Late Morning Links

Friday, May 4th, 2012

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46 Responses to “Late Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Greg Beaman | 

    This “war on journalists” sounds like a good reason to give journalists arrest powers so they can protect themselves. They should probably get a few tanks, as well, just to be safe.

  2. #2 |  Irving Washington | 

    The Bush Administration’s treatment of prisoners was abominable, and Yoo should probably feel ashamed to be associated with it, but people calling for him to be disbarred or otherwise punished for giving legal advice are out of their damn minds.

  3. #3 |  John Thacker | 

    This story from Colwyn, Pennsylvania is crazy. Also note that the mayor tried to do the right thing and suspend the brutalizing cops, but his political rival (head of the borough council) reinstated the brutal cops and suspended the whistleblowing cop, of course.

    The mayor instituted a state of emergency and re-suspended the accused cops, but then the borough council met and ended the state of emergency, and re-reinstated the cop.

  4. #4 |  Mattocracy | 

    At first, I thought that said return of The Clash.

  5. #5 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    My answer to the Tree Drinking panic pimps? “Think of it as evolution in action.”

  6. #6 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    Changing my screen name!

  7. #7 |  Mike | 

    Can the drunk tree kids use the aerosol sprayers and sober up before they hit the ground?

  8. #8 |  all day every day | 

    concerning Kenneth Chamberlain-

    so the “turnaround time” from:
    we are here to help you
    now you’re dead

    is about an hour

  9. #9 |  Amazed | 

    Does this mean the Feds will outlaw trees and cut them all down? You may think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I fully expect some idiot congressman to propose it. And failing that, some idiot mid-level bureaucrat in any one of a half a dozen Federal departments to propose 2 or 3,000 new administrative rules.

  10. #10 |  Aaron | 

    Irving: Is there any limit to what could fall under “just giving legal advice”? Why isn’t disbarment an appropriate penalty for clearly and obviously misstating the law?

  11. #11 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I can’t believe I guessed correctly that Yoo would be found to have immunity!

  12. #12 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “John Yoo, the UC Berkeley law professor who advised President George W. Bush on interrogation of terror suspects, can’t be sued for allegedly authorizing a prisoner’s harsh treatment even if it amounted to torture, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.”

    How does this guy even walk across the campus at Berkeley
    without getting hit by flying eggs. “Cal” used to be the most committed
    hell-raisers in the country. I imagine it’s mostly bookish Asian-
    Americans studying there now. Nothing wrong with that, but where’s the outrage.

  13. #13 |  Aresen | 

    Maybe we should warn Chuck Schumer about the dangers of paleontology:

  14. #14 |  Aresen | 

    Boyd Durkin | May 4th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I can’t believe I guessed correctly that Yoo would be found to have immunity!

    Well, maybe if he had undergone “enhanced interrogation”, we could have collected more evidence.

  15. #15 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Well, maybe if he had undergone “enhanced interrogation”, we could have collected more evidence.

    Is it wrong for me to volunteer to interrogate Yoo in an enhanced fashion? I just finished whittlin’ my new raping log.

  16. #16 |  Dan | 

    Chuck Schumer is a piece of work…every since the Waco hearings it was clear that this guy is dangerous and a terrible person.

  17. #17 |  el coronado | 

    “Chuck Schumer is a piece of” SHIT, amigo.

    Fixed it for ya.

  18. #18 |  Bill Poser | 

    For the jury to convict Marissa Alexander of assault, isn’t it necessary to show intent? Nothing in what I’ve seen contradicts her story that the shot she fired was a warning shot.

    I’m also unclear regarding the claim that she could have escaped. Did the judge simply ignore the doctrine that there is no duty to retreat in one’s own home?

  19. #19 |  nigmalg | 

    Regardless of the merits in that particular shooting incident, expect to see a very heavy handed reaction to any claim of self defense in Florida in the immediate future.

    I would really hate to be a Floridian employing legitimate lethal force in this post-Zimmerman climate.

  20. #20 |  Irving Washington | 

    Aaron, to start with, he didn’t misstate the law. His memos are online, and you can check his citations yourself. I have, and while I disagree with his interpretation of the definition of “torture” under the Torture Convention and US law, his argument is not a stretch.

    But not to beg the question, even if the advice is horribly wrong, it’s just advice. He was acting as a lawyer to an executive officer of government. His duties are strictly defined by his engagement with that office and do not extend to anyone else.

  21. #21 |  Irving Washington | 

    Yizmo, it’s a weird deal at Berkeley. The undergrad is famously liberal, but the law school is extremely conservative.

  22. #22 |  albatross | 


    Yeah, I mean, all he did was help set up a worldwide torture regime in which at least a hundred-odd people (probably more) were tortured to death, and probably many thousands were kidnapped and tortured. It’s not like he did something *serious*, like f–k someone for money or sell some pot. Let’s look forward, not backward. Sometimes, it’s best to just walk on by. He was only following orders.

    In a just world, this guy would already be sitting in a prison cell, after a *very* embarrassing public trial in which the details of what was done partly thanks to his work was described in great detail.

  23. #23 |  Personanongrata | 

    John Yoo is a turd stain on the underpants of humanity.

    At least some of Padilla’s treatment may well constitute torture under current standards, the appeals court said. But when Yoo worked for the department in 2001-03, the three-judge panel said, courts had not yet decided that those practices were torture, or that so-called enemy combatants like Padilla had the same constitutional rights as other inmates.

    Impeachment would be too light a sanction for the fractions of human beings masquerading as “jurists” on the Ninth Circut they should be renditioned to hell as they totally disavowed their sworn oaths of office.

  24. #24 |  derfel cadarn | 

    NEVER fire warning shots!!! The only time it might be acceptable is if the waring shot is fired into the assailants head. In any case where there is threat of bodily harm this would be considered fair warning.

  25. #25 |  Irving Washington | 

    albatross, he did nothing of the sort. He wrote memos. I mean no disrespect to you, but I don’t think you understand what his job was.

  26. #26 |  Personanongrata | 

    #25 | Irving Washington | May 4th, 2012 at 5:05 pm
    albatross, he did nothing of the sort. He wrote memos. I mean no disrespect to you, but I don’t think you understand what his job was.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Was it Mr. Yoo’s job to subvert the US constitution?

  27. #27 |  Aresen | 

    Loathsome as Yoo’s advice may have been, it is still only advice – given to his client under solicitor-client priviledge.

    If we take away Yoo’s protection, we are also taking away the protection of every defense lawyer in the country.

    I’m sure the LE community would love that.

  28. #28 |  Personanongrata | 

    Mr. Yoo was not acting in the capacity of a defense lawyer, he gave advise to the executive that expilcitly stated that cruel and unusual punishment (ie Jose Padilla and the use of stress positions, isolation, loud noises, heat/cold, et al) was legal which is in direct contravention of the nations founding documents, the law of the land.

  29. #29 |  Goober | 

    No indictment for the police killing of Kenneth Chamberlain.

    Color me shocked.

    It comes as no surprise that the most clear cut case of needing to indict a cop that I’ve seen in a long time results in no indictment at all. THat mundane should have just sat down and shut up. It isn’t the cop’s fault for insisting on escalating the situation by getting more forceful and violent, instead of calming the situation by maybe bringing the man’s family members to the door to talk some sense into him (they were there and they had offered to do just that). An emotionally disturbed man, an angry man, doesn’t respond well to having his door broken down, you idiots. But you just couldn’t take the disrespect inherent in having a mundane refuse to open his door when you commanded it to be open, could you? YOu couldn’t just relax and talk it out with him like adults, right? No, you had to get your mundane sticks and spray out and start abusing the poor old guy, then electrocute him, then shoot him to death because he wouldn’t open his door and (gasp!) actually resisted you breaking into his apartment. Jesus, how in the hell do any of you sleep at night?

    But at least the man got the help he needed – oh, wait, no he didn’t, he got shot and killed. Huh.

  30. #30 |  John Thacker | 

    “Yeah, I mean, all he did was help set up a worldwide torture regime in which at least a hundred-odd people (probably more) were tortured to death”

    I’m aware of all the people who were subject to “enhanced interrogation,” but I was not aware of at least a hundred-odd people held by the US tortured to death. (Rendition may be a different matter.)

    Waterboarding still strikes me as not as bad as the typical conditions at a SuperMax prison, nor as bad as killing someone with a drone on the same flimsy evidence. Yoo is presumably not being more harshly investigated because of the possibility for accusations of hypocrisy.

  31. #31 |  Other Sean | 

    I guess it’s normal to daydream about a world where the John Yoos and the Eric Holders get punished for their sins, but that’s just so much venting. Every now and then we might get the satisfaction of watching a minor player like Joe Arpaio do the perp walk…but only because he’s the type to get caught scoring rhino horn at a drag show, certainly not because America will suddenly decide to get serious about civil rights.

    But…if there was a button that I could push to deliver a simultaneous TASER shock to every American who has voted for a major party candidate since 1924, I would totally do it. That’s who really deserved to be punished for the deeds of Yoo, Holder, et al.

  32. #32 |  Homeboy | 

    I fail to see how the prosecution of Marissa Alexander is outrageous. By Ms. Alexander’s own admission, she left her home, went to her car, retrieved a handgun from her automobile stash, re-entered her home, advanced on her husband while brandishing her weapon, raged at him while holding him at gunpoint, then fired a shot over his right ear. Her jurors, both Black and White, heard her argument of a stand your ground defense and summarily rejected it, deliberating for less than 12 minutes before convicting her of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. While I find a mandatory sentence of 20 years to be excessive in this particular case, I don’t share in the outrage over the prosecution itself.

  33. #33 |  StrangeOne | 

    The more I read into what John Yoo actually did, I just see him as the designated fall guy. His position is transient enough that the mainstream media can safely run attacks against him the way they would never do against the president, intelligence, or military officials.

    He gave legal advice, odious advice regarding horrible things, but materially he did nothing more than write papers. I remember when the torture thing broke and they tried to pin the whole operation on low ranking grunts, as if they all magically decided to use the same tactics across several locations to completely different people of their own free will.

    In the whole torture scandal the only people even coming close to getting punished are the grunt marines ordered to do it, and they guy wrote papers offering a legal defense for it. Everyone else in the chain of decision making and command is apparently immune from legal repercussions. In all likelihood Yoo’s memo’s were after the fact anyways with the actual torture program already being implemented, or at least well on its way, with the legal defense being an afterthought.

    So many people deserve sever punishment more than Yoo deserves a lawsuit for legal advice.

  34. #34 |  Other Sean | 

    Hey, Homeboy, I see what you did there. You separated the “prosecution itself” from the “20 years in prison” that will be the prosecution’s only practical result, if successful. You may yet find work as a German philosopher.

    In the meantime let me remind you: these things cannot be separated. The penalty called for in a prosecution is part of that prosecution, even and especially when the minimum sentence is set by law.

    What you wrote has the ring of: “I like throwing my fist in people’s faces, but I find broken noses to be excessive and inconvenient.”

  35. #35 |  Matt | 

    It horrifies me that a jury “after deliberating for 12 minutes, a jury convicted Alexander.”

    12 minutes. What a gaggle of tools.

  36. #36 |  Homeboy | 

    Other Sean, your appeal for pity has stirred me. There are many programs to help people such as yourself, and some of them have done miracles with people suffering from cognitive disabilities such as yours. Your ultimate line has as much sense and veracity as: “What you wrote has the ring of Garfunkel hair, or anything else that bears no similarity or relationship to what you wrote.” The last line of your post alone would have been sufficient for a diagnosis of your condition, even if what preceded it had not been.

    I discern from your post that you harbor the infantile notion that if one disagrees with the statutory consequences of, somehow people behave outrageously if they fail to give perpetrators a free pass to commit any crime that might be touched by the statute. We who do not suffer from your particular form of impairment recognize the nonsense of this position.

    Your misstatement of fact does not help to rehabilitate your foolishness; not only *can* “these things be separated,” the fact is that the prosecution offered to separate them. The prosecutors attempted to avoid any excessive punishment by offering Ms. Alexander a plea deal that would have included a recommended sentence of as little as 18 months, which could have been still further reduced or converted, but she declined their offer. The fact is that there were available mechanisms whereby this “outrageous prosecution” could have been brought without invoking any excessive penalties.

    What you wrote has the ring of: “I enjoy licking my dog’s soiled perineum, and clown pants make me fidgety whenever I…” Oops, sorry, I guess I found your prose a bit too inspirational for a moment! BTW, if you would like a referral to a program in your area for people with cognitive disabilities, let me know, and I will put you in touch with someone who can direct you to assistance providers in your area.

  37. #37 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @36 – And thanks for that typical display of social darwinism. Anyone who dares disagree with the Approved Party Line is mentally deviant and needs “help”.

    Self-defence is an 18 month sentence now, huh? If she’d shot him, she’d probably never have been charged. As it is, one wonders about the guy’s political connections…

  38. #38 |  Homeboy | 

    No, Leon, self-defense should have no penalty associated with it whatsoever. In those instances where it is obvious to a finder of fact that no act of self-defense occurred, however, a person may be subject to criminal penalties upon her conviction. I would not know about prescribing measures to deal with those who disagree with party lines, not being one to embrace party lines in the first place. What I do know is that your palaver is intentionally dishonest and misleading. You realize fully well that my observation of Other Sean’s impairment rests solely on his demonstrated incapacity to recognize facts and properly correlate those facts with another’s treatment of them, and has nothing to do with party lines. Your disingenuousness does not stand you in good stead here.

  39. #39 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    No, I don’t “realise” anything of the sort. It’s a completely standard social darwist screed of the far right.

    You are a liar as well as a hack, it seems. Keep on trying to force someone who has dared disagree with the Doctrine into mental treatment, though.

  40. #40 |  ck | 

    Regarding the claim that all Yoo did was “give advice”, and therefore should not face any legal consequences – there was a great comment on this blog several years ago (don’t remember by whom) that called this the “Torture Two-Step”: the lawyers can’t be prosecuted because all they were doing is “giving advice”, and the executive actors can’t be prosecuted because they were just following the advice of their lawyers (qualified immunity, you know). Thus enabling the whole lot of them to break the law with impunity.

  41. #41 |  Other Sean | 


    You upset me a bit with that comment about “Garfunkel hair”.

    If you know of something that goes with an open black vest better than a corona of golden curls atop a high forehead, well…you have my attention.

  42. #42 |  Homeboy | 

    LOL…no offense intended with the Garfunkel comment, Other Sean. You’re right, Mr. Garfunkel is a true aesthetic prodigy.

  43. #43 |  Weird Willy | 

    Somebody explain this self defense thing to me. This woman entered a house with a gun following an argument and cornered her husband so she could scream and bitch at him. She herself said in court that her husband did not pursue her outside but she had to enter the house and find him near the kitchen. After wagging her gun at her husband and bitching at him for a while she fired a winger past his head and into the ceiling with two small children upstairs. Her husband gathered up the children and went outside to call the police. The police showed up and arrested her for assault. The DA wanted to let her off easy but she refused. And now morons are here talking about party lines and the far right? Remember this is oput together from her own statements and testimony not anyone else’s! How do you get self defense out of this or call the DA improper?

  44. #44 |  Radley Balko | 


    Make your points without being an asshole. You get one warning.

  45. #45 |  Homeboy | 

    Capricious, uneven, laughably biased, Alpha Asshole of this list; quit showing an indulgent preference for those who choose to initiate the worst sort of asshole behavior on your blog. Your blog suffers greatly for it, which is unfortunate, because you otherwise provide a forum possessing some worthy attributes that make it worthwhile. You are past the point of warning, for your blog has already become a laughing stock among much of the sane, temperate reading public for the type of bullshit that you encourage. Moderate your list without being an asshole, if you are capable. Oh, and shove your warnings up your ass.

  46. #46 |  Cbalducc | 

    With regards to the killing of Mr. Chamberlain, my guess is that an undisclosed financial settlement will occur in a few years, after the shooting is forgotten by most folks, news of the settlement will be published on a back page of the local newspaper(s), all the officers involved will keep their jobs, and the problem continues.