take actual letters published in the Raleigh N&O and Bob Ashley’s Durham H- S and do the following:

1) --- post the letters exactly as they appear in the papers’ achieves but change the names, home towns and tags identifying the writers;

2) --- at the end of the post identify the actual letter writers and their home towns.

3) --- offer brief commentary about “the writers” to whom I facetiously attributed the letters.

Let's begin - - -

On April 20, 2006, four days after the Raleigh News & Observer published a front-page story telling readers the accuser was a “petite, soft-spoken” woman who’d earned an “A” in a “hard course” at NC Central; and three days after Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were handcuffed and taken to jail, the following letters appeared in the N&O:
I have no idea whether or not the Duke lacrosse players are guilty. What I do know are their names, ages, where they are from, what they look like and what people who know them think about them. I've seen pictures of the homes in which they grew up. I know about their education at Duke and what numbers they wear on their jerseys.

What I do not know is the name of the accuser.

Why is this fair?

Women who are victims of rape are repeatedly told they have nothing to be ashamed of, but yet it is your newspaper's policy not to identify them.

I know of young men who have been falsely accused of rape and it's not fair that their names and addresses are published in the paper. Don't tell me it's to protect the safety of the accuser.

For all we know, the arrested players may not be guilty of the crimes in which they are charged.

If they are indeed found innocent and these charges turn out to be a big lie, what does that mean for men whose reputations have been permanently, publicly ruined while the accuser gets to hide behind contradictory newspaper policies?

What an absolute mess!

Diane Catotti
Durham, NC

The writer is a member of the progressive Durham’s Peoples Alliance and an outspoken supporter of DA Mike Nifong


It is ridiculous that so many people in Durham think that the Duke lacrosse case is "typical" of "rich white/poor black" relations in this area.

If these men are guilty of the crime, they deserve prison, but let's not kid ourselves that rampaging elite college students is the problem that Durham faces.

Young black women are much more likely to be the victim of a violent crime at the hands of another black person, according to statistics.

Durham should not be distracted from resolving its horrifying gang issues by resorting to cheap race-baiting and uninformed exaggerations.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
Goldsboro, NC

Rev. Barber, a graduate of Duke’s Divinity School, is state president of the NAACP.


OK, folks, now who were the real letter writers?

Sarah McDade of Raleigh is listed for the first letter; Dave Sims of Raleigh for the second.

I tip my hat to both. They spoke up for good sense and civic values.

If only Diane Catotti, William Barber and other people in leadership positions at Duke and in Durham and North Carolina had done that last April. They could have helped prevent a lot of the harm done to individuals and our community. Instead, they contributed to the harm.

Catotti and Barber can still help improve things, but they'll first have to give up their prejudices.

I always hope but I'm not holding my breath.

You can read more about Catotti here and Barber here.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Al-Qaeda defeats & the Dems: where’s the N&O?

The Times of London is reporting what bloggers in touch with Iraqis and our troops there have been reporting for weeks: al-Qaeda’s been hurt and is losing popular support.

It’s happening despite the efforts of Democrats here and al-Qaeda there to do all they can to bring about the shared al-Qaeda-Democratic Party goal of withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Who would've believed six months ago such a thing could be happening?

From the Times of London:

Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a person’s face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood.

The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.

“They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace,” said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area.
Reconciliation and peace in Iraq? That wouldn’t be good for the Democrats, would it?

Even some progress in Iraq won't be good for Dems.

We read on:
The sewage-filled streets of Doura, a Sunni Arab enclave in south Baghdad, provide an ugly setting for what US commanders say is al-Qaeda’s last stronghold in the city.

The secretive group, however, appears to be losing its grip as a “surge” of US troops in the neighbourhood – part of the latest effort by President Bush to end the chaos in Iraq – has resulted in scores of fighters being killed, captured or forced to flee.

“Al-Qaeda’s days are numbered and right now he is scrambling,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Michael, who commands a battalion of 700 troops in Doura.
Why aren’t we reading in liberal/leftist newspapers such as the Raleigh News & Observer more about American and allied successes in Iraq?

Why do we instead read so much from people like Democratic Senator Harry Reid?

I think faithful N&O subscribers who pay good money for “news” will be surprised to learn what the Times says next:
A key factor is that local people and members of al-Qaeda itself have become sickened by the violence and are starting to rebel, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael said. “The people have got to deny them sanctuary and that is exactly what is happening.”

Al-Qaeda informants comprise largely members of the Doura network who found themselves either working with the group after the US-led invasion in March 2003, or signed up to earn extra cash because there were no other jobs going.

Disgusted at the attacks and intimidation techniques used on friends, neighbours and even relatives, they are now increasingly looking for a way out, US officers say.

“It is only after al-Qaeda has become truly barbaric and done things like, to teach lessons to people, cut their face off with piano wire in front of their family and then murdered everybody except one child who told the tale afterwards . . . that people realize how much of a mess they are in,” Lieutenant James Danly, 31, who works on military intelligence in Doura, said.
I don’t see much of what we’ve just read in the N&O or other liberal/leftist newspapers.

Why not?

I think it’s because nothing we’ve just read is part of the Democratic National Committee’s talking points.

What do you think?

BTW – What happened to Senator Joe Lieberman?

It was just a few years ago that the N&O and the rest of the Democratic Party MSM told us he should be America’s next Vice President.

Now we hear almost nothing about him.

It's because he doesn't shill the DNC's Iraq talking points, isn't it?

The entire Times article is here.


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

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

On April 17, 2006, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, at the time students in good standing at Duke University, were indicted for rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping by a Durham grand jury.

The indictments were part of an elaborate frame-up directed by then Durham DA Mike Nifong with considerable assistance from certain Durham police officers and their supervisors.

The following day Duke University’s news service issued a press release headed:

Statement from Larry Moneta on Status of Indicted Students
Moneta’s statement read:
Two Duke University students have been indicted by a grand jury investigating allegations of sexual assault against a Durham woman. The university is prohibited under federal privacy regulations from releasing information regarding student disciplinary matters.

(For more information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act -- FERPA --

Historically, it has been the university’s practice to issue an interim suspension when a student is charged with a felony or when the student’s presence on the campus may create an unsafe situation.
The press release included a “Note to editors” identifying Moneta as “vice president for student affairs.”

Folks, you know when we play games we often do fakes, making it appear we’re doing one thing when we’re really doing something else. Baseball has its “hidden ball” trick. Football quarterbacks routinely fake a handoff to a back running into the line before throwing a pass down the field.

I’ll bet many of you already know where I’m heading. You're right.

Last April 18 Moneta and Duke did a FERPA fake: “The university is prohibited under federal privacy regulations from releasing ….” They even included the internet address where the editors could reference FERPA. Talk about slick faking.

Then Duke “threw the pass” to the editors: “Historically, it has been the university’s practice to issue an interim suspension ….”

Duke even gave the editors "quarterback" Moneta's name and title so they could report them along with Duke’s FERPA fake and de facto public disclosure the University was suspending Finnerty and Seligmann.

That Duke fake was pretty skunky, even for a university headed by President Brodhead and BOT Chairman Steel.

But now let’s look at a much more deceptive and very likely illegal Duke FERPA fake.

Liestoppers recently reported [excerpt]:
It appears that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) protected key card records of Duke University students which District Attorney Mike Nifong sought by subpoena 0n May 31, 2006 were actually provided to the Durham Police Department, and in turn to the ex-DA, on March 31, 2006. . . .

A review of the case notes and State Bar deposition of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb reveals that the private key card records were obtained from Duke University without a court order and in violation of FERPA. (emphasis JinC’s)

Gottlieb's deposition also reveals that the information provided illegally by Duke University contributed to the indictment of Collin Finnerty while leading directly to the indictment of Reade Seligmann.

The key card date, illegally obtained and purposefully misconstrued by Sgt. Gottlieb, offered the only "corroboration" presented to the Grand Jury of Seligmann's presence at the scene of the imagined crimes.
Liestoppers’ post is based on impressive documentation for which links are provided. I hope you read the post if you haven't already done so.

Message to Duke alums and others who contribute financially to the University: Please consider holding off on your financial giving until you’re satisfied Duke has explained its FERPA fakes.

In the meantime, why not give Duke as much encouragement as you can to change so much that is obviously wrong at the University?

When you're contacted by the Annual Fund or a trustee who’s looking for a major gift, why not first give links to the Liestoppers FERPA post and some of KC Johnson’s posts exposing some of Duke’s ideologically-driven and academically inept faculty members (See examples here, here and here )?

If you give Duke such links, please be generous.

Duke needs to answer the questions such links pose, and correct the numerous and critically important problems they expose.

How can Duke be Duke if it doesn’t?