Nearly 3000 Victims Of 911 Don’t Show Up As Dead In SS Records

WASHINGTON — A New York congresswoman who represents Manhattan wants answers to why nearly 3,000 victims of the 9/11 terrorists attacks weren’t reported in the Social Security Administration’s official list of deceased Americans.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said her staff started making inquiries after the errors in the federal Death Master File (DMF) were detected by Scripps Howard News Service. The file is a public record intended to protect families of the deceased from identity theft and other types of fraud.

“While nearly 3,000 individuals were killed on Sept. 11th, the list does not show an increase in numbers from the typical DMF daily average,” Maloney said. “A sampling of those names did not yield any matches in the DMF and confirms their apparent absence.”

She said her staff has contacted the Social Security Administration, the New York State Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, only to receive “conflicting answers as to why there is a lack of reporting on this matter.”

So Maloney is asking Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue and the public health commissioners for the state of New York and New York City, jointly, to account for the reporting error.

“Would you explain why individuals killed on 9/11 would be missing from the DMF?” Maloney asked in her letters.

2 Unused 150 Million Dollar Navy Ships Scraped

SOURCE

In the era of massive belt-tightening budget cuts, the story of two never-completed, unused Navy ships now being sent to the scrap heap after costing U.S. taxpayers $300 million is a case study in Pentagon waste.

Requisitioned by the U.S. Navy in 1985, the two oil-hauling ships, the Benjamin Isherwood and the Henry Eckford, “have never gone on a mission, were never even completed, yet they cost taxpayers at least $300 million,” the Virginia-Pilot’s Scott Harper reports.
Now the “ghost ships” are headed from their dock on the James River in Virginia to a Texas scrap yard to be dismantled, Harrop writes. And there’s one more catch–the United States awarded a $10 million contract to dismantle four ships, including the Eckford and the Isherwood, to a UK firm, so no money from the reclamation will return to the United States.
You can watch a WUSA newscast about the ships below:

The two vessels were part of a $567 million request for three oilers put out by the Navy, Harrop writes. But the builder, Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Co. in Philadelphia, defaulted on the contract in 1989. A Florida firm contracted to finish the ships cancelled the contract over price disputes in 1993. The ships are now being scrapped, rather than refurbished, because they do not meet modern specs. “[I]t will close one of the saddest chapters in American shipbuilding and for that matter, federal fiduciary folly,” writes global maritime commentator Joseph Keefe, Harrop notes.

Welcome To The Recovery

Somehow I missed this article almost a year ago. Probably for the better though since now you can see what a liar Timmy Geithner is.

THE devastation wrought by the great recession is still all too real for millions of Americans who lost their jobs, businesses and homes. The scars of the crisis are fresh, and every new economic report brings another wave of anxiety. That uncertainty is understandable, but a review of recent data on the American economy shows that we are on a path back to growth.

The recession that began in late 2007 was extraordinarily severe, but the actions we took at its height to stimulate the economy helped arrest the freefall, preventing an even deeper collapse and putting the economy on the road to recovery.

From the start, President Obama made clear that recovery from a crisis of this magnitude would not come quickly and that the recovery would not follow a straight line. We saw that this past spring, when the European fiscal crisis posed a serious challenge to the markets and to business confidence, dampening investment and the rate of growth here.

While the economy has a long way to go before reaching its full potential, last week’s data on economic growth show that large parts of the private sector continue to strengthen. Business investment and consumption — the two keys to private demand — are getting stronger, better than last year and better than last quarter. Uncertainty is still inhibiting investment, but business capital spending increased at a solid annual rate of about 17 percent.

Together, private consumption and fixed investment contributed about 3.25 percent to growth. Even the surge in imports, which lowered the rate of increase of G.D.P., actually reflects healthy and growing American demand.

As the economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart have written, recoveries that follow financial crises are typically a hard climb. That is reality. The process of repair means economic growth will come slower than we would like. But despite these challenges, there is good news to report:

• Exports are booming because American companies are very competitive and lead the world in many high-tech industries.

• Private job growth has returned — not as fast as we would like, but at an earlier stage of this recovery than in the last two recoveries. Manufacturing has generated 136,000 new jobs in the past six months.

• Businesses have repaired their balance sheets and are now in a strong financial position to reinvest and grow.

• American families are saving more, paying down their debt and borrowing more responsibly. This has been a necessary adjustment because the borrow-and-spend path we were on wasn’t sustainable.

• The auto industry is coming back, and the Big Three — Chrysler, Ford and General Motors — are now leaner, generating profits despite lower annual sales.

• Major banks, forced by the stress tests to raise capital and open their books, are stronger and more competitive. Now, as businesses expand again, our banks are better positioned to finance growth.

• The government’s investment in banks has already earned more than $20 billion in profits for taxpayers, and the TARP program will be out of business earlier than expected — and costing nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars less than projected last year.

We all understand and appreciate that these signs of strength in parts of the economy are cold comfort to those Americans still looking for work and to those industries, like construction, hit hardest by the crisis. But these economic measures, nonetheless, do represent an encouraging turnaround from the frightening future we faced just 18 months ago.

The new data show that this recession was even deeper than previously estimated. The plunge in economic activity started an entire year before President Obama took office and was accelerating at the end of 2008, when G.D.P. fell at an annual rate of roughly 7 percent.

Panicked by the collapse in demand and financing and fearing a prolonged slump, the private sector cut payrolls and investment savagely. The rate of job loss worsened with time: by early last year, 750,000 jobs vanished every month. The economic collapse drove tax revenue down, pushing the annual deficit up to $1.3 trillion by last January.

The economic rescue package that President Obama put in place was essential to turning the economy around. The combined effect of government actions taken over the past two years — the stimulus package, the stress tests and recapitalization of the banks, the restructuring of the American car industry and the many steps taken by the Federal Reserve — were extremely effective in stopping the freefall and restarting the economy.

According to a report released last week by Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, advisers to President Bill Clinton and Senator John McCain, respectively, the combined actions since the fall of 2007 of the Federal Reserve, the White House and Congress helped save 8.5 million jobs and increased gross domestic product by 6.5 percent relative to what would have happened had we done nothing. The study showed that government action delivered a powerful bang for the buck, and that the bank rescue on its own will turn a profit for taxpayers.

We have a long way to go to address the fiscal trauma and damage across the country, and we will need to monitor the ups and downs in the economy month by month. The share of workers who have been unemployed for six months or more is at its highest level since 1948, when the data was first recorded, and we must do more to ensure that they have the skills they need to re-enter the 21st-century economy. Small businesses are still battling a tough climate. State and local governments are still hurting.

There are urgent tasks to be undertaken to reinforce the recovery, and Congress should move now to help small business, to assist states in keeping teachers in the classroom, to increase investments in public infrastructure, to promote clean energy and to increase exports. And while making smart, targeted investments in our future, we must also cut the deficit over the next few years and make sure that America once again lives within its means.

These are considerable challenges, but we are in a much stronger position to face them today than when President Obama took office. By taking aggressive action to fix the financial system, reduce growth in health care costs and improve education, we have put the American economy on a firmer foundation for future growth.

And as the president said last week, no one should bet against the American worker, American business and American ingenuity.

We suffered a terrible blow, but we are coming back.

Timothy F. Geithner is the secretary of the Treasury.

America, Land Of Psychotics

 SOURCE

Has America become a nation of psychotics? You would certainly think so, based on the explosion in the use of antipsychotic medications. In 2008, with over $14 billion in sales, antipsychotics became the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States, surpassing drugs used to treat high cholesterol and acid reflux.

Once upon a time, antipsychotics were reserved for a relatively small number of patients with hard-core psychiatric diagnoses – primarily schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – to treat such symptoms as delusions, hallucinations, or formal thought disorder. Today, it seems, everyone is taking antipsychotics. Parents are told that their unruly kids are in fact bipolar, and in need of anti-psychotics, while old people with dementia are dosed, in large numbers, with drugs once reserved largely for schizophrenics. Americans with symptoms ranging from chronic depression to anxiety to insomnia are now being prescribed anti-psychotics at rates that seem to indicate a national mass psychosis.

It is anything but a coincidence that the explosion in antipsychotic use coincides with the pharmaceutical industry’s development of a new class of medications known as “atypical antipsychotics.” Beginning with Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Seroquel in the 1990s, followed by Abilify in the early 2000s, these drugs were touted as being more effective than older antipsychotics like Haldol and Thorazine. More importantly, they lacked the most noxious side effects of the older drugs – in particular, the tremors and other motor control problems.

The atypical anti-psychotics were the bright new stars in the pharmaceutical industry’s roster of psychotropic drugs – costly, patented medications that made people feel and behave better without any shaking or drooling. Sales grew steadily, until by 2009 Seroquel and Abilify numbered fifth and sixth in annual drug sales, and prescriptions written for the top three atypical antipsychotics totaled more than 20 million.  Suddenly, antipsychotics weren’t just for psychotics any more.

Not just for psychotics anymore

By now, just about everyone knows how the drug industry works to influence the minds of American doctors, plying them with gifts, junkets, ego-tripping awards, and research funding in exchange for endorsing or prescribing the latest and most lucrative drugs. “Psychiatrists are particularly targeted by Big Pharma because psychiatric diagnoses are very subjective,” says Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, whose PharmedOut project tracks the industry’s influence on American medicine, and who last month hosted a conference on the subject at Georgetown. A shrink can’t give you a blood test or an MRI to figure out precisely what’s wrong with you. So it’s often a case of diagnosis by prescription. (If you feel better after you take an anti-depressant, it’s assumed that you were depressed.) As the researchers in one study of the drug industry’s influence put it, “the lack of biological tests for mental disorders renders psychiatry especially vulnerable to industry influence.” For this reason, they argue, it’s particularly important that the guidelines for diagnosing and treating mental illness be compiled “on the basis of an objective review of the scientific evidence” – and not on whether the doctors writing them got a big grant from Merck or own stock in AstraZeneca.

Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and a leading critic of the Big Pharma, puts it more bluntly: “Psychiatrists are in the pocket of industry.” Angell has pointed out that most of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the bible of mental health clinicians, have ties to the drug industry. Likewise, a 2009 study showed that 18 out of 20 of the shrinks who wrote the American Psychiatric Association’s most recent clinical guidelines for treating depression, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia had financial ties to drug companies.

In a recent article in The New York Review of Books, Angell deconstructs what she calls an apparent “raging epidemic of mental illness” among Americans.

The use of psychoactive drugs—including both antidepressants and antipsychotics—has exploded, and if the new drugs are so effective, Angell points out, we should “expect the prevalence of mental illness to be declining, not rising.” Instead, “the tally of those who are so disabled by mental disorders that they qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) increased nearly two and a half times between 1987 and 2007 – from one in 184 Americans to one in seventy-six. For children, the rise is even more startling – a thirty-five-fold increase in the same two decades. Mental illness is now the leading cause of disability in children.” Under the tutelage of Big Pharma, we are “simply expanding the criteria for mental illness so that nearly everyone has one.” Fugh-Berman agrees: In the age of aggressive drug marketing, she says, “Psychiatric diagnoses have expanded to include many perfectly normal people.”

Cost benefit analysis

What’s especially troubling about the over-prescription of the new antipsychotics is its prevalence among the very young and the very old – vulnerable groups who often do not make their own choices when it comes to what medications they take. Investigations into antipsychotic use suggests that their purpose, in these cases, may be to subdue and tranquilize rather than to treat any genuine psychosis.

Carl Elliott reports in Mother Jones magazine: “Once bipolar disorder could be treated with atypicals, rates of diagnoses rose dramatically, especially in children. According to a recent Columbia University study, the number of children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder rose 40-fold between 1994 and 2003.” And according to another study, “one in five children who visited a psychiatrist came away with a prescription for an antipsychotic drug.”

A remarkable series published in the Palm Beach Post in May true revealed that the state of  Florida’s juvenile justice department has literally been pouring these drugs into juvenile facilities, “routinely” doling them out “for reasons that never were approved by federal regulators.” The numbers are staggering: “In 2007, for example, the Department of Juvenile Justice bought more than twice as much Seroquel as ibuprofen. Overall, in 24 months, the department bought 326,081 tablets of Seroquel, Abilify, Risperdal and other antipsychotic drugs for use in state-operated jails and homes for children…That’s enough to hand out 446 pills a day, seven days a week, for two years in a row, to kids in jails and programs that can hold no more than 2,300 boys and girls on a given day.” Further, the paper discovered that “One in three of the psychiatrists who have contracted with the state Department of Juvenile Justice in the past five years has taken speaker fees or gifts from companies that make antipsychotic medications.”

In addition to expanding the diagnoses of serious mental illness, drug companies have encouraged doctors to prescribe atypical anti-psychotics for a host of off-label uses. In one particularly notorious episode, the drugmaker Eli Lilly pushed Zyprexa on the caregivers of old people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as well as agitation, anxiety, and insomnia. In selling to nursing home doctors, sales reps reportedly used the slogan “five at five”—meaning that five milligrams of Zyprexa at 5 pm would sedate their more difficult charges. The practice persisted even after FDA had warned Lilly that the drug was not approved for such uses, and that it could lead to obesity and even diabetes in elderly patients.

In a video interview conducted in 2006, Sharham Ahari, who sold Zyprexa for two years at the beginning of the decade, described to me how the sales people would wangle the doctors into prescribing it. At the time, he recalled, his doctor clients were giving him a lot of grief over patients who were “flipping out” over the weight gain associated with the drug, along with the diabetes. “We were instructed to downplay side effects and focus on the efficacy of drug…to recommend the patient drink a glass a water before taking a pill before the  meal and then after the meal in hopes the stomach would expand” and provide an easy way out of this obstacle to increased sales. When docs complained, he recalled, “I told them, ‘Our drug is state of the art. What’s more important? You want them to get better or do you want them to stay the same–a thin psychotic patient or a fat stable patient.'”

For the drug companies, Shahrman says, the decision to continue pushing the drug despite side effects is matter of cost benefit analysis: Whether you will make more money by continuing to market the drug for off-label use, and perhaps defending against lawsuits, than you would otherwise. In the case of Zyprexa, in January 2009, Lilly settled a lawsuit brought by with the US Justice Department, agreeing to pay $1.4 billion, including “a criminal fine of $515 million, the largest ever in a health care case, and the largest criminal fine for an individual corporation ever imposed in a United States criminal prosecution of any kind,”the Department of Justice said in announcing the settlement.” But Lilly’s sale of Zyprexa in that year alone were over $1.8 billion.

Making patients worse 

As it turns out, the atypical antipsychotics may not even be the best choice for people with genuine, undisputed psychosis.

A growing number of health professionals have come to think these drugs are not really as effective as older, less expensive medicines which they have replaced, that they themselves produce side effects that cause other sorts of diseases such as diabetes and plunge the patient deeper into the gloomy world of serious mental disorder. Along with stories of success comes reports of people turned into virtual zombies.

Elliott reports in Mother Jones: “After another large analysis in The Lancet found that most atypicals actually performed worse than older drugs, two senior British psychiatrists penned a damning editorial that ran in the same issue. Dr. Peter Tyrer, the editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry, and Dr. Tim Kendall of the Royal College of Psychiatrists wrote: “The spurious invention of the atypicals can now be regarded as invention only, cleverly manipulated by the drug industry for marketing purposes and only now being exposed.”

Bottom line: Stop Big Pharma and the parasitic shrink community from wantonly pushing these pills across the population.

A Brief History Of Obamas Fiscal Record

 FULL STORY VIA ZEROHEDGE

Despite newfound concern with the debt overhang stifling economic growth, President Obama’s record falls far short of his rhetoric.  Let’s review the decisions made by President Obama and Congressional Democrats over the past couple of years, and the disappointing results of their policy choices:

January 20, 2009
President Obama sworn into office

  • President tells the American people in his Inaugural Address: “Those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”
  • Debt Held By Public = $6.31 trillion

February 17, 2009
President Signs into Law the Spending Stimulus

  • The stimulus adds $821 billion in new spending according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
  • The White House promises this infusion of spending and borrowing would keep unemployment rate below 8%.  As millions of Americans are painfully aware, that promise was broken.
  • Debt Held by Public = $6.48 trillion

February 26, 2009
President Issues FY2010 Budget

  • The President’s budget adds $2.7 trillion in new debt in FY2010 and imposes $1.4 trillion in new taxes.
  • Debt Held by Public = $6.58 trillion

March 11, 2009
President Signs FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act

  • The massive spending bill includes 8,696 earmarks at a cost of $11 billion.
  • The spending bill adds $19 billion in new spending above the baseline – an 8.6% spending increase.
  • Debt Held by Public = $6.66 trillion

April 29, 2009
Congressional Democrats Pass FY2010 Budget

  • The Congressional Democrats’ budget calls for a $2 trillion debt increase in 2010, and another 8.9% increase in non-defense discretionary spending.
  • The reconciliation process is abused to later pave the way for health care overhaul to be jammed into law.
  • Of note: this is the last time Congressional Democrats will bother budgeting.
  • Debt Held by Public = $6.85 trillion

February 2, 2010
President Issues FY2011 Budget

  • The President’s budget more than doubles the debt; pushes the FY2011 deficit to a new record of $1.6 trillion; drives spending to a new record of $3.8 trillion in fiscal year 2011; and raises taxes by more than $2 trillion through 2020, under the administration’s own estimates.
  • Debt Held by Public = $7.85 trillion

March 23, 2010
President Signs Health-Care Overhaul Into Law

  • The massive new law adds $1.4 trillion in new spending over the next decade, and over $2.5 trillion once the law is fully implemented.
  • Despite sluggish economic growth and high unemployment, the law imposes over $500 billion in new tax hikes.  CBO Director Elmendorf would later testify that the law would reduce employment by roughly half a percent – a reduction of approximately 800,000 jobs.
  • Debt Held by Public = $8.18 trillion

April 15, 2010 
Congressional Democrats Decide Not to Do a Budget for FY2011 

  • The 1974 Budget Act requires Congress to pass a budget each year by April 15.
  • In an unprecedented budget failure, House Democrats not only failed to pass a budget – they opted to not even propose a budget.
  • Debt Held by Public = $8.39 trillion

July 21, 2010
President Signs Financial Regulatory Overhaul Into Law

  • In addition to heightened regulatory uncertainty, the massive new law adds $10.2 billion in new spending.
  • Debt Held by Public = $8.69 trillion

February 14, 2011
President Issues FY2012 Budget

  • The President’s budget yet again calls for the doubling of the debt in five years, and tripling the debt in ten years.
  • The President’s budget spends $47 trillion over the next decade, imposes over $1 trillion in new tax hikes, and fails to address the drivers of the debt.
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.45 trillion

April 13, 2011
President Delivers Speech on Deficit Reduction

  • The President appears to abandon his own budget by offering a ‘framework’ that calls for additional tax increases, defense spending cuts, and Medicare price controls – yet lacks sufficient detail to back-up claims of deficit reduction.
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.65 trillion

April 15, 2011
House Passes FY2012 Budget Resolution

  • The House-passed budget cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade, saves Medicare, strengthens the social safety net, lifts the crushing burden of debt, and spurs economic growth and job creation.
  • Senate Democrats fail to meet their legal requirement to pass a budget by April 15.
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.68 trillion

April 18, 2011
S&P Issues Credit Warning on U.S. Debt

  • The rating agency sets off the latest alarm bells, warning of lawmakers of unsustainable fiscal course.
  • President Obama has still not proposed a credible budget; Senate Democrats have still not proposed any budget.
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.68 trillion

May 13, 2011
Medicare and Social Security Trustees Issue Warning of Looming Insolvency

  • According to the programs’ own trustees, the unsustainable future of Medicare and Social Security threatens the health and retirement security of America’s seniors.
  • President Obama and Congressional Democrats continue to engage in a partisan campaign to attack efforts to save and strengthen these critical programs – while offering no serious solutions of their own.
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.67 trillion

May 25, 2011
Senate Unanimously Rejects President’s FY2012 Budget; Vote is 97-0

  • While the President’s plan to accelerate our nation toward bankruptcy is unanimously rejected, the stunt on the Senate floor reveals the bankruptcy of Senate Democrats’ ideas.
  • Senate Democrats have still not proposed any budget.
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.72 trillion

June 23, 2011
CBO Director Further Discredits President’s Fiscal Record

  • In testimony before the House Budget Committee, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf responds to questions on the President’s ‘Framework’: “We don’t estimate speeches.  We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis.”
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.74 trillion

July 8, 2011
Unemployment Hits 9.2%; Day 800 Since Senate Democrats Last Passed A Budget

  • A devastating jobs report that shows the unemployment rate at 9.2% coincides with the 800th day since Senate Democrats last thought the federal government needed a budget.
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.75 trillion

July 11, 2011
Senator Conrad Gives Budget Speech on Senate Floor

  • On Day 803 since the Senate last passed a budget, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad takes to the Senate floor to deliver a speech about the Senate Democrats’ non-existent budget resolution.
  • Senator Conrad makes the case for imposing over $2 trillion in new taxes, but provides no actual budget resolution and no credible details.
  • Debt held by Public = $9.75 trillion

July 15, 2011
President Holds Press Conference: “We’re Running Out of Time” to Deal with Debt

  • President Obama tells reporters: “I’ve got reams of paper and printouts and spreadsheets on my desk, and so we know how we can create a package that solves the deficits and debt for a significant period of time.  But in order to do that, we got to get started now.”
  • The American people have still not seen any “paper” or “printouts” of what specific spending cuts the President supports.  The American people have still not seen any “spreadsheets” from the White House to corroborate their claims of having offered a deficit reduction plan.
  • While it’s long past time for Washington “to get started now” on tackling our debt problems, President Obama has still not proposed a credible budget, and Senate Democrats have still not proposed any budget.
  • Debt Held by Public = $9.75 trillion
Blame the teleprompter?

Edgar Steele: Sex, Lies, and Audiotape: Part I

by Edgar J. Steele

The jury never heard even a hint about the single most important piece of evidence in the Government’s case in my defense at trial: proof that the government’s evidence, the two recordings, were phony. Without those recordings, the government’s case against me literally disappeared.

What’s that? You say that there must be something wrong? That I am failing to tell you everything? Nope. Ask anybody who was at that pre-trial hearing that took longer than my entire defense at trial. Judge Winmill ruled that I could not present any evidence disputing the authenticity of the audiotapes. Why?

Why? For two reasons, said the judge – one for each of the two forensic audiology experts we flew in from New York and New Mexico, respectively, for the hearing and the trial.

Not Qualified?

The first expert, Dennis Walsh, with over 20 years experience in handling and analyzing audio recordings for the New York City Police Department, who owns a company that does nothing but analyze recordings, was declared “not qualified” to render an opinion. Not qualified? Excuse me? Walsh was doing this before it was science! In a moment, I will give you Walsh’s conclusions; then you will see why the court and the government had to prevent his testimony at any cost.

Irrelevant?

My second expert, Dr. George Papcun (pronounced “Pap’-sun”), could not possibly be deemed unqualified, given the fact that he is the world’s leading expert in forensic audiology. Papcun literally invented the discipline’s terms and wrote the book “that others throughout the world rely upon.” Papcun couldn’t testify, said the judge, because he was irrelevant, because nobody had put the authenticity of the tapes into question. Yes, you heard that correctly, regardless of how ridiculous it sounds. And the judge said it right out loud, with a straight face. Why wasn’t the listing of Walsh and Papcun as experts with the court (and filing their written opinions that the recordings were false) enough to put the authenticity of the recordings “into question?” Why didn’t my husband-wife-privileged jailhouse call, in which I averred the “tapes” had to be false, enough to trigger the authenticity issue? For that matter, why wasn’t my “not guilty” plea enough? Why wasn’t my expert’s testimony for 1-½ days in a pretrial hearing “enough?” Incidentally the judge ruled that I had waived that privilege, so that the call became the source of yet another federal charge calling for 20 years in prison.

Then the judge said he might change his mind if a “party to the recordings” testified during the upcoming trial (now just 3 days away) that something had been deleted or added to them. B-b-but, Judge – that leaves only Larry Fairfax, the Idahun Hit Man, since I wasn’t really a “party” to them. So, Judge, you are saying that, if I waive my Constitutional right not to take the stand, I might somehow be able to dispute the recordings’ authenticity? Really? Of course, you know that a defendant always testifies last, if at all? You are forcing me to choose between my constitutional rights and a key witness? The key witness? I felt as though I had “gone through the looking glass” and now was subject to the tyranny of the Red Queen.

I don’t know if Judge Winmill knew that Dr. Papcun long ago had prepaid $48,000 (non-refundable) for his and his wife’s dream vacation of a lifetime to Tahiti, scheduled to depart just two days later. Dr. Papcun had offered to stay for the trial despite that vacation (that could not be rescheduled), if the judge ruled that he could testify and if we could put him on the stand early, out of order and ahead of the state’s case against me. But the judge said Papcun couldn’t testify, so off he flew to Tahiti.

When Yes Means No

I honestly don’t know if the judge knew Dr. Papcun’s vacation before the trial, but he sure knew about it during the second week of trial when he inexplicably reversed himself, saying Papcun (but not Walsh, of course) could testify at trial, provided he was in the courtroom at 8:30 am, two days later. The US Attorney knew about Papcun’s vacation in advance, because she was secretly requiring the jail to provide her recordings of all my calls from jail, even those made to lawyers, during which I discussed Papcun at length. Now it was too late to subpoena Papcun, but we could get him back on the next commercial flight if we hurried. He agreed to come back, but asked if there was any other way. We thought there was another way.

Yes, I know I promised to quote for you both experts’ written opinions, but a couple more incredible twists to the Papcun saga yet remain to be told. My lawyer informed the judge that Dr. Papcun was on the other side of the world and, though there just barely was enough time to get him back to Boise by commercial jet by the Judge’s deadline and though he was willing to come, could we simply have him testify by videophone satellite uplink, over the internet? “Yes,” said the judge. However, the very next morning and with only 24 hours to go, the judge acceded to the US Attorney’s renewed demand that Papcun testify only in person. Why? So that she could “more effectively cross-examine” Dr. Papcun! Keep in mind that this selfsame US Attorney had cross-examined both Dr. Papcun and Mr. Walsh in person and on the same witness stand, just 3 days before trial, for 1-½ days!

This is the same judge who ruled that I had no constitutional right to confront witnesses against me at trial, allowing the videotaped deposition of Tatiyana Loganova to be played for the jury.

The smell arising from this sordid little interlude just gets stronger, doesn’t it? Well, hold on, because it gets worse.

The Stench of Real Injustice

With less than 24 hours to go, the only way we now could get Papcun to Boise by 8:30 am the next morning would be by charter jet.

We found one, incredibly enough, located in a place where it actually could make it to Tahiti, pick up Dr. Papcun and fly him to Boise just prior to the Judge’s deadline… for $180,000! Cash in advance, of course. My friends sucked it up and calculated that, together, they could just barely pull together $180,000 that same morning. When they called the jet charter company back, however, less than one hour after getting the all-clear signal from it, the tension on the phone line was palpable. No, they didn’t want to rent us the jet, after all. No, they had no idea who could or would, on such short notice. “Have a nice day.” With that, my hopes for an acquittal disappeared.

We couldn’t challenge the recordings, so the jury concluded they were real, of course. The only thing my lawyer was allowed to say during closing argument was that there was a “problem with the recordings,” and that only because my wife and daughter had sworn on the stand they were phony and that it didn’t even sound like me in many places.

Despite the fact that my wife and daughter literally are the world’s leading experts on how I sound and, though their testimony went unrefuted, the government convinced the jury that I really had said all those terrible things.

Audiotape

Now, let’s see what Dr. Papcun said in his pretrial written report: “Both recordings contain numerous electronic signatures… such as would be caused by dubbing… and/or editing…” “Both recordings contain gaps…” “Both recordings are of poor quality… with the recording volume at a very low level, which would conceal irregularities and defects in the recordings.” “There are discrepancies in the relative volumes of the speakers.” On one of the tapes, “there appears an extraneous voice.” “… I conclude, within a reasonable degree of scientific probability that the recordings… are unreliable.” “With commonly available methods, it is possible to remove material, insert material and alter the meaning of conversations.”

Dr. Papcun also said that “electronic transients may be caused by various events such as the following: turning equipment on and off, changing components, connecting or disconnecting components, microphone malfunctions, other equipment malfunctions (and/or) attempts at splicing or otherwise editing or modifying recordings.” Every single one of the foregoing “events” was ruled out by uncontroverted evidence presented by the government, all except the last item, that is: “attempts at splicing or otherwise editing or modifying recordings.”

Remember my other expert, Dennis Walsh? He adopted all of Dr. Papcun’s conclusions and went even further. Walsh’s written opinion also said: “I conclude, with a reasonable degree of scientific probability that the recordings contain different speakers purported to be that of Edgar Steele.” (emphasis added)

In direct testimony on the witness stand during the 1-½ day pretrial hearing on audiology experts, Mr. Walsh went still further and stated his certainty that the tapes had been “manufactured” and were wholly unreliable.

Next: Here Come De Fix

Jap Gropes TSA Screener, Facing Felony Charges

SOURCE

PHOENIX – We hear a lot of complaints about security screeners groping airline passengers.

But now, a Colorado woman is accused of putting her hands on a TSA agent at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

Court records show 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae grabbed the left breast of the female agent Thursday at the Terminal 4 checkpoint.

Police say she squeezed and twisted the agent’s breast with both hands.

Officers say Mihamae admitted to the crime.

There’s no word why she touched the agent.

Mihamae now faces a felony count of sexual abuse.

According to court records, she lives in Longmont, Colorado and is self-employed.

Mother Arrested After Stopping Pedophiles From Molesting Her Young Daughter

A 41-year-old Clarksville woman was arrested after Nashville airport authorities say she was belligerent and verbally abusive to security officers, refusing for her daughter to be patted down at a security checkpoint.

Andrea Fornella Abbott yelled and swore at Transportation Security Administration agents Saturday afternoon at Nashville International Airport, saying she did not want her daughter to be “touched inappropriately or have her “crotch grabbed,” a police report states.


FULL STORY